Sunday, June 4, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Secrets of Skin and Stone by Wendy Laine

Book Blurb:

Something is wrong in Hidden Creek. The sleepy Alabama town is more haunted than any place fiend hunter Grisham Caso has ever seen. Unearthed graves, curse bags, and spilled blood all point to an evil that could destroy his gargoyle birthright. The town isn’t safe for anyone, and everyone says fiery Piper Devon knows why.

Piper wants to leave Hidden Creek behind. She’s had enough of secrets—they hide in the shadows of her room and tell her terrible things are coming. Too-charming city boy Grisham might be her only chance to save herself.

To survive, Piper and Grisham have to shed their secrets and depend only on each other. But what lurks in Hidden Creek still might take everything away from them, including each other.

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My Review:

4.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Mystery, Romance, Scary, Supernatural--

Gris has been given his first solo assignment, a simple fiend removal from the small town his aunt and uncle live in. Simple and quick. Well, at least that is what he expected. But he may be in over his head with mysteries and secrets piling up, as well as the danger one teenage girl seems to be in. Piper has a darkness living inside her and the only way she knows to calm it is to cut. When she meets Gris she instinctually doesn't trust him, but he worms his way past her defenses to try and help her with her darkness. But can she really trust him when he says her nightmares are the doing of something supernatural, and not just her consuming inner darkness?

Wow, I had no idea what I was getting into when I first started this book. When I fist learned of the book, I was initially lured in by the gorgeous mysterious cover (as I often find myself when choosing what to read next) without any real idea what the story content was except for a vague idea of gargoyles. Well, this was so much more than I expected, and I mean that in the best of ways. The story was compelling, engaging, complicated, mysterious, detailed, scary, exciting, dark and the best part was the characters. I need a solid plot to enjoy a story, but even more than that, I need to be connected and like my character, and I can honestly say that I love Gris and Piper, darkness and all.

Gris was just awesome, a force to be reckon with all on his own. He has a family legacy that he has to deal with of being a Watcher (aka someone who can turn into a gargoyle at night to battle darkness or fiends), not something he asked for but that he will uphold to his death. That boy was chock full of integrity, intelligence, intuition with people and a freaking caring soul. I loved Gris (in case my feelings weren't clear). He had the ability to make Piper see herself as he did, when everyone else failed to understand her issues. He needs a hug, and maybe an award for being so patient...

Piper was such an interesting character, unlike any other YA character that I have read about. She struggles with a lesser known form of OCD called Pure-O, with symptoms that are not as well known or understood. When I read the author's note at the end it made Piper even more real since her struggles were what the author went through, adding a layer of realism to what is primarily a fantasy story. I liked how stubborn Piper was and how she made Gris (who was more than happy to) work for her trust, not to mention her affection. And man was that girl smart, blowing all her classmates out of the water when it came to grades, yet making her more of an outcast. She appeared to have a tough skin, but inside she was breaking apart, almost to her end. She needed a hero more than anyone, at least someone who would understand her struggle and make her feel so not alone.

I expected a fun supernatural story, but instead I was given a complicated scary mess that I absolutely loved. This book appeared to wrap up so I think this is a standalone, but I would love to have more story about Gris and Piper. Actually, I would love to read more from Ms. Laine (aka Sparrow) in general because she was able to create strong, damaged characters that I related to and rooted for, and I fully appreciate that. Anyone looking for a dark paranormal mystery with some romance splashed in needs to read this story.

I received this title in return for my honest review.


“The fiends here aren’t like anything I’ve ever seen. The way they’re behaving means something is happening in this town.” Hidden Creek had hidden depths—that was for certain.

Danny’s eyes were on me when I looked up. He’d complained that Piper stared, but I felt like he was staring at me in a way I didn’t care for.


“There is something about this place. Critch says so anyway. He says Watchers are born where Watchers died. That’s how he got the birthright. That’s why he lived here. The birthright lingers, haunts, maybe even taints the soil.”

A chill ran up my spine, and I abandoned my bag search. “A Watcher died here?”

“Sure did. A whole family line died here. Fiends ripped a Watcher to shreds here. He’s buried in the cemetery on Old Hill road.” He shrugged. “That sorta violence don’t let up—maybe it makes people crazy—do things they might not normally. And Critch says that Watchers and fiends are drawn to each other.” Danny continued spinning the keys on his keyring as we left the mill and walked toward his truck. “There are things here in Hidden Creek, Gris. Things that won’t go quietly. You’re in over your head. You better watch yourself or Hidden Creek will get you, too.”

I didn’t like his smile—didn’t trust it.

Maybe there was something wrong lurking in Hidden Creek. Something dangerous and evil. But it wasn’t Piper.

It couldn’t be.


Author Bio:

Wendy Laine is the penname of author Wendy Sparrow. Writing is in Wendy’s blood as are equal parts of Mountain Dew and chocolate. Wendy has been telling tales since she was a child with varying amounts of success. Her parents clearly anticipated her forays into the paranormal because she heard “The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ over and over. She lives in Washington State with a wonderful husband and two quirky kids and is active in Autism and OCD support networks. She can usually be found on Twitter where she’ll talk to anyone who talks to her and occasionally just to herself.

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