Sunday, November 11, 2012

Book Tour: Summer In Salem by Brina Courtney ~ Review ~ Character Bio

Welcome to my stop on the Summer In Salem book tour. Brought to you by SupaGurl Tours. Here you can read a synopsis of the book, My Review, & First Chapter  ! I also have a bio of author Brina Courtney.  


Teagen’s summer has been turned upside down by a body, a pentagram necklace, and an old flame. Nine months ago, Teagan Matthews' boyfriend disappeared and took her sense of stability with him. But when the opportunity to live with her aging grandmother in Salem arises, she decides it's time to get on with her life. A new home, new job and new friends are adding up to a beautiful summer... ...until a young girl's body shows up one night in town, wearing a necklace exactly like Teagan's. Now a guy looking remarkably like her missing boyfriend has arrived in Salem along with a mysterious stranger who may have some answers that Teagan has desperately been searching for. Teagan must now decide who to trust. It's a matter of life... and her death.  Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery/Romance

About Brina Courtney:
Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She's spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs.

Character Bio:

Teagan: Main character, lost her boyfriend mysteriously nine months ago. She is an artist, likes to stay home on rainy nights, and her style is boho chic. Something you didn't know: Her favorite food is pickles.

Lark: Awesome painter, total hippie. Loves expensive things and fragrances. Can be founding spinning in the street during a thunderstorm. Something you didn't know: She loves to play board games at the local retirement home.

Gran: Classy old lady who doesn't drive, makes awesome pie and chocolate chip cookies. Lives in a huge old mansion and may very possibly be a witch. Something you didn't know: She knows all the words to "Baby Got Back."

My Review:

Wow, what an exciting read. It reminded me a bit of a favorite show I used to watch, called Charmed. Also reminded me a bit of The Secret Circle show and books for the same reason.  In the way, that they didn't know they were witches in the beginning. Well, in this, Teagan doesn’t know she is a witch, and not just any witch, a powerful one. I really liked it, and its very well written.
It took a bit to warm up to Teagan, I didn’t really connect with her on the heartbreak over Jason, who disappeared 9 months before.  But was glad she did move on, and come to Salem to help her grandmother. Teagan’s mother raised her without any knowledge of magic, so Teagan is a skeptic for sure.

I really liked Seth, he is perfect for Teagan , but I  was saddened about his story, and what had happened. I will not say what that is, I will keep this as spoiler free as I can.
Lark is probably a tie for favorite character; she is witty, funny, and very likable. She and Seth tie for me. I course, love Gran too, she is sweet, if not a bit overprotective, in not teaching Teagan about the magic sooner.

I do not want to say too much more on what happens, but will say its non-stop excitement once you get into it, I was not able to put the book down. Read it all in one day, in one sitting just about. Its not very long either. I sense this is going to be a series, as there is much more to happen, many loose ends, which means it has to be another book.

I highly recommend this book, especially anyone who likes witches and anything magical, but in the modern world.
I only have one negative, and that’s the cover. It has nothing to do with the book, and is boring. I almost did not sign up for the tour, as the cover didn’t attract me, but decided to look into the book, to see if it by chance was about witches because of the title. And I am happy I did, as I love the book. I would suggest to the author for sure to think about a new cover, something witchy and paranormal like. At a glance I would have thought contemporary romance, but its not. (I don’t read those, so it’s why I almost passed)

5 out of 5 stars for me.

I was provided this book for my honest review for SupaGurl Book Tours.

Did you like my review? If so, I would love you to mark it as helpful at Amazon Here. Or at Goodreads that you Like, Here. Thanks

Summer in Salem (Excerpt)
By Brina Courtney

It was late on a Tuesday night when we got the phone call. Gran had fallen, again. This time she bruised her hip bone. Last time it was a broken kneecap. I could hear Mom and Dad arguing from my room. I crept down the hall and took my seat at the top of the steps. I always sat there when they argued. Mom was using the same facts she always did. “She can’t live alone. That big house is too much for her. She just can’t handle it anymore.”

We can’t just move there and take of her Gwen. I know she’s your mother, but my job is here. And what about your job? In this economy we can’t just pack up and leave!”

My mother replied, “I know we can’t, it’s just… you know she can’t be there on her own anymore.”

Then why don’t we move her here? Sell that old place? It’s a beautiful estate, I’m sure she would get top dollar for it. We could put it towards Teagan’s college fund.” Seeing my mother’s eyes he continued with, “Or Gran could go to Florida and visit friends. Something fun for her, a vacation.”

But I was already moving from my spot on the top of the stairs and descended as fast as I could. Like hell was I going to be the reason Gran had to leave Salem. Besides I had an idea I’d been working on since the last time she fell.

Mom! Dad, stop, please. Why don’t I go stay with Gran? I’m done with school in just a bit anyway. It would be good for her, for me.” I only had a week left of classes and then finals. I’d been doing really well and I’m sure I could hand in the assignments online to my professors.

My parents looked at each other plagued with disagreement. They didn’t want me go, but at the same time, they couldn’t make me stay. I was twenty-one years old, still living at home, with no purpose in my life. I had no idea where I was going. Why not go to Salem? Maybe Salem was the answer I had been looking for.

My mom sighed. Before looking at me she ran her hands down behind her head stopping at the edge of her dark brown pixie cut and settling on her neck. “How about this? We’ll think about it. But I’m going to see Gran in the morning, so if you want to come pack a bag.”

Gwen,” my father protested, “you can’t be serious, she has to at least finish out the semester.”

I can hand my stuff in online. Professors are really good about this type of thing, trust me. It’ll be fine. Gran needs me. I have to go be with her.”

My dad looked defeated, he could never beat us girls. Constantly two against one, the story of his life. “Just for the summer, okay? You have to go back to school in fall.”

Yeah whatever, sounds good,” I yelled as I climbed the stairs two at a time. I had a lot to pack for a summer in Salem.


It took a little over an hour to get to Gran’s. My mom never talked much in the car so mostly I watched the cold New England landscape as we drove. The colors flowed into each other as they rippled in a sea of green. It was raining as per usual for this time of year in Massachusetts. The trees drooped sadly against the harsh but refreshing water. My mom finally decided to say something as I leaned my head against the cool glass of the window.

You didn’t have to do this, you know. We would have worked something out.”

I know. That’s not why I’m going Mom. Maybe Gran isn’t the only one who needs saving here. You have to admit I haven’t exactly been a shining example of a daughter lately.”

My mom looked over to me, concerned. “Teagan, no one blames you. The sooner you stop blaming yourself things will get better, you’ll see.”

Yeah, okay.”

Teagan,” she continued in a more authoritative tone and I knew where she was going. She has this sort of quiet strength about her. I know she gets it from my grandmother who’s always been more of the stoic type. But she had to be. My grandfather passed away when my mom was only twelve and since then it was just the girls. My mom, on the other hand, has this excellent support system in my dad, but she still feels the need to run the show.

Really Mom, I’m fine, this has nothing to do with Jason.”

I sighed without even thinking about it. Just saying his name made me feel like something was missing. I knew what was missing from this and every situation for the rest of my life, him.

Then what is this all about Teagan?” She looked away from the water splashing on the windshield to check my eyes as if they would tell her all my secrets.

I looked directly at her and said, “This is about me getting my shit together and my life back on track. Not to mention this is an excuse to give you and Dad some alone time, that you deserve.”

I’d given them a rough year, it was true and they needed a little drama free time. If that meant Teagan-free time, then that’s what I needed to do. For them and for me.

Oh honey you know we don’t mind you living with us, it’s fine!”

I know you guys don’t mind, but I’m starting to. I mean come on, I’m almost twenty-two, I should be on my own, or at least moving towards it.” Okay so I was going to be the loser living with my grandma, but at least I wasn’t the creepy grown up child living in my mom’s basement anymore. And she needed my help, she really couldn’t manage on her own anymore.

My grandmother had a lot of money so there had always been people around to help her do things. The older Gran’s become she’s worried about people stealing her money so she’s allowed for less and less help. As a result when she broke her kneecap last spring we didn’t even know for three days. When one of her neighbors went over to play Bridge with her and saw the swelling in her leg she was immediately rushed to the hospital and she had to have emergency surgery. Of course she just looked at it as an adventure, just like she always does.

Mom gripped the steering wheel tightly, her knuckles becoming white from the pressure. I could tell that this whole thing had left her pretty shaken up. I felt bad for her; we left Salem so my dad could find a better job. Salem’s mostly a touristy town at this point. My dad works in computer engineering and it’s not really the place you’re going to find some big warehouse with a bunch of geeks working on computers sitting in it. So we moved down right outside of New York City and have been living there ever since. I was maybe nine when we moved, but I still saw my grandmother all the time. I used to stay with her until I was about thirteen, since then I haven’t gone up without my mom. I feel bad about that, I should have gone to see her more. She’s all alone up in Salem, she moved there to be closer to my grandfather’s family not hers. At least that’s the way my mom always explains it. Her loneliness only furthered my decision to get out of my parents’ house. They’ve been totally up my butt lately about picking a real career, finding a good job, building a life for myself. But what if that’s not what I want? I mean yeah, the white house with a picket fence and one point five children, I look forward to things like that. But right now the thing that I look forward to the most is getting some of my paintings in an art show. The thing about living outside New York City is there’s not a lot of opportunity, or maybe there’s too much.

There’s so much competition, so many people moved in just to go to art school, or just to show their work at a fabulous New York City gallery. So many people are trying to be discovered in New York, so now I’m interested to see what a smaller field has to offer. Show my things in a small gallery where people will really appreciate them. My mom let me bring four paintings with me, she said they’d be good for my grandmother, that they would make her feel better. I closed my eyes for a moment to visualize them. There was the large one of the poppy and another of my friend Julie’s fish, Swish. Then there’s the small black and white I painted over a year ago. Finally I let my mind float to the last one, an eight by ten of Jason in his full glory. He’s standing in the sunshine, hands in his pockets, wispy blonde strands flying into his face. My eyes brimmed with tears as I let my thoughts linger on him. I rubbed them so I looked sleepy and Mom wouldn’t notice my pain.

I remember that day so clearly, like a photograph in my mind. A perfectly wonderful summer day, we had laid out by the lake on a blanket all afternoon. I asked him to pose near a willow by the water, while I painted his portrait. It took hours, but he said he didn’t mind because he liked what he was looking at. He always made me blush like that. That day was the first time he kissed me. He looked at me biting his lower lip, like he had a secret he couldn’t tell me. I smiled sweetly back at him and he said, “Teagan, you may very well be the most beautiful girl I have ever known.” I laughed lightly, thinking he was joking but then he put his calloused hand on my cheek and pulled my face slowly to his and kissed me. It was beautiful and passionate and full of emotions I didn’t understand then. I didn’t understand any of them until the night he disappeared. Then they came to me in waves, love, loss, lust, grief and one unique to me, anger. All the crazy things that make you want to hold onto someone even tighter than before, but when that person is gone — you can’t. They didn’t even find a body so I couldn’t get closure. Some people in our community said he had run away, because he was “that type”. I knew better. I knew he had been taken because otherwise he would never have left without me. We were meant for each other.

Tour brought to you by SupaGurl Book Tours.


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