Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Review: Dark Dreams and Dead Things (Dead Things #2) by Martina McAtee

Media Type: Ebook
Title: Dark Dreams and Dead Things
   *Series: Dead Things #2
Author: Martina McAtee
Publisher: Self-published
Pages: Ebook; 540
Release Date: June 21, 2016
Source: YA Bound Book Tours / Author
Content Screening: Mild Fantasy Violence

HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Readers who enjoy richly written paranormal series.

Add it on: Goodreads | Amazon | BookLikes
17-year-old November Lonergan spent her whole life feeling like an outsider. She was right. She’s a reaper like her mother; like her two cousins, Kai and Tristin. The supernatural world believes they are part of a prophecy to save them from an evil known as the Grove. Ember just wants to survive high school and fix the fallout from bringing back her friend. 

Old enemies are lurking; waiting for their opportunity to strike but the pack has a new problem. A group of legendary hunters has resurfaced, threatening the reapers and anybody who stands with them. They are making good on their threats too; attacking those closest to the pack.

Their only hope of defeating the Legionaries involves trusting a stranger to perform a dangerous spell to advance Ember and her cousin’s powers. But Ember has a secret; a secret she can’t tell the pack. One that leaves the pack vulnerable.

An attack on pack allies, leaves one member of the group injured and another missing, along with a mysterious girl named Evangeline who may play a bigger part in this than any of them realize. As the Legionaries are closing in, the pack must trust their enemies, enter hostile territories, and play a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a psychopath. Their entire plan lynches on a dangerous bargain, but rescuing one member of the pack could mean losing another in their place…possibly forever.

So, it should be known that as much as I desperately wanted to read Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, I just didn't have time to tackle it before my spot on this tour. Which means that I read Dark Dreams and Dead Things almost as a standalone. I say almost, because I did go back and read a ton of reviews! I wanted to make sure I had the general gist of the characters, the setting, and anything important I should know. Let me tell you, it's testament to Martina McAtee's writing that I was still able to chug along happily through this book. If anything, I'm actually really excited to go back and start over again.

What impressed me most was the character development here. It's not easy to build the kinds of characters who feel like real people, especially set against a paranormal backdrop. November's personality, despite not knowing her from the first book, really spoke to me. I'm kind of a sucker for the whole concept of being a reaper anyway, but she specifically brought it home for me. I love characters who don't have a definite light side/dark side to them. Real people, with real flaws. That's what I love. Maybe Ember was a little mopey at times, but at least that was realistic.

As for the plot, I can say that I definitely was missing some pertinent information. Such as the fact that there are apparently two characters who share a body. My mistake, of course, for not getting through the first book quick enough. Still, I had a great time romping through what I was given. This is a magical, twisted world where bad things lurk and good has to hold the line. McAtee stole my breath away with the whole world that she's built up around these characters. It's rich, and well done. I can see why so many people are absolutely in love with this series.

Long story short, this is now on my radar to go back and start from the beginning. I was so intrigued at everyone that was happening, and eager to find out exactly where it all stemmed from. McAtee's writing is stellar! I can't wait for more.

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Lavender in Bloom by Lily Velez

Good morning, darling bookish people!

Are you on the hunt for a swoon-worthy, historical romance? Look no further, Lily Velez has you covered with Lavender in Bloom.

Lavender in Bloom
Lily Velez
Publication date: July 25th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France…

Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm—a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.

Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.

Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.

Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.

“I think of you almost every moment, Noah. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. I am utterly tormented by these things I feel for you.”

It was as if lightning had struck Noah. He was paralyzed by the admission, stricken silent, and at his core, an inferno devoured him. Its heat filled his veins, spread from ligament to ligament, muscle to muscle. Jeremie had once read aloud a poem regarding a phoenix making its nest in a person’s bosom. Noah felt the phoenix now, felt her awakening, shifting, extending her wings and beating them powerfully so that he was left breathless, but no more breathless than by what Jeremie did next.

Jeremie came to him at once, erasing the last of the distance between them, and this time, Noah didn’t back away. The thin gap of space between their bodies sweltered. Still, Noah didn’t move. He didn’t move as Jeremie cupped Noah’s elbows, fingers grasping at bone. He didn’t move as Jeremie pulled him nearer. He didn’t even move when their faces were close enough for him to feel Jeremie’s warm breath against his mouth.

“Tell me you feel the same,” Jeremie whispered. It sounded like a prayer. His head was bowed slightly to be at level with Noah’s.

There was a pull in Noah’s stomach, an unfamiliar desire growing heavier. He was close enough now to see the velvet trimming on the collar of Jeremie’s coat, the paisley design of the white ascot at his neck. Jeremie’s lips lingered before his own, daring, eager, ravenous. It would’ve been effortless to give in, to lean his body into Jeremie’s, to be overtaken by the fever consuming him. He wanted to. Of that much he was certain, and it shocked him like nothing else ever had.

Tell me you feel the same, Jeremie had whispered.

And Noah, still fighting a war he hadn’t even known had begun long ago, had thought to, had nearly conceded to it. But then he saw an image of Jeremie’s father, cold and cruel, bringing his own son to ruins, and in the end, he couldn’t. He wouldn’t. For Jeremie’s sake, he couldn’t fall.

Firm in his resolve, he drew up his strength and stepped back out of Jeremie’s hold. The moment he did, the phoenix extinguished herself.

Tell me you feel the same.

Noah met his eyes, forcefully, meaningfully. “I don’t.”

Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the 'real world' (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she's not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn't participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at



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