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Review: The Hidden Mountain by Heather Lyons

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Title: The Hidden Mountain
Series: The Collectors Society
Author: Heather Lyons
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 25 June 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

After years spent in Wonderland, Alice Reeve learned the impossible was quite possible after all. She thought she left such fantastical realities behind when she finally returned to England.

Now Alice has become a member of the clandestine Collectors’ Society, and the impossible has found her again in the form of an elusive villain set on erasing entire worlds. As she and the rest of the Society race to bring this mysterious murderer to justice, the fight becomes painfully personal.

Lives are being lost. Loved ones are shattered or irrevocably altered. Each step closer Alice gets to the shadowy man she hunts, the more secrets she unravels, only to reveal chilling truths. If she wants to win this war and save millions of lives, Alice must once more embrace the impossible and make the unimaginable, imaginable.

Sometimes, the rabbit hole leads to terrifying places.

REVIEW 

I seriously cannot get enough of this series, while simultaneously needing it to end so I can be at peace 😉 Have you guys seen the TV series Once Upon A Time; my youngest daughter and I are a little obsessed with it, we sit on the sofa analysing the storylines and characters, matching them to the stories we love. The Collectors Society series has the same effect. As I am reading I am guessing which character comes from which book, where their stories originate from and how they fit into the current plot. I constantly pick apart the characters in order to unravel the plot twists before Heather makes the revelations. For me, Heather Lyons is a sorceress of re-imaginings.

Following the major cliffhanger at the end of The Hidden Library I cannot tell you how desperate I was for this book. Heather does a fantastic job of recapping the previous events to refresh the memory within the first few chapters. The action is high-octane all the way through while simultaneously pulling all the plot threads together.

As soon as one puzzle piece is solved another takes its place making the storyline equally tantalising and tormenting. There are constant revelations surrounding some of the major players within The Collectors Society; I have to say I am in utter awe of how Heather Lyon’s mind works, twisting the numerous tales into the narrative ingeniously.

I adore how the narrative showed clearly that no two readers will take away the same thing when they read the same book (you get what I mean RIGHT?)

I have to mention the beautiful vocabulary used within this series, it is a joy to read and adds to the imagery evoked.

With each book in this series I fall deeper in love with the characters especially Finn, Alice and Jace. This might be the only book I wouldn’t be opposed to them all being together LOL. Alice is an inspiration (I want to be her, and not just for both Finn and Jace) the madness is an added bonus.

There is a HUGE and very UNEXPECTED plot twist at the end of this book; it has completely thrown me for a loop. Seriously Heather, you are killing me here 😉

Spotlight plus Give-Away: The Forgotten Mountain by Heather Lyons

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 About THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN

After years spent in Wonderland, Alice Reeve learned the impossible was quite possible after all. She thought she left such fantastical realities behind when she finally returned to England.

Now Alice has become a member of the clandestine Collectors’ Society, and the impossible has found her again in the form of an elusive villain set on erasing entire worlds. As she and the rest of the Society race to bring this mysterious murderer to justice, the fight becomes painfully personal.

Lives are being lost. Loved ones are shattered or irrevocably altered. Each step closer Alice gets to the shadowy man she hunts, the more secrets she unravels, only to reveal chilling truths. If she wants to win this war and save millions of lives, Alice must once more embrace the impossible and make the unimaginable, imaginable.

Sometimes, the rabbit hole leads to terrifying places.

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Don’t miss the first two books in this series…

THE COLLECTORS’ SOCIETY

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REVIEW HERE

THE HIDDEN LIBRARY

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REVIEW HERE

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For those who have read the Collectors’ Society books, you will easily recognize how important setting plays within the stories. With some many Timelines to travel to, with so many different worlds and climates and cultures/societies/peoples, it’s crucial that each one described is done in just a way that the reader will: a) easily distinguish one from the others, and b) feel like they’re right there along with the action. Piecing all these different lands and worlds together is a painstaking process, because I really do not want anyone delving into the series being confused about where they are. Instead, I want them to be delighted, as if they, too, have stepped within those particular worlds that they may have thought they knew but are now realizing are so much richer than previously imagined. While writing these lands for new adventures, I particularly wanted to play upon Alice’s tendency to take the fantastical in baffling yet awe-inspiring stride. Whether it be in a Regency dining room, the foggy Moors of England, the late nineteenth-/early twentieth-century Japan, or modern day NYC, I want readers to follow her lead and jump from place to place without even taking a breath. Each location is selected carefully to drive the plot of the series forward; none are cameos for the sake of showcasing some amazing piece of literature. I heavily research each and every place, often watching videos of the locations (if they are real), finding photographs or drawings, or reading the primary source material to get the details just right. I study maps, check out Google Earth, and calculate distances. Obviously, I take some liberties within the tales—sometimes heavy ones—but I go in with the explicit desire to create a tangible location for the Society—and for the reader.

A lot of people ask me which lands/Timelines they can look forward to seeing in the next installment in the series, and all I can say to that is . . . I can’t tell you. Maybe not can’t, but won’t. Because it has always been my intention for the readers of this series to unravel the mysteries at the same time as Alice and the rest of the Society.

But I can tell you this . . . doors will be opened. Timelines will be visited. There are still lands for you all to see!

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About Heather Lyons

Heather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

Links: Website/Author Goodreads/Twitter/Facebook

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Review: Wicked White by Michelle A Valentine

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Wicked White
Series: Wicked White #1
Author: Michelle A Valentine
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 23 June 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

After his mother dies, rock star Ace White—lead singer of the red-hot band Wicked White—is done with the celebrity game. The phony people, the meaningless one-night stands: he doesn’t want any of it anymore. Quitting in the middle of a sold-out tour, Ace sets out to find some place—any place—where he can be alone.

Aspiring singer Iris Easton’s life has never been easy. First, her mother walked out on her when she was a kid. Now she’s buried in debt, weeks after losing her beloved grandmother. When a mysterious and sexy new guy moves in next door, Iris can’t help but be drawn to his soulful gaze. She can tell there’s something from his past haunting him—something he’s not telling her.

Just as Ace starts falling for Iris, the media go on a worldwide hunt to find the missing rocker. Will true love conquer all, or will the truth be the very thing that tears the couple apart?

REVIEW 

I have to say it, Ace has to be the most romantic rock star there is. Come on, the guy quotes Shakespeare, that is seriously swoon worthy 😉 It is so nice to see a good guy rock star for a change as opposed to your standard douche m-ho.

The dual narrative between Iris and Ace aids the understanding of both characters and their relationship. Both have some deep-seated issues stemming from their upbringing. Iris is the product of a party girl, unwilling to give-up her ‘lifestyle’ to raise a child, Iris is raised in a trailer park by her grandmother. While Ace is the product of foster care, until he is ‘rescued’ at 13.

Ace has always dreamed of working in the music industry, writing songs as an outlet for his emotions since a young teen. However, the reality is a far cry from his fantasies. OK so the early years may have been living the stereotypical rocker lifestyle including indulging in groupies ( for shame Ace 😉 ) Although, Ace craves a deeper emotional connection and quickly realises he is worth far more than a notch on someone’s belt. See what I mean, you can’t help but love him. The nail in the coffin for Ace is when his foster-mother is seriously ill and he is prevented from seeing her.

Iris has always had ambitions to star on Broadway. Leaving behind her home for a shot at fame in NYC. Although, so far she hasn’t been successful. Returning home following her grandmothers death to try to save the trailer park she has inherited.

Now on the run from the media and his record company, Ace takes refuge in none other than Iris’s trailer park. The sparks fly instantly between them, and yet it’s as if they recognise the other part of themselves in each other. Resistance is futile 😉

The occasional media report is woven into the chapters holding all the plot threads together. Ace’s predicament with his record agency, highlights how controlling and manufactured the music industry can be.

Iris and Ace’s relationship develops quickly and deeply, they are so well suited that you can’t help but think their is a soul-mate element to their relationship. While this does strengthen the bonds between them, it also provides the tools to cause the most hurt. The use of music and the way in which both Iris and Ace view lyrics is exactly how I feel about music, enabling me to connect with the characters on a personal level.

Both Iris and Ace are very self-aware, which was refreshing but alas did not prevent the angst :( They may realise why they react in certain ways but they are unable to stop themselves from doing it. While they believe they are acting in the other persons best interest it does not lessen the heartache their actions cause. I did feel that Ace was his own worst enemy at times, acting selfishly by punishing both of them. SIGH.

I am looking forward to seeing what the future has in store for Iris and Ace, both personally and professionally.

Spotlight plus Give-Away: Wicked White by Michelle A Valentine

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Image from Goodreads

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Title: Wicked White
Author: Michelle A. Valentine
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summary

After his mother dies, rock star Ace White—lead singer of the red-hot band Wicked White—is done with the celebrity game. The phony people, the meaningless one-night stands: he doesn’t want any of it anymore. Quitting in the middle of a sold-out tour, Ace sets out to find some place—any place—where he can be alone.

Aspiring singer Iris Easton’s life has never been easy. First, her mother walked out on her when she was a kid. Now she’s buried in debt, weeks after losing her beloved grandmother. When a mysterious and sexy new guy moves in next door, Iris can’t help but be drawn to his soulful gaze. She can tell there’s something from his past haunting him—something he’s not telling her.

Just as Ace starts falling for Iris, the media go on a worldwide hunt to find the missing rocker. Will true love conquer all, or will the truth be the very thing that tears the couple apart?

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Buy Link: Amazon

Wicked White Excerpt

Author Biography

Michelle A. Valentine is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Rock the Heart. Wicked White is the first novel in her Wicked White romance series. She attended college as a drafting and design major, but her love of people soon persuaded her to join the nursing field. It wasn’t until after the birth of her son that she began her love affair with romance novels, and she hasn’t looked back since. When she’s not writing, she feeds her music addiction, dabbles in party planning, and expresses herself by working with arts and crafts. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, son, and two beloved dogs.

Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

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Spotlight plus Give-Away: Searching for Always by Jennifer Probst

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SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS by Jennifer Probst
June 30th, 2015, Gallery Books
Adult Contemporary Romance

SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS Synopsis

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!

She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.

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Jennifer Probst –  Bio

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

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Help pet rescue shelters by posting a picture of your rescued pet, or sharing your favorite shelter, and using the hashtag #SEARCHINGFORRESCUES. 4 shelters will get a $50 prize (winners choice) and 1 a grand prize winner will also get a prize pack from Jennifer Probst.

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