22. kol 2014.

Cover Reveal: Vessel by Lisa T. Cresswell

M9B-Friday-Reveal
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

VESSEL by Lisa T. Cresswell

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
LCresswell_Vessel_M9B_eCover_1800x2700
The sun exploded on On April 18, 2112 in a Class X solar storm the likes of which humankind had never seen.
They had exactly nineteen minutes to decide what to do next.
They had nineteen minutes until a geomagnetic wave washed over the Earth, frying every electrical device created by humans, blacking out entire continents, and every satellite in their sky.
Nineteen minutes to say goodbye to the world they knew, forever, and to prepare for a new Earth, a new Sun.

Generations after solar storms destroyed nearly all human technology on Earth, humans reverted to a middle ages-like existence, books are burned as heresy, and all knowledge of the remaining technology is kept hidden by a privileged few called the Reticents.
Alana, a disfigured slave girl, and Recks, a traveling minstrel and sometimes-thief, join forces to bring knowledge and books back to the human race. But when Alana is chosen against her will to be the Vessel, the living repository for all human knowledge, she must find the strength to be what the world needs even if it's the last thing she wants.
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Title: Vessel
Publication date: May 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Lisa T. Cresswell
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Lisa T. CresswellLisa, like most writers, began scribbling silly notes, stories, and poems at a very young age. Born in North Carolina, the South proved fertile ground to her imagination with its beautiful white sand beaches and red earth. In fifth grade, she wrote, directed and starred in a play "The Queen of the Nile" at school, despite the fact that she is decidedly un-Egyptian looking. Perhaps that's why she went on to become a real life archaeologist?
Unexpectedly transplanted to Idaho as a teenager, Lisa learned to love the desert and the wide open skies out West. This is where her interest in cultures, both ancient and living, really took root, and she became a Great Basin archaeologist. However, the itch to write never did leave for long. Her first books became the middle grade fantasy trilogy, The Storyteller Series. Her first traditionally published work, Hush Puppy, is now available from Featherweight Press.
Lisa still lives in Idaho with her family and a menagerie of furry critters that includes way too many llamas!
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)

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21. kol 2014.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Buy the book at 
Author's 

Book summary:
What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
           Just when you think that there is no way that things will get worse, this series finds its way to kick you in the butt and say "Oh yeah, buddy, there are." I have got a real kick and frankly if there were more than one book left in this series I'd give up.

          So if you have read my review for the City of Fallen Angels you know that things there went pretty bad for me. I was annoyed by both Clary and Jace, and Simon and who not. But it wasn't only that but just the fact that this series has lost its point. This one went the same way and there are few things that gave me headaches.

          One of them was the beginning, as that was completely pointless. Nothing on earth happened and I just continued turning pages and trying to find why we have this book at all. It picks up and there gets to be something at the end, but fist half of the book could be completely deleted and I wouldn't argue with that. Another thing is actually was the light at the end of the tunnel in the previous book for me and that was Alec who by that point was my favorite character in this series - well he annoyed me as well. He was the mature one and chosen one! #grrr

         At the end I finished this book, put it down and picked Clockwork Princess from the self. I read the epilogue and cried my heart out. The last 10 pages of that book made me feel 100x more than the last two books in this series combined.

         I don't have much hope left, but I'm curious to see how things will end with this series. Hopefully I'll find a little spark of light somewhere as that's the only thing I wish for.

Rating: 1 star.

Until the next time,

20. kol 2014.

Waiting on Wednesday (#109)


You know the story. This is a meme created by Breaking the Spine and every week we pick books we're waiting for. Here are our picks for this week.

Glass' pick

Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it's in the streets . . . or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she's beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he's been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he's just coming along to keep her safe-but what's notsafe for her is prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.

Jack can't get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him-and losing her is not an option. Now Jack's troubles are catching up to him, and he's forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm's way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she's willing to let love in . . . and how much she already has.


Expected publication: September 2nd, 2014

Tanja's pick

Thyra Winther's seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can't reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she's doomed to spend eternity as a wraith. Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal. A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai's childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra's willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts -- to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup's devotion and the fire of a young man's desire, the thawing of Thyra's frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing. 

Expected publication: September 9th, 2014

We'd love to see your picks so feel free to link them up.

Until the next time,

19. kol 2014.

Dragonriders Unite Promo

Fledgling-Promo
Welcome to the DRAGONRIDERS UNITE promo for
Fledgling (The Dragonrider Chronicles #1)
by Nicole Conway
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.
cover
Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?
Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.
While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.
Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.
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Fledgling (The Dragonrider Chronicles #1) by Nicole Conway
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt
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One
I had never seen my father before my twelfth birthday. Not even once. Up until then, my mother had raised me all by herself in the royal city of Halfax. We lived like all the other gray elves in Maldobar—separated from the rest of society in the heavily guarded wartime ghettos. We had to follow a strict set of rules about where we could go, what we could do, when we got food, and what we could own. If you broke any of the rules, it was an immediate sentence to the prison camps, which I always heard was a fate worse than death. We were supposed to be grateful. After all, we were war refugees. Maldobar didn’t have to take us in, much less provide us somewhere to live. This was their act of charity towards us.
Our house was not much more than a tiny shack made of old recycled wood, and it only had one room. You’d expect a place like that to smell terrible, but my mother was a genius when it came to making anywhere feel like home. She could grow absolutely anything, and that was how she made our living. She grew vegetables, flowers, tiny fruit trees, and strange vines that climbed all over the walls and windows. It made the inside of our house feel like a jungle, and it smelled earthy like fresh soil and the fragrance of flowers. We couldn’t legally sell anything she grew since gray elves weren’t allowed to have any money, but we could still trade. So early in the mornings, my mother packed a sack full of peppers, fruit, vegetables, and anything else ready for harvest, and sent me out to the shops to trade for things we needed.
It was a lot harder than it sounds. Not the trading itself, that part was easy, but I had to be very sneaky about it. I was always on the watch for guards, or humans. Gray elf children were rare, even in the ghettos. Any elf living in the kingdom of Maldobar as a refugee was absolutely not allowed to have children. It was forbidden. Having children was a great way to get thrown into a prison camp, or worse. But I didn’t just have to worry about that. It was bad enough to be a gray elf kid, hiding until you were old enough to be overlooked. But I was a halfbreed. My father was a human from Maldobar. So instead of looking at me with anger, everyone looked at me like I was a cockroach. The humans didn’t like me touching their stuff because I was mixed with the filthy, wild blood of a gray elf. If they hadn’t liked my mother’s produce so much, they probably would have turned me in to the guards. The gray elves didn’t like me, either. But there was a very strict code amongst them: you didn’t betray your own kind no matter what. So they ignored me rather than ratting me out to the city guards.
I really didn’t fit anywhere, except with my mother. She loved me unconditionally. She was the most beautiful person in the world. Her hair was long and silvery white, and her eyes were like stars. All gray elves had eyes like that. When she smiled at me, her eyes would shine like gemstones in the light, as white and pale as diamonds with faint flecks of blue, yellow, and green in them.
When she died, I had just turned twelve. I got the feeling right away that no one really knew what to do with me. I didn’t fit into anyone’s plans. If I were a pure blooded elf, they would have taken me straight to a prison camp. If I were a human, someone would have adopted me. I wasn’t either, and yet I was both at the same time. I think the guards were just baffled that my mother had done such a good job of hiding me for so long, or that she’d somehow managed to have an affair with a human man.
Ulric Broadfeather was the only one who would take me in, and I’m pretty sure he only did it because my mother had left a letter behind naming him as my biological father. If it weren’t for the public shame of disowning a child, he probably would have just let me go to a prison camp anyway.
From the very beginning, my father was the most frightening man I had ever known. He was hugely tall, like a knight, and stronger than anyone else I had ever seen. Once, I saw him pick up and pull family wagon while it was loaded with bags of grain all by himself. He could have crushed my neck with one hand if he wanted to. His hair was jet-black like mine, except it was cut short. My mom always insisted I wear my hair long, like gray elves traditionally did. I also had his cold blue eyes that were the same color as glacier water. There definitely wasn’t any doubt he was my father. I looked too much like him for anyone to deny it.
I wish I could say that he welcomed me with open arms into his home; eager to make up for lost time he hadn’t gotten to spend with me. But he already had a family, living on the outskirts of a small city called Mithangol, and he wasn’t interested in adding me to it. I was an unwanted guest right away.
He had a human wife named Serah who made it perfectly clear she didn’t want me in her house at all. Serah absolutely hated me. She glared whenever she looked at me, accused me of being responsible for anything that went wrong, and refused to let me sleep in her house because I gave her a “bad feeling.” So I slept on a cot in the loftroom of Ulric’s workshop, instead. As bad as it sounds, I actually preferred it. It was quiet there, and even though it was cold in the winter, I liked the smell of the old hay and the leather that was stored up there.
Ulric also had another son, Roland, who was four years older than me. Roland chose to ignore my existence completely. I got the feeling that he was in survival mode, trying to be as aloof and uninvolved with the family as he possibly could until he was old enough to move out. I couldn’t really blame him for that. Like me, he favored our father. He was really tall, muscular, and had the same ice-blue eyes that looked like they belonged to a powerful bird of prey. I was a little afraid of him, even though he never said more than two words to me at a time. I could sense a lot of anger coming from him, and I was always paranoid I’d be standing too close when he finally snapped.
Ulric had two more children, a pair of twin daughters named Emry and Lin. They were six years younger than me, but they were meaner than a pair of hungry jackals. Every day, they tried to get me in as much trouble as possible. Of course, Serah believed every word they said. They would break things, let the chickens and goats out, or steal jewelry from their mother’s room, and blame it all on me. Once, Emry got ahold of the sewing scissors and chopped up Lin’s hair. When Serah found out, Emry blamed it all on me and told her I had done it. Serah believed it, and I got a beating from Ulric as soon as he came in the house. Inventing new ways to get me into trouble was their favorite pastime, and there was nothing I could do about it. They were sneaky and smart, a lot smarter than me I guess, because they never got caught.
The only good thing about living with my father was watching him work. Ulric was a tackmaster—he made saddles for the dragonriders from Blybrig Academy. But he didn’t just make saddles; he made the very best saddles in Maldobar. I watched him through the slats and gaps in the floor of the loftroom, shaping leather and stitching intricate pieces together. He did it all by hand, and it took him several weeks to craft one saddle. But when it was finished, each one was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. It made me envy him, even if he probably wished I had never been born.
That’s why I almost keeled over when Ulric growled my name, calling me down from my room into his shop. He’d been working for two weeks solid on a new saddle, one more beautiful than ever, and it was finally finished.
“Wrap it up,” he barked at me in his gruff, gravely tone, and threw a few old quilts at me.
I was stunned. Ulric had never asked me to do anything before, especially nothing to do with his work. This was my chance, I thought. If I could be useful, maybe he wouldn’t hate me so much. He might even teach me to make saddles someday.
Ulric left me alone in his shop, and I walked over to the saddle that was set up on one of the big sawhorses. I ran my fingers over the freshly oiled leather. It was as red as blood, engraved with intricate designs and images of mountains and vines. All the buckles were made of silver-plated iron. I couldn’t even imagine what it would look like when the dragon it had been made for would finally put it on. A powerful beast, bound for the skies with a snarl and a flash of fire. It made my skin prickle, and every hair stand on end.
I was small for my age. I’d always been small, unfortunately. Ulric’s stature apparently hadn’t been passed on to me. To make matters worse, I was so skinny that I pretty much looked like a scarecrow. Emry and Lin like to call me “stick boy” because they knew it bothered me. If I were as big as Roland, no one would have tried to push me around.
It took all my strength to wrap the saddle up in the quilts so it wouldn’t get scratched or damaged, and then lug it outside. The weight of it made my arms and lungs ache. I could feel myself wobble dangerously if I leaned too far in any direction. I didn’t want to imagine what Ulric would do to me if I dropped this saddle.
The knights who rode on dragons just about never came to pick up their saddles personally. Most of them came from rich, powerful noble families, and had plenty of servants to do those kinds of errands for them. So when I saw Ulric standing outside talking to a man in formal battle armor with a sweeping cape of royal blue brushing at his heels, I stopped dead in my tracks. The saddle weighed more than I did, and I almost dropped it in surprise.
It was a muggy, overcast day. The clouds were so low and thick you couldn’t see the mountains that hunched over our small city. Even so, the knight’s armor still managed to gleam like liquid silver. He had his helmet under one arm, the white-feathered crest on it tipped in black, and the king’s eagle engraved upon his breastplate.
They both turned to look at me as I stood there, my arms shaking under the weight of the saddle, staring at the dragonrider. Ulric scowled darkly, and stomped over to take it from me. He slung it over his shoulder like it weighed nothing at all, growling curses under his breath at me as he went to tie it down to the knight’s horse.
The knight, however, was still staring right at me. He gave me a strange look, narrowing his eyes some and tilting his head to the side slightly like he was sizing me up. It made me blush from head to toe, the tips of my pointed ears burning like torches under my long hair. This was a warrior who had probably fought against gray elves for years, and I knew what I looked like.
He curled a finger at me, calling me toward him. It made me cringe as I obeyed. I hedged toward him, my shoulders hunched up because I half-expected him to hit me just out of pure resentment for what I was. But he didn’t.
When I got close enough, he grabbed my chin in one of his gloved hands, cranking my head around so I had to look up at him. I was shaking all over, wondering if this was it for me. Maybe he’d crush my head like a grape in his hand. Or maybe he’d throttle me to death. Either way, I was pretty sure Ulric wouldn’t go out of his way to save me. He might have even thanked the knight afterwards for saving him the trouble.
“What’s your name, boy?” The knight asked me. His voice was deep, but not angry or resentful. He was turning my head this way and that, pulling back my hair to see my pointed ears, and looking me over like he was inspecting livestock.
“J-Jaevid.” I told him through clattering teeth.
He frowned, looking back into my eyes before he finally let me go. His own eyes seemed dead to me. Dead—like someone who had seen many years in battle and knew what it meant to kill without mercy. “How old are you?” he asked again.
“Fifteen, sir.” I took a few steps back away from him. If he came after me suddenly, at least I had some hope of outrunning him. I was small, but I was fast.
Ulric was finished tying the saddle down, and came over with a growl meant to shoo me away. I took the hint and retreated back into the workshop, up to my loftroom where I had a wooden cot piled with old, holey quilts. I went to the small window along the far wall. It was a good place peek at them through the cracks in the boards that had been nailed over it. I could hear them talking, and it made my heart jump into my throat.
“You didn’t tell me you had a halfbreed son,” the knight chuckled, like it was a bad joke. “Looks just like a half-starved, miniature version of you, except for the ears.”
Ulric just shook his head and kept growling rumbling words, glaring at the ground. “Serah wants him gone.” I heard him say.
“Can’t blame her for that.” The knight seemed to sympathize. “You thinking of taking him on as an apprentice?”
Ulric just snorted like it was a ridiculous idea.
“Ah, my mistake then. I figured since your older boy had chosen to join the infantry you’d pass your skill set onto someone else in your family. I doubt your girls would be interested.” The knight rambled on, beginning to stroll back to where his horse was waiting. The new saddle was bundled up and ready for transport. “A shame he’s such a small, sickly-looking thing.”
That stung me. Yes, I was small for my age. But I hadn’t thought I looked sickly. It made me angry at myself, and at my inability to grow even a few inches taller. What a difference even two inches and a few pounds of muscle would have made.
“Where’s his dragon?” A whispering voice suddenly asked from right beside me.
It scared me out of my wits, making me scramble away in surprise. I hadn’t heard anyone approach, and was half afraid it was one of my sisters. But it wasn’t.
Katalina Crookin was probably the only friend I had in the world. Her father was a very good blacksmith who worked with Ulric sometimes, helping him craft unique pieces that required a more skilled metalworker. They only lived about a mile away, so Katty and I had found each other inevitably. She was small and skinny, like I was, with a head full of wild gold curls. She had big dark blue eyes, and just about every inch of her face was covered in freckles. The other kids in town teased her and called her ugly. I knew it must have hurt her feelings, but she never let it show. And when the other kids would come after me, trying to cut my hair or throw rocks at me, she was always there to defend me . . . and no one could throw a rock harder or more accurately than Katty. She had blacksmith’s hands.
I shook my head at her, moving back to the window to peek outside again. The knight was getting on his horse already, dropping a purse of coins into Ulric’s hand before he rode out of sight.
“I don’t know. I don’t think he brought it,” I whispered back. Neither of us had ever seen a dragon before.
Katty puffed a sigh of disappointment while shaking her head. It made her gold curls swish back and forth. “I saw him coming up the road. I knew he had to be a dragonrider. Normal soldiers don’t wear armor like that,” she told me. “Can you come over today?”
I didn’t know. Normally, I could’ve easily slipped away to visit the Crookins without Ulric or Serah even noticing I was gone because usually, they didn’t care where I was. But Ulric had actually asked me to do something for him today. Not to mention, he and the knight had been discussing my future—or lack thereof. I wasn’t so sure I could get away with leaving without getting caught.
Katty was watching me waffle between my desire to go to her house, and the inevitable beating I would get if Ulric ever caught me over there. She smiled. “Momma’s making sweetbread,” she baited me. “With wild honey.”
That decided it for me. I grinned back at her, nodding because we both knew what goodies were sure to go along with sweetbread. Thoughts of whipped butter with cinnamon and sugar, and warm milk with a hint of honey, were already swimming happily through my brain as we climbed down from my loftroom. We darted out the back of Ulric’s shop before anyone noticed, and took the narrow footpath we’d made ourselves through the prickly briars. It was our secret path, so no one would see us.
The Crookin’s house was not as big as ours, but it felt more like a home instead of the prison I lived in. Smoke came out of the chimney in the house, and out of the stack for the bellows in Mr. Crookin’s forge. Mr. Crookin didn’t really like me. That’s not to say he hated me as much as Serah did, but he didn’t like me coming around his house too often. He hadn’t minded it so much when I was younger, but now that I was fifteen, I could tell he was on the verge of telling me not to come back anymore. He didn’t talk much, and he had a face that was mostly hidden behind a thick, wiry beard. He wore his long black smithing apron every day, and his face and arms were almost always smeared with soot.
Mrs. Crookin, on the other hand, was one of the few people who didn’t make me feel unwanted. She smiled at me when we came inside, wiping her hands on her apron before she pulled me in immediately to kiss my forehead and ruffle my hair. She always hugged me until I couldn’t breathe, and asked me if I was getting enough to eat.
“What a good boy,” she said, patting my cheeks until it stung a little. “But still so skinny. Doesn’t Serah feed you at all? Sit down, Jae. I’m making your favorite.”
Katty plopped down in a chair across from me at their kitchen table, grinning as she slid a plate and spoon in my direction. “There was a dragonrider at his house today, momma.” Her eyes were still sparkling with excitement about it.
“Yeah, but he didn’t bring his dragon.” I added, sighing and twirling the spoon through my fingers. Mrs. Crookin brought over a platter of steaming hot sweetbread, fresh out of the oven. The smell made me dizzy with hunger, and it was hard to sit and wait while she put out jams, that delicious cinnamon butter, and mugs of warm milk for us on the table. “Not surprising, is it dear? It’s nearly springtime.” I knew what she meant. Every spring, Ulric packed up his tools and materials onto a wagon, and left for Blybrig Academy. The new riders started their training just as the weather was getting hot, and Ulric had to take molds and build brand new saddles for them. It was when he made most of his money, but it also meant that he’d be gone for a while. He was always completely exhausted when he came back. In a month, the snows would melt in the Stonegap Pass, and Ulric would start packing his tools again. If any other knights wanted a saddle from him, they’d have to get it before he left or wait until after spring. “I wish papa would let me go with him,” Katty whined while she was smearing a spoonful of jam onto a large piece of bread. “It’s not fair. Other apprentices get to go.”
“Soon, dear.” Mrs. Crookin smiled fondly at her daughter. They had the same gold colored hair, but Mrs. Crookin’s was flecked with silver. She was a much older woman than my stepmother.
Katty was eager to go to Blybrig, not that I could blame her. She wanted to see dragons just like I did. Her father had been teaching her his craft for a long time, and she was already strong enough to do most of the little tedious jobs for him, even if she was small and fragile looking. Mr. Crookin went to Blybrig for spring training, just like Ulric. But he went to make armor, not saddles.
“You’ll have to tell me what they look like,” I told her. I wasn’t able to keep myself from sounding sad about it. When she starting working with her father full time, I wasn’t sure where that would leave me. I’d be on the brink of adulthood with no idea where I should go, or what I should do. I wouldn’t have a skill to sell, or even a place to live.
Katty smiled at me hopefully from across the table, leaning forward and grabbing my hand at the wrist. “You’ll see them, too, Jae. Maybe papa would let you be his apprentice with me.”
Mrs. Crookin smiled at us, but I could still see it in her eyes; she didn’t think her husband would ever allow that. They were all right with me coming to visit, and with me being friends with their daughter, but they had to draw the line somewhere. I was still a halfbreed.
I didn’t let Katty see how that hurt me. It wasn’t their fault, really. And it wasn’t my place to try to weasel my way into their family business like that. “Nah.” I shrugged and gave her as confident a grin as I could muster. “I’m going to the coast. I want to work on one of the ships going out of the harbor. I’ll get to see the ocean, and eat fish every night.”
Katty looked deflated. I guess she’d wanted us to work together. Or, she’d at least hoped I would want the same thing as her. “You’ll smell like a fish, after all that,” she grumbled, wrinkling her nose.
We ate until there were only a few scraps of the bread left, and Mrs. Crookin wrapped those up for me to take with me. It was dark outside when I started for home. Katty always walked with me as far as the property line, and she had a blanket wrapped around her so that only her face and some of her curls peeked out.
“Jae,” she started. I could tell by the tone of her voice she was about to ask me something serious. “Do you really want to go to the coast?”
I’ve never been a very good liar. When it came to Katty, well, she could smell deception on me like a hound. I couldn’t lie to her if I wanted to. I quirked my mouth while I thought about the ocean, about ships, and about eating fish.
“Not really,” I confessed.
“We’d never see each other if you left,” she reached a hand out from under her blanket to grasp mine, squeezing my fingers. “After papa retires and I take over the business, I’ll make you an apprentice myself. Then we can work together and no one will be able to say anything about it.”
I tried to smile for her. I tried to show her some optimism. But we’d be in our twenties before her father let her take on any authority in his smithing business, and even then, I wasn’t sure blacksmithing was my calling. It required physical strength, which I clearly didn’t have.
“Thanks, Katty.” I squeezed her hand back.
We talked about dragons and knights all the way to the property line. Then I gave her a hug, and she kissed my cheek like her mom did, and we parted ways. I walked a few feet into the dark before I stopped and looked back, watching her disappear into the gloom and thorny shrubs. She was the best friend I had—my only friend really, and sooner or later, she’d have to leave me behind. She’d outgrow me. She’d get tired of having to stick up for me all the time.
With the bundle of leftover bread still under my arm, I walked back to my room in the loft. Ulric’s shop was quiet and dark, like it always was once he’d finished for the day. He was probably already inside, having dinner with his real family, and talking about how soon he could get rid of me. Roland was probably just sitting there at the table, glaring down into his plate without a word. The twins were probably throwing food at each other like savages. I didn’t expect any of them to even notice I was gone.
But I was wrong.

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
NicoleConwayPhotoNicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook
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COMING SOON!

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What kind of power is lurking inside him?
After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves.
Jaevid must face a new fear as he is tormented by a gruesome nightmare of a mysterious gray elf warrior murdering the royal family of Maldobar. It seems obvious to him that this is some kind of message about how the war started long ago—until Felix assures him the king is very much alive. With his strange powers growing stronger by the day, and that violent dream replaying in his mind every night, Jaevid no longer wonders if he will pass his avian year or not . . . he wonders if he will even survive it.
The truth will soon be set loose.
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18. kol 2014.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

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Author's 

Our rating: 

Glass: 4 stars & Tanja: 5 stars 

Book summary:
The capital has fallen.
The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.
Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.
Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.
Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.
           You know how they say - all good things come to an end. Well sadly with this book two amazing things came to an end. First is this series, which blew us away and which we enjoyed a lot and second is our read-a-long with amazing Emma. But we're sure that there will be many more read-a-longs.
           As with the previous two books all three of us had a little brainstorm where we came up with the questions for our review which will be spoiler free. In the meantime you can go and check out Emma's review at Never Judge a Book by its Cover and if you wish you can check our reviews for Shadow and Bone or/and Siege and Storm. Now let's discuss Ruin and Rising.

What is your favorite scene in this series? 
Glass: Definitely that last scene with Darkling and Alina. If you've been following our reviews of The Grisha Trilogy, you may have noticed that I am quite fond of villain. (I blame Leigh Bardugo for that!) Usually, the final show down between good and bad guys is a little bit more melodramatic, black an white, but here you have no such thing. Oh, the feels...
Tanja: This should be easy one. It's for sure the bare ending of this book and this series. It has one of my favorite quotes and I actually reread that last page so many times (because it was so good and because my eyes were full of tears so it was blurry a bit) and I know it by heart. I can post you the whole quote as it'd be a major spoiler but one part goes like this:
“They had an ordinary life, full of ordinary things-if love can ever be called that.” 

This book also focuses on secondary characters. Which one was your favorite? 
Tanja: Well, I really liked David throughout the whole series and I also like how Zoe changed here. I mean she was still the same, but different. Somehow she grew on me. But without any doubt my favorite secondary character in this whole series is Sturmhond.
Glass: Yes, Surmhond was great charater, but I believe that I will pick a girl this time - Genya. She went trough such a transformation since the first time we read about her.

If Leigh wrote another chapter in alternative POV, who would you like to see?
Glass: Do I even have to say it? Darkling, of course.
Tanja: Darkling, that's for sure. You get some pieces of it here and there, but I'd love too see how he thinks of his past and how he sees his mission and everything he's doing. I'd really like to see his emotions, especially in the scene on the mountain top.

As this story progressed, how did you feel about the development of the "mythology" throughout the novel? 
Tanja: I know that girls had some issues with this, but I really liked it. I loved how Leigh used Grisha and this whole concept to give her look at mythology or better said religion. Somehow it really all made sense to me and I loved it how Leigh gave some her way of explaining things.
Glass: This is my last favorite part of the storyline, I have a lot of mixed feelings. I did like some parts while the others were a big issue for me. I am not a fan of religious topics and The Grisha is based on religious believes. True, modified, but still religious. I know that all of that goes with whole middle ages atmosphere and that for such a world all of that is logical. If you don't think too much about it or focus on different aspects of the story, it would probably be okay. If you are like me and you just can't let go of that... Well, we have a same problem.

What Grisha would you be? And why?
Glass: Oh, The Order of Summoners, Etherealki - I always was fascinated by concept of controlling the elements.
Tanja: Honestly, I wish I could say that I'm a brave one and that I'd for sure go and kick some asses here, but frankly I don't have brave bone in my body, nor do I have guts to be a Corporalki soldier. But I'm good with my brains so I'd hopefully be good as a Fabrikator and Alkemi would probably be happy to have me.

What are your thoughts about the ending of this book? 

**Image was taken from 
Leigh's website - source
Tanja: It was a perfection! I really, but really couldn't believe  
end like this. Don't get me wrong, the ending was perfect but out of all ideas and plans I had in my head about the ending this one didn't occur to me. But it's the best ending we could get.
Glass: Again, I have mixed feelings. Honestly, I didn't expect some things to happen like they did and that was great - unpredictable and keeps you on your toes until the very end. I will have to use spoilers now, so *spoiler alert*! I did not find that scene with Mal believable at all. Seriously??? After that melodramatic scene comes that?! Um...No! It might be okay if author tried to explain what happened better, but, unfortunately, she didn't. And that is one thing that is constant trough the whole series - every time you come to this big, messy part and expect something epic to happen - it doesn't. Magic vaguely saves the day. The end. 

Which book is your favorite in this series?
Glass: Shadow and Bone - it was the most consistent story in The Grisha Trilogy.
Tanja: It's really hard to decide. I'm torn between Shadow and Bone and Ruin and Rising. I love both, but I guess that if I really have to pick I'd find one small reason to go with Shadow and Bone.

Until the next time,

17. kol 2014.

The Sunday Post (#20)

Hello all. Well, as some of you know Sundays are always reserved for Sunday Post which is a meme created by lovely Kim @Caffeinated Book Reviews!

Morning, darlings. It's another Sunday and therefore it's time to do a little update. It's really hard to believe that it's middle of August already. Where did the summer go? But hopefully we'll get more sunny days and less stormy day. In our lives, well Glass is job-hunting at the moment and hopefully she will get a job as I know she deserves it. *fingers crossed* Tanja is still on her vacation and enjoying as much as she can. We're also way behind with commenting and while Glass has an excuse, only excuse Tanja can offer is her Kate Daniels addiction. It's such an amazing series that she can't stop reading. So blame Kate, but I wouldn't do that if I were you. Just sayin'.
Let's see what's next here at Ja čitam, a ti?.
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (review)
  • Dragonriders Unite Promo
  • Waiting on Wednesday (#109)
  • City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (review)
  • Cover Reveal (all in good time)
  • Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout (review) 
Tanja's haul 
Thank you: Egmont and Month9Books
Glass' haul 
Thank you: Little, Brown Books and Atria

Until the next time, 

16. kol 2014.

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

Buy the book at 
Author's 

Our rating: 4.5 stars

Book summary:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.
Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.
For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .
Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.
Tanja: I still can't believe that there is only one book left in this series. Remember the days when Bloodlines was announced and our happiness.Time really flies. But what makes me really happy is that this series, despite its ups and downs is going into the right direction as I can freely say that for me this was the best book in this series till now.
Glass: I know - times flies so fast. You do remember that I was disappointed with previous book despite Adrian and Sydney finally getting together, but Silver Shadows managed to surprise me. I did not expect much, so maybe that is why I enjoyed reading it.
Tanja: True that. What I really liked her was Sydney. We finally get to see her potential and it was really great to see her change. That girl is now something that I'll cheer for. Adrian on the other hand, deserves a slap or two, but we don't want to ruin that pretty face, do we?
Glass: Oh my God, woman - slapping!? I need to take back my whip before you do some serious damage. We do not slap our Adrian. You need to cuddle with him. I loved how he was portrayed in this sequel - not the usual alpha or a bad boy with his physical strength as advantage. His "superpower" is of a different kind. And Sydney? I completely agree with you. Also, Silver Shadows was a bit darker from previous novels. What do you think about that?
Tanja: Yes it truly was. I never expected Alchemist to go that far. I mean with the idea and everything the presented I was really surprised with how far they are willing to go. It was also great for the story as it had that paranormal feeling here. And for the whip thing, girl you're the boss and you know it.
Also it was really interesting to see some well know characters again here. Our babies are growing up. Did you see that?
Glass: Absolutely. I want to know more about what is happening on the court. I have a feeling like we missed a lot while we were occupied with Adrian, Sydney and rest of the gang. Which brings me to the most important question - "Will there be more spin-off series?" And that ending... Considering that there is only one book left and so many things are yet unexplained, it is hard to imagine that Richelle Mead will manage to untangle this whole mess in last Bloodlines novel.
Tanja: That's yet another thing that I cannot wait to see. I really hope it'll all finish without any loose ends and that she will manage to conclude everything, as I think it's time to say goodbye to this world. But we have to wait and see.
But let's go back to the ending of this book for a moment, as it's actually the only thing that was a bit too much for me. Honestly at one point I expected guys from Cobra 11 to jump out of somewhere. It was funny, but really way too much.
Glass: Hahaha, Cobra 11... I forgot about that show and I used to watch it obsessively. Maybe even Tom Cruise to jump in with his high tech toys.  You are right, it was a bit too much - even for R. Mead. Combining romantic and action scenes into one... I don't know. There is that "big elephant in the room" we are not talking about because it would be a major spoiler, but I did not see that coming. At all.
I am guessing that we all will have to wait and see how will this series end.
Let the countdown until February 2015 begin.

Until the next time,

15. kol 2014.

Cover Reveal: Horror Business by Ryan Craig Bradford

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Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Horror Business by Ryan Craig Bradford

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
horrorbusiness2
Armed with a passion for classic B-grade horror movies, a script co-written by his twin brother, and a wicked crush on his death-obsessed neighbor; hardcore horror fan Jason Nightshade must finish his student film.
But his plans are derailed when the children of suburban Silver Creek start disappearing – his twin brother among them. Battling a possessed video camera, a crazy zombie dog, a monstrous bully, and a frighteningly broken down family life, Jason embarks on a mission to find his lost brother so the two can write an ending for his story.
As any horror fan knows, saving the day won't be easy, as Jason finds himself forced to face the real world where death isn't just a splash of fake blood on a camera lens.
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Title: Horror Business
Publication date: February 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Ryan Craig Bradford
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
ryanauthorpic3-300x200
Ryan grew up in Park City, Utah. His fiction has appeared in Quarterly West, Paper Darts, Vice, Monkeybicycle and [PANK]. He currently lives in San Diego where he acts as Creative Director for the nonprofit literary arts organization So Say We All. He’s the co-editor of the anthology Last Night on Earth and founder of the literary horror journal, Black Candies.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter
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14. kol 2014.

Blog Tour: Storms of Lazarus by Karen Kincy


stormstour
Welcome to my tour stop for Storms of Lazarus by Karen Kincy. This is the second book in the Shadows of Asphodel series. This is a new adult dieselpunk romance and is now available!  The tour runs August 11-22 with reviews, interviews & a few guest posts. Check out the tour page for the schedule and more information.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00066]
Buy this book at Amazon
Book summary: 
Sometimes escape is impossible. Sometimes love isn't enough.
1913. Christmas Eve. Ardis hardly expects a quiet holiday with Wendel, between fleeing Constantinople and hiding from an ancient society of assassins. And they owe a debt to a certain archmage.
In Königsberg, Prussia, they work with Konstantin on the next evolution of Project Lazarus. Wendel once called Königsberg home, the city now besieged by the Russians and their clockwork engines of war. This may be Wendel’s last chance to save his family and find redemption, but he's tormented by nightmares and tempted by laudanum. Ardis fears her love isn’t enough to save Wendel. Her hands are full piloting the automatons, and she's terrified to tell him a secret of her own. Will they—and their love—survive the storms of war?
             Shadows of Asphodel was a real discovery last year. It was a mix of different things which brought together a really unique and interesting story. As I said in my review it was set in time really familiar to all of us, but at the same time it was so different. So, we can say that I had a really high hopes of Storms of Lazarus. The cover didn't disappoint, let me tell you that.

               The story wasn't a disappointment either, I'm happy to tell you that, but it wasn't as great as Shadows of Asphodel was. What really made me happy here is that this one gave us a disclosure I really wanted to see. I'm a happy camper now. It was great to see and read about Ardis' past and get to know her fully and also it was a really good thing to see Wendel being thrown in for him unusual tasks. The story also still had that great mix of reality and paranormal, but I might say that this one introduced even more interesting things in paranormal aspect and it still all functioned together. 

               What I did have problems with are actually two things first is a countless mention of someone blushing. I wouldn't have problems with that if we talked about a girl. It didn't fit the character and I think it could have been mentioned less times. 

              Now this leads us to another thing, which is totally on me. This won't bug many people, but you must understand that Nikola Tesla is considered as one of the biggest and greatest and with all that most important persona we ever had. So you really get to learn a lot about him, regardless of your attitude towards engineering and his inventions. So he was a really peaceful man who was hippie before hippie movement was even invented and therefore he wasn't really the best person you put into a political intrigue. For me his character felt really off the place here.
       
             Despite that I have to say that this story was still really interesting and nicely written. I'm really glad that we have got a nice conclusion. 

Rating: 3. stars.


Karen - author photo2 (1)About the Author

Karen Kincy (Kirkland, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.
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