Book Review: The Hocus Pocus Magic Shop by Abigail Drake

Note: I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

About the Book:

The Hocus Pocus Magic Shop

When chemist Grace O’Leary finds a book of magic spells hidden in her Aunt Lucy’s run-down magic shop, the scientist in her itches to try them out. She mixes up a batch of love potions as a joke, and has to face the consequences when they actually seem to work.

Her dream of becoming a professor is in peril, and time is running out to finish research for her dissertation. She can’t handle any more distractions, but the magic shop is on the verge of closing, her aunt has become forgetful and confused, and a handsome reporter named Dario Fontana keeps sniffing around for a story. The last thing she needs is for him to find out about the love potions and expose her as fraud, but she begins to trust him, and the sizzling chemistry between them is soon too powerful to deny.

With her personal and professional life in chaos, and her budding relationship with Dario in jeopardy, Grace is faced with a difficult choice. Fixing what is broken means going against every logical bone in her body. Can Grace learn to silence her scientific brain long enough to accept the truth about magic…and also about herself?

About the Author:

Award-winning author Abigail Drake has spent her life traveling the world and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and Economics in college, and is a book hoarder, a coffee drinker, a linguistics geek, and an eternal optimist. She writes women’s fiction and young adult fiction with smart, sassy, funny heroines, and she also enjoys blogging about the adventures of her mischievous Labrador retriever, Capone.

Abigail is the winner of the prestigious 2017 Prism Award for her book Traveller, and the International Digital Award for her young adult novel, Tiger Lily. In addition, she was named a finalist in the Golden Pen, the Golden Leaf, the Dante Rossetti Book Award, and the Cygnus Award for Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction. Learn more about

My Thoughts:

The Hocus Pocus Magic Shop introduces us to chemist Grace O’Leary who is working on her PhD thesis. When she is framed for helping a student to cheat, she is stripped of her TA privileges and shunned by many of her peers. Looking for a break and a change of scenery, she volunteers to visit her Aunt Lucy who had a mild accident and to provide her support.

The reader is introduced to a variety of characters, but they are brought in quite abruptly. There is not a lot of background information provided about them which leads us to wonder how they are connected to the main character.  Much of Grace’s situation is a cliche, she meets a handsome young man who lives in her Aunt’s town, she is struggling to deal with the pressure of completing her thesis and finally, there is the mystery of who caused her aunt’s accident.

The events that occur seem sudden and disconnected. There are times when the reader will wonder how certain characters are even tied in or have information. It took me a while to get into the book and to really piece together the story.

However, as the story progresses, it becomes easier to understand the plot even though the characters were not very easy to relate to for me. There is magic, mystery and romance all mixed together rather haphazardly. But, this book proves to be a rather light and simple read if one does not try to focus too much on the plot. The friends that Grace makes and the support she receives in the end make it worthwhile to read about.

Book Review: Who am I? by Megan Cyrulewski



About Megan:

Megan Cyrulewski is an ordinary person who has faced extraordinary challenges and now wants to inspire people and show them that hope gives them the power to survive anything. Who Am I? is about her journey into post-partum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, visits to the psych ward, divorce, domestic violence, law school, and her courageous struggle to survive with her sanity intact-and how a beautiful little girl emerged from all this chaos.






My Thoughts:

This is indeed a true story and I cannot even begin to imagine or understand how Megan coped with her life. I am glad she is out of it and is moving on. Her story has touched me to the depths of my soul and though I  have not gone through what she has I could feel her pain, her sadness and her happiness all in one. It is truly amazing how she has taken her experience in life and written about it sharing it with the world. It does take a lot of strength to do that and to deal with what she has and I admire her for it.

The message Megan is trying to get across to all women out there is clear and precise:

Postpartum Depression can affect anyone and there is nothing wrong in seeking treatment or consulting a doctor. Also, emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence and is not to be taken lightly.

These are some things all women should understand and all men should be aware of. Frankly this is a book that everyone should read as each person will have something to take away, some experience that they can understand or there might be something someone can relate to.

A well written memoir, this book highlights Megan’s journey from her marriage to divorce and how she continues to study law without giving up. She mentions specific instances and situations which were indicative of abusive behavior but were ignored. Megan honestly shares her feelings, thoughts and emotions in all situations. She admits her feelings about her pregnancy and how later she grows to love her daughter who is now the center of her life. Megan’s parents supported her through her pregnancy, separation and divorce. It is not easy to deal with all this but when there are people who understand and support you it goes a long way in helping.

I strongly recommend this book to everyone out there! Please read it and pass the news on to others. Please understand what Megan is trying to convey through her experiences and try to help others in need.