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March 19, 2013

Mini Review: Opal by Kristina Wojtaszek – Interview with G!veaway

Opal-Kristina-Wojtaszek

White as snow, stained with blood, her talons black as ebony…

In this retwisting of the classic Snow White tale, the daughter of an owl is forced into human shape by a wizard who’s come to guide her from her wintry tundra home down to the colorful world of men and Fae, and the father she’s never known. She struggles with her human shape and grieves for her dead mother—a mother whose past she must unravel if men and Fae are to live peacefully together.

Trapped in a Fae-made spell, Androw waits for the one who can free him. A boy raised to be king, he sought refuge from his abusive father in the Fae tales his mother spun. And when it was too much to bear, he ran away, dragging his anger and guilt with him, pursuing shadowy trails deep within the Dark Woods of the Fae, seeking the truth in tales, and salvation in the eyes of a snowy hare. But many years have passed since the snowy hare turned to woman and the woman winged away on the winds of a winter storm leaving Androw prisoner behind walls of his own making—a prison that will hold him forever unless the daughter of an owl can save him.

add to goodreadsOpal by Kristina Wojtaszek
Publication Date:  December 18, 2012
Publisher:  World Weaver Press

Available for Purchase:
amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions *

MaryAnn NewOpal by Kristina Wojtaszek was such an interesting twist on the Snow White Fairytale.  Told in the point of view of the present and the past, the tale of two woman come together in the end.

Opal is told in the point of view of a prince named Androw, who leaves his home to get away from his tyrant of a father, and goes into the dark woods in search of a fairytale that he remembers from his youth.  It is also told in the point of view of a woman who is not named until the end of the book, and follows her journey to understanding who she is and where she came from.

I loved the emotion that poured out in this story.  The love of a mother, the love of son for his mother, the love of a daughter for a mother she never really knew.  I adored the twist of the Fae in this story.  Where in the “original” Snow White, she was surrounded by the seven dwarves, in Opal, the seven are actually fae guardians.  I also love the way in which the story of the woman who turned into a hare was incorporated into this story.

I couldn’t quite understand why Eira does what she does when she thinks she’s protecting Androw.  Unless I totally missed something, I saw no reason for her to do the spell that she does.

As Opal by Kristina Wojtaszek is a novella, the author does a fantastic job of rehashing the past and present, and mixing them together into an unforgettable tale.  I loved the way the element of magic was twisted into this tale, which had my imagination running wild.  Author, Kristina Wojtaszek’s descriptions of the faeries in Opal were enchanting and had me yearning to learn more about their world.

Fans of fairytale retellings and stories involving Faeries will fall in love with Opal by Kristina Wojtaszek.  I can’t wait to see what she has planned next in her next installment, Obsidian.

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---InterviewTop Favs with Kristina Wojtaszek

1.  Top 3 Favorite snacks while writing and why:

KW-snacks

            Dark chocolate with sea salt.  I like to let it melt in my mouth while I ponder.  Vitamin water.  Really, it just tastes good, but I like to think it might boost my brain power just a tad, too.  And, this is really odd, but I love cottage cheese with a slice of Kraft cheese melted over it.  Yes, that’s right, I nuke my cottage cheese!  It is soooo good!  You have to try it!  Also, these are all snacks that are easy to eat without getting my hands messy, which is good for my laptop :)

2.  Top 3 Favorite books that inspired you to write and why:

KW-Books

            This is totally nerdy, but I fell in love with The Two-Thousand-Pound Goldfish by Betsy Byars in elementary school.  I really related to 8 year old Warren.  I, too, was lost in my imagination as a child, and most comfortable there.  Like Warren, the more angst in my life, the more I drifted away from reality to create worlds of my own instead.  I will also never forget reading the entire trilogy of The Lord of the Rings in one massive volume over one short summer.  I remember constantly looking up from the tome in my lap and thinking, “Wow, one man created all of this, the entire, vast world of Middle-earth, and instead of being committed to an asylum, his work is insanely popular!  How cool is that?!”  And lastly, one of my favorite books of all time, written by one of my absolute favorite authors, is The Book of Atrix Wolfe by Patricia A. McKillip.  Atrix Wolfe is such an image heavy fantasy with so much beauty wound into it’s meager pages that I just felt like there was no way I could grasp it all, like I wanted to read it again and again and just breathe it in!  McKillip is a fantasy goddess, and I will forever strive to be half the writer she is!

3.  Top 3 favorite techniques to overcome writers block and why:

KW-Writers-block

            I often start reading and writing poetry.  I use this when I feel like my writing has become dry.  Maybe the ideas are there, by the lyricism is absent.  I use it to restock my head with imagery (and lately, Sylvia Plath has been great for that).  Other times, I just need a break from the constant drain of creation.  I need to refuel by sitting back and enjoying someone else’s creations for a while.  Thankfully, there is no end to my list of books I want to read!  Also, I allow myself to daydream.  A lot.  And I pay better attention to my dreams at night.  They’re usually quite vivid, and more than one of my stories has developed from the images of a dream that haunted me long after I woke.

4.  Top 3 favorite movie moments and why:

KW-movie-moments

            The part when the toys in Toy Story 3 are about to be incinerated and they all grasp hands, and then are saved by “The Claw!”  I cry and then laugh, ever.single.time.  And I really don’t cry over movies, so why is it that a cartoon gets to me?!  But I just love that moment, it is so sweet, after everything those poor little toys have been through.  Another one is when Megamind comes strolling out of the giant head in the sky to the music of Guns N Roses’ Welcome to the Jungle and says, “Oh you’re a villain alright, just not a super one.”  And when asked what the difference is, he shouts, “Presentation!”  Damn right!  I love that scene!  Lastly, maybe I’m a touch morbid, but I adore the ending of Thelma and Louise.  I know, it’s horrible, but the way they clasp hands… it’s beautiful, too.

5.  Top 3 favorite gadgets and why:

KW-Gadgets

            I’m not much of a techie, so I’m going to answer this as “Top favorite SciFi/ fantasy gadgets.”  The first is the remote control in the movie Click.  After watching the movie, of course I’d never touch the fast forward button.  I don’t even think I’d want to rewind– but the pause button?  Oh how I dream of such a thing!  Do you know how much writing and reading I could get done with one of those babies?  Not to mention the ability to just stare at my little boys for a bit before they grow up as if they are on fast forward!  Let’s see– Willy Wonka’s 3 course meal chewing gum.  Oh yes!  I would never have to cook dinner again!  (so much more writing time, and so much less mess!)  And of course, the Star Trek teleportation devise.  Seriously, I’d like it installed in my garage, right over top of our family car, please.  No more long, gas guzzling road trips with crabby children throwing tantrums in the back seat for us!  One can dream, right?

Thanks so much for the interview, ladies!  It was fun!
Thank you Kristina!  Your answers were epic!

About the Author:

Kristina Wojtaszek grew up as a woodland sprite and mermaid, playing around the shores of Lake Michigan. At any given time she could be found with live snakes tangled in her hair and worn out shoes filled with sand. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management as an excuse to spend her days lost in the woods with a book in hand. She currently resides in the high desert country of Wyoming with her husband and two small children. She is fascinated by fairy tales and fantasy and her favorite haunts are libraries and cemeteries.

 

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway

WINNER!  CONGRATS KARIN M.!
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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!

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2 Comments

  1. I like that this is a novella, it sounds really good. Great review and thank you for the giveaway.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever
    Jenea @ Books Live Forever recently posted..Release Day Review for Mortality (The Hitchhiker Strain #1) by Kelley SheridanMy Profile

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  2. Aw, I love fairytale retellings. This novella sounds really good! :)
    Ana @ Anahera Reads recently posted..Review 06: Broken Elements (Mia Marshall)My Profile

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