Sunday, September 30, 2012

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

79 days until the release of Independence!

Hello, Chapter 11!  I just love Caleb's family! They make me laugh!

Do you want me to run for the door screaming? Because I can do that if you want? ---Maggie
Peter: Caleb? Are you purposely keeping Maggie from me?
Caleb: Here you go, Dad.  I'll just wait over here.
Well, the only way to stop it is for Caleb to be with you.  His touch calms you, it heals you and also keeps you from harm, from attack of another's ability.  He anchors you, grounds you, so to speak.   He is your shield.  ---Peter
Your imprint works so that you are always together, Maggie.  You live best, work best, play best, love best and fight best when you're together. You'll even sleep best when you are.  I know I do all those things best with Rachel. ---Peter
Rachel: Well, of course he is, but he never cared about that dating rule anyway--
Peter: He's a nineteen year old college boy, Rachel.  I guarantee you, he cared.

I love that we get to see Rachel and Peter.  What do you think of them?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

80 days!!! 80 days!!! Until Independence!! Are you as excited as me!!!???

Now we are on Chapter 10 of Significance!!

Here are the highlights:

Dad: Honey, Caleb's downstairs, but I'm gonna tell him you're sick.  You're burning up.
Maggie: No, Dad! I need him!
Dad: Look, I know you like this boy, but he can wait a day to see you if you're sick.
Maggie: No. Please. Caleb.
Caleb: I'm right here.
Randolph: Yes? State your business here.
Caleb: It's me, Randolph.  Cut the British crap.
Randolph: Oh, it's you, Caleb.  I was trying it out. No good?
Caleb: Nah.  I'd stick with the Aussie if I were you.

This is a quick chapter because they spent a lot of time on the motorcycle; however, it was still a good chapter!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Jacque's Review:

I was not familiar with this series until I was perusing the entries in the 2012 YA Crush Tournament.  I was still trying to select our September book of the month, so I thought...what better place to look than a tournament promoting all of our favorite YA Males. 

Noah Shaw IMMEDIATELY caught my attention.  I am a sucker for an English boy.  Add in the fact that he is from a wealthy family, is very smart and well educated, witty, and a bit of a bad boy...I was sold.  I was certainly not disappointed.  Noah exceeded my expectations.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer begins with our protagonist Mara waking up in a hospital.  She was involved in an accident that left her best friend, boyfriend of only a couple of months, and his sister all dead.  She has no memory of the accident or the evening that led up to it.

She begins having nightmares about the accident and is starting to recall bits and pieces of that evening.  She then starts having perceived delusions and hallucinations.  Her family decides to move to Miami, Florida to give her a fresh start.  They enroll Mara and her older brother Daniel into Croyden, a private school, which is where she meets Noah.

I do not want to give away any spoilers, so I will simply say there are a series of unusual events that occur and Mara always seems to be involved.  She thinks she is going completely crazy.  She doesn't know what is Real or Not Real.  (For my fellow Hunger Games fans...I would suggest that she use Peeta's game, but I don't think even that will help.)  What any reasonable person would think is Not Real really is Real.

I have never read any book even remotely like this.  I was completely riveted and LOVE, LOVE, LOVED all of the characters.  Not just Mara and Noah, but her brothers Daniel and Joseph as well.  Her relationship with them and their willingness to go above and beyond to help each other was touching.  Mara's only other friend besides Noah is Jamie.  He was equally as captivating, but not in the hot English boy sort of way.  He is the nerdy guy who befriends her on her first day of school.  His insight on the happenings at the school and his opinions of their fellow students greatly added to the story.

There are some shocking twists that take place the last third of the book.  We learn more about Noah and can appreciate why he is drawn to Mara.  They appear to be soul mates and I can only hope that they will be able to bring a sense of normalcy and understanding into each other's lives.

I will be reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer as soon as it is released on October 23rd.  There is so much more for Mara and Noah to discover and I am dying to see what happens next.  It has been a few months since I have given a book 5* on Good Reads, but this one is more than deserving.  I would recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys a good paranormal story with a contemporary setting.

Flo's Review

So much about this book! I remember it from mid-last year (2011) because it got a lot of attention before its release. I remember seeing lots of book bloggers being like, "OMG, what in the world?!?!" and other variations of this exclamation. Then, I went to the book's launch party in Miami. It was one of my first ones and it was really cool to see all of Michelle Hodkins' family and friends out there to support her. I remember that her brother was really helpful with her marketing, and upon hearing about my blog, gave me several bookmarks to give away. So if you want one, just comment on this blog post and I'll pick three random winners to send one to. For some reason I was lame and did NOT take a picture with her (fail on my part!), but I did get my book signed:

We heard some excerpts from the book at the launch party, and I remember thinking that I needed to read it ASAP! I put it on my bookshelf...and there it sat until Jacque announced that it was going to be the BookNerds September read, approximately one year later. (Second Flo fail.) On a rainy Saturday, I woke up late and, after Jacque's enthusiastic nudges for me to read it, I cracked it open. A few hours later, I left my bed to make some lunch -- brought the book with me. Then I took it back into bed and didn't leave until it was done.

This was definitely one of the largest books I've read in such a short period of time. I kept wanting to put it down at times, but I just couldn't -- I *had* to know what happened next -- I *had* to experience that next interaction with Noah, or get another clue to what happened that night in Rhode Island. I definitely shared some of my fellow bloggers, "OMG -- what is going on?!?!" reactions. While some of the reveals made sense, most of them took me by surprise. Hodkin was about 50/50 with her transitions -- sometimes they were weak, but sometimes they were spot on and had me going, "Oh my gosh, okay, just one more chapter then I'll...."

Another very cool thing about this book is that it takes place in my hood! It was really cool to read about Calle Ocho (I've been down there during that festival!), the house on Biscayne Bay, and especially the crazy Miami drivers! (Yes, they are.) The cliffhanger at the end --- EEEK. I need The Evolution of Mara Dyer STAT!

P.S. Comment to win! One of these bookmarks will go great with your Evolution book!

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

Hello! Only 81 days left until we have Independence in our hands

We are on Chapter 9!! This is one of my favorite chapters!! Anyone else loving Caleb as me??

Here are the highlights:

My friend, Vic, texts me like a jealous girlfriend. ---Caleb
Caleb:  It's cute.  I like it, a lot actually.
Maggie: Cute?
Caleb: Yep. Cute.
Maggie: I;m sure if that's a compliment or not.
You really think I'd be so happy about something that would hurt you and I couldn't fix it? ---Caleb

Even though there is a lot in this chapter I don't want to spoil it, but it is a MUST READ chapter and BOOK!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

82 days until the release of Independence!!

We are now on Chapter 8 of Significance

Let's high some highlights.....shall we?

(this conversation is about a motorcycle, I swear *giggle*)

Caleb: You did good your first time.  I was worried you'd squeal and shake the whole way.
Maggie: You say that to all the girls who ride your bike.
Caleb: Never had a girl on my bike before.
"You almost got hit by a truck because you were checking me out? ---Maggie
"I'm really glad I was at that stoplight" ---Caleb
Caleb: I'm not ready to take you home yet
Maggie: I'm not ready to go home yet.

So, what did you think??? Like/Love ????

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

83 days until the release of Independence (Book 4)

We are on Chapter 7!! This is where we meet Rebecca - Maggie's best friend.

Rebecca: What do you want?
Maggie: I just want him to look at me and think there's no one else he'd rather be with.
Rebecca: So, sex vixen?
(this is a little bit spoiler-ish)

He reached for me just as I raced to the bottom step and embraced me.  I wrapped my arms around his neck, lifting my feet from the floor.  I breathed him in and everything else fell away.  He was just as happy to see me as I was him, as strange as it all was.  And once again, the second he touched me the ache of being away and silly girl worry over what he'd think melted away. (Maggie)
Hey, there.  Do you have any single brothers? ---Rebecca

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

84 days until the release of Independence (Book 4)

Chapter 6 is today!! Have you fallen in LOVE with Caleb yet? Well, after this chapter you just might!! *giggle*

I'm so sorry.  They're all crazy.  Don't judge me by them, please. ---Caleb
Caleb: Well, it's Saturday.  I was going to ask if you wanted to do something with me tonight.
Maggie: Yes.
Kyle: ...What are you doing tonight?
Maggie: Caleb and I are going to dinner.
Kyle: Are you? Well at least he's gonna try to date you.

Do you think Kyle truly love Maggie or is he just jealous that Caleb imprinted?  I cannot wait for Chapter 7 and "the date"!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Updated Covers From Misty Provencher

Oh how I love Misty! She is extremely talented and an outstanding person.  So, when she emailed with the new covers of Cornerstone and Keystone I could not tell you how excited I was.

So, with further ado, here is the new cover for Cornerstone:

And here is the new cover of Keystone:

I think they are beautiful! What do you thinnk?

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

85 days until release of Independence (Book 4)

We are now on Chapter 5!! *giggle* this is one of my favorites *he he*

"Look. I know this is a lot to take in but you wanted the facts.  I'm not a bakers so I'm not about to sugar coat it for you." ---Gran
"I'm...fine.  I mean, I should be freaking out.  This is crazy.  I guess I would be if you weren't here.  But you are here.  So it doesn't matter I guess" --Maggie
Maggie: I'm fine.
Kyle: Of course you are.  You let everyone run all over you and lover boy here is no exception.
You complete each other, two halves to one circle.  You are no better matched physically, mentally, temperamentally, spiritually and by abilities than your significant. -- Gran
"Gran, I'm only gonna ask this once.  Please don't have sex talks with me, ok? Especially with Maggie in the room.  Do you think we could do that? ---Caleb

I just love this chapter!  So, what do think of Caleb's family!?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Flo's Favorite Authors

So a few months ago, Mary suggested that we should all post about our favorite authors. She went first, and then was followed by Jacque a few months later. I actually created my list on some Post Its (the best invention ever -- thank you Romy and Michele!), but have not had the chance to post until now. A few things about this list...first, there is no way I could rank these -- are you kidding me?!?! Second, I decided not to include authors that Mary and Jacque already posted about, though without a doubt I share some from both their lists.

Without further ado...

James Patterson
When I was around middle school age, I really loved reading his suspense novels: Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider were two of my favorites. Then, I found myself loving his romance novels: Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas. Sam's Letters to Jennifer, and Sundays at Tiffany's all come to mind. Most recently, I have been obsessed with his YA Maximum Ride novels. He makes the list of my favorite authors for two reasons: first, span of time. I have been reading and loving his books for years. Second, I am in awe with his range of publications. He writes suspense. He writes YA. He writes romance. And he is REALLY GOOD at all of them. My hats off to you, James Patterson.

Rick Riordan
I was in Kmart one afternoon and for no reason whatsoever decided to buy Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Best random decision ever! From there, my love of audiobooks was cultivated, as I listened to the entire PJO series on CD. I have simply not read many books that were more clever, more action-packed, more heartfelt, all in the same package. I obsessively began following every Percy Jackson Tumblr ever created after that. I also got myself my very own Camp Half Blood t-shirt. The last book in the series, The Last Olympian, was my favorite. I wasn't even sad to see the series end, though, because as soon as I finished I was lucky enough to be able to immediately jump into the Heroes of Olympus series. Of the two that are out so far, one I listens to one and one I read -- both of them I flew through as fast as I possibly could. The third book of that series comes out next month, and Rick is coming to Miami to promote it! I couldn't be more excited to see him in person and get a signed book. Rick Riordan makes my list because of the cleverness of his stories -- the way he ties things together as well as relates them to mythology -- and the pace of his action-packed writing.

John Green
I discovered John Green when I decided to download the ebook The Fault in Our Stars to see what all the hype was about. Let me tell you -- much warranted hype! That book was fantastic. I immediately loved the way he created his characters -- flawed, lovable, real. John Green is on this list precisely because he is one of the best, if not the best, creators of character I read. After TFiOS, I picked up Paper Towns and Will Grayson, Will Grayson. Both of these books got 5* on Goodreads for me. I cannot wait to read An Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska.

Cassandra Clare
Two words: Jace Wayland. Jace was the first of many beautifully broken YA bad boys that I have come to love. I discovered The Mortal Instruments from a girlfriend who is not a big reader. We were in Barnes and Noble, and I was telling her how she HAD to read The Hunger Games. She agreed, and responded that I HAD to read The Mortal Instruments -- which, by the way, is a fun story to try to describe to someone who doesn't know what it is. ("So there are all these different types of paranormal creatures, and this brother and sister who you want to hook up...") Wow. I was blown away by these books, and also by Cassie herself. If you don't follow her on Twitter, you should. She makes my list partly because she is one authors who is most interactive with her fans -- it's fantastic. Not only on Twitter, but also on the Mortal Instruments Google Group, which I participated in for awhile. City of Glass is my favorite of Mortal Instruments books, but I have enjoyed the last two (I know there's some mixed reactions there.) As for the Infernal Devices -- soooo good as well. I love that they are set in London in the early 1900s -- what a great setting! Clockwork Prince was absolutely amazing. Right behind my laptop I have a row of, I guess you can call them, Books of Honor -- these are my absolute favorites. From left to right, they are The Hunger Games trilogy, the Mortal Instruments series, the Hunger Games trilogy again (yes, I have multiples -- don't judge!), and the Twilight saga.

J.K. Rowling
The year was 1999 and I was facilitating a Secret Santa gift exchange with friends in my college dorm. My Secret Santa gave me a book I had never heard of called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The rest, as they say, is history. I remember my parents were confused and surprised when I pre-ordered The Half Blood Prince, but had to pre-order to their house because when it came out I would be there and not at my current place of residence. I think that was actually the first book I ever pre-ordered. Nowadays, we toss the word EPIC around a lot and very casually, but the Harry Potter series is really, truly EPIC in its truest sense. Like so many of its readers, I really feel like I grew up alongside Harry and his friends and enemies. The books were incredible, the movies were incredible, and years later they are still making impact (re: Pottermore). J.K. Rowling's story is also incredible and truly admirable. The Casual Vacancy comes out next week, and I am really curious to see her write a world beyond Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling makes my list because her books are truly epic.

Cheat: Chick Lit
Next to YA, chick lit is my favorite genre, and has been for a long time. All my life I have identified with the trials of women of all ages as they are touchingly and humorously recounted in books that have kept me company during lazy Saturdays at home, sunny days and nights on the beach, or whenever I wanted to relish in the fun and adventure of being female. Honestly, I could make a list just of my favorite chick lit authors, and I thought about it. But while I in no way want to say that all chick lit books are the same, the genre does have a familiarity for me. I could give you a list, but they were all be on the list for the same reason. So, allow me to just name some of my favorites throughout time as my bonus authors: Ann M. Martin, Judy Blume, Francine Pascal, Lauren Weisberger, Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella. Thank you, ladies, for making reading fun and for reminding me of the greatness of being a girl.

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

86 days until Book 4: Independence 

Here are some highlights of Chapter 4 of Book 1: Significance

I couldn't believe I saved some guy's life.  I couldn't believe I was bound to him in some, twisted soul mate thing. ---Maggie
I felt brand new, like he was drug and I'd just gotten a hit. ---Maggie
Imprints don't make mistakes. Maggie.  All an imprint is, is our souls seeing what's perfectly right for it in someone else. ---Caleb
I felt like a specimen in a Petri dish, but a welcome one. ---Maggie
Well, honey, to be blunt, you can't live without Caleb.  ----Gran

I like this chapter because this is where Caleb and Maggie really start connecting.  On top of that, we get to meet Caleb's family and I just love them.

What do you think?

Until tomorrow....Chapter 5

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bridgeworld by Travis McBee

I was given this book by the author for review.

I thought this book sounded very interesting.  Small town boy who finds out he is an alien and goes to his home planet to go to school, Bridgeworld.  When I started this book I was not sure what to expect, but I actually enjoyed the book.  I think it would be a great book for a pre-teen/young teenager.

Best parts:  I liked Travis McBee's writing.  I thought he wrote amazing character and his imagination of Bridgeworld was very creative.  Will (main character) is the popular teenager.  Nice girlfriend, plays football, and has friends.  But, in no time his life changes.  He loses his popularity, finds out about his family and is soon headed to Bridgeworld.  New school, new friends and new bullies.  On top of that, a new sport, Zegma.  I even liked how the bullies were wrote into the story.  Brandon and Starview Academy were keeping the story going with all the "mysteries".

Not so great: Some parts of it felt rushed.  I was not sure if Travis McBee was just hurrying to get to the next "adventure" or if he just wanted to "skip" the boring times at school.  Either way that was the only thing that I disliked.

I would be interested to see where Will's story goes next

Bridgeworld Book 2: Encounter at Atlantis by Travis McBee

This book was given to me by the author for review.

Travis McBee brings back Will and friends back for another adventure at Bridgeworld.

Best part of book: I actually enjoyed the ending of this book.  I loved the twist that Travis put in and I was a little surprised by it.  Even though I think these books would be perfect for a "preteen", especially boys because Will and his friends are really awesome characters! I like that Will's parents were in the book more.  On top of that we meet more of Will's family!

Not so great about book: I thought the beginning was a little bit slow.  It might have just been me but it took me a while to get into it this time. However, once I got into it and the adventures started I liked it!

If you know a teen/preteen boy I think this would be a great series for them to start! I am interested to see what Travis McBee has planned next for Will.

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

87 days until the release of Book 4: Independence

Now for Chapter 3 highlights of Book 1: Significance.  These are not "spoilers" because it is in the description of the book that Caleb and Maggie imprint. (just saying)

You're his mate, his one, his partner, his companion, his soul mate, the person he'll be with forever.  Take your pick. ---Kyle
Maggie: What about werewolves? Real?
Kyle: No. Not even close.
Maggie: Wizards?
Kyle: Hardly.
Maggie: Angels?
Kyle: Bible
Maggie: Aliens?
Kyle: Science Fiction.
Maggie: Sparkly Vampires?
Kyle: Young adult science fiction.
I thought about this boy.  A boy that apparently now belonged to me. ---Maggie

It's getting exciting!! Are you happy for Maggie and Caleb?  And where does Kyle fit into this equation? Hhhmmm....until tomorrow Chapter 4

Blog Tour: Starbright by Rachel Higginson

I don't think I can express enough what a fantastic writer, Rachel Higginson, is.  When I read her Star-Crossed Series she is THE ONLY AUTHOR (EVER!) that has made me love a character, then hate that character and then made me fall back in love with that same character!  When I heard that she was writing another series I was holding my breath to see what amazing story line she was bringing.

It is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Enjoy this excerpt of Chapter 1 of Starbright:

Chapter One

The night had never been darker, the blackness surrounding the car, never so suffocating. Even the piles of snow pushed to the sides of the narrow road, did nothing to break up the oppressive darkness. The Stars above, shone brightly, I was sure of it, but they did so from behind a curtain of clouds that blocked the light from reaching the road. I felt swallowed up by emptiness.
I gripped the steering wheel tighter, my knuckles stretching until they gleamed white in the glow of the dashboard and my frozen fingers worked numbly against the cold plastic. The headlights of my old Jeep reached only a few feet in front of me and then stopped abruptly against a wall of darkness. I shivered violently, nestling my chin further into the down of my heavy winter coat and cursed the Nebraska winter for being equally as cold as it was desolate.
The farmland rolled away from the winding road, buried beneath several feet of iced over snow in every direction. Trees, planted for the privacy of farmers, lined the way home with empty branches and snowcapped tops. My breath puffed out in front of me, fogging up the frozen windshield and reminding me that the heater to my fifteen year old Jeep Cherokee remained unfixed.
“Tristan!” I growled furiously into the frigid air. “Why I let you talk me into another movie I will never know!”
There was no one there to hear my complaints, or sympathize with me against my best friend, but it felt comforting to make noise in an empty antique without a radio. Still, receiving not even a groan of empathy from the Jeep, I sat forward and peered into the impossible night ahead of me.
I knew these roads; I had each curve and turn memorized. The distance between Tristan Shields’ house and my own was well traveled and practically sacred. Still, out in the country where street lights were for city-folk and the deer and the antelope tended to play, their familiar territory became a dangerous, never-ending expanse of nerves and tension.
Even in summer, unless the Stars and moon were bright and friendly, the country roads of the Nebraska farmland became shrouded in a heavy obscurity, the headlights of the best of cars mapping out the only visibility in the heavy cloak of night and beyond those flickering lights the world seemed to drop off the edge of a cliff into nothingness. But now, in the dead of winter, with temperatures well below zero, the night around my old Jeep seemed to have a life of its own, oppressive and angry.  
I cleared my throat and mentally determined to conquer the creeping feeling of being afraid. I bit down on my lower lip and clutched the steering wheel tighter. My breath came out in shaky puffs of air, reminding me it was more than the roads and the night that curdled the most terrified places of my heart. It was more than the late hour and bitter cold that forced me to shiver and shift my eyes suspiciously in every direction.
It was the Darkness.
Not the country night, or the moonless sky. But the real Darkness. The Darkness that moved secretly through this world and threatened every living, breathing creature. The darkness that slithered in unseen places and survived on the death and rotten things. The darkness that I would fight until my dying breath.
But not tonight. Tonight I wasn’t ready. Tonight, I was still only sixteen, and my parents were still off saving the galaxy while I stayed home to finish high school with an elderly woman as my keeper.
Something moved out of the corner of my eye. I could swear it. Swirling my head around, and keeping a steady hold on the steering wheel, I peered into the darkness, searching out the moving creature.
Nothing beyond the snow banks piled in the ditches and the swaying lifeless trees that were becoming sparser as I passed expansive fields blanketed under the white of winter.
I turned my attention to the road again and with a numb hand, brushed my platinum blonde hair under the brim of my stocking cap. My fingers snapped with electricity and for a moment the cab of my Jeep was lit with the sparks of static. Only a few more miles till home. I could make it. There was nothing to be afraid of.
But why did tonight feel so different?
So dark?
And then out of my peripheral vision I saw it move again. A swift shadow sliding effortlessly through the night, riding the whipping wind like a wave and dropping the frozen temperature several degrees lower. The pungent smell of rotting eggs drifted through the air.
I didn’t have to turn my head this time to confirm. I knew it would be gone before my head could move in the right direction. Besides, they only existed in the peripheral, in the slight glances and far off places.
I had seen them before. Since before I could talk my parents would tell me about them, explain to me of their existence, warn me of their danger. I saw them everywhere, even during the day I could spot them, because they were everywhere.
Foot soldiers of a greater evil, sent to Earth, the last remaining inhabited planet, to prepare the way for their master. They were the evil in all things, the tyranny, the oppression, the hunger and violence. The Darkness. The force of wickedness that battled against the forces of good with one purpose in mind, to abolish the Light.
I was the light. And because I was the answer to their destruction I hunkered further into my winter coat and braved the bone-chilling cold.
It could be easy for me to warm up; even in a car with a broken heater it was the natural reaction of my body. I was born of the light, of the warmth. And to suffer against the natural elements was difficult enough, but the extra layer of malevolent chill became excruciatingly painful even in small doses.
Still, they couldn’t know what I was. They couldn’t discover me after all this time. At least not yet. So I breathed in the frosty air, feeling the burn in my lungs and forced myself to push forward a few more miles.
My parents had worked so hard to hide my existence and to blend in with normal humanity that no matter how easy it would be to ease my pain, I had to fight against the elements. I was brought to Earth as a baby, with the sole intention to one day take over as Earth’s Protector. And so my parents had given up their positions as two of the greatest Warriors of their generation to raise an alien infant in the middle of farmland.
And it was here, in Western Nebraska, that I waited for the day the Earth would become my charge, my responsibility.
But that day wasn’t today. I had years before I was supposed to deal with that kind of duty!
Years…. I promised myself.
And as soon as I decided these were regular Shadows, which had no idea I was anything special, another one flittered across my peripheral. I swallowed the lump that had taken up an annoying residence in my throat and felt the passenger’s seat for my cell phone. I thought I laid it out before I started the car, but after blindly feeling around my worn upholstery decided it must still be hiding inside my over-sized bag.
I strengthened the grip of my left hand and thrust my right hand into the black hole of all my important possessions, hoping to come out victorious in three seconds or less. Defender of the last planet or not, I was hopelessly unorganized. My purse was a cluttered mess of unknown objects and somewhere, hidden in the melee was my cell phone.
I liked to believe I was brave. Or at least I would be one day. But tonight, all I wanted to do was call Annabelle, wake her up and forcefully let her know I would be home in ten minutes, just to hear her reassuring voice. I thought about calling Tristan too and demanding to know why he thought we needed to watch an entire trilogy all in one night!
Lip gloss. Gum. Floss. Wallet. Candy bar.
Where was my cell phone?
The road was dangerously icy and my constant shivering did nothing to balance out my driving. I sucked in a frozen breath and then glanced down at my purse, hoping to be able to spot the phone right away.
Not there.
At least not right where I could see it in the one point five seconds I allowed myself to look. I heaved an irritated sigh and turned my eyes back to the road. Apparently that second and a half was way too long because standing in the middle of the road was a giant buck, poised and stilled only ten feet away.
I panicked. Somewhere in the rational-thinking part of my brain, I knew I was supposed to hit the animal; that it was safer to collide with the deer than slamming on my brakes in the middle of the night on an iced over country road. But my animal-loving instinct took over and my foot pressed furiously against the brake pedal while my hands jerked the steering wheel hurriedly to the right.
The next few seconds became a blur as my Jeep spun wildly out of control without even pretending to slow down. Belatedly I released my foot and tried to pump the brake but it was too late, the tail end flipped around to the front and then the front flipped around again and hit the snow bank at an alarming speed and bounced off.
As if in slow motion, my passenger’s side rammed into the iced over snow bank and then flipped over what felt like several times until I smashed to the frozen field far beyond the road. My Jeep hit the ground with an ear splitting cry of metal crushed against a rock hard surface.
I exhaled violently, the seatbelt cutting into my awkwardly hanging neck and waist. I felt unconsciousness threating to sweep me away as the broken bones in my right hand, where it had been crushed between my body and the armrest in the impact, screamed angrily at me.
If I were human I would already be unconscious.
If I were human, I would have a lot more to worry about than a broken wrist.
I wiggled my feet and tried moving my arms, just to make sure there were no other issues, before reaching over with my left hand and unbuckling the safety restraint. I fell gruffly against the impacted passenger side door and let out a fierce cry of pain.
I sat up and rubbed my shoulder that now felt displaced but not broken. Climbing into position I bent my knees and braced my hands, one strongly, the other gingerly, against the car around me and thrust my legs forward into the already cracked windshield.
The fractured glass moved against the force of my legs, but it took several more tries before I removed it completely. When I crawled carefully through the now gaping hole, the windshield remained intact, but definitely fissured and hung awkwardly across the sideways front hood, still attached near the driver’s side.
I slid down the rusted green paint of my Jeep and landed softly in the snow. The night was still outside of the crash, silent and subdued. The snow that blanketed the landscape muffled the usual night sounds and the absence of animals, even winter ones, felt eerily dangerous.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw one move. A Shadow. The Darkness.
But it wasn’t possible. They didn’t know I existed, let alone that I lived here, in the middle of nowhere. I brushed my fear away and simultaneously readied myself for an altercation. I shouldn’t be afraid. I couldn’t be afraid.
These were mere minions besides. And even if I wasn’t prepared to go into hand to hand combat with them, if they really knew who I was they would be more afraid of me than I was of them.
Or at least that’s what I promised myself.
I lifted my head in search of the buck that caused all this trouble to begin with but he was nowhere in sight. Either he was frightened off by my car turning in wild circles just to avoid him, or he never existed in the first place, just an apparition that turned to the smoky wisps of evil.
But that would mean a purposeful attack. And that couldn’t be. There was just no way they could know who I was.
Unless…. Unless, my parents had fallen.
I froze for a moment, my hands clenched at my sides, my chest a shallow cavity filled with a heart that refused to beat and lungs that refused to breathe and played through that possibility in my mind. They had been gone for several weeks, on a mission that specifically required their skill set. I hadn’t heard from them since they left, and so it was entirely possible that they failed.
That they fell.
I gazed into the sky, willing the clouds to move out of my way so I could find them. If they were gone, I would be able to tell immediately, their bright lights would be blank in a sky full of their fellow soldiers. The sky was too overcast though, even with my powerful eyesight and ability to cut through darkness, the clouds were too heavy and clustered to see through.
I cursed uncharacteristically under my breath and then again when I realized my phone was still somewhere unknown in the dark abyss of my Jeep. As I wedged one of my booted feet into the space of my car, where the hood made room for my windshield wipers, I decided that even if my parents were gone, there was no amount of torture or distress that would have prompted them to give up my location. They worked their whole lives to keep me a secret, to prepare me for the day when I would remain here alone, and on top of that, they loved me. There was no way it was them.
I ignored the clustering Darkness as I pushed myself up and through the broken windshield, reaching for my spilled purse, whose contents littered the crushed passenger’s side door. The Shadows weren’t trying to hide anymore; they were coming for me, gathering around me as if waiting for the command to attack. I reached down hurriedly, ripping my coat against the rough edges of the broken windshield, but I managed to gather at least the important stuff into my purse before hauling it back with me and hopping down from the Jeep.
I tossed the purse that now only held my wallet and cellphone and a few random items that managed to survive the spill, onto the snowy ground and lifted my head to meet my enemy. They moved around me like a slow tornado of darkness. As separate entities they appeared like slender gusts of black wind, but united they became a solid wall of evil. Even my keen eye sight could not see through them, or my superheated blood feel anything beyond their oppressive iciness.
I had never seen so many Shadows in one place. I had never even heard of them organizing themselves into a unified attack. They worked separately and secretly; their purpose was to influence mankind, to spread the Darkness like a disease to every corner of this planet, not to outright attack it. The deer had to be them. And even in that instance, their work was not so much of a surprise. But surrounding me now was something so unheard of that I was more taken aback than actually frightened.
The wall of Darkness moved against me, tightening its spaces and obviously trying to be threatening. I remained frozen, unwilling to reveal my identity even in this frontal attack. I wished more than anything that my parents were here, on planet and nearby, but this was a battle I alone would have to fight or figure out how to outmaneuver.
One Shadow broke free from the wall and moved against me in an aggressive sweep. It sliced against my thigh before I could react, tearing my jeans where it made contact. My skin burned from the unreal cold that I could feel even in my bones. The slash spread out its icy tendrils across my leg and moved upward throughout my body in scary quickness. I felt my lungs tighten against the strain of the cold and my appendages go numb from contact. My first instinct was to cry out in pain, but I bit my cheek, willing myself quiet and for the first time thankful that my lungs held no air to expel.
I couldn’t see beneath my layers of clothes, but I had been educated enough to know that my skin would be marked with the deathly blue lines that looked like raised, swollen veins from my skin and spread out in fingerlike vines until every inch of my body was covered in them. It was at that point, when the frozen effect of contact with the Darkness covered every inch of my body that a human would breathe their last painful, staggered breath and depart from this world. It would take less than thirty seconds, but in that time was more pain and suffering than should ever accompany a soul on their way to the afterlife.
The smell of sulfur burned my nostrils and made my ears ring from the pain of it. I wasn’t human. And I wouldn’t die from this contact. But I felt it more strongly than any human ever could. This touch, this evil, was in direct opposition to everything I was. As dark and evil as the Shadows were, I was light and goodness. As painful as their touch could be, mine was healing and soothing.
I made a split second decision, putting the pain aside; I decided, rationally, that I couldn’t stay out of this fight. The wall of Darkness surrounding me was waiting for me to die. If I was human, as I had thus far tried to play off, I should be lying on the ground right now, writhing in pain, mere seconds from death. Even as I stood against the agony, I knew they already figured it out.
My parents hadn’t even started with weapons training yet, beyond the casual swing of a sword and so I was left with only one option. Unfortunately it was also the option that would give this Darkness exactly what they were looking for: the answer to my identity.
I was a Star.
And not just any Star. The next Protector of Earth. I was a very important Star.
With swift movements, I unzipped my heavy coat and flung it from my arms. I moved into a battle ready stance and let the warmth, the warmth I had hidden deep inside me, bubble to the surface. My golden toned skin met my internal heat welcomingly and it spread across my body as quickly as a wildfire in a drought, healing my pain and warming me completely. I lifted my head heavenward, and let the light leave my skin and pour outward into the heavy obscurity around me.
I couldn’t help but smile as my true essence found form in the night. I glowed, literally. Blinding, supernatural, burning light radiated around me until my human form was almost completely hidden. Heat and light left me in waves of self-protection, the Darkness desperately fled from my presence and my light that would cause them as much pain as their cold blackness caused me.
The smell of sulfur grew stronger for only a moment as my inner light singed some of the stragglers; they shrieked an ear-piercing sound that rang painfully in my ears. And then they took to the sky in an urgent escape from a battle they were hardly prepared for.
I smiled wider; calling back the blinding light into my body and reducing my essence to a slight outward shimmer. I reached down for my coat and slipped it back on, not bothering with the zipper. I didn’t really need the warmth now; the warmth that lived inside of me was more than enough to keep me warm, but I also didn’t want to attract anymore Shadows.
Even without the Darkness clouding the landscape, with the absence of my supernatural light the night felt extra dark. I couldn’t wait to get home and to bed now that that was all over, but with my car upturned I needed to call Tristan to come get me. He wouldn’t be happy about me dragging him out of bed, but his grandmother and my caretaker, Annabelle, couldn’t drive at all, let alone come get me in the middle of the night. He would be even less happy when I offered him very little details about how I flipped my car over in the first place.
Just as I reached for my phone though, a single shot of light came careening through the atmosphere and stopped suddenly somewhere high above me, obscured by the thick cloud cover. I lifted my head, expecting my parents and when the light moved into two separate lights I grew even more hopeful. One light dimmed to nothing though, but stayed elevated, somewhere up in the dark sky. That couldn’t be right. My parents wouldn’t extinguish their light before they reached the ground.
They couldn’t, it wasn’t possible.
The sounds of crashing and metal slicing the air recalled my attention. I squinted my eyes and searched through the heavy gray for some sign of what was happening. The cloud above my head glowed in bursts of brighter light like a terrible and destructive lightning storm and when the sounds of terrified screeching and the horrid smell of sulfur reached my nose I recognized the light as a fellow Warrior.
But it was definitely not my parents.
The sounds of battle continued for several more minutes, as I remained rooted on the ground. I couldn’t join the fight without a weapon and so I was left to assume who was winning by the sounds of weapons meeting targets and the high-pitched wailing of Shadows.
Eventually the battle died down in the heavens and the death toll slowed. I didn’t know what to expect as the light darted in a fast line to my right and then shot from overhead to just a few feet in front of me.
A human would have needed to cover their sensitive eyes from the extraordinary brightness a fellow Star illuminated. But not being human, my eyes were made of the same light and so I just watched on with impatient anticipation to discover who had arrived to clean up my mess.
Out of the light, one figure walked forward, dim and obviously not a Star. When he was close enough that I could determine he was a man, an elderly man with snow white hair and leathered skin, I took a step back, unsure what to make of this gruff human looking person apparently with the ability to fly and see Shadows, making him decidedly not human. I shrunk into my coat, having the forbidding feeling I was about to be reprimanded.
“Stella Day?” He demanded, stepping directly in front of me. I nodded, unexplainably more afraid of him than the entire force of Darkness. “What in this great, dead Universe, do you think you’re doing?”
“Who are you?” I deflected meekly. If he came to fight the Darkness, surely he saw me attacked only minutes ago.
“Does it matter who I am?” the elderly man huffed. “I could just as easily be Lucifer himself or an apparition of Darkness called here by your own stupidity! How could you just reveal yourself like that? You just gave yourself away! After all we’ve worked for, after all the sacrifices that have been made, you just throw it all away because you’re a little inconvenienced one winter night….” He had stopped talking to me, or at least stopped looking at me, in favor of mumbling to himself in an angry, aggressive tone.
“I’m sorry,” I tried again politely, “Who are you?”
“I’m the guy that just saved your life! That’s who!” He turned his attention wholly back on me.
I took an intimidated step back.
“Well, not entirely on your own,” a deep, amused voice behind the elderly man called. “You did have some help.” The light had extinguished itself into its human form, and as the boy stepped around the angry man to smile disarmingly at me, I took another step back but this time more from surprise than anything else. The boy was perfect, physically perfect. He was my age, with disheveled dark hair that curled adorably at the ends. His eyes were a piercing shade of honey that would have glowed without his internal light, as it were though, they pierced through the night and found my eyes with a locking force that took my breath away. His jawline seemed chiseled out of stone and his broad chest still heaved with the exertion of battle.
There was no doubt about it, he was an Angel.
An actual Angel.

Starbright (The Starbright Series #1) by Rachel Higginson

Goodreads Description:

Stella is a Star, sent by a Council of Elders to live on Earth and protect the planet from the Darkness, a terrifying evil that would suck the good from every living thing and leave the planet empty and desolate. She has until her twenty-fifth birthday before the Protectorship becomes hers and Earth is left solely her responsibility.

Stella’s fate goes on fast forward as she struggles to balance the rest of high school with the duties of protecting humanity from the deadliest kind of evil.

With her parents and Seth, the boy intended to be her Counterpart, by her side she faces down demons and fallen angels in an effort to protect the last inhabited planet in the universe.

But evil is not her only enemy. She also fights her future as she tries to decide if she’s willing to give up her human relationships, especially that of her best friend Tristan, in order to save humanity.

Mary's Review:

Rachel Higginson holds a very special place in my Book Nerd Heart.  The reasoning for this is because she is the only author to ever make me love a character, hate that same character and then fall back in love with that exact same character.  This was when I was reading her Star-crossed series.  When she announced Starbright series I was jumping with joy because I knew that it was going to be great!

Best part: The best part of this is book is Rachel Higginson, herself.  No she did not write herself into the book BUT her talent is beyond words! Just when I think I have figured out the story line *BAM* another twist.  I also love how she put in a love triangle: Stella, Seth and Tristan are amazing characters.  (Although, I am #TeamSeth ... just sayin).  Rachel delivers a unique story line about stars, angels and evil.  I love how she twists it all together and it just flows perfect!  I love how Rachel makes it that I really feel what Stella is feeling and I can relate to her.

Not so great: UGH! Even though I love a good love triangle it is so frustrating that Stella is "flip-flop" between Seth and Tristan.  I mean, come on, just pick Seth and all will be great.  With that begin said I do not like Rachel's cliffhangers.  She knows how to leave me frustrated and now I have to wait until Book 2! (I think she does this on purpose!)

Friday, September 21, 2012

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

88 days left until the release of Book 4: Independence 

Currently we are on Chapter 2 of Book 1 Significance: here are the highlights:

I had no idea where I was going but I just needed to get away. -Maggie

It all happened so fast I didn't even get a chance to think.  I just reacted.  I ran forward, grabbed the back of the guy's jacket and pulled him backwards with all my strength just as the truck sped by in front of us.

Aha. So, I was saved by a genius.  This just keeps getting better. --Caleb

Thank you.  If you ever need anything: a new pair Rollerblades, a Popsicle, a kidney, it's yours. --Caleb

It's you.......You're the one......Breath Maggie! --- Caleb

You want to take my significant on a date? ---Caleb

I know there was a lot this time but the chapter was a bit longer.  Caleb *sigh* oh Caleb I love him so much!   So, what did you think of the chapter 2??

Tomorrow will be Chapter 3.

Friday's Fictional Boyfriend: Liam James

Oh Liam James! *sigh* I loved Liam from the moment he graced me in the very first chapter.

Liam was the boy who would come into Amber Walker's bedroom to protect her, every single night.  No, he did not protect her from "monsters" but from something even more dangerous.  

Liam was so protective of Amber (or as he called her, Angel) and would do anything for her.  He made me laugh, made me cry and made the book perfect!

The other thing that I loved about Liam, he is a Hockey player! Oh, I love some hockey players!

If you haven't read this book, I suggest that you do.  Here is my review of the book. Once you start it you will love it and Liam! Just like I do!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

COUNTDOWN To Independence (Significance #4) by Shelly Crane

If you know anything about me, from my reviews, then you know I am the biggest Shelly Crane fan! I am shaking with excitement for Book 4 Independence .  I cannot wait for December 18th for the book to be released.

To try and calm myself, I thought that maybe I should reread the series.  Not like I haven't reread it 10 times already.  Also, I may or may not have parts memorized! So, I thought about a read along but, in truth, that was just too much for me to handle and summarize every chapter.  After debating on what to do I came up with this:

Each day I will post some quotes and/or a passage from each chapter of all 3 books! I will keep it as spoiler free as possible.  If I do post a "spoiler" I will warn you.


Significance: Chapter 1

Kyle: You look like you're in your own little world back there. You ok?

Maggie: Yeah, I'm just ready to be done with this.

Kyle: Come on. It's graduation day.  Shouldn't you be happy? You wanna do something tonight?  My parents are throwing this lousy party for me, but I'm looking for an excuse to leave early.

Maggie:  I don't want to be you excuse, Kyle

*giggle* I love that part!! Anyone else love??

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

"In the sequel to the acclaimed The Girl of Fire and Thorns, a seventeen-year-old princess turned war queen faces sorcery, adventure, untold power, and romance as she fulfills her epic destiny. Elisa is the hero of her country. She led her people to victory against a terrifying enemy, and now she is their queen. But she is only seventeen years old. Her rivals may have simply retreated, choosing stealth over battle. And no one within her court trusts her-except Hector, the commander of the royal guard, and her companions. As the country begins to crumble beneath her and her enemies emerge from the shadows, Elisa will take another journey. With a one-eyed warrior, a loyal friend, an enemy defector, and the man she is falling in love with, Elisa crosses the ocean in search of the perilous, uncharted, and mythical source of the Godstone's power. That is not all she finds. A breathtaking, romantic, and dangerous second volume in the Fire and Thorns trilogy. (Goodreads Summary)

Flo's Review

WOW, this book! This was one that I had to sit on for a day or two before I could decide what I wanted to write in the review. The journey to the The Crown started for me a few weeks ago when, in one day, I entered FOUR contests to try to win a copy. Yes -- I really wanted to read it! Even Rae Carson, the author, tweeted me good luck on my endeavor. Because we are are an awesome community of YA book bloggers, Kate over at Ex Libris saw my toils and offered to travel her copy to me. THANK YOU, KATE! Go check out her blog, too, it's really cool.

But back to this book. If you remember, I loved the first book in this series, The Girl of Fire and Thorns. What I loved most about it was that Carson doesn't shy away from writing an honest, gritty war story. The Crown of Embers continues in this same vein. It's a war story. Yes, with all sorts of elements -- faith, sorcery, romance -- but at its heart, it's about a young queen and the choices she has to make for herself and her land.

Let's go back to the romance, though, because you know I'm a sucker for it! The romantic tension in this book? Soo palpable! It was fantastic and definitely one of the best parts of the book. Like with Fire and Thorns, there were a moment where I said to myself, "Wait...did that just happen??" I admit that for some of the first part of the book I was just kind of pushing through, but by the end I couldn't put it down...and I didn't. I stayed up til 2:30 a.m. with this one.

I loved how Elisa brought it all together at the end, setting it up for the final book in the trilogy The Bitter Kingdom

Cover Reveal: Perchance by Lila Felix

The amazing Lila Felix has already proven herself with her debut book Emerge; however, she already has a second book set to come up around October 20th! This is not a continuation of Emerge, but none the less I am jumping up and down for it!  Lila is an outstanding author and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us this round!

So without further ado:

Perchance by Lila Felix

Be sure to mark it "TO-READ" on Goodreads: Click HERE

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Beyond the Veil (The Grey Wolves #5) by Quinn Loftis

Goodreads description:

Though the Serbian pack has been brought to heel thanks to the downfall of their Alpha, the war is far from over.
Desdemona, a witch of unfathomable power, has escaped the wolves’ wrath, but she will not go quietly into the night. She takes refuge in a place where even the smallest sliver of light does not dare to enter. Though she had to flee, she has not given up on the treasure she wishes to acquire. Her depravity knows no bounds; she's even willing to search for the one who can assist her in opening a Veil that has not been opened in millennia – with good reason: the danger is incalculable.

Meanwhile, there are major changes rippling through the Romanian Grey wolves. Decebel has become Alpha to the Serbian pack in an effort to begin to unite the Canis lupis species. Their numbers are dwindling in the wake of the shortage of true mates and lack of offspring. The wolves are beginning to lose faith and darkness seems to be crashing in on them from all sides. But the winds of change are blowing, changes that will alter the future of not only the Canis lupis, but of another ancient race as well.
Amidst all of this, Sally is continuing to come to terms with her relationship with the playful, charming, flirty, unbelievably handsome bartender – who happens to be a member of the Romanian pack.
If all that weren’t enough, the Fates have decided to pay a little visit to Jen. It’s time to collect. She cheated the Fates of a life, her life. Now they want what they are due. The problem? It’s more than Jen is willing to pay.
Yes, the war is indeed far from over. Bargains will be struck, declarations will be made, sacrifices will be given, love will be tested, and trust will be questioned as evil makes its stand against them all.

Mary's Review:

First, I need to thank Quinn Loftis for the ARC of this book.  When I got the email I held my Kindle to my chest and jumped up and down screaming like a little girl! (Don't believe me: ask my husband)  I have loved The Grey Wolves Series since the very first word of the very first book.  Quinn is an amazing author and person! I received the email around 10 pm last night and started the book right away and finished about 2:30 am.  I could NOT put it down!

Best Parts: *sigh* Decebel and Jennifer will be my favorites of this series and even though this is mainly Sally's story these two swoop right in and "steal" the scene for me.  I still consider Jennifer to be the funniest character ever written!  However, Sally, Costin, Fane and Jacque truly complete the circle of friendship.  I love how Quinn makes their personalities, crazy statements, love and protection all fit together.  It is perfect.  I also love the new characters and the old ones that are brought into the story.  The twist and turns in this book is amazing!! I loved everyone, even the ones that made me cry!

Not so great: I am going to be so honest, I can even feel the tears welling up in my eyes right now as I type this.  I love Quinn, this is true, BUT this lady knows how to rip out my heart, stomp on it, then shove it back into my chest and then just ends the book! O.  M.  G!! I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers and Quinn is the Queen of them for this series.

This book will not be released until September 30th and I cannot wait for my Pack Mates, @AuthQuinnLoftis ,@Camelott77, @CandaceSelph, @HANNAHLCHURCH, @kvsgrimes,  @ShelleyCarman and @QuinnLoftisFans on Twitter to read this because by far this is the best of the series! Again, I want to thank Quinn and I will be counting down the days until Book 6!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday's Fictional Boyfriend: William Hayward

Mary's Fictional Boyfriend

William Hayward.  The name itself sounds strong and appealing!  I have loved William since his first graced the pages of Nicole Williams' Eternal Eden series.

William was like no other character.  Not only was he strong, good looking but he loved Bryn for so very long and waited for her no matter what.  He loved his brother and family beyond words and would do anything for them.

Throughout the series William just got better with each turn of the page.  I am so glad that he came into my life!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cover Reveal: Building From Ashes by Elizabeth Hunter

I loved ALL of Elizabeth Hunter's Elemental Mysteries and so excited about her soon to be release Building From Ashes (Elemental World). This book is set to be release on October 23rd, 2012.

Wondering about what the book is about:


For a thousand years, powerful earth vampire Carwyn ap Bryn has served others. God. His family. His friends. But tragedy and loss disrupt his peaceful existence, causing him to question everything he has committed his eternity to.
Brigid Connor has known about vampires since they rescued her from a painful childhood. But not even their vast elemental power can save her from the demons that torment her.
As loyalties are tested and new paths are forged, a lurking danger slowly grows in the Elemental World. Carwyn and Brigid will learn that even secrets revealed can come back to haunt you when you least expect it.

Without further ado the cover of Building From Ashes:

Along with that amazing, beautiful and stunning cover Elizabeth Hunter has attached a Excerpt.


She focused on the flames as the dog’s excited barks grew. Soon, he was circling a rise in the hill, jumping and dancing in the moonlight.
“Madoc?” What was he on about? He never reacted like this when Tavish was approaching. “What is it, you mad beast?”
The fire drifted away, and Brigid’s heart began to pick up a slow beat as she saw the ground shift under Madoc’s feet. What the—
The ground burst open with a shout as Madoc pounced. Brigid ran over, her arms lit, ready to burn whatever had attacked her dog. She immediately halted when she heard the familiar laugh and the loud voice.
“I heard you barking from twenty feet below, you mad hound! Haven’t you ever heard of the element of surprise? I’ll not be taking you on any missions of stealth, you can be sure of that.”
His dark red hair was flaked with dirt, and his skin was black with mud, but when Carwyn turned to her, there was no mistaking his vivid blue eyes. She broke into a smile just as he rose to his feet. She started toward him, but he only held up a finger.
“One moment,” he said with a grin. Then he stripped off his shirt, tossed it onto grass and dove into the water with glee. Madoc barked along the edge of the lake, waiting for his master to emerge.
He was back.
Her heart was racing now. Did he remember it had been a year? Did he come back for her?
She banished the thought from her mind. Of course he didn’t come back for her. Not like that. He was watching out for her. Like… a priest. Or a friend. Which he was. A priest. A friendly priest.
Then he rose from the lake, the water scattering from his arms as he pushed back his unruly wet hair. Rivulets ran over the dark freckles on his shoulders and down his torso. Thick muscles flexed as the cool moon reflected off the solid planes of his chest. Dark red hair ran in a line down his flat stomach and into dripping wet trousers that covered his hips and muscular legs. Brigid was struck again by his size. Carwyn was enormous. Tall as a small tree and solid as the earth he controlled. He should have been intimidating. But he wasn’t.
He was back.
Damn it. 
Priest! Her mind yelled. But Father Jacob didn’t look anything like that. Had Carwyn always had so many muscles? There seemed to be more than the last time she had seen him. Did that happen with vampires? Had he been… working out? He strode toward her with a smile. 
“Surprised to see me? Despite this mutt’s warning?”
“Um…” Wasn’t there some rule that priests had to be thin and academic?
Or fat and jolly? Safe and approachable?
Carwyn was standing in front of her. “Are you all right?”
“I’m… fine!” she squeaked.
“Are you sure? Sorry I gave you a start.”
She squeezed her eyes shut. Father Carwyn ap Bryn was approachable, all right, but not for any reasons the pope would approve of.

Cannot wait for the release of this book!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Empty Net (Assassins #3) by Toni Aleo

Goodreads description:

Definition of an Empty Net: When a team pulls the goalie for an extra attacker, desperately seeking a goal.

Audrey Parker was in a horrible place.
She hated her job, her sister was getting married and moving out, but worst of all, she was in love with a total jerk. No matter what she did, every guy she met hurt her. All she wanted was her happily ever after. Her Prince Charming. Her Lucas Brooks! She didn’t know how to change her life but she knew she needed too.
Feeling like she was about to hit rock bottom, Audrey wakes up next to Tate Odder.

Tate Odder had lost everything.
After being brought up from the Assassins’ farm team, the Florida Rays to the Nashville Assassins, Tate hopes he’ll forget everything he has lost. He doesn’t. Each day gets harder to live in a place he doesn’t know. Even being the first rookie goalie to shut out an opposing team three times during the Lord Stanley Cup Finals, he still felt empty. With the loss of his parents and sister still heavy on his heart, Tate isn’t sure how to live like everything is okay.

But when he wakes up beside Audrey Parker, things start to change. She turns his life upside down with her kooky sense of humor and her bright clothing. She is intelligent and beautiful, and for once, he doesn’t feel empty.
Will Audrey be the person to fill the holes in Tate’s heart, making him whole again?
Or will another player ruin everything, leaving him feeling forever like an empty net?

Mary's Review:

Mandy I Read Indie again did not disappoint when she told me this was the best of the series (thus far).

Again, there is adult content in this book.

Best part of the book:  Tate Oooooodder.  Yes, oh yes, Mr. Sweden is beyond perfect for Audrey.  I love every interaction, word and "moves" that Tate does throughout this book!  I love how (even though he is 21) he is very mature.  My heart broke for him when I learned about his past and cheered for him when he was on the ice!  I loved Audrey.  Even with all her insecurities and doubts she was really "grew" throughout this book.  I loved it!

Not so great about book:  I was warned that I would need tissues while reading this book.  (Everyone knows I am a crier).  Even though I did shed tears throughout this book, both happy and sad, this was nothing that was wrong with this book! I will be rereading this again and again!

I cannot wait for what is in store from Toni Aleo.  Trust me I will be reading more of her books!