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    Review: Finale

    Finale
    FINALE by Becca Fitzpatrick was released in the U.S. on October 23, 2012 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 464 pages.

    FINALE is the fourth and final book in author Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series.

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    Goodreads description…

    Will love conquer all?

    Nora and Patch thought their troubles were behind them. Hank is gone and they should be able to put his ugly vendetta to rest. But in Hank’s absence, Nora has become the unwitting head of the Nephilim and must finish what Hank began. Which ultimately means destroying the fallen angels – destroying Patch.

    Nora will never let that happen, so she and Patch make a plan: lead everyone to believe they have broken up, and work the system from the inside. Nora will convince the Nephilim that they are making a mistake in fighting the fallen angels, and Patch will find out everything he can from the opposing side. They will end this war before it can even begin.

    But the best-laid plans often go awry. Nora is put through the paces in her new role and finds herself drawn to an addictive power she never anticipated.

    As the battle lines are drawn, Nora and Patch must confront the differences that have always been between them and either choose to ignore them or let them destroy the love they have always fought for.

    ***

    FINALE is an exciting conclusion to the Hush, Hush series. With secrets, lies, betrayal, addiction, heartbreaking loss and a battle looming on the horizon, this story will keep fans of the series engaged, in suspense and anxious to see how Nora and Patch’s tumultuous love story ends.

    When Nora faced down her enemy she thought she was finally safe and that there was nothing left that could keep her and Patch apart. She thought they could finally have a happily ever after. But defeating her enemy wasn’t the finale Nora hoped it would be.

    Now forced to choose sides, forced to make a decision that could cost her either her own life or the life of the boy she loves, Nora is desperate to find another solution. Even if it means having to put her trust in someone who was once an enemy. Even if it means having to lie and deceive those who have put their trust in her. And even if it means having to make a deal that could destroy much more than just herself and her fallen angel.

    Because with time running out, if she doesn’t make her choice, one will be made for her. And if that happens everything and everyone will be lost.

    Author Becca Fitzpatrick has written a series conclusion that completes the story arc for the main characters, giving readers an ending that while bittersweet, will satisfy. In FINALE she creates yet another obstacle for Nora to overcome, one that puts her character in a life and death situation, one that makes Nora to lie to those she loves, and one that makes this read a real page-turner.

    FINALE is fast-paced, with exciting new developments and enough action to make this a thrilling installment in the series. But in its rush to the finish line, there were a few inconsistencies that may pull readers away from the story and a few loose threads about the minor characters that may leave them with questions.

    And while the story comes to a conclusion that ties up the major plot points, there are certain conveniences that make the ending feel more fairytale than paranormal/urban fantasy.

    However, for a series with its ups and downs, especially as regards the main character Nora, this final book does manage to end on a high note. While not without its flaws, FINALE is a captivating read from start to finish. It gives fans scenes to swoon over, scenes that will bring tears to their eyes and an ending that will make the journey worth every heartbreaking, maddening, tension-filled, moment.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    Rate04

    On a personal note…

    I read FINALE immediately after having read SILENCE because I just couldn’t walk away from the series after that awesome book. I couldn’t not continue the characters’ stories until the very end.

    I couldn’t not find out what happened with Patch and Nora – whether they got their happily ever after or whether they were destined for an unhappily ever after.

    And while I did read FINALE in one sitting, devouring it from cover to cover without wanting to set it aside, I didn’t fall in love with it in quite the same way as I did SILENCE. I loved it. Just not quite as much as its predecessor. I suppose that is the problem with reading series books back-to-back, where one is all sorts of amazing and another one is awesome but has a few flaws.

    What I loved most about this final book – and every book in the series – was the author’s character Patch. Though so as not to spoil anything from FINALE I won’t go into all the reasons why he was my favorite part of this book. I will just say that the swoon-worthy lines he delivered throughout were a major part of that reason.

    But in addition to being awesome in this final installment, he just so happened to be my favorite character in the series and the reason I kept coming back book after book. I loved how over the course of the series, especially the final two books, he managed to turn from bad boy to good boy. And in FINALE he was near-perfect. Though I thought he was pretty perfect as the bad boy, bringing electricity and tension to the story with nearly every scene he was in.

    Nora reverted to some of her maddening behavior in this last book in the series, but not so much as to make me wish all the bad things for her like I did in CRESCENDO. I still wanted her to end up with Patch and for her story to end happily. Even though I did want to scream at her for being so very, very flawed. And frustrating. And for not being as strong as she was in the previous installment.

    But it wasn’t Nora that took away some of my enjoyment for FINALE, but rather some of the inconsistencies, dropped threads and a certain “too convenient“ development and ending for one of the characters.

    While I don’t want to give away too much, the severity of one character’s addiction seemed to fluctuate. It was supposed to be an all-consuming problem, but yet at various points it was as if it wasn’t an issue. As if the character wasn’t bothered by their addiction in the least.

    And while there were a few other minor things that pulled me away from the story, like Nora’s mother’s lack of reaction to what happened in SILENCE and her sort of disappearance from this story after she’d grounded Nora – never really following through on her punishment – it was the “surprise revelation” about one of the characters that felt just a bit too perfect, too much of an afterthought. And one that seemed completely unnecessary to the story.

    Like with each of the books in this series, however, I was instantly able to connect to the story. I was interested in the characters’ plights. I was on edge when things got to be dire. I was anxious about Nora and Patch’s future. I was heartbroken when… no, I won’t be revealing that. And I was glad that there weren’t any major questions left at the story’s conclusion.

    And even though this book released last fall, I don’t want to be spoiler-y about how it all ends. So I won’t talk about what I think of the ending. I won’t say whether I cried happy tears or sad ones. I won’t say a word about who lives and who dies. And I won’t say whether Nora and Patch got their happy ending.

    But I will say that there were some swoon-worthy moments in this story. There were moments that were incredibly exciting and suspenseful. There were a couple of surprises. There was definitely some heartbreak. And after having read FINALE I wanted to go back and read HUSH, HUSH all over again.

    Favorite passage…

    There are a lot of awesome passages in FINALE, but one of them stood out to me from all the others.

    Patch hooked his elbow around my neck and dragged me into a kiss. “Every time you strip my sword, I owe you a kiss. How’s that sound?”

    I bit my lip to keep from giggling. “That sounds really dirty.”

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    Review: Silence

    Silence

    SILENCE by Becca Fitzpatrick was released in the U.S. on October 4, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats, and paperback format, at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

    Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, the print edition is 448 pages.

    SILENCE is the third book in Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series. The fourth and final book, FINALE, was released on October 23, 2012.

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    Goodreads description…

    WHEN SILENCE IS ALL THAT’S LEFT, CAN THE TRUTH FINALLY BE HEARD?

    Nora Grey can’t remember the past five months of her life. After the initial shock of waking up in a cemetery and being told that she has been missing for weeks – with no one knowing where she was or who she was with – she tried to get her life back on track. Go to school, hang out with her best friend, Vee, and dodge mom’s creepy new boyfriend.

    But there is this voice in the back of her head, an idea that she can almost reach out and touch. Visions of angel wings and unearthly creatures that have nothing to do with the life she knows.

    And this unshakable feeling that a part of her is missing.

    Then Nora crosses paths with a sexy stranger, whom she feels a mesmerizing connection to. He seems to hold all the answers…and her heart. Every minute she spends with him grows more and more intense until she realizes she could be falling in love. Again.

    ***

    SILENCE is the fast-paced, wildly entertaining, and absolutely riveting third book in author Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series. As with its predecessor, it starts off with a captivating prologue that draws readers back into the world.

    And it continues with a story that will keep readers glued to the page as Nora struggles to remember the past five months of her life. Not only the months she has been missing, but months that encompass her entire relationship with Patch. A boy she can no longer remember even exists.

    Even as Nora remains in the dark about the world she had once been a part of, a world of Nephilim, fallen angels and archangels, she cannot seem to escape it. And even without her memories intact, when she learns of their existence, of Cheshvan, of the Black Hand’s plans for war, of her friends’ roles, of hers, she can’t sit idly by.

    Because not only does she have a stake in the outcome of the Black Hand’s nefarious plans, she has a vital part to play in them. One that threatens her very existence. And one that could cost her everything if she fails.

    SILENCE takes Nora’s story in an exciting new direction. Instead of immediately continuing on with the love story and the struggle between the immortals, it’s almost as if it’s a new beginning for the characters and for the reader.

    With no knowledge of her recent past, Nora must try to rebuild her life from where she last remembers it. Before her discovery of angels. Before she met Patch. And before she became aware of who she really was. All of which creates a new trajectory for the story, a new opportunity to discover a different – and far more likable – Nora, and a chance at a brand new love story.

    This twist to the story gives readers the advantage as their awareness trumps that of the main character. It puts them in the position of knowing when she’s being deceived and of when she’s in danger. And it creates moments of tension and nail-biting suspense, heartache and heartbreak that would not otherwise have been part of the reading experience, making for an immensely entertaining read.

    And with new hurdles for the characters to overcome, new enemies for them to defeat and even more obstacles in the way of a happily ever after, with SILENCE author Becca Fitzpatrick delivers the most exciting, most suspenseful and most gripping installment yet in her Hush, Hush series.

    Reviewer gives this book…

    Rate05

    On a personal note…

    From the moment I started reading SILENCE I was transported back into the world of fallen angels, dangerous foes, and heartbreaking love stories. Even though it had been years since I’d read CRESCENDO, I was able to pick right back up with Nora and Patch’s story.

    And oh my gosh the way this installment starts out was even more jaw-dropping than the way things ended in that last book. It practically broke my heart to hear what happened to Nora and what she lost. And that was all right at the beginning.

    I could not tear my eyes away from this book once I started reading. It was that addictive. There was a comfort to returning to a story I’ve loved after having been apart from it for so long. It also gave me some distance from some of the things that frustrated me about the main character in those first two books, but especially in CRESCENDO.

    In SILENCE – finally – I grew to like Nora Grey. She was still insecure and slightly jealous, but it wasn’t all she was anymore. In trying to regain her memories, she somehow found a strength she didn’t have before. She was a character that I could sympathize with and by the story’s end grew to really like.

    Even though this book released ages ago I still don’t want to be too spoiler-y about the plot. But I loved that SILENCE focused on finding ways to stop the Black Hand and on recovering Nora’s memories rather than miscommunications and hurt feelings.

    While this story wasn’t perfect, it was pretty close. There were a few inconsistencies that jumped out at me, and a few moments that didn’t quite feel believable to the story, but they were only minor distractions. And they didn’t keep me from falling crazy in love with this book.

    Patch seems to have done a complete 180 in SILENCE. And while he wasn’t too perfect, thankfully – yes he retained a bit of his bad-boy edge – his behavior wasn’t of the devastatingly heartbreaking variety. More the swoon-worthy one.

    I got so caught up in this story that when it reached its end I just had to dive into the final book in the series even though I had planned to wait a few weeks. But after the way things ended, I just had to know what was in store for the characters in the series conclusion.

    There is no question that, for me, this is my favorite book of the series. It was fast-paced, exciting and riveting. It made me feel all the feels. It was suspenseful. It was heartbreaking. And yeah, I may have had more than my normal share of sighs throughout.

    It also made me want to go back and re-read the first two books in the series so that I could fall in love with the story all over again.

    Favorite passage…

    It may be a very short one, but for me this one is my favorite.

    A memory stirred inside me. Angel, I seemed to hear a smooth voice whisper. You’re mine.

    The Trailer…

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    Random Thoughts: Bad Boys and Heroes

    You hear the titles “bad boy” and “hero” and you might think that they can’t be one and the same. I mean a bad boy is bad and a hero is supposed to be good, right? Not necessarily. Who says they have to be mutually exclusive? I don’t.

    There is no reason why a bad boy must become a good boy in order to be a hero. He can still be the bad boy he’s always been, and yet still manage to do something heroic. And good boys don’t always rise to the occasion and take on the mantle of hero. They may be good, but sometimes they’re not good enough.

    In fact, many of my favorite characters are bad boys that are often mistaken for heroes. I’m just glad that no matter how good they may seem, they will forever and always be bad, bad boys.

    And the best way to emphasize my point is by example. So, here are just three of my favorites.

    Name

    Most commonly known as Nick Ryves.

    Looks

    Gorgeous. Black hair. Black eyes – often used to glare. Broad shoulders. Great body. Deep voice. Sexy dangerous.

    Personality

    Arrogant, rude, selfish, temperamental, dark and dangerous – very, very dangerous. Frightfully honest. Sarcastic.

    Other Attributes

    Great dancer. Summons demons. Handy with a sword. Not good with animals.

    What makes him bad?

    Enjoys getting into fights. Enjoys picking fights even more. He’s not afraid to use his sword. He has killed before. There are only just a few people he’d protect against harm. He’s a love ’em and leave ’em kind of boy. He’s good looking and he knows it.

    What makes him a hero?

    He fights everything inside of him – who and what he is – to be there for his brother Alan and even Mae and Jamie. But what makes him heroic is that he is willing to sacrifice himself for his brother.

    Yes, he’s still a bad boy, but any boy that is willing to sacrifice themselves is a hero in my book.

    What he has to say for himself?

    “I wasn’t threatening you. I was menacing you. You threaten people with words…. I prefer swords.”

    “…I am in full possession of the amazing power of being sarcastic.”

    “Want me to flex my magic for you, baby?”

    “Do you think I need a sword to kill you?”

    “Fear’s useless…. Either something bad happens or it doesn’t: If it doesn’t, you’ve wasted time being afraid, and if it does, you’ve wasted time that you could have spent sharpening your weapons.”

    “Sometimes I want to be human for you.”

    Name

    Most commonly known as Luc or Lucifer Cain.

    Looks

    Wicked grin. Hot. Black eyes – the blackest. Silky black hair. Tall. Body to sigh for.

    Personality

    Absolutely demonic. Deadly. Sexy. Charming. Moody. Sarcastic. Cocky. Proud. A total tease. Intense.

    Other Attributes

    Seductive. Moves like a cat. Likes brimstone and hellfire. Doesn’t have much of an appetite. For human food anyway. Oh, yeah, and he’s a demon. The demon of pride. Did I forget to mention that? Definitely not a boy to introduce to the parents. A boy of few words.

    What makes him bad?

    Well, see above, he’s a demon. I don’t know too many good demons although I’ve met one or two. He is manipulative and deceptive. His mission is to ensure that Frannie chooses Hell. So, yeah, not very altruistic. Definitely very bad.

    What makes him a hero?

    Can’t tell you too much here. If you’ve read the books, you’ll know. If you haven’t, let’s just say, his personality does a complete 180…almost. Frannie is his weakness and his possible salvation. Everything he has done for her has made him more heroic than many good boys. And definitely more heroic than most demons.

    What he has to say for himself?

    Nothing makes a demon’s day like impending death and destruction.

    “You’re playing a little fast and loose with those wings, don’t you think?”

    She’s fiery for sure. I like a little fire. Makes me feel at home.

    There’s no crying in baseball and no love in Hell.

    This has to be his fault, somehow. I’m going to track him down, pluck out his angel feathers, and stuff a pillow with them.

    Name

    Most commonly known as Patch Cipriano.

    Looks

    Total eye candy. Tall. Black hair. Black eyes. May have one or two scars. Heavenly body.

    Personality

    Hedonistic. Arrogant. Sarcastic. Self-absorbed. Secretive. Focused. Intense. Brooding. Mysterious.

    Other Attributes

    Was at one time angelic. But then he took a tumble. Has a fondness for the game of pool. Can feel emotions. Can’t feel things physically – not an ideal selling point when thinking of kissable boys.

    What makes him bad?

    The whole wanting to kill Nora thing pretty much does it for me. Being a jerk doesn’t help. Hanging around pool halls, looking for trouble is an added bad boy bonus. The ability to manipulate minds and possess people aren’t characteristics that good boys tend to have or use. As good as Patch may sometimes appear to be, he’ll always be that bad, bad boy in need of redemption.

    What makes him a hero?

    There’s no real way to say it without spoiling it, so I won’t. But each time you think he’s gone too far, is just too bad, he manages to surprise you. He’s surprised me and I’m sure he’s surprised Nora. He may be a reluctant hero, an accidental one, but he is a hero. And when push came to shove he didn’t choose himself.

    What he has to say for himself?

    “As it turns out, I’m in need of a healthy female sacrifice. I’d planned on luring her into trusting me first, but if you’re ready now …”

    “Humans are vulnerable…because they’re capable of being hurt.”

    “But if I hadn’t fallen, I wouldn’t have met you.”

    “What good is a body if I can’t have you?”

    “You can see who I was, or you can see who I am now. I’m not good…but I was worse.”

    ***

    I’m starting to see a common thread among those bad boys I hold oh so dear. In order to be my ideal bad boy/hero, they must have dark hair and dark eyes, must be sarcastic and self-absorbed, must have killed or be willing to kill someone or something and ultimately have to be willing to be sacrificed.

    They also generally go by more than one name and have eyes that are depthless and which tell so much about who they really are.

    So yeah, my favorite bad boys are also heroes. They can be angels or demons or warlocks or even humans, but whatever they are, they will always be maddeningly gorgeous and frustrating and will continue to captivate me long after I’ve met them.

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    Book Watch: Silence

    Silence will be released in the U.S. on October 4, 2011 in hardcover, audio and eBook formats.

    It is currently available to pre-order online in all formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, the print edition is 448 pages.

    Silence is the third book in the Hush, Hush series by author Becca Fitzpatrick.

    ***

    This was an extremely tough week to pick a book to watch. There are two new releases coming out on the same day that I’ve been absolutely dying to read – I stare longingly at them on my shelf all the time. And they are Eve by Anna Carey and Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon.

    But I decided to choose Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick, because the way Crescendo ended has so completely tortured me for all these months with the cliff it left me hanging from. So, although I’m dying to read those other books, I think I’m dying to read Silence just a little bit more, if only to end my suffering.

    As I was left in such a state of anticipation after finishing Crescendo, I have not read the description for Silence until today when I created this post. And of course it is a tease and I am now even more desperate to find out what happens with Patch and Nora. To add to my need to know, this cover has me really curious as to why Patch is carrying a possibly unconscious Nora through the breaking surf.

    I was not an instant fan of this series. I did not immediately connect with the characters in the first book. But I decided to read the second book and was hooked. Crescendo had all sorts of twists and turns and action and mystery and even though I thought Patch was completely frustrating I still wanted him to be the good guy for Nora at the story’s end.

    Of course, by becoming hooked on this series, I suffer along with all the other fans as I am forced to wait a year for each new release.

    But with less than a month to go, the wait will soon be over and I’ll find out whether or not Patch and Nora are able to defeat the villain or if they fail and everything is destroyed.

    ***

    As the U.S. book trailer for Silence is not yet available, I’ve included the UK version and it’s pretty awesome.

    The UK book trailer for Silence:

    Goodreads description:

    The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They’ve overcome the secrets riddled in Patch’s dark past…bridged two irreconcilable worlds…faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust…and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth.

    Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they’ve worked for—and their love—forever.

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    Cover Evolution

    ***

    There are so many stunning covers for our favorite series. Some are bold and some are much more subtle. But the one thing they have in common as the series evolves is the continuity factor.

    There is always some element that is carried through the artwork from cover to cover. Whether it’s the color palette, the model, a symbol, the font, the image placement or simply just an attitude, each cover looks and feels right when placed next to one another on the bookshelf.

    And they look even more right when laid out side by side and cover to cover. Your eye can pass from one to the next without that alarm bell ringing that something is amiss.

    When you have a bookshelf you spend most of your time staring at the spines. And as long as the book heights are the same and the fonts are consistent they look perfect on your shelves.

    But if you were to take out a complete series and place each book next to one another you will see they have more in common than just their spines.

    And if you were to study them for their similarities and their differences you may just discover a few things you might never have noticed as you purchased each book and stuck it on the shelf.

    Because we typically buy books over time instead of all at once, we don’t always take the time to make the comparisons. But it is worth it to pull those books from our shelves to see each cover’s evolution.

    As it’s much more exciting to find out for yourself, I will not point out all the discoveries I made from the covers featured above. But I will mention one.

    The very first thing I did notice, that I hadn’t really thought about before, was that in each cover of the Fallen series we see a different side of Lucy – the right profile, the back and finally the front – and in each she just might be wearing the same dress. I’m not sure that it means anything but it’s interesting that the author chose to give readers a different look at Lucy in each one. Does this mean, then, that the fourth book will show us her left profile?

    Have you ever studied the evolution of the covers in your favorite series? Was there anything that surprised you? Maybe you found something that you never noticed before?

    Did you have a least favorite cover, that when viewed next to the others, all of a sudden made sense?

    I would love to know what you found out when you explored the cover evolution happening on your shelves.

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    Review: Crescendo (Book 2 in the Hush, Hush series)

    Amazon.com description:

    Nora should have know her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can’t figure out if it’s for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

    The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father’s death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn’t answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?

    Crescendo, the second book in Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series was released on October 16, 2010, debuting at #2 on The New York Times best-seller list. In Crescendo, the reader once again gets to experience the tumultuous relationship between Nora Grey and her guardian angel, Patch. We learn some secrets from Nora’s past – that she only begins to understand and learn for herself as the story unfolds.

    As her relationship with Patch seems to decline, Nora begins to rebel, turning to a childhood “friend” Scott who has suddenly reappeared in her life, with secrets of his own. And as Patch appears to draw closer and closer to her rival, Marcie Millar, Nora looks to Rixon, Patch’s best friend and fallen angel, for help.

    While Crescendo was on the “must read” list, initially it wasn’t nearly as anticipated a sequel as some of the other YA series releasing this fall – all this changed, however, when the sneak peek of Crescendo came out earlier in the year. Although Hush, Hush was both original and showed promise, until its explosive conclusion, it did not have that hook that pulls a reader into the story early and keeps them riveted until the very end. Not so with Crescendo. The prologue chapter immediately grabs, leaving the reader wondering what it meant, and what will happen next.

    Crescendo surpasses Hush, Hush in both its writing style and intricacy of plot. Becca Fitzpatrick goes into much more detail in defining the new characters and developing the personalities of her existing characters. The complexities of Nora and Patch’s relationship are brought to the forefront in this story, leaving readers wondering just how much is too much for love to prevail.

    And with Crescendo‘s cliff-hanger ending, Tempest, the next installment in this series, is eagerly awaited. Not quite yet available for pre-order – it is slated for release in September 2011 – it should definitely be added to any wish list or Goodreads “to read” list.

    Reviewer gives this book: 

    An audio clip of chapter one of Crescendo can be found here, on the author’s website.

    Book trailer for Crescendo:

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