Hello all! Super excited about free stuff right? Yeah, I always am too. Below you will find all the deets about Gifted by J.A. George as well as a chance to win her book for free!
Author: J.A. George
Publication date: April 13,2016
Available on: Amazon
Length: 287 pages
Did I like it? Yes.
You can find my review here, just in case you missed it.
There is no chosen one in this story.
Avery Gray was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.
Avery is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.
Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.
But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in. Friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.
However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side – Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love.
Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option – rig the future itself and make it work for her.
Q: When writing Gifted, what was your biggest inspiration? The thing that motivated you to finish?
A: I wanted to see how it would end! Gifted is my second edition of the novel and 95% of it is different to my first edition. My first edition was a book I wrote for other people; I wanted people to like it and I wanted it to sell. So I tried to write a novel that everybody would like, until I realized two years later that that was an impossible feat. The result was a novel I wouldn’t have bought in a bookshop; I didn’t like it very much. One evening, after reading and sighing over the novel and cringing, I decided to re-write Gifted into something I’d want to read: a contemporary YA fantasy novel that doesn’t feature insta-love or a girl born into a dystopian society, and a protagonist who isn’t the chosen one. After finishing edition one, I never thought I would get my novel to a stage where I actually liked it, then edition two came along and I don’t like it, I love it!
Q: What audience did you see yourself writing to? Who are you trying to reach?
A: Anybody who likes to read. I used to think only teenagers read young adult books which is why edition one features a lot of forced romance; I assumed that that is what all teenagers liked to read. Last year, I saw a survey online that claims the majority of the YA readership consists of those in their thirties. I’m so glad I spotted that survey because I know I’ll be reading YA in my late-fifties! I think YA is defined as a book that involves characters of the ages 13-18. My characters range from 19-21 and they will get older as the series progresses. I try not to follow any tropes or themes that specifically allocated to YA. Long story short, my novel is for anyone who wants to read a book.
Q: The heroine in this story, Ava, has a very specific body type that is mentioned more than once. Is it important to you to create a strong female character that is not only beautiful but also easy to relate to?
A: It’s very important to me that Ava is relatable because I like reading about realistic people; it makes fantasy more exciting! I think some novels are saturated with the skinny protagonist and I was guilty of that too! In edition one of Gifted, Ava was a UK size 8. I literally sat up in bed one evening, right as I was about to fall asleep and I said aloud, “Why are all my characters skinny?” There was no one else in the room thank goodness, but it got me thinking. Why are all of my characters the same small size when that isn’t a true representation of women? How can I make my novel come across as realistic if the characters are not? Living in the UK, I am constantly surrounded by people of all different shapes and sizes, and in my group of friends, none of us are the same size. There’s nothing wrong with having tiny characters, but there’s nothing wrong with having curvier characters either.
Q: While on the subject of Ava, did you make a conscious effort to create a heroine that really is average, and only after making a choice that shows her true character, is transformed into something more than her previous self?
A: I honestly tried to make Ava as “ordinary” as possible, but it wasn’t hard. Ava is just a regular girl.
Q: There is a touch of a love connection in Gifted, is there more to come?
A: There is! Like I said before, I didn’t want a novel that featured insta-love because honestly, that’s not how real relationships work. My first edition of Gifted had insta-love. The characters met and by chapter ten, they were in love. I only added that because I thought insta-love was a popular theme for YA novels and again, I wanted readers to like my novel. Edition two is a lot slower in the love department because that’s how I see love, it takes a while to develop. I think intrigue, infatuation and lust are often misconstrued as love. One reader thought Ava was in love with Theo because she describes him as “handsome” and likes the way he looks; that is definitely not the case! If I fell in love with every man I thought was handsome, I’d be in a lot of trouble!
Q: Will each book in the series be a continuation of the story or will it break and follow additional characters? Should we expect the POV to change?
A: The POV will change in books three and four and I am so excited for this! Things get a lot more serious in book two and onward, and the group won’t always be together. So you’ll see what’s happening from each of the seven main character’s POV’s and maybe an additional extra *wiggles eyebrows*.
Q: More importantly, how long will we have to wait in between books?
A: Book two will be coming out at the end of 2016 or latest 2017!
Q: So because many of my readers are reviewers themselves, are you looking to giveaway any ARCs and if so, do you have a website they can request one at?
A: I would love to! They need only tweet me at @JGeorgie_ or reach me via my blog: www.thejourneyofgifted.co.uk I would love to hear reviewers say they’re interested in reading my book. I’m not just being nice; contact me!
Click the link below for a chance to win a no strings attached copy of Gifted for free! Eeek!!