Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review of Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel

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Title:
Keeper of the Bees
Author: Meg Kassel
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: September 4th 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Summary:

Beauty and the beast like you’ve never imagined!” —New York Times bestselling author Pintip Dunn

KEEPER OF THE BEES is a tale of two teens who are both beautiful and beastly, and whose pasts are entangled in surprising and heartbreaking ways.
Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

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My Rants and Raves Keeper of the Bees

**please note that this review may contain spoilers**

There’s something dark and eerie about Meg Kassal’s storytelling, and when it comes to her atmospheric companion novel Keeper of the Bees, Kassal does not disappoint in giving her readers the creeps and the chills. Paralleling the the same fantasy world of her first novel Black Birds of the Gallows, Keeper of the Bees focuses on a beekeeper, Dresden, along with other paranormal beings like the harbingers.

At the very beginning of the novel, Dresden’s cursed life is shifted and it is all because of Essie, a human who chews peppercorns to stop hallucinations and delusions. But the sudden burst of pepper, does not halt this teenager from seeing Dresden for what he really is: a creature that wears the many faces of his victims that have gone mad and died due to his venomous stings.

I really enjoyed the banter and conversations that are ping-ponged back and forth between these two unusual characters, Essie and Dresden. While one thinks he is a monster, a beastly being, the other finds him “pretty” but doubts herself because she suffers from a family curse which is treated like a mental illness. There is an instant bond between these two characters. It starts with fascination, turns into friendship, and develops into romance. 

Keeper of the Bees is also a very fascinating read because Kassel creates her own legends and fantastical foundation. This book reflects some similar characteristics of traditional young adult paranormal books, but Kassal also gives a unique take on her own monsters and myths. I honestly love that her beastly characters heighten my sense of wonder but they are also so freaking creepy.  

If you are fond of books with a bit of mystery, myth, romance, paranormal elements, and a hint of horror, Keeper of the Bees is the right book to add to your TBR. The story is well-paced and I liked that the characters are challenged to face their own personal demons and actual monsters of the world.

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MegKassel-Headshot
About the Author

Meg Kassel is an author of fantasy and speculative books for young adults. A graduate of Parson’s School of Design, she’s been creating stories, whether with visuals or words, since childhood. Meg is a New Jersey native who lives in a log house in the Maine woods with her husband and daughter. As a fan of ’80s cartoons, Netflix series, and ancient mythology, she has always been fascinated and inspired by the fantastic, the creepy, and the futuristic. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart® winner in YA and a double 2018 RITA® finalist for her debut novel, Black Bird of the Gallows.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

 

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Title: Keeper of the Bees
Author: Meg Kassel
Publication date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Synopsis

 

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

Goodreads Amazon | Barnes and Noble

 

Book Blitz: Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

Kiss of the Royal releases next week! Pre-order your copy today!

Kiss of the Royal
by Lindsey Duga
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 3rd 2018
Entangled Teen

Summary: 

In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that. 
 

 
Links to pre-order can be found HERE!
About the Author
Lindsey Duga developed a deep love for courageous heroes, dastardly villains, and enchanting worlds from the cartoon shows, books, and graphic novels she read as a kid. Drawing inspiration from these fantastical works of fiction, she wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University. By day, Lindsey is an account manager at a digital marketing agency based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. By night, and the wee hours of the morning, she writes both middle grade and young adult. She has a weakness for magic, anything classical, all kinds of mythology, and falls in love with tragic heroes. Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show, practicing yoga, and listening (and belting) to her favorite music artists and show tunes. KISS OF THE ROYAL is her YA debut novel. 
Author Links:

 

Author Q&A: By A Charm & A Curse by Jaime Questell

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Title:
By a Charm & A Curse
Author:  Jaime Questell
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: February 6, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for. 

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

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Hi everyone, welcome to my first ever “Question & Answer” Author post….EEEEK! Today, I am interviewing the amazing and talented writer Jaime Questell, the author of By A Charm & A Curse. You can see my review of the book HERE. But without further ado, it’s time for the main show! 

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1.      Describe By A Charm & A Curse in one sentence.
J.Q.: A story about a girl trapped in a carnival’s curse, forced to either transfer it or break it before the life of the boy she loves is endangered.

2.      How did the idea of the book originate? Which came first: the characters, the world, or the plot?
J.Q.:
The first thing I had was a girl falling from a great height. Then I asked myself why she was falling, from where did she fall and did she survive? Magic, that was how she survived. Everything spun out of that image and the answers to those questions.

3.      Did you do any research for the book? If so, what was the oddest or weirdest thing you found in your research?
J.Q.: I did! I researched terminology and looked up old pictures of circuses and carnivals. I don’t know if I’d call it odd, but I will say I found the photos of abandoned carnival rides strangely pretty. I tried to work in some of that haunting creepiness into my book.

4.      If you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would you pick and why?
J.Q.: I would totally have dinner with Leslie. Aside from the fact that that woman probably needs a break, I think that she’s seen so much over the years and would have the best stories to tell. 

Let’s talk about you…

1.      What’s one fun fact that most people don’t know about you?
J.Q.:
I have the biggest, most ridiculous nail polish collection. I’m sure that there are some people who have more, but mine merits its own piece of furniture. 😀

2.      What was your favorite part about writing this book? What was your least favorite part about the writing process?
J.Q.: I loved working in the little touches of magic. I knew my world didn’t have the sparkles-and-faeries everywhere kind of magic, so slipping it in here and there became a fun game I played with myself. And the least favorite part was probably the revisions at the end. There comes a point where even though you know you’re working to make your book better, you’re so sick of your own words that you don’t want to look at them anymore. 

3.      If you were to trade places with Melissa McCarthy in this .gif, which book/books are your always insisting people to read? 

 Image result for read the book .gif

J.Q.: Hahaha, first of all, this GIF is hilarious. Second, I think it would be anything by Leigh Bardugo. She writes beautiful stories in these fully-fleshed out worlds that feel so lush and so well-thought out. As someone who struggles with world building, I admire this greatly. 

4.      Do you have any plans to write a sequel, companion novel, or another book set in a different world? If so, can you give us any hints about the synopsis?
J.Q.: I’ll never say never, but at the moment, I don’t have any plans. But, if I did, I could imagine a spin-off with Marcel and Whiskey taking the lead. 

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A huge “THANK YOU” to Jaime for taking the time to answer my questions; you are a rockstar! If you haven’t yet read By A Curse & A Charm, please prepare yourself for a dark morsel of carnival curses and magical shenanigans.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: By A Charm & A Curse by Jaime Questell

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34921588
Title:
By a Charm & a Curse
Author:  Jaime Questell
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: February 6, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis:

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for. 

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository


by a charm and a curse banner

By A Charm & A Curse is dark carnival novel that intertwines a story of sacrifice, love, and selflessness. The characters and the plot embrace you from the very beginning, sending you on a rollercoaster of thrills, chills, and a close up of the secretive and melancholic world of carnivals. I love carnival/circus books, and this book added a bit of fantasy and grittiness with twisted curses into the mix of Ferris wheels and fortune tellers. 

Told in multiple points-of-view, I liked that we got a unique look at both the historical pieces of a traveling carnival and the electrifying thrills of today’s carnivals. The main characters, Emma and Ben, both provide a very vibrant and straightforward account of their surroundings.  The story had some unexpected surprises, but the pacing had me longing for solutions for the hopeless and helpless characters that were cursed. By A Charm & A Curse is definitely a page-turner.

By A Charm & A Curse is a dollop of charms, suspense, romance, and darkness thrown into pages of decadent carnival magic. I enjoyed reading the connection that builds between Emma and Ben; however, I would have also loved more focus on the secondary characters, who all had some insane, mind-boggling talents (maybe we will get a companion novel or some novellas in the future!). Overall, this book becomes a complicated bundle of ancestral curses, but provides a beautiful outlook of a small community coming together to change fate.

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jaime-questell
About Jaime Questell:

JAIME QUESTELL grew up in Houston, Texas, where she escaped the heat and humidity by diving into stacks of Baby Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books. She has been a book seller (fair warning: book lovers who become book sellers will give half their paychecks right back to their employers), a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and now works as a graphic designer in addition to writing.

 

Author Links:

Author Website / Instagram / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter

NOTE:  Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Teen for providing me an e-arc to read and review for free in exchange of an honest review. 

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Review of Haven by Mary Lindsey

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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…

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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

Release Week Blitz & Giveaway: Haven by Mary Lindsey

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Haven by Mary Lindsey

presented by Entangled Teen!

Grab your copy today!

Congratulations, Mary!

“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…

Haven by Mary Lindsey
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen

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

*** GIVEAWAY ***

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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