Author Interviews, Book Reviews, Reviews by Jennifer D.

{Featured} Ember (Ember #1) by Madison Daniel, Review & Author Interview!

Hello everyone and happy Thursday. Today’s we are featuring author Madison Daniel on the blog and his newly published novel Ember. If you are looking for something new and exciting to read, or an author with a unique voice, we highly recommend this novel to you. Madison captures the spirit and angst of a young man at a crucial turning point in his life and delivers a story that will linger with you long after it’s over. Set to a soundtrack, Ember is a vivid roller coaster ride of emotions, good ones, bad ones, and even crazy ones. All with the ability to capture your attention and heart, making you fall in love with its rich imagery and well written characters.


But as I usually say, you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out the review, interview, book trailer and prologue to get your juices flowing. And don’t forget to add Ember to your Goodreads shelf!







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  • Title: Ember (Ember #1) by Madison Daniel
  • Publisher: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
  • Publication Date: February 22, 2012
  • ISBN-10: 0615605974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615605975
  • Review Source: Bewitching Book Tours
  • Find it:  Goodreads  |  Amazon

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A touch of fire.

A soul lost to darkness.

A longing to change the past.

Max Valentine is 18, alone and has the power of a thousand suns at his fingertips. The crush of love will haunt him. The promise of normalcy will elude him. With a song in his heart and a guitar in his hand he will discover the painful truth…

…love never dies but it can kill.






My Thoughts on Ember:

Max Valentine is ready to start a new life. After the death of his father, Max moves to Maui to live with his Uncle in a desperate attempt to start his life over. Max’s problems stream from a well kept secret, he has the gift of fire. A gift that has led to the death of a loved one, a tragedy he has yet to deal with. His move seems like the right decision until he met Asia.
Asia is a beautiful local girl that can calm Max simply with her beauty, but she also has so much anger herself that she can’t allow him in.  On the other hand, there is Sam. A smart, artistic girl who appears to be Max’s soul mate. Something he cannot handle. Max’s relationship with both girls, his relationship with his Uncle, and his temper send him on an emotional roller coaster that would change his life forever.
Ember is one of the rare stories I read narrated by a male. I usually avoid stories where the main character is male because I can rarely relate to them. But Max was a different type of character. He’s charming and intriguing, filled with depth, turmoil, and all those qualities that make you just want to rub his back and tell him everything will be okay. He is faced with a lot of the problems you might find in a book narrated by a female, including a love triangle. Max is stuck choosing between two girls that both have issues of their own to sort through. This part did annoy me a little. He is constantly going back and forth between the two girls throughout the novel. It’s a little jarring coming from a male, and I wasn’t expecting it. However it doesn’t overshadow the story or make it so you can’t read and enjoy the book.
I also enjoyed Max’s ability. He has a gift that causes problems in his life. Nevertheless he has learned to control it and even use it for healing, which adds to the dynamic of the novel.  I must also point out how each chapter is associated with a certain song. This works beautifully as it sets the tone and mood for what you are about to read and often times controls the intensity of each chapter. It was a risky move but it worked. And it’s something I would like to see used again.
Madison Daniel did a great job writing a whirlwind story. It’s a great read that I highly recommend to both teens and adults. I would definitely – and will definitely – read this book again.



My Rating

5 out of 5 Controllers

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1.    Welcome Madison to Mother/Gamer/Writer.  For those readers who are not familiar with you or your work can you briefly tell us a little bit about yourself?
MD: I’m addicted to cartoons and Chinese food. Music rules my life and I am a better person because of it. I am always chasing my “muse” and I am a dark romantic at heart. Oh! And occasionally I write a story or two. My new series Ember is about to burn up the literary world, courtesy of Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing and I want to embrace the inferno!


2.    What inspired you to write Ember?
MD: A song. The opening prologue to Ember was dreamt up as I listened to Oasis’ “Stop Crying Your Heart Out.” The rest of the book(s) just fell in place after that. The whole series has been inspired by my love for everything music.



3.    The book is set in Hawaii, why did you choose this location?
MD: The beautiful island of Maui just called to the story. I think it’s a locale that hasn’t been explored enough in books. There are so many different kind of scenes and situations in the Ember series, and the Hawaiin Islands just fit. That, and there is a large “elemental” vibe twisting through the series. Maui hit all the right notes…fire, water and epic weather!



4.    Ember is set to a soundtrack, which by the way works perfectly. What gave you the idea to incorporate music into your novel?
MD: Music is life to me. I felt that plenty of authors had embraced the combination of music and words but not too many have really pushed for the two to coexist at the same time. In this digital age, it just makes sense to embrace the new technologies for reading and incorporate the two. My dream would be that when you download my newest novel onto your ereader and my books accompanying musical playlist would download at the same time. As you read the book, the songs would play at the moments that would enhance the moment. Just like a soundtrack in a movie or TV show. That’s the dream! Right now, every book I write has a song that is listed with each chapter for you to follow as you read. I wasn’t sure people would accept that but I’ve seen it happen. Nothing excites me more than when I see someone reading my work and they stop to download the song I have listed and enjoy the two aspects of my imagination. Music and words collide.



5.    The cover is absolutely amazing! How did you come up with the concept?
MD: I wish I could take credit for the cover but I can’t. My publishing company, Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly have an in house graphic artist, Para Graphic Designs. They took the vibe I was looking for and spiced it up a little. Amazing huh! Look them up!



6.    Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest?
MD: Easy. The answer to both questions is Asia. She is the troubled young woman who haunts my main protagonist throughout the Ember series. She is so deep and damaged that I wasn’t sure I could capture her beauty and heartache. Once I found her voice though, I haven’t been able to stop writing her. The challenge makes it the most thrilling. Asia rocks!



7.    If you could go back and change anything about Ember, would you?
MD: Probably not. I finished writing Ember back in the summer of 2008 and have written 3 more books since then. As any writer can tell you, the more you write, the more you tend to learn. So, there’s always that tiny pull to want to tweak it some more but you eventually have to just “let it go.”



8.    Finally, do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
MD: Believe in your words. Trust your muse. Keep writing and I’ll see you on tour!






Readers You Can Find Ember & Madison At These Locations:








Thanks so much for stopping by the blog!!!
MD: Thank you so much for having me! I hope we can do it again! Burn on…Madison.






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Prologue: Nightmares


~Stop Crying Your Heart Out: Oasis~


“Hold on.”

“Hold on. Don’t be scared.”

Please don’t let go. The pain is dizzying. Just do not let go of her. This is my fault, I’m sure of that now. Look her in the eyes and don’t let go of her. Whatever happens, don’t let her be scared. Be stronger, for her.

Nothing else matters now. Not the pain. Not my mistake. Not the taste of blood in my throat. Not the smell of ash all around us. All that matters is her…just her. Hold on.

“Hold on a little longer!” I scream. I’m starting to panic. Stop it! You know what happens when you panic. I have to calm down. Just breathe. Stay calm. Do it now, for her!

“Max I’m slipping!” she screams.

“No! I won’t let it happen!” I say focused. But she was right. I was losing her. I’m heating up again. Try harder and focus.

“Help me Max! My hands hurt…it burns! Help me! Please!” she cries louder. I’m so dizzy now. It’s too hot. I’m too hot now. I can’t hold her. She slips away and my heart breaks.

“Noooooooo!!!” she wails but her voice sounds so far away now.


Slow motion again. The dark pulls at the sides of my eyes and they burn something awful. Fight it. Fight the darkness. I reach out in front of me as far as I can. My eyes burn and I cannot see through my tears. But I can still see the look of terror on her face. I can still see her tears and her burnt and broken hands.

“Please no!” I beg. The world grows heavy.

“Don’t go…don’t go away…” Now I was screaming. She falls away.


I fade away…blackness.

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About the Author:
Music is LIFE and the written word is our SOUL. Music and writing have been my true ambition since I was a child. I have used music in every form possible; writing it, performing it, healing with it, etc. I call it my “life’s soundtrack.” I have always written in some form, from comic books to screenplays to short stories and now the new series “Ember.” I have spent my writing life inspired by all the music of the universe, 80’s movies and eye candy. When not writing I enjoy dreaming out loud, challenging the real world and inspiring the ones I love. I have found a true passion for my stories and characters and am eager to share them with the world. See you on the next book tour…M.D.







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