E-Arc Review of A Letter to Three Witches

I received a free e-arc copy from Netgalley and the publisher: Kensington for an honest review!

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Kensington
  • Date: January 25, 2022
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • Author: Elizabeth Bass
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Summary:

In the sleepy college town of Zenobia, New York, the only supernatural trace on display is the name of Gwen Engel’s business—Abracadabra Odd Job Service. But Gwen’s family has some unusual abilities they’ve been keeping under wraps—until one little letter spells big trouble…
 
Nearly a century ago, Gwen Engel’s great-great-grandfather cast a spell with catastrophic side-effects. As a result, the Grand Council of Witches forbade his descendants from practicing witchcraft. The Council even planted anonymous snitches called Watchers in the community to report any errant spellcasting…
 
Yet magic may still be alive and not so well in Zenobia. Gwen and her cousins, Trudy and Milo, receive a letter from Gwen’s adopted sister, Tannith, informing them that she’s bewitched one of their partners and will run away with him at the end of the week. While Gwen frets about whether to trust her scientist boyfriend, currently out of town on a beetle-studying trip, she’s worried that local grad student Jeremy is secretly a Watcher doing his own research.
 
Cousin Trudy is so stressed that she accidentally enchants her cupcakes, creating havoc among her bakery customers—and in her marriage. Perhaps it’s time the family took back control and figured out how to harness their powers. How else can Gwen decide whether her growing feelings for Jeremy are real—or the result of too many of Trudy’s cupcakes?

My Review:

This book was cute, funny, had cupcake magic and transformation of animals! Since there was so much going on the story, the story did lose a few sparks for me. I did read the whole thing because I wanted to see what was going to happen to : Tannith, Gwen, Trudy and even Gwen’s aunt who can be snarky at times. Gwen the main character was great because she took control of how to solve the problem that was happening. I can only imagine how her stress level was.

It was different to me. I don’t know if it was because so much was going on or because my mood has been on and off lately. I am glad that I read it because it did have parts making me smile and some parts giggling a bit. The romance aspect of the book did not seem that intense but it was there. I will say that the last few line in the story had my heart feeling warm. Here is the line “Moonlight broke through the clouds and Jeremey pulled away slowly, looking into my eyes. “It wasn’t the cupcakes,” he said. “

If you are looking for witches in a comedy chaos, then this book is for you!

The cover is so cute!!

I spy Youth Fiction Books


Check out these Youth Fiction books.

It is 1913, and twelve-year-old Petra Luna’s mama has died while the Revolution rages in Mexico. Before her papa is dragged away by soldiers, Petra vows to him that she will care for the family she has left—her abuelita, little sister Amelia, and baby brother Luisito—until they can be reunited. They flee north through the unforgiving desert as their town burns, searching for safe harbor in a world that offers none.

Each night when Petra closes her eyes, she holds her dreams close, especially her long-held desire to learn to read. Abuelita calls these barefoot dreams: “They’re like us barefoot peasants and indios—they’re not meant to go far.” But Petra refuses to listen. Through battlefields and deserts, hunger and fear, Petra will stop at nothing to keep her family safe and lead them to a better life across the U.S. border—a life where her barefoot dreams could finally become reality.

Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas—and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win.

Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an anniversary that has everyone in his Muslim community on edge.

With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice?

In the hottest hour of the hottest day of the year, a fateful wind blows into Oaxaca City. It whistles down cobbled streets and rustles the jacaranda trees before slipping into the window of an eleven-year-old girl named Clara. Unbeknownst to her, Clara has been marked for la Lotería.
 
Life and Death deal the Lotería cards but once a year, and the stakes could not be higher. Every card reveals a new twist in Clara’s fate—a scorpion, an arrow, a blood-red rose. If Life wins, Clara will live to a ripe old age. If Death prevails, she’ll flicker out like a candle. 
 
But Clara knows none of this. All she knows is that her young cousin Esteban has vanished, and she’ll do whatever it takes to save him, traveling to the mythical Kingdom of Las Pozas, where every action has a price, and every choice has consequences. And though it seems her fate is sealed, Clara just might have what it takes to shatter the game and choose a new path.

Kazu knows something odd is going on when he sees a girl in a white kimono sneak out of his house in the middle of the night―was he dreaming? Did he see a ghost? Things get even stranger when he shows up to school the next day to see the very same figure sitting in his classroom. No one else thinks it’s weird, and, even though Kazu doesn’t remember ever seeing her before, they all seem convinced that the ghost-girl Akari has been their friend for years!

When Kazu’s summer project to learn about Kimyo Temple draws the meddling attention of his mysterious neighbor Ms. Minakami and his secretive new classmate Akari, Kazu soon learns that not everything is as it seems in his hometown. Kazu discovers that Kimyo Temple is linked to a long forgotten legend about bringing the dead to life, which could explain Akari’s sudden appearance―is she a zombie or a ghost? Kazu and Akari join forces to find and protect the source of the temple’s power. An unfinished story in a magazine from Akari’s youth might just hold the key to keeping Akari in the world of the living, and it’s up to them to find the story’s ending and solve the mystery as the adults around them conspire to stop them from finding the truth.

Javi Santiago is trying his best not to fail sixth grade. So, when the annual “invite any three people to dinner” homework assignment rolls around, Javi enlists his best friend, Wiki, and his sister, Brady, to help him knock it out of the park.

But the dinner party is a lot more than they bargained for. The family’s mysterious antique table actually brings the historical guests to the meal…and Blackbeard the Pirate is turning out to be the worst guest of all time.

Before they can say “avast, ye maties,” Blackbeard escapes, determined to summon his bloodthirsty pirate crew. And as Javi, Wiki, and Brady try to figure out how to get Blackbeard back into his own time, they might have to invite some even zanier figures to set things right again…

I spy Night Fright Series Youth

Youth fiction books for ages 7 to 12 years old.
Check them out.

Wolver Hollow is not a normal town. The adults are too busy shuffling off to work at the old coffin factory to notice or care, but the kids know all about monsters, ghosts, and strange lights in the sky. Strange things happen in Wolver Hollow. Creepy things.

But fifth graders Parker and Lucas are determined to debunk one of Wolver Hollow’s legends: Over a hundred years ago, Bockius Beauregard was vaporized in an unfortunate accident and all that remained was his magnificent mustache. People say it returns every year, on the anniversary of Bockius’s death, seeking a lip to claim as its own! When the boys try to prove the story is fake, the find more than they bargained for.

Wolver Hollow is not a normal town. The adults are too busy shuffling off to work at the old coffin factory to notice or care, but the kids know all about monsters, ghosts, and strange lights in the sky. Strange things happen in Wolver Hollow. Creepy things.

Madeline Harper does not like lima beans and she’s not afraid to make that clear. But when she gets sent to bed for not eating her vegetables, she’ll find something far worse than her mother’s frustration. A lima bean scorned is a terrible thing and it will not stop until Madeline Harper eats her vegetables!

I spy Teen Fiction

Check these two Teen Fiction books out!

Meeting a gorgeous guy in a rideshare headed to Lollapalooza is not how Mari expected her Chicago summer to start. She doesn’t believe in dating…but TJ may just change her mind. Can an electric, weekend romance turn into more than just a summer fling?

When Mari hails a Ryde to a music festival, the last thing she expects is for the car to pick up a gorgeous guy along the way. Mari doesn’t believe in dating—it can only end with a broken heart. Besides, she’s only staying at her dad’s house in Chicago for the weekend. How close can you get to a guy in three days?

TJ wants to study art in college, but his family’s expectations cast a long shadow over his dreams. When he meets Mari in the back of a rideshare, he feels alive for the first time in a long time.

Mari and TJ enter the festival together and share an electric moment but get separated in a crowd with seemingly no way to find each other. When fate reunites them (with a little help from a viral hashtag), they’ll have to decide: was it love at first sight, or the start of nothing more than a weekend fling?

When Isabella Brixton is forced to move from New York City to a tiny town, she’s not thrilled. The silver lining is the gorgeous old mansion she now calls home. As the former residence of a glamorous patron of the arts and muse who died many decades ago, the house has its quirks: whole floors are boarded up, old paintings are covered, and cell reception is nonexistent.

Isa is ready to hate her new life, but things turn around when her classmate Alexa, a skilled photographer, suggests they start an Instagram account featuring portraits of Isa inside the mansion. Wearing gowns and jewelry hidden away in the house, Isa looks perfect in the unfiltered photos—almost unnaturally so—and they quickly go viral. Soon she’s got a new best friend, a potential boyfriend, and is surrounded by a group of girls who want the photoshoots and fame for themselves. But there’s a darkness in the house, and a darkness growing in Isa, too. When girls start getting hurt, it’s clear that something—or someone—in the house is growing in power, with deadly intentions.

I spy Fantasy Fiction

I spy these today:

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails—and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.

But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse.

But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective—while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if he’s to survive.

There’s only one Al MacBharrais: Though other Scotsmen may have dramatic mustaches and a taste for fancy cocktails, Al also has a unique talent. He’s a master of ink and sigil magic. In his gifted hands, paper and pen can work wondrous spells. 

But Al isn’t quite alone: He is part of a global network of sigil agents who use their powers to protect the world from mischievous gods and strange monsters. So when a fellow agent disappears under sinister circumstances in Australia, Al leaves behind the cozy pubs and cafes of Glasgow and travels to the Dandenong Ranges in Victoria to solve the mystery.

The trail to his colleague begins to pile up with bodies at alarming speed, so Al is grateful his friends have come to help—especially Nadia, his accountant who moonlights as a pit fighter. Together with a whisky-loving hobgoblin known as Buck Foi and the ancient Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, along with his dogs, Oberon and Starbuck, Al and Nadia will face down the wildest wonders Australia—and the supernatural world—can throw at them, and confront a legendary monster not seen in centuries.

I spy fiction and a graphic novel

Fiction away!

Take your pick on which one captures your attention.

I did glance at March One and it is pretty powerful!

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book “Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story.” Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers.

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

Edinburgh, Scotland. March 1832. Kiera and Gage have been eagerly awaiting their bundle of joy but trouble has been brewing in the form of the roguish criminal Bonnie Brock Kincaid. A new book and subsequent play features some of Kincaid’s daringly heinous exploits, although he swears he had nothing to do with it or the characters which are obvious representations of Kiera and Gage. While the scoundrel’s fury seems genuine, as well as his determined quest to uncover the real identity of the author, the Gages still hold doubts about his innocence.

A rash of crimes break out across the city, seemingly inspired by the play and book. When the publisher is found brutally murdered–in an imitation of a gruesome scene–the finger not only points to Bonnie Brock as the possible culprit, but also the Gages, who have been outspoken in their condemnation of the tale. Now, the Gages are on a hunt to unmask the killer. Between the infamy garnered by the play, the cholera outbreak still wreaking havoc throughout the city, and the impending birth of their child, they will need all the resources they can garner.

But family quarrels and the revelation of a secret Kiera has been keeping from Sebastian threaten to undermine everything they have overcome. When they find themselves in the crosshairs of the killer, trapped in the squalid underground vaults of the city, they will soon discover that the truth does not always set you free, and death can lurk around any corner.

When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can’t banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. Compelled to capture every detail, she creates a stunning portrait but is forced to sell it when the rent comes due. What could be worse than surrendering the very picture of your desire? Meeting the man himself. 

Anthony Philby, Duke of Weston, is nobody’s muse. Upon discovering the scandalous likeness, he springs into action. His infamous family has been torn apart by shame and secrets, and he can’t afford more gossip. Even a whisper may jeopardize his inheritance and his chance at independence. His plan is simple: burn the painting, confront the artist. Or rather, it’s simple until he meets Lucy and decides to offer the bewitching young artist a devil’s bargain.  He’ll help save her foreclosed home, if she’ll help repair his family’s brutal legacy.

Youth Series – Azaeleah Lane

Check these out!
I have briefly glanced at these books and they’re awesome!

Azaleah can’t wait for her class field trip to the National Zoo in Washington D.C., especially when her teacher announces the chance to earn extra credit. But when Azaleah gets home, she quickly realizes extra credit isn’t as easy as she thought. Azaleah’s younger sister Tiana can’t find Greenie, her stuffed animal, and she’s sure he’s been stolen. With Mama at the restaurant and Daddy at work on a big case, it seems Azaleah is the only one available to track down the stolen stuffie. Can Azaleah get to the bottom of the mystery in time to finish her extra credit?

Azaleah’s big sister, Nia, has been cast as Willa Wonka in the school musical, and the entire Lane family is looking forward to the show. Azaleah has even helped plan a surprise dinner party for Nia at Avec Amour, Mama’s restaurant. But then the real drama starts. At the first rehearsal, all sorts of things go wrong: missing batteries, sets falling over, props misplaced . . . It’s so many things, in fact, that Azaleah suspects “foul play.” And when the special effects on Nia’s costume don’t work at dress rehearsal, Nia is a nervous wreck. To top it all off, the high school journalism class is covering the performance for the school blog, and the director doesn’t have time to replace Nia’s costume. Nia has to wear it without the special effects. Azaleah becomes determined to make sure the musical isn’t ruined for Nia. Azaleah has to get to the bottom of the mysterious rehearsal troubles, and finish party preparations, before the curtain goes up.

I spy Youth Fiction

I spy these fiction books for youth.
They all cover a variety of topics!
Check them out today.

Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime?

A crime he says he never committed.

Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge.

But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.

An enchanting fantasy adventure about the importance of bravery, resourcefulness, and following your heart from a debut celebrity author.

The most important rule to follow when you hunt for hat ingredients is this: keep wildness in your wits and magic in your fingertips.

In Cordelia’s London, magic is real and is woven into objects created by the five Maker families: the Hatmakers, the Bootmakers, the Watchmakers, the Cloakmakers, and the Glovemakers. Growing up in her father Prospero’s footsteps, eleven-year-old Cordelia Hatmaker has learned the family’s ancient skills and secrets so she can one day make her own enchanted hats.

When Prospero and his ship are lost at sea during an important ingredient expedition, her grief-stricken aunt and uncle must turn their attention toward fulfilling a decree to create a Peace Hat for the king. But Cordelia refuses to accept that her father is gone for good and desperately begins making plans to find him. Then, the Peace Hat is stolen―along with the Peace Boots, Watch, Cloak, and Gloves―and Cordelia realizes that there is a more menacing plot against the Makers’ Guild, and that Prospero Hatmaker’s disappearance may be connected. Cordelia must uncover the truth about who is behind the thefts if she is to save the Makers and find out what really happened to her father.

It’s been a hard year for Maisie Cannon, ever since she hurt her leg and could not keep up with her ballet training and auditions.

Her blended family is loving and supportive, but Maisie knows that they just can’t understand how hopeless she feels. With everything she’s dealing with, Maisie is not excited for their family midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up.

But soon, Maisie’s anxieties and dark moods start to hurt as much as the pain in her knee. How can she keep pretending to be strong when on the inside she feels as roiling and cold as the ocean?

When 12-year-old Billy Chan finds out his parents are sending him to a language and culture camp in the middle-of-nowhere China, he can’t imagine anything worse. He’s not expecting to become friends with fellow campers Dylan O’Donnell, Charlotte Bell, and Liu Ling-Fei. And he’s definitely not planning to meet any dragons. But when the four kids accidentally open a crack in an ancient mountain, they become involved in an ages-old struggle of good versus evil. Now it’s up to them to save the Dragon Realm—if they don’t, the world as they know it might disappear forever.

A must-read for young feminists, The Prettiest is an incisive, empowering novel by Brigit Young about fighting back against sexism and objectification.

THE PRETTIEST: It’s the last thing Eve Hoffmann expected to be, the only thing Sophie Kane wants to be, and something Nessa Flores-Brady knows she’ll never be . . . until a list appears online, ranking the top fifty prettiest girls in the eighth grade.

Eve is disgusted by the way her body is suddenly being objectified by everyone around her.
Sophie is sick of the bullying she’s endured after being relegated to number two.
And Nessa is tired of everyone else trying to tell her who she is.

It’s time for a takedown. As the three girls band together, they begin to stand up not just for themselves, but for one another, too.

Beatrice Miller may have a granny’s name (her granny’s, to be more specific), but she adores her Mamaw and her mom, who give her every bit of wisdom and love they have. But the summer before seventh grade, Bea wants more than she has, aches for what she can’t have, and wonders what the future will bring.

This novel in verse follows Beatrice through the ups and downs of friendships, puberty, and identity as she asks: Who am I? Who will I become? And will my outside ever match the way I feel on the inside?

A gorgeous, inter-generational story of Southern women and a girl’s path blossoming into her sense of self, Reckless, Glorious, Girl explores the important questions we all ask as we race toward growing up.

I spy a Mystery

Okay I am not a really a fan of reading mysteries but this cover caught my eye.
I read the blurb about it and thought it sounded pretty interesting.
I am putting this in my to read pile.
Tell me what you think.


Summary:
After a security guard is found dead and another wounded at the Children’s Museum of Science and History in Norman, Oklahoma, Detective Monique Blue Hawk and her partner Chris Pierson are summoned to investigate. They find no fingerprints, no footprints, and no obvious means to enter the locked building.

Monique discovers that a portion of an ancient and deformed skeleton had also been stolen from the neglected museum archives. Her uncle, the spiritual leader Leroy Bear Red Ears, concludes that the stolen remains are those of Hatak haksi, a witch and the matriarch of the Crow family, a group of shape-shifting Choctaws who plan to reestablish themselves as the powerful creatures they were when the tribe lived in Mississippi. Monique, Leroy, and Chris must stop the Crows, but to their dread, the entities have retreated to the dark and treacherous hollow in the center of Chalakwa Ranch. The murderous shape-shifters believe the enormous wild hogs, poisonous snakes, and other creatures of the hollow might form an adequate defense for Hatak haksi.

Lucky 8 Books – Youth Chapter Books

Check these adorable Youth Fiction Chapter books.  There are four books in this set.  Each book consists of 48 pages.  It is pretty easy story to follow.  Something fun to read for beginner chapter book readers!

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Book # 1
Makayla and Liam Park have just moved into Deadwood Hill. While the house is new to them, a witch lived on that exact spot centuries ago. Liam discovers a Magic 8 Ball in the attic that knows things it shouldn’t. Is it helpful or haunted? Cannot predict now!

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Book #2
It’s Makayla and Liam’s first day at their new school. Makayla hears whispers that their house is cursed. The twins later learn that a girl their age disappeared from there just one year ago. Does the Magic 8 Ball have something to do with it? Most Likely!

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Book #3
Makayla and Liam have discovered the missing girl is named Jo Ann. She is trapped in another dimension. The twins want to save her. Through the Magic 8 Ball, she tells them how to get there. It looks dangerous, but can they resist? Very Doubtful!

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Book #4
Makayla and Liam arrive in the other dimension to rescue Jo Ann. But all is not as it seemed. The twins have been tricked! Can they free themselves or will they be trapped there forever?Better not tell you now!