Monday, February 25, 2013

Early Review, Excerpt and Giveaway - The Midnight Spell by Rhiannon Frater and Kody Boye

We are excited that today is our stop on The Midnight Spell blog tour. We 
have an excerpt of the upcoming novel, a review and two giveaways (the first 
giveaway is an e-copy of The Midnight Spell and the second is the Tour Grand 
Prize!)!  I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

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It all started with a spell. A spell performed at midnight. Little did we know that our simple little love spell to bring the one true love of my best friend Adam to our little hick town would cause so much trouble.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I suppose I should explain just a little about me and Adam.
Adam and I were best friends from the minute we met in the corner of the school yard of our elementary in Trinity Springs, Texas. The first day of kindergarten we bonded as our outsider status was firmly established in the minds of our classmates. We were the odd kids and our strangeness tossed us together. I was the weird little girl with roses tucked into her braids dressed all in black and he was the short little boy with red hair, freckles and bad allergies. I remember how small he was compared to me and I wondered if he was a leprechaun.
“Do you have a pot of gold?” I asked.
“No. Are you in the Addams family?” he countered.
We stared at each other with a mix of disappointment and hope.
“Want to play on the swings?” I suggested.
And that was when we became BFFs. We were always together after that day. We sat next to each other in class and at lunch. We played together on the playground and visited each other’s houses after school. Despite the scorn of our classmates, we were relatively happy. Sometimes the taunting words hurt, but we mostly ignored our tormentors. We were okay with our exile to the outer reaches of the playground.
The labels given so long ago stuck with us through the rest of elementary, junior high, and into high school. Even as juniors we heard the same insults that we did that first day of kindergarten.
Adam and I always smile when we hear the words that are meant to hurt.
Because they’re true.

Best friends since kindergarten, Adam and Christy have always been the perpetual outsiders in their small town in Texas. The other kids call Adam gay and Christy a witch.
On both counts the bullies are right.  Their junior year in high school seems destined to be the same old same old until Christy decides to cast a love spell for Adam at the midnight hour. The next day an alluring and mysterious boy enrolls at school and sets hearts aflutter, including Adam’s. Meanwhile, Christy’s mad crush on the handsome football player Ian seems to be going nowhere fast and her witch puberty is making her life miserable.  When a great evil arrives in town that threatens everything they hold dear, the best friends realize that finding a boyfriend is the least of their worries. Soon Adam and Christy will have to battle a force of darkness that has killed in their town before, and will again.

Release Date: February 28, 2013
Publisher:  Self-Published
Genre:  Paranormal YA, magic

Adam and I always smile when we hear the words that are meant to hurt.  Why?  Because they're true.

Holy Scoobies!  I didn't know what to expect when I heard that Rhiannon Frater was co-writing a YA novel.  I should have known better - anything Frater writes will be something I like.  This novel was simply awesome.  The world of small town Texas was written perfectly, and the characters will definitely have me coming back for more.

Christy is a witch.  Her parents are very powerful, but Christy hasn't come into her powers just yet.   Christy is tall, a tad overweight and a bit awkward, especially when it comes to boys.  Christy's best friend is Adam. He is gay and has never really fit in.  The relationship between Adam and Christy is flawlessly written.  These two are best friends - they might as well be family.  The bond between them is obvious and heartwarming.  They would do anything for one another. 

One night, Christy tries her hand at a love spell.  She wants a gay boy to transfer into Trinity Springs so that Adam can have a boyfriend.  The next day at school, two new students enroll in their high school.  Olivia, a sarcastic blonde with pink highlights, and Mark, a dark, handsome and sexy transfer from Houston.  Olivia and Christy become fast friends, and Mark gravitates towards Adam's and Christy's group of social outcast friends.  

While Mark seems like the perfect man for Adam, it soon becomes apparent that things are not what they seem.  Mark has a dark past, and a jealous streak.  He begins to cause friction between Adam and Adam's family and friends.  Adam, Christy and the gang have to first learn Mark's true intentions and then to figure out how to stop all the strange things that are occurring in town.

 I love the magic in this book.  There are two sides to the magic that is used in this story.  The serious mojo magic, balanced with the Disney-type of magic.  Seriously - flying and spying brooms and cat familiars that know just a bit too much, and hard core, destroy-your-enemies heavy magic.  Christy matures in this book from a young witch with potential to a very powerful magic user.  The transformation doesn't occur overnight - Christy hits many bumps in the road to gaining a greater grasp on her abilities.

I LOVE the side characters in this story.  From Christy's wise parents to Adam's hip mother. Both sets of parents do their best to support their children, including allowing them to learn things the hard way.  Adam's mom especially provides comic relief.

"I have to worry.  It's a mom thing.  You know I have to worry about if you're eating a decent breakfast, if you're studying, if you're doing well in school.  All that shit.  Plus, I sometimes wish you could find a nice boy to date, though that is probably asking too much of this bum-fuck town."

Olivia is the perfect example of what a best friend should be.  She is snarky and truthful, loyal and intelligent. She proves early on that she is someone that Christy can always count on.  Olivia is there to help Christy figure out her problems and to provide support along the way.  She becomes one of Christy's most trusted friends.

"Do I look slutty?" I said worriedly.  "I would say we avoided slutty by flirting with outrageously sexy," Olivia assured me.

I loved the references to movies, TV shows, books and even zombies (a nod to Frater's epic As the World Dies series, perhaps?) throughout this novel.  There are so many examples that had me grinning from ear-to-ear.  There were many references to Buffy, and Christy, Adam and the gang really did start to feel like the Scoobies.  The "Edward" Halloween costume had me giggling!

"Anyhow," she continued," he was with a blonde...girl...named Heather, and you know all about Heathers, right?"

Another thing that blew me away, as it always does, is the creep factor.  I've read a few Rhiannon Frater books, and one thing she can do better than anyone is write scary as hell scenes.  I mean, heart pounding, short of breath, I'm-looking-under-my-bed terrifying chapters.  We see more of that towards the second half of this book.  There is a scene that takes place in Christy's room that had me hiding under the covers.

Frater and Boye do an excellent job in sharing the writing duties in this book.  The storytelling is seamless.  I couldn't notice a difference in the writing.  I really enjoyed the two different points of view.  The characters were fantastic and the authors did a great job showing the depth of Christy and Adam - both very intelligent teenagers with real, honest-to-God teenager thoughts and issues.  I can't wait to see where this series is taken in the future.  Christy and Adam are worth many, many more books!

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Bookworm Brandee said...

This books sounds really intriguing! Thanks for the lovely review and excerpt. And, of course, for the giveaways! :)

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