A favourite winter tradition for many is to take the family to a rendition of The Nutcracker ballet. If they can't go to the ballet, there are countless movies to stream instead. While we love both of these options for our Nutcracker fix; books are where it is at. Therefore it was a no brainer that we'd be picking up Midnight In Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar. It is a beautiful retelling of the classic tale. We will warn you all that this is a typical British written novel. The pacing is a little bit slower but the magic pulls you through until the very end. You still fall deeply in love with all the characters and the story. Just keep in mind that you need to be in the right mindset for a slow paced magical romp in order to enjoy it at its fullest.
With that said, we got to interview M.A. Kuzniar to find out where her choices came from and, of course, find out her tea (or lack of tea) preferences. Here's a quick blurb on what Midnight In Everwood is about and then onto the interview!
In the darkness of night, magic awaits…Nottingham, 1906
Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but, as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered – she must marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But, when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in Marietta’s life.
After Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance on Christmas Eve, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own – a magic darker than anyone could imagine. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself transported from her family’s ballroom to a frozen sugar palace, silent with secrets, in a forest of snow-topped fir trees. She must find a way to return home before she’s trapped in Everwood’s enchanting grip forever.
In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here…
Hello, friends! It’s officially the Holiday Season. It’s probably cliche to say this, but with each year that passes, it feels like the month of December goes faster and faster. We’re already a week and a half into the month, and we are already behind on our to-do lists. This year, we are really trying to shift our mental states and embrace what this season should be about : deep rest. Yes, there are still family expectations, but this need to hustle through the month always leaves me exhausted and wanting a break. With that in mind, we thought we would bring you some Holiday themed books that we revisit and love. These are books that give us all the warm cozy Holiday feelings, and get us into the festive mood.
Hello and welcome to the beautiful winter season here at Books, Tea & Whiskers. It's getting chilly out there so now is the perfect time to curl up by the fire with a cup of tea and our furry friends to keep us warm. The best books to do that with are those with a wintery tale, of course! Get cozy because we have two amazing author interviews for you which will help you choose your next favourite wintery read. First up is Ashli's newest favourite book (second to The Night Circus, but its climbed fast); The Winter Garden by Alexandra Bell. For this post, we are going to dive straight into the interview after this quick blurb to get you hooked:
"Welcome to the Winter Garden. Open only at 13 o'clock.
You are invited to enter an unusual competition.
I am looking for the most magical, spectacular, remarkable pleasure garden this world has to offer.
On the night her mother dies, 8-year-old Beatrice receives an invitation to the mysterious Winter Garden. A place of wonder and magic, filled with all manner of strange and spectacular flora and fauna, the garden is her solace every night for seven days. But when the garden disappears, and no one believes her story, Beatrice is left to wonder if it were truly real.
Eighteen years later, on the eve of her wedding to a man her late father approved of but she does not love, Beatrice makes the decision to throw off the expectations of Victorian English society and search for the garden. But when both she and her closest friend, Rosa, receive invitations to compete to create spectacular pleasure gardens - with the prize being one wish from the last of the Winter Garden's magic - she realises she may be closer to finding it than she ever imagined.
Now all she has to do is win."
When a book’s first description is “the Hunger Games for villains” there is no chance that we are missing that story. We’d like to think that all our readers are already aware; but we are major fans of the villains here at Books, Tea, & Whiskers. It’s only natural that we have decided to review and discuss the newest book from Amanda Foody, co-written with Christine Lynn Herman, All of Us Villains. It is such an interesting take on the idea of pitting children against each other in a battle for their lives. Blood before all; let’s get ourselves some Villains.
“The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins.
Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death.
The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world--one thought long depleted.
This year, thanks to a salacious tell-all book, the seven champions are thrust into worldwide spotlight, granting each of them new information, new means to win, and most importantly: a choice - accept their fate or rewrite their story.
But this is a story that must be penned in blood.”
Come into the Sin Corridor with us and discover which house is your ultimate destiny… Welcome to our discussion on Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco! You’ll remember that one of our first posts talked about Kingdom of the Wicked, book one of this beautifully haunting and sexy series by the author of the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. Ashli was on board for the whole thing, while Erin was busy questioning the time period. There is a lot to discuss about Emelia and Wrath’s adventures in this volume of their tale so let’s get to it!
“After selling her soul to become Queen of the Wicked, Emilia travels to the Seven Circles with the enigmatic Prince of Wrath, where she’s introduced to a seductive world of vice.
She vows to do whatever it takes to avenge her beloved sister, Vittoria... even if that means accepting the hand of the Prince of Pride, the king of demons.
The first rule in the court of the Wicked? Trust no one. With back-stabbing princes, luxurious palaces, mysterious party invitations, and conflicting clues about who really killed her twin, Emilia finds herself more alone than ever before. Can she even trust Wrath, her one-time ally in the mortal world... or is he keeping dangerous secrets about his true nature?
Emilia will be tested in every way as she seeks a series of magical objects that will unlock the clues of her past and the answers she craves...
Two sinful princes.
Infinite deception with a side of revenge… Welcome to Hell.”
This last week has been a rollercoaster of books for the two of us here at Books, Tea & Whiskers. We’ve finished two cliff-hangers and have A LOT to talk about for both books. To start, let’s talk about Once Upon A Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber. This is the first book in a new series that takes place in the world of her first trilogy, Caraval. You don’t need to have read Caraval in order to enjoy this one, but you will need to have a copy handy for the end so that you can binge that series afterwards. Trust us; you’ll see why in a moment.
“How far would you go for happily ever after?
For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings...until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.
Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.
But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy….”
Happy October, everyone !
We hope you’re enjoying the autumn weather. We’re finally out of our summer clothes and into everything cozy. This season is one of the easiest ones to feel the wheel of the year turn. There’s a difference in the way the air feels, the trees change, the animals are busy gathering but more than that, there’s the feeling of darkness coming. You can feel it in your body. It's a request to begin to slow down and the idea of hibernating becomes particularly appealing.
Gone are the endless summer days and nights, where everything feels light and breezy. Now there’s a thinning of the veil, and October especially feels like the time to embrace witchy/darker reads.
Keep reading to see our top fall reads. Ones that keep us up at night, satisfy our inner witch nature and give us the undoubtedly fall vibe.
Well, hello there strangers! We are back after our summer hiatus with a wonderful little romp in the afterlife. This post is slightly different from our usual back and forth because our thoughts literally just worked out much better this way for this particular review. Feel free to let us know either in the comments or on Instagram as to the format that you all prefer. The goal is to make this as reader friendly for all of you so you can find your next read. And now, onto the synopsis and discussion!
"When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop's owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn't ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo's help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.
When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with."
Our next stop; Casey McQuinton’s novel One Last Stop. This is one that everyone has been talking about for weeks so we just had to give it a go. Didn’t turn out quite the way we had hoped, and you’ll see why right after that read more break. But first, here’s your synopsis…
“For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.
Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.”
Good day, our fine readers! We hope that you are all doing well and ready with a glass of Demoniac in hand for today’s book of choice: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo. This is a hauntingly beautiful retelling of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby. For a very special treat, this post is one of our author interview posts! We got to ask Nghi Vo some questions and peek behind the curtain of her inner thoughts for how and why she wrote this gorgeous piece of work. So, as always, stay tuned past the “read more” link and check out the interview with Vo after a quick synopsis and our own thoughts about the book.
“Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.
Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.
But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.
Nghi Vo’s debut novel The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.”