Saturday, August 11, 2012

Expert & Review of Ember by Jessica Sorensen ARC

Title: Ember
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Series: Death Collectors
Publisher: Borrowed Hearts Publishing
Publication Date: August 25, 2012
Links: Goodreads 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Enjoy an Expert below the review of Ember)

WOW, this book was amazing; Jessica has done it again, created a great story, which puts you on the edge of your seat! I stayed up half the night to finish this, I could not stop. I had to know what happened next. This book has a broken family, betrayal, impossible love triangle, (but not really in the way you think) and trying to guess who or what anyone is, is hard, you will be wrong!

In this book, Ember is faced with death daily. Anyone she touches, she sees their death omen, and she sees how they are going to die. And some die young and brutally. She has had to face a broken family; her mother called her crazy, and sent her to live with her dad when she was 4 or so. Then had to get back with her mom when something happened with her dad. Basically, she lives with a mother who is out of it most days. Ember is a Goth girl, who is described with long silky black hair, and grey/light blue eyes, pale skin. I pictured her looking like Ksena Solo from Lost Girl on Sci Fi channel, (she plays Kenzi the human, goth girl)Ksena Solo Photos Here ( I just had to add this funny clip, I wanted to try to moving clips, see how it worked)

She is a very strong character, and she deals with things daily that I would cringe at if it was me. Not all is what it seems. We have 2 new boys come into the picture, and I love how we do not really know for sure, which is the bad evil one, and which is not. I do not want to say much to spoil anything, this will remain spoiler free. I will add a few good teasers for you.

 “Open your eyes,” a deep voice asserts. “Come on, not yet. Open your eyes, God damn it.” The whisper alters to a desperate plea. “Please Ember… please wake up… you have to be one of them—I know you are.”

I didn’t feel like I liked Raven, her best friend a lot, I did some, but I do not trust her, and feel bad for Ember that she basically has no one to talk to. I really liked Asher, he has black hair and grey eyes, pale skin, very goodlooking, he is a sweet guy, and right away was drawn to him (I pictured him looking like a young Garrett Hedlum, like he looked in the Eragon movie, with the longer black hair, he was in Tron too, but with blond hair). Cameron, I also liked some, but didn’t trust him, he has blond hair, described as dark eyes, not sure color, may have been blue, but something about him seemed too perfect. ( I pictured him as a young Cam Gigandet, like he was in the movie Never Back Down, or Roommate movie, not like when James in Twilight) I feel all the characters were developed very nicely.

I was happy with the ending, it was left open, as I know it’s a series, but not on a huge cliffhanger to where you want to scream, we don’t have that, but it still does leave us wanting more, like it should.
Overall, Amazing story, I am honored I was able to read an ARC for Jessica. I highly recommend this book to any fan of Jessica, OR anyone who likes a great paranormal story. You won’t be disappointed!

I only have one negative thing to say, I don't like the book cover. The girl on cover looks nothing like the description, she has dark eyes and not even pretty, where Ember is describes as very pretty with the light grey/light blue eyes, and that combo with black hair is very attractive, like the the example I said above, she would look more like Ksolo than the cover. I am sure a computer generated girl with the proper look would be better, if the right model isn't found. Just my opinion. The cover actually turns me away, if I would not have known Jessica's work, and it was a book I just seen, I would have passed it up. I am guilty of the whole judging books by the covers. Sorry, but so many people are.
I was provided and ARC of this book for my honest review from the author.

What if you knew when someone was going to die?

For seventeen-year-old Ember, life is death. With a simple touch, she knows when someone will die. It’s her curse and the reason she secludes herself from the world. The only person who knows her secret is her best friend Raven.

Then she meets Asher Morgan. He’s gorgeous, mysterious, and is the only person Ember can't sense death from. So when he pushes into her life, she doesn’t mind.

But when unexplained deaths start to haunt her town, Ember starts questioning why she can’t sense Asher's death and what he may be hiding.


Expert From Ember:
Expert From Ember:

Suddenly, the lights flip off and the house suffocates with darkness, except for the faint cast of the outside light filtering through the curtains.
“Okay… did she forget to pay the power bill too?” I fumble through the drawer and pull out a flashlight. I shine the light around the room as I walk toward the front door. The floorboards creak under my feet and I can hear heavy breathing.
I’m not alone.
My boot catches on something solid and I fall flat on my face. The flashlight flies out of my hand and rolls across the floor. My legs tangle with something and the silence of their body is more frightening than if I felt their death.
“Asher?” I squint through the dark down at my legs.
A dark figure slowly rises from the floor. The head is enormous, its arms long, and its body stretches to the ceiling. A cape flows to the ground and armors their face. Nope, not Asher.
“Ember,” it breathes, reaching for me. “Don’t be afraid. You know I’d never hurt you.”
“You stay the hell away from me.” I flip over onto my stomach, taking out the table. I scramble to my feet and sprint across the room for the flashlight. I scoop it up and spin around, sweeping the light across the room.
But he’s gone.
I back for the door, sliding my phone out of my pocket. I dial Ian’s number. “Come on, come on, come—”
The doorbell rings. Startled, I drop my phone on the floor and the back pops off. I snatch up the pieces and quickly throw open the door.
Asher looks sexy as hell. His inky black hair dangles in his gorgeous slate eyes and the sleeves of his plaid shirt are pushed up, showing off his lean arms. My eyes stray down lower, to where his jeans ride low on his hips, and I picture myself trailing kisses down his abs.
Damn Raven and her dirty books. They’re messing with my head.
He shields his eyes with his hand. “Do you blind every guy that shows up on your porch?” he jokes.
I click off the flashlight and toss it on the end table. “Sorry, the power went out.”
I shut the door behind me as I step outside. We walk silently to his car and get in. Through my living room window, the caped visitor watches me and I can’t seem to take my eyes off him.
Asher turns the stereo down and rotates in his seat to face me. “Is something wrong?” He tracks the course of my gaze. “What are you looking at? Did you forget to turn something off?”
I tear my attention away from the house. From him. “No, everything’s good. So what did you want to show me?”
He grins as he backs down the driveway. “It’s a surprise.”
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Below is some new amazing artwork for the Death Collectors series, and its amazing. Love the one with Ember, the eyes are the right color, better than the cover now. Hope the cover gets an update too, with the new cool look. These are all by Mae I Design. Website | FB

Jessica Sorensen Bio:

I live in Wyoming with my husband and three kids. I’m the author of the Fallen Star series, the Darkness Falles Series, and the upcoming Death Collectors series. I love writing and reading almost anything that is YA. Some of my favorite authors are Cassandra Clare, Sarah Dressen, Becca Fitzpatrick, Abbi Glines, Tammara Webber, Jamie McGuire and Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’m also an avid watcher of TV series The Vampire Diaries and Modern Family.

I absolutely love music. When I’m writing, 9 out of 10 times I have music blaring in the background. My list of favorite songs could go on and on, since I have a very broad taste in music. But a few of my favorite bankds are Chevelle, Rise Against, Alkaline Trio, Brand New, Death Cab for Cutie, Flight 409, Nirvana, and I am going to stop there or else I’ll keep going on forever.

I don’t really have any favorite movies, but a few I could watch over and over again are Anywhere but Here, Juno, Pride and Prejudice, The Hangover, and Bad Teacher.

If your interested in contacting me, here are a few options: 

Facebook Page (go "like" her page, she will be giving away signed books and stuff, see her blog for details)

Prologue and Chapter 1 below in scrollbox. Enjoy!

Once a blooming red rose, full of streaming life in its veins

Now a wilting black petal rupturing with death and pain



“Emmy, can you hand me that Allen wrench?” My dad sticks his hand out from beneath the Challenger.

I push the jar of screws and coins out of the way and grab the wrench out of the toolbox. I skip around the fender lying on the ground, and set it in my dad’s hand. “Is it fixed yet?”

His legs wiggle as he scoots further under the car. “Patience, Emmy. These things take time.”

“Like how long? An hour?” I ask impatiently. “Dad, I want you to drive it really fast. And I want to be in there too.”

My dad laughs. “Alright, we can do that.”

“You promise?” I say. “You cross your heart?”

He laughs again and drops the wrench onto the concrete. “Yeah, cross my heat and hope to die.”

My eyes wander to the corner of the garage as I return to the jars of screws and coins. I pluck out the pennies one by one and arrange them in groups on the concrete. The metal clinks with each coin dropped. I hum along with the song on the radio, a song about death and the acceptance of it. I wonder if it might be talking about my friend in the corner of the garage, the one who always watches and follows me wherever I go. He wears a funny cape like a superhero only there’s a hood over his head. His face is always hidden, but I bet his skin is made of rainbows and light.

He breathes a warning about the coins and the map I’m supposed to be creating. “Didn’t I do it right?” I poke at a penny. “It looks right to me.”

My dad sticks his head out from under the car. Grease stains his face and there’s a layer of metal shavings in his black hair. “Emmy, who are you talking to?”

I hum along with the song playing from the car stereo. “No one,” I lie, because I’m not allowed to talk about my imaginary friend with anyone—those are his rules. I even crossed my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye. And the last thing I want to do is stick a needle in my eye.

My dad shoves out from under the car and wipes his greasy hands on the front of his torn jeans. “Hey, Emmy, you wanna go get something to eat?” He peers over my shoulder at the map of the cemetery I’ve created.

Each coin represents were a body is buried. “Playing a game,” I reply.

His breath hitches. “Stop that!” He scatters the pieces with his boot and picks me up in his arms. He grips me forcefully as he carries me to the trunk of the car and sits me down with my legs dangling over the edge.

“Who told you to do that with the coins?” The anger in his eyes is frightening.

“I don’t know.” I try to squirm from my dad’s arms. “Daddy, you’re hurting me.”

His eyes enlarge as he glances at his hands, like he didn’t realize he was holding my arms. “Emmy, this is really important.” He loosens his grip. “Who told you to do that?”

My eyes stray to my friend in the corner. “I’m not supposed to tell you.”

“Ember Rose Edwards.” He only uses my full name when he means business. “You tell me right now or else I won’t let you ride in the car with me. Do you understand?”

I cross my arms. “Fine. My imaginary friend told me to do it.”

My friend glares at me and I’m scared he’s going to leave me. Please don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me.

My dad follows my line of gaze and a spark of his death surfaces through his touch—darkness. I shiver as he turns back to me with a stern look on his face.

“Emmy, you need to ignore him, okay?” he says, his grey eyes softening. “You can’t have imaginary friends—people will think you’re crazy. And we can’t have people thinking that.”

“But I don’t want him to go away.”

“Well, he has too. It’s time for him to go away. Do you understand? No imaginary friends. Ever.”

“Fine… go away, friend.” Tears sting the corners of my eyes as my friend dissipates into air. “It’s not fair.”

“Life isn’t fair,” my dad says as he helps me down off the trunk. “And the sooner you realize that, the easier life will be.”

I sulk back over to the jar and begin picking up the mess, chucking the pennies and screws into the jar.

“And Emmy.” My dad scoots back under the car. “If he ever comes back, you need to tell him to go away.”

“Alright.” I frown, dropping pennies into the jar. Once my dad is back under the car, I dare a peek at the empty corner, secretly hoping my friend will be back. But he’s not and my heart aches. He’s the only person I’ve ever met who understands death like I do.

Chapter 1

Nine years later…..

I love the cemetery. It’s quiet and peaceful—it’s the only place where I get a break from death. I loathe crowded places, crammed with voices and life. It hurts to be around life. People don’t understand how close death is, right over their shoulders, around the block, at the end of a street. It’s everywhere. And I’m the only one who knows where it’s hiding. I see death every day. But a cemetery is already dead.

The moon beams vibrantly tonight; it’s only a sliver away from being full. Dry leaves fall from the oak tree and the air smells crisp with autumn. Headstones entomb the ground and a light mist dews the grass. I lean against a tree trunk with my notebook propped open on my knee, and a pen in my hand. I scribble words that are important to me.

The cemetery is my sense of comfort, my sanctuary in a world of darkness, the one piece of light I have in my life.

I remove the tip of the pen from the page and read over my words. I sound obsessed with death, like Edgar Allan Poe or Emily Dickinson. But death is a huge part of who I am. With a simple touch I know when someone will die. Whether they’ll go painfully. If their life will be stolen.

I set the notebook on the grass and tuck the pen inside the spine. I pull my hood over my head, cross my arms, and stare out at the desolate street. One of the streetlights flickers and a dog barks from behind the front gate of a redbrick home. It’s late. I glance at my watch. Really late. I grab my notebook and start across the cemetery. The ground is damp and my clunky, black boots sink in the dirt. I eye the headstones; big, small, intricate, plain. I wonder if the details of a headstone define the life of the person resting beneath it. If it’s big and fancy, does it mean they were loved by many? Or were they lonely, but had money? Do small and plain ones declare that they lived a lonely life? Or were they just not materialistic?

I’m probably the only one crazy enough to be walking around thinking these thoughts.

The wind howls like a dust storm. Leaves whirlwind around my head. I tuck my chin down, fighting through the dust toward the front gate. Pieces of my black hair curtain my pale face and grey eyes, and stick against my plump lips. My clunky boot catches on the corner of a grave and I face-plant onto the grass. My notebook flies from my hand and my head smacks the corner of a headstone.

“Owe,” I mumble, clutching my head. I smear dirt off my cheek. My gaze travels upward to a statuesque carving of a hooded figure. Its head is tucked down and in its hand is a scythe.

“The Grim Reaper, huh?” I rise to my feet, stretching out my long legs, and tilt my head up. “I bet you know what it’s like, don’t you? To be surrounded by death all the time? I bet you understand me.”

The wind violently picks up and carries my notebook away. Shielding my eyes from the dust, I chase after it. It dances through the leaves and glides across the grass, finally resting against a soaring angelic statue in the crook of the cemetery. I hurry after it. A black raven swoops down from one of the trees and circles in front of me.

“Why are you always following me?” I whisper to the raven. “Is it because you know what I am—a symbol of death like you?”

“Damn it, I am so sick and tired of doing all your dirty work. It’s such crap.” A voice cuts through the cemetery.

I hastily take cover behind the angel statue and the raven perches on the head, ruffling its wings. No one hangs out in cemeteries late at night, except for weirdoes and people like me. (And as far as I know, I’m the only girl of my kind.)

A shovel cuts into the dirt. “I’m always the one who’s gotta dig these things up.”

I peek through the cracks between the angel’s wings. A thin guy, with frail arms and a pointy nose, stands in a hole, shoveling dirt. My journal is inches from the discarded dirt pile. One more scoop and my life thoughts will be buried.

“If I were you, Gregory, I’d watch my tone.” A tall figure hops from the roof of a small marble mausoleum. His hair is as pale as the moon and his eyes are like ash. His long legs stretch as he strides toward the hole. “I can easily find someone else to dig up the grave.”

Gregory mutters under his breath and scoops up a shovel full of dirt.

The taller one cups his ear. “What’s that? Speak up, I can’t hear you.”

“Nothing,” Gregory mumbles and continues digging.

The other guy’s smile catches in the moonlight. His face is beautiful, but burdened with sadness, as if he carries the world’s sorrows on his shoulders. I long to reach out and trace my fingers along his lips, his jawline, and erase his pain.

The pages of my journal flutter in the breeze and he picks it up. I cringe with embarrassment, but then realize that he’s a guy who hangs out in a cemetery, digging up graves, so my penned words of death shouldn’t bother him. He flips through the pages and then pauses on one. He studies the page, and then his eyes skim the cemetery. I crouch down and hold my breath. Silence blankets the night, except for the shovel scratching the dirt.

“Where’d this come from?” he asks Gregory.

I peek through the feet of the angel statue.

Gregory takes the notebook and turns it over. “I’m not sure…” He hands it back. “It says Ember Rose Edwards on the back.”

The tall figure runs his long fingers along my name. “Ember…” His haunting voice envelops me and beckons me to move out from behind the statue. I start to step out.

“Hold it right there.” A light shines over my shoulders.

I tense and the shovel stops cutting into the dirt. The night grows quiet, filled with only the hoot of an owl.

“Now slowly turn around,” a deep voice instructs. Static cuts through a stereo. “I’m with the suspect now.”

Damn it. They’re going to think I was digging up the grave. This is not my first time getting into trouble, so they won’t go easy on me.

“I said slowly turn around and keep your hands where I can see them,” the cop orders.

I shut my eyes and slowly elevate my hands to my sides.

“Good, now turn around slowly,” he says.

I sprint off across the graveyard.

“She’s on the move,” he yells and the speaker statics.

My clunky boots rip against the grass as I hop and maneuver around the gravestones. The cop pursues me, his footsteps loud and the keys on his belt jingling. I speed up as the brick fence pierces my view. Springing onto my toes, I leap for the top. My stomach slams against the edge and I quickly pull my legs up. The cop grabs my boot and yanks on my leg.

“Don’t even think about it, you little punk.” He starts to haul me back to the ground by the leg.

I wiggle my foot, trying to slip it out of my boot. His hands move higher up my leg, just below my knee. My fingertips scrape the brick as they dig down to hold onto the edge.

The cop’s fingers wrap around my other leg. “Just let—”

The cop abruptly releases my legs. My knee crashes into the fence. I scramble to the top and glance behind me. The cop lies unconscious on the grass. The tall, dark stranger stands over him, watching me. The dusky shadows of the trees dance across his face and his untamed eyes smolder like cinders.

“Ember.” His ghostly voice encircles around me like smoke.

I inch forward until the tips of my boots align with the ledge of the fence and my hand powerlessly reaches for him. I can’t fight the urge to be near him—I’m hypnotized by his beauty and the haunting sound of his voice.

“Come here,” he purrs softly, extending his arms for me.

My other hand rises to my side and I bend my knees, beginning to jump off the ledge, desperate to touch him.

“Don’t move.” Sirens screech from the gate and red and blue lights flash across the cemetery. I flinch and quickly crouch down. A police car slams to a dirt-grinding stop on the other side of the cemetery. Two cops barrel out of it and dash through the gate, hollering over their radios. I glance down. The tall stranger is gone, but a single black raven feather floats in the air. I catch it and my gaze sweeps the cemetery possessed with shadows and dark corners. The cop on the ground stirs and I spin around, leap onto the sidewalk, and sprint down the street toward my home, never looking back.
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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from the author of the above mentioned book/books for free in the hope that I would review and mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend books I personally read and enjoy, and you as my readers may also enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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