Blog Tour and Review: Crystal Magic by Madeline Freeman


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Crystal Magic CoverCrystal Magic (Clearwater Witches #1)
By: Madeline Freeman
Copyright: 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Romance
Format of Book: E-Book

*I received a free ARC of Crystal Magic from Xpresso Booktours in exchange of an honest review.

Synopsis
Nothing is safe around Kristyl Barnette. Windows break. Books rocket across the room. Lights flicker. Strange occurrences follow the sixteen-year-old everywhere.

When tragedy forces her to move to the small town of Clearwater, Michigan, with her estranged aunt Jodi, Kristyl tries to leave her past behind. But Clearwater has secrets of its own—a mystical history that intersects with Kristyl’s life and might shed light on the inexplicable events that plague her.

When a mysterious illness threatens her aunt’s life, Kristyl will do anything to cure her. Enlisting the help of witches could save Jodi, but is dealing in magic worth the consequences?

Welcome to my stop on the Crystal Magic Blog Tour! Below is my review of the book and a tour-wide giveaway (follow the link) for a signed copy of Crystal Magic. (This giveaway is open to US and Canadian readers.)

The Final Countdown
Characterization
– 3.5/5 Stars
The characters in Crystal Magic are very lovable. Kristyl (Krissa) is really genuine and I found myself wanting to reach through the pages to hug her at times and others I wanted to high-five her for just being awesome. She’s genuinely curious and resilient. She’s had a lot to adjust to, as we find out at the beginning of the book, but that’s only the beginning for her. I enjoyed following her through her journey and finding out how she adapted to each curveball thrown at her. Krissa’s aunt, Jodi, is endearing and caring; it’s apparent early on that there’s something about her we don’t know.

Another wonderful character is Owen – ugh, love him. I did find myself wanting to know more about him. Luckily, this is a series, so I may get my wish.

One character I couldn’t stand is Crystal. (Imagine having to share your name with someone who is just an all-around bully.) She is developed well and has a nice bite to her.

Dialogue  –  3/5 Stars
The dialogue in Crystal Magic is realistic and fits the Young Adult genre well. I enjoyed the back and forth between Owen and Krissa. There was something refreshing about finding dialogue that can read aloud and on the page easily. The arguments aren’t forced and the monologues aren’t heavy.

Plot  –  3.5/5 Stars
This is a fun story with some nice twists. Between finding out the backstory of our main character and sifting through the crazy in the town of Clearwater, I was pulled right into the story. I look forward to seeing where this all goes in future books.

Visual Imagery  –  3/5 Stars
There are some really good moments throughout the book. As this wasn’t a visual-heavy story, I found myself drawn to Jodi’s store, Hannah’s Herbs. I could see the stones and jewelry. Having been in places like this before, I could practically smell the incense burning. I also enjoyed “seeing” the town of Clearwater and adventuring through Krissa’s new home.

Ending  4/5 Stars
Well, as far as endings go, this one was pretty great. I sort of saw it coming (just a teeny bit, and only by a hunch) but not to the extent that it did. I have to say it was VERY well done. (Yay for cryptic reviews, huh?)

Total: 17/25 Stars

Why read this book?

If you enjoy Young Adult Paranormal books, Crystal Magic is a pretty great choice for you. This may be my powers of seeing the future kicking in, but I have a feeling that this is a series to keep an eye on. I look forward to finding out what happens next.

Goodreads: Follow This Link
 
Purchase:
–Amazon: Follow This Link 
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MadelineAUTHOR BIO
Madeline Freeman lives in the metro-Detroit area with her husband, her daughter, and her cats. In the time she should spend doing housework, she rewatches Fringe. She also loves anything to do with astronomy, outer space, plate tectonics, and dinosaurs, and secretly hopes her daughter will become an astronomer or a paleontologist.
 
Author links:

 Follow this link to get to a Rafflecopter giveaway!!!!

 

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Complete by Lindy Zart – Blog Tour – Giveaway In Post

CompleteCoverKeep - CopyComplete (Incomplete Series, Book 2)
By: Lindy Zart
Publication Date: March 15, 2014
Genre: New Adult Romance

Blurb

If the truth sets one free, why does Lily Jacobs feel so trapped?

She’s learned doing the right thing isn’t always best and now she is living the consequences of her greatest sacrifice. Every day since Grayson Lee left is one she wishes he hadn’t. Years have gone by since their friendship turned to more and then was eradicated by Lily alone; enough time for their young love to fade. Only it hasn’t, not for Lily.

Now he is back and seeing him is devastating to her at the same time it is rapture. She tries to accept that they cannot be together, but everything inside her shouts that they should be; that they only fit with each other. And so she has to accept the greatest truth of all: She loves him still. She loves him enough not to let him go this time.

Excerpt

He wordlessly holds out a hand to me. His chest is rising and lowering from jumping around and heat emanates from him as he holds my gaze. As I fit my hand in his, the song changes to ‘Everything Changes’ by Staind. The scent of home wraps around me as he pulls me into his strong arms. His palms span the width of my back as though each finger of his has to be in contact with me.

I vaguely hear Aidan say something about pancakes and then he leaves the room with a grin on his face. My attention is immediately back on Grayson. He is singing to me, bringing me tighter into his arms, his mouth close to my temple. Pinpricks of cold awareness trail up and down my back and arms. I close my eyes, clutching him to me; the front of me pressed to him. It isn’t enough. Overwhelming emotion washes over me like the hands of regret.

“Can I tell you something?” he whispers by my ear as the song ends.

I whisper back, “Do I want you to tell me something?”

His lips smile against my forehead. “Does that ever matter?”

Pulling back, I look into eyes that have loved me and haunted me. “Not usually.” I smile.

Grayson brings his mouth close to mine, never releasing my gaze, and tells me, “You weren’t my first love.” He pauses and my heart cracks at his declaration. “You were my only love.” And it is repaired and whole just as quickly.

My Review

Complete picks up a few years after Grayson and Lily’s story finished in Lindy Zart’s first book in the duo – Incomplete. If you haven’t read that one yet, I highly suggest it. New Adult Romance has quickly become one of my favorite genres, especially when you throw in a great author such as Lindy Zart.

In their first installment, Incomplete, Lily and Grayson were best friends growing up and discovered that maybe there was something bigger for them. [ Fun side bar – my husband and I were best friends in high school. 🙂 ] Complete takes place a few years after the previous story. Lily and Grayson have both graduated and moved on with their lives. It is a beautiful and witty story about two people who were best friends in love and what happens when life gets in the way.

    The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
All of the characters in this story are very well-developed. Of them all, Lily is the most dynamic. She has a beautiful soul and has grown up quite a bit since the last time we met her. Grayson and Lily are still battling their demons, though they’re more complex now.

Lindy Zart does a great job building the history of each of her characters. The struggle with an alcoholic family member continues to be an issue for one character, while another struggles with their identity. One unsung hero in the midst is Stone; he’s ultimately one of my favorites. I love that he loves his grandfather, is a tasteful flirt and isn’t pushy. I’d have loved to see more of him (spin-off, maybe?)

Each character in Complete has a purpose. I’d love to be a part of their circle.

Dialogue – 4.5/5 Stars
The dialogue in Complete is a wonderful mix of playful banter, tragic confession and beautiful romance. I love those books where I can be laughing at one minute and crying at the next – this is definitely one of them. Grayson and Lily may be older now, but they seem to pick up where they left off. Zart used the dialogue in this novel to drive the story; this is fitting, since communication is key in any relationship – romantic, family, friends.

Plot – 4.5/5 Stars
When a story makes me feel like my own life is written in it’s pieces, I can’t help but fall in head first. Perhaps I’m a bit biased since I am always going to root for best friends in love, even if something has pulled them apart. Complete has pretty much everything I want in a romance – friends, family, conflict, music, sex. There are moments here or there that pulled me away from the story, but for the majority I was completely enthralled.

Visual Imagery – 3.5/5 Stars
I enjoy when as author gives me just enough detail to have a great foundation for what to see, but leaves space for me to come up with things on my own. Between Grayson’s bad boy style, Lily’s out-of-comfort outfits, a beautiful middle-of-nowhere feel, and everything in between, I had no trouble “seeing” the story. Visually, the story is just as beautiful as the dialogue. There are moments, such as Grayson and Lily’s stolen glances, that draw you in just a much as the conversation.

Ending 4.5/5 Stars
All I will say is – you should read it yourself.

TOTAL: 21/25 Stars

Why read this book?

If you:

like romance
have ever been in love with your best friend
want to make it big in the world
have every settled for anything less than you deserve
or just love to read
You will find something to love about this book. The struggles are all realistic, the love story brings you pain and joy, and you find yourself rooting for someone. Who? Well, that’s for you to decide. Everyone deserves true love, it’s just harder for some to see that. I absolutely love this book.

*I received copy of book for honest review.

Links

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18461474-complete
Kindle- http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Incomplete-Lindy-Zart-ebook/dp/B00IZRAPKK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395587260&sr=8-1&keywords=Lindy+Zart
Smashwords- http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/418916
Nook- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/complete-lindy-zart/1118922206?ean=2940149221042

About the Author

Lindy Zart has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two sons, and one cat. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work.

Links-

Twitter- https://twitter.com/lindyzart
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/lindyzart
Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/lindyzart
Amazon Author Page- http://www.amazon.com/author/lindyzart
Blog- http://lindyzartauthor.blogspot.com
Smashwords Author Page-https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lindyzart

Giveaway Info

Rafflecopter Code-

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Link- http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjVhMDE3YTEwNjQ1M2Q4YzVlNjEwYmY5ZWQ2ZGE1Ojcw/

A Little Bit About Me And My Love For Books

A Book Survey (written during my lunchbreak)

1. What book are you reading now?  I am currently reading Dead Until Dark from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. For those who are fans of “True Blood” – this is the book series that the show is based off of. I’ve read all but the final book in the series, and I can tell you that the book series and tv series are very different from one another.

2. What are your favorite books/series? It’s so hard for me to answer this question because I have SO many books that I love. Some of my favorite books include: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, Sweep series by Cate Tiernan, Hannibal series by Thomas Harris, The Prophecy of Tyalbrook series by Michele G Miller and SOOOOO many more.

3. How did you learn to read? I actually learned to read when I was very little. Reading has always been important in my family. When I was little, I was one of those kids who would read every sign that I went by out loud. Come to think of it, I sometimes still do that. Old habits die hard.

4. What foreign languages do you read? I can read a little bit in French, but that’s a bit rusty. This will be vastly improving as I jump into my Rosetta Stone soon.

5. What’s the funniest book you ever read? The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the first that comes to mind.

6. What books have changed the way you look at the world or the way you live your life? I grew up with the Harry Potter series. I guess I’ve always loved the fantasy world, but this series has stuck with me. It was beautiful and tragic and whimsical all at once. Another book that I remember distinctly is Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years by Misha Defonseca. Despite the fact that this turned out to be a hoax, I read this book when I was in 5th grade, perhaps a bit young for some of the heavier issues inside, but it was impactful, nonetheless. One last series that struck a large chord with me was the Hunger Games series; something about children fighting to their deaths due to politics and power just has that type of effect.

7. About how many books do you own? Oh, hundreds… I really should count. Once I get them all in one place. My collection grows all the time.

8. Do you read in bed? I read before going to bed every night. This can pose for some really interesting or terrifying dreams, pending what I’m reading at the time.

9. Do you ever read while walking or driving? Oh yes… I have been known to have my nose stuck in a book on my way from the train in the morning to work.

10. What was the most difficult book to read? My husband and mother-in-law will be really disappointed… but I have been reading IT by Stephen King for the last 3 years… I’m halfway through. I understand what I’m reading and the subject matter doesn’t bother me… it’s very difficult for me to stay focused on most Stephen King’s work. I love action, live for it… but IT contains a LOT of description, filler, back story, etc. One day I will finish..

11. What books do you intend to read but keep putting off? I plan to read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth

12. Do you buy new or used books, paperbacks or hardcovers, leather or collector’s? I buy them all. I also buy e-books, as I am finally allowing myself to use a Kindle, though I have strict guidelines for doing so. I’d MUCH rather read the real thing versus the e-version, though.

13. How do you feel about writing in books? Writing in books… I’m not a huge fan of doing this myself, though I have purchased books with writing in them.  To each their own.

14. What were your favorite books as a child? Love You Forever by Robert Munsch is one of my favorite books from when I was little. It breaks my heart every time I read it, but I absolutely love it.

15. Do you ever read the ending first? Absolutely not.

What about you? Tell me some of your answers to these questions. 🙂