The Demands of his Heart | Duty Bound by Christina Bauer


Duty Bound
Christina Bauer
(Angelbound Origins 0.5)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: February 27th 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
An Angelbound Prequel Novella by Christina Bauer
As the High Prince of the demon-fighting thrax, Lincoln knows he must marry for political gain. Not that he minds. For all of his eighteen years, Lincoln’s been bound to his duty. Fighting demons is his life, and he’s never given romance a second thought. Instead, the High Prince lives for the days when he leaves his hidden realm to fight demons on Earth.
Then, everything changes.
Lincoln and his nobles become forced to visit Purgatory, the home of quasi-demons (who are mostly human with a bit of demonic DNA). Here Lincoln spies Myla Lewis, a lady warrior who enflames his heart, ignites his interest, and inspires his respect. Trouble is, Myla’s also a quasi. By thrax law, Lincoln must kill anything demonic—not date them. For the first time in his life, Lincoln wonders if he’ll follow his duty…or heed the demands of his heart.
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READ CHAPTER 1:
I am Lincoln Vidar Osric Aquilus, High Prince of the Thrax. My people are renowned as the greatest demon hunters across Heaven, Hell, Earth, Purgatory, and the Dark Lands. At eighteen years old, I’ve killed precisely one thousand four hundred and thirty-seven demons in hand-to-hand combat, more than any other thrax in history. All of which leads to a single inescapable conclusion.
I can make it through this breakfast with my mother.
At least, I think I can.
“You haven’t touched your eggs, my son.” Mother spears a strawberry off her plate. After many years of maternal encounters, I’ve learned to keep my mouth closed in situations like this one. Mother will bring up her true concerns when she’s good and ready.
In reply, I merely maintain her stare. We’ve an odd relationship, but a close one. We’re both natural schemers, so neither wants to pass up a test of intelligence and charm.
“Perhaps you dislike formal breakfasts,” says Mother as she gestures to my tunic.
“I’m fine with wearing royal garb to meals. Rest assured, all my Batman costumes are safely packed away.” As a child, I fought hard to dress as a human superhero. Unlike demon killing, that was one battle I ultimately lost.
“So you say.” A small smile rounds Mother’s mouth. “Those tunics hide quite a lot.”
“True. I’ve a Bohemian Rhapsody T-shirt on under this thing.”
“I have no idea what that is, but I’m pleased to see you turned out so well.”
This morning, I’m dressed in a velvet tunic, leather pants, and tall boots. Meanwhile, Mother looks regal and lethal in her black velvet gown. She has porcelain skin, delicate features, and an all-knowing glare that reduces hardened warriors to mush.
Needless to say, I’m pleased that her glare has softened. I must remember to work Batman into our conversations more often.
For a few minutes, Mother and I continue our breakfast in silence. It would be pleasant, except for the setting. Our new feasting hall is located in Purgatory.
Yes, Purgatory.
This place combines the worst of a rundown human suburb with the best of a rotting Dumpster. The sky is constantly cloudy with two types of weather: rainy and about to rain. It’s part of the magic of this realm that the weather is always dreary. Plus, the sky never reveals the sun or moon, and even if it did, those celestial bodies follow different patterns than they do in other realms.
Closing my eyes, I let my thoughts return to the glittering caverns of my homeland. As a rule, thrax live underground on Earth in the realm of Antrum. For some reason, the oracle angel, Verus, has demanded the royal family—and our noble entourage—move to Purgatory for a short period of time. This wasn’t a popular idea, but the oracle’s word is law, so we arrived here three months ago. Until Verus sets us loose, our days will be spent in tents and wooden halls like this one.
I scan the empty benches around me and sigh. It’s hard being separated from the bulk of my people. Quiet breakfasts like this only make things worse. Usually our feasting hall is packed with thrax sharing breakfast at communal tables. However, today Mother insisted on having a family-only morning meal, which in this case translates into me, Mother, and a half-dozen terrified workers. Father should get here any minute now. I can only hope he arrives before Mother’s temper returns.
As if in reply to my thoughts, Mother spears another wilted strawberry with a vengeance. Looks like her temper will resurface before Father does. Bugger.
“You never answered my question,” says Mother. “You haven’t touched your food.” She spears a grape with such force the entire table wobbles.
“Careful there,” I say. “You’ll bring down the roof down.”
“One perk of being queen. I can bring down roofs and no one says a thing.”
At those words, the half-dozen servants in the room visibly shiver.
There’s no question about the general topic of Mother’s angst, either. It’s always the same issue: the House of Acca. That tribe is the largest and most troublesome of all thrax.
At this point, problems with Acca could fall into one of two categories.
One, Mother might be worried about my impending marriage contract with Acca’s most eligible noblewoman, Lady Adair. If Mother thinks there are problems on that front, she would be sorely mistaken. It’s a business arrangement, nothing more. I’d regret that, but I’m a prince. I always knew I’d never marry for love.
Two—and far more worrisome—would be if Mother discovered my ongoing scheme against Aldred, the dreaded Earl of Acca himself. I’ve many issues with the Earl, but my largest is how Aldred keeps leading his warriors into ill-planned demon attacks on the Earth’s surface. Thanks to the Earl of Acca, hundreds of good thrax meet bad ends every week. I meet with the families of the fallen, trying to provide comfort as their worlds fall apart. So many tears and ruined lives…and all so the Earl can prove his so-called prowess in battle.
It’s outrageous.
Even worse, my parents have forbidden me from doing anything to stop Aldred’s bloodshed. Per some ancient treaty, if I interfere with Aldred’s rights to lead his troops, then the Earl has the unmitigated right to execute me on the spot.
And as every royal knows, execution threats and breakfast do not mix well.


Author Bio:
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

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Macaroni | Kelly and Cauliflower Chapter 1


Kelly and Cauliflower

Chapter One

Macaroni

The pineapple smelled amazing. To bad it wasn't in season and the price was horrendous. Kelly might have purchased it if she wasn't picking up extra groceries that Cauliflower said she was going to buy but didn't. The pineapple would have to wait, disappointing as it was.  

One more isle to go. The toilet paper was calling. That soft sheet of paper, used to clean ones self after a morning poop. Strangely enough, it was absent from the bathroom counter that morning and upon frantic searching, Kelly had found two half-used rolls hidden in the bottom drawer of the cabinet next to the toilet. Apparently, Cauliflower thought she needed to horde the toilet paper, since it was her turn to purchase more and she didn't.

After Kelly threw a large pack of the Charmen Ultra Strong into her cart with more force than was necessary due to her bad mood, she headed to the checkout to pay for her weeks worth of groceries before heading home.

The drive from the grocery store to the house that Kelly shared with Cauliflower, Dave and Randolph was short, but traffic in that part of town seemed to bottle neck just before Kelly's turn off to her road. The street was one steep hill, and the house was at the bottom. Kelly stopped the car at the peak, looking down upon the road below and let her mind wander. John Meyer played a melancholy song in the background, putting her in a subdued mood. 

It was better this way. If Kelly went inside the house in a full on rage, someone would end up without a limb and Kelly didn't want to spend time in jail. Plus, poor Dave would be left to his own devices inside a house full of crazies, since Randolph wasn't exactly of sound mind either, but at least he could hold down a job. 

The car slowly crept down the hill, giving Kelly time to contemplate stopping. She could pass on by, keep going and never come back, but that wouldn't be the adult thing to do. Plus, all her stuff was there and Dave would never forgive her for disappearing.    

Reluctantly, Kelly pulled her car into the driveway and started hauling the groceries in. Cauliflower was sitting on the couch staring at the TV that was off. She didn't move or make any indication that she was going to help carry in the bags from the store. Typical.

When the last can of corn was placed on the shelf, Kelly's stomach rumbled, calling for the left over chicken and macaroni that Kelley had been saving from dinner the night before. Macaroni just happened to be Kelly's favorite comfort food, and right now, with all the crap Cauliflower had been pulling, she really needed something comforting to sooth the savage beast inside. 

The all familiar creek of the fridge filled the air as Kelly opened the door, letting out a cool breeze and the smell of left over onion that had been left uncovered on the top shelf for several days. 

Where was it? Kelly searched for the black plastic container that indicated her macaroni. There was a similar sized container, but upon further inspection, it was Dave's coleslaw, half eaten and sitting in a base of white liquid. That wasn't it. Kelly moved more and more containers and packages, searching frantically for the perfect creamy macaroni. No, this can't be. Where is it? 

Kelly stopped as he fists balled. She didn't? She wouldn't? How many times have I told Cauliflower that if its not her's don't touch it. Don't touch my makeup, don't touch my clothes, don't touch my food. It's not a hard concept, but somehow it was for Cauliflower.

Speaking of the devil. The party in question sauntered out of the bathroom with her shirt tucked into her under ware and the left side of her hair matted to her head. She yawned. "Good morning."

Kelly was in no mood for niceties. "Did you eat my macaroni?"

Cauliflower nodded. "Yep, it was delicious."

"That was mine." Kelly's voice was beginning to shake from frustration. "I was going to eat it."

Cauliflower started to pour a cup of coffee from the pot, but it was empty. Another staple that it was her turn to buy and she had mysteriously forgotten to. "I really wanted to eat it. It was calling to me."

"I don't care if it grows legs and crawls into your hand. Stop touching my stuff." Kelly's arms were crossed as she laid down the law for the umpteenth time. 

Cauliflower seemed to ignore her roommate and left the kitchen with a k-cup of espresso in hand and the box under her arm. This was going nowhere, as usual.

This was the last straw. Kelly found a pen and a pad of sticky notes and began labeling everything in the fridge that was her's with a note that said, "Don't eat," Even the individually sealed cups of ranch from the KFC. Feeling accomplished, Kelly moved on to the laundry room to label her laundry soap.

A few minutes later, when Kelly was nearly done labeling the first floor, Cauliflower wandered by on her way to the back deck for a smoke with a full container of cottage cheese in her hands. 

"Is that my cottage cheese?" Kelly groaned.

"Yeah," said Cauliflower. "My stomach said cottage cheese and I was like, Ok."

Cauliflower left the room without another word or any expression of feeling guilty. Something had to be done about Cauliflower....



Cajun is Amajun... | #WeeklyMenu Week #238


Monday, Monday! We are back and its another glorious day. I finished up my Cutthroat Book Club yesterday. eight weeks of back stabbing, sabotage throwing, book slamming fun. Read 107 books! I'm going to be recapping my book fun later on in the week, so stay tuned.

Now back to the good stuff. Today's Menu!

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday
Leftovers Night

Blood Will Have Blood | The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton


Title: The Queens of Innis Lear
By: Tessa Gratton
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 576
Release Date: March 27th, 2018
Publisher: Tor

Summary from Goodreads: The erratic decisions of a prophecy-obsessed king have drained Innis Lear of its wild magic, leaving behind a trail of barren crops and despondent subjects. Enemy nations circle the once-bountiful isle, sensing its growing vulnerability, hungry to control the ideal port for all trade routes.

The king's three daughters—battle-hungry Gaela, master manipulator Reagan, and restrained, starblessed Elia—know the realm's only chance of resurrection is to crown a new sovereign, proving a strong hand can resurrect magic and defend itself. But their father will not choose an heir until the longest night of the year, when prophecies align and a poison ritual can be enacted.

Refusing to leave their future in the hands of blind faith, the daughters of Innis Lear prepare for war—but regardless of who wins the crown, the shores of Innis will weep the blood of a house divided.



Review: What!!! I thought game of thrones was epic, but this book had me on pins and needles the whole time. I couldn't put it down. 

With a family divided, the poor island of Innis Lear is at the mercy of a crazy king and his daughters. We follow many different story lines, as we try to sift through the muck and figure out who is going to be crowned the rightful heir to the thrown. The world building is grand and the characters are all so unique and full of depth. I really was kept on edge, wondering who would win in the end. George R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan will love this book.


Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.


Make it out Alive | Fire and Bone by Rachel A. Marks


Fire and Bone
Rachel A. Marks
(Otherborn #1)
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
“Gossip Girl meets Percy Jackson in the glitz and grit of L.A….”
In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.
Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.
Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.
As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out who to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing’s for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.
EXCERPT:
LILY
I try to hide my shivering as I wait before the altar, in my position as the Bonding begins. Around me, shadows dance over the cairn walls from the restless flames licking up the ram’s body—the sacrifice on the pyre behind me—and the smell of sweat and burnt flesh smother the smoky air.
The King of Ravens paints an alarming image, standing almost naked across from me on the other side of the blood circle. He wears the corona radiata, the golden laurel-leafed crown, on his head of onyx hair. His short beard is neatly trimmed, combed with lavender oil for the ceremony. His sharp silver eyes study me beneath a heavy brow.
I try not to think about the past. Or future. I try not to think about what those hard hands will feel like on my skin when he seals this Bond.
I study the stone floor rather than look in those metallic eyes. I feel them on me, though, the same way they have been for the fortnight I’ve been here preparing for the ceremony. He hasn’t touched me; he’s only brought me gifts and insisted I sit with him beside the greatfire in the evening before he goes out for his hunt. Sometimes I smell him in the hallway outside my rooms. But he never comes in, thank the goddess. The scent of blood is heavy on him in those moments. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if he’d attempted anything.
After this is done, it won’t matter. My bed will be his. As will my life.
A druid walks back and forth behind me, tossing rosemary and lavender onto the pyre after each stanza of his spell. He calls to the wind from the east, he calls to the waters in the west, and he pulls the spirit of flame and earth into the cairn with us, asking the Penta to approve the Bond set to be made between the two most powerful Houses, as he pleads for a blessing from our mothers, Brighid and MorrĂ­gan, and thanks the Cast for their permission to seal the Bond between the two very different powers.
A female druid comes to my side with bowl and brush, beginning to paint my skin in blue woad, tracing patterns of knots and runes across my back, then baring my chest and continuing.
The king’s gaze follows the woman’s strokes, and when she’s finished, he raises his chin at me in approval but says nothing. What does he see when he looks at me? My wild copper hair? My simple features? The awkward birthmark just above my heart? I’m round of cheek and hips and not much of a beauty. But however I look to him, I will belong to him.
Determination is set in hard lines on his face, and I wonder if the torque on his neck is working properly. I can see his dark energy lifting in silver and black curls over his shoulders now. It should be tight inside his skin, as mine is. The iron shackle should be holding it in place so that we don’t harm each other in the first merging, before we can get used to the feel of each other’s powers.
The female druid moves to the king next and begins painting the woad in circles over his torso. The druid chanting behind me recites the final section of his spell, walking the ram’s-blood circle painted on the floor. He holds a rowan stick aloft, flicking rosewater over the king and then me as he passes by, mumbling, “A price paid, a covenant sealed, in earth and blood and ash, in spirit and flesh and fire.”
The price is my will, my soul, in payment for the life of the human prince that I took.
In the center of the circle, between the king and me, is an altar with two bowls set atop, one full of salt, one full of rye.
The iron union dagger rests between them.
I stare at it, imagining the blade cutting into my flesh. And I can’t help when my gaze moves to the king. I want to blink and make this moment a dream, perhaps find myself in the thicket with Lailoken, among the bluebells in the Caledonian wood.
I should run from this son of MorrĂ­gan, deny him, deny our mothers, and let the world burn. But my heart twists at the thought. I was running from duty when fate took my heart from me, when the prince succumbed to my fire’s will. It was the childish notion of freedom that tore him from me.
Now it’s time to accept my punishment for allowing the humans to glimpse our world. Time to atone.
The druid’s voice fills the room again. “When moon gives birth to stars,” he says, in a droning hum, flicking more rosewater over us with the rowan stick, “let this Bond be sealed in blood.”
My skin prickles with fear as the king takes the cue, reaching out to pick up the ceremonial dagger by the leather-wrapped hilt. I focus on not moving, not making a sound, as I watch him bring the blade to his chest, tip pricking his left breast. A drop of crimson pearls up at the spot.
With a slow hiss of breath, he cuts across.
Dark blood slides down his abdomen in a thick swath of red. “My blood with yours,” he says. And he turns the knife, holding out the hilt for me.
My hands clench into fists at my side, and I force my shaking limbs to still.
I breathe in slowly again. Then I reach out, taking the ceremonial dagger from him, careful not to touch his fingers.
I pretend not to care about the cage I’m about to be locked in. About the pain in my soul from loss, from the goddess Brighid abandoning me to this darkness, pain from the reality of everything in front of me.
I press the tip of the blade to the center of my chest, the point breaking the skin. I look into the silver eyes of the king in front of me. And consider my fate.
One deep plunge to the heart and the pain will end. One plunge.
One.


Author Bio:
Rachel A. Marks is a cancer survivor, a writer and artist, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. Her four kids and amazing hubby put up with her nerdiness with tremendous grace, even when she makes them watch Buffy or Smallville re-runs for days on end. She was voted: Most Likely To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory.

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Favorite Villains Guest Post by Mercury Rises Author Scarlett Kol


I am excited to have Scarlett Kol on the blog today talking about her favorite villains in literature. Read on for the good stuff...

Ah book villains, where would we be without them? They push our heroes to their limits, test their minds, test their mettle, and if written well, make for one great read. 

My debut novel, MERCURY RISES, is a re-imagining of Robin Hood so it definitely has its share of villains, but who is a hero and who is a villain gets blurred depending on what side of the story you are on. The true villains in the story don’t even know they’re the bad guys until they are pushed to the point of no return, but I’ll let you read the story to discover their identity for yourself.

So, who are some of my favorite book villains? Unfortunately, some of my favorites are villains who stage huge betrayals and we don’t see them coming, so to stay spoiler-free they will have to stay off my list. However, if you get a chance check out Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike and Rapture by Lauren Kate you should.

The Queen of Hearts – Alice in Wonderland – I loved Alice as a kid and the Red Queen was the first villain that really got in my head. Besides, who can beat a villain with an army of playing cards and an itch for beheading. 

Lestat de Lioncourt – Interview with a Vampire – I was a mad Anne Rice fan, and Lestat is still one of my fav villains. Charming, cunning, and absolutely ruthless. He was even a compelling enough character that he became the hero for the rest of the series. Poor Louis, he can’t beat Lestat at anything! 

Dolores Umbridge – Harry Potter – Yes, Lord Voldemort is the big bad in this series, but Dolores Umbridge is vicious. The subtle torture that she imparts on Harry and his friends all packaged up in a pink and kitty package makes her a dangerous force to reckon with. Lord Voldemort is a known evil to the Ministry of Magic, but Dolores is permitted and even encouraged to be her nasty self. The abuse of power and the fact that she believes she’s doing the right thing is terrifying.

Dante Walker – The Collector – Dante ventures on the anti-hero territory of villains. He turns around and ends up saving the world, but in the first book of this series, he’s a pretty nasty guy. To start with, he works for the Devil himself collecting souls and pressuring people into evil. If that weren’t enough, the kind of mind games he plays with Charlie are pretty awful. He’s a riot to read though with one of the best voices I’ve ever read.

Leland Gaunt – Needful Things – Stephen King has put out some notorious baddies, but the one that I thought was the best was the shop owner in this macabre tale. Leland was a genius who preyed on his customers’ needs and wants in exchange for small favors that pushed the buttons of the other residents until the whole town imploded on itself. The end of the book went a little off the rails for me, but Leland’s manipulation of the townspeople was epic.

A – Pretty Little Liars – A took the quintessential mean girl to a whole new level. The story did go to some odd places, and the television series went even weirder (that finale, really?), but the depths she pushed the Liars to go kept me turning pages.

Miranda Priestley – The Devil Wears Prada – She’s chic, fashionable, and a total tyrant, but part of me would’ve still jumped at the chance to work for her if she offered. 

River Redding – Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – River is an interesting villain in that you spend a lot of time wishing that he will somehow be redeemed. He’s charming, good-looking, and has a strange connection with Violet that you hope will be enough to save him, but underneath is a deep darkness that erupts in the sequel Between the Spark and the Burn. He’s creepy.

Drew Montgomery – Wicked Descent – You’ve probably never heard of this one, but he’s the deliciously evil villain in my upcoming novel coming from Evernight Teen on March 2nd. If you’re looking for a villain that you will LOVE to hate, you should check out Drew when his story drops next month. “Remorse is for those who feel regret. I don’t regret the things I do.” Oh Drew!

Thanks for having me at the blog today and I hope you will check out MERCURY RISES. But before I go, who are your favorite villains?

These are some awesome villains. Some I know, some I don't. I'm going to have to check some of these books out. Thanks Scarlett for stopping by and gratz on your book release.


Mercury Rises by Scarlett Kol
Publication Date:  February 13, 2018
Publisher:  Inkspell Publishing

A girl looking for a way out.

Being the daughter of New America’s leader, Mercury Masters has everything a girl could want. A glamorous life full of beautiful people, and the power to have anything she wants, except for one thing—to escape. Because Mercury’s perfect life comes with secrets to keep. Dangerous secrets that if made public would destroy her, her family, and her father’s reign. Then she meets Hawk.

A boy looking to be a hero.

Hawk, a handsome prep school dropout turned vigilante, has his own family secrets. Deadly secrets that have haunted him since he was fifteen. But instead of fighting the ghosts of his past, Hawk has assembled a group of misfit hackers and thieves to save the future from the corrupt government of New America and the mysterious virus that is killing off its citizens. But trying to do the right thing is tough when the person you really want to save is your enemy’s daughter.

A love that could kill them both.

Powerful forces keep them apart, but coming together could be the key to saving New America from destruction—even though it may cost both their lives.

A near-future YA biopunk retelling of Robin Hood.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Scarlett Kol grew up in Northern Manitoba reading books and writing stories about creatures that make you want to sleep with the lights on. As an adult, she's still a little afraid of the dark. Scarlett now lives just outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with her husband and two boys, but if you need to find her she's likely freezing at the hockey rink.

There will be Blood | Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence


Title: Grey Sister
By: Mark Lawrence
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Release Date: April 19th, 2018
Publisher: Ace

Summary from Goodreads: In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of Sweet Mercy Nona must choose her path and take the red of a Martial Sister, the grey of a Sister of Discretion, the blue of a Mystic Sister or the simple black of a Bride of the Ancestor and a life of prayer and service.

All that stands between her and these choices are the pride of a thwarted assassin, the ambition of a would-be empress wielding the Inquisition like a blade, and the vengeance of the empire’s richest lord.

As the world narrows around her, and her enemies attack her through the system she has sworn to, Nona must find her own path despite the competing pull of friendship, revenge, ambition, and loyalty.

And in all this only one thing is certain.
.
There will be blood.
 



Review: Another fantastic fantasy adventure by Mark Lawrence. One thing I love about Lawrence's style is the heavy fantasy aspect that he brings to his writing. There is always background on the characters and clear world building that paints a wonderful world. 

I love the whole sister hierarchy and their inner workings. I think that's what draws me into this book. There's just enough adventure and thrill to keep the story going. Great weekend read. 


Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.


Darkest Magic of the Witchborn | Burn Bright by Patrica Briggs


Title: Burn Bright
By: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 336
Release Date: March 16th, 2018
Publisher: Ace

Summary from Goodreads: Mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham face a threat like no other--one that lurks too close to home...

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok's pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf--but can't stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills--his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker--to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn...
 



Review: Oh, man. I really love this stuff. Patricia Briggs always brings her A game. This book was more of a murder mystery than I think her other books have been. I really enjoyed following the characters as they rule out suspects and track down the murderer. On top of all that, you get the paranormal aspect that we love from Briggs. 

I gave this book a solid four stars for a fantastic story line and colorful characters.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.




I got an Instant Pot! | #WeeklyMenu Week #237

Holly cow! It snowed. Its February and it snowed. That is unheard of here in the Portland area. We were driving home from my in-laws last night when the worst of it hit. It was white out conditions. We could only go about 20 miles per hour, and the snow was so heavy that we had white out conditions. We lost the road, it was white. The only thing keeping us in a straight line was the groves in the middle of the lane telling you that you were crossing over the middle line. It was terrifying. I'm so glad we made it home safe.

In other news, I got an Instant Pot. Its a pressure cooker. I can't wait to try it out tonight. I'm supposed to be able to cook an entire dinner in about 12 minutes... We shall see... 

Well, enjoy this weeks menu!

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday
- Frozen Pizza

Saturday

Sunday

Leftovers Night

Mother! | Movie Review


Title: Mother!
Genre: Psychological Thriller 
Release Date: September 15th, 2017
Rating: 6.7/10
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem 

Summary from IMDB: A couple's relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.



Review: Creepy, confusing and down right strange. This movie started off with a real creep factor. Strangers come into their home and won't leave. They start taking over and then a murder happens. After that, the movie takes a weird turn and just falls apart. All of a sudden, she was pregnant, then she had the baby the next day and then a mob broke in, and the swat team came, and all hell broke lose. It was weird. I kept watching just to see how it ended, but it was really disappointing. Not Jennifer's best work.


American Ultra | Movie Review


Title:  American Ultra
Genre: Action
Release Date: August 21st, 2015  
Rating: 6.1/10
Cast:  Jesse EisenbergKristen StewartConnie Britton 

Summary from IMDB: A stoner - who is in fact a government agent - is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he's too well-trained and too high for them to handle.


 

Review: Sometimes I come across a hidden gem of a movie that I am so surprised that no one else knows about that it just blows my mind. American Ultra was crazy intense. The main character is a sleeper agent that is triggered because he is going to be killed by the people who created him. Of course, he has no idea that he has been trained to be an assassin, but that's what makes it fun. You have to see this movie. Its full of action, humor and an all around good time.





I’ve been waiting for you | Mercury Rises by Scarlett Kol

 
Welcome to the Release Day Blitz for
Mercury Rises by Scarlett Kol!
Celebrate the release by checking out the excerpt, and be sure to enter the giveaway!
 
CONGRATULATIONS SCARLETT!
   
A girl looking for a way out.
Being the daughter of New America’s leader, Mercury Masters has everything a girl could want. A glamorous life full of beautiful people, and the power to have anything she wants, except for one thing—to escape. Because Mercury’s perfect life comes with secrets to keep. Dangerous secrets that if made public would destroy her, her family, and her father’s reign. Then she meets Hawk.
A boy looking to be a hero.
Hawk, a handsome prep school dropout turned vigilante, has his own family secrets. Deadly secrets that have haunted him since he was fifteen. But instead of fighting the ghosts of his past, Hawk has assembled a group of misfit hackers and thieves to save the future from the corrupt government of New America and the mysterious virus that is killing off its citizens. But trying to do the right thing is tough when the person you really want to save is your enemy’s daughter.
A love that could kill them both.
Powerful forces keep them apart, but coming together could be the key to saving New America from destruction—even though it may cost both their lives.
Mercury Rises by Scarlett Kol Publication Date:  February 13, 2018 Publisher:  Inkspell Publishing
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Excerpt #1: Running Away
I reached into my apron and pulled out the week’s rent. “Thank you for all you’ve done for me,
Bill. I really appreciate you taking me in.”
“No sweat. You work hard, and the regulars seem to like a pretty, young face around here. Stay as
long as you’d like.” He took the wad of bills and slid them in his pocket. “Now get out of here. I’ll
finish up. You look exhausted.”
Walking past, I squeezed his hand and continued on. As I glanced back over my shoulder, he
smiled, and for a minute I thought I saw him blush. Bill was the nicest person I had met since I left.
I’d miss him.
I ran up the stairs to my room. Time to move on. If there was still a chance of running into my
past, I was still too close to the city. Too bad. Part of my heart hurt thinking about how I was going
to let Bill down. I stopped at the door and rested my forehead against the rough wood. Maybe if I
stayed the night, I could stick around and say goodbye in the morning. Better not. Fewer questions
if I left now. Safer for him the less he knew, anyway.
A tight feeling spread across my lungs and up my throat as I slid the gold key in the lock for the
last time, but I’d get over it. I had to. I sighed and clicked the door closed. My hand hesitated on the
doorknob, the unexpected weight of a stare bearing down on the back of my head. I wasn’t alone.
Standing motionless, I scanned the darkness over my shoulder. A voice cut through the black.
“Mercury, I’ve been waiting for you.”   
Scarlett Kol grew up in Northern Manitoba reading books and writing stories about creatures that make you want to sleep with the lights on. As an adult, she's still a little afraid of the dark. Scarlett now lives just outside Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada with her husband and two boys, but if you need to find her she's likely freezing at the hockey rink.