WELCOME TO SATURDAY SERIES SPOTLIGHT!
So I've decided that every Saturday I will shine the spotlight on an awesome series I think you should check out! It might be old, it might be new, who knows? Who cares? The one thing I can assure you of is it will be an AWESOME series that I think you should all check out.
To kick off Series Spotlight Saturdays today I am introducing you to The Lakeview Novels! And as an extra special awesome bonus I have an interview with the amazing, illustrious, author Stacey R. Campbell. But that's not all! I'll also be giving away a copy of the first book in the series, Hush. WOW! So let's get started why don't we?
Hush and Whisper are the first two installments of The Lakeview Novels. While they are a part of the same series they are easily read separately and still thoroughly enjoyable.
Hush is told from various points of view but the focus of the novel is really on two people. Blakely Henry, the adopted daughter to a wonderful family with whom she is most happy and content, and Max Ryder, the British foreign exchange student and aspiring writer who just might know the truth behind Blakely's parentage.
After the tragic demise of one of Europe's most beloved royal families Max finds papers in his Aunts old desk after he inherits her house. Papers about the Royal Family she used to work for. And papers about Blakely. So Max convinces his parents and his professors to let him transfer to Lakeview Academy so he can find out the truth.
What Max didn't expect was that finding out the truth could be dangerous for everyone involved. And he never expected to fall in love.
Release Date: March 10, 2014
Release Date: March 10, 2014
We once again attend Lakeview Academy with Whisper, but this time we are following a whole new cast of Characters! Meet Halle, Blakely's little sister, Leigh, one of Blakely's best friends, and Callum, who has seemingly slept his way through the female student body but really only has eyes for one.
Callum is a descendant of the founders of Lakeview Academy and when Halle finds a journal, hidden by Elsie Stewart, daughter of the founder, one day while cleaning out the attic for renovations to the school Callum tells her to keep the journal. Little does he know how much trouble, and adventure, such a small act could cause.
With the help of their Scooby Gang, and Elsie's ghost, Halle, Leigh and Callum solve a hundred year old mystery. And learn about love and friendship along the way.
LAKEVIEW NOVELS REVIEW:
I absolutely devoured these books. They read quickly and the stories and characters capture your attention and imagination fully. They also definitely leave you wanting more of the story!
Hush was a great romantic and princess novel without being heavy on either subject. Definitely a must read for all those Princess Diaries fans out there that have grown up some and want a little bit more mature read with a little more mystery to it.
Whisper has even more mystery to it and a different kind of romance that blossoms through the story. It's very different from the first book and yet effortlessly fits as a series. And although you might be dissapointed not to see Blakely and Max take a starring role in this novel never fear, you get over the disappointment quickly as you get swept up into Halle, Leigh and Callum's tale.
Although the Lakeview Novels are full of adventure, mystery and romance the main themes of the books are friendship, trust and love. An important message that everyone needs reminding of from time to time.
My Rating: ****/*****
GETTING TO KNOW THE AWESOME
STACEY R. CAMPBELL
1. What is currently on your e-Reader or night stand just itching to be read?
I usually read what I’m writing, Romance, mystery, paranormal, YA, middle grade etc. I finished 76 books last year. Right now I am really interested in taking book four of the Lakeview series, Silence, over to Europe and tying it to an unsolved Nazi war crime. With that said the next book on my list is The Monuments Men by Robert Edsel.
2. What's your go to cure for writers block?
This is going to sound awful, but I never get writers block. My biggest problem is not having enough time to write everything down. I have three releases this coming year. One Lakeview novel, Whisper, a middle grade pirate yarn, Arrgh, and a picture book, Sock Monster.
3. Do you prefer coffee or tea?
I am a complete caffine addict. I have at least three shots of espresso every day.
I also love tea.
I try to stick to mainly herbal blends in the afternoon though.
4. In Whisper the seniors go on a ski week adventure, for those of us in the snow-less states can you explain what ski week is and what such a trip might entail?
Ski week is real. Every February the school our three daughters go to rents out a small ski resort in the Okanogan Mountains. The kids ski during the day and put on plays, sled, have snow sculpture contests, and enjoy bonfires at night. It is a huge all school bonding trip that makes me wish I was in school again.
5. So, do you ski, snowboard, or stay curled up in the cabin by the fire with a good book?
I learned to ski when I was two and raced through university. My husband and I picked up boarding when we were teaching our kids to ski. I can’t get enough time on the slopes. I absolutely love it. There is always time to read after the lifts close.
6. You compare Lakeview Academy to Hogwarts. If you are being completely honest what house do you think the sorting hat would put you in?
I would say Gryffindor because that’s where the sorting hat at the Harry Potter museum placed me, but my kids said I’m a Ravenclaw girl.
7. How about your daughter whom you cite as your inspiration for the books?
I would say Hufflepuff because when she wants something she will work incredibly hard to get it, and she is loyal to a fault.
8. And because I'm a huge Harry Potter fan I have to sneak in one more Potter themed question, Which Harry Potter character do you most identify with?
As a mother, Mrs. Weasley, I loved seeing her really come into her own in the last book! Two of our girls, Leigh and Halle, say I have a bit of Fred and George Weasley in me too. When I’m in the middle of writing I am Luna Lovegood; I get a bit lost in plot lines.
9. Which Lakeview Academy character do you most identify with?
I really like North. I am bringing him back as a main Character in book four.
10. The Lakeview Novels take place at a boarding school so I'm sure what everyone will ask is, did you yourself go to boarding school?
I did. There are pros and cons to every school, but going to a boarding school was the right choice for me. Being responsible for my choices and myself at such a young age made me who I am today and I am really thankful I was given that opportunity.
11. How would you best describe your High School experience?
Looking back I would say good. I was really into athletics, but completely awkward around boys. I really didn’t date until college. I did have a lot of good guy friends though which was great.
12. What would be your advice to girls going away to school for the first time, whether it's boarding school, a foreign exchange program or away to college?
Believe in yourself. I know it is hard. People can be really mean. When someone says something awful about you, it’s themselves they are talking about, their own insecurities, not yours. Listen to your gut and tell those who try and push you into doing things you are uncomfortable with to piss off. They are not your real friends.
13. What's your advice to girls who might not get along with a dorm mate?
Patience! Dorm mates, roommates, spouses, children, it doesn’t matter; they can all get on your nerves. No one ever gets along with everyone all the time. When I’m maxed out I always try to take a deep breathe, go for a long run, and eat some really good chocolate.
14. Something I'm dying to know, what would be on your "List of Things to Pack" that people who haven't been away to school wouldn't think of? (Because when I moved into the dorms I knew who had been to boarding school and who was brand new to the whole dorm thing. I was one of the ones who hadn't a clue.)
I would pack a good pair of sound cancelling headphones, because life gets noisy, and an excellent sense of humor. Having the ability to laugh at yourself is something you learn pretty early at boarding school. I will never forget walking up to the main hall to go to class and finding my frozen underware flying from the main flagpole.
15. Let's talk a little bit about royalty. The Lakeview Novels has a royal mystery in it that you say was inspired by a family dinner, do you mind sharing the story?
Not at all.
Every night, when the girls are home, we gather around the table for dinner. On one such evening, years before the girls left for boarding school, we were discussing the British royal family. “Well, there’s both Tudor and Middleton on my side of the family,” my husband informed our girls.“Does that mean I could be a princess?” a twelve-year-old Blakely asked. “Only if several hundred people died first,” I told her. “But what if that happened? What if there was some sort of big family reunion and they all died?”
And the idea was born.
At the time I was writing a different story. When Blakely left for school I started Hush as a way to stay in touch with her. I would write a couple of chapters and email them to her, and then she would tell me what she thought. It was a great way to still be part of her life without actually being there.
16. Who has been your favorite royal in history?
Hard question! Historically speaking I’m not quite sure.
Currently I like Kate Middleton. Not very original, I know. Her sense of style is impeccable though and I love that she was born a commoner.
17. What are some of your favorite princess books?
Two of my favorite princess books right now are Shannon Hale’s. I think Goose Girl and Book of a Thousand Days are absolutely fantastic.
18. What is your favorite classic princess fairytale?
It would really depend on who the storyteller is. Some of the original tales by Hans Christian Anderson and the Grimm brothers are quite dark, but brilliant, and who doesn’t love a good Disney retelling. However during a long plane flight I recently re-watched Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday. It is so good. I know it’s a movie, but is a true princess fairy tail classic.
19. Who would be your dream cast for the film version of The Lakeview Novels? (Have I mentioned I'm available? ;-) )
Okay, you sound like the real Halle. She is dying to play herself. I amstill having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that Hush is going to be a movie in the first place. That being said, I don’t want to give anything more away.
For my personal thoughts, pre-movie deal, check out my Pinterest page under Lakeview Novels: www.pinterest.com/srcampbellwrite. I think you will like what you see.
20. And last but not least what is the number one thing you want your readers take away from the Lakeview Novels?
The biggest thing I want people to take away from reading the Lakeview Novels isn’t something from the books themselves, but something I learned by sitting down and writing them. I am dyslexic and was told by my third grade teacher that I would never be a writer, even though it was all I ever wanted to do. I took me 30 years, and several very good spell check programs, to work up the courage to finally sit down at the computer. What I want people to know, without doubt, is that you do not have to listen to the nay sayers. If you are willing to put in the work, anything is possible. Dreams do come true!
(Apologies but this giveaway is US only as I am broke and shipping costs are expensive.)