Book Review: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

17158976In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn’t mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn’t: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between.



Oh. My. God. LOVE!

First off, I already adore the author and both of her other series she’s written. So, I had high hopes going into this book, and she didn’t let me down! Writing this book in New Adult format meant there was some adult content but nothing like the adult novels she’s written before. New Adult is going to be a great genre to write in and she’s leading the way with The Beautiful Ashes. It was fantastic!

I have to admit I was a little shaky on the idea of Angels and Demons battling it out, because I feel it’s been done and done, and never different, but Jeaniene delivered a new take of the epic battle of good vs evil. Taking snippets from the Bible and transforming them to something otherworldly gives the reader something to truly think about and say, hey, that really maybe could have happened that way!

Adrian is your typical bad boy, vintage car and all, but under that outward appearance of bad ass, comes a tortured soul that is determined to change his fate. Ivy is going to be that deciding on factor of if his fate can change, While she’s determined to change him, she goes through tragedies that leads her to have nothing to lose but everything to gain. That being said, she dives head first into a world she knows nothing about, but is destine to be submerged into.

I loved the characters. The tension and passion between Adrain and Ivy was just enough to make me go, awww, at points and want to smack both of them upside the head at others. Their struggles are believable and their goals are obtainable. The secondary characters give the story life and drive and I felt emotions, good and bad, for every single one of them.

My biggest issue with this book is that it’s not even out yet and I want the second to be released so I know what happens next!

5 Bards!


Book Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

12578077Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

I think I love Jennifer Armentrout.  She basically wrote this book for book bloggers, I mean the the main character is a YA book blogger and she is freaking awesome.  Now I am about to say something slightly controversial so bare with me here, this book is what Twilight could have been.  When I started reading it I got slightly scared, because it had some similarities to Twilight.  Girl moves to small town, meets a mysterious guy who doesn’t like her, he acts weird, and has a big family, and of course has a big secret.  Now do you see where I am coming from?  Fortunately our protagonist is not a vapid, shallow girl like Bella.  Katy is awesome, she is a reader and a blogger (bonus points), she is smart, and witty, and she doesn’t need some guy who is an a hole around her.

So I was a little skeptical that this book was about aliens.  It’s not something that is done much in the YA genre, and when it is done the aliens are not the main characters in the book.  But I liked what Jennifer (I feel like we are on first name bases now, we have a major friendship happening in my head in a none creepy way) did with the characters.  I understood their standoff ways and even thought well yeah, that’s how I would be.  I must say Daemon is hot.  But so are all the Aliens, one day I would like to have a supernatural character be not so hot…

I really appreciated that Katy wasn’t some helpless girl that stuck with the hot dude even know he treated her like crap.  She has backbone and chutzpah (sometimes I turn into a Jewish old lady).  Even at the end of the book when he starts to admit he likes her, she is skeptical and keeps him at arms length.  That is awesome and exactly how she should react.

Lets talk about the action in this book because it is not all about the romance.  I really dug the idea of having the light and dark dichotomy.  It was simple but at the same time complex.  And it causes some amount of tension and some awesome fight scenes in the book.  That thing that happened at the end, well that was something.  It was weird and I didn’t quite understand it.  But it was better explained in the other book (Onyx) that was ever so cleverly attached to Obsidian for my reading pleasure (I have Lux beginnings).  In fact it was so convenient that I didn’t stop reading once I finished Obsidian.  I have also learned there are 5 books so expect more reviews from me soon!

I would highly recommend this book.  Please ignore the similarities to Twilight, this is much better I promise!

4.5 Bards





Book Review: Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

7263429Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she’s certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer–one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack–and the man–she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.



Jumping into book 2 of the Nightshade series, I was thrilled to see that it started exactly where book 1 let off. I hate when books have an unaccounted time lapse and this did not, so well done Mrs. Cremer!  And with that, the book had great flow and was adventurous and captivating.

Trusting that the people she was bred to hate would be her and her pack’s savior.  Calla continues her journey towards freedom from a life she can’t go back to. Bumps in the road, betrayals and heartbreaks lead her closer to the goal, yet she begins to feel like she’s going backwards and not forwards. Among the continuing storyline is an undercurrent of a love triangle, one where she must continue to chose between loyalty to her pack or to her heart.

The continuing character development worked well for all the players and the dialogue and descriptions fit the story perfectly. I had a hard time putting the book down!  Book 1 was a little slow and long, but this book was quick and just the write length.

I give this book 4 bards!


Book Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer


Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she’ll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters’ laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Nightshade brings you into a world of teenage wolf packs. It’s an interesting take and diverges from the normal view of what a werewolf is and what they do. These teenage wolves are the top of the school, most popular and most feared, they have normal teenage issues, and yet they hunt in a pack, keep watch over sacred ground and mate to a partner that was chosen for them at birth.

Calla is a female alfa, fighting for a place in a patriarchal pack. Where even though she is the alfa of her group of pack mates, she must bend and heed to anything the males of any pack say and do. It’s a little cringe worthy at times, as I am a strong willed woman and find it hard to read about strong will women being submissive in a not so pleasant way. There was nothing sexual about it, merely just suggestions to the “I am male, you do what I say no matter how much you don’t like it” nature.

Trying to following the system of beings within this book was a little confusing as well. Who’s who and what’s what got to be a little much and I found myself skipping over the details of that and still following the story just fine. That being said, there was plenty of dialogue to keep me interested throughout the whole book. Descriptions were good, but not overly done, which is a huge bonus for me.

For being a young adult novel, it stayed true to the audience and had just enough action to let the reader continue reading without hesitation. I did think for book 1 in the series it was a little long, and could have been cut or shortened a bit. I’ll be interested to see how the story picks up in book two!

I give this book 3 1/2 bards!




Book Review: Shadowlark by Meagan Spooner

11558256Ever since she escaped the city within the Wall, Lark Ainsley’s wanted one thing: to find her brother Basil. She’s always believed he would be the one to put an end to the constant fear and flight. And now, hidden underground in the chaotically magical city of Lethe, Lark feels closer to him than ever.

But Lethe is a city cowering in fear of its founder, the mysterious Prometheus, and of his private police force. To get the truth about what happened to Basil, Lark has no choice but to face Prometheus.

Facing her fears has become second nature to Lark. Facing the truth is another matter.

Lark never asked to be anyone’s savior. She certainly never wanted to be anyone’s weapon. She might not have a choice.




I liked this book slightly better than the first book in the series.  At least this time they were not hiking through the woods for the majority of the book.  If you want to see my review for Skylark click here.  So Shadowlark picks up where Skylark leaves off.  Lark is hiking in the woods to reach another city where her brother might be.  I thought Lark was slightly more likeable this time.  Oren’s character started to develop more as the story went on.  He grew on me. I thought the other characters that were introduced were better developed and likeable than the ones in Skylark.

The plot was interesting.  It was however predictable.  I called the plot twist the moment it was brought up.  I don’t know if that is because I read so much that I can figure that out quicker or if it was truly that obvious.  Parts of this book had me so lost it was frustrating.  At one point Lark kept indicating that she was a shadow like Oren, I was like when did that happen?  Did I miss that?  So does she go all feral and eat people???  Or is she speaking metaphorically about how she is dead inside?  Either way I was left scratching my head.

One thing that I actually liked was the training that Lark went through.  I thought it was a great explanation of magic and renewables.  It helped me understand what was going on with Lark and the rest of the people.  I wish the explanation had come sooner but at least it came.  I also kind of dig the zombie like creatures.  That they have potential to switch from human to shadow and back, and that they have potential to be cured.   I thought that idea was neat.  My one question is why doesn’t Lark’s power work with other shadow people like how it works with Oren?  It seems like it should.

I am going to give it 3.5 bards.  Maybe the last book in the series will be better!  But at least this was better than the first.





Waiting on Wednesday

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on: 

Release Date: February 18, 2014

Never, Kentucky is not your average scenic small town. It is a crossways, a place where the dead and the living can find no peace. Not that Forest, an 18-year-old foster kid who works the graveyard shift at Lincoln Hospital, knew this when she applied for the job. Lincoln is a huge state mental institution, a good place for Forest to make some money to pay for college. But along with hundreds of very unstable patients, it also has underground tunnels, bell towers that ring unexpectedly, and a closet that holds more than just donated clothing….When the dead husband of one of Forest’s patients makes an appearance late one night, seemingly accompanied by an agent of the Devil, Forest loses all sense of reality and all sense of time. Terrified, she knows she has a part to play, and when she does so, she finds a heritage that she never expected.

Book Review: Dangerous Depths by Karen Amanda Hooper

Hell hath no fury like a selkie separated from his true love. 

The gate to the sea creature realm is finally open. Yara wants to bask in the glow of her budding relationship with Treygan and explore Medusa’s world, but as the new leader of Rathe her powers are needed to save a sea creature she’s never met. 

Rownan assumes the worst is behind him when he returns home to be reunited with his wife, Vienna, only to discover she’s gone. She traveled to the evil realm of Harte to find another gateway to Earth and was never heard from again. Rownan claimed he would go through hell to be with her, and now he must prove it. 

Rownan, Yara, and Treygan will put their lives and souls at risk by traveling to the most dangerous realm of all. Love is supposed to conquer all, but no one has ever conquered Harte.

If you haven’t read the first novel in the Sea Monster Memoirs, check out my 5 Bard review of Tangled Tides if you need any convincing to pick up a copy!

Well, I can say that I was waiting anxiously for this novel as soon as I finished Tangled Tides, and I couldn’t wait to be back with Yara, Treygan, and Rownan for another adventure. Hooper did not disappoint. For those who have read the first novel you are in for a huge heart attack inducing storyline that kept me desperate to keep reading regardless of my lunch hours ending and being tired on the treadmill. 

Things that I loved: EVERYTHING.  No okay, not everything, but I did like most everything that Hooper did in this novel.  Not only do we get to see the consequences or rather, the difference, in Yara’s abilities and talents since her change into a blend of all things sea monster (Selkie, Siren, Mermaid, Gorgon, Nimph…).  The reader also gets to kind of witness how the balance in Rathe has changed since Yara’s transformation as well, and see her strained relationship with her sister Gorgons and her guardian Siren, Nixie. 

Now, I don’t remember if Harte was even mentioned in Tangled Tides, but I think that the mythology within the text was definitely strong enough to support the addition of a hell-like world to juxtapose the heaven on Earth description of Rathe. To piggy back off of that, I think that Hooper did a great job creating the challenges that the characters experienced when they were in Harte, although I do wish that the description of the creatures that were able to morph into human replicas was a little more detailed and that we got a little more of an idea as to what they were. 

The one thing that I didn’t particularly like this time was all of the point of view switching.  I honestly just wish we could have had just Yara telling us the story, but I understand the importance of switching when the characters were separated.  However, I wish that the tone of voice and vocabulary had differed a little between each chapter as to separate the change a little bit more obvious. 

The ending felt super sudden, and there is a major character death that I feel like didn’t get a super amount of mourning time, but the very end of the novel kind of explains that.  YES, there will be a third novel, and I can only hope that it will be as satisfying and intense as Dangerous Depths. 

4.5 Bards

Giveaway:   ONE Grand Prize Winner will get:  Sea Monster Memoirs Prize Pack Including Signed Paperback Set of Tangled Tides & Dangerous Depths

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Karen was born and bred in Baltimore, frolicked and froze in Colorado for a couple of years, and is currently sunning and splashing around Florida with her two beloved dogs. She’s addicted to coffee, chocolate, and complicated happily-ever-afters.

Karen has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. Due to her strong Disney upbringing, she still believes in fairy tales and will forever sprinkle magic throughout all of her novels.

Happy Release Day!

Happy Release Day to Karen Amanda Hooper and her new novel Dangerous Depths, one of the sweetest and most talented independent authors out there! 

Hell hath no fury like a selkie separated from his true love. 

The gate to the sea creature realm is finally open. Rownan assumes the worst is behind him when he returns home after years of waiting to be reunited with his wife, Vienna. Only to find out that Vienna didn’t wait for him. She traveled to the evil realm of Harte years ago, hoping the legend of another gateway to Earth’s realm was real, but she was never heard from again. Rownan claimed he’d go through hell to be with Vienna, and now he must prove it. 

Yara wanted to bask in the glow of her happily ever after in the magical realm of Rathe. She planned to explore Medusa and Poseidon’s world and dive deeper into her relationship with Treygan, but as the new leader of Rathe, her powers are needed to save more than one member of her own kind. Treygan vowed to always be Yara’s guardian, but long ago he also swore to go any lengths to protect his brother Rownan. Now, he must fulfill his promise to both of them. 

Rownan, Yara, and Treygan are about to put their lives and souls at risk by traveling to the most dangerous realm of the worlds. Love should conquer all, but no one has ever conquered Harte.


Song list in chronological order of when they take place in the story.

WARNING: Some vague spoilers!

1.) Waves of You– Eric Turner (Rownan to Vienna beginning of book)

2.) Sail– AWOLNation  (drunk Rownan in his dark place on the beach)

3.) Drifting– Plumb feat. Dan Haseltine (Yara & Nixie to Rownan–another way)

4.) If I Lose Myself– One Republic (Treygan to Yara the morning of their trip)

5.) The Sea– Morcheeba (Traveling and arriving)

6.) Storm– Lifehouse (Rownan to Vienna when he’s alone in Harte)

7.) I Want You Here– Plumb (Vienna on her beach with the driftwood)

8.) Waves– Blondefire  (Yara and/or Vienna)

9.) Little Talks– Of Monsters and Men (Yara & Treygan in the last half of the book)

10.) Together Again– Evanescence (Yara when she becomes separated from Treygan)

11.) Hazy– Rosi Golan feat. William Fitzsimmons (Vienna & Rownan duet)

12.) Down– Jason Walker feat. Molly Reed  (This one tugs ta my heartstrings. I picture each character: Rownan, Yara, Treygan, and Nixie, on their own singing this song. It flashes between each of them during seemingly hopeless times during their fight to get out.)

13.) My Last Breath– Evanescence (Nixie & Yara)

*BONUS SONG: Hero– David Crosby & Phil Collins (This was a song from my TANGLED TIDES playlist. It’s an oldie, but it was so perfect as a song that Rownan would sing about Treygan. Right down to the “when the hero kills the maiden with his kiss” line. This song still gives me goose bumps when I listen to it.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting on Wednesday

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on: 

Release Date: April 15, 2014

Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted for us book blogger types by the Broke and the Bookish. They provide a topic, and all of us participants post our answers on our blogs and we hop around checking out one another’s answers! This week’s topic is

Top Ten Scariest Looking Book Covers

Some That Make Me Want To Read the Books: 

1. The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle

2. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

3. Haven by Hope Collier

4. Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn

Some that I’ve Read: 

5. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

6. Asylum by Madeleine Roux

7. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

8. Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Meglomania and Modern Medicine by Andrew T. Scull

9. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

10. Frankenstein (1818 Text) by Mary Shelley

What are some of your favorite scary/creepy covers? 

Happy Halloween!!!

Get every new post delivered to your inbox!
Join our other followers!
Powered By

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers