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Friday, 14 June 2013

Blog Tour Book 1&2 Review and GIVEAWAY: Dark Musicals Book 1&2- Laura DeLuca


Title: Phantom (Dark Musicals Trilogy, 1)
Author: Laura DeLuca
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours

Book Description:
The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.


Pages: 262
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Review: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 
Okay, confession time....I have never read or seen a play or even a movie of Phantom of the Opera. I know the gist of it, musical, deformed guy wearing a mask trying to get girl. LOL. Or something like that. But regardless of my musical uneducatedness, I really enjoyed this book. It gave me an insight into the actual story but it was made fun and exciting by being about a play of a play, while a whacko is rein-acting the murders. Whew... big mouth full. the actual story behind the play was a fun one to read and has the reader guessing "who done it", but I did find the villain to be predictable and I had guessed it early on. I am ready for book two to see if the villain makes a comeback.
I loved watching Rebecca grow over the course of this novel. She came out of her shell and it paid off in the end. I loved how the author spelt "Justyn", very original. I think he was my favourite character because he was his own person and wouldn't change himself just to fit in. I also enjoyed Carmen's character, but she disappointed me in how quickly she dropped Becca over something stupid.
Luckily, I have book two in my hands to start right away, yay! I would recommend this book to murder mystery junkies. 

Excerpt:
The orchestra tuned for its virtuoso, and Justyn stood ready. But no one else was ready for the magical performance he began. Beside her, Carmen was rambling on about something mundane. Rebecca elbowed her to silence so she could listen to the perfectly thrilling tenor. As she listened to the song unfold, the world around her started to slip away. Gone was the high school auditorium. Gone were the rowdy teenagers. The Gothic stranger on the stage had become the embodiment of Erik, and Rebecca watched him in all his dark glory, belting out his tormented love through the words of his song. And she was as breathless with wonder as Christine herself must have been when the masked stranger serenaded her in the candlelit labyrinth of the opera house. In that moment, Justyn wasn’t just portraying the phantom. Justyn was the phantom.

                                              “Let the music touch your soul.
                                                Let the darkness make you whole.
                                                Do not fear what is unknown.
                                                Your true path has now been shown.
                                                Listen to the words I sing.
                                                Embrace the peace that night will bring.”

    As he continued to sing in his deep but somehow angelic voice, Rebecca found that she couldn’t tear her eyes away from him. With every line, her heart began to beat faster.  She truly felt the arms of night wrapping her in a warm embrace. She could almost feel the hands of the phantom glide along her body as the words poured forth. The music caressed her. It possessed her—mind, body and soul. Each word left her longing, yearning for more.

    She was gawking so obviously, it was hardly surprising when Justyn felt her eyes on him and steadily met her gaze. She realized her mouth was hanging open in stunned awe, and she quickly snapped it shut. His lips moved into just a small hint of a smile. He never took his eyes off her while
 he sang the final verse, making her cheeks flush to the point that she felt almost feverish. But it wasn’t embarrassment but excitement, arousal even, which was sending her mind spinning in so many directions.

     When the song was over, and Rebecca had recovered just a hint of her composure, she couldn’t help but burst into a healthy round of applause. A few scattered people joined in, including Debbie and Carmen after she nudged them in the ribs. But only Miss King seemed to truly appreciate the brilliance of his talent as much as Rebecca did.

     “That was amazing, Justyn!” the teacher gushed.

     “Lord Justyn,” he corrected as he stepped down from the stage.

     A few others complimented him as well, but he took in all in stride. In fact, his serious expression never faltered as he stepped down from the stage. He seemed almost bored, like it was all he could do to hold back a yawn, despite the smiles and words of encouragement.

    But not everyone in the crowd was pleased as Justyn glided down the aisle, so ethereal in his dark garments that he still resonated the spirit of the Opera Ghost. Miss King might have been excited about the newest male addition to her cast after being limited for many years, but Tom and his group of boisterous companions glared at him as he passed them by.  Jay sneered and tossed a balled up piece of paper in Justyn’s direction, but the Goth was quick, and caught it in his hand without missing a beat.

   “I think you dropped something,” he said.

   His speaking voice was no less melodic than his singing voice, but something about his tone made 
Rebecca shiver. He tossed the paper back at Jay, who was nowhere near as coordinated as Justyn. He practically fell off his seat in his efforts to catch it.

    “Hey vampire,” Tom called when Justyn went to walk away. “Are you sure you can handle the competition?”

    Justyn smiled, a cool, sarcastic half-smile, and crossed his arms over his chest. “Are you?”

    Miss King didn’t notice the short confrontation, and Justyn vanished from the auditorium as quickly and mysteriously as he had appeared. Only Rebecca had noticed the very real tension between the two boys. She wondered if it was a bad omen for them to start off the production with hard feelings and envy. That could only lead to trouble. The kind of trouble that could end with someone getting hurt.  The kind of trouble that Rebecca would do whatever it took to avoid.




Title: Demon (Dark Musicals Trilogy, 2)
Author: Laura DeLuca
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours

Book Description:
When Justyn and Rebecca set off for the New York School of Performing Arts, they think their dreams are about to come true. To their dismay, they aren’t in high school anymore, and the competition is steep. Rebecca must compete against accomplished singers for a role in the production of Demon Barber, including a stunning Gothic diva with her sights set on Justyn

It doesn't help that things keep disappearing from their apartment or that Rebecca's father refuses to accept that Justyn is an essential part of her life. Yet, all this seems minimal in comparison to the serial rapist terrorizing the campus.
Consumed by fear and obsessed with revenge, Rebecca and Justyn start living the story of Sweeney Todd—both on and off the stage.

You can also add Demon to your shelf on good reads

Pages: 298
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Review: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed this book more then book one because it was about Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber, a play  or should I say a movie that I have seen. When they were practicing I could follow along better because I knew they story. I also like how this book was more of a thriller then Phantom. It didn't focus as much on the play as it did on the other issues going on. I also found Demon to be filled with more shockers, it had me guessing up to the very end and then some.
Rebecca had to grow up even more in this book because of "something" that happened to her. I felt terrible for her but at the same time happy that she overcame it and continued on and didn't let it ruin her. I also loved that she went as far as to help others even though we only got a brief intro into that. Justyn definitely had to prove how much he loved Rebecca in this book, poor guy, he really has to fight hard. Their relationship is just too cute but I feel that they have a dark cloud over their heads following them around and they should go into hiding to get away from it lol.
Another great read from the talented Laura DeLuca. I can't wait to see what trouble awaits them in Hyde, book three. I would recommend this read to thrill lovers.


Excerpts:
1
Rebecca unwound the silver ribbon. When she lifted the lid, she found two matching pendants, each laced to a long hemp chain. They were shaped sort of like seashells, with an endless spiral pattern that looped out from the center as the chambers grew larger. They were dark brown in color with a few hints of tan along the edges. The stones had been polished and smoothed on both sides, but when she lifted them, she could see that the two pieces fit together perfectly. She swore the halves fought to snap together, like magnets in her hand. There was an energy pulsing and vibrating within the stones that even a novice witch like Rebecca could feel.
“They’re beautiful,” Rebecca whispered as she ran her hand along the intricate grooves.
“It’s an ammonite.” Justyn lifted one of the pendants, brushed her hair to the side, and hooked the clasp around her neck. His breath tickled her skin as his hands moved with graceful dexterity, giving her goose bumps despite the humid August night. “They’re actually fossils that are millions of years old, named after Ammon, an ancient Egyptian deity. When they’re divided in half, they’re perfect mirrors of one another. Some cultures believe that if the two halves are given to lovers, it will bind them together forever. When made into necklaces, they’re often called soul mate pendants.”
“Wo-wow,” Rebecca stuttered. As usual, the sentiment behind Justyn’s gift was even more beautiful than the gift itself. It left her a little flustered. “That’s amazing. How do you know all this stuff?”
“You don’t spend eighteen years living with Darlene without learning a thing or two.”
Rebecca laughed. Justyn’s mother Darlene was definitely something special. EMT, exotic belly dancer, and Wiccan High Priestess were only a few of the titles she claimed. Rebecca knew she was a fountain of earth-based knowledge after years of studying the Craft. As Darlene’s new apprentice, Rebecca greedily dipped into that knowledge herself as often as possible.
“It’s beautiful,” Rebecca repeated, too overcome with emotion to think of anything more eloquent to say. “You certainly know how to make things interesting.”
“Like I told you on our first date, I try not to be boring.” He winked at her. “So … are you going to put mine on for me?”
“Oh yeah … sorry.”
Rebecca giggled as she lifted the hemp chain. She wasn’t nearly as graceful as Justyn. She almost dropped the necklace in the sand three times before she managed to get the clasp locked. When she finally had it secured, he placed his hand over her heart, where the ammonite lay. He did the same with her hands, lifting them to his chest. His dark eyes had lost all glimmer of humor. He met her gaze with a stare filled with genuine emotion. Beneath her fingers, she could feel the gentle, steady rhythm of his heart beating in perfect tune with her own.
“Our love will span both space and time. In this life and the next, you shall be mine. All eternity I will be by your side. For a love so strong cannot be denied. Spirit and flesh merged into one. So mote it be, for all days to come.”
When he was done with the recitation, he kissed her. Not just a gentle brush, but a deep, passionate embrace that left her throat tight and her heart pounding with a familiar  yearning.
“I’ve never heard that poem before,” she said once she’d caught her breath. “Who are you quoting?”
Even in the moonlight, she could see him blush. “I guess I was quoting myself. It was really more of an incantation than a poem though. These necklaces are meant to be a symbol of our love, and it seemed a little spell work could only add to the power of the stones. There is power in words, Becca. Just like there is power in nature.”
“You mean, you wrote that?”
He nodded, but his eyes twinkled, and the playfulness was back in his voice. “Well, actually, I just made it up as I went along.”
“Wow. Actor, singer, and now an improv poet slash chant writer. Is there anything you can’t do, Lord Justyn?”
He smiled and tilted her chin so he could look into her eyes. “I can’t stop loving you.”

Excerpt 2:

“What the hell are you looking at?” Livy demanded.
At first Rebecca just ignored her hostility. She walked back to her cubbyhole and opened it to stowaway her bags until practice was over. She was going to forget the whole stupid idea and just walk away. But Livy was still standing there, leaning against the lockers, looking just as sad as she did angry. Rebecca couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She was reminded of how horribly everyone had treated Justyn during the production of Phantom and thought perhaps Livy was just as misunderstood.
“Livy,” she started, “can we talk for a minute?”
The Goth just gave her a dirty look. “I don’t know what we could possibly have to say to each other.”
“I just wanted to apologize about what happened at the party,” Rebecca spoke with as much sincerity as she could muster. “No matter how we feel about each other, I never meant to … to embarrass you the way I did.”
Rebecca had never seen the cliché of flashing eyes come to life like it did at that moment. “Don’t you dare!” Livy spat. “Don’t you dare pity me!”
“That’s not what I meant,” Rebecca tried to explain, though she knew she was fighting a losing battle. “I just regret—”
“Do you want to know what I regret?” Livy interrupted and actually shoved Rebecca against her locker. “I regret not ripping every strand of hair out of that pretty little head of yours when I had the chance. This isn’t high school, Becca! We aren’t going to be friends. And I’m not going to stop until Justyn is mine and you run back to New Jersey with your tail between your legs. Is that clear enough for you, deary? Don’t try to make nice with me again.”
Livy stomped away, and Rebecca just stood there, feeling shocked and a little stung. She couldn’t believe how vicious Livy could be. So much for olive branches. Instead of trying to hand her one, Rebecca should have shoved it straight up her….
“Wow.” Frankie came up beside her, shaking his head. “It’s girls like that who give PMS a bad rep. I seriously think the next play she should star in is the Taming of the Shrew.”
“There’s no taming that one,” Rebecca replied, still shaking her head.





Author Bio:
Laura “Luna” DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and four children. She loves writing in the young adult genre because it keeps her young at heart.  In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the editor of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.  Her current works include Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, Phantom, Morrigan, Player, and Demon.

Links:
Follow the author Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads |Pinterest

If you haven't read the first book in the series, now is a great time to get your copy. To celebrate the release of Demon,  Phantom is now on sale for only $1.99 exclusively on Amazon!
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Demon, Book Two in the Dark Musicals Trilogy, inspired by Sweeney Todd is available now in both PRINT and eBook!
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