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Friday, November 30, 2012
Rua (Rua, #1)
Miranda Kavi
Publisher: Miranda Kavi
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Source: Purchased
Goodreads | Purchase
A girl with an unknown destiny.
A boy from a hidden world.
When Celeste starts at a new school in a small, Kansas town, she hears whispering voices, has vivid nightmares, and swarms of blackbirds follow her every move. She is oddly drawn to aloof Rylan, the other new student who has his own secrets.
The exact moment she turns seventeen, she wakes to a bedroom full of strange creatures, purple light emanating from her hands, and Rylan breaking in through her bedroom window.
He knows what she is…
CATCHALL
I loved Rua. I really did. It wasn't perfect, but it was genuinely enjoyable. Even so, there were some things about it that just majorly got and my nerves and ticked me off. I was usually either enjoying myself or vastly annoyed. So yeah, while I loved it, it wasn't the best thing I've ever read. Even so…the fact that I was willing to overlook my annoyance speaks volumes.

THE HEROINE
CELESTE
Celeste was a very interesting experience for me. Sometimes she was awesome, and sometimes annoying. She's never really put down roots before, and that's the way she likes it. She has her parents who love her, and that's enough for her. But when strange things start to happen, she understandably freaks out. However, a lot of times I found myself getting really annoyed by her. She acts really strangely sometimes, and her lack of self-confidence just doesn't work on her since sometimes she'll randomly have some. She wasn't at all easy to connect to. I liked her, but I still have some issues to work out with her.

THE LOVE INTEREST
RYLAN
Rylan I loved. I have some issues with him too, but I still love him. I love how protective he is without being overly dominating. He wants to keep Celeste safe, but he isn't stupid about it and he doesn't try to control her. At the same time, he felt kind of clichéd. He doesn't even really seem to know Celeste at all but out of nowhere he's just there for her. It's sweet but odd and overused. However, he's got a wicked sense of humor and I love the way he makes Celeste laugh.

THE FRIEND
TINK
Tink was like the most stereotyped character I have ever read, and yes, that majorly, majorly ticked me off. He's gay, which isn't the problem. The problem is the way he acts. It's the most stereotyped gay character I've ever read, and there is no realness to it at all. He's like a freaking cardboard cutout because there is legibly nothing to him that isn't some ridiculous stereotype. Like, you push him and he falls over. So to speak. No substance.

THE PLOT
Okay, so the plot. It gets tons of points for its originality. It was really unique. I've honestly never read anything similar. It was an entirely new concept, and I found that fascinating. In a world where a lot of YA is starting to sound the same, the newness in this was a breath of fresh air.

Celeste has always known she was adopted, but this has never bothered her. When strange things start to happen to her, she dismisses them at first, even as she is drawn to the gorgeous Rylan, who seems to know something. Eventually, she can't deny that something supernatural is going on. The strange things only escalate, climaxing on her seventeenth birthday.

I learned about Celeste's new world alongside her, the rules and the status quo. As it went on, there was some suspense and danger added. I was always curious as to what was happening next, and it was entertaining and held my attention.

The final event, the climax and ending, were a bit weird though. I'll get into that more in a bit but I do feel the need to mention it.

THE ROMANCE
Okay, so, the romance. It's a tad instalovey, so that was annoying. Rylan and Celeste have chemistry, but even so, it wasn't really enough for me. They connected on some level, but they didn't really get to know each other very well. I'm honestly not even really sure or convinced that they actually like each other. Obviously they do, but it didn't come across very clearly. Overall, disappointing.

THE WRITING
Miranda has gorgeous, lovely writing. I love the way she describes things. Like, LOVE. It's so vivid and ridiculous in an awesome way. What I don't like is Celeste's voice. It's in third person, so actually I guess not her voice exactly, but still. It made her difficult to connect to. It sounded a bit stilted at places, and the dialogue wasn't stellar either. Not awful, but just average.

THE ENDING
So, the ending. Well, like I said, the end event was sort of weird. I don't know. Awkward. Random. Still, it wasn't awful. I need to be careful here because I don't want to spoil anything, but…it's difficult. I just thought the whole situation was unrealistic and the way it was dealt with, especially this one last thing, really, really, really bothered me. It was just not okay on any level.

WRAPUP
I loved this book, but like I've said, it does have myriad problems and I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone. Still, if you can overlook the faults, then this could probably be a really cute yet suspenseful read for you. It's certainly fun, and I know that some of you will love it. I'll definitely be reading the next book, since I do want to know what happens next.

FINE.


***FINAL RATING:  3.25 RED ROSES***
tinytinytiny
Thursday, November 29, 2012
So today, I have a fun little promotional post plus giveaway for a series and author I adore. It would have been up earlier, but I'm lazy and was busy besides. But better late than never, so here it is! It's part of the countdown to Release, which is, by the way, phenomenal. I'm also a part of the Release Blog Tour next month, so be sure to check back!


Power Will Flourish 
Lives Will be Lost 
Nothing Will be Forgotten
Chase Williams is a demon hunter in the Circle, or at least he was supposed to be. On his fifteenth birthday, Chase stepped up to the altar to claim his elemental power, but it never came. Elemental magic is passed down to a hunter through the bloodline, but on Chase's birthday, the bloodline stopped.
Exiled without the Circle's protection, Chase has spent two years trying to survive a world riddled with half-demons and magic. When he has a run in with a frightened and seemingly innocent demon, he learns the Circle's agenda has changed: the Circle plans to unlock a portal and unleash pure-blood demons into the world.
Vowing to stop them, and knowing he can't do it alone, Chase forms a reluctant alliance with Rayna - a sexy witch with an attitude and a secret. In their attempt to stop them however, Chase and Rayna find themselves in the middle of the Circle's plan, leaving one of them to decide what their friendship is worth, and the other's life depending on it.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Other

There's even an excerpt! Excerpts are fantastic. I adore them. So do you guys, I know. Anyhow, I'll stop talking now and just allow you to read.
I’d had several jobs in the past year. This one I’d managed to keep for a few months. Most of my employers frowned on me coming to work with cuts and bruises all the time. It made for “poor presentation,” they’d say. I was thankful it hadn’t interfered with this job, yet.

I finished up my shift and had started my walk home from the burger joint when I felt it. A hunter doesn’t mistake the feeling that demons are around. It moves down your spine and chills your bones. Feeling it proved I was indeed a hunter, even without an element.

The August air was warm for the late hour, and a thick layer of sweat made my white shirt cling to me. I stopped and unzipped my duffle bag, locating the silver dagger inside. Silver was great no matter what you were fighting; it could do serious damage to anything of the Underworld.

The tingle shot down my spine again. If I focused, I could feel each hair on my neck rise. I saw a blur of movement across the street and watched it disappear into a shadowy alley. I moved across the street in a low crouch, resting my weight on the balls of my feet. I slowed my breathing and pulled the dagger from my bag before I slipped around the corner.

My senses were alive and strained to see movement, or hear the sound of feet shuffling against loose rocks. As a hunter, I could see well in the dark, though the only light came from a single flickering street lamp.

I was almost to the end of the alley when it hit. I couldn’t tell what “it” was, but it struck my back and launched me forward. My feet tumbled over my head and my back smashed hard into the concrete wall at the end of the alley. Hands grabbed me and lifted me to my feet, dragging me a few steps before throwing me back the other way. I flew through the air, hit the ground and rolled out into the street.

I used my momentum and came up on one knee to recover. My back burned where pavement had grated the skin off, but I pushed the pain aside as the figure stalked towards me.

“Your death will bring me great glory, hunter. Killing the son of Riley Williams will make me a legend among the Underworld,” the low voice gloated.

“That’s really great, good luck with that,” I said.

He smiled and the fangs that slid down from his gums were long and sharp. His pale skin started to thin as the vampire changed into his demon form.

Milky skin faded into transparent flesh, revealing the moving muscles beneath. Veins ran black through the vampire’s face and limbs, pushing against the thinning clear skin. Strange muscles in his hands pushed bony talons out over his finger nails, and the whites of his eyes disappeared, filling with an inky blackness. The dark orbs stared at me as his fanged mouth curled into a smile, and in a blur he sprang forward, talons swinging.

I ducked as they sliced through the air over my head. I brought the knife up into his stomach and twisted the blade before I pulled it out. Blood spilled onto the ground, but I knew the wound wasn’t enough to kill him. Cut off his head or pierce his black heart – those were my options. I could light him on fire, but I was fresh out of matches.

I brought my foot up and kicked the vampire back to give myself some room. I steadied myself, waiting for him to charge, but his body jerked and the point of a silver blade appeared in his chest before he could move.

The vamp’s body went limp and collapsed, then exploded in a flash of orange light. It burned away into a cloud of ash and littered the pavement, revealing the girl – of all things – who had beaten me to the kill.

Raven hair spilled over her pale shoulders with hints of red highlighting the occasional strand. A tight leather top revealed a sliver of toned stomach and a tease of cleavage. Black pants hugged her hips and long slender legs and met knee-high boots. Her skin glistened in the light, but the most noticeable of her features were her eyes.

Bright green orbs sparkled with an odd glow: demon’s eyes. They had the slit pupils of a cat that I’d never seen on anything other than a house pet or a shifter in animal form. I slipped back into fight mode. I’d never watched one demon kill another, but I suppose for the fame of killing me, why not?

I lunged and threw a punch at her face, but she dodged it with ease.

“You almost messed up my kill,” she snarled, and I had barely enough time to dodge her powerful kick.

“Your kill? You stole it from me!” I swung my fist and hit her stomach. She bent over, winded, before she stepped back and caught her breath, regaining her stance and composure.

“Stole it? Please, I’d been tracking him for blocks.” She spun and caught my chin with the heel of her boot, snapping my head to the side. I rubbed my jaw where she’d hit me and smiled.

“Well then, I guess it’s a good thing I was here to slow him down. Who knows if you would have been able to catch him?”

She moved in for another kick but I was ready. I grabbed her foot and pushed her back. She fell to the ground but quickly came to her feet. “I would have gotten him just fine on my own. Hunting is an art. It would’ve gone on as long as I deemed necessary.”

“Call it hunting if you want, but a filthy demon killing her own kind is still just that: a filthy demon.” I could tell I’d offended her even before she hit me.

My eyes watered when her fist smashed into my nose and her foot connected with my stomach in quick succession. I jerked back to avoid the knee that flew towards my face and pushed it to the side, but she was already moving towards me. Her hands hit my chest hard and I soared through the air for a long moment before I hit the ground. I felt a sharp pain shoot up through my spine and I could hear her laughter as I struggled to my feet.

“I have to admit I expected more from you, Chase, being the infamous son of Riley Williams and all.”

I gripped my dagger until my knuckles turned white and spoke through gritted teeth. “I’ll try not to disappoint.”

My fist hit her jawbone and made a loud crack. I came back with my other hand and wrapped it around her throat. I stepped into the movement and threw her forward in a burst of hunter’s strength. She slammed into the ground but recovered faster than I anticipated. Before I could brace myself she was on top of me.

I pulled her body down and we rolled over each other against the cold concrete until I was on top. I kept a handful of her hair wound tight in my fist and pushed my blade against her throat. “More what you expected?”

“Not really.” She smirked.

I felt the point of a knife pushing against my stomach. Before I could react, a commanding male voice came from behind us.

“Enough!” it boomed.

I didn’t take the knife or my eyes off the demon beneath me.

“But we were just starting to have fun,” she complained. The smile on her face was anything but threatening. If this was her idea of fun, I didn’t want to know what she considered boring.

“Rayna, enough,” the man repeated.

She sighed, sticking out her bottom lip in a pout before the knife left my skin. “Truce?” she said with an innocent face.

“Not a chance,” I replied, pushing the knife harder against her throat.

I was pulled away from Rayna and pressed against a wall, thick hands around my throat. I raised my blade but my opponent blocked and twisted my arm at an awkward angle. The man ripped the blade from my hand and I squirmed.

“Calm down, Chase. We are not here to hurt you,” the voice said. A complete shadow hung around the figure, moving as he moved.

“So she attacked me for fun?” I snapped.

“If we wanted you dead, you would be,” he said, releasing his grip, and I fell to the sidewalk. He stepped back slowly and the shadow peeled itself from his body. As it faded, it revealed a large man whose magic I’d never sensed before.

“If you don’t want to kill me, what do you want?” I asked.

The man reached forward, a large dark arm holding out my dagger. I wrapped my hand around it in confusion. The contrast of our skin was drastic; my pale flesh glowed against his midnight color and the size of his hand alone made me feel small.

“What Rayna told you was true. We were tracking the vampire, not you. Although I’m happy to finally meet you, I’d imagined this moment under different circumstances,” he said.

“There are ways to meet people besides attacking them.”

“I agree. You must forgive us; Rayna is quick to lash out when insulted.” My eyes met his and I couldn’t read his expression. I knew I hadn’t been polite, but I wasn’t about to apologize to a demon. “You know, your father would not have hesitated to kill her, no matter his position.”

“Congratulations, you’ve discovered I’m not my father. What the hell would you know about him anyways?”

He turned his head to the side and as the light hit his neck it revealed a tattoo. It was the one every hunter received after their ceremony. The one I never got.

The tattoo made me realize why he could bend the shadows; he was an air elemental and a powerful one at that. I had heard stories of hunters being able to work with shadows, but I’d never seen it done firsthand.

I looked him over, not sure what to think of a hunter working with a demon. He was taller than me by an inch, around six-foot three. His head was smooth shaven, though there was a small patch of hair under his lower lip. His skin seemed like a smooth dark chocolate. His body was large and square, broad shoulders making him a massive column of strength and power. He filled out a sharp black suit jacket and wore black loafers, leaving the only color on him a flash of bright blue dress shirt.

“You’re a hunter.”

“Once upon a time, yes I was.”

He broke eye contact and cleared his throat, extending his massive hand towards me. “Look at my manners. Let me introduce myself. I am Marcus Starkraven.”

My eyebrows shot up; I knew that name! “You’re supposed to be dead.”

“Is that what you heard?”

“You used to hunt with my father.”

He nodded slightly, but otherwise ignored the comment. “You already met Rayna,” he said, taking his unshaken hand back.

I looked at Rayna and got caught in the depths of her green, slit eyes.

“What are you doing with a demon?” I said, spitting out the last word like a curse.

“How’s your nose?” Rayna asked.

I touched it and looked at the blood on my fingers. “Lucky shot.”

She chuckled and stepped towards me. “Care to go again?” Marcus put an arm in front of her.

“Not what we’re doing right now,” he said.

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“She is my student. And my friend.”

I couldn’t respond. I didn’t believe it. A hunter being friends with a demon was unfathomable.

“I would have thought, being out in the real world, you’d have come to understand, Chase. Some Underworlders don’t fit the Circle’s black and white image of good and evil,” he said.

“The only Underworlders I’ve come across have tried to kill me.”

“Your name is feared by many in the Underworld. Your father has created quite the reputation for himself, so they fear you as well,” Marcus said.

I smirked. “As they should.”

He shook his head. “That wasn’t a compliment.
 So, fantastic, yes? It is. I know it is, because these are fantastic books. Which you should pick up like right now. I'm just putting that out there.




About M. R. Merrick
M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of The Protector Series, a Young Adult mash-up between Urban and Epic Fantasy. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he’s usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.
Website | Twitter | Facebook


And now, for the giveaway. There are 3 signed copies of SHIFT available to be won. It's even international, which is awesome, right? Right. Of course of is. All you have to do to enter is enter below! And have fun. Cause we all have fun at Sparkles and Lightning. Not having fun is so not allowed.

(Also of note: Shift is the second book…so you can still go and pick up Exiled! As you should, loves.)



Well then, that's really it for today! Oh, well roses, good luck. And I hope you enjoyed. Also keep in mind that I highly recommend this series, so if you've got time, or if you don't…pick these up. You won't regret it.

Lovelovelove,
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The Release Blog Tour stops by Sparkles and Lightning on December 14th! Be here. x
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Hey all! It's Wednesday, and you all know what that means, right, roses? Well, just in case you're new to all this, it means it's time for the popular meme Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine! It's basically an excuse for us book bloggers and book lovers to gush over gorgeous covers and exciting blurbs of books we're highly anticipating.

My pick this week has an absolutely gorgeous cover. There's no blurb yet, but I just couldn't resist. Cause like I mean, it is seriously beautiful. And so of course I really, really want it.

Awaken (Abandon, #3)
Meg Cabot
Release Date: May 7, 2013


Just look at that cover, you guys. I mean, oh my goodness. It's so beautiful. Just so gorgeously beautiful. I love, love, love the purple. It'll look so lovely with the blue and black of the first two covers. And then that pose, and the models, is perfection. It fits in so nicely with the other two. Oh, and I love that dress. So pretty. Love that it matches the other two covers so well. It is just so beautiful. I think I may be in love.

I liked Abandon, and I loved Underworld, so I have really high hopes for this one. It can only get better, right? I really hope so. I wasn't big on the turn Underworld took near the end, but we'll see where it ends up leading! I'm definitely intrigued. I'm still waiting on that blurb!

And of course, I absolutely adore John. He is like one of the sexiest men alive, er, in some kind of existence. I really can't wait to see more of him for sure!

Lovelovelove,
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What are you waiting on this Wednesday?
Link me up! :)
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hi there, roses! How are you? I'm feeling pretty awesome today, surprisingly. Not sure why…but I'll go with it. So anyway, I have another lovely blitz today. Read on, and stay tuned! It's super informative and features a hot new book.


The Harvesting (The Harvesting, #1)
Melanie Karsak
Release Date: September 18, 2012
"To label this a zombie book would be a false pretense . . . this is so much more than that. What you start out with and what you end up with are very different, and those twists and turns in the middle will make your heart beat faster over and over again."-- Colossal Pop
It's all fun and games until someone ends up undead.
Though Layla reluctantly returns home to rural Hamletville after a desperate call from her psychic grandmother, she could never have anticipated the horror of what Grandma Petrovich has foreseen. The residents of Hamletville will need Layla's help if they are to survive the zombie apocalypse that's upon them. But that is not the only problem. With mankind silenced, it soon becomes apparent that we were never alone. As the beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power, Layla must find a way to protect the ones she loves or all humanity may be lost.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About Melanie
Melanie Karsak, steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Visit the author at her blog to learn more about upcoming projects, book signings, and other neato things. A Walking Dead fan, check out her blog for recaps!

 And wasn't this all just fabulous? I think so. This book sounds good. I love zombies. Zombies are freaking fantastic, so I'm so picking this one up soon. You should, too!

Lovelovelove,
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Monday, November 26, 2012
It's Monday again! I'm not a huge fan of Mondays. At least, not life-wise. I actually enjoy them very much in the virtual world. This is probably one of my favorite posts to make.

Anyway, here's this week's featured book and excerpt!

Rise (Nightshade Prequel, #2)
Andrea Cremer
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Ember's mind was a blur. What she faced was worse than any nightmare that had stolen her sleep as a child. Wolves made of fire.

Anyway, the series title completely sucks, but okay, fine, whatever. I can deal. Anyway, this book I thought was much better than the first. So that was awesome.

I like this particular excerpt because it takes some action out of context and makes it all the more exciting without being spoilery. It's pretty fantastic.

Well then, you can now enter the giveaway for a preorder! All I ask is that you read my Giveaways page before entering. Pretty please? Thanks, roses!

Here is this week's !


Well, good luck, darlings! x

Lovelovelove,
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Sunday, November 25, 2012
Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make a wager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem Annabel Lee, Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.



PREORDER ASHES ON THE WAVES!
  

All Miranda wants is a normal life. She's determined to move past the horrible truth of her origin as a clone so she can enjoy time with her boyfriend, Peter, and the rest of her friends at school. But Miranda quickly learns that there's no such thing as normal - not for a girl who was raised to be a weapon. When one of her teammates turns rogue, it begins a war that puts the world in jeopardy. Now Miranda must follow her instincts - not her heart - in order to save everything she's fought so hard to keep. with the image of a terrible future seared into her mind, what will she have to sacrifice to protect the people she loves?
Dan Krokos's sequel to the tour de force False Memory is a mind-blowing thriller with high-octane action that will leave readers begging for the final book in this bold and powerful trilogy.




PREORDER FALSE SIGHT!
  

The fate of The New America rests with Eve in this stunning finale to the Eve trilogy.

Eve is trapped in the City of Sand, married to a man of her father’s choosing, but she can’t forget her love for Caleb—or her passion for the rebel cause. When rebel armies invade the city, Eve uses her position as princess for the ultimate act of rebellion—to kill her father, the king. Then tragedy strikes, and Eve must choose who to leave behind, who to save, and who to fight in this final battle for freedom.









PREORDER RISE!
  

Lovelovelove,
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Saturday, November 24, 2012
Timeless (Transcend Time Saga, #3)
Michelle Madow
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Release Date: November 20, 2012
Source: Author
Goodreads | Purchase
IT'S A RACE AGAINST TIME.
In Remembrance, Lizzie and Drew changed the course of fate so they could be together.
In Vengeance, Chelsea set fate back on its original, deadly path.
Now, strange things keep happening to Lizzie. Things that are omens of darkness to come. A curse has doomed her to die an early death, just as she did in her past life. To make things worse, even if she can figure out who cast the curse, it's irreversible. There's only one option left for her to save herself. It's crazier than anything she's heard yet, and to do it, she'll need Drew and Chelsea's help.
Because to make things right, they must go back to when it all began…

CATCHALL
I completely fell in love with Timeless. The Transcend Time series has been fabulous so far, with marvelous characters and intriguing plots. I love the way it's all done, and I can honestly, truly say that this was the perfect ending. Like, the most absolute perfect ending. It kind of made my life a little bit. I was extremely pleased with the way this turned out and I would gladly read this series again. In fact, I will read it again. It's reread worthy for sure.

THE HEROINE
ELIZABETH DAVENPORT
Lizzie is a marvelous heroine. She's very strong, and she really has to put up with a lot through the whole series, but especially in this book. Something awful has been done to her and she now faces omens of death and danger. Just when she'd found happiness, it's ripped away. But she doesn't crawl into a corner and feel sorry for herself. No, Lizzie steps up and finds out what needs to be done to fix this. And she'll do it, at any cost, because it's that important. I really admire her strength and bravery there, and I also like that that hard choices are, yes, hard for her, but she still does what needs to be done.

THE LOVE INTEREST
ANDREW CARMICHAEL
For whatever reason, I tend to have this thing for guys named Andrew (Like every Andrew I've ever met. And Andrew Garfield, oh my.) so I kind of really wish that he went by that name. But he doesn't. He goes by Drew. Okay, fine then. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it before, but it bothers me! And no, I didn't lower the rating or anything because of that. Just needed to get it off my chest. Drew is so damn lovable. I mean, he just is. He's a total gentleman, which is amazing. He treats Lizzie like a queen while also treating her as an independent woman. He's strong and protective without being smothering. Basically, he's perfect. But he can pull off the perfect somehow without seeming unrealistic.

THE FORMER BEST FRIEND TURNED ALLY
CHELSEA GIVENS
Chelsea isn't really friends with Lizzie anymore. I still don't really like Chelsea. I think she was being selfish and kind of a brat. Still, I don't completely hate her, not really. And once she realizes her mistake and how awful it was, she is willing to help Lizzie do whatever she needs to do to fix it. She can admit that she was wrong, and that's got to be really hard for her. I also think that although the way she lashed out was awful, she's slowly starting to get back to her old self.

THE PLOT
So, the plot was excellent. Just when I think I know what to expect, Michelle throws me a curveball. Think that's the expression. I'm thinking, positive, that one thing is going to happen, and then it doesn't. She always surprises me, and I mean that in the best way possible. I love not knowing what to expect. I actually kind of love being wrong because it makes the surprises that much more shocking.

There actually is some intense mystery and suspense in this book, although I won't tell you what it is. It's a surprise! But seriously, it's so good. I never saw it coming. And as to the solution, well, I had my suspicions. Turns out I really wasn't entirely correct, but I also wasn't entirely wrong. It was a sweet combination.

I mean, the whole witchcraft thing that Michelle introduced in the last book is tricky. You don't want to overuse that single plot device, but completely forgetting about it isn't great either. And Michelle achieves that balance. She really does. The magic is once again back, but not in the same way, and not too little and not too much. I don't know how she does it, but she did.

Let's just say that this was intense. Super intense. Like, totally threw me off for a second there intense! I kept up, but it was not an easy task. At the same time, I wasn't confused.

One problem I do have is the pacing was a bit weird. It felt rushed in some parts while others dragged on and on, and that was actually also kind of confusing. I never got completely lost but it did daze me a bit and not in the good way.

But, overall, yes, I loved this. Because, hello, it was spectacular. And marvelous. And probably even a little bit daring, which it just what makes it stand out so much.

THE ROMANCE
I think that Lizzie and Drew literally have one of the best romances of all time. Michelle has never attempted to use their reincarnation as a crutch for instalove, and she continues to build on their romance here. They have sparks that practically shoot off the page. I especially love the way Drew treats Lizzie. He cares deeply for her, and that just really, really comes through and is so clear. I also adore the way they're considerate of Chelsea, who was never considerate of them!

THE WRITING
Michelle's writing has always been lovely, but it has also improved so much over the series. She's even experimented with different voices. In Timeless, we're back to Lizzie's voice. Lizzie isn't the same girl from Remembrance, and her voice definitely reflects that. Also, Michelle's dialogue has become so much more fleshed out and really detailed. I also love her use of colloquial language. It really helps to make the book more accessible, honestly. And I adore all the descriptions. I can really picture everything perfectly.

THE ENDING
The ending was very romantic and sweet, and honestly perfect. It did veer towards maybe a little bit too perfect, but I think of this book as something of a modern fairy tale, so it's totally acceptable. I love the way it ends on such a lovely note; there's no openness at all, no cliffhanger. Obviously there's some sort of future, but clearly it's going to be a happy one and really, that's all I need to know. I was 100% satisfied.

WRAPUP
As a whole, like I said at the beginning of my review, Timeless was truly the perfect conclusion to the Transcend Time Saga. Reading it made my day, and it left me only with feelings of happiness! I loved this entire series, and I'm definitely going to be checking out Michelle's future works. And yes, I totally recommend this! If you're already a fan be sure to pick up this last book and if you haven't read these books yet, go ahead and get started!

FINE.

*****FINAL RATING:  4.75 RED ROSES*****
tinytinytinytinytiny
Friday, November 23, 2012
I mean, okay, obviously this only applies if you live in the United States.

But that's not the point.

In honor of Black Friday, one of my favorite days of the entire year, I'm going to be hosting a giveaway!

You all know how much I adore hosting giveaways.

Anyway, today's giveaway is fun and simple. No complications, hopefully.

Since this is a book blog, obviously I normally give away books. But in honor of what I affectionately call National Shopping Day, it's going to be a little different this time! At least if you live in the US.

For US entrants, you will win a copy of a book your choice from about 10 different ARCs. The selection is likely to change so I won't tell you what it is right now. However, I will tell you that they'll range from July 2012 to 2013. You will also win a $50 giftcard to a store of your choice. However, I reserve the right to refuse to buy a giftcard for a store if I wish to, and have you choose another.

For international entrants, you will win $50 of books from The Book Depository. Or, if TBD doesn't ship to you and Fishpond does, then you can win them from Fishpond. That's all thanks to the feedback I received recently! This is purely experimental for now.

There will be one winner for each. It's going to last for a week.

So just please read my Giveaways page before entering. :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Good luck, darlings, and have a fantastic day! I know I will! x

(And I know, it's been like for-freaking-ever since a review. There's one tomorrow, I promise.)

Lovelovelove,
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Thursday, November 22, 2012
Hi, darlings! Today I've got a post featuring the lovely book Breathe by Suzanne Cox! There's also a giveaway, which I know you all love, so stay tuned!


Breathe (Atlantis #1)

by Suzanne Cox

Release Date: October 22nd 2012
17 year old science prodigy, Laney Brookes, is looking for two things: a cure for the flu virus that’s ravaging the world and the truth about what happened to her father. Using clues from her father’s secret journals, she and her two friends Kate and Carter follow what she thinks is the path to the answers.

It’s a path that lands them in the lost world of Atlantis, a world struggling to survive. Laney finds more than just answers in Atlantis. She finds love. To get her friends and herself home, Laney will have to travel into enemy territory, led by Andrew a young Atlantean determined to return his people to power. In the process she’ll even unravel the mystery of her missing father. But first, she’ll have to figure out who the real enemy is.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Suzanne

I remember writing my first stories when I was about nine or ten years old. I've been writing ever since. In 2002 I decided to seriously try and get some of my work published. On February 14th of 2005 I sold my first book, A Different Kind of Man, to Harlequin Superromance. While trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, besides a writer, I went to college (alot) and worked a variety of jobs. I have a bachelor of arts in English with a minor in secondary education, a bachelor of science in nursing, a master of science in career and technical education with an emphasis in adult education and most recently, a master of science in nursing as a family nurse practitioner. I was also a National Board Certified Teacher in career and technical education. Along the way I've worked as a high school English teacher and an elementary teacher. I've worked as a registered nurse on a cardiac unit, brain injury rehab unit, and several different medical-surgical units. I've also done stints as a home health nurse and a commnunity health educator at a hospital, and many years as an allied health instructor at a high school career and technology center. Presently, I'm working full time as a family nurse practitioner at an inpatient psychiatric facility.

If I'm not writing I like to spend time reading. My husband and I share our home with our four legged children. Our boy and girl in puppy dog clothes, Toby and Sassy, who masquerade as Miniature Pinschers. We are also owned by three cats Chase, Jackson, and Spots. We are all terrorized by Gray Kitty, a stray who decided to stay and take over.



Okay, and now for the giveaway, which I know you've all been waiting for! Unfortunately, it is US only. Here's what you can win: (1) copy of Breathe, (1) copy of Marked, sparkly nail polish that coordinates with the book cover, a stoneware necklace with concentric circle design from Breathe by Kaatee art, and a metal bookmark. Such a wonderful set of prizes!
Here's a picture of everything.



Okay, roses, well, I hope that you enjoyed this post! Anyway, over and out. Love you guys much. x

Lovelovelove,
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Welcome to my young adult reading blog! Sparkles and Lightning has young adult book reviews with the occasional children's or adult's book review sprinkled in. It will also be totally and completely fun :) Have a look around, have some laughs, and most of all, have a perfectly sparkly, electric time!

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I'm a university student and ballroom dancer who spends too much time curled up with a good book. Red roses are my favorite and I love a good love story.

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