Aidan Montgomery hadn’t been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn’t expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he’s embracing it — finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia’s best friend, Bethan, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.
Forsaken (Daughters of the Sea #1) FREE on Amazon: http://bit.ly/ForsakenRDB
I am a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity. I love all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky. I’ve been told I see the world through rose-colored glasses, but I prefer to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses – swirling and morphing reality into something I can digest (who hasn’t pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?).
When I’m not writing I’m making jewelry, painting, drinking sweet tea, watching the discovery channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with my amazing husband.
Winner – Awesome Indies Seal of Approval
“Wind Catcher is a suspenseful, wonderfully written story that will capture your attention and hold it prisoner. A book that you won’t want to escape from. Brava!” ~ Stephen Fisher, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews
Juliet Wildfire Stone hears voices and sees visions, but she can’t make out what they mean. Her eccentric grandfather tells her stories about the Great Wind Spirit and Coyote, but he might as well be speaking another language. None of it makes any sense.
When she stumbles upon a series of murders she can’t help but worry her grandfather might be involved. To discover the truth, Juliet must choose between her new life at an elite private school and her Native American heritage. Once she uncovers an ancient secret society formed over two hundred years ago to keep her safe, she starts to wonder whether there’s some truth to those old stories her grandfather has been telling her.
All she wants is to be an average sixteen-year-old girl, but she has never been average—could never be average.
Betrayed by those she loves, she must decide whether to run or risk everything by fulfilling her destiny as the Chosen.
“This very unique and refreshingly original contemporary fantasy has elements of high epic fantasy woven throughout it, and it will surprise and delight even the most jaded fantasy readers.” ~ Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Evolved Publishing.
Wind Catcher is a tantalizing blend of Native American folk beliefs and the paranormal. Part murder mystery, part science fiction, Wind Catcher crosses genres, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality.
- Wind Catcher is a breath of fresh air-an intoxicating and unexpected shift from current YA trends. Native American folklore and spiritualism permeates throughout the story, a living, breathing entity that is so much more than a mere story aspect, it’s a lifestyle. From memories to life lessons, the Native American way is one of nature and spirit. It was fascinating and beautiful experiencing the purity of faith in spirit and how much Native American elders rely on guidance from the elements. There’s something wild yet wholesome and clean about Wind Catcher despite the underlying ritualistic killings and paranormal surprises. I found myself completely enthralled by the story, thirsting for symbolism and folktales. Everything is interconnected and intricately plotted. It flows so naturally that when a twist suddenly appears it’s utterly unexpected.
- Wind Catcher is NOT driven by a romantic subplot. Love is found in many forms, predominantly in the love between friends, family, and within themselves. While there is some tension, it’s fairly subtle with no blatant flirting. You might be asking why is this a positive thing? Sometimes the story gets lost in the relationship between main characters and the focus shifts from a main arc to a minor one, evolving from say, a paranormal to a romance with paranormal elements. Wind Catcher stayed true to its original plot, one of self-discovery and empowerment.
- Juliet is torn between the old world and the new, between her heritage as a Native American and giving into the materialism of the white man’s way. Juliet used to value spirit, signs, and superstition, her grandfather’s stories filled her with wonder and joy but now she wants security and all the luxury that money can buy. Juliet loses sight of who she is and has no idea how to balance. When Juliet’s heritage is thrust upon her, she fights with everything she has. Juliet’s growth is astounding, she’s headstrong and when put under pressure, she finds strength within when others would have crumbled in fear. No matter how dire and dismal the situation, Juliet overcomes her doubts and regains focus, sacrificing her happiness for the fate of her people and her loved ones.
- Troy is protective, loyal, and there for Juliet every step of the way. Their friendship is made of laughter, history, and sticking up for each other with fists if it comes to that. They’re playful, adventurous, and their dialogue is so fluid, they feel like old friends you can interact with. Troy is a muscular, gorgeous Native American guy and he’s crazy swoon-worthy.
- Mystery drives the plot. The murders, the strange ritualistic clues, the finger pointing and the weird connection to medicine men all collide in a heart-stopping puzzle. Danger is around every corner and as Juliet and her friends dig into the past, violence escalates. You’ll scramble to piece the clues together and rally Juliet on to solve the mystery before it’s too late.
- The Wind Spirit is an enigmatic force of nature. The connection to Juliet, to animals, and Earth runs deep. Intuition and meditation play a huge role in deciphering the knowledge passed down and what Juliet is supposed to know. What the Wind Spirit wants and what’s at stake is more terrible that you can imagine and there’s a twist that will leave you reeling well after the last page is turned.
- Some scenes were stereotypical and predictable. While including the stigmas and prejudice that Native American’s face, the villain was an expected one and often there was so much foreshadowing and foreboding leading up to these scenes that they were anticlimactic.
- Small subplots felt unnecessary and incomplete. For example, the issues with Katie’s father, the romance between Ella and Marlon, and the whole animosity towards Lisa weren’t critical to the plot and detracted from real appreciation of these characters, instead they became defined by these tiny stories.
- Juliet’s issues with her grandfather were frustrating. By not having the courage to confront him, Juliet pushed for answers and stirred up trouble, avoiding the issue and upping the drama. There wasn’t a span of time or scenarios that illustrated how quickly Juliet changed from the girl who worshipped her grandfather to a prep school conformist.
If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:
Bound by Spells (Bound, #2)-Stormy Smith
Aidan Montgomery hadn’t been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn’t expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he’s embracing it — finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia’s best friend, Bethany, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.
Amelia decided to stand by her duty, which meant walking away from her first chance at love. Trapped in Cresthaven at the Queen’s mercy, she spends her days with Micah — an ally she still holds at arm’s length — struggling to manage her heartbreak while keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. As she continues to unlock the secrets of the Keeper power, Queen Julia’s true motives reveal themselves, forcing Amelia to decide, yet again, how much she’s willing to sacrifice.
Will Aidan get to Amelia before it’s too late, or will the very power that sustains them keep them apart?
***I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
- Amelia is not perfect. She’s real, honest, and has doubts about what she can do. She doesn’t pretend to know what she’s doing, she’s not entirely confident and she makes mistakes. She’s flawed and that’s what makes her so relatable. Amelia sacrifices her heart to protect her loved ones, faces her fears, and puts her life at risk, diving into one precarious situation after another to save the AniMages. Amelia battles the force within her; a magic that is so potent she knows it has the power to destroy her and those around her. This power is also the salvation for her people. When Amelia discovers the truth, her heart breaks with each victim’s story. Amelia grows into a deadly fighter who embraces the Keeper within to rescue the women Queen Julia has abused for years. Amelia is confused, she doesn’t know who to trust, and her destiny is even cloudier than she expected. Her feelings are like the average teenage girls with magic and fate thrown in. It’s a hot mess of emotional turmoil that would throw anyone for a spin. Amelia’s heart is a wreck, sorting out her feelings is half the journey to her self-discovery.
- Aidan’s love for Amelia is the one thing he can be sure of in this messed up new reality. He’s riddled with memories that haunt him and a past that is full of dark truths. Aidan struggles to deal with who he is and who he must be to save Amelia and the fate of the AniMages. Aidan sometimes falls prey to introspection and a defeatist attitude but his heart always rekindles with thoughts of Amelia. For her, Aidan will do anything and fight anyone.
- Micah is a surprise. He’s brooding and crafty. Michal has the weight of the world and the sins of his mother on his shoulders. He’s been wronged and hurt others but never lost faith that one day, he’d help temper his mother’s wrath. Micah’s relationship with Amelia is a complicated one. Though it doesn’t feel entirely platonic, there’s a connection between them that is more than romance, it’s a joint goal to make the world a better place.
- Bethany is a delightfully refreshing BFF. She’s a beautiful Southern girl with a take-charge attitude and feisty personality. She has wonderful Southern colloquialisms that will win you over and have you falling in love with her charms. Full of sass and determination, Bethany won’t take no for an answer and will stop at nothing to save her best friend, Amelia.
- Queen Julia is a wickedly sadistic mastermind. Her methods are sinister and despicable. She has no regard for humanity, has a single-minded goal and doesn’t care who she has to crush to achieve it. Just when you think you have her figured out, there’s another layer of her personality to sift through that will have you second-guessing her motives. Is Queen Julia truly evil or simply misguided? Stormy Smith is a master of suggestion. She insinuates just enough for your imagination to run wild without going totally graphic in terms of violence and bloodshed.
- Secondary characters were memorable and each had a fascinating backstory. Cole, Dillon, Baleon, Joran, Will and Rhi had distinct personalities and strong interactions.
- Each form of magical being is distinguishable by the color of their magic and unique talents. What each color represents, their stories, and what their capabilities are were left unexplored. There were some facts strewn throughout but I would have felt more comfortable and understood the stakes had the history been more in-depth and the roles of each group explained. When Amelia gets sucked into her Keeper magic and all the colors are represented, knowing precisely what each was and how it worked would have made combinations and Amelia’s potent power all the more deadly to the reader.
- For all of Queen Julia’s supposed sense of urgency, the impending doom of the prophecy, and the need for Amelia and Micah to mate, she gives Amelia a lot of time to plot. There are big chunks of time when Queen Julia is missing from the story. Sure, the threat is an ever-hovering gloom over Amelia and Micah’s heads but there’s enough time for cross-country trips, days of planning, and rest. I kept asking myself when Queen Julia would be back to enforce her rule and make Amelia live up to her ultimatums.
- The diary. There’s a whole scene frantically searching for the hidden pages and then, nothing. A couple pages read and there’s no big revelation or earth-shattering knowledge to help Amelia out. The diary’s importance was forgotten during the rest of the drama.
- The battle scenes were a little anticlimactic. There wasn’t enough of an emotional build up to mourn some of those who were lost.
If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:
A Fragile Creatures Novel (Book 1)