BOOK REVIEW: Spells and Sorcery by S. Usher Evans

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You have magic.

One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I’m not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.

Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb–she’s magical.

Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he’ll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.

Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.

Seriously, I have no idea where time goes because it feels like yesterday when I received an ARC of The Island and here I am, reviewing another series from S. Usher Evans. Whew! I received an email from the lovely author/ her own publisher as well, about a new series she has written and if I might be interested in reading it. Of course, seeing how The Island and The Chasm and Double Life (hey Razia girl!) worked out super well for me, I was in.

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The magic system, though not astoundingly unique, is well thought of. Now we all know about witches and the variety of things they can do. However, the world that the author created made for a unique system where the witches are categorized according to their talents, essentially complementing each other. The societal and institutional aspects of the magic system is well developed and I like that about it.

The suspense and mystery regarding the plot twist (twists? gotta read it if you wanna know *wink*) was were not dragged on for too long yet not given too soon. Now if you have read some of my previous reviews you might know that I hate, HATE, frustrating books that keep too much for too long that by the end you just don’t care anymore.

Ms. Evans, as usual, is able to give natural reactions to her characters. I mean, you could just relate to them, because they seem natural. They could just be the usual person you walk past along the streets. They are flawed, they try, they cope up and they learn. The development of the characters was very discreet, but relevant.

Now, I want you to pay attention to what I am going to say. EVERYBODY loves a bad ass grandma. Do you? I do. Come on, when you are inches away from dying and you find out you kept your precious life because your granny “claimed you”, you gotta bow to the queen bee that is your Nana. And just like that, I described my favorite scene in the book.

I am usually good at having hunches regarding twists and stuff but honestly, I think I was too busy about the other stuff going on that I only realized it about 3 pages before the big reveal. Still caught it though *wink* Well played Whitney, well played.

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Something about it just doesn’t settle with me completely. And I know this is stupid, but it didn’t just hit it with me like The Chasm or Double Life did. I know I shouldn’t compare them because they are TOTALLY different books, but I hope you get what I am saying.I think maybe it is because this book is for a younger crowd?  Maybe.

The synopsis fell flat for me. The first 2 lines that is.

The pacing was slow at first. And I understand why it had to be that way, explaining a lot of stuff and showing how Lexie will react to her newfound powers but personally, I would have wanted it to have picked up speed early on. It did pick up, about 1/3 into the book and all was well 🙂 Well not all well because she almost died but you get what I mean.

Despite these, I am really curious what comes next, and will definitely read the next book in this series. I also want to read it to see if it will be a better fit for me. I like that this book is not like anything I have read before, with witches having concrete limits to their powers. And I think people will enjoy it too.

3.5star

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher for free in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

**Spells and Sorcery (Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1) releases on October 4, 2016.

BOOK REVIEW: The Chasm by S. Usher Evans

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This is happening. This is really happening. It seems like a short time since I reviewed The Island in my blog and here I am, reviewing it’s sequel for you people of the bookland! Listen, when I read The Island, I have told you that I loved it. Loved it. But this book. THIS BOOK! Dare I say it? I love it even more! Honestly didn’t think it was possible, and after reading the first one, I wasn’t sure how the story would progress. But lo and behold, progress it did and beautifully at that! But because I always say that I will try to be a better blogger which spares you wonderful people of endless flailing and fangirling, I will try my best to point stuff out as clearly as I can haha!

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ALL OF IT! 

Well there is one teeny tiny detail I could do without but we could talk about that later and for now let us just bathe in this glory of a book. The premise of this book, in my opinion, was better than the first one. But then of course, I would admit that the first book and its premise is absolutely essential in building up what came about in this sequel. I think it also helped that I was really waiting for this book, so much that when I received the email asking if I will review this book I jumped with joy! And people, it DID NOT DISAPPOINT.

I think the dynamics in this book was better. Whether between the characters or the circumstances surrounding them, the movement in the story in relation to the general plot was better, smoother I would say. And the twists and turns in this book! I was on my toes! The book was so fast-paced I didn’t know I was near the end.Things were constantly happening and I wasn’t prepared to leave the world just yet when it ended!

I think that the character development on all the characters was significant. Especially on Galian. Oh that man! In this book, we see more of what kind of a man Galian really is. He finds his niche and his voice in the political battlefield and is becoming his own man so to speak. Theo has always been this strong, kick-ass girl but here her fears and insecurities were shown. She was shown as a regular girl like everybody else, afraid and in-love. But then you also see this sense of responsibility on both of them which endeared me to them even more. Frankly, they’ve got good heads on top of their necks.

And can we just talk about Kader? I always knew something was up with him! In a good way anyway. I knew from the start there was more to him than meets the eye and man was I right! Like Kader, other characters in the book were also brought to light fairly well. They were relevant, and I appreciate that. I mean, even the king was shown in a different light even just for a few lines.

In my previous review of The Island, I said that by the end of the first book, you tend to doubt the side you choose. Well, in this book, my point is explored and elaborated, and you wouldn’t know where your loyalties will lie. If I may say though, I am all for Queen Korina and all her glorious beauty. Just saying.

The political game, the conspiracies, the pressure, and just the intensity of the scenes was so good I could not stop flipping the pages. The political battlefield was very well laid out and executed perfectly. What I also like about the storyline is that it displays the complex of choices and their consequences.Often, books may tend to let the main characters go on a lot of things regarding their decisions whether they are genius or not because they are the hero/heroine of the story. I like how Galian and Theo are treated as who they are. Young and needing mentors.

Oh the feels and the action. THE ACTION. When a book reminds you of the movie “Executive Decision” by Steven Segal, you know it’s action-packed! Being filled with so much action, this might be weird to say but this book made me weep. Yes. Weep. How? By a death that is so unexpected and so unfair that it just devastated me that’s how!

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This is, like I said, a teeny tiny detail but that girl. That girl I could do without to be completely honest. I just think that the girl was useless, and the effect she had in the end was too insignificant for me to care.

Before I end this review, I think that one of the reasons this book just gripped me was it’s attachment to some form of reality. It was closer to how things are, and that adds to the charm of the whole story. By this second book, I just ship Galian and Theo really, really hard I can be in a fans club.

4.5star

Told you I loved it!

***The Chasm (Madion War Trilogy #2) releases today July 12th!!! If you want to know more, below is the synopsis of the book as well as buy links if you are interested in purchasing this book.

***I was provided an ARC by the Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing for review purposes. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

***There may or may not be a giveaway below from the lovely author. Plus a snippet from the book!

Would you date a doctor or a pilot?

 

thechasmebook_600x900They survived The Island, but can they cross The Chasm?

Four months after Prince Galian was discovered alive on a remote island, he’s adjusting slowly to life at the hospital under the Kylaen media’s glare. His promises to Theo remain unfulfilled as fear of his father keeps him from taking concrete action. And the more he learns about the machinations in Kylae, the less sure he is that it’s possible to make a difference.

Across the great Madion Sea, Major Theo Kallistrate struggles to navigate the tricky political waters of Rave’s presidential staff. To make positive change for her people, she must remain relevant and interesting to the Raven media and to the president. When he asks her to deliver a speech on her supposed two-month imprisonment at Mael, she’s not sure she can stomach the lies.

The Chasm is S. Usher Evans’ breathtaking, fast-paced follow-up to The Island, which readers say is “not to be missed.”

 

<a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Sneak Peek

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Theo

“Bayard won’t be back for at least two hours,” Emilie said, glancing at her watch. “We will probably need to tweak his talking points based on his discussions with the Jervan president. Wesson, take the lead on that.”

He nodded and scribbled in his book.

“Aruna,” Emilie said, nodding at a younger girl I’d seen in a few meetings. She paled at being called on, but held her pen ready. “Find Cannon and tail him. Make sure he stays on message and doesn’t dally in anything…embarrassing.” She paused, a disgusted look crossing her face. “And if he does, make sure nobody knows. Talk to Wesson for crowns if you need it.”

She nodded with a small smile. She might take that mission a little too seriously.

“And ‘neechai,” Emilie said, grabbing my attention. “You and I will spend the afternoon working on your speech. I trust that you’ve resolved whatever…issues you were having.”

I dipped my head, even as dread coiled in my stomach. Emilie moved on to someone else, so I pulled the speech out from the calf-pocket of my jumpsuit. I’d practiced it once or twice while sitting in the pool, reading quietly to myself and envisioning what it would be like to speak in front of the Madion nation leadership.

But even in my head, I still stumbled through the parts about Mael. Stumbling wouldn’t cut it for Emilie, so I prayed for a miracle.

“What’s going on out there?” Emilie said, squinting to her left. I followed her gaze and saw a crowd of people standing at the hotel’s entrance, craning over each other to get a look at whatever was outside.

I stood with the rest of the Ravens and walked into the lobby. The crowd grew more frenzied and then the front doors of the hotel opened.

The crowd pushed in then parted, and in strolled the last person I’d ever expected to see again.

“Amichai.”

He was beautiful, a wide smile on his face and his gait confident. His brown hair was clipped shorter and he no longer wore the beard I’d grown accustomed to seeing on our island. He paused in the middle of the lobby to talk to two journalists who’d approached him, then threw his head back and laughed.

Then his eyes locked with mine.

It was as if everything and everyone disappeared. The corners of his mouth turned up and I suddenly forgot how to breathe. Electricity crackled in the hundred steps that lay between us, and I could’ve sworn I knew exactly what he was thinking. If I’d had any doubt about his reason for arriving in this city, in this hotel, on this day, it vanished in that moment.

As desperately as I wanted to run to him, for some reason, my legs wouldn’t move. Something was keeping me from going to him, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what it was…

“What in the world is the princeling doing here?” Cannon’s voice pierced my bubble, and I wrenched my eyes away from Galian’s. Where I was, who I was with, and my purpose rushed back to me like waking from the best dream into a nightmare.

I found my voice. “I have no idea.”

“I doubt he’s meddling in the summit. He’d be stupid to disobey his father.” Cannon shrugged mightily. “Then again, the princeling’s never been too smart.”

“Right, he’s an idiot,” I said.

Stupid, stupid princeling. How could he be so irresponsible as to come to Jervan? Especially after his father had forbidden anyone from Kylae to attend, or so Emilie had told us in a meeting earlier that week. And he just walked through the front door, announcing to the entire world that he was there.

I realized I was still watching him when Cannon’s voice again interrupted my thoughts. “Come now, kallistrate, don’t be star struck. He’s just a prince.”

I nodded hastily and turned away from him so I wouldn’t be tempted to stare. “Just a prince, right.”

And my amichai.

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Galian

She was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

I drank in the sight of her: the way her velvet lips parted, how her big brown eyes widened slightly. Her hair pulled back into a bun, her Raven uniform immaculate. The shape of her body. How her dark skin had grown pale. 

“If you’re trying to pretend you don’t know her, perhaps you shouldn’t stare,” Martin snickered beside me. “I’ll stare at her for you. She’s a lot cuter than I remembered.”

“Right,” I said, turning away. “So do you think it worked?”

I had just finished talking to a reporter, feigning ignorance about any sort of summit or why the leaders from three of the four Madion nations were in this city. I’d made sure to talk about my plans to drink heavily and meet some hot Jervanian girls, just to play the part.

I attempted to keep the giddy smile off of my face as I checked into the hotel. When I snuck another glance at her, she’d turned away from me, but the rest of the Ravens kept staring at me, pointing and discussing amongst themselves. I wondered what they were saying.

“I apologize, Your Highness,” the clerk said with all the sincerity of a wet mop. “All of our suites have been reserved by delegations to the summit. The only rooms I have are the basic rooms.”

“I doubt I’ll be sleeping in my own room anyway,” I said with an overly confident grin.

The clerk, predictably, rolled his eyes in disgust.

I caught Martin’s eye, and he snorted.

“Your keys, Your Highness,” he said, sliding over two access cards. “Please be advised that there is a two hundred crown cleaning fee for any…destruction.”

I winked at him then motioned for Martin to grab our bags. I would’ve carried my own, but it would’ve been contrary to the part I was playing.

“You sure faked that well,” Martin said, tossing my bag to me once we were safely in the elevator.

“I wish I could say I’ve never been that much of an asshole before,” I said with a small grimace.


About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevansS. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

Check her out on the below social medias:

Water’s Wrath is out now!

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Whew this is a very busy week for cover reveals and book releases! Today, and I am admittedly a bit late on this, I have for you the Water’s Wrath release! This is such an exciting time for me as one of my favorite series comes out with another book! Here are all the links you need, all the information you need about the author, and …. wait for it…. A GIVEAWAY! (If you know that reference then we are sisters indeed).

Here are the links for you:

                             

Now for the giveaway! This giveaway is open only to residents of the Philippines. I am going to try to include everyone in my next giveaways 🙂 I designed the notepads myself. Any of the prizes should not be sold. Giveaway ends on May 27 11:59 PM EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Always  a  Proud Member

Elise Kova, YA Fantasy Author

THE TOWER TAKES CARE OF ITS OWN

The Island Release Blitz!

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You guys, this is the day! Today is the release day of the first Madion War Trilogy book The Island! Here are all the links you need, plus a snippet of book. There is also another giveaway (besides the one I have in yesterday’s post) from the lovely S. Usher Evans for some awesome swag! If you wish to know what I think about this book and enter my giveaway, then click here.

Buy The Island for eBook, Paperback, and Hardcover.

Giveaway from the Author

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Island Sneak Peek

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Theo

 

“Yep,” he observed, with a smirk on his face. Up close, he was every bit as handsome as I’d seen in pictures. “You definitely got what you deserved. Shouldn’t have shot at me.”

“You shouldn’t have invaded my country.”

His eyes widened for a moment and I thought I’d finally done something to wipe that smile off his face. To my supreme annoyance, he tilted his head back and let out a throaty laugh.

“Oh, you are witty,” he said, nodding. “And technically right. But it wasn’t my decision. I was, as they say, just following orders.”

“And I was just following orders when I blew you out of the sky.”

“Aren’t we at an impasse then?” He seemed to be enjoying this conversation. He looked down at the side of my ship and read the inscription. “Theo, huh? Well, you must be a pretty high ranking pilot then. I hear the Ravens only allow you to put your name on your ship after you’ve survived plenty of battles.”

I moved out of anger, but the pain in my legs came roaring up my body. “Please let me die in peace,” I asked, unable to look at him.

“Oh, you aren’t going to die today. But it would probably be safer if I pulled you out. I don’t like the look of that fuel leak.”

He leaned into my small cabin. If I’d had half a mind, I could’ve snapped his neck, but it was hard enough just to breathe. He found my seat strap and unhooked it, then lifted me out by my arms. I couldn’t help but scream.

“Yeow, buddy,” he said, stopping. He put one hand over his ear and muttered. “You sure got a girly scream.”

“My legs are caught. Just leave me here. I’m as good as dead anyway.”

“Naw, then who am I going to talk to while I wait to get picked up?” He sounded like he was waiting for dinner. “C’mon, we can get you out of here. Just take a deep breath. One…two…”

I didn’t hear him count to three as he yanked my legs out of the mess and I screamed again, the pain so bad I almost lost consciousness. But, blessedly, it subsided, and the next thing I knew, he was laying me on the ground.

“There, now, Theo of Raven, let’s take a look at you,” he said, taking my helmet off.

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Galian

Theo was a girl.

A pretty girl.

I’d always thought Raven women were more interesting looking than Kylaen women—with their olive skin and black hair, they seemed to draw my attention. And this girl, something about her made my head spin.

Even with her mangled, bloody legs.

They were a sight: dark red staining her gray jumpsuit.

“Thank you, Dr. Maitland,” I said, cracking open the bag he’d given me and sliding on the pair of latex gloves.

She murmured something. The amount of blood she’d lost was a real concern, and she was most likely concussed. I would worry about the head injury later; it wouldn’t matter much if she died from blood loss.

“What are you doing?” she croaked.

“Pardon the invasion of privacy,” I said, flashing her my trademark smile.

I unzipped her jumpsuit and pulled it down, exposing a white bra and underwear and nothing else. Immediately, her skin puckered with goosebumps as I tossed away the soaked dark gray suit.

“Are you still with me, Theo?”

She blinked, but didn’t respond.

“Okay, I’m going to examine you now,” I said, leaning over her bare legs. I pressed my hands to her hips, and she reacted, swiftly, sitting up so fast she nearly whacked her forehead to mine.

“Get your filthy hands off of me,” she hissed, her breath touching my face.

About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevansS. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, and Empath, published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

Check her out on the below social medias:

BOOK REVIEW: The Island by S. Usher Evans + Giveaway!

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Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.
Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country’s independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.
When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian’s medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo’s survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.
Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?

Hello everyone! Today I have a really exciting post for you all in celebration of The Island’s release tomorrow, April 26. I have been bombarding you for sometime about how much I love a book which I am a street team member for and now, I can finally tell you guys everything about it, including my thoughts and the feels and more! This review is spoiler free so you are safe peeps! Also, if you an be a bit patient to read through the end of my review, there will be a giveaway in store for you! Yes!

Coming in to this book, I had really high hopes, and perhaps expectations for it since I have been OBSESSED with Double Life (Razia Series Book #1). And this early, I want to tell you, all of you, that I was not disappointed! I could go on and just mumble about how I liked this book, but of course, being the good (ahem) blogger that I am, I will discuss them further and try to be more helpful than my usual self.

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Honestly, a lot. I think the world building was on point. Now I may have some bias on this because my father was in the Air Force when he was still in the military service. And so, I was familiar with air crafts, maintenance, and mechanics, and hangars, and barracks, and the lot. So for that, I was able to relate early on. However, in retrospect, had I not been in my circumstance, I think I still would have been able to relate after some time. The situation surrounding Theo and why things were that way was told clearly. Of course, the situation with Galian had some relation with me as well because I too work in the medical field. The moral and professional sentiments he expressed were not entirely alien to me.

Also, I think that how the world’s situation was explained well, appealing to the hearts of those who value democracy and freedom (which is probably all of us). You tend to take sides 5 pages in. Clever if I may say so, because by the last 3 pages, you will question that loyalty you held throughout the book. You think you have weighed out everything and made a firm decision but nope! Things are just getting started my friend.

The entire premise of the book was great, of warring lands, with a much deeper and thought-provoking underlying cause to it. It is not entirely a story of love in a war torn country. Because if it is, you know I would have junked it. For me, it is a book of loyalty, and principles, and love, and politics, and choices, and the moral consequences of war. To believe and trust in someone you are raised and trained to hate, and the string of choices you have to make along with it is what makes this book beyond what it looks like.

The story’s pacing was perfect. Although there were a bunch of things needed to be explained and a lot of the conversations carried much information, there was enough pause for a lot of the scenes. What I mean is that, there are moments which needed just a teeny tiny bit more time, just a little drag on the time to let readers get immersed in those moments, before getting their hearts broken to pieces again. Those moments, were generously given to readers in this book. Looking back, I could say A LOT has happened to the characters in this book, BUT, it is surprising to say that it wasn’t a very thick, heavy read.

Now, for the one thing you know I look for in books. Both characters had interesting back stories to them, and I liked that there was not much mystery to where they came from or what they did in the past because that would have been too much. But, the character development both of them underwent during the course of the book was to me, exactly what was needed. You see them change perspective, and challenge their long-held beliefs, but they stay true to their nature, and true to their hearts. There were no dramatic change of loyalties, but internal conflicts that should be natural were present.

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The ending. Yup, I said it. What? No it was not a bad ending. It was just that it ended so soon! One minute I was furiously flipping the pages and then poof! I hit the back cover and my booknerd self cried. Why do this Whitney?

If you have read my review of Double Life (if not yet, click here), then I know you may be wondering if I liked this better. And the honest answer is no. In my review, I gave Double Life a much deserved 4.5/5 rating. For this one, it came really close.

4star

And now for my giveaway!

This Giveaway is for Philippine residents only (sorry international peeps!). I will try to include everyone in my next ones. This is the first giveaway I am hosting so I am still testing stuff out! Expect better ones to come. I designed the notepads myself and I have a thumbs up from the author (thanks Whitney!) for them. These prizes should not be sold.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PS. Check out this blog again tomorrow for all the Release day post and all the links + another GIVEAWAY!

COVER REVEAL: Crystal Crowned by Elise Kova + Giveaway

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Hello everyone! I am so happy to bring you this post I am pretty sure you can hear me giggling from your side of the universe. So if you have been following me for a while, then you would know that I am a part of a wonderful family called the Tower Guard.  If you have not been following me yet, then it is never too late and hit that follow button on the right *wink* Here is a digital hug as a perk of you joining in!

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Anyway, back to the topic of this post, ever since I read Air Awakens which is the first book to the series, I have declared my love and loyalty for it. And now that I am about to share the cover reveal for the last installment in the series, the feels guys… the feels. I mean, how is it that we are in the LAST BOOK? How? How?!?!?! Elise, why do this to me?

If you haven’t read Air Awakens yet, I seriously suggest you do and you won’t be disappointed. If you need more talking into reading this series, give me a message and I will gladly do it. I promise I will lay low on the giggling and screaming and weeping and all the feels. So, are we ready for the reveal of (in my opinion) the best cover in the whole series?

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Let us all take a moment of silence for the beauty that is this cover. I mean look at that! Absolute perfection!

Crystal Crowned Synopsis

Long live Solaris.

One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

And to make this day even sweeter, Elise has a raffle for you all lovely humans!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crystal Crowned Preorder Links

Previous Books Buy Links

Air Awakens

Fire Falling
Earth’s End

Water’s Wrath (Pre-order)

Goodreads Links

About the Author

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook.

Follow Elise Kova on Goodreads

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My Website: http://www.EliseKova.com

Follow her around!

So! While you bathe in the beauty of this cover, I suggest you go and pick up Air Awakens and see how a guy who pushed a girl from the top of a tower can be so damn attractive! Oh, and don’t forget to give Elise a huge hug for being such a good citizen of the world in giving us this series.

PS In totally unrelated stuff, my Top Ten Tuesdays Post will be up after this one. Toodles!

Lousiest Street Team Member EVER

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Totally have no idea how to start this blog post without you lovely people judging me. Believe me, if I were you I would probably do that too. And I see those owl eyes looking scornfully at me. I’m telling you, this owl kick isn’t going away anytime soon.

So! I am here to redeem myself as a street team member. And I admit, I have been (probably) the lousiest one an author could have for the past few days. Like really. But like I said in my previous post, I will be doing an update blogpost soon so make sure (if you want) to watch out for that. Anyway, in this post I will be updating you, my lovely readers, of the goings-on with the books and authors I am street member for. Again, being a street team member means that I help these authors promote their books using this blog and my social media accounts. I am not sponsored or being paid to do so. Are we ready?

Madion War Trilogy

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You guys, how can the days fly by so fast. One moment I am jumping around in happiness after receiving my ARC of The Island and the next we are just 3 weeks away from its release! Honestly, I am so happy for Whitney and cannot, cannot wait for all the peeps out their to have their hands on her newest trilogy. So now for the deets.

  • The Island (Madion War Trilogy Book 1) releases on April 26 and I am soooo excited! Can you tell?
  • In celebration for its release, I will be posting an early review of The Island a few days before the said release date.
  • There will be a wee bit of a giveaway on that post so stay tuned. I have to apologize in advance though, it will not be like the extravagant giveaways other bloggers are able to hook you guys up with. I am relatively new to this and still testing the waters. It will get better though, I promise!
  • If you are a blogger, first of all hello and welcome to my blog. Second, the Sush Street Team is still open for people to come and join. You will be such a great help to the team! If you ever to decide to join, please tell Whitney I sent you there and coerced  convinced you to join okay?
  • Even if you are not a blogger, you can still join street team and help spread word through your social media and talks over coffee or tea or milk.
  • There is a contest going on for some great swag over at her site for street team members, which I really need to get on. So if you want to win free stuff, go ahead and visit www.susherevans.com.
  • If you want to get a feel of what her other books are like, I have a review for one of her books Double Life (Razia Series Book 1) which you might want to check out. Just click here. I’m just gonna say, a lot of feels, and spirit animal status goin’ on in that review.
  • Seriously, go and read Double Life right now and you will not be sorry. How? click on the website and you will know *wink*

Follow her:

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Air Awakens Series

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This series is going so fast I can’t even catch up! We are only 3 months in this year and Elise has already released the third book Earth’s End, will be soon releasing the fourth installment Water’s Wrath, and just recently had the cover and synopsis of the fifth book Crystal Crown. That is insane! Now I have been so bad at following up and reading this books as they release, but I am preparing for a huge binge read on this series which will probably break my heart to pieces and make me jump with joy at the same time but I am totally okay with that. If you wanna know why I am this emotional about this book, click here for my review of the first book Air Awakens. Now that I am boring you, let’s go down to business.

  • Water’s Wrath (Air Awakens Book 4) releases on April 26.
  • Of course, I will be posting about the the release and all the amazing stuff that will happen along with other street team members so stay tuned.
  • Again, there will be a wee bit of a giveaway!
  • The street team is still welcoming anyone and everyone who are willing to help spread out the word about this amazing series. There are so many perks and amazing stuff happening in the street team and you don’t want to miss out!
  • There is a really, REALLY cool (and genius) raffle going on at elisekova.comSo if you want the chance to have your name, or any other name of your choosing immortalized in a book to be read by thousands, click that link I just gave you. You’re welcome.
  • She has also updated her tour schedules on her site so if you live in the US and would like to pop in one of her signing events, check her website.
  • I ship Prince Aldrik and Vhalla really really hard. If I didn’t love Vhalla like a sister I would have totally stolen Aldrik from him. Just sayin.

Follow her:

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You saw that? I know you saw that. Yes, they are releasing on the same date. When I saw it I was like d*mn. What am I supposed to do now? My Twitter and Instagram’s gonna be busy on the 26th that’s for sure! But seriously, I love these books and both authors too. They are really lovely ladies and great human beings as well. Give them some love for me alright?

If you or anyone you know need convincing on reading any of the books I just mentioned, just tell me and I will be MORE THAN HAPPY to talk you in!

Whew! THAT WAS A LOT!

Let’s chat.

So what is going on with your life right now?

Missed you heaps!

Earth’s End Book Blitz + Giveaway!

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Hello everyone! I have for you today a very exciting post! As you may know, I absolutely love Air Awakens and because of that I have signed up to be on Elise Kova’s Street Team. Because of this, I also saw that YA Bound Book Tours (thank you girl!) was doing a Book Blitz Sign Up for the release of this book and what do you know, I jumped on the chance! Visit her blog if you want to know more about book releases and more fun stuff! *whispers* click the button!YA Bounk Tour Button

Earth’s End just released and as part of this wonderful event, not only is this book blitz happening, a snippet of the book has been graciously provided, a music playlist (for when you feel like being a proper booknerd, haha!), but also a giveaway too so make sure to read until the end okay? If you haven’t started on this series yet, I suggest you do now, because Elise has also discounted Air Awakens just for this release! Check out any of your preferred retail shops! Anyway, I am not gonna bore you with my ramblings.Let us get on with it!

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Earth’s End (Air Awakens #3)
by Elise Kova
Release Date: February 11th 2016

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Summary from Goodreads:

A woman awoken in air, a soldier forged by fire, a weapon risen from blood.

Vhalla Yarl has made it to the warfront in the North. Forged by blood and fire, she has steeled her heart for the final battle of the Solaris Empire’s conquest. The choices before Vhalla are no longer servitude or freedom, they are servitude or death. The stakes have never been higher as the Emperor maintains his iron grip on her fate, holding everything Vhalla still has left to lose in the balance.

Book Three of the Air Awakens Series

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Air Awakens on Goodreads

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Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) on Goodreads

Buy Links:

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Exclusive Excerpt From Earth’s End

Vhalla snapped the reins and dug her heels into Baston’s sides, forcing him into an all-out run. From above, she heard the shouts of her waking enemy.

Thick and melodic calls erupted in the night, a language completely foreign to Vhalla’s ears. She didn’t have to know the words to know they weren’t friendly, so Vhalla pushed harder, pressing herself to Baston. Vhalla took a breath as she heard arrows being knocked overhead.

The sound of bowstrings being drawn in mass made gooseflesh dot her arms. Another shout, a single word and arrows cut through the air, determined to rain death around her. Even if Vhalla was certain her chainmail would shield her, the horse was completely unarmored; if Baston died, she was as good as dead. Vhalla twisted in her saddle, sweeping a hand through the air. The curtain of wind sent the arrows scattering harmlessly.

They shouted in protest, angst-ridden that she continued on unscathed.

The second assault came faster and hastened Vhalla’s mounting frustration. She had to be out of their range soon. More lights began to blaze above and behind her, casting the ground below in a faint glow. The light illuminated the edge of the city, and Vhalla was forced to stake her life on the hope that once she was out they wouldn’t catch her.

The arrows soared through the air once more and Vhalla twisted, knocking them away in mass. She expected to hear a cry for a third assault, but instead what she heard was even more disheartening. Two words that someone said in a thick Southern Common.

“Wind Demon!”

She became their prey. The sound of thundering hooves came from the direction of where the city first began.

Vhalla crossed under the edge of the city, plunging into the welcoming darkness. Had it been a day ago, Vhalla would not have given those riders a moment’s worry. Baston would outrun any normal horse, plus with her wind he was faster than thunder across the sky. But Baston had been ridden hard with only a brief rest.

Vhalla shifted her vision and peered over her shoulder. In the distance she saw them, riding relentlessly after her.

Sweating, panting, clutching the reins with white knuckles, Vhalla pushed all her energy into the wind at Baston’s and her back. More—they both had to give more. In her blind determination she almost missed the whiz of an arrow through the air.

Vhalla thrust out her arm and stopped the arrow midflight. She closed her fist and threw her arm backwards. The arrow turned and sped back at its original owner. Vhalla watched it soar straight into the Northerner’s eye, the one she pointed a finger at. The man slumped, and then fell off his saddle. She swallowed hard, looking away as the others’ cries grew louder.

Eyes, she would always go for the eyes. Whether someone was or wasn’t a Groundbreaker with stone-like skin was a risk she couldn’t take; she wouldn’t have many shots. Another archer held his bow, waiting for a different opportunity to take his chance.

Baston was already breathing heavy, and Vhalla knew she had to get them off her tail. The four riders behind her rode on fresh mounts and had the advantage of their night’s worth of sleep. Vhalla turned and pointed a finger. Sweeping her hand upward, an arrow freed itself from the other archer’s quiver. With a twist of her wrist, and the keen focus of a killer, Vhalla sent it into the unsuspecting Northerner’s eye.

One of the remaining two riders fell away as they swerved through the trees, his companion pushing forward. As the man swung wide, Vhalla realized they were trying to flank her. Vhalla grabbed for the dagger strapped to her wrist, sending it straight for his eye.

In the process, the woman rider had caught up with Baston, raising a wickedly curved blade toward his haunches. Vhalla threw out her other arm, sending the rider toppling head over heels. It wasn’t chance that the assailant’s blade slit her wielder’s throat in the fall.

Vhalla held out an expectant palm, her own dagger returning to it after a moment.

Wiping the blood on her thigh, she quickly sheathed it against her wrist before grabbing the reins once more. Vhalla swallowed a cry for speed; shouting at the horse would not make it go faster. It would only further compromise her position.

Vhalla pressed her lips together, forcing herself to keep her composure. It was not the first person she had killed. She had killed on the Night of Fire and Wind, she had killed the man who had murdered Larel, and she had killed with her bare hands at the Pass.
What had sunk deep into her bones was the acceptance of what she must do. It was knowing she had become a killer. It was how easy it was for her to slay her foes without even thinking of each of them as a whole person that showed Vhalla she’d gone far down a path she’d never wanted. They were entities, enemies, barriers, but they weren’t human.

Distracted by her inner conflict, Vhalla was caught completely off-guard by the first assault coming from the trees. A Groundbreaker swung down from the air, bringing his sword against the back of her head. Vhalla attempted to dodge at the last second, but it was too late. The blade slipped off her chainmail but it left her vision blurred and her ears ringing.

She blinked, trying to sort her senses as she pushed Baston onward, putting the assailant behind them. Groundbreakers jumped from limb to limb in the trees above her—free and fearless. Vines came to life to meet their extended hands, allowing them to soar through the air. With a twist or a tug, their lifeline shrunk back, curling around branches to pull them upward.

She wanted to feel amazed; perhaps she would have, if these people weren’t out to kill her. Another swung low, and Vhalla dropped off to the side of the saddle to dodge. Righting herself, Vhalla redrew her dagger in one quick motion as a third swung forward to attack. She sent the blade soaring through the vine the Groundbreaker held.

The man fell through the sky; Vhalla’s mind betrayed her, showing a different body plummeting through the air.

With a growl, she turned her blade to the next Northerner she saw, relying on the same tactic. She would show them why one did not hang above the head of the Windwalker. The other body fell with a sickening thud, and Vhalla left them behind her. With a twitch of her wrist, her blade returned to her hand.

Baston’s pace had slowed, and Vhalla snapped his reins again. This was the first time the beast did not heed her command, and she felt uneasiness settle across her.

Five Northerners still jumped from tree to tree overhead as dawn began to fade into early morning. Vhalla wondered if they were biding their time for rider and mount to tire. If she were they, she’d do the same thing. Baston’s sides heaved with exhaustion.

Their presence began to wear on Vhalla, and she watched them with bated breath, waiting for the next assault. Another hour passed and Baston slowed to a trot; she expected this to be the moment they attacked. But the Northerners held fast, following from welcoming branch to welcoming branch, each bent to meet their feet and hands.

They were toying with her, like cats with a mouse.

Playlist

For anyone who knows me, I MUST have music when I’m writing. In fact, it was the song Clarity, by Zedd, that was the initial inspiration for the entire Air Awakens series! Music helps me get “in the zone” and then find my groove again when I have to stop. Needless to say, I have full-on playlists devoted to every book. To get people excited, and to be used while reading, here is the full playlist for Earth’s End, in order, conveniently made in YouTube!

About the Author

elise kova

Elise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook (/AuthorEliseKova). Visit her website, EliseKova.com/, for news and extras about her books!

Author Links:

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Giveaway Time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Proud Member of the Tower Guard

 

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The Tower takes care of its own…

You might have seen the sigil on my blog suddenly appear, but, if you follow me on Twitter and Instagram (which by the way, why not?), you would have seen that I posted the same symbol announcing that I just recently became a member of Elise Kova’s Street Team, the Tower Guard. First of all, can we just take a moment, and marvel at that genius of a name and symbol. I mean come on.

Now before some of you wonder, I’ll address it now, yes, I am a member of two street teams. BUT, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. To me it just means I have two authors I wish to support.

I came across Elise’s first book, Air Awakens, through a giveaway I won on a twitter chat hosted by @thebooktraveler. Go follow her, she is amazing. So anyway, I have been hearing many things about this books even before I was able to get my hands on it. BUT, when I finished the book, OH MY GOODNESS! If you want to read my review of this book then click here. Now, I am yet to read Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) which is a shame, but when I saw that she had a street team and it was still open for people to join, I was up for it! Like before, I wasn’t sure if I would get accepted, but then I was! And guys, can I just say that Elise is really nice, and sweet. Follow her twitter account and you will know what I am talking about.

So now, for the deets. (Oh! and the pictures link to their Goodreads pages as well!)

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Elise just released Fire Falling (Air Awakens #2) this year and will be releasing Earth’s End (Air Awakens #3) on February 11, 2016.

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She also has set up a Thunderclap for the release of her new book. By opting into the Thunderclap you are giving it permission to automatically post on your behalf when the Thunderclap timer runs out (in this instance, that’s when Earth’s End is out). Think of it like a countdown on New Years, it’ll have everyone cheering all at once when the timer runs out, automatically. Click, and forget! Here is the link: http://thndr.me/u5f1bk

Also, Elise will be having her FIRST BOOKSTORE SIGNING along with other authors on February 13 at Barnes and Noble, San Mateo, CA. Click here for more detailsMan, I wish I could go to that.

If you wish to become a member of Elise’s Street Team, click here to visit her website and find out more about how to become one and help her spread word about her wonderful books (and Prince Aldrik).

If you want to grab a copy , or read the synopsis, or even just read reviews of these books, here are links where you can check them out, as well as for the pre-order of Earth’s End.

Air Awakens

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Fire Falling

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Earth’s End (Pre-order)

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The Tower takes care of its own…

Can I ask you a favor lovely people? IF you have read Air Awakens and/or Fire Falling, can you please leave me a link to your HONEST review about it/them? I want to know what others liked or disliked about these books and maybe we can have a chat about them.

-Meyan Rose-

Cover Reveal! The Island by S. Usher Evans

Today I am soooo excited to show you guys something that I have been excited for myself for weeks now! If you may remember, I posted on my blog that I have been a member of a street team for the Madion War Trilogy’s first installment, The Island by S. Usher Evans. There is also a preview for the novel on the later part of my post so keep on reading okay?

So here it is! Introducing the brand-spankin’ new cover for The Island, made by Anita over at Race-Point.com.

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About the Book

Prince Galian is third in line to the throne, but prefers his place as a resident at the Royal Kylaen Hospital. When his father urges him to join the military to help reclaim their colony, Galian is forced to put aside his oath to Do No Harm and fight a war he does not believe in.

Across the great Madion Sea, Captain Theo Kallistrate dreams of a day when she is no longer bound by conscription to fight for her country’s independence. But when the Kylaens threaten, honor and duty call her to the front lines to fight off the oppressors.

When an air skirmish goes wrong, both Theo and Galian crash on a remote island hundreds of miles from either nation. Grievously injured, Theo must rely on Galian’s medical expertise, and Galian must rely on Theo’s survival skills, to live another day in a harsh and unforgiving terrain.

Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive? Or will the war that brought them to the island tear them apart?

The Island is the first in a new romance trilogy by S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series and Empath.

Preorder Today for Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover and more!

The Island (Madion War Series, #1)

Preview

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Galian

I landed with a soft thump on the sandy beach a little ways from my plane, and immediately dropped to my knees, releasing a loud breath. My hands shook and my heart pounded, but I thanked my lucky stars that I was alive and had practiced parachuting out of my plane a few extra times during my training.

Once my pulse returned to normal, I stood and released myself from the parachute straps, leaving the long trail of lines and white parachute laid out on the beach. I approached the wreckage of my plane. Pieces of it lay in a long trail as it had skidded across the sand. I picked up a metal piece that had a bullet hole in it and then tossed it aside.

Besides the nose and engine being smashed to smithereens, the back of the plane was fine. I cracked open the back hatch and pawed through my emergency supplies. I found everythingÑincluding the medical bag Dr. Maitland gave meÑto be intact. Again, I thanked whatever was up there looking out for me. Of all the outcomes that could’ve happened from the battle, crash-landing on an island with my supplies was better than most.

A burning smell reached my nose, and I stepped back, searching my plane for any sign of fire. Then I noticed the black column of smoke rising up from the treetops.

Despite everything, worry knotted in my chest. What had happened to the other pilot? I hadn’t seen another parachute. Was he even still alive? He was my enemy, but still a fellow human being. I couldn’t help but hear Dr. Maitland in my ear.

I don’t have the luxury of differentiating between Kylaen and Raven patients.

Guilt gnawed at me. I looked down at the medical bag and sighed. Dr. Maitland was rightÑI was a doctor first and a warrior second. Shouldering my bag, I stumbled off the sandy beach onto the firmer forest ground.

The trees were tall and thick and everything around me was green. It was late summer, but there was definitely a chill in the air since I was so far north. I was thankful for my extra layer under my jumpsuit.

I walked into a clearing, covering my nose from the smell. One of the two wings had been shorn off in the crash and was the source of the black smoke. The rest of the plane was mashed and mangled some ways away. I saw the pilot in the cockpit through the shattered glass, and his helmeted head hung motionless. I was sure that he was dead. I couldn’t see how anyone could have survived such a crash.

And then he moved.

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Theo

I woke slowly, the sound of unfamiliar animals coming to me first, followed by a cold breeze. As I tried to move, pain shot up from every corner of my body. I looked up at the blue sky, barely visible through a thick canopy of trees. I smelled leaking fuel, and wondered if my ship would explode or if I’d bleed to death first.

I relaxed into my seat and prepared for the inevitable. Even if the Raven government sent a search party for me (which they wouldn’t), I doubted they’d come in time to save my life. Still, I took some solace in the fact that I killed another son of that mass murdering king.

A noise startled me and I turned my head slowly to find the source.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. The stupid princeling was alive and standing in front of my ship.

Fear and anger gripped at me. How was it possible that I was badly injured and he appeared to be walking just fine? I hated that the last thing I was going to see in this world was Prince Galian standing in a clearing, his pale skin flushed and his eyes sparkling with amusement?

I was dying and this guy was laughing at me.

“What’s so funny?” I snarled through my helmet.

“Serves you right.” He was smirking as if he had something to smirk about.

“For what?”

“Shooting me down. Looks like you’re in worse shape than I am, too.”

“Go to hell.”

He laughed again and hoisted himself up onto the broken nose of my plane. I was in too much pain to fight back, and my gun was nowhere to be found.

“Yep,” he observed, with a smirk on his face. Up close, he was every bit as handsome as I’d seen in pictures. “You definitely got what you deserved. Shouldn’t have shot at me.”

“You shouldn’t have invaded my country.”

His eyes widened for a moment and I thought I’d finally done something to wipe that smile off his face. To my supreme annoyance, he tilted his head back and let out a throaty laugh.

“Oh, you are witty,” he said, nodding. “And technically right. But it wasn’t my decision. I was, as they say, just following orders.”

“And I was just following orders when I blew your ass out of the sky.”

“Aren’t we at an impasse then?” He seemed to be enjoying this conversation. He looked down at the side of my ship and read the inscription. “Theo, huh? Well, you must be a pretty high ranking pilot then. I hear the Ravens only allow you to put your name on your ship after you’ve survived plenty of battles.”

I moved out of anger, but the pain in my legs came roaring up my body. “Please let me die in peace,” I asked, unable to look at him.

“Oh, you aren’t going to die today.”

3d_HRDcover_transparent_600Preorder today for Amazon Kindle, Paperback, and Hardcover.

Here is another link for you guys:

http://www.amazon.com/Island-Madion-War-Trilo…/…/0986298174/

About the Author

View More: http://ashleyvictoriaphotography.pass.us/whitneyevansS. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit.

Check her out on the below social medias:

 

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I am really glad to be able to help and indie author get word out about her book, and like I said, I will do so gladly anytime because I think indie authors are just as talented! Also, Ms. Evans has suggested running a buddy read for those who will receive ARCs and those who will receive the finished copies first. What do you guys think? Should I try hosting a buddy read? If anybody else wants to, you can contact her through the links above or let me know and I will pass it on to her. I believe you will receive an ARC of The Island if you choose to run a buddy read for it!

What do you think about the cover?

I personally liked the seal 🙂

-Meyan Rose-