Daring You to Read… Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

This week I am daring you to read an amazing fantasy novel, Falling kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (a.k.a Michelle Rowen). As you might know, I’m a huge fan of High Fantasy, especially young adult ones, and I was extremely pleased with this novel. I’m dare compare it to the likes of Kristen Cashore and Maria V Snyder, so if you are fan of these two, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on a copy!

Why I loved it so much? First, the lore was extremely original and fascinating. Morgan did an amazing job of creating a believable and rich backstory. Further more, the world-building was simply effortless and the descriptions were rich and fluid, never slowing down the story arc. And finally, the fantastic characters. Morgan chose a wide range of teenagers from different social classes and territories and the alternative point of view allowed us to really live the experience from each of their perspective.

The plotline isn’t exactly action packed, but the tension, treasons and promises of revenge will keep you on the edge of your seat. At times my heart was pounding, at other moments I was shedding tears, really miss Rhodes kept me emotionally involved the entire novel and it’s something I really appreciate.

The conclusion was simply a killer and I am extremely glad I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early copy of Rebel Spring, which I plan to read very soon. It’s a December release, so you still have plenty of time to get your hands on Falling Kingdoms before then.

If you love high fantasy, I urge you to pick up this amazing novel!

 

Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects’ lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword…
The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Read my review

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Sequel:

Rebel Spring (Falling Kingd...

Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!

You’ve already read the book? Let’s us know what you thought!
You are accepting the dare? We’d love to know!
Have a dare of your own? Leave a comment ^^

tynsig

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Book Stats:
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardback: 304 pages 
Genre: Horror/Suspense
Publisher: Balzer & Bray 
Release date: September 18, 2012

Series: Stand alone

Reviewed by: Helen

Source: Purchased

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

SHHHH!

Don’t spread the word!

Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.

You do NOT want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

TEN was a thrilling, fast-paced suspenseful horror story that I absolutely loved! One of the very best mysteries I’ve read all year.  It starts with ten teens who seem an odd bunch to be invited to a weekend-long party at a wealthy family’s island home. But since it’s the most popular girl in school that’s inviting them, they don’t dare refuse. Upon arriving at the island home, they are stranded by a severe storm, and soon find that someone seems determined to keep them there. When they start dying one by one, they have only two options: there is either someone else in the house, or one of them is the killer.

I instantly bonded with the main character Meg. The supporting characters were also strong and multi-dimensional. I was skeptical at first that the reader would be able to connect with ten characters in a single book without feeling confused. Fortunately, I was completely wrong. Though the novel is told from Meg’s point of view, the others around her also come to life very quickly.

I like to consider myself pretty hard to fool – I normally have a fairly decent idea of how I think things are going to play out in a story. Especially one like this, where each time one of them died, the suspect pool got smaller and smaller. That said, TEN completely knocked me off my chair. I had two main theories while reading. The first was what I thought would be the easy way out. It would have been a clean way to end. The second was what I hoped would be the actual ending, as it was a bit more intriguing. I was completely off on both counts. Every few pages something else would surface that would have me flip-flopping back and forth between which of these two theories I thought would play out. But by the last chapter, it turned out I was completely wrong. And I loved it.

The plotting was absolutely superb. The sort that you can only fully appreciate while looking back at all the breadcrumbs left by author once you reach the end. I really respect that fact that McNeil didn’t tie this up too neatly either. It was a messy ending, exactly what was needed to make a story like this realistic.

If you’re looking for a thrilling, masterfully plotted stand-alone novel to keep you on your toes, TEN is absolutely the perfect fit. You most definitely won’t regret it!

Read an Excerpt

 

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Star Cursed by Jessica SpotswoodStar Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Book stats:
Reading Level: Young Adult
ARC: 384 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: June 18, 2013

Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles #2

Source: From Author for Review

Reviewed by: Lili

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate’s friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn’t want to be a weapon, and she doesn’t want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood’s schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she’ll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Born Wicked, the Cahill Witch Chronicles continue Cate, Maura and Tess’s quest to find love, protect family, and explore their magic against all odds in an alternate history of New England.

Jessica Spotswood is back and she does not disappoint! It is official, she is forever my favorite author of a witchy series. Nobody can compare. Wow, is my mind still reeling.

I think that this book may have been even better than the first one and that is because this book really made me think. Spotswood was able to take the usual subjugation of women from the time period that this novel takes place in and spin in to fit her plot perfectly. What is there to fear about women that makes it scary to have them work outside the home, have the ability to pursue an education, and the knowledge of how to read? Are we so powerful that the Brotherhood fears the power that an intelligent woman can possess, thus they feel as if they must take it away to lessen a woman’s power and sway in society? What is it that causes the Brotherhood to deem us wicked and hate our ways? It just got me thinking, and Spotswood was able to make such dark and demented themes work throughout her novel in ways that kept you guessing. Never once did I feel as if anything was being shoved down my throat. Instead, I wanted to rebel alongside Cate and fight back. You know you have a good story when it can invoke such strong emotions within you, especially when a story containing anti-women sentiments is written so beautifully.

And, as always, Spotswood’s characterization is strong. I began to love Cate and Tess even more during their journey to figuring out right from wrong in the time leading up to a war, just as my burning distaste for Maura slowly evolved into a strengthening hatred. And while I can’t say I’m a fan of this particular character, it’s amazing to have an author create a character who truly does make you hate, who inspires passionate emotions within you because they’re written so well. Whether you want to or not, you’ve forged some kind of connection with a character if they invoke anything in you, and this is a huge accomplishment, especially among the more villainous of characters. It makes me love Spotswood’s writing even more. It does help that I really began to love the friends that Cate made in the Sisterhood, just as I hated the friends and allies Maura made. And it’s made all the better by Finn who somehow managed to become even more amazing in this book. With that being said, I have one protest: there was not enough Finn! His scenes were some amazing, I wish they were plentiful instead of gifted and scattered apart.

The pacing of this book was a little spotty, though. Though this was admittedly rare, I did find myself reading slowly at times because there were a few preparation scenes between the bigger scenes that began to drag a bit. While I understand the importance of such scenes, they did not hold the intensity that the rest of the book held and I wish the entire novel had pacing on the same level. I mean, gosh! Those last ten pages had my heart beating out of my chest, and I let out a little scream during those last two pages that startled both my father and my feline reading companion, Cosmo. It was so easy for me to get into so much of this book, so why did the filler chapters drag so much? That is the one thing I would have liked fixed abouted this story.

I recommend this series to anyone willing to check it out. Certainly my favorite witchy series out there. Jessica Spotswood has already been informed that I will give my left leg for book three. I need it that badly!

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"When I’m not writing" by Christina Mercer + giveaway!

Christina Mercer Christina Mercer has written a short but sweet post for us today for “When I’m not writing”. She is currently on a blog tour celebrating her latest release, a lovely young adult fantasy novel called ARROW OF THE MIST. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Mercer to the blog!

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Thank You Tynga’s Reviews for hosting me!

When I’m not writing I love to read, travel, hang out with the family and our pack of large dogs, tend to my garden, watch movies, spend time with friends, collect seashells, and after many years with a gear-head husband, I’ve grown fond of classic cars.

Christina Mercer beesBut perhaps my most unique activity when I’m not writing is beekeeping. I started eight years ago after taking a one-day class hosted by our local beekeeping store. I’ve had a lifelong fascination for the buzzing dynamos, and was thrilled to finally “get up close.” In that full classroom, there was only one other woman aside from myself, and we became immediate friends. She had two years of experience already under her belt, and offered to mentor me. I learned a ton, read everything I could get my hands on about honeybees, and barely scratched the surface of what I considered (and still consider!) a most wondrous undertaking.

Honeybees are true miracle workers. Their efficient organization, ability to create multiple (useful!) substances, including the tastiest substance ever, and their important contribution to our food supply continues to awe me.

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Thanks for stopping by, Christina! And thanks to Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours for organizing this! =)

For more information about Christina and her books, check out her website or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

You can also check out the other stops on the tour (scroll down to the bottom of the page):

Arrow of the Mist tour banner

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Here’s the scoop on ARROW OF THE MIST:

Arrow of the Mist by Christina MercerTerror strikes the Celtic inspired kingdom of Nemetona when barbed roots breach the veil of a forbidden land and poison woodsmen, including 15-year-old Lia’s beloved father. Lia and three others embark on a quest to the forbidden land of Brume to gather ingredients for the cure. But after her elder kinsman is attacked and poisoned, she and her cousin, Wynn, are forced to finish the quest on their own.

Lia relies on her powerful herbal wisdom and the memorized pages of her late grandmother’s Grimoire for guidance through a land of soul-hungry shades, trickster creatures, and uncovered truths about the origin of Brume and her family’s unexpected ties to it. The deeper they trek into the land, the stronger Lia’s untapped gift as a tree mage unfolds. When she discovers the enchanted root’s maker, it forces her to question everything about who she is and what is her destiny. Ultimately, she must make a terrible choice: keep fighting to save her father and the people of the lands or join with the power behind the deadly roots to help nature start anew.

Jenn’s thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon

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giveaway

Christina is kindly offering one (1) e-copy of ARROW OF THE MIST to a lucky reader!

Open internationally

To enter, listen to the Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!

Jenn

Random Act of Kindness : July Edition

Random act of Kindness is all about offering a little gift to someone just for the fun of it! Want to learn more about RAK? Visit the Book Soulmates blog!

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Last month was my birthday and I received a RAK from Mariska!

Assassin's Gambit (Hearts and Thrones, #1)

To thank her, I designed a button for her blog!

meandmybooks

Now onto my wish list for this month 🙂

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
MacRieve by Kresley Cole
Nameless by Lili St-Crow
Pulse by Patrick Carman
Damn Him to Hell by Jamie Quaid

ARCs:

The Falconer by Elizabeth May
A Fool’s Errand by Maureen Fergus

If you want to offer me one, email me (tyngauf(a)gmail.com) and I’ll provide my mailing addy 🙂

Thank you!

tynsig

By tyngauf Posted in RAK

Dead Living Blog Tour: Interview with Glenn Bullion + Giveaway

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We have Glenn Bullion as a guest today on the blog to promote his zombie book, DEAD LIVING. Check out my interview with Glenn down below, where we talk about zombies, his book, and then more zombies. Also, there is a tour wide giveaway going on so don’t miss out on your chance to a copy of DEAD LIVING!

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If you had to create a kit to survive in a world like the one you created in Dead Living, what would you include?

In Dead Living, the zombies have already taken over.  So, if you’re not bunkered down somewhere, the kit would need to be as light and simple as possible.  A bladed weapon of some sort, with a pistol as a last resort.  Water is a must, as much as you can reasonably carry.  Lighters and matches are no good, so a magnifying glass would be a good carry, for starting fires when able.  Society is over as we know it, so if you’re on your own, scavenging is the name of the game.

How would you introduce us to your main character, Aaron?

The mysterious introduction would work best with Aaron.  I love the visual of seeing him blend harmlessly with a huge pack of zombies, all of them moving around him while he moves freely.  That would be a scary sight, if you happened to be a bad guy (or anyone, for that matter).

Who was your favorite character to write about in Dead Living?

One of my favorite pairings of all my novels were Aaron and Samantha, and I loved to write about those two characters.  But I’ll take this chance to talk about another character, the glue that holds the survivors of Lexington High School together.  Richardson.

A lot of zombie stories has that bad guy, the typical leader of the biker gang, the guy manipulating the town for his own purposes, whose true goal is to look out for himself.  Richardson isn’t that man.  He is a good man, who only wants to take care of the people fate lumped him together with.  He is older, and remembers quite well what the old world was like, a sort of historian for the younger people.  Everyone looks up to him, and for good reason.

Zombies, or the walking dead, seem to be more and more popular in fiction these days. What differentiates your novel from the others in the genre?

It’s hard to write a different zombie story.  A lot of ideas have been used by other writers J  I’d like to think this one is different because of the characters.  I tried to breathe real life into everyone.  These characters were not just written to be eaten by zombies.  I’m hoping as the reader follows Aaron on his journey, that they truly hope for good things, unlike the teens we watch Jason and Freddy chase  J

The setting I also think is interesting.  This isn’t those first few weeks, but far in the future.  Society has fallen; the walking dead have taken over.  How would things be different?  What kind of camps would people form?  Zombies are naturally frightening to us, but what if you were a child, and grew up with them?  What good things would people do?  What evil things?

Dead Living is a fun story that goes on a little adventure that I think will spark the imagination.

What do you want your readers to learn or assimilate from Dead Living?

A lot of zombie stories focus on how bad humanity would turn out to be if the zombies came.  George Romero certainly tackles this issue often.  Dead Living has its villains as well, but there are plenty of positives.  Even with zombies all around, there’s always hope.  You have to hold on to that.

What do you think is more likely: the walking dead created by a virus or by supernatural forces?

You have to go with the virus.  I think that’s part of what makes zombies so scary and fascinating, is that they’re much more feasible to happen than say a vampire or werewolf.  Something that makes a human turn into a wolf is hard to swallow.  But some kind of virus or government experiment that could make dead bodies move and jump around?  I don’t think that’s entirely out of the picture.

What is your favorite zombie movie?

There are a ton of good ones out there.  Even the zom-coms are solid, Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland.  But I have to go with the original trilogy, Night, Dawn, and Day.  Those movies are hard to beat.  I also liked Land of the Dead, although I think sometimes I may be the only one.

Do you prefer to write on a computer or with pen and paper? Do you have any weird/crazy writing habits?

Computer writing only for me.  I’m not sure I’d be a writer if it weren’t for the computer.  I don’t really have any weird habits, I don’t think.  I like to listen to music, sometimes, but it depends on how focused I am.  Sometimes music is a distraction, and has to go off.

What are you reading right now?

I’m actually not reading anything right now.  I’m working on my latest book (Demon’s Doorway is nearly ready to be released, as of this writing, and typing the words on Witch’s Kurse).  I try not to mix reading and writing too much.  It’s not good to have that distraction, when I’m having some bad writing time, to say “Man, I wish I was reading that book”.  I try to get my reading done in between novels.

What will I read next?  I’ll probably try to find a Richard Laymon novel I haven’t read yet, or read one of his old ones.

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Thank you Glenn for answering my questions. It was great to have you here on the blog!

More about Dead Living:

Adobe Photoshop PDF

It didn’t take long for the world to die. And it didn’t take long, either, for the dead to rise.

Born on the day everything ended, a world filled with the walking dead is the only one that Aaron knows. Kept in seclusion, his family teaches  him the basics. How to read and write. How to survive.

Then Aaron makes a shocking discovery. The undead, who desire nothing but flesh, ignore him. It’s as if he’s invisible to them.

The survivors of the old suburb of Lexington call a high school their home. They live day to day, without any of the luxuries mankind used to enjoy. Samantha is a product of the new world. Alone, cold, looking out only for herself. She and the other residents of Lexington feel their hope dwindling. They need change. They need someone who can face the corpses. They need someone who can live in a city of the dead.

They need Aaron.

My Thoughts

Read and excerpt

Purchase: Amazon

giveaway

Glenn is offering a tour wide giveaway of 3 copies of DEAD LIVING [winner’s choice of Print (US/Can) or eBook (INTL)]

To enter the giveaway, obey the rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About Glenn Bullion

I live in Maryland with my wonderful wife and four cats. I love gaming, computer technology, movies, and of course, reading and writing. I love science fiction and especially horror and the paranormal. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves, zombies, anything supernatural, all beautiful subjects.

I’ve been writing since I was twelve years old. There’s just something about creating a story that I like. I always try come up with something that hasn’t been done, or is unique in some way. It could be someone with demonic powers, or something much more simple, such as a person that zombies ignore. It’s fun to create a character, give him or her a personality and background, and watch them evolve through a story.

I’ve tried other subjects, but always drift back to horror and paranormal. There’s a reason why we keep going back to horror movies and books, why they’ve made fifty Friday the 13th movies. People like to be scared, but more than that, I think paranormal and horror stir the imagination like nothing else. We’re all just a little nervous to open that closet door at midnight, or look under the bed.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook

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Dead Living by Glenn Bullion

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Dead Living by Glenn Bullion

Book Stats:

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 240 pages
Genre: Zombies/Horror
Publisher: Permuted Press
Release date: January 12, 2013

Series: none

Reviewed by: Stéphanie

Source: Tour organizer

Purchase: Amazon

It didn’t take long for the world to die. And it didn’t take long, either, for the dead to rise.

Born on the day everything ended, a world filled with the walking dead is the only one that Aaron knows. Kept in seclusion, his family teaches him the basics. How to read and write. How to survive.

Then Aaron makes a shocking discovery. The undead, who desire nothing but flesh, ignore him. It’s as if he’s invisible to them.

The survivors of the old suburb of Lexington call a high school their home. They live day to day, without any of the luxuries mankind used to enjoy. Samantha is a product of the new world. Alone, cold, looking out only for herself. She and the other residents of Lexington feel their hope dwindling. They need change. They need someone who can face the corpses. They need someone who can live in a city of the dead.

They need Aaron.

I’ve been hooked on anything zombie lately. Simultaneously, I’ve been reading this zombie book, watching  a TV series on DVD about zombies (The Walking Dead) and playing a zombie video game (The Last of Us). All three are excellent and DEAD LIVING is no exception. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it, especially since it’s such a short book. I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough character development or enough action, but since the author’s storytelling is right to the point, none of that was compromised.

While most of the story is held 23 years after the zombie apocalypse, I really like the fact the author still wrote about what happened before that, without being dragged through flashbacks. The book opens with the events that unfold the first day of the zombie apocalypse, which is also the day the main character, Aaron, is born. Then, were transported about 14 years into the future where Aaron loses his family and is left to fend for himself. And finally, the read story progresses as we follow 23 year old Aaron, who finally begins to trust humans again.

Ever since learning he has a special link with the dead, Aaron hasn’t been around humans all that much. Since the zombies don’t seem to want to eat him, he’s not afraid to live is a city inundated by them. Truthfully, it was humans that killed his family, and he feels like the real monsters might not be the zombies, but quite possibly the humans. Human survival can be a great and powerful thing, but for some people, surviving means letting go of morals and human decency. So when Aaron meets Sam (Sam to Aaron, Samantha to everyone else), he’s reluctant to follow her to her home base, but eventually decides to check out Lexington High School. Slowly, Aaron begins to trust other humans again and he quickly becomes an important member of the Lexington community. Everyone starts to look up to him, and Sam develops strong feeling for her new friend, despite her own reluctance to trust other people.

DEAD LIVING isn’t just a book about the walking dead, but a book on human survival. It’s realistic enough in the description of how people live, and the indecency of some human beings adds more conflict to the story. The book reveals a lot about the horrors of the human race like rape, slavery and human sacrifice. It almost makes you wonder who the real monsters are: the thinking, breathing humans or the mindless living dead.

For me, this was an excellent quick read, and exactly what I was in the mood for. Glenn Bullion succeeded in writing a memorable and readable book. He didn’t reinvent the zombie wheel but his original add-ons make this book stand out. His unique main character Aaron and Sam make you want to keep reading, and personally, a book is a success especially if you have characters that make you come back for more. While the secondary characters aren’t quite as developed as some, the fact that Glenn Bullion has Aaron and Sam seems to be enough. Bullion expertly captures the horror (and goodness) of the human spirit without being too gruesome in LIVING DEAD. It leaves you satisfied as a stand-alone book, yet truthfully I wouldn’t mind reading more about Aaron.

Read an excerpt

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Deep Dark Secret by Sierra Dean

Deep Dark Secret by Sierra Dean Deep Dark Secret by Sierra Dean

Book stats:
Reading level: Adult
ebook: 272 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Samhain
Release date: February 5, 2012

Series: Secret McQueen #3

Source: Personal shelf

Reviewed by: Jenn

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

The only good Secret is a buried Secret

Secret McQueen has hunted vampires, werewolves, and every conceivable supernatural menace-to-society. Seen it all? Not even close. When the queen of the were-ocelots comes to her for help finding a missing girl, the half-vampire/half-werewolf soon realizes how much she has to learn about the things that go bump in the night.

The case of the missing cat is one thing. Pile it up with her new duties as a Tribunal Leader, her tenuous position as mate to the king of the Eastern werewolves, and a slew of new (and unwelcome) supernatural abilities, and Secret is once again in familiar territory. Way over her head. But for this multitasking half-breed, it’s business as unusual.

What knocks her for a loop, though, isn’t her lover’s intoxicating kiss. It’s the missing memories rushing at her from out of nowhere, signaling a rapidly approaching fork in her destiny. Her choice will affect not only her life, but her love.

Warning: Contains a werewolf king with wandering hands, a creepy English professor with nefarious plans, and one hell of an unexpected gala evening at Columbia.

DEEP DARK SECRET is Secret McQueen’s third novel-length adventure and Sierra Dean has upped the stakes on both the romantic and political front. The previous two novels have focussed primarily on vampire business and added some werewolf romance but DEEP DARK SECRET turns that formula on its head, with the politics being werewolf in nature. Lucas’ territory is being encroached upon by Secret’s family and it forces Lucas and Secret’s relationship issues to the foreground of the novel. I’ve always found Lucas to be a bit high-handed and autocratic and I was none too pleased with his behaviour in DEEP DARK SECRET since he takes this behaviour to new levels. Thankfully, Secret doesn’t take to this very well, which leads to some awkward but important conversations. She does, however, go along with some of the situations he creates for the good of the pack, which shows how much she’s learned about her status in the pack and how her actions affect not only her own future but those of her packmates. It’s great to see her becoming more aware of the bigger picture, but it would be nice if Lucas wasn’t always forcing decisions on her. I hope that the next book, GRAVE SECRET, shows us a more considerate side of our determined werewolf king but I doubt it.

On the plus side, some of Secret’s other relationships (romantic and otherwise) are not so fraught, which is good considering she has to find Genevieve’s missing niece Lucy. The mission takes some interesting twists and turns and the series mythology expands to include previously undiscussed supernatural elements. The Big Bad is a type of monster common in urban fantasy and paranormal romance but Dean does a nice job of making it her own (and extremely icky). The climactic battle is really exciting and it has some nice surprising elements that I think everyone will enjoy.

We actually get to learn a lot about Secret’s past because an ex-boyfriend features rather prominently in DEEP DARK SECRET. Secret’s interactions with him give us a lot of insight into her character, and also highlight how much she’s grown since we first met her. There was one reveal in particular that will likely have serious ramifications for the series, but it comes towards the end of the novel so I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll just have to read DEEP DARK SECRET for yourself if you’re curious! 🙂

Though I didn’t like DEEP DARK SECRET as much as the previous installments in the Secret McQueen series, it’s still a fun, fast urban fantasy ride that delivers the level of action, humour, and sexiness I’ve come to expect from Sierra Dean. The characters continue to grow, Secret continues to kick butt and snark her way through all of her challenges, and her life gets ever more complicated. I can’t begin to guess what might befall Secret next but I can’t wait to read it!

Read an excerpt

Jenn

Stacking The Shelves [62]

 
Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
 
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!
 
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Remember that upon the completion of our SS event, you can still enter all giveaways until July 5th! Thank you pubs, authors, and everyone else for making this event a success!
 
So, it’s really awesome to be sitting here right now because last week…I graduated! I’m happy to say that I am officially a high school graduate, now a college student. Feels great not to have anymore homework! haha I originally had a video to share, but read the reasoning below as to why you can’t see my graduation fun.
 
I actually had a vlog showcasing the three weeks worth of books that I have to share with you, but a thunderstorm cut out my electricity for about five minutes last night and it deleted my vlog. I’m sorry, cover photos will have to do! With that being said, this was a really amazing three weeks because so many surprises showed up on my doorstep!
 
For Review

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols (blog tour on Lili’s Reflections)
Vortex by S.J. Kincaid (Thank you, SJ!)
Taste Test by Kelly Fiore (Thank you Netgalley! Hello, Master Chef!)
The Weight of Souls by Bryony Pearce (Thank you for this murder mystery, Strange Chemistry!)
A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard
Thank you Harper for the ARC! Blog tour here at Tynga’s Reviews on July 17th!

 
Trade via the YA Book Exchange

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry (thank you, Becky!)
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (thank you, Christy!)
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder (thank you, Christy!)

bound manuscript of The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
I jumped for joy when this landed on my doorstep. You are so amazing Christina, thank you! ❤

ARCycling

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

 
Gifted
Christina surprised me with these four beauties off of my TBR list alongside The Winner’s Curse. Thank you again, girl ❤ No idea these were coming!


The Heist Society by Ally Carter
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
From What I Remember… by Stacey Kramer and Valerie Thomas
The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges
Have to find book one since I have yet to read it yet.

Bought

Losing It by Cora Carmack (on sale–amazing book!)
Suddenly Royal by Nicole Chase (on sale–read-a-thon with Christine! NA Princess Diaries)
Among the Nameless Stars by Diana Peterfreund (free novella!)

 
Library

The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar (story just wasn’t for me, did not like even though it has genies!)
Shadowlands by Kate Brian 

Borrowed from Friends

Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines (Thank you, Jennifer!)
Never Too Far by Abbi Glines (Thank you, Christy!)
Going to be honest and say these books disappointed me in every imaginable way after all the hype surrounding them. Did not like this new adult series, at all.

My First Ever Acknowledgment
In 2012, I reviewed SANCTUM by Sarah Fine here on Tynga’s Reviews. If not for me joining this blog tour, I would never have gotten as close to Sarah as I have. I’m very proud to call her a friend. And I’m even more amazed that she decided to put me in the acknowledgement section of book two, FRACTURED. When I noticed this in my ARC, I did the world’s biggest happy dance! Thank you, Sarah! And for those of you who have not read this series, I highly suggest it!
 

Bloggers Mentioned
Christina at The Reader of Fictions 
Becky at Stories and Sweeties
Christy at Christy’s Book Addiction
ARCycling 
YA Book Exchange

What did YOU add to your shelves?
 

 

SS: Interview with Nalini Singh + Giveaway

SSbig

To close the event, I’m super happy to receive best-selling author extraordinaire, Nalini Singh! It’s always such a pleasure to have her on the blog and we had to invite to celebrate the recent release of Heart of Obsidian. Please welcome her warmly!

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1- Long-time reader and huge fan of the series are on pins and needles for HEART OF OBSIDIAN. How does it feel to have a book this hotly anticipated? What’s your favorite scene from the book?

I’m delighted readers continue to enjoy the series! I truly love the world and its characters, and it’s wonderful to know that readers feel the same.
As for my favorite scene…oooh, that’s hard to choose, but one of my favorites is a flashback scene. I can’t say exactly what it’s about without giving too much away, but it makes me smile every single time I read it. 

2- From the entire series, which character was your favorite to write and why?

I absolutely can’t choose – I love all my characters and find it so hard to compare them to each other. Some have appeared more in the series than others, but they all have a powerful role to play, not only in their own books but in the overall story arc.

3- If you could borrow another author’s character and throw them into the Psy/Changeling world, who would you pick and why?

For me, the mark of a good book is that the characters fit absolutely into that world. As such, to tear them out and put them into another world simply wouldn’t work – and I would never do that to characters about whom I love to read.

4- Will you ever write a book that pairs two Psy together now that Silence is fracturing for more and more people?

A Psy-Psy story or stories, has always been part of my plan for the series.

5-  Once fans have devoured HEART OF OBSIDIAN, will we have more questions or more answers? 

You’ll have a lot of answers, and one big question resulting from the final events that take place in the story.

6- Will Vasic get his own story soon? You’ve said before it wasn’t his time. Is his time soon? He’s so interesting!!

Wait and see 😉 (He’s in HEART OF OBSIDIAN quite a lot.)

7- Does the summer solstice means anything to as race as stoic as the Psy? What about the Changeling?

Not to the Psy, and the changelings are always in sync with nature, so the rhythm of the world is part of their very blood.

8- Do you have a personal tidbit to share in relation with midsummer?

While you’re having midsummer, we’re having midwinter over in the Southern Hemisphere! People have been known to celebrate Midwinter Christmas. 🙂

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Thank you very much Nalini for taking the time to visit and answering our burning questions!

More about Hearts of Obsidian:

Heart of Obsidian  (Psy-Changeling, #12)

Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world…

A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.

 

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Previous books in the series:

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Cha... Visions of Heat (Psy-Change...Caressed By Ice (Psy-Change...Mine to Possess (Psy-Change...Hostage to Pleasure (Psy-Ch...Branded by Fire (Psy-Change...

Blaze of Memory (Psy-Change...Bonds of Justice (Psy-Chang...Play of Passion (Psy-Change...Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling, #10)Wild Invitation (Psy-Change...Tangle of Need (Psy-Changel...

 giveaway

Nalini is generously offering a signed hardcover edition of Kiss of Snow to one lucky winner!

open internationally

Fill the form to enter!

Ends July 5th, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Nalini SinghI was born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand. I also spent three years living and working in Japan, during which time I took the chance to travel around Asia. I’m back in New Zealand now, but I’m always plotting new trips. If you’d like to see some of my travel snapshots, have a look at the Travel Diary page (updated frequently).

So far, I’ve worked as a lawyer, a librarian, a candy factory general hand, a bank temp and an English teacher and not necessarily in that order. Some might call that inconsistency but I call it grist for the writer’s mill.”

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