It is my pleasure to be today’s stop in the AWESOME Harper Summer 2016 Tour!!
Today it’s all about…
Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel
Pub Date: May 31st 2016
Romance, intrigue, and action collide in this psychic twist on the classic spy novel.
Callie Sinclair is literally out of her mind; as the government’s youngest psychic spy, she finds valuable information for top-secret missions. Her work keeps her headaches at bay, but it means she must lie to everyone she loves, including her longtime boyfriend, Charlie.
When a new psychic arrives at the office, Callie can’t help but flirt; Jasper already knows her in a way Charlie never will.
But as her love life gets more complicated, so do her visions. People halfway around the world seem to be in danger…and people in her own backyard, too. If Callie can’t find a way to alter future events, she could lose the people she loves—and her mind. Literally.
Lauren Sabel’s enthralling, romantic novel captures the thrill of exploring a unique power in a dangerous world.
Lauren Sabel has a master’s degree in creative writing from Naropa University and currently teaches college writing courses online. She has lived in Rome, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London and currently resides with her husband in Boulder, Colorado.
Find out everything you’d like to know about Lauren, her books, and connect with her online by going to her website!
Come and chat with authors Julie Eshbaugh, Lindsey Klingele, Michelle Andreani, Mindi Scott & Paula Stokes TONIGHT from 8 PM – 9 PM in EDT! Go to facebook.com/HarperSummer2016Tour for details!
#1 – A Harper Teen Summer 2016 Catalog prize pack of 45 books*.
*Titles not included: The Crown by Kiera Cass, Escape from Asylum by Madeline Roux, Sing by Vivi Greene, The Countdown by Kimberly Derting, & United As One by Pittacus Lore
In addition to the one massive prize winner, we will also have 4 winners who will be able to select 3 titles they want from the Summer 2016 Catalog.
#2 – 5 Finished Copies from the Harper Teen Winter 2016 Catalog
5 books are: Front Lines by Michael Grant, Revenge & the Wild by Michelle Modesto, The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks, Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin, & The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
How to enter:
Collect the daily word from each blog stop during the Harper Summer 2016 Tour (a total of 50). Once you’ve collected them all, email the complete saying to: [email protected]
Winner must have a valid US mailing address to receive the prize
Winner must be over 13
Only one (1) entry per person for Prize #2 – duplicates will be deleted.
Only a completed phrase will be accepted as an entry – do not email each word/phrase daily. Wait until you have the complete saying and then email in.
All email submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EST 3/31/2016.
Winners will be selected 4/1/2016 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another is selected.
Participating blogs and bloggers are not responsible for unsent, damaged, and/or stolen prizes offered by the publisher.
Visit the other stops on this tour!
About Lauren Sabel
Lauren Sabel has a master’s degree in creative writing from Naropa University and currently teaches college writing courses online. She has lived in Rome, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and London and currently resides with her husband in Boulder, Colorado.
A tragic kidnapping leads to an unlikely friendship in this novel about finding light in the midst of darkness from the author of The Truth About Alice.
When Caroline's little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can't see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they each need a friend--and their best option just might be each other.
I’m so excited to be sharing this cover with you guys today! Afterward sounds intense and the ominous clouds on the cover really lends itself to that feeling. Here’s what some authors have to say about Afterward:
Afterward is a brave story about the transcendent power of friendship, told with remarkable grace. I became utterly engrossed in the beautifully drawn lives and minds of Ethan and Caroline, and the sensitive, truthful depiction of the bond that begins to heal them both. – Ava Dellaira, author of Love Letters to the Dead
“Heartbreaking and heart mending, Afterward is a beautifully crafted novel that shows the power of hope and the resilience of one incredible boy and the people who care about him. Jennifer Mathieu has again demonstrated the complexity and strength of survivors in an authentic and compassionate way.” – Christa Desir, author of Bleed Like Me and Fault Line
“Afterward is a perceptive depiction of recovery from a trauma most of us have only read about in the news. Fans of Jennifer Mathieu’s earlier books should be ecstatic: this is her best one yet. – Cammie McGovern, author of Say What You Will and A Step Toward Falling
What do you guys think?
About Jennifer Mathieu
Jennifer Mathieu started writing stories when she was in kindergarten and now teaches English to middle and high school students. She won the Teen Choice Debut Author Award at the Children’s Choice Book Awards for her first novel, The Truth About Alice. She is also the author of Devoted and Afterward. She lives in Texas with her husband, son, dog, and two cats. Read about her books on her website!
It’s been a wet week here in Texas and when I was trying to pick a song for today, this one came on the radio: Water. Ha! I took it as a sign to feature it today. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard it and I’d saved it to feature it at some point, so today wins. :) I’m not too sure what the song is really about but it has song crazy good melodies and some of the lyrics are so touching. Hope you enjoy!
I’m no longer going to be adding a linky since it’s just an extra step that isn’t needed at this time, so please leave me the links to your posts in the comments! :) Also, I may start reserving this feature for times I don’t have anything to post, so in case you don’t see one posted at anytime, don’t worry about it. I was either too tired to post or something else had to take its place.
A sparkling talent makes her fiction debut with this infectious novel that combines the charming pluck of Eloise, the poignant psychological quirks of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and the page-turning spirit of Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi scheme, she’s flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. The prickly Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy-Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.
When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noel Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth-graders.
As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank’s father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and itinerant male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.
Full of heart and countless “only-in-Hollywood” moments, Be Frank with Me is a captivating and unconventional story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.
It’s not often I read character driven adult fiction but I’ve been lucky to have really enjoyed the ones I’ve read. Be Frank With Me was one of those.
Julia Claiborne Johnson gives us such a unique cast of characters in Alice, Mimi, Xander, and of course, Frank. There were times when I didn’t really understand how Alice didn’t run away from the odd job she’d been assigned as babysitter essentially. But then more we get to know Frank, and the more we learn to deal with his and Mimi’s eccentricities, the more we grow to love him.
The book really kept me guessing on a few things throughout the story, from who Frank’s father was, to what Xander’s story and role were, to what in the world did Mimi type all day long! All the answers revealed at the end gave me such relief.
I loved just how humorous and at time outrages this story is. Tavia Gilbert, the narrator of this audiobook, delivered such an entertaining depiction of these characters. I especially loved her Frank delivery. There were lines of his dialogue that didn’t seem to leave room for her to take a breath in between words, and she delivered them spot on.
If you’re looking for an audiobook to keep you entertained definitely look into Be Frank With Me. You won’t be disappointed.
Check out this interview with Julia Claiborne Johnson (the author), and voice actress Tavia Gilbert (the audiobook narrator)!
About Julia Claiborne Johnson
Julia Claiborne Johnson worked at Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines before marrying and moving to Los Angeles, where she lives with her comedy-writer husband and their two children.
I’ve been wanting to feature this Houston band for a couple of weeks now but I couldn’t decide on a song, so we’re just going to feature the band.
My fiancé is friends with the drummer (Nick Zamora) and has been a longtime supporter of this band, even contributing to their kickstarter campaign to raise money to put out their album (because, shockingly, they’re not signed to a label… though I don’t know if this is intentional or not. I’ll find out and update!).
Their album was released on Feb. 12 and they had a special show for those kickstarter supports so we got to go see them play in a small record store. The next day they had their album release show and we went to see them again, but this time in their full glory, and OMG was it incredible. Their music just moves through my body.
I can’t believe February is over. It felt really fast, didn’t it?! Well I hope you read more romance books than I did. Keep an eye out for my update this coming weekend.
If you haven’t officially signed up for the challenge, be sure to do so first HERE. If not, your entries will not count toward the giveaway. I know, right. Mean mom!
If you have February posts or reviews make sure you post your links in the February Link-up, which closes on Mar. 5th!
Monthly Link-Up And Giveaway Details:
Your thoughts on each book you read must be posted somewhere, like your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, YouTube, Tumblr, etc., in order for it to count towards this challenge. Ratings on Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, etc. will also work.
Monthly link-up posts will go live the first day of each month so you can add your links throughout the month as your posts go up. Each linky will remain open five days into each new month to allow you some time to get all your posts linked up!
In order for us to tell what you’re linking to on the monthly linky, the format for the links you enter need to be as follows:
UPDATE POST @ your name/blog name.
REVIEW: [BOOK TITLE] @ your name/blog name.
MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
Each month we’ll choose a lucky winner from that month’s linky to win a Contemporary Romance novel of their choice (up to US$10).
Each link you enter in that month’s linky will count as one entry into the giveaway.
Challenge and Giveaways are open internationally. (As long as The Book Depository ships to your country, you are eligible for a prize.)
Each monthly link-up post will include a Contemporary Romance topic for you to participate in if you’d like.
Monthly Topic posts can go up anytime in the specified month. Link them up as follows: MONTHLY TOPIC @ your name/blog name.
These posts will also earn you an entry in the monthly giveaway as long as you link back to them.
When Nalia arrives in Morocco to fulfil Malek's third and final wish she's not expecting it to be easy. Though Nalia is free from the shackles that once bound her to Malek as his slave, she's in more danger than ever before.
Meanwhile, Malek's past returns with a vengeance as he confronts the darkness within himself, and Raif must decide what's more important: his love for Nalia, or his devotion to the cause of Arjinnan freedom.
Set upon by powerful forces that threaten to break her, Nalia encounters unexpected allies and discovers that her survival depends on the very things she thought made her weak. From the souks of Marrakech to the dunes of the Sahara, The Arabian Nights come to life in this dazzling second installment of the Dark Passage Cycle.
Happy March 1st, friends! I’m so happy to be taking part in Heather Demetrios’s blog tour for BLOOD PASSAGE today!
Ten Random Facts About BLOOD PASSAGE
1. It takes place in Morocco.
2. I travelled to Morocco to do research – I slept in the Sahara, went to the souks—all of it.
3. Some of this book takes places in a cave and I checked a gorgeous one in Virginia called Lorraine Cavern.
4. This was the book I was the most scared to write. I didn’t want it to be a boring middle book. I’m really proud of it.
5. When I was in Morocco, my driver told me stories about the jinn, which are a big part of Islamic culture.
6. I have two rings with an eight-pointed star, just like Solomon’s Sigil in the book.
7. The cover for the series changed at the last minute, so Blood Passage has a different cover and came out five months later than it was scheduled to.
8. A lot of the lore comes from an amazing book that has helped me so much with the series: Legends of the Fire Spirits, which has jinn mythology from around the world.
9. I’ll be launching the book with Danielle Paige at Books of Wonder in Manhattan– her last book in the Dorothy Must Die series comes out just a few weeks after Blood Passage.
10. When writing the book, I burned Moroccan amber oil and listened to a lot of Ravi and Anoushka Shankar’s music.
When she’s not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real. Her other novels include Exquisite Captive, the first in the Dark Caravan Cycle fantasy series, and I’ll Meet You There. She is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for underserved youth.
So one of my favorite genres of music is indie pop and so I turn to the college music radio station for new finds. This band and song is an example of one of those finds. Alvvays (pronounced Always) is from Toronto and are considered indie pop but also jangle pop. Wiki tells us, “Jangle pop is a genre of alternative rock from the early-to-mid-1980s that “marked a return to the chiming or jangly guitars and pop melodies of the ’60s”” I love that type of sound, so you can see why I came to love this song.
Manhattan has many secrets. Some are older than the city itself.
The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone—just the way she likes it. She doesn't believe in friends, and she doesn't speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous.
In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago—when her name was Artemis.
"The Immortals is a lively re-imagining of classical mythology with an engaging premise, a page-turning plot, and an eye for the arresting and uncanny in contemporary urban life." ―Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches
"Brodsky's writing has claws...They sink in with the first word and don't let go until you are finished with the book." ―Darynda Jones, New York Times bestselling author
"Irresistible...a page-turner that deftly weaves action, romance, and a dash of intellectual heft into one seamless whole." ―Dustin Thomason, New York Times bestselling author
"Plays with more modern mythology, employing New York's own secret places and storied history to great effect. This intelligent, provocative fantasy breathes exciting new life into old, familiar tales." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Hello, friends!! Today I’ve partnered with Orbit Books to offer this super cool giveaway of a book I’m really looking forward to reading!
Jordanna Max Brodsky hails from Virginia, where she spent four years at a science and technology high school pretending it was a theater conservatory. She holds a degree in History and Literature from Harvard University. When she’s not wandering the forests of Maine, she lives in Manhattan with her husband. She often sees goddesses in Central Park and wishes she were one.
The legacy of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continues in a spin-off series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author…
Paradise, blooded daughter of the king’s First Advisor, is ready to break free from the restrictive life of an aristocratic female. Her strategy? Join the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training center program and learn to fight for herself, think for herself…be herself. It’s a good plan, until everything goes wrong. The schooling is unfathomably difficult, the other recruits feel more like enemies than allies, and it’s very clear that the Brother in charge, Butch O’Neal, a.k.a. the Dhestroyer, is having serious problems in his own life.
And that’s before she falls in love with a fellow classmate. Craeg, a common civilian, is nothing her father would ever want for her, but everything she could ask for in a male. As an act of violence threatens to tear apart the entire program, and the erotic pull between them grows irresistible, Paradise is tested in ways she never anticipated—and left wondering whether she’s strong enough to claim her own power…on the field, and off.
I was so excited when I found out J.R. Ward was writing a spin-off series that would feature a new cast of BDB trainees AS WELL AS THE ORIGINAL BROTHERS. Here’s her exact description of this spin-off:
“the BDB training center is reopened to a new cast of recruits, and THE ORIGINAL BROTHERS teach these FNUGs wassup. In the process of the new recruits falling in love and getting into a sh*t ton of trouble, THE ORIGINAL BROTHERS could be shown with their shellans, their Brothers, their people in the mansion, in a more prominent way than I’m able to do in the BDB books.” (read her full post about it HERE)
Yup. And it was everything I wanted it to be. Ok, lets dive right in!
I love the way the Brothers weeded through all their program applicants. It was totally smart and it definitely worked in getting the best of the best. Paradise and Craeg are two of those new trainees. We’d briefly met them in The Shadows and I knew then that it was going to make for a winner of book. I was right! I loved that Paradise was the one actively pursuing him and he was really fighting it. Get it, girl! The tone was perfectly set too. They are young compared to all the other characters in BDB, and you really get that sense from them. It was first love and all that comes with it. It was also refreshing to not have this couple getting mated at the end of the book. I found myself wondering toward the beginning if they would, and kind of hoped they wouldn’t because they’re still young. And by young, I mean early to mid 20s. At least, that’s the age they came across to me.
Ok, so as far the originals, we get to revisit Butch and Marissa in this one. We also get a lot of the other brothers in the beginning with the trainee stuff. It was so much fun. Butch and Marissa had some issues to work through though, and that wasn’t always pretty. I felt Marissa had some really valid issues that Butch needed to face and move past and I was glad of the outcome. And since Butch was featured in this one, that meant that Vishous was alllll over this one too.
Man, I love me some V. He has some great moments in this book. :)
Blood Kiss is exactly how you spin-off a series. Fantastic job by JR Ward. I can’t wait to read more!
This riveting fantasy marks Melissa Marr’s return to the world of faery courts that made her Wicked Lovely series an international phenomenon.
Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal—she’s half human, half fae, and since the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humans and faeries. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of the fae courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir due to the actions of reckless humans.
Lily’s father has always shielded her, but when she’s sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, she’s delivered straight into the arms of a fae sleeper cell—the Black Diamonds. The Diamonds are planted in the human world as the sons and daughters of the most influential families and tasked with destroying it from within. Against her will, Lilywhite’s been chosen to join them...and even the romantic attention of the fae rock singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the familiar world she knows.
Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there. The combination of ethereal fae powers, tumultuous romance, and a bloodthirsty faery queen will have longtime fans and new readers at the edge of their seats.
Happy Monday, friends! I’m so happy to be kicking off the blog tour for Melissa Marr’s Seven Black Diamonds! Below is an excerpt from the book, where you’ll find the first scavenger hunt clue in bold red. Each scavenger hunt stop will have a clue so make sure you keep them somewhere safe!
Seven Black Diamonds By Melissa Marr
“A dead baby. A score of slaughtered sailors. The truth of what started the war was a matter of which side you were on and how you spun the story. In her grief, the queen wept seven tears into the sea, one for each of her brightest diamonds, and then she waited” (The Cost Of Secrets by Iana Abernathy)
Chapter 1: EILIDH
“You were created to serve.” The Queen of Blood and Rage sat on a throne inside her small throne room. The throne in this room was nothing more than wood and vine. It flowered at her will, but the blooms were absent today. The queen herself needed no ornamentation to evoke terror. Her eyes did that without any seeming effort from her. Today, she was worse that usual as she’d been preparing to spar when the Sleepers were brought before her. Her hair was bound back in a tight braid. Her hands were gloved, and she wore armor the color of battle-blackened blood.
Behind her on the wall were an assortment of sharpened blades, swords as well as axes and daggers. In front of her, kneeling on the bone-white floor, were five of her Sleepers, half-fae, half-humans who were created to serve as soldiers in her war on humanity. At the queen’s either side were her two living children, her Unseelie son Rhys and Eilidh, the queen’s daughter with the king of Seelie court.
No one else was in the room. The usually crowded chamber seemed almost cavernous with so few people present. Unlike many meetings, this one was secret. Neither of the courts knew of the queen’s Sleepers.
Eilidh wished she didn’t know either—especially when the girl kneeling in front of her mother said, “I’m not a murderer.”
“Truly,” the queen murmured.
Anyone who lived in the Hidden Lands would recognize that tone. Eilidh suppressed a wince. She was the queen’s heir, and whether or not she wanted to be the next in line to the Hidden Throne, Eilidh had a duty. She would stand in this small room with her mother and brother. She would witness the proceedings with an emotionless mien.
“I understand that we were born to serve your cause,” the girl said. “We all do.”
The five Sleepers behind her said nothing.
“We will not kill for you though,” the girl said. She was still on her knees, but her voice was strong, echoing slightly in the queen’s private throne room, despite the obvious danger in disobeying the Queen of Blood and Rage. The other five Sleepers remained silent. At least one of them looked as foolishly brave as this half-fae girl who was facing the Queen.
Their silence condemned them.
Endellion ruled both the Seelie and Unseelie courts, and even those fae-blood who lived outside the Hidden Lands. Possession of any fae blood was enough to be declared her subject—by decree of both fae and human law.
“Stand,” the queen commanded.
“You need to understand . . . I was raised as a human. We all were. You can’t expect us just to murder them. It’s—”
“Them or us.” The queen spoke over her as she descended from her throne.
“I’m both,” the girl argued as she came to her feet. “My mother is human. There is no them or us for the Sleepers. Can’t you see that?”
The queen glanced at Rhys, her gaze conveying the order.
When Rhys walked toward the girl, Eilidh stayed beside the queen’s throne. Protocol was a part of life in the Hidden Lands, even in the tiny private room where there would be no living witnesses beyond the royal family. Eilidh’s role as heir was to observe the proceedings, to learn, to see what a queen must do for her subjects.
The girl stood, but she did not move.
Rhys could’ve made her. He was the queen’s most trusted guard and truest servant. If she wanted him to move the young half-fae, half-human girl, he would do so, but the queen held up her hand.
She stepped down and walked over to face the girl. “Do you speak for your whole team?”
Eilidh wanted to tell the girl, to tell all of them, to stop what was about to happen. Instead, she forced herself to watch, knowing that these moments were what defined a future queen. She didn’t ever want to take the Hidden Throne, but as she had so many times already, Eilidh swore to herself that she would be a different sort of ruler than her mother.
The girl lifted her head to meet the queen’s eyes. “I do. We are a unit, but not the terrorists you’ve tried to make us become.”
None of the other five people dissented when the queen’s gaze drifted over them. “So you all choose to be human rather than fae? So be it.”
In the next moment, a scream began and ended. One of the queen’s various blades sliced across the girl’s throat. Between one breath and the next, she was dead.
Eilidh didn’t let her wince show on her face. Showing her feelings was not something she was allowed to do, even when the witnesses would be soon dead. Weakness wasn’t ever acceptable.
Looking up from the body at her feet, the queen ordered, “Mind Eilidh’s safety.”
Rhys stepped closer to the heir of the Hidden throne, as their mother glanced at the rest of the group.
In mere minutes, they were dead. They stood no chance against the queen. She had held the Unseelie throne for centuries and had bloodied her blade with every fighter who came close to being her equal. Even the Seelie King himself wasn’t so foolish as to raise a blade to her. Centuries ago, when she walked into his court, dripping with the blood of his best fighters, and announced that they would mate and unify their courts, he simply acquiesced.
Standing in the room with her children, the floor strewn with bodies, Endellion sighed. “I need to speak to the other handlers. Most of the Sleeper cells are not performing as they need to be.” Her longsword was pointed at the floor; blood dripped from the fae-wrought steel to the stone floor. The queen herself wasn’t even winded. She sighed and said, “My jewels are the only Sleepers that haven’t needed to be eliminated . . . yet.”
“Why?” Eilidh asked before she could stop herself.
Her mother smiled. “Because they were created with a different level of attention.”
Eilidh had questions, but she didn’t bother asking. The queen shared only what she thought necessary. That was the privilege of ruling. Eilidh bowed her head and held her silence.
Rhys drew their mother’s attention then. “Shall I clean this or do you still want to spar?”
Endellion looked briefly at him and then back to her heir. “Eilidh will tend this. You will spar with me. Come”
And then she walked away with no other word, leaving Eilidh with five dead bodies.
Melissa Marr is the author of the bestselling Wicked Lovely series as well as the adult fantasy novels Graveminder and The Arrivals. When not writing, editing, or traveling, Melissa is buried under a plethora of books, dogs, and children in Virginia or online at www.melissa-marr.com.
Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.
Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.
iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.
Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...
So I finally made time and caught up with my favorite vampires via audiobook. The book is massive, so I thought this would be a faster way since I can listen while working. Best. Decision. Ever! I just flew through this one! And I think it’s because I know these characters and this world so well, that I can speed up the narration and not miss a beat. Other audiobooks I have to listen more closely to miss anything and take me a while to get through because the narration is set to normal speed. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s ok. lol Just go with it!
I’ll be the first to admit that Trez and iAm have never really interested me all that much. I mean, sure, for most of the series they were just these twins who were Rev’s muscle. After this book, I’m a fan of the twins! I loved that J.R. Ward was able to give these two guys their own story in one book, although I’m not sure that both of their stories are completely resolved with a neat little bow. I wonder if we’ll see more on that later.
While the Bastards and Assail are part of this overall journey, they’re not as heavily featured toward the end of the book. I did love seeing so much of Rhage though! And it has me wondering what the heck is going on there. Something is definitely up, so bring on The Beast!
Jim Frangione has become the voice of The Brotherhood for me. I’ve listened to all the books on audio (when I reread them) and I can’t imagine anyone else doing this series reading ever.
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
I wanted to reread The Young Elites before diving into The Rose Society, so I checked out the audiobook from my library. It was really great to revisit this story knowing everything that happens because you see everything in such a different light.
Adelina is not a hero in this book. Of course, we don’t know that right off the bat because you think this will go the normal route: girl starts out iffy; girl makes friends; girl starts to see the good in her; girl saves the day and is the hero. This is so not that story. This is also the reason I freaking love Marie Lu. I LOVE YOU, MARIE LU!
If you’ve read Marie’s Legend series you know she doesn’t shy away from digging into the dark places. She doesn’t take it easy on the reader. We go through an emotional journey when reading her books. She definitely took it there with The Young Elites. Not only is the main character not the good guy, but I really don’t know who really is. These are such complex characters! They have some good, but they totally have bad in them too. I really appreciated them and their complexities.
This is why you can’t really hate Adelina. The girl, like most villains, had been bred to see the worst in herself since she was a child. Her self esteem is so shot, she doesn’t trust anyone or anything. She really tried though and this is why instead of dislike I only felt heartbroken for her.
I feel I’m ready to see what The Rose Society will bring. I’m not hoping for a happy ending, but I’m kind of hoping a certain character returns, even if it’s from the deepest underworld. ;)
This audiobook was really fantastic. You have two narrators who really brought these characters to life for me. It was easy to follow along, though since it was a reread I can’t really attest how it would have been if it hadn’t been. I think it probably is just as easy for first time listeners too. Two thumbs up!
About Marie Lu
I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. I like food, fighter jets, afternoon tea, happy people, electronics, the interwebz, cupcakes, pianos, bright colors, rain, Christmas lights, sketches, animation, dogs, farmers’ markets, video games, and of course, books. I suck at working out. I also get lost very easily, but am a halfway decent driver. At least, I like to think so. :)
I left Beijing for the States in 1989 and went off to college at the University of Southern California. California weather sweet-talked me into sticking around, so I’m currently in Pasadena with my boyfriend, two Pembroke Welsh Corgis, and a chihuahua mix. In my past life, I was an art director in the video game industry, but now I write full-time.
You guys should know by now that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Me Before You, and I’m SO EXCITED for the movie! Seriously, June 3rd can’t get here fast enough. If you don’t know what I’m talking about (c’mon where have you been!?), see below…
Based on the critically acclaimed, bestselling novel by Jojo Moyes, New Line Cinema’s and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ Me Before You stars Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games series), under the direction of Thea Sharrock, making her feature film directorial debut.
Oftentimes you find love where you least expect it. Sometimes it takes you where you never expected to go…
Louisa “Lou” Clark (Clarke) lives in a quaint town in the English countryside. With no clear direction in her life, the quirky and creative 26-year-old goes from one job to the next in order to help her tight-knit family make ends meet. Her normally cheery outlook is put to the test, however, when she faces her newest career challenge. Taking a job at the local “castle,” she becomes caregiver and companion to Will Traynor (Claflin), a wealthy young banker who became wheelchair bound in an accident two years prior, and whose whole world changed dramatically in the blink of an eye. No longer the adventurous soul he once was, the now cynical Will has all but given up. That is until Lou determines to show him that life is worth living. Embarking together on a series of adventures, both Lou and Will get more than they bargained for, and find their lives—and hearts—changing in ways neither one could have imagined.
The film also stars Charles Dance (The Imitation Game), Jenna Coleman (Dr. Who), Matthew Lewis (the Harry Potter films), Vanessa Kirby (About Time), Stephen Peacocke (Hercules), Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) and Oscar nominee Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs, Tumbleweeds).
Sharrock directs from a screenplay by Jojo Moyes and Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber (The Fault in Our Stars), based on the book by Moyes. The film is being produced by Karen Rosenfelt (The Twilight Saga films, upcoming Max) and Alison Owen (Saving Mr. Banks, upcoming Suffragette), and executive produced by Sue Baden-Powell (Elysium, upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies).
The behind-the-scenes creative team includes Oscar-nominated director of photography Remi Adefarasin (Elizabeth), production designer Andrew McAlpine (An Education), editor John Wilson (Downton Abbey) and costume designer Jill Taylor (My Week with Marilyn).
Me Before You is a presentation of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Set for release on June 3, 2016, it will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
This film has been rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some suggestive material.
Theatrical Premiere: June 03, 2016
And OMG THE TRAILER!
So now is the perfect time to read the books and the lovely people at Penguin Random House have offered a copy of each to one lucky winner! Good luck!