Review of When Empires Fall by Katie Jennings

Evening all! Sorry it’s a late one today, but this post will be up all tomorrow as well, so it’s a super long one. Pull up your favourite chair, (why were you standing at the computer, anyway?) grab a delicious drink, and read today’s review! You can grab your copy of When Empires Fall here from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall…

In America, kings are not born, they are made. Men with ambition build their own empires and it is their heirs who carry the torch of tradition, generation by generation.

The Vasser Hotel Empire rose out of the ashes of an Industrial era, cementing itself in the very heart of America’s greatest city, New York. Through the drive and courage of one man, a legacy was born that would last more than a hundred years.

That is, until word got out that one of their own was murdered.

Sixty years of lies will come crashing down in flames of treachery and blood, and the truth will send shockwaves through an entire nation. Now the newest generation of Vasser heirs will have to deal with the consequences, or else allow their legacy to burn to the ground.

But dark secrets are buried deep within the family itself, and everyone has an agenda. Love of family and forbidden passion will set off sparks in a powder keg ready to annihilate the empire, but it may also be the only thing keeping them whole.

When reputation is everything, it will take all they’ve got to save themselves from their own undoing.

 

Good Points

Where to begin? At the beginning, I suppose and the first beginning must be the front cover. It’s stunning! And it really caught my attention. I don’t normally go for novels like this, as I think of them a bit like soap dramas in book form (and I don’t watch soap dramas), but this one was very different. From the first page, I was swept up by Katie Jennings’ depth and colourful descriptions. The characters were fantastic, and they really drove the story along; a grand story of the trials and tribulations of them and their hotel’s fortunes. The pacing was perfect, feeding you just enough to get you flicking over to the next chapter, but not giving away everything at once. And the ending! It was-well, it’s certainly left me waiting for the next book. 😉

 

Bad Points

If I had to be really, really picky, I would say that the beginning was a bit slow for me. Not that it wasn’t written well; slow starts are just not my taste. But I can see why people who like family saga novels generally would probably prefer that to build slowly to the drama. Also, I wondered if some of the characters were a little young for the storyline. Not that you CAN’T have 20-somethings running a hotel; I’m sure lots of them do. But most of the characters seemed to be within this age bracket, and I would have liked to see some older characters in there, to give it a more realistic feel.

 

Overall

This is a brilliant start to a great new series. I was hooked immediately, and I can’t wait to get my eager hands on the next one. Katie Jennings is a talented author, and I highly recommend this book to anyone-even if it isn’t your normal genre. This is one of those books that is worth reading even if it’s not normally your thing, if only for the quality of the writing and storyline.

 

I give this novel…..4/5 Stars! 

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Interview with Katie Jennings-And FREE Book!

Howdy everyone! Another awesome author interview, today with the lovely Katie Jennings. And on top of this, the first book in her Dryad Quartet, ‘Breath of Air’ is FREE today!

Katie Jennings is a mid-twenty-something year old girl with an imagination for days and a supportive husband who thinks she’s a colossal nerd. She writes because she loves it, and because breathing life into characters is the greatest escape she’s ever found. Most of her time is spent puttering around online, editing her latest book, or feeding people food to her cat. She lives just north of Los Angeles, and enjoys reading fantasy and romance novels, watching Once Upon a Time, playing around on Photoshop, and finding new music to fall in love with. She believes in, above all else, happy endings.

Hello Katie, it’s a pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog.

As everyone knows in my interviews-random question first! Your husband thinks you are a colossal nerd; what is the nerdiest thing you’ve ever done?

Wow, well there are a lot of things that happen on a daily basis that are super nerdy, but I guess one of the nerdier things would be my obsession with Severus Snape from Harry Potter.  Not only did I dress up as a Slytherin girl for Halloween (there’s a picture of it somewhere, I had the green and silver tie and even painted a dark mark on my arm), I also have bumper stickers on my car that proudly state “I ❤ SNAPE” and “SLYTHERIN.”  Yeah.  I drive a Toyota Yaris, which is a really girly-looking car, and my poor husband has to drive it around town with the Harry Potter stickers on it.  The things we do for love, right?

I’m sure he loves it really! 😀 Your first novel, Breath of Air, part one of the Dryad Quartet, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

Breath of Air is about a girl named Capri who has lived most of her life in an orphanage.  She was discovered at three years old abandoned in an alley in Richmond, Virginia, and has never known where she came from or who her real family is.  However, since she could remember she has had this strange gift.  She could shift the direction of the wind simply by imagining it; she had the ability to control birds and make them dance in her open palm; she could even create clouds from thin air in the sky above her, without any idea of how she could do it.  She thought it made her weird and strange, but little did she know that she was a part of something so much greater than she ever could have imagined.

On her eighteenth birthday, she is found by a young man named Liam, who claims to be from this extraordinary place called Euphora, which he also says is her home.  He takes her there, and she learns that she is an Air Dryad, a member of an elite group of beings who maintain the balance and stability of the Earth.  But of course there is someone amongst her newfound family who doesn’t want her there because he has a dark secret to hide about the night she was taken, and he worries she may remember.  Very quickly, strange things start happening and she finds herself in grave danger.  The mystery over who kidnapped her takes a scary turn as she finds herself the target of a demon that may be related to her kidnapping.  But as the pieces begin to unravel to reveal the truth, it becomes clear to Capri that there is so much more to what happened that night than any of her family realized, and the real culprit is living right beside them.

So what inspired this novel?

I knew I wanted to write a book about people who could control the elements, so I started there.  I began with coming up with personalities and physical descriptions for the characters, and then branched off into their personal histories.  Eventually I came around to including mythological elements in the premise for the book, and in turn the story blossomed into what it is now.  I decided to write a book about each main character (the Dryads), and formulated my plots for each individual book to gradually advance the main overlying plot of the series while still focusing on the main character and their personal struggles.

If your book was made into a film, who would play your main characters, and why?

Love this!  Well, I always pictured Capri as a classic beauty with big eyes and soft features, so actress Evan Rachel Wood would be a good choice.  For Rian (her love interest) I pictured someone like Benjamin McKenzie because he plays a cop in the TV show Southland and Rian is somewhat of a police officer himself.  For Blythe, I imagine someone like Bryce Dallas Howard because of her foxy looks and gorgeous red hair.  Rhiannon would have to be a tall, elegant beauty with long dark hair, so maybe someone like Megan Fox.  And lastly, for Liam (my personal favorite guy in the series), it would have to be Darren Criss (he plays Blaine in Glee for those who don’t know) because he has the best smile and plays guitar, just like the character.

Rrrrr! Very nice cast….I mean, er….no, I’m not drooling over the idea of  Benjamin McKenzie, what are you talking about? Moving quickly on, if you could be a character from one of your books for a day, who would you be and why?

I think it would be fun to be Blythe, and it’s funny because I’ve had other people tell me that they feel the same way after reading book two.  Something about her free spirit, fearlessness, and vivacity just appeals to me.  She is everything I wish I could be:  witty, adventurous, temperamental, spunky, passionate.  Plus she snags the attention of a sexy cowboy who hunts demons for a living, so who wouldn’t want to be in her shoes? 😉

Exactly! Sign me up. Where is he? 😀 So where can we find your novels?

The entire Dryad Quartet is available exclusively on Amazon and all four books are free in the lending library.  http://www.amazon.com/Katie-Jennings/e/B007SYJ37C/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1341334002&sr=8-2-ent

More information on the books can also be found on my website:  http://www.katieajennings.com

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Currently I am in the final editing stages of a romantic suspense novel entitled When Empires Fall, due to be released in August.  It is much darker, deadlier and sexier than the Quartet series (which has been called YA, though I never really considered it that).  The novel is about a prestigious New York City luxury hotel and the prominent family empire that runs it.  The book focuses on the newest generation learning that their great grandfather’s suicide from nearly sixty years earlier was actually murder, and that one of their own may have been the killer.  It includes a complex cast of characters all with agendas and motives that propel the family through even more scandal, murder, and distrust.  Weaved in-between are layers of forbidden romance, dirty politics, drug addiction, and deeply buried secrets that may just cost the family everything.  Stay tuned because this whole month I’ll be releasing sneak peeks about the book up until the release date!

Wow, sounds….murderous! Cannot wait for that to come out. Last question of randomness! If you could become a character from any book for a day, who would it be and why?

Back to being super nerdy…I would choose to be Lily Evans, Harry Potter’s mom, only so I could choose Snape over James Potter.  Yes, I know, that would mean Harry would never exist.  But at least she would have chosen the man who really loved and needed her, and she would probably still be alive!  See, it would work because with no Harry, we would instead be reading Neville Longbottom and the Sorcerers Stone because the prophecy in the book states…yeah, okay, too nerdy.  I could go on for hours but I’ll hold back J

You can find out more about Katie Jennings on Twitter, Facebook, her blog and her website. Thank you for being here, Katie, any parting words?

Only that I hope readers out there will come to love the Dryads just as much as I do.  They are all so special to me and truly came from my heart, and I feel as though I’ve created friends to carry with me everywhere I go.  And, no matter what, I believe in happy endings and most of all, love.

Absolutely, readers are the lifeblood of indie authors. It’s been great having you here 😀

Now look down to read a little more about Breath of Air, which don’t forget is FREE today!

Her name was Capri, and she was Air.

She was born with a gift she didn’t understand. A gift so strange, so remarkable that she had kept it secret for as long as she could remember, despising that it made her different when all she wanted was to be normal, to belong. As an orphan, belonging to someone, anyone, would have been an incredible blessing, one she would have given up all that she had just to get a taste of.

But the truth was that she didn’t belong in the orphanage in Virginia, or even in the United States. In fact, she didn’t belong with human beings at all. Because she wasn’t one of them, not really. She was something much more extraordinary.

She could shift the direction of the wind, create billowing clouds out of nothing, and charm birds into dancing on her open palm. She belonged to an elite group of beings, responsible for preserving the balance of nature and the safety of Earth from an underworld that deserved to be feared, and needed to be controlled. And after years of being lost, she had at last been found, and now the truth of how she had ended up so far from home was becoming horribly clear to her.

But there’s someone who doesn’t want her to return; someone who knows Capri was the only witness to an act of heinous treason and violent murder. And when she begins to search her memories for details of the night she was taken from her home, details that will implicate a killer, she finds herself the unwary target of an otherworldly dark force intent on silencing her by any means possible.

Click here to see the trailer for Breath of Air! (hint, it’s awesome) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNozN6sUZig&feature=plcp

You can find Breath of Air here for the US, and here for the UK.

And all of Katie Jennings’ other novels are here!