Yikes! It is already the 30th! October flew by....I can't believe that we are on the last days of Something Wicked. Take heart, I have saved the best for last. Here are the stops for today:
Michele@A Belle's Tales Ann Aguirre Razorland
Erin@Erin Danzer, YA Author: M. Leighton:Gravity
Blu@ Not Now...Mommy's Reading: JT Baroni: The Legend of Rachel Petersen
Laurie@Reader Girls: Kimberly Sabatini: Touching the Surface
Michelle@ Michelle's Paranormal Vault of Books: Vlkolak King by Rebekah Armusik
Benji@The Non Reluctant Reader: Gabriella Pierce: 666 Park Avenue
Be sure to haunt these blogs and get in on their giveaways! On another note, I hope all of you on the East Coast are weathering the storm! Be safe!
Today, I have for you witches. Halloween is all about witches and they are my favorite paranormal creations. I have a guest post from author Jody Gehrman on all things Fall! Be sure to enter her giveaway and check out my review for Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft. Here is a bit more on Jody:
Jody Gehrman is a pagan at heart. She is a native of Northern California, where real witches thrive, and she has had the pleasure of knowing a few. She is also the author of seven novels and numerous award-winning plays. Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is her most recent Young Adult novel. Her other Young Adult novels include Babe in Boyland, Confessions of a Triple Shot Betty, and Triple Shot Bettys in Love, (Penguin's Dial Books). Babe in Boyland has recently been optioned by the Disney Channel and won the International Reading Association's Teen Choice Award. Her adult novels are Notes from the Backseat, Tart, and Summer in the Land of Skin (Red Dress Ink). Her plays have been produced in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She is a professor of English at Mendocino College, where she can be found grading papers when she's not experimenting with spells.
Jody is definitely a talented gal! She is here to share with us her list of fall favorites. Here is Jody:
The Top Ten Reasons Fall is the Spookiest, Coziest Season
First rains, freshly baked cookies, lots of time curled up by the heater with a book—fall is my kind of heaven. It's the exciting, spooky bridge connecting sultry summer with the frost and glitter of winter.
Here are the top ten reasons why fall is my favorite season:
1) Halloween Costumes: Whether you choose glitter or blood to adorn yourself, this magical holiday unleashes our super secret fantasy selves.
2) Storms: Serious weather provides the ideal excuse for staying inside to write and read—my favorite activities!
5) Boots: I'm a boot-aholic. Those poor babies sit untouched and unloved all summer, so when September hits I can't wait to pull my old beloved friends out for a spin.
6) Coats: My wardrobe strategy works best in layers—all the better to hide a few extra pounds (see baking, #4). I suspect boots were the gateway drug to my coat addiction, since nothing sets off a great pair of boots like an amazing coat!
7) Fall Colors: From crimson leaves to gold dresses, the rich hues of autumn make me happy.
8) No Bikini Waxing: I believe this one speaks for itself.
9) Great Time for Spooky Stories: Whether they're shared around a bonfire or devoured on your Kindle, there's no better time than October for stories about wickedness.
10) The Season of Witches: Forget Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. Autumn is the witches' time to shine!
Thanks Jody! I love all those things as well. I hope all of you on the east coast are bundled up tight, reading and weathering the storm. A big thanks to Jody! I loved that she sent pictures of herself and her husband in Halloween costumes. Jody has treats for all of you! Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft will be available for free on Amazon tomorrow, Halloween, and Thursday, the Day of the Dead! So be sure to download your copy. She is also offering a chance to win a signed paperback copy. For all of you cover whores out there. You have to admit this one does have a stunning cover. Just fill out the Rafflecopter after you read Contest Policies. Be sure to visit Jody on her blog, website, Facebook, twitter and Goodreads.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Audrey's Guide To Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman
Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.
Paperback, 293 pages
Published June 30th 2012 by Magic Genie Books
Audrey has this nagging feeling that something isn't right. She tries to soothe her nerves in cooking class by baking creme brûlée, but she just can't shake the feeling that her mother was abducted by this strange man with cruel eyes. When she torches the sugar on the custard, something mysterious happens. A face pushes forth from the custard cup. What is happening to her? When she gets home, she confirms her fear; her mother is missing. That evening, a spunky visitor in bright red boots arrives with a menagerie of animals. Sadie claims to be a cousin sent to look after Audrey and her sister Meg while their mother attends to a family emergency. Something just doesn't add up for Audrey. When her strange powers continue to manifest, she learns the truth.....she is really a witch and her mother was sent to destroy the same sinister man she was seeing in her mind. Audrey just knows that her mother is in danger. Can she learn to wield her new found powers and rescue her mother?
What I Liked:
- I always enjoy books that feature witches and Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft fits the bill. It is a fun, magical book with everything you love about witches. There is also a sweet romance and a mystery that will keep you flipping the pages.
- One thing that I absolutely loved about this book was the way that Ms. Gehrman stimulates all the senses with her writing. She paints colorful images that you can see in your mind, and describes rich aromas as well as pungent odors. The chapter with the chocolate cake tasting scene is so well done that you can practically taste the chocolate melting on your tongue, if nothing else it will leave you craving chocolate cake. Thankfully, Ms. Gehrman provides us the delectable recipe. I love books that engage all my senses as it totally heightens and enriches the reading experience.
- Audrey is one of those characters that shows tremendous growth. In the beginning, she is a nerdy, shy teenage girl who stands in the shadow of her beautiful and talented sister. She feels awkward around boys and she lacks courage. As the story unfolds, she learns that she has some incredible powers. She slowly starts to hone her magical skills and as she does she transforms. I liked that her growth is slow, but by the end she stands up and shows that she is capable and she notches up her self esteem.
- The romance in this one is particularly sweet. When Audrey meets Julian she immediately assumes that he will be into her sister so she is hesitant to believe that he is really into her. This relationship begins on shaky ground, but the chemistry and the sparks between the two are undeniable. I loved that Julian refuses to give up despite the fact that Audrey is not able to tell him the truth, and there are plenty of misfires. A delicious chocolate cake manages to catch the romance on fire. I appreciated that this one was slow to develop and full of missteps. No insta love or love triangles in this one.
- I enjoyed the sister relationship between Meg and Audrey. It felt very real to me, in that Audrey felt like she was Meg's shadow since Meg is a talented musician and beautiful, but Meg feels insecure in Audrey's footsteps as well. Sibling relationships aren't always easy, and while the two get along, the relationship reflects all the difficulties that are present in sibling relationships.
- I enjoyed all of the main characters, but Sadie was my favorite. She strides on scene in knee high candy apple red boots with a python and iguana in tow. This girl screams charisma from the get go and I was never bored when she was in the scene. For the record, I totally want her to stop by and give me a magical witch wardrobe!
And The Not So Much:
- This one starts out a little slow, and the story line is familiar; a teenage girl suddenly taps into mysterious powers and learns that she is a witch. While the beginning is not exactly original, I was pleased to see that the story managed to take on a life of its own.
- I was a bit frustrated with some predictability. You just know when Sadie tells Audrey that she wants her and Meg to stay home on Halloween because she has a bad feeling, but yet she lets them go out anyway, that something bad is going to happen...and then when Meg starts hanging around the surfer guy with the bad aura, Audrey and Sadie don't stop it and do nothing to prevent it...you know that nothing good is going to come from this.
- I wished that Audrey's mother was more prominent. The book opens with her abduction and she is absent almost the entire book. You have no idea what her mother is like and what kind of relationship she has with her daughters. There are a few snatches of information, but I felt that having a better understanding of the mother and daughter dynamic would allow me to feel more anxiety with the disappearance of the mother.
- I personally would like Audrey's guide to be more prominent. Audrey keeps a journal full of recipes and she writes down everything of importance so naturally when she learns to be a witch she begins to record spells. I really enjoyed the written spells and some of the recipes that were included. I totally want to bake Audrey's cake. I enjoyed the journal and craved more.
Audrey's Guide To Witchcraft is the perfect witchy read for the season. It is fast, fun and features an electric romance and a mystery. If you are looking for a book that is not over top the scary, grab this one. With its great characters and tantalizing writing you are sure to enjoy this Halloween Treat!
"How can magic ever find you if you won't let it in?"
"Apparently, she was perfectly willing to accept the impossible, so long as it came with coffee."
"What if this was all an elaborate ploy to recruit me for some wacky cult? I didn't want to turn into a bald girl in a caftan banging a tambourine at the airport."
"The smell of magic still hung about her, like standing in a grove filled with fragrant, dripping trees after and earth-soaking storm."
"I didn't want to accidentally bust a witchy move and set their super hair sprayed hair on fire."
"Sometimes knowledge is power, and sometimes it's a deadly liability."
"All day at school I felt ebullient. With a home football game scheduled, the mood on campus matched mine, though for different reasons. I could almost taste the simmering excitement as my peers anticipated on-field violence, post-game keggers, furtive groping under the bleachers."
"Just last week he'd kissed me for the first time, and my heart felt like a massive magnolia opening petal by petal. Now that flower lay brown and shriveled at our feet, its petals bruised and trampled. All because of me."
"The ocean appeared as I reached the crest of the hill. The waves exploded on the beach, spitting piles of foam, their curves silvered by stars."
"But some people love the slutty Halloween approach, as if getting half naked automatically makes it a costume."
"What is insanity, though, Audrey?" He flashed a feral grin. A vein throbbed in his temple. "Isn't that just the word we use when people won't conform to our limitations?"
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated and all opinions expressed are my own.
Thanks for stopping by! For all you International folks, I will have International giveaways tomorrow and Thursday so don't miss out. Stay up to date on all the giveaways and hurry and get entered before time runs out. Click the wicked button. Stay safe and warm everyone! Don't forget to get your free copies tomorrow!