Friday, May 31, 2013

{Guest Post & Giveaway} Carolyn Turgeon

I am so excited to have Carolyn on the blog today!!  I loved Mermaid SO MUCH!!
Her guest post is below and I loved finding out myself what inspired such a
beautiful and tragic tale.

Guest Post

So Tiffany asked me what inspired me to write Mermaid…

  I actually didn't start out intending to write a mermaid novel at all. I was working on two 
different books when a British editor swooped in and bought the UK rights to my previous novel 
Godmother (about Cinderella’s fairy godmother living in present-day NYC) and asked what else 
I was working on. I wrote something up: I described the two books I was working on and then 
made a list of possible future book idea, including a kid’s book about a mermaid. She bought that 
idea—as an adult novel!—thinking it’d be the perfect follow-up.

  So then I really had to come up with a story. I was trying out contemporary ideas but nothing 
was quite working, and my agent kept suggesting I go back to the Hans Christian Andersen fairy 
tale. [link to it:] I love the story, but unlike Cinderella 
it’s incredibly strange and dark (and gorgeous and wonderful) and I didn’t know what I could 
possibly do with it…! At first I was very resistant. But then I started thinking about that princess.  
In the original story, she’s there, she’s the one who pops up to marry the prince and thereby 
break the mermaid’s heart, but she’s not an actual character at all; she’s not unlikable or likable, 
she’s not anything at all.

  I started imagining who this princess really was. In a crazy coincidence (in the original story), 
she’s the one in the “temple” overlooking the sea who finds the prince after the mermaid saves 
him and also the one his father arranges a marriage with. I thought about this temple. What if it’s 
a convent? What if she’s there because her kingdom is at war and she’s in hiding? And what if 
she doesn't just find the saved prince on the shore… what if she actually witnesses the mermaid 
bringing him to shore, her tail and skin glittering in the pale sunlight, her face suffused with 
love. Imagine: you're a princess stuck in this rigid convent at the edge of the world, missing your 
castle. You're standing in the convent garden looking out over the icy sea when a mermaid—
a mermaid!—emerges from the water, holding this almost-drowned man in her arms. Wouldn't 
that be a moment to change your life? Wouldn't everything be different afterwards?

The moment that that scene was in my head, the opening scene to the book, I knew I had my 

  I imagined that in my book, there would be a relationship between the princess and the mermaid, 
starting at this first moment when the mermaid looks up and sees the princess standing there.
The mermaid, already in love—with the prince but, even more, with all the fragile humanity 
he represents—wills the princess to save him. The mermaid has done her job, she’s saved him 
from the sea and brought him to shore, but a human has to do the rest. What if the princess 
misinterprets that willing a bit, and believes the mermaid has brought the man to her to love? 
And, further, what if she brings him to the convent, where he'll be taken care of, and he comes to 
believe that she’s the one who saved him? 

  At one point the mermaid visits the shore again and the princess, watching for her, comes down, 
and they speak. I loved writing this scene, making these two characters sympathetic to each 
other, each representing everything the other longs for, a different world, when in the original 
story they have no relationship to speak of. In the Disney movie, on the other hand, the princess 
becomes downright evil. She is after all a female rival for a man’s attention, so she must be! I 
don't like stories where female rivalry is a given, and I don't like it in real life, either. 

  I wanted my two characters to be a bit in awe of each other. They each love the other’s world, 
long to be part of what is, to them, a magical, unknowable place (the sea, the kingdom). I knew 
they would both have to end up in the prince’s castle, and I wanted them to be surprised when 
they inevitably recognize each other and realize they've both made sacrifices to be with the same 
man—and that only one of them can end up married to him. Everything is at stake, for each of 
them. I wanted the book to be more about this relationship, between the mermaid and the human 
princess, and how they navigate this terrible situation where they both have so much at stake.


Carolyn Turgeon is the author of five novels: Rain Village (2006), Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story (2009), Mermaid (2011), which is being developed for film by Sony Pictures, and The Next Full Moon (2012), her first and only book for middle-grade readers. Her latest novel, The Fairest of Them All, comes out in August 2013 from Touchstone/Simon & Schuster and is about Rapunzel growing up to be Snow White's stepmother. She lives in Pennsylvania and New York and teaches fiction writing at the University of Alaska at Anchorage's Low-Residency MFA program. She's currently at work on a new novel about Dante's Beatrice, set in thirteenth-century Florence.

Find Her


Okay guys Carolyn has ever so kindly offered up a SIGNED copy of Mermaid!!  Ya I'm
having some serious envy right now!!  So go ahead enter & GOOD LUCK!!! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

**REVIEW** Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon

I loved this one!!  It is so beautiful and tragic.  The type that
pulls at your heart and pulls you in.

Princess Margrethe has been hidden away while her kingdom is at war. One gloomy, windswept morning, as she stands in a convent garden overlooking the icy sea, she witnesses a miracle: a glittering mermaid emerging from the waves, a nearly drowned man in her arms. By the time Margrethe reaches the shore, the mermaid has disappeared into the sea. As Margrethe nurses the handsome stranger back to health, she learns that not only is he a prince, he is also the son of her father's greatest rival. Sure that the mermaid brought this man to her for a reason, Margrethe devises a plan to bring peace to her kingdom.
Meanwhile, the mermaid princess Lenia longs to return to the human man she carried to safety. She is willing to trade her home, her voice, and even her health for legs and the chance to win his heart...
A surprising take on the classic tale, Mermaid is the story of two women with everything to lose. It will make you think twice about the fairy tale you heard as a child, keeping you in suspense until the very last page.

Release Date: March 1, 2011
Published By:  Crown Publishing Group
Review Copy:  Paperback, 240 pages


  This is probably one of my twists on a fairy tale retelling.  The story was told from 2 points of view. Lenia the beautiful mermaid princess and Margrethe, the princess of the north.  Both believe that they have fallen in love and are willing to sacrifice everything to get the prince to love them back.  Ultimately you know one will end up broken hearted and as I read dread filled me that either one of these girls would loose everything.  It was a beautiful retelling in all of its dark and sad ways.

  Lenia has always dreamed of life above.  It was all she could do to wait until her 18th birthday to visit above.  On that day her entire life changes.  She sees death and how fragile human life really is and meets the man that changes it all.  Instead of shying away she only becomes more determined to be a part of the world above.  Her love grows and determination to be above and with him seems worth every sacrifice that she will have to make.  I love her for this, for every bit of her beauty she has ten times the strength.  What she chooses and the consequences that she must deal with are amazing and horrifying all at once.

  Margrethe is the princess of the north.  She is well loved by her father and has lived a very sheltered and protected life.  When a hansom stranger is left for her to save she finds herself with a lot more than she bargained for.   What I loved about Margrethe was the same thing that drove me nuts.  She is so darn stubborn.  When she decides she must be with the Prince and he WILL love her that is how it is.  When she finds that the Prince loves another she decides that she still must be with him love or not. 

  There really wasn't much of the prince in this story rather than the girls talking about him.  He is the heir to the throne in the south and some what of a charmer.  Upon him first meeting Lenia and the bit of interaction they had to start I grew irritated at him.  However given the type of time period that this is written in I get it.  He is true to royal behaviour and to a point I respect that.  He wants to follow his heart but does his needs out weigh that of his kingdom.  When faced with that choice it's not like he takes the decision lightly.  It's hard to like him but his role in the book in undeniable. 

  In the end my heart broke with the girls.  I mean tears in my eyes wish I could run and  stop it all from happening.  This is a heartbreaking and at the same time beautiful tale of two girls that just want to follow their hearts.  Carolyn Turgeon's writing was smooth and mesmerizing right from the start and I couldn't help but feel the start of heartbreak then.  There are so many ways I wish this book had ended and many more that I wanted it to end.  However when it came down to it, it ended in heartbreak and tears the way it should have.  This book is proof that happily ever after is not always easy and just because you risk it all doesn't mean you get what you want.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

**REVIEW** Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs

The love I expected came to me with this one!!!  I am dying for
the next book now!! 

Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side—which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves—Kona and Mark, sea and land—will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose.

Release Date:  June 5, 2012
Published By:  Walkers Children
Review Copy: Hardcover, 352 pages
Buy It:
Amazon||B&N||Book Depository||Chapters


  This book was beautiful, passionate and powerful!  Though I did enjoy the first book we had our ups and downs, with this one I found myself fully invested and drawn to the story.  Tempest is faced with many of the same dilemmas yet the emotion and conflict felt so much more realistic, making the 352 pages fly by.  This was the kind of Mer and Selkie novel I was looking for.

  Though I loved the vivid descriptions of the worlds in Tempest Revealed I found that the under water one became more evolved and clear in this one.  There was a deeper understanding of how things worked and how life went.  One of the most impressive things and the part that still stands out was the cave.  I won't tell you what's in it or why it is important but the cave itself and the happenings in it were absolutely amazing and had me begging Tempest to go back.  The other thing that stood out for me was the action and constant movement, even though Tempest was still being pulled two ways it wasn't as much of a stand still and more of an inner debate.

  Character growth was huge with Tempest in this one.  I mean she went from being the girl that was filled with indecision and turmoil to being the girl that did what she had to even when she wasn't fond of the situation.  Yes she still is fighting to figure out where she wants to be but now she has lived both lives and understands what it means to be both on land and in the sea.  Also the development of her abilities is gradual and she doesn't really have an idea of what she can do and I appreciate that.  Every time she figures something out it is basically a trial and error thing and she has to figure out how to actually control it and that's not easy.  Tempest has become fierce and determined in more than one way.  She is determined to protect everyone she possibly can and also not become her mother...  Ever!

  Both boys (Kona & Mark) are back in this novel, essentially returning the love triangle.  Thing is it didn't feel as forced or unneeded this time.  I think it became more of a case that I understood why Tempest loved them both and why she was torn.  They both have such specific traits and are basically opposites (minus jealousy/protective issues) and they represent to different worlds that pull at her.  I'm not sure who's team I am on but I think that decision will come down to the world she chooses to stay a part of, unless Mark miraculously becomes a Merman...

  Tempest's story is one that I now really look forward to finishing, not because I want it to be over but because I want to see where her heart will take her in the end.  Deebs has done such a fantastic job setting up the world and all of the characters that it may be hard to let the characters go but I really want to know how their story ends.  Truth be told I really think it could go either way at this point and even with the development the story and characters have made its anyone's game.  If you enjoyed Tempest Revealed like I did then there is no doubt you will love this one!!

Yes, I had killed three people, and no matter how sick that fact made me, I had to live with it.  If I hadn't lashed out at them, if my power hadn't done that weird electric thing, I wouldn't have stood a chance.  And I could be sure that they would not have experienced the same attack of conscience at my demise that I was suffering at theirs.

Urg.  I was turning into one of those weepy, indecisive girls who couldn't do anything without her boyfriend to guide her.  Just the thought made me break out in hives.

Hmm.  Maybe I'd been a little too suspicious when he'd been touching me earlier...  I didn't think most straight guys knew who Pat Benatar was, let alone quoted her lyrics.

I'd been prepared to die helping the others escape-but I hadn't been prepared to go out in the opening battle, as the dumb blonde in the horror movie who everyone knew deserved to die because she was TSTL--too stupid to live.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

**REVIEW** Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

I love the covers of these ones and I think that the tattoo is PERFECT!

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Release Date:  May 10, 2011
Published By: Walker Books for Young Readers
Review Copy:  Hardcover, 352 pages
Buy It:


 Where to start this one...  Those of you know me, know that I am basically mermaid obsessed and if it even hints at Mermaids or undersea I am in.  Tempest Rising sat in my collection of Mer books right beside Tempest Unleashed for longer than I had wanted but with blogging comes great responsibility (sorry I couldn't resist) and sometimes the books you want to get to take the back seat.  When I finally got to it I had big expectations and though I had a rough start with it, I had a strong finish.  Tracy has without a doubt created a beautiful and unique take on the Mer community that I found myself head deep in once I got there.

  The biggest pull with this one was the depth and detail to the world building.  Though I had issues to start, it paid off because there was a reason and a need behind it.  You get to know the place Tempest grew up and the reason she feels the need to remain with her family despite the strength of the pull the ocean has on her.  Once she is a part of the ocean and is a part of that world you see the reasons that she belongs.  Both places are beautiful and hold their own pull but it's more than that, you feel like you are there.  You feel the pull and beauty of each place and will yearn for both with Tempest.

  As far as Tempest goes we had our ups and downs.  She was very indecisive and there were times I just wanted to ask what she was thinking.   Quite simply one moment it would be that she would never consider being a part of the sea and the next it was that she didn't have a choice.  Thing was choice or not it was obvious she at least wanted to test it out and I was irritated with her for fighting it for so long.  But she was also a strong a determined character that wanted to do the right thing when it came down to it.  When all was said and done her inner turmoil was justified and I understood why she fought like she did for everything.  Inner turmoil, conflict and indecisiveness aside I ended up enjoying Tempest.

  When it comes to the romance factor in this one I am torn about what to say.  There is most definitely a triangle but I felt that it wasn't needed.  Tempest starts out with Mark and though Mark is sweet and loves Tempest, it always came off as though they were more friends than anything.  Given he is a possessive friend that clearly wants to make sure others know what is his I never really felt a spark.  What I did feel was sorry for him and the fact that both Tempest and him were grasping at something that wasn't there.  When Kona first steps into the pages it was painfully clear that he was it for Tempest.  The chemistry and emotional pull between the two was so strong I wondered why even bother fighting but instead of leaving Mark she let things go.  The triangle was resolved in the end and I was elated but it was almost too easy.  I know make up your mind right?!  Thing is I was just relieved that it was all done and worked out.

  Overall I did find myself addicted to the book and the characters in the end.  Deebs writing is really beautiful and the way the worlds took shape was wonderful.  I can't help but look forward to the next book and finding out how Tempest's story evolves.  People that are a fan of Mermaids and love triangles will love this one!!

 It was hypocritical of me to blame him for trying to figure me out when I deliberately kept so much of myself a mystery.  But I did blame him-it was easier tan blaming myself.

I glanced down at the sea, watched as a wave stacked up.  It was the one I wanted-a little swollen, a little out of control, a little too big for any sane person to catch.  It was perfect-especially since these days I was definitely on the shady side a sanity.

"So you're an endangered species?""I wouldn't call us a species.  More like an endangered people.""Oh.  Right." Was I ever going to stop putting my foot in my mouth around him?  Doubtful, Tempest, I told myself.  Very doubtful.

At that exact moment, the only thing I was positive about was that my life was completely, totally, 100 percent screwed up-all because I'd dived into the water after a guy who hadn't even needed me.

Monday, May 27, 2013

{Extra Scene & Giveaway} Anne Greenwood Brown

Something a little different today!! We have an extra scene.  I 
love extra scenes!!! I hope yo enjoy this look into Maris :) 

Extra Scene

This extra scene is a bit of backstory on Calder's sister, Maris. No one’s ever nasty “just because.” Hopefully this will give you a little more insight into her character. I've always felt sorry for Maris... 
June 28, 1967

“Don’t look at me like that,” says Nadia.
A very young Maris pulls back, cowering further into the hollow of a sunken log. She twirls her white-blond hair around her index finger. All this time she has been careful not to make a sound, but of course her thoughts betray her. How can she watch her mother slowly dying and be expected to keep her mind quiet?
“Like what?” Maris asks, startled by the sound of her own voice.
Nadia flicks her tail as a warning. “Like you’re disappointed in me.”
Nadia flips and swims away, deeper and farther from the storm that is blowing across Lake Superior–the great Gitche Gumee–and whipping the waves into white capped furies. It is the kind of storm that comes out of nowhere–like the November Witch, except that it’s too early in the season.
Maris watches her mother racing away from her and waits until the last flash of pink disappears into darkness. Only then does she dart out of the log and follow her mother into deeper water. The growing chill ripples along the length of her body, right to the fluke of her onyx-colored tail.
“Forget him. We don’t need him,” Maris calls out to her. “We never did.”
Maris has done everything she can to be good enough for her mother, but she has fallen short. Nadia doesn’t want her. She doesn’t want her other daughters, Pavati and Tallulah, either. She wants a son. Theson. Hancock’s son. As far as Maris knows, her mother always got everything and everyone she ever wanted. She has trained her daughters just as well. But now someone has escaped her.
If Nadia is ashamed, if she worries about showing weakness to her daughters, Maris wants to tell her that they don’t blame her. Maris doesn’t even want a brother.
But the boy, Jason, consumes her mother’s every thought. The loss of him eats at her heart, until she is nothing more than bones and dangerous angles. Even now, knowing that Maris trails close behind, knowing how much her young daughter wants to be consoled, Nadia lets her thoughts go to the boy.
Maris listens to those thoughts. She feeds on those thoughts. She feeds on those thoughts, until her mind roils black like the storm clouds above them.
But then her focus is interrupted by a sailboat cutting through the waves, motoring back to port. The few people on board hurry to lower the main sail. Their voices ring hollow, filtered by the waves, but Maris senses panic in the cadence. The wind changes tack, and the boom swings unexpectedly. There is a woman’s scream and a small splash. The vibration stops Nadia in her path. She turns, then races past Maris toward the choppy surface.
“Jason!” Nadia calls as her son plummets through the black water. Coming home. Coming home at last! He is as soft as a lyric, as small as a single note. But he cannot finish the song of his transformation. He is sinking, a wild scramble of limbs. His heart beats out a syncopated rhythm, slowing steadily.
It’s not Jason. It is someone else’s son. A human boy. Dark haired and thin skinned. His pale arms windmill through the water as the last small rings of air rush from his nose to the surface.
Maris calls to her mother, “No! We don’t need him.”
Nadia doesn’t respond, but Maris’s cries capture her sisters’ interest, and they are quick to come and see their mother save the boy. They will watch. And they will learn. Their thoughts promise Nadia that they will teach the little boy the ways of Gitche Gumee.
Maris listens as the boy’s heart falls silent, then grits her teeth as Nadia places her hands around his chest. After months of living with her mother’s despondency, this new enthusiasm tastes much like bitter herbs. Pavati’s curiosity is a slap in the face. Even Tallulah already loves the boy and, with a burst of light, he is silver tailed just like her.
The boy startles. His eyes are wide. He looks down at himself, then–only briefly–up at the sailboat’s keel, which is struggling to come about.
Maris recoils from her sisters’ excitement. Don’t they understand he is not one of them? He is only a temporary fix for their mother’s misery. What good will he be when her sorrow returns?
And . . . after Nadia is dead and gone, who will be there to hold the fractured family together? It will be Maris, and she never asked for any of this.
All she ever wanted was to be enough.
And clearly, she never will be.

  So I was never and probably never will be a huge supporter of Maris but this does clear up why she resents Calder so much.  

I am a Minnesota author, writing about mermaid assassins on Lake Superior. My debut YA series begins with LIES BENEATH, coming June 12, 2012 from Random House/Delacorte.
The sequel (DEEP BETRAYAL) is anticipated for March 2013.
Besides writing and reading YA literature, I love all things Irish, romantic movies, beef stroganoff, and Nutella.
If I'm listening to music it's Violent Femmes, The Coronas (awesome band out of Dublin), and Great Big Sea (out of Newfoundland).

Find Her

Anne has offered up either a Signed PB of Lies Beneath or a Signed HB of
Deep Betrayal (winners choice)!! Good Luck (kinda jealous guys!)

**REVIEW** Deep Betrayal by Anne Greenwood Brown

It's been thirty days, two hours, and seventeen minutes since Calder left Lily standing on the shores of Lake Superior. Not that she's counting. And when Calder does return, it's not quite the reunion Lily hoped for. Especially after she lets her father in on a huge secret: he, like Calder, is a merman. Obsessed with his new identity, Lily's dad monopolizes Calder's time as the two of them spend every day in the water, leaving Lily behind.

Then dead bodies start washing ashore. Calder blames his mermaid sisters, but Lily fears her father has embraced the merman's natural need to kill. As the body count grows, everyone is pointing fingers. Lily doesn't know what to believe—only that whoever's responsible is sure to strike again. . . . 

Release Date: March 12,2013
Published By:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Review Copy: Hardcover, 352 pages
*gifted by Evie from Bookish
Buy It:


  This was a bit of a shocker for me, because I enjoyed Lies Beneath so much I never even bothered to read the description for this one.  Needless to say that it shocked me when I realized it had gone from Calder's point of view being the main one to it being Lily.  When I realized this I worried, I worried that the change would ruin it all for me but once the panic subsided I realized it was working.   This was different from Lies Beneath but that made this story good in its own way.

  Lily in Deep Betrayal and Lily in Lies Beneath were like two completely different people for the first while.  The Lily that I loved was different, quirky and independent and the Lily in the start of this one was needy and focused on herself.  I was shocked at the transformation but I did sympathize with her a little but she doesn't stay that way throughout the entire novel.  She soon returned to the hard headed stubborn girl that I loved.  There is also the point that she was willing to consider all things, including the fact that her own father may be behind the killings.  The little bits of Lily's poetry thrown in strategically throughout this novel also added a little something personal that I enjoyed.

  The character development in Calder was huge.  Though it is still very apparent that he could be a killer merman still, he was becoming a little more human.  In the first novel he struggled to do the right thing and now he is fighting for the right thing.  Calder is more a part of Lily's family than he ever expected to be and struggles to balance helping Lily's father adjust and spending time with Lily.  I do enjoy this Calder as much as the first book Calder just in a different way.

  Although I did not really love Maris, I found myself kind of missing her this time around.  Though she is vicious it is just that she embraces her life as a mermaid so fully that I didn't realize how much that was to me.  With the happenings at the end of the last book I did expect more of the sisters but was wrong.  Maris did however bring up an interesting point in the novel: Marighdean Mara.  I did love the myth of Marighdean Mara that was brought to light, she is the mother of the Mer's and I found her story interesting and a good strong background.  

  Anne's writing continues to capture my attention, her vivid characters and story are a little of everything I like.  The start to this one was a little slower than the one before but that is because there is a new development and things were put in order.  Once everything was placed and the ball got rolling it just took off and I was sucked in.  I am however left wanting more this time because the end was a killer.  Waiting for the next book may be hard but I know that it will be worth it! 

A part of me wished I'd told him right away, but how do you tell your father he's a merman?  Particularly with our family history for crazy.

His face darkened, and his eyes turned more menacing than I'd ever seen them before.  For the first time, I could see the bleakness of his soul.  It coiled and curled like smoke and eels in his darkening eyes.

Dad and Calder might not be able to find Maris to warn her about Jack, but I could.  Or at least, I was pretty sure I could if Calder would let me.  If I could find Maris, if I could reason with her that there was no more room for death, maybe no one else would have to die.

I watched him go, forcing myself not to ask Calder the questions that hung in the air between us: Was Dad's betrayal complete?  Had he left us for good?  I knew the answers.  To have Calder confirm them aloud would only make them more real.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

**REVIEW** Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Killer Mermaids?  Yes please!!  Don't let their beauty fool you because these are the
Mermaids/Mermen that we were taught to fear!  Remember stay out of the water!!

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans and absorb their positive energy. Usually, they select their victims at random, but this time around, the underwater clan chooses its target for a reason: revenge. They want to kill Jason Hancock, the man they blame for their mother's death.
It's going to take a concerted effort to lure the aquaphobic Hancock onto the water. Calder's job is to gain Hancock's trust by getting close to his family. Relying on his irresistible good looks and charm, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter Lily. Easy enough, but Calder screws everything up by falling in love--just as Lily starts to suspect there's more to the monster-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined, and just as the mermaids threaten to take matters into their own hands, forcing Calder to choose between them and the girl he loves. One thing's for sure: whatever Calder decides, the outcome won't be pretty.

Release Date:  June 12, 2012
Published By:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Review Copy:   Hardcover, 303 pages
**provided by Random House Canada for Review
Buy It:


Once again I don't do this often but it just felt right.  
Came on while I was writing the review.


  The addiction I have with Mermaids continues to grow with Anne's killer Mermaids.  Though many novels glamour up Mermaids and make them to be the kind and beautiful creatures we want them to be, with Lies Beneath we get the killer and self advancing Mermaids of legend.  Not that other authors don't do the killer thing but Anne well... Killed it.  For these Mers killing is just a part of life and a way to survive, the only way they know.  They are empty and require us to fill that emotional void. What had started out as a barter of a life for a life turned out to be a deadly game of hide and seek and the debt must be collected.  Taking us on a deliciously dark and  complex emotional ride.

  Calder doesn't want to be pulled back to Lake Superior every year but he is.  In this tale Mermaids have a special connection and the one running the show in the family is the one that calls the shots for when it is time to come home.  The only thing that made it a little less painful for Calder was the thought of revenge on his mothers death. His mission is to attract one of the sisters and get to the father.  Problem is Lily isn't what he expected and he finds himself is a situation he never expected to be.  The story really just pulls itself from there and keeps a steady and interest grabbing pace.  

  Deceptive, dark and unique Calder is an interesting character that I immediately found myself drawn to.  Though he does not quite embrace the life sucking nature as his sisters and the rest of his species do there is no doubt that he is every bit as capable. Once he is knee deep in his mission he struggles with feelings and thoughts he knows he is not supposed to have.  The most catching thing for me with Calder was he had such a strong and memorable voice.  Not to mention his different sense of humor that I kind of adored.  Lets also face the fact that he was a bit stalker like when it came to Lily but the thing was in his stalking and creeping ways he accepted that, that's what he was and despite not really enjoying the title he accepted it.  

  The relationship part of this really did unroll until the end.  I have to admit that it was nice when Lily didn't just fall head over hills into Calder's gorgeous Merman arms.  No this girl used her head and thought about what she was doing.  When she caught him following her she tried to avoid him and didn't just get flattered and fall all over him.  When she felt that maybe something was a little off she trusted herself.  Though he did wear her thin and win her over little by little, causing himself to even feel more than expected.  When it came down to it she also didn't fear Calder's Merman side but instead she questioned it wanting to know more.

  This one will keep you on the edge of your seats in the end and then leave you grabbing for more.  Different Mermaids/Merman than you are used to make it easy to fall into love with this series and I am eagerly awaiting the moment when I can pick up Deep Betrayal and dive back into the world that lies beneath (yes I just did that).  Wonderfully written and filled with turns that I'm not sure who wouldn't enjoy it.  I know this that: if you are a fan of anything Mer and enjoy reading from a male POV you are missing out not picking this one up!!

I hadn't killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that.  Sure, I'd wanted to, but too many suspicious drownings got people talking.  Fearful townspeople were the last thing I needed.  Besides, I was getting a sick thrill out of denying my body what it craved.

If I let my emotions take over my body, I could make a tree spontaneously combust  just by leaning against it.  It was my least favorite aspect of my makeup.  Any resemblance to eels disgusted me.

  I'd known this feeling before.  Way too many times before.  It was only a matter of minutes before the depression grew so thick it would overtake any sense of reason I might have left.  I wondered what would set me off this time.  A smile?  A laugh?  I just hoped, whoever it was, they wouldn't be too young.  Children were harder to get over once the initial high wore off.

  But it seemed I had fallen for a human - and not just any human, the worst possible human out of all seven billion possibilities.  I dissolved into hysterics and lay down on the front seat of the car, holding my sides while my body shook.  It was beyond ridiculous.

Friday, May 24, 2013

**REVIEW & GIVEAWAY** Starling by Lesley Livingston

This one gave me more than I had expected!!!  I have enjoyed everything 
else Lesley has put out but this one blew me away!!

Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she's never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name--the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason's world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn's identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason's family--with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods--is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston's epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.

Release Date:  August 28, 2012
Published By:  Harper Teen
Review Copy:  Hardcover, 352 pages
Buy it:


  The rich and dramatic Norse Mythology, combined with Lesley's beautiful writing made for a high impact story that has left me breathless.  The first chapter was enough to pull me in, the action absolutely seduced me.  Pacing was done perfectly and there was not a moment that I wold call dull or where there was a lull.  Not to mention that every time you think that you have it figured out there is something new thrown out that made me second guess just how correct I was about the circumstances.

  Mason was quite simply a great character to read.  She wasn't perfect but the fears and her imperfections were real, she behaved as I would expect most people to behave when put in certain situations, especially given her fears.  Many of us complain about insta love in novels, well I had a case of it (girl crush style) when it came to Mason's fierce and determined attitude.  It was really brought out by Fennrys.  You now Fennrys Wolf.  These two characters complimented each other perfectly.  Though Fennrys dramatic entrance into Mason's world changed everything you could tell that, that was the way things were meant to be.

  Though Mason and Fennry were spectacular, Lesley did something that not many novels have: secondary characters with substance.  I actually found myself particularly drawn to Heather.  There is something about her that I just feel the need to know more about.  Weaved into the story was also how all of the characters were tied together with the Norse Mythology.  There were those that worked for Ragnarok's end-of-the-world but there are also those that now that there is a loophole for every prophecy and wish to prevent the world from being torn apart.  Thing is it's hard at times to tell who is playing for what team and there were players that turned out on the team I just didn't expect.

  I was really unsure where my loyalties laid when it came to the love interest thing for the first bit of the book.  Cal was the guy that everyone in the school wanted to be with including Mason and for a bit it looked like she was going to get him.  Then circumstances kind of made him withdraw and behave a little jerkish but it was obvious that he cared for her and it hurt me a little to see the development and change in him.  With Fennrys it was not instant (well maybe the physical part was but hey if you seen him make an entrance like he did you would feel the same) but they did develop into some loose form or relationship quite easily.  Not that I'm complaining because there was the right amount of hesitation and chemistry pouring between the two of them.  To be honest I am not even recalling love being mentioned in the entire read!

  It was easy to get pulled into Mason's quickly changed world and all of the action and suspense that came with the change.  There is a little of something for everyone and jst enough of everthing to hook you from start to finish.  There is a cliff hanger at the end but realistically what series of books doesn't?  I am already dying to get my hands on the next book and highly recommend this book for everyone, especially if you have enjoyed any of Lesley's previous novels.

Absolutely breathtaking.  

What is this guy, like some kind of shaman or something?  Mason wondered.  That was ridiculous.  But then so was the idea that they'd been attacked by monsters.  I do not believe in supernatural creatures, Mason said to herself firmly.

Jealous gods, scheming and plotting against one another-only added bonus of a fatalistic rush toward the eventual prophesied annihilation of the world.  Mason had never developed her father's fierce fascination with the myths.  Still she knew enough abot the ancient stories of her ancestors to know that a wolf figured prominently in the lore.

"Ah." Fennrys winced a bit at the memory.  "Wouldn't a guy like that have enough money to hire a guy with pants if that was the case?  And maybe, I don't know, a machine gun instead of a sword?"

She told her everything that had happened with Fennrys, including the incident at the Boat Basin Cafe and all that had occurred over the last few hours.  Up to and including burying three inches of cold steel in Fenn's shoulder muscle.

I am the author of the WONDROUS STRANGE trilogy (HarperCollins), ONCE EVERY NEVER (Penguin Canada), and the soon-to-be released STARLING (HarperCollins). I am also the co-author of the upcoming new Middle Grade series THE WIGGINS WEIRD, with Jonathan Llyr (Penguin Canada)

The next book in the Starling series: Descendant is set to release
August 27, 2013!  The cover is AMAZING & I can not wait to get my
hands on a copy and dive back into this outstanding world!


Thank you to Harper Collin Canada for donating a copy of this spectacular book!!  I am so excited to be able to share this with someone.  Open to CAN/US.  If the winner is in 
Canada the publisher will ship it and if it is in US I will!!  Sorry INT people but there are
may other awesome INT giveaways for you to check out!! 

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