Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Utah Authors - There's Something in the Water & Review: Blood Moon by Teri Harman

Brooke, Teri, and Me at Delicious Reads Book Club (I was trying to be a water witch) 
I love to meet new authors, especially ones from Utah. It goes to show that Utah grows more than just Mormons and American Idol contestants. There are some amazing writers from here too: Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn), James Dashner (Maze Runner), Marissa Meyer (Cinder), Shannon Hale (Austenland, Princess Academy), Brandon Mull (Fablehaven), Brodi Ashton (Everneath), Ally Condie (Matched), Dan Wells (Partials), and I'm sure I'm missing some other pretty amazing ones.

There must be something in the water here because I've had the pleasure of meeting with one of Utah newest successful authors, Teri Harman. Her recently released book, Blood Moon, is well on its way to adding to the amazing novels sprouting from Utah. She came to our latest Delicious Reads book club and I was able to get some behind the scenes info from this lovely gal (Check out my Q&A after my review).

AUTHOR: Teri Harman (
GENREYoung Adult

MY SUMMARY: Willa and Simon have grown up feeling out of touch with society because of a magic housed deep inside them - Willa's sees ghosts and dreams future events and Simon feels others emotions and can heal with a touch. It isn't until a chance meeting in Willa's hometown, Twelve Acres, that the two teens find out that they are actually witches. As an unexplained and powerful magic pull them together, they have to choose to put away their simple lives and dreams to become part of true Light Covenant, joined together forever with 10 other witches. If they don't, the Dark witches may send Twelve Acres and the rest of their world back into the dark ages.

Check out the Book Trailer:

MY OPINION: I've read several books on witches and this one had to be one of the most convincing. I loved the different gifts bestowed on the witches and the history surrounding the town of Twelve Acres.

The opening chapter hooked me with the magical pull Simon and Willa felt for each other. Their connection, though improbable, just felt right.

The different view points in the story gave me a feel for each character. The darkness coming off the evil protagonist sent eerie chills through me, while Willa's character felt innocent and light--like a believable teenager.

I had a hard time following the jumps from character to character at first, but by the middle, the story started to come together and I had to find out how the Light witches would overcome the Dark witches. The mystery of their past and how Willa's best ghost friend was connected to all of it drew me in too.

I can already tell that this story isn't going to have a simple ending and I'm excited to see how the Light witches will overcome the Dark (and I really hope that the magic within Simon doesn't make him bad).


Kissing, caressing
Fighting, killing, abuse, animal cruelty

Dark magic, lots of suspense
**Robin-approved for teens 13+**

I loved the idea of the 6 magic gifts:

I took the “Which Witch Are You” quiz to find out which type of magic I would have. I'm a WATER witch!

And now onto the part you've all been waiting for . . . the behind-the-scenes info on all things Teri Harman and Blood Moon:

Q & A with Teri Harman

1. Where did you grow up?
Kansas City, Kansas, Miami (for 2.5 years), and Utah (since 12 years old)

2. Have you always enjoyed writing?
Yes! I've always loved writing even as a child. My first story was about a cow, which I dictated to my mom and she typed on her electric typewriter when I was four or five.

3. Where did your inspiration for Blood Moon come from?
A Halloween party. Every year I host a witch themed Halloween party for the women in my family. In 2010, I found an incredible location - a 100 year old school house out in the middle of nowhere. The Camp Floyd School House was so perfect I needed a party to match. I started reading up on witches and magic to get ideas for the party, but was so fascinated by what I read that it soon became inspiration for a novel.

4. What was your publishing experience like?
The first book I tried to publish didn't work out, but I was able to get an agent for Blood Moon. A year later, we still hadn't found a publisher, but my brother was at a BYU conference and saw Jolly Fish Press. We sent my stuff off and they agreed to publish. All together it took me 6 years and over 100 rejections before I saw my first novel published.

5. Tell us what it’s been like to be a “Mom Author.”
It's chaos! But it's also great. I have to be disciplined, but also flexible to get everything done that I need to everyday. I love being at home for my kids, but am so glad I have my own pursuits as well - it keeps me sane. And luckily I have wonderful kids and an extremely helpful husband.

6. Tell us about your other book, “A Painted Life”
This book is very dear to my heart. I wrote it while BLOOD MOON was on submission and I was wondering if my dream would ever be realized. This is Saffron's story. Saffron is a painting - a girl in a painting who is alive. She wants nothing more than to escape her prison of oil and canvas to live a normal life. A normal life with the man she loves, Emmett Charles. The book is set in the late 1890's in Boston and is part literary fiction, part magic realism, part romance. I can't wait for reader's to read it!

7. What other hobbies or interests do you have?
I am addicted to stories. I read a LOT! I also love watching TV series and movies. I enjoy yoga, dancing and biking. We also love to travel and be in the great outdoors. And when the mood strikes me, I love to cook.

8. What are your favorite movies/TV Shows?
Call the Midwife (Netflix), Walking Dead, Sherlock, Downton Abbey, North and South (BBC), Wuthering Heights (BBC with Tom Hardy), The Big Bang Theory. The best witch movies I've seen are Practical Magic and Hocus Pocus. There are so many non-witch movies--its so hard to choose. An oldie but goodie is Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson one), The River WildThe Decoy BrideLove ActuallyWilly Wonka and the Chocolate FactoryEdward Scissorhands, I'm also a sucker for old movies and musicals.

I'm kind of a geek too so we love Doctor Who, Battlestar Galatica, and some of my favorite movies are the old Star Trek movies. I grew up on them, but I'm sure people who watch them now are saying, "What is wrong with you?!" I watched The Next Generation and probably have seen every episode at least five times.

9. Do you have a favorite witch book? Other than your own ;)
My favorite witch writer is Paula Brackston. She actually has two books out right now The Witch's Daughter and The Winter Witch. The Winter Witch just came out this spring. Her books have natural magic--they are like historical fiction/supernatural thriller. I hope she comes out with lots of them.

10. What books have you enjoyed that you think would make a good book club book?
We have a book club and we've read The Thirteenth Tale, The Book Thief, Big in Japan, Eleanor & Park (watch out for swearing and sexual content), The Snow Child, The Light Between Oceans.

11. Tell us about your book launch at The King's English.
That was one of the surreal, dream days because I go to the King's English all the time. It's my favorite book store. Every time I've stepped in there or gone to an author event, there was always in the back of my head, "I really want it to be me! Why isn't it me yet?" So that day was surreal and perfect. The King's English had a cake made with the book cover image. I didn't even know they were going to do that.

12. Which Witch gift would you choose?
I would have to say Willa's gift because a lot of the scenes in the book were inspired by my own dreams. That's why I gave her that gift. That's where it all began. The hand reaching out - that was a dream I had. I saw that hand. Also, the part where Willa is running through the forest and the sky shatters and falls. That was a dream. When I was thinking of what her magical power would be I thought, "Let's make her a dreamer." She's not me, but that gift is what I would want.