Release Day Review: Wildwood (Moonlit, #3) by Jadie Jones @JadieJones1

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In Wildwood, the third book of the Moonlit Trilogy, Tanzy’s journey races toward a final battle within the Unseen world.

Tanzy Hightower has crossed the veil and entered the Unseen world to fulfill the destiny she has at last embraced, to either seal or destroy the veil between the Seen and Unseen. She is the only mortal in a land teeming with creatures who want her dead. To stay alive long enough to stop Asher, the most powerful of the Unseen, Tanzy accepts his marriage proposal and seeks refuge inside his palace.

On the Seen side of the veil, Tanzy’s allies are fragmented and lost, without leadership. They must gather forces and train an army of candidates to defend their world against unfathomable predators poised to strike should the veil holding them at bay dissolve.

While Tanzy has accepted her own inevitable death in fulfilling her destiny, her closest friends refuse to stop searching for the impossible: a way to save Tanzy’s life.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

ASDFGHJKL—that pretty much sums up my feelings. I was freaking out for most of the book because, to quote Samwise Gamgee, how could it turn out happy? Well, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, but I found this to be a most satisfactory and awesome ending to a fantastic series. I am sad to bid Lucas and Tanzy and Jayce and Moonlit farewell, but I am not so cruel as to wish more trouble upon them. No, not that cruel at all.

The plot:

Twisty. The plot was twisty. I kept getting hit by first this shock then that shock. I could never quite predict what was happening and I loved it. This was plotting on the level of Brandon Sanderson and I cannot get over the complexity and planning that must have gone into this—just plain awesome.

The characters:

I’m not sure I can talk about Tanzy without talking about Lucas and I can’t talk about the two of them without rampant fangirling. You should not make the mistake that assuming this story is a romance, it is far more about the adventure, I think. However, my little fangirl heart wants what it wants. I will ship them to the day I die.

For the first time ever, we see into the minds and thoughts of characters besides Tanzy. We get a peek into Jayce, Hope, Lucas, even Vanessa.

There were many twists, as I said, but perhaps the greatest one of all was when I found myself sympathizing with Vanessa. Yes, VANESSA. That was probably the last thing I ever saw coming, seconded only to love-hating Asher by the end. The twist about those two was the last thing I expected and I can do nothing but laud the author for how well she set that up.

A fabulous conclusion to a masterfully written trilogy and when our dear Ms. Jones comes out with her next book, I will fight anyone and everyone for the first spot in line.

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Writing Update and Other News: July 2015

Home is where my books are.

Home is where my books are.

This past month has been trying and full of changes, to say the least. In the last few weeks, I have officially joined a church (for the first time in my life), undergone a massive move (for the first time in my life) and been punched in the jaw by a dog (not the first time, don’t ask).

In the move, I had thirteen boxes of personal stuff—nine of which were books. My family absolutely hated me when they had to transport them, but I handled packing, unpacking, and most the unloading, so they have no grounds for complaining. Putting away these babies reminded me of how many I haven’t read and all the reading I have to catch up on, not to mention all the sequels I still have to buy—*cough cough*—for the love of Shakespeare DO NOT tell my mother about that last part.

Speaking of sequels, I have been given an ARC of the last book in Jadie Jones’ Moonlit trilogy. I am a huge fangirl of this series, so when I got the email from Jadie asking if I would be “willing” to read and review it, I very nearly crawled through my phone screen to hug her. I can’t wait to share with you all how awesome it is (because, come on, you know it’s going to be awesome) and you had better check it out for yourselves!

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Wildwood’s gorgeous cover splashed across my Kindle screen. Boo-yah!

Amid so much happiness, I must now relay the tragic news that I am no longer a teenager. Last week marks two decades since my birth and I feel the need for a moment of silence or perhaps another slice of birthday chocolate pie.

Despite the sadness, I had a wonderful birthday reading books, hanging out with my best friend, eating fattening foods at my favorite restaurant, and—wait for it—finishing the first draft of Argetallam Saga 6. Yes, you read that right. One more book to go and then Janir’s story is fully written! I am very excited about where this series is headed and can’t wait to share it with you all.

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My new writing nook. Complete with surrounding bookshelves and requisite Minion cup.

Right now you’re probably shaking your heads and wanting to remind me that I still haven’t released book 2, The Secrets of the Vanmars. Well…we’ll talk about that later, how does that sound? Much later. I’m working on it—really—it’s just waiting for this person and that person to answer emails.

I am currently forcing myself to take a week-long break from writing before getting to work on Argetallam Saga 7. It’s all turning out to be SO fun, bwahaha.

On the side, I am also putting together something very big and very secret for the Argetallam Saga in September. Very big. Huge. And you guys are going to love it, I know.

Top book series I wish had Fandoms

These eight book series are among my All Time Favorites and I believe they are tragically underrated. I see the memes and fangirling for The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments, and I can’t help but feel jealous and think “I know of books that are even better!” (Purely my opinion, but I didn’t particularly love The Hunger Games trilogy or City of Bones.) So I cannot hold it in any longer. Here are the top book series I believe should have massive fandoms of screaming fangirls and/or fanboys staying up until 2:00 a.m. to finish the latest installments or mourning the series’ conclusions. This list has expanded since I wrote the post, so you can expect a part 2!

The Cat’s Eye Chronicles by T.L. Shreffler

I discovered this series awhile back and downloaded the first, but only read it until recently. While I thought the first chapter was a bit slow, I quickly became engrossed in the story, only stopping for trivial things like eating. I went and downloaded the second book straightaway and am now living in agony waiting for the fourth/fifth’s release.

The Captive

This was my inaugural foray into vampire love stories. The writing can be rusty in places, but the story is absolutely, positively, awesome and the romance…oh, the romance! I was so sad to see the series end and ecstatic to hear of the author planning a spinoff!

The Sunbolt Chronicles

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From what I have seen, anything by Intisar Khanani is incredible. Her original worlds with heroines who are strong, but still relatable and empathetic are unquestionably underrated. For clean, action-packed, magic-brimming fantasy, Khanani is your go-to source!

Moonlit

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Horses, ancient love, horses, age-old prophecies, sorcery, horses, and a gloriously bad villain, what more could you want? I was not expecting to enjoy this book nearly as much as I did and I was highly impressed with the author’s talent. Definitely one worthy of a fandom and I will be stalking the internet for the first word of the trilogy conclusion.

The Witches’ Sleep by Kaitlyn Deann

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I’m normally not a fan of dystopia-esque stories, but this teen author’s debut novel was the clear exception. Paranormal excitement and political intrigue mix together in perfect harmony for a story that should be read, read, read by as many people as possible.

The Squire’s Tales by Gerald Morris

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Gerald Morris’ ingenious reimagining of the Arthurian legends are among my absolute favorites. Though this is more of an MG series, I am a HUGE fan of these books and wish more people were familiar with them so I could be accompanied in my mad fangirling.

The Guardians of Vesturon by A.M. Hargrove

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Another wonderful romance series from a brilliant mind. Though they might not be for everyone, I find it impossible not to adore monotheistic, honor-conscious, chaste, swoon-worthy aliens and I can’t be the only one. Forget vampire or werewolf, if I had my pick, I’d take a Vesturion Guardian before you could say “shadar.”

 

The Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle

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This series has the singular honor of being the only one I have read beginning to end more than once. I believe Madeleine L’Engle was a true literary genius, on par with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Her stories teach love, forgiveness, and courage in the most beautiful way and we can all learn from those lessons.

ARC Review: Windswept (Moonlit, #2) by Jadie Jones @JadieJones1

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Tanzy’s journey continues in Windswept, the second installment of the Moonlit Trilogy…

Tanzy Hightower is the key in an ancient prophecy pivotal to the existence of all beings, both Seen and Unseen. Unseen who have waited a millennium for her birth are relentless in their efforts to see the prophecy fulfilled–whether for good or evil, depending on which side of the conflict one stands. Others have sworn an oath to end Tanzy’s existence, permanently.

Already, Tanzy’s body has been compromised by her enemies, her veins now home to the blood of a wild horse whose instincts are becoming impossible to control. While Tanzy’s Unseen enemies work to draw her out of a remote safe house, her friends beg her to stay in hiding. She is torn, wanting to reunite with Lucas, who has loved Tanzy since her first incarnation, yet unsure whether fulfilling the ancient prophecy will protect those she loves or destroy them.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

Release Date: July 8, 2014 from WiDo Publishing

5 out of 5 stars
I am FREAKING OUT. How did I not see that coming? Who would have seen that coming? Holy mother of crap, how could this happen? Next book, next book, next book, next book—give me the next book now, now, now—

*deep breath*

As you can see, this book has incited some fangirling. Because of Reasons, I didn’t start it until recently plus I took awhile to sit down and read it once I had it. Once I did…well. Please see the opening paragraph for answers. Without a doubt, this book shall be awarded a seat on my Shelf of Awesome beside it’s predecessor.

The plot:
To the author, you were nearly the cause of fratricide several times when my brothers interrupted me while reading this. (And I mean that in the best possible way.) I saw somewhere this book is over 100k words, but it didn’t feel like that. I tore through it in no time and there was not a dull line anywhere. This book was even more full of betrayals, twists, and shockers than the first one and no matter how hard I tried to figure everything out, I was still surprised.

Like with the first book, I spent a good deal of time missing Lucas when he wasn’t around. (Shut up.) He and Tanzy are so beautiful together and I will ship them until the day I die.

The characters:
Tanzy has basically done a whole 360 from the quiet, isolated girl she was at the beginning of Moonlit. Now she’s a determined, hardcore warrior queen pitted against the nastiest immortal in existence I’m thinking maybe he should be scared. Her relationship with Lucas has also had a few (many) hitches, but she’s still willing to work at it and that warms my little fangirl heart to no end.

We met another character at the end of Moonlit—Jayce. I wasn’t sure I’d like her and usually I don’t like the friend-type characters, but I love Jayce. Oh, sweet, adorable, artistic, intermittently deadly Jayce. If she dies, I will be furious.

As for Vanessa—I have no idea what the hell is going on with Vanessa. Let’s just say she makes politicians look honest and leave it at that.

There are a bunch of other new characters that make an appearance as well—Bridget, Reese, Iris, Abby, Kate—and one or two others. (What’s up with Mouse?) But I’m just going to skim over them here and go straight to Lucas.

I’ve mentioned him three times before this paragraph, so you have probably picked up that I’m in Lucas’ fan club. He’s another one of “my babies” (a hypothetical collective of fictional characters I wish I could protect from their creators’ cruelty). I just…he’s an awesome character. The author doesn’t make him all perfect and sparkly and gooey and I love that—his persona seems real. I need to come up with a ship name for him and Tanzy…

I recommend this book, I recommend this series, I recommend this author. If anyone asks me if I liked this, be prepared for a deluge of half-finished sentences, jumping up and down, and excited hand flailing.

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Review: Moonlit (Moonlit, 1#) by Jadie Jones

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Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that cannot be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.

When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.

But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

I have another addition for my Shelf of Awesome! I downloaded this awhile ago, but like so many other Kindle books, it was allowed to sit neglected and ignored, gathering digital dust on my electronic shelves. Then I finally opened it when I was on the train and bored out of my mind, thinking I would “just start it,” but forty minutes later, I was nearly 20% in and had to pry myself from the screen. I had high hopes when I started for magic, mystery, a teen heroine, hints of romance, and best of all—horses! Ms. Jones delivered all of that mixed into a plot with twists, turns, and a villain who deserves to be in the Dark Lord Hall of Fame alongside Voldemort, Sauron, and Mordred.

The plot:

When I began Moonlit, I had no clue it was a reincarnation story. I admit my experience with reincarnation plots is limited, but I very much liked the way this one was handled. There were parts that I wanted to be condensed or shortened, but, I’ll be truthful, those were either because my phobia of hospitals was rearing its head or I wanted to see more of Lucas (I’ll explain who he is in a minute). Overall, the plot flows smoothly quickly, and has one or two good hairpin turns at the end. There was one part in particular that I thought should have been expanded and elaborated more, but the lack of detail turned out to be a part of the storyline. The author did an excellent job of subtly hinting at the final twist so that it didn’t feel contrived and ends with a cliffhanger that is driving me insane.

The characters:

I really liked the MC, Tanzy Hightower. I sympathized with the problems she was going through even before all the supernatural elements popped up in her life. She came across as a little lost, but stronger than she gave herself credit for and good at the core. There is this one part (I won’t tell you where it is for fear of spoilers) where I wanted to slap Tanzy and shake her and scream “YOU BLOODY MORON!!!” but I still became quite fond of her.

Now let me tell you about Lucas. Lucas is an immortal who has been around since the dawn of time, is an ex-villain, and has been in love with Tanzy for over a thousand years. We know that Lucas has a dark side and is capable of true evil, but when he was around Tanzy or Spera (Tanzy’s past incarnation), I wanted to say “aww” and sigh with girlish fancy. The words “so sweet” come to mind and it seems I have a fetish for overtly protective romantic interests with unpleasant pasts who are centuries (in this case millennia) old. There was one point when I feared that we would be faced with a love triangle, but my worries were unfounded and everything came together.

Our primary villain is Asher, also an immortal like Lucas. I seem to be coming across a lot of antiheroes with “A” names—Atticus, Agamemnon, Arobynn—anyway, Asher is a sick, twisted piece of work and I would not be overly opposed to jubilatory dancing atop his grave should he snuff it. He is devious and cunning, though at one point I did wonder why he would go through the trouble of doing legwork himself when he has legions of minions at his beck and call. I confess I have my fingers crossed that he will meet his end soon.

That review ended up being a lot longer than I intended, but I am entitled to occasional fangirling. I am anxiously anticipating the release of the next installment and after reading the author’s updates on her progress with the sequel, I’m both panicked and elated. I shall live in torturous agony awaiting the next book, but in the interim, I advise everyone who likes action, magic, romance, and horses to pick this up!

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