May 27, 2015

Blog Tour: The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh

I am so excited to welcome Reneé Ahdieh to the blog today to celebrate THE WRATH AND THE DAWN! We played a fun round of This or That and here's what happened:

      Soda or Water?
2.       Coffee or Tea?
3.       Hot or Cold?
4.       Movie or TV?
5.       Series or Standalone?
6.       Beach or Mountains?
7.       Play Sports or Watch Sports?
Watch sports
8.       Sunshine or Rain?
A summer rain
9.       Dog or Cat?
10.   Fighter or Lover?
11.   Boyfriend or Best Friend?
I want both.
12.   Rock or Country?
13.   80s or the 90s?
14.   Singing or Dancing?
15.   T-shirts or Sweaters?
16.   Avengers or X-Men?
17.   Sharks or Dolphins?
18.   Phone or Computer?
19.   Gold or Silver?
20.   Google or Yahoo?
21.   Ice Cream or Frozen Yogurt?
Frozen yogurt
22.   Fire or Ice?
23.   Freckles or Dimples?
24.   Burgers or Tacos?
25.   Ketchup or Mustard?

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May 25, 2015

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Welcome to the NOWHERE BUT HERE blog tour! I am so excited to tell you guys all about my bookish feels! Katie McGarry absolutely blew me away again. =D

I knew I would like this because, well, Katie wrote it. But not only that? Coming off the heels of Sons of Anarchy's finale, I needed another gateway into the MC world. Katie McGarry happily gave me that outlet.

I've actually spoken with Katie and the amount of research she has done for this book (series) is staggering. It shows in every page, in every scene. It's a wonderful blend of action and brotherhood, of family and heart.

Emily and Oz are utter and complete opposites, but there is something about them that works. Maybe it's because they weren't handed a golden relationship on a silver platter, but they actually have to make choices and pay consequences and think about their actions. Their relationship, while organic and natural, felt more mature to me. More like two people who were individuals, but trying to be a couple. 

What can I say? I don't like it when it's too easy. ;-)

This is a thrilling start to a new McGarry series. I cannot WAIT to see what Katie does with all the characters she introduced.

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

Want a finished copy of NOWHERE BUT HERE? Simply comment below with your email address! (US/Canada Only)

Week 1:
5/18 - Supernatural Snark (Interview)
5/19 - Step Into Fiction (Review)
5/20 - Novel Ink (Review)
5/21 - Mundie Moms (Guest Post)
5/22 - Book Rock Betty (Kiss & Tell Post)

Week 2:
5/25 - The Irish Banana Review (Review)
5/25 - Jenuine Cupcakes (Interview)
5/27 - No BS Book Reviews (Review)
5/28 - Once Upon A Twilight (Guest Post)
5/29 - Fiction Fare (Review & Interview)

May 24, 2015

Blog Tour: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Pop Culture commentary

Welcome to Day Four of my blog tour. I’m so delighted to be here on The Irish Banana! What a great name for a blog!

SWEET tells the story of the product launch of a new diet sweetener called Solu which turns out to be highly addictive. The high-profile, celebrity-studded launch takes place on a week-long luxury cruise. Laurel and Tom, two teens who, for very different reasons, are NOT taking the sweetener, find themselves out at sea amidst five hundred B-list celebrities, reality TV stars and wealthy playboys who become more and more desperate and depraved, willing to do anything to get more Solu.

Because SWEET crosses a couple of genres (Romance! Action! Horror!) and deals with some surprising issues (Body acceptance! Addiction! Celebrity!), I’ve decided to have 5 special blog posts on this tour, talking about the way SWEET plays within each type.

Today we’re going to talk about the Pop Culture aspect of the book.

My new novel SWEET takes place on a luxurious cruise ship loaded to the brim with B- list celebrities and reality TV stars.

They’ve all come aboard for a huge PR event - the launch of a new diet sweetener called Solu that makes you lose weight. It’s the “Solu Cruise To Lose” and our main character, Laurel, calls it “the most famous cruise since the Titanic.”

The celebrities are mingling with a couple hundred non-famous, regular-old rich people who can afford the hefty ticket price. Laurel has been brought on the cruise by her wealthy best friend, Vivika. While Vivika is definitely into partying with famous people like Sabbi Ribiero, a Brazilian heiress and the star of a reality show called Teens Of New York, Laurel is not really into it.

That is, until she meets Tom Fiorelli. Tom is a former child star. He was the star of a show called The Magnificent Andersons, and he’s known to all by his old nickname, “Baby Tom-Tom”. As you can imagine - he HATES this nickname!

It was really fun for me to write for Tom and Sabbi because back when I was an actor, I got to do some of the things they do in the book. I interviewed people and was interviewed. I got to work with hair and makeup people, who are the true MAGICIANS of the entertainment industry! And I even got to walk the red carpet! (It was surreal! It was for the movie Superstar. I was sure that none of the photographers would want to take my picture, but when I got up there, they all yelled, “Emmy! Emmy, over here!” I could barely keep a straight face!)

Another of my favorite characters is Rich Weller, the young publicity guru who was responsible for the concept of the cruise. He works incredibly hard to manage every aspect of the cruise’s publicity. I felt so bad for him when things started going so terribly wrong!

You see… Solu works! It makes all the passengers lose weight - the famous, the infamous and the un-famous. But it’s also highly, highly addictive. And soon the passengers will do anything to get their hands on it - and fame goes out the window. Because no one cares about fame when your life is on the line.

While SWEET is a bit of a media circus, I tried to present the celebrities in a very real way. That’s something I strive to do in all my books. I want the characters to feel truthful and to make decisions that feel realistic. After all, people are people, famous or not. I hope that readers will enjoy the little glimpse behind the scenes of the life of a celebrity that I’ve provided in SWEET - and then hang on for their lives as the book crashes into the insanity that takes over as the Solu becomes more and more scarce on board…

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Author Links/Info

Full Blog Tour Schedule
May 20-Fiktshun
May 26Ray Kay Books

May 23, 2015

Blog Tour: Joyride by Anna Banks

           1. JOYRIDE is a completely different genre from your last series. Was it easier or harder writing a contemporary novel versus a paranormal/fantasy?

Surprisingly it was more difficult to write contemporary. In fantasy, I can create my own rules and my own boundaries, but writing in real life setting is somewhat restrictive—and so real that sometimes my heart ached for the characters. I can’t give my characters special powers to deal with obstacles—they have to find their own inner strength and gumption to come out on top. That was rewarding to write.

 2. JOYRIDE also deals with the very relevant issues of citizenship and deportation - what inspired you to write about these things and add them to Carly's story?

When I was a waitress, I used to work with some undocumented immigrants from Mexico. As I grew to know them, they shared with me their stories and struggles. Just getting in the US is amazingly difficult and dangerous, and you’re not safe once you get here. Families are separated all the time, depending on what circumstances surround the deportation.
Carly’s story came to because these undocumented immigrants I’d worked with? They were the most reliable, hard-working people I knew. I wondered what it would be like to be a teenager, caught between wanting to start your life but also wanting to stay loyal and true to family tradition. Family is important in this culture, and it’s not an easy thing to blow off everything one has been taught. And it shouldn’t be easy.

3. If you were on a roller derby team, who would you want on your team - Arden or Carly?

 Carly. Arden would probably not take any good shots because I’m a girl, but Carly would give me a run for my money, if not an elbow to the nose. Bloody noses make everything more interesting!

4. What was your favorite part about writing JOYRIDE?

 I loved writing about the pranks. It brought my characters a sort of relief in the book, and for me personally as the writer, it gave me a break from writing a book dealing with such serious issues, like racism, immigration, and human smuggling. Plus I wanted them to be a sort of Robin Hood meets Bonnie & Clyde, where they prank the rich in circumstances on behalf of the poor in circumstances.  I think no matter what, my funs expect me to be funny, and I hope I accomplished that for them in JOYRIDE with all the pranking. J

5. So now you've tackled mermaids and contemporary - what does Anna Banks have in store for readers next and when can we expect to have it in our hands?

I have an Egyptian YA Fantasy coming out next year called NEMESIS. Here’s what it’s about:
A Serubelan princess who possesses the power to create energy escapes her father, who wishes to weaponize it, only to be captured by Theoria, her father’s nemesis kingdom,  where she discovers that her powers could be used to fight a terrible plague.

I also have an adult romantic comedy coming out through Entangled called HOW TO LOSE A BACHELOR. It’s How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days meets The Bachelor Show. They have a past. She’ll do everything in her power to be voted off the show. He’ll never vote her off in a million years. The world is watching!

Thanks so much for having me! J If any of your readers would like a signed book mark or bookplate for JOYRIDE please email me at This off is open internationally. 

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Author Links/Info

Full Blog Tour Schedule

May 12- Xpresso Reads
May 13- WhoRU Blog
May 19-Fiktshun
May 27-Dana Square
May 29-Paper Riot
May 30-Mundie Moms

May 21, 2015

#YAPARTY - 5/28/2015


#YAPARTY on Twitter!!!!


WHERE: Your couch, BEA, the mall, your bed ... anywhere you can access Twitter means you're at the party!

WHEN: May 28, 2015, 8-11 PM EST

Please tweet during those hours! But . . .

If you won't be around during that time, we recommend scheduling tweets using TweetDeck.

(ONLY entries during that time will count!)

A HUGE THANK YOU to the publishers, authors, and bloggers who provided the prize packages! See each one below.

(You must be 13 years old or older. This post and the prize packages are accurate as of 5-21-15, but are subject to change until the 11:00 PM EST on May 28, 2015. Notification will be done through Twitter. Prizes are not exchangeable. Winners will be notified by June 15, 2015 or sooner. Shipping will be done through the prize donors. You must contact the donor within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen.)

What are the rules you ask?

They're simple:

Follow your hosts of this event: @irish_banana @ReadingTeen @LizaWiemer on Twitter (mandatory)

Follow the PUBLISHER or AUTHOR and/or BLOGGER and tweet (information listed below for each prize)! It's seriously as easy as copy and paste the tweets! 

PRIZE #1-5: (USA Only)

BEA STUFFED TO THE BRIM Tote Bag of books donated by over 10 publishers!! You'll get at least 10 new HOT new novels and swag!

3 YA Prize Packages

1 MG Prize Package

1 NA/Adult Prize Package

Tweet: I joined the and follow the hosts. I hope to win one of 3 YA prize packages.

Tweet: I joined the and follow the hosts. I hope to win the MG prize package.

Tweet: I joined the and follow the hosts. I hope to win the NA/Adult prize package.

PRIZE #6-7: (USA Only)

ACOTAR GiveawayFrom Bloomsbury:


A copy of the finished book, an ACOTAR bookmark, temporary tattoo, and a mask!

Tweet: I joined the and follow @BloomsburyKids & the hosts. I hope to win the #ACOTAR prize package.


Finished copies of the Boldly Bookish books:

HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH by Tiffany Schmidt


LION HEART by A.C. Gaughen

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Trish Doller

Plus Boldly Bookish Swag!

Tweet: I joined the and follow @BloomsburyKids & the hosts. I hope to win the BOLDLY BOOKISH prize package

PRIZE #8: (USA Only)

From Little Brown @TheNovl

NOVLbox#NovlBox YA Package including awesome swag and . . .

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker (signed!)

Wolf By Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Drift And Dagger by Kendall Kulper

Not If I See You First by Eric Linstrom

I Crawl Through It by AS King

Tweet: I joined the & follow @TheNovl & the hosts. I hope to win a Little Brown mystery YA package! Info:



From Paper Lantern Lit: An e-copy of each title from The Studio OR an editorial review of 50 pages of a manuscript OR an editorial review of 15 pages of a plot outline.

Tweet: I joined the and follow & the hosts. I hope to win a 50 page manuscript review.


I joined the & follow & the hosts. Hope to win a 15 page plot outline editorial review.


I joined the & follow & the hosts. Hope to win an e-copy of each title from The Studio.

PRIZE #10: (USA Only)


From Spencer Hill Press and Spencer Hill Contemporary


Tweet: I joined the & follow @SHContemp & the hosts. I hope to win a six-book package!

PRIZE #11-12: (USA Only)

1b69a6d8a3b2f8183c33bb5ff595df76_400x400From Books of Wonder:

Two lucky winners will win a signed copy of your choice of any book. Value not to exceed $20.00

Tweet: I joined the & follow @BooksofWonder & the hosts. I hope to win a signed book of my choice!


From the hosts:

$10.00 Amazon Gift Card

Tweet: I joined the & follow the hosts. I hope to win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card!

PRIZE #15: (USA/Canada Only)

From Alloy Entertainment:

photo (1)

FIVE (5) Fabulous Books:

REBEL WING by Tracy Banghart

IMITATION by Heather Hildenbrand

VICIOUS by Sara Shepard (signed copy)

THE HEIRESSES by Sara Shepard (signed copy)

THE BLONDE by Anna Godbersen (signed copy)

Tweet: I joined the & follow @alloyent & the hosts. I hope to win 5 fabulous novels!

PRIZE #16 (USA Only)

From author Martina Boone:

COMPULSION Prize Package: Compulsion for Reading T-shirt, signed hardcover, silver plated key necklace, & Compulsion & Persuasion trinket bookmarks

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @MartinaABoone & the hosts to win a COMPULSION prize package!

PRIZE #17 (USA Only)


From author M.G. Buehrlen:

A signed copy of THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE, a "Talk Nerdy to Me" sticker, bookmark, and a pair of Wayfarer sunglasses.

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @mgbuehrlen & the hosts to win a her novels!

PRIZE #18 (USA Only)

IMG_5049From Fiction Fare Bloggers Jaime & Erin Arkin: IMG_5048

A set of The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo with signed bookplates & lots of awesome swag, including a HUNGER GAMES T-shirt.

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @fictionfare & the hosts to win signed Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Series & swag!

IMG_3616PRIZE #19 (USA/Canada Only)

From Macmillan:

Graphic Novel Prize Package:

THIS ONE SUMMER by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

LAST MAN 1 & 2 by Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville, Balak

EXQUISITE CORPSE by Penelope Bageu

THE SCULPTOR by Scott McCloud


Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @MacKidsBooks & the hosts to win a Graphic Novel Prize Package & swag!

BraceletPRIZE #20 (USA Only)

From Swoony Boys Podcast Bloggers Meg Caristi & Kassiah Faul:

Custom designed bracelet with book charms - covers your choice!

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @SwoonyBoys & the hosts to win a custom book bracelet.

PRIZE #21 (USA Only)

From SimonTeen:

Mega prize package - 8 new YA titles and awesome swag

  • A PulseIt tote bag

  • A Zeroesstainless steel tumbler

  • The following galleys:

o Carolyn Lee Adams, Ruthless

o Erin Bow, The Scorpion Rules

o Ellen Hopkins, Traffick

o Shaun David Hutchinson (editor), Violent Ends

o Daniel Krauss, The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch

o Heather W. Petty, Lock & Mori

o Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti, Zeroes

o Suzanne Young, Hotel Ruby

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @SimonTeen & the hosts to win 8 new YA titles & swag!

PRIZE #22 (USA & Canada Only)


From author Gayle Rosengren:

A signed copy of WHAT THE MOON SAID; a Tee shirt; a bookmark; a refrigerator magnet; and a key chain or luggage tag; PLUS a signed advanced reader copy of COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET.

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @GayleRosengren & the hosts to win her fabulous MG prize package.

PRIZE #23-24 (USA & Canada Only)

From PenguinRandomHouse:

2 mystery prize packages including some of the hottest YA titles!

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @PenguinTeen & the hosts to win 1 of 2 YA novel packages.

PRIZE #25 (USA Only)

IMG_1349From author Liza Wiemer:

Signed ARC of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

22663633-1Signed Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen and "Unlock your hear and the rest is easy necklace."

Signed ARC of Hello? by Liza Wiemer and swag!

Tweet: I joined the #YAParty & follow @LizaWiemer & the hosts to win signed copies of ACOTAR, Saint Anything, & Hello?.

*All prizes subject to change up until the day of the #YAParty! Checkin frequently for updates. We may add more prizes up until the event and throughout!*

Thanks for joining us!!!!
~Liza, Andye, & Hannah

May 18, 2015

Review: Hold Me Like A Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

Title: Hold Me Like A Breath
Author: Tiffany Schmidt
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 5.19.2015
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Series: Once Upon A Crime Family #1
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

I have to admit I'm struggling with this book. I'm not sure what I expected when I started HOLD ME LIKE A BREATH, but it wasn't this. Tiffany Schmidt took me on a journey and I don't know if I want to commend her ... or shake her.

Let's go with what worked:
Pen. Penelope was such a fun character to read over all. Her growth and journey during this story is a thing of beauty. My heart ached for her when she was constantly wrapped in cotton to keep from breaking. Her frustration bled off the pages. I couldn't help but root for her.

Also? Schmidt has a beautiful way of writing that utterly captivates and enthralls a reader. I love when she puts a story to life.

What didn't work:
The romance. Pen's biggest flaw is how fast she switched from one guy to the next., especially after only knowing one for a handful of minutes. What's faster than insta-love?

Maybe I’m just sore the guy I was rooting for didn't win. Could be I have a case of sour grapes that tainted the love story aspect of this story for me and others will have no problem with it. Whatever it was, it didn’t work for me but it also didn’t detract from the inherent awesome of the overall story.

Regardless, it is still a book I don't regret reading. I think people are going to love it, and the world Schmidt crafts is one in the not-too-distant future that you can almost (scarily) see taking shape now. It's a compelling start to a new series.
Buy: Hold Me Like a Breath