Categories
Books Reviews Young Adult

Lea Nolan’s “Conjure”

I was drawn to Conjure by Lea Nolan because it sounded like a girl’s girl kind of book:

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

 

You know I love a book about a strong girl and girl power.  I don’t mind love stories so much as I need the girl to have a brain of her own even if she does like boys.  (I suppose somewhere I’m still 12.)  That’s where Emma Guthrie comes in.  She’s a young teenager with a twin brother.  Their best friend has grown into a hottie and she can’t stop her growing feelings for him.  So here’s where it gets fun; They live in South Carolina in the low country area that’s famed for its Gullah population.  The Gullahs were originally brought over as slaves and stayed in the area long after emancipation.  This culture is known for its belief in certain types of magic, called hoodoo, not to be confused with voodoo.

What’s so fun about Conjure is that she explores the Gullah and the hoodoo culture and we become experts on the subject while having fun! This book is rare because the African American characters drive the story and are not merely sidekicks.  I can already picture the stern but lovable Miss Delia in my mind’s eye.  She looks alot like Cicely Tyson from “Because of Winn Dixie.”

courtesy imdb

Miss Delia is a tough old broad and looks a little crazy but full of love.

So, not only does Nolan make Miss Delia a driving character, Maggie, who is Jack’s love interest, is also African American and none of that seems to make a bit of difference to anyone in the story.   I love it!

Another thing I love about the story is the use of the hoodoo. To be sure, I don’t like to be scared and one evil character, in particular, scared the wits out of me. It was Sabina and here’s how I pictured her to look:

courtesy The [email protected]

This nice lady here is an example of how the Gullah might have looked back in the day.  Now imagine her all angry and menacing and chanting spells.  She even scared a bunch of pirates!

Did I mention pirates? You gotta love a book that has pirates, right?

So no more blah blah blah from me.  Read the book and find out about Emma, her love interest and WHY the title is called Conjure.

And maybe sleep with one eye open.

Just in case a boo hag is coming to get you.

I give this book four paws not just because I’m scared of someone putting a curse on me but because of the full complement of African American characters in the book.

 

Categories
Books Young Adult

Book Review: Allure by @Lea_Nolan @HeatherRiccio

Allue Lea Nolan

You many not know this, but PammyPam is part of an elite street ninja team called the Apprentices.  We are handpicked for our ingenious skills by our leader, author and head ninja, Lea Nolan.  As part of this elite squad of ninjas, we get to hear the latest news about Lea’s writings.  Lea’s first book, Conjure:

Be careful what you search for…

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge; demon dogs become a threat; and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends–are lost forever.

 

I loved Conjure so much! It’s so refreshing to read a YA book that’s not too mushy and is appropriate for the younger YAs, 12-14.  Here’s my review.  You can imagine I was over the moon when, through a little hoodoo magic, I conjured up an advanced copy of Allure, the sequel to Conjure! Here’s the blurb:

Worst. Summer. Ever.

Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper’s sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.

Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Face with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.

 

Allure is just as good as Conjure, but maybe just a tad better. You know why?  If you were wondering what boo hags looked like after reading Conjure, you’ll find out in Allure.  And believe me, boo hags are the stuff of nightmares.  I can see why Delia didn’t want the kids to run into any. Scary stuff! Lea Nolan shares her hoodoo knowledge and makes me feel like I’m reading Delia’s book of spells myself!  There are only a few points of contention in the book, which I’ll not share for fear of spoiling, but let’s just say, that the boo hags aren’t the only things that will upset you.  Nolan introduces new characters and eliminates old ones; you’ll be conflicted.  But in a good way.

I can’t wait for the rest of the world to get their hands on Allure so they can love it like I do!

I give Allure 4 paws due to the multi ethnic portrayals and easy relationships.  Add these two titles to your collection.  Girls of all colors will appreciate it!

Unconventional Librarian 4paws

Categories
Giveaways Young Adult

OMG It’s the new Allure cover by Lea Nolan!

Today, we’re celebrating the cover reveal of Allure, the sequel to Lea Nolan’s Conjure, coming October 1st from Entangled Teen!
 
Worst. Summer. Ever.
Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper’s sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.
Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Face with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.
Amazon
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| Indiebound
| Goodreads
| Facebook
Praise for Conjure
“Richly filled with exquisite imagery, a compelling story, and a strong, smart heroine, Conjure will keep you up way past your bedtime.” ~ Trinity Faegen, author of The Mephisto Covenant series
“A true adventure, complete with pirates, romance, a flesh-eating curse, and ancient magic. I couldn’t put it down!” ~ Inara Scott, author of The Talents (Delcroix Academy) series
“Ifthere is one book teens and adults should have on their must read list, Conjure is it! Fans of young love and adventure will hurry to the end of each chapter, in anticipation of what will happen next. Unfolding at an easy pace, this tale is magical and spellbinding. Nolan is one to watch!” ~ RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ Stars Top Pick
“Conjure is a sweet, adventure-packed romp for young teen readers… There are pirates, lost treasure, curses, and ancient curses, chases, narrow escapes, and secret letters galore.” ~ New York Journal of Books
“This is an unexpected read: exciting, dangerous, adventurous – everything we want from a good book. Yet Nolan puts that creative twist on all the elements, making Conjure something special. Conjure is recommended, 4 out of 5 stars.” ~ Teen Librarian’s Toolbox
About the Author
Lea Nolan couldn’t read until the third grade. After a lot of hard work she finally got the hang of it and quickly learned the best way to get out of doing chores was to tell her parents she was reading. Soon she was hooked, devouring books by Roald Dahl, E.B. White, Judy Blume, C.S. Lewis, and anything with a shiny Newberry Award sticker on the cover. Books provided a portal to enchanted lands where anything was possible and characters relied on their wits to wiggle out of sticky situations. Today, even though she’s all grown up, Lea writes the kinds of stories she sought as a teen–smart paranormals with bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She holds degrees in history and women’s studies concentrating in public policy and spent fifteen years as a health policy analyst and researcher. She lives in Maryland with her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, who’ve figured out how to get out of doing their chores.
Website
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Giveaway
Enter the giveaway below to win one of the first five electronic ARCs of Allure from Entangled Teen!

 

Categories
Books

Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank

Categories
Adult Fiction Books Reviews

Porch Lights Dorothea Benton Frank a TLC Tour

There is nothing I love more when on vacation is to indulge in a beach read.  The sun and sand are an intoxicating cocktail that rejuvenates me and helps me get through the year.  Reading Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank is like being on vacation.

pl-book-preview

Imagine the South Carolina Lowcountry, a screened in porch, a salty breeze and glasses of sweet tea at the ready.  That’s the makings of this sweet read.  Never having been to any of the Carolinas, Dottie’s writings makes me yearn for a summer at The Salty Dog.  Not only is Annie the perfect hostess, I’m pretty sure I could get my fill of Edgar Allen Poe’s books read from the Poe library.  The characters in this tale are easy to get along with, especially since they spend most of their time eating, drinking cocktails on the porch, or admiring the ocean: the newly widowed Jackie, poor fatherless Charlie, the handsome doctor next door, the tireless neighbor friend Deb and Guster, the husband.

To be sure, I don’t quite know what to make of the relationship between Annie and Guster but aside from that weird bit, the story of healing, reconnection, and family made me want to sit on the porch with Jackie and Annie to share some of that love.  It didn’t hurt that we were having some unusually warm weather here in the Philadelphia area so that I had the windows open and experienced a warm breeze that I pretended was the ocean breeze; I was transported to Sullivans Island!

I’m not sure what the appeal of South Carolina Lowcountry is to literature, but this title and Conjure by Lea Nolan make me want to visit.  I enjoyed the easy to read book.  While I wish there were ethnically diverse characters in the book, it is a great beach read.

I look forward to reading The Last Original Wife when it debuts in June!

Three paws for Poe history!

Unconventional Librarian 3 paws

 

Categories
Books Reviews Young Adult

Conjure by Lea Nolan

I was drawn to Conjure by Lea Nolan because it sounded like a girl’s girl kind of book:

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

 

You know I love a book about a strong girl and girl power.  I don’t mind love stories so much as I need the girl to have a brain of her own even if she does like boys.  (I suppose somewhere I’m still 12)  That’s where Emma Guthrie comes in.  She’s a young teenager with a twin brother.  Their best friend has grown into a hottie and she can’t stop her growing feelings for him.  So here’s where it gets fun; They live in South Carolina in the lowcountry area that’s famed for its Gullah population.  The Gullahs were originally brought over as slaves and stayed in the area long after emancipation.  This culture is known for its belief in certain types of magic, called hoodoo, not to be confused with voodoo.

What’s so fun about Conjure is that she explores the Gullah and the hoodoo culture and we become experts on the subject while having fun! This book is rare because the African American characters drive the story and are not merely sidekicks.  I can already picture the stern but lovable Miss Delia in my mind’s eye.  She looks alot like Cicely Tyson from Because of Winn Dixie.

courtesy imdb

Miss Delia is a tough old broad and looks a little crazy but full of love.

So, not only does Nolan make Miss Delia a driving character, Maggie, who is Jack’s love interest, is also African American and none of that seems to make a bit of difference to anyone in the story.   I love it!

Another thing I love about the story is the use of the hoodoo. To be sure, I don’t like to be scared and one evil character in particular scared the wits out of me. It was Sabina and here’s how I pictured her to look:

courtesy The [email protected]

This nice lady here is an example of how the Gullah might have looked back in the day.  Now imagine her all angry and menacing and chanting spells.  She even scared a bunch of pirates!

Did I mention pirates? You gotta love a book that has pirates, right?

So no more blah blah blah from me.  Read the book and find out about Emma, her love interest and WHY the title is called Conjure.

And maybe sleep with one eye open.

Just in case a boo hag is coming to get you.

I give this book four paws not just because I’m scared of someone putting a curse on me but because of the full complement of African American characters in the book.