Today we are excited to participate in the blog tour for By Blood by Tracy E. Banghart . By Blood is a young adult paranormal romance that was released February 18, 2013. Its companion, Moon Child, was released August 16, 2013 by CreateSpace.
About the Book
By Tracy E. Banghart
Series: By Blood #1
Genre: YA Paranormal
For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please.
Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix. Even worse, there’s (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he’ll be witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.
But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom…and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.
Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.
By Blood is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others – or tear us apart.Moon Child
By Tracy E. Banghart
Series: By Blood #2
Date: 8/16/13Genre: YA Paranormal
Before Emma’s adventures in Oxford, her best friend Diana came face-to-face with a killer…
Diana Calvert is so over high school. Who cares if Olivia hates her? And David needs to forget about having a crush on her STAT. Even Emma’s crazy fashion choices can’t keep Diana entertained. All she can hope for is a dance scholarship to a college as far away as possible from too-small, too-boring, too-nothing-ever-happens New Freedom, PA.
Then Diana meets Nicholas Woodhaven. He’s pale, angry…yet weirdly charming. The more time they spend together, the more she wonders who – or what – he really is. Because he isn’t anything like the other guys she knows. Not with the whole only-going-out-at-night thing. And living with his creepy aunt. And not going to school.
Just when Diana thinks she’s got Nicholas all figured out, people in her small, nothing-ever-happens town start dying. She has to wonder – can she trust him? And even more alarming – could she be next?
A murder mystery with a paranormal twist, Moon Child is best read under the covers with a flashlight…if you dare!
This was my first book about Druids. In fact, I had to do a Google Search when I first came across the book just to find out what they were. If you don’t know, here’s a quick blub:
The Druids were priests who carried out religious rituals in Iron Age Britain and France. The Romans, who visited and later conquered France and Britain, met Druids and wrote about their beliefs and rites. Although these writings may not always have been completely truthful, it is clear that the Druids were an important group of people in many Iron Age societies. A little is also known about the Druid’s beliefs and rituals, including the importance of mistletoe. Archaeologists rarely find direct evidence for priests in the Iron Age. But they often find evidence for religious rites and sacrifices and many of these were probably carried out by Druids.
There are no pictures of Druids – what did they look like? Did they wear special clothes or were they dressed the same as other Iron Age people? Some archaeologists have argued that special headdresses or crowns such as that found on the head of the Deal Warrior may have been worn by some priests or Druids.
Modern Druids have no direct connection to the Druids of the Iron Age. Many of our popular ideas about the Druids are based on the misunderstandings and misconceptions of scholars 200 years ago. These ideas have been superceded by later study and discoveries. In particular, there is no link between the Iron Age Druids and the people who built and worshipped at Stonehenge, Wiltshire. This ancient monument was part of a religion that ended before the Iron Age began. – British Museum Website
One of the theories about Stonehenge is that it was the work of the Druids. So, if anywhere, that is probably where you’ve heard of them. As you can tell, my academia is showing. *Back to regularly scheduled reviewing*
So, going in I was really excited/interested to see how this book would go. From the beginning we get a real good sense of who our main character, Emma, is. We get a great opportunity to get inside her head — and it’s a mess. She has lots of family issues (mom left dad after cheating, had a baby, hasn’t seen her in years, and now has to spend all summer with her. In a foreign country). There are a lot of the details about Emma’s life that speak right to your heart. Emotionally, she had me in her world, and near tears a couple of times. This dynamic was one powerful story line within the book, as she found out more about the family secrets and her parents. If this would have been the only thread of the story, without the Druids, I still probably would have read (and enjoyed it!)
Next there are the loooooove interests. Emma has two guys (of course). However, the love triangle was warranted in this situation. We needed that tension. Plus, one of the boys LIVES with her family, so obviously it is something the two want to avoid, for the sake of awkwardness. I really like how this part of the story played out. Both boys were unique and had a personality that drew me in. The other members of the Druids were interesting — it was great to hear the slang of England (and try to figure out was it meant!) Although the parts described of Oxford brought up great imagery, I wanted MORE. Here we are in this beautiful country and I’m not getting a great sense about what it looks like. And the characters seem to take up more of the attention than the scenery.
Then there is the Druids. I loved how open the members of the Grove were about who they were and what they did. It was interesting to see why each member was drawn to the group. I also loved how something so innocent could be quickly turned into something sinister. And just as in the real world, once that innocent facade is stripped away, you are suddenly in something too deep to get out of. I felt like that is how the characters felt as the rituals progressed into something more sinister. After doing some research (yes, I’m a nerd), I found out that modern Druids still practice, and are not sinister, but focus on the commune with the earth and its elements. Interestingly enough, they also state in there “About” information that they are not a cult. This is a big part of the book, so it was cool to see how all that played into the story and how the book divulges from reality. (If YOU want to know more, visit the Order of the Bards Ovates and Druids website.
There were definitely some twists and turns I saw coming, but I wasn’t expecting everything to happen the way it did. The Druids parts were facinating and when they started losing memory the book started to feel a little like a psychological thriller. Overall, Tracy has some strong characters, emotions, and story lines happening in this book. You most definitely will NOT be bored. If you like paranormal or even contemporary, you will love this book!
About the Author
Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.
Connect with Tracy
Now comes the fun part! Today’s tour-wide giveaway includes the following prizes:
A big thanks to the author and Xpresso for this chance! Be sure to follow the directions on each entry, as they will be verified!
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This blog tour was organized by Xpresso Book Tours