Monday, 25 June 2012

SAVAGE by Willow Rose - Review, Interview & Giveaway!


Author: Willow Rose
Release Date: June 15th 2012
Source: e-book from the author for review

"The year is 1983. Christian is 22 years old when he leaves his home in Denmark to spend a year in Florida with a very wealthy family and go to med-school.
A joyful night out with friends is shattered by an encounter with a savage predator that changes his life forever. Soon he faces challenges he had never
expected. A supernatural gift he has no idea how to embrace. A haunting family in the house next door. A spirit-filled girl who seems to carry all the answers.
An ancient secret hidden in the swamps of Florida. One life never the same. One love that becomes an obsession. Two destinies that will be forever entangled.
Savage is a young adult title with some language, violence, and sexual situations recommended for ages sixteen and up"

I hereby award this book 5 wings!

My Review:

When I first picked up this book, I was a little taken aback by the fact that an older Christian was narrating the story. I wasn't sure how it was going to work with an older version of him telling us what happened to him when he was younger. But - and this is a very big BUT - it worked perfectly. After just a chapter, I had settled into his narrative and was looking forward to him taking me on a journey.

That, is exactly what happened. A journey of discovery. 

The year is 1983 and Christian is hoping to fulfill his fathers wishes and become a doctor. His father has paid for him to leave his home in Denmark and go to Med School in America for a year. So he goes, even though it's not really his own dream. No, Christian would go through life from one job to the next, one woman to the next. He's not exactly the settling type. More the 'love them and leave them' sort. 

There's 2 quotes that I really loved that show you what kind of person Christian is.

"I loved girls, but I used them and threw them away. I devoured them. I exploited the fact that they adored me."

"Some even came into my life thinking that they would be the ones that could change my ways and make me settle down, they wanted to save me from myself, but they always leave with a broken heart."

He knows that he's good looking and charming. He knows that girls adore his curly mane of hair, his beautiful smile. He plays on these attributes to make girls flock to him, then he discards them as though they meant nothing. Fact is, that's exactly what they mean to him - nothing.

But he has an eidetic memory and feels that he can become a doctor quite easily. After all, he only needs to read a book once and it's there in his memory banks. 
At this point, I don't really believe Christian thinks there's any more to becoming a doctor than 'book smarts' - I mean, it takes a lot of hard graft to be a doctor. It's not all about what's in the text books. There are things you need to learn that either come naturally or you work hard at - but he seems to think that because of his memory, he can waltz through it.

When Christian arrives in Florida, he is to live with the Kirk family. Dr and Mrs Kirk and their daughter, Heather. They have agreed to give him a home whilst he studies, but Dr Kirk would like him to keep his hands off his daughter. Which for Christian will be hard to do, Heather is beautiful. But being the 'love them and leave them' guy that he is, perhaps he really should keep his eyes off her. It would only cause problems within the household and having to live there for a year could become quite uncomfortable...

It's on an evening with Heather and her friends at the Twelve Mile Swamps that Christian's life takes a dramatic change of course. Both Heather and Christian are swimming in the water, but it's Christian that falls victim to an alligator attack. 

They say that in a near-death experience, your life flashes before you. But Christian instead sees a jaguar come to his rescue. A beautiful creature with black rosettes in it's fur. This jaguar attacks the alligators, crushing their skulls with just one bite. Then instead of attacking Christian too, it drags him to shore. 

His injuries mean that Christian can't start school as scheduled. Instead he spends his days at the Kirks home recuperating. 

In the garden one day, Christian sees the little girl in the garden next door. She seems to be sitting amongst floating toys. Her and her older sister are playing and laughing. Christian witnesses this and can't help but smile. The older sister is a beautiful sight to behold.
So it's with this in mind he goes to introduce himself. 

Little does Christian know that introducing himself to the girls and their family will take his life off the course he thought that it was on. 

Aiyana - the beautiful older sister - and he become close. Something seems to take over his thoughts when he is with her. It's as though he needs her. He craves her affection. He's never felt this way about a girl before and it comes as a shock. 
The family encourage him to play the guitar and sing his beautiful songs, something he hasn't done much since the alligator attacked him. He's been in a kind of funk and can't seem to bring himself out of it. So they encourage him to play for them, use his beautiful voice to sing them songs that he sang after his mother passed away when he was younger. 
With this family, in their home, Christian feels something he hasn't felt in a long time, true happiness.

I can't tell you what happens from here. There are things that must be discovered for yourself. There are twists and shocks that I simply cannot reveal.

I loved this book. It was easy to get swept away with the story. There were ups and downs for all involved. But though there were trials and tribulations that Christian must face, on the whole, this story was a joy to behold. You follow Christian through from being a young 'Casanova' to being a more mature young man who finally knows what it's like to feel true love. 
But it's not just a love story. And not all is as it seems. This is a Paranormal Romance - there are secrets to be told. Are you ready to listen?

I am grateful that Willow Rose got in contact and asked me if I would like to review SAVAGE. If she hadn't, I may never have come across this beautiful story. I am really looking forward to book 2. I can't tell you what happens at the end of this book to make me yearn for the next book - all I can say is, it's truly worth reading and discovering for yourself.

Author Bio: 

Willow Rose writes YA Paranormal Romance and fantasy. Originally from Denmark shenow lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her
husband and two daughters. She is a huge fan of Anne Rice and Isabel Allende. Whenshe is not writingor reading she enjoys to watch
the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Now a little Q&A...

1. Describe Savage in a sentence! 
A beast carrying an ancient secret, a boy, a haunting girl, love, obsession, desire and a heart bound to be broken.
2. Tell as about your plans for the series (how many books will there be?) 
am planning on doing a sort of a family saga. In the first book the characters are in their twenties, in the next they will be in their thirties and in the third one they will have grown kids of their own. This way you get to know the characters really well and you'll want to because they are really likeable. I am also planning on doing a book about the female main character's childhood and maybe one about her sister as well. They are so interesting people and I adore them so much that I simply have to tell their stories.

3. Do you have any writing quirks or rituals (coffee, tea, a special place,
I drink lots of green tea and I sit on a big fluffy pillow

4. Who inspired you to start writing? Who are your favorite authors/
  I have always told stories to whoever would listen. In school I
remember sitting in class during recess and telling stories to my friends
making them forget that they were about to go out and play. Even my
teacher would often listen in as well. I love spellbinding my audience.
My favorite authors are Anne Rice and Isabel Allende. My favorite book
is The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. I read it as a child and that
was when my imagination really took off. I have read it again and again
since then.
Your advice to beginner writers: Write, write and then write some more. The
more you write the better you get. And never listen to anyone who thinks you
can't do it.

5. How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set
The story and the characters come to me. I like to say that they "pop up"
in my head. That is the best way I can describe it. The characters are just
there all of a sudden and then they start to do stuff and talk to other
people and soon there is a whole story that I simply have to tell or else I
will burst. I simply adore the characters from Savage and I know
everybody else will too. They are so lovable. I have a hard time letting go
of them. I will write three books about the main character Christian. It is
sort of a family-saga really. In the first book he is in his twenties and so is
the woman he falls in love with. In the second book they have kids of
their own and are in their thirties. In the last book they will have young
teenagers. I am also planning on doing a book about Aiyana, the spiritfilled
Native American girl that he falls hopelessly in love with. About her
and when she first discovers who she really is. I might also do a book
about her sister who does telekinesis and their grand-mother who
predicts natural disasters. I love those characters so much that they each
deserve their own book.

6. Are the names of the characters in your novels important? How and why?
A lot of my characters are descendants from the Timucua Indians that
lived in Florida before the Europeans came so they have Native American
names. Each name has a meaning. Like the woman that Christian falls in
love with. Her name is Aiyana, which means "Eternal blossom".

*Now for the promised giveaway. There's a chance for you to win a SIGNED paperback copy of Savage or an e-book copy for the runner-up!*

The winner of the giveaway is Carly Chambers! 

And the runner up is LAURA ANDREWS! (who will receive an e-copy of SAVAGE)

So all that leaves me to say is...

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