Book Spotlight: The Moon Dwellers by David Estes

The Moon Dwellers

Title: The Moon Dwellers (The Dwellers Saga, #1)

Genre: Young Adult Dystopain

Publisher: David Estes

Release Date: June 30, 2012

Blurb:

In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground, into the depths of the earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms.

After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, seventeen-year-old Adele, a member of the middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents’ crimes of treason.

Against all odds, Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family, while being hunted by a deranged, killing machine named Rivet, who works for the President. She is helped by two other inmates, Tawni and Cole, each of whom have dark secrets that are better left undiscovered. Other than her friends, the only thing she has going for her is a wicked roundhouse kick and two fists that have been well-trained for combat by her father.

At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the President and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life.

When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to mysteriously follow Adele as she seeks to find her family and uncover her parents true past.

In their world, someone must die.

 

Author Bio:

Author of popular YA dystopian series, the Dwellers Saga and the Country Saga. Voted books to read if you enjoyed the Hunger Games on Buzzfeed and Listopia.

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. David grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife. A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children’s and YA markets in 2010, and started writing full time in June 2012.  Now he travels the world writing with his wife, Adele. David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad -skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.

Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Excerpt:

 

Prologue

Adele

7 months ago

Hands grope, men shout, boots slap the rock floor.

Clay dishes and pots are smashed to bits as the Enforcers sweep recklessly through our house. There are more bodies in the tiny stone box that I call home than ever before. The walls seem to be closing in.

My mother’s face is stricken with anger, her lips twisted, her eyebrows dark. I’ve never seen her fight like this. I’ve never seen her fight at all.

It takes three bulging Enforcers to subdue her kicking legs, her thrashing arms. For just a moment I am scared of her and not the men. I hate myself for it.

I realize my sister is by my side, watching, like me. I can’t let her see this—can’t let this be her last memory of the ones who raised us. I usher her back into the small room that we share with my parents, and close the door, shutting her inside alone.

When I turn back to the room, my mother is already gone, taken. Undigested beans from our measly supper rise in my throat.

My father is next.

The Enforcers jeer at him, taunt him, spit on him. As he backs his shoulders against the cold, stark, stone wall, five men corner him. Smart. They don’t underestimate him.

He makes eye contact with me; his emerald-green eyes are hard with concentration. Despite the inherent tension in the room, his face is relaxed, calm, the exact opposite of his eyes. Run, he mouths.

My feet are frozen to the floor. My knees lock, stiffen, disobey me and my father. I am ashamed. After all that my father has done for me, when it counts the most, I fail him.

One of the men lifts an arm and a gun. I hold my breath when I hear the shot, a dull thwap! that doesn’t sound like a normal gun. The man moves backwards slightly from the force, but his le gs are planted firmly and he maintains his balance.

Father slumps to the floor. I feel my lips trembling, and my hand moves unbidden to my mouth. My frozen feet melt and I try to run to him, but a big body bars my way. I kick him hard, like my father taught me. My heel catches the Enforcer under his chin and his head snaps back. Like most people, he underestimates me.

The next Enforcer doesn’t.

The Taser rips into my neck and tentacles of electricity slam my jaw shut. My teeth nearly snap off my tongue, which is flailing around in my mouth. They don’t take it easy on me just because I’m a kid, or a girl—not after what I did to the first guy. Still stunned by the Taser, I barely feel the thump of their hard boots as they kick me repeatedly in the ribs. My eyes are wet, and through my blurred vision I see the arcing nightstick.

Strangely, it feels like destiny, like it was always going to happen.

I hear my sister’s screams just before I black out.

 

Tristan

A brief history of the Tri-Realms

They say the meteor was enormous. Any life left on the surface of the earth when it hit was wiped out by either the shockwave caused by the collision, or the resulting tsunamis unleashed across the world’s oceans. Humans were forced to move underground. Or so the story goes.

Secretly, government scientists expected it for years, using covert teams of miners to dig the world’s largest caverns in preparation for the inevitable. But still: There wasn’t room for everyone. It would’ve been terrible: the Lottery. Families ripped apart; friends lost; blossoming relationships cut off at the knees. Of course, key individuals, like politicians, doctors, scientists, and farmers received a free pass, but all others just got a number. The number gave them a one in a hundred chance of getting selected to move into the underground facilities.

All the rest were destroyed.

And that was just the United States. No one knows for sure what happened to the rest of the world. Perhaps they weren’t so prepared. Perhaps they were all dead.

Year Zero would have been difficult for everyone. Losing relatives who didn’t make the cut; eating from the rations of rice and beans and hoping it wouldn’t run out before the leaders and their teams of advisors could com e up with a way to grow food underground; most people becoming miners; living in darkness.

Now all of that is just a part of everyday life.

These days, time is measured from the day the meteor hit. Its 499 PM (Post-Meteor). Time before Armageddon is referred to as Before-Meteor, or BM. The funny thing about Armageddon: we survived. Well, some of us anyway.

Year Zero’s first president was Stafford Hughes. Things were run much like before Armageddon, albeit in a slightly more haphazard manner.

The U.S. Constitution was upheld, laws were revised as required for our new living situation, new laws were created.

But it didn’t last. It couldn’t last.

Things were too different. People were too scared. There was too much chaos.

More structure was required.

The first Nailin was elected to president in 126 PM. His name was Wilfred Nailin. He was my great-great (and a lot more greats) grandfather. At that point elections were still held regularly. Congress decided that given the state of America, elections should be held every five years instead of four, with the opportunity for reelection after the first term. But Wilfred wasn’t satisfied with ten years in power, so after his first reelection he pushed a new law through Congress that allowed for a third presidential term, but only if supported by the people, of course.

There were rumors of ballot-rigging.

After his second reelection, he passed a law that allowed him to remain in power indefinitely, assuming he obtained approval from Congress every five years. At the same time he passed a law that also permitted Senators and Representatives to maintain their elected positions indefinitely, unless the president released them from service. It was a circular system, one where bribery and deep pockets ruled. Who you knew meant much more than what you knew.

The people had lost their voice.

That wasn’t the end of it.

Wilfred’s next move was to secure his family’s future. He had one son, Edward Nailin. With the full support of Congress, Wilfred managed to pass a law that allowed positions to be handed down from generation to generation within each family, so long as Congress and the president unanimously approved it. Public elections continued to be held, but they were fixed so that no new contenders could infiltrate the inner circle of the government, which was holding all the cards.

It worked for a while. In fact, people seemed to like the more rigid and consistent structure. Soon, however, the gap started to widen between the classes. The wealthy began to take more and more liberties, much to the mid dle and lower classes’ frustration. The complaints started pouring in from those who were being disadvantaged, but they were largely ignored. It got to the point where fights were breaking out in the streets. “Elected” officials couldn’t walk down the street without being accosted by the poor and depressed. Something had to be done!

The Tri-Realms were created from 215 PM to 255 PM. First the Moon Realm was excavated, using the advancements in mining technology to create massive caverns deep beneath the original caverns, to build more cities in. Natural caves were used as a starting point, widened and heightened to the extensive size required to house thousands of people. Heavy beams of rock were used to support the caverns’ roofs, which were prone to cave-ins. Middle and lower class citizens were used to do the work, having been convinced by large salaries and the opportunity to “advance our civilization for the good of humankind.”

Once the caverns were complete, the workers were forced to take their families to live in them. Then the work on the Star Realm began, digging even deeper below the earth’s surface. Fewer resources were allocated to excavating the Star Realm, and therefore, the caverns were smaller, more confined, more densely populated. The poorest citizens were sent to live in the deepest caverns.

The top level was given the name of the Sun Realm.

Each of the Tri-Realms was split up into eight chapters, and each chapter into between two and six subchapters depending on its size, each of which was populated by between ten and a hundred thousand people.

Over time, taxes were increased annually for the moon and Star Dwellers, as those living in the Moon and Star Realms were called, until th

Sun Realm was receiving significant resources to improve their own caverns. Life was good for the Sun Dwellers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for anyone else.

The U.S. Constitution was legally abolished in 302 PM.

A Nailin has been in power for more than 350 years.

My father told my brother and me the whole story when we turned twelve. I still remember the smug smile on his face when he finished. He’s proud of what Wilfred accomplished.

I’m disgusted by it. Sometimes I think about it, and it makes me sick. Like now, lying in bed and wishing my mother was still around. I don’t know why I’m thinking about history right now, but I am.

 Buy it here:

 

See you next time!

-Angela

Yellowstone Vacation

Every year my family goes on a vacation. This year it was just me, my kids and my Uncle Ray. Traveling with little ones isn’t easy. Mine are ages four (five in a week) and two. I came up with a few ideas to keep them entertained on our long car rides.

First of all, I don’t go anywhere that is going to be longer than an hour without my in-car DVD players. We just bought the kind that strap onto the back of the front seats. Best investment ever!

Another must have, clipboard. The are great for coloring!

We made a travel bingo for my oldest to do in the car. I just printed on off for this trip. It had simple things like a cow, a horse, an airplane, a bus, a stop sign. Things that would be typically seen on the road. Next time I might make one more specific for the trip. When we go to Yellowstone again I’ll add a buffalo, and a cowboy. (Wyoming has many cowboy signs)

Those magnetic coloring boards. This was most entertaining to my two year old. He loved it! He also had a few picture books to look at.

My Uncle Ray is a wonderful, talented photographer and was kind enough to let me post some of his pictures from the trip. If you are interested in any of the pictures you can message him on facebook.

YStetons.2013

Ray awoke early one morning and decided, at 6 a.m., that he might as well see what the dawn might offer. Well, it was 20 degrees and foggy along the Snake River Valley and below the Tetons and the full moon. Chilly, but not toooo bad. (Sept. 20, 2013)

YSLake.2013

Morning mists have burned off, and a crystal clear blue sky and Mt. Moran reflect in the mirror-like Snake River Oxbox, near Grand Teton National Park’s Moran Junction, (Sept. 20, 2013)

YSelkbaby.2013

A mama and youngster elk sample the same tender grassy stalk – and perhaps a tender moment, as well – along the south bank of the Madison River, near West Yellowstone, Montana. (Sept. 20, 2013)

YSSummerOF.2013

 Summer demonstrates that Old Faithful is faithfully bursting forth, during our visit to Yellowstone National Park. (Sept. 20, 2013)

YSWestThumb.2013

Steam rises from beautiful, intriguingly deep Black Pool, in the West Thumb geyser area beside Yellowstone Lake in – where else – Yellowstone National Park. (Sept. 20, 2013)

YSElk.2013

A distant, handsome bull elk bugles at twilight in a fall-tinted meadow near Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park. (Sept. 20, 2013)



See you next time,

Angela

Book Spotlight: Not Your Average Fairy Tale by Chantele Sedgwick

 

NotYourAverageFairyTaleCover

Title: Not Your Average Fairy Tale

Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

Release Date: August 1st 2012

Blurb:

Ash Summerland has it all-good looks, popularity, and the best grades at The Academy of Magical Beings. Ready to complete his last assignment in order to graduate, Ash is confident he will get the apprenticeship he wants. but when he opens the letter from the Council, he is shocked to discover he has been assigned to apprentice Lady Shenelle, Keeper of Happy Endings- aka the head fairy godmother. Ash is forced to grant three wishes to a troubled human girl named Kendall, and ultimately give her a “happy ever after.” But Kendall turns out to be more than he bargained for. Still grieving over her father’s death, she doesn’t want anything to do with Ash. And worst of all, she doesn’t believe in happy endings.

 

Author Bio:

ChanteleSedgwickpicture

Chantele Sedgwick grew up playing the harp and singing. Little did anyone know, she always had stories floating around in her head. After she had her second baby, she finally realized she should probably write them down. Pursuing publication was something she only dreamed about, but now her dream is coming true.

The discovery of a first love, first kisses, and the many emotions teens go through, pushed Chantele to find her niche in writing teen fiction. Some of her stories share a few of her own experiences, but most of them are just fantasies she wished happened to her as a teen. She’s a sucker for a great love story and always enjoys a happy ending. She tends to have a thing for the “bad boys” in books, unless they’re total jerks. Then she’ll root for the good guy.

When she’s not writing, Chantele can be found spending time with her husband and four beautiful kids, or driving her sisters crazy with random story ideas. NOT YOUR AVERAGE FAIRY TALE is her first book.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Review:

StarStarStarStarStar

This is such a cute book! Great for all ages, and trust me, even the boys will love this one. Very light and smooth to read. Yes, I did cry! The characters are both genuine and intriguing. I don’t want to give anything away! You’ll want to read this one for yourself.  I couldn’t put this book down when I read it. Now is a great time to start it because Mrs. Sedgwick’s sequel to Not Your Average Fairy tale which has an planned release date of March 2014.

Buy it here:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Not-Your-Average-Fairytale-ebook/dp/B008RANSN6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1378783097&sr=1-1&keywords=not+your+average+fairy+tale

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-your-average-fairy-tale-chantele-sedgwick/1112170164?ean=9781937254650

Don’t forget, one the best things you can do for an indie author is to leave a little review on the site where you purchased their book!

See you next time!

-Angela

New Schedule

This week started a new schedule for my family. I’m a born scheduler (although, I’ve had to taper off because my husband isn’t). I like to plan out my week every Monday. It keeps me organized and I have been called a scatter brain before and this helps with that. I’ve been doing basically the same thing every week for the last ten months. I was setting aside the hours that I can work and the hours that I can write and keeping up with housework and the kids’ needs. I was thrown for a loop this week.

My oldest started preschool. Now my mornings involve dropping her off and picking her up. I’ve found it is hard to find something to fill those two hours with. I tried to fill this time with writing or work. Instead of being productive, I was watching the clock and wasn’t fully invested in the project I was working on. So, starting next week I will dedicate that in-between time to going to the gym.

Now that I have my new schedule set up, I have to force myself to follow it. I have to adjust to change. It isn’t that I don’t like it. More that I ned that time to get used to it. I went through the same thing the start of every school year growing up. I had drill team practice at six in the morning before school everyday and new classes on top of that. I’m pretty much a zombie that first week until I get the schedule down. College was even harder for me because I had more opportunity to slack off.

Writing things down, like my schedule, helps me tremendously.

The responsibility you have over your time doesn’t end. The ability to manage it doesn’t necessarily get easier. Once I get into my groove, I am better with my time management.

I know that a fair bit of us are going through something similar right now. College class are going in full force, kids are going back to school. Just know that support from friends and family helps and we will all hit our groove. Until then, don’t give up because you feel overwhelmed with your new schedule.

I’m rooting for you! :)

See you next time,

Angela