Monthly Archives: May 2017

That’s What HE Said Thursday #9 – The Best Kind of Magic

Hosted by: Chapter Break

That’s What HE Said Thursday is about posting a favorite line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind these are direct quotes from dialogue in a book. It is NOT a physical description of a male protag or a paragraph of dialogue. It is a line spoken by our favorite heroes to their lucky ladies (whom we so wish we were!!!!!!)


This week’s quote comes from The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari. Such a fun and awesome book about magic and love. Giving away a copy of the book. Click on the title to read my review and enter before the giveaway ends in about 24 hours!


“Amber, I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours, but I want you to know: every time I’m around you, I feel like a non-fatal firework is lit inside me. It’s magic—actual magic—and you’ll have to forgive the pun, but I don’t want to be under anyone else’s spell.” 

– Charlie to Amber


Love, love, love this book. And this quote gave me all the feels.

Check it out, guys!

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #13 – The Best Kind of Magic

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts is a weekly meme hosted by (un)Conventional Bookviews. The idea is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read.

Haven’t participated in this meme in over a year! How is that possible?! Glad it’s still going. This was one of my favorites!


This week’s quote comes from The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari (click on the title for my review). In this book full of magic, Amber can see true love and can see everyone’s soulmate. Love this concept! She also loves to bake and aspires to be a pastry chef, which means there are some yummy food quotes.

In this quote, Amber goes to her favorite bakery, and this is what the owner has for her:


My Hungry Hearts Quote

“She walks over to the cooler and pulls out a heaping cup of dirt and worms. While it may not sound like the most fancy or desirable of desserts, Ella’s version is beyond compare: homemade devil’s food pudding, mounds of hand-whipped heavy cream, a box full of crushed chocolate cookies, and soft, tangy gummy worms. I don’t care if it’s kid stuff; it’s amazeballs.”


This sounds so sweet, delicious, and fattening. I love it!

By the way, I’m giving away a copy of this book! Only about 24 hours left to enter! Check out my review by clicking on the title of the book.

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

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s The Best Kind of Magic blog tour stop! This tour is hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! Read my review for this awesome book and check out the giveaway! 🙂

Title: The Best Kind of Magic (Windy City Magic #1)

Author: Crystal Cestari

Published: May 16th, 2017

Length: 328 pages (eBook)

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: The Fantastic Flying Book Club (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

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.
 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The last few books I have read have just been “okay, whatever, let’s move onto the next one.” But I had a feeling about this one. When I saw the cover, I just knew. I was like, “Ooohhh, pretty. I must have it.” This is not news. I often judge books by their cover. And in this case, I’m glad I did!

WHAT I LIKED

The writing. O.M.G. Okay, I don’t even know how to put this into words, but here is my attempt. Sometimes you just know from the first page of a book whether an author has IT or not, IT meaning a natural born talent to write. I knew instantly that this author does. I remember reading the first page and being blown away. It had nothing to do with the plot. It was just the writing. So creative yet professional yet simplistic. I was beyond impressed. And I stayed impressed for the entire book. It wasn’t one of those start strong and finish weak kind of books, which I have noticed a lot of. It started strong and finished strong, maybe even stronger. I absolutely loved it. Crystal Cestari just might be my new favorite author.

The concept. It’s no secret that I’m a hopeless romantic. The tattoo on my wrist is of the Chinese symbols for “true love.” So, as I was reading the story, I kept thinking, “This book was made for me.” Amber can see everyone’s true love. How badass is that?! And of course, you can only imagine the complications that could arise with this type of gift as well. But I LOVED IT. It is such a unique ability to have. I was so intrigued, and I couldn’t wait to see how everything turned out.

The characters. Amber made the book for me. She had this sarcastic, snarky side to her that I loved. I got the feeling that she didn’t give a crap about what people thought of her, which is admirable. I just kept thinking, “I wish this girl was real. We’d be best friends.” And her soft side came out too, especially when she began falling for Charlie. Speaking of Charlie, he was swoon worthy! I couldn’t get enough of him. He was a trooper. He was thrown into this supernatural world and just kind of learned to accept it without freaking out or judging. And he’s a hot guy…with glasses. How often do we see this in books? Not very often. I love it! Then there’s Amani, Amber’s best friend. I really liked her. I could see her story developing further. That would be awesome.

Amber and Charlie’s relationship. This was perfect, in my opinion. It started with Charlie needing Amber’s help. It was nothing more than that. Acquaintances, if anything. Then, they gradually became friends. And from there, feelings started to grow. Such perfect pacing. Again, the author’s talent truly showed here.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Nothing! There wasn’t anything that I didn’t like. This book was so good!

OVERALL THOUGHTS

What a perfect blend of love and magic, of contemporary and paranormal. And what brilliant writing. I can’t say enough about the writing. It was incredible. I fell in love with the author and these characters, and I really hope there’s more to Amber’s story. This could potentially be an amazing series. I already am looking into buying a physical copy of this book. I must have it on my bookshelf so I can stare at its beautiful cover, especially now that I know that the story is equally beautiful! More please!

5 out of 5 Hearts!


It was hard to narrow it down, but here are some of my favorite quotes:

“I know love is real—I KNOW IT—but that doesn’t keep it from being an evasive little bastard that works in mind-boggling ways.” (Ain’t that the truth!)

“…all I can think is, damn, the heart is a hell of a machine. Even when it’s broken, it still finds a way to carry on.” (More truth!)

“You never know what you’re getting into when you fall in love, but that doesn’t mean you avoid the jump.” (I absolutely love this one.)

“Appreciate the journey, because when you get to the end, you’ll only be able to look back, and hope you don’t regret what you see.” (Yes, more wisdom. Love it.)

“Just because you’re having some sort of emotional breakdown doesn’t mean you can’t have cute toes. Rainbow or gold?” (This is why I love Amani. What are best friends for?)

“Amber, I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours, but I want you to know: every time I’m around you, I feel like a non-fatal firework is lit inside me. It’s magic—actual magic—and you’ll have to forgive the pun, but I don’t want to be under anyone else’s spell.” (Oh, Charlie. I love you. Marry me.)


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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.

Website

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Each blog in the tour gets to give away ONE FINISHED COPY OF THE BOOK (US/CANADA ONLY). So be sure to enter!

Also, a person may only win ONE book throughout the entire tour.  It’s okay to enter more than one giveaway, but if you win in another giveaway, you need to be honest and decline it.  All the winners will be collected on one form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 Reading Challenges Met

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Bookish Bingo

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo

Full House Reading Challenge

Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge

Review: Deceptive Cadence by Katie Hamstead

Title: Deceptive Cadence

Author: Katie Hamstead

Published: June 2015

Length: 323 pages (eBook)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Source: YA Bound Book Tours

My Rating: ❤❤❤

(from Goodreads)

Cadence Anderson has the perfect definition of happily ever after . . .

Until she doesn’t. A freak earthquake shatters her life as surely as her home, taking away everything she holds dear. She wakes in a hospital to find that her beloved husband and infant daughter have been killed, crushed by the earthquake’s wrath. Disoriented, injured, and alone, Cadence refuses to accept the loss. So when a man claiming to be her guardian angel appears and offers her a chance to go back in time to save her family, she doesn’t need to give it a second thought. She accepts.

Thrust back eleven years, she now faces the ordeal of high school all over again. But this time, she’s armed with all the knowledge of her adult life and the determination to do everything better, from preventing the loss of her best friend to avoiding her original, drama-inducing boyfriends. She’s focused solely on Austin, her future husband, and is content to bide her time until she meets him again.

But then James Gordon crosses her path. Cadence wants to remain single, but James has his sights set. He is determined to win her over, and he’s very hard to resist. As Cadence starts to develop unwanted feelings for him, she realizes he threatens to disrupt everything, changing the future and distracting her from her original goal. Now, Cadence must choose: deny the unpredictable and exciting path James offers her, or stay true to the life she had and is trying desperately to resurrect. Second chances are more complicated than they seem.

Deceptive Cadence combines the soaring emotion of a heartfelt romance with the innovative storytelling of magical realism, crafting a uniquely moving, intricate tale about love and loss that asks: what would you do if given the chance to right all your wrongs?

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I’m so bad. I got a review copy of this book over a year ago. Somehow, it got lost in my stack of review eBooks, and I just completely forgot to read it. Once again, I was looking for a book to cover my Monthly Keyword Challenge for February (it being May now, I obviously failed that), and I came across this book. I instantly felt bad that I didn’t read it when I should have, but then I got excited because I remember it sounding amazing! I get easily burned out with the same predictable plot lines, so this one definitely intrigued me.

WHAT I LIKED

The concept. Omg. I love it. Your husband and daughter die in a freak accident, and you get to go back in time to relive the past 11 years to try and prevent it from happening?! Yes! So many possibilities! So many possible outcomes! I just couldn’t stop reading. And I loved the fact that she was able to see what happened in the first timeline and then how things changed in the second timeline because of the different decisions she made. It’s the ultimate what if? game turned into real life. Awesome!

The beginning. I was literally crying within the first 10 pages. I didn’t think that was possible. This author somehow gave me all the feels IN 10 PAGES! Now that is pure talent. And I don’t mean one little tear. I was in tears for a good 10 minutes. I had to put the book down. Maybe it’s because I’m a mom, and seeing a mom lose her baby girl was just heartbreaking. I couldn’t believe what this book did to me in such a short amount of time. Crazy.

Cadence and James’ relationship. It was real. It grew gradually, from puppy love to the real thing. I love how Cadence gave him a chance even though she knew she would most likely end up with someone else. I love how James changed so much and just wanted to be a better person for her. I felt like I was watching two kids grow up together, learning how to live and love. It was refreshing, to be honest. I’m so tired of the insta-love thing. This was exactly what I needed.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

The fact that it’s so hard for her to make the ultimate decision. Okay, here’s the thing. (And I’m not giving anything away here. It’s all in the book blurb.) She is happily married with a beautiful daughter. She goes back in time and falls in love with someone else. That’s all fine and dandy. No, really. It is. I love it. BUT, when it comes to making the decision about whether to be with the new guy or your future husband who gives you your daughter, I don’t think the decision should be that hard. Maybe it’s just me, but here is how I look at it. If you choose the new guy, YOUR DAUGHTER DOES NOT EXIST! How can you live with yourself if you choose a life where your child does not exist?! Personally, I have a daughter, and I’m going through an ugly divorce now. If I could go back, even if I met the perfect guy, I wouldn’t change a thing. My daughter is my everything. Even if her dad is a complete ass, I still would’ve chosen to meet him and marry him, just to have her. Just my opinion, I guess…

The pace. At times, mostly in the middle of the book and the last quarter of it, I just felt like nothing was happening. The pace got super slow sometimes, and I got just a bit irritated. Perhaps it was just a little longer than it had to be.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I liked it. I really did. There were so many positives about this book. It was very unique. I haven’t read anything like it. But I think the length of the book and the “difficult” decision just threw me off. So I have mixed feelings, which makes me have to go right smack dab in the middle for my rating.

3 out of 5 Hearts!


(This was part of why I cried so hard in the beginning…)
“How can I go on without you? You’re the calm to my crazy. I didn’t even know what love was until you. Please, please, don’t be dead.”

(I love how protective Cadence’s dad is!)
“It better be over, or I’m going to go down to that school to castrate him and anyone else who looks at you!”


(from Goodreads)

Born and raised in Australia, Katie’s early years of day dreaming in the “bush,” and having her father tell her wild bedtime stories, inspired her passion for writing.

After graduating High School, she became a foreign exchange student where she met a young man who several years later she married. Now she lives in Arizona with her husband, daughters, and their dogs.

She has a diploma in travel and tourism which helps inspire her writing.

When her debut novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, climbed into bestselling status, she believed she was onto something, and now has a slew of novels available, and is published through Curiosity Quills Press, Soul Mate Publishing, and REUTS Publishing.

Katie loves to out sing her friends and family, play sports, and be a good wife and mother. She now works as an office lady at an elementary school to help support her family. She loves to write, and takes the few spare moments in her day to work on her novels.

Website

Twitter

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Goodreads


Reading Challenges Met:

Bookish Bingo

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Full House Reading Challenge