*Blog Tour + Giveaway* Dream Keeper – Amber R. Duell

DreamKeeper_cover.jpgTitle: DREAM KEEPER

Author: Amber R. Duell

Pub. Date: January 29, 2019

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

About Amber:

AmberAmber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. Before becoming published, she had a wide range of occupations including banking, bartending (though she’s never tried alcohol), and phlebotomy (though she faints with needles). She also volunteered as a re-enactor at the local Revolutionary War fort and worked near shelter cats which led to her previous crazy cat lady status.

She does her best writing in the middle of the night, surviving the daylight hours with massive amounts of caffeine. Her favorite stories are dark with a touch of romance and a villain you either love to hate or hate to love.

When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, snuggling with her cat, and staying up way too late to research genealogy. She loves to travel and has visited more countries than states. Kissing the Blarney Stone and hand-feeding monkeys in the mountains of France will be hard to beat, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find the next real-life adventure.

Website  | Twitter  | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest |  Goodreads

My Review

“A rendering of worlds. A distortion of nature. A binding of power.”

Dream Keeper is a wonderfully unique and enchanting tale that will charm you from the first line and leave you wishing there was more. The world is fascinating and the whole idea is wildly original. Nora, the Sandman, and the Weaver are characters that you know belong in this world. They are characters many will be able to relate to, all in different ways, as these characters have some differences from each other.

Nora is that type of protagonist that you root for from the first chapter. Though her life takes a drastic turn for the worst, she never gives up and stays strong. She doesn’t let the horrors defeat her, even when they hit home. The Sandman is just like her in that sense. He’s strong and will do anything to protect Nora and the secret Dream she holds in her mind. The Sandman is portrayed so well, and I loved his character. Duell did an incredible job with the characters, so trust me when I say that this book is not just all about the world building.

“You’ll soon find out there are worse things than death.”

Oh, lord, the Weaver is one of those villains you know is evil to the core, but someone you secretly like. That’s the case for me. He may be deadly and, you know, kill people, but he has a way with words, and I really liked that about the Weaver. He’s creepy and dangerous and interesting, but there’s this vibe with him. I was looking forward to a lot of his scenes, especially his interactions with Nora and the Sandman. He’s a well-drawn villain; he himself is a living nightmare, and it was really neat to see his story.

“For every light there was a shadow, for every dream, a nightmare.”

If you think the cover is beautiful, you need to read Duell’s world building. The world building in Dream Keeper is fresh and so unlike anything I’ve read. There’s the Day (real) world, the Dream Realm, and the Nightmare Realm. The drastic differences between the three is so distinctive and well-depicted. And how Duell brings all three together…wow. She does it so smoothly and it blends so well with the story. What also makes this story unique is how the nightmares are portrayed. There are regular nightmares, of horrors that are fiction and not real. And then there are nightmares that are real and haunt the host that could potentially lead to death. I know: scary, right? The nightmare creatures are intriguing and hauntingly creepy; they’re definitely not a creature I would want to come face-to-face with. Overall, the world building is a breath of fresh air.

If you haven’t read anything by Amber Duell yet, I highly recommend starting with Dream Keeper. That’s the case for me, and I plan on reading more of Duell’s work. I was delightfully surprised by this tale and I cannot wait for next installment! Dream Keeper comes out January 29, 2019, but you can pre-order now!

Thank you to the author for sending an advanced e-copy for me to read and write an honest review! All quotes are from the advanced e-copy and may not appear in the final novel.

Enter the Dream Keeper Giveaway!

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.


Tour Schedule

Week One:

10/22/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

10/23/2018- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review

10/24/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Excerpt

10/25/2018- BookHounds YA– Excerpt

10/26/2018- Loie Dunn– Review

Week Two:

10/29/2018- MetalPhantasmReads– Review

10/30/2018- Falling For YA– Excerpt

10/31/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

11/1/2018- Am Kinda Busy Reading– Review

11/2/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review

Thank you, Rockstar Book Tours and Amber R. Duell, for this wonderful blog tour!


*Blog Tour, Review, and Q&A* What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

Thank you to Tale Out Loud for having A Court of Coffee and Books on this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and I’m glad I am able to be part of this!

What the Woods Keep US CoverTITLE: What the Woods Keep

AUTHOR: Katya de Becerra

PUBLISH DATE: September 18th, 2018

PUBLISHER: Imprint/Macmillan

GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dark Fantasy


What the Woods Keep is the stunning debut of Katya de Becerra, who combines mystery, science fiction, and dark fantasy in a twisty story that will keep you mesmerized right up to the final page.

On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home―on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets.

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible―something that threatens reality itself.


Pre-Order Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250124255?tag=macmillan-20

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-the-woods-keep-katya-de-becerra/1128980012?ean=9781250124258#/

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/What-Woods-Keep-Katya-De-Becerra/9781250124258

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781250124258

Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250124258 

Author Information:

Katya de Beccera Author Photo (2)Katya de Becerra was born in Russia, studied in California, lived in Peru, and then stayed in Australia long enough to become a local. She was going to be an Egyptologist when she grew up, but instead she earned a PhD in Anthropology. What the Woods Keep is her first novel.

Author website: http://katyabecerra.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15140719.Katya_de_Becerra

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KatyaDeBecerra

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katyadebecerra/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katyadebecerra/

My Review:

“There are terrible forces hiding in this town, in these woods, that we don’t understand and that are dangerous.”

This wonderfully dark atmospheric novel will keep you fixated on the world and Hayden’s journey. What the Woods Keep is an eerie novel that will make you question the daily noises you hear and the things you see and quite possibly your own sanity. This book gives a new meaning to uncanny and the obscure. I was pleasantly hooked to this haunting tale.

What the Woods Keep bends mystery, paranormal, and fantasy. It does so in wonderful fashion, equally sufficing all genres in one book. There’s also the sense of an unknown horror. I’m one of those people that loves the horror genre, along with all the genres listed above. I don’t read a lot of horror, but when I do, I’m usually engrossed in the novel or bored because I know how everything will play out. What the Woods Keep was in no way boring or predictable, but rather an edgy new addition to the YA genre.

The book starts off with the reader meeting Hayden, the main protagonist, and learning surprising aspects about her life, the main one being that her mom died in a rather suspicious way. Hayden finds out on her eighteenth birthday that she has inherited her old house, a Manor in Promise, Colorado, based on her Mom’s will. However, her Mom leaves her a set of cryptic conditions:

“My first condition is that Hayden goes to the Manor and looks for the gifts I left her. They’ll call to her. She needs to listen with her blood.

“My second condition is that Hayden uses my gifts to destroy my darkest secret – my hidden treasure, my heaviest burden.

My third and final condition is that Hayden trusts no one where my treasure is concerned, especially the ravens.”

Cryptic yet intriguing messages, all that immediately pique Hayden’s (and the reader’s) interest. From there, Hayden and her best friend, Del, take a trip to Promise, Colorado, hoping to find answers not just about her Mom, but also Hayden’s upbringing and why her own Father wants her to never return to Promise (and also to see Shannon, an old — and very good-looking — childhood friend).

“It’s springtime, but Promise seems frozen in an eternal fall, its spirit crushed by rain and wind. It’s wet and miserable, and yet this place feels right to me. As if, despite it being inhospitable and damp and glum, it wants me here — and I belong.”

Hayden knows there is something unusual going on in her old hometown, but she can’t quite pinpoint it. People stare at her as if they’ve seen a ghost. There’s a research facility collecting blood NOT for a traditional blood drive. And then there’s a few members of the town that have been waiting for Hayden’s arrival for quite some time. And even though a lot of red flags go off in Hayden’s head, she is determined to uncover her Mom’s death and buried secrets. She never once thought the paranormal beings, Nibelungs, would be linked to her Mom, nor to her, especially when she believes scientific theories can explain everything.

“For the first time I truly wonder if all of it — my recurring dream about the shadowy army, Mom’s clues, and Dad’s crackpot science — point toward an impossible truth.”

The atmosphere in this book is astounding and unlike most fictional towns. As the reader, you know something is just off when the town is first introduced. The only issue: you don’t know what. But the mysterious townsfolk and luring woods will draw you in and keep you guessing. Just how does everything connect? And how does Hayden and her Mom fit into all of this?

I was overall happy with this book. The ending was a little fast, but the book itself is a tantalizing read. Katya de Becerra weaves beautiful and breathtaking writing to bring to life this haunting and eerie read. With strong characters, mystery, and an undeniable pull to the world, you won’t want to put this book down.

What the Woods Keep hits shelves next Tuesday, September 18! Pre-order now and check out the cool pre-order campaign!

Thank you to the publisher and Tale Out Loud for the advanced e-copy in exchange for an honest review! Any quotes used are from the advanced e-copy and may not be in the final publication. 

My rating: 4.5 stars out of five stars

Read on for my wonderful interview with the author of What the Woods Keep, Kayta de Becerra!

Q&A with Katya de Becerra

Thank you so much, Katya, for stopping by on A Court of Coffee and Books! We are so excited to have you!

The idea for your novel is unique and very intriguing. Did you have to do any research for your novel? If so, were there any interesting facts you stumbled upon?

Thank you! I’m a total mythology buff, so it’s no surprise at all that my debut novel is mythology focused. Aside from myths, I researched physics and psychology to make the science in What The Woods Keep as realistic as possible (though it is still science fiction, emphasis on fiction!). In terms of interesting facts… The Dyatlov Pass Incident is perhaps the strangest. It remains the kind of enduring mystery that several generations of people obsess over. I actually learned about Dyatlov Pass from my mom! I thought she was describing something fictional to me until I looked it up myself and learned all the facts. I just knew then, it had to be in my book in some way!

What character would you want to be stranded on an island with?

From my book or any other? If former, then with Del (the bestie of Hayden, who is the protagonist of What The Woods Keep), because of her optimism and ingenuity. If latter, then Katniss Everdeen, because if anyone can find a way to save herself from a deserted island (I’m assuming it’s deserted?), it’s Katniss – and maybe I can tag along.

What is a quirky or unique habit you have?

It’s more a rule, but let’s cheat and call it a habit. No caffeine after 12pm. Or I won’t sleep at night. At all.

Of course I have to ask: what Hogwarts house would each of your main characters fall in?

Hayden thinks she’s Ravenclaw but probably more of a Hufflepuff. Del is definitely a Gryffindor, through and through. And Shannon is Hufflepuff disguised as Slytherin.

If you could have coffee or tea with any author (even if they have to be brought back from the dead), who would it be and why?

Leigh Bargudo, because she’s awesome.

If you could have your book made into anything (Broadway musical, TV show, movie, ballet dance, soap opera, etc.), which would you choose and why?

Probably a movie, the moody psychological maybe-horror kind. But ballet would be super awesome too, now that you’ve mentioned it.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write what’s important to you. Don’t pay much attention to trends. Read a lot. Only accept critic/feedback from people you know and trust.

Don’t forget to enter the What the Woods Keep Giveaway!

Want to see the other blog stops on this tour? Check them out below!

What the Woods Keep Blog Tour Schedule

~The Page 69 Test~ Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

Hi, lovely bookworms! I’ve had a wonderful week of reading so far, and I hope you have, too! For this Thursday, here is our next post of the Page 69 Test. The two paragraphs below illustrate what this post is about.

The Page 69 TestMy co-bloggers and I have started a new weekly blog post: The Page 69 Test! Have you heard of the page 69 test? If not, it’s basically where you read page 69 of a book you think you will like. If you liked reading page 69, chances are you will enjoy reading the rest of the book.

Instead of posting the full page, we will be posting the first 10-20 lines of that page, starting with the first full sentence.

The book for this week is by a very well-known and loved author, Sarah J. Maas. Most have read her Throne of Glass and/or A Court of Thorns and Roses series. But Sarah recently came out with a new book, Catwoman: Soulstealer! I absolutely love this cover and cannot wait to read this book. Catwoman: Soulstealer is the third book in the DC Icons series. Check out the start of page 69 below!

“Selina leaned against the carved oak doorframe and watched the antiquities dealer jot down another calculation on his pad of paper.

He’d been examining the Bastet statue for twenty minutes now, the golden lights of his ornate office dim save for the spotlight of the examination lamp over the statue. She’d lingered at the doorway of his office for the entirety of that time, dressed head to toe in black, her face obscured by her Death Mask and the low-hanging hood of her sweatshirt.

Such dramatics, the man had said when he let her in the back door.

She’d said nothing, opting for the power of silence and the bullwhip hanging from her side to convey any threats she might need to make.”

Synopsis of Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas

CatwomanWhen the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . .

Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing.


*ARC Review* The Demon Race by Alexandria Warwick

DemonTitle: The Demon Race

Author: Alexandria Warwick

Publisher: Wolf Publishing

Release Date: September 18, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars


Hidalgo meets An Ember in the Ashes in this Middle Eastern-inspired YA fantasy debut.

A race across the desert.

An unimaginable prize.

It occurs once every thousand years: the Demon Race. A test of will and strength, it is a race across the Saraj, a fight for the prize of a lifetime. And it is the key to Namali Hafshar’s freedom.

When shy, seventeen-year-old Namali learns of her arranged marriage, she flees home and enters the Demon Race for the chance to change her fate. But to compete, she must cross the Saraj on a daeva, a shadow demon that desires its own reward: to infect her soul with darkness.

Namali soon learns the desert holds more dangers than meets the eye. The only person she can trust is Sameen, a kind competitor seeking his own destiny. As her affection for him grows, however, so too does the darkness in her heart.

In this race of men and demons, only one can win. But the price of winning might be more than Namali is willing to pay.


My Review

“Light, darkness…one cannot exist without the other, for the very definition of light is the absence of dark. They are both necessary for the balance of the world.”

Have you ever read a book that pleasantly surprised you? That was different from your initial reaction? For me, The Demon Race is one of those books. I’ve actually had The Demon Race on my radar for quite some time, so I was ecstatic when I received an email from the author to review her book. Hidalgo is one of my favorite movies; plus, a race across the desert on the back of a daeva all the while trying to prevent the demon from crawling into your mind? Count me in! The Demon Race will bring you up close to Namali’s adventure of self-discovery and worth. She will determine what it really means to be her true self in a world that has been set against her since birth. But the question arises: will Namali like the person she becomes during and after the race?

“It was true what people said: the world appeared most beautiful on the eve of death.”

Many believed the Demon Race to be a myth. A race that takes place once every one thousand years, granting the winner one wish, a wish their heart most desires. Namali knows the stories are true when she gets word of the legendary and very real race taking place in mere days. And she knows, that if she stays in her small town and marries a man she does not love, she will never become the person she wants the be. Nor will she get what she most desires: freedom. So, Namali does what hopefully any woman in her situation would do: she leaves home and enters the race.

The race is unlike anything I’ve ever read. To partake in the race, each contender must ride a daeva (a demon), all the while steering clear of the daeva’s luring capabilities. Afterall, each daeva wants a reward from each rider: to fill their souls with darkness. Namali has to constantly fight to escape the lure of the darkness. And the times she can’t help but be overtaken by the deceiving demon, she loses a piece of herself. The race not only sets her on an adventure toward a desirable prize, but also on an adventure of self-discovery.

“In order to escape alive, she must push forward with ferocity and unwavering belief. She had done it before. She could do it again.”

Namali is a girl who is strong in her religious beliefs. And that was something I really enjoyed. There’s times where she questions her faith, but she always sticks to her beliefs and I really liked that. There are times she loses her faith, loses the telltale signs of who she really is, but she never once lost sight of her religion. The Demon Race adequately describes the different religions in a way that connects wonderfully with the story. What I also liked about Namali is how strong of a character she becomes. She has a mind of her own and she knows what she wants entering the race. Namali struggles with the concept of strength, thinking it’s not something she deserves. But it’s been with her all along, and her journey is quite something to read.

“She was sinking. Sinking into warm, deep waters. They tugged her down to a murky, gray existence, where shadows twined around her leaden limbs, absorbing into her skin until they disappeared below the surface.”

The Demon Race is a book with such gorgeous prose. There were scenes where the writing was so well described and beautifully illustrated that brought the story to life. The author embellishes her stunning writing with scenes that jump off the page and words that will utterly captivate you. Alexandria Warwick has a way with words; I had pages upon pages bookmarked for quotes and it became difficult only selecting a few. Her writing is something I absolutely loved and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

“It was true what people said: the world appeared most beautiful on the eve of death.”

The Demon Race will be released on September 18, 2018.

Thank you to the author for sending an advanced e-copy for me to read and write an honest review! All quotes are from the advanced e-copy and may not appear in the final novel.


*Blog Tour + Giveaway:* Keeper of the Bees – Meg Kassel

KotB_1600 (1)Title: Keeper of the Bees
Author: Meg Kassel
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: September 4th 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars


Beauty and the beast like you’ve never imagined!” —New York Times bestselling author Pintip Dunn

KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.


Purchase Links: https://entangledpublishing.com/keeper-of-the-bees.html

About the Author

MegKassel-HeadshotMeg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.
Website: http://megkassel.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/megkassel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seemegwrite/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megkasselauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8353652.Meg_Kassel

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Meg-Kassel/e/B0756Q8N2L/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1524085261&sr=1-1

My Review

“They’re watching, wondering what game I’m playing. But this is no game.”

Keeper of the Bees is a wonderful follow-up to one of my favorite books of 2017, Black Bird of the Gallows. It follows the life of a beekeeper, Dresden, who locates to a new town and meets an interesting girl, a girl unlike any other. A girl with a surprising backstory.

Once again, Meg Kassel has written a beautiful book. Keeper of the Bees is just as good as its predecessor, if not better. Her writing is spectacular and enchanting; every description, every scene, had beautiful prose. The world Meg has created is incredible and will capture your attention from the very first line. Black Bird of the Gallows sets the stage for this world, and Keeper of the Bees follows up wonderfully. Told in a dual perspective of Dresden and Essie, you won’t want to put this book down. I devoured this beauty in a little over a day because it’s just that good. 

“I blink down at her, then realize I had forgotten how my face is a mess of changing features. For a few precious moments, I was just here with her. Not a monster. Not a killer.”

The aspect of the beekeepers is unique and quite interesting. They are immortal beings that have a horde of bees in their body that have to listen to these bees when they want to sting someone. And the stings are lethal, if not deadly. It makes people grow violent and sets them on a dangerous rampage. And when a person is killed from a bee sting, the beekeeper takes the form of their face. As in, the beekeeper’s face is constantly shifting to those of the people his/her bees have killed. And it’s a feature Dresden has come to hate, as he no longer remembers his own features.

Dresden is one of the most interesting characters I have read. He has many conflicts that a beekeeper usually never has to deal with. And his conflicts only increase when he comes across a girl his bees desperately want to sting. The only catch: he doesn’t want to sting her. Dresden is instantly drawn to her and her interesting quirks. For one, she has the ability to see Dresden, like actually see him, as most humans cannot see his shifting features. With her interesting backstory, Dresden can’t seem to stay away from her, especially when he learns a surprising fact about her family. And especially when he starts to feel things he never thought a beekeeper could feel.

This will destroy you. The Strawman’s voice threads through the chaos of my mind. I’ve been destroyed many times, I think in return.”

Essie is also another captivating character. She has what people believe to be a family cruse, as no treatment has been proven to work on what doctors call her “sickness.” Essie sees things that should not be there, which is why she at first believes Dresden is a figment of her imagination. But when he turns out not to be, she becomes enthralled in his world. Mental health is a constant topic in this book, but it’s talked about in a way that doesn’t scorn or degrade mental illness. Keeper of the Bees captures how people with mental illness are treated and it’s sad at how true it really is. But even so, I love how this book openly displays the truth with mental health.

The relationship between these two characters will easily become a favorite for many readers. They are both experiencing something new and fragile, and it’s something amazing to see unfold. Seeing their relationship reminded me of Beauty of the Beast, which is one of my all-time favorite love stories.

All in all, Meg Kassel has outdone herself with Keeper of the Bees. She has created a uniquely breathtaking world and so many lovable characters. I can’t wait to see what is in store next (hopefully more from this world!)

All quotes are from the advanced reader copy and may not be in the final book. Thank you Entangled Teen for the advanced reader copy and YA Book Tours for the amazing blog tour!

Enter the Keeper of the Bees Giveaway!

Blog Tour Organized By:

YA Bounk Tour Button

*ARC Review* Twice Dead – Caitlin Seal

TwiceTitle: Twice Dead

Author: Caitlin Seal

Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen

Release Date: September 18, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars


Naya, the daughter of a sea merchant captain, nervously undertakes her first solo trading mission in the necromancer-friendly country bordering her homeland of Talmir. Unfortunately, she never even makes it to the meeting. She’s struck down in the streets of Ceramor. Murdered.

But death is not the end for Naya. She awakens to realize she’s become an abomination–a wraith, a ghostly creature bound by runes to the bones of her former corpse. She’s been resurrected in order to become a spy for her country. Reluctantly, she assumes the face and persona of a servant girl named Blue.

She never intended to become embroiled in political plots, kidnapping, and murder. Or to fall in love with the young man and former necromancer she is destined to betray.


My Review:

“The stories varied, but one fact remained the same: the undead weren’t human anymore, no matter how well they faked it.”

Besides being drawn in by the cover, I was initially pulled into the story by the unique summary. There’s not many Young Adult books that dabble in the paranormal, in the sense of wraiths and reapers and necromancy. I’ve always been interested in the world of necromancy, and to me, it’s no surprise that my favorite part of this book was the concept of necromancy.

Necromancy is communicating with the dead, which is part of Lucia’s specialty. Lucia is the one who brings Naya back from the dead. Well, brings her back in the form of a wraith, an undead being that needs aether to basically live. Raising the dead in this story involves runes that are etched onto bonds, or even solid objects, such as a furnace. The concept of runes and aether were a delightful surprise. Both had a strong presence in the novel, as both played a huge role in Naya’s new life (and secret life). There were not a ton of scenes that involved raising the dead, but there was enough to satisfy the reader while also staying true to Naya’s story.

Naya, the main character, after being raised from the dead, finds out that she was only raised for one thing: to be a spy for her country. She never wanted to become a wraith, nor did she wanted to get tangled up in murder and dangerous plots. She never expected to die. The idea of using a wraith as a spy was very intriguing and definitely different from many stories. Being undead fit well for Naya, as I feel if she was still alive, there would not be a need for her story. As the reader, I saw her struggle with coming to terms of what she has become, while also staying linked to her past. Even so, I unfortunately did not see a lot of character development on her end. Naya was interesting, but there were times where she focused more on doing what she was told instead of following her instincts. Or she would do something drastic without weighing the consequences, which are mistakes we all made, but she seemed to make them over and over. She has a vast amount of potential, just like the story, so I hope to see more of her development as an individual in the second book.

Corton, though, was a great character. He had a lot of backstory and played a huge role in Naya’s life, even if she was not aware of it. Him being the love interest was pretty obvious, but nothing wrong with that. I thought the two characters worked well together and had strong chemistry. There were a few scenes where you could feel the tension between Naya and Corten; those are some of my favorite scenes in books because it truly captures what it’s like to interact with someone who emotionally affects you.

Overall, the storyline is strong. There are some areas where it will feel like the story is dragging on, but I promise, there are some really amazing scenes in Twice Dead. The political plots and necromancy are two sturdy topics in the book, which really make for a fun and unique story. The world building is absolutely breathtaking and very descriptive; it’s a world unlike any other. Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of Twice Dead, I do plan on continuing this series. I love the idea of necromancy and I want to see how Naya develops in the second book.

I recommend this book for those who enjoy paranormal and unique stories in the YA genre.


~Blog Tour~ Seventh Born by Monica Sanz

SeventhBorn_1600Book: Seventh Born

Author: Monica Sanz

Genre: YA Paranormal/Mystery & Suspense

Release Date: September 4th 2018

Publisher: Entangled Teen

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Abomination. Curse. Murderer. All names hurled at eighteen-year-old Seraphina Dovetail. As the seventh-born daughter to a witch, she’s the cause of her mother losing her powers and, in turn, her life.

Abandoned as a child, Sera dreams of becoming an inspector and finding her family. To do that, she must be referred into the Advanced Studies Program at the Aetherium’s Witchling Academy. Her birth order, quick temper, and tendency to set things on fire, however, have left her an outcast with failing marks…and just what Professor Nikolai Barrington is looking for.

The tall, brooding, yet exceedingly handsome young professor makes her a proposition: become his assistant and he’ll give her the referral she needs. Sera is quickly thrust into a world where witches are being kidnapped, bodies are raised from the dead, and someone is burning seventhborns alive. As Sera and Barrington grow ever closer, she’ll discover that some secrets are best left buried…and fire isn’t the only thing that makes a witch burn.


Purchase links can be found HERE!

About the Author

monica_sanzMonica Sanz has been writing from the moment she could string together a sentence. Her stories have come a long way from mysterious portals opening in the school cafeteria, transporting classmates to distant worlds. A classic by the name Wuthering Heights is responsible for that. She’s been lost to dark romances and brooding fictional men ever sense. Now she writes about grumpy professors, cursed ringmaster, tortured soul collectors, and the girls they fall in love with. Monica’s books have received many accolades on the social writing website Wattpad. She’s accumulated over six million reads, eighty thousand votes, and fifteen thousand comments since posting her books on the website. She is also a member of the Wattpad4, a group of writers who host weekly Twitter chats on the subjects of writing and publishing.

Author Links:


My Review

*I received an uncorrected copy of Seventh Born from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All quotes in this review are based on the uncorrected proof and may not be in the final book.*

Seventh Born is a book I initially wanted to read based on the cover (isn’t that cover GORGEOUS?!). But then I read the summary and I knew this was a book I was going to like. Turns out, Seventh Born is a book I ended up loving.

Her whole life, Sera has been told she is nothing but an abomination and that her life will amount to nothing. But she’s determined to live the life she wants and to not be everything she has always been told. Sera wants to be an Inspector, a witch of high ranking, a rank that very few seventh-borns ever reach. And though people at school degrade her and aim to emotionally torture her, she tries to not let that affect her (though there are moments where her fiery anger gets the best of her).

“Her hand tightened on the doorknob, a fierce ache in her heart. She yearned to locate her family, but now there were monsters to find. There would always be monsters to find.”

I really enjoyed the complexity of Sera as the main character. She has a troubled past that still haunts her. She has a family she wants to find. And she has a life she wants to live, even though all odds are against her. She overall is a very complex character, who has magic that’s quite fiery and sometimes unstable. Seeing her navigate through this new chapter in her life, even when her past comes to light, she’s still a strong and brave character, one I feel I would befriend almost instantly.

One of the main reasons Seventh Born hooked me from the beginning was the beautiful writing. Monica Sanz did a wonderful job combining the many aspects needed to bring this book to life: mystery, suspense, magic, tension, and more. Though there was a lack of world building (which I hope to see more of in the second book), it was made up for in suspense and tension. The plot does come together nicely, but, like all great plots in the first book, it doesn’t tie together in a nice bow. Questions remain unanswered that will leave you guessing until book two comes out. If anything, the plot only thickens and leaves a ton open for the series.

“I’ll admit, I’m as confounded by your abilities as you are, but you’re in luck that I’m quite fond of mysteries and that I’m a rather magnificent magician.”

But I have to admit, I instantly fell in love with Professor Barrington. Professor Barrington is the type of character people would deem mysterious and intriguing. He has a life he hides from most and emotions he would prefer to keep hidden. So it was a complete surprise to Sera when he offered her a referral for her program in exchange for her assistance in solving a string of murders. Over the course of the book, Sera sees multiple sides of him, which makes him all the more intriguing. Barrington is an overall great character that adds to the suspense and tension and, of course, the magic. He’s one of those book boyfriends that would keep you entranced. And he sure does in Seventh Born. I can’t wait to see what Barrington brings to book two!

I finished this book in two days, and I can’t wait to read the sequel. I’m ready for more Barrington, suspense, and romantic tension. I can’t get enough of that wonderfully moody professor! Seventh Born is in stores now, so get your copy today!

Enter the Seventh Born Giveaway Here!

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