Friday, July 15, 2016

Christine Amsden - Kaitlin's Tale

13. Kaitlin's Tale by Christine Amsden (2016)
Length: 270 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Started: 5 July 2016
Finished: 15 July 2016
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Christine Amsden for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 17 April 2016
Why do I have it? I like paranormal romance and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

When Kaitlin Meyer first decided to run away with the father of her son, she thought she was doing the right thing for her child. Granted, her son's father Jason was a recently-turned vampire hunter, whose own cousin Cassie Scot had once warned Kaitlin - as her best friend - to stay far away from him. Yet Kaitlin sincerely believed that baby Jay deserved to have his father in his life, even if Jason was a vampire.

However, after Jason invites her to join him in eternal life, Kaitlin slowly comes to understand that she could not have been more wrong in her decision. Obviously, no matter how much Kaitlin wants to deny the truth of it - Jason just isn't Jason anymore. So, five months after running away with him, Kaitlin finds herself on the run again. This time, she's running from Jason; his sire, Xavier - a vampire who has existed for over two centuries, and is rumored to be the most difficult to kill - and another recently-turned vampire named Sara; who had once been Jay's nanny as well as Kaitlin's only human friend.

Terrified for her young son's life, she seeks sanctuary with the Hunters' Guild. Kaitlin realizes that no matter how much they may dislike her, the members of this particular Hunters' Guild cannot possibly deny sanctuary to Jay - especially not once they learn that Jay is actually the son of one of their most prolific hunters, Jason. However, even though both she and Jay are treated well, Kaitlin still senses that something is not entirely right.

She can't put her finger on what it is, exactly - but the hunters' treatment of herself and Jay seems almost too conciliatory. It would seem that these hunters have their own plans for Jay, and those plans may or may not include Kaitlin. So, her hopes for continued safety are soon shattered. However, when Kaitlin runs into Matthew Blair - an old nemesis with an agenda of his own - she dares to hope for a new escape.

Matthew Blair is the scion of one of the most well-connected political families in the town of Eagle Rock, and his father is the town's mayor. Although the Blair family doesn't exactly advertise their magical abilities; each member is actually extraordinarily adept at creating illusions and other forms of magical mentalism. Matthew, himself, is an extremely powerful telepath. The closer Kaitlin gets to Matthew, the more she realizes just how much she will need his help to escape with her son.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean that Kaitlin trusts the mind mage. She has seen the aftermath of Matthew's mental manipulations firsthand, and so worries about the safety of her own secrets. Matthew Blair may well be a savvy politician, but he also is an extremely dangerous man to know - capable of using his position and power to help others, but only if that assistance ultimately benefits Matthew Blair. And Kaitlin's own past is full of dark secrets she has no intention of ever revealing...to anyone.

This is actually the second standalone book of Ms. Amsden's that I've had the pleasure of reading. Kaitlin's Tale is a companion book to the books of the Cassie Scot Series, and continues the story of Cassie's best friend, Kaitlin Meyer. The story follows Kaitlin's various trials and tribulations, as she falls in love with Cassie's arch-nemesis.

In my opinion, this story further develops the character and story of Kaitlin Meyer; not that she wasn't already well-developed to begin with as a character within the Cassie Scot Series. Kaitlin just seems to be less needful of a relationship within her own story. I would definitely give this book an A! Although I'm not sure if there are going to be more stories set within Ms. Amsden's world, I can certainly hope that there will be more to come in the future.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Book Spotlight For The Head of Medusa by Michelle Madow

Hello Everyone! I hope that you're all having a wonderful day today. I'm so glad to welcome young adult fantasy author Michelle Madow - author of The Head of Medusa - Book 3 of The Elementals Series - to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. This is also my twenty-fifth Book Spotlight post ever, but I still hope that I do The Head of Medusa by Michelle Madow justice.

About The Head of Medusa:


The epic story of witches, gods, and monsters that USA Today called a "must read" continues in the third book of the Elementals Series!

When Nicole Cassidy moved to a new town, she discovered that she was a witch descended from gods. But that was nothing compared to learning that it was up to her and four others with mysterious elemental powers to help save the world from the Titans, who would soon return to Earth.

Now her relationship with Blake - the fire Elemental - is finally heating up. But she must remain focused, because Typhon, one of the deadliest creatures in history, has escaped from the weakening prison world. Only one object can destroy him - the head of Medusa herself.

Follow the Elementals as they journey to the end of the Earth, facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? Find out in the riveting third book in the Elementals Series, The Head of Medusa.

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals 3: The Head of Medusa is the latest installment in Michelle Madow’s exciting Elementals Series. Follow Nicole and her fellow Elementals as they journey to the end of the world, unsure of who to trust, and facing choices that will put their lives and the entire world at risk. Will they all survive the mission? And if they don’t, will the ones who do be able to find the strength to continue?

Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Meet Michelle Madow 


Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more! She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family.

Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Visit her website, www.michellemadow.com, to get books of Michelle's for FREE!

Connect and Socialize with Michelle!

May you read well and often

Friday, July 1, 2016

Reading Wrap-up For June at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out June with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from a Library Book Sale that Mom and I went to on the 7th to celebrate my birthday, authors, BookmoochAmazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Stranger in the Looking Glass by Jan Fields

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- The Azalea Bones by Mary M. O'Donnell
- The Birth of Venus: A Novel by Sarah Dunant
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
- The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
- The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
- 'I' is For Innocent by Sue Grafton
- In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant
- Last to Know: A Novel by Elizabeth Adler
- Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion by Jody Hedlund
- The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
- Only Beloved by Mary Balogh
- Persecuted: I Will Not be Silent by Robin Parrish
- The Phantom Coach: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Ghost Stories by Michael Sims
- Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich
- The Traitor's Wife: A Novel by Allison Pataki
- The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory
- Your Heart's Desire by Melody Carlson
- The Wolf of Britannia Part II by Jess Steven Hughes
- Grey by Christi J. Whitney
- The Ghostcrow: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus
- Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba
- The Lady and the Minstrel by Joyce DiPastena
- Torn Roots by Scott Bury
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
- Water so Deep by Nichole Giles

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Grey by Christi J. Whitney
- The Ghostcrow: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus
- Dark Before Dawn by Stacy Juba
- The Lady and the Minstrel by Joyce DiPastena
- Torn Roots by Scott Bury
- Water so Deep by Nichole Giles

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 1
Pages Read: 205
Grade Range: B+!

So, there you go! The reading month that was June. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Jan Fields - Stranger in the Looking Glass

12. Stranger in the Looking Glass by Jan Fields (2016)
The Antique Shop Mysteries Series Book 1
Length: 205 pages 
Genre: Contemporary Mystery 
Started: 17 June 2016
Finished: 29 June 2016
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 7 June 2016
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Jan Fields is a new author for me.

Maggie Watson is a forty-something widow living on her own in the same cottage in Bennington, Vermont where she had happily raised her family. Conceivably, she is content to continue living in her picturesque little cottage with her cat Snickers for the rest of her days. However, with the death of her husband three years before and the recent departure of her daughter Emily for college - Maggie is suffering pangs of 'Empty Nest Syndrome'. She is also beginning to recognize that she has reached a brand new chapter in the story of her life, and is looking to make some sort of change.

She just wasn't expecting to make that change quite so soon. Maggie is surprised to learn that she has recently inherited some property from her aunt Evelyn. Apparently, her aunt has bequeathed to Maggie a stately nineteenth-century Colonial-style mansion, Sedgwick Manor, as well as the adjacent antique store - Carriage House Antiques - a charming little shop located in the seaside town of Somerset Harbor, Maine. Maggie has always dreamed of owning an antique store and discovering the  various different stories that each particular item can tell.

However, she never suspected that some of those stories just might become relevant to her own life. While separating the inventory for the store and going through her aunt's various personal effects, Maggie discovers a photograph of her aunt hidden in the backing of an old mirror. She is astonished by the story apparently being told by this particular photo: because it's an impossible story; one full of mystery, danger and intrigue. Standing beside her aunt in the recent photograph is her Uncle  George...a man who died twenty years ago.

Having enlisted the help of the members of the historical society - ladies who all knew Evelyn well - and James Bennett, an historic preservationist and handsome bachelor; Maggie begins her investigation into her aunt's final months. What she subsequently discovers about her Aunt Evelyn, as well as her Uncle George's past is disturbing to her. As her search for clues continues, it quickly becomes abundantly clear to Maggie that she is not the only person looking for answers. Someone desperately wants to know just what Maggie knows...and just how she knows it.

Cryptic messages and warnings are being left inside Sedgwick Manor, personal effects are being rifled through, and a U. S. Marshal arrives in town asking some very unsettling questions. Maggie soon realizes that this mystery is more serious than she first thought - deadly serious. She honestly can't help but wonder if she is ultimately doing the right thing; or should she just forget about everything, sell the property, and escape back to the safety of Vermont. While she believes that this would probably be the most appropriate course of action, Maggie can't forget what her aunt always said: "antiques are filled with stories - secrets just waiting to be discovered."

Maggie finds herself finally understanding what her aunt meant - she definitely wants to satisfy her own curiosity about this particular mystery. Will Maggie be able to make sense of it all before it's too late? And is Somerset Harbor really the best place to start this new chapter in her life?

First of all, let me say that I really enjoyed reading this book. I haven't actually read that many cozy mysteries before, and would like to see where this series will eventually lead. I found the characters to be fairly well-developed and the mystery certainly held my attention all the way through. However, having said that, I have to admit that I became slightly confused by the uneven pacing of the mystery. All in all though, I would definitely give this book a B+!

B+! - (85-89%)

May you read well and often

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Introducing the Cover For The Portal to Kerberos by Michelle Madow!


Meet Michelle Madow
Michelle Madow writes fast-paced YA (young adult) fiction that will leave you turning the pages wanting more! She grew up in Baltimore, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she writes books for young adults. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family.

Michelle went on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California and back to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

Visit her website, www.michellemadow.com, to get books of Michelle's for FREE!

The Portal to Kerberos by Michelle Madow (2016)
Length: 141 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Portal to Kerberos Blurb:

She will venture into hell to save the one she loves.

After being betrayed by one of their own, Nicole watches helplessly as Blake is snatched into the prison world of Kerberos - along with Medusa’s head, which is the one item they need to stop the Titans from rising again. Now Nicole and the other Elementals must enter the portal, find Blake, and bring him and Medusa’s head back to Earth before the deadly monster Typhon returns and wreaks havoc on the world. But there’s one catch - their elemental powers don’t work in Kerberos. In a dimension designed to make those within it lose touch with reality, and that's filled with dangerous creatures who want to stop them from completing their task, will they make it out alive?

In this penultimate book of Nicole’s story, join the Elementals as they journey through hell to save the world…before it’s too late. 

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals 4: The Portal to Kerberos, is the latest installment in Michelle Madow’s exciting Elementals Series. Follow Nicole and her fellow Elementals as they journey to a new and dangerous world to save one of their own, battling monsters and trying to keep their sanity in a prison dimension designed to make them lose their minds.

The Portal to Kerberos Cover Reveal:


May you read well and often

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Our Library Visit For June

Hello Everyone! How are you on this fine Tuesday? I'm doing just fine. :) Well, Mom and I had hoped to go to our local library last Wednesday to celebrate my birthday at the library's perpetual book sale. Since last Wednesday was the actual date of my birthday, we were both so looking forward to going out; until both of us woke up on Monday morning, May 30th feeling absolutely horrible. As a result, we postponed my birthday outing until this afternoon.

So, Pamela drove Mom and I to the library today and dropped us off at approximately 12:15 P. M. We spent approximately an hour and a half happily perusing the Library Book Sale. Then Pamela picked us up again at about 2:30 P. M. and brought us back home. We had such a wonderfully relaxing time.

Between us, we bought 42 books at the Library Book Sale - 16 paperbacks, 13 oversized paperbacks and 13 hardcovers. We spent approximately $33 altogether. It turned out to be a fairly good haul for an annual birthday trip, if I do say so myself. ;) We were actually pretty restrained, completely filling up two canvas tote bags and that was all! :)

At the moment, I'm trying to decide which book I want to read next. I suppose I should be able to find something to read from the books that I acquired this afternoon. LOL!!!

May you read well and often

Friday, June 3, 2016

July is a Blockbuster Month!


Hello everyone! Alright, so I will definitely grant you that it is difficult to discuss anything to do with Winter - especially when the air conditioner is cranked to the maximum and upstate New York is currently experiencing a heat wave with temperatures just under 90 degrees! Having said that, I was delighted to learn that for the entire month of July, there will be a blockbuster sale happening.

Yes, from Friday, July 1st, to Sunday, July 31st, 2016 - the independent author website Smashwords, will be hosting a gigantic 'Summer/Winter Sale'! While there are numerous authors taking part in the sale - too many to mention here, from every genre  - I was delighted to learn that the prolific author Kathryn Meyer Griffith will also be taking part in the Smashwords sale!

Ms. Griffith recently contacted me to let me know that ALL of her twenty-two current ebooks will be available in the 'Summer/Winter Sale'! The prices on her ebooks range from FREE to 50% off!!! Apparently, if you enter the code SSW50 at checkout, you will receive a discount of 50 percent. So, I would advise you all to take advantage of the Smashwords 'Summer/Winter Sale' as soon as you possibly can - I guarantee you that you won't regret it!

May you read well and often