Friday, June 29, 2012

Broken by C.K Brant Review



Broken

(#2 in The Crystor Series)  
Author: C.K. Brant    
ISBN: 147760300X (ISBN13: 9781477603000)
Release Date:  June 3rd 2012
Format : ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, 
Science Fiction
Series:
The Crystor Series #2









Summary
With Kira injured and dying, Octavion's last hope is to plead with the king of Panthera for a cure. But King Ramla's magic isn't free. The price he asks Octavion to pay goes against everything he's fought so hard to protect and could destroy his bond with Kira. Will Octavion trade his crown and swear allegiance to a kingdom feared by all, or will he sacrifice the woman he loves to remain faithful to his father and Xantara? Find out when BROKEN takes you on a journey into the savage and unpredictable world of Ophira.

My Thoughts on the Book

This Sequel to “The Crystor Series” was packed with everything I like in a book. It takes place on Ophira, Octavion's home planet. It had romance, action scenes, and plot twists. I found it better then the first book. Things also heat up between Kira and Octavion, adding to the drama.

I found that Kira was more emotional then in the last book. After coming back from close to death she learns she’s not on earth any more, Altaria is still inside of her and she doesn't know how to get her to leave. The commoners and royalty are treating her like royalty, as everyone believes that Octavion will choose her as his princess. She loves Octavion more then anything, but everything is just so new to her. Something unexpected happens in a fight that leaves Kira feeling more depressed, but Octavion cousin’s family help her through it. It's clear how much she really does love him, but she feels very insecure.

Kira also meets a few new people in the kingdom who become her friends. The main two are Cole (Octavion's cousin and Luka's brother) and Ussay. Ussay is a childhood friend of Octavion, but she must act like a servant at all times. When Kira tells her to act normally with them, she kinds it hard to do so. Kira and her do become close friends, and Ussay helped Kira when the new moon phase appeared and all the normal people who weren’t royals had to go into hiding.

You learn more about Octavion's history in this book, and he shows his feelings towards Kira more. Kira learns about what really happens to him, and his connection with the two moons of Ophira. Octavion really stepped up his role of prince when he returned to Ophira. In the previous book you do know he’s prince, but it's not seriously grasped until he is back in his country. Kira does become angry with him with some princely things he does, such as not paying the people when the royals want something. Kira is able to make him pay for what he essentially stole. This isn't the only example of her influence over him, showing that he loves her enough to listen to her.

The romance between Kira and Octavion is slower in the book, but more fleshed out. Th events that they go through bring them closer, and less of a whirlwind romance. Though there was also a lot more drama in this book concerning them being together. Kira does become depressed, and a potential love rival is mentioned. It will be interesting to see if this rival is used more in a future book, or if she was just an extra to make a reader feel more sympathetic towards Kira.

Design


Same cover designer by the looks of it. I still don't like the Title font they use. I don't believe it has anything to do with the style this book is, the choppy look just doesn't fit the overall image. The background image though I do like, it shows off Kira's red hair and even the green eyes. It even shows a olden time house like structure making me think of how Ophira houses or castle may look inside.





Overall
Great Sequel make sure to check out my first review of Bound, this series is good so far make sure you check it out.


Rating
4 out of 5 Howling Wolves

Bound Review

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nee Sensei Manga Review


Author:
Yaya Sakuragi
Artist: Yaya Sakuragi
Genra: Yaoi

Year: 2007
Original Publisher:
BIBLOS and Libre Shuppan 
Volumes: 
1 Volume (Complete)
 Licensed (in English)
Yes
English Publisher
Emanga







Summary
This story is about a relationship between a teacher and his student, Homura. It just so happens that Homura's older sister, Kaori was the teacher's first girlfriend. Back then, the teacher would always use Homura as an excuse to run away whenever something happened, and he would never get in the "mood" whenever he was with Kaori. One day, while going through the exam papers, he noticed that Homura wrote "I like you, sensei" in a corner. Will he accept Homura's confession?


Side Story: Unbreakable Bone
The side story is of two childhood friends who meet again after 14 years. One is a policeman now, and the other is an ex-delinquent who is working at a ramen store.

My Thoughts on the Manga
The main story was enjoyable, it wasn't the best and kind of went by to quick but it had it's moments. The parts where I thought they could have done better was maybe actually have the sister involved in one scene but that never happen. Maybe even a side story with the gym teacher since that was left hanging as well.

This story's view is from Kurehara sensei ((his name is probably only said once or twice otherwise he's called sensei)). He's a shy teacher who knows Houmura who keeps confessing his love for him. Kurehara is confused not knowing if Homura is telling the truth about his feelings or just playing with him because they knew each other when Kurehara sensei was dating Houmura's sister. So he just thinks that Houmura is just playing around with him because of the words "Play with me Sensei".


Houmura isn't like that at all, he actually truely loves Sensei ever since he was a kid. Though because sensei is older then him and his teacher. He didn't know how to express himself towards him and may have messed up in a few places but soon Kurehara realizes that Houmura actually loves him and they get together. Houmura is still a highschool student and still has a lot to learn about being in a relationship and to be patient towards someone who has no experience in anything but simple dating.

Design



My thoughts on the design is that the mangaka was a bit lazy with the work. Yes their is effort but I expect she could have done a lot better. Even if this is a certain style it didn't really capture my attention much besides the story line. Not a lot of detail in the backgrounds or in the characters themselves though you do fall in love with them with how the story goes.











Overall
Great story but poor drawings, I do recommend to try it out even if the drawings aren't all that good.

Rating
3 out of 5 Howling Wolves



One Day Blitz Eversworn by Hailey Edwards




 
Title: Eversworn
Author: Hailey Edwards
Series Title: Daughters of Askara
Release Day: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Buy Links

Amazon            B&N






Blurb
Steal the salt. Bind the grimoire. Escape the male.

Daughters of Askara, Book 3

When an exchange of stolen goods in the Feriana marketplace turns sour, Isabeau stumbles from the encounter bruised and laden with new orders to complete an even larger heist. With her child’s life at stake, there’s no room for error—or allies.

Armed with a lethal book of spells, she strikes a dangerous bargain with Roland Bernhard. Steal a shipment of salt from the Feriana colony, and she’ll have her freedom—and her daughter. It’s all she’s ever wanted. At least it was…until she runs into Dillon Preston.

Dillon is out of commission after a mine explosion, and itching for a distraction. He gets it when the female who saved his leg arrives at the colony with nothing but flimsy excuses and even flimsier attire. She’s after something, but is it him—or the salt?

Trapped in a desperate bid to gain true freedom, Isabeau is willing to sacrifice her life for her daughter’s, but Dillon has other plans. He wants a package deal, and he’s not willing to lose either female, even if it means the future king of Sere’s head will roll.

Warning: This title contains a heroine desperate to save her daughter and a hero determined to make them a family. It also includes wings, horns and other assorted appendages. 

Author Bio
Hailey is a wife turned mother turned writer, who loves her husband, her daughter and alone time with her computer. Whenever southern living strikes her as too ordinary, she can be found squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after or with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen. Wings and/or cupcakes are usually involved…

She loves to hear from readers. Drop her a line here.

You can also swing by her blog or subscribe to her newsletter for all her latest news.

Author Links







Chapter One
Realm of Askara, City of Feriana

Runes burned hot across my wrists where slave bands were inked into my skin. Inhaling the rich mélange that was Feriana on market day, I wished I was anywhere other than here, anyone other than me. Shifting my bag, I patted the bulge weighting its bottom. Good. It was still there.


As it had been the last five times I’d checked.

Guilt flavored each swallow to wet my throat. Remain calm. Impossible when my tattoos stung persistent warning. You have what he wants. All will be well.

I choked on a dry laugh. All was never well. Those who penned fairytales should be stabbed through the heart with their quill.

Pretending interest in the fresh produce, I surveyed the crowd. He was here, but where?

“Isabeau?” A firm hand tugged at my sleeve. “I asked what you thought of these dates.”

I spared them half a glance, then continued skimming the crowd. “You’ve chosen well.”

Lindsay’s smile lit the corner of my eye, and regret tugged at my conscience. She deserved more attention than I could afford to give her. I’d make it up to her later, assuming I had the chance. Procuring supplies wasn’t a priority for me, though I knew it should be. Right now, other worries occupied my mind. Such things as how willing I was to use defensive glamour if I must.

As the telltale burn of building magic scalded my palms, I supposed I’d made my choice.

Another tug at my arm swiveled my head toward Lindsay.

“I’d like to search the scarves, if I may. I had hoped to purchase a mating gift for Emma.”

Emma. What would she think if she knew my reason for being here?

Tugging at my collar, I swallowed past the sensation of her strong fingers wrapped about my throat. As acting consul of Askara, she’d wring my neck for this betrayal, and I would deserve it.

Living at the consulate with her, putting my healing craft to good use, helping ex-slaves begin new lives in either the city of Feriana or its colony…I loved that life. And it was all a lie.

Glamour crackled over my skin, but the only things I concealed were the black spell-crafting runes inked from my forearms to my fingertips. Still, the static shock of power coating my skin led others to believe my concealment was more than cosmetic, a misconception I let flourish.

Given my consulate position, most assumed I was a female Evanti hiding in plain sight.

They were wrong.

“Go.” I indicated my favorite stall. “Enjoy yourself.”

“I will.” Swiping flaxen hair from her eyes, Lindsay cast me a broad grin. Despite being a halfling, she resembled the Askaran side of her parentage more than the human. “I promise I won’t touch anything I don’t intend to buy, and I won’t break anything.” She rushed to add, “If something happened, by accident, I’d pay the damages from my wages.”

“You’re fine.” I shooed her. “I trust you.”

Trust was a broad word. Lindsay wouldn’t break any of the wares on purpose, but she was a halfling mastering self-control late in life. Enslaved in an outland mining camp since birth, she’d had no need for learning social graces, only the art of survival. Relying on the brute strength that characterized her breed saved her from playing the role of camp whore. Now she wanted more, better, and as someone familiar with the other half of the equation, I wanted that for her as well.

Hissing as my skin throbbed with renewed heat, I gasped as the impression of male lips and teeth left their damp sting on my bare neck. Roland. Sultry whispers caressed my ears, beckoned come unto your master, and I was helpless not to obey his summons. Pressure from his phantom fingers compelled me toward a figure coalescing in the shade of a billowing tent. Swirling tendrils of power cloaked him from passersby and elicited a shiver of recognition from me. Inclining his head, he acknowledged me, and his smile made my pulse race with the stirrings of genuine fear.

Fighting the urge to check my bag, I dove into the crush of bodies, and they engulfed me.

When I reached the spot where Roland had stood, he was gone.

“You kept me waiting.” Hot breath hit my nape before he shoved me against a sandstone wall. My shoulder bounced as Roland pressed into me. His hand snaked around my waist, teased the underside of my breasts, squeezing before slipping under the flap of my bag. “Is this all?”

“It’s what we agreed upon.” I winced. “Where is my proof?”

“Are you so eager to be rid of me?” He pressed a string of kisses down my throat. “Well?”

Yes. My voice was a husky rasp. “Is bedding you a requirement for obtaining my proof?”

His chuckle caused my gut to clench. Nothing good came of his laughter.

“I prefer my partners willing.” A lie wrapped in a pretty half-truth. He was accomplished in magic, as all those trained by Sereian priests were. Glamour, the root of his power, twisted minds to suit his whims. I knew, because mine bore the spiral imprint of his amusement. “Here is the proof I promised you.” He slid an envelope in my bag and waited. “Aren’t you going to open it?”

I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of witnessing my reaction. “I trust you.”

Trust was a broad word indeed.

“This is exquisite,” Roland murmured. I glanced over my shoulder in time to see him hold his prize aloft. A fist-sized chunk of embolite sat heavy across his palm. “You did well, but this is no longer enough.”

Stomach roiling, I pushed from the wall and said again, “It’s what we agreed upon.”

“We agreed once I had control of the mine, your services would no longer be required.” His grip on the sample whitened his knuckles. “The entire point of freeing you to work for Emmaline was to monitor the Feriana colony’s mining operation and the Evanti controlling its distribution.” He struck before I saw him swing. Jagged rock hit my cheek and sliced it open. “Such an arrangement no longer benefits me since Emmaline has mated the Evanti in charge and is more protective of Harper than ever. Since he won’t negotiate for exclusive rights to the mine, alternate means of procurement are required.” His gaze met mine. “Wouldn’t you agree?”

I swallowed past the pain. “What do you have in mind?”

“We are eager today, aren’t we?” He pocketed the embolite. “Somewhere you’d rather be?”

Anywhere other than here. “No.”

“Good,” he said, smiling, “because you’re going on a trip.”

“I am?” I glided a wary step back.

“How is that Evanti you tended?” He appeared thoughtful. “I believe he’s called…Dillon.”

My pulse spiked at the mention of his name. “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in weeks.”

He measured me for a moment longer, and I wondered why he had mentioned Dillon at all. The wounded Evanti demon had spent weeks under my care at the consulate before returning to the freemen colony on the outskirts of Feriana.

Withdrawing a handkerchief from his pocket, Roland dabbed my split cheek. “During those weeks, nothing happened between you?”

I sensed a trap but was unable to locate its mechanism. I stilled myself against the urge to strike his hand. My blood allowed his glamour to work on me no matter what our proximity. A single drop, a murmured spell, and he could find me, taunt me, anywhere. His illusionary kiss was benign compared to the power blood sparked in our connection. But why ask if something happened between Dillon and me…?

Mortification tightened my chest. “You’re a bastard.”

Of course he would spy on me, and my behavior around Dillon made heat creep up my neck.

“I assure you, I’m not. Bastards can’t become kings. You’re Sereian.” He stalked me until I backed into the wall. “You’d do well to remember Askara’s antislavery laws don’t apply to you.”

As if he ever let me forget.

When his gaze fixated on my mouth, I reminded him, “You cast me aside years ago.”

“Still bitter are we? I’m in the market for a wife.” He cupped my cheek. “And you,” he said, so near his lips brushed mine, “are a whore.” His thumb swiped over the fresh wound he’d given me, and my wince resulted in a low growl of approval from him. “Albeit, you’re a talented one.”

“You have what you came for.” I gritted my teeth as he pressed on the cut. “Leave me.”

“Not quite and not yet.” He painted my lips with blood, its copper tang curling my tongue. “As I said, the terms of our agreement must be altered. As a token of appreciation for pleasure you once gave me, for the loyalties I still enjoy, I’m offering you a chance at earning freedom.”

I gave the ringing in my ears a chance to subside. “What are your terms?”

“I want a full shipment of salt delivered to my estate.” He patted the pocket where his core sample resided. “I don’t mean this. I have no use for embolite in the rough. I want the processed salt.” He waved a dismissive hand. “The silver portion of the shipment is unimportant. Keep it if you wish. Use it to finance your new life.” His sigh rang with displeasure. “It will mean showing restraint, but it will suffice. I must have the salt. Do you understand? It’s of critical importance.”

I blinked. “Are you mad? I’d have to steal direct from the colony, and there’s an enormous difference between me pocketing core samples after they’ve been tested and hijacking an entire caravan.” I leaned into the wall for support. “The former goes unnoticed, the latter is…suicide.”

One life exchanged for the good of many. It was Harper’s credo, and I was not of the many.

“I’m sure you’ll think of something,” he murmured. “I heard Emma and Harper are visiting their siblings, on Earth.” I gave him no confirmation. He had no way of knowing where they had gone, and I wasn’t about to tell him. “They’re no doubt spreading their happy news.” His motive became clearer. “That leaves your patient in charge of the colony in Harper’s absence. I’m sure two such friends can find understanding. After all, he owes you for saving his leg, doesn’t he?”

What he implied made my cheeks burn. Of course he would spend me so cheaply.

Still, despair and hope warred within me. “And if I manage this feat…”

He tapped my wrists, and fresh pain flared. “Then you will be freed.”

I lifted my chin. “My freedom is not the only price I require.”

“So I assumed.” His pause left me breathless. “Deliver the salt, and the girl is also yours.”

A pent-up breath whistled between my lips. “Give me your word, and it’s done.”

Words held power. Breaking his promise would weaken that power. Roland wouldn’t risk it.

Not around me.

“My word is given.” He turned and black mist shrouded him. Then he was gone.

As the sting in my slave bands lessened to a dull throb, I sagged against the wall. The girl is yours. With trembling fingers, I reached into my bag and withdrew the envelope. Tucked into the crease was a lock of auburn hair with a slight curl at the end. Fishing into a different pocket, I withdrew a similar strand and compared the lengths. One hung slightly longer than the other. I held it to my nose and inhaled the violet-scented strands until hot, useless tears pricked my eyes.

I knew this was a disaster in the making, but he’d baited his trap too well for me to resist.

Footsteps warned me in time to hide my bribe. Past the wall, I spotted Lindsay barreling toward me, scanning the area where Roland had stood seconds earlier. She ducked past the tent.

“Are you all right?” She grabbed my chin and tipped my head back. “What happened?” Her voice took on a dangerous edge. “Your poor face.” She noticed my bag. “Who did this? A thief?”

“Yes.” In a manner of speaking, he was. I choked on the insane urge to laugh, to scream that freedom was within my reach, but I tamped it down. “The thief took something dear from me.” I wiped away my tears. “Don’t worry. I will get it back.” Taking her arm, I led her from the alley into the sun. I basked in its heat. Let it chase the chill of Roland’s presence. “Are you finished?”

“I—” She frowned at my eager tone. “Yes. I suppose I am.”

“Good.” I compensated for the slip with a wobbling smile. “Let’s go home.”

I had plans to make.


 Different worlds, different colonies, but still the same damn meetings.

Responsibility weighted the air on this side of the desk. Each inhale settled heavily in Dillon’s lungs. He’d much rather occupy his usual spot by the tent flap, his gaze trained on the dunes beyond than wear the mantle of interim colony leader. Harper hadn’t done Dillon any favors by yoking him to the colony bandwagon, asking him to lead with fanfare in his absence.

Rolling his shoulders, he cast aside the niggling suspicion Harper had made the appointment out of pity. Another time he might have gloated when Harper brought in two males a quarter of his age as his replacements. Instead, it made him feel every day of his ninety-eight years. No dancing around it. He was getting old, even by their race’s standards. He should be finding a female, settling down, doing his duty to pump fresh blood, pure blood, into their dwindling race.

His leg twinged when he shifted in his seat, a reminder of how he ended up paper-pushing in the first place. Pinning his shoulders to the back of his chair kept him from leaning down and rubbing the dull ache in his calf, or where his calf used to be. His jaw tightened. No need to go there. Not now. Not while two fresh faces were staring him down, looking for signs of weakness.

While drumming his fingers on his knee, he inspected the two newest transplants from Earth. Two young males eager to taste what Askara had to offer, curious to see if their memories of enslavement held up against the new reality of this being a kingdom of freemen. Their optimism made him cringe. Then again, he’d seen the files the freeborn legion had kept on them.

They had both belonged to the sthudal slave caste, and slaves with that designation recalled their time spent in labor camps with fewer nightmares than those who wore the title of sthudai.

Dillon knew which life he would have chosen.

Better to break his back in a mine, die of hunger or thirst, than live on the end of a chain like a f**king animal, fed and watered only when his performance merited such a reward. Bile rose in his throat. He swallowed hard and ground his heel into the packed sand floor. Ruined muscle screamed in protest, but the burst of agony was his reward, his reprieve from the memories always a stray thought away from choking him. Yeah, he would have loved to have been sthudal.

Figuring he’d kept the pair waiting long enough, Dillon asked, “You two have any questions?” He lifted a cup and swallowed its tepid contents down to the grit in the bottom. His teeth crunched when he set his jaw. Damn, he’d be glad when the new aqueduct was completed.

“Yeah.” Church eyed the tent flap warily. “Is there anything out here besides sand?”

“Sure there is.” Dillon suppressed a grin when Church’s shoulders relaxed. “Didn’t you see all the tents? That’s why the colonists call this place tent city. The only buildings with walls are the clinic and the stable. You’ll get acquainted with those soon enough.” Harper would strangle him for adding, “You two arrived just in time for the winter sandstorm season. When they hit, all we can do is pack ourselves like sardines into those buildings and pray the spell crafting holds.”

Church cast one more glance past the flap to the desert beyond. “Great.” He twisted in his seat and eyed the male beside him. “Russ, you got any last requests before we’re blown away?”

Russ’s smile was faint. “What are our duties while Harper’s away?”

Scratching his cheek, Dillon admitted he wasn’t sure what to do with the pair. Until his leg mended, he was on light duty, in theory. These two had prior experience, as most legionaries did, so they knew the basics of guard duty. The rest, training them as bodyguards, hinged on Harper and Emma’s return since Dillon was a big believer in learning in the field. Sink or swim.

Until that happened… “You’ve got two choices. Our courier is swamped. One of you can train with Mason. He deserves the break.” He paused in consideration. “The other can train with Uriah, our silversmith. He oversees the extraction of silver and salt from the embolite we mine.”

At their blank expressions, Dillon exhaled on a curse. Their files expounded the fieldwork each had done for the freeborn legion, and each had service records spotless enough he felt Harper would be safe with them, but his decision to skim their locational information had just jumped up and bit him on the ass. “Where were you two working when the legion found you?”

“The outlands,” they replied in unison.

Okay, so maybe he had read their information right. “Were you in the mines?”

“No.” Church frowned. “I was a brickmaker by trade. I still am, or was, on Earth.”

Ah. That explained why Harper had picked him. As the colony expanded, so did the need for structures beyond tents they used for, well, everything. Dillon sized up Russ. “How about you?”

Russ held up ink-smudged fingers. “I was a scribe employed by an exiled noble.”

A scribe was, well, less useful. Dillon asked, “Do either of you know what progesaline is?”

“Females need it during pregnancy.” Church shrugged, signaling the end of his contribution.

Russ appeared to consider his answer. “Progesaline is a supplement females of some demon breeds require during pregnancy. Without it, they become anemic. They might die before or during childbirth, as could the children, unless they consume enough to maintain healthy levels.”

Dillon blinked. Maybe having a scribe around wasn’t such a bad idea.

“It’s found in rare salt veins,” Russ continued. “While I’ve never heard of it being found in veins of embolite, it’s certainly possible. I’d think the problem would be extraction.” He paused at Church’s scowl. “Embolite is a mineral containing both salt and silver in their natural forms.”

“Someone did his research.” Otherwise, he wouldn’t have guessed embolite over chlorargyrite. Dillon gave Russ a slow second glance. There was something familiar about him.

Russ frowned. “I’d hardly accept the position otherwise.”

“So what gives?” Church twisted in his seat. “How did Harper get such a sweet deal?”

“I’ll hazard a guess the queen’s advisors signed over this tract of land for two reasons.” Russ waited until Dillon nodded. “First, it shares a city with the vernal castle, which means it’s near enough for First Court to monitor and close enough for the queen’s troops to attack if necessary.”

“Go on.” Dillon caught himself leaning forward.

“Second, the mine had potential, enough First Court’s gift appealed to Harper and their offer wasn’t insulting. Though I bet they assumed even if he was foolhardy enough to work the mine, he wouldn’t figure out how to process the embolite and separate the silver and the salt from the core mineral. Yet he did, and he likely doubled his profits.” Russ smiled slowly. “Am I right?”

“Damn.” Church whistled. “That explains the raiders, plus the bounty on Harper’s head.”

“Right on both counts,” Dillon said, forcing his attention from Russ.

He was right, though Dillon and Harper were just drawing the same conclusions. They had guessed the only reason the queen’s advisors had given consent for Harper to take over the mine was they were certain there was nothing here worth mining. Now that Harper had proven them wrong? Yeah, they were pissed and wanted a share. Damn if Dillon didn’t find that a little bit funny.

“This colony pays its bills with the mine, and, as Russ said, we mine embolite.” No two ways about it, Harper must have told Russ. “It’s damn hard work and not worth much in the rough, if anything at all. Then Uriah works his magic and we get pure silver and pure salt. Six times more silver than salt, but silver has its uses and our salt, well, it’s almost pure progesaline.”

Russ murmured something Dillon didn’t catch because Church stood with a grunt.

“So do we pick now or what?” His back popped as he stretched. “Mason or Uriah, right?”

Good to know Dillon wasn’t the only one bored by meetings. “Yeah, have at it.”

Church didn’t miss a beat. “I’ll take Uriah.”

Dillon almost felt sorry for him. While they were the obvious match, Uriah burned through apprentices faster than he could match faces to names. Not that he tried too hard. Mostly he called them all the same thing, dier hest eirdth or eirdth for short, which was the Demonish equivalent of dirt. Those under his tutelage chose to believe he meant they were clay and he was molding them into…whatever struck their fancy. Dillon suspected Uriah meant the more literal translation of ground beneath my feet. His attitude explained why even his ex-masters had given him a wide berth. The male was a god at his forge, and he knew it. The fact a story was floating around about him flinging molten silver in the face of an Askaran noble had cemented his reputation as a bastard. Something Dillon could respect. So long as Uriah did his job, Dillon didn’t care.

“That leaves me with Mason.” Russ slanted a look toward Church that punctured his mood. “If I’m playing courier, then I guess I’ll find out if there’s any life beyond those dunes after all.”

“Now that we have that settled,” Dillon said, giving Church time to school his glower, “you’ll each pull border patrol and sentry duty. That won’t change even after Harper gets back.”

Russ frowned. “We won’t alternate day and night shifts?”

Church stilled. “Harper needs someone watching his back at night too.”

“He has someone.” Dillon stood, Church’s restlessness feeding his own. “Her name’s Emma.” Before they earned enough rope to hang themselves, he silenced their protests. “One of you will remain on perimeter duty after dayshift ends. That means frequent passes by their tent. The trick is being close enough you can keep an eye on Harper—and Emma—while giving them the illusion of privacy.” He admitted grudgingly, “No one’s more invested in Harper’s wellbeing, and few are more capable of ensuring his safety. Plus few realize what she is before it’s too late.”

Once they moved past the honeymoon period in their relationship, Harper might not need a guard beyond his mate. Emma was a halfling, stronger than most full demon males, and Harper had trained her to protect her sister, Askara’s Princess Ascendant Madelyn DeGray, since they were children. If it meant protecting Harper and Maddie, there was nothing Emma wouldn’t do.

Dillon ignored the tightness in his chest and sharpened his scowl. He wasn’t jealous.

“Fair enough.” Russ pushed from his seat. “Where do you want us?”

“Head back to your tents for now. I’m handling border patrol tonight.” No reason not to while Harper wasn’t here to bench him. “I expect to see both of you here at six.”

Russ’s gaze dipped toward Dillon’s leg, his brow furrowing, but he kept his mouth shut. Good. He just might make it here after all.

“The faster you learn your way around, the better.” Dillon crossed the tent and brushed aside the flap. “I want you two broken in by the time Harper and Emma get back.”

His first step outside blinded him. Hot air rushed into his lungs, baking them, and his tongue dried in the time it took for his mouth to open long enough to say, “Welcome to Askara, boys.”





Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Hallowed Ones Blog Tour!

THE HALLOWED ONES 
Laura Bickle 
Reading level: Ages 12 and up 
Paperback: 320 pages 
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Graphia 
(September 25, 2012) 
ISBN-10: 0547859260 
ISBN-13: 978-0547859262

Summary

If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in? 

In this captivating thriller, an Amish settlement is the last safe haven in a world plagued by an unspeakable horror…

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenag-ers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there...and it is making a killing.

Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a de-cree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?





About the Author 
Laura Bickle's professional background is in criminal justice and library science. When she's not patrolling the stacks at the public library, she can be found reaming up stories about the monsters under the stairs. 
She has written several contemporary fantasy novels for adults, and THE HALLOWED ONES is her first young adult novel. Laura lives in Ohio with her husband and five mostly-reformed feral cats. For more about Laura, please visit her website at: www.laurabickle.com.










Medusa A Love Story Blog Tour and Review




Medusa A Love Story
By Sasha Summers
Summary:        

It's said love can change a person. Medusa wasn't always a monster...

Medusa is ruled by duty, to her Titan father and the Goddess Athena. She's no room for the tenderness her warrior guard, Ariston, stirs. When Olympus frees her from service, her heart leads her into the arms of the guard she loves... and curses her as the creature with serpent locks.

Ariston goes to war with a full heart... and dreadful foreboding. He learns too late of the danger Medusa faces, alone, and a Persian blade sends him into the Underworld. But death, curses, nor the wrath of the Gods will keep him from returning to her.

Poseidon will use Greece's war to get what he wants: Medusa. He does not care that she belongs to another. He does not care that she will be damned. He is a God, an Olympian, and she will be his.




"This tragic and beautiful retelling of one of the world's oldest stories tackles the eternal battle between duty and happiness. Medusa, A Love Story broke my heart then filled in the cracks with joy. Sasha Summers is simply a mesmerizing new talent."  ~Stephanie Dray, Author of the critically acclaimed Song of the Nile

Excerpt:
“You asked for an audience, you have it. Now tell me, where do you belong?” Hades’ voice was deep, emotionless.
            Ariston swallowed. “Athens.” He met Hades’ gaze, but the God revealed nothing to him.
“Why? You died with honor and glory. Is that not what every soldier wants?” 
             “My wife…” His voice wavered.
Hades brow lifted slightly. “Lives. You do not.”
            “She is in danger.”
            “Earthly danger. She is no longer your concern, Ariston.”
            “The danger she faces is not earthly, but far from it…” Ariston’s voice was hoarse, his desperation mounting. He took a wavering breath before he began again. “She is everything to me. I am proud of my death, but it means nothing if she is in peril. I must know.” Ariston kneeled. “I beg you. I beg you to return me to Athens.”
            Ariston waited, willing himself to be strong.
            “Who is this wife?” Hades asked.
            “Medusa of Athens.” He paused. “Now of Rhodes.”
            Hades was silent, his dark blue eyes regarding him steadily.
            “When I die—” Ariston began.
            “You are dead,” Hades assured him.
“When I return…die again, I would serve as guardian to Tartarus. I am a skilled warrior, a skill I might offer you.” He spoke with confidence.
            “You vex me,” Hades muttered, the slightest crease appearing between his eyes. “You offer this to me for a woman?”
            Ariston nodded. “She is worthy.”
Hades was silent again, his eyes shifting to the blue-white flames in the massive
fireplace.           
“My words do not…adequately express the love I have for this woman. But I cannot leave her. She is at risk. I must return.” The words came without thought. How could he justify such emotion to a God who reviled affection or companionship? “As Olympus has my arm and sword, she has my heart – a mortal, and perhaps weak, heart.”
The room was silent for too long. He would have to fight his way out…
            “It is a weakness not reserved for mortals alone, Ariston of Rhodes.” Hades’ words were so soft Ariston feared they’d not been spoken. But Hades continued, strong and clear. “I will return you to your ship so that you may lead your men to victory. Too many have fallen from this war and I would see it end. When that is done, you may go to your wife.” He paused then added, “When you return to my realm, I will have your fealty.”
            The God of the Underworld, Lord of Death, gave him mercy? Mayhap there was one God he might serve with honor. 
Ariston vowed, “You have it.”

Review:

I was glad that I was given a chance to review this book for the blog tour. So many parts near the ending left me cry and I couldn’t help but love the ending. 

This story is a retelling of the classic myth of Medusa (Madusa here). While there are variations of the myth, the story is that Medusa was a priestess, of either Athena, goddess of wisdom, or Poseidon, god of the sea. Athena is known as a virgin goddess, and her temple was run by virgin priestesses, who kept the temple pure. Poseidon has sex with Medusa (whether it was rape or consensual varies by version to version), inside of Athena's temple. Since Athena can't punish a fellow Olympian, she punishes Medusa and her sisters by turning them into the gorgons, monsters with the hair of snakes and who can turn the living to stone with a single glance. Medusa, who was known for her beauty, is allowed to remain beautiful, while her sisters become hideous monsters.

To be caught in the crossfire of the gods is truly a saddening thing.. Since she was young, Madusa has never had a chance to do what she wanted.  She only has done things to please others, whether it’s her father, or Athena, or any of the other gods. As Athena’s priestess she isn’t allowed to be touched by any man, nor is she to love any man, she must be pure and do as Athena wishes as her priestess. It changes when she slowly begins to feel something towards her guard Ariston. She never knew of such feelings before. With the gods all wanting Madusa, she has no choice but to do as they ask of her. Eventually, Athena turns Madusa into what she is known for, for something Madusa had no control over. She only wanted to help others, but she is punished for that. 
For Madusa, the touch of a man is something she had never known before. Everything was new to her, every small experience Ariston had to teach her. She loved and trusted him, she wanted him to touch her as a man touched a women. It's clear how much they loved each other, but how their restrictions kept them from fully experiencing it. At one point Athena seems to cave to their love, but it turns out to be a cruel twist of fate. Their love knows no bounds and can never be broken as you will see as the story continues. Their love never dies no matter what the gods did. It is a sad love between Madusa and Ariston, but the ending is a happy one.
This tale of Madusa was truly a great story to read, I’ve never read her mythology before the book, but to me this was a better version then the actual myth. You watch as Madusa goes through her time serving Athena, until the day comes where she tries to be her own woman. This story of Madusa was truly great giving it a background story of Medusa and how she came to serve Athena. To have their tragic figure from Greek mythology to be able to love and be more then just a toy for the gods gave the character more depth and easier to pity. 
Greek mythology is full of how the gods use humans for their own pleasures then throw them away or curse them when they're bored with them.This book about Madusa was truly sad. If you love mythology, I highly suggest reading this book you will love it as I have. It gives you both romance with and it will make you happy more then sadden by the events that happen to Madusa. This twist in Madusa’s tale is truly something to read for yourself.

Rating
5 out of 5 Howling Wolves


Author Bio:

Sasha Summers is part gypsy. Her passions have always been storytelling, history, and travel. It's no surprise that her books visit times past, set in places rich with legends and myth. Her first play, 'Greek Gods and Goddesses' (original title, right?), was written for her Girl Scout troupe.

She's been writing ever since. She loves getting lost in the worlds and characters she creates; even if she frequently forgets to run the dishwasher or wash socks when she's doing so.

Luckily, her four brilliant children and hero-inspiring hubby are super understanding and supportive.

Sasha is an active member of RWA and several Texas Chapters. A self-proclaimed movie-addict, she is full of all sorts of useless movie tidbits and trivia.

Facebook Author Page:



Twitter: @sashawrites




Sunday, June 17, 2012

In My Mailbox [17]


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren where you can learn about all the awesome new books I've picked up this week!


Here are the list of books I've receive in the last week with a link to their goodreads page:




Bought:



Won:



That's right I won the whole The Grey Wolves Series!!!!

Review:



Tell me about your IMM I would love to see it!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Matched by Ally Condle Review




Matched
Author: Ally Condle    
ISBN: 014241977X (ISBN13: 9780142419779)

Release Date:  September 20th 2011
Format : Paperback
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Post Apocalyptic,
Dystopian,  Science Fiction
Series:
Matched #1









Summary
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

My thoughts
about the Book
This is a really slow moving book, made even worse that the author wrote like the people will know everything right away. It took me till the middle of the book to know why they took pills, when they were mentioned at the beginning of the book. There are two other groups, the anomaly and Aberration, and it took me a while to figure out one of them. The other, I still don't get. Besides these three facts, I did come to enjoy this book. It took time to get into it, but once I did I couldn’t put the book down. 

Our main character is a girl name Cassia. All her life she has been looking forward to her matching ceremony. This is when the officials pick the right man or women for you. She always followed the rules of the officials, as does everyone else does. Once your match is chosen you receive a microchip that shows you information on the person your matched with. Her story begins with the realization that could be matched with two people, both of whom she knows. She learns that nothing in her society is what it seems. Everyone grows up listening to the rules, but how they grow up isn’t how they should live. With Ky she slowly starts to break the rules of the Society, without their knowledge.  

Ky is one of the men that was matched up with Cassia. Ky is a Anuation, he was taken to his new parents when he lost his own ones when he was younger. He has lived in the society under the officials watch ever since. He acts like he doesn’t know what he’s doing, but he does. He keeps how smart he is a secret, because he doesn’t want them to know how smart he is for a Aberration (not sure how to describe this). 

Xander is a good friend and was also chosen to be Cassia’s match. He has known Cassia since they were young and he loves her very much. He would do anything for the people he loves, even if it means going against the rules.  It broke his heart when Cassia told him that she loves Ky as well, but he still wanted to help her somehow and he does near the end of the book.

There is very small romance in the book between Cassia and Xander. The reason for this is because they are always watched and have to act accordingly. They can’t really go on dates alone, but they do kiss and hold hands at timest. Now with Cassia and Ky it’s a different story. They don’t do much, but they do talk a lot and share stories and secrets. You slowly began to see how Cassia starts to fall in love with Ky and it’s the same with Ky. Then over time they get closer and start to touch hands and at one point they even kiss on the lips. I just fell in love with this couple right away.

The plot centers around Cassia going from her matching to her reading a microchip that is suppose to be about Xander but somehow Ky’s picture also appeared.  Then the society officials come to talk to Cassia telling her it was all a mistake but Ky still doesn’t leave her mind. It’s not long before she starts to talk to Ky and tells him her secrets she kept, for example the two poems that her grandfather gave her. Which is against the rules because those poems aren’t one of the register 100 poems that were kept around. What this means is basically the society thought the information that was around was to much so it began to narrow down everything. There is only supposed to be allowed 100 poems, 100 songs, 100 paints and etc. Everything else is destroyed and not allowed to be known. The society got rid of all pens and pencils so that people aren’t allowed to write or draw anything. Though they do know how to read and write, but all on a tablet they carry around.  Ky and Cassia keeps the poems to themselves as Ky tells her his story and life.  Another thing about this dystopian world is that the society chooses what you have to eat and how you take care of your body. It has a curfew that everyone has to follow, and, of course, they choose who you are to spend your life with. If you're not matched, you are forced to stay single for the rest of your life. There are the three pills, the green one is to relax or makes you calm down when your worrying to much. The blue pill is to act as a food substitute if you don’t have food for a few days and the red pill is unknown to all of the town.  You don’t know what the red pill does till near the ending of the book.

Design

The design of the novel was so great, I love the bright green cover and how the inside page is a different texture then the rest of the book. When you see the other covers you will understand me more but each cover is a different color pill. Having the bubble in the middle with a girl inside is really eye catching. Everything about the cover connects to novel in some way. From the bright green dress to how the book is named Matched. The white title is well placed under the main image and the small authors name is well done and doesn’t distract you from the title or image.




Overall
It’s a very interesting Dystopian novel though I did find it slow at times.

Rating
3.5 out of 5 Howling Wolves
.5