Book Promo Feature–Nadia’s Heart, Part One by Wendy Altshuler

YAPC would like to welcome Wendy Altshuler to the blog today. She is here to share some info and an excerpt of her book Nadia’s Heart. If this looks like something you would enjoy reading, please go get a copy!

Content Warning: Not intended for younger readers.

Book Description:

Nadia's HeartA growing evil will use magic to steal the hearts of children. Can they be saved?

From Award Winning Author Wendy Altshuler comes Book IV in the Evergreen Series:
When an amnesiac girl who suspects her heart is missing utters a prayer, she is met by a mysterious angelic stranger from her forgotten past. Together they embark on a journey to recover her removed heart, but enter into battle with an Evil Voice on a rampage to remove the hearts of an entire generation of children.

From a review of the series: “…a fantasy novel meant for young adults but appealing to readers and fantasy fans of all ages, following the adventures of a young boy, his close friend, and the bond he shares with a tree come to life…and of the mysterious Nadia, who begins searching for her own heart and memory yet finds her purpose in rescuing the hearts of others. An emotionally moving, uplifting, and wholesome fable.” -Midwest Book Review

From the Author:

The books in this series are YA/Fantasy and, like Harry Potter, the themes mature slightly as the books progress. ‘Nadia’s Heart, Part One,’ is the only one in the series in the YA Fantasy/Horror category, and not for younger readers (it has frightened some of our reviewers, and one editor!). Though nonreligious, the story is an allegory for the Mythical or Divine heart.

Nadia’s Heart is a stand alone book. Readers do not need to read the other books in the series.

Please be reassured that as an indie publication the book has been professionally edited by Gotham Writers’ (NYC) editor team Four Eyes Edit.

Praise:

From Midwest Book Review: “…a fantasy [series] meant for young adults but appealing to readers and fantasy fans of all ages, following the adventures of a young boy, his close friend, and the bond he shares with a tree come to life…and of the mysterious Nadia, who begins searching for her own heart and memory yet finds her purpose in rescuing the hearts of others. An emotionally moving, uplifting, and wholesome fable.”

Fantastical Journey of a Young Heroine
By Ms. Rita
Format:Kindle Edition
. . . Altshuler has created appealing and sympathetic characters to weave a spirited and haunting tale with much symbolism and beauty. This series will appeal to adults and teens alike but may not be suitable for younger readers.

‘Page-Turner’
By roseshadows
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
. . .This novel is about a twelve year old girl who goes on a fantastical journey to find her heart which is missing and is well told. The writing has a softness that carries you along with Nadia as she encounters wonderful but sometimes scary places . . .This is a story that would suit most age groups but may be too frightening for younger readers. . . There is a message I feel within the story and I would definitely call this a `page-turner’ and look forward to reading more.

Haunting Tale of Fantasy
By Wendy Unsworth
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
. . .[Nadia] travels to the Land of Silence, where the secret to her past lies, and finds terrible things there and some answers those these are not fully explained in this, part one, of the story. . .From the outset there is a moody atmosphere that reminded me very much of European folk tales, something like Hansel and Gretel or Rumplestiltskin in tone. Often, those kind of stories have very dark undertones and though they are enjoyed by children on one level have much more depth and scope.

Engaging Story
By Kate Harper
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
. . .I was fully in for the ride with Nadia to discover her past and find her heart. There is plenty of action, interesting worlds, discovery and magic.

Buy Nadia’s Heart:

Amazon * Smashwords

Excerpt:

They were now definitely aware that the dogs had changed.

When once they had headed the dogs on along the ice, now it was if they were led by the dogs. Without even steering, they barely had their bearings when the sled continued up the steep incline.

She sat looking at the gear and felt the cold brown canvas lump which she leaned upon, holding on as the sled jangled. The team slowed as they turned around the last bend.

They had reached the top of the mountain. It was a clearing, a circular area, and on its other side continued the road. In the center was an ice sculpture of about fifteen feet high. It was a beautiful castle shaped like a mountain surrounded by a spiral road, much like the one they had been traveling on. One could not tell if they were stairs, or crevices neatly arranged, which led up to a tiny set of double doors. Some of the men exited with clubs to approach the formation.

“Don’t touch it,” Jasper said in a hushed voice.

And then a strange thing happened. For Nadia, and the others too, after having looked at Jasper, and then back at the model castle, thought that it had grown, if ever so slightly. It was larger. Clearly it was, and each of them checked their standing to see that they hadn’t sunk into a dip. But it was not only taller, it was wider and bigger all around.

And then it happened again. After looking up from her boots, Nadia jumped, and Jasper rose, moving out of the sleigh and pushing the men back, staring up at what was once a scale model, but what had now become big enough for a child to enter. It was big enough to look real, life-like, as if they were giants and this building — it was clearly a castle now, the details of the steps and entrance taking shape — were coming to life. Even the road was strangely familiar. Indeed Nadia thought she could see parts that they had traveled on, no matter how vague. There was the rocky path at its beginning, and an empty clearing, much like the one they stood in now.

It was no use trying not to exchange glances, for they were all startled, and no one spoke. But the more they did so in their surprise, the more the castle grew before them, until it was a towering monolith, and they were but specs at the foot of its stairs. By now it had stopped growing, or so they thought. One could not be sure, but this seemed to be the case, as they looked around and over the cliff.

Looking up the glittering, cold, sparkling stairs, some of the men had gone up a few toward the entrance. Others were examining its smooth blue green surface, smooth enough to look slippery. They were met with Jasper’s arm as he made his way to the front, protective, along with Georgeonus. The night was lit up by moonlight, but the moon was hidden in the haze. Nadia looked at the dogs, large like wolves now, and their faces were different. They had settled down against each other. Some yawned or cleaned their fur. Others brooded.

Running up the stairs, Nadia followed behind Georgeonus and Jasper. The rest of the men were close behind.

It was dark inside, and all green. It was cold. Their breath formed clouds as they exhaled. They walked down a long corridor, staring at the walls and ceiling, which seemed to have gotten higher since they entered. The door through which they had come was even smaller and more distant, and now, their feet echoed slightly.

Coming up ahead was another set of huge double doors, made of wood, and carved with animals of every kind. Georgeonus stopped at the door, looking up. He turned to Jasper, and then pushed it lightly. It opened.

They entered a room, not as bright, and not as cold. Everything was blue, and the corridor continued down to yet another door. But something lined the walls, they could see, as they walked through, though all did not notice, right above the lamps that were surrounded by a strange light. They were… glass cases…and there was something in each of them. Nadia could not tell what that was, but it was something red and purplish in color. She now lagged behind the men, curious, and vaguely noticed the glow of Georgeonus’ eyes up ahead as he turned to see where she was. Her curiosity was heightened, and as Jasper approached the next set of double doors she stepped in a crevice, a small crack in the wall, barely large enough for the toe of her boot to fit into. She reached for the lamp’s neck which extended from the wall, squinting, determined.

Nadia hoisted herself up into another crevice and peeked, and when the flame of the lamp flickered she jumped back, letting out a stifled yell as Georgeonus covered her mouth. She looked up in horror, pushing his hand away, as Jasper signaled urgently toward the next door, now opened. The crouched men ran through and Georgeonus pulled Nadia, still fighting, her metal boots clunking on the floor like heavy roller skates. They heard the echo of a door slamming, a large, heavy door. It traveled through all of the corridors.

Nadia wiped her eyes, looking up along the walls and back at the glow of Georgeonus’ eyes. She was horrified, and she spoke to him without words, screaming the thoughts at him.

About the Author: Wendy Altshuler is a writer-producer who explores myth in new media. Her credits include Wendy Altshuleraward-winning screenwriting and WGA-accredited representation. With a degree in psychology and a Master of Arts from Columbia University, Altshuler documented the work of international choreographers and wrote and produced regional programming. She writes fantasy novels and creates works in stop motion animation.

Connect with Wendy:

Website * Twitter * Goodreads * Instagram

Interview with Jane McGarry Author of Not Every Girl

YAPC would like to welcome Jane McGarry to the blog today. She is here to answer some of our questions and share some info and an excerpt of her book Not Every Girl. If this looks like something you would like to read, please go get a copy!

YAPC: How would you describe your book in 20 words or less without using the blurb?

Jane: Feisty girl sneaks on mission, gets caught, is sent home. Standoffish prince escorts her. All sorts of adventure ensues.

YAPC: Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?

Jane: I always loved to read and to make up stories for myself, but never truly entertained the idea of being a writer. Then one day, I had the idea for Not Every Girl and decided to give it a try. It took a long time to learn the publishing industry and what was expected in a manuscript, but well worth it in the end.

YAPC: Do you write at a laptop/desktop or do you write freehand?

Jane: I write free hand for the first draft. My initial round of edits is when I type it into the computer. I tried writing directly on the computer, but found that I am more comfortable and creative when I am writing freehand. This also gives me a great excuse to buy some beautiful notebooks!

YAPC: Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?

Jane: Without a doubt, Rome, Italy. I had the opportunity to go there once and I didn’t want to leave. The city is breathtaking and so rich with art, culture and history. I don’t think I would ever tire of exploring what it has to offer.

YAPC: Why did you choose the genre you write in?

Jane: I have read just about every genre out there and while I have a soft spot for the classics, YA really captured my imagination. The themes are timeless and the characters are vividly portrayed. There is also an abundance of strong, female protagonists which serve as great examples for readers of all ages.

YAPC: Who is your favorite character in your new release?

Jane: Tough question – it is like asking me to choose my favorite child! But, I would have to say Athos the outlaw. He has a mystery to his backstory and is master of the unexpected, yet there is also a kind intellect about him.

YAPC: What inspired you to write, you took any ideas from other books, movies etc?

Jane: I have always been a big fan of “knights and castle” books or movies. There is nothing quite like a good old classic adventure story. The idea of taking this idea and inserting a strong female heroine was really my jumping off point. Olivia proving her capabilities as a fighter while trying to negotiate the overwhelming emotions of falling in love was an interesting juxtaposition to me.

YAPC: Which genres do you prefer to read?

Jane: YA is my preferred genre to read. I like all the fandoms that have sprung up around some of these stories. To me, it is the genre that connects people the most and gets young people interested in reading for their lifetime. But, I still love to read a classic novel and work those into my schedule every few books. They really never disappoint.

YAPC: Where can your fans find you?

Jane: I am on a number of social media platforms—Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest—as well as having my own website. My favorite to interact on at the moment is Instagram. I discovered people who “bookstagram”—which is essentially taking beautiful pictures of books. I have met so many great people from all over the world who are united in their love of reading.

YAPC: If you could visit any place in the world or a place created by a book, where would you visit?

Jane: I would like to visit Hobbiton in Middle Earth. Lord of the Rings—both the books and the movie—had such an impact on me. In my mind, Hobbiton is the most peaceful place in existence. Maybe someday, I will go to New Zealand and do the LOTR tour which would almost be like going to Hobbiton for real. (And this being said, Hogwarts is a close second!)

YAPC: What is in the works for you next?

Jane: Right now, I am working on the sequel to Not Every Girl. Now that she has proved herself in battle, Olivia has some new troubles to work through with Liam. It is exciting to be able to continue their story and I look forward to sharing it with everyone.

Book Description:

Not Every GirlOlivia Davenport knows what she needs to be happy. Now, if only she could get the rest of the world to come around to her way of thinking. Strong willed and independent, she enjoys life in her small country of Stewartsland where she trains with the kingdom’s squires. At nearly seventeen, Olivia dreams not of becoming someone’s wife, but of becoming a knight in her own right. So far her father, who is the Master-of-Arms, has indulged her, much to her mother’s chagrin, but the date for her training’s end looms.

Olivia learns of an important mission for the kingdom. She pleads for the opportunity to participate, but her father is adamant about its impropriety. Heartbroken, but undeterred, Olivia devises a plan to disguise herself in order to set out with the men. The first day goes extremely well, if she overlooks the fact that the brooding Prince Liam has come along. Her previous encounters with him have been less than pleasant.

The next day, Olivia is unmasked, an obstacle she fully expected, but thought she had outwitted. Since there are no women to chaperone her home, she assumes her continuation on the trip is guaranteed. That is until Prince Liam ruins her well-crafted scheme giving his royal word to see her home safely. Furious, she has no choice but to concede and leaves, humiliated, with the Prince and a guard. Then, an unexpected turn of events puts them at the center of a dangerous plot against the King.

The ensuing adventure finds her grappling with mercenaries and outlaws and Olivia must come to terms with the hard realities of being a soldier. Witnessing actual blood and death unnerves hers and makes her question if she is fit to be a knight. But this is nothing next to the bewildering attraction she develops for Liam. She wavers between confident belief that he feels something for her and decimating uncertainty that she misreads the situation entirely. The girl, who is usually so self-assured, finds herself tongue tied and insecure while she tries to sort out her run away emotions. In the end, it is her courage and unique spirit which must guide her through the challenges she encounters both physical and emotional.

Buy Not Every Girl:

Amazon * B&N

Excerpt:

“I came to offer the young lady one of my guards as an escort home.”

What?

That is not part of my plan! And besides, my father could not seriously consider sending me off into the woods with a strange man, royal guard or not. It takes every ounce of my restraint to not jump up and protest.
“That is gracious of you, Your Majesty,” my father answers. “However, I am concerned about the propriety of that arrangement. Not,” he adds hastily, “that I would expect anything less than the highest scruples from one of your men.”

Good. So Father has a grasp on the situation. Sending me back with any strange man and no female chaperone is entirely inappropriate. And there are no other women on the trip. Too bad Puck isn’t here; my father would trust him with me. Now, they will all have to work out the only viable option—that I continue on the trip. I merely sit quietly and wait for them to come to this inevitable conclusion.

“Well, I certainly understand your feelings. Especially since the young lady in question is your daughter,” King William agrees. “I am sure if I had a daughter of my own, I would feel much the same way.”

They discuss me as if I am not sitting right here, as if I have no capacity for thought—or hearing. I am actually quite capable of taking care of myself and could get home without help from any man, thank you anyway. Not that I will suggest this as an option, of course.

Time drags into a prolonged silence. Birds chatter in the trees, the river bubbles happily by, the men are all packed and ready to go. They stand in a huddled mass waiting for instructions from their superiors. Come on guys, surely one of you can figure out the answer. My father must be aware of the only solution, so why isn’t he saying anything? Perhaps he is waiting for the King to suggest it, so it appears he thought of the idea and can take credit for it.
“If I may make a suggestion, Sir Jack…” Prince Liam begins.

I am so happy someone is finally going to state the obvious, I don’t even care that it is coming from his egotistical mouth. But then, he decides to become the next person to throw a wrench in my plans.

“Why don’t I accompany the young lady home along with one of the guards. I give my word that everything will be handled with the utmost discretion.”

******

About the Author: Reading was always a big part of my life. Creating my own stories developed out of this love. Jane McGarryFinally, I decided to try my hand at writing a novel and that was when Not Every Girl was conceived.

I live in New Jersey with my husband, two sons and an extremely spoiled cat. When I am not running around with my family or writing, I can be found curled up with a good book and said cat. It is my belief that a good book, a loyal pet and anything made of chocolate can brighten just about any day.

Happy reading!

Connect with Jane:

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Instagram * Pinterest

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10ce7b104d130ba3-Strays

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