Monday, June 26, 2017

~ BLOG TOUR with REVIEW ~ Rise of the Sea Witch ~ by Stacey Rourke

Title: Rise of the Sea Witch
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: YA Fantasy/ Fairy Tale and Folklore
Cover Designer: Najla Qamber Designs
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.  

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.   

When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.

Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips--Triton.

My Review:
4 out of 5 Stars

I have to admit that before I came across this book, I never gave much thought to Ursala’s backstory. I think I just made the assumption that she was born evil, and therefore always was.  Although, I haven’t come across any evil babies in my lifetime, so maybe I should’ve given that a little more thought.  I’m really glad that although I didn’t, this author did.  The way this story went? I’m surprised she didn’t become evil MUCH sooner.  In fact, this is what really made this story a sad one, in my opinion.

According to this story, before she was Ursula, Vanessa was a very kind-hearted, good, hard working person.  She was this way from a very young age. She was determined, as the eldest, to become the best future queen she could possibly be – even though she always knew the cards were stacked against her, and it was almost assuredly Triton that would get the crown. Even though he didn’t want it.

Time and time again, Vanessa was used, tricked, hurt by those she trusted, and always made to feel like second place, and she still kept her good heart.  I was truly shocked throughout the book, thinking, “This is it.  This is when she loses it.” But she doesn’t.  She keeps going.  Her love for Atlantica and its people keeping her going.

When she finally does become the Ursula we know from the stories, I found myself feeling more like it was about time, rather than being sad that she became “the bad guy”.  Because really, I would’ve felt like the bad guy LONG before she did.  Not only that, but even though she became Ursula, there was still just enough of Vanessa left in her that made your heart break for her yet again.

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013 

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Adapted for Film. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. 

Visit her at
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.

Buy Link: 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

~ BOOK REVIEW ~ Midnight Devine ~ By Valerie Roeseler

Midnight Divine (The Helio Trilogy #1)
by Valerie Roeseler 


Leaving her broken home and shady past behind, Ivy Harris is determined to make something of herself. Her new acquaintance, Jack Roe, is irritating and arrogant with a womanizing reputation. Despite his secretive behavior and constant pursuit of her, Ivy finds herself falling for him. When Jack’s secrets are revealed, Ivy discovers her life isn't her own as she's trapped within a conflict between beings of light and darkness.

After a series of dangerous encounters threaten her existence, she finds comfort from a mysterious stranger and gains the loyalty of unexpected forces. The walls Ivy has secured around her crumble in the wake of tragedy, and the devotion of her friends provide her with the family she's longed for. With their safety and her survival contingent on her actions, Ivy has no choice but to become the force of nature she's destined to be.

~My Review~
5 out of 5 Stars!

I have to say, after all of the things that Ivy was put through that were life changing, and in such a short period of time, I was surprised I never read “and then Ivy’s head exploded”.  This was an intense story from Ivy’s point of view, but this girl HANDLED it!

After reading this book, Ivy is my new hero.  She already wasn’t a typical girly girl.   She played the guitar in an all girl band, and KILLED it at racing and fixing cars.  She also decided that no matter how many bad things in life were thrown at her, she was going to college, and she took it very seriously.  Then, when her world got flipped upside down – several times – she didn’t let it break her. She fought harder, she got tougher, and she got rid of her own personal demons that got in the way of her real goals.  She’s a tough, super cool character, and I’d possibly beg her to be my friend in real life (in a super cool way, of course).

Another thing that stood out about this book was the detail the author was able to go into about many different subjects. For instance, the detailed explanation of how to race the cars, details about the music and equipment, and several other things I won’t give away.  Either this other is as awesome in real life as Ivy, or she did an exceptional job at researching every subject she wrote about, which I have huge respect for. It would have been easy to talk about the races without the details of how and when to shift, break, turn, accelerate, etc, but the details made me feel more like I was there driving myself.

I also really liked that the author didn’t make good and evil so obvious as I’ve read in so many other books.  There’s no black and white – if you’re one thing you’re good, if you’re another thing you’re bad.  She delves deeper, showing there is an incredible amount of gray area, and it’s possible for members to come together on common ground.  This is really what kept me on my toes the entire time.  I never knew who was REALLY good or bad, or who Ivy could trust.

If you’re someone like me who has a terrible habit of predicting who ‘mystery’ characters are, it’s likely you’ll figure one of them out pretty quickly.  As I kept reading, I was hoping to be surprised and proven wrong, but although I wasn’t wrong, I still wasn’t disappointed.  In fact, I think I was supposed to know.  It was all about the reveal of who they were – tricky, and I like it!

There was certainly more than one (or two) nights that I stayed up reading “one more chapter” until my eyes were burning.  This book kept me sucked in permanently, even thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it.  I will definitely be reading the next one, as things are really getting good!