Illusion by Lea Nolan #BookReview #GuestPost #Giveaway @entangledteen

Title: Illusion
Author: Lea Nolan
Published: October 5th 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
BUY: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

New school. Cross-country move. Broken heart. If only these were Emma Guthrie’s worst problems. Instead, she must battle a trio of enemies—human and spectral—who may or may not have joined forces against her and everyone she loves. All while pretending to be over Cooper Beaumont, her ex-boyfriend and true love, to shield him from her arch-nemesis’s revenge.

Worse, when the fight escalates, Emma is tempted to use black magic, which will endanger her soul. As her enemies close in, join forces, and fight with new and dark magic she’s never seen before, Emma must harness the power within her to fulfill an ancient prophecy, defeat a centuries-old evil, save her family, and reclaim the only boy she’s ever loved.

There are so many reasons that I like Illusion by Lea Nolan. Great characters, good plot, descriptive setting and interesting magic. Which is different than anything most magic related stories I’ve read because it’s Hoodoo, which yes is different than Voodoo but there is some of that in there as well.This has really been a great series.

The plot is always interesting and there are always things going on. There are different levels to each problem. We have Cooper and Emma’s feeling for eachother, which she is only battling because she’s trying to protect him. Emma’s brother Jack is doing all kinds of research using old ledgers from Cooper’s dad/boohag secret lair. We have the issues with Miss Delia and Claude set on making her pay for something that we are not hundred percent sure what that is. Of course Sabina is after Emma. Taneea is her own whirlwind problem. It sounds like all of this could be too much but it’s not because all interweaves together to make this blanket plot that is fast paced and action packed.

I love how descriptive the spells are. It’s not too much to overwhelm you but it’s enough to be really cool. The idea of using the different ingredients and cantations and it also explains what is happening when it’s cast. You get a little more depth with the magic.

I absolutely loved Zora. I liked how she was a good friend but you could tell she knew more then she was letting on. Which made me totally love her. I would have been too weak and shown my cards right away.

We get some more insight into Miss D’s past and the twins ancestry (the ledger research). Which is interesting to learn since even Emma get’s frustrated with all the riddles it feels like people talk in. Well you can always tell they are leaving things out.

The story has its casualties as much as it has it’s wins. I really liked how things came together at the end because everything in the series had been working toward it. One of my favorite magic related series and I think if you haven’t read it you should.

Thanks so much for having me here at Library of a Book Witch! I’m thrilled to introduce you to Illusion, the third and final book in my Hoodoo Apprentice trilogy, which is out now. I’ve also got a great blog tour giveaway for you, but first I’d like to share a few of my inspirations for the book.

My series takes place in the South Carolina Lowcountry which is just about one of the most beautiful places in the United States, and maybe even on earth. The setting is so important to this southern gothic trilogy it almost becomes a character of its own. You may be thinking, how does a location become a character? The answer is by describing the local area, drawing heavily on the details, and making them play an important role in the story. To do this, it helps to have first hand knowledge of the place you’re writing about. You can gain this by setting your story in your hometown or someplace you’ve lived before, or—my favorite—taking a road trip!

I did just that while I was writing these books and I took lots of pictures to help me remember the places I wanted to incorporate in the story. Here are a few that will help give you a sense of what the Lowcountry is like and why it’s such a magical place to set a book:
I write a lot about the Spanish moss that clings to trees all over the south. Imagine this stuff blocking your path as you race through a forest at night, or waving at you in the breeze. It’s pretty spooky stuff, especially when it’s draped over every branch of a giant, spooky live oak.

Speaking of which, here is a photo of one of those trees. Look at its long, spindly, scary limbs. It’s easy to think one could bend down and snatch you up.
The Lowcountry is also famous for its salt marshes. They’re gorgeous to look at but during low tide they can be a bit, um, well, stinky is the best I can offer. But that’s exactly the kind of detail you want to include when describing some place like this.
South Carolina has lots of old ruins from the colonial and pre-colonial period. In particular, these buildings were built with tabby, an old, unstable kind of concrete made of sand and shells. Unfortunately, time and weather have not treated these buildings kindly and they literally crumble at the touch. Chances are they won’t be around for much longer, but while they’re here, I love to include them whenever I can.
Here’s the ruin of a mid-17th century chapel that makes an appearance in Illusion. Notice all the Spanish moss on the oak tree? I’m telling you that stuff is everywhere! In the 1880s this chapel was destroyed by fire but the walls still stand today. It’s a beautiful, eerie relic. Here’s an image that shows the tabby up close with oyster shells embedded in the concrete.
Lastly, how can anyone write about the South Carolina Lowcountry without including one of the area’s gorgeous beaches?
Emma Guthrie and Cooper Beaumont visit the beach behind their plantation often, not only to sneak a few kisses beneath a silvery moon, but also because it’s the perfect place to slip away from their enemies—both human and supernatural—and the ancient curses that threaten their lives.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse of the world that surrounds Illusion and the other books in the Hoodoo Apprentice series!

Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance and YA. Her books for young adults feature bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She also pens smart, witty contemporary stories for adults filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, she resides in Maryland where she scarfs down crab cakes whenever she gets the chance. Learn more at her website, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Goodreads
And now for the giveaway, a super awesome Illusion Blog Tour Prize pack. The Grand Prize includes a $25 Amazon gift card, a custom Hoodoo Apprentice tote, and six authentic hoodoo spells from the Lucky Mojo Curio Company. There’s also a second prize $15 Amazon gift card, and a third prize $10 Amazon gift card. So what are you waiting for? Enter below to win!

The Tour;
Monday, October 5th:
Gizmos Reviews - Review
Splashes Into Books - Review & Excerpt
Crystal's Chaotic Confessions - Review & Guest Post

Tuesday, October 6th:
Long and Short Reviews - Review & Excerpt / Teaser
Library of a Book Witch - Review & Guest Post

Wednesday, October 7th:
GothicMoms - Interview with the Villain
Book Lovin' Mamas - Review & Interview

Thursday, October 8th:
Doctor's Notes - Review
Lauren's Bookshelf - Review & Guest Post
Le&ndra Wallace - Review & Interview

Friday, October 9th:
Book Swoon - Review & Excerpt
Not So Literary - Review
Swoony Boys Podcast - Review & Interview
Booksalamode - Review