Friday, December 7, 2012

~Book Review, Author Interview, and Giveaway: Before Happily Ever After~



 Author Ann T. Bugg

Ann T. Bugg is the queen of her castle in Southern Minnesota where she lives with her Knight in shining armor (who has come to her rescue more than once) and her own little Princess Valerie.  The pets in her magical kingdom come in all shapes and sizes, as do all the critters that make their way out of the enchanted forest.  Horseback riding, long walks with her dogs (Otter & Dottie, pictured above) and embroidering are on her list of hobbies, but writing will always be her first love.

Ann also writes Women's Fiction under the name June Kramin.
Interview with Ann T. Bugg
What inspired you to write your first book?
The possum in book one is actually what triggered the series. Even as I wrote, I didn't know what it would turn out to be. Things just fell in place. My daughter encouraged it and using her & her friend for characters, it could not have been any more fun to do!

How did you come up with the titles for your books?
I'm really not sure how it happened. I guess I wanted to leave a hint of question with "Snow" in one - the rest sort of followed suit. The name can always mean something else, so I guess I like the bit of intrigue from the get-go.

What books have most influenced your life most?
Honestly, I haven't' hit anything profound that made me go "Wow!" As a rule, I stay away from non-fiction. Life is interesting enough. I like to get lost in someone else's make-believe worlds.
What book are you reading now?
I happen to be reading the only 2 authors that aren't personal friends (although I do stalk websites & facebook fan pages :) . John Sandford & William Kent Krueger. They are also the only books I buy in paperback, because hubby likes to read them as well. Everything else goes on my nook!

What are your current projects?
I just finished another thriller so I'm taking a quick breather before I start the final editing process. It helps me if I leave it sit for a while & let it think about what it's done! I have been editing the 1st novel I ever wrote. It is a story near & dear to me. I'm afraid I will be forever editing it.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Honestly - the writing for me is the easy part. I'm a *pantser*. I don't think about the plot & how to get there, the characters always find their way. I'm always thrown some surprises and am thrilled with how they get there. Of course I get mixed feedback on this. Some say "then you don't know what you're doing" while some say 'that's when you know your story is taking shape". I just do what works for me.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
When weather permits - I have a couple of horses I ride around my property. We are off a great forest & state park. A lot of weekends we are off visiting friends. We are pretty much out in the sticks & tend to do more than our share of "gettin' outta Dodge".
~Special thank you to Ann for giving us a fabulous interview~
Book 1



Book 1: Through the Mirror and into Snow (Snow White)

When best friends Valerie and Samantha discover a magic mirror in Val’s 100-year-old barn in southern Minnesota, they eagerly go through it. Immediately they run into the young Snow White, who has just escaped the huntsman. The girls vow to help her find her father, knowing the dangers that await. On their journey, the fun-loving double-trouble duo quickly discover they are caught up in the middle of their favorite fairy tales.

Having the knowledge of the stories as their only weapon, Val and Sam help two other princesses, make a surprising friend and discover they have a fairy godmother of their very own.

My review:
I have been reading quite a bit of fairy tale books lately and this one is right up my alley.  A fresh new take on an old story.  This is a wonderful book for any age; from middle school on up. 

Best friends Valerie and Samantha are always on the lookout for a good adventure.  While visiting Valerie on her farm, the two girls find a magic mirror that leads to a magical  far away land.  There they run into Snow, who is running from her evil step-mother.  Val and Sam's knowledge of fairy tales helps them to save Snow and leads them on many adventures.   

You will read about many fairy tale characters in the first book before they became famous.  I recommend this book to everyone!

Book 2

Book 2: Into the Forest and Down the Tower (Rapunzel)

It’s time for Samantha’s summer visit again. Both she and Val are anxious to see if they will take another magical journey through the mirror. After learning of a problem with one of the horses, Odette makes her appearance and tells the girls it’s up to them to help him.

What Charlie needs is something that can only be found in their magical land. It can’t be given to them; they have to solves riddles and discover the answers themselves. A family of elves guides them, but even elf powers are limited when it comes to what stands between the girls and what they seek.

Trolls and unicorns were everything they imagined and more, but rescuing Rapunzel from her tower was an added bonus they never saw coming.

My review:
This book is equally as good as the first one.  Sam and Val are up to their old tricks once again.  When  Val's moms horse gets sick, Val and Sam are the only ones who know how to save him.  They must once again travel through the mirror.  There is a new and wonderful cast in this book.  From the elves, to the baker and even the unicorns; all hold important clues.

Did I mention Rapunzel?  The girls meet her and become fast friends.  On this magical journey they solve riddles, get rescued from trolls and help Rapunzel find out where she belongs.  A very entertaining journey for all ages.

Book 3

 Book 3: Off to Camp and Discovering Art (King Arthur)
Valerie and Samantha are disappointed that their schedules were not allowing them to spend a week together this summer like they have done every year since they were young. Their parents are able to plan a weekend camping trip towards the end of summer. The girls are happy for the visit, but sad to think they can’t go through the mirror this year on another adventure. They discover the magic is not only within the mirror, but within themselves when they are together. Merlin the magician shows up to take them on their quest to help Arthur find his true identity and his place in Camelot.

My review:
This was my favorite book of all three.  Val and Sam are so disappointed that they will not be able to get together this summer.  Everyone is just so busy.  Imagine the surprise when they find out they are going to meet halfway; for a fun filled weekend of camping.  They won't get their usual adventure but at least they will be together.
Merlin shows up to tell them their help is needed again.  Magic can happen without the mirror.  They find themselves introduced to Art, who just happens to be THE ARTHUR.  Normal hijinks's and magic galore as they help Authur find his way to Camelot and his place in royal fairytale history.
I want to thank Ann T. Bugg for gifting her books to me for a fair and honest review.  My girls and I enjoyed reading each one of them.  I am honored to take a part in this blog tour.  I recommend these book for all ages and for anyone who still believes in fairy tales.


Tour Giveaway

All 3 Books
Print available to US only, Ebooks available Internationally
Ends 12/12/12

Open to anyone who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent's permission. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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  1. Thanks so much for the interview & great reviews! Hope to see you in May with book #4!
    Ann T Bugg

    1. I can't wait to see what Val and Sam are up to next.