Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #105

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

A Map for Wrecked GirlsCassie's Waiting On: 
A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor
Publication Date: August 15, 2017

We sat at the edge of the ocean—my sister Henri and I—inches apart but not touching at all. We'd been so sure someone would find us by now.

Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them.

I'd trusted Henri more than I'd trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I'd follow.

Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart.

For the first time, I was afraid we'd die on this shore.

To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?

I have heard some great things about this book already, so I'm greatly looking forward to reading this one. I feel like this will be a good story about sisterhood, survival, and remembering the love we have for those closest to us.  Add in a little romance (which hopefully doesn't take over the story), and this is sure to be a great read!

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 
Feral Youth by Shuan David Hutchinson 
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017 


At Zeppelin Bend, an outdoor education program designed to teach troubled youth the value of hard work, cooperation, and compassion, ten teens are left alone in the wild. The teens are a diverse group who come from all walks of life, and they were all sent to Zeppelin Bend as a last chance to get them to turn their lives around. They’ve just spent nearly two weeks learning to survive in the wilderness, and now their instructors have dropped them off eighteen miles from camp with no food, no water, and only their packs, and they’ll have to struggle to overcome their vast differences if they hope to survive.

Inspired by The Canterbury Tales, Feral Youth features characters, each complex and damaged in their own ways, who are enticed to tell a story (or two) with the promise of a cash prize. The stories range from noir-inspired revenge tales to mythological stories of fierce heroines and angry gods. And while few of the stories are claimed to be based in truth, they ultimately reveal more about the teller than the truth ever could.

Mr. Hutchinson's novel, We Are the Ants is absolutely beautiful. I can only trust his judgement as he complies a novel written by several authors. Plus I LOVE The Canterbury Tales. I can't wait until I get a chance to read this one!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Book Review: Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2)

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra ClareAbout the Book:
Title: Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Pub. Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 701
Rating: 5/5 stars


Would you trade your soul mate for your soul?

A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear.


“Everyone is afraid of something. We fear things because we value them. We fear losing people because we love them. We fear dying because we value being alive. Don't wish you didn't fear anything. All that would mean is that you didn't feel anything.” 

It's been several weeks since I finished this book and I still don't know what to do with my life after that ending (and really the entire book). Before reading this, I was warned about the insane and heart-stopping cliffhanger that I can only tolerate from select authors...Cassie Clare being one of them...and the fact that it's going to be 2 years (2 YEARS PEOPLE!!!) until the next book is released. But did that stop me? Heck no!! I definitely slowed down my reading a bit to savor the characters, the story, and the Shadowhunter world a bit longer, but I had to read this and have Cassandra Clare's words affect me like no other author can. I put myself through the emotional turmoil and the rollercoaster feelings that are associated with any book set in the Shadowhunter world, and now am still wondering how can other books compare to something this EPIC!


I could go on and on for days about how amazing this book is, but given the current overall rating of this book and the 2000+ reviews stating the same thing, I think you get the gist that it's freaking awesome! Cassandra Clare has come a very long way in her writing since her first novel set in the Shadowhunter world, City of Bones, and it is clearly evident on each page how much she cares and loves these characters as if they are her own children. She wants the best for them, but she knows that they can't have the best unless they go through trial after trial of suffering and not getting what they want. Plus, that's the thing about doesn't always give you a happily ever after. This is one thing that I have always loved about Cassandra Clare's writing. She doesn't shy away from brutally ripping your heart out and making you suffer along with the characters. Her stories are realistic (to a certain point obviously, since this whole series deals with supernatural/paranormal elements), and she seeks to remind us with every story that at the end of the day, her characters are human. 

“There is truth in stories,” said Arthur. “There is truth in one of your paintings, boy or in a sunset or a couplet from Homer. Fiction is truth, even if it is not a fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die.” 

This entire book is gorgeously written and it comes through the most in her characters. Emma is becoming a stronger and stronger Shadowhunter and is never afraid to take on the seemingly impossible mission. She doesn't back down from a challenge and is willing to go to any length to protect the ones she loves the most. I honestly love Emma so much, and to see how much she has grown since she was featured in TMI is mindblowing. Her relationship with Julian is both heartbreaking and wonderful. You can't deny the chemistry between them, and even though it doesn't seem like there is any way for things to work out between them (unless they do the unthinkable that is), I'm still rooting for them to be together. I want Cassandra Clare to come up with a way for them to be together that doesn't involve tragedy and complete disruption of the Shadowhunter world...but this is Cassandra Clare, so there's bound to be some sort of tragedy involved in making their relationship be okay. 


Julian, while only 17, seems so much older. He carries himself as an adult, and that's largely due to his situation growing up. However, in this one, we see more of how that weight he is constantly carrying, is affecting him in multiple parts of his life. Just like Emma, Julian is also willing to do anything, be anything, and sacrifice everything to ensure his family is safe. Honestly the characteristics you admire about him the most are also the most heart-breaking aspects of his character. If any character in this series deserves a happy ending, it's Julian (and I'm not just saying that because my love for him knows no bounds).

“I need to be whole again. Even if it doesn’t last.”
“It can’t last,” she said, staring at him, because how could it, when they could never keep what they had? “It’ll break our hearts.”
He caught her by the wrist, brought her hand to his bare chest. Splayed her fingers over his heart. It beat against her palm, like a fist punching its way through his sternum. “Break my heart,” he said. “Break it in pieces. I give you permission.” 

Kit Herondale, aka the lost Herondale, is a stand out character in this novel. I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to like his character all that much, but Cassandra Clare really made me love him. I am very interested to see where his character goes in this story. Kit doesn't just accept his role as a Shadowhunter. No, he questions everyone and everything. He makes is clear that this is not at all the life he wants. He goes along for the ride though because he's hoping for some sort of loophole to get him out of it. But, over the course of the book you see him begin to shine as a Shadowhunter. You see him become more and more immersed in this world and realize that this is the life he belongs in after all. His relationship with Ty is absolutely extraordinary and one of my favorite pairings in this book. I personally love that Cassandra Clare has a character with autism in this book, and Ty is phenomenally represented. She does an amazing job at writing Ty's character, and it brought tears to my eyes because this is not something that is easily done. For someone who does not let many people become close to him, Ty allows Kit into his world, and it is seriously one of the best things in this entire novel. 


Clary, Jace, Magnus, and Alex all play roles in this story as well. I missed Simon and Isabelle, but it didn't really make sense for them to be in this installment in TDA. Cassandra Clare has said they will play a larger role (similar to the role Magnus and Alex played in this one) in The Queen of Air and Darkness, which is something that I'm very much looking forward to. Even though I didn't think it was possible, Cassandra Clare expands on the Shadowhunter world even more, and you could definitely see some parallels to the current situations going on in our world and nation. 

“When people die, our dreams of what they could be die with them. Even if ours is the hand that ends them.” 

The entire conclusion of this book blew me away and left me on the edge of my seat. Sure, there were plenty of twists and turns throughout the book, but seriously....the ending was just a wham bam thank you ma'am ending with twists and turns coming left and right! And then that cliffhanger...why do you do this to us Cassandra Clare?!?! Why do you mend our hearts and give us hope, only to destroy all of it with a couple words?!?! 



Read this book as soon as you can because you will not want to miss out on the epic journey that Emma, Julian, and the rest of the gang go through during this book. I still don't know how I'm going to make it until 2019 for the third book in this series, but it's going to be a LONG wait is all I can say! 

Happy reading :)


Friday, June 23, 2017

ARC Review: Deliciously Bitter (Naked Brews #3)

Deliciously Bitter by KB JacobsAbout the Book:
Title: Deliciously Bitter (Naked Brews #3)
Author: KB Jacobs
Pub. Date: June 23, 2107
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 306
Rating: 5/5 stars

Three years ago, my perfect life ended. I got trapped inside a burning Army MRAP and watched my friends die. I was the only one to survive, if you can call this survival. 

Now I’m the beast of nightmares. Horrific scars mean I don’t leave my house...ever. 

But my best friend made sure I continued to live when all I wanted was to give up. I owe him everything, and now he needs me for two weeks. 

Two weeks with strangers who I’ll never have to see again. I can do this. I can ignore the stares and revulsion. 

But what I can’t ignore is the stunning beauty next door who sees past my scars. 

She’s Hollywood royalty. I’m a recluse, a hermit. Her life is glamour and paparazzi. My life is NOT. No matter how much I want her, I’m no good for her. 

Beauty and the beast was a romantic fairy tale, but this is real life and she deserves better... 


I have no words to describe how amazing this book is!! You need to pick it up as soon as it is released! KB Jacobs have written an excellent conclusion in the Naked Brews trilogy by not only wrapping up the mystery that has been plaguing these characters since the very beginning, but also giving us the most romantic love story between Damian and Alex. I've been begging to find out more about these two characters in particular, so it was a bittersweet way to end the series for me. 

Once again, KB Jacobs has crafted excellent main characters and given them so much life you feel as if you're friends with them. Since the get go, both Damian and Alex have been very mysterious characters...Damian more so than Alex however. Which means his character is full of surprises and new discoveries throughout the entire book. My heart broke for Damian and all of the suffering he has gone through, but his change from this hermit/recluse to being open and trusting of others was HUGE. One of his scenes towards the end of the book truly brought tears to my eyes because of how far he had come since the start. And while some of his growth was from his own choices and feeling like he belonged with the Naked Brews crew, a large majority of this growth came from Alex. She was more incredible than I ever could imagine! I loved her for her constant support and caring nature towards Lake and Melissa, but this extends to Damian and is taken to a whole other level. Honestly, the respect, care, and love she showed him is very rare these days, and it was exactly what he needed to break out of his self-made hermit shell. 

I was rooting for Alex and Damian from the very first chapter, but together the sparks fly off the page!! Reading their story was so spectacular and amazing, and I never wanted it to end! Even though Damian is reluctant at first, he can't help but open his heart and home to Alex. And boy oh boy do the pages heat up when they are together. Every scene between them was beautifully written and made your heart melt. 

All loose ends are tied up, and I definitely didn't expect the culprit behind everything to be the person it was!! It was shocking for sure! I highly recommend reading this is book if you are a fan of the series, and while it can be read as a standalone, I think the story means so much more when read the series in order. It's hard knowing that this is the last in the Naked Brews series because I don't want to say goodbye to these characters yet!! I hope it won't be the last we see of them (hint hint KB Jacobs....give us some novellas please), but KB Jacobs definitely went out with a bang and ended this series perfectly!

Happy reading :)


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blog Tour: Thicker Than Blood

Thicker Than Blood Tour Graphic
Thicker Than Blood by Anne Marie CitroAbout the Book:
Title: Thicker Than Blood (Sistas Book 3) 
Author: Anne Marie Citro
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance
Publication Date: May 5, 2017

Every paramedic’s worst nightmare is to arrive at the scene of a horrific accident and find out that the victim is someone they love. Or, in Caden Ross’s case, the woman he used to love. It took two years to finally get over Dakota and move on with his life, or so Caden believed, until he has to face the thought of a world without her. Nothing could have prepared the handsome, headstrong off-duty paramedic for the emotional upheaval of keeping the woman he once thought would be his forever alive.
Dakota Martineau appeared to have the world in the palm of her hand. She is beautiful, kind, has an adoring family, including her best friend and identical twin sister. She has a passion for incorporating her love of life, family, and her cultural background into her dream job with special needs kids. Then, in a life-altering crash, she discovers just how fragile life is. Thankful to be surrounded by an incredible group of friends who will help heal, not just her body, but also her soul, she knows she should be happy she is alive and on the mend, but Dakota is still tormented by the loss of her one true love.
How can you feel safe with the one person who hurt you the most? What road will Caden and Dakota take when they discover fate wreaked havoc on everything they thought was true?
I adore all of Citro's books.
This book keeps you reading. It's a journey that takes you through overcoming tragedy, overcoming lots and lots of heartbreak from family and lovers, and it teaches you the power of friendship and trusting with your heart.
- Kristin Campbell, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Available now for $2.99 only. Grab your copy today.
Thicker Than Blood Teaser

Other Books by Anne Marie Citro

Don't miss the other books in the Sistas series:
Under Her Wings
UNDER HER WINGS (Sistas Book 1)
Have you ever wondered why you were so lucky? Then you wake up to find every you cherished is gone. You don’t fit into your life without the people who defined it. So, you run. You run as fast and as far as you can. Then you smash into them!
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
"This book is for the hopeless romantic, who believes everyone should get their happy ending. Even when happiness seems unattainable."
- Amazon Customer, Amazon reviewer
Related Links
Lyrics Heart & Soul
LYRICS HEART & SOUL (Sistas Book 2)
Can the misfits of society considered substandard and their child/ youth worker teach a broken man that has no heart how to love? Can love and trust be taught? Ryder has what every person strives for yet it isn’t worth having if you have no one to share it with.
Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks
"Beautiful Story...A 2017 Summer Beach Read Not To Be Missed!"
- Annette Cosentino, Amazon reviewer
Related Links

Excerpt from Thicker Than Blood
Caden saw she was about speak and stopped her by placing a bandaged finger to her lips. “Do you love me, Dakota?” he asked, needing to hear only that from her lips.
Closing her eyes, she responded by nodding. “I never s-stopped, even after I thought—”
“No,” Caden stopped her again. That was all he had needed or wanted to hear for tonight. “I don’t want to talk tonight. We have both dealt with enough for today. I want to be with you. If you are strong enough, I want to make love to you. I need to be in your body. I need to reconnect with you on the most basic level, for my sanity and my soul.”
She knew he was struggling as deeply as she was. They had lost so much, hurt so deeply. Was this a gift she could give to him, to both of them? Physically, she was not the same woman he remembered, and she was feeling self-conscious. Her body was no longer strong. Dakota hadn’t shaved her legs or under her arms in months. She was convinced she was half monkey.
Caden saw a look of disgust cross her face. “If you don’t want to make love yet, I get it. We’ll get there. We don’t have to rush. Just let me hold you tonight.”
Dakota saw the look of rejection on his face. He had misinterpreted her reaction. She wanted it so badly. It was her modesty that was the problem.
“I want to … I j-just wish I felt more like myself. My body doesn’t w-work the same way it used to. I’ll be aw-awkward and won’t feel like a w-woman.” Her face was red with embarrassment.
Caden was confused. He had no doubt he could make her feel like a whole woman.
He tipped her head up. “We are starting fresh. No more keeping things to ourselves. We are open and honest about everything. Do you understand there isn’t anything we can’t talk about? Please tell me.”
She knew he was right. They had to move forward. The only way for it to work was with total honesty, even if it was embarrassing as hell.”
“I want you to look at me like you used to. My body hasn’t fully recovered, and I haven’t shaved in “months.”
Caden lowered his forehead to hers and cupped her jaw in both hands, shuttering in relief as he breathed out. “Aw, baby girl, you are the sexiest woman alive. It’s very important to me how you feel about yourself. I’m going to help you. Let’s go.”
Her eyes widened as she tried to dig her feet in. “No, please. I don’t know if I can. I only recently got some of my dignity back. It was awful having to rely on nurses to bathe me, put on my deodorant, or even wipe my butt. I couldn’t do anything about it before, but …”
Giving her shoulders a gentle shake, he said, “Hold on, Dakota. I know you’ve gone to hell and back. Just to remind you, I am a professional and deal discreetly with people’s bodies every day. I understand your need for discretion. Trust me, baby; I’ll be respectful.”

When I was given an advanced copy of this book, I wasn't actually aware that it was the 3rd book in the series, however I quickly fell in love with the story, as well as Ms. Citro's writing. Although it is the 3rd book, it can be read as a standalone. It's safe to say I'll be checking out the rest of the books in the series though because I need to find out more about the other characters featured in this book. Thicker Than Blood is a book that keeps you hooked until the end and is one that you never want to stop reading. You instantly fall in love with the main characters and are rooting for them throughout the entire book. Ms. Citro's writing is fantastic and truly sweeps you away.

Dakota and Caden are excellent leads for this story. Both characters are easy to love and extremely relatable. After a devastating accident, Dakota's life is turned upside down, and that is the moment when she (and Caden) realize certain things about their lives. Once upon a time, they were madly in love, but one event shattered that leaving both of them heartbroken. However, when they find their way back to each other and learn that everything that happened is not what it appeared to be, their romance becomes magical. My heart broke for both characters at how much time they lost due to a misunderstanding and petty jealousy. 

I honestly loved Dakota's character. She was very much in tune with her ancestry and heritage, and this added a lovely element to the book. I liked how Ms. Citro wove Dakota's beliefs and ancestry into the story because it made me love the book even more. Dakota is a wonderful free-spirited woman and is the perfect match for Caden. Caden is very swoon-worthy. He's down-to-earth and romantic. Caden is also loyal to a fault and even though at the beginning of the story things aren't very good between him and Dakota, he stays by her side through it all. It was in these beginning moments that you see just how much he still cares for and loves Dakota. 

As I said, I definitely want to find out more about the side characters because they played such important roles in this book and I would love to find out their backstory. However the one character I absolutely hated...Dakota's sister. She is absolutely despicable and I couldn't stand her. You'll understand why I say that when you read the book, but just know that you will hate her from the get go.

I would highly recommend reading this book right away!! With fantastic writing and a cast of characters that is easy to love (with the exception of Dakota's sister that is), you will quickly find a new favorite series!! I do think the story would have meant more to me if I read the previous 2 books prior to this one, however you can definitely read this as a standalone and not be confused. This book takes you on a journey through heartbreak, friendship, and love...and it is a journey that you will want to take again and again.

Happy reading :)


Thicker Than Blood Giveaway Graphic
Contest runs from May 17 - June 24, 2017.

Anne Marie Citro

About Anne Marie Citro

Anne Marie Citro grew born and raised in the greater Toronto area of Ontario, Canada. She grew up in a large, loving family. Anne Marie is married to a very patient man. He is the love of her life. They have four very cool sons, and the girls they brought into their family that have become daughters of her heart. She has been blessed enough to finally have a beautiful granddaughter after four sons. She has her own personal gaggle of girlfriends, who enrich her life on a daily basis and make her laugh. Caesar Friday is her favorite day of the week. Caesars with the girls and date night with her hubby. She works with special-needs teenagers, that have taught her how to appreciate life and see it through gentler eyes.
Anne Marie was encouraged by her husband to follow her lifelong dream to write. She loves the characters that take over imagination and haunts her dreams. She loves the arts and she has tried her hand at painting, wood sculpting, chainsaw carving, wood burning, metal and wire sculptures. Yes, her husband is a very patient man! Anne Marie is an avid reader and enjoys about three books per week. But nothing makes her happier then riding on the back of her husband's Harley and throwing her arms out and feeling the wind race by. Anne Marie and her husband take a few weeks every year to travel to spectacular destination around the world. Anne Marie is excited and can't wait to see what the next chapter holds for her life.
Official website:
Connect with Anne Marie Citro on social media:

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from June 12 - 24, 2017.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Thicker Than Blood Book Page at Book Unleashed.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #104

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Cassie's Waiting On: 
Venturess (Mechanica, #2)Venturess (Mechanica #2) by Betsey Cornwell
Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy tale happy ending. She's free of her horrible step-family, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await them as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries—and for themselves.

I know that this might not be the most popular of WoWs, but I honestly really enjoyed the first book in this series.  I'm excited to see where the story will go and what's Ms. Cornwell has in store for the characters that I liked so much! Plus, I LOVE the cover of this one!

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart 
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017 


The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

I know that We Were Liars produced some pretty die-hard fans for E. Lockhart, but I actually haven't read it! So, after hearing some great things about her mystery novels, I am definitely ready to give her style of writing a try with Genuine Fraud!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Suffering Tree

About the Book:
Title: The Suffering Tree 
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 368 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal 


“It’s dark magic brings him back.”

Tori Burns and her family left D.C. for claustrophobic Chaptico, Maryland, after suddenly inheriting a house under mysterious circumstances. That inheritance puts her at odds with the entire town, especially Jesse Slaughter and his family-it's their generations-old land the Burns have "stolen." As the suspicious looks and muttered accusations of her neighbors build, so does the pressure inside her, and Tori returns to the pattern of self-harm that landed her in a hospital back in D.C. It all comes to a head one night when, to Tori's shock, she witnesses a young man claw his way out of a grave under the gnarled oak in her new backyard.

Nathaniel Bishop may not understand what brought him back, but it's clear to Tori that he hates the Slaughters for what they did to him centuries ago. Wary yet drawn to him by a shared sense of loss, she gives him shelter. But in the wake of his arrival comes a string of troubling events-including the disappearance of Jesse Slaughter's cousin-that seem to point back to Nathaniel.

As Tori digs for the truth-and slowly begins to fall for Nathaniel-she uncovers something much darker in the tangled branches of the Slaughter family tree. In order to break the curse that binds Nathaniel there and discover the true nature of her inheritance, Tori must unravel the Slaughter family's oldest and most guarded secrets. But the Slaughters want to keep them buried at any cost.

The Story Behind the Cover:


I cried the first time I saw the final design for the exquisite cover of The Suffering Tree. Not just because it’s so incredibly striking in its contrast, or because the art seems to come alive on the page. But because the cover, like the novel, promises to take readers on a journey. I cried because I could start at the top of the jacket and follow Nathaniel and Emmeline’s tale with the tip of my finger as I traced around the rings of the tree. And because of the seamless way their stories blended into Nathaniel and Tori’s, three-hundred years later, via the pathway through the woods, connecting Tori’s house to Nathaniel’s tree.

The designer, Maria Elias, and the illustrator, Justine Howlett, somehow captured not only the fine details of the plot, but also the arcs and struggles of the characters. Nathaniel is drawn delicately into the roots, at once part of the tree and yet he seems forced to bear the weight of it as he climbs his way out. To me, this image couldn’t be a more perfect representation of the burden of the tree’s curse upon him.

And here, the ship that brought Nathaniel and Emmeline to the colonies as children where they were sold to a plantation under a falsified indenture, is drawn as if connected to the farm by the waves of the sea that carried it. Yet in the same image, his old life lies on the other side of a deep ravine, a gouge so deep in its trunk it seems impassable, perfectly capturing Nathaniel’s sentiments of loss and his longing for home.

“As a boy, I ached to cross it, but even if I dove in and swam, or stowed away with a captain and sailed, the distance was so vast and I was already so changed, it felt like nothing would be the same had I returned.”

Turn the book over, and the back jacket tells an equally powerful story of yearning. Tori and Nathaniel reach for each other across the gap, the curse and the secrets that lie beneath the tree.

And best of all is the finishing. The dark illustrations depicting these struggles are embossed, bold lines and images that stand out from the foreground. And behind them, shining through it all, a hint of pearlescence reveals itself. The stars and clouds and sky seem to shimmer with it, catching the light as if illuminating the scenes from within when you turn them just the right way. I won’t spoil the reason this feels so perfect to the story. Astute readers will spot that small but significant detail in the book, and I hope it will give them a secret satisfaction when they do.

There are other things. . .  other small details in the cover I’m dying to share with you but can’t without spoiling the mysteries inside it. The rest you’ll have to discover on your own.

My countless thanks to the entire team at Disney Hyperion for bringing The Suffering Tree to life through this unforgettable cover.

Follow the Tour!

Follow the The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Elle Cosimano 

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads 
Elle Cosimano grew up in the Washington, DC suburbs, the daughter of a maximum security prison warden and an elementary school teacher who rode a Harley. She spent summers working on a fishing boat in the Chesapeake Bay, baiting hooks, scrubbing decks, and lugging buckets of chum. A failed student of the hard sciences, she discovered her true calling in social and behavioral studies while majoring in psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Fifteen years later, Elle set aside a successful real-estate career to pursue writing. She lives with her husband and two sons in Northern Virginia and Mexico.
Elle’s debut, Nearly Gone, was a 2015 Edgar Award finalist and winner of the International Thriller Award. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Horror Writers Association, and Sisters In Crime. She was selected for the 2012 Nevada SCBWI Agented & Published Authors’ Mentorship Program, where she worked under the guidance of Ellen Hopkins. She attended the Writers’ Police Academy at Guilford Technical Community College, Department of Public Safety, to conduct hands-on research for her books.

Giveaway (US ONLY):

One winner will receive...

A hardcover copy of The Suffering Tree 

The Suffering Tree sticker & bookmark

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One winner will receive...

(1) of 9 Witch Bottles
a Rafflecopter giveaway

- Jocelyn

Blog Tour: Seeds of Eden

About the Book:
Title: Seeds of Eden (The Concilium, #1)
Author: A.P. Watson
Publication date: January 25, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Haunted by visions of the execution of an innocent man, Evey discovers that the secrets of her past and a mysterious stranger are irrevocably intertwined.
Visions of decapitated corpses, pools of blood, and a masked executioner have haunted Evey for as long as she can remember. Torn between a life in the waking world and dreams of the dead, she realizes her normal existence is nothing more than an illusion. As the veil between reality and her subconscious dissipates, she begins to question her own sanity. Each night as she closes her eyes, she wonders what wrongs she committed to warrant such a curse.
When a handsome stranger suddenly appears in Evey’s life, he is able to provide her with the answers she seeks. However, the only thing more mystifying than Conrad’s appearance in one of her nightmares is the undeniable attraction she feels for him. It is only when he confesses their fates and souls have been intertwined for centuries that an ancient secret is revealed. Now, the two of them must outrun a great darkness or it will claim their lives again.

Author Bio:
A.P. Watson grew up in the small, southern town of Estill Springs, Tennessee. Growing up in a rural town allowed her imagination to run wild, and Paige began making up stories in her head at a young age. This storytelling eventually transformed into a love of writing. She is currently penning her first trilogy, The Concilium Series, and is also planning to write four companion novellas to accompany it. She is an avid reader, enjoying a variety of genres and authors from Jane Austen to Charlaine Harris.
When she isn’t reading or writing, Paige spends the majority of her time dancing. She has been taking pole dancing lessons for the past three years and couldn’t be more in love with the sport. The blend of athleticism, grace, and flexibility required to dance continually challenges her and she strives to not only build strength but defy gravity, as well. Paige has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing from East Tennessee State University. She has been a critical care nurse at Bristol Regional Medical Center for the last five years. She currently resides in Johnson City, Tennessee with her adorable dog, Elle.

Seeds of Eden was a great start to a new series that puts a unique twist on the idea of demons/heaven and hell/reincarnation. While there were some aspects of the story that I didn't like that much, I did enjoy this book a lot and am interested in checking out the next in the series. The plot is fast-paced and exciting. I loved the world-building and there are a ton of cool historical elements incorporated into the story that made the entire book more fun to read. The story definitely lives up to the genre horror-romance!! There are many twists and turns (some of which are surprising and some which are more predictable) that leave the reader trying to figure out where the story will go next! However, I'll warn you already...there's a big cliffhanger ending!

Evey and Conrad are our 2 main characters and I really liked them. Did they blow me away, no, but I still loved their characterization over the course of the novel. I loved that Evey didn't take everything at face-value, and instead questioned everything Conrad told her. She was smart and while some of her decisions were a little questionable in my book, I can understand why she made the decisions she did. Evey was very strong-minded and I loved her independence. She was pretty relatable and an easy character to like. The addition of several other characters gave the story more depth than I was expecting in the first book, which was a nice surprise. I will forewarn you though, I would classify this as upper YA and not NA. The characters are in high school, and while there are some "racy" scenes, they aren't that bad that would push it into NA territory (at least in my mind). I also liked the strong female friendship that was featured in the story because it added another layer of depth that helped move the story along.

There were several things about this book though that made me give it 3.5 stars instead of 4. First was Conrad's character. While I did like him a lot, I never loved him. And considering he is the male lead, that gave me a bit of a pause when it came to rating this book. I think the thing that bothered me the most about his character was his persistence when it came to Evey. I understand that he remembers everything they have shared together, but I also felt that he never really gave her the opportunity to come her own conclusion about them being together. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly glad it wasn't insta-love, but I didn't feel like Conrad had the best intentions at times. It almost felt like he was more attracted to what Evey was and that "magical pull" she has toward everyone. And this is something that didn't really sit with me all that well. Additionally, I did think parts of the story seemed choppy, but I was reading an advanced copy so that could purely be the reason for this. Finally, I wasn't totally sold on Aden. He certainly is a terrible person, but as the villain in this book, I found him to be a bit dull and flat. Aden really is only seen in flashbacks (and even these are very brief appearances), and then a quick moment at the end. I know he'll be playing a much larger role in the next book based off of how this one ended, but his character didn't really line up for me in this book. There were a lot of discrepancies I felt, not his feelings toward Conrad...that I understood, but toward other characters. 

Overall, I would recommend checking this book out. It was a good start to the series, and the cliffhanger ending definitely leaves you wanting more. I do hope that the world is built even more in the next book and other characters are more fleshed out. If this happens, the book has the potential to go from good to excellent...and maybe even a 5 star read. Check this out when you get the chance!

Happy reading :)