Sunday, February 10, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Ashes and Ice by Rochelle Maya Callen: Review and Interview

Welcome to my stop on the Ashes and Ice blog tour.  This tour is hosted by Lady Amber.  My stop includes my review and  an interview with Rochelle Maya Callen.

Title: Ashes & Ice
Author: Rochelle Maya Callen          
Release Day: February 4th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult


She is desperate to remember.
He is aching to forget.
Together, they are not broken.
But together, one may not survive.

​Jade wakes up with no memory of her past and blood on her hands.

Plagued by wicked thoughts, she searches for answers. Instead, she finds a boy who doesn't offer her answers, but hope. But sometimes, when nightmares turn into reality and death follows you everywhere, hope is not enough.

LUST. LOVE. LOSS. Sometimes, all that is left are Ashes and Ice

My Review

Wow!!!  This book just blew me away.  I loved how it had a darker edge to it.  Usually it is hard for me to get into dark books, but I loved this one.  Ashes and Ice was well developed and crafted beautifully.  When I first started reading this, I did have a little trouble getting into it.  I didn't understand what was going on.  As the story progressed, I couldn't put the book down. When I finished the story, I couldn't believe how much time went by.  I was completely enthralled with this story.  I loved everything about it.  It's uniqueness and originality is what gave it even more higher pints from me.  I loved the fact that I haven't read another book like it. 

The character development in this was well thought out and and set up perfectly.  I loved being able to follow these characters on the journey they took.  I adored Connor.  Connor wasn't the usual popular guy that everyone wanted.  He was constantly picked on, and tried to be invisible.  After his father died, he felt empty, numb.  I was able to feel that pain with him.  The emotion just captured me.  I wanted to reach out and hug him.  Jade was an awesome character.  She ends up in Louisiana not remembering anything about herself.  She wants answers so she begins her journey. I really wanted to know what she really was. I loved the relationship between Jade and Connor.  everything completely changed when they met each other.

What an ending!!!!!  I did not see that coming at all!!!  I need the sequel now!!!!  Loved this book!!!!  Rochelle did a fantastic job with this story.  Ashes and Ice kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, especially the ending.  Just wow!!!  This book is a must read everyone!!!  

I also must point out that the cover is just gorgeous!!!  That alone made me want to buy the book!!!


 “Have you ever been in love?”

I spill my popcorn on my lap. “I, uh, what?” I say, swiping off the kernels. The question catches me off guard.
            “You know, in love.”
            “No. No, I haven’t.” I shift on the couch, needing more space between us. “What about you?”
            “Nah.” She flicks her hand toward me as if she is brushing away nonsense, but the hard look in her eyes says something different.
            She points to the TV screen and the couple making out there. “Figured if you had been, then you could explain that to me.”
            The guy sweeps the girl up and carries her into bed before they… you know. “Uh, sex?”
            She bursts out laughing. “That too. But I was talking about what  it feels like to be, you know, in love. Totally, without question. Like, does that,” she points to the screen again, “exist?”
            “Yeah, I think it exists.” I think of mom and dad—the way they kissed every morning, hugged a few moments longer than anyone else, laughed so hard they cried, and cuddled, shutting out the world, looking more content than these fakers on the screen. “It exists. And in real life, it’s better than that crap.” I say, suddenly uncomfortable by the moaning coming from the TV.
            “I thought you said you’ve never been in love?”
            “I haven’t. But I’ve seen it. And I haven’t ever seen anything come close to that in the movies.”
            She opens her mouth as if about to ask a question, but then closes it and smiles, accepting my answer. “Well, it’s good that there may be something in life to look forward to.” She drops a kernel of popcorn in her mouth.
            “May be?”
            “Well nothing is guaranteed. Who knows, I may die an old spinster.” She’s smiling, but her eyes aren’t.
            I think about the movie store guy’s possessive eyes, Jesse’s chair fiasco, and Dominic’s leering, my heart. “I doubt that.”

Interview with Rochelle Maya Callen 

1. Can you give us a little insight on your writing process? When
creating your story, do the characters come first or the plot?

Every story I have written or have outlined starts out with an image or a phrase that slams into me. For Ashes and Ice, it was a girl waking up with a dead girl beside her and not knowing how she got there. For another story, it is a girl staring out into the wilderness from behind a thirty foot fence. Another, is a girl is a straight jacket staring up at the light on the ceiling. I take the image that comes into my mind and examine it and try to figure out what happened before and after that moment. I try to get a general idea of the main conflict and then I do a lot of free writing. I adore free writing. I would like to become an outlining genius like Patti Larsen (check out her outlining series--she is pure brilliance), but for now I focus on the imagery and expand on that with plotting. A lot of the characterization comes from the free writing.

2. What are you currently working on? Any ideas for upcoming books?
Oh my... there are so many ideas. SO MANY IDEAS! But I know what I will be working on for the next two years: Ashes and Ice #2, a YA fantasy set in Mexico (stand alone), and a dystopian novella series. I am very excited about all of them!!

3. How many books will there be in the Ashes and Ice series? If
there is a sequel, can we get a sneak peak at it?
Originally, I was planning on doing a trilogy. I think, however, that I will make #2 stand as the ending of the story, but if I ever want to expand on it later, I can. I can give you some info about what is planned for the sequel. For one, almost all of Jade's secret past will come to light. The sequel will have scenes from Jade, Connor, and Giovanni's POV as well as another very significant character. I think this book will be easier to follow because so much info will be given to the reader from the multiple POVs. This book is about who Jade was and what she can do... and trust me, she'll be kicking some serious ass. And, oh... so will Connor ;)

4. What was your favorite scene to write in this book and why?
Hmm, I loved writing the scene where Connor and Jade kiss :) I also like writing the darker stuff...

5. Do you have any advice for aspiring writes?
Write like crazy. Don't give up if people tell you it isn't an important activity or that you aren't good enough. If it is in your heart to write, WRITE! Never stop. Try to schedule it into your day. Find critique partners. Learn to take constructive feedback. Take classes. And read a lot! Reading opens the mind and can get your creative juices going.

6. What is your favorite book of all time? Favorite series and why?

Oh man, I am so going to ignore the question and just list a few of my favorites! Books: Fault in Our Stars, Splintered AG Howard, Serephina by Rachel Hartman, Lord of the Flies. Series: Everything by Cassandra Clare and Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I am also itching for Unravel Me and Endless Knight :)
7. What is your favorite genre to read about? To write about?
YA Fantasy/Dystopian for both :)

8. Can you share a little secret about Jade and Connor not mentioned
in the book? A little more insight into their story or about
Hmm, there is going to be a lot about this in book 2. All I will say is that both are more powerful than they ever realized.

9. If you could trade places with any character from your book for a
day, who would it be and why? From another authors book?
Hmm, Jade in book 2 :)

10. What do you love most about writing? Reading? 
Writing: creating worlds and people and seeing it all become real. Reading: Seeing the world and people other authors have created become real :) I love the reading experience... every time I pick up a book, I am giddy with excitement. My life wouldn't be complete without either reading or writing. 





Author Bio:
Rochelle grew up dreaming up stories. When she entered high school, she tucked away her creative side and jumped head-first into academics, work, and service projects. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science and Communication when she was twenty years old. After years away from her writing, Rochelle picked up a pen and started fleshing out a character sketch that she outlined when she was twelve. That sketch was the start of the Ashes and Ice story. Rochelle lives in the DC metro area with her husband and daughter. By day she works as a behavioral therapist. By night, she is a dreamer and is busy tapping out new stories on her keyboard.

twitter: rockyiswriting

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