Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Alisha Nurse - Book Review, Author Interview, & Book Giveaway

16 year old Eliza Aurelio grapples with her mixed race identity amid rising racial tensions on her little island. For their safety, Eliza’s grandfather sends her and her grandmother to a quiet town in Southwest England to stay with a relative. But this otherwise quiet town has been turned upside down by people mysteriously disappearing. Eliza eventually encounters a magical but dangerous realm accessible through a doorway in the town, and sees its connection to the abductions. She intends to put things right, only wanting to protect her family. To do this, she must return a stolen key to lock the open doorway. But Eliza has to overcome her own inner conflicts if she is to stand any chance of being successful and leaving the other realm alive.
Suspenseful and enchanting, The Return of the Key explores the power of love, sacrifice and the journey to self acceptance.


This book was a great YA Read. Where to start? lol. As you read in the blurb. It is about a girl overcoming conflicts and it somewhat takes an magical realm, a loyal friend, and a romance to do so. So lets start with the plot. I found the plot to be believable. It had a nice rise, climax, and conclusion. The world building was good, I was hoping for a little bit more detail into the new realm. I did enjoy the writing, I found it very fitting for YA and yet not so young to be un-enjoyable by adults. You defiantly will not feel like your reading an elementary book. Kudos for that. Characters were relatable for the most part. You have Eliza she is complex, and human. You have fae stud Arden, Eliza love interest. and you have Gwen, half fae, half human & of course with abilites.  I especially love Gwen. To me she was the most relatable character.  Loyal, Brave and took no crap. The only thing I wanted to see was more development in the romance department. Eliza and Arden's romance seemed a little too instant. A little underdeveloped enev for an YA book. You shouldn't fall in love automatically be cause of a dream. The POV was refreshing. it switched often enough and in such a way to keep you hooked into the story. Overall, a great read, with a good moral, & I would recommend to any YA book lovers. 4 Stars Rating.

Paperback, 214 pages
Published December 2014
ISBN13: 9780993145100

Where To Find It!:
Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00QFT3W4Q?*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/498064
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24111558-the-return-of-the-key

Author Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’ll be 30 on June 1st! I was born and raised in Trinidad. I live with fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality disorder. I blog about my experiences at theinvisiblef.com and it’s really important to me to raise awareness particularly about the first two. Of all my favourite things, curry is one of my top three. I’m naturally a hermit but I can seem extroverted when in comfortable social situations.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

As a child my dad always bought me lots of fairytale storybooks so from an early age I was interested in storytelling. I was always good at creative writing at school but I never thought I would have ended up writing like I do now. I think it was over the years in my struggles with depression, I joined a charity called Depression Alliance and I started learning about the true power behind telling and sharing stories. Soon I longed to contribute stories to the world in the hope that they would not only be enjoyable but make a difference.

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

What probably surprised me the most was the way in which some characters take on lives of their own. They really do come alive in a sense during the writing process. I have plans for them but the more I write and place them in different scenarios, I actually discover things about the characters and they end up taking on the paths of their own.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

To tell you the truth I really didn’t have a clue how to go about it initially but I read a lot of books and advice from other authors on the topic. I tried to follow some writing guidelines that suggested penning important facts about the characters. That helped me to understand who they are, then imagining how they would react to certain situations helped that process. With plotting the story, again I tried to map out what happens in the story while ensuring that I met the key components of storytelling – the stasis, trigger, quest, surprise, critical choice, climax, reversal and resolution.

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

I would say good grammar, creativity (being able to craft unique characters and circumstances) followed by a focussed theme with sub themes, correct organisation of points in the story, the ability to make the story credible to the reader and clarity.

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

The Return of the Key is my debut novel. It is an early teen/young adult fantasy story for people who appreciate stories with original twists and unique characters.

In Twitter Fashion use 140 characters or less, sum your book for us.

A teenage girl sets out to close a doorway between her world and a perilous, magical realm but some open doors are not easily shut

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

It started off with a dream and I built on it from there. I have a super vivid imagination, and to fuel that I visited the town in South West England where I imagined my fictional town would be located in close proximity to. I lived and breathed that story constantly while I was writing.

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

It took me three years of writing on and off with some major bumps along the way. Sometimes I had writer’s block and fear, I mean real fear that crippled my ability to think freely and write creatively.

Will we be seeing a following book to this stories?

I wrote this story as a stand-alone book but there will definitely be a sequel. Good news for the anxious readers. Now there’s no more need for threats lol.

How did you come up with the main character?

I imagined what it would be like to walk in her shoes, then I realised I had lived a lot of the things she was experiencing, so I referred to my own life lessons.

I always must ask, If you could pick one actor to portray your Two main characters on the big screen who would it be and why?

It’s hard to think of who would be best to portray protagonist Eliza Aurelio, as I can’t think of too many mixed race characters in that age bracket who fit the description. Saying that but I think Nathalie Joanne Emmanuel or Lenora Crichlow would be good possible choices. I love their acting skills and I think they could fit the part. To play Gwen Callaghan I’d go for someone like Willa Holland. She’s good at playing strong characters with fighting skills. She definitely fits the role looks wise. I love her in Arrow.

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

At first it was particularly hard to switch perspectives and ask myself, ‘what would this character do in this situation’, as opposed to what would I do as the writer. I had to constantly remind myself of who each character was and what was driving them.

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

I went ‘wow!’ and I felt really happy because the graphic designer really captured that sense of magic that comes with the story. I continue to get such amazing feedback from readers and reviewers on the cover up to this day.

About the Author:

Alisha Nurse grew up on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. She holds an MA in International Journalism from the University of Westminster, London. Alisha loves exploring culture and ethnic identities having come from a mixed race family.
She loves curry, sharing stories and talking to random people on public transportation.
Alisha lives with fibromyalgia and clinical depression is keen to raise awareness. She blogs about her experiences at www.theinvisiblef.com


Website: http://authoralishanurse.com/

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alisha-Nurse

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AliApow

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Mary Preston said...

A great post thank you & such a stunning cover.

Unknown said...

Great cover!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I loved that you got in the head of the author as she wrote the book. That is the best thing ever! Author Alisha Nurse is a new author to me. The story line sounds amazing and I love love love the cover!!! Great blog post!

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