Posts Tagged ‘C J Redwine’

Finish It February 2015 : Week One Round Up

FinishItFeb1

Personal Target: Finish/get up to date with four series

Books read this week: One

Total books read: One

Series completed for challenge: One

General feedback: Although I have only managed to finish one, already started, book and read about a third of my second, I am really pleased with my progress. After a bit of a reading slump (pregnancy tiredness and newborn sleepless night will do that to you!) I am glad that I have to have managed to carve out some time each day to read.

Faye’s week: You can read all about Faye’s progress over at her personal blog A Daydreamer’s Thoughts here

Other Participants: Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies (here) has set herself the challenge of finishing as many series as she can, from a VERY impressive TBR pile. As of this morning she had crossed two titles off of her list.

deliveranceDeliverance (Defiance #3) by RJ Redwine
Everything hangs in the balance, and nothing is certain: Rachel has been kidnapped by enemy forces and is being taken to Rowansmark while Logan, imprisoned and awaiting trial, is unable to leave Lankenshire. Separated from each other and their Baalboden comrades, each must find a way to achieve what they desperately want: to rid their world once and for all of the Commander and the tech that controls the deadly Cursed One.
Fighting through her pain and embracing the warrior she’s become, Rachel will do whatever it takes to escape her enemies’ clutches and join Logan in his fight. But when she learns a secret that changes everything, she realizes that escaping Ian and his tracker friends is no longer an option if she wants to save the people she loves. Instead, she’ll have to destroy Rowansmark from the inside out—if she can survive the journey through the Wasteland.
Logan needs allies if he wants to thwart Rowansmark’s power grab and rescue Rachel. But securing allies will mean betraying his beliefs and enlisting the help of the man he hates more than anyone: Commander Jason Chase. Driven by his fierce love for Rachel and his determination to make their world safe, Logan may be just the weapon the city-states need to defeat the Cursed One.
But as Rowansmark bears down and uneasy alliances are tested, will Rachel and Logan’s love for each other be enough to surmount the unbelievable odds against them?

When I first decided to embark on this challenge there was no doubt in my mind which book I was going to pick up first. I’d actually started reading Deliverance as soon as the pre-order landed on my doormat, but due to my afore mentioned reading slump I hadn’t managed to finish it.

It was so very easy to get back in to the story, and in to the world C J Redwine has created and I adored being re united with Logan, Rachel and their friends.

At the end of Deception (Defiance #2) the group was a mess,they had experienced devastating losses and the challenge ahead of them appeared insurmountable. I love how CJ wasn’t afraid to break her characters emotionally and physically and show us the gritty reality of their actions. They were allowed to dwell and regret decisions, grieve for their losses, celebrate their achievements and slowly rebuild themselves, all without interrupting the pacing of the story.

What I have really enjoyed about this series is the character development. When we first met Rachel and Logan they were already strong but inherently flawed characters. Over the course of three books we have followed as the challenges they faced have shaped them as individuals, as a couple and as a society. In the case of Deliverance I particularly enjoyed how C J manipulated you in to empathising with the antagonists motives, even if you can’t agree with their methods.

Verdict: A fitting and exciting end to a fabulous series.

Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: August 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 480
Genre: Dystopian
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Own copy
Challenge: Finish It feb

Currently reading: Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan

Posted by Caroline

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Finish It February: Caroline’s Goals

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I really loved co hosting the inaugural Finish It February, A month-long event dedicated to reading unfinished books and series.

I found the whole experience, from co creating the challenge, publicising it through social media and discovering new blogs through to prioritising my TBR for me, rather than for publication dates, very positive and invigorating as a blogger and reader.

Last year I read four books and finish three series, making a small but satisfying dent in my personal TBR pile. Given the recent changes in my personal circumstances my goal for Finish It February 2015 is to (exactly) match this modest success.

Read Faye’s personal goals for the challenge over at A Daydreamers Thoughts (here).

To sign up for this fun-filled event, all you need to do is add your link to the linky post below. If you wish to write a sign-up post, we would be incredibly grateful but it is not mandatory to join the event. You do not have to have a blog to participate, feel free to link to your twitter (#FinishItFeb) or facebook!

deliverance

unmade

ensnared

this shattered world

Posted by Caroline

#FinishItFeb

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Bookish Brits: Buddy Review Of Deception

In the first of (what I hope to be many) our buddy reviews for Bookish Brits (subscribe here), Faye (Visit her fabulous book blog here) and I discuss Deception, the second book inC.J Redwine‘s Defiance Trilogy.

deceptionBaalboden has been ravaged. The brutal Commander’s whereabouts are unknown. And Rachel, grief stricken over her father’s death, needs Logan more than ever. With their ragged group of survivors struggling to forge a future, it’s up to Logan to become the leader they need—with Rachel by his side. Under constant threat from rival Carrington’s army, who is after the device that controls the Cursed One, the group decides to abandon the ruins of their home and take their chances in the Wasteland.


But soon their problems intensify tenfold: someone—possibly inside their ranks—is sabotaging the survivors, picking them off one by one. The chaos and uncertainty of each day puts unbearable strain on Rachel and Logan, and it isn’t long before they feel their love splintering. Even worse, as it becomes clear that the Commander will stop at nothing to destroy them, the band of survivors begins to question whether the price of freedom may be too great—and whether, hunted by their enemies and the murderous traitor in their midst, they can make it out of the Wasteland alive.
In this daring sequel to Defiance, with the world they once loved forever destroyed, Rachel and Logan must decide between a life on the run and standing their ground to fight.

Outtakes:
What happens when you take one awesome YA fantasy, two over excited book bloggers and two caramel latte’s and leave the camera rolling…

Posted by Caroline and Faye

Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: September 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline and Faye
Source: Own copy
Challenge: None
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Novel Nibbles: Defiance Sticky Buns

Rachel’s world is confined to the protective walls around her city. Beyond them are violent wanderers, extreme terrain, and a danger straight out of legend: a beast called the Cursed One that devastates everything in its path.
When Rachel’s father goes missing, she is desperate to search for him. But her attempts to flee the city bring her to the attention of its overbearing ruler. His efforts to control her make the world within the walls seem as dangerous as that outside.
Her only chance at escape is Logan. Once her father’s apprentice, and now her only protector, he feels that helping her might mean losing her completely. But if he can put his feelings aside, they might be able to save more than Rachel’s father. They might be able to break down the walls, and set their people free.

Last year we had the honour of hosting an interview (read it here) with debut author C J Redwine .
C J shared the personal food memory and the significance of the sticky buns featured in Defiance.
“I was really close to my grandfather on my mother’s side. I had a very rough childhood, but he was my rock. He showed me what quiet, unconditional love looked like, and I based Oliver on him. He always baked for us, and one of his favourite treats to make was sticky buns! They’re like yeasty rolls with cinnamon and raisins inside and then they’re drizzled in a sticky maple-cinnamon syrup after they come out of the oven. I don’t have his recipe, he died before I could get it, but I wanted to honor what he meant to me by putting him in a book”.

I thought that I would pass the time waiting for the release of Deception (Defiance 2), by attempting to recreate the buns!

The Buns
100mls/1/2 Cup of Warm Milk
2 tsp of dried yeast
50g/1/4 Cup of Caster Sugar
350g/2 1/2 Cups of Strong Plain White Flour, sifted
Pinch of Salt
1/2 tsp of Ground Cinnamon
150g/ 1 Cup of Raisins
25g/ 3TBS Butter, melted and cooled until tepid
1 Medium Egg
Oil/ Oil spray to grease
Mix together the yeast with 1 tsp of caster sugar and 1 TBP of Warm milk to create a paste. Add the paste to the remaining warm milk ad set aside for a few minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

 

 

Put 226g/1 1/2 Cups of flour in to a large bowl. create a well in the centre of the flour and add the warm milk/yeast milk. Cover and place leave in a warm place to “sponge”

 

 

Mix the remaining flour, sugar, cinnamon and raisins. Add to the yeast mixture along with the melted butter and egg.

 

Mix to form a soft dough. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow leave in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

 

 

Knock back and kneed for a couple of minutes before dividing the dough and shaping in to buns.

 

 

Place on a greased baking sheet being sure to space the buns well away from each other. Cover and allow to rise for a further 30 minutes.

 

 

Brush with milk and place in a preheated oven (200c/390f) and bake until buns sound hollow when tapped on the bottom ( approx. 15-20 minutes).

 

The Glaze

150g/ 1 Cup of Icing/confectioners Sugar
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamaon
I TBS Butter
60ml/ 1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Melt the butter and combine with remaining ingredients. Drizzle over slight warm buns

 

 

Post by Caroline

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Defiance

C J Redwine
Rachel’s world is confined to the protective walls around her city. Beyond them are violent wanderers, extreme terrain, and a danger straight out of legend: a beast called the Cursed One that devastates everything in its path.
When Rachel’s father goes missing, she is desperate to search for him. But her attempts to flee the city bring her to the attention of its overbearing ruler. His efforts to control her make the world within the walls seem as dangerous as that outside.
Her only chance at escape is Logan. Once her father’s apprentice, and now her only protector, he feels that helping her might mean losing her completely. But if he can put his feelings aside, they might be able to save more than Rachel’s father. They might be able to break down the walls, and set their people free.

Like the thick stone and steel walls which surround the city of Baalboden, the archaic rules of the society are as restrictive to the people as they are protective.

Under the guise of Protection women are brought up to be dependent on the males in their life and obedient to them. Designated to the care and responsibility of a Protector, usually their father and later, a husband, women have no autonomy. Instead all decisions, from where a woman can go to whom she can marry, are made for her.

Every movement is chaperoned and traceable and the punishments for non-compliance are extreme; the last woman caught visiting the market without her protector accompanying her, was subjected to capital punishment.

While her peers were playing house Rachel, a motherless only child, was training with knives, swords and a bow. When her cohort’s educations focused on their future role as wives and mothers, Rachel was encouraged to think for herself.

Impulsive, often to the detriment of those associated with her and despite the potential repercussions, Rachel has no qualms about dropping everything, scaling the wall that encloses the city and searching for her missing father Jared.

As the only other person with the conviction that Jared still lives, Logan should be a natural ally in the search for Rachel’s missing parent. But an animosity exists between them, born out of hurt pride, humiliation and awkwardness.

While Rachel is impetuous, Logan is a deep analytical thinker, considering the best and worst case scenarios for every plan of action. Don’t be fooled by his attention to detail, nerdy focus on his inventions and awkwardness around the opposite sex. Logan is a hot boy with a sword and he knows exactly how to use it.

I really don’t know how to effectively express my love for this fantastic debut.

CJ has crafted a pacey, action packed, kick-arse, pseudo-historical dystopian, with fantasy, sci-fi and Steampunk elements. Thrilling, heart in your mouth action, sits side by side with uncomfortably honest narration, emotive, gut retching scenes, profound observations and an almost poetic descriptive prose.

Rather than being uncomfortably full and sickly from taking a bite out of every pie you are left with the experience of having tried a wonderfully unique flavor combination that experimental chef Heston Blumenthal would be proud of.

A romance junkie at heart, I simply adored the developing relationship between the two main protagonists. A foundation of friendship, turned sour by defensive pride, our protagonists have to wade through misunderstanding and miss communications before acknowledging that their uncomfortable, passionate responses to each other are formed from love, not hate.

Not only has CJ created two flawed but immensely likeable characters whose chemistry sizzles off of the page. But by writing a first person, dual narrative she has given us front row seats to the toe curling, breath catching action

Verdict: I feel like CJ Redwine sat down with a checklist of my favorite fictional ingredients, seamlessly combining them together in to one spectacularly decorated, mouthwatering treat. All that was missing from this surprising gift was an out of tune rendition of “Happy Birthday ”.

Review and interview questions by Caroline

Publisher: Atom
Publication Date: September 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 403
Genre: Speculative fiction
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: Debut Author

Big Book Little Book is delighted to welcome C J Redwine to talk about Defiance, work-life balance and sticky buns!

C.J. Redwine loves stilettos, lemon bars, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She lives in Nashville with her husband, four kids, two cats, and one long-suffering dog. To learn more about C.J., visit her website.

What was your inspiration for Defiance?
For years, I’d had the idea of a Leviathon-like creature living underground with the capability to destroy our world if anyone accidentally released him. Then one day I saw a picture of a fortress and it reminded me of a city-state. I said “What if we lived in city-states again? Why would we do that?” One idea collided with another, and Defiance was born.

What attracted you to write a pseudo-historical society rather than one in which the inhabitant attempt to rebuild?
I’ve always loved reading about the medieval times, and I thought it would be fun to come up with a scenario in which we’d have to revert to that in some ways (though we still retain the knowledge gained before the apocalyptic event that destroyed society, so we aren’t totally turning back the clock). I’m always far more interested in swords and catapults and horse-drawn wagons than in guns and cell phones and fancy cars.

Logan’s inventions, made of wood, copper and cogs, have a definite Steampunk feel. Was it a conscious decision to include steampunk elements to Defiance or was it a case of the best fit for the world you had created?
It was a case of what materials would actually be available to him, and what he could somewhat realistically do with those materials. But I’m a definite fan of steampunk, so it was fun to give a little nod to that.

I loved reading both protagonists point of view. I understand that you initially wrote from single viewpoint. What prompted you to include Logan’s perspective?
I realized that Logan had an equal stake in the trilogy (both with his backstory and with his actions) as Rachel, and so he deserved a chance to tell his story. Plus, he was going to do some REALLY cool things while apart from Rachel, and I wanted the reader to be able to see that.

If Defiance came with a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?
Hans Zimmer, Red, In This Moment, Evanescence, and One Republic

How is work progressing on the rest of the Courier’s Daughter trilogy?
Book two is in edits right now, and book 3 is begging me to write it! 🙂

Was there a particular book, person (author or civilian) or event, which inspired you to become a writer?
I started writing stories in second grade after I read C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. It was my first fantasy book, and it just cracked my imaginative world wide open.

Like the BBLB team, and many of our readers, you are a busy mother (of FOUR no less!). How on earth do you manage to fit your writing in around a busy home life? Do you treat it like any other job, 9-5 with set childcare, or is it a case of catching time whenever you can? How do you maintain your work-life-balance?
I am probably super un-balanced, so…I won’t give advice on that aspect, lol. But I fit it in around my toddler’s naptime and then after bedtime at night. And at least two days a week, I head to the local bookstore after my hubby comes home and write at the coffee shop for a few hours.

In your personal and writing life do you associate more with Logan, planning to the nth degree or are you more impulsive and spontaneous like Rachel?
I’m much more like Rachel than Logan. I fly by the seat of my pants half the time, and thinking through science and logic like he does just breaks my brain.

Do you use anything to sustain you during the writing process? Coffee? Chocolate? Music?
Music! I build a playlist specific to each story.

One of the reasons we created Big Book Little Book was to share our passion for reading with children. Which books have you particularly enjoyed sharing with your own children?
My toddler and I love reading Goodnight Moon together every night as she goes to bed. For the boys, I’ve loved introducing them to Harry Potter, the Chronicles of Narnia, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

In Defiance as grandfatherly Oliver comforts Rachel he says
“It’s probably my job to tell you life isn’t fair, but I figure you already know that…So instead, I’ll tell you that hope is precious, and you’re right not to give up.”
How close is this piece of advice to your own personal ethos?

Oh, I believe that wholeheartedly. It’s one of the messages I hope readers take away from this trilogy. Sometimes hope is the hardest, most slippery thing to hold on to, but it’s always worth it.

What is the most important or memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
The only way to truly fail is to quit, so if you really want to do something, don’t quit.

As our Novel Nibbles feature will testify, I am a little obsessed with recreating food from my favorite books. Are any of Oliver’s baked goods based on actual recipes?
I was really close to my grandfather on my mother’s side. I had a very rough childhood, but he was my rock. He showed me what quiet, unconditional love looked like, and I based Oliver on him. He always baked for us, and one of his favourite treats to make was sticky buns! They’re like yeasty rolls with cinnamon and raisins inside and then they’re drizzled in a sticky maple-cinnamon syrup after they come out of the oven. I don’t have his recipe, he died before I could get it, but I wanted to honor what he meant to me by putting him in a book.

I would like to send out a huge thanks to C. J for stopping by to answers our questions and for writing such a fantastic addition to the YA dystopian genre. Now please excuse me while I scour the internet for bun recipes!

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Defiance Blog Tour

Defiance Blog Tour Schedule
30th of August Heaven, hell and Purgatory
1st of September Debra’s Book Cafe
2nd of September A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
3rd of September Planet Print
4th of September Debra’s Book Cafe
5th of September Book Angel Booktopia
6th of September Teen Librarian
7th of September The Pewter Wolf
8th of September YA Indie Princess
9th of September Us!
10th of September Excellent Reads
11th of September Bookaholics
12th of September Serendipity Reviews
13th of September I want to read that
14th of September Totally Bookalicious
15th of September This Fleeting Dream
16th of September Realm Of Fiction
Check out our fellow UK bloggers as they explore the dystopian world of Defiance

The Big Book Little Book team are delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Defiance.
Please come back and visit us on Sunday, when Caroline will be sharing her thoughts on Defiance and interviewing Defiance’s author, CJ Redwine, about the Defiance universe, her writing process and sharing books with children.

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