Thursday, May 30, 2013

SPECIAL SNEAK PREVIEW: Salvation (Captive Series Book 4) by Erica Stevens

"She had strengthened him, and he'd let her down. He'd lost her."

   Aria was lost.  Braith's guilt riddles him.  He feels responsible for her capture but knows that she cannot be caged.  His anguish is terrifying to all that are around him.  Aria's family and even the vampires with them stay out of Braith's way.  "His entire body shuddered as he grasped hold of a small tree.  His muscles rippled as he ripped it from the ground and hurled it through the air.  Gideon and Ashby scrambled to get out of the way as it bounced in their  direction.  Braith stood, shaking as he tried to gather some semblance of control, but he was quickly spiraling toward something dark and dangerous."  
   Aria had been captured by Braith's malicious brother, Caleb.  He and the king were both very ruthless vampires that would do whatever they pleased with Aria while she was their captive.  Most of all, they wanted to break her.  Bite marks litter her body from them taking turns drinking her blood.  And to make matters worse, they force her to drink their blood as well.  Every time they force her to drink their blood she feels her body rejecting's not Braith's blood.  Her body will never want another's blood.  She  may be physically drained and exhausted, but her spirit is not broken.  She will never be broken.

   The final book of the Captive Series begins with Aria captured and being tortured deep in the dungeon of the vampire king's palace.  She is a fighter who has the spirit to never give up.  And later on you find out a little secret about her heritage that you will never guess.
   Braith is going crazy because of Aria's capture.  It is driving him almost to insanity, to a very dark place where he may never come back once there.  The monster inside is begging to be unleashed.  He and the other vampires and humans willing to fight have gathered together to formulate a plan not only to save Aria, but to take down the king.  As long as he can keep it together that is.  It's time for some changes....

I've read this book and have to say it is a great ending to a great series!!  Be looking for it on Amazon!  It's release date is June 8th, 2013.

*quotes via Erica Stevens
*image via Erica Stevens

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

Darkness Falls (Darkness Falls Series Book 1) by Jessica Sorensen

Rule #1- Never go out after dark.
Rule #2- Always have a weapon in hand.
Rule #3- No matter what, never EVER get bit.

   The colony; a place where people were safe.  The outside was no longer a safe place.  A virus had gotten out of hand and now after dark the world belonged to the undead; the vampires.  They were awful looking creatures that were shedding their skin so much you could see bones.  They were fast and strong, and crazed for blood.  When they were hungry, their eyes would rain blood.  All the more reason that if you were a Bellator, a retriever of things, to stick to the rules (as shown above).  Kayla a.k.a. Juniper, was a Bellator.  She was the best.  She was strong and fast.  Her wounds healed inhumanly fast.  But she was also not very good at following the rules.  Her adopted father, Monarch (who is the colony's doctor), is always reminding her not to ask too many questions.  The Highers don't like it.  They run the colony.  But they run it with fear.  The mark of the Highers were their white hair, the language they speak, and their ghostly eyes.  It is forbidden in the colony to know how to read.  And breaking the rules could mean the end of your existence.  "...the Highers are always right, even when they're not." The strange thing is that when someone dies or they are chosen for The Gathering, it's like people just forget that they ever existed.  The Gathering is like a weeding out process that is done.  And Bellators are always chosen.
  Because of her defiance, Kayla is chosen for The Gathering and thrown out in a body bag into the desert
with two others, Maci and Bernard.  Maci is just seven and has the gift of fore sight.  And Bernard was a fellow Bellator.  The problem is that when you are in the colony you forget things.  People don't remember who they were before or much of their past period.  No one is to even hint that they remember the world before the vampires.  With the medicine that Monarch pumps into the Bellators, they heal so quickly that Kayla does not know what a bruise or a scar is, or even a broken bone.  When Kayla, Maci, and Bernard get out of the body bags, they have syringes for each one of them with vials of black liquid.  The black liquid is supposed to save them, keep them from dying.  Bernard uses the vial and starts acting strange, aggressive. That's when Aiden and his group catches up to them.  Aiden seems like a very nice guy looking out for Kayla.  He has some feelings for her and knew her when he was in the colony.  But she doesn't remember him until she regains a few of her memories later on.  Time and time again Aiden lies to Kayla saying it was to keep her safe.  Kayla doesn't like to be lied to.
   Aiden and Kayla make a treacherous journey to the city where fires always burn and there are more than just vampires hanging out at night.  There are also Day Takers.  The Day Takers are those that chose the vial after they came out of The Gathering.  They have fangs and drink blood but look human still and act somewhat human still.  Day Takers have more of an ability to control their thirst.  They cannot come out in the sun either but they, unlike the other vampires, can stay in the shadows and not be burned to death.  When in the city they run into several Day Takers, including Aiden's brother, Sylas, who was also a member of the colony.  While Aiden is less willing to help Kayla get her memories back, Sylas is more than willing to help her.  After all, if she gets her memories back, she just might be able to do what Monarch programmed her to do; save the world.

   The colony, no matter how safe it seemed to those blissfully unaware, seemed more like a cult where the Highers were influencing the mind of the regular people there, the Adeptis.  Why live life like that?  I guess given the alternative of living outside where every minute and hour is a fight for survival, it makes the choice easier for most.  But Kayla is not most people.  She craves her freedom from that influence.  But the choice of whether she stays in the colony or not is made for her and Kayla ends up in the desert with other people.  The only thing is that besides seven-year-old Maci, pretty much everyone is afraid of her.  Not even the vampires outside will touch her.  They are afraid of what she is and what she could be.  According to Maci, people were afraid of her because she was different and people didn't understand her.  It would stink to think that there might not be a place in the world for you.  That you were probably the only one that could save it and yet at the same time no one was accepting of who you truly were.  That was where Sylas came in.  He was more accepting of her than anyone else.  Aiden wanted her to be who he thought she was.  He fancied himself in love with someone who probably in reality did not even exist.  Kayla was tired of pretending so once she is free of the colony and the group she met with Aiden, she becomes more like herself.  Well, as like herself as she could be considering the circumstances and her lack of memory.  Aiden doesn't like what he sees so he decides to lie to her a lot to save her from herself.  He decided to stay human instead of becoming a Day Taker.  But Kayla is still on the fence and he fears that she will choose the life Sylas did.  Aiden fears he will lose her forever.

Such a great book!  The second in the series is Darkness Breaks and the third is due to come out soon!  Be looking for Darkness Fades on Amazon!  Right now you can get Darkness Falls for the Kindle for free on Amazon.

*quotes via Jessica Sorensen (Darkness Falls Series Book 1)
*image via Jessica Sorensen (Amazon)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I don't know about all of you, but I am an adult and I would love to live in one of these fantasy tree houses!

Are they not amazing??
So I have found some very cool and different ideas for storage and shelving of all of those awesome books all of you are reading!  Here are five links to some pretty awesome ideas!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Arena One: Slaverunners (Book 1 of the Survival Trilogy) by Morgan Rice

"Over the last hundred years...America had been drifting into a land of two nations: those on the far right, and those on the far left.  Over time, positions hardened so deeply, it became a nation of opposing ideologies..."

   And then the war came.  Because of man's selfishness and personal ambitions, the Republicans and the
Democrats became so separated that there was no reconciling the two in any way.  They became extremists to the point that there was a secession and another civil war broke out.  Only this time when the Republicans left the Union, the Democrats bunker down and nuke the leaders of the new Republican government.  And then the Republicans did the same to the leaders of the Democratic government.  As a result, they destroyed the America that we know.  There were few survivors from the bombs themselves and the nuclear fallout afterwards.  The ones left were taken by slaverunners to fight in the arena.  Once you left, you didn't come back.
   Brooke and Bree Moore were all that was left of their family.  Their father, a Marine, had volunteered to fight in the war, and their mother had just slipped away from them.  Brooke's father had been a real hard ass.  He made her learn all types of martial arts and fighting techniques as well as how to drive a motorcycle with a side car.  Too bad he hadn't taught her a few basic survivor skills as well.  Now they were hiding out in the Catskill Mountains trying to survive and stay away from the slaverunners.  The only thing that Brooke really had going for her was that she had a knife and she was very accurate with it.  Her life went from normal to taking care of her ten-year-old sister.  Some days they ate and some days they didn't.  Catching a fish was a big deal and killing a rabbit was a rare treat.  After going higher into the mountains than she means to, Brooke stumbles onto a tiny little cottage well hidden and full of canned foods that could feed them.  As an added bonus there are deer, large salmon, fresh water, and maple tree sap nearby.  Before Brooke can even move her sickly sister up to the cabin, Bree is take by the slaverunners...

   The first book in this series is more like a novelette.  It is not very long, but it sets the stage for the next book in the series perfectly.  The two political parties had finally moved so far away from each other that literal fighting broke out ending in a civil war.  Nuclear weapons were used and it was the end of America as we know it today.  A young lady with no real survival skills is left to fend for herself and her little sister the best that she can.  They are essentially alone in their fight just to survive.  Each day they wonder if they will live to see the next.  As if that's not enough, Bree is caught and taken while Brooke is out looking for food.  It's one long fight to stay alive.
   This book hits very close to home, especially with all of the issues between the Democrats and the Republicans in America the last few years.  The continual bickering and baiting between the two has become more of a norm than what it used to be.  No one seems to be playing for the team and everyone is out for self.  The downfall of the country in this book showed just how far these people were willing to go for their own personal ambition.  Ambition can be good to some degree, but it can also be the downfall of a person.  In this case, a country.  Everywhere you look these days you see so much selfishness.  It makes one wonder just how far this book is from the actual truth.  And did the author think about this when she wrote it?  Did Morgan Rice ever think for a second this might actually happen to the America we know?  Let's hope it never does.

"I never really fully understood how it all began, and I still don't know.  Dad explained it to me, several times, and I still didn't get it.  Maybe it was just because of my age. Maybe I just wasn't old enough to realize how senseless the things are that adults can do to each other."

*images via Morgan Rice
*quotes via Morgan Rice

Thursday, May 16, 2013

So excited!  It's only a few more weeks until the fourth and final book of the Captive Series, Salvation, comes out!  I hope Erica Stevens makes it an awesome ending!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ignite (Midnight Fire Series Book 1) by Kaitlyn Davis

   Kira Dawson was a well educated girl coming home from her private school in New York to spend her senior year at Charleston County High School.  She had a head full of curly red and blond hair that twisted and mingled together on her head.  Her mother also had flaming red hair.  But her father and little sister (who was not even in kindergarten) both had straight brown hair.  Kira liked to cook and hoped to go to a culinary school after taking a year off from school.
   On the first day of school Kira runs into golden haired "knight in shining armor" Luke Bowrey.  His open and friendly demeanor helps ease Kira's first day jitters as he shows her around.  "There was something about his eyes, green with flecks of yellow, which she found familiar and almost comforting."  Luke even made sure she sat with him and his friends at lunch.  
   And then there was Tristan.  He was dark and dangerous.  "He had a rebel without a cause look that made him perilous for a girl's heart."  Like a moth to a flame, Kira was drawn to Tristan, although she knew it wouldn't end well if she didn't stay away.  But those icy blue eyes of his threatened to have her jumping off the edge of reason.  
   It didn't take long for Kira to figure out that there was no love lost between Luke and Tristan and his
friends.  Tristan's friends were much like him.  Diana, John and Jerome were all what Luke and his friends called "the misfits".  They didn't ever come in to lunch.  They kept to themselves and seemed rather dangerous.  Diana immediately puts Kira on edge and continues to torment her.  The group continuously stares at her until she confronts them at the beach.  Unfortunately, while she is at the beach trying to learn how to surf,  Kira hits her head and almost drowns.  To Luke's great chagrin, Tristan is the one that saves her.  The hostility becomes so much between the two that Luke punches Tristan in the face.  He had just been trying to help, but he also inferred that he may not want to stay away from Kira, and Luke is trying to protect her from something she has no idea about.  But Kira wants to know about Tristan.  She wants to get to know him and keeps trying to talk to him.  Finally she succeeds.  While in Battery Park he appears and they finally talk.  Tristan shows her a secret place high in a church steeple that he liked to go to and he kisses her there.  But then he runs away and Kira is more confused than ever.  She is left all alone with nothing but her confused thoughts and Tristan's sketch book full of drawings.  In the back there are drawings of her.  
   In an attempt to tell her the truth, Tristan accidentally gets Kira into a life threatening position with other members of his group.  They are not really his friends, but they are like him.  And Kira is about to find out all about that.  They meet during lunch on the stage at school to have a private chat about things and Diana, Jerome and John show up.  Diana bites Kira and tries to kill her, but Kira fends her off with flames shooting from her hands.  Luke ends up saving her and explaining to her what the misfits really are and what she really is.  They are vampires and she is a conduit, a vampire slayer of sorts.  But not only is she a vampire slayer, she's a crossbreed  of the Punishers and the Protectors.  A cross which had never been heard of except in legend.  Luke is a Protector who has been sent to watch over Kira.  He doesn't kill vampires unless it is necessary.  The Punishers are not so merciful.  She now understands why Tristan is not supposed to be with her.  It wasn't meant to be.  It could never be.

"Fire and ice, she thought.  That really was what they were, complete opposites.  Fire could melt ice and ice could douse a fire, but was there any way for the two to meet in the middle?"

   Another tale of star-crossed lovers no doubt.  However, this one involves a vampire and a conduit.  Two people who want to be together and go to great lengths to be together knowing that it will end and that it won't end well for either of them.  It is a great story of a girl who sees a guy and cares for him before and after she finds out who he is.  Even after she finds out who she is.  The saying that opposites attract can be a very true statement.  But Tristan and Kira have so many obstacles to overcome just to stay together for the present.  His group of "friends" don't understand her and want to kill her.  They want her blood and so does Tristan.  The difference being that Tristan is not like all other vampires.  He seemed to be within the realm of possibility of saving his soul.  He was so thoughtful and cared so much for Kira that she inevitably fell in love with him and didn't want to think about the idea of him being a blood sucking monster.  But that is what Tristan thought of himself as, a monster.  The weight of immortality is a heavy weight when you view yourself as a monster.  

   Kira is just finding out about so many things in her life.  She thought she knew exactly who she was and what she wanted.  Then she meets Tristan and Luke and finds out that the world she thought she lived in was totally different.  Even her family is not what she had been led to believe her entire life.  There is a lot for her to work through including the honing of her powers.  Luke is there to help her with that.  But he doesn't want her with Tristan.  He sees it as an abomination.  And he's jealous.  But Tristan makes her feel almost normal.  They are both misfits who just don't belong anywhere in particular.  The book is great and the story gets even better as it goes along in the next three books!  Check out the other three books to see the plot thicken and a shocking ending!

*images via Kaitlyn Davis
*quotes via Kaitlyn Davis (Midnight Fire Series Book 1: Ignite)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stained by Ella James

   Normal?  Never.  Freak?  Oh yeah.  Alone?  Almost always....

  Yes that was a good summing up of Julia's life.  Her parents had died before she could even remember them.  Then she had been shifted around in foster care.  But she was different than other kids.  She had a gift that tended to freak most normal people out.  She could see people's auras.  Julia could tell what mood they were in, if they were lying, and if they were hurt.  She could see injuries and could heal them as well.  The power Julia had was not something she really understood.  In her early teen years she was adopted by Suzanne and Harry and they were good to her.  They bought Julia nice things and lived in a nice, safe house. There were no other children to torment her, unlike previous experience.  She became close to her new
   Four years later Julia sneaks out of the house to help some friends with their homework.  On her way back she begins to smell smoke.  By the time she reaches her block she has realized that it's her house on fire!  As she is watching her house burn she sees something that looks like the angel of death to her.  "Huge, dark wings, pasted onto a monstrous creature with glowing coals for eyes and an eerie-low, chuckling laugh.  The Angel of Death..."  In an instant the creature is gone and so are her parents.  Instead of going back into foster care, Julia makes a run for it and ends up all the way from Overton to the muddy Mississippi River and takes up a temporary residence in an abandoned warehouse.  Still in shock from all that happened, Julia sleeps a lot while at the dirty, grimy warehouse, and she steals necessities, like food and drinks, to get her by.
   The third night a fight ensues above Julia in the warehouse.  The fight is so intense the floor falls through the upper story down to where Julia is.  A very hot guy named Cayne is laying at her feet injured.  She heals him only to find out that he had been fighting Samyaza, the half-demon that killed her parents.  Samyaza is the king of the Nephilim, the half-demons.  She quickly agrees to help Cayne draw out this monster so that they can kill him.  For quite some time the two of them try to draw him out only to find out that Samyaza had moved on elsewhere.  Cayne and Julia decide to track him down.  And during their tracking, they become closer to each other.  Cayne wants to protect Julia, but he also wants to know more about her and why Samyaza wants her dead.  Their findings along the way are somewhat gruesome.  Samyaza leaves a path of destruction and death.  All of the people he is killing has the same mark as Julia has.  It is the mark of the Stained.  They are a special group of people that have certain talents, such as healing, like Julia.  Cayne, however, is not one of them.  He turns out to be a Nephilim as well.  During a fight three years ago with Samyaza, Cayne hit his head and lost his memories.  When they finally return, they are very painful and full of death.  During their trek across the country to find this half-demon king, Cayne and Julia are captured by other Stained ones and Cayne is to be put on trial.

   Ella James told a very captivating story of two young adults on their way to finding out who they really are.  Julia has no idea about her family history or why she has the power she has.  And most  of her power still lies dormant within her.  Cayne doesn't remember who he is.  And when he does, it's almost too much.  His memories and past threaten to keep he and Julia separated.  Keeping her at arms length would be keeping her safe.  After all, Cayne was not a good person.  He was half-demon.
   Cayne and Julia are two very lonely people who have had more than an unfortunate past.  They have much in common.  They both have lost people they loved to Samyaza.  Both are different than the others around them so acceptance is almost impossible.  And neither know where they belong in the world.  For them to find each other and become romantically involved is a very satisfying part of this book.  They are no longer alone in the world no matter how difficult it is for them to see that they are better off together.  Even if it is hinted at that this is a forbidden love.
   The story unfolds in such a way as to not give away too much.  In fact, there are many questions left unanswered.  You don't find out a lot about who the Stained really are or why they want to get Julia back so bad.  Why is she so special?  We are virtually clueless about her parents, although we can rightly claim that they were most likely Stained ones as well.  Why is Samyaza going around killing everyone with the mark of the Stained?  We see a little of Cayne's history.  But there is still much to be seen in that area as well.  It leaves just enough curiosity to make you want to read the next book immediately!

                                          For more information on Ella James visit her blog at:

*quotes via Ella James (Stained Book 1)
*image via Ella James (Amazon)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Elfin by Quinn Loftis

   Long ago, deep in the forest of Aldeon, the Forest Lords created a race full of magic, strength, intelligence, and cunning.  This race divided itself into two factions.  And so the light and dark elves came to be.  The Forest Lords were not pleased by the division of their creation, and so they removed themselves, watching as they fought and destroyed one another.  But the time has come for the Forest Lords to once again bring order and peace to their children, the time of the light and dark elves is over.  The time of the Elfin is just beginning. 

   Cassandra Tate was a normal 18-year-old girl, a senior in high school.  She was not the type of girl who was big on appearance.  Her best friend, Elora, drives a beat up Dodge Neon and is really into the Goth look.  She has black hair with red highlights, wears dark makeup and clothing, and has various piercings scattered throughout her body.  A very opposite end of the spectrum from Cassie.  Elora calls her mother Lisa because she does not like conventional titles.  Her thoughts are that  "we are all human beings who picked their noses as children in front of people without shame and then in secret as adults."  And then one night while Cassie is helping her dad with some files at work,  she stumbles upon a private meeting of the light elves.  She had no idea elves even existed until then and when one sees a glimpse of her during the meeting, she takes off and locks herself into a room next to the conference room the elves had been in.  Thinking she is safe she opens her eyes to Triktapic.  Trik is a dark elf who is there to spy on the light elves.  He is not just any dark elf, he is the dark elf king, Lorsan's assassin.  And he is only about a thousand years old....But  it doesn't matter what age they are.  They are all very beautiful and handsome.  Cassie and Trik immediately have a connection.  Cassie doesn't really understand what's going on at first.  She is falling all over herself for this elf guy who she knows nothing about.  She can't even think straight.  Trik knows what has just happened though.  He has found his chosen, his lifelong mate, his one true love.  The one thing he doesn't understand is why the Forest Lords would give him a human mate.  It is very rare, but has happened in the past to at least one other.  Explaining the whole thing about being a chosen is very difficult for Trik.  Cassie feels like she has fallen head over heels for him, but is hesitant because Trik is a dark elf.  He has done many bad things in his long life.  Those very dark things he has done are hurtful to Cassie although she tries very hard to understand them.  Meanwhile, Elora and her mother have to explain that they have known all along about the existence of elves.  Lisa owns a new age type shop and she just happens to know the queen of the light elves, Syndra.
   There is a law that all elves obey: "Humans are not to see the Elfin in their true form.  They are not to know of our realm.  If a human does see an Elfin in their true form their life is forfeit."  And Cassie had seen the elves that night.  She had seen through Trik's magic because she was his chosen.  As a result, she had also seen the light elves.  A chosen can see through the magic of the Elfin.  After meeting Syndra, the queen and king understand why she had seen through the magic and no longer want to kill her.  But there are so many other dangers to her.  Trik has a hard time keeping her safe from everyone because she is human.  He fears that Lorsan will come after her as well after he tells Cassie he will quit being the king's assassin.  During a party thrown by the dark elf king and queen Cassie finds out that Trik had not told Lorsan he was quitting yet and she thinks he never intended to.  After the party, she has to remover herself from the human realm to Syndra and Tamsin's palace (Tamsin is the light elf king) for her own safety from the dark elves.  Lorsan has one of his elves meet Cassie outside of the light elf kingdom for coffee.  The elf disguises herself as Elora and kidnaps Cassie.  Lorsan starts studying the long term effects of Rapture, a drink they were making to give to humans at the casinos they own.  Turns out it is highly addictive and brings out a whole new side to humans.  If it is allowed to stay in the human world it will destroy their world.  If Trik doesn't save Cassie, it will destroy him.  And if he does not realize his true position, it could destroy the whole Elfin realm.  No pressure...
   I like this book so much I could read it several times.  The bond between Trik and Cassie is crazy and so strong it causes physical pain to them both if they part ways any other way than amicable.  We get married and divorced all the time.  But the elves have a bond that lasts forever.  And to them forever is a long time.  Its also a long time to only want one person.  That is why it seems so amazing to me.  But the bond is not the only thing that makes this story good.  Cassie's best friend, Elora, is pretty awesome herself.  She has never met her father, and her mother still misses him terribly.  And yet, they do just fine together.  Elora can be one rough chick at times.  She is fiercely protective of her friend.  And in the end, she will give up everything to fight for her friend and for what is right.  
   Trik is an anomaly.  It seems like he is pure evil until he meets Cassie.  The more their relationship evolves, the more he starts to think about his actions and how they could affect her.  She brings light into his very dark soul.  Because of Cassie, Trik gets a second chance at the life he had before he was an assassin.  The Forest Lords give him his memories back and make sure he gets the chance to make things right again.  But the part where you find out who he truly is is a surprise!  So read the book to find out more elf secrets!

                                  For more about Quinn Loftis and her books check out:

*image via Quinn Loftis (Amazon)
*quotes via Quinn Loftis (Elfin)
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