Fantasy

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!!!Cover reveal!!! for Enscrolled by Connie L. Smith!!!

Published June 20, 2014 by katheryn13

Hi!! It’s cover reveal time and look what we have?

Enscrolled: The Division Chronicles #3

By Connie L. Smith

 

In the aftermath of the latest battle, the stakes are higher than ever before, and time is hardly an ally to Nicholai’s army of paranormal soldiers. The Tomes remain hidden, their secrets the only chance the warriors possess of forever closing the Division and saving their world from a brutal finale.

But with every second that passes, the Division expands, more demons – equipped with an incurable toxin – managing to enter the realm to inflict their terror where they can. The clock is ticking on the soldiers already tainted with the venom, their lives depending on the quick creation of an unknown antidote. And beyond those worries, reason exists to suspect that magic might be vanishing. Should that belief prove true, the ramifications could cripple the army’s abilities, insurmountably, prior to the war’s conclusion.

Never has the conflict felt quite as desperate to the Essenced soldiers, danger escalating and hope lessening with the slow drain of each issue’s hourglass.

Will the answers to these dilemmas surface in time, or will the efforts of the band of warriors fail to prevent the ruin of the world?

 

 

Ready for the cover?

 

Release Date: Fall 2014

 

Excerpt

McKenna watched him leave before refocusing on Johnny, confused at the expression her boyfriend wore. “What are you smirking at?”

            He shrugged. “I’m just not sure how this could be such a bad memory. My girl glued to my side.” Wiggling his eyebrows, he continued. “Playing nurse…”

            “Well, you are poisoned,” she deadpanned. “That puts a damper on these types of situations for most people.”

            “Oh, you’re serious again.” His smirk broadened. “Are you gonna yell at me like you did when my leg was broken? That was attractive…”

            Though she fought against it, her smile emerged, spreading over her lips as she shook her head. “You’re impossible. You know that?”

            “Nah. I just learned along the way how to make my girl smile.”

            Her grin lingered until her attention descended to his leg, the spot of the poison’s initial contact. Then she frowned, her eyes filling with tears and her hands beginning to tremble. Just ten days, she thought.

            “Hey.” Johnny cupped her face, gentling bringing her gaze to lock with his. “We’re not gonna think about that because that’s gonna get taken care of.” Tobias again entered the medical room, moving directly to the corner reserved for the cure’s research to recommence his work. “See?” Johnny nodded his head toward the angel. “Look how dedicated he is to finding this. Think of all the soldiers around us who are perfectly capable of getting whatever weird ingredients he comes up with. If you do, ten days will seem like a lifetime, because it’s plenty of time.”

            And then she was the one smirking. “That’s quite optimistic.”

            He laughed, shrugging. “I told you that you’re rubbing off on me.”

            “And you’re trusting others. Like you finally flipped a switch.”

            “It isn’t like flipping a switch.” He smiled, revisiting the lecture she’d given him while stranded on a cliff. “It’s like deciding not to be in the darkness anymore. You take steps, and the light comes a little at a time until the darkness is gone.”

            She quirked an eyebrow, chuckling. “That seems vaguely familiar.”

            “Someone really smart once told me that.” Pulling her closer, he tapped the tip of her nose with his finger. “She was really hot, too.”

 

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway for the first book in the series Essenced!

Don’t miss the first two books in the series:

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About Connie L. Smith

Connie L. Smith spends far too much time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and will be forever sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. When she isn’t reading or writing, there’s a good chance she’s goofing off with her amazing, wonderful, incredible, fabulous nieces and nephew, or listening to music that is severely outdated. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either) and likes to snap photos. Oh, and she likes apples a whole big bunch.

 

Links:

Blog/Main Site: http://clsmithbooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clsmithbooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7257320.Connie_L_Smith

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/conniel0194/

 

!!Teaser post!! Crane by Stacey Rourke

Published June 17, 2014 by katheryn13

 Howdy! 

We have some fun things for you today. As part of the blog tour, we’re pleased to give you some deadly goodies from:

Crane by Stacey Rourke

(Legends Saga Book 1)
The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep. What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?

Purchase
available now

How about an excerpt?

The plush terry cloth robe slipped from Ireland’s shoulders with a whispering caress before pooling in a heap around her ankles. Marble tiles chilled her bare feet as she stepped into the walk-in shower. The tips of her fingers slid across stainless steel. With a flick of her wrist, the trio of showerheads flowed to life. Welcoming heat came at her from all angles, pulsating over her curves with a rhythmic seduction. Ireland turned, a groan escaping her as the streams massaged all the right places. Steam rose, fogging the handle and creating a cloud of humidity that hugged her frame. Tipping her head back, she let the droplets rain down on her face and across her closed lids. Her lips parted, welcoming the rush of warmth that flooded between them. Until it assaulted her tongue with a rush of coppery warmth that clamped her throat shut with a wretched heave. Her hands cupped to catch the droplets, her eyes widening as thick crimson pooled in her palms, seeping between her ivory fingers. Formerly white tiles were now smattered and smeared with blackish-red gore that sprayed from the nozzles. Ireland threw herself from the shower, her feet slipping beneath her. She reached out to steady herself, but found nothing to hold on to. Nothing there to pull her back from the brink, except her own need for self-preservation … and a shadowed silhouette in the corner. Instinctively, she covered herself with her arms. Squinting, she craned her neck to see the figure that was slowly turning to face her.

Mason?” Her voice echoed around her before she could even speak it.

He stared straight ahead with fixed, unseeing eyes. Blood trailed down his face from various points of origin, soaking the front of his shirt. “Cloak of night, brings Horseman’s plight. His pricy toll, will be a soul.”

Mason? Are you okay?”

A hard blink and his eyes found focus on her. A desperate panic flared his nostrils, forcing his breath to come fast and ragged. “Help me, you have to help me,” he pleaded, his teeth pink with the blood that streamed past his lips.

Her trembling hand reached for him, then recoiled at her own inept state of confusion. “H-how? What do I do?”

You have to save us,” Mason’s words became more garbled by the fresh rush of gore that bubbled up the back of his throat. His once handsome face contorted in rage. Leaning forward he balled his fists and screamed with a force that bulged the tendons of his neck, “Save us!

 

About the author:
There is nothing worse than being put on the spot and asked to talk about yourself. For me it brings back that inevitable moment in a new school when the teacher would ask me to stand up, introduce myself and tell the class something about myself. I was always worried I would blurt out something stupid that I would get teased for. Something like, “My name’s Stacey and I like pickles!” Then for the rest of the school year I’d be known as the Pickle Girl and let’s be honest, no one wants that. So to avoid such a faux pas I will simply say that I love to write. It allows me to get my crazy out just enough that I can function as a normal member of society.
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

4 stars to City of Heavenly Fire (Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare

Published June 2, 2014 by katheryn13

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world changed in the sixth and last instalment of the internationally bestselling The Mortal Instruments series.

Erchomai, Sebastian had said. I am coming.

Darkness returns to the Shadowhunter world. As their society falls apart around them, Clary, Jace, Simon and their friends must band together to fight the greatest evil the Nephilim have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat him – must they journey to another world to find the chance?

Review:

Let me just clear this up: I was going to rate this book 3.5 stars. That was before the epilogue. I’ll just call this my “disclaimer” :P

So the end has come, and I guess we all knew it would happen. Would Sebastian aka Jonathan Morgenstern win the war? Would he rule all of hell and earth and whatever else he was planning?

A little part of me hoped he’d redeem himself. But alas it was not to be. I won’t say any spoilers, though that is going to make reviewing damned difficult because SO much happened.

I’ll get the negatives out of the way. I felt for the first half or three quarters of the book not a lot actually HAPPENED. Oh don’t get me wrong, lot’s went on, people did stuff and said stuff that were both bad and good, but the phrase “you say a lot without actually saying anything” comes to mind. Lots went on but not a lot actually happened. As in, I felt like I was being dragged around a playground for hours until suddenly there was a bump in the road. I dunno, bad analogy. Edit: I just remembered to add there were a couple of continuity problems and also the pacing…I don’t know if it was just me, but it felt off.

Then about half way, things started to get real. The ‘gang’ as I like to call them, travel into an unknown realm, which is basically…hell. They roam hills and vast desert, and encounter demons. This was the most interesting bit in this section for me, when they first arrive, and they each fall into a dream where their hearts desire come true. Although it’s not really their desire, as they each find out. I thought that added a nice twist, as opposed to just entering hell and it being a bit anti climactic.

As much as I hated Sebastian…I still kind of liked him. I understood (although not in a personal way) that he just, ultimately, wanted to be loved. The problem was, he didn’t understand that that other person needs a good reason to love back and it can’t be forced. He thought by threatening and practically forcing Clary to love him, it would happen. Which is what made me like him, despite the crazy shit he did, he was deep down lonely.

Now, we all knew that two new characters (well a whole family, really) would be introduced into this book. Emma and Julian being the centre pair. I understood why Cassie did this, because of her releasing a new Shadowhunter series in 2015. But…now here’s where my opinion might be unpopular. I didn’t particularly like how much they were in it. I get that you can introduce them, maybe have them in a couple of scenes, but in my view, that should have been it. They took up too much room and imo were quite boring. I felt zero feelings towards them, and it really bugged me. More because I had to drag myself through the long chapters they were in just to get to good stuff. I realise that I don’t have to read the next series, and I may not, but for an end of series book for the characters we already know and love, adding these new people for as much as she did, was a bit unnecessary.

Shoot pellets at me if you like.

Magnus as always was someone I hoped survived. Although in contrast to other books in the series, his part wasn’t that big. The wolves seemed to be more of a focus, which I guess yeah is okay, but I’ve never been a big lover of werewolves (long story) and so this put me off, but I was sad when a certain thing happened. Actually, two certain things, but that’s unrelated to the pack. *remembers not to spoil*

Onto the epilogue and this is where the dull parts of the book are redeemed because what happened at the end of the book broke me. I was sad, no tears though. Just…sad. Until epilogue and dammit, you got reminders of the Herondale family and a certain blue eyed boy and I’m like “WILLLLLLL I MISS YOU!!!” but yknow, that’s another story. Literally. hehe.

I just loved (and hated) all the references to the characters in TID and especially mentions of  certain ghost in the London Institute. (if you’ve read that series, you’ll understand.) but this is what made me cry. In some ways, I felt a stronger attachment to them than the Mortal Instruments crew.

I guess there’s not much else I can say. I enjoyed this book…well, most of it. Despite the whines and complaints, it was a good ending to a very good series. I’m glad nothing major happened, although some things were pretty scary. There were so many laughs, which was nice, it lightened the tension, and many twists and turns.

Looking forward to what Cassie next has in store for us…

Kat

4 stars to Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Published May 15, 2014 by katheryn13

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.

And its snap split the world in two.

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living – one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.

Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel – a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.

This was not that world.

 

Review:

I was completely blown away with how GREAT this book is. In fact, I’d go as far as say it trumps the first book by miles. I read it faster, that’s for sure. And that usually only happens when the story flows well, the writing is great and I get sucked into the world of angels and whatever else there are.

I instantly felt bad for Karou. She’d lost her family, the only people she loved and could trust and after finding out Akiva was connected to destroying their world, she couldn’t bare to be in his presence. I wanted to hug her and also…maybe slap her? I mean, come on! Give the guy a break.

He didn’t single handedly destroy Karou’s former home.

Of course, now she’s run away. She discovers other chimaera that she thought were gone. Karou goes on a mission to build back an army and avenge Brimstone, whom had been killed.

This…not such a good idea.

I loved how the chapters didn’t seem to struggle, and I didn’t find myself pausing on the edge of boredom. Akiva and Karou are probably two of my favourite characters ever, and their strength and determination is one of the reasons.

We also see a LOT more of Mik and Zuze. I love these guys. They’re great.

I look forward to book three, and hope things work out. Because that was one hell of a set up for a battle at the end.

-Kat

4 stars to The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Published April 20, 2014 by katheryn13

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

 

 

THERE ARE SPOILERS REGARDING THE RAVEN BOYS!! 

 

Review:

The Dream Thieves continues on from The Raven Boys. Gansey and his friends are still searching for Glendower and Cabeswater is still as mysterious as it ever was. Also, it’s missing. Whatever happened to Adam in book 1, has changed things drastically.

This book is more about Ronan and his past. It’s nice that the chapters are split between different characters, but I find it confusing sometimes, especially when the chapters have no titles. And with the POVs being fairly…omnipresent, it’s hard for me to really get focused. But never-the-less I enjoyed this, despite it taking me a while. Ronan is such a deep and unknowable character in that there is so much about him that isn’t on the surface. He hides so much of himself from his friends and even his family. We find out he’s able to pull things out of dreams and this causes chaos with the ley line.  We’re introduced to his younger brother, Matthew, who is completely different from the hard as nails approach that both Ronan and Declan have. He’s relaxed and fun, but perhaps more ignorant to what is going on around him.

There’s certainly more of Gansey, which I will always love. I just love him. He’s just…*sigh* And his closeness with Blue (Or Jane…lol) is heartwarming. Adam and Blue never seemed to be a ‘couple’ so much as two friends with mixed emotions and never really paying much attention to each other until randomly they are together and start questioning things. But they’re only 15/16/17 or whatever and they act like it’s the end of the world if they don’t have boyfriends/girlfriends. It baffles me.

Anyway, Blues’ family  centre more in this sequel and also a man named simply ‘the grey man’ who seems to take precedence within the story. He’s been sent to Henrietta to find the Greywaren, which he doesn’t know what form it comes in, so that makes his task difficult. It was a little confusing with all the different names for things but I got there in the end.

Mr Grey became a character I could have gotten used to and maybe even liked. Creepy but with a sense of morality despite his job.

The final chapters are like something out of a movie, epic and frightening.

I can’t wait to read the 3rd instalment and find out if they get any closer to finding their King.

Kat

4 stars to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Published March 17, 2014 by katheryn13

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake: she got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament—fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

 

Review:

I love high fantasy, and especially the kind that isn’t overly complicated, although to say this was easy to understand would be pushing it. It wasn’t.

The characters were engaging and I found I liked Celaena a lot more than I expected to. She’s an assassin but she has a heart and you see that throughout the book. I was expecting all hard edges and and no time to be nice, but with the Prince Dorian continued to beat down her walls, it was hard not to see that she is indeed a human being and she isn’t a complete monster.

Chaol, the Captain of the Guard, is as mysterious as they come and at first I quite liked him. I could see a love triangle coming from a mile away, though. Not that I don’t like them, because I do. But I’d already decided I liked Dorian; charming, witty, sly, sarcastic, sexy…Yes I wanted him. More precisely, I wanted him and Celaena to be one. But that was difficult with the assassin taking part in a challenge to become the Kings Assassin. Several trials would put 20 odd assassins down to four, and she would be expected to defeat them all.

I could see how much Chaol was starting to like Celeana more, however, and this concerned me. I just…didn’t connect with him like that. He was more “friend zone” than “love interest” in my opinion and I kept on hoping for Dorian. At first I saw some light at the end of the rhetorical tunnel, but it was not to last. I won’t say much more, because this is definitely worth the read and I want you all to see for yourself just how well written and captivating the world is.

I found the intricacies within the story, the tunnels and the secrecy with which the Kings Castle kept, and the magic that is contained within. Celeana discovering new things made me feel like I was experiencing the wonder with her, and I didn’t want to stop reading.

This isn’t just a story about letting down defences and finding reasons to love,  it’s ultimately  a story about a girl who endured a childhood full of heartache and torture, and is finally finding a  life for herself, and a way to escape the pain in what ever way possible.

 

-Kat

4 stars to Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Published February 24, 2014 by katheryn13

Darkness never dies. Alina and Mal are on the run. Hunted and haunted, but together at last, they can’t outrun Alina’s past or her destiny forever. The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and he needs Alina to realise his dangerous plan. There are others who would like to use Alina’s gift too. And as her power grows, somehow, she must choose between her country, her power, and her love – or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

review:

Wow, and I thought Shadow and Bone was intense. The Darkling is as dark and deep as ever and Alina and Mal are on the run this time. They thought they could escape forever, though. They can’t.

It’s weird. I both like and hate the Darkling. His past is really vague and it’s like he’s evil just for the sake of it, but still, he’s a really intriguing character. He honestly thinks Alina is meant to be with him. But personally, I prefer Mal. Things get a bit rocky for their relationship but I can see things from her point of view. She thinks she’s going crazy, and to tell someone she loves is beyond frightening. She feels like if she says it out loud, it’ll be true.

I thought this book delved deeper in to the story line and I completely loved the new additions: Sturmhond. Holy crap, I love this dude! I mean, he turns out to be way more than first impressions show and in a way he is far more complex than anything I’d have imagined. I instantly liked him.

And there are others, like Tolya and Tamar, who become Alina’s guards. They’re fun and fresh, but also you can tell they have secrets.

There were so many twists and turns I couldn’t put this book down and I am bouncing with excitement for Ruin and Rising. It comes out later this year as far as I know. :)

Kat