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Broomsticks and Board Games (Spooky Games Club #1) by Amy McNulty Audiobook Tour & Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young witch in a town full of supernaturals must balance keeping her neighbors human nephew oblivious of the supernatural community around them, keeping the curse beset on her from claiming her as a victim, and an old town mystery surrounding a former games club that turned deadly in author Amy McNulty’s “Broomsticks and Board Games”, the first in the Spooky Games Club series.

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The Synopsis

Dahlia Poplar is a genuine witch, an unofficial gofer, and Luna Lane’s only cursed resident.

With a werewolf best friend, a vampire ex-boyfriend, and a ghost for a hanger-on, Dahlia is far from the most unusual dweller of her sleepy small town, but she’s the only one unable to leave. Dahlia has to perform at least one good deed per day—or she’s one step closer to turning to stone.

Fortunately, the residents of Luna Lane have plenty of tasks for Dahlia to complete to avert the curse until Cable Woodward, fetching professor and nephew of her elderly neighbor, stops by for the semester on sabbatical. Attempting to help Cable’s uncle work through the trauma of losing his wife, Dahlia uncovers the man’s collection of board games, which leads to him reminiscing about the long-forgotten Luna Lane Games Club.

Dahlia reestablishes Games Club, only to find evidence of a number of horrible demises connected to the original group. While trying to uncover the truth about the deaths, Dahlia has to fight off her curse, protect her elderly neighbor from becoming the next victim, and most vexing of all, keep Cable from figuring out Luna Lane’s supernatural secrets. Only with eerie board games like these, there may not be a loser—or even a winner—who survives. 

The Review

This was the perfect blend of a cozy mystery, YA fantasy, and paranormal thriller. The book builds intrigue by slowly introducing the protagonist and the mystery surrounding the paranormal community of Luna Lane. Quickly however the novel takes readers on a series of twists and turns that not only introduce some memorable members of this cast of characters but keep the reader on the edge of their seat as both personal and grander threats push Dahlia to the edge. 

The audiobook did a great job of drawing the reader in. Between the amazing world-building author Amy McNulty does and the genre-fusion that this story becomes and the soothing yet commanding voice work of narrator Danielle Daly that kept the reader invested, this audiobook was both entertaining and enthralling all at once. 

The Verdict

A thrilling, memorable, and engaging read, author Amy McNulty’s “Broomsticks and Board Games” is a fantastic start to the Spooky Games Club series. The cast of characters is quite remarkable and both humorous and entertaining, while the chilling mystery behind both the games club and Dahlia’s curse keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. With a powerful story and equally powerful narrator, this is one audiobook you won’t want to miss. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: Amy McNulty

Narrator: Danielle Daly

Length: 7 hours 4 minutes

Series: A Spooky Games Club Mystery, Book 1

Publisher: Crimson Fox Publishing

Released: Jan. 5, 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Dahlia Poplar is a genuine witch, an unofficial gofer, and Luna Lane’s only cursed resident. With a werewolf best friend, a vampire ex-boyfriend, and a ghost for a hanger-on, Dahlia is far from the most unusual dweller of her sleepy small town, but she’s the only one unable to leave. Dahlia has to perform at least one good deed per day – or she’s one step closer to turning to stone. Fortunately, the residents of Luna Lane have plenty of tasks for Dahlia to complete to avert the curse until Cable Woodward, fetching professor and nephew of her elderly neighbor, stops by for the semester on sabbatical. Attempting to help Cable’s uncle work through the trauma of losing his wife, Dahlia uncovers the man’s collection of board games, which leads to him reminiscing about the long-forgotten Luna Lane Games Club. Dahlia reestablishes the Games Club, only to find evidence of a number of horrible demises connected to the original group. While trying to uncover the truth about the deaths, Dahlia has to fight off her curse, protect her elderly neighbor from becoming the next victim, and most vexing of all, keep Cable from figuring out Luna Lane’s supernatural secrets. Only, with eerie board games like these, there may not be a loser – or even a winner – who survives.

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Amy McNulty is an editor and author of books that run the gamut from YA speculative fiction to contemporary romance. A lifelong fiction fanatic, she fangirls over books, anime, manga, comics, movies, games, and TV shows from her home state of Wisconsin. When not editing her clients’ novels, she’s busy fulfilling her dream by crafting fantastical worlds of her own.
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Narrator Bio Danielle Daly hails from Long Island, New York but hopes you can’t tell that when she’s reading to you. Grateful for her many years of experience in narrating stories for various short story fiction podcasts, the opportunity to narrate audiobooks for a wider audience is a dream come true.
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  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Amy McNulty. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. Top 10 List
Author Amy McNulty’s Top 10 Reasons to Listen to Broomsticks and Board Games
  1. There’s a magic broomstick that acts like a cat. She eats cornhusks and often manages to get up to mischief.
  2. Vampires, werewolves, witches, and mummies, oh my! The small town of Luna Lane is full of delightful paranormal creatures and their “normie” human neighbors.
  3. The Spooky Games Club plays a cursed board game. It was odd to recreate the experience of playing a board game via the written word, but I hope readers find themselves immersed in the experience as the club must play the game to solve a mystery.
  4. Main character witch Dahlia’s ex-boyfriend is a surly vampire who still carries a torch for her. The normie neighbor’s human son, a visiting professor, is pretty cute, too.
  5. Werewolf besties. Dahlia’s best friend, Faine, has a little werewolf pack of her own: a husband and three adorable kids. They run the local café, Hungry Like a Pup.
  6. Dahlia is plagued by a curse. If she doesn’t complete a good deed while the sun is up—without resorting to relying on her magic—she grows a stone scale. Someday, she might turn into stone entirely.
  7. Backwards spells. To use magic, Dahlia must say what she wants backwards. It doesn’t always work perfectly, but the result is often amusing.
  8. Friendly town. The closest Dahlia has to an enemy is her ex-boyfriend, and even he doesn’t always get on her last nerve. Everyone in Luna Lane looks out for each other and their cursed resident witch.
  9. Spooky, mysterious wicked witch. Dahlia’s not the only witch in town. The silver-haired witch who cursed Dahlia at birth seems to be back and up to no good.
  10. Danielle Daly’s amazing work! She brings emotion and humor to every scene as called for, making it easy to immerse yourself in the telling of the tale.
Dahlia (sometimes “Lia”) Poplar: age 30, 5’8”, long, wavy red hair, sharp eyebrows, hazel-green eyes. Witch partnered with Broomhilde (“Broomie”), an enchanted broomstick that acts like cat. Suffers from a curse inflicted at birth. Every day, while the sun is up, she must complete a good deed without relying on magic. If she fails, she grows a stone scale on her skin. Her left arm is covered in scales, though she usually manages to do her good deed in time—unless she’s distracted. Her mom passed away ten years before; she lives alone. Cable Woodward: age 32, glasses, dark, wavy short hair, 6’4”, muscular, brown eyes. On sabbatical from teaching American literature in Scotland. Cable spent his childhood traveling the world with his single mother, Ingrid, who had him later in life. Ingrid grew up in Luna Lane and suggests Cable visit her brother during his time off from work. She just doesn’t appear to have clued Cable in to the fact that the supernatural exists—and paranormal creatures call Luna Lane home. Milton Woodward: age 85, spotted skin, thin, white hair. Milton has dementia, which has worsened since the passing of his wife, Leana, a few months before the story begins. He used to run the general store, Vogel’s, which he sold twenty years before to the Mahajans. Dahlia’s next-door neighbor and Cable’s uncle, though he didn’t see him in person much during Cable’s youth. Goldie and Arjun Mahajan: age mid-50s, plump, on the shorter side, black and grey hair, Goldie a beauty. They run Vogel’s, the town’s general store, and love to stay busy. Goldie is especially protective of Dahlia and loves to play with Broomie. Both are amateur matchmakers. Their sons, Hitesh and Zashil, Dahlia’s childhood friends, moved to other cities for college and stayed there after finding their spouses. Draven: age unknown (at least 500), deathly pale complexion, tall and trim but with defined muscles, long, blond hair like a rock star’s. Likes to wear dark leather. Runs the local pub First Taste and lives in an elegant Victorian with Ravana, his sire, and Qarinah, a newer vampire. Dated Dahlia for several years after she turned 21. They had a hot and passionate romance, but his ego and inability to apologize led her to break up with him a few years before the story begins. Faine Vadas: age 30, wild, brown hair, 5’3”; curvy. Loves to dress in vintage styles, like a pin-up model. Dahlia’s best friend since childhood. Her husband, Grady, is 35, tall and thin. They run the local café, Hungry Like a Pup, which is connected to First Taste. Their kids are Flora (girl, 7, tall), Fauna (girl, 5, short, puffy pigtails), and Falcon (boy, 3, troublemaker). All five of them are werewolves, though they only turn during the full moon. Virginia Kincaid: died in 1911 at age 20. Ghastly white, often transluscent, dressed like an early 20th-century Southern Belle. She’s a ghost who’s very social and talkative. Easily offended, a gossipmonger, and a flirt, Virginia has a complex about cheaters and will get very angry if she thinks anyone is cheating in even the most harmless of ways. Sherriff Roan Birch: age late 50s, bald, handsome, wrinkled, with a gut. Dahlia considers Roan like a father since he was always helping her mom out when Dahlia was growing up. Everyone knew Roan harbored an unrequited love for Dahlia’s mother, but he never let that get in the way of an earnest friendship. Since no crime happens in Luna Lane, Roan has a pretty easy job—until Dahlia uncover clues that indicate there’s been a murder. Eithne Allaway: age unknown, long, white hair, tall and willowy, dark eyes. The mysterious witch who cursed Dahlia at birth, most likely because she hated Dahlia’s witch mother. She’s been gone from Luna Lane for decades, but when things start going wrong, Dahlia suspects the witch’s involvement.
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Author:

Anthony Avina, (Born March 1990), is an author, a journalist, and a blogger. Born in Southern California, he has battled through injuries, disabilities, moves back and forth across the country, and more, yet still maintains a creative voice that he hopes to use not only to entertain but to inspire hope in even the darkest situations. He writes short stories and novels in several genres, and is also a seasoned journalist for the online magazine, On Request Magazine, as well as the popular site TheGamer. Having grown up reading the books of Dean Koontz and Stephen King, they inspired him to write new and exciting stories that delved into the minds of richly developed characters. He constantly tries to write stories that have never been told before, and to paint a picture in your mind while you are reading the book, as if you could see every scene of the book as if it were a movie you were watching. His stories will get your imaginations working, and will also show that in spite of the most despairing and horrific situations, hope is never out of reach. He am always writing, and so there will never be a shortage of new stories for your reading pleasure. http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

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