Sunday, September 25, 2016

Opal Charm: Tha Path to Dawn Review

Opal Charm: The Path to Dawn (Volume One)

by Miri Castor 

"The lively suburb of Dewdrop is home to many junior high school students, but none like Opal Charm. She struggles with life at home and doesn't have much of a life at school without any friends – until she befriends the new girl, Hope. Opal finds herself changing in extraordinary ways as she delves into the enigmatic life of Hope, the new girl's lies and truths blurring together. Opal stumbles across a world separate from Earth, a world she never would have thought existed. She discovers that she has a Gift, a power that can make her stronger than she ever imagined if she can distinguish the lies between the truths. When Dewdrop is threatened, Opal has to use her power to save not only her world, but the new one and its inhabitants before Opal succumbs to lies and finds herself falling from the Path to Dawn. The Path to Dawn is a coming-of-age story geared towards young adults. It is a story that should make one question the power of truth and lies."

First, I would like to say that I am one of those readers who will pick up a book at a store because the cover caught my eye -- granted the blurb of the back is usually the ultimate decider for me. Opal Charm: The Path to Dawn caught my eye immediately. I'd seen it floating around on tumblr for a while and finally decided I really wanted to read it.

Now, I'll admit, at first I really disliked Opal and her attitude. she reminded me too much of my little brother in his teenage years when he went through his whole "the world owes me a favor" phase. However, as the story progressed, Opal began to grow on me and I came to understand why she was like that. I think the author did very well in expressing how a teen Opal's age might feel when such events are thrust at her, between home life, school life, and the painful memory of her brother. My curiosity in her grew as the story progressed and the truth regarding the Charm family was revealed. Sorry, no spoilers from me!

There were times when the pace of the story was quite slow in the beginning. I think some of the school scenes could have actually been omitted without it affecting the story itself. Also, in the beginning, there were a few times the wording was clumsy and I was forced to reread a couple of sentences.

As secondary characters go, I totally fell in love with Evron -- no offense to Aaron. Evron's interactions with Opal left me wanting to see more. I will honestly say that I shall be eagerly awaiting the next installment to see how Opal continues to grow (and to watch her interactions with Evron)!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Upcoming Events


Sunday, October 9, 2016 -
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Where: From the comfort of your own home or anywhere with a wi-fi signal
When: All day
About: Virtual FantasyCon 2016 is an online 8 day Facebook event celebrating Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror! Come along and meet with authors, artists, bloggers, cosplayers, and more! It's just like a regular convention, except its free, you don't have to travel, and you can participate from anywhere you can get online. There will be giveaways, a blog hunt, and much more! The event will feature the following sub-genres:
Sunday, October 9th: Epic/Sword & Sorcery (Includes High Fantasy)
Monday, October 10th: Sci-Fi/Sci-Fi Fantasy/Time Travel
Tuesday, October 11th: Faiytale/Punk (Includes all versions of Punk)
Wednesday, October 12th: Paranormal/Urban 
Thursday, October 13th: Series/Short Stories
Friday, October 14th: Dystopian/Apocolyptic
Saturday, October 15th: Dark/Grim Dark/Horror
Sunday, October 16th: Children/YA Fantasy
I will be participating on Thursday for the Series/Short Stories event, although keep an eye out for your chance to win e-copies of my books and even bookmarks and swag throughout the event! Links to each sub-genre will be posted closer to the beginning of the event. Until then, join the Reader's Corner (https://www.facebook.com/events/1757708664480385/) to learn more about the authors participating and join in on fun games leading to the event kick off. This event is run and hosted by Fantasy - Flight of Imagination. Be sure to check out their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/AFlavourOfFantasy/ Don't want to miss out on the event? Sign up for the Newsletter below!



Saturday, October 22, 2016
Where: Brunswick Library, 3649 Center Rd., Brunswick, OH 44212
When: 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
About: I will be at the Brunswick Library on Saturday, October 22nd from 12:00 pm til 3:00 pm for the Local Author Expo.  This event is FREE and open to the public. There will be several authors attending or various genres and age groups. I will have copies of my books available for purchase (cash or credit only). Stop and grab some new reading material!
   
Want to know when an event is coming up before it is posted here? Sign up to receive my Newsletter!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dinner to Remember

Today my family lay to rest a wonderful woman. At 98 years old she lived a long life that allowed her to meet her great great grandchildren. During world war II she worked in a factory in Cleveland building bombs to help win the war. They called her Firebomb Aggie. In celebration of her life and nickname, we held a celebration of life dinner at the 100th Bomb Group Restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. My mother-in-law thought Agnes would have found it very fitting.
 We were a large party of eleven--nine adults and two children. (I'm sure they'll remember us. After eating our meals, we ordered nine more filet steaks to go for tomorrow). We started off by ordering one of each starter on the menu and shared it. We never did end up getting the shrimp, but that was fine. I very much enjoyed the Battered Green Beans, the Truffle Fries were amazing, as was the BBQ Pulled Pork Slider. The Mozzarella bites were tasty and although I didn't try them, everyone else seemed to love the Artichoke Dip and Calamari. Unfortunately, I did find the Short Rib Perogies to be a bit too bland for my liking. For the main meal, I ordered the 3 course filet cooked medium rare with the mixed green salad and balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The salad was nice and fresh and I didn't come across a single bad piece--which made me very happy. The filet was incredibly tender and flavorful. I was in heaven with each bite of it. It's been a long time since I've had a filet that good. I'm not a big fan of green beans, but I found them to be wonderfully crisp and good. The mashed potatoes were absolutely perfect.
I was quite full after all the starters and the meal itself, so I had a slice of cheesecake for dessert boxed up to take home. It was delicious as well, wonderfully creamy and without that certain dryness that I've encountered in other cheesecakes. I wish I had more!
My husband had the chocolate lava cake and was quite pleased with it. Aside from the mildly disappointing perogies and my nephew's dry fish sticks, my compliments go to the chef at this restaurant!

Now, for some general restaurant pictures! The exterior of the building makes me want to live there. So beautiful! And there are some old military vehicles about as well.
View from the parking lot.
Front entrance of the restaurant.

These planes actually move in the wind!
Field ambulance.



Beautiful event room I caught a glimpse into.
My son discovering how many Pokemon Go stops were at the restaurant.
View from the roof of the airport.
View from the roof of the airport.
My son was trying to take pictures of the planes taking off.




Sunday, July 31, 2016

Event Pictures ~ River City Book Bash

The River City Book Bash went well. I got to meet some wonderful people, readers and authors alike. The venue the event was held at was the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky in the Riverside Room (right across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio). I must say that the event runner, Christy Pritchard, did a wonderful job and I look forward to taking part again!
My table was by the windows, which was a wonderful spot except for taking pictures, lol! Author Mysti Parker got some amazing pictures if you'dlike to check them out: Mysti's event pictures.

Fantasy Author Intisar Khanani  and myself.


Between the lights overhead and window behind me, it was difficult to get good pictures of my table.



View from the Riverside room when the staff opened the blinds.

You can see Cincinnati, Ohio across the river quite well.
Before the event ended, I made my rounds around the tables and had my bag signed by all the author authors as a wonderful momento of the event.

The day before the event, my husband and I had the chance to hang out with friend and fellow fantasy author Intisar Khanani and her family. We got lost a few times in Cincinnati (why, oh why are there so many one way streets and highways/ramps to confuse the GPS?). I managed to get some beautiful pictures both wandering around lost and from the Purple People Bridge.
Purple People Bridge

Purple People Bridge

Lost in Cincinnati

Coal barge on river from the Purple People Bridge



Stunning shot of Cincinnati from the Purple People Bridge


Another stunning shot of Cincinnati from the Purple People Bridge


As my husband and I were driving down through Ohio, I decided to check the weather as it looked like there was rain in the distance. I decided the weather thought it was being funny and just had to take a screen shot of the smiley storm clusters.
Once the event was over, my husband and I packed up and began the lovely four hour drive from Newport, Kentucky back all the way up through Ohio back toward Cleveland. Our view along 71 North was pretty much this:
Corn. Everywhere corn.
The occasional town and corn.

Event

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

River City Book Bash


When: Saturday, July 30th, 11 am - 3 pm
Where: Newport Aquarium in the Riverside Room
              1 Aquarium Way
              Newport, Kentucky 41071

About: I will be one of the authors participating in the River City Book Bash in Newport, Kentucky (across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio) at the Newport Aquarium. General Admission is FREE and a RCBB 2016 bag will be provided to collect books purchased and swag in.I will have print copies of all my current books available as well as some free swag to take with you--bookmarks, key chains, buttons, and necklaces.

Attending Authors: Heather Adkins * Holli Anderson * C.J. Baty * JQ Beron * Jason Blayne * Shyla Colt * Marissa Dobson * Ren Garcia * Debra Gaskill * Meghan Hill * Courtney Houston * Janine Infante Bosco * Jillian Jacobs * Abigail Lee Justice * Katorah Kenway * Intisar Khanani * Jennifer Lane * Cherie Marks * Gwen Mason * Julie Mishler * Morgan Jane Mitchell * Mysti Parker * Susan Renee * Patricia Rose * Caitlyn Sabatino * Melissa Sasina * Shay Savage * Catherine Scott * G.L. Skye * Crystal Spears * Layla Stevens * Clint Thurmon * Melissa Toppen * Mia Villano * Susan Ward * Jessica Wilde

Learn more about the River City Book Bash at: http://rivercitybookbash.webstarts.com/ 

Would you like me to participate in an event, live appearance or online? Let me know! http://www.melissasasina.com/contact