Harry Potter Puzzle at Downtown Books

 

While on vacation, we stopped by our favorite Outer Banks independent bookstore, Downtown Books. Located on Sir Walter Raleigh Street in Manteo, this store offers a wide selection of books, greeting cards, journals, toys and more. After reading their website, I discovered they also have a selection of pre-read (used) books. Must have missed that, because I sure would have browsed that section.

In addition to this awesome Hogwarts puzzle that we worked on at the beach house, I picked up some Outer Banks fiction. I love reading books set in places I visit. How about you?

 

Light In My Dark Book Blast and Giveaway

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Sixteen-year-old Harper Deveraux has longed for an adventure ever since her mother died of cancer four years ago. Much to her dismay, she is stuck in Glen Eden, a small mountain town in upstate New York that does little to fuel her hopes and dreams.

Another year of high school has begun, and with the Moon Dance only a few weeks away, Harper suddenly finds herself torn between the affections of two boys: her best friend Jack, and a new boy from the City named Knes who might not be from this world.

Strange things begin to happen in Glen Eden when Harper uncovers a mystery that involved her mother and a realm shrouded in darkness that lies beyond the wall… A realm that Knes intends to take her to. Only Jack stands in his way.

Light In My Dark, is an action-packed modern YA fantasy, filled with dark forces, love, and self-discovery.

EXCERPT

The heat under Harper’s sweater disappeared the longer she stared at the house. Goose bumps tickled her flesh. She wrapped her arms around her body, but the chill remained. Even so, her eyes refused to look away from the house.

“Well,” she said,” in the real world it is said that she fell through the floor in a part of the house that was still under construction at the time. No mystery there. Just an accident.”

Jack raised an eyebrow at her. “In the middle of the night? Who goes walking around a construction site in the middle of the night? That’s just stupid. What gets me is that’s what all the tourists come to see, not the lake or the mountains or anything else that Glen Eden has to offer. Give the house a ghost, and they come running.”

“Maybe it deserves a ghost. At least then it would be lived in.”

Neither one said anything for a moment as they stared at the mansion.

Finally, Jack spoke again. “There must be over a hundred rooms in there. It’d take days to explore them all.”

“It’d be an adventure.”

“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”

BUY LINKS:

ITUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/light-in-my-dark/id1153359302
AMAZON:https://www.amazon.com/Light-My-Dark-Beyond-Wall-ebook/dp/B01LVVONUS
AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Light-My-Dark-Beyond-Wall-ebook/dp/B01LVVONUS
AMAZON CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Light-My-Dark-Beyond-Wall-ebook/dp/B01LVVONUS
KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/light-in-my-dark
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/light-in-my-dark-jean-gilbert/1124599371

Publisher’s Twitter:  https://twitter.com/readroguehouse

Publisher’s Facebook:  www.facebook.com/roguehousepublishing

Publisher’s Website:  http://www.roguehousepublishing.co.nz

William Dresden is an author and award-winning screenwriting. He spent several years as a script doctor and pursued the dream of writing hollywood blockbusters. Now he mostly writes fiction and enjoys spending time with his family and friends. William currently lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

Visit William online at:

www.williamdresden.com

https://twitter.com/WilliamDresden

http://www.facebook.com/william.dresden.31

Jean Gilbert is an award winning speculative fiction writer from New Zealand. She is a Core member of SpecFicNZ, and is also the coordinator for SpecFicNZ Central. Jean’s novels include the Vault Agency Series: Shifters, Ardus, and The Vault. You can find her short stories Blonde Obsession in Baby Teeth: Bite Size Tales of Terror, and Pride in the Contact Light Anthology.

Visit Jean online at:

www.jeangilbert.com

https://twitter.com/jean_gilbert

www.facebook.com/jean.gilbert.7370

William & Jean will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner
via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Discount of the day: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1) only $.99!

Title: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1)

Author: Zoe Kalo

Genre: YA mythological fantasy/paranormal

Word count: 93,000 words / 330 pages

Official Launch: May 1, 2016

Amazon purchase link:http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Sun-Cult-Cat-Book-ebook/dp/B01DRDUQW8

Only $.99 until Wednesday May 11th(regular price $4.99)

Get your copy on Kindle today!

Daughter of the Sun, Book 1 – blurb

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

What readers are saying….

“This was an amazing story!” –Hot Off the Shelves

“This book was so super good! Great writing, great characters, great plot. Very immersive reading experience.” –Awesome Book Assessment

“Wow- this book was a stunning, magnificent adventure! Very well written and full of intricate details, I was immediately drawn in and just absolutely did not want to put this one down… The intrigue just leaves you racing through the pages to find out what will happen next! I absolutely, completely enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what happens in the next one!” –The Recipe Fairy

“The way [Zoe Kalo] writes cats into the book is astounding. Every little quirk, mew and lick is incredibly authentic. I love it when a writer is skilled at writing about the animals in the character’s story, it makes it more warm and fuzzy, no pun intended.” –Samantha Writes

“Daughter of the Sun is an intriguing young adult mythology read full of mystery, magic, action, and history… [it] kept me flipping pages like an addict.” –Fishing for Books

“Oh my God. This is definitely a ‘something.’ This concept and the plot is soooo unique and weird and fascinating that I did not want to put this down. I literally breezed through this one…. This book was an overdose of kitty love.” –Grape Fruit Books

“If you are looking for a Young Adult Fantasy book that is different from the norm, then look no further. Daughter of the Sun is full of Egyptian mythology, with layer upon layer of mystery just waiting to be uncovered.” –Archaeolibrarian

About the Author

A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…

A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.

Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web: www.ZoeKalo.com /Facebook / Twitter

Cursed by Christina Bauer (Giveaway)

Cursed (1)Most days, Elea couldn’t care less about having Necromancer magick. Who needs to conjure skeletons and sprits when you’re a farm girl? Elea only uses her powers to speed up chores and scare off suitors.

Everything changes when the evil Necromancer Tsar curses Elea. Now, she only has five years left before she burns as a ghost, tortured for all eternity. They say there’s nothing she can do, but Elea disagrees. She decides to embrace her Necromancer powers, train as a magickal assassin, and kill the Tsar… All before his curse kills her. Impossible as it may sound, Elea thinks she has it in the bag, but then everything goes horribly wrong.

That’s when a handsome mage named Rowan steps up to help. Elea wants an ally, but she doesn’t need all the mixed-up feelings that come along with Rowan’s crooked smile.

An assassination mission is no time to fall in love, but Elea’s heart may have other ideas…

 

Excerpt:

Once I curled into my tiny bed, I expected my dreams to be about Tristan. After all, I’d said his name before I fell asleep. Normally, he and I would meet in my old farmhouse. Instead, I dreamt that I sprouted wings and flew into the starry sky. Wind flowed over my body, and I hummed with pleasure as the cool air caressed me. A vast and empty desert rolled below, a vista of golden sand that was patterned in delicate ripples.

All of which was very strange.

Usually, if my dreams didn’t take me to Tristan, then they’d send me wandering aimlessly through the Zelle, worrying myself sick over some nonsense question like ‘why did I show up nude to breakfast?’ But tonight, I might as well have a rope about me, the pull across the desert was so strong. There would be no meandering this time, and my nonsense worries were gone as well. I only had a real concern for my friend.

Why wasn’t I with Tristan right now? Was our bond broken?

My wings kept driving me toward a lone figure crouched before a fire. As I flew in closer, I saw that it was a man dressed in Caster leathers. He was well over six feet tall with brown hair and broad shoulders. I wanted to touch the ropes of muscle that wound down his arms.

Wait a minute. Where did that thought come from?

Only Necromancers who’d renounced the cloth had the desire for a mate and children. Grand Mistresses weren’t supposed to be attracted to the opposite sex at all. I certainly never had been before, even before I joined the Zelle.

This man was dangerous. I wanted to fly away from him, but my wings only brought me nearer. Firelight cast deep shadows over the man’s rugged face, highlighting his square jawline, light beard, and bright green eyes. He stared into the fire, repeating the words of an incantation.

“I call upon you,” he said. The rest of his spell was lost on the wind. A haze of red mist swirled about the ground, the unmistakable sign of a Creation Caster spell. One word carried above the noise. “Viktor.”

I gasped. What would this Caster want with our Tsar? The man glanced up, his green eyes looking straight at me.

No, through me.

The man spoke the last words of his incantation—“so mote it be”—and lowered his head once more. The red mist of his spell disappeared.

 

The book is available NOW for pre-order!

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Cursed-Beholder-Book-Christina-Bauer-ebook/dp/B013CKZBPS/

B&N:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cursed-christina-bauer/1122457783 

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/cursed-76

Also available on iBooksCursed author

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. An avowed girl geek, Christina loves creating immersive fantasy worlds with action, adventure, romance, and kick-ass female protagonists. As part of her work in Ink Monster, Christina has co-developed the ‘Heroine’s Journey,’ a blueprint for telling female myths inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and golden retriever Ruby.

LINKS:

Author Blog : http://inkmonster.net/blog/category/christina

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/authorBauer

Twitter : https://twitter.com/CB_Bauer or @CB_Bauer

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/christina_cb_bauer/  or

Screen name : christina_cb_bauer

Goodreads : http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/546812.Christina_Bauer

Publishing Website : http://inkmonster.net

Publishing Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/inkmonster.net

Publishing Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/inkmonsterbooks/

Or screen name : inkmonsterbooks

Christina’s Amazon Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Christina-Bauer/e/B002BMCI28/

 

Christina Bauer will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

Enter to win a $10 Amazon GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Interview with Ingrid Koivukangas, Author of Hunters of the Dream (International Giveaway)

 

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_HuntersOfTheDreamIngrid Koivukangas, BFA, MFA, is an award winning environmental artist, writer, designer, Reiki Master and educator.

As an artist Ingrid works intuitively at sites creating new works in response to sites and their energies and histories both natural and human. Her work encompasses many media including site specific ephemeral, large scale public works, writing, video, photography, sound, web, sculpture, painting, drawing and printmaking.

Ingrid’s artworks have been exhibited in Canada, the USA, Europe and Asia. She’s been featured as an artist in residence on CBC-TV; has had numerous gallery exhibitions; has many site specific ephemeral works left in situ and large scale permanent public art projects.

Ingrid’s artworks have been included in many publications and books including: Art in Action: Nature, Creativity and Our Collective Future, published by the Natural World Museum and the United Nations Environmental Programme and Art + Science Now: How scientific research and technological innovation are becoming key to 21st-century aesthetics by Stephen Wilson, Professor of Conceptual and Information Arts at San Francisco State University. One of her favourite publications to be included in is Scholastic Book’s Now See This! Art That Influences.

Ingrid has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with Distinction, from the University of British Columbia Okanagan and a Master of Fine Arts, Environmental Sculpture, from the University of Calgary. You can view her work at: http://www.ingridkoivukangas.com

Ingrid lives on Salt Spring Island with her husband Robin, two dogs, Lucy and Scout, and a fierce cat named Hunter.

***

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13548228.Ingrid_Koivukangas
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IKoivukangas
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HuntersTheDream
Website: www.IngridKoivukangas.com

Thank you for joining us today, Ingrid, Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I wear, and have worn, many creative hats. I sometimes joke around and say that I’m a creative ad agency for the Earth, Nature and Spirit. As a designer I worked intuitively, taking people’s ideas and products, and turning them into tangible marketing pieces that delivered messages in a way that spoke to other people’s hearts and imaginations. As an environmental artist I work intuitively with dreams, Spirit and site energies to create work that connects the viewer to a specific natural site. In this magical space I walk between worlds – entering a world of wonder where I communicate with the Earth, the Spirit world, and the Animal, Insect and Plant worlds. As a writer I continue working with deep intuition, wonder and awe. Hunters of the Dream weaves together the way that I work as a designer and artist, with the magic of writing – calling forth characters and stories to reconnect readers to their innate memories of ancient mysteries and our deep connections to all beings, both seen and unseen.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I was bitten by the reading bug first. From the time I was a young child, I loved books–there was nothing I wanted to do more than read. I devoured books. I drove my sister, Anne (we shared a room) crazy because I stayed up, under my covers with a flashlight, reading until the sun came up. Stories allowed me to enter a world of magic and imagination. The more I read, the more I wanted to create and write stories that would allow others to also enter a world of their imagination. I wrote my first story at seven, novella at 12 and that was it, I was hooked.

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

I remember the impact reading books had on me when I was a young reader. With the kind of work I do as an artist I wanted to share the magic that I encounter when I’m working at sites and with Nature, through storytelling blended with fiction. I also wanted to write about, and begin a dialogue formed in the imagination, around the challenges we are facing in the world today, especially for youth. MediaKit_BookCover_HuntersOfTheDream

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I love that young adult readers are still open to new ideas and magic. They are still forming their views of the world around them. It’s an exciting and pivotal time. I think the biggest challenge is writing for a group that can range in age from as young as ten up to eighteen–or older. What one understands of the world at ten is not one understands at eighteen+. So, the challenge was how to write a story that didn’t leave behind the younger YA readers or become boring for older readers.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Hunters of the Dream, is about a young woman, Aurora, who thinks she’s just a normal teenager about to have another boring summer. Then, for her seventeenth birthday, Nana Brin gives her a long-silent Oracle that has been passed down through their family for generations. The mysterious Oracle soon awakens in response to the creeping Darkness that is escaping and destroying all worlds. Aurora must quickly find the courage to come to terms with her calling as the Huntress of the Dream.

As she is initiated into a world of deep magic, energy healing, and alternate universes she finds her fellow hunters and allies. They include, Ash and Wolf, who have been sent to protect her; Beaumont Sebring, a seasoned time traveler; Vaadin, an ancient Shaman with amnesia; Ronan Havelock, the shapeshifting Selkie who doesn’t understand that he is no longer human; Eirwen, the mischievous Nature Fairy; and Nana Brin, Aurora’s grandmother, who isn’t exactly who she appears to be.

What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to share some of the experiences I’ve had, and messages I’ve received, while working with Spirit and Nature, through storytelling.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

It’s available on Amazon (KDP Select until March 8), Kobo (ebooks as of March 9/16) and Chapters/Indigo. It is also available from all bookstores and retailers who order through the Ingrams Catalogue. NOTE: Hunters of the Dream will be available at Amazon from February 22 to March 20 for only $0.99.

What is up next for you?

I’m currently working on Book Two: Darkness Approaching, the second book in the Hunters of the Dream Trilogy.

I’m also creating a membership site for readers who would like to continue their journey into the world of . Membership is free to Hunters of the Dream readers, and grants them access to complimentary art and writing projects. Paid modules will also be available for a nominal fee. The paid modules will be especially appealing to youth, parents and home schoolers who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of our sacred connections to the natural and Spirit world through a variety of teachings and videos.  http://bit.ly/EnterAWorldofWonder

Do you have anything else to add?

Thank you for hosting me.

I’d like to invite your readers to signup for a free online Eco Heart Oracle reading: bit.ly/FreeEcoHeartOracleReading The Eco Heart Oracle, guides the characters of Hunters of the Dream through the story. Although the 48-card Oracle is central to the book, a user of the Oracle does not need to be a reader of the book to access the Oracle for messages from the natural world.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Ingrid We wish you much success. 

Ingrid Koivukangas will be awarding an Eco Heart Oracle Deck valued at $28 US, (the Eco Heart Oracle is an integral part of the Hunters of the Dream trilogy) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (International Giveaway).

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Interview with John Calicchia, Author of Mirror World

John Calicchia

John Calicchia writes stories of fantasy, action and adventure. In the fall of 2015 his book Mirror World was released! It’s a story of two powerful young sisters and their epic battle against evil. But, this book has something in it most do not: hidden secrets. It’s a teen and young adult fiction book with a self-help book hidden inside. You see… after publishing in psychology books and journals for decades Dr. C. felt his writing was not helping the young people he loves to work with. So, he took famous psychology studies and put it in the characters and plots in Mirror World to help with real life issues. As you become part of the story you can learn about psychology or you can just enjoy the tale!

John Calicchia Ph.D. is a professor of psychology who also works with children and young adults as a licensed psychologist. He lives near Boston with his lovely wife and two amazing daughters. You can usually find him in the pool swimming with his two big dogs.

For More Information

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Rhode Island, the Ocean State.

When did you begin writing?

I wrote my first story in sixth grade, and the class loved it and laughed so hard, I was asked to be the first one to read my stories for the rest of the year – motivation for an aspiring writer?

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

Usually mornings are best, but when I am in the flow it can go on all day long. The rest of the time I’m writing this story in my head endlessly.

What is this book about?

What would you do if you saw the future apocalypse of the world in a mirror? Would you try to save the world and those you love, or die trying?
Welcome to my life, this is the vision of the future I’ve been cursed to see.
– Cailyssa Larkin

Cailyssa hates mirrors because someone evil is staring back at her from the other side.  One day, she gazes into a mirror and sees a dark future that only she can change. With the future of her own world hanging in the balance, Cailyssa bravely enters the portal to the Mirror World. Here, the Dark Lord controls all the mirrors and bends reflections so all creatures see evil within themselves. With her sister Terry, her mysterious best friend Daemon, and a host of weird and wonderful creatures, Cailyssa embarks on an epic quest to overcome the evil forces trying to destroy her world. She can only defeat the Dark Lord by finding her true self and discovering the family secret that has led her to Mirror World.

What inspired you to write it?

I was always disappointed in science fiction and fantasy books because of a lack of strong female lead characters. Before Katniss Everdean and Tris Prior, few books or movies ever featured a strong female in the lead role.  I love the fact that my book is told from the first-person perspective and has two exceptionally strong female lead characters, who of course also have their vulnerabilities. I also have two wonderful daughters that are exceptionally inspiring as I watch them continue on their way to developing into strong, young, and capable women.Mirror World

Who is your favorite character from the book?

It depends on what day you ask me, but for today it’s Terry. She’s Cailyssa’s sister and a ton of crazy fun, with wings like an angel and 12 inch razor-sharp blades that come out of her knuckles she takes on any evil foe! But like all superheroes,  she has hidden weaknesses.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Both.  I was able to dictate the whole book using Dragon Naturally Speaking so the first draft went remarkably quickly.  The revision process and the multiple levels of editing took a long time!

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

Use as many beta readers as possible, and get ARC’s out earlier.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Follow me and you can also get a free copy of the users guide to help you understand the psychology behind the book by joining my website www.johncalicchia.com

twitter: @jacalicchia

youtube: https://youtu.be/8ezO9nWm9UY

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

Time will tell.  I’m hoping it’s the current book tour!

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Write what you love and you will love what you write ( and some other people will too)

What is up next for you?

The Users Guide for Mirror World is almost finished.  It has the secrets to where the psychology  studies are hidden in the book. You can get more information at my website or my blog.

There will be two more books in the Mirror World series. The next book Angelus starts literally in Hell with a dark angel being tortured for failing to destroy Cailyssa Larkin. Cailyssa has returned from Mirror World and is trying to finish her senior year in high school, when she discovers the war of the Angels she became involved in has followed her home. The Angels in this book are not what you think of in pictures or the Bible.  Angels have been living among us and walking the earth for thousands of years – you probably even know a couple – hopefully they’re not the evil ones.

Here’s a biblical quote that starts off the book:

His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And Lucifer stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.

After the Mirror World Series I have plans for a psychological thriller PSYOPS which is a dystopian world in which the government and the military control dreams through neuroscience and psychology.

I better get writing!!!!!

Is there anything you would like to add?

I hope my book is a somewhat unique stamp. First of all I hope it’s a fun and exciting story that entertains you. But I know as a  professor that the psychology studies hidden in the plot are very helpful for people’s lives. So I really hope it’s a wonderful tale, that has a free self-help book hidden in the narrative. Please get a copy of the users guide at my website after you read it and you’ll know what I’m talking about. In the meantime, read the book and keep guessing about the psychology behind it!

Warm Regards,

John

For More Information

  • Mirror World is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

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Wrapping Up Harry Potter

Well, I did it. I finished the Harry Potter series last month. It was tough to see it end because I had spent the past several months listening to the books in my car hp1as I drove back and forth from appointments. Music just isn’t cutting it for me anymore.

I purposefully held off on reviewing each book as I read it because there isn’t much new that can be said. Even if there was, almost everyone has heard of or read this wildly popular series, so it seemed superfluous. What I will do, however, is share my thoughts on what I liked about each book and if there is anything that niggled at me.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sets the stage for all that will follow. We meet many of the important characters who will remain throughout the series or will perish in the war against Lord Voldemort. By making Harry a sympathetic character from the start, J.K. Rowling gave readers someone to care about. He lost his parents; he’s being mistreated by his relatives; once he gets to Hogwarts where he is wildly famous and his life should improve, he struggles with his lack of magical knowledge and is despised by Draco Malfoy and seen as a younger version of his arrogant father by Professor Snape.

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In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets a diary is discovered that ends up being part of the plot through to the final book of the series and is crucial in Lord Voldemort’s defeat. This indicates Rowling may have done serious pre-plotting before putting pen to paper. As the story unfolds, Ginny Weasley becomes more of a sympathetic character than Harry because she is fooled by Tom Riddle (Voldemort) and possessed, putting Harry and the others at risk. We also see a very important plot point begin to develop: the hatred of Voldemort and his followers for half-bloods and Muggles.

When it comes to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, we meet another new character. As the story comes closer to the end, wehp3 hope that Harry will have just a tiny bit of happiness and not have to endure another summer with his Muggle relatives who mistreat him. There is a definite theme of salvation running through the third book: the possible saving of Harry from the Dursleys, the saving of Sirius Black from the Dementor’s kiss, the saving of BuckBeak who has been sentenced to death, and in some ways Hermoine being saved from overworking herself in an effort to be the best at everything. This book also reveals who truly betrayed James and Lily Potter, leading to their deaths.

hp4Some of these books don’t actually begin with Harry. Book four, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, is one of them. It’s a nice change of pace and indicates how Rowling worked to keep the series fresh and engaging for readers. We haven’t said much about Quidditch yet, but that is the game Harry has a natural talent for (discovered in Book 1), so this helps to balance that his magic might not be up to par with that of other students. Rowling uses the Quidditch World Cup to introduce another important character: Cedric Diggory. Cedric will end up competing in the Triwizard  Tournament, which hasn’t been held for over 200 years. This brings students and staff from other schools to Hogwarts. This is the book were Lord Voldemort is resurrected by Harry’s blood and what truly begins the war in earnest because the current Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge does not believe Harry and Professor Dumbledore (Hogwarts Headmaster) that Voldemort has returned. Parents, students, and the wizarding community must choose who and what to believe.

How many people loved Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but despised it at the same time? I know it brought out that reaction in me. So much hp5injustice takes place in this novel at the hands of Dolores Umbridge and the Ministry of Magic that at times it was hard not to scream or throw something against the wall. And for anyone who thought that Harry and Sirius would end up finding a nice cottage to live out their days once this whole war was over, they were dealt a crushing blow thanks to Bellatrix Lestrange. This is also the book where Dumbledore explains the prophecy to Harry that has brought him to Hogwarts and will eventually lead to his final showdown with Lord Voldemort.

In certain books, we learn more about other characters than Harry. That is true in books six and seven, where the history of Dumbledore and Tom Riddle a.k.a. Lord Voldemort unfolds. Book 6 is also one that doesn’t begin with Harry. Instead, the reader sees Professor Snape hp6in a meeting with Narcissa Malfoy, where he takes an unbreakable vow to protect and assist Draco in the mission Lord Voldemort has entrusted to him. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince also finds Harry given a mission of his own that will unfold in the final book. It is in this book that we learn how important the diary Ginny Weasley found in the third book is to Voldemort and his plan for immortality.

Then in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows best friends Harry, Hermoine, and Ron risk everything to bring down Voldemort. In order to do that, they set out on their own, learn more about Dumbledore’s past, infiltrate the Ministry of Magic, are captured and held prisoner at Malfoy Manor, secretly enter Hogwarts, and witness tragedy strike Snape who had been installed by Voldemort as the Headmaster at Hogwarts. It isn’t until Snape shares his memories with Harry that he truly understands what fulfilling his destiny means.

What I enjoyed most about these books is how they blended everyday things like relationship issues, coping with tragedy, love, family and friendship while harryexploring a magical world. These books also tackled controversial topics like prejudice. I loved how with each book Rowling upped the ante, so you had intense moments throughout each book, but the series as a whole slowly built up the dramatic face off between Harry and Voldemort.

I don’t believe I am alone, however, in being a bit let down by the epilogue. I am okay with vagueness, but I felt too much time had passed. There is also the matter of Draco and Harry. While I don’t believe they would ever be friends, I wanted to see a little bit more about how their relationship evolved after the Dark Lord’s defeat.

Have you read the Harry Potter series? What were some of your favorite parts? Is there anything you didn’t care for?