Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Blitz: Malachi and I

About the Book:
Title: Malachi and I
Author: J.J. McAvoy
Publication date: September 27th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis: 
A Contemporary Mystical Romance
What if I told you the greatest love stories ever told—Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Salim and Anarkali, Romeo and Juliet and so many more—are far greater tragedies than anyone has ever realized?
What if I told you that you haven’t been reading a new story… just a new chapter in one epic saga?
If I told you…all of those lovers…were actually the same two souls seeking their happily ever after over and over again, would you believe me?
Would you believe them?
Born again, Love again, Part again, Was their curse.
In this modern era, will they find eternal love or will they be doomed to repeat the cycle forever?
EXCERPT:

MALACHI
Apples.
I hate apples.
I hate them for no other reason than the symbolism they invoked. Throughout literature, apples have taken on the symbol of sin, the forbidden fruit, the start of chaos, the undoing of man. The most famous stories are that of Adam and Eve, a single apple caused them paradise and peace.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs—an apple laced with poison that caused Snow White to fall into a coma until a random man awakened her with a kiss. A happy ending, unless you knew that Snow White was Margarete von Waldeck, a sixteenth-century German countess who was banished to Brussels by her step-mother. The poison came from the King of Spain, the father of her prince, and yes, with a damn apple. But she didn’t fall sleep, she died.
Then in Greek Mythology, at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, Eris, the Greek goddess of strife and discord, who understandably was not invited to the wedding but lacked the rational capacity to figure out why, decided to throw a golden apple onto the table at the feast to the most fairest one of all. One apple, dozens of vain goddesses, and just like that a wedding was destroyed and a war began.
If I could take every bloody apple and shoot them to the moon, I would. Maybe if I’d thought about earlier then I wouldn’t have been in my current situation—I wouldn’t have been covered in smoke, sweat, and blood. I wouldn’t have tried to save the old woman from her burning car. Burning because a chain reaction of events that began with the younger woman who was crossing the crosswalk in front of my car, and the impatient fool who ran out of the store. As he barreled into her and knocked her over her bag fell and sent a slew of apples rolling into the street. Apples her daughter then broke free of her grasp to chase after which caused the oncoming pick-up truck to swerve left and straight into the old woman’s car as she was pulling out of her parking space at Spencer’s Grocery Store.
The sight and sound of the accident startled the teen driver who was pulling up behind me, causing him to step on the accelerator instead of the brakes. As his car slammed into mine, my head snapped forward and smashed into the steering wheel as my seatbelt dug its way into my shoulder.
“Dude are you okay?!” The teen moron, screamed as he rushed from his car to mine.
“Help!”
“Oh my god!”
“It’s on fire!”
Even though my vision was blurred I saw the car—a silver BMW—and the bloodied woman who lay unconscious inside of it, and without thinking I pulled off my seatbelt and ran towards the car. I felt nothing as I yanked on the door repeatedly while the smoke rose into my face. Even when she was in my arms and I was dragging her from the car I felt nothing. Nothing, until I looked around screaming for help, only to see, the now bruised and chipped and deformed but no longer rolling…a bunch of fucking apples.

Author Bio:
J.J. McAvoy was born in Montreal, Canada and is currently studying Humanities at Carleton University. She is the oldest of three and has loved writing for years. She is inspired by everything from Shakespearean tragedies to Pop Culture. Her novel "Ruthless People", out July 17th, hopes to push boundaries and take her readers on a ride through the dark side. Please feel free to stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and youtube, where she video blogs.


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~Cassie

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #117

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: 
Nox (The Royal Protector Academy #3)
Nox (The Royal Protector Academy #3) by Randi Cooley Wilson
Publication Date: November 15th, 2017

Synopsis:


Love has revived an ancient war
Jealousy has risen and torn lives apart
And one prophecy demands the ultimate sacrifice

What if rewriting your destiny means that you must sacrifice the one you love? Serena St. Michael has forsaken her future—for him. Tristan Gallagher has renounced the throne—for her. The Vergina Sun prophecy has been fulfilled, but at what cost? Their love has renewed an ancient war. With Serena gone, will Tristan save her in time? Or will the dark army of Diablo Fairies descend upon the Royal Protector Academy, destroying the London clan’s legacy and ending the existence of the gargoyle race forever?


I honestly can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this novel by one of my all time favorite authors, Randi Cooley Wilson!!! She always writes such amazing stories, and I am incredibly excited to see how she decides to end this fantastic trilogy and the story of Tristan and Serena!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Review: Letters to the Lost

Letters to the LostAbout the Book:
Title: Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Pub. Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 400
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Review:

“We're all united by grief, and somehow divided by the same thing.” 

I have been a fan of Brigid Kemmerer for a long time, so I knew without a doubt that I would be reading this book. But what I wasn't expecting was to enjoy it as much as I did! This book truly blew me away from start to finish and I couldn't help but finish it in one sitting. There are some very heavy topics in this book, but everything is written incredibly well and this is easily a book that could be a good starting point to talk about the things that come up with teens and adults alike.

“Can I tell you one thing?” Melonhead says.
I swallow. “Sure.”
“One day isn’t your whole life, Murph.” He waits until I look at him. “A day is just a day.” 

This book is written in dual 1st person perspectives (Juliet and Declan), and it works perfectly. Sometimes when there's dual POVs I end up liking one of the POVs but not the other. That was not the case in this book at all. I easily connected with both characters, and their emotions bled through the page. Their stories, while seemingly separate yet ultimately connected, were raw and real, and didn't shy away from being tough. Honestly, this is exactly how this story needed to be written because of the subject matter but also to help the reader connect to the characters more. You feel like you know these characters--you know their feelings, their truths, their hardships, etc. --and it makes for a much more powerful story. 

“You want to know what I believe? I believe in fate, but I also believe in free will. Meaning, there's a path, but we're free to veer away from it. The only problem is that there's no way to know whose path we're following on any given moment. Our own? Our fate's? Other people are on their on paths, too. What happens when we intersect? What happens when someone else wipes our path clean, and we're left with no road to follow? Is that fate? Is that when free will kicks in? Is the path there, but invisible?
Who the hell knows?” 

Juliet is an amazing character that I connected a lot too. She is overwhelmed by the grief following her mother's death, and is understandably having difficulty letting go of things that she associates with her mother. She has become a shell of the person she used to be, refusing to even pick up a camera anymore because it's enough to send her into a panic. Juliet was such a strong character, but the one little thing that upset me about her was how judgmental she was toward Declan. In general, she isn't that judgmental toward others, but with Declan she was, and I just didn't get it (more because it didn't fit with her characterization). Declan on the other hand was someone that I actually loved a little more than Juliet. He is constantly misjudged as the thug/criminal sort who isn't going anywhere in life. I hated how he had to deal with this every single day and how people treated him. Yes, he has an attitude and some anger issues, but with everything he has dealt with in his life, it's actually completely understandable. Declan is a great person with a strong sense of self and morals. He goes to great lengths for people that wouldn't do the same for him, and that says a lot. 

“When everything goes to hell around you, the only way to go is forward.” 

Brigid Kemmerer developed these characters extremely well, and I adored the addition of the letter writing to the story. While this isn't anything new in YA fiction, it's not done that much....but it's something I love. It added another element to the story because the letters tended to be more open than even the character was during the story. There is something about a letter that just lets the person be more raw and real, and it truly pushed this story to another level. The minor characters were fantastic as well and I'm excited to be able to read more about them!

“I want to fall into him. I want to let someone else carry this weight, even if just for a little bit. But it's been too long.” 

As I mentioned, there are a lot of heavy subjects in this book, but all of it is very thought-provoking. The resounding theme about misjudging people is evident from page 1, and both of our main characters are guilty of it. I do think in many ways this is Ms. Kemmerer's best book because she doesn't shy away from those hard issues (which are extremely prevalent in today's society) but also because she shows that things don't get fixed overnight. She shows that you have to start with baby steps that can progress into something more. 

I highly recommend checking out this novel! Even if you aren't a fan or have never read Brigid Kemmerer before, I think you should read this book. It is incredibly real and tears your heart open a little bit. You easily get swept up in these characters' stories, and will find yourself thinking about them long after you finish reading! Buy this now!


Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Blitz: Mad Love

About the Book:
Title: Mad Love (Guns & Ink Series #1)
Author: Shana Vanterpool
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: September 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis: 
She was a disruption he never wanted.
He was everything she distrusted.
Klayton Caldwell owns a tattoo shop in Denver, Colorado, and has seen just about everything and met just about every kind of person. And they all have one thing in common. Ink.
He isn’t complicated. What you see is what you get. Sex? Always. Relationships? Never. Pleasantries? He doesn’t do that either. Those who can’t handle his mouth get inked elsewhere. Klayton holds everyone at a distance, even his friends. He doesn’t do “close.”
Until Madison ends up in his tattoo parlor, broken, afraid and alone. There’s something about her, and almost immediately, Klayton’s guard drops. Now, everything he knows about himself changes as his life begins to unravel.
Twenty-year-old Madison Hart’s future was taken from her the moment she was abducted from her college campus and held captive by a sicko. After escaping, she flees, running into a stranger. A stranger who shares a similar past. Someone who might be able to help her heal. If she’ll let him.
Madi comes into Klayton’s life like a storm. She’s beautiful. Pitiful. Dangerous. Her pain runs deep enough that she may never be able to talk about what she’s experienced. Her refusal to talk takes a level of patience Klayton’s not sure he has.
He must navigate her broken pieces by changing everything he is. Who he’s been all these years won’t work anymore. But Madi fights him, she fights herself. She fights the madness.
She refuses to talk. He can’t control his mouth. She doesn’t want to be touched. He can’t help himself. They don’t want love. Inside this storm, is a love so mad it might destroy them both.
MAD LOVE is book 1 in the Guns & Ink series from Shana Vanterpool. Look for the rest of the Guns & Ink series coming soon from Swoon Romance.
Book #2 Hard Love – Cat and Brando; Book #3 Bad Love – Isaiah & Bell
When love hurts, heals, begs, and steals, the only way to deal is to ink up.
EXCERPT:

Life had a way of expunging your expectations.But it also had a way of rebuilding them.I met a hero the day I walked into Klayton’s tattoo shop, broken and terrified. My heart was tattered, and my mental state was a plain of rubble in my skull. He wasn’t your typical hero. But atypical was exactly what I needed. I needed strength to combat my weaknesses. I needed love to fight my terror. And I needed someone to look at me like I was whole, when I feared I never would be again.I sometimes wished we could have a do-over. That I could walk into his tattoo shop smiling, clean, and glowing. But that would only erase the brutal, beautiful truth of us. I didn’t walk into his tattoo shop smiling, I wasn’t clean, and I was severely damaged.But Klayton loved me anyway. Even when I was empty, even when I was broken.Even when I was mad.

Author Bio:
When I walk into a book store I feel at home. When I smell the pages of a brand new book things make sense. When I read I am who I always wanted to be. I read to escape and I write so others can as well. My family, my actress dog Bella, coffee, and a steamy love story are a few of my most precious things.


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~Cassie

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Cover Reveal: Sleeping Dragons Series

About the Book: 
Sleeping Dragons Series
Ophelia Bell
Publication date: October 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Erika’s spent her entire post-graduate career searching for it. The elusive dragon stronghold her archaeologist professors scoffed at as being only a myth. Now she has the perfect team and has led them into the deepest reaches of the Sumatran jungle. At the edge of the discovery of the century, she’s finally about to prove to everyone how wrong they were.
But when the seven intrepid explorers pass through the doors, they’re barely prepared for the conflict of lust versus logic they’re faced with on the inside. Ages-old magic lingers in the stronghold, dictating that they perform a ritual to awaken the long-slumbering beasts within. And beasts that beautiful only awaken to one thing: the unbridled release of their fated mates in the throes of ecstasy.
The Sleeping Dragons Omnibus is a series of six novelettes. It includes all kinds of fun kinks involving shapeshifting mythical beasts who breathe magic smoke and have very long, prehensile tongues.


Author Bio:
Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren't apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don't mind being with a woman who's in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.
Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles with her own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.
If you'd like to receive regular updates on Ophelia's publications, freebies, and discounts, please subscribe to her mailing list: http://opheliabell.com/subscribe/


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~Cassie

Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Blitz: Covetousness

HavenwoodFalls-NA-Wilson_ebookLg

COVETOUSNESS By Randi Cooley Wilson Series: Havenwood Falls Genre: Paranormal Romance Cover Design: Regina Wamba, MaeIDesign.com

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play

Welcome to Havenwood Falls, a small town in the majestic mountains of Colorado. A town where legacies began centuries ago, bloodlines run deep, and dark secrets abound. A town where nobody is what you think, where truths pose as lies, and where myths blend with reality. A place where everyone has a story. This is only but one… Graysin Ravenal hasn’t seen her sister in years, but when she learns Jenni has mysteriously died in a library fire, she leaves her upscale beach community for the mountains of Colorado in search of answers. She needs a job, and Havenwood Falls happens to need an interior designer for the new library. The last thing she needs, though, is to fall for the dark and sexy Everett Weston, aka her new boss. Their undeniable mutual attraction aside, keeping their relationship professional proves impossible as their lives collide in more ways than one. Graysin finds herself immersed in a world heavily guarded by secrets and lies—a world Everett seems to know quite well, making him her only hope in finding the answers she seeks. As they work together to unlock the mystery surrounding Jenni’s death, their ever-increasing passion must be denied, no matter what their hearts say. Because the story they’re thrown into is one of desire and danger that not only uncovers a centuries old secret that could destroy the town, but also reveals the darkness of Graysin’s family’s past—a darkness that changes her life forever. And some secrets just can’t be forgiven. This is a New Adult paranormal romance in the Havenwood Falls series of New Adult and Adult fantasy novellas featuring a variety of supernatural creatures. The series is a collaborative effort by multiple authors. Each book is generally a stand-alone, so you can read them in any order, although some authors will be writing sequels to their own stories. Please be aware when you choose your next read. We do recommend that you read Forget You Not first as an introduction to the town and its eccentricities. Other books in the main Havenwood Falls series: Forget You Not by Kristie Cook Fate, Love & Loyalty by E.J. Fechenda Old Wounds by Susan Burdorf Books are released on a monthly basis. Coming soon are stories by Lila Felix, R.K. Ryals, Belinda Boring, Heather Hildenbrand, and more. Watch for Havenwood Falls High, a Young Adult series launching in October 2017. Immerse yourself in the world of Havenwood Falls and stay up to date on news and announcements at www.HavenwoodFalls.com. Join our reader group, Havenwood Falls Book Club, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HavenwoodFallsBookClub/

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Review: Me & Milo the Great

Me & Milo the GreatAbout the Book:
Title: Me & Milo the Great
Author: Michelle Schlicher
Pub. Date: September 14, 2017
Publisher: Michelle Schlicher
Pages: 256
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

My name is Holiday Sanchez. I carry a heavy burden.

But I'm not the only one.

There are others who know what it feels like to remember. Maybe they are the answer. Maybe we can help each other. Maybe I'll finally get past it.

Maybe it just takes time—and a little bit of magic.


Review:

I am absolutely blown away by this novel!! Me and Milo the Great was a beautifully written and touching read that is sure to be a major hit! I have never read a novel by Ms. Schlicher previously, but I am definitely going to check out her past novels (and any future ones) as well! Everything about this book was amazing, and even though the story itself hits on some tough topics, they're handled extremely well and I was incredibly impressed from the very first page!

At times feeling like a memoir, this novel follows Holiday, a young women with debilitating anxiety who has lost so much. Her story is very moving and I easily connected with Holiday right from the start. Michelle Schlicher certainly has a way with words, and her portrayal of Holiday and her anxiety was spot on. Holiday's story is raw and real...2 things that are often not written well in novels, but in this novel were done perfectly. You're heart broke for Holiday, and for those that suffer with anxiety (whether it is as debilitating as Holiday's or not) understood what she was facing every day. This is a very eye-opening look at how severe anxiety can be for a person. I think what made it even better was the concise way Michelle Schlicher wrote Holiday's words. She didn't fill the story with fluff. It's right to the point and there's no shying away from anything. 

When Holiday meets Milo, magic happens. I instantly loved Milo and I loved how much her cared for Holiday. Although their relationship is a bit "insta-lovey," it actually works in the story and I didn't mind it. Milo, along with other side characters (who I loved as well), help Holiday realize the importance of healing and forgiveness. It's definitely very touching to say the least. The story shows the importance of having even that one person in your life that can help you heal and come to terms with things that have happened in your past. 

The story does go back and forth between present day and past, and because of this we find out about what exactly happened to Holiday in small increments throughout the book. The transitions between past and present were seamless and added such a great element to the story. I loved that we went back and forth (which sometimes can be very annoying to me if not done well), and it was never once confusing. The small reveals throughout the story actually showed the reader why Holiday, acted the way she does and revealed her motivations behind finding different people. I will say that I did figure the one big twist out, but the only reason is because I caught one line earlier in the story that got my gears turning and from then on was able to put things together. And even though I knew the twist that was coming, it still was shocking reading it. 

I highly recommend this book for EVERYONE!! You need to check this book out when you get the chance. It's beautifully written and a very poignant read. It shows that love can come in many forms and that it can find you in the way you least expect it. Read this book as soon as it hits shelves!!

Happy reading :)

I was given an advanced copy of this novel by the author in exchange for an honest review.

~Cassie

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cover Reveal: Brave (The Wicked Trilogy #3)

Novels and Necklaces is extremely excited to present the cover of Jennifer Armentrout's new novel, Brave! You all know that I'm a huge fan of JLA and I honestly can't wait until this book comes out!! Now...time for you to see this gorgeous cover :) 



About the Book:
Title: Brave (The Wicked Trilogy #3)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: December 11th, 2017
Available Formats: Paperback (U.S./Canada) and E-book
Preorder Link: Amazon 


Synopsis:

Ivy Morgan hasn't been feeling like herself lately. Not like anyone can blame her. After all, being held captive by a psychotic fae prince hell-bent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld is bound to leave some mental scars.

It’s more than that, though. Something dark and insidious is spreading throughout Ivy, more powerful than she could ever imagine... and it’s coming between her and the man she’s fallen deeply in love with, elite Order member Ren Owens.

Ren would do anything to keep Ivy safe. Anything. But when he makes a life altering choice for her, the fallout of his act has far reaching consequences that threaten to tear their lives apart.
If Ivy is going to have any hope of surviving this, she must put aside the hurt and betrayal she feels, and work with not only those she loves, but with an enemy she would rather kill than ever trust. War is coming, and it soon becomes clear that what Ivy and Ren thought they knew about the Order, themselves, and even their enemies, has been nothing but a cluster of dangerous, deadly lies. Ivy knows she must be more than just brave to save those she loves--and, ultimately, to save herself.

Because behind ever evil fae Prince, there’s a Queen

About the Author:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.


SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:  Website |  Facebook |  Twitter |  Instagram








Virtual Signing:



To celebrate the upcoming release of BRAVE (book 3 in the Wicked Saga), Jennifer is offering an exclusive virtual signing! Through this virtual signing, you will be able to order SIGNED & PERSONALIZED copies of WICKED, TORN, and BRAVE!

And best of all -- This is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY! 



***Virtual Signing begins 9/21/17 at 11AM ET and ends 11/17/17.  Open Internationally!! Please use the direct link for more info and to submit your order!

Giveaway

·         PRIZE: SURPRISE SIGNED PRIZE PACK (containing multiple signed books & swag)
·         OPEN INTERNATIONALLY
·         ENDS 10/2/17  


a Rafflecopter giveaway

~Cassie

Waiting on Wednesday #116

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: 

The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions, #1)The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions #1) by Michelle Hodkin
Publication Date: November 7th, 2017

Synopsis:

In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string. They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future. He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart. They’re right.


I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this book!! I was a HUGE fan of the Mara Dyer novels, so I've been waiting on this novel about Noah for so so long.  I honestly can't wait to see where Ms. Hodkin takes this book and new series, and I know it'll be just as addicting as the Mara Dyer series!


Jocelyn's Waiting On: 

Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles by Natalie Parker (& other authors)
Publication Date: December 19th, 2017 

Synopsis:






The anthology explores the myriad tragic, frustrating, humorous possibilities of the teen love triangle, and features 15 new stories by these authors.




I love reading about love triangles. I know that a lot of people hate that trope but I just find them so funny and entertaining. Plus, lets look at some of the authors: Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, Renee Ahdieh. I mean this could be iconic! 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review: Submerge (Mer Chronicles #2)

Submerge (Mer Chronicles #2)About the Book:
Title: Submerge (Mer Chronicles #2)
Author: Tobie Easton
Pub. Date: Sept. 14, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

Pages: 300
Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

Now that Lia and Clay’s love has broken the Little Mermaid’s curse, everything has changed. Will Lia’s family remain on land, leading the only life she and her sisters have ever known, or will they move below the waves, to the sparkling new capital city? Lia is adamant about staying on land with Clay for her senior year. But at Melusine and her father’s trial, new revelations threaten what Lia holds most dear.

The verdict will shake Lia’s whole world, calling into question her future with Clay, her feelings for Caspian, and the fate of all Merkind. As she wonders who to trust, Lia sets out on a treacherous path that will lead her away from her sheltered Malibu home to a remote and mysterious school for Mermaids—Mermaids who may hold the secret to ancient magic Lia can use to either get back all she’s lost or to embark on a thrilling and dangerous journey.
 

Review:

Although I had some mixed feelings about Tobie Easton's first novel, Emerge, I still greatly enjoyed the book and was very excited when I had the opportunity to read an ARC of its sequel. And let me tell you, this book blew me away! From the start, I was plunged right back into the Lia's world full of mermaids and romance. I always thought Ms. Easton was a gifted storyteller, but this book took her writing to another level. A lot of problems I had from the first book were remedied in Submerge, and this was something that I appreciated as it made me love the book so much more.

Submerge picks up right where the first book ended. The trial is about to start, Clay and Lia are still discovering and building upon their relationship, and the entire mermaid race is thrilled with the return of their immortality. However, just as things are looking up for all of our characters, things take a surprising turn that causes devastating effects for certain people. The book is fast-paced, and although it is longer than the first in the series, the story never lagged for me. I honestly didn't even realize that the book was close to 400 pages because I wanted to keep reading!! Ms. Easton expands a lot on the world-building in this novel and this was something that I appreciated. We are able to see and explore much more of the Mer world, and we learn more about Lia's culture. This was honestly one of my favorite aspects of the entire book. 

Lia's character still felt a little young at times, but this was mostly in the beginning. She matured a great deal over the course of the story, and her characterization was excellently written. My heart truly broke for her at several points in the story because I honestly wanted her to just be happy. Lia is a very relatable and fun character, and I think a lot of readers will love seeing her growth throughout this book. Clay and Lia together were the epitome of young love. I definitely could see how much they cared for each other in this story, and again this was a nice change from the first book for me. They go to great lengths to find their way back to each other after something HUGE happens in the beginning and I loved their reunion. There are also several new characters that are introduced, and they are very well fleshed out during the novel. They served as a great transition from the human world to the Mer world, and it made the story a bit more fun!

There are definitely some huge twists in this book that I never saw coming! I did think the one character was up to something all along, but I definitely didn't expect that character to be cooking up something so major!! The entire climax and conclusion of this story were utterly fantastic and Ms. Easton's writing was at its finest. And then of course, she has to leave us with a bit of a cliffhanger. It's not really a cliffhanger in the traditional sense; it's more of a shocking statement that leaves me very very eager for the next book.

I would highly recommend checking Tobie Easton's sequel in the Mer Chronicles if you were a fan of the first book. With more world building and more mature characters, this book offered several improvements from the first book that made the story even more enjoyable. It's definitely still YA, but will appeal to a wide variety of readers. With so many exciting twists and turns throughout the story, I can't wait to see what Ms. Easton has in store for us in the next installment!


Happy reading :) 

Thank you to Month9Books for the advanced copy!

~Cassie

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book Review: The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology #2)

The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology, #2)About the Book:
Title: The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology #2)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Pub. Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 512
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Lochlanach has traded the great beast for something far more terrible, a Lashed enemy veiled in beauty, deception, and a vengeance passed down through generations: Rozaria Rocato. And she’s offering the hunter Paxton Seabolt power and acceptance he could never receive in his homeland. Pax must decide how far he’s willing to go under her tutelage, knowing she is the opponent of Princess Aerity Lochson.

In a land where traditionalists dread change, the Lochlan throne must contend with mysterious foes and traitors, while attempting to keep revolt at bay. As dire circumstances strike the royal family, matters of the castle are left in Aerity’s hands. It's time to put aside her fears and grasp the reign, taking actions that have the potential to save or destroy her people.

One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continue. In this sequel to The Great Hunt from New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins, political intrigue and romance intensify in another thrilling fantasy. Princess Aerity embraces a quest for identity and passion before making the ultimate sacrifice for her kingdom.

Review:

The Great Pursuit was a phenomenal conclusion to the Eurona Duology and I am incredibly sad to see the store end! Wendy Higgins has given us another epic story with even stronger characters and plot than the first in the series. There was a heightened sense of suspense, deceit, and love throughout the entire book, and I never could tell what was about to happen. The resounding theme is that none of the characters know who they can truly trust, and with all of the events that occur in this story, trust was crucial.

Aerity was such a tremendous character in this second book. I fell in love with her character easily in the first book, but she steps up her game entirely in this novel. Aerity becomes the epitome of what a good leader should be. She is strong, fierce, and makes the tough decisions (with some selfish decision thrown in there as well). Aerity faces many challenges and hardships during this book, and it was interesting to see not only how she handled them, but how she overcame them. I also was kept on the edge of my seat because I was desperately trying to figure out how she and Paxton would ultimately be together. I was praying that Wendy Higgins wouldn't break my heart and that these two would be together in the end. Their love is gorgeously written and so beautiful. I love them together as they balance each other out nicely. It was amazing how much they were willing to sacrifice for each other and the kingdom, and every scene they had together was amazing. 

Another thing that I loved about this story was the fact that every character had a role to play. The minor characters weren't just pushed to the side or have very few lines...no, they actually had major roles in the underlying plot and had strong voices. I loved their storylines, and found new people to ship (and let's just say my shipping game was strong in this book). I would love to see either novellas or future books about these couples just to be able to see that they got their happy ending and go back into this world. 

However, the one aspect of this story that is a rarity in books today was the strong focus on friendships--both female-female and female-male. This is something huge for me because while I love the whole trope of best friends falling for each other, I do like a break in that sometimes and have two best friends remain just that...friends. This is something that Wendy Higgins showcases extremely well in this book. Aerity's friendship with Harrison is utterly fantastic and they go to great lengths for each other to support and aid the other person. Additionally, Aerity's friendship with Lief was interesting. There was plenty of frustration there, but their friendship evolved and developed very well over the course of the story, and it was nice to see where they were at by the end. 

Do not miss out on reading this conclusion to the Eurona Duology!! I truly hope there will be more books in the future about other characters, but for now, I am very happy with how this book ended. I adored the entire epilogue, and felt everything was wrapped up nicely. If you are a fan of Wendy Higgins and the first book, definitely check this one out!!

Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #115

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: 

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson, #12)The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson #12) by Darynda Jones 
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017

Synopsis:

Ever since Reyes escaped from a hell dimension in which Charley accidently trapped him, the son of Satan has been brimstone-bent on destroying the world his heavenly Brother created. His volatile tendencies have put Charley in a bit of a pickle. But that’s not the only briny vegetable on her plate. While trying to domesticate the feral being that used to be her husband, she also has to deal with her everyday life of annoying all manner of beings—some corporeal, some not so much—as she struggles to right the wrongs of society. Only this time she’s not uncovering a murder. This time she’s covering one up.

Add to that her new occupation of keeping a startup PI venture—the indomitable mystery-solving team of Amber Kowalski and Quentin Rutherford—out of trouble and dealing with the Vatican’s inquiries into her beloved daughter, and Charley is on the brink of throwing in the towel and becoming a professional shopper. Or possibly a live mannequin. But when someone starts attacking humans who are sensitive to the supernatural world, Charley knows it’s time to let loose her razor sharp claws. Then again, her number one suspect is the dark entity she’s loved for centuries. So the question becomes, can she tame the unruly beast before it destroys everything she’s worked so hard to protect?
 


The Charley Davidson Series always makes an appearance on my WoW when a new one is coming out.  I am so excited that Ms. Jones is continuing the series because I will never get enough of Charley and Co.  If you haven't had the opportunity to check out this series, you're missing out! It's hilarious and fun, and has the sexy Reyes.  Trust me on this one and add this to your TBR now!


Jocelyn's Waiting On: 

Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin 
Publication Date: November 7th, 2017 

Synopsis:

A strange, damaged girl lives with a family after escaping a cult in this debut YA suspense/thriller that was inspired by true events.

When fifteen-year-old Jules Mathis comes home from school to find a strange girl, her mother explains that Mae is one of her patients at the hospital and will be staying with their family for a few days. But shortly after, Mae is wearing Jules’ clothes, sleeping in her bedroom, edging her out of her position on the school paper, and kissing Jules’s crush. Then things get weird.

Jules walks in on a half-dressed Mae, she’s startled to see a pentagram carved into her back. Soon white roses start turning up on the front porch, a rabid dog bites one of Jules’ sisters, and Jules’ parents, who never fight, start arguing behind closed doors.

Jules pieces clues together and discovers that Mae may be a survivor of the strange cult that has taken over a nearby town. And they will stop at nothing to get Mae back.
 


This sounds SPOOKY! I could definitely see this becoming a horror movie. I hope this is as good as it sounds - cults, devils, etc. And inspired by true events? Do we really have to wait until November for this? 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Blog Tour: The Longing and the Lacking

About the Book:
Title: The Longing and the Lack (The Unliving #1)
Author: C.M. Spivey
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis: 
“Gothic curses, deadly love affairs, and vengeful ghosts combine to make this paranormal mystery a compelling page-turner.” — Tina Connolly, Nebula-nominated author of Ironskin
Lucinda Hightower is no stranger to death.
Since she was a child, Lucinda has been haunted by rabid dogs, suicidal crows, and the ghost of a woman in white. All are omens signaling someone’s imminent demise—except Lucinda’s friends and family are still breathing.
The omens follow her to Ireland and the quiet university in her father’s hometown, increasing in strength and frequency once she meets Damien Reed. A handsome third year student, Damien thrusts himself into Lucinda’s life almost immediately and caresses away the unsavory reputation that shadows him.
It’s not until the ghost sinks her nails into Damien that he reveals his secret: the death omens are for him.
They’re the manifestations of a curse that claims the life of the eldest Reed son every generation. Damien’s time is nearly up. If Lucinda is to save him, she must solve the mystery of her family curse, and lay a spirit’s rage to rest.
A dark romance for fans of Diane Setterfield and the TV show Supernatural, The Longing and the Lack is a Gothic story for the modern age.

Author Bio:
C.M. Spivey is a speculative fiction writer, author of high fantasy FROM UNDER THE MOUNTAIN and the paranormal series, “The Unliving”. His enduring love of fantasy started young. Now, he explores the rules and ramifications of magic in his own works—and as a trans, panromantic asexual, he’s committed to queering his favorite genres. In his spare time, he plans his next tattoo (there will always be a next tattoo) and watches too much Netflix. Anything left over is devoted to his tireless quest to make America read more. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his darling husband Matt and adorable dog Jay.

Review:

I was pretty surprised at the low ratings on Goodreads for this novel because I enjoyed it a great deal! It was well written and fast-paced, and the perfect weekend/rainy day read. It had the perfect mix of spooky and supernatural elements with a hint of romance. I will say that when I first started reading this novel, I was slightly worried at how the characters were speaking. Every character in this book speaks very formally, and it felt a little unnatural because people don't typically speak like this in real life. However, I quickly got used to this aspect and was able to enjoy the book a lot more afterward. I do think this is where a lot of people may have a hang up though as the characters do come off a bit pretentious. But for me, it really wasn't that big of a deal (plus Lucinda or any of the characters aren't pretentious at all once we get to know them), and I liked the unique aspect it added to the story.

The plot is incredibly original and unique. I loved the curse aspect and the search conducted by Lucinda and Damien. You could feel their desperation to find a way to break the tragic curse that has plagued their families for hundreds of years. I personally loved that Lucinda was bisexual. This is not something you see in many books right now, but is something that really should be incorporated into novels more often. Additionally, other characters around her are revealed to identify on the LGBTQ spectrum...which added diversity to the story and was very welcomed from my view. Lastly, there were many twists and turns that I never saw coming, and further add to the mystery that is occurring. The ending was mind-blowing and incredibly well done. Everything came together in a heart-stopping finale and was exactly how I wanted this book to end!

There was 1 thing that I did have an issue with but it wasn't enough to make me give the book a rating lower than a 3. The biggest problem for me was the fact that we are just dropped into the story. It felt almost like I was reading the second book in the series rather than the first. I felt there needed to be more world-building and more background given before fully delving into the story (or even as the story went along like in flashbacks). For example, there are mentions of other supernatural entities, but it's not elaborated on further besides small sentences. Also, I would have loved to know more about Lucinda's brother and Morgan. I only learned after I was done reading that there are actually 2 books by C.M. Spivey that do give us more of a background. I really wish I would have known this prior to reading (maybe better marketing or something) because I would have definitely checked those out first before starting on The Longing and the Lack. Even though you can 100% read this as a standalone, I think it would be better to read these 2 other books prior to this novel. 

Overall, this is a great new start to an interesting series. C.M. Spivey has crafted a fascinating world that I am eager to get back to! I'm excited to see where this series will go and whether or not it will be about another character or a continuation of Lucinda's story. The Longing and the Lack is an intriguing read with plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end! Add this one to your TBR now!

Happy reading :)



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~Cassie

Monday, September 11, 2017

Book Blitz: Delayed Departure

About the Book:
Title: Delayed Departure (Passports and Promises, #2)
Author: Abigail Drake
Publication date: August 16th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis: 
When Bethany Beaumont finds a book about life in the sultan’s harem, she discovers it’s actually a guide to the lost art of seduction. Just what she needs as she departs on a study abroad trip to exotic Istanbul. She’s struggling to get over her ex, and the book of dirty little secrets might be just the thing to help…if only she could find someone to practice on.
Half-Turkish and full of Australian swagger, teaching assistant Adam Kent seems to fit the bill. They decide to become lovers for the duration of the trip, and then part ways. Forever.
But not every lesson can be found in a book, and sometimes falling in love changes everything. When Bethany is forced to confront her past, and the promises she made to someone else, will it really be as easy as she thought to let Adam go?
EXCERPT:

My mother insisted on purchasing two of the largest suitcases possible, Louis Vuitton rolling cases in an easily recognizable and slightly obnoxious shade of bright pink. She’d spent more on my luggage than some people did on a car, and they were heavy. I’d loaded them up with my precious books and far too many pairs of shoes before I left. The porter stumbled, losing his grip on the first suitcase, and nearly fell.
I rushed to help, but someone else beat me to it, a tall, mountain of a man. I stopped in my tracks and stared. I may have been drooling. He was, for lack of a better word, beautiful.
Broad chest. Long legs. Strong, muscular arms. Golden, glowing skin. Chestnut hair flowing in riotous curls around his face and down to his shoulders. Eyes in a warm shade of brown. The edge of a tattoo peeking out from under the sleeve of his shirt.
Something unexpected curled in my chest. Was it…lust? I hadn’t felt it in so long I almost didn’t recognize it. But I wasn’t the only person staring at the bronzed god in from of me.
“Heavens to Betsy,” said Hilary under her breath. “I’ve never seen anything so pretty this close up.”
He was pretty, and he was also pissed off, most likely at the owner of the two enormous and ridiculously heavy pink suitcases. Me.

Author Bio:
Abigail Drake has spent her life traveling the world, and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and International Economics in college and worked in import/export and as an ESL teacher before she committed herself full time to writing. She writes in several romance genres, and her books are quirky, light, fun, and sexy.
Abigail is a trekkie, a book hoarder, the master of the Nespresso machine, a red wine addict, and the mother of three sons (probably the main reason for her red wine addiction). A puppy named Capone is the most recent addition to her family, and she blogs about him as a way of maintaining what little sanity she has left.
She is a member of Pennwriters, RWA, Three Rivers Romance Writers, Mindful Writers, Women's Fiction Writers, and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She teaches writing to children through the Young Writers' Institute and at local libraries.


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~Cassie