Sunday Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
Author: Holly Jackson
Page Count: 400 pages
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
From Goodreads: Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.


It feels like I have been seeing this YA thriller around everywhere lately, and I am a sucker for thrillers. They are my candy between fantasy reads and I just enjoy a good thriller now and again! So in this book, a girl named Andie Bell went missing five years ago and is presumed dead, murdered by Sal Singh only moments before he texted a confession to the crime along with a final suicidal farewell. The case was considered closed, but Andie’s body has never been found. Current day: Pippa Fitz-Amobi is determined to convince the police to re-open the case by starting her own investigation process as part of her Senior Capstone Project. The first place she goes is to Sal’s younger brother, Ravi, who soon becomes her partner. The interview and investigation list grows from there, as does the danger. The book is extremely plot-driven, and not much focused on character building. While we do see that our main character is very smart but quick to place names on her list of accused, and our sidekick is supportive and cheesy at times, there is not much more than that. Those who are interviewed are just all over the map in terms in individual personality and we are never drawn in to any of them really, but they are almost all people Pippa has known and been in contact with over the five years since the murder has taken place. This tragedy has just been idle for so long?

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is pretty much just that: a “guide.” I listened to the audiobook and the first quarter of the book (approximately) is interviews for main character Pippa’s Senior capstone project–casting doubt on the original murder investigation of her classmate. These interviews are recorded by different voice actors and are made to sound like actual evidential recordings. In the physical book, however, the story is told in different formats such as text messages and production logs. Basically whichever format you read, you are getting a fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat “guide” to murder that really keeps you guessing!

I definitely have to award props for some great twists and turns. When I thought the book was going to be over, something new would happen. Or there would be something else that I would think “Wait, he said what now??” and we would be thrown for another loop. There certainly are a couple of potentially disturbing triggers in this book so if you have sensitivities, check out the trigger warnings at the end of the post. Overall though, I thought this was pretty darn good for a YA mystery/thriller. I’m going to leaf through a hard copy sometime, just to compare it to the audiobook and see what I missed out on. I like mixed media books so I’ll be checking that out. Until next time! 🙂

Potential trigger warnings: Mentions of verbal abuse, kidnapping, date rape drugs, selling drugs, murder, death–human and animal. 

Book soundtrack: Big Love by She Wants Revenge

Review: Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Screen Shot 2020-01-23 at 6.49.08 PMTitle: Things You Save in a Fire
Author: Katherine Center
Page Count: 320 pages – Hardcover edition, but I listened to the audiobook
Release Date: August 13, 2019


Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?


This book was nominated for the Romance category for 2019 Goodreads Choice award, which sort of inspired me to pick it up, but it is so much more than just a romance novel! I love TV sitcoms like Grey’s Anatomy, Chicago Fire, etc. and I think its hard to find good books with characters who are doctors, firefighters, or paramedics. Things You Save in a Fire revolves around veteran firefighter Cassandra and rookie firefighter Owen.  The reason Cassie and Owen meet is because Cassie has just moved to Boston from Texas after a very public mauling of a councilman at an awards ceremony. Granted, he groped her–but no one saw that behind the scenes. But Cassie makes the move to save her career and moves in with her mother sort of against her will at her mother’s desperate request. It is this move that will change Cassie’s life and teach her lessons about love, forgiveness, and moving on.

Cassie was a super stubborn character and at times I got sick of how she treated her mom or how she shunned some of the men around her, but I get it. She is a woman in a “man’s profession.” She has to have rules and boundaries, and really, she is a badass. She has earned her way up and she will not let anything take her back down. Owen is probably my new bookish McDreamy. Seriously, this guy is the funniest, sweetest book boyfriend. And he’s a fire fighter so….what’s up! I even loved how he handled the conflict in this book and thought he was an all-around great fit for Cassie. Last but not least, the story overall was just so charming and well-written, I absolutely recommend it. I don’t always read contemporary romances but when I do, this is what I want to read!

Did you read any of the Goodreads Choice 2019 books last year? What were your faves?


The Sunday Review: I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

43352274Title: I’m Not Dying With You Tonight
Author: Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal
Page Count: 249 pages
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire


SYNOPSIS – Lena and Campbell aren’t friends.

Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.

They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.


REVIEW – Campbell moves to a new town for her senior year and is recruited to work the refreshment stand at the Friday night football game when no one else in the class volunteers. She doesn’t really have friends yet and she really doesn’t have help in the stand. She’s the outcast, the quiet one. Meanwhile, Lena is at the game to watch her friend dance in the halftime show and to show off her own hot new outfit and designer bag. Her boyfriend, Black, is older and in the studio laying down new tracks. On the outside, Lena has it all–friends, boyfriend, clothes, bags, even a plan for the future.

But when halftime hits, chaos breaks out. It starts as team rivalry. A fight. Next it erupts into chaos. More and more people get involved. And then there are gunshots. Honestly, from the beginning of the book, I didn’t stop reading. I could clearly picture my own high school games and then the rowdiness of them and even picture the violence and chaos. I could really picture Lena and Campbell on a journey through the rough neighborhoods of a rough city in the dark of night. I know those streets my own parents have told me to never even drive down, let alone walk down, and then Lena and Campbell are faced with that walk in the middle of a protest. No. Way. I’m Not Dying With You Tonight had my blood pressure up and my imagination working.

But that’s also a down side to this book. It was hard, at times, to imagine the night lasting as long as it did, and at a couple points, I did want it to just be over for these poor girls. Just hunker down and hide until morning. The book left much to the imagination regarding exactly why there was so much violence and terror in the city that night. A protest was mentioned but that’s all we get? And at the football game it was all team rivalry? I guess one takeaway is that we really do live in an age of high levels of panic where it is so easy to become a victim and it can be so difficult to escape the crossfire. Campbell and Lena learned that I think that, and that is exactly what this book did a great job of showing in several other ways as well. Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for letting me read this shocking and heart-wrenching book. It was quite an eye-opener, and so many people would do well to read it with an open mind.

Soundtrack: Where is the Love? by The Black Eyed Peas


ARC Review: The Escape Room

41150380Title: The Escape Room
Author: Megan Goldin
Release date: July 30, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis: Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are ruthlessly ambitious high-flyers working in the lucrative world of Wall Street finance where deception and intimidation thrive. Getting rich is all that matters, and they’ll do anything to reach the top.

When they are ordered to participate in a corporate team-building exercise that requires them to escape from a locked elevator, dark secrets of their team begin to be laid bare.

The biggest mystery to solve in this lethal game: What happened to Sara Hall? Once a young shining star—”now gone but not forgotten”.

This is no longer a game.
They’re fighting for their lives.


The Escape Room is a book that I was not able to put down from the very beginning. This is the type of thriller that I search for and rarely find. Honestly I tire of “The Girl in the…” (though I still read them) and author Megan Goldin has strayed away from the cookie cutter mystery-thriller and given us something different.

Sarah just earned her MBA and comes highly recommended from professors and colleagues, yet she hasn’t landed a job until she comes to interview with the firm at Stanhope and Sons. She lands the job in no place other than in the elevator with ‘the best of the best.’ From there, everything escalates. Sarah is trapped on the elevator with four co-workers in darkness with no water, no food, and in darkness. At first this is thought to be an average escape room team building scenario. However, they soon learn that it isn’t just their jobs, but their lives that are on the line.

My rating: ★★★★☆

Book Soundtrack: “This is War” by Thirty Seconds to Mars


Review: Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

Hi everyone! I hope if you celebrated July 4th this week, you had a great one honoring our freedom. Today I wanted to share a review with you of Hot Dog Girl, which I read last month as one of my “pride reads.” Really, I don’t mind picking up books in this subgenre any time of the year of course, but I was especially glad to have an excuse to pick this one up because the cover and the synopsis also called to me. Just on the cover alone, there is predominantly purple (my favorite color and I keep saying we need more purple covers in the world!), the shadow of a theme park (which I always associate with summer), a cute guy in swim trunks (yeah, I dig man buns–don’t judge me!), and a girl in a hot dog costume! So I’m swooning, reminiscing, and giggling all at the same time on a single cover. I don’t know that any cover has done that for me! Now let’s get to the review.

35843729._sy475_Title: Hot Dog Girl
Author: Jennifer Dugan
Page Count: 320
Release Date: April 30, 2019
Publisher: Putnam

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

SYNOPSIS (a la Goodreads): Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

* She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

Jennifer Dugan’s sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love–and themselves–in unexpected people and unforgettable places.

rainbowcakeMY REVIEW: I don’t always go for books within the trope of girl-crushing-on-boy-who-already-has-girlfriend, but if there ever was a case of an author handling it very well, this is the prime example. In the beginning of the book, Elouise (Lou) did get just a bit obnoxious with her obsessive escapades (nee ‘hero complex’) to save the park when everyone else thought it was none of her business and no one else considered it a problem. At that point, she just came off whiny and annoying. However, it does all come to a big all happy ending.

To be honest, there are a few happy endings in a few ways for several characters and that’s really what makes this book. I really felt this book read great. I didn’t have any problems with the pacing, with any of the characters or anything like that.This was a great summer (or anytime) read, great lgbtqia+ rep, really strong all around!

Book Soundtrack: Sunflower – Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse by Post Malone. Swae Lee


Review: These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

36484081._sy475_Title: These Witches Don’t Burn
Author: Isabel Sterling
Page Count: 366
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Publisher: Razorbill

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From reading the synopsis and looking at the cutesy illustrated cover, These Witches Don’t Burn sounded a bit like a cozy, YA paranormal F/F mystery. I was SO excited to read this book that I put it on hold at my library for the day it came out and started reading right away! I’ve never found a book like this before! How could I go wrong?! Well, it was just ok in my opinion. Maybe I set the bar too high, maybe I should have read the actual book in stead of listening to the audiobook, who knows. Either way, let’s spill the tea.

Set in Salem, These Witches Don’t Burn follows an elemental witch named Hannah who is looking forward to spending her summer avoiding her ex-girlfriend–not! Veronica (the ex) is extremely toxic and is clearly not over Hannah. Things are bearable until signs of dark magic begin to surface around town. Juggling hangouts with friends, a new crush, her family, and her coven, Hannah’s story had its share of twists and turns. I have to say that Hannah was not my favorite main character ever but I really liked the side characters in the story. Hannah’s best friend Gemma was tide and true, and a new co-worker and friend named Cal who was pretty quirky also. As for the central mystery of the book (the “which witch is which?” if you will), there were maybe three or four different people who I suspected before I figured it out.


What I disliked most about the book was that it felt choppy. In the beginning of the book, the author alluded to a situation that Veronica and Hannah encountered together in New York City several months ago. Honestly, is was referenced in such a way that I had to look up whether I was actually reading book 2 and I missed something in a different book that I should know about because this entire plot seemed to be building up around it! I also felt that for reading a book about witches in the title, there was a disappointing amount of magic. Magic is not really a hyped up thing in this book. Plus, as I mentioned, Hannah is an elemental witch and after reading this book, I still need to look up what an elemental witch really is! I mean, I sort of know, but it would have been fun to learn more, all things considered.

So that’s my take. I thought it was pretty light, I thought it was kind of fun, but I wanted more. It was a good summer read and its worth a shot if you’re looking for something in this vein.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?


Book soundtrack: “Magic City Hippies” by Robby Hunter Band


ARC Review + GIVEAWAY: Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small

tour2bbannerAuthor: A.K. Small
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: May 21st, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery


Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

erick-zajac-1377691-unsplashInside Nanterre School for Dance reside two best friends, Marine and Kate, who–among the other girls in their class–are competing for the one top spot dancing with the top male. Bright Burning Stars did an excellent job of capturing the cattiness and petty atmosphere that can reign in a competitive atmosphere like this. I don’t have experience with dance, but I went to school for opera where people are vying for lead roles in a show and believe me, when you have spent your life training for something and you know that you are prepared and that you have nailed your performance but then the next person goes on stage and has an advantage only because of a ‘favor’ she did or a judge? If it could mean the difference between performing on stage at sold out shows every night versus performing four times per month and teaching voice/dance lessons just to make ends meet….how far would you be willing to go to ensure you hit the top?

So that was all that was on my mind through most of the book. Everything hit close to home for me because I could really draw paralells to where I had been in the fine arts world, but really, it could work for any positions one is competing for. We all need drive (though, maybe not quite this much) to get to top. This book is told in dual perspectives so we do get to see both Marine’s and Kate’s thoughts as they go through all of this craziness. And I do mean crazy, but that’s what makes this book truly a page-turner I thought.  I really feel this book was beautifully written. It has some beautiful descriptions of dancing, it can be brutal at times (trigger warnings: eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, abortion grief, self-harm, intentional drug use, body dysmorphia) but I was here for the big picture.

About the Author

angela2bsmall2bcredit2b_becky2bthurner2bbraddockA.K. Small is thrilled for her debut novel, BRIGHT BURNING STARS, to come out May 21, 2019 through publisher Algonquin Young Readers. Her talent for writing and passion for classical ballet fuse together in this novel and earned A.K. Small the honor of an Entertainment Weekly review.

In addition to BRIGHT BURNING STARS, A.K. Small spends time on short stories. Her short story, Anthrocon, 2017 was just nominated for a Pushcart prize by the Bellevue Literary Review. Other stories such as the Flour Baby and The Interior Designer were also nominated or runner-up to prizes. She also ran a column titled, “A French Girl’s View Du Monde” at Barrelhouse Magazine.

A.K. Small graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2009 with an MFA in fiction. When she’s not reading her favorite authors (Rainbow Rowell, Angie Thomas, Anna Gavalda, Jandy Nelson, Ann Hood, Sue Miller, Anais Nin, Tayari Jones, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Wright, and J.R.R. Tolkien, to name a few!), she’s studying her favorite dancers: Sylvie Guillem, Noella Pontois, Marie-Agnes Gillot, and Aurelie Dupont.

A.K. Small grew up near the Sacré Coeur in Paris and married her Tobagonian soul mate. She has three gorgeous daughters and owns a min-chi named Dallas.

Author Links
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


And last but not least, enter to win 1 of 2 copies of Bright Burning Stars! You can also visit other stops on the tour (see below) and visit there for more chances to win! Giveaway runs 5/13-5/27/2019.

–> To the Rafflecopter! <–

Full Tour Schedule

May 13 – The Unofficial Book Addiction Fan Club … Interview
May 14 – The Reading Corner for All … Playlist
Tara’s Book Addiction … Review
May 15 – Journal of the Lost One …
May 16 – Everywhere and Nowhere … Guest Post
Star is All Booked Up … Promo Post
May 17 – Utopia State of Mind … Guest Post
Writing With Wolves … Review
–> May 18 – Singer of Stories … Review
May 19 – Portrait of a Book … Review
Lisa-Queen of Random … Promo Post

And that’s all I have, folks. Thanks for stopping by today! Until next time!!

Book Soundtrack: Black Swan Soundtrack…Act I:(Scene 2) Danse de petits Cygnes



Review: Honor Among Thieves

Let me start off with transparency by saying that I am relatively new to the sci-fi genre. Aliens and space travel have never really been my thing, especially in books. However, I have been dipping my toes into the waters more lately and this was definitely a likable book that I was able to fully immerse myself in, even as a newcomer to the genus!

30129657In Honor Among Thieves, our lead Zara Cole is a YA character we’ve seen before–she’s the girl off the streets who trusts no one and has been betrayed by everyone she has ever known. It is unprecedented in this futuristic world when a girl of her personality and background is chosen for the Honors–an elite space program which partners with the Leviathan, a race of sentient alien beings. Of course, Zara has Earthen enemies to flee, so she boards the Leviathan with her new partner, Beatriz (Bea), and heads off into the vast unknown.

In my opinion, some of the best parts of this book were built around the most bizarre things. As I mentioned, I’m still breaking in to this genre and maybe some of these things are relatively normal, but it was so weird to picture people living inside of this alien. ‘Alien’ = spaceship. I had in my mind Jonah and the whale or the Magic School Bus. Then at one point Zara has to dig through Nadim’s circulatory systems to fix an injury! Eek! All of that being said though, I think that one of the most beautiful parts of this book is the relationship that Zara, Bea, and Nadim grow to have. It is so incredibly intimate that Zara and Nadim basically feel one another’s feelings; that Bea can sing and Nadim essentially absorbs that essence. This concept of bonding and journeying together throughout life is so exquisite!….until it gets a bit creepy…but I think you can sort of see where I’m going with all of this.

38496253To wrap this up, I am very interested to see where this series goes. Both the leaders of Earth and the Leviathan have been keeping big secrets regarding “the journey” and how the relationship between humans and the Leviathan got to be exactly how it is, and the Leviathan themselves have a lot of ‘fessing up to do about their own history and backgrounds. Just as there are Earthen enemies, so are there galactic enemies. Why, exactly, have the Leviathan saved planet Earth just as it was about to be destroyed? How did they know? As odd as they are, they really are fascinating creatures and I am looking forward to seeing what happens next in book 2, Honor Bound, which just released February 19, 2019. So tell me…

Have you read this or both of these books? Do you enjoy sci-fi at all? Would you be able to space travel if given the opportunity?


Soundtrack: “Exit Music (For a Film)” by Radiohead

Review: Slayer by Kiersten White

34723130Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

* ~ * ~ * ~ *

This was my second book by Kiersten White and this one was a completely different (and much better) experience than the first. I really enjoyed this book! I listened to the audiobook version, which is read by Madeleine Maby. She actually happens to be one of my favorite audiobook narrators simply because she also reads the Colleen Hoover books! She did an excellent job as she always does, at bringing the book to life. Seriously, her voice was absolutely perfect for this character and story! But let me go into detail regarding the rest of the book.

BfyAside from that, though, I went into Slayer pretty blind and distant. It was one of the first anticipated releases of 2019 I was reading, I didn’t like the last K-White book I read, and I’m not really a Buffy follower. I thought the book was literally ‘about’ Buffy, the vampire slayer, but instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find a kind of spin off who rather despised Buffy. Don’t get me wrong–the book isn’t about disliking Buffy or anything, but the concept is that our MC, Nina, comes from a line of Watchers. Her father was Buffy’s Watcher–or one of them–and she is the reason her father was killed, as well as the reason the world is ending, and the reason for this and that and the other and, well, you get the point.

wloSo anyway, what I loved about this book: Nina was a great female character. She went from weakling (the clumsiest, first aid geek and Watcher flunkie we could ever imagine) through a progression towards slayer-in-training throughout this book. And it really was a progression. She had her ups and downs, she made her mistakes, she trusted the wrong people at times, and I thought that was all realistic and relatable enough for me. Well, as relatable enough as a PRN fantasy can be. The side characters were pretty fun. There wasn’t really romance but–surprise!–there was a f/f relationship in the book. So take that for what you will! Lastly, I really enjoyed Nina’s sense of humor and sarcasm. Maybe its not for everyone and maybe its something that was brought out more in the audiobook, but I absolutely thought that that was a fantastic addition to the book!

And there you have it, folks. Slayer was my first 5-star rating of the year 2019 and I was in no way expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I am so glad that I picked it up, and even more happy that I went for the audiobook.

So what do you think–have you read it? What do you think? Are you anti-Buffy like Nina is? Post your thoughts in the comments!



*BLOG TOUR* Dream Keeper by Amber R Duell

~About the Book~
Author: Amber R. Duell
Pub. Date: January 29, 2019
Publisher: The Parliament House
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 288
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, Kobo

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.

~My Review~

Honest to goodness, I was sucked into this book from the very beginning. All of the elements that I want in my paranormal fantasy stories were present: subtle details, a plot that is relatively quick but with characters that don’t develop too fast and grow boring, and of course, a unique story. I have never read a book about the Sandman legend. Of course, I’ve heard songs about the Sandman and I know he’s the sleep/dream guy but anything more than that and its out of my league. Here though, he’s the love interest with tattoos and purple eyes and….well, I don’t want to spoil too much of him.

As for the story itself, Nora is a teenager who has been visited by the Sandman every night for years, although she has been in therapy all the while telling herself she hasn’t. Meanwhile, the Sandman has hidden a dream inside of Nora to hide from the Nightmare Lord. From here on, things get dark. Nora and the Sandman explore their relationship, while the Nightmare Lord hunts down the dream which Nora holds and goes through her friends (via some pretty gruesome murders) to do it. Just a warning: don’t read this one before going to bed, my friends. This is a daytime read!

~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.

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~Giveaway Details~

1 winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card! This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL, so don’t be shy! Click this Rafflecopter link to enter!

~Tour Schedule~

Week One:
2/4/2019- Graced with Books– Review
2/4/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt
2/5/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads– Review
2/5/2019- BookHounds– Excerpt
2/6/2019- Singer of Stories– Review
2/6/2019- Kelly P’s Blog– Excerpt
2/7/2019- Oh Hey Books– Spotlight
2/7/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt
2/8/2019- Reese’s Reviews– Review
2/8/2019- The Reading Life– Spotlight

Book Soundtrack: Dream On – Glee Cast Version Feat. NPH (Originally by Aerosmith)