Blog Tour: Black Bird of the Gallows

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Hello lovelies and welcome to my stop for the Black Bird of the Gallows blog tour. I’m really excited to be part of this tour and rave about this book. If you’re new to my blog, welcome to Sincerely Karen Jo. Hope you enjoy reading my review and leave a comment down below.

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4.5 – DARK THRILLING PARANORMAL ROMANCE
PUBLISHED BY ENTANGLED PUBSLISHING SEPTEMBER 5, 2017
GENRE(S): YOUNG ADULT, ROMANCE, PARANORMAL, FANTASY
PAGES: HARDCOVER 300 PAGES

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Synopsis

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.
Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.
What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.

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Review

Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel is a wonderful debut novel that reminded me of the reasons why I love paranormal romances. It’s deliciously dark, satisfyingly eerie, and absolutely enthralling.

Kassel’s writing is beautiful and utterly captivating. I really liked the premise of the story and the spooky atmosphere. This book also gave me some Twilight FEELS and I loved it! The world building is fantastic and very imaginative. I’ve never read anything about harbingers or beekeepers, so that part definitely fascinated me. The plot has plenty of action, mystery, suspense and drama that kept me on the edge and completely hooked. The characters are genuine and likable that I couldn’t help but root for them all. The romance is a bit weird at times (you’ll find out when you read the book), but I still enjoyed it. The paranormal aspects can be quite disturbing, but I didn’t mind it at all. I was completely engrossed the entire time that I didn’t want the story to end.

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I liked Angie right off the bat. Her personality is inviting and that made it easy for me to connect with her. She’s also a fantastic heroine. Despite going through something horrible and having insecurities, she’s quite resilient, determined and very brave.

Reece is enigmatic, alluring, and has that “bad boy” vibe going on. You just know there’s something more about him, but whatever he’s hiding doesn’t really matter. He’s charmed his way into your heart and you just can’t resist him. I don’t know what it is exactly, but there’s something intriguing about the brooding tortured soul that always gets to me. Not to mention Reece is sweet, caring, and really handsome.

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While there is an insta-love in this book, I thought it was quite well done. There’s a backstory (kind of creepy, but reasonable in the supernatural way) that helped explained why Angie and Reece were drawn to each other. I also thought that their relationship progressed at a really good pace. They didn’t rush into anything or immediately declared their feelings. They both kept each other at a distance to some extent. But no matter what, the spark between them was undeniable. I enjoyed seeing them interact and deal with their attraction. Their bantering was super adorable and had me smiling. Their kisses were steamy and so swoony. They’re just so cute and I absolutely loved their chemistry.

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With gorgeous writing, an engaging story line, fantastic characters and sweet romance, Black Bird of the Gallows had me enchanted all the way through. There are so many things I love about this book and I honestly can’t recommend it enough. While this book is perfect for paranormal romance lovers, I definitely think anyone looking for a fun thrilling read would enjoy this too.

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Excerpt

His soft voice clashes with the intensity of his gaze. “You’re adorable when you’re trying to be mad at me. You needn’t work so hard at it, though. We aren’t meant to be adversaries.” 
“I, um…” My thoughts disband, leaving nothing for communication purposes. I’m adorable? Adorable has many definitions. I think my dog is adorable, for example. “That…wasn’t what I was going to ask you.”
He inclines his head. “Okay, then. Ask.”
But that “adorable” echoes through me, clinking around like a penny down a well. “What are we meant to be, then?”
His lips curls up at the corners. “That wasn’t your question, either.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meg KasselMeg Kassel is an author of paranormal and speculative books for young adults. A New Jersey native, Meg graduated from Parson’s School of Design and worked as a graphic designer before becoming a writer. She now lives in Maine with her husband and daughter and is busy at work on her next novel. She is the 2016 RWA Golden Heart© winner in YA.

Follow and Connect with Meg Kassel

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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Giveway Information: Three (3) winners will receive A Black Bird of the Gallows canvas tote bag (11“x14”) which includes a custom made crow pendant and ball chain, bookmark and stickers, $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT):

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Blog Tour: Summoner

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Welcome to my stop for the Summoner blog tour. I’m so thrilled to be part of this tour. If you’re new, welcome to Sincerely Karen Jo. Hope you enjoy reading and don’t be shy to leave a comment down below.

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 4.5 – Fantastic Heartwrenching YA Paranormal Romance
Published by Entangled Teen September 4, 2017
Genre(s): Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Pages: 320 Pages
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When Allie’s best friend dares their group to play a game in a cemetery—something she calls “witching”—Allie never expects what it might mean for her. When she plays, she doesn’t just find bodies, she summons their souls. But one soul wants more than Allie is willing to give.
And the boy next door could be the key to saving her.
Cody Burkhart. Straight from Montana, cowboy hat wearing, and smoking hot, he’s just the thing to help Allie become “normal” again after the death of her mother. And as her newly appointed Guardian, he’s also just the thing to help Allie ward off the vengeful spirit who’s after her soul. Except Cody has his own demons to slay that keep him closed off. But as the full moon approaches, so does their only chance to break the curse, and Cody will have to make the biggest sacrifice of all.

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Review

Summoner by S.D. Grimm surprised me in so many ways and it was pretty fantastic! To be honest, this book was not what I expected it to be, but that turned out to be a really good thing.

Grimm’s writing is beautiful, evocative, and had a nice flow that made it easy to read. The premise is intriguing and had me hooked from the very first page. I thought the idea of witching and summoning spirits was quite fascinating and I wanted to know more about it. The plot is fast-paced and full of action. The mystery, suspense, and danger had me holding my breath a few times and I absolutely loved it!

The characters are so well written and realistic. I liked Allie from the start and I understood her reasons for doing what she did. Cody is very caring and kind that seeing him so guilt-ridden was distressing. Both Allie and Cody are dealing with their own losses and struggling with grief that my heart completely broke for them. It just seemed so right that they would find comfort in each other. While there was an instant attraction between Allie and Cody, I thought their chemistry felt genuine and real. Watching them help each other heal and develop a playful and sweet relationship was so satisfying. Their bantering and flirting made me smile and swoon so much… instalove or not, I totally ship Allie and Cody and I rooted for them the entire time.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love that Summoner is not your typical young adult paranormal romance. There’s definitely the supernatural fantasy aspect, the mysterious hard to resist hot guy, and plenty of adorable flirting. BUT more than that, this book deals with difficult real life issues. Grimm does a terrific job portraying the sadness of losing someone you love and the agony of living with guilt. She shows how healing and learning to forgive yourself are not that easy and will take time. I really wasn’t expecting this to be deeply affecting or heartbreaking, but that’s what makes this story brilliant and so powerful. And yes… I absolutely recommend that everyone pick this up!

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Excerpt

Mandy was right; moonlight made it easier to see, but the uneasy feeling in my stomach intensified as I moved toward that grouping of headstones. They were crooked and uneven. Like the ground beneath them settled a long time ago but never actually stopped settling.
The damp air made it harder to breathe.
“All right, what do I do with these things?” Derek took one of the L-shaped wires from his sister.
An involuntary shiver crept up my back as I recalled how cold those things were.
“Hold it like this.” Nell held the smaller section of the wire in her hand, letting the larger section point straight out in front of her. “One in each hand.” She gave Derek the other one. “Now, loosen your grip so they’re free to move when they want to, and start walking.”
Derek examined his metal rods. “You’re saying they’ll move on their own?”
“Yep.”
“No way.” Derek shook his head and tried to hand the hanger back.
“You scared?” Nell’s smile was evident in her voice.
“No.”
“Good.” Nell pointed toward the graves. “When you’re over an actual body, you’ll see the two points converge.” She held her arms in front of her as if they were the metal coat hangers. Then she folded them and her fingertips nearly touched. “If one side still sways—” she demonstrated by moving her right hand a little, “—then you’ve most likely hit a female.”
“You can’t possibly tell that.” Mandy’s voice was as breathless as I felt.
Nell simply shrugged. “We’ll let the tombstones tell us afterward.”
Did she have any fears? Was I the only one covered in a chill that seemed to cling to my soul? Maybe Mom’s death had altered me in this area, too. Death wasn’t this far-off elusive thing that I never thought about anymore. Death was real. Always present in my thoughts because of the hole it had left in my heart.
Derek tried to hand his sister the rods. “Maybe you should go first and show us.”
Nell made chicken noises.
Derek shifted his shoulders like he was preparing to shoot a free throw. “I just don’t want to mess up.”
Hunter groaned until Derek started walking. At first, nothing happened. Then, as he walked past the headstone, to the other side, the metal rods twitched toward him.
“Whoa.” He stopped.
Imaginary centipedes raced across my skin.
“Keep going,” Nell whispered.

About the Author

Sarah Grimm_Headshot SmallD. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and author of SCARLET MOON. She currently has four books under contract, including the remainder of her YA fantasy series Children of the Blood Moon. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and binge-watching shows with great characters. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog. You can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com.

Follow and Connect with S.D. Grimm: Website |  Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram |  Goodreads | Newsletter | Spotify |  Entangled Publishing

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