Thursday, March 23, 2017

Co-Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

After buddy reading many books, Christina of Booklover's Teaparty and I decided to do something different and do a co-review.

Don't forget to check out Christina's blog post!



Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Caraval #1
Publication: January 31st 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton

Genre: Young Adult ~ Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Play

Rating: 4/5


Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . .

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game.

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.


Was there anything that stood out with the storyline to you?

Stephanie: Um everything? It was one of those stories that was just so unique and different from other YA fantasy books. The whole magical feel of it was superb so I would say that was the thing that stood out to me the most.

Christina: This was definitely a very unique book! You really did feel as if you were in a magical place when reading it, so yes a lot of things stood out. Storyline, scenario even the characters.


What are your thoughts on Scarlett, the main character?

Stephanie: I won't say she's my favorite MC of all time but I did like her and her determination to protect her sister Tella and to find her in the game. I also thought her character went through some growth throughout the story. She definitely wasn't the same person at the start of the book compared to the end, which is always great. I also liked how Julian called her "Crimson." Sorry, I just HAD to mention that! 

Christina: We all know we don’t want a whiny heroine, despite Scarlett not being on board at first and basically not really wanting an “adventure” I didn’t think she was whiny, nor annoying, but she wasn’t one where you think wow this girl kicks ass. However she was very realistic and thought she did a lot of growing throughout the book. And from what she’s been through, she’s strong that never changed. And in her own way, she did kick ass, she go through a lot to find her sister Tella and never gives up.

How did you feel about Julian, did you trust him? 

Stephanie: I really liked him but did I trust him? And I don't want to say if he is trustworthy or not in case there are people who haven't read the book yet but... there's a lot of mystery surrounding him so I wouldn't say I trusted him all the time, no. It was a fun games of figuring out who he was and when it was revealed I was a bit shocked so there. That's all I'll say. ;) 

 Christina: At first I didn’t really think he would be part of the story, thought he was just there really quick and would disappear, but as we went further and he was still there I started to like him more and more. Especially his nickname to Scarlett, Crimson. I will say though, I had a lot of theories about who he was through the book and trusting him? Never really know if I did, kind of went back and forth.  

How would you describe the book in one or two words?

Stephanie: Magical mindfuckery 😂
Christina: Magical and mysterious.


What's your favorite quote of the book?

Stephanie“Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether. Elusive, difficult to hold on to. But not much is needed.” 

Christina: Okay so I was trying to pick just one and I couldn’t… woops.

 “Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.” 

“Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or performance. It's the closest you'll ever find yourself magic in this world.”


What are your overall thoughts?

Stephanie: Caraval was magical, very mysterious and had the right amount of swoon, in my opinion. It was also a fairly quick read because I basically only wanted to read on and find out what would happen next. Every chapter ended in a way that made me thing damn, I just want to read the next chapter. It was like that with every chapter, basically. It had also quite a lot of action, which I loved. I really liked some of the secondary characters, too. cough-Julian-cough. And of course there's that ending that simply killed me. Beware of the cliffhanger! I need the next book NOW!

Christina: LOVED IT! It was magical, you felt as if you yourself couldn’t even trust what was going on. You barely knew what was real and what wasn’t, just like Scarlett. And it was amazing! I just love the whole concept of Caraval pretty much, opening at night, mysterious location and characters. Every chapter made you want to read more and more, because you just had to know what would happen next and then end just makes you want the next book immediately. 

~~




Stephanie Garber grew up in northern California, where she was often compared to Anne Shirley, Jo March, and other fictional characters with wild imaginations and stubborn streaks. When she’s not writing, Stephanie teaches creative writing, and dreams of her next adventure.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday: Beach Wedding by Natasha Boyd

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.



Beach Wedding by Natasha Boyd 
Expected publication: March 28th 2017 by NPRB
Pre-order ► Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

“The Butler Rooming House is a boutique luxury hotel owned in part by the Butler family and movie-star, Jack Eversea. It is run with exceptional 5 STAR elegance by young hotelier Jessica Fraser.” ~ Lifestyle Magazine, Travel editor-at-large.

It’s four years after movie star, Jack Eversea won Keri Ann back. They are living happily in their newly-built home on Daufuskie, having left Keri Ann’s childhood home in the capable hands of her brother and her best friend Jazz.
Keri Ann has let it be known that she might finally be ready to tie the knot with Jack, but unforeseen circumstances are causing rifts in their relationship, and conspiring to make the lovers take a good long look at their future.

This novel is the 5th book in the Butler Cove series and the final installment of Movie star Jack Eversea’s relationship with Keri Ann Butler.


First of all, I'm totally in love with the cover of this book. It's just really beautiful. And of course I can't wait to read it since it's the final book about Keri Ann and Jack. I love these two so much. ♥
Also, I got my ARC of it today so I'm even more excited now!

Reviews of the series:
Eversea 





Question: Have you read any books by Natasha Boyd? What was your favorite? If not, I'd highly recommend her books!





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Title: The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: Jenna Fox Chronicles #1
Publication: 
September 1st 2009 by Square Fish
Genre: Young Adult ~ Science Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo
Rating: 3/5

Everything is different

Seventeen-year-old Jenna Fox has just awoken from a year-long coma - so she's been told - and she is still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. But what happened before that? She's been given home movies chronicling her entire life, which spark memories to surface. But are the memories really hers? And why won't anyone in her family talk about the accident? Jenna is becoming more curious. But she is also afraid of what she might find out if she ever gets up the courage to ask her questions.

What happened to Jenna Fox? And who is she really?


The Adoration of Jenna Fox was a gift from a dear friend of mine that I should've read ages ago but for some reason it got stuck sitting on my bookshelf for years waiting for me to finally pick it up. 

I really enjoyed the book in general and it was a pretty quick read. The writing style sat really well with me. So in that aspect it was totally up my alley. But that's where it sort of stopped for me. Not terribly far into the big there was a twist in the story. Unfortunately I had seen this one coming from miles away. To me it was really obvious what was going on. 

The next thing that bothered me was the romance, even though it was already very minor. I just felt like it wasn't at all necessary to the story. I just couldn't get on board with Jenna and Ethan. I thought they would've been way better as good friends. Also some of the secondary characters were too mediocre to really care about. I also don't get what the point of the character of Dane was. He just seemed irrelevant.

And then there was the ending that was super underwhelming. I just felt really disappointed with it, sadly enough. If anything it was the first half of the book that was the best, in my opinion.

I did like the message of the story, though. It was kind of thought provoking, which I think you don't find too often in these kind of stories. So that, together with the writing is what made the book worth reading.



Mary E. Pearson is the award-winning author of The Jenna Fox Chronicles, The Miles Between, A Room on Lorelei, and Scribbler of Dreams. She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
 


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

Cover Re-Reveal: Dollar Series by Pepper Winters

SBPRBanner-DOLLARS-CR


NEW COVER AND BLURB REVEAL FOR THE MULTIPLE USA TODAY BESTSELLING DARK ROMANCE SERIES.

Please note: all ebooks and paperbacks will be the new covers. Ebooks will take a few days to generate. Paperbacks will take 6-8 weeks. Preorders will be delivered with these NEW covers. Interior content will not change. Pennies and Dollars are OUT NOW! Pennies is only 99c. Hundreds will be releasing in a few weeks. Release date will be announced very soon!




ebook copy 3

PENNIES BLURB

"I'm not the hero in this story, girl. You'd do best to remember that."
Once upon a time, I was an eighteen year old psychology student.
Now, I’m a man’s property.
Stolen and sold, I’ve been decorated in bruises since the day my world changed two years ago.
I suffer in silence, I crave freedom, but I never break.
I can’t.
Until he arrives.
Elder Prest, the only man to look at me and see me. The only man more ruthless than my owner.
He wants me for reasons I don’t understand.
He claims me for one night then leaves and never looks back.
Until he returns.
And life becomes much more complicated.

PENNIES BUY LINKS

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1TXN1uq
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1Plgtvw

ebook

DOLLARS BLURB

"I should never have asked for a night with you. This would never have happened if I'd had more willpower."
Once upon a time, I was a mute captive who wished for death.
Now, I’m stowed away on a yacht.
Saved and taken, the thief who stole me demands my voice, my past, my everything.
I won’t give in.
But Elder refuses to take no for an answer.
He pushes and cajoles, slowly discovering who I am. Until I find out he plays the cello to escape his demons, all while his music conjures mine.
He’s rich, I’m bankrupt.
I’m mute by choice, he’s curious by nature.
So many reasons why we can never work.
But that doesn’t stop our connection, our passion.
Until one night, he ruins everything.
And our relationship becomes twisted and full of sin.

DOLLARS BUY LINKS

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1VxvqM7
Google Play: http://bit.ly/24jqbzX
ebook copy

HUNDREDS BLURB

“Pim is the most dangerous woman I’ve met. Not because she can ruin me but because she has the power to steal my heart.”
Once upon a time, I wished to go home and forget.
Now, I’m strong and ready to fight.
Seduced and claimed, Elder no longer just demands my voice, he commands me to be a thief like him.
I refuse.
But he offers me things I shouldn’t want, favours I should run from.
In return for his protection, I’m ordered to steal enough pennies and dollars to buy back my freedom.
Only, we both aren’t prepared for how he changes me, evolves me.
It’s my turn to learn about him.
It’s his wish to teach me how to be normal.
Until something goes wrong.
And our life together comes to an end.

HUNDREDS BUY LINKS

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2e6rd42
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1UvlFM6
ebook copy 4

THOUSANDS BLURB

Blurb to come…

THOUSANDS BUY LINKS

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1TYvR0R
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1TQwkEe
ebook copy 2

MILLIONS BLURB

Blurb to come…

MILLIONS BUY LINKS

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1ZebBbC
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1sqgfcl

About the Author: Pepper Winters is a multiple New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today International Bestseller. After chasing her dreams to become a full-time writer, Pepper has earned recognition with awards for best Dark Romance, best BDSM Series, and best Hero. She’s an multiple #1 iBooks bestseller, along with #1 in Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, and Erotica Thriller. With 19 books currently published, she has hit the bestseller charts twenty-six times in three years. Pepper is a Hybrid Author of both Traditional and Self-published work. Her Pure Corruption Series was released by Grand Central, Hachette. Her books have garnered foreign interest and are currently being translated into numerous languages, including already released titles in Italian and Turkish. Audio Books for her entire back-list will be available in 2017. Connect with the Author: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pepperwintersbooks/ 
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lLHxdG 
Twitter: @PepperWinters 
Facebook Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1511645192400372/ Never miss an update! Sign up for Pepper’s newsletter today! http://www.subscribepage.com/www.pepperwinters.com https://pepperwinters.com



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday: Rogue in Love: Thea and Lex by Inger Iversen

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that I'm eagerly anticipating.



Rogue in Love: Thea and Lex by Inger Iversen
Expected publication: March 28th 2017

Missing Teal and Trent from Inevitable: Love & War? Check out Rogue in Love, the first of many standalones featuring Trent Reed's new employees!

Ten years ago, Lex was forced to skip town, giving up everything he’d ever known. But even his time in solitude couldn’t keep away the memory of the girl he’d left behind. The girl who’d offered him her innocence, and her heart.

Thea had moved on from the boy who abandoned her. Good job, fiancé, comfortable life in New York … until everything is ripped away from her, leaving her to pick up the pieces alone.

When the care of an ailing loved one brings them back to Blackwater, Lex and Thea are confronted by the pains of the past. For Lex, that means helping to heal the broken-hearted woman he left behind. For Thea, it means refusing to let him see the gaping hole his absence created.

The old feelings still linger, but only they can decide to relight the sparks, no matter the secrets and heartaches that come with them.


I think I have a new favorite cover! And of course I'm very excited for the story itself + it's Inger Iversen! <3




Monday, March 13, 2017

YA Paranormal Fairy Tale ► Evermore: The Rylakian Heir by Caroline Metzlaff

Today I'm spotlighting Evermore: The Rylakian Heir by Caroline Metzlaff, a YA Paranormal Fairy Tale. Who doesn't love fairy tales, right? 😍

{Below you will find information on the book and an excerpt}

Find the book on:


- Snow White fled from the huntsman that fateful morning and escaped in to the magical kingdom of Lonstas. Changing her name to 'Snowy Rutherford, she resides with the gentle intellect, Dr. Rutherford and his six brothers, living in a relative peace that is often overshadowed by the threat of her vindictive and unbalanced stepmother.

-Cinderella Vanholsten is the capricious and zestful daughter of the kingdom's most successful entertainment promoter. Lonely and quirky she is quick to seize the opportunity to recruit for her 'Prince Leonardo Charming' fan club.

-Mercury is a devoted, dashing and gallant werewolf that can never realise his love for the beautiful aristocrat Lady Red Adair, due to segregation.

-Manuel is a complex and weary vampire that has only now found the one heart that can open his...Rapunzel, newly liberated from her lonely tower .

As Snow watches her friends struggle, she realises that she has the power to effect change. But she must survive her stepmother's murderous plots first....

Evermore: The Rylakian Heir is available as an Ebook through most sites, including Goodreads, and in paperback through Amazon. You can visit the authors website or the novel's Facebook page for updates or discussions.


Excerpt:

EVERMORE: THE RYLAKIAN HEIR (excerpt)

Hotels beds, as inviting and comfortable as they might be with their freshly laundered blankets and cool crisp sheets, can’t hold a candle to your own bed. That’s why as soon as Snow had unpacked, and given a special greeting and  hug to each of Uncle Doc’s six sweet brothers, she did what can only be described as a swan dive, on to her own big cushy bed. 
What bliss. Within seconds she was out.
A very annoying rapping at her window, brought her back from a very romantic dream involving Prince Leonardo and a marble dance floor. Burrowing her head under the pillow, she tried in vain to block out the sound. No, no, no.
Rap. Rap, rap, rap.
She growled softly to avoid uttering a word that she had once overheard in the stables back home in Rylak, and realised that the noise was not going to stop unless she did something about it.  Completely annoyed, Snow sprang out of bed and flung open her window, only to find herself eyeball to eyeball with an enormous grey and blue pigeon...a grey and blue pigeon with a note rolled and strapped to one foot. 
Crap. Crap. And crap. There was only one being she knew, that employed a pigeon for communication.
Manuel.
The big jerk.
Sighing, she removed the note and unravelled it carefully. 
The base of the forest, when the moon hangs high.” It read.
What was that supposed to mean? “When the moon hangs high?” She asked the impassive pigeon.
“Huh? He can’t say ‘Can you meet me at eleven?’ or ‘As soon as it’s dark enough out that I don’t fry up.’ No, course not. That would be too easy. No, Manuel has to be all codey-codey”.
The pigeon merely blinked.
 Cursing Manuel’s cryptic messages, she began to pull a sweater on. She had no idea if the “moon was hanging high”, but the annoying pigeon was sitting there waiting for her. What was it with him; did he have the stupid pigeon casing the place, just waiting for her to fall asleep? Knowing Manuel...he just might have. Jerk.
Grumbling to herself, she slid in to some black pants, grabbed a cloak and began to crawl out on to  her windowsill. Grabbing on to a branch of the nearest tree she began to slowly climb down from her second story window; the pigeon started cooing annoyingly at her.
“Listen birdbrain, I’ve only got two speeds. And you won’t like the other one.” She grumbled at the peevish bird that appeared to snort in response.
Reaching the bottom, she immediately crouched down to crawl past the window. Dashing down the path she was surprised to notice that the pigeon was following her. Fluttering from tree to tree, keeping time, the pigeon made noises that sounded curiously like laughter. Now it was Snow’s turn to snort.
“Please don’t tell me Manuel has you on escort duty as well.” The bird cooed even louder.
“Oh jeez, I hope he’s paying you for this.” The pigeon eyeballed her intently before turning his head away from her and flying on to the next tree.
“Wait! This is where we turn to get Cindy!” She protested but the pigeon waited patiently, pointing with its beak in the other direction.
“Are you telling me we have to go that way?” Was she really communicating with a bird? “So you’re telling me no Cindy?”
Sure enough the bird started cooing and hopping up and down on his branch. Sighing deeply she began to follow him.
The bird kept a ferocious pace, and Snow had to trot to keep up. The pigeon took her down an unfamiliar path that just skirted the town, stopping every once in a while to make low groaning noises, that sounded suspiciously like grumbling again, to Snow. Finally they approached the base of The Lonesome Forest; but instead of stopping, the pigeon kept on going. Snow had kind of expected Manuel to slide out from behind a tree, all dramatic like, and throw an insult her way as he usually did, but he didn’t appear to be anywhere in the vicinity. With no clear alternative, she followed the disagreeable bird in to the dark and silent forest, hoping and praying that she was not making a terrible mistake.
“Okay, but you are going to have to have to take it down a notch, because I can’t see where I’m going and I’m not going to be breaking my leg tonight.” She informed him, the bird let loose a furious sound in response. 
“I’ll deal with Manuel, he’ll blame me anyway. What’s he gonna do...eat me?” She started to laugh and abruptly stopped as the bird regarded her with a level eye. She gulped.
“Okay, but slow down just a little.”
And the bird did. Just a little mind you.
Just as Snow’s eyes were finally getting accustomed to the gloom of the forest, something reached out from the darkness and grabbed her arm. Shrieking she jumped back, stumbled on a rock and fell flat on her bottom. Looking up, she recognised a pale, familiar face, and that face was wearing a very wide grin.
On any other face, and at any other time, she might have considered the grin attractive. But as it was, she found it immensely irritating.
“And humans are so clumsy too.” He commented, as he reached down and basically lifted her up back on to her feet. Setting her straight, he took a step back, the grin returning as he looked her up and down.
“What!” Indignantly Snow questioned.
“You’ve got-” He started, pointing at his glossily perfect hair.
Snow pawed at her own completely disheveled hair, pulling twigs and bramble out irritably. 
“Oh, and hi to you too Manuel. Yes, I did have a nice holiday, so nice of you to inquire.”
He looked at her in confusion for a quick minute before wiping his face blank again. Grabbing her by her arm, he began leading her quickly through the forest.
“You’re friend is in trouble, and if you do not stop him he is going to be in even bigger trouble.” He whispered ominously.
“I don’t understand; who is in trouble?” She asked as she jogged along to keep up with the vampire.
“He ran in to some ogrenots two nights ago. They made the mistake of taunting him about his great red obsession; he made the mistake of destroying their night shelter.”
Ogrenots. Really disagreeable creatures, not only were they quite unattractive, they were also known for their loud mouthed mocking personalities. They looked like a cross between an ogre and a pig, which is why most beings referred to them as “ogrenots”; although some slang referred to them as “pigs”, which is quite inaccurate and a major insult to pigs. Ogrenots, were for the most part, pretty unthreatening, but they did have a tendency to mock, insult, provoke and were counted among the most irritating creatures you could ever meet.
“Ogrenots? Yuck.” Snow made a face. “What do you mean he destroyed their shelter? And who is “He?”
“He blew it down, it was made of straw.” Manuel stopped and carefully looked through the trees.
“Well straw makes a crappy shelter anyway, why didn’t they build it out of wood?” She asked as she stood on her tip toes to look over his shoulder.
“They did. That was last night.  He blew it over as well.” Manuel absently answered.
“Who is this ‘He’?” She asked again.
“Tonight they hide behind a shelter of rocks; they toss insults and innuendo at him.”
“And he thinks he is going to blow it down?” Snow almost giggled. Whoever ‘he’ was, he wasn’t very smart.
“Not down, up.” Manuel said and moved away from the bushes so Snow could take a look.
In the middle of the dark forest, stood a hastily created shelter of stone and rock, in some ways it closely resembled a fort that children would construct to play in. It had what appeared to be one round entrance, that was currently sealed with a boulder. Riotous laughter mixed with nasally sounding snorts came from the ‘fort’, it was a truly irritating sound. 
The boy.
 The boy with the beautiful eyes and the longish, dark shaggy hair, was busy erecting a pile of explosives, a homemade bomb; sweat on his brow, and a maniacal look in his eye. Now Snow knew what he was, he was a werewolf; and he was really, really irritated. It was a very stupid thing to do, antagonising a young werewolf; they took unpredictable to an entirely new level. She turned to Manuel, intending to demand he take her home immediately. She didn’t want to be anywhere near this particular situation.
“Oh little pig, little pig...” the boy muttered, and then he used some words Snow had been taught never to utter, his hands shaking as he hurriedly worked on his bomb.
“Ha, ha, ha-ha!! And she smells so good too! Num, num, num, num! Yah?” One of the ogrenots cackled from inside the fort; followed by the sound of rapid lip smacking and they all erupted in to hysterics. “We tells her you says hi! Yah!”
“Yah! Yah!”
“Oh, this is not good.” Snow murmured. “We’re all going to get killed.”
“He’s your friend. Do something.” Manuel gave her a little push.
“What are you talking about? I don’t know him! I don’t even know his name!”
Manuel stared at her blankly.
“And he’s apparently a nutbar!” She added, nervously looking over her shoulder.
“You mean to tell me that the werewolf is not one of your beloved friends?” He questioned.
“Absolutely not, what would possibly make you think that?” Snow was getting really frustrated very quickly, either that bomb was going to go off, or the young werewolf was going to lose it; she didn’t want to be anywhere near, when either of those things happened.
Manuel sighed. “That damn wolf.” He whispered to himself.
“Are you going to huff and puff and blow our house down?” Another ogrenot taunted and his companions cackled again. From the sounds of it there were at least three of them in there.
“You still talking?” The wolf answered as he searched through his pockets for a match.
“Manuel, we need to leave...now!” Snow whispered urgently. Manuel studied her intently.
“You have no desire to intervene?” He casually asked.
“Oh, maybe we should let him in, yah? Maybe we make some tea and he tells us all about his sweetie?” Laughed another one. “Kissy, kissy!”
“What, do I look crazy?”
The vampire regarded her for a split second before shrugging.
“Yah, yah! Not by the hair of my chiny chin chin!” And they all erupted again. “And you have a lot of hair!”
“Yah! Oh wolfie!” the creature taunted.
“No, big bad wolfie!” Another one corrected.
“Yeah! Big bad wolfie? Does she likey-likey all your hair? Your sweetie, yah?”
He found his matches, and that was when Snow realised that if she didn’t do something fast, they were all doomed. Manuel was right, she had to intervene. Her father, in his prime had been considered a master negotiator; she only hoped it was genetic. 
Springing from the bushes she yelled. “Hold it!”
That surprised everyone, especially Snow. The boy spun around, a look of complete shock on his face.
“What are you doing here?” he gasped in a combination of recognition and irritation.
“Um, I don’t really know and believe me this isn’t high on my list of places I really want to be right now; but it looks like you’re having some  trouble. You think maybe we can talk about this for a second? You know, before you do something crazy?” Snow asked thinking fast. “Like building a bomb...and setting it off in a dry forest.” She laughed somewhat nervously.
 Clearly she had no idea what to do, but Manuel had brought her here to help, so try to help she would; but this was an irritated young werewolf, in a fair fight she wasn’t completely sure even Manuel would win. That being said, the boy wasn’t a complete stranger to her; she had to try.
“Sweetheart I-” he started before she cut him off.
“My name is Snowy, and I would appreciate you using it, and I’m no sweetheart, trust me. What is your name?” She swiftly asked.
“Mercury. They call me Mercury.” He offered almost reluctantly, clearly he was not used to being cut off like that.
“Mercury. I’ve seen you around town a few times. You didn’t strike me as a merciless killer, or a crazed mad man though. Then again, what do I know about people, I typically think most people are better than they really are; then I end up almost getting killed and...yadda yadda story of my life.  Okay, so maybe I pegged you all wrong. You are a horrible merciless killer about to roast these childish ogrenots in their ridiculous fort, greedily snack on their bones just like all of the folktales say you would and burn down most of the forest while you are at it. I thought you guys just got bad press; apparently it’s deserved. Okay, carry on.”  She stepped back feigning acceptance. “Just give us a minute to get clear of the firestorm.”
The expression on the wolf’s faced changed from agitation to amusement with a dash of curiosity.
“Oh little girlie!” One of the ogrenots sang out. “Are you trying to get us all killed and roasted?”
“Yah, yah!” Another one agreed. “The big bad wolfie is-”
Snow cut him off. “About to blow you up, and a large portion of the forest as well. I suggest you settle down and let me deal with this my way, or I just might let him, cause believe me...you aren’t helping.”
“Yah! Listen to that. The little girlie is getting mad!” And with that he erupted in to fits of laughter. He stuck a pudgy green finger through a tiny hole in the rocks. “Oh little girlie! Pull my finger! Yah?”
To which the other ogrenots began yelling. “No, No Hazzo!” before the laughter took up again.
Mercury made a gesture with his matches, still more than eager to rid himself of the smelly green irritants, but Snow shook her head sternly.
“You know, not only do you have a severely irritated wolf, but I’ve got a vampire here with me too, and he would just love to try roast ogrenot, so don’t test me buddy. Settle down and shut it!”
Stepping out from the bushes, Manuel rolled his eyes upwards and shuddered at the thought; clearly the idea of snacking on an ogrenot offended his palate.
“Seriously? You brought a human here?” The young werewolf blasted the vampire. “What were you thinking?”
“I thought you were friends. Why else would you have tasked me with her protection?” Manuel casually stated, brushing invisible dust off of his beautiful coat.
“That was you?” Snow whirled around. “You’re the reason we got stuck with Mr. Personality over there? I don’t know whether to thank you or slap you.”
The boy recalled sharply; darting his eyes from Snow to Manuel, he looked rather shocked at the slender human child’s outburst.
“He is the biggest pain in the you know what!” She declared. And at that both werewolf and vampire threw a stunned look her way. “Well he is.” She finished.
Manuel took an indignant breath. “The ‘pain in the you know what’ that procured a rather costly spell of protection for you, rescued you from Drina and took you to a Unicorn Blessing.”
“You send pigeons to wake me from a beautiful sleep and insult me every chance you get!” Snowy snapped back. “Face it! You’re a pain! And you’re rude too!”
“I didn’t know what else to do, this forest is so dangerous and you and the other two keep traipsing around at night; what were you thinking? You really keep me busy.”  Mercury defended.
“You were protecting us?” She asked in a small voice.
“Every night.” He responded with a touch of exasperation. 
Wow, she thought. That stopped her in her tracks; they never even thought to question their apparent safety. How many times had he saved them? She would never know; she wasn’t planning on asking.
“Thank you.” She whispered. “But he really is a pain.” She couldn’t help but add.
“I know.” The wolf, Mercury whispered with a grin that for a moment made him almost as beautiful as Manuel. Actually, he was just as good looking as the beautiful vampire; only Mercury wasn’t so much beautiful with his olive complexion and shadowed jaw, he was...rugged. Manuel was beautiful, Mercury was handsome. Really handsome. 
“If the two of you are quite through...” Manuel drawled attempting to hide his indignation at being called a pain. “I do have other business tonight.”
“Yeah!” One of the ogrenots called out. “It’s getting hot in here and we want to get out now.”
“It’s not getting hot in here you idiot, Hazzo has the gas!” Another one yelled. “Help us! Help us!” They all started to yell.
“So come on out, we aren’t stopping you.” Snow shook her head; ogrenots were incredibly irritating creatures.
“We can’t! The boulder is too heavy! We can’t lift it!” They all yelled in unison; not really a pleasant sound.
Mercury looked perplexed. “So how did you get it there in the first place?”
“Oh, we asked a troll to close us in yah!”
“Why on earth...” Snow trailed off.
“Well, we didn’t want the wolfie to get in did we?” And then the Ogrenot began to make choking noises; obviously 'Hazzo' was not quite through.
Manuel nodded at the boulder and sent a questioning look Snow’s way.
“Hmmm. Are you three ready to apologise to Mercury? If Mercury apologises to you that is?” She asked.
“Hey lady-“ Mercury threw her an indignant look.
“Not lady. Snow; my name is Snow, but you can call me Snowy.”
“Snowy. I’m not going to-” He stopped short as he caught the very dark look Snow sent his way.
“I was woken up from my much needed beauty sleep by a fat and irritating pigeon, sent by an exceedingly irritating vampire to assist an equally irritating werewolf! Now apologise!” Snow growled, her dark eyes blazing.
 “I’m sorry I blew your houses down.”
Snow shot him another look.
“And that I tried to blow you up.” He finished with a shrug mouthing the word ‘humans’ Manuel’s way. Manuel could hardly suppress his smirk.
“Guys?” She prompted with impatience.
“Yeah! Yeah! We are sorry already!” They cried in unison. “Just move the boulder! Get us out of here!”
Snow nodded to Manuel, who casually sauntered over and pushed the boulder, making what must have been a several hundred pound piece of rock seem light as a feather. She made a mental reminder to be kinder to him; he was really, really strong.
Out from the fort, bearing a surprising resemblance to pigs, waddled three fat, little green ogrenots, each holding their necks and pretending to gasp for air. They threw themselves on the ground inhaling deeply. Jumping back up, they began giggling and ran back in to the forest, leaving Snow to watch in silent wonder, shaking her head.
Manuel took an emotionless look at them before grabbing Snow’s arm once again.
“Come. Now there is someone else who needs you.” He said.


       About the Author:

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Caroline Metzlaff is a Canadian author and actor. Her love for books began before she, herself, could even read; by the age of three she could often be found 'reading' much loved tales to neighborhood kids from memory. This great love for stories has carried through her entire life, as a teen she wrote cringe worthy John Hughes inspired screenplays, and eventually found herself on stage and on film breathing a different kind of life in to the stories that so captured her.

An avid reader and voracious writer, Caroline is also a great fan of Star Wars AND Star Trek, and would feel equally at home in either world. She requires chocolate, coffee, wine and metal music to function.

Although her own taste in reading is quite eclectic, she has always been drawn to the world of fairy tale, paranormal, the world of epic fantasy. It is here that she truly feels alive. So much so that she wrote a paranormal fairy tale of her own, Evermore: The Rylakian Heir.


♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!