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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Review of Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell, Giveaway & Character Guest Post!

Fragile Brilliance (Shifters & Seers #1) by Tammy Blackwell 
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Self

Maggie McCray has worked her whole life for the opportunity to attend Sanders College. It’s her one chance at becoming a world-renowned artist, and she’s determined nothing will get in her way. But when a murder brings Maggie and her powers to the attention of the Alpha Pack and the tragically handsome Charlie Hagan, her carefully planned future hangs in jeopardy.

Charlie Hagan isn’t happy when the Alpha Female assigns him as Maggie McCray’s personal bodyguard. Just being near the Thaumaturgic threatens to unleash the primal instincts he’s been suppressing for so long. Charlie knows if the coyote is uncaged, then the person he’ll most need to protect Maggie from is himself.

Fragile Brilliance is the first book in the Shifters & Seers series by Tammy Blackwell. This is one of those books that captured my attention from the beginning. The characters were fun and believable, and the more I read the more I liked them. Maggie knows what she wants and she's not about to let anything get in the way. Charlie was entertaining as he fought his emotions. I enjoyed his inner turmoil about it. The plot was fast and engaging. I figured out pretty quick who was bad, but that didn't keep me from enjoying the story. I like shapeshifters, and I like that we not only have wolves, but we have coyotes too. I've never heard of a Thaumaturgic. They were completely new to me so, I'm going to Google them after I finish this review to find out more. Fragile Brilliance had suspense, drama, and romance with some humor thrown in, making this an all around enjoyable read. I'm looking forward to more, and I'm going to have to check out some of the authors other books too.

Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell was provided to me by Mark My Words Book Publicity for review. The opinions are my own.

With every breath they were drawing closer and closer together. Maggie’s entire body buzzed and tingled in anticipation.

“Who am I, Maggie?”

“You’re Charlie Hagan. Stratego of the Alpha Pack.” She breathed in the scent of him. Cinnamon and male. “You’re a fighter of demons and protector of innocents.”

Unable to stop herself, she finally did what she’d been dreaming of since she first met him and placed her lips against his. It was just a fleeting caress, but she felt it deep in her soul. “You’re beautiful,” she said, knowing it wasn’t a strong enough word to describe him.

Holiday Survival Guide: The Family Road Trip By Charlie Hagan

Unless you’re one of those lucky people whose parents grew up down the street from one another and then built a house one block over when they got married, you’re probably familiar with the holiday road trip. It’s the one time of the year when your immediate family crams into the minivan or SUV, the vehicle overloaded with luggage and gifts and your parents’ unresolved childhood issues.

It’s supposed to be the most magical time of the year, but those hours spent racing towards (and then running away from) your extended family’s annual festivities can be the exact opposite of holly and jolly.

If you’re already dreading this year’s sojourn to overly familiar near-strangers, don’t worry. As someone who has been there and done that more times than his fragile psyche can handle, I’ve got you covered. Here are my tips on how to survive the family road trip.

1. If you have a minivan, take the back seat. From this position it will be harder for your parents to drag you into conversations or force you to read road. 

2. Never, ever forget your headphones. And then never, ever take them out completely. If you must, you can pull one out on occasion to hear what someone is saying, but otherwise, stay plugged in.

3. Bring snacks. Don’t think, “I’ll just wait an grab some empty calories when we stop for gas.” Either your parents are going to wait too long to stop, or they’re going to refuse to let you get anything based on some stupid theory that you can actually ruin your appetite. 

4. Know when to offer assistance. If you’re old enough to drive, about thirty minutes after leaving your front door ask if they want you to take over for a little while. It’s too early for whoever is driving to actually take you up on it, but you’ve put in an effort. On the opposite end of the spectrum, wait as long as possible before offering to help load or unload the car. Taking a bathroom break is the best stalling technique. Hide out as long as possible, and then when there is only one or two things left to carry, wander out and say, “What can I carry?”

5. Bring the proper amount of entertainment. A good rule of thumb is that one normal hour equals fifteen road trip minutes. Therefore, if you can easily play 2 hours of GTA at home, know it will occupy you for about 30 minutes in the 6. If you’re a parent, pass these helpful tips on to your child and then forget you read them. You can entertain yourself in the car by getting a head start on your taxes or whatever it is adults do to occupy themselves.

Charlie Hagan is a comic book fan who happens to turn into a coyote under the light of the full moon. You can find out more about him in Fragile Brilliance, the first book in the new Shifters and Seers series by Tammy Blackwell.
Check out my review of another book by this author!

YA librarian by day; Caped Crusader by night. (Oh, and I write the Timber Wolves books, too.)

To learn more about Tammy Blackwell and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

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