Monday, 25 June 2012

COEXIST by Julia Crane - Welcome To My Stop On The Blog Tour!

Hello Folks and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for COEXIST: THE KEEGAN CHRONICLES.
I am lucky enough to bring you 2 excerpts for this book so sit back and get comfy!




Author: Julia Crane
Release Date: June 10th 2012

"Sixteen-year-old Keegan is struggling to keep her huge secret from her friends—she's an elf, descended from a long line of elves that live in secrecy alongside humans.  

In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen.  Against tradition, Keegan's brother Thaddeus told her Rourk's name because his visions warned him she'd need Rourk's protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.

Rourk finds himself drawn to Keegan's side every time she thinks his name. He wants to talk to her but remains in the shadows, silently guarding her every time she mentally beckons him. A twist of fate thrusts the two of them together when Rourk is forced to step up his protection and make his presence known.

An ancient prophecy deeply entwines Keegan's family and the future of their society. Somehow they must find a way to thwart fate and win the battle...without losing Keegan. With war brewing, and dark forces aligning, will Keegan and Rourk ever have the life together that they both desire?"


The promised two excerpts await your attention....!



EXCERPT #1

Elfin elders used complicated methods to arrange ideal marriages between young elves. The secret of this formula had a need-to-know basis; meaning, he would never know how the auburn-haired beauty was chosen for him. There were many creatures in this world, but his kind held their secrets close to their chest. But it didn’t matter how or why; Rourk was grateful simply to have her.
There were certain rules his kind had to follow. One’s lifemate may have been chosen at birth, but the first and most important rule was that they could not meet until they both turned 18. Ordinarily, neither knew their other half until they became of age.  Their society believed it was better this way, as the bond could be all-consuming. They didn't want their children to be deprived of a normal childhood. Growing up knowing that one’s other half was out there waiting brought a sense of comfort to Rourk. 
So how did he find her?
Someone had told her his name. His chosen pulled him closer to her each time she thought of him. It was as involuntary as breathing. When he was younger he could resist with ease. As he got closer to being of age, curiosity got the better of him. Sometimes he wished he’d resisted so he didn’t have to endure the agony of waiting now. 
Although, he loved seeing her even if it caused him pain. 
Rourk focused his attention back on his chosen. She was standing on the rocks as the water rushed around her feet—camera in hand, as usual. One minute, she skipped across the rocks like a child, and the next she would stop, a look of total concentration taking over her face. That was when she started snapping photos.
Staring at her, Rourk squatted and rested his hands on his knees, wondering what she saw through her lens. He watched as she jumped from a rock and slipped as she landed on another, her arms flailing as she almost fell into the water. 
His heart lurched. A strong need to protect her filled his body, and if her laugh hadn’t echoed up to him like music, he was poised to jump in after her. But instead, her face broke into a huge grin as she steadied herself and continued to take photos. Rourk relaxed, content to stand and watch her for hours.
Rourk didn’t even know her name, but he knew he’d never seen anything so magnificent in his life. Her wavy hair glistened in the sunlight. She had a delicate, round face with large, blue-green eyes and full lips. With her cheeks flushed from the cold fall air, she reminded him of a porcelain doll. He knew all too well, though, that looks could be deceiving. She looked sweet and innocent, but it was her eyes that gave her away. They were bold and daring, constantly observing her surroundings. Rourk smiled to himself; she would soon belong to him.
It took a lot of self-control not to approach her, but Rourk knew that would be breaking the rules. The elders were serious about chosens meeting at the proper age. Many decades before, they implemented a punishment of an added year apart if the rules were disregarded. 
An extra year without his chosen would have been soul destroying. In any case, his military upbringing had given Rourk a healthy respect for rules. He had long ago accepted that they were in place for a reason, and he had to be patient. Their time would come. Unfortunately, she was over a year younger than he, which meant he would have to wait longer than he would like.
He pondered this as he watched her pack up, lovingly storing her camera away in its bag while her hair fell softly over her face. When she disappeared down the path to her house, Rourk sighed, turned and left. 

EXCERPT #2 

Keegan was terrified. 
Her eyes glanced frantically around trying to think a way out of this situation. How could this be happening, even with all my training? She was sure she could not defend herself against four guys. A drop of sweat fell from her face, and her heart was racing. 
The biggest one pushed her up against the wall. She could smell the alcohol on his breath.
“Well, aren’t you a fine piece of meat?” 
Glaring at him, she said, “Get your hands off me.” 
“A feisty one, eh?” he laughed. 
Without thinking, she drove her knee into his groin. He groaned and doubled over. The others advanced, and the big one yelled, “She’s mine.”
She felt like she was going to throw up when his hands groped her chest. Please don’t do this, she thought. I belong to Rourk.
When she thought his name, it pierced through Rourk’s heart. Nothing mattered to him except keeping her safe. How dare anyone else lay their hands on her? He would make them pay. 
Out of nowhere, Keegan felt her attacker pulled off of her. She looked up just as a flash of light went off, and what she saw made her heart drop; she felt as if she were in a free fall as she stared into the most beautiful face she’d ever seen. His grey eyes met hers and he tipped his head, giving her a slight nod.
Keegan whispered, Rourk? It was only a matter of seconds, but it felt like a lifetime. 
He yelled over the crowd, “Go to the exit and text your friends to meet you.” His voice sounded like music to her ears; it was deep, but not too deep, and filled with authority. 
As much as she hated to leave, she didn’t dare ignore him. She ran away.


So now we have your attention.. Right?!! Well read on to see what I thought!


*I hereby award this book 4 wings!*

Firstly, some cover art appreciation. Those of you familiar with my blog will already know this but for those of you who are new, I am a self-confessed cover-magpie. I collect pretty and shiny covers. This one is certainly both! I am not actually a big lover of the colour green, never have been really. But this cover defies that. I adore it, not in spite of it's colour, instead because I think it wouldn't look right any other way. The model is beautiful and it is just so eye-catching.


It was when I received the email from RABT asking if I wanted to sign up for the tour that I first saw this cover. It instantly had me wanting to know what this book was about.


Now I have read it and I am here to tell you why I awarded it the 4 wing rating.


From the very first page of this book I was drawn in. It was a lightning-paced page turner of a book. I love books that aren't overly drawn out before you get into the thick of the story. Don't get me wrong, I like world-building, just not huge information overloads that make you feel as though your brain might explode. 


COEXIST is the story of 16 year old Keegan. She's not your typical teenager and not just because she isn't all sullen teenage angst. What makes her different is that she's an elf.
She's a friendly, sweet, caring girl who seems to adore her family and friends. The only one thing she doesn't have is a boyfriend. 
Elves are allowed to date, but once they turn 18, they are law-bound to marry their 'Chosen' partner (soul mate). 
This 'Chosen' is exactly what it says on the tin - chosen for them. It's not a choice they make for themselves. The choice is made based upon their likes/dislikes, who and what they are. Their perfect match is then selected but that information isn't given to them until they are 18.
So for Keegan, she knows she has a 'Chosen' and she knows his name is Rourk. So she chooses not to date anyone else, she's waiting for her soul mate. Realistically, she shouldn't even know his name, but her brother Thaddeus is a Seer - meaning he has visions - and he told her his name.


At this point, I was loving the story but wasn't quite sure what to make of the whole 'Chosen' thing. I mean, is there really any point in dating anyone else when you know you can't be with them past 18? What happens if you fall in love at the age of 17 only to be torn from that relationship to marry someone you have never met and it's been decided for you whether they are in fact good enough for you? 
I get the fact that the matches are made on the basis of likes, dislikes, interests and so on and so forth. But, who is to say that just because you have things in common that you are going to be the ideal match. For instance, I have a lot in common with a lot of my friends, but it doesn't mean I would want to be in a relationship with any of them - hence why I'm not. 
Plus, I would want to know what my partner was going to look like considering it's to be a life-long relationship. Okay so that may be a wee bit shallow but aren't we all a little shallow really? Would you want to be with someone who you find completely unattractive? No? Nor would I.
Lastly, call me old-fashioned, but it's not really very romantic. It's not like they get a chance to meet each other and work at the relationship - it's more like everything is plotted out for them. That, to me, kills the romance of it all.


But regardless of being in two minds about how that would pan out, I was enjoying the story so I thought I would give the Chosen thing  a chance to grow on me.


The one thing I really liked about this story was that because it was told from third person point of view, you got chance to see things from different people throughout. It was done in such a way that it didn't feel too choppy and you didn't get lost trying to figure who the particular part was on about. So you got to learn about many of the different characters in a short space of time, rather than being stuck in the head of Keegan and learning about them in her words. 


It wasn't just a story about love. There was some action in there too, which pleased me immensely. There was a war between the light and the dark (you'll find out what I mean when you read the book)
I would have loved the part about this to have been a little more involved, a little more detailed. But maybe that's just me.  I won't tell you the outcome or anything, all I will say is that it ended a little too quickly. I would have liked to have read more fight scenes. 


I really liked Rourk - the love interest - and I love how it is between them when Keegan and Rourk finally meet. It made me wonder if I was misjudging the whole 'Chosen' thing, so I ended up accepting it for what it was, the law of the society in which they live. I may not like or want it for myself, but then I'm not the one living it am I?!


I like Julia Crane's easy writing style. She doesn't unnecessarily overcomplicate things. I found myself able to read this pretty quickly. Though if real-life hadn't gotten in the way, I would have finished it in one sitting. 
I am looking forward to the other two books in this trilogy and to finding out where it all leads for all the characters involved. There hasn't yet been a character I don't like. Whether that's because elves have a naturally sunnier disposition than us humans do - I don't really know. 
There are secondary characters who I would definitely love to hear more from and I read that Julia is writing spin-off novels to tell us more about each in their own right. I will look forward to reading them, that's for sure. 


So thanks must go to RABT for the invite to the blog tour. Also to Julia Crane for introducing me to elves in YA. I can't wait to see where this journey leads them in the last two books.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Julia Crane Bio:

Julia Crane is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction novels: Keegan's Chronicles, Mesmerized and Eternal Youth. Julia was greatly encouraged by her mother to read and use her imagination, and she’s believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Julia has traveled far and wide to all the places her grandmother told her about and more, gaining inspiration from her journeys to places like Nepal, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Italy, France and many more. And who knows? Maybe the magical creatures she writes about are people she met along the way.

Julia Crane has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Although she's spent most of her life on the US east coast, she currently lives in Dubai with her husband and three children.
You can contact Julia via her website


Buy Coexist Here:


AMAZON UK
AMAZON US
BARNES & NOBLE

Lastly thanks goes to you guys my readers. Whether you are already a follower of mine from Twitter, Facebook or wherever - or you are new to my blog, thank you for dropping by to read this post today. Please know that you are welcomed back with open arms any time you want to swing by. I will look forward to seeing you!








5 comments:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and review Coexist!

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    1. Thank you Julia. I look forward to reading books 2 & 3. I'd really like the trilogy in paperback. They would look awesome on my bookshelf! :D

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  2. Coexist rocks!!!
    I really love it's story even though I may not able to read the book 2 and 3. . .more power ms Julia Crane!!! you have a superb brain!!!

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    Replies
    1. Klariz, I emailed you :) Glad you enjoyed Coexist and thanks for commenting.

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  3. Love the book! Can't wait to read the rest of the Keegan's Chronicles. :)

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