Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New Years Giveaway!



It's almost 2014, and I'm cleaning out my bookshelf and giving you guys a chance to win some awesome prizes!

I'm giving away ONE (1) Middle Grade prize pack & ONE (1) Young Adult prize pack. Depending on how this contest goes, I'll probably do more giveaways in the future. 

Okay, so this is what you guys can win! For the Middle Grade prize pack, you can win this:


A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban, Julia Gillian (and the Art of Knowing) by Alison McGhee, My Sister the Vampire (#1): Switched by Sienna Mercer, and one (1) Hello Kitty mini note pad! 

For the Young Adult prize pack, you can win:


A copy of the Fallen: Fallen & Levithan by Thomas E. Sniegoski, Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor, Death by Latter (Death by #2) by Linda Gerber, and one (1) wallet. 

Since this is my first giveaway, this will only be open to both Canada and the United States. I'm really sorry International guys! I'll try making the next one international :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 30 December 2013

The Best Reads of 2013


With 2013 drawing to a close, I thought I'd join the band wagon and share with you guys, my best reads of 2013! So here are my top ten (10) reads, and my pitiful reasons why you should read them!

10. Endless by Amanda Gray, 3.5 Stars

It was a good read, but it has a lot of loose ends and wholes. It really needs a sequel.
 
9. Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield, 3.5 stars
 
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The Chantress world was a really interesting one for me, and was really unique. I even reviewed this for my school newspaper :)
 
8. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, 3.5 stars
 

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I love this series, and I love the way Taylor is going with this, but Karou was not my favourite in this novel. But you should read this series- it's totally worth the 500+ pages :D

7. The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan, 4 stars

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Forbidden romance, magical powers, a curse, family ties , secret organizations, GARGOYLES, and Paris. Need I say more?

6. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, 4 stars

 
This book was very steam punk-esque to me (I've never even read that genre yet). And it had a living prision. This book was, in a word, bad-ass!
5. Yesterday by C.K Kelly Martin, 4 stars

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Imagine if your life was a lie. Imagine that you aren't from your present time period. What if I told you that this was your reality? Welcome to Freya's life, where nothing is as it seems... And it takes place in Canada. That should be the selling point right there :D

4. The Prophecy by Erin Albert, 4 stars


Abandoned as a baby and taken away to end the war between two warring countries. Just a day in the life of Layla Givens. But more she resists, the more involved she becomes. Totally loved this book, shipped the characters so hard, but then Erin Albert had to Moffat me. But it is TOTALLY worth the read.

3. Crewel by Gennifer Albin, 4.5 stars

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There's a world above ours, and it was created to end all suffering. But when 16 year old Adelice is chosen to be a Spinster, she learns that her world isn't as safe as she thought it was... READ IT! Or I will go all Cormac on you! Don't get it? Well, read the book!

2. Belladonna by Fiona Paul, 4.5 stars



Belladonna is the sequel to Venom, by Fiona Paul. It's set in Italy, and is full of mystery, murder, adventure, swoon worthy guys, and of course, a secret organization obsessed with life. This book was an amazing read, I waited TWO MONTHS after its release to get it... only to lose it a month later. NOTE: When you buy this book, cherish it with ALL of your life.

1. United We Spy by Ally Carter, 5 stars


AND SO WE MADE IT TO NUMBER ONE! WOOOH! United We Spy was my Best Read of 2013. I had such a hard time reading and reviewing this book because I just couldn't part with the series. I started reading the Gallagher Girls series when I was in the SEVENTH grade- that was over 5 years ago guys! I grew up with Cammie, Bex, Macey, Liz, Zach, Rachel Morgan, Abby, Solomon, and the Gallagher Academy, that I just didn't want it to end. But alas, it did. And I loved it, even if I didn't read the wedding scene because I'm from Canada if the ending was bitter sweet for me. The series came along way from being a story about a teenage girl attending a spy school who falls in love with a civillian to an action-packed, international intrigue filled story. If you haven't read the Gallagher Girls series yet, you should. It's worth it. If this isn't for you, give it to your daughters, nieces, cousins, friends, husbands, boyfriends, mothers, dads, brothers, sisters, and spread the word about the Gallagher Girls!

So that's it for me! Any of these books part of your best of 2013 list? Any of these books interest you? Comment or tweet me @missyallydums97 :D

AND come back tomorrow for a SPECIAL announcement regarding my first ever giveaway!

Saturday, 28 December 2013

ARC Review: Salt by Danielle Ellison


 
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Author: Danielle Ellison
Pages: 365 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: January 7th, 2014
Received From: the publisher, for an honest review
Status: PDF (ebook), Salt (#1)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find "her" demon. To take back what was stolen.

Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her



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Review:

 
This book was totally worth the read! Even from just the synopsis, I knew it was going to be a good book.
 
Penelope is a unique character: she's a witch with no magic, but she can take magic from her immediate family. But when she's out one day, she discovers she can take magic from Carter, a really mysterious witch who declares himself a "demon tracker", the same way she can take it from her family. In her world, if you are unable to do magic, you are deemed as Static, and removed from the witch community. Penelope wants to be an Enforcer so she can find her demon, but as she gets closer to her goal, she realizes that not having any magic is the least of her worries.
 
I liked her as a narrator, and I really do feel sorry for her. She knows she's a witch, even without any magic, but her grandparents do their best to discourage her from becoming an Enforcer to save the rest of them- they go so far, to the point where she is almost married off. But what I liked about Penelope is that she is a total fighter- a total badass- who knows her worth, gets her way, and does her best to protect the ones she loves. She's like a magical version of Rose Hathaway.
 
The story, overall, was really interesting. I found it beautifully executed. It was really good, and while I was reading it, I tried my best to figure out what was going to happen next using the foreshadowing. I found the foreshadowing, but I was completely off when it unfolded later on in the story!
 
When it comes to reading debut novels/the first book of any series, I've kind of fallen into the pattern of getting to know the character, getting to know the world, figuring out what happens next in the plot before it unfolds (sometimes it happens way too early), and get gut-punched every time my OTP fails. But with Salt, Ellison does an amazing job with keeping everything at a good pace, developing the characters (to lead to the next book), throwing me curve balls that I knew I should've gotten right away (but alas, I didn't), and leaving enough loose threads hanging for the next book.
 
This story was such a good read, that I seriously am upset that there isn't a sequel already written. I had a good time reading it, even when I got mad that I got a lot of things wrong (*cough*Carter*cough*).
 
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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Thursday, 26 December 2013

ARC Review: Cracked by Eliza Crewe

 
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Author: Eliza Crewe
Pages: 653 pages
Release Date: November 5th, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Recieved From: NetGalley
Status: Ebook, Soul Eaters #1

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Meet Meda. She eats people.

Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.

They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.

Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.

The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it


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Review:

This book was really an enjoyable read! Instead of giving us endless pages of back story and making us go through the patterns of hating the heroine, loving the heroine, seeing her being completely useless then all of a sudden- wham!- she gets a personality, Eliza Crewe delivers by giving us an action packed, totally sarcastic and humorous debut novel with an edgy side!
 
Meda was an enjoyable character for me; I actually had a hard time getting used to her narrating, but I got over it quickly. She always had something witty or sarcastic to say (whether it be in her head or out loud), and I love how she is able to take care of herself, and knows how to play her 'part' well while living in the school. She totally reminded me of Rose Hathaway from the Vampire Academy series!
 
Another thing I loved about this book is its plot and backstory- the whole Crusader/Templar thing was hard to wrap my head around at first, but once I got used to the terms, it made more sense and fed into the goodness of the story!
 
The concept of eating souls, not being totally human then having your life recorded like an experiment, and having characters being brought up as soliders to erradicate demons is not something you would have in one book. Especially in a debut. But Eliza wraps it all together nicely, and makes the story totally enjoyable!
 
There were times when I thought parts were too slow or uneeded for (but I always had to remind myself that I was reading an ARC), but it was still a good story overall. I even got teary when I read that part about Uri. Another thing I like about this story is the fact that it doesn't have a conventional love story or love triangle! This story was really good, and I really can't wait for the next books!
 
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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: All That Glows (#15)


Author: Ryan Graudin
Release Date: February 11th, 2014
Pages: 480
Publisher: Harper Teen

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

What I find interesting is that this novel isn't going to be like other Faerie books I've read in the past.

In other Faerie books I've read (most of them the Holly Black kind), Faeries are difficult and playful creatures with an inhuman beauty. Aside from Emry being Fae, she sounds like a totally normal person about to do her duty. I really can't wait to see who this plays out, and how a Faerie will live in London. 

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, 23 December 2013

ARC Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson


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Author: Sara B. Larson
Pages: 337 pages
Release Date: January 7th, 2014
Publisher: Scolastic Press
Recieved From: NetGalley
Status: Ebook, Defy (#1)
 

Synopsis (from Amazon.com):


A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and heart-racing romance.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

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Review

Firstly, I'd like to thank Sara for making such an amazing book! Defy is everything-and so much more.

Defy is a lovely story about adventure, magic, revolution, love, friendship, family, loyalty, and of course: freedom.

Alex Hollen (born Alexa Hollen), is from Antion with roots from Blevon, the enemy county. She is part of the king's guard, but after a murder, she's left alone with a dangerous secret and even more dangerous enemies. 

Alexa is a narrator I loved from the start, mostly because she could hold her own. When she loses her closest confidant, and is left alone with Rylan and Prince Damian, I started to feel sorry for her. She is tough, she is smart, she is deadly, but when she's left alone with the guys while their captured, she doesn't exactly know who she is. She's lived 3 years as a boy, and doesn't completely remember how to be just her, just an ordinary girl. We see wonderful character development in Alexa that I know will just get better in the second book!

The overall story plot was very interesting, and kept me really interested. For me, I was able to pick up on some of the foreshadowing early on and figured everything out fairly quickly, but nonetheless, everything was plotted beautifully. 

The conflict between the two warring countries was really interesting. The fallout of the war was really dark, and you see a lot of that dark tone throughout the story. I really felt sorry for the kingdom of Antion, I really did. What I loved the most was that the overall plot didn't get out shined by the romance happening between the characters (which, by the way, was a lot). 

The romance was a typical YA romance- a girl stuck between choosing two impossibly (hot) loyal guys who love her. But Alexa is her own person, and I was really happy with the way Sara tied up the romance and all the loose ends (for this book). I was a little upset for a couple of minutes, but if Sara ended the story the way I wanted her to (for the first couple of minutes while I was upset), I would've been more upset.

Sara B. Larson is an amazing author, she keeps her characters in check (for the lack of a better word), and keeps them true to themselves.

This book is DEFINITLY one to look out for in 2014! And I highly recommend this book!

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         Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

 
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Author: Laini Taylor
Pages: 513 pages
Release Date: November 6th, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Recieved From: my public library
Status: Daughter of Smoke & Bone (#2)
 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

 
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.


Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?
 
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Review

 
This awesome Doctor Who gif can describe my emotions for me before, during and after I finished this book:
 
 
Days of Blood & Starlight brought out a lot of my fangirl feels, something I haven't experienced since reading The Prophecy by Erin Alberts. This book was freaking amazing guys, my emotions were a wreck after this book and left me with such a big book hangover the next day!
 
The plot of this book again was beautifully written, and unlike the first book, I didn't feel bored at ANY point in the novel. I just had to keep reading to see what would happen next! I think the reason why is because we didn't go between past and present too much in this book, but we were switching POV a lot. We learned a lot of backstory and a lot about both the seraphim and chimera worlds, which was nice. And I like how Zuzanna and Mik fit into this story well without seeming too awkward.
 
Karou in this novel...ugh. She was not on point in this one. She was very angsty, very afraid, very confused- I felt like she took being betrayed and breaking up with Akiva to a whole new level with helping Thiago, even though throughout the WHOLE book, she knew something was up! Ugh.
 
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She was just not my favourite in this book. I get that Akiva destroyed her whole race and the creature that raised her for 17 human years like a father. I get that's something nobody can forgive, but teaming up with your ex-fiance that murdered you is not the answer, especially when he has someone watching you 24/7 for the majority of the time. Karou was lost throughout the whole entire book, and even when her friends were there with her, I felt like she still didn't know who she was. She is not the person you remember in the first book, but she does come back to life when Issa comes back and she's around Ziri, so that made me feel better. But her whole overall character did not make me like her in this book- she was so focused trying to become someone she isn't anymore.
 
While Karou was brooding and trying to piece together her life, Akiva was out saving what was left of her kind. I found that very redeeming about his character, and that made me love him even more. I also loved that we got to see more of his position as the Beast's Bane and his interaction with his world- especially with his siblings. Hazael is probably my favourite out of the three siblings, and was really upset with what happened to him near the end. In Daughter of Smoke & Bone, I wasn't a fan of Liraz because I felt she was too cold hearted and such, but in this book, you see a lot more character development from her.
 
What really won me over with her character was her love for her brothers, especially when she learns that Karou is alive. She, along with Hazael, have their heads on straight. There was a part in the book where she talks about how Akiva pretty much gives everything to Karou- his love, his devotion- but all she does is return him back broken. When I read that I was seriously like:
 
 
Like because someone finally got it!
 
I really liked Zuzanna and Mik in this book- they were pretty awesome, and as cute as ever! Ziri's introduction was really nice, and I think he was a good character to add. I was so enthralled when I read about his past and connection to Madrigal. His whole crush and new position at the end of the novel is going to be soooo interesting in the next book, I am seriously pumped for it!
 
This book was an amazing book, but Karou was not on point. However, I seriously cannot WAIT for Dreams of Gods & Monsters. Did you guys see the synopsis yet?! It is so good, like I'm already getting feels! I really hope I can get an ARC!
 
 
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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
 
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Friday, 20 December 2013

ARC Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine



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Author: Robin Constantine
Pages: 371 pages
Release Date: December 31st, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Recieved From: HarperCollins Canada
Status: Standalone
 

Synopsis (from the back cover):


Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet good girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.
 
Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a term paper pimp. Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.
 
One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.
 
 
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Review

 
First and foremost, thank you HarperCollins Canada for the ARC! I really appreciate it! This book was a total whirlwind! I had such a fun time reading it!
 
I love Wren and her friends, Maddie and Jazz, and her family dynamic. She has a good relationship with all of them, and she is everything a teenager is: she is quiet, she is average, she watches corny movies, she has drama, she has school stress, she has older siblings that treat her like a baby, and of course, is underestimated throughout the book. What I love the most about her was just that relatable/familiarity with her character- I'm sixteen, and although I haven't had as much experience with life like she has in the book, she is still me (I so totally related to her when she was talking about kilt problems). She is as awkward like every teenager, and she brings the down-to-earth feel to the book.
 
While I love Wren, I love Grayson too. But there were times when I was just irked by him. Grayson is a bad boy trying to convert his ways, and although there is a three month gap between him getting kicked out of St. Gabe's and transfering to a public school, he doesn't start changing till he meets Wren. He brings out most of the teen angst in the story. One thing I totally loved about him was his determination as a character: to become a better son, a better person, and a better guy for Wren. He has this alter-ego as well that was very annoying for me to read about, but I was very happy when he was able to put him away for good. But don't worry, his alter-ego spices up the novel ;)
 
The plot on the other hand was very interesting to read. For me, it was a contemporary, but then halfway I felt like it switched genres and went into an adventure/crime novel when Grayson's past starts to catch up with him. Luke, one of Grayson's friends, felt too evil for me, and I felt like his role in the story and his character in the end were not consistent and developed properly. The whole "Operation Amsterdam" thing felt too dark and heavy for a book about falling in love (and such a cute cover), but it did fill in the holes for me with some of Grayson's character development. I felt like the love story (on Grayson's part) was totally rushed- like who goes froma playboy to a devoted boyfriend in a span of a month? That and the whole "Operation Amsterdam" thing just didn't feel realistic and genuine like what Wren brought to the story. But then again, Wren is a genuine character.
 
Although I felt like at times things were too rushed/uneeded, it ALL worked together. I'm not kidding. I had some problems with the plot and characters, but it seriously worked! I finished the whole book within a day, guys. THAT'S how awesome and totally unique it is- you seriously won't see stuff like Operation Amsterdam, alter-egos, falling in love, (good) tv/movie references, actual high school experiences, and swearing together in a book and working beautiully.
 
I loved so many things about this book: it's down-to-earth feel, it's relatable characters, it's unique story line, and it's ability to keep you focused throughout the story. It's a contemporary book about self discovery and love with a definite edge!
 
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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
 
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I seriously recommend this book! It'll be released on December 31st, 2013! Preorder it now here on Amazon.ca!

Book Blitz: Pentimento by Cameron Jace


Thanks for stopping by on my blog! Keep reading for an excerpt from the book, and the chance to win one (1) ebook copy of Pentimento, a Kindle (Fire or Paperwhite), and two (2) Amazon gift cards!
 
 
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Excerpt from Pentimento
 
 
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The girls watched Eva Washington plod to her death. She shuffled barefoot on the red carpet, hardly breathing against the fear inhabiting her lungs. The tensed muscles in her face wrinkled the features of her adolescent beauty. Iris watched the sticky tears in Eva's eyes thicken, and probably blur her destination to the Beasts' glowing spaceship.
 
Although the sun showed no empathy, still splaying its bright rays upon the scene, the Beasts' spaceship shone an even brighter light toward her. It had always been this way. Iris thought it was ironic how the Beasts hid behind the glaring light. Instead of wearing metal armors or using the latest hologram technologies, they hid behind a light brighter than the sun.
 
"Someone should help her," Iris mumbled, Zoe still standing next to her. "Eva's crying so hard, she can't see."
 
"My mother says that it's better to die before staring in the eyes of the Beast." Zoe commented, not taking her eyes off Eva.
 
None of the girls were allowed to talk in the Ceremony of the Beast. They stood on both sides of the red carpet leading to the ship, silently witnessing one of their own being sacrificed. The ceremony was a reminder for other girls, a torturing memory. Iris always wondered how the Beasts selected their Brides. Was it some kind of lottery? Did they follow a list with names? A prophecy maybe? Or did they choose the most beautiful? Iris was sure it wasn't the latter option. Last time, the girl wasn't as beautiful as Eva. Not even close. But who knew what beauty looked like in the eyes of the Beast?
 
Eva was still walking toward the Beasts' ship. She wasn't permitted a stop of any kind. Every reluctant step Eva took closer, the girls on both sides did their best to silence their screams. Some of them wiped the trickling teardrops from their ripe cheeks. The punishment of sympathizing with the Bride was as horrible as Eva's inevitable fate. To the Beasts, this was a happy day, which led many to think the Beasts actually married the Brides. A disturbing suggestion, Iris had always thought.
 
A sudden cloud blocked the grinning sunlight, shading Eva's wedding dress with a gray stain. The chosen girls had to wear expensive, designer wedding dresses to meet the majestic Beasts. Like any normal wedding, each girl wore their best make up and had their hair styled. It was a painful process, being groomed while knowing one's horrible fate. No one could protest. It was the Law of the Beasts.
 
All girls were given a beautiful bouquet of roses, which were either synthetic or polyester, but smelled like real roses. For some reason, most things in The Second were artificial. The roses, as well as the grass in the local park, were as dead as the high metallic skyscrapers.
 
Eva wiped the tears from her eyes and began throwing random gazes toward the girls on both sides. This was the same girl who was probably going to be the Prom Queen, the same girl that everyone envied in school, Colton’s girlfriend. Now her gaze was shattered, like splintered glass across the girls faces. She'd meet your eyes, but you'd think she wasn’t even there. She became hollow, a fading portrait, soon to disappear in the Beasts' light. And it wasn't funny. Even though Eva hadn't been kind to the average girls like Iris and Zoe, none of the girls loved to see her as a Bride. Any of them could be in her shoes next week.
 
For a moment, Iris thought Eva was looking for Colton. Boys weren't supposed to stand in the front rows. Only the second and third. The ceremony was a girls’ thing. There was nothing for the human boys to do here.
But each Bride had a father, a brother, or a boyfriend whose heart burned for her. But not even the strongest men in The Second defied the Beasts.
 
Empowered by wishful thinking, Eva stole a last glance into her phone, which she had been holding with shivering hands. She looked like she wished it hadn't been her ID showing on the screen. It was clearly hers.
"How could you be so cruel to me?" she snapped, talking to the ship's blinding light, still walking forward. "I was about to go to college next year. I was going to be engaged to Colton Ray next month!"
 
A number of girls let out short sighs. This was news to everyone. So their relationship was serious. Iris could feel Zoe's blaming eyes on her skin.
"What?" Iris fisted an angry hand. She wasn't going to hit Zoe. She wanted to hit herself, for saying such a thing. The mere thought of her wish coming true was puzzling. "It's not like I'm a witch or something," she grumbled.
 
"We planned to get married while in college," Eva continued, shouting at the light. That silent light that told her what to do, but never talked back to her. "We've been planning to have two children; a boy named Jeremiah, and a girl named Flower."
 
Iris held a tear from being born in her eyes. No girl had talked to the Beasts this way before. Most of them sank to their knees, and pleaded that someone would help them and confront the Beasts. Some cried and fainted halfway through, until elders had to carry them as close as possible to the ship. And some prayed like in a chapel, brainwashed that this was their fate, and that they died as a sacrifice for the other girls to live--Iris wanted to kick-box those into the light.
 
But none of them had spoken in such an emotional way like Eva did. Her words reminded everyone that someone's life and dreams were being killed today. The problem was that most elders thought of the Call of the Beasts like natural disasters. Earthquakes, hurricanes, and plane crashes. Stuff like that happened all the time. And the Beasts, who ruled their world, must have a wisdom behind it.
 
Iris, unusually vulnerable, pulled out Zoe's phone and took another peek. The screen didn't show Eva's name. The Beasts didn't believe in human names. It read: Beauty 57135LL; Eva's citizenship identification number in the United States of The Second. 
 
The horn roared again, buzzing into each girl’s bones. Instead of an answer to her question, the unseen Beasts were urging Eva to step closer toward her death. The silliest thought crossed Iris's mind. What if she just ran into the ship and at least peeked in, to see what they looked like? If they had the right to take one of them, didn't they have the right to know who they were?
 
Before disappearing into the light, Eva took one last glance at the girls. She waved a weakened goodbye as the girls lowered their chins to their chest and laced their hands together. It was as if Eva, the school's queen bee, had turned into a contagious epidemic they preferred to avoid. Many girls were teary-eyed though. But most of them were glad they hadn’t been the one walking the red carpet.
 
Out of respect, Iris didn't lower her eyes. It was the least she could do. She was still fisting her hand, mad at herself for not standing up for Eva. It wasn't just the guilt moving her, but the fact that she could simply be next. Why wasn't anyone doing anything about it?
 
In an unexpected moment, Eva caught Iris's eyes, and nodded back, as if they had been lifelong friends and were now girl-coding each other. Iris glanced behind her for a second, not sure Eva meant her. Everyone else had their heads bowed to their chest. It was Iris Eva meant. Not only that. Eva mouthed something to Iris, something that gave her goosebumps on her skin, as Eva disappeared behind the light of the ship. Her darkest hour.
 
 
A second later, Iris caught sight of Colton standing second row on the other side. His blue eyes had turned into puddles of blurry tears. In front of him, girls raised their heads, most of them glad this was over. The ship's drone was deafening as it howled back up toward the sky.
 
Iris couldn't take her eyes off Colton, wondering if she should tell him what Eva mouthed to her. Who'd have thought that the queen bee, who treated her like shit, would ask this of her?

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Pentimento by Cameron Jace 
Publication date: December 20th, 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult

Synopsis:
 

The day Iris Beaumont turns seventeen, she is threatened to be taken by the Beasts, the rulers of the new America. After the destruction of the world, the Beasts provide citizens with whatever they need in exchange for the one teenage girl they enslave every week. They call them the Brides, and they never comes back. Iris isn’t the worrying type though; she’s been defying the system since she was ten and never cared for the Beast’s rules.

Then she meets Colton Ray, who is not like any other boy she’s ever seen. His confidence and dominance are otherworldly she can’t rationalize the attraction she feels for him. Colton had one slight problem though. It’s rumored he is one of the Beast, and Iris could be the next on the Beast’s list.


Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19448790-pentimento

Purchase:
Will be found here come release day:
--Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&field-author=Cameron%20Jace&page=1&rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ACameron%20Jace

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AUTHOR BIO

 

Wonderlander, Neverlander, Unicorn-chaser, enchanter, musician, survived a coma, & totally awesome. Sometimes I tell stories. Always luv the little monsters      I write young adult paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and science fiction mostly. The Grimm Diaries series is a seven book saga that deals with retellings of fairy tales from a young adult POV - it connects most of the fairy tales together and claims to be the truth about fairy tales. I live in San Fransisco and seriously think circles are way cooler than triangles.

Author Links:
Website:http://cameronjace.blogspot.ca/
Goodreads:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/995289.Cameron_Jace
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/camjace
Twitter:https://twitter.com/cameronjace


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