Roar (Stormheart #1) by Cora Carmack

book review


“You are lightning made flesh. Colder than falling snow. Unstoppable as the desert sands riding the wind. You are Stormling, Aurora Pavan. Believe it.” 

I bought Roar back in June when it was first released and it has been sitting on my shelf ever since. The cover is lovely and it was nice to pick it up, look at it, and put it back down from time to time. I even opened it once and made it through the first chapter before I put it back down again. Why was I hesitant about reading it? The book has been billed as a fantasy romance and, well, romance just isn’t up my alley. Finally, last week I was feeling blue and thought a little romance might be just the pick me up I needed so I reached for this book and settled in on the couch with a steaming cup of tea. Continue reading

Cora Carmack Rage (Stormheart #2) Cover Reveal and Release Date

Today is the day for cover reveals! Earlier I posted about Stephanie Garber’s new Legendary (Carval #2) whose cover matches the first book beautifully. Now we have…



Rage (Stormheart #2) by Cora Carmack

Release day June 12th 2018
Published by Tor Teen

All Aurora Pavan ever wanted was a choice, to control her own life. Now she’s got more choices than she can handle.

Princess or adventurer.

Duty or freedom.

Her Kingdom or the Stormhunter she loves.

If she knows anything, it’s that choices have consequences— like the storm now tangled with her heart, the alarming disappearance of her mother and friend, and the fall of her kingdom to the Locke family. To set things right, she joins a growing revolution on the streets of Pavan. She puts her knowledge of the palace to use to aid the rebellion, but the Lockes aren’t the only sinister thing plaguing Pavan. The Rage season is at it’s peak and not a day passes without the skies raining down destruction. But these storms seem… different than any she’s ever encountered. They churn with a darkness that frightens her, and attack with a will like she’s never seen. This feels like more than Rage. It feels like war. (description taken from



Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Losing It series. – from Goodreads



UPDATE – Publication of this book has been pushed back to 2019 due to the author’s health concerns. Exact date of publication not currently set as of February 15th, 2018.

UPDATE – Official release date has been updated to June 11th, 2019. Mark your calendars!


Find this book on

Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository


WWW Wednesday – August 9


WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and was formerly hosted by A Daily Rhythm. It is open for anyone to participate, even without a blog you can comment on Sam’s post with your own answers. It is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Continue reading

Lady Julia Grey Series (1-3) by Deanna Raybourn


“To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.”

I have not been shy about shouting my love for Deanna Raybourn’s books. In the past I have read and reviewed her first two Veronica Speedwell mysteries, A Curious Beginning and A Perilous Undertaking, both of which I feel I gave glowing reviews. Recently I have been a terrible book grump. Every story I have picked up I have ended up disliking even though their themes are up my proverbial alley. So, when I snatched Silent in the Grave off the shelf in the library I can honestly say that I wasn’t anticipating finding much joy in it. Especially not enjoying it so much that I end up reading the first three books in the Lady Julia Grey series in one week.


So, that brings us to today’s post. Today I will be discussing, as a whole, the first three books of Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey series. Honestly, I’m a little hazy on how many books are in this series. When you pull it up on Goodreads it gets into 5.5, 5.6, 5.7 etc. According to Raybourn’s website there are eight books in the series and novellas. Either way, several books, moving on…

Silent in the Grave starts with Lady Julia Grey witnessing her husband collapsing on the floor of their home. He had been ill for some time and Julia had been expecting his death but it was still a shock to her. Julia didn’t expect her husband’s death to be foul play so for the traditional year of morning after his death she was simply the grieving widow and thought nothing more about the circumstances surrounding his passing.

And that is where Lady Grey’s story begins. She along with the investigator Nicholas Brisbane embark on a journey to identify her husband’s killer. I must say that I completely fell in love with the characters in this book. Julia starts off as a shy, wilted thing. A mere shell of her former self. As she continues to investigate her husband’s death a strong and intelligent personality emerges. She is an unconventional woman for her time and she comes to embrace her uniqueness.

There is so much I can say about Silent in the Grave and the next two in the series. All of the characters show such depth. They are well thought out, have a purpose, and each has an unique personality. The mysteries themselves are fabulous. The first book has Julia’s husband’s murder and let me tell you, you will NOT see that ending coming. I never, not once suspected the killer. I reread the big reveal twice to make sure I understood it correctly. Simply amazing.

The next two books are also fantastic. Murder, mayhem, mystery, and a quirky little romance you aren’t sure is actually going anywhere. In the past I have made it abundantly clear that I am not fond of romance in what I read. The romance in these books, however, isn’t stifling. It doesn’t take the main stage in the story and you never feel like it detracts from what is actually going on. The focus is on solving the murders, connecting the dots, and finding hidden clues not on smoochy smoochies in the corner. However, I must admit, the smoochy smoochies are pretty heated.

I will say that the third book, Silent on the Moor, is not as good as the first two. The “who done it” becomes fairly obvious at an early stage which was disappointing. I kept hoping I was wrong. And the cast of characters for that mystery were not nearly as interesting as in the previous two books. It was still a good story, just not as good. I also think that the third one was not as good for me because of the setting. I just couldn’t picture the location in my head which made the story hard to follow.

Through this series and Raybourn’s newer series, the Veronica Speedwell mysteries, the author has quickly become one of my favorites. She writes strong, believable female leads and the stories she comes up with are completely engrossing. If you at all enjoy historical mysteries I would whole heartedly recommend picking up Raybourn’s books. You won’t be disappointed.


Read more about these books on Goodreads

Silent in the Grave | Silent in the Sanctuary | Silent on the Moor



WWW Wednesday – July 19


WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words and was formerly hosted by A Daily Rhythm. It is open for anyone to participate, even without a blog you can comment on Sam’s post with your own answers. It is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?


Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones

So far this book is mildly entertaining. We have ghosts in London that are being murdered, a priest that does exorcisms, a black shadowing dog eating ghosts, a weird black goop that is invading London’s buildings, a boy that can talk to said ghosts, and his murderous uncle. A lot going on, right? The story is actually pretty interesting but the characters don’t stick with you. For it to be a completely effective story you should give a crap about the ghosts getting exterminated, but you don’t. I’m going to finish it just out of curiosity.


What did you recently finish reading?

Silent in the Grave (Lady Julia Grey #1) by Deanna Raybourn
Silent in the Sanctuary (Lady Julia Grey #2) by Deanna Raybourn
Silent on the Moor (Lady Julia Grey #3) by Deanna Raybourn

“To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.” 

I got on a bit of a kick last week, if you can’t tell. Once I picked up Silent in the Grave I couldn’t put it down. Then I needed to read the next book in the series, and then the next. I ended up knocking out all three of these 500+ page historical mysteries in a week. A little excessive, right? Couldn’t help myself. I’ll be doing a group review of all three of them which will be up on the 21st.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I am actually considering taking a short reading break and instead working on my own book. I’m feeling a bit burned out right now. I have finished a ton of books lately (at least for me) and setting that aside for a week and writing on my own work sounds like a tantalizing option. After the short break I do have a few options of books to read. I have purchased several, both new and used, recently which have been mocking me from the shelves. “Why did you buy me if you didn’t plan on reading me, Amanda? Come pick me up!”

Difficult Relationships in Literature


Typically on a Tuesday I would be bringing you a Top Ten Tuesday post. As the ladies who host that meme are currently on break, I wanted to do something different. This week, I want to explore a topic that can be a little personal to some people: Difficult Relationships. In our personal lives we all will at some point be engaged in a relationship that is not all together healthy. Whether it is familial tension, unhealthy work relationships, or one of a romantic nature we all have had to deal with the frustration and occasional sense of hopelessness that comes with a difficult relationship. A person can often be left feeling alone in their troubles and don’t feel comfortable talking about them to other people. I think it is important for those people to know they are not alone and others have similar troubles. Reading about even a fictional character also engaged in a difficult relationship can be a comfort to some people. These are books that I feel demonstrate these tensions whether they are resolved for better or worse.



Cinder by Marissa Meyer

“Do your kind even know what love is? Can you feel anything at all, or is it just… programmed?”

If you’ve read my review you may have noticed that I was not overly fond of this book. Despite that I think it demonstrates well how a child (step child or not) can feel spurned by a parent. Cinder would have cared for, even loved her step mother if only she had been given the opportunity to. Despite the lack of love and affection in her home life, Cinder still does her best to help her family and is able to have positive relationships with friends, doctors, even a prince. It is her choice to not take the negativity at home out into the world. That shows a real strength of character.



The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

“For it is a choice, I think, to close the heart, just as it is a choice to open it. It is a choice to look at what distresses you, and a choice to shut your eyes. It is a choice to hold tight your pain, or else let it slip your grasp, set it free to make its mark upon the world.”

This book features an unhealthy sibling relationship. Our main character, Alice, has just suffered the loss of her husband and is forced to return to her family’s home outside of London which is now run by her brother, Matthew. Matthew seemingly welcomes her with open arms at first but it quickly becomes apparent that he has such hatred in his heart and turns it on his sister. She is afraid that if she disobeys him that he will physically harm her and has already mentally manipulated her. Fear is often used as a manipulation technique and Alice crumbles under the pressure. She is saved in the end only by his death. This is a sad callback to a time when women were not permitted to be masters in their own home but instead had to depend on the sufferance of their male relatives. Sadly, Beth was unable to save herself but was saved by her brother’s untimely death. I like to think that she learned from her circumstances, grew as a person, and moved on to a better life.





A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again
I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”

For the many of you who have read this book, I think you will realize that I am referring to the unhealthy romantic relationship between Feyre and Tamlin. Despite Feyre having displayed the strength and fortitude to save his and everyone else’s sorry ass in the first book, Tamlin treats Feyre like an incompetent child. He refuses to treat her like a respectable and intelligent person, imprisons her in what is supposed to her home, hides his own intentions and plans from her, and actively punishes her by suppressing her free will. This is mental and emotional abuse at its most obvious. Tamlin claims love and devotion to Feyre and yet breaks her down brick by brick until she is only a mere shell of her former self. She is thankfully rescued by Rhysand, painstakingly rehabilitated, and assists in, quite literally, saving the world. With the help of those who loved her, Feyre is able to overcome the unhealthy and abusive romantic relationship she has suffered.



Heartless by Marissa Meyer

“Now mine eyes see the heart that once we did search for, and I fear this heart shall be mended, nevermore.”

In the books I have listed so far the difficult relationships have been resolved to a relatively healthy conclusion. I think it is important to remember that not all of these situations lead to a happy ending. In Heartless, there are many different kinds of unhealthy relationships but the one I want to focus on is parent/child. Catherine is consistently throughout the entire book put upon by the expectations of her parents. Their wish is to elevate their own status in society by elevating their daughter’s status with marriage to the king. Cath simply wants to live a simple life, own her own bakery, and marry for love. Her parents completely ignore her wishes and demean her which leads to devastating consequences: the rise of the Queen of Hearts. Cath wanted to be a good daughter, she wanted happiness and love, and instead all that is taken from her and she goes down the path of revenge. It was her choice to go down that path but it is a decision I understood. Everything she loved had been taken from her by the wishes and manipulation of others. It would take someone of magnificent fortitude to come out of that smelling like roses.


I started this post as part of the Top Ten Tuesday series and then changed my mind. I think that these difficult and unhealthy relationships need their own attention. While people in the real world do not have the same circumstances as fictional characters, their difficulties are often very similar at heart. People you know or even you yourself may be trying to get through a difficult relationship and it is best to remember that you are not alone. During hard times I find comfort in reading and I hope you can, too.