Review: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (Blog Tour + Giveaway)The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown's Game #1
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 17, 2016
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


Find out more about The Crown's Game and the Pre-order here!

The Crown's Game Blog Tour Banner 
Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (May 17, 2016, Balzer + Bray) I absolutely LOVED this book, so, I’m BEYOND excited to be a part of this blog tour! I hope you enjoy my review!


The Crown’s Game was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016 and it definitely did NOT disappoint! If anything, it exceeded my expectations – by a LOT. The characters were amazing, the writing was epic and the plot was filled with magic and mayhem.

Vika was powerful and confident in her abilities. She reminded me a LOT of Alina from the Grisha trilogy. But her confidence made her a bit careless – made her feel she was a shoe-in as The Imperial Enchanter. She never even considered that there might be another enchanter out there who could best her. I loved her command of the elements, though. That was pretty awesome!

Being an orphan who had to fight for everything made Nikolai strong and determined. He has every reason to fight and win – and every reason to fear losing. The way his story ended though… HOLY CRAP!!! I did NOT expect what happened to happen! And I can’t wait to see how it’s resolved in the second book!

I really liked Pasha. He reminded me of Charles in Reign. He’ll do his duty, but he’d rather not. He’s a bit aloof. There were some moments near the middle/end where he was really awful and it really upset me, but looking back, I understand why he behaved that way and what caused him to behave that way, so I feel like I kind of forgive him now. Sort of. He still needs to earn back his brownie points!

I loved the way Vika and Nikolai one-upped each other with their powers. It’s like magical banter and more hilarious than verbal banter could have been. I definitely shipped them a LOT, but not in the beginning. Only because I actually really loved the idea of Vika and Pasha together and I shipped them until the half-way point in the book, roughly.

Plus, at times, I seriously shipped Nikolai and Renata. Their relationship gave me major Kaz/Inej feels. So when I was shipping them, it was easy to forget about my Nikolai/Vika feels. But really, I think I’d be happy with any combination of Vika/Nikaolai, Vika/Pasha, Nikolai/Renata. I just had SO MANY FEELS that, honestly, any of those ships would satisfy me. Normally I’d pick an OTP for a book, but that’s impossible to do with The Crown’s Game because all the characters are so epic, I just love all the potential pairings!

Yuliana was wise and stubborn. She’s outspoken, but she knows just the right thing to say to make every outspoken thing she says count. Also, the fact that Yuliana can handle the viciousness of the Game with a “fierce and wistful,” smile makes me just a touch afraid of her! She can also be incredibly convincing, borderline manipulative. I think she means well, but she’s steadfast in her loyalty to her country and she’ll do whatever she has to to ensure its safety, even if it means her brother’s well-being is secondary.

In two weeks, I’ll be posting for my stop on the Tsar’s Guard Parade blog tour. My post includes five random thoughts that I had while reading The Crown’s Game. I don’t want to go into too much detail on those points now because I don’t want to get repetitive. But I’ll briefly mention them here: If you were a fan of the Grisha trilogy, I HIGHLY recommend The Crown’s Game! Also, if you loved A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray! Are you a fan of Anastasia? Because I had SO MANY ANASTASIA FEELS!!! So if you love Anastasia, that’s another incentive to read The Crown’s Game right there! Finally, if you’re a fan of Fairy Tales (specifically Russian ones), there are several Fairy Tale references in The Crown’s Game! So that makes it a MUST READ for Fairy Tale fans!

This book is a FAST read, mostly because once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down! I read the first 315 pages in 13 hours, with breaks only for food and to take care of my dog! Every time I thought “one more chapter,” I ended up desperate to see what happened next. The pacing was always on point, never slowing.

Near the end, my state of mind/statuses/comments dissolved into a lot of “OMG” and “WTF” and “!!!!!!!!!!!” My poor heart just couldn’t handle all the revelations, twists and unexpected craziness! And then the ending (like, the absolute ending) was… Holy amazeballs!!! So intense and epic and WHY DID I READ THIS BOOK SO EARLY?!?! NOW THE WAIT UNTIL BOOK TWO IS EVEN LONGER!!!! GAH!!! I NEEDS IT!!!

*Clears throat*

Anyway, if you couldn’t tell from my review (Um. Seriously?), I LOVED this book. I don’t even think “loved” is a strong enough word. It’s absolutely one of my top favorite reads for 2016 (and it’s only March!!) and I HIGHLY recommend it! Seriously! Add it to your TBR! If you have an ARC, READ IT NOW! It’s amazing and I’ll definitely be pushing it on as many people as I possibly can! Evelyn Skye is an amazing writer and story teller and I absolutely can’t wait for book two (and what a long wait that will be.. SOBS!)!!! I also can’t wait to see what else she writes outside of the Crown’s Game world. She’s definitely a debut author to keep your eye on!


And now for the giveaway! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Evelyn SkyeAbout the Author:
Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel.

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Tour Schedule:

Monday, February 29: Bookish Lifestyle – Review + Pinterest Boards
Tuesday, March 1: One Less Lonely Blog – Review
Wednesday, March 2: It Starts at Midnight – Review
Thursday, March 3: Stories & Sweeties – Review + Russian Tea Cake Recipe
Friday, March 4: The YA Book Traveler – Review + Dreamcast & Book Trailer
Saturday, March 5: Pandora’s Books – Review
Sunday, March 6: Seeing Double in Neverland – Review
Monday, March 7: Out Of Time – Review + Song
Tuesday, March 8: Book Nerd Addict – Review + Favorite Quotes
Wednesday, March 9: Paper Fury – Review + Reasons to Read This Book!
Thursday, March 10: A Reader Under The Sea – Cover Recreation
Friday, March 11: The Broke and the Bookish – Review


Review: You’re Still the One by Rachel Harris (Blog Tour + Excerpt)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: You’re Still the One by Rachel Harris (Blog Tour + Excerpt)You're Still the One by Rachel Harris
Series: Country Blues #1
Published by Entangled: Bliss on February 15, 2016
Pages: 254
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Love is one dare neither of them can take...

Arabella Stone, Nashville’s darling, is eager to shuck her prim-and-proper rep, and a few wild months spent checking items off her “ summer bucket list” is the way to do it. First up: kiss the man she’s crushed on since she wore a training bra, the bad boy of country himself, Blue bassist Charlie Tucker.

For Charlie, a beautiful woman flirting with him isn’t out of the norm—but a beautiful woman bolting after the hottest kiss of his life sure is. And when he finds out his kiss-and-run Cinderella is none other than Arabella Stone, daughter of his label’s CEO, he knows he’s in trouble. Because not only is she a Stone, she’s also his employee for the next few months at the recording studio he just bought.

Over the course of one thrilling summer, Arabella and Charlie chip away at her bucket list and fight the simmering attraction between them...knowing that once it's all over, so is their time together.


Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

You're Still the One - Review & Excerpt Tour banner 
We are so excited to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Rachel Harris’s YOU’RE STILL THE ONE, the first novel in Rachel’s Country Blues Series! YOU’RE STILL THE ONE – a novel published by Entangled Bliss – is out now. Grab your copy today!

We have a lot of fun things for you today! First, here’s my review! Enjoy!


I absolutely LOVED this book! I mean, I love all of Rachel Harris’ books, but I REALLY loved this one! Ella and Charlie were amazing and definitely my OTP, out of all of Rachel’s couples. I loved them, the secondary characters and the plot! And, as always, Rachel’s writing was epic and full of swoons and feels!

Ella was both adorably awkward and fierce. That sounds like SUCH a contradiction of descriptions, but she really exhibited both personalities. At times, she was really shy and withdrawn. But she had moments where she came out of her shell and really shined. I loved her backstory and the way she fought for her reputation, to make a name for herself outside of her father’s influence. She was stronger than she gave herself credit for.

Charlie was epic – the ultimate bad boy musician with a reputation to boot. But, of course, he had a softer side that he kept well-guarded. Basically: tough exterior, gooey interior. He cared deeply for his family and his band. His passion for both really fueled him.

I totally, 100% shipped Charlie and Ella. I used to think Tyler and Sherry were my ultimate ship within these books, but Charlie and Ella totally trump them! The banter and sexual tension between them was intense and epic! There was one particular chapter that was pure perfection, for so many reasons! I can’t say why because of spoilers but.. *Fans self!!!*

I love the way Rachel weaves together all her books and characters. It never feels forced or unnecessary. I love the way their lives and stories come together and the way they’re all family – whether directly related or because of budding relationships or friendships. I still LOVE Tyler and Sherry, so it was awesome seeing so much of them, as well as Colby and Cane. I also officially need a Deacon/Hannah novel. Make that happen, Rachel!

This whole book can be summed up in two phrases: ‘grinning like an idiot’ and ‘swooning like a fool.’ Basically, those are the two things I did throughout the entire book. When I wasn’t grinning like an idiot at something Charlie and/or Ella said or did, I was swooning and fanning myself! There were moments that were hilariously awkward and epic. There were moments that were HOT HOT HOT. And there were a LOT of moments that were filled with feels. MY POOR FEELS!!! SO MANY FEELS!!! Rachel Harris’s books always have me smirking, grinning and cackling. But this book took that up a notch!

Also, Life & Lyrics Foundation SO needs to be a real thing. I absolutely loved the concept and what it could mean for those with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

And then that ending! OMG OMG OMG!!!! Usually, Rachel’s books are stand-alones within the overall series. But if I don’t get more Charlie and Ella, I think I’ll break down into hysterics and tantrums like a toddler! Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme.. But.. I NEED MORE ELLA AND CHARLIE!!!!

Overall, if you couldn’t tell from my review (Uh.. Did you even read it?!?!), I LOVED this book! I ADORED IT TO PIECES! Charlie and Ella were epic and amazing and are my OTP. Rachel’s writing was on point in this book! The plot was amazing, the ending was amazing and the feels and swoons were non-stop amazeballs! You NEED to read this book and every single one that Rachel has ever written. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!


You're Still the One - Review & Excerpt Tour Teaser


And now here’s the excerpt! Enjoy!

Yup, this was a recipe for unmitigated disaster. With the hot sting of jealousy currently roiling in his gut, demanding he lay claim to what was his, the smart thing for Charlie to do would be to turn tail and run before they breached the point of no return.

Don’t push too far, Tucker. Remember, she’s not for you.

Even his conscience knew better than to suggest bailing. Completely walking away wasn’t an option anymore. The attraction was too strong. The oppressive Louisiana heat boiled his blood just enough to make dangerous ideas seem possible.

“It’s a beautiful night.” Arabella was a low whispered voice behind him, and when Charlie turned it was in time to watch her cover-up fall to the ground.

Sweet Jesus. The dress she’d worn all day had been typical Arabella, classy and feminine. She’d looked beautiful as always, so much so that it hadn’t been a shocker to find another guy hanging on her with drool on his chin. But the swimsuit hidden beneath the simple dress almost dropped Charlie to his knees.

The two-piece was emerald green, a spectacular color set against her olive skin that made those doe eyes pop. It was vintage in style, like everything she owned, and the bottom consisted of more fabric than half the women’s shorts today, but it cupped her hips and thighs in a way that his hands itched to replicate. And the swimsuit’s top… Charlie swallowed thickly. Arabella’s small, high breasts were lifted in a mouthwatering display of cleavage that was a feast for the eyes.

She looked seductive and innocent and, good God, she was trying to kill him.

Charlie was moving before he even realized it, walking in a lust-filled daze toward her. But then, his feelings were more complicated than simple lust…and that was the problem.

“You take my breath away.” The line was cliché, like a lyric from some lame power ballad, but for the first time in his life, Charlie understood the meaning. Arabella’s eyes latched onto his, and her chest rose and fell as her pink lips parted in an exhale and, for a moment, he legitimately forgot his own name.

Arabella made his chest ache with want. She made him forget everything in the world other than how it felt to hold her in his arms. How their bodies aligned, her height allowing her to rest her head on his shoulder if she wanted to. Or stare into his eyes if and when he kissed her.

Right now, he wasn’t thinking about the many reasons why he shouldn’t want that, why he didn’t deserve her or why it would be so wrong to reach out and slide his hand along the gentle curve of her waist. No, Charlie forgot all those things, so when his palm grazed across her petal-soft skin, and Arabella’s gasp hit his ears, he also forgot why it was wrong, so very wrong, to act on his needs.

Lowering his head, he breathed in her floral fragrance and closed his eyes.

“Baby girl, you destroy me,” he whispered against her lips. “You have to tell me if you don’t want this, because I’m holding on by a thread.”

“Then let go.”



And now here’s the giveaway! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Rachel Harris 022About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Rachel Harris Goodreads | Newsletter Sign Up


Rachel Harris’ YOU’RE STILL THE ONE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

February 16th

What I’m Reading – Review & Excerpt

Alpha Book Club – Review

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

Ficwishes – Review

Book Starlets – Review & Excerpt

FMR Book Grind – Review

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

February 17th

Lovin’ Los Libros – Review & Excerpt

Angel Reads – Review

SassyCat’s Books Review – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Books According to Abby – Review & Excerpt

First Dream of Books – Excerpt

February 18th

Friends Till The End Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

Tsk Tsk What to Read – Review & Excerpt

Oh the Book Feels – Excerpt

Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous – Review & Excerpt

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

E-Reading After Midnight – Review & Excerpt

February 19th

thebookdragon – Review & Excerpt

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Reviews With Rah – Review & Excerpt

Cyn’s Reviews AndPromotionals – Review & Excerpt

Extreme Bookaholic’s – Excerpt

Jack of All Trades, Master of None – Review & Excerpt

February 20th

The Lovely Books – Review & Excerpt

Miss Riki – Excerpt

Bookaholics Reading Haven – Review & Excerpt

Literary misfit – Excerpt

We All Make Mistakes in Books – Review & Excerpt

Liz’s Reading Life – Excerpt

BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt

February 21st

Four Chicks Flipping Pages – Review & Excerpt

The Bibliophile Confessions – Review

Jen’s Reading Obsession – Review & Excerpt

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Review

Romance Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

Debbie’s World of Books – Excerpt

February 22nd

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

Books, Coffee & Passion – Excerpt

Crazy Cajun Book Addicts – Review & Excerpt

Vi3tbabe – Review

Ticket to Anywhere – Review & Excerpt

Worth Reading It? – Review

My Fictional Escape – Review & Excerpt

February 23rd

Bridget’s Book Bungalow – Review & Excerpt

Dazzled by Books – Review & Excerpt

The Cover Contessa – Excerpt

Bound By Books Books Book Review – Review & Excerpt

All For Love of the Word – Excerpt

February 24th

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

Sultry, Steamy Reading – Review & Excerpt

Alphas Do It Better Book Blog – Excerpt

Library of a Book Witch – Review & Excerpt

Book reviews by lexi – Review

My Fictional Escape – Review & Excerpt

February 25th

Jax’s Book Magic – Review & Excerpt

Lazy Book Lovers – Review

Romantic Reads and Such – Review & Excerpt

A crazy vermonters book reviews – Review

Books Eater – Review & Excerpt

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Review

Karen McCoy Books Presents: The Writer Librarian – Excerpt

February 26th

Ramblings From This Chick – Review & Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

phishbowl’s bookshelf – Review & Excerpt

Beneath The Covers Blog – Excerpt

The Power of Three Readers – Review & Excerpt

Becky’s Book Bytes – Excerpt

Pandora’s Books – Review & Excerpt

Girl with a Pen and a Dream – Excerpt



InkSlinger Blogger Final


Blog Tour: The Many Ships of Reign (Giveaway)

Reign Blog Tour Banner 
Hey everyone! Today, I’m BEYOND EXCITED to share with you my post for the Reign Blog Tour! That’s right – Reign as in the television show! For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you know I’m OBSESSED with this show. Like, I cried happy tears when it was renewed for season three and I’m PRAYING it gets renewed for season four. I live tweet almost every episode. I randomly re-watch favorite episodes on Netflix and via my DVDs. I also tend to cast the Reign characters as characters in the books I’m reading – frequently.

So it comes as no surprise that, when I received the blog tour sign-ups for this tour, I POUNCED. Like, I told Queen Hannah (the blog tour host) that I’d be forever grateful and call her Queen Hannah forever and I think I even promised to be her loyal subject, but I’m not positive. I also may have said something about “heads will roll and I will sob” if I didn’t get on the tour, hehe.

ANYWAY. Long intro is long! My point is, I’m obsessed with this show and SO EXCITED to be on this tour! For my tour stop, I’m going to be discussing the MANY ships of Reign. First, here’s some info about the books based on the show:

RTP An original novel based on the hit television series, Reign.

Since Mary, Queen of Scotland was a child, the English have wanted her country and her crown. She is sent to France to wed its next king–to save herself and her people. It’s a bond that should protect her, but there are forces that conspire…forces of darkness, forces of the heart. Mary’s rule, and her life, has never been safe.

Find out what happens to Mary, Francis, Bash, and the rest of the French court after the season one finale.

Long may she reign.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks

RH France is aflame with rumors of witchcraft and treachery. Who will be burn for their transgressions? Find out in this haunting original novel based on the hit CW television show, Reign.

Something sinister has been sweeping the villages surrounding the French court. Rumors of Satan’s horsemen traveling the countryside and claiming the souls of villagers have sent the people reeling into a religious frenzy and soon fear and suspicion lead them to accuse a young girl of witchcraft. After the prisoner is brought to the palace for questioning, Mary, Greer, Kenna, and Lola work to prove her innocence. But there are others who will stop at nothing to see the girl and her secrets silenced forever…

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks


FAIR WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS! Because, unfortunately, it’s hard to discuss ships without spoilers. Even just shipping a couple can be a spoiler if you didn’t know they were a couple or if you didn’t know Person X had broken up with Person Y and you find out because Person X is with someone new. So yeah, SPOILERS AHEAD! Read at your own risk!

As I mentioned above, today I’m going to be chatting with you about the Many Ships of Reign! This show, guys. Omg, this show! I have SO MANY ships in this show! Most of them are of the romantic variety but one is more a Friend-SHIP and one is of a more devious nature. But I can promise you, this show is full of ships and feels and sinking ships and heartache and heartbreak and joy and DID I MENTION FEELS?!?!? I’ve narrowed it down to my Top Five Favorite Ships, going from #5 down to #1, with #1 being my ultimate OTP of the show. So, here we go!!!


Reign Ship #5: Catherine and Narcisse

Catherine and Narcisse bed 
Okay, okay! Before you boo and scream and hiss, let me explain! I can’t stand Narcisse as of late. His treatment of Mary and Catherine, his manipulation of Charles and Lola – I’m not a fan. HOWEVER. Catherine and Narcisse together? They’re both manipulative, conniving and devious and together, they’re Wickedly Delicious. Plus, they shared some pretty hilarious moments together! Can we please talk about Catherine’s bold… Er.. Hand slip? *Cackles*


Reign Ship #4: Kenna and Bash

Kenna Bash kiss GIF 
I’m 98% positive that Kenna and Bash were doomed from the beginning. That didn’t stop me from shipping them, though! First of all, I adore Bash! Like, HE’S SO YUMMY! And I actually did ship him and Mary VERY BRIEFLY in season one. He’s just epic and adorable and awesome! And at the time they’re ship began, Kenna was my favorite of Mary’s ladies. Her plot was the most intriguing, at least. I just thought they were adorable together and they were both so stubborn and perfect! I’m sad they didn’t work out, but I kind of didn’t expect them to. So it didn’t hurt TOO much when this ship sank.


Reign Ship #3: Greer and Leith / Claude and Leith

Greer and Leith swoon

Claude Leith head kiss GIF 
Okay, I’m cheating here. Because I’m still holding out hope for Greer & Leith – I mean, has everyone forgotten Nostradamus’s prediction?!?!?!

“You’ll fall in love with a man with a white mark on his face” – Nostradamus to Greer, referring to Leith. Season one, episode 3

Like, I’m still holding out hope for that! I know it was said in season one, but Nostradamus’s prediction regarding Mary and Francis also didn’t happen until season three, so, you know.. There’s still hope!

Greer and Leith Kiss 
However, the last few episodes of season three were giving me major Claude and Leith feels! It feels like a betrayal to my original ship and I seriously couldn’t stand Claude and Leith together in the beginning. But yeah, they’re growing on me and I actually find them pretty adorable now!

Claude Leith Dancing 
Plus, honestly, I think Greer and Leith might be past the point of no return and they make pretty good friends now. So.. Sigh. Despite coming to terms with it, this ship sinking still hurt a bit.


Reign Ship #2: Mary and Catherine (Matherine)

Mary Catherine Steps 
Anyone who watches the show can guess why Matherine is my number two favorite ship. It’s not a romantic ship, but Mary and Catherine – when they’re working together and not at odds – are epic! For most of seasons one and two, they were fighting each other, thanks to that vision Nostradamus had. But they still had some amazing moments together, especially when Catherine’s maternal instinct kicked in and she tried to protect or comfort Mary. Especially after that one excruciating episode in season two…

Trigger Warning (Rape) for the video below. But this powerful moment defined Matherine and I feel it relevant to this post

*Shudders* Guys, that scene… That scene gives me chills and makes me cry every time I see it. But again, it’s a very defining moment for Mary and Catherine and it shows Catherine’s maternal instinct, that she cares for Mary and her country. More importantly, it shows Mary’s strength and resilience, her determination to not be a victim, but a Queen.

Mary Catherine Smirk 
Matherine will never stop being one of my favorite duos on television. When they work together, they’re amazing. They’re powerful. They’re bold and brilliant. They’re fierce.


Reign Ship #1: Mary and Francis (Frary)

Mary Francis Throne 
Did anyone really doubt this would be my number one ship? My OTP in the Reignverse? If you did, you don’t know me at all! My heart hurts just talking about Frary because, if you watch the show, you know this ship has sunk so hard and so permanently… But I SWEAR I’LL GO DOWN WITH THIS SHIP! And, to be honest, I already have.

Mary Francis Coronation no words 
I know there are many people who despised Francis, especially in season two. I did, too. But in season one and season three? This power couple was EPIC. I adored the genuine love between them. They started out at odds in season one and then grew closer, becoming closer still in season two until Francis’ poor decisions led to Mary’s rape. I loved the way the writers handled this, taking Mary’s recovery slowly, having her pull away from Francis until she felt healed. And I loved their reconciliation in season three, especially.

But, sadly, this ship sank harder than the Titanic and in a VERY permanent, tear-inducing, heart-breaking way. But Frary will always live on in my heart. Long May They Reign!

Mary Francis Wedding 

Mary Francis Starry Eyed Gif


Reign Ship Bonus Round: Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary Fire Fierce 
Mary, Queen of Scots is fierce and fabulous. If you look up “Fierce” in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Mary. She makes this show what it is. She has so many incredible moments in her story, things she needs to do, sacrifices she needs to make. Being a Queen isn’t always about what you want, but what’s best for your country. Mary definitely struggled and suffered, but she also thrived.

I’m very sad to see that she’ll be leaving French Court to return to Scotland (when season three returns) because MATHERINE! SOBS!! But I also can’t wait to see her thrive in her own kingdom.

Mary Fierce GIF


So! Those are my Reign Ships! What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts with me in the comments! But keep it friendly, guys! I know Ship Feels can run deep, but let’s be kind and respect everyone’s ships!


And now for the giveaway! 1 Grand Prize Winner will receive both books in the REIGN series and a set of Season 1 DVDs!!! And 2 Winners will receive both REIGN books. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
2/8: Chapter by Chapter – Review of Reign: The Prophecy
2/9: The Hardcover Lover – Polyvore Style Board
2/10: Once Upon A Twilight – REIGN Inspired Makeup
2/11: Books A Blog – A Day in the Life….
2/12: Fangirl Confessions – Reign Dream Squad

Week 2:
2/15: Addicted 2 Novels – Royal Recipes
2/16: No BS Book Reviews – Keepin’ It Real: Book & Show
2/17: Books Buying Beauty – The Art of the Binge Watch
2/18: Pandora’s Books – The Many Ships of REIGN
2/19: Rachel’s Book Reviews – Review of Reign: Hysteria

Review: Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff (Blog Tour + Giveaway)Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on April 12, 2016
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Oh, reader, what big teeth you have! The better to devour RED: THE TRUE STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD!
Can’t get enough of the new fairy-tale-retelling trend? Don’t miss Liesl Shurtliff’s new dark, humorous stand-alone middle grade novel RED: THE TRUE STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD (on sale April 12, 2016)!


Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.

But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.

With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .

Liesl Shurtliff weaves a spellbinding tale, shining the spotlight on a beloved character from her award-winning debut, Rump.

And don't miss Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, "a delightful story of family, perseverance and courage" (Booklist).

RED Blog Tour Banner 
Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Red: The True Story of Red Riding by Liesl Shurtliff (April 12, 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers) I’m very excited to be a part of this blog tour! I absolutely loved this book and I hope you enjoy my review!


I don’t read a lot of Middle Grade. But the few I’ve read so far have been epic! And Red was no exception! I loved the mingling of fairy tales, as well as the world and the rules. I love twisted fairy tales and this book was the perfect combination of twisty and fun!

It takes a little while to warm up to Red. In the beginning, she’s a bit snippy, bossy and rude. But she was also fierce, brave and determined. I don’t know if it’s just because their stories stem from the same fairy tale or what, but Red reminded me a LOT of Scarlet from The Lunar Chronicles! She definitely had a LOT of character growth from beginning to end!

Goldie was really chipper and kind, but also incredibly innocent (borderline naive) and just a touch annoying – especially in the beginning. She definitely means well, she just doesn’t seem to know how to express certain things. By the end of the book, though, I adored her and the friendship between her and Red!

I loved the wolf. From the very beginning, we were led to believe he was the bad guy. But I refused to believe it. You can judge for yourself when you read the book, but I loved his character and the way his story ended.

There were a LOT of secondary characters that I adored, but it’s hard to discuss them all without spoilers. So I’m just going to encourage you – again – to read this epic book!

There were also a LOT of life lessons in this book. Maybe I just noticed it more because I’m older, but it felt like each one was not-so-subtly shoved at the reader; however, this was a good thing because the life lessons taught were VERY important! The biggest life lesson this book teaches – in my opinion – is about fearing death and that you actually shouldn’t. Death is a part of life. It’s good to feel sadness in times of loss because it means we have loved and lost, but we’re truly alive. That death isn’t the end because we live on in the memories of others. Another important life lesson is that you should trust yourself and be confident in your abilities. The other life lessons I noticed are a bit more spoilerish, so I won’t share them – You’ll just have to read the book to discover them!

Red is a companion to Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin and Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but it can be read on its own. There were a few moments when Red mentioned Rump and I could see how reading Rump first might help, but I never felt lost or confused or like I HAD to read them.

My biggest issue with this book? I wanted maps! The land was described in such detail and Red and Goldie traveled to such amazing places, I just wanted maps of EVERY place they went! Desperately! (Dear Knopf Books for Young Readers: Please give me maps! In the book or as swag for the book.. I’m not picky! Just please give me maps!!!)

There were some epic twists and turns in this book. Some I expected, some I didn’t. But all of them kept me intrigued and dying to find out how things would end. I read it in a matter of hours because it was a quick, fun book and I just didn’t want to put it down!

Overall, if you couldn’t tell, I adored this book! If you love fairy tale retellings, I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of middle grade! And if you don’t read much middle grade, I still highly recommend it – it just might change your mind!


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Liesl Shurtliff_credit Chad Barth Abot Liesl:
“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy-tale.” – Hans Christian Anderson

I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah the fifth of eight children. My seven siblings tortured me but I really like them now. I loved dancing, singing, playing the piano and reading books by Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and Roald Dahl. I also read Grimms’ Fairy Tales so often I wore through the binding. Today I live with my husband and three children in Chicago, which is a wonderful city except that it is decidedly flat and very cold in the winter. When I write, I often wander back to my childhood and gather the magic that still remains. I hope to share that magic with children everywhere.

If you would like to learn a little more about me (and even see some childhood pictures!), just click HERE.


Liesl Shurtliff’s first book, Rump, won over kids and critics alike, earning an IRA Award, a Texas Bluebonnet nomination, a Whitney nomination, and a starred review from Kirkus, proclaiming it “as good as gold.”

In RED, Liesl Shurtliff is at her best. New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Chris Grabenstein raves that “Liesl Shurtliff has truly out-magicked herself. Red is the most wonder-filled fairy tale of them all.” RED will capture the hearts of readers who like it Grimm, as well as followers of ABC’s TV show Once Upon a Time.

Website | Twitter | Facebook



Monday, February, 1: Bookiemoji, Author Guest Post
Tuesday, February, 2: Seeing Double In Neverland, Review
Wednesday, February, 3: MundieMoms/Kids, Review
Thursday, February, 4: BookHounds, Author Interview
Friday, February, 5: The Lovely Books, Review
Saturday, February, 6: I’m Shelf-ish, Guest Post
Sunday, February, 7: Kid Lit Frenzy, Review
Monday, February, 8: Mel’s Shelves, Review
Tuesday, February, 9: Once Upon A Twilight, Author Random Facts
Wednesday, February, 10:, Review
Thursday, February, 11: Swoony Boys Podcast, Review
Friday, February, 12: Bittersweet Enchantment, Review
Saturday, February, 13: WinterHaven Books, Review except 18
Sunday, February, 14: The Cover Contessa, Review
Monday, February, 15: Pandora’s Books, Review
Tuesday, February, 16: On Starships and Dragonwings, Review
Wednesday, February, 17: As They Grow Up, Review
Thursday, February, 18: Owl Always Be Reading, Review
Friday, February, 19: Such a Novel Idea, Playlist and Review
Saturday, February, 20: The Children’s Book Review, A Selfie and a Shelfie
Sunday, February, 21: The Mod Podge Bookshelf, Author Movie Cast
Monday, February, 22: Katie’s Clean Book Collection, Review
Tuesday, February, 23: Words We Heart, Review
Wednesday, February, 24: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Author Guest Post
Thursday, February, 25: Confessions of a Readaholic, Review
Friday, February, 26: Bookish Antics, Review
Saturday, February, 27: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales, Review
Sunday, February, 28: Valerie’s Reviews, Review
Monday, February, 29: Lili’s Reflections, Review
Tuesday, March, 1: To Read, or Not To Read, Review
Wednesday, March 2: Stories & Sweeties, Review
Thursday, March 3: Cafinated Reads, Review
Friday, March 4: The Book Monsters, Review
Saturday, March 5: Twinning for Books, Review
Sunday, March 6: Curling Up With A Good Book, Review
Monday, March 7: The Compulsive Reader, Review
Tuesday, March 8: The Reading Nook Reviews, Review
Wednesday, March 9: Resch Reads and Reviews, Review
Thursday, March 10: Beauty and the Bookshelf, Review
Friday, March 11: Xpresso Reads, Review
Saturday, March 12: Diamond’s Reads, Review
Sunday, March 13: Blissful Book Reviews, Review
Monday, March 14: Vi3tbabe, Review
Tuesday, March 15: The Book Cellar, Review


Blog Tour: The Union and The Ruins by T.H. Hernandez (Excerpt + Giveaway)

t h hernandez blog tour banner 
Hey guys! Today, I’m excited to share with you an excerpt from The Union (November 18, 2014) and The Ruins (June 16, 2015) by T.H. Hernandez ! I also have a giveaway, courtesy of the author!

First up, here’s more info for The Union!

The Union

Book One – The Union by T.H. Hernandez

Genre: Young Adult/Speculative

Published: November 18th, 2014

Goodreads | Amazon | Createspace

Read the first 3 chapters for free on Wattpad!


After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.

Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.

When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.

Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.

The Union is a futuristic young adult romantic adventure

The Union - Teaser 2 
And now here’s an excerpt from The Union! Enjoy!

Once the sun rises, I can make out trees in the distance. Real trees with leaves, which means there must be water nearby. I’m not sure Ruins water is safe to drink, but I do know I’ll die if I don’t drink something.

Even though I’ve been walking for hours, the trees don’t seem to be getting any closer. My legs have taken on a sponge-like quality and I stumble, but manage to stay upright. If I fall, I may never get up again.

I’m almost to the trees. They’re only a little farther now.

There’s no water here. How can there be trees without water?

Despair overtakes me and I drop down, pounding my fists on the barren ground. I stuff a soft green leaf in my mouth, seeking moisture, but my mouth is so dry, I gag on the pieces, tearing my throat like shards of broken glass.

My head spins as I lie on my back and struggle to form coherent thoughts. I take a deep breath and tell myself to think. Think is such a strange word.Think, think, think. It doesn’t even sound English.

Shaking my head to clear my mind, I try to pull myself together, remembering where I am and forcing myself to focus on my immediate situation. What do the Buddhists call it? Being mindful.

My brain works to form rational thoughts, but there’s nothing rational about this. I left home to find my place in the world, is this really where my search was supposed to lead me? It’s more like a cruel joke. If I was on a date with destiny, it just took a bizarre turn into a twisted ending I never saw coming.

God, if only I hadn’t gone to the park that night, none of this would’ve happened. I begin to cry. For my family and friends who will never know what happened to me, and for me. I’m not ready to die, I’m only 17.

I can’t help wondering if I would have spent so much time agonizing over my future if I’d known I’d be dead so soon. If I’d known, maybe I’d have done everything differently. Now I know my future. My life ends here. Alone. In the Ruins.


Next up, we have more info for The Ruins!

The Ruins

Book Two – The Ruins by T.H. Hernandez

Genre: Young Adult/Speculative

Published: June 16th, 2015

Goodreads | Amazon | Createspace

Read the first 3 chapters for free on Wattpad!


Heartbroken, grief-stricken, and wracked with guilt, seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor returned to the Union, leaving behind the boy she loved.

Now, she and her friends must find a way to do the impossible – warn the citizens of the Union about an impending rebel attack without alerting the government and risking retaliation against her friends in the Ruins.

When every move Evan makes is thwarted, it soon becomes clear she’s being watched. Faced with a daily fight to stay one step ahead of her pursuers, she returns to the Ruins. But life in the Ruins has its own dangers, and soon she’s fighting a different battle – to stay alive long enough to discover the truth.

The Ruins - Teaser 2 
And now here’s an excerpt from The Ruins! Enjoy!

Lisa opens the door still in her pajama pants and a tank top. Jack’s behind her in nothing but a pair of sweatpants. I raise an eyebrow in silent judgment. How could she have Jack spend the night with Colin here?

“Where’s Colin?” she asks, looking past me.

“What do you mean, where’s Colin? Isn’t he here?”

“No. He never came home last night. I thought he was with you.”

You were with me.”

“No, I mean after we separated. I figured he showed up at your place.” Her cheeks turn bright red.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” My hands ball into fists of anger at my sides. “You can’t really be that…” I bite off the words. It’s not my place to share how Colin feels about her.

“He probably left with one of those girls we saw him with,” she says.

I push into her apartment and find Colin’s duffel bag on the floor where it’s been since he began camping out on her couch last week. “So, he just blew off his train?”

“Maybe,” she shrugs.

“Not likely,” I say, stalking back outside, unease gnawing through my stomach. If all this other shit wasn’t going on, I could chalk it up to Colin getting laid, but I can’t shake the feeling something isn’t right. I’m halfway to Bryce’s before I realize that’s where I’m headed. Hopefully he takes me seriously.

My fast walk turns into a jog as I cover the remaining three blocks and two flights of stairs down to the apartment he shares with Jack. I’ve only been here once before, but I think I remember which one it is. I lift my hand and knock on the pale blue door then pace the small empty concrete porch. Thirty seconds pass before I knock again, louder and longer this time. Still no answer. I’m beginning to think he’s not here when the lock clicks and the door cracks open.

Bryce swings the door wider, and my eyes zero in on a bare chest. My gaze drifts from his firm abs and pecs up to meet a pair of gray eyes, squinted against the morning light. Confusion fills his features as he stares at me.

“Colin didn’t come home last night,” I blurt out, my voice breaking.

His gaze rests on my face for a moment before circling the room, reminding me we’re being monitored. “I’m sure he’s fine, but let me get dressed, and we’ll look for him.”

Stepping inside, I close the door and bounce on the balls of my feet while I wait for him. The place is decorated in neo-classic guy. A fireplace and hearth runs the length of the front of the apartment, and opposite that is a solid glass wall overlooking a weedy, overgrown garden. The limited furniture is a jumble of chairs, a couch, and a couple of mismatched tables littered with empty beer bottles.

Bryce dresses in record time and takes my hand, pulling me outside. He leads the way to the depot to catch a train back to the nightclub. “I want to retrace his steps after we left,” he says. “He might’ve just found some company for the evening.”

“That’s what Lisa said, but I think there’s more to it.”

“It’s no secret how he feels about Lisa. He might’ve just wanted to get away for the night.”

“But his bag is still at her place. He would’ve had to come get it before catching his train.”

The nightclub is deserted with the exception of a handful of staff still cleaning up. Bryce walks up to a lanky guy pushing a broom. “Can I talk to the manager?”

A woman in her mid-thirties approaches us a few minutes later, wiping her hands on an apron. She sweeps a chunk of blond hair out of her face with the back of her wrist. “Can I help you?”

“Yeah, I’m Detective Cooper,” Bryce says, flashing his credentials. “We’re looking for a friend. He was here with us last night, but we’re not sure what happened to him.”

She glances between me and Bryce. “Did something happen to him?”

“That’s what we’re trying to find out. Can we take a look at the security feed from last night?”

“Sure,” she says, inclining her head. “Come on back.”

We follow her past the bar and into a small office beyond the kitchen. “Here,” she says, indicating a chair in front of a display screen.

Bryce sits and she shows him how to move through the video files. Bryce locates the one time-stamped from when we were here and forwards through frame-by-frame. I see us leaving for the night and Colin dancing with the girls, getting another drink, dancing some more, then about an hour later, Colin walks toward the exit alone. A guy in a sweatshirt, hood pulled up, hands shoved into his jeans pockets, approaches Colin. They appear to exchange words. Colin nods before following the guy out the front door.

“What the hell?” I ask. “Who was that guy?” Terror sweeps through me, turning my blood to ice. “And where the hell is Colin?”

“I don’t know,” Bryce says, reaching over to squeeze my hand. “But we’ll find him, I promise.”


And last – but not least – we have more info for The Uprising (December 2015)!

The Uprising

Book Three: The Uprising by T.H. Hernandez

Genre: Young Adult/Speculative

Published: December 2015

Goodreads | Amazon


Recovering from a near-fatal gunshot wound, eighteen-year-old Evan Taylor must find a way to stop the Uprising, an underground movement committed to destroying the Union, before her homeland is attacked.

After spending the last four months in the Ruins trying to get back to the only girl he’s ever loved, nineteen-year-old Cyrus needs to get past his jealousy over Evan’s involvement with Bryce or risk losing her again.

Together, Evan and Cyrus join with their friends to devise a plan to save both the Ruins and the Union, but when the pressure’s on, bickering and infighting threaten to undermine their goals. New information revealing a weakness in the Uprising is uncovered, forcing them to act quickly or risk losing everything.

With the help of old friends and new allies they set out to make history, but it might just take a miracle for everyone to make it out alive.

THE UPRISING is the third book in THE UNION series, a young adult romantic adventure set in the near future.


And now for the Giveaway! Prizes include:

(1) $25 Amazon GC

(2) $10 Amazon GC

(5) $5 Amazon GC

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


theresaAbout the Author:

T.H. Hernandez is the author of the young adult futuristic/dystopian series, The Union. The first book, The Union, was a finalist in the 2015 San Diego book awards in the Young Adult Fiction category.

When not writing, you can usually find her reading, finishing more than 200 books over the past two years. She loves pumpkin spice lattes, Comic-Con, Star Wars, Doctor Who marathons, Bad Lip Reading videos, and all things young adult, especially the three young adults who share her home.

When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside her head, T.H. Hernandez lives in usually sunny San Diego, California with her husband and three children, a couple of cats and a dog who thinks he’s a cat, often referred to as “the puppycat.”


Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr

HarperTeen Summer 2016 Tour: Unrivaled by Alyson Noel (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the HarperTeen Summer 2016 Blog Tour! I’m so, so, SO excited to be part of this amazing 7-week/50-book tour and I’m honored to be spotlighting one of my favorite authors! I’ve been reading Alyson Noel’s books for years – probably since middle school, give or take a few years! And Unrivaled looks like it’s going to be just as epic as all her others!

I have a LOT of fun things for you today – including an epic “whodunnit” style post and giveaways! Be sure to scroll to the very end of this post so you don’t miss anything! First, here’s more about the book!

Unrivaled Everyone wants to be someone.

Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter’s desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad’s life.

But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch a long time ago.

She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.

That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

Unrivaled is #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël’s first book in a thrilling suspense trilogy about how our most desperate dreams can become our darkest nightmares.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Book Depository | IndieBound

Indigo | Kobo | iBooks

Now for the main event, I give you: “Whodunnit? Bookish Edition!”

In Unrivaled, the main character, Madison, goes missing. For today’s “Whodunnit? Bookish Edition!” post, Alyson Noel has gone missing – she’s been kidnapped! And it’s up to you lovelies to solve the mystery of her disappearance! We have suspects with motives and alibis!

Below, you’ll find more information regarding how/when Alyson disappeared, plus a list of suspects, their motives and their alibis. Under that will be a Rafflecopter. You’ll be able to pick three suspects and explain why you think they’re guilty. Complete the Rafflecopter to be entered to win a pre-order of Unrivaled! Giveaway is International as long as The Book Depository ships to you!

And now, without further adieu, let the game begin!


The Set-Up

Alyson Noel has been kidnapped! She was taken from her home on February 4, 2016 around 5pm EST. There were signs of a struggle. All her writing materials, including her laptop, were gone. Nothing else was taken.

The Suspects

Suspect One: Kat
Motive: Kat is a writer, but she struggles when it comes to story ideas. In the past, she’s been overheard discussing Alyson’s novels with friends. Kat is a huge Alyson fan and envies the plots that Alyson comes up with. She kidnapped Alyson so Alyson could help her come up with story ideas.
Alibi: Kat claims she was out visiting her nieces at the time of the alleged kidnapping.

Suspect Two: Stacee
Motive: Stacee is notorious for reading the ending of a book before she reads the rest of it. She received an ARC of Unrivaled and the last 10 pages were ripped out, so she wasn’t able to read the ending first! Enraged, Stacee sought Alyson out. She wanted a new ARC or access to Alyson’s original manuscript so she could read the ending. The problem is, Alyson doesn’t have author copies of the ARC yet and her computer is password protected. When Alyson refused to give Stacee the password, Stacee kidnapped her, hoping to ransom her for a copy of the ARC.
Alibi: Stacee claims she was at Disneyland at the time of the alleged kidnapping.

Suspect Three: Jessica
Motive: Crazed, book-obsessed Jessica wants to make Alyson write books for her, misery-style.
Alibi: She was hanging out with Valerie, her co-blogger, at the time of the alleged kidnapping. They claim they were buying books and talking about Jennifer L. Armentrout and book boyfriends.

Suspect Four: Nichole
Motive: After two weeks of struggling with her essay for English class, which is worth 40% of her grade, Nichole realized that she only had two sentences written. Therefore, she decided to kidnap Alyson so that Alyson could write Nichole’s paper for her, since Nichole believes that Alyson is a master of words. Nichole promised Alyson that she would be returned after she helps Nichole get an ‘A’ in English class!
Alibi: Nichole claims she was on the corner of 5th and Main at the time of the alleged kidnapping. She was holding up a homeless sign, trying to raise money to get to the Super Bowl. She insists the traffic cameras caught her on film and can prove she’s innocent.

Suspect Five: Stefani
Motive: Stefani is obsessed with Alyson and frequently stalks her and does internet searches on her. From these stalking sessions, she knows Alyson is a huge Dexter fan. She kidnapped Alyson so they could have a Dexter Binge watch session!
Alibi: Stefani claims she was reading her own Harper Summer Tour book, True Letters from a Fictional Life, at the time of the alleged kidnapping. There are no witnesses who can corroborate this statement.

Suspect Six: Celeste
Motive: Celeste is a a super villain who believes she can manipulate brain waves to get Alyson’s writing genius for herself.
Alibi: Celeste claims she was at a showing of Hamilton at the time of the alleged kidnapping.

So, who kidnapped Alyson Noel?!?!?! Fill out the Rafflecopter below with your answers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


alyson-noel-press2About Alyson Noel:
Alyson Noël is the #1 New York Times best-selling, award-winning, author of 21 novels including: THE IMMORTALS, THE RILEY BLOOM, and THE SOUL SEEKERS series.

With 8 New York Times bestsellers in 2 years, and over 8 million copies in print, her books have been translated into 36 languages, sold in over 50 countries, and have made the New York Times, USA Today, LA Times, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal, NCIBA, and Walmart Bestsellers lists, and have won numerous awards such as: the National Reader’s Choice Award, NYLA Book of Winter Award, NYPL Stuff for the Teenage, TeenReads Best Books of 2007, Reviewer’s Choice 2007 Top Ten, appeared on the CBS Early Show’s “Give the Gift of Reading” segment, and selected for Seventeen Magazine’s “Hot List” and Beach Book Club Pick.

Chosen as one of OC Metro magazine’s “20 Women to Watch,” she’s been nominated for the Orange County Business Journal’s “Women in Business Awards” as well as their “Excellence in Entrepreneurship” award. The dramatic rights for for her adult novel, FLY ME TO THE MOON, were optioned by Ridley Scott’s, Scott Free Productions, with Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones’ Diary) set to write and direct. While the dramatic rights for all 4 books in THE SOUL SEEKERS were optioned by Cheyenne Enterprises.

Born and raised in Orange County, California, she’s lived in both Mykonos and Manhattan and is now settled back in Southern California where she’s working on her new YA series, UNRIVALED (Harper Collins), set to debut in summer 2016, and a new MG, KISS MY WISH (Random House), set to debut winter 2016. You can visit her at:, or


Hope you guys had fun with that little mystery! I can’t wait to read your answers! Now, before you go, here are some more epic giveaways you can enter!


#1 – A Harper Teen Summer 2016 Catalog prizepack of 45 books*.

*Titles not included: The Crown by Kiera Cass, Escape from Asylum by Madeline Roux, Sing by Vivi Greene, The Countdown by Kimberly Derting, & United As One by Pittacus Lore
In addition to the one massive prize winner, we will also have 4 winners who will be able to select 3 titles they want from the Summer 2016 Catalog.

This giveaway is US Only


a Rafflecopter giveaway

#2 – 5 Finished Copies from the Harper Teen Winter 2016 Catalog

5 books are: Front Lines by Michael Grant, Revenge & the Wild by Michelle Modesto, The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks, Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin, & The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

This giveaway is US Only

How to enter:
Collect the daily word from each blog stop during the Harper Summer 2016 Tour (a total of 50). Once you’ve collected them all, email the complete saying to:

The key word for today’s tour stop is: cold

Prize Rules:
1.) Winner must have a valid US mailing address to receive the prize
2.) Winner must be over 13
3.) Only one (1) entry per person for Prize #2 – duplicates will be deleted.
4.) Only a completed phrase will be accepted as an entry – do not email each word/phrase daily. Wait until you have the complete saying and then email in.
5.) All email submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EST 3/31/2016.
6.) Winners will be selected 4/1/2016 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another is selected.
7.) Participating blogs and bloggers are not responsible for unsent, damaged, and/or stolen prizes offered by the publisher.

#3 – Leap Year Giveaway – 4 of the most anticipated ARCs from Summer 2016

Books are: My Lady Jane, Ivory & Bone, The Crown’s Game and This Savage Song

This giveaway is US Only

How to enter:
This giveaway will only run on February 29, 2016. The rafflecopter form will work for 24 hours and a winner will be chosen on March 1, 2016.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lastly, don’t forget about our amazing Facebook Author Chats where you will have chances to win more prizes and books! The first chat will be 2/16/16 at 8 pm EST!


Or CLICK HERE for more info!


Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Review: Remembrance by Meg Cabot (Blog Tour + Giveaway)

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Remembrance by Meg Cabot (Blog Tour + Giveaway)Remembrance by Meg Cabot
Series: The Mediator #7
Published by William Morrow on February 2, 2016
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon

Fifteen years after the release of the first Mediator novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot returns with a deliciously sexy new entry to a fan-favorite series. Suze Simon—all grown up and engaged to her once-ghostly soulmate—faces a vengeful spirit and an old enemy bent on ending Suze's wedded bliss before it begins.

You can take the boy out of the darkness.

But you can’t take the darkness out of the boy.

All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva).

But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight.

From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child, to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night.

Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?

What happens when old ghosts come back to haunt you?

If you’re a mediator, you might have to kick a little ass.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble


REMEMBRANCE (The Mediator #7) by Meg Cabot

Blog Tour February 1-12

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Remembrance by Meg Cabot Those of you who follow me on Twitter know what a HUGE fan of Meg Cabot I am! And if you don’t, just read this Once Upon a Time feature to find out! So, it’s no surprise that I FREAKED OUT when I first heard that we’d be getting a seventh Mediator book! And it’s even less of a surprise that I FLIPPED OUT when I found out I was on the blog tour!!! Obviously, I absolutely LOVED this book!!!! I hope you enjoy my review! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!!


I’ve been reading the Mediator series since I was roughly 13/14-years-old. When I first started reading the series, there were only four books out. I read them over and over and over again. Then we got a fifth book, then a sixth, and I read all six over and over and over again. I loved the way the series ended – it was an incredibly satisfying ending, for all the characters involved and all the plots, spanning across all six books. But I was still sad to see it end. So, of course, I flipped out when we found out we were getting Remembrance! And it was everything I hoped for!

Being back in this world was amazing. It was like I’d never left (though that could be because I re-read the entire series to prepare for Remembrance, including the new novella, Proposal!). Meg Cabot created a truly amazing world with these books – the characters, the plot, the writing. I have very few complaints where these books are concerned!

Suze is amazing. Re-reading the series reminded me of just how amazing she is. And I also realized something: Suze was, unknowingly at the time, the basis for which I set my standards for YA heroines. Thanks to her and Buffy Summers, I expect all YA heroines to be strong, fierce, kick-ass, stubborn and witty. Though Suze and Buffy embody these characteristics, they still have their faults and weaknesses and they still learn and grow from their mistakes. They’re amazing role models for young girls. And, for those reasons, I can confidently say that Suze is my absolute favorite YA (book) heroine of all time. My OTBH (One True Book Heroine! I made that up, but.. It works!).

I loved the way Suze’s life kind of came full circle in Remembrance. I love that she went to school to be a guidance counselor (and her reasons why) and I loved that she was hired at her alma mater. There are so many more things I want to list here that I loved, but some of them are spoilers, so I can’t! But I literally loved EVERYTHING about Suze’s post-college life!

Jesse… Oh my hotness! The first few times I read these books, I didn’t know what a “book boyfriend” was. I’d never heard the term – I don’t even think it existed back then! But the more I think about it, the more I realize he really was my first book boyfriend! He’s so swoon-worthy, especially when he calls Suze “Querida.” I’m not saying he’s without his faults. He’s moody and broody and he definitely has a temper he needs to learn to control. There were times I just wanted to smack him, Gibbs style!


But overall, Jesse was just as swoony as he was in the original six novels. I’ve always shipped Suze and Jesse, evening though “shipping” wasn’t a thing that existed years ago, just as “book boyfriend” didn’t exist years ago. But now that I know these terms, I know it’s true. Suze and Jesse are my ultimate OTP of all time!

And then there’s Paul. Sigh. I’ve never been a Paul fan. I always hoped he would redeem himself, grow up and change. He sort of did in the sixth (and original final) book and I was mostly satisfied with how his story ended, though I could never forgive some of the things he did to Suze and Jesse. But his story in Remembrance was not my favorite at all. In fact, I think Remembrance could have been amazing without Paul. Though I admit not having him might have been weird, since he was such a big part of the original series.

My only complaint with Remembrance – the only reason it’s 4-stars instead of 5-stars – is that I wanted MORE. There were certain things that felt very “high school.” What I mean is, this book almost felt like it could have occurred while Suze was still a teen, taking place immediately after the sixth book instead of years later. Suze still lied about Paul. Jesse still had temper tantrums. Paul was still an ass. These characters had SO MUCH overall character development throughout the series, but in these respects, they had none. I wanted Suze to be more honest with Jesse. I wanted Jesse’s temper to be more in check, as well as his jealousy. I wanted to see a more mature Paul, who didn’t try to blackmail Suze or hurt Jesse. Where these things are concerned, I just wanted MORE from the characters.

And I wanted MORE in the sense that I’m not satisfied with just one book. Now that we’ve been brought back into this world and into the lives of these characters, I’m not satisfied with just one book! The end wrapped things up nicely enough that, I’m guessing, we won’t be getting more. BUT I WANT MORE!!!!!

Overall, Remembrance was an epic, epic book. I’m so glad we were able to be back in this world one more time (though I’m still holding out hope that it won’t be the last time!). Meg Cabot is Queen and if you haven’t read The Mediator series yet, we can’t be friends anymore. Kidding, but go read it! NOW!!! Otherwise, we really CAN’T be friends anymore (no, I’m not kidding this time…).


And now for the giveaway! One winner will get a physical copy of the first Mediator novel, SHADOWLAND!! Must be 13+ To Enter. Ships in US only!

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11654About Meg:
Meg Cabot was born in Bloomington, Indiana. In addition to her adult contemporary fiction she is the author of the bestselling young adult fiction series, The Princess Diaries. Over 25 million copies of her novels for children and adults have sold worldwide. Meg lives in Key West, FL, with her husband.





Blog Tour: The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith (Excerpt + Book Trailer)

Urban Boys Blog Tour Banner 
Hey guys! Today, I’m excited to share with you an excerpt from The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith (September 29, 2015, Two Petals Publishing)! I also have the book trailer for you to enjoy, as well as a giveaway, courtesy of the author! First, here’s more about the book!

the urban boysThe Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is an action-adventure story about five teen boys who are mysteriously exposed to a foreign energy source that gives them extremely heightened senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become hypersensitive gifts that forever change the world. The story offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph, which become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. The story twists, turns, and grinds through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in a diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narrative.

Genre/Age Group: Young Adult Fiction (Action-Adventure w/ elements of Paranormal), 12+


Praise for The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses

“An energetic YA adventure debut with stellar action sequences. Smith’s writing is intelligent and often lyrical. Her exuberant prose never fails to dazzle.”- Kirkus Media


“Author K.N. Smith uses her mastery of the written word to weave an entrancing, yet powerful tale of adventure that keeps you turning pages in an unquenchable desire to find out what happens next. The author’s matchless prose details cinematic fight sequences and fully developed characterizations especially in a final, stupendous scene that will take your breath away and leave you limp with spent emotions. Five stars for this imaginative and inspiring story, sure to be as appealing to general audiences as it will be to the YA crowd!” — Publishers Daily Reviews


“K.N. Smith has at her disposal a lyrical prose that describes the environment and the characters in such fine (and magical) detail that you can’t help but fall in love with the world she has created. ‘The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses’ is a great start to this new series and the premise holds much promise for more entertaining episodes.” — Midwest Book Review


“The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses” is both a rollicking ride filled with mystery, suspense and literary drama; as well as a sensitive portrayal of individuals and families called by an unknown force to fight evil. It grips the imagination and engages the senses from the very first words of the Prologue through the whole frenetically evolving story. It’s an amazing work for a new fiction writer and one that will keep the book in your hands as you relax, ride in airplanes or stop for coffee. I couldn’t put it down; and felt I was wasting time whenever I wasn’t going from one colorful chapter to another. It’s a great ride and highly recommended! You will want to get to know “The Urban Boys” and experience their “Discovery of the Five Senses.” — M. Assagai, Sacramento, CA



Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks


And now, the excerpt! Enjoy!

Chapter Fourteen

Out at Night

A BLANKET OF DEEP CHARCOAL MOVED ABOUT LIKE A SPRAWLING, SMOGGY MASS high above Sandry Lake bringing with it gloom and despair for all to see. As a town that had fallen into a desperate state of disrepair, it was still amazingly contained, and unfortunately not as far from Danville Heights as one would prefer. The approximate eight mile span between the two towns was actually very close.

Sandry Lake was contained in the sense that it now had as few citizens as when it was first established, considering that most of its residents had abandoned ship in the name of self-preservation and fear of evil. Its small police force and body of elected officials had all but disappeared. Crime and corruption expressed itself in dark and evil ways.

Coming up from beneath the shadows in unexpected moments of terror, something or someone had assumed control of the entire town and twisted the meaning of what it was to be a community. There were two factions at hand: the last of the committed citizens who would hang-on to the end, and a cruel, dark, malicious force. Fighting what they largely could not see made for a very unpleasant battle, but these faithful citizens were not giving up. Their hearts were embedded in memories of better times when Sandry Lake served as a model community within the region. The citizens had used their very own hands to build the city, and to have what was rightfully theirs stolen from them was an atrocity none could fathom. The problem was that their manpower had waned. So what began as a counterattack became a waiting game, and they struggled to survive.

Living in squalid, makeshift quarters, a dirty band of goons who were all given free range as connivers, thieves, and thugs, roamed around at all hours looking for whatever they wanted to steal. If they encountered a citizen, they simply took what they wanted and beat them to the ground. The goons had been uncaged and even a trace of any rule had simply vanished into thin air.

He orchestrated their moves, lavishing upon them promises of riches and power if they would only align with his grand scheme. By dispensing such promises to the lost, his following had amassed, and they were ready to strike at any given time.

The goons referred to him as “he,” likely not even knowing his name. In fact, the mind washing was so elaborate that they had even forgotten their own names. So far away from the truth were their lives that it would be impossible to salvage any one of them. Intent to rule, this boisterous atrocity displayed itself as the lowest band of hooligans on a totem pole built entirely out of filth and lies. Unlikely to have been an overnight foray, he obviously had been present for some time. He often dreamed of his long-range plans to dominate this once beautiful and established town.

As a loud altercation between a citizen and a wild ruffian unfolded in the background, the depth of a shadow revealed a nasty episode in an otherwise unfortunate, yet common day. With its desperate hunger aired out in the open, a meandering chicken ruffled its brown and green feathers. It walked and pecked for any scrap that would kindly spare itself.

In a place unfriendly to a lonely bird, it would take mountains of hope for a meal to be realized. Unfortunately, he had the same on his mind and wildly snatched the chicken, which sent feathers flying up and about. And with a quick snap of its neck, he brought it all to an end. Void of hesitation, he bit into the chicken spitting out blood and feathers in a most expressionless manner. In his mind, dinner was what it was, and if another bird approached, it would most certainly meet the same fate. Chewing and grinding away, his eyes glazed over, he cared less how this came to be and continued to spit in all directions while wiping his bloody chin with his filthy rags.

Like a fallen angel, he wanted power. He worked for evil and fought against good. Only he could orchestrate the details of these crimes so expertly executed as a way to run folks out so he could command the stage. Tall, slender, and disheveled looking, he’d been surviving in the depths for quite some time. The comfort associated with his brand of chaos led him to the loneliest of places, and there he reveled.

Not understanding his own emotional insecurities, he chose evil as a basis from which to operate. He had settled into a routine of madness, which was now in the director’s chair of Sandry Lake.

And from where did this emerge?

As his eyes revealed a sliver of perceived childhood trauma, feeling lonely and unloved, second and not first, feeling left out perhaps, his internal emptiness spilled over, and he hung his head momentarily. Once happy, he somehow became willing to trade his hand for the dark side, surely to gain attention and a sense of power that would fill an enormous void. Perceived or imagined, his hurt was real. But it would not slow him down on his journey to destruction.

Compared to Sandry Lake, nightfall in Danville Heights had quite the opposite effect. Children’s eyes fluttered as they winked themselves to sleep, quieted down, and settled-in for the night. For these were the common routines of the peaceful valley.

There was only one thing aside its normal during this particular twilight: five boys lay wide awake sensing each other. They responded to instincts that they did not question, but also did not understand. The day had been long and rest would normally be embraced, but this evening had a tale to be told.

Jordan found himself ruffling through his black sweat clothes, and he got dressed, opened his window, and jumped outside. Every single one of the boys followed suit, all dressed in black athletic gear, and three in hoodies. They briskly walked toward the preserve deep into the night. They were transfixed on the north and not speaking to each other, but occasionally traded glances as their respective senses burned away.

By way of mystery, the incident with the floating light balls had caused a hypersensitive reaction with their senses, and Jordan could literally hear the altercation between the citizen and the goon unfolding. Alex licked his lips, his tongue protruded, and then it went back in and out again. Kinsu’s vision sharpened like a razor’s edge, and he led the way. And as they picked up the pace, they gained incredible speed. From calm to chaotic, their worlds would change in a flash.

As if to run off to save our very own lives, the boys charged ahead and never looked back, although uncertain of the path they were on. Enveloped by the night, they felt strangely at home moving into dark shadows. They felt a certain power as allies on this journey, which was now quite a ways from home.

The boys’ actions brought an anticipated interruption to the Dark Stranger who was resting, knowing fully that this day would come. Aware of the infancy of the situation, he quickly sprung to his feet, but decided to use reservation in measuring the boys. He could sense them, feel them, even being able to see them running toward Sandry Lake.

He shared similar instincts and sensations to the boys, but these connections had yet to be made. Sensing their urgency, he followed them to this dark place, his black hood wrapped tightly while his cape-like covering embraced the wind and advanced his commanding presence.

Akin to an alarm clock from hell, these new, powerful instincts coupled with nightfall would prove to be bolder than ever in the history of Danville Heights. The boys could have ignored this calling, fought its beckon, but this would prove to be out of alignment with fate. As they tore into Sandry Lake, whipped air encircled a crooked, dangling sign that ironically read: Welcome to Sandry Lake. It swung left to right in a squeaky and unwelcoming manner.

They stopped in their tracks taking view of this evil domain, which loomed large above them. Underfoot, filthy trash served as their greeter, while broken glass and coarse rubble served as their guide. Moving forward slowly, they surveyed the area leading to the altercation. Rhee could smell the goon while pinpointing his exact location.

Filthy or not, Chase stooped down and put his hands on the ground to feel for human vibrations that may have been surrounding them. Kinsu remained laser focused on his target, leading the way with Jordan next to him taking in every harsh word spit out by the goon, who then slapped the citizen causing him to crash to the ground. He grabbed at the citizen’s back pocket, ripping his pants in an effort to steal his wallet because he had refused to hand it over. With his makeshift weapon knocked away, the citizen had become defenseless. He flipped over on his back to use his legs as a last, self-protective resort.

Now upon the scene, Alex rushed toward the goon, and out of nowhere, handled him with finesse in a style of martial arts for which he had never been trained. Every single one of the boys had the same skill. Coupled with their newfound instincts, they made for serious human weapons against which the thug could not prevail.

Taking him down was one thing, but when three more came out of the shadows armed with sharp, spiked weapons, the brewing battle took a turn. The boys quickly and strategically synchronized to whip and outsmart these thuggish creatures. A furious fight ensued with two-on-one, one-on-one, one-on-three, and all in between. The boys realized they were pitted against a vicious band of cruelty accustomed to roaming in dark places and causing mayhem at will.

Mean and muscular, the goons fought back with precision, punching and slapping into eternity. But the boys’ sudden martial arts mastery was unleashed upon these dreadful hooligans, and their detailed, accurate moves dazzled in the twilight.

“Two more, left,” said Chase as two more thugs joined the fracas. Their uninvited presence agitated the boys.

With the Dark Stranger witnessing it all, he allowed the boys to handle themselves, and he remained reserved. The night wind moved in and out of his black hood and framed his handsome face and his long hair.

Spinning, punching, kicking, and calculating every move, the boys ripped into the thugs with fury knocking each one unconscious, sprawled out for all to see. Like a mound of sorry, soggy laundry, the goons were piled high and left for their maker, whoever that might be hiding in the shadows.

And with the same laser sharp vision afforded to Kinsu, he saw what happened and could not believe his eyes. Members of his own army defeated, representative of weakness and a pathetic emptiness? He stood up boldly with the dead chicken dangling in his hand, blood dripping to the ground, realizing he had no conceivable idea of who these boys were. Their prowess struck him, for he knew he would need to assemble quickly in order to defend his perch.

With that blanket of deep charcoal hanging over his head, he could do nothing besides keep his feet planted right where they were. Somehow, he too could sense them, and he knew he would need to go deep in order to prevail. But the night sky offered zero comfort to anyone involved, and a new chapter had emerged. But how it would unfold remained as cloaked in darkness as he himself.


And now here’s the book trailer!


And now for the giveaway!

(20) ecopies of The Urban Boys by K.N. Smith

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About the Author:

kn smith K.N. Smith is an American author and passionate advocate of childhood and family literacy programs throughout the world. She continues to inspire students of all ages to reach their highest potential in their literary and educational pursuits. An established non-fiction writer, Smith chose the teen fiction genre as a way to enhance her daughters’ (then) high school literary experience, and to engage other youth in literacy development. Her creative literary flair offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph. As a result, scenes become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. Her stories twist, turn, and grind through elements of science-fiction and action-adventure in diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narratives. As an ardent supporter of youth and family literacy programs across the globe, she states, “My hope is that The Urban Boys will spark imagination in a wide variety of readers while elevating global literacy efforts. It’s important that we have diverse families of readers for generations to come.” K.N. Smith has over twenty years experience in writing, communications, and creative design. She lives with her family in California.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

2015 Debut Authors Bash: Heather W. Petty (Interview + Giveaway)

bash banner 
Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop on the 2015 Debut Authors Bash! I’m so excited to be hosting Heather W. Petty, author of Lock & Mori (September 15, 2015, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers). Today, I’m pleased to share with you an interview with Heather, as well as an epic giveaway! First, here’s the epic cover and synopsis:

L&M In modern-day London, two brilliant high school students—one Sherlock Holmes and a Miss James “Mori” Moriarty—meet. A murder will bring them together. The truth very well might drive them apart.

Before they were mortal enemies, they were much more…

FACT: Someone has been murdered in London’s Regent’s Park. The police have no leads.

FACT: Miss James “Mori” Moriarty and Sherlock “Lock” Holmes should be hitting the books on a school night. Instead, they are out crashing a crime scene.

FACT: Lock has challenged Mori to solve the case before he does. Challenge accepted.

FACT: Despite agreeing to Lock’s one rule—they must share every clue with each other—Mori is keeping secrets.

OBSERVATION: Sometimes you can’t trust the people closest to you with matters of the heart. And after this case, Mori may never trust Lock again.

Goodreads | Amazon | IndieBound

And now here’s the interview! Enjoy!


Question: Lock & Mori is a YA Sherlock Holmes retelling! Where did the idea come from? Why Sherlock Holmes?
Answer: I was reading an article about nemeses relationships that mentioned Sherlock is the only person in the canon to ever actually meet Moriarty. We only know what Sherlock told Watson about Moriarty. So I thought, what if he lied? What if Sherlock knew Moriarty from when they were in high school? What if something happened in high school turned them into enemies? And the book ideas kind of spun out from there.

Question: Imagine you’re speaking to someone who hasn’t heard a single thing about your book. Without using the phrase or words “YA Sherlock Holmes retelling,” how would you describe your Lock & Mori to them?
Answer: It’s the origin story of a criminal mastermind, whose high school relationship with her future nemesis set her on the path to what she would become.

Question: Did you do a lot of research prior to writing Lock & Mori? If so, what was the most interesting thing you learned?
Answer: Definitely. And I think the most interesting research was learning more about the way the English legal system works and how it differs from ours. But, then, I really love to study law, so I may have just been geeking out a bit.

Question: Biggest difference (editorial, character, etc) between your first draft and the final first edition of the book?
Answer: Well it definitely got better! Nothing major got added or taken away, but my editor definitely helped me to make the book much stronger. I learned a lot for sure!

Question: According to your bio, you’ve been obsessed with mysteries since you were twelve. What’s your favorite mystery book? Favorite mystery author?
Answer: Agatha Christie was my first and will probably always be my favorite mystery author. (Even though she totally cheats.) And MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS will probably always be my favorite, although I love the Tommy & Tuppence books so much, it’s hard not to pick one of theirs. MOTOE, though, blew my little 12-year-old mind back when I read it. It was the book that made me obsess over mysteries for the rest of my life.

Question: Craziest thing you’ve had to Google for a work in progress?
Answer: I once Googled abandoned buildings in East London, how to delay-start a fire, and how alcoholism affects decomposition of a corpse in the same night. I’m pretty sure I made it onto some kind of watch list with all of that.

Question: Name one book you read within the last six months and STILL can’t stop thinking about.
Answer: My most recent would be MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold. That book completely opened, broke, and revived my heart in ways I never expected. I literally had to be consoled by a flight attendant while reading the end. He got very confused when I was smile-crying at my iPad and then hugging it. (It’s possible I should never fly Southwest again.)

Question: Favorite part of the publishing process so far?
Answer: Definitely the people. Beyond all of the amazing people I’ve gotten to meet through my literary agency and publisher, meeting other authors is so very cool. Honestly, going to some of the events/shows/festivals and hanging out with brilliant and hilarious authors for a weekend is like my utopia. It’s really hard to say goodbye.

Question: Lock & Mori is going to be a trilogy! Can you share any news? Are you editing book two? Writing book three?
Answer: I am currently editing book 2 and starting to write book 3. I’m super excited about what happens next!

Question: Aside from the Lock & Mori sequels, are you working on anything new?
Answer: I am! But I can’t tell you about it yet. (And I want to talk about it SO VERY MUCH.) Fingers crossed I’ll be able to make an announcement about it someday soon. :)


Heather Petty
Heather has been obsessed with mysteries since she was twelve, which is when she decided that stories about murders in London drawing rooms and English seaside villages were far superior to all other stories. Lock & Mori is her first novel. She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband, daughter, and four hopelessly devious cats.


Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr


Finally, thanks to the lovely Heather, we have an AMAZING giveaway for you guys! One lucky winner will receive a copy of Lock & Mori, plus an awesome swag pack! One winner, US & CAN only!

So, the rules:

-Giveaway is US & CANADA Only

-Winner has 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond, a new winner will be selected.

-You must be 13 or older to enter OR have your parents’ permission.

-I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.

-I reserve the right to change any rules as I see fit for each individual giveaway

*The above giveaway rules were borrowed and modified from Jessica @ Just a Book Lover.

With that being said, I wish you luck! May the odds be ever in your favor!

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Blog Tour: I Love My Hair by Andrea Pippins

I Love My Hair Blog Tour Banner 
Hey everyone! I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for Andrea Pippins’ I Love My Hair (November 10th 2015, Schwartz & Wade)! This was a really, really fun tour to be a part of – and you’ll see why shortly! First, here’s the official cover and synopsis!

image001-2 For fans of Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest comes a hip, gorgeous doodle coloring book about all things hair. Unlike other adult coloring books, which depict nature scenes and cityscapes, this title celebrates strong, confident women with a passion for style, design, and fashion.

Revel in the mesmerizing patterns and intricate details of Andrea Pippins’s delicate pen-and-ink illustrations, ready for you to color, complete, and embellish. Lose yourself in page after page of bold hairstyles and accessories, from rows of braids, to Mohawks, to sweeping updos, to cascades of ribbons and beads. Be transported to another world as you ink in Medusa’s slithering coiffure, Cleopatra’s elaborate headdress, and Marie Antoinette’s towering bouffant.

Perfect for experienced color-inners and newcomers alike. Coloring enthusiasts of all ages will love this empowering and stylish book. So go ahead—let your hair down, grab some pens or pencils, and add some color to your life.

The cover was originally revealed on – Check it out here. And if you discuss this epic coloring book on social media, feel free to use the hashtag #IHeartMyHair


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository


Like I said, this blog tour was so much fun to participate in – I got to color!!! Below is the design I chose to color in and the story behind why I chose it, why I colored it the way I did and why I Love My Hair! Enjoy!

I Love My hair 
I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. For the majority of my life, I’ve battled curls that don’t know if they want to be curly or wavy or just a weird hybrid (curlvy? wavly?) of both. I’ve also battled frizz for more years than I can count – and, most of the time, the frizz wins!

Don’t get me wrong, when my curls behave, I love them! But I can count on one hand the number of times my curls have behaved (okay, okay, maybe on 1.5 hands… Fine, fine, maybe two hands! But who’s counting?). My point is, I’ve tried several times to embrace my curls. Over the years, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars (no, I’m not exaggerating) on various shampoos, conditioners, styling products and styling tools – hence the green comb in my drawing, which represents the money I’ve spent trying to tame my frizzy curls into submission. Some things have worked fairly well, some haven’t worked at all. But nothing I’ve tried has worked 100%. Most of the time (sadly), I simply use a hair straightener to straighten and tame it.

The picture I chose to color represents the hair struggles I’ve faced. In the picture, the straight hair is colored in funky, playful colors. It represents how I feel when my hair is straight – confident and glamorous. The curly hair in the picture is mostly black (I’m a brunette, but I didn’t have a brown marker and the black shows the contrast with the colorful markers better!), with some of the funky, playful colors mixed in. This shows that, when my hair is curly (and, most likely, frizzy), I mostly feel plain, boring and less than confident – I know my hair looks like I haven’t brushed it in days (which, let’s be real, curly girls know how true it is when I say you really CAN’T brush curly hair…) and I just feel frumpy and blah. Yet some days, my curly hair is on point; it’s tamed, with little to no frizz and pretty, defined curls. Which is why I added the playful colors into the mix in the curly-haired part of the picture – to show that, some days, my curls look great and I DO feel confident enough to keep them au natural.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, though my hair doesn’t always behave, I do still love it. Deep down, I love my curls. They’re a part of me and always will be – even when I DO straighten them!



I Love My hair Blog Tour Image Two

(Images from I Love My Hair adult coloring book)


Andrea Pippins 1_credit Danielle FinneyAbout Andrea:
Andrea Pippins is a designer and educator with a penchant for cool and personality as warm as her Brazilian roots.

Andrea’s first glimpse into the design world began when she encountered a TV profile about a magazine art director, she then saw Halle Berry’s role as an director in the movie Boomerang and was hooked. Andrea began harnessing her creative talents into a BFA in graphic design and later earned her MFA at Temple University-Tyler School of Art. Andrea’s love for design grew as she learned more about what it means to be a visual communicator and what true design is all about.

With her eclectic style, authentic voice and eye for all things beautiful, Andrea continues to capture the attention of the fashion, art and design worlds. Her blog Fly, is a source of inspiration for creative young women and has gained a loyal following of viewers eager to see what unique fashion find, up and coming artist or personal reflection she will post next.

You can find Andrea teaching in the classroom, working on new designs or dancing in her living room with the Samba music way up.

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I LOVE MY HAIR Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 2 – Alexa Loves Books

Tuesday, November 3 – Pandora’s Books

Wednesday, November 4 – Natural Chica

Thursday, November 5 – The Irish Banana

Friday, November 6 – The Lovely Books

Monday, November 9 – Fiction Fare

Tuesday, November 10 – Mundie Moms

Wednesday, November 11 – What Sarah Read

Thursday, November 12 –Bookiemoji

Friday, November 13 – Readical

Monday, November 16 – Read. Sleep. Repeat.

Tuesday, November 17 – The Eater of Books

Wednesday, November 18 – The Reading Nook Reviews

Thursday, November 19 – The Jungalow