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Spirits and Spells Review:

From Goodreads: Ivy LaRue didn’t intend on being happy when she moved to Sage Springs, Mo., but that’s exactly what happened. First, Eliza and Lexi wiggled in through the cracks of her carefully constructed defensive walls. Now her best friend, a spirit, is in the flesh thanks to mysterious circumstances. And Ivy can’t help but notice it’s some mighty fine flesh, which just adds another layer of complication to her life.

With only days to find a cure to keep her friend in human form, Ivy attempts to find the town’s magical spring to save his life. While doing so, however, she must battle an unseen spirit who seems determined to make Ivy’s life as difficult as possible. Assistance comes from unlikely places as she faces her past to attain the future she never thought she wanted.

Casting spells, dodging love and forming friendships soon make this snarky witch realize life is much more interesting than she ever imagined it could be.

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After reading Hollie Westring’s debut novel, Whispers and Wishes, I was sold on the beautiful and haunting town of Sage Springs. With her quirky characters, charming townsfolk, and overall laid back atmosphere, Westring easily draws readers into Sage Springs, throwing in twists and turns where we’d least expect it.

Whereas Whispers and Wishes focuses on the character of Eliza, Spirits and Spells gives readers a more in-depth look at Eliza’s spunky sidekick, Ivy LaRue, a young woman running from both past and present. Bedding down in the illustrious Sage Springs, with her candle business booming and the magical realm just beneath her fingertips, Ivy’s story drew me in right away, especially as I see a bit of myself in her. A little stand-offish and full of snark, Ivy’s cover for her heart of gold, she continually blames herself, closing doors on relationships before one can say “happily ever after.” But when a dark spell begins to threaten those she loves, Ivy really begins to come into herself, and there is no limit on surprises that Westring throws at readers as this sweet love story unfolds.

Oliver is, of course, to die for… He completes Ivy in a way no else ever has, and I just loved their back and forth quips throughout the novel. Hilarity ensues as the novel progresses, and Ivy’s strong kick-butt personality, along with Eliza’s pragmatism, Lexi’s cheer, and Oliver’s swoonworthyness will make this a novel you won’t soon forget. With a dash of mystery, romance, and magic, this novel is sure to be your perfect afternoon read. Four stars.

4 starsIn exchange for an honest review, I received an ARC of this novel from the author.

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Hollie WestringAbout the Author:

Hollie Westring hails from Kansas City, Mo. She used to be a journalist, which probably explains her extreme dislike of the serial comma and her preference for AP style.

After realizing the hours of journalists were not productive to any type of social or family life, she settled into a job at a publishing syndicate. She worked with comics, astrology columns, word puzzles and feature columns for six years. Although she enjoyed her time there, Hollie decided to leave the nine-to-five world and join the twenty-four/seven world of motherhood. Now she edits from home.

When not writing, editing or reading, Hollie can be found baking cookies or watching more than her fair share of crime TV. She’s a loyal Royals and Chiefs fan.

Links:

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I’m giving away an ebook of both Whispers and Wishes and Spirits and Spells to one lucky winner!Hollie Westring

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18715353From Goodreads: Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.

Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.

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If you’re looking for a feel good comedy full of snarky inner monologue and laugh out loud situations, then look no further than Eliza Gordon’s amazing debut novel, Must Love Otters.  This comedic women’s fiction/humor novel will leave you in stiches as Hollie Porter’s life spins hilariously out of control, gluing you to the pages as Hollie stumbles from one amusing mishap to the next.  Though the initial circumstances are almost tragic—breaking up with her boyfriend of two years and having to go on a romantic getaway solo—Hollie’s thought process and revelations about life make it a hysterical look at life and its many lemons.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and its entertaining look at life, I found that the story really took off for me once Hollie left home to go on holiday in Revelation Cove, British Columbia.  Here we begin to see a different side of Hollie, away from the job she hates, the ogre lady on the first floor, and the boyfriend from hell.  Finally, Hollie can let loose, but in the process she goes from one hilarious calamity to the next; from accidentally streaking to ending up oarless in the middle of the ocean, Hollie’s outlook on life is about to drastically change thanks to the lovely Concierge Ryan.

Gordon has a gift with words, gluing readers to the pages as this story unfolds, offering readers multiple laugh-out-loud moments as Hollie attempts to make sense of her life.  From a catastrophic nacho incident to an evil, territorial goat, the events that unfold will keep you snickering late into the night with this unputdownable read. Four and a half stars.

 4.5 stars

 Eliza Gordon is the pen name for the wife-husband duo, Jennifer Sommersby, author of Sleight, and her husband, Gary.

I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



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