Title: The Guardians
Series: More #2
Author: T.M. Franklin
Release Date: November 7, 2013
Pages: 255, Paperback
Goodreads Rating: 4.4 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars
My Content Rating: PG (Nothing more than kissing)
- Could have used more Caleb and Ava? This is honestly getting very nitpicky. While thinking about this book, this is the only negative I could really come up with, but it didn't even bother me all that much. Since the book starts out three months after book #1 ended, Caleb and Ava's relationship has advanced quite a bit. We get to see their new bond, but Caleb and Ava are separated for a good portion of The Guardians, so we don't get to see that relationship really develop as much as you might like. However, see below for an explanation of why I was okay with this...
What I LOVED:
- Caleb and Ava. Even though we didn't get to see the real development of Caleb and Ava's relationship, I was actually fine with that because we had already seen the slow build in the first book. I was already really invested in that relationship from reading MORE and I was actually very excited to see that Caleb and Ava were together and really happy when The Guardians picked up three months later. And, while Caleb and Ava are separated for a good portion of The Guardians, I LOVED them together when we did get to see them that way. Especially toward the end of the book, when they are reunited, their relationship is incredibly sweet and I loved that the strength of their bond withstands all of the challenges that are thrown their way!
- Ava's strength. Ava is an incredibly strong heroine who takes matters in her own hands when things get tough. When Caleb is in trouble, she takes it upon herself to save him and she doesn't back down. I loved that her powers also kick into high gear in this book!
- Tiernan. Surprisingly for fans of MORE, one of the best characters in The Guardians is Tiernan, who terrorized Ava in the first book. We got to know Tiernan a lot better than this book and a really good guy is revealed underneath his gruff exterior. His banter with Ava was fun, and I loved that he really believed in his ideals and stuck to them, but not to the point of being bullheaded. I gained a lot of respect for Tiernan in this book.
- The suspense. This book was filled with suspense - I was incredibly invested in finding out what was going on with Caleb and who was pulling the strings. I was also excited to learn more about The Guardians and The Rogues and to gain insight into Ava's history. At the climax of the book, I was gripping my seat, terrified about what might happen to my favorite characters! I am definitely looking forward to book #3 in this series and I can't wait to find out what happens next!!
The Guardians is and excellent second installment in the MORE series. This is one case where there's no second book syndrome - the second book is better than the first! If you loved MORE, you will be nothing but happy with this book. If you didn't read MORE yet, what are you waiting for? Get to it! 5/5 stars.
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***
I see that MORE (the first book in this series) was written during National Novel Writing Month. Did you actually write the book in thirty days? What was your process like?
I wrote about 2/3 of MORE during NaNoWriMo in November, 2011. The commitment is to write 50,000 words during the month of November, or 1,667 words per day, and I actually wrote a little more than that. It was my first time participating in NaNo, and it made me a believer. Sadly, I didn’t do quite as well last year when I was working on The Guardians, in part because I was also promoting the release of MORE at the time, but I’m back at it this year with Book 3!
For me, the daily accountability of NaNo is invaluable. I need a deadline to keep me from procrastinating. It also taught me not to edit while I’m writing a first draft. That was really difficult at first because I kept wanting to go back and fix things as I wrote. But one of the basic tenets of NaNo is to just keep writing that first draft. Don’t stop to edit. Don’t go back and read it… just keep going forward to meet that word goal. There are also writing groups that meet (in person and online) during the month, word sprints on Twitter, word challenges in chat rooms –plenty of motivation to keep going.
I think the key to success at NaNo is preparation. I’m definitely a planner, not a so-called pantser. I write my synopsis first, then outline from that. I use yWriter5, which is free writing software that lets you organize your book by chapters and scenes, so I had Book 3 in the MORE trilogy already set up and ready to go well before November 1st this year. I have high hopes to get at least a big chunk of it done by the end of the month.
Was your process different when writing The Guardians or did you stick to what worked for you the first time?
The process didn’t really change, but I found some things easier, and some more difficult when writing the second book. I was obsessed with making it better than the first, so I second-guessed myself a lot (just ask my editor!) I didn’t want to disappoint any of the readers who enjoyed MORE and were looking forward to the sequel, and that did put a little pressure on me, even thought it was mostly self-inflicted. At the same time, working with characters we already knew made getting into the story a little easier – there was not so much need for back story, so I could focus more on the plot arc.
Who is your favorite character in the series?
It changes pretty much daily, but at the moment, it’s Tiernan. I had a lot of fun developing his character in The Guardians. We didn’t see a lot of him in MORE, and what we did see was pretty frightening. He was a big, scary guy who was after Ava. But in The Guardians, we learn a bit more about what makes him tick, and get some insights into the lighter side of his personality. His scenes with Ava were some of my favorites to write.
When I was a kid, I used to imagine that I had supernatural abilities, just like Ava did! (I'm still waiting to find out I was right - hmmm.....) Were you always interested in the paranormal too, or did these vivid stories come to you as an adult?
Me too! That’s kind of where the initial idea of the story came from. When I was a kid, I used to think I could probably do some amazing stuff if I could just concentrate hard enough. In fact, the story with the hamster in MORE was actually inspired by something that happened to me as a child. I brought home the class pet (I can’t even remember what it was now – maybe a guinea pig) – and lost the food. I looked EVERYWHERE for it, and I was desperate, thinking the animal was going to starve to death over the weekend. Lo and behold, that bag of food showed up behind the curtain on the windowsill. I KNEW I hadn’t put it there and was convinced it was a miracle.
I love that you took that part of the story straight from real life!! How fun!
What book are you reading right now?
I’m re-reading Divergent and Insurgent, by Veronica Roth, as I wait for Allegiant to be released. Hopefully, by the time this posts, I will have already gotten my greedy little hands on it. Can’t wait to read that book!
I was probably reading these books at the same time that you were! Now I have to go
One more fun question. Since my blog is called Feed Your Fiction Addiction, I always have to ask: What are you addicted to?
HGTV, especially House Hunters International, and Food Network. And coffee. I drink WAY too much coffee, but it’s what keeps me going! I should put a thank you to Starbucks in all of my books!
Author Bio:Author Bio:
T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. After writing and unsuccessfully querying a novel that she now admits, “is not that great,” she decided to follow the advice of one of the agents who turned her down—write some more and get better at it. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, Mike, is mom to two boys, Justin and Ryan, and has an enormous black dog named Rocky who’s always lying nearby while she’s writing. Whether he’s soothed by the clicking of the computer keys or just waiting for someone to rub his belly is up for debate.
In addition to MORE and The Guardians, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short story, Window, as well as another short story, A Piece of Cake, which appears in the Romantic Interludes anthology.