A Mercy by Toni Morrison


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Synopsis

In the 1680s the slave trade in the Americas is still in its infancy. Jacob Vaark is an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, with a small holding in the harsh North. Despite his distaste for dealing in “flesh,” he takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in Catholic Maryland. 
This is Florens, who can read and write and might be useful on his farm. Rejected by her mother, Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master’s house, and later from the handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved, who comes riding into their lives.
A Mercy reveals what lies beneath the surface of slavery. But at its heart, like Beloved, it is the ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother and a daughter – a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment.

My Thoughts 

This is a review I’ve been meaning to write since like last year. Every time I sit down to write it and think back to this amazing cast of characters my heart breaks and I end up crying. Which means I don’t end up writing a review. 
I picked up this book not because I was Genuinely interested in it, but because I was taken a Major Authors class and Toni Morrison was the author that was studied. That semester I went through many of Morrison’s works and when I tell you that she is an amazingly talented author who deserves all the awards, hype, and praise; truly, positively, mean it.
A common theme in most, if not all of Morrison, focuses on Motherhood. A Mercy is one of those books. A Mercy follows a cast of characters in the 1680s, a period in time in which slavery is in the beginning stages. This story follows, Jacob Vaark and his wife Rebekka, Lina a Native American, Sorrow who is a mentally unstable child (she’s like 11/12), and Florens an African who has never been enslaved.
Now obviously I can’t get too deep and specific and tell you my absolute exact feelings about this book because I’ll spoil it. And trust me, all my feelings about this book led to a 15 page, in-depth analysis about Florens, motherhood, & slavery. So forgive me if things are kind of vague.
The plot for A Mercy is non-linear so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where the plot starts. This setup is one that not everybody would like but personally, I really enjoyed. To me, it added so much to the story to see who these characters were before they came to the farm, and also what made them come to the farm, but also we got to see what motivates their actions and their personalities. Things hop around, and though I enjoyed and felt it added to the overall story, I will admit that can get confusing.
This book though it focuses on each character, and their part in this changing world, A Mercy, is Florens’ story. Florens is a complicated, and frustrating character. There are times in the book where you just want to shake her and make her open her eyes, or just actually listen. On top of being complicated and frustrating, she is jealous and obsessive. She isn’t a character you can root for, you just have to listen as she tells her story, and she does.
Florens was abandoned by her mother, and the trauma from this abandonment is probably the reason for her character flaws. I say probably because I have a different take, but I can’t tell ya because…spoilers. Morrison wrote Florens in such a way that will lead to many different interpretations, actually it how she wrote all of the characters. The characters are fleshed out, and we learn so much about their life, but there are still something’s that are left for the reader to interpret for themselves.
My favorite character had to be Sorrow. When I tell that this child suffered, I mean it. How she was able to survive for so long was because of the women on that farm. I can’t say much more than, the Sorrow you first meet is not the one who’ll you see at the end. What Toni Morrison did with this character was just so freaking beautiful!
The writing is gorgeous, but admittedly it can get a little confusing. The characters are amazing, and well fleshed out. The plot is engaging, heartbreaking, and relatable. And as I said before, this is truly an exploration of motherhood, set in such a hopeless time period.
5 stars
sam
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The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken


The Darkest Legacy (The Darkest Minds, #4)The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken

Published July 31st 2018 by Disney-Hyperion

Synopsis

Five years after the destruction of the so-called rehabilitation camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, seventeen-year-old Suzume “Zu” Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson for the interim government, fighting for the rights of Psi kids against a growing tide of misinformation and prejudice. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more in order to stay alive.

Determined to clear her name, Zu finds herself in an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, two mysterious Psi who could either help her prove her innocence or betray her before she gets the chance. But as they travel in search of safety and answers, and Zu grows closer to the people she knows she shouldn’t trust, they uncover even darker things roiling beneath the veneer of the country’s recovery. With her future-and the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her powerful voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a harrowing story of resilience, resistance, and reckoning that will thrill loyal fans and new readers alike.

My Thoughts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“We’ve inherited the darkest legacy, but they don’t know that we’ve learned how to thrive in shadows and create our own light.”

If you read The Darkest Minds trilogy, and loved it, then you HAVE to pick up this book! I cannot stress that enough!

This book takes place five years after the third book in the series and is told from Zu’s point of view. She is traveling with the government and being the spokesperson for the Psi trying to put rules and laws in place to make it better for everyone to co-exist together instead of having the camps and the children under lock up. She is reading from the teleprompter at an event when all hell breaks loose and she has to defend herself and go on the run all over again.

I love getting the POV from Zu. She was one of my favorite characters from the Trilogy but she has grown so much from the little girl wearing the gloves whom doesn’t speak until now. We have some new characters and we get to see some of our old favorites too! Vida is just as snarky as ever…maybe more so! Chubbs seemed to have changed a lot and he seems even more level headed than he was five years ago..if you can believe that! Liam is the same old Liam and we only get a small glimpse of Ruby.

This book was full of non-stop action! Literally from the beginning until the very end. You never knew what was around the next corner. And every time they think that they caught a break, life would throw them another lemon!

The ending was a little open-ended and I am so hoping that maybe…pretty please….we will get some more reading material with our favorite characters in the future?

Thank you to Bookish First for the review copy!

View all my reviews

5 stars

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The Greatest Showman Tag


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I was tagged by the lovely Andie from Andrea’s Nirvana. She actually is the awesome creator of this tag. I have mentioned her before and I cannot stress enough how awesome her blog is and the fact that you guys should need to go on over and check it out!

Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and provide a link to their post!
  • Maaaybe include a link to the creator’s post, which is this one right here.
  • Include the logo somewhere in the post.
  • Find a book/anime/movie/manga/K-Drama/TV show or anything else that fits the prompts below.
  • Cliche rule here, but have fun!
  • Tag 5 to 10 people (or more, if you’re feeling like it, no biggie).

The Questions

The Greatest Show | In Which The Intro Is Amazing

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This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston sucked me in from the very beginning. This is one of the best psychological/mystery/suspense books that I have ever read. The entire book was read in one sitting because I could not put it down.

A Million Dreams | In Which Things Get A Little Too Dragged

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Heir Of Fire by Sarah J Maas dragged on for me, for like a month! It took me FOREVER to finish this book. So many times, I had wanted to put it down but just kept picking it up and plowing through it. I am glad that I did and realize how much this book was needed in the series of stories but…oh man!

Come Alive | In Which There’s A Nice Plot Twist

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All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill was published in 2013 and it was my favorite book of the year! I so wanted it to be a series but it is still just a stand a lone. The whole book seemed like it was one gigantic plot twist!

The Other Side | In Which A Villain Turns Into A Good Guy or Vice Versa

 

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Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han has poor sweet Mary whom changes so much from the innocent girl in the first book to a complete psycho by the third. This was a really tough question for me and I really had to dig deep!

Never Enough | In Which You Hate The Love Triangle

 

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The Fate Series by Heather Lyons has a major love triangle……with twin brothers! The books are extremely long and I have only read the first two out of four. (I have to get on that soon!) I do really enjoy the series but every time we think our little leading lady is going to choose whom she wants to be with, something happens and she becomes not sure again. The love is exhausting!

This Is Me | In Which Representation Is Amazing

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The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins was pretty diverse. I must admit that I read from the premise of a story and I honestly have not read too many diverse books. I should probably start changing that!

Rewrite The Stars | In Which It’s ‘Us Against The World’ [Not Necessarily Romantic]

The Darkest Minds Trilogy by Alexandra Bracken is definitely a story where it is the kids against the world. They really struggle throughout the whole series to make a better living situation for themselves and fight to actually survive.

Tightrope | In Which The Love Triangle Took A Wrong Turn

 

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The Van Winkle Project Series, Book Three Relegation by Karri Thompson| The romance was okay but I was not a fan of how it ended up. The book is about cloning and characters are changed and cloned which makes it for an interesting read but does not end exactly how I had hoped it would.

From Now On | In Which The Main Character Only Gets Their Stuff Together In The End

 

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Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire is the perfect book for this prompt. These characters took the whole entire book to get their act together. Honestly, there are a lot of books that I think could fall into this category:-)

To sum up all of the prompts, here goes [just so y’all can copy and paste them more easily]:

  • The Greatest Show | In Which The Intro Is Amazing
  • A Million Dreams | In Which Things Get A Little Too Dragged
  • Come Alive | In Which There’s A Nice Plot Twist
  • The Other Side | In Which A Villain Turns Into A Good Guy or Vice Versa
  • Never Enough | In Which You Hate The Love Triangle
  • This Is Me | In Which Representation Is Amazing
  • Rewrite The Stars | In Which It’s ‘Us Against The World’ [Not Necessarily Romantic]
  • Tightrope | In Which The Love Triangle Took A Wrong Turn
  • From Now On | In Which The Main Character Only Gets Their Stuff Together In The End

 

And the nominees are…

Marta|Kayla|Danielle|Nicole|Amanda & Antonia|Norees|Shanah|Holly|Sahi|Jenn|Leslie|YOU!

 

So there you have it folks! Can you believe that I have never even seen The Greatest Showman?? Go on over and visit Andie on her blog! Say “hey”! And no pressure, if anyone whom I tagged cannot get to it this time, maybe next time!

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Unboxing for Literary Book Gifts w/Promo Code!


Sorry guys, it has been A LONG TIME since I have done a video and after uploading, I realized that my head was cut off but you can still see my awesome items that I received from Literary Book Gifts.

I also have a coupon code to save 20% on your ENTIRE order for you to use! No expiration, no cap on the amount and the code can be used multiple times.

Use NIGHTLYREADING20 to save your 20%!

 

Thank you to Melissa for contacting me to promote her business!

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The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur


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Synopsis: 

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

My Thoughts:

Okay, I decided to pick up this book even though I was supremely disappointed by her debut collection of poems, Milk & Honey. What really pushed me to go forward and read it though was because I was told that this collection is better, people who disliked her first collection has deemed to this one leaps and bounds better. I wanted to see if I agreed with this assessment, but also I’m a sucker for poetry. 

This collection similar to her last is divided Into sections: Wilting, Falling, Rooting, Rising, Blooming. 

In the first section, Wilting was pretty good, but nothing that I could say was particularly beautiful or poignant, though all were very relatable. This section deals with the heartbreak after a breakup, jealously, and pining. There were a few, longer poems in this section, one I really enjoyed called, “What love looks like” highly recommend it, kept my attention, found it so relatable. The other longer poems did not keep my attention, they dragged on and were repetitive. Overall, this section was good, not great. 

The second section, Falling, focuses on depression, self image, loss, self love/hate. “Home” is a stand out in this section, this heartbreaking poem of loss and the long hard journey to reclaim what was taken. This poem in heartbreaking, and vulnerable and I applaud Kaur for having the strength to share this. This section as a whole is quite beautiful, I find myself connecting with this section so much because Kaur is so vulnerable. I connected with it much more, which made this section way more enjoyable than the first. Also, there wasn’t much repetition, which is great. 

Rooting, focuses immigration, finding yourself, her mother, and family. This section was poignant from the very first poem. Every single poem in this section was beautiful, every single one. 

Rising, focuses on love. I found this section to be the weakest in the book. Nothing spectacular, and I was bored. 

Blooming, the final section kind of mash up of everything that came before, but focusing more on self discovery. Finally coming into your own, blooming. This were I completely lost interest. 

Overall, Rupi Kaur just isn’t for me. While this collection was much much better, by the end of it I felt the same I did after reading Milk & Honey: disappointment. 

 

2 stars

sam

The Wedding From Hell Part 3, Exclusive Excerpt of Consumed


the-wedding-from-hell-part-3-exclusive-excerpt-of-consumed-9781982105389_hr.jpgThe Wedding from Hell Part 3: Exclusive Excerpt of Consumed

by J. R. Ward

Available: August 28, 2018

Gallery Books | E-book Original

ISBN: 9781982105389 | Free

The Wedding from Hell, Part 3: Exclusive Excerpt of Consumed is the final part of J.R. Ward’s The Wedding From Hell ebook serialization. Don’t miss this exclusive teaser to her upcoming standalone romantic suspense, CONSUMED (available in October 2, 2018). See why “Consumed takes it to a whole new level” (Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author).

About the Book:

From the creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm. Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed… By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer. Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse blaze changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self. Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again—until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze. Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the commonwealth, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

About the Author:

J.R. Ward is the author of more than thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There are more than fifteen million copies of her novels in print

worldwide, and they have been published in twenty-six different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.

Purchase Link: http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Wedding-from-Hell-Part-3-Exclusive-Excerpt-of-Consumed/J-R-Ward/9781982105389

Excerpt:

Harbor Street and Eighteenth Avenue

Old Downtown, New Brunswick, Massachusetts

Box alarm. One-niner-four-seven. Two engines and a ladder from the 499, responding.

Or, put another way, Anne Ashburn’s Friday night date had showed up on time and was taking her to a show. Granted, “on time” was the precise moment she had sat down for a meal at the stationhouse with her crew, and the “show” was a warehouse fire they were going to have to chorus-line for. But if you judged the health of a relationship on its constancy and whether it brought purpose and meaning to your life?

Then this firefighting gig was the best damn partner a woman could ask for.

As Engine Co. 17 turned the corner onto Harbor with siren and lights going, Anne glanced around the shallow seating area of the apparatus. There were four jump seats behind the cab, two forward- facing, two rear-, the pairs separated by an aisle of gear. Emilio “Amy” Chavez and Patrick “Duff” Duffy were on one side. She and Daniel “Dannyboy” Maguire were on the other. Up in front, Deshaun “Doc” Lewis, the engineer, was behind the wheel, and Captain Christopher “Chip” Baker, the incident commander, was shotgun.

Her nickname was “Sister.” Which was what happened when you were the sibling of the great Fire Chief Thomas Ashburn Jr., and the daughter of the revered—falsely as it turned out— Thomas Ashburn, Sr.

Not everybody called her that, though.

She focused on Danny. He was staring out the open window, the cold November wind blowing his black hair back, his exhausted blue eyes focused on nothing. In their bulky turnouts, their knees brushed every time the engine bumped over sewer access panels, potholes, manholes, intersections.

Okay, okay, she wanted to say to fate. I know he’s there. You don’t have to keep reminding me.

The hardheaded bastard was a lot of things, most of which carried terms you couldn’t use around your grandmother, but he knew she hated the “Sister” thing, so to him, she was Ashburn.

He’d also called her Anne—once. Late at night about three weeks ago.

Yes, they had been naked at the time. Oh, God . . . had they finally done that?

“I’m gonna beat you at pong,” he said without looking at her. “Soon as we get back.”

“No chance.” She hated that he knew she’d been staring at him. “All talk, Dannyboy.”

“Fine.” He turned to face her. “I’ll let you win, how about that?”

His smile was slow, knowing, evil. And her temper answered the phone on the first ring.

“The hell you will.” Anne leaned forward. “I won’t play with you if you cheat.”

“Even if it benefits you?”

“That’s not winning.”

“Huh. Well, you’ll have to explain to me the ins and outs of it when we’re back at the house. While I’m beating you.”

Anne shook her head and glared out the open window.

The first tap on her leg she ascribed to a bump in the road.

The second, third, and fourth were obviously—

She looked back at Danny. “Stop it.”

“What?”

“Are you twelve?” As he started to smile, she knew exactly where his mind had gone. “Not inches. Age.”

“I’m pretty sure I peak more like at sixteen.” He lowered his voice. “What do you think?”

Between the sirens and the open windows, no one else could hear them—and Danny never pulled the double entendre if there was a risk of that. But yes, Anne now knew intimately all of his heavily muscled and tattooed anatomy. Granted, it had been only that once.

Then again, unforgettable only had to happen one time.

“I think you’re out of your mind,” she muttered.

And then they were at the scene. The old 1900s-era warehouse was a shell of its former useful self, sixty-five thousand square feet of broken glass panes, rotting beams, and blown-off roof panels. The outer walls were brick, but based on the age, the floors and any room dividers inside were going to be wood. The blaze was in the northeast corner on the second floor, billowing smoke wafting up into the forty-degree night air before being carried away by a southerly wind.

As Anne’s boots hit the ground, she pulled the top half of her turnouts closed. Her ponytail was up high on the back of her head, and she stripped out the band, reorganized the shoulder length, and cranked things tight at her nape. The brown was still streaked with blond from the summer, but she needed to get it trimmed—so all that lightness was on the chopping block.

Of course, if she were a woman “who took care of herself,” she’d get it highlighted through the winter months. Or so her mother liked to tell her. But who the hell had time for that?

“Sister, you sweep the place with Amy for addicts,” Captain Baker commanded. “Stay away from that corner. Danny and Duff, run those lines!”

As Captain Baker continued to bark orders out, she turned away. She had her assignment. Until she completed it, or there was an insurmountable obstacle or change of order, she was required to execute that directive and no other.

“Be safe in there, Ashburn.”

The words were soft and low, meant for her ears alone. And as she glanced over her shoulder, Danny’s Irish eyes were not smiling.

A ripple of premonition made her rub the back of her neck. “Yeah, you, too, Maguire.”

“Piece’a cake. We’ll be back at pong before ten.” They walked away from each other at the same time, Danny going around to the stacks of hoses in the back, her linking up with Chavez…

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Exclusive Excerpt of Embolden by Syrie & Ryan James


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Embolden by Syrie & Ryan James

Expected publication: October 30th 2018

Internationally bestselling author Syrie James and her son Ryan M. James bring their trademark drama, humor, action, romance, and suspense to Embolden, the second book in this critically acclaimed series.

The world is trying to tear them apart.
Will they stand together and fight back?

After a season of psychic visions and super-powered drama, Claire Brennan and her angel-gone-AWOL boyfriend Alec MacKenzie can finally be together. Under the protection of Claire’s grandmother, they are trying to lead a normal life, going to high school at Emerson Academy and hanging out with their friends.

But jealous teenagers, vengeful enemies, the city’s new Watcher, and even the school play threaten to break them apart. Not to mention Claire’s surprising second power, which could sabotage the trust of everyone she holds dear. And just when they need to stick together, they finally get a lead on where Claire’s missing father might be.

The threats, which come not only from without but also from within, will test the strength of Alec and Claire’s relationship. Is the love they share enough to keep them safe? If they want to stay together … can they learn to fight together?

Pre-order your copy HERE!

EMBOLDEN

By Syrie James and Ryan M. James

Excerpt: Chapter Six

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“I wish Brian would get his head out of his ass.” Claire was standing with Alec by his vintage car in the junior parking lot, his arms around her.

“Is that what you really want? The two of them together?”

“She’s my best friend. I want her to have what she wants.”

“If it’s right, it’ll happen.”

“Since when did you become Dr. Phil?”

Alec smiled into her eyes. “I’m not. But I’m learning. Slowly.” He kissed her. Also slowly.

It was a lovely kiss. As always, Claire’s heart fluttered. When the kiss ended, she gallantly opened the door to his Mustang and waited until he was seated inside. “Drive safe.”

“You too. We’ll talk tonight.”

As Alec drove off, Claire crossed the lot to where her own car was parked, unable to hold back her smile. Having Helena in their lives had certainly come with some great benefits. Besides having her long-lost Grigori grandmother around all the time, which Claire loved, money was no longer a problem. Claire’s tuition was paid in full (no more stressing about her grades to keep a scholarship), and they’d moved into a luxury condo in Brentwood, just a five-minute drive from school. That meant a little extra sleep every morning, which Claire really appreciated after her late-night video chats with Alec.

And with Helena’s seemingly limitless bank account, Claire could at last have a car of her own, like everybody else at Emerson. But not just any car. It was a brand-new Acura hybrid with a garnet metallic finish, a top-notch sound system, and all the bells and whistles a girl could want.

Claire unlocked the door, heaved her backpack into the rear, and settled on the smooth leather seat behind the wheel. The space was so snug and the instrument panel so cool, it felt like she was in the cockpit of her own private airplane. The car—her car—made her feel grown-up, which was both exciting and intimidating.

As she stuck her key in the ignition, the sound of a man clearing his throat beside her was so startling, she shrieked. She turned her head to find a man sitting in the passenger seat. A man who had definitely not been there a second before.

“Holy shit!” Claire’s stomach jumped in fear as her hand moved to the door handle. “Get out of my car!”

“I’m sorry if I frightened you, Miss Brennan. I’m not going to hurt you. There’s no need for a fuss.”

Claire hesitated, some instinct making her think he was telling the truth. Maybe it was the man’s eyes: they weren’t menacing, but rather appraising, reassuring, and very, very tired.

She struggled to control the beating of her heart as she studied him. He was slender, with a long, smooth face augmented by a hint of a goatee, and everything about him was pale, from his white skin, to his blond hair, to those eyes, which were the gray of an overcast sky. He wore a white turtleneck with a beige blazer and washed-out jeans. His legs were so long that they looked cramped in her car.

“Damn right, there’s a need,” Claire said. “Who are you? What do you want? How did you get in here?”

“Locks aren’t a problem for me.”

That wasn’t exactly an answer to her questions. “You weren’t here when I got in the car.”

“Oh, but I was. I’ve been waiting for you for the past half hour.”

“That’s impossible.”

He gave her a small smile. Suddenly, all the color drained from his body, until it looked like he was made of ice, at which point he faded entirely from view.

Claire gasped, staring at the empty space where the man had been. He had totally, utterly vanished. Yet she sensed that he was still there. Definitely some Fallen witchcraft. “You’re one of them! Did Celeste send you?”

He reappeared. “No, child. I fight for the other side. I am the Watcher for this city.”

Claire nodded slowly. She remembered hearing Alec talk about the Grigori who watched over Los Angeles, policing its Fallen, and initiating newly awakened Nephilim. The one Vincent had temporarily replaced during the horrible events of last fall, when she had awakened. The authority figure Helena had to constantly check in with to confirm that Claire was walking the straight and narrow.

But far worse: the person most likely to discover Alec and ship him back to their Grigori brethren. When Claire spoke again, her voice was no more than a whisper. “You’re Zachariah.”

“So, you’ve heard of me.”

Claire’s heart pounded, but she just shrugged her shoulders, hoping to appear casual as she carefully chose her words. “Helena may have mentioned you once or twice.”

“I see.” Something buzzed in Zachariah’s pocket. He pulled out his cell phone and began texting as he spoke. “Please forgive my dramatic greeting, Miss Brennan, but as Emerson is a closed campus, I had little alternative.”

Claire studied him, aware that she had to keep this man on her side. “Am I in trouble?”

“Not at all. I’ve had you on my mind ever since I resumed my post, but this is the first time I’ve been able to fit you into my schedule. I’ve been meeting with Helena telepathically with regard to your progress, which is all positive. Well done.” He glanced at her. “But I thought it important that I meet you for myself, face-to-face.”

“Why? So you can see if my grandmother’s been telling the truth about me the past three months?”

Zachariah silently resumed texting, his expression betraying nothing.

I guess that answers that. Claire sighed. Clearly, he’d cornered her in her car so he could give her the third degree without Helena there to influence or protect her. “Okay. Great. We’ve met. Now what?”

He put his phone away and rubbed his eyes wearily. “Let’s take a little ride. I hope you don’t mind if I accompany you home?”

Claire’s jaw clenched. This was the last thing she wanted. A cold fear gripped her as she thought of all the times Alec had come over since Zachariah had returned to L.A. Thank God Zachariah had been too busy to worry about her until now. Otherwise, he could have been lurking (invisibly!) at school, in her old apartment, or the new condo. He would have recognized Alec on the spot and busted him. Good thing Alec hadn’t made plans to come over today. Aloud, she said, “Do I have a choice?”

“Not really.” Zachariah pinched the bridge of his nose and let out a long, exhausted breath, reminding Claire of the way her mom looked after working back-to-back open houses and carting clients around all weekend, hunting for homes they didn’t buy.

“All righty then.” Claire drove out of the parking lot, up the hill, and onto the busy Brentwood street, her palms sweaty as she gripped the wheel. Stealing a sideways glance at Zachariah, she sensed his confidence, which made her even more tense. His pleasant manner could just be a mask. After all, Vincent had seemed this polite the first time they met, and look what he turned out to be.

Both men had a lot of power. And people with power could never be trusted. She’d have to watch her words around Zachariah.

“So,” she commented after an awkward silence, struggling to keep things light, “how’s the Watcher thing going?”

The question seemed to amuse him. “Fine.”

“How does L.A. fit into the grand scheme? Is it one of the biggest hives of scum and villainy?”

“It ranks well behind Caracas and San Salvador, but it’s still a challenge.” His tone was straightforward, without a hint of irony. “The cell of Fallen in Los Angeles has a very powerful leader with a strong following. They keep me on my toes.”

“Yeah, I’ve met three of them,” Claire shot back. “They’re not my favorite people.”

Zachariah’s eyebrows lifted. “Oh really? Helena neglected to mention that. When did this happen?”

Damn, Claire thought. I never should have said that. “Um. Well. That’s because I never mentioned it to her,” Claire lied. “A few months ago, at the Homecoming dance, these three kids showed up who didn’t go to our school. They promised me protection and stuff from the Grigori, who they said wanted me dead. I told them to back off, but it really freaked me out that they knew I’m a—” Her cheeks flushed as her voice trailed off.

“You can say Halfblood, child. There’s no shame in it.”

“Tell that to your predecessor.”

“Vincent was … misguided. He should never have attacked you and your mother. His duty was to steer you toward the right path. A Watcher is only allowed to take drastic measures if there is no way to sway you from the Fallen’s influence.”

“You call it drastic measures, I call it attempted murder.” Claire would never forget that terrifying night, right after the Homecoming dance. “Vincent turned my living room into a Biblical wasteland, then tried to kill us.”

“So I heard. I’m still unclear as to how you were able to fight off someone as powerful as Vincent.”

Claire felt his eyes on her as she drove and wondered if he was fishing. Did he suspect that Alec had been there and saved her life? No, she decided. Zachariah had no reason to think Alec was in Los Angeles or that he even knew her.

“I have these psychic abilities,” Claire replied, hoping she sounded more nonchalant than she felt. “Or haven’t you heard?”

“Is your psychic power the only talent you used on him?”

Claire’s brow knotted. “Well. Yeah. Since it’s the only one I have.”

Zachariah nodded as if satisfied and said nothing further, just stared out the window as they entered the parking garage beneath her building. She led the way to the elevator, which whisked them to the third floor, her anxiety mounting in the awkward silence.

Claire unlocked her front door, but before pushing it all the way open, she called out, “Grandma! We have a visitor!”

The entryway opened onto a high-ceilinged, open living area with gleaming hardwood floors and fresh white walls hung with an eclectic assortment of delicate watercolor paintings. A sliding glass door, leading to a balcony, infused the room with light. A leather sofa and two overstuffed chairs were flanked by antique end tables topped with knickknacks that Helena had had shipped from her flat in London. The kitchen, immediately adjacent, was divided by a granite counter fronted by comfy stools, and a hallway led to three bedrooms beyond.

As Claire and her visitor walked in, she noticed a teapot and two teacups on the coffee table. Helena, sipping from her own cup by the fireplace, flashed a Martha Stewart smile.

“Hello, Zachariah. I’ve been expecting you.”

Thank you to Syrie & Ryan for the exclusive excerpt! I can’t wait to start this book!

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Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas


Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published September 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Synopsis

She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

 

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth…a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king’s assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight.

My Review

It took me entirely too long to finish this book. I could NOT get into it and normally, I would just DNF it but I continued to push myself to read this one and I am so glad that I did!

“Once upon a time,” she said to him, to the world, to herself, “in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom . . . very much.”

This is going to be short, sweet and to the point.

This book did not have as much action and it was kind of a book for all character’s internal struggles and learning how to deal with the aftermath of everything that has happened so far. We get to meet some new characters and I adore Rowan…just sayin!

“Their hands clasped between them, he whispered into her ear, “I claim you, too, Aelin Galathynius.”

There is also a war a brewing and our characters are trying to align their allies to prepare for the biggest fight of their lives.

Even though it took me forever to complete, I totally understand why this book was needed. Celaena had a lot to over come and she really needed to learn about her true nature and harness her powers. We also get some stories from her past and see through her eyes that fateful night that she lost her parents.

“As for Celaena,” he said again, “you do not have the right to wish she were not what she is. The only thing you have a right to do is decide whether you are her enemy or her friend.”

The ending was absolutely explosive and I was left having to lift my jaw up off the floor. I swear, all the action of the entire book came at the end and I am so glad that I powered through it!

“I wish you to become who you ­were born to be. To become queen.”

View all my reviews

4 stars

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Rewrite the Stars Release Blitz!


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REWRITE THE STARS
Julieann Dove
Rewrite the Stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Nerdy Bird Books
Publication Date: August 23, 2018
Falling for the wrong girl never felt so right.
For ten summers Claire and her mother had been guests at the Prescott’s beach house at Kelly’s Cove. And for ten years she played with Mallory and her twin brother, Colin. But it wasn’t until she returned after college graduation for her last summer there, that she realized Colin had grown into a guy who made her knees knock just by smiling at her. Being from different worlds, she knew nothing would come from her attraction to him.
Having returned to the states from studying abroad for four years, the last person Colin thought he’d find staying in his bedroom was Claire Ashton. Lanky and awkward during her adolescent years, he had to look twice to make sure this was the same girl. After a week together it was obvious he’d overlooked something before, because he felt things for her he’d never experienced before. There was only one problem—his last name and all that came with it would never permit him to be with her.
In the end, it’s either love or prestige that will win in the game of love.

Purchase Links

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About Julieann Dove

Julieann Dove

Julieann Dove began her writing career not long ago. Taking a break from her job as a bookkeeper was just what the doctor ordered, to tap into her creative side. When she’s not writing, she loves playing with fabric at her sewing machine, baking new recipes, and playing in the dirt, trying to get things to grow. Julieann loves old movies, and never tires of listening to music—it’s where she finds most of her inspiration for her books.
Social Media Links: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

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Batman/Flash: The Button


35197473

 

Synopsis

The road to DOOMSDAY CLOCK begins here, with the invasion of the Watchmen into the DC Universe! BATMAN/THE FLASH: THE BUTTON DELUXE EDITION is the prelude to this epic story. During the unforgettable events of DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH, Batman found a mystery he can even begin to solve a strange bloodstained smiley-face button embedded in the Batcave wall. All analysis suggests the button is not of this universe…so where did it come from? And who left it here? These are questions only the Flash can help answer. When the button is stolen by Reverse-Flash, Batman and Flash follow his trail to a parallel world, a twisted alternate timeline that should exist. Someone is sending the heroes on a bizarre trip through reality, showing them glimpses of fallen loved ones and forgotten friends but who? Wally West warned the Flash of an unseen force influencing our world distorting histories, pulling the strings, watching all—and the strange yellow button could be the key to finding it. Featuring the all-star creative team of writers Joshua Williamson and Tom King alongside top-tier artists Jason Fabok and Howard Porter, BATMAN/THE FLASH: THE BUTTON collects BATMAN #21-22 and THE FLASH #21-22. The road to DOOMSDAY CLOCK begins here! NOTE: Lenticular motion cover will only be on first printing copies!

My Thoughts

Okay this volume takes place after Flash Vol. 3, and between Vol. 4. This book isn’t necessary reading to enjoy/understand what is going on in either Batman or Flash, as this sets up a different storyline/event. But if you’ve read Flashpoint you might enjoy this, seen we get to go back to that world. 

Before I jump into this review, I have to say I’m still shook over what Diana did to Mera, she was a straight savage and I loved it! 

In the first volume of Flash rebirth, Barry finds a smiley face button, that has some blood on it. To not spoil anything, Barry finds it after a really big but weird event, in which he realizes that things in his universe and memories have been tampered with. He then brings this button to Batman, because he wants to investigate it. In this volume, the button has been stolen by Reverse flash and it’s up to these two heroes to go after him and figure out who has been tampering with the universe and why. 

I don’t really have much to say other than, I’m disappointed. I expected to get some answers and all I got was more questions and a whole lot of Eobard Thawne. I was lowkey excited for this because I wanted to see what Importance this button held and what it could possibly mean for the universe. But it was just a 100 pages of disappointment. 

I mean It was cool to see the Flashpoint verse again and that Batmen reunion was sweet and all but, I just don’t see why all of this was necessary. 

This Doomsday 💩 better be worth it! But I already know it’s not going to be. 

Also, how dare Batman say he has a son. This man collects orphans like dragons horde gold. Batman has 4 SONS AND A DAUGHTER! And a WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER KIDS WHO JUST FOLLOW HIM AROUND. 

Honestly, I would recommend just skipping this. But I highly recommend the Flash, this run is doing some really interesting things and I’m excited to where it goes. 

2 stars

sam