Sometimes life is like a box of Lucky Charms…  or at least, like a Ziplock bag of Lucky Charms marshmallows.

This fall, Candace Ganger takes us on a journey of grief, of hope, of friendship, and of letting go, in Six Goodbyes We Never Said. Six Goodbyes follows two teens who have lost their parents:  Naima Rodriguez, whose Marine father won’t be returning from his last tour; and Dew Brickman, who is still grieving the death of his parents.

From the publisher:

Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her.

Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It’s causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects.

Candace Ganger’s Six Goodbyes We Never Said is no love story. If you ask Naima, it’s not even a like story. But it is a story about love and fear and how sometimes you need a little help to be brave enough to say goodbye.

Ms. Ganger shares a little more about Naima and Dew in her Author’s Note:

I think it should be known that, while Six Goodbyes is a work of fiction, I share the many characteristics, fears, and pains, in both the delicacy of Dew, and the confused ferocity in Naima. Please let this brief note serve as a trigger warning in regards to mental illness; self-care is of the utmost importance. And while I hope Six Goodbyes provides insight for those who don’t empathize, or comfort for those that do, I also understand everyone reacts differently.

Dew’s social anxiety is something I, and many others, struggle with. We carry on with our days and pretend it’s not as hard as it feels inside. Others can’t quite see how much it hurts but we so wish they could. Naima is the most visceral interpretation of all of my diagnosed disorders combined. Her obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related tics, her intrusive thoughts, her utterly devastating and isolating depression, her generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which makes her so closed off from the world, and her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from losing the biggest portion of identity—those are all pieces of me. Very big pieces. They don’t define me, but it would be misleading if I didn’t admit they sometimes, mostly do. I’m imperfectly complicated like Naima. And though I’ve written extensively on both my mental illnesses and living biracial, between two worlds—never enough of one or the other; always only half of something and never whole or satiated—I often still feel misunderstood. Hopefully Dew and Naima’s stories will provide a little insight as to what it’s like inside their heads, and inside mine.

Both Dew and Naima want to hold on to the roots that have grounded them in their familiar, safe spaces. But once their metaphorical trees are cut, and all the leaves shielding them from their pains have fallen and faded away, not even photosynthesis could bring them back to life. Those roots, Naima and Dew feel, will die off, and everything they had in their lives before will, too. There are many of you out there who feel the exact same way, but I assure you, Dew and Naima will find their way—they will grow new roots that flourish—and you, my darlings, will, too.

Thank you for reading, and may Six Goodbyes serve as permission to speak your truths—the good and the painful.

Here’s to another six airplanes for you to wish upon.

Many thanks to the publisher for sharing Six Goodbyes We Never Said with me. Six Goodbyes is available for purchase tomorrow.

Lions and Tigers and Boys – $50 gift card GIVEAWAY!!!

Lions Tigers and Boys Banner

A little magic. A little romance. A little shape-shifting… Tawny Stokes’ Lions and Tigers and Boys has it all!

To start us off, here’s the official description of the book:

The last thing a girl as awkward as Dani Gale should be doing is trying to learn the high wire. Yet that’s exactly where Dani ends up—at OZ, the Oswald Zinzendorf School of Circus Arts. Trying to overcome her shyness is near impossible when her new partner—the hottest guy she’s ever laid eyes on, and whose touch seems to give her poise she thought impossible—also seems to be sabotaging her progress.

The last thing Cai Coppersmith needs is a distraction, especially in the form of the new, cute shy girl. He needs to focus on trying not to shape-shift into a tiger on school grounds, and completing his mission to keep Dani from winning the school’s high-wire competition. In fact, the entire safety of OZ is relying on Dani not succeeding. But there’s something about the girl that draws him in. She has magic, he can feel it. So he’ll do what he can to protect her, even if it means pushing her away.

Lions Tigers and Boys

This was a sweet romance story told from the perspective of the two main characters, Dani and Cai. Sixteen-year-old Dani has just started attending an obscure circus school in the deep woods of Oregon. Part of her doesn’t want to be there, but she also wants to follow her dreams to be a high-wire walker – a promise she made to her mother on her deathbed.

Cai is the adopted son of Frank Coppersmith, who handles the school’s lion and tiger. We learn in the prologue that Cai is also a shape-shifter, and roams the school’s grounds in the form of a tiger. He is also part of a secret group led by one of the school’s teachers, Professor Marvel. They are practicing a plan to steal a pair of ruby slippers from an art and history museum in Salem.

The alternating perspectives throughout the book was very effective. It allowed me to follow Dani’s and Cai’s growing feelings for each other and to understand why Cai kept pushing Dani away (if the book was just written from Dani’s point of view, it would have meant many more questions throughout the book).

This paragraph may be a spoiler, although I’m trying to write it in a way that does not spoil anything. I got to the end of the book and felt a little unsatisfied with the conclusion. I gather from the ending that Ms. Stokes may anticipate writing a second book about these characters. However, there was so much emphasis on preparing for the matter that was left unresolved, that I expected getting to that point in the story. I simply felt unfinished even though the book was over.

About the Author:

Tawny Stokes has always been a writer. From an early age, she’d spin tales of serial killers in love, vampires taking over the world, and sometimes about fluffy bunnies turned bunnicidal maniacs. An honour student in high school, with a penchant for math and English, you’d never know it by the foot high blue Mohawk and Doc Martens, which often got her into trouble. No longer a Mohawk wearer, Tawny still enjoys old school punk rock, trance, zombie movies, teen horror films, and fluffy bunnies. She lives in Canada with her fantastical daughter, two cats, and spends most of her time creating new stories for teens.

You can find Ms. Stokes on twitter @Vivi_Tawny.

Lions and Tigers and Boys was released last week. I received an advance reader copy of the book as part of this blog tour in exchange for my unbiased review. You can get a copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and from your local independent bookstore.

So, you’re probably wondering, WHAT ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY??? You can win a $50 gift card to an e-retailer of your choice. Enter here.

Have you read any great books lately?

White Knights – 2 GIVEAWAYS!!!


It’s tough being a teenager these days. It’s even tougher being a geek among the “Technologically Gifted and Talented” at a Washington, DC, exclusive school. Sixteen-year-old Angel Sinclair just wants to get through her senior year without being bullied too badly, and to find her long-missing father. But instead, she is drawn into an investigation that involves spies, the latest in medical technology, and good, old-fashioned intrigue!

Here’s the official description…

My name is Angel Sinclair. I’m the youngest senior at Excalibur Academy for the Technologically Gifted and Talented in Washington, DC. I was pushed ahead a year because of my high IQ and considerable prowess behind the keyboard, making me an outcast even among my own peers. I’ve been looking for my dad all my life. A brilliant mathematician and cryptographer, he disappeared under mysterious circumstances when I was eighteen months old. Although my mom tells me I must put him in my past, it only makes me more determined to find out what happened to him. When weird accidents start happening at my school and the vice principal is involved in a deadly incident, I don’t see it as a coincidence. After launching my own investigation, with the aid of an unexpected set of allies calling themselves the White Knights, I discover a threat far greater than I ever could have imagined. I could take my discoveries to the authorities, but my own investigative methods would be at risk. Can anyone say hacking? No, it’s up to me to set things right. My objectives are straightforward: clear the name of the vice principal, learn the truth about my father, and stay alive. In other words, save the day and try not to look too much like a dork while doing it.


I loved how this book started, and I have to admit, the first sentence had me calculating how many days I have been alive. And wondering if I felt good about that (hey, I’ve had many, many great days!) or bad about it (holy cow, I’m OLD!!!).

I don’t usually include lengthy excerpts in my reviews, but since this one has that awesome first line that had me counting days, here you go:

On the 5,802nd day of my existence, my safe virtual life exploded into reality.

I should have seen it coming—I’m smart enough. My name is Angel Sinclair and I’m a geek. For most of my nearly sixteen years, I’ve lived online, roaming the information highway—hacking, gaming, and manipulating the environment to suit my every whim. The Internet is my world. I control kingdoms and maintain important and critical alliances. I don’t need real-life entanglements, friendships with people who will come and go, or a boyfriend so I don’t feel alone. I’m never lonely online.

I’m not bragging when I say I’m good at what I do. When I was eleven, I broke into my school’s computer system, just to see if I could. At thirteen, I changed the Twitter profile of a well-known gamer to read “Geek Girls Rule” after he posted a particularly sexist and ugly meme about women in the tech field. Later that same year, I hacked into the local police department looking for information on my father. I’ve hacked a lot of places since then, getting better and faster each time. I’m not into cracking—hacking with malicious intent. But I’m not above a hack when I feel it serves the greater good.

My older sister, Gwen, is always getting on my case to go out, hang with people, be social off the computer. Why would I? The girls at my school are always talking about guys or taking selfies to make sure they post the best angle of themselves. Who cares how you look while you’re eating in the cafeteria? I’d rather connect with the people who do matter via my phone or laptop. Online I’ve got constant access to what and who is important, and it is way less stressful than a face-to-face conversation.

So, my plan for my senior year of high school was this—survive by keeping my head down, restricting my social life to online, and not making any waves.

Simple, right?


I desired invisibility but would have accepted peaceful coexistence.

Instead, they brought me war…on the very first day.

This is a fun, fast-paced mystery / spy thriller. It champions the quiet computer geeks, making them the heroes of the story. Angel reluctantly accepts the help and friendship of two other geeks (plus a jock) and discovers that she isn’t always better at doing everything alone. Her friendship with weird Wally, quirky Frankie, and charming Colt grows along with the excitement and tension of the book.

White Knights kept me captivated from start to finish. I couldn’t put it down – it drew me into the world of hacking (NOT cracking – there’s apparently a difference!), espionage, and the occasional high school drama. Add it to your list for 2018!

There are TWO giveaways for this book! First, you can snag an ebook and a magnet HERE! To get a paperback copy of White Knights and a magnet, go to this giveaway! You can enter both giveaways, but do it soon – they end at midnight on January 8!

If you don’t win a copy of the book, you can pick up a copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and your local bookstore.

About the Author:

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Julie Moffett is a bestselling author and writes in the genres of mystery, historical romance and paranormal romance. She has won numerous awards, including the 2014 Mystery & Mayhem Award for Best YA/New Adult Mystery, the prestigious 2014 HOLT Award for Best Novel with Romantic Elements, a HOLT Merit Award for Best Novel by a Virginia Author (twice!), the 2016 Award of Excellence, a PRISM Award for Best Romantic Time-Travel AND Best of the Best Paranormal Books of 2002, and the 2011 EPIC Award for Best Action/Adventure Novel. She has also garnered additional nominations for the Bookseller’s Best Award, Daphne du Maurier Award and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Julie is a military brat (Air Force) and has traveled extensively. Her more exciting exploits include attending high school in Okinawa, Japan; backpacking around Europe and Scandinavia for several months; a year-long college graduate study in Warsaw, Poland; and a wonderful trip to Scotland and Ireland where she fell in love with castles, kilts and brogues. Julie has a B.A. in Political Science and Russian Language from Colorado College, a M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and an M.Ed from Liberty University. She has worked as a proposal writer, journalist, teacher, librarian and researcher. Julie speaks Russian and Polish and has two sons. She greatly enjoys interacting with readers at her website: You can also follow her by clicking on the following social media sites: FacebookTwitterInstagram.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaways – click HERE and HERE!

Have you read any great books lately?

Where I Found You – plus GIVEAWAY!!!


Let’s travel to the other side of the world for a little YA romance this week…

The images from the tsunami that devastated multiple countries off the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day 2004 are pictures that few can forget. For the people of Indonesia, however, the tsunami was more than mere photographs and videos. It completely swept away entire villages, destroyed homes and businesses, and killed an estimated 220,000 people. Although many of the casualties were children, the tsunami also left many children orphaned.

About now, you’re probably asking what happened to the YA romance I promised. I’m getting there…

Our protagonist, Sienna, is afraid of flying and the ocean, and has no desire to jump on a plane and fly for many hours over the Pacific Ocean to stay at an orphanage (technically, a pesantren, or school) in Indonesia. But her dad really wants to help kids who are suffering from the emotional trauma of the tsunami, so Sienna agrees to swallow her fears (with the help of a sleeping pill) and go along.

What Sienna doesn’t count on (yep, the romance part!) is meeting Deni while she’s at the orphanage. Deni is one of 200 orphans at the pesantren who came from the refugee camps in Aceh province. He’s striking, confident, a leader of the kids. He cares about the other children and stands up when he believes they are not being treated properly, even though he knows it makes the pesantren’s owner dislike him. Sienna is drawn to Deni immediately, and each time she sees him, her attraction grows.

This is a fascinating read. Aside from the adorable and steamy romance, there are a lot of other great aspects to this book. Many YA readers will be too young to remember the tsunami images the way adults do, so this may be their introduction to this devastating moment in history. Ms. Kling has sprinkled just enough detail about what happened, what a tsunami is, and how it impacted Indonesia to educate readers without them feeling that they are being “taught.”

Also, because the book is mainly set in Indonesia, Ms. Kling shares many details about daily life in that country, from wearing hijabs to only using the RIGHT hand for things to different religious and cultural beliefs. Again, Ms. Kling masterfully does this all without the feeling that we’ve moved out of the YA romance genre and into a non-fiction tome.

In case I missed anything really important, here’s the publisher’s synopsis of the book:

After her mother’s plane went missing over the Indian Ocean, seventeen-year-old Sienna Jones gave up everything she loved about living in California. No more surfing. No more swimming. No more ocean, period. Playing it safe, hiding from the world, is the best call.

Until her dad throws down the challenge of a lifetime: spend the summer with his humanitarian team in Indonesia, working with orphans who lost everything in a massive tsunami.

The day they arrive, Sienna meets a mysterious boy named Deni, whose dark, intense eyes make her heart race. Their stolen nights force her to open up and live in a way she thought she couldn’t anymore. When she’s with Deni, she remembers the girl she used to be…and starts to feel like the woman he sees in her.

A woman he wants for his own.


But when Deni’s past comes looking for him, Sienna’s faced with losing another person she loves. She can’t do it. Not again.

Fortunately, this time, she has a plan.

Ms. Kling explains in the Forward to her book that her husband is a cross-cultural psychiatrist who traveled to Indonesia after the 2004 tsunami and met orphans like those at Sienna’s pesantren. Deni was inspired by a boy Ms. Kling’s husband met, named Usul, who outran the tsunami on his moped. Ms. Kling’s website is

You can win a copy of Where I Found You by entering this GIVEAWAY. If you are too excited to wait until the giveaway ends, the book is also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and directly from the publisher, Entangled Publishing.

Have you read any great books lately?


An Unstill Life

It’s time for something completely different—a YA novel exploring sexuality and new romance (plus a little mortality thrown into the mix!). I’m participating in the YA Reads Blog Tour of An Unstill Life, which was released on July 12, 2017.


To start, here’s the publisher’s synopsis of the book:

When your whole world is falling apart, what are the chances you’ll find love in the most unexpected of places?

Livvie feels like she’s losing everything: her two best friends have abandoned her for their boyfriends, her mother continues to ignore her, while her sister, Jules, is sick again and getting worse by the day. Add in the request Jules has made of her and Livvie feels like she’s losing her mind, too.

Her only escape is in the art room, where she discovers not only a refuge from her life, but also a kindred soul in Bianca, the school “freak”. Livvie’s always felt invisible, at school and at home, but with Bianca, she finally feels like someone sees the real Livvie. As the relationship deepens and it comes time to take the romance public, will Livvie be able to take that step?

Livvie’s about to find out if she has what it takes to make the tough decisions and stand up for herself—for the first time in her life.

The Livvie and Bianca characters in this book are wonderful. Their relationship seems to grow naturally as they get closer to each other through their art. Livvie is a character you want to protect and guide, and I was happy when Bianca came in to fill that role.

Livvie also grows a lot throughout the book. She is challenged in many ways—in deciding whether to move forward with a relationship with Bianca, then in making that relationship public and dealing with the reactions of her friends and others, and also in her life at home. Her sister is sick and needs Livvie’s support, and Livvie’s mother doesn’t seem to notice Livvie exists.

In addition to dealing with a sick sister and questioning her sexual identity, Livvie also has synesthesia. Thanks to David Baldacci (Amos Decker books), I knew that this was the condition where a person sees or hears color in everything. But I found this aspect of the book to be really distracting. Perhaps this is natural—I assume seeing or hearing color in everything WOULD be really distracting to a person who has synesthesia. I just think I would have enjoyed the book just as much without the synesthesia aspect.


A little about author Kate Larkindale:

Having spent a lifetime travelling the globe, Kate Larkindale is currently residing in Wellington, New Zealand. A marketing executive, film reviewer and mother, she’s surprised she finds any time to write, but doesn’t sleep much. As a result, she can usually be found hanging out near the espresso machine.

Her short stories have appeared in Halfway Down The Stairs, A Fly in Amber, Daily Flash Anthology, The Barrier Islands Review, Everyday Fiction, Death Rattle, Drastic Measures, Cutlass & Musket and Residential Aliens, among others.

She has written fourteen contemporary YA novels, a few of which other people are allowed to see. She has also written one very bad historical romance. She is currently working on a new YA novel and ghostwriting an autobiography.

Have you read any great books lately?


Enshrine blog tour banner

It’s time to move to a time when life was simpler. When people traveled on horseback and celebrated the survival of winter with festivals full of music and dancing. A time of arranged marriages and strict class structures.

This is the world where we meet Sage Wolfe, in the village of Community in the empire of Rosementh. Sage would have been very happy in her simple life in Community, but during the Spring Equinox festival, the feared tyrant-king, Dayton, rides into town.

Dayton maintains control over his people by looting, terrorizing, and destroying villages, and slaughtering his own subjects. His reputation is well-known throughout Rosementh, and the Elders of Community quickly give Dayton everything he demands—including Sage.

Here is the publisher’s description of the plot of Enshrine:

When Sage Wolfe is accidentally mistaken for a peace offering, her world turns upside down. Dayton, the young, handsome, and insane King of Rosementh whisks her away to his castle to be his bride with the promise that he can give her the world and anything she desires. These offers become tainted as Dayton’s true colors show themselves; he is cruel and violent and Sage vows to run away or die trying.

Just when Sage thinks she is hitting rock bottom, a hooded stranger named Jonathan Kreider comes to the castle. He doesn’t say much but his actions speak for themselves. Not only can he wield a sword or shoot an arrow better than most of Dayton’s men, but he always seems to be a step behind Sage, and though it should terrify her, for the first time Sage finds herself filling with hope.

Sage is faced with a choice. Should she run away from the wicked king who took her away from her family? Or should she stay to learn more about the man who lurks in the shadows, the man that makes her heart race and almost makes suffering Dayton’s wrath worthwhile? Sage is about to discover that nothing is as it seems and everyone has secrets; Dayton, the man that calls himself Jonathan Kreider, and even herself.

The love triangle storyline always brings tension and drama to a novel. Throw in an evil king who does not hesitate to kill people—even when he has no reason to believe they betrayed him—and the excitement mounts! Jonathan Kreider is a kind but mysterious stranger, who leaves Sage—and the reader—wanting to know all of his secrets.

Enshrine book cover

Intrigued yet? You can pick up a copy of Enshrine on or Barnes & Noble.


Author Kay Bennson is from Northwestern Connecticut where she lives with her husband. She doesn’t remember a time where she wasn’t writing stories (in fact, some of her best ideas were forged in high school classes and at part time jobs). When she isn’t writing, she is a competitive Irish Dancer. Enshrine is her first novel.

There are many ways to find Ms. Bennson online: check out her website; find her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter; or look her up on Goodreads.

Ms. Bennson has another book in the works already, so I think we’ll see much more from this impressive author!

Have you read any great books lately?

Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief & GIVEAWAY!


Most teenagers wish their lives were more exciting, more thrilling, anything but dull and normal. Then, there’s Maribel.

Maribel is a “Teenage Jewel Thief.” We meet her scaling the wall of a museum in the middle of a heist. The job is interrupted by the arrival of goons sent by Petrov Rosinsky, the leader of a crime syndicate. Petrov killed Mari’s father nine years ago, and he seems determined to wipe out the rest of the family.

Mari and her mother flee to New York, where they attempt to live a “regular life.” Mari begins high school as just a typical teenage girl—a life she has been pining for as she moonlighted as a professional thief.

On her first day of school, Mari meets Will Campbell. She instantly falls for his good looks and charm, but tries to distance herself from him in case Petrov finds her.

When Mari starts seeing suspicious people that appear to be following her, she becomes convinced that Petrov has found her. Is her imagination threatening to destroy her new love and regular life, or has her past caught up with her again?

Mari frequently takes a break from the high school drama to write in her diary. We learn about her fears for herself and her mother, her growing attraction toward Will, and her attempts to fit in at school.

The action in Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief is addicting—by the end of Chapter 1, I couldn’t put the book down. Mari battles typical teenage problems and doubts, while also struggling with her fears from her past. Mari is charming and vulnerable, and I was cheering for her throughout the book as she looked for to ways fit in and make friends.


The publisher of Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief has provided this synopsis:

Most sixteen-year-olds shouldn’t know where museums keep their rarest jewels (the basement) and they really shouldn’t know that vans make the worst getaway cars. But for Marisol Flores, a life of jewel thievery is a birthright handed down from generation to generation, even if she didn’t ask for it. So when a rival thief targets Mari and her mother, Mari’s more than happy to flee to the anonymity of bustling New York City.

Blending in is a dream come true for Mari, but keeping her former thieving ways a secret gets way more complicated when handsome Will Campbell sets his sights on her. She can’t help but like his terrible puns and charming grin…but when her past catches up with her, it’s not only her life—and her anonymity—that’s at stake.

Will could be the next target.

This is a great book to pick up if you want a fun, exciting, compelling read, with a little love thrown in. You can find Diary of a Teenage Jewel Thief at and other book retailers. Click here to enter a GIVEAWAY for a $20 Amazon gift card.

About the Author:

Rosie Somers is a beach-going book addict who’s been crafting stories since before she learned her ABCs. When she’s not busy trying to bring the characters in her head to life on paper, she can be found volunteering with local animal rescues, crocheting funky hats for her friends, or eating herself into the poorhouse at Chipotle. Her fondest dream is to one day own a goat.

You can follow Ms. Somers on her blog (, on Facebook ( or on Twitter (@prosyrosie).


Have you read any great books lately?

The Librarian Giveaway


It’s time for another giveaway! The Librarian, by Christy Sloat, was published on June 17, 2017, and it sounds amazing! the librarianHere’s the description of the story:

He’s from 1892 England, she’s in a small library in 2017. And that’s just the start of their troubles.

Emme never meant to stay in Maine. She’d come only to find a librarian for her Gram’s library, a custodian for the collection of mysterious books she’d promised to protect. On a dark, wintery night, alone in the library, she takes her first glance into one of the antique novels and finds herself transported to 1892 England staring into the eyes of handsome and dashing hero Jack Ridgewell. As each chapter passes she learns you can truly fall in love with a character in a book, that book boyfriends are real and Emme must choose between the real world, and his.

When the last page is read he’s gone and Emme feels the cold loneliness of lost love. Will she find Jack again, or will their love be forever lost? The answer lies within the pages…

About the Author

Christy-Sloat-201x300Christy Sloat is a SoCal born girl who resides in New Jersey currently with her husband, two daughters and Sophie her Chihuahua. Christy has embraced the love of reading and writing since her youth and was inspired by her grandmother’s loving support. Christy passes that love of reading, writing, and creativity to her daughters, family, and friends. When you do not find Christy within the pages of a book you can find her being mommy, wife, crafter, and dear friend. She loves adventurous journeys with her friends and can be known to get lost inside a bookstore. Be sure to venture into her Past Lives Series, The Visitor’s Series, and watch for many more exciting things to come.

Check out her blog or find her on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

I spent the rest of the day filing paperwork for the funding process and preparing to open the library doors on Monday morning. I told Rose and Becca to spread the word. Tarryn had decided to move her smaller items in already, and she was asleep by nine the same night. It didn’t seem strange to me that I had a roommate; instead it made me feel comfortable. I never lived alone before, and I would feel lonely otherwise. Tarryn was quiet, but I knew in time she’d get used to me and I’d get used to her. We just needed to get to know each other first.

Once I was done with the paperwork, I filed the books that were left on the shelf from when Gram was still here. As I placed the classic books on the correct shelves, I felt a longing to finish reading my mysterious book in my nook.

So, instead of going to bed at a decent hour, I climbed into my cozy space and picked the book back up. I didn’t open it right away. Instead I inspected the outside for any sort of title. I found nothing of the sort. I flipped to the title page once more, trying to find my place, and that’s when I saw the word on the page. It was just a simple “The” typed out on the once blank title page. I ran my finger across it and realized it was printed in ink as if the press had done it. I was sure the night before it was blank, but then again, I was sure my dream about being with a man was real. So I wasn’t really a reliable source at the moment.

I found the spot where I ended with a dog-eared page. I absolutely hated doing this to the book and didn’t remember it at all. I usually had a nice bookmark, but this seemed to be the only thing to mark the page before I had fallen asleep. Running my fingers across the crease at the corner of the page, I settled back and started reading.


I woke up once again face down, this time I was in grass. I blinked my eyes and felt the blades of grass tickling my nose and lips. I pulled myself up and took a deep breath. I looked around and saw the fields upon which I had dreamt of the night before. I was back in England. I was dreaming the same dream. How odd.

There were times when I had thought I had the same dream over and over again, to only find out that it was my mind playing tricks on me. This was no mistake. I was, once again, in the same place.

“Emmeline, are you all right?” I looked up and blocked the sun from my eyes. The man from before was standing in front of me. “You … you disappeared. It happened so fast that I fear I cannot explain to you how it happened. Now you’re here once again.” He sounded really confused and, to put it lightly, so was I.

This dream felt way too real. It was exactly like before. So real and tangible that I couldn’t explain it even if I tried.

“I … I don’t know how I’m here again,” I mumbled.

He reached out to steady me as I swayed to the side. “You’ve been gone for days. I worried I was going mad, that your presence was one of my imaginings. I dared not to speak a word to anyone about it. I have to admit, Emmeline, I’ve been going slightly crazed since I saw you last.”

His hair was disheveled and he had grown a slight beard that only enhanced the sexiness of his strong jawline. His deep set blue-green eyes looked weary, and for that I felt awful.

My sudden disappearance had made him fall apart, that was apparent.

“I’ll tell you, I feel like I’m going crazy too. Trust me,” I admitted. “Can we sit somewhere? Out of the sun?”

“Of course.”

He held my arm and led me to a tree in the center of the field. Once underneath the large tree, I felt instantly better. I looked down at my clothes and saw that I was, once again, in my own clothes. This time a little better than before. I was wearing yoga pants and an old T-shirt.

“I can’t explain how or why I’m here. Hell, I don’t even know your name, but I’m here again and I’m beginning to think that this isn’t a dream. That I’m really here, with you,” I said as I touched his arm. “I’m not from … here.”

I didn’t know how to explain it to him, but I did the best any girl who was somehow traveling through time could. I didn’t have answers or explanations, but I had a gut feeling.

“I’m from a different time as you. As you can tell by my lovely clothing, I’m not from 1893.”

He placed his fingers on my lips, stopping me, while shaking his head.

“This isn’t right, Emmeline. Trickery at a time like this isn’t fair,” he said as he stood up fast. “I am leaving soon. I shall not have you doing this to me.”

My mouth fell open in shock and I stood. “Do something to you? Listen here, buddy, I didn’t ask for this. I sat down to read a book and then boom, I’m stuck in England with a stranger.”

I pointed at myself. “Look at me. Do I really look like I belong here?”

He looked at my clothing and up to my hair, and I could see his cheeks redden.

“You are dressed very indecent, I suppose. No woman I’ve ever met wears trousers. Nor do they wear clothing that fitting.”

I laughed. He thought this was indecent, he should see some of the dresses I had worn to parties. They were nothing like the dresses he was used to seeing on a woman. We absolutely didn’t dress ladylike anymore. My sexy little black dress that currently hung in my closet would definitely shock some of the people of this era for sure.

“I don’t know why I’m here. I’m absolutely not trying to, I don’t know, hurt you or anything. I don’t know how to go home.” I slumped back against the tree. “I wish that I could prove to you that I’m not lying to you, but I cannot. You’ll have to just believe me, I guess.” It was as simple as that. He could either believe this bat-shit crazy explanation or not. One way or another, I didn’t care. I just wanted to go home.

“I don’t know why, Emmeline, but I feel as if I should say that I do believe you.” He ran a hand through his thick hair, mussing it up. “I just don’t know how else to explain your abrupt presence. One minute you are here and the next you’re disappearing into thin air. I read many books on fiction, so I suppose it could be true.”

“Well, I may know someone who knows something. She works for the lucky bastard that owns that house,” I told him pointing to the house where Nancy was the last time I saw her. She was probably cooking something again for her master.

He smiled. “That house?”

“Yes. Her name is Nancy.”

“Ah. Nancy. And who is this Nancy woman you speak of?” He continued to smile as if this was a joke, but I ignored it.

“She’s a cook. I met her on my last visit here,” I explained. “She’s not the nicest person I’ve ever met, but I think she has some answers.”


“I must argue that Miss Nancy is more than a cook. She’s also the lady upon with which I trust my household while I’m gone. She’s more of an aunt than a housekeeper,” he said as he took my hand in his. “It’s very nice to finally introduce myself to you, Emmeline Bailey. I’m Jack Ridgewell or you may just call me the lucky bastard.”

Intrigued yet? You can get your own copy of The Librarian ebook by entering the giveaway here.

The Librarian is also available at and Barnes & Noble.

Have you read any great books lately?


fairytale (1)

We’re venturing into a different world with Fairytale, a YA novel by Hope Pennington (only one of us read this one—it’s a little too old for my sous-chef!). I read this book as part of the #FairytaleTheNovel blog tour hosted by Writerly Yours.


Sean is just your everyday teenager—he likes to play video games and antagonize his younger sister. On a day that is starting out like any other, his life changes dramatically when he is pulled through a portal to another world.

Sean finds himself in Glensdore, a world that looks like it is from an old fairytale or video game. There are rustic wooden huts with hay for roofs, and a castle that reminds Sean of the sand castles he used to build at the beach.

Sean is surrounded by burly men carrying swords and axes, engaged in hand-to hand combat. A creature named Monaciello, less than three feet tall with four hands for feet and a round head half as big as its body, becomes his sidekick.

He isn’t sure why, but people keep calling Sean the “Treasure Seeker” or the “Chosen One.” He discovers that the princess of Glensdore is missing and must be rescued to return power to the hands of goodness before darkness falls.

Sean joins in the rescue of the princess. He pairs up with a newly-knighted knight named Hansak, and they set off on an adventure that leads them to elves, mermaids, and other mystic creatures.

The official description of the book is:

A teenage boy’s happy-go-lazy world is turned on it’s head when he’s yanked into an epic fairytale and shocked to discover that his ability to predict the cliche storyline is the only thing that can save their world from destruction!

But it’s more than that. Sean grows and learns about himself as he fights to save Glensdore. And as readers, we cheer and celebrate as he figures out that life is more than the “happy-go-lazy” one he has been living.

To pick up a copy of Fairytale, go to or Barnes and Noble. And be prepared to be swept away to a world of chivalry, magic, and adventure!


Hope Pennington is a homeschooled graduate living in Kerrville Texas, author of the young adult novel Fairytale and creator of The Epic Place YouTube channel where she encourages geeks, nerds and fan girls to always remember that #WeAreEpicHeroes every single day of our lives. Coffee is her spirit animal and if she had it her way she’d be living on the TARDIS from Doctor Who going on endless time travel adventures.
Twitter // Instagram // Tumblr  // YouTube // Blog // Wattpad


I reached out to Hope a few days ago to see if she would agree to an interview for my blog, and she said yes! I *hope* you enjoy getting to know her just a little more…
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi!  I’m Hope!  I was homeschooled for my whole life and pretty much since a toddler I’ve been in love with books!  As soon as I could get my schoolwork done each day I’d rush up to the attic to grab a book to delve into.  Fantasy was always my favorite and my older sister Grace was writing from an early age so at about age eight I had decided I wanted to be an author and started writing mystery novels.  By age nine I was writing scifi.  In my teen years I was introduced to OYAN (an epic homeschooled writing curriculum) and my writing got 99% better!  The days after that were full of fantasy noveling including the first draft of Fairytale. ^_^
Where did the idea for Fairytale come from? What inspired you to write it?
It’s a funny story actually!  Being an avid reader I was getting really annoyed at the lack of good fantasy novels and somewhere around the hundredth boring fantasy novel I tried to read my sister and I started making jokes about what if a modern teen boy got yanked into one of these cliché fairytales and could predict the whole thing…and the rest is history!
Are you working on any projects right now?
Right now I’m working on publishing a children’s book series called “Brad the Puppy” that I wrote with my Grandpa and a Middle Grade novel called “There’s A Werewolf at My School” that I wrote with my younger brother Adam!  The Werewolf one is definitely exciting because it’s my second mix of modern and myth now with a whole new cast of characters to explore it with!  I won’t say too much but it includes a teenage werewolf, elf, dwarf, mermaid, troll, goblin and more all in modern day middle school.
Will we see Sean in any future books?
Yes!  I’m working on Fairytale 2 now!  It’s called “Fairytale 2: Sean’s Squire” aaannndddd it involves a girl…from his school who goes in with him.  Their banter is way too fun to write!  I can’t wait to write all the fun parts I have planned!
What is the hardest part about being an author?
Probably promotion actually.  Being an author these days you have to be good and writing AND marketing cause most authors don’t have the money to pay someone to promote for them.  Thankfully social media leaves a nice space for authors to grow a following and maybe generate interest in their book, which has actually been super fun but I’m not that good at it just yet. 😛
What is the best piece of advice you have been given about writing?
I must’ve heard this from a hundred different people but it’s honestly “Just Write”  Everyone’s path to writing, everyone’s method and everyone’s style is so different you can really only discover your way by doing it.  The other awesome piece of advice is write for you.  If you don’t enjoy it no one will.  So entertain yourself, captivate and mystify yourself with your writing and someone is liable to feel the same way.
Which authors inspire you?
Dickens for SURE!  He’s my writing hero.  He wasn’t afraid to write real, raw, authentic darkness mixed with humor…uggg I can’t get enough of his work but in the scifi/fantasy realm my writing heroes are definitely C.S. Lewis, E. Nesbit, J.R.R. Tolkien and Joss Wheaten.  They all wrote their way, and they wrote magical and mystical lands full of fun and heart and courage and enthusiasm and freedom.  They never cease to inspire me
What are your three favorite books?
A Tale of Two Cities
The Hobbit
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Thanks for joining us, Hope!
Have you read any great books lately?

The Castaways (it’s giveaway time again!)

the castaways jessika fleck

Okay, I guess I can’t just say “you had me at Olive McGaggy.” I need to give you a little more about The Castaways…  But man, I wish I had thought to write a book with Olive McGaggy as the name of my main character before Jessika Fleck did it!TheCastaways1600

Sixteen year-old Olive Gagmuehler has been tormented by her name for years – a smelly food plus the word “gag” was an easy source of jokes. And kids came up with Olive McGaggy as a cruel nickname.

For six years, Olive has been bullied by three girls she calls the “Trio.” The Trio has moved from merely teasing to physical harm as well.

One weekend, the Castaway Carnival comes to town. It’s a pirate-themed carnival with a corn maze. Unfortunately, there have been two incidents – two teenagers in the sixties, and a nine year-old last year – where kids have not come out of the maze. The kids simply vanished.

Olive bumps into the Trio at the Carnival. They attack her, but she manages to get free and runs into the corn maze to escape. One of the Trio members, Lesley, chases her, and Olive crawls into a tunnel made of cornstalks.

When she emerges from tunnel on the other side, she is in a forest. There is no more cornfield, and no more carnival. Even the moon is different.

Olive discovers she is on an island. There are twelve other kids on the island, living in two separate groups. The groups are at war, and Olive is dragged into the war before she even has a chance to pick sides.

Now Olive must fight to stay alive in the war and learn to live on a deserted island, while also trying to find a way home.

I had a lot of trouble putting The Castaways down. I was very quickly drawn into Olive’s life (maybe I have a little Olive McGaggy in me?), and cheered for her when she fought back against the Trio, even when she knew it meant Lesley was going to find worse ways to hurt her.

Once Olive was on the island, it was all over for me. I needed to know what would happen next. This is one of those books where you can’t wait to get to the end even though you know you’ll be sad that it’s finished.

In case you need a little more persuading (as if my review were not enough!), here’s the publisher’s teaser:

The Castaway Carnival: fun, mysterious, dangerous. Renowned for its infamous corn maze…and the kids who go missing in it.

When Olive runs into the maze, she wakes up on an isolated and undetectable island where a decades-long war between two factions of rival teens is in full swing. Trapped, Olive must slowly attempt to win each of her new comrades’ hearts as Will—their mysterious, stoically quiet, and handsome leader—steals hers.

Olive is only sure about one thing: her troop consists of the good guys, and she’ll do whatever it takes to help them win the war and get back home. But victory may require more betrayal, sacrifice, and heartbreak than she’s ready for.

As part of this Blog Tour, Ms. Fleck is giving away a Prize Pack, including a copy of The Castaways plus swag! (International winner will receive an Amazon gift card in place of the Prize Pack.) Enter here.

If you don’t win the Prize Pack, you can pick up your copy of The Castaways at Barnes &,, or directly from the publisher, Entangled Publishing.

Have you read any great books today?