Friday, May 13, 2011


Redheart by Jackie Gamber

I’m very happy to have my first author interview. I’d like to welcome Jackie Gamber, author of Redheart to StuckInBooks.

Would you describe your book in 5 words.

Wow, talk about an elevator pitch--this must be an express elevator! Let’s see:

Hero saves day despite himself.

Why dragons?

The inkling of Redheart came by way of a dream I had. As I pondered on the dream, and the character I met, a world started developing in my mind. It grew into a world of dragons who are disappearing from their time, and evolved into the Redheart of today. At first, I didn’t know why it was a world of dragons, but eventually, I came to see their symbolism as creatures that rise above. Flying as a way to hold on to dreams.

If you could be any of your characters, who would you be?

This is a great question. In a way, I suppose I am a bit of all them; different facets of my experience making their way into my characters’ heads. If I had to choose, though, who to live as for a while, I think I’d go for Layce Phelcher, my female wizard who’s a little distracted and has yet to come into her own, really.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what?

I do listen to music! But I have to be careful, or I end up thinking about lyrics, changing the mood of a scene to match the music’s atmosphere, that sort of thing. I’ve learned I need lyric-less music with an ambient sort of personality that fades comfortably into my surroundings without arguing with my head voice. I love Deuter, George Winston, Celtic blends from Lifescapes.

What message are you trying to send your readers in Redheart?

My message would be along the lines of the dragon symbolism of flying. We’re not defined by our fears and failures; everyone has those. What shapes our character is how we face them.

What is your all time favorite book?

I don’t really have one all time favorite, exactly. Sort of like pizza. It’s my favorite food, but it’s made up of several ingredients; cheese, herbs, veggies, yeast. They all come together to create an experience.

My favorite books are like that, all coming together to create a reading experience. But. If I had a pizza crust and could only choose one topping, I’d have to go with cheese, because that’s the foundation for the rest of my favorites.

Bookwise, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens would be my cheese.

What are you working on now?

Currently, I’m working on the second book in the Leland series! But I’ve got some ideas for an upcoming steampunk anthology, and a couple novels that need an editing overhaul. Those will come after.

What are you currently reading?

I’m actually reading a couple things just now. I’ve started “Tamsin” by Peter Beagle, and I picked up “Complete Tales and Poems” by Edgar Allan Poe, which I read in between.

Where you're not writing or reading, what are you doing?

I’ve just started learning how to knit, which is relaxing. I’m beginning to think I’m not going to get any better at it, but the repetitive hand motions and the clicking of the needles has a rhythm I like, so I’ll likely use it to while away traveling or waiting hours, whether I manage any real projects or not.

And I love to drink tea! But I also do that while writing and reading, so I’m not sure if that counts as an answer. In fact, I believe reading and tea are so much a part of a whole experience that I love to pair up tea personalities and book personalities with something I call BookTasting. You can find my BookTastings on my website at – including the tea I’ve picked for sipping along with Redheart. Visit my site and say hello, and you could even win a tin of the Harney and Son blend. Fun!

Jackie Gamber is an award-winning freelance editor, as well as award-winning author of the fantasy novel Redheart, available now through Seventh Star Press( and ebook at a special rate of $1.99! A veteran of the USAF, she is now, among other things, a rosarian, a professional BookTaster, and an avid believer in imagination. Visit Jackie and her BookTastings on the world wide web at

My review of Redheart by Jackie Gamber

My summary:

Kallon Redheart is a red dragon, the last red dragon. His father was the leader of the dragons and it is Kallons destiny to follow him but Kallon hasn’t been seen in the dragon community since his father’s death. He lives in his cave far from the human village or the dragon council and he likes it that way. He prefers to be lonely. It’s easier than dealing with his life since the death of both parents. Enter Riza Diatus, a young girl who has left her own village because she chooses to live a life different than everyone else. She doesn’t want to be forced to marry have children and stay in the same village doing what everyone else does. She wants something else. Then there is Jastin, the dragon slayer, who lost his wife and unborn child to a dr

agon attack. He is the hired sword and will kill a dragon for anyone with the money to pay him, even other dragons. The three of them converge to play out a story of love, family, destiny and heartbreak.

My thoughts:

3 stars - A good read

Let me start by saying that this is not a book I would have picked to read. It is a more traditional fantasy book, similar in genre to Eragon. It’s set in a village atmosphere prior to technology. I was asked by Seventh Star Press to read and review this book, which I was happy to do.

The first chapter captured my interest with Kallon, the red dragon. Then the book slowed down for me, which was unfortunate because chapter one was only three pages long. I spend the next 30 or 40 pages wanting more of Kallon and a whole lot less of Riza. I never liked Riza. She was trying to be this strong women who left her village and her father to venture out into the world and do things she wants but really she just made a lot of stupid decisions that required either Kallon or Jastin to save her! I was very disappointed in her character. What I did love about this book was the dragon world that Jackie created. I loved the different colors of dragons, the rich traditions, the crystals laced with magic and especially the mystic of the Gold dragon. And Kallon. I loved Kallon. I understood his character and could relate to his feelings. I saw his reluctance to commit to things outside his comfort zone. I loved how his feelings for Riza caused him to do things he didn’t want to do. His anger and jealous towards Jastin was so endearing. They certainly make an interesting group. The other aspect of this book that frustrated me was the ending. I saw the book going in a direction and then it swerved into something totally different. I know it’s fantasy but the twist was a little too much for me.

So reading this book was a very different experience for me that what I normally read. While, I liked parts of the book, I can’t give it an outstanding rating. It just didn’t do it for me.

But maybe it’s more your kind of book. So I am going to pass the book a long with a giveaway. If you like the more traditional fantasy books with great dragon lore, then this book may be just what you are looking for. The book includes some great swag. There is a bookmark and four glossy cards that have the artwork show here on them. Very cool.

This contest is closed

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for doing this giveaway! This sounds like a really interesting book! :)
    P.S, great review! :)