Royally Mine Reminder!

Tomorrow, a boxset full of 22 awesome authors comes out. Royally Mine is packed full of dukes, princes, kings, and Alphas who are all bad boys. Today is the last day that you can get it for pre-order at $0.99. After tomorrow, the price is going to jump.

I’ve had the privilege of reading several ARCs, and the ones I’ve read are completely awesome! Here is my Goodreads review of it.

There is lots of hot sex, lots of bad boys, lots of kink, and a whole bunch of happily-ever-afters. Check it out, get your copy.

TBR 8/18/17

This is roughly what my current to be read list looks like. Some of the books show up as already read, but that’s because I keep my Kindle library set to most recent and that shows whatever was opened last. This list does not include the books that I have on pre-order that are coming out next week. As always, if you have any suggestions, recommendations, questions, comments, or anything you are dying for me to read and review, leave a comment or visit the Contact page and drop me a note.

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Kate Daniels Reread

0So, I mentioned that I love Ilona Andrews and the Kate Daniels series and that I read it often. Well, I’m rereading it now, in between ARCs and other books. I thought that I would do a review of the books as I reread them and my thoughts on them, as I find new things in the older books and reread the newer ones again. See, I’m just positive that all y’all want to know what I’m reading and what I think. I’ll reread all the novellas that go along with the series too, but I rarely read them in the place where they fit into the books’ timeline, I just read them all when I’m done, generally because I still can’t get my head out of Kate’s world.

I sort of consider Kate Daniels to be in the post-apocalyptic category as well as being in the UF category. While there hasn’t been a huge apocalypse like one may think, the fact that tech and magic are at war with each and there are times that magic rules the world and time when tech rules the world and so many things just don’t work anymore is apocalyptic to me.

I’ve already read the first two, Magic Bites and Magic Burns, and I’ll be getting into the third one, Magic Strikes, in a couple of days since I have some ARCs to read and review, as well as a couple of other books I need to get read and reviewed. I’d complain about having so many things on my To Be Read pile, but I really can’t. I just have to complain that there aren’t enough hours in my day or days in my week to get it all read. But, it’s better than not having enough to read.

The main character in this series is Kate Daniels. She starts out as a merc with a mouth and a big secret. Her secret could mean that everyone she knows dies, if it gets found out. She is much more powerful than people think she is, and she does everything she can to keep that power hidden. She was trained by her father, Voron, to be an awesome swordswoman and fighter. He also taught her to hold vengeance near and dear to her heart. He tried his best to turn her into the perfect sociopath, though it didn’t quite take.

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There are a lot of other characters that show up, and I’ll talk about them as they pop up, but the big one I’m going to mention right now is Curran. Curran is the Beast Lord, the Alpha of the Pack, which includes all shifters in Atlanta and surrounding areas. He’s a HUGE lion. Kate describes him as a paranoid psychopath. He is very controlling and holds to his rules very tightly. In this world, that’s important for shifters. They can either go Code or go loup. The Code is a set of rules that each shapeshifter needs to follow to help keep their animal side under control. Going loup means that the animal has overtaken the human side and the shifter runs around going crazy, attacking people, causing general chaos and mayhem. But that’s not the only reason that Curran is a control freak, it’s also the fact that he is an Alpha. Alphas are controlling and dominant, it’s part of their make up. And since he’s the Alpha of Alphas, he’s even worse.

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I’ll talk about more characters as they come up when I’m reviewing the books. But, I do want to mention two groups, the Pack and the People.

I’ve already said that the Pack is led by Curran. It’s made up of six clans into which all shifters fall into. Each clan is ruled by their Alpha, which is usually, but not always, a mated Alpha couple. They have the highest say in their clan, but Curran can override them. Each Alpha couple has a seat on the Pack Council, which is the ruling body, headed by guess who. The clans are Boudas, who are were-hyenas; Wolves; Clan Nimble, made up of animals like mink, foxes, etc,; Clan Rat, who are generally the scouts of the Pack; Cats; and Clan Heavy, which are the big shifters, like bears, buffalo, and such-like. The Pack is based in the Keep, a huge fortress that they have built, and are continuing to build. Membership of the pack is somewhere around 1,500.

The People are the Navigators of the Dead. Vampires are created by a virus, and are turned into mindless killing machines. Navigators are people who have the power to take over the minds of the vampires and control them. They can see and hear everything the vampire can see and hear, and can converse through the vampire. The People are based in the Casino, a huge Taj Mahal inspired building that is part casino, part stable for vamps, and part office building. In the early books, the head of the People in Atlanta is Nataraja. Unlike the Pack, which has no higher structure, the People do have a much larger structure, which is headed by Roland (remember that name).

This post is getting long enough, so I’m going to split it off here. Tomorrow will begin the actual reviews of books 1 and 2.

As always, if you have suggestions, questions, whatever, let me know. If you have a book that you are gagging for me to read and review or you just think that I would love to read it, let me know. I’m always up for more books to read. And I generallay think everyone is entitled to my opinion, LOL. No really, I just like sharing my opinions and viewpoints.

Renee Rose-Her Mate and Master

And now we’re on to the second review of the week. Aren’t you excited? Well, I am. This one is a review of Her Mate and Master by Renee Rose. This is the 6th book in the Zandian Masters series. In this series, humans have been scattered through the galaxy and are slaves.

The current living Zandians are remnants of the Zandian people who had to leave their planet when the Finn invaded it. Zandia is home to some powerful crystal. The Zandian people primarily use them as a power source for their bodies. They don’t need to eat very often, the crystals give the Zandians most of their energy. Male Zandians use small bits of crystal to mark their mates. The females have piercings that the crystals are set into. How many piercings depends on how many crystals the male can afford and where they are placed. Generally, some are placed in somewhat intimate areas. The point of the crystals used this way is that they can be used to sustain a mate and children. These crystals can also be used to power spaceships. Understandably, the Zandians don’t really want to sell a whole lot of them, so in swoop the Finn to invade Zandia, eradicate the Zandians, and mine all the crystals possible.

At the end of the last book, we met Talia, Master Seke’s long lost, thought dead daughter. She was being hostage by the Finn, on Zandia. The Finn say that they’ll let her go if Prince Zander gives himself up. Tomis, a warrior, sees Talia on the screen, and he knows that he has to be the one to go rescue her. So off he goes.

Meanwhile, Talia, who didn’t know that she was even Zandian until a few days ago and spent most of her life thinking she was a lavender skinned human slave named Ray, is hanging naked chained to the wall in the throne room on Zandia, all day long. Each night she gets marched past all the cells filled with prisoners, still naked, until she gets to her own cell. When Tomis gets to Zandia, he’s thrown into a cell and talks to his cellmates about her. They tell him that they have seen ALLL of Talia, just wait until she walks by again. When she does, Tomis sees what they mean, but he’s careful to try to keep himself out her sight. A power outage that he arranged happens, and he goes to get Talia and rescue her.

Tomis tells her that she is the last living Zandian female of childbearing age, and as such, she belongs to the prince, and he’ll decide what happens to her. Meaning who will father her children or whatever. What Talia hears is that she is going to be going from one set of slavery to another, only this time as a brood mare. So, she runs away from Tomis. When she gets caught, Tomis punishes her, which he enjoys, and it turns out, so does she.

So, here is where we break off before I get into spoilers. Being a Renee Rose book, there is sex, and lots of it. There is also spanking, and lots of that. If either of those things offend you, then this isn’t the book for you. However, those things don’t bother me, obviously, and I really enjoyed this book. It’s a good love story, with a HEA. There’s also a hook for the rest of the series, which I enjoy. You really can’t read this as a stand-alone, just because you really need to have the backstory from the other books to understand where this book is.

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OK, so now we can get into the nitty-gritty, or at least the spoilers. We find out that, no, Talia isn’t the only living Zandian female of childbearing years. Talia and Tomis find another female, living with 3 men, who attempt to kill Tomis and rape Talia. That woman has 3 children, so there is a new generation of full-blooded Zandians already started.

Tomis has a hard time, because he really wants to mate (and mate with) Talia, but he’s standing in his own way. He doesn’t see himself as good enough, and he feels like it’s his duty to deliver Talia to the Prince and her father, so they can make the decision as to what will happen to her. However, his actions really hurt Talia. She knows what she wants, which is him, but when they get close, he always says something that makes it sound like whatever happens is temporary. Even when they do end up fucking, she has to remind herself that it’s only temporary because Tomis has made it clear that she’s nothing but a brood mare. She does get him to promise that she will be able to make her own decisions about her life after they get off Zandia, but she still doesn’t want to have her decisions taken away from her.

Let’s talk about the Zandian breeding cycle, for a minute. Zandians have a breeding season, which just happens to be when they are on the planet. It’s not something that Talia has ever had to deal with before, because she wasn’t exposed to the crystals. But, when she is on Zandia and exposed to the crystals, it triggers her. And it triggers Tomis. Nowhere is this more evident than in the sacred waterfall. That scene is hotter than hot. It’s my favorite for the whole series, I think.

Tomis finally gets his head out of his ass and realizes what he’s been doing to Talia, who managed to leave the Prince’s pod to go back to the tavern where she had been a slave. She wanted to go knock around her old slave owner, which she did. Tomis came to find her and told her that he was a big old idiot, and that he was wrong. She was the most important thing, and he would sacrifice it all for her.

I love everything of Renee’s that I’ve ever read. She’s one of the authors that I automatically read, no matter what. I own a good chunk of her books, and the ones I don’t own yet are on my to be bought list. If you want more Renee Rose, check out the other Zandian Master books. You won’t be sorry.

Standard ARC disclaimer: Yup, I got one. Yup, this is voluntary and honest.

Hannah Davenport-Kavvan

Kavvan is the 7th book of Hannah Davenport’s Azziarin series. In this series, the Earth has been invaded by an alien species called the Tureis. They take humans and sell them for slaves. The Tureis have attacked other planets, including the Azziarin planet. Because of that, the Azziarin all hate the Tureis. When they find out that the Tureis have invaded Earth, the Azziarin go and start attacking the Tureis. Along the way, they find that the human women can trigger the mating instinct in Azziarin men.

By the time Kavvan comes around, most of the royal family has been mated to human women, and there are Azziarin men who are asking to go serve on ships near Earth so that they have the chance to meet their mates.

However, that’s not where Kavvan is going. He and his ship are off to another planet so that they can see if there are human women who are being sold off as slaves.

Mandy and Susan have been friends for years. They have both come from not great families, especially Mandy. They have survived the invasion and have been hiding in a book store, until the day that Susan gets bored. Mandy tries to keep her from leaving, but she leaves anyway and gets captured by the Turies. Mandy sneaks aboard the ship to save her, and ends up going to the planet where the auction is, along with Susan. Since she snuck on board, when they get to the planet, Mandy hides again. When Susan goes off to be auctioned off, Mandy gets left behind.

Enter the Azziarin. They save Susan from the auction and take her away on their ship, and leave to go home. Susan is hysterical because they are leaving Mandy behind, so she ends up being sedated, and eventually tells Kavvan what happened and about Mandy. When he’s around Susan, his mating instincts are triggered, but he knows that Susan isn’t his mate, but they become friends.

Mandy has managed to find an enclave of escaped and rescued slaves, where she meets some other humans. That’s where she is when Nikkul, Kavvan’s second, and Kavvan show up.

Ok, That’s the basic set up, you know the deal, after this comes spoilers. If you want to avoid them, go over to Amazon and check out this book. I really enjoyed it. I think it’s a little darker than some of the other books in this series, but it’s handled well.

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While Mandy is in the enclave, one of the humans she meets is a woman named Jane. Jane has already had some tragic events happen in her life. She lost her husband and child before she even got captured by aliens and sold as a slave. When she meets Nikkul, he recognizes her as his mate. They mate quickly and are happy together. On the way home, the Turies attack the ship and Nikkul gets hurt. When they get planet side, he gets taken to the med ward. When he wakes up, he has no memory of Jane, but sees his beloved consort. That devastates Jane, especially since he hasn’t told her about his consort, and the new human women don’t know anything about the Azziarin tradition of having consorts on top of wives or mates. She and all the other humans leave and go to a cabin. Jane ends up killing herself that night, leaving a note to Nikkul that she’s sorry for everything. This is one of the darker elements. This side plot made me really sad, for both Jane and Nikkul. At least Nikkul has his consort by his side to help him through.

Mandy and Kavvan have a lot of their own problems. An enforcer takes her away from the enclave when she runs after seeing Nikkul’s fangs. The enforcer hurts her, drags her away, and almost rapes her. Kavvan shows up right before that happens, but because of that, he tiptoes around her. She is worried that he and Susan are more friendly than they really are, and because of that, she is worried about getting into a relationship with him. However, being a good HEA romance, they eventually work it out and get their happily ever after on.

I enjoy this series. For me, it’s a fairly light, easy read. When I’m looking for something that I know I’ll enjoy, I revisit these books. While there is sex, it’s generally less graphic than some of the other books I like to read, and there isn’t any kink. I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

I received an ARC for my voluntary and honest review of this book, so that’s what you got.

Tears of Surrender

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post about Sophie Kisker’s Midrosian Chronicles. Well, today her latest book came out, Tears of Surrender. It’s the final book of this series and it’s the most intense book of the series, IMO. The story winds through both Memories and Longings and gives us some peeks into those stories. Then it nicely winds up the whole story of the women of Midros.

When I say intense, I mean it. There was a point in time when I had to walk away from the book for a couple of hours to process how I felt about it and deal with my feelings. There have been very few books that I’ve had to do that with. To me, that is a great thing and means that the book is pretty awesome. I still have Parin and Mercer living in my head a couple of days after I read it, which is also a pretty awesome thing if you ask me. And so, on to the review.

Tears is the story of Parin Denos. It opens up 3 years prior to Memories. Parin was raised on Prima, with her parents, who died when she was 7. She vaguely remembers her mother telling her to never go to Midros. When she’s adult, her company is contacted by the Midrosian government to see if a product they sell would work for them. On Midros, when women come onto the planet, they have to wear a temporary collar and their DNA is routinely run through databases.

Parin’s company declines the offer to sell their product to the Midrosian government. In walks government officials from the slavery board. They tell Parin that she is a runaway slave. To her knowledge, she has never been on Midros before. However, it comes out that her parents were Midrosian, with her father owning her mother, before they escaped when Parin was two. With the Midrosian law, as held up by the galaxy wide authorities, once a Midrosian slave, always a Midrosian slave. Women who escape, and their female children who escape with them, are still slaves. Thus, Parin is an escaped slave.

The authorities drag Parin away to get her ready for her auction. She’s locked in a cell, has to endure a humiliating and punishing exam by a doctor to assess her health and her sexual capabilities, and is bathed, where she’s taught another brutal lesson by guards. Then she’s chained up and gagged so that the men who will be at the auction can inspect her, along with all the other slaves for sale.

The man who buys her, Edar Pennis, is a horrible, brutal, sadistic man, and on a planet of men who are sadistic, that is saying something. He swears to break her, but he really has no idea of what he’s doing. He has her shoved into a cage, covered up and transported. When they get to his house, he has his guards dump her out onto the driveway, and attaches a collar to her which will put poison in her system whenever it’s triggered. And being the terrible man he is, I bet you can figure out what happens with that.

Edar does lots of horrible things to her, including locking her in a hole in the dark. The final straw for Parin is that he takes her out to the garden, has her put in a hole where she has to stand on a small block which isn’t anchored on anything, and then puts two boards around her neck, so that only her head is above ground, and leaves her there. If she falls, then she hangs by her neck. Which she consciously decides to do, Edar has driven her to suicide.

In walks Mercer. And from here, there are going to be spoilers and commentary. I loved this book, I identified so much with Parin and I felt her distress and stress so much. I know I say this for a lot of books, but I really recommend this. I can’t tell you how much I recommend this. I want to give this like 11/10 stars. It is just that amazing.

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OK, a note before we get into the spoilers. In Midros, there is no legal way to rape a woman. If she is your slave, she can’t tell you no. She’s property, and property can’t say no, I mean, it’s not like a chair can tell you no that it doesn’t want you to sit on it. It’s the chair’s job to have someone sit on it. If someone else has sex with your slave without your permission, it’s theft of services, not rape. A woman who grew up on Midros would understand this concept, since it was what she grew up with and had been trained to expect and to do. Parin, however, doesn’t have that same understanding. She grew up as a free woman, with the expectation of bodily autonomy. She is upset that she’s going to be raped but Edar explains to her that no, it’s not rape, it can’t be rape. I think that’s one of the things that is the hardest for Parin to get used to in her slavery. And Edar, well, he’s an asshole, and he doesn’t do anything to make it easier on her.

Mercer Pennis is Edar’s son. He wants to be a lawyer, his father wants him to take over the mining business. There is a younger son, Jacen, but he makes his father look tame. At one point, he has his slave Dara’s vagina and vulva sewed almost all the way shut, because he prefers anal sex and wants her to be an anal only slave. However, because he’s messy, he still manages to get her pregnant, with a girl. He was going to sell her off, but Parin convinces Mercer to get her instead. Dara eventually runs away, and ends up in the same escaped slave enclave as Enna from Longings, and is able to be with her daughter, off planet.

Mercer starts out as a prat and I really don’t like him all of the time. He sees Parin as 3 holes and 2 tits to be used when he wants. Now, I have to give him some leeway, since he’s never dealt with a free woman before, but I think he doesn’t always take that into consideration with Parin. Yeah, he’s trying to teach her how to be a slave and how to survive the world she’s living in, but, still.

However, as they are together, he does start to change and realizes he loves Parin and she is more than a collection of body parts. He even lets her help him out at his business, since he has problems with math and Parin is an accountant. Without her help, he wouldn’t have been able to clean up his business as well.

To me, one of the more horrific scenes with Mercer is the scene where he decides to breed her. The way that it is done is that they go to a clinic, Mercer provides sperm and a doctor harvests an egg from Parin. Then the doctor fertilizes the egg, makes sure it’s a boy, and implants the embryo into Parin. The doctor jams a needle into Parin’s abdomen and ovary to harvest an egg without any kind of numbing or pain medication. Parin screams because it’s painful. The doctor says that they don’t waste pain meds on slaves. Parin was already not wanting to bring a child into this world, but Mercer wanted one and told her that she would accept it. That whole section just really got to me, and I had to take a little break there for a few minutes.

Anyway, Edar does try to take Parin away from Mercer, after already signing a contract with him, and lies to her and tells her that he left it in the contract that he could reclaim her at any point. We also find out that Edar used to own her mother, and that’s what he bought Parin.

We also find out the true reason why Midros started taking other women and that the galaxy wide authorities not only knew about it, but they also helped out. The paeloate mining caused infertility problems for native-born Midrosians. So, a woman who wasn’t born on Midros was much more likely to have a child. When Parin and Mercer get this information out to the galaxy, the authorities come and take over Midros and set all the women free, unless they choose to stay as slaves.

Parin makes that choice and stays with Mercer. They have a history of edging and orgasm denial. It’s how he helps her in her submission. When he lets her have an orgasm, it’s amazing because she has to wait and wait and wait for it. When Parin tells Mercer that she wants to stay his slave, she asks to never have an orgasm again, since it helps her stay focused on him and his needs, and that his pleasure his all that’s necessary. However, he says that if he denies her permanently, he doesn’t get to listen to her beg and see her disappointment when he says no. However, he tells her that he will make her edge a certain amount of times, and then he will let her come, and keep her coming until she can’t come anymore. Then he will put her back in her cage until she has him back as her focus.

I mention this particularly for a reason. That’s because Sophie made a change right before she submitted it for publishing. I’m in her ARC group and she asked for feedback on the original ending as opposed to this new part. I fully, truly, deeply support and love this. It’s devious and evil and I think it really suits the relationship well. And the cage has a special meaning for Parin and Mercer. It’s her safe place when she needs a break, and a place he can send her when he’s unhappy with her.

Anyway, I love these characters and this world so much. Parin and Mercer won’t leave my head at all, which is a sign of a good book. I will have this series, and especially this book on reread, frequently, I think. In places, it will probably be a one-handed reread.

This book is intense, but the payoff at the end, not just for Parin and Mercer, but for the entire series and all the women of Midros, is worth all the intensity. Do read this.

I received an ARC in exchange for my honest and voluntary review, so that’s what you got.

Have Mercy! The World of Patricia Briggs

Welcome to another entry in my UF category, saga, whatever you want to call it. Anyway, today is Patricia Briggs and the world of Mercedes Thompson, which also includes the Alpha and Omega books, since they are a spin-off of the series.

At first glance, Mercedes Thompson looks like a Native American mechanic who specializes in working on Volkswagens. And yes, she’s heard all the jokes about Mercedes the mechanic who works on German cars. But, when you start to look deeper at her, you find out that there is a lot more to her than you think. One of those things is that she turns into a coyote. Unlike the werewolves in this world, which take a long time to change and who go through a lot of pain during their change, Mercy can change immediately, with no pain at all. That’s because unlike the werewolves, who have to be changed into being a werewolf, Mercy’s power as a skinwalker is innate. In the first book, we learn that her mother didn’t know what to do when she went into see her baby and found a coyote pup in Mercy’s crib instead of Mercy.

Because of that fact, Mercy isn’t brought up by her mother. She had an uncle who knew Bran, the Marrok. The Marrok is the Alpha of Alphas. He is the head of all the werewolves in the US, and while he doesn’t rule the other countries, he does have some influence, mostly because he is very old and very powerful. And when I say very old, I mean centuries, as in double digits of centuries. Grendel from Beowulf may be based on Bran. Anyway, he has a pack in Montana and finds Mercy a place with a foster family, where she spends her childhood until she’s a teenager when she gets sent to live with her mother and her mother’s family, in Washington State.

Back to Bran for a minute. Bran is Welsh and has two sons, Samuel and Charles. Charles is the only born werewolf. His mother was a Native American and had her own magic. She managed to hold off the change while she was pregnant so that she could give birth. Generally, female werewolves can’t carry children because the change is too violent. Charles has his own magic through his mother, and his change is more like Mercy’s, and he can come back fully clothed. He’s only a couple of hundred years old. He is also the main character of the Alpha and Omega series, with his wife Anna. She is a rare Omega wolf who is outside of the normal pack structure and acts as a calming influence. Omegas can help out with wolves who are out of control.

Samuel is Bran’s older son and isn’t too much younger than his father. When Mercy was a teenager, he romanced her and she fell in love with him. He wanted to have children, and he saw Mercy as a way to do that, since she wouldn’t lose her children due to her shifting, since her powers are in-born.

Mercy’s garage used to be owned by Zee, a fae who identifies as a gremlin. He’s one of the few fae who can handle touching cold iron. Zee has a long and storied history that he keeps pretty secret. He is powerful enough that the Grey Lords, the leaders of the fae, don’t like to bother him much. The fae are out and have been for years, and many of them live in reservations. The one nearest her is in Walla Walla.

One of Mercy’s loyal customer is Stephan, who loves Scooby Doo and owns a VW bus that has been painted to look like the Mystery Machine. He also just happens to be a vampire, and owes allegiance to Marsilla. Stephen and Mercy are friends.

And that brings us to Adam Hauptmann. Adam is Mercy’s neighbor. He is also the Alpha of the Tri-Cities pack. He also declared that Mercy is his mate. Mercy thinks it’s just to protect her and doesn’t realize how serious it is that he did that. He gets over-protective and she does what she can to annoy him, like leaving an old VW in a field between their homes that she vandalizes, just to ruin his view. Spoiler, Mercy does eventually find out how serious Adam is about the mate thing.

I really love these books, and I run through them about once a year. Patricia Briggs has great world building, and not only has characters you love to love, but she also has characters you love to hate, *coughChristiecough*. While there is sex and language in the books, they are relatively mild, and absolutely kink free. There is violence, but that’s to be expected in books like these.

The orders of the books is:

Mercy

  • Moon Called
  • Blood Bound
  • Iron Kissed
  • Bone Crossed
  • Silver Borne
  • River Marked 
  • Frost Burned
  • Night Broken
  • Shifting Shadows
  • Fire Touched
  • Silence Fallen 

Alpha and Omega

  • “Alpha and Omega”  published in On the Prowl and Shifting Shadows 
  • Cry Wolf
  • Hunting Ground 
  • Fair Game
  • Dead Heat 

Coming up in the next couple of days, reviews of two ARCs, Tears of Surrender by Sophie Kisker and Kavven by Hannah Davenport.