Wednesday, February 20, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Ashes and Ice by Rochelle Maya Callen

Welcome everyone, to our stop on the Ashes and Ice blog tour.
Author Rochelle Maya Callen joins us for a fun little This or That.
We think her answers are a bit telling so we'll refrain from humiliating her with one of our blunt and intrusive "truths" and let you draw your own conclusions.
All kidding aside, Rochelle is a great gal and we can't wait for you to discover the AWESOME that is Ashes and Ice- her dramatic debut.
We want to thank Lady Amber Tours and Rochelle for having us on the tour.
Rochelle is charming and clever, and we hope you'll take the time to check her and Ashes and Ice out. We know she'd love hear from you. You can find all access to Rochelle in the links below.
And now a quick peek into the inner workings of Rochelle Maya Callen's mind when put on the spot...

Fight or flight? *sigh* Flight, unless in defense of someone else.
Cat or dog? Kitty cats... I mean, what is more relaxing than purring?? I don't have either though.
White or wheat? I like white, but I've changed to wheat.
Rock, rap or country? Hmm, I like everything, but out of the three I listen to rock the most often.
Chocolate or vanilla? VANILLA baby! All the way! Yummy!
Dr. Drew or Dr. Phil? Hmm, neither.
Gas or electric? Electric.
Shower or bath? A BATH is heaven.
Coke or Pepsi? COKE! Hands down.
Book or movie? Book.
Sweater or hoodie? Hoodie
Noodles or rice? Rice... with ceviche or stew or gumbo or.... anyone hungry??
Chapstick or lipstick? Lipgloss :)
Flip flops or Sandals? Flip flops.
Satin or Egyptian cotton? I don't have either, but I love satin!
Truth or dare? Truth ;)

She is desperate to remember.
He is aching to forget.
Together, they are not broken.
But together, one may not survive.

​Jade wakes up with no memory of her past and blood on her hands.

Plagued by wicked thoughts, she searches for answers. Instead, she finds a boy who doesn't offer her answers, but hope. But sometimes, when nightmares turn into reality and death follows you everywhere, hope is not enough.
LUST. LOVE. LOSS. Sometimes, all that is left are Ashes and Ice. 

Rochelle grew up dreaming up stories. When she entered high school, she tucked away her creative side and jumped head-first into academics, work, and service projects. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science and Communication when she was twenty years old. After years away from her writing, Rochelle picked up a pen and started fleshing out a character sketch that she outlined when she was twelve. That sketch was the start of the Ashes and Ice story. Rochelle lives in the DC metro area with her husband and daughter. By day she works as a behavioral therapist. By night, she is a dreamer and is busy tapping out new stories on her keyboard.

Let me first say that the cover of Ashes and Ice is PHENOMENAL!!! Drawing me in with its fantastic design...I just knew that I was going to enjoy this book.
But, I didn't only enjoy this book....Nope, I devoured it, page by page, falling farther and farther in to Jade's mysterious life and her companion that she finds hope in, Connor.  These two characters captivated me with such intensity that I literally could not put this book down.  And truthfully, once you get about 30% in, you can't put it down because so much is happening that your mind turns with theories which prompts you to keep reading to find out answers to the questions set before you.
Ashes and Ice is a dark and perplexing tale that had me second guessing so many things.  One moment I would think.."Nah, it isn't...and then turn is then..." I love books that keep me entranced and on my toes.  This book definitely does that.  
AND...let me tell you about these two main characters.....Jade and Connor. Ashes and Ice switches POV between these two and it was genius.  Seeing things from Jade's view and then Connor's, kept the story fresh and allowed you to connect to both characters.  Also, these two were extremely well developed. Jade, who has lost her memory, trying to understand the mystifying things happening around her, grows in to someone that I find admirable and strong.  Connor, whom we meet starts out shy and insecure, wanting to be invisible, grows in to a brave and strapping young man.  When these two connect, they give each other what the other needs to become the intense individuals we find at the end....
Since I don't reveal storyline, I will tell you this...this book is MIND-BLOWING.  If I haven't said it enough, you are hooked from the twists and turns that you encounter throughout this book.  You have to carry all the way to the end to see what happens and then when you read the kills you that you have to wait to see what happens in the next installment...
A sensational read that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

Amazing! Absolutely A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. This story is like nothing else I've read in YA in quite some time. Reminiscent of the dark mesmerizing hold Beautiful Creatures had over me, Ashes and Ice had me immediately under it's spell. The pull was the same, but make no mistake, this is a story all it's own. From the moment I began reading I felt the need to know Jade's secret. The need to know her past... Where she came from. Why her memory was gone. What brought her to this small town in Louisiana? And what was up with those crazy green eyes?
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Before we get completely caught up in Jade we meet Connor. A sweet outcast, full of sorrow and angst and so all alone. As intrigued as I was by Jade, I was consumed by Connor and his desperation to disappear. He instantly captured my heart as Jade instantaneously captured his.
The story here unfolds quite slowly- which I loved. We eased into the everyday tug and pull of two very different people being brought together. Constantly assaulted by outside influence and interference, but each finding a kind of solace in the other.
Rochelle Maya Callen has weaved a very intricate tale. A love story of sorts. Dark and sinister yet full of hope and light. Spoken from alternating points of view, we see the two struggle to discover each other and rediscover themselves.
What set this story apart from so many of the other YA paranormal romance books out there was the author's ability to build anticipation while giving very little away. Where others fall flat by drawing out the inevitable conclusion, I was constantly propelled forward. Piece by piece, and bit by bit the mystery unfolded, and yet I was merely teased and tempted by the suspense of it all. I found myself scrambling to read faster and faster to find the answers to all the questions and speculations running through my head.
For me Ashes and Ice was a work of art. Rochelle painted her world brilliantly. Conflicting human landscapes of seemingly all consuming darkness and the brightest of colors reflecting faith, hope and love. While the story deals with an unknown threat of evil, it grips you with the very real inner struggle to be good and true- and belong.
The characters were fascinating. Watching Jade trying to discern what was real- a memory, dream or nightmare. Not wanting to believe what she sees or who she might be. Connor dealing with the pain and despair of losing his father and attempting to go on without his presence. Both having their eyes opened to possibilities and realities neither understands, nor can they ignore.
People and things are not what they seem as you'll see in several key personalities- alive and dead. You cannot take one minute detail for granted. And even with that knowledge you'll not know what to expect.
This story was intoxicating and electric. I was captivated to the very end. My heart pounding as I found myself as distressed and anxious for a favorable resolution for these two desperate souls. Even as details- secrets kept from Jade AND Connor... an old man, a box, a prophecy, are all revealed I was still taken by surprise by the cliffhanger. I just don't know what will happen next. Will Jade be able to fight her darkness? Will Connor recover? What of the still mysterious Seraph, the prophecy? And what will become of their love? Was it all for nothing or will hope save us all? I'm itching to know these still unanswered questions and I'm eager to get my hands on the second book. 

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