Series: A Four Realms Novel #2
Author: Sabrina Rawson
Published: September 23rd, 2014
Word Count: 100,000
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy
Content Warning: Non-graphic sexual content and minor violence
Age Recommendation: 16+
Lady Katerina Kastekanos believes Striker Wells is the other half of her heart. Assisting the High Council in talks of peace she struggles with deep rooted fears of abandonment, but can she be true to the man she has fallen in love with before her darkest secret can destroy any hope for a future with him? Before anyone can embark on the quest for the Firing Sword Katerina is kidnapped.
Striker Wells is son to Queen Briksanna and knowing Katerina is her best friend he does not feel ashamed of his love or his commitment to pledge his life to her. Before their lives can begin Katerina is kidnapped. Devastated, Striker searches for his lost love sworn not to stop until she is found. The woman he finds is not the same woman when she was taken. Will Striker be able to overcome his personal demons of abandonment to accept the man Katerina will need him to be for them to have a lifetime of happily ever after?
“Make no mistake, Katerina, you and I are made for one another and I will do as you wish, not flaunt myself publicly with you. You are right, there is too much going on right now for us to date one another, but I want you to know this one thing before we take another step in any direction.”
“What?” Breathlessly she responded eyes wide stared back at him in honest adoration.
Pulling her hand to rest on his heart he continued to gaze into her eyes. He felt her desire, but what he saw when he looked into her eyes was love for him. It was reflected in her beautiful emerald eyes. His heart soared with the knowledge of her feelings and he knew she could see the love he felt for her reflected in his eyes.
He needed to say the words as much as she needed to hear them. “I deserve you and you deserve me. There isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do to help you achieve what you hold dear to your heart. Your kingdom and people are important to you therefore they are important to me. The quest is necessary for us to endure in order to defeat this villain who has hurt my mother. Make no mistake whatever troubles lay before you or my family I take very seriously. I am not ignorant of the responsibilities weighing upon you. That is who I am. It is what I choose to do.”
Brows furrowed, “Why would you put yourself in this place with me? Why would you make my burdens your burdens?”
“That’s simple, you are the other half of me. I recognized you the moment I stepped through the portal and my eyes found you. It felt like I had finally seen my home. The place my heart and soul had searched for all my life. Don’t get me wrong, my family has my heart, love and fealty, but you are now a part of my heart. Without you nothing else would matter. It simply would cease to beat.”
He held his breath not saying another word worried he had spilled too much about the depth of his feelings. For a split second he chastised himself about what he said, then he let those thoughts of doubt go. He didn’t want anything to stand between them. Once he made up his mind she was his there was nothing left for him to think about. It really was that simple for him to decide how to handle his feelings for her. He just accepted them because she was the one his energy recognized as being the one made just for him.
Speaking slowly not rushing her words she responded, “My heart feels the same way about you.”
Book 1, Briksanna's Sacrifice, was hard for me to read. I don't like to leave negative reviews, but I agreed to give my honest opinion when I signed up for this tour, and am honor bound to do so. I felt like the plot might be good, but it was so hard for me to get at the story past the multitude of grammatical errors. Finally, about 60% through, I put my Kindle on text-to-speech. Normally the mechanical voice bothers me, but in this case it was better. I could hear the story rather than finding myself focusing on the mistakes. The story itself was good, quite interesting.
I enjoyed the different worlds aspect, and the struggles the different characters had to deal with.
If this were to find it's was to a line editor, I would be willing to re-read it and change my rating. If grammar doesn't bother you, I would suggest it to those who like fantasy.
As it stands, Bob says: 2 Platypires
The grammar wasn't as bad as the first book, but still needs some work. It was easier to read, though.
I have mixed feelings about this one. I like the way the plot is unfolding for this series, but it bothers me that, in the midst of lives being threatened, and everyone preparing for basically a war, suddenly everyone is falling in love and acting like a bunch of hormone ruled junior high kids. It just strikes me as strange, and this could very well be my own feelings on the matter. But for me it really detracted from the main story, making it seem more focused on those relationships than the trouble the realms are in.
I DO like that while the men are strutting around, "My Woman" this, "Your Woman" that, and acting like females are delicate flowers who must be protected, even from themselves, the girls are the true bad asses of the story. They could take these guys in a heartbeat if they so chose. So bravo for that!
All in all, not too bad a book. Needs that line editor, but as it is better than the first, I hold hope that the 3rd will be even better.
Bob says: 2 Platypires
About the Author
Nelson Mandela’s words inspired her:
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
No truer words could have been said. After her first cancer battle four years ago, she was in the mindset to survive, get back to my swing of things. Problem was she couldn’t. She wasn’t the same person anymore. She relapsed by the end of the first year. She survived that experience exhausted and has had multiple tumors pop up ever since. To say her health presented a mental and physical challenge was putting it mildly. She wanted to be more, do more, and was determined to reinvent herself along the way.
What she left behind after that first surgery, was her passion for life. Cancer didn’t take that away, she put buried it along with her drive and ambition. Her creative muse happily skipped right along with the rest of her dreams leaving her disconnected. She had to rediscover herself and it was a slow personal process. Four years post her first surgery and even if she had to do it all over again tomorrow, so what! She refused to settle for a life less than what she could create for herself.
Sabrina has published works with Survivor’s Review Online Magazine and Titan InKorp Online eMag. She published the two novels within a New Adult Urban Fantasy Romance called A Novel of Four Realms, titled Briksanna’s Sacrifice (Book One) and Katerina’s Hope (Book Two). Book three is due to publish early spring 2015.
Sabrina lives in Sonoma County heart of the wine country of California enjoying life in the rural land happily married to a wonderful supportive husband. You can always find her reading a book or cooking a meal for her multitude of children.
Don’t give up what you start. No matter how difficult or financially un-affordable it is to be a writer keep doing it. You can accomplish your dreams by working hard enough even if it is a little every day. I could only afford an editor by sending a couple of chapter to her every two weeks. We did that for four months. By the time we were through, I was ready to edit the manuscript again, and again and again, until I felt it was polished, the words flowed and the structure of the storyline held the concepts I wanted to portray. I didn’t send it off to a professional service (like I wished I could) I would have to do the work in the end anyway to rewrite it. I buckled down and learned how to do it myself. Looking back I should have sent the finished manuscript to a professional editor because there are many editing and grammatical errors that could have been cleaned up with a professional eye. With the second book I didn’t bat an eye. I paid for the service and found the experience well worth the dime spent. Everything about publishing a book, I have done with my own determination, patience (sometimes not) and hours and hours of sitting in front of a computer researching how to do it by everyone else. If I can do this, so can you.
Three years ago. I started writing when I realized my cancer could come back anytime. I guess it was an awakening of sorts for me. I had just completed my second round of radiation after I relapsed in the first year and I began thinking about the things I wanted to accomplish in life to stay positive. Writing a story of my creation was one thing I wanted to do.
I think the people that influenced me to even consider writing a book were survivors. It doesn’t matter what type of adversity a person could be exposed to, they are my inspiration. Personally, for me, it was two women who went through cancer treatment with me. They both were diagnosed terminal, but when we had first met they weren’t and it was at that time I said why not, I’ll give writing a book a try. When they became terminal I cried because I was battling and surviving and they were battling and losing. One of them, Kim, she tells me to finish it, because there is nothing wrong with living and having the time to follow your dreams. I spent two years writing my book in which six months had been spent seeking professional advice and support along with stepping outside my comfort zone to achieve my dreams of publication.
Learning how to write was the hardest thing for me to get over. I had no idea there was so much to putting a story together just to share it with the world. I wrote the entire story first, but learning how to write so the manuscript could be readable was a monster for me. I had many email sessions and met with my editor every month for many months just to learn how to write prose, point of view, and perspective, flow of storyline, who was the protagonist and who should be the antagonist. All the details expected from a creative writing class I learned from her. What kept me writing despite all I had to learn was keeping a mantra, “No matter how difficult it is today, tomorrow and all the days after will get easier.”
Get back in the saddle and hunker down. I write another scene. I usually revisit my outline and manually write out the scene in my head and pretty soon the scene unfolds for me. I write whatever comes to me at that time then go back and expand on it or take away from it.
It is hard to receive constructive criticism when it is spoken in a rude manner. There is one review I received that was a real hard pill to swallow and it wasn’t because the reader was pointing out valid issues with my writing, but more of an attack on why people like me should ever be allowed to clutter the literary world. It was verbal abuse in a public setting. My first book had a lot of errors in it, that still need repair, but the second book I spent more time and money with a professional editor to avoid those easy to fix mistakes. I blindly trusted the help I had gotten to publish my first book and found investing in an editor was the best thing I could do for myself otherwise no one could understand the story I was trying to tell. Low scoring reviews are the most helpful when done in a constructive way.
I have to turn it off and put my headphones on. Once I turn social media off and open up my files I am ready to go. I have to be very diligent about what happens with my time when I am creating. With the first book it was a shock to me and my family how much time I was spending at the computer between writing and branding myself.
Cooking popcorn over the stove top—this is something my parents used to do with Jiffy Pop back in the 1970’s and in the 1980’s came the air popcorn machine followed with microwave popcorn. It has only been in the last 12 years I have made my popcorn over the stove top and my youngest two children love me for it. When they are home and I make some, it is a comfort food for all of us. It’s the best way to get them to open up with me whenever something is troubling them in their life. In fact my 20 year old called me once and said, “Mom is it ok if I come over and you make some popcorn?” I knew she needed her Momma. Best feeling in the world!
No, but I have had to re-write complete chapters (yes, plural) to change the point of view andback scene because I wanted the book to go into a different direction that would lead my next book in the way I want to begin it. I cut the chapters out of the book and saved them on another word doc because I was scared to get rid of it. For a while I felt like I was doing major surgery...Ha Ha.
A mentor of mine asked me that same question a year ago and I didn’t have an answer for her. As a matter of fact I was so stressed about finishing the project that the thought of coming up with a name for the manuscript made me break out in a sweat. She threw out some random ideas and I went back to my PC and started making a list of names like I did when I was thinking of baby names. With a list of words came in front of me came the birth of my title.
-Title: Gabriella’s Promise
-Date of Release: Early spring 2015
-When is the cover reveal: Late December to Early January
I submitted an article to an online magazine early 2014 called Survivor’s Review and theynot only liked it, they agreed to publish it in their 2014 Anthology eMag. The story is about how I found the strength to move forward with cancer in my body without fear. This story was hard to write because no one knew the true depth of my inner struggles, some not even my husband knew of, so for me to share this was me being brutally honest, revealing my humanity. Completing the project I realized I had not congratulated myself for a job well done living a life with cancer. You can see the article and those of the other winners at http://www.survivorsreview.org/features.php
Poetry, but I got over it. If you would have told me a year ago I would be listening to people read their poetry on purpose and creating them I would have rolled my eyes and stuck my fingers in my ears. Poetry seemed like a style of writing filled with absolutes and brash thoughts. I always found it hard to read because I could not picture the flow of imagination with its prose written in a way I felt I needed a thesaurus on hand to understand. If I could not close my eyes and immediately see what I heard, what was the point of putting any effort in that style of writing let alone listen to it? Prose is the best thing on the planet! I began to attend local literary functions and they were open to all kinds of writers. In the beginning I thought I would suffer, then I began to listen. When I began to listen, I began to imagine what the author was trying to convey. I found myself looking forward to what I could imagine the author was saying without being told, then my mind would rush to interpret what the author was saying and correlating that with how I felt while I heard it. Did I have memories of something connected to what the poem was trying to tell me? Could I see myself as the author saw themselves? How weird was that? I think now that I am over the whole “yuck” phase of poetry that leaves horror as being something I refuse
to write. I don’t have plans anytime soon to try my hand at that.
I think I would as a pet, I honestly have never paid attention with this type of mythical animal, but I could totally see myself writing it in as an honorary guest. You’ll have to stay tuned to my book series to find out!