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Lisa T. Bergren

    Giveaway: Signed River of Time Series

    I recently won a blogger contest on author Lisa T. Bergren’s website in which one of the prizes was a signed set of her amazing books. As I already own the eBook versions of all three books, the author and I thought it would be great if I’d give the signed copies away on the blog.

    Yep. Even though I love signed and personalized books, I decided not to keep these all to myself. I’m all about sharing the bookish love I have for this amazing series. I’m not even going to keep a signed bookmark. All three books and bookmarks will be given away here to one winner.

    As I mentioned in my Reading Pile post, the back corner of the cover to Cascade got a bit bent thanks to the USPS, but all other books are perfectly perfect.

    If you haven’t heard of this series, be sure to check out Waterfall, Cascade and Torrent on Goodreads. This is such an amazing series and one I really hope to re-read soon.

    What’s Up for Grabs:

    A signed paperback set of all three books in the River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren – Waterfall, Cascade and Torrent – plus signed bookmarks.

    The deets:

    1. One entry per person.

    2. You must be 13 or older.

    3. Giveaway is International.

    4. Books will be sent via U.S. mail.

    5. Contest ends at 10:59 p.m. on October 17th. Winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced on Tuesday, October 18th.

    6. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

    There is no requirement to like or follow. But if you’d like to spread the word that would be awesome!

    And if you’d like to stalk the author on Twitter, here’s where you can make that happen… @LisaTBergren.

    To enter, fill out the form below:

    Thank you to everyone who entered. The contest is now closed. I’ll be running the names through Random shortly and announcing the winner here in this post. Stay tuned…

    Congratulations Kai! You’re the winner for the signed set of books and swag. I’ve sent you an email and you will have 48 hours to respond or I will be forced to choose another winner.

    Thanks so much to everyone who entered. This is such an amazing series and although you didn’t win, I really hope you get a chance to read these awesome books from author Lisa T. Bergren.

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    My Reading Pile #26

    I had a fairly nice week at the mailbox – two deliveries arrived of the ten I was hoping for. Granted, I haven’t checked the mail today, so there could be more. But my mailman has been arriving after five p.m. all week, so I don’t feel like making the trip only to come back empty-handed.

    The signed copies of Shade and Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready from Constellation Books for giveaway have arrived and the prize has already been awarded. They’re even packed and ready to go to the winner. Though, sadly, I think my signed Prophecy of the Sisters books will be forever MIA at this point.

    So, what did I get? Well, from a trade I’d done awhile back, I received my umpteenth copy of Shatter Me, which I’m sending out to someone I promised it to, along with a copy of Deadly Cool, which has also been given away, Soul Thief, Little Women and Me and Liesl and Po.

    I’ve already read Soul Thief and it was amazing. Absolutely amazing. And I can’t wait to read Shatter Me and Deadly Cool. I have to check out the other two that I received to see if I’ll have time to read them before release, otherwise I plan on passing them along.

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (September 11-September 17, 2011)

    ***

    The only new read I’m adding to the pile this week is Dreamland by Alyson Noel. And it’s an audiobook, so I won’t technically be reading it. I received an unsolicited copy from the publisher, Macmillan Audio, and I’m excited to check it out.

    I haven’t read the first two books in the series, but I do know Riley from The Immortals series by the author. This will be another new experience for me, as I’ve never read a series where I didn’t start with the first book. But I’m willing to give it a shot.

    And as I’ve just about finished listening to my very first audiobook for review, I’m happy to say that it was an enjoyable experience and while it will never replace reading for me, I think I might just try out a few more audiobooks for some of the adult reads that I just never get a chance to add to the pile anymore.

    In Dreamland, according to the description, it seems that Riley wants to try and get in contact with Ever. And there are a couple ways she can do it. As a Dream Jumper she can hop into Ever’s dreams. But as a Dreamweaver she can create them. Which, by the way, sounds really cool.

    The one problem, though, is that Dreamweaving has been outlawed. As she looks for a way to make this happen, she encounters a boy who’s been Dreamweaving nightmares and of course she has to try and stop him. She wouldn’t be Riley if she didn’t.

    I thought Riley was absolutely adorable in the brief appearances she made in The Immortals series and I can’t wait to see her as the main character in this series.

    I’ve decided to only “read” one new book this week, as I have a couple of books from previous piles that need to be put back on My Reading Pile. And they are…

    I received an eARC of Torrent from the author for review. As The River of Time Series is one of my favorite new series that I discovered since I started blogging, and Torrent is the final book in this series, I have been dying to read it.

    I just have been so behind on my reading and haven’t been able to. Plus, due to the difficulties I’ve been having with my Kindle, I’ve been opting to read printed books instead.

    Well, I can’t wait any longer and so I’m adding it to the pile this week. In fact, it will be first up, but as it’s a “Back on the Pile” book, it’s listed here.

    I have been so curious as to how author Lisa T. Bergren has chosen to end the series. Will Gabi and Marcello have a happy ending? And where and when will that be? And what about Lia?

    I know what I’m hoping for, but as my answer is spoiler-y I won’t reveal it now. But I’m glad to have finally carved out the time to get this one back on top of the pile.

    My second “Back on the Pile” read this week is The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson. I received a printed ARC from the publisher a long while back, and as its release is imminent, I’ve moved this one right back on the reading pile for this week.

    I have taken a peek at a couple reviews that were non-spoiler-y and I’m so happy I chose to request this book for review as it does sound amazing. And as I mentioned before, I can’t wait to meet Elisa and discover this new series, whose titles for the second and third books have already been announced.

    This book sounds like an epic story. With kings, princesses, revolutionaries and a prophecy that must be fulfilled, “epic” is really the only word I can think of to best describe it.

    And with such amazing titles for the other two books in the series, Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom, I am looking forward to a series that will keep me riveted for the next few years, at least.

    Wishful Thinking reads:

    I mentioned this on The Annex, but I really want to re-read The Demon’s Lexicon. I can’t seem to get that book out of my head. I miss Nick and even Alan, who I grew to love in the final book of the series.

    Usually the only way for me to get a book out of my thoughts is to read it again and again until I just can’t do it anymore. So, until I do, I think I’ll be obsessing over it.

    Those left behind:

    I only had two books on the pile last week and none of them have been left behind, though I have just a bit more of All These Things I’ve Done to listen to, and I’m currently reading Weaving Destiny, which I’ll be finished with tonight.

    Since I don’t officially start  pile number twenty-six until tomorrow, I should be all caught up with the reads from the last pile. The reviews on the other hand, well, that’s a whole other matter.

    ***

    It has been a super tough week with my full-time job. It was closer to an eighty hour work week – and I actually think it was longer – than a forty hour one. So, finding time to blog and read has been a huge challenge.

    The audiobook was actually a perfect thing to have on the pile last week, as I was able to shut my eyes and just listen. Yes, I might have fallen asleep several times during the read and had to rewind, but there was no way at the end of each of my long workdays I could have stared at the printed page.

    I am deathly afraid to check out my posts this past week as I’m sure I have an overwhelming amount of typographical errors. The brain to hand connection is seriously flawed even now. (In my last post I wanted to type “facelift” and instead typed “faceful” which is not even a word.)

    I’m discovering that extreme sleep deprivation has taken over, and so I will probably spend the rest of the day reading and relaxing, which is still one of my favorite things to do.

    And there’s nothing I like more than tackling my reading pile.

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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    My Reading Pile #18

    It was a really happy week for me. I think you can tell by the pile of awesomeness shown above. I got some of my much awaited contest wins along with a whole bunch of other goodies. And I didn’t even get any of the books I’m awaiting from trades, so this was a pretty amazing book week.

    At the bottom of the pile are All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin and The Fox Inheritence by Mary E. Pearson, which I won from the amazing folks at Armchair BEA and which the publisher sent to me this week.

    Next up is Raven, which is signed by the author, Allison van Diepen, that I won from a contest on the author’s blog. I also won The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate from Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf thanks to her 500 followers giveaway.

    I had pre-ordered The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, signed and doodled by Maggie Stiefvater, from Fountain Bookstore, the independent bookstore the author partners with. And they are all so completely gorgeous. Way prettier than the three eBooks I presently own.

    I received two surprise books this week from HarperTeen – Dark Eden by Patrick Carman and The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore. I am super excited to read them both – I just need to read  I Am Number Four in the next few weeks. Yes, I just headed over to Amazon to buy the eBook. And bought The Lost Files companion novella, too.

    At the very top of the pile is Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey which I received this week from the ARC tour the author has so graciously put together. As I already had a copy through a trade, I’ve been reading that copy, and have already sent this one on to the next recipient.

    I also got some yummy swag thanks to Angeline Kace for her upcoming book, Descended by Blood. My giveaway winners will definitely be getting one of these bookmarks included with their wins. But you can bet that I’ll be keeping one for myself.

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (July 17-July 23, 2011)

    ***

    First up is Between the Lines by Tammara Webber. I received an eCopy for review from the author a little while ago, but haven’t had a chance to read it until now. And I’m really excited to check it out as it seems light and flirty and a whole lot of fun.

    I’m thinking there will be a lot of hijinks involving a Hollywood hottie celeb starring in a role with a virtual unknown actress and that the two of them together will create some sparks. As this book is for slightly older young adults it will be interesting to see how steamy this one gets.

    The description definitely has my interest piqued about the different characters and I hope it’s just as fun and wicked as it sounds.

    Next up is Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren. I received an eARC from the author for review, which I won’t be able to post for a while, so an early read isn’t always in my blog’s best interest.

    But I can’t help it. I just have to read this final book in the trilogy as Cascade left things up in the air and I’m dying to find out what happens next. I am really hoping for a happy ending for all the characters at the end of this series.

    Reading the first two books was like going on an adventure back in time, and I can’t wait to return to see what this final journey has in store for Gabi Betarrini. The title has me a bit nervous about what the end result will be. But I’m guessing that things escalate even further – the danger, the action, the love story.

    This is one book that won’t be getting left behind this week.

    Last up is Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer. It may be last, but it’s definitely not least. I read most of the story almost immediately after I received it when I won an ARC in a charitable auction.

    But I read it strictly for pleasure, and stopped well before I got to the ending so I would only have the one peek at it when I wrote my review.

    I have been dying to find out how this book ends. I almost caved several times over the past few months. Fortunately, the wait is up. And I am excited to finally get to experience the book from cover to cover.

    I just wish that I had a copy of Bloodrose to start immediately when I finish. These long waits in between series books that I love are absolutely killer.

    ***

    This week wasn’t so great, though I plan on finishing most of the books that were on last week’s pile by Monday. I decided to move Spellbound to the top of the pile last week as it had an earlier release date than most of the others and was from a previous week’s pile.

    And I did get halfway through Shattered Souls and will easily be finished today. It’s such an engaging and quick read. But I didn’t get much reading done during the week due to various distractions, like work and family.

    I expect to be done with Soul Thief by Sunday and hope to start on Between immediately thereafter.

    Hope springs eternal for me and my plans, but I’m also crossing my fingers because every little bit helps.

    Wishful Thinking reads:

    My wishful thinking reads are Immortal Beloved by Katie M. John and Summer’s Crossing and The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa.

    I’ve decided to keep my wishful thinking to a minimum this week. I have to stay focused or I might have another wandering week and end up reading none of my review books. And that would be so not good.

    Those left behind:

    Soul Thief, which I started but had to set aside in order to read and review a book that was promised long before I accepted this one for review. I will be reading Soul Thief this weekend, however. And so far it’s every bit as awesome as I expected it to be.

    I also didn’t get a chance to read Between, but I plan on adding that to the top of this week’s pile.

    My goal is to accept less books for review until I’ve reviewed the books I’ve already promised to read and review.

    In a few weeks I will have some more vacation time and hope to get ahead. Although I’m not certain there is such a thing as “getting ahead” for a blogger. But I am at least hopeful to get close to caught up…

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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    The Crush List #2

    There are books that you fall in love with, that leave you breathless and sobbing your eyes out. Books that take your heart and stomp on it, leaving you completely destroyed.

    Then there are books that steal your heart. These bookish thieves take but do not destroy, leaving you forever captivated by their charms and always begging for more.

    These are the books that are the source of our undying crushes. The ones that leave us sighing, with a small smile that is just for them. We give our hearts to these books and would follow them to the very ends of the earth. Some of them make us do just that, and we follow, oh so willingly.

    A crush may be a fragile thing, but we certainly have room for many. I know I’ve crushed on hundreds of books in my lifetime and I’ll crush on many, many more. They say crushes are harmless, after all, so what’s wrong with having just a few…or a few more?

    Here are a few books that I’m crushing on big time

    If I Die by Rachel Vincent is a fairly new crush. I’ve crushed on the series for a couple years now, but I just read If I Die last month and have been crushing hard ever since.

    The more time that passes, the more desperate I become to read it again. And I can’t wait for September so that I can.

    Crushes are supposed to fade over time, right? That is so not happening here.

    Why I’m crushing: Shock factor. Ka-pow. Knocks you right down. Twisty-turny delectable, agonizing, torture. Kept me in knots the entire time. Surprise, surprise, surprise. So many yummy surprises. And an ending that…okay, I can’t tell you THAT, but you’ll see.

    Dead Rules by Randy Russell is a brand new crush and one that I did not expect to have at all. I just love surprise crushes.

    I mean I knew the book would be cool – rules for the dead, that cover, but did not expect this to make my crush list…until I actually read it, that is.

    And I am so totally crushing on this book. Still.

    Why I’m crushing: Dark. Mildly disturbing. Killer irony. Eternal love…or not quite. Bizarre, freakishly bizarre, deaths. Sliders…they may be bad, but they’re way more fun. Mars Dreamcote. So what, I’m crushing on a dead dude. Who says that has to be wrong?

    From Sliders to Siders…

    A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford is an old crush. Yeah, I know it debuted this year, but I’ve been crushing on it since 2010. That makes this crush practically ancient.

    And ever since the cover reveal for A Touch Morbid, my crush for the first book has come back full-force. I mean, come on, one peek at these covers and how can you not be crushing?

    Why I’m crushing: Dark. Yep, this one’s dark, too. Maybe I’m a touch morbid… Edgy, clever, suspenseful. The suspense borders on cruel. Seriously bad-a**. And hello heartbreak.

    Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren is a fairly new and unexpected crush.

    And as it’s the second book in the series, it really is an add-on crush that I developed when reading Waterfall.

    Why I’m crushing: Time travel. Knights. A love story. Action – the heart-stopping, nail-biting kind. Damsel in mega distress. Danger. Suspense. Knights – so nice I had to mention them twice.

    Slumber by Samantha Young is a brand new crush. We’re talking one week old and yet it’s already hit me big time.

    And it is another one of those total surprise crushes. Although I’m thinking this one will move from crush to love affair with the next installment in the series.

    Why I’m crushing: Epic. Magical. Sweet, sweet torture. The chemistry. The love story. Wolfe Stovia – Vikomt oh how I’m crushing on you, too. Wicked. Definitely, grin-worthily wicked. Riveting. How can you not crush on story with a sword-bearing hero who is the ultimate protector?

    ***

    So, these are just a few more books from my very eclectic crush list. I seem to have chosen books that are either bordering on the morbid or of the epic adventure variety. Knights, Reapers, Siders, Sliders, I have plenty of room in my heart to crush on them all.

    Do you crush on books?

    What makes a book crushworthy for you?

    I would love to know!

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    The Extras: Teasers #5

    There are so many amazing books out there – released or soon-to-be-released – that have certain passages that just captivate.

    Here are just a few of those that caught my attention in the past month.

    ***

    I know I had this quote in my review, but looking back over the book, with all its amazing passages and quotes, this one is still my favorite.

    I cannot stop laughing just picturing this. Any book that can infuse humor into a love story has got my vote.

    Kate to Georgia:

    “Yeah, right, like Catherine Deneuve has her own hot-guy SWAT team trolling the neighborhood for celebrity stalkers with swords.”

    In this story filled with so many humorous passages, I just had to choose the one that was all warm and fuzzy.

    No, it’s not sappy, not even close, and any girl would die for a pickup line like this one.

    Colt to Ash:

    “Somehow, one night, at a bar filled with retirees and old fisherman, in a town that might as well be off the map, he sees a girl sitting at the bar. Even though she’s only twisting idly in her bar stool ordering a drink, that’s all it takes for him to recognize that she might be the fire he’s been looking for. In that moment he realizes that he could spend the rest of his life doing all the things he ever wanted to do in all the places he ever wanted to see, but if he doesn’t ask her for her name, this is the moment that, forty years from now, he’ll still remember as the moment when he blew it.”

    (As this passage was taken from an ARC the final version may differ. I hope it doesn’t. I really, really hope it doesn’t, but if it does I will be sure to make the change.)

    I loved the author’s writing in this book. I think there are so many beautiful passages. The way she expresses the character’s thoughts and feelings is just so eloquent.

    Most of the passages I would have chosen gave too much away, but I found one that I loved and which also gives some insight into who Maddie is.

    Maddie’s thoughts:

    I didn’t realize how much I needed to touch somebody. I took a deep breath and felt the hollowness inside of my chest slowly curl in on itself. It’s strange that a single person can be as nourishing, as necessary as food to make you feel alive.

    I just love books with passages that leave me breathless. This is one of those books and one of those passages. I don’t think I need to say more, it speaks for itself.

    Gemma’s thoughts:

    But I was caught off guard, unprepared to deal with what I was now experiencing with Henry. The searing, white-hot heat of my feelings for this magnificent person was different, almost primal. I didn’t expect to be sucked under by such a ferocious wave of raw emotion. It scared me a little, like when the water rushes back into the sea and the sand disappears under my feet. I knew that within the sealed framework that was my heart, Henry would be my undoing, my last and only love until I exhaled my dying breath. I just hoped that when I finally did die, at the hands of Lucian or some other unseen entity, that Henry’s face would be the last I would see, that his lips would be the last I would taste, before moving onto the in-between.

    Everything about this book is graceful and so beautifully written. Instead of giving a peek into Finley Jayne’s thoughts, I thought I’d give a taste of just what Griffin thought as he gazed at Finley.

    Talk about romantic – in a crowded room he just knew she was there and was drawn to her. Swoon, swoon.

    Griffin’s thoughts:

    Something drew his gaze. A young woman in a splendid feathered costume that made her look like the most exotic bird. His heart gave one tight thump against his ribs as he recognized her. His senses had found her even when he hadn’t been looking.

    Finley. And she was holding on to Jack Dandy like a woman in love.

    This just proves that chivalry is not dead….Well, at least not in fiction. And most definitely not for a knight.

    An exchange between Pietro and Gabriella:

    “Pietro, I–” I whispered.

    “To the end, m’lady,” he said with a nod. His eyes did not break from mine. “See that you get to it, that you save Marcello and Fortino as well as yourselves, and I shall consider my life well spent.”

    Inside, my heart again screamed at me to stay, to fight with him, but my mind understood that it would do no one any good if we all died here. And unless we escaped, we would all die this day. I looked at the other two men and Mom, then back to Pietro. “I shall remember you forever.”

    He smiled and covered his heart. “To remembered forever by one of the Ladies Betarrini is an honor I shall cherish with my dying breath.”

    This book is filled with some wonderfully, deliciously torturous passages that will play wicked games with your heart. Here is just a fraction of one of them.

    Lucas and Helen:

    Lucas’s whole face crumpled. Helen had had no reason to hope after what she had heard the night before, but for some reason there was a tiny spark still glowing in her that maybe, somehow, she had misunderstood. Or that he would change his mind. It went out completely when Lucas nodded.

    No one but Jenna Black has ever made the leader of the Wild Hunt so appealing. At least no one I’ve read. Even though he’s way too old for Dana, how can he not be the most intriguing character in the series with passages like this one?

    Dana’s thoughts about the Erlking:

    Every time I laid eyes on him, it was like a punch to the gut. He was probably the most frightening and dangerous person I had ever met, and he was also the most breathtakingly gorgeous. Even for a Fae, which is saying a lot. He was a bad boy to the nth degree, only there was nothing remotely boyish about him.

    (As this passage was taken from an ARC the final version may differ. If it does I will update the post.)

    ***

    I debated long and hard about including a passage from If I Die by Rachel Vincent. I even have it picked out. It is absolutely delectable. It teases, oh how it teases, but it doesn’t reveal anything. But as the book is so far from release date I thought it would be cruel. But there are definite “to die for” passages in that book. Be prepared.

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    Review: Cascade

    Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren is the second book in The River of Time series. It was released in the U.S. on June 1, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats.

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

    Published by David C. Cook, the print edition is 416 pages.

    ***Goodreads description is slightly spoiler-y for some of the events in book one***

    Goodreads description:

    Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”

    Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead. But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

    ***

    When Gabriella Betarrini left Siena, she left her heart behind. With every single moment in the present she knows that days, weeks or even months are passing.

    Staring at the ruins of Castello Forelli, all she wants is to return to the past to see if her love awaits, or if her long absence has forced him to move on. And every second of not knowing feels like an eternity.

    But the only way back to the past is with the help of her sister Lia. And unless she can convince Lia to take the journey with her, she will be forever trapped in the present with no way of knowing what ever became of her beloved Marcello.

    Even with her sister’s help, there is no guarantee she would find her way back to that same moment in time, to the boy she gave her heart to, and the place she now calls home.

    Will the Siena she returns to be the same one she left? With such a long absence will Marcello have decided to honor his commitment to the Lady Rossi?

    With each passing second, Gabi knows only that she must get back to fight for what is hers.

    ***

    Cascade is the fast-paced, thrilling and even more irresistible second book in The River of Time series. Readers are once again taken back to fourteenth century Italy with Gabriella Betarrini where her adventure continues.

    While the Sienese herald her return, not everyone is as welcoming. Being a heroine to some means becoming an enemy to others and Gabi has some difficult decisions to make. But this time she’s not alone.

    Time has passed and not everything is as she had left it. And although some things may seem to have changed for the better, her actions have set things in motion that have altered the past as it once was.

    As the unease between Firenze and Siena continues to build and suspicions against those once considered loyal are raised, Gabi must figure out who can be trusted before her enemies align forces and begin a siege against Castello Forelli, and all of Siena, that can’t be won.

    In Cascade, the tension continues to build from the first page to the last. As Gabriella tries to protect all those she loves and the Sienese people that have captured her heart, she is once again catapulted into the middle of a long-standing power struggle between these two cities. But this time there’s a bounty on her head and her safety is now more important than ever.

    Author Lisa T. Bergren continues to enthrall readers with her gripping tale of epic battles, fearsome pursuits and heroic rescues. Her writing style once again invites readers into the story and the world she has so richly developed.

    Although a fictional account, the characters and events feel very believable. The author has not sugar-coated this story to make it less primitive or barbaric than everyday life during that period in time.

    And as the heroine, Gabriella continues to grow stronger and becomes even more loyal and committed to the people of Siena. As an icon, she is truly worthy of their respect and devotion.

    Cascade is another exciting installment in this series and with its cliffhanger ending, Torrent, which comes out this fall, is a book not to be missed.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    On a personal note:

    I am such a huge fan of this series. I loved having the opportunity to read both books back-to-back. I only wish I had Torrent, the third book, as September seems so far off and a long time to be left hanging.

    Yes. Cascade ends much in the same way as Waterfall, with many things left up in the air. And although it ends on a hopeful note, the wait will be torturous.

    There are so many things I want to talk about from this book, but am holding back as it might spoil parts of the first book in the series for those who haven’t read it. So, if I am vague it’s on purpose.

    I loved the new twists and turns in Cascade. There were moments that I was practically holding my breath, waiting to see how certain events turned out. The author did a fantastic job of creating tension. I spent much of this book racing through the words just to find out whether things would be okay.

    I loved once again being back in the fourteenth century and seeing Medieval Italy through Gabi’s eyes. As much action as there was in the first book, in this one it quadruples.

    Cascade has more enemies, more danger, more battles, more chases and even more people not to be trusted. But in the midst of all this, there is still love, honor, and even kindness from the most unexpected of sources.

    With the constant threat of war, plague and just the overall cruelty of the time, the Italy we see in Cascade is probably not one I want to time travel to any time soon. But Gabi fits so well into that world.

    And in Cascade she has grown stronger and even more courageous than ever, and is ready to put her life on the line not just for love, but for the place she now sees as home.

    One of my favorite characters has returned, and we see less of some of my least favorite characters, thankfully. But there is a new, very intriguing character in this book that surprised me. I kept hoping that they would be more than what they appeared, and they were.

    And although this is simply a fictional tale, the author does not unrealistically give every single character a happily ever after. It is war, after all and there will be loss.

    There are a few more spiritual aspects to this story, but for the most part they don’t affect the pacing or detract from the storyline, and in some instances they bring something more to the story, giving Gabi a bit more depth to her character.

    As the action has dramatically picked up in this book, there was a lot less time for a love story, which I missed just a little, but it was there, and there was so much more to keep me hooked.

    I am dying to find out what happens in the next book. There are so many questions left at the end of this book as compared to Waterfall and of course Torrent isn’t out for a few months.

    I want to go back into the story and the world that the author created. I already miss the adventures and characters and I just finished reading it. I got so absorbed into the story, that being yanked back into the here and now has me slightly dazed.

    I am just glad that there is only a four month wait rather than a year for the next book. And I will be re-reading the finished copy of Cascade, to see if there are differences from the version I read, prior to Torrent’s release.

    ***

    Book trailer for Cascade:

    This review is based on an eARC received from the author.

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    Review: Waterfall

    Waterfall by Lisa T. Bergren is the first book in The River of Time Series and is the author’s young adult debut. It was released on February 1, 2011 in the U.S and is currently available to order online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in paperback, eBook and audio formats.

    Published by David C. Cook, the print edition is 384 pages.

    Waterfall is one of the books that can be chosen for the 2011 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi at TheStorySiren.com.

    Goodreads description:

    Lisa Tawn Bergren’s new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn’t have to fear a vampire’s bite but must still fight for her life.

    In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties.

    Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds… until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.

    ***

    Falling in love is never without complication. But falling in love with someone from a different century, a different lifetime, than yours is the ultimate test. And it is even more of a challenge when that someone is promised to another.

    Gabriella Betarrini was never that excited about being dragged to Italy every summer while her parents sought to discover ancient treasures on their archaeological expeditions. And after her father’s death, being back in Italy, with her mother and sister, while her mom practically ignored them, was even worse.

    It was not as if she was a part of anything remotely interesting. She and her sister were really nothing more than gofers and laborers. But when she and Lia make a discovery inside one of the tombs, her summer takes an unexpected turn.

    Being transported nearly seven hundred years into the past, separated from her sister, and with no idea how to return home, Gabi must quickly adapt to her surroundings or risk being captured or even killed for being seen as a spy or witch.

    But, there are worse places or times where she could have ended up instead of Italy in the fourteenth century. And being taken to a castle and placed under the protection of Sir Marcello Forelli, the handsome future lord of Castello Forelli, was not exactly torture.

    All she needed was to find her sister and figure out how to get back to where she belonged. And all that was standing in her way were a few minor obstacles – sword-wielding enemies guarding the passage back, traitors looking to destroy the Forelli’s and anyone who sided with them, and Marcello and his knights who were hell-bent on ensuring her safety.

    And one major one – walking away from the only boy she’s ever loved and leaving her heart in the past.

    ***

    Waterfall is an exciting adventure and enchanting love story that is completely irresistible. It takes readers on a journey back in time to a world where honor and nobility go hand-in-hand with cruelty and violence. A time when men were the protectors, where danger lurked around every corner and friends could just as easily turn out to be enemies.

    It is to this world that Gabriella Betarrini is transported one afternoon. Coming from modern day Italy to a past that is nearly seven centuries old isn’t the shock she thinks it should be. Somehow this time, this place, feel so familiar to her.

    And when she meets Marcello, the younger son of Lord Forelli, she is immediately drawn to him. And he to her. But as future lord of the Castello, his responsibilities are to his family and to his people. And his commitment to the Lady Rossi cannot be broken. Even if it means breaking Gabriella’s heart.

    Author Lisa Bergren has written an absolutely captivating, magical story of time travel, adventure and romance. Waterfall will keep readers on the edge of their seats wondering what will happen next. The story is action-packed, filled with sword battles and constant threats to Gabriella and the Forelli’s, and the tension between Gabi and Marcello is nail-biting.

    Gabriella is smart, brave, loyal and ever so resourceful. She is quick to jump in to defend those she cares about and does not give up when things are difficult or scary. It is her bravery that earns her the respect of the people during a time when it could have just as easily earned their mistrust. And it is her strength and compassion that attract Marcello to her.

    Waterfall is absolute must-read for readers who enjoy a love story that will also take them on an adventure to another time and place.

    Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

    On a personal note:

    This book was so totally enchanting. I wasn’t one hundred percent sure what to expect having read the description. I knew there would be time travel and knights and battles, which are always awesome, but I thought perhaps it would read more like one of those middle grade time travel stories, which are sweet and lovable, but are more about the adventure than the characters.

    Not even close. This story didn’t neglect the characters at all. They actually made this story amazing.

    I adored Gabriella and loved how easily she fit into fourteenth century Italy but still retained who she was, enough so to catch the eye of Marcello Forelli. And that although she adapted with ease to the manner of speaking, she was still put out by the lack of modern conveniences like hair conditioner and indoor plumbing.

    And I don’t think any girl could read this story without falling for Marcello Forelli. Handsome, brave, honorable, noble and confident, but daring enough to be captivated by the head-strong Gabriella. And not only was he taken with her, he was amazed by her. How hot is that?

    Luca was a total charmer. I always love stories that include a character like him. He’s the guy that is always there to help, breaks up the tension, adds humor and is one you hope finds his own love story. And Lady Rossi was the perfect two-faced and untrustworthy competition for Marcello’s affections.

    Stories about time travel can often come across as somewhat unbelievable, but I was completely taken back in time with Gabi, caught up in the both the beauty of the time and its cruelty. Not for a moment was I pulled out of the story or the era by something that just didn’t ring true.

    Although I fell in love with fourteenth century Italy, with its knights and castles, my favorite part was the love story. It gave me butterflies. Gabriella and Marcello’s love may have been pure and chaste, but it was so intense.

    I love when an author can build that tension into the story with just a look or a touch. Every single time Gabi and Marcello exchanged glances, or when he moved that lock of hair behind her ear, I think I swooned a bit.

    I got so caught up in the story that I read it in one sitting. And was so glad that I had the second book on hand, or that ending might have completely devastated me. It wasn’t a completely evil cliffhanger, as a few things were answered, but I think I would have died a little bit not knowing what happened next if I had to wait four months for Cascade.

    How I “discovered” this book:

    Waterfall is a “Just Discovered” just got a chance to read book.

    I discovered this book back in January when checking out the 2011 Debut Author Challenge list. The story appealed to me as it involved time travel, knights, sword battles and a love story. And as I hadn’t read too many historical fiction novels, but wanted to, this one seemed a perfect fit.

    Of course, as it always seems to happen these days, time passed, deadlines loomed, and I did not get a chance to read this right away. But I was recently contacted by the author to see if I’d be interested in reviewing the second book in the series, Cascade. And of course I jumped at the chance, as I already had Cascade on my list of pre-orders and planned to read both books this summer.

    So, I moved Waterfall to the top of the pile in order to get caught up on the story prior to reading Cascade.

    ***

    Book trailer for Waterfall:

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