Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blog Tour: Life in the Palace by Catherine Green

Life in the palace tour

Life in the PalaceLife in the Palace by Catherine Green “We need to talk,” Tal said. Then I knew it was going to go badly. ‘We need to talk’ is the conversational equivalent of walking into your basement without turning on the light, on a dark and stormy night, when a known psychopath is on the loose. You might as well cut to the chase and slit your own throat. Chloe Diaz assumed three things: that when Tal said that she was one of The People sent from heaven to maintain the cosmic balance, it was code for ‘I’m a pamphlet distributing, incense burning, religious weirdo;’ that the gorgeous Seth Wilks would never be her soul mate and that she’d never have to choose between them. Chloe was wrong. Now the future of the world is in her hands, but what if price is too great to pay?



Brief description of the plot:   After a lifetime in the shadow of her sister, Chloe is severely phobic of the chronically cool. Seth is everything she avoids; a pre-med philosophy major who works in a bar, plays in a band and is so good looking that grown women stare at him in the street. But it’s hard to say no to your soul mate. Thinking she’s maxed out her supply of destiny, Chloe settles down to enjoy the happily-ever-after.   Tal says that she’s one of The People sent from heaven to maintain the cosmic balance. Chloe assumes this is code for ‘I’m a pamphlet distributing, incense burning, religious weirdo.’ Actually Tal’s main extracurricular activity is fighting the forces of Oblivion. The People never need to hide what they are because no one ever believes them. Until Chloe does.   Chloe sets out to help Tal and The People as much as she can as an outsider. Seth says as long as no one wears their underpants on the outside Chloe can do what she likes. What he doesn’t say is that he’s also one of The People, although non-practicing. But as the Final Battle draws nearer, Chloe realizes it’s time for Seth to go collect his regulation sword. The only thing standing in his way is her. Seth says he’ll give up his place in heaven to stay with her. Chloe must choose between Seth’s soul and her own happiness.  

My Review:
Initial Thoughts: I honestly didn't think I was going to love this book - like it, sure - love it, didn't see it coming. I really had no idea what to expect with it because it sounded different, but ya know, sometimes different is good and it really worked well with this book. The author built a really unique world albeit strange but it was refreshing to read a book that was original and very well written as well.

The Characters: Chloe is taking summer classes at college in Canada before she even starts her freshman year. In one of her classes, she has a strange study partner (Tal) who acts weird sometimes. During her classes, she meets Seth who happens to be her soul mate. I really love the whole soul mate thing in books and Chloe and Seth were so lovable and funny, their connection felt real.

"You declared your undying love?" I asked suspiciously. He bit his lip and was uncharacteristically unsure of himself. "I might have," he said slowly. "Very undying or just like until you're thirty?"..."Pretty undying, at least until I'm forty."

Seth was a pretty amazing character. He was sweet, funny, understanding, smart, nice and friendly to everyone. And totally in love with Chloe but she's so sweet and strong it's hard not too. But who am I kidding! I'm in love with Seth too after reading this book! My favorite thing about Seth though, besides his love for Chloe, was how funny he was. Sarcastic characters always make stories better.

"I'm just assisting this young lady in finding a taxi," he (Seth) called back. "I don't think you'll find one next to her tonsils."

The Story: As I said above, Chloe is in college and meets Seth. But this is not a story about only college and falling in love. There is so much more than that and I'll be honest, I was quite confused in the beginning. Chloe's strange friend Tal, is part of...not a religion completely...but a way of life. They are the People who fight in The Palace and it's this really complicated system that gets explained much better in the book. But I was so confused to start off because everyone was saying "the People" or "an Other" or "so and so's a serf" and I was thinking "People! please get your crap together cause you're confusing the heck out of me!" Not to mention, I thought the People were kind of rude in the beginning. They sounded very dismissive of Others (which is everyone who is not part of The People) and that bothered me because they are the good guys and everything.

"There's no reason why not. She's an Other; it's not like she's going to start believing us. It might make it harder for him to hear, but I don't think she's a problem." 

They got better(ish) as the story goes on but it's a very complex plot and I wish I could blurt out how everything connects but alas I can't. What I will say is though that Chloe gets pulled into all the mayhem and Palace stuff going on and so does Seth which I'll literally explain in a moment.

The Romance: Let me make this rule very clear, if you are part of the People, you can only date/marry within the People. I want to call BS on this because if it weren't for this rule, everything would be fine and dandy for my sweet Chloe and Seth. Seth is actually part of the People because he was born into it, but his family didn't really take it seriously unlike Tal and her family and friends do. But the rule still applies to him! There is also more behind it that I can't say so that I don't spoil anything...but Chloe and Seth really are soul mates and completely made for each other and this rule literally messes and throws everything out of place! I was crying at the end because everything seemed hopeless and my heart really broke for them!!

End Thoughts: The book ended with so much energy that I am seriously going to read the next book. I was so hooked to the story! It was unique and amazing and I really want to slap all the People and those stupid Guides at the end - they're not really stupid - they were just withholding key information that would have saved so. much. freaking. heartache! I will not forgive those people! Why is information never told in books? It's frustrating! But back to the point, the story was really well done and surprised me a lot. I enjoyed it immensely and really would recommend this book to everyone! 4.5 stars!

Excerpt:
Mrs. Perr stood to see me out, “It was so nice to meet you Chloe. Feel free to stop by again.” Her voice was warm, but I was sure she didn’t mean it.
“Thank you so much for the hospitality. You really saved my life on the bathroom front.”
We were just making our way towards the front door when it opened and through it walked a group of men all wearing suits.
We all froze.
“You’re home early,” Mrs. Perr said brightly.
“A lot of people are on vacation so things moved more quickly,” one of the men explained.
“Who’s this?” a youngish guy asked. He might have been the brother-in-law.
“This is Chloe, Tal’s study partner. She just stopped by for few minutes.”
I would have smiled and made my way towards the door if it wasn’t for the fact that I had lost all control over my body. I just stood there and stared. I didn’t even care if by now they thought I was beyond weird.
Behind each of the men was a large shape of fire and light. I couldn’t actually see them. It was more like my mind told me they were there, without bothering to bypass my eyes. Part of my mind was telling me it wasn’t true, while the other part was just staring at these huge figures radiating splendor. It would be an understatement to say I’d never seen anything like it. I’d never imagined anything like it. I’m not sure if Steven Spielberg has ever imagined anything like it.
Tal was introducing me to her brother and acting like everything was normal. I don’t even think I said hello to him. When I did speak I couldn’t even remember to fake politeness.
“What is that?” I didn’t even blink. I just stood and stared. I might have been in shock.
Tal looked shifty, “That’s my Dad.”
“What’s the problem?” One of Tal’s friends asked the other.
“I think it’s because he’s wearing a hat,” the other replied.
“Who cares about the hat?” The panic was apparent in my voice. I still didn’t take my eyes off them. “Behind him,” I croaked, “Can’t you see them?”
The whole room froze.
“See who?” Tal’s mother asked casually. She’s a good actor, only her eyes betrayed her.
Tal was less cool, “What’s there to see?”
Sweat was pouring down my back, I was about to totally lose my cool. “The giant creatures of light and fire standing behind him.”
“Ahhh, behind all of you!” I leapt back. I wrapped my arms around myself so they wouldn’t see how my hands were shaking. Now even Mrs. Perr was having trouble playing it cool. We all just looked at each other for five horrible seconds.
“It’s the angels,” a voice piped up. Tal’s little niece smiled brightly while her mother clearly considered infanticide.
“The angels?” I wasn’t sure the voice was my own.
A vein on Tal’s left temple was throbbing. “I did tell you,” she said very quickly. “Angels come to our house on the weekend.”
“You didn’t tell me it was fucking TRUE!!” I exploded.
Then clamped one hand to my mouth as I realized I’d just sworn in front of a bunch of religious people and a swarm of angels. I sank into the sofa behind me. I put my head in my hands, but when I looked up they were still there, radiating eternal light.
“It’s supposed to be a metaphor for spending quality family time together, it’s not supposed to be real,” I said half to myself.
Over my head, I felt an exchange of meaningful looks. Someone reached a decision.
For the first time, Mr. Perr spoke, “It’s all true. There really are angels that come to our house, we really live in the Palace, we really defend the world from Oblivion and Disconnection. We are the Servants of He Who Sees All. It’s real.”
I thought, holy crap.
I said, “Oh.”
Then my brain began to function so I added, “So when Tal said you were part of an eternal battle she actually meant that you were, like, part of an eternal battle?”
Cautiously, Tal nodded.
“All those stories are true?” I asked.
Tal nodded again.
“Anything anyone missed?” I asked more brightly than the moment called for.
The blond friend put up her hand, “There really is a force in side of us that drives us away from the true path.”
“You’re actually possessed?”
“A bit. Somewhat. Maybe,” she floundered.
“We prefer to think of it as being provided with daily challenges to become greater,” explained Mr. Perr. He’s slick. I wondered if he was a motivational speaker or a divorce lawyer.
They seemed to be waiting for me to say something.
“How come you guys don’t tell anyone about all of this?”
“We do,” said Tal.
“They just don’t believe us,” the clean cut guy, who I presumed was her brother, explained.
“The angels aren’t a giveaway?”
“Others, people who are not of our kind, can’t usually see them so we tell the whole truth and they don’t believe us.” The brother looked around for encouragement. The others nodded.
“Why can you see them?” The blond friend asked.
I shrugged, “Gifted?”
They all considered it. There may have been another unseen exchange because Mrs. Perr suddenly smiled brightly and asked, “Would you like to stay for dinner?”
Right then, going home to watch X-files re-runs seemed a little lame, so I stayed.


Catherine


Author Catherine Green Catherine Green writes fantasy books featuring religious characters in a brazen attempt to make the people in faith communities seem less weird. She lives with her husband, children and three marginally neglected goldfish. When she's not writing, or pretending to be one of her characters on Facebook, she has been known to cook dinner.
 Cohen on Amazon.co.uk



 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/22/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway     

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