Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: Uniquely Unwelcome by Brandy Nacole

Title: Uniquely Unwelcome

Author: Brandy Nacole

Series: The Shadow World #1

ISBN: 9781480257771

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Being unique isn't all it's cracked up to be.

After searching all over the world for someone as unique as she is, Racquel finds herself back in her home town where she's treated like a monster ready to kill. Racquel is one of the most unique beings ever created. Four of the most powerful beings in the Shadow World are intertwined within her, making up her unique DNA. But no matter how unique her bloodline is, she's considered an outcast by the entire Shadow World.

Once arriving home, Racquel finds that the greatest evils exist and that the person she cares for most in this world, her half-sister Addie, has been kidnapped along with other Shadow World beings. Racquel finds herself facing horrible odds with those who would rather see her dead than alive.

As her journey continues, Racquel learns more about herself, what she is capable of, and that not every being looks at her as an abomination. Coy, a human captive that Racquel saves from the Vampires, starts showing kindness toward her. Racquel tries putting distance between her and the human boy but as they spend more time together it comes harder and harder for Racquel to fight the affection she wants and needs.

But will Coy's friendship and her new found discoveries be enough to help Racquel unravel the strangest mystery that has ever plagued the Shadow World?

Have you ever had one of those books that just simply jumps out of nowhere and slaps you with a big bag of awesome? No? Well then you haven't read Uniquely Unwelcome by Brandy Nacole. Nacole's masterpiece is one in which you have never seen before in any fantasy novel ever written. Imagine taking all the creatures you love to read about and squashing them together into a single badass character. That is what this author did. As hinky as that may strike you and cause you to doubt whether it can truly work in the story, in this case, it does.

Nacole's concocted world is one in which fantastical creatures live side by side with humans but operate under entirely different rules. Segregation is alive and well in the Shadow World, the world that encompasses Vampires, Lycans, Shifters, Faeries, and Witches alike. No race is suppose to mix with a different race. It is seen as abysmal and distasteful, albeit not illegal. Racquel's family takes full advantage of the legality of such unions and through a macabre amount of unions, Racquel was born. She is Vampire, Lycan, Shifter, and Witch all rolled into one little sarcastic ball of a girl.

Of course, that is not the only basis of the story (even though that would have been quite enough). On top of that, there is a great evil out there who is also not so into the segregation thing. He kidnaps, tortures, and even kills people from every race, even humans. Racquel is happy to leave the situation alone and quietly shrug it off as someone else's problem until one of the kidnap victims turns out to be her beloved half-sister, Addie.

That is all it takes. Racquel is off and running with her high school tormentor, Ethan the Lycan bully. She is told she must visit each of the original races and find out what they know so she may combine the knowledge and find the missing people. Along the way Racquel meets and befriends several different people from different races including Danika the witch, Coy the human, and Jared the vampire. Racquel's journey also brings her face to face with her past torments, her present mistrust, and the possible end to her future.

This book was a surprise. I went into it not really believing I would fall in love with the story or the characters. Boy, was I ever wrong. I found my heart bleeding for Racquel, swooning at Coy, and laughing along with Jared's antics. I have not thoroughly enjoyed a book to this magnitude in a while. The ending does leave off on a slight cliffhanger, which I now must rectify by finding the second book in the series, Blood Burdens.

Purchase: Amazon  »  Barnes & Noble  »  Book Depository

I stand to leave but once again I'm stopped before taking a step. This time it's Witten.

"A few questions before you go. What types of powers do you contain?"

Here we go. I knew it; I knew I couldn't get away without being interrogated. I was really hoping my abilities and self-being would be questioned. I wonder if they're going to want hair and blood samples too.

"Why? What does that matter?" I hate being hateful after so much generosity but I have to be cautious. After the past I've had, caution is wise, even if the rest of the group has shown me generosity so far.

Witten folds his hands in his lap. "Just curious." For someone who doesn't seem interested in our previous conversation, he sure is full of questions and banter now.

"It is more than that dear," Eldrida says, "we just want to know what you have learned about yourself. How is anyone to know who you are if you do not know yourself?"

Okay, true. But what does that have to do with what power I obtain? "I'll admit. I don't know much about myself. I mean, I have powers but I'm not certain of my full potential."

"What are your Vampire powers?" Witten asks bitterly. I wonder what his deal is? Am I really that much of a bother? Or does he hold a grudge toward the vamps? Whatever the reason, I don't like his tone.

"I have great strength."

"Do you have to obtain blood?" Again, there's a tired bitter tone to Witten's voice.

"A little. Sometimes."

"What about your--?" I know what Witten is just going to keep asking questions, so I interrupt him to speed up this process.

"Okay look, here's the rundown. I can hear really well, see in the dark, have to obtain blood sometimes, can move objects with my mind, shift into an eagle, and hold things in place. That's all I can tell you."

"So you don't know your full potential? You know nothing of each individual power? These are things you must learn. You will never understand yourself until you do, neither will anyone else." Witten says, chastising me.

I flinch under his scrutiny, and shiver at the memory of my grandmother giving me a similar speech. I can hear her voice now, as if she was standing in front of me, reprimanding me for burning my school book. 'Racquel do not stoop to this level of nonsense. You are better than this, better than them. If you want the others to see you for all that you are, then you must first see yourself.' A small smile crosses my lips as I think about what happened next. My grandmother had gone up to Addie's room and brought back her copy of the history book that I had burned, and for the next few weeks, I spent all my free time writing out that textbook word for word, creating a new copy to study from. Thankfully she didn't make me draw the illustrations maps too.

Eldrida rises again and comes to stand in front of me. "When this journey is over you must start a new journey, a journey to discover you." She cups my face in her hands and looks me straight in the eyes. "You are precious, child, and your being lost has caused much confusion not only in yourself but in others as well. You are unique, but what makes you unique is not only the blood that courses through your body but what you do with the power in your blood. Your actions now, seeking out those that have struck against you all these years, are remarkable. You will be great and we will be here to help you find what you need to know."

About the Author:
Brandy Nacole resides in Arkansas where her imagination runs wild. Her obsession is reading but her passion is writing. She put her dream of becoming a writer on the back burner and went to college to become a psychologist. Three years after endless classes in a field she only felt half satisfied with, Brandy picked up her pen once again and wrote the outline for Uniquely Unwelcome. She finished out her degree in psychology, but traded her dream of writing for a degree and put psychology on the back burner.

Whenever she's not reading or writing, Brand is spending time with her family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself. She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that requires water but can't voice (scream) their need.

She is the author of The Shadow World series and The Spiritual Discord series. 

(1) Signed Paperback of Uniquely Unwelcome, 
(2) ebooks of Uniquely Unwelcome and the sequel Blood Burdens, 
(2) ebooks of Broken Faith.

There'll be 5 winners.
1st Place: (1) signed paperback of Uniquely Unwelcome
2nd and 3rd Place: (1) ebook of Uniquely Unwelcome & Blood Burdens
4th and 5th Place: (1) ebook of Broken Faith

**This giveaway is International**
Question of the Day: If your DNA could be combined with any other supernatural being, what would you choose? Vampire? Werewolf? Faerie? Something else? Leave your answer in the comments below.

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Also check out the other blogs participating in this book tour tomorrow for more fun posts, reviews, and opportunities to enter our giveaway:
Home of a Book Lover
Mary Had a Little Book Blog
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club