Raves & Craves: Hunting Prince Dracula Street Team Blog Tour & Giveaway

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Title:
 Hunting Prince Dracula
By: Kerri Maniscalco
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Mystery, Historical Fiction, Horror, Romance

About the Book:

In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Amazon Barnes & Noble | Book Depository IndieBound

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PRAISE FOR HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA

“There are plenty of suspects and red herrings as well as tense escalations….A scenic, twisty mystery.”
Kirkus Reviews

 “Readers of the previous mystery will be thrilled to have more of this likable duo. [A] delightful romp into an 1888 Gothic mystery with a hint of romance.”
School Library Connection

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Kerri Maniscalco
About the Author:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

Twitter   |  Facebook   |   Instagram   |   Website   |   Tumblr   |   Pinterest


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THE RAVES: A SHORT REVIEW

I am absolutely in love with Kerri’s rich way of storytelling and her well-developed characters. While reading, Hunting Prince Dracula, I was transfixed with the mystery, thrills, chills, spooky setting, and the amazing character development. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, and I will tell you one thing, I did not see any of those surprising revelations coming at the end. WOO I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH!

Additionally, I absolutely adore the two main characters, Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell. I love the chemistry between these two characters. I really enjoyed the banter and witty remarks they bounce off each other, which always had me swooning and laughing. Audrey Rose and Thomas are my favorite OTP. 

Overall, Hunting Prince Dracula is so well-paced and is very intriguing from start to finish. Audrey Rose and Thomas’ adventure in Romania is suspenseful, mysterious, and will have you on the edge of your seat. Not only does this book contain scenes that will give you goosebumps, but I also found comic relief in Thomas’ quirky comments. If you love the Sherlock Holmes series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this book (and the whole series) is for you. 

THE CRAVES: BAT TRAIL MIX

While reading any book, I usually have a snack at my side. Hunting Prince Dracula is filled with thrilling and chilling scenes, and I was often creeped out by the detailed scenes of bat attacks and gigantic spiders. So in regards to a snack-able crave for Hunting Prince Dracula, I decided to create a BAT TRAIL MIX. Hoping to create a trail mix that parallels a bat’s favorite foods/diet, and after watching numerous YouTube videos of cute bats eating different fruits and insects, I made sure to include seeds and fruits in the trail mix, along with a few of my favorite munchies.

Ingredients:
For this snack, you will only need a few ingredients. Because you often find bats eating fruits and seeds, I included fresh green grapes (you can add any berries or fruits you like), pumpkins seeds, and sunflower seeds. With my own spin, I included a few of my favorite snacks to add a bit of saltiness, which were pretzels and Cheez-its.


Directions:
In a bowl, add and mix all the ingredients. WHA-LA! You have the perfect trail mix fit for a bat and yourself.

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Week One
August 21st ~ Paper Cuts: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist

August 22nd ~ Literary Legionnaire: Review of Hunting Prince Dracula
August 24th ~ Arctic Books: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist
August 25th ~ 21st Century Once Upon A Times: A “Drink Your way through SJTR: Tea Edition”

Week Two
August 28th ~ Hiver Et Ca: History of Prince Dracula

August 29th ~ Justice Reads: Review of Hunting Prince Dracula
August 30th ~ Nicole’s Novel Reads: Travelling Etiquette and tips for Victorian Women
August 31st ~ Sophie Reads YA: Favourite Stalking Jack the Ripper Fanart
September 1st ~ LILbooKlovers: Top Ten Quotes from Stalking Jack the Ripper

Week Three
September 4th ~ One Way or An Author: Hunting Prince Dracula Phone Backgrounds

September 5th ~ A Blinding Book: Hunting Prince Dracula Aesthetic
September 6th ~ Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile: Review & Snacks
September 7th ~ Rattle the Stars: Hunting Prince Dracula Playlist
September 8th ~ A Gingerly Reviews: Hunting Prince Dracula Review

Week Forth
September 11th ~ The Plot Bunny: Hunting Prince Dracula Ctomer Ideas

September 12th ~ Blame it on The Books: Hunting Prince Dracula Review
September 13th ~ The Reader & the Chef : Hunting Prince Dracula’s Menu
September 14th ~ Books, Tv, and More…Oh MY!!: Top Ten Favourite Traits of Audrey & Thomas
September 15th ~ Unquenchable Reads : GIF, GIFS, and more GIFS

Week Five
September 18th ~ Rattle the Pages : A Glimpse Back in Time: Vlad The Impaler edition

September 19th ~ Beyond the Book Reviews: Character Wears of the 21st Century
September 20th ~ The Heart of a Book Blogger : Hunting Prince Dracula Mood Board

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Blog Tour & Top 10: The Hawkweed Legacy by Irena Brignull

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Welcome! I’m so excited to be part of The Hawkweed Legacy Blog Tour. Today, Irena Brignull, the author of the amazing Hawkweed Prophecy series, is going to share her top 10 characters she would invite over to have dinner with her main characters. 

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Title:
 
THE HAWKWEED LEGACY (Hawkweed Prophecy #2)
Author: 
Irena Brignull
Publication Date: 
August 15, 2017

Publisher: Weinstein Books
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

ABOUT THE HAWKWEED LEGACY
Hardcover, $18.00, August 15, 2017
Poppy is discovering a purpose for her powers in Africa, but she is haunted by a vision of her own death. Taken in by a boy and his great-grandmother, a healer, they vow to keep her safe-even if that ultimately means holding her captive. But Poppy never stops longing for Leo and, when she feels his magic begin to spark, she will do anything to be reunited with him.

Desperate to regain Poppy’s trust and bring her home, Charlock embarks on a plan to reunite Leo with his mother. What Charlock doesn’t foresee are the string of consequences that she sets into motion that leave Ember all alone and prey to manipulation, the clan open to attack from other witches, Sorrel vulnerable to Raven’s ghost, Betony determined to protect her son from his father’s fate, and which leave both Leo and Poppy in terrible danger.

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ABOUT THE HAWKWEED PROPHECY B
y Irena Brignull, Trade Paperback (All new cover!) $10.99, August 15, 2017
Poppy Hooper and Ember Hawkweed couldn’t lead more different lives. Poppy is a troubled teen: moving from school to school, causing chaos wherever she goes, never making friends or lasting connections. Ember is a young witch, struggling to find a place within her coven and prove her worth. Both are outsiders: feeling like they don’t belong and seeking escape.

Poppy and Ember soon become friends, and secretly share knowledge of their two worlds. Little do they know that destiny has brought them together: an ancient prophecy, and a life-changing betrayal. Growing closer, they begin to understand why they’ve never belonged and the reason they are now forever connected to each other.

Switched at birth by the scheming witch Raven Hawkweed, Poppy and Ember must come to terms with their true identities and fight for their own place in the world. Enter Leo, a homeless boy with a painful past who – befriending them both – tests their love and loyalty. Can Poppy and Ember’s friendship survive? And can it withstand the dark forces that are gathering?


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 Miss Haversham, Great Expectations

After being jilted at the altar, I think Miss Haversham really could have done with the support of a coven of witches. I can imagine her escaping the company of men and enjoying life out in the forest. Perhaps it would have prevented her ossifying and souring as the years went by. The bitterness she describes sounds savage – ‘sharper teeth than teeth of mice have gnawed at me’. Perhaps the witches can help heal these age-old wounds?

Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

This calm, intelligent, thoughtful character might be just the right man to change the coven’s centuries’ old prejudice against the opposite sex. I think he’d understand them too. As he tells Scout – ‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it’. Poppy, Ember and Leo could all benefit from his fatherly wisdom too.

Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye

I like to think that Ember’s innocence and optimism, her burgeoning independence, might be the salve that jaded, exhausted Holden needs. Ember is the opposite of a ‘phony’ and Holden might help her ever becoming one. She, as well as Poppy and Leo, truly understand what it’s like to be an outsider.

Cassandra Mortmain, I Capture The Castle

Cassandra Mortmain was probably my first experience of a literary YA character. Well used to eccentricity, I think her sweetness and charm would make her a positive addition to the Poppy, Ember and Leo trio. Also, I’d love to read her diary entry about the dinner.

Sam Gamgee, The Lord of The Rings

Poor Leo has had a rough time of it in recent years. Abused by his step-father and brothers, he’s perhaps the most isolated of all the Hawkweed characters. Homeless and vulnerable, he could do with the friendship of someone as down-to-earth, loyal and brave as Sam.

Cal, Middlesex

I loved this character and her journey. As a hermaphrodite, she would really challenge the coven’s antiquated notions about gender. I like to think that, on knowing her, they would welcome her with open arms. I know that Poppy in particular would be drawn to her.

Heathcliff

I’ve added Heathcliff because he’s the first literary character I fell for. I actually think he’d be a great dinner partner for Betony (from The Hawkweed Legacy). She too has a wild, passionate nature, and has lost so much in her life. I think she’d understand Heathcliff and Catherine’s love, the feeling that ‘he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.’

Celie, The Color Purple

Having endured so much abuse and bigotry in her life, I think Celie will relate to the coven and they to her. They care not for a person’s looks but only for their character. Also, Celie truly understands the bonds of sisterhood. With the help of her female friends, she has found her way through all the suffering to experience joy. The elders in the coven would definitely appreciate this notion – ‘I don’t think us feel old at all. And us so happy. Matter of fact, I think this the youngest us ever felt.’ Celie might even open the witches’ eyes to a world beyond life in the forest.

Weird Sisters, Macbeth

I like to think of the three witches that Macbeth meets up on the moor as the ancestors of the Hawkweed witches. They certainly inspired the prophecy that trigger the events in the first Hawkweed novel. The Weird Sisters’ presence at dinner could make for an interesting family reunion.

Hester Prynne, The Scarlet Letter

The Hawkweed stories are full of strong female characters, but Hester Prynne is a true survivor. She refuses to be broken, despite society’s attempts to shame and isolate her. Like Raven, Charlock and Betony, she loves her daughter fiercely. Honest and compassionate throughout all that she’s endured, I think she’d be a great addition to the dinner.


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About Irena:

I’m Irena Brignull, a screenwriter, novelist and mum. I live with my family in London but I was brought up outside the city in the beautiful Chiltern Hills. The other place that has my heart is Greece where many of my relatives are from. 

My first novel, The Hawkweed Prophecy, was published in June 2016.  The sequel, The Hawkweed Legacy, was published in June 2017.

I write screenplays too. My screenwriting credits include the Oscar nominated movie, The Boxtrolls, starring Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning and Simon Pegg. (I was nominated for Best Screenplay for that one at the Annie Awards in 2014.) My adaptation of The Little Prince, directed by Mark Osborne and starring Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, James Franco and Marion Cotillard, closed the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. I also adapted Skellig for Sky which starred Tim Roth, John Simm and Kelly MacDonald. 

Before all this, I was a Script Executive at the BBC and then Head of Development at Dogstar Films where I was the script editor on Shakespeare in Love, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, I Capture the Castle and Bravo Two Zero to name a few.

And before that, I studied English Literature at Oxford University.

I don’t have much spare time but, in it, I like to read books and watch movies. It’s kind of my job, I know. But one day I plan to take up lots more hobbies – horse-riding, tap-dancing, baking, juggling…?

Website |  Twitter 

PRAISE FOR THE HAWKWEED PROPHECY:

“Brignull develops story and characters slowly, long, luxurious sentences balancing the magic and the mundane expertly and building the world of the witches by showing how out of place Ember is in it. Tension builds inexorably to the inevitable witch showdown, which brings small victories but not a happily-ever-after for all. The third person narration switches focus from character to character as they make frustrating, heart-rending, totally believable choices. Fantasy and nonfantasy readers alike will appreciate this gritty and intriguing coming-of-age story.”
Kirkus Reviews
 
“Brignull…debuts with an instantly engrossing novel…It’s a fantasy with the air of a classic, yet one that’s also entirely contemporary in its tight focus on identity, friendship, and romance. Ages 12-up.”—Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*

“Wildly delightful.”— Laini Taylor, author of The Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy
 
“Wise, weird, a touch evil and totally charming, Irena Brignull’s tale of magic in our time is as rich and complicated as sisterhood. From the first page, I felt drawn into a modern classic.”
— Anna Godbersen, author of The Luxe and Bright Young Things series
 
“Irena Brignull’s The Hawkweed Prophecy is a book of wicked, beautiful magic. Compulsively readable and delightfully gritty, one does not mess with these Hawkweed witches.
— Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood and Three Dark Crowns

“I loved this book! Irena has created such beautifully complete world–our world, and nestled within it, a simmering world of magic. The Hawkweed Prophecy has everything: friendship, desire, delicious earthy magic, secrets and spells and at its centre, the wonderful young Poppy, on a journey of self-discovery. I so hope there is more to come!”
 Karen Foxlee, author of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy and A Most Magical Girl

The Hawkweed Prophecy was bewitching from the get-go. Irena Brignull does an amazing job weaving a tale of pure magic in this debut novel. She’ll have you on a roller coaster of emotions from the very first page. Get ready to be spellbound.”
— Paige McKenzie, author of the New York Times bestselling Haunting of Sunshine Girl series

“Brignull’s The Hawkweed Prophecy is a deft exploration of friendship, sacrifice and betrayal. I can’t decide who I love more, the sweet and trusting Ember or the spunky, dark Poppy. You can’t help but cheer for both girls, and ache when they are pitted against one another. I was completely absorbed in the sinister, complicated world of magic and witches. The coven is described so confidently and beautifully, it’s hard to emerge from the novel without wondering if these women are operating somewhere just below the surface of our world. Full of romance, heart and suspense, readers will find themselves staying up all night just to spend a little more time with Ember and Poppy.”
— Madeleine Roux, author of the New York Times bestseller Asylum

 

Tour Schedule

8/21: Two Chicks on Books – Q&A
8/22: Wandering Bark Books – Guest Post
8/23: In Wonderland – Review
8/24: A Binding Attraction – Top 10
8/25: Miranda’s Book Blog – Guest Post
8/26: Reading Is Better With Cupcakes – Review
8/27: The Irish Banana Review – Fast 5

8/28:
books are love – Q&A
8/29: A Backwards Story – Review
8/30: Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Top 10
8/31: Live To Read – Review
9/1: Just Commonly – Review
9/2: Quartzfeather – Review
9/3: Lori’s Little House of Reviews – Review
9/4: Never Too Many To Read – Bookish Collage

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Internet Famous by Danika Stone

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Title:
Internet Famous
Author: Danika Stone
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Can an online romance survive in real life?

Internet sensation Madison Nakama has it all! Her pop-culture rewatch site has a massive following, and fans across the world wait on her every post and tweet. Even Madi’s dismal romantic life seems ready to take off as Laurent, a fellow geek (and unfairly HOT French exchange student!) starts flirting with her in the comments section of her blog. But Laurent’s not the only one watching for Madi’s replies.

Internet fame has a price, and their online romance sparks the unwanted attention of a troll. When Madi’s “real life” hits a rough patch, she feels her whole world crumbling. With Laurent’s support, can Madi rally her friends across the globe to beat the troll, or will he succeed in driving her away from everything―and everyone―she loves?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


My Rants and Raves of IF

In Internet Famous, Danika Stone has created a literary world fit for bloggers, fans, and basically anyone who loves fandoms. This book is fast-paced and filled with a roller coaster of emotions mainly centering on falling in love, time crunching, graduating high school, and dreadfully dealing with trolls and cyberbulling. With a realistic approach, Stone has allowed her characters, especially Madi and Laurent, to explore a world that suggests that true friendships can develop even if it’s through the mutual love of fandom, movies, memes, and art. 

As the main character, Madi has a lot on her plate. Not only is she finishing up her high school career by completing online classes, she is also running a highly praised blog. Additionally, she is also trying to make sure her sister, Sarah, who is on the autism spectrum, lives a life of routine and comfort. I’m a huge fan when sibling relationships are explored in literature, and I adored Madi and Sarah’s interactions–even when they were fighting. Madi and Sarah may have their differences, but they find common ground in movie nights, and their interactions also show how much they love and dearly care for each other. 

As previously stated, Madi runs a blog dedicated to her love for fandoms and reliving them. She allows her fans to vote for the fandoms that they would like her to live blog, watch/rewatch, or even read/reread. I loved how active Madi is with her fans and she gives them an outlet to interact and voice their opinions too. I’m not going to lie, although I loved when Internet Famous focused on rewatching 80s movies, I was crossing my fingers for a Buffy rewatch. But overall, I felt that as a blogger with such a huge fan base, Madi did not allow her fame overshadow the reasons why she blogged: it’s fun, enjoyable, and it let her be herself while globally interacting with people who also love fandoms. 

Internet Famous also contains one of the best developing relationship stories I have read in a long time. Madi and Laurent’s relationship slowly develops and burns throughout the pages. I like that they take the time to get to know each other. This is not an instant-love relationship, but instead a romance that develops through online interaction, real-life interaction, the exchange of swoony texts, and coffee dates. Both characters communicate really well with each other, and I loved how honest and straightforward they often were with each other. The swoony relationship in this book was definitely my favorite part; it’s as sweet and ooey and gooey as a warm cinnamon roll. 

In Internet Famous, one of the subject matters that made my stomach twist in knots was the focus on trolls and cyberbullying. The truth of bullying makes my stomach ache, and a lot of this book focuses on the negative outcomes that come from putting your opinions and life online. Danika Stone captures the realistic negativity that internet trolls add to people’s lives, especially the hate that Madi receives from one of her online fans. Although I was not a fan of cyberbullying pumping up Madi’s angst, I think Stone handles this topic very well.

Overall, Internet Famous is the perfect book to curl up with this summer. Through a unique writing style of memes, texts, Tweets, and picture posts, this book blends together laugh-out-loud moments, great friendships, and swoons. But it also focuses on maturity, facing negative feedback from the real world, and finding the perfect balance of what should and should not be put out in the cyber world. Definitely give this fun, fast-paced book a chance, especially if you are dedicated blogger, a blogger follower, or a fandom lover.

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Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (Icarus and All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.

The first book in Danika’s upcoming Tathagata series (Edge of Wild) was selected as a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award (2013). Edge of Wild (Stonehouse CA) will be released March 2016. Danika’s YA novel, All the Feels (Macmillan US), will be released June 2016.

Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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June 5th
The Page Unbound >> Excerpt
Abooktropolis >> Review
Married To Books Reviews and Blog >> Review
Only True Magic >> Review
Bookmarked Bliss >> Review

June 6th
Happily Ever Chapter >> Review
Tales of the Ravenous Reader >> Guest post
Quartzfeather >> Review
The Pursuit Of Bookiness >> Review
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile >> Review

June 7th
The Avid Reader >> Excerpt
Girl vs Books >> Review
Wishful Endings >> Interview
Between Printed Pages >> Review

June 8th
Here’s to Happy Endings >> Guest post
Betwixt the Pages  >> Review
To Be Read >> Review
Books Direct >> Review
The Literary Huntress >> Review

June 9th
A Dream Within A Dream  >> Excerpt
Eru Books and Recs >> Review
Reading To Distraction >> Review
The Cover Contessa >> Interview
The Heart of a Book Blogger >> Review

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

The Best Kind of Magic
by Crystal Cestari
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

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Synopsis:
 
Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.

Amber works ather mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?


The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.
 

RANTS AND RAVES MAGIC

I am obsessed with anything related to witches, and The Best Kind of Magic is one of my best “witchy” books I have read in a long time. As a first-person narrative story, told through the eyes of Amber Sand, I was fully wrapped in the thoughts of a teenage protagonist entwined with the realities of high school and the consequences of magic. Even though, at first, I thought Amber was going to come off too angst-y for my liking, I really liked that she matured as the book progressed.

Although Amber does not have the powers of a typical witch, she does have the gift of “matchmaking,” in which she is able confirm with couples if they are perfect for each other.  In The Best Kind of Magic, matchmaking is on the lowest step of the magical realm ladder, but Amber still takes pride in her magical ability. I liked Amber as a storyteller and being in her head throughout the story. She is funny, smart, rational, and has a cautious nature in her reactions to most situations. Amber often questions why people get mad when she tells them that they are not with their soulmate, but as the story unfolds, she starts to empathize with these people and understand heartache more.

I was also a big fan of Amber’s friends, Amani and Charlie. Amani is a great best friend, and as the series continues, I look forward to reading more about her pre-cog gift and how her life unfolds, especially in the romance realm…EEEK. I also liked Charlie because he is classy and mature, and I think he has a good head on his shoulders. I really liked that he doesn’t runaway from his problems or conflicts–instead he faces them with open communication and an open mind.

The Best Kind of Magic
leaves room for all the characters to grow and understand life’s ability to throw you into loops. This story is quick-paced, lighthearted, and often times hilarious, but the book also focuses on serious matters. I enjoyed that the novel does not set up a heroine on her way to a happily ever after ending. Instead, reality is complicated and through Amber’s eyes we see her ponder real life complexities and worries. Amber faces difficulties in a story that questions fate and predestination. Do the “powers-that-be” control our lives or do we in fact have choice to control our own lives? Are there truly soulmates or do we control our own destiny with love? As these themes and questions are explored, the story unfolds in some unexpected turns.

Overall, The Best Kind of Magic is a great introduction into a series that I know I will continue to read. The book has a lot of sassy and sarcastic banter, which I love in young adult novels. There is also mystery, great friendship dynamics, and a slow burn of swoons *sigh*.  I cannot wait for book two to come out; I’m not a big fan of book twists but I’m excited to see how the series continues. 

4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

FAVORITE QUOTES

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With rainbows in my hair and stories in my head, I am a writer drawn to magic in the everyday world.

My debut novel, The Best Kind of Magic, arrives May 16, 2017 from Hyperion. Follow Amber Sand, a magical matchmaker who can actually see true love, as she takes off on a fun and romantic adventure toward happily ever after.

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WIN ONE FINISHED COPY OF THE BOOK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Open to only USA/CANADA.
Every blog on this tour is running their own giveaway (that’s 19 chances to win). Please feel free to enter each blog giveaway, but if you find out that you have won 2 blog giveaways, we ask that you please decline one of the wins and only claim one copy of the book in order to allow someone else to win their own copy of the book. Good luck!

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

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Title:
The Pearl Thief

Author: Elizabeth Wein
Publication date: May 2, 2017
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Synopsis:

Before Verity . . . there was Julie.

When fifteen-year-old Julia Beaufort-Stuart wakes up in the hospital, she knows the lazy summer break she’d imagined won’t be exactly like she anticipated. And once she returns to her grandfather’s estate, a bit banged up but alive, she begins to realize that her injury might not have been an accident. One of her family’s employees is missing, and he disappeared on the very same day she landed in the hospital.

Desperate to figure out what happened, she befriends Euan McEwen, the Scots Traveller boy who found her when she was injured, and his standoffish sister Ellen. As Julie grows closer to this family, she experiences some of the prejudices they’ve grown used to firsthand, a stark contrast to her own upbringing, and finds herself exploring thrilling new experiences that have nothing to do with a missing-person investigation.

Her memory of that day returns to her in pieces, and when a body is discovered, her new friends are caught in the crosshairs of long-held biases about Travellers. Julie must get to the bottom of the mystery in order to keep them from being framed for the crime.

In the prequel to Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this exhilarating coming-of-age story returns to a beloved character just before she learned to fly.

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The Pearl Thief is the first  Elizabeth Wein book I have read and it will not be my last. I really enjoyed how Wein’s storytelling realistically situates you in the main character’s mind, which is filled with so much passion, snark, love, innocence, and freedom. The plot of The Pearl Thief not only provides a tone of mystery and stealth, but I was also in awe of the limits that Wein pushed against in regards to the main character’s coming-of-age story. 

As the main character in The Pearl Thief, Julie is one of my new favorite YA heroines. Wein’s writing immediately swifts you into the historical ambiance of an early 20th-century Scotland setting, told through Julie’s perspective, a teenage girl exploring her adolescence through a lens of fear, courage, curiosity, and change. Julie is a full on whirlwind; in the very beginning of the book, she makes a threat that if anyone ever arranges for her to be married, she would run away. HA, right then and there, I knew Julie was going to win my heart in this story. I loved how feisty, funny, and daring she is throughout the novel. If I lived in the late 1930s, I definitely would have tried to befriend her. In the end, I appreciated Julie as a character because she has so much strength, spunk, and will to educate herself and defy social norms. 

Because of Julie’s liveliness and strict determination, this story is engaging and fast-paced. The Pearl Thief has a mysterious tone with a full investigation of a missing person and thefts. In addition to the stealthy tone, it was very refreshing to read a young adult character who is exploring her sexual fluidity, while also trying to understand the ills of the world. Julie is situated in a time where women were pushing the boundaries of the patriarchy, and she was also recognizing the terrible discriminatory labels, stereotypes, and assumptions that were unfairly placed on people due to their social status, religion, gender, race, and way of living. If you love reading historical novels with witty and quirky characters with a dash of sleuthing, The Pearl Thief is for you.

4-star-rating

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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About the author Pearl Thief

Elizabeth


I was born in New York City in 1964, and moved to England when I was 3. I started school there. We lived practically in the shadow of Alderley Edge, the setting for several of Alan Garner’s books and for my own first book The Winter Prince; that landscape, and Garner’s books, have been a lifelong influence on me.

My father, who worked for the New York City Board of Education for most of his life, was sent to England to do teacher training at what is now Manchester Metropolitan University. He helped organize the Headstart program there. When I was six he was sent to the University of the West Indies in Jamaica for three years to do the same thing in Kingston. I loved Jamaica and became fluent in Jamaican patois (I can’t really speak it any more, but I can still understand it); but in 1973 my parents separated, and we ended up back in the USA living with my mother in Harrisburg, PA, where her parents were. When she died in a car accident in 1978, her wonderful parents took us in and raised us.

I went to Yale University, spent a work-study year back in England, and then spent seven years getting a PhD in Folklore at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. While I was there I learned to ring church bells in the English style known as “change ringing”, and in 1991 I met my future husband there at a bell ringers’ dinner-dance. He is English, and in 1995 I moved to England with him, and then to Scotland in 2000.

We share another unusual interest–flying in small planes. My husband got his private pilot’s license in 1993 and I got mine ten years later. Together we have flown in the States from Kalamazoo to New Hampshire; in Kenya we’ve flown from Nairobi to Malindi, on the coast, and also all over southern England. Alone, most of my flying has been in eastern Scotland.

We have two children.

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TOUR SCHEDULE PEARL THIEF

Week One:

5/1/2017- YA and Wine Blogger Post
5/2/2017- Beauty and the Bookshelf– Review
5/3/2017- The Blonde Bookworm– Review
5/4/2017- The Autumn Bookshelf– Blogger Post
5/5/2017- Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile– Review

Week Two:

5/8/2017- Booklove– Review
5/9/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader– Blogger Post
5/10/2017- Mundie Moms Review
5/11/2017- YA Books Central– Spotlight
5/12/2017- History from a Woman’s Perspective– Review

NOTE: Thank you to Disney-Hyperion  and Rock Star Book Tour for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray

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Title: Don’t Kiss the Messenger
Author: Katie Ray
Publication date: April 10, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen Crush
Genres: Young Adult, Contempoary, Romance

ABOUT THE BOOK:

For most of her teenage life, CeCe Edmonds has been dealing with the stares and the not-so-polite whispers that follow her around Edgelake High. So she has a large scar on her face—Harry Potter had one on his forehead and people still liked him.

CeCe never cared about her looks—until Emmett Brady, transfer student and football darling, becomes her literature critique partner. The only problem? Emmett is blindsided by Bryn DeNeuville, CeCe’s gorgeous and suddenly shy volleyball teammate.

Bryn asks CeCe to help her compose messages that’ll charm Emmett. CeCe isn’t sure there’s anything in his head worth charming but agrees anyway—she’s a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately, the more messages she sends and the more they run into each other, the more she realizes there’s plenty in his head, from food to literature. Too bad Emmett seems to be falling for the wrong girl…

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book involves one fiercely scarred girl who wants the new guy in town, the new guy who thinks he wants the new girl, and the new girl who really isn’t sure what she wants, and the misunderstanding that brings them all together. You’ll laugh, you’ll swoon, you’ll fall in love.

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My Rants and Raves of messenger

Don’t Kiss the Messenger is a gender-reversed, high school retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. It’s a story about disguise, miscommunication, and hidden crushes. Often I find stories about deception frustrating because I am so impatient for the truth to be revealed, but in this book the use of modern technology to disguise flirtation is creatively thought out and well executed. I thought (and loved) that the book gave off vibes that reminisced the classic independent heroine and witty banter that is portrayed in the movie 10 Things I Hate About You. 

One of my favorite parts of Don’t Kiss the Messenger was the constant references to Shakespeare. You cannot go into a story focused on disguise and deception without Shakespeare’s works making an appearance. And every time Cece, the main character, quoted a Shakespeare play, I would get so excited. It’s not every day you read a character that appreciates the language of the Bard. 

Not only is Cece a Shakespeare fanatic, but she is also likable, sarcastic, confident, and fierce. Although she faces scrutiny every day from strangers who take pity on her or are awe-struck by the scars on her face, Cece keeps her head up high and tries to excel in every way she possibly can. She tries not to let her flaws define her, but it’s hard because she lives in a world that focuses on perfection as a defining factor. Cece has excellent taste in music, she’s fearless, and I love that she knows that sometimes a good cry is the best medicine.

I also liked Emmett, Cece’s crush. Emmett is not set up as the perfect high school jock. He has a past that is heartbreaking, and a future that needs mending. Emmett might be clueless on a few things, but his interest in literature, music, and defending his friends makes him stand out. 

Cece and Emmett’s friendship and relationship is an emotional roller coaster. And even though they have their twists and turns, the chemistry between these two characters is electric. Their friendship is based on witticism, sarcasm, and laughs. I love how they feed off each other’s energy and their banter is so cute and hilarious. I rooted for them the entire book, even when the disguised messages were grating my last nerve, hahaha.

Although stories that use disguises as a tricking mechanism sometimes frustrate me, the deceiving charade that takes place in Don’t Kiss the Messenger is heartwarming and swoony. Yes, I might have gotten annoyed at times, mainly because I wanted the truth leaked, but deception was perfectly set up as a steady beat throughout the pages and had me hooked to the very end. I highly recommend this book to fans of Shakespeare, literature nerds, music fiends, and anyone who appreciates a good love story. 

star rating

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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Katie Ray

 

About the Author:

Katie Ray (also known by her previous author name, Katie Kacvinsky) writes teen and new adult fiction novels. Her books have been nominated for YALSA awards, and First Comes Love was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her screenplay, A High Note, was a semifinalist in the Austin Screenplay Competition in 2015. She currently lives in Ashland, Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and a slightly insane dog.

Author Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review of Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Queens of Geek
Jen Wilde
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

About Queens of Geek:

Three friends. Two love stories. One convention.

Charlie likes to stand out. She’s a vlogger and actress promoting her first movie at SupaCon, and this is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star Reese Ryan. When internet-famous cool-girl actress Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with her best guy friend Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about a fan contest for her favorite fandom, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.Queens of Geek, an empowering young adult novel by Jen Wilde, is all about fandom, friendship, and finding the courage to be yourself.

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There is so much I love about this book, but I’m afraid my fangirling will give too much away. I hate spoilers, so I am going to try to make this review as spoiler-free as I can.

I think one of the best things about life is fandoms and then finding friends that will geek out over the same fandoms with you. Queens of Geek is a story about friendships and the love for fandoms. In a nutshell, it is a story about three friends, who are about to head off to college, so for a friendship vacation they attend a convention very similar to San Diego Comic Con. Their adventure is a page-turner that you will not want to put down. Fangirling ensues. Friendships strengthen. And swooning is guaranteed. 

Queens of Geek focuses on two main points-of-view. First there is Charlie, a well-known vlogger/indie actress, who has her own group of fans. I liked Charlie, because she is a girl that knows what she wants in life. She has a plan and a daring attitude. She is the girl that a lot of us inspire to be. And then there is Taylor, who I mainly related to. Taylor has a heart of gold, and often deals with severe anxiety.  

In Queens of Geek, I love that opposites attract, but it is the similarities between these two characters that bring Charlie and Taylor closer together. Both of the characters are honest, trusting, and so damn likable. Along for the ride, Jamie, Taylor’s best guy friend, geeks out with them at the convention. But in this story, the convention is more than fangirling or freaking out over you favorite vloggers, super heroes, sci-fi characters, or fantasy authors–instead it’s about growing up, stepping out of your comfort zone, and understanding who you are. 

Although Queens of Geek takes place in the span of a few days, a lot occurs. Panic attacks happen, ex-boyfriends get stupidly drunk, and crushes start developing into actual relationships. I really enjoyed that this fast-paced book touches base on issues that a lot of teenagers deal with in their everyday lives. And without giving too much away, I loved the healthy and realistic approach that the author, Jen Wilde, takes in regards to highlighting topics like anxiety, body issues, and bisexuality. If you are in the mood for a book that realistically portrays the love for fandoms, along with real-life issues, definitely give Queens of Geek a read. 

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Enter to win a print copy of Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde!

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TOUR SCHEDULE

March 13th
Bibliobibuli YA >> Interview
Fic Central >> Review
Adventures with a Book Nerd >> Review

March 14th
Rattle the Stars >> Guest post
To Be Read >> Review
Girl vs Books >> Review
With Love for Books >> Review
Happily Ever Chapter >> Review
Hopeful Reads >> Review

March 15th
books are love >> Review
Twirling Book Princess  >> Excerpt
Padme’s Library >> Interview
Quartzfeather >> Review
Rolling with the Moments >> Review

March 16th
Books and Ladders >> Review
A Dream Within A Dream >> Excerpt
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile >> Review
My Tiny Obsessions >> Review
Book Stacks Amber >> Review

March 17th
The Cover Contessa >> Guest post
Kourtni Reads >> Review
Betwixt the Pages >> Review
The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange >> Review
Flavia the Bibliophile >> Review

AUTHOR BIO

Jen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (AS THEY RISE), witches (ECHO OF THE WITCH) and fangirls (QUEENS OF GEEK). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller.When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, eating pizza, traveling to far away places and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay. Jen lives in a sunny beachside town in Australia with her husband and their cheeky pug, aptly named Heisenberg.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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