I have to start out by staying that I am a HUGE fan of Jennifer A Nielsen. Not only because she is a fantastic author (which she is!), but she IS also a compassionate, kind, and humble person. She is real! You can tell when she interacts with you. Jennifer has taken the time to discuss with me my own path in publishing. She knows my goals and my dreams and she doesn’t hesitate to encourage me onward up the mountain. A little over a month ago I saw her at a signing. She looked at me right in the eye and asked, “You feel how close you are, don’t you? Please don’t give up.” She didn’t know but I needed that. At times I feel I am so close to my dreams I can almost touch them, at other times it feels galaxies away. I am grateful for Jennifer to take the time and say that to me. It really boosted my confidence and helped me to move forward. I started querying again and I am very optimistic. I now know that if this book doesn’t get me an agent the next one will. Jennifer, I DO feel how close I am. I am ready to grab hold of that dream and stand firm on my summit. Thank you for spurring me along!
Another fantastic read that I have the opportunity to dive into this summer is The Mark of the Thief. If you’ve read Jennifer Nielsen’s Ascendance Trilogy and were blown away by the gripping-suspenseful-action-packed story as I was, then you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into with this one. I found myself flipping through page after page devouring the compelling words that told of Nicolas Calva’s heroic life. I really liked this book because it speaks to everyone’s heart. Many people are born into different situations, some worse than others, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay there. This book is a rite of passage for Nic, but it’s also one for the reader. You will feel better about yourself when you finish this book because you will be determined to choose to be the person YOU want to be and not the person circumstance placed you. I also feel this is a great book for a reluctant reader. They will immediately identify with the main character and his struggles. Because the chapters are short and page-turny, they will find themselves taken away to ancient Rome, bulla in hand, as Nic enters the arena to fight for his life.
Summary: A fantastical alternate history set in ancient Rome. Nicolas Calva and his sister are slaves in the mines outside of Rome. When Nic is forced to retrieve treasure from Julius Caesar's cave, he assumes he is going to his death. But inside the cave he finds a bulla, a magical amulet thought to have given Caesar great power, and takes it for himself. Suddenly, Nic is the most wanted fugitive in Rome. The emperor and a powerful general are after the amulet and they will kill Nic to get it. His only help is Aurelia, a plebian girl who is searching for her own family. With no one to trust and nowhere to hide, the protagonist must decide how he is going to save his sister and get out with his life. He doesn't want the bulla or the responsibility of the magic it contains, but if the magical object gets into the wrong hands, Rome will be at war and Nic will be at the center of it all.
Book 2, The Rise of the Wolf will hit bookstores February 2016 according to Jennifer's website: http://www.jennielsen.com/archives/1452
Link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Thief-1/dp/0545561558/
The next book I am reading is The Thickety: The Whispering Tree, by J.A. White. I am sure this one will be just as creepy as the first book. Wish me luck that I don’t get nightmares!!