Grand Finale Blitz: Evermore by Jody Hedlund

Grand Finale Blitz: Evermore by Jody Hedlund


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Evermore
By Jody Hedlund

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you’ll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch – Author Interview

What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read it?

In addition to enjoying a sweet love stories set in the midst of exciting adventures, I hope that readers will take away a few nuggets of truth that they can apply to their own lives. Evermore specifically talks about the importance of gaining wisdom, and it’s my hope that readers will be inspired to seek more of God’s wisdom in their lives.

It’s All About the Romance – Excerpt

“I shall ride the final course.” I grabbed the great helm. “You know I have the better chance at vanquishing Lord Mortimer.”

“No, Adelaide.” Mitchell reached to divest me of the helmet, but I sidestepped him and thrust it on before he could wrest it away.

“I shall pretend I am you, and Lord Mortimer will be none the wiser.” My voice was hollow against the conical metal hood that covered my entire head except for the narrow eye slits and the small pricked breathing holes. I fumbled at the leather chinstrap, determined to tie it into place before Mitchell stopped me.

Library Lady’s Kid Lit – Review

“Jody Hedlund has done a good job of making her readers care about the characters. . . . The fantasy elements remain consistent with those in the prequel. I look forward to reading the additional books in The Lost Princesses series once they are released.”

Andi’s Young Adult Books – Excerpt

“We need this victory more than any other.” I stiffened my shoulders as Mitchell began to thread the belt from my cuirass to the cross-shaped hole at the base of the helm. Though I couldn’t see Mitchell anymore, I sensed his troubled gaze upon me. With the customary Langley brown hair and eyes, he was small of stature for a man, more scholarly and interested in his studies than in tournaments. However, like any good nobleman’s son, he’d been trained to use both his mind and body.

Getting Your Read On – Review

“Jody Hedlund has a gift for writing. No doubt about it. This Lost Princesses series falls right in my sweet spot for reading. I am transported to the world she created with characters I can love and root for without even thinking about it. I love it.”

Colorimetry – Excerpt

“That monster will not have you,” Mitchell had declared viciously after the hunting party. “Though you would be harder to control than a wild coyote, I would sooner marry you myself.”

I’d laughed at Mitchell’s passionate declaration. Only months my elder, he wasn’t my cousin by blood or birth. In fact, we weren’t related in any way. But I saw him as none other than my true kin. We’d been inseparable growing up, and he was my steadfast friend.

Remembrancy – Review

“Once again Hedlund delivers an engaging and well-balanced tale full of adventure, danger, romance, and characters becoming who God intended them to be.”

Jorie Loves A Story – Excerpt

Even now, I held out my gauntlet-gloved fingers and waited until I felt his hand in mine. “We shall prevail, Mitchell,” I assured him. “And if Lord Mortimer ever discovers our duplicity, he will certainly put his thoughts far from me, for he will not be able to abide a wife who has knocked him from his horse.”

I didn’t wait for Mitchell’s response. Instead, I shoved aside the tent flap and proceeded toward the lists. With spurs jangling and armor clanking, I joined the other knights with an air of confidence from years of training.

Reading Is My SuperPower – Review

Evermore is a masterpiece of fiction – this whole series is shaping up to be so. Adventure, romance, bravery, courage, loyalty, godly wisdom, and true love (even from unexpected sources) are all wrapped up in a tale laced with legend and intriguing possibilities. You’ll want to keep reading, unable to put it down, but at the same time you won’t want it to end.”

Bookworm Mama – Excerpt

Mitchell handed me a lance made of solid oak and decorated with red and white to match the Langley heraldry. I braced the long weapon under my arm and against my ribs, tilting it slightly forward to maintain my balance. I pressed my thighs into Roland’s flank, needing to become one with the beast. This tournament was a partnership. I couldn’t succeed without Roland’s cooperation—his measured speed, his balance against the pressure of our opponent, and the ability to sense my needs.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“I LOVE this series. That’s all there is to it. . . . This story has many elements that I love. There is action, adventure, strong female characters, romance, medieval setting, self-sacrifice… if I don’t stop now it could end up being a very long list.”

All-of-a-kind Mom – Review

“The setting is delightful, the twists and turns, engaging, filled with danger, and yes, even suspense. You never know just what to expect. This story kept me reading, and left me wanting more. I can’t wait to read the last two books in this series!!”

J. L. Mbewe – Excerpt

“God be with you.” Mitchell gave my gloved hand a final squeeze. He spoke with confidence, but I could still distinguish a thin strand of anxiety in his tone. Not only was he worried about his mother the same as I was, but so many responsibilities had fallen on his shoulders, including the weight of the earldom, a weight that had been growing steadily heavier.

As the youngest of three brothers, Mitchell hadn’t expected to carry such burdens. But Norbert had died in youth, and Christopher had run away five years ago. Older than Mitchell and me by two years, Christopher had a courage of both body and spirit I admired greatly. While I’d never been as close to Christopher as I had to Mitchell, I still held him in the highest regard.

Britt Reads Fiction – Review

Evermore is book one in The Lost Princesses series. Adelaide and Christopher were so wonderful in this novel. Both of these characters had a real heart for doing right and caring for others. . . . This story was captivating from start to finish.”

Shalini’s Books & Reviews – Review

“. . . the story caught my imagination and wonder with its gripping tale which bespoke of adventure and a promise to keep me enthralled from the first page. . . . An exciting tale the book foretold, a brilliant author the words revealed, and a plot which galloped at a swift pace made this a perfect read in the lazy afternoon.”

Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt

Through my eye slits, I focused on my opponent on the other end of the list. Lord Mortimer was a formidable foe. Nigh on thirty, he was strong and experienced. But a greater weakness than his left side was his arrogance. He would expect Mitchell to come at him with his usual quick and powerful thrust. He would pride himself on knowing Mitchell so well.

But if God looked upon me graciously this day, I would deliver a thrust Lord Mortimer wasn’t expecting.

Heidi Reads… – Review

“The author did a great job of giving the reader a sense of her character and personality before the action and adventure swept the story into a faster pace. . . . I easily connected with the characters and felt the danger and excitement as I read. I’m looking forward to the next two books and am *very* appreciative that there won’t be a long wait for them!”

Adventures Thru Wonderland – Review

“As with Always, I was delighted to read this! . . . The characters in this series are so real, and combined with the attention to detail that makes it easy to picture each scene . . . impossible to put down!”

Backing Books – Review

“The moment I realized that Adelaide was able to fight on her own, though not perhaps as well as an Elite Guard, I knew that she was going to be an interesting character. . . . For anyone looking to pick up this series, know that it is a sweet, fairy tale like romance.”

Paulette’s Papers – Excerpt

The bugle call rent the air, clear and strong, quieting the crowd. Roland started forward, needing no urging on my part. His pace was perfect, providing adequate speed but smooth enough I could keep my balance.

With the thundering of horse hooves filling the silence, I focused on the part of Lord Mortimer’s armor I intended to hit. I ground my teeth together, tightened my grip, thrust the lance, and then braced for impact.

bluestockings_and_books – Review

“I love how all of the books are connected and different pieces of the puzzle! Very clean. Jody Hedlund is such a great author!”

Among the Reads – Review

“I enjoyed the burgeoning romance between Adelaide and Christopher and the way they fought their attraction to one another. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen and was surprised by some of the events. . . . While the story is listed as Historical fiction, I would consider it more of a fantasy. Young adults (and adults) who enjoy fantasy should consider reading this interesting series.”

Kathryn Cooper Writes – Review

“Incredible! I loved this teen historical fiction with romance and adventure! I went straight from reading the novella to this first book in the trilogy. . . . I loved this YA Christian Fiction! I plan to read the next two books as soon as they are released!”

What’s Beyond Forks? – Review

Evermore is the first book in the Lost Princesses series by Jody Hedlund. This story was packed with suspense and adventure. There was always something happening. It kept me thoroughly glued to its pages. . . . This book has so much going for it. I highly recommend this one.”

Singing Librarian Books – Excerpt

We returned to our respective corners of the list, raised our lances, and then began to ride toward each other once again. I bent closer to Roland, needing his strength, begging him for it. Then I put all thought out of my mind, save one—the target on Lord Mortimer’s chest.

Roland’s gait lengthened. His canter quickened. And the pounding of his iron-shod hooves echoed the thud of my heart. I sensed we were working together. We were a team. And this time I had to hit my mark.

Simply Susan – Review

“Hedlund has excelled once again with her medieval tale. Truly, I think this is her forte. She does a magnificent job with these stories. I love this time period and she is wonderful at it. I loved every minute and now I can’t wait for the next lost princess’s tale!”

Read Write Breathe – Review

Evermore started with an opening that one would expect from A Knight’s Tale . . . Quite humorous as the switch takes place . . . this is a need to read not to be missed novel.”

Hallie Reads – Review

“. . . I loved these stories. Fun, heartfelt, exciting, they embody everything I expect from a medieval story, and each character proves to be strong and capable, in his or her own way, seeking the truth of God through the experiences. I cannot wait to return to the adventure in the next two Lost Princesses stories, and in the meantime, I highly recommend Always and Evermore.”

Teatime and Books – Review

Evermore is one of the best books of the year! I absolutely loved this tale and the whole series! . . . I truly loved this tale, it is just filled with so much adventure, magic, and romance! If you love fairytales and a good romantic trope, than this is the book for you!”

Romancing History – Review

“From the very beginning I was intrigued with Hedlund’s characters, especially the heroine, Adelaide . . . the plot moved quickly with twists and turns that kept me swiping the electronic pages of my Kindle long after I should have gone to bed. . . . As a writer of historical romance, I found this medieval tale packed full of historical details. . . . Readers who enjoy YA fiction or historical romance will enjoy this book.”

Splashes of Joy – Review

“I love a good fairytale, and author Jody Hedlund writes just that in her new medieval series. I love the characters, and how they develop so well into the story. I was pulled into the story from the beginning, and this was a hard one for me to put down, once I started reading. . . . You can’t go wrong with “Evermore”.”

Aunt Addie’s Bookshelf – Review

“. . . seriously, you need to read these books! . . . These books weren’t just all about romance though! In “Evermore”, it was about jousting, uncovering secrets buried for over seventeen years, fleeing a tyrant all while trying to gain the love and support of the people!

Red Headed Book Lady – Review

“Another wow for Jody Hedlund! She delivers yet another exciting medevil tale and doesn’t disappoint!! . . . This story is full of action everytime you turn around and that is what I like in a book.”

DEEKAY | Daily Dose of Reading – Review

“Lots of great action, amazing and intense plot, smooth and clean storyline. I didn’t know it will be this good. There are so much happening in the story that gave me so many feelings about this book. . . . I loved the storyline and the plot, and I can’t wait to read the other two books that will focuses on Princess Maribel and Princess Emmeline.”

Harlie’s Books – Review

“This is such a great book. . . . Ms. Hedlund has written a wonderful story with an evil king, princesses, knights and a world that I wouldn’t mind living in. I can’t wait to meet the other princesses.”

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post…

Always
(The Lost Princesses #0.5)
By Jody Hedlund
Christian YA Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 136 Pages
August 13th 2019 by Northern Lights Press

A fierce elite guard. A loyal lady in waiting. They must work together to save three princesses from certain death.

On the verge of dying after giving birth to twins, the queen of Mercia pleads with Lady Felicia to save her infant daughters. With the castle overrun by King Ethelwulf’s invading army, Lady Felicia vows to do whatever she can to take the newborn princesses and their three-year old sister to safety, even though it means sacrificing everything she holds dear, possibly her own life.

Gravely wounded in battle and knowing all is lost to his enemy, the king of Mercia tasks Lance, one of his fiercest elite guards, to protect his family along with keys to an ancient treasure. As Lance makes plans to sneak the princesses out of the capital city, he doesn’t need or want Lady Felicia’s help.

With the dark enemy in pursuit, Lance and Felicia must put aside their differences to outrun King Ethelwulf and prevent him from killing the princesses. In a desperate attempt to hide the young girls, Lance and Felicia agree to a marriage of convenience, a decision that will change their lives—and hearts—forever.

(Affiliate links included.)
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Also FREE through KindleUnlimited

Evermore
(The Lost Princesses #1)
By Jody Hedlund
Christian YA Historical
Paperback & ebook, 222 Pages
August 27th 2019 by Northern Lights Press

An ancient key. A secret treasure. And a princess destined to use them both to fight evil and restore peace.

Raised by a noble family, Lady Adelaide has always known she’s an orphan. Little does she realize she’s one of the lost princesses and the true heir to Mercia’s throne…until a visitor arrives at her family estate, reveals her birthright as queen, and thrusts her into a quest for the throne whether she’s ready or not.

Unable to tolerate King Ethelwulf’s cruelty and lawlessness, Christopher Langley left Mercia years earlier, training a group of rebels in neighboring Norland. When he returns home after his mother’s death, he discovers that not only is Adelaide all grown up, but she’s also the rightful queen of Mercia.

When King Ethelwulf discovers Adelaide’s location, he’ll stop at nothing to capture her and the key she holds to the ancient treasure. Christopher is just as determined to protect Adelaide so she can lead the growing rebellion. When feelings ignite between the two old friends, forces threaten to destroy their love and rip them apart forever.

(Affiliate links included.)
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Also FREE through KindleUnlimited

OtherBooks in the Series


Coming late September and October. Pre-order now! (Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading.

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Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive the prequel and all three books in The Lost Princesses series (Always, Evermore, Foremost and Hereafter) in paperback or ebook (winner’s choice, if winner is outside the US ebooks only)
Ends September 25, 2019

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Mini Reviews #1

Mini Reviews #1

Sometimes I like and dislike books but have very little to say about them (or can’t even begin to express how I feel).

Royal Elves (The Hisime Ara Chronicles #1) and The Pit (The Hisime Ara Chronicles #2) by Misty D. Billman

A slave with no hope. A brother she can’t save.
Beaten, battered, and enslaved, Hisime is determined to stay alive, if for no other reason than to look out for her brother.

Freedom is a dream they will never have…

Or will they?

When powerful elves who are envoys from the royal family come to visit, Hisime sees a way out. However, the elves aren’t there to sightsee, they’re there for Hisime and her brother.

Now she must make a choice: escape and leave him behind, or stay and fight for both of their lives. One choice means freedom, the other is almost certain death.

Blood runs thicker than water.
Is it possible for Hisime to save them both? Or will the elves carry them off to a worse fate?

This is a serialization (every book is a short episode–which often ends with cliffhangers). I liked the first and second book, but I have yet to read book three. I believe there will be 4+ books (don’t quote me on that). Find on Goodreads for other reviews.

The Consorts (Forbidden City #3) and The Cold Palace (Forbidden City #4) by Melissa Addey

China, 1700s. Lady Qing has spent the past seven years languishing inside the high red walls of the Forbidden City. Classed as an Honoured Lady, a lowly-ranked concubine, Qing is neglected by the Emperor, passed over for more ambitious women. But when a new concubine, Lady Ying, arrives, Qing’s world is turned upside down. As the highest position at court becomes available and every woman fights for status, Qing finds love for the first time in her life… if Lady Ula Nara, the most ambitious woman at court, will allow her a taste of happiness.

These books are not fantasy (shh), but I liked them well enough to feature them here. I haven’t (yet) read a lot of Chinese HisFic, so any suggestions are welcome. Find on Goodreads.

A Dream of Ebony and White: A Retelling of Snow White (Beyond the Four Kingdoms #4) by Melanie Cellier

Snow has always lived under the shadow of her cruel stepmother, with only her beloved father and her childhood friend–the huntsman, Alexander–to make life bearable. When her father dies, she should be crowned queen, but instead she finds herself fleeing for her life. With no allies, no skills, and no food, her future could be over before it has truly begun.

But there’s more at stake than just one life. If Snow can’t claim her throne, her kingdom faces destruction. Snow has to make a choice: focus on her own salvation or put everything on the line–even those she loves the most. And if she’s going to succeed, Snow must fight the hardest battle of all, against her own doubt and weakness, and gain new skills and strength she never imagined possessing.

Alexander is ready to help her. But if she lets him, the consequences might be more than she can bear–because her heart is in as much jeopardy as the kingdom.

I’ll read anything Melanie Cellier writes. What more do you need to know? Goodreads

Fearless (Unfortunate Souls #2) by Madeline Freeman

To save the sister he loves, Alonzo will return to a life he thought he left behind.

When his plan to locate his sister Aria fails, Alonzo must team up with a man he doesn’t trust if he has any hope of seeing her again. But when deception is part of the game, it’s only a matter of time before even the best-laid plans begin to unravel.

Fearless, an Aladdin retelling, is the second book in the Unfortunate Souls series and shouldn’t be read as a stand-alone.

You can read my review of Speechless here. I liked Fearless but I don’t have a lot to say about it. Goodreads

The Luckless (Second Age of Retha #1) by A.M. Sohma

Welcome to Retha, the full submersion video game where you can be the hero of your own adventure. Unfortunately for Kit, it only takes one moment to turn the game into a nightmare.

When Chronicles of Retha experiences a software malfunction, Kit—a disenchanted veteran player—is stuck in the game without a way to log off. Even worse, she’s trapped playing as the most defective character possible, an elf dancer that was meant to be a prank.

Thankfully, she receives word that there is a way out. But the only escape route is to defeat the game’s ultimate villain. Kit, in her joke character, must fight her way through some of the worst Retha has to offer. Her only help is a party of low-leveled players just as powerless as she is, and the occasional act of mercy from one of the best players in the game, the taciturn (and aloof) Solus Miles.

Can Kit and her new friends finish the quest, or will Retha be their end?

A.M. Sohma is the same person as K.M. Shea. I’ve been wanting to read LitRPG books by women, so I jumped right on into this book. I’m currently reading book two. Goodreads

Ice Crown, Wind Crown, Dust Crown (The Elements of Kamdaria #1, #2, #3) by Kay L. Moody

The competition could save her life…
But only if she wins.

Talise can manipulate the elements with ease; water, air, earth, and fire all bend to her will. As a citizen of the Storm—a crime-laden land where death is the only constant—her only chance for a better life is to become Master Shaper.

A competition for the position takes place at the end of her training years. If she wins, she would live in the palace, work for the emperor, and escape her inevitable death in the Storm. But she’s not the only one with a chance to win.

Aaden is another talented student. As a citizen of the Crown, he was born with unlimited privilege and resources. When someone from the Crown wants to win, they do. End of story. And his shaping is unlike anything Talise has ever seen.

Complicating matters, Talise’s loved one in the Storm gives her reason to abandon the competition altogether, forcing her to make an impossible choice.

Torn between duty and freedom, she must learn that clinging to the past, might destroy her future.

I LOVE this series. Read it. Goodreads

Book Blast: The Protectorate Wars: Born Hero by S.A. Shaffer

Book Blast: The Protectorate Wars: Born Hero by S.A. Shaffer

Title: The Protectorate Wars: Born Hero
Author: S.A. Shaffer
Pub Date: June 5th 2019
Pages: 378
Goodreads|Amazon

Sixty cycles after the Protectorate War all seems well with Alönia and the rest of the Fertile Plains, especially to David, a determined young aide with a keen mind and a caring heart. Pain and turmoil have plagued his life, but he’s worked hard and things should improve at his new job as assistant to a popular politician. He has no idea that during the next few seasons political saboteurs will slander his mentor, murder his colleagues, and threaten everything for which he stands. Only time will tell if David can solve Alönia’s governmental corruption before the rest of the Fertile Plains fall into chaos. 

Take flight in spectacular airships and soar through the clouds. Feel the wind in your hair along daring voyages and narrow escapes. Solve murders, forge friendships and watch an ordinary boy become the hero he was born to be. 

Find out more about S.A. Shaffer and The Protectorate Wars online.

Review: A Kiss like Roses by Eliza Colton

Review: A Kiss like Roses by Eliza Colton

Title: A Kiss like Roses (Fairy Tale Synergy #1)
Author: Eliza Colton
Pub Date: August 27th 2019
Pages: 327
Amazon|Goodreads

A maiden trying to save her dying father. A brutal monster housing a lonely heart. Can the two of them save each other from a tragic fate, or will their differences keep them apart?

When Beatrice’s father falls victim to a deadly illness with one cure, the family weeps in despair. Knowing there is no way to get their hands on the cure, they begin saying good-bye. 

But Beatrice disagrees. 

She’s never cared much for flowers or myth, but others do, and they’ll pay handsomely to have the infamous beast’s enchanted golden roses in their hands. The beast is cruel, monstrous, and fiercely protective of his flowers. To own one is a show of power. 

Beatrice doesn’t care about power. All she wants is to save her father. But many have tried to steal the roses, and all of them have vanished forever. 

Determined nonetheless, she disregards her fears and heads to the beast’s isolated mansion to steal as many roses as she can. She believes the monster can’t be reasoned with—until he catches her red-handed and makes her an offer. 

He will save her father in exchange for Beatrice herself. For the next five years she is to remain in the mansion and keep him company, for beneath his brutish exterior is a cursed and lonely heart. 

With no other choice, Beatrice gives herself up to the monster.

I’m always on the lookout for new sweet & clean fairy tale retellings because I can’t get enough of them. They’re my book candy for bad days. 

A Kiss like Roses is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I’ve read a variety of B&B retellings (and will continue to read more in the future) and I think at the moment this is among the most unique of them concerning the circumstances of the curse. I really liked that aspect. The beast isn’t so much the beast we’re used to and, of course, neither is the beauty. 

The one thing that I wasn’t wholeheartedly loving was Beatrice in particular. She was immature in her decisions/actions (granted, she is young), but frustratingly so sometimes. If you rebuff someone numerous times, would you be upset if they so seemingly moved on? It could have been disastrous had it not worked out well in the end. 

Overall, the writing style is simple, breezy, and charming. I think many readers will enjoy this book. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Wonderland Academy: Book One by Melanie Karsak

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Wonderland Academy: Book One by Melanie Karsak

Wonderland Academy: Book One
Melanie Karsak
Publication date: August 27th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult

Welcome to Wonderland Academy. Don’t lose your head. 

Getting into Wonderland Academy is easy:

You must be a little mad.

You must follow the white rabbit.

You must find the key to enter Wonderland.

You must not be named Alice or risk being beheaded by order of the Queen of Hearts.

We might have an issue with that last one.

My name may be Alice, but Wonderland Academy is everything my real life isn’t. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to ride a jabberwocky, train with a vorpal sword, cast spells using a teacup, or shapeshift into a fairy? As long as no one figures out my real name, I should be fine.

The only problem? Aden, the Queen of Hearts’ son, is quickly becoming my best friend. And then there’s Corbin. Brooding, surly, tattooed, and definitely not my type, I can’t stop thinking about him. But Corbin has secrets of his own, and Wonderland and secrets don’t mix.

How I’m going to pass my classes and protect my secret like my life depends on it is beyond me. But I better find a way. Because in Wonderland, no Alice is safe.

Wonderland Academy re-imagines the fantastical world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland for a fresh, new adventure. Combining whimsy, magic, and a splash of steampunk, New York Times best-selling author Melanie Karsak invites you into this beautifully re-envisioned fairy tale adventure.

* * *

Wonderland Academy is a college-level academy novel. It contains a slow-burn (not rh) romance. The novel is clean aside from mild language. This is Book 1 in a planned trilogy. Book 1 ends on a cliffhanger (Frodo didn’t reach Mount Doom in a day, after all).

Trigger Warning: This novel also includes references to a school shooting.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Setting my bag in a chair by the window, I pulled on my coat. It was pouring. Drops rolled down the windowpane, distorting the view of the sidewalk below. As I pulled my jacket on, however, I noticed someone on the sidewalk below. He was looking up at the window. I couldn’t make him out clearly, but from what I could see, he was wearing some kind of period costume and a top hat. He had long, pale blond hair that almost looked white.

“You all think I’m a lunatic? There’s some guy standing outside in the rain in a Victorian get-up and top hat.”

“What?” Mom asked. “What are you talking about?”

“I don’t know. Just some rando guy standing in the rain,” I said then turned, zipped up my coat, and grabbed the bag.

Nurse Gilman stepped to the window and looked outside. “It’s really coming down,” she said, eyeing the sky. She then strained her neck to the left and right. “Your mystery man must have gone back inside.”

“He was right there,” I said.

A sick feeling rocked my stomach. No, no, no. He was there. Dammit, he really was there. I edged toward the window and looked outside. I was right. The man was standing right there, looking up at the window.

He waved at me.

“Where?” Nurse Gilman asked, looking up and down the sidewalk.

“There,” I said, motioning hesitantly.

“I must have missed him,” Nurse Gilman said with a shrug.

I stared at the man.

He waved again.

Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.

“Yeah,” I said. “Maybe they’re doing a show in the children’s wing or something,” I muttered then turned from the window.

I didn’t want Nurse Gilman to see my face.

Mom, however, caught my eye. Her eyebrows scrunched together as she gave me a hard look.

I dropped her gaze.

I absolutely, positively, did not want to have that conversation on the way home.

“I’m ready,” I told Mom.

“Good. Let’s get you the hell out of here.”

“Be well,” Nurse Gilman said. She motioned to the nurses’ station. The door to the waiting room unlocked with a click. Nurse Gilman motioned to us that we were free to go.

Mom and I headed down the dim hallway of the fifth-floor psych ward. The narrow hall felt like it was a million miles long. It wasn’t until we were safely inside the elevator that I finally exhaled.

“Your phone,” Mom said, handing it to me.

I had a few missing calls, messages from old friends, but there wasn’t anyone I wanted to talk to anyway. I stared at the screensaver, which had a picture of Nicholas and me. The photo had been taken just before homecoming, before everything went to shit. We’d gone for a hike that day. The autumn leaves in the background were bright orange and burnt red. We were both bundled up, our cheeks red, faces pressed together. We’d spent the entire hike planning a future that would never come to pass.

I turned off my phone and stuck it in my pocket.

Mom punched the elevator button for the ground floor.

I kept my eyes on the lights above the door, praying Mom wouldn’t ask anything.

It wasn’t until we’d passed the second floor that Mom whispered, “Lacey, are you seeing—”

“I’m fine. Really. I’m fine.”

She didn’t answer, which told me she knew well-enough I was not fine.

They’d been popping up in my periphery more frequently for the last two weeks. People who were there then not there. Flickers of light. Shadows that whispered. Otherworldy shapes. Their presence wasn’t anything new to me. While I was more prone to see them during times of stress, they’d been there all my life. I knew that if I really looked, I’d see them. It was better to ignore them.

A mermaid had taught me that.

Mom and I headed to the front of the hospital. I couldn’t wait to get away from the terrible hospital smell. A weird mix of the scents of bleach, chrysanthemums, green beans, and Band-Aids perfumed the place. It was enough to make a person gag.

Raining or not, I was relieved when the hospital doors opened. I inhaled the sweet scent of the rain-soaked air. Mom’s rusted-out Mustang sat waiting just outside.

“Okay. Let‘s run for it,” Mom called, and we sprinted to the car.

Holding my plastic bag above my head, I ran, flinging open the door of the vehicle. But just before I climbed inside, I cast a glance down the sidewalk.

The man was still standing there. He pulled something from his pocket and tapped on it. He waved to me, a broad smile on his face.

“Lacey, you’re letting the rain in,” Mom yelled.

I slipped into the car, slamming the door behind me.

Mom revved the engine then drove off, her nineties rock springing to life. I leaned forward and clicked off the music. The last thing I needed was the dulcet tones of Nirvana shouting at me post suicide watch.

Sighing, I leaned back into the seat and closed my eyes.

Why was I seeing them again?

The white-haired man had been pointing at a pocket watch. A pocket watch.

What in the hell did that mean?

I hadn’t meant to kill myself.

Not this time.

It figured. On the morning I’d been discharged from the psych ward, I was beginning to lose my mind.


Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Celtic Blood Series, Steampunk Red Riding Hood, and Steampunk Fairy Tales. The author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Southern New Hampshire University.

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Review: Screamcatcher: Web World by Christy J. Breedlove

Review: Screamcatcher: Web World by Christy J. Breedlove

Title: Screamcatcher: Web World
Author: Christy J. Breedlove
Pub Date: April 23rd 2019
Pages: 219
Goodreads | Amazon

When seventeen-year-old Jory Pike cannot shake the hellish nightmares of her parent’s deaths, she turns to an old family heirloom, a dream catcher. Even though she’s half blood Chippewa, Jory thinks old Indian lore is so yesterday, but she’s willing to give it a try. However, the dream catcher has had its fill of nightmares from an ancient and violent past. After a sleepover party, and during one of Jory’s most horrific dream episodes, the dream catcher implodes, sucking Jory and her three friends into its own world of trapped nightmares. They’re in an alternate universe—locked inside of an insane web world. How can they find the center of the web, where all good things are allowed to pass?

Screamcatcher introduces readers to a terrifying concept. Where do bad dreams go once entangled in the web of an ancient dream catcher? And what would happen if it exploded, taking four unsuspecting people into a world made of nightmares? 

The plot of Screamcatcher is a unique one. I cannot imagine surviving the harrowing journey that these characters went through. I kept wondering, “what next?” Weaved throughout the story are interesting, familiar and unfamiliar to me, Native American lore. The main character is a woc (Chippewa/Hawaiian). Her character was the most believable/well-written among the cast. I feel like Lander and Darcy weren’t fleshed out enough to be likable. Let’s be honest, I would’ve left Darcy behind. :^)

There are a few things I feel unsure or nitpicky about but I think it’s more of a me issue. Overall, Screamcatcher is well-written, thoughtful book for fans of fantastical adventures.

Review: Speechless by Madeline Freeman

Review: Speechless by Madeline Freeman

Title: Speechless (Unfortunate Souls #1)
Author: Madeline Freeman
Pub Date: December 2nd 2018
Pages: 348
Amazon|Goodreads

She longs to be part of his world. He desires to be anywhere else.

In a world where uncommon powers are feared by ordinary people, seventeen-year-old Aria must hide who she is or risk being shipped off to a detention facility for people with abilities—for aberrations like her.

Enrique Martinez is tired of having every moment of his life live-streamed to eager viewers. When he learns the cameras will go dark for forty-eight hours, he vows to break the rules and have the adventure of a lifetime—if even for only a day.

When Aria’s ability to breathe underwater is discovered, her life collides with Enrique’s, entangling their fates. Swept up in a global deception, Aria must choose between her safety and her desires, between her family and the life she’s always wanted.

Divergent meets The Little Mermaid but 10000% better than Divergent

Aria is an aberration who can breathe underwater. With special abilities comes special circumstances, and Aria is about to have the adventure of a lifetime. . . just not one she was expecting. Danger, conspiracies, and uncertainties are all around the corner. 

So first off, that cover is so beautiful. It’s what caught my attention when I was scrolling through Kindle Unlimited (covers are sellers). The story? Just as great. 

The story gives us some juicy details on the aberrations and the colony on Mars but of course not too much info. There is a lot left uncovered. I have so many questions. The biggest one being why?

Despite similarities to other dystopian-like books, this one is unique. I like the retelling aspect a lot.