Friday, August 9, 2013

Protector: Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway

Today I have the pleasure of spotlighting a series that I've grown to love. :) Check out my review of the first book, Protector. I also have an exclusive author interview with Joanne Wadsworth below, as well as an international giveaway for two ebook copies of Protector!

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*I received a copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 stars!
At first glance, Protector is a sci-fy novel. But it also has fantastical elements because the people of Magio (a planet like Earth) have powers and strength skills. Not all of them do, though. And it's very rare for an Earthling to have the skills that our main character, Faith, has. And it's even rarer that she should have the strength skills of forethought and forewarning when no one outside of the royal families of the two feuding countries do. It's a mystery that puts Faith in danger. And it's a mystery that everyone wants to unravel, especially the Loveria family of Peacio. 

At the start of the novel, we find that Faith knows all about Magio. But she has a hard time believing anything that Belle, an empath, is telling her. She has to be crazy, right? And this telepathic link between the two of them is just her imagination? But, without a doubt, Magio is real. And so is the idea that she has some powerful skills. 

I thought Faith was a strong character, one who understood that the her life wasn't all black and white. A girl who gave her father a second chance. A girl who stuck to her morals and what she thought was right even when the man she was falling in love with didn't believe her. She didn't know anything about Dralion (the country of Peacio's enemy) or its ruthless ruler, yet she went because she knew her father deserved this chance to make things right with her mom and her. She's stubborn, has a temper, but ultimately, she will do whatever she can for the people she loves. That selflessness makes her an awesome heroine. 

When she meets Davio, the Prince of Peacio, she finds out he's her soul mate, a bond that given time to strengthen, would cause problems for both of them. She's a Halfing, and her father is a Warrior of Dralion, Peacio's sworn enemy. But they both don't count on the strength of that soul-bond, or the fact that she needs his protection after learning some curious secrets about herself and her family's genes. 

I love the idea of these soul-bonds! It's so romantic! And it's kind of awesome that the women hold the power. I didn't think of it that way until later on, but they really do. Men are pretty much helpless when it comes to their mates. If they try and break the bond, it hurts them. The woman they mate with is always on their minds, and the need to protect her is so great they'll do anything for her. They become quite miserable without their bond with the woman, and if they try to have a relationship with another, it's hard for them. For the women, too. But giving up the soul-bond and releasing each other is rarely done. But then again, a soul-bond between two sworn enemies never happens. It's just one of many obstacles that Davio and Faith must face. 

And oh, Davio is pretty swoon-worthy. I mean, there's a fine line between being overprotective and being controlling, and I didn't think he ever crossed it. His need to keep Faith safe, and his growing feelings for her made him feel the need to suffocate her with protectors and orders. And he's a Prince, so ordering people around is what he does. But Faith is the perfect match for this stubborn, take-charge man. They've both never met anyone so infuriating, or so absolutely perfect for them. 

When I first read that they were mates I thought, oh God, it's going to turn into insta-love, isn't it? I detest insta-love! But.... this relationship between Davio and Faith never felt like insta-love. Sure, the story that was told was only a few weeks' time. But they didn't just automatically say I love you. Let's get married and live in Peacio for the rest of our 120 years. In fact, in the beginning, neither of them want this bond between them. Davio knows that she's only a Halfing, and Faith still doesn't wholly believe in this planet called Magio. It isn't until she's attacked by a warrior that Davio and his protectors return to keep her safe, and that she finally realizes the truth that's been clawing at her mind for the last week since Belle came to Earth. And the prince needs to find out what where she got her powers from, and why he's mated to an Earthling, because that never happens. Their relationship slowly developed from distrust and dislike to love. I'm still curious, though, why they never formed a telepathic link like they should have...

Anyway, her father's return and his heritage creates obstacles for their relationship. As does the blood boiling rage Faith feels whenever she and Davio are within sight of each other and are not touching. Her ties to her father are as strong as her soul-bond with the prince. And when her father wants to reunite his family, she jumps at the chance. But her mom ultimately pays the price. That kind of selflessness for her daughter's safety was amazing. Though, I think she will come to terms with her new role. 

Faith is still trying to figure out her strength skills and where they come from, though that is still undetermined. And it's a shocking revelation that almost kills her. And at the end of the book, there are still loads of questions unanswered, and the two lovebirds are not in the clear yet. For they may have found love, but the feud between their families is ageless and strong, solidly made of concrete. 


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I loved the world of Magio, and the people. The two main characters, along with their friends, protectors, and families, are a great cast of Magiolings. I loved seeing the different relationships built between them, and loved seeing how they protect each other even when they're fighting. I loved the idea of soul-bonds. I'm a hopeless romantic, so it absolutely made me swoon. <3 

I liked the distinction of Earth and Magio, the differences and comparisons. Magio is a few centuries behind and doesn't rely on technology, yet most Magiolings who come from Peacio can blend in on Earth as naturally as Faith. The distinction was also in the way Davio and his protectors spoke compared to how Faith and her friend, Silvie, did. Although, at times, Faith's character spoke as formally as they did, even though she's clearly lived on Earth her whole life. 

This was actually a pretty quick read for me (well, compared to ones that take me days). I was hooked from the beginning, and I was very interested to see how everything came together. Some of it was a little predictable, and at times, Magio and its ways were very hard to understand. But I liked this new world. And its people. :)

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I was wondering if Warrior (Magio-Earth, #2) would continue with Faith and Davio's story, but I see now that it doesn't. Instead it involves two other characters, one of whom we already know from this book. But I hope that we still see more of all of these characters, and that more questions will be answered. And I'd love to see the countries of Peacio and Dralion unite. :)


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Exclusive Author Interview with Joanne Wadsworth! 

Please welcome Joanne Wadsworth, author of the Magio-Earth series! :)

How did you come up with the world of Magio and its people? 
I was so drawn to writing a young adult series. It’s such a fabulous genre, so one afternoon I picked up a pad and pen and began jotting down ideas about another world, one where the people lived without all the conveniences of modern technology. These people though, had strength skills, the abilities of teleportation, forethought, the battle skills and so much more. I decided their world would be one land, but with two warring nations. Those from the hostile and unforgiving lands of Dralion would desire the riches of Peacio’s nation, and the reigning kings of both would be the fiercest of enemies. From there I built my cast, which of course included characters from Earth. That was a must. I wanted characters from both worlds to come together.


Why are Peacio’s people called protectors and Dralion’s people called warriors? Are they essentially the same? 
Yes, they’re the same but with different titles. Peacio’s protectors are often called to defend and protect their rich lands against Dralion’s elite fighting force of warriors. Because of that, it only seemed right to give them separate names.


I just *love* the idea of people finding true love through these soul-bonds. What was the inspiration behind them? 
I loved the idea of two people holding the other half of each other’s soul. Magiolings are mated from birth, but the bond doesn’t activate until they reach adulthood at eighteen. At that point the male feels the overwhelming urge to hunt down his female. Since she holds the other half of his soul, his desire to protect her is intense.


I also loved the family aspect, the blood-bonds, that were present in the story. Was it important for you that your characters have strong family ties?
Absolutely. The blood-bond between family members is almost as strong as the soul-bond between mates. Family members are loyal and drawn to protect and fight for each other. That element also brought the tension into play in both books. In Protector, it was discovered Prince Davio of Peacio, was in fact soul-bound with Faith, a young woman from Earth, and she wasn’t all she appeared.


Out of Protector and Warrior, which character was your favorite to write about? Your least favorite? Were any of their personalities hard to portray in the stories?
Faith just edges out as my favorite. She’s the heroine from Protector. I love her snarkiness. She’s feisty and strong, but she also loves with all her heart. She also kept throwing me curveballs as I wrote her story. I never knew where she was going to lead me next. She was a ton of fun to write.
My least favorite is Donaldo, Dralion’s king. He just can’t see past his own desire to rule all of Magio. He cares only about the fight.


Were there any plot points that surprised you when you were writing? Or did you stick to a planned outline?
I had the basics outlined, but the characters really drove their stories. Faith continuously threw me in the backseat. She loved taking over every aspect of her story. I was like really? I’m the author, right? Can’t I have a little say here? The answer was no every time. She’s one feisty heroine.
In book two, Warrior, the heroine is Hope, and this book is her and Silas’s story. Hope and Faith though have a certain tie to each other, although I won’t give away what that is. I found Hope to be as determined as Faith. Those two girls certainly kept me on my toes. I simply adore Hope, and I loved that she was so dedicated to finding out where her unknown mother had come from.


If you could have just one strength skill (or power?) out of all of the ones mentioned, which would you want the most? For me, it would have to be the manipulation of water, like Hope and Elizara. I’d say teleportation, but I think it would just make me lazy because I wouldn't have to walk or drive anywhere. :P 
I’d go with teleportation. I don’t mind being lazy. :) Although, I have to say, I wouldn't mind having Faith’s forethought. Those visions can alter the future.


I have a feeling Carlisio would be up for peace between the two countries, but I have to wonder if Donaldo will ever give up his hunger for power. Will we see more of the two families’ history? And will we see more of the politics of Magio in future books? 
Donaldo is hungry for power, and that really comes through in book three. You’ll see a lot more of him and Dralion. You’ll also get to meet some new protectors and warriors, and see some amazing new skills return which have been lost for generations.


How many books are in this series? I know we haven’t seen the last of these Magiolings! :) 
Loads. There will be several books in this series, and each one will feature a separate hero and heroine. The characters you come to love throughout them all, return in future books, and the cast continues to grow.


Can you give us any hints as to what the third book is gonna bring? Who will be the main characters? I have an idea, but I might be wrong. ;)
I sure can give you a hint. Book three, Enchanter, is Silvie’s story. She discovers she’s soul-bound to Guy, a warrior enchanter from the enemy nation. Silvie is also Faith’s best friend, and Faith and Hope are right there in the mix. Silvie and Guy have so many obstacles to overcome, but that only made their story more fun to write. Enchanter is set to release May 2014.


Random question (because I’m a random person): Are you reading any book(s) right now? If so, which one(s)?
I’m just about to read Hope’s Decree. The author, Angela McPherson, is a young adult writer and asked me to review her debut novel before it releases. I’m super honored she asked. I can’t wait to get started on it.


This or That
Coke or Pepsi? Coke.
Superman or Batman? Superman. Now he has some wicked powers I’d like.
Books or Movies? Books, although my parents actually own a cinema. :) I should go to the movies more often, except I’m always writing. The last movie I got to watch though was Man of Steel. I had to go for Superman.


Thank you for chatting with me about your books, and for answering some pretty random questions, too. :) I really love this series, and I can’t wait for more of these characters and their world!

Thanks so much for having me over, Holly. I loved being here, and I’m thrilled you loved the series.


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Joanne Wadsworth Bio: 
AUTHOR, Where Romance Meets Fantasy and Adventure…

Reading romance books captivated Joanne Wadsworth as a teenager, particularly when she tucked herself into bed at night and continued to dream those stories as she slept. She'd visualize the direction, taking the hero and heroine on an adventure unparalleled to what she'd read. Today she is devoted to writing romance, bringing her imagination to life within the lines of young adult, contemporary, and historical Highlander. Born in New Zealand, Joanne works both as a writer and a financial controller, all while keeping up with her four energetic children and dreamy husband.


AUTHOR WEBSITE & BLOG: http://www.joannewadsworth.com
BARNES & NOBLE PAGE (For books)http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/joanne-wadsworth

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GIVEAWAY TIME! :)

***Joanne has been kind enough to offer up two ebook (Kindle or Nook) copies of the first book in her Magio-Earth series, Protector. Her second book, Warrior, is set to release in September. :)***

The Fine Print:
These rules are put in place to make sure that this giveaway runs smoothly. :)
  • You must be 13 years or older!
  • This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, so everyone can enter (as long as you have a way to read ebooks)!
  • Giveaway ends on August 20th. Winners will be chosen randomly through rafflecopter on August 21st. 
  • I will email the winners, and in turn, give their emails to the author so she can send them the book. :)
  • Winners will have 72 hours to respond to my email. 
  • Because I'm not providing for the giveaway, I'm going by the honor system. Please do not cheat with your entries!
Good luck and have fun! :)

3 comments:

  1. Great review and interview. I love how your interview makes me feel like I am eavesdropping on a conversation between the author and you. I find it interesting that all the characters have different powers and that each book is written from a different couples perspective...that has been a reoccurring theme in the books I have been reading of late. I just want to pick up this book right now and get started - the soul-bonds concept seem rather enticing.
    Rachel @ http://thebigbookbinge.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you. :) And I also love how each book features a different couple. It's nice to keep the focus on only the two characters and their relationship. I'm a hopeless romantic, so I loved the soul-bonds aspect of the book. Good luck on the giveaway! :)

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    2. Thanks! I am told that I am a hopeless romantic as well so I understand. :)

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