Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blog Tour: The Silver Strand by L.J. Clarkson


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The Silver Strand

Ever since twelve year old Isabelle Tresdon’s silver strand of hair sprouted, it’s been nothing but trouble: bleeding pink dust and sparking like a firecracker. Refusing to be known as the girl with the freaky, grandma hair, she wishes it never grew and the hair withers and tarnishes.

The only problem is, the strand is Isabelle’s source of magic, and she can transform particles of energy into matter. It’s also her ticket into Mastermind Academy, a secret school inside the earth’s core. Five days remain before the strand drains her magic and life, forcing Isabelle to enter into a deal with two trickster Masterminds to save it. But what she doesn’t count on is there is more at stake than just her life.

The Silver Strand, a MG Fantasy Adventure for 9-12 year olds, is book 1 in the Mastermind Academy Series.

Isabelle's life starts out pretty ordinary. She's trying to survive gym class, along with her best friend, Bianca. She's had a headache for a few days and, suddenly, she's bleeding pink dust and feeling something wiggle out of her head. She grew a silver strand of hair that she tries to get rid of. She's not sure what to do and then Esme and Boldrick (a cat) show up. Her strand is dying and she has five days to revive it or she will die as well. She has to pass three tests and if she does, she will then be admitted to Mastermind Academy.

This is a cute, quick, clean read! Isabelle is likable and I found myself cheering her on. Boldrick is a cat and he was pretty funny. Esme is quirky and unpredictable.

I liked the beginning, then Isabelle turned into a toad and that part felt kind of long to me. Then, later, she met a dragon, which was enjoyable and then she went on a few more adventures with Esme and Boldrick. She learned more about what was happening and what the real mission was. It was fast-paced with a satisfying end. I was hoping to read about her experiences in the Academy, but I guess that will be book 2! I recommend this for mid-grade readers, 9-12.

My Rating=3.5 stars

Here's an excerpt of her experience with Ramala, the dragon:

The pressure of death motivated Isabelle’s hand to fly across the page. Except her hand shook so badly, it traced a wobbly outline of the dragon’s body. If she didn’t calm down, his portrait would look more like a squiggle drawn by a toddler. And she didn’t want to offend him. Not when Boldrick had bragged about her drawing skills. Taking deep breaths worked wonders to steady her hand.

Using whisked strokes, she filled in his wings and highlighted his muscular arms. Next she shaped his speared tail.

“Roasting you for two hours will do the trick.” Ramala’s tail prodded logs deeper into the fire. “Your flesh shall be just the way I like it: juicy and tender, not crispy and burnt.”

Pressure in her chest squeezed the breath right out of her. Charcoal tore across the sheet, shading his angular face and horns.

The dragon sharpened his sapphire-blue talons against a rock.

The hideous noise stirred shivers in Isabelle.

Ramala leaned his neck forward to sniff her. “I will marinade you in apple sauce.”

Beads of sweat from her brow dripped onto the paper, smudging the charcoal on his eyes. Dabbing it with her cape only made it worse.

Maybe Ramala played on her fear to meddle with her concentration, and that was how he’d never been beaten in a challenge. Well then, he might have dinosaur-sized jaws capable of crushing her, but she refused to let him intimidate her.




Author L.J. Clarkson

One thing you need to know about LJ Clarkson is that she tells BIG lies. She tells everyone that she gave up her career as an Environmental Engineer and Project Manager to write full time. But that’s not entirely true. Ten percent of the time she sleeps in. Fifteen percent of her day, she spends surfing the internet, researching for new books and her business. Ok, fine. Two percent is for research. But she’s only admitting it so she doesn’t end up like Boldrick. For eighteen point seven five percent of her day, she runs her promotional and support site for authors, called Indicated (www.indicated.com.au). The rest of her time involves writing, reading, watching movies and TV, walking her dogs and falling asleep whenever her boyfriend talks technical computer lingo. Truthfully, she hates early mornings, mondays, grammar (yuck! just ask her poor editor!), broccoli and cleaning. If you would like to drop her and line and let her know what you think of the book, she would love to hear from you. Just not before 8:30am in the morning.



Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/9/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 comments:

Louisa said...

Thank you Melanie! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Eva Millien said...

Thanks for sharing your review and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book. evamillien at gmail dot com

Melanie Valderrama said...

You're welcome, Louisa! I am looking forward to book 2!

Melanie Valderrama said...

You're welcome, Eva! Good luck in the giveaway (it actually comes from the author, not me).

Louisa said...

Sorry about the magic school part. I didn't want to be too similar to Harry Potter so started it a different point.

Melanie Valderrama said...

That's fine. Now I have something to look forward to in book 2!

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