Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Book Review! Lux by Courtney Cole (Spoiler Free!)

Lux (The Nocte Trilogy, #3) by Courtney Cole
Publication Date: October 28th, 2015
Genre: NA, Romance, Mystery, Dark, Contemporary

My name is Calla Price and I’m broken.

My pieces are all around me, floating on the wind, even as I desperately try to grasp them.

Who is dead? Alive? Insane?

What is the truth?

I don’t know.

I do know this: The darkness is strangling me. With every breath, I choke on another lie.

My mind has protected me, but that shield will soon be lowered.

All will be revealed.
Every answer to every question.

It’s all been leading to this.

Don’t be afraid.
Be terrified.

First of all, thank you to Courtney Cole and her publisher for the ARC of my most anticipated release of 2015! I'm so happy to have gotten the chance to read this a little early. Also, side note, this series has the prettiest covers I've ever seen. Underwater images are my FAVOURITE.

My dearest readers,

The poet Dylan Thomas said,

"Do not go gentle in to that good night...
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

My characters are not gentle.
They raged,
And raged.

I haven't been gentle either,
Not with them,
And not with you,
My words have spun you around,
Tilted you until you didn't know which way was up,
Because we're all a little mad, aren't we?

You had to know Calla's head,
You had to be in her shoes,
You had to feel what she felt,
Because it all had to happen in order.

Now you're at the end.
You're faced with the darkness,
With the truth.
It looms ahead of you,
So close you can touch it.

Go ahead.
Reach out with your finger.
Touch it.
Do it.

I dare you.

The worst part is when the screaming stops. Because silence hides an abundance of sins.
Now, these sorts of books are very hard to review. Especially because this is the third book in such a mind bending series. My brain hurts. I genuinely got to the point where I pulled out my journal and started writing stuff down to sort my thoughts out.

The characters truly made this series what it was. The abundance of personalities and flaws and back stories was what captured my attention from the very first page of the very first book.
I'm a contradiction, an endless, endless contradiction.
With sentences just as disjointed as Calla, the overall feeling of the book was mysterious and unknown. The writing really helped me feel how Calla must have felt and I like that we were so involved, so caught up in the character's feelings that we forget our own names.
He's probably no more than twenty or twenty-one, but everything about him screams man. There's no boy in him. That part of him is very clearly gone. I see it in his eyes, in the way he holds himself, in the perceptive way he takes in his surroundings, then stares at me with singular focus, like we're somehow connected by a tether. He's got a million contradictions in his eyes... aloofness, warmth, mystery, charm and something else I can't define.

He's something hopelessly in style, timelessly romantic.
The twist is oh-so-icky, but I'm very happy with it because I never even suspected that. Never did it cross my mind...

The only flaw with this book was how long it took to release. I say this because I had pretty much forgotten what had happened in book 1 and 2 meaning that as I went through Lux  I had to pick moments up again and remember which means I read a little slower than I normally would have.

The ending was something I was worried about. It's normal that I read a suspense/mystery novel and find myself disappointed by the ending because I guessed it too early or it doesn't make any sense. I was surprised by Lux's ending which is a miracle in itself! Not an ending I would have thought up by any means but an ending I'm happy to have waited for.

Courtney Cole's writing will turn you inside out, upside down. Her words will break your heart, put the pieces back together and shatter you once more. She is a master in the mystery genre!

*This book was given to me for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.

She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds.

Courtney was born and raised in rural Kansas, but has since migrated south. She now lives in Florida and writes beneath palm trees.

Learn more about Courtney and her books at

Find her on Facebook at:!/courtneyc...

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Reawakened Secrets Tour! Author Interview with Mari Denae

Reawakened Secrets by Mari Denae
(Reawakened #1)
Publication date: October 26th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Some secrets should never be kept…

Growing up in the servants’ quarters at Haven Hill, Claire Brown was a poor outcast, living in a world of money and privilege. Her only solace was best friend, Alice Sinclair, and secret desire, Jackson Montgomery. Rich and connected, they were perfect in every way and perfect for each other.

Still, Claire was foolish enough to fall in love with Jackson, and desperate enough to hide it. When Alice found out, there was a terrible accident that left her in a coma. Jackson disappeared, leaving New Haven without even saying good-bye.

Ten years later, Claire has managed to build a life without them. So when Jackson calls out of nowhere to say Alice is awake, Claire’s first thought is Thank God. Her second? I’m screwed. Lusting after Jackson destroyed her. It’s nothing compared to what she’s hiding now.

But nothing stays hidden forever.

Reawakened Secrets is part one of Jackson and Claire’s story.

Part 2, Reawakened Sins and Part 3, Reawakened Seduction will be released early next year.  To be the first to get information on deals, teasers, excerpts, bonus scenes and release dates, connect with the author on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.
1. What inspired the story for Reawakened Secrets?
Writing a romance novel is something that I’ve always wanted to do.  After learning how many of the Indie authors I love to read got started, I decided to give it a try.  Apparently, some people can sit down and bang out master piece in a matter of weeks.  Me, nah, I can’t do that.  Then I saw a GQ Cover photo of Robert Pattinson and it was like Jackson Montgomery came alive.  His story became a living, breathing thing inside my head.

2. Who was your favorite character to write about?
Surprisingly, a secondary character, Adam was my favorite to write about.  I initially planned to only have him in one scene in chapter 2, but he kind of took on a life of his own.

3. Were you aware of how Reawakened Secrets would end when you started writing?
I had only a vague idea when I first started writing Reawakened.  The first draft is vastly different from the finished product.  It started off as more YA, but as I became more comfortable with the characters, I was able to incorporate more of the elements I love to read in Adult romance.

4. Do you have any writing rituals?
I like to lay in bed and write on my laptop, usually with a glass of wine, once my kids have gone to bed.

5. Did you always want to write as a child?
Yes, I’ve been writing things for as long as I can remember – poems, short stories.  Reading and writing are my best method of relaxation.

6. Is there a message in Reawakened Secrets that you want the readers to grasp?
The best message in Reawakened is that all of the things you may not like about yourself are exactly what the right person will love most about you.

7. What are your current projects?
I am currently working on the spin-off story called Reawakened Beauty, which is Adam and Alice’s story!  I’m so excited to share my version of Beauty and the Beast and I hope after reading Reawakened Secrets, you will be too.

8. What is the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
I have three tips for aspiring writers:
1. Reading makes you a better writer. 
2. Don’t let insecurity and doubt stop you from writing what you love.
3. Don’t rush it – write, edit, read, wait and then edit again.

9. Do you have a dream cast for any of the characters in Reawakened Secrets?
Here is my dream cast:  
1. Robert Pattinson as Jackson Montgomery: aloof, old money, hot
2. Phoebe Tonkin as Claire Brown:  strong, fiery, sexy
3. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Alice Sinclaire:  beautiful, fragile, rich
4. Scott Eastwood as Dr. Adam Shaw: manly, handsome, damaged

10. What do you think makes a strong female character?
My favorite female characters don’t shy away from their problems.  Even when they’re scared or overwhelmed, they don’t back down from a sexy alpha male, crazy Ex or past trauma.

My name is Mari Denae

I am a married mother of three and publishing my first novel is a dream come true. As the nerd that went to bed with a flash light to read the books I swiped from my mom’s room, I have always been an avid book lover. My favorites are hot, alpha male heroes (think Kristen Ashley), suspenseful, romantic thrillers (think Sandra Brown) and poignant, sweet love stories (think Abbi Glines or Colleen Hoover). My plan was always to be a writer of some sort, but somehow real life responsibilities got in the way. Now, I am an accountant with a night time writing obsession.

One Saturday afternoon, I took my girls to see the latest teenage movie. Four days later, I had read all four Twilight books. I was inspired by the innocent romance and ‘Edward Cullen’ (don’t judge).

Once I found my way to Fifty Shades of Grey, I was a complete goner. All my spare time was spent reading, writing or blogging. After version one million, five hundred and fifty five of my series Reawakened , I’m finally ready to share it and hope that someone enjoys reading the story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. This one’s for my mother. I hope she’s looking down proud because I finally finished what I started.

Facebook ** Twitter ** Website ** Goodreads

Release Day: Castle of Sighs by Jennifer Murgia

Castle of Sighs by Jennifer Murgia
Release Day Celebration October 27th

Castle of Sighs (Forest of Whispers #2)
Jennifer Murgia
Release Date: September 15th, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

In this sequel to FOREST OF WHISPERS, Some secrets cannot be kept—in life or in death. Months have passed since Rune has heard a single whisper from her long-dead mother, the great witch of Bavaria. But the absence of one evil has only made room for another.

After rightfully inheriting her ancestral home, Pyrmont Castle, Rune settles into a quiet life taking care of two orphans left in the wake of the terrible witch hunt that claimed dozens of lives in the nearby village. As the days grow colder, the castle’s secrets beckon and Rune finds herself roaming where no one has set foot in a long time. In the bowels of the fortress is a locked room full of memories that hang like cobwebs—shelves stacked with jars, strange specimens, putrid liquids, and scrolls of spells. Rune is undeniably drawn to what she finds there, and she begins to dabble in the possibilities of magic, hoping to find a cure for the strangeness overwhelming the castle.

As secrets unspool, the delicate thread of Rune’s world is threatened when she realizes the key may lie in the dark forest she once called home and the boy she thought she knew.


"Murgia’s dual narration makes this historical fantasy a compelling read. The plot-driven text quickly moves the story forward, and the vivid descriptions of 17th-century southwestern Germany pull readers in . . .  the pacing and narrative are absorbing. A solid novel for fans of historical fantasy that are looking for a fast-paced, action-filled tale." ~ SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

"A story of magick and discovery." -- Readers' Favorite: Five-Star review for FOREST OF WHISPERS

"FOREST OF WHISPERS drew me in from the very first page! Rune is a capable and empathetic heroine who had me rooting for her from the start. Fans of witch and rune-lore will enjoy this darkly woven tale." ~Amalie Howard, author of critically acclaimed Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kids' INDIE NEXT title.

"NOT your average teenage witch! Jennifer Murgia's FOREST OF WHISPERS is a dark, brooding mystery/thriller that captures the paranoid, plague-driven frenzy of 17th Century Europe with the speed and power of a galloping stallion. Rune, a 16-year old with formidable abilities that she herself can barely understand, must fight her own inner demons as well as what seems to be a whole world gone awry with bloodlust for her kind. This is a thrilling read." ~ Molly Cochran, author of LEGACY & POISON


Jennifer Murgia writes moody fiction for teens—from paranormal fantasy (Angel Star, Lemniscate, The Bliss), to contemporary gut-punchers (Between These Lines). Her latest, Forest of Whispers, a 17th century historical mystery (about witches!) was a School Library Journal Fall 2014 HOT TITLE, and a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Literature Award Winner. Look for the sequel,​Castle of Sighs, to hit shelves 9.15.15 from Spencer Hill Press. In 2012, Jennifer Co-Founded YA FEST with YA author/friend, Cyn Balog. She coordinates this unique annual festival, bringing teens and fellow Young Adult authors together at her hometown library in Easton, PA.

 1 Winner will get a key necklace and special spell kit (US Only)


Book Spotlight: The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey

The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey
Release Date: November 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Who holds your secrets?

Allie is devastated when her older sister commits suicide- and it’s not just because she missed her. Allie feels betrayed. The two made a pact that they’d always be together, in life and in death, but Leah broke her promise and Allie needs to know why.

Her parents hover. Her friends try to support her. And Nick, sweet Nick, keeps calling and flirting. Their sympathy only intensifies her grief.

But the more she clings to Leah, the more secrets surface. Allie’s not sur which is more distressing: discovering the truth behind her sister’s death or facing her new reality without her.

I'm SO glad I got to have the opportunity to share this book to all of you guys. I'm extremely excited for this book and I hope you guys are as well. c:

I, personally have a thing for stories that involve sisters. I don't know what about it that I like (maybe because I kind of secretly always wanted a sister? Maybe...) but I've rarely found a book with the subject that I didn't like. I'm really interested in this book.

If you're interested in the premises as well, but are a bit on the fence about it, I got a short excerpt for you. Check it out!

Excerpt from The Sister Pact:

Liquid inspiration from the Nyquil bottle makes me feel like I should paint something for Leah. Let her know I get it now. Maybe I didn’t always when she was alive. Maybe I didn’t listen when she tried to tell me things.
I open the door and look out into the hallway. Lights off, TV on downstairs. Mom’s check-out gives me the clear shot I need. In the garage I find the white paint from the trim in my room and the tools and brushes. Everything seems really clear right now. And brilliant. I feel sort of brilliant. Like every part of my brain is working.
Back in my room I shake the can of paint and open it with a screwdriver and hammer, trying hard not to spill it on my hardwood floors. Too late.
My curtains are in the way, so I rip them off the rod. I have to stand on my window bench to reach as high as I need. I start to paint, not knowing what I’m doing until the image forms on the wall, like magic. By the time I’ve painted the point of convergence on my window where the pink diamond goes, I recognize it. I painted it like it was burned into my brain. But I guess I knew all the time even as it materialized. I’ve made Leah’s ring.
I sit back and admire my work. I hope wherever she is, she sees this and knows I’m sorry. A shooting pain goes through my head and my eyes try to adjust to the blinding light the sun throws as it sets. Spiky rays of light come from the sunburst that flashes through my painting, making it seem like it’s alive.
I blink away the brightness and try to let my eyes settle. When I open them again I’m confused. Because I see Leah standing there. Really standing there. I steady my gaze and look again. I’m not imagining it. She’s there, surrounded by light, kind of outlined in it. Like one of my rendering sketches.
I want to reach for her, ask her if she’s really here, but when I blink again, her image disappears and I know it’s just my guilt and my need that’s bringing her to me. Even if she can’t stay.
I close up the paint cans and take them and the medicine bottle downstairs. The paint and tools go back into the garage and the brush gets washed in the sink and left to dry on a bottom shelf of the garage. I turn the water on in the sink and run my hand over its stainless steel surface, careful to wash all the remnants of my painting party down the drain. Finally I wrap the medicine bottle in newspaper and push it to the bottom of the trashcan, making certain that it’s completely covered. One thing Leah taught me was how to hide your party.
When I’m done, I walk back up to my bathroom, and brush my teeth, trying not to look in the mirror too long. As if my crazy would show somehow. I crawl into bed, setting my alarm for the morning. First day of school. I put my hands together in the prayer position and put them under my cheek.
I think about what I just did and try not to worry about what it means. It’s too much allows the headache to creep back in, crouching and ready to spring. I’ll close my eyes and go to sleep, and hope that tomorrow will be okay. I know it’s not what I should be doing. I know I’m copping out, but I can’t help it.
            I’m living my life in tiny squares. Checker board moves. I go forward. I go backward. I jump. Each play means something. Each turn matters. The most important thing is to keep moving. To not get jumped. Sometimes a little Nyquil helps that. They don’t call it medicine for nothing.

So... what did you think? If you find it interested, and want to read more, you can pre-order it at these links right here:

About the Author:

Stacie Ramey learned to read at a very early age to escape the endless tormenting from her older siblings. She attended the University of Florida where she majored in communication sciences and Penn State where she received a Master of Science in Speech Pathology. When she’s not writing, she engages in Netflix wars with her children or beats her husband in Scrabble. She lives in Florida with her husband, three children, and two rescue dogs.

Don't forget to enter the [Rafflecopter giveaway], starting 10/1 through 11/30!
US and Canada only - sorry! ):

Monday, 26 October 2015

Book Review: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Dark Heart of Magic (Black Blade #2) by Jennifer Estep
Format: eARC from NetGalley
Release Date: October 27th, 2015

Something Wicked This Way Comes...

As a thief, I stick to the shadows as much as possible. But when the head of the Sinclair Family picks me to compete in the Tournament of Blades, there's no escaping the spotlight—or the danger.

Even though he's my competition, Devon Sinclair thinks I have the best shot at winning what's supposed to be a friendly contest. But when the competitors start having mysterious "accidents," it looks like someone will do anything to win—no matter who they hurt.

As if I didn't have enough to worry about, mobster Victor Draconi is plotting against Devon and the rest of my friends, and someone's going around Cloudburst Falls murdering monsters. One thing's for sure. Sometimes, humans can be more monstrous than anything else...

 I am a HUGE fan of Jennifer Estep's books. I've managed to read all of her Mythos Academy books (save for her ebooks... I've yet to get to them, so shhhhhh) and I loved them all. When I found out she was starting a new series, I jumped right on it. Right when I got my hands on Cold Burn of Magic, I discovered the second book has been released onto Netgalley so naturally... I requested it and then proceeded to read the first book immediately. I fell in love with the first book. The second one... not as much...

It starts off promising: the Tournament of Blades is about to start. With everything that's going on, it barely registers in Lila's mind until someone in the family brings it up. She becomes excited to be a spectator in this event... until she discovers that the Sinclair family actually chose her as one of the very few to participate in the tournament for her skills. She's surprised, but then slowly accepts the reality of things. After all, with her memories that she held of the competition sight seeing with her mother, it could be fun. She might not win but at least she'd enjoy herself. Right?

From there, though, it starts to go downhill...

One of the things I found quiet annoying was how long Lila spent in the Draconi's mansion. Her plan was to find secrets that she needs, once her and her family discovers that these mysterious 'accidents' couldn't just be so, to prove that it could be them. Alright, you see... I kind of estimate the time spent in one situation by pages (or, in this case, ebook pages) and it just seems like a lot of pages was put in with her exploring the manor, finding hidden doors, hiding, getting caught by someone in her family, discussion on how they shouldn't get caught and yet stay around for another five minutes. It got me incredibly irritated. It almost even overshadowed the event itself. Well, I could be exaggerating a little bit..

The point is - despite knowing just how much danger Lila was in, she doesn't really make much of an effort to leave until she almost finds herself caught by Victor Draconi himself. Even more so even she goes back again (although, in that defense, there was an even better reason for it and she actually had a plan and backup... so it made a bit more sense).

But the worst offense... the worst of it is at the end and I can't even talk about it. It's too spoilery but I just...

The best way I can put it, without ruining anything, was that it felt plain lazy. I know it's an urban fantasy book and stuff but, still, it has it limits and I had a hard time believing it. Even now, after a month of my reading this book, I just... *rams head into desk several times out of irritation*





*looooooong sigh*

The characters are still wonderful, though. They still held the same spark from the first book and they're just as loveable - or, in some cases, not so loveable. The characters still hold up on their own and I actually ended up falling in love with a couple of them. Definitely a character driven book.

The story itself, though... I was fairly disappointed. I might be biased with all the high expectations I normally set for book series I love. I still recommend the book but it's definitely not my favorite part of the series. It's still a necessary read if you want to learn more about Lila and her past but part of me still kind of felt like it was almost like a filler. I don't even recall there being a point to the tournament or why it was even created. I don't know. >: I'd love to know why it exists though.

Overall - I'd still read it. I really hope the third book is much much better though.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Underneath Everything Blog Tour! Author Interview + Giveaway

Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: October 27th 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, GLBT, Realistic Fiction
Mattie shouldn’t be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason.

But now Mattie is a senior, and she’s sick of missing things. So here she is.

And there’s Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know; she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.

But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can’t figure out where Jolene ends and she begins.

Because there’s something Mattie hasn’t told anyone—she walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left.

Poignant and provocative, Marcy Beller Paul’s debut novel tells the story of an intoxicating—and toxic—relationship that blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy, love and loyalty, friendship and obsession.
Tell us a little bit about Underneath Everything.

UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING is the story of two girls bound by an obsessive friendship.

What was the last book you read and loved?

This is like choosing between children. I love so many books! A debut I loved this year that came out a few weeks ago is Kate Scelsa’s FANS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE LIFE. Multiple points of view, beautiful language, diverse characters, unique story. A published author who blew me away this year is Laura Ruby. I’m still not over BONE GAP. The setting! The writing! The characters! The plot! BONE GAP is magical realism at its best.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Take care of my kids! That’s my first job. You can usually find me at school pick up or drop off, or driving to ballet/soccer/scouts/hockey. I get my writing in whenever I can around their schedules.

Who was your favorite character to write about in Underneath Everything?

Another impossible question! I love all of my characters, of course, but Jolene was the most challenging, which made her the most interesting to write. Stepping into a mind like hers was both scary and fascinating.

What is your favorite place to write?

On my deck, on a beautiful fall day.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

Yes. I had a toxic friendship when I was in middle school and high school, which is why I felt like I needed to write this book. In my first draft Jolene was actually a secondary character, but when I reread the manuscript and reached a scene between Jolene and Mattie, I realized it was their story I wanted to tell. Because in all the years since I escaped my own toxic friendship, I’ve always wanted to know why: Why did she do what she did? Why did I let her? This book is about a character trying to figure that out. The specific things that Jolene and Mattie do in this book are not things I experienced, and the conclusions Mattie comes to about what happened are not mine, but that type of relationship is something I lived through.

If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

More for my kids! I would have a clean house and participate in bake sales and volunteer more. Instead I write books J  If I had more free time I would play tennis every day and take up horseback riding again.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on two different young adult projects right now, both with female protagonists. They are not related to UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING except in tone—both are dark and pretty intense.

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Follow the Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Marcy Beller Paul is a young adult author, former editor, and full-time mom who still has all the notes she passed in seventh grade (and knows how to fold them).

She graduated from Harvard University and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children. Underneath Everything will be published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins, in Fall 2015. It is her first novel.