Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Available on Audio: Shattered Love (Shattered Love #1) by Stacey Marie Brown

AUDIO ALERT! SMB SHATTERED LOVE

Shattered Love

(Shattered Love #1)

By: Stacey Marie Brown

Shattered Love 005 

Everyone has a story about a broken heart, but Jaymerson’s heart wasn’t just broken. It was completely shattered…

Along with her body and mind.

Jaymerson Holloway had it all. Popularity, boyfriend, good grades—until one moment—one bad decision. A split second and her life was altered forever. Faced with unimaginable grief and guilt, while learning to simply walk again, Jaymerson knows nothing will never be the same. Family and friends want her to get back to how things were before. But she’s no longer that girl.

The only one who understands what she is going through is someone who she has always hated. The other survivor.

Hunter Harris is totally off-limits and full of secrets of his own.

Though each blame the other for the tragedy, they start to help each other repair their shattered lives.

But as the undeniable pull between them intensifies, Jaymerson starts to wonder if she will ever learn the secrets Hunter’s been hiding—or if she even wants to. 


Shattered Love Audio1

Purchase today HERE!

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Stacey Marie Brown is a lover of hot fictional bad boys and sarcastic heroines who kick butt. She also enjoys books, travel, TV shows, hiking, writing, design, and archery. Stacey swears she is part gypsy, being lucky enough to live and travel all over the world.

She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. She volunteers helping animals and is Eco-friendly. She feels all animals, people, and environment should be treated kindly.


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Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: Three Mages and a Margarita (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1) by Annette Marie

Title: Three Mages and a Margarita
Series: The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Published: September 14, 2018
Pages: 312
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Source: Ebook


Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview — to see if I'd mesh with their "special" clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That's the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they… offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn't a bar. It's a guild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I'm exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there's a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what's a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course — with a pay raise.

Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn't a reverse harem. It's 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.


Goodreads | Amazon

Only $.99 on Amazon right now! Or FREE with Kindle Unlimited!



MY REVIEW
This review MAY contain SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.

This book was a glorious adventure and it was just what I needed right now! Annette Marie has broken the mold and shattered my expectations yet again. Just when I think that she is super clever for coming up with imaginative, complex fantasy worlds she releases another and I am swept away again. If you are as clever as she is, you'll jump on her bandwagon and ride the magical waves of urban fantasy with us.

So, yeah. Marie creates such captivating fantasy worlds. Not only is this world (and all of her other fantasy worlds) creative, but it is also damn intriguing. There are different magical systems that are detailed and just plain awesome. There is a magical governing body, magic guilds, and supernatural creatures. There are so many fun and compelling elements that are crafted into this world. There was clearly a lot of thought and research put into this world. 

This book was different from Marie's other books in that it has a self-contained plot. Marie has said that this series will be episodic. So while elements of the series will carry over to other books, each book of the series will have its own story. While I typically tend to stick to book series that have plots that encompass the entire series as opposed to single books in a series, the changeup in style did not negatively impact my reading at all. So if you are hesitant to try the series because of this, I would urge you to still read this book! I was still able to appreciate the story. The story did seem much more fast-paced than Marie's other books. And while some serious things do occur in the book, the overall feeling was much lighter than her other books. I think the lighter feel and the fast pacing works well with the self-contained plot. 

The characters in this series were a true delight! I fell in love with these characters so quickly! Like, crazy fast! The main character is spunky, feisty, and fierce. I immediately liked her. Her three mage companions were just as likable. They each bring a different flavor into the story. And no, this isn't a reverse harem story so put that out of your head. (But if that's your thing then good on you. It just doesn't apply here. :)) And if I am being honest, I loved not having any inclination which way the romance in the story would go. With so many options, my mind was whirling! 

I also really appreciated the underlying themes hidden in the story. Friendship, trust, self-reliance, prejudice, and conviction all show up in the story in one way or another. 

Overall, Annette Marie is a storytelling Queen and you are mad if you do not read this! Pick this book up and fall into a world you'll want to stay in with characters that you'll want to stay with. This book will make you laugh, will make you root for the heroine, will give you the hella hot mage feels and will make you crave more stories from Annette Marie! And while you are at is, pick up her Steel & Stone series, her spin-off Spell Weaver series, and/or her Red Winter series. Once you read one of Marie's books you will be under her spell! I am so stoked to read the next book in this series!



THIS BOOK CONTRIBUTED TO THESE 2018 READING CHALLENGES
- Try Somethhing New Challenge
- 2018 New Release Challenge
- Let's Read Indie Challenge
Check out my 2018 Challenge Page to see my progress!


Annette Marie is one of my all-time favorite authors! This book has been out for three days and I have already read the book twice through fully and skimmed it a third time. Do you read indie books or have a favorite indie author? I'd love recommendations!

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Three Mages and a Margarita (The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1) by Annette Marie


Title: Three Mages and a Margarita 
Series: The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1
Author: Annette Marie
Publication date: September 14, 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy



Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I’d mesh with their “special” clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they…offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn’t a bar. It’s aguild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I’m exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there’s a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what’s a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise.

Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.



When I gazed vacantly at her, Clara visibly paled. “Tori, what’s your class?” “My class?”She pressed her hands to the bar top, eyes wide. “Your class, what is it?” “You mean at the community college? I’m taking—”

“No, your mythic class!” She shoved my card under my nose, even more frantic. “Why doesn’t your license have a mythic identification number? You’re registered, aren’t you?”

“Registered for what? Clara, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”

“Oh my god.” Panic flashed in her eyes. “I don’t believe it. You’re human.”

I blinked again. Squinted. Rubbed one ear like I might have misheard. “Beg your pardon?”

Clara dropped my ID on the bar and hid her face behind her hands. “Darius is going to kill me. Why didn’t I check your ID last night? I’m an idiot.”

“Clara,” I said, alarmed and confused in equal measure. “I swear it’s a real ID. I’m twenty-one, old enough to bartend, and—”

“That’s not the problem,” she moaned. “How did you even find out about this place? I never should have—but you were perfect. You weren’t scared of anyone—not even Aaron! I thought you were some badass mythic who wanted to bartend, but you—”

“Get over yourself, Aaron.” Kai’s angry voice rose over Clara’s. “We’re not doing this your way—not again. Your plans always end in fireballs and explosions.”

Fireballs? Explosions? I glanced at them as Aaron snapped, “What’s wrong with that?”“Tori.” Clara’s panicked tone drew my attention back to her as Kai and Aaron continued to argue. “Last

night, did you see anything?”

“Huh?”

“Did you see anything … unusual?”

“Did I see anything unusual?” I repeated blankly. “Like what?”

“Say that again,” Aaron shouted furiously, “and I’ll toast your pale ass to a healthy crisp!”

His hand shot into the air—and fire burst from his fingers. The red flames danced across his skin, sparks raining down on the table. Curling his hand into a fist, he cocked his arm back, aiming for Kai.

“Aaron!” Clara shrieked. “Put your fire away!”He froze in mid-motion, his fist still blazing. “Clara? What’s wrong?”

“Put it out!” she yelled, her voice high with panic. “Now!”

He flicked his fingers open and the flames vanished. “Jeez, don’t get your panties in a twist. I wasn’t actually going to roast him.”

“Just—just shut up for once in your life, Aaron!” Clara pressed her hands to her head like she was trying to squeeze her brain. “This is already bad enough.”

“What’s bad?” He pushed back from the table and strode over, Kai and Ezra on his heels. “What’s going on?”

I didn’t move, my eyes fixed on his hand—his hand that had been engulfed in flames. Did that count as unusual?

“I screwed up,” Clara groaned, covering her face again like she couldn’t stand to see me. “I didn’t check her ID yesterday.”

Aaron slid my driver’s license off the bar top and read it. “Victoria Dawson? Your name is Victoria?” I shook off my shock to scowl at his sniggering tone.Kai plucked the card out of Aaron’s hand. “There’s no MID number.”“Is it a fake ID?” Aaron asked with amusement. “Did you hire a rogue, Clara?”

“Worse,” Clara whispered. “She’s human.”

The three guys stared at me, and I stared back without the slightest idea what the hell anyone was talking about. But more important than the incomprehensible conversation was the fact Aaron’s hand had been on fire, and I couldn’t figure out how it could possibly have been a trick.

“No way,” Aaron finally said. “What’s your class, Tori?” I pointed at his hand. “Was that real fire?” “Oh, shit,” Kai muttered.


 Check out my review for Three Mages and a Margarita HERE!





Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.





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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Review: Steel & Stone Companion Collection (Steel & Stone #6) by Annette Marie

Title: Steel & Stone Companion Collection
Series: Steel & Stone #6
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Published: August 22, 2017
Pages: 290
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian, Short Stories, Romance, Paranormal
Source: Ebook


Steel & Stone Companion Collection — 12 stories from the Steel & Stone series, narrated by Ash and Lyre

From her first fateful glimpse of the Sahar Stone to the explosive final battle in Asphodel, Piper fought with Ash and Lyre beside her. A draconian and an incubus—an unlikely friendship of two skilled warriors, deadly in very different ways, both hiding dark secrets and dangerous pasts.

Now, return to the Steel & Stone world—this time through their eyes. In this collection of short stories set on the same timeline as the original series, Ash and Lyre reveal a whole new side to the trials they faced—both familiar scenes and never-before-seen adventures. Discover Ash's first impression of Piper, their fight in the Styx ring, Lyre's secret role in the escape from Asphodel, and more.

This captivating encore to the Steel & Stone series includes 12 all-new stories that complement and expand on the most pivotal moments of the series.


MY REVIEW
This review MAY contain SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.

This collection was everything that I needed right now. After reading the Spell Weaver prequel series and rereading the Steel & Stone series back to back I yearned for more. I think that I will always ache for more of these characters in my heart. There are many book series that I have been passionate about, but this is one of the only series that I have read that has absolutely obliterated me emotionally for so long after finishing. I remember weeping for an hour or more directly after finishing the series that first time and the second time was no different. I had purchased this companion collection of stories when it was first released and I waited to read it until I could devote the time to reread the series. I should have reread it sooner. There have been few books or book series that I have read and immediately wanted to re-immerse myself in afterward. This series is so special. 

Reading things from Ash and Lyre's point of views was everything I could have hoped for and expected. It made me feel everything in the series with much more intensity. It almost makes me wonder what the entire series would have been like if it had been narrated from different points of view. I liked that there is an extended scene from the last book in the series that gives a little more closure. I also liked how these stories pull from the books in the series, but they are not retellings of what happened. There are scenes that show what some of the other characters were going through that I couldn't have anticipated. They shed so much more insight into the minds of these characters and they really strengthen them. 

If you are a fan of the Steel & Stone series and you haven't read this then you definitely should. I personally am not a fan of short stories usually, but I knew that I would be reading this. I will read anything that Annette Marie writes. I would urge you to try this companion collection even if short stories aren't your thing because otherwise, you will undoubtedly be missing out. Reading this has only amplified and deepened my love for this incredible world. I simply cannot wait for the release of the sequel series, Blackfire! 



THIS BOOK CONTRIBUTED TO THESE 2018 READING CHALLENGES
- Beat the Backlist Challenge
- Try Something New Challenge
- Let's Read Indie Challenge
- Finishing the Series Challenge
- Reading Bingo
Check out my 2018 Challenge Page to see my progress!


I enjoyed this compilation of scenes from this series from different perspectives. The series it told from the female protagonist's point of view, but I always wondered what they other two male characters were thinking and doing. This was truly a gem to add to this series. Do you enjoy when an author adds new scenes or perspectives to a book or series that you love?

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Review: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Series: Shades of Magic #2
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: February 23, 2016
Pages: 512
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Ebook, Audiobook


It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift--back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games--an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries--a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall. 


Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Google | BD | Wordery


MY REVIEW
This review MAY contain SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.

That ending! Really? I have to know more this very moment or I will just die! How could Schwab do this to me? 

This book had a different feeling for me from the first book. I didn't like it quite as much as the first, though I do love this series. This book just didn't resonate as strongly with me. The flow was a bit different to me. I think that the reason I feel this way is because the focus of this book lies on the character's internal struggles more. Kell and Lila are apart for most of the book and it affects the overall mood of the story. Their interactions in the first book were among my favorite parts, so without having that in this one I was simply, for the lack of a better word, sad.

That aside, I did love the series of events in this book just as much as the first. The plot was just as thick. And though I yearned for more Kell/Lila time, the happenings up to their meeting were engaging and fulfilling. 

I loved the characters just as much as in the first book. Alucard is a character that really grew on me. This book was a lot of characters figuring out what they want. Out of life, from themselves. And even what they don't want. It was a time of discovery. 

I liked both of the romances. Brief as they were. And even the romantic tension that wasn't really romance. I just wish that there had been more. The romance felt too fleeting. Like if I closed my eyes it would disappear. I think that it could have been stronger. 

As far as world-building, I liked the inclusion of the other cultures from Kell's world. During the Essen Tasch the other kingdoms come to Arnes and we get to glimpse some of their differences and similarities. 

Overall, I think that this book suffers from middle-book-slump. The momentum definitely changes in the second book compared to the first one. It doesn't take away from the series as a whole though. That characters are still strong and the plot still has compelling significance. I would recommend reading the second book of Shades of Magic if you enjoyed the first book. Though I warn that even if it may feel boring at the beginning it is worth trudging on to the end. Almost like delaying gratification. I don't doubt that the third book is going to be the game changer. I will definitely be reading it! 



THIS BOOK CONTRIBUTED TO THESE 2018 READING CHALLENGES
- Beat the Backlist Challenge
- Audiobook Challenge
Check out my 2018 Challenge Page to see my progress!


This is a book series that I have a strange relationship with. While I love the story and the characters and I feel passionate about the books, I still don't get that all-consuming feeling of completeness from them like I would with any other book that I obsess over. I think that these books may simply be the victims in a case of reading when in a rotten mood or while my mind was preoccupied. I think that I may have to reread them to know for sure. Do you ever get this same feeling with any books and don't know why?
 

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