What the Cat Read is excited to be a part of the cover and blurb reveal for Michelle Madow’s newest title, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows which releases January 26, 2016! =^.^=
Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!
Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
Author: Michelle Madow
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Series: Elementals #1
When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.
Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.
When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.
About the Author:
Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.
To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow’s Street Team on Facebook!
Michelle is offering one lucky winner a signed paperback ARC of Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:
What the Cat Read would like to thank Tasty Book Tours for letting us participate in this tour, as well as Avon Books for providing us with a review copy of the novel! To see all of the blogs involved in this event, please click on the banner above. =^.^=
I so dearly loved this novel. Filled with humor, romantic tension, a bit of mystery, and just a dash of danger, Leigh’s first book in an all new series is a perfect read for fans of historical romance. Once I started reading, I simply didn’t want to put it down and I can’t wait to see what Leigh has in store with her other two novels!
The first thing that stood out for me in this read was the connection between Eleanor and Daniel. The two are perfect for each other, not just in the romantic sense, but also in terms of personality and intelligence. I greatly enjoyed their verbal sparring matches, found pleasure in their adventures into the gaming hells, phaeton races, masked balls, and more, and genuinely wanted these two to find happiness together at the end of it all. Their relationship was perfect, building slowly and eventually coming to mean more to both of them than a simple using of the other for their own personal gain. True, their time together wasn’t always an easy one, and there were some moments when I wanted to whack each them across the face with my paws for being ignorant over the hurt they were causing each other, more so Daniel with Eleanor than the other way around, but on the whole I wouldn’t have wanted either of them any other way.
Eleanor is a strong, independent, highly intelligent woman who I instantly connected with because of her ability to build a successful business with her own two hands and through her own means. I also greatly enjoyed her willingness to get involved in her stories, not just gathering materials from secondhand sources, but actually going out and discovering things for herself as well. The scene where she dresses up as a man was greatly amusing, and I applaud her ability to pull off the role so successfully. She was by far my favorite character in the entire book, though I will admit that I’m looking forward to learning more about her friend Maggie at some point. Daniel I both loved and grew frustrated with. In many aspects he’s a typical wealthy aristocrat, not fully aware of just how easy he has it in life, never having to really work for the things he wants, etc. Yet at the same time, he’s open to seeing the real world around him through Eleanor’s eyes, capable of changing, and not always the brash, insensitive Rake that many of his kind tend to be. His heart is often in the right place, even when he actions are questionable. While I didn’t fully approve of his reasons for keeping Eleanor in the dark about his actions for as long as he did, I also can’t really blame him given the habit most journalists have for prying into everything that even remotely smells like a story. Still, I do feel that he should have told her the truth sooner once it became clear to him that she could be trusted.
Another thing that stood out for me with this book was Leigh’s strength of writing. The pace of the story was smooth, each event flowing into the next with nothing to really pull you out once you began. The scenes themselves are richly descriptive, putting you right into each setting. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the fact that I had other things that I needed to do, I could very easily have read this in one sitting. I love books that let you escape reality, and this book did just that for me. I also love books that make me feel emotions while reading. I laughed several times during my reading of this book, grinned often over a few scenes, growled in frustration over others, and even found myself occasionally tensing up wondering if everything was going to be all right in the end. Not every author has the skill to make a reader feel when reading, but Leigh pulls it off flawlessly.
The third and final thing that set this book apart as being one of my favorites for the year was how many wonderful quotes were to be found in this book. I don’t often read something and find myself highlighting favorite text on my Kindle a lot, so I was pleasantly surprised when I started finding one quote after another that resonated deeply with me. One of my favorites is at the start of Chapter 13 which begins, “Behind every printed sheet of paper is a story that extends far beyond the margins.” There’s more to this paragraph than what I’ve shared above, and you’ll need to read the book yourself to discover the rest, but I just loved how much truth can be found within this sentence.
Yes, this book resonated with me on several levels and I have to give major purrs to Leigh for a wonderful start to a promising series of books! I can’t wait to start reading Scandal Takes the Stage and Temptations of a Wallflower. There’s no question that I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical romance or is looking for something new to try.
About the Author:
EVA LEIGH is the pen name of a RITA® Award-nominated romance author who writes novels chock-full of smart women and sexy men. She enjoys baking, Tweeting about boots, and listening to music from the ‘80s. Eva and her husband live in Central California.
One lucky winner will receive a print copy of Forever Your Earl and a $25 Gift Card! To enter, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:
Read-along Week #3 Thoughts on Chapters 18-25
First initial thought: Don’t care what I’ve learned about Margg, I still don’t like her. Valek is currently an ass in my mind based on his actions. Rand, damn it! Loving Ari and Janco, as well as Maren (want more of her). Interesting vision that Yelena had. Yeah, I can see what people enjoyed this novel. Looking forward to seeing how it all ends!
Story thoughts: Well hells, this book managed to piss me off. Damn it, Rand! I mean seriously, why? WHY? I knew that Snyder was going to do something with him because she was obviously leading him up to this, but still! Why not Margg? I was anticipating Margg actually. And no matter what I’ve learned about her, I still don’t like her. And I’m not exactly thrilled with Valek, either. His behavior in this section, while I understand some might call it justifiable, did not sit well with me at all. Regardless of Yelena’s past, she’s more than proven herself trustworthy, so I don’t understand why he couldn’t give her the benefit of the doubt instead of instantly jumping to the conclusion that she was a betrayer. Ari, Janco, and Maren are great! Love their fighting scenes together and I hope I see more of them in the series. Snyder is definitely doing a great job in building her characters. They are all complex and I love that I am able to become emotionally invested in them, even when that investment proves to be heartbreaking, or leads me to want to claw them across the face.
The vision that Yelena has is extremely interesting, though it brings up a few questions. Yup, I’ve got more questions. And I’ll be honest, I read ahead (actually finished the book) and I’m still a bit confused on what is going on, so those questions remain. I may need to talk with some of the other readers to ask them for clarification, or I can as Snyder herself or wait for when I read the other books to discover what is going on there. It isn’t so much that I don’t understand the vision, it’s that I don’t understand the wording used with it.
Not sure I would want to live in a country without coffee. I need my caffeine. Though I suppose if I grew up in a place where I was never exposed to the drink, I probably wouldn’t miss it. And I’m now curious to try Criollo. Is this like some sort of chocolate? I don’t want the down side to this substance, but I do want to try just a small bit. I find it interesting how some people think it is the most amazing thing in the world, but others not so much. Actually, thinking about that scene now that I’ve finished the book, I now know why Valek didn’t think much of the stuff. Right, yeah, that should have been pretty obvious. Sigh.
This really is an engaging read, and like I said, I’ve been enjoying it so much, I had to finish it. But just because I am done with it doesn’t mean you’ll be getting my thoughts on the ending. You’ll have to wait until next week for that post. I will say that I’m glad Rockstar Book Tours hosted this read-along event because I probably wouldn’t have gotten to this book nearly as quickly given my TBR pile. Can’t wait to start the second book in the series soon! And you can expect my final week’s worth of thoughts, along with my review, next week. =^.^=
Favorite Quote: There was only one moment that stood out for me in this section. I hope you enjoy it.
“When you warned me that you would test me from time to time, I thought you meant spiking my food. But it seems there is more than one way to poison a person’s heart, and it doesn’t even require a meal.”
“Everyone makes choices in life. Some bad, some good. It’s called living, and if you want to bow out, then go right ahead. But don’t do it halfway. Don’t linger in whiner’s limbo,” Valek said, his voice gruff. – Page 241
I must apologize for falling off the radar a bit with updating my progress with this book, What the Cat Read has been dealing with life issues and deadlines. But the good news is that I’m back and I’ll be posting two weeks worth of impressions today! So let’s get started, shall we? Murr!
Read-along Week #2 Thoughts on Chapters 9-17
First initial thoughts: Still not sure what my feelings are toward Valek. I want to like him, but then he does something to make me dislike him. Still hate Margg, love Dilana. I’m on the fence about Rand. Story is still drawing me in & I find it hard to put it down after reading the assigned chapters. Still have questions on world history. Looking forward to reading more soon.
Story thoughts: Snyder is doing a great job of keeping me interested and making me want to read ahead of the chapters assigned. The characters are well thought out and developed, though I don’t like the back and forth feelings I have toward Valek. I am finding it hard to understand why some readers are in love with him, mostly because there are some moments where he is a complete ass toward Yelena. I hate Margg, no question there. It is going to take a lot for me to like her, and to be honest, I just don’t see it happening. I don’t care what excuse she has, I don’t like her. And I’m starting to worry that my like for Rand is misplaced, which would suck because he genuinely seems like a nice guy. I would hate to think that there is something not on the up and up with him. Yelena is still awesome. She’s full of surprises and I love that.
As far as world building goes, I really wish Snyder would explain the history more. We get snatches of it every few chapters, but either I’m completely missing the timeline of everything, which is a strong possibility, or she hasn’t really delved that far into it. Either way, I have questions that I’d like to see answered at some point regarding how everything turned out the way it has history wise.
Overall, now that I’m halfway through the book, I am definitely planning on reading the others in the series. In fact, I’m tempted to do one book a month until I’m caught up. It’s a very intriguing start to a series and I’m loving the twists and turns it has been taking so far. Can’t wait to read more!
Favorite Quotes: There are a couple of great lines/moments in this section of reading that I felt I just had to share. Enjoy everyone! =^.^=
“You don’t think Brazell will come after me?”
“No. It’s too soon. I don’t expect Brazell to try to kill you before his factor is up and running. Once he gets what he wants, then it’s going to get interesting around here.”
“Oh good. I can barely stay awake now from all the boredom.” My voice dripped with sarcasm. Only Valek would consider an attempt on my life a fascinating diversion. – Page 96
“All right. One year. My Pledge to you.” She paused.
“Go on,” I said. “I know you want to end this meeting with some kind of threat. Maybe a dire warning? Feel free. I’m used to it. I wouldn’t know how to deal with a conversation that didn’t include one.”
“You put on such a brave front. But I know if I took another step toward you, you’d wet your pants.”
“With your blood.” I brandished my knife. But I couldn’t keep a straight face; the boast sounded ridiculous even to my own ears. I snickered. She laughed. The release of tension made me giddy, and soon I was laughing and crying. – Page 141
Why was I constantly considering each option, searching both sides of an argument for gaps in the logic? Like somersaulting on the trampoline, plenty of ups and downs but no forward motion. I longed for the days when a wrong decision wouldn’t cost me my life. – Page 168