Thursday, October 31, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Greed by Fisher Amelie

GREED has hit TSK TSK What to Read?! We're so excited to bring you the highly anticipated sequel to Fisher Amelie's VAIN. We both loved Spencer's story. We can't wait for what's next- and we're here to make sure you feel the same. Take a peek at our reviews and Fisher's guest post, then add this baby to your TBR. Don't miss out on the awesome GIVEAWAY! It'd be a sin if you did.

And now- take it away, Fisher...

The Five Favorite Books of Spencer Blackwell

I’m an avid reader, especially since I’ve come to live in Montana. It’s only natural. There’s only so much you can watch on television without going insane. Eventually you need something more substantial to do as opposed to braving the freezing temperatures for a quick trip to town as that gets old as well. You only need to see the one gas station in Bitteroot once to understand what I mean. So I begin.

1. C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters. A senior devil in hell named Screwtape advises his nephew Wormwood on earth through a series of letters in which he mentors Wormwood in the art of soul damnation. Wormwood’s subject is known only as “The Patient”, a British man whose conversion to Christianity is severely frowned upon by “Our Father Below” aka Satan, and “The Patient’s” subsequent lack of response to the apprentice demon’s advances toward distracting him from his new found faith through “The Patient’s” denial of the temptation of lascivious women, etc., etc. which further enrages Screwtape.

I read this book in high school. Honestly, at the time, it meant nothing to me. It was a required assignment and I barely remembered it after. BUT things change. My own eerily similar experiences I have shared with “The Patient” brought the novel barreling toward the forefront of my mind. I reread it and it has since become my absolute favorite book.

“I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." - C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

2. Thomas à Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ. Essentially four books as a whole, The Imitation of Christ is a lesson in the withdrawal of the outward life internalizing yourself through the release of vanity and all that is deceptive. "How undisturbed a conscience we would have if we never went searching after ephemeral joys nor concerned ourselves with affairs of the world..."

“Love is a great thing, yea, a great and thorough good.
By itself it makes that which is heavy light;
and it bears evenly all that is uneven.
It carries a burden which is no burden;
it will not be kept back by anything low and mean;
It desires to be free from all wordly affections,
and not to be entangled by any outward prosperity,
or by any adversity subdued.
Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble,
attempts what is above its strength,
pleads no excuse of impossibility.
It is therefore able to undertake all things,
and it completes many things and warrants them to take effect,
where he who does not love would faint and lie down.
Though weary, it is not tired;
though pressed it is not straightened;
though alarmed, it is not confounded;
but as a living flame it forces itself upwards and securely passes through all.
Love is active and sincere, courageous, patient, faithful, prudent, and manly.” - Thomas à Kempis

3. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Series. The series follows the unassuming Frodo Baggins as he trenches through a perilous journey of destroying the ultimate in evil.

Isn’t that how it always is? The least suspecting individual is always the one capable of the greatest good? This book taught me just how important it is to fight evil, no matter how inadequate I feel, no matter if my chances look bleak. I will always fight. Always.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

4. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. A sleepy Southern town is enraged when word of a white woman cries rape against a black man. Atticus Finch is called to defend the wrongly accused Tom Robinson and their story is told through his daughter Scout Finch. At a time, where racism was more than acceptable and the wrongly accused, though obviously innocent, were punished without a second thought, Atticus Finch defends and proves Tom’s innocence but this does nothing to prevent the tragedy that befalls poor Tom.

This book, regardless if it’s a popular classic, is beautiful in its passionate capacity to speak to me. There are so many evils in this world accepted by a nation of citizens and that bewilders me. Atticus Finch is a man who defies what is popular solely because it is the right thing to do and I couldn’t admire anyone more than he. Ask yourself something, what popular evils are around you and what are you doing to defend the Tom Robinsons?

5. And last but not least, Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice (which, I don’t have to tell you…or maybe I do…that if you breathe this little tidbit to a single soul, I will hunt you down.) The Bennett women were defined by their financial worth and nothing more. Though, most, of the Bennett women were admired wherever they went, their lack of an male heir, kept their family in complete panic as to what they would do when their father died. Their lack of fortune lent them nothing but a brief glance by those who could afford to and placed the Bennett women in agony.

A testament to the ridiculousness of an unfair law, the Bennett women overcome every possible obstacle while still ensuring their own passionate happiness. What? I like a love story. Look at Cricket. Can you blame me?

Gather ‘round, love, because I want you. I want what you have, I want what you don’t have, I want more of what I already have. I want. But if you so much as ask for something in return, go ahead and walk away. Know if you want to play in my world, it’s every man for themselves and the weak become mine. Leeches will be obliterated because I make it my job to destroy them. I protect what’s mine and I take what’s yours...because that’s what I do. I want.
My story will not endear me to you and, frankly, I could care less if it does because I’m in this for the money and nothing else. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a corrupt, money hungry, immoral asshole from Los Angeles. I’m every man’s worst nightmare and every girl’s fantasy.
I’m Spencer Blackwell...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most coveted guy to the guy no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Greed is a strange, strange sin.
All you want to do is acquire. Acquire money, acquire material, acquire time, acquire energy, acquire attention. The running mantra is “I want, I want, I want” but that quickly turns to “I need, I need, I need.”Suddenly there just isn’t enough time for friends, for family, for anyone. Your goal is to acquire and to make sure what you acquire stays acquired. Your life depends on it. You don’t see truth because the truth is shadowed by enormous homes, incredibly fast cars, in lavish spending. Your life no longer belongs to you, but you are blind to it all because those around you are seeking the same.
So you shuffle along at an impossible rate, and you pass the real world around you.
But what you’ll come to realize, altogether too late, is that it’s never enough. It’s simply never enough.
Chapter One
“It’s confirmed. Peter Knight of Evergreen won’t approve the acquisition. You know what to do,” my snake of a father told me, not two steps into his front door.
“I just got off a seven-hour flight. You can’t let me settle in? Possibly say hello?”
He stood, watching me, a slight tick in his square jaw. He tucked his hands into his Italian silk pants. His six-foot frame followed the steps up to the foyer and stopped a few inches away from my own. We were face to face. Although I fell an inch shorter, he no longer intimidated me. I knew if I had to, I could kick his ass.
“Hello, Spencer,” he said, a serpent’s smile spread wide across his mouth before falling flat. “Get to work. I don’t pay you to sit around. I don’t care if it is your Christmas break.”
We stayed where we were, each waiting on the other to back down. The tension was palpable. In the end, his face relaxed and he began to chuckle, stepping aside and making way for me. I picked up my bags and headed for my room, giving myself plenty of space to pass him without touching him.When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I changed my mind and threw my bags on the second to last step, intending to pick them up later. I stretched my muscles, loving the feel of my back popping, and started for the kitchen.
“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” he asked, still standing in the foyer, watching my every move.
“If I don’t say hi to Mom and Bridge, they’ll think something’s up,” I told him and continued on.
He didn’t respond, but I felt his stare burning into the back of my head.


Fisher Amelie is the author of The Leaving Series, Callum & Harper and Thomas & January. She began her writing career as a copywriter for an internet marketing company wherein one of their client's said, 'Hey! You're funny. You should write books'. Which in turn she said, 'Hey, get out of here! This is the lady's restroom.' While washing her hands and the embarrassment from her face, she thought they may have had a valid point. So, she took the thousands of hours of writing stories growing up, tucked them into her pocket and began writing and writing and writing.

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I absolutely freaking LOVED VAIN. I couldn't wait to get my hands on GREED. I'm not gonna lie. Knowing this was Spencer's story worried me a bit. I hated Spenc. Like seriously DESPISED him. But just like in RL (real life), everyone has a history. The story behind closed doors. The family secrets that they hide and try to overcome. And it's those secrets that make them who they are. Good and bad. So I decided to give him a chance to prove to me he wasn't just a selfish trust fund prick who didn't care about anyone or anything. I was anxious to dig in and see inside Spencer's head. To hear what he really thought and felt, and just what made him so damned jaded and despicable at such a young age. 
I'm so glad I did. Spencer had an amazing voice. It grabbed me and ripped right through me. Seeing the world through his eyes was stifling. His life seemingly extravagant and carefree in VAIN was in reality any but. He struggled with the ugliness brought on by being his father's lackey. He was self loathing to the point of destruction. Remember the wild parties filled with sex, drugs, and alcohol? And he was a fierce and loyal protector. Sacrificing his own desires and self worth. This was a troubled and desperate young man. Caught up and chained to his father's legacy. Searching for any way out. And in attempting to save his sister and her secret he might have saved himself.

When circumstances force Spencer to take action and protect the one he loves most in his world it sets a chain of life changing events into motion. I'm happy to say that Spencer shocked and surprised me. He maned-up in more ways than I thought possible. He made great strides toward a productive life he could be proud of. A life he found he enjoyed. It wasn't easy. It wasn't handed to him. And for several reasons he still struggled each day.
I'd like to say one thing or person brought about this positivity to Spencer's world, but it was an entire community. A different way of life. A whole new way of thinking. AND one very special girl. Of course there was a certain someone who made Spencer's heart stop. Made him want to change and be a better man. And Cricket was that girl.
Cricket was a wonderful character. I loved her immediately. There are a million things I could say about her, but most important to me was that like Spencer and his little sister, she had secrets and insecurities. Her heart was unavailable to Spencer but he felt so drawn to her. Like she was the one. Like he couldn't- and wouldn't live without her.
Theirs is a beautiful, tormented and fascinating story. I was wrapped up in every moment. Wondering if Spencer could really change. If he and Bridget could start a new life away from the threats of their father. If he could win a heart already taken. And if he couldn't would he be able to move on? Would he go back to the only life he'd known? Or would he fully embrace this new life?
There are many questions, obstacles, and inner battles they must all face. Spencer takes each challenge head on. He vows to himself to make a difference. Does he succeed? Can he have the girl of his dreams? Can he live up to new expectations and overcome his past? Is there a way for their two worlds to collide and not implode?

This story is very different from Sophie's in VAIN, but it's just as compelling. Just as endearing. And certainly as entertaining. With wonderful side characters, perfectly painted images of the vast beauty of the countryside of small town Montana, warm and promising romances and friendships, laughter, tears- and that old Spencer charm, GREED is sure to have your heart thrumming and your hopes soaring.

This amazing novel comes off the heels of VAIN and as you can see this series is working around the seven deadly sins.  We meet Spencer in book one and know he has some greed issues.  Even though you can see the bright spots in his spirit, the ugliness definitely darkens them.
But when Spencer's sister has a life altering decision to make, Spencer steps up and his world is turned upside down!!
Spencer and his sister have run off to Montana to escape the evil clutches of their father and in all hopes they want to make a better "HAPPY" life for themselves.
After arriving on the Montana farm, Spencer learns so much about how people really should be.  And one particular person captures his attention leaving him battling with so many things internally.  Constantly reminding himself to just lay low and make it through the months, Spencer begins learning to be that better person.  
After meeting Cricket, the girl that knocked his socks off, Spencer has to learn restraint.  Finding out that the girl that has spoken to his soul is already in a relationship and is very secretive about things, causes tension that propels throughout the novel.
All the way through, I was trying my hardest to guess and figure out why these two weren't really together.  Let me say...I never guessed and would never have imagined it either...But what this really comes down to is that as everything comes to head near the end, Spencer's heart of gold completely shines so bright.  
We finally get to see those bright spots in his spirit begin to shine brighter and brighter. 
Seeing that he learned from his past mistakes, suffered through humility, and ultimately grew in to an honorable respectable man; But, will all his demons stay locked away or will they come back full force to ruin what he has work hard for?
I enjoyed every moment from this book.  There were fiery passionate ones to the shocking sad ones...And yes...I even cried some... 
But, seeing a character go from point A to point Z and all the crazy stuff in between to come out for the better makes the best stories and why you should definitely read this book!!  


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