Book Highlight: The Winter People by Rebekah Purdy

So, this particular book highlight is near and dear to me – I got to read this before it was published, and its a fabulous book. I can’t wait for the others to come out!

 

TheWinterPeople500

Blurb (from Goodreads):

An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.

Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to “stay away.” For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the “special gifts” that must be left at the back of the property.

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.

About the Author

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Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. She’s lived in Michigan most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army. At which time she got a chance to experience Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and California. Rebekah has a business degree from University of Phoenix and currently works full time for the court system. In her free time she writes YA stories, anything from YA Fantasy to YA Contemporary Romance. Rebekah also has a big family (6 kids) she likes to consider her family as the modern day Brady Bunch complete with crazy road trips and game nights. When not hiding at her computer, Rebekah enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games, traveling, and hanging out with her family and gazillion pets.

 

 

 

 

 

Links:

Websitehttp://rebekahlpurdy.wordpress.com/

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18630479-the-winter-people?from_search=true

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1622663683/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1622663683&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Barnes & Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-winter-people-rebekah-l-purdy/1117058087?ean=9781622663682&itm=1&usri=9781622663682&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1&r=1,%201

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Waiting on Wednesday: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

 

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Title: Forbidden
Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Publisher: Harpercollins
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Blurb (from Goodreads):

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.
Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

 


 

This is a Waiting on Wednesday which I first saw at Breaking the Spine. The goal is to post a yet-to-be-published book that we are waiting to read. If you’d like to see more, go to http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com/to see the whole list. We’ll be posting one each week from now on, so if you have a book you think we should check out, feel free to contact us and let us know!

 

Waiting on Wednesday: Shadows Fall Away by Kit Forbes

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Title: Shadows Fall Away
Author: Kit Forbes
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Blurb (from Goodreads):

Mark Stewart is one incident away from becoming a juvenile delinquent, and his parents have had enough. They ship Mark off to London England to stay with his eccentric aunt Agatha who is obsessed with all things Jack the Ripper. After a strange twist of luck, Mark is struck by lightning, and he wakes to find himself in 1888 Victorian London.

His interest in a string of murders Scotland Yard has yet to solve make him a likely suspect. After all, why would a young boy like Mark know so much about the murders? Could he be the ripper they’ve been searching for? Convinced the only way to get back home is to solve the murders, Mark dives headfirst into uncovering the truth.

Mark’s only distraction comes in the form of the beautiful Genie Trembly, a girl who is totally out of his league and who may have already caught the attention of the infamous ripper. To save her, he’ll endanger both their lives, and risk being trapped in the past forever.

 


 

This is a Waiting on Wednesday which I first saw at Breaking the Spine. The goal is to post a yet-to-be-published book that we are waiting to read. If you’d like to see more, go to http://breakingthespine.blogspot.com/to see the whole list. We’ll be posting one each week from now on, so if you have a book you think we should check out, feel free to contact us and let us know!

 

Brazen by Katherine Longshore

brazen by longshoreTitle: Brazen

Author: Katherine Longshore

Publisher: Viking Juvenile

Publication Date: June 12, 2014

Pages: 528

Genre: Young Adult Historical

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for?

Review

Brazen, by Katherine LOngshore, is a novel set in Tudor England, in one of the most written about time periods around. That being said, I’m a sucker for a novel about Tudor England. But while I love them, they have the potential to be tired before you even begin. Mainly because people choose to write about the same people over and over. Longshore manages to choose a character here that few people ever even remember existed. That’s really what made me want to pick up the book in the first place.

Few books ever get around to writing about Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s bastard son. No one that I know of has ever bothered to remember that he had a wife. This novel is told from Mary Fitzroy’s point of view, and I enjoyed it. Mary is an oddity in court. Her parents are at odds, physically at times, and she is uncertain and easily led at the beginning, even when she doesn’t want to be. She’s honest, sometimes when she shouldn’t be, but learns how to cover that as well in a way that doesn’t deviate from herself, but isn’t going to get her into trouble either.

The author also includes a peculiar character trait that I loved. LOVED. Mary is a synesthete – to her, words (or at least some words) have a taste. Her descriptions of them are lovely, and often hold their own meaning in regards to what Mary is thinking or what is going on around her. Her character growth from beginning to end is really well done. It isn’t unbelievable and is actually pretty subtle. Only when you really think about the beginning do you realize that she did make some serious personal growth and choices.

Her relationship with Henry Fitzroy is a major running thread, and it is an important one, but it isn’t the whole story. To me, her relationship with him is a secondary plot line to her finding her own way in the world. That being said, I loved their relationship. The beginning was rocky and exactly like you think it might have been. Henry is a likeable character, though I must admit that I was having some issues with becoming too involved, because I knew what was going to happen to him. (I won’t say, just in case someone doesn’t know)

The book and its twisting relationships and its weaving of history and fiction are really well done. The author’s notes in the back explain how the author has modified and filled in history for the story, and I really think she did a great job. I especially enjoyed the note about Mary’s book and how it was based on a real manuscript. I found that really surprising and interesting and will be looking into more information about it.

My only complaint, and the reason this book received three stars instead of four, was because there were times when I had to force myself to continue reading. It wasn’t boring – it just couldn’t quite keep my attention until well into the second half. Part of that is the nature of the beast. Tudor historical fiction set in the court has a large cast of characters and all have a part to play. You have to know some of what’s going on, and the secondary characters of Hal, Madge, Margaret, and even Anne Boleyn and King Henry have parts that weave in and out of Mary’s own history. Some of this may also be due to the timing of my reading the book – as I have some big events going on in my life at the moment and it’s hard to concentrate, so take that for what it’s worth.

The last scene between Henry and Mary made me cry, which is rare, and I really think the author did a fabulous job of conveying emotion in this book – not just here but throughout. I really got to know Mary and I really wanted her to win. I wanted to see her happy and to succeed.

So – If you’re a fan of Tudor historicals, this is a good book to try. You may get a little bogged down in the middle, but the book is a good one overall.

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Where to Find the Book

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18668016-brazen?from_search=true

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067001401X/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=067001401X&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2=

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/brazen-katherine-longshore/1116402533?ean=9780670014019&itm=1&usri=9780670014019&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10:1&r=1,%201

Book was purchased by reviewer.

Accordance by Shelly Crane

12667194Title: Accordance

Author: Shelly Crane

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: Sept 2011

Pages: 314

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

In the sequel, Maggie learns much more about all the strange things that happened to her, and has to face new ones. She rebels against it, but ultimately, must face it for her new families sake and maybe even her life. Bish went from being her biggest supporter to her biggest pain in the butt and Kyle’s intentions to attract her interest may not be so innocent. Caleb and Maggie face many new obstacles together and fight to work through them but will one that should be a good thing be too much for Maggie to handle?

Review

I read Shelly Crane’s SIGNIFICANCE awhile ago, and couldn’t decide whether to continue the story or not. ACCORDANCE is a fun, quick read, and I recommend it if you enjoyed the first book.

This time, the book picks up exactly where book one left off (like, exactly) which is actually kind of nice. As long as you don’t need a super huge refresher on what already happened, its great to just jump right back into the story. I enjoy Caleb and Maggie, though some of the same sort of story line appears here. I like the more detailed look at Bish and his interaction. Anyone who reads this knows where the story with Bish is going. (I’m not saying more than that. Honestly, if you read the end of the first book and didn’t guess it, I’d be surprised.) there is a twist involved that I’m interested in seeing how the author deals with that.

Maggie becomes this amazing thing in the story, and it becomes integral to her life as an Ace. And while its a cool thing, it also makes it hard to believe that she’s really and truly vulnerable, outside of Caleb. She can do all these things, and while that takes time to control, she’s still really helpless at times, which drives me nuts. The way her gift affects others is, however, a really nice touch and gives the gift a “downside,” which helps even things out a bit.

Caleb is too good to be true, but you can’t help but like him. The book is pretty predictable, and the few twists that were there, you can almost guess as soon as it pops up. There are a few surprises, and they are good ones.

I don’t know if I will continue to read the rest of the series or not. I feel as indifferent as I did last time. It was enjoyable, but a bit of a fluff read for me. If you want a quick beach read, go for it!

 

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Where to Find the Book

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12667194-accordance?from_search=true

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NKFVJW/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B005NKFVJW&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/noresults?store=book&pt=bk&ern=210&isbn=b005nkfvjw&r=1,%201&cm_mmc=affiliates-_-linkshare-_-gwez7vxblvu-_-10:1

Book was purchased by reviewer.

Til Death by Kate Evangelista

9781622662333Title: Til Death

Author: Kate Evangelista

Publisher: Entangled Teen

Publication Date: March 2014

Pages: 358

Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

Sixteen-year old Selena Fallon is a dreamer. Not a day-dreamer, but an I-see-the-future kind of dreamer. Normally this is not a problem as she has gotten pretty good at keeping her weird card hidden from everyone in her small town. Except from her best friend Kyle and her grandparents, of course. But when Selena dreams of her own rather bloody death, things get a little too freaky even for her.

Enter Dillan Sloan. Selena has seen the new guy in a different dream, and he is even more droolworthy in person. Beyond the piercing blue eyes and tousled dark hair, there is something else that draws her to him. Something…electric. Unfortunately, Dillan makes it more than clear that he does not feel the same. They just met, so why would he act like he hates her?

When Dillan and Selena are forced together one weekend to work on a school project, Selena prepares to be ignored as usual. But when she stumbles across a few undead in the backyard, Dillan comes to her rescue and reveals a whole lot more. Not only is he part of a society that hunts otherworldly creatures…she is too. And she is being targeted by a force bigger and darker than anything she ever imagined. Despite her death dream, Selena is not going to give up easy, especially when she discovers that Dillan might not actually hate her after all.

Review

I was really excited when I received this book in my email *cough* last night. I hadn’t intended to stay up late to read it. Nope. I had many other things to do. Instead, I had to find out what happened. So I was up a bit late. That should tell you right there that I enjoyed the book.

Selena and Dillan are interesting characters and I enjoyed reading about them. The world that Evangelista has created is smooth and believable, and you can tell she has her details worked out. The relationship between characters is good, and as someone who has lived in a small town for awhile, it was pretty accurate in its portrayal. Selena is a great character, and Penny and Kyle are great supporting acts. They’re likeable and they have their own personalities. I wish Selena’s abilities were a little more defined and “played up,” just because it sometimes seemed like it got lost. Then again, I wonder if that was done on purpose. I get the impression her abilities are something that will grow with her character in future books, and I’m interested to see where that leads.

Dillan’s character, by the end, was one I liked. But I must admit that the cocky, abrasive personality has me struggling to like him in the beginning. When you finally figure out why he’s been sent to Wyoming, it makes a little more sense. I like that Dillan has an inner struggle going on and how that affects him and the way he deals with things. I just wish he’d stop being so prickly a little faster. I like that the characters have separate “issues” going on, outside of what is happening at the moment. The author has given all her characters a story, and it shows. Most of them have hints that they might intertwine and be important later, but it isn’t distracting or frustrating. 

The relationship between Selena and Dillan I enjoyed at the end, but it was another case where the characters are at each other’s throats, insulting each other and getting angry, and then they finally realize its because they like each other. It’s a personal preference, but I don’t enjoy that – if I get that angry at someone, the last thing I’m thinking about is dating them! In this case, they do eventually tone it down, and the relationship takes a more even and enjoyable tone. (again, this is a personal preference. I’m sure some people will love the interaction!) I also like that Selena doesn’t allow Dillan (or anyone else around her) to walk all over her. She might not fully understand what’s going on, but she’s not going to let them fight her battles for her.

The ending is great, and while the villain is predicable and easily identified in both cases, I wasn’t bothered by it. I’m very interested to see where this goes, especially with Dillan’s… past issues coming back to haunt him there at the end.

If you enjoy urban fantasy and paranormal, then you’ll enjoy this. Definitely pick it up and take a read!

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Where to Find the Book

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16129271-til-death

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Death-Fractured-Souls-Kate-Evangelista-ebook/dp/B00EBRKW1U/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

Book was provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Significance by Shelly Crane

16282066Title: Significance

Author: Shelly Crane

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: June 2011

Pages: 387

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Book Summary (from Goodreads.com)

Maggie is a seventeen year old girl who’s had a bad year. She was smart and on track, but then her mom left, her dad is depressed, she’s graduating – barely – and her boyfriend of almost three years dumped her for a college football scholarship. Lately she thinks life is all about hanging on by a thread and is gripping tight with everything she has.

Then she saves the life of Caleb and instantly knows there’s something about him that’s intriguing. But things change when they touch, sparks ignite. Literally.

They imprint with each other and she sees their future life together flash before her eyes. She learns that not only is she his soul mate, and can feel his heartbeat in her chest, but there is a whole other world of people with gifts and abilities that she never knew existed. She herself is experiencing supernatural changes unlike anything she’s ever felt before and she needs the touch of his skin to survive.

Now, not only has her dad come out of his depression to be a father again, and a pain as well, but Caleb’s enemies know he’s imprinted and are after Maggie to stop them both from gaining their abilities and take her from him.

Can Caleb save her or will they be forced to live without each other after just finding one another?

Review

Significance was a book I found while browsing the available options for my Kindle app. When I saw it was free with my prime membership, I figured that it had a decent cover and blurb, so I’d try it out. And it wasn’t bad!

If you are looking for the next classic, this is not it. But, if you enjoy quick, fun YA paranormal romance, it fits the bill. The characters, Caleb and Maggie, are likeable, and the supporting staff isn’t bad. I will admit everyone seems overly nice at times, and there are some places where there could have been a lot more tension and drama and it sort of fizzled out before it had a chance to start. The “insta-love” here is sort of expected, and while I wish they’d had a little more time to get to know each other, the author does touch on it a bit and have the characters try to get to know each other better before they get too intense.

The story with Dad is a little less feasible for me, but that’s a personal preference. He went a little too much in both extremes for me. I also wish the bad guys had been a little worse from the beginning so that the ending made a little more sense and maybe would have been a little more dark and dangerous to me. In the end, I enjoyed the read, and again, if you like the paranormal YA romance genre, it is a fun “beach read.” A word of caution – this is a first book in a series. While I enjoyed it, I don’t know that I’ll read the rest. So if you don’t like series books, this might not be the one for you.

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Where to Find the Book

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16282066-significance

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Significance-A-Novel-ebook/dp/B0055PJHPY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid= 

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/significance-shelly-crane/1105340154?ean=2940013326149

Book was purchased by reviewer.