*Review* The Vine Witch- Luanne G. Smith

43236277A young witch emerges from a curse to find her world upended in this gripping fantasy of betrayal, vengeance, and self-discovery set in turn-of-the-century France.

For centuries, the vineyards at Château Renard have depended on the talent of their vine witches, whose spells help create the world-renowned wine of the Chanceaux Valley. Then the skill of divining harvests fell into ruin when sorcière Elena Boureanu was blindsided by a curse. Now, after breaking the spell that confined her to the shallows of a marshland and weakened her magic, Elena is struggling to return to her former life. And the vineyard she was destined to inherit is now in the possession of a handsome stranger.

Vigneron Jean-Paul Martel naively favors science over superstition, and he certainly doesn’t endorse the locals’ belief in witches. But Elena knows a hex when she sees one, and the vineyard is covered in them. To stay on and help the vines recover, she’ll have to hide her true identity, along with her plans for revenge against whoever stole seven winters of her life. And she won’t rest until she can defy the evil powers that are still a threat to herself, Jean-Paul, and the ancient vine-witch legacy in the rolling hills of the Chanceaux Valley.

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My Review:

“You’ll burn in Hell for this. The witch scoffed. What makes you think I haven’t already?”

The Vine Witch is a spellbinding must-read for the Halloween season. It combines a lot of things I love. It has Witches, Wine, Murder, and a little bit of love to throw you off and I really enjoyed it.

Elena was cursed after she turned down a proposal. The joining of two people is supposed to be the highlight of a persons life but she didn’t feel that way. After turning it down, Elena is cursed for seven years. That is until she breaks it and returns to the only place she knows, Château Renard.

She’s excited to get back to the vineyard, help everything grow and to see her family again. But things have changed. It was sold to John-Paul Martel who doesn’t believe in superstitions. She talks him into letting her stay and she must perform her witchery when he’s not around.

The fields are glowing with a hex that Elena tries to rid of. But there’s something down deeper that Elena can’t let go of. She wants revenge. Revenge on the person who stole seven years of her life. As she tries to break apart the hex, she won’t rest until this person/s are brought to justice.

The Vine Witch was a great story. I was so enraptured by this story that I didn’t want to put it down. I really dislike it when life gets in the way of a good book.

This was a really fun story with amazing and strong characters. It was great to see different witches throughout and to read what all they could do.

This is great for people who love a great mystery with witches, wine, and a good romance.

This debut was fantastic and I can’t wait to read more by her.

It’s Monday (On a Tuesday), What Are You Reading? 10/22/19

Technically, You Started It- Lana Wood Johnson

41016382. sx318 When a guy named Martin Nathaniel Munroe II texts you, it should be obvious who you’re talking to. Except there’s two of them (it’s a long story), and Haley thinks she’s talking to the one she doesn’t hate.

A question about a class project rapidly evolves into an all-consuming conversation. Haley finds that Martin is actually willing to listen to her weird facts and unusual obsessions, and Martin feels like Haley is the first person to really see who he is. Haley and Martin might be too awkward to hang out in real life, but over text, they’re becoming addicted to each other.

There’s just one problem: Haley doesn’t know who Martin is. And Martin doesn’t know that Haley doesn’t know. But they better figure it out fast before their meet-cute becomes an epic meet-disaster . . .

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Covet (Enchanted)- Micalea Smeltzer

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On the run from the Iniquitous, Mara feels lost and helpless. Without Theo by her side, she’s left bare and vulnerable, but she’s a fighter and, with blood boiling in her veins, she vows to avenge him.

The Iniquitous have already taken so much from her, and she refuses to sit back and let them take anything else. She trains harder, preparing herself physically and mentally to take them on. As her magic grows stronger, so does the voice speaking to her from beyond the grave.

She wants to believe it’s real, to give in to what feels right, but if she does, her mind might be lost forever.

 

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The How & The Why- Cynthia Hand

43884147. sy475 A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind, perfect for fans of Far From the Tree, from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…

Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.

But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.

Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.

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The Never Tilting World- Rin Chupeco

36321739Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn.

Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.

While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.

But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.

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*First Line Friday- 10/11/19* Sisters of Shadow and Light- Sara B. Larson

43263194From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson, Sisters of Shadow and Lights is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful magic

The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes….

Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the world—including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.

On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out—leaving Zuhra virtually alone with their emotionally broken human mother.

For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the outside world…until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything changes.

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“The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes.”

*Blog Tour- Review & Giveaway* What You Don’t Know- Merry Jones

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*Click on the image above to learn more about this tour!*

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SYNOPSIS

 

What You Don't KnowNora Warren hides her dark side well because she’s had years of practice.

The wife of a lawyer and mother of two girls, she slides under everyone’s radar, never revealing what she really is—a murderer.

At least, she feels like one.

Nora’s plagued by the secrets surrounding her older brother’s suicide decades earlier. Yet she lives as though he never existed.

Now, in her thirties, Nora suspects her husband, Dave, is having an affair with her friend, the wife of a leading US Senate candidate. When her friend’s body is discovered—another apparent suicide—Nora is left with haunting secrets and choices that dredge up her grim nature, the side of herself that no one ever sees. Will she act on her impulses? Mustn’t she?

How far will Nora go to protect the life she has built for herself?

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Praise for MERRY JONES

“A nurturing and protective elementary school teacher is thrust into a web of unspeakable evil. Riveting, suspenseful and diabolical, Child’s Play keeps the reader anxiously and eagerly turning the pages.” ―Mary Jane Clark, New York Times best-selling author on Child’s Play

“…thrill ride…packs a wallop. By the end, the body count of Child’s Play adds up to eight (plus one rape), and delivers the shocking answer.” ―Mystery Scene on Child’s Play

“Surprising, dark, and even disturbing. A fragile and vulnerable young teacher faces a terrifying first day of school―and that is just the riveting beginning. Timely, provocative and sinister, this twisty story of family and friendship is not for the faint of heart.” ―Hank Phillippi Ryan, Agatha, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author on Child’s Play

“What’s behind these horrors culminates in helter-skelter chaos. Elle’s home becomes the center of a tragic universe, since she ‘attracted tragedy and death.’ That combination is magnified many fold as bodies pile up. And readers are left enchanted by another ‘Elle-oquent’ thriller.” ―BookReporter on Child’s Play

“The murder of the principal and a teacher on opening day at an elementary school, a terrifying scenario. In Child’s Play Merry Jones showcases her unique skill in delivering this dark, very dark, thriller with a modicum of humor. The end, well, you won’t see it coming amid the tortuous twists and turns. Merry Jones at her best!” ―Patricia Gussin, New York Times best-selling author of After the Fall on Child’s Play

“In Jones’s fast-paced third Elle Harrison novel (after 2014’s Elective Procedures), the Philadelphia second-grade teacher believes that she failed Ty Evans, a former student who later confessed to killing his abusive father, but she hopes to redeem herself with his younger brother, Seth, now enrolled in her class. With Ty newly released from juvenile detention and clashing with their alcoholic mother, Seth’s home life is unstable. When the draconian school principal and a humorless teacher―both of whom treated Ty cruelly―are murdered, Elle is torn between belief in his innocence and her desire to protect Seth. Meanwhile, the realtor charged with selling her house becomes increasingly aggressive, and when someone drugs and rapes Elle, she doesn’t know whether to suspect the realtor or the killer. The identities of the rapist and murderer are obvious well before Elle or other characters identify them. Still, Elle’s complex feelings toward her late husband―who was murdered while they were separated―add nuance and depth.” ―Publishers Weekly on Child’s Play 

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My Review:

“As she concentrated, picturing his dead, dangling legs, the future began to take shape, opening before her like a nap- no, like a golden, glowing pathway.”

Dark and disturbing secrets come out to play as a wife/mother slips between the cracks. Would you be able to keep murder a secret?

Nora’s life seems to be picture perfect. She has two amazing little girls, an adoring husband, and all the time in the world to make herself happy. But deep down inside, there is a darkness that is just dying to get out. A darkness where secrets like to hide.

Not many people know about her teenage years, years where she had a full family and not where she was an only child. She had a brother who she thought was an embarrassment up until he wasn’t. Then she let him and his memory disappear.

As thoughts pop into her head about her husband having an affair, that darkness slithers out more and more as she tries to piece together what is really happening in her life. And then her friend is found from an apparent suicide. As she puts the broken links together, will she be able to save what she built for herself? or will it crash and burn around her?

This was a really good book. The mystery surrounding Nora wasn’t quite a mystery but the way it was told was wonderful. Nora’s thoughts were haunting and quite disturbing. The back and forth between the present and the ’90s was just stellar. I couldn’t stop reading because I needed to know more about Nora’s life now and then.

What You Don’t Know was a thrill ride of a book. Nothing can prepare you for the nonstop trip you’re about to take with this one. It really makes you think about all the “Nora’s” in the world and it makes it that much more terrifying.

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Giveaway:

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 

–  1 Winner will receive one of Merry’s previous titles (CHILD’S PLAY or SUMMER SESSION) and What You Don’t Know Shirt. 

Click on the image below to enter. Good Luck!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Giveaway BannerMerry Jones is an award winning author who has written humor (eg. I LOVE HIM, BUT…), non-fiction (eg. BIRTHMOTHERS), and dark suspense (eg. the Zoe Hayes mysteries, the Harper Jennings thrillers, and the Elle Harrison suspense novels). Now, with her twentieth book,WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW, she’s entering the domain of domestic psychological suspense. Jones taught college writing courses for fifteen years, and leads seminars, appears on panels at writing conferences, and, with fellow members of the Liars Club, cohosts a monthly writers’ coffeehouse and the weekly Oddcast, a podcast devoted to writing and other creative endeavors.

Jones’s work has been translated into seven languages and has appeared in magazines, such as American Woman and Glamour. Jones is a member of the Authors Guild, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Philadelphia Liars Club. The mother of two and grandmother of one (so far) lives with her husband in Philadelphia, where she is an avid rower on the Schuylkill River and a member of Vesper Boat Club. Visit her at MerryJones.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: BILL ECKLAND

WEBSITE: http://www.merryjones.com/1801.html

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Thank you, Jean and Merry Jones for allowing us to be a part of this amazing tour. If you want more information about this tour and other upcoming tours, click on the button below. Happy Reading!!

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Tour Schedule:

PART ONE
OCTOBER 7th MONDAY JeanBookNerd GUEST POST
OCTOBER 8th TUESDAY A Dream Within A Dream EXCERPT
OCTOBER 9th WEDNESDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
OCTOBER 10th THURSDAY On My Bookshelf REVIEW
OCTOBER 11th FRIDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
PART TWO
OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW
OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW & EXCERPT
OCTOBER 12th SATURDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace GUEST POST
OCTOBER 13th SUNDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
OCTOBER 13th SUNDAY BookHounds INTERVIEW

*First Line Friday 10/4/19* Regretting You- Colleen Hoover

46117419From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a poignant novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

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“I wonder if humans are the only living creatures that ever feel hollow inside.”

*First Line Friday 9/13/19* The Queen of Nothing- Holly Black

44428899The finale to the New York Times bestselling Folk of Air trilogy, that started with The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King, from award-winning author Holly Black.

After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.

When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.

When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.

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This week I’m going to give you the first line of the Prologue and Chapter 1. I’ll add the link for an exclusive excerpt from The NOVL. Enjoy!!

Prologue:

“The Royal Astrologer, Baphen, squinted at the star chart and tried not to flinch when it seemed sure the youngest prince of Elfhame was about to be dropped on his royal head.”

 

Chapter One:

“I, Jude Duarte, High Queen of Elfhame in exile, spend most mornings dozing in front of daytime television, watching cooking competitions and cartoons and reruns of a show where people have to complete a gauntlet by stabbing boxes and bottles and cutting through a whole fish.”

 

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Click on the image above to read an exclusive excerpt from The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black!! 

 

*First Line Friday 8/16/19* Sea Witch Rising- Sarah Henning

42800505. sy475 “The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love. 

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.

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“The sharpest of things keeps its edge even in the dullest of settings.”