Blog Tour: For Better or Cursed

Blog Tour

For Better or Cursed 

(The Babysitters Coven #2)

by Kate Williams

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: September 15th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Witches, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Contemporary, Magic Realism, Fiction

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Synopsis:
Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed sequel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Esme Pearl’s life used to be all about bumming rides and babysitting. Sure, it wasn’t glamorous, but it was predictable. All that changed when Cassandra Heaven came to town, and they discovered their complicated, and connected, legacy: Esme and Cassandra are Sitters, supernaturally-gifted teens armed with an ever-changing grimoire of Sitter witchcraft to help them protect the innocent and keep evil demons at bay. You know, the typical teenage stuff.

But just as Esme is starting to adjust to–and maybe even like–her new normal, life lobs another glitter bomb her way. The Synod–the Sitterhood’s governing circle–has called a Summit, a once-in-a-generation gathering that promises training, education, and whole lot of ice-breakers.

Esme should be excited–a Summit might mean she can finally get the answers she desperately wants–but she can’t shake a building sense of panic. Especially since Cassandra’s not acting like herself; Esme’s dad is MIA; Pig is out of dog food; Janis is scared to be alone; and there’s a guy who seems too good to be true, again. Worst of all, it soon becomes clear, there’s no one watching the kids. It’s obvious the Summit is a haute mess, but will it be a deadly one, too?

About the Author

Website | Goodreads | Instagram

I’m the author of the YA novel The Babysitters Coven.
I also write for magazines, including Cosmopolitan, NYLON, Elle, Women’s Health, Shape, Time Out New York, Monster Children, Russh, Oyster, The Fader, NME, H&M, Smith Journal, Gather Journal, KnitWit, Popular, Style.com and more.


I have ghostwritten New York Times bestsellers, celebrity tell-alls, memoirs, how-tos, and beauty bibles (Shh…. I was never here, and you haven’t seen me.)


And, just ‘cause we’re still talking about me, I’ve also written windows, billboards, emails and captions, captions, captions for brands such as Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal, Vans, Calvin Klein, Nike, Lively, BAGGU and more.
I love to write about witches, teenagers, girls behaving badly, palm trees, and other forms of magic. Teenage girl witches behaving badly under the palm trees is my penultimate subject.

Guest Post.

Movies NOT to watch if you’re a babysitter

I got the idea for The Babysitters Coven when I started to think about how many horror movies feature a babysitter as a main character. Taking care of children is never an easy job, but here are five flicks that will make any babysitter reconsider her career path!

  1. Halloween (1978): This classic film is so much about torturing a teenage babysitter that it was originally titled “The Babysitter Murders.” Fortunately, that babysitter is badass Laurie Strode, who survives and goes on to star in many, many sequels.
  2. When A Stranger Calls (1979): An eerie prank caller keeps urging the babysitter to “check the children,” and…spoiler alert…the call is coming from inside the house!!!
  3. Child’s Play (1988): Sometimes it’s not the kids or the parents who are evil. Sometimes it’s the toys.
  4. The House of the Devil (2009): Pro-babysitting tip: when hired to babysit for a new family and you arrive to find out they have no children, just call it a night and head home.
  5. Better Watch Out (2016): A little Christmas movie about the horrors of white male privilege.

Tour Schedule Here.

Giveaway Info:

Prize: Win a physical copy of FOR BETTER OR CURSED by Kate Williams (US Only)

Starts: 23rd November 2020

Ends: 14th December 2020

To enter, click here.

Tour Organized By:

Blog Tour: The Witch of Willow Hall

Blog Tour, Misc.

cover_The Witch of Willow Hall_Hester Fox_Graydon House Books_Oct 2 2018.jpgThe Witch of Willow Hall
by Hester Fox
Genre: Adult Historical Fantasy Fiction (YA Friendly)
Release Date: October 2nd 2018
Graydon House Books (Harlequin)

Summary:

Two centuries after the Salem witch trials, there’s still one witch left in Massachusetts. But she doesn’t even know it.

Take this as a warning: if you are not able or willing to control yourself, it will not only be you who suffers the consequences, but those around you, as well.

New Oldbury, 1821

In the wake of a scandal, the Montrose family and their three daughters—Catherine, Lydia and Emeline—flee Boston for their new country home, Willow Hall.

The estate seems sleepy and idyllic. But a subtle menace creeps into the atmosphere, remnants of a dark history that call to Lydia, and to the youngest, Emeline.

All three daughters will be irrevocably changed by what follows, but none more than Lydia, who must draw on a power she never knew she possessed if she wants to protect those she loves. For Willow Hall’s secrets will rise, in the end…

 

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Advance Praise:

“Hester Fox’s THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL offers a fascinating location, a great plot with history and twists, and characters that live and breathe. I love the novel, and will be looking forward to all new works by this talented author!” –Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author

“Beautifully written, skillfully plotted, and filled with quiet terror, readers will devour this absorbing, Gothic tale of romance and suspense. Perfect for fans of Simone St James and Kate Morton.” — Anna Lee Huber, the national bestselling author of the historical Lady Darby Mysteries

“Beautifully written, with an intriguing plot full of suspense and mystery, The Witch of Willow Hall will cast a spell over every reader.” — Lisa Hall, author of Tell Me No Lies and Between You and Me

“I was entranced by this intriguing and spellbinding novel with its messages of love and loyalty and being true to who you really are. I hope Hester Fox goes on to write many more such novels–I for one will be buying them.” — Kathleen McGurl, author of The Girl from Ballymor

“With its sense of creeping menace and chilling undertones, this compelling story had me gripped from the first page. The vividly drawn characters cast their spell so convincingly, I couldn’t stop reading until I discovered what happened to them. A wonderful debut novel.”–Linda Finlay, author of The Flower Seller

 

 

About the Author

Hester comes to writing from a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She loves the Gothic, the lurid, the dark…so long as the ending is a happy one. She has never seen a ghost, though she remains hopeful.

Hester lives outside of Boston with her husband. THE WITCH OF WILLOW HALL is her first novel.

Author Links:
   
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Review: Witch Born

Book Reviews, Misc.
*** Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. ***

 

“Fordham was all ash and smoke. It had started raining an hour ago, but the remains of the bonfire still smoldered…” – Nicholas Bowling, Witchborn

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Witch Born Review

By: Rae

 

Let me introduce the beautiful oddity that is Witch Born

 

*** Note: May contain spoilers! ***

 

Meet Alyce, a young teen who has escaped the clutches of the witchhunters. Her mother is dead burned at the stake, leaving the instructions of “Make for Bankside. Find the hangman John Dee. Give him this letter.” Half dead from exposure on her way to London Alyce ends up in a Bedlam asylum after being discovered by one of the governors of the hospital. Weeks have passed and Alyce is desperate to escape and find the hangman. Haunted by the burning and memories of her home, as well as the deed she had done to manage her escape from the witchhunters, Alyce’s opportunity to run comes and she seizes it. Enter Solomon, Mrs. Thompson, a bedraggled Raven, two warring queens, and other odd creatures as Alyce’s story unfolds. Will Alyce find the hangman John Dee? What is this growing power Alyce has? Did witches really in the 16th century exist?

My general consensus upon finishing Witch Born was the overall oddity of the tale. I was mystified by a warring London setting in the 16th century where religion, magic, and creatures ran amuck underneath the ruralness of a city that was falling apart at the seams. Every character had an individual identity that somehow connected not only to the story, but a bit of history too. Could Queen Elizabeth and Bloody Mary Queen of the Scots had been witches? Could John Dee really have performed magic for his experiments. The lines are drawn, no one can fully be trusted, the secrets are many, and… I adored it! Bowling did a wonderful job with the prose of the story and writing descriptions that put me in this past world. I felt the heaviness of the air, the cold, the hunger, and the emotions of the story as I traveled back in time. While it wasn’t ‘spooky’ the darker themes of the supernatural pulled at a play on the mind at points and suggested at heavier issues of humanity and history to deal with.

Rich with setting and characters I am keeping my review of Witch Born shorter to not reveal further key plot moves – *cough* Alyce’s hair color *cough*

 

My Rating: 4/5

 

Check this story out for yourself and enjoy the oddity of 16th century London – who knows what you’ll find!

 

Witch Born is out tomorrow! *cheers*

 

My rating: 4/5

Guest Reviewer: Her Recap on The World of All Souls Stop in Philadelphia

Event Recap, Guest Post, Misc.

the world of all souls cover

The World Of All Souls Tour Recap

By: Stephanie

 

Deborah Harkness, author of the brilliant All Souls trilogy, concluded her The World Of All Souls Tour on May 17, 2018 by returning home to Philadelphia.  As a fellow Philadelphian and fan of the All Souls trilogy, I was ecstatic to learn that my local independent bookstore, Towne Book Center & Café, was hosting the tour’s last stop.  Actually, it was more like I ascended into book heaven; having the opportunity to meet Deborah Harkness in the comfort of my favorite bookstore is what I would consider a win-win.

On the day of the event, Towne Book Center & Café was alive with activity and anticipation.  The bookstore’s typical tranquil atmosphere had literally transformed into an overcrowded environment of excitement and enthusiasm all in the span of a night.  The audience, comprised of passionate and dedicated All Souls fans, had all congregated to the bookstore for one purpose, to meet the brilliant mind behind their favorite world.  The eagerness and overall joy was palpable the minute you stepped through the store’s threshold; the smiles on people’s faces, the stacks of well-loved books waiting to be signed, and the profound conversations taking place between strangers.  This accepting and comforting environment is just one of the many powers storytelling has; bringing people together.  I commented to one of the booksellers about the impressive turnout and learned that some patrons had even been camping out since early in the afternoon.  The lengths we bookish nerds go to for our favorite books is truly inspiring!

As Deborah Harkness steps onto the makeshift stage, the audience erupts into applause.  Everyone is excited, even Deborah Harkness herself as she smiles to her loving fans.  After the initial rounds of gratitude, Harkness delves into the story of how she developed the story behind A Discover Of Witches.  Some of the more notable key factors of the tale’s development include her background in history and her unwavering ability to go off on tangents.  She mentions that her complex world building is all thanks to her round-a-bout thinking; while expanding on one aspect, she finds herself questioning a whole other aspect.  Harkness also discusses the upcoming television show.  While she cannot go into specifics (for legal reasons), she does give her praise for the entire cast.  In her opinion, the cast does an excellent job bringing these characters to life.  Their portrayals will make every fan proud.  Furthermore, she recalls when Matthew Goode auditioned for the role of Matthew Clairmont.  In her perspective, Matthew Goode is the perfect person for the role of Matthew Clairmont; not only does he flawlessly embody the soul of the character, but he also is a phenomenal actor.  Hearing her undeniable faith in the show is a relief since I was initially skeptical.  If she believes in the show, then so do I.

times covert coverFollowing the television discussion, Deborah Harkness graced the enthralled audience with a reading of the first chapter of her newest novel, Time’s Convert.  For the subsequent fifteen minutes, I was transported into the story, experiencing the struggles of a romance between a human and a vampire.  When the chapter was over, I immediately went through withdrawal.  How am I supposed to be satisfied with just that one (amazing) chapter?  It is going to be a long three months until I can read more.  As the night settled down, Deborah Harkness lead a quick Q&A session.  There were a variety of great questions; some about the audiobook and some about the publishing process.  However, my favorite question was from a little boy who asked if Walt Disney was a daemon or not.  Spoiler alert, Walt Disney is not a daemon!

Once the panel’s festivities had concluded, the autographing portion of the night commenced.  As the proud holder of ticket #5, I was able to get my books signed relatively early.  When it was my turn to approach her table, I was initially in shock (think deer in headlights).  Deborah Harkness probably recognized this (and is probably used to this reaction) and graciously broke the ice by asking simple questions, like “how are you” and “did you enjoy the panel”.  Once I gained control of my senses, I was able to ask her some questions of my own.  For instance, I asked if she would be back in Philadelphia for her Time’s Convert tour.  Luckily, she said there is a good chance of her returning to her hometown for a visit!  With my signed books in hand and a smile on my face, I said farewell to Deborah Harkness by expressing my gratitude for her time and reiterating my undying appreciation for her brilliant work.

Overall, The World Of All Souls tour was phenomenal.  It was an incredible experience that made my bookish heart sing in delight.  The reassurance of the televisions show’s authenticity, the short glimpse into the story of Time’s Convert, and meeting Deborah Harkness herself made this event truly unforgettable.

 

 

Need more of this in your life?

Click here to visit Deborah’s website for more news and bookish fun!

Meet Laurie Forest

Author Interview

Meet Laurie Forest.

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Laurie Forest lives deep in the backwoods of Vermont where she sits in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands. The Black Witch (Book One of The Black Witch Chronicles, Out Now, Harlequin TEEN) is her first novel, and Wandfasted (The Black Witch prequel, Out Now as an e-book, Harlequin TEEN) is her first e-book novel. Coming in Summer 2018 is Light Mage (e-book novel, Harlequin TEEN – Sage Gaffney’s story) and The Iron Flower (Book Two of The Black Witch Chronicles, Fall 2018, Harlequin TEEN).
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Now onto the interview!

Let’s start with something fun. What is your favorite social media outlet and why?
Pinterest! Because I love pulling visual ideas from it. For an idea of what I mean, see my page at: https://www.pinterest.com/forestlaurieann/
So… your Goodreads bio says you enjoy sitting “in front of a wood stove drinking strong tea and dreaming up tales full of dryads, dragons and wands.” What dragon, dryad, or wand (aka experience or person) first inspired you to start writing The Black Witch?
It was a werewolf, actually. Remus Lupin. I started writing spin-off romantic fan fiction about him just for fun. I had a literary crush on him and that was my first foray into fiction 😊
The Black Witch, itself was inspired by all the wonderful fantasy fiction that my then pre-teen daughters were handing me to read (I had never read fantasy before – I was reading non-fiction pretty exclusively). Harry Potter was my first experience with modern fantasy – I adored it. That was one influence. The other influence was an experience – being involved fighting for marriage equality here in Vermont and seeing how much horrible prejudice gripped the state during that struggle. During this time, an idea for a fantasy story lit in my mind – a world where there are winged people who are reviled by all the religions of the realm for absolutely no sound reason. I envisioned the first scene and the story spun off on its own trajectory from there.
What author or book has impacted your life the most recently and why?
A Girl Like That, by Tanaz Bhathena. It doesn’t come out until 2018, but everyone should put this on their TBR shelf. It’s one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever read. It’s about teens in Saudi Arabia, and its uplifting message of choosing humanity over division is universal. It’s on par with The Hate U Give, another important and brilliantly written book. Both these books had a huge impact not only for the flawless writing, but for their beautiful and important messages.
When you began your journey with The Black Witch what did you envision happening in the novel and how has that changed as you work on book two?
I actually wrote Book One (The Black Witch) and Book Two (The Iron Flower) of The Black Witch Chronicles as one book. But no one will publish a 1,200 page book by

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a new author (well, usually, anyway). So we had to split it. What’s developed since then is my prequel Wandfasted (which is out now as an e-book and tells the love story of Elloren Gardner’s parents, 20 years before The Black Witch takes place). I’ve also written another side-e-book called Light Mage which is out this summer (the story of Sage Gaffney, the girl who has the Icaral baby and who gives Elloren the White Wand in the beginning of The Black Witch). When my book was picked up, my publisher asked me to write the two novellas. What’s changing is the narrative for Books Three and Four (half of Book Three is written and only an outline for Book Four, so I’m in the discovery phase there, which is exciting).

What social constructs did you try or want to tackle in The Black Witch? Spinning off from that, what would be the main thing you wanted readers to take away from their journey with MC Elloren Gardner?
I’m tackling a lot in The Black Witch – prejudice based on religion and the rise of fascism, mainly (I hope in an easy to read and entertaining framework). But also homophobia (again, mainly based on religion in my world), sexism, classism, exploitation of workers, abuse of refugees and immigrants and in later books – sexual assault (which is aided and abetted by religious systems that oppress women), early enforced marriage, drug addiction (and compassion for addicts) and then a huge turn in the narrative towards environmentalism (spoiler alert – it is a story about Dryads – some readers have seen this coming from a mile away, so perhaps it’s not the spoiler I think it is). So, basically everything that’s troubling me in the world.
The main thing I want readers to take away from The Black Witch is that people can change. People raised with prejudiced ideas can change. But it takes time and the road is rocky. And that it’s a good thing to be open to being schooled, especially about other people’s historical, religious and cultural viewpoints. Confusion is good.
Is there anything else you’d like to share or say?
I want to thank all the fans who have contacted me or posted reviews – you inspire me with your enthusiastic embrace of The Black Witch’s anti-prejudice message. Getting to know so many of you has been the highlight of this journey so far.

 

Thank you Laurie for joining us at A New Look On Books!

 

Want your copy of The Black Witch? Click on the links below!
Amazon Link – THE BLACK WITCH
Amazon Link – WANDFASTED

Wolves and Roses Audiobook Blog Tour

Blog Tour

wolves and roses cover.jpgWolves and Roses
by Christina Bauer
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: October 31st 2017
Monster Hose Books

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Bryar Rose has a problem. She’s descended from one of the three magical races—shifters, fairies, or witches. That makes her one of the Magicorum, and Magicorum always follow a fairy tale life template. In Bryar’s case, that template should be Sleeping Beauty.

“Should” being the key word.

Trouble is, Bryar is nowhere near the sleeping beauty life template. Not even close. She doesn’t like birds or woodland creatures. She can’t sing. And she certainly can’t stand Prince Philpot, the so-called “His Highness of Hedge Funds” that her aunties want her to marry. Even worse, Bryar’s having recurring dreams of a bad boy hottie and is obsessed with finding papyri from ancient Egypt. What’s up with that?

All Bryar wants is to attend a regular high school with normal humans and forget all about shifters, fairies, witches, and the curse that Colonel Mallory the Magnificent placed on her. And she might be able to do just that–if only she can just keep her head down until her eighteenth birthday when the spell that’s ruined her life goes buh-bye.

But that plan gets turned upside down when Bryar Rose meets Knox, the bad boy who’s literally from her dreams. Knox is a powerful werewolf, and his presence in her life changes everything, and not just because he makes her knees turn into Jell-O. If Bryar can’t figure out who—or what—she really is, it might cost both her and Knox their lives… as well as jeopardize the very nature of magic itself.

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Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Audible

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Advance Praise:

  • “Bauer creates a whole new world that had me bowing down and praising the universe for whatever is responsible for inspiring this creative genius.” – For Your Literary Pleasure blog
  • “Trust Christina Bauer to deliver a super bad-ass heroine and majorly page-turning plot line. This is definitely a must read for you guys who love paranormal romance or urban fantasy.” – The Four Eyed Cat Reviews

christina bauer.pngAbout the Author

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a partangel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina has written more than ten novels in the fantasy, paranormal romance and urban fantasy genres. She graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

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Author Links:

Website . Goodreads . Twitter . Facebook

Find the rest of the tour schedule here.

Giveaway link below!

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