About Me

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I love being a mom and a wife. I've married to a man I would do anything for, and we have three beautiful children. I see so much of myself in both of them that it sometimes brings me to tears (happy ones).

I also love writing. Romance to be specific. I love the happily ever after that I believe everyone deserves. My stories aren't 'stop and smell the roses' type romances. While I believe everyone deserves happiness and true love, I know that sometimes you have to walk a hard road to find it. Those are the types of stories I like to write. The happily ever after that wasn't found, but earned. I work to earn mine on a daily basis and so do my characters. 

I am also working on a children's picture book series. Inspired (of course) by my kiddos. :)

On the non-writing front, I play acoustic guitar, sing, read like I get paid for it, ride horses, hike, paint rocks, and support a rather obsessive addiction to Pinterest.

I love to cook, which combined with my pinning addiction, leads to many experiments foisted on my unsuspecting husband and kids, mostly with good results. But sometimes, the dogs gets what the family refuses to eat. And they never complain. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Weekend Review - The Dragon Three by Victoria Perkins

 I recently had the opportunity to read The Dragon Three by Victoria Perkins. She was on my list of authors I had offered fair and honest reviews to. I'm horrible at organizing and staying on track, and I believe Victoria was a few spots down on the list. But I was bored one day and opened my Kindle to see what I hadn't read yet and the cover caught my eye. 

I've always loved dragon stories. I cut my teenaged reader teeth on Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern books. I fell in love with Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle books the moment they came out. I got lost in the historical science-fiction world of the Drakon with Shana Abe. So I figured a book about dragons was a good pick.

My Thoughts on The Dragon Three

This wasn't the book I was expecting. The dragon books I'd had experience with were ones in which dragons represented good. The Dragon Three is not the case. In Victoria's alternate Earth, dragons are the instrument of mankind's destruction.

I gave The Dragon Three a 3.5 stars out of 5 but rounded up to 4 stars on Amazon. The Dragon Three is geared towards YA, I'd say 10+ can read it. Though it does have a bit of blood, death, fighting, war, and some pretty harsh bullying, all-in-all, it's a very clean book. The mythology mirrors Christianity quite closely.

My biggest problems with the book were pacing. The story jumped from one plot point to another, or mentioned major background detail, without much explaining or leading into. Characters are introduced at a rapid rate, sometimes making it hard to keep up. It seemed very hurried, the dialogue sometimes forced at times, and stiff. Honestly, each of the three parts could have been its' own book with characters, plots, scenes, dialogue, world-building, and backgrounds much more fleshed out. There were SO many things I wanted to know that were skimmed over.

Regardless, I DID enjoy reading The Dragon Three. The cover was beautifully done, with great use of contrasting color and clear words. The characters were relatable, especially the high-school drama that most kids have to put up with. The story-line and world that Victoria created is quite an interesting place, and she did leave the door wide-open for related books that take place in the same world.

Amazon Review for The Dragon Three

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I give The Dragon Three a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Dragon Three is a YA fantasy that begins by introducing us to Brina, a powerless girl in a world where everyone is gifted. She tries to hide this fact from everyone at her school, though two friends, Thana, and Aidan, soon discover her secret. They team up to help Brina hide her lack of magic from everyone at school.
The first 1/3 of the book is made up of the three friend's relationship, with Brina and Aidan becoming very close until the course of normal teenage emotions get in the way. But it all changes after an earthquake hits the school and two students die from mysterious causes. After Aidan nearly dies from the same mysterious causes, he and Brina's relationship gets back on track but the three friends discover that a dragon had been sleeping under the grounds of the school and is now free. Powerless against dragons, only Brina, who doesn't need magic, can save them. The three friends discover they are part of an ancient prophecy that can stop the dragons for good. But at the end of Part 1, Brina is lost, and the reader is left wondering how the world can be saved without her.

In Part 2, we see Aidan's story as he copes with Brina's loss and learns that he still has a part to play in the prophecy. With help from the feisty Carys, he begins training to fulfill the prophecy. He develops a relationship with Carys, though he's reluctant to let go of Brina's memory.

In Part 3, we see Thana's story as she rejoins the fight. Part of this section are at school where a plethora of new characters is introduced.

This book is for YA and the theology of the world mirrors Christianity. There is some war violence, bloodshed, betrayal, and teenage bullying in the extreme but it is a fairly clean book. I would recommend this for ages 10-18 and would definitely let my 12 year old son read it.

I feel like the story as a whole was rushed, with some plot holes, unexplained world-building, and new characters that could have been explained in more detail. I feel like each part could have been it's own book. It is a YA book though, and they tend to be more fast-paced than adult novels. Out of the 3 parts, Part 1 seems to be the best written with the most details, though I enjoyed reading part 2 and part 3. The characters are relatable though they can be unbelievable at times, but it is a fantasy novel so it isn't a major issue.

I gave this story 3.5 stars (rounded to 4 for Amazon) despite what I thought it lacked because regardless, I really enjoyed the story. I think if the story had been expanded to separate books with more detail and a more normal-paced flow, it would have gotten 5 stars from me.

About the Author

Victoria Perkins began writing at a young age and story-telling even younger. Starting in third grade, she wrote stories, some of which became the basis of her published works. After graduating from Kent State University with a BA in English, Perkins held numerous jobs, including working customer service and teaching at a private school. 

In 2012, she began to work full-time as a ghostwriter, contributing to hundreds of short stories, novellas, and full-length novels for clients all over the world, including ones that have made Amazon's top 100 Kindle lists, as well as USA Today's Best-Seller list. 

She has had five YA novels, and a short story collection published since 2005. Her newest novel, Star Riders: The Twelve, came out in the summer of 2015.

Interview Questions

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was actually started when I was in junior high. My teacher gave my class a group assignment that made me start thinking about what it would be like if my friends and I were stuck on a desert island. A lot of the characters and basics from that story became Reeves' Island.

What do you think is more important: Characters or Plot?

I think that the importance of characters versus plot is based a lot on whether or not a story is character-driven or plot-driven. For me, I prefer character-driven stories, both to read and write.

Is there a subject/genre you'd never write about? Why?

Because I ghostwrite, I've had to set certain guidelines about what I write and it comes down to my faith. I don't write anything that violates that. Usually I take things on a case by case basis. For my own personal writing, it isn't really an issue because when I write, it comes from me, so it's automatically not going to be anything that goes against what I believe.

 If you could cast your main character(s) in a Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would land the rolls?

That's a tough one. I haven't seen any actors I like of the right age for the characters in The Dragon Three, but if age wasn't an issue, I'd love to have Molly Quinn from the tv show Castle playing Brina. Luke Mitchell who was on the tv show The Tomorrow People would make a great Aidan. Vanessa Marano from tv's Switched at Birth would be excellent as Thana.

What famous literary character is most like you?

I'd have to say I'm a combination of Ginny Weasley and Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series, probably more like Hermione than Ginny.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing? 

I'm an avid reader so most of my free time is spent doing that, but I also spend a lot of time with my family. I also enjoy painting. Not pictures or anything like that, but ceramics like Christmas ornaments and decorations.

What is a talent you have that no one knows?

As I mentioned, I enjoy painting ceramics and I'm actually pretty good at it. I've painted Christmas ornaments for my family and done other things for gifts.

What is one tip you'd give to up & coming authors?

The advice I'd give to up and coming authors is to write for the story, not for the money or attention. If you're focusing on what people are saying or how many books you're selling, you'll get discouraged. If you write for the love of the story, it'll get you through the bad reviews and the rejections.

If you could spend the day with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I'd have to go with one of my favorite authors, but it'd be so hard to choose. I'd have to go with C.S. Lewis because, besides being one of my favorite authors, he has such an amazing life story and such deep theological insight.

Where To Find Victoria Perkins

Where To Find Books By Victoria