Thursday, December 12, 2013

*Review Tour & Giveaway*
The Cassie Scot Series, by Christine Amsden!

*Materials & images provided by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Paranormal Detective (Cassie Scot #1)

~Published: May 15th, 2013

~Pages: 250

~Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Mystery


Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn't easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

"My parents think the longer the name, the more powerful the sorcerer, so they named me Cassandra Morgan Ursula Margaret Scot. You can call me Cassie.
     I've been called a lot of things in my life: normal, ordinary, and even a disappointment. After the Harry Potter books came out, a couple of people called me a squib. Since I haven't read them, I have to assume it's a compliment. 
     Personally, I prefer normal, which is why the sign on my office door reads: Cassie Scot, Normal Detective.
     You have to understand that around here, when your last name is Scot, people are easily confused. Not only are my parents powerful practitioners, but I have six talented brothers and sisters. Plus, my family hasn't always been known for its subtlety. When weird stuff happens around here, the people who are willing to believe in magic are prone to suspect the Scots.
     The day I opened for business I got a call from an old woman who swore her cat was possessed by the devil. She also swore she'd read my web site, which clearly stated the types of work I did and did not do. Exorcisms were on the No list, and while I hadn't specified pet exorcisms, I would have thought it was implicit."

Wow.  You know when you read a book, and it leaves you incapable of thinking anything but "wow" on repeat?  Well, this is a "wow" book, for sure.

Growing up, I used to love mystery novels.  I've gotten more into paranormal books recently, so the idea of reading a paranormal mystery seemed pretty interesting.  Luckily for me, this book is just awesome!  It's like a Nancy Drew novel, for adults...with vampires and magic, of course.

The beginning reminded me of the intro to "Father of the Bride."  Instead of George Banks explaining why his house is trashed, or why he looks miserable in a tux, we have Cassie Scot, introducing herself, her family, situation, and odd little town.  From then on, she continues to tell us about how her world is thrown into danger and chaos...repeatedly.  That's one of the things I loved about this book though, is the POV.  We follow Cassie, but it's not in the typical way, where we follow her around like a fly on the wall, seeing what's going on from the outside.  Instead, Cassie is telling the reader her story- she's leading us, narrating to us, while the story plays out like a movie.  I adore books written like that, and this one was done very, very well.

Cassie is an awesome character.  Being the outcast in not only a magical family, but an entire town filled with sorcerers, she feels out of place, and unwelcome in her own life.  She has a few friends, but no one she can truly open up to, and be herself with.  She's lonely, lost, and vulnerable...until Evan waltzes back into her life, that is.  In one chaotic day, her life is flipped completely upside-down, and in the days that follow, it's tossed around and stretched til it breaks.  Her whole life alters drastically in every way she can imagine, and watching her deal with the changes was fantastic.  

Evan is an awesome character as well.  He's completely mysterious, and throughout the book, I couldn't figure him  out.  I didn't know if he was a good guy, or a bad guy, which of course, made me want to keep reading to find out more.  Surrounding him are all the mysteries Cassie ends up having to figure out, and he challenges her in ways she probably wouldn't have been before.  

All I can say is, I'm really glad there's a sequel, because I'm not ready to be done with this story.  There were several things left unanswered, and several questions that popped up toward the end of the book that just have to be answered.  Overall, this is a book I'd recommend, to any mystery, paranormal, adventure, or romance fan.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author via Goddess Fish Promotions, to read in exchange for an honest review. 

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2)

~Published: November 15th, 2013

~Pages: 260

~Genres: New Adult, Paranormal,      Romance, Mystery

Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn't letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness.

"Somehow, I knew it was Evan as soon as his fist hit the door. But unlike my father, I couldn't put him off because he'd set the wards. This meant he could go through them. Even if he hadn't, he could have commanded me to let him in.

Framed by the doorway, he looked impossibly large, though he was only half a foot or so taller than me, probably 6'1” or 6'2”. He had a lean, well-muscled frame, usually garbed in fitted, designer jeans and t-shirts. Today, the t-shirt was in his favorite shade of forest green, with a plea for people to recycle on the front. He wore his hair long, to just past his shoulders, making it longer than mine at the moment. (I had recently lost a lot of my hair to a fire.) Somehow, it heightened his masculinity, framing his hard face, and highlighting his blue eyes.

He looked good. He always looked good, only now the sight of him caused an odd fluttering in my stomach. Twice I had felt his lips on mine, and the result had been... intense. I was ashamed to realize that part of me wanted to feel them again.

Dangerous. I summed him up with that single word. Most of the town would agree, although until recently, I had never thought of him that way. He had been my friend, even my best friend at times, but now, thanks to a magical debt, he was my owner.

He was also the last thing standing between me and a completely normal, magic-free existence: A powerful, handsome roadblock who could make me forget my resolve with a kiss. I had wondered how long he would stay away before returning with all his considerable charm. He was a man who got what he wanted. Now, he wanted me."

In the first book of this series, we found magic, mystery, danger, and vampires.  Well, take out the vamps, add a werewolf, up the danger, and you've got a good idea of this sequel.

This book starts off right where the first one ended.  With Cassie's family relationships strained, and her romantic life complicated beyond sanity, her world feels even more out of control than ever.  Taking a case with Evan sets events in motion that cause even more danger, mysteries, and swirling confusion to surround her.  

This book is just as good as the first one, although it did have me much more worried, mainly for Cassie's well-being.  She is fiercely independent and stubborn, and dare I say, overly prideful.  Because of this, she ends up causing herself some grief and headaches she didn't need.  Throughout the book, I kept thinking "Girl, slow down, stop assuming, and just talk to Evan!"  The roller-coaster that is their relationship is nerve-wracking, and in the end, left me completely shocked.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I desperately hope there's a third part to this series.  It is written just as well as the first, with maybe a slightly faster pace, and the same honest humor as the first book.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, danger, magic, or romance.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author via Goddess Fish Promotions, to read in exchange for an honest review. 

Award-winning author Christine Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She became a “serious” writer in 2003, after attending a boot camp with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus, which won two awards. Expect many more titles by this up-and-coming author.


The author will be awarding either a $50 Amazon or B&N Gold Card to one randomly selected commenter!  Follow the tour and comment- the more you comment, the better your chance of winning!  Enter below for your chance to win!  

What do you think of this series?  Let us know in the comments below. 

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing these reviews with your readers!

    There IS a third book. And a fourth. That's it, though. (I did toy with the idea of making more, but I couldn't bring myself to drag the romance out any further than necessary.) Mind Games is tentatively scheduled for April. The last book may come out this summer, but since I'm still waiting on edits from my publisher, I'm not holding my breath. :) (The last book may undergo a name change during this last round of edits, too. I've been calling it Dreamer, but now I think Stolen Dreams sounds better.)

    1. You're very welcome, Christine! :D

      YAY!! I'm so glad there's a third book, and a fourth! That's a good length for a series, I think :) I really like those titles, and yay for April! Stolen Dreamer is really really cool, I like that title quite a bit. Thank you so much for sharing, I'm looking forward to Mind Games and Dreamer/Stolen Dreamer! :D

    2. I just got the thumbs up from my publisher on Stolen Dreams, so it's official now. :)

    3. How awesome! I think that's a great title :) Hopefully the series will have a happy ending, after all the nail-biting ;)

  2. I really liked both of these books, too!! I can't wait for the next one!! Secrets and LIes left me wanting to scream!!

    1. Me either!! The author commented and said it's coming out in April- whoot!

      OMG I know, S&L left me so twisted up! I was sooooo shocked, and really wished I had the third book to keep reading :P I'm so glad for the Epilogues though, otherwise I don't think I would have handled the ending that well! I hope the series turns out well for them, crossing fingers for a happy ending.

    2. To tell you the truth, Secrets and Lies was the entire reason I started writing epilogues (and ultimately prologues) from Evan's point of view. Without spoiling the ending for those who haven't read it, let me just say that the ending to Secrets and Lies came as a surprise to me, too! I was halfway done with it when it hit me, and I just *knew* that's what had happened. It explained SO much. But as I started sorting out the details of who knew what when (which is also when I came up with the title), I realized that we needed Evan's point of view in this book in order for the ending to make sense. I promptly went back to the first book and wrote an epilogue there to set the pattern, and then while I was at it I wrote a prologue -- why not? I liked getting inside Evan's head from a romance perspective too. Most genre romance is written in third person, and there's a good reason for that. :)

    3. I'm really glad you added the prologues and epilogues, especially from Evan's point-of-view. It was really great to see what had happened and what was going on from his side, and have him explain it. I loved getting a look inside his head as well, and I can't wait to see what he and Cassie do next! :)

  3. Great reviews, thank you.


    1. You're welcome! And thank you for the compliment! :)

  4. Thanks so much for the review!


  5. I'd love the Amazon GC please. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. i'd like amazon thanks! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com


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