Tag Archives: The Fantastic Flying Book Club

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.

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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.

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 Reading Challenges Met

Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge

Bookish Bingo

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo

Full House Reading Challenge

Monthly Keyword Reading Challenge

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Come Back To Me by Mila Gray

come back to me

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Come Back To Me blog tour stop! This tour is hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club, and I’ve been waiting so long to be a part of it. You’ll notice that I gave this book the coveted 6 HEARTS! Read on to find out why!

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Title: Come Back To Me

Author: Mila Gray

Published by: Simon Pulse on December 8, 2015

Length: 373 pages (eBook)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤❤

book blurb

In this heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, a young Marine and his best friend’s sister plunge into a forbidden love affair while he’s home on leave.

 When a Marine Chaplain knocks on her door, Jessa’s heart breaks—someone she loves is dead. Killed in action, but is it Riley or Kit? Her brother or her boyfriend…

 Three months earlier, Marine Kit Ryan finds himself back home on leave and dangerously drawn to his best friend Riley’s sister, Jessa—the one girl he can’t have. Exhausted from fighting his feelings, Kit finally gives in, and Jessa isn’t strong enough to resist diving headfirst into a passionate relationship.

 But what was just supposed to be a summer romance develops into something far greater than either of them expected. Jessa’s finally found the man of her dreams and Kit’s finally discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.

 When it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither one is ready to say goodbye. Jessa vows to wait for him and Kit promises tocome home to her. No matter what.

 But as Jessa stands waiting for the Marine Chaplain to break her heart, she can’t help but feel that Kit has broken his promise…

 Riley or Kit? Kit or Riley? Her brother or her boyfriend? Who’s coming home to her?

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

So I added this book to my TBR list on Goodreads months ago. I can’t remember where I first saw it. Maybe it was on another blog or something. Anyway, I remember absolutely loving the description. This was one of those books that I was super excited to read but just didn’t get to it. Then I saw it available for a book tour. I practically started jumping up and down. I immediately sent a request to participate. But then I got anxiety about reading it. My hopes and expectations were SO high, so I was nervous that I would be disappointed. Thanksgiving break came, which means I had a week to read books uninterrupted. Anxiety be damned.

WHAT I LIKED

EVERYTHING! But here is my attempt to narrow it down into categories…

The characters. I was beyond attached to these characters. I got to the point where I didn’t care that I wasn’t getting any sleep. I refused to sleep. I HAD to know what happened to them. I especially liked Jessa, Kit, and Riley. Jessa is this innocent girl who has so many dreams but also needs to please her parents, so she puts those dreams aside and she puts on her good girl face and does what she is told, even though there is a part of her that wants to escape and just do what she wants for a change. Then, there’s Kit…dreamy, hot, delicious Kit. He has a reputation for being quite the player, but Jessa changes that. And now he’s faced with falling for his best friend’s sister, on top of dealing with their dad, who has always hated him for reasons he doesn’t understand. And of course, there is Riley, the overprotective brother. He has never felt good enough for his dad, so he became a Marine to get away from him. He also has a long-time girlfriend, but their relationship is tough because he’s gone so often, and he also has to deal with protecting his mom and sister from his dad. Plus, there’s Kit’s dad, Jessa and Riley’s parents, and Didi, who I also learned to love for very different reasons.

The plot. Wow. It’s hard to put into words how I felt about this story. Right off the bat, we know that Jessa may or may not have lost either her boyfriend or her brother, and you’re trying to guess throughout the whole book. I will not give anything away, but this story will pull on your heartstrings and give you the feels. It’s heartbreaking and emotional, yet real, romantic, and passionate. I cried throughout the last half of the book. I’m not even exaggerating. I was crying for over an hour. This one got to me like no other book has in a long time.

The romance. Jessa and Kit have to hide their relationship because they don’t want to hurt Riley, and they don’t want her dad to go ballistic. So, the secrecy was hot actually. You never knew if they would get caught or who would catch them and what their reaction would be. And I really liked the pace. It was perfect. They’ve known each other forever, but this attraction to each other and feelings for each other are fairly new, so it was nice to see them explore it. And reading how they fall for each other and how their relationship blossoms just gives you butterflies in your stomach and reminds you of how you first fell in love.

The family dynamics. Other than the romance, I really loved the other relationships in this book. Sister/brother, father/son, best friends. I loved them all. I even loved the dysfunctional relationships with Jessa’s dad. He may have come off as an asshole, but toward the end, it’s a little understandable. So, his relationship with his wife and his kids is interesting and intriguing, and I just had to know more. It was all just very real. It made the story real for me. Jessa’s family is not perfect. None of our families are. And it was refreshing to see that.

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

Absolutely nothing, hence the SIX OUT OF FIVE HEARTS!

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I completely fell head over heels with this book and the characters in it. Not a lot of books make me this emotional. When the book was over, it was bittersweet. I was heartbroken but also happy. It felt like I had just broken up with an amazing boyfriend and didn’t know how to move on. I just haven’t really been able to get into another book without thinking of this one. Anyway, it’s SO worth the heartache. I don’t know about you, but when a book makes me cry and gives me the feels, I KNOW it’s good. Mila Gray, you are incredible, and I must thank you for writing such a powerful and wonderful story. I can’t wait to read any other books written by you.

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6 out of 5 Hearts!


buy links

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about the author

Mila Gray is the pen name for Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila, Losing Lila, The Sound, Fated and Out of Control.

 Originally from London she has lived in Bali for the last four years with her husband and daughter.

 As well as writing young adult fiction under the name Sarah Alderson and adult fiction under the name Mila Gray, she also writes screenplays.

 You can find out more at www.milagray.com and on facebook: www.facebook.com/sarahjalderson

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giveaway

This is an individual blog giveaway, so one of my followers will definitely win!

Win a hard copy of Come Back to Me!

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Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Bleed by Dax Varley

bleed

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Bleed blog tour stop! Again, I apologize for another post being late! I am catching up with my blog stuff after dealing with a lot of personal issues! Pretty soon, there will be no more delays. Anyway, I am so excited to be part of this blog tour. This book is definitely one you will want to check out, so keep reading!

Varley_Bleed

Title: Bleed

Author: Dax Varley

Published by: Garden Gate Press on September 1st, 2015

Length: 225 pages (eBook)

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

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

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

synopsis

LIFE IS A NIGHTMARE FOR Miranda Murphy. Without knowing when or why, blood oozes from her palms—an anomaly that makes her feel like a freak. But her abnormality is now the least of her worries. She’s just enrolled at “Suicide High.” Three deaths in three months—one occurring just days before her arrival.

When she bumps into a cute boy named Jake, things don’t appear so glum. Especially since Jake’s a psychic who can predict the immediate future. But his gift of sight can’t prepare her for the horrors that await.

Through Jake, Miranda meets three other extraordinary students:

Topher – who can heal by touch.

Sam – who eats the sins of the dead.

And Xyan – who speaks and understands all languages.

It’s then that Miranda learns the secret behind why she bleeds.

When it becomes evident that supernatural forces are at play, the five determined friends team up. Now it’s up to them to destroy the evil that’s infecting their school.

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

To be honest, I had mixed feelings about the cover. While it definitely caught my attention, it kind of looked a little too sexual than I think was intended. However, the synopsis had me hooked right away. All the suicides occurring and the five students with unique gifts just sounded like something I had to read.

WHAT I LIKED

The writing. I have never read anything by Dax Varley, but based on this book, she is clearly very talented. The vivid descriptions gave me very clear images in my head, which I appreciated so much! Plus, there was surprisingly a good amount of humor. The out-of-nowhere one-liners and clever metaphors just had me laughing unexpectedly, so that was awesome!

The characters and their abilities. I really liked each of the five main characters. They were all so unique! There have been many books that I have read where the characters are just too similar, so I had a hard time distinguishing who was who at times, but I did not have that problem here. They each had very different personalities, which I absolutely loved. And their abilities were awesome! A bleeder, a psychic, a sin eater, a healer, and a speaker of all languages. Come on. That’s awesome. And I enjoyed seeing the significance of each ability play out. Very entertaining!

The creepy/graphic/violent factor. Okay, this may sound horrible, but I really enjoyed the suicide attempts and other violent scenes. The way that these people tried to kill themselves was horrifying, but it kept me on the edge of my seat. It was like a car crash that you can’t look away from. And this goes hand in hand with the author’s ability to create such vivid, realistic scenes. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

The multiple points of view. While I really liked all five characters, I kind of wish it was just from Miranda’s and Jake’s points of view. Switching between the five different ones was a little confusing and frustrating at times.

The romance. Yeah, I know. The romance is usually my favorite part in all books, but this one just seemed kind of rushed. I like the idea of Miranda and Jake as a couple, but I just didn’t feel a connection. It could have been developed a little more.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Great book! I can’t get over how brilliant the writing is! Dax Varley is definitely an author I will keep my eye on. I can’t wait to read her other books. Not only will the suspense and mystery keep you engaged the entire time, but you will also find yourself suddenly smiling and laughing. Plus, the plot is so unique that you won’t be able to put the book down because you just have to know how it turns out.

four hearts

4 out of 5 Hearts!

 

Buy Links

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about the author

Dax Varley writes the kind of young adult novels she wishes were around when she was a teen. She’s a lover of humor, horror and all things paranormal.

When Dax isn’t writing, she’s collecting odd photos online, reading recaps of her favorite shows or kicked back with a good book. She lives in Richmond, Texas with her husband, a shelf full of action figures and about a dozen imaginary friends.

 

author links

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giveaway

First Prize: Win (1) of (2) Bookish Necklaces (see picture) [INT]
Win (1) of (3) downloads of the SLEEPY HOLLOW by Dax Varley Audiobook [INT]

 

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