Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: Run To You Parts 4, 5 and 6

Parts 4, 5, and 6
Clara Kensie
Paranormal Young Adult
Available Now
Source: eARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
RUN TO YOU is Tessa and Tristan's saga—two books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Each book is told in three parts: a total of six shattering reads that will stay with you long after the last page. Book One is First Sight, Second Glance, and Third Charm. Book Two is Fourth Shadow, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense.

Book two of the Run To You serial is as action-packed as the first, Tessa's role shifting from the hunted to the hunter as she searches for her missing brother and sister. Free of the questions that haunted us all through book one as to what exactly happened the night Tessa was brutally scarred, we find it that much easier to settle into this sequel, fully in the know as to whom we can label killer and whom victim. Ms. Kensie does a beautiful job of exploring the aftermath of book one's revelations, the joy Tessa expects to feel at the small things we all take for granted–like using her own name and attending school without a solid backstory in place–replaced with a darkly visceral cloud of shame and guilt, one that chills us to the bone as she serves an emotional sentence for crimes she didn't commit.

Tessa proves how strong a young woman she truly is in this second book, stoically enduring the vitriol flung at her from all sides at school while simultaneously trying to find her way through the literal and figurative fog of her newly discovered retrocognitive gift. Though we feel for her every minute and every page of this story, there are moments where we're faced with the inescapable reminder of her young age in all its frustrating glory. She has a bit of tunnel vision with regard to finding her brother and sister, allowing that single focus to overwhelm good judgement and choosing instead to ignore both Tristan and his mother's–both whom possess proven precognitive abilities–warnings about fleeing to Jillian and Logan's last known locations. She then has the tendency to only offer an inadequate apology for the trouble her actions cause, all the while failing to see that she's not the only one affected by her unrelenting search for her family.

What makes her actions less of a bitter pill to swallow, however, is Tristan's reaction to her most blatant disregard of one of his mother's visions, his anger and disappointment matching our own and finally ripping the Jillian and Logan blinders free from Tessa's face so she can see the larger picture. Once she sees, she takes the necessary steps to fix the rift between them, and it's easy to forgive her when we take into account the fact that we have the benefit of being outside observers, able to use logic that's not buried so far under the weight of fear and pain that it's of no use to us. Tessa's recklessness, though irritating at the time, is limited more to part five of this story, giving us plenty of time to move past it and throw ourselves back into her corner as part six delivers a number of physical and emotional punches.

Overall, book two of Run to You is a lighting-quick read full of heartache for a young woman who's lived a life full of nightmares and free of dreams, complete with a sweet romance lacking a geometrical shape of any kind. We're left with things wrapped up nicely for Tessa and Tristan, but there's a number of secondary characters who seem to be just itching for their moment to shine, so here's hoping Jillian, Logan, and new character Aaron find their way onto the pages of their own stories sooner rather than later.

Rating: 4/5

Find Clara:

Part Four: Fourth Shadow

Part Five: Fifth Touch

Part Six: Sixth Sense

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wild Iris Ridge Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway

Today I have the pleasure of being part of the promotional tour for Wild Iris Ridge, the seventh book in RaeAnne Thayne's Hope's Crossing series. RaeAnne was nice enough to answer a few questions about her latest contemporary romance, so I hope you all enjoy the interview! Be sure and check out the bottom of the post for the full list of participating blogs as well as all the details on a fabulous giveaway. Welcome to Supernatural Snark RaeAnne!

Wild Iris Ridge is set in the small town of Hope's Crossing. What are three things you love about a small town setting for a contemporary romance novel? 

I love the chance to build a community of caring people, the opportunity to show that life isn’t necessarily idyllic in a small town, and show people banding together to help each other through difficult situations.

Lucy and Brendan's love is of the second chance variety given the kiss they shared years before Brendan loved and lost Lucy's best friend, Jessie. Do you have a favorite second-chance couple from any book, movie or TV show?

I don’t know if I could pick a favorite as it’s a trope I really enjoy, both reading and writing. I will say that the very first romance novel I ever read was THE ENCHANTED LAND by Jude Devereaux. It’s really a second-chance romance as the hero and heroine are separated by circumstances and only come together because of a near-tragedy. Loved that book!

If you could write yourself into any one of your books (or series), which one do you think would best suit you and what role would you play? 

I would write myself into Hope’s Crossing and be one of the bead-store regulars. I love the idea of a group of women who meet frequently to share their lives with each other.

You primarily write books that are part of a larger series. What do you enjoy most about writing separate-but-linked stories over stand-alones? 

This is usually quite self-indulgent on my part. I have a tough time saying good-bye to my characters. If I write linked books, I don’t have to … I can catch up on what’s happening with my hero and heroine when they appear as secondary characters in a subsequent story.

If Brendan were asked to describe the Lucy he knew prior to the events of Wild Iris Ridge, what one word (besides “trouble” ;-)) would he use?


After the events of the book? 


• • • • • • • • • • • 

(available now from Harlequin)

A big-city, high-powered advertising executive and a small-town firefighter learn that no matter where you started or what you’ve lost, if you open your heart, you can find joy and love again. WILD IRIS RIDGE is the latest book inUSA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne’s charming Hope’s Crossing series.

Lucy Drake and Brendan Caine have only one thing in common.And it's likely to tear them apart. Because it was Brendan's late wife, Jessie—and Lucy's best friend—who'd brought them together in the first place. And since Jesse's passing, Brendan's been distracted by his two little ones…and the memory of an explosive kiss with Lucy years before his marriage. Still, he'll steer clear of her. She's always been trouble with a capital T.

Lucy couldn't wait to shed her small-town roots for the big city. But now that she's back in Hope's Crossing to take care of the Queen Anne home her late aunt has left her, she figures seeing Brendan Caine again is no big deal. After all, she'd managed to resist the handsome fire chief once before, but clearly the embers of their attraction are still smoldering…

• • • • • • • • • • •


USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. This led her to a fifteen-year career in journalismas a newspaper reporter and editor. But through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best, romance, and has since published more than 40 titles. RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website,

• • • • • • • • • • •


  • 1 book from the Hope's Crossing series
  • 1 beaded HOPE bracelet,
  • 1 Iris necklace (US/CA)

Be sure and check out the other stops on the tour for more interviews, reviews, guest posts and more!

Bookhounds - Author Interview

Paperrdolls- Review

Maureen's Books - Review

Paulette's Papers- Guest Post


Fiction Dreams- Author Interview

Every Free Chance- Author Interview

Kinky Vanilla Romance- Author Interview
Candace's Book Blog- Guest Post

readful things- Review & Top Ten

Supernatural Snark- Author Interview

Bookfan- Review

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Something Sweeter

Sweet, Texas #3
Candis Terry
Adult Contemporary Romance
384 pages
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
The men in Texas are hard to resist . . .

Seattle event planner Allison Lane is an expert at delivering the perfect wedding—even if she might not exactly believe in the whole "'til death do us part" thing. When her father decides to tie the knot with a woman he barely knows, Allison heads to Sweet, Texas, to make sure his new honey is the real deal. What she didn't expect to find at the local honky-tonk was a sexy Southern man as bent on charming her pants off as he is on blowing her "true love doesn't exist" theory all to hell.

And they always promise . . .

Veterinarian, former Marine, and Sweet's favorite playboy Jesse Wilder takes one look at Allison and knows she's a handful of trouble he can't deny. But even after a sizzling kiss and obvious mutual attraction, it seems Allison has no such problem. When Jesse uncovers her sweet side, can he crush his playboy image, melt her cynical heart, and change her mind about taking a trip down the aisle?

Something sweeter.

Something Sweeter is a fun foray into the heart of Texas, use of the endearment "darlin" present and as swoon-worthy as ever as it flows from the mouth of former Marine–and current veterinarian–Jesse Wilder. In addition to a slow-burning relationship between our lead couple, we’re also treated to the meddling, antics, and unwavering support of his brothers and his endearing mother, their playful familiarity allowing us to really snuggle into this story surrounded by the warmth of love and laughter on all sides. There’s plenty of conflict in the relationship between Jesse and Allison, but the drama is kept to a bare minimum, making this the perfect read for a lazy summer afternoon when a little heat and a whole lot of charm top the list of reader must-haves.

Allison, having grown up with a mother divorced five times over, is utterly convinced love is fleeting and subject to the whims of those who claim to feel it, and therefore finds herself in Texas to ensure her father made the right decision with his recent engagement to a virtual stranger. Because this is a lighter contemporary romance, we don’t delve too deeply into Allison’s relationship with her mother, and as a result it’s sometimes tricky for us to fully put ourselves in her shoes with regard to her conviction that happily ever after doesn’t exist. Having said that however, though Allison’s beliefs on love are clearly the kind that will require the entirety of this story’s four hundred pages to change, she’s not overly frustrating with her stance, sharing with Jesse upfront how she feels without throwing her opinions in his face every five minutes.

Jesse is as smoldering ex-military southern gentleman as they come, his Texas drawl practically audible as it reverberates through the pages and travels straight to our hearts. There are a number of stops and starts to his and Allie's physical relationship, but with her career requiring her to head back to Seattle after her visit with her father, it’s easy understand why they both err on the side of caution when it comes to intimacy. He works hard to show Allie that lasting relationships are not the mystical unicorn she believes them to be–even as he denies the depth of his own growing feelings for her–and despite the stubborn nature they both share, they’re a joy of a romantic couple overall.

Something Sweeter is predictable in the way all romances are, but as always with this genre, the characters themselves and their individual journey to happily ever after take precedence over the mystery of where the relationship is headed. Ms. Terry has written a romance full of sweetness and heart, and I look forward to going back and watching the previous two Wilder boys fall for their women just as Jesse fell for his.

Rating: 4/5

Find Candis:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: Mortal Danger

Immortal Game #1
Ann Aguirre
Paranormal Young Adult
372 pages
Feiwel & Friends
Available August 6th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Revenge is a dish best served cold.

In Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger, Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly . . . bad things are happening. It’s a head rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what—she can trust. Not even her own mind.

Mortal Danger is a story that starts out on a literal edge, Edie ready to leave life behind in the hope that death will be less cruel, only to be stopped by an enigmatic young man who offers her a different type of escape. The first few chapters make us as readers incredibly uneasy, Edie’s thwarted suicide and the fact that her first request from Kian is to be made beautiful causing us to fear what this tale has in store for us in terms of the message carried by her actions. While the synopsis suggests the revenge aspect is a focal point though, where Ms. Aguirre takes us (thankfully) instead is far beneath the hell that is high school and into one much more befitting of the name.

As mentioned previously, Edie has us a touch worried in the beginning chapters, wondering if her story is going to be one where we spend the entire time fearful the next chapter is going to be the one where her need for vengeance will result in an action we simply cannot forgive. What we find in place of a single-minded drive for revenge on those who broke her (the means by which we don’t discover until much later in the story), however, is a fierce intelligence and a beautifully level-head, her dealings with the popular crew surprisingly free of the venom and vitriol initially expected. Edie instead approaches them in a much more reasonable way, her anger and hurt still present and palpable, but she never seeks to actively shame or humiliate them the way they did her.

Perhaps most surprising about Mortal Danger is just how small a role Edie’s revenge plays in the overall plot. Once she makes her deal with Kian, the teenage bullies who forced her to the bridge in the first place suddenly pale in comparison to the immortal ones who now hold all the cards in a game she never wanted to play. Edie is the type of heroine we crack the spine of every book hoping find, her initial insecurities replaced with a confidence, sharp wit, and extraordinary problem solving ability (all traits it’s made clear to us come from within and are not simply side effects of her newfound beauty). She tackles her numerous problems head on, self-reliant to an admirable degree but not so much so that she doesn’t know when to ask for help, and so very careful as to where she steps on the gameboard that has suddenly become her life.

Overall, Mortal Danger is a stunning start to a new series, giving us a heroine who makes mistakes and is riddled with flaws in the most beautiful way, and who despite a rough start, comes to fully appreciate all life has to offer even in its darkest moments. The ending lacks a touch of the excitement and action promised all along as Edie faces off with one of the game’s top players, but that’s a minor quibble in an otherwise gritty and darkly entertaining story. Ms. Aguirre never fails to impress with her characters and her creativity, and Mortal Danger is yet another reminder of how fascinating (and also terrifying) her mind is.

Rating: 4/5

Find Ann:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Visual Review: The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2

A couple years ago I was sitting on my couch at home on a Saturday night (like the social butterfly I am), watching a little animated film HBO chose to premiere that week when I fell madly in love. The movie was How To Train Your Dragon, and it was one of the cutest movies I'd seen in forever. Not only was the animation astoundingly beautiful, but the characters were also laugh out loud funny, and I spent the next two days watching it ever single moment it came on. Which was a lot, as those of you who have HBO know. Once they premiere a movie, they play it 24/7.

Fast forward four years to 2014 when I discover my beloved movie has a sequel releasing. Best. News. Ever. Making my How To Train Your Dragon love complete was the arrival of a special package in the mail, one that contained a truly stunning book featuring the artwork that helped bring the second installment to life.

I majored in film in college and have always been fascinated by the behind-the-scenes aspect of moviemaking, so this book was a real treat for me and something I highly recommend to those interested in art, animation, costume design and the like. Between the covers is page after page of both sketches and finished artwork, the characters, settings and costumes broken down visually and then described by key members of the production staff to give us an in-depth look at everything the filmmakers take into consideration during the animation process. While the information provided by the director, production designer, art director and numerous others is an absolute treat, the true highlight of the book is the artwork itself, so I'm going to let it do most of my talking for me.

I took a few pictures of some of my favorite pages of the book so I could share them with all of you, and hopefully encourage those who have yet to experience these movies to give them a try! I have little doubt you'll love them as much as I do, and you might just want to pick up a copy of this book for display on your coffee table. Because...dragons. And Gerard Butler. You're welcome.


Hiccup in sketch form:

Stoick (Hiccup's dad) in both sketch and painted form:

(One of my favorite things about this book is the fact that we get to see the artwork in various stages of completion - from early black and white sketches and storyboards to paintings in color to final animated form.)

The fashion of Astrid (Hiccup's love interest):

Drago (the villain):


Toothless in sketch form:

(Look at his face! Is he not the cutest dragon you've ever seen? I want him for myself.)

Assorted dragons:



Find The Art of How To Train Your Dragon 2:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Take a Walk on the Wilds Side Blog Tour: Interview with Kat Kruger

Today I'm thrilled to be a part of the promotional tour for the third book in Kat Kruger's paranormal young adult series, The Night is Found. Kat was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about her trilogy and this final installment in particular, so I hope you all enjoy the interview! Welcome to Supernatural Snark Kat!

The Magdeburg Trilogy is set in Paris and features the dark world of both bitten and born werewolves. What’s one place in Paris those of us unfamiliar with this world would be correct in guessing was a werewolf haunt? One place we’d probably never expect to find them?

Paris has a lot of green space. I think it’s natural to assume that’s where werewolves would hang out in their beast form. In my trilogy I’ve got a few scenes in Parisian parks, mostly at night.

As for where you might not expect a werewolf, I’ll go with behind the counter of a butcher shop. Arden LaTène is a butcher by day.

If Connor could tell the world something about werewolves–positive or negative–that they don’t already know from the mythology of film and fiction, what would it be?

Connor would probably point out that werewolves aren’t so different from humans, that we all just evolved separately. In the world of the Magdeburg werewolves, those born to it are descended directly from Neanderthals whereas bitten humans are ones who have a tiny percentage of Neanderthal DNA in them. The born ones transform into wolves and the bitten turn into the wolfman type creatures of horror movies. There are other differences, particularly when it comes to social skills and emotional range, but the bitten are more the big bad wolves of fairy tales than the born.

What’s one facet of general werewolf mythology you knew from the beginning you definitely wanted to either utilize or avoid for your werewolves?

I mostly wanted to stay true to the general mythology surrounding werewolves but also wanted to add my own interpretations. However, one thing I didn’t want them to be was completely savage creatures with uncontrollable urges due to the powers of the full moon. Most animals aren’t born with that kind of bloodlust so, like everything else in this series, there had to be a rationale for the impulse. In this case, bitten humans just make for bad werewolves. It’s a curse in their DNA.

One other thing I knew from the beginning was that I didn’t want my books populated by shirtless hunks who were more eye candy than valuable participants in the plot.

If you were to find yourself at Connor’s school in Paris and saw him walking through the halls on your first day, what would your initial split-second impression of him be?


Let’s say Connor is given the opportunity to recruit a werewolf from any book, movie or TV show to either help him navigate his new world or fight along with him. Which werewolf would he most want on his side?

If he was still alive [SPOILER ALERT] it would be Remus Lupin from the Harry Potter series, simply because he’s an excellent teacher and fighter. I would say the same of Geoffrey Beck from Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver trilogy but [SPOILER ALERT] werewolf mentors don’t seem to have a long lifespan.

If you were to stumble into this world and suddenly find yourself face to face with indisputable proof that werewolves exist, how terrified/intrigued/accepting would you be?

Having immersed myself in this world and the research for so many years, it wouldn’t surprise me if some of it turned out to be real. Not in the least! There’s been some science-y stuff that I made up based on research that eventually turned out to be true or close to true. Maybe I should expect the Luparii to show up at my door for having outed werewolves to the general public...

If the third and final book of this series was made into a movie and you had to pick a single tagline for the promotional poster, how would that line read?

It’s time to take a walk on the Wilds* side…

*For readers: The Wilds are a group of American werewolves introduced in The Night Is Found.

Thanks so much for stopping by Kat!

• • • • • • • • • • •


When they tried to kill a prince, they made a king

In the aftermath of his pack leader’s assassination Connor Lewis is ready to take control. Rodolfus de Aquila’s plan before he died was to unite the European werewolf packs against their common enemies: the Hounds of God who make the laws and enforce them ruthlessly and with questionable motives, and the Luparii, an intergovernmental group of werewolf hunters now bent on the extermination of his kind. The uneasy alliance between these two factions has fallen apart, and now a battle wages leaving the pack werewolves scrambling to escape bio-chemical warfare on one side, and total domination on the other.

After hearing rumors of a union between the American packs Connor returns with Amara to his home city of New York to learn how to bring the Old World packs together. Werewolf society in the New World has taken a very different course from that of Europe, but when Connor meets the American leaders he begins to question if their ways are, in fact, the path forward.

A world away from Madison, Arden, and all those that he is trying to protect, Connor must discover the secret to uniting and  leading the packs under one final charge, or else risk extinction for their entire species in the epic conclusion to The Magdeburg Trilogy.

The Magdeburg Trilogy #1
*Book one is currently FREE on Amazon!

The Magdeburg Trilogy #1


• • • • • • • • • • • 


Be sure and check out the other participating blogs for more interviews, reviews and giveaways!

July 8 — Canlit for Little Canadians  (Review)
July 9 — Canlit for Little Canadians (Guest Post)
July 10 — Chapter by Chapter (Guest Post)
July 10 — Glamorous Book Lounge  (Review)
July 11 — Glamorous Book Lounge  (Q&A)
July 11 — The Diary of a Bookworm (Review)
July 14 — DJ DeSmyter (Review)
July 15 — A Portia Adams Adventure  (Review)
July 16 — A Portia Adams Adventure  (Q&A)
July 17 — Book Drunkard (Review)
July 18 — Kat Ross (Guest Post)
July 21 — Liberty Falls Down (Q&A)
July 22 — Liberty Falls Down (Review)
July 23 — Escape Through the Pages (Review)
July 24 — Manga Maniac Cafe (Q&A)
July 25 — Supernatural Snark  (Q&A)
July 28 — As You Were  (Q&A)
July 29 — Misbehavin’ Librarian (Review)
July 30 — Paper Droids (Review)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: Crown of Midnight

Throne of Glass #2
Sarah J. Maas
Young Adult/Fantasy
420 pages
Available Now
Source: BEA 2013

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.

Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena's world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie...and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Crown of Midnight is a story that manages to escape all the pitfalls so common in second installments, improving upon the very best elements of Throne of Glass and completely doing away with the aspects that were perhaps more of a struggle for those (like myself) who didn’t have the benefit of Celaena's history as outlined in the prequel novellas. Ms. Maas gives us Celaena at her finest in this sequel, her brutality as much a focus as her vulnerability; the two a swirling combination of character perfection that has her stealing a part of our hearts and forever locking it away in the pages of her story.

Where the Celaena of Throne of Glass seemed to be a young woman who bought a bit too much into her own press, touting her accomplishments and her abilities to any and all who would listen, the Celaena of Crown of Midnight is closer to the woman found in the pages of the prequel novellas, her mind every bit as sharp as her blades and her heart surprisingly open despite all that’s happened to her. Previously, we couldn’t help but grimace at her arrogance, but in this newest book we do nothing but smile at her confidence and pity all those who continue to underestimate her in terms of both her lethality as well as her humanity.

Celaena is a beautiful tapestry of scars–physical and emotional–and they are on display in all their painful glory in Crown of Midnight. Our hearts ache for her as past and present collide, history delivering a brutal sucker punch of repetition to send her reeling once again, but though she staggers with every blow she’s dealt, she never once stays down. Despite the villainous king she serves and the court of liars and social climbers surrounding her, she stays true to who she is–good and bad; blackest pieces and brightest facets–always seeking to help those around her even when they question her motivations and judge her actions. She doesn’t play games with Chaol or Dorian, following her heart even as memories of the love she let herself have once before plague her, and doing so in such a way as to mitigate the damage done to the one whose affection she cannot fully return.

With the love triangle safely put to bed with minimal angst and drama, and the over-the-top ego of Throne of Glass reduced to a charmingly inflated sense of self, the best parts of Ms. Maas’s ability to tell a story are able to shine through, making us immeasurably happy and devastating us in turn until we’re nothing but an emotional mess staring dumbly at the last page wishing futilely for more. Crown of Midnight is gritty and glorious, giving us a protagonist who is a hero in the end but often a villain in the means used to achieve it, and there’s absolutely nothing more satisfying than walking side by side with her as she journeys through every shade of gray.

Rating: 4.5/5

Find Sarah:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: Fireborn

Today I'm thrilled to be wrapping up the tour for Fireborn, the first installment of the new Souls of Fire series by Keri Arthur. I thoroughly enjoyed this book (as you'll see in my review below) and can't wait to see what future books have in store for Emberly!

Souls of Fire #1
Keri Arthur
Urban Fantasy
370 pages
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
From New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur comes a brand new series featuring heroine Emberly Pearson—a phoenix capable of taking on human form, and cursed with the ability to foresee death…

Emberly has spent a good number of her many lives trying to save humans. So when her prophetic dreams reveal the death of Sam, a man she once loved, she does everything in her power to prevent that from happening. But in saving his life, she gets more than she bargained for.

Sam is working undercover for the Paranormal Investigations Team, and those who are trying to murder him are actually humans infected by a plague-like virus, the Crimson Death—a by-product of a failed government experiment that attempted to identify the enzymes that make vampires immortal. Now, all those infected must be eliminated.

But when Emberly’s boss is murdered and his irreplaceable research stolen, she needs to find the guilty party before she goes down in flames…

Fireborn is the first in a new urban fantasy series from Ms. Arthur, thrusting us into a paranormal world full of the more familiar supernatural creatures such as vamps and weres, but utterly delighting us with the introduction of an entity we’ve seen very rarely (if at all): Phoenixes. Emberly is a phoenix, immortal in the sense that she experiences rebirth again and again and in possession of two separate forms when she calls on her fire. Given the unusualness of her kind, we find ourselves helpless to do anything but glory in everything we learn about her history, her various abilities, and the mythology of phoenixes in general. In addition to a truly fascinating protagonist in Emberly, we’re also given a complex mystery surrounding the Crimson Death virus, one that is clearly going to carry through future books despite the nice stopping point we find at the end of this first installment.

Emberly, while grabbing our attention from the beginning simply due to the fact that she’s a phoenix, also reaches out and tugs on our heartstrings as well, a troubled history with former lover Sam making itself known through clipped conversations and a painful exchange of barbs in the opening chapters. Though Sam’s anger at how his relationship with Emberly dissolved years prior is more than understandable when we learn what happened between them, we have the benefit of being in Emberly’s head rather than Sam’s, so we’re better able to see the why's of her actions when Sam can’t allow himself to see past his hurt. Thus we have the setup for what will undoubtedly be an emotional journey for the two of them, one that shows no signs of finding any type of resolution in the near future.

As is the case with many urban fantasy stories, Emberly is surrounded by a bevy of interested men, including Sam (though he fights it has hard as he can), but thankfully Ms. Arthur manages to create a situation between Emberly, Rory, Jackson and Sam that’s not nearly as frustrating as we might expect upon hearing of such a romantic setup. Each man has a distinct role in her life, but Emberly is not a woman who gets herself into irritatingly complex emotional entanglements, instead we learn early on that her heart belongs fully to Sam–despite his cool treatment of her throughout–while the other two fulfill very different types of needs or wants. Rory and Jackson are not love interests in any real way, they are friends, partners and sometimes lovers to Emberly, there for her when her heart or body take a brutal beating.

Overall, Fireborn is an intriguing start to the Souls of Fire series, giving our imaginations something new to play with as Emberly and Rory’s phoenixes take center stage, and ensuring our hearts are as involved as our minds thanks to Sam's heartbreaking presence in Emberly's life. Emberly is strong, smart and fiercely loyal to those she cares about (even if certain other people might argue the last one), and she is certainly someone with whom I can't wait to spend more time in the next installment.

Rating: 4/5

Find Keri:

*I'm the last stop on this month long tour, below is the full list of participating blogs so you can go back and check out additional reviews, excerpts and more!

6/23 - SciFi Chick
7/11 - Not Yet Read
7/14 - HEAs Are Us
7/15 - Live to Read

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Interview: Noelle August + Boomerang

I'm absurdly excited today to welcome Noelle August, also known as Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger, to the blog to talk a little bit about their recent contemporary New Adult release, Boomerang. I couldn't have loved this book more, it was everything I've ever wished for in a New Adult novel and I can't wait to see what these two have in store for us next! If you're looking for a fun and flirty read, don't hesitate to add Boomerang to your lists. A huge thank you to Veronica and Lorin for taking the time to answer my questions, and I hope you all enjoy the interview! is a dating site for which both Ethan and Mia want to work. For those readers who have yet to meet the two of them, could they each share a few brief tidbits about themselves that might appear in their profiles with Boomerang if they were to create their own?

Sure! Ethan is a recent graduate of UCLA, where he was a forward on the soccer team. He's originally from Colorado Springs. He's around six foot one, brown haired and blue-eyed, smart, fun and easy-going--but when he wants something, he's very competitive and determined. He goes after it!

And Mia’s a recent graduate of Occidental College and absolutely obsessed with filmmaking. She wants to write screenplays and direct long form documentaries and other films. She’s a little shy of average height, curvy, with striking green eyes, and a crazy mess of curly hair that serves as a barometer of her mood. She’s bright, funny, and just as driven as Ethan—which makes for some fireworks between the two!

Anyone who’s had a summer job or internship usually walks away from it with a few stories to share. Do either of you have a fun/embarrassing/shocking internship or first-job related story?

Veronica: My first job was for a major television network in the publicity department. During big events, I was pretty much a slave to whatever star I'd be assigned to look after. We'd get these insane requests. I carried around one celebrity's dog for six hours. It wasn't even a small dog or a very nice one. And I had a friend who had to track down a ten-pound solid chocolate phone. In a day. Don't ask. It was nuts!

Lorin: In college, I spent a summer picking strawberries, along with my roommates. I think we made something like $1 a quart, and it took me about an hour to actually fill a quart container. Little kids used to come with their parents and just blaze down the fields, probably making ten times my hourly wage because they were a whole lot closer to the ground. And the berries made these awful little squeaks when you pulled them off the plant. Maybe my writerly imagination was a little too vivid for the job. I KNOW my writerly butt didn’t appreciate tumbling off the back of the truck that took us from field to field—something I managed on a twice weekly basis, at least.

If either of you were to find yourself in Mia’s shoes–hugely attracted to a co-worker in a situation where dating is against corporate policy–how hard/easy would it be to keep your interest under wraps?

Veronica: I'd think it would be really hard for me. I'm not very good at hiding how I feel!

Lorin: Impossible for me! Like Veronica, I’m no good at playing it cool. And I’ve also got a pretty developed subversive streak that makes me want to break the rules. :)

Writing as a team is sure to have a number of both benefits and challenges. What’s one thing each of you feels the other truly excels at when it comes to executing a cohesive story?

Veronica: Lorin has a real knack for writing these lovely dimensional, real characters. And she has a fantastic comedic style!

Lorin: Veronica brings a propulsive discipline to the process and is awesome at all aspects of fiction craft, especially creating wonderful, “shapely” scenes.

If Mia were to make a film about her life from the moment she met Ethan in the bar to the end of events in Boomerang, what would the tagline for that film be?

Life, love, and some questionable choices.

Let’s say we’re granted access to Boomerang’s files and find Ethan’s cover letter along with his application. What line of his cover letter would jump out at us as something that made the company sit up and take note of him?

If you give me this opportunity, you won't ever regret it.

If Ethan and Mia could summarize their time at in a single word, what word would each of them use?

Ethan: Rewarding.

Mia: Hair-raising. :)

• • • • • • • • • • • 


Welcome to, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

• • • • • • • • • • •


NOELLE AUGUST is an anagram for Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger. Just kidding, it’s a pen name!

VERONICA ROSSI is the author of the New York Times Best-selling UNDER THE NEVER SKY trilogy for young adults. The books are available in more than thirty countries and the film rights have been optioned by Warner Bros.

Veronica completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons. She is fond of dresses with pockets, fluffy dogs, and cheese and chocolate — but not together.

LORIN OBERWEGER began her storytelling career by captivating her first-grade class with tales of her summers on a kibbutz in Israel.

Lorin had never been to Israel.

While teacher/parent night put an end to her first experiments in fiction, she’d already caught the bug and eventually made a career of all things story.

As a long-time independent editor and story development guru, Lorin’s client successes range from small press publications to major bestselling novels. She’s an award-winning author and has also worked behind the scenes as a ghostwriter on a variety of projects. Her work has received starred Kirkus reviews and glowing mentions in The New York Times.

Oh, she did get to see a kibbutz, eventually, and found out she had it pretty much right all along.

Veronica and Lorin met at a writing workshop and just knew they were destined to create awesome things together.