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Blog Tour : A Murder of Magpies by Sarah Bromley – ARC Book Review and Giveaway!

 

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Welcome to my stop of ‘A Murder of Magpies’ blog tour!

ABOUT A MURDER OF MAGPIES

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Title: A Murder of Magpies

Publication date: October 28, 2014

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.

Author: Sarah Bromley

Winter in Black Orchard, Wisconsin, is long and dark, and sixteen-year-old Vayda Silver prays the snow will keep the truth and secrecy of the last two years buried. Hiding from the past with her father and twin brother, Vayda knows the rules: never return to the town of her mother’s murder, and never work a Mind Game where someone might see.

No one can know the toll emotions take on Vayda, how emotion becomes energy in her hands, or how she can’t control the destruction she causes. But it’s not long before her powers can no longer be contained. The truth is dangerously close to being exposed, placing Vayda and her family at risk.

Until someone quiets the chaos inside her.

Unwanted. That’s all Ward Ravenscroft has ever been. To cope, he numbs the pain of rejection by denying himself emotions of any kind. Yet Vayda stirs something in him. He can’t explain the hold she has on him–inspiring him with both hope and fear. He claims not to scare easily, except he doesn’t know what her powers can do. Yet.

Just as Vadya and Ward draw closer, she finds the past isn’t so easily buried. And when it follows the Silvers to Black Orchard, it has murder in mind.

My Review

The book cover, simple as it is, has an alluring quality to it, coupled with the interesting title. The solitary bird under the glaring light from the street lamp post, featured on a sepia toned cover with a touch of color only for the title, makes this cover one of the most intriguing book covers I have ever seen. Readers could interpret it in many ways. The font of the title is beautiful. Also, the title is very cleverly formed. It has the word ‘Murder’ in it since there is a murder in the story, but clearly it indicates a group of birds, particularly magpies, which is also a nickname, the protagonist of this story, Vayda goes by!

Vayda Silver is a girl with a lot of power that she herself underestimates. She can read minds, calm people down, feel what others are feeling or even burst overhead lightings when the feelings become too much to handle and the energy rises. Her twin brother, Jonah Silver is the opposite of her. He riles up people and push out his feelings, moving objects by a mere flick of his wrist. He is like fire while Vayda is like ice. Together they are like Ying and Yang, balancing each other. I love their relationship. It is imperfect and that’s why I can relate to it. Their love is unconditional yet they do fight each other at times. Jonah always looks out for Vayda and protects her.

They both, along with their father, Emory Silver are on the run. Their mind games have earned them names like freak, gypsy and witch. So, they keep moving, always looking over their shoulders, afraid they will be recognized by someone from a previous place they have stayed at. Vayda is lonely, scared to commit to someone but that changes when along comes Ward, a damaged boy with a disturbed past of his own, who somehow calms Vayda down and makes her experience peace, which she rarely does otherwise.

The unspoken attraction between Vayda and Ward and then their love story as we move deeper into the story, is very nicely depicted. It’s very sweet. Each chapter is written from either Vayda’s or Ward’s POV. Other important characters in the book are Rain Killian, Vayda’s and Jonah’s godfather, Marty Pifkin and Chloe, who are their classmates and ones who are always looking out to fight Vayda and Jonah and, Sister Tremblay, someone who seemingly exudes hatred towards the Silver family.

Vayda and Jonah’s late mother, Lorna was someone who quite enjoyed the power the mind games gave her over others. But that got her killed. Now, would her family too suffer and perish like her?. You got to read the book to know more!

The author has really created an amazing and powerful world, with her words!. I am in awe of her work. The situations all tie in well. There are certain situations though, which needs a tad more clarity / explanation. That’s the only fault I could find in the book. Otherwise, it’s an engaging read, which will have you craving to read all of it in one go!.

I give this book 4 out of 5, which by Goodreads standards mean, I ‘really liked it’!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR : SARAH BROMLEY

Sarah Bromley

Sarah Bromley lives near St. Louis with her husband, three children, and two dogs. She likes the quiet hours of morning when she can drink coffee in peace, stare into the woods behind her house, and wonder what monsters live there. When she’s not writing or wrangling small children, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

TOURWIDE GIVEAWAY

Stand a chance to win a copy of A Murder of Magpies – 5 winners!

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PURCHASE LINKS TO THE BOOK

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | IndieBound

Source : I was provided a complimentary ebook copy for review purpose. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Naz ♥

Giveaway and Review: Beyond Belief by Helen Smith!

Hello all!

Welcome to my stop of the Beyond Belief Blog Tour!

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Book Summary

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When famed psychic Perspicacious Peg predicts a murder will occur at England’s Belief and Beyond conference, her science-minded colleagues recruit twenty-six-year-old budding sleuth Emily Castles to attend the event as a “future crimes investigator.” The suspected victim: celebrated magician Edmund Zenon, who plans to perform a daring stunt at the conference—and is offering fifty thousand pounds to any attendee who can prove that the paranormal exists.

In the seaside town of Torquay, Emily meets a colorful cast of characters: dramatic fortune-teller Madame Nova; kindly Bobby Blue Suit and his three psychic dachshunds; Sarah and Tim Taylor, devastated parents mourning their late son; and religious cult members Hilary, Trina, and the Colonel. Tensions rise as believers in science, the supernatural, and the spiritual clash with one another. But once a body count begins, Emily must excuse herself from the séances and positivity circles, and use old-fashioned detective work to find the killer.

My Review

I love a good mystery. I have mentioned that several times in the past that suspense/crime thrillers is my favorite genre. So when I read the book summary, the mystery part along with some magic thrown into it, captured my attention. What really drew me in was the book cover. It’s one of the most apt book covers I have seen. It’s very much magical!

I have never read a book where even before a crime has occurred, a detective is appointed. That too a future crimes investigator!. I found it funny. I started reading and found that the author has a good sense of humor and she weaves it into almost every chapter, in a very clever manner. There are a lot of characters introduced to us. Some of them are just superfluous but I guess they are named anyway simply to show that a lot of different people are attending this big conference happening in the seaside town of Torquay. The author must have known that it’s too difficult for a reader to keep track of all the characters being introduced to us. So she reminds us, where a character was first introduced throughout the book. It was quite helpful!.

In the beginning, the mood for the big event is set. Though this is a murder mystery, it’s surprisingly casual. The whole attitude and the setting of the novel is very casual. I would have liked it to be a bit more serious when it should be. I found some characters to be outright rude, even when it was uncalled for. The town, the food, everything is beautifully mentioned. In the first 150 pages, actually I thought there might not even be a murder!. That was how the events went on. By then, truthfully, I just wanted the pace to pick up, for something interesting to happen.

And finally it did!. The body count started rising and all of a sudden, it was really interesting. Emily, as the investigator, did a good job. She is very perceptive and quick at putting two and two together. This book is not a hardcore mystery book. However, the mystery is maintained until the very end and you will never guess who the murderer was. So I am impressed.

I give this book a rating of 3 out of 5, which by Goodreads standards mean ‘I liked it’.

Author’s Giveaway

Stand a chance to win an Amazon card worth USD15!. This is open internationally. The winners will be contacted by the author. (*For the first option in the giveaway form, leave a comment in the box that you follow my blog via email or Bloglovin and for the second entry on the form, post a comment below this post and tell me what you think of this book or my review)

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About the Author

helensmith

Helen Smith is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, The Crime Writers Association and English PEN. She travelled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both – from cleaning motels to working as a magician’s assistant – before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel, which was published by Gollancz (part of the Hachette Group). She writes novels, children’s books, poetry, plays and screenplays, and was the recipient of an Arts Council of England Award. She likes dancing but she doesn’t like driving. She likes knitting.

Helen Smith’s books have reached number one on Amazon’s bestseller lists in the US, UK, Canada and Germany. Her first book, Alison Wonderland, was one of the top five bestselling books from Amazon Publishing when it was launched in the US in 2011. In July 2013, following the publication of Invitation to Die, Helen Smith reached the top spot as “America’s most popular mystery author” on Amazon.

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Source of book : I was given a copy of this ebook by the author for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Naz 🙂