Monday, June 30, 2014

The Regency Tour Launch- A Perfect Secret by Donna Hatch

A themed book tour through Prism Book Tours.

We're launching THE REGENCY TOUR for

A Perfect Secret

by Donna Hatch

Desperate to protect her father from trial and death, Genevieve breaks off her engagement with Christian Amesbury and marries a blackmailer. After a year of marriage, she flees her husband's violent domination only to have fate bring her back to Christian. Just when she thinks she's started a new life of safety and solitude, her husband tracks her down, stalks her, and threatens everyone she loves.

Still brokenhearted over Genevieve's betrayal a year ago, Christian can't believe she's come back into his life--and worse, that she's done it on the anniversary of his brother's death, a death that haunts him. Though tempted to throw her back into the river where he found her, he can't leave her at the mercy of the terrifying man she married.

When her husband torments Genevieve and puts his family in danger, Christian will do anything to protect those he loves...anything except give Genevieve another chance to break his heart.

More About A Perfect Secret and Its Author, Donna Hatch

What is your motivation behind this book? Why did you want to write it?

I wrote this book pretty much for the same reason I write anything--because I get a story idea that haunts me and I finally start writing it. So, yeah, I basically succumb to the voices in my head. It's an inevitable ending. You do know that writers are basically schizophrenic, right? Most of us are non-violent though. We prefer to torture fictional characters, not real people. Of course, sometimes fictional characters seem more real, and certainly more interesting that real people. But I digress.

A Perfect Secret, in particular, began partly because my editor encouraged me to write a story about each brother in the family so it could be a familial series which typically sell better than single title or books with only a second book. Originally, there were two brothers in the Amesbury family, but she suggested I should have at least three books in the series. It was her idea that the Bow Street Runner in the first book, The Stranger She Married, could be a brother, hence Grant was born. I am writing his story now. He's not a true Runner, just someone who helps them from time to time. Christian, the hero of A Perfect Secret, appeared of his own accord during a revision of The Stranger She Married. I knew right off that he needed his own book, too. I had the idea for A Perfect Secret years ago about someone trying to leave her abusive husband (no, this is not based on my marriage :-) and her husband chasing her down and stalking her. The plot solidified a bit more when I saw the movie Sleeping with the Enemy, but with a number of obvious differences. The first draft of the story had the heroine in love with someone else, whom her husband kills, and the hero was "just a friend" with whom she ended up falling in love. But this version worked better.

What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book?

I hope they will believe that love is real and it can help us find the courage to do what we believe is right. I also hope they will question what they think they know about people and let go of prejudice, and even help them forgive those who have hurt them.

Do you have a favorite scene?

I have several favorite scenes. The opening scene ranks up near the top because it's so emotional. And I really love the scene where the heroine first starts to believe that maybe she can trust the hero. I also love the scenes with Christian's sister Rachel because she's so outspoken and they have such fun sibling banter. Sooo, a favorite? Actually, taken out of context, the other scenes probably wouldn't have much of an impact for a reader. So I'll share the first paragraph of the opening scene. This chapter takes place when the hero is a child. But I promise, the rest of the book is when he is an adult.

     Six-year-old Christian Amesbury stood in the churchyard, trying not to crush the flowers he’d brought to put in front of the family crypt where they’d laid his brother to rest, the brother he loved, the brother he killed.

     Alone in every way, he stood, shaking, as his last taunting words to Jason echoed in his head. Christian had wanted to prove he was brave and strong. Instead, his brother, best friend and advocate, was dead.

     His throat tightened and tears blurred his vision. “I’m sorry, Jason,” he whispered. “I’m so sorry. I miss you.” He knelt and placed his offering of wildflowers in front of the crypt.

     A drop of rain landed on his cheek and mingled with his tears. He stood unmoving, embracing the desolation. He had no one to blame but himself. 
Share something about you that is unique - maybe about how/where you write... or favorite snack foods?

I have trained myself to write on the fly. That may be when it's slow at work, while dinner is simmering, or in the waiting room of a doctor's or dentist's office, or during soccer practice, or whenever I think I may have at least 15 minutes to write. If I'm really struggling with a scene or with edits and I find myself trying to put it off, I line up bite-sized chocolates, like Dove or something equally indulgent, on my desk in front of the computer screen. I eat one and start to work. When I get stuck on something, or just when I feel like it, I eat another one. It helps. I've discovered chocolate is the solution to many of the world's woes. If politicians would begin negotiations with chocolate, everyone would be on better behavior.

Donna 2013 (1)About Donna Hatch

My passion for writing began at the tender age of 8 and I’ve been hooked ever since. Of course, I also wanted to be an actress and a ballerina, but one out of three isn’t bad, right?

In between caring for six children, (7 counting my husband), my day job, my free lance editing and copy writing, and my many volunteer positions, I manage to carve out time to indulge in my writing obsession. After all, it IS an obsession. My family is more patient and supportive than I deserve.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

- Grand Prize: $20 Amazon gift card and an ebook (INT) or print copy (US Only) of A Perfect Secret OR The Stranger She Married (winner's choice)

- 5 ebooks of A Perfect Secret

- Open Internationally

- Ends July 20th

Prism Book Tours

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Honey Queen: Book Blitz

Honey Queen
by Christina Mercer
Release Date: 05/31/14

Summary from Goodreads:

Love is honey sweet,
but it comes with a fatal sting . . .

Melaina Maris needs wings to fly the gap between loving Sam and her family’s
ancient curse that forces carnal love and then kills the male lovers. She won’t
let the same fate that killed her father befall another. She refuses to allow
her goddess-created bloodline to continue. But there’s no easy way out,
especially after the curse turns her into the Honey Queen—savior to honey
bees—intensifying her charms.

To help her fulfill the curse’s demands in the least harmful way, her grandmother
takes her to mate with terminally ill Boyd. But Boyd’s gay. And an expert in
mythology. Instead of having sex, Melaina learns how she might summon the
goddess who created the first ancestor bee-charmer and cursed her bloodline.
Melaina's magic—tears to save honey bees from endangerment—could be enough to
persuade the goddess to end the curse. But an unexpected discovery soon changes
that hope, spinning Melaina into a swarm of love, friendship and death.

Available from:

Here's An Excerpt!

On my way home, I stop and grab the mail at the end of our drive, and Sam rolls up in his white pick-up with the words Leonard’s Dairy Ranch painted across the side. “Hey, Mel,” he says, chocolate eyes melting my insides. “Been a while.”

I swallow hard, hoping the rush of heat to my face doesn’t show. “Yeah, well, I’m trying to graduate early, and you know, busy helping Gran.”

He nods, and his eyes flicker over my car. “You ever feel like riding shotgun in that thing, I’d be more than happy to take the wheel.”

I get back in my car and toss the mail on the seat next to me. “I’ll remember that.”

He laughs, and just as I shut the door, he calls out, “Go out with me.”

I take a deep breath and roll down the window. His brown shag drapes around his smile. His perfect, irresistible smile. “Sam, you’re my best friend. I don’t want to ruin that. Besides, I have to stay focused on school.”

“That’s bull, Mel, and you know it. Having a little fun isn’t going to turn you into your mom.”

He knows me well, has since I was in the first grade and he was in the second, but he still doesn’t know what I am. Gran calls us Apis charmers; I call us Apis slaves. And I’d bet him the pink slip to my car, he’d feel differently about dating me if he knew the truth.

“You’re right. I’m not going to end up like my mom, and the best way to make sure I don’t is to stay away from distractions.” With a wave, I speed down the drive.

I don’t realize how hard I’m biting my lip until I taste blood. Sometimes I wonder if it’d be easier to run away

and let the sickness take me. Sam is pure torture—the sweetest hot fudge sundae, the rarest orchid, the love I can never know.

About the Author

Christina Mercer is an award-winning author of fiction for children and
young adults. She took Writer’s Best in Show at the 2012 SCBWI CA North/Central
Regional Conference, was a Semi-Finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakout Novel
Award Contest, and won Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer's Digest
Self Published Book Awards. She holds a degree in Accounting from California
State University at Sacramento and a Certificate in Herbal Studies from Clayton
College of Natural Health. Christina resides in Northern California enjoying
life with her husband, two sons, four dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees.

Author Links:

1 ebook of Honey Queen (INT)
1 "Honey Bee" swag pack (USA). Swag will be bookmark,
buzz card, beeswax lip balm, honey sticks, honeybee charm.

Book Blitz Organized by:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Valley of Decision: Author Interview

A themed book tour through Prism Book Tours.

The Valley of Decision
by Shannon McDermott
Adult Fantasy
Paperback, 416 pages
May 31st 2014 by SALT Christian Press
“A solid fantasy that wears its spirituality lightly yet effectively.”
~Kirkus Reviews (read the entire review here)
Where the Black Mountains pierce the sky, they divide the south from the north, Alamir from the kingdom of Belenus. Belenus, the undying master of the north, commanded Keiran – the Captain of the Hosts – to conquer Alamir. But the Captain is deep in conspiracy, and he has his own plans.
The Valley of Decision is a fantasy novel, a saga of slavery, freedom, and choices.

Shannon McDermott is a Christian author of speculative fiction, as well as a humorous detective series called "The Adventures of Christian Holmes". She has written both fantasy and science fiction, and has yet to decide on which one to like better.
She was born to Wisconsin, expatriates in California, grew up on the East Coast, and now lives in the Midwest. Her principal hobbies are politics, history, novels, and coffee.

Website - Blog - Goodreads - Facebook

1) What advice would you give to novice authors?

First, keep on reading. Read what you like, read what interests you, read the sort of thing you wish you could write.

Second, keep on writing. Write regularly and with commitment. When you can’t do it by inspiration, then settle down and do it by discipline. If a story is truly hopeless, then you can abandon it, but don’t give up on a story just because it isn’t fun anymore. Try to finish what you start, and after you finish it, move on.

2) Who are three of your favorite authors?

G.K. Chesterton. I have very much enjoyed his novels, particularly The Man Who Was Thursday and The Napoleon of Notting Hill, and his poetry is rich in evocative imagery. His nonfiction is quite interesting, too, though his political opinions can get a bit loopy.

C.S. Lewis. I loved the Chronicles of Narnia and Till We Have Faces, and his nonfiction is fascinating.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Her fantasy novels are beautiful.

3) What gave you the idea for The Valley of Decision?

The Lord of the Rings, much as it pains me to admit it. In those books, Sauron had legions of human slaves whose only purpose in the story was to fight the good guys (and get beaten). It’s not that Tolkien was heartless in his use of these characters – remember Sam witnessing one of them being killed and sadly wondering what his name was and if he even wanted to fight – but I came to think how good it would have been if Sauron’s slaves had staged a revolt. Why should all the heroes come from the free nations fighting Sauron? Why not from the enslaved nations oppressed by him?

4) What is the best part about writing?

The moment of completion. When the story is, after so much work and time, finally a finished manuscript, and later when it has actually been published, a finished book – that is the moment of greatest satisfaction, because it is the culmination of so much effort.

5) What is the worst part?

The hardest part of writing is the marketing. You try this and that, go here and there and do whatever seems like a good idea, and at times it all feels like a shot in the dark, like you never know what will and will not work until you actually do it.

6) If your book were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?

I don’t spend enough time in movie theaters to answer that. It’s sad but it’s true: I only go a couple times a year.

Tour-Wide Giveaway
- INT Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card and ebooks of The Valley of Decision and The Sunrise Windows
- 2 print copies of The Valley of Decision (US only)

Follow the Tour:

6/16 - Launch











6/29 - Grand Finale

Monday, June 23, 2014

Prodigy: A Review

Description (goodreads):

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots - a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

My Review:

Once again I don't really know what to say about this book.

I like this series well enough to keep reading it, and I really like what's happening with the government. This is the first dystopian I've read where the characters actually infiltrate themselves into government positions. Well, maybe infiltrate is the wrong word, but considering the circumstances, I think it fits.

I'm just bothered by how young June and Day are. Yeah, they might be geniuses and all, but still. June might become the second in command of the Republic at fifteen? Even if I were in a dystopian world I still not want a fifteen-year-old assisting a twenty-year-old who is going to rule the country. No matter how famous they are. What fifteen-year-old celebrity do you want ruling the country? Even if June was a part of the military once. Ya, no.

So besides the fact that they are young and their romance seems meant for older characters, I liked this book.

I liked the mystery. The growth June and Day had to go through in order to discover what they really wanted AND who the real bad guys were.

I liked Tess too. I liked how she didn't let Day mess with her head. She did seem a little mature for a thirteen year old, but then again, you already know my age problems.

Let's just say, the plot twist didn't hit me as hard as it probably should have. It did make things more interesting though.

Geez, I sound so negative. I'm not trying to be though. Marie Lu writes beautifully and I love the way she set up this dystopian world. It's unique and I love how she has a different take on how to fix the supposedly "utopian" country.

I'm looking forward to reading the conclusion, Champion.

I give this a 3.5 out of 5.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Book Blogger Test: Part One

Hello! I was recently tagged by Emily @ Reader Rising to be apart of this Book Blogger Test. I haven't heard of it before, so I'm going to go off of Emily's example and do this in two parts... I hope she's okay with that.

Anyway, let me answer these bookish questions now.

What are your top three book pet hates?

1) I am kind of OCD when it comes to book covers, so when the books get a new artist mid series... I want to cry. It happened with one of my favorite series, Pendragon... I still cringe a bit when I see it on my shelf.

2) An anticlimactic ending. Oh! Those are THE WORST! *cough, cough* Breaking Dawn *cough, cough*

3) Characters who are too young for the amount of romance they have. I may live in my own little bubble, but I still think it's weird when characters under sixteen have intense love relationships. That's my own opinion.

Describe your perfect reading spot.

Well, truth be told, I don't have one. But, if I had bay window with a bench to read on while it was raining. THAT would be perfect. Unfortunately, A) I don't have a bay window and B) I live in The Valley of Arizona where it never freaking rains!

Tell us three bookish confessions.

1) With my OCD tendencies I place my books on the shelf from last to first. (It drives my cousin crazy, hehe)

2) I stress when people who borrow my books have them for too long. I am a hoarder of books. Once I own them, I keep them and love them... forever.

3) I am always afraid to see the movie version of one of my favorite books. To the point that it sometimes stresses me out. Ya, I know. I'm a freak.

When was the last time you cried during a book?

City of Heavenly Fire. Seriously the best ending to an epic series! The Iron Knight. I LOVE ASH!

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How many books are on your beside table?

Well, I don't have a book side table... so... yeah.

I'll continue this in part two in a couple days. Thanks Emily for this fun little Book Blogger Test!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Valley of Decision LAUNCH!

A themed book tour through Prism Book Tours.

We're launching the Book Tour for
The Valley of Decision
by Shannon McDermott

“A solid fantasy that wears its spirituality lightly yet effectively.”
~Kirkus Reviews (read the entire review here)

We'd like to introduce you to the characters and the story-book world of The Valley of Decision. From the races that inhabit the world (Trow, Fays, hobgoblins, Men) to the different nations (Alamir, the Coldlands, the Dochraitay) to the places (the Northwood, the Black Mountains, Ataroth), there is a lot to explore! Come follow along:











6/29 - Grand Finale

The Valley of Decision
by Shannon McDermott
Adult Fantasy
Paperback, 416 pages
May 31st 2014 by SALT Christian Press
Where the Black Mountains pierce the sky, they divide the south from the north, Alamir from the kingdom of Belenus. Belenus, the undying master of the north, commanded Keiran – the Captain of the Hosts – to conquer Alamir. But the Captain is deep in conspiracy, and he has his own plans.
The Valley of Decision is a fantasy novel, a saga of slavery, freedom, and choices.
Amazon - SALT Christian Press

Introduction to The Valley of Decision

When I began researching folktales in order to write The Valley of Decision, I gave particular attention to the elves. Fairies, they’re also called, or faeries or fays. By whatever name, what are they?
That was the question I tried to answer, and my trouble was that I found too many answers. Elves, or faeries, might be almost anything: good or bad, ugly or beautiful, large or small, living in hills or mountains or forests.

Their origins were also diverse. Some said the faeries were fallen angels (demons?), others that they were the spirits of the dead (creepy!). One story has it that when the first baby laughed for the first time, that laugh shattered into a thousand pieces and became the fairies – quite charming, actually. Another story holds that Eve once hid some of her children from God, and He declared to her, “What man hides from God, God will hide from man.” These children and their descendants became the Hidden People, the elves.
Tolkien presented his Elves as a distinct race, neither angelic nor human in origin. Disney, not surprisingly, dusted off the baby’s laugh story for its fairies. Meanwhile, Darby O’Gill and the Good People – published more than a century ago – adopted the fallen-angel theory, with a few modifications. (The angel Gabriel has a starring role in the tale, with an Irish brogue and several politically incorrect opinions.)

When it came to writing my own story, I had to craft my own rendition of the ancient legend of Faeries. To put it simply, I had to decide who and what they were.
I picked the name Fay and adopted and revised one of the old tales. The story I created for the Fays became the most important element of the entire mythos of The Valley of Decision. It came to determine who they were, and what they did, and how they treated the humans who were, after all, the heroes of the story.

Shannon McDermott is a Christian author of speculative fiction, as well as a humorous detective series called "The Adventures of Christian Holmes". She has written both fantasy and science fiction, and has yet to decide on which one to like better.
She was born to Wisconsin, expatriates in California, grew up on the East Coast, and now lives in the Midwest. Her principal hobbies are politics, history, novels, and coffee.
Website - Blog - Goodreads - Facebook

Tour-Wide Giveaway
- Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card and ebooks of The Valley of Decision and The Sunrise Windows (open INT)
- 2 print copies of The Valley of Decision (US only)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Legend: A Review

Description (goodreads):

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

My Review:

In all honesty, I don't really know what to rate this novel... So I'm going to write my review and then decide...

To start, I really did like it. Although, I did think that the characters were a little young considering all that was going on. I pictured them a bit older in my head in the beginning, until it the characters seemed to grow more into their fifteen-year-old personalities. In fact, this series reminded me of Maximum Ride (with the whole younger character romance) and Ender's Game (children warriors and fighters). In the end, I do feel that both June and Day did fit their age, despite the circumstances.

Day was born in the slums. He is the most wanted criminal in this futuristic Los Angels, California. He is agile, strong, and wicked fast. His record for scaling buildings is known among the soldiers of the Republic, who is trying their best to track him down. Only, they have no idea what he looks like. Day is their phantomn that haunts there nightmares and pushes them to try harder.

Until Day is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I came to like Day well. Marie Lu did well with depicting a fifteen-year-old boy's mind. I did think he was a little young at first with the amount of flirting and kissing he has had in his past, but then I recognized that he has been living on the streets for a while now and can pass for older than he really is. Day is quite intelligent, though stubborn and a bit headstrong. What I liked most about him was his loyalty. He always looked out for those he cared about. He made sure they were safe and taken care of, no matter what.

Now for June... I did actually like her. She was in no way a whiny female lead and that made me very happy. I hate whiny female leads. June is also fifteen and a freaking genius. Meaning, she's already a senior in college.

Sometimes I wish I was that smart.

Anyway, she is a no nonsense, butt-kicking kind of girl. She is incredibly intelligent, and Lu did an awesome job of displaying that. At first, I was wondering why Lu was having her character internally think with a lot of things in parenthesis, but then I discovered this was her method of showing June's smarts. It grew on me and I learned to like it. It was like I was actually in a genius's head. It was a great way to develop June's character.

June is affected by Day's being in the wrong place at a wrong time, but through all the grief and trails that it causes her, she stays strong. She never gives up. And when she learns the truth, she doesn't give up until she has done the right thing.

That's another reason why I liked her. She wasn't afraid to do what was right, even when that meant her whole world was turned upside down.

I did think Day's and June's first kiss came a little fast, but their whole romance didn't really follow after that. I mean, yeah they developed feelings for each other, but it was very complicated. They weren't exactly in a position to actually like each other, which hindered things immensely. It ended turning out all right though.

Another character I really liked was one that wasn't really there. He was more in the background, but he was also a huge impact in June's life. Her older, protective brother Metias. I loved him actually. He knew that the Republic was corrupt and he made sure that his sister would know. He didn't want her to live in the dangerous world of ignorance. I really liked him. I wish what happened hadn't happened. I think he would have turned out freaking awesome.

In the end, I think Marie Lu did an awesome job with this book. She has a way with words, and did a
wonderful job of writing from two different character's POV without making the mistake of making them sound similar. I could tell that there was an clear difference between June and Day, even though they were both child prodigies.

So now that I have written this review I think I will give it a 4 out of 5!

*I own a copy of this book. I am in no way affiliated with the publisher or author, nor was I compensated for this review. All thoughts are of my own opinion.*

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dorothy Must Die: A Review

Description (goodreads):

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

My Review:

I have seen this book at Barnes and Noble for the past two months and finally, when I was given a Barnes and Noble a gift card, I decided to pick it up.

In the beginning, we get to see the normal, everyday life of Amy Gumm. She is not a popular person by a long shot at her school, in fact, she is often bullied because she is poor. We learn a bit about her sad, hard past, which I thought was a very effective way to draw me in and feel for Amy and her hard life. She had a slipping relationship with her mom, who was always on some sort of pills. Amy had to raise herself, and frankly, she did a good job of it.

What I didn't like at the beginning was the amount of cussing and use of the "F" word. And then... the language stopped for a long time. So I was fine with it. I just don't like the "F" word.

Anyway. The rest of the book was amazing!

We get to follow Amy Gumm on her strange adventure through Oz. Only, this Oz is not the Oz you remember from The Wizard of Oz movie and book. Oh, no. EVERYTHING has changed. The once vast, beautiful country/land is now devastated by the crazy, maniacal whims of Princess Dorothy.

That's right. Princess Dorothy.

Amy makes a few acquaintances throughout this novel, but everyone tells her that she should not trust anyone except herself. This makes things confusing and dangerous for Amy, but she always found a way to do the right thing. Even with all the risks and horrible consequences that went with them, Amy found a way to help the citizens of Oz in her own way.

One thing that this book surprised me with was the fact that you don't know who's going to die next. Who will upset Dorothy enough to make her punish them?

It made things a bit edgier. No one was safe.

A few side characters I liked were Nox and Gert. Despite their telling Amy to not trust anyone, they were the people who grew closest to her. I know that she had some sort of "trust" for them, because she did listen to their instructions and went undercover to find a way to kill Dorothy. Although, in the end, she didn't know what to think anymore. And considering what she went through, I would probably be in the same position.

I liked how Amy grew. She went from being the bullied girl from trailer Kansas to warrior, undercover assassin in training. Even when she felt like giving up, she didn't. I liked that the change wasn't gradual. It made it seem more realistic.

I also liked how she didn't forget about her mom. I thought that really made Amy a connectable and realistic character despite the fantasy aspects.

Overall, I really liked this book and I can't wait to see where the yellow brick road takes me next ;)

I give this a 4 out of 5.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Iron's Prophecy: A Review

Description (goodreads):

Meghan Chase is finally getting used to being the Iron Queen, ruler of the Iron Fey. Her life may be strange, but with former Winter prince Ash by her side at last, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

But when they travel to the Summer and Winter courts’ gathering for Elysium, the oracle from Meghan’s past returns with a dire prophecy: “What you carry will either unite the courts, or it will destroy them.” Now Meghan faces a devastating choice that may determine the future of all fey—and her and Ash’s unborn child…

A novella from the bestselling Iron Fey series

My Review:

I know, I know. I've been doing lots of Iron Fey Reviews. This will be the last one for a little while.

In Iron's Prophecy, it is back to Meghan Chase's POV.

And honestly, you can really tell the growth she has gone through. She has matured a lot and isn't as quick to her old, slightly whiny ways. She has the confidence to hold her own against the other Faery Royalty and isn't as naive when it comes to making deals.

She truly has become a powerful spectacle.

And Ash. After reading The Iron Knight, you can really see the growth in him too. He is more at peace. That doesn't mean he lost his hard edge or his wicked awesome fighting skills, but he has learned how to love and to not be afraid of showing that.

The famous Puck returns. I loved that he came back and that he is still best friends with Meghan and Ash despite the events of the past and his feelings for Meghan. He really is the best character in this book.

Well, besides Grimalkin, who also comes back to help Puck, Meghan and Ash on the last quest we will see from their POV.

Iron's Prophecy is a beautiful set up for the "side series" about Ethan Chase and Keirran. I wasn't totally sure what to expect from this novella, because I knew it was a set up for the next series. When Meghan was confronted by the Oracle once again, and sees the things she sees, it amps up the excitement for the next few books.

Now I'm dying to read them. I hadn't realized that one of the other main characters was so closely tied to Meghan Chase. And I'm not talking about Ethan.

This is going to be a good one!

I give this a 4.5 out of 5!

*I own a copy of this book. I was in no way compensated for this review. All thoughts are of my own opinion.*

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Iron Knight: A Review

Description (goodreads):

My name - my True Name - is Ashallayn’ darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase - a half human, half fey slip of a girl - smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end - a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.

To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

My Review:

I'm crying. This was the perfect way to end the series. Now, I know there is a novella about this afterword, but for Ash and Meghan's story, this was perfect.

Perfect. And yes, I was brought to tears.

I never realized how much depth there was to Ash. In The Iron Knight we get to see who the former Winter Prince really is. I have come to love him all the more for it.

Through his many trials to find his way back to Meghan, Ash is faced with many ghosts of his pasts. This novel is in his POV and we get to see the way he thinks. We see his strengths, his fears, his loyalty, and his guilt. Ash is one of the strongest characters I have met in a long time, and reading this from his POV just made the story that much stronger.

When a certain character entered the story, I got a bit angry. And then as time progressed, we see that Ash already knew what his choice was and he remained strong in his promise to return to Meghan. I loved him for that. It proved that Ash was much stronger than we ever thought before.

That is, until he sees a possible future he might have. A future that he is proud, but also afraid of. And what does he do? He proves once again that he is stronger than I ever thought. His love for Meghan and for future possibilities helped him make the choice that would change his life forever. When he saw the vision, it wasn't just about the woman he loved anymore. No, it was much bigger than that. It was about the world and other people he loved. And he wanted to do the right thing for them.

I won't share any spoilers, but there is one part in this book, after Ash made his choice, and that's when the tears came. We saw Ash in his most vulnerable form. We saw the amazing depth and capability of love that he has despite his upbringing and past mistakes. We see a strong Knight who is willing to sacrifice everything to do what is right.

Ash, by far, is one of my favorite character that I have ever read about. Reading this in his POV made him far more tangible than from Meghan's POV. We saw the real Ash. And the real Ash is an amazing person.

It just ended so happy! So... perfected. I shed many a tear.

And Puck. I wish he ended up with someone. I really do. He is the best prankster there is out there. But despite his constant goofing off, he is a true friend to both Ash and Meghan. He loves Meghan enough to step aside for her to be with her true love, his best friend Ash. And, he cares enough for Ash to help him along a quest that Ash would have died on if Puck had not been there.

I love the banter between those two, but you can tell that they just want to be friends again. Without the oaths, the lies, and the constantly over-the-shoulder-glancing.

What happens between them ends up happy too, and I admit, I got the sniffles. Finally, two friends-turned-enemies were finally at peace again.

I just want to cry!

And, of course, my other favorite. Grimalkin. He may act indifferent, but I don't believe it. I believe that he truly cares for Ash, Puck, and Meghan. He may always be calling in favors, but that is his nature. He is a cat, after all. I love how he never leads them astray, even when he has every chance to do so. Any other faery probably would, but Grim has stuck with them until the end. I know he cares for the three. I know he enjoys himself, even if he says he's bored.

I give this a 5 out of 5! Beautifully written, amazing world building, and great character development. Julie Kagawa is a genius.

*I own a copy of this book. I was in no way compensated for this review. Nor am I associated with the publisher. Everything is my own opinion.*

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer's Crossing: A Review

Description (goodreads):

A Midsummer's Nightmare? Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Summer Court prankster, King Oberon's right hand, bane of many a faery queen's existence—and secret friend to Prince Ash of the Winter Court. Until one girl's death came between them, and another girl stole both their hearts.

Now Ash has granted one favor too many and someone's come to collect, forcing the prince to a place he cannot go without Puck's help—into the heart of the Summer Court. And Puck faces the ultimate choice—betray Ash and possibly win the girl they both love, or help his former friend turned bitter enemy pull off a deception that no true faery prankster could possibly resist.

My Review:

As you probably know, I have been reading the Iron Fey series lately, and I have just finished novella 3.5, Summer's Crossing.

This novella was from Puck aka Robin Goodfellow's point of view. And I have to say, he is by far the funniest and best person to read about in first person. Finally, after all these books, I was able to see how truly funny Puck is, but also that he has a serious side. A side where he is fiercely loyal and loving.

We follow Puck and Ash through the best prank Puck has made yet. It's a fun and captivating idea that kept me smiling and hoping that it, like every one of his pranks, would be successful. Because sometimes you never know, maybe the author might switch things up a little. Thankfully, Puck lived up to his prankster ways. He also had a choice to make in this book. A choice where he could end up having Meghan. And yet, did he take that chance...?

I admire Puck for his loyalty. I love that he found Ash and invited himself along for the ride of finding a way to bring Ash and Meghan back together. Although that's not exactly how he sees it, he is motivated by the right reasons. Puck still considers Ash to be his friend, despite the last couple of centuries of strife, and the feeling is obviously mutual. Puck knows that Meghan is truly happiest with Ash, and that if Ash died on this long journey, a large part of Meghan would die along with him.

So, even though Puck is in a position he absolutely loathes, he still watches out for those he loves. He is old and wise (despite his prankster side) enough to see what is really happening. He may be jealous, but he isn't that stupid guy in the love triangle we hate because they try to hard. Yes, Puck loves Meghan. Which is why he is doing exactly what he is doing.

And that's why I like Puck so much. He isn't a pushover. He isn't a whiner. He's a doer. Even when his heart is broken, he takes action. And he usually makes the right choice.

As he did in this novella.

I rate this a 5 out of 5!

The 5th Wave: A Review

Description (goodreads):

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

My Review:

This is actually one of my more recent books that I have bought, and I have heard many a great thing about it. So finally, I picked it up and started reading.

Cassie for Cassiopeia is a kick-butt, no nonsense kind of girl. But she wasn't before the 1st wave. Cassie has been hardened by the nature of the extraterrestrial attack on the planet Earth. Through many trails, tribulation, and death, she is brought to a little tent in the middle of the woods, hoping that she might live another day. Yet, she had a promise to keep. So she left.

Cassie was a strong character who held true to her humanity, even when she thought it was leaving her. I could understand why she did many of the things she did, and why she acted the way she acted. When she met Evan Walker, she found it quite hard to trust him and yet in the end, he was the only other person she knew on the planet that was alive. He helped her heal and become strong again.

I admit that at first, their relationship and "romance" confused me, because the amount of time in which they spent together wasn't clear until the mid-point in where Cassie becomes super paranoid about what he is. They fought a lot, but also didn't. I don't know. You'll have to read it to understand their weirdness together.

I mean, Evan's a good guy, in the end. I just wish I saw more about his and Cassie's odd relationship. It would have made things seem more realistic and more believable.

Of course, Evan isn't exactly what I would call a normal person, and Cassie wasn't exactly in a normal situation. So I guess it makes sense in the end.

Ben Parish was kind of awesome. I really liked his character. I appreciated that he wasn't rock hard in the beginning--that he had to grow into the strong young men he ended up to be, and it took time. His strong-awesome-commander-style-coolness didn't come in the blink of an eye. It made him easier to connect with, made his character more... believable. And, I loved the way that he stood up to the aliens. Not only for a young boy, but for the entire world. That he made his mark and made the right choices. Sure, he was fooled and sent to the verge of a complete anxiety attack, but he did not allow that to break him. He didn't allow that to crush his soul. No, he held onto his sanity and he kept his promise, just as Cassie did.

Ben went through an entirely different scene than Cassie, but he still was hurt and played like her. The aliens were smart ones. They definitely knew how to erradicate Earth of human kind... except for one thing.

They couldn't rid humans of their own humanity.

They tried...

And failed.

Granted, I would have liked to know more about the aliens and their kind, especially the ones who didn't want to kill the humans. I wanted to know why they wanted to coexist. I wanted to see more strife between the two different aliens. Unfortunately, we only saw one of the aliens that actually liked humans. The rest were monsters.

Sammy was another one of my favorites. If I was five and in a hell like the post-apocalyptic world, I would NOT be as strong as him. Despite all the crap that was dealt to him, he was still such an innocent child who just wanted to have someone to trust and care for him. Seeing his POV made the book seem so much more... devastating. Seeing or reading about a hurting child makes my heart hurt. Even if they are fictional characters.

One thing that kept me really hooked in the beginning was the mystery. Who was the bad guy? What did the aliens look like? Who was safe? Was anyone safe? AH! Why do people keep dying?!

It made my heart race and even freaked me out a bit that I couldn't determine who was good and who was bad.

And for a moment, even I was fooled about who the bad guys were.

In the end, I have to say that this book was well done. It was confusing at parts. Like, when the first POV transition occurred, I had no idea that it actually happened, and then I didn't know who was talking (I guessed and turned out to be right, so that made me happy :)  ). The time from which the first wave occurred to the fifth wave also confused me a bit too. I felt like things kept jumping around in time (and I'm not talking about the flashbacks, those were obvious).

But, other than that, Rick Yancey wrote with a unique, but great prose. There was more foul language in this than I appreciated, including the word I dislike the most, the "f" word. It wasn't enough to kick me out of the story, and honestly, it fit the
situation. If the world was ending, well. Who cares, eh? I mean, I probably won't start swearing like a sailor, but I can understand why others would.

This wasn't what I was expecting. In fact, I sort of thought this was about zombies, even when I read the synopsis. I was pleasantly surprised! I think aliens make cool books too.

I rate this a 3.5 out of 5!

*I bought this at Barnes and Noble, but I am in NO way associated with them. I was not asked or compensated for this review. All of the opinions above are my own.*