Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review: The Dark Gifts: Birthright by Willow Cross

"This was crazy. Just forty-eight hours ago, the man Elizabeth was now willing to sacrifice herself for, had been the very same man who'd killed her."  ~Chapter 1~

The opening lines of Birthright by Willow Cross, instantly captured my attention and made it impossible for me to turn away. The story begins with imminent danger as Liz, a newly formed vampire, is brought before the vampire council to await her fate, a fate she never knew she was destined for.
Having been accidentally turned by Michael, a ruthless vampire killer, Liz is learning the laws of her new world but her presence has sparked a reaction in the otherwise stable world of the immortals. There are dark forces that want to overthrow the council and Liz's turning is just the chance they've been waiting for.

Liz is a strong character, she stands her own ground, and looks to no one for protection. In an era where the damsel in distress seems to be the new trend, it was refreshing to have a strong female character. But Liz is not the only one you will find with this attribute, all the women in Birthright were strong and independent. I particularly loved Angie, always underestimated, she proved everyone wrong 110% of the time. Throw in the coven of strong witches and you have some serious female power!

Cross lives in Arkansas with her husband and youngest daughter and son. She is a remarkable story teller but she is also one of the best people I know. Always giving of herself and her work! In the beginning of November 2011 she created a Facebook group for the children's hospital in Arkansas, where she has managed to obtain donated books from other authors for the children to read during their stay. During this interview process I asked her what thought she wanted to leave her readers with, Cross's response was this...

"This world (society if you will) is only as good as its members. If you want the world to become a better place, then be a better person. If enough of us decided to do that things would change."

I can honestly say that Cross lives up to this standard.

I really enjoyed Birthright, the first book in Willow Cross's The Dark Gift's series. There were many interesting and unique elements that made the story compelling and kept me reading more. I'm also half-way through Inheritance, the second book in the series and so far it does not disappoint! One thing I like that Cross has done is write the books from different timeline's and from the point of view of different characters. Because of this, the books do not need to be read in sequence, brilliant!

If your genre of preference is paranormal, if you love vampires, witches, and strong female characters, then this is the series for you!

My Rating 

  Author Interview

  • As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Rock Star, a cop, or a fireman.  (And in that order. LOL)
  •  What inspired you to pen your first novel?\
A good friend who had more faith in me than I had in myself.
  • Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Coaxing time and motivation to cooperate with each other is extremely difficult.  If I have one, the other is usually missing.
  • Does anything scare you?
Hmmm.  Spiders.  I HATE spiders. (And I mean like freaks-me-out-so-I-scream-for-someone-to-come-kill-it kind of hate.)
  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’ve recently become a Bubble Witch addict.  I’m ashamed to admit it, but it’s true.  I can spend hours playing that game. LOL
  • When did you start writing Birthright and how long did it take to finish?
I started writing Birthright in the late fall of 2008 and finished it the first week of January.  (Okay, and by finished I mean the very first draft which looks very little like the story it is today.)
  • Are there any similar characteristics between you and Liz?
Loads!  She is very much an inner me coupled with the me I’d like to be.
  • Out of all the books you’ve written, do you have a favorite?
It seems that my favorite is always the one I’m working on.  I’m not sure why that is. I’m so attached to all of my characters that I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to let them go.  Logic tells me I’ll have to at some point, but I try not to think about it!
  • Which  of all your characters spoke the loudest, to you? Did any of them clamor to be heard over the others?
My main characters always seem to yell the loudest.  It becomes a problem in a series like The Dark Gifts, because as it moves along there are more key characters added to the mix.
  • What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
I’m immature. (Which is totally true.)  LOL
  • What has been the best compliment?
A reviewer once stated that Birthright reminded her of early Anne Rice.  It just blew me away!!!!  I don’t agree, because I’m nowhere close to her level of skill and precision, but WOW what a GREAT compliment!!!!!
  • What, in your opinion, are must-have tools for authors?
One of my editors gave me the best advice I think I’ve ever heard about writing.  She said that some people are all creativity with no technical knowledge.  Other people are all technical knowledge but lack creativity/imagination.  The key is to find a happy medium.  I have the imagination, I’m still working on the technical knowledge.  The most important thing is to keep learning, keep trying, and continue writing.
  • Any exciting news you’d like to share with us or last thoughts?
I’m going to be a grandma again in March and it’s a girl!!!!! LOL  Other than that, I’d like my readers to know how much I appreciate them.  I put a lot of effort into my stories with the hope they will enjoy them.  I’m thankful they keep coming back for more!!!!  YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!

Other exciting news for Willow and The Dark Gifts series
The Dark Gifts: Birthright will be releasing in print in January.
The Dark Gifts: Inheritance will release in print in February.
The Dark Gifts: Legacy will be releasing in e-book format in March!!!
  
You can purchase this book at the following sites.
(available for the Kindle)
(available for the Nook)

To connect with or contact the author; please visit her site at…

**THIS BOOK WAS ORIGINALLY REVIEWED IN JANUARY 2012**

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