on Feb 29, 2016


Opening of Lost Doors (The Chronicles of Midgard #3)
"In the snow covered mountains, Odin's spear lies within a forgotten slumbering city...Maeja and her crew must find the relics of the gods before the Empire does, but acquiring Odin's spear will be no simple task. First they must escape from the Empire's capital city, then gain entrance into the long forgotten palace of Ostegard deep in the icy mountains. There, Odin's spear remains securely hidden in a dangerous, trap-filled labyrinth beneath the fabled Shrine of Ages. Before the city will wake and yield its gates, Maeja must first prove her worth as a Valkyrie. Only then will she be able to lay her hands upon the spear. With an army of walking corpses ravaging parts of the Midlands and the great serpent Jormungand tormenting the seas, Maeja and crew are running out of time..."
Kindle: http://amzn.com/B01BUPHXXK
Amazon Print: http://amzn.com/1516928865
Nookbook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/opening-of-lost…/1123465582…

B&N Print: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/opening-of-lost…/1123386135…

on Feb 7, 2016
Blurb: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime.

The opportunity to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Genre: Young Adult / Romance

Review: Before about a month ago I had no idea this novel even existed. Then I started doing some monthly challenges on instagram and it seemed as if this novel/series was EVERYWHERE. It would seem nearly everyone has read this novel but me, so on a recent trip to Barnes&Noble I figured I would find out what the big deal was. Long story short, barely halfway through I was already completely obsessed.

The Selection is a grand sweeping romance, familiar yet completely unique. The writing is fast-paced and engaging, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. This story is set in a future after war has destroyed what we know and something strange and new has come forth. 

America is such a great main character. A perfect blend of strength and vulnerability. Honest and brave. She is so easy to relate to, you'll be cheering for her the whole way through. Her relationship with Aspen was pleasantly less hormonal than I anticipated, they love each other earnestly and that was lovely to read. As was her friendship with Maxon, in Pride and Prejudice style fashion, America and Maxon start out on rocky terms, but they soon see the goodness in each other. 

I'll admit the concept is a bit far-fetched but I think that's what makes it so...enchanting. This is the perfect story to read as a vacation from the real world. Cass' entire novel is magical and romantic, encased in a world of dreams and endless possibilities. 

Now if you'll excuse I have to make a trip to Barnes&Noble and purchase the rest of the series ASAP!

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and ardently shipping RumBelle. M lives in Upstate New York and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab

on Feb 6, 2016

The hunt continues for the lost treasures of the gods in the snowy mountains of Midgard.

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on Oct 14, 2015
Blurb: The margrave owns the finest hunting grounds for miles around—and 
Odette Menkels spends her nights poaching his deer to feed the hungry orphans of Thornbeck.
By day, Odette is a simple maiden who teaches children to read, but by night this young beauty
has become the secret lifeline to the poorest of the poor.

For Jorgen Hartman, the margrave's forester, tracking down a poacher is a duty he is all too 
willing to perform. Jorgen inherited his post from the man who raised him. . . a man who was
murdered at the hands of a poacher.

When Jorgen and Odette meet at the Midsummer festival and share a connection
during a dance, neither has any idea that they are already adversaries.

The one mas she wants is bound by duty to capture her; the one woman he loves is his 
cunning target. . . What becomes of a forester who protects a notorious poacher?
What becomes of a poacher when she is finally discovered?

Genre: Historical Fiction / Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Review: Before reading this book I had no idea who Melanie Dickerson was. Shortly after finishing this book I knew I had to find her other books ASAP because her writing is incredible! 

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is an exciting and enchanting tale from start to finish. A beautiful blend of Robin Hood and Swan Lake full of noble characters, a brilliant setting and true love. 

I must embarrasingly admit that I assumed this book was a fantasy based on the title and cover, when its actually historical fiction set in Germany in the year 1363. I still believe this will appeal to fantasy lovers as it does have a unique otherworldly-ness to it. 

Odette is the type of MC I love to read. She is kind and compassionate, spends her time bringing food to starving children. She's an orphan saved from the streets when her Uncle took her in. She wrestles with guilt about the food she steals and wonders if she is doing the right thing. 

Jorgen is a fantastic male lead. He is also famalier with living on the streets and going hungry. Unlike others around he doesn't long for power but to do good work, provide for his adopted family, and to the honor the memory of his dead mentor. 

These two together are one the sweetest couples I have ever read. From the moment they meet they have such respect and admiration for each other. Through lies and many dangers Odette and Jorgen make it through by keeping to what they know is right. 

This was a truly magnificent fairy tale! I look forward to reading more of her books!

Interested in this book?

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She enjoys reading, drinking tea, writing, and dreaming of owning a tiny house. M lives in Upstate New York, and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab :)
on Oct 13, 2015
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Genre(s): Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance / Fairy-tale retellings

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1

Blurb: When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods,
 a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution. Dragged to a treacherous magical land
she knows about only from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

      As Feyre dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility to a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Review: Let me start by stating that I am a fan of Sarah J. Maas. I love the Throne of Glass series (Shout out to Elisabeth Wheatley, I honestly started reading this author because Elisabeth was and I don't regret it) I'm also a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast, the original fairy tale and the Disney version. Seriously Belle is my favorite disney princess. From the huge library in the beautiful gothic castle, to the prince, and the talking dishes, I wanted to be Belle. Anyway you can imagine my excitement when I found out that this re-telling was in the works. So much squealing!

A Court of Thorns and Roses is an exciting, unique fantasy re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. Maas has expertly crafted her own tale while keeping the essence of a beloved story alive within this world she has created. The Fey have claimed most of the island of Prythian for their own leaving the much weaker humans to cling to life in a dying land. The land of the Fey is divided between the different courts each with their own ruling Lord/Lady. I found the Fey to be the most interesting and well thought out part of this novel. Maas writes these otherworldly creatures with great skill. 

Feyre has lead a difficult life, poor and starving she is her familys only means for finding food. She has been hardened by life and isn't very friendly though she does indulge her family. I liked Feyre alright, on occasion (much like Maas' other leading lady, Celaena) Feyre has a tendency to strut right past "I'm a strong independent woman" into "I have a chip on my shoulder and the whole world must suffer along with me because of it" territory. I'm not sure if that makes sense. There's only so much sympathy I have when characters act self destructively. 

High Lord of the fey and Feyres love interest, Tamlin was good, but not as good as he could have been. I feel that the author was holdng back with Tamlin. Trying to balance him being bad, as in scary to Feyre at first, but also have him be good because later on another fey comes into the picture and he fills the role of the "bad boy". So poor Tamlin ends up being sort of ordinary, he does have a somewhat troubled childhood, but really he just sort of hangs around while other much more interesting creatures do things and engage with Feyre. On a side note I really wouldn't mind if Feyre ends up with "bad boy" Rhysand instead of Tamlin. 

What held this back from five stars for me ultimately was the complete lack of chemistry between Feyre and Tamlin. I was not feeling their love story at all. Which sort of breaks the whole fabric of the story itself apart. They hardly spent any time together and then they jump into bed together before Feyre even says she loves him. I know this is YA but do we really have to do the we're-adults-everyone-sleeps-around-and-hates-everyone-thing. Can we pretend that people only have sex when they're in love, and then stay together forever? Do we have to be all cynical and jaded now? Do we really have to read about Feyre and the local farm boy getting busy in the haystacks? I think not. Also the book ends in a way a little over halfway through and then we go to a new place and a new set of circumstances occur. It was very strange. Just a warning for people who don't like multiple endings and that sort of thing.  

In spite of those last points, A Court of Thorns is good read. For fans of Beauty and the Beast its certainly worth giving it a try. 

Interested in this book?

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, gaming, drinking tea, writing, and shopping for fandom merch. M lives in Upstate New York and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab
on Oct 12, 2015
Blurb: Crystal Hatcher and her little sister, Becca, are working in the Speckled Muse, their
mother's downtown Toronto bookstore, when an unexpected parcel arrives. Inside is the object that
will change their lives forever: a large leather-bound book written in an unrecognizable language.
When Becca opens it, she falls into a deep coma that sends her spirit to another world. 

Meanwhile, on the ritzier side of town, Farrell Grayson parties away his parents' fortune.
When the mysterious leader of a powerful secret society invites him to join his inner circle,
Farrell seizes the chance to prove his worth—no matter how much he has to sacrifice.

Worlds away in Mytica, merciless goddess Valoria hunts for the elusive treasure that will make
her ruler not only of her realm, but of all the unseen worlds that lie beyond it. But Valoria's plans
are thwarted when Maddox Corso, a commoner, meets a pretty stranger from a faraway land
who desperately needs his help, Her name is Becca Hatcher, and when Maddox realizes he's
the only one who can see her, their meeting feels like much more than chance.

Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Review: I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up this book. I'm a fan of the Falling Kingdoms series, although I didn't enjoy Gathering Darkness as much as the first two installments.

A Book of Spirits and Thieves dropped me right back in the world of Mytica and reminded me why I love Morgan Rhodes writing.

Well, not at first. Actually the book was quite slow to start, this being my only major problem. If I wasn't already a fan of this author/series I definitely would have stopped reading sometime during those first few chapters. Also the original cover (on the left) is so much better. It fits the story perfectly, unlike most covers. I don't really understand why they changed it. They should have let the cover on the right be for the fifth Falling Kingdoms book or something else.

What a wonderful, intricate plot. And I loved the bookshop, reading about a reader just tends to double the happiness a book brings. Rhodes balances the alternating point-of-vies beautifully. Every character was incredibly unique but they also meshed well together.

Yay, a fellow bookworm. Go, Becca, go! Becca is such a cool character to read about.

Maddox, oh sweetheart. I had so much sympathy for Maddox and he was possibly my favorite character. I love how brave he becomes, and how he and Becca compliment each other so well.

At first I really, really did not like Crystal. I sort of despised her honestly. Mostly due to the fact that she didn't seem to understand the wonder of books. *insert gasp here* Yet she grew on me. Her dedication to finding her sister really impressed me. Plus she kept Farrell constantly on his toes which I loved. 

I strongly disliked Farrell at the beginning. Mostly because I was afraid he would be a one dimensional character; the rich kid who whines about everything but also gets everything he wants. But near the end I truly sympathized for him. He is arrogant and rude, but can be charming and I see good in him and I hope goods things happen to him in the next book.

The ending was crazy! So many twists, so many reveals and surprises. So magical. The wait for the next book is going to seem endless. I highly recommend this book! 

Interested in this book? 

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and ardently shipping RumBelle. M lives in Upstate New York and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab

on Oct 11, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Genre(s): Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance

Series: Storm Siren Trilogy #1

Blurb: As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn't
 merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always 
killed at birth—meaning she shouldn't even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth 
sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym 
is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon 
Faelen needs to win the war or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an
 evil more sinister than she's being prepared to fight. . . not to mention the trainer whose 
dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons. 

But what if she doesn't want to be the weapon they've all been waiting for?

Review: When I stepped into a local bookstore recently I was looking to reconnect with my love of fantasy. I was looking for a truly amazing, sweep-me-away fantasy novel. I found that and much, much more in Storm Siren by Mary Weber. 

This book starts with an exciting premise; a girl with powers that she shouldn't have and can't control is bought by an aristocrat who wants to use her to fight in a war. The story is full of action and adventure. Weber has crafted a beautiful and original fantasy world full of compelling characters.

Nym, the main character is just beyond awesome. Its so refreshing to read about a reluctant hero (they're sort of the best kind). Nym is kind, honest, and earnest. She is so well written, easy to cheer for and a pleasure to read.

Nyms trainer (and love interest) Eogan is absolutely fascinating. He's also my new favorite book crush. He is presented as a gentleman, a trainer trying to escape from his past by helping others reach their full potential. My favorite part of his character was how he believed in Nym, even when she didn't believe in herself.

This book was incredible and I highly recommend it. Now I must go and start the second book IMMEDIATELY.

If you like: Eragon by Christpher Paolini, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas , or
 Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, then you might enjoy this book.

Interesting in this book?

About the author: Mary Weber is a ridiculously uncoordinated girl plotting to take over make-believe worlds through books, handstands, and imaginary throwing knives. In her spare time, she feeds unicorns, sings '80s hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California, which is perfect for stalking LA bands, Joss Whedon, and the ocean.

Upcoming Book Reviews:

1. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest by Melanie Dickerson
2.      A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes
3.    A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
on Oct 10, 2015
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Genre(s): Young Adult / Historical / Science Fiction / Romance

Series: The Madman's Daughter Trilogy Book #3

Blurb: After killing the men who tried to steal her father's research, Juliet—along with Montgomery, Lucy, Balthazar, and a deathly ill Edward—has escaped to a remote estate on the Scottish moors. Owned by the enigmatic Elizabeth von Stein, the mansion is full of mysteries and unexplained oddities: dead bodies in the basement, secret passages, and fortunetellers who seem to know Juliet's secrets. Though it appears to be a safe haven, Juliet fears new dangers may be present within the manor's own walls. 

Then she uncovers the truth about the manor's long history of scientific experimentation—and her own intended role in it—forcing her to determine where the line falls between right and wrong, life and death, magic and science, and promises and secrets. And she must decide if she'll follow her father's dark footsteps of her mother's tragic ones, or whether she'll make her own. 

*This review contains spoilers* Review: I was incredibly excited to read this novel. After I had virtually devoured the first two, I could hardly wait, I started this third and last installment almost immediately after finishing the second. Unfortunately for me I needn't have bothered because this book was a complete and utter disappointment. *insert frown face here*

Actually about a little over halfway through this novel I was fairly pleased. I had some complaints. There were problems. But I was sure they would be fixed. After all, the author who wrote two amazing suspenseful, mysterious books wouldn't suddenly forget how to write a mysterious sci-fi romance, right? Wrong. 

Let me tell you that last third of this book was some of weirdest and worst character deviation, pathetic plot, not mystery, that I have ever read. And it was made only worse by the fact that up till then things had been so good. My expectations were high. This wasn't like reading a semi okay book and then being surprised when it got worse. This beautiful, intelligent, romantic, sci-fi series ended with horrific train wreck of a book. 

The first major nonsense is the reveal that Ajax is alive. I know, its weird. Remember how he ran away from Dr. Moreua and the other island creatures. Remember how he stopped taking treatments because he wanted to regress back into an animal. Apparently he changed his mind and Montgomery found a tiger that had just killed the doctor and decided he needed his help, oh, and then he decided not to tell his fiance about it. Don't worry too much, Ajax isn't here to actually do anything. He just quickly filled in for the role of creep fortune teller, who Juliet doesn't recognize because the plot demands—oh, I mean because she had never seen him as a full human. The stupidity is never ending here folks. Nevertheless the author brings him back for no good reason. 

Despite setting up a romance between Juliet and Edward, the author apparently decided that in this novel they suddenly have no feelings for each other. Yep, the two characters who had sex, and shared an apartment and spent most of the previous novel together now have no interest in each other. Instead Montgomery (who has lied to Juliet more times than I can recall), and Juliet end up together. While Edward is randomly and abruptly head over heels in love with Lucy.  And I have no bleepin' idea why.  Lucy, who is extremely annoying and doesn't really do anything but create more problems for our heroes. A seriously  horrible ending to a fascinating love triangle.

And then Lucy dies, but we cant bring her back to life because that would be unethical...even though they just brought Edward back to life at the beginning of this book. Confused, yet? Yeah, me too. The inconsistency in this book bothered me so much. A number of other characters also die in truly stupid circumstances. 

Ultimately this book reads as if the author simply ran out of ideas. In comparison to the two previous novels which were packed full of mystery, tension, romance, adventure and surprises, this novel was boring, predictable and disappointing. Juliet, the intelligent, kind and endearing lead from before has become stupid and indecisive. The ending was blah, contrary to what was set up everything ends up different, in a bad way.

My advice: leave this book on the shelf. 

A note from the reviewer: Hello, Mab here! Thanks for reading this review:) As you can tell I wasn't a fan of this book but I have two book reviews coming soon and I really loved these novels. Check back soon! 

on Aug 26, 2015

Author Melissa Sasina is looking for book lovers who are also avid bloggers!

Melissa is offering an opportunity for bloggers to be part of her Early Reviewers mailing list. You won't be spammed and will only receive an e-mail when she has Advance Review Copies (ARC's) available, so we’re talking about once a year, if that. By signing up, you will receive free digital ARC copies of all upcoming releases before they are officially released. ARC copies are given away during early stages of editing, so errors will be found occasionally. If you are interested, just fill out the form here.

If you’re a reader who doesn't blog but would love to know about Melissa's new releases, giveaways, or events she's taking part in, you can sign on to her author Newsletter. She only sends out Newsletters when she has new release information or events going on, so no clutter in your inbox (Melissa hates spam and tries not to spam her beloved readers)! Your info will not be sold or used for any purpose but to let you know her latest news. Sign up here.
on Jun 10, 2015


Ever since The White appeared in our valley of Windridge, my people have lived in fear. But today that fear ends. Finally, the King has sent his most elite dragon hunters to kill The White, the last of the imperial dragons.

Since the death of her father, Sienna Foxburn hasn’t felt safe. The White, a fire-breathing imperial dragon, terrorizes the Valley of Windridge with no end in sight. But Sienna isn’t satisfied hiding behind the walls of her keep. She is tired of fearing the dragon, but she can’t fight it alone.
Then a mysterious sorceress and two elite dragon hunters arrive, claiming to be sent by the King. Thus begins the great hunt for The White. Sienna embarks on a dragon-hunting adventure through the exotic Valley of Windridge, all while uncovering secrets and conspiracies that could endanger the entire Kingdom….

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

Today, I have the great honor of reviewing a book from one of our very own! In case the five or so glowy reviews before this had escaped your notice, I am a huge fan of Shreffler’s work (even before I learnt what a lovely lady she is). Her other series, The Cat’s Eye Chronicles, has a coveted seat upon my Shelf of Awesome and when I heard she was working on a book with DRAGONS I went a little spastic. This story manages a huge amount of world building, character building, and emotion in a very short space, something that impressed me greatly even with having read her other pieces. It is a fantastic story, even if it did end in a cliffhanger, and I am very much looking forward to watching the series unfold.

The plot:
Everything happens pretty quickly here, which was a nice change for me after a steady diet of epics lately. The plot progresses with only enough world building and description that is necessary (huge plus). My only question issue with this story was Sienna’s empathy toward the dragons. It’s explained, but I wanted to see just a little more expansion of the thought and feeling processes she went through before getting to that point. However, that was my one and only—I wouldn’t even call it a complaint. More like a side note.

It is mentioned somewhere that this has romantic elements, but I would say the focus here was definitely more on the dragons. (And if you have a problem with that, go away.) The general feelings of the populace toward dragons were displayed and justified well in the beginning, but I still found myself sympathizing with the dragons more than the people (which was probably Shreffler’s scheme).

The characters:
This doesn’t happen especially often, but the heroine was my favorite character. In the beginning, Sienna is going through that whole awkward “on the threshold of adulthood but has no focus” stage that I think most of us go through. That won her huge doses of empathy and she was relatable and human to me, unlike a lot of fantasy heroines that have been cropping up.
Darius, the dragon hunter, has that whole aura of mystery and awesome about him and I have lots of questions about his character. What did he do that got him made a dragon hunter? Who was he before? Like I said, lots of questions for sequels!

Mistress Ash is probably the other main character and also the villain. Everything about her creeped me out from the moment she turned up and it became clear pretty quickly that I was right about here. She was an excellent villain to this story, written to make you hate her and as far as I was concerned, she could join the chopping block queue with Cerastes and Volcrian (references to The Cat’s Eye Chronicles).

The other characters, mainly those from Sienna’s home castle, reacted in understandable ways, but…no, I’m not going to be rooting for them any time soon. On the other hand, I thought they were remarkably developed for such a short span of page time and even Sienna’s mother was portrayed as having sympathetic qualities.

All in all, this was a well-written YA fantasy I would shove in the faces of anyone who likes dragon literature. I enjoyed it greatly, it has been a delight to read, and I am anxiously anticipating the next installment in the series!
Find The White on Goodreads
Find The White on Amazon
Find The White on BN.com
on Apr 1, 2015
Good day, runaway pen readers! Today we have something really awesome to share with you all. *Drum roll* Thorn by Intisar Khanani is on sale for 99 cents. That's right only 99 cents and the proceeds will go toward covering the adoption costs for two children, Evan and Raymond. More info and the links for Thorn can be found below. :) 

Nab Amazon bestselling YA Fantasy novel Thorn by Intisar Khanani for 99 cents April 1- 7 and help bring these two young brothers home. Described as "unflinching and exquisite," Thorn is a story of choice and betrayal, justice and compassion. Recommended for fans of Robin McKinley and Mercedes Lackey.
About Thorn 

For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed. 
 Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future. But powerful men have powerful enemies—and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometimes the hardest choice means learning to trust yourself.
About Evan & Raymond
This sale is also about Intisar's good friend, Jamie, and the two little boys she and her husband are in the process of trying to adopt. Evan (age 7) and Raymond (age 9) are biological brothers, both born with Saethre-Chotzen Syndrome--a condition that results in brain damage if left untreated. They were each given up at birth, and were unable to receive treatment for their condition. These brothers have lived in an orphanage in Eastern Europe their whole lives. As boys who are older and struggle with developmental disabilities, it's almost impossible to find adoptive families for them. But Jamie has her heart set on bringing them home, and this sale is about helping that happen.
All of the proceeds from Thorn's 99 cent sale are going towards that adoption. Our goal is to raise $2,000 over the course of the week. International adoption is prohibitively expensive (often over $20,000), so every dollar makes a difference... You can find out more about the boys and Jamie, and link to their blog, here: http://reecesrainbow.org/83163/sponsorallison-3
And today, your help can make this goal a reality. Please share, tweet, and/or re-blog this post, and buy and give "Thorn" as a gift to friends and family! You can also invite your friends to the "Thorn Flash Sale" event on Facebook. Help us bring Evan and Raymond home.
Thorn is currently on sale for only 99 cents at all of these e-retailers:

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Genre(s): Young Adult / Historical / Science Fiction / Romance

Series: The Madman's Daughter Trilogy Book #2

Blurb: Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now back in London, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau's horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn't forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father's creations may have also made it off the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, thought it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again. 

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive. 

Review: At long last we return to the world of Juliet Moreau, and the experiments that survived and are now in the very heart of thriving society. The energy and tension are kicked up a notch in this captivating sequel. 

In the previous novel the characters were stranded on an island, cut off from the rest of the world as they were, it gave the atmosphere of the book a sort of otherworldy feel to it. In the sequel however we return to bustling London and a seemingly ordinary life for Juliet as she attends garden parties with her new guardian, the kindly old professor, and spends time visiting with her best friend Lucy to discuss Lucy's handsome gentleman callers. Yet at night things are not ordinary for Juliet. Her sickness is growing worse and she's running out of time. 

Just when you think you have the mystery figured out, Megan Shepherd pulls a rabbit from her hat and with excellent skill delivers a twist that you never saw coming. The characters have so many layers and unknown motives. Trust no one. Also, I really love the direction that the author took Edward in, very unexpected but totally right for him. Though the novel has its fare share of villians there are a few friendly and trustworthy faces between these pages. This series is young adult sci-fi romance at its best. A page turner with endless mystery. 

Oh, and these endings will be the death of me. Similar to the first book it's not quite a cliffhanger but still delicious suspense that leaves you begging for the next book.

I don't usually do this but seeing as how there is still so much we don't know and so many loose ends I've decided to make some predictions for the finale. They do contain spoilers for book two though so highlight if you dare.

1. Balthazar survives to the end of the series. I'm not sure why, I just feel that his character has grown in relevance so I think he'll make it.
2. Edward and Montgomery are stitched together, frankenstein's monster style to make one person who ends up with Juliet. This is mostly because many of the love triangles I have read lately had the MC end up with both guys somehow. 
3. I have a feeling that Juliet's father is alive, as well. 

In conclusion Her Dark Curiosity is a deliciously gothic romantic tale full of adventure and excitement and not to be missed.
on Mar 31, 2015
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Genre(s): Young Adult / Romance / Mythology

Series: The Goddess Test Series #3

Blurb: Love or Life. Henry or their child. The end of her family or the end of the world. 
Kate must choose. 

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her-until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible; find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

Review: We finally return to the Goddess Test novels to review the final installment, The Goddess Inheritance. For those who have read my reviews of the previous books you'll know that, for me at least, the series has gone down hill since book one. Nevertheless I was hopeful that this final book would redeem the last two. 

I was wrong.

Let's start with the better aspects of this story first. Aimee Carter should be commended for her concept (however far fetched it may be), her idea is sweet and appealing to younger teens. Many of her characters are faced with tough moral decisions and choose to put others before themselves and make noble sacrifices. I was very impressed by Kate's love and devotion for her child. She shows great motherly instinct and does whatever it takes to keep her child safe.  

Now for the less savory aspects: 

First off the writing is simple, plain, easy to read but ultimately boring, especially if you read mythology/fantasy often. It just pales in comparison to its peers.  

Kate, our main character, is incredibly inconsistent. One minute she's whining about her situation like a spoiled four-year-old, in the next minute she's talking about responsibility and lecturing other characters about their behavior. 

It was very strange how prevalent James was in this novel. I understand that in book one he was written as a "Jacob" to Kate's "Bella". But...uh...we're on book 3 and the fact that James is somehow still in love with his married best friend who is pregnant with the son of his Uncle is just weird, like Renesmee/Jacob levels of weird and creepy. 

The gods in this book are a complete joke. They rarely display any characteristics similar to the myths and when they do, its obvious and is followed by Kate being completely surprised and disgusted by their behaviors. I understand that the gods in Greek and Roman mythology are jerks but one would think that by book three Kate would be a little less shocked. Her naivety is no longer cute. Personally I despise this watered-down, badly renamed version of Greek mythology. The Gods, when thay actually do things are still somehow totally useless. And don't even get me started on the stupid names. Because they are really bad. 

I was left feeling very confused about the "boundaries" of this fantasy. We're told that immortality makes it so you can't feel pain (?) and yet when it was convenient to the plot certain immortal characters were in pain. Did I miss something? Also the logistics of that completely escape me. Why wouldn't you feel pain just because you could live forever. I understand you would probably heal more quickly but the no pain thing was just nonsense. 

This final point might just be a personal pet peeve but I'm going to add it anyway. It drives me mad when the driving force behind the plot of a novel is lack of communication. I understand that could be an issue at certain points of a story, however, when it is overused like this it just feels cheap and pointless. It removes the drama and the reader is left waiting for characters to just have a simple conversation about what's going on. 

I stayed with this series until the end but ultimately it lacks maturity, excitement, consistency and I won't be reading it again. 
on Mar 30, 2015
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Genre(s): Young Adult / Historical / Science Fiction / Romance

Series: The Madman's Daughter Trilogy Book #1

Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London —working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her fathers genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Review: The Madman's Daughter is a unique gothic adventure with breathtaking romance and a terrifying fight for survival on an island gone mad.  

Our heroine, Juliet is alone, possessing an inner strength that has sustained her through her familys fall from society and her mothers death. She is quiet, humble, yet confident and very brave when the situation calls for it. She is also odd, different from most other people, and harbors great fear of descending into the same madness as her father. 

The love triangle in this novel is perfectly executed and oh so romantic. Prepare for much swooning while reading this book. Just for the record I am Team Montgomery. 

Her childhood friend, Montgomery is a seemingly steadfast young man. An orphan who looks to Juliets father, the man who practiacally rasied him, as a parent and sorce of encouragement. Yet his motives remain very mysterious, which only adds to his appeal as a romantic interest. That and the fact that he is clearly in love with Juliet. However he does keep some very important and possibly dangerous secrets. 

Edward is the strange and compelling castaway, I must admit I didn't care for him at first. During the readers initial encounter with him, he is boring and his back story seems achingly predictable. However near the middle of the novel as the truth of how he ended up adrift at sea is revealed my opinion of him shifted. Readers will find him engaging and an appealing enigma.

The other characters are no less intriguing. On this island of misfits Dr. Moreau's experiments worship him as a deity and the doctor relishes being in control of his own little world. He pushes the boundaries of morality and science in his quest to create a better, or even perfect ,being. 

Throughout the story the author teases the reader with the strange behavior and small revelations of some characters, heightening the mystery and excitement. The characters themselves are thoughtful and incredibly complex. No one is who they say they are, or even who they think they are. 

The best part of this novel has to be the many surprises and unexpected twists. Especially the big surprise, which I can't even mention because of obvious reasons. This particular twist is just absolute genius and comes completely out of the blue. And that ending! Arrggghhh! Not exactly a cliff hanger but still enough intrigue to have you running to the book store for the next installment.  

on Feb 10, 2015
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Genre(s): Steampunk / Dystopian / Fantasy

Series: The Great Iron War Book #1

Blurb: In the world of Atladas, there are no more human births. The Regime is replacing the unborn with demons, while the Resistance is trying to destroy a drug called Hope that the demons need to survive.

Between these two warring factions lies Jacob, a man who profits from smuggling contraceptive amulets into the city of Blackout. He cares little about the Great Iron War, but a chance capture, and an even more accidental rescue, embroils him in a plot to starve the Regime from power.

When Hope is an enemy, Jacob finds it harder than he thought to remain indifferent. When the Resistance opts to field its experimental landship, the Hopebreaker, the world may find that one victory does not win a war.

Review: I wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading Hopebreaker. The premise was intruiging, a dystopian world where rebels fight to stop a demon drug. Add in some steampunk elements and you've got a readers attention. 

The beginning of the novel was a quite shaky, it starts off right in the middle of action which left  myself and probably other readers confused. Jacob then has several thoughts of exposition to pull the reader into the story. I wasn't a fan of this as the thoughts were seemingly random and other than explaining crucial points of the novel they served no real purpose to Jacob. Readers are aware of the need for exposition but it could have been integrated more seemlessly into the novel. 

As Jacobs adventure continues he comes into contact with the Resistance and decides to go with them. For some reason that at the time were not given. Later in the story there are several scenes pointing to Jacob's sympathy for the Resistance and he eventually stays with them out of mutual loathing for the Regime. However none of that is shown in the beginning and his going with a random group of strangers reads as odd as it would be in real life. 

The characters were interesting, but fairly stereotypical. 
  • Jacob, our main character, the rough bad boy smuggler turned resistance fighter, who discovers that friends are worth more than coils (money) 
  • Rommond, the stuffy, straight-laced millitary type who focuses on strategy and planning to win war
  • Taberah, the passionate rebel leader fighting side by side with her troops, who will risk her life any time the mission calls for it 
  • Whistler, the scruffy young teenager who knows nothing but war, yet retains a hint of childhood innocence
Sadly all these characters types are far too common, and there is very little that leads these particular characters to stand out. 

This book contained many repeated phrases, and a surprising abundance of similes, metaphors and comparisons. Sure these are common tools for writing, but this is the first book I've read to have one of the three on nearly every single page. Sentences such as, "...for the booming of its turret gun was like thunder form an angry god, and he thought that Rommond must have been very angry." These lead the story to a crashing halt and often didn't even make sense. 

Overall, despite an interesting concept, this book was a disappointment for me. Perhaps other readers will like it more than I did.

Interested in this book? Find it online! 

About the AuthorDean F. Wilson was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1987. He started writing at age 11, when he began his first (unpublished) novel, entitled The Power Source. He won a TAP Educational Award from Trinity College Dublin for an early draft of The Call of Agon (then called Protos Mythos) in 2001.

He has published a number of poems and short stories over the years, while working on and reworking some of his novels. The Call of Agon is his first published novel.

Dean also works as a journalist, primarily in the field of technology. He has written for TechEye, Thinq, V3, VR-Zone, ITProPortal, TechRadar Pro and The Inquirer.

on Nov 28, 2014
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Genre(s): Young Adult / Contemporary Fiction

Blurb: If she let herself, she'd drown in a world of pain..

Review: Willow is a touching and unique tale of a young womans struggle with self-injury. 

From the very first page the reader is drawn into the world of Willow, it is a world filled with shame, suffering, guilt, and pain. Willow lives with an unfathomable weight on her shoulders, and her extreme answer to her heartache is to cut herself. My heart bleed for this incredibly authentic character. Her journey felt real, and served as a reminder that there are many who face this problem in reality. 

The book is written in third person limited, a point of view I don't usually care for, but which greatly compliments the story and offers a moving look at Willows everyday pains. This choice of POV prevents the reader from feeling bored and gives a more objective look at Willow's life. 

Guy is a stand out young adult male lead. He is quiet, thoughtful, far from seeming perfect or popular. His quickly becomes a steady confidant and friend for Willow. He is there with her as she reveals the reasons behind her actions, and as she overcomes the lure of the razor blade and pulls herself up from the bottom. I greatly admired the progression of Guy and Willow's relationship. It was interesting to see them start as friends and slowly fall in love. As Willow falls in love with Guy she opens up to the many emotions that she has been blocking since her parents death, her difficulty is evident as she comes to grips with her changed reality, finally admitting that her parents are gone and her world will never be the same.  

Throughout the book Willow has a difficult relationship with her brother, David. This wasn't always the case, and only changed when their parents died. Ever since then they have been stuck in silence or on occasion stilted, awkward short conversations. The resolution between them was truly beautiful and revealed the pain that they both were feeling, other truths that went previously unspoken and how much they both really loved each other. 

Not since Thirteen Reasons Why have I read a book in which a teens emotional distress was so profoundly written. While I feel I could write more on this story, I'll save the spoilers for future readers to discover for themselves. 

About the Author: Julia Hoban is a woman of many talents; She writes, designs her own clothes and handbags, and attended graduate school for physics and philosophy. She lives with her husband in New York City, and is working on her next novel (and outfit). 

Interested in this book? Find it online! 


A Message from the Reviewer: 
Hello, everyone. I greatly enjoyed Willow and I hope my review was enjoyed as well.
However, there are friends, family, coworkers, even strangers on the bus who are living every day with a reality far too similar to Willow's. If you are struggling with self-injury or know someone who is, I encourage you to check out TO WRITE LOVE ON HER ARMS - this non-profit movement is dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.
You were created to love and be loved! <3

on Nov 16, 2014
Blurb: She won't rest until she's sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. But that's all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone. 

Her father was right. The monsters are real. 

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies. \

Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal / Romance

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Review: First off, Gena Showalter gets major points for the sheer awesomeness of that title. Just had to put that out there. 

Alice is the type of MC you will love instantly. She is humble, truthful, resilient, and rises to overcome whatever obstacles are in her path. The author gives us wonderful insight into the emotions and mindset of Alice. The reader feels every occurance as Alice does, and will be rooting for her throughout the entire novel. Go, Alice, Go,

On a personal note I found it very refreshing to read a teen/young adult who respects their parents, grandparents, etc. I have no problem with teens being independent but the contempt for parents and elders that permeates Young Adult fiction is something very disappointing in my eyes. It's good to see Alice exhibiting behavior that is based on lessons her parents taught her. Even though she believes they are gone, she loves her parents and hopes to one day reunite with them. 

There is only one way to describe Alices best friend Kat, and that is - unforgettable. I was unsure about her at first, fearful that she would be nothing more than one of the "Alice Cullen" clones that have run rampant in Young Adult fiction since the rise of Twilight. But I soon found myself enjoying her confident I-just-don't-care attitude. She acts cool and collected, but never with malice. Her brash attitude greatly compliments Alices quiet, introspective personality. In many way she felt like the Mad Hatter. *wink* Add to all this the fact that she was hilarious! Also, I now ship Kat+Frosty. Forever.

Now on to Cole. Oh, handsome, infuriating bad boy Cole.  Actually what I really loved about Cole was that he wasn't a bad guy. He (and his friends) fight zombies without praise or reward. Because of this they end up appearing at school and such with scraps and bruises, leading others to think they are just crazy, rebellious teens in a gang. Whether from pride or humility they don't seem to bother with what teachers and students think about their injuries or strange behavior. Cole is arrogant, a player, but ultimately you'll love him because of how much he loves Alice. I love these two together and they make an excellent team. Team Cole represent! 

If you're like me and find yourself reticent to join in the recent wave of zombie literature. I reluctantly admit to having several sleepless nights after watching World War Z. I encourage you to not let that keep you from reading this book. Showalter presents a very fresh take on zombies, her take on the creatures reveals an infected spirit longing to feed and spread its disease, and a good-vs-evil battle that is far more heroic than a cheap zombie horror flick could ever hope to be. 

Finally, those of us wondering what happened to the moral center of many Young Adult novels in recent years, can be assured that this novel remains firmly on the side of good and never wavers. Alice and her companions continually do the right thing no matter how hard that is. Readers will be wishing to hop in this story and join the fight along side them. 

I started and finished this book all in one day, which is proof enough of just how amazing it is! I tip my invisible hat to Gena Showalters immense talent. 

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson is a bookworm, book reviewer, and aspiring author. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books at runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and ardently shipping RumBelle. M lives in Upstate New York and works at a library, happily surrounded by thousands of stories. Connect with her on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab
on Aug 10, 2014
Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews

"On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, "normal" is a bit of a stretch for Dina. And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth has begun to hunt at night....Feeling responsible for her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with the annoyingly attractive, ex-military, new neighbor, Sean Evans—an alpha-strain werewolf—and the equally arresting cosmic vampire soldier, Arland, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything."

I absolutely loved Clean Sweep. It was the first book I've ever read by best selling authors Ilona Andrews (a husband and wife team), suggested to me greatly by my husband, who is a big fan of her Magic Bites series. Dina is a strong female character more than capable of protecting herself. Her Inn reminds me of Heterodyne Castle from the Girl Genius webcomic, just magic fantasy and not steampunk. I’ve never been a fan of books with werewolves and vampires, but the initial interactions between Dina and the werewolf Sean were highly amusing, especially when his “welcome is withdrawn.” Clean Sweep is an intriguing blend of fantasy magic and sci-fi tech. Clean Sweep was originally posted chapter by chapter online for free reading, but I quite enjoy having a physical copy in my hands. The next book of the Innkeeper Chronicles, Sweep in Peace, can also be read for free online here: demo.ilona-andrews.com I've read the first four chapters already and look forward to also owning a printed copy of that book once it is released.

Up next on my to read list:
The Nameless Dwarf by D.P. Prior
Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani
Thorn by Intisar Khanani
on Aug 5, 2014
Northeast Ohio fans, want to get your hands on signed print copies of The Chronicles of Midgard series or The Priestess Trilogy? You can enter to win these at Marc's in Medina (1041 N. Court St., Medina OH 44256)! Enter to win the the Customer Service counter between the dates of August 6th through August 16th, 2014. One win will be draw for each giveaway. Limit one entry per person. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via phone or email for in store pick-up. Questions? Call Marc's at 330-722-3399
Giveaway 1: Falls the Shadow and Melody of the Dark from the Chronicles of Midgard series
Giveaway 2: Defiance and Betrayal from The Priestess Trilogy

Also, Meet the Author at Marc's on Saturday, August 9th from 11 am till 1 pm! Free bookmarks and postcards will be on hand as well as copies available for purchase at the price of $8.00 each. So stop on by and say hi!