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

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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!

Book Review: How to Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather

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Title: How to Hang a Witch
By: Adriana Mather
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

About How to Hang a Witch:

The more things change in Salem, the more they stay the same.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous Witch Trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam is not exactly welcomed with open arms. She is a descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those Trials—and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that wasn’t enough, Sam finds herself face to face with a real, live (well, technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff.

Soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries-old curse affecting everyone with ties to the Trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first alleged witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


My Rants and Raves of How to Hang a Witch

If you are in the mood for the perfect Halloween or Autumn read, I highly recommend adding How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather to your TBR list. As I was reading, I kept picturing the meshing of my two favorite movies: Hocus Pocus and Mean Girls.  This witchy book is the perfect blend of Salem, Massachusetts’ history, modern-day teenage gossip, family curses, and creepy apparitions. 

As a mood reader, I enjoyed the dark and spooky ambience of How to Hang a Witch. Each chapter was like stepping onto the cobble-stoned roads of the 17th century, hearing the creaks of old houses, and collecting old musty books filled with family secrets and town history. I loved the historical atmosphere that Mather creates for her main character, Samantha, to discover and uncover. Even more, I liked Sam as a character, because she portrays a character that is feisty, determined, and caring. 

Overall, I really enjoyed How to Hang a Witch and its “out of nowhere” surprising end. I think it’s a great book that connects the crazed witchhunts of the 17th century with the crazed persecutions that take place in our modern-day society. Additionally, I also loved the ghostly and witch figures sprinkled throughout the book. Their supernatural and magical presence brought a very eerie feel to the pages and made the book a constant page-turner for me. 

Note:   I bought this book with my own funds. I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review; I reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

4 star ratingMy Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

If you like How to Hang a Witch give these books and movies a try…

Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Wendigo Witchling by B. Kristin McMichael

The Wendigo Witchling
B. Kristin McMichael
(The Skinwalkers’ Witchling #2)
Published by: Lexia Press
Publication date: June 7th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Cassie is part of it now. Turns out, she may not want to join the coven, but that’s exactly what she did when she bonded herself to Nate. Rather than face the ordeal of joining the clan, Cassie finds it’s time for a road trip with her best friend, Whitney. The road trip was to get away, maybe learn a bit more about night humans—it wasn’t to find a deep dark secret hidden in Whitney’s past, one that may hit a little closer to home than Cassie wants to admit. With their road trip cut short, it is time to confront everyone about the lies that had been their lives, but Cassie soon finds out home isn’t exactly how she left it.

Where have all the witches gone? She’s the only witch left in town when they return. Soon she is dragged into more than she bargained for and she has to make choices that will change everything. She’s finally given a choice: does she want to be a skinwalkers witch or a wendigo witch? Too bad there are more secrets than answers. Without all the facts, can she really choose her life’s direction? Time isn’t on her side as she has to make a choice. Now she just hopes it’s the right one.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Kobo

EXCERPT:

The boy glanced down. “Entry denied,” he read out on the machine.

“Denied?” Cassie asked in disbelief.

“You’re not just a day human,” the boy replied, pointing to the scanner which had just tried to eat Cassie’s hand. “Anyone who is part of a ruling family must seek permission to visit before coming so that the proper welcome can be made.”

“I’m not part of any ruling family,” Cassie replied. What is he talking about?

“Ugh,” Whitney groaned. “You’re Than’s mate and thus part of the ruling family. I didn’t think about that. I figured your family or mine had called ahead of us and wanted us home. They didn’t, but this …” Whitney shook her head like she should have guessed as much.

Cassie groaned, too. Their road trip was being cut short. She just wanted to get away, and now that was being foiled by Nate, and he wasn’t even there.

“Well, technically, she isn’t part of the family yet. She has yet to complete all the bonding rituals and right now is still under her own family,” Whitney added, batting her eyes and using her movie star looks to try to win over the guy.

“Completely true,” Cassie added, trying her best to imitate her friend and her “pretty please” face.

The guy glanced first at Cassie, and then at Whitney. He gave in. “I need to verify this with my boss,” he said before he turned and walked away.

 

Author Bio:

B. Kristin McMichael graduated with her PhD in biology at Ohio State where she worked as a scientist before taking her passion of writing full-time. Besides writing, she enjoys chasing her kids, playing outside, and baking cookies. She lives in Ohio with her husband and three children.

B. Kristin is the author of YA and clean NA paranormal fiction. Her “Night Human World” includes the YA series “The Blue Eyes Trilogy” about a midwestern girl who comes of age in a world of battling vampire clans, the “The Day Human Trilogy” that takes place among the Appalachian Sidhe fairies, and “The Skinwalkers Witchling” trilogy that follows an apprentice witch in the Pacific Northwest. She’s also the author of the NA paranormal time travel romance series “The Chalcedony Chronicles”.

The Chalcedony Chronicles: http://bkmc.me/Book1Carnelian

Night Human World Series:

-The Blue Eyes Trilogy: http://bkmc.me/LegendoftheBlueEyes

-The Day Human Trilogy: http://bkmc.me/DayHumanPrince

-The Skinwalkers Witchling: http://bkmc.me/TheWitchlingApprentice

For more information on all of her books, visit http://www.bkristinmcmichael.com

Subscribe to her mailing list for new release notifications and deals: http://www.bkristinmcmichael.com/list

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: Be Witched-A Paranormal Romance Boxed Set of Witches and Magic

Be Witched: A Paranormal Romance Boxed Set of Witches and Magic
Publication date: May 3rd 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance

Limited Edition Paranormal Boxed Set

22 NY Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors.

22 of today’s most romantic, bewitching titles.

Yours for only $0.99.

Prepare to Be Witched with 22 tales of magical and mysterious Paranormal Romance. All one million words of this witchy romance boxed set will leave you spellbound, but this collection won’t last long. This limited edition omnibus is available for a limited time and packed with today’s NY Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling authors, bringing you nothing but the best of the best in the witch romance genre. With over 100 hours of reading, you’re paying a penny per sixty minutes of enjoyment. Grab this collection today before it’s gone for good!

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