Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Brenda Pandos - Book Giveaway, Swag Giveaway, Author Interview, Book Review

PhotobucketTo be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother's mysterious disappearance ten years earlier - an event she witnessed, but can't remember. 

Julia's situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience--past and present. 

Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves.

My Review

The Emerald Talisman
By Brenda Pandos

Interesting plot and premise. The pace and storyline is captivating. Writing style was exceptional, especially with her wording. Characters are relatable and realistic. I wouldn’t give it an A+ on originality. It did have a Buffy Meet Twilight feel to it. HOWEVER, that is not a bad thing in my opinion. The twists Ms. Pandos throws in make it unique A promising start to a series. I can not wait to read the next book!

My Rating 5 stars

Author Interview


Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

I’m a wife and stay-at-home mother of two preschool boys. I’m also a writer and graphic designer which I do from home. Life is busy to say the least.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

I never aspired to be a writer, but after my oldest son’s autism diagnosis in 2008, life changed for me. I began to write to keep myself from slipping into a depression. My characters gave me something exciting to think about and added fun into my life in a unique way.

What surprised you the most about the writing/publishing process? 

The supportive folks on in the internet surprised me. From the book bloggers to other aspiring writers, I’ve made so many wonderful friends who love my work, excited for mutual success and been instrumental in each step in my journey.

How do you develop your plots and characters? 

Do you use any set formula? I’m very imaginative and like to have a loose outline when writing. I know the beginning and end of my stories. The whole work ends up becoming a big puzzle of drama and emotion I need to piece together one scene at a time. Also, I follow my character’s lead and let them drive the story.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing? 

Effective pacing, emotion, and conflict keep your readers reading and the keys to good writing. I wasn’t as successful at that in my first novel, but strive to get better.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? 

My goal this year is to come out with two novels. The Onyx Talisman is the third book in the talisman series, but I also have a new series I’m working on and all I can say is it involves mermaids. I can’t wait to share it with my readers.

In Twitter Fashion use 140 characters or less, sum The Emerald Talisman for us. 

(ugh, this is always hard) When Julia, a 16 yr old with the paranormal ability to read emotions, falls prey to a vampire, she becomes aware people aren't as they seem.

How did you come up with a story that was such a whirl wind of events? 

Like I said, I have an overactive imagination. I still can’t swim alone, even in a swimming pool, because of Jaws.

How long did it take you to write it, and did you have any writer’s block along the way? 

The Emerald Talisman took 5 months to write and I can’t say I had any writers block. Now editing, I procrastinated for an entire year.

Will we be seeing a following book to this stories? 

 The Sapphire Talisman is the second book of the series and is out. The Onyx Talisman, the third and final book will be released in November 2011.

How did you come up with the character Julia Parker?

 Julia is a little bit of me and the daughter I never had. She reacts very similarily to how I’d react in the same situations. I have a tendency to cry in intense or emotional situations and fall in love fast.

PhotobucketI always must ask, If you could pick one actress to portray Julia Parker on the big screen who would it be and why? 

Blake Lively would make a great Julia.

Was there anything you find particularly challenging when writing this book? 

I did have a lot to learn starting out, including brushing up on my punctuation and grammar. Also, there’s quite a lot of writing rules I didn’t know, (like showing not telling) that I had to learn. Having critique partners and reading books like “Self Editing for Fiction Writers” helped a ton. I have sweet talented people who I trust to help me mold my stories so they can be the best they can be.

What were your feelings when you first saw the cover of your finished book? 

I actually was able to design my cover which was very exciting to do. If I could redesign it, I’d have a real replica of the talisman made and photographed on someone’s neck.

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Megan@Riverina Romantics said...

Great interview! I've checked into this whole series and it looks really interesting!

tears_of_fire said...

I agree this does sound interesting :) I love the cover. I am going to have to add this to my to be read list.

ChrisS said...

I am a big fan of covers and as covers go this one is absolutely gorgeous and captivating. Thank you for the great interview and review. The Emerald Talisman sounds like a really good story.

Toni said...

Loved the colors on the cover. Simple but gorgeous! Sounds like a great story. I always love to learn new things about authors!

Victoria said...

I love the covers to the books in this series. Do you have much input in the designs of the talismans? They are lovely.

Sharon Stogner said...

I don't know why, but the cover just sings to me :) I think it is the green colors. Looks like an interesting read. Thanks for the chance to win!

Tishia Mackey said...

Great interview! My son has a form of Autism as well - luckily it's a less severe form (Asperger's). Life gets stressful, and I love losing myself in a good book.

This book looks really good, and I've added it to my to-be-read list. Thanks for the opportunity to win :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful cover, I would so wear a necklace like that!


lindalou said...

I love your cover! AND great interview! I love emeralds...
Thank you for being here today and for the fantastic giveaway!

Unknown said...

Book sounds awesome

Unknown said...

The book sounds really good and I love the cover.

Lisa Richards/alterlisa said...

This series has been on my wishlist for awhile. I've heard nothing but rave reviews.

Joanna said...

Sweet interview. The Talisman series has been a TBR book of mine for some time now. The covers are wicked gorgeous. I love the jewels... what woman doesn't, right. Besides the mystery, now that I found out there's a team love triangle makes me want to read them even more.

Miranda Grissom said...

Fabulous interview! This sounds like an excellent read, something that I would love!

Joanna said...

Hey... I thought of a question to ask (after the fact of my early response): Do they merchandise any of the colored talismans?

Brenda Pandos said...

Talisman's were made and you can see them pictured here. My friend had to close her store temporarily during her move. I'm asking if she'd be willing to fill any orders. Email me at if you are interested.

Thanks everyone for such nice comments on the cover, synopsis and awesome review from Melissa!

Jolene and Family said...

Great interview, can't wait to get started on this series


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