Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi, Evelyn Skye, and Sandhya Menon #bookreview #romcom #YA

New York Times bestselling authors Roshani Chokshi, Evelyn Skye, and Sandhya Menon craft a spellbinding novel about discovering the magic of true love on one fateful, magical night in Three Kisses, One Midnight.

The town of Moon Ridge was founded 400 years ago and everyone born and raised there knows the legend of the young woman who perished at the stroke of twelve that very same night, losing the life she was set to embark on with her dearest love. Every century since, one day a year, the Lady of Moon Ridge descends from the stars to walk among the townsfolk, conjuring an aura upon those willing to follow their hearts’ desires.

“To summon joy and love in another’s soul
For a connection that makes two people whole
For laughter and a smile that one can never miss
Sealed before midnight with a truehearted kiss.”

This year at Moon Ridge High, a group of friends known as The Coven will weave art, science, and magic during a masquerade ball unlike any other. Onny, True, and Ash believe everything is in alignment to bring them the affection, acceptance, and healing that can only come from romance—with a little help from Onny’s grandmother’s love potion.

But nothing is as simple as it first seems. And as midnight approaches, The Coven learn that it will take more than a spell to recognize those who offer their love and to embrace all the magic that follows.

I don’t read a ton of books in this genre, but I’m a fan of Chokshi’s Gilded Wolves series, and her name on the cover immediately caught my attention.

Bring on the pumpkin spice! With much of the story taking place at a Halloween party, it’s full of autumn vibes. I loved the descriptions of the quaint town that goes all out for Halloween and the legend of The Lady of Moon Ridge who helps people follow their heart’s desires.

The main characters are a trio of best friends whose nights may not turn out exactly as expected. Onny is a true believer in magic and has a very specific love potion recipe bequeathed to her by her grandmother. True was recently burned by an unworthy boyfriend and only trusts scientific facts. Ash is an artist who’s loved someone for several years (she’s totally unaware) and takes an unexpected opportunity to create his own luck. The book is divided into three sections, with each character telling their own story. I enjoyed all of them, but my favorite is a tie between Onny’s and Ash’s. Science teacher Mr. Brightside and his husband, Mayor Grimjoy, are perfect supporting characters and add even more humor to the mix.

A black cat who interrupts a long-awaited kiss, zodiac signs, odd potion ingredients, awesome costumes, and the best Halloween decorations I’ve heard of – this is a light-hearted, magical read guaranteed to put you in the autumn mood.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Guest Post by Calvin Dean, author of The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff and A Door Unlocked

9781492327370_p0_v1_s260x420

51IQHhrCt9L__SY346_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_

For the month of October, in honor of Halloween and my love of horror books and movies, I’ve asked some authors/friends/fellow bloggers to write guest posts related in some way to the horror/paranormal genre.  Today’s guest is Calvin Dean, whose first book, The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff, I reviewed at https://teripolen.com/2013/05/24/the-epitaph-of-jonas-barloff-by-calvin-dean/.  Hurry over to Amazon or B&N and get his book – it’s perfect reading for Halloween!  His second book, A Door Unlocked, comes out today, so make sure to pick it up while you’re there – I already got mine.  Thanks so much, Calvin, for visiting Books & Such.

Influence, inspiration and confidence can come from the strangest places. As a little leaguer, I remember marveling at how far the bigger kids could hit a baseball. One day I stepped to the plate and fouled a ball over the backstop. Wow, I thought to myself. I can do this! All I needed was a foul ball with some pop to boost my confidence.

Years later, I started writing my first book. Influence from great authors came easy. Confidence came, not in foul balls, but in the foul behavior of odd characters. Let me explain.

 Horror Influence – The Early Days

I knew him as Sivad. (Davis spelled backwards.) In the 1960s, he dressed as a vampire and hosted creature features on a Memphis, Tennessee television program. But it was a live appearance at the Gloria Theatre in my small hometown that nearly frightened the living daylights out of me. At an afternoon matinee, Sivad brought along a few sidekicks – Frankenstein and The Mummy. Or maybe it was The Werewolf. Though the sun shone brightly outside, inside the theatre it was the stroke of midnight, and a full moon chased crackles of lightning up and down my spine. Needless to say, being in the same room with ghouls from my creepiest nightmares sent shivers that reverberate to this day.

Horror Influences – From Books

I don’t know why I picked up “Dead Sleep” by fellow Mississippi author Greg Iles. I didn’t know Greg. Didn’t know he was from Mississippi by way of Germany. All I know is that after one chapter, I knew I would become a huge Greg Iles fan. In that chapter, a famous photographer is passing time at a Hong Kong art exhibit. As she enters the museum, those already inside regard her with horror. She soon discovers why. One of the portraits is a spitting image of her, but the fleshy skin tones are all wrong. Instead of warmth, her skin is pale. Blue. Dead.

I love the way Author Conan Doyle crafts a sentence. Pure eloquence. “The Hound of the Baskervilles” is my favorite Sherlock Holmes novel. While it’s a mystery, there is just enough darkness to please any horror aficionado. In fact, one reviewer said my debut novel, “The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff” is a cross between Goosebumps and an Arthur Conan Doyle novel. I took that as a huge compliment.

I don’t read series novels. Nor do I like long, drawn-out books. There are exceptions. After reading “Boy’s Town” by Robert McCammon, I needed another McCammon fix to pacify my addiction. So, I picked up “Speaks the Nightbird”, which is actually a two-book series. It’s about a magistrate and his aid who must pass judgment on a woman accused of witchcraft in colonial Carolina. The Matthew Corbett character pulled me in and wouldn’t let go. Next thing I know, I’m yanking the sequel from the shelf, “The Queen of Bedlam”. Eight hundred pages later, I want more McCammon.

Confidence from the Odd Places

In Dean Koontz’s “Odd Thomas” series, Oddy can see and communicate with the dead. That’s right up my alley. I especially liked the lighter moments with Elvis and Sinatra, which added humor one doesn’t necessarily expect in a horror novel. Because of this, I used humor in “The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff”. Dean Koontz gave me the confidence to try it.

In Closing

What novels, horror or otherwise, influence you? What inspires confidence? I know horror is a niche market. Within that niche are people who demand more vampire stories. More zombies. More werewolves. More witches. What scares you? For me, it’s haunted houses and spooky cemeteries. As Halloween approaches, I hope you’ll find yourself buried deep under a security blanket with a good book. To set the mood, I recommend carving a jack-o-lantern and placing it in a dark corner of the room. Make sure you lock the doors and put the knife safely away before settling in for the night. (Sinister laugh!) FREE KINDLE EBOOK: In honor of my favorite holiday, Halloween, I’m offering “The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff” FREE! Be sure to log-on to Amazon.com and download a free Kindle copy Oct. 16 – 20, 2013. Mark your calendar now.

Coming Soon

By the time you read this, my second book will be released – or will be soon. The release date is Oct. 5, 2013. In “A Door Unlocked”, messages from the grave help a young mother rescue her kidnapped daughter and unravel a web of corruption. Like “The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff” it’s a quick, fast-paced read. Available in paperback, Kindle, Nook – and soon, Audible.

 

Happy Halloween. And happy reading.

 

Calvin Dean

Author of “The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff”, “A Door Unlocked” & “The Rookie Umpire”, a short story.