Category Archives: paranormal

Blog Tour: Mark of the Wicked by Georgia Bowers

Mark of the Wicked
Georgia Bowers
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: August 10th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

A young witch tries to unravel the mystery of who is framing her for dark magic in Georgia Bowers’ creepy YA debut fantasy, Mark of the Wicked.

Magic always leaves its mark.

All her life, Matilda has been told one thing about her magic: You use only when necessary. But Matilda isn’t interested in being a good witch. She wants revenge and popularity, and to live her life free of consequences, free of the scars that dark magic leaves on her face as a reminder of her misdeeds.

When a spell goes awry and the new boy at school catches her in the act, Matilda thinks her secret might be out. But far from being afraid, Oliver already knows about her magic – and he wants to learn more. As Oliver and Matilda grow closer, bizarre things begin to happen: Animals show up with their throats slashed and odd markings carved into their bodies, a young girl dies mysteriously, and everyone blames Matilda. But she isn’t responsible — at least, not that she can remember. As her magic begins to spin out of control, Matilda must decide for herself what makes a good witch, and discover the truth…before anyone else turns up dead.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

The cover is sooo beautifully creepy! The description of the book promises a deliciously dark tale and it has definitely delivered.

Set in a small town infamously known for a witch they murdered in the past, the protagonist, Matilda, is an angry teen. Her father left, her mother distant, she lost her best friend, she has nothing left but petty vengeance. For this she employs her magic even if it also threatens to destroy her & her future. Until one day when a boy catches her in the act and expresses his interest in magic.

I found Matilda really hard to like but then again, I usually struggle with angry protagonists. And then I’ve also a suspicious nature so from quite early on, I knew that someone is just being too nice so I can’t say that I’m surprised with the way things turned out. However, I do love the ending which was so very both dark and empowering.

Despite my struggle with the anger permeating through the story, this was a very fast read. It feels a bit like a psychological thriller with paranormal bent. Mark of the Wicked is a story of redemption; of facing the truth, accepting consequences of your actions, and finally of reaching for the courage to change.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

GIVEAWAY (INT)

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter for a print copy of this book (ends Aug-19)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Georgia Bowers lives in Bedford, a small market town in England. When it was time to decide what to do with her life, she was obsessed with two things: books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It seemed sensible to follow in the brogued footsteps of Rupert Giles, so she became a librarian, though sadly not the demon fighting kind. But there’s still time.

Ever since her mum told her that witches used to meet in the woods near their village, she’s been obsessed with witchcraft and the paranormal. When she was a teenager, a weekly habit of Point Horrors satisfied her thirst for chilling tales before she moved on to reading Stephen King. These days she likes to give her nerves a break every now and then with a good YA romance.

After completing a course in writing YA fiction she was a winner in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Undiscovered Voices. Since then she has dabbled with stories of chosen ones and ghostly best friends until she conjured up the magical ingredients for her debut novel, Mark Of The Wicked.

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Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout -a review

grace and gloryGrace and Glory (The Harbinger #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Danger, betrayal, and enticing forbidden love clash in book three of No.1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Harbinger trilogy!

Danger, betrayal, and enticing forbidden love clash in book three of No.1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Harbinger trilogy!

Trinity Marrow has lost the battle and her beloved Protector. Even with both demons and Wardens on her side, Trin may not win the war against the Harbinger.

Bringing Lucifer back to the world to fight the Harbinger is probably a really, really bad idea, but they’re out of options — and the world’s ultimate fallen angel is the only being powerful enough to impact the outcome.

As Trin and Zayne form a new and more dangerous bond and Lucifer unleashes Hell on earth, the apocalypse looms and the world teeters on the end of forever. Win or lose, one thing is certain — nothing will ever be the same.

Published 7 July 2021|  Publisher: Harlequin Australia  |  RRP: AUD$19.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

This is a review of book 3 in the trilogy, you can find review of book 1, here, and book 2, here.

The one thing I loved about reading this trilogy books back to back is that each sequel picks up right after the previous book so it kind of feels like reading 1 BIG long book. If I had to wait a year in between books, I think I may have struggled trying to pick up the threads again. On another note, that means the end of Trinity & Zayne story arc and who knows whether author will return to this universe though I think there is a potential story there… or two.

I picked up Grace and Glory immediately after I finished Rage and Ruin because I couldn’t handle waiting another moment after that ending. And before I know it, I’ve read 100+ pages and it’s hours past my bedtime but I just couldn’t put it down without knowing what happens to Zayne! Well, actually I was a bit annoyed that it dragged that long to get to the point but I guess it’s worth the fight 😉

This maybe only a me thing because I’m going to complain about the many sex scenes…? I think one or two would be great but after that, I feel a little overboard and a waste of pages because I just want to get on with the story. Or maybe I’m just getting a little old and cynical or possibly because my life and world isn’t about to end (well, at least, not as immediately threatened as theirs), I don’t feel the same urgency or need as them. In any case, I kind of skim through on some parts because I just wanted to get to the end game. There were many lovey dovey moments in this book so if you’re looking for a romantic read, you’d love it, but to me, it just slows the pacing of plot right down.

While I found Trinity annoying, I liked how author has given her a particular disability which author has. It is a good way to learn what it is about, how she works through that, and especially sweet that Zayne is so considerate when interacting with her.

I’m still not a fan on the angel paranomal reads but I do love this gargoyle shifter factor! I’d consider reading any spin-off but I’m not going back to read about Layla & Roth because hey, I already know that ending. I do love the ending of this novel though especially the big twist on Peanut! Man, I think he’s possibly the best character in this trilogy. I think author’s terribly good at mind boggling twists; I found them cleverly placed in the story.

Overall, The Harbinger trilogy is an easy entertaining read (especially in this lockdown season!). It’s got me turning pages as plot unfolds in unexpected twists and turns, laughing at the 80’s references and getting teary at different points.

My thanks to Harlequin Australia for this paperback copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  facebook   |  twitter  | instagram

Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout -a review

storm and furyStorm and Fury (The Harbinger #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

From the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of the fantastical Dark Elements series comes a new novel set in a world of gargoyle protectors, rising demons and one girl with an explosive secret.

Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens – gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.

When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again – but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…

Published 17 June 2019|  Publisher: Harlequin Australia  |  RRP: AUD$19.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  Booktopia |  A&R  |  Abbey’s  | QBD

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

Before I started reading this novel, I didn’t realise that this trilogy is actually a spin-off of author’s earlier trilogy, The Dark Elements, of which I’ve only read book 1. I’m not particularly fond of paranormal novels featuring angels and/or demons but what I found interesting in these trilogies are the twist on gargoyles being shape-shifter protectors of humankind. Oh, and of course, usually they’re pretty hot in human form 😜

In Storm and Fury, we meet Trinity. She’s rather special and have lived in a very protected & protective remote community of Wardens (what those gargoyle protectors are called). Her time of hiding is running out though as for somehow, someone found out and she is wanted for some nefarious reason or another. Her bonded guardian was kidnapped and she has to place her trust in another Warden from another clan, Zayne (him from The Dark Elements trilogy). Sparks flew, complications arose, twists abound, and a broken ending promising more doom in sequel.

I wasn’t really that keen on Trinity as a character to begin with but I do like Zayne very much 😬 Understandably, Trinity’s sheltered life made sure that she’s rather innocent and yet, this naivety sometimes makes me want to shake her. Zayne has his own set of baggage, if you’ve read The Dark Elements. Though if you’re like me, it’s not necessary to have read that earlier trilogy as whatever you need to know is told to you in this novel. This also means that I’ll probably never read the rest of The Dark Elements.

Storm and Fury is straight out YA paranormal romance. It’s fluff for a grey day with sparky snarky dialogs between romantic protags and a fast paced twisty plot that makes the day go quickly by.

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  facebook   |  twitter  | instagram

Review: Of Wicked Blood by Olivia Wildenstein & Katie Hayoz

Of Wicked Blood (The Quatrefoil Chronicles #1) by Olivia Wildenstein & Katie Hayoz

NO REST FOR THE WICKED . . . OR THE CURSED.

SLATE
I didn’t mean to steal the Bloodstone from the De Morel’s crypt.
Scratch that, I did mean to steal it.
Until I realized it was a curse-magnet that only comes off if I, along with a jolly trio, successfully defeat four curses. If any of us fail, I’m dead. I’ve never been a glass half-empty sort of person, but my glass looks in dire need of a refill right about now.
The only highlight of this wicked treasure hunt: feisty, entitled Cadence de Morel.

CADENCE
I was raised on tales of magic, in a small town reputed to be the birthplace of French witchcraft.
Did I believe all the stories I heard? Absolutely not. I mean, if magic existed, Maman wouldn’t have died, and Papa wouldn’t be stuck in a wheelchair, right?
Wrong.
The night Slate Ardoin waltzes into my life, wearing a ring he stole from my mother’s grave, I call him a monster. But then I meet real ones, and Slate, well . . . he becomes something else to me.
Something frustrating to live with but impossible to live without.
Something I will fight for, no matter the cost.

*Warning: profuse cursing (and not just the magical kind).

Published 2 February 2021|  Publisher: Twig Publishing

My Blurb (2.5 / 5 stars)

I must admit I do like that cover but not sure if I like the description enough to pick this up for a read. The main reason was that I was curious about netgalley app for audiobook and this one was the only ‘Listen Now’ that I found remotely interesting. So I decided to give this audiobook a listen.

There are 2 POVs as noted in the book description, Slate & Cadence. I think it’s also obvious from the description that these 2 are going to butt heads in more than 1 way. Whilst I do like their characters (they are easily likeable), the back and forth in the romance was a little too much for me and then, there is that whiff/hint of a triangle. If you know me, you’d know this little bit would’ve been enough to turn me off. Sorry… this is not a book for me and this is all me. I did however liked the whole mystery & quest for the quatrefoil and there are hints of darker acts at the end of this audiobook. However, I’m not sure if I’m curious enough to follow up with the sequel.

With 2 POVs, there are 2 narrators. Whilst I liked both voices, I found their disparate pacing to be off putting. If you listen to a lot of audiobooks like I do, I think you’d know that you really do need that consistent pacing through one a book or you’d have to readjust your listening each time and that’s what I had to do for each alternate chapters. 

Oh, and that ‘profuse cursing’ warning is to be taken seriously. I would usually listen to my audiobooks in the car while driving my kids places and I really couldn’t with this audiobook; not even for the 5 minutes’ drive to school.

Thank you Twig Publishing via Netgalley for the audio copy of this book in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  instagram

Find author on:  goodreads  |  website  |  twitter  |  instagram  |  facebook  |  pinterest

 

Blog Tour: Between Wild and Ruin by Jennifer G. Edelson + Giveaway (INT)

Between Wild and Ruin
Jennifer G. Edelson
Publication date: September 28th 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Truth, like love, isn’t always obvious.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby Brooks has never had a boyfriend. After moving to small-town La Luna, New Mexico following her mother’s untimely death, boys aren’t even on her radar. Ruby just wants to forget the last horrible year and blend in. But when she discovers an ancient pueblo ruin hidden in the forest behind her house, and meets Ezra, a bitter recluse whose once-perfect face was destroyed in an accident he won’t talk about; Angel, the town’s handsome sheriff’s deputy, and Leo, a stranger who only appears in the forest, Ruby finds herself caught between love, mystery, and other worlds. What happened to Ezra’s face? And why is she so attracted to the one boy in town everyone despises? As Ruby unravels her own powerful connections to both Ezra and the pueblo ruin, she’ll learn surfaces are deceiving. Especially in the heart of New Mexico, where ghosts and legends aren’t always just campfire stories.

Goodreads / Amazon

My Blurb (3 / 5 stars)

The novel opens with Ruby Brooks arriving in her new home in a little town in New Mexico. After losing her mother, she and her aunt, Libby, are wanting a change and/or a new start. Ruby doesn’t believe she’s beautiful and she’s built walls around her heart because of something in her past. There’s something in this place though and especially, with Ezra that she begins to hope things could be different here.

I don’t like love triangle or quadrangle or whatever and for some parts of the novel, it just felt like that’s what’s happening. This made it slightly harder for me to read this story. What was interesting though is the history of this place/setting; I don’t know how much of it is real or what inspired the author but it was certainly impressively detailed. In the end, I felt Between Wild & Ruin to be somewhat of a mix of Beauty & the Beast and certain conspiracy theory (I’m being vague because spoilers…). This is the first book of a series and it did feel like such; a lot of setting up which made it felt quite long to read.

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

GIVEAWAY

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter for a $20 Amazon gift card (ends Sep-17)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Jennifer G. Edelson is a writer, trained artist, former attorney, pizza lover, and hard-core Bollywood fan. She has a BFA in Sculpture and a J.D. in law, and has taught both creative writing and legal research and writing at several fine institutions, including the University of Minnesota. Originally a California native, she currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband, kids, and dog, Hubble after surviving twenty-plus years in the Minnesota tundra (but still considers Los Angeles, the Twin Cities, and Santa Fe all home). Other than writing, Jennifer loves hiking, traveling, Albert Camus, Dr. Seuss, dark chocolate, drinking copious amounts of coffee, exploring mysterious places, and meeting new people–if you’re human (or otherwise), odds are she’ll probably love you.

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Blog Tour: The Dark In-Between by Elizabeth Hrib + Giveaway (INT)

The Dark In-Between
Elizabeth Hrib
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 5th 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Action-packed and emotionally powerful like big- and small-screen hits such as The Sixth Sense and Supernatural, The Dark In-Between by Elizabeth Hrib is sure to stay with you long after the lights go out.

Something lurks in the shadows between life and death.

A terrible accident brings sixteen-year-old Casey Everett’s life to a halt—literally. Pulled from the water, Casey is rushed to the hospital and miraculously revived. But her sudden return to the living is shadowed by the drowning of her best friend, Liddy.

Overcome with grief, Casey returns home for the summer only to find the memories of the accident won’t let her go. Shadow-drenched nightmares. Whispers in the back of her mind. Her friend’s screams. Casey thinks she’s losing it… until she watches a boy fall from the sky.

Red—an angel fallen to earth to regain his wings—takes her to Limbo, a place that exists somewhere between the living and the dead. Now, in order to save her best friend, Casey must learn to walk these mysterious and dangerous paths or else risk losing Liddy’s trapped soul to something worse than death.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

The Dark In-Between is a fast & easy read. It was easy to get into and time really did fly when I was reading this; did not realise it was past midnight by the time I was finished!

The opening scene is a beautiful summer’s day and 2 best friends were having the best of time on water until tragedy struck. Unfortunately, one of them dies and the other had to face life without her. Casey Everett lost her parents some time ago and now, she lost her BFF, Liddy; it feels like no one is safe around her. She also could not stop dreaming of Liddy but unbeknown to her, it is actually Liddy’s soul calling out to her for help. Then comes Red, the fallen angel, her guardian to point the way to the in-between.

Fallen angels. I’m not a fan of this trope but I didn’t particularly mind it too much here. Red provides much wisdom and the dynamics between him and Evan, Casey’s other best friend, is all hilarity. I loved the interaction between Evan an Casey too as they explore the possibility of going from best friend to maybe something more; it was very sweet.

Overall, I enjoyed The Dark In-Between more as a fluffy comfort read. It was just really easy to read and follow and that action at the end was just fantastic. I do have one question which makes me question that even as the book feels like it’s supposed to be a stand alone but that little ‘question’ was left in case of the possibility of a sequel. I’d like to see what that’d be.

Thank you Swoon Reads and Xpresso Book Tours for including me in this blog tour & ecopy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

GIVEAWAY (International)

Follow below Rafflecopter link to enter to win a print copy of The Dark In-Between

(ends May-14)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author

Elizabeth Hrib was born and raised in London, Ontario where she studied nursing at Western University. She now calls the East Coast home, where she works as a nurse in Halifax. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found at the piano, planning her next Netflix binge, or attempting to keep her small, windowsill garden alive.

Find author on: Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Twitter

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Review: Into the Mists by Serene Conneeley

Into the Mists (Into the Mists #1) by Serene Conneeley

Enter the swirling mists of an enchanted land, and open your heart to the mystery...

Carlie has the perfect life. A wonderful family and a best friend she adores. A house by the beach so she can go surfing after school. A clever, rational mind and big dreams of becoming a lawyer. A future she’s excited about and can’t wait to begin.

But in a split second her perfect life shatters, and she is sent to the other side of the world to live with a stranger. In this mystical, mist-drenched new land, she is faced with a mystery that will make her question everything she’s ever known about her parents, her life and her very self. A dark secret that made her mother run away from home as a teenager. An old family friend who is not what he seems. A woman in blue who she’s not convinced is real. A shadowy black cat that she’d swear is reading her mind. A deserted old cottage she can’t always find. And a circle of wild-haired witches who want her to join their ranks.

Will she have the courage to journey into the mists, and into her own heart, to discover the truth? And can she somehow weave together a life that she’ll want to live – or will she give up and allow despair to sweep her away from the world forever?

Published 19 May 2013 |  Publisher: Serene Conneeley/Blessed Bee |  RRP: AUD$4.99 

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N Nook | iBooks  |  kobo  

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I met the author, Serene, at a bookclub meeting through Read3r’z Re-Vu and what really appealed to me was Serene’s own loveliness and the book covers. I thought the description was decent but didn’t particularly appeal to my reading taste.

It was a struggle to get through the first half of the book because it was just so choked full of grief that I could only read a small portion at a time. It should be acknowledged that the author has written it well if it could affect me in such terrible ways. However, I did persevere as I was assured of better things to come.

To be honest, I expected this to be more of a fairy story but if it was supposed to be so, that’s definitely not what I got in this first book. What I did get, however, is some education about paganism. The book lost me a bit here as I must confess that I have no interest whatsoever in paganism and at some parts, I felt that it dwelt a bit too much into theories behind it. However, I think for someone who loves paganism or even if curious, this may be something they’d love to read. They are lovely theories but they’re just not for me.

There was one particular part that I really really liked, and without telling too much, it explored a ‘what-if’ for the protagonist. What I really liked was the way the story was written; I just love this type of story (and I can’t tell you or it would spoiled). And at the end, the book raised quite a few more questions that I’d like to find the answer to so I think I’d try the rest of the trilogy and hope for more ‘what-if’.

Thanks to the author, Serene Conneeley, for copy of book in exchange of honest review. 

About the author

Serene Conneeley is an Australian writer with a fascination for history, travel, ritual and the myth and magic of ancient places and cultures. She’s written for magazines about news, travel, health, spirituality, entertainment and social and environmental issues, is editor of several preschool  magazines, and has contributed to international books on history, witchcraft, psychic development and personal transformation.

She is the author of the non-fiction books Seven Sacred Sites, A Magical Journey, The Book of Faery Magic, Mermaid Magic, Witchy Magic and Into the Mists: A Journal, and creator of the meditation CD Sacred Journey. The Into the Mists Trilogy was her first adventure into fiction, and she is currently finishing three Into the Mists Chronicles.

Serene is a reconnective healing practitioner, and has studied medicinal and magical herbalism, bereavement counselling, reiki and many other healing modalities, plus politics and journalism. She loves reading, rainbows, drinking tea with her friends, and celebrating the energy of the moon and the magic of the earth. Her pagan heart blossomed as she climbed mountains, danced in stone circles, trekked along pilgrimage paths, wandered through ancient cathedrals and stood in the shadow of the pyramids on her travels, and she’s also learned the magic of finding true happiness and peace at home.

Find Serene on:  website  |  goodreads  |  facebook   |  instagram

Come back tomorrow for Q&A with Serene! 😀

Blog Tour: It Came From The Deep by Maria Lewis

I’m so excited to hear about Maria Lewis’ new upcoming release, It Came From The Deep. It’s YA. It’s all about fantastic sea creatures… I’ve asked Maria to share with us her 4 favourite fiction involving sea creatures and I have to say they all sound amazing (I read only 1 – the fourth one). Have you read any of them? If not, well, you can read one while you’re waiting for Maria’s new book!

DROWNTOWN (2013)

This is one of the most beautiful graphic novels I’ve ever read and was also miles ahead of the cli-fi (climate fiction) movement that is really taking off now. From the minds of Robbie Morrison and pen of Jim Murray, it’s set in a London heavily impacted by climate change to the point that the whole city is basically underwater. Boats, jet-skis and any propeller-based device are the main modes of transport as you see humans and the entire animal species interact on a day-to-day basis. It’s a crime Drown Town never got multiple books, as it was a darkly intriguing world depicted in a bright and visceral fashion that really stayed with you.

JAWS (1974)

It’s a classic for a reason and I revisited Peter Benchley’s seminal thriller last year, delighted to find that it still holds up. It’s pulpy fun and – ironically – the definition of a great beach read. It doesn’t dip into schlock territory as heavily as his later works, Creature and Beast specifically, but through Chief Brody and his family you get a super tense, creepy story. Definitely not one for the squeamish, but if you can make it through that opening chapter then you’re in for a treat.

HELLBOY (1993 – onwards)

Mike Mignola’s creation first popped up in 1993 and it’s easy for all of the focus to be drawn to ‘Big Red’ himself, after all, Hellboy is the title character. Yet it’s his best friend Abe Sapien that always captured my interest, an amphibious man of sorts with intuitive psychic abilities and a penchant for boiled eggs. He was like a sweet-hearted, old school gentleman in the comics … who just so happened to have scales. Abe got to move in to the spotlight with the B.P.R.D run, which was wonderful, and Doug Jones’ portrayal of him in Guillermo del Toro’s two films cemented his status as one of – if not the best – fictional sea creatures.

THE BLOOD IN THE BEGINNING (2016)

I was only put on to this super recently after I announced It Came From The Deep and someone recommended that I check out Aussie author Kim Falconer’s novel from last year. It’s a mix of a lot of different things I love – action, adventure, dystopia, romance, urban fantasy and sassy heroines. It also features a warring, fictional sea creature race unlike anything else I’ve seen in spec fic before. There are about five or six different merpeople shows set to drop in the next two years from a range of networks and I feel like their version of the creatures is going to be tapping into a lot of the ideas represented in this epic. The Blood In The Beginning is huge in its scope and how much story it’s trying to tell in just one book, so if it doesn’t always hit the target the promise of what’s to come in future Ava Skyes’ stories is enough.

If you’re interested in my review for this last book, you can find it here

About the book

It Came From The Deep by Maria Lewis

An elderly professor is murdered, leaving a puzzling crime scene for police to unravel and a laboratory housing all kinds of marine life. But something is missing … something huge.

Recent highschool graduate Kaia Craig has problems of her own, with her career as an ironwoman on the Gold Coast in jeopardy after a horrific accident. Yet someone wants to hold her accountable.

After nearly drowning in Lake Pelutz and her attackers on the run, Kaia is left with more than just physical injuries. She’s convinced she saw something in the depths of the lake: something that choose to spare her. Uncertain whether she’s running towards the discovery of a friend or foe, Kaia begins digging into a mystery that may have bigger ramifications than she or any of her friends can fathom.

Add it on Goodreads: It Came From The Deep

Buy it on Amazon: It Came From The Deep

About the author

Maria Lewis is an author, journalist and screenwriter based in Sydney, Australia. Getting her start as a police reporter, her writing on pop culture has appeared in publications such as the New York Post, Guardian, Penthouse, The Daily Mail, Empire Magazine, Huffington Post and many more. Seen as a presenter on SBS Viceland’s nightly news program The Feed and as the host of Cleverfan on ABC, she has been a journalist for over 13 years.

She’s the producer and host of the Eff Yeah Film and Feminism podcast. Her critically acclaimed debut novel Who’s Afraid? was published in 2016, followed by its sequel Who’s Afraid Too? in 2017. Who’s Afraid? is being developed for television by the Emmy and BAFTA award-winning Hoodlum Entertainment.

Find her on: goodreads  |  website  | facebook |  twitter  | youtube  |  instagram  | tumblr

Blog Tour: Freeks by Amanda Hocking

freeksFreeks by Amanda Hocking

Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where necromancy, magical visions, and pyrokinesis are more than just part of the act…

Mara has always longed for a normal life in a normal town where no one has the ability to levitate or predict the future. Instead, she roams from place to place, cleaning the tiger cage while her friends perform supernatural feats every night.

When the struggling sideshow is miraculously offered the money they need if they set up camp in Caudry, Louisiana, Mara meets local-boy Gabe…and a normal life has never been more appealing.

But before long, performers begin disappearing and bodes are found mauled by an invisible beast. Mara realizes that there’s a sinister presence lurking in the town with its sights set on getting rid of the sideshow freeks. In order to unravel the truth before the attacker kills everyone Mara holds dear, she has seven days to take control of a power she didn’t know she was capable of—one that could change her future forever.

Bestselling author Amanda Hocking draws readers inside the dark and mysterious world of Freeks.

My Blurb

I’ve probably said it enough times that thanks for Enid Blyton’s Mr. Galliano’s Circus series, I have this deep abiding love for circus in fiction. Needless to say, I was drawn to this novel by the fact that this is set within a circus sort of scene. The difference is that this is actually a travelling sideshow so you know… lots of those strange and wonderful and not-so-wonderful things! You go there to be entertained, to be horrified, and to have lots of stupid fun.

I didn’t realise that this book is a spin-off of some sort of the Trylle Trilogy and I’ve not actually read them yet so I can’t tell you (if you’re a fan) if this compares well to the original trilogy or if any of previous characters is in this book though from what I can see on Goodreads, they seem to have different sets of characters. After reading this book though, I am rather curious of this world as it’s paranormal with a gothic vibe (especially with all the ‘freeks’ or to be PC, specially talented people).

For some reason, it rather shocked me that the whole book is set in late ’80s. I mean why would you set a book in the ’80s? Especially a YA? However, there are a lot of historical/paranormal YA books set in 19th century & other periods so why not the ’80s?! It really is an historical period despite the fact that I was already alive then :p Of course, quite a few things resonate with me (ie. cassettes, music, etc) and that brings back other memories.

Freeks is a very easy read though rather long. The main characters were easily likeable. The mystery was acceptable. The ending was rather abrupt but totally as I expected. Overall, it was a rather average read; entertaining enough but missing that particular sparkle. I think there was too much in the middle and the build-up for the final confrontation didn’t quite deliver. It’s a cute read for the romance and of course, the ‘circus’ feel.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

Amanda Hocking is a lifelong Minnesotan obsessed with Batman and Jim Henson. In between watching cooking shows, taking care of her menagerie of pets, and drinking too much Red Bull Zero, she writes young adult urban fantasy and paranormal romance.

Several of her books have made the New York Times Bestsellers list, including the Trylle trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her zombie series, The Hollows, has been adapted into a graphic novel by Dynamite. She has published over fifteen novels, including the Watersong quartet and My Blood Approves series. Frostfire, Ice Kissed, and Crystal Kingdom – all three books in her bestselling trilogy, The Kanin Chronicles – are out now.

Her latest book is Freeks – a standalone YA paranormal romance novel set in the 1980s that follows a travelling sideshow, and it is a available now. Her next books will be a duology about Valkyries – due out in 2018.

Find her on: goodreads  |  website  | pinterest  |  tumblr  | facebook  | youtube  | instagram

Review: The Blood in the Beginning

the blood in the beginning
The Blood in the Beginning by Kim Falconer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: Uncorrected proof courtesy of publisher

The Blood in the Beginning sounds so appealing and could fit right in my comfort reading zone. A paranormal/urban fantasy/dystopian novel with a “kickass nightclub bouncer” female main character, this is a potential for a pick-me-up feisty fabulous read but whilst I enjoyed the read, it fell short of my expectation.

Ava Sykes is not actually ‘Ava Sykes’ and she has a blood disorder so rare, she has to fly under the radar. Unfortunately, there are people (& others!) sniffing around her and will not leave her alone. On the other hand, this could be an opportunity she cannot miss in finding out the truth about herself and who she really is. But will the truth set her free?

Her secret reminds me so much of a certain movie trilogy (view spoiler) though of course, there are differences. I’ve really enjoyed the world-building and without giving too much spoilers, I wish to see a lot more of the ‘under world’. Unfortunately, I didn’t really feel any sparks between Ava and her male counterpart(s). She’s one confused little lady and this, I think, also affects any ‘sparks’ she may/may not have for anyone. I wanted more from this part of the book.

As I read an Uncorrected Proof, I did find that it needs some tidying up so I do hope the final copy will proof to be a better read. The book ended, however, with a promising note of more exciting things to come so I will definitely give book 2 a chance.

Many thanks to Harlequin Australia; I received a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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