Hello Everyone!

I’m sure you’ve noticed that this blog has gone completely silent since the 25th of June (our last review). You may have wondered what happened to both bloggers and I am here to let you know that this post is the final one for this blog.

Are we both quitting? No absolutely not! You see, due to a technical dilemma caused by me (Bri) we’ve lost access to this account in every way besides emailing post directly to it. I don’t know about you, but ALL of our post have a very specific formatting to them so this was an unacceptable solution. After trying very hard to recover this account Iris and I have simply decided to transfer our future posts to a new site that will be reflecting both of us more once we have an entire new set of graphics made for us (coming soon!).

So as a heads up, all of you email and WordPress followers will know how you can continue to follow us if you choose. We can now be found at:

https://landofbooksandashes.wordpress.com

I hope to see all of you there when we formally reopen this month there! We have plenty of work ahead of us, so its time for us to get moving on setting everything up fully!

Lots of love from,
Bri & Iris

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Banish by Nicola Marsh

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Banish

Banish (Soul Retrievers #1)
Nicola Marsh
Published: 1st August, 2013; Rereleased: 26th May, 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery, Romance
Age: Young Adult
From: YA Bound Book Tours

Summary:

Alyssa has one week to destroy her enemy, save her spirit… and save her soul.

After her ex-boyfriend commits suicide and her mum’s alcoholism sparks yet another psychotic episode, seventeen-year-old Alyssa Wood flees her small hometown of Broadwater and heads to New York City to stay with her bohemian aunt — a Wicca High Priestess.

Alyssa revels in the anonymity of a big city and her new life. Her grades climb, she has a new best friend, and a new guy: the sexy geek Ronan — a saxophone player who prefers jazz to pop.

But her newfound peace is soon shattered when she sees a dead body in one of Ronan’s music clips — and she’s the only one who can see it. Worse still, Alyssa recognises the body that has been murdered a week forward!

Alyssa doesn’t believe in the supernatural…despite her family’s Wicca background. So how will she overcome evil when it’s closer than she thinks?

What I liked: I liked the way the story weaved together with its magic and mystery aspects. While, yes, there is romance in the book it is not the central focus of the story and is more of a side to it than anything (which is good for this book because I really think it would have just taken away from the actual plot of the story instead of adding anything to it), allowing the mystery that Alyssa gets swept up into be the part that was ever lurking and something that I looked forward to finding the end out. With so many Young Adult paranormal books featuring witches out there (which always tend to be a little more on the romance side than the mystery) it was nice that this book was so much more captivating than some of the ones I have read, and add in that the mystery was strong enough I wasn’t able to get things right when I did try to and it made for a good mix in my opinion. I also really appreciated most of the Wicca aspects to the story, especially when the religion was involved.

What I didn’t like: So for me, the romance didn’t work. The characters just didn’t really have that “spark” that goes off that gives the chemistry between two characters a more authentic and believable feel to it. So I just didn’t really get into their romance.

Overall Review: I feel like Alyssa was a great character, even though she was stubborn through many parts because she didn’t always want to believe what was true. This gave her a realistic quality in ways because it would undoubtedly be a little hard to believe at times. Her growth was a good thing to see in the book, seeing how the events changed her by the end. Despite a little drawback in the story it ended up being an enjoyable read.

Recommend?:Looking for a YA witchy read with mystery that might be interesting? Check this one out and see how it works for you!

Goodreads: 3.5/5 Amazon: -/5 Barnes&Noble: -/5

BookDepository | US Paperback | UK Kindle | UK Paperback | Kobo | iBooks

My Rating: 3.8/5

Rated Materials:
Cover: 4
Idea: 3.7
Story: 3.8
Characters: 3.7

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the series!

Vanish

Vanish (Soul Retrievers #.5)
Nicola Marsh
Published: 19th May, 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

Seventeen year old Alyssa Wood’s life is turned upside down when her boyfriend kills himself the day after she dumps him.
Blamed by the townsfolk of Broadwater and ostracised by her friends is bad enough. But the fallout from dealing with her mom’s increasingly frequent psychotic episodes sends her fleeing to New York City to live with her aunt, a Wicca High Priestess.

Alyssa doesn’t believe in magic, not any more.

She has a new life to lead: a new BFF in Seth and a major crush on Ronan, the sexy geek saxophonist who tutors music at her high school.

Can she leave her old life behind or will the ghosts of the past continue to haunt her?

Goodreads button Amazon Kindle button Barnes and Noble Nook button Kobo button Amazon Kindle UK button iBook button

Check out the rest of the tour here!

nicola marsh

About the Author

USA TODAY bestselling author and multi-award winner Nicola Marsh writes flirty fiction with flair for adults and riveting, spooky stories for teens.

She has published 54 contemporary romances with Harlequin, Entangled Publishing and indie, and sold over 6 million copies worldwide. Her first mainstream romance BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD was nominated for Romantic Book of the Year 2012. Her first indie romance, CRAZY LOVE, was a 2012 ARRA finalist.

Her YA urban fantasy SCION OF THE SUN won the 2014 National Readers’ Choice Award for Best Young Adult novel.

She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a 2013 RBY (Romantic Book of the Year) and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, and a multi-finalist for a number of awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has also won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.

A physiotherapist for thirteen years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two little heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, and her favorite, curling up with a good book!

Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

GIVEAWAY*!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Books and Ashes is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or unreceived materials that you may win. Books and Ashes does not handle the materials, or have any input on who receives a prize. In the case of a Books and Ashes Sponsored Giveaway Random.org will choose the winner. US and international followers eligible where applicable.

WWW Wednesday #1

WWW Wednesday

Welcome everyone, to WWW Wednesday! WWW Wednesday is a meme that was once hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words! Every Wednesday we’ll be answering the three W questions for you guys to see:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next? Continue reading

My So Called Afterlife series by Jamie Ayres

18 Thoughts banner

18 Things

18 Things (My So Called Afterlife #1)
Jamie Ayres
Published: 24th January, 2012
Curiosity Quills Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Age: Young Adult
From: The Fantastic Flying Book Club

Summary:

Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.

Then, Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible for his death.

When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled “18 Things”: eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.

But there’s more to Olga’s quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken.

There’s only one thing she knows for certain: her choices won’t just affect her future, but all eternity.

Continue reading

The Age of Alandria Series by Morgan Wylie

Age of Alandria Banner

Silent Orchids

Silent Orchids (The Age of Alandria #1)
Morgan Wylie
Published: 5th May, 2013
American Majestic Entertainment
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Young Adult
From: YA Bound Book Tours

Summary:

A dying realm.

The ancient evil of the Droch-Shúil has been unleashed.

The Orchids have been silenced… but for how long?

Daegan, elite of the Ferrishyn warrior tribe of Faeries, is charged with a mission to find the Sol-lumieth, a mysterious new power that could change the fate of all in the realm of Alandria. But he is conflicted by his purpose, and he cannot trust the motives of those he serves. He has too many questions and they must be answered.

Kaeleigh, a girl abandoned as a small child just outside Missoula, Montana, is now 18. She is trying to discover who she is and where she belongs. In her heart, she feels she has family out there… somewhere. Desperate to unravel the mysteries of her past, she embarks on a journey that will forever change her along with her two best friends, Finn and Chel—who have secrets of their own.

Continue reading

The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui T. Sutherland

Book Reviews

Dragonet Prophecy; Wings of Fire

The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire #1)
Tui T. Sutherland
Published: 1st July, 2012
Scholastic Press
Genre: Fantasy
Age: Middle Grade, Young Adult
From: Purchased via Amazon

Summary:

The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy — a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice.

Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war.

But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the revolutionary planners intended…

Continue reading

Revelation by Randi Cooley Wilson

Revolution Banner

Revelation

Revelation (The Revelation Series #1)
Randi Cooley Wilson
Published: 23rd April, 2014
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Age: Young Adult
From: YAReads Blog Tours

Summary:

A Divine Secret,
A Loyal Protector,
A Forbidden Love.

Eve Collins starts her freshman year at college blissfully unaware that one revelation will challenge everything she’s believed to be true about her family, life, and future, and right in the midst of it all is Asher St. Michael.

Mysterious and aloof, Asher is appointed to protect Eve at all costs. Bound by his oath of loyalty to mankind, loving her is forbidden.

Dark and enigmatic, Gage Gallagher may be even more dangerous to Eve than the demonic army that hunts her.

Caught in the middle of a centuries old war, Eve must choose sides knowing that the wrong choice will cost more than just her life.

Can Asher and Eve fulfill their destinies or will their love destroy everything?

What I liked: This story was rich and full of everything that it needed to stand out amongst so many other books I’ve read. Eve is a that ended jumping off the page for me. She was just so realistic, and relatable, and so incredibly different from other heroines who I’ve read about recently. She’s a girl who knew what she wanted, how she wanted to be treated, and she didn’t let anyone stand in her way it seemed like. She doesn’t just accept anything that changes instantly for her, she reacts, and does it in a way that made me think about how most people really would if they discovered something wasn’t what it seemed like. Not to mention the other character, they were all well written and didn’t just feel like stand ins to help the plot. They had depth and character and they were all interesting in their own way, even the ones who seemed a little off to me in regards to how they acted towards Eve. I also really liked the world building in this book. There was enough to keep me interested but not so much that I felt overwhelmed by it.The romance in this book was built up in a lovely fashion and I ended up adoring these two.

What I didn’t like: I felt it ended just a little strangely. It didn’t have enough “fall” to it at the end as I was expecting there to be. The ending has a rushed feel to it as everything spiraled towards the second book of the series. Even though its the first book in the series, I was expecting a little more from the ending!

Overall Review: This was a thrilling start to a promising series. With the twist that were put into place in this book it gave the entire story a different feel to it than what I had expected. The characters were great, and the romance between Eve and Asher was something that I really got hooked on. I can’t wait to see what the later books show in the build up of their relationship!

Recommend?: If you’re looking for a read that has a basis of mythology, with interesting twist, and characters you’ll really like, I recommend you check out Revelation and see how it goes for you!

Goodreads: 4.1/5 Amazon: 4.6/5 Barnes&Noble: 4.6/5

BookDepository | B&N Paperback | US Paperback | UK Kindle | UK Paperback | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords

My Rating: 4.3/5

Rated Materials:
Cover: 4.3
Idea: 4.3
Story: 4.5
Characters: 4.4

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the series!

Restraint

Restraint (The Revelation Series #2)
Randi Cooley Wilson
Published: 22nd July, 2014
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

A Forbidden Love Will Become Deeper.
A Loyalty Will Be Tested.
And Only Darkness Will Remain.

One revelation changed everything, turning Eve Collin’s world upside down. Now, she’s left to struggle with her identity and allegiance. Haunted by grief and tempted by her increasing attraction to her protector, will she ever truly be safe from enemies that refuse to give up?

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Redemption

Redemption (The Revelation Series #3)
Randi Cooley Wilson
Published: 5th December, 2014
CreateSpace
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

A Love Returns
A Loyalty Is Broken
And War Begins

For Eve Collins, darkness has descended after her love vanished into the night sky. A new protector has been appointed, one who challenges everything she’s believed to be true.

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Revolution

Revolution (The Revelation Series #4)
Randi Cooley Wilson
Published: 31st May, 2015
Genre: Supernatural, Romance
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

A King Rises
A Fate Seals
Realms Fall

Eve Collins has set in motion a chain of events that could destroy everything she’s ever loved. Surrounded by dangerous creatures, dark worlds, and the struggle to become who she was meant to be, Eve must complete her ascension and accept her destiny.

War has begun. Losing is not an option. With dangers lurking around each corner, and everything against her, will Eve sacrifice her own happiness in order to tip the scale of balance? Which side will rise to power, and which fall to fate?

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no cover

Restoration (The Revolution Series #5)
Randi Cooley Wilson
Releasing: August 2015
Genre: Supernatural
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

The fifth, and final book in The Revelation Series.

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Check out the rest of the tour here!

randi

About the Author

Randi Cooley Wilson is a “New Adult” Paranormal/Fantasy and Contemporary Romance author. Randi was born and raised in Massachusetts where she attended Bridgewater State University and graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. After graduation she moved to California where she lived happily bathed in sunshine and warm weather for fifteen years. Randi makes stuff up, devours romance books, drinks lots of wine and coffee, and has a slight addiction to bracelets.

Links:

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

GIVEAWAY*!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Books and Ashes is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or unreceived materials that you may win. Books and Ashes does not handle the materials, or have any input on who receives a prize. In the case of a Books and Ashes Sponsored Giveaway Random.org will choose the winner. US and international followers eligible where applicable.

Important Blog Announcement!

announcement

Assassin Iris Hello everyone, Iris here with an announcement for you. Due to recent events in the lives of both Bri and me we’ve decided to make a decision that will hopefully be beneficial for the blog. We’re opening up one or maybe two positions for a new co-reviewer as well as three to four positions for some guest reviewers.

The different between a co-reviewer and a co-blogger is that (as it says) those of you who apply to become a co-reviewer will only have the responsibility of adding reviews to the site. Guest reviewers will be doing the same thing, except they will not have to post as often as a co-reviewer. If you’re familiar with our blog (or if you’re new, welcome to our site!) then you know we place our focus more on YA novels, but we also have MG, NA, and Adult books in our midst. So long as its not erotica (or very explicit) we welcome you to post a review of it. Don’t let what we post influence you, as we’re looking to expand what we have on our blog.

What We’re Looking For

  • Potential co-reviewers who are willing to post at least once at least every week. Guest reviewers must be willing to post at least once every month.
  • You must have timely replies to emails sent from either of the bloggers emails. We understand that things do come up, but we will want to know why you didn’t respond earlier if it has been more than 28 hours since we sent an email (or 18 for urgent emails)
  • Again, NO erotica type books. We understand that Adult books will have more sex than say a YA book but if the sex is very explicit we advise that you would ask either Bri or me before you post the review here. This is a primarily YA blog with a scattering of MG, NA, and Adult books with no erotica or heavily explicit type books and we would love to keep it that way.
  • Your reviews must be honest, no matter how you obtain the book (bought, gifted, solicited/unsolicited review copies, etc.).
  • We require that your reviews not be a lengthy essay, but they may not be too short either (you can reference our reviews from this year if you need to)
  • If you do want to join a blog tour for a book, you must check with us first to make sure we have free dates for that tour to happen and so that we can approve a book (don’t worry, in any case of a blog tour Bri and I have always cleared it with the other before joining so you will not be the only one doing this).
  • Twitter AND Goodreads accounts are not required but its great if you have them! As you will be members of Books and Ashes, you will have the opportunity to use our Twitter to promote your posts, and Bri will be in charge of putting your review up on our Goodreads if you do not have one (and/or do not want to make one as well).
  • Comment back to those you receive on YOUR post. One unanswered comment here and there is acceptable, but please do try to answer all the comments you get. And don’t forget to go to their blog and leave a comment on one of their posts as well! (Some exceptions do apply)

Advantages of Joining Us

  • You can use the stats for Books and Ashes for soliciting ARC’s or eARC’s. As an added bonus, you will also have access to our NG and Edelweiss accounts (more on that if you get accepted as a co-reviewer or guest reviewer).
  • We get a healthy amount of request from authors to review their books, and if neither of us want a copy (or if you and one of us does) you’ll be available to read and review the book as well.
  • If you’re in the USA, any ARC copies that we get can be happily sent along to you, just remember that you must be willing to do the same for us!

Please be aware that this will be a long-term commitment on your part, but that having a book blog, or even being familiar with the process is not required. Whether this will be your first time blogging, or you’re joining because you want to, we welcome any and all applications for being a co-reviewer. Just send the following information to books.and.ashes@gmail.com with the subject as “Co-reviewer application” and we’ll respond to those who we feel will be good applicants after the end of the signup date and move forward from there to a Q&A section to help us choose. Thank you all for reading this far, and we hope to see your application in our inbox!

Name

Age (optional)

Country you live in

Blog (if you have one)

Do you know either blogger?

A little about yourself so we can get a feel of who you are

Social media? (Tumblr, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.)

Why do you want to join Books and Ashes?

Questions or comments?

Sign ups will close July 1st, 2015


Assassin Iris ~The Assassin and The Dragon~ Bri

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Book Reviews

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Becky Albertalli
Published: 7th April, 2015
Balzer + Bray
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Age: Young Adut
From: Publisher ARC won via YA Romantics Freebie Friday giveaway; copy from NetGalley

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Content warning: minor sexual mentions Continue reading

Endless Possibilities read-a-thon: Day 2 & Day 3

endless jpg 2

Wow that read-a-thon flew by so fast! I actually had plenty of fun, plus in between me reading the Wings of Fire books and Iris reading The Infernal Devices trilogy we worked on a little surprise for you guys (coming at the end of the month, so stay tuned!). Now, for the updates on those days! Continue reading