Thursday, February 11, 2016

BLITZ: Earth's End



Earth's End (Air Awakens #3) 
by Elise Kova
Release Date: February 11th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:


A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

Book Three of the Air Awakens Series



Buy Links


Previous books in the series (click on images for Goodreads links):
 

EXCERPT
Vhalla snapped the reins and dug her heels into Baston’s sides, forcing him into an all-out run. From above, she heard the shouts of her waking enemy.
Thick and melodic calls erupted in the night, a language completely foreign to Vhalla’s ears. She didn’t have to know the words to know they weren’t friendly, so Vhalla pushed harder, pressing herself to Baston. Vhalla took a breath as she heard arrows being knocked overhead.
The sound of bowstrings being drawn in mass made gooseflesh dot her arms. Another shout, a single word and arrows cut through the air, determined to rain death around her. Even if Vhalla was certain her chainmail would shield her, the horse was completely unarmored; if Baston died, she was as good as dead. Vhalla twisted in her saddle, sweeping a hand through the air. The curtain of wind sent the arrows scattering harmlessly.
They shouted in protest, angst-ridden that she continued on unscathed.
The second assault came faster and hastened Vhalla’s mounting frustration. She had to be out of their range soon. More lights began to blaze above and behind her, casting the ground below in a faint glow. The light illuminated the edge of the city, and Vhalla was forced to stake her life on the hope that once she was out they wouldn’t catch her.
The arrows soared through the air once more and Vhalla twisted, knocking them away in mass. She expected to hear a cry for a third assault, but instead what she heard was even more disheartening. Two words that someone said in a thick Southern Common.
“Wind Demon!”
She became their prey. The sound of thundering hooves came from the direction of where the city first began.
Vhalla crossed under the edge of the city, plunging into the welcoming darkness. Had it been a day ago, Vhalla would not have given those riders a moment’s worry. Baston would outrun any normal horse, plus with her wind he was faster than thunder across the sky. But Baston had been ridden hard with only a brief rest.
Vhalla shifted her vision and peered over her shoulder. In the distance she saw them, riding relentlessly after her.
Sweating, panting, clutching the reins with white knuckles, Vhalla pushed all her energy into the wind at Baston’s and her back. More—they both had to give more. In her blind determination she almost missed the whiz of an arrow through the air.
Vhalla thrust out her arm and stopped the arrow midflight. She closed her fist and threw her arm backwards. The arrow turned and sped back at its original owner. Vhalla watched it soar straight into the Northerner’s eye, the one she pointed a finger at. The man slumped, and then fell off his saddle. She swallowed hard, looking away as the others’ cries grew louder.
Eyes, she would always go for the eyes. Whether someone was or wasn’t a Groundbreaker with stone-like skin was a risk she couldn’t take; she wouldn’t have many shots. Another archer held his bow, waiting for a different opportunity to take his chance.
Baston was already breathing heavy, and Vhalla knew she had to get them off her tail. The four riders behind her rode on fresh mounts and had the advantage of their night’s worth of sleep. Vhalla turned and pointed a finger. Sweeping her hand upward, an arrow freed itself from the other archer’s quiver. With a twist of her wrist, and the keen focus of a killer, Vhalla sent it into the unsuspecting Northerner’s eye.
One of the remaining two riders fell away as they swerved through the trees, his companion pushing forward. As the man swung wide, Vhalla realized they were trying to flank her. Vhalla grabbed for the dagger strapped to her wrist, sending it straight for his eye.
In the process, the woman rider had caught up with Baston, raising a wickedly curved blade toward his haunches. Vhalla threw out her other arm, sending the rider toppling head over heels. It wasn’t chance that the assailant’s blade slit her wielder’s throat in the fall.
Vhalla held out an expectant palm, her own dagger returning to it after a moment.
Wiping the blood on her thigh, she quickly sheathed it against her wrist before grabbing the reins once more. Vhalla swallowed a cry for speed; shouting at the horse would not make it go faster. It would only further compromise her position.
Vhalla pressed her lips together, forcing herself to keep her composure. It was not the first person she had killed. She had killed on the Night of Fire and Wind, she had killed the man who had murdered Larel, and she had killed with her bare hands at the Pass.
What had sunk deep into her bones was the acceptance of what she must do. It was knowing she had become a killer. It was how easy it was for her to slay her foes without even thinking of each of them as a whole person that showed Vhalla she’d gone far down a path she’d never wanted. They were entities, enemies, barriers, but they weren’t human.
Distracted by her inner conflict, Vhalla was caught completely off-guard by the first assault coming from the trees. A Groundbreaker swung down from the air, bringing his sword against the back of her head. Vhalla attempted to dodge at the last second, but it was too late. The blade slipped off her chainmail but it left her vision blurred and her ears ringing.
She blinked, trying to sort her senses as she pushed Baston onward, putting the assailant behind them. Groundbreakers jumped from limb to limb in the trees above her—free and fearless. Vines came to life to meet their extended hands, allowing them to soar through the air. With a twist or a tug, their lifeline shrunk back, curling around branches to pull them upward.
She wanted to feel amazed; perhaps she would have, if these people weren’t out to kill her. Another swung low, and Vhalla dropped off to the side of the saddle to dodge. Righting herself, Vhalla redrew her dagger in one quick motion as a third swung forward to attack. She sent the blade soaring through the vine the Groundbreaker held.
The man fell through the sky; Vhalla’s mind betrayed her, showing a different body plummeting through the air.
With a growl, she turned her blade to the next Northerner she saw, relying on the same tactic. She would show them why one did not hang above the head of the Windwalker. The other body fell with a sickening thud, and Vhalla left them behind her. With a twitch of her wrist, her blade returned to her hand.
Baston’s pace had slowed, and Vhalla snapped his reins again. This was the first time the beast did not heed her command, and she felt uneasiness settle across her.
Five Northerners still jumped from tree to tree overhead as dawn began to fade into early morning. Vhalla wondered if they were biding their time for rider and mount to tire. If she were they, she’d do the same thing. Baston’s sides heaved with exhaustion.
Their presence began to wear on Vhalla, and she watched them with bated breath, waiting for the next assault. Another hour passed and Baston slowed to a trot; she expected this to be the moment they attacked. But the Northerners held fast, following from welcoming branch to welcoming branch, each bent to meet their feet and hands.
They were toying with her, like cats with a mouse.
Playlist
For anyone who knows me, I MUST have music when I’m writing. In fact, it was the song Clarity, by Zedd, that was the initial inspiration for the entire Air Awakens series! Music helps me get “in the zone” and then find my groove again when I have to stop. Needless to say, I have full-on playlists devoted to every book. To get people excited, and to be used while reading, here is the full playlist for Earth’s End, in order, conveniently made in YouTube!

About the Author

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she's honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she's currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of "geekdom." She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook (/AuthorEliseKova). Visit her website, EliseKova.com/, for news and extras about her books!

Author Links:
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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Review: Air Awakens

ISBN: 1932549935 
Pages: 377
Source: YA Book Bound
Publication Date:
Initial Reaction: Emoji
A library apprentice, a sorcerer prince, and an unbreakable magic bond...
The Solaris Empire is one conquest away from uniting the continent, and the rare elemental magic sleeping in seventeen-year-old library apprentice Vhalla Yarl could shift the tides of war.
Vhalla has always been taught to fear the Tower of Sorcerers, a mysterious magic society, and has been happy in her quiet world of books. But after she unknowingly saves the life of one of the most powerful sorcerers of them all—the Crown Prince Aldrik—she finds herself enticed into his world. Now she must decide her future: Embrace her sorcery and leave the life she’s known, or eradicate her magic and remain as she’s always been. And with powerful forces lurking in the shadows, Vhalla’s indecision could cost her more than she ever imagined.


Hello everyone! Today I've got another review to share with you guys and I'm honestly so blown away by this book.

When I first marked this book as "currently reading" on Goodreads, someone commented saying that she really enjoyed the story and hoped I would enjoy it as well. Needless to say, I got pretty excited about this book following that comment and this book did not disappoint in the slightest. The world is so fascinating and the characters are so amazing that I think I may be suffering from a mild case of withdrawal.

I have always really liked reading books that dealt with elemental magic and this one is definitely no exception. The story follows our main character Vhalla Yarl who is a library apprentice and has grown up hearing stories of the sorcerers that protect the kingdom as being unnatural and evil. Imagine her surprise when she finds out that she is one of them. I loved how the author drew upon her natural curiosity and used that to build her slow acceptance of sorcerers and magic. The letters between Vhalla and her Phantom were a great way to see her slowly come to terms with things as well as informing the reader about the history of the world.

Vhalla was a pretty easy character to like as she has that inner fire that is so popular among many YA fantasy heroines. I really enjoyed her wit, determination, and love. She's grown up sheltered behind the thick library bookcases and finding out that she has magic and thrown her world in a complete loop. I absolutely died when the prince "tested" her to see her affinity and her reaction was just priceless.

Speaking of the prince, I have a new ship to add to my list. Vhalla and Aldrick are just absolutely perfect and the way they balance each other and how Aldrick just becomes a better person around her made me want to jump around in circles. Aldrick is your typical moody prince but he's a good reason for it as his father sees him as a representation of his magic and therefore a weapon for the empire. I will confess and say that my desire to continue the series is just to see their relationship continue to develop. When his brother came into the picture I was so worried and while I'm praying so hard that he doesn't end up as an obstacle, Baladair is still a good guy. He's just not good for Vhalla.

I find it funny how fantasy worlds always manage to make me rise up in protest because the governments are so clearly biased and judgmental. That plot twist at the end of the book that had Vhalla almost condemned was one of the hardest things I ever had to read because I was so scared of the outcome. I got so riled up while reading this my friends had to tell me to calm down.

With that being said, the world is so incredibly vivid and the characters and really well crafted. I need to get my hands on the second book  and the third and the whole entire series.

*Huge thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for providing a copy to review. All thoughts are 100% my own*
4 out of 5 stars 
 

Foreverly Obsessed,



Sunday, February 7, 2016

Review: Beyond the Stars

ASIN: B01AGF8X70
Pages: 300
Source: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: February 8, 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Initial Reaction: Emoji
Falling for him wasn't in the plans...
Most girls would kill for the opportunity to work for Jack McAlister, Hollywood's hottest actor, but twenty-one-year-old Jessica Beckett is ready to kick him out of her red Ford Fiesta and never look back. She should be spending her junior year in France, eating pastries and sharpening her foreign language skills. Instead she's reluctantly working as Jack's personal assistant, thanks to her powerhouse talent agent aunt.
Jack is private, prickly, and downright condescending. Jessica pushes his buttons—she's not the type of girl to swoon over celebrity heartthrobs, precisely why her aunt thought she'd be perfect for the job—and Jack pushes right back.
But as she begins to peel away his layers, Jessica is shocked to find she craves her boss's easy smile and sexy blue eyes. The problem is, so does the entire female population. And what started out as the job from hell soon has Jess wondering if a guy like Jack could ever find love with a regular girl like her. 
Hello everyone! Today is the release for Beyond the Stars so be sure to go wish the book a happy birthday on social media! 

If I could only summarize this book in one word it would be cute. I mean, if you look at the cover you could tell that this book was going to be a cute fluffy read. I will be completely honest and say that I was a bit surprised by how unattached I felt to all the characters, but it served its purpose in being a fun story. 

I absolutely adored the relationship in the story and it has to be one of the biggest pluses this novel has. Like I said before, I didn't feel connected to any particular character but I really loved how they interacted with each other. Jess is smart-mouthed and sassy and unafraid to say what's up. Jack is your typical movie star with a sad childhood and the desire to be someone good. Their relationship was not anything close to insta-love. It was a slow and gradual one and you really get to see them go from being professional movie star and assistant to having feelings for each other.

I can't even point out the exact moment where I thought Yes they are so falling for each other. If it wasn't for the obvious "I'm in love with Jack McAllister" I wouldn't have a clear point in the story and I really liked that. It's just really refreshing to see the relationship develop like any other relationship and to see how the two of them compliment each other.

Okay I lied, I did have a favorite character and it has to be Leo. Leo's adorable and I love him. He also happens to have a snout and a curly tail. When the story started with Jess bringing Jack's pet pig to a TV interview and she had to stuff him in a shopping bag I knew he was going to be crucial in the story. Leo is just so cute and everything that he does is adorable. I wish the author didn't do what she did because Jack and Leo have one of the sweetest human/pet relationships ever but I can understand why she did it.

The story also shines a light on friendships with Jess finding out her best friend Megan might not be the most supportive person ever. It was really cool to see her slowly see how toxic their relationship was and how Meg really just wanted to be in the spotlight. That phone moment was quite terrifying...

Beyond the Stars is just your typical fun and cute story that I believe is classified as NA with a more YA writing style that makes it a quick read.
3.5/5 stars
  

Foreverly Obsessed,


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Review: 2 AM at the Cat's Pajamas

ISBN: 0804140235
Pages: 272
Source: Blogging for Books
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Initial Reaction: Emoji
A sparkling, enchanting and staggeringly original debut novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters.
Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia's legendary jazz club The Cat's Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat's Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.
As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night. A vivacious, charming and moving debut, 2 Am At The Cat's Pajamas will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud. 
 Hello everyone! Welcome to my review for 2 AM at the Cat's Pajamas! I can't believe this is my 300th review on the blog so I thought I'd give the special spot to this adorable book.

This book took a while for me to get into. It follows multiple point of views which can start off as being a bit confusing but before I knew it, I had completely fallen for the characters. Each person is extremely quirky and fun. However, before I fell in love with the characters, I spent a good portion of the book being thoroughly confused. Each POV is pretty short and the plot lines constantly switch which made things very difficult to follow. Despite that, I managed to sort through all the characters by around mid way.

The writing style is as quirky as the characters. It's almost lyrical at some moments and makes the book a really quick read. Personally, I think I definitely need to reread this book again because I just flew through the story and I feel like I probably missed something big. Besides, the writing is so nice it would be a great experience.

Madeleine is probably one of the most interesting little girls I have ever read about. Her mother died, and her father is drowning in grief. She has a penchant for bad words and also has one dream and that is to sing in public but it has been forbidden after her last experience. I wish there could have been more explanation as to what happens when she sings in public because it wasn't fully explored.

Other than Madeleine, my favorite character has to be the old dog Pedro. His POV was just really adorable to read from. The other characters kind of faded to the back of my mind and all the plot lines just somehow wound together.Overall, the story's really fun and adorable and I definitely need to find time to reread this book in the future.

*Huge thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a copy to review. All thoughts are 100% my own*
3.5/5 stars
  

Foreverly Obsessed,



Thursday, February 4, 2016

BLITZ: The Slumber Duology



Slumber (The Slumber Duology #1)
by Christy Sloat
Release Date: March 16th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

Not all princesses get their happily ever after...
They tell me I killed my boyfriend Phillip in cold blood. I stabbed him twenty one times. I’m only seventeen years old, and I am serving life in Spindle Ridge Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
I don’t remember killing him, so it’s really hard to believe I’m capable of murder. In fact I don’t remember anything before I came to Spindle Ridge, not even my boyfriend.
I can only grasp onto my realistic dreams while the madness of the asylum threatens to pull me under. I dream I’m a beautiful princess and there is an evil faerie named Maleficent who is bent on my destruction. The dreams are the closest thing I have to memories of my life, except they aren’t real.
I’m crazy. I’m not a princess.
They’re the mad illusions of an irrational teenage girl, right?
They’ve assigned me a new doctor, and she says I can trust her, and that she’ll help me see the truth of who I really am.
When she arrived she brought a new patient, Sawyer, who is everything Spindle Ridge isn’t: exciting, mysterious and beautiful. He promises he’s here to rescue me. Trusting either of them frightens me.
Could it be possible that my dreams are more than just the imaginings of a delusional girl? Could they be truth?
 





Awaken (The Slumber Duology #2)
Release Date: November 17th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

“Happily ever after is hers for the taking.”

Once upon a time I found myself locked away in Spindle Ridge Asylum, punished for a murder I didn’t commit. It was all part of Maleficent’s evil plan. I didn’t remember who I was then … now I do. My name is Aurora, and I am the rightful queen of this realm. Armed with my memories, I’m ready to take charge of my kingdom once more. Happily ever after evades me, yet I long to claim it with my true love, Sawyer, beside me. That fairy tale ending seems impossible with him locked in the thralls of a sleeping curse. As much as I’d love to sit by his bedside and eagerly await a cure, I must first travel into the terrifying Dark Woods to stop Raven from stripping me of all that is rightfully mine. I am not only a queen, but a warrior who will fight for her kingdom. Some may die. Blood will be shed. But when this ending comes, I will settle for nothing less than a blissful ever after. 



I woke in the middle of the night hearing screams fill the air. This was not uncommon at all, but tonight I wasn’t expecting it. Normally when Adele’s meds are changed, she wakes screaming that she can’t sleep. Adele’s room is across from mine. She is roughly in her twenties and I never learned how she ended up here. I try not to talk to the other patients. I don’t know why it is, but I don’t fit in with these people. To them I’m the murderer and they tend to think less of me. That’s fine. I am what they say I am. That’s why I’m here, right?
 They told me I stabbed my boyfriend, Phillip, but I don’t remember doing it. I actually don’t remember Phillip at all. No recollection of having been in a relationship either. I must have killed him or else I wouldn’t be in Spindle Ridge.
Dr. Altman says that I have to believe that I did it or we will never get anywhere. I’ll admit it’s hard to believe that these hands could stab a person twenty times. No matter how I imagined it, it is always hard to believe. 
I sat up listening hard for the screams. When they came again I noticed they were not female, they were male. The screams were deeper and reached a longer distance than Adele’s cries ever could. I wondered if the whole building could hear him.
I pulled my covers up over my neck and covered my face. I just wanted to sleep and fall back into the dream I was having. It was beautiful, and if I had my way, I would stay there forever.
 Wait!
 I sat up fast. Closing my eyes, I tried to remember the dream to the last second. It wasn’t the same dream as the one’s prior. This dream was different! This dream was me and a boy.
I never dreamt of anyone but my parents and the evil woman. The dream’s soft lullaby came back to me as I remembered where I was.
The smell of fresh grass came across my senses.
The sky so blue as I lay on a blanket. I rolled over and saw the face of a boy. He was everything that Spindle Ridge wasn’t; he was beautiful. He had long, shaggy, but not unruly, hair that touched his collar. When he smiled at me, he looked like a boy in love. In love with me.
“Get up you lazy sack!”
I opened my eyes and was pulled back into the now. I was forced to leave the dream behind as I was being pulled out of bed by two nurses.



About the Author

Christy Sloat is a SoCal born girl who resides in New Jersey currently with her husband, two daughters and Sophie her Chihuahua. Christy has embraced the love of reading and writing since her youth and was inspired by her grandmother's loving support. Christy passes that love of reading, writing, and creativity to her daughters, family, and friends. When you do not find Christy within the pages of a book you can find her being mommy, wife, crafter, and dear friend. She loves adventurous journeys with her friends and can be known to get lost inside a bookstore. Be sure to venture into her Past Lives Series, The Visitor's Series, and watch for many more exciting things to come.


Author Links:
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Cute Brown Spinning Flower