Friday, December 6, 2013

*Cover Reveal* Relinquish by Amy Miles




I'm so excited to be a part of the incredible Amy Miles' cover release for Relinquish, the second book in the Rising Trilogy. And can I just say GORGEOUS!!! Here's a little more about the story:

The rising is over, but the war continues to rage. King Aloysius knows Illyria exists and will stop at nothing to possess her while jealousy drives a wedge between Illyria and Eamon. When Bastien reveals himself as her guide into enemy territory, an ambush lands them in captivity. Illyria is faced with the truth that she is not ready to face her destiny…or let Bastien go again.

Relinquish is slated for release December 30, 2013. Learn more about the Rising Trilogy and Amy Miles on Goodreads.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: Awry by Chelsea Fine

Sometimes love is meant to be. But sometimes...love is the death of you....

Seventeen-year-old Scarlet has just died. Only, dying isn't unusual for a girl under a centuries old curse that left her semi-immortal.

This time, though, she comes back to her current life instead of awaking in a new one, and she realizes the curse is changing. Together with the immortal Archer brothers, Scarlet must piece together her life and try to break the curse before her impending death comes again.


As y'all know, I absolutely loved Anew, book 1 in Chelsea Fine's Archers of Avalon series! So, you can imagine the expectations I had going into Awry. Sadly, sequels don't always live up to their predecessors...BUT I'm so excited to say, this one did and more!

We finally get a chance to touch on Scarlet's history, going all the way back to the 1500's. And let me say, Chelsea did a great job of realistically incorporating the times without it being "stiff" or fake. We really get a feel for the characters' relationships leading up to the present. You can totally see how everyone wound up in their predicaments, and it comes across in such a real and relatable way.

Leaving Anew with a cliffhanger, I couldn't wait to dive in. Things have changed for her this time around, because the curse has changed. We soon learn this is a result of a shift caused by Tristan and Scarlet breaking the rules in her past life. After an attack by a strange, ashy villain, Scarlet decides to spill the beans about the curse to Heather, who totally rocks the "stand by your BFF" role. Who wouldn't want her watching their back?

We soon learn that Gabriel's ex isn't the only one involved in the curse. While she set it in motion, there's more the situation than we might've suspected. While I had my suspicions about things, I was surprised to see which paths certain characters ended up following! Anew definitely kept me guessing till the end.

Trust me when I say, this is one triangle you'll never say is cliche! Chelsea had me in every kind of knot trying to figure out how she was going to work things out. The Archers of Avalon series isn't like anything I've ever read, and I can't recommend it highly enough!

If you love fantasy, great characters, and magic, this is series to read!



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

No Way Out by Alan Jacobson #BlogTour




Book Blurb: 

When a powerful firebomb destroys part of an art gallery in an exclusive London district, FBI Profiler Karen Vail is dispatched to England to work with Scotland Yard. But Vail soon discovers that at the heart of the bombing lies a 440-year-old manuscript that holds clues to England's past with content is so explosive that a group of political radicals is bent on destroying it at all costs.

The trail leads Vail to a notorious fugitive who appears to be planning a major attack on London and the United States. Soon she finds herself on the run from the British security service, Scotland Yard and a group of internationally trained assassins all determined to silence her all tightening the net to ensure that she's got no way out.

National Bestselling author Alan Jacobson has crafted an intelligent, twisting thriller destined to be talked about long after the last page is turned.


About Alan Jacobson:

Alan Jacobson's literary career has been marked by a number of events, but none was more significant than an accidental meeting 20 years ago while researching his first novel, "False Accusations," at the California Department of Justice's crime lab. Jacobson struck up a conversation with FBI agent Mark Safarik, a profiler at the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit and Agent Safarik subsequently invited Jacobson out to Quantico to tour the Academy.

With the FBI's help, Jacobson immersed himself in the world of serial killers, rapists, bombers and arsonists. Over the course of seven years, Jacobson made numerous trips to the BAU, had countless hours of conversations with Agent Safarik and his partner, attended FBI training courses, shot submachine guns with the Academy's head firearms instructor, edited four published FBI research papers on serial offenders and parsed serial killer interviews with Agent Safarik.

Jacobson was finally ready to write his third novel, the first featuring FBI Profiler Karen Vail,the national bestseller, "The 7th Victim." Oozing sharp wit and sarcasm, Vail means well but is human and makes mistakes. The head of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers association described Karen Vail as a cop you'd go through a door with "a phrase used to describe a colleague with whom officers trust their lives when bullets are flying.

No Way Out is the 5th Karen Vail FBI Profiler novel, which takes place after a terrorist attack in England. Vail journeys overseas, unearths a 440 year-old manuscript, a terrorist plot, and a cadre of assassins who would like nothing more than to make Vail ancient history.

Connect with Alan here: 

A little about the book: 

 

Tour Schedule: October 1- Chirenjenzie
October 2 - Elizabeth Isaacs' Blog
October 3 - Mindy Ruiz'Blog
October 4 - Asteria's Blog
October 5 - Dru's Book Musings
October 6 -Talk About Books
October 9 - Lilliputian's Journey
October 10 -A Book and a Latte
October 11 - Readful Things
October 12 -Geek Goes Rogue
October 13 - Ethan Jones Books

Friday, October 4, 2013

#Evanescent by Carlyle Labuschagne #BookTrailer Release!!!



Cover and Banner designed by Regina Wamba 
Mae I Design and Photography 



Her fall has just begun. Only his touch can save her from the shift that could destroy it all.

Within my blood runs a thing our kind calls the Shadowing Disease. It shadows over, and bends everything to its will. When the first blood- shift came, it tore through flesh and blood, threatening to bend me, break bone, shatter my mind and entrap my heart with its honeyed, seductive poison. It came with vicious intent, moving my thoughts and altering me forever. The shift has caused a rift within me. No one was safe when it entrapped me in its claws of foul lust. But I have the only antidote against the evil that becomes me – his touch alone has the power to release the spurs of sweet darkness that clung on for dear life. I knew what I had to do; the desperation pulled my mind with the deep determination of a hungry predator. By the time the revelation raised me from the dark dungeon of my bounds – it might have been too late










Vote on the Goodreads list for this amazing book!



Worth stopping by
sign up for the release day book blitz
on the
 Evanescent website page
join the facebook page
follow @CarlyleL
 Add it to your goodreads list now! 

Evanescent (Broken, #2)





Thursday, September 19, 2013

Author Interview: Connie L. Smith


I'm so excited to have author and fellow Kentuckian Connie L. Smith on the blog today! Her debut novel, Essenced just hit the shelves this summer and is quickly gaining momentum. Here's a little more about this YA Urban Fantasy with a hint of Paranormal Romance:

Essenced (The Division Chronicles: Book One)

Years ago, demons were forced out of the earth’s realm by a band of supernatural fighters, banished from the place and its people in the aftermath of a horrific war. It should’ve ended there – would’ve – if not for the final demon’s claw snagging on the open portal. What felt like victory became only a reprieve, the winning warriors understanding that the tear would spread, and the demons eventually would escape exile. It was only a matter of time, and a need for future defense – a question of genetics and essences, magic and power.

Now centuries later, a new army must bind together – one of teenagers with inhuman potentials and abilities…


Sounds fabulous, right?! Here's more about the brilliant mind behind the magic!


* What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I read a lot, bake, sew, and listen to a bunch of music that’s outdated.

* What was the inspiration behind Essenced?
I don’t know that there was an actual inspiration behind it. I mentally add characters when I’m watching TV or movies (or reading books), and sometimes those characters develop a story all their own. That’s pretty much what happened with AJ and the beginnings of this story.

* How many books are in the series, and what can we expect in book 2?
There are three books in the actual trilogy, but I’ve already written a prequel novella, and you can probably expect at least one spin-off book. Once you finish book one, it’ll be obvious where book two starts off. I think of Essenced as more of the building blocks for the rest of the series. You’re getting to know the characters, and the characters are changing from average high school/college students to warriors. There’s action involved, but Emblazed (book two) has more in the way of physical altercation and battles. Though, as I mentioned, Essenced isn’t without those things. It’s more intense, and it’ll get even more intense into book three, physically and emotionally. I don’t want to give out too many spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read Essenced, so I’ll just leave it there.

* What made you pick YA?
I’ve really gotten addicted to it, to be honest! A good amount of what I buy and read these days is YA/NA. With this plot, and the transition that these characters have to go through, it seemed more interesting to have them be in high school or early college. They’re not even finished growing into human adults, and now they have to change into something entirely different. Not to mention high school can be a pretty dull place. It’s good to pretend fictional characters can lead more exciting lives than I had back then. Or now, really…

* What authors inspire you and why?
R.A. Salvatore is the author that got me into reading. I fell in love with his Legend of Drizzt series, and have been hooked on reading and fantasy since. He has a way of telling a story that’s just so fluid. I also like Terry Pratchett, and the humor in his books. Becca Fitzpatrick is a newer one that I like, along with some other contemporary authors. I like writers that can pull me into a story, and who create characters that I still think about after I close the book. I’d like to think that all of those different influences show up in my books, but I guess every reader will have to make that call.

* Some authors gear up with their favorite tunes or choke down large quantities of caffeine before tackling a writing session. What, if anything, does your ritual consist of?
Mine’s actually really boring. My ideal writing time tends to be around 1-3 in the afternoon. I’m an aunt, and my nieces and nephew could come barreling in after school any time after that :) I turn on a fan to block out any noise away from my room, and I start typing. I do have a Diet Dr. Pepper or a bottle of water somewhere near. Thirst is no fun. I multi-task though, so don’t be surprised if you see a tweet pop up when I should be writing.

Rapid fire questions: 

* Favorite book character – Of all time? Wow… Probably either Patch from Hush, Hush or Durzo Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. At least those are the ones that come to mind. I might decide differently later!
from the

* Plotter or Pantser – More of a plotter, though I didn’t have an outline for this novella I recently finished. And I tend to veer away from the outline from time to time.

* Choice of superpower – Jedi!!!

* Your life's theme song – Currently “Too Much Month at the End of the Money” by Billy Hill.

* Top 5 favorite reads this year –
A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang was good, though I haven’t had a chance to read the second book.
Abel by Elizabeth Reyes, but I could’ve easily said Hector. I’ve been addicted to Elizabeth’s books since I read Forever Mine.
Boundless by Cynthia Hand. I loved this trilogy, and the ending (mostly) was pleasing. I won’t go into my Christian Prescott ramblings on this blog :)
The Last Threshold by R.A. Salvatore. I’ve been a little iffy about the last few of his books based on Drizzt, but I thought this one was much better than some of the others over the last few years. Plus it sets the readers up for such good things!
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard. I can’t guarantee that I read this one in 2013 – it might have been late 2012 – but I liked this book. A siren in love? Yes, please.

I feel like I should give you honorable mentions! So many were left out!

***Essenced will be free on Amazon September 19-20th, so don't forget to grab your copy!!!
 

Connect with Connie here:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blog Tour: A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon


Book Blurb:
In an alternate 19th century, there are two warring continents on an reimagined earth: the scientific Anglica (England) and magical Bharata (India). Emboldened by her grandfather�s final whispered secret of a magical lotus, Tori Harding, a young Victorian woman and aspiring botanist, must journey to Bharata, with its magics, intrigues and ghosts, to claim her fate. There she will face a choice between two suitors and two irreconcilable realms.
In a magic-infused world of silver tigers, demon birds and enduring gods, as a great native mutiny sweeps over the continent, Tori will find the thing she most desires, less perfect than she had hoped and stranger than she could have dreamed.

An excerpt from A Thousand Perfect Things



Tori's stomach clenched as she now saw before her a woman in a green sari facing away. Streaming out from the woman's head, her long hair was writhing in an impossible way, as though alive. The sight both sickened and fascinated her. The woman walked slowly away in a disconcerting gliding motion. Afraid yet intrigued, Tori followed the woman to the garden wall.
            "Come, beti," the woman whispered, though the whisper was in Tori's ear, not fifteen yards away.
            Tori approached. The woman's long hair was shot with gray, her face deeply lined.
            They stood regarding one another. Slowly, and to Tori's relief, the long hair came to rest around the woman's shoulders. It seemed to Tori that the frantic hair warned of discontent, and must put Tori on warning that the apparition could do violence. Suddenly, alarming noises issued from behind the zenana wall--squealing almost at the limits of hearing. Filaments of the woman's hair rose again.
            Tori backed up.
            "They cannot hurt you, or even see you, beti." The voice was a breath in Tori's ear, but the woman's lips were not moving.
            "Why are you trying to scare me?" she managed to say, her voice gone pinched and high. The squealing behind the door grew louder. At that, the woman slammed a fist against the wooden door, all but shattering Tori's resolve to stay.
            The noise stopped.
            "They do not wish for me to be long gone." Bits of dust fell off the door.
            Tori looked down to find that the woman's feet were not actually touching the ground. Merciful God. Tori could not move, nor swallow, nor keep from staring.
            The whisper again: "Jai will be showing you where to go. You should be trusting only him, beti."
            The squealing resumed, louder now. The woman placed her hand on the latch of the door, and as she did so, her hair swept in that direction.
            Tori did not want to see what was on the other side of that door.
            She looked desperately behind herself for her companions, but she was alone. As she turned back to locate the woman in green, all that remained of her was a shred of forest-colored sari sliding through a crack in the door.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kay Kenyon

Bio:
Kay Kenyon is the author of eleven science fiction and fantasy novels, including The Entire and the Rose series that was hailed by The Washington Post as �A splendid fantasy quest as compelling as anything by Stephen R. Donaldson, Philip Jose Farmer or yes, J. R. R. Tolkien�. Kay�s newest work �A Thousand Perfect Things� blends the reason of the Victorian Age and the magics of an alternate Earth.

Connect with Kay here:

Tour Schedule

August 28 - Asteria's Blog *Review & Giveaway
August 29 - Behind a Million and One Pages *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 1 Author Jonathan Ryan *excerpt & Giveaway
September 2 - Chirenjenzie  *Favorite Pinterest Pins & Giveaway
September 3 - Dave-Brendon's Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 4 - Mindy Ruiz *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 5 - Elizabeth Isaacs' Blog *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 6 -   Hooked in a Book *Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
September 7 - BlKosiner's Book Blog *Interview & Giveaway
September 8 - Delphina reads too much *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 9 - A Dribble of Ink *Featured Article
September 10 -Lilliputian's Journey *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 11 - Mom With A Kindle *Author Interview & Giveaway
September 12 - A Dragon's Love *Review & Giveaway

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Be a Freaking Unicorn!

I'm sure you all have noticed that when you're focused on something for a prolonged period of time, it becomes a mindset. When I've spent several days in a row editing, I can spot a grammar error a mile away. If I've been writing, my imagination goes into overdrive, picturing the most fantastic things in ordinary objects.

I find this is also true with attitudes. When all you hear is complaining and all you see is depressing, you're going to begin spouting the same garbage. Likewise, as irritating as it is at first, that Pollyanna mentality eventually rubs off on you. Suddenly, you're a euphorically happy unicorn who's prancing on a rainbow and laughing at the fools on the ground below.

The moral of the story? Life is too short to complain. Be a freaking unicorn!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Blog tour: WINTER SHADOWS by Casey Bond

A coming of age story following Claire, a young lady struggling to find her place in the world after losing her mother to cancer. After a corrupt American government declares a pandemic and forces residents into quarantine encampments, Claire and her father, along with other members of their Church and community, go into hiding in a cave system in rural West Virginia. While coping with the losses of her mother, home, friends, sense of safety and normalcy, Claire begins to pick up the pieces of her past, finding a new normal despite the darkness surrounding her.

While adjusting to a new environment, and the group of people she finds herself surrounded by, Claire is faced with several important decisions that will influence the path her life will take. Who can she trust? Who should she love? How can she survive? Forced to choose between Ethan's steadfast, mature love and the love of mysterious and dangerous Colin who appears. Claire learns the difference between infatuation and love. She becomes self-reliant and strong. Despite her newfound confidence, and the isolation in which she resides, evil is able to find her. While fighting against it, she reestablishes her faith in God and opens her heart to the possibility of love.

Winter Shadows, releases Oct. 29, 2013!


Casey Bond lives in West Virginia with her husband and two beautiful daughters. She graduated from Hurricane High School in 1999 and received her Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, Legal Studies in 2003 from Marshall University. You can reach her at her website/blog at http://caseybond.tateauthor.com, Twitter @authorcaseybond, or find her on Facebook and Pinterest!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: ANEW by Chelsea Fine

Two years ago, Scarlet awoke in the forest alone, afraid, and unable to remember anything. Lost and confused, her life was a mystery...until she met a boy with a familiar voice.

Gabriel Archer has a voice from her past, and Scarlet's determined to remember why. She immerses herself in his life only to discover he has a brother he's kept hidden from her: Tristan Archer.

Upon meeting Tristan, Scarlet's world becomes even more muddled. While she's instinctively drawn to Gabriel, she's impossibly drawn to Tristan--and confused out of her mind. As she tries to piece together her history Scarlet realizes her past...might just be the death of her.


Okay, I have to start this post with a fact: Chelsea is one of the sweetest and most hilarious chicks ever. I had the chance to "officially" meet Chelsea and hang out a little at UtopYAcon this past June. If you haven't read about that experience, you can here. Chelsea even shares her own thoughts on What Not to Do at Book Conference. HILARIOUS video. We'd known each other through Twitter for some time, but as most of you have probably experienced, the face-to-face introduction is always more interesting. I mean, you can only say so much in 140 characters, right?

Continuing on, I got a signed copy of the first in her Archers of Avalon series, ANEW. After hearing everyone RAVE about it, and listening to Chelsea's experiences writing the series, working with the models, and various inspirations, made me all the more eager to get started. Thankfully, I had 12 hours worth of flying and layovers to get me started! Yay me!

Needless to say, between dinners, meetings, and changing time zones, I finished ANEW in no time flat ... then proceeded to immediately download the sequel, AWRY. Yeah. It's that awesome.

And here's why:

We begin the story with Scarlett, a teenage girl who lives with her amazing foster mom, Laura. Scarlett came to be under Laura's care when she woke up in the woods with full-blown amnesia wiping her mind of anything about her life leading up to that point. Yeah, talk about freaaaky.

Scarlett is a super down-to-earth girl who cares about her interim family and zealous friend more than fashion and boys, much to her BFF, Heather's disapproval.

They crew of awesome characters live in a small town called Avalon, Georgia. Much to my delight, Avalon is like less vampire-werewolf-doppelganger version of Mystic Falls when it comes to fun activities and festivals. And one of Scarlett's least favorites is The Kissing Festival--that is until she bumps into Gabriel Archer.

Sigh.

Gabriel Archer, that gorgeous, selfless, heartthrob of a guy. Chelsea definitely has the swoon worthy boys in her stories! Why do I say boys as in more than one? Because Gabriel happens to have an identical twin brother named Tristan! ::flatline::

Now, before you go thinking, "Is this going to be YA?" Let me say, yes. Yes it is. ;) Actually one of the things I love most about this series is how Chelsea works the love-triangle-but-not-a-love-triangle ... angle. Stay with me here.

See, Scarlett has ties and emotions and all kinds of stuff going on in her pretty little head, but it isn't because she's wishy-washy or a player. I can't tell you more than that because I don't do spoilers. You're welcome. But throughout the story, you really feel her distress and experience the challenge of the twins as they try to navigate the situation. Chelsea knocks it out of the park when it comes to believable and relatable characters. Their responses and feelings toward things are spot on, and you can't help but sympathize with their tragedy and triumph!

I will caution you now though ... have the second book on hand! OMGosh! I didn't sleep for waaay too long trying to find out what happened after book one ended! Good job, Chelsea!

So, with that, I give ANEW five very enthusiastic top hats! It's a definite must-read!!!

Buy. Read. Be happy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Growing up Greek

So, yesterday, I'm chewing on this idea about a kid whose last name is never pronounced correctly. Little did I expect for an entire character to spin into existence. He and I have had the conversation that he's just going to have to wait until some other projects are finished, but he insisted on being introduced. After hours of him yelling in the back of my head, I agreed.

Everyone, meet Nikolas Biggi.



“Nikolas Bi—Big…” the teacher stumbled over the letters as she tried to call roll.

BG! I thought to myself. The letter B. And the letter G. Why was it so hard?

“Biggi,” I said, giving her a two-fingered salute. 

Biggi. What a last name. A final “up yours” from my dad before he walked out on my mom and me when I was nine and ran off with Sue Ellen, the bleach-blonde waitress from the Tasty-Freeze. Apparently, she really knew how to dip a cone…

The last time I heard from my dad was two months after my 14th birthday. He sent me a shaving kit and a soccer ball which was the only thing in my life he’d ever gotten right. I had more body hair than any kid south of Jersey. I liked to think of it as proof positive when it came to nature’s cruel sense of humor.

My dad was also kind enough to scar my genes with a perpetually-tangled mop of curly hair that looked more like it belonged to Doc from Back to the Future than a kid living in rural Georgia, a set of eyebrows that would put Groucho Marx to shame, and the ability to say the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong moment.

Comparatively, if Joe Jonas and Adrian Grenier had a love child, it was me … I had the guybrows to prove it.

Nikolas was a nod from my mother whose parents immigrated to the States from Greece via beer cooler through Cuba. I had her freaky-blue eyes, inability to understand algebra, and tendency to mismanage time. And at the age of twelve, I could grow a full-blown beard which, oddly enough, was also a trait inherited from her.

As if my life didn’t scream socially well-adjusted, when I was thirteen, my YaYa with her gnarly arthritis and malfunctioning hearing-aid begrudgingly joined our American household. She could say about two words in English, both of which got me smacked when I repeated them at mass the following Sunday. The language barrier sucked most days … well, except the time she tried to inform me about puberty. At least, I think that’s what she was talking about. There was a lot of questionable gesturing and foreboding pointing going on. We haven’t really made eye contact since that day.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: MYSTIC CITY by Theo Lawrence

 
Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself. 



So I totally lucked out and snagged an ARC of MYSTIC CITY at Half-Price Books. My review is for the ARC since I don't know what (if any) changes might've been made. Here we go!

The Good: I absolutely can't praise Theo's writing style enough! Can we say beautiful and the perfect example of Show don't Tell and Avoid Passive Voice. The descriptions are stunning. Each scene is brilliantly set and fully fleshed out. The characters are so unique, and you can totally connect with them in a real way. I'm generally not a dystopian fan, but MYSTIC CITY isn't the typical dystopian... at least, it isn't the struggle-every-moment-for-life kind. It's more futuristic than anything. I'm not sure what genre it's classified as anyway.

The progression of our protag's life is perfectly paced. Aria grows and changes throughout the story, going from the (non-cliche) rich girl to the caring young-woman who's willing to risk her comfortable life and promising future. And not just to win the guy but to save her city. Talk about an inspiring female lead! 

Our male lead, Hunter, is intriguing and by far the most mysterious part of the entire story. He proves himself to be swoon-worthy! He's not the kind of  guy you love to hate or admire because he's so wholesome. But he's real and genuine. Nothing about him feels fake or forced. He's the kind of boyfriend you would've actually wanted at 17. Too bad it's not that clean-cut for Aria.

The Mediocre: As the plot moves forward, there isn't a lot of "surprise" going on. I kept thinking, "Where's the mystery? What's the twist supposed to be here?" Really, it felt more like a contemporary novel with a futuristic setting. Like we know the obvious hurdles our characters have to overcome, so where's that *gasp* moment??? The outstanding writing and interesting characters kept me reading, but there were a few places where I just skimmed because it wasn't exciting. I will say there was one epic twist at the end I didn't expect which was fabulous! I love surprises! I just wish there could've been more.

Another issue I encountered was Aria's reaction to certain people in her life. Something epic would happen, and she was just like, "Meh. Okay." And while I get Lawrence's intent to keep her low key so she wouldn't give up the ghost so early, even her internal reaction was disappointing. Still, it wasn't enough of a let-down to stop reading. Also, Aria's best-friend Kiki is kind of annoying. I wish she would've been more likable. I'm a big fan of heroic secondary characters. I feel like they should really enhance the story and bring out a lot about plot and why our lead is the way they are. If you're going to the trouble to bring them up frequently, there needs to be a reason for them. Kiki was more like that irritating person you hang out with for the sake of obligation. She and Aria were so different in ways that would cause two people not to want to spend time together. I LOVED Hunter's bromance though.

There were several parts where I just skimmed through the story because it wasn't interesting. It didn't move the plot forward and felt more like a placeholder than an integral scene. There were maybe a total of 20 pages or so that could've been entirely culled, and no one would miss them. 

Conclusion: Based on the originality of the story, the lead characters, and the writing, I'd give MYSTIC CITY 5 Hats, no problem. But due to the slow plot at times, the mediocre secondary characters, and the lack of page-turning mystery, I'm going to say 4 Hats: still an awesome read and recommendation but not without a couple of flaws.