Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Ward Against Death
Melanie Card

Rating: B+
Twenty-year-old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a nobleman’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…

My thoughts on the book:
Ward Against Death was a pleasant surprise for me. I went into this novel not expecting a lot, to be honest. The ratings on Good Reads aren't that flattering, but I decided I'd give it a try anyway. So I sampled it from Amazon and ended up downloading the entire novel. I'm glad that I did. This book is a fun and refreshing take on necromancers. The characters are unique and the plot is intriguing. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. 

Ward is an entertaining and endearing hero. He is a bit clumsy and not that tough, but he is highly intelligent. He has a good heart, and even though he's socially awkward, he still manages to make an impression on Celia. I really liked the fact that he's not some perfect, brooding, dark leading man. It was a nice change to have a flawed and charmingly awkward character for the hero. Celia is a bad ass, and sometimes I didn't like her. However, she is strong, and overall, I was rooting for her. The more I got to know her, the more I liked her. For both Ward and Celia (the story is told in alternating third person limited POVs), I felt like Card could have given us more to go on so that we got to know them better. I still enjoyed reading about them, though. 

The world-building is a bit lacking (I never got a completely clear view of the society), but the explanations that are given are woven throughout the story instead of given to the reader in info dumps, and I liked that. The pacing is pretty spot on, and I was hooked from the beginning. When a story starts with someone raising the dead, you know things will get more interesting from there. The plot itself is intriguing, and the bad guys are really, really bad and kind of horrifying. The writing style is more YA than Adult, but since I enjoy YA, that didn't bother me. There were times that I thought I was reading a YA novel instead of a New Adult story. The romance is lacking a bit, but thankfully there is no insta-love. It seems as if Card is building Ward and Celia's relationship on friendship, and I like that. The ending ties up a lot of loose ends, but leaves enough questions unanswered for the sequel, which I'm looking forward to. 

Overall, I'd recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a good New Adult Paranormal novel. The characters are endearing, the plot is unique, and the story is just a lot of fun. Give Ward Against Death a try. You won't be sorry. 

Order Ward Against Death

Kindle Deals for Under $5.00!!






Waiting on Wednesday #30

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted at Breaking the Spine. Here is the upcoming release that I'm not-so-patiently waiting for! 

Release Date: 10/08/13
Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is.

She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.

This stunning conclusion picks up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A CLOCKWORK HEART by Liesel Schwarz

A Clockwork Heart
Liesel Schwarz

Rating: C-
Release Date: 08/13/13
FOR BETTER OR CURSE. That might as well have been the wedding vow of Elle Chance and her new husband, the ex-Warlock Hugh Marsh in the second book of this edgy new series that transforms elements of urban fantasy, historical adventure, and paranormal romance into storytelling magic.

As Elle devotes herself to her duties as the Oracle—who alone has the power to keep the dark designs of Shadow at bay—Marsh finds himself missing the excitement of his former life as a Warlock. So when Commissioner Willoughby of the London Metropolitan police seeks his help in solving a magical mystery, Marsh is only too happy to oblige. But in doing so, Marsh loses his heart . . . literally.

In place of the flesh-and-blood organ is a clockwork device—a device that makes Marsh a kind of zombie. Nor is he the only one. A plague of clockwork zombies is afflicting London, sowing panic and whispers of revolution. Now Elle must join forces with her husband’s old friend, the Nightwalker Loisa Beladodia, to track down Marsh’s heart and restore it to his chest before time runs out.

My thoughts on the book:
I expected A Clockwork Heart to be an improvement over A Conspiracy of Alchemists, but unfortunately I was wrong. This novel failed to engage me, and while I liked Elle and Marsh in the first installment, both characters fell flat for me this time around. I couldn't force myself to care about what happened to them. The pacing was slow, and I got bored quite a few times. Unless you're a huge Steampunk fan, you may want to pass this one up. 

Elle annoyed me this time. She comes across as a spoiled brat, who refuses to sacrifice anything for her marriage. She's also cocky and arrogant, which results in plenty of problems for herself. Marsh seems like a door mat this time around, which made me not respect him as much. The secondary characters are all flat, filler characters. Also, none of the characters really evolve in this novel. 

The plot is inconsistent at best and overly convenient at worst. The pacing is so slow, and there is a huge lack of world-building. Considering the world wasn't 100% clear in the first book, I was hoping that Schwarz would clear some things up this time around. That wasn't the case, though. The last fourth of the book is the best, and at least made me somewhat interested in the series again. I'll probably read the last installment just to see how things end, but even with the decent ending, I still am not too invested in these characters. 

Overall, I'd say if you're a die hard Steampunk fan, you should read this. Otherwise, try it out from the library first. You may be disappointed. 

Pre-order A Clockwork Heart

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Her Ladyship's Curse
Lynn Viehl

Rating: F
Release Date: 08/12/13
In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian (Kit) Kittredge makes her living investigating magic crimes and exposing the frauds behind them. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, as the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. she follows mysteries wherever they lead.

Lady Diana Walsh calls on Kit to investigate and dispel the curse she believes responsible for carving hateful words into her own flesh as she sleeps. While Kit doesn’t believe in magic herself, she can’t refuse to help a woman subjected nightly to such vicious assaults. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks on Diana are part of a larger, more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.

Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of nefarious deathmage Lucien Dredmore and the unwelcome scrutiny of police Chief Inspector Thomas Doyle. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. Yet as she learns the truth behind her ladyship’s curse, Kit also uncovers a massive conspiracy that promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.

My thoughts on the book:
I was hoping for a good Steampunk story with this novel, but unfortunately I was disappointed. The writing isn't very good. The characters fall flat. The plot is boring. You get the idea. Nothing about this book appealed to me. 

Kit isn't a very likable character, and she doesn't have much of a personality. Many of her actions don't make a lot of sense (like why she gives money to people who insult her). Also, she felt kind of robotic to me. I think it is Viel's writing that made Kit come across with no emotion, but I just could not connect to her at all. The secondary characters are cliches, even though the author tries incredibly hard to make them unique. Lucien is repulsive, and Thomas is obnoxious. I didn't like a single character in this novel. 

The plot is kind of nonexistent, and Kit spends a lot of time just wandering around. I think this is Viehl's attempt at world-building, but it didn't work for me. Also, Kit's tone is overtly racist against indigenous peoples, but I also understand that is because of the time period. However, it really disgusted me to read some of the things she said (a "shaman" (only Inuit tribes from Alaska practice any form of Shamanism, by the way) killing a rat because of something to do with a farm animal - I can't remember the details - wouldn't happen and makes indigenous peoples look more barbaric than they ever have been). Also, the fact that the men in her life basically sexually assault her and that turns her on is really messed up. There was just so much wrong with this book. I'm pretty sure I scowled for the entire time I read it. 

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this novel to anyone. I love a good Steampunk book, but unfortunately, this isn't one. 

STORMCASTER by Alyxandra Harvey Cover Reveal!

Soooo I had no idea that Alyxandra Harvey was writing a new series, but she is! I am so excited about this! The cover is awesome, and so is the synopsis. I can't wait until it comes out!

Release Date: 01/07/14
THE REGENCY WITCHES, in 1804, three cousins with an unknown family lineage of witchcraft awake to their magical powers; beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, they must navigate the new underworld now open to them, learn to control their new talents, and unravel the secret of one cousin’s mother’s illness, all the while evading fortune seekers, marriage proposals, and a dangerous killer murdering young debutantes.

Stacking the Shelves #31

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by  Tynga's Reviews! This meme showcases the books received, bought, or checked out from the library over the past week. 

For Review:

A Radiant Sky
By: Jocelyn Davies
Release Date: 09/24/13
A big thank you to Harper Teen!
Since the night of her seventeenth birthday, Skye has been torn between two opposites: Light and Dark, the Order and the Rebellion, Devin and Asher.

But her decision shocked both sides—because she chose neither.

With the help of her friends, Skye forges her own path, setting out to gather an uprising of Rogues. The treacherous and elusive half-angels may be the key to maintaining the balance of fate and free will. But completing the mission her parents left unfinished is more difficult—and dangerous—than she could have imagined. And doing so comes at a cost: Her greatest love may now be a lethal enemy. Because it’s not just the Order that sees her as a threat who must be eliminated. The Rebellion does, too.

And both sides will do whatever it takes to win.

Dark days lie ahead, and if Skye is to survive, she’ll need to rely on her extraordinary powers and the strength of her will. Because she has a future—and a love—that’s worth fighting for.

The sweeping, darkly romantic story that began with A Beautiful Dark and gathered intensity in A Fractured Light comes to a thrilling conclusion in A Radiant Sky.

By: Kathleen Peacock
Release Date: 09/10/13
A big thank you to Harper Teen!
Mac can’t lose another friend. Even if he doesn’t want to be found.

The ripple effect caused by Mac’s best friend Amy’s murder has driven Mac’s new love, Kyle, to leave Hemlock and disappear from her life forever. But Mac knows that Kyle plans to enroll in a rehabilitation camp, where he can live with other werewolves. She refuses to accept his decision, especially since the camps are rumored to be tortuous. So she sets out in search of Kyle with a barely sober Jason—and Amy’s all-seeing ghost—in tow.

Clues lead Mac to find Kyle in a werewolf den in Colorado—but their reunion is cut short by a Tracker raid. Now Mac and Kyle are trapped inside the electric fences of Thornhill, a camp for young werewolves. As she devises an escape plan, Mac uncovers dangerous secrets buried within the walls of Thornhill—and realizes that the risk to the people she loves is greater than ever before.

Sweet Legacy
By: Tera Lynn Childs
Release Date: 09/03/13
A big thank you to Harper Teen!
The stunning conclusion of Tera Lynn Childs's Greek mythology–based Sweet Venom trilogy is perfect for teen fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series.

The girls cannot hesitate as they seek the location of the lost door between the realms, even as monsters and the gods of Olympus descend on San Francisco in battle-ready droves.

Greer must use her second sight to step up and prevent anything from stopping her sisters' mission, even though a god is playing with her mind. Grace wants to trust her adopted brother, Thane; but will his secret put the girls in even more danger? And Gretchen has trained her sisters to stop the monsters, but her role as a huntress comes with more responsibility than she ever imagined.What will the girls' immortal legacy be? Three teenage descendants of Medusa must unite to restore balance to the world in this action-packed series with plenty of romance.

Ward Against Darkness
By: Melanie Card
Release Date: 08/27/13
A big thank you to Entangled!
The last thing Ward de'Ath wants is more trouble. On the run from both the law and the criminal underworld, Ward and Celia flee Brawenal City only to stumble into the mansion of a powerful evil necromancer. And when Ward discovers the man possesses a dangerous grimoire, his duty leaves him no choice. He can't allow the necromancer to keep the grimoire. But the mansion is filled with monsters--human and undead--and Ward has no way of telling who's friend or foe. The only person he can trust is Celia who dominates more of his thoughts and feelings everyday. But there are still laws in the way of anything but friendship. She's still dead and he's still alive . . . for now.

These Broken Stars
By: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Release Date: 12/10/13
A big thank you to Disney-Hyperion!
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

The Shadow Prince
By: Bree Despain
Release Date: 03/11/14
A big thank you to Egmont!
Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

From the Library:

Sweet Venom
By: Tera Lynn Childs
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

Sweet Shadows
By: Tera Lynn Childs
The action-packed second book of Tera Lynn Childs's Greek mythology–based Sweet Venom trilogy is perfect for teen fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series.

Three teenage descendants of Medusa must figure out where their fate will take them. The warring factions among the gods of Olympus are coming for them, the creatures of the abyss are pushing into San Francisco, and the boys in their lives are hiding dangerous secrets.

Gretchen has fought the monsters the longest, but teaching the girls the ropes is hard. Can she rely on Grace and Greer, or even trust herself to keep them safe? Greer has pressing social commitments and little time to train her newfound powers. But her second sight won't leave her alone. Grace is worried about her brother, Thane, who has disappeared. His secrets might have to do with the heritage the triplets share.

How can the girls embrace the shadows of their legacy?

Heart of Iron
By: Bec McMaster
In Victorian London, if you’re not a blue blood of the Echelon then you’re nothing at all. The Great Houses rule the city with an iron fist, imposing their strict ‘blood taxes’ on the nation, and the Queen is merely a puppet on a string…

Lena Todd makes the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a sympathizer for the humanist movement haunting London’s vicious blue blood elite. Not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can’t twist around her little finger, and the one man whose kiss she can’t forget…

Stricken with the loupe and considered little more than a slave-without-a-collar to the blue bloods, Will wants nothing to do with the Echelon or the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds a coded letter on Lena—a code that matches one he saw on a fire-bombing suspect—he realizes she’s in trouble. To protect her, he must seduce the truth from her.

With the humanists looking to start a war with the Echelon, Lena and Will must race against time—and an automaton army—to stop the humanist plot before it’s too late. But as they fight to save a city on the brink of revolution, the greatest danger might just be to their hearts…


My Life Next Door
By: Huntley Fitzpatrick
A big thank you to Penguin!
"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

This was one of my favorite novels of last year, so I was super excited to win a copy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

THRONE OF GLASS Story Generator + Sarah J. Maas Tour Stops!

Hey guys, this week I'm sharing the story generator with you. The story I came up with was hilarious! You guys should give it a try, too! Share the link to your story in the comments. I'd love to see them.

Read my story here!

Create your own story here.

I'm going to the Naperville tour stop, so if any of you attend, please come and say hi!

Aug 27 –
Mrs. Nelson’s Toy and Bookshop
1030 Bonita Ave.
La Verne, CA  91750

Aug 28 –
Kepler’s Books and Magazines
1010 El Camino Real Menlo Park, CA 94025

Aug 29 –
Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Dr 
Houston, TX 77079

Aug 30 – Sept. 1 – Catch Sarah at DragonCon in Atlanta!

Sept. 7 –
Malaprops Bookstore
55 Haywood Street
Ashville, NC 288801
*Event with Susan Dennard and Erin Bowman

Sept. 8 –
Flyleaf Books
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Sept. 9 –
Barnes and Noble #2647
760 SE Maynard
Cary, NC 27511

Sept. 10 –
Barnes and Noble #2647
3225 W 69th Street
Edina, MN 55435

Sept. 11 –
Anderson's Bookshop
123 W. Jefferson Ave.
Naperville, IL  60540

Sept. 12 –
Joseph-Beth Bookseller
2692 Madison Road
Cincinnati, OH 45208

Friday, July 26, 2013


Hey everybody! I have drawn the five winners for the Throne of Glass contest. I've emailed all of the winners, too.

Here they are:

Jesse B.
Katlin R.
Sarah P.
Christine H.
Tiffany W.

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you everyone for participating! More giveaways to come, so stay tuned!

SPIRIT by Shauna Granger Book Blitz!!

Release Date: 04/30/13

Summary from Goodreads:
Not even a guardian angel is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna put too much trust her abilities to keep herself safe and has been cut down by crazed man. Now she is trapped in the land of the dead, watching as her two best friends suffer the consequences of her death; their powers are fading and soon they will too. Shayna is desperate to return to the land of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate. To save her friends Shayna must turn away from the Light and, in doing so, sacrifice her wings.

But the longer Shayna stays among the dead, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned and lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.

Available from:
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Excerpt #1:
More than two hundred homes and two thousand square acres were destroyed in the fire. Two people were severely burned, but they survived. Amazingly, no one died. At least, that’s what the papers reported. They never found my body, and they looked for days. I know; I watched them search for me. I had always said I wanted to be cremated when I died, asking to have my ashes scattered at the roots of an old tree, but being burned alive was not what I had in mind.

My parents held my memorial outdoors, on the beach. Search and rescue told my parents it was too soon to be completely conclusive about my whereabouts, but after seeing the site where Jodi and Steven said I’d died, my parents came to the hard decision that I was, more than likely, gone.
A pack of surfers I had known since childhood paddled out to sea, each bearing a flower wreath. Once they were past the last break of waves, they cast the flowers into the ocean, letting the ebb and flow of Earth and sea take them. The beach was covered in black from mourners milling around, huddled against the winter bite in the breeze.

Deb had brought her entire coven to show their respects. Little Trisity clung to Deb’s hand while tears streamed down her face, her aura a pale gray obscuring her sweet face. Deb lifted her up and held her on her hip, letting Trisity cry into her shoulder as she made her way to my parents. Half the senior class had turned out in a wash of black, white, and gray; even a few teachers were in attendance. I had no idea so many people had known me. A huge, obnoxious picture of me stood on an easel, flowers littering the ground around it. Beside it, my surfboard stood, jammed in the sand.

Jodi and Steven received just as many hugs and whispered condolences as my parents. Their faces were dry of tears. Jodi looked hard and determined, as though an idea had taken root in her mind and she was unaware of her surroundings, whereas Steven looked distant, the fire in his eyes banked to cold embers. They accepted the hugs and nodded at the words, but otherwise they weren’t truly present. I felt Jodi’s uncontrolled magic, the sudden gusts of wind whipping her signature around, making the mourners cling to their coats and inch closer to each other.

Jensen was there, wrapped in a black peacoat and wearing a grey beanie pulled low over his ears. His hands were jammed into his coat pockets, and his tiny mother was next to him, her arm linked through the crook of Jensen’s elbow. I traced the line of his profile with my eyes, remembering the heat of his full, red lips and the sharp lines of his cheekbones under my fingers. An ache blossomed in my chest as I waited for him to turn toward me, let me see the stormy ocean of his eyes, but he never did.

I stood alone on the rocks, watching from a distance. I found when I came too close to those who had loved me in life, I stole what little peace they’d carved out for themselves. Any calm or happiness they had found would seep away, the color of their aura draining to gray. I was a wraith, bound to the shadows, trying to find my way home.

I had spent my time in the Ether, somewhere between the living and the dead, hiding and running from that which would take me from this plane. I’d seen the bright Light, the tunnel, felt the inexplicable compulsion drawing me toward it. I felt the peace it offered. It felt like home. And I turned away from it.

It was strange, watching those people, so close to them but totally apart. Even at this distance, I saw Death’s next victims. Everyone was marked for death, but the closer they came to it, the darker the mark grew over their bodies. It was a cancer that made the soul rip away from the body. I saw lung cancer creeping up on my English teacher. In another year’s time, he would know about his diminishing chances of beating it. One of Deb’s sisters stood with the shadow of Death looming over her shoulder, ready to snatch her away in a few weeks when she stepped off that curb just fifteen seconds too soon because she was digging through her purse with her phone braced between her cheek and shoulder. I was so close and yet so far away. I couldn’t warn them though the words screamed in my mind. I felt the phantom weight of my wings on my back, but I knew they weren’t there. When I died and turned away from the Light, they were ripped violently away from me.

Thankfully, when I looked at my parents they were crystal clear, no shadow looming over them. In time, the grey of their auras would clear and resonate in the rainbow spectrum as they should. But when I looked at Jodi and Steven I saw the merest whisper of a shadow. It blurred against their gray auras, but when they moved I saw it and panic nearly strangled me. But what could I do?
I turned to Jodi and watched her face, seeing the peaches and cream complexion drained to pale anger. My fingers twitched with the desire to wave to her, get her attention, make her see me even though I knew it was futile. Steven had turned his back on the congregation, looking out to the sea that usually terrified him, but today nothing scared him, nothing moved him. I sighed even though I no longer breathed, and when I pulled my gaze off of the back of Steven’s head, remembering how soft the curl of his hair felt under my fingers, I looked into Jodi’s eyes.
For one heart stopping moment, she stared right back at me.

Her pale blue eyes didn’t blink, the line of her mouth pressed hard and angry. I started to open my mouth to call out to her, but before I could, I heard the crunch of rocks behind me, making me break our eye contact. I spun around and saw the angel terrifyingly close to me.

“Shayna,” he whispered, his voice carried on Jodi’s wind, gusting now in frantic confusion.
“No!” I yelled, jumping from the rocks. I took off running, faster than I ever could in life. I prayed for my wings, willed them into existence, but the pain never came and my back remained whole and unmarred. I heard the thunder clap behind me, reverberating as his wings erupted just before he took flight, chasing me.

Fear ripped through me, threatening to trip me up. I felt the Heavens opening behind me, the warm light pressing against my back, growing warmer the closer the angel’s outstretched hand got to me. I closed my eyes and drew in the shadows of the rocks around me, turned on the spot, and let my body fall. The shadows wrapped around me and pulled me through the cosmos just as the tips of the angel’s fingers touched my sweater.

Rest of the books in the Elemental series:
(link to Goodreads)

About the Author
Like so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, but it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. Five years ago, Shauna started work on her Elemental Series. She released the first installment, Earth, on May 1, 2011 and has since released four sequels, with the series coming to an end with Spirit. She is currently hard at work on a new Urban Fantasy series, staring a spunky witch with a smush-faced cat named Artemis.

Author Links:
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1 – Signed Paperback of winner’s choice of books 1-5 in the Elemental series. (US only)
1 – e-book of winner’s choice of books 1-5 in the Elemental series. (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 25, 2013


The Deepest Night
Shana Abe

Rating: A+
Release Date: 08/13/13
A rich portrait of post-Victorian England, The Deepest Night seamlessly blends thrilling romance with riveting history and adventure—perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Lauren Kate.

It’s 1915, and sixteen-year-old Lora Jones is finishing up her first year as a charity student at Iverson, a prestigious, gothic boarding school on England’s southern coast. While she’s always felt different from everyone around her, now she finally knows why: She is a drákon, a rare, enchanted being with astonishing magical abilities.

As war hits Britain’s shores, and Lora reels from an unimaginable loss, she finds that her powers come with grave and dangerous responsibilities. At the request of Armand Louis, the darkly mysterious boy whose father owns Iverson, Lora will spend her summer at his lavish estate. To help the war effort—and to keep Lora by his side—Armand turns his home into a military hospital, where Lora will serve as a nurse. For Armand is inescapably drawn to her—bound to her by heart-deep secrets and a supernatural connection that runs thicker than blood.

Yet while Lora tries to sort out her own feelings toward Armand, fate offers an unexpected surprise. Lora discovers there is another drákon, a prisoner of war being held in Germany. And that only she, with her newly honed Gifts, will be able to rescue him.

With Armand, Lora will cross enemy lines on an incredible mission—one that could bond her to Armand forever, or irrevocably tear them apart.

Beautifully written, deeply romantic, and filled with daring adventure and magic, The Deepest Night is a mesmerizing novel of the enduring pull of destiny, and the eternal strength of love.

Do not read this review if you haven't read The Sweetest Dark! It contains spoilers for the first book.