Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review of Haven by Mary Lindsey

HavenTour

Title:Haven
Author: Mary Lindsey
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s use to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running rom trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Ancient magic and modern society collide in a sexy, spellbinding romance perfect for fans of C. C. Hunter and Maggie Stiefvater that proves sometimes beauty is the beast…

Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo


my raving review

For me, Haven started off slow, but as the story develops a lot of interesting and unique twists unravel in regards to the world-building and the author’s take on paranormal beings, in this case weres. Haven is a great reminder of why I love delving into young adult literature that focuses on the paranormal and magic. It is fun. It is messy. It is gutwrenching. And overall it’s a constant page-turner. 

Haven is fully packed with action and shocking surprises, but the book is also packed with A LOT of side characters. Sometimes I had a hard time keeping up with them all. But other than that, I was really fascinated with the main characters, Freddie and Rain. Both of these characters are so well-developed. They are strong, determined, fierce, and so selfless. I loved watching their bond and hilarious snark grow throughout the novel, and what guy could walk away from a girl who calls him Sprinkles? HAHAHA

Overall, I really enjoyed the history, lore, and paranormal approach that Mary Lindsey establishes in Haven. The story is unique and the plot is straightforward and oftentimes hints back at generational conflicts. More importantly, I loved that the book is full of mystery with a hint of romance sprinkled into its pages. 


***GIVEAWAY***

WIN a Swag box including books (not Haven) and fun stuff. 
A $15 Amazon gift card will be substituted in place of the prize pack if the winner is international.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband. Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

CHECK OUT THE TOUR SCHEDULE HERE

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review of My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

Title: My New Crush Gave to Me
Author: Shani Petroff
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: October 31, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

This sweet, funny holiday romance from the author of Romeo And What’s Her Name features cute boys, plenty of rom-com mishaps, and a determined heroine readers are certain to fall for.

Charlotte “Charlie” Donovan knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: Teo Ortiz. He’s a star athlete, a National Honor Society member, and the most popular guy in school. Plus he contributes to the school paper, where Charlie is a co-editor. Basically, he’s exactly the type of guy Charlie’s looking for. The only problem is–he barely knows she exists.

But Charlie has a plan: rig the paper’s Secret Santa and win his heart with the perfect gift. The catch? She has no idea what to get him. Enter J.D. Ortiz–Teo’s cousin, and possibly the most annoying person on the planet. He’s easy going, laid back, disorganized, and spontaneous–the exact opposite

of Charlie (and Teo). But he knows what Teo wants, so she’s stuck with him.

Yet, the more time Charlie spends with J.D., the more she starts to wonder: Does she really know what, or rather who, she wants for Christmas?

Shani Petroff’s newest young adult comedy of errors, My New Crush Gave to Me, is the perfect read for those searching for some love and laughter along with their holiday spirit.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

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GAH! I love the holidays, and this is the perfect book to treat yo shelf to this time of the year. If you are a fan of swoons, Secret Santa surprises, and hate-to-love relationships, My New Crush Gave to Me is the perfect book for you. This novel is as sweet and fresh as a candy cane and it will have you laughing due to all the holiday shenanigans the characters go through.

In regards to the main character, Charlie is a stick-by-the-book type of gal. Routine, rules, and structure make perfect sense, so I can completely understand her personality. Charlie is extreme, but I like that she knows what she wants and she is determined to do what is best for her. Even though Charlie is a handful, she fosters a surprising friendship with the most laid-back, never on time, and free-spirited person named J.D. I adored J.D. because he is caring and spontaneous and balances out Charlie’s intensity. He challenges Charlie in the best ways; I loved how their friendship grew through each page.

Definitely pick up My New Crush Gave to Me, make yourself a hot cup of cocoa, wrap yourself in a cozy blanket, and let the Secret Santa fun unfold. The romantic notions mixed with wintery traditions adds a great amount of holiday atmosphere to the story. Even though this book will give you the warm fuzzies, My New Crush Gave to Me will also have you opening your eyes to the idea that you never know what other people are going through, so don’t take them for granted. 

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Shani
Shani Petroff is a writer living in New York City. She’s the author of the “Bedeviled” series, which includes Daddy’s Little Angel, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Dress, Careful What You Wish For, and Love Struck, and is the co-author of the “Destined” series which includes Ash and Ultraviolet. She also writes for television news programs and several other venues. When she’s not locked in her apartment typing away, she spends a whole lot of time on books, boys, TV, daydreaming, and shopping online.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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October 30th
Life of a Literary Nerd >> Review
Readingwithwrin >> Review
The Candid Cover >> Excerpt
Writing Pearls >> Review
Dani Reviews things >> Review

October 31st
Smokin’ Hot Reads Book Blog >> Review
Love in a time of Feminism >> Guest post
Rolling with the Moments >> Review
The Mind of a Book Dragon >> Review
The Bibliophile Confessions >> Review

November 1st
Here’s to Happy Endings >> Review
Married To Books Reviews and Blog >> Review
Rainy Days and Pajamas >> Excerpt
Katie’s Stories >> Excerpt
Buried Under Books >> Review

November 2nd
Books Direct >> Review + Excerpt
Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile >> Review
Character Madness and Musings >> Interview
I Read Indie >> Excerpt
Chocolate and Chapters >> Review

November 3rd
Creating-Serenity >> Review
The Heart of a Book Blogger >> Review
Supercalireader >> Review
Lisa Loves Literature >> Interview
The Genre Minx Book Reviews >> Playlist

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Character-Inspired Teas for Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

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Title: 
Jane, Unlimited

Author: Kristin Cashore
Publication date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mystery

Synopsis

Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.

Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens.

Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

LINKS:   Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


Jane teas

Welcome to my Penguin Teen tour stop for Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. In this post, I have pickedtwo of my favorite characters in Jane, Unlimited and paired them with what I think are the perfect tea flavors based on their personalities and traits.

Please note both teas are based off drinks that I have ordered at Starbucks or come across while visiting other coffee/tea shops. I have no affiliation with the company. I just love Starbucks, tea, and literary characters. For your own benefit, I have linked the noted tea drink to its ingredient page.

jane tea

While I was reading Jane, Unlimited, I became obsessed with Starbucks’ London Fog tea latte. This tea is refreshing and calming just like the main character Jane. I love that Jane is very sarcastic, observant, and so quick-witted. And in comparison to this tea blend, Jane often comes off sweet, but this daring heroine also has a striking boldness to her. 


jasper tea

The scenes in Jane, Unlimited are limitless, and one of my favorite parts of the book was the focus on the friendship that develops between Jane and the basset hound, Jasper. Jasper is like a sweet sip of a Chai Tea Latte. This loyal dog is very protective, brave, and is not afraid to protect Jane from art thieves. Throughout the novel, Jasper proves to be an excellent companion (and an “excellent speller”…hahaha), and in comparison to the noted Chai Tea Latte, Jasper is warm and comforting.


jane giveaway

GIVEAWAY LEGAL:
Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. (ARV: $18.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 11, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 9, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 11, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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jane about author

kristin cashore
Kristin Cashore 
grew up in the northeast Pennsylvania countryside as the second of four daughters. She received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College, and she has worked as a dog runner, a packer in a candy factory, an editorial assistant, a legal assistant, and a freelance writer. She has lived in many places (including Sydney, New York City, Boston, London, Austin, and Jacksonville, Florida), and she currently lives in the Boston area. Her epic fantasy novels set in the Graceling Realm–GracelingFire, and Bitterblue–have won many awards and much high praise, including picks as ALA Best Books for Young Adults, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editors Choice, and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. In addition, Graceling was shortlisted for the William C. Morris Debut Award and Fire is an Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Winner.

jane tour schedule
Week One:
September 11 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style Files
September 11 – The Bookiemoji – Review
September 12 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Playlist
September 12 – Wandering Bark Books – Review
September 13 – Sarcasm & Lemons – Umbrellas Jane Would Make for YA Characters
September 13 – Arctic Books – Review
September 14 – Book Nerd Addicts – Review
September 14 – In Wonderland
September 15 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
September 15 – My Friends are Fiction – Promo
 
Week Two:
September 18 – YA Bibliophile – Review
September 18 – Across the Words – Umbrellas, A History
September 19 – The Eater of Books! – Mood Board
September 19 – NovelKnight
September 20 – Great Imaginations – Review
September 20 – The Wednesday Blog for Books – Review
September 21 – Icey Books – Jane, Unlimited Quote Candy
September 21 – A Page With a View – Favorite Quotes
September 22 – A Thousand Books to Read – Review
September 22 – BookCrushin – Review
 
Week Three:
September 25 – Teen Librarian Toolbox
September 25 – The Young Folks – 10 Reasons to Read Jane, Unlimited
September 26 – Live Love Read – A Mood Board for Every Story
September 26 – No BS Book Reviews – Review
September 27 – Andi’s ABCs
September 27 – The Novel Hermit
September 28 – Paper Trail YA – Review
September 28 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Jane, Unlimited Fan Cast
September 29 – I Am A Reader
September 29 – Fiction Fare – Review
 
Week Four:
October 2 – Don’t Fold the Page
October 2 – Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Characters & Tea
October 3 – MuggleNet – Review
October 3 – Xpresso Reads – Top 10 Awesome Umbrellas
October 4 – The Book Wars – Review
October 4 – Once Upon a Twilight – Guess the Story in GIFs
October 5 – Mundie Moms – Review
October 5 – YA Romantics – Review & Quiz
October 6 – Bookworm Everlasting – Book Photography
October 6 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Bookish Style Board

 

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

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

Hawkweed Banner

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.


Irena-Brignull Hi Res
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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Win a Copy of Internet Famous by Danika Stone

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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

Presented by:

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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!