Welcome to our stop at the Ashes & Ice Blog Tour. We’ve got an excerpt and a review of the book for you, so sit back and enjoy!
Rochelle Maya Callen:
Rochelle grew up dreaming up stories. When she entered high school, she tucked away her creative side and jumped head-first into academics, work, and service projects. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Political Science and Communication when she was twenty years old. After years away from her writing, Rochelle picked up a pen and started fleshing out a character sketch that she outlined when she was twelve. That sketch was the start of the Ashes and Ice story. Rochelle lives in the DC metro area with her husband and daughter. By day she works as a behavioral therapist. By night, she is a dreamer and is busy tapping out new stories on her keyboard.
You can meet Rochelle here:
Excerpt from Ashes & Ice:
The girl’s glassy, dead eyes stare into me, through me, pierce me with a fierce urgency, with a wicked accusation. The blood is still on my hands.
Red hair, blue eyes, a constellation of freckles on pale skin. She was fragile and innocent, a lovely thing. That is what I think until I see the gashes on her wrists and throat. With her blood spilling out, she looks delicious. She’s mine. Possessiveness shocks me, stabs into me. I run, tearing away from a craving I don’t understand.
Breathless, I grit my teeth and run harder, faster.
My feet pound against the earth, away from the lifeless body and toward the lights of the city lingering on the horizon. Rot and death linger in my nostrils. Unscarred skin stretches taut over my freezing bones. Echoes of an empty memory reverberate in my mind, taunting me. The ice chases me, clutches me, and bites at my heels, sending shivers up my spine. The ice wants me back, but I run forward, toward the lights, toward the heat, toward a world that burns me, because I have no other choice.
The lights are so close. Heat scalds my skin.
Images race through my mind, paralyzing me. I skid to a stop, my boots digging into the mud. The vision’s blurred edges materialize into solid shapes.
A new horror rakes my insides. Desperation propels me forward; the pictures nagging at my seams threaten to tear me apart.
Scorching fire licks over my skin. In my vision, I contort like a vile, ugly creature, eyes as black as decay. My frame hunches over the small, dead girl, like a demon looming over a defenseless child. Her blood drips from my mouth.
I lick my lips and taste only salty sweat.
I run, desperate to trample the vision under my feet, to crush it deep into the ground.
I refuse to believe the image, refuse to acknowledge the monster within me demanding to be unleashed—and the possibility it has already been unbound. An unrelenting tide of fear washes over me. Past the denial, the fear, and the hope, I think I can still taste her.
The cold stillness inside me cracks open just as the lights of the city slam into me.
He is aching to forget.
Together, they are not broken.
But together, one may not survive.
Jade wakes up with no memory of her past and blood on her hands.
Plagued by wicked thoughts, she searches for answers. Instead, she finds a boy who doesn’t offer her answers, but hope. But sometimes, when nightmares turn into reality and death follows you everywhere, hope is not enough.
LUST. LOVE. LOSS. Sometimes, all that is left are Ashes and Ice.
Jade don’t remember much from before. Before finding herself outside the city, in a forest with a dead girl and blood on her hands. She doesn’t remember how she got there, what happened and who she is. Sometimes she dreams bits and pieces from her past, but nothing very substantial. And then there’s the cold, the ice within her. The ice that threatens to take over her mind and her non-beating heart. The same ice who makes her forget who she is and where she is. The only one who seems to make it disappear is Connor. But Connor has his own battles. He recently lost his dad to cancer and he’s considered an outcast at school. All he wants is to be invisible. He’s doing a okay job of it, but he’s not living. Not really. Jade helps him remember how it is to stand tall, to be true towards oneself, to love again.
But will it be enough when reality comes crashing in with the ugly truth?
I enjoyed this book, although it did take me some time to really get into it. Each chapter (almost all the way through the book) changes the point-of-view. First chapter is told from Jades POV, the next from Connors and so on. It’s not a bad thing, because we learn so much from each of them, see their internal struggles and sometimes we even see the same scene from each person.
I thought I had it figured out. I thought I knew what the whole book was about, what Jade really was, but I was wrong. And boy, am I happy I was! Ashes & Ice took me for a whole new tour between an ancient battle between the good and bad. A battle where the outcome is dependent on one girl and her choice. And we really, absolutely DO NOT want her to make the wrong decision!
If you like surprises, ancient battles, new spins on old myths and generally like to be drawn into a good story, this is for you. I can’t wait to see what happens next!