Tag Archives: jess owen

A Shard of Sun Review

Shard is a gryfon entrusted with a great responsibility. A dragon of the Sunland has left her newborn kit to his care, and now Shard has difficult decisions to make about how best to keep the swiftly growing dragonet safe, while remaining true to his own destiny and the prophecy of the Summer King. He sets out to return the dragonet to his kin in the Sunland and find help for his own quest, but his hope for making wise and benevolent allies is quickly replaced with the reality of cold, mistrustful dragons who want nothing to do with gryfons, Shard, or his wars in warmer lands.

In the Silver Isles, the warrior gryfon Caj sets out on a dangerous hunt for his mad wingbrother, Sverin, once the mighty Red King. The safety of the pride, and in the end, Caj’s life, may depend on his success or failure.

Meanwhile, Shard’s wingbrother Kjorn seeks to find him and reconcile, and his quest will take him across the land that was once his birthright and into the heart of tricky alliances, enmities, and the ever-looming threat of the Voiceless, fear-mongering wyrms.

The Song of the Summer King promises that one will rise higher, one will see farther, and his wing beats will part the storm . . . but as Shard learns more of the world and the tangled threads of fate, he begins to fear that no one can part the storm of growing hatred and fear–not even a Summer King.

A Shard of Sun does what the previous two books have promised (and delivered). It brings you deeper into the Silver Isles and even Sunland. You learn more about the deepest secrets of Sverin…about the Dragons and the wyrms. Besieged by darkness, can Shard truly do as he promises, and fly high? Kjorn is seeking Shard in the Sunland, with the Nameless again named. Shard is the only one who can bring together all the species – gryfon, eagle, painted dog. They gather in his name, in his honour. When it comes down to it, will Shard find his path through the stars?

There is even an amazing twist for certain characters. The wolves of the Silver Isles feature in this book more than in Sunfire. Catori, my personal favorite, shows herself briefly, but I love the way that Jess Owen has managed to advance the storyline without sacrificing the characters that I personally have come to love. The dragons are revealed to be entirely different to what you expect – there is a unique slant on them that I cannot help but love.

If I could, this would receive 10/10, but for now, 5/5 will suffice! Get the rest of these books as soon as you can – I’m waiting eagerly for the next book already!

A Shard of Sun is available on Kindle on March 14th, 2015!
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24663877-a-shard-of-sun#

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shard-Summer-King-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00S71WQF6

http://www.amazon.com/Shard-Summer-King-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B00S71WQF6

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Lupus Animus

Can’t afford a donation to help out a charity? How about a book?

55 fictional pieces for less than $4

‘She was just eating her meal when she smelled a male wolf nearby – not one of her own. She watched him warily as he came slowly toward the three pups that were out the enclosure again.’ Lost Mate, Terry Spear – US Today Bestseller

Featuring poems, stories and haiku with the theme of wolves and the truth as each author perceives it.

Discover wolves in a sci-fi setting, followed by in character views of wolves in their natural settings and in conflict with humans.

All proceeds go to Artisan Rarebreeds.
Registered Charity Number
HMRC XT37297

With stories, poems and haiku from Ylva and Rose DelaWulf, Sherrill Willis, Zakira Salem, Krystal O’Brien, L. Anne Wooley, Shelley Walsh, Eleanor Musgrove, Delbert McGill, Michael E. Herman, Melina Turner, Caio Henrique Tavares, Yanick Zolnerciks, Paula Acton, Philip Tolhurst, John C. Scott, Jessica Kuilan Gonzalez, Dee Martin, Danielle Newman, James Don and Lisa Miller.

Buy links
US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KWL0GGA

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KWL0GGA

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show…..2-lupus-animus

anthocover3

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Review – Song of the Summer King

Song of the Summer King – Jess Owen.

Shard is a gryfon in danger. He and other young males of the Silver Isles are old enough to fly, hunt, and fight — old enough to be threats to their ruler, the red gryfon king.

In the midst of the dangerous initiation hunt, Shard takes the unexpected advice of a strange she-wolf who seeks him out, and hints that Shard’s past isn’t all that it seems. To learn his past, Shard must abandon the future he wants and make allies of those the gryfons call enemies.

When the gryfon king declares open war on the wolves, it throws Shard’s past and uncertain future into the turmoil between.

Now with battle lines drawn, Shard must decide whether to fight beside his king — or against him.

I started out reading this with high, high hopes…and often, when that happens, you are expecting your hopes to be crushed.

I’m really, really pleased to say that Song of the Summer King actually exceeded my hopes for this wonderful book! It was an amazing tale, full of twists and turns I just wasn’t expecting. Far from being just for kids and young adult, many adults will enjoy this tale of life in a world where there aren’t any humans – and where the wolves can grow as big as the gryfons that also live on the isles.

Shard, the main character, is well developed and you get engrossed in his indecisions and panic, in his confusion as he struggles to work out where his loyalties lie – to his blood, or the pride of gryfons who allowed him to live. Jess Owen has created a fantastical world where you can almost picture the lay of the land, the places where Shard and Catori lead you.

I liken this book to Watership Down, a book of my childhood which I’ve always loved. The cover art is even amazing, with a hook instantly there. All I can say is five stars, Jess Owen! Well down and I can’t wait to read the second one!

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Author Interview – Jess Owen

Here we are with Jess Owen - author of The Song of the 
Summer King, due to be released this year. This is 
Jess's first book, and hopefully not her last! We're 
lucky to be interviewing her, as she's also an artist
(The same one who has done Echoes of  Winter's cover 
art.) Links to her blog and page will be posted 
after the interview.

1. Where do you get your ideas?
I read lot, and that keeps the gears turning. 
I look to old mythology from all cultures. The
myths are great to spark an idea, and many stories
are based on them again and again. The idea for my
current novel actually came from an idea I had way
back when I was a kid. I did a drawing of a wolf 
and and a gryphon battling to the top of a mountain. 
They were both bloody and dying (Yeah, this is 
when I was akid!) and recently that idea resurfaced
in my head. It was a slow day at work, dusting 
all day... and I thought, so what
about those wolves and gryphons? What were they 
fighting about? Where do they live? And from there 
you keep asking questions. What's their culture? 
What do they hunt? Who's in charge? Are they more
like lions, or more like eagles? You can go all day. 
That's the best way to figure out a story. Ask 
questions. And I did. And by the time I got off work, 
I had the beginning of a story. It has evolved 
massively from that first idea, but good ones 
always do.


2. Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Of course! Usually it comes from lack of momentum. If I
allow myself to stop, I stop. If I write National Novel 
Writing Month style (even if I take more than a month
to finish), I can usually bash through the
difficult days and keep on going. You can always go
back and fix bad, forced, or awkward writing later.
But you can't edit a blank page.

3. Is there any particular author or book that 
influenced you in anyway either growing up or 
as an adult?
I read Tamora Pierce over and over growing up. Her
books sealed my love for fantasy. The Xanth novels 
were awesome (who doesn't want a magic talent of 
their very own?) and Ursula LeGuins Earthsea cycle is
still one of my favorites. But I've realized now that
 the very first books I loved were animal stories, 
and I've gone back to that as a writer. One book in
 particular I got from the library called "The White 
Panther," a really oooold book, I must have read seven 
times.

4. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I thought you'd never ask ;) "The Song of the Summer 
King" centres around Shard, a gryfon who is just 
coming of age and trying to earn his place in the
pride of Sverin, the Red King. Shard has a number of 
things going against him, and worse than that, even 
as he's beginning to earn a place of honor, he begins
to learn things about the pride's history and his own 
past that makes him question the king, and everything
he's ever known. He begins interacting with those 
that the gryfons call enemies --a gryfon exile, a 
wolf . . . and when a war breaks out, he must decide
where he stands. I call it your classic fantasy 
adventure--with gryfons. 
There are no humans in this world.

5. Is anything in your book based on real life 
experiences or purely all imagination?
I hope it's a good mix! I think most people 
have more of themselves in their writing than 
they realize, but if you write purely from your 
own experience, that can be a shallow pool. 
So read, research, daydream. I did a lot of 
research on lions, eagles, wolves, and tried 
to mix their animal behaviors into the story, 
but they have their own culture and ways of 
being because it IS a fantasy story, not an 
animal behaviour manual. I researched Iceland, 
because their home islands are very much like 
that region, a little Viking and Norse culture. 
The wolves are loosely based on the Hopi tribe, 
because as I researched, their values seemed to 
match what I wanted for the wolf culture. The 
"themes" in the story--tolerance, courage, 
individuality, the underdog, etc-- are things
that are important to me personally.

6. What was your favorite chapter (or part) 
to write and why?
Oooo I don't want to spoil things. But there was
a certain scene I had in my head that's about in 
the middle of the book, one of those scenes I'd 
been picturing since the beginning of the story, 
that was awesome fun. I think people will be able 
to tell which one it is, because so much leads to 
it. Some scenes are so integral, so fun and you 
hope they're so powerful that you write the book 
toward those scenes. Let's just say Shard meets 
someone powerful, and I had great fun writing 
the tension and interaction.

7. How did you come up with the title?
Well, you'll have to read the book to figure that 
out!

8. Be honest, how often do you wash your hair?
Every other day.

9. Are there certain characters you would like to 
go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love 
to work with?
Since I'm a fantasy fan I tend to think in trilogies! 
So I have the luxury of going back to every character 
for a couple more books. I love the main character 
Shard, of course, but sometimes others come out in 
the writing who just beg for a little more time in 
the spotlight. His stepfather (or nest-father) Caj, 
is one of those. Some of those secondary characters 
that just seem so interesting, or deeper, or have more 
complicated motives than you first thought, are always 
fun to go back and explore. As a reader, I always like 
connecting with the secondary characters in a good book, 
and I hope my readers will too.

10. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
I could give advice all day :D Make sure you're a 
reader. Read everything. Force yourself to read outside
your genre. Write. Do Nanowrimo. Finish things! The best 
way to learn how to write a novel is to write a novel. 
Put in your 10,000 hours of practice to earn your 
mastery (That's from Seth Godin's book, 'Outliers'). 
Writing is just like any other profession, art, or 
sport. Just because you have the ability to put words 
on paper doesn't mean those are the best words you're 
capable of. Push yourself. Practice. Write. Treat it 
like a sport or a musical instrument. You've Got to 
put in the time. Read about writing. Study.

And right now when it's so easy to self-publish, make
sure you give your work time to sit before you go 
back and read over it and decide to publish, if you
go that route. You might see major changes that need
to happen, or you might come back perfectly happy with 
it. But there's no rush! Remember that. There's 
absolutely no rush. It's just all very exciting. I've 
been writing for ten years for the pure joy of it, and 
this is the story I want to show to the world. And 
finally, write the first draft for yourself. Don't 
worry about anyone else. It's your world, and if you
don't have fun playing in it, nobody else will. 
So dive in.

You can find Jess on her 
blog 
and for updates, teasers and reveals, on her 
Facebook page

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The Big Cover Reveal…

 

 

…won’t be happening just yet. I know, I know. I’m a tease – but I  have received the cover and I just happen to know that you’ll all LOVE it when I do reveal it. I’m really pleased though, it’s been done perfectly, with the scene showing the tension that I’ve wrote in the book. The artist is just wonderful – she’s done everything how I pictured it, and I can almost see how Echoes of Winter would be as an animated film (God…if it came to that…)

 

I’ve also received some fur, and even some support from places with wolves – which means, all willing, I’ll be up and running with some wolf-fur pendants soon. Just need to work out the best way to tie the thonging, so if anyone is artsy, let me know on your experiences!

 

Otherwise I’ve just been biding my time, working on other projects and trying to work out the way forward with book two of this series. (And yes, it has a tentative name for the series AND the second book, but no reveal for that, either yet!)

 

I can’t help being a tease, can I?

 

Won’t be long before you all see the cover…and fall in love with it…

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Kindle…

My blog post today is a rant.

Why do Kindle’s have to be so expensive?! And I know what you are thinking. £89-£139 (or the $$ equivalent) isn’t expensive – but my income per month at the moment is about £75. I have to feed my dog, hedgehog and snake on this so it renders getting a kindle impossible.

And guess what the one thing I win frequently? That’s right. I keep winning eBooks – and it occasionally makes me want to cry since I won’t be able to get one until at LEAST September but more likely 2013…that’s only if none of my pets have a medical emergency.

I know I don’t need a Kindle, or that I can download the app onto my computer…but when I want to read in bed with the light off, or when out and about – I can’t. Even my so-called android phone won’t let me download the app for it to become an eBook reader. *sigh*

Rant over for the moment. Short one, I know!

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Wrote a poem today

I had a kinda stressful day today…or a stressful evening after a fun day. Only real upside for today was getting a birthday present – 5 months early!
Wrote this thanks to being so stressed.

A lonely cry sounds
Filling the air with such emotion
Heart-broken renditions
Lost without a packs firm devotion.

Memories and feelings abound
A hunter’s fierce hunger aroused.

The moon shone brightly
Lighting up the sky and ground beneath
Highlighting the lonely hunter
With his bright teeth.

Lonely hunter runs silently
His head lowered and his eyes keen.

His vengeance burning ever brighter
The wolf, his heart beating, burning
Grows ever fleeter, head raising
Uncaring about the way he’s changing.

Hunter’s anger knows no bounds
Breathless, heartless – caution held.

Images of his family stay in his head
Their deaths a waste, unneeded
His voice no longer calling
Thoughts of his revenge seeded.

A snarl, a growl
A snap of teeth in the darkness.

A body collapses in the night
A flash of white, nothing more
Soft growls sound slowly, getting loud
The hunter, no longer heart-sore.

Hunter’s revenge attained
His lonely howl rebounds…unanswered.

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81% of you…

81% of people picked the cover image for Echoes of Winter. I’m not revealing which cover it is until it’s been finished now, however! I’m really impressed with the amount of votes I received this last week and a half! The hours of time, sitting to get my images up on a poll, sharing the posts and getting people to vote have paid off!

Also up for good news – at 2am this morning, I completed Echoes of Winter – all 114,450 words are currently waiting to be winging their way off to the editor! That means I’m one step closer to being able to announce a release date for you!

I’m currently physically exhausted, not enough sleep and a little too much writing…but I could even write a little more of Echoes of Winter, settle down the masses – but there are some loose ends that won’t be tied up until the next book (if it comes to that!)

My way of relaxing at the moment is to sit and do pretty art pictures…and since I know you’d all like to see them…here they are (well…three of them, anyway!)

This is a human eye, with a wolf and a moon in it, mysterious and I hope pretty!

Next up we have butterflies and a vine, inside and on an icy-looking eye.

and finally, my favourite. Just a wolf in an eye – the beast within showing itself, maybe.

All these images and little tid-bits shown – I still might go back to EoW today and make some small edits. I think that could work well!

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Round two!

So! Sketch two won, with 16 votes to 7…and now up are the sketches numbering three, four and five! After round two, the highest scoring pictures go head to head!

These are the last three contenders for the poll – next poll change is Thursday, and the final decision as to the cover will be made on Monday…so get voting!

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