Ivy (The Blood Vines Series Book 3) by Amy Richie

Ivy 
 
  Author:  Amy Richie
  Website:  http://amyrichie.weebly.com/
  Published: March 24, 2014
  Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
  Ebook
  www.goodreads.com
 YA, Paranormal, Werewolves
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Synopsis

When I was six, a werewolf killed my parents. Then, she changed me and my sister, raising us as her own. One day I was forced to kill her, and now I’m hunting my sister. Who would have guessed my life would end up like this?

Willow Bennett is no ordinary werewolf. Never has been. Never will be. She leads the strongest pack alive, and with that comes the responsibility to stop the evil that is spreading throughout the world. Will she finally find her place in the world, or will hunting down the only family she has left prove to be her undoing?

Ivy is the third and final installment of the Blood Vine Series. The end has come and Willow has to decide once and for all where her loyalties lie.

Review

Author Amy Richie  has style of writing that reels you in, holds you tight, and does not let go till the last word.  The Blood Vine Series is superbly written and the latest release, Ivy, was no exception.

Ivy is the last book in the series and picks up about four years after Fern.  The reader is enlightened as to what transpired during that time.  As readers will recall, at the end of Fern- Book 2, Willow was faced with the task of having to track down and possibly destroy her only sister, Ivy.  Book 2 showed us how much Willow had grown into her role as pack leader.  But in Book 3 when faced with the possibility that she may have to kill her only sister, we see the struggle and strain put on Willow as well as her pack.  The hunt for Ivy and the truth with test the packs’ bond and faith in each other.  Touch decisions will have to be made.  The welfare of the pack must take priority.   But with Willow’s loyalties divided is there only one right solution?

The Blood Vines Series is one of my all-time favorites.  Amy Richie grabs me on page one and takes me on a gripping thrill ride till the end.   I find that once I start reading I cannot stop.  I am anxiously waiting to turn the page in anticipation of what will come next.   It’s that intensity that allows you to read this series multiple times, still enjoy it and discover things you missed before.

~Authored by Lynn

The Unraveling of Avery Snow (The Past Lives Series) by Christy Sloat

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Author: Christy Sloat
 Website: http://www.christysloat.com/
 Published: February 2013
 Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
 Paperback  257 pages
 Rating on http://www.goodreads.com
 YA, Paranormal, Romance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Synopsis

As Avery Snow settles into her life and relationships with those around her, she fights to forget her past lives. All of which she spent with Landon, who still has no recollection of who she really is. It seems better that way. Even though she still feels a draw to his soul, she chooses to ignore it.

For now everything is fine. Her boyfriend, Dallas, has opened a new restaurant. Her friends, Ianni and Kerri, are settling into their lives as well. But when news of a new Dark Guide is revealed, Avery is forced to start thinking about the life she truly leads. One that is very abnormal. One she is desperate to forget. This Dark Guide is determined to make Avery pay for the death of someone she held dear.

Now Avery’s life has gone from seemingly perfect to falling apart. What will be at stake next? Her life? Her love? And who will be there in the end to help her up off the ground?

Even the strongest love can unravel.

Will Avery be able to hold it all together, or will she just let go?

Review

In the second installment of The Past Lives Series The Unraveling of Avery Snow I saw the writer, Christy Sloat, grow as an author.  I loved Book One in the series and immediately picked up Book Two.  I found myself engrossed the character of Avery.  Avery is much more complex in this installment.  While Avery has her memories of their past lives together, Landon does not.  Avery has a life with Dallas and is trying to move on and put her past behind her but her life is anything but normal.  Ianni, now a fallen angel, is living with her.  Kerri is planning her wedding and future with Justin.  Dallas is opening a new restaurant.  Landon is sleeping with every woman in town.  Avery has a new Spirit Guide, Amanda.  Oh, and did I mention that a Dark Guide, Sarafe, is hell bent on revenge since Avery killed her lover.  That’s just the opening chapters of the book!  If you were a fan of The Past Lives of Avery Snow this is a definite read for you.  Avery grew so much and really changed my perception of her.    In Book One, I wanted to slap Avery and yell at her that she should be honored to have one man lover her so much that he came searched for her in every life.  What woman doesn’t want a love like that?  Book Two made me see her differently.  In the Unraveling of Avery Snow, she does just that.  Avery has to fall apart to see what kind of person she is and decide what kind of person she truly wants to be.  
Spoiler Alert – – – (sorry, I don’t know how else to put this part into words)
The trip down the HOH trail is her epiphany.  Here Avery realizes what it has taken her several lifetimes to figure out. You have to love yourself before you can love anyone else.    Avery realizes that she must fix herself, be happy with herself and let go of all the anger and guilt of all her past lives in order to be happy in this one.   The symbolism of the waterfall and the cleansing rain of Washington State are evident.  We have to let go of the past and move on each day a new, refreshed and better person.  I was in tears from Kerri’s wedding till Avery’s walk down the HOH Trail.  I felt emotionally exhausted.  Had to put the book down and jot notes to myself to make sure I could convey this properly to anyone reading this review.  That doesn’t happen often.  I read books to escape not to grow as person.  This book did both. 
While I loved this book, I would not be giving an honest review if I did not mention the story line of the Dark Guide, Sarafe.   I thought that part of the story would play a more dramatic role.  The demise of Sarafe came so swiftly that I finished the book going humph…..I would have liked that scene to be more intense.  While Sarafe makes appearance throughout the story, she didn’t seem to play the role I thought she would.  I still loved the book and highly recommend it!

~Authored by Lynn

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Devoted (The Watcher’s Trilogy Book 1) by Katherine Polillo

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  Author: Katherine Polillo
  Website: https://www.facebook.com/WatchersTrilogy
  Published: June 11, 2013
  Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
  Paperback 232 pages
  Rated on https://www.goodreads.com/LynnShaw
  YA,  Angels, Fantasy, Romance
 
 
 
 
 
Synopsis
Can love conqueror all? Michelle has managed to survive high school against all odds, but now she finds herself floating adrift in “the real world.” With two horsemen defeated, there are still two unaccounted for, and surely they are plotting her immediate demise. Michelle leaves her small New Jersey town behind to venture off west. Barely able to comprehend her role as humanity’s savior she now has to grapple with some new roles and identities. With her Watcher, Gabriel, by her side she must again face the evils of Hell and attempt to keep her family safe. Will love conquer all or will till death do us part come too soon?
 

Review

“My heart shattered…I let out a choked sob that hardly expressed my feelings .  I wanted to wail, to scream, but my throat and voice refused…the noise that left my throat didn’t encompass the Earth shattering pain I felt.  My chest was tight, so tight it felt hard to breathe.  I began to pant in my panic, I was so dizzy I collapsed to the ground as the world around me spun…tears run from my eyes…and darkness consumed me.”  Excerpt from Devoted by Katherine Polillo

For me the sign of a great book is the emotions it erupts in you as you read it.  I literally felt Michelle’s emotions as I read Devoted.  My throat tightened.  My pulse quickened.  My breaths came in short   shallow bursts.  I held tightly as I was washed over in the intensity the author was able to translate into words.  Katherine Polillo is a true artist with her words. For those of you familiar with the series and have read Destine, Devoted picks up immediately where Destine ended.  Having defeated 2 of the four horseman and with Cami and her Michelle’s mom safely at Aunt Karen’s, Michelle and Gabriel strike out to continue her quest.  Now for those of you who remember the action packed Book 1, let me tell you that Devoted is more focused on the story of Michelle and Gabriel.  Trust me.  In the end the story comes full circle and you will definitely have an “aha” moment. 

~Authored by Lynn

 

Destine (The Watchers Trilogy Book 1) by Katherine Polillo

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 Author: Katherine Polillo
 Published: August 8, 2012 
 Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
 Ebook 255 pages
 Reviewed on www.goodreads.com
 YA, Paranormal, Fantasy
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Synopsis

Michelle Cross is an average, seventeen year old girl growing up in a small town in New Jersey. Up until her senior year, her life has consisted of a rather unglamorous existence. Her closet friend Cami has been by her side since kindergarten, she has a loving if somewhat absente father, and a mother who is unique to say the least. Michelle’s mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was twelve years old, and ever since then she has had delusions of angels and demons battling over her only child. Michelle accepts her mother’s delusions as schizophrenic ramblings, until a handsome new boy finds her at school. Little by little Michelle’s world is turned upside down. The new boy claims to be the Archangel Gabriel cast from heaven, her best friend falls for the Antichrist, and come to find out Michelle’s mother has seen it coming all along. So instead of being consumed with prom and graduation, Michelle finds herself battling the evils of Hell in her small town. The four horsemen of the apocalypses have descended on her high school and with the help of Gabriel, her very own angel; she must stop the events leading to the apocalypse. What surprises Michelle even more than her role in saving humanity is the love that develops between Gabriel and herself. Can their love bridge the world between heaven and earth? Can Michelle stop the powers of Hell in time? Michelle and Gabriel find themselves the pawns in a very dangerous game between an ancient power with a mysterious message and Satan himself.

Review

Michelle Cross is looking forward her senior year of high school.  She plans to remain irrelevant and continue to  fly under the radar.  But it would appear that Michelle is not as irrelevant as she thought.  Turns out she has been chosen by God to save all of humanity.  With her own personal fallen Angel, Gabriel, Michelle must defeat the four horsemen, prevent the apocalypse and graduate high school. 

Katherine Polillo has beautifully written this story.  The characters are will defined and strong. My favorite character was Michelle.  I liked watching her grow through the story.  I look forward to seeing where this story takes Michelle and Gabriel in her attempt to prevent Hell on earth.

~Authored by Lynn

For more info click on the book cover

Adventures of a Fangirl (Story Crush Tour 2014)

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This past Wednesday, March 5, 2014, We (Lynn & I) and my sister-in-law drove over to Charleston, South Carolina to Blue Bicycle Books I was excited to meet Lauren Oliver and get my copy of Panic signed. We got to the bookstore right at 5 p.m. and had no choice but stand (thank you sturdy bookcases that we leaned against).  It was fun listening to the panel of authors speak so passionately or not so passionately about their books. One highlight of the day was seeing a mixture of people in the audience, yes of course there were lots of young adults/teens at the event but there were also fathers, and grandparents at the event, it warmed my heart.  I ended up buying Faking Normal also at the bookstore and getting it to signed.

Here are pictures of the event:

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My left to right: Courtney C. Stevens (Faking Normal); Katie Cotugno (How To Love); Melissa C. Kantor (Maybe One Day); Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything) and Lauren Oliver (PANIC)

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Lauren Oliver and I with part of her book. (sorry it is blurry, my photographer is not used to my cell phone)

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Courtney C. Stevens (Faking Normal) and I.

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**And here is what Lauren Oliver is current working on (a little sneak peek)**

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~post authored by LeAnn

Review: Witches of East End (The Beauchamp Family #1)

Witches of east end Author: Melissa de la Cruz

 Author website: http://melissa-delacruz.com/
 
Published: June 21, 2011
 
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
 
Goodreads.com rating
 
 Format: paperback, pp. 272
 
Adult Fiction/Paranormal/Witches
 
 
 

**Lynn and I are watching the Witches of East End season 1 on Lifetime right now and I thought it was a good time to post my review on the blog. **

[Synopsis]

The three Beauchamp women- Joanna and her daughters, Freya and Ingrid- live ordinary lives in mist-shrouded North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. All three are harboring a centuries-old secret: they are powerful witches forbidden to practice magic…. (back of the book)

[Review]

As I began to read Witches of East End I related it back to a favorite movie, Practical Magic. Those that wanted to practice their good witch magic in a judgmental world. But I soon realized that Witches of East End was thrill-seeking and mysterious and far from that favorite movie. I was immersed into a world where sometimes breaking the rules is worth the risk of keeping those you have come to care about alive. In this town where everyone knows each other mysterious deaths begin to occur without reason or suspects, sickness is creeping into lives and an unidentifiable substance has polluted the ocean surrounding North Hampton. The Beauchamp women have not practiced their magic since they were sentenced by their council to live ordinary lives or else. But they can not sit by and let the place they have called home for centuries be taken over by evil. So they use their magic to find answers, but in the meantime become the speculative suspects in the unexplained happenings from the townspeople.

Witches of East End shows how those that want to help with special and unusual talents are welcomed by others as long as things are going well but as soon as something goes wrong they are also the first to blame. How Joanne and her daughters Freya and Ingrid handle these accusations makes the story worth reading and enjoyable. Ingrid was my favorite sister, I guess I could relate to her the most. I am excited to read the rest of this series and hope to meet Melissa de la Cruz this year at YALLFest in Charleston, S.C..

~post authored by LeAnn

Few Are Angels Series by Inger Iversen

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Author: Inger Iversen
Website: http://www.ingeriversen.com/
 Published: May 28, 2012
 Publisher: Inger Iversen Book  LLC
 EBook 269 pages
 Rating on www.goodreads.com
 YA, Paranormal,Romance
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Synopsis

After a fatal hit and run accident, Ella Monroe fears that she’s lost more than her beloved parents. Horrifying visions of a past life and a disturbing voice in her head have psychiatric professionals convinced that she’s lost her sanity as well. But when Kale–a dark and handsome stranger with a mysterious past–reveals the true meaning of her visions and the tremendous power she wields through them, Ella must come to terms with the devastating truths of her own past, while eluding an ancient Dark Prince who seeks to control not only her future, but all of mankind’s, by means of abilities that Ella is only beginning to understand.

Enter the shrouded world of an age old battle between an ancient race known as the Immortals and their bitter enemy Laurent, the so-called Dark Prince, who commands an army of half-breed vampires known as Chorý. Both sides have been desperately searching for the prophesied emergence of the Arc, a clairvoyant with unparalleled power to recall the past and a soothsayer with clear vision into the future.

This paranormal romance told from the heroine’s perspective builds in intensity and intrigue to a finale you won’t see coming. Heart pounding action mixed with heartwarming friendships and heartbreaking romance will leave you breathless and begging for more.

Review

The story revolves  around Ella.  She recently lost both parents to an accident, had a stint in a mental hospital and is currently living with family friends, the Carltons.  The strain is palpable on both sides.  Ella is trying to deal with the blackouts and voices in her head while the Carltons are dealing with the loss of their best friends and trying to help Ella cope.  Add a vampire,  an immortal, and Ella being the Arc and you have your plot. Ella learns from Kale that she has lived many past lives and that the soul of an Arc resides in her.  She has the ability to see the past and the future or so Kale believes.  Laurent has captured and used her in the past lives to destroy others.  Kale tries to keep Ella safe from Laurent  and the Council.  Jace, who is a member of the Council, is trying to take Ella away to protect her.

In the synopsis the author refers to her book as a paranormal romance.  This book is so much more than just a romance.  There is suspense. action and drama.  This is a nicely written book and a good introduction to this author. I will warn you that book one leaves you with a cliff hanger so if you are not into series then this is not the book for you.  I enjoyed this read and immediately started Book 2.  I would recommend this book.

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 Published: February 22, 2013Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00041]
  Publisher: Inger Iversen Book  LLC
  EBook  269 pages
  Rating on www.goodreads.com
  YA, Paranormal,Romance
 
 
 

 Synopsis

 With no clue of what to do next and the responsibility of looking after Alex and Mia as promised,    Kale is up to his ears in problems and no solutions. How will Kale save Ella, keep Alex and Mia safe, control Jace as well as control the Bloodlust that creeps beneath the surface waiting to be released? Will Kale be Ella’s savior or will he convict her to a fate worse than the one Laurent has already promised her?

What truths will she learn?

Ella knows that the choices she makes affects not only her but everyone else around her, but what about the choices made to find her? Ella learns the truth about the death of her parents, learns that the ones she thought she could trust aren’t so trustworthy after all.

How will Ella handle these betrayals, and will she be able to sacrifice what is necessary to obtain eternal life?

 

Review

Book 2 in the Few Are Angels series picks up immediately where Book 1 ended.  Ella has been taken by Laurent to a private island hideaway.  Here Ella meets Ana and Darke who are her guards/friends.  It’s a complicated and complex relationship.  Ella learns from her talks with Darke and her flash backs with Laurent that The Council ordered the death of her parents to awaken the Arc in her.  Of course this affects how she now feels about Jace, who is a member of the Council.

Kale with the help of Alex, Jace and 2 other council members are able to save Ella, but the cost she pays for her freedom is high.
Once rescued, Ella must deal with her loss, reopen the pain of losing her parents and try to deal with the blood lust that has gripped Kale.  Ella comes up with a plan to make it possible to be with Kale forever so she goes to see the Council and bargain for her request.

The author does not disappoint with Book 2 of the series.  This one is even more action packed that the first.  I enjoyed reading Ella’s flashback scenes.  it was interesting to see how her past lives shaped her current life and the decisions she made.  I certainly hope there is a Book 3 in this series.  The reader can defer from the ending in Book 2 several things however I do feel there is enough going her to warrant a Book 3.  The author has published Immortal Heart to tell Kale’s story.  While I haven’t read this yet it sounds like more of a prequel than a continuation of his story with Ella.  With that said, I did enjoy this book and am now following this author to read other works be her.  I definitely would recommend this series.

~Authored by Lynn

For more info click on the book covers

Grave Sight (Harper Connelly Series Book 1) by Charlaine Harris

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Author: Charlaine Harris
 Website: http://www.charlaineharris.com/
 Published: October 4, 2005
 Publisher:  Berkely Books
 EBook 320 pages
 Urban Fantasy, Thiller, Crime, Mystery
 
 
 
 
 
 

Synopsis

Harper Connelly has what you might call a strange job: she finds dead people. She can sense the final location of a person who’s passed, and share their very last moment. The way Harper sees it, she’s providing a service to the dead while bringing some closure to the living – but she’s used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. Traveling with her step-brother Tolliver as manager and sometime-bodyguard, she’s become an expert at getting in, getting paid, and getting out fast. Because for the living it’s always urgent – even if the dead can wait forever.

Review

I am familiar with some of the authors other work and am a fan of The Sookie Stackhouse Book Series, so I knew what to expect from Ms. Harris going in. Grave Sight is the first book of the Harper Connelly Series.  In this book we meet Harper Connelly and her step-brother/manager Tolliver Lang.  Harper can locate dead bodies with a psychic sense that she now has after being struck by lightning.  Families call on her to help them find missing loved ones, etc.  Harper is a detective in her own right as she interviews family and friends to get a sense of the person she is looking for and clues as to where to look.  Pretty cool storyline!   The book is a relatively easy read.  I am curious to see how the main character, Harper Connelly, develops and what happened to her missing sister, Cameron, in the books that follow. The first book left me wanting more. My only complaint with this story is that the author didn’t make it difficult to figure out “who done it”.  I prefer to have more of a surprise when I finished a book like this, but I will continue the series to see how it goes.

~ Authored by Lynn

~~For more info click on the book cover

Adventures of a Fangirl (YALLFest 2013)

YALLFest 2013 logoYALLFest 2013 happened this year on Saturday, November 9, 2013 in Charleston, South Carolina. This is the 3rd year for this festival and my 2nd year attending it. This year people came from all over. I met a mother and Daughter team that drove all the way from Michigan to stand in lines to get books signed from some awesome young adult authors. I too brought books from my bookshelf to be signed by authors but most of the books I left with I bought at the featured bookstore of the festival Blue Bicycle Books.

Here are a few highlights of the day (photo style)

This is the mailer that Blue Bicycle Books was passing out in their shop to promote YALLFest 2013. They happened to have extras as I walked in and picked one up.

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Standing in line early in the morning, wrapped around a building meeting people and loving it as I wait to listen to keynote speakers: Veronica Roth (Divergent) & Rae Carson (Fire & Thorns Trilogy).

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Once in the building and seated I listened attentively to the authors speak on Girl Power, Boy Power: A Conversation with Veronica Roth (Divergent) and Rae Carson (The Girl of Fire and Thorns).

After listening to the keynote speakers I went out to get some books signed, here are some photos of those authors.

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The lovely newlyweds: Ransom Riggs & Tahereh Mafi signing and supporting.

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This photo is of the lovely Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds).

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Here is Veronica Roth (Divergent) signing my copy (I brought from home)

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Author Nancy Holder (Wolf Springs Chronicles). She is the author of many more books I just picked up Unleashed on this day.

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Marie Lu (Legend). she is so pretty and super nice! She is signing my copy of Legend I brought from home.

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Kami Garcia signing her first stand alone series, Unbreakable. Previously she co-wrote the Beautiful Creatures series with Margaret Stohl.

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In the first photo Lynn is standing with author Christy Sloat and the second photo is Lynn & I standing with author and CEO of Anchor Group Publishing Stacey Rourke

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**And here is the books and swag I received throughout the day. **

Overall, the event was fun. I recently found out that YALLFest 2014 will be a 2 day event and this makes me very happy because the first year that I went I was able to go to panels and meet authors and get books signed. This year however, other than the keynote speakers I was not able to go listen to any panels for fear or missing out on an author signing. I hope the 2 days fixes this dilemma.

~posted by LeAnn