Akea-The Power of Destiny ** Blog Tour Review & Author Guest Post**

Today Cat and Mouse are featuring Elizabeth Jade's latest novel, Akea - The Power of Destiny. With a target age range of 8 - 12 years, it is a Middle Grade book and is a standalone first book of a planned series. Elizabeth has also written a guest post for us, all about the inspiration behind the series. First, a little about the book and a chance to listen to some extracts:

Akea is born into a family of sled dogs and a life that follows a predictable path, but from the day she first sees the lone wolf, Kazakh, Akea knows her future lies beyond the safety of her home. Kazakh is well aware of Akea's destiny and the pack laws he will break to help her reach it. Regardless of the challenges ahead, he must make sure this young husky will be ready, even if it means his life.

If you want to hear a few short extracts being read aloud by the author, check out these links: 

Reading  from  Chapter 1   (2 mins 44 secs)

Reading  from  Chapter 6   (2 mins 26 secs)
Reading from Chapter 10   (2 mins 17 secs)

Author Post- The inspiration behind the Akea series by Elizabeth Jade.

It doesn’t take much to set my mind racing. To be honest, it’s a little too easy to stimulate - a casual conversation, a video clip on YouTube or even just someone saying, ‘That would be a great idea for a story,’ is enough to have me reaching for pencil and paper.  In the case of Akea, the inspiration came from a photograph.

I like to work with a picture of my main characters in front of me as it helps me to ‘feel’ their personalities. One day, I was searching for the image of a Dalmatian for a story idea I was working on. It needed to be a Dalmatian with a Siberian Husky and it needed to have the right ‘feel.’  I eventually found an image that seemed to fit my need, but instead of it helping with my Dalmatian story, it felt as if the husky was telling me her story instead.

Once my mind shifts into writing gear, I don’t have much control over what happens next; it’s more like a frenzy really.  My pencil struggles to keep up with the speed at which my mind is working, so it's a good job I'm not being judged on spelling and punctuation at this point. The need to write the next part of the story can appear at any time and is stronger than the need to eat or sleep, but if I don’t empty my head, it feels as if it will burst. It feels as if the book is fully written in my head and I am just the secretary.

When writing Akea, I had no idea that this would be the first book in a series.  At the end of the final chapter, I passed my notebook to a family member for their verdict.  First, they asked me what happened in that last chapter, but I literally had no idea. After reading it, they smiled and said, ‘Well that could cause some trouble when they have kids.’  
A read through of the whole story also raised some interesting questions. Who was the Great Volk? Why was Akea special? And, Is her destiny part of a bigger picture? I couldn't actually answer any of these, but the various theories that followed were enough to kick-start my imagination and have me reaching for my pad and pencil again. 

As this second story began to develop, I could see the bigger picture beginning to unfold and I knew I couldn't keep calling these stories Akea 1 and 2. As Akea’s destiny was the inescapable force behind Book 1, adding the subtitle ‘The Power of Destiny’ seemed appropriate.  Since then, I have finished writing Book 2, ‘Akea- His Mother's Son,’ almost completed Book 3, ‘Akea – March of the Pack, and written parts of books 4 and 6. I'm not sure what has happened to Book 5, but I'm confident it will reveal itself when it's ready.
As my inspiration can come from people as well as photos and video clips, I would like to conclude this post by quoting the words off one of my favourite jumpers: “I am a writer!  Anything you say or do may be used in a story.”  You have been warned!

My Thoughts
The first in the series, Akea - The Power of Destiny nicely sets up the series and establishes the relationships between the animals. At 72 pages, with short chapters, it will appeal to middle grade readers. There is plenty of action within the tale which goes along at a cracking pace. I enjoyed one of its themes, that outside appearances can be deceptive and that it is what is on the inside which counts. There has obviously been a great deal of thought gone into this writing, even down to the choice and size of font. Anthony Wallis' beautiful illustrations add to the story and capture it on the page.

Cat and Mouse say...What a talented young author- well done!

About the Author

Elizabeth Jade was born in North Yorkshire, England, in
1998 and moved with her family to Wellington when she was very young. Her early schooling did not go smoothly and she began home schooling at the age of 7. She stumbled into writing at the age of fourteen when she began to struggle with depression and anxiety, and quickly found her story ideas pouring out faster than she could get them onto paper. It wasn’t until the age of eighteen that she realised her struggles in school had been due to Aspergers Syndrome (an autistic spectrum disorder). She has always had a passion for animals and has volunteered at various animal rescues, so it seemed only natural that her stories would revolve around them.

You can follow Elizabeth here: Facebook   |  Twitter 
                          |  Instagram   |  Pinterest   |  Website

Book links: Amazon UK    |  Amazon USA

Thanks to Elizabeth and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

                                              Check out the rest of the tour!



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