Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Special Thanks to my Reviewers

I have exciting news!

In our most recent edition update, we've included a section for reviews. I'm happy to announce I was able to pick a few of my favorite blogger's comments.

My ARC copy came today and it turned out really nice. I'm very pleased.

Here's the Blog Reviewers who are now published in The Emerald Talisman!

Michelle, windowpane-memoirs
Eleni, La Femme Readers
Katie, Katie's Book Bag
Jennifer, Extreme Reader Book Reviews
Abra Ebner, Author Feather and Knights Angels Series'

Thank you Ladies! Here's a button for you to post proudly on your websites to show your achievement!

Hugs, Brenda

Monday, May 24, 2010

Lost is over... sniff

So, last night I spent way too much time watching the season finale of LOST (4 hours). I've been a faithful follower since the first episode and can't believe it's over. Carlton and Damon, the writers, are amazing. Their storytelling taught me a simple thing -- don't tell the viewer (reader) everything and keep the truth simple. Honestly, it's so much less complicated than I thought, but I was trying so hard to look deeply into everything.

When people ask how I had time to write a novel, run a design business, care for two preschool kids (one with special needs), be a mom and wife, I tell them it's because I don't watch TV. LOST was my one guilty pleasure. I have no clue what I'll replace it with. It was absolutely brilliant and fed my need for suspense, love, mystery and just plain problem solving. (I love a good puzzle). I will miss you LOST.

But, though I loved the end, I feel still a little cheated. I have questions left unanswered! What the heck was the energy good for anyway? Why were the pregnant ladies losing their babies at 5 months? Who's idea was it to build the special hatch in S.F that had that cool hanging thing that marked stars with the chalk on the map? Why did anyone want the island so badly anyway? What did it offer them? And why the big plug in the ground? Is it to keep out evil from overtaking and corrupting the earth? But they were pretty evil to each other on their own, even the "good guys" were murdering people. Who and where did one-eye invincible guy go? Did he blow up with the grenade? And what's with the ashes? I know if I watched the whole thing over... all 130+ hours of it, I'd figure it all out, but you want a sequel, so.... maybe I'll take another 6 years and watch an episode every week. But if someone knows, please.... TELL ME!

Any LOSTIES with me on this???

Hugs, Brenda

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Make your own contest contest

So, I need your help. I want to do a cool contest/drawing, but I don't know what to do that would attract new readers and attention.

I could give away a camera, Ipod, books, swag, etc. But I want to do something original and cool! The monetary limit is $50 (no more).

So, I'm going to ask for your help! The winner will get a signed copy of The Emerald Talisman and a promise of an ARC of the sequel (coming soon).

 - Must be something I can ship and assemble easily
- If you and someone else has the same idea, I'll take the one who submitted first.
- Monetary limit is $50 that I spend on the prize

Good luck! My husband will be the judge.

Last day to enter is June 30th!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Happy dance...

A few more great reviews came in this week! Yeah! Which has been very encouraging because sometimes it's hard to believe in yourself and your work. I'm very honored to share with you a 4 and 5 star review of The Emerald Talisman this week.

The Emerald Talisman was a fantastic vampire novel. I don't usually like a lot of vampire stories but this one was nowhere near as typical as some. I was entertained by it and the book kept me interested until the last page. Sadly now I have to wait for a sequel.

Julia Parker is a normal teenage girl or at least she seems to be. Well, other than her ability to read people's feelings. All of that changes one night when she almost dies. Luckily Nicholas saves her. Julia is drawn to him and hopes to see him again. What she doesn't know is that becoming friends with Nicholas will change her life forever.

Julia was not my favorite character in the book. I preferred Nicholas. Julia acted really naive and kind of whiny at times. Of course, she was naive because she didn't know vampires existed but it still bugged me. Nicholas, on the other hand, was sexy and competent. He was also very protective, which I loved. I look forward to more of them both in the next book.

The plot was the best part about the book. It was very fast-paced. I never once wanted to put the book down. It was super fast to read and very entertaining. I was at the edge of my seat by the end of it.

Overall, The Emerald Talisman is an awesome book. If you love vampire stories, this one is for you!

Jennifer from Extreme Reader Book

I am always excited when I find a book that I know nothing about before reading and end up loving! Well, that is what happened when I read The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos.

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed reading this book! Brenda Pandos did a wonderful job creating a fresh and exciting new vampire world. I loved the characters in this story (good and evil) and the suspense had me turning pages way too late for a few nights! I found Julia (the main character) very interesting. She was an empath, meaning that she could sense and feel the emotions of those around her. Her gift definitely came in handy on more than one occasion in the book, but remained a secret to everyone. Her family doesn't even know that she possesses this gift. She also seems to be a magnet for vampires- which sucks (bad pun I know:D)- unless you have your own super hot half vampire/half human vamp slayer as your knight in shining armor! Nicholas is the gorgeous, yet dangerous, bad boy that Julia falls for. At the beginning of the book she finds herself in a pretty hopeless situation that Nicholas saves her from. They spend a little time together that evening and then he disappears for quite awhile. Julia is immediately consumed with thoughts of him. She finds herself completely in love with him, despite the fact that she only spent a few hours with him. I found this a little confusing, but as I read on, I began to understand the connection between Julia and Nicholas better. Both of them had mysteries in their lives that I really wanted the answers to. Julia had the mystery of her mother's disappearance, her empathic gift, and the mysterious message given to her by a fortune teller concerning her destiny. Nicholas' character didn't lack in the mystery department either! As the only known half vamp/half human in the world, and the only vampire slayer, he is one of a kind. That definitely holds some major intrigue! I enjoyed learning about the emerald talisman that he wore, and about the reasons behind his connection to Julia. His character is really cool, calm, and collected in the face of danger and is quite a force to be reckoned with! Did I mention that he is completely gorgeous too? Oh yes... totally swoon-worthy!

The book moved at a good pace and the ending was fantastic! The stage was set up perfectly for another volume in the series. There was enough resolution at the end to be satisifying, yet the unanswered questions make me pine for the sequel! Some of the things that I am anxious to learn more about include the history of Nicholas' parents (especially his vampire father), Julia's true destiny in the fight against the vampires, and the course that Julia and Nicholas' relationship will take after the events at the end of the book (hint.hint... Brenda PLEASE cover these in the sequel!:D) I really did love this book and would recommend it to all YA readers that enjoy good vamp fiction!

Thank you ladies for taking the time to read and review my book!

Hugs, Brenda

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What I'm reading...

My life doesn't allow many free time activities. Mostly, I rush to get things done while my youngest (who'll be two in July) naps or after the kids go to bed. Today, I plan to work on a few clients websites, blogging a quick post and maybe working on a chapter or two of book two of The Emerald Talisman. Of course, accomplishing all that will be in my dreams, so... I'm on a time diet. Yes. I found a cool time tracker so I can't fool myself anymore. It's called Toggl and so far, we are good friends. (blogging... 12 mins and counting)

But, when I do get a chance, I read. I'm enjoying Sea Change by Aimee Friedman right now. It's a little slow in going, but I do appreciate the author's creative weaving of the environment and the little details of Selke Island. I'm just getting to the good romantic stuff, so I hope to fly through the rest. But if I had my choice, I'd be in the summer cottage, The Mariner, right now. Ugh, I really miss the beach.

Where would you be right now if you could?

Hugs, Brenda
(ohh. new record. 15 mins and done! Onto the next task -- hubby would be so proud)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Reviews are in....

After waiting on pins and needles, the reviews are coming in.... and they are great! * happy dance*

It's not an easy thing to send your babies out into the world and cross your fingers and toes that it will be received well, but I no longer need to worry!

Thank you ladies for taking the time to read and review!

So without further ado.... here's what they say. *WARNING -- SPOILERS*

If sometime you literally asked yourself how would be the life of a possible vampire hunter who has no idea this beings exist and the help of "one of them" to train her, The Emerald Talisman main character could be a good example. The Emerald Talisman narrates the story of Julia, a simple girl with a singular talent. Julia's life goes out normally until one night when she is attacked by X creature and handsome Nicholas saves her life. This is where our main character's eye opener to a world surrounded by supernatural forces and even her mother's disappearance will be one of the puzzle's pieces. There's two aspects I've really liked from the story. One is that in the story, vampires are more of a force than a constant. Second, the singular characteristics that Pandos grants her vampires are interesting and could define it as a crossover between Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Twilight. My favorite part is ENIGMA's appearance since it gives the story another supernatural touch and separates it from other story's comparisons. The title has an important meaning and role in the story. The end is satisfactory and leaves the possibility for more Julia and Nicholas adventures. The question would be "Would we see story sidekicks?". I hope we do. The Emerald Talisman is a new promising story for a new vampire saga.

The Emerald Talisman was an enchanting, stimulating, and eloquently written book. Brenda introduced a promising vampire series that would interest fans of Twilight and The Vampire Diaries. Julia, the female protagonist was quirky yet endearing. Her ability to feel emotions from others curiously drew my attention. The story opened up with Julia's car breaking down. Now, instead of taking the safe walk to her home, she decides to naively take a short cut through the woods. The suspense and fear through the woods was perfectly executed. I felt every emotion Julia experienced. There, she was pursued by a dark entity whose hunger was overwhelming. Fortunately, for her sake, Nicholas, the infamous vampire slayer, showed up. I really liked his personality and the aspect of him being half vampire and half human was refreshing. The only part that annoyed me about Julia was how her feelings for Nicholas escalated quickly. I didn't feel it was realistic and Nicholas was not yet swoon worthy for me to understand.

Throughout the book, she was easily persuaded by prey and I wish she'd use her intelligence to fluctuate her decisions. But, Julia does show signs of strength, especially towards the end. I have a feeling she will grow into a very important figure as the saga progresses. Nicholas and his determination to keep her safe was admirable. His voice of reason balanced her lack of better judgment. Another part of the book I enjoyed was the mystery behind Julia's mother's disappearance. As it slowly unraveled, I became more involved and yearned to learn more about the situation. I look forward to the sequel, which I am sure will reveal the key to all my questions. I am excited to see where Brenda will take Nicholas and Julia's relationship and also all the creatures of the night that will get thrown in their way!

This book was a great book for anyone in love with vampires. There's a lot of action, and that's what I liked most. Though fast paced, it's also a leisure story. The beginning alone is captivating, from there it's all uphill. The excitement I felt in the first few moments of this book carries throughout. Her characters are well developed and concise, emitting a feeling of true connection to the author herself. She speaks with knowledge toward the fleeting emotions of a sixteen year old, and the sudden romance we all once had.  Great for a Sunday afternoon spent reading! (Just don't read it too late at night!)


Thanks ladies!!!

Hugs, Brenda 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Congrats - Contest winner!!

Congrats to Taylor, of the Library Lurker who won my latest contest! She'll be receiving a book bag and ARC copy of The Emerald Talisman!


Hugs, Brenda