The Vine Witch 🖤 Review + Giveaway

Witches and wine make for a good time. 🖤 

Thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be on this tour!

Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post! ✨

The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

Publisher: 47North
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis

BOOK COVERA 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.

Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

As you all may know, my favorite animal is frogs, so I knew I would enjoy this book when it opened from the viewpoint of a toad. Wine is also my drink of choice, and I consider myself to be a baby witch. 

Basically, I’m sure Luanne wrote this book for me. 

The character development and romance are the only aspects of this book keeping it from being 5 stars. But I definitely recommend it. 🖤

Favorite Quotes

🖤 “What the eye couldn’t see, the imagination filled in. We put names to the unexplained. Cast it as something to either fear or worship. And yet just because a thing can’t be seen doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”

🖤 “She gave the wine a swirl, and Jean-Paul knew if there was ever magic in the world it was in that glass of perfectly blended seven-year-old pinot noir.”

🖤 “The art of poison might run in your blood, but never doubt you were meant to be a vine witch.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AUTHORLuanne G. Smith is the author of THE VINE WITCH, a fantasy novel about witches, wine, and revenge set in early 20th century France, and the forthcoming second book in the series, The Glamourist. She’s lucky enough to live in Colorado at the base of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, a glass of wine at the end of the day, and finding the magic in everyday life.

Check out Luanne on her website or over on GoodreadsTwitter, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book DepositoryGoogle Books

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Vine Witch!

  • End Date: October 15, 2019
  • US only

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

Shadow Frost 🖤 Review + Giveaway

I can never say no to a retelling. 🖤 

Thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for giving me the opportunity to be on this tour!

You won’t want to miss the giveaway and preorder campaign at the end of this post! ✨

Shadow Frost by Coco Ma

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

SYNOPSIS

Cover Image Shadow FrostIN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. 
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. 
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned. 

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed. 

To kill it. 

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known. 

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.

REVIEW

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book took me by surprise. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. 

Then again, I have a soft spot for retellings and books involving princesses—especially badass princesses—magic, romance, a touch of mystery, queer characters, demons, and friendship. Now that I’m thinking about it, I shouldn’t have been surprised at all. 

I should only be surprised that Coco Ma wrote this book when she was just 15 years old. What have I been doing with my life?

Anyway, this book was a 5 star read for me because, no spoilers, I enjoyed the slow but steady character and plot development. There were a few “plot twists” that I saw coming a mile away, but it didn’t matter. I loved them all the same. 🖤🖤🖤

BookTube Mentions

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorCoco Ma is a Canadian-Chinese author and pianist. She wrote her first novel, Shadow Frost, at the age of 15. Since she began playing the piano at the age of five and a half, she has also performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a pre-college diploma in piano performance from The Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University. When she isn’t practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.

Check out Coco Ma on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Google Books

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a hardcover copy of Shadow Frost, a signed bookplate, bookmark, and button!

  • End Date: October 15, 2019

PREORDER CAMPAIGN

Preorder Shadow Frost to receive a signed bookplate, bookmark, button, and tote bag if you’re one of the first 150 people to preorder!

BOOK TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

Sea Witch Rising 🖤 Review + Giveaway + Playlist

I’m a part of another book tour thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club🖤

Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post!

Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings

Synopsis

book cover“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.

Playlist

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

authorSarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.

Check out Sarah on her website or over on Goodreads, Twitter, and Instagram!

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo

GIVEAWAY

Enter the giveaway to win a copy of Sea Witch Rising!

  • US only
  • Start Date: July 16, 2019
  • End Date: July 30, 2019

BLOG TOUR

Check out the rest of the stops along this blog tour!

TBR and Book Shopping for #WitchAThon 🖤

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So I had all intentions of doing #WitchAThon. I even posted a TBR video and book shopping vlog for this readathon on my BookTube channel.

But I failed. 😭

Still, I wanted to shoutout the readathon host Rhiannon over at Crescent Moon Reads and share my videos with you.

Fingers crossed I can still get to these books before December. 🤞🏻

Readathon Announcement

My #WitchAThon TBR

🖤Challenges

  1. This time of year is all about preparing for the dark and gathering enough harvest for winter. Read a book that is bound to make you warm and happy.
  2. Light a candle for your ancestors and read by candlelight. This is a time for honoring our kin.
  3. Samhain is more widely known as Halloween. Read a spooky horror/thriller novel.
  4. The veil between worlds is thinnest. Read a book that has paranormal elements.
  5. In honor of your ancestors, read a book that features your ethnic heritage.
  6. Every witch needs their coven. Buddy read a book!
  7. Read the group book The Girl Who Drank The Moon!

Book Shopping for #WitchAThon

I needed the #WitchAThon group book, so I went to my favorite place with my favorite person. It was a happy day for a book haul ✨

Also, don’t miss the very end for highlights of my handsome boys! 🖤

Did you participate in #WitchAThon? Let me know how you did in the comments!

HOW HAD I NOT READ THIS BOOK? 🖤 To Kill a Mockingbird Readalong Vlog

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First off, many thanks to Tom over at T.J. Reads the Stars for hosting this readalong of To Kill a Mockingbird! 💖

One of my reading goals for 2018 was to read this book—and reading it with new reader friends made the experience even better. 👍🏻

Meet Tom in his readalong announcement video:

Now check out my reading vlog of the readalong! 🖤

Image result for barnes and noble to kill a mockingbirdSYNOPSIS

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred.

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

REVIEW

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.

To sum up why I loved this book, it comes down to how the characters and plot developed and thickened over the course of the novel. Plus, the book tackles heavy, important themes—racial inequality, gender inequality, poverty—through a young girl’s interactions and understandings of her small, Southern town.

Regarding characters, Scout was such an endearing firecracker. She grew immensely as a human, and by the end of the book, she finally understands her dad Atticus’ instruction and advice about empathizing with other people. Growing up in such a small, problematic, racist, sexist town causes her to confront a lot of upsetting and even dangerous situations, and there were a couple of instances where her reactions to these moments had me in tears. She brought hope. Hope that people can learn, people can empathize, people can use words instead of fists.

The second reason why I loved this book was the plot progression. Though I had an idea of how the book was going to go, I had no idea how all of the plot lines and people were going to wrap up and be significant. But they did. Everything mattered, every character mattered.

I’m so happy and proud of myself for FINALLY reading this classic novel!

FAVORITE QUOTES

🖤 “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

🖤 “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

🖤 “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

🖤 “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”

🖤 “It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”

🖤 “It’s not time to worry yet.”

Have you read To Kill a Mockingbird? Did you read it in school? What did you like or not like about it? Let me know in the comments!

I MET AUTHORTUBER KRISTEN MARTIN 💖 | All About the Indies Vlog

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I went to the indie book expo All About the Indies and omg. I met AuthorTuber Kristen Martin! 😍

Meeting Kristen was everything and more. I’ve been watching her YouTube channel for forever, but I never thought I would actually meet her.

She’s such a kind, positive, uplifting, high vibe human. ✨

Shoutout to my new writer friend and fellow BookTuber Books Are My Hart—and, of course, my partner in life Kelvin Vega.

Now to read her new book, Be Your Own #Goals! 👍🏼

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Enjoy the vlog! 💖

BOOKISH BIRTHDAY VLOG 🎂✨

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So this post is a bit late (my birthday was on June 30), but I still wanted to share my most bookish birthday ever. 🎂

It was a weekend to remember:

🖤 I dyed my own hair.

🖤 I went on a pre-birthday date.

🖤 I went to my fave book fair.

🖤 I did a book haul.

🖤 I got my first POP! Harry Potter figures.

🖤 And I got MY OWN CAMERA!

If this birthday is any inclination, 26 is going to be pretty fabulous. ✨

And yay for my first ever vlog! 💖