Release Blitz Halayda

About the Book

Title: Halayda

Author: Sarah Delena White

Genre: Mythology / Steampunk

A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.

Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.


Author Bio

Sarah Delena White writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is the Benevolent Firebird (acquisitions editor) for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, drinking tea, and working a variety of odd jobs. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.

Buy on Amazon

Social Media Links






Etsy Jewelry Store:


Win a signed copy of “Halayda”.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review The Blood-Tainted Winter

The Blood Tainted Winter - EbookTitle: The Blood-Tainted Winter

Author: T.L. Greylock

Genre: Mythological Fantasy

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Raef Skallagrim wants to take the sea road. His ship is fast and sleek, his crew skilled and eager, and they will seek out new lands and win fame in the eyes of the gods. But Raef’s father refuses to allow the journey and when a stranger brings word that the king is dead and a gathering has been called to choose a successor, Raef must set aside his dream for his duty to his ancestral lands and his father. 

When factions split at the gathering to choose a successor, Raef finds himself mired in bloodshed and treachery. Forced to make an uneasy alliance with a man he does not trust, Raef must navigate the tides of a war among three kings while seeking revenge for cold-blooded murder. 

But winter has come early to Midgard, and even the gods will feel the cold.

In The Blood-Tainted Winter, Raef dreams of going off to sea along with a crew, find fame and discover new lands. Unfortunately he has to set aside his dreams because the king has died, and duty calls him and his father to go to a gathering to choose the next successor. But this doesn’t work without the necessary intrigue, and even some bloodshed. Raef is forced into an uneasy alliance while he sees revenge while three kings battle for the throne.

I don’t want to give out too many spoilers, so I only briefly touched upon the plot. The most powerful part of the book, in my opinion, is the characterization. Raef feels vry realistic. He has to make some tough decisions, choosing between duty and taking revenge, and he really struggles with that.

Although mythological fantasy, there wasn’t as much world-building as I’d anticipated. Instead, the story focused more on the characters, what drove them to do what they did, and the plot. It was a pleasant read, but I wouldn’t have minded finding out more about Raef’s world. Maybe in the next book?

Recommended to anyone who enjoys fantasy with lots of intrigue.

Mini-Review: The White Oak, Hurt, Pantomime


Time for some mini-reviews! What are mini-reviews, you ask? As the title suggests, these are short reviews, consisting of one paragraph tops, about a book. It’s a way to catch up on the books I’ve read a while ago, but never got around to reviewing.

The White Oak

Title: The White Oak

Author: Kim White

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mythology

Rating: 3 stars

Purchase: Amazon

In The White Oak, the first book in the Imperfect Darkness series, Cora Alexander is pulled through a sinkhole and enters the underworld still alive. Her living presence threatens the tyrannical rule of Minos and the Infernal Judges who have hijacked the afterlife and rebuilt it, trapping human souls in a mechanical, computer-controlled city that lies at the core of the earth. To survive, Cora must rely on her untrustworthy guide, Minotaur, an artificial intelligence. She is helped by a mysterious voice, and by Sybil, underworld librarian and author of each person’s book of life. When Cora’s own book is destroyed, Sybil gives her a golden pen and sends her into the City to begin writing her own destiny. Along the way, she reunites with the ghost of her dead brother, Lucas, a genius programmer who alone is capable of finding the chink in Minos armor. This fast-paced adventure begins, and ends, in the middle of the action; introducing the characters, themes, and mysteries that find their resolution later in the series.

Review: The story was great, but the writing could’ve been better. I was conflicted about Cora Alexander, about whether or not I liked her. Her emotions could’ve been a tad better explained, and we only get a one-sided narrative. The pacing lagged too. World-building was great though.


Title: Hurt

Author: Travis Thrasher

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Christian, Horror

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

His Rebellion Will Soon Turn to Hope When Chris Buckley first encountered the mysteries of creepy Solitary, North Carolina, he had little idea how far he would fall into the town’s shadows. After losing the love of his life, Chris tried to do things his way. He hunted answers. Then he gave up trying to find them. But now Chris comes back to Solitary knowing there’s a purpose for his being there. As he watches his place in a twisted and evil bloodline become clear, Chris waits for the last battle—and wonders who will be left when he finally makes his stand. The fourth and final book in the Solitary Tales shines light into deep darkness as Chris’s journey to Solitary comes to a dramatic close.

Review: I had no idea this was the fourth book in a series, but I enjoyed the book all the same. It’s a Christian-themed book though, but I didn’t mind. There’s a mystery, solid writing, and horror. I felt easily connected to main character Chris, and the town of Solitary was almost like a character on its own. Definitely recommended to horror fans.


Title: Pantomime

Author: Laura Lam

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

Rating: 5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilization long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

Review: This book was absolutely brilliant. It’s so original and refreshing! The characters are great, the writing is fantastic, and the plot twists are totally unexpected. Amazing!

Book Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

9413044Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 24th 2012
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon | Author Website
Review copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being 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 months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.
As Nikki’s time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she’s 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..

Everneath is the debut novel by author Brodi Ashton, and what a debut it is. In this book you will find originality, intriguing characters with complex and sometimes addictive personalities, a love story so tragic it makes Romeo and Julia look like a hilarious comedy and a story and mythology so compelling that they pull you in from the very start. Brodi Ashton did some impressive worldbuilding before starting this book, and although original in its concept, it relies heavily on the myths of Hades and Persephone and Orpheus and Euridyce. But the author mixes these elements of Greek Mythology with new and refreshing ideas and the outcome is an entirily new world next to our own called the Everneath, where the immortals called Everlivings have to go once every hundred years to feed. And guess what they feed on? Well, humans. That’s to say, human emotions at least. Now if that concept isn’t thrilling enough to pick up this book, then I don’t know what is. Although impressive, the worldbuilding isn’t too complicated, and you don’t have to study numerous terms to discover what everything means. It’s all pretty straightforward, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting.

The story starts of with the heroine of this book, Nikki Beckett, waking up from a century-long sleep in the Everneath, still partially attached to Cole, one of the Everlivings. Miraculously enough, Nikki hasn’t age in this entire time, which equals six months on earth. Normally the Forfeits age significantly, turning to old hags by the time they return from the Everneath. They also loose all of their memories, the happy ones and the painful ones. But when Nikki wakes up, the memory of a brown-haired boy is glued inside her mind. Since she didn’t age, Nikki gets to choose, and instead of death or the life of an Everliving, she chooses to Return to earth. Unfortunately this Return is on one condition: she only has six months before the Shades come and get her. That doesn’t mean she will die. No, her fate when the Shades get her will be much worse than death. It will include an eternity in nothingness. But Nikki is willing to take that risk as long as she gets to see that brown-haired boy one last time.

As she returns to Earth, her memories return as well. Turns out that brown-haired boy is her ex-boyfriend Jack, whom she loved deeply. Now let me say that the “Missing Adult” syndrom is heavily present in this book, since everyone, including Nikki’s father accepts her reasons for dissapearing for six months with ease. No significant search parties. No long police reports about where she was at, no scoulding for ever dissapearing. Putting that aside, Nikki goes back to school as if nothing happened. But things did happen. She is estranged from her class mates, her former best friend and of course, from Jack. But she’s determined to stay on earth and to at least say goodbye to every one, something she couldn’t do the last time. As we see Nikki struggling to get her old life back and to apologize to her old friends, we are occassionally shown how her life was prior to everything that happened and that brought her to the Everneath. Turns out that she and Jack had a sweet albeit short-lived relationship, complete with little moments that make you go ‘aaaah how cute’. Nikki’s life was far from perfect, but she was happy. It makes the reader wonder how and when that happiness got smatched into smithereens, causing her to leave everything behind and leave for the Everneath. Let me just say that it’s not as cliché and stupid as a relationship gone wrong; at least that’s not all there is to it. But as to what else, you’ll have to find out for yourself. This dual perspective, of the narrator Nikki before the Everneath – an ordinary, hopeful, cheerful young girl who already had her fair share of trouble in life but is willing to cope with it – and then Nikki afterwards, an empty shell of her former self, a zombie-like girl who lets life just wash over her in a sense, but is on the other hand also fighting desperately to keep hold of her own life before the Tunnels come to devour her.

Nikki is a very dual-sided character, which makes her interesting and a lot more intriguing than ordinary YA heroines. She isn’t some kick-ass warrior-type fighter, or some extraordinary powerful witch or goddess or whatever. No, in fact, she’s quite the opposite. Nikki Beckett is ordinary. She’s about as ordinary as they come. And even though she got tricked into going to the Everneath, there she’s nothing but food to feed on for the Everlivings. But what does Nikki do that makes her more than ordinary? It’s not some secret power she inherited through generations, or some ancient magic that lives up inside of her. It’s love. Love makes her hold on. Love makes her hope. A love so powerful that she, unlike everyone else in the Everneath, does not let go of her memories. She cherishes them instead, she leans and supports on them, and they pull her through in the very end. Nikki Beckett has a special power for sure. She loves. And when she does, she does so wholeheartedly, with her entire being. And it’s that unconditional, powerful love that gave her the strength to survive the Everneath and to make the decision to Return to the Surface, even though only for six months. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Nikki Beckett’s only superpower. I found it so amazing and refreshing to read about a heroine who is both completely powerless and completely powerful at the same time. Nikki has no extraordinary abilities like magic or anything of the kind, not like most YA heroines who suddenly discover that they’re excellent witches or talented vampire slayers. But Nikki isn’t one to sit around and be powerless either. She takes control of her own life, and she basically gives Hell, the Everneath, the Everlivings and all the rest of the world the middle finger. She will certainly die within six months, but she isn’t about to be bullied into choosing the easy path by anyone, no matter how hard they try.

Nikki Beckett is one of those people who fight blindly for love and who do so with their very being. That’s the only thing that makes her extraordinary, but it’s more than enough. It makes her unique. It makes her a lovable and enjoyable character, a person of whom we all wish we could be more like her. Additionally, there is a giant gap between the Nikki-before and the Nikki-after, and it’s interesting to see the changes the Everneath has had on her. As she regains more and more of her humanity and actual human emotions seem to slip through, we also find out more about her journey. She returns from the zombie-like state she was in first, with as only wish to say a proper goodbye, to a girl willing to fight for her own destiny and her own life. She sheds of the feeling of defeat and “I can’t do anything about it anyway” and instead she gets off her butt and goes and tries to do something about it. I have to admit she might have never gotten to that poin if it weren’t for Jack and the fact that he’s the sweetest boyfriend in the world, but that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that she isn’t willing to give up nor is she willing to back down. Without superpowers. That, my dear readers, makes her a true kick-ass heroine.

Jack, the male protagonist on the other hand, well he reminded me pretty much of Xander from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series. Jack is a jock though, quarterback of the football to be precise, but he’s a soft cookie when it comes to real love. He was supposedly the town’s lady killer before he fell head over heels in love with Nikki, but I have trouble believing that. He seems way too soft-hearted and kind for that behavior. I liked Jack I suppose, but he wasn’t my favorite guy in the love triangle, that’s for sure. And yes, that’s another cliché in this book. There’s a love triangle. Mind you, Nikki doesn’t exactly express her feelings for the second member of this alleged love triangle, but if you ask me, it’s pretty obvious.

Meet Cole, the Everliving who brought Nikki along to the Everneath, boy number two in the love triangle. He is by far my favorite bad boy character in the last two or three years. He is wicked and downright evil at times, but sometimes we see an entire other side of him. You can’t just add this character to the ‘good’ or ‘evil’ categories, because he balances inbetween. His feelings for Nikki obviously show, but on the other hand he was the one who dragged her into the Everneath and nearly killed her. And his feelings might just have to do with him needing her to overthrow the current queen of the Everlivings as well. But even though so, I had the idea that his feelings for her were genuine. Confused yes, because it’s generally accepted that Everlivings can’t fall in love, but real nevertheless. The love triangle in Everneath doesn’t make me cringe, like I do in most other love triangles. Some are well-executed and add all the more tension, but some are just lame. Definitely not the case here. But I’m all Team Cole. Sorry for that Jack. I like you as well you know, but it’s that bad boy vibe really.

The plot is well-structured and the characters are so complex and three-dimensional that they make this novel really intriguing. Brodi Ashton throws most of the highschool stereotypes overboard and instead of stereotypes she provides us with real, honest people. Awesome job in that department. On the downside though, the ending is one large cliché mess I saw coming from hundred pages prior. It also ends with a major cliffhanger. Cliffhangers do two things to me: for starters, they make me all the more eager to read the second book in the series, but also…they make me extremely agitated and nervous. I want to know what happens. Like right now. Please? Pretty please?

Everneath is definitily one of the better YA novels of the last couple of years. Fans of the paranormal romance genre and mythology will certainly be pleased with this one. The worldbuilding is impressive and refreshing, the characters are well-developed and intriguing and the plot is unbelievably tidy, with no loose strings except the cliffhanger at the end. The flashbacks don’t slow the story down, and if anything, they offer more insight in the characters. As a bonus, this book offers a believable love-triangle with two boys who each have their assets, and the classic love-conquers-all theme. There are some clichés, but you can easily overlook and forgive them. Recommended to all fans of the paranormal romance genre. You will not be dissapointed.

This book counts towards the Debut Author Challenge, the Speculative Romance Challenge and YA Mythology Challenge.