I’m Going on Vacation!

It’s currently 1:45 AM – that means this post goes live in 6 hours and 15 minutes. I’m feeling burned out and uninspired. So, I’m glad that by Monday I’ll be in Edinburgh and then Isle of Skye for about a week and a half.

I’m so ready to just take a break and refill my “well of inspiration” and love for writing, because right now it’s feeling pretty dry. Well, it’s kind of this weird mix of words are just exploding from me when I work on this contemporary WIP, but when it comes to writing posts and working on my SF WIP it feels more like pulling teeth. I’m still managing, but it’s be pretty rough.

As I mentioned in the last post, I wasn’t sure if I’d be uploading, but I’ve decided that I’m going to take the next two weeks off from posting – which I don’t necessarily want to do, because I’ve seen an influx of traffic on my blog – but I need to. I need to find my passion again. I want to enjoy writing and posting on here, instead of waiting until 6 hours before upload to write the post.

I will be posting to my Instagram – which I linked to the last post (I’ll link that post here) as well as my Snapchat handle. I don’t know what Wi-Fi or service is going to look like while I’m on Skye, but I’m going to try and post regularly on my Stories in both places.

Then hopefully when I come back, I’ll be ready to post again, and get back on schedule. Keep an eye out for September 10 – there should be a blog post going up then.

We leave Sunday and I haven’t decided what books I’m going to bring with me – besides the one book that I have to bring since it’s my book club’s pick, but other than that, I haven’t decided. Hell, I haven’t even started packing yet, or really thinking about packing. About the only thing I know I’m bringing is the formal dress I have to wear to a family wedding. Enough about that.

I’m really ready for this vacation. I’ve wanted to go to the Isle of Skye for a few years now, and even though I’m only there for a few days (this trip) I cannot wait to go and see everything.

As for what I’ve been doing, since I haven’t been packing – watching The Vampire Diaries. I watched it when it aired, so this is a first re-watch for me – don’t know why it took so long – but I forgot how much I love this show. I was a huge fan of the books (the ones actually written by L.J. Smith) and remember it was funny how much Twilight was influenced or copied the books (which were written first). I’m currently on season 3 and honestly, my time could be better spent reading or writing, but again, I’m feeling pretty tapped out. Sometimes you just have to take a break, take a step back.

I figured I’d end this post with a small scene from my SF WIP. Enjoy!

(This is a small snippet of this scene from Connor’s POV).

*also, it’s from an unedited section of the SF WIP, subject to change.

Screen Shot 2018-08-24 at 2.07.38 AM

Hey, now it’s 2:15, now its 5 hours and 45 minutes until upload time. * head desk *

I’m on Bloglovin’

I finally did it – I finally created an account on Bloglovin’ and linked my blog! I don’t know why it took me so long, but it’s done now.

Only here’s the kicker, apparently I already had an account, but for the life of me I don’t know when I created it, what email it’s with, or it’s password. I think it’s with my gmail, but Bloglovin’ says it isn’t so, I don’t know. It kind of makes for an issue if people search for my name…

But I have the answer for that – here’s the link!

https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/writing-universe-19576945

Also, if you search “Writing the Universe” is the first blog that comes up in the search, and if you search my name “Alexa Abee” it’s the second option. Basically if my blog isn’t linked, it’s not the right account.

I’m going to figure out some way to get rid of the other account, but until then, i’ve posted the link!

Also, it’s annoying that as of right now WordPress isn’t supported/compatible for the Bloglovin’ widget. * rolls eyes * There are some days I miss using Blogger and what you could add as external links, but I love WordPress and don’t regret making the switch!

This is a pretty brief post, and I’ll have something a little more exciting for Friday.

* Though, while I’m here, I should take a moment and say that I’m going on vacation for a week and a half, starting next week, and I think I’m going to take that time and not post. Simply because I don’t know what my Wi-Fi and/or cell service is going to look like. I will be trying to post as much as I can on Instagram and Snapchat.

Links:

Insta: https://www.instagram.com/chazzychuckles/

Snap Username: chazzychuckles (Alexa)

I’m going to try and post frequently to my stories (on both accounts), but I don’t think they’re will be any posts here.

With that being said, if you’re on Bloglovin’ comment below with a link and I’ll follow back!

Book Review: The Prophecy (Titan, #4)

The ProphecyTitle: The Prophecy (Titan, #4)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: March 20, 2018

Rating: ♥♥♥♥


History is on repeat…

Seth never thought he’d have a future. But now he’s on the brink of having it all with Josie: A tomorrow. A family. A forever. And all that’s standing between him and that forever is the Titans. If he helps Josie entomb them — without killing them, a nearly impossible task for him — everything he could ever want will be in reach. But he soon realizes that as a god, every little choice he makes can reshape the world for the better… or worse. And in meddling with the Titans, Seth may have just set into motion catastrophic consequences that will force the Olympians to enter the mortal realm and reshape the delicate balance of power that keeps the world from total collapse.

A price must be paid…

Entombing the Titans is Josie’s top priority. After all, it was what she was born to do. But the plans her father put into play to help her are no longer an option, and the odds she and Seth face in forging their own path are grim. The escalating violence between halfs and pures only increases the danger closing in on them and their friends. Josie knows their chances of succeeding in their task are slim at best — and if they fail, they might lose everything. But she also knows she’s not fighting just for herself — she’s fighting for the man she loves, for their future, for the world. Together with the Army of Awesome, Josie and Seth will face the unthinkable. And to win this war, the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

For the end is here and the Prophecy will be fulfilled.


This will be a spoiler free review.

I got this book back in March at ApollyCon 2018 in DC It was an amazing event, with tons of different authors and readers. I got to see some authors I hadn’t seen since the first ApollyCon in Philadelphia in 2011…I think. These are always great events, and I cannot wait for ApollyCon 2019 which will be in DC just like 2018, so of course I’m going! Jen puts on an amazing event for both the authors and the readers, and I can’t thank her enough for writing amazing books, with amazing characters and hosting this amazing event.

But it’s sad knowing that this is the final book in the Titan Series. If you didn’t know, it’s a spin off series as well as a continuation of her Covenant Series, only instead of focusing on Alex, it focuses on Seth.

This book has a little bit of everything, action, drama, amazing characters, suspense, definite funny moments and romance. This book (and the series) is a rollercoaster of emotions that will leave you in dire need of wanting more.

As the final book in this series, I was not disappointed. Seth grew to be so much more than the hot-headed Apollyon from the Covenant Series. The Prophecy hits the ground running and doesn’t stop. With the potential for world ending chaos, he has to fight harder than ever to protect everything and everyone he holds dear. He has to fight to protect Josie, the girl he loves. Between the two of them, rests a lot of power, and their only goal is finding a way to entomb the Titans before they reign havoc on Earth.

I loved him and Josie together, how they worked and fit together. They aren’t perfect people, and the world is often resting on their shoulders, but they find the little moments – perfect little moments where they get to be themselves, they get to be happy. Each are trying so hard to keep it together, but sometimes you just have to break and let it all out. They support each other, and work at being honest with each other. Seth isn’t perfect, he never was, but he tries so hard to be better for her, and Josie works tirelessly to be there for him, to remind him that he isn’t who the world views him as.

They’re each other’s support system.

I’m not happy that this is the last book with all of these characters. I’m a sucker for Greek Mythology, and I have loved these characters since 2012 when I first read Half-Blood and seeing it all end is painful. I think it is time for a full series/world re-read.

I love feeling I get when I pick up a Jennifer L. Armentrout book – it’s like coming home. If I get stuck in a book rut or get bored of whatever I’m reading (it happens from time to time) I can always turn to her books, her characters, and just read and read and read. This one was no exception. So much happens in this book, and there really is no downtime. Jen kept me on the edge of my seat. My jaw gaping, and despair often rolled through me. I won’t say which pats had me like that, but if you’ve read the book(s) then you know which scenes from The Prophecy that left me raw.

I feel like it would be interesting to see what happens later – like next generation – in this world, with some if not all of these characters. I feel like with Greek Mythology there are countless stories that could be told, and if Jen ever decided to write them, then I’m here for it.

I absolutely loved this book, the series, all of it. I’m definitely going to have to reread everything soon, it’s been too long since the last time.


Question Time!

Have you read The Covenant Series? The Titan Series? If so, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Another “Get to Know Me”

It’s been miserable where I live – brutally humid and hot, and there few days that are sunny, while the rest are rainy and gross. My point is, this humidity is kicking my butt and I’m tired – brain capacity is sitting at maybe 50%.

I’m also busy writing, and editing, and now trying to plan a trip to Scotland – which is happening, I just have to figure out what we’re doing once we get there. So, lots on my plate, with like no energy to do any of them.

My latest contemporary WIP is almost at 7,000 words – the words are just flowing, but it’s not the story I envisioned. I needed to get words on the page, so I’m letting the story just…flow. I’m pantsing it, and characters aren’t who I thought they were, and there are two characters who have appeared that I didn’t even know needed or wanted to be a part of this story.

Let’s get onto the actual purpose of this post, another round of questions, which will hopefully give you insight into who I am. I initially saw this on Twitter but couldn’t find the source. It was one of those – 1 like = 1 answer things – but that’s not how I’m doing this. I’m just going to answer them.

I’ll post a picture of the questions and just answer them below.

img_9805.jpeg

Here we go!

  1. Besides Harry Potter, Star Wars, LOTR, or any Disney movies – probably Alls Faire in Love – it never ceases to bore me and whenever I’m in a bad mood it always cheers me up.
  2. Ooooo, I don’t know…probably Wicked – Broadway soundtrack. I was obsessed as a younger child…and if not that, then probably Avril Lavigne
  3. Besides HP – The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I’m still annoyed that the rest of that series isn’t out, and I doubt it ever will be.
  4. Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Farscape, Doctor Who, Merlin – if you like sci-fi you definitely want to check out the first three shows. SO GOOD. Pissed that they aren’t on Prime anymore and the only place you can stream them is on Hulu with freaking commercials. No thanks.
  5. Shit, this is hard. Um, I actually have no idea. I honestly don’t think I could choose just one….Um, I’m trying to think. WAIT. Peter Pan. I know he’s not really good, and maybe you shouldn’t mee your idols/fave characters because they might tarnish your opinion on them, but my final answer is Peter Pan.
  6. Hmmm, one celebrity – I’m going to choose two, just because without them I don’t think I would love reading and writing as much as I do today. So, J.K. Rowling and Christopher Paolini. If you’re looking for a movie celebrity, then Chris Evans. I love Cap. Or David Tennant or Matt Smith…
  7. Agh, and I thought the last two questions were hard. Um, Lewis and Clark. That’s two, uh, H.G. Wells. Queen Elizabeth, um, gosh this is hard. I don’t really have historical figures that I look up to. I’m gonna just leave it at those four.
  8. Oh shit. Um…I was about to say that I don’t really have just one main one, but that’s a lie. Theo James. Hands down. If he ever walked up to me and told me to run away with him, bye, see y’all later.
  9. My dad usually. We have a very similar sense of humor, which tends to annoy the crap out of my mom.
  10. That’s assuming I’m awake. Ha. Uh, usually water and then coffee. I’m the furthest thing away from a morning person, and when I am up, I don’t usually like eating or drinking anything too heavy, because then I don’t feel good. But if not coffee then just water. I’ll drink coffee for the rest of the day though.
  11. Apple.
  12. Fictional? Audrey Rose Wadsworth. IRL? Kate Middleton, so I could be a Princess for one day.
  13. Where wouldn’t I go? Potentially Rome, or Garmisch (southern Germany) or Australia.
  14. Well it depends on brand, and where/how its made. Carton: either coffee or vanilla. Fresh: chocolate or cinnamon
  15. Fall – I hate being hot and humid, so once that breaks, and the air is cool, but the sun is still warm, and the leaves have fallen on the ground, that’s my favorite. Chunky sweaters, combat boots and hot coffee.
  16. Freshly mowed grass in the summer, being watered by a hose. Hands down favorite natural scent. But from Bath and Body – it was called Frosted Cranberry, and then it turned into Twinkling Cranberry and then Winterberry Wonder, but it’s now retired, and I can’t get it anywhere. I’m annoyed.
  17. You can’t go wrong with Spaghetti and meat sauce, but I love
  18. If I’m not reading or painting or writing (though that can sometimes be hella stressful) then crocheting. Especially in the winter. I can plop down on the sofa, put a show or movie on and just start working on a blanket, or scarf.
  19. I didn’t have one.
  20. In recent years I’ve picked up Lex, but only certain people use it. I still mainly go by Alexa. Don’t ask me to play a song. It got old the first time I heard that.
  21. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhYWNPzBuiM
  22. You know, this isn’t something I’ve really thought about. I honestly don’t know. And I don’t know if that means my expectations are too high, or too low. I’d just want to enjoy myself and feel comfortable.
  23. Yep, though I don’t think I could ever live on it/near it. I like it as vacation, an escape.
  24. I love the idea/concept of Victorian London, but I’d probably hate it, but to be around when the Space Race first started in the late 1950’s in the US, I’ve always wished I could have been there. Or to see North America the way Lewis and Clark did when they first got here. Untouched, wild, vast and unknowing. It must’ve been absolutely breath taking.
  25. If I’m really stress usually just scrolling through social media can sometimes unwind me – it takes my mind off whatever is stressing me. A good movie, a walk, a hot shower. Though like I mentioned earlier, Alls Faire in Love always cheers me up.
  26. Nerds or dark chocolate. Depends on the kind of mood I’m in. I like chocolate, but I’m definitely more of candy person.
  27. K. Rowling and Christopher Paolini. There are a bunch of other authors and creators that do inspire me, but I will forever credit those two for igniting my love for books and writing.
  28. Hell Yes. I don’t want to be cliché and say Phantom, especially since I’ve never actually seen in live. There are just so many, but I guess the one I go back to time and time again is Wicked, but that doesn’t feel like the right answer either. Hmmm. Newsies. The music for that show is utterly fantastic.
  29. Sprite, Ginger Ale or Fanta.
  30. Ugh, um. I’m going to be basic and say Harry Potter. I know I would have read stuff before that, but I can’t remember if any of them were my favorites.

30 questions. WHY do I think these things are going to be easier than just writing a review? You don’t have an answer, neither do I. I do like how this one doesn’t solely revolve around books and/or writing. This one was a little more rounded out.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this, feel free to answer any of these questions, and if you feel inspired to do this on your blog, comment and tag me! I’d love to see your answers!

It’s now time for me to bow out, and head to bed! I can hear my pillow calling my name.

Book Review: Brave (A Wicked Trilogy, #3)

BraveTitle: Brave (A Wicked Trilogy, #3)

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Pub. Date: December 11, 2017

Rating: ♥♥♥♥


Ivy Morgan hasn’t been feeling like herself lately. Not like anyone can blame her. After all, being held captive by a psychotic fae prince hell-bent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld is bound to leave some mental scars.

It’s more than that, though. Something dark and insidious is spreading throughout Ivy, more powerful than she could ever imagine… and it’s coming between her and the man she’s fallen deeply in love with, elite Order member Ren Owens.

Ren would do anything to keep Ivy safe. Anything. But when he makes a life altering choice for her, the fallout of his act has far reaching consequences that threaten to tear their lives apart.

If Ivy is going to have any hope of surviving this, she must put aside the hurt and betrayal she feels, and work with not only those she loves, but with an enemy she would rather kill than ever trust. War is coming, and it soon becomes clear that what Ivy and Ren thought they knew about the Order, themselves, and even their enemies, has been nothing but a cluster of dangerous, deadly lies.

Ivy knows she must be more than just brave to save those she loves–and, ultimately, to save herself.

Because behind every evil fae Prince, there’s a Queen…. 


 This will be a spoiler free review.

This is the final book in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Wicked Trilogy, and as far as ending go, this was a pretty good one. I’ve been a fan of Jen’s since 2012. Finding her books and falling in love with them wasn’t planned – though I guess finding favorite authors never is. My friend and I were headed to a book signing for Nora Roberts in Boonsboro Maryland, and when we got there, Jen was signing as well. Out of pure curiosity, we each bought books – I think we both bought Half-Blood and Obsidian and we each ended up finishing one of them apiece. I couldn’t tell you if we both read the same book, or one of each, but I was hooked from that moment on.  

WickedAbout a month ago I was feeling tired and borderline book rut, and I knew I needed to read something that I knew I would enjoy and breeze through. Jen tends to be one of those authors for me. I absolutely love her books and haven’t read one that I haven’t liked. They are comforting, and I usually know what kind of story I’m going to get when I open the book. Looking at my shelves, I could see three books I could choose from, all of which the final books in series, so I just picked on.Torn

Brave picks up where Torn left off, and it starts off swinging. It didn’t go from 0-100, it went from 50-100, and just kept ramping up. It’s been a long time since I had read Torn let alone Wicked and it took me a few chapters to remember what had happened in the previous books, but then I was flying through the finale. I devoured the book in a day, could barely put it down because I was so invested. It was nice to come back to these characters, especially Tink. I’d love to have him as a roommate, though, I definitely couldn’t afford his spending habits.

I loved Ivy in this book, having been broken, or nearly broken, we get to see her struggle in trying to find her strength again. With Ren always by her side, rooting for her, she starts to find herself again. She has no choice, the big bad that they have to face will require her to be brave, if not more. I loved their relationship in this book, because it was far from perfect. There was a lot of giving and taking and just trying to be supportive of each other. Are either of them perfect, no, but they work hard to work together and get through issues and hard moments.

So many things happened in this book that left me gaping, reeling, struggling with my emotions; but it also had me grinning and worrying, and enjoying every minute of it. You know that feeling that you can get in your chest when either A. something bad is about to happen and you know it, or B. it’s like the cutest, sweetest scene, or C. when something so shocking happens and you don’t know how to process it – yeah, that feeling didn’t leave my chest for like the whole book.

The PrinceWhile I enjoyed this book as a whole, I wasn’t satisfied with the ending, but I’m hoping this latest novella The Prince (which was published today, 08/14) will help clear things up. The ending felt a little open ended and I’m not against returning to the world of Ivy, Ren and Tink, maybe years later (in their timeline). With the way Brave ended, it almost felt like there could be more and maybe Jen has future plans we don’t know about.

Overall, I loved this book and the characters. As far as a conclusion to this trilogy goes, it does tie up ends and I think you’ll be happy with how it all comes together. If you’ve read the first two books and haven’t read this one, what are you doing, get on it! And if you haven’t read this trilogy, I definitely recommend checking it out! Set in New Orleans, with fae, magic, an Amazon Prime loving Brownie, and kick ass characters, this trilogy will take you on a ride, full of ups, downs, with romance and friendships that are easy to get lost in.

Hit or Miss

First a little update and then the actual point of this post! –

I had to pull myself away from that contemporary WIP when I remembered I had a blog post I need to write! I’ve been working away at it the latter half of last week and all weekend. It’s been a lot of writing, trashing, scraping, rewriting, but finally I * think * I have the beginning of the story right.

Now my struggling is trying to not speed my way through the story since I’m so into it. I keep reminding myself to SLOW DOWN and tell the story, rather than just rush ahead to the parts I’m dying to write.

(I can write out of order, but I really hate doing it. It throws me off big time.)

Also, I saw Shakira in concert last night #ShakiraDC for her El Dorado Tour, and it was fantastic! I had about a million clips on my Insta and Snap Stories, but sadly they are gone now. Here’s the link to my post on Insta though, with a glimpse at her awesomeness. https://www.instagram.com/p/BmZfVr2FGEG/?taken-by=chazzychuckles

She definitely knows how to put on an amazing show!

Here are just a few photos.


Now that, that is out of the way, I can actually get to what this post is actually about – Facebook Ads. More specifically, Facebook Ads for books – we’ve all seen them, we’ve all clicked on them (some of them are regretful) but you all know what I’m talking about.

I thought I’d share the books (there aren’t that many) that have been advertised to me, that I have loved and the ones that just fell flat and left a lot to be desired. I’m sure like any other book lover out there, you’ve gotten ads for books that look and sound utterly amazing, and then you click through to * usually * the Amazon link and have been disappointed. Other times, it’s like a present has been dropped right into your lap.

I’m happy to report that the majority of the books I’ve been advertised I’ve actually enjoyed and liked. Some of them haven’t been purchased yet, and they are sitting in a wish list, just because I’d have to be a billionaire to buy all the books that are advertised to me and are actually ones I want to own physical copies of.

Though, lately I’ve been pretty unlucky in the Ads department – I don’t know what I clicked on or when, but all the ads I get right now (that aren’t author paid for and promoted) are for reverse harem books – and while I have nothing against them, they aren’t books I usually gravitate towards on a daily basis. So, I’m just going to count those out of the running for this post.

I’m going to focus on books I’ve actually purchased.

**Oh let me put this in here as well – I also get BookBub ads and Booksy – and have gotten a lot of Kindle books that way, but I want to focus on Facebook sponsored ads.


I’m going to start with Air Awakens by Elise Kova. It’s because of Facebook that I found one of my all-time favorite fantasy series. I loved every book, and every book Elise Kova has written since. I was ordering the next book in the series before I was even done the whichever one I was reading at the time. Facebook hit the nail on the head with the Air Awakens Series and now Elise is working on more books – I’m just going to sit here impatiently until they are done. This was definitely a HIT!

Next up on this short list is The Starlight Saga by D. N. Hoxa. I remember reading the first book Assassin and loving it enough to immediately buy the second – Villian, but (and I feel bad for saying this) after rereading the synopsis for it, I can’t remember anything about it. That sounds so bad – but also not uncommon for me. More often than not I don’t retain books that aren’t absolute favorites for more than a few weeks at most; and the majority of what’s on my Kindle – (that would be a fun and hellishly long post) – are books that I can sit down, speed through, and just enjoy in the moment. I also read this back in December/early January and have read plenty since then. So, I’m going to give this a HIT based on my remembered reaction to it.

Next up – this book was marketed as Cinderella meets Vampires in a twist on the classic. Not going to lie, it sold me so hard, that I went and spent the .99 on it, and could not wait to start reading. I was sitting in a bit of a reading rut and figured that this would be the perfect kind of smutty book I wanted, and who can say no to Cinderella meets Vampires.

I wanted to like it, I tried so hard. But I could not get past the writing. I almost don’t want to name the book, but here I go – Vampire King by Joanna Mazurkiewicz. There was so much extra fluff and stuff going on in the writing, and I personally couldn’t get past it, plus the repetitiveness of certain words and phrases…on a single page. I don’t know if the other books in the series are written the same way, and I really wish I could get past my issues with the writing style, because it really does sound like something I’d devour in a day, but I couldn’t. I tried though. I tried for days to look past the style and focus on the story, but it was too distracting. Unfortunately this was a MISS.

Okay, looking at my Kindle, I’m going to have to eat my words about reverse harems. Apparently there was one that caught my eye enough that I spent money on it. Dragon’s Gift by Jasmine Walt and May Sage. Do I remember anything about this book, vaguely? Three dragons who are also humans…I think? And one girl, and they all fight over her, because she is The Chosen One. I think I enjoyed this…even though my Kindle only says 87% done, so maybe I got bored? Let’s chalk this one up to a HIT since I’m almost done it, and I spent $4 on it.

I’m always down for a Peter Pan retelling/adaptation but this next book I couldn’t get into. Not only was it Peter Pan but also The Little Mermaid in a dystopian/SF setting. NeverSea by Jenetta Penner & David R. Bernstein didn’t hit the mark for me. I got about half way through the book and DNF’d it. I can’t remember my exact reasons, but I do remember hating the fact that too many liberties were taken with the story, and it lost that magical element that is Peter Pan and I found that I couldn’t stand the characters or their choices. It just fell short.

The final book (for this round and this post) is Possessing Beauty by Madison Faye. This was an indulgent read. I wanted fairy tales, I wanted sexy times, and this delivered. Actually, if it were a movie, you probably wouldn’t want to watch it with your parents. I read the crap out of this book. Just a heads up, this book is actually more like a series bind up of the * 5 * books in the series, with it being book 5…not really sure how that works, but all the books are in this, so…

Anyways, it made for a quick steamy read. It was a HIT.

Now, I know I’ll be advertised many more books on Facebook and I wouldn’t be opposed to doing another one of these posts. I can also do a “What’s on my Kindle” but be warned, it’s basically a bunch of New Adult and Fantasy that I’ve mostly picked up for free. Let me know down in the comments if that’s something you’d be interested in reading about!


Have you read any of these books? What are some of the books that Facebook has advertised to you? Were they hits or were they misses?

Book Review: The Raging Ones

The Raging OnesTitle: The Raging Ones

Author(s): Krista & Becca Ritchie

Pub. Date: August 14, 2018

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – 4.5


In a freezing world, where everyone knows the day they will die, three teens break all odds. 
Franny Bluecastle, a tough city teen, dreams of dying in opulence, to see wealth she’s never known. Like the entire world, she believes it’s impossible to dodge a deathday. 

Until the day she does.

Court Icecastle knows wealth. He also knows pain. Spending five years in Vorkter Prison, a fortress of ice and suffering, he dreams of life beyond the people that haunt him and the world that imprisoned him.

Mykal Kickfall fights for those he loves. The rugged Hinterlander shares a frustrating yet unbreakable connection with Court—which only grows more lawless and chaotic as their senses and emotions connect with Franny.

With the threat of people learning they’ve dodged their deathdays, they must flee their planet to survive. But to do so, all three will have to hide their shared bond as they vie for a highly sought after spot in the newest mission to space. Against thousands of people far smarter, who’ll live longer, and never fear death the way that they do.


Like with the majority of my reviews the first part will be non-spoiler followed by a spoiler section.

High stakes, friendship, romance, a competition, and a chance to travel the stars – The Raging Ones is a book you’re definitely going to want to pick up.

In a world where everyone knows the date they will die, some live hard and fast and full, and other’s live in opulence and leisure. For Franny, she’s always known she was going to die young, and her last wish was to die surrounded by wealth, but the world isn’t fair.

Court keeps his history close to his heart and hidden. Having spent time in Vorkter Prision before he managed to escape he knew what pain was. He strives to protect those around him, especially Mykal from suffering his same fate.

Mykal, a rugged Hinterlander shares a bond with Court that neither of them can truly explain, and one night they feel their bond widen, and in enters Franny.

In a world where everyone is supposed to die on their death days the three of them have somehow dodged them, and in an attempt to keep that fact hidden, they fight for the chance to be selected on the newest mission to space. They don’t know when they’ll die, and in a contest to see who makes the cut, the people they are up against are smarter, who will live longer, and never fear death the way the three of them now have to do.

I was lucky enough to win an advance copy of this book off of Goodreads, and when I entered the giveaway I was really excited to read this book. Then the book arrived, and my interest dropped. I don’t know why I wasn’t interested in it anymore, but I wasn’t. I knew it wouldn’t be fair if I had requested it and then not read it, so I gave it a chance.

It was a little hard to get into in the beginning, but I’m chalking that up to my lack of interest. Then I got invested and couldn’t put the book down. The ending had me clamoring for more, and I was so upset that the book was over and now had to wait for the second, next year. (Shit, as much as I love reading books early, it can be such a curse!)

Franny Bluecastle

I loved Franny. She’s a spitfire who doesn’t back down, but she can also be very vulnerable, and she cares so deeply. Once she’s claimed you as a friend or family, there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for you. She’ll also do anything if it means surviving. She’s not above cheating or breaking the rules if it means she survives.

Court Icecastle

I want to hug Court and tell him that everything will be okay, even if it doesn’t seem like it will. He carries so much of the world on his shoulders, I felt so bad for him. Court is strong, and willing to see what the world could be, instead of being blind to the injustices. He cares deeply, even if he doesn’t show it. He’s also very cautious and wary, but like Franny, once he claims you as part of his family, there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do to protect you.

Mykal Kickfall

Mykal – I still pronounce it “Mikhail” even though it’s like “Michael” – don’t @ me, I can’t help it. It’s the “My” that throw me Every. Single. Time. But any who, I loved him as well. I think he was the most relatable, because he never felt like he fit in. He’s a giant guy who always felt like he had to make himself smaller to fit into the world. He cares deeply for Franny and Court and would do anything for them. I loved his relationship with Franny, and his fierceness for Court. He’s the solid rock that they can both lean on if they need to, and he’s always there.

The relationship between the three of them, Court, Mykal and Franny, was so wonderful. I couldn’t get enough of it, and their concern for each other was so endearing.

The world that Krista & Becca created was rich and interesting, and maybe not somewhere I would want to visit. It was easy to picture and imagine, and the characters felt original and real. I’m in love with this book, and I’m so happy I gave it the chance it deserved.

Now, onto the spoiler section!

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Last chance!

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I’m going to warn you right now. This section is going to be short and sweet, because

WHAT WAS THAT ENDING OH MY GOD.

Humans?

Earth?

How’d they get on another planet?

Another system?

What?

God, it better be explained in book 2.

They get separated *sobbing *

ARE THESE NEW PEOPLE BAD?

HOW ARE THERE HUMANS?

Tbh, I thought they were humans.

Gosh, I have so many questions.

Please don’t split them up * more sobbing *

Poor Court.

Poor Franny.

Poor Mykal.

Krista & Becca flipped the script and had me screaming at the end of the book. I had no words. I loved the whole thing, but HELL that cliffhanger. You can’t do that to me. * screams into the void * It still eats at me, and writing this review is bringing all the emotions back to the surface. When I initially finished this book I sent a Snapchat to my friend which basically consisted of me breathing heavily, and trying not to scream. Not even scream about the book, but just scream to release everything that I was currently feeling at the time, which I’m now re-feeling because I just reread the end of the book.

I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS THAT DEMAND ANSWERS.

Long story short, this book is so freaking amazing, with a fantastic crop of characters, and an unforgiving world, and it just makes you keep turning the page to find out what happens next…until you get to the end you want to die.


Please, if you have read this book, comment or message me so we can talk, because I’m still dying.

 

Beach Reads / July Wrap-Up Pt. 2

* Disclaimer – this post should have been up yesterday, but I was so far from the right headspace to write it, that I decided to just step away. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, certain things can take a pretty great, confident feeling day, and turn them to shit in the matter of an hour. I’m feeling better now, and said that I would post Wednesday’s post Thursday, so here you go!


* Sorry if this is feels like the original post – What Books I’m Bringing to the Beach! I didn’t think ahead how both of these would read and look with only being a little over a week apart.

img_9506I think I overpacked on books. I do this every year – bring too many and end up not reading all of them. I read the majority, but ultimately, I just ran out of time. More than once I was told I was being unsociable, which meant I had to put the book down and actually hang out with family. It’s okay though. While it’s nice to be able to lay out on the beach in the sun with a good book, it’s also fun to go sit in the surf drinking slushies with way too much alcohol in them.

I enjoyed almost every book I read. There were only two I didn’t read, but one of them was going to be a reread. I’m kind of upset about one of them, and totally try reading it again. If I don’t already have a review up for a book (I’ll link the ones I do have them for) then a review will be up closer to the release date (for ARCs) and for the other books, hopefully a review will be up soon. I’m kind of back logged on them at the moment.

With that being said, let’s jump into the books I read and some brief thoughts on them.


ImpostersImposters – Scott Westerfeld – 3.5/5

I enjoyed this, but not as much as I thought I would. I’m in the camp of never having read Extras and I have a feeling that this book would have made a little more sense. I’m excited to read the one when it comes out next year. * sobbing * I liked Rafi and Frey and I felt like Frey and Col’s relationship was a little rushed.

I also feel like along with reading Extras this book is best read soon after having read the original series, when the story is still fresh in your mind. I struggled just a little bit to remember certain aspect, and was more than a little bummed when Tally was only mentioned, and never showed up. Ugh, I think I’m finally going to have to read Extras – hopefully it doesn’t ruin the first three books for me.

Frey and Rafi are inseparable . . . but very few people have ever seen them together. This is because Frey is Rafi’s double, raised in the shadow’s of their rich father’s fortress. While Rafi has been taught to charm, Frey has been taught to kill. Frey only exists to protect her sister. There is no other part of her life. Frey has never been out in the world on her own – until her father sends her in Rafi’s place to act as collateral for a dangerous deal. Everyone thinks she’s her sister – but Col, the son of a rival leader, is starting to get close enough to tell the difference. As the stakes grow higher and higher, Frey must decide whether she can trust him – or anyone in her life.


Wicked SaintsWicked Saints – Emily A. Duncan

This was the first book I read on vacation because I was tired of waiting to read it. IT WAS SO GOOD AND I’D DYING KNOWING THAT IT WILL BE TWO YEARS BEFORE I GET TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. So yeah.

Emily A. Duncan created a wonderfully dark world, that has you captivated from the first page. It starts off hot and never slows down. The characters are engaging and don’t give away their secrets too quickly and leave you with wanting to shake them violently and then pull them into a comforting hug. I already know that I’m going to be rereading this closer to its actual release date, and then I’ll probably read the finished copy. I’m not lying when I say that I’m dying inside.

* whispers * Psst  if you need someone to read book 2 early, I’m available.

Something dark and holy…


More than we can tellMore Than We Can Tell – Brigid Kemmerer

I hate that this isn’t one I got to reread while on vacation but let me tell you. This book got passed around and people read and loved it. I’m happy people fell in love with Rev’s story as it’s one of my favorites. I will reread this soon, since surprisingly I’ve only read it once, and I can’t wait to fall in love with it all over again.

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

*I own multiple versions and covers of MTWCT and the one pictured is the UK Paperback which I ordered off of Book Depository, and it’s the version I took to the beach.


the natural history of usThe Natural History of Us – Rachel Harris

THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD. I had no idea it existed before March, and now that I’ve read it, I cannot wait for book 3, which hopefully won’t be a long wait! I loved Justin and Peyton, and the way the story was told had me dying to know what broke them up.  I thought Justin was sweet in the ways he worked to convince Peyton to come back to him, and I find it really hard to fault him for his actions as a freshman in High School. Did he react badly. Hell yes. Was it surprising. Nope, he was a child.

This book just felt so real and honest and I loved it.

One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who’s forever owned his heart.

Justin Carter has a secret. He’s not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy…and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she’d ever forgive him.

Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she’s done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she’ll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first.

For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate’s given him a shot at redemption, he’s determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton…well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.


Kiss CollectorKiss Collector – Wendy Higgins

Ugh. This is the one that I DNF’d. I’m totally going to give it another try, because I’ve loved everything else Wendy Higgins has written, but this one fell really short. It didn’t grab me in the beginning, and I hope when I do pick this one up again I end up loving it, but I decided that I wasn’t going to spend my vacation reading a book I couldn’t get into. I put it at the bottom of my pile and told myself that if I finished everything else I brought with me, I’d go back to this one.

When seventeen-year-old Zae Monroe gets cheated on by the only guy she’s ever loved, then watches her parents’ marriage crumble, she decides to forget about relationships and turn the tables on the boys of the world. It’s time to take what she wants, and what she wants are kisses. Athletes, musicians, poets, and bad boys—their lips are all on her agenda, and it’s time to collect. 

Zae proposes a contest with her friends to see who can kiss the most boys during spring break. But what starts as a harmless competition leads to a downward spiral she can’t seem to break free of. As family, academic, friend, and guy drama come to a head, Zae is forced to face the reasons behind her boy angst, and starts to wonder if she was wrong about the male race…or at least some of them.


Invisible GhostsInvisible Ghosts – Robyn Schneider

It made me cry again. Not as hard and the initial read, but there were tears, and my family made fun of me – in a light way – no hard feelings. Once again, I fell in love with Robyn’s writing, her characters – I love Rose and Jamie so much. I will forever read any contemporaries Robyn writes and invisible Ghosts is definitely my favorite book of hers.

Rose Asher believes in ghosts. She should, since she has one for a best friend: Logan, her annoying, Netflix-addicted brother, who is forever stuck at fifteen. But Rose is growing up, and when an old friend moves back to Laguna Canyon and appears in her drama class, things get complicated.

Jamie Aldridge is charming, confident, and a painful reminder of the life Rose has been missing out on since her brother’s death. She watches as Jamie easily rejoins their former friends–a group of magnificently silly theater nerds–while avoiding her so intensely that it must be deliberate.

Yet when the two of them unexpectedly cross paths, Rose learns that Jamie has a secret of his own, one that changes everything. Rose finds herself drawn back into her old life–and to Jamie. But she quickly starts to suspect that he isn’t telling her the whole truth.

All Rose knows is that it’s becoming harder to choose between the boy who makes her feel alive and the brother she isn’t ready to lose.


Broken PrinceBroken Prince – Erin Watt

WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL WAS THE ENDING FOR THIS BOOK. I didn’t bring book 3 with me on vacation so I was left dying. I inhaled this book the same way I did the first one, and I know I’ll do the same thing with book 3. Are they the best books ever – no – but shit, they keep you hooked and they’re books you sit down to read, and don’t get up until you’ve finished it. These are binge books most definitely.

BUT THE ENDING THOUGH. I’m still not over it, and probably won’t be until I read book 3.

From wharf fights and school brawls to crumbling lives inside glittery mansions, one guy tries to save himself. 

THESE ROYALS WILL RUIN YOU…

Reed Royal has it all—looks, status, money. The girls at his elite prep school line up to date him, the guys want to be him, but Reed never gave a damn about anyone but his family until Ella Harper walked into his life.

What started off as burning resentment and the need to make his father’s new ward suffer turned into something else entirely—keep Ella close. Keep Ella safe. But when one foolish mistake drives her out of Reed’s arms and brings chaos to the Royal household, Reed’s entire world begins to fall apart around him.

Ella doesn’t want him anymore. She says they’ll only destroy each other.

SHE MIGHT BE RIGHT.

Secrets. Betrayal. Enemies. It’s like nothing Reed has ever dealt with before, and if he’s going to win back his princess, he’ll need to prove himself Royally worthy.


Questions! Feel free to comment your answers below!

Should I finally suck it up and read Extras? Have you read it? Are you in the camp that it ruins the first three books?

Out of all of these books, have you read any of them? Do you have a favorite? Which of the ARCs are you most excited for?

Couldn’t Resist Temptation

I had originally planned to have a “real” post for today, but I’m recovering from vacation, and I’m exhausted. Why is it you need a vacation after vacation?img_9713As much as I love my family and spending a week with them, I’m an introvert by nature, and a week of GO GO GO and being in a house stuffed full of people I love dearly, I need a breather. So, this is going to be a short and sweet post and I’ll be back to regular programing on Wednesday with most likely a summary of everything I read during my vacation, and Friday will be a review for The Raging Ones.

You might be wondering about the title of this post, and what I couldn’t resist. I’m currently working on my SF WIP Destiny which you have read tiny bits of, and a fantasy WIP, which you’ve also read a brief snippet of. I’ve also loosely (and I use that term so loosely) a contemporary story (well it’s supposed to be a contemporary, but that’s still up in the air apparently) set in a summer camp.

Well, while walking along the beach Friday night, the last night of vacation, as the sun was just starting to sink lower in the sky, the tide was coming up on low tide, a new contemporary story idea smacked me so hard in the face I saw stars. The story started speeding through my brain, so I grabbed my phone, opened Notes and furiously started typing it all out. I was so engrossed in getting the story on paper – so to speak – that I walked WELL past the house and had to turn around and backtrack.

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I’m so in love with this story, and I’m trying to get it semi-plotted but all I want to do is write it. I’m debating on whether or not to just sit down and pants it. I’m a pantser by nature, and I already know the gist of the story, so maybe I should? Knowing me, I probably will. I don’t want to give away too much of this story, but it takes place on a beach (haven’t decided where, but probably NC), with alternating POVs between Cassie and Ryan (you get character names!) the summer after Cassie’s senior year of high school. I cannot wait to dive into this story. Maybe I’ll share some of it once I get in to it. Maybe I’ll post it on Wattpad – it’s an idea I might be playing with.

I’ll end this post with a few photos from the beach!img_9797img_9649

Book Review: Rise of the Storm

Rise of the stormTitle: Rise of the Storm

Author: Carrie Summers
Pub. Date: October 11, 2017

Rating: ♥♥♥♥ – 4.5


Two prophecies. Two heroes. Only one can be right.
Kostan sits upon a splintering throne. Savra huddles in a makeshift cell, awaiting the judgment of those she betrayed. The land grows dark with the blood of Prov and Atal alike.

But beyond the human struggles, a graver threat looms. Aided by the rogue mage, Havialo, the Breaking strains at the bones of the Empire. As the land shatters, a dark tide rises.

Two prophecies offer slim hopes for humanity. One names Savra as the Empire’s savior. The other envisions Kostan leading the war against the darkness. Both can’t be right. But if the coming war decides who survives, humanity may find it has murdered its last hope.


This will be a non-spoiler review.

This is the second book to the Broken Lands Series, and it picks up right where the first one left off. Kostan has ascended and is working hard to give the Provs their space. He offers them resources and aid, but they refuse. This backfires on him and while he struggles to rule over Atal, Savra is being held captive by Storm Shard to answer for her actions in saving Kostan.

Neither are sure of their futures, but they are fighters. Savra delves deeper into her power, Kostan realizes that he can’t be the ruler he wants to be, and Havialo is set on brining the Empire to its knees no matter the cost.

Rise of the Storm was just as good the first book Heart of the Empire, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved seeing how both Savra and Kostan grew as characters, and how no matter what, they continued to face down adversity.

So much happens in this book, but at the same time, it felt like a traditional middle-of-a-trilogy book which is just going to set up for the epic finale in the last book. If you’re looking for an action packed, character growth, plot-driven novel, with a hint of romance, then you want to check this out. Carrie Summer’s has such a way of creating this fantastical world and it’s so easy to get lost in it. She had me on the edge of my seat more than once during this book.

Savra never gives up, she fights for herself, her father, Kostan, and Storm Shard. She fights because if she doesn’t, that’s it, game over. Kostan is busy trying to rule the Empire, but rule it differently than his predecessors, and it’s not going well. With the weight of the impending doom of Atal, he does all he can to keep the Heart on the Throne.

Havialo is hell bent on tearing the Empire apart and will stop at nothing. His actions bring all the characters together, and what Kostan fears, may come to pass if they don’t succeed.

If you like Heart of the Empire, you need to read this and find out what happens next. Savra and Kostan’s fight is just getting started. Facing off against enemies is hard but facing off against friends – that might be impossible. Find out in Fate of the Drowned whether or not the two of them can save the Empire or lead it to catastrophic ruin. The fate of everyone’s lives are in their hands.