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text 2017-03-28 07:23
Digging in the Stars by Katherine Blakeney Book Blitz and Giveaway


Digging in the Stars
Katherine Blakeney
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: March 28th 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.
Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.
Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.
TEASERS:
“Please remain seated as we begin our descent into Thror. Welcome, and enjoy your stay.”
The time for action was at hand, and she still didn’t feel ready. The flight felt much shorter than she’d expected.
The girls exchanged bewildered looks across the aisles. Stunned silence. They couldn’t have missed that final announcement. Avoiding Professor P’s gaze, Carter still felt the look of shock the professor shot across the cabin. Once, Carter had seen herself arriving on Thror as a great explorer. Instead, she would be remembered as a half-baked deceiver and kidnapper. The Throrians would have called her a scent-changer.
* * *
Carter had been so close to her goal. She saw that crack with her own eyes, a portal into a lost ancient world, chambers filed with carvings, images that had never been recorded or reproduced. The greatest discovery of this or any other century, waiting less than twenty feet away. Waiting for her. And Conrad had been there first. The moment she thought it, she felt guilty. She was allowing herself to get carried away by archaeological fervor, mentally competing with Conrad, when he might have paid a terrible price for his discovery.
 

Author Bio:
I am an author and independent filmmaker/stop motion animator with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My thesis focuses on silent film adaptations of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Gothic novels, with a special emphasis on psychological and aesthetic representations of the Monster figure. My debut novel, a YA Sci-Fi adventure called Digging in the Stars, is forthcoming with Blaze Publishing on March 28, 2017.
Raised by an Egyptologist mother, I grew up among museums and excavation sites, where I developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. I divide my time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in my studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. I have worked for more than 10 years as photographer and videographer for the South Asasif Conservation Project, an archaeological expedition in Egypt and I have published numerous articles on film and archaeology.
I write, direct, design, and animate short films and commissioned projects in my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been employed as an animator, screenwriter, modelmaker and art director for studios in Edinburgh, South Korea and Qatar. I have produced commissioned projects for IdeasTap in London, the Arts Trust Scotland and the British Library. My shorts have won competitions and screened at various international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2015, my short film The Burglar With the Yellow Hand was nominated for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Research in Film Award.

You can find out more about all aspects of my work on my website, http://yorwickcastle.com
My new blog http://KatherineBlakeneyStardigger.blogspot.com is all about Digging in the Stars and my references and inspirations as a writer.

 
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text 2017-03-27 18:20
Reading progress update: I've read 200 out of 301 pages.
The Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia

it's funny how much it reminds me of a good Jack Williamson novel--and not just his key robot novel, The Humanoids, but sort of like that combined with Demon Moon, a much different book--because I just bucked up and added a lot of old Williamsons to my Read pile at BookLikes (some were a challenge to search, and add covers to, and sort through editions, etc.). The Alchemy Of Stone does not deal in a lot of action or violence, and is the better for i--that also reminds me a bit of several old Jack Williamson books. anyway, maybe China Mieville and Cherie Priest fans could appreciate Sedia; to me, she does pay quiet tribute to stuff that's even older. I really like this book, and its main character robot.

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text 2017-03-26 23:34
Reading progress update: I've read 33 out of 301 pages.
The Alchemy of Stone - Ekaterina Sedia

wow. I already love Mattie, my new favorite mechanical girl, the emancipated alchemist automaton. this Steampunk tale also features characters called Soul-Smokers, and living, stone gargoyles--and I've only just started! I keep putting off the last book in a Fantasy trilogy, but even though I want to get that wrapped up so I can call it done, plus free myself up to new Fantasy and SF series, that twinge of regret I had over ignoring the Canavan book for a little while longer is now gone. so...this seemingly wonderful book starring an artificial girl who knows her potions, a nonfiction book, a couple of Crime & Mystery books, and then Canavan's trilogy wrapper-upper. even in the face of that, I'm already thinking about when I can get to the other Ekaterina Sedia book I have stashed--seeming like a wise investment.

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review 2017-03-26 17:46
Shadow Run by Adrianne Strickland and Michael Miller
Shadow Run - AdriAnne Strickland,Michael Miller
I'm not going to lie, I am always so delighted when I find a Science Fiction novel that is accessible and exciting! I had high hopes for Shadow Run, and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. The Kaitan Heritage is a ship after my own heart. Cobbled together, barely holding on, and full of the most loyal and intriguing set of people there ever was! I remember seeing somewhere that this book was likened to Firefly and Dune. Yes, friends, that is entirely accurate. A little bit of love, a dash of danger, and a whole lot of sarcasm and wit. That's what you'll find between these pages.
 
First off, massive kudos to the authors for crafting as captivating a character as Captain Qole. At just 17 years old, she's the best Shadow fishing captain in the Universe. But that's not where her intrigue ends. Qole is also poisoned by the very thing that both makes up her livelihood, and makes her such an excellent captain. It's a compelling double-edged sword. What I loved most about her character though, was how self-assured and bad-ass she was. Qole doesn't need your admiration. She's strong, loyal, and full of a kind of fierce love that made me fall for her instantly. I love seeing forceful women in positions of power. Qole doesn't disappoint.
 
Better still, Nev's entrance into this story didn't dim Qole's light one bit. In fact, Nev is a beautiful contrast to Qole's dark and resolute personality. See, Nev is ever the optimist. He's both tough as nails and has a heart that is fit to burst with pride for his family. His quick thinking and kindness make him the perfect opposite to Qole, and watching them interact is honestly a lot of fun. I never felt like the tension brewing between them was overbearing and the little romance that may have existed just felt like it belonged. Color me impressed.
 
The absolute only reason I wasn't able to give this a full five-star rating is because the climax felt a little rushed. The first three-quarters of this book are perfectly paced. There is world-building galore, time for our characters to grow and understand one another, plus even the perfect amount of action to keep things fresh. As the book neared the end, I felt like it was rushing to push everything still left undone in order. Which, to be honest, I can totally understand. It makes me happy to know that there's another book coming after this one. I absolutely cannot wait to read it! 
 
You need to meet the ragtag crew of the Kaitan. Plain and simple. If Shadow Run isn't already on  your wishlist, put it there. 
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review 2017-03-26 16:07
Neverwylde (The Rim of the World, #1) by Linda Mooney Review
Neverwylde (The Rim of the World) (Volume 1) - Linda Mooney

wo species, bitter enemies, are determined to destroy each other, until they realize they need one another to survive a major catastrophe.

As they race through a nebulous space anomaly in the midst of battle, the Terrans and Seneecians are blown through a wormhole to crash land on an uncharted world. A half world. A world containing the remains of a long-dead civilization.

Lt. Kelen Chambliss knows she has no reason to trust the furred, humanoid creatures, but she and her crew members cannot survive without their help, and the Seneecians cannot survive without theirs. Neither can she ignore the fearsome-looking one called Kyber, with his wicked talons and piercing green eyes.

As they slowly come to realize there is no escape or forthcoming rescue from the barren planet, Kelen learns there is much about the enemy she never knew. Including the fact that Kyber's formidable appearance hides a strong, brave, and caring heart.

 

Review

 

What is here in this book is very good. It is a really interesting world with an enemies to lovers theme.

 

The love comes a little fast and easy but its a high stress survival situation. I like the details of the planet, the hero and heroine are wonderful, and the breakdown of milterary command and how much what mattered before doesn't matter at all now is great.

 

But then the book ends with the group in peril. It is kinda a happy for now but not one I can trust.

 

I was annoyed. I hate serials which this feels like.

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