Tag Archives: #paranormal

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova -a review

the inheritance of orquidea divinaThe Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

One Hundred Years of Solitude meets Practical Magic, following three cousins who retrace their family lineage from Four Rivers, USA, to Guayaquil, Ecuador, in an attempt to discover the source of their power and why their family is being murdered by an unknown entity.

The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—not for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed into a ceiba tree, leaving them with more questions than answers.

Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings and powers. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, her descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back.

Alternating between Orquídea’s past and her descendants’ present, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is a “spellbinding tale, both timeless and fresh, that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Prepare to fall in love” (Kim Liggett, New York Times bestselling author).

Published 5 July 2022|  Publisher: Atria Books |  RRP: AUD$27.99

Buy it at: Dymocks |  BooktopiaAbbey’s

My Blurb (2.5 / 5 stars)

I’ve gone for the pretty cover and the somewhat interesting synopsis. I’ve heard of the author but never read any of her books yet so I thought this was a good opportunity to check out her novels. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina started off quite well for me; I really enjoyed the prose. For one reason or another though, that didn’t last very long. Maybe it’s the story itself that didn’t quite grab me.

It’s told from multiple perspectives though there are 2 main ones and there were flashbacks to the past too. I also didn’t particularly find engage by any particular characters. There were some moments but overall, I found it a bit long. Because I love circus stories, I found the carnival bit somewhat interesting even if we didn’t really see the carnival very much. Other than that, I found it a bit painful and just wanted it to be over.

Regardless of what I felt was a slog of a read, it was an interesting world but I guess it just wasn’t the right read for me.

My thanks to Atria Books for ecopy of book via Edelweiss+ in exchange of my honest thoughts

About the author

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Blog tour: Paranormal Bonds by Julie Catherine – a review + GIVEAWAY (int

Paranormal Bonds
Julie Catherine
(The High Council Witch Chronicles)
Publication date: April 12th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

When Mae Kingsley is forced to move into her family’s rundown lake house, she discovers small town living is not as simple as it seems. Bursts of violence, silent treatments, archaic rituals and two very cute guys with seriously mysterious motives all appear with the rising of the new moon.

But that’s nothing compared to the family secrets soon to be revealed. A box sealed in a vault, hidden rooms, naked swimming. There’s a trove of family revelations just beneath the floorboards, waiting to be exposed.

As the paranormal bonding season for the High Council Witches begins, Mae must quickly decide who to trust and who to fear before a deadly family tradition repeats itself and her chance to live a normal life completely disappears.

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Author Bio:

Julie Catherine is an author, screenwriter and playwright.

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My Blurb (3/5 stars)

Paranormal bonding is one of my favourite tropes so it was an easy decision to pick this one up. It’s a very easy & fast read with easily likeable protagonist. The mystery behind her mother and the people in this town was intriguing. I really liked the cast of characters although I do have to wonder at the protagonist’s pick of the person who could be her best friend…

Paranormal Bonds is the first book of The High Council Witch Chronicles however I felt that as a first book, it was overlong in the introductory part so I felt like I was reading more of a prequel… I expected for the ‘High Council Witch’ to be more prominent / involved but they were very non-existent in this novel. I also wish that the magic was better explored. Otherwise, a rather enjoyable read.


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The Omen of Crows Nest by Catherine Constantine – a review

CROWS NEST omen_nest_final_apple (1)The Omen of Crows Nest
Catherine Constantine
Publication date: May 4th 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

No blood. No body. No murder.

That’s what the police found after Penelope spun her bizarre tale. In a hysterical state, she said her father was butchered and eaten by a mob of birds ~ in her bedroom.

They claim she’s crazy.
That she suffers from delusions.
Penelope is dead set on proving them wrong.

After being institutionalized for eight months, Penelope is out and more determined than ever to find answers to her so-called hallucinations. With her father’s untimely disappearance, she’s convinced her family is hiding something sinister.

THE OMEN OF CROWS NEST is the latest masterpiece by the award-winning author Cathrina Constantine, and is sure to leave fans of fantasy gasping!

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My Blurb (3/5):

I just love it when covers draw my eyes and when the description is just as interesting; we got a winner! I just adore that red swirls and purple silhouettes and seriously, that mystery behind Penelope’s breakdown really needed to be explored.

The novel opens as Penelope is at the end of her time at the institution. She is determined to return home as she has missed her brother and sister terribly. But even more so, she is determined to find out just what it is her family is hiding from her. Because of her fears of being institutionalised again, she could trust no one. Not even the best-friend-boy-next-door she’s fallen for. In the meantime, she’s got to face society (school!) where everyone knew where she’s been the last few months.

It’s an easy novel to read, language-wise, and fairly easy to dive into. Characters were mostly likeable though the mystery behind their motivations made some questionable. However, I did feel like it was a really long read because there was just nothing happening in the middle and the end was rather swift. I did like the action & reveal at the end but I do wish there was a bit more action in the middle and more romance(!) as I happen to like this trope.

My thanks to Xpresso Tours for ecopy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

Cathrina (1)Author Bio:

I am blessed with a loving family and forever friends. My world revolves around them.

I grew up in the small village of Lancaster, NY, where I married my sweetheart. I’m devoted to raising 5 cherished children, and now my grandchildren.

I love to immerse myself in great books of every kind of genre, which helps me to write purely for entertainment, and hopefully to inspire readers. When not stationed at my computer you can find me in the woods taking long walks with my dog.

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Blog Tour: You Should Have Seen This Coming by Shani Michelle – an Excerpt + giveaway INT

You Should Have Seen This Coming
Shani Michelle
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 12th 2022
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult

A teen girl who sees visions of the past must use her gift to save a kidnapped classmate in Shani Michelle’s high-stakes YA thriller You Should Have Seen This Coming!

Hayden sees the past. Just touching an object will occasionally give her flashes of the previous owner’s memories. And if that memory happens to be a deeply hidden secret, then she has no problem making you pay for your crime, in cash.

Cassie sees the future, and it sucks. She will randomly wake up from dreams filled with disasters that she feels compelled to stop, and she would really like to stop watching her boyfriend fall in love with someone else!

But when Cassie tries to warn Hayden that her latest blackmailing scheme is a trap, she knows she’s really in trouble. All her visions warn her of the upcoming kidnapping, nothing she does stops it. And it’s all Hayden’s fault!

Can Hayden’s gift help her find Cassie before it’s too late?

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Author Bio:

Shani Michelle is the author of YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING. She also works in TV news. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her husband, family, friends, reading, watching way too much TV, and coming up with new story ideas. (She’s also written several rom-com and middle grade novels as Shani Petroff)

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EXCERPT

No one does a good saunter anymore. I shake out my arms and loosen my body before I
meander into the girls’ locker room Tuesday morning, doing my best to channel an old-timey
sheriff in a Western film. Time to show the elite who’s boss.
Brooke Tamison and Fiona Gavini are standing off to the side.
Both look up as I approach.
“Well, well, well, what do we have here?” I ask, stopping right in front of them.
Brooke’s whole body goes rigid. “We’re in the middle of something, Hayden. Get out,”
she commands. Her dark green eyes narrow into slits and her nostrils flare. She’s perfected the
look of someone in charge, I’ll give her that.
A for effort, but she’s not fooling anyone. She’s scared of me. The little tremble in her
voice is a dead giveaway. I can’t really blame her. In my two months and change at Lightsend
High, I’ve developed quite the reputation.
“Just what I need,” Fiona mumbles, throwing her head back, hitting the locker behind
her.
I cringe. She couldn’t have meant to hit it that hard. I almost ask her if she’s okay, but
then I remind myself that she’s the enemy. One of the school’s we-think-we’re-above-the-law-
and-better- than-anyone crowd. The ones I can’t stand. The ones I’m taking down.
She lets out a sigh. One of defeat? Surprise? Disgust? It’s hard to tell.
“You know . . .” I shake my head. “If you’re gonna have a clandestine meeting, you really
should come up with someplace more original. You’re making it too easy. It’s like you want to
be caught.”
I take a seat on the wooden bench in front of them.
“Don’t know what you’re talking about or what you ‘think’ you know,” Brooke says,
using her fingers to make quotation marks, “but this is between Fiona and me.”
She puts her hands on her hips and glares down at me, but regardless of our positions,
we both know who’s in power.
I make sure to give her my sweetest smile. “Now it’s between the three of us, isn’t it?”
She knows she’s in trouble. They both do. I am the school’s self-appointed Robin Hood.
Taking from the rich, spoiled, and corrupt, and giving to the poor—i.e., me. It’s the only after-
school activity I find remotely entertaining.
“How do you keep doing this?” Fiona asks.
Now it’s my turn to play clueless. “Doing what?”
She sighs again.
We both know what she’s talking about. She wants to know how I keep finding out all
this dirt on everyone. If I told her, she wouldn’t believe me, so I don’t bother to explain.
Not that this instance needed any noteworthy skills. Not with Brooke. She’s a special
kind of egomaniac. The kind that doesn’t believe anyone will dare cross her. The kind where
you just have to wait, listen, and watch, and you’ll have something on her in no time.
“You’re just as bad as all the people you hate,” Fiona tells me.
She’s saying this to me?
I don’t dignify it with an answer.
Not when the people she’s talking about told so many brutal lies about Leighton
Chutney that she’s now being homeschooled. Or hit a dog with their car and just left it there. Or

put laxatives in Kristoff McLeigh’s protein shake before his big football game with all the scouts
watching.
Not even the same playing field.
I get justice. Or at least, a little revenge. So what if I pocket something on the side?
“Stop talking,” Brooke hisses at Fiona, before turning her attention to me. “You don’t
have anything on us.” The glare she flashes could make blood turn cold.
“No?” I ask, plucking the thumb drive Fiona’s been holding from her hand. She really
should have stashed it in her bag.
“Two cheaters for the price of one. Well, price of two. You can both pay up,” I say, lying
back on the bench. I want to take in and savor every second of this. Sure, there are people at
Lightsend who’ve done worse than Brooke, but this is personal. Brooke’s the one who went
Mean Girls on me when I started school here. The compliments on my clothes that everyone
knew were really insults. The whispers. Trash talk. Blocking my car in for hours. Spilling coffee
on me. And little Miss Fabulous Fiona was always along for the ride. “Or if you prefer,” I
continue, “I can let Mr. Thadwell know that one of the school’s top students got there by
cheating, and another had a side business that helped her do it.”
“That drive proves nothing,” Brooke scoffs.
“Come now,” I say, matching her condescending tone. “Do you really think this is all that
I have on you?”
Truthfully, yeah, it is. But she doesn’t need to know that. I’ll find something else. I
always do.
I toss the drive up in the air and then catch it in my palm. Right as it smacks my skin, my
whole body shudders.
Now? Really??
There’s nothing I can do but watch.


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Blog Tour: For the Murder by Gabrielle Ash – review + giveaway INT

For the Murder
Gabrielle Ash
(The Murder, #1)
Published by: City Owl Press
Publication date: February 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

A lone crow is a dead crow.

That’s what Diana Van Doren, exiled crow shifter, has always believed. The last murder of crow shifters known to exist wouldn’t accept her into the flock, leaving her vulnerable. Worse, her kleptomaniacal father’s schemes put them in a demon’s crosshairs. Without the support of the murder, Diana fears death will come all too quickly. So when an opportunity to steal a rare blade that can kill anything—even demons—crosses their path, she decides to play her father’s games one last time.

However, she isn’t the only one hoping to take the blade. Sasha Sokolov, a clairvoyant, has been forced from childhood to serve the very demon hunting Diana and her family. After two decades of service, his boss finally offers him what he can’t refuse: freedom. All he has to do is bring in the knife and the Van Dorens, and his bloodline will be free from serving the demon forever.

When Diana and Sasha meet at the auction, they strike an uneasy alliance. Diana sees a way to finally be welcomed into the murder. Sasha sees an opportunity to get his freedom. To get what they want, only one of them can walk away with the blade. But when their magic inexplicably links as they reluctantly work together to steal the knife, betraying each other for their own ends may no longer be an option.

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Author Bio:

Gabrielle Ash is an author and perpetually tired mom of four from the great state of Texas. Born into a family of mischievous storytellers, she grew up listening to tales of the chupacabra, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night, never entirely confident that she wouldn’t get eaten if she went out to the creek after sunset.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, which ultimately landed her in a high school classroom to teach writing and coach the debate team. Dismayed at her inability to wear sweatpants to work, she left the classroom and now dedicates her brain power to books and taking care of her daughters.

When not writing, she spends time with her husband, four daughters, and their dog. The Family Cross is her debut novel.

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My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

I was in the mood for a shifter tale and this one sounds rather unique with crow-shifters. The only problem I had with the book is having to keep adjusting my perception of the word ‘murder’ because most of the time, in this novel, it refers to ‘a group of crows’ instead of a killing act. I guess it’s not really a problem but I do have to stop myself for a second or two to actually makes sense of the sentence now and again and this is all me, not the book.

All her life, Diana Van Doren just wanted to belong. To be appreciated. To be loved. She’s a very good thief, though, and also generous and selfless despite her personal circumstances. Sasha Sokolov, on the other hand, wants only one thing: his & his family’s freedom at whatever cost. Yet, when freedom beckons near, he’s found something even more precious he wanted to hold on to. The story is told of their alternating perspectives so we do get to see secrets they kept from each other and how each grows throughout the book.

I love these characters and well, I do have a thing for a Russian romantic interest too so I was totally shipping them all the way from the beginning. The story was real easy to read with more than enough twists & turns and sparks to keep me engage for a single sitting read. I’m definitely keen to find out what this ‘murder’ get up to next!

My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for this copy of book in exchange of my honest thoughts

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.

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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

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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