First Impression by Pauline Creeden -Review and Giveaway


Chira Kelly thought she didn’t need anyone…until she met Ben. 
Because of one ugly rumor, Chira lives as an outcast at her school. Which is fine with her, because she works better alone. Always has, always will. And at least she has her one and only true friend, Tasha. 
When Tasha insists that they join a group to visit a possibly haunted abandoned old schoolhouse, she’s wary, but joins her friend. Because of that decision, their lives are in jeopardy as a malevolent spirit targets the group. Tragedies and accidents pick them off one by one, and Chira finds herself drawn to the one person who can see the truth. But can he protect her?
Release date: March 31st 2014
Publisher: Altwit Press
Purchase: Amazon
ABOUT THE AUTHORauthorpaulinecreeden
In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy. 


Ani’s Review

I really enjoyed this YA book. How can you not when it starts off referencing Harry Potter? Chira is a character that many teens could empathize with and Ms. Creeden does a good job of creating believable teens. I also enjoyed the way the paranormal aspect kept getting setup but it wasn’t your typical vampire/shifter/ghost story. I highly suggest to all YA fans and fans of mystery/thrillers of all ages.

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Relic by Renee Collins


After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive the best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

I was excited about this story after reading the description and all the really good reviews but for some reason it was really hard to get into. The concept was interesting but the execution just fell flat and the old west meets -mythology and magic just didn’t quite work for me. Collins’ use of colloquial western slang ended up being a distraction rather than enhancing the story. Maggie, although a nice character wasn’t that interesting and seemed shallow in many ways. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the relics and their uses and would have liked to have more time and detail spent on her training sessions. This just wasn’t a story for me. I would suggest this to middle readers and young teens but I think mature teens and adults would find the world and character development a bit too flimsy.

Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Girl of fire and thornsOnce a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa has always felt powerless, useless. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could save his people. And he looks at her in a way no man has ever looked at her before. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns is a fantastic book and fantastic series by Rae Carson! I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed all three books. First, the writing is excellent. Secondly the plot is really good. Thirdly, the characters and world are very well developed.
The first book is about Elisa, 16 year old princess who is married off to a neighboring king. She thinks it is to ensure peace between kingdoms but then she begins to learn things about her destiny as the only living bearer of the Godstone that makes her realize how very precarious her new situation really is.

An interesting detail about this princess is that she is overweight has a serious complex about it. Carson doesn’t stall the plot because of Elisa’s weight issues instead, she makes it part of her character development. This is a fully realized adventure story where the heroine must save the day but also find her true self despite all the lies and half truths that she’s lived with throughout the years. One thing I really liked about Elisa is that for all her youth and naïveté she takes control and never gives up. I think that’s a lesson all of us could take to heart.

crown of embers bitter kingdom