Feb 29, 2016

Blog Tour: Down With the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Blog Tour: The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks

EEEK! I am so excited to kick off the start of the blog tour for THE LIFEBOAT CLIQUE. I actually read this book in 2015, shortly after it popped up on Edelweiss, and I immediately fell in love and tweeted and ordered friends to read it.

If Veronica Mars was stranded on a lifeboat with a handful of 09ers, this is what would happen.

If you don't get that reference ... My heart is sad for you.

THE LIFEBOAT CLIQUE is one of the funnest, wittiest, snarkiest books I've read in years. Denver is a powerhouse main character with a dry wit and comedic timing that will have any reader giggling and smiling.

When Denver crashes a cool kids party in Malibu the night an earthquake hits and triggers a tsunami, she never expected to be stranded on a lifeboat with her former BFF turned mortal nemesis, Abilgail, Abigail's two lackey mean girls, and one very intuitive but chill surfer boy.

As they fight to survive and not lose hope, you will cheer with them, cry with them and laugh with them. Denver never loses her spirit and that is what drives this book. Her tenacity and fierceness is something we can all strive for.

Kathy Parks needs to write me some more books ASAP because if this is small taste of what she can do, I am adding her to my author auto-buy list!

Some people might say that Denver had a death wish. Why else would she have dared to sneak into a Malibu beach party where she’d be surrounded by enemies, namely including her ex-BFF Abigail?

Oh yeah. Croix. Denver never thought in a million years he’d ask her out, but who was she to question this miracle of fate? Well, that wasn’t the only surprise fate had in store.

During the party a tsunami hit the coast of California, wiping out everything in its path. Denver and a handful of others escaped death by holding onto the roof of the house and were swept out to sea. Of course, one of her fellow castaways was none other than Abigail, who could barely stand the sight of her.

Now that she’s floating in the ocean, stuck on a small boat with the most popular kids in school and waiting to be rescued, Denver wonders what might kill her first-dehydration, sunstroke, or the girl she used to think of as a sister?

A hilariously dark and twisted story that sparkles with a remarkably fresh voice, The Lifeboat Clique is Kathy Park’s irreverent yet insightful novel about how to survive in the most unthinkable circumstances.


Hi, I’m Kathy Parks, author of The Lifeboat Clique. (Katherine Tegen Books, March 1 2016)

It’s about Denver Reynolds, an outcast at her high school, who ends up in a lifeboat with the popular kids who hate her.

It’s Mean Girls meets Life of Pi!

I live near the beach in Carpinteria, California with my husband and two cats.

I love questions and meeting other authors.

Hope you’ll check out The Lifeboat Clique!

LINKS: Twitter | Tumblr

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of THE LIFEBOAT CLIQUE (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feb 26, 2016

Review: The Smell of Other People's Houses

Title: The Smell of Other People's Houses
Author: Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Publication Date: 2.23.2016
Series: N/A
Source:  Finished copy from publisher

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. This deeply moving and authentic debut is for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and Benjamin Alire Saenz. Intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America’s Last Frontier introduce a writer of rare talent.
Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.
Four very different lives are about to become entangled. This unforgettable book is about people who try to save each other—and how sometimes, when they least expect it, they succeed. 

THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES, at first glance, made me laugh. I mean, come on. That title? How can you not? And then I immediately thought back to any time I had visited my grandparents growing up and that distinct ... smell that always seemed to permeate every single room, couch, and carpet. Scent is one of the biggest triggers for memories, and when I started reading this book, I realized how true it was and how brilliant Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock was to give it that name.

This is a quiet book. It's slight and unassuming, blending in easily on a bookshelf. Set in 1970's Alaska, it starts off as slow as snow falling in the dark, building and twisting into this incredible, powerful story about teenagers that want to escape the world they're destined to always live in.

At its core, THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES is about failing and failing again, but never quitting. Following Ruth and Dora and Alyce and Hank (and I gotta shout out to my girl Dumpling, because I loved her), was heartbreaking and inspiring. I loved the way Hitchcock seamlessly wove all these stories together, creating a rich tapestry for the entire book that left me completely sated by the end.

This is a beautiful book because it simply relies on the complexities of being human to tell a great story. 

Purchase: Amazon

Feb 25, 2016

Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Title: Reign of Shadows
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publication Date: 2.9.2016
Series: Reign of Shadows #1
Source:  ARC from publisher

Rating: 4 ½ Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, 
Reign of Shadowsis Sophie Jordan at her best.

If Sophie Jordan writes something, odds are I'm going to love it. And (surprise) REIGN OF SHADOWS is no exception. I love dark fairy tale retellings and couple that with a favorite author? Bookish Heaven!

RoS is one of those books you just know you're gonna love from the first chapter. Luna is a total rockstar and I loved reading about her, rooting for her, and cheering for her. She's overcome a lot in her short life, but she has this effervescent spirit that refuses to die. She's a total badass.

Fowler is every bit as swoony as a girl could hope for. I loved watching as Luna broke through all of his defenses and he allowed himself to open up.

It's kind of shocking how much is covered in this book (I mean, it's a little on the small side). Despite that, I found all the characters, plot, and world building (oh, the WORLD BUILDING) to be really solid. I can't wait for the next book.

Seriously. Can I have it now?

Purchase: Amazon

Feb 24, 2016

Firstlife: Fast 5 with Gena Showalter

Fast 5 w/Gena Showalter

1.       Describe your favorite writing scenes (location, smells, drinks, etc.):
GS:  I usually write in one of two places: my office or my bed.  Either way, I always have a bottle of water with me.  In my office, I’m enveloped by the delicious scent that wafts from my favorite candle in the whole world (a cupcake candle courtesy of Naomi from French –n- Books)  In bed, I’m usually enveloped by the horrendous scent of dog fart.  My menagerie of dogs prefers to nap in my bed with me in it, and they will pester me until I give in.

2.       How old were you when you got the writing bug?
GS:  I started writing in junior high, slowed down a bit in high school, stopped to get married and have a family, then started again after dropping out of college...for the second time.   At that point, it took five years and seven manuscripts to become a published author. 

3.       Book you’re most looking forward to in 2016?
GS:  There are certain authors who could write a phone book, and I would wait giddily to receive my copy.  Some of my favorite young adult and new adult authors are Kresley Cole, Katie McGarry, PC and Kristin Cast, Roxanne St. Claire, Wendy Higgins, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Sophie Jordan, Christina Lauren, Kady Cross, Amy Lukavics, Jeaniene Frost,  Katy Evans, and Sarah J. Maas.  Plus many more!

4.       Favorite book you read in 2015?
GS:  Making me pick a single book is like trying to make me pick between my kids LOL  I loved works from all of the above authors plus Jill Monroe, Karen Marie Moning, JR Ward, Nalini Singh, Carly Phillips, Kelli Ireland, Samantha Young, and many more!  But I also reread favorites from Linda Howard, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Jennifer Cruise. 

5.       Favorite scene from FIRSTLIFE?
GS:  I adored the heroine, Ten, who is obsessed with numbers and also writes poems at her best and worst times.  Her first poem means one thing when read from top to bottom but means an entirely different thing when read from bottom to top.  Two sides to every story, which feeds her love of numbers.

The grave is the end

And I will never accept that

I have been set free from the chains that bind me.
I know

“Death has lost its victory”

Is a lie, because there is no greater truth than this:
“Life is hopeless”
But I also love her first meeting with Killian:

New Guy shoves someone aside to take the spot next to me. That someone—a boy named Hank—protests until New Guy gives him a hard thump to the throat. While Hank gasps for air, New Guy gifts me with that slow predator’s grin.
I breathe him in: peat smoke and heather. Exotic, with a hint of musk, and I swear it’s like I’ve just been transported to the British Isles after a rainstorm.
His eyes...they’re as bright as the sun I haven’t seen in over a year, and they are the most mesmerizing shade of gold with flecks of crystalline blue.
In one, there are five flecks. In the other, three.
Five. The number of our senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.
Three. A trinity. We have a spirit, soul and body.
In an octave, the fifth and third notes create the basic foundation of all chords. How appropriate. Those eyes have somehow made my blood sing. Or I’m simply malnourished and on edge, and my brain is overcompensating.
Yeah. That.
This close, I can almost count New Guy’s individual lashes. They are long, spiky and jet-black...and I’m staring at him, I realize.
“That wasn’t a very nice thing to do,” I say.
“And knocking over my chair was?” His voice is low and husky with a slight Irish lilt, and it’s almost as smoky as his scent. “Let’s do the introduction thing so my heartbeat will finally calm down. I’m Killian. And you are stunningly beautiful.”
Before he’s finished delivering the (clearly) practiced line, I’m already building walls. “I think you mean I’m attitudinal.”
“Definitely not. But now I’m certain you’re irresistible.”
“I think you mean unsuitable.”

“Or adorable.”

Oh, crap. Are we flirting? “All right. Enough.”
The corners of his lips twitch. “Are you playing hard to get, lass? It’s never happened to me before, so I need clarification.”
“I’m not playing anything. And I’m impossible to get.”
He rubs his hands together with something akin to glee. “Well, then. Challenge accepted.”





Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and reallife begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…


Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”. 

Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:

3 Finished Copies of Firstlife (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feb 22, 2016

Review & Giveaway: Unexpected Rush by Jaci Burton

Title: Unexpected Rush               
Author: Jaci Burton
Publication Date: 2.16.2016
Series: Play By Play #11
Source:  Finished copy from publisher

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
All the Right Moves

For Barrett Cassidy, playing defense for the Tampa Hawks is a dream come true. And now he may have discovered his dream woman. Harmony Evans, once the sweet, gawky teenage sister of his best friend and teammate has grown into a smart, gorgeous woman with moves he finds hard to resist. But he knows he can’t get involved with his best friend’s sister—it’s guy code.

Harmony has always gone after what she wants with single-minded determination, from her independence to her education to her career in social work. She never expected her youthful crush on Barrett to develop into something deeper. And she’s not about to let some ridiculous man rules or her brother stand in her way.

When the chemistry is this combustible, lines tend to get crossed. And when Barrett and Harmony’s secret gets out, it just might be game over...

There's a reason I shout, "JACI BURTON" whenever a friend wants a sports-romance recommendation. No one combines the heat of competition and chemistry the way Jaci does. I am thrilled and entranced over and over again without fail because dang. Her books are amazing, and the 11th book in the Play By Play series is no second string book.

Old crushes-turned lovers are my favorite trope in romance. I love anytime there is a back story between two characters; to me it gives a stronger foundation and I can truly believe they get the HEA when the book ends.

I love Barret - he's sweet and fun and compassionate and a wonderful balance to Harmony. The two of them have remarkable chemistry. This is one of those books I simply never, ever wanted to end.

Is it time for book 12 yet?!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feb 15, 2016

Blog Tour: Riders by Veronica Rossi

An excerpt of Marcus Walker, aka Death, of RIDERS

In this short excerpt, main character Gideon (aka War) and Marcus aren’t quite seeing eye to eye. Enjoy!

Marcus had just produced a scythe. It materialized in a dusty swirl, extending from his hand to the desert earth.
A freakin’ scythe.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. Wasn’t Death—the Grim Reaper—always shown with a scythe? Still, this was the first one I’d ever seen in person and let me tell you— a staff with a massive curved blade at the end? Terrifying. This was no ordinary scythe, either. The thing glowed in the night, soft like the moon, but it put off enough light to illuminate Marcus’s face. His eyes were steady and cold. Glacial. Pure glacial fury. All for me.

VERONICA ROSSI is a New York Times bestselling author of fiction for young adults. She completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons. When not writing, she enjoys reading, painting, and counting down the minutes until she can get back to making up stories about imaginary people.

Feb 13, 2016

14 Days of Fictional Swoon - My First Fictional Crush

Happy swooning, everyone! With it being so close to Valentine's Day, I am excited to share with you guys my first fictional crush.

Now, this is a guy you probably remember from days long ago. He was brave and selfless and a bit of a budding bad boy with a heart of gold (he had a whole tortured artist vibe). And did I mention he suffered a brutal tragedy that gutted him and left me in literal tears (this was the first time I ever cried while reading a book.

That guy? Jess Aarons from BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA.

He was the first boy to make me swoon, the first boy to make me cry, and the first boy to leave me feeling hope and satisfied at the end of a book.

So, who was the first (fictional) boy to make you swoon?

And now for some fun - because when all else fails, a giveaway is always the answer:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don't forget to check out the rest of the tour:

14 Days of Fictional Swooning Schedule

Feb 9, 2016

Blog Tour: The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting when I picked up THE SHADOW QUEEN by C.J. Redwine, but I don't think I ever expected to find one of my new favorite books. From the very first page, Redwine captivated me with her breathtaking prose and seamlessly woven story. 

And this is coming from a girl who tends to be quite skittish around fantasy.

Lorelei is every bit the kick ass heroine you would expect Redwine to pen, but more than that, she has a heart and conviction that drive this book. It's easy to see why she amasses followers and supporters throughout the book. She went through a crazy amount of growth during the book - transitioning from a girl on the run to a warrior on a mission.

Now let's talk about Kol and how no one told me there were dragons in the series. What a freaking amazeballs surprise and take on the huntsman aspect of this Snow White retelling. I feel like that's not very spoilery since you learn this factoid very early on in and people have been raving about the appearance of dragons in the book since ARCs went out months ago.

What I loved most is that the book didn't leave me with a gut-wrenching cliff hanger. It neatly tied up the main plots of the novel but left me hungry and desperate for more. I can't wait for the second book in this series!

Rating: 5 Stars

Author: C.J. Redwine
Pub. Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads
Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

About C.J.: 
C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and Sherlock. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband and children. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. To learn more about C.J., visit her website at www.cjredwine.com Where you can find C.J.:

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a signed finished copy of THE SHADOW QUEEN and swag. US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
2/8/2016- Adventures of a Book Junkie- Interview
2/9/2016- The Irish Banana ReviewReview
2/10/2016- Once Upon a TwilightGuest Post
2/11/2016- A Backwards StoryReview
2/12/2016- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

Week Two:
2/15/2016- The Young Folks- Review
2/16/2016- Mundie Moms- Interview
2/17/2016- Supernatural Snark- Review
2/18/2016- Maria V. SnyderInterview

2/19/2016- FiktshunGuest Post

Feb 8, 2016

Cover Reveal: The Rise of Genesis

Announcing a new book by M.R. Merrick!

In a world where being Supernatural means you’re in danger, Ash Lawson is front and center. After years of helping others escape ATOM—a government entity known for abusing Supernaturals—he’s captured, and saving himself will prove to be the most difficult task he’s undertaken.

Tryst Rivera is a Succubus and veteran at the Academy, a facility tasked with converting underage Supernaturals into cooperative ATOM soldiers. She’s endured her time mostly unscathed, but when Ash arrives and their lives are tethered to one another, she’s placed in immediate danger.

With escape at the forefront of his mind, Ash struggles with the idea of life under ATOM’s thumb. He’ll die before he converts, but his life isn’t the only one he’s responsible for, and he already has more blood on his hands than he can bear. When a chance for freedom arises, Ash needs to decide how much—and who—he’s willing to risk for a second chance.

Coming March 15, 2016

About the Author

M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of The Protector Series, and The Rise of Genesis. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he's usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and a large bowl of cereal.

Connect with the author

Feb 5, 2016

Harper Summer 2016 Tour

WE'RE BACK!!!!!! Welcome to the Harper Summer 2016 Tour! This is day 1 of fifty - yes, 5-0. We have 50 books we'll be talking about over the next 7 weeks with tons of giveaways and events! 

By: Leah Konen

A passionate summer love story about a girl, her childhood best friend recently released from juvie, and the small-town lies that have kept them apart. A teen romance debut with a dark edge.

Liz Grant is about to have the summer of her life. She and her friend MacKenzie are getting invited to all the best parties, and with any luck, Innis Taylor, the most gorgeous guy in Bonneville, will be her boyfriend before the Fourth of July. 

Local teen convict released early.

Jason Sullivan wasn’t supposed to come back from juvie. A million years ago, he was her best friend, but that was before he ditched her for a different crowd. Before he attacked Innis’s older brother, leaving Skip’s face burned and their town in shock. 

“Everything is not what you think.”

Liz always found it hard to believe what they said about Jason, but all of Bonneville thinks he’s dangerous. If word gets out she’s seeing him, she could lose everything. But what if there’s more to that horrible night than she knows? And how many more people will get hurt when the truth finally comes out?

“You’re the one person who believes in me.”

Leah Konen’s southern romance swelters with passion as it explores the devastating crush of lies, the delicate balance of power and perception, and one girl’s journey to find herself while uncovering the secrets of so many others.

Ready for the awesome prizes we have?

#1 – A Harper Teen Summer 2016 Catalog prizepack of 45+ books*.
*Titles not included: The Crown by Kiera Cass, Escape from Asylum by Madeline Roux, Sing by Vivi Greene, & United As One by Pittacus Lore
In addition to the one massive prize winner, we will also have 4 winners who will be able to select 3 titles they want from the Summer 2016 Catalog.
US Only

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#2 – 5 Finished Copies from the Harper Teen Fall 2015 Catalog
5 books are: Front Lines by Michael Grant, Revenge & the Wild by Michelle Modesto, The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks, Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin, & The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig 
US Only 

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

Today's code word is: ESCAPE

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

#3 – Leap Year Giveaway - 4 of the most anticipated ARCs from Summer 2016
Books are: My Lady Jane, Ivory & Bone, The Crown's Game & This Savage Song
US Only

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

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#4 – PreOrder Giveaway
3 Winners will win their choice of a pre-order of ANY finished copy of a title featured on the tour! 
Open INT as long as The Book Depository ships to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Or CLICK HERE for more info!