Giveaway and Exclusive Interview: Jennifer Estep

Jennifer Estep joins us today to talk about her new book YA fantasy Touch of Frost, on sale today in stores! Here’s a link to my review of the fantastic book.
And keep reading after the interview for a giveaway of Touch of Frost!

Can you tell us a bit about Touch of Frost in your own words?

Sure. Touch of Frost is the first book in my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.

In Touch of Frost, Gwen is getting used to going to a new school and trying to figure out how she fits in with the other warrior whiz kids, as she calls them. Gwen doesn’t think that she belongs at Mythos Academy, but when a girl is murdered in the Library of Antiquities, Gwen decides to use her psychometry magic to figure out who killed the girl and why. Of course, Gwen gets into a lot of trouble along the way.

Basically, Touch of Frost features myths, magic, monsters, and mean girls.

The mythology and lore is quite extensive in this series debut. How much research did you have to do?

I researched information on various gods, goddesses, monsters, and more. But really, I tried to put my own spin on things. I’m using a lot of Greek and Norse myths in the books, but I’m definitely twisting and changing them around to fit in with the world that I’ve created and the story that I want to tell – about this girl who finds out that she’s stronger and more of a warrior than she ever thought she could be.

A majority of recent YA fantasy seems to be geared toward the female audience. What do you think sets apart your new series from others?

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Book Review: Touch of Frost

Touch of Frost, by Jennifer Estep

After her mother died, Gwen Frost is forced to attend Mythos Academy, a school for warrior youth – Amazons, Spartans, Valkyries, and many more – straight out of legends and myths. But Gwen has her own unique brand of magic. Descended from Gypsies, Gwen has the ability to see the history of an object when she touches it. This comes in handy when hired by her peers to find stuff for them, for a small fee of course. But until Gwen stumbles across the dead body of a classmate, she truly had no idea how dangerous attending Mythos Academy could be.

Gwen is a fantastic character, easy to like and sympathize with. She is jaded because of her mother’s death, and feels like an outcast in her school full of warriors as she is the lone Gypsy. But as she slowly begins to make friends at her new school, Gwen begins to soften to those she had stereotyped. Estep’s Mythos Academy has the feel of Rick Riordan’s popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, yet with older teens and set primarily on the academy grounds. This is high praise, as the Percy Jackson series is a favorite of mine. And the Mythos Academy soon grew to a similar level of mystery and awe in my eyes.

This is the first in Estep’s new young adult series. As a fan of her other fantasy novels, I had high expectations. And I was still blown away. Hooked from the start, I couldn’t put this riveting series debut. Full of mystery, adventure, drama, and a bit of romance – fantasy fans of all ages will enjoy this exciting story. With a surprising and climactic ending, readers will be left eagerly awaiting the next installment. There is an incredible amount of potential for this series. I can’t to see where it goes. Don’t miss this one.

Touch of Frost releases from Kensington Teen on July 1, 2011.

Movie Review: Captain America: The First Avenger


Captain America: The First Avenger

During World War II, Steve Rogers is eager to enlist to serve his country and defend it against invaders. But Steve is a scrawny 95 pound young man with asthma and a weak heart. But a doctor sees Steve’s eagerness and determination and decides to give him a chance in a special experimental division of the army. There, Steve proves himself worthy and brave enough to be the first test subject for a super-soldier serum. Meanwhile, a Nazi scientific faction called Hydra has found a remarkable substance that just may change the course of the war.

With extraordinary special effects and CGI, Chris Evans begins the film as a small, weak man. His transformation to Captain America is worth the price of admission alone. Evans completely embodies both Steve Rogers – the brave but bullied weakling to the strong super-soldier. Tommy Lee Jones plays Captain America’s commanding officer to scene-stealing perfection. And supporting roles by Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Sebastian Stan (‘Bucky’ Barnes), Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark), and Stanley Tucci (Dr. Erskine) added humor and heart to the film. Hugo Weaving was chilling and brilliance as Johann Schmidt, the evil mastermind behind Hydra.

The story takes place almost completely in 1942, with beautiful settings and Stark-infused technology and fun gadgets. With plenty of action, adventure, suspense, and laughs – fans of all ages will enjoy this fantastic re-imaging of an iconic super hero. It would have been easy to make this a simple action/adventure film, but the writers did an amazing job of infusing drama, patriotism, and light-hearted humor to balance the story. This comic book fan had high hopes and was not disappointed. Intrigue, excitement, and romance – the film is riveting from beginning to end.


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