Monday, March 20, 2017

My Perfect Day In

Hello, everyone! Long time no see, right? You can thank Leesa, a mattress company, for today's post. Leesa recently reached out to me wondering what my perfect day in would look like. (And in case you were wondering, this is not a sponsored post. Just a pretty fun idea. :)) 

So here are a few things that help make my day in perfect (or as close as it can get). 



A comfortable place to read. 

My day in usually involves reading but I bet you couldn't guess. ;) In order to read for as long as I do (cough, cough...a few hours?) I have to make sure I'm comfortable. I've tried everywhere from the couch to the chair in my room, but my favorite spot is my bed. I'm able to spread out and my pillows are also pretty great. 


My dogs, my greatest friends, my companions. 



I have two Yorkies and I absolutely LOVE when they make their way up to my room and find a spot right next to me. Reading for the day is always grand but reading with your dogs is even better! They are just so cute and always warm me up when it gets cold. Which brings me to my next essential. Oh and this is only one of my Yorkies. Lola is her name. Like from the song Copacabana... Yeah, I came up with it. :) 


Blankets. WARM ONES! 

I live in Illinois where it can get cold. :( It is not fun to be reading comfortably one moment and be freezing the next but it happens. In order to stay warm, I make sure I have a warm blanket that I can curl up in. Warmth is always fun, that's for sure. 


My phone.

I don't really listen to too much music while I'm reading. I can easily become distracted by the lyrics and start singing those instead of reading. (Music is my other passion) But sometimes I want to take a break from reading, yes really, so I grab my phone and listen to some Spotify. Or I go to YouTube and watch some BookTube videos so I can find even more books to add to my ever-growing shelves. It's a lot of fun. 


Books. Books. And more books. 




I can't have a perfect day in if I don't read at least a chapter from a book. I am a mood reader so I usually just look at my shelves and decide what matches my mood. I usually have a few books with me on my bed just in case the first choice doesn't work out. And I have a few post it notes in case I want to mark a certain page or quote. 




So those are just a few things that help me create the perfect day in. Some items change every now and then. I don't usually eat in my room but I'll have some candy every now and then if I'm in the mood. What is your perfect day in (or night in) like? Do you read or listen to music? Maybe you binge watch Netflix shows? Do you hang out with your dogs or cats? Maybe a hamster? Let me know if you feel like it! 


Thanks for stopping by!
Vanessa





Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins Blitz!


I am so excited that THE GREAT PURSUIT by Wendy Higgins is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Wendy Higgins, be sure to check out all the details below.


This blitz also includes a giveaway for some amazing prizes! So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Title: THE GREAT PURSUIT (Eurona Duology #2)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Pub. Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 512
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

In The Great Pursuit, the dramatic sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Great Hunt, Wendy Higgins delivers another thrilling fantasy filled with dangerous enemies, political intrigue, searing romance, and a princess who is willing to do everything to protect her kingdom. 

One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continues.

The kingdom of Lochlanach has traded the great beast that once terrorized the realm of Eurona for something far more dangerous: the ire of powerful Lashed woman Rosaria Rocato. Rosaria demands that Eurona overturn the laws prohibiting magic, or an innocent will be killed each day.

Despite the king’s resistance, Princess Aerity believes they must make peace with the Lashed, and though she’s accepted a betrothal to the man who took down the beast, she cannot help thinking about Paxton, the Lashed man who stole her heart and disappeared.

Aerity soon discovers that Paxton has joined Rosaria’s army in the war against her family. Though her feelings for him are still strong, her duty to her kingdom and her family is stronger—especially when her parents are kidnapped and she has to step up to the throne and once again put aside what’s best for her in order to do what’s best for her people. Paxton and Princess Aerity must fight to see what is more powerful: their love or the impending war between the magical Lashed and the non-magic humans.

Grab the eBook 1 THE GREAT HUNT for just $1.99!




Excerpt


CHAPTER ONE

A new beast roamed the kingdom of Lochlanach, killing at will. A second unnatural monster created by the hands of Rozaria Rocato, granddaughter of the most infamous and hated Lashed One of all time. Princess Aerity Lochson’s mind was a blur of piled-up worries as she rushed from High Hall of the castle, away from the frightened commoners and guests who’d come for her betrothal ceremony, and toward the office of her father, King Charles. She turned at the sound of heavy footsteps behind her and found both her childhood friend Lieutenant Harrison Gillfin and her betrothed, Lord Lief Alvi, following. Lord Alvi looked every bit the hero—his broad stature striking, with elk furs about his shoulders and a black kilt to his knees above leather boots. His blue eyes were filled with bright passion and hunger, but those emotions were not for her. They were for the beast. The new hunt.

He had killed the first creature, thereby earning her hand in marriage. The thought twisted Aerity’s stomach with discomfort and turned her mind to the man who’d disappeared weeks before when the beast was killed—the Lashed man who’d taken her heart with him and would likely never return. She clenched her jaw. This was no time to think of Paxton Seabolt or her drowned desires. The kingdom was suffering again—rendering everything she’d sacrificed to have been in vain.

Her eyes shifted from Lord Alvi’s to Harrison’s and found a fierce, protective comfort there. Harrison stood tall, lean, and capable. Never faltering. The thought of her noble friend fighting yet another beast filled her with sharp fear. So many lives had already been lost, including Harrison’s cousin Breckon, who’d been the true love of Aerity’s cousin Wyneth. Half a year was all it had taken to trample the dreams and futures of so many.

Aerity gave the men a nod to follow her. She lifted her long white skirts and moved quickly down the tapestry-lined hallway to her father’s office. Guards and soldiers ran past, shouting orders, fully armed with bows, swords, and lines of throwing daggers strapped across their uniformed tunics.

She opened the door without knocking. No fewer than twenty faces shot toward her. She recognized the burgundy red hair of her mother, along with her aunts and uncles, military elite, and royal advisers. Her father invited them in with a quick flick of his fingers.

When the door closed he asked her, “What is the state of things in High Hall?”

“The people seemed to have calmed for the moment, Father,” Aerity said. “And supper is being served.”

“Your daughter gave a rousing speech,” Lord Alvi pro- claimed in his rumbling voice. “She is to thank for the calm.” Aerity’s face flushed with heat at the unexpected compliment. Then he put a heavy hand on her shoulder and pulled her close. Aerity fought the urge to shrug away. For the sake of the kingdom, she had made a commitment to become his bride, and she would follow through regardless of what her heart wanted, and regardless of the fact that she was certain feelings had grown between Lief and Wyneth.
“Did she?” The king’s eyes softened with pride, and her mother, Queen Leighlane, smiled at Aerity and Lief, no doubt thinking what a lovely couple they were. If she only knew.

Behind them Harrison cleared his throat. “Are we to begin hunting the creature, Your Majesty?”

King Charles nodded, his face lined with anxiety. “Aye. But most of the hunters have dispersed.” Or been killed, Aerity thought with sorrow, remembering the men who’d come from all over Eurona and even a huntress who’d lost her life.

“I can have a message sent to Tiern Seabolt,” Harrison said. “I’m certain he would return with haste.”

Aerity’s abdomen tightened. Tiern was Paxton’s younger brother. He’d nearly been killed by the first beast and had been saved by Paxton’s Lashed magic. It was the very reason Pax had fled the kingdom—using magic was illegal, even to heal. Aerity didn’t want Tiern to hunt again. She didn’t want Paxton’s sacrifice to have been a waste.

“And his older brother?” the king asked.

“Nay.” Harrison paused. “He disappeared after the hunt. We don’t know his whereabouts.”

“Must you call Tiern back?” Aerity asked. When her father’s eyebrows drew together she emended, “He’s . . . so young.”

“He’s the same age as you, Daughter,” the king reminded her. “Seventeen. A man who’s already proven himself in the hunt.” Aerity pressed her lips together and nodded. She could not keep Tiern safe any more than she could force Harrison to stay out of harm’s reach. Their heroic hearts would urge them forward.

“Can we send word to the Zandalee?” Aerity’s uncle Lord Wavecrest asked.

The king shook his head. “I’m afraid not this time. The letter from the Rocato woman stated that her creatures have now been released in all the lands of Eurona. The Zandalee will be needed to fight in their own drylands of Zorfina.”

A fearful silence fell over the room. Each kingdom was on its own with its own beasts to battle now. Lochlanach was a quaint kingdom of fishermen and crop villagers, farmers, that had enjoyed many years of peace. The people had risen together to fight the first beast, but how much more could the king expect from them? It was too much. To imagine this kind of horror inflicted on innocent people all over Eurona sickened Aerity.

“Perhaps another proclamation?” Lord Wavecrest suggested carefully. At this proposal from Aerity’s uncle, the men in the room glanced around at one another, and the hairs rose on the princess’s arms. The queen caught her daughter’s eyes, and they both went still.

The last proclamation had offered Aerity’s hand in marriage to whoever killed the beast. The only thing left to give was the second princess, Aerity’s fifteen-year-old sister, Vixie. Her father stared down at his desk.

“No.” Aerity stepped forward, out of Lord Alvi’s embrace, her body trembling. “You cannot offer Vixie’s hand.”

The king’s hazel eyes, filled with regret, rose to hers. “I have nothing left to give.” With Vixie’s hand would come her dowry of lands. Using Vixie as a prize would surely smother her soul. Aerity wouldn’t stand for it.

“And why should you oppose it?” her uncle Preston asked haughtily. “The first proclamation provided you with a fine match. It can do the same for Vixie.”

Aerity stilled, forcing back the torrent of words that flooded her mind: unfair, poor match, confinement, no joy, no love. She was to endure those things for her kingdom, but the thought of Vixie losing her freedom to choose her future . . . it gutted Aerity. She knew how it appeared to the world—that she’d landed a handsome, noble, brave lord—but the heart didn’t care about appearances. It wanted who it wanted.

“And then what?” Aerity asked. “Who shall we offer for the next beast, and the one after that? Your own Wyneth? Or perhaps six-year-old Merity?”

Lord Wavecrest scowled.

“Enough, Aerity,” Queen Leighlane said quietly. Aerity met her mother’s eyes and felt an understanding there. No one knew better than the two of them how this would crush Vixie’s spirit. These men couldn’t possibly understand.

“Vixie’s nearly sixteen,” Lord Wavecrest pressed. Aerity wanted to claw out his eyes and force him to stop speaking.

“A proclamation offering Vixie’s hand will be my very last resort,” King Charles said, standing taller. “It is my hope that the people will rise of their own free will to protect their families and lands as they did in the last hunt. I will not hinder them with further curfews.”

Lord Wavecrest shook his head and crossed his arms. Aerity breathed a temporary sigh of relief.

“Sire, we should address the other part of the Rocato woman’s letter.” This was from the king’s oldest adviser, Duke Gulfton. This duke had been the closest adviser to Aerity’s grandfather King Leon. His views on the Lashed were legendarily conservative and strict, and he was a proponent of keeping the Lashed lists up to date. All persons with Lashed capabilities and their families were notated in the records and checked regularly for markings.
The stooped man wore a sea-green robe around his shoulders and a perpetual serious frown on his face. He leaned on his cane. “We cannot do as the Rocato woman demands. We cannot burn our records of Lashed Ones in these lands, or give them rein to take over our kingdom.”

A few of the other older men murmured their agreement.

Harrison stepped forward. “What if we made a copy of the list? Then it wouldn’t matter if one was destroyed.”

“I’ve got scribes copying pages as we speak,” the king responded. “But the Rocato woman has called for the records to be burned by sundown. The copy won’t be complete. There are thousands of names.”

Thousands of persons with Lashed blood in Lochlanach. Amazing, Aerity thought. Only a small percentage of those on the list actually had magic, though. Paxton’s family was not on the list. Aerity wondered how many others of magical blood had been able to elude the system.

“How will the madwoman know the difference?” Duke Gulfton asked. “Burn papers to appease her, then kill her and her monsters once and for all. End of story.”

“Here, here!” a few men shouted, as if it were that simple. As if they wouldn’t have done it by now if they could.

The king’s jaw was set. “I have a terrible feeling this woman has eyes and ears everywhere.”

The room quieted and a sense of unease spread as heads turned and everyone eyed the others present. Her father’s council was a small group of family and a mere handful of wise advisers, all landowners, who’d been loyal to the kingdom since her grandfather ruled. She couldn’t imagine this group being compromised.

“With all due respect, gentlemen,” Lord Alvi said to the room, “we will find every beast and even Rocato herself, but we cannot guarantee immediate success. The last hunt took two months.”

“Aye,” Harrison added. “And she’s threatening to kill seven men each week.”

“You’ll have to work faster this time,” Duke Gulfton told them.

The room tensed. During the last hunt they’d had a hundred men. They’d sought the monster nearly ten hours a night and spent the days scouting and preparing. The lands of Lochlanach stretched far and wide. Yet people like Duke Gulfton were expecting a miracle of the sea.

Queen Leighlane cleared her throat. “The fact of the matter is that we’re going to have to at least put on a show of honoring her wishes. We need to buy time as we plan.”

Another elder, Duke Streamson, asked, “What are you proposing, Your Highness? Rocato is demanding that all Lashed be allowed to freely work magic.”

Magic that wasn’t all bad, Aerity thought. Magic that had saved Tiern and could save others. If only she could get them to embrace that.

“I have an idea.” Aerity’s brain whirred as all eyes turned to her. “What if we set up a public area just outside the royal lands and invited Lashed from throughout the kingdom to come, and any Unlashed who wishes to seek their healing can receive it?”

Duke Streamson made a choking sound. “Round up the people of Rocato to turn against us in one place? That’s precisely what she wants!”

Aerity rushed on. “I don’t believe all Lashed are ‘her people.’ The entire area would be heavily guarded so that if any Lashed got out of line, they could be dealt with immediately.” The old dukes scoffed at her.

One of the military advisers stepped forward. “Our numbers are not as large as they once were. Our troop sizes have been modest in the past fifty years. I’ve got to keep men patrolling the seas and borders, and we’ve lost many in the past months. I worry that a large-scale showing of the Lashed will bring crowds.”

The room broke out into fervent debate. Those who were against Aerity’s idea were adamant, passionate in their fears. Those in favor seemed on weak, shaky ground.

“Given permission to put their hands on innocent people, it could be a massacre!”

“What if the Lashed overwhelm our guards?”


“They’ll rise up throughout the lands!”


“. . . commoner revolts . . . war . . .”


Aerity felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see Harrison, his light brown eyes showing the never-faltering respect he seemed to hold for her. She gave his hand a quick squeeze of gratitude before he released her. Aerity caught Lord Alvi watching the exchange with curiosity, so she turned her gaze forward again—she would let him think what he wanted.

“Enough!” King Charles’s voice silenced the room. “I will think on it. I must put safety first. I’m not ready to overturn our laws—” Aerity opened her mouth to argue that she wasn’t suggesting a complete overturn, but a one-time, enclosed, secure circumstance. Her father held up a hand to stop her. “This blasted parchment from Rozaria Rocato is bound to have our people in terror. If I take the stability of our rules away, it will cause chaos. Tonight on the lawn we will burn whatever pages my scribes have managed to copy, to keep Rozaria satisfied, but the original lists remain with us. I pray to the sea this works.”

He looked at the hunters. “Lord Alvi. Lieutenant Gillfin. Gather as many hunters as you can and begin hunting this new beast immediately.” They nodded and took their leave. Aerity watched them go, swallowing a dry lump in her throat. The king looked to his military advisers. “I want every soldier on duty, and round-the-clock patrolling of royal lands. I want Rozaria Rocato, dead or alive.” He turned to his top castle guard. “Send messengers to the other four lands to let them know of our new foe and to find out their circumstances.”

Without another word, the king swept from the room with Queen Leighlane and a line of advisers close behind.

Aerity felt the brush of velvet on her arm and peered

down at the old man beside her. It was Duke Gulfton, his eyes glistening. “I mean no disrespect, Princess, only a piece of advice. In times of fear and upheaval, absolute routine and stability in the law are called for. Any slight change can set the people off.”

“As I recall,” Aerity said steadily, “Mrs. Rathbrook healed your ailing heart last year.” Mrs. Rathbrook was the royal healer—the only Lashed allowed to work magic.

He grasped the top of his cane with both hands. “Aye.”

“Should we not allow the people of this land to benefit from magic as you have?”

He looked down at his hands, nodding solemnly. “Not all Lashed are as trustworthy as Mrs. Rathbrook. You saw the Rocato woman face-to-face. You know the evil of which she is capable.”

“I suppose everyone is capable of evil, Duke Gulfton. None of us is immune, Lashed or not. But I choose to believe the best in people until they show me otherwise.”

Duke Streamson, waiting in the doorway, cleared his throat. Duke Gulfton peered up at Aerity and patted her hand. “Once they show you otherwise, it is often too late. As a rule it is not safe to take such chances. Seas help Lochlanach in our time of need.”

As Duke Gulfton shuffled away, Aerity whispered in return. “Seas help us, indeed.”


About Wendy:

Wendy Higgins is the USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series from HarperTeen, the high fantasy duology The Great Hunt, and her independently published Irish fantasy, See Me. She is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and doggie Rue.

Wendy earned a bachelor's in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master's in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University. She is represented by Jill Corcoran of the Jill Corcoran Literary Agency.







Giveaway Details:

(2) Winners will receive the grand prizes (The Great Hunt Paperback and The Great Pursuit hardback from HarperTeen, and signed swag from Wendy Higgins! Plus an ARC of ROAR by Cora Carmack!), US Only.


(5) Winners will receive signed sets of swag - International!




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Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Ceruleans Series by Charlotte Wilson - Anniversary Giveaway!


Hello Everybody! It's been awhile but I have something pretty exciting to share with all of you. The whole month of February, Charlotte Wilson will be running a giveaway for her five book series.

The Ceruleans is a five book series that was originally published under Charlotte's pen name, Megan Tayte. The series is now being published under Charlotte Wilson and has new, totally awesome, cover art!

Keep on scrolling for a look at the giveaway where one lucky winner will get the whole series in print with the new covers! Also look for my review of the first book as well as a special story that Charlotte has written for the event.

Make sure to check out this series! I've only been able to read the first book so far but I really enjoyed what I read and I'm sure it only gets better from there.

Good luck!



Death Wish (Ceruleans #1)

(Read my review here - Death Wish Review)

IN SEARCH OF THE MEANING OF DEATH, SHE’LL FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE. 

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit: run away from school, join a surfing fraternity, drown in a tragic ‘accident’. 

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to an isolated English cove to uncover the truth. And, as it turns out, to fall in love with the place and its people, especially a certain blue-eyed surfer with a serious case of the heroics. 

But as Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Power

What transpires is a summer of discovery: of what it means to conquer fear, to fall in love, to choose life, to choose death. 

To believe the impossible. 

The Ceruleans: soulful, coming-of-age romance with a paranormal edge. Five books, one question – if the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint? 

(Previously published under the pen name Megan Tayte.)



Make sure to check out my review of the first book here - Death Wish 

Wanting to buy Deah Wish? Look no further! Links are below. 
Also, Amazon has the Kindle version of Death Wish for FREE! 

Buy links



















Guest post (Ceruleans-world story)


Anniversary
The cake was homemade. Lopsided. Slathered in gloopy frosting. Judging by Adam’s previous attempts in the kitchen, it was safe to assume it would be inedible.

Estelle loved it.

‘You baked? For me?’

She reached over and pulled Adam into a hug, awkward with the massive baby bump wedged between them.

‘Happy anniversary!’ he said.

Estelle pulled back, frowning. ‘That’s tomorrow.’

A year since she had Become a Cerulean. A year since she had died.

‘I know,’ said Adam. ‘But I have a surprise for you. A… gift. And I wasn’t sure how you’d take it, so I thought: give it to you today, and if you… well, if it’s not what you want, then it hasn’t spoiled tomorrow.’ He smiled at her – nervously.

‘O-kay,’ said Estelle. She couldn’t fathom what gift she could potentially dislike that much. Unless he’d bought her something girlie. She didn’t do girlie.

‘Good,’ said Adam. He grabbed her hands. ‘Ready?’

She’d barely begun to nod when it happened… the picnic blanket, the beach, the ocean, all gone, replaced, in the bewildering blink of an eye, by a grimy urban alleyway.

What came next was not pretty. Estelle hadn’t been that sick since her first trimester.

‘Are you insane?’ she hissed eventually, when she was done and could get a word in edgeways between Adam’s apologies and panicked are-you-okay-is-the-baby-okays. ‘You Travelled us to…’ She looked about and recognition made her jaw drop. ‘No,’ she said. ‘Truro?’

White-faced, Adam nodded. He didn’t say anything; he just pointed at a shopfront visible at the top of the alley. The sign was so weathered it was unreadable. That didn’t matter; Estelle knew exactly what it said: Tattoo Tony’s.

Furious, she rounded on Adam. ‘You’d better start explaining right now.’

‘The nightmares you’ve been having about… him. I couldn’t do nothing. It’s not right, Estelle, that he’s living his life here. Unpunished. So…’ He held out his hands. Ethereal blue light lit the alley.

‘Quit it!’ Estelle slapped his hands, hard. ‘Adam…’ She stared at the one person she loved, who’d given her a home and a purpose – to whom she’d confided her deepest, most painful secret: that when she was nine, the year before her mother ODed, a man named Tattoo Tony had abused her.

Adam stared right back at her, and there was a spark in his eyes she’d never seen before. ‘What’s the point of having power over life and death,’ he said, ‘if you can’t use it to take out a bad guy? One touch, Estelle. That’s all it would take.’

No! she should have yelled. No, Adam, that’s sacrilegious, against everything the Ceruleans stand for. But the words wouldn’t come.

She looked up the alley again, at the shop. She lay a hand on her swollen belly. Then she reached out and took Adam’s hand, and they walked toward the street.

They would have looked an odd couple – he the picture boy for geek chic, her Gothed out from head to foot – had they been visible. They weren’t, though, thanks to Adam’s power. They could walk right across that street, into the tattoo parlour and kill a man, and no one would ever know it was them.

At the door to the shop, which was propped open, Estelle pulled Adam to a stop. She could see an old man inside. He was gaunt and stooped, and his breath was coming in wheezy pants.

‘Do you feel it?’ she murmured to Adam.

‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Lung cancer, I think.’

‘How long does he have?’

‘Months, if that.’

Estelle thought carefully before asking the next question: ‘Do you feel the pull? Are you meant to heal him?’

She saw Adam shake his head. No. This man was destined to die. Slowly. Painfully.
Suddenly, she realised that she could see Adam; he was no longer shielding them from view. That’s how well he knew her. There would be no wicked deed here today, no Falling from grace. Only justice of the karmic kind.

‘God I love you,’ she said, and she pressed her lips to his.

‘Er… can I help you?’ Tony had come to the door and was frowning at the couple kissing on his doorstep.

Estelle and Adam broke off, but they didn’t even look at the man beside them.

‘Take me home,’ Estelle told Adam… and he did.

They stayed on the beach for the rest of the day, lying in the sun, paddling in the surf. When the sun set there wasn’t a crumb left of that cake. It was dry. It was salty. It was crunchy with egg shell. But it was the most delicious thing either of them had ever eaten.







Charlotte Wilson Bio



Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess. ‘Write, Charlotte,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Charlotte is a professional writer. For authors and publishers, she writes and edits books as The Book Specialist. For herself, she writes soulful, coming-of-age romance for young adults.

Charlotte grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in a village of Greater Manchester with her husband and two children. When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her walking someplace green, baking up a storm, or embarking on a DIY project. She recently achieved a lifetime ambition of creating a library in her home to house her ever-increasing collection of books. She pretends not to notice that the shelves are rather wonky.

You can find Charlotte online at:


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Monday, January 16, 2017

Review - Unknown by Wendy Higgins

Unknown (Unknown #1)
by Wendy Higgins
Published August 16th, 2016 by Wendy Higgins
New Adult

4 stars - Read this soon!!

Find here:
Amazon
Goodreads

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.
 



Review:

I absolutely love Wendy Higgins. I love her because she gave me Kai and if you don't know who Kai is, then you aren't living right! ;) But seriously make sure to check out her first series, The Sweet Trilogy.

So back to my actual review of her latest novel, Unknown. I'm going to admit that looking at the cover I wasn't exactly sure if I was going to enjoy this book. Also, it's dystopian and I'm not always fond of dystopian. And I had read other reviews saying that there wasn't actually that much romance which made me a little unsure. But I should have known that I didn't need to worry because, hello, it's Wendy Higgins writing this!

Unknown grabbed me and didn't let go, for real. I was completely entertained by everything that was going on this book. The action, the suspense, and the questions didn't let up once! The characters, and me by extension, were always going and trying to figure out what was going on with the world and their own lives.

Wendy Higgins did it again by creating Amber Tate. I have loved all of Higgins' other female characters and Amber was no exception. I was able to relate to her a little more because she was half Mexican (which I appreciated since I'm Mexican American). Her relationships with her family and friends reminded me of my own. She was a strong individual, she was smart, and she was stubborn. I so enjoyed watching her handle everything that was thrown at her. And I totally felt for her with Rylen.

Don't get me started with Rylen though, haha. Rylen is yet another swoon-worthy male character of Higgins' but he wasn't perfect. He had his flaws and there were times where he just didn't see what was going on (specifically with Amber).

Aside from my two favorite characters, Higgins' introduced some other amazing characters as well. For example, Amber's family members were actually really involved with the story and that is something I really enjoyed.

The whole sci-fi/dystopian aspect of the story was also interesting. I just have to know what is going to happen! I really felt like I was there with these characters trying to figure out how to survive in a world full of disaster and confusion.

Oh, and the romance that I mentioned above? There wasn't as much as I am used to with Wendy's books but it didn't take anything away from the story! So for those that like romance mixed in with any book that they read, don't worry! This is a book that will keep you reading romance or not.

All in all, this was a definite page turner! Go and give this one a try soon!

Vanessa

Monday, January 9, 2017

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless 
By Marissa Meyer
Published November 8th, 2016 by Fiewel and Friends
449 pages

5 stars - This book stole my heart!

Find here:

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


REVIEW

Wow. Marissa Meyer has totally stolen my heart again with her enchanting story and addicting characters. Heartless captured my heart and stomped it to bits and I loved every moment of it.

I had read the synopsis for this when I first heard about it but I really didn't need to know much because Meyer won me over with Cinder. So I read this book thinking the ending was going to be something totally different than it was. I mean, I kind of knew how it would but I didn't want to admit it to myself until I turned that final page.

The ending made me cry buckets of tears. I sobbed and glared at my book thinking that there had to be some alternate ending! Alas, there was and is not so now I have to deal with my feels.

While the ending definitely killed me, the whole book was nothing short of magical. I felt was if I was in Wonderland and I loved every minute of it. I loved the characters and their personalities and dreams.

I absolutely loved Cath's dream. I connected with her immediately and felt her emotions and troubles as my own. She wasn't perfect by any means but I connected with her dreams and hope for the future.

Other characters that enchanted me include Hatta, Chesire, and Jest. JEST!!! Jest is the love of my life for certain. Sigh.

Heartless was definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. It took me to a place full of wonder and madness that was absolutely delightful. This book left me wanting more and I'm eagerly awaiting another book by Marissa Meyer.

Until next time,
Vanessa

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! 2017

Happy New Year everybody! I can't believe another year has come and gone. 2016 was such a hectic and somewhat stressful year so I hope 2017 is even just a little bit better. I'm sure it will be. :) 

I wasn't able to blog as much as I wanted to in 2016 so I'm also hoping that I'll be able to blog more this year. I've missed being able to share my thoughts and feelings about all of these books I'm reading! There are so many great looking books coming out this year as well so I'm eager to share about them. 

 I also wasn't able to do much with my "new" booktube channel like I wanted to. The Night Owl kind of fell by the wayside once I started my new job but I want to get started on it again. My job training will be ending soon so maybe once that happens I'll be able to film some videos and really get it going. One can only hope! :) 

I know this year is going to be better than the last. It has to be! I'm excited to get back into the blogging world and to find even more great authors and books. Also, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST! Can't wait for that either. ;) 

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy 2017! 


Vanessa

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Book Blitz - Quantum by Hannah Godard


Quantum
By Hannah  Godard

Genre: Young Adult


Nothing is more glamorous than the CIA … at least for Clara. All she wants is excitement and adventure, to help people... and to be a part of something bigger than life.
At nineteen, she leaves everything she’s ever had behind to join the CIA with her boyfriend Ross. But when the agency starts to fall away like shattered glass, Clara and her team get thrown into the biggest mission ever to hit the agency. How will they deal with the pressure?
Clara has all her cards out on the table and she’s trying to keep them all in place … except she can’t hold them all down on her own. She’s trained and she’s ready … but something isn’t right. Is the real way to win the game not to play it, or is the trick not to play it for too long?







Excerpt:
I’m really bored. I’ve been walking for hours around New York, without Ross, communicating with Madison and Ethan through my earpiece and getting directions from Ethan. Every once and a while he’ll tell me to go into a restaurant or walk down a certain street because he has a lead. At least we have a lead as to where they are. 
I walk down the sidewalks and along the busy streets. Every once in a while, I’ll stop at a shop and look around, or buy a bottle of water. I’m guessing Ross is somewhere close to me, because every time I stop to shop he laughs at me. 
“I have water in my bag . . . and so do you! You bought a water ten minutes ago and you’re not even done, why do you need another one?” Ross asks me. 
“You know what? I’m trying to look casual,” I reply.
“Walking around with a bunch of half empty bottles of water isn’t casual, it’s weird.” 
I ignore him and keep walking. I think I like New York more than Los Angeles. The buildings and the streets are beautiful and the people, no matter what anybody says, are probably some of the nicest I’ve met. So far, there’s no sign of the men, but we’re going to keep looking until we find them. 
“Clara!” Ethan’s voice comes in.
“What?” 
“Madison got a call from Lizzie. They’ve spotted the men on the corner of Lexington and 49th. Can you get there?” 
“Okay on my way,” I say. 
“Me too,” Ross’s voice comes in. 
I don’t pick up my pace, as not to attract attention to myself, but walk at the same pace as the men and women hustling by to go on with their daily lives. In my ear, I can hear Ethan typing and Madison talking to someone. I can also hear Ross’s footsteps against the pavement; it sounds like he’s running. 
“Ross, calm down, you’re attracting attention to yourself,” I say. 
“Yeah Ross, slow down a little,” Ethan says. 
His footsteps slow down. My heart beats faster as I near the corner where the men were last spotted. All I can think about is Lexa. My mind races, but I try to calm myself down. I need to make rational decisions; I need to stay calm. I feel for my gun on my waist. Somehow this calms me down. Without slowing my pace, I casually walk around the corner, but they aren’t there. 
“What the hell Ethan? They’re not here,” I say. 
I look around and then, going around a corner, I spot blonde hair, but it’s not Ross. 
“Spotted, I’m going in, track me. They’re headed down an ally, with Lexa,” I say. 
I can hear everyone hold his or her breath. And then Madison reports what we found back to base. I cross the street and follow where I last saw her. Before I go down the ally, I stop and wait, trying to catch my breath. Things are about to change. If they see me, I’ll be a real agent, and my life will change forever. If I don’t kill them, they’ll have everything they’ll need on me. If I don’t succeed, they’ll kill Lexa to get back at us. 
Across the street, Ross and he spots me. I look at him for a minute and he smiles. I cock my head, confused, and he nods at me. 
“Go. I’ll go around and cut them off,” he says. 
With that I run down the ally, I can spot them a little way down the alley and I run after them. There’s no one else in the ally so I pull out my gun. Even while I run, I can get a clean shot of one of the three men with her. I aim, and breathe out. Before I fire, three shots come from down another ally and one of the men falls. I’m guessing it’s Ross, but he doesn’t come out. It’s not like the movies; we’re on an even playing field here. I throw myself against the wall and duck as the men look around for who fired. Lexa looks terrified, and it kills me to see her this way. They run, one of the men dragging Lexa by her arm. 




About the Author

Hannah Godard was born and raised in the small town of Cochrane, Alberta where she is currently a grade eleven student. She continues to chase a life of creativity and imagination, creating characters to take her on adventures and maybe learn something from them along the way. She writes to tell the greatest stories that have yet to be told and create a spark in which to lighten up the world. Hannah credits her dad for teaching her everything she knows about the world, from politics to drive and perseverance. Without him, she would be a very different person.

Quantum is her first novel and the first in the Quantum series. It came to life in the same way as many other novels do, in third period Social Studies class. This class was spent with three out of four of her best friends, laughing, creating businesses, and being creative. It was the one class where she could be a kid, where people didn’t tell her words could only mean one thing, and where they could all be creative. It started as a joke, as a simple question; what if I was in the CIA? From that point on Hannah developed the character of Clara, with the help of her friends, and soon the story came to life. Each person who she knows, no matter how small, is somehow put into the novel, worked into the story line, because what they say is true: we write what we know.