Cover Reveal: Twelve (More #3) by T.M. Franklin

Twelve reveal

Hey hey! You know what time it is?? Cover reveal time!!! Last year I reviewed and raved over the first two books in TM Franklin’s More Trilogy, and now I’m beyond excited to have been invited to participate in the blog events for all the reveals and tours. So without further adieu… check out the very fitting-to-the-story and beautifully simplistic cover for Twelve, the third and final book in the trilogy:

Twelve-3D-PaperbackExcuse me while I Will Smith over here (yes I just used that as a verb). Isn’t it gorgeous? The covers have always grabbed me with the tiny details and the whiteness of it all.

Summary

It’s only been a few months since Ava Michaels discovered she has ties to an ancient people living in the shadows of the human world, despite their superior gifts and abilities. A select few don’t like hiding, however, and think it’s time to take control.

Now Ava’s caught up in a conspiracy in the works before she was even born. In fact, her birth was an integral part of the plan. She’s one of the Twelve, the most powerful Race ever created, and they were created for a purpose.

Ava, however, doesn’t like being told what to do.

All she wants is to start a new life with Caleb Foster, the Protector who once put his own life at risk to save hers. Before they can even think about that, however, they need to figure out exactly what the Twelve and their power-hungry leader are up to—and find a way to stop them.

Along the way, they’ll have to forge alliances with former enemies, seek out powerful new friends, and infiltrate the heavily fortified enemy stronghold in an attempt to get some answers. In the end, Ava must decide if her destiny lies in her DNA or in her conscience. If she can turn her back on what she was born to do and do what is right. If she will save the ones she loves or save the world.

Or if her ties to the Twelve mean she has no choice at all.

Excerpt

She sat up suddenly and grabbed Caleb’s hand. “Do you feel that?”

“What?” He instinctively checked the mirrors, but there was nobody behind them.

“Someone . . .” Ava’s eyes glazed over. “Someone’s coming. Fast.”

Caleb stepped on the gas, searching the horizon. “Who? Anyone familiar?”

“What’s happening?” Sophie asked.

Ava shook her head. “I can’t tell. Not yet anyway. You think it’s Protectors?”

Caleb’s jaw tightened. “Or Rogues.”

“You think they know?” Ava glanced at Sophie.

“We don’t know. Not for sure.”

“Would somebody please tell me what’s going on?” Sophie shouted from the backseat.

The temperature in the car dipped as frost formed along the edges of the windows.

“You’ve got to calm her down,” Caleb muttered, taking a turn too fast and swerving to correct.

“Now.”

Ava didn’t argue, instead scrambling over the seat to take the girl’s hand. “Sophie, listen to me. You need to stay calm, okay? Try to breathe with me.”

“But—”

“I’ll explain everything, but first you need to calm down. You see what’s happening?”

Through the mirror, Caleb saw her glance up at the roof of the car as snowflakes began to drift through the interior.

“I . . . I don’t understand,” Sophie murmured. “What’s—why is it snowing?”

“It’s you,” Ava said quietly. “You’re upset, and your gift is reacting.”

“I don’t understand what’s happening to me.” Sophie choked on a sob, and Caleb felt the telltale prickle of another Race signature along the edges of his consciousness.

“I feel them now,” he said, sitting taller in the seat and leaning forward as if willing the car to go faster.

Ava didn’t respond but remained focused on Sophie.

Caleb felt Ava’s gift and knew she was letting it flow into the girl a little, helping calm her.

“We’ll help you.” Ava sounded so calm and soothing. “We’ll help you learn to control it, but for right now, you need to calm down. Breathe with me, okay?”

Sophie nodded and swallowed tears as she tried to match Ava’s inhale and exhale.

The snow stopped.

“That’s good.” Ava nodded encouragingly. “Keep breathing. I need you to stay calm. Someone’s coming, and I’m guessing they’re after you.”

Sophie’s breath caught, and the ice gathering on the dashboard cracked.

“It’s okay,” Ava hurried to say. “Keep breathing. Stay calm. We’re going to keep you safe.”

Sophie gripped Ava’s hand, but she kept breathing slowly in and out. “How?”

Ava smiled. “You asked what I could do? Well, I’m about to show you.”

Find Twelve on Goodreads and add it to your TBR!

Meet The Author

TM_Franklin

TM. Franklin started out her career writing nonfiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a BA in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. Her first published novel, MORE, was born out of a challenge to write a novel in thirty days issued during National Novel Writing month. MORE was well received, selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, and won the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards.

In addition to MORE and its sequels, The Guardians and TWELVE, Franklin has penned the Amazon best-selling short stories, Window and A Piece of Cake. Her new YA romance How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You is Franklin’s first love story without traditionally recognized paranormal or fantasy elements. Although . . . T. M. is the first to argue that love is the best kind of magic.

Find TM on: Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+ | LinkedIn

And now, a giveaway!

Click on the link below to be taken to a giveaway for a few prizes, including ARCs of Twelve and other goodies!

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Read It Again Review: Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Title: Some Quiet Place
Author: Kelsey Sutton
Genre: YA, paranormal, romance
Publisher/Publication Date: Flux / July 8, 2013
How Did I Get It? Bought it
Format? Paperback

Synopsis from Goodreads: I can’t feel sadness, anger, or fear. I can’t feel anything. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them in human form. Longing hovers around the shy, adoring boy at school. Courage materializes beside her dying friend. Fury and Resentment visit her abusive home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, except beautiful Fear, who sometimes torments her and other times plays her compassionate savior. He’s obsessed with finding the answer to one question: What happened to Elizabeth to make her this way?

They both sense that the key to Elizabeth’s condition is somehow connected to the paintings of her dreams, which show visions of death and grief that raise more questions than answers. But as a shadowy menace begins to stalk her, Elizabeth’s very survival depends on discovering the truth about herself. When it matters most, she may not be able to rely on Fear to save her.

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I’ve actually read this book once before, and reviewed it back when The Thousand Lives was but a wee blog with a writer who had no idea what she was doing. So now that Where Silence Gathers (the companion novel) is being released tomorrow (go get it!), I thought I’d reread SQP and review it again to spread the word a bit more! I was actually approved for Where Silence Gathers on NetGalley… but screwed up and let my copy expire. So now I have to wait, and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the series goes. But let’s get back to Some Quiet Place…

My feelings about the book are exactly the same as before – so huge points to Kelsey for making her book so rereadable! I still think it’s one of the most unique ideas I’ve ever read. I’m not a huge paranormal fan (but I’m getting better at that), so for me to say that I loved it is pretty high praise. The concept of personified emotions and elements is so intriguing! And I thought that Kelsey did a great job at making Elizabeth truly emotionless – I was easily able to track her barriers crumbling down as she felt more and more.

The shining factor of this book though, was Fear, and his relationship with Elizabeth. Fear is a complex character – mysterious, passionate, almost frightening at times (derp – he’s supposed to be terrifying). He has such an electric personality, and he jumps out every time he’s on the page. Not to mention the fact that he’s pretty stinkin’ hot. As Elizabeth and Fear encounter all the issues of the past that were buried, I couldn’t wait to see what would happen to the two of them. And the ending… ❤ I loved it!

The one thing I would complain about is that the middle part of the book had me confused at times, like it was really fuzzy. The plot blurred a bit for a few chapters, but I finally figured it out. Other than that, I really don’t have too much to complain about!

So if you’re interested in a unique idea, a mystery-filled plot, two well-written main characters, and a sexy romance, this book might be for you! Go out and support Kelsey, especially as this is her debut, and her sophomore novel is released tomorrow!

My Final Rating:

Four stars

ARC Review: My Best Friend Death by Michael Anthony

Title: My Best Friend Death
Author: Michael Anthony
Genre: YA, paranormal
Publisher/Publication Date: Self-published / June 5, 2014
How Did I Get It? NetGalley
Format? Ebook

Synopsis from Goodreads: Damien Crown devotes his life to being his brother’s superman. Like all heroes, he’s locked in a deadly war with a formidable foe—his brother’s depression. Instead of perishing in a climactic battle as comics suggest, he dies at the screech of tires and the blare of a car horn. But in those last precious moments, he regrets not taking off the cape and living his own life.

But those regrets don’t last long when Death becomes his life-coach.

Given a new body and one more year to live, Damien seizes the opportunity to reinvent himself. Forbidden by Death from making contact with his old family, he knows the trek will be hard, but he’s happy to leave behind the pressures of his old life.

Until his brother attempts suicide.

Now, the only way to save his brother is to break Death’s rules. But with a life any kid would kill for, Damien finds himself stuck between who he was, and who he wants to be. He can don his cape and die for his brother, or hang it up and finally live for himself.

*This book contains strong subject matter that may not be appropriate for some readers, including suicide, school violence, and teen alcohol and drug abuse.*

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When I sat down to write this review, I actually couldn’t do it. So here’s try #2 – hopefully I can get all my thoughts out right. The easiest way for me to do this is split it between my objective view and my subjective view. Because objectively I’d rate this book two stars, but subjectively I give it one star. But I try not to have my personal issues and perspectives influence my reviews, so here’s both sides:

Objectively, I think…

There were some really great points in this book, all relating to the friendships that Damien forms in this last year of his life. I enjoyed their times together, but other than that I had a hard time getting into the story. While the synopsis makes the book sound like it’ll be focused on Damien’s younger brother, the reality is that he’s only mentioned a few times, and only to incite more issues for Damien. Actually, most of the characters seemed to be pretty flat once I really looked at them, and were like pawns moved around to cause the most trouble for Damien. And that leads me to the plot – there seemed to be no rest or forward movement. Damien would learn something, and take page after page of “profound” thinking to sort it out.

Very much like a pre-Hazel version of Gus – overly pretentious in his big thinking

After, though, there would be another problem thrown at him. And the whole cycle would repeat. By the end of the book, I actually found that Damien had a devolvement in his character – the whole book seemed pointless when I read that last line.

Subjectively, I had the same issues, plus 3 other personal problems (SPOILERS):

1) After the school shooting, Josh (Damien’s best friend) falls into a deep depression and turns to drinking to handle it all. He loved the boy that killed everyone, but nothing was even mentioned prior to that to even indicate that he may be gay. It was like the author simply needed a box to check to make the characters more diverse. Plus, when he spends 99% of his days completely drunk, his parents just say, “Oh, King [Damien’s new name], could you watch out for him?” WHERE WAS THE PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT?? Your kid just saw someone shoot up a school, then himself, now he’s plastered all the time and you just drive off to go see a movie? I have huge issues with that.

2) Damien’s whole intent for his last year is to have a better life – understandable, what with his dad being an emotionally abusive drunk. But his definition of a “better life” is to be as popular as he can be, get the hottest girl, smoke pot, and attend all the coolest parties. Where is the longevity in that thinking? It’s such a narrow scope of life that I immediately took a disliking to Damien. There is so much more to life, and I just couldn’t stand with the message that high school parties are the pinnacle of existence.

3) The ending, both with Taylor and the baby, and how Damien retaliates against Life. I had such high hopes – Damien finally understands that there is more to life, and is ready to be a father. And then Josh, in a drunken state – again, where is the parental responsibility? – rams his Jeep into their car coming home from the hospital, killing Taylor and the baby. Having lost everyone, Damien sets out on a vindictive rampage, and the final line is him walking up to Life’s wife (she isn’t supposed to know Life’s identity), and telling her, indirectly sentencing Life to death. It was a disappointing ending, to see Damien revert to an even worse person than he was before dying. And while part of me understands that there sometimes isn’t a happy ending, and that people are sometimes really sick human beings at their core, I just couldn’t stomach it. I had been ready to give it three stars until that final chapter, and then it all went down the drain. I shouldn’t finish a book and think, “why did I waste my time for all of that?” I really wish I could accept it a bit better, but personally I want to read books about people choosing to be better. Life is cruel enough as it is, and people are even crueler. I’d like a little escapism, please.

My final thoughts?

My Final Rating:

One star

Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Title: Dreams of Gods and Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: YA, paranormal
Publisher/Publication Date: Little, Brown & Company / April 8, 2014
How Did I Get It? Bought it
Format? Hardcover

Synopsis from Goodreads: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

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I was skeptical. I was really, really skeptical that Taylor could possibly outdo herself and write a book better than Days of Blood and Starlight. And yet, she has, in the form of Dreams of Gods and Monsters. It’s currently midnight, on Tuesday night (Wednesday morning?), I have to be up in seven hours, and I really couldn’t care less right now because the lack of sleep is BEYOND WORTH IT. I will wear my under-eye shadows with pride and joy tomorrow while I’m at work, because I’ll have 600 pages of pure glory all floating around in my head.

Me tomorrow, but a lot less badass and more fangirly

I really don’t even know how to properly review this book. I mean, there’s nothing to nitpick. Literally. I can find no faults in it. The storytelling was so tightly woven, even among the several different POVs – which I usually hate. There was a new character introduced, Eliza, and she fit in so seamlessly with the rest of the cast that I didn’t even question her chapters. And the other characters? Oh god where do I even begin. Karou, Akiva, Mik, Zuzana, Liraz (oh my baby Liraz), Ziri (my OTHER baby Ziri) – and so many more. The shipping abounded, many squeals were to be had, screams of fear and rejection could be heard from my corner of the couch, and I’m pretty sure my heart was fluttering more than is healthy towards those last 50 pages. Because really, there must have been a hummingbird trapped in their or something. My whole body was thrumming because I was so enthralled and immersed into this story.

I can’t get my hair as spiky as Tennant’s, but basically this

And that epilogue. Oh that epilogue. I was completely prepared to accept the last chapter in stoicism and understanding the grim realities of war and sometimes things don’t end the way we want them to, but no. I didn’t have to survive with that facade of screaming inside because why. There was… the epilogue. The. Epilogue. And really I can’t speak to anything that’s inside those precious few pages, because spoilers, but trust me – all wounds are healed and my heart really can’t take any more feels. How everything ended was just… it was perfect. There is no other word for it but perfect. But let’s get the thesaurus out, shall we? Ideal, faultless, exemplary, quintessential, etc. Tack on as many as needed. Hint: there aren’t enough synonyms to fully encompass the utter perfection. And to Mrs. Laini Taylor:

WAS a privilege. WAS. And I will do it all over again any day.

So how’s that for my non-review? It’s the best I can do, and I’m surprised there wasn’t more capital letters and cursing. And I actually think three gifs is a good ration for me. And I spoke in whole sentences! Maybe. But really I think I’m just in shock right now and I can’t handle all of the amazingness that I just read. I inhaled 300 pages in two hours – I think it’s time to go to bed now. But my final words: READ. THE. SERIES. READ THE FREAKING BOOKS.

Because I couldn’t resist

My Final Rating:

Six stars