Magick Reborn by Katerina Martinez Review and Drink Recipe

Magick Reborn (Blood and Magick Book 1) by [Martinez, Katerina]

Title- Magick Reborn

Author- Katerina Martinez

Genre- Urban Fantasy

Purchase link- Amazon

When I traded up for a gorgeous Victorian house in the New Orleans French Quarter, I thought I was getting away from my toxic life. Sure, the house was old and run-down, but it was mine, and the Big Easy offered exactly the fresh start I wanted.

But then I met Remy; a mysterious, sexy witch with power, class, and charm to spare, and everything changed.

I had no idea my arrival in New Orleans had set into motion a chain of events threatening to throw everyone’s life into disarray, not just mine. Now, pushed into the middle of an ancient war between vampires and witches, I have to unravel the secrets of the house I just bought before the forces awakened by my very presence rise from their centuries-old slumber, hungry and eager to feed on everything they can find.

Starting with me.

Madison Collins just bought her first house and is thrilled to get settled in and forget the past she left behind in New York. She is ready to focus on her future and finishing her latest novel and New Orleans might just have the magic touch that will help her do so.

Things take a turn when the local coven leader takes a shine to Madison and invites her into the coven. Add the vivid dreams of a man she has never met and the feeling of being watched she can’t seem to shake, things are starting to look like they might not be as simple as Madison thought they would be in good ol’ New Orleans.

The Sweet-

I love the the books setting in New Orleans and the fact that it’s kinda set both in past New Orleans and the New Orleans of today. The author is able to capture the magic of the city onto the pages and it is clear that she did her homework when she started this novel. Not only is she able to capture the essence of the city and its beauty but also create magic of her own with a great plot and character development.

I instantly liked the main character Madison from page one. She seemed snarky, down to earth and the fact that she is a writer only made her more endearing to me. Through out the book she definitely grew on me making me not only like her but love her.

Another aspect of this book I found extremely enjoyable is the semi love triangle the author hints at between Madison, Remy and Jean Luc as well as the raging war between Vamps and witches to come! Overall in my opinion the author builds a great first book the a series which is sure to be action packed and full of vampire, magik and witches (oh my!) and is sure to keep readers like me coming back for more!

Rating- 5 out of 5 cupcakes! I would recommend to urban fantasy readers as well as fans of witches and vamps!

As you may know by now i am a huge fan of bourbon and seeing as this book takes place in New Orleans I could not resist a Bourbon cocktail. Bourbon is known as a very “manly” drink (pfft) so I decided to try to add some sweet notes to this cocktail.

Bourbon Street Nights

Ingredients Needed

Cranberry Juice

Your favorite brand of bourbon

White Cream de Cacao

Instructions- in a mixing glass full of ice pour the following-

4 Count of Bourbon

4 Count of Cream de Cacao

Top with Cranberry Juice to taste- the cranberry juice will add a fresh and tart taste (you can also go with cherry juice for a sweeter tart taste)

Katerina Martinez is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes supernatural fiction with a creepy, thrilling, and romantic bent. Though she has been writing for a couple of years, her success recently exploded with the release of “Dark Siren”, the first book in the breakout “Half-Lich” Trilogy which became an instant bestseller in 2016. She continues to expand her backlist with books such as Magick Reborn, The Dead Wolves, and most recently, Smoke and Shadows.

If you would like to keep in touch with Katerina, learn about her work, and get notified when the sequel to Magick Reborn launches sometime in February 2017, just follow this link, sign up, and don’t be shy to drop her an email:

http://subscribe.supernalpublishing.net/authorpage

 

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In Witch it All Began by Kali Harper Review

In Witch It All Began (Emberdale Paranormal Cozy Mystery Book 1) by [Harper, Kali]

Title- In Witch it All Began

Author- Kali Harper

Genre- Paranormal Cozy Mystery

Purchase Link- Amazon

When Emberdale’s widow winds up dead at the bottom of Astrid’s stairwell, she’s thrown into a world she knows nothing about. From talking cats to thieving shifters, enchantments, and being haunted by Maggie herself, there’s a lot more to their small town than meets the eye starting with the fact Astrid might be a witch.

Along with her good friend Katherine, and Sammy, her recently inherited feline familiar, the three set out to uncover Maggie’s killer before it’s too late. As it turns out, all of Emberdale had a reason to murder the charming woman, including Astrid.

Discovering there’s magic in her blood is bad enough without Detective Lance barging in on her investigations, but it’ll take a lot more than his good looks to stop this witch.

In this paranormal town, can Astrid bring peace to Maggie’s ghost, or is this mystery too much for her to handle?

Astrid has grown to love the small town of Emberdale. She has come to think of it as home and Maggie who is her boss as family. She is living a very simple life and couldn’t be happier that is until Maggie is found dead in Astrid’s home and she finds out that Emberdale isn’t the sleepy little town she think’s it is.

Astrid had to move in with Maggie for a couple of days while her house was being tented for the termites in her walls. Maggie has become not only her best friend but more like family having taken Astrid under her wing when she moved to Emberdale. Life seems to be going at its normal Emberdale pace, until Astrid wakes to Sammy (Maggie’s favorite cat) desperately trying to get her attention.

Astrid sets out to find Maggie who seems to be missing. Along with Sammy, Astrid checks all the usual places Maggie would normally be found to come up empty-handed. Hours later Detective Lance brings Astrid in for some questioning that’s when things seem to get weirder and weirder by the minute…

The Sweet-

The author does a very good job of creating a very cozy small town setting from page one. As a reader you imagine a sleepy little town filled with quaint little shops and a cute little bakery owned by Maggie “Every Last Crumb”. I especially enjoyed the author’s attention to detail when describing Emberdale and its kookie inhabitants.

My favorite part of this book is the magic. I love how right before your eyes the town is transformed from this quaint picturesque little town to a world of magic that was hiding just beneath the surface! I enjoyed Astrid’s journey from becoming a normal woman who is just a bit lost and starting over to a strong woman who has discovered just how strong she is!

I also found this story to be filled with funny moments that made me snort out load. I mean I have never read a book that features the possessing of cats… yes I have read of talking cats but a eldery widow ghost taking over a cat?!? Never! I found certain aspects of this story to be quite unique!

Rating- 5 out of 5 cupcakes!

I recommend to this any one who enjoys a good cozy that features magical twists and turns!

Kali’s been writing since the time she could hold a pencil. Since then, she’s written across genres from epic fantasy and science fiction to romance and mysteries.

When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her stuck inside a good book or out on a forest trail with her husband.

 

Of Cinder and Madness (Once Upon a Darkened Night) by Nicole Zoltack

Of Cinder and Madness (Once Upon a Darkened Night Book 1) by [Zoltack, Nicole]

Title- Of Cinder and Madness (Once Upon a Darkened Night)

Author- Nicole Zoltack

Genre- Science Fiction

Purchase Link- Amazon

The stories about her have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, she is beautiful, with wavy blond hair and big, blue eyes and flawless skin, but her charming façade is a lie, a mask, a deceit.

Yes, yes, I’m sure you think me merely jealous. I’m not. I’m the victim, and I can prove it.

You see, Eleonore deserves to be locked away. My, she even deserves to be killed!

This gripping retelling of a much-loved fairy tale will make you question all you think you know about the girl who steals away to a ball and leaves behind a slipper.

Reviewed by Crystal H.

We have all heard the tale of Cinderella, the girl who is kind and sweet who would fall asleep by the fire reading. The girl covered in Cinders and made to serve her evil step mother and sister’s. The girl whose only friends are the birds and mice that surround her…

Well not all the stories we hear are always true. This is the twisted tale told through the eyes of the “evil” stepmother Angelique who isn’t as the evil that tales will have you believe.

The Sweet –

I love the idea of Cinderella actually being the villain in this story! I found the premise and idea of this book to be so creative and actually quite brilliant it makes the reader think What if all those princesses weren’t the heroes of the stories but actually the villains?

The author creates a deliciously wicked world were Danielle (Cinderella) has dark powers and isn’t as sweet as we all grew up thinking but quite mad and devious. The events portrayed in the book match up with the fairytale, She is looked away in an attic but out of fear. There is a ball that she crashes but there is no fairy god mother the magic is all Danielle and it’s not sparkles and happy thoughts it’s dark and mad. The prince falls for her and she disappears but there is no glass slipper left behind.

I really enjoyed the little flash backs that show us Danielle as a little girl before losing her Dad. There is still some darkness to be found but it doesnt get to the breaking point until he dies.

I also enjoyed how the author portrays Angelique a woman who is lost and at her wit’s end but still tries to fight for Danielle. She desperately wants to do right by her step daughter but at the same time she fears for her life and lives of her daughters.

The Sour-

I did find at times the story dragged a bit, leaving me wanting it to speed up and being a bit frustrating.

Rating- 3.5 cupcakes out of 5 cupcakes

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys dark fairy tales or retellings!

Nicole Zoltack is a USA Today bestselling author who loves to write romances, whether they’re fantasy, paranormal, or regency. She’s also an editor for MuseItUp Publishing and works as a freelance editor and ghostwriter.

When she’s not writing about gentlemen and their ladies, knights, superheroes, or witches, she loves to spend time with her loving husband, three energetic young boys, and precious baby girl. She enjoys riding horses (pretending their unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV shows are The Walking Dead and Gotham.

To learn more about Nicole and her work, visit http://www.NicoleZoltack.com. Her email is Nicole.Zoltack@gmail.com. She can be found on most any social media site under Nicole Zoltack. Keep in touch!

Rise of the Sea Witch by Stacey Rourke Review

Rise of the Sea Witch (Unfortunate Soul Chronicles Book 1) by [Rourke, Stacey]

Title- Rise of the Sea Witch

Author- Stacey Rourke

Genre- Science Fiction

Purchase Link- Amazon

Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people. When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown.

Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point. Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips–Triton.

Princess Vanessa is the eldest child of King Poseidon and has dreams of someday becoming the future Queen of Atlantis however more than a few obstacles have been put in her way. Her younger brother Triton is not only the Kings favorite but it seems everyone elses as well! She wants nothing but to bring peace and prosperity to Atlantis, which she loves with every fiber of her being yet it isn’t as easy as Vanessa thinks.

There are family secrets and dark things hiding in the dark depths of the seven seas long to bring Vanessa to her breaking point, the once loving and ambitious princess is driven to madness and dark powers by betrayals and broken promises to become the feared sea witch we all know and love to hate.

Image result for spoilers ahead meme

I normally shy away from spoilers in my reviews but I NEED to express the GENIUS of this book and some spoilers will be in my review (sorry).

The Sweet-

This is the origin story of how the evil sea witch Ursula becomes what she is and why she is so hell-bent on having Triton’s crown. I am a HUGE little mermaid fan- but who cares, no big deal, I want moooooore and Stacey Rourke is a brilliant evil genius who nails Ursula’s story! Not only does she nail it, she makes you have… feelings other than hate for Ursula…

Image result for book nerd little mermaid meme

Yes the evil and quite intimidating Ursula was once a mermaid filled with love for Atlantica, hell she was one in line for the Crown of Atlantica, but things did not go as Vanessa planned. No things for Vanessa went terribly wrong. She was broken and molded into no other than Ursula, the evil sea witch.

Image result for ursula memes

So the tales we hear of the Little Mermaid, they give us no reason for Ursula’s need to hurt Triton sp deeply, so we all think she is just plain evil but here’s where the author becomes an evil genius… Ursula was once Princess Vanessa… Triton’s older sister!! Sibling rivalry doesn’t even begin to describe what becomes of Triton and Vanessa. The events in this book are what drive Vanessa mad and turn her heart into the hate filled blackness we all witness when Ariel ( the little mermaid) strikes her deal with the evil sea witch.

Image result for ursula memes

The author has outdone herself creating not only an original but also believable back story for Ursula and Triton. She weaves such a magical tale of betrayal and lost that the reader simply does not have a choice but to fall under a spell and feel pity and understanding for the sea witch.

I found the author the ways the author referenced Disney’s version of Little Mermaid in the book to be so freaking creative and perfectly placed! You find your self smirking and snorting and throughly enjoying every page of this book!

Image result for ursula memes

Rating-  5 out of 5 cupcakes! I highly HIGHLY recommend this book if you are a fan of retellings, origin stories or a good book!!

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015

Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series, and twisted fairy tale Unfortunate Soul Chronicles. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

Visit her at http://www.staceyrourke.com
Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/staceyrourkeauthor
or on Twitter or instagram at Rourkewrites.

 

The Witches of the Glass Castle by Gabriella Lepore Review

The Witches of the Glass Castle by [Lepore, Gabriella]

Title- The Witches of the Glass Castle

Author- Gabriella Lepore

Genre- YA Paranormal Fantasy

Purchase Link-Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Mia’s life is turned upside down when she uncovers her family secret-that she and her brother Dino are witches. Seeking refuge in an ancient castle, the siblings begin down a path that will change their lives forever. Suddenly thrust into a world where handsome warriors command the power of nature and peoples thoughts and actions can be manipulated at will, Mia and Dino struggle to navigate their own allegiances and do what they know to be right, even when everything around them seems beyond their control.

Mia was your typical 16 year old girl, before one fatal night everything changed and her world as she knows it will never be the same. Speaking words she did not understand in the basement of her home she set into motion a whirlwind if events.

Shortly after that night Mia and her brother Dino are told that they are witches and each have special abilities, only they aren’t sure which just yet. Mia isn’t sure weather she has brought out her and her brother;s gifts or if she has cursed the both of them. She feels as if she has lost her best friend, as Dino has changed so much since that fateful evening. His looks of hate and disgust are not lost on her. Dino’s powers have seem to come in and are causing her big brother to become a stranger to her, on top of that her power’s are no where to be found. Will Dino ever forgive her? Will her powers show up or has everyone made a mistake and she is non-magical?

The Sweet-

Okay I have to start out by saying that I started this book and found the beginning to be a bit on the slow side and had honestly thought about putting it down and starting another book…. I am so happy that I didn’t! I really loved when the sorry picked up and was quickly drawn in and addicted! I would describe this as what you would get if you crossed Twilight with Harry Potter if he was babysat by the chicks from The Craft!

It is a magical story that is filled with adventure danger and forbidden love. Yes I said forbidden love! Colt is a hunter, since birth he has trained and been taught to hunt magical creatures and use his magic to protect the glass castle from any evil that may cross its boundaries including witches. Witches and hunters are simply not meant to be romantically but both Mia and Colt can not fight the pull to each other they both feel, it’s overwhelming.

The author succeeds in creating a world that is both magical but also scary and dark. The plot once you get over the slow start is filled to the brim with a mix of action, angst and magic that is simply addictive and extremely swoon worthy!

The Sour-

For me the first 2-3 chapters were extremely slow and in need of some action. I now realize the author was trying to set up the story for the readers before letting the action  of the story take over however i would have preferred for things to speed up a bit by mid chapter two.

Rating- 4 out of 5 cupcakes! If you are a fan of magic and YA reads than I recommend this!

 

Remembrance by Heather Hildenbrand Review and Recipe

Remembrance: (New Adult Paranormal Romance) (Heart Lines Series Book 1) by [Hildenbrand, Heather]

Title- Remembrance – A Heart Lines Novel

Author- Heather Hildenbrand

Genre- Paranormal New Adult

Purchase Link- Amazon

She’s the cure that could save him. If only she could remember how.

Two years ago, 20 year-old Samantha Knight experienced a life-altering trauma. Unfortunately, she can’t remember what it was. Previously outgoing, fun, and carefree—it’s as if someone flipped a switch on Sam’s insides. Now, she’s afraid of everything, socially awkward, and convinced she’s going crazy. As Beyonce would say, she woke up like this. Sam tries her best to juggle college classes, work, and the nosiest roommate ever, but behind the curtain, Sam’s life is all about keeping a firm grip on her own mind. And life is kicking her ass.

Alex Channing has only one enemy in this world: werewolves. Born and raised to fight in the supernatural military, he has become an expert at hunting and killing rabid werewolves. But when Alex is bitten and infected, he finds himself racing against a ticking clock for his own survival.

Alex’s search for a cure leads him finally to an oracle in a seaside town in California. And she gives him the reading of a lifetime. The key to his cure is a girl who forgets things, cries spontaneously, and might just be insane. And the only way she can save him is to do the one thing Alex knows is impossible: she has to remember.

Samantha Knight can’t seem to remember why or what has her feeling so lost and scared. She use to be your typical vibrant and social teenager but everything changed for her 2 years ago. The kicker is she has no idea what made her this way or why she shows signs of PTSD.

To hide the dramatic change in her she moves away from most of her family and friends, all except her crazy Aunt who set’s her up with a job. Samantha tries to keep busy with work and school to keep her mind off of her anxiety and fears. Just when she thinks she can breathe a little everything comes crashing down and her past comes back to haunt her.

The Sweet-

I want to start my review with a note that I purchased this book at a book con because it had such a beautiful cover and I wanted to feature it on my bookstagram. I of course planned on reading it eventually after I had read a chunk of my TBR. That was way before the synopsis sucked me into clearing my TBR and reading this bad boy in one sitting. ONE sitting folks- thank the coffee gods because I would not have survived the morning after, especially with such a hangover- yep serious book hangover after this one! In the word’s of Beyonce- “I woke up like this” only it wasn’t “flawless” but it was oh so worth it!!

Image result for stayed up all night memes

I fell hard for Samantha and her brokenness. I am not a fan of the perfect character- her brokenness made her all the real for me and made me feel so invested in finding out what broke her. I think I may have developed a bit of a girl crush….

The author showed off her writing chops by creating such an original and fresh take on the paranormal world. The author had a way of making me feel what Samantha felt and the story was addicting and quite the page turner! The plot and premise was so artfully written that the reader has no choice but to be completely sucked in!

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I truly loved this book and recommend it to any one who loves paranormal NA novels!

Rating 5 out of 5 cupcakes!

French Toast with Whiskey Caramel and Bananas!

Okay so this is not a dish that is featured in the book but was inspired by the fact that all they ever eat is breakfast and our hero Alex’s favorite choice of drink is Whiskey. Honestly not to sound like a lush but this tasted so yummy for breakfast this morning!

Image may contain: food

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2  cup condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup your brand of Whiskey
  • 4 slices of white bread ( or you can be super fancy and use banana bread we were out so I opted for good ol’ wonder bread!)
  • 2 xtra large eggs ( or 3 Medium)
  • Cinnamon
  • 2 bananas sliced thick
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Instructions for Caramel
  1. Heat sugar, water and butter on medium heat, swirling the pan roughly 15 minutes or until a deep amber color is reached. Watch closely as not to let it burn, cause burnt caramel taste crappy.
  2. Turn off heat and slowly add condensed milk while stirring.
  3. Add pinch of cinnamon and whiskey turning the heat on low and stir till it thickens up a bit.
  4. Last but not least add your bananas, do not stir as you will break the bananas. Swirl the pan- your goal is to lightly caramelize your bananas with out over cooking the caramel.
  5. Transfer to a heat-safe dish and let cool. You can store this covered in your refrigerator (if there is any left) and bring to room temp or heat in a warm water bath before serving.

Instructions for French Toast

  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together eggs, vanilla, cinnamon (to your liking) and cream (and if you like a kick a splash of whiskey).
  2. Coat each slice of bread in mixture and caramelize in a greased pan (simple french toast recipe)
  3. Pour that yummy whiskey caramel over your toast and enjoy!

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in Virginia where she was home-schooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) She lives in FL and writes romance of all kinds with plenty of abs and angst.

Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs.