The Best Kind of Magic (Windy City Magic #1)

Crystal Cestari

Published May 16th 2017 by Disney-Hyperion

YA > Fantasy | Magical Realism

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | TBD | Kobo



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.



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5 Things (or People) that Inspired The Best Kind Of Magic 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Oh captain, my captain: Buffy is my everything. The spark to my fangirl flame, an obsession to last a lifetime; I owe so much to this show. There are so many elements in The Best Kind of Magic that are influenced by Buffy, including (but not limited to): a group a supernaturally inclined characters; a heroine who struggles with her unique gift; and a magic shop that caters to a specific community while somehow flying under the radar.



Veronica Mars


Veronica Mars is one of my favorite fictional characters ever. She is strong, smart, and does not back down to bullies. Veronica has an insatiable need to learn the truth and set people straight, and Amber shares that burning desire. As a matchmaker, she feels its her sacred duty to tell people whether or not they have found their match, regardless if they want to know or not. In The Best Kind of Magic, Amber has to solve a romantic mystery, and I definitely tried to channel a pinch of Veronica’s sleuthing skills and sassy one-liners.


All hail Jane Austen’s matchmaker who didn’t mind meddling in other people’s business but kept her own love life locked down. Like Emma, Amber is extremely confident in her matchmaking abilities, and super stubborn toward naysayers. She also gets in trouble quite often for sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong!


Sweet Mandy B’s

The Best Kind of Magic is set in Chicago, and while there are many references to actual places (Navy Pier, the Art Institute), there are others based on places I love. The fictional MarshmElla’s bakery is based off Sweet Mandy B’s, the most delicious place in the city. I used to live just down the street from this heavenly bake shop, and insisting on stopping by every time I’m in that area. Every thing on the menu is absolutely mouthwatering, and I have literally had dreams about their buttercream frosting.

Harry Potter 

You can’t write a story containing witches without thinking about Harry Potter. While the characters in The Best Kind of Magic (sadly) do not attend a school for witchcraft and wizardry, they do have to learn how to harness their abilities in the real world, something Harry struggles with too. All of the different spells, mystical creatures, and ways magic can be part of daily life were hugely influential. Even though Amber isn’t a witch, she spends a lot of time around magical supplies, so I definitely thought a lot about Snape’s potions storeroom and Dumbledore’s office. 





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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.





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