Monday, July 9, 2012

T.G. Ayer stops by for a guest post and a giveaway!

Hey everyone! I would like you all to meet T.G. Ayer author of Dead Radiance. I'm her stop today for the Reading Addiction Blog Tours! In today's post you will get an author's bio, a synopsis of her awesome novel, my review, a guest post, AND a giveaway! I know - that's a ton of stuff! I'm super lucky!

Author Bio

I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other's loves

– it works wonderfully…

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.

The Synopsis:

Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow. But it is only when her best friend dies that she discovers the meaning of those beautiful golden auras - Death. Alone, lost in the foster system, she struggles to understand who she is and why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead.

The new foster kid, Aidan, isn't helping any. Mr. Perfect seems to fit in no matter what, making her feel even more pathetic. But when his affections turn to her, Bryn finds him hard to resist. Impossible actually. A mystery himself, Aidan disappears, leaving behind a broken heart and a mysterious book that suggests Bryn might not be entirely human. Bryn stands at the threshold of a journey of discovery. Will destiny help her find herself, find her purpose and her place in a world in which she'd never belonged?

My Review:

I've never read something about the valkyerie lore, but found myself instantly drawn to it, because Thor's (yes the comicbook series) had already introduced some of the characters to me - thought different personalilties, I easily recognized them. 

I thought Ayer did a great job explaining the "nitty-gritty" of what it mean for Bryn to be a Valykerie. I think I got to know the characters in Asgard really well, their personailites, their purpose to help Freya. It was in Asgard that I saw Bryn really develop. Before her arrival to Asgard, I was unsure of what made her tick, and I got a better understanding of why she was gaurded and why she was so sharped tongued on Earth.

Now, while I got to know the people of Asgard, I do feel that I didn't get to know Joshua and Aiden the way that Ayer wanted me too. I know Bryn really cares for both guys, and I have a strong understanding of who they are, but no connection. I wished there were more little moments earlier on, especially with Aiden, so I could see where Bryn's love for him comes from. 

The main conflict isn't a "In your face" conflict, it's subtle, but by no means boring. I can't really explain too much of it, because then I will be ruining and spoiling the book. 

For the first 100 pages, I will say, I had no idea where Ayer was going with the story, but in a good way. She threw a lot of twists at me, then she would sum it up for me, put me back on course and then derail me again. Worth it!

Writing Quirks and Must Haves

Until I thought about it I hadn't realised that I do have a few 'writing quirks'. Amazing what you figure out when you are forced to examine your process.

To start off with, I always need a good pen- my favourites is a LAMY Ballpoint – a gift from my dear friend Kim.

Because I am so easily distracted by emails, the Facebook and the Twitter, I prefer to go through them before I start writing, otherwise it will just bug me and mess with my concentration.

Part of my routine is to chat with my 2 writing buddies Patti and Cassie- we chat several times a day every day on Skype- have word wars and sometimes do butt-kicking duty
I must have my chap-stick right beside my keyboard; I hate having to get up and go look for it.
A bottle of water- absolutely necessary.

I usually make my lunch when I prepare the family lunches every morning. So it's all wrapped and ready to eat when lunchtime comes around. If I have to do more than unwrap and chew then I get annoyed and might not eat lunch at all- which is definitely a bad thing.
A pair of fingerless gloves in winter.

Writing music- During the day, when the house is empty I write without music, unless the neighbours are yelling or annoying me with their own loud music or screaming kids. Then I use my music to drown them out. Once my girls are home, and because my 'study' is located in my lounge, I drown out extraneous sounds by sticking my earphones in my ears. Of course, when I am writing an intensive action or emotional scene I listen to Linkin Park or Daughtry or Melody Gardot- whatever suits the scene.

Editing music -  When I am editing, my music preference is different. When I first started writing I used to listen to a playlist of all the Coldplay CD's I owned. Now, for some reason, I always use that CD to edit to. It's calming, and not intrusive enough to mess with my concentration while I edit.

I don't snack while I write, amazing ideas come to me in the shower and I have an aversion to my treadmill which happens to occupy space in my study and which I just happen to not use on a daily basis. And that's it as far as I can think of.

 I'm going to have to think on my quirks! Thanks for stopping by everyone!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of
this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading
Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was
no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not
necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure
is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of
Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

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  1. Great post from this author, Michelle! I've been curious about this book for awhile, because it sounds awesome. I really liked reading about TG's writing habits and quirks!

  2. This book sounds great. I love all sorts of mythology, so I'm definitely going to have to check this one out. Great review.

  3. I entered but I wasn't sure if this was international?
    actually i've just realised that i already have a copy of this on my kindle!

  4. Oh I saw this one somewhere, but don't remember where. I do like the sounds of it. Glad to see your thoughts on it. :) Thank you!