Saturday, September 28, 2013

Scars of Bifrost Review, Interview and Giveaway!!!


 Scars of the Bifrost
 The Scars Saga
 Book One
 AJM Mousseau

 Genre: YA Paranormal/
 Sci-Fi Romance

 Release Date: April 10, 2013
 Publisher: Dauntless Hawk Ink

 ASIN: B00CBCB8NS

 Pages: 301 pages

 Goodreads Rating: 4.78
 My Rating: 5

Book Synopsis:

Freya Catten has lived on the fringes of society her entire life, growing up in hiding with her mother in the deepest, wildest places left in North America—the national parks and forests. Freya's mother taught her how to live off the land, away from civilization—mysteriously warning her of the dangers of getting involved with society and leaving traces of her DNA behind. But five years ago Freya's mother abandoned her, leaving Freya to survive on her own. 

Freya knows how to stay alive, whether she's hiding in the forest or running on the city streets. She changes her appearance often and owns nothing but her backpack filled with survival gear and a necklace that had been her mother’s. 

But, keeping one step ahead of Social Services isn't her biggest fear. Freya's true terror lies with The Takers—strange men who rappel from silver cords out of the deep blue sky from nowhere. They snatch up their victims then evaporate without a trace. Freya holds a dark suspicion—that the Takers are really after her, and they are closing in.

Freya realizes that if she is to ever have a normal life she must first find her mother and answer the questions that have kept her in hiding. Along the way, she meets Theron Hawk—a rugged teenage soldier from a war-torn country—and finds herself truly trusting someone for the first time in her life.

As secrets are uncovered, and Freya comes closer to solving the mysteries surrounding her life, her blood and the priceless necklace that lays at her throat, the scars of the Bifrost will threaten to rip apart Freya's very existence.


SCARS OF THE BIFROST is the first story in The Scars Saga and is a Young Adult science-fiction/fantasy/paranormal romance novel infused with wilderness survival, urban fantasy, dystopian elements and mythological realism.







My Take On The Book:


I must admit I was pleasantly surprised with this book. Too many books now a days end up as a carbon copy of another story with the same characters dressed up in different clothing. Luckily that wasn’t the case with ‘Scars of the Bifrost’. Author A.J.M. Mousseau has a unique ability to tell a story with a fresh take on the young adult’s genre, weaving a world unlike many others. It was an honestly pleasing read with ups and downs and characters that captivate and enthrall you. I loved it from the go. Within a couple of minutes of reading I found myself unable to put down my kindle, so much so I should say that my blog may have suffered from it :)

The characters were strongly developed, and while you do find yourself questioning bits and pieces of the story, their story, nothing really goes unanswered. So here’s my break down on the good and the bad.

The Great (Pros):


  • The world AJMM created so masterfully. I loved the scenery in this book; she literally took me on a literary adventure. I felt as if I was right there experiencing some of the scenes with Freya.
  • The Characters. I know I mentioned above that those characters were greatly developed and I meant it. I loved A.J.M. Mousseau’s characters, from the good down to the bad. Sure I wanted to rip the face off said villain, but isn’t that how you know that the author has created a note worthy opponent for your hero? Truthfully, I can’t say that any character’s storyline really irked me. Freya is pretty awesome and Theron is Ah-maze-ing, two of my favorite main characters as of yet. I loved Piper, she was just too cute and Scarlett was oddly reminiscent of my own aunt. I loved Jesse even when he seemed to be that brooding over protective guy you tend to get annoyed with. I can’t get into too much detail involving the characters cause I might give away some of the plot points but just know that I could spend hours discussing this book and those characters.
  • The Science and Mythology. Really guys, this author did her homework before penning this masterfully written story. She breaks things down for us readers in a way that’s informative, not condescending. The mythology was woven into the story so well I found myself getting chills at some points.
  • The Cover Art. Seriously this cover art is so amazing and fits the story. It was one of the main reasons I found myself drawn to the story and one of the reasons I decided to read it. Even though it’s not a full facial shot it helped me to imagine Freya in my mind.

The Not So Great (Cons):


  • The ending. Don’t get me wrong the ending itself was pretty cool, but a tad anti-climactic. I saw it coming and that really bugged me when I went to turn the page and found I had reached the end. I wasn't expecting that ending for a book that in my opinion worked so hard and succeeded in proving it was NOT like the rest. But this was a small faux pas that I can overlook. Truthfully only because I know, as a writer, that it is meant to keep readers on the edge of their seats and keep them hooked and tuned in for the next installment in the series. The ending gives the author a plot to work with so like I said bearable.
  • Predictability. I know, this might seem to conflict with my earlier statement to the contrary and for the most part this book was a breath of fresh air. But there was one moment in the book other than the aforementioned ending that I can’t delve into because it definitely is a major plot point, that I totally knew without a shadow of a doubt would happen. As the author continued, I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and hoped that it wouldn't play out that way… but it did.

5 Stars/Quills


That’s my list and my take. My advice, go to amazon right now and buy your copy before the next installment is released because it’s a read that’s well worth your time. If you like Hunger Games and Percy Jackson or really anything Young Adults and Sci-Fi then this is definitely the book for you. Personally I’m super excited for UNLOCKING BRISINGAMEN, Book 2 of The Scars Saga. I’ll be sure to post a review as soon as it’s out and I've read it. 

Make sure you check out the interview I did with the author and get a quick sneak peak into the book with the excerpt located in the scroll box below. 







An Interview with A.J.M. Mousseau, author of Scars of the Bifrost


  • How did you come up with the concept for the story?

I dreamed the opening of the first chapter through the bookstore scene. I woke up feeling like I couldn’t believe how real it seemed. I told my teenage daughter about it and she said, “Wow, that’s so cool! You should write a book.”


  • What is your writing schedule like and what do you do/need to prepare?

I write by the seat of my pants! I try not to, but it always seems to happen that way. I am still navigating the learning curve of owning my publishing business – Dauntless Hawk Ink – and marketing, scheduling, touring, promoting, making relationships with readers and writer’s groups… there is so much to do. But I make sure I get a certain amount of that under my belt and in my brain before I go into my writing, because then I feel clear to focus on the characters. And as for preparation, I use college-ruled notebooks with different colored ink pens to write. Some characters get different colors or I’ll use them to enhance the moods I’m portaying.


  • What authors and books influenced you the most?

This is a great question! I’m usually asked what my favorite book is (that’s like asking what my favorite body part is!). Rick Riordan, Margret Peterson Haddix, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, Neil Gaimen and Jean Craighead George are a few authors who have really appealed to me over the years and influenced my style.


  • Who were your inspirations for the main characters of Freya and Theron?

There weren’t any. Freya and Theron came to me of their own accord. Even when I tried to picture them as known celebrities – it never truly matched the identities in my mind. Maybe someday when the movie rights are purchased a brilliant casting director will be able to find the perfect Freya and Theron <3.


  • How did you come up with the name Theron and what can you tell us about him?

I LOVE Theron! He is such a sympathetic character! I struggled with not writing in his point of view in Scars of the Bifrost, but I knew for the mystery sake of the story it just couldn’t be done ;). But I am very excited to be writing the second book in The Scars Saga from both Freya and Theron’s pov! Theron’s name means Hunter – and that was perfect for his task! I also wanted something that hinted at Norse myth as a male companion for Freya, but I didn’t want it to be so obvious. Theron is very close to Thor and you can even make Thor out of Theron, but Theron is a strong powerful name that stands on its own. Theron Hawk is an orphan who has been raised as a child soldier in a vicious place that is modeled after the brutal ancient city-state of Sparta. He is strong, resourceful and a tough fighter. He also was never allowed to experience his own emotions or show them where he grew up. While he is with Freya he learns to understand himself, to feel, and to come to grips with his many painful memories.


  • How did you come up with the idea of Takers?

I fell asleep one night and watched the dream unfold.  I saw a girl about seventeen years old waking up to her fake foster parents – really just her employers – arguing about whether or not to turn her into the authorities for a reward. She got out of the house and ran to her friend who worked at a bookstore that was a teen hangout. She was afraid and knew she had to get out of there fast! On her way into the van that could take her away, a hole opened in the sky above the bookstore and a horde of men in suits rained down from silver cords. She had an intimate fear of them as she watched them grab victims and disappear – then they came after her. When I woke up, I knew they were the Takers and would play a pivotal part in the story.


  • What can you tell us about the Guardians?

Brave, bold and bad-ass! These are teens and adults who are devoted to stopping the Takers. They work under the government’s radar and are monitoring the Takers’ every move, trying to find an opportunity to stand in the Takers’ way. But it hasn’t been easy for them, and their actual skirmishes with Takers have been next to nothing! Frustration brews for them. I am excited that the Guardians really get to shine in the second book, Unlocking Brisingamen.


  • What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve always been a writer. I have written poetry (as a teenager), songs, and short stories. I love words. I love words that flow and the puzzle of discovery as you piece them together to create a beautiful whole.


  • What’s your biggest challenge as an author?

Time. Time to get all of my ideas down, not rushing, but just allowing myself to enter the characters’ worlds, their emotions, minds and actions. Music helps me a lot with this, to slow down and observe. I also have lots of children J so sometimes I feel that pull of divided time.


  • What’s your biggest distraction?

Ha! My favorite distraction – my beautiful kids! Second distraction – if someone puts on a movie I’ve not watched or is one of my favorites.


  • In 150 words or less, give everyone reading a rundown of your book and why they should read it.

Readers of Scars of the Bifrost are transported into a high octane adventure, swooning romance and worlds they never imagined! It is a wild ride that will stay with them long after the last page.


  • How did you come up with the title of your book?


This is another tough question! I knew I wanted the Norse mythological words to play a prominent role in each title of the trilogy. The Bifrost needed to be the first book. It’s the story that cracks it all wide open, but simply “The Bifrost” just didn’t ring true for me. I wanted something with grit. This isn’t a retelling of a Norse tale, it just has elements of one. I really meditated on the story and characters and skimmed through my thesaurus. When I found scars, I knew I had hit on something. Freya and Theron were both scarred due to the invention of the Bifrost. That was my title.


***

An Excerpt From Scars of the Bifrost


I turned in another direction to escape when I felt my backpack being grabbed from behind.
“No!” I screamed as I struggled against the inevitable, like an animal caught in a snare.
My attacker spun me to face him as if I were nothing more than a rag doll. He looked like a hot young actor who was supposed to be attending a red carpet event in Hollywood instead of a thug pulling off a kidnapping—they all did in their dark blue suits.
I instantly planted my knee into his groin, but my kneecap met with a hard armored shell. I peered up into his hardened face and stunning purple irises as a wide sinister smile spread across his face. I tried reaching for the hunting knife at my hip, but before I could get to it he grabbed hold of both of my arms and pinned me against his body. I was embraced in some grotesque lover’s dance.
My hat was pushed off of my head as my cheek was crushed against him. I could feel the armor across his chest and stomach under his clothing.
He began to tie me up with the silver cord. I wriggled my arms up and, thinking quickly, pulled a bobby pin from my braided hair. You can do a lot of damage to an assailant by jamming a bobby pin into their ear canal. I plunged the bobby pin hard into the tender opening and slammed it with the palm of my hand, forcing it in as far as it could go. The Taker howled in pain and dropped me to grab at his injured ear.
I pitched myself to the side and away from him as he got tangled in his own cord and disappeared.
I scrambled to my feet but my foot slipped, tearing at the earth beneath me. Instantly, I was hoisted by my upper arms into the air by a tall, fierce-looking Taker. He looked like he had seen what I just did to his buddy and was going to kill me for it. The hate on his face was intimidating and palpable, while his grip held me like a vice. I couldn’t take a breath.
My mind panicked as I thought, This is it, the fight is over.



Author Bio:


I am an author and university student. I live in a recreational vehicle -- by choice -- with my awesome husband, four amazing kids, and huge, fluffy, 85 pound golden retriever named Titan. I write and do school on line as we travel throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is incredible to live in a new place every few months (sometimes weeks) and to see everything! We have lived this clan and tribal lifestyle for two years now and have been to over twenty national parks and forests. They gave me a lot of inspiration for Freya's story.

Unlocking BrĂ­singamen, the next book in the Scars Saga, will be released very soon!




Connect with A.J.M. Mousseau


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