I’m excited to be a part of the Blood and Snow Blog Tour!









Title: Blood and Snow

Author: RaShelle Workman

Publication date:  2013

Genre: YA Paranormal


Every thousand years the Vampire Queen selects a new body, always the fairest in the land, and this time she’s chosen Snow White.

Snow isn’t an ordinary girl. She doesn’t know that yet.

When Snow gets bitten by a Hunter, her life is thrown into a whirlwind of change where instead of worrying about what to eat, she has to fight not to drink the blood of fellow high school students. She becomes a revenant – not quite human, not quite vampire.

With the help of an eccentric old Professor, his seven adoptive sons, and her best friend, Snow learns to control her blood craving. Sort of.  She drinks a bloodlust tea, but she’d rather drink from her Hunter.

Or, a human.

She also discovers a whole other realm, one filled with fairies, dragons, and magic. And not only does the Vampire Queen want her, but there’s a pendant called the Seal of Gabriel created for Snow by the Vampire Queen’s twin sister. And Snow’s supposed to use it to restore balance to all magical creatures. Including vampires.


“I’ve had several seriously sexual day dreams about the new guy. Have you seen him?”



“Cin, I didn’t need to know that.” I jammed my math book into my backpack, and slammed the locker door. Cindy rested her petite frame against the locker next to mine. Her radiant baby blues twinkled. “No, I haven’t seen him. Apparently he’s . . . cute?” I asked.



She snorted. “Cute? No! He isn’t a kitten. He’s hot, sexier than hell, and has a voice that could melt chocolate.”



I had to laugh. Cindy had a way with words. It’d been like that since first grade. We met our first day of school. She’d traded me her Twinkie for my apple with the line, “I don’t think you should eat the apple, Snow White.” We’d been friends almost ten years.



She was different than me in every way, except our blue eyes. She was the epitome of a waif, while I towered over her at five foot eight. She had blond hair that hung long, and was always perfectly styled, mine was a boring dark brown, and came to just below my ears. Her clothes were the latest fashion, as were her nails, makeup, and jewelry, including the heart shaped stud in her belly button. Me, well let’s just say I didn’t own any makeup, and my clothes consisted of baggy jeans, and large old t-shirts, thanks to my seven best friends, and their hand-me-downs. My nails were stubby, and my ears weren’t even pierced. Honestly, I wondered if Cin found me embarrassing sometimes, but I gave her points for sticking around.



“Melt chocolate, huh? He sounds nice.”



“Snow!” She stomped her foot. “Nice isn’t even a proper word. It’s in the same arena as fine, good, okay, and pure.” She shuddered.



“What’s wrong with pure?” I asked, unable to help a laugh, and started toward the gym.



She jogged next to me. “Nothing if you’re Snow White.”


amazonprofileRaShelle Workman is the bestselling author of the Dead Roses series (“Sleeping Roses” is being translated into Turkish, and will be available in print wherever Turkish books are sold in 2014), the Immortal Essence series, and the Blood and Snow series. She’s sold over two hundred thousand copies of her novels worldwide in the past year, including Japan, Canada, and Europe. You can find RaShelle all over the web, but the best place to start is on her blog: www. rashelleworkman.com’





Posted by Opal in Blog Tour Comment

Today I’m pleased to be a part of the Surface Blog Tour!







Bound to the water bound to land, a Siren’s soul will never be safe on either side of the ocean’s surface. Hidden beneath the rolling waves lies the secret to Theia’s past and as she unveils each haunting truth, she realizes the last seventeen years of her life have been a lie. Now, drawn into a mysterious new world and with nowhere to turn, Theia must place her trust in Luc, a beautiful boy who stops her heart with each dazzling smile, but even his unearthly charm can’t hide the truth—he has secrets— dark secrets binding him to his world—an underwater world where Theia will never belong—a world determined to destroy her soul.








He reached behind the tapestry and removed a book with worn letters across the front—La Doctrine de l’Origine. The book was bound in a scaly coat, like fish skin. Its edges were torn, and some of the larger scales had peeled off. Luc opened the book filled with thick pages, not made with paper, but rather some type of hide, and the lettering was burgundy, as if scrolled in blood.



Luc flipped through the pages and stopped a quarter of the way in. He set the heavy book down on the ship’s wheel.



“Here, look.” He pointed to a familiar image. “This is the mark—it is on you, and it is on me—it’s the birthmark of all Artagasians.”



Theia leaned in close to the pages. They smelled of dried fish, but also sweet like orange blossoms. Her finger traced the outline of the sketched birthmark. The same mark she had seen in the mirror her whole life. She had always been ashamed of the giant smudge on her arm, but not now, not when it lay so beautifully drawn in this book, not when her birthmark meant so much more.



TiffanyTiffany Daune doesn’t get why people want to grow up or why anyone would ever stop eating candy. Her purse is filled with books, lip gloss and a few pieces of Lego bricks. She writes best with a dish of chocolate chips on hand and finds licorice makes a better straw than plastic.
She lives on an island and believes mermaids may be raiding her candy stash, thoughshe hasn’t caught them, yet.
Surface is her first novel and pairs well with gummy sharks.









a Rafflecopter giveaway



Posted by Opal in Blog Tour | Tagged , , Comment

I’ve decided to take a break from the blog. I’ve been going at it for about a year and I need a staycation or something. I haven’t even been logging on the computer. I’m not reading as much anymore anyway. Although I am listening to audiobooks. I’m not sure I’ll be posting as much when I start blogging again. I have to rethink things through.



Have a great couple of weeks!



Posted by Opal in News 4 Comments




Cover Love is a feature here at The Akamai Reader where I highlight cover art.



nirvana effect






I’ve already reviewed NIRVANA EFFECT but I felt this cover needed special attention. I adore the way her hair is electrified. For an Indie book, this cover is very polished.


When I first received this book for submission I was really impressed and I wanted to read the book more for the cover then for the content. It was a good thing this was a good book even if the genre wasn’t quite up my thing. I don’t regret reading it though! I think it broadened my reading experience.




Posted by Opal in Book talk | Tagged , , , , 3 Comments




TITLE: Carnival of Souls


AUTHOR: Melissa Marr


PUBLISHER: HarperCollins


RELEASE DATE: September 4, 2012


PURCHASE AT: Amazon - Kindle - Barnes and Noble







In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures–if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.
All Mallory knows of The City is that her father–and every other witch there–fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it’s only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable.While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.
From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and Graveminder, comes a brand-new tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one’s own destiny.






Melissa Marr has created a magical and violent world of witches and daimons. The daimons  rule the carnival and the witches are banished to the human world. In the human world, Mallory trains with her foster father to fend off daimon attacks. Her father is a witch and she has no power. All she can rely on is guns.



Kai is a daimon. A cur. One of the lowliest ranks of daimons there is, but he’s climbing the ranks. He’s also an assassin.  He meets Mallory and the sparks fly. I loved Kai. He had unswerving loyalty. He had faith in his abilities and in his belief that he and Mallory were meant to be together.



I thought Mallory acted very grown up. Even though she had problems with her father, she put that aside and decided to deal with that when he was out of trouble. She was determined to rescue him. Her love for him was more important then any issue she had with him. I admired that about her.



The world-building in CARNIVAL OF SOULS  was expertly done. The daimon world was multi-layered into several tiers of structured levels. The carnival was carefully constructed into a world of wonder. It was lovely to read about.



CARNIVAL OF SOULS has so much going for it. Sympathetic characters, skilled world-building, and heart-pounding action. I can’t recommend it enough.





Posted by Opal in 4 stars, Fantasy | Tagged , , , , , 1 Comment

The Steel Queen



TITLE: The Steel Queen



AUTHOR: Karen Azinger



PUBLISHER: Kiralynn Epics



RELEASE DATE: October 26, 2011



PURCHASE AT: Amazon - Kindle - Barnes and Noble







In a medieval world of forgotten magic, mortals are lured to the chessboard of the gods where an epic struggle of lives, loves and crowns hang in the balance, yet few understand the rules.
In this game of power, the pawns of light and darkness will make the difference in the battle for the kingdoms of Erdhe: Katherine, ‘The Imp’: a young princess with the stout heart of a warrior will challenge the minions of a thousand-year-old evil.
Liandra: The Spider Queen; who uses her beauty to beguile, her spies to foresee, and her gold to control, will need all of her skill and strength to fight a rebellion with her own blood at it’s heart.


Steffan, the puppeteer, will corrupt the innocent and unwary with greed and desire, as he sets an entire kingdom ablaze.





THE STEEL QUEEN has many different interweaving stories. Each of them are seamlessly intergrated. They were a little confusing at first but once I got into the rhythm of the book I was fully immersed in the world of Erdhe.


Kath was a sympathetic character but she wasn’t the only one to empathize with. There were the Royal J’s as the Princes and Princesses of Navarre were known. There was also Queen Liandra of Lanverness also known as the Spider Queen and her son Prince Stewart heir to the Rose Throne.


There was enough variety of characters to keep you interested yet not too many to confuse you. The villains were realistic and believable. Making the story all the more lifelike, as lifelike as a fantasy could be.


Azinger wove a story that was intriguing and mesmerizing. The action was likewise a riveting, page-turning affair. I enjoyed this book immensely. The resolution made me long for the next book in a cliff-hanger left me with many questions. What’s next? Only the next book can answer that.



*A free copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.




Posted by Opal in 4 stars, Fantasy | Tagged , , , , , , Comment




Waiting on Wednesday is a feature hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that features future releases.





Jane and Vincent go to Long Parkmeade to spend time with Jane’s family, but quickly turn restless. The year is unseasonably cold. No one wants to be outside and Mr. Ellsworth is concerned by the harvest, since a bad one may imperil Melody’s dowry. And Melody has concerns of her own, given the inadequate selection of eligible bachelors. When Jane and Vincent receive a commission from a prominent family in London, they decide to take it, and take Melody with them. They hope the change of scenery will do her good and her marriage prospects—and mood—will be brighter in London.
Once there, talk is of nothing but the crop failures caused by the cold and increased unemployment of the coldmongers, which have provoked riots in several cities to the north. With each passing day, it’s more difficult to avoid getting embroiled in the intrigue, none of which really helps Melody’s chances for romance. It’s not long before Jane and Vincent realize that in addition to getting Melody to the church on time, they must take on one small task: solving a crisis of international proportions.




I first learned about the Glamourist Histories Series from Lee at She-Wolf Reads and I was hooked. The first two books, Shades of Milk and Honey (Review) and Glamour in Glass (Review) captivated me. I love the unique blend of magic and Regency romance. I really can’t wait for Without a Summer to come out and April seems too far off.


What are you waiting for? Let me know in the comments. Happy reading!




Posted by Opal in Book talk | Tagged , , , , , 1 Comment




TITLE: Empire Zero (Act I: Tinder and Tear)



AUTHOR: Bert Barling



PUBLISHER: Bert Barling



RELEASE DATE: May 27, 2012



PURCHASE AT: Kindle - Barnes and Noble








Magic is a near-forgotten memory, its appearance primarily relegated to embellished barroom tales and children’s bedtime stories. The world’s dragon population has been obliterated, long ago driven into extinction by the heroes of yesteryear. Yet, even without dragons, the world still remains one of danger, hardship, and oppression.
Dwarves have taken the highest seat in the social hierarchy, exploiting ogres and gremlins in their prosperous industrial cities as a cheap source of menial labor—a necessity that ensures their world-spanning empire’s continued stability. Most elves now live in exile, banished from civilized lands for their abuse of the arcane arts. Even the orcs are scarcely seen, their race doomed to a slow decline after the eradication of their dragon masters. For the wealthy bureaucrats that now rule the Dwarven Empire, the world is nearly the idyllic paradise envisioned ages ago.


Recently, however, human settlements have begun to appear inside dwarven territory. Many speculate a dwarven invasion of these settlements would have already begun if not for the threat of rare human women, nicknamed “flamedancers,” who inherently command the primal force of fire. It is rumored, though, that the dwarven factory-city of Rosary has developed a solution to this obstacle, and soon nothing—not even the flamedancers—will be able save humankind from destruction.








This book suffered from too many different storylines and not enough resolution. There was Castor, who was searching for medicine for his sister. He, along with Raine the Pathfinder and Doc the Ogre, travelled the Wasteland to get to a town for the medicine. In the end they never did find the medicine and all they really did was travel the Wasteland.


The two Ogre brothers, Grim and Tonn, had a story with more resolution and this was my favorite of the book. Unfortunately not much focus was placed on it. It was rather tragic too.


Maeve’s story was the most interesting. She was a novice flamedancer, a magic-wielder that could manipulate fire. She joined the bandit group, The Charred Hand, to learn how to use her magic. Maeve’s story didn’t start until the halfway point of the book though. Her story was almost like an afterthought.


None of these stories really intersected or had much to do with one another. The only crossing point was that the Ogres worked in a foundry that produced military weapons for the dwarves. Maeve’s hometown was destroyed by a military weapon used by the dwarves. That’s the only common denominator other then the fact they all happened in the same world.


At one point of the story, Castro had a dream of his sister. They seemed to be communicating with each other. There also seemed to be something menacing chasing her. It was an interesting point of his story but I was disappointed when Barling didn’t go anywhere with it.


There were a lot of promising starts to EMPIRE ZERO, but ulitimately it was more starts then resolutions.  Some of the characters were engaging, unfortunately there were too many of them. Nothing in this book really lead me to believe I would enjoy the rest of the series. Ultimately this book wasn’t for me.






*A free copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.




Posted by Opal in 2 stars, Fantasy | Tagged , , , , , , Comment




TITLE: Everbound



AUTHOR: Brodi Ashton



PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray



RELEASE DATE: January 22, 2013



PURCHASE AT: Amazon - Kindle - Barnes and Noble







Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.
Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.
Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.





EVERBOUND, The sequel to EVERNEATH had a lot more action it then the first book. In it, Cole and Nikki travel to the Everneath itself to rescue Jack from the Tunnels. It was a thrilling ride and it had a lot heart-racing scenes that left me breathless.


I felt like I finally got a glimpse into Cole’s heart. The whole reason he’s accompanying Nikki is because he loves her. Even though he knows he’ll lose her to Jack, he’s doing this because he loves her. I thought that was very noble of him.



Usually what happens in second books is the love triangle gets amped up a notch. This book was a little different. While Cole shows his better side, Jack is completely absent. He only appears in flashbacks when Nikki relates her memories of him. Nikki remained steadfast in her goal to save Jack and Cole had a hard time competing with her memories.



The twist at the end of the book was a complete surprise for me. Part of it didn’t really make sense, but it left me gasping and aching for the next book. All I can do is crawl the walls until it’s release!



Posted by Opal in 4 stars, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , 2 Comments




TITLE: Everneath



AUTHOR: Brodi Ashton



PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray



RELEASE DATE: January 24, 2012



PURCHASE AT: Amazon - Kindle - Barnes and Noble








Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she’s returned–to her old life, her family, her boyfriend–before she’s banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.


Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance–and the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen.

As Nikki’s time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole’s queen.





Nikkie’s return to the Surface was a painful and awkward time. Her body has wasted away. She’s lost her friends. Nikki is still determined to spend every minute she can making it up to her family.


Reading about how she tried to repair her relationship with Jack was heartbreaking. She was so insecure and unsure of herself. I ached for both of them.


I had a hard time getting a read on Cole. I couldn’t tell if he wanted Nikki to return to the Everneath for his own sake or for his ambitions. I loved the complexity of his character.


The urgency of EVERNEATH got to me. I was rushing to finish this book. I had to find out if Nikki and Jack reconciled. I had to find out if Nikki found a way to escape the Everneath. I had to find out if Nikki and Cole were able to become closer.


I loved the cast of EVERNEATH. Nikki was strong and determined, while Jack was a perfect match for her. Cole’s complexity intrigued me. The pacing of this book kept me enthralled. Everneath itself was a fascinating place. I loved the myth retelling aspect of this book. Even though I saw it coming, the end of the book took my breath away because I didn’t want it to happen. All in all, this book was a strong start to the series.






Posted by Opal in 4 stars, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , 2 Comments