​Blog Tour Guest Post: The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

Hello, bookworms! I can not believe it’s been a year since I started out blogging here! I’m really excited to be part of the blog tour for The Best Kind of Magic! It just seems like a fitting tour for my blogversary.

We get a special treat here on Vicarious Bookworm today! Crystal Cestari has accepted my invitation to guest post about an author who inspires her! Without further adieu, I’ll hand the keyboard over to her!


One author who made a big impact on me was Roald Dahl. When I was in second grade, I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for the first time, and it was a huge “a-ha!” moment for me.

I can remember the scene very clearly: I was sitting at my desk, quietly flipping through the pages, and got to the part of the story where Charlie is in the great glass elevator scrolling through all the buttons leading to the seemingly hundreds of rooms within the factory. I had been enjoying the story up to this point, but something about reading through those many, many descriptions of all the candy-themed rooms set something off in me. For some reason, that list of imaginative descriptions made me realize how special this book was, and how extraordinary it was that someone had written it.

My childhood brain was absolutely exploding. Someone had dreamed up this over-the-top chocolate factory—filled with crazy characters and golden tickets—and took the time to sit down and write about it. This person, this writer, transformed a daydream into something real. And because of that effort, readers like me were now able to share those adventures. What an unbelievably amazing job! It’s not like up until that point I hadn’t realized that books were written by people, but it was the first time that it seemed like the coolest thing ever.

Something clicked inside me that day. I already loved reading, but I hadn’t experimented with writing much yet. I was inspired to try, and started dreaming up stories of witches and unicorns, fairies and far away lands. I loved filling up the pages with words and drawings, and watching how a blank piece of paper could turn into so much more. To this day, I still write all my first drafts longhand; for me, penning my thoughts on paper flows so much better than on a glowing computer screen.

Beyond this major moment, I appreciated the variety and creativity of Dahl’s writing. He showed me a way to weave magical elements into any story, whether they be about sly foxes, friendly giants, or in my case, matchmakers who can actually see true love. I loved how he made up his own silly words, and took ordinary objects like peaches and transformed them into something imaginative and new. He had a unique worldview that I loved being a part of, and hoped to emulate in my own creative endeavors.

I have read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory many times since then, and recently read it to my daughter for the first time. One of the main characters in The Best Kind of Magic is named Charlie, and I have all of Roald Dahl’s books on my shelves. I’m so thankful for the foundation he gave me.


Thank you so much for joining us today, Crystal! I love how we are able to pass down our childhood favourite books to the next generation! Roald Dahl was also a favourite of mine growing up, but my favourite of his was always Matilda because what bookworm wouldn’t want to be telekinetic?

Goodreads Synopsis:

Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.

Amber works at her mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?

The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.


About the Author

With rainbows in my hair and stories in my head, I am a writer drawn to magic in the everyday world.

My debut novel, The Best Kind of Magic, arrives May 16, 2017 from Hyperion. Follow Amber Sand, a magical matchmaker who can actually see true love, as she takes off on a fun and romantic adventure toward happily ever after.


Happy belated book birthday to Crystal Cestari! This is definitely a book to add to your Goodreads list! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy of The Best Kind of Magic are:


Or, you could win a copy from the blog tour giveaways! Yes, plural and I’ll explain that in just a bit. The winners will each receive ONE finished copy of The Best Kind of Magic. This giveaway is open to the US and Canada ONLY (sorry international bookworms!). Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Vicarious Bookworm giveaway ends 26 May 2017. The winner will be notified on 27 May 2017 and will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is selected.

Now, you know how I said the plural of giveaways and winners? Disney-Hyperion has given permission for each blog on the tour to give away a finished copy! That means your chances to win a copy go up for each stop on the tour you visit!

There is a catch, however. Each person can only win ONE copy of this book. If you’re selected as the winner on more than one stop, it’s expected that you’ll decline any copy more than one. I know y’all are honest so it won’t be a problem, but anyone who doesn’t decline the extra copies will be disqualified from winning. Good luck!


Here’s the schedule so you can follow the tour!

17 May


18 May


19 May


20 May


21 May


22 May


23 May


Thank you so much to Crystal Cestari for writing this beautiful book. You’re a rock star!

Another thank you to the Fantastic Flying Book Club for allowing me the privilege of participating in this blog tour!

And, finally, thank you to Disney-Hyperion for allowing us the unique privilege of giving away so many copies of The Best Kind of Magic on this tour!

Blog Tour Guest Post: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About J. C. Davis

I am so excited to be able to bring you a guest post by the wonderful and hilarious J. C. Davis, author of the upcoming novel Cheesus Was Here, due to be published on 11 April 2017.

Without any further delay, I’ll hand the keyboard over to J. C. Davis!


Hello bookworms! I’m so excited to have the chance to guest post on the Vicarious Bookworm blog! I have a confession to make. I love top ten lists. Love. Okay, lists in general. Lists are neat, concise, and orderly. They help make the world make sense.

So today I’m going to share a list of top 10 things you don’t know about me. I could actually probably write an encyclopedia on that, but that would bore all of us so let’s go with the intriguing highlights!


1. Turtles can jump really high when motivated.

Life lesson: NEVER dangle bread over the turtle pond in an effort to get the turtles to surface. That turtle erupted from the water like he had jetpacks strapped to his butt and he was quite willing to take my finger along with the bread. It’s also probably a good idea not to feed turtles bits of yourself a week before your wedding. I came up with some creative excuses for my bandaged finger, but wasn’t willing to fess up about the real reason behind my new scar. I still have that scar 18 years later!


2. One plus one equals seven.

For our seventh wedding anniversary, my husband suggested we get a hedgehog. But when we got to the pet store, he changed his mind and decided we needed two so they wouldn’t be lonely. You can see where this is going, I’m sure. Funny thing – those hedgehogs just happened to be male and female and while we got the little boy fixed… it wasn’t soon enough. One night I woke up to discover five new baby hedgehogs. And that is how we ended up owning seven hedgehogs. I fully intended to adopt out the babies, but by the time they were old enough I was too in love. Puck, Pinch, Peaseblossom, Puddlefoot, Patch, Pint and Pipsqueak burrowed their way into my heart and never left. We’ve owned at least one hedgehog ever since, but never more than two and always in separate cages.


3. Accio Harry Potter Nerds!

Over the years, I’ve attended ten Harry Potter conferences, starting with Lumos in 2006. There is something so delightfully wonderful about dressing up in house robes and geeking out with fellow nerds. You could strike up a conversation with anyone and it felt like hanging out with a hotel full of friends. Plus, actual academic programming centered around Harry Potter, symbolism, deeper meanings, real world applications and more? Utter. Nerd. Heaven.


4. Pancakes + Peanut Butter = Perfection

My grandfather was a wise man. He taught me many things – such as how to curse, when my mom wasn’t paying attention, and the proper way to eat a milkshake (using the spoon as a straw). But his best lesson was that slathering peanut butter on top of pancakes and then adding syrup creates food alchemy bliss. To this day, I prefer my pancakes with peanut butter and send a silent thank you to my grandfather every time.


5. I’d like to buy a few extra vowels, please.

When I was young, my mom worked in England for a few years. As a result, my spelling is occasionally … creative. For instance, I firmly believe color should be spelled colour. And Theater should really be theatre. I also really love fish & chips, tea, shepherds pie, and using words like wonky and swotty.


6. Lemon trees are inconsistent bastards.

We own a teeny lemon tree. It’s cute and spiky. Much like my hedgehogs so you can see why I’d love it. Each year the tree gives us a handful of lemons – until the year it dropped 23 baseball sizes lemons all at once. We had lemon-flavored something or other for weeks! I have now mastered every lemon dessert possible, several tasty lemon entrées and still make a lemon sour cream pie every few months, even when I have to use store-bought lemons. Last year, the lemon tree didn’t give us any lemons. It’s probably resting up from all that work. I expect a bumper crop this year, though and am already plotting new recipes.


7. Four names is better than one.

Our hamster is named Ruby Rey Oatmeal Pudge. She came into our lives unexpectedly when a college student abandoned her on the side of the road at my husband’s work. I wanted to name her Rhino, after the hamster in Bolt, but when we found out she was a girl from the vet, that plan changed. My husband, kids and I couldn’t agree on one name. So we named her all four. Being tricksy, however, I made sure the name I wanted was first!


8. The Force is strong with our pets.

All of our dogs and cats over the years have had Star Wars names. My husband is a HUGE Star Wars fanatic and loves coming up with names for the pets. But we don’t normally go with the expected names – no Luke or Chewey for us. Our cats are Kyber and Tycho. Our dogs are Aayla and Ahsoka. For those of you keeping track – yes we have a lot of pets! Seven to be exact: two dogs, two cats, two hedgehogs and a hamster.


9. Trains are my muse.

I write during my commute to and from work on the local light rail. It’s become such a habit that when I have to write elsewhere, I prefer listening to train sounds in the background.


10. My characters make me try new things.

Until I wrote the first draft of CHEESUS WAS HERE, I’d never tasted a Babybel cheese wheel! Afterward, I had to try one of course. In my latest work-in-progress, one of the main characters loves sarsaparilla soda – something else I’d never tried. I’ve discovered they’re rather tasty.


And that’s my top ten things you didn’t know about me. I hope you’ve had fun reading along and if you made it all the way to the bottom of the list, high five! Thank you so much, Kitty for the chance to share a bit of my ridiculousness with your readers.


It’s been great having you. Thank you so much for coming by. High five!

So… what’s Cheesus Was Here about? Here’s the Goodreads Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Delaney Delgado knows miracles aren’t real—if they were, her kid sister wouldn’t be dead. So when the image of baby Jesus appears on a Babybel cheese wheel, she’s not buying the idea that God’s got a dairy obsession. Soon, religious signs begin turning up all over Del’s hometown, tiny Clemency, Texas. Overnight, news vans fill the streets and religious pilgrims start searching for God in the discount aisle of the grocery store.

Hell-bent on proving the so-called miracles are fake, Del convinces her best friend, Gabe, to help her find the truth. While Gabe’s willing to play detective, as a preacher’s son he’s more interested in finding evidence that supports the miracles. But when the whole town becomes caught up in religious fervor and even the late-night talk show hosts have stopped laughing and started to believe, finding the truth might cause more trouble than Del can handle. This novel is neither pro nor anti-religion, and will appeal to fans of contemporary YA novels that explore deep themes with an element of humor. The voice and characters are funny, strong, and full of heart. This is a book for anyone who loved Saved!


Remember, if you’re a preorder person (I am! Me me me!!) you can still reserve your copy of Cheesus Was Here before it’s April 11 release. A few places you can do that are:


J. C. Davis Bio

A programmer by day, I write YA fiction, the occasional short story and have far too many hobbies to keep up with. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband, two kids and a pair of hedgehogs with nerdy names.


And now… A Giveaway!! One reader (US ONLY–SORRY, BOOKWORMS!!) will win a special prize pack including:

  • 1 Signed Hardback Copy of CHEESUS WAS HERE by J.C. Davis
  • Swag including— bookmark, button, 2 art cards, a cheese wedge charm 

a Rafflecopter giveaway