Monday, February 29, 2016

(Review Redux) LEAP DAY by Wendy Mass

Happy Leap Day!!!

Celebrate the day that comes only once every four years with a fun book all about today!!!

LEAP DAY by Wendy Mass is all about Josie's "fourth" birthday the year she turns sixteen! 

*This review was first posted at ABS on February 29, 2012.

What better book to read on a day that comes once every four years than LEAP DAY by the always-innovative Wendy Mass?  The novel is one of Mass' teen offerings; most of her titles are middle grade.  The book centers around a girl named Josie on her sixteenth birthday--also known as her fourth birthday.  Josie is a Leaper, one of the few born on February 29th.  She's excited about her special day and hopes everything goes perfectly.  While it starts off well enough--she's having a fabulous hair day and has been given car keys as a gift--the rest of the day gets off to a rocky start.  From worrying about whether or not she'll earn her driver's license to trying out for the much-coveted role of Juliet for the school's upcoming production of ROMEO AND JULIET, Josie's birthday is as ordinary as it is extraordinary.

Mass utilized a unique writing technique when writing LEAP DAY.  She writes A Chapters and B Chapters.  A Chapters are always from Josie's POV (Chapter 1A, for example).  B Chapters (Such as Chapter 1B) are always from the POV of other characters mentioned in that chapter.  We get little paragraphs with the thoughts of friends, family members, teachers, enemies, crushes, classmates, etc. It's interesting to see what everyone is thinking about everything.  Maybe Josie thinks someone did something, but that person has no clue and is thinking about something else completely.  Or maybe she wonders why someone dislikes her.  As a reader, we're privy to everything.  These B Chapters took a little getting used to, but they absolutely fleshed out the story. We'd all love to know what the people around us really think about us or what's going on, but we never know for sure.  We don't know all of the fears and dreams and reasons that motivate people to move on certain paths in life.  Every once in a while, Mass even foreshadows what will happen to a character in the future such as: "It didn't occur to Tom to write the things that he did do today.  He won't start writing those things in his diary until next year, when he'll start calling it a journal.  He'll have had his own room for months by then, along with a new appreciation of why a teenage boy might want his own room" (pg. 163).  Oftentimes, readers are left wondering what will happen in the future and this was a nice flourish to add on.

Overall, LEAP DAY is a light contemporary that reads fast.  It takes place over the course of one day, so there's not an epic story full of carefully knotted ends.  Instead, we're allowed a single glimpse.  This is life, which will continue on tomorrow and the day after.  Not everything is resolved, but not everything can be in a single day.  While Josie doesn't have any miraculous character growth, she does have a slight revelation towards the end that will change her in the days to come.  Plus, the book takes an inside look at what it must be like to have one's birthday fall on February 29th.  I will admit that it's a little dated now.  I always hate when books feature real actors and bands because by the time a reader picks it up, it's possible that these are long out of fashion, as was the case with this novel published in 2006 (And written, of course, before that.  My favorite part about the novel was the refreshing POV style.  If you take nothing else away from this review, LEAP DAY is worth reading for this alone!

C O V E R   D E S I G N:


The new cover is fun and cute!

It's also designed to appeal to both the teen readers this is being marketed at AND the middle grade market Wendy Mass normally rights for.

I like it better than the original cover, which looked like:



What about you?


O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  LEAP DAY
Author: Wendy Mass
Release Date: September 6, 2006
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Received: Purchased
SUMMARY:

What if you could step into everyone else's shoes for just one day?  Soon-to-be-sixteen Josie Taylor was born on Leap Day, February 29, and now it's her "fourth" birthday.

Like every teenager, sometimes she wonders what other people are thinking, but in this unusual novel, YOU get to find out--by leaping into the minds and viewpoints of Josie and everyone around her.

Birthday festivities, school play auditions, her driver's test, a scavenger hunt, and the all-important sweet-sixteen initiation at the lake--these are the things that define Josie Taylor today...but what defines her tomorrow and in the days to come are the people who touch her life at every moment.

Full of everyday imaginations and truths, LEAP DAY will surprise you in more ways than one.

Friday, February 26, 2016

{Cover Reveal/Excerpt/Giveaway} NOBODY'S LADY by Amy McNulty



Today Amy McNulty and Month9Books are revealing the cover and first chapter for NOBODY’S LADY, Book 2 in the Never Veil Series, which releases April 12, 2016! 

The first book in the series, NOBODY'S GODDESS, is out now! 
(The e-book is also less than a cup of coffee if you want to give it a try right now!)

Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive an eGalley!!




On to the reveal!

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Title: NOBODY’S LADY
Author: Amy McNulty
Pub. Date: April 12, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon | Goodreads

For the first time in a thousand years, the men in Noll’s village possess the freedom to love whom they will. In order to give each man the chance to fully explore his feelings, the lord of the village decrees all marriages null and void until both spouses declare their love for one another and their desire to wed again. What many women think will be a simple matter becomes a source of village-wide tension as most men decide to leave their families and responsibilities behind.



Rejected by the lord and ashamed of her part in the village’s history, Noll withdraws from her family and lives life as an independent woodcarver. This changes when her sister accuses her of hiding her former husband Jurij from her—and when Jurij eventually does ask to move in. Determined not to make the same mistakes, Noll decides to support her male friends through their new emotional experiences, but she’s soon caught up in a darker plot than she ever dared imagine possible from the men she thought she knew so well. And the lord for whom she still has feelings may be hiding the most frightening truth of them all.



Excerpt


Chapter One

When I thought I understood real friendship, I was a long-lost queen. When I discovered there was so much more to my life than love and hate, that those around me were just pawns in a game whose rules I’d unwittingly put in place, I discovered I was a long-forgotten goddess. But goddess or not, powerless or powerful, my feet were taking me someplace I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. What did I hope to find? Did I truly believe I could hear him call me—that he’d want to call me? Yes, I did. I wanted to see him again. I wanted to hope, even if I wasn’t sure I was allowed. If I deserved to. I headed down the familiar dirt path beneath the lattice of trees overhead, pausing beside the bush with a partially snapped stem that jutted outward like a broken limb. The one that pointed to the secret cavern.

Only, it’s not much of a secret anymore, is it?

My feet picked themselves up. Glowing pools would never again tempt me.

I reached the black, towering fortress that had for so long shaken and screamed at the power of my glance.

For the first time in this lifetime, I stared up at it, and nothing moved. My legs, unused to such steady footing while in the sight of the lord’s castle, twitched in anticipation of a fall that never came.

There was no need. My feet dragged me forward.

At the grand wooden door, I raised a fist to knock.

But I stopped. I felt like if I touched it, the entire castle might crumble. It had done so once before. Not at my touch exactly. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was responsible for whatever destruction I’d find in this place. But that was presumptuous of me. He was strong-willed, and he wouldn’t crumble at the prospect of freedom. If anything, he’d be triumphant over it.

You can’t stop now. I pulled my sleeves over my wrists and propped both elbows against the door, pushing until it gave way.

The darkness inside the foyer tried to deceive me into thinking night had fallen. The stream of light that trickled from the familiar crack in the garden door called the darkness a liar.

I gripped the small iron handles, the material of my sleeves guarding the cold metal from my touch, and pulled.

My touch had come to the garden before me.

The rose bushes that surrounded the enclosed circular area were torn, ripped, trodden, and plucked. The blooms lay withered, scattered and turned to dust, their once-white petals a sickly shade of yellowish brown, smooth blooms turned coarse and wrinkled.

The fountain at the center no longer trickled with water. Its shallow pool was stagnant, piles of brown festering in mildewing green liquid. Dotted amongst the brown was pallid stone rubble. The tears of the weeping elf child statue, which belonged at the top of the fountain, had ceased at last. But the gash across its face told me the child’s tears had not been staunched by joy. I wondered if Ailill had had it carved to represent the pain I’d inflicted on him as a child. And I wondered if now he could no longer bear to remind himself of what I’d done.

I hadn’t done this. But I felt as if I had. If Ailill had gone on a rampage after he came back to the castle, it was because of what I’d done to him. Everything I touched turned sour. I yanked and pulled, trying to draw my hands further into my sleeves, but there wasn’t enough material to cover them entirely.

“Well, what a surprise.” I gazed into the shadow beside the doorway. How could I have not seen? The stone table was occupied. The place where I’d sat alone for hours, days, and months was littered with crumpled and decaying leaves, branches, and petals, obscuring the scars left by a dagger or knife striking time and time again across its surface. The matching bench that once nestled on the opposite side was toppled over, leaving only dark imprints in the dirt.

“A pity you could not make yourself at home here when you were welcome.”

My breath caught in my throat.

The man at the table was clad entirely in black, as I knew he would be. The full-length jacket had been swapped for a jerkin, but I could see the embossing of roses hadn’t been discarded in the exchange. He wore dark leather gloves, the fingers of which were crossed like the wings of a bird in flight. His pale elbows rested on the table amongst the leaves and branches and thorns. He wore the hat I was used to seeing him wear, a dark, pointed top resting on a wide brim. Its black metal band caught a ray of the sunlight almost imperceptibly. But I noticed. I always did.

His face was entirely uncovered. Those large and dark eyes, locked on me, demanded my attention. They were the same eyes of the boy I’d left alone to face my curse—not so long ago from my point of view. He was more frightened then, but there was no mistaking the hurt in those eyes both then and now.

“You are not welcome here, Olivière.”

His words sliced daggers through my stomach.

“I … I thought I heard you call me.”

He cocked his head to the side, his brown eyes moving askance. “You heard me call you?”

“Yes … ” I realized how foolish it sounded. I was a fool to come. Why had I let myself fall for that sound again, for my name whispered on the wind? Why was I so certain it was he who’d said my name?

He smiled, not kindly. “And where, pray tell, have you been lurking? Under a rose bush? Behind the garden door? Or do those rounded female ears possess a far greater sense of hearing than my jagged male ones?”

I brushed the tips of my ears self-consciously. Elric had been so fascinated by them, by what he saw as a mutilation. This lord—Ailill—wasn’t like that. He’d touched them once, as a child. He’d tried to heal them, thinking they were meant to be pointed.

The boy with a heart was the man sitting there before me. Even after all we’d been through, he’d still done me a kindness by healing my mother. “No, I just thought—”

“No, you did not think, or you would not have come.”

I clenched my jaw. My tongue was threatening to spew the vile anger that had gotten us into this mess to begin with.

He sighed and crossed his arms across his chest. “I gave explicit instructions that I not be disturbed.” He leaned back against the wall behind him, his chin jutting outward slightly.

I wiped my sweaty fingertips on my skirt. I wouldn’t let the rest of my hands out from the insides of my sleeves. The sweat had already soaked through them. “I needed to thank you.”

He scoffed. “Thank me for what? For your prolonged captivity, or for not murdering both your mother and your lover when I had the chance?”

So you admit you took Jurij to punish me? You admit they were both in danger in your “care”? Quickly, I had to clench my jaw to keep down the words that threatened to spill over. He’s not who I thought he was. He wouldn’t have harmed them.

I loosened the muscles in my jaw one hair’s breadth at a time.

“For healing me when you were a child. For accepting me into your castle instead of putting me to death for trespassing in it. For … For forgiving me for cursing you, even though you were innocent.” My voice was quiet, but I was determined to make it grow louder. “For saving my mother’s life.”

He waved one hand lazily in the air. “Unfinished projects irk me.”

“But you didn’t have to.”

A shrug. “The magic was nearly entirely spent on the churl anyway.”

“I beg your pardon?”

He leaned forward and placed both palms across the rotted forest remnants on the table. “My apologies,” he said, his lips curled into a sneer. “I simply meant that I wasted years and years and let the magic wither from my body to save a person of no consequence. You may thank me for that if you like. I would rather not be reminded of it.”

How odd it was to see the face I’d imagined come to life. The mocking, the condescending—it was all there. I just hadn’t known the canvas before.

And what a strange and beautiful canvas it was. That creamy peach skin, the brownish tint of his shoulder-length tresses. He was so much paler than any person I had ever seen. Save for the specters.

Despite the paleness, part of me felt I wasn’t wrong to have mistaken one brother for another. Elric had been dark-skinned, but they seemed almost like reflections of the same person; they shared the same brows, the same lips, and even eyes of a similar shape if not color. Perhaps the face before me was a bit gaunter, the nose a bit longer. It was easier to focus on the differences. Thinking of the similarities made me want to punch the face in front of me all the more—and that would undermine everything I had set out to do when I made my way to him. I wanted to see if you were really restored to life. Say it. I wanted to know if you really forgave me. Say it. I wanted to know why I … Why I feel this way about you, why I keep thinking about you, when I used to be unable to stand the sight of you. Say it, Noll! I dug my nails into my palm and shook the thoughts from my head. He’d called my mother a “churl.” I couldn’t just tell him everything I was thinking. “Have you no sense of empathy?”

“What a coincidence that you should mention that. I am sending Ailill to the village with an edict. He can escort

you there.” “Ailill?” But aren’t you him? Could I have been mistaken? Oh, goddess, help me, why do I do this to myself? Why do I think I know everything?

He waved his hand, and one of the specters appeared beside me from the foyer.

The specters. There were about a hundred of them in the castle. Pale as snow in skin and hair with red, burning eyes. Mute servants who seemed to anticipate the lord’s every command. Only now I knew who they really were.

Oh. “You call him by your own name?” I asked.

He raised an eyebrow. “I call them all by my name. They are me, remember?”

His icy stare sent another invisible dagger through my stomach. “Yes, but—”

“A shame you never cared to ask my name when you were my guest,” he said. “I have a feeling things might have turned out much differently—for all of us.”

“You knew what would happen! Why didn’t you warn me?” I had to squeeze my fists and teeth together to stop myself from screaming. This wasn’t going at all like I had hoped. But what had I hoped? What could I have possibly expected? I thought I’d be forgiven. I thought that Ailill and I might start over, that we could be friends, perhaps even … What a fool I’ve been.

Ailill turned slightly, his attention suddenly absorbed in a single white petal that remained on a half-trodden bush beside him. “I was not entirely in control of my emotions,” he said, “as you may well know.”

“I tried to give you a way out!” My jaw wouldn’t stay shut.

Ailill laughed and reached over to pluck the petal from its thorns. “Remind me exactly when that was? Perhaps between condemning me to an eternal life of solitude and wretchedness and providing yourself with a way to feel less guilty about the whole affair? And then you just popped right back to the present, I suppose, skipping over those endless years in a matter of moments.” He crushed the petal in his hand.

“A way to let myself feel less guilty?” He wasn’t entirely wrong. But it wasn’t as if he had done nothing wrong.

Ailill bolted upright, slamming the fist that gripped the petal against the twigs and grass on the table. “Your last words to me were entirely for your own benefit, as well you know!”

If, after your own Returning, you can find it in your heart to forgive me, the last of the men whose blood runs with his own power will free all men bound by my curse.

“How is wishing to break the curse on the village for my benefit?”

“Perhaps because the curse was your doing? Perhaps because you only wanted the curse broken to free your lover from it in the first place?”

“Stop calling Jurij my ‘lover.’ He’s not—”

“And you did free him with those words. You knew I would forgive you.”

“How could I have known? I didn’t think it possible you’d forgive me, not after all we’ve been through.”

“You knew because you knew I wanted to be free myself. That I would do anything—even forgive you for half a moment—to earn that freedom.” His voice grew quieter. “You never wanted anything from me, not really. I was just a pawn in your game, a way to free the other men in your village, a way to punish the men from mine.”

I fought back what I couldn’t believe was threatening to spring to my eyes. No tears, not in front of him.

“The men of the old village deserved everything they got,” I spat at last, knowing full well that wasn’t the whole story.

Ailill scoffed and put both hands on his hips, his arms akimbo. Oh, how I tired of that pose. The crushed petal remained on the table. Its bright white added a bit of life to the decay.

“There were plenty of young boys not yet corrupted,” he said. “And some that might have never been.” He took a deep breath. “But, of course, you are not entirely to blame. I blame myself every day for ever taking a childish interest in you. That should not have counted as love.”

I swallowed. Of course. Before the curse of the village had broken, a woman had absolute power over the one man who loved or yearned for her. When I visited the past through the pool in the secret cavern, I discovered a horde of lusty men who knew nothing of love but were overcome with desire. Since so many had lusted for any female who walked before them, and I had carried the power from my own version of the village with me, it had been child’s play to control the men. But why had that power extended to Ailill? He had only been a boy then, broken, near silent—and kindhearted. He couldn’t have regarded me with more than a simple crush on an older sisterly figure, but it had been enough.

“But you did forgive me.” Why couldn’t I stop the words from flowing?

Ailill shook his head and let a weary smile spread across his features. “Forgive you? I could never forgive you. No more than I could forgive myself for daring to think, if just for a moment, that I … ” He stopped.

I shook my head. “The curse wouldn’t have been broken. The men in the village wouldn’t now be walking around without masks. Nor you without your veil. If you hadn’t forgiven me.”

Ailill tilted his head slightly. His dark eyes searched mine, perhaps for some answer he thought could be found there. “I would still need the veil even now?” he asked, his voice quiet. “Are you certain?”

Removing the veil before the curse was broken would have required the Returning, a ritual in which I freely and earnestly bestowed my heart and affection to him. It would have never happened, not with the man I knew at the time to be mine. So yes, he would still need the veil to survive the gaze of women. I was sure of it. He’d been arrogant, erratic, and even cruel. Perhaps not so much as Elric, Ailill’s even more volatile older brother, the one who wound up with a mob of angry, murderous women in his castle and a gouge through his heart. But even so.

It was my turn to cross my arms and sneer. “I said you could break the curse after your own Returning, and I specified that you didn’t need my affection to have a Returning. All you needed to do was crawl out of whatever abyss I’d sent you to.” I shifted uncomfortably in place. “And I suppose I should be grateful—for my mother’s sake—that you did.”

Ailill waved a hand at the specter beside me and brushed aside a pile of clippings on the table to reveal a hand-written letter. It was yellowed and a tad soggy. “Yes, well, the endless droning that made up your curse gets a bit foggy in my mind—assuming it even made sense in your mind to begin with. I am afraid I lack the ability to retain exact memories of an event that took place a hundred lifetimes ago when I was but a scarred child terrified of the monster before him.” He looked up to face me as the specter retrieved the letter from his extended hand. “But I suppose it was not all that long ago for the monster, was it?” He turned again to the table, shuffling brush about aimlessly. “Take her with you to the market,” he said.

The specter made to grab my arm as he passed. I slipped out of his reach only to back into another specter who had appeared quick as lightning from the foyer. He grabbed one arm, and the first specter seized the other.

“Let go of me!” I shouted as they began to drag me away.

The specters didn’t pause, as they once would have.

“Stop!” called Ailill from behind me. The specters did as they were told.

Ailill spoke. “I forgot to inform you that my retainers lost all desire to follow your orders when I did.” He waved his fingers in the air. “Carry on.”

I struggled against the grip the specters had on my arms. Again. He has me under his thumb again. “I can walk by myself!” I screamed as my toes slid awkwardly against the dark foyer floor. “I don’t need to go to the market!”

A black carriage awaited us outside the castle doorway. A third specter opened the carriage door, and my captors heaved me up into the seat like a sack of grain. The one with the letter slid in and took the seat across from me. He stared vacantly at the top of the seat behind me.

I leaned forward, whipping my hand out to stop the carriage door as one of the specters moved to close it. I didn’t care what I touched in the castle anymore. Let the whole thing crumble.

A black-gloved hand covered mine. I jumped back. Ailill stuck his head inside the carriage. His face stopped right before mine, the brim of his hat practically shading me under it. The sight of his face so close to mine, unveiled and painted with disdain, caused a thunderous racing of my heart. It was as if I’d just run the length of the entire village.

“You kept your hair short,” he said. He reached his free hand toward it, then pulled back.

I’d once let the bushy mess of black hair grow as long as it wanted, but once I cropped it closely to my scalp, I found it easier to deal with. “There hasn’t been enough time for it to grow, anyway. Not for me.”

He snorted. “Of course. But it makes me remember you as you were, long ago. When you cursed me and every man whether he deserved it or not.” He leaned back a bit, putting more space between our faces. “I think you will be most interested in going with my servants to the market,” he said. “But there will be no need to thank me in person afterward. I would rather not see you again.” His eyes drifted upwards, thoughtfully. “In fact, remind the villagers that I am closed to all audiences. My servants will be out there to see that my edict is obeyed.”

Before I could speak, he leaned back and let my hand fall from his. He reached around the door to close it.

“Wait—”

And slammed it in my face.




About Amy: 

Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently writes professionally about everything from business marketing to anime. In her down time, you can find her crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings. Visit her website at amymcnulty.com.






Giveaway Details:



1 winner will receive an eBook of NOBODY’S GODDESS and an eGalley of NOBODY’S LADY. International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 25, 2016

{Trailer Reveal + Giveaway} FACSIMILE by Vicki L. Weavil

 
Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal! But wait, it's a Thursday, you're probably asking yourself! Yes, it is, but we have a super special reveal for you today and we will have a reveal tomorrow as well!

This week, we are revealing the book trailer for
Facsimile by Vicki L. Weavil
an upcoming Month9Books Title!

 
facsimile ebook final
Title: FACSIMILE
Author: Vicki L. Weavil
Pub. Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Hardcover, Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
For a ticket to Earth, seventeen-year-old Anna-Maria “Ann” Solano is willing to jettison her birth planet, best friend, and the boy who loves her. Especially since all she’s required to do is escort Dace Keeling, a young naturalist, through the wilderness of the partially terraformed planet Eco. Ann‘s determination to escape the limitations of her small, frontier colony never falters, until Dace’s expeditions uncover three secrets. One offers riches, one shatters Ann’s perceptions of herself, and one reveals that the humans stranded on Eco are not its only inhabitants.

Ann’s willing to sacrifice friendship and love for a new life on Earth. But when an entire species is placed in jeopardy by her actions, she must make a choice – fulfill the dream that’s always sustained her, or save the planet she’s never considered home.
Now, here's the trailer!
 

 
Vicki Weavil 11
Vicki L. Weavil is represented by Fran Black of Literary Counsel. Her Young Adult Fantasy, CROWN OF ICE -- a dark YA retelling of H.C. Andersen's "The Snow Queen" -- is published by Month9Books. Two companion books to CROWN OF ICE -- SCEPTER OF FIRE and ORB OF LIGHT -- will be published in 2016 and 2017. Her YA SciFi -- FACSIMILE -- will be published by Month9Books in 2016, with a sequel, DERIVATION, to follow. A new YA Fantasy, THE DIAMOND THIMBLE, will be published by Month9Books in 2018. She also writes adult SciFi.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr
 

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win. 

Title will be sent upon its release.
 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

{Review Redux} FORBIDDEN by Kimberley Griffiths Little

I loved FORBIDDEN by Kimberley Griffiths Little SO MUCH when it debuted in 2014 and have been eagerly anticipating the sequel BANISHED.

FORBIDDEN just came out in paperback and BANISHED launched in hardcover, so I wanted to introduce new readers to this amazing series!!!


B O O K   T R A I L E R:




O P E N I N G   L I N E:

    TONIGHT WAS THE NIGHT OF my betrothal ceremony, and a cold, sharp moon hung low in the eastern sky. I yanked back the heavy panel doors of the tent and peered into the darkness, a lump of dread sitting like curdled camel's milk in my belly.

    Dozens of small torches bobbed and weaved along the paths. Held aloft by the approaching women, they emerged as drops of frozen fire against the blackness. I shivered at the sight of so many guests imminently arriving. A year ago we had celebrated my old sister Leila's betrothal to Zenos, and now, at sixteen, it was my turn to perform the betrothal dance before my family and the women of my tribe.

(pg. 4, US e-book edition)

*This review was first posted at ABS on December 11, 2014.
Kimberley Griffiths Little has written several books, but I never read her before FORBIDDEN. FORBIDDEN has turned into one of my favorite fantasy novels of the year, and I'm so excited to read more books from her in the future. To me, a big part of the appeal is the desert lifestyle. I blame Rae Carson and her amazing The Girl of Fire and Thorns series for kicking off this trend. If you love Carson or books such as VESSEL by Sarah Beth Durst (How did I never review this??) and THE PERILOUS SEA by Sherry Thomas, you'll really enjoy FORBIDDEN as well.



Jayden is on the cusp of womanhood. About to be betrothed and receive the jewelry that represents her new role, Jayden seems to have it all...except love. Jayden wants nothing less than to bind herself to Horeb, who has never been nice to her. After her mother dies during childbirth, Jayden and her remaining family members encounter a wounded traveler named Kadesh. Kadesh will teach Jayden the truth of what it means to love, but their relationship is forbidden. Jayden is betrothed, and Horeb will stop at nothing to make sure she upholds her end of the bargain.


So, so good. I can't even! It's really hard to talk about this book without spoilers. It started off slow-moving, and I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy it, but by the end of the novel, I was beyond hooked. I was also a little angry, because I thought this was a stand-alone. At the same time, the idea that it's the first in the trilogy makes me really happy, because it means I get to spend more time in this world and with these characters. I really liked the unique atmosphere of the desert, and I loved the fact that this was a historical novel set in 1759 BC Mesopotamia. I haven't ever read anything from this time period, and I don't know how historically accurate it may or may not be, but I don't care, either, because the story was engrossing, I loved the characters, and I couldn't stop reading.


I'm excited to delve further into the lives of the characters in the series and learn more about them and their lives. I'm looking forward to going deeper and becoming more engrossed as the series progresses. It has so much potential, and I'm already hooked. It's really different from a lot of what's out there, and I loved those differences. If you're looking for something fresh and unique, try out FORBIDDEN!

READ THE FIRST 67 PAGES NOW!

~*~
C O N T E N T R A T I N G S

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG15 ( kissing; innuendo )
Language: PG13 ( sexual innuendo )
Violence: PG15 ( fighting; murder )
Other:  ( attempted rape; mentions of prostitution; mentions of alcohol )
~*~

C O V E R   D E S I G N:


Pretty! The first time I saw this cover, I wanted to know more about the book because, Pretty!

At the same time, I didn't understand the cover. All that red? It's DESERT. It's SAND. I didn't get that until I read the book. I thought it was some sort of cloth backdrop.  

I like the way her hair is blowing in the breeze, the slit in the arm of her dress, the red, the gold. It would jump out at me on a shelf and make me pick it up to see what it was about!


O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  FORBIDDEN
Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little
Release Date: November 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Received: For Review
SUMMARY:

**Starred** in American Library Association BOOKLIST

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.


Author Kimberley Griffiths Little
Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria.