I have had a love of sci-fi since I was a kid... watching Star Trek with my father. I am such a junky for action packed sci-fi movies to this day... thanks Dad! That love started to include the supernatural/paranormal as I reached my teens. I will always thank Anne Rice and Lestat for introducing me to a whole new genre... and my love vampire fiction was born. When I began writing, I didn't consider the YA paranormal genre. I started two previous projects that I couldn't finish, and I never knew why. But, when I started to write - A Chance for Charity (The Immortal Ones) - the story poured out of me and I loved every minute of the writing process! I still have those other stories, and someday I plan to go back and finish them.
I am a crafter by nature! This probably also explains my love of writing - it is in the creative family. I scrapbook, sew, bead, etc... I love to create. I have a room in my home dedicated to crafts. Paper, ribbons, stickers, die-cuts, there is whole mess of supplies! At one time I was in the handcrafted wedding/party invitation business. You should see my kiddos' birthday invitations!
My other love is baking, although I don't do a ton of it. Because if I bake it, then I want to eat it! Cookie creation is a fun process. I like to see how many yummy ingredients I can cram into a recipe. So far, my favorite cookie is an oatmeal, coconut, chocolate chip, toffee bit cookie - YUM! I will totally email you that recipe :D
On top of writer, part time teacher, crafter, baker... I am wife and mother - the latter being the best job in the world!
on Dec. 16, 2012 :
It was a bit hard for me to sort out the feelings I experienced while reading this book. It’s easy to get in the story and turn page after page, without overly annoying things to take your attention away from the story. It was a nice book to read. Nothing breathtakingly good or I-want-to throw-it -away-as-far-as possible bad. Just an enjoyable story where nothing really stood out. These are the hardest books to write a review about, in my experience .
Well, what CAN I say about the story? It felt a bit like I was reading Twilight, but then from Edward’s perspective. Not that this is Twilight in a new coat or that it resembles even a bit. It’s a total different book. It’s just that this was how I imagined Edward would have felt, the emotions he would have experienced when he met Bella. Except the problems with the drinking blood and the shiny part. And the protagonist is a female. Although blood eventually plays an important role ^^
One thing I liked about the book is the connection between Charity’s past and Link (what an appropriate name ). It was so touching, cause this way she’ll never forget and he’ll be always with her. And it just means that some things are meant to be (hope this was cryptic enough and no it’s not Link I’m talking about ) It’s just a shame that nowadays most books I read rely on the instant chemical attraction or soul mate business. There’s no gradually falling in love anymore. Fortunately this book is different. Here the build up is slowly, gradually. And it’s not instant attraction, instead there’s the feeling of having met someone before ^^
A little thing that bothered me, though, was the way shifters are used. It wasn’t anything like the usual facts I’ve read about (for instance they can change in several different animals, which is cool ^^), but the way they were defined in this book wasn’t exactly to my liking. I’m just a very big Shifter Lover, so I prefer reading things a bit differently ^^
Conclusion: 3 hearts. A nice story about a new kind of vampire, without all the blood and shiny and I’ll-burn-in-the-sun stuff. With a love transcended through time. It’s a nice turn of events to follow the story through the eyes of the paranormal being instead of the mortal. The romance is slowly being build, not like the instant attraction you read about so often lately. Although I’m not that fond of the way shifters are portrayed.
(review of free book)
on April 11, 2011 :
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters. I was not sure if I would enjoy reading this, but it was very easy to read and it kept my attention throughout the whole book, trying to decide what would happen next.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on March 30, 2011 :
A Chance for Charity was a beautifully crafted, well developed paranormal story. While the story falls under the young adult category, the characters themselves do not behave like naive teenagers – because they are nothing of the sort. Although Charity (who currently goes by Emily) appears to be a seventeen-year-old, in reality she is in her nineties. She, and her companions, Catherine and James, are “immortal ones”. They never age and can heal themselves, but they can be murdered.
Baum does a fantastic job with the characters, especially Charity. I found her to be extremely endearing and easy to sympathize with. For the past seventy odd years she has kept the world at a distance, after she lost her first love during the attack on Pearl Harbor. She looks to Catherine and James for companionship, but it is obvious that she is missing something.
The book begins when Charity, Catherine and James move to the small town of Telluride, Colorado. Because they do not age, they are forced to start over every few years to avoid discovery. The trio is constantly looking over their shoulders for the Lords family – a family who has made it their legacy to hunt down the immortal ones. When they arrive in Telluride, they change their names as a precaution, here Charity is known as Emily Johnston. James and Catherine pose as Charity’s Aunt and Uncle, since they appear older then Charity.
Like the character of Charity, I was also impressed with James and Catherine. As the book progresses both characters are fleshed out and we are given their back stories. I don’t want to give too much about the characters away, but the way they met was very creative. Both Catherine and James care immensely for Charity and act in the parental roles, even though in reality she is over ninety years old.
Soon after the makeshift family arrives in Telluride, Charity meets Link. She instantly feels comfortable with him and cannot seem to stay away. She knows that by allowing a relationship (of any kind) to progress she is putting her family in danger, but she cannot get him off her mind. She feels that she knows him from somewhere and Link feels the same pull towards her.
The only problem I had with this book can be found with Charity and Link’s relationship. Let me start by saying that I loved the two of them together. Link brings out another side to Charity; a side that she has kept hidden away for decades. He too has kept his distance from others and they sort of heal each others wounds. That being said, I thought their relationship progressed way too fast. They go from acquaintances to friends at a reasonable pace, but there descent from friends to soul mates was like lightning. I could kind of see it from Charity’s perspective; I mean she has been waiting to fall in love for a while. But Link is only twenty-two. How many twenty-two year old guys are ready to make a declaration of love after something like two months? Please don’t miss understand me, I was thrilled with their relationship, I just wish they would have slowed down at bit.
On another note, the plot line and writing were phenomenal. You get to meet a few different supernatural creatures as the book progresses – some vampires, witches and even a few shifters. However, I really appreciated that the supernatural elements were not over done. This was obviously a book about supernaturals, but that was not front and center. Often times with these sort of books, the characters themselves suffer because the author was so focused on their supernatural qualities and traits. All of the characters in A Chance for Charity were beautifully developed and the plot lines were well thought out.
There is also plenty of excitement packed within the pages; things really start to heat up when the Lord brothers come to town. Catherine, James and Charity have to decide whether to runaway once again or to stay and put up a fight. Like I said before, although they are immortal, they can be killed. They are terrified of losing one another, because they are all they have. I cannot imagine how lonely it would be, living on forever as you watch those around you die. The three of them keep each other sane; I don’t think they could stand it if they lost one another.
On a final note, the setting is also to-die-for. The images of the quaint ski town of Telluride that Baum paints are gorgeous. I could easily picture every different setting; Catherine’s store, Charity’s mansion, the ski slopes – every lovely detail was described. Yet, the writing never seemed to drag. The pacing was always just right. While we get a lot of information about each character, it comes in short segments so it is never overwhelming. There is nothing I hate more than when a writer goes off on a side note for pages and pages and pages. Thankfully, this is avoided and everything flows smoothly.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Chance for Charity and look forward to reading the sequel, which is going to be published sometime this year. Besides the minor problem with the pace of Charity and Link’s romance, the book was flawless. I connected with all of the characters, loved the storyline and cannot wait to see what happens to Charity and the gang next.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)