Ashes & Shadows…Ilsa J. Bick Rocks This Post!

So, you may remember when I read Ilsa J. Bick‘s Ashes.

It freaked me out & kept me up at night.

I LOVED IT!
ASHES-5 Creepy Blings!
It also ended in a OMG! WHAT THE WHAT! cliffhanger! I totally love/hated how Ilsa rocked those last two pages!

Finally, finally, finally, Shadows is here! And, let me tell you, it is Ashes on overdrive! Just as amazing, way more awesome, and (if this is even possible) totally more disgusting and extreme. It rocks!
Shadows gets 5 Creepy Blings, too!

I am the happiest girl ever today to be able to present you with a post written by the AWESOME Ilsa J. Blick herself! WOOT!

Overview of characters Part 1 – For Books and Bling – Mandee
Need a quick refresher, of who’s who before you read SHADOWS? Well, you won’t get much in SHADOWS, but if you DO need to a memory-jog, read on.
If you haven’t read ASHES, shame on you. But don’t despair, you’ve got time.
In any event, BEWARE: spoilers ahead. Really, if you’ve not read ASHES, don’t go any further. Not only will you ruin the perfectly good time you might have had—because no synopsis can do justice to a novel—you will miss a lot of vital information that I can’t include.
Just saying.

Alex Adair: living with her aunt in Illinois after her mom, an ER doc, and dad, a cop, died in a helicopter crash three years ago. Suckier still, Alex carries a monster in her head: an inoperable brain tumor that’s stolen her sense of smell and many of her memories, especially those of her parents. After two years of failed chemotherapy, radiation, and experimental regimens, Alex has decided to call the shots for a change. As the novel opens, Alex has run off on what might well be a one-way backpacking trek through the Waucamaw Wilderness in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She intends to honor her parents’ last wishes and scatter their ashes from Mirror Point on Lake Superior. As it happens, she’s also got her dad’s service Glock, just in case she opts out of a return. After the Zap, Alex gets her sense of smell back in spades: a super-sense that also allows her to intuit emotions and, on one occasion, get a glimmer of what’s going on inside the mind of a wolf. Which is pretty funky. Much more to the point and like the dogs, she is able to detect the bloated roadkill stink of the Changed. Oh, and all of a sudden, every dog is her new best friend.

Ellie Cranford: sullen, uncooperative, a trifle whiny, a kid Alex has to keep herself from slapping silly. What can you say? The kid’s eight. Her dad’s KIA in Iraq; her mother split years back; and Ellie’s now being cared for by her grandfather, Jack, who might have the patience of a saint, but cut the kid a break. She hates camping, and it’s not like she hasn’t got good reason to be a little pissy anyway. Initially rescued by Alex and then Tom, Ellie is kidnapped by some very nasty adults who see her as a meal ticket.
Mina: Ellie’s dog, a Belgian Malinois, and formerly her dad’s MWD (military working dog). Mina also has the patience of a saint and packs a mean bite. The nasty adults take her, too.

Tom Eden: a young soldier and explosive ordinance specialist on leave from Afghanistan; a competent guy who complements Alex in a lot of ways. After Alex fends off a pack of wild dogs, Tom saves both Ellie and Alex by shooting his buddy, Jim, who’s gone through a major lifestyle change. Steady and calm, someone to whom Alex is instantly attracted, Tom also has a few secrets of his own. The biggest is just why he’s in the Waucamaw to begin with. Once they leave the (relative) safety of the Waucamaw—we’re talking wild dogs, booby traps, and kids who’ve suddenly decided that people make excellent Happy Meals—Tom is shot while trying to prevent the nasty adults from stealing Ellie.

Check out Ashes, if you haven’t. Get your hands on Shadows right away! And, of course, give the brillantly ewie Ilsa J. Bick some major creep out love!

A HUGE Books and Bling thank you filled with love for Ilsa. For both writing this post and creeping me out in a way that just makes me want MORE!
You totally rock!

Ilsa J. Bick rocked these books!

5 Blings! for both Ashes & Shadows!

5 Blings! for Ilsa J. Bick!

Ilsa Bick…OMG! Cannot wait for Shadows!

Shadows: The sequel to Ashes

Ashes totally (TOTALLY) freaked me out! I mean, I had to stop reading it at night. It was awesome and scary and creepy…I loved it!

So, Shadows is coming out soon (9/25/12). I am lucky and I get to read it early (Yay!). I’m starting it tonight. YAY! I hope that it terrifies me and pulls me in like Ashes did. I’m betting it will!

Didn’t read Ashes? GO READ IT RIGHT NOW! For reals, it totally rocked my face off!!

Have you read Ashes? I’d love to know what you thought!

One Second After by William R. Forstchen

5 Blings for One Second After!

Goodreads Says: New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen now brings us a story which can be all too terrifyingly real…a story in which one man struggles to save his family and his small North Carolina town after America loses a war, in one second, a war that will send America back to the Dark Ages…A war based upon a weapon, an Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP).  A weapon that may already be in the hands of our enemies. Months before publication, One Second After has already been cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read, a book already being discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a truly realistic look at a weapon and its awesome power to destroy the entire United States, literally within one second. It is a weapon that the Wall Street Journal warns could shatter America. In the tradition of On the BeachFail Safe and Testament, this book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future…and our end.

Wow! No, really…WOW!

One Second After was awesome!

I am quite addicted to dystopia and apocalypse reads lately. There are just so many awesome titles! And, quite frankly, I was getting a vampired out! (OMG, but I still love them…just need a break! I’ll never have a crush on a zombie, I swear!). I love disaster movies like Armageddon and The Day After Tomorrow. So, when I read about the book on Parajunkee’s awesome blog, Parajunkee’s View, and just had to read it. Click here for her review! 

One Second After is (gasp) not YA. It is a real grow-up book. But, it was still awesome! The book focuses on a family in a small town & their struggles after an EMP (electromagnetic pulse–super scary stuff) blanks out all electronics. Image it…everything with a computerized or electrical component instantly gone! Freaky stuff! Freaky FOR REAL LIFE stuff!

This book was awesome. I loved the characters, even the ones I didn’t like, and I got pretty attached to their stories. I could easily imagine myself being forced to rethink how to live without all of my gadgets and luxuries that I generally take for granted (especially my iPhone & iPad, hot showers, and-OMG-my Keurig!). My head was spinning throughout the book as new problems arose…like lack of critical medication for diabetics and those with mental illnesses. When things get bad, they really get bad.

I loved how Forstchen brought me in to the lives of those in his small mountain college town, made me experience all of their fears, losses, and small triumphs. It was tense at times…really tense. There were heart wrenching decisions that had to be made, lives that were lost, and total shockers that really made my mouth drop open.  A few times I felt like I knew something awful would happen, and I would silently beg to be wrong.  That wasn’t always the case in One Second After! Forstchen did what needed to be done for the sake of the story, even when the outcome was dire or severe. That’s dedication!

The threat of an EMP attack is real. The world post EMP created by Forstchen is entirely possible. I sure as heck hope it never comes to that!

Read One Second After!  It is an awesome, terrifying, & realistic look at a future I  never want to see!