Book Review: Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton

Mary Hades (Mary Hades #1)

Title: Mary Hades (Mary Hades #1)
Author: Sarah Dalton
Publisher:
Sarah Dalton
Release Date: 4th May 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Gothic, paranormal
Format: E-book
Page Count: 286 (paperback)
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Rating:

5 of 5 hearts

Mary’s been dragged to Nettleby, a small town in the north of England, for a family holiday, but when strange accidents occur that kill people around her, she discovers she’s at the centre of child ghost’s vengeance, and she has to figure out a way to keep all of her new friends – and old ones – alive so they can put the serial killing ghost to rest.

Mary Hades is a wonderful book, truly spectacular. It’s the kind of book that would be at home with a major publisher in their YA Gothic section. As a self-published book, it simply outshines a lot of other similarly produced work I’ve read. It’s polished, refined, each character has its own motivations and the main character grows and changes with relevance to the clear, outlined plot. There’s mysteries left unturned until the climax and it’s also a good adventure ride, hanging out with Mary as she finds a summer romance, faces some demons both metaphorical and real, and tries to solve the mystery of the ghost child haunting the small town.

Mary was an excellent character. She was strong willed and smart, fighting against a horrible mental illness stigma. Her best friend is a ghost, called Lacey, and the two of them bickered and fought like any teen best friends do. I loved their relationship because of the power balance between them and I found it quite realistic. As an added bonus, Lacey is a lesbian, but it’s never made a big deal of. Mary wasn’t exactly a leader type who took charge, but she was capable of being on her own without falling apart, which I liked.

The other characters were great to read about as well. Seth had motivation out the wazoo and enough issues to make even the worst of the bad-boy-with-an-attitude-lovers swoon. Neil and Lamarr were an interracial gay Goth couple and they were sweet to Mary. We didn’t see as much of them because the focus was on Seth. Mary’s parents were suitable horrific: her mother was completely obsessed with getting Mary a summer boyfriend (and maybe even getting laid?) and her dad, obviously, hated Seth and anything that threatened to change Mary from a little girl into a woman.

Although this book revealed horrible character actions and hinted at even more sinister stuff, I still think it’s a great book for teenagers to enjoy. I really liked it even though I haven’t read the prequel novella, My Daylight Monsters. I think it’s a phenomenal effort and it should be a book other YA readers should tackle.

Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and the author for providing a free review copy for an honest review.

Book Blitz: Pieces of Me by Kira Adams

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Pieces of Me

by Kira Adams

 Release Date: 08/11/14

 Summary from Goodreads:

For sixteen year old Peyton Lane, life has never been easy. She’s not popular, overweight, and oh yeah, her sister is embarrassed of her. But over the course of a tumultuous year, everything changes for Peyton.

Suddenly all eyes are on her and it’s not because she’s fat. From a pair of handsome twins to a couple of dangerously sexy rockers, Peyton will have to find out who she can trust with her heart. From the ups and downs to the twists and turns—this is Peyton’s story of finding one’s voice and growing into your own.

This is a coming of age romance that involves realistic situations and raw emotions. This is Pieces of Me.

Excerpt:

“Can I just ask you one thing?” He stopped highlighting his script and turned to face me. “Are you buying all the bullshit he fed you?”

My cheeks were red in a matter of seconds. What if Jace knows something I don’t? What if everyone does? Did I get played by Jax? I wouldn’t put it past him; after all he had put me through. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before. Jace looked at me with sympathy in his eyes, which just made it that much worse. Tears were forming at the corner of my eyes, but I was determined to blink them back. He probably thought I had something stuck in my eye, when in reality, I was trying not to have a full on break down in front of him.

“Peyton,” he said softly, rubbing my arm with his hand. “You didn’t do anything wrong,” he whispered. “I just don’t want you to get hurt, especially by him. I haven’t been around him much my whole life, even though we are brothers…but from what I’ve seen in this past year, I just don’t believe he has your best interests at heart. Just promise me you won’t buy everything he says right away. Promise me you will think before moving forward with him, please.”

“I didn’t ask for any of this,” I said softly, looking down. It was true. All I had ever wanted after everything Jax had done to me was invisibility. I just wanted to be left alone. I never asked in a million years for him to torture me and then play with my emotions.

About the Author

Krista Pakseresht has always been a dreamer. From the first time she opened her eyes. Creating worlds through words is one thing she is truly talented at. She specializes in Young adult/New adult romance, horror, action, fantasy, and non-fiction under the pen name Kira Adams.

She is the author of the Infinite Love series, the Foundation series, the Darkness Falls series, and the Looking Glass series.

Author Links:

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GIVEAWAY:

$10 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

Stacking The Shelves (95)

button Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
It’s all about sharing the books we’ve picked up for the week, whether they are bought, borrowed, gifted, galleys, physical or virtual.
Share your shelves and remember to visit Tynga’s Reviews where it all started to find more great books!

Purchased:

We Were Liars

A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends – the Liars – whose friendship turns destructive.

A revolution. An accident. A secret.

Lies upon lies.

True love.

The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense that will leave you reeling.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I had a gift card to a department store that needed to be used, so I bought the only books that looked even vaguely interesting.
Thief's Magic (Millennium’s Rule, #1)
 In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.

Elsewhere, in an land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it — should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath.

But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands… and not even the people they trust.

From Black Rooms (Violet Series)
Natalie Lindstrom has finally left the underworld behind for a new career in the art world. But there’s one world she can’t escape: the Other world of the dead. As a former Violet, an elite crime-fighter with the power to channel murder victims, Natalie is now using her paranormal gift to summon the spirits of legendary painters. But she’s about to discover how far some people will go to keep their hold on her–and others like her…. Evan Markham, her ex-lover-turned-Violet-Killer, has escaped from prison. And he’s been made an offer he can’t refuse: Natalie. But first he must help contact a deceased geneticist whose most intriguing experiment was brutally interrupted: an attempt to manufacture Violets.

To protect her young daughter and herself, Natalie must search for the scientist’s only living test subject–a handsome but tortured artist to whom she is dangerously attracted.

For he is caught in the grip of two opposing forces, one that wants his survival, another that wants him–and anyone connected with him–destroyed….

The Libertine
Lennox Taskill is a dissolute rogue, a powerful witch who some say even trades his enchantments for profit when it pleases him. His only loyalty is to his coven, his disdain for humanity sealed by the searing memory of his mother burning at the stake. So when the wife of a wealthy landlord comes seeking his help, the beguiling Chloris Keavey unwittingly presents Lennox with his greatest opportunity for distraction…and retribution.

By failing to produce an heir, Chloris faces a terrible threat: being turned out by her heartless husband. Now, she vows to get with child, even if it means surrendering her body — and soul — to Lennox’s seductive magic. But with a witch hunt brewing, Lennox and Chloris are soon risking everything for their forbidden nights of ecstasy…and to protect the secret that could cost them their lives.

Download:

Mindspeak (Mindspeak, #1)

She was created for a purpose so revolutionary, someone was willing to kill for it.

Seventeen-year-old Lexi Matthews keeps two secrets from her elite boarding school classmates—she’s the daughter of a famous and controversial geneticist, and she can influence people’s thoughts.

But after new student Jack DeWeese heals her broken arm with an anything-but-simple touch, he forces Lexi to face a new reality—her abilities reach much further than speaking to the minds of others.

After Lexi’s father goes missing and she receives threatening emails, she can’t decide whether to fall into Jack’s arms or run and hide.

As Lexi seeks answers to what she and Jack are, she discovers a truth more unsettling than anything her science books can teach. And letting Jack into her life of secrets is not only a threat to her very existence, but it just might break her heart wide open.

Freebie!

Book Blitz: Unrequited by Emma Grey

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Unrequited

by Emma Grey

Release Date: 05/26/14

Summary from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Kat Hartland loathes Unrequited, the world’s biggest boy band. Is she the only girl

in Sydney who can’t be bothered with perfect-looking Angus Marsden? Give her 5 Seconds of Summer. Now.

Or maybe the seriously-hot med student who rescued her on a train—and who could be Douglas Booth’s twin! Perfect formal partner, much?

But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get complicated. Very. Throw in a deranged female popstar, final exams, a part in the musical and a mum who just doesn’t get it—and where is her best friend? When did life get so crazy? Kat’s just an ordinary schoolgirl.

Isn’t she?

Excerpt:

Is he going to kiss her? How would she know? She’s never done this before. Not with anyone. Pop star or otherwise …

He is. He’s going to kiss me. She thought they couldn’t get any closer on this piano stool but she was wrong. His face is near hers now, his green eyes intent. He touches her cheek with his fingers and traces a line to her chin, which he lifts, gently, almost like he’s done this a million times before.

His breath is on her lips and she can actually hear her own heart thudding. She’s sure he can, too, particularly when his other hand finds the curve of her waist and pulls her closer.

There’s nothing rushed about this manoeuvre. Yep. He’s definitely done this before. Maybe two million times. Maybe three million. After all, he’s got at least twenty million followers on social media …

‘Kat,’ he whispers. ‘Turn your brain off.’

About the Author

Emma Grey has two teenage girls, a three-year-old boy, a couple of businesses and another teen novel in the pipeline. Her first book, ‘Wits’ End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum’ was published in 2005.

Author Links:

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GIVEAWAY:

3 – $10 Amazon Gift Cards (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

My Favourite Male Character (15)

button 30 Day Book Challenge

Welcome to the Moonlight Library’s 30 Day Book Challenge!
This meme intends to generate discussion, so please feel free to add a comment.
This particular challenge is taken from the 30 Day Challenge Archive on Tumblr.

Day 15: Your Favourite Male Character

My favourite male character is Brigan from Kristen Cashore’s Fire Book #2 in the Graceling Realms trilogy.

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I like Brigan the best because he’s not your typical good-looking arrogant jerk. He’s a hard worker and loyal, and loves his family. His relationship with Fire is incredibly slow-burning and starts off with him hating her, which I kind of adore, because it’s like a reverse Beauty and the Beast, where Fire is so beautiful she’s used to everyone falling in love with her. But Brigan sees past her beauty, which I love.

Waiting on Crown of Ice by Vicki L Weavil (98)

button Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine.
It’s all about spotlighting upcoming releases we’re eagerly anticipating.
Share your books and remember to visit Breaking The Spine for more great books!

This week I’m eagerly waiting on:

Crown of Ice

Crown of Ice by Vicki L Weavil

Expected publication: 9th September 2014

Publisher: Month9Books

From Goodreads:

Thyra Winther’s seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can’t reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she’s doomed to spend eternity as a wraith.

Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal.

A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai’s childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra’s willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts — to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup’s devotion and the fire of a young man’s desire, the thawing of Thyra’s frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.

Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet (79)

button Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
It’s all about bookish lists!
Share your lists and remember to stop by The Broke and the Bookish to see where it all began.

Top Ten Books I Really Want To Read But Don’t Own Yet

Also, it’s my birthday, so my husband and any friends reading should take this list as a giant hint.

1.

Wildthorn

Seventeen-year-old Louisa Cosgrove longs to break free from her respectable life as a Victorian doctor’s daughter. But her dreams become a nightmare when Louisa is sent to Wildthorn Hall: labeled a lunatic, deprived of her liberty and even her real name. As she unravels the betrayals that led to her incarceration, she realizes there are many kinds of prison. She must be honest with herself – and others – in order to be set free. And love may be the key…

2.

Cruel Beauty

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl’s journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

3.

Deception's Princess (Deception's Princess, #1)

Some lies lead to true adventure. . . .

Maeve, princess of Connacht, was born with her fists clenched. And it’s her spirit and courage that make Maeve her father’s favorite daughter. But once he becomes the High King, powerful men begin to circle–it’s easy to love the girl who brings her husband a kingdom.

Yet Maeve is more than a prize to be won, and she’s determined to win the right to decide her own fate. In the court’s deadly game of intrigue, she uses her wits to keep her father’s friends and enemies close–but not too close. When she strikes up an unlikely friendship with the son of a visiting druid, Maeve faces a brutal decision between her loyalty to her family and to her own heart.

Award-winning author Esther Friesner has a remarkable gift for combining exciting myth and richly researched history. This fiery heroine’s fight for independence in first-century Ireland is truly worthy of a bard’s tale. Hand Deception’s Princess to fans of Tamora Pierce, Shannon Hale, and Malinda Lo.

4.

Camelot Burning (Metal & Lace, #1)

By day, Vivienne is Guinevere’s lady-in-waiting. By night, she’s Merlin’s secret apprentice, indulging in the new mechanical arts and science of alchemy. It’s a preferred distraction from Camelot’s gossipy nobility, roguish knights, and Lancelot’s athletic new squire, Marcus, who will follow in all knights’ footsteps by taking a rather inconvenient vow of chastity.

More than anything, Vivienne longs to escape Camelot for a future that wouldn’t include needlework or marriage to a boorish lord or dandy. But when King Arthur’s sorceress sister, Morgan le Fay, threatens Camelot, Vivienne must stay to help Merlin build a steam-powered weapon to defeat the dark magic machine Morgan will set upon the castle. Because if Camelot falls, Morgan would be that much closer to finding the elusive Holy Grail. Time is running out and Morgan draws near, and if Vivienne doesn’t have Merlin’s weapon ready soon, lives would pay the price, including that of Marcus, the only one fast enough to activate it on the battlefield.

5.

Smitten: A Kitten's Guide to Happiness

Following the success of “101 Cataclysms” Rachael Hale presents a beautifullyphotographed ode to contentment as lived by the most endearing kittens.

6.

In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3)

Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IANN, the disease that has killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the “rehabilitation camps” housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

7.

Oblivion (Nevermore, #3)

8.

Wisdom's Kiss

Magic, cunning, and one very special cat join forces in this hilarious, extraordinary tale by the author of the Dairy Queen trilogy and Princess Ben. Princess Wisdom, known as Dizzy, longs for a life of adventure beyond the staid old
kingdom of Montagne.
Tips, a soldier, longs to keep his true identity a secret.
Fortitude, an orphaned maid, longs only for Tips.
These three souls might possibly attain their dreams while preserving their empire from ruin — if only they can bear one another’s company long enough to come up with a plan.
Magic, cunning, and one very special cat join forces in this hilarious tale told in diaries, letters, encyclopedia entries, and even a play, all seamlessly stitched together by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of Dairy Queen and Princess Ben

9.

Star Crossed (Thief Errant, #1)

Digger thrives as a spy and sneak-thief among the feuding religious factions of Gerse, dodging the Greenmen who have banned all magic. But when a routine job goes horribly wrong and her partner and lover Tegen is killed, she has to get out of the city, fast, and hides herself in a merry group of nobles to do so.

Accepted as a lady’s maid to shy young Merista Nemair, Digger finds new peace and friendship at the Nemair stronghold–as well as plenty of jewels for the taking.

But after the devious Lord Daul catches her in the act of thievery, he blackmails her into becoming his personal spy in the castle, and Digger soon realizes that her noble hosts aren’t as apolitical as she thought… that indeed, she may be at the heart of a magical rebellion.

10.

Once Upon a Knit: 28 Grimm and Glamorous Fairy-Tale Projects

Iconic fairy-tale characters from storybooks, movies, and television inspire this collection of magical knitting patterns perfect for modern knights, villains, and princesses.

Once again, Genevieve Miller taps a wide range of contributors (from knitwear designers to students) to create a collection of 28 wearables, accessories, and toys that can be knit for adults or kids. Inspired by the recent resurgence of fairy-tale and fantasy characters, these projects draw from classic stories as well as pop-culture phenomena featuring romantic, feminine costumes. Projects range from kid- and teen-friendly animals hats to an Alice in Wonderland beret to a crystal-embellished vest fit for a Snow Queen, adding a little dress-up fun to knitters’ everyday wardrobes.