Tag Archives: Read in 2016

A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

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Summary: Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

My Review: I have had this book on my currently reading shelf for quite sometime, because in typical Jen fashion I start one book & then get shiny object syndrome start another book & books often get put on the back burner.

Well I decided this month I would clean out my currently reading shelf, this was the first book I choose to tackle and complete this month.

wow, this book is good. I have read the original story and this re-telling added a lot of value to the original story, sure it is clearly different or it wouldn’t be a retelling but it really did make me want to read the original story.

The characters were complex, you wanted to hate Lo-Melkhiin but might have found it hard. I don’t want to spoil why, but there is way more to Lo-Melkhiin than meets the eye.

Our heroine is nameless but she is amazing she is willing to sacrifice herself for her sister. She is willing to give up her life so Lo-Melkhiin will not take her sister. This makes the story beautiful.

The writing is superb once I sat down and really dove into this story I couldn’t put it down. What Johnston has done here is amazing and I can’t wait to read more.

This book was fantastic and I am ashamed to admit I left it on my to be read shelf far to long.

Rising Ridge by Alexa Jacobs

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Rising Ridge
by Alexa Jacobs
Release Date: October 30th 2015

Summary: 

Olivia Reynolds was free. Twenty years old, living in New York City, and having absolutely no idea what she wanted to be when she grew up, every day would be an adventure, or at least that was the plan. When a phone call from her brother lands her back in her home town, and dealing with an unexpected tragedy, she comes face to face her brother’s best friend Dean and realizes that the feelings she had buried long ago were still there. Dean Winston has lived with the fact that Olivia walked out of his life two years ago, and was never coming back. With her back in town, he struggles to be the friend that she needs him to be, and not the lover that she once wanted him to be. With lines between childhood friends and secret lovers once again blurring, Olivia must decide between the possibilities of her future and the ties of her past. Some strings just refuse to be cut.

My Review: I read a lot of romance, and to be honest here I am actually not a fan of romance novels.  The insta-love the undying devotion within a few moments of meeting each other.  Ugh.

That does not happen in this book.  In fact, I loved this book so much I read it while I was working between calls.  I could not stop reading this mushy, lovely romance novel.  This book earned it’s spot my favorites shelf and I can’t s top smiling about this story.

Oh dear, I am in love with a romance novel.

The characters had raw emotions, emotions we have all felt. We have all had childhood crushes on someone that we loved growing up, but felt unrequited.  Then when a moment happens between you and that special person you always wonder what if.

I found myself in Olivia her lack of direction, her wanderlust.  A lot.  I think that is why I gravitated towards her, I saw myself in her in a way.   I remember having the biggest crush on a guy, that we will call Z.  One day I was being a jealous 16 year old because I thought Z was into one my friends, so I went back to the bus to pout after a band competition.  When Z came on to the bus, looked at me, smiled, then said my name THEN gave me one of the top five kisses of my lifetime.   As a child I was baffled…. 33 year old Jen wishes she could go back and tell 16 year old Jen to PURSUE the heck out of that but alas I can’t.   Z and I still joke about that moment on the bus, we both know at one point in our lives something was there.

Olivia has the chance to take a second chance.  That is what makes this story so heartwarming. We have all be there and wish we had an opportunity for our what if’s.  If you don’t have what if’s consider yourself lucky.

This book is fantastic and I had the warm fuzzies through out this story.   Maybe Olivia feels personal to me and that is why I love this book so much but I will say this Alexa Jacobs could not have written a better character for me.

About the Author

Alexa JacobsAlexa Jacobs was born and raised in the suburban outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. She met her husband through friends in high school, and began what turned out to be a short lived career in the financial industry. With her first child, she became a stay at home parent and threw all of her energy into becoming the queen of Pinterest before Pinterest was a thing.

When her second child headed off to kindergarten, Alexa thought that it was time for a career change.

After a decade with at least one child underfoot 24 hours a day, it was time for her to discover who she was going to be when she grew up.

Turns out, she was a mom who sat by the window and cried the entire day on that first day of “freedom” from early parenthood.

A few months, and many kindergarten volunteer days later, she sat down at the computer and dusted off the rough draft of a story she had crafted years ago. That draft turned into her debut book, Rising Ridge.

Alexa is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and participates in many writer circle groups.

Divide and Conquer by Carmen Fox + GIVEAWAY

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Divide and Conquer
Champions of Elonia
Book 1
Carmen Fox

Genre: Urban Fantasy with romance elements
Publisher: Champagne Books
Date of Publication: March 2, 2015
Cover Artist: Ellie Smith

Book Description:

Two women. One prophecy. Zero places to hide.

Flung from her mundane Seattle existence into a world of magic, scientist Lea struggles to make sense of a destiny she doesn’t want. The moment she finds comfort in the arms of a man who appreciates her inner nerd, a new magic sweeps the realms.

Nieve, Lea’s instructor, may be seasoned in the art of war, but she’s clueless when it comes to romance. To save her world, she allies herself with her enemy, a kindred warrior soul, who leaves no doubt he’s after more than her cooperation.

As each tick of the clock swallows another person’s memory, Lea and Nieve will do anything to hang on to theirs, but betrayal drives a wedge in their friendship. Can they reconcile and rally the troops before the magic wipes out their pasts?

Video Trailer: http://youtu.be/jLmIiCumCQE

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“Urban Fantasy doesn’t get better than DIVIDE & CONQUER. Action, excitement, and 2 kick-ass heroines to root for fill this rich, complex and dynamic world. Carmen Fox does not disappoint!”

~National & USA Today Bestselling author Anna J Stewart

My Review:  I love when a book hits the ground running within a couple of chapters.  Once this book got going it did NOT slow down.   I loved how this book had not one but TWO kick ass main female characters that you immediately started to pull for.    Nieve & Lea were both able to hold their own without aid of a dude and I can always appreciate that, since often female characters are not written this way.

Oh and can I say I love both Kiernan & Tristen???? I mean book boyfriend alert.  I just can’t choose one.   I dare you to try and choose one over the other.

The characters were incredibly well developed and you will immediately start pulling for these characters from the moment you start reading.

The plot moves fast before you know it you are so drawn into this world you can’t help but stay up late (or read on the DL while you are at work… ahem not saying that happened but it could have) Also as a geek I LOVED all the nerdy references. So much fun.

This book is utterly fantastic and I can’t wait to continue reading this series.  Easy 5 stars! Check the excerpt below.

*****

Excerpt:

NIEVE

I dropped my magical defenses, allowing my luster to envelop me in a powerful light. Without the sun’s ready supply of energy, that meant using some of my precious resources.

“Holy crap.” Lea jumped out of her bed and squeezed against the far wall of the room.

Finally, some reaction. “It’s called luster.” I twirled to prove I wasn’t hiding a flashlight behind my back. “It’s a by-product of an Elonian’s affinity with light. Anyone sensitive to magic can see it unless I suppress it.”

In my mind, rows of thick bricks piled one on top of another around me, extinguishing my luster.

“A-are you an angel?” Her airless voice barely traveled the distance between us.

I kinked back my head and laughed. “Definitely not.”

She unglued herself from the wall and took a few steps toward her bed. “You said I’m an Elonian. Why don’t I shine?”

“You can’t see your own luster, but it’s there. Without the training to suppress it, you’re a living flame to the Shades. It’s the reason they call us Sparks. It’s also how they’ll identify you. You know, before they kill you.”

Lea picked up a sweater from the floor. Her focus went distant, no longer in this world. Something I’d said must have triggered a switch in her brain. Not a day too soon.

I trotted to the corner by the window and picked a collection of stuffed animals off the armchair. From the deep V between Lea’s brows, I concluded her thought processes weren’t going anywhere fast. Once the toys occupied the windowsill, neatly arranged by height, I sat.

With her dark lashes, a tiny nose and a sprinkling of freckles, she looked so young and so…Kindred. Unexpected sadness ripped through my chest. The misery pressed onto my diaphragm, making me feel like I was an evil monster come to chop up her innocence like next week’s firewood.

Even though she was predicted to be my ally through the dark days, she was still a total stranger. Yet her pale, elfin face stirred something in me, some glimmer of recognition, of familiarity even. My childhood friend Belinda had a similar innocence about her. She’d chew the end of her pen for hours while pondering her words. Her poems were meant to bring joy to a war-torn land. They burned with her when Galleo invaded her village.

Lea would not share Belinda’s fate. I’d see to that. By the end of her training, she’d be able to take on a whole battalion of Shades by herself. I squinted at her short stature and took a sobering breath. If not a battalion, then a group of ten.

About the Author:

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Carmen Fox is an Amazon no. 1 bestselling author in the vampire and werewolf mystery categories for her book Guarded (The Silverton Chronicles). Guarded was also the Amazon no. 1 urban fantasy novel in Australia.

She lives in the south of England with her beloved tea maker and a stuffed sheep called Fergus. An avid reader since childhood, she caught the writing bug when her Nana asked her to write a story. She also has a law degree, studied physics for a few years, dabbled in marketing and human resources, and speaks native-level German and fluent Geek. Her preferred niches of geekdom are tabletop games, comics, sci-fi and fantasy.

 

Website: http://www.carmen-fox.com

Twitter: @authorcarmenfox

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Divide-and-Conquer/557838687668817

Book page: www.carmen-fox.com/dac

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25032954-divide-and-conquer

Tour giveaway

2 copies of the Divide and Conquer e-book
1 copy of the Guarded paperback (unsigned)
3 $10 Amazon giftcards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review, as always the opinions are my own.  Thank you Bewitching Book Tours for allowing me to to take part of this tour. 

5

Miramont’s Ghost by Elizabeth Hall

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Summary: Miramont Castle, built in 1897 and mysteriously abandoned three years later, is home to many secrets. Only one person knows the truth: Adrienne Beauvier, granddaughter of the Comte de Challembelles and cousin to the man who built the castle.

Clairvoyant from the time she could talk, Adrienne’s visions show her the secrets of those around her. When her visions begin to reveal dark mysteries of her own aristocratic French family, Adrienne is confronted by her formidable Aunt Marie, who is determined to keep the young woman silent at any cost. Marie wrenches Adrienne from her home in France and takes her to America, to Miramont Castle, where she keeps the girl isolated and imprisoned. Surrounded by eerie premonitions, Adrienne is locked in a life-or-death struggle to learn the truth and escape her torment.

Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, this hauntingly atmospheric tale is inspired by historical research into the real-life Miramont Castle in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

 

Review:  This book was a very tough read, not that it was hard to read, but it involves child molestation and rape.  This book is brutally honest and the book is very well written.  You will hate the side characters and love Adrienne.  Overall a great book but it was hard to read because you know deep down this stuff happens and it breaks your hear.