UPDATE: It’s Official!

My Kalcyon ARCs have officially been delivered and I have never been so excited to open a package. It looks even better than I had hoped for it to. I love the new cover concept that I incorporated into it. For those who purchased my VERY first edition, I did make many changes to the cover and format, but I appreciate each and every one of you for your support ❀ On the plus side, it is technically a specialty product! (Get the hardcover! It’s 100x better.)

Kalcyon is slated to be officially released on January 31, 2015, however this will only be the paperback and e-book version. I am going to try my very best to get the hardcover version finished by this time as well, but the company I use has a somewhat slow turnaround rate for proofs. I am keeping my fingers crossed though.

This is such a surreal moment for me. And the best present I could have given myself for Christmas! I hope you all have a great holiday, and if you do have the chance, read my first book, Karnage, to get ready for the release of Kalcyon!

You can find Karnage on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Leave me a review and tell me what you thought!

Tata for now~

UPDATE: Kalcyon ARC’s

kalcyon cover

I am officially in the final stages of completing the Kalcyon Advanced Reader Copies to send out to readers! If any of you have ever tried to format a manuscript into book form on Microsoft Word, then I know you understand when I say it is a FREAKING NIGHTMARE.

I’ve done it twice already, once for the Karnage (paperback) and another for the Karnage (Hardcover), and the level of infuriating did not decrease this time around either. I’m not a Microsoft Word wiz or anything, but I do consider myself pretty technologically savvy, but even with the countless articles from google that I read, I’m pretty sure the process I had to go through was the bootleg way. I swear, by my third completed manuscript, I will figure it out!

Anyways, I’m super excited since the formatting is all good now and I’ve submitted the files for review, which means I’ll be ordering them within the next few days for shipment! I thought it was the best day of my life when I held the first physical copy of Karnage in January 2015, but it’s doubly exciting to have the second installment of my trilogy underway. And I just know I might die a little (or a lot) the day I finally complete The Phoenix Ashes trilogy. It’s all still very surreal for me. I still look at Karnage time to time and wonder to myself how I ever finished it.

I learned something throughout this writing process. Things don’t always go the way you thought it would, or necessarily the way you wanted it to, but that doesn’t mean it was the wrong way. I’m a Type A personality, so I never think I’m going to fail when I take on new challenges. Basically, I don’t know how to lose so I push so hard from every direction until I’m satisfied with the end product. Not everyone is like this, and after finishing Kalcyon, there was one message I wanted to share with my readers, and that message is in my dedication. (You thought I was going to share it now, huh?)

I’m still hosting my ARC giveaway for Kalcyon. Click here for how to enter! I’ll be sending them out before Christmas!

BOOK REVIEW: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

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Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Romance
Series: Grisha Trilogy (Book 1)

Shadow and Bone: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…!!

SUMMARY: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his lifeβ€”a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

HOLY SHIZZ! This book is seriously the best book I have read this year. Red Queen was the first book to really get me out of my reading slump, but SHADOW AND BONE seriously dug up my passion for reading fantasy books that I hadn’t noticed I buried for so many years. I LOVED IT. First off, I have nothing bad to say about it. It’s the first book of a trilogy and I have Siege and Storm (Book 2), but I refuse to start it until I have Ruin and Rising (Book 3) because I don’t want to be antsy waiting for it since I’m sure I’ll finish the second book even quicker than I did the first one. Okay enough fangirling, I’ll write my review now (hopefully without spoilers!)

I loved Bardugo’s writing style. Technically, it was simple and I felt like there was the perfect amount of variety in sentence structure. It didn’t feel as much as reading as it did the words flying into my head into a visual tizzy (if that makes any sense–I’m a very visual person). I thought there was just enough foreshadowing and I’m not sure if certain points of the plot were intentional, but the flow of the book was spot on. There’s this one part (by the lake) that when it happened, I had to reread it because it was so sudden and random that I thought it was a poor choice of a plot point, but then once I finished the book, I thought back on it and realized how ingenious it actually was.

World building. Perfect. I didn’t get bogged down with unnecessary descriptions and I never felt like the book was dragging. Everything was believable from the characters to the setting of the world. Page count wise, it’s actually a pretty lengthy read, but while I read it, I never even noticed; if anything, I noticed how fast I was flying through the pages. It was absolutely fantastic.

There are similarities to other young adult fantasy books I’ve read recently (from what I know, this one was written first sooo….) but it was definitely original enough for me to not care. Just to give you an idea, here’s an example:

Red Queen: The main character is a Red (person with no special powers) but in a life threatening situation she discovers she’s special and actually does have powers.

Shadow and Bone: The main character is a seemingly normal girl but desperate to save her childhood crush, she discovers she’s special and has a power that rivals the strongest man in the world.

(Each novel has their own reasons why the powers exist in each individual and both are unique so it didn’t bother me too much. In my opinion, I think Shadow and Bone is more original than Red Queen, though.)

I had so many emotions reading this book. I’m sure my sister found me annoying, because while I was reading in my room I would be yelling, groaning, and squealing more often than someone, who could be considered sane while reading words on a page, should be. But, seriously that’s how engrossed I was while reading this book. It’s been a SUPER long time since I felt this way about while reading anything. And I typically never reread books, for whatever reason, but I honestly would consider reading this one again. Obsessed I am.

ALINA: She has her faults, but I’m glad because no character, especially the main character, should be perfect. She was definitely a likable character and an honest to good girl, who got lost here and there (but who doesn’t?). She discovers who/what she is and what she is capable of. Every choice she makes is understandable because you read enough about her past that helps to really form her into a living being. Making a choice that haunts her in the end makes me look forward to how she’ll overcome it in the next book.

MAL: wahhhh I love him. Can I have him? He’s the childhood friend/crush. He’s absolutely adorable and while his physical presence is absent the majority of the book, it makes his return that much sweeter. Even though he doesn’t have special powers like Alina (or does he?) he’s reliable and not whiny. He is the naive boy next door, who becomes a man by the end of the book. There were hints of a love triangle going on, but at the end you feel like that possibility is squashed, but I’m staying on my toes because I really don’t know what Bardugo has in store for them.

THE DARKLING: Ok, so I’m still on the edge about this character. I really don’t know what to expect because in the beginning he intrigued me, then I started to like him, and then I was like “what the hell…” But I feel like there is so much more to this character and I know he’s a complicated fellow because at ~120 years old, how can you not be complicated?

They’re making Shadow and Bone into a MOVIE. YESSS. Because, seriously I was able to picture every single detail in my head. And as much as I love to create the image in my mind, I love it when I can actually see it come to life. I. can’t. wait. Fantasy movies are the best, I don’t care what anyone thinks. They are.

SHADOW AND BONE gets a standing ovation of 5/5 stars from me. And if this book is on your TBR list, then move it up to the top immediately and start, because it’s fantastic and you will not regret it. Comment what you thought, I need someone to talk about this book with!! HEH.

Buy it on Amazon!

BOOK REVIEW: The Good Sister by Jamie Kain

The Good Sister by Jamie Kain

Author: Jamie Kain
Genre: Young Adult/Fiction
Series: No

The Good Sister: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…/5

Wow. I really loved this book and I can’t really pinpoint why I do. Well, maybe I can and a few of the reasons are subjective and circumstantial, BUT a lot of the reasons are not.

First and foremost, if you are born into a family with three children (especially three girls), read it. I just so happen to be the middle child of three sisters. A lot of people say that the middle child syndrome is a stereotype, but really people…a stereotype only emerges because there are so many damn people who fit it! (I totally fit the middle child stereotype BTW, and I embrace it!) I’ll go more into, Rachel, the middle child later in my brief character analysis section.

One thing I really did enjoy that the author did on a literary level was the way she tied loose ends and resolved all the conflicts (even the small minor ones that you thought she might forget). I’m a stickler for this, because I hate to read a book and at the end of it be like…”Hey, what happened to so-and-so…” or “Why did this happen then?” You get the point. It was really heartfelt and will definitely resonate with readers with siblings with a bit of rivalry and sibling hatred (all siblings have/are experiencing this, and if don’t think so…then you’re in denial).

The book is separated by chapters told in the three different viewpoints of each of the sisters. Sarah is the oldest sister who died, so she’s given the least amount of pages, but just enough for a dead girl. Rachel is the middle sister, and she gets just that, a medium amount of the book. Asha is the youngest sister, and like all youngest children, they get everything (jk…that was a really melodramatic middle child comment to say haha). I really liked this aspect of the book; the different views allowed me to step into each of their lives and really understand the spectrum of their feelings surrounding a single event. The perspectives were well written and decipherable, even if the chapters weren’t titled the name of the sister it was told in.

The book was a tad bit slow for me in the beginning, but it became increasingly interesting as I read on. The first few chapters of Asha and Rachel sometimes too similar for me, but as they developed as characters I noticed their own personal quirks and personalities that made them unique. Actually, every character in this book was believable, which is pretty rare for me to say.

SARAH: Sarah is the oldest sister. She was diagnosed with cancer, survived, then re-diagnosed with it again, but that’s not what killed her (because that would be too obvious, duh). I won’t say how she died because there’s a lot of shrouded mystery around it and I don’t want to spoil it for you. Anyways, she’s genuinely kind and even though she wasn’t given as many pages, I still read enough to like her.

RACHEL: Rachel is the middle sister. Anyways, she’s basically a flirtatious bitch that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the world or the people in it; she knows it, she owns it, and she revels in it. Though, she does have, albeit a small one, guiding compass at times and isn’t completely coldhearted; she has glimpses of compassion that many people wouldn’t notice. She’s the misunderstood one who acts the way she does not particularly because she wants to, but because it’s a defense mechanism. Anyways, she’s kind of the antagonist that readers will find they like in the end.

ASHA: Asha is the youngest sister. Most of the book is led by her and her struggle to find reasons or meaning from Sarah’s death. She takes it the hardest as life becomes pointless to her. Asha’s character makes me think of vanilla ice cream–she goes with every situation, but makes her presence known in the process. (PS. I love Sin, her best friend).

There wasn’t one physical evil villain, except maybe their mom, Lena (ugh, hate that woman). The villain was death–why it happens, how it happens, what happens after, how fates are connected, and a few enlightened ideas of the afterlife (one of them, I found super intriguing!). Overall the plot was written with a natural and believable flow. It felt as if I was watching life as it happened (through Sarah’s passed eyes) and I think that’s what made the book so special, that it didn’t really feel like a book at all, but a real life, and in the end that’s what an author wants a reader to feel.

4/5 for this wonderful book. One of the few contemporary fiction books that I’ve read, but definitely one that I would recommend you to read! Loved it and I hope anyone who reads it does too!

BUY IT ON AMAZON

quote from Kalcyon

For every embrace of warmth, there was an icy chill. For every candle paving a path, there was a light being blown out. For every child safely tucked away in bed, there was one trapped in a prison.

-Kalcyon