Monday, 30 September 2013

Giveaway and Blitz: Ward Against Darkness by Melanie Card

Original Title: Ward Against Darkness
Series: Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer
Author: Melanie Card
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: August 27th, 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Links: Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble/The Book Depository

The last thing Ward de'Ath wants is more trouble. On the run from both the law and the criminal underworld, Ward and Celia flee Brawenal City only to stumble into the mansion of a powerful evil necromancer. And when Ward discovers the man possesses a dangerous grimoire, his duty leaves him no choice. He can't allow the necromancer to keep the grimoire. But the mansion is filled with monsters--human and undead--and Ward has no way of telling who's friend or foe. The only person he can trust is Celia who dominates more of his thoughts and feelings everyday. But there are still laws in the way of anything but friendship. She's still dead and he's still alive . . . for now.


Melanie has always been drawn to story telling. In fact, she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t telling a story in her head or on paper. In grade school, they had journal writing time which she turned into story telling time, weaving tales of magic and adventure that mimicked the fairy tales and myths that she loved to read. It was there, with the help of two very special teachers, that she nurtured this love and started her journey as a writer.  She writes fantasy, paranormal romance, and everything in between, seasoned with a good dash of adventure and mystery. Join her on my tales of magic, adventure, and romance.

AUTHOR ONLINE: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


The author is giving away the following to the winners of the Rafflecopter.

Prize 1: Signed copy of Ward Against Death and Ward Against Darkness and a $25 gift card (Amazon or B&N) US Only

Prize 2: $15 gift card (Amazon or B&N) US/Canada

Prize 3: 2 eBooks International

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Cover Reveal: Of Stardust by February Grace

Today we welcome February, who is releasing her second book soon (I guess, it's November).  She is releasing her beautiful cover image today of her second book by Booktrope - "OF STARDUST".

So here it is....

Original Title: Of Stardust
Author: February Grace
Publisher: Booktrope
Release Date: 1st November 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Romance

At the age of twenty-six single, geeky bookseller Till Nesbitt inherits the shock of a lifetime: a huge Victorian farmhouse filled with unique tenants, and the knowledge that there is a reason she’s always been different. She’s destined to become a fairy godmother, because the skills are written into her DNA.

Till embarks on her fairy education at Dreams Come True University with much trepidation, guided on her journey by a unique mentor: a Celtic hybrid with a secret by the name of Gus.

When Till falls head over heels for Gus, will she break the most serious law in the Fairy Code, or will the truth of what really happened to Gus’s parents keep them from repeating history?


Expect a review from me near the release of the book..this sounds amazing!

Good luck on the release, February!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Interview with Robert Wack: Author of "In Apple Blossom Time'

Today, we have Robert here for an interview with "Books Are Magic".  But, before his interview, let's see about the sci-fi book that he wrote.

Original Title: In Apple Blossom Time
Author: Robert Wack
Release Date: June 8th, 2013
Genre: Science Fiction

In Apple Blossom Time is a story about love, regrets, destiny and redemption, based on the true life and research of Dr. Willem Jacob van Stockum. Dr. van Stockum, a brilliant University of Maryland mathematics professor, becomes frustrated with American indifference about the war in Europe before Pearl Harbor, and abandons his promising academic career to become a bomber pilot in the British Royal Air Force. While flying a mission in support of the D-Day invasion of Europe, his plane is shot down behind the lines over Normandy and he is rescued by stranded American paratroopers. While they fight for survival in the French countryside, they meet up with ruthless French Resistance fighters and two strangers who are not what they appear to be. Willem’s pioneering academic work on time travel and Einstein's Theory of Relativity pose intriguing “what if?” questions compelling him to face the implications of his work and the consequences of choices in a universe of infinite possibilities.


1. Tell us something about your book that is not part of the book description (blurb)..

It started out as a project driven by curiosity and turned into a labor of love as I came to identify more and more with Willem and got to know his family. I grew up very near where Willem stayed in Washington D.C. during the pre-war years, and spend time often in his old neighborhood. My daughter also attends the University of Maryland, and it gives me chills to walk through the same halls and along the same paths he strolled when he was a professor there.

2. Who is your book cover designer and what do YOU think about the cover?

An independent graphic designer named Emily White did the cover, and I absolutely love it. She perfectly captured the blend of imagery we juggled to communicate what the story is about.

3. What are your current literary works? Any sneak peaks?

I'm working on a new novel about evolution, genetic engineering, and the evolution of mind. It's a real challenge blending the big ideas with a character driven story, but I'm excited about how well it's coming along.

4. What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?

My "To Be Read" stack is so big, I'm just hoping to make a dent in that.

5. If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?

Alive or Dead? Let's stick with alive:
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Fiona Apple
  • Pete Townshend
  • Leonard Susskind (Brian Greene if he wasn't free)
  • Catherine Deneuve

6. What's the craziest writing idea you've had?

There's no such thing as a crazy writing idea.

7. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

It's a great story about following a dream no matter where it leads.

8. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

Seeing the completed book. It's like giving birth, and holding the baby for the first time.

9. What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Just. Don't. Stop.

10. If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Frank Herbert's Dune.

11. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Wait, what?

12. What is your favorite scene in the book and why do you love it?

When Willem and the paratroopers are hiding out in the basement of the chateau, and one of the French orphans is touching the paratroopers mohawk, brushing her fingers along the bristles, while he sleeps. It captures the curiosity of children and the vulnerability of the soldiers, highly trained killing machines who really were just American boys far away from home.

13. What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you'd be embarrassed to admit?

The Voice. This past season I got hooked, probably mostly because I have a huge crush on Shakira.

14. What is one book everyone should read (apart from yours)?

Confederacy of Dunces, by Walker Percy.

15. What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?

Reading. Duh.


Favorite place?
The North Shore of Oahu

Best christmas present?

Favorite book?
The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell

Favorite author?
Elmore Leonard

Favorite smell?
Chocolate chip cookies

Favorite series?
Walking Dead


Favorite writing spot?

Favorite movie?
Too many to name

Favorite dish?
BBQ ribs

Favorite color?

Favorite quote?
In the end, everything is a gag - Charlie Chaplin

A bunch of small gifts or one big expensive one?

Your best trait?
sense of humor

Your worst trait?
lack of patience

Thanks for the interview, Robert!  And good luck on your latest release.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

5 STAR Review + Giveaway: Atone (A Fairytale Trilogy) by Jessica Grey

Again, I am saying - if you write fairy tale retellings, just let me know.  I am never going to back down on this genre.  But, please always do some justice to the original plot.. just like this novel.

Original Title: Atone: A Fairytale
Series: A Fairytale Trilogy #2
Author: Jessica Grey
Publisher:  Tall House Books
Release Date: July 8th, 2013
Source: From Xpresso Book Tours
Genre: Fairy tale retellings, Fantasy, Young adult, Paranormal Romance

Becca Ward knows that magic is real...

Two years ago not only had she and her best friend Alex found a real-life Sleeping Beauty in the middle of Los Angeles, they also discovered that they were powerful in their own right. They’ve managed to keep both their fae powers and their friend Lilia’s identity as a medieval princess a secret and live a normal life. Now their normalcy is threatened by the return of their former advisor at the Gem and Mineral Museum—and Becca’s least favorite person, Nicholas Hunt.

...and she’s about to find out that more than one fairy tale is true.

Nicholas has been obsessed with proving Lilia’s identity and the existence of magic. While working on an archeology dig he discovered an ancient fae artifact—a mirror that is imbued with a powerful protection spell that twists his obsession, and his body, until he is more beast than man. In order to protect her friends, Becca is forced to help him, and she is surprised to find that in spite of his outward appearance, Nicholas is no longer the beast she remembers. Will she let herself be the beauty that breaks the curse, or will she let her prejudice against him stop her from discovering true love?


Becca Ward has some 'metal' powers in her.  Her best friends, Alex and Lilia, are also magical.  When Nicholas poses a threat to their identity, Becca tries to find him and do what is necessary to keep him silent. This is going to be a problem, because Becca has never liked Nicholas.  And helping him is going to be difficult.

Nicholas Hunt, an archeologist obsessed with magic, comes across a magical mirror.  The spell in the mirror changes him to a Beast.  Even more unexpected is the girl who comes to help him, with whom he has always had a hostile relationship.  But, she is the one that brings out the man inside all his Beastly appearance.

The plot is not original (being a retelling and all), but it's a refreshing, cool take on the original plot.

The characters and the world building are amazing.  Each character is different and they stand alone independently.  Even the minor's characters, like Becca's cousin, are adorable and all of them keeps reminding me of some person that I meet in real life.  The understanding between Becca and her friends is something every person would crave for.  As I said, the characterization is great and memorable.

Having not read the first book in the series, there were some struggles initially to catch up with the plot, but soon Jessica brought out some scenes to explain briefly about the past happenings.

Becca is a strong protagonist and someone who has her own faults and still enjoys her life.  And Nicholas, although seems to be a jerk previously, changes drastically in his beast form.

The hostility, friendship and romance between Becca and Nicholas was so charming.  At least now I know how Beauty and Beast got close together emotionally.  When I started reading this, I seriously didn't expect this book to rock, but oh boy, it totally did.

And did I mention the climax?  Well, I love you Jessica!  That was one of the best HEA I have read.  I have always thought that Belle and Beauty's kiss at the end of Disney movie is the best kiss scene ever.  I was so happy that I was able to feel some of that magic here.

Loved loved loved!  Jessica --- Here you have earned another fan for you!  One of the best "Beauty and the Beast" retellings and one of my favorite reads this year!  And Jessica, thanks for not ruining my love for the original version and making me fall in love with fairy tales some more.

Do I even have to recommend this to you after all this?  Go on, read this already.


Image courtesy:

Jessica is giving away one signed copy of Atone to one winner of the below Rafflecopter giveaway.  Open internationally.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Fantasy Cast List for "Rose" - Guest Post by Holly Webb

Before moving on to the cast for "Rose", here is something little about the book.

Original Title: Rose
Series: Rose #1
Author: Holly Webb
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 
Release Date: September 3rd 2013
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy

Rose isn't like the other orphans at St Bridget's Home for Abandoned Girls. Instead of dreaming of getting adopted by loving, wealthy parents, Rose wants to get a job and be independent. She doesn't need anyone but herself. She finds her escape working as a maid for Mr. Fountain, an alchemist. Unable to ignore the magic that flows throughout the grand residence, Rose realizes that just maybe; she might have a little bit of magic in her too. This new series featuring magicians, witches, talking cats, mist-monsters, and friendships will have young readers in a trance!


Now, we can enjoy the guest post from Holly!


Fantasy Cast List for "Rose"

- Guest Post by Holly Webb

Rose – Chloe Moretz

This is so difficult! Rose needs to be brave, determined, but quite matter-of-fact. She’s horrified by her magic at first, as she wants to be a maid – she’s amazed that she’s been lucky enough to get a job, and she thinks the magic will spoil everything. So whoever played her would need to be able to get that determination across, but be overtaken by the excitement of the magic growing inside her.

At first I thought of Kirsten Dunst, as she was amazing as a child vampire in Interview With the Vampire, but of course that was years and years ago. Actually, if I could have any child actress from whenever, I think I would go for Mara Wilson, who played Matilda in the film. She seemed quite as I imagine Rose – pretty, but not beautiful, very sensible, but with a sly sense of humour lurking underneath. I wonder if Chloe Moretz (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Hugo) would be able to look young enough to play Rose? In the book Rose thinks she’s ten, but she’s not quite sure, and the hard life at the orphanage, and having to be grown-up very quickly, would make her look older.

Mr Fountain – Colin Firth

But only if he could grow a large, curly moustache.

Miss Sparrow – Emma Watson 

Miss Sparrow needs to be very beautiful, possibly too beautiful – not to spoil the plot, but her looks are magically enhanced. I’d love to see Emma Watson play another magical character, but this time, an evil one. (Thinking about it, Emma Watson would also have been wonderful as Rose!)

Bill (Or Freddie!)– Asa Butterfield

Bill is another of the servants at Mr Fountain’s house. He’s an orphan too, and he loves being a little bit older and more used to working than Rose. But he’s actually very kind, although he does his best to hide it. He needs to sound like a Londoner, which I think is probably easier for a British actor. But then I can see Asa Butterfield as Freddie, the snotty, conceited magician’s apprentice, too! He has a magical look to him. Can I have him twice with different-coloured hair, please?!

Gus (voice) – Alan Rickman 

Because he has a lovely voice!

Gus is Mr Fountain’s spoilt white cat, and one of the first magical things to happen to Rose is that she realises she can hear him talking. He’s proud, lazy and obsessed with fishpaste sandwiches.

I first saw Alan Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply a long time ago but he can also be fabulously nasty (as the sheriff of Nottingham and of course as Snape in the Harry Potter films).  He’s great at sounding grumpy, which is very important for Gus!


Thank you for the post, Holly!  I really enjoyed it and can picture the characters better now!

You are so special and I love you all!!!

This week is Suicide Prevention Week!

Friends, I think all our lives have some bad things happening.  I seriously think people who survive all these crazy things daily and put on a happy smile on their face are winners.  I am not one of them.  I am a worrier and if you leave me for 10 minutes straight without any work and come to me, I will be thinking about some crazy stuff in my life and complain about it.  But, I know I have a family who loves me and I also know I deserve to live no matter what the circumstances.  This will keep me going..

I just want to share one thing to you all.

If you are in any kind of crisis, and think about suicide, please don't be afraid to speak with someone first, before you decide your next step.

And to those friends and family, if you know someone who is struggling with such a crisis, please call suicide hotline numbers, where so many people will be ready to help your loves ones.

No matter what problems you are dealing with, they want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.

And those social workers who work so much to save a life, THANK YOU!!! Thanks a lot!

Also, one more wonderful event is going on in "To Write Love on Her Arms" where you are asked to share about why you can't be replaced.

Here is mine:

Share yours; get to know that you are so special and unique, that you can't be replaced by anyone else.

Image courtesy:

Monday, 9 September 2013

ARC Review & Giveaway: Chaos (Kardia Chronicles #1) by Christine O'Neil

Chaos is one wild ride in the fantasy world.  I just want MORE...

Original Title: Chaos
Series: Kardia Chronicles #1
Author: Christine O'Neil
Publisher: Entangled Teen Ember
Release Date: August 19th, 2013
Source: From Rockstar Blog Tours
Genre: Fantasy, Young adult

My name is Maggie Raynard. After sixteen years being just plain me, suddenly, when I lose my temper, my fingers become weapons of mass destruction. Turns out I'm a semi-god, descended from Aphrodite. Sounds cool in theory, but when I accidentally put my ex-boyfriend in a coma, things go downhill pretty fast.

Now some new guy named Mac Finnegan has made it his mission in life to continually piss me off. I'm stuck learning how to use my new powers while also dealing with regular high school problems, and with this annoying—and super-hot—guy all up in my business, I'm about to flip out.

But it gets worse. I just learned there's this watchdog council of semis who keeps an eye out for any bad apples. They think I'm the baddest of the bunch and want to take me out before I do any more damage. My nemesis Mac might turn out to be my salvation, only he's got secrets of his own...and they may just kill us both.


Maggie wants to be a normal girl, which is so not possible, because she is the descendant of Goddess Aphrodite.  But, it is seriously not cool, because she doesn't know how to control her energy and already her ex-boyfriend is in a coma, because of her.  All Maggie wants is the world to leave her alone.  But, then comes Mac Finnegan, who makes his life's goal to make Maggie miserable.  Maggie wavers between lust and anger every time they meet.  But, Mac has his own secrets.  And he might be the only way Maggie has some hope to live in her crazy world with her more crazy powers.

I just didn't expect much from this book, when I accepted to review or when I started reading.  But, it just blew my mind.  I am a sucker for Greek mythology and fairy tales.  Though there is so less of mythology part, I loved whatever I got.

And now, I have another book boyfriend - Mac Finnegan.  Oh god, I love that guy.  Hot, caring and powerful!

Maggie is an average teen with not-so-average problems.  The way she deals with them is understandable, as there is no one to guide her.  Her best friends Libby and Bink are excellent characters, never giving up on their friend.  And there is a soft romance between Libby and Bink, that was so adorable.

The climax is great as well, except for one thing.  Right amount of thrill, action, sentiment and romance made this book one of my favorites this year.  The one thing that made me angry towards the end was the way things ended between Maggie and Mac - I expected a little more opening that THAT.

I just want MORE..there is so many things that are still not said about this other world and if it's not a series, I would have been angry.  Now, I have no other option other than to wait.  Great job, Christine!

Recommended for young adult and fantasy fans!

4.5 STARS!


Christine O’Neil is one half of the happiest couple in the world. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys and their two dogs, Gimli and Pug. If she gets time off from her duties as maid, chef, chauffeur, or therapist, she can be found reading just about anything she can get her hands on, from Young Adult novels to books on poker theory. She doesn’t like root beer, clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, the New York Giants and playing Texas Hold ‘Em. Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she would be a pirate…or, like, a ninja maybe. She loves writing fun and adventure-filled romance stories, but also hopes to one day publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with rusty spoons. Christine loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to get in touch with her via the Contact Page. Christine also writes adult romance under the name Christine Bell.

AUTHOR ONLINE: Website | Twitter | Goodreads


The author is giving away 3 prize packs for the Rafflecopter winner.
  • 1 sterling silver ring and a Team Mac pin as well as temporary tattoos of the magpie.
  • 1 sterling silver ring and a Team Mac pin as well as temporary tattoos of the magpie.
  • 1 fourteen karat gold ring, and a Team Mac pin as well as temporary tattoos of the magpie.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Review: The Rising Wind by Ken Floro III

The Rising Wind is one of those books where adventure is not so enticing, but satisfying.  This book has some great characters, that you will be craving for more, when you are near to completion of the book.

Original Title: The Rising Wind
Series: Chronicles of the Company of the Rising Wind #1
Author: Ken Floro III
Release Date: October 4th 2011
Source: Review copy via Novel Publicity
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure

After graduating into the Imperial knighthood, Marcavius and his cousin book passage aboard a merchant ship, the Rising Wind, to visit their family estate before reporting to the legions. They know no ship dares tread the heart of the Mennaidran Sea, yet along their voyage a strange fog suddenly sets the Rising Wind adrift in those haunted waters. Fortunately another passenger offers his skill as a navigator to save the day, yet he insists that the ship first detour to a nearby island to replenish its supplies. There the ship’s unlucky passengers soon learn that the monsters and magic of legend are no mere myths! Friends, strangers, and even bitter enemies must work together in order to survive and escape. Yet some of the greatest dangers they’ll face are destined to come from one another.

"The same trick didn’t work a third time. When Marc stepped into the ring of firelight and shouted a challenge, his adversaries shrank into the shadows across from him – more cautious now than they had been earlier. Their broad limbs and hulking silhouettes prowled the darkness at the edge of the forest, disguising their numbers. Standing exposed, in the open clearing, Marc felt vulnerable, but he knew he couldn’t run. For an anxious moment, he just stood there, uncertain what to do next. The curse of inexperience was lack of foresight, and Marc hadn’t stopped to calculate an alternative in case his original plan failed. Now he had to think on the spot. Unfortunately the present circumstance was no place for contemplation. So, in that dangerous moment, he acted on instinct."


Marc and Monty (of the Steelvaerans family), after celebrating their graduation of the Imperial Knighthood, board in the ship "The Rising Wind" to reach home for the holidays, along with their guardian goblin, Garvorax.  In the same ship is Marc's fiancee, Adrianna.  As both Marc and Adrianna didn't know each other before, they are just act as strangers.  There is also the legendary warrior, Gray Fox.  And there is Din, who have revenge towrards the Steelvaerans family.  And then there is a navigator, Balthazar, who have different plans than others.  This is to whom the captain of the ship asks help when the ship moves out of direction due to storm.  Balthazar takes them to a remote island, where magic and evil lurks together.

This novel has one of the best characterization.  Most of the main characters in the novel have been explained in detail and the readers are given a lot of time to get to know them better.  Playful Marc, intelligent Monty and wise Gray Fox make a great team.  Except for Adrianna, all are male characters and they occupy the majority of the plot.  Adrianna's character is so little in the novel, that some readers may feel incomplete.

The world building is good as well.  There are so many sub-plots diverted from the main plot, but ultimately everything makes sense.  I don't want to include spoilers here, so I am not telling anything here.  All I am saying is I am impressed.

Seriously, this will make a great series.  And I think an audio book will be great for this novel.

Recommended for adventure lovers!


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