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Sheila's bookshelf: read

What Would the Founding Fathers Think: A Young American's guide to understanding the mess our country is in and how we get out
Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel
Captive Heart
Cobble Cavern
Caller ID
Promises
Protected,
Summer of Secrets
On Little Wings
We Lived in Heaven: Spiritual Accounts of Souls Coming to Earth
Christ's gifts to women
A Woman's power: threads that bind us to god
Scary School
Hope's journey
Blue
Targets in Ties
Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island
Venom
With a Name like Love
Sean Griswold's head


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Friday, May 23, 2014

What is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore-Blog Tour Review







Product Details

  • Title: What is Hidden
  • Author: Lauren Skidmore
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (May 13, 2014)
  • Genre: YA Fantasy/Romance
  • ISBN-10: 1462114296
  • FTC, FYI: Received a review PDF in exchange for an honest review. 
  • Buy the BookAdd to Goodreads








Book Description:

In a land of masquerades and mystery, Evie is a mask maker in Venesia, where masks represent rank and identity. When a cryptic bandit strips away Evie’s mask and destroys her home, she goes into hiding at the palace to find both a new identity—and revenge. Fantasy lovers will be caught up by the mystique, romance, and magic of What Is Hidden.

Excerpt from What is Hidden:

Stripped of her mask, identity, and home, mask maker Evie finds herself alone and desperate. Already rejected by her neighboring doctor and fearing rejection from her best friend Aiden, she searches for a way to protect herself and wonders if the servant mask she received from her friend Iniga could be the start of her new life.
The ties were nearly torn clean off, and the lining was all but gone. Otherwise, it looked pretty good. I could work with that. The ribbons were still in good shape; they just needed to be resewn into the lining. Thankfully there was enough of that along the edges that I could rig it to work.
And while a palace servant would want the most comfortable mask available, I could not afford to be so picky, so the current lining would have to do.
After studying the mask for a long moment, I shoved it back in my bag. I would have to be crazy to even think of wearing the mask myself. I would be no better than the Chameleon.
And yet . . .
It wasn’t like I’d stolen it. Iniga gave it to me, and it had been given to her. She wouldn’t be in any trouble.
And I wasn’t stealing anyone’s identity in particular . . . just an anonymous scullery maid or laundress or something.
It could work.
It was insane, but it could work.
Finishing my scanty meal, I pulled myself to my feet, brushing off my skirts. I frowned—I would need better clothes if I were to pass as a palace servant.
Maybe if I could just get in there, I could grab some clothes as well.
A twinge of remorse pricked in my gut. It was so easy to fall back on theft when I had nothing else.
But I couldn’t ask anyone for help. Iniga would be risking her position if she snuck me in, and I didn’t want to rely on her charity when I could fend for myself.
As for Aiden, I had hoped to see him when I’d gone back to my home, but he was nowhere to be found, and I didn’t know where to look for him. Besides, he wouldn’t be able to do anything for me that I couldn’t do myself.
And it would kill me if he looked at me the way Dr. Vito did.
As the doctor’s face flashed across my memory, I made my decision.
I would hide, and I would fend for myself, and I would do it on my own.

My Review: 
I love the feeling of becoming lost in a new world. What is Hidden will pull you in from the first chapter. This wonderful world of Venesia, is similar to Venice, Italy. The author sketches with beautiful descriptions the city, the palace full of nobles and royalty, glamorous dresses worn at the balls, and the very fashionable masks. The masks are symbols of class and status in this land. Tragedy befalls main character Evie at the beginning taking away her father and their livelihood of mask making. This heroine doesn't stop to cower and feel sorry for herself. She picks up the pieces of her life and sets out to enact revenge on the man known as, The Chameleon, who destroyed her home, killed her father and marked her. 

My favorite parts of this novel are when Evie is with her best friend Aiden. He is a kind and chivalrous noble who has befriended Evie. Aiden is full of mystery, but I figured out early on his true identity. This didn't take away at all from the story. It just made me cheer him on and his plans for Evie. The witty and humorous dialogue between them adds spice and vitality to the novel.

 Though the cover says this is a "Cinderella Tale", I wouldn't classify it as a re-telling of the old fairytale. This story is so unique, that the faint parallels are only there in the background. Readers will be caught up in the storyline of Evie, Aiden and the Chameleon. I was also fascinated as Evie demonstrated her artisan skills of mask-making. Speaking of masks, the front cover of the elegant woman in a green mask, is just breathtaking! That alone will make you want to pick up this novel. 

This novel is clean, and a refreshing twist on a fairytale world of Princes, Castles and balls. The mystery may be solved easily by some, but the pull of Evie and Aiden working together and their changing feelings, will keep you reading quickly. I was so happy to find out that there is another book in this series to be coming soon. I recommend this 5-star book to teens and adults.



Meet Author Lauren Skidmore:

Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and traveling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.





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