Sunday, May 21, 2017

Blog Tour: The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari...Review, Quotes, & Giveaway!!!

Today I have a really fun and magical book to tell you all about!
Keep reading for more info on the book, the author, and my thoughts on the book!
And don't forget to enter the giveaway!

The Best Kind of Magic

by Crystal Cestari
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg


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 at her 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.

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.

Title: The Best Kind of Magic 
Author: Crystal Cestari
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Blog Tour/Netgalley 

The Best Kind of Magic is a fun read filled with magic, wit, and a bit of romance. I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I read Amber's story and even laughed out loud a few times (literally).

Amber is such a fun, snarky character that I found quite relatable and entertaining. You see somehow Amber didn't inherit the gene that would make her a witch like the rest of her family.  However, she still has a mystical talent of her own as a matchmaker who can see true love.  As she struggles to fit into a family full of witches who don't fully appreciate her specific talents, she also has to deal with pesky classmates hounding her about their true love matches.  She does this all with plenty of sass and humor that had me smiling as it was almost exactly what how I would (or hope I would) react.

And after the mayor comes to her mother's magic shop, Windy City Magic, for help, she somehow manages to become involved in the search for a missing person.  She soon finds herself falling for Charlie, the mayor's son, despite the fact that she knows she's not his true love match.  But sometimes you have to make your own happy ending...right?  Well, you'll just have to read for yourself to find out what happens.

If you do read the book, you'll find a very interesting and colorful cast of characters each with their own distinct qualities and personalities that make them stand out from one another.  And while the characters may come across as a bit formulaic, I have to say, the characters of this story are really what made me keep reading.  From our narrator, Amber, a snarky, humorous character who struggles to fit in to her sassy, clairvoyant best friend, Amani, to mean girl/ siren Ivy, each character added a little something to the story that I could appreciate and enjoy.  I really enjoyed the friendship and other relationships in the book as well.  And I can't forget about Charlie...he is such a sweetheart (who just happens to share my fondness for dragons and the film, Pete's Dragon...a favorite from childhood). I could easily see how Amber could fall for him (and not just because of the dragon thing).  And thanks to their distinct personalities and the author's writing, I could easily picture each character as I read the story.

Crystal Cestari has also managed to create a fun, magical world that I wish I could be a part of in this urban fantasy set in Chicago.  While it's similar to our own world, it still has enough magical realism to make it a different and fascinating place to read about.  There are all kinds of magical beings living there and an interesting history to this place which really added to my enjoyment.

But if I had to nitpick, my one complaint would be the pacing of the story and plot.  It just seems to move a tad slower than I'd prefer.  Despite this, The Best Kind of Magic was very entertaining and I look forward to reading more about Amber and her adventures in the next book.

*I received a digital ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
There were so many to choose from (Amber is a fun character filled with a snark sense of humor, and plenty of charm), but I narrowed it down to these:

One lucky winner will win a copy of The Best Kind of Magic!

  • 1 Finished Copy of THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC by Crystal Cestari
  • US/Canada Only
  • Each tour stop will be giving away a copy of the book
  • Each winner is only eligible to win one book on the tour (You may enter on as many stops as you like, but if you have won on another tour stop, please be honest and let me know. Failure to do so will result in disqualification).
  • Runs through May 28th

Don't forget to follow the Tour for more chances to win!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Release Blitz: #Yolo by K.M. Payne...with Giveaway!

Hello Readers!  Welcome to the Release Day Blitz for
#YOLO by K.M. Pyne!
(Yes, I know technically that the release day was May 8, but that doesn't mean we can't still celebrate today!)
So keep reading to learn more about the book!
And be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Once again Ruby Knight finds herself dragged into her Mam’s World. This time someone at her school is out for revenge! 
Ruby, along with her friends, have to work out who is murdering students ... Why they are murdering them? ... What do they ultimately want?
At the same time relationships are made and some are broken, but will Ruby find the killer in time? 
Or will someone else have to perish at the hands of a killer?
#YOLO by K.M. Pyne Publication Date: May 8, 2017
When Ruby Knight's best friend, Catriona Taylor disappears Ruby knows something isn’t right. 
Time is ticking and the race is on to find Catriona. Has she run away? Is she really on a holiday with her parents? Has something more sinister happened to her? 
These are the questions facing Ruby. Can she find Catriona? Can she ask her detective Mam for help? Or will she leave it too late? 
Follow Ruby on her journey to find her best friend!

KM Pyne lives in Dublin, Ireland and this is her first YA book. There are sequels which are already written and some paranormal YA’s in the future. She is married, has two children and works full time. Writing is a hobby, but it takes over more and more of her life. Characters and stories come into her mind all the time and she has to stop and write them down so that she can build on them at a later date.

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Blog Tour: Cry Wolf by Greta Stone...Review & Giveaways!

Have an interesting and fun book to tell you about today!
Keep reading for more...
Cry Wolf
Greta Stone
Publication date: March 1st 2017
Genres: Gothic, New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Peter is a kitsune. Chaos follows him wherever he goes. Good intentions, bad intentions—it doesn’t matter. Even mimicking the howl of a friend he hasn’t seen in over a decade turns out to have disastrous consequences.      
The wolf doesn’t have a name. For now, he goes by Luca. He has no past, and as an escaped slave, if he can’t stay hidden in the shadows, he’ll have no future. When someone steals his howl, he’s drawn to investigate, and ends up saddled with a mouthy fox who insists they used to be friends once upon a time.     
Petty problems and a dubious reunion are pushed aside the longer they’re stranded together. The Underwood is a dangerous place. 
They have two choices: work together or die. 
Join Greta Stone in a dark paranormal MM romance retelling of Aesop’s fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, and David P. Mannix’s classic novel, The Fox and the Hound.
Author Bio:
Greta is the unruly offspring of a tiger and a dragon. She spends most of her time reading, stalking her favorite musicians, and harassing other authors with pranks.
Underwood District Series (MM Romance/UF)
Cry Wolf - Book 1
Cry Wolf: Mating Season - Book 1.5   
Take a Tour of New Gotham:  
Sign up for GRETA STONE'S MAILING LIST and receive access to a bonus adventure featuring Peter and Luca. (Their fates might be changed forever.) 
Title: Cry Wolf
Author: Greta Stone
Format: Digital ARC
Source: Blog Tour

With a fascinating world filled with kitsunes, werewolves, fey, shifters, demons and more as well as some slow-building, steamy romance, Cry Wolf is unlike any fairytale or fable I've read, yet it contains elements from many of them.  Greta Stone has twisted these stories around in interesting ways creating intriguing characters along with a fun, sexy, romantic MM story.

When the story opens we are introduced to Peter, a kitsune or rather a wild fox demon, along with many other magical beings living in a fascinating world. Peter has a hard time avoiding trouble and soon finds himself in the middle of a fight with mercenaries searching for a rogue werewolf.  Shortly after this altercation, Peter is looking for a goblin when he finds himself stranded in the Underwood with an amnesiac wolf shifter from his past named Luca...who just happens to be the "monster" everyone fears and seeks. 

Neither trusts the other, but in order to survive the Underwood and the danger that follows them, they must learn to work together. Gradually they begin to open up to each other and eventually explore their attraction to one another in some very steamy ways.  The chemistry between them is practically palpable from the start and I enjoyed their slow journey to love (even if I kinda, sorta grew a bit impatient with just how slow of a journey it was, at times).

I have to be honest and say that at first, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book despite how eager I was to read it after reading the blurb. There are so many characters and creatures introduced in the first few pages plus so much happening, I worried I wouldn't be able to keep things straight.  This is definitely an intricate world filled with many different species each with different backgrounds and abilities, so I was a little overwhelmed at first.  But as I continued to read, the story began moving at a slightly slower pace with new and unexpected revelations with each page.  As the story of Peter and Luca and their relationship unfolded, I became more intrigued and truly began to enjoy myself and this whimsical world and its varied characters. 

Cry Wolf is a story filled with the unexpected from the characters and their personalities to the action-packed story itself.  Peter and Luca make an interesting pair and I enjoyed their interactions.  They battled each other even as they gradually began to develop a relationship.  Peter is such a fun, character with a feisty spirit and I couldn't wait to see what he'd do or say next.  Luca is more serious, but no less interesting or intelligent and I adored them both.  Nothing ever goes simply for Peter and it was interesting to see how this little whirlwind of a being affects Luca and the virtual solitude he has become accustomed to as they reluctantly work together and struggle to ignore their growing attraction.

In addition to the main characters, I also enjoyed the secondary characters and creatures that make an appearance including Granny (who runs an orphanage for young creatures in a shoe), Hermes (a flea demon), the Rain Man, and more. And there are definitely quite a few secondary characters who make some brief appearances, but Greta Stone gives each character a distinct personality making them unique and fun characters that I could easily imagine.  With each new character, I longed to know more about them and wondered what their story would be...and many of them did share their stories with Luca and Peter.

It is easy to see the influence that other fairy tales, fables, and stories have had on the author and the world she has created, but it all still feels fresh and new.  But while it is a fun and fanciful tale, it is not without its darkness.  There is some violencand also many dangerous situations throughout. The sex scenes also have a roughness or slightly BDSM feel.  Cry Wolf is definitely not a children's fairy tale or book (although if you've ever read some of the original Grimm's Fairy Tales, they can be pretty dark).  Anyway, if you're thinking about reading this book, prepare yourself for magic, murder, mayhem, along with some romance in a world where anything is possible.

So, after a bit of a rough start, Cry Wolf turned out to be an entertaining story filled with a variety of characters in a world that I can't wait to read more about. 

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
eBook giveaways: The first 5 people to comment on ANY tour post (given on each day) will automatically win a free e-book copy of Cry Wolf. Greta will keep tally and submit prizes at the end of each tour day.

Take a trip to New Gotham!
A paid vacation to New Gotham is an expensive affair. I found a witch who specializes in crafting gatestones. These magical pendants are used for traveling between dimensions. The bauble offered as a contest prize should take the winner to Avaline’s Trees. Keep in mind, gatestones are touchy things. It might not do anything at all. Or you might up in oblivion. Good luck with that. We’ll read about it in the papers, no doubt.

Elderstone Keys – What’s the big deal?
There is a house in New Gotham that is rumored to be haunted. No one has lived in it since the Great Depression, and no one can recall what its last occupants looked like, what they did for a living or where they went. Only one is fated to enter and learn its secrets. Anytime I host a contest, I give away keys to Elderstone. The person who collects ten of them is fated to own the house. Among their keys, they’ll have the mystical key that opens the door. (More information)


Friday, May 5, 2017

Blog Tour: Blood Road by Amanda McCrina... Review & Giveaway!

Today I am a stop on the Blood Road Blog Tour!
Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating book...

Author: Amanda McCrina
Pub. Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 329
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD

Nineteen-year-old Torien Risto has seen dissidents dealt with before. He knows the young local girl who just knifed him will hang for assaulting an Imperial officer, unless he can stop it.

Someone inside the provincial government is kidnapping Imperial citizens and selling them across the desert to the salt mines, silencing anyone who tries to intervene. The girl’s brother is one of those who has been taken. Rejected by the corrupt courts, she’s waging a personal war against the Empire.

Determined to save her life, Torien sets out in search of answers on the Salt Road, the ancient trade route running deep into the heart of a desert—territory claimed by the hostile Mayaso tribe.

Now, Torien is no longer sure where his own loyalty lies, or how far he will go to break the cycle of tyranny, political bullying, and social injustice in an empire that seals its borders in blood.

About Amanda...

Amanda McCrina has studied in Italy, taught English in Japan, and currently tutors Latin in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in History from the University of West Georgia, and is now pursuing her MA. She writes stories that incorporate her love of history, languages, and world travel. She drinks far too much coffee and dreams of one day having a winning fantasy-hockey season. 

Title: Blood Road
Author: Amanda McCrina
Format: Digital
Source: Blog Tour/Publisher

From the very first page, I knew this would be a fascinating read and I wasn't wrong.

As an Imperial officer, Torien has seen quite a bit in his nineteen years, but is still shocked by the truths he is about to discover. After being stabbed, he knows his assailant, a young female local will more than likely face death for her crime.  Upon learning what motivated her assault, he no longer knows what to believe and desperately hopes to change her fate.  According to the girl and others, her brother was taken by someone in the government, someone who is selling those taken to the salt mines.

Torien is determined to learn the truth and sets out on a journey for answers on the Salt Road.  His journey is definitely not easy and what he learns and experiences challenges everything he's been taught to be true.  But Torien remains determined and continues on in hopes of saving the lives of those he has encountered and find answers to the questions and doubts that arise.

Tor is an interesting, complex character whose journey for the truth and empathy for others I found fascinating and admirable.  I enjoyed every bit of his journey and couldn't wait to see what would happen next as each step along the way seemed to bring something different and surprising.  I never knew what to expect or what the final outcome would be as this story was definitely not predictable to me. And each character Tor encountered added to the story and affected Tor in some way which enhanced my enjoyment and respect for the main character and his story.

The author did a wonderful job and making me care about the characters and I was easily able to lose myself in the story.  The vivid descriptions the author uses makes it easy to picture the characters, their surroundings and the events of the story.  At times these events were a bit violent and heartbreaking. And while the author does a great job of making them feel realistic, it was almost too much for me.  My heart broke for these characters and what many of them endure.

Overall, I enjoyed this well-written, detailed story and look forward to seeing where the author takes us next in the series.
*I received a Digital Copy of this book as part of a Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review.*
1 winner will receive a 1 month subscription to Owl Crate, US Only.

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
4/24/2017- Rockin' Book ReviewsReview
4/24/2017- Month9BooksExcerpt

4/25/2017- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
4/25/2017- Doodle's Book ReviewsReview

4/26/2017- Don't Judge, ReadInterview
4/26/2017- Book-KeepingReview

4/27/2017- A Backwards StoryReview
4/27/2017- Hazel West's Character PurgatoryExcerpt

4/28/2017- LILbooKloversInterview
4/28/2017- Wishful EndingsReview

Week 2:
5/1/2017- Exploring the Inner UniverseReview
5/1/2017- So Few BooksInterview

5/2/2017- Book Review BeccaReview
5/2/2017- Bibliobibuli YAInterview

5/3/2017- Reading for the Stars and MoonReview
5/3/2017- I am not a bookworm!Review

5/4/2017- YA and WineGuest Post
5/4/2017- Mundie MomsReview

5/5/2017- Never Too Many To ReadReview