Monday, March 18, 2013

Shattered Grace Blog Tour: Spotlight & Giveaway

Shattered Grace
Seventeen-year-old Grace grows up knowing she’s different, but she always attributed it to a mother who didn’t want her, a father who abandoned her, and a curse that sets her apart. Despite those struggles, her grandfather remained her rock and confidant. Her life irrevocably shatters the day her grandfather dies.
The day of his funeral sets off a chain of events, making Grace question everything she’s ever known to be true, and as a result, who she can truly trust. She inherits his house, part of his money, his Guardian, and something that ties them together. Just before Grace’s 18th birthday, she is thrust into a world she couldn’t fathom existed. She’s been destined for greatness, but at what cost? With eyes now open, she must decide to either be Chosen, or watch those around her suffer the consequences.
Torn between the man who’s come to protect her, and the one sent to destroy her, she teeters on the edge of contemplation…
What does it mean for those she loves….and the rest of mankind?

He turned and rested his shoulder against the door frame, staring deeply into her eyes. Even in the dim light, Grace could see the instant his gaze switched from playful to intense. Down there in the closed confines of the underground, it became more than just a stare. It seemed like the stare sucked the air right out of the hallway, because she suddenly couldn’t breathe. Her heart rate spiked simultaneously, making it that much harder to gasp for the depleted oxygen quietly. Grace took a step backward and her shoulder blades pressed into the wall. She held the bag against her chest, hoping to seem at ease, even though his gaze made her want to squirm.
Slowly, Quentin folded his arms over his chest as well and crossed one foot over the other, never taking his eyes from hers. A devilish grin turned the edges of his mouth up like horns, and she couldn’t take it anymore. “What?”
“Nothing,” he replied, turning his head and smirking at the wall. When he pushed himself away from the door frame, the hole-boring intensity was gone. “Relax.” Right, she sighed mentally.
About the Author

K Anne Raines is the author of Shattered Grace, book one in the Fallen from Grace Series. She is a Washington State University graduate and the senior accountant at a local firm in her home town. K Anne’s impassioned but regular commitment to chocolate covered raisins inspires creativity at home...where ever the raisins are, there she is with her laptop. A lover of great sushi and other fine food, K Anne prefers coffee in the morning, the right wine in the evening, and her fireplace at all times. A Northwest native, K Anne Raines is the mother of three, cat lover, avid exerciser, and blanket hogger.

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Review & Spotlight: Sacred by Elena K Arnold

About the Book

Growing up on Catalina Island, off the California coast, Scarlett Wenderoth has led a fairly isolated life. After her brother dies, her isolation deepens as she withdraws into herself, shutting out her friends and boyfriend. Her parents, shattered by their own sorrow, fail to notice Scarlett's pain and sudden alarming thinness. Scarlett finds pleasure only on her horse, escaping to the heart of the island on long, solitary rides. One day, as she races around a bend, Scarlett is startled by a boy who raises his hand in warning and says one word: "Stop."

The boy—intense, beautiful—is Will Cohen, a newcomer to the island. For reasons he can't or won't explain, he's drawn to Scarlett and feels compelled to keep her safe. To keep her from wasting away. His meddling irritates Scarlett, though she can't deny her attraction to him. As their relationship blossoms into love, Scarlett's body slowly awakens at Will's touch. But just when her grief begins to ebb, she makes a startling discovery about Will, a discovery he's been grappling with himself. A discovery that threatens to force them apart. And if it does, Scarlett fears she will unravel all over again.

My Thoughts: 4/5 Stars

First of all, thanks to Jean at Jean Booknerd and Elena for providing me with an arc and allowing me to be a part of this tour! I enjoyed this book!

The story takes place on Catalina Island, off the California coast. It sounds like a magical place. Scarlett has lost her brother. Her family has been torn apart and are all struggling to cope with their losses. So to keep herself busy and distracted, Scarlett rides her horse. She starts thinning out and shuts her family and friends out, so horse riding is the only thing to help her. That's when she meets Will, a very mysterious boy who shows up often our of nowhere. At first, you get a creepy stalkerish vibe from him. But soon, you understand why he's always around. And it's a good thing he is at times. Now there's a religious aspect to this story, which I didn't completely understand because I don't follow the Jewish religion. But it was still interesting. So if religion is not an issue, readers will overlook it. Though some may not like that part of the story. But I still enjoyed it. 

Scarlett was a relatable character. I felt her pain and loss. I can understand why she was so mopey and distraught through a lot of the book. Being really close with my brother, I can't imagine the emotions I would feel if I lost him. He's one of my best friends in life. So to see her grief, I felt like it was my own. Her parents are having a hard time dealing with it as well, that they overlook their own daughter's feelings. The family is ultimately broken because of it. Scarlett wants her family back and needs them more than ever. I felt pretty connected to her. At the beginning of the book, she's dating or was dating Andy. Honestly, I didn't care for him too much. He seemed insensitive to me. I just had an unpleasant vibe from him and was glad when he wasn't in it much, plus after an encounter with him, I wanted him out of the picture altogether. 

Will was great. I really liked him. At first, I wasn't sure. However, after some time, he grew on me and when he was around, I found myself smiling a lot. I liked his description and though, the things that are revealed about him are still iffy, I like him well enough. He becomes Scarlett's rock, the one who helps her cope with all she's dealing with. At least in her life. She deserves to be happy again, smile and laugh and not be losing so much weight. Grief tends to cause weight loss but it can be dangerous too. While we're stuck in our grief, we don't pay attention to our health or don't care. It's not good. I'm glad to see a change in her throughout the book. So Will is a good addition to her life. I hope they work out in the next book.

The details were great. I enjoyed the writing style and Elena wove religion in there that seemed to be right for the story. I'm not big on religion in the first place, but none of it bothered me while reading. There was a paranormal twist as well. The only thing I found lacking slightly was the romance. There was some but I would have liked a little more development between Scarlett and Will in their relationship. But overall, it was a great read. The emotions I went through with the characters was believable and realistic. In the end, it showed how loss and grief can bring hope in your life. You just have to have something. I look forward to the sequel, Splendor.


The passionate romance that began in Sacred concludes in Splendor.

Scarlett loves the touch of her boyfriend, Will. But when he leaves Catalina Island to start college on the East Coast, she wonders whether their passion can survive a long-distance relationship—and whether she can face the home front on her own. Scarlett's senior year should be a breeze, but her parents have recently separated, and her already-wild best friend, Lily, is becoming involved with a dangerous boy named Gunner . . . a boy Scarlett is also attracted to. A boy she doesn't want to be—and shouldn't be—attracted to. 

To take her mind off her troubles, Scarlett focuses on caring for her newly pregnant mare and delving deeper into the Kabbalah. Her religious exploration offers a way to stay connected to Will, who is a Kabbalah mystic, and a key to understanding her disturbing dreams about him. But as she gets wrapped up in her mare, her Kabbalah studies, and her conflicting feelings for Will and Gunner, Scarlett misses the warning signs that lead to a heartbreaking loss. 

About the Author

ELANA K. ARNOLD completed her M.A. in Creative Writing/Fiction at the University of California, Davis. She grew up in Southern California, where she was lucky enough to have her own horse--a gorgeous mare named Rainbow--and a family who let her read as many books as she wanted. She lives in Long Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. She is represented by Rubin Pfeffer of the East/West Literary Agency. Sacred is her debut novel.


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