Happy Tuesday! You survived Monday. Today I have two great posts for you. First, I have Erin Kellison here with a guest post about her latest novel Fire Kissed. She comes bearing goodies so be sure to enter her giveaway and she has made it International!! Also, don't miss my Tell Me Something Tuesday Post following this one, it is all about cookies! I share some great Christmas recipes!
Here is Erin's bio:
Erin Kellison is the author of the dark fantasy romance Shadow, Shadow Touch, and Shadow Kissed series. Stories have always been a central part of Erin's life. She attempted her first book in sixth grade, a dark fantasy adventure, and she still has those early hand-written chapters. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English Language and Literature and went on for a masters in Cultural Anthropology, focusing on oral storytelling. When she had children, nothing scared her anymore, so her focus shifted to writing fiction. You can find Erin on her website, blog, facebook, twitter and Goodreads.
Here is Erin to tell you about her latest book Fire Kissed:
Fire Kissed and The Little Match Girl
First of all, thank you so much to Heidi for inviting me to be here today. And thanks to readers for stopping by. Stick around because I’m giving away a copy of my latest release, Fire Kissed (book one, Shadow Kissed series) to a commenter who answers my question. (Int’l is a-okay.)
I write contemporary dark fantasy romance, with a modern take on fairy tales. The fairy tale under Fire Kissed is The Little Match Girl, a story that takes place in winter during the holiday season. I particularly enjoy Disney’s version of it. You can check it out here:
It’s a sweet, sad story that always tugs at my heart.
My version is all grown up. Heroine Kaye Brand is strong and feisty, though in a lot of ways, she’s been shut out in the cold too. She’s a fire mage—she has magic in her blood, and it manifests in the form of fire. Like the girl in the original fairy tale, Kaye sees visions in the flame. But her visions tell of a coming time full of darkness. Through her efforts, and those of hero Jack Bastian, that darkness is held back.
Here’s an excerpt of when Kaye and Jack first meet:
Kaye blinked, bleary. He watched as her gaze shifted to the glaring window, to the bright mess of clothing spilling off a chair. To Jack, then held.
She bolted to kneel on the mattress, her hands shaking and full of livid faefire.
“Angel,” she said, naming him as she prepared to strike.
“That won’t be necessary,” Jack said. Though he could read human minds easily, Kaye’s was a complete and utter blank, like all of the soulless mage-born. But he knew human nature well enough. If he remained at ease, she wouldn’t burn him. Most likely.
Pillow lines creased one cheek. Her auburn hair was flat on that side as well, wavy on the other. Black eyes. Her legs were braced apart, athletic in their youth. The skirt was still rucked up high on her thighs. Her stance was full of fight, so the life she’d been leading hadn’t broken her yet. Very good.
“Although historically I’m your mortal enemy--” Jack began. Mages, like the fae, had always defied Heaven. He added a smile to make the acknowledgement seem friendly. “Today, I’m your prospective employer, Jack Bastian.”
For a chance to win a copy of FIRE KISSED, simply tell me what your favorite fairy tale is in the comments section.
Thanks so much Erin! Be sure to fill out the rafflecopter and leave a comment answering Erin's question. This contest is open Internationally and Erin is offering a signed copy of Fire Kissed. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Fire Kissed (Shadow Kissed #1) by Erin Kellison
It is Kaye Brand's power to wield. But outcast from her kind, she's been selling herself to the highest bidder—money for her survival in exchange for a magic glimpse into the flames of the future.
Angel Ice. One of the angelic Order, Jack Bastian has no use for a female like Kaye, as provocative and unexpected as her blazing beauty. Yet he has no choice but to hire her to uncover the secrets of his sworn enemy and her former fiancé, Ferrol Grey.
Magekind War is inevitable between the defenders of the Order and the mage Houses who threaten to engulf the world in Shadow. For Jack, mage-born Kaye is off limits, no matter how hot the impossible attraction between them. But in the coming darkness, beset by danger and desire, everything is about to change...
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Zebra
Three and a half stars: An exciting story with great world building.
The night Kaye Brand was to marry the older Ferrol Grey was the night her world went up in flames. At fifteen, Kaye had yet to exhibit her true fire power that was her birthright as a Brande. Before she was to wed, Grey's sister, the stand in proxy, Kaye made a terrible discovery in her father's basement. A discovery that changed her life's path and gave her the courage to use her voice against her father and refuse the marriage. That terrible decision cost her dearly and now as an adult she is trying to find her way in this deadly world. Humanity stands at the brink of a great catastrophic war. A war fought for centuries between the Angels and Mage, light vs. dark. Kaye is in the center, a mage outcast who ends up making an alliance with the enemy. An alliance that just might forge a harmony between light and shadow and perhaps prevent a war. Can Kaye stave off the impending war and time of darkness?
What I Liked:
- This book opens with a riveting and terrifying scene that provides the history that shapes Kaye as an adult. The opening pages sucked me into this dark world of mage, shadows, fae and angels and left me hungry for me.
- I enjoyed Kaye's character. In the beginning, Kaye is a weak young lady unable to tap into her fire power, but after the life altering events she becomes this strong, angry, capable and very deadly woman, determined to find her place among the mage and answer to no one. She wields a deadly shadow fire that can stop soul sucking wraiths and permit glances into the future. She is fierce and headstrong and bent on reclaiming the Brand legacy. What she doesn't count on is a contract formed with the mages' enemy, an angel, Jack Bastian, and that changes everything.
- I liked that this book incorporates many paranormal entities such as angels, fae, wraiths, mages and half breeds. The mage were something a bit different in the paranormal genre and I am always excited to read something unique. Mage are part fae and human. They have magical capabilities and they wield their power by using the shadows which are inherent to the fae world. Anytime the fae are involved you can expect danger and excitement.
- This has a sizzling romance. One that explodes from the collision of two natural born enemies. Drawn together to help prevent a war and what results is electric fire hot chemistry. No insta love this was starts out as a business situation, hesitant and untrusting and over time it ignites into a fiery romance. Definitely some adult scenes in this one.
- I especially enjoyed the villain, Ferrol Gray. He is dark, depraved and always seemingly a step ahead of everyone else. He is able to siphon off the powers of all the other mages and use them for his own perverse enterprises. He is wicked and cruel and dark seduction all in one. He is scary, yet he draws you in and you want more. Part of me wanted to like him, yet he frightened me with his cunning and calculating ways. I love a good villain and Gray does not disappoint.
And The Not So Much:
- I picked this one up with the understanding that it was a spinoff series, but the listing on Goodreads has it as book four of The Shadow Series, but my book says it is Book one of The Shadow Kissed Series. For the most part, I didn't feel like I was lost and this book seems to be a spinoff, but there were times when I felt like I was missing something. Especially when it came to Kahn. He is a powerful figure who is the fae incarnation of death, and I knew there was a back story and I am guessing the The Shadow Series is his story. He doesn't have a big role in this book, so it truly isn't an issue, but I know that having read the other books this would have been a better read. Don't let that put you off from reading this, again you can dive in without problems.
- I mentioned that I admired the villain, Gray. He oozed power and was a formidable opponent so I was a bit stunned with how things played out regarding him. I thought it was a bit anti climatic. I guess I was expecting that there would be more of a confrontation and fight.
- I never felt like I had a complete grasp of the mage and exactly how all their powers worked, what exactly are the shadows and how they enabled the magic and where the Mage descended from. Again, I think that this is due to my not having read the other series.
- After the first exciting scene the pacing slows a bit and drags for the first quarter of the book while everything is being established and there is a lot of information to absorb, but things do pick up dramatically and by the second half all the pieces fall into place and the ending is fast.
- One thing I didn't like was often times things would get glossed over, the story would jump ahead and events skipped and they were mentioned in passing or alluded to and the reader has to infer exactly what happened. Kaye's escape from the Gray house at the end was also a bit confusing.
Fire Kissed is a strong beginning to a spin off series. Kellison fans will certainly enjoy this new addition. I like that it presents a complex story line, with strong, creative world building. Ms. Kellison is a talented story teller and I look forward to going back and checking out the The Shadow Series.
"Foolish: a scorpion a scorpion could not stop being a scorpion. Eventually she would sting."
"Truth had power. Lies got awkward quickly."
"Kaye said as she took a sip of coffee. Dark Goodness. She was sure coffee originated in the the Twilight which was why the world was so mad about it. Funny it was Bastian who made such a mean cup of something so seductive."
I won a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not compensated for this review.