Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Blog Tour - Review, Guest Post & Giveaway: Banish by Nicola Marsh

I am so excited to be a apart of Harlequin Teen Australia's blog tour for BANISH by Australian author, Nicola Marsh.

Today I will be sharing with you my review, Ronan's character profile and playlist as well as a fantastic giveaway!

Banish Blog tour schedule

BanishAuthor: Nicola Marsh
Series: Banish
Pages: 272
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Genre: Young Adult
Australian release date: 1st August 

Synopsis (Goodreads)

Alyssa has one week to destroy her enemy, save her spirit... and save her soul. 

After her ex-boyfriend commits suicide and her mum’s alcoholism sparks yet another psychotic episode, seventeen-year-old Alyssa Wood flees her small hometown of Broadwater and heads to New York City to stay with her bohemian aunt — a Wicca High Priestess.

Alyssa revels in the anonymity of a big city and her new life. Her grades climb, she has a new best friend, and a new guy: the sexy geek Ronan — a saxophone player who prefers jazz to pop.

But her newfound peace is soon shattered when she sees a dead body in one of Ronan’s music clips — and she’s the only one who can see it. Worse still, Alyssa recognises the body that has been murdered a week forward!

Alyssa doesn’t believe in the supernatural...despite her family’s Wicca background. So how will she overcome evil when it’s closer than she thinks?

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Banish has the most intriguing premise, I love all things witchy so right from the very onset I was curious about the world Nicola Marsh had created and I am pleased to say Banish is a wonderful start to the series.

Seventeen year-old Alyssa’s life was thrust into chaos when her boyfriend Noah commit suicide after she broke up with him, her mother is on a drinking binge and has been emotionally detached for a number of years and she has been uprooted from her life in Broadwater to move to NYC with her eccentric, wiccan high priestess aunty.

I liked Alyssa in spite of her moodiness and snark, she was self-reliant and strong considering the upheaval in her life; she has made a new friend at school, Seth and her crush Ronan is paying her a lot of attention; things seem to be going right for a change.

Twenty one year-old Ronan is an absolute sweetheart! A jazz loving, saxophone playing computer geek; he was truly wonderful with Alyssa but when a song he records for her shows some disturbing footage of a brutal murder and strange things begin to happen around her she starts to question what is going on and who is tormenting her – fingers point initially to sweet talking Ronan.

I love a good murder, mystery plot and Banish was written well, had all of the elements I enjoy in a paranormal novel and the pacing was spot on and kept me turning the pages. I must admit, from the onset I had no idea who Alyssa’s tormentor was and I was completely shocked by the culprit as well as saddened about the reasoning as to why.

My biggest gripe in this book was Alyssa’s reluctance to accept her families link to witchcraft, things happen right before her very eyes but she remains stubborn throughout not accepting help or answers; especially from her mother who explained her emotional detachment but was still treated with hostility. I am hoping after the events which occurred at the end of the book, Alyssa begins to embrace what she knows and is.

Nicola Marsh’s writing is crisp and engaging and her characters each enjoyable to read about, all of them played a pivotal part in the overall book so we get to know each of them quite well – I’d love to see more of Ronan who I really came to adore in the sequel.

Overall, a gripping start to this wonderful series; definitely recommended to everyone who loves witchcraft, intriguing mystery and supernatural thrillers with well-developed, likeable characters.

Thank-you kindly to Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to participate in the Banish blog tour.
Guest post!

Actor Ben Barnes, how I see Ronan
Ronan’s character profile:

Age: 21
Occupation: Part-time music tutor, part-time IT genius, saxophonist with The Dizzy’s
Hair: Brown, shoulder-length, shaggy, worn in a ponytail
Eyes: Hazel
Best described as…: sexy geek
Favorite outfit: low-slung skinny jeans, white T shirt, black leather jacket
Favorite musician: Dizzy Gillespie
Favorite contemporary saxophonist: Sam Bortka
Favorite food: Chocolate-covered pretzels
Favorite drink: orange soda
Lives: New York City
Embarrassing secret: channel surfs talk shows after late-night gigs
Hobbies: composing & recording songs, geek for facts, YouTube addict

Nicola MarshAbout the author:

USA TODAY bestselling Aussie author Nicola worked as a physiotherapist for thirteen years before she tired of saying "I'm going to write a book one day" and actually did it. She started writing late 2001 and found once she started she couldn't stop!

Nicola currently writes for Harlequin Mills and Boon Kiss series, has published 38 books and sold over 3 million copies worldwide.
Her first mainstream contemporary romance, 'Busted in Bollywood', ('Sex and the City' meets 'Eat, Pray, Love') released from Entangled Publishing December 2011 and released as mass market paperback in June 2012. It's a finalist for ROMANTIC BOOK of the YEAR 2012.
Her first romance for Entangled Publishing's Indulgence series, NOT THE MARRYING KIND, released July 2012.
Her first indie pubbed novel, CRAZY LOVE, released September 2012 and shot to number 1 in the kindle free store on its first day and is a 2012 ARRA finalist.

Her debut Young Adult novel, a thriller BANISH, will release with Harlequin Teen August 2013.
SCION OF THE SUN, a YA paranormal urban fantasy, will release with Month9Books November 2013.

Also a Waldenbooks and Bookscan bestseller, she has finalled in several awards including the prestigious HOLT (Honoring Outstanding Literary Talent), Booksellers' Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and won several CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Awards.

Nicola loves the hip, vibrant, cosmopolitan vibe of her home city, Melbourne, where she's set the bulk of her novels, highlighting fabulous cultural and food havens like Acland Street (St. Kilda), Brunswick Street (Fitzroy) and Lygon Street (Carlton).

When she's not writing she's busy raising her two little heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, cheering on her beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team or her favourite past time, curling up with a good book.

Harlequin Teen Australia are kindly offering two (2) very lucky readers an eBook copy of BANISH.
  • Open Internationally,
  • 24th July – 7th August 2013
  • Not all entry options are mandatory
  • The winners will be selected via and notified by email, they will have 48 hours to respond.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. BEN BARNES!!!!! OMGGG Now I'm really dying to read this now!<3 I'm glad you enjoyed this so much! :) Definitely hoping to start this ASAP!

    1. I hope you enjoy it Shirley :) Ben Barnes is pretty smexy!!

  2. Ronan looks like Ben Barnes? I'm in! :D
    I haven't heard of this book before, but I love the sound of it. I love reading witchy books, so I think this will appeal to me.
    The MCs reluctance to believe in witch craft when things were happening before her would frustrate me too, but it seems that Ronan makes up for it all! :)
    Lovely review, Sharon!

    1. Thanks Nick! I love all things witchy so I really found myself enjoying this.

  3. Oh boy, I'm old! I don't know who any of those musicians are in the playlist and I have no idea who Ben Barnes is. O.O I've read and loved Nicola Marsh's books for a while now, so I'd love to read this one. It sounds good. Fantastic review, Sharon. :)

    1. Thanks Barbara! you and me both because I haven't heard of any of those artists :0 This was my first Nicola Marsh book but it certainly wont be my last :)

  4. Oh wow, I don’t think I’ve heard of this one yet but it looks really good!

  5. One of the most frustrating things about paranormal books is when they refuse to acknowledge or accept it even after it's obvious. That bit would probably frustrate me a lot. However, the rest of this sounds great! I hadn't heard of it (probably cause it's an Australian release) but I would consider reading it one day!

    1. I agree Candace! it's something that grates on my nerves but overall I really enjoyed this one.

  6. I haven't seen this book yet, but I love Harlequin Teen's books. Great review.

    1. Thanks Ellen! they have some pretty awesome titles :)

  7. Well I like snark and all things witchy so I am curious. It is frustrating when they deny what is happening..LOL. Great review:)

    1. It drives me bonkers Kimba! But then there is an ' oh why didn't I realise before' moment where they finally click.

      This one was great overall though :)


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