Guest Post: Atlantis Quest by Gloria Craw

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Get ready for the exciting follow up to Atlantis Rising, dubbed An enchanting debut from a promising new author of paranormal YA by Kirkus Reviews.

After all they’d cost me, I thought I was done with the Truss clan. I was wrong. Nikki Dawning, my mortal enemy, has beenkidnapped, and I’ve been asked to spy on the Truss to find her. The pull between Ian and I has never been stronger, but he can’t help me this time. I have to rely on Theron, a bad-tempered cousin I didn’t know I had. To make matters worse, the people I trust have been keeping secrets.

I’m starting to feel like a weapon in a war I don’t understand. How far am I willing to go to protect the descendants of Atlantis and the common good when I’m not sure what the common good is anymore?

Only one thing is certain. If I’m the next Laurel clan chief, I can’t let myself be manipulated…by anyone.

CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT: IAN

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“That was one of the things that made Ian…Ian. He had confidence. He was only half kidding when he called himself the master. In his mind it wasn’t boasting; it was a statement of fact.

He slid his hand over mine while our breathing slowed, and I laced my fingers through his. The two of us had been through a lot together. When I say a lot, I mean heavy-duty stuff…life-and-death stuff.

He didn’t shy away from telling me he wanted to be more than friends, nor did he let it get awkward between us when I resisted.

That was another thing that made Ian…Ian. He didn’t get embarrassed.”

INSPIRATION FOR ATLANTIS RISING SERIES

I was inspired to write the Atlantis Rising series after taking an anthropology class that focused on undersea archaeology. The lost island of Atlantis is commonly accepted as fiction these days, but I had a fun teacher who took a day to discuss some of the theories people once had about it. That class got me thinking about a highly evolved, extremely intelligent subgroup of people who had to assimilate into the human world when they no longer had the Island of Atlantis to live on.

Happy reading, 

Jordan

Review: Cry of the Sea-D.G. Driver

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cooltext1889161239 copyJuniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average 17 year old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so out there?

Everything changes when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she realizes these aren’t human at all. They’re mermaids!

Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.

cooltext1889171582 copy***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author

READ THIS BOOK IF:

  • You’re into environmental activism, marine biology, sea creatures, mermaids as non-supernatural creatures, a realistic look at the impact of oil spills on marine life
  • You’d like to hear Native American folklore about the ocean, orcas, mermaids, and their relationship with the sea through different tribal stories
  • You’re looking for a story-central plot that is NOT focused on romance

PROS:

  • The activism was realistic. From the politics, to the media, to the dangers and extent that big corporations will go to to protect themselves from liability, it was all clear cut and passionate. The determination to speak out, to be heard, to get people to understand what things like oil spills are doing to the environment and living creatures provided a powerful message. 
  • Tensions between Native Americans, land loss, and the stigmas that subject them to bullying by their peers were an underlying theme (that I wish was more developed). 
  • There’s a wonderful amount of heritage and lore that runs throughout. I’d never heard a Native American tale of mermaids before. The stories are colorful, full of that lyrical campfire vibe. 
  • Juniper’s desire to have a life apart from her parents, who both have prominent voices in the media and authority in their field of activism makes sense. Her anger is too heated for me, but you can understand her hunger to be her own person, to make her way on her own, and do what she wants with her life. The constant sense of disappointment and pressure from her parents is harsh and hurtful. 

CONS:

  • Apart from Juniper, her parents, and one reporter, the characters are stereotypical archtypes without much development or likability. 
  • The story ends abruptly, only part of the conflict is resolved, characters stream in and out of the story.
  • The media fiasco and the sheer extent of those interested was a bit unbelievable and shocking. This is the sort of stuff that ends up on those trashy extraterestrial tabloids, why would government officials, huge news stations, etc., be so intrigued? Furthermore, the shift of focus from the oil spill was a little disappointing. I mean the animals are dying, it seems like there should be more people combing the beaches for clean up, volunteers at the very least. 
  • For a large chunk of the story Juniper is hard to like. For someone who doesn’t have a lot of material things, she’s constantly angry, she seems spoiled, and apart from her desire to escape her family and study marine biology, there’s not much we know about her.

cooltext1889172435 copyCryteaser

cooltext1889178114 copyDGDriverheadshotD. G. Driver has been a published author for twenty years. She started her writing career as Donna Getzinger and still has several non-fiction books in print under that name. In 2014 she began writing YA fiction as D. G. Driver with the release of Cry of the Sea. Also published by Fire and Ice Young Adult Books is her YA romance novella Passing Notes, and Whisper of the Woods (the sequel to Cry of the Sea) will be released in November. You can learn more about her writing at her website: http://www.dgdriver.com.

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

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Spotlight: The Song of the Mermaid-Melissa Davies

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Title: The Song of the Mermaid
Author: Melissa Davies
Published: January 15th, 2012
Genre: YA Mystery Adventure
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 “Yesterday morning, local boat-builder Mr Roger Trevithick was found dead at the foot of the cliffs on the Zennor Coast…”
 
When Stef Brightbay goes to visit her Aunt May in the village of Zennor in Cornwall, she expects to have an uneventful trip. But when her mother persuades her to research their family history and she begins to uncover a tragic event that took place there in 1812, she is determined to find out more. She also learns of the local folklore; the legend of Matthew Trewhella who was enticed to his death by a beautiful mermaid.
 
Why is her aunt so uncommunicative? What secret is being hidden by a strange local family who seem to want to put a stop to her investigation? And even more mysteriously, why are unusual things happening at her aunt’s cottage?
 
With the help of sea-salt fisherman Arthur and his faithful chocolate Labrador, Stef pieces together the past and realises that a frightening parallel is unraveling in the present day. Will they be able to take action before it’s too late?
cooltext1921345213 copyOnce outside, Stef inhaled deeply, feeling her lungs expand and her mind sharpen. It was strange how rarely she actually remembered to breathe – just to stand in the open air and take deep, cold, sparkling breaths of clean, clear air. It felt so invigorating. She could taste sea salt on her lips even through the mist, and it wasn’t so thick that she couldn’t quite easily see where she was walking. Even so, she stayed far from the edge of the cliffs and strolled in the same direction as yesterday, towards the church and the rest of the village. She wondered if she might bump into Hayley again but it didn’t look like anyone else was around as far as she could see, and the mist gave sounds a muffled quality, making her feel like she was wrapped in a cocoon that she couldn’t get out of, and which nobody else could enter. It was a pleasant experience for a while, but after about ten minutes it grew a little eerie, and Stef shivered, beginning to feel the cold, and pulled her scarf more tightly around her neck and folded her arms to keep in the warmth.

 

She turned to head back to the cottage. Her eyes darted around in panic. The mist had thickened and all she could see of the way she had come was a swirling cloud of white. She tentatively walked a few paces and waved her arms in front of her but it made no impact. She turned back again – she had been able to see ahead of her without many problems so maybe she could continue towards the church and wait there until it cleared. But the fog had fallen thickly all around her suddenly and silently, and she was no longer sure in which direction she was facing. Breathing heavily, she stopped and tried to remain calm. She knew that the most important thing was not to walk blindly, in case she roamed too close to the cliff-edge in her disorientation. She suddenly heard a sound to her right and she spun uncertainly.

“Hello?”
 

The mist was silent.

 

She sank down to her knees and crawled carefully in the direction she thought that Mermaid Cottage should be. Although she wasn’t totally sure where she was going, she knew it was a lot safer to feel with her hands in front of her on the ground than to go blundering off on foot as she might easily trip. Her knee scraped across a sharp stone and she swore, feeling a trickle of blood. Her jeans felt damp and heavy as she crawled on, her hair was plastered across her face and she breathed quickly, heart thumping. She was vaguely aware in the author’s part of her mind that she would laugh about this later, crawling through the mud not half a mile from the cottage, totally lost. But right now it was far from a joke. She knew distances could be deceptive but surely she was nearly at the cottage now? She stopped and peered around again in case the mist had lifted. It was still as thick as ever.
She thought she could hear something. Like someone speaking? No…she strained her ears, keeping her body completely still…it was like someone singing.
“What the hell?” she growled. “I’m stuck in the mist and someone is singing?”
It struck her as odd that she could actually hear anything anyway – even when she spoke aloud the sound was oddly dampened, but the voice she could hear was clear even though it was distant. She carefully turned on her knees, feeling around on the ground to steady herself, and painstakingly made her way in the direction she perceived the voice to be coming from. If someone was there, albeit someone weird enough to be singing outside in the morning, she wanted to head in the direction of civilization rather than go blundering further away. From time to time she paused and listened. The singing was definitely growing louder. It was melodic and female. She couldn’t detect any words but she was suddenly struck with the feeling that she had heard it somewhere before. In a dream! That was it – the half-remembered dream she had the night before had been about mermaids singing.
“Christ, I am really cracking up” Stef muttered, heart pounding furiously. Even underneath her coat, the hairs on her arms prickled and a chill tingled at her spine.
“I am thinking way too much about my book. I swear I’m going crazy”.
But still the voice continued, and Stef very carefully followed it, half out of curiosity and half out of desperation because right then, she had no better idea of how to find her way back. Her knees throbbed and her head ached, and the singing was now so loud it filled her ears with a haunting melody. She stopped and closed her eyes and shoved her hands over her ears to block it, crying out in frustration.

 

The music stopped. She opened her eyes tentatively and removed her hands.
 

The mist was gone.

cooltext1889178114 copy
Melissa Davies is a young author who has to date released 3 books available for the Amazon Kindle. She has always enjoyed reading and writing, and loves to craft short, fast-paced adventures which are particularly aimed at young adults aged around 11 or 12 and upwards, but they have also been enjoyed by adults of all ages.
 
Her premise is to write stories which she would want to read herself. She feels strongly that people shouldn’t be put off reading by books which try to be too literary and obscure, so instead she focuses on the story itself, making it engaging and exciting, rather than worrying too much about using as many long words as possible. However she also refrains from including drugs, sex, swearing or excessive violence because she feels they take away so much from the plot.
 
Her other hobbies and interests include animal rights, veganism, healthy living and yoga, and she hopes to spend more time on creative writing and improve her work in the future.
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Happy reading,
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ARC Review: Undertow-Michael Buckley

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cooltext1889161239 copySixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other.

When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s only hope of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

Action, suspense, and romance whirlpool dangerously in this cinematic saga, a blend of District 9 and The Outsiders.

cooltext1889171582 copy4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group.

PROS:

  • The variety of the Alpha people is incredibly intriguing. Each subspecies is described in wonderful detail and creates an elaborate underwater world. They have religion, politics, and a hierarchy of citizens. It’s intricate and sucks you right in. Their abilities are terrifying, sometimes grotesque but beneath the somewhat off-putting outer visage the culture is ingrained and the personalities are unique.
  • Lyric is a former feisty troublemaker turned timid girl of shadows after she learns of her mother’s secret. Lyric’s fierce personality shines through the guise of her indifference. Lyric has a powerful sense of right and wrong, she fights for the underdog, thinks with her potent, explosive emotions, and takes reckless to a new level when what she cares about is at stake. 
  • The slow fire of Lyric and Fathom’s budding relationship was intense. The build up is enough to drive a girl crazy but so worth it. It’s sweet and complicated and leaves you wanting more. 
  • Bex is sassy, pushy, and sometimes you can’t help but wonder how a girl like Lyric ended up with someone so confident and loud as a BFF. Bex brings happiness and fire to Lyric’s world of fear and helps her break out of her shell. Bex remembers the girl Lyric used to be and never lets her forget the “wild thing” buried beneath the surface.
  • Bex and Shadow are adorable together. Lovable, easy, they’re playful and get each other’s need for light and laughter in this time of darkness. 
  • Fathom is stoic, quick to anger, and reeks of pride but there’s something about him that sparks interest, an intensity and devotion that is crazy attractive. Duty and violence run in his veins but when he opens up, there’s an inkling of the compassionate man he could be and great ruler of the Alphas. 

CONS:

  • Some sections were really slow and not much happened. Despite the epic world building and politics, the pace took away from the intensity of the danger. 
  • The outside world, what’s beyond the zone and the references to cultural icons were confusing. There wasn’t an explanation for why the Alpha came to the area specifically or if the world outside the zone had issues that would place it in the category of a dystopia. From what I gathered, right outside the zone, the world is like we know it today. I would have liked a clearer picture of outside influence and the role of the president. While forces like the UN and National Guard are employed, what the head of the government thinks of the situation and how it affects life out of the zone were a mystery.
  • The Niners and other hysterical protesters were cheesy at times with their ridiculous rhymes and while there is mention of horrific crimes against “fish lovers” the genuine fear and frenzy of the mob fizzled out after so many similar scenes. 

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

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ARC Review: Through Fire & Sea-Nicole Luiken

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cooltext1889161239 copyMirror mirror, hear my call…

In the Fire world, seventeen-year-old Leah is the illegitimate daughter of one of the realm’s most powerful lords. She’s hot-blooded—able to communicate with the tempestuous volcano gods that either bless a civilization or destroy it. But then Leah discovers she’s a Caller, gifted with the unique—and dangerous—ability to “call” her Otherselves in mirror worlds. And her father will do anything to use her powers for his own purposes.

In the Water world, Holly nearly drowns when she sees—and interacts with—Leah, a mirror image of herself. She’s rescued by Ryan, a boy from school with a secret he’d die to protect. Little do they know, his Otherself is the son of a powerful volcano god at war in the Fire world…and he’s about to fall.

As Leah and Holly’s lives intersect, the Fire and Water worlds descend into darkness. The only way to protect the mirror worlds is to break every rule they’ve ever known. If they don’t, the evil seeping through the mirrors will destroy everything—and everyone—they love…

cooltext1889171582 copy4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Entangled. 

Through Fire and Sea is a multidimensional thrill ride. Worlds based on elements, traveling through mirrors, and meeting “otherselves” through the glass, Through Fire & Sea is a gripping epic that’s as refreshing as it is inventive.

PROS:

  • The world-building is astounding. Everything is intricately plotted and flows seamlessly together. The diversity between worlds is genius. Details in abundance. You can picture everything from scenery to secondary characters. The worlds are drastically different, it almost feels as though you’re travelling through time. It’s adventurous, lively, and keeps you guessing from start to finish.
  • There’s an interesting blend of creation myth, gods & goddesses, and science fiction. The volcanoes are temperamental and have distinct personalities. Personification at its finest. The link between elemental power and emotions is spell-binding. When the volcano mourns, lava flows and sulfur suffocates, when the sea weeps, waves rise to tsunami level. Just wow. 
  • Leah is a feisty, fiery beauty. She’s inquisitive, calculating, and emotional. She risks everything and puts lives on the line to save the world and at the same time, she’s got a beautiful, compassionate heart. Leah yearns for the affection of her father, the duke, but as a bastard she’s used as a pawn in a political game that leaves her emotions reeling. Leah struggles to balance what is right with pleasing her father. Leah is smart, she pushes through her insecurities to hone in on her skills and is pretty BA at everything she does. Leah embraces her hot-blooded nature and uses her elemental skills to battle the ultimate villain, a destroyer of worlds. Even though Leah has several reasons to give up, she pushes through and comes out stronger. 
  • Gideon and Leah are perfect together. Their interactions are natural and full of understanding. Leah tames his hysteria and Gideon calms her soul. It’s sweet and heartwarming watching their love grow. 
  • Holly feels a magnetic pull towards Ryan. Their connection is instantaneous and full of heat. Holly refuses to give up on Ryan despite everything they go through with Ryan’s rising stardom. Their relationship is imperfect and incredibly real (apart from the paranormal aspects).
  • Qeturah is a force to be reckoned with, a serious villain. She’s consistently steps ahead of everyone and her end game is a mystery that is impossible to crack. Qeturah wants to wreak havoc on the universe and she makes a good job of it. 
  • THAT ENDING. I will be waiting not so patiently for the next book because holy hot mess. The world is in danger and those most equipped for saving it are in no position to do so. 

CONS:

  • Secondary characters were unlikable and fairly predictable. Both worlds had a snotty mean girl and absentee parents that were forgettable. 
  • Holly’s character lacked the development Leah’s had. Her likes and dislikes fell into the background for what was expected of her and how the world perceived her. I wondered what Holly wanted to be, her dreams and aspirations. It seemed everything was related to someone else’s desires or happiness. 

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

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Pleasant reading,

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ARC Review: The Mermaid’s Sister-Carrie Anne Noble

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cooltext1889161239 copy2014 Winner — Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award — Young Adult Fiction

There is no cure for being who you truly are…

In a cottage high atop Llanfair Mountain, sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian Auntie. By day, they gather herbs for Auntie’s healing potions. By night, Auntie spins tales of faraway lands and wicked fairies. Clara’s favorite story tells of three orphan infants—Clara, who was brought to Auntie by a stork; Maren, who arrived in a seashell; and their best friend, O’Neill, who was found beneath an apple tree.

One day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister’s skin. She realizes that Maren is becoming a mermaid—and knows that no mermaid can survive on land. Desperate to save her, Clara and O’Neill place the mermaid-girl in their gypsy wagon and set out for the sea. But no road is straight, and the trio encounters trouble around every bend. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill must find a way to save themselves and the ever-weakening mermaid.

And always, in the back of her mind, Clara wonders, if my sister is a mermaid, then what am I?

cooltext1889171582 copy4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & Skyscape.

The Mermaid’s Sister is a magical story about the love between 2 sisters of different worlds and the risks they’ll take to save each other.

PROS:

  • The Mermaid’s Sister reads like a fairytale. Dark and enchanting, there’s a whimsical beauty that flows from page to page as the story turns from fable to reality. The stories within the story are like campfire tales and bedtime stories, full of wonder and mischief. Each and every one is memorable and charming in its own right. From the very first page I was transported to an early time, one before technology, where superstition and herbal remedies reigned supreme, where traveling caravans and sideshows were a cause for celebration. Fantasy meets reality, converging into a story that feels real despite its magical quirks.
  • Maren and Clara have an unshakeable bond. From the way they irritate each other to the gentle way they soothe each other’s troubles. They’re loving, wonderful siblings whose devotion will help them move heaven and Earth for each other and face the staunchest of adversaries.
  • Told from Clara’s perspective, the story is full of her unique brand of insight, one that takes into account the minute details of her personality. Clara is a modest young woman, who is very conscious of social constructions and propriety. Her decisions are weighed against what is acceptable and virtuous. Clara doesn’t believe herself a heroine and if anything, she thinks she’s too bland, too normal. The moment when Clara realizes that she can face anything and overcome all obstacles with a little faith and hard work is uplifting and powerful.
  • Each character is dazzling and unique. Complete with fantastical stories that make them seem so much more than human. Even fleeting characters make a lasting impression.
  • Travelling caravans, magic, dragons, mermaids, churlish banter and pure adoration, what’s not to love?
  • Osbert is hilarious, he’s like a temperamental puppy looking for attention. For such a huge beast with fire-breathing power he’s a total snuggle monster. 
  • O’Neill is a sort of Peter Pan character, he oozes charm and dazzles everyone he comes into contact with. He’s touched by magic and provocative story-telling power. There’s nothing overtly sexy about him and there’s not a blatant romance. I enjoyed that this was a story of family and sisterhood above all else. 
  • Scarff and Verity. ❤

CONS:

  • Some sections were resolved too easily and felt like there wasn’t enough extended suspense to feel true peril. 
  • While Maren and Clara’s bond is there, I would have liked to see more memory and interaction between  them before Clara’s changes began.

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

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Pleasant reading, 

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ARC Review, Excerpts, Playlist & Giveaway: Emeralds and Pearls-C. Spencer-Upton

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Emeralds and Pearls
by C. Spencer-Upton
Semi-Precious #1
Publication Date: October 11, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

cooltext1807812709 copyI’ve spent seventeen years being a wallflower. Seventeen years, watching people live their lives, while mine stood still. I was happy for those years, nothing new happened because I never let it, every day was the same and predictable.

When my parents told me we were moving…to another state, I freaked.

I spent the first week, after the move, wishing I could move back. But then something changed. I became a someone, and to begin with I enjoyed it, but I soon learned, some things aren’t always as they seem.

I have two lives now. Both of them are testing me, pushing me to my limits.

cooltext1807831675 copy3/5 Stars

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review and in correlation with this blog tour

PROS:

  • Chelsea is a feisty protagonist. Completely real. She’s been the shadow following around her gorgeous best friend for most of her life and has finally started to come out of her shell. What I loved about Chelsea is how believable she is. She’s your average girl, dealing with boys, insecurities, and awkward situations. While she grows immensely, her confidence is lacking and she does fall prey to her own self doubts. She’s stubborn, sarcastic, and unafraid to stick up for herself for the most part. Her playfulness is charming and makes her someone easy to get behind.
  • Cory is a smug, sexy, and dashing love interest. He’s constantly reinforcing a love-hate banter that is beyond steamy. He’ll pull you into the story, make your heart melt, and leave you rooting for him. Cory is attentive, compassionate, and it’s impossible not to smile while reading his parts. 
  • Chelsea and Cory have intense chemistry. Their witty comments are entertaining, will keep you on your feet, and if you’re looking for semi-infuriating drama that culminates in explosive reconciliation this is for you. 
  • The magic of the ocean is dazzling. C. Spencer-Upon does an amazing job describing the wonder and awe Chelsea feels, the exhilaration as she flies through the water, and the secretive almost whimsical connection with the sea life. 

CONS:

  • The battle scenes fell flat. It was like watching from the outside with little detail. For something so monumentally important to the plot it felt glossed over and rushed. 
  • Dean is a major abusive tool. The way he lays his hands on Chelsea made me want to scream. The fact that she thought so little of herself to think that his violent, angry actions were her fault were hard to read and while it did grant insight into the mind of the abused, capturing Chelsea’s chaotic emotional trauma, there wasn’t enough internal dialogue to justify why she stayed. She’s incredibly naïve and unsure of herself. It almost felt like two different people. 
  • The story of Atlantis and the cursed treasure was short and nowhere near as elaborate as it should have been. That whole world was neglected and it was like that aspect of the story was absent, an afterthought.

cooltext1807814503 copyC. Spencer-Upton

Born and raised in a small mining town in Derbyshire. Caroline (The C in ‘C Spencer-Upton’) has spent her adult years building a home and a future based on what’s in front of her, and for a while, that was all she needed. Family, friends and the dog.

In 2012, that all changed. Her new love of reading became a drug. Living in a fantasy became her happy place to escape from reality. Her imagination came to life and ideas that had laid dormant for years, came rushing back to the surface and Emeralds And Pearls was conceived, her debut novel.

In October 2013, that new chapter in her life started and Emeralds And Pearls were introduced to the world.

Caroline works a normal 8-5 job which has nothing to do with literature. When people discover that she has written a novel, the look of shock on their faces is enough to bring a smug smile to her face, knowing that people underestimate her.

Writing is her escape and she loves reading about her fans enjoying something she loves.

This is the start of a new story of her own and can’t wait for new readers to be a part of it.

I was quickly whipped round, and was shooting towards the surface, that tiny glimmer of hope latched onto my heart. Maybe I would make it, and all of this would be like a bad dream.

My head broke the surface water and I gasped the biggest breath I could. I was panting uncontrollably as I tried to regain my composure, oxygen never tasted so good. Or did it?

It was eerily quiet, there was no wind, no atmosphere and the sea air smelt damp and musty. I slowly tried to ease my eyes open, rubbing them with the heel of my hands. Peeking through my lashes I found darkness. I rubbed my eyes again and opened my eyes wider and still, it was just darkness.

My mind wandered back to the bar that barreled into my stomach, not long after the pain had subsided. It was still there, pushing me against the wall. I calmly moved my hands and placed them on the bar, preparing myself to break free. As I adjusted my hands on the surface I felt… skin.

My breath hitched in my throat, goose bumps bubbled up under my skin, out of fear. Who or what was it? I was unable to remove my hands, too scared to move.

“Are you okay?” The male voice asked from nowhere. It wasn’t threatening or scary, in fact it made me feel calm. Calmer than I was a few seconds ago.

I took a deep breath, trying to keep my voice calm and steady. “Yes. I think so,” was all I could muster.

“Good. I need you to do me a favor.” His voice was closer to my ear than before, it made me jump slightly, surprised by its proximity.

I wriggled slightly, to see if I could break free. I couldn’t. Instead, the grip tightened. “Sure, anything.” I wasn’t in the greatest position to reject a favor.

“I want you to hold onto this.” The ‘bar’ removed itself from my stomach, and two hands carefully grabbed my hips, spinning me around and lightly pushing me against a hard, slimy surface. “Hold on here, I’ll be back in a sec’.”

My hands gripped tightly around something, like a protruding rock high above my head. The water splashed in the darkness a couple of times before silence fell again.

His voice in the darkness startled me. “Close your eyes. It’ll sting if you keep them open.”

I gulped loudly and nodded, which was pointless because whoever was there, couldn’t see me. I squeezed my eyes shut, clamping them together, before burying my head under my arm. My baggy shirt was clinging to my body and my hair was dripping a slow river down my back, I was getting colder by the second and wanted nothing more than to shower, bury myself in my pajamas and dive into bed.

The sound of something scraping against rock, brought me back to my current dilemma. There was a click and suddenly I could see light creeping in through my closed eyelids. I raised my head slowly at the sound of more scraping.

The water splashed a few more times, then two warm hands gripped my shivering body, around my waist. I instantly stilled. I felt my body being dragged away from the wall, reluctantly I released my grip and allowed whoever or whatever was holding me, to move me. The light became brighter the more we moved, but I was too scared to open them. I didn’t want to confront this nightmare.

I felt a stone-cold wall come in contact with my abdomen, shocking me yet again. The hands slowly turned me, so my back was pressed up against it. My breathing was slowly becoming more erratic, my heart was close to beating out my chest and I wanted nothing more than for all this to be over with.

“Slowly open your eyes. You don’t want to make them sting.” The mystifying voice was so close, and yet beginning to sound so familiar, minus the echo.

Slowly but surely, I peeked through my lashes, sure enough the bright light stung as my eyes readjusted after seeing the darkness for so long. I tried again, opening gradually and allowing them to adjust before opening any wider. My vision was still slightly blurry, but eventually, everything came into focus. I skimmed over the cold, damp cave, fear gripping at my body. I noticed the ledge that I’d been gripping onto, it being the only thing that protruded out the walls, everywhere else was smooth and slimy. Then I noticed the light. It was perched on a shelf in the cave, like a little dugout. It was a cheap, plastic looking battery lantern that you’d probably buy a child, camping for the first time. Lastly, I looked at the person holding me.

My heart pummeled against my chest, as I took in the bare chest, the strong muscular arms and strong hands that were gripping tightly at my waist.

His bright smile had my breath catching in my throat. It had been so long since I’d seen it “How you feeling?”

“Cory?” the question a mere whisper as it left my lips

He chuckled. “In the flesh. Now seriously, how you feeling?”

cooltext1807828269 copyEvery Tear Is A Waterfall – Coldplay

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana

Wake Me Up When September Ends – Greenday

La La La – Naughty Boy

Shy Girl – O-Town

Anklebiters – Paramore

Tunnel Vision – Justin Timberlake

Wild – Jessie J

I Love It – Icona Pop

Slow Down – Selena Gomez

Ever Enough – A Rocket To The Moon

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