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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

{Blog Tour) QUANTUM SPIRIT: Apocalypse by Sallie Haws

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Published by Fedd Books
“Quantum Spirit: Apocalypse” by Sallie Haws

 RENO, Nevada – At 13 years old, Salena Hawthorne is like any other girl her age juggling eighth grade homework and a budding love life, but there are a few mystical things that set her apart.

In “Quantum Spirit - Apocalypse” (Fedd Books) by Sallie Haws, clairvoyant Salena wakes up from a coma with new gifts that allow her to read auras and the ability to travel between dimensions. But when a menacing pandemic spreads in the Third Dimension and threatens to destroy the world as she knows it, Salena embarks upon a metaphysical journey that takes her to the highly evolved Fifth Dimension for answers.

Bringing the truth as to the cause of the pandemic back to the Third Dimension proves to be easier said than done. The leaders of pharmaceutical companies have dollar signs in their eyes, having trillions to gain in creating a cure. On top of that, the young heroine’s world is not quite ready to trust the supernatural realm. It’s up to Salena – and a few close friends – to make them listen.

A story of finding one’s inner strength and facing fears, “Quantum Spirit - Apocalypse” is the first
book in this new series written by Haws. The next installment, “Quantum Spirit - Redemption,”
releases next year.

Review and interview after the jump!

 ***I had the opportunity to read and review this book thanks to JKS Communications, a literary publicity firm! I received a print copy in exchange for my honest review. No compensation was offered or accepted***

Quantium Spirit: Apocalypse is a young adult fantasy that introduces many different concepts to the targeted age group while enticing them with the idea of magic. I would like to get the negatives of my review out of the way so you are left with a positive note! This book lacks copyediting and desperately needs it. It suffers from bad punctuation, overuse of quotation marks, random capitalizations that are out of place and inconsistent with repeated phrases, semi-colon misuse, etc. It is very informal writing, which is appropriate to the targeted age group, but the lack of copyediting will knock you out of Reader Zone time after time because it makes the writing a bit awkward.

 Okay, now that the grammar is out of the way, let's continue on to the book! This is a YA fantasy with a really interesting premise of a young girl with psychic abilities whose friends have accepted the fact that she has visions and a guardian angel named Angeni. On the arrival of her menses (period), she drops into a coma at school. When she awakens a few days later, she discovers more burgeoning powers such as the capability of seeing auras and interdimensional travel. In fact, she is the first Third Dimensional being to be able to do this and all at the tender age of 13.

The dimensions are explained as are the chakras, Akashic Records, life & death thoughts, etc., in an lecture-y manner by Salena's Fifth Dimension guide and her new Fif-D new friends. (That's the slang in the Fifth Dimension!) It's very wordy but explained in a manner that middle graders would be able to grasp the concept and then it's peppered with a 13 year old's vocabulary and boy-craziness. I really liked the different elements the author pulled together and the explanations of such elements as well as the aura colors, etc., but I found I had little patience for Salena's boy-crush tangents and her tone towards her parents. Her joking around towards her parents came across as rude and something I would never have gotten away with as a pre-teen. It's very disrespectful and not something I would tolerate either. I found her hard to like; rather, I would like to reach through the pages and smack her. HOWEVER, I am not the targeted audience age -- I'm thirty six years old. I am also a first generation on my mom's side and a third generation on my dad's side; respect is a big thing for both sides of my immigrant family. While I would not have liked anyone who spoke to her parents like that at thirteen, I imagine that today's middle graders would bond with her quite well and relate to the way she talks to her parents. Today's parents seem much more relaxed and tolerant of snotty little tones and sarcasm than my parents or I would be.

This book picks up in pace around 30% in with the discovery that Salena will be the key to solving the Blue Flu pandemic as it is energy/chakra based as opposed to physical based. Salena, able to traverse the two dimensions, will be key in solving this especially as she learns that forgiveness and love are the key to everything in the Fifth Dimension. There are no fears, hatreds, or angers there. It sounds pretty ideal, truth be told; a utopia of Star Trek proportions where it is all about the greater good, peace, love, and harmony. The Power of Intention rules the roost, shaped by forgiveness and love, and I really like this message for young adults as it teaches them to think beyond themselves, don't answer hate with hate, and to hope. The most intense power in the world is your will -- choose love, choose forgiveness, focus your intent!

It does  seem a little preachy and proselytizing in this manner, but the overall theme is a wonderful one. And who better to understand than a young protagonist not yet soiled into cynicism by the world?

"Learning to overcome fear through love, compassion, and forgiveness is the [fundamental] purpose of every soul who chooses to incarnate in the Third Dimension."  Seeing as how we live in Earth, the Third Dimension, I would say this is a great message and one we could all think about throughout our daily lives! 

Meet Sallie Haws
After 26 years working with the Haws Corporation, founded by her great-grandfather, Haws decided to sell the business and began pursuing her passion of writing sci-fi and paranormal fiction.

As the great-granddaughter of the inventor of the drinking fountain and founder of Haws
Corporation, Sallie Haws put her UC Santa Barbara bachelor’s degree in organizational
psychology to work to make a positive impact on her family’s business. Sallie held numerous jobs in the company over her 26-year tenure from file clerk to President and CEO.

At a young age, Sallie’s passion for writing was fed by taking creative writing classes in high school and college. It was nursed along throughout her adult years by a voracious reading habit of
paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy novels.

After selling the family business in 2011, Sallie finally had the time and inspiration to write.

“Quantum Spirit - Apocalypse” (August 2013, Fedd Books) is the culmination of years of personal
and professional life experience combined with the desire to empower, entertain and inspire adults and teenagers.

Sallie lives in Reno, Nevada, with her husband, son, daughter and black kitty named Chubs.
Official Website
Linked In

Q&A with Author Sallie Haws 

Salena Hawthorne, the teen heroine in “Quantum Spirit: Apocalypse,” is incredibly smart, strong, and courageous. What do you want readers to learn from her? 
I would love for them to learn how to tap into their own innate power and abilities. After being
a business leader and mentor for many years, I decided to take what I’ve learned and share that with eager and open-minded young women through an entertaining and non-threatening medium.
My personal reading genre of choice is paranormal urban fantasy. However, I didn’t want to
write a book about vampires or were-creatures. There are some awesome authors out there who do that extremely well, and I didn’t think it needed to be done again. I also wanted to write a book with a positive outlook for humanity’s future. I’m a little tired of the dystopian genre. I wanted to create a state of wonder with my audience. Our world is so full of fear and discord; it’s time to imagine a world full of love and connectedness.

On the surface, “Quantum Spirit” is a fun, easy read about a young girl who has some amazing abilities and some fantastic adventures. But the deeper you get into the book, the more profound the story becomes. Can you expand on that? 
 For many, the quick surface read will be enough. For those with a little more curiosity, dropping
down one level, the premise of the book is how deadly fear can be, and how love, gratitude and
forgiveness is the antidote. The third level introduces some metaphysical and spiritual concepts that are currently being practiced and taught all over the world. In that regard, “Quantum Spirit - Apocalypse” could almost be considered realistic fiction.

How did you come up with the idea of giving Salena all of these different gifts – clairvoyance, seeing auras and traveling between dimensions? 
 I actually had a dream about a young girl who could change her body’s vibrational resonance
that allowed her to disappear in the Third Dimension and travel to the Fifth Dimension. So that gift was the first one I came up with, but then I needed to provide reasonable cause as to why she might develop such a talent. Being an exceptionally strong clairvoyant at a young age I felt would lead credence to the development of more advanced abilities at the onset of puberty. Being able to see auras just seemed to make the package complete.

 If you could have any the abilities that Salena has in your book, which would you pick and why? 
 I think my first choice would definitely be the ability to transcend dimensions. Being able to
teleport anywhere in the world would seriously cut down on my travel expenses! Not to mention the money I would save on new clothes and accessories that I could instantly manifest while in the Fifth Dimension. As distracting as I’m sure it would be, the ability to see auras would be my second choice.

 Crystals play an important role in “Quantum Spirit.” Can you tell us a little about them? 
 The two main types of crystals that play a role in the book are Selenite and Quartz. The use of
Selenite came about by pure synchronicity. It was completely coincidental that the majestic crystal
caves in Niaca, Mexico where I chose to put the Akashic Records were made of selenite. Selenite was named after the Greek word for moon, and Selene is the name for the Greek Goddess of the Moon. (I had named my heroine Salena way before I discovered the crystal caves and what type of crystals were in them.) After researching all of the physical and metaphysical properties of selenite, I knew that if the Akashic Records were ever going to be located in a single place, they would definitely be stored in those crystal caves.
 I chose quartz for the healing ceremony because that is the first choice for metaphysical
practitioners who use crystals to augment their healing practice. Quartz crystals are able to structure, store, amplify, focus, transmit and transform energy, which includes matter, thought, emotion and other forms of information. They were the best tool I could give Salena to allow her to trap the negative energy of the Blue Flu.

Did you do a lot of research while writing “Quantum Spirit?” 
Yes. While the story is fiction, all of the metaphysical, spiritual and scientific concepts in the
book are based on theories and research done by many different people. I read and/or referenced at least 13 different books and I don’t know how many dozens of websites on the various different
concepts that I weaved into my story. Links to the books are all listed on my website.

Do you believe in the paranormal? 
 Absolutely. In fact, I believe in every one of the metaphysical concepts I put into Quantum
Spirit – Apocalypse, even the existence of the Fifth Dimension. That doesn’t mean I have the ability to do any of the “paranormal” things that Salena can do, but I do believe they are possible.

Have you always wanted to be a writer? 
Yes, I’ve always wanted to write a novel my whole life. My first attempt was in seventh grade,
and there were a couple of other ones after that. After selling the family business in 2011, I knew I
wanted to take this opportunity to finally write, but I didn’t have what I felt was a compelling enough story. In June of 2011, while on a houseboat vacation on Lake Shasta, I dreamed about a young girl who could change her body’s vibrational level and travel back and forth from the third dimension to the fifth dimension. Upon awakening, I walked out to the living room where my husband, son and his friends were eating breakfast and announced to the group, “I have my story.”

Without any spoilers, can you give us a hint of what to expect in your next book, “Quantum Spirit: Redemption?”
 Salena has a lot of work ahead of her. On top of staying one step ahead of the nefarious goons
who are trying to kidnap her, she must also continue to find a solution to help the millions of souls who are still trapped in stasis. Keeping track of Jace and trying to find a way to save him will also keep her rather busy, and she still has to pass eighth grade algebra.

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