Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Spinning Starlight Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Today I'm super excited to welcome author R.C. Lewis to the blog as part of the promotional tour for Spinning Starlight, a retelling of The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen. There's little I love more than a fairytale retelling, so this book was destined for my must-have list before I even knew of its existence. Since my adoration of fairytales borders on excessive, I thought I'd ask R.C. what fairytales would most appeal to protagonist Liddi if she had nothing but time to read!

Liddi Jantzen’s Top Three Reading-Time Favorites

(First off, Liddi would be all about the audiobook, since her world went full-speed ahead on audio/video interface being the way to go ages back. But without further ado...)

#1 The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen

Obviously. Liddi would have oodles of sympathy for this character’s can’t-talk quandary. From firsthand experience, no less. She knows the frustration and fear that can come from not being able to communicate comfortably with those around her, especially total strangers in a strange land that defies all her prior experiences.

She would not be a fan of the ending.

#2 The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen

(Liddi doesn’t know about her own roots in Andersen’s work, so it’s amusing that she’s so partial to his work.)

Again, Liddi would very much identify with the main character in this story. She’s long felt like the odd-one-out among her brothers, and it has nothing to do with being the only girl. Everyone in her family has a spark of genius when it comes to improving old technologies or inventing new ones. Liddi’s competent enough skillwise, but the ideas just won’t come. She wonders if she’s somehow from the wrong “batch.”

#3 Constellation Myths—any and all

(This will keep her busy since the first two are relatively short.)

Liddi grows up with a low opinion of any kind of superstition, yet she can’t help being a stargazer like her late mother. Despite the interstellar distance they represent, looking at the stars makes her feel closer to something. Later, a new friend tells her stories of the constellations on another world, so after the events of Spinning Starlight, I think Liddi would be very interested in hearing such stories from other places and cultures.

Thanks so much for stopping by R.C.!

• • • • • • • • • • • • •


Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it's hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it's just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.

Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi's vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.

Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers' survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?

Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen'sThe Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


R.C. Lewis teaches math to teenagers—sometimes in sign language, sometimes not—so whether she’s a science geek or a bookworm depends on when you look. That may explain why her characters don’t like to be pigeonholed. Coincidentally, R.C. enjoys reading about quantum physics and the identity issues of photons.

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One lucky winner will receive a signed finished copy of SPINNING STARLIGHT. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  Be sure and check out all the participating blogs for more guest posts and interviews!

9/28/2015- FangirlishInterview  
9/29/2015- A Backwards StoryReview  
9/30/2015- Supernatural SnarkGuest Post   
10/1/2015- YaReads- Review  
10/2/2015- Two Chicks on BooksInterview

10/5/2015- Pandora's BooksReview
10/6/2015- Bookhounds yaGuest Post
10/7/2015- Just CommonlyReview
10/8/2015- Mundie MomsInterview
10/9/2015- Please Feed The BookwormReview

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Against All Odds: Interview + Giveaway

I'm so pleased today to welcome author Patricia Vanasse to the blog as part of the promotional tour for her new release, Against All Odds. It's a Q+A kind of week here on the blog, so I hope you guys enjoy my temporary secondary career as a professional interviewer ;-) If Patricia's answers about Max and Loren pique your interest, please add Against All Odds to your TBR lists! Be sure and check the bottom of the post too for all the details on a special giveaway.

Max and Loren have a lot of obstacles to overcome in order to be together. If they wanted a break from the drama of their lives, what one other fictional couple might they read about in order to feel better about their own relationship challenges?

Oh, wow! I think the challenges Romeo and Juliet encountered would make anyone feel better about their own relationship challenges.

If Loren could write her father a letter that lays bare everything she’s been feeling since her friend Lily’s death, how would the first line read?

Dad, if there’s anyone in this world who can understand what I’m feeling right now, that person is you, and still, you’re failing me completely.

What’s one quirk or habit of Max’s that Loren never would have noticed if her dad hadn’t invited him to live under their roof? One of Loren’s that Max never would noticed?

Max has the habit of touching his watchband when he’s nervous, and Loren bites the inside of her mouth. The more they get to know each other, the more they come to understand their habits.

If Loren could talk to Lily one last time and ask her for once piece of best friend advice regarding Max, what would her first question be?

I’m sure Loren would ask Lily if she should keep their relationship a secret or face anyone who is against them being together. She valued Lily’s opinion more than anyone else’s.

What would Loren say are the top 3 most romantic books she’s ever read?

-Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare
-Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Thanks so much for stopping by Patricia!

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Sometimes boy meets girl, and the stars align, and their future is laid out neatly before them. Together forever. Meant to be. But Max and Loren are not one of those couples.

Seventeen-year-old Max DuPont is on the verge of becoming a ward of the state and foster kid. Contrary to expectations, Max is not from the "wrong" side of town. He's from a good home in a nice neighborhood, but his mother left after his father lost his job and turned to drinking. Max has been struggling to keep his head above water ever since. All he wants is to survive his senior year, play hockey, and move on to college. When his dad lands himself in jail, Max has no choice but to accept an offer to live with his father's do-gooder attorney, Mr. Larssi. The only contingency is that Max must stay far away from Larssi's beautiful teenage daughter Loren.

Loren is aware that she's had every opportunity in her young adult life—at least, that is, every opportunity her parents designed for her. She excels in academics at a competitive prep school, she never parties, she never dates, and she's a budding ballerina and major hopeful for a Juilliard scholarship. But since her best friend Lily died tragically three months ago, Loren is lost. She knows just how precious life is. But she has no idea how to make the best of it. How can she live—really live—with obsessive parents breathing down her neck…and inviting the only guy who never noticed her to live right under their roof?

Loren's first step in living her own life might be to get Max to notice her. Max's only chance at a solid future without foster care is to keep his distance from Loren. But their chemistry is undeniable. And they can't fight the odds forever.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Patricia Vanasse was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Now she lives on a beautiful island in the Pacific Northwest. She has been through Culinary Arts, Psychology, Law School, and now has finally found her passion in creative writing. She also loves traveling, cooking, and is an avid reader. Her strength- believes that everything is possible. Her weakness- an obsessive relationship with caffeine.

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Patricia is generously offering up a variety of prizes for this tour!
  •     A $25 Amazon gift card (international)
  •     A signed copy of AGAINST ALL ODDS (US only)
  •     2 eCopies of AGAINST ALL ODDS (international)
Please enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Motor City Shakedown Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway

Today I'm thrilled to kick off the blog tour for Motor City Shakedown, the first in a new mystery/thriller series from Jonathan Watkins. Jonathan was nice enough to let me pick his brain a bit about his characters and police procedure, so I hope you all enjoy the interview! Be sure to check the bottom of the post for the full list of participating blogs as well as all the details on a fantastic giveaway. Welcome to Supernatural Snark Jonathan!

If Issabella could conjure up a dream partner (other than Darren of course ;-)) to help her work the SWAT case, what are a few of the characteristics he would have?

Hmm. That’s an interesting question. I think that since Izzy is just starting out on her legal career and is extremely anxious about her prospects as a defense lawyer, she would have initially preferred someone who could serve as a mentor. Izzy is an extremely self-aware person. She knows that she is young and inexperienced and she feels very out of her depth when Darren manipulates her into taking on a big murder case.

A legal partner who consciously decided to guide her through the process of a murder trial would have been Izzy’s first choice—someone calm, maybe even paternal/maternal, who was well-respected in the community. She’s just out of law school, so I think a professorial-type of partner would have put her at ease.

If Darren saw the above wish list, what would the first words out of his mouth be?

“Seriously? You know, Izzy, being a safe lawyer isn’t synonymous with being a good one.”

Which of Darren’s weird investigative methods would Issabella say she was most surprised actually worked?

Hands down, it would be Darren’s barging into court and serving a bogus lawsuit on a sitting judge and the prosecutor’s office. The idea of actively antagonizing a judge and a prosecutor to that degree would leave any defense lawyer aghast, since the reality is that those two offices hold all the cards. The power of a defense lawyer lies exclusively in the Constitution and the rights guaranteed therein. But, as many of us know, the Constitution is open to interpretation—by judges. So making an enemy of a judge is not high on the list of goals for any defender who wants future motions and decisions to go their way in that judge’s courtroom.

But that’s part of the fun in writing Darren. As an often frustrated and beleaguered lawyer representing the poor and the powerless, I get a visceral thrill out of Darren’s disregard for his own well-being in pursuit of what he thinks is right.

If you were to join Darren and Issabella on this case, what set of skills do you possess that you think would most help them?

As a defense lawyer, the one thing I learned early on was that everybody lies. Clients lie in the most extravagant and obvious ways. Prosecutors, cops and judges lie, usually through omission. Clients will profess their innocence to their lawyer even in the face of incontrovertible evidence and even after they have made knowing and detailed confessions to the authorities. Prosecutors will neglect to reveal Brady material (exculpatory evidence beneficial to the accused). Cops will refuse to be honest about their motives for a traffic stop or the real reasons why they performed a legally questionable search. Judges will make rulings based on their own personal biases, but those biases will never appear in their stated justifications for the ruling.

That’s the game, at least in this moment in our history.

In the book, Darren already knows all this. Izzy most assuredly does not, as she hasn’t been in court enough to see it play out again and again. So maybe I would act to accelerate her acceptance of the fact that the game is not played on an even field, which in turn might prompt her to embrace Darren’s methodology a little more quickly.

What’s one thing about police or SWAT procedure you didn’t know prior to doing research for Motor City Shakedown?

When I wrote the book, I was still in my second year of law school. At that point in time, I didn’t know how pervasive the practice of no-knock warrants had become. Generally speaking, cops aren’t allowed to barge into your house unannounced. They have to get a judge to sign a warrant that details why there is probable cause to justify the search. What was surprising then, and is still surprising to this day, is the relative ease with which cops can get a warrant that allows them to charge into your home without any prior notice to you.

I used to work in security. I’ve worked with retired cops in the past and many of my friends are local cops. They are, almost uniformly, some of the most decent and forthright people I know. That isn’t lip service. One of my former co-workers has dedicated himself to finding, arresting, and locking up adults who prey on children. I can’t think of a calling that could be nobler or more personally taxing than that.

The problem is that we, as a people, have continued to vote in politicians and judges who have a decidedly medieval view of personal autonomy and freedom from government intrusion. As a result, just about any pretext will get a cop their warrant.

To be clear, there are situations where a no-knock raid by SWAT is absolutely necessary. No law enforcement agent should be needlessly put at risk of loss of life. But today in this nation, that sort of invasion of personal liberty is all too often predicated on the thinnest of justifications.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Jonathan!

• • • • • • • • • • • •


Darren Fletcher, once the rising star of Detroit's criminal justice system, has fallen far. All the way to an office in a smoky dive bar on the wrong side of the city. But a single phone call could be the key to climbing out of his downward spiral: a police brutality victim needs his help, and the family's willing to pay. Big-time.

Issabella Bright's daily panic attacks aren't entirely due to her decision to forgo a flashy firm and go out on her own, but that's a large part of it. She never thought she'd resort to ambulance chasing, until the story about a SWAT raid gone wrong proves too intriguing to ignore—it's the perfect chance to prove she made the right decision.

But Issabella's not the only one after the job.

Darren's connections are enough to get past the cops stonewalling them both at the hospital, but only a judge's order makes Issabella even consider teaming up with the disheveled attorney and his weird—and weirdly effective—methods. But as the case deepens and it becomes clear the Detroit PD is concealing a much bigger conspiracy, Darren and his methods may be all that keep her alive.

• • • • • • • • • • • 


Jonathan Watkins lives and works in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Art and Children's Literature from Eastern Michigan University and his Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. A life-long fan of detective fiction, Jonathan is the author of the Bright and Fletcher mystery series. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, who is too good for him. They are blessed with two kind-hearted sons.

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Harlequin is generously offering up the following prizes to one lucky winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, September 25, 2015

Magic, Middle School & TWIST MY CHARM

Happy Friday Everyone! Today I'm pleased to welcome author Toni Gallagher to the blog to talk all things magic, middle school and Twist My Charm: The Popularity Spell. I was addicted to the TV Show Charmed when I was a touch younger (I won't tell you how much younger though ;-)), and I always went back and forth between the three sisters in terms of which of their abilities I would most like to have if magic were real. I thought it might be fun to extend a similar question to Toni, so I asked her what spells she would cast if magic existed in our world. I hope you all enjoy, and for all you middle grade lovers out there, don't forget to add Twist My Charm: The Popularity Spell to your lists!

If magic were real, what spells would I cast?

In Twist My Charm: The Popularity Spell, Cleo and her friend Samantha have the opportunity to cast positive, happy spells that will make their lives better. But when they decide to make themselves popular, they learn that doing something great for yourself might not be so great for someone else.

Since my story takes place in the world of sixth graders, I’d like to go back to my childhood to cast my spells and make my wishes.

First of all, I wanted to be able to sing – not just loudly (which I could already do), but well. Ideally I would sing like Patti LuPone, the Broadway star of Evita. She’s still out there today, belting out songs in musicals and in concert. Me? I’m singing on karaoke stages every once in a while. My version of These Boots Are Made for Walking will change your life. Not.

I also wanted to meet Steven Spielberg, the director. If he could’ve heard my story ideas, he surely would have made one into a blockbuster movie. My cousin and I, living in Philadelphia, would call his office in Hollywood and leave messages. We never heard back. However, when we wrote him a fan letter full of cut-out words from magazines, he wrote back – with words cut out of magazines! (You can see it on my website, Many years later, I worked for his company, Amblin Entertainment, but I only met him face-to-face one time, when I advised him against directing The Prince of Tides. (Barbra Streisand, who did direct it, should thank me – shouldn’t she?)

Movies, plays and TV figured largely in my childhood, I suppose, because the other spell I would’ve liked to cast would be to send myself to Fantasy Island. This was an hour-long television show where Mr. Roarke, a suave man in a white suit, would grant people’s wishes. The problem with the show was that something would always go wrong; the person would always end up in danger. Well, I didn’t want that. I wanted to take part in Star Wars – not be in the movie, but experience it for real, in outer space, having adventures with Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. But I would make a deal with Mr. Roarke beforehand. No danger, only fun.

However, if you cast a spell or make a wish and no unexpected circumstances arise, you don’t have a very good story, do you? If Cleo and Samantha’s spells didn’t cause trouble (for themselves and others), I wouldn’t have a book!  So maybe it’s best if I stay out of the magic business – unless I’m writing about it. Instead, I’m going to start working on my karaoke version of the disco song Car Wash. I may not be able to cast a spell, but I still need to entertain.

Thanks so much for stopping by Toni!

• • • • • • • • • • • 


Middle school can be tough, especially when you have to go to a new school. But what if there was a magic charm that gave the wearer popularity . . . that is, until the charm gets twisted. In THE POPULARITY SPELL Cleo Nelson just started sixth grade at a new school, where all the kids seem a lot cooler and older than her. But luckily she becomes fast friends with Samantha. So when a mysterious gift arrives in the mail, Cleo can’t wait to share the voodoo doll with Sam. But as the charms get bigger, the girls start to realize that happy charms can be twisted. . .

Find the book:

Find Toni:

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger

The Gold Seer #1
Rae Carson
Young Adult/Historical/Paranormal-ish
432 pages
Available Now
Source: BEA

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Leee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might muder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

Walk on Earth a Stranger is a gritty start to this trilogy, an overland trek to California detailed for us in all its grim brutality, but a stunning cast of characters gives us heart and hope as they step one foot in front of the other mile after difficult mile. Ms. Carson clearly did a great deal of research to bring Leah and Jefferson’s journey to life, so many beautifully small everyday details making us feel as though we’re riding right alongside the wagon train as they battle the terrain, sickness and infighting in the hopes of a better life out west.

Leah is one of many highlights of this story, an only child filling the role of both son and daughter for her parents and thus in possession of a set of survival skills she likely wouldn’t have had if her baby brother had lived. She thinks tactically and logically as she begins the journey on her own, making smart choices at every turn and getting herself out of potentially fatal situations with quick thinking and determination. Once reunited with Jefferson as they join up with a wagon train, she continues to use her body and mind in tandem, pushing herself to her physical limits but never over while using every single thing her murdered parents taught her.

While there’s no real romance to be had in this first installment, the potential for something stunning to develop between her and Jefferson is a subtle thrum throughout, never allowing us to forget its presence despite the dangers that unfold with every chapter. A swoon-worthy romance isn’t missed in the least however, as the secondary cast of westward travelers delights with their many and varied personalities, a sense of camaraderie (and, in the case of some, discontent) building over the course of four hundred pages until we reach an end that displays just how fully the bond between the group has formed.

The only mild complaints with this first installment are with regard to Leah’s ability to sense gold and the somewhat abrupt ending, the former not playing much of a role aside from the occasional twinge she feels along the way. Her gift is the catalyst for the entire journey though, and will likely build in importance as the trilogy continues. The ending feels just a touch rushed after an epic and sprawling life and death adventure through mountains and desert, Leah’s quick and rather convenient run-in with her villainous uncle in the final pages feeling the tiniest bit unnecessary. Those are the smallest of niggles in an overall outstanding story however, and I can’t wait to see how things continue to develop for Leah, Jefferson and company in future books.

Rating: 4/5

Find Rae:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Fire Touched

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine and is a fun way to see what books other bloggers just can't wait to get their hands on!

Mercy Thompson #9
Patricia Briggs
Urban Fantasy
Releases March 2016 from Ace

From Goodreads:

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

This week's pick was a no-brainer. The Mercy Thompson series is one of my all time favorite urban fantasy series, and there will never be a time when I don't need more Mercy and Adam in my life. Like the Kate Daniels books, this series always seems to stay fresh for me no matter how high the number of books climbs, reminding me that established couples can be every bit as swoon-worthy as new relationships and making me wish I was even 1/100th of the badass Mercy is.

Also? That cover. It's like the creepy dog from Ghostbusters but with so much more awesome.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review: Claimed

Outlaws #1
Elle Kennedy
Adult Romance/Post-Apocalyptic
368 pages
Available October 6th
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
After a devastating war decimated most of the world, Hudson Lane has only known the oppressive life under her own father’s tyranny. She finally escapes, branding herself an outlaw and hunted by the Enforcers. Her best chance at survival is Connor Mackenzie, an aggressively sensual fugitive who opens her eyes to the wicked possibilities of a world without rules.

As the leader of a band of outlaw fighters, Connor can’t resist the beautiful stranger who asks for his protection. Despite his reservations, he agrees to introduce her to a whole new way of life. But when Connor discovers Hudson’s connection to the enemies of liberty, he wonders how far he can trust the woman who has abandoned all inhibitions to challenge every forbidden desire.

Claimed is a strong, sensual start to a new series by Ms. Kennedy, introducing us to a post-apocalyptic world we can only hope never comes to pass, as well as a group of men who have us wishing we could somehow grant Ms. Kennedy the ability to write at superhuman speed in order to have their stories as soon as possible. We're given just enough history as to how this war-ravaged world came to be so that we easily get our bearings in the first few chapters, settling in quickly and then gluing ourselves to the story until we reach the last page far before we're ready to temporarily part ways with Connor, Hudson and company.

Hudson is a little tricky in the beginning, instantly drawing us in with her need to find safety outside the walls of the compound she called home, but when that understandable need begins to bleed into the romance in the first third of the book, we can't help but want her to find the spine of steel that led her to flee her home in the first place. Because she instinctively knows that Connor and his team can provide safety, she tries hard to make herself useful without disrupting the routine they've established, and when things heat up with Connor physically, that desire for safety leads her to accept what feels like the crumbs from Connor's sexual table. That's not to say she's not an active and willing participant in anything and everything they do–she absolutely is–but she allows him to call the shots inside the bedroom and out of it in a way that has us wishing she'd make him work a little harder for it.

Before too long however, Hudson gains confidence sexually and otherwise, and when she does, she goes toe to toe with Connor in the best possible way. She pushes when he needs to be pushed and then allows him to take back control before pushing too far, becoming a woman who isn't afraid to ask for what she wants and demand that her voice be heard (in a non-irritating way). Those, like myself, who are typically uncomfortable with anything other than absolute monogamy in romances should know that Hudson and Connor play with one of Connor's men a number of times, but in the context of this world it works to intensify things between the two of them. There's no hint of a triangle–Rylan is sure to get his book at some point in the near future (yay!)–and the understanding from the beginning is that what's shared between them is physical only within the bounds of friendship.

Overall, Claimed is blistering hot with just enough grit to the world to have us delighting in the characters' rough edges, and we're left with the satisfied smile any romance-lover lusts for firmly in place by the time we reach the last page.

Rating: 4/5

Find Elle:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Dreamland Blog Tour + Giveaway!

Today I'm hugely excited to be a part of the promotional tour for Dreamland, a debut novel from author Robert L. Anderson. Since Dreamland deals with the world of dreams (obviously), I thought it might be fun to ask protagonist Dea to name a few fictional characters whose sleeping minds she'd like a peek at, and I so approve of her choices:) Be sure and check the bottom of the post as well for the full list of participating blogs as well as your chance to win a copy of Dreamland!

A Look Inside: If Dea could take a peek at the dreams of either 3 fictional characters or 3 real people (alive or dead), whose sleeping minds would she most like to see/learn from?
  • Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)—Katniss’s post-arena dreams must be insane and frightening, but I can’t help but want to take a look. I imagine it’d be a lot like a soldier’s nightmares except with more insane creations from the Capital. It also feels like a crime peeking into Katniss’s dreams considering the abusive voyeurism of the Games itself, but I’m going in! 
  • Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter)—If Luna is that dreamy when she’s awake, I’d love a recess in her mind to witness how her imagination explodes in the limitless dream realm.

  • Gollum (Lord of the Rings)—Gollum has seen A LOT and A LOT of what Gollum has seen is disturbing. Sign me up? 

    Best-case scenario: Inspiration for more books and art.

    Worst-case scenario: Insane asylum.   
• • • • • • • • • • • • •


Odea Donahue has been able to travel through people’s dreams since she was six years old. Her mother taught her the three rules of walking: Never interfere. Never be seen. Never walk the same person’s dream more than once. Dea has never questioned her mother, not about the rules, not about the clocks or the mirrors, not about moving from place to place to be one step ahead of the unseen monsters that Dea’s mother is certain are right behind them.

Then a mysterious new boy, Connor, comes to town and Dea finally starts to feel normal. As Connor breaks down the walls that she’s had up for so long, he gets closer to learning her secret. For the first time she wonders if that’s so bad. But when Dea breaks the rules, the boundary between worlds begins to deteriorate. How can she know what’s real and what’s not?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • 


Robert L. Anderson grew up in Brooklyn and graduated college in 2004 with a degree in philosophy. Since then, he has lived in five states and twelve countries, and on three continents. Dreamland is his first novel. He is represented by literary agent Stephen Barbara.

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Thanks to the generosity of the HarperTeen team, I have one finished copy of DREAMLAND to give away on the blog today! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is US/CA only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Interview + Giveaway: Stacey O'Neale + Under His Skin

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming author Stacey O'Neale back to the blog to answer a few questions about her newest paranormal romance, Under His Skin. I'm a HUGE sucker for a best friends to lovers romance, so I couldn't be more excited to dive into Kaden and Annabelle's story. Oh, and Kaden is an extraterrestrial, so Monday's release date can't come fast enough...

I hope you guys enjoy the interview!

If Annabelle had to bake a dessert that she felt best represented her, what deliciousness would she come up with? If she had to bake one that represented Kaden?

Ha! This is a fun question. Annabelle would be an apple pie. She’s very wholesome with a deep connection to her town. She’s also very easy and likable. Kaden would be a chocolate lava cake. A little rough on the outside, but all warm and gooey on the inside.

*Jenny wanders off to go buy cake and pie*

Since Kaden has spent quite a bit of time on Earth, he’s familiar with the various movie portrayals of alien life. What movie would he say made him laugh the hardest at its depiction of extraterrestrials?

He would choose Independence Day because the aliens look really creepy, plus they came to Earth looking to destroy all human life. He was as curious about us as we are with them. Too many movies and books assume we wouldn’t get along. Kaden would object to that.

What’s one thing about his species that Kaden wishes everyone on earth could know?

That they are not dangerous. They want more than anything to be part of society.

If Kaden could take Annabelle to his home planet, what aspect of it would he think she’d be most surprised/fascinated by?

Their advantaged medicines and technology. His species predates humans. They’ve figured out things that our scientists are still discovering/learning. 

Back on Kaden’s home planet, what’s the most outrageous rumor that exists about the people of Earth?

It would be amusing if they thought we would one day invade them. Perhaps they have movies/books depicting us as dangerous creatures. ;-)

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Stacey!

• • • • • • • • • • • •


Earth girls are never easy. But they're worth it.

Bakery owner Annabelle Sparks' business is booming ever since she won reality TV's Cupcake Wars. The one thing deflating her happy soufflé? The extremely sexy Kaden Chance only sees her as a best friend-and Annabelle wants so much more. After waiting a year for him recognize their chemistry, she's giving up and dating other people.

What she doesn't know is Kaden's heart doesn't actually beat. He's not human. Heck, he's not even from Earth. To retain his intergalactic immunity, no one can ever know he is an extraterrestrial. But when Annabelle starts dating, something strange happens to Kaden's unmoved heart: it begins to beat. Now he faces an impossible choice-tell Annabelle the truth and be deported-or lose his last chance at love.

Find Stacey:

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Review: Vengeance Road

Erin Bowman
Young Adult/Historical
336 pages
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Available Now
Source: BEA

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Revenge is worth its weight in gold.

When hers father is murdered for a journal revealing the location of a hidden gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers, endless dust and heat, and a surprising band of allies, among them a young Apache girl and a pair of stubborn brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, a startling truth becomes clear: some men will stop at nothing to get their hands on gold, and Kate’s quest for revenge may prove fatal.

Vengeance Road is gripping from first page to last, sucking us immediately into Kate’s story as her world burns down and revenge rises from its ashes. From the moment she finds her father’s body we’re taken on a darkly beautiful journey, the richness of the setting and the authenticity of the dialect drawing us even deeper into Kate’s life as she seeks to return the brutal favor bestowed upon her father.

Kate is a young woman who could have made it exceedingly difficult to really like her, revenge having a way of casting a character in so many shadows and shades of gray that it becomes nearly impossible to find the real person they mask. Instead, what we find is a girl who sets out with dark purpose but who isn’t so blinded by her need for vengeance that she literally rides in with guns blazing without the benefit of any kind of plan or forethought. While she might have done just that without the Colton boys there to intervene, she listens to them and allows their logic to filter through the haze of her anger until she sees reason.

The romance between Kate and Jesse is woven beautifully into this story, the two of them at odds for majority of the book (due in large part to the fact that both Jesse and his brother Will believe Kate to be a boy when they first meet her), but while they take verbal swings at one another on a daily basis, their relationship never comes across as frustrating. Rather than drama for the sake of drama or a couple that runs hot one day and cold the next, Kate and Jesse feel utterly genuine, caught up in a number of emotional and physical conflicts that never once act as a reminder that we’re reading a piece of fiction thanks to the over the top nature of what unfolds.

Overall, Ms. Bowman delights with Vengeance Road, giving us a heroine to root for with every fiber of our being, a villain to hate with gleeful intensity, and a subtle romance to keep a dopey grin plastered to our faces just when we need it most.

Rating: 4.5/5

Find Erin:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Titans

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine and is a fun way to see what books other bloggers just can't wait to get their hands on!

Victoria Scott
Young Adult
Available February 2016 from Scholastic

From Goodreads:

Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.

Some of you might be wondering why I picked this book given there's no mention of a romance in the synopsis and you all know I LIVE for  all things swoon-worthy in my books. But you know what this book has instead? HORSES! I grew up riding horses, so the minute I saw this cover I knew this was the book for me. I want a mechanical horse of my very own. I would ride her to the bank. And the grocery store. And on any and all other errands because how badass would that be? 

Yes to Astrid and her early model Titan! I'm rooting for them already.