Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sky’s End (#1 Cassiel Winters Series) by Lesley Young

Title: Sky’s End (#1 Cassiel Winters Series)
Author: Lesley Young
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance

A secret she must never share. A secret that two warring species are determined to control. A universe’s future at stake.

Twenty-year-old Cassiel Winters joins Earth’s new space academy in hopes of finding her brother, one of Command’s top pilots and her only family, who’s been reported MIA. But she quickly realizes she may not be cut out for life in space, where female cadets are outnumbered, competition’s fierce, and she’s already failed her hand-to-hand combat test once.

When Cassiel’s manipulated into a perilous mission, she encounters a warrior species bred to protect the universe from an even greater threat. And she learns that her secret visions are at the heart of it all. Now Cassiel must fight to control her own destiny and race to save her brother—even if it means pretending to be the pawn of Prime Or’ic, the cold-as-steel Thell’eon leader. Even if it means risking her life, facing hard truths, and making the ultimate sacrifice.

Here's a short interview with the author!

Thanks for inviting me to a Q&A on your fabulous blog. I can’t wait to read one of your books R.A. Sears!

When did you first become interested in writing?
For fiction, it was three years ago. After reading Hunger Games, I realized I could, and wanted, to try to write genre.

Where do you get the inspiration for your characters?
They develop as I write them: I suppose initially they are inspired by the situations I want to put them in. The story’s mood is often influenced by music. And I find movies are a great source of plot possibilities—as in ‘wow’ I never realized you could just switch streams that way.

Are you interested in any arts, other than writing?
I am a movie and (closet) comic book fiend. And while I appreciate all arts as much as anyone, I find the combination of history and arts, e.g., visiting museums and listening to those audiotapes to hear the story behind the painting, a great escape.

Do you have a regular job, on top of being an author?
Yes! I am a full-time journalist. I write lifestyle, business and health stories for a wide array of Canadian magazines. It means my eyes are burning and my fingers numb when I finally get back to fiction at the end of the day.

What's on your agenda for 2014?
I am working on the sequel to Sky’s End, Sky’s Surrender. if you’ve never tried a novel set in space, Sky’s End is the one to ease you in. Its fast-paced plot, balanced world-building and wonderfully quirky heroine on a journey to kick-ass-dom will grip you! It’s available in ebook and paperback at http://www.amazon.com/Skys-End-Lesley-Young/dp/1619352389/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392590994&sr=8-1&keywords=sky%27s+end

Thanks for featuring me!


“You would understand us,” Prime Or’ic beseeches me, hands out. He places them on the downcore, searching the room, until he spots what he’s looking for. He returns with a stool and sits on it, making him eye level with me. A first. “Our beliefs,” he starts and stops. I’ve never seen him this . . . uncertain.

“Kirs spend a lifetime training and fighting Aeon. We strive to achieve a perfect Horde, knowing the likelihood is incredibly small. And still we prevail. To get the chance to have, to fight with a sift,” he corrects himself, “with you, is . . . sacred. Once given, it is understood to be a right that is earned.”

“So you think I was, what, given to you?”

He rolls his eyes, frustrated. Ah, that’s more familiar. When he focuses back on me, his eyes are different. Earnest, I think.

“Think of how you ‘fell’ into our path. ESE sent you to our ship! You! When you took my beacon portal, then I knew for certain. It was our destiny to have a sift. You belong to us!”

His vehemence scares me more than the simple deduction. Those things all happened, but not so that I could be his sift. Not even so I could help ESE get the sift (isn’t that ironic?). But so that I could save my brother Daz! I’m certain of this. Being their sift is not my destiny. And even if I believed in that crap, I would never belong to them. Or anyone.

“I’m a human being, Or’ic!”

“I know, I know,” he says, touching my hand with his.

I pull away. I don’t like the way he’s looking at me. Not at all. He doesn’t understand that I wasn’t speaking literally. I meant to say that I’m not an object. But he continues, oblivious to his mistake.

And now, for my review!
Rating: 5 stars!

It's been a long time since I enjoyed reading a sci-fi novel. Honestly, they tend to get so engrossed in world-building that their characters take a backseat. That's not the case with "Sky's End"! Cassiel Winters leaps right off the page, and I think we could totally be girls if she were real. Lesley Young's writing style is crisp and, while we're clearly operating in a fictional world, she does it in such a way that disbelief is totally suspended. I love the internal monologue, and watching the way Cassiel grows as a person and changes throughout the duration of the novel.

Admittedly, the page count was a bit intimidating when I opened it up on my Kindle and it said 415 pages. But before I knew it, I was 50 pages in and had been up an hour longer than I'd planned. It's very easy to get drawn in to Miss Young's vibrant prose. My only complaint about the whole thing is that it's written in present tense, but that's just a matter of personal taste. It's done well enough that I got used to it after the first few pages. Looking forward to the sequel!

About Lesley Young
Journalist Lesley Young never thought she would delve into the world of writing fiction, but when she sat down for the first time to put pen to paper, ideas for what would become her first novel just poured out naturally. Young’s first book, “Sky’s End,” is a multi-genre tale that showcases her unique style of weaving romance, action and wit into one page-burning story.

Young was born in Edmonton, Alberta in Canada. She holds an arts degree from the University of Alberta and a journalism degree from the University of Victoria.

Young now lives in Loretto, Ontario where she works as a journalist, freelance writer and editor for health, décor and business magazines. Since 2008, Young has written more than 300 articles for print and online media including Profit, Toronto Life, MSN Green, and Elle Canada among others. She is a regular contributor to Reader’s Digest, Best Health, Canadian Living and House and Home Magazine.

Young has won three gold honors for feature stories from the National Business Magazine Awards and another top media award from the Canadian Dermatology Association.

Soul Mate Publishing released “Sky’s End” on July 15 in paperback and e-book and since its launch, it has remained an Amazon Best Seller. The novel is Young’s first installment in a series about Cassiel Winters, a futuristic heroine, and her outer space escapades.


Amazon Buy Link