Jul 31, 2016

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!

I had quite a good week! Got me some nice new reads...my TBR pile is still crazy. My reading queue is still out of whack and I am struggling to keep up, but still happily reading my books at whatever pace/rate I'm at! LOL! 

Here's what I got:

 The Orange Cat by Kelley Armstrong--a freebie I got for having preordered her next Cainsville book!
Morrighan by Mary E. Pearson
Invincible by Dawn Metcalf
A Grave Prediction by Victoria Laurie
Scooby Doo Apocalypse #3 by Keith Griffin, J.M. DeMatteis & Ill. by Howard Porter

A contest win I won awhile back:

Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast
Scarlet Rain by Kristin Cast

THANK YOU Diversion Books!

Books for review:

Glitter by Aprilynne Pike (ARC)
Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh (ARC)
Day Zero by Kresley Cole (Early Copy)
The Sight by Chloe Neill (Early Copy)

THANK YOU Random House, Sky Pony Press, Valkyrie Press, NAL Trade, Netgalley, & Edelweiss!!

And then I received my final OTSPSecretSister gift from Andrea at The Overstuffed Bookcase!!

Animal Crackers
Library Socks
the gorgeous copy of Dracula
and some temporary tattoos!

THANK YOU Andrea!! I so enjoyed your gifts over the months!

Jul 29, 2016

Review--Shades of Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

After cheating death, Veronica Welling is determined to savor every moment in her idyllic kingdom with both her true love and best friend by her side at last. At the same time, Mackenna Reid is enthusiastically building her new life and a theater with her prince. But just as their dreams of happiness are within reach, the world Vee and Kenna have chosen is ripped away, leaving them to face their most horrific challenge yet—their old lives.

Thrust out of Doon, the best friends are confronted with tormentors from their past and no way to return to their adopted land. When the MacCrae brothers rush to their rescue, the girls' situation turns from nightmare to modern-day fairy tale. But their happiness could be short lived: unbeknownst to them, someone in their closest circle is aiding the witch of Doon in her bid to destroy the kingdom once and for all.

I so knew this would happen! I read the third book in Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon's Doon series and I am left with an unbearable cliffhanger! Agh!! Needless to say Shades of Doon was one epic and thrilling read that held me riveted from the first page!

No spoiler necessary, as we knew there were two more books left, Veronica is alive and well-ish. She still battles some bouts of dizziness and sickness, but she's doing her best to manage it and tone it down for her worrywort boyfriend, Jamie. To add to her bouts of dizziness, are also strange visions that seem to be overlapping themselves onto Doon; ones that are of the modern day world she left behind. And if that wasn't odd enough, Kenna is seeing them too.

There's an enemy afoot in the girls' inner circle. One who is aligned with the witch herself. And the girls have their own ideas of who it might be, but nothing will prepare them for the truth. It's through an odd twist of fate and some seriously bad juju that transports the girls back home. Way back home. And without their rings, they'll have no way to get back to their beloved home.

This was actually the most intense part of the story in my opinion, because there are two ways into Doon: waiting for the Centennial and entering through the portal--which since that happened not all that long ago, the girls are going to have a very long wait--or using the magic rings, which they don't have thanks to the enemy.

Most surprising of all was how quickly this is remedied. In some ways it was kind of a letdown, because I expected this to be a major part of the story, but it only ended up being a small part. Like maybe 1/3 or so? But there's an even more exciting and dangerous task ahead of our heroes and heroines that definitely makes up for it!

This time around the story is told in equal parts of Kenna and Veronica, though I felt like Veronica's chapters were a wee bit longer, but that's probably because I favor Kenna a little more! She's a very fun character to read about and I love her attitude and how she speaks her mind, even when the situation might call for candor! LOL!

Shades of Doon is probably my favorite so far out of the bunch because of all the increasing danger! There's so much that's happening and so much tension and I just couldn't read fast enough! I had to see how our heroines would make it out of this one! And naturally, being the second to last in the series, the ending was quite cliffhangery and didn't leave me with all the warm and fuzzies. In fact, I am anxious to read the next book asap and alas, it's still DAYS away from being released!

One thing I quite like about this series, that for some reason I've failed to mention, which is odd because it's been mentioned in all the books to date, is how much I love that Kenna and Veronica refer to their group of friends as the Scooby Gang! You all know my lobe for Scooby Doo so this is just a tiny little thing, yet it brings me such giddy joy!

I'm again in awe of the powerful friendship Kenna and Veronica have! Nothing will stop these two when they set their minds to something. I love the closeness they share with each other. When they are in rough patches, the other picks them up and sees them through their tears! It's so touching! They go to great lengths to be with one another and help the other out. I can't reiterate enough how much I love close friendships in books! It's something I will never tire of!

And this time around, I must say I enjoyed the romance on all fronts! Granted, there seemed to be little of it, but the moments each couple get to steal with each other just seem even more special and swoonworthy for it!

While I didn't feel especially shocked by the revelation of the traitor in their midst, I did quite enjoy the second surprise that popped up and it's one I felt I nailed from early on in the story. This story, at least! I am so looking forward to seeing how this series ends because that cliffhanger, agh! It about killed me in the way only an incredibly great read can! And naturally, Shades of Doon was an incredibly GREAT read!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Jul 28, 2016

Follow Friday

This is a weekly blog meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read

The Rules:

  • The goal is to increase blog followers, make friends and have something to post.
  • You create your own post using the post prompt.
  • You leave your link and thumbnail in the linky list that links back to your post prompt.
  • Once you have your post up and linked, visit other posts and tell them hi. The point is to FOLLOW them not just comment.
  • If you see a post that just hit it to the moon, or just want to show appreciation to a fellow blogger friend, like their name on the linky list to show some appreciation.
  • The person with the most likes gets chosen as the next Feature (you can be chosen every 90 days unless we are in need of features)
  • It is required that if you participate that you have to follow the FEATURE. It is a big no-no to participate and ignore the feature. They are the special snowflake in this little blizzard.
  • As a participant it is up to your discretion on how you want people to follow. Please post RSS, GFC etc if you have a follow of choice.

Specific RULES:

  • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
  • If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed FOLLOW as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  • Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
  • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
This week's prompt is: What is your take on DNF books? Do you review them? Choose not to review them?

MY ANSWER: It depends on how far I've made it into the book. There were times when I really didn't last all that long before I just decided to quit it. Pacing issues or character issues...but if I've made it a decent length I will write a DNF review and explain why I DNF halfway or nearly halfway through. I think it's important to write the DNF reviews no matter how much it might hurt, because sometimes I am that reader who is so conflicted over a book and really want more input and opinions on it so I can make an informed decision! LOL! So yeah, DNF reviews are hard to write, but are necessary sometimes and I write them as long as I've read around half the book, sometimes its less but still a significant amount. It's an insignificant amount then I don't bother with a review.

Review--Destined for Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

The second book in the popular new Doon YA series that takes on a classic story, Brigadoon, and spins it in a new way to give readers a fresh, modern experience.

In this sequel to Doon, Kenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake-choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. Worse, she's received proof she and Duncan are meant to be, along with torturous visions of the prince she left behind. So when Duncan shows up and informs Kenna that Doon needs her, she doesn't need to think twice. But even if Kenna can save the enchanted kingdom, her happily ever after may still be in peril.

Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon are one dynamic duo! Destined for Doon was even more exciting than Doon was! I was completely enthralled from the first page! Still told in Veronica and MacKenna's points of view, except this time MacKenna gets the spotlight. I found I quite enjoyed her perspective. She's a little more wild and carefree, but alas, still broken inside for all that she's lost.

We pick up seeing Kenna in Chicago, it's been a year since she left Doon, and she's living her dream with her internship and starring in plays. But it's not all she could hope for. Especially since she had a Calling come to her pretty much on day 1 and ever since then has missed Duncan, for now she knows he's her childhood imaginary friend, Finn, and that she really truly loves him. Then after a show one night, Duncan is waiting for her in her dressing room to bring her back to Doon because Veronica requests it. Something bad is happening in Doon and Veronica believes she will need Kenna to save her beloved home once again.

Right away there's so much friction between Kenna and Duncan, and sadly none of the good kind. Duncan is still sore after Kenna left him on the bridge and Kenna can't bring herself to tell him the whole truth behind why she did what she did. It was kind of hard to read at times, I was totally smitten with the Duncan and Kenna romance in the first book and when Kenna left him, I felt heartbroken too. And ironically, now we watch Jamie and Veronica be the lovey dovey couple while these two struggle to work out their feelings. And let me tell you, it's a long struggle!

A festering sort of plague has come to Doon and with it are the deaded black flowers that signfy the witch. The very one that we thought was gone from the last time. But as I have come to realize, villains never truly die...unless it's the final book and then when they're dead, they're dead-dead. LOL! Never trust a dead body is what I always think! Anyway, Veronica and Kenna have to figure out a way to stop this darkness from taking over all of Doon and leeching itself into the normal world as well.

We do get a little more backstory to the history of Doon with a past queen and the witch herself. It was definitely eye-opening, yet I still couldn't help but be a bit confused with what was happening in the now. It's only suggested that this "plague" is caused by the witch. And yeah, I got that part, but I guess I was expecting more involvement from the witch instead of just seeing her ultimate power wreak havoc over the land and terrorize our heroines.

I've really come to enjoy the intense friendship between Veronica and Kenna! I love seeing that nothing will stop these two from doing what they want to do. They've just got that remarkable kind of friendship I always admired and wish I had myself with friends.

Sadly there wasn't much romance in this one, at least on the Kenna and Duncan front. Obviously, because they aren't together and Duncan is still angry with Kenna. Try as Kenna might, she just can't get over her own fears and to tell Duncan the truth behind why she left him. And this kind of thing always bugs me! I'm the one shouting at the book (or TV screen) for the heroine to just TELL HIM!! Agh! LOL. But thankfully, since we do get a few Veronica chapters, she and Jamie provide a good amount of swoony moments, so it wasn't completely without all the feels in that area!

The epic ending was a little bit of a letdown in a sense. I was expecting another rushing kind of battle with the witch, when instead it involved having to do some inner battling to defeat her. And then poof. It's done. But I will say that the aftermath was far more intriguing! And I really thought that this one would end all nice and happily and I would just be left to wonder what next adventure Kenna and Veronica would go on and then...BAM! Total cliffhanger ending! AHH! But thankfully I know that there are two books left and thankfully, again, I have the next book ready! Though there is that very real fear that whatever cliffhanger the authors to decide to throw at us next might just kill me. Especially since I don't have the next book at the ready. Ignore the fact that it comes out next week too. Because that's still several days away!

This series is seriously shaping up to be of the best series ever! I especially enjoyed the little bit of Harry Potter reminiscing in the final chapter as well! Just makes this book even more incredible honestly! If you're a fan of Fantasy YA, I encourage you to check this one out. It's got a different vibe than some of the other fantasy reads out there, but still an enchanting read! Yes, I like that word, enchanting! It's kind of got that fairy tale vibe going to it, which I guess comes from the original Brigadoon that I still must go research and read. Destined for Doon is the second book of the enchanting series called Doon and it's not one to be missed for fantasy fans and especially fairy tale fans!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars


Random Thursday

Time for another round of factoids regarding Disney's Sleeping Beauty! Again, all these factoids are from past Disney desk calendar pages that I saved when I was younger. I was a bit of a geek back then...a different kind of geek...a geek with different quirks!

"This was the first Disney animated feature to be produced in 70mm widescreen format."

That's interesting!

"Walt Disney's personal nickname for Mary Costa, the voice of Princess Aurora, was 'little bird'."

"Aurora holds the distinction of being the first of the Disney animated princesses to wear a royal crown."

I totally see that now!

"Aurora's original character design was modeled after screen beauty Audrey Hepburn."

With these pictures, I can totally see it!

Jul 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog post by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights releases we're eagerly awaiting.

Arcana means secrets, and these Arcana Chronicles vignettes from #1 New York Times bestseller Kresley Cole are filled with them. Experience firsthand the beginning of the end and behold the apocalypse through the eyes of characters you only thought you knew.

Ashes to ashes . . .
Evie Greene's story of the Flash is just one of many. All over the world, those connected in some way to the lethal Arcana game--like Death, Jack, and Fortune--must first survive a horrifying night of blood and screams.

We all fall down.
Some will have to grapple with new powers; all will be damned to a hellish new existence of plague, brutality, desolation, and cannibalism. Find out who they lost, why they endure, and what they sacrificed in order to live past Day Zero. . . .

Soooo cannot wait to return to this world!! LOVE this series!!

TITLE: Day Zero
AUTHOR: Kresley Cole
PUBLISHER: Valkyrie Press
GENRE: Dystopian YA
RELEASE DATE: August 1, 2016 

Losses mount and deadly new threats converge in this fourth action-packed tale of the Arcana Chronicles by #1 New York Times bestseller Kresley Cole.

When the battle is done . . .
The Emperor unleashed hell and annihilated an army, jeopardizing the future of mankind--but Circe struck back. The epic clash between them devastates the Arcana world and nearly kills Evie, separating her from her allies.

And all hope is lost . . .
With Aric missing and no sign that Jack and Selena escaped Richter's reach, Evie turns more and more to the darkness lurking inside her. Two Arcana emerge as game changers: one who could be her salvation, the other her worst nightmare.

Vengeance becomes everything.
To take on Richter, Evie must reunite with Death and mend their broken bond. But as she learns more about her role in the future--and her chilling past--will she become a monster like the Emperor? Or can Evie and her allies rise up from Richter's ashes, stronger than ever before?

First a novella and then a NOVEL!! YAY!!! Hope we get a recap of some sort! It's been wayyy too looooong since I read Dead of Winter!

AUTHOR: Kresley Cole
PUBLISHER: Valkyrie Press
GENRE: Dystopian YA
RELEASE DATE: August 15, 2016 


Jul 26, 2016

Bookish Love!

Discovered this quote today. Ironically, I had entered a contest and lost, but my consolation prize was this digital poster that I could print and what not. I clicked it open out of curiosity and was so amazed by the quote because it TOTALLY resonates with me!

I've read sooooo many books that I can't remember them all or their details. Never ask me to play trivia games for books because I will lose! LOL! But I quite enjoyed this quote by good ol' Ralph! I knew I liked his poetry way back when for a reason!

Review--Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes?

When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt—and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation.

Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for… or they could end up breaking an enchantment and find themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare.

My reading queue has gone all out of whack! I can't stick with just review books or just new releases or even just old back titles. I am literally all over the place! LOL! I just finished Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon and oh wow was that good! After a batch of so-so reads, this was most refreshing! It was the right blend of modernity and fantasy that I always enjoy seeing, but so rarely do (the fantasy part, like magical lands and whatnot). This was one incredible read!

Veronica has had it rough for awhile now. Her father left when she was twelve and her mother has been dating a sleazebag for some time and is now marrying him, her boyfriend cheated on her with her nemesis, and her best friend, MacKenna, is still miles away. To add to the crazy, Veronica starts to have visions or waking dreams almost, of this handsome Scottish fellow who keeps calling her name and vanishes. When MacKenna offers to pay for her to come with her to visit Scotland, it didn't take much convincing.

Veronica is soon obsessed with her visions and wants to figure out what they mean, while Kenna is just wanting to have fun and maybe meet some cute boys. It's not long before the two find themselves magically transported to the world of Doon. Doon is quite literally a fantasy world of magic. Veronica is amazed at all she is seeing because it calls to her. Kenna is amazed as well, but would rather go back home, she has an internship waiting for her once the summer is over. But their mode of transportation was taken, but if they wait two weeks, the "magical" bridge will open that connects Doon with their world. And it's not long at all before Veronica finds her mystery boy. Jamie is the crown prince and heir to the throne and at first sight he pretty much despises her.

It was quite the whiplash to see that happen honestly. Naturally, Veronica is confused by this because to her, Jamie felt so real in her visions. She kind of felt like he had to know her too. But ironically, this was done in a way that didn't annoy me like another read did where the heroine was so sure she was meant to be with the guy. When Jamie's cold and abrasive attitude is directed towards her, Veronica fights back with attitude!

In the meantime, we watch Duncan, Jamie's brother, become completely smitten with Kenna. Naturally. It caused a little eye twitch that the two best friends fall for a set of brothers. But I guess coincidences have to happen! I'll admit, their romance was pretty cute, because Kenna too, tries to fight it for she knows she can't stay here while it looked like Veronica was more than willing to leave her old life behind.

This book was told in both Veronica and MacKenna's points of view, but it was primarily in Veronica's point of view. This is her story, as I am finding out as I start book 2, that one is Kenna's story. I'll be interested to see what the next two after that will be like, but I liked this way of telling, because it lets you get to know one character more than the other, but then immediately upon starting the next book we're with that character! It's a crazy kind of twist, but I like it, for the other friend is never far from the scene either!

The girls' goal is waiting for the magical portal that opens once every one hundred years to open again in two weeks so that they can go home. But there's evil afoot. A witch that has plagued the citizens of Doon seems to have returned despite being banished centuries ago, yet they can find no physical trace of her. Except for her magic that seems to be eeking into the good of Doon. And since all was well before Veronica and Kenna's arrival, the citizens turn the ugly eye onto them!

Doon was a fun and interesting read! It's got a good deal of magic and mystery going on and of course romance! It has a simplistic nature to its story, yet it's still captivating in its execution! I never read the original Brigadoon that it is based off of. Never even knew about it! So it might be something I look into later on. I really enjoyed this one and can't believe I waited so long to read it! And with the way this one ended I am so glad I have the next two novels to read because while it was just about be all happily ever after, we get thrown a whopper of a curve-ball in the last few pages and I am itching to see where things will go next! 

Doon is a read filled with magic, friendship, action, and romance, it's got great storytelling and the words and characters will have you gripping its pages to finish it!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by MizB of Books and Beat

Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

"Since arriving in Doon yesterday, he'd saved me from Gideon, the icky dungeons, and now violent death at the hands of a lynch mob. Rescuing me was fast becoming "our thing". It would've been so much easier if "our thing" had been something normal and less life-threatening...like karaoke." p 147

AUTHORS: Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

GENRE: Fantasy YA
RELEASE DATE: August 20, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them 

*in no particular order
**a lot harder than I thought it would be! LOL!

1. ZIPLINE--while there wasn't actual ziplining in this one unlike in my next pick, Maria did say she ziplined as research for when they were climbing through the trees and such in this book! To this day I still haven't done it, but keep meaning to!
2. KICK BUTT--there's a lot of issues with this series I think, in both book and movie realms, but I still liked the book series a lot! And Tris seriously rose above and kicked some butt! I feel like her in some ways because she seriously struggled in the beginning but could still kick butt!
3. SOLVE A MYSTERY--I think it would be cool to solve a mystery, though I would want Backup. In the form of a guard dog or Logan or another hot guy! ;)

4. FIND LOVE--yeah I want to find that guy who gets me! And totally indulges me in my bookish habits! i.e.: an older version of Daemon...who can be a Lux or just human. I'm not picky! ;)
5. HAVING AN EPIC GROUP OF FRIENDS--I have like maybe one good friend who lives near(ish) to me, but we rarely hang out because of conflicting schedules. And of course I have all you lovely blogger pals, but I would love to have a close group of friends who are near me so we can hang out more! I'm such a homebody, it's a little sad sometimes. :(
6. TRAVEL MORE--not necessarily to Egypt, but I'd be willing if I had a travel buddy! As it is, the majority of my bookish trips happen solo and there are times I get freaked out with being on my own in cities I am totally unfamiliar with. Regardless, there are still plenty of places I'd still LOVE to see and visit! Would do some solo if I had to!

7. GO TO A HAUNTED HOUSE--I've done ghost tours, which I guess is sorta like this, but I REALLY want to see the Winchester Mansion in California! That one would be sweet!
8. GO TO LONDON--yeah this is like the travel more one, but more specific! I want to go to London and see all the sights, yes, but also to see the Harry Potter exhibits too!
9. LEARN SWORD-FIGHTING--a little more specific of item 2, but felt like Kestrel was pretty freaking awesome in this series and yeah, sword-fighting would be cool!

10. FLY--yeah, it's my unrealistic one! But ever since learning that Jeaniene's vampires can fly at a certain point, really makes me want to fly!! LOL! If I could spend eternity with Bones, it would so be worth it!


Jul 25, 2016

The Architect of Song Blog Tour: ARC Review--Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower - intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as - haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts - they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

New Adult: Recommended for ages 16+.

I received this ARC from the author for being a part of the blog tour. I was in no way compensated for this review.

The Architect of Song is A.G. Howard's foray into the New Adult world and I must say it was quite an intriguing and fascinating read! Juliet is a young woman who is deaf, she was severely sick as a child and it resulted in a loss of hearing, but over the years she has managed to read lips and basically no one would know as long as she's able to see their lips moving. We open to her mother's death and see her tragic outcome that follows, and when she visits the cemetery, she meets a strange young man when she touched a flower.

Hawk is a ghost and he doesn't know how he died or why he's connected to the flower that Juliet touches. Basically, as long as the flower touches her skin, he is visible and able to speak to Juliet, and wonders of wonders, she can hear him without having to read his lips. It's quite a feat of magic really!

Conflict arises when a certain Lord Thornton decides he wants to buy Juliet's home and makes her an offer she can't really refuse, though she tires. Forced to spend time at his own estate and help run a dress shop--for that's sort of her family business, she specializes in hats--she begins to grow closer to Thornton. All the while, she's trying to help Hawk solve the mystery behind his identity and death and all that jazz. They soon find there's a connection between him and Thornton.

I really enjoyed the connection Juliet had with Hawk. Guess I'm a sucker for forbidden romances, because you can't get more forbidden than having one alive and one dead person fall in love. It brings about its own challenges, for sure enough, Juliet does love Hawk, and he her. And when you throw in Lord Thornton, you basically have one epic love triangle that's bound to end in tears, for there's only one way to truly be with a ghost after all! And I will leave you with that and not mention the love triangle again! But suffice to say there are quite a few swoony moments in this one!

I did enjoy the mystery element! Not only are we trying to figure out who Hawk is, but there's still the matter of his untimely death to solve. And even that brings up a new mystery that needs solving! And I must say it was done rather well, if a bit too cleanly towards the end. But more on that in a moment.

One issue I had with this one was the pacing. At times, and especially in the beginning, I felt like I had no idea where this story was going. Suddenly Juliet has a new ghost friend and then things are just dandy as she tries to go about her life and dealing with her mother's death. It was just slow progress for awhile because I really didn't see where we were going with things. And finally, when Juliet goes to Lord Thornton's estate for a possible marriage proposal and to work in a store, things moved along better because this is exactly where Hawk wants to be in order to solve his murder. Though he doesn't care for Thornton's intense attention towards Juliet.

The ending was a little too clean cut as well, in some areas. I did like how things wrapped up, but when dealing with one particular character, I felt like it was too easy to end with the way it did. I guess because it all happened with Juliet off scene and she's our narrator, so it felt a little rushed and too clean. But again, minor nuisances.

This is the first book in a series of four, though it's my best guess that the other three might involve different characters. Possibly even new ones. Juliet's story is wrapped up nicely with a neat little bow (this is a GOOD thing!) and there are no unanswered questions at the end. Which is always the proper way to end a book, should it not be a series or what not! Or you know, should the author like to torment her readers, then I guess I can accept the pain and torture of cliffhangers. (LOL!)

The Architect of Song is a vastly different kind of read for me in some ways, but it was still rather enjoyable. There's ghosts, romance, mysteries, murder and secrets abound! Plenty to have any and all readers engaged! Looking forward to seeing where this series will take us in the next three books!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

The Architect of Song releases August 15, 2016

A.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would've happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.
When she's not writing, A.G.'s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Trailer Link:

Giveaway Details:

All tour prizes (INTL):
2 - signed The Architect of Song paperbacks
3 - The Architect of Song e-books
1 - heart locket necklace
1 - Architect of Song poster
1 - faux leather journal
1 - 5X7 musical print
3 - The Architect of Song swag packs
1 – LitCube surprise box

13 separate winners

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/25/2016- Dark Faerie TalesGuest Post-Hybrid Author

7/25/2016- a GREAT readReview

7/26/2016- Lisa Loves LiteratureReview

7/26/2016- BookfeverReview

7/27/2016- FiktshunCharacter Interview

7/27/2016- The Cover ContessaReview

7/28/2016- The Reading CafĂ©Review

7/28/2016- Adventures of a Book JunkieReview

7/29/2016- Please Feed the bookwormReview

7/29/2016- 21st Century Once Upon A TimesReview

Week Two:

8/1/2016- Once Upon a Twilight - Exclusive Excerpt

8/1/2016- Ramblings of a DaydreamerReview

8/2/2016- My Friends Are FictionGuest Post- Fashion

8/2/2016- Sarcasm & LemonsReview

8/3/2016- CornerfoldsReview

8/3/2016- BookHounds YAReview

8/4/2016- BookiemojiExclusive Excerpt

8/4/2016- Owl Always Be ReadingReview

8/5/2016- Mundie MomsReview

8/5/2016- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post- Playlist