For the first time ever, you can grab The Key of Amatahns for your Kindle at just $0.99, that’s 75% off the sticker price. To celebrate, I’m sponsoring a giveaway for a signed copy along with a $25 Amazon giftcard! So enter for a shot at the prize and don’t forget to download your eBook. Come Saturday, this baby goes back to regular price, so hurry and snag it while you can!
In Wildwood, the third book of the Moonlit Trilogy, Tanzy’s journey races toward a final battle within the Unseen world.
Tanzy Hightower has crossed the veil and entered the Unseen world to fulfill the destiny she has at last embraced, to either seal or destroy the veil between the Seen and Unseen. She is the only mortal in a land teeming with creatures who want her dead. To stay alive long enough to stop Asher, the most powerful of the Unseen, Tanzy accepts his marriage proposal and seeks refuge inside his palace.
On the Seen side of the veil, Tanzy’s allies are fragmented and lost, without leadership. They must gather forces and train an army of candidates to defend their world against unfathomable predators poised to strike should the veil holding them at bay dissolve.
While Tanzy has accepted her own inevitable death in fulfilling her destiny, her closest friends refuse to stop searching for the impossible: a way to save Tanzy’s life.
Blurb and cover from Goodreads
5 out of 5 stars
ASDFGHJKL—that pretty much sums up my feelings. I was freaking out for most of the book because, to quote Samwise Gamgee, how could it turn out happy? Well, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, but I found this to be a most satisfactory and awesome ending to a fantastic series. I am sad to bid Lucas and Tanzy and Jayce and Moonlit farewell, but I am not so cruel as to wish more trouble upon them. No, not that cruel at all.
Twisty. The plot was twisty. I kept getting hit by first this shock then that shock. I could never quite predict what was happening and I loved it. This was plotting on the level of Brandon Sanderson and I cannot get over the complexity and planning that must have gone into this—just plain awesome.
I’m not sure I can talk about Tanzy without talking about Lucas and I can’t talk about the two of them without rampant fangirling. You should not make the mistake that assuming this story is a romance, it is far more about the adventure, I think. However, my little fangirl heart wants what it wants. I will ship them to the day I die.
For the first time ever, we see into the minds and thoughts of characters besides Tanzy. We get a peek into Jayce, Hope, Lucas, even Vanessa.
There were many twists, as I said, but perhaps the greatest one of all was when I found myself sympathizing with Vanessa. Yes, VANESSA. That was probably the last thing I ever saw coming, seconded only to love-hating Asher by the end. The twist about those two was the last thing I expected and I can do nothing but laud the author for how well she set that up.
A fabulous conclusion to a masterfully written trilogy and when our dear Ms. Jones comes out with her next book, I will fight anyone and everyone for the first spot in line.
When “someday” rolls around, we will have time to read all the books and volunteer at all the places while it will be easy to cope with jerks in the checkout line and our dogs won’t leave us presents in random places around the house. Our spiritual lives will be neatly sorted and perfect. We’ll work out enough that we can subsist off chocolate while having killer abs and be able to quit the daily grind, so on and so forth.
Some people expect “someday” to be at graduation, when they land the dream job, start a family, move, retire, or any other milestone. But it doesn’t work like that.
If you stand around waiting for “someday,” you’ll miss all the stuff that could happen right now. The truth is, things are never going to be perfect. No matter how good your life gets, there will always be snags and complications and inconveniences, but it’s okay.
Because I am me, I can’t help but think literature offers the best example of this concept. Harry was being hunted by Voldemort for literally his entire time at Hogwarts, but that didn’t stop him from having the time of his life. The Pevensie siblings were thrust into a civil war involving a psychotic witch with a penchant for geomancy, but they had an adventure like no other. Éowyn was literally trying to commit suicide after Aragorn rejected her, but she ended up meeting the love of her life. Eragon was fighting an all-powerful despot and lost everything, but during that time, he also gained a host of dear friends.
The point is, you don’t need to wait for “someday.” There are going to be bumps and potholes along the road, but it’s possible to enjoy life in the here and now. In short, work hard for the future, but remember that you can only live in the present.
Back to school is here. That means stocking up on overpriced textbooks, caffeinated substances, and, of course, Disney socks. Here’s wishing the best of fortunes to everyone heading for the classroom and everyone claiming a student amongst their kith and kin.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go meet my word quota before zipping off for Japanese. :)
It’s probably a bad idea to watch a movie with me. When I watch movies, I tend to criticize the character development and the writers’ standardized methods of relaying a character’s “strength.” I do it with books, too, there’s just usually no one around to hear me griping at my Kindle. There are five things that especially bug me, hence I have decided to whine about them in a blog post accompanied by Taylor Swift GIF’s because everyone likes Taylor Swift.
Tempers are not awesome. It is one thing to have righteous anger over injustice or cruelty, but quite another to overreact and resort to violence. Writers moved away from this one for a while, but I’ve noticed it coming back—mainly in female characters because men and women should be held to different moral standards (not).
A long list of ex-lovers
Some of my favorite characters of all time are, shall we say, romantically prolific, but the fact remains that being desired and/or sexually active are not the hallmarks of a strong persona! It’s okay to not have a significant other or regular one-night stands, but you wouldn’t know it by the way mainstream media handles it.
Modern literature and film seem to think it makes a character interesting, relying on sex as a plot device rather than using something crazy, like a storyline. There are plenty of shows I could list where if the writers weren’t allowed to incorporate sex involving the main characters, they would run out of material in about two episodes.
A tragic backstory
Tragic backstories are about as common as mud. I have used them quite often myself, but lacking some horror in your past does not make you any less of a character or your input to the story any less valid. Despite this, characters without tragedy in their pasts are usually portrayed as the naive innocent that gets killed first or gruesomely victimized, but that’s just a sign of lazy writing.
A set of fighting skills
I prefer for my own characters to have fighting skills (because fight scenes allow my inner ninja to play), but they aren’t necessary to a solid character—male or female. I wish I could find more portrayals where it’s okay to not be a warrior, but it’s been becoming rarer, especially in fantasy books.
A postmodern mindset
It may sound like a contradiction to some, but it actually is possible for one to believe in traditional gender roles without being sexist. It’s also possible to firmly believe in one’s own religion as the sole truth without hating others and I could go on. However, the characters who are more traditional in their views are generally cast in a negative manner, which is a travesty, because it is an incomplete picture of what real people with similar opinions are actually like.
And that wraps up my rant for the month, but there’s plenty more where that came from. ;)
(As a side note, if you guys can think of any fantasy books that defy these tropes, I’d really like to hear about them.)
Sometimes you must give up what you value most to gain what you want even more.
Princess Catrin is just a child when her mother vanishes, leaving her a cryptic legacy: a priceless magical book and the warning that if Catrin ever loses it, she’ll surely die. But she is a young woman on the brink of a whole new life when, in a moment of defiance, she forgets that warning and triggers a catastrophe that shatters all her hopes.
Stricken with grief and seeking a way to correct her terrible mistake, Catrin risks everything on a dangerous bargain. Too late, she realizes just how much more she has to lose.
With advice from a half-mad witch and help from companions she meets along the way, Catrin embarks on a desperate quest to defeat seven riddling Magpies–magical tricksters who can shapeshift into anything or anyone–and win back her book or face losing everything she holds dear.
With each step the stakes get higher, and there are secrets she still doesn’t suspect. How much is Catrin willing to sacrifice to finally unmask the Seventh Magpie?
A dark fairy tale of loss and renewal.
Blurb and cover from Goodreads
5 out of 5 stars
Reading this made me feel like a little girl again, curled up with Mommy while she was reading me princess stories. There is a whimsical, magical feel to this story that I haven’t truly encountered in contemporary literature before. It is a singular story that seems to cast a category all its own, creating something that truly comes across as an old-timey fairytale while creating something completely new. The fantastic illustrations add splendidly to the storybook feel and I immensely enjoyed the whole of the story.
As I said, there is a definite storybook feel, however this employs more modern logic and characters. Unlike some of the old fables, the storyline interweaves and interconnects in ways the reader doesn’t see coming and gives us plenty to guess at right up until the very last page.
The riddles, the magic, the quests, and the prices of Catrin’s quests were wonderfully inventive and original while maintaining the fairytale theme of the story. You can certainly tell the author put her heart and soul into this.
There is a sense of sadness to the story, but at the same time, a lightness and whimsy that never lets the reader become depressed. The ending was not at all what I expected, but was no less gratifying and Ms. Chase is undeniably an exceptional wordsmith.
The character development in this is not what we are used to in modern books. It is certainly incorporated, but is a bit more distant in keeping with the fairytale style. The focus is almost wholly on the main character, Catrin, and she undergoes a number of transformations throughout the story. She certainly matures and learns throughout the tale, a refreshing change from the traditional mold.
Overall, I think this is an amazing piece and I can do nothing but recommend it to anyone with a taste for fairytales that are fresh and inventive.
Sea-Anna and Tuck have been weretiger slaves to the witches for over twenty years. But now, because their master happens to be the leader’s worst enemy, they have been sold to the beasts behind their master’s back. Sea-Anna and Tuck are separated, bought by two different beasts. Sea-Anna, who dreads the beasts more than anything, promises herself to stay strong, but not for herself, not to save her own life. She has to protect her secrets. But will she buckle under the pressure Aphalie, the world of the beasts, shoves at her? Or will she overcome the trials and become the weretiger she was always meant to be?
Blurb and cover from Goodreads
5 out of 5 stars
This is…wow. So much wow. I read the first book over a year ago and had forgotten what a skilled and talented authoress this young lady is. If she EVER even CONSIDERS putting a stop to her writing, I will have WORDS. No book is perfect and I did have some minor issues, but the overall storyline, character development, world building, plot twists…I was amazed by how well put together it was. The writer took her time with releasing this, getting everything just the way she wanted it, and I cannot argue with what a great book has resulted. Simply marvelous.
I got to about 20% into this book and stopped. I knew bad things were about to happen and really didn’t want them to because I love the characters. However, an hour-long wait to take a college test forced me to stop being a baby and just read and I was so happy that I did.
I was never quite able to accurately predict what would happen. There were times when I thought “oh, the author would never let that happen” and then she DID. There were also times when I thought “oh, no, SHE’S GOING TO DO IT,” but she showed mercy on the characters (and I thank her for that). In short, this story was far from predictable and I enjoyed the not-knowing immensely.
Sea-Anna is my dear little baby and I can’t say I was happy for most of this book because of that. She goes through a maelstrom of character development and it was wonderful to see how much stronger and wiser she had grown by the end. She was perfect before, but she somehow managed to become even more amazing.
Tuck also gets a few perspective chapters in this book and since he was one of my favorite characters in book 1, I loved it. I admit there were lots of twists about him that I didn’t see coming, but the fact remains that I adore him as much as Sea-Anna and that led to a great deal of stress. MAJOR stress.
Sunny still plays a large role in this book, despite a focus on Sea-Anna and her storyline. Some questions left open-ended in the first book come into play in her sequence and she makes some world-shattering discoveries about Raena and the whole of the world. The relationship between her and Clap continues to be precious and don’t even get me started on her and Kindness. <3 Everything about the way their dynamics are portrayed is adorable with just the perfect amount of grounding in reality.
I said I had minor issues with a few things, but it was really only one thing—the whole element about Sea-Anna being used as a sex slave. For starters, I thought it strange that Sea-Anna would feel guilt over an interspecies carnal relationship, but not over the fact that she’s married.
Then there was Tuck’s reaction when he finds out that Sea-Anna was prostituted. I don’t mean toward the client who paid for her, but the man who did the selling. I would think that if I had found out that my spouse was used as a sex slave, I would be just a tad upset with the bloke who did the brokering. It doesn’t matter how pure or honest he might have seen his intentions when he prostituted her, the fact remains he prostituted her. There just didn’t seem to be any repercussions for Buck in that regard from Tuck or anyone, really.
Overall, I adored this book. The new species that are introduced, the amazing handling of suspense and character development as well as the promise of an even juicier sequel have left me aching for the next book. Again, I say that Miss Deann better keep on writing because the world needs more books like this!