Coranne reviews Where Treetops Glisten

By  Tricia Goyer, Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin
Published on September 16th 2014
Published by WaterBrook Press
Source: Publisher
The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime

Three siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In White Christmas by Cara Putman, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theatre in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and God’s plan for a future?

Where Treetops Glisten is a collection of 3 related novellas.  The book as a whole centers around one family, with each story told by a different sibling.  It is a book that is full of the warm and fuzzies of Christmas.  This is absolutely a Hallmark movie in book form.

The "bad guys" aren't very bad and there is a ton of Christmas cheer in each of the three short stories.  Each story takes place in a different time during World War II, and yet with such a dramatic backdrop, the stories never take themselves too seriously.  The point of this book is to make you happy- and this book achieves like a warm mug of hot chocolate.

I have only read other books by one of the three authors, but their different writing styles blended together well.  I could tell that each part was written by a different person, but not in a distracting way.  This would make a lovely Christmas gift to anyone who likes light romance stories with a historical setting.

Taylor reviews Kiss of Broken Glass

By Madeleine Kuderick
Published on September 9th 2014
Published by HarperTeen
Madeleine Kuderick’s gripping debut is a darkly beautiful and lyrical novel in verse, perfect for fans of Sonya Sones and Laurie Halse Anderson. Kiss of Broken Glass pulses with emotion and lingers long after the last page.

In the next seventy-two hours, Kenna may lose everything—her friends, her freedom, and maybe even herself. One kiss of the blade was all it took to get her sent to the psych ward for seventy-two hours. There she will face her addiction to cutting, though the outcome is far from certain.

When fifteen-year-old Kenna is found cutting herself in the school bathroom, she is sent to a facility for mandatory psychiatric watch. There, Kenna meets other kids like her—her roommate, Donya, who’s there for her fifth time; the birdlike Skylar; and Jag, a boy cute enough to make her forget her problems . . . for a moment.

A novel written as a poem, “Kiss of Broken Glass” is based around a young teenage girl struggling with “cutting”. The story follows her 72 hours spent in Attaboys after getting caught cutting in her high school’s bathroom.

This novel is a very deep and emotional one. It shows cutting for what it actually is, from the person who is actually struggling from it. I enjoyed how raw and genuine it was. Since it is written as a poem, it does not take long to read; but it does not cut short on details. I only wish the ending tied up a bit more, it left me hanging at the end. Not a lot of closure. But, overall I thought it was a good read. Just be prepared—it is a heavy read.

Fingers in the Mist by O'Dell Hutchison ~ Jaime's Blog Tour Review ~ Giveaway

Follow the rest of the tour Here!

By O'Dell Hutchison
Published on February 24, 2015
Published by Month9Books LLC
Sixteen-year-old Caitlyn Foster never believed in the legend of the Redeemers. That was before the trees started to whisper her name. Before a murder of crows attacked the town. Before she and her family came home to find a bloody handprint on their front door, marking one of them as a sacrifice.As Caitlyn’s friends are ripped from their homes, she knows it’s only a matter of time before the Redeemers come for her. Caitlyn has the power to stop the terror, but she’ll have to decide if she’s willing to sacrifice herself to save those she loves.

My Thoughts

As I'm sure many of us have, I started following O'Dell at his wonderful blog, Book Twirps, a long time ago. It was one of my absolute favorite blogs to visit! I loved reading his reviews, and seeing his thoughts on the books I was interested in. It was, and still is, one of the best blogs I have ever been to. When I saw that he had written a book, I jumped at the chance to read it. It is called The Weeping; it was a wonderfully spooky book! When I heard he was writing a new story, and that he would be away from Book Twirps, it was sad, but I knew he was doing the right thing, This man is talented. He proved it with The Weeping, and he blew all of my expectations out of the water with Fingers in the Mist. I LOVED every single second of this book, and cannot wait to see what he comes up with next! Mr. Hutchison, writing is 100% without a doubt, what you were MEANT to do!

Fingers in the Mist is a deliciously creepy story that follows Caitlyn Foster to her new home in the small town where her father lives with his wife Judy, and her half-brother Mitch. Caitlyn is from the city, and having to move to this place after finding her beloved mother dead, with a bullet wound in her head, is just another heartbreak to Cait's world. She has already battled an addiction, been in rehab, and now this? A small, crazy town who sees her as an abomination, a stepmother who hates her guts and treats her like scum, and a power she has kept hidden at all costs, for great reason, until now...

Cait was a fantastic MC. She was feisty, and sarcastic. She fought tooth and nail for her loved ones, and never stopped fighting for them. She has one thing after another dumped on her shoulders, and while she had a bump in the road here and there, she always got back up and started fighting again. She has a bit of a temper, and she can definitely be reckless. I adored the Heck out of her!

I loved the relationship between Cait and her "summertime" friends. Chastity is a 15 year old mom of the cutest little boy Parker. She made a mistake, but she is making up for it by being a darn good mom to her boy. Jeb, who has loved Chas since childhood, and still loves her. She loves him, too! And Trevor, Cait's once upon a summer love. She broke his heart, but what will happen between them now, with all of their lives on the line? I also have to mention Mitch, Cait's baby brother. I adored their relationship. He looked up to her, and loved her so much, and she loved him right back. Some of my favorite scenes are those two! Each character is incredibly well drawn, relate-able, and love-able, or totally hate-able. I enjoyed the dynamics between the friends very much! And of course, there is the resident mean girl, Monique. I can't say much about her, but MAN she is one awful redhead!

The Redeemers come, the townsfolk comply. 7 families chosen, each one having to sacrifice one member of their family to absolve them of their sins. For seven days, there is no power, no lights, nothing. They are forced to stay in their homes, or else their lives are forfeit. And when The Redeemers come knocking on the chosen families doors, they are to hand over a sacrifice willingly. Cait's family is chosen, along with Chas's. And Cait will stop at NOTHING to make sure that their families remain together! To prove, once and for all, that The Redeemer's aren't sent from God, but are evil incarnate, sacrificing the innocent for their own gain! And the powers she has tried to suppress? May be the town's and everyone in it's, salvation!

Fingers in the Mist is a disturbingly creepy, psychological page-turner! It is full of non-stop action, heartache, loss and grief. And possible redemption?! You will have to read it yourself, to find out! And I would recommend this one, without a doubt, to anyone who wants a great story with characters you can root for! O'Dell? What do you have for us next?!

About the Author

O’Dell was born in a small rural town in Idaho. There were no Redeemers living there (that he knows of). After attending college in the Pacific Northwest, he found his way to the Houston area. By day, he is a Business Systems Analyst and at night you can either find him sitting at home, dreaming of random super powers he wishes he had, or directing plays and musicals at various theaters around Houston.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Horror Business by Ryan Craig Bradford ~ Jaime's Blog Tour Review ~ Giveaway!

Check out the complete schedule HERE!

By Ryan Craig Bradford
Published on February 2015
Published by Month9Books, LLC
Source: WHERE
Armed with a passion for classic B-grade horror movies, a script co-written by his twin brother, and a wicked crush on his death-obsessed neighbor; hardcore horror fan Jason Nightshade must finish his student film.

But his plans are derailed when the children of suburban Silver Creek start disappearing – his twin brother among them. Battling a possessed video camera, a crazy zombie dog, a monstrous bully, and a frighteningly broken down family life, Jason embarks on a mission to find his lost brother so the two can write an ending for his story.

As any horror fan knows, saving the day won’t be easy, as Jason finds himself forced to face the real world where death isn’t just a splash of fake blood on a camera lens.

My Thoughts

What an incredibly strange, gory, crazy ride this was! I am a huge fan of all of the old horror flicks. Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Jason.... They are absolutely the scariest, funniest horror movies of all times. Horror Business pays serious tribute to horror fans, and their love of B-Grade horror movies! And I really enjoyed myself!

Jason Nightshade (coolest last name ever!) is our main man. He is in the middle of filming his student film, with the help of the girl he has always crushed on his star! Jason and his brother were both horror movie loving, film-making obsessed guys, until his brother was taken, along with several other children. They all disappeared without a trace, leaving a broken twin brother, and a worry filled town behind.

I really enjoyed this mash-up horror story! We have ghosts, vampires, weird wood creatures, zombies, a mutating dog, haunted graveyards, creepy neighbors, and the school bully. The story weaves between each element, back and forth, at breakneck speed. In between living with Jason through his story, we get pieces of his and his brothers movie script, which adds a new element to the story.

There is a romance in Horror Business, between Jason and his horror loving neighbor,Ally. It is never becomes the main focus of the story, but it was a really cute aside in places. I enjoyed Ally, as a character. She was hard to pin down, and confused me as much as she confused Jason, but I enjoyed her scenes and their interactions. Jason was definitely an interesting MC. I enjoyed him, but never really found him relate-able. As a whole, the characters are very well fleshed out, and definitely pack a punch!

This whole entire story packs a punch, and for the most part I enjoyed it. The pacing, at times, felt really slow, and I feel like some of the horror elements weren't delved into deep enough. I would have liked more time spent on each, as a whole. And I really wish there had been some serious scares!

Would I recommend Horror Business? If you are a fan of B-grade slasher films, and horror movies, I would say absolutely go for it. There is language, and some sexual scenes, and many, MANY comments about boobs! MANY!

About the Author

Ryan grew up in Park City, Utah. His fiction has appeared in Quarterly West, Paper Darts, Vice, Monkeybicycle and [PANK]. He currently lives in San Diego where he acts as Creative Director for the nonprofit literary arts organization So Say We All. He’s the co-editor of the anthology Last Night on Earth and founder of the literary horror journal, Black Candies.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Taylor reviews Gone Girl

By Gillian Flynn
Published on May 24th 2012
Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Amy is missing. Nick is the main suspect. 

It was the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary when the seemingly perfect marriage of Nick and Amy Dunne came to an abrupt halt. Nick arrives home to find his house in disarray and his wife, Amy, nowhere to be found. Nick’s erratic and suspicious behavior, paired with the entries found in Amy’s diary causes the police to name him their main suspect. Can Nick prove his innocence before it’s too late? 

Flynn chose to write using diary entries from both Nick and Amy throughout the whole book rather than using chapters, which is one of Gone Girl’s strongest and most attractive features. It deepens the reader’s connection with the characters because you see both sides entirely. But at the same time, you are constantly surprised throughout the novel as many lies are revealed.

I was left wondering until the very end. Flynn did a great job with keeping the mystery and momentum going throughout the book. There was never a part where the storyline seemed to slow down, or become boring or predictable. It always had me at the edge of my seat. 

Gone Girl is one of the best books I have read to date. It was a book I stayed up all night to finish and guessing until the very end. If you like drama, mystery, thriller or suspense, 

Gone Girl is the perfect book for you.

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas ~ Jaime's Blog Tour Review & Giveaway!

A Wicked Thing
by Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Read an excerpt
Rate: 3 Stars!


Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. 

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

“I never thought what happens after Sleeping Beauty wakes up would keep me at the edge of my seat, breathlessly turning pages. But Rhiannon Thomas has taken the familiar and the cliched and turned it into a tense, fast-paced read full of plot twists and revelations, set in a world at once intriguing and perilous.” - Sherry Thomas, author of The Burning Sky

“The book is welcome twist on the classic helpless-princess-saved-by-dashing-prince one expects from a fairy tale…. Fairy tale and fantasy fans alike will breeze through this retelling and eagerly await her next chapter.” - School Library Journal

“One of the best fairytale retellings I’ve ever read. Thomas uses the well-known back story of Sleeping Beauty to craft an entirely new future for Aurora that is anything but happily-ever-after. Starting the story after the moment that usually signals the end of the fairytale gave this book an original spin and makes it stand out among of sea of simple retellings. Don’t miss this great debut!” - Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

A Wicked Thing is the story of Sleeping Beauty, the Princess Aurora, after she is awoken with a "true loves kiss" by Prince Rodric. What happened to the princess in the time that follows her 102 year sleep? On top of losing her family, her home no longer belonging to her, and her world completely changed, she is forced into a role she doesn't want, and not allowed to express her feelings or decide what life she wants for herself. A Wicked Thing takes us on Aurora's journey...

When Aurora is awoken by Rodric, she has no idea what has transpired. She is still in her party dress, the one made especially for her 18th birthday. When Rodric tells her that over a century has passed, Aurora is dumbstruck. It takes a while to set in, the impossibility of it, the heartache of it. And just like that, her life is no longer her own. She is engaged to Rodric, a man she does not love, and to be wed in 21 days. The Queen tells her she is to be pretty, curtsy and not speak. She is locked in her room nightly, for protection, so says the Queen. The King is an awful man, who cares nothing for the people of his kingdom. He wants Aurora because of what the fairy tales written about her. About magic. 

Aurora picks her bedroom lock at night, and sneaks into the city below. She hears a woman singing and her hauntingly beautiful voice brings Aurora to The Dancing Unicorn. There, Aurora meets Tristan. She doesn't tell him who she really is, so he decides to name her himself. He dubs her Mouse. So for several nights, Mouse sneaks to the bar and Tristan shows her the city, from the rooftops and the night fair. Mouse is smitten with him, but Tristan is more than he seems. Soon, she finds out just who he really is. 

At the castle, Prince Finnegan has arrived to celebrate the awakening of the Fairy Tale Princess. He finds ways to always speak with her, infuriating her and teasing her at every instance. He tells her of his home, where there be dragons, and asks her if she will come with him, help him unite their two kingdoms, and bring a better life to them all. 

The world-building is one of the better aspects of this story, along with Rhiannon's characters. She has built a city that I can easily close my eyes and see, with it's magic, and hunger and fear and rebellions. Aurora is a very soft-spoken, meek girl to begin with. She allows herself to be trod on over and over. She tries, once or twice in the first half of the story, to stand up for herself, but immediately backs down. I was frustrated with her in the beginning, but I could also understand why she felt the way she did, and why she acted the way she did. I was impressed with her growth throughout the story. One of my favorite characters is Rodric's little sister, Isabelle. She is such a cute thing, and she reminds Aurora of herself when she was a child. I enjoyed her scenes immensely. 

The romance in this book has been called a love square, but I honestly think it is more of triangle. First we have the prince who awakened her, Rodric. He is a shy and bumbling boy, but he is also kind. He was never allowed a childhood, and it takes him time to open up to Aurora. The scene in her old playroom, from when she was a child, really made me start liking him even more. However, I don't think he was ever going to be her choice. Tristan was a good character, with a heart full of vengeance. A rebel, who wants to see the king dethroned, and beheaded! He was an endearing character. Finnegan is an arrogant, sarcastic, funny man. I enjoyed his scenes a lot. He definitely made me chuckle. I like that he was able to bring the fire out of Aurora! 

There were several other players in the story, such as Nettle the singer, that I liked. Each was well fleshed out, with distinct personalities. The plot of the story is very slow building, and slow moving. That would be my biggest complaint. I found myself growing restless, waiting for something of significance to happen. After the halfway point, the story picked up speed, and I flew through the rest of it. I really feel like A Wicked Thing was a great set-up to what could be an epic sequel. 

All in all, I enjoyed A Wicked Thing. The cover is beautiful, and I love the meat of the story. I look forward to seeing where it will go next. If you are a fan of Fairy Tale's I would definitely suggest giving this story a try! 

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Follow the A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England.

As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective.

I don't hang out on Goodreads much, so if you want to contact me, please swing by my personal website or message me on Twitter.

Open to all US, UK and Canada residents | Must be 13 or older to enter

FIRST PRIZE: Win (1) signed copy of A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas plus a spinning wheel charm bracelet.

SECOND PRIZE: Win (1) of (2) signed copy of A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas.

Get an even better look at the Wheel Charm Bracelet at the Etsy Store

Blog Tour: What's Your Winner's Curse?

As we gear up for the release of the latest book in Marie Rutkowski's Winners trilogy -- The Winner's Crime on March 3rd, we're going to talk a bit about the winner's curse.

No, not the book, the phrase.  

The ‘Winner’s Curse’ is an economics term that means you’ve gotten what you wanted – but at too high a price.  What would you pay too much for?

A few of our bloggers have stopped by to tell us what they think they would pay too much for.  See what they have to say....

Wow, heavy heavy question.  And I could give a fluffy answer, but that isn't the one that would be truthful for me.  My answer would be equally as heavy.  I would pay too much to ensure my kiddos safety and that my oldest son would grow up in an environment where people cared about him and cherished him for who he is.  I would pay too much for therapies for him to be able to develop and grow and be able to live with the struggles he has but be able to not let them define him.  I would pay too much for teachers who understand him and love both of my boys equally.  See, I told you?  Heavy.  I would do anything for my kids, and everything else just seems to pale in comparison.

You know, at my ripe old age, I can genuinely say that I would not pay the price. I have paid too many prices in my 32 years of life. There are too many people in my life that mean everything to me, and I couldn't pay the price if it meant sacrificing them. I just would not do it, not for something for myself. However, If it was something for one of those people that mean everything to me, I would have no problem sacrificing myself, though. None at all. 

To see what other bloggers have said about their own winner's curses, check out the full list of bloggers participating in the tour to read their posts.

So what about you? What's your winner's curse?  Let us know in the comments, then enter to win a copy of EITHER The Winner's Curse or The Winner's Crime (US addresses only). 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spotlight: HEART OF STONE by Kelly Keaton


Set in New 2, a dangerous and lush alternate New Orleans, the fourth book in Keaton’s Gods & Monsters series, finds the God-killer Ari and Mistborn Sebastian on the hunt for Archer, infant son of Athena, a child fated to bring about the Blood Wars, the ultimate showdown between the gods and the monsters they created, a war that will trap mankind in the middle of a destructive conflict thousands of years in the making.

As Ari and Sebastian attempt to rescue the child, forces pull them apart, sending Sebastian on a perilous journey to the desert sands of Egypt and into the lair of a dark, enthralling entity, and Ari to the Halls of Olympus and, darker still, the very heart of the Underworld where Death awaits with a bargain that brings Ari’s worst nightmares into sharp and heart wrenching focus.

Published: February 17th, 2015
Add to GoodReads


Excerpt from a scene featuring Sebastian in HEART OF STONE by Kelly Keaton

 The Dark Mother’s power crept over him like a heavy black sludge, sinking into his pores, snaking around the inside of his skull and into his brain, eating away his will and self control.

“Come closer,” she said.

God, that voice . . . her lure, her scent, her unbelievable ability to inspire in him devotion, loyalty, and desire was so strong he wanted to weep.


She was his and he’d kill anyone who got close to her. The magnitude of that thought, the utter faith and strength of it made him stumble back and shake his head. He blinked hard. Sweat beaded on his skin. He saw a flash of surprise in Phillip’s gaze. Saw the advisor’s brows knit with worry.

Yeah, he was pretty sure not many vamps stepped back when the Dark Mother said come closer.

As he stayed there, shaking from the weight of her lure, trying to regain control and force her dirty drug from his system, he saw her creepy eyes light with curiosity. No, they sparked, ignited. She stilled like the predator she was. Her hands gripped the sides of her cold throne and she leaned forward slightly. Eagerly.

And then she was on him, slamming into him so hard he flew back with her clutched to him, her nails digging into his arms as he hit the ground hard. Pain exploded through his neck as she sank long, ancient fangs into his skin and muscle and vein.

She angled his head to the side, holding it down hard against the floor, her palm flat against his forehead, her nails ripping into his scalp and skin as she drank.

Her presence, her power suffocated him. It was too much. He was overdosing. Losing it. She was sucking him dry. Every tug of her mouth and every movement she made against his skin elicited a bewildering mix of wild need and deep stomach-clenching disgust.

Everything in him fought. He squirmed under her, fighting to be free, yet his hands were gripping her hips tightly, pulling her closer.

His delirious gaze flew to her court as they watched in total shock.

No one was going to save him. He was alone on a sinking ship. And his fate was sealed. Just as it had been sealed with Athena’s vampire servant Zaria, who’d tortured him relentlessly. Never a chance, never a choice. Neither one gave him a choice. He’d killed Zaria, killed her good. He ground his hips against the Dark Mother. Pleasure shot through him. He’d kill her, too, kill her dead and good.

Her hair brushed over his face. It smelled so good and yet in another instant it reeked of sweat, blood, and years of oil and dirt.

Jesus. What was on him? Eating him alive...

A shot of fear plugged him in the heart and he lurched against her, all his faculties returning in a blinding moment of reality. He screamed, a guttural roar, as if fear itself had reached down and yanked it out of the deepest part of him.

And then he was fading again, sinking, being sucked down into the vortex of a beautiful lie.

She was all lies.

And he loved her so much.

Such was the power of his goddess, his Dark Mother.

He closed his eyes and let his muscles go slack, accepting her love.

Amazon • B&N • iTunes • Smashwords


Kelly is a multi-published author with nine novels currently in print. She writes the YA series, Gods & Monsters (Simon & Schuster), and the Charlie Madigan urban fantasy series (Pocket Books), which are written as Kelly Gay. She is a two-time RITA® Finalist, an ARRA nominee, a Goodreads Choice Award finalist, and has landed on the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance's Okra Picks list. Kelly is also a recipient of North Carolina Arts Council's fellowship grant in Literature. She lives in NC with her family.

The Winner's Crime

By Marie Rutkoski
Published on March 3rd 2015
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux
Source: Publisher
Book two of the dazzling Winner's Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Okay, so I gave The Winner's Curse five stars when I read it originally.  I have to say that since then I backed down a star- I really did love it, but never found the compulsion to read it again.  I was excited to read The Winner's Crime- I wanted to know what was going to happen.  THIS was the book I was waiting for.  This was everything I hoped book one would be.  

It was dramatic, full of intrigue and court happenings, and very dangerous.  I can't even tell you- there are parts that are totally explosive. This book blows the first one out of the water with everything that happens.  If you are looking for kissy parts, you will be disappointed- there are very few.  But this book made me care more about the characters (even when they frustrated me like crazy)- and the plot didn't FEEL like a middle book.  There was no filler here- what happened was important and necessary to the overall story.

If you loved the first book- know that you will love this one too.  If you were only feeling so so about book one- give the second one a chance.  I am so glad I did.