Coming Soon: New Series

Hello all you wonderful humans!

I've been working hard since the release of Shift to bring you a new and exciting universe filled with epic space-battles, characters you love to hate - others you'll hate to love,  subterfuge, complex relationships, and a bit of romance.

Welcome to the world of the As We Rise series. This series stars three amazing women who will shine in their own novels all within the As We Rise universe. Each book will have to be read in order for the story to make sense. You will see all three woman in each book, but their roles will change throughout the series.

The universe of As We Rise is vast and complicated; as are all the characters. I am glad I chose to skip my previously planned series and dive into this instead. As of right now, there are three books planned. I don't have any intention of writing more, but you never know if I feel inspired to expound on this universe. 


As We Rise: Rogue

It's been 48 days since Jo Cygni's father died, leaving her the CS Kismet and its crew of space-born misfits.  Despite a lifetime of preparation, Jo never thought she would captain her own ship before her 21st birthday.  

Broke and determined to prove she is worthy of command, Jo pushes aside her political concerns and accepts a commission from the Galactic Consulate. 

The job? Launch a load of sealed crates into a nearby star. 
The catch?  Don't open the containers

Available Summer 2017


In other news

The Caelian Cycle Boxed Set will be on sale for $1.99 until May 5th. That's four books for the price of one. Amazing right?

If you feel so inclined, I would LOVE it if you would share this amazing deal on your own social media. You can use the tweet-ready post below or make up your own, but don't forget the purchase link!

Want 4 books for only $1.99? Pick up The Caelian Cycle - A YA scifi that you won't be able to put down. http://amzn.to/2q4WDcx


What I've been reading

I honestly thought this would end up being a romance in the typical sense - the blurb teases. However, there's so much depth to this book that it's almost impossible for me to explain why I love this series so much without major spoilers. I promise that you will love Bit as a heroine.

I just started this series, but I'm excited to see how it ends. It has (almost) everything I love - Space battles, cyborgs, military intrigue, suspense, and an amazing cast of characters. In the future installments I hope there's a romantic arc somewhere in the story, but if not - I think I'll be okay with it! :D


Book Tour - S.H.A.Y. by Christina Leigh Pritchard @teeny120 + #GIVEAWAY


S.H.A.Y.


Series: The Almost Series, Book 1
Author: E. Ardell
Published: August 6th, 2016
Pages: 88
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Novella, Genetic Engineering


Source:  I received this book for free from YA Bound Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.


Blurb:

Shay is scientific experiment #318. Science may have created her, but she refuses to allow it to blind her to the difference between right and wrong… 

Synthetic Hominid Assumed Youth (S.H.A.Y.) is eighteen years old, which means she has completed Phase One: Developmental. Shay no longer requires the assistance of her Optional Human Parent, Darla, who has guided her in the process of discovering her morality. Shay loves her easy, charming life aboard the marine research facility and doesn’t want it to change. 

Phase Two: Experimental. All S.H.A.Y. ages 18-20 will experience loss… 

Darla shouldn’t have to die because of an experiment. The thought of losing the only parent she’s ever known is too much. Determined to make sure the scientists at the facility don’t get their way, Shay entraps Darla in a transport device to escape across the Miami Border. There, on the mainland, law enforcement will keep her human parent safe. 

Escape Mission: Failed… 

Shay crashes into one of the lone keys off the coast of Florida, abandoned to all humanity, except for the stranger who drags her ashore. Shay must get Darla to safety or she will die of radiation poisoning trapped inside the freeze portal, but Shay can’t do it alone. 

The boy who found her, an Ersatz Reproduction Intelligence Clone (E.R.I.C.), is her only hope. He has adaptation skills she needs to complete her mission. Eric was created by the same scientists who want to kill Darla, though. She tries to keep their interaction strictly business, but it’s hard to hate him. He’s flirty, charming and not to mention devastatingly handsome. 

Shay must put her trust in Eric’s hands if she wants to save Darla from her fate. It may be worth her heart, but will it be worth her life?


Excerpt:
 

S.H.A.Y. argues with the E.R.I.C.

“Well then, I’m not going to get in the water.” I bent over, snatching my clothes. He helped me, handing me my shirt. I snatched it from him. “I’ll just wait up here for you to get back.”

He laughed, poking me in the stomach. “Look, creampuff, I’m not going in without you.”

“Oh yes you will, or I’ll—”

“You’ll what? Talk to yourself some more?”

I narrowed my eyes at him, stumbling as I tugged my pants on.

“You’re the one who needs my help, remember?”

“You make me sick.” My shirt slipped down over my head and I struggled with the buttons.

He smiled. “Take your clothes off.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.”

Amie groaned. She stood beside me, rolling her eyes. “You’re just creating more and more sexual tension with the E.R.I.C. Soon, you’ll forget all about your Darla and I’ll have no human mother for S.H.A.Y. 319.”

“I won’t!” I unzipped my pants again. “I’ll do whatever it takes to save them both.”

Eric backed away. “Whoa, there, I was just teasing you.”

“I’m not talking to you.”

He rolled his eyes. “Right, I forgot, you have others here with you.”

“I’m not doing this for you, you’re the enemy. I’m trying to save my, my—”

“You’re trying to save your ‘what’ exactly?”

“It doesn’t concern you. Just follow me into the water. That way, we can get started.”

“Are you hitting on me?” His eyes widened. “I enjoy a little banter and all, but—”

I shoved him. “Like I’d ever flirt with you.”




About Christina Leigh Pritchard:

Christina Leigh Pritchard was born and raised in South Florida. Her first stories were written at the age of nine in spiral notebooks and in the various diaries she kept. Since she's upgraded to a computer, she's completed over fifty books, including her ALMOST Series, signed with Limitless Publishing.

Christina Leigh Pritchard is still going strong with many more to come! Her genre's include science fiction, dark fantasy, young adult, drama, suspense, historical romance, multicultural, comedy, poetry and many more. 


Book Tour & Review - Autonomy by Jude Houghton + #GIVEAWAY


Autonomy


Author: Jude Houghton
Published: July 29th, 2016
Pages: 565
Audience: New Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia, Cyberpunk


Source:  I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.


Blurb:

Balmoral Murraine works in a Battery, assembling devices she doesn’t understand for starvation pay. Pasco Eborgersen is the pampered son of an Elite, trying to navigate the temptations of the Pleasure Houses, the self-sacrifice of the Faith, and the high-octane excitement of Steel Ball. They never should have met, and now they will rip the world apart. 

What happens when ninety percent of the world lives on skaatch – a jellyfish and insect composite? 
What happens when mankind spends more time in alternative life sims instead of in the “real” world? 
What happens when economic interest is the sole determinant of global decision making? 
What happens when a single secret is discovered that calls into question everything we have ever believed? 

Welcome to the Autonomy. Welcome to your future.



About Jude Houghton:

Jude developed a love of fantasy from a relatively early age after realising an innate talent for making stuff up could result in something other than detention. Working across the globe in fields as diverse as journalism, data entry, sales, management consultancy and babysitting, Jude has partially succeeded in putting an English and History degree from Oxford University to good use. A somnambulist, insomniac, lover of letters, Jude writes late into the night, most nights, tumbling down the rabbit hole to dream of other lives. Jude currently lives in Pennsylvania with an over-enthusiastic family and absurdly entitled dog.


Just Over Here - Adulting and Stuff

Hello Beautiful People!

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Since completing The Caelian Cycle, I've been on a sort of hiatus. My brain needed to reset after being in Sadie's world for over a year. Since publishing SHIFT: I read a TON of books, beta read for other authors, finally decided to move from a nose stud to ring, and dyed my hair blue.

You know... grown up things. 

But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy working on my next novel. Space Captain novel has been in the works since March, but with me finalizing SHIFT and working on promotional stuff - including my first book signing - and getting started into another school year. I haven't had much time to work on the actual writing of Space Captain.

I have, however, been hard at work on the "outline". My outlines are more of a general idea of where the characters should go, but usually I don't follow my own rules very well. Those pesky characters sometimes change the story for me. :D

On that note, I will say that Space Captain novel will be labeled as a New Adult instead of Young Adult - only because the characters are in that age range and not because there's explicit bedroom action.

With fingers crossed, I will be writing daily starting October 1st (after I pack up my family and move). If I can resist the urge to procrastinate, then - according my my schedule - I should be good for a release in early 2017. 

Stay Awesome!

Book Review: Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein @OWildWrites

Rose Petal Graves


Series: The Lost Clan Series
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Published: May 15th, 2016
Pages: 183
Audience: New Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Myths, Faeries


Source:  I received this book for free from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.


Blurb:

I thought losing my mother would be the greatest shock of my life, but the greatest shock came after her death. 

Founded two centuries ago by an aloof and powerful tribe of Gottwa Indians, Rowan was a quiet town, so quiet that I fled after graduation. Staying away was the plan, but Mom died suddenly, so I rushed home. 

Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals. 

As we made preparations for Mom’s burial, Cruz, the new medical examiner, arrived. I should have felt relieved, but how could I? He was unnervingly handsome, glowed like a human firefly, and knew absolutely nothing about examining dead bodies. 

But, he did know what killed my mother…or rather who. 


My Review:

I have a huge spot in my heart for the paranormal genre – especially if it involves shifters or faeries. Some of the first books that really caught my attention growing up involved faerie stories and although, every single one of my writing idea’s fall firmly in the science fiction genre, I will ALWAYS enjoy a good paranormal.

Rose Petal Graves – I mean that title. Just wow. And then I saw the cover for Rose Petal Graves, I nearly died from its beauty, but when I read the blurb I squealed in joy. I’ve been craving a good faerie story.

The story is a quick read, but that’s to be expected of a novella. Rose Petal Graves is an opening story to Wildenstein’s new series and open it did. The book opens on the main character Catori or Cat, going home to bury her mother where she finds the handsome medical examiner, Cruz, waiting for her. Soon after all the action begins and before you know it you are left with a huge cliffhanger. Usually I’m super okay with cliffhangers, but the one at the end of this novella seemed rushed and unfinished.

Cat is a character that I have severe mixed feelings about. I understand her in most ways because her sassy independence paired with her cynicism reminds me a lot of myself as a teenager. Her reactions to painting the door was exactly something I would have done in my grief in my younger years.

“I was offered condolences and patted so many times on my way out that when I stepped onto pavement, it felt like freedom.” – Olivia Wildenstein, Rose Petal Graves

Other than that, I really didn’t like her very much. She is very selfish to those around her, especially to her closest friends and family. The whole wind chime bit got me right in the feels. I almost despised Cat when she threw her mother’s wind chime in the trash because some sexy guy asked her to. Not cool. There wasn’t much depth of character development in this story and I hope that is redeemed in the next book – I want to like her.

All of the other characters didn’t have the chance for development as well and although on the surface I liked them, I want a little more. Especially from Cruz since they seemed to have a bit of a romance spark going on.

“The sparks that had erupted over my skin the first night he touched me exploded inside my body.” – Olivia Wildenstein, Rose Petal Graves

All that being said, I adored the faerie/ Native American folklore. Mixed with Wildenstein’s elegant writing style made this novella worth it. Although I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have hoped, I am intrigued by the morsel that is Rose Petal Graves and will be picking up the first novel in The Lost Clan Series. 


Blog Tour & Review: Artificial by Jadah McCoy @theQueryFaerie + #GIVEAWAY


Artificial


Series: The Kepler Chronicles #1
Author: Jadah McCoy
Published: April 4th, 2016
Pages: 225
Audience: New Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Genetic Engineering


Source:  I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review.

Available for FREE with Kindle Unlimited


Blurb:

She struggles to feel human.

In 2256, the only remnants of civilization on Earth’s first colonized planet, Kepler, are the plant-covered buildings and the nocturnal, genetically spliced bug-people nesting within them: the Cull. During the day, Syl leaves her home in the sewers beneath Elite City to scavenge for food, but at night the Cull come looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the Android War a century ago. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, Elite city rebuilt, and the population replenished. She’s wrong.

Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments which result in her own DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child on Kepler is transformed into the abomination they fear.

He struggles not to.

For Bastion, being an android in the sex industry isn’t so bad. Clubbing beneath the streets of New Elite by day and seducing the rich by night isn’t an altogether undesirable occupation. But every day a new android cadaver appears in the slum gutters, and each caved in metal skull and heap of mangled wires whittles away at him.

Glitches—androids with empathy—are being murdered, their models discontinued and strung up as a warning. Show emotion, you die. Good thing Bastion can keep a secret, or he would be the next body lining the street.

He can almost live with hiding his emotions. That is, until a girl shows up in the slums—a human girl, who claims she was an experiment. And in New Elite, being a human is even worse than being a Glitch. Now Bastion must help the girl escape before he becomes victim to his too-human emotions, one way or another.


My Review:

“When the sky is bruised purple, when the shattered glass no longer glints, that is when they wake.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

When it comes to science fiction, it doesn’t take a lot to make me excited. The genre speaks to me in ways that none of the others can compare to. Yes, I have been feeling a little BLAH with the influx of dystopias as of late, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t pick one up.  That being said, when I was scanning through book tours and saw the absolutely gorgeous cover for Artificial and then read the exciting blurb – I got all kinds of excited for this novel.

“If I’ve learned anything from the few yellowed and fragile history books that remain, it’s that mankind loves nothing more than a scapegoat.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

Artificial is not a typical YA/NA dystopia. It’s a layered masterpiece of storytelling that keeps you both enthralled and confused by the complexities of this futuristic society. AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! I just cannot think of another book – that I have read – that includes so many SciFi elements (genetic engineering, androids, other worlds, dystopia society, and all wrapped in a neat cyberpunk package) in a way that doesn’t feel phony and weave them into a multifaceted story of civil liberties of intelligent creatures and morality.

Syl, a human living in the sewage under the former human city of Elite, is a gritty and raw lead female that has no issues expressing herself and fighting for what she feels is right. She is a refreshing character in the expansive landscape of female-lead dystopias.

“That look is back – the starry-eyed one I always ignore. Maybe if I ignore it long enough, his feelings will go away.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

Syl’s hardness is a direct result of having to fight for her life every day since the moment she was born.

“That’s just like him, shove little Syl out of the way so the menfolk can blow stuff up with their big, phallic guns.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

Her tenacity is forged from being told that her job as a woman is to ensure humanity’s survival through procreation instead of fighting.

“I refuse to be one of those wide-eyed women back at the Sanctuary – the ones who stare as the Cull’s pincers slice them in two.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

Then there is Bastion, a sex android who is trying to stay under the radar of those in charge of the machine-run town of New Elite. He is a glitch – an android who has emotions. In an ironic twist of governing, the androids in charge have deemed glitches as “human sympathizers” and will be destroyed. Bastion character compliments Syl perfectly. Where Syl tamps down any emotion she feels and tries not to make any deep connections, Bastion feels everything and has a sassy personality to boot – never thought I would ever write that about an android. Since the story is told from both character’s perspectives, the reader gets to feel his emotions without Bastion giving himself away.

“She would fight him like an angry kitten would fight a dog, but she would still lose.” – Artificial, Jadah McCoy

Let me be straight with you, I honestly thought going in that Syl and Bastion would either insta-love or do the slowly, but steady fall madly in love with each other thing. Neither happened and – again – I couldn’t be happier. Yes, there is a spark of feeling between the two that encourages their continued involvement in each other’s lives, but it doesn’t go much farther than that – I’m sure future installments will expound upon those feelings and for that, I cannot wait.

When it comes to series, authors (myself included) tend to leave endings open or in a maddening cliffhanger. McCoy leaves Artificial wrapped up rather nicely to where you feel like you finished a story, but then sets up the next book in a way that doesn’t leave the reader feeling unsatisfied. Bravo McCoy!

If you like an imaginative world building that is descriptive in subtle ways – my favorite type of narrative when it comes to complex science fiction worlds – a gritty female lead, a sassy sex-bot android, monsters of the genetic variety, as well as, human and android, and dystopian societal structure just looking to be taken down… look no further. Artificial is the book for you.



About Jadah McCoy:

Jadah currently lives in Nashville, TN and works in law. When not babysitting attorneys, she can be found juicing her brain for creative ideas or fantasizing about her next trip out of the country (or about Tom Hiddleston as Loki - it’s always a toss up when she fantasizes).

She grew up in rural Arkansas, yet can still write good and sometimes even wears shoes! She did date her first cousin for a while but they decided against marriage for the sake of the gene pool.

Her true loves are elephants, cursing, and sangria - in that order. If you find an elephant that curses like a sailor whilst drinking sangria, you’re dangerously close to becoming her next romantic victim - er, partner.

She cut her writing teeth on badly written, hormone-driven fanfiction (be glad that’s out of her system), and her one true dream is to have wildly erotic fanfiction with dubious grammar written about her own novels. Please make her dreams come true.


Author Links:

https://jadahmccoy.wordpress.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14903289.Jadah_McCoy

https://www.facebook.com/Jadah-McCoy-Author-1570450153179469/


Book Tour & Review: The Little Flame Series (1-5) by @melissalummis + #Giveaway


The Little Flame Series

Author: Melissa Lummis
Publisher: PeacePipe Productions
Published: September 30th, 2014
Pages: 495
Audience: New Adult, Adult, 18+
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy

Source: I received a copy of this book from Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Blurb:

Fiamette Jurato is on a mission: to fix her broken past. She’s teamed up with the world famous DJ, Maximillian, to search for the ex lover who can help her put all the pieces back together. There’s only one problem: he’s been dead for over two hundred years.

As a healer to the supernatural, she’s no stranger to navigating the impossible maze of magical complications. But getting lost in the magic isn’t the problem; finding her way back home is. 


My Review:

This book series is for 18+ due to graphic sexual scenes. If that is not your scene then you should probably move on.

Every now and then I run across a book (or in this case a series) that is a great mix of storytelling and character development that is neatly wrapped in a lighthearted package. The Little Flame Series, books 1-5 are exactly that.

In the Little Flame world, paranormals live side-by-side with humans in what I gathered was modern America in relative peace. The series is centered on Fiamette or Fia. She is a healer - a supe with preternatural abilities allowing her to see the Qi, the physical life force, of the universe and be able to channel it - or so she thinks. Her healing abilities are different and much stronger than other healers and then there is how she has to “feed” – not to mention who she has to feed from - in order to refuel her energy reserves.

“Sometimes, the best way – the safe way – to hunt was allow oneself to be hunted.” – Little Flame Series Box Set, Melissa Lummis

This world is fantastic. From the way the supes are organized to how Lummis integrated them into our human world – everything blended and worked within this universe. Over the five books in this box set, you discover a little more with each story that adds to the overall plot. Within there are subplots that not only add depth to characters, but give you more perspective on the world Fia lives in and the emotional and physical conflicts between all the characters.

“She sounded like the young, insecure girl she was – a lovely girl who didn’t know if she was enough. My stomach felt an old, familiar pang.” – Little Flame Series Box Set, Melissa Lummis

Fia is a great main character. Lummis did an amazing job making her relatable and complex. I felt like she was every bit her “age” with her inner musings like the quote above. I adored that Fia’s strength came from her intense devotion to those around her – especially those she loves. Her inner monologue is both hilarious and endearing – particularly there were a few times I laughed when she was being intimate.

“I felt like a safe being unlocked on click of the tumblers at a time. Five to the left. Twenty-three to the right. Nine to the left. Oh – I came undone in a bright wave of pleasure.” – Little Flame Series Box Set, Melissa Lummis

Although I love how she described the sensation above, it made me chuckle. Not sure why – it’s probably just me.

Speaking of the writing, I enjoyed how Lummis weaves lighthearted humor throughout each story and when she introduces complex situations and heavy emotional scenes, Lummis can turn on the depth.

 “I didn’t want to be without his skin that smelled like ancient forests warmed in the summer sun.” – Little Flame Series Box Set, Melissa Lummis

The Little Flame series is one of the few books that I read where the main character breaks the fourth wall. Sometimes it works and other’s it seems out of place. In this series it was the latter. Every time Fia would address the reader it seemed a bit sudden and rude - which isn’t Fia’s personality at all. I’m sure Lummis was going for sassy – which is exactly Fia’s character, but it didn’t come off that way to me.

“Most healers sensed it through intuition, thus the third eye association. Chakra theory. Look it up.” – Little Flame Series Box Set, Melissa Lummis

Max is an interesting love interest. He’s a DJ and surrounds himself with interesting supes. Fia and Max run into each other while she was working as a dancer for one of his shows. They hit it off, but Fia struggles with her succubus nature and her feelings for Max. Their relationship is natural and progresses in a way that is believable regarding the subplots and background that is uncovered throughout the series. Although, I feel that – at times – Max is a little bland compared to the sassy Fia, they are a good fit.

“In that simple act of comfort, I discovered that unconditional acceptant and, dare I say, love were real. I squeezed him tighter, and he chuckled.” – Little Flame Series Box Set, Melissa Lummis

There is a pseudo-love triangle. It’s not your typical “who do I pick” type of situation, instead it’s brings more complications and brings plenty of realistic drama to Fia’s life. It doesn’t truly develop until later in the series when Fia’s emotions for Max become actualized.

There are so many other characters in this series that are equally amazing in their own right. Each side character is just as developed as the main ones with intricate backstories and their own plot lines that do add to the overall plot. There isn’t a single character that I didn’t like and that’s including the antagonists. Not that I liked their antagonizing, but their characters were spot on.

“How did he do this to me? How did he steal the sulk and self-pity right out of me and replace it with this lightness?” – Little Flame Series Box Set, Melissa Lummis

Overall, if you’re looking for a series that is fun, full of magical vengeance, steamy love scenes, supernaturals around every turn, antics galore, and a female lead who finds herself in hilarious situations – The Little Flame Series is for you.



Melissa Lummis writes new age suspense in a fantasy setting, but her stories are also straight up, steamy adult romance. The Love and Light Series is currently available at Amazon exclusively, as well as the Little Flame Series, a spin off focusing on the character Fiamette from the Love and Light world.

 

mellissa lummis.jpg

Melissa considers herself a truth seeker and a peaceful warrior, in addition to a paranormal and fantasy author. With too many interests for her own good, she has rarely been content with one vocation. Her first professional life was as a high school English teacher, which led to another incarnation as a wife and an instructional designer /technical writer. After starting a family, she found herself reincarnated yet again as a mother, yoga instructor, and personal trainer.

While all her past lives have contributed to who she is today, yoga has become a part of how she gives back, maintaining her Registered Yoga Teacher status with Yoga Alliance so she can help people one-on-one to overcome physical limitations and heal themselves. But she has always been and always will be a writer. She’s authored dozens of wellness articles for various publications, as well as maintains a blog focusing on wellness, healing, and living a life on purpose.

A Yankee by birth and a Penn State graduate, she lives in rural Virginia with her husband, two children, an Alaskan Malamute, and a myriad of forest creatures. Melissa believes the universe conspires to help an adventurer, and if we live our lives as if it is a daring escapade (and it is!), then everything we need will find its way to us. 


Book Tour: Never Stop Falling by Ashley Drew @ashleydrew88_ + #GIVEAWAY


Never Stop Falling

Author: Ashley Drew
Publisher: Ashley Drew
Published: March 1st, 2016
Pages: 288
Audience: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary, College

Source: I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Blurb:

She didn’t expect to fall for her best friend.
He was always waiting to catch her.

Corinne Bennett lives in the moment. Whether she’s skydiving out of an airplane, or setting off on the road to anywhere, she’s ready to dive into the next adventure. That is, if best friend and always-by-the-book Nicholas Kelley doesn’t put his foot down on her wild stunts first.

When Corinne gives in to her growing feelings for Nicholas the summer before their freshman year of college, she takes the ultimate risk, making this one adventure he has longed to explore with her.

But the moment they take that irrevocable leap, a shocking revelation blindsides Corinne, exposing her vulnerabilities, baring her fears, and shattering her beliefs about love. With their future—and most importantly, their friendship—now clouded in doubt, she must decide if love is really worth the risk.

Because when it comes to love, you never stop falling.


Excerpt:

“Tell me what you find so funny? What’s going on in that cute little head of yours?”

Fucking-A. Did I really just say that? A Freudian slip? So I said the word cute. Big deal, right? That word could have multiple meanings other than in a flirtatious context, and I’m not flirting with her, at least not on purpose.

Cori’s laughter never wavers in spite of me backing myself into a corner with my word choice. Maybe she didn’t hear it. Maybe she doesn’t want to think that she heard it. Or maybe she doesn’t want to make the situation awkward for either of us, so she pretends like it’s the most casual thing in the world. I think she and I both know that surely isn’t the case.

Once the laughter subsides, she takes a look over the guardrail, surveying the drop to the beach. I’ve seen that look in her eyes multiple times before. It’s the same look she had before she convinced me to trespass and investigate the farmhouse up on the hill near our houses, the one rumored to be crawling with ghosts. It’s also the look she had before she got Braiden and me to jump out of an airplane with her.

“I know that look,” I recognize, watching every calculating move of hers. “Please tell me you’re not thinking what I think you’re thinking.”

She turns her head in my direction, a Grinch-like smile spreading devilishly across her face. “Of course I am. You want your money shot? We’re gonna go get it.”

She begins to walk in the opposite direction of the Jeep when I tug at her elbow, halting her to a stop. “Hell no. Not happening. Can’t do it.”

“Says who?”

“Says that sign over there saying it’s completely illegal to go down to the beach. Plus, it doesn’t look safe at all, and I’m not going to let you leave here with a broken ankle or leg.”

I would never admit it out loud because I’d look like a pansy, but chances are, I’d be the one leaving here with the broken something, and Cori sees right through my assumption.

“Well, that’s rather sexist,” she smirks, crossing her arms. “For all we know, you could leave here with the broken leg.”

“No one is going to leave here with anything broken, because we’re not doing it.”

I’d like to say that putting my foot down on Cori’s crazy antics in the past had been pretty effective, but I’d be lying. What normally started off as me putting my foot down usually ended up with me and my foot in my mouth because I’d often end up going along with whatever she wanted to do. But not today. The climb down would be too dangerous. Plus, it’s getting darker by the minute, so nothing about doing this would be safe. I think she gets it, but it doesn’t mean she won’t stop trying. It is Cori I’m dealing with here.



About Ashley Drew:

A San Francisco Bay Area native, Ashley Drew currently lives in Los Angeles. When she’s not going cross-eyed after writing for five hours straight, or burying her nose in a book, you’ll find her sprawled on her couch watching General Hospital, having alien conspiracy discussions with her husband over a bottle of bubbly, and dancing to Taylor Swift’s 1989 album with her daughter.


Book Review: On the Verge by @GarenGlazier

Just look at this GORGEOUS cover!

Just look at this GORGEOUS cover!

On the Verge

Author: Garen Glazier
Publisher: Only Child Press
Published: September 16th, 2015
Pages: 224
Audience: NA/ Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology

Source: I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Blurb:

Freya is just a student at the University of Washington worried about grades and making her next tuition payment until a gorgeous succubus interrupts her post-exam latte with a proposition: come work for her boss, Seattle’s reclusive heiress and antiquities collector Imogen Beldame. Eagerly agreeing despite a nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach, Freya finds herself swept up in a deadly quest at the behest of her psychopathic new employer. Beldame has given her until Halloween to collect three magical pigments that hold the key to crafting mesmerizing portraits that can access the Verge, an undiscovered borderland on the edge of human reality, and the powerful beings that call it home. 

Freya’s reluctant journey takes her to a goblin stronghold in the Cascades for the color blue, to the Seattle Underground to request the color red from Baba Yaga, and to the Fremont home of a beautifully gruesome Cambodian ahp, or spirit of the night, for the color yellow. Working together with Rusty, an enigmatically disfigured man intimately connected with the Verge, and a motley crew of mercurial demons and loyal friends, Freya must come up with a plan to stop Beldame and preserve the fragile balance between fantasy and reality that is at its most vulnerable on Halloween.


My Review:

On the Verge is a supernatural adventure filled with macabre thrills and a dark, sensual energy that will leave you turning the page well into the night. How do I know this? Because I lived it.

Prepare yourself for a lot of quotes because if there was any book deserving of a million quotes in its review it’s On the Verge.

“The best art is a spiritual experience that unites us once again with our true selves, and often what we see on the canvas is raw, unsettling, and even disturbing, because it’s true. Art reveals to us the divine and the damned in all of us.” – On The Verge, Garen Glazier

Freya is a senior in art history who drifts between school and sleep without much regard to anything separate of Seattle’s art scene. Enter, Ophidia, a representative for a popular, albeit eccentric art dealer with an offer of a part-time job that although against her instincts, Freya accepts. This job leads Freya to the Verge:

"The Verge is a borderland that surrounds your world. It's an undiscovered frontier on the edge of human reality wherein exist all the creatures and beings of myth and legend. We[...]are the dreams and nightmares, gods and devils of the human imagination." – On The Verge, Garen Glazier

The Verge is an alternative dimension where beings of human imagination and passion are brought to life before they emerge into our world. Every creature known to mankind. Glazier is a genius to create this world with the Verge because there is no limit to what can happen or what creatures from mankind’s legends she could bring to life. Within the world of the Verge, beings can be either bound to physical objects in our realm and they can be sent back to the darkness of the Verge if something vital is taken, making them lose their identity.

“Freya couldn’t help but note the strangeness of the scene, a grown woman in mourning clothes cradling an enchanted little dolly in the middle of a meat-eating plant menagerie.” – On The Verge, Garen Glazier

Glazier's prose is exquisite, sinuous, and poetic. Making the complex, prodigious plot sing with perfection. Within the unique and vast universe Glazier created, she keeps within her own boundaries and laws – both of which are realistic and interesting. There is plenty of external and internal conflict for the protagonist, as well as, a complex centralized conflict – due to demonic alliances and lack thereof - that affects mankind. From start to finish, this plot – it sucks you in to where putting the book down is akin to climbing Mt. Everest. Not many could pull it off.

“For a bookish girl with artistic sensibilities and a naiveté born from spending too much time alone with her daydreams, she actually felt a bit excited about what might be in store for her.” – On The Verge, Garen Glazier

Freya is an amazing heroine for this fantastical world that Glazier created not only because she has a type of dark sophistication mixed with some skepticism, but because she isn’t like most fantasy heroines that fall into the lost hero or the warrior hero. She’s just some art hipster who finds herself in a life threatening situation that leads to a wild journey through Seattle and the Verge. Freya is a very real, grounded character in a world of fantastic beings. She laments her situations:

“Oh, man, I cannot believe I am here to see a witch about bugs,” Freya said. “How is this my life now?” – On The Verge, Garen Glazier

Her emotions are complex and diverse:

“She woke from these disconcerting visions feeling the excitement of a lover tempted and the mortification of a transgressor caught in the act.” – On The Verge, Garen Glazier

All these things grounding her character and making her relatable.

“The man was tall and imposing with a lugubriousness that pervaded the atmosphere around him. Freya always envisioned him as a kind of Teutonic angel, full of latent wrath and self-righteous superiority.” – On The Verge, Garen Glazier

Other characters, both from the Verge and from our world, fill this book with so much depth. Glazier plays with the notion that nobody – human or creature – is truly evil or good. Both have propensity for either. I don’t want to go into much detail about the characters because I want to leave them as a surprise for you, but I will say that those who fall on the side of evil are wondrously creepy and take a sick pleasure from the results of their actions.

Then there is Rusty, he is not your typical love interest. He’s a meaty, mountain man with a disfigured face – not exactly the muscular man-models seen in almost any novel with a romantic subplot. At the beginning, I was actually expecting for Freya and the sexy-but-moody professor to get together because that is was usually happens. I was pleasantly surprised for Freya and Rusty.

“She had found that the truth was sometimes hard but always real…” – On The Verge, Garen Glazier

My only and I mean ONLY complaint - because this novel is in itself a work of art - is Glazer’s tendencies to overuse her descriptions. I understand that the characters are all intellectuals, the scene is set in the art community of Seattle, and the main character is a deep-thinking hipster. But there’s no need for an excess of words such as “lugubriousness” and “crepuscular” to be thrown into the narrative. It makes the passages seem longer – probably because I had to use the dictionary function on my Kindle often.

Garen Glazer is a mistress of written word and I am so thrilled to have had the pleasure of reading her work. Fans of fantasy and adventure will love this tale of an art student’s incredible journey through an extraordinary world. It’s a story that has been told a million times, but Glaziers refreshingly modern retelling will capture and engage readers from start to finish. Although the book ends solidly, with all major plot lines tied up nicely, due to the complex world and the nature of the Verge itself there is room for a sequel. One I hope to see.

Book Review: Gyre by Jessica Gunn


Title: Gyre

Series: Book One of the Atlas Link Series

Author: Jessica Gunn

Published Date: February 1st, 2016

Audience: New Adult

Genre: Science Fiction, Action Adventure


Blurb from Good Reads:

Chelsea didn’t try to teleport. All she wanted was to play the Battle of the Bands show. But after accidentally teleporting onto classified Navy vessel SeaSatellite5, all she’s rocking is the boat. 

Once it’s sorted out that Chelsea’s not a threat, SeaSat5’s top scientist offers Chelsea a position on the crew as an archaeology intern. Dr. Saint studies people with powers, believing them to be descendants of Atlantean refugees, except Chelsea’s powers are beyond anything on previous record. 

While great for everyone else onboard, the miracle of Chelsea is Trevor’s worst nightmare. The same girl who’d given him a brief lifeline to sanity three months ago literally fell from the sky, under a mile of ocean, and onto the very station where he’s employed. Making matters worse, Trevor’s family are Lemurians, Atlantis’s enemy, and Chelsea’s presence is unpredicted—a wrench in an already unstable situation. But Trevor wants no part of his family’s war. The only thing he wants is Chelsea, Atlantean or not. 

Days into Chelsea’s sudden appearance, SeaSatellite5 uncovers Atlantean ruins and a massive artifact cache, placing its entire, hundred-man crew in the crosshairs of an ancient war. There are those who want the Atlantean relics inside the ruins destroyed, and only Trevor knows the treasures for what they really are: Link Pieces, tools used by the ancient civilizations for their time-travel war. 

With lies and shifting alliances abound, Chelsea and Trevor will have to think fast in order to save the station. If they don’t, the Lemurians will seize the artifacts and Atlantis will be destroyed forever


My Review:

Gyre is a science/ archaeological fiction with a New Adult twist. The blurb really drew me in. A love story – Teleporting –  Atlantis –Ancient Wars – Mystery…

First of all, one of the main characters - Chelsea. Oh Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea… I’ll admit that I really didn’t like her at the beginning and it was all because of her inner musings about her ex-boyfriend.

“But who was really at fault? Lexi for convincing my boyfriend to cheat on me, or me letting it happen?” – Gyre, Jessica Gunn

Really? REALLY? We’re going to let this female lead, who is supposed to be a badass sit there and let the misogynic oppression of “it’s always the girls fault” when it comes to sexual deviance. Give me a break. She had one more inner breakdown of her awesomeness regarding his bully-of-a-ex-best-friend, but thankfully it was written more as a turnaround moment versus an “I’m going to blame myself” mentality.

Once things started to happen, I could see in Chelsea what I always want to see in a female lead – strength through perseverance. My absolutely favorite moment, which made her such a real and earnest character to me, was when she was faced with a choice of her life or others and for once, the hero struggled. She honest to God, couldn’t decide if she wanted to throw her life away. It was blissfully real and amazing.

Trevor, who shares narration with Chelsea in alternating chapter point of views, is really not my type of hero/love interest and it has NOTHING to do with his geek status. I fly my geek flag high and even married a computer nerd, so… yeah. Honestly, he was just a wishy-washy big ball of corn puffs.

“Because Valerie didn’t know the very enemy we’d been warned about just waltzed aboard the SeSatellite5… and into my heart.” – Gyre, Jessica Gunn.

Awwww… barf. And when he’s not a corny bleeding heart, he really isn’t a good scientist either and it seems like he’s just oblivious to everything and everyone around him – even his love interest. That doesn’t make him a swoon-worthy guy in my opinion.

The two things that saved this book for me was the plot and Gunn’s writing.

First of all, I haven’t read such a solid story in a long time. According to Gunn’s acknowledgement page, she put three years into this story and it shows. I really enjoyed her take on the Atlantian/ time travel with the addition of super powers. It was really flawless story telling.

And her writing (although quite a bit of Trevor’s was just clichéd) is beautiful. Her descriptions are fluid and vivid enough I felt like I was feeling what the characters were feeling.

“Her cheeks grew brighter. I loved that blush, craved it as a kind of twisted reminder of the night we met. Her face, a lighthouse guiding me to sanity, flushed from cold and adrenaline. It was the night my life changed course.” – Gyre, Jessica Gunn.

Gunn’s writing verges on the poetic.

“The butterflies in my stomach evolved into fireflies, lit with a low buzz. Swarming. Igniting.” – Gyre, Jessica Gunn.

Overall, Gyre is a book I would recommend with a disclaimer. Personally, I didn’t feel like I couldn’t get enough or so wrapped up that I dreaded putting my Kindle down which is why it gets three stars instead of four. Maybe if I were in a different mood when I read Gyre, I would love it more than I did.


Net Galley provided a copy of The Spaceship Next Door in exchange for an honest review.