Blog Tour: Mine To Spell by Janeal Falor

About this time last year, I read and reviewed a book called You Are Mine, which I really enjoyed. I’m excited to announce that I’m taking part in the blog tour for it sequel, Mine To Spell, and that I’m lucky to be hosting Janeal Falor, who will be sharing a short guest post on what music was her inspiration for this story.

While I typically do my writing in silence, music has a big impact on my creative process before I write. It gets me in the mood and helps me to feel the things my characters will feel. The Mine series is tricky to get songs that fit it, though. Most music is too modern or too upbeat or just too not right.

While preparing to write You Are Mine I listened to a lot of classical music and The Piano Guys. But that mix just didn’t feel right for Mine to Spell. At all. I searched for something else, but nothing ever came until I heard “Brave” by Sara Bareilles and dun, dun, duuuunnn! That was it! Not only does it work for the entire series, but they really fit Cynthia’s story perfectly. Plus, in addition to being a fantastic song, I think it has a great message for us all.

About the Book:

Title: Mine to Spell (Mine #2)
Author: Janeal Falor
Publication Date: May 5, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy

Cynthia has always hidden from her father’s hexes behind her older sister. When her family gains independence unheard of for women, she’s relieved that her days of harsh punishments are over. But as her seventeenth birthday approaches—the typical age to be sold to a new master—death threats endanger her sisters. She now faces two options: run or meet society’s expectations.

For once, Cynthia isn’t going to let her older sister shield her from the problem. She’s going to prove to herself, her sisters, and society that her family isn’t a threat to their traditions. She willingly chooses to be purchased by a new master. A bold step that takes her somewhere she never thought she would go and to a man she might possibly fall in love with. With his help, she may just find a way to save her sisters while discovering how to stand up for herself. If she lives long enough.

About the Author:

Amazon best-selling author Janeal Falor lives in Utah with her husband and three children. In her non-writing time she teaches her kids to make silly faces, cooks whatever strikes her fancy, and attempts to cultivate a garden even when half the things she plants die. When it’s time for a break she can be found taking a scenic drive with her family, fencing, or drinking hot chocolate.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Amazon Author Page / Goodreads

 

Book Review: You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

2Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.

My Rating: 3.5 cupcakes

In the oppressive Chardonian society, a woman’s only value lies in the amount of magic in her blood and her ability to produce powerful warlock heirs. There are strict rules that women must obey, and they face punishments ranging from abuse to becoming tarnished if they are not compliant. The protagonist, Serena, has always known that her freedom is going to be even more restricted when her father sells her to the highest warlock bidder for marriage, but when an Envadi man becomes her owner, she comes to realize that this treatment of women isn’t universal.

You Are Mine is told from Serena’s point of view, allowing us to feel the suppression and abuse that she is subject to throughout the course of the book. Serena is unlike many of the other women in Chardonian society; her gender may leave her physically vulnerable, but she is also outspoken, defiant, strong, and independent. It’s easy to admire her desire for change, and I found myself fully supporting her along her journey. The other characters were just as fleshed out as Serena and, in most cases, were neither good nor evil; there was a lot of moral ambiguity which served to make them more real.

In contrast to the strict, oppressive Chardonian society were the “barbaric” Envadi. While the Chardonians have strict rules governing their women, the Envadi view women as equals and even pay their servants – notions that help shape Serena’s worldview and contribute to her character growth. I would have liked to have a more in-depth look at this society, so hopefully it’s explored more in the sequel.

The romance in this story is slow-building and sweet, starting off as a building of trust before developing into something more. It’s a welcome change from instalove, and it doesn’t overshadow the larger issues that are the focus of the plot.

Overall, I loved reading You Are Mine. I was hooked from the first sentence, and the combination of thought-provoking issues, magic, a strong female protagonist, and unexpected plot developments kept my attention throughout the remainder of the story. I look forward to seeing what’s next for Serena.

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

WWW Wednesday (July 10)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Should Be Reading. To participate, answer the following three questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Here are my answers:

Currently Reading:
1I’m currently reading Gone by Michael Grant. It’s been on my to-read list for ages since I’ve heard good things about this series. I’m only about 100 pages in but so far I like it, even though the pace is kind of slow.

 

 

 

Recently Finished:

1I recently finished reading Eve by Anna Carey, which I unfortunately didn’t enjoy as much as I would have liked to. My review for it can be found here.

 

 

 

 

What I Think I’ll Read Next:

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When it comes to choosing a book to read next, I’m the worst at making a decision. I always have about 2980427384 books lying around at home that I’ve borrowed from the library or bought and haven’t read yet. I also have a bad habit of requesting a ton of books on Netgalley at a time, downloading them, and then forgetting about them – though I’ve told myself that I’m not allowed to request anything else until I’m completely caught up, so we’ll see how well I can stick to that.

That being said, I think that my next read will either be You Are Mine by Janeal Falor (which was a review request, so it should really be my first priority) or The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (which is due back at the library soon).

Feel free to share your answers or a link to your own WWW post in the comments below; I’d love to see what you’re reading! : )
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