I am excited to welcome back my good friend, Cambria Hebert. I don't get to see her as much these days as she is becoming a popular author! Congrats, Cambria on all your success. I started my journey with Cambria back in October 2011, right before I officially launched my blog and she released her first book in The Heven and Hell Series, Masquerade. It isn't often that I get to see a series through until the end just because I get so bogged down with books. Thankfully, I have been with Cambria every step of the way with her series, and today we are celebrating the final book in the series: Renegade! For those of you new to the blog, here is Cambria's bio:
Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series and The Death Escort Series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went ot college for a bachelor's degree, couldn't pick a major and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured, her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and fury), where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting her blog, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest and Youtube.
Cambria is here today to share her list of Top Five Things an author needs for success. Please welcome Cambria:
Top Five Things an Author Needs:
A Nespresso Machine – everyone knows that writers need their caffeine. That the long hours spent at the computer, or even just mapping out a story in their head is exhausting. Coffee is the drug of choice for almost every single writer (and non-writer!) I know. I recently was given the gift of a Nespresso Machine. I wasn’t sure if I would like it because truth be told I’m not a huge fan of the Keurig. But that’s probably because I’m a latte girl. The Nespresso that I have steams the milk and brews espresso and pours it all into my cup. I add some caramel (what, every girl needs a little sugar in her life) and viola! Instant writer juice. I highly recommend this machine. It’s a genius. And it never talks back like my characters.
(I can attest to the awesomeness of this machine, since my husband got me one for Mother's Day! It is fantastic and I love it!)
Pajamas and sweatpants – You don’t actually think writer’s sit around looking glamorous all day do you? Heck, no. I roll out of bed throw on some sweats and a t-shirt and take my kids to school. Then I come home and sit at the computer for as long as my brain will let me. Only after all of that do I force myself to work out and take a shower. Then usually I just put more bum clothes on.
An iPhone – because when the characters won’t let you sleep at night it’s much easier to grab your phone and type a note than it is to reboot your laptop back up. Plus the ease of social media on the go, email and various apps it’s easier to keep up as you move.
An Editor – because every writer has issues they can’t fix. That’s what an editor is for. I myself have an ongoing obsession with the word “that”. My editor literally needs a shovel to dig them all out of my manuscripts.
Peace and Quiet – Don’t laugh!! I’m serious! And yes, I have kids. I know a lot of people who write with earphones or headphones. Some use music to drown out noise – though to me that just creates more noise. I don’t think headphones would work for me either – I would feel too much like a pilot or something. My favorite times of day to write are when my kids are at school and I can turn off the TV, the radio and all the noise. I also like to write at night when everyone is sleeping though I admit that’s harder because I tend to get sleepy faster.
Thanks, Cambria! I can agree on the Nespresso and the Peace and Quiet for sure! Cambria comes bearing gifts as always because she is just awesome! She is offering to one lucky winner your choice of Ebook from the Heven and Hell Series. This giveaway is open to everyone. Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter after reading the Contest Policies! Good Luck! I highly recommend you "like" Cambria's Facebook Page as she always has great giveaways.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Renegade (Heven and Hell #4) by Cambria Hebert
The conclusion to the Heven and Hell series.I’ve been beautiful. I’ve been ugly. I’ve died. I’ve been brought back. I’ve had abilities awakened within me. My strength has been tested. My beliefs have been tested.Yet I stand. What’s next when you’ve pretty much experienced it all? The end. Sam and I are picking up the pieces. We’re trying to come to terms with all we’ve lost. And as much as I would like to hide my head, ignore the reality I live every day, there is no forgetting. Riley is in hell—I’m still not sure of his agenda. My mother’s past haunts me. And Kimber… Kimber is being herself. Cole sneaks glances at Gemma and she returns them when she thinks I don’t see. But I do. When Beelzebub escapes he brings his war to places I never thought he would. Earth. Maine. Home. Now everyone and everything is at risk. This has become bigger than my circle of friends. This has become bigger than me. I have to finish this. I have to find a way to stop him, to finish this war. I just pray we will all be left standing in the end.
Paperback Published May 3rd 2013
Source: Gifted from the author
Four stars: A stunning ending to a terrific series!
Heven watches her fellow students jostling in the crowded hallways. She wishes that she could go back to the days when things were normal and simple, but then she wouldn't have Sam. Her life would be incomplete without Sam! Things are chaotic and as dangerous as ever for Heven. She knows that she must return to Hell and free all the souls trapped there, including her mother. She must also confront Beelzebub once and for all before he hurts someone else. No matter what, she has her friends and of course Sam..... Can Heven somehow accept her destiny and free the souls?
What I Liked:
- It isn't often that I get to complete a series. Too many books and commitments get in the way. The Heven and Hell Series is one series that I have been with since the beginning and read through until the end. There is something completely satisfying about the final book in a series, even if it is bittersweet. Fans of this series won't be disappointed as Ms. Hebert once again works her magic and brings a story fraught with danger and surprises. At the heart of the story is the pure and strengthening love between Heven and Sam as well as some tried and true friendships. Everything draws to a dramatic close, and I was left satisfied.
- I love that this series has such great secondary characters. This time, Riley and Kimber play bigger roles and the two of them add some snark and fun to the story. You never know what either Riley or Kimber will say or do, and quite honestly I think the duo almost stole the show. I like that they are both dangerous and rebellious and some of their one liners definitely made me laugh. I loved how much Riley grew and changed by the end of the story. He really comes a long way way. Kimber doesn't quite make it as far, but I still have hope for her.
- Gemma and Cole are back and I admired their strength and commitment and was happy the way things worked out, even though it was not quite what I was expecting.
- The world building in this one is well done. Heven and the gang spend a great deal of time traversing the dangerous plains of Hell. I enjoyed the terrain and I liked Ms. Hebert's vision of Hell.
- The Devil also makes an appearance in this one and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed his character. He is evil and all that, but he also has another side and some surprising depth. Sometimes you can make a deal with the devil.
- Finally, I loved the way both Heven and Sam transformed, especially Heven throughout the series. In the beginning, Heven is weak and hiding, but by this book she has come into her own. She is strength and power and able to stand on her own. Sam, too, has grown, and I loved the way he steps back and allows Heven to shine. I appreciated the way he learned to set aside his jealousy when it comes to Riley and I liked watching the two work together. The love Sam and Heven have for one another is what sustains them and they are stronger together. I liked that this book steered away from love triangles and stuck with a straightforward romance.
And The Not So Much:
- For me, the middle of the book lost a tiny bit of focus. Heven spends some time avoiding her mission in Hell and during this time things get a little weird. There are numerous attacks on the gang by Beelzebub that involve possession, green fog, werebats and zombies. While all this was fun, I thought it detracted a bit from the main story line.
- Kimber is all kinds of bad in this one. She reverts back to her spoiled, selfish self, and I have to say, I was sad. I was really hoping that she would redeem herself. Granted she makes some strides, but at the end she does something and her fate is left in the air. I am wondering if there might be a spinoff or something because it really bothered me not knowing what happened to her. I know she was supposed to be the villainess, but I really liked her and wanted good things for her.
- Riley's storyline is also left a bit unfinished. I was surprised at how much I loved his character. I want him to find his happiness, and I can't help wonder if we might be seeing more from Riley and Kimber in a future book? I think we all want to know how things work out for them.
- A few storylines were left dangling, and I was wondering why. For instance, Sam was haunted by the murder of a teenage girl from the first book. He was determined to see that her body was recovered and that her family found closure. There is a scene where the body is discovered, but it was never revealed if he found his peace with the situation and if the family got closure. I also wanted to know what the deal was with Heven's mom and Beelzebub. Why did Heven find those photos of her mother dressed as a biker chick? Most importantly, I want to know Riley and Kimber's fates.
- Gran was a character that I adored from the beginning. I always knew that she was hiding something, and this time she reveals some of her secrets, but I was a bit disappointed because after the first chapters she once again vanishes and is a non factor. I was hoping that she would step up and play a larger role. This is not a big deal, just a personal preference.
Renegade does not disappoint! The dramatic conclusion to The Heven and Hell Series is jam packed with danger and action as Heven, Sam and the rest of the gang fight to rid themselves of the demons and terrors that plague them. There is romance, death, and not everyone gets a happily ever after, but in the end, it is a satisfying finale to a terrific series. Well done, Ms. Hebert. Thanks for the incredible ride!
"Walmart's a place you go to buy everything you can think of. It's crowded, it smells, and the people there are weird."
"But in truth, she's the one who saved me. She's the one who loved a boy that no one else would."
"She's the one who gave me her heart even though I didn't deserve it, and she's the one who made me feel like I was worth something more than nothing." Without her I'd be a man with two halves. It's her that binds both parts of me together."
"There's nothing you could say to me right now that would ever change the way I feel about you. I loved you yesterday. I love you today and every single tomorrow we get."
"You loved me when I couldn't love myself. You carried me when I couldn't walk. You offered to die so I could live. You, Sam, are the very definition of strength. If I am strong it's because you shielded me."
I knew I would see him again, because in the end, people always come home. Even if it was only because they were hungry."
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Finally, it is Day Two of Armchair BEA and today's focus is on Devlopment. Here are my answers:
Design credit: Nina of Nina Reads
Have you branched out into your community?
I am continually working on branching out in the blogging community. I am always eager to make new contacts and find a way to get my blog to grow. I do this by participating in blogging events such as blog hops, read alongs, readathons, challenges etc. I also comment daily on blogs and I am sure to return comments for all the ones I receive.
Do you partner with other bloggers?
Yes, last year I hosted a big event in October called Something Wicked Comes. It was a month long blog hop/ blog tour for all things paranormal. I had almost a hundred bloggers participate. This winter, I helped host a similar event called Fiery Hot Reads for Icy Cold Nights in conjunction with four other bloggers. In July, I will be one of three hostesses for Apocalypse! Check out all the details and sign up. Also watch for the return of Something Wicked in October.
Have you gone "pro" or begun supplementing your income through your blog?
I have not yet gone pro and I would very much like to take that next step. I would love to hear any suggestions.
Are you a long-term blogger, and how has your online personality developed over the years?
I hope to that my blog will continue to grow and be around for many years to come, and hopefully one day provide income.
See you back tomorrow!