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~**~ Blog Tour for By a Charm and a Curse by Jaime Questell w/ Review, Excerpt & Giveaway ~**~

Le Grand’s Carnival Fantastic isn’t like other traveling circuses. It’s bound by a charm, held together by a centuries-old curse, that protects its members from ever growing older or getting hurt. Emmaline King is drawn to the circus like a moth to a flame…and unwittingly recruited into its folds by a mysterious teen boy whose kiss is as cold as ice.

Forced to travel through Texas as the new Girl in the Box, Emmaline is completely trapped. Breaking the curse seems like her only chance at freedom, but with no curse, there’s no charm, either—dooming everyone who calls the Carnival Fantastic home. Including the boy she’s afraid she’s falling for.

Everything—including his life—could end with just one kiss.

Release Date: February 6th, 2018

***4 ‘My Constant’ Stars***

I don’t read a lot of fantasy based books, not because I don’t like the genre, I do, it’s simply that I tend to lean more towards romance than anything else, but then I happened upon this book. The cover and title were the draw and then I read the blurb and I was hooked. I wanted to know what it meant to be the Girl in the Box, how she got stuck in it and what the deal with the curse and the charm were and I ended up really enjoying the journey this book took me on and wished there were more words to read when I reached the end.

The funny thing with this book is that while Emma, and Ben, are the focus and I did like them, I found that I was more fascinated with how the eclectic cast of characters that surrounded them dealt with the curse/charm and how they felt about it. It was an intriguing view into human nature and self preservation where there was no black or white, only grey, and it was interesting to see how it affected each person throughout the story.

As for the curse and charm. I honestly felt as if they were another character in the story because they affected the actions, thoughts and feelings of all the characters. Its origin, as well as what it would take to engineer it’s demise, were so simple and basic that I felt like slapping myself upside the head for not figuring it out, but I really did enjoy the journey the author took me on to figure it all out and in the end I find that even I am waffling over how I feel about it, but cannot say that I am unhappy with the ultimate outcome.

While the writing was engaging, the beginning did start off a bit slow for me, but I wasn’t put off by it in anyway, and by the time I reached the halfway point I had a difficult time putting it down (Thank you phone app).  I loved the way the author brought the carnival atmosphere to life with her words, it made me feel as if I was right in the midst of it all. There is a bit of romance in the story, but it’s very, very slow burn and very appropriate when it comes to the YA genre. Overall, this was a fun, quick read and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more by this author in the future.

~ Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley & voluntarily reviewed ~

Leslie smiles at the girl with a mixture of pride and tentative hope. “It took us a few days to get Sidney set up somewhere else, and I’m sorry about that. But this wagon belongs to the occupant of the box.” Leslie strokes the side of the ladder that leads to the door. “What you’re going through is terrible, we know it is, though we can never truly understand. It’s a small comfort, but we want you to have a place that’s just your own, a place that you can use to escape.”

A weak, wobbly smile lifts the corners of the girl’s mouth as her gaze roves over the outside of the wagon, a shadow of the smile I saw the other night, when she was with her friend. I wonder what it would take to get her to smile for real.

“What about Sidney?”

“Sidney can make do.” Leslie’s smile broadens into a grin. “Have you seen the way he’s been eating? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him waddle out of the cook shack one of these mornings like Templeton the Rat.” She dangles a small copper key from the end of a length of faded red ribbon. “It’s like I said—the carnival owes the person in the box. This is the least we can do for you in return.”

The girl’s hand shakes as she reaches for the key, and she wraps her slender fingers around it tightly, as though she’s afraid of dropping it. I lose sight of her as she steps inside, and all I can do now is hope she likes the wagon.

I turn to head home and feel the sickening lurch as my foot lands in a slick patch of mud and whips out from beneath me. I throw out my arm. A flash of white-hot pain flares through my hand, but I manage to keep my footing. I step out of the mud that had nearly sent me sprawling on my ass, unsure as to how I even missed it in the first place. Then my hand begins to throb.

A gash runs diagonally across my palm. Blood wells from the wound, filling my cupped hand. The pain sets in, a deep pulsing starting in my palm and radiating up my arm. I glance over at the trailer and see a splash of red smeared along a sharp flap of metal. I must have sliced my hand on that as I tried to grab onto something to keep from slipping.

Falling on carnival grounds doesn’t happen; the charm sees to that. But my bloodied hand begs to differ.

By a Charm and a Curse Swag Pack (US Only) including:
* A charm bracelet
* A coloring page
* Bookmark
* Signed bookplate
* Fortune teller fish

JAIME QUESTELL grew up in Houston, Texas, where she escaped the heat and humidity by diving into stacks of Baby Sitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High books. She has been a book seller (fair warning: book lovers who become book sellers will give half their paychecks right back to their employers), a professional knitter, a semi-professional baker, and now works as a graphic designer in addition to writing.