Release Day Blitz & Trailer: Keepers-Anoosha Lalani

Keepers Tour copy

thekeepers-cover copyAmazon/Goodreads

cooltext1544204149 copySixteen-year-old Isra Kalb has grown up starving in the slums of Islamabad. But hunger is only the beginning. When her father is mysteriously murdered and madness corrupts her mother’s mind, she’s left alone to fend for herself and her sister. Homeless and destitute, the only thing she has to remember her loving family by is a commonplace necklace–an amulet barely worth keeping.

Or so she thinks.

Swept into a web of lies, deceit and turmoil, Isra struggles to find a place for herself and Zaffirah, wondering if the strange creatures and visions she’s seeing are indications of the madness that took her mother. But when Snatchers capture Zaffirah, Isra learns her amulet isn’t so useless after all. Transported to Zarcane–the beastly garden where Adam and Eve were born–Isra comes face to face with her destiny. She’s a Keeper, charged with protecting the borders of Zarcane and keeping the demon hordes lurking in the shadows from taking realms that are not their own. And she’s not the only one; there’s a second Keeper, a boy whose identity hasn’t been revealed.

Now, in order to save her sister and fulfill her family’s legacy as Keeper of the Amulet, she has to find the second Keeper and close the borders. Surrounded by betrayal, trapped between warring factions of angels, and desperate to save the only family she has left, Isra must decide:

Who can she trust when nothing is what it seems?

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Anoosha Lalani has always had an insatiable desire to escape reality. It was a childhood trait that never seemed to fade out. If Anoosha were to make one wish, it would be to have wings to journey off the face of this planet and into the worlds of her stories.

When she’s not writing, you may find Anoosha attending high school in Singapore. Having moved around so much, she has had the wonderful opportunity to be exposed to a vibrant range of cultures, which often seem to find their way into her stories. Anoosha was born in Pakistan, the setting of her most recent novel, The Keepers.

Happy reading,

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ARC Review & Giveaway: Silvern-Christina Farley

SILVERN final coverGoodreads/Amazon/BAM!/Indiebound/Barnes & Noble

YA Fantasy

Release Date: September 23, 2014

***I received this book in exchange for an honest review via the author and Elana Johnson

Praise for GILDED, the first book in the series:

“An amazing contemporary fantasy that explores the vast legends of Korea, this richly detailed novel kept me turning the pages well into the night. Jae Hwa starts off as a strong character and ends as a noble one, using both her brains and her brawn to win the day–she’s exactly the kind of girl YA literature needs.”

~from Beth Revis, NY Times Bestselling author of Across the Universe series 

“Farley brings South Korea’s fascinating culture and mythology into vivid detail in this shining debut, and Jae is a compelling heroine. An exotic, thrilling read, GILDED had me utterly entranced!” 

                        ~from Jessica Khoury, author of ORIGIN and VITRO

cooltext1648529215 copyJae Hwa Lee has destroyed Haemosu, the dangerous demi-god that held her ancestors captive, and now she’s ready to forget about immortals and move on with her life. Then the god of darkness, Kud, sends an assassin to kill her. Jae escapes with the knowledge that Kud is seeking the lost White Tiger Orb, and joins the Guardians of Shinshi to seek out the orb before Kud can find it.

But Kud is stronger and more devious than Haemosu ever was. Jae is soon painfully reminded that by making an enemy of Kud, she has placed her closest friends in danger, and must decide how much she can bear to sacrifice to defeat one of the most powerful immortals in all of Korea.

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4/5 Stars

“‘Not so fast, Fighter Girl. As enticing as this food is, it gains no entrance here.’ He cups my chin with his hand. ‘It’ll have to be something more lasting than that.’ Then his lips are on mine, and the bag of food slips to the floor, forgotten. I drink in his kiss, long and soft. He pulls me closer and kisses my forehead, as if he doesn’t want to ever let me go. ‘I missed you,’ he whispers in my ear.”

PROS:

  • Having read Gilded only yesterday, the story is fresh and alive in my mind, and I can without a doubt say that out of the two, the suspense and violence in this book was greater. There’s a spooky, almost carnivalesque quality to all the mythical creatures that’s reminiscent of Spirited Away. They’re sinister, foul beings with the desire to kill and corrupt. The descriptions are graphic and some of these monsters are downright horrifying.
  • The battle scenes were epic. Christina Farley knows how to write sword play and movement as if you were in the room watching it in live action. It’s brilliant and breathtaking how she paints the straining muscles, the agony, and the swift lines of the weapons as they collide with their target. 
  • Jae is one seriously BA warrior princess. She’s limber, packs a crazy punch, and will attack without warning. The way she tackles these grotesque creatures, dodging fangs and throwing off injury is astounding. Jae is strong and courageous, she will never accept defeat and makes huge sacrifices to save and protect her loved ones. Jae’s life is never as important as her family and friends and she will take down anybody be it an immortal or bloodthirsty dragon to keep them safe. Jae is also fairly complex. She’s torn between the worlds of a simple mortal girl who yearns for normalcy and the power that comes with being chosen to combat an evil in the form of an entity. Jae is drawn to and tempted by the Spirit World and that magnetism is hard to resist. 
  • I loved the uncertainty of the outcome. It was terrifying, nail-biting, and gruesome as Jae and her friends fought Kud and his lackeys. The suspense will near kill you as thing begin to look more and more grim. The final battle was leave you in a flurry of emotional chaos. The urge to punch something, to cry, to hate is so strong that you’re unsure which emotion to embrace. 
  • Marc. Marc is just perfect. He’s protective and sweet, and a whole lot hotter in this book. He’s been working out and his sword-fighting skills are enough to make any red-blooded girl swoon. The way he is with Jae, so gentle and playful yet encouraging and appreciative of how strong she is. It’s like he’s in awe of her. 
  • The Spirit World continues to enchant and scare. It fluctuates between dazzling beauty and nightmarish decay. 
  • The juxtaposition between North and South Korea makes the reader think and question, it brings awareness to humanitarian efforts needed in war-torn countries that many of us (it’s sad to say) tend to glance over. 
  • A plot twist that will leave you reeling. There’s just enough doubt to question everything.
  • Kang-dae is sexy. He’s flirty with a hint of mystery and that motorcycle, he sure knows how to make an entrance.

CONS:

  • I’ve never been to South Korea but the constant description of smell as kimchi was redundant and got a little annoying.
  • The folklore, specifically the story of Bari and the 9 dragons that guard the waterfall wasn’t as flushed out as it could have been. The connection to Bari and how her fate aligns with Jae’s was loose and it felt as though something was missing. This story arch wasn’t solid as a foundation and sort of collapsed or was forgotten at some points in the book. There were many questions left unanswered.

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Author Christina FarleyWebsite/YouTube/Facebook/Tumblr/Goodreads/Twitter

CHRISTINA FARLEY, author of Gilded was born and raised in upstate New York. As a child, she loved to explore, which later inspired her to jump on a plane and travel the world. She taught at international schools in Asia for ten years, eight of which were in the mysterious and beautiful city of Seoul, Korea that became the setting of Gilded. Currently she lives in Clermont, FL with her husband and two sons—that is until the travel itch whisks her off to a new unknown. Gilded is her first novel. For more details, check out her website at www.christinafarley.com. Christina holds a master’s degree in education and has taught for eighteen years. She is represented by Jeff Ourvan of Jennifer Lyons Literary.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading, 

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Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: Fractured Lines-Jen McLaughlin

FL AmazonFractured Lines by Jen McLaughlin will be releasing October 14th, but first we have some exclusive content to share. Each week, FINNClub team members will be sharing special details from the book, and series, in order to share their excitement for the new novel.

Today we have an excerpt from FRACTURED LINES! Watch out, it’s spicy!

***To my YA readers this is an ADULT excerpt and rated as such. 

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cooltext1729822091 copyI lowered my face even more. “I need you so damn bad. Let me kiss you. Let me make it better. I know how to make it all better.”

I brushed my lips across hers gently, testing her reaction. She kissed me back. So soft I barely felt it, and yet I somehow felt it down to my soul.

With a small groan, I closed my mouth over hers, crushing her against my chest and holding her so tightly I might have broken a rib. Man, I’d been waiting for this moment. For her to stop shutting me out. For her to want me as much as I needed her.

And now it was happening.

I slanted my mouth over hers, taking full control of the kiss. Backing her up against the wall, my tongue glided inside her mouth at the same time I slipped my leg in between hers. She gasped and opened her mouth wider, granting me full access.

Without hesitation, I took it, and then I took some more. Like the greedy asshole I really was. Part of me knew I should stop kissing her until I was better, but the other part of me wanted her too damn badly to give a shit about anything else. When I closed my hands around her hips, my fingers digging into the soft sides of her ass, she broke off the kiss and took a shaky breath.

I latched onto her neck, biting with just enough pressure to sting. It had been too long since I’d had her. Too long since I’d held her. Too long for everything. My injured leg protested against the weight I put on it, but I ignored the cry of protest it gave. Any pain I had to suffer was worth it, as long as Carrie was in my arms again, making those small sounds that drove me fucking insane.

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The lines we once crossed so easily have widened and torn us apart…

Once upon a time I thought Finn and I would live happily ever after, but real life doesn’t always have a happy ending. He’s testing my trust, and I’m losing faith in the man I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with, and there’s nothing I do can stop it. He’s the one I trusted to keep me safe, but now he’s the source of my greatest pain…

Forgiveness is fragile, and some fractures never fully heal…

One mistake—a slip in a moment of weakness—might cost me everything I’ve worked so hard for. The thing about trust is that it’s a lot easier to lose than it is to build. Just as I’m about to give up and surrender to the demons from my past, an unexpected threat reminds me what I’m best at: protecting the woman I love. Whether or not she wants me, I will fight for Carrie and our daughter, and I will keep them safe—no matter the cost.

Even if I have to put my life and my heart on the line.

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PRE-ORDER SALE

FRACTURED LINES is now up for pre-order on amazon! If you purchase the book before its release day it will be just .99 cents! This is for pre-orders only! Grab it while it’s on sale.

Amazon Pre-order Link: http://amzn.to/1r4c81A

Kobo Pre-order Link: http://bit.ly/1CB7bB4

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JenM

Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy New Adult books. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is a multi-published, bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and a cat. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Website: http://dianealberts.com/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DianeAlberts
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6921962.Jen_McLaughlin

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Pleasant reading,

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Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: Home is Where You Are-Tessa Marie

HOME IS WHERE YOU ARETESSA MARIERELEASE.jpg copyHOME IS WHERE YOU ARE BY TESSA MARIE

RELEASES SEPTEMBER 30 2014

FIND IT ON AMAZON: http://bit.ly/HomeAmazon

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cooltext1602390596 copyAnna’s life reads like a check list.

Straight A’s (Check)

Editor of the school paper (Check)

Volunteering time at the local soup kitchen (Check)

Ivy League (So close she can taste it)

Falling in love with a homeless boy (Not on the list)

Dean has a plan too. Survive. After being subjected to his foster father’s violent attacks, Dean made the hard choice to leave. Now he lives on the streets doing everything he can to get by, refusing to let people help him. But when he meets Anna, he realizes not everyone is out to hurt him.

Slowly, Anna and Dean let each other in, blending their two worlds into one. But when a series of events brings Dean’s world into perspective, he pushes Anna away. Not willing to accept the line that divides them, Anna sets out to bring Dean back to her. Her determination and faith in their future puts her on the tracks of danger, and he is the only one who can save her.

ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/HomeIsGR

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Eyes copyHeat copyApple copy

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TessaTessa Marie lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Under her real name, Theresa Paolo, she released her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and (ONCE) AGAIN released this summer. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Pleasant reading, 

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Review: Gilded-Christina Farley

16173250Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble (PB)

“He presses me to him, and my arms wrap around his neck, loving how perfect his body feels. His lips kiss my forehead, breath hot as fire, and drag along my cheeks to my lips. I’m lost. Between earth and sky. It’s as if we’ve entered our own realm that belongs only to the two of us. I could live here forever.”

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Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting in to a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There’s also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae’s heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae’s been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she’s always been looking for.

-via Goodreads

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3.5/5 Stars

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  • The descriptions of the demi-gods and magical creatures are to die for. They’re vibrant, majestic portraits that truly capture the personality of each creature, whether it be the trickster or the sociopathic obsessions of a demi-God jilted at the altar one too many times.
  • As someone who has never had the pleasure of reading Korean folklore or mythology, these stories were breathtakingly beautiful and full of the twisted darkness reminiscent of great Grimm interpretations. The weird leprechaun character was creepy and sadistic, definitely a perfectly warped and terrifying antagonist. These secondary creatures were all memorable and will be the stars of many a haunting dream.
  • The detail was astounding. It was like being teleported to Korea. Between the physical descriptions of the buildings and nature to the clothing worn by the people, mannerisms, and colloquialisms, this is not only fun to read but educational. You get a bold and in-depth journey into Korean culture. 
  • Spirit World and the scenes set in Haemosu’s palace were dizzying. The shift between worlds forced the reader to mesh reality with myth and to fully grasp Jae’s fear and confusion over her heritage and what’s happening to her.
  • Jae is determined, confident, and aware of her power to dominate and protect herself. Jae refuses to feel weak, she’s worked so hard in martial arts to become a master at fighting and in archery to be easily scared. Jae is challenged and battered by her destiny and the terrible uncertainty of her future. When everything seems hopeless, Jae will make the ultimate sacrifice for her loved ones, risk everything and never forget her heritage. Jae feels so indebted and connected to her female predecessors and she really comes to respect just how hard their trials were. Jae goes up against a mighty foe, one that has plagued her family for centuries, she recognizes her fear but she never lets it beat her.
  • Marc is a nice guy, genuine and flirty. He knows just what to say to make Jae smile and brighten up her day but what makes him irresistable is that he believes her and has faith in her when no one else does. When Jae feels like she’s going crazy and her world is falling apart, Marc is there to lean on and offer encouragement. Their time together is sweet and passionate.

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  • Some sections were really slow and a little predictable. 
  • Jae’s jealousy and animosity towards Min is annoying and cliché. It frustrates me to no end that when another girl approaches a guy that the protagonist was too cowardly to flirt with and that suddenly that other girl is the enemy or slut. Speak up or get over it.
  • I would have liked to have seen more of Jae’s school and social like, especially her relationship with Michelle and Lily. When Jae is so upset later in the book about being distant with Michelle, there’s not enough of a background to get the full emotional chaos she’s feeling.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Happy reading,

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Release Day Blitz: Ending Unusual-S.M. Knowles

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Ending Unusual (Rylee Everley Series #4)

S.M. Knowles

cooltext1648529215 copyRylee and Brock are finally a couple, but fate may have other plans for them as Chance declares his true feelings for Rylee. Now she is faced with making a decision she never thought she would need to make while trying to save her friends. In the process, Rylee learns some new tricks and skills she never knew she had, but it comes with a price.

An invisible gelatin wall, a haunting dream about her father, Adysin’s plans, and Rylee’s feelings play against her in this final installment. As another student disappears, will they be able to find her and finally end the coven? Or will Rylee end up losing everything by trying to save those she loves?

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Have’t started the Rylee Everly Series Yet?

cooltext1648529215 copyWith tears and a tight hug, Rylee Everley’s dad left for Afghanistan with the Army Reserve. Since his deployment, her mom has been distant, her sisters are constantly fighting, and Rylee, at only thirteen years old, has to be the glue to keep them together. While her mother stays locked in her room, Rylee has been forced into the role of parent.

Now, two years later, a freak accident involving a bus at school promises to restore some normality to her family. In spite of not knowing how their father is, her mother is happy and her sisters don’t seem to fight as much as they used to. Rylee herself is seeing more of her friends and is even trying to sort out her own feelings about Brock Parker. However, something dark threatens to disrupt that normality for personal gain, and that darkness is willing to break every rule to get what it wants.

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S.M. Knowles was born in Elmira, New York where she was swept away in a whirlwind to the Land of Oz–Independence, Kansas. Her parents were relocating for working opportunities and decided that this would be the perfect place to start new roots. Little did she know that this place would contribute to the inspiration for the first book she wrote in her Rylee Everley Series.

While growing up, S.M. would travel the roads around her house while imagining she was somewhere else. Her imagination would take her everywhere, making the long hot summer days seem shorter throughout her fantasies.

At the age of twelve, she decided to write her first book. Filled mostly with dialog, she filled up one-hundred pages, front and back. After taking the book downstairs to show her mom, and persuading her to buy her more paper, she excitedly ran back to her room. As she barreled through the door, S.M. tripped over items left on her floor, and her papers came raining down in her room. Discouraged, she stood there in tears, picking up her papers and throwing them in the trash. Her work had no organization, no numbers on her pages, just a child fulfilling a joy that she would put down and not pick up again.

When she became older, she joined the military for something different. In that time, she was able to explore many places and even met her husband in Iraq. After coming home, she started her family in Arizona and went back to school, earning a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Training.

Happy reading, 

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Camryn Cross-Brina Courtney

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CAMRYN CROSS series

COVER REVEAL

RELEASE DATES: October 20th, November 10th, November 24th

camrynrunawayGoodreads

Camryn Cross is not human. But she doesn’t know what she is. Not yet.

The world is falling apart and her only escape is Camp Silverlake where she frequently stayed as a child. But Camryn’s summers weren’t filled with crafting and swimming, they were spent learning combat skills and how to protect herself from the outside world.

Now she must return to Camp Silverlake to learn the truth, about who she is and she’ll discover the secret hidden within her blood. A secret that could save them all.

camryn2redoGoodreads

Camryn Cross is not human. But her best friend Kiley is.

They’re stuck, they can’t leave Silverlake without possibly being killed. Or Kiley could become one of the Sick. She could die. But Silverlake isn’t safe for her either. The Cured don’t want her there. The sickness could use her to mutate the virus again.

She could kill them all.

Camryn could be the key to saving them.

fighton-2Goodreads

Camryn Cross is not human. But she will fight to protect those who are.

Kiley is her best friend. And now there’s Finn. Finn with his blue eyes, and his long eyelashes. Finn makes Camryn’s heart stop. She has to decide to not stop for him though. The Sick are coming and if they get inside the walls of Silverlake war will be inevitable.

Death is everywhere.

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Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She’s spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs. You can find her on her website, http://brinacourtney.blogspot.com/ or on Twitter, @brinacourtney.

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Pleasant reading, 

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Review: Intangible-C.A. Gray

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*** I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via C.A. Gray

Intangible (Piercing the Veil, #1)

cooltext1544204149 copyPeter Stewart grew up on a unique version of the Arthurian legends taught him by his father, a harebrained quantum physicist who asserts that anything is possible. But Peter disbelieves anything which cannot be scientifically explained, despite a nagging sense that there is more to the world than meets the eye.

Lily Portman is an orphan with a secret: she can see creatures that are invisible to everyone else. These creatures control every human being she has ever met to varying degrees… until she meets Peter and his father.

When a mysterious stranger stages an accident which nearly costs Peter and Lily their lives, suddenly Lily learns that she is not crazy after all, and Peter discovers the truth of his father’s stories… including the existence of Arthur’s ancient nemesis, one who calls himself the Shadow Lord, and a prophecy with implications so profound that it will alter not only the course of their lives, but potentially the fate of the world.

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5/5 Stars

About 1/3 of the way through this book, my mind was blown. Not only is this book one of the best I’ve read in years but I’m absolutely astounded that more people don’t know about this series. In a world of paranormal, dystopian, and the influx of contemporary in YA, it’s possible that this got lost in the shuffle because there’s no shortage of mythology or fairy tales in current YA. I’ve always loved Arthurian Legends, for as a long as I can remember, T.H. White’s The Once and Future King was one of the only books I reread over and over and that really stuck with me. Then, of course, I moved on to the Mists of Avalon, Meg Cabot’s Avalon High series, and anything else I could get my hands on. I have always felt a sort of kinship with Morgan and  despised Guenevere. I hadn’t realized just how much I yearned for a new series that did these legends justice until I became immersed in this book. If you’re fans of Arthurian Legends in general, Harry Potter, or really an epic storytelling, check this out, you will not be disappointed. 

PROS: 

  • Intangible combines the brains of the pragmatist with the heart of the daydreamer. The juxtaposition of the “real” world of hard facts soaked in physics and proved with the scientific method and the mythical, magical world of Clarion, where Arthurian Legends are a legitimate history and every individual has an elemental power challenges the reader to question what the naked eye can’t see and to believe in something intangible. 
  • The layering in this story is extremely impressive and I can’t help but admire C.A. Gray for the connections made. Everything flows seamlessly together and is interconnected. Between the zodiac, the actual science, the legends, and symbolism, your mind becomes a war zone. Everything fits so well that it’s almost like this mythology becomes a reality and it’s hard to find cracks to refute something so solid. This is some of the most beautifully intricate plotting I’ve seen-think Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, R.A. Salvatore’s Cleric Quintet, Nix’s Abhorsen series, or Diana Wayne Jones’ Chronicles of Chrestomanci
  • The Arthurian Legends are told in a revamped, fresh way while maintaining the overall whimsical and majestic integrity of the original. Not much varies from the earliest texts, some elements are expanded on or enhanced but seem like that could be the missing link or a lost aspect of the original. One or two plot points were different than what I expected but they added complexity and drama to the legends and make a lot of sense in retrospect.
  • Penumbra. These are like shadowy, leech-like creatures that link to the human body and sometimes fuse making the person a puppet to what the creature desires. They’re wicked cool and terrifying at the same time. Each one is unique and reflects the overall personality of the individual. There are gorgeous sirens, beastly ogres, and menacing ravens. It’s awesome, quirky, and a little reminiscent of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. 
  • Lily’s past is tragic and full of devastating heartache but she is fierce. She’s blunt, honest, a bit weird and sometimes overly emotional but Lily is the best friend anyone can ask for. She’s unafraid to take risks, badass at kendo, and pieces clues together incredibly quickly. 
  • There is one surprise after the other, it’s so calculated yet feels exhilarating with every new twist and turn.
  • All of the secondary characters are vibrant, full of fun little personality traits, and are totally memorable. You’ll definitely have tons of new favorites.
  • Avalon, the connection to the penumbra, the castle in the sky. Everything is enchanting, creative, and full of the epic good vs. evil thirst for a happy ending.
  • Peter is an unlikely hero. He’s nerdy, lonely, and way too smart for his own good. Constantly being bullied and ignored, Peter acts out, crafting ingenious scientific experiments that get him into tons of trouble. Peter is just trying to find his place in the world and as he is swept up into the prophecy and legends, it’s overwhelming. Peter is real, he reacts like any young person would do but he works alongside his fear to fight the darkness and evil that threatens his new world.
  • There’s something vicious yet immensely sad about Kane. He has a dual nature that makes you want to love him as much as you want to punch him in the face. He’s reckless, dangerous, and yeah, envious but he’s also an emotionally wounded young boy. He’s pretty malicious but he’s funny and always up to something.

CONS:

  • Peter’s scientific ramblings were a learning experience for those of us who are not into science or zoned out their physics classes, and while I did learn quite a bit, sometimes it was a little much. Peter’s obsessed and it made him seem frightfully boring at times. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Review: Fast-Ryan Ringbloom

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Fast (Fast, #1)-Ryan Ringbloom

Mature Young Adult/New Adult Contemporary

*** I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author

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Senior Year in high school goes by fast. Young hearts fall in love and mistakes are made…by everyone.

Sometimes everyone is guilty of going a little too FAST!

-via Goodreads

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 Fast is told from the varying perspectives of four teenagers-Robin, Ashley, Patrick, and Kent. The majority of the book alternates between Ashley and Robin, two girls that couldn’t be more different. Robin is a nerdy, shy girl who plays the violin and is hopelessly in love with her best guy friend, Kent. Ashley is a popular girl with unlimited funds, a bitchy posse, cutting attitude, and a promiscuous reputation. Ashley has always been fast, thinking that the only way to make a man stay is to sleep with him. After a particularly degrading experience hooking up with a guy she can’t stand and a betrayal by her so-called best friend, Ashley decides to reevaluate her life and ultimately makes up her mind to overhaul her mindset, ditch her friends, and slow things down. Robin has pined over Kent for most of her childhood but had never had the courage to tell him how she feels, too scared of screwing things up or facing rejection. When queen bee Ashley takes an interest in her BFF out of the blue, Robin is forced to grow some confidence and tell Kent how she feels before she’s replaced by this complete stranger.

As Ashley and Kent form a pseudo-friendship, Ashley becomes enmeshed in Kent’s comfy household, hanging out with his younger brothers. From the moment they meet Ashley and Patrick are at each other’s throats. But as Kent disappears more and more often when Ashley is over, Patrick and her are thrown together and a weird attraction starts to brew.

Will Ashley stick to her newfound good girl image? Will Robin ever get the nerve to tell Kent how she feels? Will Kent and Patrick figure out their emotions? Or will moving too fast jeopardize all of their relationships?

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3.5/5 Stars

Fast is a realistic contemporary that is not made of unrealistic expectations or perfect love, it’s honest and brutal and yeah, there’s a lot of pain, poor choices, and stupid mistakes. What makes this romance different is that a happy ending is not expected or necessary, in fact, it confirms that sometimes couples are better off without a happily ever after. 

PROS:

  • Patrick and Ashley are wonderful together. There’s a tantalizing love/hate attraction that builds into angst and genuine love. It’s sweet, it’s playful, and will keep you guessing, holding out to the hope that Ashley will finally find true love.
  • Patrick and Ashley’s story from childhood is that heartwarming, cute, and exhilarating meeting that turns out to leave a life-changing impression. Patrick is a complete romantic and an genuinely great guy. He is thoughtful and compassionate, he doesn’t care about past mistakes or faults, he’s understanding and views things from multiple angles. Although Patrick has a quick temper and over reacts when it comes to his feelings, he has a giant heart and will forgive and forget when he has faith in someone. 
  • Patrick’s relationship with his brother is adorable. He sacrifices his own social life for his family and cherishes his surprise brother so much after a surprising reality check from his childhood. 
  • Ashley has a messed up life. Emotionally scarred, psychologically manipulated, she views her relationship to men as purely sexual in order to get something more. Her mother has coached her into the vileness of men and all she wants is for someone to want her for her and to stick around long enough to appreciate her. It’s heartbreaking and terrible how torn up inside she is and what makes it all the more harrowing is how many girls have this same mentality. Ashley is so much more than this wounded girl, she’s a fighter and when she decides to make a change, she’s all in. Ashley comes from a broken home and when she finds a good guy, even if she’s not attracted to him, she’s willing to settle. Ashley grows so much as the story evolves and no she’s not perfect, she self destructs and makes bad choices but she lives and learns and above all else, she loves.

CONS:

  • Initially, I despised both Robin and Ashley, they’re exactly the sort of girls that grate on my nerves and to be honest, make me irrationally angry. Ashley has been scarred into the mentality that men will only stick around if you please them sexually and Robin is too timid to have an opinion. For me, it was a little hard to get past how much I wanted to slap some sense into these girls and really focus on their character growth. However, then I started to think, maybe the reason these girls irritated me so much is because I know so many like them and this is where I’d like to praise Ryan Ringbloom because she chose to portray girls that were real, who were not confident or strong but had issues to overcome. 
  • Some of the sex scenes were too often and too much, they took away from the plot and while it did emphasize just how fast the relationship progressed intimately, it got boring quickly. Kent and Robin’s relationship was predictable and stagnant and I found myself yearning for more of Ashley and Patrick. 
  • Robin and Kent were lacking in overall personality quirks and descriptions other than the fact that they’re in orchestra, Kent was pretty much a mystery and Robin’s timid behavior triumphed over her other qualities.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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Pleasant reading,

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Teaser: The Unsettled Series-S.C. Ellington

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Unsettled by S.C. Ellington

Book #1 – Unsettled Series

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After a horrific breakup with her longtime boyfriend, Brooklyn Caldwell is completely disenchanted with the notion of mingling with the opposite sex. Damon Williams had been everything she thought she wanted…until he wasn’t. 

In an attempt to escape her heartbreaking past, Brooklyn seeks refuge in bustling Washington, D.C. where she folds into the fast-paced society unnoticed…until she meets a young entrepreneur, Logan Colton. 

Brooklyn is surprised to find that while she has been successful in keeping the opposite sex at bay, somehow she is defenseless against Logan’s confidence and charm—and it doesn’t hurt that he is absurdly beautiful.  

As much as Logan didn’t plan on pursuing her, he is drawn to Brooklyn’s muted beauty and her witty persona. For all his success, Logan is ensnared in the coveted world of unequivocal wealth and power, but behind closed doors is taunted by demons and an undeniable need to atone for a monumental mistake. 

As the two embark on a tumultuous obstacle course saturated with unknown twists and turns, Brooklyn is left to question whether she can endure the journey ahead. 

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MMW Teaser 5

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S.C. Ellington is an up and coming author who enjoys expressing her creativity through frequently writing adult, contemporary romance novels that readers can relate to, but more importantly, enjoy.

Aside from writing, Ellington enjoys curling up with her e-reader and absorbing herself in novels loaded with emotion, desire, and passion. She also likes to spend sunny, wistful afternoons, in her hammock thinking up new ideas for great stories.

Ellington currently resides on the west coast with her beautiful family and loving friends.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

Happy reading, 

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