I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.
In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire.
While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
“Above all there is the shattering, triumphant catharsis of love… In a story about stories, love is ‘the power to speak without words.’ Thrillingly full of feeling.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Fiery romance, a spirited heroine, shifting loyalties… With more than a few heartrending twists and turns.”—Booklist
Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.
GoodreadsIn a broken America, seventeen-year-old Iolani Bearse encounters a world full of wonder and danger. Lani discovers a secret: houseflies have magic.
Gasping for air, Jenny Ray struggled against his grip. Anton didn’t care.
There was no time for kindness. Survival was at stake. And it didn’t look good. He pulled her tight against his chest, smothering her exclamation in the flannel of his thick shirt. Bending down, his lips moved, but his words were nearly undetectable, “Quiet! Quiet! Shhhhhh now. Hush!”
Anton had learned fear in the last three days: the green lights meant trouble, death followed right behind. ‘Memory thieves,’ that’s what he called them. Thugs who traveled in packs of eight or ten adults. Just their size almost always meant they caught the poor, stunned people they hunted. Even hidden in the basement of an abandoned house, the two of the survivors had little chance against superior, organized forces. Anton threw one of the moldy blankets over both of their heads. It was all he could do. Running was a dicey choice. Stealers were formidable anytime, but at night, they were ruthless.
Right behind them, the pitch-black night air began to swirl in a strange pattern. The two, scared and exhausted, didn’t even see it form into a beautiful sixteen-pointed star. The memory catchers and their horrid, thieving lanterns struggled to pass the bulk of a rotting and unstable firewood pile. They worked devilishly fast to clear a path to the backyard. Fat logs full of mealy bugs conspired to block their awful progress, as if nature herself gave one last attempt to shelter the fugitives from the Stealers’ hungry maw. Spilled logs bought the two runners a few seconds.
Before she could finish her thought, a hand reached out of the empty, moonless night behind them.
With a tremendous yank, I pulled them both through the flies’ spinning star pattern and out of the terrible, hopeless night.
This war is not being played on a battlefield.
Killed by the man she loves, not even death is kind to Zoey.
Neither life nor her fae powers will let her go in peace.
In this final installment, Zoey’s strength, determination, and trust are put to the ultimate test. In the fight to protect the people she loves and stop DMG from experimenting on fae, humans, and animals to create soldiers, she learns the reality of how far Dr. Rapava will go to achieve his ultimate mission.
Of course, Rapava is not the only one willing to go to extremes. Vadik is hunting Ryker, and there is nothing he won’t do to get back the property he feels is his: both Ryker and the Stone of Destiny.
To end one evil, Zoey might have to make a deal with another. One she won’t be able to get out of. And it could be the worst decision she ever made.
Haven’t started reading the Collector’s series yet? Start with City In Embers!
Zoey Daniels has been tossed from foster home to foster home, where she grows up fast and tough. When she is placed in her “last-chance” home, she finds a reason to stay and turn her life around: her foster sister, Lexie, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Zoey will do anything to keep her safe.
After high school, Zoey is hired by a special government agency, the Department of Molecular Genetics (DMG), where she meets the other reason to remain: Daniel, her co-worker. The man she loves.
But there is something unique about Zoey. She can see fae. Because of this, the DMG hires her to work as a Collector: catching, researching, testing, and using the fae to save human lives. The work never registers on her sympathy radar. She was raised to think of fae as beasts that feed on humans and want to destroy them.
When devastation hits Seattle, Zoey’s whole world is turned upside down. The electric storm connects her to a ruthless fae, a Wanderer named Ryker, whose dealings expose them to even more trouble and danger. They embark on a journey, running and hiding from both the government and fae, both of which threaten their lives and those they love.
She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. She volunteers helping animals and is eco-friendly. She feels all animals, people, and environment should be treated kindly.
Leaving school should be exciting, right? All those dreams and ambitions ready for the taking…
Kelly doesn’t feel it. In fact, the only thing she’s feeling is dread and guilt – she has no idea how to tell her family and her soulmate that she has changed her mind about university. About everything, in fact. So instead, she’s been withdrawing from everyone and hoping that inspiration will strike.
When she discovers that Danny has been keeping his own secrets, and the threatening text messages begin, Kelly realizes that cutting people out might not be the answer.
***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author
- Distance between Danny and Kelly is heartbreaking. Told from both POVs you can feel their struggle to connect, to go back to the chemistry and love they had before, but it’s just not working. That slow, painful growing apart is all too real and raw. When Danny and Kelly do have their moments of attraction, they’re bursting with emotion.
- The main threat came out of nowhere. It was abrupt and totally shifted the plot in a new direction that felt out of place from where the story was headed. It kind of throws you, but in an insanely awesome way. You won’t see it coming and it’s so quick that nothing can really prepare you for the reality when it hits.
- The society searching for the talents is intriguing and exciting. All the possibilities and the hopeful way that Kelly and the others search for others like them is uplifting, and full of warmth.
- If you haven’t read the first book, be prepared to be really confused. There are references throughout to things in book one, but only snippets. A stronger reiteration of events in book 1 might have helped to solidify the plot and lay a foundation for the emotional issues throughout the story-specifically Kelly’s withdrawal from Danny.
- The pacing was so-so. The majority of the book is angst-filled drama up until the last few chapters and didn’t have much to do with the talents at all.
- Secondary characters were fleeting. They sort of jumped in and out of the story and on occasion, so many characters were present at once that it was easy to get confused. It was hard to form attachments to any of them, one way or another.
If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:
Today is cover reveal day for M. Leighton’s upcoming new release entitled The Empty Jar. She wanted to say a little something about the cover before she revealed it and the description, so here she is:
First of all, a huge, heartfelt thank you to every single one of you amazing women who is helping me reveal this cover today.
I appreciate everything you do for me, for authors and readers in general and for this community.
IT’S FINALLY TIME FOR THE EMPTY JAR COVER REVEAL!!!
I feel like I’ve been waiting AGES to share this with you!
This cover… GAH! Y’all, it took me forEVER to get it just right. There was a certain “feel” that I wanted to achieve with it and I wasn’t happy until I felt that it jumped right out when I looked at it. I wanted the cover to speak of the book, wanted it to show the highs and lows, the sweet and the poignant, the depth of it, if you will. And finally…finally, I feel like it does:)
You might not realize just how much NOW, but once you read it, you’ll be like, “Yeah. It’s perfect for this book!”
When I got the paperback proof in the other day, I held it in my hands and I just stared at it. Not only is this story extremely special to me, but this is probably my favorite cover of all my books. Ever.
When I look at it, I see so much more than just a picture. I see all the things that I find in life as well as what I put into the story that is The Empty Jar. It’s a blend of happy pinks and brooding blues. It’s light and it’s dark. There are highs and there are lows. There is morning and there is night. But if you notice the sky on this cover, there are little flickers of brightness in the bodies of the lightning bugs. Life is that way, too. Even in the darkest part of the night, there is a spark of hope.
There is beauty. There is the romantic glow of a full moon, the silvery face of your mate, the delicate twinkle of fireflies. It’s all there if we look hard enough—that balance of beauty and tragedy.
Below is a little more about the book. It’s hard to tell you much without spoiling anything, but I think you can get a feel for it. It’s such a special story. So raw, so real.
I honestly can’t wait for y’all to read it! I hope you love IT and the cover as much as I do:)
Release: May 8, 2016
Three months touring Europe. Romantic. Dazzling. Unforgettable. The trip of a lifetime.
But some lifetimes are shorter.
We couldn’t have known it would work out this way.
No one could. No one could’ve guessed that something so beautiful could be so tragic.
But it is tragic.
Yet so, so beautiful.
That’s what sacrifice is—beauty and tragedy.
It’s pain and suffering for something or someone you love.
And this is the ultimate sacrifice. One stunning act of true love.
This is our story.
Our true love story.
Stay on top of all things M. Leighton and The Empty Jar here:
What do you get when you cross The Turn of the Screw and Jane Eyre with Psycho? Victoria Griffith’s latest thriller.
When Maria becomes a summertime au pair to the children of a Scottish lord, she discovers the family is living under the shadow of two suspicious deaths.
Vanishing portraits, cloaked figures, and bizarre shrines add up to a compelling Modern Gothic psychological mystery.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the publisher & publicist
READ THIS BOOK IF:
- You are enchanted by all things Gothic
- Mysteries are your kryptonite
- You love a good twist
- That darkly mysterious and cryptic feeling of foreboding that comes with not knowing if there’s a killer lurking in the literal mist or something paranormal is SPOT ON. There are spine-tingling moments of terror and subtle threats that will leave your skin crawling. One word: dolls.
- The children. There’s nothing more horrifying than kids that say disturbing thing. Especially about their dead mother…as if she were still alive. Randomly opened doors, singing in the dead of night with no one around, getting locked in rooms, it’s all sorts of spooky.
- Maria is protective and compassionate. She genuinely cares. Even in her times of utter fear, she overcomes and becomes stronger for those children she hardly knows. Getting to the bottom of the mystery is everything, and the more clues she finds, the darker the truth seems.
- Red herrings galore. Victoria Griffith is a master at misdirection. You’ll never see it coming.
- The story felt like two separate plots that didn’t mesh well. It starts with terrorism, murder, and witness protection, and evolves into a Gothic mystery. The transition wasn’t smooth, and the intrusion of the initial plot disrupts the time in Scotland.
- The pacing was slow. Though that’s pretty typical for a Gothic, the time span between spooky incidents was pretty large and diminished the actual creep factor. It wasn’t as scary as it could have been. Some parts are on the verge of terrifying and others fell flat.
- This is not a romance. There’s barely chemistry. The characters are rarely together and nowhere near enough to build up the romance. When the attraction (barely a spark) does get to the next level, it feels random, fast, and unnecessary. A distraction.
If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this: