on Oct 13, 2016

 In celebration of the Virtual Fantasy Con, fantasy author Melissa Sasina is holding a giveaway for the three available ebooks in my Chronicles of Midgard series: Falls the Shadow, Melody of the Dark, and Opening of Lost Doors!
This giveaway will run from Thursday, October 13 until October 19th!
Three winners will be chosen on October 20th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
on Sep 30, 2016
Aileana Kameron, the Falconer, disappeared throught the Fae portal she was trying to close forever. Now she wakes in an alien world of mirrors, magic, and deception—a prisoner of  the evil Fae Lonnrach, who has a desperate and deadly plan for his new captive.

Time after agonizing time Lonnrach steals Aileana's memories, searching for knowledge to save his world. Just when she's about to lose all hope, Aileana is rescued by an unexpected ally and returns home, only to confront a terrifying truth. The city of Edinburgh is now an unrecogniable wasteland. And Aileana knows the devastation is all her fault.

The few human survivors are living in an underground colony, in an uneasy truce with a remnant of the fae. It is a fragile alliance, but an even greater dangter awaits: the human and fae words may disappear forever. Only Aileana can save both worlds, but in order to do so she must awaken her latent Falconer powers. And the price of doing so might be her life....

Genre: Young Adult / Historical / Fantasy / Steampunk

Review: After book #1, The Falconer, ended with a heart pounding cliff hanger, I was eager to read the next in the series. The Vanishing Throne is every bit as magical and exciting as book #1, if not more! 

After failing to stop the fae from invading her home, Aileana has to put the pieces of her shattered world back together. During the story she is nearly destroyed, first by the confines of Lonnrach's faery prison, then by her overwhelming guilt about the remnants of her world. This book deals more with the internal struggle, which is written wonderfully. We know that Aileana is strong and capable, but it's nice to see her vulnerable side, too. Despite the painful trials she goes through in this book Aileana keeps fighting and really grows as a character. I'm looking forward to seeing where she ends up in book #3. 

The first book in this series was amazing and book #2 does not disappint. The thrilling, exciting adventure continues as we venture to new cities of the fae. Each setting is masterfully described as well as extremely different and creative. From the scary to the beautiful, the homes of the fae are as unique as the creatures themselves. The author has a wonderful imagination.

We learn more about Kiaran Mackay, known in the faery realm as Kadamach. The biggest revelation about Kiaran blew me away. I was not expecting it. As we readers know from book #1 Kiaran did many awful deeds in his day, but honestly every time he revealed something bad he had done in the past  I just wanted to hug him. I don't want to give away his back story but he has come so far as a character. His feelings for Aileana , make him a better person, more human, and I just love him. His tenderness to Aileana is truly endearing. We know that he has a hard time with emotions so the fact that he is so sweet and caring towards her (and almost no one else) speaks to their deep connection. 

We are introduced to Kiaran's sister, Aithinne. A witty, mad-as-a-hatter, badass warrior. Her presence reveals a different side of Kiaran, and the history between the two is fascinating. Also, some familiar faces from Aileana's past, the human survivors fighting against an unrelenting enemy. 

In this installment of the series an abundance of faery secrets are revealed, as well as long held alliances, betrayals, and a fascinating history that brings to light the motivations of friends and enemies. 

At the end Elizabeth May hits us again with a rockin' cliffhanger. It's going to be a painful wait for book #3, however completely worth it because I can't wait to find out what happens next in this awesome story! 

~ Important Links ~ 

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson (aka PrincessMab) is a book reviewer, fangirl, bookworm, and writer. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books as 1/5 of the team behind the runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and listening to ASMR Boyfriend roleplays on Youtube;)  She can most likely be found reading and fangirling about her current read on the various social media sites below. ^_^           Instagram & Twitter @theprincessmab 
on Sep 22, 2016
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. She's leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sithichean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them. 

Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her abilities and her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother. 

The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacaring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder—but she'll have to save the world first. 

Genre: Young Adult / Paranormal / Fantasy

Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May is the best book I've read all year! I was so happy to spot this book at the library, what a perfect novel to get me out of my recent reading slump. 

The Falconer is a beautifully imagined story that combines faeries, history, a little romance, with steampunk wonder. The story starts off very quickly right in the middle of an average night of faery hunting for Aileana. As the plot unfolds Aileana is forced to face her destiny and fight with a motley group of friends to protect the world from the fae. 

Aileana is a resourceful inventor and warrior, hiding as a normal lady during the day. At night she hunts for the faery who murdered her mother. I like how Aileana is aware of some ridiculous customs of the day, and hates the part she plays. She has to hide who she is and how she feels and I think many readers can relate to that. During the novel she struggles with balancing the warrior parts of herself with the more feminine and that was interesting to read. 

He would probably hate my saying this but, Derrick is soooo adorable. I love that Aileana has a little fae friend that supports her and trades information for pots of honey. They bicker like siblings, and its good for Aileana to have a friend who knows her secrets. 

Kiaran MacKay is my new book boyfriend and I'm claiming him as mine. ;))) Seriously, he is a fascinating character, incredibly mysterious and intriguing. He teaches Ailenana to hunt his own kind (for reasons unknown). You're never sure of his motives, and neither is Aileana. I really enjoy his relationship with Aileana, even though he is kind of jerk, he seems to care about her, and she can be herself around him. I'm excited to learn more about him in the next book, especially his hidden past. 

The steampunk elements were so interesting, they really added an extra spark to the story and blended well with the fantasy side of the story. My favorite were the "stitchters" mechanical bug-like things that stitch a person up after injury. You don't often find too many books with fae and steampunk elements. That particular combination pleasantly reminded me of The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. 

The ending! Arggghhh! Right in the middle of a highly suspenseful situation, bam, cliffhanger! I'm not as upset as I usually would be because book #2 is available now and I have a copy in my possesion ready to devour immediately after finishing this review. ;) 

~ Important Links ~

About the Reviewer: M. A. Bronson (aka PrincessMab) is a book reviewer, fangirl, bookworm, and writer. Since 2012, she has been reviewing indie and traditionally published books as 1/5 of the team behind the runawaypen.com. She spends her time reading, drinking tea, writing, and listening to ASMR Boyfriend roleplays on Youtube;)  She can most likely be found reading and fangirling about her current read on the various social media sites below. ^_^           Instagram & Twitter @theprincessmab | Tumblr -  http://princessmabblr.tumblr.com/ | Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/princessmabwrites/

on Sep 20, 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016 -
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Where: From the comfort of your own home or anywhere with a wi-fi signal
When: All day
About: Virtual FantasyCon 2016 is an online 8 day Facebook event celebrating Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror! Come along and meet with authors, artists, bloggers, cosplayers, and more! It's just like a regular convention, except its free, you don't have to travel, and you can participate from anywhere you can get online. There will be giveaways, a blog hunt, and much more! The event will feature the following sub-genres:
Sunday, October 9th: Epic/Sword & Sorcery (Includes High Fantasy)
Monday, October 10th: Sci-Fi/Sci-Fi Fantasy/Time Travel
Tuesday, October 11th: Faiytale/Punk (Includes all versions of Punk)
Wednesday, October 12th: Paranormal/Urban 
Thursday, October 13th: Series/Short Stories
Friday, October 14th: Dystopian/Apocolyptic
Saturday, October 15th: Dark/Grim Dark/Horror
Sunday, October 16th: Children/YA Fantasy
Fantasy author Melissa Sasina will be participating on Thursday for the Series/Short Stories event, although keep an eye out for your chance to win e-copies of her books and even bookmarks and swag throughout the event! 
 Links to each sub-genre will be posted closer to the beginning of the event. 
Until then, join the Reader's Corner (https://www.facebook.com/events/1757708664480385/) to learn more about the authors participating and join in on fun games leading to the event kick off. 
This event is run and hosted by Fantasy - Flight of Imagination. Be sure to check out their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/AFlavourOfFantasy/ 

on May 31, 2016
The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. 
He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king's approval to be his guests at Thornbeck 
Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character. 

Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true indentity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn't select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent be the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.

Despite Avelina's best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can't deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences. 

Genre: Historical / Romance

Review: Since reading my first Melanie Dickerson book last year I have become a huge fan. Her writing is so smooth and well-paced, and completely right for the type of stories that she writes.  

This is the second book in the Thornbeck series and the main characters from the previous book, Jorgen and Odette, play a significant role in this book and it was wonderful to revisit these lovely characters again. Jorgen is now the Chancellor to the margrave, and both he and his wife care for their friend, Reinhart and hope to see him happily married. 

While this book is marketed for adults, simply I believe for the sake that the main characters are over 18, there are no love scenes or anything of the like that would prevent an older teen from reading and enjoying this book. 

Reinhart begins the novel very cynical of love. A product of his parents arranged, advantegoues but ultimately unhappy marriage. He also lives with a crippled leg, walking with a cane, regretting his lost days of knighthood, doubting that any woman would ever want him. Surrounding him are rumors that he killed his older brother so that he himself could rule Thornbeck castle. Throughout the story Reinhart softens and exhibits growing care towards those under his charge and the woman he wishes to make his bride. 

I liked Avelina, but found that she often acted too young, if that makes sense. Often second guessing herself and giving into others. While I believe her to be above 19, we are to the best of my recollection never told her exact age. Though, I'm not sure if that is simply because she is a servant and used to bowing to greater authority. Or maybe she just seems that way because Odette, the main character of book #1 was of a higher social rank and therefore was more confident, maybe its just a comparison.

Over the course of the novel Avelina realizes her value and importance. She ultimately stops comparing herself to born ladies. In addition the margrave, Reinhart sees her true value as a person for her compassion, respect, and courage. There love story is wonderful to read. 

While The Beautiful Pretender doesn't surpass the total amazingness of book #1, it was still an enjoyable and recommended read. :) 

Find The Beautiful Pretender on Goodreads
Find The Beautiful Pretender on Amazon
Find The Beautiful Pretender on Barnes&Noble

A Note from the Reviewer: Hello, Runawaypen readers! I'm excited to present my 50TH BOOK REVIEW at The Runaway Pen!!! Ahhhhhhhhh! It makes me so happy to share my love of books with you all. In celebration of this milestone I'll be posting a whole bunch of book reviews in the month of June, so keep checking back here! And as always thank you so much for reading! :)

Follow me ^_^  ~ Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads
on May 30, 2016
Pia has always known her destiny. 

She is meant to start a new race, a line of descendants who will bring an end to death. She has been bred for no other purpose, genetically engineered to be immortal and raised by a team of scientists in a secret compound hidden deep in the Amazon rainforest. Now those scientists have begun to challenge her, with the goal of training her to carry on their dangerous work. 

For as long as she can remember, Pia's greatest desire has been to fulfill their expectations. But on the night she turns seventeen, she finds a hole in the seemingly impenetrable fence that surrounds her sterile home. Free in the jungle for the first time in her life, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Unable to resist, she continues sneaking out to see him. As they fall in love, they begin to piece together the truth about Pia's origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction / Romance

Review: Let me start by saying that Origin is not a book I would typically read. I generally don't venture farther into science fiction literature than Star Wars or Star Trek novels. Recently however I was visiting a cousin of mine who was reading this in her school book club and she spoke so highly of this book that I knew I had to check it out. 

The concept for Origin, the quest for immortality obviously isn't a new storyline, but the way it's presented here is so unique and enthralling. Immortal Pia knows nothing of the outside world, (she has never even seen a map) other than the scientific journals that are cleared by the head of Little Cam, Uncle Paolo. She lives a remote world filled with what she thinks are her family but soon discover that the people she trusts most having been lying and keeping dangerous secrets. 

The main character Pia is the perfect balance of intelligence, curiosity, and naivety. Personally I tend to have trouble finishing a book if the MC is constantly making stupid decisions. That was absolutely not an issue in this book. Pia is mature and clever, and ultimately compassionate and unselfish when push comes to shove. Her courage in standing up for what is right, even against her family is truly admirable. And yet there is a sadness about Pia because she knows that sooner of later the people around her will whither and die, while she will live on forever and ever. 

The boy from the jungle, Eio, is mysterious and courageous. His mother was Ai'oan, but his father is one of the scientists in the foreigner town of Little Cam. Because of this he shares Pia's feelings of being an outsider and not belonging. As much as I enjoyed the romance between Pia and Eio, it did feel a little forced at times. That being said they still had a real connection and both were willing to stand up for each other. 

Possibly my favorite thing about this novel is how it masterfully it illustrates the fall from good, the line between doing what would be considered a small wrong, to doing something considered evil. We see this everyday but this novel pushes it front and center and shows how easy it is for people to compromise on morals. There's a line from a song that goes, "It's a slow fade, when you give yourself away", that line really resonated with me while reading this book. Spoilers. How ordinary people could become complacent with kidnapping and killing people. It is honestly terrifying and will most likely give you chills as you read. End Spoilers. 

The entire novel is filled with suspense, but the last 100 pages will have you on the edge of your seat. The tension and uncertainty is just perfectly portrayed. The ending was a surprise for me, and I suppose I'll leave it at that to avoid any spoilers. Ultimately Origin was a thrilling adventure into the quest for immortality. 

A Note from the Reviewer: Hi runawaypen readers! Thank you for reading my review. I hope you enjoyed it! I'm currently reading the second book in this series and hope to post it soon. :) To keep up to date with the books that I'm reading and upcoming reviews follow me on twitter and instagram @theprincessmab

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
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.

Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Romance / Fairy-Tale Re-tellings

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. 

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
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

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!

~ Important Links ~
Read my review of book #2 (Coming Soon!)
Find this book on goodreads
Find this book on amazon
Learn more on the authors website

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. 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
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.

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

*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. 

Check out my reviews of Book #1, Book #2. 

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: