Monday, January 28, 2013

Kendra Highley's Matt Archer: Blade's Edge: Blog Tour with Free & Discounted Books!!!

Can I just tell you how much I love Matt Archer?!?
I'm hopping up and down, making little squeals of delight, I love this series THAT much!!!
Back in late November I reviewed book 1, Matt Archer: Monster Hunter
and gave it FIVE STARS (check out that review here)!!

And NOW I get to share book 2, Matt Archer: Blade's Edge, with you!!!!!!
Yay!  Woo hoo!!! Yippee!!!

And before I even get started,
I'm going to give you some super sweet links
(thanks to the wonderful generosity of our author, Kendra C. Highley)
so you can get you some Matt!!!
Awesomesauce, right?!?

Book 1, Matt Archer: Monster Hunter 
can be downloaded free on Smashwords using the code, XF23B
The short story, "Matt Archer: Monster Summer"
can also be downloaded on Smashwords for free (no code needed)
Book 2, Matt Archer: Blade's Edge
can be downloaded on Smashwords, with a 25% off discount using the code UD38J
Crazy awesome, huh?!?!?!!

Let's get to know book 2, Matt Archer: Blade's Edge now.....

When Matt Archer was fourteen, he discovered monsters are real. As if that wasn’t enough to go on for a few decades, Matt also found out that he’d been chosen to hunt those monsters--with a sentient, supernatural knife. Now fifteen, Matt has spent the last year working with a clandestine military unit, trying to rid the world of monsters, demons and other vicious creatures, all while keeping it a secret from nearly everyone he knows back home in Billings.

Including his mom.

Add in a new girlfriend, family secrets, sibling drama and enough homework to sink an aircraft carrier, and Matt’s life has become more complicated than he ever imagined. Worse, the knife has developed some very definite opinions about Matt’s personal life and it interferes in his business whenever it wants. More and more, Matt’s coming to realize that sharing brain-space with a spirit kind of sucks.

When stories of decimated towns and hordes of zombies start pouring into the Pentagon from Afghanistan, Matt knows he’ll be called up soon. Between the new mission and the knife’s increasing control over his mind, Matt wonders if he’ll survive long enough to take his driver’s exam.

Genre:  YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher Type:  Indie
My Rating:  *  *  *  *  *
My Review:

I love, love, love the Matt Archer series and was super excited when I got a chance to read book two.  I was worried it would be just more of the same and that I'd be disappointed...... boy was I wrong!  Kendra Highley took this book to a whole new level of wowness!!!  Sure, there's more crazy action, more teen-boy-madness, and more even-meaner monsters, but at the same time it's a completely new adventure. 

MA2 begins and next we know Matt is parachuting out of a military airplane!  I love how the whole special ops, military details are handled.  There's enough detail to be interesting and to create a complete picture without doing an information overload on a civilian gal such as myself.  It's just so freakin' exciting!

I also really appreciate how fully developed the adult characters are, especially Matt's mom.  I find many YA books do a disservice to us parent-types, leaving us to be clueless, whiny obstacles.  I love how Mrs. Archer's written.  

When I reviewed MA1, I said it'd be appropriate for older middle graders and up.  In MA2 we see more darkness creeping into the world and Matt deals with more mature issues.  The suspense is ratcheted up and I found myself holding my breath and (yes, I'm such a girl) crying over Matt's loses.

Overall, my only complaint is that MA3 is written yet.  I love Matt and I want more!!!  Now.

Now our fantabulous author has a great post for us 
on finding the YA voice 
(btw, this is one of the best author guest posts I've read)....

“Dude…you wrote this?”

That’s probably the nicest compliment I’ve ever gotten about my work. Seriously. Given that a thirteen-year-old boy said it to me, a forty-year-old woman, regarding a novel I asked him to beta read…well, it’s high praise indeed, especially considering that my main character was a freshman in high school. And a guy.

That’s the crux of it for YA writers—getting the voice right. Most of us have heard that teens “have their BS meters turned up to max.” It’s true. Try to sound too trendy, and you’ll miss the mark. Sound too adult, and you’ll lose your reader. There’s a narrow gap where a genuine teen voice can be heard. Having hit both ends of the spectrum, I really worried about this in the Matt Archer books and, to be honest, I got a lot of it wrong over the iterations. So what changed between those early drafts and the copy I gave my young beta reader?

I listened.

Disclaimer—I enjoy teenagers. They’re paradoxes, especially middle graders, and it’s interesting to watch them grow and mature right before your eyes. Working with youth groups gave me a front-row seat to see how teens talk and interact with each other. That’s where I learned the word “hip” is uncool, and how to use “dude” correctly (it’s the perfect word, actually). But most of all, I discovered that what they love most is to be taken seriously. If there’s a whiff of condescension or an overt message, they’ll blow you off. 


So I let myself remember the angst of being a band geek surrounded by popular kids in Spanish class. I daydreamed about the heady rush of my first kiss. I relived the awful, sick feeling you get when you have a fight with your best friend. A lot of adults tend to forget how intense the teenage years can be, and how real and valid the feelings are. That’s how YA writers work magic: creating characters teens can relate to in some way because we’re validating their experiences. We’re telling them they matter, even if we dress it up with monsters or aliens.

Bringing out your inner fourteen-year-old can be hard, but the reward is great, because teens are loyal readers. If they love one of your books, they will love all of them, defend you against your detractors and tell everyone they know how great you are. It’s that passion that makes them special. 

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.

Get to know this fantastic gal on these other sites:

Find Matt Archer: Blade's Edge on these sites.....

And Don't forget to add Matt to your Goodreads TBR!!! 

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. 
Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising* 


  1. Thank you for the great review, Danielle! And I'm happy to report I finished the first draft of MA3 this past weekend. It needs some heavy revision, but MA3 should release in July. Cover/Title review may happen as early as late May/early June. : D

  2. Thanks so much. I've got mine and look forward to reading them. Thanks for turning me on to a new author. Always a treat. Thanks again, Danielle and Kendra.