“We are the rulers of Midwinter. In the most powerful cold of the winter, in the deepest dark of the year, we hold sway, and all of your hearth fires cannot stand against us. We are the winds that howl down the chimneys and extinguish your candles. We are the northern lights and the hungry wolves; the bitter crack of ice and the killing frost. The raging blizzard and the deep, soft, final sleep of those lost forever in the snow.”
Bitter Snow is a modern retelling of the fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” in nine novellas. It’s my all-time favorite fairy tale, about a girl’s quest to save her childhood friend from the evil Snow Queen, through her courage, determination, and the strength of her love for him. Each volume is about 80-90 pages (32,000 words). The next three installments are scheduled for release in spring/summer 2014, with the final three to follow later in the year.
Follow The Tour HERE
Bitter Snow Vol. #1
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 5, 2013
Word Count: 32,000
Goodreads Rating: 4.00
My Rating: 4.5
Whatever you do, don’t open the door.
All Gilly Breslin wants for her sixteenth birthday is for her best friend Kai to see her as more than just the girl next door he’s known forever. So when she receives a mysterious, romantic invitation to meet him at midnight, she knows she has to go.
But it’s St. Nicholas’s Eve, the ancient festival of Bellsnichol, when demons roam the dark winter landscape. Tradition demands that everyone in the tiny town of Bremerton stay inside, doors shut tight against evil.
Gilly thinks it’s just a quaint old superstition. She has no idea that a malevolent power has been unleashed in Bremerton—with Kai as its target. But when she answers her door at midnight, her romantic date turns deadly…and she’s drawn into an ancient web of fear and darkness that threatens everything she loves.
My Take On The Book:
I am a sucker for a good cover, that’s for sure. I was drawn in by the cover of a girl with these exotic yellow eyes, I scrolled down and read the synopsis. Holy cow, I was hooked, I needed to read this series. I love fairytales (I own a book with the real Grimm fairytales and I was morbidly fascinated with it) and modern retellings but the tale of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen has always captivated me in a creepy sort of way. So anywho, the cover is breathtaking and I definitely saw Gilly and her wolf eyes when looking at the cover.
So since this is a series of books made up of 9 novellas with very close release dates (Thank God!) I decided to do a basic review on each book until I’ve read all three and can revisit this post with a more in depth review.
As I said earlier, I’m kinda a sucker for a good cover and anything fairytale so I squealed when I got invited to review it. So simply put it was almost perfect. Truthfully, I think the ‘almost’ comes from the unfinished feel. It might not make much sense right now when I explain it but, you can definitely tell it was cut and that there is another part yet to come. It feels more like a t.v. show. Also, there was a bit of description overload… not something I would normal complain about but I got a bit lost when reading the more thrilling scenes and I had to go back a reread it slowly so my mind could sketch out the scenes.
As for what I love, sigh, there is just too much. The intro was amazing and served to give me goosebumps to end all goosebumps and set the mood quite perfectly. Next we have the characters, in this one we meet them all but the 4 that stand out most are Gilly, Kai (sweet, easily entrances, adorable Kai), Nelson and Annabel… I loved them, I even like Perchta ::shivers:: and Bran. This was a great introduction book, perfect for beginning the series.
This is a definite must read, compelling and mysterious, creepy and sweet and just a dash of sad. Grab a copy and see for yourself… but be warned, there is a cliffhanger ending. I kind of wish this story was in print because I would love to own a copy
Bitter Snow Vol. # 2
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 21, 2013
Cover Artist: Jeanne Gransee Barker
Word Count: 32,000
Goodreads Rating: N/A
My Rating: 4.5
On St. Nicholas’s Eve, the festival of Bellsnichol, Gilly Breslin opened her door to an ancient evil. A demon queen who’s slowly destroying Gilly’s best friend Kai—the only guy she’s ever loved.
But it’s not just Kai. Every guy who falls in love with the Snow Queen turns evil—and every guy who sees her falls in love with her.
Gilly’s only hope is to enlist the secret guardians of Bremerton, who may hold the key to banishing the Snow Queen and her minions. But with the town erupting in violence and the demons’ power increasing as the winter nights grow longer, she’s in a race against time to stop them before it’s too late.
My Take On The Book:
I am completely and utterly heartbroken. January 5th is too far off and I need to read the last book now! Now while I am every bit aware that Kai is under a spell, his words are just devastating and my heart shatters for Gilly every time he speaks to her.
Gilly is an amazing main character, loyal and strong with a good sense of right and wrong and while she does notice the beauty of the other men in her life, she is loyal to her heart and so not wishy-washy like other young main female characters. I love that she isn’t caving because things are getting tough and a pretty boy is showing her some attention. She knows who she wants and who she cares about most and while she appreciates the other men she stay true to her heart.
Niko is another great character. I liked him in Volume One, but know he’s grown on me like a parasite and I want, no need for him to have a happy ending. Preferably with a beautiful blonde that I also love, Annabel. They are both such fierce and loyal friends to Gilly. While Annabel has no idea about the demons running amuck, she is still a great friend to Gilly when it comes to the evil Perchta and Kai.
Honestly, the only reason this one didn’t score a 5 was because the story is unfinished. This is an amazing retelling. Short, fast paced, easily to read, descriptive and most people can finish it within the hour.
January 5th, hurry up and get here please! I need to see how this story unfolds. Make sure you check back for my review on the final book once it becomes available and I read it.
Bitter Snow Vol. #3
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Release Date: January 5, 2014
Cover Artist: Jeanne Gransee Barker
Number of pages: 85
Word Count: 32,000
Winter demons have invaded the tiny town of Bremerton, and sixteen-year-old Gilly Breslin is the only one who can banish them. The only problem is, she doesn’t know how.
Digging through the town’s historical archives, she and her friend Niko piece together clues to an ancient ritual to send the demons back to the dark realm they sprang from.
But the Snow Queen has plans of her own. Her power is greatest at the darkest time of the year, and her evil influence is spreading insidiously through the town, leaving Gilly wondering if there’s anyone left who can be trusted.
The demons must be banished by Twelfth Night, or the town will be lost. But to do it, Gilly may have to sacrifice everything that matters to her—including her soul.
About The Author
I was born and raised in New Jersey, and books were a big part of my childhood. When I was about three and a half, I became obsessed with a Little Golden Book about a goat that gets a bucket stuck on its head. Since no one would read me the goat book as often as I wanted, I learned to read it myself—and haven’t stopped reading since. It was only inevitable that I turned to writing, so I could create more of the kind of stories that I like to read!
My favorite genres are mystery, sci-fi and paranormal/fantasy. I’ve always been fascinated by myths and fairy tales, and I love incorporating elements of ancient lore into modern stories. I have a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and I currently live near Portland, OR, where I am a freelance writer and editor. My other esoteric skills include astrology, figure skating, and the ability to do a perfect split.
Enter The Giveaway Here
Win Gilly’s necklace from Bitter Snow Volume Two: Dark Solstice!
In folklore, iron protects against the influence of evil spirits. Handmade from real horseshoe nails and sterling silver by Connie Pardini of Wirestorm Creations (www.wirestormcreations.com), this necklace is a replica of the one Gilly wears to protect herself from harmful spells and illusions.
Thanks for stopping by,
“I received a free copy of the book from the author for my honest opinion. I was in no way compensated for this review and all opinions are expressly my own”
The AFTER DARK Anthology featuring Gena Showalter’s The Darkest Angel and Kait Ballenger’s Shadow Hunter is being released in mass market paperback on December 31 and to celebrate we are giving away lots of goodies.
PLEASE BE SURE TO READ ENTRY RULES COMPLETELY!
In order to enter, you must email a picture, screen shot or attach a copy of your receipt from your purchase of either the MASS MARKET PAPERBACK or MASS MARKET EBOOK version of After Dark.
PLEASE NOTE: It MUST be the MASS MARKET format to be eligible for the giveaway.
Email your receipts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Two (2) random entrants will each receive a $100.00 gift card to Amazon.
FIRST 10 ENTRANTS:
will receive a giant SWAG pack that contains a signed bookplate plus bookmarks from Gena along with SWAG from 50+ authors, courtesy of Book Monster Promotions.
FIRST 50 ENTRANTS:
will receive a goodie bag from Kait that includes bookmarks, magnets, pens and other goodies.
FIRST 500 ENTRANTS:
will receive the first chapter of Immortal Hunter, Book #2 in Kait’s Execution Underground series for an exclusive peek.
You have until 1/10/14 to purchase your Mass Market edition and submit your receipt. Winners will be announced by 1/15/14.
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Harlequin HQN (December 31, 2013)
A Timeless Seduction
A Unique Temptation
And a Whole World of Dark Desires…
From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter….
The Darkest Angel
Winged warrior Lysander has been alive for centuries, and yet he’s never known desire—until he meets Bianka. Spawned from the bloodline of his enemy, the beautiful but deadly Harpy is determined to lead the untouched Lysander into temptation. He may try to evade her attempts, but even the most iron-willed demon assassin can resist for only so long….
And from debut author Kait Ballenger….
Vampire hunter Damon Brock’s newest assignment with the Execution Underground is Rochester, New York, a city crawling with the undead. But he isn’t the only hunter in town gunning for vamp blood. Tiffany Solow is fierce and ruthless when it comes to slaying the monsters that destroyed her family—and she works solo. But being alone is no longer an option when she meets the mysterious hunter who wants more than just her turf. Forced to unite against the local covens, the line between good and evil blurs when they must decide between their lifelong beliefs…and their newfound desires.
MASS MARKET EDITION AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW:
Thanks for stopping by,
Runes Novel #3
I love Torin St. James…
I crave his touch…
I need his strength…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.
Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, was released March 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN. Visit her at www.ednahwalters.com.
Ednah also writes YA paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. IMMORTALS is book 2. She just released book 3, GRIMNIRS December 2013. Read more about this series and the world she’s created here www.runestheseries.com.
Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published five more books in this series. She’s presently working on book seven. You can visit her online at or www.ebwalters.com.
Cover Reveal Organized By:
On Tour with Prism Book Tours
What would you do if you held
infinite power in the palm of your hand?
Order of The Seers
(Order of The Seers #1)
Cerece Rennie Murphy
Order of the Seers begins with the journey of Liam and Lilith Knight, a brother and sister who are hunted by The Guild, a ruthless world organization that seeks to capture and exploit Lilith s unique ability as a Seer to envision the future. Soon after they are forced to leave their home, Lilith and Liam discover that she is not alone. Other Seers like Lilith are routinely kidnapped and enslaved by the Guild for the purpose of consolidating wealth and power around the world…
The Red Order
(Order of The Seers #2)
Cerece Rennie Murphy
The Quest to Control the Power of the Seers Continues…
see the future, honing their skills to become the ultimate threat against the Lost Seers. But the question remains – will the power of The Red Order be enough to defeat them?
The Red Order continues the epic battle for freedom which began in Order of the Seers, revealing the secret motives behind an organization that exists to exploit and a renegade movement that seeks to usher in the next phase in human evolution.
Cerece Rennie Murphy lives and writes just outside of her hometown of Washington, DC. In addition to completing the Order of the Seers trilogy, Ms. Murphy is also developing a children’s book series titled Enchanted: 5 Tales of Magic in the Everyday, and a 2-part science fiction series set in outer space.
Enter The Giveaways Here:
1 free ebook of Order of the Seers to giveaway at each blog post
(That’s alot of chances to win!)
Today is the release day of Twisted (Deathwind Triolgy #1) by Holly Hook!
Sixteen-year-old Allie isn’t like other girls. Instead of spending her summer break sitting around on the beach, she takes the epic vacation of a lifetime.
And she’s not disappointed. Just a few miles from the town of Evansburg, Nebraska, Allie meets her dream of seeing a tornado. In person. She can’t wait to tell her friends back home. Never mind that her parents are going to kill her.
But her dream soon turns into a nightmare, and a strange event leaves her shocked. Confused. When she returns home to Wisconsin, something’s…different. Allie now bears a curse so awful, it could destroy everyone and everything she’s ever known.
With her best friend, Tommy, Allie must return to the plains to find a way to reverse it. She enters a world that she had never imagined, where she becomes a pawn in a fight to save the people of Evansburg from her fate…or to destroy them.
My very first tornado touches the grass of the plains.
I stand next to the van, mouth dropping open, heart pounding. It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for, saved money for, begged my uncle to book us for the Wild Weather Storm Chasing Tours for.
Uncle Cassius swears next to me, equally in awe. It barely cuts over the wind rushing towards the distant funnel. Waves of grass bow down to the twister, whipped down by the surrounding air flying in to feed it. The perfect white cone stands out against the coal sky, slim and graceful. A skirt of dust spins around its base, signaling its dance through a field a few miles away.
“Beautiful!” Kyle, our storm chaser guide, snaps a photo for his website. He steals a glance at me and smiles. He’s all enthusiasm, joy that we’ve found our prey. “Don’t worry. We’re safe. It’s heading to the east. It’ll pass no closer than a couple of miles to our north.”
I want his job someday.
“I’m not scared,” I said, but my shaky voice betrays me. Who am I kidding? Kyle’s an experienced chaser–twenty years–but this is a real tornado. In person. Live. I never realized it would be this intense, this breathtaking. A hollow feeling fills my stomach like I’m plunging down the first hill of a roller coaster.
The tornado curves, almost like it’s leaning to the side for a better look at something. At us? It’s a silly thought, one that makes me laugh. The thunderstorm spins slowly above it, low and menacing. Thunder claps. It’s enough to remind me that the storm in front of me isn’t just beautiful. It’s a predator, entrancing like a cobra and ready to strike.
Good thing there’s no houses or buildings in its way. Only farmland stretches from horizon to horizon.
“Allie. Forget your camera?” Uncle Cassius slaps me on the arm, smiling. It’s a tense smile. So I’m not the only one with some nerves going.
I pull it out of my pocket and fumble with the slim case, fingers hunting for the button. The camera zings to life. Behind it, the tornado looms a bit larger, gaining strength and racing across the ground. More dust kicks up around the perfect white of the twister.
“Now I can really prove to everyone at school how crazy I am.” I give Uncle Cassius a nervous chuckle. The camera trembles in my hands as I catch the tornado in my view, click, and seal it in my memory forever.
I’m having the most insane summer vacation of my entire high school.
I lift the camera for another shot, backing up to squeeze the tornado into the viewport. I click another picture and lowered the camera again for another look.
My heart jumps.
The tornado looms larger, taller. Kyle holds his hand up to his face, squinting for a better view. Even Uncle Cassius goes quiet, stiffening and taking a step back towards the tour van.
All at once I understand.
The tornado has changed course.
Kyle turns. Real fear widens his features.
“Get in the van,” he shouts.
* * * * *
The one big thing I can recall from those first ten seconds is the roar, like a distant train growing closer. The wind whips my hair back, trying to pull me back out of the van. It feels like the twister’s right behind me already, coming down for the kill.
I slam the door on it. The funnel’s much bigger behind the glass, so much that I can’t see the top of it anymore.
Uncle Cassius snaps on his seat belt next to me. Kyle starts it up, punches the gas, and gets us back on the road to nowhere.
I toss my camera to the floor. My hands fumble with the seat belt. The van speeds up, slamming me into the seat. The specter of the tornado closes in, whipping across the field towards us. I’ve heard of tornadoes making sudden turns like this but I never realized it could happen this fast. It rips across the field, coming straight at us. My heart beats on a runaway course. My mind locks into overdrive. I feel like that news crew they always have on tornado shows, that one that survived by hiding under that overpass. Will Kyle make us get out and climb under one? They’re actually bad places to hide. That news crew got off lucky. Kyle knows better. He’s been chasing storms longer than I’ve been alive.
Only green and yellow spreads out ahead. No shelter for miles. Worse, no ditches. The radar on Kyle’s laptop is covered in ugly red and orange blotches like Nebraska has sores.
A hole of panic opens up inside me and for the first time, I regret coming on this vacation.
“Can’t you go faster?” Uncle Cassius leans forward in his seat, gaze hard, arms trembling.
Uncle Cassius never loses his cool.
Not even when I accidentally set his Persian rug on fire when I was seven and broke my arm at the age of nine.
Outside, the tornado grows so close that I could only see the bottom half of the funnel. The van bounces along every speed bump on the highway, every uneven spot. My stomach heaves. I’m going to be sick right here. It’s my stupid fault we’re in this mess.
“I don’t understand.” Kyle punches the gas harder, making the van jump. He turns his head like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, eyes widening. “The tornado should not be moving this way.”
He’s right. It shouldn’t. But it is.
The funnel reaches the road behind us, twisting harder, kicking up earth higher and higher. We’ve gotten out in front of it. I breathe a sigh of relief. Kyle and Uncle Cassius do the same. It’ll cross the road and forget all about us.
Kyle lets off the gas a little and the whine of the engine calms some. “We’re safe now. That was highly unusual. I’ve never seen a tornado turn like that in my career.” There’s a hint of an apology in his voice.
“Well, that was a close one, wasn’t it, Allie?” Uncle Cassius hugs me from the side.
“Yeah,” I say, willing my heart to slow down. At least I can think straight now. Can I even do another two days of this?
Wow, what a dumb idea this was.
But I still can’t resist another look at the storm. I turn as far as my seat belt allows.
My guts fall out of me all over again.
The tornado’s still on the road, bigger than ever. It can’t be.
The twister has turned again. It’s coming right up behind us. Rolling dust eats the entire highway. There’s tornado taking up the whole view of the back window. Dust rips to the sides. The bottom of its funnel spins with fury, big enough to swallow a house whole. Its roar screams against the outside of the van, shaking the seat, pushing the whole van to the side.
It’s no longer beautiful.
“Ohmigod,” I say, sucking in a breath. “Um…Kyle? Stomp on the gas. Just saying.”
“I know!” he snaps. His knuckles turn white on the steering wheel. The van lurches again but he maintains control.
“Allie, get down!” Uncle Cassius puts his huge hand on my back and pushes me towards the floor. The seat belt cuts into my throat.
What good is it going to do? If the tornado lifts the car–
I’m going to die.
I begged to go on this trip and now Uncle Cassius is going to die too.
The windows shatter with a deafening boom and the wind screams in my ears. AllieAllieAllieAllie…
I can’t breathe.
Uncle Cassius shouts something. Kyle yells. If I’m screaming, I can’t tell. The storm’s sucking it right out of me. Windy hands seize my arms, my legs.
My safety belt snaps, whipping against my leg. I cry out with the sting. The seat disappears under me.
The tornado’s ripping me right out of the van.
The world turns to a white and brown roar. The van’s gone. I have no time to cry out to Uncle Cassius before the world snaps to black and silence takes the place of all.
About Holly Hook
Holly Hook is the author of the Destroyers Series, which consists of five young adult books about teens who are walking disasters…literally. She is also the author of the Rita Morse series, a young adult fantasy series still in progress, and After These Messages, a short ya comedy. Currently she is writing Twisted, a spin-off of the Destroyers Series due out in December. When not writing, she enjoys reading books for teens, especially ya fantasy and paranormal series with a unique twist.
Thanks for stopping by,
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Title: TAKEN (Breaking the Darkness, #1)Author: Felicia StarrExpected Release Date: November 11, 2013Genre: Fiction | YA | Paranormal
Opening her eyes to an imposing prison of complete darkness, Kasha is accused of possessing powers and abilities she had no previous knowledge of until the moment she comes face to face with herself while meditating. Haunted by memories strung together by lies and deceit, she soon discovers that maybe her beloved grandmother kept a few secrets she had not been aware of.
Secrets that could be her salvation… or her undoing.As she struggles to control her newfound powers, only time will tell if they will be enough to help her decipher who has imprisoned her or what they want from her. She must search for the answers and the freedom she so desperately desires. Could a handsome guy whom vows to help her get away prove to be the man of her dreams… or perhaps her worst nightmare?
NOT KNOWING WHO TO TRUST, SHE MUST FIND A WAY TO ESCAPE BEFORE SHE PAYS THE ULTIMATE PRICE AND FINDS HERSELF TAKEN BY THE DARKNESS.
You must betray your heart and walk amongst the darkness in order to find the truest light.
A Note from the Author:
I did not listen to a specific play list while I wrote Taken. Sometimes I needed to write in the dark and be with the silence or what we think of as silence. I had to really heighten my hearing and tune in to what the darkness sounded like.
When I had to write or edit during the day, I would often plug in and listen to Pandora. This is a playlist of a hand full of songs that I either found myself listening to or that resinated with time and the story.
Author Felicia Starr lives five miles from her favorite Jersey Shore destination with her amazingly supportive family. She loves to spend time creating special memories with her husband and two young boys.
Everyone expected her first publication to be a cookbook, but her love for writing has surpassed her love for cooking.
Felicia graduated magna cum laude from Kean University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a post baccalaureate in elementary education.
She is a licensed real estate sales person, a certified yoga instructor, and most importantly, a stay-at-home mom.