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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Diamond in the Rough: The Second Circle: Guardian by Dorothy Dreyer

Welcome back to another post here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers! I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but it’s FREEZING down here! I think it actually warmed up to 40 degrees yesterday, but it went right back down to the teens overnight….yeah, so much for the "sunshine state". (Okay, well in all fairness, there is SUN; it just doesn’t feel very "shiny" at this time.) I mean I love the cold weather, but this is REALLY cold. Cie la vie….I’ll just grab another shirt to throw on to stay warm. (Let’s see that makes 3 shirts on now? Any more and I may look like the Stay-Puff Marshmallow wo-Man!) Enough about the weather though, I must tell you about my latest book!

OMG! Sorry…I’m not usually prone to outbursts of the oh-my-goodness nature, but I just finished reading a currently unpublished work by a very promising author-to-be (totally my opinion, but if you just read the story I did, you’d absolutely agree!)! How did I make this connection? Simple! One of my first Twitter and book blogging friends, that would be Bella over at A Bibliophile's Bookshelf (HI and THANKS!), had our virtual paths cross and the rest as they say is history! Before I delve too far into the story itself, allow me to introduce the working title (ahem….working as in if a publisher or agent is reading this and has any questions, feel free to contact the author…ahem) (sorry, shameless plug…purely acting on my own volition). Today’s book (to-be) of choice is….

The Second Circle:

Let me set the stage for you….Emma Livingston’s life has been anything but a bed of roses. Her mother died when she was very young, her father is at work most of the time, her younger sister Megan simply will not listen to her, and her grandmother is estranged from the family; so, you see, although not as hard as some, a plenty hard life by most standards. One day (seemingly) out of the blue, Emma receives a letter welcoming her to the prestigious Ruthershire Educational Academy in England. Apparently, her well-to-do grandmother had paid entirely for her studies there out of the kindness of her heart…a fact that she finds rather hard to swallow since they’ve had virtually no communication since her mother’s passing. No matter….being such a fantastic chance at a great education, it simply can’t be missed.

Upon arriving at her new home away from home, things seem to go along rather smoothly….her roommate Amanda is a blast and definitely aids in giving her a proper introduction to life on the other side of the pond, Wendy, Nicholas, and Kyle round out their merry little group quite nicely. Then we have the potential love interests. Andrew, who presents himself as a proper gentleman, but makes his intentions known of wanting to be more than just friends. Handsome and forth-coming, what girl wouldn't want someone like that to fawn over her? (Anyone not raising their hand in agreement? Nope..didn't think so.) Alas, despite his advances, someone else has captured her attention as well. Now entering stage right.....Kieran. Let's just say that is handsome was a contest they would be on a slightly level playing field.....BUT, add piercingly gorgeous eyes, a knack for always being there when needed and those lovely little butterflies in your stomach.....yes, Kieran would win hands down.

Unfortunately for Emma, he seems to have a girlfriend.....but whether the obvious or merely a friend that happens to be a girl is a bit more of a mystery. Unable to unravel this riddle, much time is spent with the former suitor. So, everything seems great, right? Boyfriend potential, good friends, and so-so grades in class, she should be A-ok.....(well now, then we wouldn't have much left for a story now would we...)....not so lucky. Strange dreams have been plagueing Emma and now some of those dreams seem to be playing out in reality. A mysterious jewel heist, shady meetings with strange unknowns, accidents and run-ins with things that can't quite be explained......and how exactly does Andrew or Kieran always end up by her side? This is only the beginning as stranger things are about to unfold. Her past as she now knows it will be torn assunder and her future as uncertain as she might have been about it will take a very unexpected turn. Will Emma survive the school year ahead? If so, at what cost and by who's hand? (Yes indeed...I am stopping right here with the "reveals" as to tell more would give away to much of the adventure and I want YOU to get a chance to discover the rest on your own!)

First off, let me say that I LOVED this book-to-be! A perfect addition to the YA fiction category....which definitely has me hoping this book is granted the chance to shine on a book store shelf near you very soon! Now, on to my further analysis...

The cast of characters will keep you guessing. I promise, up until a certain point in the book, I was totally convinced I knew who the "good guy" was and who the "bad guy" was, then POW! Your mind is blown by a stunning revelation, causing you to reconsider the events you previously interpreted. Settling back in on your journey, the rug is pulled out several more times as you are kept on your toes constantly trying to reveal once and for all who is who. (Trust me; it’s a GOOD thing in this case.) All is revealed in the end, as well as a small introduction to the next installment in the series. (YES! There is a second book planned …although the story line may or may not be what you are thinking right now.)

The story itself combines the elements of modern day times with a magical realm. It is described in such a way as to make you wish you could see the prismatic fields of flowers and nature godesses. Although you wouldn't want to meet up with Lizatora (let's just say it in one word....EVIL), she is given a rather interesting back story to support the way her character is presently and you may find yourself sympathizing with her plight ( a point....after that, back to the one word description of EVIL....).  If you want to discuss the emotional aspect, the gambit is certain run with this one!  From fear of the unknown (magical world and someone's out to get you...hello, scary enough!) to discovering true inner strength (always good to find just when you need it) to romance (*SIGH* my fellow female readers, you'll be wanting to switch places with Emma more than once here), no feeling is left unexplored.  You'll want to keep the tissues handy for the sad parts and the pom poms at the ready for the celebrations.

As this is an unpublished work (currently), I can’t say "go out and pick up your copy today", but I would definitely be on the lookout for it to hit the shelves running at a future (hopefully near future) date. In the mean time, she is active in the online community….guess where? (Oh, come on….you know this….) Yep, Twitter! I believe she may also have a Facebook page as well, but as I am not on that particular site, I’ll leave the looking-up for all of you (consider it a bookish research project for all of my readers on that site).

Special thanks once again, to Bella for helping this great book-to-be cross my path! (You can also check out Bella's review of this great book at her site!) A big thank you as well to the author, Dorothy Dreyer, herself for both the eBook for review, the chance to read her fantastical work, and for taking the time to visit my little site!

Until next time….happy reading!

**UPDATE:  02/04/10 - This just in from the author herself....the series name has been changed!  Book 1 is now called Sparks of Light.  To check out more information on this title and more, see her updated site!**


Dorothy Dreyer said...

You flatter me beyond my expectations! Thank you so much! I'll keep you up to date on any progress of publication. :)

Beth Hoffman said...

Oh, It sounds wonderful! I can't wait for it to be published so I can buy it.

Gina said...

Dorothy Dreyer: Thank you for the wonderful book! (...and yes, I'd love to know when this gets picked up...simply can't wait!)

Gina said...

Beth Hoffman: It really is! A fun escape indeed... =0)

Tales of Whimsy said...

Florida has been cold! I'm been freezing my tushie off :)

The Cozy Mystery Journal said...

I'm so glad you loved it. I'm so excited for the next installment :)

The1stdaughter said...

This sounds fabulous! I'd love to get my hands on a copy once it's'll have to keep me posted. Thanks for the review and good luck to Dorothy!

Gina said...

Juju: LOL. Same here! Crazy cold...but no snow...DARN!

Bella: As am I! Can't wait!

The1stdaughter: I shall, I shall indeed. =0)

Patricia said...

Ooh, this sounds like an awesome book! Plus your review is quite amazing. I'll be on the look out for it :)

Gina said...

Patty: Awww...thanks for the kind words! (I needed that smile issues...grrr) It definitely is a great book, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it gets picked up for publishing very soon. =0)

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