Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ The Witch of Painted Sorrows ~ M.J. Rose

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for M.J. Rose's The Witch of Painted Sorrows. My stop includes all the details on this first installment in the Daughters of La Lune series, my review, and a giveaway. Enjoy!

THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS (Daughters of La Lune #1)

by M.J. Rose
Gothic Historical Fantasy
Published by Atria Books on March 17th, 2015

Possession. Power. Passion.New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.
Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.
Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.
This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul”, her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.
Praise for The Witch of Painted Sorrows
This bell époque thriller is a haunting tale of obsessive passions.” —People Magazine
Provocative, erotic, and spellbindingly haunting…will have the reader totally mesmerized cover-to-cover….a ‘must-have’ novel.” —Suspense Magazine
A haunting tale of erotic love…. M.J. Rose seamlessly weaves historical events throughout this story filled with distinctive characters that will keep the reader captivated to the end.” —Examiner.com
Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page.” —Associated Press
Haunting tale of possession.” —Publishers Weekly
Rose’s new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris — lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting.” —Kirkus
Mixes reality and illusion, darkness and light, mystery and romance into an adult fairy tale. [Rose] stirs her readers curiosities and imaginations, opening their eyes to the cultural, intellectual and artistic excitement that marked the Belle Epoque period. Unforgettable, full-bodied characters and richly detailed narrative result in an entrancing read that will be long savored.” —Library Journal (Starred Review)
An elegant tale of rare depth and beauty, as brilliantly crafted as it is wondrously told….melds the normal and paranormal in the kind of seamless fashion reserved for such classic ghost stories as Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw.” —Providence Journal

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – iBooks – indieBound

I admit I'm not well-versed on French history, art or alchemy but my ignorance of these subjects didn't hamper my enjoyment of The Witch of Painted Sorrows. I think that speaks to the talent of the author. Ms. Rose weaves a story around the mystery of an ancient family curse, art, a Paris very curious about the occult, and robust characters to create a lush, atmospheric, provocative, and riveting story.

Sandrine is a young woman recently arrived in Paris seeking the safety of her grandmother and her family home following the death of her father. Her grandmother isn't thrilled with her arrival since she believes Sandrine is in danger. And Sandrine's arrival sets into motion events that have her, and those surrounding her, questions the existence of angels and demons, their beliefs, and even Sandrine's sanity.

Ms. Rose truly built an incredible setting for this series. Not only was I fully engaged with Sandrine but I was also fully entrenched in Paris at the turn of the twentieth century. I was swept away in the mystery of La Lune and in all the events that symbolized her existence. I especially delighted in the detail with which Rose described Sandrine's painting. It was a vivid experience. As was the entire story.

**I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rosegrew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president. Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

Website – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Goodreads

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Dark World Books

Friday, July 3, 2015

#2015HW, #ShelfLove Review ~ Opal ~ Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opal (Lux, #3)Opal
Lux Series #3
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased Paperback
Rating: 4 Bookworms


After everything, I'm no longer the same Katy. I'm different... And I'm not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is not end to what I'm capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won't turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we're stronger...and they know it.

Dang it! That was quite the nail-biter. It's been awhile since I read Onyx but JLA pulled me right back into Katy and Daemon's world...a world fraught with danger, not knowing who is friend and who is foe. A world where they having to live every moment and hold tight to the precious good.

Things have changed dramatically for Katy, Daemon, and Dee. With the return of some characters and some events causing Dee to pull away from Katy, there's quite a bit of tension on all sides. One character's reappearance makes things look like they'll go from bad to worse. However, he has a deal to make with Katy and the Luxen. He can help them. But are they making a deal with the devil?

Opal was an exciting read, even if it felt maybe a little slow moving. JLA is a master at creating witty banter laced with sexual tension - and it's one of the things I adore most about Katy and Daemon. The suspense was also intense - woundering if and how things are going to work out. And that ending! Holy wow! I can tell you one thing - it won't be long before I'm reading #4!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

That's What HE Said #30 ~ Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #9

That's What He Said is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies @Chapter Break. Here's the deal: every Thursday, post a line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind, these are direct quotes from dialog in the books. The quote doesn't have to be romantic - just something our hunky hero said to his lucky lady. Be sure to link up over at Chapter Break as well.

My pick this week for That's What He Said is from:

Spin by CD Reiss
(I'm maintaining lazy and taking photos again)

To say the chemistry between Theresa and Antonio is intense would be an understatement. :)



If I hadn't already fallen for Antonio, I certainly would have here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Challenges Update ~ June ~ #2015HW, #ShelfLove, Mythology Reading Challenge, LGBT Reading Challenge, 2015 New Release Reading Challenge

Okay, we're SIX months down for 2015. SIX.MONTHS! I did well with reading and reading for challenges in June. Here's my update:


This challenge is hosted by Berls @Fantasy is More Fun and Michelle @Because Reading.

I did have to use a *pass* for Raphael in May, but I finished it. And I really liked it! My Reading Assignment choices for June were Shadow's Edge and Ever After. I'm pleased to say that I finished both - and I even *listened* to Ever After. :) 

Bully (Fall Away, #1)Endure (Need, #4)Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1)Fight with Me (With Me in Seattle, #2) Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)Off the Record (Record, #1)Out of Breath (Breathing, #3)Opal (Lux, #3)Raphael (Vampires in America, #1)Shadow's Edge (Night Prowler, #1)Ever After (The Hollows, #11)

Show Your Shelves Some Love: No Book Buying Challenge

This challenge is hosted by Chapter Break and Second Run Reviews.

I've shown my shelves some love. I've hit my physical, digital, and audio shelves! I've read 35 books so far! You can click here to check out the books and their reviews on Goodreads or click on the book images below. 

Bully (Fall Away, #1)Endure (Need, #4)Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1)Fight with Me (With Me in Seattle, #2)Tempted by a Rogue Prince (Eternal Mates, #3)Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)Obliterate (Havoc, #2)Three, Two, One (321)Spend the Night I (The Hotel Collection, #1)Dance For Me (Fenbrook Academy, #1)Strange Magic: Part One (Magic, #1)The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5)Seven Sons (Gypsy Brothers, #1)Daimon (Covenant, #0.5)Soul Avenged (Sons of Wrath, #1)Claimed by a Demon King (Eternal Mates, #2)Lord Wastrel (The Curse of True Love #2)A Gentleman's Promise (Scandalous Series, #1)Strange Magic: Part Two (Magic, #2)Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)Blue Shoes, Vol. 1 (Blue Shoes, #1)Blue Shoes, Vol. 2 (Blue Shoes, #2)Blue Shoes, Vol. 3 (Blue Shoes, #3)Secrets (Secrets, #1)Bite Me (Bitten, #1)RushAlpha and Omega (Alpha & Omega, #0.5)Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1)Boy Toy Chronicles (Boy Toy Chronicles, #1)Unbelonging (Unbelonging, #1)The Watson Brothers (Watson Brothers #1-3)Off the Record (Record, #1)Out of Breath (Breathing, #3)Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5)The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)Opal (Lux, #3)Raphael (Vampires in America, #1)Tattoo Thief (Tattoo Thief, #1)Primani by Laurie OlerichCollide (Blackcreek, #1)Enemies on Tap (Sweet Salvation Brewery, #1)Selling Scarlett (Love Inc., #1)Hollywood on Tap (Sweet Salvation Brewery, #2)Shadow's Edge (Night Prowler, #1)Ever After (The Hollows, #11)Try (Temptation, #1)Stepbrother Dearest

Not bad, right? I read 9 books towards this challenge in June. And the thing I'm happiest about is that I'm pretty sure only Primani was purchased (freebie) this year. Woohoo!

As part of this challenge, I budgeted $10/month for books. In June, I spent nothing that counted against this challenge. And I've *still* only spent ~$10 total for the year. I'm getting kinda lost with my earning but I *think* I've now *earned* myself 5 books and $8.50 towards books. I still haven't used my $50 GC from my birthday or the $10 GC I won at RT! Overall, I'm doing well I think.

So for June, I earned:

9 Books = $4.50 Earned

As I've mentioned, I tweaked my *earning* methods to be $0.50 for every book I remove from my Already Owned shelf. My exercising (5 days a week) and writing goals (5000 words a week) remain the same.


This challenge is hosted by Niji Feels.

I added THREE to the list during the month of June. And I know Trust, the 3rd book in Ella Frank's Temptation Series will be read in July. ;)

Come Undone (Rock Hard, #1) RushCollide (Blackcreek, #1)Try (Temptation, #1)Take (Temptation, #2)

This challenge is being hosted by Lili Lost in a Book.

I have finished this challenge since I challenged myself achieve God level or 6-10 books and I've read 6. (I'm actually wondering if Patricia Briggs' books would fit this challenge?) Anyway, I'll continue to add books here as I read them because, hey, sometimes I'm an over-achiever. ;) Here are the books I've read so far:

Shadow's Edge (Night Prowler, #1)Endure (Need, #4)Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)Daimon (Covenant, #0.5)Strange Magic: Part One (Magic, #1)Strange Magic: Part Two (Magic, #2)

New Release Challenge (un)Conventional Bookviews

Lexxie @Unconventional Book Views and Stormi @Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! are co-hosting this year-long challenge to read books being released in 2015. Originally, I challenged myself to reach New Release Newbie status - or 1-15 books. Since I met that goal, I decided to aim higher. ;) I set a new goal of New Release Pro - or 16-30 books. And I've now met that goal as well! Goodness! I really didn't think I'd read that many new releases this year. So, keeping in mind we're ~6 months into the year, I've set a new goal of New Release Enthusiast - or 45+ books. That's right - I'm setting my sights on the highest goal!

In June, I only read ONE New Release...naturally. ;)

Strange Magic: Part One (Magic, #1)Strange Magic: Part Two (Magic, #2)Fading Out (Living Heartwood, #3)Acting Brave (Fenbrook Academy #3)All Fired Up (Black Halo, #2)Spend the Night I (The Hotel Collection, #1)Past HeavenThree, Two, One (321)Hunted by a Jaguar (Eternal Mates #4)Incite (Ignite, #2)Craved by an Alpha (Eternal Mates, #5)Spend the Night II (The Hotel Collection, #2)Spend the Night III (The Hotel Collection, #3)For Authentication PurposesHope Is Lost (Ocean Beach, #2)Bitten by a Hellcat (Eternal Mates, #6)Coda (Songs of Submission, #9)Taken by a Dragon (Eternal Mates, #7)Éire's Devil King (Éire's Viking,#3)This Heart of Mine (Whiskey Creek, #8)Boy Toy Chronicles (Boy Toy Chronicles, #1)Mend (Havoc, #3)Say My Name (Stark International Trilogy, #1)Meet Me in the DarkDear Juliet (Forever Family, #3)Everything (Songbird, #3)Getting Lucky Number SevenWith Visions of RedParadise City (Paradise, #1)Yellow CopterThe Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, #6)7 Years Bad SexCrave (Undone, #1)

COYER ScavHuntLogo-SignUp

COYER Summer Edition began on June 20th and I'm so excited to be participating AGAIN. For the summer months, Berls, Michelle, and Stormi have put together a lot of fun events to get everyone really into the spirit of cleaning off their ereaders! You can participate in *regular* COYER, the COYER Scavenger Hunt, and even just helping out others by cheering them on. For full details, click on the banner. 

Here are the books I've read towards this challenge so far:

Try (Temptation, #1)Take (Temptation, #2)Shadow's Edge (Night Prowler, #1)


In June, I once again only read/listened to 12 books. Despite being on vacation, I didn't get any more reading done. Hmm... I guess I'm just not a speedy reader. But that's okay. I'm happy with what I am getting done and how it relates to my challenges. :)

How are y'all doing with your challenges?