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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review: Billow (Ondine Quartet Book 2)

Billow is the follow up book to Emma Raveling's debut Whirl, and after I read Whirl I was hooked!  I have been trolling the Kindle store on Amazon absolutely waiting for the next one to arrive, and I am happy to say it is finally here!   For those not caught up to speed on The Ondine Quartet, they follow the crazy life of our heroine Kendra who is an Ondine, and she is also the Sondaleur or the chosen one.  She is supposed to rescue the Ondine population from the demon Aquidae.  In the first book Whirl, we are introduced to a recently orphaned Kendra, who is helped to defeat Aquidae she encounters by the Selkie Prince Tristan.  Instant sparks fly, and through gaining new friends and losing some as well, we see Kendra's story start to take shape and the part she is supposed to play in the Ondine world.   We also meet the ever incorrigible Julian, who is honestly my favorite character from this whole series thus far.  When someone close and powerful betrays the Ondine community to the Aquidae, it becomes Kendra's duty to rescue the people she has grown to love and care about.

Billow picks up about six months after we left Whirl, and boy things are different.  Kendra has been training with Julian, Tristan is gone, and Kendra's friend Chloe is reeling from the impact of betrayal.  We see a very different Kendra in this book, she is secluded mentally and emotionally from her friends, and tries to carry the weight of the world on her own two shoulders.  When people start disappearing literally, and someone close to Kendra is hurt badly things begin to spin out of control.  To top that off, Kendra has been having nightmares of smoke billowing all around her and her enemy, The Shadow is constantly one step ahead of her.  With the sudden reappearance of Tristan, and Julian throwing his hat into the ring to vie for Kendra's attentions, her life is getting morphing into a constant battle field.  Instead of going it alone as usual people close to Kendra care about her for a change, and want to help her.  When an old friend resurfaces and has information on these disappearances, Kendra must act fast.  But, the question remains: Will she act alone?

I thoroughly enjoyed Billow, and cannot wait for the third installment to be written and released.  Emma's ability to create two insanely likable guys without going over board on the whole "love triangle" aspect is wonderful.  I feel pulled both ways because I like both Julian and Tristan (Maybe Julian just a tad more because he is hilarious).  But, I also liked the fact that we really see into Kendra's internal struggle in this book, and her realizing that she doesn't always know what is best for everyone. I loved that she grew so much in this book, and also that she has become willing to take on bigger and bigger responsibilities.

If you haven't checked out Whirl or Billow yet, please do.  Emma Raveling has created a truly unique world that is new and fresh. Plus, a badass heroine is always awesome, and Kendra is truly one badass!

Billow Blurb!

It has been six months since ondine Kendra Irisavie arrived in Haverleau, the hidden capital of the water elemental world.

Six months since she discovered her destiny as the sondaleur.

Six months since a series of devastating events left behind their mark. 

Now, as she enters the chevalier elite program in her final year at Lumiere Academy, Kendra continues forward on her prophesied journey against the Shadow. Obsessed with what she must do to keep those around her safe, she struggles to balance her powerful magic and the demands of her fate with the challenges of friendship, the complications of romance, and the bonds of family. 

Meanwhile, the threat of the Shadow looms larger. Kendra and her friends investigate a series of puzzling human and elemental disappearances in the city of Lyondale and uncover a horrifying tactic used by the Aquidae in the war. When danger strikes close to home, Kendra must separate the truths from the lies and choose who and what to believe. 

Even if it means facing what she fears the most.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chosen: Stained #3

Ok, so I have already talked about how I have become obsessed with Ella James and her books, and let me just say that she is a doll for sending me a copy of Chosen to review!  I pretty much flew through this because I could not wait to find out what happens to Julia and Cayne and co.  This book did not disappoint.  The plot became thicker and juicier, some questions were answered, and I Cayne pretty much became my number one book boyfriend today!

So, getting right into it without giving away too much of the plot since this book has only been available for about 15 hours right now, we meet our band of Chosen on the run from "the three" and all of their minions.  The action starts right from the beginning, resulting in someone getting run over (I won't say who!) and the gang trying to find the a safe house with a cat/Tiger on the roof.  While they are on the run, Julia's headaches are steadily getting worse, but she is trying to hide her pain from everyone including Cayne.  When they finally reach their safe house, in an ironic twist they realize that they had been looking for the wrong object.  In the safe house we meet a slew of new characters, and rejoin some ones we haven't seen in awhile.  The group is reassured that they will be kept safe, and they believe that they will be.  The feeling of safety is fleeting though, because the group of Chosen who are looking for "The One" know where Julia and her friends are hiding, and they are on their way.  This time they will not let her go.  With a traitor who is hidden in Julia's midst and her continual worsening headaches, it is anyone's guess what is going to happen to this group of "ex-pats".  Evil is becoming craftier and the stakes have become higher than ever as Julia's true purpose as "The One" are revealed.

This book was a fantastic addition to the Stained trilogy, and I felt that so far it had much more action than all the others.  It picked up sprinting, and went into a steady run, with so much juicy action and romance.   Edan had me guessing the book too.  We are introduced to him in Stolen, and I really liked his character when he was introduced.  He is the perfect mystery man in the way that you have no idea what team he is batting for, until the very end; and let me say it is a shocker!  I love all of the sarcastic comments that Julia says to Caleb, they make me chuckle every time she calls out Caleb with something so snarky it is just great.  I especially loved that the novel focused a little more on Meredith too, and I really hope to see more of her in Exalted.   Also, the relationship between Cayne and Julia is just so sweet, and it melts my heart a little bit more every time Cayne does something that makes him seem just a little more human.   If you have not started this series, what are you waiting for?!  It is a fantastic story, with a great concept that just keeps getting further developed!

Chosen Blurb!

Julia has been chosen. While at the Stained compound, she was tapped as The One to win the war against the Nephilim and leashed with an illness that worsens each day she is away from The Three - and her destiny. Determined not to return to the frightening Chosen leaders and desperate to escape her fate, Julia and her friends journey to the Swiss Alps, home of a rogue Chosen clan.

In this snowy haven, all hell breaks loose.

Someone is traitor.
Someone changes sides.
Someone is dragged to Hades.
A new romance blossoms.
An old romance is damned.

And The Three will stop at nothing to recover the weapon that will help them regain power.

Ella also has some giveaways going on right now, so check them out! You have nothing to lose, so go do it!! 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review of Kindred by J.A. Redmerski!

Kindred is the second book of the Darkwoods Trilogy, and let me just say that this series is progressing fantastically!  To catch those who don't know up to speed, the first book in this series is called "Mayfair Moon" and tells the story of a girl in a not so great situation named Adria Dawson.  After something attacks Adria and her sister, all hell pretty much breaks loose that ends up in a relocation to Georgia.  It is in Georgia where things get really juicy because she meets Isaac Mayfair, who has a dark secret.

Kindred I really liked, because we got to see some more character development from secondary characters who were introduced in the first book, as well as the progression of Isaac's and Adria's relationship.  When I first read the major plot twist in the book, I was on the edge of my seat, pretty much thinking, "noooo Adria and Isaac are perfect, whyyyyy!?"  But, I will say without trying to give anything away, the end of Kindred was very fitting for the situations of these characters, and I can hardly wait for the next book, as well as more explanation on the character that holds great attention and interest in these books, Aramei.

Another major point of interest in this book for me was the relationship between Adria and Aramei, and if there will be any other major interactions between the two! Overall, this was a fantastic addition to an awesome series that had me hooked after the first page!  Can't wait for Aramei's Ballad and to see what else J.A. Redmerski has in store for us!

Blurb about Kindred Kindred! 

Isaac Mayfair is hiding a dark secret. And just when Adria Dawson thinks the worst of her life among the werewolf world is over, she learns the secret that can rip her and Isaac’s love apart. Adria must come to terms with what the truth means for her. What it means for her life and how much time she has left to live it. She must choose between two different fates, neither of which can offer life as a certainty.

As if Isaac’s betrayal isn’t enough, Adria learns that there are things out there older and more powerful than werewolves could ever be. An archaic entity known only to few as the Praverian, unlike anything Adria has ever known or heard of.

As Adria struggles with her own fateful dilemmas, she must also try to find out why the Praverian is so interested in her and do everything in her power to stay out of its way.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Evergreen -Brenda Pandos

So last week was a crazy, crazy week for me.  I didn't get much done in the way of reading or blogging which means that I am super behind and have a TON to catch up on.

First I want to talk about Evergreen, by Brenda Pandos. For those of you not aware of this series, I talked about it in an earlier post, but to catch you up, it's about a human girl named Ash and her best friend Tatchi, and Tatchi's brother Fin. The catch about Tatchi and Fin?  Well, they are mermaids.  Now let me tell you one thing, I really wasn't into stories about Mermaids, and then I stumbled upon this series.  Now, I am addicted and Brenda has a fan for life!  One thing I loved most about Evergreen were the moments of "WOW I did not see that coming!"  While it sounds slightly dramatic, there were several moments of that within this book.  Here is the description right here:

"Enter the watery world of treachery, greed, and the binding mer kiss as the story continues with Evergreen, book two of Mer Tales.

A kingdom on the brink of war. 
A king on the fringes of insanity.
A family running for their lives.

Ash and Fin’s only desire is to be together and dive into their happily ever after, though their conflicting worlds work to pull them apart. Neither is ready to convert to the other’s life: become a human or a mer. Little do they know that somewhere in Natatoria a secret holds the fine fabric of everyone’s lives together. If the truth is discovered, Ash and Fin will no longer have the luxury of waiting. They’ll be forced to choose. But will it be for loyalty or love? Or will someone else make the choice for them if they can’t decide?"

Sounds juicy right?  That's because it is.  With the introduction of a couple new characters, one of which I thought was going to bring some trouble in paradise to Ash and Fin, the plot became more complex and engrossing.  With a jam packed end that will keep you turning the pages and gasping this continuation was a fantastic second novel within the series.  Pandos also creates a web of different story lines together seamlessly (the decision/ confusion on whether Ash should be turned into a mermaid or not AND Ash's family trying to set her up with Fin's uber creepy cousin) that don't feel too crowded within the book itself.  It was a truly heart wrenching decision for Ash whether to turn into a mermaid or stay human and as I read along I couldn't help but go back and forth with her. 

Seriously Fin could not be more book boyfriend material.  He's heroic without taking away Ash's ability to stand on her own two feet and look out for herself.  Plus the end of the book I couldn't help but squeal in happiness, (you'll have to read an find out why)!

Pick up this series it's super worth it!  Or if mermaids aren't your forte, pick up Brenda's other series, the Talisman Series! 

 Overall I recommend this book to any one who is a fan of the series, fan of mer, fantasy, love/romance, or is looking for a new series to start!  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Favorite Authors Continued:

That last post was getting kind of long and I still have more to talk about!

4.  Let's talk about Brenda Pandos.  She is the author of the Talisman Series, as well as the Mer Tales series.  Not going to lie, the Mer Tales series is shaping up to be my favorite of her stories:

"She wanted her life to change ... he wanted his to stay the same.

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Ashlyn is about to discover what she'd thought to be true her whole life, wasn't, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever."

This excerpt is from Everblue: the first of the series and the second book Evergreen came out about a week ago.  First off, let me say I love the lore behind these mermaid stories.  I love that it is fleshed out with Brenda's own twists while remaining true to "the siren" myths of the mer.  I loved the Talisman series, but when I read Everblue, I was obsessed.  The plot flows seamlessly, and we feel the angst of the romantic couple, but it is not something that is overdone.  With the addition of Evergreen to the lineup, I am salivating for the next novel (yes it's that bad).  I'll do a full review of Evergreen in another post, but for now... 

 5. Samantha Young- I am late in the game in discovering this wonderful author, and I'm pretty sure that I can't pinpoint my favorite book by her.  No I can, It's called Slumber, and if you like fairytales, long journeys, lord of the rings, bickering couples who are absolutely perfect for each other but they don't know it, and magic, you are going to love Samantha Young.  She has a ton of series out right now (Fire Spirits, Tale of the Lunarmorte, Warriors of Ankh, The Fade) and she shows no sign of slowing down.  Her stories are captivating, and I am constantly impressed with how different each series is, but how completely you are sucked into each individual world.  The imagery in each novel is breathtaking (especially in Slumber) and the heroines are completely wonderful, strong, kick ass, and empowering to the female race in general.
"Slumber - A Romance

Molded by a tragic childhood, nineteen-year-old Rogan finds it extremely difficult to trust people. Now Haydyn, her best friend and the one person she does trust, is dying and only Rogan can save her.

Setting off on a journey to retrieve the plant that will cure Haydyn and subsequently the ills that will befall them all if she dies, Rogan is stuck in close quarters with a protector she distrusts above all others. 

Wolfe Stovia.

The son of the man who destroyed Rogan’s family.

At a constant battle of wills with the handsome Captain of the Guard, Rogan just knows this adventure together will be fraught with tension. She never imagined, however, that the quest would be so dangerous… not least of all when she finds herself falling for a man she could have sworn was her no.1 enemy…" (

  This book felt like the most epic fairy tale while I was reading it, and I was HOOKED on Samantha Young after reading it.  Check her out!

This is my second book blog, and I feel like my last blog I didn't have the initiative to actually blog about books, but that is because I hadn't yet found the community of authors and bloggers that are awesome, yep I am moving to the indie scene (so hipster).

So why should you follow my blog:
a. I read like a maniac.  I can finish a 400 page novel in about an hour and a half.
b. I like a variety of material.
c. I will try to have the latest releases reviewed within a week of them being released.
d. I will talk about all of these awesome self published authors that the public doesn't see a lot of unless you troll the kindle forums like I do.
e. I will give you my honest opinion.
f.  I own probably close to 700 books.  It is slightly morbid how many I own, but I would like to assure you that about 500 are on my kindle (I swear I have a life outside of reading!)

So, after listing all those reasons, here are some author's that I absolutely love right now:

1. Quinn Loftis and The Grey Wolves Series.  If you like broody male characters, but absolutely hilarious and strong heroines, this series is for you.  I love the relationship between the 3 girls, Jacque, Jen, and Sally.  The way that these characters talk is totally a Gilmore Girls flashback for me and I definitely love their spunk.  The First book is is FREE on kindle right now, so if you don't have a kindle or a kindle app, GO GET ONE and download this book!

Prince of Wolves- Quinn Loftis.

2. Time to talk about Shelly Crane.  Her Significance series is honestly one of my absolute favorite series out there right now, and I am dying for the next book in the series.  Here's a little snippet from the Amazon Page:
"Maggie is a seventeen year old girl who's had a bad year. She was smart and on track but then her mom left, her dad is depressed, she's graduating, barely, and her boyfriend of almost three years dumped her for a college football schalorship. Lately she thinks life is all about hanging on by a thread and is gripping tight with everything she has. Then she meets Caleb. She saves his life and instantly knows there's something about him that's intriguing but she is supposed to be on her way to a date with his cousin. But things change when they touch, sparks ignite. Literally. They imprint with each other and she sees their future life together flash before her eyes. She learns that not only is she his soul mate, and can feel his heartbeat in her chest, but there is a whole other world of people with gifts and abilities that she never knew existed. She herself is experiencing supernatural changes unlike anything she's ever felt before and she needs the touch of his skin to survive. Now, not only has her dad come out of his depression to be a father again, and a pain as well, but Caleb's enemies know he's imprinted and are after Maggie to stop them both from gaining their abilities and take her from him. Can Caleb save her or will they be forced to live without each other after just finding one another?" 
Let's just say I am in LOVE with Caleb from these novels.  The thing that I also love about Shelly's novels is her voice.  You definitely feel every characters emotion and her words are engaging.  Plus, there's no back and forth love triangle, which I LOVE.  Seriously, if a love triangle is done well, I can suffer through it, but I feel like that is all that some authors are relying on to get tension in their novels,(thanks for that Twilight -___-)  but this series has you rooting for the core couple without making the heroine seem like the tennis ball in a tennis match going back and forth from one male character to the next.  It is so refreshing!  Please check this awesome author out!!

Significance- Shelly Crane

3.  Next, we gotta talk about my girl Ella James.  She is relatively new to the Amazon scene, publishing the first book in her STAINED series last September, but boy, girl has been pumping out books.  She has already released her first two Stained series books with the third book coming any day now,(squee!!) as well as starting a new series called HERE, and a stand alone book called BEFORE YOU GO.  My absolute favorite so far of these books is Here, because it is a sic-fi romance, that is just super awesome:
"Milo Mitchell's life used to be charmed, but that was before her family dissolved, she went a little crazy, and her best friends started acting more like strangers. Spending Saturday morning in a treehouse with a stun gun for company and a herd of deer for friends is the only exciting thing in her life...until she shoots a fawn and finds her dart stuck in a guy.

Her gorgeous victim is dressed in a Brioni tux and armed with a hanky. He has no idea who or where he is. Afraid her dart caused his amnesia, Milo takes him in, names him Nick, and vows to help him solve his mystery. Soon the pair find Nick's face in a newspaper obituary, and Nick begins to have strange, ethereal memories of Milo--who is sure she's never met him. Suddenly Nick knows things he shouldn't know and is doing things he shouldn't do. When the Department of Defense shows up, Nick and Milo run--toward a shocking conclusion that could destroy both their worlds."

 Sounds awesome right?  That's because it is.  I love the whole aura of mystery throughout most of the book because it is this totally buildup to the bug reveal, and then it is BAM tons of action!  Plus, I was not expecting who Nick really was, which is awesome when an author can surprise me.  Job well done Ella!  Can't wait for lots and lots more from you!

Here- Ella James