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Cover Reveal – ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (All I Want for Christmas Series) by Chelsea Bobulski

 

Author Chelsea Bobulski is revealing the cover to ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, the first book in her young adult contemporary holiday romance series, All I Want for Christmas, releasing October 28, 2021

Author Chelsea Bobulski is revealing the cover to ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, the first book in her young adult contemporary holiday romance series, All I Want for Christmas, releasing October 28, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, the first book in her young adult contemporary holiday romance series, All I Want for Christmas,

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (All I Want for Christmas Series #1) by Chelsea Bobulski

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
Series: All I Want for Christmas Series, #1
Author: Chelsea Bobulski
Release Date: October 28, 2021
Genre:
Young Adult Contemporary Holiday Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
It’s a Wonderful Life meets Wish Upon A Star in this Christmas-themed young adult contemporary romance.  

Graham Wallace has been in love with the girl next door for a decade. Unfortunately, she’s been dating his best friend for the past two years. Out of sheer desperation, Graham makes a wish on a shooting star—all he wants for Christmas is Sarah Clarke.

When Graham wakes up the next morning, everything has changed, and he’s the one who’s been dating Sarah for the past two years, not his best friend. Graham assumes the wish would have only come true if he and Sarah were meant to be together, but as it becomes clear that he and Sarah bring out the worst in each other, not the best, and as he starts to fall for the new girl in town, Graham wonders if some wishes come true in order to show us what’s not meant to be.

“A town called Christmas. An iffy wish come true. A new girl who could change it all. Chelsea Bobulski’s The Girl Next Door kept me on my toes, turning pages from the start, and loving each revelation as it unfolded. Deep, funny, and real—this holiday romance will completely warm your heart and remind you that not all wishes should come true.” — Nova McBee, author of the Calculated Series

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Teaser from ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, the first book in her young adult contemporary holiday romance series, All I Want for Christmas,

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Author Chelsea Bobulski

Author Chelsea Bobulski

About the Author
Chelsea Bobulski was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised on Disney movies, classic musicals, and Buckeye pride. She’s always had a penchant for the fantastical, the stories that teach us there is more to this world than meets the eye. She has a soft spot for characters with broken pasts, strange talents, and a dash of destiny in their bones. After graduating from THE Ohio State University with a degree in history, she promptly married her high school sweetheart and settled down in Northwest Ohio with her notebooks and daydreams and copious amounts of chocolate. THE WOOD is her debut novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to find Chelsea Bobulski
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – CHARM WARS (Charm Wars Series) by Dan Lutts

 

Welcome to the book blitz for CHARM WARS , the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Charm Wars, by Dan Lutts

Welcome to the book blitz for CHARM WARS, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Charm Wars, by Dan LuttsSee below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

CHARM WARS, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Charm Wars, by Dan Lutts

CHARM WARS (Charm Wars Series #1) by Dan Lutts

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: CHARM WARS
Series: Charm Wars Series #1
Author: Dan Lutts
Publisher: Castine Press
Release Date: September 2, 2021
Genre:
Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
Welcome to Caldon, a land of mages and magic, where the noblesse possess massive political and magical power and destroy anyone who threatens the noblesse way of life—especially the commoners.

Rill Larkin, the son of a commoner blacksmith, has high ambitions. To be a mage, join the exalted ranks of the ruling noblesse, and establish his own noblesse family. Defying both the system and his family, Rill becomes the apprentice of Deuth Estati, a powerful archmage. But appearances deceive. As training progresses, Rill learns of decades-long secrets and manipulations that threaten his dream. And Deuth might not be as benevolent as Rill thought.

Alyse Dejune despises magic, even if she does belong to one of the oldest and most powerful noblesse families in Caldon. The deceits and treacheries of noblesse life and the loveless marriage alliances among the noblesse families disgust her. Her family however has high expectations: that she fulfill her role as a noblesse girl by marrying Troy Estati, an arrogant, selfish noblesse boy she does not love. And Alyse harbors a secret—the potential to become one of the most powerful mages in generations and wield forbidden magic—that, if revealed, could mean her death.

In this deadly game of ever-shifting alliances, where the state wages perpetual war against an ancient enemy, Rill and Alyse are thrown together in a land where magic is failing. And as greedy noblesse families raid surrounding family compounds for powerful charms, Rill and Alyse are left standing at a terrible crossroads.

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Map from CHARM WARS, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Charm Wars, by Dan Lutts

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Excerpt #2
Chapter 14
Charm Raid

A deafening explosion shook the back courtyard.

Alyse jerked into a sitting position in bed, her heart frozen and her mind whirling in confusion.

Kate’s connecting door with Alyse’s burst open. The meager flame from the finger lamp Kate held illuminated the sword and dagger buckled over her white cotton nightshift. “Get up! We’ve been attacked.”

Alyse scrambled out of bed, fear billowing up her throat, expanding with air until she almost choked.

Wild shouts, clangs of swords clashing, and voices crying in pain attacked her ears through the partially open window shutters. Alyse’s mind turned as blank as a parchment sheet. She strained to recall where she had put her dress. No! There wasn’t time to grab the dress because the cardinal rule had been drummed into her head since childhood. If the compound is attacked, go to the safe shelter immediately because even a moment’s delay could end with her death if the raiders quickly overwhelmed the family’s defenders.

Kate eased the door open and peeked into the family area.

Her heart hammering in her ears, Alyse peered over Kate’s shoulder.

Servants were racing through the family area lighting torches set in sconces along the walls to provide light for the defenders if the raiders should make it into the house. Backwatchers were sprinting toward the adults’ bedrooms on the side opposite Alyse’s to escort the other family members to the safe shelter.

The ring of sword against sword and ear-piercing cracks of spells and shouts of attackers and defenders moved into the peristyle garden just outside the family area.
Another blast shook the front courtyard.

“Come on!” Kate said.

They ran toward the dining room. Before they’d covered two spear lengths, the door to the garden burst inward with a deafening roar that made Alyse’s ears ring. A huge wood splinter whizzed by Alyse’s head as attackers charged into the family area.

“Back!” Kate cried. “Into the bedroom.”

They dashed inside. While Kate locked the door, Alyse closed and bolted the window shutters, then took the dagger from her dresser drawer and unsheathed the blade.

A sharp burst, followed by something crashing onto the floor. Booted feet pounded and swords clashed.

“Jade! Oh, Goddess—no! Help! Somebody, help!”

Alyse’s breath caught in her throat as she imagined her sister being hacked to pieces by the raiders. “Mora!” She charged toward the door.

Kate yanked her arm so fiercely that Alyse almost lost her footing. “We have to help ourselves.”

Shouting raiders raced past their door toward the receiving hall.

“Listen,” Kate said, her voice tight with urgency. “We don’t need to worry about the mages. They have to see their targets to cast spells. As for the bladeswomen, the door’s only wide enough to let in one or two at a time.”

Alyse’s nerves twitched as if they were being pricked by dozens of sharp-pointed pins. She gulped a deep breath that reached the bottom of her lungs, and nodded. She wouldn’t get out of this if she panicked.

Kate stoked the hearth to create a low flame, then drew her sword. “If they come in, let me do the fighting. Use your dagger only to defend yourself, and don’t hesitate to strike. Understand?”

Alyse’s fingers tightened around the dagger’s leather-wrapped grip. The weapon, puny though it was, gave her strength. “Yes.”

Kate extinguished the finger lamp. Alyse waited tensely in the shadows near the hearth while the sounds in Mora’s room subsided.

“The other’s in here.”

An earsplitting blast blew the door off its hinges.

A woman wielding a sword rushed over the shattered wood.

Kate cut her down.

A man and a woman leaped over the body. Kate met them face on, parrying their blades with both sword and dagger. The fight took them toward the sleeping alcove. Alyse beat down the urge to attack the raiders while their backs were to her.

A mage stepped over the body sprawled by the door. “Give me a clear cast!” he shouted.\

The two attackers split apart, exposing Kate to full view.

The mage pointed his staff at her.

Horror sealed off Alyse’s throat, threatening to choke her. Don’t hesitate. Kate’s injunction sliced through her brain like a knife cutting through bonds.

Alyse screamed and charged the mage.

Whirling, he swung the staff at her head.

Alyse ducked and plunged the dagger into his chest.

The mage dropped the staff and staggered backward.

Alyse scooped up the staff and smashed his skull with the orb.

He fell to the floor, dead.

Breathing hard, Alyse retrieved her dagger and turned toward the three shadowy figures battling. Part of her mind was mesmerized by Kate’s deadly skill—the first time she had ever seen her cousin fighting for real. The other part was terrified one of the raiders’ swords might slip through Kate’s guard because Kate was maneuvering to keep the attackers away from her.

A murky figure in the doorway blocked the torchlight from the family area. A bladeswoman holding a bloodstained sword.

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CHARM WARS, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Charm Wars, by Dan Lutts is out now!

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Author Dan Lutts

Author Dan Lutts

About the Author
Dan Lutts was brought up in Quincy, Massachusetts, and began addictively reading Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman comic books at an early age, much to his mother’s distress. In junior high school, he switched to reading science fiction novels. While in high school and college, he wrote science fiction short stories.

Dan taught history and archaeology in high school for ten years. After being laid off because of budget cuts, he used his love of writing to retrain and became a software technical editor and writer. He worked for several computer companies, taught technical writing at the college level, and worked as a freelance writer. Now, combining his love of history and writing, he works at a World War II museum doing research and writing.

Dan loves to read and has varied tastes, including Young Adult, historical fiction, mysteries, 18th-century sea epics, and history. He especially enjoys Young Adult fiction and decided to try his hand at it. Charm Wars, Dan’s first novel, is the result.

Dan lives in rural Maine with his wife, Lisa. When he’s not working or writing, Dan can be found reading, making and shooting medieval arrows with his longbow, or playing with his two dogs and two cats–all rescue animals.

You can learn more about Dan and the world of Charm Wars at https://www.danlutts.com/.

Where to find Dan Lutts
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebookTwitter | Instagram

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – OF THE LILIN (The Sage Chronicles) by Paulette Hampton

 

Welcome to the book blitz for OF THE LILIN , the first book in the young adult paranormal series, The Sage Chronicles, by Paulette Hampton

Welcome to the book blitz for OF THE LILIN , the first book in the young adult paranormal series, The Sage Chronicles, by Paulette HamptonSee below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

OF THE LILIN , the first book in the young adult paranormal series, The Sage Chronicles, by Paulette Hampton

OF THE LILIN (The Sage Chronicles #1) by Paulette Hampton

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: OF THE LILIN
Series: The Sage Chronicles #1
Author: Paulette Hampton
Release Date: September 1, 2021
Genre:
Young Adult Paranormal
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
While dealing with depression, Sage attempts to pull herself into the light. What she finds is better left in the dark.

After the loss of her mother and her stepfather’s mental breakdown, Sage Frankle agrees to move in with her aunt and cousin at the Englewood Inn. Soon, her aunt arranges for Sage to begin working through her trauma with a psychologist. As time passes, Sage finds that she is far from healing and begins to slip from reality into a realm of darkness she is unable to escape. After the arrival of her cousin’s intriguing acquaintance, Sage is forced to realize she is indeed trapped, not by her mind, but by her bloodline.

 

 

 

 

 

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Teaser from OF THE LILIN , the first book in the young adult paranormal series, The Sage Chronicles, by Paulette Hampton

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Excerpt #2
Sage, when her dark side appears, describing her feeding: From his wanting mouth, I began to inhale his essence, his spirit. It was exhilarating and decadent. I was filled with what was flowing and still, energetic and peaceful, awe-inspiring and banal. The dichotomies fit like two puzzle pieces. There was not one without the other. This was the only moment that existed. It was completeness.

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Teaser from OF THE LILIN , the first book in the young adult paranormal series, The Sage Chronicles, by Paulette Hampton

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Author Paulette Hampton

Author Paulette Hampton

About the Author
Paulette is an indie author who holds a Master of Arts in reading education. Her writing inspiration stems from watching fantasy and paranormal movies, as well as her real-life experiences with mental health issues. She hopes her readers will find humor in her stories, become curious about seeking peace through the present moment, and consider reaching out for help if they are struggling with their own issues.

Paulette loves drawing, watching a good thriller, kayaking, and eating chocolate…lots of it. She and her husband live in North Carolina with their two cats, Linda Hamm and Bree. Of the Lilin is the first book in her new upper YA paranormal series, The Sage Chronicles.

 

Where to find Paulette Hampton
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebookTwitter | TikTok

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – EYES OF THE FOREST by April Henry

 

Welcome to the blog tour for EYES OF THE FOREST, a standalone young adult mystery, by New York Times bestselling author, April Henry

Welcome to the blog tour for EYES OF THE FOREST, a standalone young adult mystery, by New York Times bestselling author, April Henry. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

EYES OF THE FOREST, a standalone young adult mystery, by New York Times bestselling author, April Henry

EYES OF THE FOREST by April Henry

About the Book
Title:
EYES OF THE FOREST
Authors: April Henry
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: August 24, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
After a bestselling fantasy writer disappears, only his biggest fan believes he’s in danger. Instead of re-reading his books, she must venture into the real world to uncover the truth in this fast-paced mystery by New York Times-bestselling author April Henry. For readers of Courtney Summers and Karen McManus.

Bridget is RM Haldon’s biggest fan. She and her mom sought refuge in Haldron’s epic fantasy series Swords and Shadows while her mom was losing her battle with cancer. When Bridget met Haldon at one of his rare book signings, she impressed the author with her encyclopedic knowledge of the fantasy world he’d created. Bridget has been working for him ever since as he attempts to write the final book in his blockbuster sword and sorcery series. But Haldon has gone missing, and Bridget is the only person who seems concerned. Can Bridget piece together Haldon’s cryptic clues and save him before it’s too late?

Master mystery-writer April Henry weaves another heart-stopping young adult thriller in this story that seamlessly blends suspense with an exploration of fan culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Excerpt #1
“I’ve seen you listening to your phone in other classes.” Ajay followed her to the big metal bowl of fruit. “I always thought it was music, but now I’m guessing it must have been a book. So what makes it worth getting your phone taken away?”

Inspecting an apple, Bridget tried to articulate her feelings. “First of all, it’s not just ‘a’ book. It’s a book by RM Haldon. All the books in the Swords and Shadows series are amazing. They’re filled with bravery, treachery and sacrifice.” She gestured at the florescent lights, the chipped linoleum floor, the hordes of students. “This is the boring real world, where Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine are pretty much interchangeable. But in those books, there aren’t any high schools or WalMarts or Taco Tuesdays.”

“Hey, a lot of people like Taco Tuesdays,” Ajay objected, following Bridget to the cashier.

“And in those books you can never take anything for granted.” She handed the cashier her cafeteria card. “You know how if you watch a movie, there’s always certain characters you don’t really have to worry about?”

“Like the cute five-year-old who keeps saying surprisingly wise things?” Ajay offered. “But no matter how bad things get, that kid always survives the vampires or the earthquake or the serial killer or whatever.”

“Exactly.” Bridget picked up her tray. “In the Swords and Shadows series, a five-year-old could and maybe would die. And the reader might even have to watch.” She hesitated. Normally she sat on the edge of the cafeteria with a book, and Ajay sat in the middle, with friends.

“Want to eat outside?” he said. Now that the temperature was dropping, only a few people were sitting at the concrete benches and tables.

“Um, sure.” As they walked past his regular table, a couple of his friends nudged each other. He didn’t seem to notice. In the far corner, Derrick Dart was peering intently at his phone.

Outside, they found an empty table. Next to them, a couple was enthusiastically kissing. On the other side, a boy exhaled his vape smoke into his hoodie.

Ajay unzipped his backpack. “Okay, give me the basic run down of the plot.”

“For the whole series? That’s like explaining how the entire world works to an alien who just landed here.” But if anyone was up to the task, Bridget figured she was.

“Do the best you can.”

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New York Times Bestselling Author April Henry

Author April Henry

About the Author
April Henry is the New York Times–bestselling author of many acclaimed mysteries for adults and young adults, including the YA novels The Girl in the White Van; Girl, Stolen; The Night She Disappeared; The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die; The Girl I Used to Be, which was nominated for an Edgar Award and won the Anthony Award for Best YA Mystery; Count All Her Bones; The Lonely Dead; Run, Hide, Fight Back; and The Body in the Woods and Blood Will Tell, the first two books in the Point Last Seen series. She lives in Oregon.

 

 

 

Where to Find April Henry
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – DAGGER HILL by Devon Taylor

 

Welcome to the blog tour for DAGGER HILL, a standalone young adult scifi thriller, by Devon Taylor

 

DAGGER HILL, a young adult scifi thriller, by Devon Taylor

DAGGER HILL by Devon Taylor

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
A young witch tries to unravel the mystery of who is framing her for dark magic in Georgia Bowers’ creepy YA debut fantasy, Mark of the Wicked.

Magic always leaves its mark.

All her life, Matilda has been told one thing about her magic: You use only when necessary. But Matilda isn’t interested in being a good witch. She wants revenge and popularity, and to live her life free of consequences, free of the scars that dark magic leaves on her face as a reminder of her misdeeds.

When a spell goes awry and the new boy at school catches her in the act, Matilda thinks her secret might be out. But far from being afraid, Oliver already knows about her magic – and he wants to learn more. As Oliver and Matilda grow closer, bizarre things begin to happen: Animals show up with their throats slashed and odd markings carved into their bodies, a young girl dies mysteriously, and everyone blames Matilda. But she isn’t responsible — at least, not that she can remember. As her magic begins to spin out of control, Matilda must decide for herself what makes a good witch, and discover the truth…before anyone else turns up dead.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
I was in the mood for something different, and DAGGER HILL delivered! Set in 1989, before everyone had a smartphone, four friends hang out during their summer before senior year, each dealing with different issues associated with coming of age, when the world as they know it comes crashing down around them in the form of a military plane. Before the plane crashes into Dagger Hill, the kids see someone parachuting out of it. And Gabe sees someone in a gas mask pick up and carry their injured friend, Kimberly, to safety. At least that’s what he thinks. Until the army begins to interview them and they realize something more is going on, and no one knows where Kimberly is. Or the man in the “bug” mask.

Plot
The story is gripping from early on and never lets go. The author uses a fun method for his storytelling — a combination of first person, newspaper articles, third-person, and interviews to bring his tale to life. It makes each chapter different from the last and helps reveal the information to the reader in a unique way. The plot unfolds at a steady pace with lots of twists and turns.

The Characters
The characters are awesome. Each of the main characters, Gabe, Sonya, Charlie, and Kimberly, are complex, with secrets, worries, and problems of their own as they try to hold onto childhood for one more summer. The adults, from Gabe’s police chief dad to Sonya’s scientist dad, to the army officials and doctors, are just as varied and complex as the main characters, making this more than just a plot driven tale.

Top Five Things I Loved About DAGGER HILL
1. Pacing. The story MOVES. But at the right pace. I stayed up late devouring the story but without becoming overwhelmed. It was perfect.

2. Setting. I love both the small town and the era it was set in. It feels modern, but without all the high-tech stuff that can interfere with a good thriller. Plus the music and movie references were a fun blast from the past.

3. Characters. While this is primarily a plot-driven tale, the character development is off-the-charts good and will stay with me for a long time.

4. Twists. So many good twists that left my jaw hanging open.

5. Storytelling. I love the way the author unfolds his tale using different techniques for a unique approach to a really unique story.

Bottom Line
Fabulous, fun, un-put-downable read!

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: DAGGAR HILL
Author: Devon Taylor
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: August 17, 2021
Pages: 287
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

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Author Devon Taylor

Author Devon Taylor

About the Author
Devon Taylor was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two daughters. His day job consists of sneaking around the house with ninja-like stealth to avoid waking up his kids. When not writing, reading, or tediously typing out text messages with all the correct spelling and punctuation, he spends his time with his family. THE SOUL KEEPERS is his debut novel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Devon Taylor
Goodreads | WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Release Day – ROB STARR by J.A. Howard

 

Today is release day for ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard

Today is release day for ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard. See below for information on the book, buy links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard

ROB STARR by J.A. Howard

About the Book
Title:
ROB STARR
Author:
J.A. Howard
Release Date: August 19, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Scribd

Synopsis
How far would you go to get the guy everyone wants?

Rob Starr (sigh) was out of Mia Morgan’s league. Of course, she had a crush on him. Everyone did. But in her case, it would just be way too weird to admit that. For starters, their moms were best friends and Mia had known Rob since she was five. But while Mia was now a demi-geek with relentlessly frizzy hair, Rob had become a demi-god and Ellsworth High’s basketball superstar. Besides, he’d been going out with the totally perfect Chloe Olsen since, like, forever.

But one October afternoon, a terrible accident changes everything. Suddenly, Mia and Rob are living in the same house and spending a lot of time alone together.

Soon, Mia’s world was different in ways she never thought possible: new clothes, new friends, and an incredibly hot boyfriend. But was any of it real? Would any of it last? And did getting everything she thought she ever wanted mean giving up who she really was?

 

 

 

 

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Teaser from ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard

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Author J.A. Howard

Author J.A. Howard

About the Author
J. A. Howard is an author, business executive, and podcaster in New York. As the mother of two daughters, Howard is focused on the healthy development and empowerment of women in all of her work. The Third Coin, her first novel, aims to encourage sisterhood, compassion, and leadership among middle-grade girls.

Howard is also a podcaster. Her podcast, Sisters Cracking Up, (sisterscrackingup.com) which she does with her real-life sister, psychotherapist Abby Rodman, is focused on women in midlife; what’s “cracking them” and what’s cracking them up. On it, they talk openly and honestly about social and psychological topics that really matter like relationships, careers, aging beauty, stress, sex, health, and mental health.

As well as being a writer and podcaster, Howard is a beauty executive and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working in Marketing, Innovation, and Strategy for some of the world’s most loved and respected brands including Clinique, Estee Lauder, Bath and Body Works, MAC and more.

Where to find J.A. Howard
Goodreads | WebsiteNewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – TEMPEST (The Veil Chronicles) by C.J. Campbell

 

Welcome to the book blitz for TEMPEST, the first book in the young adult fantasy romance series, The Veil Chronicles, by C.J. Campbell

Welcome to the book blitz for TEMPEST, the first book in the young adult fantasy romance series, The Veil Chronicles, by C.J. Campbell, releasing August 31, 2021. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

TEMPEST, the first book in the young adult fantasy romance series, The Veil Chronicles, by C.J. Campbell

TEMPEST (The Veil Chronicles #1) by C.J. Campbell

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
TEMPEST
Series: The Veil Chronicles #1
Author: C.J. Campbell
Publisher: Iron Herring
Release Date: August 31, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR 

Synopsis
To unearth the truth, she must embrace the legend within.

For eighteen-year-old Lexi, freedom is a luxury. She’s spent her life evading capture for a genetic gift that feels more like a curse. Her bulletproof immunity and monstrous disfigurement is of great interest to a secret organization, but they aren’t the only ones. A cryptic tip alerts Lexi that something else hunts her–something darker.

Desperate to enjoy her life before it’s too late, Lexi leaves the protective cocoon her parents created for her and signs up for art classes at her local college. There she meets Conner, who is confined to a wheelchair, and they become friends who are willing to share each other’s secrets. But a chance encounter with Connor’s foster brother Killian changes everything.

Killian shares the same mysterious secret within his blood as Lexi. Their fateful meeting sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic events that exposes the terrifying truth–Lexi is a celestial queen of a bygone race. Connor is their last royal heir, and Killian is a half-breed abomination hated for his very existence. With Connor kidnapped by an ancient god determined to rid the world of the stain of humanity, Lexi and Killian find themselves under the protection of the secretive Order of Kings.

Lexi believes she’s been thrown into a world of myths and legends, but things are not as they seem. Lexi becomes convinced the Order is keeping dangerous secrets that threaten not just her but all of mankind.

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Teaser from TEMPEST, the first book in the young adult fantasy romance series, The Veil Chronicles, by C.J. Campbell

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Excerpt #2
A sound like a cannon boom follows.

The house rattles.

I jump and spin to face the window. A thrill of fear races up my spine. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

“Scared of a little thunder and lightning?” Connor cocks a brow.

“No.” I wring my sweaty palms. “It just caught me off guard.”

Connor sniggers as his fingers brush the keys. A whisper of notes lull together, an eerie contrast to the brattle. But I can’t focus on the music. Something doesn’t feel right. Shadows loom on the lake from beyond the window. A familiar fear snakes its way into my heart, and I start to tremble. A memory of a shadow in the garden enters my mind, and with it, the whisper of other shadows and memories that’ve long evaded me. It’s like my heart remembers something my head forgot. Whatever it is, I now understand the fear etched in my parent’s faces. It isn’t a good feeling.

Another strike of lightening and a bang of thunder sounds. I step closer to Connor. My fingers dig into the back of his wheelchair. He plays on, not even noticing that I don’t follow his soft, melodious tune.

Killian appears on the other side of the room. His eyes wide and focused on the lake beyond the glass. He starts to walk toward me. He opens his mouth, but before he speaks, an impatient tapping echoes. I twist in its direction. It’s the front door.

“Dang, that’ll be the pizza delivery guy,” Connor says and ceases his playing. “Guess my one-man concert will continue after dinner.”

I don’t answer, I just watch Killian. He frowns, following the direction of the sound too. Nothing about his manner comforts me.

More tapping.

“Dad!” Connor throws both arms up in exasperation and starts to swivel the wheels of his chair. “Dad, get the door. We’re starving.”

“It’s okay, I’ve got it,” my mother’s voice calls.

“Mother.” I breathe her name and notice the urgency in Killian’s face. He doesn’t need to say another word. “No! Stop!”

Both Killian and I move in tandem. I’m faster though, as I race the length of the conservatory, back through the lounge and aim for the entrance hall.

Mother pauses, palm reaching for the door handle, when she stops to glance toward me. She frowns. I open my mouth to warn her, but father shouts something that distracts her, and she turns away, putting her back to the door.

The lock clicks, and cold air blasts into the front hall.

The room turns blue with another crack of lightening. I lift my arm to cover my eyes.

“Lexi!” Mother screams.

“Mother?” I try to blink vision back into my eyes.

A howl answers. A horrible, bone-shattering, menacing, wrong sound. Like a wolf’s cry, but guttural—wrong—monstrous.

More screams.

My eyes refocus.

There, in the doorway, Mother stares at me, clutching a length of metal skewering her blood-soaked belly—a sword, not dissimilar from the ones my father owns.

Crimson spouts from her lips.

Frozen in fear, I watch as Mother’s body slips off the blade, like hot butter falling off a knife. With a deafening thud, she hits the ground.

The creature wielding the bloody sword howls again. A long-limbed humanoid with gray skin and a dark, tattered hood.

My eyes fall back to Mother. I can’t look away. My heart is dying—it aches with each beat, threatening to give out.

My knees buckle. I brace myself for the fall. But I never hit the ground.

An arm circles my waist.

My captor forces me down, their weight pinning me to the floor.

I should struggle, but I’m frozen. Instead, I look up into gray-green eyes that lock onto mine, willing me to remember.

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Teaser from TEMPEST, the first book in the young adult fantasy romance series, The Veil Chronicles, by C.J. Campbell

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Author C.J. Campbell

Author C.J. Campbell

About the Author
Clare is a successful and highly popular author of award winning Fanfiction, with thousands of online fans and over 2 million reads on her Lord of the Rings Fanfic epic. Clare has also won several writing awards within the Fantasy, Inspirational, and Short Story genres. Her story Refuge was a top prize winner and as a direct result published in Faith & Freedom anthology by EA books. She has recently been shortlisted for Writer of the Year 2019.

As well as writing, Clare is an experienced Occupational Therapist, with a passion for enabling people. She has contributed articles for online organizations aimed at highlighting disability as a positive influence in modern literature. Her love of storytelling, merged with her positive messages inspires her to create meaningful narratives that represent diversity, and promote unity.

You can learn more about Clare by visiting www.CJCampbellOfficial.com

 

 

Where to Find C.J. Campbell
Goodreads | Website Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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Giveaway
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Preorder Blitz – ROB STARR by J.A. Howard

 

Welcome to the pre-order blitz for ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard, releasing August 19, 2021

Welcome to the pre-order blitz for ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard, releasing August 19, 2021. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard

ROB STARR by J.A. Howard

About the Book
Title:
ROB STARR
Author:
J.A. Howard
Release Date: August 19, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis
How far would you go to get the guy everyone wants?

Rob Starr (sigh) was out of Mia Morgan’s league. Of course, she had a crush on him. Everyone did. But in her case, it would just be way too weird to admit that. For starters, their moms were best friends and Mia had known Rob since she was five. But while Mia was now a demi-geek with relentlessly frizzy hair, Rob had become a demi-god and Ellsworth High’s basketball superstar. Besides, he’d been going out with the totally perfect Chloe Olsen since, like, forever.

But one October afternoon, a terrible accident changes everything. Suddenly, Mia and Rob are living in the same house and spending a lot of time alone together.

Soon, Mia’s world was different in ways she never thought possible: new clothes, new friends, and an incredibly hot boyfriend. But was any of it real? Would any of it last? And did getting everything she thought she ever wanted mean giving up who she really was?

 

 

 

 

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Teaser from ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard

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Author J.A. Howard

Author J.A. Howard

About the Author
J. A. Howard is an author, business executive, and podcaster in New York. As the mother of two daughters, Howard is focused on the healthy development and empowerment of women in all of her work. The Third Coin, her first novel, aims to encourage sisterhood, compassion, and leadership among middle-grade girls.

Howard is also a podcaster. Her podcast, Sisters Cracking Up, (sisterscrackingup.com) which she does with her real-life sister, psychotherapist Abby Rodman, is focused on women in midlife; what’s “cracking them” and what’s cracking them up. On it, they talk openly and honestly about social and psychological topics that really matter like relationships, careers, aging beauty, stress, sex, health, and mental health.

As well as being a writer and podcaster, Howard is a beauty executive and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working in Marketing, Innovation, and Strategy for some of the world’s most loved and respected brands including Clinique, Estee Lauder, Bath and Body Works, MAC and more.

Where to find J.A. Howard
Goodreads | WebsiteNewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

Young Adult Book Review + Giveaway – MARK OF THE WICKED by Georgia Bowers

 

Welcome to the blog tour for MARK OF THE WICKED, a standalone young adult fantasy by Georgia Bowers

 

MARK OF THE WICKED, a standalone young adult fantasy, by Georgia Bowers

MARK OF THE WICKED by Georgia Bowers

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
A young witch tries to unravel the mystery of who is framing her for dark magic in Georgia Bowers’ creepy YA debut fantasy, Mark of the Wicked.

Magic always leaves its mark.

All her life, Matilda has been told one thing about her magic: You use only when necessary. But Matilda isn’t interested in being a good witch. She wants revenge and popularity, and to live her life free of consequences, free of the scars that dark magic leaves on her face as a reminder of her misdeeds.

When a spell goes awry and the new boy at school catches her in the act, Matilda thinks her secret might be out. But far from being afraid, Oliver already knows about her magic – and he wants to learn more. As Oliver and Matilda grow closer, bizarre things begin to happen: Animals show up with their throats slashed and odd markings carved into their bodies, a young girl dies mysteriously, and everyone blames Matilda. But she isn’t responsible — at least, not that she can remember. As her magic begins to spin out of control, Matilda must decide for herself what makes a good witch, and discover the truth…before anyone else turns up dead.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Review
I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, but I’m so glad I requested a review copy! MARK OF THE WICKED is enthralling, impossible to put down, and filled with the types of characters that are so complex, you don’t know whether to love them or hate them. I started off not much liking Matilda. She uses her magic to harm those she considers her enemies. The only problem is, if she harms someone with magic, she is scarred for life; their name carved into her face. But Matilda has learned how to hide her scars from everyone, so at the outset, it seems like she suffers no consequences for her actions. She’s angry, spiteful, and nearly impossible to sympathize with. At first.

When she meets Oliver, though, we get to see a side to Matilda that was missing — the reasons for the things she does. She reveals her deeper fears and her darker pain that she resorts to magic to help her cope, the way an alcoholic turns to booze to numb the pain. But there is something more sinister than Matilda afoot, with grisly animal deaths that somehow keep pointing to Matilda. But with her mother acting suspicious, her grandmother not having spoken in three years, and Matilda’s blackouts, anything is possible.

Plot
MARK OF THE WICKED is superbly plotted, with intertwining plots. Debut author, Georgia Bowers, creates intrigue with her storytelling. The pacing is perfection. Set in a small town in England, with a dark history, similar to that of Salem, Massachusetts in the states, her backdrop comes alive, becoming a part of the story as much as the characters.

The Characters
Speaking of characters, for me anyway, the ability to create an antihero like Matilda, and make us root for her the way we rooted for Walter White in the first few season of Breaking Bad, is a rare talent and Bowers does it masterfully. Supporting characters, like Matilda’s classmates, Erin, Oliver, her mother, and grandmother, are more than just cardboard cutouts and stereotypes. It would have been easy for the author to make someone like Ashley a less than sympathetic character, but even she has more depth than just the class queen bee.

Top Five Things I Loved About MARK OF THE WICKED
1. Magic. The magical world building is amazing and really adds to the plot and character development.

2. Characters. Their depth and complexity made this a book I couldn’t put down.

3. Plot. The story is unforgettable, with a number of twists and turns that made this a book I couldn’t put down.

4. Redemption. Matilda’s character arc is the opposite of Breaking Bad as she learns some brutal, valuable lessons about life, love, and what it means to be a good citizen.

5. Storytelling. The author does an amazing job of weaving in threads that stick with you, gnawing in your brain, that keeps you reading to find out what they mean.

Bottom Line
A stellar debut novel by an author I cannot wait to read more from.

Disclaimer
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: MARK OF THE WICKED
Author: Georgia Bowers
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: August 10, 2021
Pages: 287
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

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Author Georgia Bowers

Author Georgia Bowers

About the Author
Georgia Bowers lives in Bedford, a small market town in England. When it was time to decide what to do with her life, she was obsessed with two things: books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It seemed sensible to follow in the brogued footsteps of Rupert Giles, so she became a librarian, though sadly not the demon fighting kind. But there’s still time.

Ever since her mum told her that witches used to meet in the woods near their village, she’s been obsessed with witchcraft and the paranormal. When she was a teenager, a weekly habit of Point Horrors satisfied her thirst for chilling tales before she moved on to reading Stephen King. These days she likes to give her nerves a break every now and then with a good YA romance.

After completing a course in writing YA fiction she was a winner in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Undiscovered Voices. Since then she has dabbled with stories of chosen ones and ghostly best friends until she conjured up the magical ingredients for her debut novel, Mark Of The Wicked.

Where to Find Georgia Bowers
Goodreads | WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – HE’LL BE WAITING by Liz Alterman

 

Welcome to the blog tour for HE'LL BE WAITING, a standalone young adult thriller, by Liz Alterman.

Welcome to the blog tour for HE’LL BE WAITING, a standalone young adult thriller, by Liz Alterman. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

HE'LL BE WAITING, a standalone young adult thriller, by Liz Alterman

HE’LL BE WAITING by Liz Alterman

About the Book
Title: HE’LL BE WAITING
Author: Liz Alterman
Publisher: Willow River Press
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Genre:
Young Adult Thriller
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | indiebound

Synopsis
There are no safe spaces…

When Tess Porter agrees to pick up her boyfriend’s college pal at the airport on a snowy December night, she has no idea she’s about to embark on the most dangerous ride of her life.

Two days later, the 17-year-old wakes up in a hospital with broken bones, and unable to remember how she got there.

Her parents are acting strangely, and neither James, her boyfriend, nor her best friend Izzy has visited.

As she struggles to physically recover, Tess wrestles with haunting questions: What happened? Will her memory ever return? and what if she’s better off not recalling any of it?

 

 

 

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Excerpt #4:
I stare at the phone again. It’s after six o’clock. More than two hours have passed since James asked me to get Nick.

“He’ll be waiting.” I hear James’ voice in my head. What if he didn’t? What if he ran into someone he knew or bummed a ride from a stranger? The airport’s only exciting when you’re heading off on a trip. When you’re standing around waiting to go home, it sucks. I’m no world traveler, but even I know that.

A blast of heat smacks my face as I walk through the automatic doors. I look at the monitors. If someone gave me a dime for every time the word “canceled” appears beside a flight, I could buy a private jet.

Stranded holiday travelers sleep on the floor using their suitcases for pillows. Families eat dinner slumped against garbage cans. Two men scream over who’s been waiting longer for an outlet to charge their phones. The stale air smells like French fries and feet. It’s chaos, and though I don’t want to drive again anytime soon, I’m jumpy to get out of here as fast as possible.

Circling the baggage carousels like a shark, I’m bursting with adrenaline after that hell ride. My shirt, damp with sweat, sticks to my skin. I feel chilled beneath Mom’s coat. I’m wondering how I’ll ever find Nick Lawrence in this sea of people when a guy walks up to me. At first, I think he’s going to ask me for money or a ride, but then I take a closer look. Dark hair, dark eyes, empty-looking duffel bag slung over his shoulder. He’s wearing a lightweight hoodie over a t-shirt. The neck is stretched out and wavy. He looks sloppy, not like a guy who attends a top university, but maybe he’s shot from finals too. His eyes, vaguely familiar, meet mine. He holds out a thick, clammy hand.

When our palms touch, an electric shock passes between us. He holds my hand a beat too long and smiles, a weird, goofy grin. I have the sudden urge to pull away, turn around, leave him standing there. He doesn’t look like the kind of guy James would befriend, but James always reminds me: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

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Author Liz Alterman

Author Liz Alterman

About the Author
Liz Alterman lives in New Jersey with her husband and three sons. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parents, McSweeney’s, and other publications. He’ll Be Waiting is her first young adult novel. When she isn’t writing, she spends most days microwaving the same cup of coffee and looking up synonyms.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Liz Alterman
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – GRENADE BOUQUETS (Runaway Train Series) by Lee Matthew Goldberg

 

Welcome to the blog tour for GRENADE BOUQUETS, the first second in the young adult contemporary series, Runaway Train, by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Welcome to the blog tour for GRENADE BOUQUETS, the first second in the young adult contemporary series, Runaway Train, by Lee Matthew Goldberg. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

GRENADE BOUQUETS, the first second in the young adult contemporary series, Runaway Train, by Lee Matthew Goldberg

GRENADE BOUQUETS (Runaway Train Series #2) by Lee Matthew Goldberg

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title:
GRENADE BOUQUETS
Series: Runaway Train Series #2
Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Publisher: Wise Wolf Books
Release Date: August 5, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
I had stars in my eyes and I couldn’t see around them…

The year is 1995 and my parents have finally allowed me to take the summer to tour in a VW van across the country with my boyfriend Evan and our band. Yes, my dream to be a singer became reality. Even with Clarissa, Evan’s jealous ex-girlfriend, as the lead singer, it’s my presence on stage that led us to a major record deal. There are moments you’ll always remember in life, but I can’t imagine anything more cool than hearing your song on the radio for the first time.

But being a Rockstar isn’t as easy as it sounds. Using alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms, nothing but tension surrounded me, hurting my still blossoming relationship, and continued grieving over my sister’s death.

A love letter to the nineties and a journey of a girl becoming a woman, Grenade Bouquets charts the rollercoaster ride of a band primed to explode on the scene, as long as they keep from actually exploding.

“An engaging ’90s pastiche with an earnest heart beating at its center.”– Kirkus Reviews on Runaway Train.

 

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Excerpt #1
Intro

Sick of Myself – Matthew Sweet

I’m barefoot on a roof deck, maybe it’s my own, I dunno. Life has been a series of tour buses and motels recently, but I think this is that place the band rented down on the Lower East Side. Everyone hates me and I’m left alone in a huge railroad apartment with a fire escape that twists up to a roof and barely any railing to keep me safe. I have a joint in one hand that’s surprisingly still lit in the rain and a trusty bottle of Absolut Citron in the other. I’m wearing a baby doll pale blue dress, the one I rocked during the Grenade Bouquets set when the A&R manager said he was gonna make us stars. I once heard that when you’re looking at stars in the sky, you’re already looking at the past and they’re already dead. I’m seventeen and I can completely relate. I’m over myself and have been looking into the past so much, I might as well be dead.

I chug from the bottle, the excess liquid spilling down my cheeks like hot tears. What lands in my throat, burns and my eye twitches…I’m so bombed. My makeup has run all over my face and made me into a clown. I pity whoever will find my ghastly remains. I bring the joint to my lips and suck as the cherry flares, the smoke streaming through my nostrils. I’m a dragon in pursuit. Three stories down below, a sea of umbrellas await. I think of Kristen.

Her spirit no longer visits and I understand. She has better things to do than deal with the living. My sister has been gone now for over a year, and sometimes I forget the sound of her voice. I wake up in the middle of the night frantic that I’ve lost it, and then a glimmer reappears—a whisper in her high pitch calling me back to sleep, aware of how my insomnia can plague me. She would be so proud of my success as a singer and for me to live my dream, not realizing that it was killing me as well. I don’t remember the last time I went to bed sober. I feel distant from everyone I used to care about. Evan can’t even look at me anymore. I’m Nico the Beast, a whirlwind intent to destroy.

If you heard me on the radio, you’d be jealous. I’m that girl you wish you could be. My song like a spit in the face, a baby Courtney Love with scabbed knees, dark red lipstick, hair dyed so much it’s fried, a scowl for a smile. And then in the next song, I’m scrubbed clean, my dress full of flowers rather than ripped, my bruises bandaged, my makeup a light touch rather than an onslaught, singing about love and hope and everything that grunge is not. Because grunge is dying. Kurt Cobain solidified its end and the record companies can smell it. A future of sugary happy pop awaits. What will they do with me, with any of us? We’re already that dying star. Might as well help give them a push.

The rain has risen in tempo, a drumbeat on my skull. The joint has gone out and I toss it into the crowd. It disappears into the ether, like I will soon. I picture my obituary, the phrase ‘One Hit Wonder’ highlighted. All I’ll ever be. But I don’t have any more songs in me. My quill is broken, my heart has followed—I’m sick of myself.

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: RUNAWAY TRAIN
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

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Author Lee Matthew Goldberg

Author Lee Matthew Goldberg

About the Author
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com.

Where to Find Lee Matthew Goldberg
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Cover Reveal – DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE by Cathrina Constantine

 

Author Cathrina Constantine is revealing the cover to DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE, a standalone young adult mystery, releasing September 1, 2021

Author Cathrina Constantine is revealing the cover to DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE, a standalone young adult mystery, releasing September 1, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE, a standalone young adult mystery, by Cathrina Constantine

DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE by Cathrina Constantine

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE
Author: Cathrina Constantine
Release Date: September 1, 2021
Genre:
Young Adult Mystery
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Leocadia arrives home from school to find her mom’s body. Unaware that the killer still lingers, she rushes to her mother’s side, only to be grabbed from behind. And everything fades to black.

Leo has been battling personal demons after a year of retrograde amnesia. She’s been having vivid dreams of that day. And her dreams are getting worse—she’s starting to remember. Two more bodies are discovered and they are oddly linked to her mom’s unsolved homicide.

Leo befriends her new neighbor. He’s eager to visit Star Hallow’s notorious haunted mansion. It’s located on a deserted cul-de-sac where she once lived and where her mom was murdered. But it’s the Lucien Estate, the mansion next door to her old home, where they happen upon misty ghosts, ghosts that just might help to unravel the homicides.

Will Leo’s memories send her reeling into a relapse, or will she be able to overcome her demons to find her mother’s killer – only to become the next victim?

 

 

 

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DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE, a standalone young adult mystery, by Cathrina Constantine is coming soon

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Author Cathrina Constantine

Author Cathrina Constantine

About the Author
I am blessed with a loving family and forever friends. My world revolves around them.

I grew up in the small village of Lancaster, NY, where I married my sweetheart. I’m devoted to raising 5 cherished children, and now my grandchildren.

I love to immerse myself in great books of every kind of genre, which helps me to write purely for entertainment, and hopefully to inspire readers. When not stationed at my computer you can find me in the woods taking long walks with my dog.

 

 

 

 

Where to find Cathrina Constantine
Goodreads Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub

Cover Reveal – GAUNTLET (The Prodigy Chronicles) by C.L. Denault

 

GAUNTLET (The Prodigy Chronicles #3) by C.L. Denault

Author C.L. Denault is revealing the cover to GAUNTLET, the third book in her young adult scifi dystopian romance series, The Prodigy Chronicles, releasing August 25, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

GAUNTLET, the third book in her young adult scifi dystopian romance series, The Prodigy Chronicles, by C.L. Denault

GAUNTLET (The Prodigy Chronicles #3) by C.L. Denault

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: GAUNTLET
Series: The Prodigy Chronicles #3
Author: C.L. Denault
Release Date: August 25, 2021
Genre:
 Young Adult Science Fiction Dystopian Romance
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
In 2160, humanity is divided. The ruling class of prodigies dictates law and order for all, while normals fight to survive. Only the Councils in charge of advanced Core cities can decide the fate of a traitor.

A life of luxury is Willow Kent’s destiny. As long as she plays within the boundaries of the Core’s game, she can have anything she wants. Anything except for her friend Kane to avoid execution. Driven by guilt, she negotiates a secret Meta-X exchange to free him. But when a new threat emerges—one even her rare skill level cannot withstand—the stakes become dangerously high. To save Kane, she must navigate the slippery political terrain that surrounds her House, her mysterious Guardian, and the corrupt, unforgiving Council.

The most lethal terrain, however, lurks inside her own mind. Can she overcome her skillset before its savage intentions spiral out of control?

 

 

 

 

 

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Teaser from GAUNTLET, the third book in the young adult scifi dystopian romance series, The Prodigy Chronicles, by C.L. Denault

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: GAMBIT
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUAmazon DEAmazon ITAmazon FR

Book 2: MIMIC
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUAmazon DEAmazon ITAmazon FR

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Author C.L. Denault

Author C.L. Denault

About the Author
C.L. Denault is a speculative fiction writer who loves dreaming up tales of adventure and intrigue. A former systems analyst, she gave up her nerdy code-writing skills to care for her family (including a son with special needs), and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.

Writing and working out are her biggest passions, along with drinking coffee and watching sci-fi. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and kids, she can usually be found at a library or tucked away in the shadowy corner of a hip coffeehouse. She’s also been glimpsed sneaking into her garage, late at night, to work on her time machine.

She enjoys connecting with people—especially those from other planets, nearby dimensions, and the future. To find her, just visit her website or social media pages. Or use a Stargate. Whichever is easiest. .

Where to find C.L. Denault
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – FAIRIES AND FROSTING (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum) by Christina Bauer

 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for FAIRIES AND FROSTING, the seventh book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, by Christina Bauer

Welcome to the Blog Tour for FAIRIES AND FROSTING, the seventh book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, by Christina Bauer. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

FAIRIES AND FROSTING, the seventh book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, by Christina Bauer

FAIRIES AND FROSTING (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #7) by Christina Bauer

About the Book
Title:
FAIRIES AND FROSTING
Series: Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #7
Author: Christina Bauer
Publisher: Monster House Books
Release Date: July 20, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
At last, Elle (never call her Cinderella) is reunited with Alec, the Prince of Le Charme Jewelers. Yay! But the pair soon discovers that Alec’s gemstone empire is about to go bankrupt. Boo. So our favorite couple devises a kick-ass scheme to save Le Charme. To announce their plan, Elle and Alec will hold a Glass Slipper Festival complete with music, dancing and cake. Lots of cake.

There’s only one problem. The Unseelie fae have returned.

Talk about bad news. No one combines lovely looks with dark intentions better than the Unseelie. Now, those nefarious fae want to destroy Elle, Alec and any hope for Le Charme. It doesn’t end there, either. The Unseelie are also targeting Elle’s stepsister, Agatha, as well as her old friend, Jacoby. And when will the Unseelie launch their deadly schemes? The Glass Slipper Festival.

Because fairies and frosting don’t mix.

“I thought the Angelbound series was my favorite, but Fairy Tales of the Magicorum may have stolen my heart.” – Smada’s Book Smack Blog

FAIRY TALES OF THE MAGICORUM
1. Wolves And Roses
2. Moonlight And Midtown
3. Slippers And Thieves
4. Shifters And Glyphs
5. Bandits And Ball Gowns
6. Fire and Cinder
7. Fairies and Frosting
8 Towers and Tithes

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Chapter 3
Alec

Elle is playing this rather cool. Personally, I love the massive photo of her on my wall. It means I tap her lips every morning as I head to the kitchen. Talk about good luck. But with Elle? She’s totally working her poker face. It’s hard to know right now if the new mega picture is a hit.

“What do you think?” I ask.

“Wow. That’s really big.”

This isn’t a ‘take that thing down now’ reaction, but she’s not exactly jumping for joy, either.

An idea appears. Perhaps I can guess what her hesitance is here. Knox and I share this apartment, but the only person pictured here is Elle.

“Look, I checked with Knox already. He didn’t want to put up a big picture of Bry.” That’s Knox’s girlfriend and Elle’s bestie.

Elle taps her lips. “Oh.”

In other words, the issue here is not the lack of a massive photo of Elle’s friend. That leaves one more option.

“Too much?” I ask.

Not that I’ll take it down. If Elle disapproves, I’ll magically camouflage it with a forest scene when other people are here. I’ve gotten used to seeing her first thing in the morning. No way am I giving that up.

Elle tilts her head, turns to me, and smiles. “It’s perfect.”

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: WOLVES AND ROSES
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: MOONLIGHT AND MIDTOWN
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 3: SHIFTERS AND GLYPHS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 4: SLIPPERS AND THIEVES
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 5: BANDITS AND BALLGOWNS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 6: FIRE AND CINDER
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Christina Bauer

Author Christina Bauer

About the Author
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

Where to Find Christina Bauer
Goodreads | Website | BlogFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Teaser Reveal – ROB STARR by J.A. Howard

 

Author J.A. Howard is revealing a teaser from ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, releasing August 19, 2021

Author J.A. Howard is revealing a teaser from ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, releasing August 19, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard

ROB STARR by J.A. Howard

About the Book
Title:
ROB STARR
Author:
J.A. Howard
Release Date: August 19, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Sign Up for Release Updates

Synopsis
How far would you go to get the guy everyone wants?

Rob Starr (sigh) was out of Mia Morgan’s league. Of course, she had a crush on him. Everyone did. But in her case, it would just be way too weird to admit that. For starters, their moms were best friends and Mia had known Rob since she was five. But while Mia was now a demi-geek with relentlessly frizzy hair, Rob had become a demi-god and Ellsworth High’s basketball superstar. Besides, he’d been going out with the totally perfect Chloe Olsen since, like, forever.

But one October afternoon, a terrible accident changes everything. Suddenly, Mia and Rob are living in the same house and spending a lot of time alone together.

Soon, Mia’s world was different in ways she never thought possible: new clothes, new friends, and an incredibly hot boyfriend. But was any of it real? Would any of it last? And did getting everything she thought she ever wanted mean giving up who she really was?

 

 

 

 

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Teaser from ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard

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Author J.A. Howard

Author J.A. Howard

About the Author
J. A. Howard is an author, business executive, and podcaster in New York. As the mother of two daughters, Howard is focused on the healthy development and empowerment of women in all of her work. The Third Coin, her first novel, aims to encourage sisterhood, compassion, and leadership among middle-grade girls.

Howard is also a podcaster. Her podcast, Sisters Cracking Up, (sisterscrackingup.com) which she does with her real-life sister, psychotherapist Abby Rodman, is focused on women in midlife; what’s “cracking them” and what’s cracking them up. On it, they talk openly and honestly about social and psychological topics that really matter like relationships, careers, aging beauty, stress, sex, health, and mental health.

As well as being a writer and podcaster, Howard is a beauty executive and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working in Marketing, Innovation, and Strategy for some of the world’s most loved and respected brands including Clinique, Estee Lauder, Bath and Body Works, MAC and more.

Where to find J.A. Howard
Goodreads | WebsiteNewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

Cover Reveal – ROB STARR by J.A. Howard

 

Author J.A. Howard is revealing the cover to ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, releasing August 19, 2021

Author J.A. Howard is revealing the cover to ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, releasing August 19, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard

ROB STARR by J.A. Howard

About the Book
Title:
ROB STARR
Author:
J.A. Howard
Release Date: August 19, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Sign Up for Release Updates

Synopsis
How far would you go to get the guy everyone wants?

Rob Starr (sigh) was out of Mia Morgan’s league. Of course, she had a crush on him. Everyone did. But in her case, it would just be way too weird to admit that. For starters, their moms were best friends and Mia had known Rob since she was five. But while Mia was now a demi-geek with relentlessly frizzy hair, Rob had become a demi-god and Ellsworth High’s basketball superstar. Besides, he’d been going out with the totally perfect Chloe Olsen since, like, forever.

But one October afternoon, a terrible accident changes everything. Suddenly, Mia and Rob are living in the same house and spending a lot of time alone together.

Soon, Mia’s world was different in ways she never thought possible: new clothes, new friends, and an incredibly hot boyfriend. But was any of it real? Would any of it last? And did getting everything she thought she ever wanted mean giving up who she really was?

 

 

 

 

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ROB STARR, a standalone young adult contemporary romance, by J.A. Howard is Coming August 19

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Author J.A. Howard

Author J.A. Howard

About the Author
J. A. Howard is an author, business executive, and podcaster in New York. As the mother of two daughters, Howard is focused on the healthy development and empowerment of women in all of her work. The Third Coin, her first novel, aims to encourage sisterhood, compassion, and leadership among middle-grade girls.

Howard is also a podcaster. Her podcast, Sisters Cracking Up, (sisterscrackingup.com) which she does with her real-life sister, psychotherapist Abby Rodman, is focused on women in midlife; what’s “cracking them” and what’s cracking them up. On it, they talk openly and honestly about social and psychological topics that really matter like relationships, careers, aging beauty, stress, sex, health, and mental health.

As well as being a writer and podcaster, Howard is a beauty executive and consultant with more than 20 years of experience working in Marketing, Innovation, and Strategy for some of the world’s most loved and respected brands including Clinique, Estee Lauder, Bath and Body Works, MAC and more.

Where to find J.A. Howard
Goodreads | WebsiteNewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – HATE NOTES (Lakeview Prep Series) by Gracie Graham

 

Welcome to the book blitz for HATE NOTES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Lakeview Prep, by Gracie Graham

Welcome to the book blitz for HATE NOTES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Lakeview Prep, by Gracie Graham. See below for information on the book, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

HATE NOTES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Lakeview Prep, by Gracie Graham

HATE NOTES (Lakeview Prep Series #1) by Gracie Graham

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited!
Title: HATE NOTES
Series: Lakeview Prep Series #1
Author: Gracie Graham
Release Date: June 30, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
Topher Elliot is high school royalty.

The king of Lakeview prep.

You know the type. Disgustingly rich. Blond-haired. Eyes the color of a clear, blue sky. And muscles for days.

He also happens to be enemy #1, the bane of my existence.

Only, now my scholarship is in jeopardy and, like the peasant I am, I must tutor the king himself if I want to graduate.

Still, if I have to be around him, I might as well make it worth my while. So I send him a scathing text, telling him exactly what I think about him. But he mistakes me for someone else. That’s when I hatch a plan: get dirt on the king, and watch his reign crumble.

It’s about time someone made the king come tumbling down.

 

 

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Teaser from HATE NOTES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Lakeview Prep, by Gracie Graham

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Excerpt #2
I glanced toward the door and broke out into a cold sweat. None other than Topher Elliot, complete with his posse in tow, tumbled into the classroom.

I nearly choked on their superiority. Or maybe it was the overwhelming stench of their overpriced cologne burning my sinuses. Who knew?

They drifted to the back of the room with their lazy smiles, easy laughter, and cocky swagger—typical Royal demeanor.

I bit the inside of my cheek and shifted my focus from them, back to the front of the classroom, wondering why the water polo team was nothing more than a bunch of egotistical meatheads and how Topher got to be King. I mean, sure, he was beautiful. If you liked pretty boys with skin the color of golden toffee and hair bleached from long days spent in the sun. Forget the eyes so blue they were nearly violet because when it came to what was inside that grudgingly-gorgeous head, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was dumb as a box of rocks. He probably copied all his homework or forced some nerd to do it for him and cheated on all of his tests. After all, he and his crew only seemed to care about a few things: girls, sports, and proving to the rest of us peasants how amazing they were.

I listened to the ruckus while they settled in behind me as Ms. Stone walked in. She was in her twenties with curly dark hair, wire-rimmed glasses, and a pleasant smile. Plump lips painted a deep red sat below high cheekbones. Her pencil skirt skimmed the bottom of her knees and her kitten heels clacked when she walked.

By all standards, she had an amazing body hidden beneath her conservative clothing. She reminded me of Julia Roberts circa My Best Friend’s Wedding. She was the token “hot teacher” and decades younger than half the teachers at Lakeview. So when his majesty made a snarky remark about needing special tutoring this semester, among the catcalls of his friends, my blood boiled at the misogyny.

Ah, yes, just what every beautiful, educated twenty-something woman wants—an entitled pubescent boy still living with Mommy and Daddy hitting on her.

The girl sitting next to me choked out a laugh and offered me a fist bump, which I returned, slightly confused, arm limp as a noodle.

“Roasted.” The girl snickered.

My brows knitted together as I glanced around me to find several amused expressions and dawning sank in my chest like a rock.

I said that out loud.

Kill me now.

The mutinous glare from JT—one of Topher’s friends—burned a hole in the side of my head, confirming this theory. Nothing like putting a target on my back on the first day.

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Teaser from HATE NOTES, the first book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Lakeview Prep, by Gracie Graham

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Author Gracie Graham

Author Gracie Graham

About the Author
Gracie Graham writes contemporary young adult novels and is the pen name for adult author Tia Souders.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Gracie Graham
Goodreads | Newsletter | FacebookInstagram | Amazon

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Cover Reveal + Giveaway – PRETTY SAVAGE by T.A. Kunz

 

Author T.A. Kunz is revealing the cover to PRETTY SAVAGE, a standalone young adult LGBTQ+ thriller, releasing July 13, 2021

Author T.A. Kunz is revealing the cover to PRETTY SAVAGE, a standalone young adult LGBTQ+ thriller, releasing July 13, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book, a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR, and details on his giveaway.

PRETTY SAVAGE, a standalone young adult LGBTQ+ thriller, by T.A. Kunz

PRETTY SAVAGE by T.A. Kunz

About the Book
Title: PRETTY SAVAGE
Author: T.A. Kunz
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Genre: Young Adult LGBTQ+ Thriller
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
“An intriguing mystery, Pretty Savage is a tension packed, wild journey with engrossing characters. A true page turner.” – #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

Bad things never happen in the picturesque town of Haddon Falls … until now.

It all starts with a killer party.

It will end with a savage crime spree.

Seniors Donovan Walsh and Drea Sullivan attend a high school party for very different reasons. But after discovering the body of one of their classmates, they find themselves thrust into the same waking nightmare. From that moment, their lives become intertwined in a search for answers to questions they never should have asked.

As bodies pile high, the unlikely pair dig into Haddon Falls’ past and uncover secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. In a small town where every face is friendly and every door unlocked, Donovan and Drea must unravel who is an ally … and who is willing to bury them-and the truth-six feet under.

“Pretty Savage is a gripping, fast-paced YA thriller featuring a savvy gay male protagonist and his kick-ass female counterpart! Readers who love hints of horror with a blood spatter of romance mixed with page-turning mystery will be left gasping by this wicked masterpiece by T.A. Kunz.” -Bestselling and award winning author Raine Thomas

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Teaser from PRETTY SAVAGE, a standalone young adult LGBTQ+ thriller, by T.A. Kunz

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Author T.A. Kunz

Author T.A. Kunz

About the Author
T.A. Kunz is the pen name for Adam Kunz, who lives in Orlando, Florida. And unfortunately a lot of the rumors you’ve heard about his state are true. When he’s not writing, Adam spends his time reading, playing video games, watching anime and Korean dramas, and spending time with his partner while cuddling with their two dogs, Nicky and Rusty. Since childhood, he’s had a great fondness for reading and writing. His fiction genres of choice are eclectic, but mainly are in the YA, MG, and NA categories. So, it was no surprise when he decided to write his own books that he’d be a grab bag kind of author in terms of story ideas. And he just loves mashing up genres. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Adam advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. He may or may not have a coffee addiction, the jury’s still out on that one. And his hands-down favorite holiday is Halloween, which holds a very special place in Adam’s heart.

Where to Find T.A. Kunz
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | TwitterInstagram

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Book Review – THE SWALLOWS by Lisa Lutz

 

THE SWALLOWS by Lisa Lutz

THE SWALLOWS by Lisa Lutz

5 out of 5 stars

Synopsis
A new teacher at a New England prep school ignites a gender war–with deadly consequences.

What do you love? What do you hate? What do you want?

It starts with this simple writing prompt from Alex Witt, Stonebridge Academy’s new creative writing teacher. When the students’ answers raise disturbing questions of their own, Ms. Witt knows there’s more going on the school than the faculty wants to see. She soon learns about The Ten–the students at the top of the school’s social hierarchy–as well as their connection to something called The Darkroom.

Ms. Witt can’t remain a passive observer. She finds the few girls who’ve started to question the school’s “boys will be boys” attitude and incites a resistance that quickly becomes a movement. But just as it gains momentum, she also attracts the attention of an unknown enemy who knows a little too much about her–including what brought her to Stonebridge in the first place.

Meanwhile, Gemma, a defiant senior, has been plotting her attack for years, waiting for the right moment. Shy loner Norman hates his role in the Darkroom, but can’t find the courage to fight back until he makes an unlikely alliance. And then there’s Finn Ford, an English teacher with a shady reputation who keeps one eye on his literary ambitions and one on Ms. Witt.

As the school’s secrets begin to trickle out, a boys-versus-girls skirmish turns into an all-out war, with deeply personal–and potentially fatal–consequences for everyone involved.

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My Review
Told from various third-person points of view, THE SWALLOWS is a deep-dive into the world of privileged boys meets aggrieved girls hellbent on revenge. When new teacher, Alex Witt, assigns a routine paper for students to anonymously tell her something about themselves, she discovers an ugly secret society of misogynistic boys who rate girls on their unique abilities. What she discovers will ignite a fire under the girls to fight back and get even, with tragic consequences. The mystery of what the Darkroom is and means to students at Stonebridge Academy unfolds slowly, leaving the reader turning the pages to find out what happens next. It all builds to an ugly climax that leaves everyone forever changed.

Plot
This is my first novel by Lutz and I’m hooked. She weaves a captivating tale, building suspense, gluing me to the pages, or in the case, my Kindle screen. More than a few hours of sacrificed sleep were involved. Her characters are so complex, damaged, real, and very well distinguished from one another, that I always knew whose point of view I was reading. Though she sets up the tragedy throughout the story, it doesn’t ruin the ending. All we know is something bad is going to happen, but so much builds throughout the preceding chapters, there’s no way to know exactly what it’ll be.

Characters
The cast is full of diverse, well-developed, well-differentiated characters. Because it’s told in so many first-person points of view, this was key, and the author knocked it out of the park. Lutz does an amazing job of crafting compelling characters to tell her story. Even the ones I didn’t like, I still felt like i really understood.

What I Loved About THE SWALLOWS
1. Pacing.
The story is expertly paced to keep me turning the virtual pages.

2. Alex Witt. The primary protagonist and the most damaged of the bunch. She was the perfect blend of jaded teacher and inspirational mentor.

3. Getting Even. The girls fighting back with what they had available was one of my favorite parts of the story.

4. Characters. A thrilling cast brought this story to life in a way that other characters wouldn’t have been able to carry.

5. Ending. Without giving anything away, I love the way the author concludes her tale and the ramifications it has on her characters’ lives.

Bottom Line
A thrilling tale of lust, power trips, and revenge.

Disclaimer
I was provided with a copy of the book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Book
Title: THE SWALLOWS
Authors: Lisa Lutz
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Amazon DE | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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New York Times bestselling Author Lisa Lutz

Author Lisa Lutz

About the Author
Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of the six books in the Spellman series, How to Start a Fire, Heads you Lose (with David Hayward), and the children’s book, How to Negotiate Everything (illustrated by Jaime Temairik). Her latest book, The Passenger, a psychological thriller, will be published March 2016 by Simon and Schuster. Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor’s degree. Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film was made in 2000, she vowed she would never write another screenplay. Lisa lives in the Hudson Valley, NY..

Where to find Lisa Lutz
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE WEIGHT OF THE SKY by Caroline Schley

 

Welcome to the blog tour for THE WEIGHT OF THE SKY, a standalone young adult contemporary, by Caroline Schley

Welcome to the blog tour for THE WEIGHT OF THE SKY, a standalone young adult contemporary, by Caroline Schley. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE WEIGHT OF THE SKY, a standalone young adult contemporary, by Caroline Schley

THE WEIGHT OF THE SKY by Caroline Schley

About the Book
Title: THE WEIGHT OF THE SKY
Author: Caroline Schley
Release Date: May 20, 2021
Genre:
Young Adult Contemporary
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR

Synopsis
Speak meets Gossip Girl in this searing contemporary Young Adult novel where the most courageous three words a teenage girl will ever have to say are, “I need help.”

For every important decision in her life, fifteen-year-old Chris Miller relies on silence rather than courage. In her rough Bridgeport neighborhood, Chris bites her tongue when her best friend gets sent to juvenile detention for a crime she didn’t commit. As a scholarship kid at St. Catherine’s Prep, Chris acquiesces to ‘drinkstagram’ at tony sleepover parties. At home with her overbearing mother, she swallows her questions about her father’s identity. Chris understands that quiet insecurity isn’t the most valiant approach to life, but it gets her through the day unscathed. Until she’s sexually assaulted.

In the aftermath, Chris’s tenuous happiness crumbles alongside her grades, yet she can’t find the courage to report the assault. At a crossroads, Chris is forced to volunteer at an afterschool program for low-income families to maintain her scholarship. Catapulted back to the very neighborhood she struggled to escape, Chris finds her family thrust into the crosshairs of a gang war. When one of the students from her afterschool program is put at risk, Chris discovers just how much damage her silence can cause. Ultimately, she must decide if she will remain quiet as others call the shots and remain a victim or if she can forge the strength to stand up, speak the truth and call herself a survivor..

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Excerpt #2
Chris clutched at her necklace as she walked up the campus steps. She thrust open the double doors and crossed the threshold of the building into a hive of activity. At the center of it all was a plastic folding table adorned with a St. Catherine’s banner. Chris approached a blonde woman perched on a metal chair, a large pile of papers in front of her and an eager smile on her face.
“Hi. I’m Ms. Engel. Welcome to St. Catherine’s. Name and grade?”

“Hi. Chris Miller. Sophomore. Well, going to be a sophomore. Starting next week.” Chris pinched the inside of her cheek with her teeth to force herself to stop talking as Ms. Engel dove into the stack of papers in front of her.

“Great. Here’s your schedule. Oh, I’ll be your advisor.” The woman clapped at the last sentence as though it was the best news she’d heard all day. Chris bit back a laugh, thinking of her advisor last year at Bridgeport High. Mr. Ortiz had never clapped a day that Chris had known him. Instead, he used their advisory block as a time to lecture them about the statistical probability that they would end up in jail, emphasizing his words with a dour expression that conveyed every second of his thirty years in the public school system.

Ms. Engel continued talking as she pushed the schedule across the table. “Here, check your classes; let me know if anything seems off. Otherwise, one of our volunteer student mentors will show you around in just a minute.”

Chris gripped the paper. “Thanks.” She headed towards a bench as she scanned the course titles, teachers and rooms for each period. AP Biology was there, very first thing.

A willowy girl with white-blond hair, Everest-high cheekbones and a small, defiant chin approached Chris, wearing a large tag that read “Mentor”. Her skin glowed with a soft almond shade that Chris’s mother had always called country club tan. It was not a compliment. Chris couldn’t help but look down at her own arm, pale from too many summer days inside reading or working at Sol y Mar. She thought the tan looked perfect.

“Hi! I’m Sterling.” Sterling? “Welcome to St. Catherine’s. Do you need some help figuring out your schedule?” She wedged in next to Chris without waiting for a response and started to read over her shoulder.

“Wow, you’re in AP Bio? And you’re new? I didn’t even know that was, like, allowed.” The girl popped her gum and frowned at the paper.

“Oh. I’m…sort of…going to see. Hi. I’m Chris.”

Sterling continued to scan the schedule as she spoke. “Right, hi. Ugh, Period 2 PE is the worst. You should bring dry shampoo.” She folded the rectangle of paper and handed it back as Chris added dry shampoo to her mental list of things to worry about.

“Did you just move here?” Sterling’s voice held an edge of boredom as her hand etched over the screen of her phone. “I’m just going to pull up a picture of this dry shampoo, it’s called R+Co Death Valley and it’s amazing. If you buy it through my Instagram code, it’s ten percent off.”

“Oh…ahh, thanks. No, I’ve lived in Bridgeport my whole life.” Chris had hardly ever even been anywhere else. Her mother had taken them on one vacation to Cape Cod. They’d waited until the summer prices dropped and all Chris remembered was the glacial October rain sweeping in off the Atlantic Ocean.

Sterling arched an eyebrow. “In Bridgeport? Where did you go to school before?”

“Last year I went to Bridgeport High.”

“Like the public school?” The eyebrow twitched.

Chris wanted to melt into the bench as she nodded. She felt the cheap fabric of her jeans rub against the insides of her knees. Her dark hair, which she’d brushed until it shone that morning, looked wilted and sad next to Sterling’s crisp ponytail. The gold chain looped around her neck seemed feeble and impotent compared to the chunky jewelry that accented Sterling’s slender body. As Sterling gestured into her next sentence, Chris noted a thick, metal watch glinting on her wrist in a sea of hefty bangles. Chris fought the urge to slip off the fabric band of her secondhand Timex and burn it in the gold-plated trashcan.

“What was that like?”

Chris didn’t know what to compare it to. She had been terrified there. There was a metal detector to pass through every morning, and police cruisers lined up outside school every afternoon.
“It was…okay, if you knew how to mind your own business, I guess.”

Sterling giggled. “Well, welcome to St. Catherine’s. Good luck minding your own business. Most of us have been here since like, kindergarten and we’re all are nosy as fuck.”

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Author Caroline Schley

Author Caroline Schley

About the Author
Caroline Schley is a YA author and high school science teacher. Originally from New York City, she currently lives in Madrid and will happily travel long distances for white sand beaches, high-quality chocolate and alpine hiking trails. You can find out about her current writing projects and stay in touch at carolineschley.com.

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Where to find Melissa Caroline Schley
Goodreads | Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

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