Thursday, June 6, 2013

'Dark Musicals' Trilogy (Books 1 & 2) by Laura DeLuca Super Book Blast!

Phantom, Dark Musicals Trilogy Book #1 and Demon-Dark Musicals Trilogy Book #2
by Laura DeLuca


BLURB: Demon, Book Two

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.

Read an excerpt:
“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.
**My thoughts**

I have never seen 'Sweeney Todd,' so I will admit that at first I felt like I was at a bit of a loss. I would probably get more out of this book if I did. Yet, just like in the first book, Laura provides enough background information for people like me to be able to understand what is going on. 

Becca and Justyn are a year older, more mature, and have a deeper relationship. High school still manages to follow them, even though they have graduated. As in the first book, plenty of romance, mystery and suspense to keep you glued to the Kindle until the wee hours of the night!  

 Buy links for 'Demon': Amazon \ Smashwords \ Barnes & Noble

Blurb: Phantom, Dark Musicals Book #1:

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.

Read an 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.

**My thoughts**

The more I read of Laura DeLuca's books, the more I like her stories! I will admit that I had hesitated to start this series, because I have never seen 'The Phantom of the Opera.' **GASP** (I just have never been interested, though I am a fan of older musicals.) While I may have had a deeper understanding of many aspects of the book had I been more familiar with the musical, I still was able to appreciate the story. Laura provides enough information about the musical to help the story to make sense.

Rebecca is easy to relate to. Many of the people with whom she interacts are familiar faces from back in high school. The twists and turns in the plot build the suspense, keeping you engaged with the book. A little romance also never hurts! The story itself is a variation of 'The Phantom of the Opera' book and musical. I may have to check out the musical after all! 

Buy links for 'Phantom': Amazon \ Smashwords \ Barnes & Noble


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Social Media Links:

Laura will be awarding to a US Only Winner: a signed copy of Phantom with original cover, crystal geode, rough crystal point, stone pendant, sterling silver pentacle pendant, mini Buddha figurine, smudge stick with abalone shell, 2 Gothic style key chains, incense set with leaf holder and lavender purification bath salts to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

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