My Favorite Reviews for the Akasha Series

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As a self-published author for over five years now, I have started to avoid looking at reviews. Before, I hung on every word. I swelled with pride or sunk into despair–sometimes all in the same day–depending on readers written opinions of my books. Pretty soon, the roller coaster ride of emotion began to interfere with my writing, so I stopped looking at reviews. Surfing the net this morning, I ran across a review. One thing led to the next and before I knew it I was reading them all. To my surprise, it was quite the uplifting ride, and perhaps just what I needed to get over my writing slump I am currently in with my new series. Below are my favorites for The Akasha Series, each linked to the original post on Amazon. If you haven’t finished the series already, I hope these reviews can entice you!

By Iris:
“I loved this series from beginning too end. A magical, ecologically focused adventure with a strong but human heroine and a villain you can actually hate… And then some. Between screwed up love interest, being forced into a life she’s unsure about, and surviving one attack after another, Kaitlin Alder is both relatable and someone to look up to and grow with.”

and

“I’d like to say it’s for everyone, but I don’t think so. I think it’s for women trying to find themselves or learning to be strong and brave. It deals with issues like abuse, and giving birth, and falling in love. But yes it’s all of that is wrapped up in honing magical elemental power, saving the world (from an ecological level and bringing awareness) to war.”

By Carolyn:

“I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Their mix of romance, magic and earthly powers was extremely well woven. Without each of these components, this would be just another romance without the heat and passion in a belief that we owe the Earth for our very survival.”

By Jane:

“For eco-aware folks, Wiccans, and tree huggers alike, this is an environmental aware series wrapped in fantasy and carried by our imagination into the reality of today’s world.”

By Kristi on Book 4, ‘Earth’:

“This book was my most and least favorite of the series…I always feel that way about the end… but it was so DARK! Kaitlyn goes all G.I. Jane in this book. Infiltrate and destroy. I knew the book wouldn’t be all sunshine and rainbows in the end but would have never expected for it to turn out this way… I had always hoped she would burn out her powers and her and Micah would ride off into the sunset with Bee. Fat chance of that happening I know, but a girl can dream right? Any way all I can say it the very last page brought a tear to my eye.”

As of today, here is my Amazon review breakdown:

The Akasha Series:
Water, Book One: 3.6 Stars, 200 customer review
Air, Book Two: 4.6 Stars, 53 customer reviews
Fire, Book Three: 4.4 Stars, 31 customer reviews
Earth, Book Four: 4.4 Stars, 42 customer reviews
Akasha, The Complete Saga: 4.5 Stars, 32 customer reviews

The Painted Maidens Series:
The Rising, Book One: 4.2 Stars, 72 customer reviews
The Betrayed, Book Two: 4.7 Stars, 9 customer reviews
The Taking, Book Three: 4.8 Stars, 14 customer reviews
The Falling, The Prequel: (no reviews – guess I need to start advertising this one!)

And let’s not forget my vampire indulgence!

The Kindred Curse Anthology: 4.1 Stars, 12 customer reviews

Did you know I have a few other works published in conjunction with fellow authors?

Polaris Awakening, 4.5 Stars, 2 customer reviews
The Lost Locket of Lahari Anthology, 3.5 Stars, 2 customer reviews
Forbidden Future, 3.5 Stars, 10 customer reviews

Happy Reading and please don’t forget to leave your own reviews!

 

Book Photo Shoot

Several months ago my family took a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee – and guess what? My latest series came along with me. After we managed to walk away from the intense timeshare pitch and survived two five mile mountain hikes with a 15 year-old, a seven year-old, and a four year-old, the next goal was a book photo shoot. I think The Painted Maidens Trilogy is quite photogenic!
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An old tree trunk, a babbling brook, and the spring forest of the Appalachian Mountains made for a great setting. If you’ve read the final book of the series, ‘The Taking’, the area reminded me of the river the maidens use to heal and wash themselves during their migration. If you haven’t read it it – what are you waiting for?! Here, a few more pics might entice you:

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And of course, it can’t be a complete book photo shoot without the author!

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For those of you anxiously awaiting the next release – you don’t have much longer to wait. I promise! A short story meant as a prequel to the Painted Maidens Trilogy has now turned into a full length novel. Be sure to follow my blog for updates. Over the next month I’ll begin releasing excerpts from the book. You won’t be disappointed!

My Reading List

Sometimes, a short break in writing is needed, and taking one right after I wrap up my second series was good timing. I rid myself of any guilt I feel for not working by calling it an ‘active rest’.

I got the idea during a group exercise class at my gym. Our instructor introduced the concept of ‘active resting’ in between two particular difficult Tabata sets. Instead of just standing there trying to catch our breath for twenty seconds before the next set, we were supposed to hold a deep squat. At first, I couldn’t get over how crazy this woman was. But I did the squat, walked away from the class after it ended – feeling proud, and woke up the next morning very sore.

Fast forward a few weeks, and I decided that during a writing break I can still be creatively active. For the most part, this involves a whole lot of reading. My love of reading follows very closely on the heels of my love of writing.

So in case you are interested, here is a list of some of the books I’ve picked up in the last few months:

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End of Days (Angelfall Series) by Susan Ee

This is the third and final installment of this series, so no excuses. If you haven’t started it yet – go get it now! I highly recommend Angelfall to anyone who loves the fantasy genre.

 

 

 

 


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Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

A word of advice: don’t just watch the movie and call it done. The book has so much more to offer (as they often do). This is far from my usual genre but I would recommend this to anyone and everyone for a great read. Be prepared to learn the very real and very gruesome details about war, what really goes on at POW camps, and the aftermath every soldier carries with him for the rest of his life. But this book is so much more than that. It really gives you some insight into just how unbreakable the human spirit can be.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

This one is a very ‘literary’ book, and not quite my cup of tea. A lot of the literary references were lost on me, which I’m a little sad to admit as an author. But more than anything I found the book to be a little boring, though I did make my way through the whole thing.

 

 

 


 

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This is a psychological thriller – not my usual genre, but eh, why not? If you liked any of Gillian Flynn’s books (‘Gone Girl’, ‘Sharp Objects’, or ‘Dark Places’) this one may appeal to you. I felt like I could really connect with some of the characters. Their thought processes and actions reminded me of some people I know.

 

 


 

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Golden Son by Peirce Brown

Hoooooooold the phone! How have I not heard about this series until now! Just to warn you, the beginning is a little rough. It is slow-paced and the writing is raw and crass. Hang in there. It’s worth it! Lots of action, heartache, politics, and character development like I’ve never seen before. Read. This. Series. Now. (Unless you like to wait until the entire series is out – because the third book has yet to be published.)

 

 


 

 

 

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All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This story follows two character arcs as they endure World War II. If you are looking for a book with really beautiful prose, you are in for a treat!

 

 

 

 


 

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Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Another teen-centered post apocalyptic book, but well worth the read! The premise of the book is a deadly disease called Love that afflicts all of society until they are old enough to get the cure. There are lots of twists and turns to keep you reading – I can’t wait to get to the rest of the series!

 

 


 

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Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

A young adult book about two sixteen year olds who fall in love. This one was a quick read for me; I absolutely loved it. It’s hard for me to pin what exactly was so good about this one – you read it and let me know!

 

 

 


 

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Winter Queen (Fairy Queen Series) by Amber Argyle and Summer Queen (Fairy Queen Series) by Amber Argle

This was a treasure find for me! I can’t even remember how I came across this series, but the writing was just beautiful and both storylines sucked me right in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

You can find my ratings and reviews for most of these books on Goodreads – be sure to friend or follow me there if you haven’t already!

 

Comment below and let me know some of your favorite reads. Once I get back into writing, I’m only able to read about two books a month so they definitely need to be worth my time! I appreciate any suggestions you guys can give me!

Anthology Release Announcement

Since the release of Patchwork Press‘s first anthology (The Lost Locket of Lahari), we’ve been talking about the next anthology and how great it’s going to be. We’ve been pretty tight-lipped on the details, only revealing small facts like the theme — CONSTELLATIONS! — and the genre — YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION! — but everything else? A mystery. But no longer!

Today, we are revealing the title, the authors involved, the constellations the stories are inspired by, and the mythology behind each star cluster. We’ll begin with the title reveal. Drumroll please…

Polaris-Awakening

Polaris Awakening is the title of the newest Patchwork Press anthology! Each of the seven stories in the anthology take place aboard the space station of Polaris. The station of Polaris is the brightest star in the galaxy, with it’s shining technology and renowned space academy. But not everything on Polaris is perfect — there’s a tilt of balance in social classes, and those below are beginning to awaken to the injustice of their leaders. A rebellion is thrumming through the ship, and the characters of each story all play a part in the ripple of discontent.

There are seven stories contributing to the anthology. And our authors (in order of appearance) are: Kellie Sheridan, Erin Latimer, Erica Crouch, Janna Jennings, Hannah Davies, Terra Harmony, and Meghan Jashinsky.

Zeus

Kellie Sheridan‘s story will not only open the anthology, but it will be peppered throughout the anthology, interspersed between the other pieces. Kellie’s story doesn’t focus on one particular constellation or origin myth, but rather she is writing as the embodiment of Zeus (you know, Mr. Lightning Bolt, the Big Guy in the Sky). Zeus is personified as the supercomputer operating Polaris, and he’s more aware than you’d expect, which could lead to some danger for our characters…

Ophiuchus

After Kellie Sheridan’s introduction, we have our first full story from Erin Latimer. Erin’s story centers around the constellation Ophiuchus. The constellation represents the god Apollo struggling with the huge snake that guards the Oracle of Delphi. After Apollo slew the snake, he was ordered by Zeus to host the Pythian Games as a form of penance.

Lyra

Next up is Erica Crouch with her story based on the constellation Lyra. In the original myth, Orpheus — a musician with almost supernatural talent — falls in love with Eurydice. But their love is doomed, and Eurydice dies, stolen away to the Underworld by Hades. When Hades hears Orpheus’s mournful music, he strikes a bargain: Orpheus will be returned his love if he continues playing his music. Eurydice will follow him from the Underworld, but if Orpheus doesn’t trust Hades and turns around to check that Eurydice is still with him, he will lose her forever. The deal is made, and Orpheus plays his lyre, but when he walks over pine needles and can no longer hear Eurydice’s footsteps, he turns around and Eurydice fades away, gone forever.

Gemini

Following Erica’s piece is Janna Jennings‘s story of the constellation Gemini. The Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux, were both born from Leda, the Queen of Sparta. Their sister is Helen of Troy and there are several myths about them, including sailing with Jason and the Argonauts to find the golden fleece and fighting in the Trojan War to bring their sister Helen home. Castor is a renowned horseman, and Pollux is a great boxer.

Scorpio

Then we have Hannah Davies‘s story, inspired by the constellation Scorpio. Scorpio has a few different mythologies to chose from, but the one Hannah chose was a story about Orion and Artemis. Orion boasted that he was the greatest hunter in all the land and could kill any animal. Artemis — Goddess of hunting and also protector of beasts — sent a scorpion after Orion to defeat him. The scorpion stung Orion’s ankle, killing him. Zeus was impressed by the scorpion, so he made a constellation for it. In the sky, the scorpion is at the opposite side of the horizon to Orion to keep them apart.

Virgo

Terra Harmony‘s story follows next, and she was inspired by the constellation Virgo. Persephone, beautiful daughter of Zeus and Demeter, is tricked by Hades who carries her off to the underworld to be his wife. Her mother was so upset by this, she completely neglected her duties as goddess of agriculture, and famine spread over the entire world. The solution was for Persephone should be with her mother for half the year, and go to the underworld with Hades for the other half of the year. When Persephone is gone, agriculture essentially dies until she returns again six months later.

Taurus

And finally, to close the anthology we have a story from Meghan Jashinsky, based on the constellation Taurus. From the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, the goddess Ishtar sends Taurus to kill Gilgamesh because he spurned her. In the sky, this is why the constellation Taurus seems to be facing off with Orion (who is representative of Gilgamesh).


Patchwork Press’s Polaris Awakening is going to be a whirlwind of a read! With so many spectacular myths interpreted into the science fiction world by an array of talented authors — all with strong, unique voices — we’re readying for an epic read. You can expect the cover reveal in March, and trust us, you won’t want to miss it! The release day is scheduled for April 28th, one day before Patchwork Press’s second birthday! So let us know…

WHAT CONSTELLATION ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO READ?
Tweet us @Patchwork_Press!

** SIGN UP FOR THE COVER REVEAL MARCH 13 **

‘The Taking’ Cover Reveal

I am so excited to finally reveal the cover for ‘The Taking, Book Three of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’.  A big thanks to the awesome Keary Taylor for her design. The release date is all set for February 27th, 2015, and we will have a blow-out book tour for the series in March when I will reveal the boxed set cover and the book trailer and have loads of prizes. For now, please be sure to add ‘The Taking’ to your Goodreads TBR list and let me know what you think of the cover!

THE TAKING cover

 

The Taking, Book Three of the Painted Maidens Trilogy

 Eighteen-year-old Serena now reigns as queen of both the Undine of The Deep and the wolves of The Dry. The alliance between her maidens and the werewolves is shaky when all at once the basic necessities of food and shelter are taken away and both their worlds fall apart. After decades of war, the two societies must work together to face what lies ahead. A promised land is theirs for the taking, but first, they must survive each other.

 

 

Website Revamp

Welcome to the new, and hopefully improved, website and blog of Terra Harmony. It is still a work in progress, but please let me know if you encounter any problems or have any suggestions while browsing the content.

A few weeks ago I transferred from wordpress.org to a self-hosted wordpress.com. The difference is I have more control with appearance and gadgets I can install, but technical problems are plentiful and are mine to fix.

I made the transfer and immediately crashed the site.

There was lots of frustration, lots of googling, and maybe just a few tears. But now I am back up and running, I know more than I ever wanted to about html code, and I am ready to move on.

My new site is www.harmonylit.com – bookmark it now!

Lots to come over the next few weeks; a book cover reveal, The Painted Maidens playlist, plus some more very exciting announcements. Stay tuned!