Friday, January 25, 2013

Snow Bound (More than Magic #2) by Elizabeth Kirke Review and Excerpt

Published January 2013 by Anchor Group Publishing

After learning how to use magic and fighting vampires, anyone would be bored going back to normal college life. As if that wasn’t enough, Jen didn’t realize how hard it would be to tiptoe around her non-magic family and friends. She can’t even talk to her familiar, Rak, without making sure no one else is around! Worst of all, Jen misses the friends she made over the summer. Aside from Rak, they’re the only other magics she knows and she hasn’t seen them in almost five months!
Jen is all too happy to accept an invitation to go skiing with the gang. She gears up for two weeks of snow, magic, and fun. Just when everything seems to be going great, an uninvited guest turns up. Soon the skiers aren’t the only things going downhill. Jen thought that vampires were just about the most dangerous thing the magical world could throw at her. Unfortunately, she’s about to learn that people with no magic at all can be just as deadly .. 
Snow Bound (More than Magic Book 2)

I didn’t think this series could get even better, but it did! It was amazing. I just loved this magical world that is hidden in the real world that Elizabeth Kirke has created.
If you have not read Semester Aboard (More than Magic book 1) then you need to get to it. It’s great too, and is just a building block to this amazing book.

I always liked Jen, but found myself falling in love even more with the whole group, Dani, Charlie, Thomas, TJ, Marianna, and even Ember is in this one (Charlie’s niece) I found it interesting them all getting together to go skiing, and some major stuff happens, stuff that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and wonder what will happen next.

I was in tears and about to be openly crying in one part, as it was so sad, and I could not see a way out of what was happening, but won’t spoil it by telling you, it just was a twist I did not see coming, and it shocked me, and saddened me too. I love Jen’s cat (her familiar, Jen is a witch) Rak, he is something, love his personality, who wouldn’t love a talking cat that is full of info.

I really like the relationship that finally gets going for Thomas (he is a vampire) and Jen. Here is an adorable scene I just had to share. Where they were skiing, and Dani has “accidently” cause Thomas to crash into a tree ( and broke his leg in the process, good thing Thomas is a vampire and will heal up in no time)
Thomas  grinned.  "Payback,  I  suppose."  I  was  confused.  "For  the  suitcase  thing  this  morning?"  "No.  For  introducing  him  to  Charlie.  He's  been  trying  to  find  me  a  girl  and  return  the  favor   for  years.  Ugh.  Not  that  I'm  saying  this  makes  you  my  girl  or  something.  Not  that  I'd  mind!  But,   I'm  not  in  a  rush  to  make  you  go  steady  or  anything.  I  just  mean—"  "Go  steady?"  I  echoed,  glad  for  an  excuse  to  cut  off  his  frantic  backpedaling.  "You  know,   nobody  says  that  anymore."  He  groaned.  "Please  pretend  I  didn't."  "And  like  I  said  …  I  don't  think  it's  rushing.  I'd  um  …  I'd  like  to  date  you."  Somehow,  the  idiot  still  managed  to  look  shocked.  "Really?"  "You  say  that  like  you  think  I  frequently  make  out  in  the  snow  with  random  guys."  "No!  Of  course  not."  There  was  an  almost  awkward  silence.  "Well?"  I  finally  said.  "Well  what?"  "Are  you  going  to  ask  me  out  or  not?"  "Um  …"  "That  means  go  steady."  "I  know  what  it  means!"  I  tried  to  hide  a  grin.  "Or  is  it  too  forward  of  me  to  ask?"  That  broke  the  tension.  Thomas  started  laughing.  "I  am  not  that  old."

"You  said  go  steady."  "It  hasn't  been  that  long  since  people  used  that  phrase,"  he  protested.  Before  he  could  say  anything  else,  I  leaned  up  and  kissed  him  again.  It  was  still  a  bit   exhilarating  to  think  that  I  could.  I  could  feel  his  mouth  turn  into  a  grin  against  my  lips.  "You  are  very  forward,  you  know,"  he   said  softly.  My  laugh  turned  into  a  sigh,  as  an  awful  thought  struck  me.  "Am  I  too  young  for  you?"  I   asked.  "No,"  he  said  immediately.  "Are  you  sure?" 
Thomas is so sweet, and almost too nice. He is a vampire, but a younger one (60’s I would say, but of course looks 22 or so I think)

I don’t want to spoil anything, just say, you have to try these books out. Start with book 1, then this one. Its just amazing. I think you could read this without the first, as its all its own story, you will miss out on some of the background of everyone, but most of that is mentioned to remind us anyway, so really either way, this book is amazing.
I was honored to get to read an advance copy for my honest review, and thank the author Elizabeth for that.

5 huge stars out of 5 for me. I highly recommend this book, with or without reading the first one.

About this author Elizabeth Kirke:

Elizabeth Kirke wanted to be an author before she even knew what an author was. She used to say that she wanted to be an artist, but that was only because she was too young to write and had to tell stories with pictures instead. She hasn't stopped writing since she learned how. It wasn't long before she dreamed of becoming an author and couldn't be happier now that that dream is a reality.
If she isn't writing...well, let's be honest; if she isn't writing she's probably on Facebook thinking that she should start writing. But, if she isn't writing or on Facebook, she's probably doing something involving books, baking, gardening, or yarn. In an ideal world, she'd be reading and knitting while something from the garden is in the oven. Then again, in an ideal world, she'd have a flock of ducks and a couple of goats.
Like most slightly-nosy, avid readers, Elizabeth can't resist trying to catch a peek at books she sees people reading when out in public to see if she can figure out what it is. While doing just that one day, she realized that it would probably be the coolest-thing-ever if she caught a complete stranger reading one of her books. That's her new dream. 
Snow Bound

Be sure to go by Elizabeths blog, she is haveing a great giveaway, with signed swag like a signed book of Snow Bound or book 1 Semester Aboard. Check it out Here 


Excerpt from Snow Bound
(this is leading up to the teaser in my review)

As  the  sun  sank,  the  ski  patrol  started  herding  non-magics  off  of  the  slopes.  We  were   handed  a  map  of  all  the  trails,  invisible  from  the  hotel,  that  were  open  at  night.  Night  skiing  was   incredible.  I'd  done  it  before,  but  never  as  a  magic.  At  first  I  was  a  little  unsure  about  skiing   using  my  night  vision  spell,  but  I  quickly  got  used  to  it.  In  addition  to  lasting  longer  in  the  first   place,  it  wore  off  slowly  enough  that  I  wouldn’t  suddenly  be  plunged  into  darkness  in  the   middle  of  a  run.  TS,  much  more  confident  at  night,  was  a  fantastic  skier.  All  three  of  them  were   a  lot  faster  than  I  was,  but  I  noticed  they  all  made  sure  that  I  kept  up.
There  weren't  very  many  other  magics  on  the  slopes,  but  I  saw  a  few.  I  couldn't  tell  what   they  all  were,  but  I  was  positive  I  saw  an  air  elemental  that  was  actually  skiing  an  inch  or  two   above  the  snow.  Thomas  and  Dani  raced  each  other  a  number  of  times,  which  made  a  lot  of   sense  when  it  occurred  to  me  that  any  speed  advantage  a  vampire  had  was  lost  on  skis.  One  of   the  great  things  about  skiing  was  that  we  were  all  having  so  much  fun  Thomas  wasn't  acting   awkward  around  me.  On  the  other  hand,  we  didn't  exactly  get  a  chance  to  talk  either.  It  was   almost  always  me  and  Dani,  or  me  and  TS,  on  the  ski  lift  together  when  we  took  the  double  or   all  four  of  us  on  the  quad.  I  wondered  if  Thomas  was  deliberately  avoiding  me.
My  spell  had  worn  off  twice  by  the  time  we  got  ready  to  call  it  a  night.  They  decided  to  race   one  more  time,  then  TS  would  make  his  phone  call,  and  we'd  hike  back  to  the  cabin.  It  was  just   the  four  of  us  on  the  slope  and  the  three  of  them  took  off  at  breakneck  speed.  I  followed  as  fast   as  I  could  ski  without  wiping  out  and  was  still  hardly  able  to  keep  up.
All  at  once,  right  before  a  sharp  turn,  Dani  shouted,  "Ice,  ice!"
And  then  he  and  Thomas  crashed  into  each  other  and  started  tumbling  down  the  slope.   They  went  straight,  instead  of  with  the  curve,  and  crashed  into  a  tree.  A  crack  echoed  across   the  snow  and  I  couldn't  tell  if  it  was  tree  or  bone.  I  had  my  answer  when  TS,  who  was  still   stopping,  yelped  and  then  went  down.  Thomas  had  broken  something.
Heart  in  my  throat,  I  quickly  swerved  and  dug  my  edges  in,  trying  to  stop  before  I  hit  the   ice,  too.  I  kicked  my  skis  off  and  hurried  on  foot  the  rest  of  the  way  to  Thomas  and  Dani.  TS   snapped  his  skis  off,  turned  into  a  wolf,  and  ran  back  up  to  them.
Thomas,  thankfully,  was  sitting  up.  But  he  was  clutching  his  knee  and  it  looked  broken.  TS   sat  next  to  him  and  licked  his  cheek.
"I'm  fine,"  Thomas  groaned.  "I  just  need  a  minute.  Damn  it,  Dani.  If  you'd  been  on  skis   instead  of  your  stupid  …"  he  trailed  off  and  frowned  in  concern.
Dani  hadn't  gotten  up.  Instead,  he  was  lying  on  his  side—eyes  squeezed  shut  with  pain— and  clutching  his  stomach.
"Danio?  You  all  right?"  Thomas  asked.
TS  stood,  ears  flat  back  in  alarm,  and  whined.  My  heart  started  racing  again.  Dani  had  some   kind  of  old  abdominal  injury.  I  didn't  know  what  it  was  or  how  it  had  happened.  All  I  knew  was   that  it  was  pretty  severe  and  would  never  fully  heal.  Dani  had  been  vague  when  I  did  ask  about   it  and  I  hadn't  wanted  to  pry  more.  Now  I  wished  I  had.
"Yeah,"  Dani  choked.  I  could  tell  from  that  single  word  that  he  wasn't.  "I'm  okay."
A  kick  from  a  vampire  over  the  summer  had  nearly  killed  him  because  of  the  complications   from  the  injury.  If  he'd  been  hit  in  the  stomach  while  falling  he  could  be  seriously  hurt.  I  held   my  breath,  expecting  him  to  cough  up  blood  at  any  moment.
Thomas  tried  to  get  up,  but  fell  back  with  a  gasp  of  pain  and  a  curse.  "I'm  not  going  to  be   able  to  walk  for  a  while."
TS  whined  again.  "There's  water  at  the  lodge,  right?"  He  nudged  Dani  with  his  nose.  "You   think  you  can  ride?"
Dani  slowly  rolled  onto  his  knees  and  pushed  himself  up,  breathing  heavily.  "I  think  so."
Then  TS  looked  at  Thomas.  I  knew  their  soul-
pack  bond  was  compelling  him  to  stay.  "Will   you  be  okay,  Tom?"
"Yeah,  take  care  of  Dani.  I'll  catch  up."
"I'll  stay  with  Thomas,"  I  offered.
TS  still  didn't  look  happy.
"No  rush,"  Dani  said.  "I'll  be  fine."
"You  don't  sound  fine,"  Thomas  said.  "Teth,  take  care  of  him."
TS  lay  down  next  to  Dani.  "Come  on."
Dani  gingerly  climbed  onto  TS'  back.  TS  stood  carefully  and  took  a  couple  of  steps.
"All  right,  mate?"
"No,  but  I'll  live,"  Dani  said.
Thomas  flopped  onto  his  back  with  a  groan.  TS  cast  a  concerned  look  at  him  and  started   walking.  As  he  did,  Dani  turned  back  and  looked  at  me.  I  had  expected  his  eyes  to  be  gray  with   pain,  but  they  were  bright  blue.  For  a  moment  I  thought  they  were  just  discolored  from  my   night  vision,  but  they  were  merrily  swirling.  It  was  like  he  wasn't  hurt  at  all!  Then  he  nodded  in   Thomas'  direction  with  a  grin,  winked,  and  turned  away.
Oh  my  God.  He  was  faking  to  get  me  alone  with  Thomas.  For  a  moment  I  was  pissed.  But  …   it  had  worked.  And  Thomas,  on  the  other  hand,  was  actually  hurt.  Without  having  to  worry   about  Dani—assuming  TS  didn't  kill  him  for  this—I  was  able  to  turn  my  full  attention  to  Thomas.
"Are  you  okay?"  I  asked.
Thomas  sat  back  up  with  a  groan.  "Yeah,  just  a  broken  bone."
"Will  you  need  blood?"
"No,  I'm  fine."  I  just  looked  at  him  skeptically  until  he  laughed.  "Really!  I'm  well  fed  now.   It'll  heal  in  no  time."
"But  you'll  feel  better  with  some.  And  it'll  heal  faster."
"I'm  fine."
I  sighed  in  exasperation.  "Didn't  you  hear  a  word  I  said  last  night?"
"Yes!"  he  said  quickly.  "I  just  ...  just  because  you're  ...  okay  with  it,  doesn't  mean  I'm  going   to  take  advantage  of  you."
"Your  knee  is  broken!  And  I  offered!  That's  not  taking  advantage!"
Thomas  hesitated  and  I  knew  I  had  him  on  that  one.  "Well,  I  don't  need  it.  My  knee  will   heal  soon  enough."
"Fine.  If  you  won't  feed  to  make  yourself  feel  better,  do  it  for  me.  You're  hurt  and  it's  cold   out  here.  The  faster  you  heal,  the  happier  I'll  be."
Thomas  started  laughing  again.  This  time  I  had  a  feeling  he  was  laughing  at  me.
"What's  so  funny?"
"It's  just  that  ...  I  don't  think  I've  ever  won  an  argument  with  you."
"So,  you'll  feed?"
He  nodded.  "A  little.  Since  you  insist."
I  probably  shouldn't  have  been  so  satisfied  I  had  convinced  a  vampire  to  bite  me.  Our  ski   boots  and  large  coats,  not  to  mention  his  broken  knee,  made  it  a  bit  of  a  challenge  to  figure  out   how  to  give  him  the  best  access  to  my  neck.  Finally,  I  settled  in  by  his  side  with  my  back  against   his  chest.
"You're  sure?"  he  asked  softly.
He  put  an  arm  around  me  and  pulled  me  closer.  I  tilted  my  head  and  felt  his  tongue  against   my  neck.  After  a  few  swipes,  I  could  hardly  feel  it.  Then,  a  gentle  push  against  my  skin.  His   fangs.  It  wasn't  long  at  all  before  he  stopped.
"That's  it?"  I  asked  when  I  realized  he  was  already  licking  the  punctures  closed.
"Didn't  need  much,"  he  said.  "But  ...  I  already  feel  a  little  better.  Thanks."
I  turned  to  look  at  him,  putting  us  nearly  nose  to  nose.  "Anytime.  I  mean  that."
He  smiled.  "I  know  you  do."
My  heart  started  pounding.  He  was  about  to  kiss  me  again,  I  knew  it.  Then  he  blushed  and   leaned  away.
"Sorry.  You  probably  don't  want  me  to  ..."  he  cleared  his  throat  nervously.
Instead  of  saying  anything,  I  stretched  up  and  tried  to  kiss  him.  I  was  annoyed  when  he   pulled  away.
"I  just  fed,"  he  protested.
"There  might  ..."  He  raised  a  hand  and  wiped  his  mouth.  "There  might  still  be  blood."
"It's  my  blood!"
"That  doesn't  mean  you  want  to  taste  it  by  accident."
"Unless  you  were  lying,  you  told  me  it  tastes  good."
That  was  the  wrong  thing  to  say.  He  looked  uncomfortable,  maybe  even  guilty,  and  leaned   further  away  from  me.  "I  said  that?  I'm  sorry,  that's  a  really  creepy  thing  to  say  to  somebody."
"You're  a  vampire!  I  mean,  it's  a  little  weird,  but  my  life  has  been  weird  ever  since  I  met   you.  It  would  be  creepy  if  you  weren't  a  vampire!"
He  looked  at  me  incredulously.
"Well,  it  would!  Could  you  imagine  some  non-
magic  guy  telling  me  he  wants  to  drink  my   blood?  That  would  be  creepy.  You  have  a  reason.  TS  enjoyed  his  deer  tonight,  right?  That  was   all  bloody  and  gross."  It  had  actually  been  really  gross  seeing  his  white  winter-coat  covered  in   deer  blood  after  dinner.  "But  he's  a  werewolf,  so  that's  normal!  I'm  sure  some  werewolf  girl   would  find  it  quite  romantic  to  sit  and  eat  deer  guts  with  him.  They  could  do  some  Lady  and  the   Tramp  spaghetti  thing  with  intestines!"
He  laughed  at  that.  "I  think  ...  yeah,  I  think  he'd  probably  like  that."
I  leaned  in  to  kiss  him  again  and  this  time,  he  didn't  pull  back.  This  time  it  was  a  real  kiss.   He  pulled  me  closer  and  put  a  hand  on  the  back  of  my  head,  deepening  the  kiss.  I  wrapped  my   arms  around  him,  hardly  able  to  believe  it  was  actually  happening.  Thomas,  as  shy  as  he  could   be,  was  a  good  kisser.
The  whole  thing  was  a  crazy  blur.  It  didn't  even  register  that  I  was  lying  in  the  snow  with   him  half  on  top  of  me  until  he  sucked  in  a  pained  breath  and  broke  the  kiss.
"You  okay?"  I  asked.
He  smiled  sheepishly.  "Bumped  my  knee."
"But,  yeah.  I'm  ..."  He  looked  at  me,  grinning.  He  still  looked  a  little  embarrassed,  and  a  bit   stunned,  but  overall  he  looked  happy.  Genuinely  happy.
If  his  knee  was  still  hurt,  we  obviously  weren't  going  anywhere  for  a  while.  So,  I  grabbed   him  by  the  jacket  and  pulled  him  down  for  another  kiss.
Chapter  6
When  I  started  to  get  cold  from  sitting  in  the  snow,  I  cast  a  warming  spell.  Then,  just  for   good  measure,  I  cast  one  on  Thomas,  too.
"You're  getting  good  at  that,"  he  said  with  a  smile,  still  looking  a  little  embarrassed.
I  leaned  back  against  him,  and  after  a  moment  of  hesitation  he  put  an  arm  around  me.  I   rested  my  arms  on  his  and  snuggled  closer.  We  sat  like  that  in  silence  for  a  while.
"Hot  tub  sounds  good  right  about  now,"  he  said  suddenly.
"Hot  tub?"
Thomas  laughed.  "I  think  TS  has  found  one.  I'm  almost  good  to  walk."
Neither  of  us  moved  though.  We  just  kept  sitting.  A  moment  later  he  broke  the  silence   again.
"How  does  Rak  feel  about  me?"
I  was  surprised  by  the  question.  "Uh  …  he  likes  you,  I  guess."
"Okay  …  cause,  you  know,  I  wouldn't  want  to  put  you  in  a  tough  position  if  your  familiar   didn't  like  me."
Rak  would  probably  be  touched  by  the  consideration.  I  told  Thomas  as  much,  and  assured   him  that  Rak  liked  him  quite  a  bit.
"Good.  It's  no  fun  being  in  a  relationship  with  someone  your  familiar  doesn't  approve  of."
"A  relationship?"  I  asked  in  surprise.  I  honestly  hadn't  expected  Thomas  to  move  that  fast.
I  felt  his  shoulders  stiffen.  "Not  that  I'm  making  assumptions,"  he  said  frantically.  "I  was   just  thinking  out  loud.  Future  tense.  I  mean,  I  certainly  wouldn't  expect  you  to  want  to  jump   right  into  anything."
I  learned  forward  a  bit  and  turned  back  to  I  could  look  at  him.  I  took  a  deep  breath  and   finally  said  it  out  loud,  "Thomas,  I've  had  a  crush  on  you  since  July."  He  looked  so  stunned  I   almost  laughed.  "As  often  as  you  all  like  to  tease  me  that  I  still  think  like  a  non-
magic,  it's  true.  I   don't  think  dating  someone  after  six  months  of  liking  them  qualifies  as  jumping  right  in."
"You  …  really?  Since  July?"
"Yeah."  It  was  kind  of  a  relief  to  tell  him.  "Then,  when  I  was  convinced  you  didn't  like  me,   you  had  to  go  and  kiss  me.  And  then  you  had  the  gall  to  act  like  it  never  happened!  I  was   convinced  you  were  going  to  try  and  pull  that  same  crap  after  last  night."
He  looked  even  more  stunned,  then  embarrassed.  "God,  that.  I'm  sorry.  I  …  I  honestly   wasn't  sure  if  I  had  actually  kissed  you  then  or  not.  It  was  all  kind  of  a  blur.  Teth  was  pretty  sure   that  I  had.  I  …  kind  of  panicked.  And,  you  know  …  I'm  a  vampire."
"I  swear,  Thomas.  If  I  have  to  tell  you  one  more  time  that  I  don't  care  ..."  I  said.  "I'm  going   to  have  to  get  Dani  to  pin  you  down,  just  to  get  you  to  listen."
"He  would  too,"  Thomas  chuckled.  He  shook  his  head  in  amusement.  "Man,  he's  been  after   me  for  months.  I…I've  kind  of  liked  you  …  since  July  too  …"
I  found  myself  grinning.  "You  have?"
"You  know  …  I  think  Dani  took  advantage  of  that  crash  to  get  us  alone,"  I  said.
"He  did.  I  don't  think  he's  nearly  as  hurt  as  he's  letting  on.  If  he  were  in  that  much  pain,  I   would've  smelled  blood."
Even  though  I  had  been  fairly  sure  Dani  was  all  right,  it  was  good  to  have  it  confirmed.  "I   thought  as  much."
Thomas  grinned.  "Payback,  I  suppose."
I  was  confused.  "For  the  suitcase  thing  this  morning?"
"No.  For  introducing  him  to  Charlie.  He's  been  trying  to  find  me  a  girl  and  return  the  favor   for  years.  Ugh.  Not  that  I'm  saying  this  makes  you  my  girl  or  something.  Not  that  I'd  mind!  But,   I'm  not  in  a  rush  to  make  you  go  steady  or  anything.  I  just  mean—"
"Go  steady?"  I  echoed,  glad  for  an  excuse  to  cut  off  his  frantic  backpedaling.  "You  know,   nobody  says  that  anymore."
He  groaned.  "Please  pretend  I  didn't."