Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Release Blitz with Giveaway and Christie's review: Liquid & Ash by E.M. Abel

Title: Liquid & Ash 
Author: E.M. Abel 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: March 1, 2016


Love was my weakness. 
In the light of the truth, no one can hide. 

Derek had ignited a spark inside of my heart, a hope for a love I never expected to find. However, our connection lacked the substance it needed to burn. Weakened with resentment, our relationship crumbled under deception, slowly dissolving into ash.

I had sacrificed myself for him and paid the price.

By the time Brandon entered into my life, the longing in my heart had turned cold. But fate was not done with me. His crystal blue eyes and fluid touch revived a wish that had been frozen in time. He gave me hope once again. 

Hope is a dangerous thing, especially when you dare to dream.

**WARNING: This book contains adult content and drug use.

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Author Bio

E.M. Abel was born and raised a Marine Corps brat. She spent a large portion of her life moving and living in her mother's home country, Japan. As a result, she gained independence and a unique perspective on the world. The youngest of three girls, E.M. Abel spent a lot of time alone in her room writing or sketching in her journals and dreaming up stories. Growing up, she wrote poems, short stories and articles for her high school newspaper. She also fell in love with art and discovered her deep need for self-expression.

Now, a Navy wife with two small children of her own, she still loves being creative and most of all translating her stories into novels. E.M. Abel, now referred to as E or Em by her friends and readers, can often be found with her headphones on jamming out to punk rock, in a chair getting tattooed or cooking dinner for her kids and attending gymnastics practice. No matter what she's doing in her life, she's always sure to do it her way.

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I've been a big fan of E.M. Abel's writing ever since reading Freeing Asia. She writes memorable characters and distinctive stories. There are some authors that you click with easily, and I do that with her work. This book is much different than her Breaking Free series but no less enjoyable than what I've read in the past. It had a little bit of a grittier feel to it, but that same distinguishing style was still there that's elemental in her stories. I took a risk requesting an arc for this because the synopsis is a little bit ambiguous. It doesn't really clue you in on the events of the story, it's more of a hint at the tone of the book. Grim.

Liquid and Ash easily hooked me from the start. We're met with a woman who's spiraling down into a deep hole of depression and anger. Through bitter flashbacks, we see her compare happier times to her current situation. She cycles through these different emotional stages following a devastating discovery.

"A woman with a dream of being loved is a danger to herself because she will see it in places it doesn't belong and doesn't exist.

Her pain was a very tangible thing, her state of mind precarious at best. Her nine-year marriage is a farce, and she's faced with some hard truths about her life and the choices that she made in order to arrive there. After her father's abandonment of her family in childhood, she swore to never allow a man to dictate the direction her life takes.

She had a plan when she met her husband, to become a nurse and become an independent woman. Through one impulsive choice, she placed all her bets on the love they shared to carry her through a lifetime. Now at thirty years old, she's completely shattered and disillusioned. Which leaves her struggling through pain, confusion, and probably greatest of all anger. Her feelings weren’t always pretty. But they were rawly honest, and I was captivated in her despair.

There was a heaviness throughout the book, a feeling like you were waiting for disaster to strike her again. Because she once again set herself on a path that wasn’t what she should choose. She jumped from one desperate situation to another that had the potential to rip her apart. Her anger propels her right towards Brandon. A bearded, tatted bartender/model who she should be running far away from. The first night she meets him, his actions and side job of selling weed should have been enough of a deterrent. But it was the conflicted emotions that she was dealing with that probably pushed her to test her limits.

Brandon was bad news. And I must admit, I didn't really get much more from him than that through a lot of the book. We find out that his mysterious and aloof veneer he presents is his attempt to keep emotional attachments at a distance. Slowly, we learn through small hints of his tragic childhood, and his service in the war that left its scars on him. Honestly, I really think having dual POV would have helped me understand his character more. I needed to get some clues about what he was thinking and feeling because as well executed at the sexual tension and chemistry were between the two, his emotional depth felt unfinished. Even towards the end of the book, I was questioning his true feelings about the heroine.

The twist that occurred didn't surprise me, it was foreshadowed a little too plainly, but it was an interesting turn in the plot all the same. A tad overly dramatic at times, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. Also, I wished that the epilogue could have been extended more so that the ending wasn't quite so abrupt.

For me, what made this book was the heroine's exploration of her past, finding the strength to put herself first, and becoming the woman who she allowed to slip away as a young woman. It was a true examination of a woman finding strength again after
losing everything. I really loved the honesty in the heroine's depiction, her character had me enthralled until the end. If you're looking for something a little different than the norm, you should give this one a chance.

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