Friday, May 30, 2014

Review: Push by Eve Silver

Push by Eve Silver
Publisher-Katherine Tegen Books
Released- June 10th 2014
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

It’s either break the rules or die.Miki Jones lives her life by her own strict set of rules, to keep control, to keep the gray fog of grief at bay. Then she’s pulled into the Game, where she—and her team—will die unless she follows a new set of rules: those set by the mysterious Committee.But rules don’t mean answers, and without answers, it’s hard to trust. People are dying. The rules are unraveling. And Miki knows she’s being watched, uncertain if it’s the Drau or someone—something—else. Forced to make impossible choices and battling to save those she loves, Miki begins to see the Committee in a glaring new light.And then the Game crosses a new boundary, pushes harder into Miki’s and her friends’ lives, and there’s nothing in the rules that can save them now.
My Thoughts: 
What an amazing world! I really just love Silver's writing style. From minute one I found myself sucked back into all the emotions and all the action and intrigued this book has to offer. It's absolutely compelling, adding and exhilarating and still every bit the refreshing and unique escape I found in the first book.
While Push may be a little bit tamed down compared to Rush, I still really enjoyed the direction Silver took with this sequel. There isn't anything I love more then  heart pulsing action and characters who can kick some serious ass, but it was really great to be able to relate to Miki on a different level. She literally gets thrown into the games in Rush so fast that I felt I only got to know her in the 'virtual world', but in Push I was able to see her connections between her dad and her friends and what it's like for her in the 'real world'. I also absolutely loved that we got to see the romance develop between Miki and Jackson and that it wasn't pushed aside while the action takes the lead. I believe in a healthy balance in books and Silver give us a great dose of both. Those were probably my favorite moments. The sweet and adorable way Jackson and Miki were together. They give the readers something to hope for and make all the fighting worth fighting for. But never fear, fans of this series shouldn't worry that it was tamed down to much, there is still a helluva lot of action and excitement as we are once again thrown back into the virtual games, but this time Miki, Luka, Jackson and the rest of the team are fighting more then just the Drau who are threatening the world with total disaster. The Committee seems to be  a pretty big question mark at this point and I'm fascinated to see how this all plays out, specially with the last minute twist at the end pertaining to Jackson's sister, Lizzie. Gasping stuff my friends!
I really adored all of these characters. They are warm and witty and have some of the greatest chemistry, on and off the battle field. Miki has always been a fiercely determined and independent character and I feel that I got to know the reasons why better. I love her strength, level headedness and her beautiful heart. But I think it was Jackson who really threw me for a loop here. I'm so use to seeing Jackson in commando-mode. The ever demanding, in control and self-assured leader that he was born to be. But in this book we got to see a more playful and fun loving side to Jackson that was a complete joy and treat. The things he would do and say really made me look at him differently. More like a person with a real life then the solider on missions making sure everyone survives. I also adored Luka and thought he was a major supporting character that I can depend on to make me smile while Carly is the best friend every girl needs.
All in all, Push was such an excellent sequel! I loved the fast-paced-in-your-face rush, the incredible writing that leaps off the pages and the amazing cast of characters that demand you to feel. This still holds the 'most unique' series in my books and I'm really enjoying where Silver is taking things and simply can't wait to see where she takes it next. An addicting read! More!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                4 Snowflakes 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blog Tour: Hexed by Michelle Krys

Today on WinterHaven Books we are participating in the blog tour for Hexed by Michelle Krys!

Hexed (Hexed, #1)Hexed by Michelle Krys
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 10th, 2014
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.

My Thoughts: 
Indigo Blackwood seemed like she had it made. She's smart, beautiful, dating the captain of the football team and cheer-leads with her best friend since grade school. Sure, her mom's a bit eccentric with all her witch-talk, but she has social status so who cares. On the way to the Black Cat, where she works in her mothers store, out of no where Indie and Paige witness a guy fall from who knows where and dies right before their eyes. But before a shocked Indie gets back into her car she grabs the rumpled paper the guy was carrying and when she looked to see what was on it stunned her even more. It's the address to her mom's store. Indie may thought she had it made, but things are about to get crazy.
Ha! This book was a hoot! Great witty characters, sharp writing and a storyline that is non-stop action and intrigue! Fun fun fun!
For those of you who knows me, know I love my witch books and this my friends is the good stuff. Here we are faced with a centuries-old enemies, The Family who are witches and warlocks and the Priory who are sorceress. The Family is in charge of preserving and enforcing their race and protect their most treasured relic, The Witch Hunters Bible, but The Priory will stop at nothing to steal it for themselves, for it contains a spell that will gain them the magic they desperately crave. And well, our poor Indigo is stuck in the middle of this unflinching war as well as tries to come to terms that her boyfriend and best friend are sleaze and she just may have magic in her blood after all. Somehow she needs to find way to stop the Priory with her new-found friends and talent.
I really enjoyed Michelle Krys' writing! It's very addicting and a breeze to connect with. I loved the witty-ass laugh-out-loud dialogue. It's always great when a book can make me smile, but I'm not an easy laughter, so this was a real treat. The flavor of the book was also pretty awesome. It's fast paced, action packed, and filled with all those creative and imaginative elements that comes with magic. I also loved that there was enough humor to make it feel laid back but still intense enough to impact us during the more serious and sad moments. Great writing!
I really had a lot of fun with all of these characters. They were well developed and showed great personal growth and struggle.
Indie is pretty kickass character, she's sassy, cunning and brave,  but she wasn't always easy to like, or well not at first. She's torn between being her own person and staying between the lines of popular social-behaviours. I didn't care for how she treated Paige or how she holds back from really saying what she wants, but once Indie hits a turning point there really is no looking back and I'm glad she owned up to her faults and flaws and became a different person.
Paige was totally great from the start. She's not afraid to put herself out there or be rejected. She's loyal, caring and the perfect friend.
Bishop was a freaken blast. He's such a brat in that infuriating playful cocky way that you want to slap or hug given the moment. He provided most of the comedy throughout the story and I absolutely devoured those bantering moments and sarcastic charm.
As for the baddies, well, they all played there parts well. Cold, unforgiving and completely easy to hate.  
I thoroughly enjoyed the romance, it was light, gradual and steamy. Great chemistry filled with humorous tension.
I also really enjoyed the ending. We get a bit of a cliffy but it's enough to make me have grabby hands for the next installment.
All in all, Hexed turned out to be a fun filled entertaining escape that has everything I like in my magical paranormal reads. The pace and flow of the story was pitch perfect, there was never a dull moment and all of these characters will have you invested from minute one till it's gripping conclusion. A solid read!
                                                                          4 Snowflakes

Find the Author:

Friday, May 23, 2014

Interview: Sarah Beth Durst, author of The Lost

Today on WinterHaven Books we have the sensational Sarah Beth Durst with us! She has stopped by to answer some of are questions and talk about her new book, The Lost!
Welcome Sarah!

1)To write such imaginative and creative stories must go through a process. Do you have any writing rituals that gets you into the zone?

I wish I did something quirky and awesome like repeat a mantra in Elvish or spin three times widdershins before every chapter.  But really, I just sit down at my desk, open a Word file, and remind myself not to spend too much time on Twitter.

Sometimes I listen to music that reminds me of the book.  (For THE LOST, I often listened to "Hotel California" by the Eagles -- it captures the mood of the book perfectly.  Both are about a place that you can enter but can't leave.)

In general, I try to write whether I'm in the zone or not.  The muse is much more likely to show up if you're already at your desk writing.

2)The Lost is your first adult book and a planned trilogy. How different was it to write for adults compared to YA? And what made you want to do this as a series?

The trick is to see the story through the eyes of your protagonist.  If your protagonist is sixteen, the book will come out as YA.  If she's twenty-seven, it will come out as adult.

I originally pictured THE LOST as a standalone, but my editor and I realized very early in the process (before the first draft was written) that there was more story to tell and more world to explore.  Now, I can't imagine it ever being one book.
THE LOST focuses on the town of Lost, which is filled with only lost things and lost people.  THE MISSING and THE FOUND expand far beyond the town and deal with Lauren discovering her destiny.

3)The Lost sounds like a very mysterious, dark and unique escape compared to your other books. What inspired the idea of a world filled with lost things?

It was inspired by...  Okay, I have no idea.  Most likely it was originally inspired by people joking about lost socks and so forth.  But I can't pinpoint the exact origin or the exact moment that I knew I wanted to write about it.  It crept up on me.  Ideas do that sometimes.

Once I seized the idea, though, I ran with it, taking it to the extreme and then twirling it around to see what it would be like to really live in a town filled with lost things and only lost things.  (For example, fresh food is difficult to find.  You have to scavenge meals from lost crackers and half-eaten apples.  Socks are plentiful, but nice, clean clothes are rare.)

4)You've written so many amazing characters. What is your favorite book that you've written and do you have a favorite character amongst your fictional children?

Oh, don't ask me to choose between my children!  I love them all!

INTO THE WILD (which was about fairy tale characters in my hometown) was my very first published novel so that makes it special to me.  ICE (basically Beauty and the Beast meets Arctic adventure) is close to my heart because I wrote it for my husband.  DRINK, SLAY, LOVE (vampire girl and were-unicorn) was the most fun to write.  And THE LOST is my newest...

I do especially love Claire, one of the characters in THE LOST.  She's a six year old girl who is fond of teddy bears and knives.  She saves Lauren from an angry mob by blithely walking through the crowd, taking Lauren's hand, and walking calmly out again.

5)My favorite thing about reading your books is that you’re not afraid to tackle different genres. Is there a particular genre that you wouldn't ever consider and what genre would you want to tackle next?

I love fantasy.  All fantasy: magic realism (like THE LOST), epic fantasy (like VESSEL), paranormal psychological thrillers (like CONJURED), fractured fairy tales (like INTO THE WILD).  So long as there's something impossible, something magical, something wondrous, then I'm in.

For me, fantasy is a literature of empowerment and hope.  It has the power to restore your sense of wonder.  And the power to take you away from whatever is hurting you, at least for a little while.  That's why I love reading it and why I love writing it.

I think it's extremely important to write what you love to read.

6)Your next book, Chasing Power comes out in October. The thought of having supernatural abilities has always completely fascinated me. So I have to ask, if you could have one super power, what would be and why?

I wrote CHASING POWER because I want to have telekinesis.  And it was immensely fun to write for that reason.  It's basically an Indiana Jones kind of fantasy adventure but starring a girl who can move things with her mind.  Given a choice of your standard superpowers, I think I'd have to go with that.
Thanks so much for interviewing me!

Your very welcome Sarah, thanks so much for stopping by!

The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst 
Publisher-Harlequin MIRA
Released- May 27th 2014
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

Brilliantly riveting. * Thought-provoking and stirring. ** Award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst has been praised for her captivating novels that merge the darkly imagined with very real themes of self-discovery and destiny. In The Lost, we'll discover just what it means to lose one's way.It was only meant to be a brief detour. But then Lauren finds herself trapped in a town called Lost on the edge of a desert, filled with things abandoned, broken and thrown away. And when she tries to escape, impassible dust storms and something unexplainable lead her back to Lost again and again. The residents she meets there tell her she's going to have to figure out just what she's missing, and what she's running from, before she can leave. So now Lauren's on a new search for a purpose and a destiny. And maybe, just maybe, she'll be found.Against the backdrop of this desolate and mystical town, Sarah Beth Durst writes an arresting, fantastical novel of one woman's impossible journey and her quest to find her fate.
Sarah Beth Durst
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of seven fantasy novels for teens. Her latest, Conjured, came out in September 2013 from Bloomsbury/Walker. Prior to that, she released VesselDrink Slay Love,Enchanted Ivy, and Ice from Simon & Schuster, as well as Into the Wild and its sequel Out of the Wildfrom Penguin. Her first book for adults, The Lost, comes out in June 2014 from Harlequin/Mira. She was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA's Andre Norton Award three times. Sarah has been writing fantasy stories since she was ten years old and holds an English degree from Princeton University, where she spent four years writing about dragons and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. She lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
Publisher-Katherine Tegen Books
Released- June 17th 2014
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

When the picture tells the story…SeniorF year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when art is truer than life, and how falling in love is easy, except when it’s not. Fan Art explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our worst fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most.
My Thoughts: 
Jamie Peterson has it made. College is all set, he's got a great family, great friends and while he doesn't have a date to the prom yet, that's not really the problem. Jamie has a secret, but he's only keeping it from his best friend, Mason. See, Jamie is gay and he just started to realize that he might be in love with his best friend.

Daww, this was really so sweet. Fan Art is the kind of story you just want to hug. It's a story about struggling with your feelings and fear of rejection but it's also about finding the courage to be honest no matter what.
Jamie has a great voice. His conflicts and struggles felt very realistic and I could understand the reason he didn't want Mason to know the truth. Fear does crazy things to the heart and I get that Jamie wasn't ready to potentially lose his best friend. I loved his family! His sisters were precious and his parents are so supportive and amazing and I love how proud of him they were for 'coming out'. I also thought it was really sweet the girls in his art class were so determined to see Jamie happy, even if it did seem like they went to far. The poems and the comic-strip art was a great touch to the story but my favorite moments was the connection between Jamie and Mason. You could tell they both seemed to be into each other but the complications of doubts and fears always seems to win out over being upfront and honest, till that moment where you just know your ready to lay it out there and see where it goes. Mason was a really sweetheart and I loved the subtle little things he would do or say to open Jamie's eyes. The writing was a bit abrupt and scattered at times and I wish some of the story would have been played out for us instead of told to us, but I still enjoyed Sarah Tregay overall style.

All in all, I thought this was just adorable. It's a feel good read that made me smile and made me feel all warm inside, and really, what more can I ask for in an escape? Well done!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                 3.5 Snowflakes

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Interview & Review: The Recruit by Fiona Palmer

Today on WinterHaven Books we have the amazing Fiona Palmer with us!  She has stopped by to answer some of my questions and I can't be more thankful!  I also have my review to share with you

Welcome Fiona!
1. I really enjoyed the whole super spy aspect of The Recruit, how did you come up with the idea?
Well it was a mix of everything. I really enjoy shows like Alias, Covert Affairs etc and I’ve always loved a strong girl who can fight. So I mixed that together with my local city Perth and other things which I thought would work, like ‘The Ring’ and her two friends. In a way I was just writing something I wanted to read. And there are still lots of spy shows on TV right now like The Americans and Intelligence.
2. Who is your favorite character and why?
Jaz!! I love Ryan but I would kill to be Jaz. (She gets to cozy up to Ryan!) To be able to know how to fight and to have such a fit body, she really is someone I wish I could have been. She’s not afraid of what people think, unless its her loved ones and she wants to do the right thing. And I would love to have hard abs.
3. What was your favorite scene to write and why?
When Jaz if fighting off the gang and Ryan comes to her rescue. He takes her home and sews her cut up, while shirtless. I would be distracted from the pain with his scars and tattoo’s too.
4. I think Jasmine was an amazing character, is she based on anyone you know?
She’s really just a mix of all those remarkable characters I love who can fight and take care of themselves, all while looking amazing.
5. Can you give us any details on the sequel to The Recruit?  There has to be a sequel it just can't end that way!!
Yes, we have Jaz with her first undercover mission. Getting close to Marcus, an 18 year old who’s father is a suspected drug supplier. Jaz also helps Ryan on a mission to Pakistan, which turns bad. Also Taylor and Anna play some important parts.
6. Do you have any writing rituals?
I try to stick to writing so many words a week, but sometimes life gets in the road and before I know it a month has gone by and I haven’t written anything. But once I start and do stick to my 10k words a week, then all is fine. I write after the kids go to school and the housework is done.
Fiona thank you so much for stopping by!
The RecruitThe Recruit by Fiona Palmer
Release Date: May 2014
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
From one of Australia’s Queens of Romance comes the debut in a brand new YA series about secrets, strengths, and what lies beneath the surface.

Jasmine Thomas may not be completely normal, but she’s a pretty typical seventeen-year-old girl. She hates the rich mean kids, loves her best friends, and can’t wait to get out of school each day. Her spare time is spent at The Ring — a boxing gym where she practically grew up — learning karate, boxing and street fighting. So, yeah, Jaz can kick some major butt.

Life seems pretty normal until the day Ryan Fletcher enters her gym…mysterious and hot with heaps of bad boy charm. Sure, she checks him out. Who wouldn’t? But what doesn’t show on his gorgeous abs are secrets and lies that dominate his very grown-up world. Now Jaz has to figure out just how far she is willing to go to know more. Could Ryan really be offering the life-fulfilling life path she’s always dreamed of?
My Thoughts:
The Recruit is one of those rare books that will stay with me even after reading 100 others.  I usually have to refresh myself with a series if I haven't read it in a long time, but I can guarantee that when I read the sequel to this the story will still be fresh in my mind.  
I love books with strong female characters and Jaz is right at the top of my list along side Katniss!  I mean come on she spends her time at a boxing ring and can pretty much whip any guys bookies.  She wasn't too tough though which I liked.  She was vulnerable and she let it show when she needed to.  This showed me she had other sides to herself that every character needs.  If she was too tough and knew it she wouldn't ever ask for help and that always frustrates me.  Jaz had several hard decisions to make and she asked for help!  Loved that she did that!
The story honestly is one of my favorite ones I have read this year.  The whole spy/assassin thing has always been a favorite of mine and I am giddy that I have another one to add to my collection.  I liked that the author chose to go a different route with the love triangle too.  I was terrified that there was going to be one but well you have to read it to find out what happens but I for one am a very happy camper!
This story does stand out among my other ones though for several reasons and I have a feeling the series will be going on my favorite shelf soon.  If you are looking for a great spy book then please pick this one up. I promise you won't be sorry!
4 Snowflakes

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer


by Sarah Strohmeyer
Publisher-Balzer + Bray
Released- May 13th 2013
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.
My Thoughts: 
Already thought of as a freak for living in a funeral home and dressing up in Goth that would make Morticia Addams proud, Lily Graves isn't exactly the most popular girl in school, but it makes things so much more complicated when Erin, the towns saint thinks that Lily is to blame for Matt breaking up with her and attacks Lilly because of it. But when Erin is found dead the next day it turns out that it wasn't suicide that killed her, but murder and Matt and Lily are the main suspects.
You know, I never really expected to enjoy The Secrets of Lily Graves the way I did. It surprised me in the best way possible which is always a huge plus in my book.
In a way this is pretty much your standard whodunit mystery. Conflict happens, someone dies, someone gets blamed for it and then we try to figure out who did it and why, but that's the beauty of these kind of books, when done right, it's challenging, it's consuming and it's dame fun trying to solve the case before you hit the last page.
This would be my first book by Sarah Strohmeyer, but it wont be my last, I really enjoyed her sharp take on this genre. It was clever, calculating and very unpredictable and had me on my toes trying to guess who the culprit was throughout the story but was mighty shocked once we found out who it was and why.
But what I found so interesting about this particular mystery was the way Strohmeyer took her time and gave the readers a good look into the entire situation before the death and after. The beginning felt like the calm before the storm, nothing seemed to stand out and it never felt dire or intense, but once we hit a turning point in the plot, it instantly changes the tone of the entire story making it intriguing and suspenseful. I also loved the fact that I could never quite grasp who the murderer was, it seemed so obvious, but then the author throws in a loop that I nevah saw coming!
I really enjoyed all of these characters. They are all well developed  and played their parts well. Lily's family of female morticians were quirky and caring and brought amusement into the mix. I didn't even seem to mind the mean girls in this one. I mean, I hated how they treated Lily, but I liked that they had a bigger role then just being the spiteful mindless minions we usual find in books.
But it was Lily who was the easiest to connect with and like. She's the kind of girl that owns who she is. She doesn't care what people think of her. She's smart and brave and despite how people treat her she never sinks to their level and tries to help them deal with their loss. I also loved that Matt turned out to be more then your typical jock. He's sweet and funny and protective and yes, adorable.
The romance is on the light side, but given the very busy murder mystery, anything more would have felt rushed or fake. Still, the moments we did get were perfectly wonderful and made my heart happy.
All in all, I had a lot of fun with this book. It has a great blend of mystery and romance with exciting twists and unexpected turns and has a brilliant cloud of doubt lingering throughout the novel. It was exciting and entertaining and even quite disturbing. This is the stuff that makes this escape so fun and I look forward to reading more books by Strohmeyer. Well done!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                               4 Snowflakes

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teaser Tuesday, #66 Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays! Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My Teaser Tuesday is for the following...

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Expected Publication Date: October 14, 2014

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

*Quotes taken from an Advanced Readers Copy. They are subject to change.*

Quotes from ebook pages 100

"I cup my hands over my face and exhale, inhale, exhale again. Just keep breathing. No matter what happens, no matter who turns on me, no matter what pompous swine thinks he has power over me, I am still me. I will always be me."

"He brushes the emotion off his face, one solid sweep of nothing. Hiding it, pushing it away, pretending it doesn't mean anything to him when it should mean everything."

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here if you don’t have a blog Thanks! 

Review: A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn

A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn
Publisher-Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Released- May 6th 2014
Purchase- Amazon / B & N

A stunning debut novel about a girl who is half dragon, half human, and wholly herself.
As the only heir to the throne, Marni should have been surrounded by wealth and privilege, not living in exile-but now the time has come when she must choose between claiming her birthright as princess of a realm whose king wants her dead, and life with the father she has never known: a wild dragon who is sending his magical woods to capture her.Fans of Bitterblue and Seraphina will be captured by A Creature of Moonlight, with its richly layered storytelling and the powerful choices its strong heroine must make.

My Thoughts:
Long ago, a princess of her realm, was lured into the shadowy woods, but unlike most of the girls who venture there, she came back, but she wasn't alone. She was pregnant and the child she carried was presumed to be the dragons daughter. Her brother the prince, could not condone her existence and killed her for her unspeakable crime, but their father, begged his son to spare the child. And so he did. Ever since the day her gramps whisked her away, Marni lives by the borders of the woods in a small hut with her gramps (the former king) and lives a quiet life tending her flowers and being at peace. But as time passes, Marni grows into a beautiful women and the village lords and lads are taking notice. But they are not the only ones. The woods are moving in, silently but forcefully trying to lure Marni back home. An alliance is suggested, for not only is Marni half-human/half-dragon, she is also the only heir to the kingdom. But she is torn as to where her rightful place should be. Is it with her uncle and his court who never wanted her or with the father she's never meet. Marni must choose her own path and her own fate in this magical tale of two worlds pulling her apart, but where does her heart truly belong?

After reading this story, I had very conflicting emotions. A Creatures of Moonlight, is a fantasy fairytale with a very pretty story and is solely about one girls self-journey to find a place in between two worlds, the kingdom and the woods, who both want her for their own selfish gain. The writing is beautifully captured and quite lovely, but it lacked a dire-effect that I crave for this particular genre. That spark, that moment where I'm completely captured and connected into this world and emotionally dedicated with the characters wants and hopes and needs. This book was like a soothing lullaby, quaint, charming and hauntingly beautiful, but it never had any real adventure, suspense, intrigue or even romance, which quite frankly I was expecting given this featured dragons and other mythical creatures, and while they were all stunningly descriptive, It still felt like the story was hidden underneath all the pretty words and any action took a back-seat. I needed something more tangible for that heart-pounding factor and a challenge for my imagination. I was moved by the surroundings, was touched by the sad stories and even lost myself within the dream-like world, but I was never fully affected by Marni's true purpose. Never felt the emotional impact of all that she lost or how alone she felt. I could grasp what she wished for herself and even found the unfairness of her entire situation. After all, she never asked to be an heir or even a dragon's daughter, but in the end it still felt like it was missing something, even though the story comes to a full circle and nothing more could have been resolved.

With that said, I still very much enjoyed this book for what it had to offer. Which was the stunning writing style. This is Rebecca Hahn's debut novel, and you can tell that she was truly born to write. The pacing and flow could have been more even and the plot could have been more exciting, but her words were like reading poetry in motion, especially when describing the whispering woods. Everything was so crisp and alluring and yet you could still feel the dangers and darkness lurking in the same breath. I only wish I could have seen it. I also enjoyed that Marni is extremely strong willed and knows exactly what she's always wanted. She's bitter and jaded but she still held herself with dignity and grace. This was especially noticeable when she dealt with her uncle or Lord Edgar's persistence and then later when she confronts her father. She has fire in her veins and she decides her own fate. I was also glad we got to spend a little time in the woods, the entire story felt like a fairytale, but being in the woods made it feel like fantasy and I couldn't help wish I got to spend more time in that space. It was fantastical and I wanted more.

All in all, I rather enjoyed this book, it may not have been the escape I was expecting, but it still had some moments that left an impression. If I take away anything from this experience it would be Rebecca Hahn's writing. This is definitely one author to look out for and I look forward to reading her next book.

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                               3.5 Snowflakes

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Review: After the End by Amy Plum

After the End  by Amy Plum
Publisher- Harper Teen
Released- May 6th 2014
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.
My Thoughts:
Already a big fan of Amy Plum's Revenant series, I couldn't wait to read her latest project, After the End. Once I read the blurb, I knew that I needed this book in my life, and while I had a couple of tiny issues with it, it still turned out to be a pretty amazing escape.

First off, huge props for this extremely well plotted storyline. I can't say that I've read anything like it before which made it even more thrilling and absorbing to read. When I think of Alaska, I always associate it with the harsh frigid cold, but it's a place I've always been intrigued with. While I do wish we got to spend a little more time in the village and see more about how the clan lived, it turned out not to be relevant to the storyline and Plum still managed to do an incredible job bringing this world to life with her crisp storytelling and refreshing characters.

Well I'm impressed! This book has a lot more to offer then what I originally thought. I don't want to say to much plot-wise since I think other readers will enjoy everything this book has to offer, but I will say that this is more in the fantasy genre with psychic connections then the apocalyptic theme that I was lead to believe. Which isn't a bad thing. It's cleverly deceptive, unpredictable and even shocking and I really loved Plum's concept about Yara and how it ties with spirituality, mother earth and natures goodness. It's a very fitting blend to Juneau's character and what makes her stand-out amongst other fictional characters.
The beginning of the story is absolutely fantastic. We have Juneau in crazed-survival mode trying to figure out what happened to her father, clan and mentor when she discovers that her village has been invaded and her people kidnapped. When she connects with Yara to find them, the riddle-like clues point her to Seattle.
When we meet Miles, he's being expelled from high school just months short of graduating and his chances at Yale are growing slimmer and we soon learn the reason why he's involving himself with tracking down Juneau. And when Juneau and Miles finally do meet up, it's quite amusing to see how these two very different characters clash. the story keeps unfolding on to what feels like a long journey to find Juneau's people, we hit some pockets in the pacing that tended to drag out a little bit to long. Mind you, I was still very much absorbed and invested with the book, but after awhile apart of me was more then ready for some answers. Sadly by the time we get a little information as to what's going on, we're back on the chase moving further from the real truth. It makes the plot gripping, yes, but it also makes it quite maddening to go so far and still be left with doubts and questions on top of a riveting yet evil cliff-hanger of an ending.

There really isn't a whole lot of characters here besides Juneau and Miles, but they both completely owned it and made the entire experience worth the read.
Juneau is a character that simple amazed me. She just found out that her whole life has been a fabricated lie and she feels betrayed angry and hurt. She started to doubt everything she's ever known and I can see why trusting anyone at this point would be difficult. But through it all we watch Juneau and her mystical talents to connect with Yara, Read/Conjure and see her strength, passion and determination  leap right off the pages. She's gotz fight and flare that you can't help cheer for.
Miles on the other hand doesn't have the best intentions when he went looking for a girl with a starburst in one eye, and made it painfully obvious that he thinks Juneau and her crazy delusions are nothing more then the rantings of a hippie-lunatic on the run. I'm not going to lie, Miles disbelief makes him seem like a real ass. His patronizing, flippant and taunting behaviour seemed almost harsh at the time, but in a strange way, it was also pretty reasonable and even expected. If it were me, I'm not sure I'd believe Juneau either. Still, it was pretty easy to fall for Miles right from the start. It was fun being inside his head and I couldn't help myself from laughing during his hysterical moments that ranged from questioning his insanity and fearing for his life. Loved his quick wit and sarcastic comedy.
When together, I felt like this is where Juneau and Miles are the most strongest plot-wise and storytelling. While I do like them individually, they shine more when united. There is really no romance in this installment, but we did get a few moments that were sweet. But who needs romance when the bickering banter, stubborn confidence and playful energy is all we needed for true entertainment. I thoroughly enjoyed watching their quirky partnership that needed the necessary baby steps to be able to connect them on a deeper level. From tolerating, compromise, accepting, admiration, attraction and finally affection, Juneau and Miles were truly undeniable every step of the way.  

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. After the End is a promising start to what I believe will be a stunningly fascinating series. I may have had a couple minor issues, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the experience as a whole. I have a lot of questions and Amy Plum as some 'splainin to do, so I can't wait to get the next installment in my greedy little hands. Smart, unique and compelling. I need more!

Find the author:
Goodreads / Website                                4 Snowflakes