Search Results for: my butterfly

YA Review- My Butterfly by Laura Miller

25 Jun, 2013 by in My Butterfly, Romance, YA contemporary Leave a comment

My Butterfly 
by Laura Miller
Paperback 355 pages
Published June 11, 2013
by Createspace 
ISBN 1481089854
Series: Butterfly Weends #2
Genre: YA
Contemporary, Romance
Book Source: author
4.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads: From the national bestselling novel Butterfly Weeds comes the other side of the story…
About the man behind the song.

Will Stephens doesn’t chase dreams outside of his small, Missouri town. He’s perfectly happy with his high school sweetheart in his arms, his guitar and his quiet, summer nights. But life for Will is about to change. He’s about to find out what it’s like to chase a dream—one he has loved since he first laid eyes on her.

A firefighter by day and a musician by night, Will balances his dangerous career with his weekend gigs, but his mind is never far from Julia Lang. They said their goodbyes years ago, but Will now hopes a song from their past will help Julia stop and remember a life they once shared together. His only fear is that he’s waited too long to get his song to her ears.

Review: Every once in a while a good old fashioned small town romance comes along and reminds you of the slow burning love of country life. Having not read book one in this series, Butterfly Weeds, I wasn’t sure of the other side of this story but I loved and understood every bit of book two.  Julia ad Will are childhood friends, playing in front of the local store and trying to steal rides on a tractor, but they lose track of each other until she waltzes back in to his High School and takes his heart back by storm. She’s the daughter of money, a track star and a future law student who wants to fulfill her career aspirations. Will on the other hand, is a small town boy with his roots deep in the Missouri soil. He’s not in a hurry to leave or to change his career choice as a fireman just because Julia thinks it’s too dangerous. He has the voice of an angel and a persistence that finally catches his butterfly. But she has a mind of her own and wings to fly away. Will’s life is now haunted by her face, her tough and so many memories they’ve wound together. Can Julia ever find her way back home, back to him?

My Butterfly tugged at my heart and made me long for a simpler time and place. It is a sweet, down to earth tale of love lost and the efforts to rekindle it. I enjoyed the slow, steady pace and the home spun characters that could very well be someone you know. I am definitely going to check out book one now that I’ve had a feel for Laura Miller’s writing. You’ll want to keep some tissues close at hand for the epilogue!

Content: Clean, no sex or violence, a few minor swear words.

Marc-Mayes Photography

About the author: Laura Miller was born in the Missouri River Bottoms in Berger, Mo., but grew up in New Haven, Mo., and attended the University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou). While in college, Laura was a 400-meter and 600-yard runner on the University’s track and field team. She later graduated from Mizzou with a degree in newsprint journalism and spent years as a newspaper reporter, covering government and business news, before starting to write fiction.

Laura spent some time in San Diego, Calif., and Charleston, S.C., before moving back to the Midwest in 2011. She now lives in Columbia, Mo., with her husband, a TV meteorologist and former Mizzou 800-meter runner.
Laura’s debut novel, Butterfly Weeds, hit the Amazon Best-Seller’s List in October 2012, while her latest novel, My Butterfly released in June 2013. When she’s not working on her next book, Laura can be found chasing after her latest obsession, her one-year-old nephew, or lost in a good book.

Learn more on the website/ facebook/ twitter/ goodreads/ YouTube


Nocturne Blog Tour and Giveaway

05 Jun, 2020 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the NOCTURNE by Cheryl Mahoney Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About The Book:
Title: NOCTURNE (The Guardian of the Opera #1)
Author: Cheryl Mahoney
Pub. Date: June 5, 2020
Publisher: Stonehenge Circle Press
Pages: 300
Formats:  Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon

Set against the backdrop of 1880s Paris and the stunning Opera Garnier, The Guardian of the Opera: Nocturne brings you the familiar tale from a different direction. Meg Giry met the Phantom once when she was twelve years old, a new ballet dancer lost in the Opera’s maze. Years later, when an Angel of Music offers singing lessons to her best friend Christine Daaé, Meg is sure she knows what’s actually happening. But as strange events unfold and the pieces stop adding up, Meg has to wonder if she truly understands the Phantom—or Christine.

Erik is a man of many talents and many masks, and the one covering his face may be the least concealing. The opera house is his kingdom and his refuge, where he stalks through the shadows as the Phantom of the Opera, watching over all that occurs. He never intended to fall in love; when he does, it launches him into a new symphony he’s certain can only end in heartbreak.

About Cheryl:

Cheryl Mahoney lives in California and dreams of other worlds. She is the author of the Beyond the Tales quartet, retelling familiar fairy tales, but subverting expectations with different points of view and new twists to the tales. She is also a co-author of The Servants and the Beast, and its companion piece, After the Sparkles Settled. Cheryl loves exploring new worlds in the past, the future or fairyland, and builds her stories around characters finding their way through those worlds–especially characters overlooked or underestimated by the people around them.

She has been blogging since 2010 at Tales of the Marvelous ( Her weekly Writing Wednesday posts provide updates about her current writing, including excerpts. She also posts regularly with book and movie reviews, and reflections on reading. She has been a member of Stonehenge Writers since 2012, and has completed NaNoWriMo seven times.

Cheryl has looked for faeries in Kensington Gardens in London and for the Phantom at the Opera Garnier in Paris. She considers Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet to be life-changing and Terry Pratchett books to be the best cure for gloomy days.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of NOCTURNE, US Only.

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
Guest Post
Guest Post
Guest Post
Guest Post
Instagram Post

Week Two:
History from a Woman’s Perspective
Lifestyle of Me
Locks, Hooks and Books
She Just Loves Books
Jaime’s World
Reese’s Reviews
The Phantom Paragrapher
A Dream Within A Dream
Guest Post
Popthebutterfly Reads
A Gingerly Review


Sometimes I believe the course of my life was set because I got lost one day when I was twelve years old. I got lost often that year, but only once that mattered.
I had first come to the Opera Garnier only three days before, and I defy anyone to learn that labyrinth of rooms and passages so quickly. It didn’t help being a girl from a small village, come to Paris with my mother just a week earlier. The city was bewildering, unimaginably bigger than my little village of Leclair. And the Opera was the heart and center of Paris, stranger and wilder and even more confusing.
I was supposed to be on my way to ballet practice. I was a petit rat, the lowest tier of society among the Opera’s performers. Madame Thibault the ballet mistress presided over us, and she did not tolerate tardiness. I didn’t want to be late. I desperately wanted to be at ballet practice—but I was lost.
Some wrong turn mixed me up somewhere, and from there I could only fly through the maze like a small ghost, unable to find the way back to my intended path. The Opera held too many similar corridors, with their polished marble floors, gilt paneled walls, and long arrays of mirrors. No space in the Opera was plain or generic, until the dizzying amount of detail, the carvings and the gold designs and the patterned grates overwhelmed me, so that I couldn’t pick out one familiar note in the crashing, thundering symphony of it all.
It felt equally impossible to ask for directions from anyone I passed, the looming scenechangers with gap-toothed grins or the elegant sopranos with their noses in the air. By the time I might have built up enough reckless courage to speak to someone, no one was left. I had got below ground level, probably not very far, but low enough for the halls to be deserted, low enough for it to feel cool despite the summer warmth above. I’d left behind the human smells of the upper corridors, the grease paint, perfume and cigar smoke. Down here the air smelled damp, reminding me of the fabled lake said to be even farther down. In stark and jarring contrast, these walls were plain, white-washed stone, unevenly lit by flickering gas lamps.
When I came to a bleak and empty dead-end, I gave up. I slid down to sit against the cold stone wall, one arm around my ankles and forehead against my knees. With my other hand I held tightly onto my small gold necklace, the barest of comforts in the desolation. My hair fell forward like a golden curtain around my face, blocking out the dismal, silent, baffling corridor. I half-believed that I would never get out, that I would die lost in the depths of the Opera.
Part of me found that the preferable option. To stumble in late to ballet practice would mean facing the ballet mistress’ mocking disapproval. She would hate me, the other girls would laugh at me, and my entire life, not to mention dancing career, would be over forever. I’d never earn any money to help Mother afford to stay in Paris, and we’d have to go back to Leclair where nothing would ever happen to me ever again.
So I sat in that dead-end corridor and cried.
“It can’t be as bad as all that.”
The voice that broke the silence was the most beautiful I had ever heard. Perhaps that was a strange adjective for a male voice, but it was a true one. It was a melodic voice, every syllable flowing smoothly into the next while the pronunciation stayed crisply clear. And it was a kind voice as well, sympathetic with a bracing amount of levity. It was a voice I would have had the courage to ask directions from, just a little earlier.
By now, the situation felt too far gone to be salvaged. Ballet practice would start within minutes; I couldn’t imagine getting there in time now even if I knew the way. So I just sobbed out, “I can’t find my way to practice and the ballet mistress is going to kill me.”
Only then did I lift my head to push my hair back, wipe my eyes and look at the man who had spoken. And then—sob catching in my suddenly tightening throat—then I got scared.
The other ballet girls had already taken great delight in telling me about Le Fantôme, the Phantom of the Opera, the specter who stalked the corridors, harbinger of death and disaster. I froze, staring at this strange figure so tall above me.
He was wearing the formal, all-black evening clothes the stories had promised. The legend also mentioned hands covered in blood, which his weren’t. His eyes weren’t the glowing yellow of the tales, but he did wear a molded white mask over the right side of his face in a more mysterious touch, while a broad-brimmed hat cast another layer of shadow.
A mask and evening clothes in the morning were unusual, but we were in an opera house. My instinct that he was the Phantom came from clues harder to define than a mask: a shroud of mystery surrounded him, from the swirling black cloak to the inexplicable way he seemed as much shadow as man, indistinct in the dim light, as though he was so used to blending in that he forgot to stop.
Somehow I thought of the Phantom at once, before he even had time to say, “In that case, I understand why you’re upset. There are many people I would rather cross than the ballet mistress.”
It was a sympathetic remark, made in that perfect voice, with a faint smile as well. However, my mother had warned me often enough not to trust strange men just because they smiled, and this one was stranger than most. “Who are you?” I gasped out, though I felt horribly sure that I already knew.
He fingered the brim of his hat, and I read thoughtfulness in his stance. “I am a sort of…guardian of the Opera,” he said at last, which only confirmed my worst fears. “You seem unfamiliar. Are you new?”
I could think of no answer that felt safe, so I chose the truth and said, “Yes.” In a way, everyone was new. The Opera Garnier had opened in January, and this was only June; I couldn’t imagine learning every face in six years, let alone a mere six months.
“I see. Old hands have no business getting lost, but when new it is difficult to avoid. I will help you.” And he extended one black-gloved hand.
My heart pounded in my chest so loudly he must have heard it, and my fingers tightened, wrapped around my legs. I stared at his hand, unmoving, for so long that he took it back again and said, “Not too new, I see, to have heard of the Phantom.”
So it was true, and only more terrifying that he admitted it. I looked up at his green eyes, at that mask, and squeaked, “Are you going to kill me?”
He crouched down, bringing his face nearly to my level, black cloak pooling around him. Closer now, I could see his eyes through the shadows, greener than anyone’s I had ever seen. “I will tell you a secret, but you mustn’t tell anyone else because it would ruin my reputation. I do not eat girls’ hearts. I have never drenched any walls in blood, at least not in this country. I cannot read minds or send nightmares, and—brace yourself, this one will be shocking—I am not actually a skeleton with glowing yellow eyes.”
He said it with such perfect solemnity that a giggle escaped me in spite of myself. It may have been slightly hysterical.
He nodded once. “I swear on Mozart, Beethoven, and Stradivari that if you come with me, you will reach ballet practice unharmed.”
When he extended his hand again, I took it. Even though I knew it was probably just a trick of voice, I was obscurely reassured by the vow—and I was also acutely conscious that he could kill me whether I went voluntarily or not.
His fingers closed around mine and he rose to his feet, drawing me up. For a supposed ghost, he had a warm and solid hand.
“One story that is true—I walk through walls.” He reached out to the wall behind me, and I turned my head in time to see a panel pivot out, revealing a dark space behind it. How many doors like that existed in the Opera, if one had happened to be right next to me all along?
He waved his hand through the air, a candle appearing between his thumb and forefinger. He lifted the candle and blew lightly over it. I was still noticing that he was a ghost who could breathe when the candle crackled to life with flame.
“How did you do that?” I asked, eyes widening.
His half-smile broadened. “Magic.” He stepped through the opening, candle illuminating a narrow tunnel of bare stones and wooden cross beams, more a space between walls than a proper passage.
Following him was either the bravest or most foolish thing I had ever done.
The Phantom guided me through endless turns and up a multitude of tight curved steps, the candle seeming to cast as much shadow as light. At first I walked stiffly, spine tingling with terrors, but slowly my breathing began to steady and my heartbeat to settle down, as we kept walking and he kept up a pleasant, if mostly one-sided, conversation.
He told me that the ballet mistress, though fearsome, had never actually murdered anyone. He advised me to stay away from the cellars, and if I got lost in the future I should keep going upstairs, never down. Some time when I wasn’t lost, I should go up to the roof to see the excellent view. He also told me I was not to worry if the ballet girls weren’t friendly at first, and I was never to feel that their opinion defined who I was, a statement that at the time seemed absurd and yet became remarkably comforting in later days.
I peeked at him when I dared, though with the shadows around us, the shadows cast by his hat, it was hard to see even his unmasked features. I thought he maintained a friendly expression throughout, rarely looking at me, focusing instead on the path ahead. I couldn’t hazard much of a guess at his age. No gray hair or stooped shoulders, definitely not an old man—but also definitely belonging to the foreign realm of mature adults that any people at least ten years older than me seemed to inhabit.
I had little time to contemplate. That dark walk didn’t last more than five minutes, though I would spend far more time remembering it. That day, he was soon reaching out to another wall. A movement of his fingers and a panel slid to the left. Beyond it, I could see a brightly-lit hallway, empty of people, full of the Opera’s characteristic decorations.
“Turn left, go right at the first intersection, and you should be just in time for ballet practice,” he said, handing me over the threshold.
I stepped out into the light, flexing my newly-released fingers. For feeling so reluctant to follow, I now felt strangely adrift to be sent back on my own. I hesitated, looked back at him in the shadows. “Thank you.” It felt inadequate.
He touched the brim of his hat in acknowledgement, stepped back a pace and vanished into the darkness. The wall slid shut, looking no different from every other panel in the corridor, as if it had never existed. As if he had never existed.
I tentatively reached out and touched the wall, patterned in pale blue with generous gold molding. Nothing moved, and I couldn’t even see a seam amidst the intricate design. I drew my hand back and shook my head, fuzzy, as though I’d just woken out of a remarkably vivid and extraordinary dream.
Here in the waking world, I still had to get to ballet practice, with no minutes to spare. At that thought I dashed off down the hall, spun right at the intersection, and arrived breathless at the mirrored practice room just ahead of my time.
The ballet mistress looked down her narrow nose at me as I came in the door. “Do save some breath for dancing, Mademoiselle Giry.”
But that was nothing; that was harmless. I was on time to take my position at the barre and she wasn’t angry with me, and besides—I had met the Phantom of the Opera and lived to tell the tale. In the afterglow of that, even Madame Thibault didn’t seem so terrifying.

He waited until the rapid beat of her footsteps faded around the corner, then turned to make his way through the narrow passage towards the nearest descending staircase.
He didn’t often intervene so directly. It wasn’t safe. But he found it hard to consider a crying little girl dangerous. She was small and alone. Before she lifted her head, he had thought she was even younger than she was. Helping her had seemed harmless enough—even amusing, to show off that candle trick. Mere sleight-of-hand, but enough to impress a Persian Sultana, and certainly good enough for a little ballet girl.
Nothing was ever unmixed though, and for all he had found the encounter pleasant, it hadn’t been without a pang. He hadn’t liked hearing the fear in her voice. Surprising, when it was exactly what he wanted, what he had spent these past months carefully composing.
He needed the fear. He needed the Opera Company to think that he was the dangerous one, so it wouldn’t occur to them that they, with their numbers and their confidence and their ability to cooperate, were the true dangers, the ones capable of hounding and harrying and hunting down the outcast in their midst.
He ran his fingertips along the rough wall of the passage, mere inches from the busy life on the other side.
Any attack would be more complicated than a raging mob with pikes; France was a civilized country, outside of her sporadic revolutions. But the result would be the same. The guillotine, or even worse—a cage. He was guilty of the crime of being different, the world had convicted him at birth, and he had ample precedent to suggest how they would sentence him.
But not while he possessed the Opera Garnier. Not while he was the Phantom of the Opera, stalking as ruler through its hidden passages, shadowed vaults and lofty catwalks. They would never catch him. They would never cage him.
Not again.
He would do whatever was necessary to ensure that. For all their melodramatic complaints, the Opera Company was happy enough to be occupying a haunted theatre—a high-quality ghost lent a certain prestige—and if Monsieur Poligny the manager was not so happy about paying a salary to a ghost, well…the man should have chosen more wisely than to marry a woman with his wife’s background. The Opera Ghost had recently obtained some very interesting information, and a little judicious blackmail should resolve any further issues with the management.
As for the little blonde girl, likely it would turn out for the best with her in the end. The ballet dancers and chorus girls loved telling tales about the Ghost, and they much preferred blood-curdling horror stories to ones about a helpful specter. She would be absorbed back into the anonymous crowd of little dancers, all much alike. It had been merely an educated guess that she was new—he didn’t really know every face, at least not yet. By the time she was telling the adventure to a dozen giggling friends, it would be about how the terrifying Phantom had nearly abducted her and she’d barely escaped with her life. He wouldn’t waste his time watching that conversation. He knew that was how it would go.
And it was better that way.

Scheme Blog Tour and Giveaway

23 Apr, 2020 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the SCHEME by Jennifer Sommersby Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About The Book:
Title: SCHEME (AVRA-K #2)
Author: Jennifer Sommersby
Pub. Date: April 21, 2020
Publisher: Sky Pony Press 
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 456

The key to good is found in truth.

Genevieve may have left the circus behind in Oregon, but there is plenty of show still to come.

When she and Henry land in France, they are whisked away to Croix-Mare, the home of Henry’s grandfather, Nutesh, where they will prepare for a journey they never could’ve imagined. Now that they have all three AVRAKEDAVRA texts—Life, Death, and Memory—the books must be destroyed in the Undoing.

However, it’s not as simple as taking the books to their birthplace in Babylon and setting them alight. Genevieve and Henry must rely on unexpected allies as they embark on a harrowing global search to acquire pieces necessary to complete the Undoing. They’re offered cover and protection by La Vérité, the secret network of followers devoted to the message of the AVRAKEDAVRA, who, not surprisingly, are found under the big top—because no one does underground quite like the circus.

But loyalties among the magical community are fragile. Genevieve, still grieving the loss of her mother, now struggles to control the new AVRAKEDAVRA-bestowed gifts, and with mounting threats to her psyche and body, she clings mightily to the promise of a brighter future once this is over—if they can survive it. And Henry, broken by his father’s treachery but entranced by the heartwarming connection his family’s text has granted him, grapples with the fact that once they succeed in destroying the books, he’ll lose the only family he has left.

Together, our two young heirs will learn that when hope has abandoned us, the overwhelming love of friendship and family is all the magic we need.

About Book 1:
Title: SLEIGHT (AVRA-K #1)
Author: Jennifer Sommersby
Pub. Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony Press 
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 424

Delia smiles at the shadow only she sees—

Something slams into her. The lyra whirls like a half-dollar spinning on its edge.

My mother is thrown backward.

And she falls.

Growing up in the Cinzio Traveling Players Company, Genevieve Flannery is accustomed to a life most teenagers could never imagine: daily workouts of extravagant acrobatics; an extended family of clowns; wild animals for pets; and her mother, Delia, whose mind has always been tortured by visions—but whose love Geni never questions. In a world of performers who astonish and amaze on a daily basis, Delia’s ghostly hallucinations never seemed all that strange . . . until the evening Geni and her mother are performing an aerial routine they’ve done hundreds of times, and Delia falls to her death.

That night, a dark curtain in Geni’s life opens. Everything has changed.

Still reeling from the tragedy, the Cinzio Traveling Players are also adjusting to the circus’s new owner: a generous, mysterious man whose connection to the circus—Geni suspects—has a dark and dangerous history. And suddenly Geni is stumbling into a new reality of her own, her life interrupted daily by the terrors only Delia used to be able to see.

As the visions around her grow stronger, Geni isn’t sure who she can trust. Even worse, she’s starting to question whether she can trust her own mind.

Praise for Sleight

“Jennifer Sommersby’s Sleight makes magic from an enthralling premise, wonderfully-drawn characters, and beautiful words. It’s hard to avoid descriptors like entrancing, spell-binding and mystical.” —Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series

“Fantasy readers will fall in love with Sleight. Like a circus, it’s an intoxicating mix of beauty, humor, magic, and danger that means the reader can’t bear to look away until the final page.” —Eileen Cook, author of With Malice

“Startlingly imaginative and vividly realized.” —Ira Bloom, author of Hearts & Other Body Parts

Review: With a cast of interesting chracters, colorful backstory and action packed plot, I enjoyed Scheme. The relationship between Geni and Henry is solid. They compliment one another. It was refreshing to see positive adult models and mentors in their lives to guide their journey. Magic, circus elements, and fantasy make a menagerie of an adventure. A unique and spellbinding read. Content: moderate violence, swearing.

About Jennifer:

Really, though, who am I? How about a list? We Virgos tend to like lists:
  • Writer, copy/line editor (
  • I reside in the Great White North, though the webbed feet prove that I originate from Portland, Oregon. Last U.S. address was Los Angeles. No, I do not miss the traffic. (Although Vancouver is #2 in North America for Worst Traffic Ever.) I do miss California’s awesome beaches.
  • I write under the pen name Eliza Gordon for non-YA titles — romantic comedies and Happily Ever Afters. (These books are NOT for kids. Mature themes, adult language, super-inappropriate jokes that will make you giggle. Well, I hope.)
  • Member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators)
  • Member of the eight-person fiction cohort of the 2007 Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University
  • Studied copy and substantive editing (2005-06) at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. As a writer, I have worked with and studied the practices of some of the best editors in the publishing industry. #luckyJenn 
  • Studied English, political science, and criminology via Washington State University
  •  I’m called Mom by three brilliant babies.
  • I will never join the PTA or PAC, so please, don’t ask. I also don’t do candle, jewelry, or clothing parties. Thanks, though. I’m sure the finger sandwiches are delicious.
  • I used to do all of my first-draft writing in the car, at night, in the parking lot of my favorite coffee shop. These days I write where it’s quietest — home, or my local coffee shop.
  • I buy a lot of books. A LOT. No, seriously. I have a problem.
  • I am a soundtrack/movie score JUNKIE. Hans Zimmer and Alexandre Desplat and Sonya Belousova and the Greyson-William brothers and Ramin Djawadi … and HARRY ESCOTT. *swoon* He followed me back on Twitter and I almost died. Almost. If you ever need movie score recommendations, I AM YOUR PERSON.
  • I am obsessed with elephants and otters. I’d like to smooch one of each someday. 
  • Cat person. The household is ruled by an overweight tuxedo cat named Nuit and her very energetic little sister, Rosie Cotton (named after Samwise Gamgee’s wife from Lord of the Rings). 
  • I love coffee, Shakespeare (!!!), Joan of Arc, most things pastry, MOVIES (oh man I love movies so much), the Golden Rule, and bloody good writing. 
  • I am Team Superman all the way. I wear the same outfit every day: a Superman T-shirt and jeans, and I have a very cool Superman tattoo inspired by the artwork of comic book artist Jim Lee.
  • I adore Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit — and I ship Kili + Tauriel forever, and I don’t care if Tauriel wasn’t in original Hobbit story. <3 horin="" ili="" o:p="" ragon="">

  • I now have five tattoos, including the Dwarvish script from Kili’s rune stone (from Desolation of Smaug). I waited until my 30s to get my first tattoo, just to be sure I wouldn’t regret it.
  • Muses help me write — I have many. I love movie stars!
  • I hate thunderstorms, paperwork, people lacking humility, lazy writers with a sense of entitlement, and going to the dentist. Oh, and bad drivers. THE BAD DRIVERS TURN ME INTO A RAGE STORM OF CALAMITOUS DOOM.

  • Giveaway Details: International
    1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon GC, International.

    Tour Schedule:
    Week One:

    Week Two:


    Woven in Moonlight Blog Tour and Giveaway

    15 Jan, 2020 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

    I am thrilled to be hosting a stop on the WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT by Isabel Ibañez Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours! Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

    About The Book:
    Author: Isabel Ibañez
    Pub. Date: January 7, 2020
    Publisher: Page Street Kids
    Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
    Pages: 384

    A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

    Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

    When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

    She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

    “Isabel Ibanez brings a modern story to an ancient world in her debut novel, WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT. With immersive prose, original magic, and characters as rich as the Bolivian culture that constructs the story, Ibanez delivers a wholly unique book for the YA shelf.”
    — Adrienne Young, NYT Bestselling author of Sky in the Deep and The Girl the Sea Gave Back

    “WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT captured me on the first page. Ximena is a fierce and brave heroine—one I have deeply come to love—and the world of Inkasisa is so beautifully rendered I never wanted to leave it. Plot twists abound, the magic is uniquely drawn, and intrigue illuminates the pages. Isabel Ibanez weaves together a spellbinding, vivid debut.”
    — Rebecca Ross, author of The Queen’s Rising and The Queen’s Resistance

    “A story that glitters as bright as Ximena’s moondust, set in a wholly immersive world that’s both whimsical and deadly. With its slow burn romance and simmering intrigue, Woven In Moonlight kept me reading long into the night. Isabel Ibañez writes pure magic.”
    — Shelby Mahurin, NYT Bestselling author of Serpent & Dove

    “Woven in Starlight is a lush, vibrant feast of a book, set in a world as colorful and inventive as the fierce heroine’s magical tapestries. I could have remained lost in its pages forever.”
    — Margaret Rogerson, NYT Bestselling author of An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns

    “A page-turning tale of revolution and love, helmed by a brave heroine with a big heart and set against a vibrant tapestry of Bolivian culture. Isabel Ibañez weaves magic in her debut novel.”
    — Amélie Wen Zhao, author of Blood Heir

    Book Trailer:

    About Isabel:

    Isabel Ibañez was born in Boca Raton, Florida, and is the proud daughter of two Bolivian
    immigrants. A true word nerd, she received her degree in creative writing and has been a
    Pitch Wars mentor for three years. Isabel is an avid movie goer and loves hosting family and
    friends around the dinner table. She currently lives in Winter Park, Florida, with her
    husband, their adorable dog, and a serious collection of books. Say hi on social media at

    Giveaway Details:
    3 winners will win a finished copy of WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT, US Only.

    Tour Schedule:
    Week One:

    Week Two:


    Glow Girl Blog Tour and Giveaway

    21 Nov, 2019 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

    Title: GLOW GIRL

    Author: M. Weidenbenner

    Pub. Date: October 31, 2019

    Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Amara)

    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    Pages: 266

    Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&NiBooksKobo

    Multi-Award-Winning and Best-Selling Author, Speaker and Writing Coach.

    Willow is just your average sixteen-year-old girl. Okay, maybe not so average. She can heal animals. For her own safety, her veterinarian parents have made her promise not to use her powers. But sometimes her compassion just takes over, and she can’t help … well … helping.

    Willow is a Droit, but hides her Droitism because people like her are feared and hated by those without special abilities. Two of Willow’s schoolmates, rumored to be Droits, have simultaneously disappeared.

    When Willow’s non-Droit friend, Rain, is targeted, Willow wonders whether she should get involved–even if that means putting herself in the line of fire.

    A mysterious new friend, Trae, just might be the key to unlock her courage.

    In the end, she has a choice: she can deny who she is or declare her ability to heal, but either way, her life will never be the same again.


    Glow Girl has a bright and simple cover which immediately drew our interest. The premise of healers or Droits is interesting, especially considering Willow’s parents are veterinarians. It was good to see the main protagonist use her abilities for good and overcome her fears. Thanks Rockstar Blog Tours for the stop!

    Content: there are several scenes with bullying and some violence

    About M.:


    GOLD Medal WINNER in the 2014 READERS’ FAVORITE International Awards.

    Bronze Medal Winner in Dan Poytner’s Global eBook Awards. Winner of the Kindle Book Promotion Awards. SPIRIT and INSPIRATION MEDALS in the NEW APPLE LITERARY AWARDS.

    AWARD-WINNING SPEAKER. John Maxwell Team Leader.

    To obtain a free copy of one of Michelle’s children’s books, and receive her newsletters, go to www/

    Michelle is an author, speaker, trainer and coach dedicated to leaving a legacy of leaders who care about bringing value to others and equipping the future generation. She’s also known as the UNCOVER AGENT who helps people uncover their messages so they can UNLEASH them into the universe.

    She grew up in the burbs of Detroit with five brothers. No sisters. Each time her mom brought the boy bundle home from the hospital Michelle cried, certain her mom liked boys better than girls. But when her brothers pitched in with the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting–without drama, Michelle discovered having brothers wasn’t so bad. They even taught her how to take direct criticism without flinching, which comes in handy with book reviews.

    CACHE a PREDATOR and ECLAIR GOES GEOCACHING are currently hidden in geocaching sites throughout the US. If you’d like to see where they might be in your area, please log in to and search for trackables at IN SCRIBE–that’s Michelle.

    Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

    Tour Schedule:

    Week One:

    10/28/2019 BookHounds YA Excerpt
    10/29/2019 Lifestyle Of Me Review
    10/30/2019 BookishRealmReviews Review
    10/31/2019 Yna the Mood Reader Review
    11/1/2019 Cuz I’m a Nerd Review

    Week Two:

    11/4/2019 Southern Girl Bookaholic Review
    11/5/2019 PopTheButterfly Reads Review
    11/6/2019 Tawney Bland Review
    11/7/2019 lori’s little house of reviews Review
    11/8/2019 Shelf-Rated Review

    Week Three:

    11/11/19 A Dream Within A Dream Excerpt
    11/12/19 The Pages In-Between Review
    11/13/19 A Gingerly Review Review
    11/14/19 Turning the Pages Review
    11/15/19 Adventures and Reading Review

    Week Four:

    11/18/2019 Jena Brown Writes Review
    11/19/2019 Review
    11/20/2019 Two Dogs and a Book Review
    11/21/2019 Fire and Ice Review
    11/22/2019 two points of interest Review

    Giveaway Details:

    50 winners will receive an ebook of GLOW GIRL, International via Goodreads

    Goodreads Book Giveaway

    Glow Girl by M. Weidenbenner

    Glow Girl

    by M. Weidenbenner

    Giveaway ends November 28, 2019.


    10 Blind Dates Blog Tour and Giveaway

    24 Oct, 2019 by in Uncategorized 1 comment

    Title: 10 BLIND DATES

    Author: Ashley Elston

    Pub. Date: October 1, 2019

    Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

    Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

    Pages: 336

    Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, AudibleB&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

    Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.

    Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

    When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

    This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever . . . or is it?

    “This piece-by-piece romance doesn’t need its Christmas theme to sell, but it makes it glitter all the more.”—Booklist

    “In a funny holiday romance that has Sophie dog-sitting in a hockey rink, watching porn at a drive-in theater, and playing the Virgin Mary in a middle school Nativity, Elston cleverly reflects the family members’ personalities through their choices of dates for Sophie.”—Publishers Weekly


    The cover is perfect. Festive, beautiful photography and design. I enjoyed 10 Blind Dates because of the bond Sophie has with her family. They are a large Italian bunch jammed into one home for Christmas, and taking bets on Sophie’s dating life. There were so many healthy dynamics illustrated, including post partum recovery, cousin love and close bonds with parents, grandparents and extended relatives.

    Her neighbor Wes is kind, considerate, and takes good care of the main character as she braves a break up as well as a few sketchy blind date situations. A well rounded plot and endearing characters make this a heart warming, light read. I didn’t enjoy her evil cousins or their date activity. I wish the love interest hadn’t been all but settled until a little further into the book, to build suspense. My only two small complaints. Overall, a fun read!

    Parental content: underage drinking, mention of pornography and nudity.

    I received a copy from the publisher free as part of a blog tour.

    About Ashley:

    Ashley Elston is the author of several novels, including THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Awards) and THIS IS OUR STORY. She graduated with a Liberal Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Ashley worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Louisiana with her husband and three sons.

    Ashley is represented by Sarah Davies at The Greenhouse Literary Agency.

    Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

    Giveaway Details:

    3 winners will receive a finished copy of 10 BLIND DATES, US Only.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Tour Schedule:

    Week One:

    10/1/2019- BookHounds YAExcerpt

    10/2/2019- Odd and BookishReview

    10/3/2019- FictitiouswonderlandReview

    10/4/2019- Here’s to Happy EndingsReview

    Week Two:

    10/7/2019- PopTheButterfly ReadsExcerpt

    10/8/2019- Read. Eat. Love.Review

    10/9/2019- Paper ReaderReview

    10/10/2019- A Bookish DreamReview

    10/11/2019- Savings in SecondsReview

    Week Three:

    10/14/2019- book briefsReview

    10/15/2019- Shelf-RatedReview

    10/16/2019- Smada’s Book SmackReview

    10/17/2019- Do You Dog-ear?Review

    10/18/2019- Wishful EndingsReview

    Week Four:

    10/21/2019- Southern Girl BookaholicReview

    10/22/2019- Eli to the nthReview

    10/23/2019-– Review

    10/24/2019-  Fire and IceReview

    10/25/2019- Two points of interestReview

    Week Five:

    10/28/2019- Riddle’s ReviewsReview

    10/29/2019- Jena Brown WritesReview

    10/30/2019- Moonlight RendezvousReview

    10/31/2019- Novel NoviceReview

    The Bloodforged by Erin Lindsey-Blog Tour Excerpt

    07 Oct, 2015 by in ace mass market, bloodforged, erin lindsey Leave a comment

    bloodforged-635x1024Book Summary

    As war between Alden and Oridia intensifies, King Erik must defend his kingdom from treachery and enemies on all sides—but the greatest danger lurks closer to home…

    When the war began, Lady Alix Black played a minor role, scouting at the edge of the king’s retinue in relative anonymity. Though she’s once again facing an attacking Oridian force determined to destroy all she holds dear, she is now bodyguard to the king and wife to the prince.

    Still, she is unprepared for what the revival of the war will mean. Erik is willing to take drastic measures to defend his domain, even if it means sending Prince Liam into a deadly web of intrigue and traveling into the perilous wild lands of Harram himself.

    Only the biggest threat to the kingdom might be one that neither Alix nor Erik could have imagined, or prepared for…

    Praise for the Book

    “Lindsey’s fabulous, descriptive storytelling, coupled with high-stakes conflict and distinctive characters, is guaranteed to draw readers in from the first page…A stellar fantasy!”—RT Book Reviews (top pick)


    “Action and intrigue and flawed but likeable characters who, in complex political/personal situations, make hard decisions and stand by them.”—Tanya Huff, national bestselling author of The Future Falls

    “Sturdy characterizations and intriguing magic anchor this solid series launch…Lindsey’s…balanced mix of romance and heroic fantasy will [capture] readers’ hearts.”—Publishers Weekly

    “Lindsey does a fine job of building tension…I genuinely liked the characters and want to read more about them.”—SFFWorld


    “All right, let’s get this over with.”
    The first speaker’s residence wasn’t far. Everyone who was anyone in Onnan City, it seemed, lived in the Ambassador District. The carriage juddered along the cobbled streets for less than a quarter of an hour before coming to a halt, the thick velvet curtains drawn aside to reveal a handsome gravel drive edged with cedars. A gloved hand reached inside; Liam watched in amusement as Rona took it, lifting the hem of her dress and letting herself be led gingerly from the carriage as if she were some fragile debutante. It would have been hard to reconcile this version of Rona with the knight he’d seen slashing her way through enemy ranks if he hadn’t seen his wife undergo a similar transformation on more than one occasion.
    They were ushered into an elegant courtyard of arched alcoves and carved wood doors, a theme that was echoed on the second and third levels by ribbed butterfly windows that gave onto vine-draped terraces. Roses climbed the pillars, and a trio of pear trees thrust up between the flagstones, white petals shivering in the breeze. In the centre of it all, moonlight sparkled off the watery plumes of a fountain in the shape of a leaping fish. People were scattered about the courtyard in close-knit clusters, laughing softly and sipping at something that glittered like the fountain. Thus far, no one had noticed the newcomers.
    “Beautiful,” Rona murmured. When Liam didn’t reply, she glanced over. “Commander? Something wrong?”
    “What? Oh, no thanks, I’m fine. It’s just that this reminds me a little of a dream I had recently.” More than a little, actually, but he had no desire to recount his nightmares to Rona Brown. “So”—he glanced around—“what do we do now?”
    “We mingle.” Rona paused, gazing up at him expectantly.
    “Oh, right.” Liam offered an arm. “Sorry. A bit flustered, is all.”
    “Don’t be. Or at least, don’t look it.”
    “Right,” Liam said again, feeling foolish. He took a deep breath and escorted Rona into the courtyard.
    Heads started turning straightaway. This, too, was like the dream, and Liam couldn’t help squirming a little. You’re being stupid, he told himself. For one thing, this wasn’t Erik’s court. Nobody here cared that he was a bastard; if anything, it was a point in his favour, at least according to Alix. On top of which, the looks he was getting weren’t hostile. On the contrary, the beautiful people in the courtyard were smiling at him diffidently, as though hoping he might bestow a little attention on them.

    About the Authorunnamed

    Erin Lindsey is on a quest to write the perfect summer vacation novel, with just the right blend of action, heartbreak, and triumph. The Bloodbound series is her first effort. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband a pair of half-domesticated cats.



    Cinder and Ella by Kelly Oram~ Blog Tour & Author Guest Post

    06 Oct, 2014 by in blog tour, cinder and ella, kelly oram Leave a comment



    Cinder & Ella
    by Kelly Oram
    Published October 1, 2014
    Goodreads * Amazon

    It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.

    Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

    Author Interview

    Tell us a little about yourself.

    I read a lot and talk way too much. My imagination never stops, I’m easy going, I’m sarcastic, and I’m left-handed. I’m a big sports nut. (Watching not playing because I am SO not athletic.) I love to sing, play golf, and spend time outdoors. I’m a beach bum. (Or I was when I used to live by the beach.) And I am a wife of thirteen years, mother to four crazy kids, and owner of one very cool cat named Mr. Darcy.

    Have you always wanted to be a writer?

    I’ve always been a writer. I’ve written stories since I was a little kid and completed my first novel at 15. But I didn’t actually have any idea that’s what I wanted to be until I was a married stay-home-mom. It had always been just a hobby that I never considered could be a real profession until so many people told me I should do it.

    Was there any music that inspired Cinder & Ella or helped you in the writing process?

    I can’t write with music on. It’s too distracting for me. But I usually have some sort of playlist for each book I write. It’s just a list of songs that remind me of the book or certain characters. I have quite a long playlist for Cinder & Ella. I won’t list all the songs here, but I’ll tell you the one song that I’ve adopted as Brian & Ella’s song. It’s Parachute by Train. If you get a chance, listen to it. Both the lyrics and the tone of the song sort of sum up Brian and Ella’s relationship for me.

    What are your favorite books/sagas/trilogies? And your favorite authors?

    Oh, the list could go on forever… I’ll try to keep it reasonable… Graceling by Kristen Cashore, Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles, The Uglies by Scott Westerfield, The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima, The Mediator & 1-800-Where-R-You seres by Meg Cabot, anything at all by Meg, actually, and anything by John Green or Sarah Dessen. Edenbrook by Julianne Donaldson, The Host by Stephenie Meyer, The Broken Aro series by Jen Wylie, The Beka Cooper series by Tamora Pierce, The Mortal Instrauments series by Cassandra Claire, The Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo, Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent, the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, and all Jennifer L. Armentrout’s YA stuff. Again, this list could go on, but I’ll spare you.

    Why the adaptation of Cinderella fairy tale? Do you like adaptations of classic fairy tales? What is your the most favorite adaptation and of which tale? Why Cinderella?

    Because it’s my favorite fairy tale. I’ve loved it since I was a kid and I’m a junkie when it comes to watching/reading different adaptations. If I see one, I buy it. Even if I’ve never heard of the author. I can’t help it. My favorite movie adaptation is the Hillary Duff movie called A Cinderella Story. My favorite book adaptation is Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer. Both are very cute, fun versions of the tale. I’m really excited to see the new Disney movie that’s coming out next year!

    What advice would you give to young writers?

    Two things: Read and write! Read as much as you can. Everything and anything you can get your hands on. You’d be surprised how much you will learn and absorb simply by reading other people’s work. And then, write, write, and write some more. Like any hobby, talent, or skill, practice makes perfect. Talent, though extremely helpful, is not everything. Writing is a craft that you can learn and get better at with hard work. The more you do it, the more you’ll get better at it.

    About the Authorblog-tour-cinder-by-kelly-oram-interview-L-Co7wU_

    Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen—a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat named Mr. Darcy.

    Author Links: Facebook * Goodreads *Twitter * My Website

    The Giveaway



    The Tour

    10 – 1 – Facebook party

    10 – 2 – The Chiq Blog – Excerpt

                  Not so public library – anuthor interview

    10 – 3 – Book Passion For Life – Cinder’s Original letter to Ella

                  My Book World – author interview

    10 – 4 – A Life Bound By Books – Brian & Ella stop by to chat about their new release

                  Cada libro un mundo – author interview

    10 – 5 – Confessions of An Unsuspected Bookworm — review

                  Loco Mundo Literario – author interview

    10 – 6 – Fire & Ice – Author Interview

                  Fierush – author interview

    10 – 7 – I Am A Reader – Brian Oliver vs Kyle Hamilton –a character comparison

                  Choque deLetras – review

    10 – 8 – Epic Narrative Book Reviews – review

                  FluffyReads – Why I love Brian Oliver so much

    10 – 9 – Read For Your Future – My struggles with reading/love for it

                  The CozyReading Corner – teaser excerpt

    10 – 10  Books Are Love — review

      Turning Pages of Fiction – review

    10 – 11  Reading Teen – Mydream cast for Cinder & Ella

                  Vendea’s Worldof Books — Review

    10 – 12  Istyria – review

                  Bookworm Lisa – Vivian, Juliette, and Rob stop by for a chat

    10 – 13  SMW Blog – review

                  BurningImpossibly Bright – Ella and Brian stop by to say hello!

    10 – 14  Coffee, Book, and myKindle – review

                  My Book A Day – Review

    10 – 15  Books over Boys – My top ten princes in YA fiction

                  This Blonde Reads—Why I chose to write a Cinderella Story

    10 – 16  Bonjoyr Y’all – character interview with Brian and Ella

                  Words Feather – Brian & Ella stop by for an interview

                  Coffee Books and MyKindle – Ella stops by for a chat

    10 – 17  Book Babe’s Reads – review

                  Book Butterfly inDreamland – review

    10 – 18  Teen Reader’s Diary – excerpt/teaser

                  Crawling Over thePages – review

    10 – 19  Author2Author – author interview

                  Clever Girls Read – review

    10 – 20  Getting Your Read On – Review

    10 – 21  Egykönyvfüggő vallomásai – author interview

    10 – 22  Bitter Sweet Book Love – review

    10 – 23  Fastidious Reader – Kelly’s thoughts on online relationships

    10 – 24  My Guilty Obsession – review

    10 – 25  Views N Reviews – Kelly’s top 10 Cinderella Adaptations

    10 – 26  El Extraño Gato del Cuento – review

    10 – 27  Bows & Bullets – interview

    10 – 28  Closet Geeks and SlowMo – Cinder & Ella playlist

                  Storybook Reviews – review

    10 – 29  Random Things In Action – review

    10 – 30  The Rest Is StillUnwritten — teaser excerpt

    10 – 31 Paper Cuts – Brian and Ella stop by to chat (argue) Halloween


    Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare~ Excerpt and Giveaway

    28 Jan, 2014 by in avon, excerpt, giftcard, giveaway, Romance, tessa dare 2 comments

    Fire and Ice is happy to highlight

    Romancing the Duke
    Castles Ever After #1
    by Tessa Dare
    Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
    Expected publication: January 28th 2014
    by Avon
    ISBN 0062240196

    “A sweet, fun nod to literary fandom, and two main characters who are perfect for each other yet never would have met if they weren’t each at a nadir in life’s journey.”
    —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    “Dare’s first Castles Ever After historical provides a unique twist to a fairy tale, complete with an ancient castle, a damsel in distress, and a wounded hero […].”
    —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    “[A] wickedly funny and soul-satisfyingly romantic novel, the perfect launch to Dare’s new Castles Ever After series.”
    –Booklist (starred review)

    In the first in Tessa Dare’s captivating Castles Ever After series, a mysterious fortress is the setting for an unlikely love . . .

    As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.

    And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.
    Ugly duckling turned swan?
    Abducted by handsome highwayman?
    Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?
    No, no, and… Heh.

    Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?

    This one.

    A sneak peek of ROMANCING THE DUKE

    The driver pocketed her offering and touched his cap. “What was yer name again, miss?”
    “Goodnight. Miss Izzy Goodnight.”
    She waited to see if he would recognize it. Most of the literate people in England would, and a great many of their domestic servants, besides.
    The driver only grunted. “Jes’ wanted to know it, in case someone comes around asking. If you’re never heard from again.”
    Izzy laughed. She waited for him to laugh, too.
    He didn’t.
    Soon driver, team, and carriage were nothing more than the fading crunch of wheels on the road.
    Izzy picked up her valise and walked through the barbican. A stone bridge carried her over what once had been a moat but now was only a slimy green trickle.
    She’d done a bit of research in advance of her journey. There wasn’t much to read. Only that Gostley Castle had once been the seat of the Rothbury dukedom, in Norman times.
    It didn’t look inhabited now. There was no glass in many of the windows. No lights in them, either. There should have been a portcullis that dropped to bar the entrance—but there was nothing there. No door, no gate.
    She walked through the archway and into the central, open courtyard.
    “Lord Archer?” Her voice died in the air. She tried again. “Lord Archer, are you here?” This time, her call got a respectable echo off the flagstones. But no answer.
    She was alone.
    Dizzied from her strange surroundings and weak with hunger, Izzy closed her eyes. She coerced air into her lungs.
    You cannot faint. Only ninnies and consumptive ladies swoon, and you are neither.
    It started to rain. Fat, heavy drops of summer rain—the kind that always struck her as vaguely lewd and debauched. Little potbellied drunkards, those summer raindrops, chortling on their way to earth and crashing open with glee.
    She was getting wet, but the alternative—seeking shelter inside one of the darkened arches—was less appealing by far.
    A rustling sound made her jump and wheel. Just a raven taking wing. She watched it fly over the castle wall and away.
    She laughed a little. Really. It was too much. A vast, uninhabited castle, rain, and now ravens, too? Someone was playing her a cruel trick.
    Then she glimpsed a man across the courtyard, standing in a darkened archway.
    And if he was a trick, he wasn’t a cruel one.
    There were things in nature that took their beauty from delicate structure and intricate symmetry. Flowers. Seashells. Butterfly wings. And then there were things that were beautiful for their wild power and their refusal to be tamed. Snowcapped mountains. Churning thunderclouds. Shaggy, sharp-toothed lions.
    This man silhouetted before her? He belonged, quite solidly, in the latter category.
    So did the wolf sitting at his heel.
    It couldn’t be a wolf, she told herself. It had to be some sort of dog. Wolves had long been hunted to extinction. The last one in England died ages ago.
    But then . . . she would have thought they’d stopped making men like this, too.
    He shifted his weight, and a slant of weak light revealed the bottom half of his face. She glimpsed a wide, sensual slash of a mouth. A squared jaw, dark with whiskers. Overlong hair brushed his collar. Or it would have, if he had a collar. He wore only an open-necked linen shirt beneath his coat. Buckskin breeches hugged him from slim hips to muscled thighs . . . and from there, his legs disappeared into a pair of weathered, dusty Hessians.
    Oh, dear. She did have such a weakness for a pair of well-traveled boots. They made her desperate to know everywhere they’d been.
    Her heart beat faster. This didn’t help with her lightheadedness problem.
    “Are you Lord Archer?” she asked.
    “No.” The word was low, unforgiving.
    The beast at his heel growled.
    “Oh. I-is Lord Archer here?”
    “Are you the caretaker?” she asked. “Are you expecting him soon?”
    “No. And no.”
    Was that amusement in his voice?
    She swallowed hard. “I received a letter. From Lord Archer. He asked me to meet him here on this date regarding some business with the late Earl of Lynforth’s estate. Apparently he left me some sort of bequest.” She extended the letter with a shaking hand. “Here. Would you care to read it for yourself?”
    That wide mouth quirked at one corner. “No.”
    Izzy retracted the letter as calmly as she could manage and replaced it in her pocket.
    He leaned one shoulder against the archway. “Aren’t we going to continue?”
    “Continue what?”
    “This game.” His voice was so low it seemed to crawl to her over the flagstones, then shiver up through the soles of her feet. “Am I a Russian prince? No. Is my favorite color yellow? No. Would I object if you were to come inside and remove every stitch of your damp clothing?” His voice did the impossible. It sank lower. “No.”
    He was just making sport of her now.
    Izzy clutched her valise to her chest. She didn’t want Snowdrop getting wet. “Do you treat all your visitors this way?”
    Idiot. She cursed herself and braced for another low, mocking “no.”
    He said, “Only the pretty ones.”
    Oh, Lord. She ought to have guessed it earlier. The fatigue and hunger had done something to her brain. She could almost believe the castle, the ravens, the sudden appearance of a tall, dark, handsome man. But now he was flirting with her?
    She had to be hallucinating.
    The rain beat down, impatient to get from the clouds to the earth. Izzy watched drops pinging off the flagstones. Each one seemed to chisel a bit more strength from her knees.
    The castle walls began to spin. Her vision went dark at the edges.
    “I . . . Forgive me, I . . .”
    Her valise dropped to the ground.
    The beast snarled at it.
    The man moved out from the shadows.
    And Izzy fainted dead away.

    The Giveaway

    Could your “castle” use a pick-me-up? Enter to win a $50.00 BED BATH & BEYOND gift card below for a home improvement happy-ever-after of your own!
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    The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile Blog Tour

    02 Dec, 2013 by in bianca turetsky, blog tour, poppy, time traveling fashionista Leave a comment

    I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile Blog Tour

    The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile

    by Bianca Turetsky
    Series: The Time-Traveling Fashionista #3
    Published by Poppy on December 3, 2013
    Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Time Travel
    Pages: 256
    Format: eARC
    Source: Netgalley
    Buy the BookGoodreads

    Walk, talk, and dress like an Egyptian.
    When Louise Lambert tries on a lavender Grecian gown during a visit to the mysterious Traveling Fashionista Vintage Sale, she feels a familiar tug and falls back in time, arriving at the dusty base of an enormous pyramid. She has landed in ancient Egypt...or has she?
    It turns out that Louise is on the legendary Old Hollywood film set ofCleopatra, but her time there is short-lived. Rummaging through the wardrobe tent, Louise gets her hands on a pearl necklace that dates back to 51 BC, and she suddenly finds herself whisked away once more, this time to the ancient city of Alexandria, Egypt. Gold and jewels shimmer in the Egyptian sunlight, but poisonous snakes and dangerous enemies also roam the palace halls. Louise quickly learns that life as a handmaiden to Queen Cleopatra is much more treacherous--and fashionable--than she ever could have imagined


    The Time- Traveling Fashionista series is one of my favorite historical fiction reads for middle grade readers. First of all, if you haven’t read books one and two they need to be added to your list of TBRs. They take vintage fashion, time travel and suspense and roll it into an easily readable adventure perfect for tweens. We’ve already been aboard the Titanic, to France during the time of Marie Antionette, and in book three we are whisked to a film set with Elizabeth Taylor and then to Egypt under Cleopatra’s reign.

    Louise Lambert is the time-traveling tween who is making a couple of tough adjustments with her father, an attorney being out of work, and her best friend who has recently discovered a boy named Kip, who seems to be drifting from their friendship. She’s a bit lacking in self- confidence but nevertheless has attracted the attention of two boys in her class. But Louise is not quite ready to take the plunge into being boy crazy…she would rather take the plunge back in time by visiting the traveling trunk sale and putting on a dress with a history.

    My favorite part of book three were the interesting tidbits it introduces from Cleopatra’s time. The library of papyrus in Alexandria, the black wigs and shaved heads, the poisonous asp used by Cleopatra in later life, and her intellect and ability to speak nine languages. I had no idea Cleopatra was in fact Greek, or that she married her ten year old brother Ptolemy! The snippets of google info. the author injects near the end of the book after Louise returns to her time add even more to the historical value and I wish there were more. This book had SO much to offer but I found myself wanting richer conversation, more about Elizabeth Taylor and just what us up with Stella nd Pierre. They are introduced again in book three and then completely disappear until the very ending pages. This is literally a fast whirlwind of a book, easy to read and get through in one sitting. In a way it’s refreshing and light,–but man, there is so much that I want to know that just didn’t get answered. I wanted to get to know the side characters, her best friend, her mom, the cute skater boy, and Peter. It felt  like there just wasn’t any more development on that end.

    I do like that Louise is maturing and changing after each adventure. In this step back she learns that it’s not okay to steal  and there are often dire consequences. She also gains confidence and learns to defend herself against fashion Bully Billy. You go girl!

    The illustrations are missing fro the Netgalley version which I was sad about– they are my favorite piece of the series. You need to see the art to appreciate the stories! Can’t wait to see each book in print form.

    Do I recommend this series? Yes! They are a great introduction both fashion design and history. But book three felt too rushed and had a few content issues that I don’t remember in the previous installments.

    Thanks so much to Poppy for the sneak peek and for inviting us  to be a part of The Time-Traveling Fashionista blog tour!

    Be sure to read the excerpt below.


    (highlight to reveal): OMG full phrase frequently, one reference and taking the Lord’s name in vain, childhood marriage, moderate violence, death by poisoning.




    Hi, I’m Louise Lambert and I’m a Traveling Fashionista. If people actually told the truth about themselves, it could be a really scary game. My name is Louise and I’m on the swim team and I like vintage fashion, she rehearsed in her head. That was easier; that made sense. Even if at Fairview Junior High, vintage clothing was still considered a little weird, particularly to Billy, whose fashion sense didn’t extend beyond the same baggy jeans and dirt brown or navy pullover sweater he wore practically every day.

    “Why don’t we start in the back of the class,” Miss Jones said, putting back on her oversize glasses, which made her look like a giant bug.

    “I’m Billy Robertson. I love history and I was Miss Morris’s favorite student.” Everyone giggled. Judging by the amount of time he spent in the principal’s office, Billy wasn’t any teacher’s favorite student.

    When it finally came around to her turn, Louise lost her nerve. “My name is Louise Lambert and I’m on the swim team,” she said quickly, her cheeks burning hot. It was true she was a good swimmer, but that wasn’t really the defining thing about her. Louise looked down at a pencil sketch of a Grecian-style dress she had absentmindedly drawn on a blank page in her notebook. Why was she unable to admit that she liked vintage clothing? She couldn’t be the only one who was afraid of being a little different, afraid of Billy making one of his trademark mean comments from the back of the room. But it felt that way. Moments like that made her realize her self-confidence was hanging on by a thread. (21-22)

    About the Authorbianca-turestky-fireandice

    Bianca Turetsky is the author of the stylish Time-Traveling Fashionista series, which has been translated into nine languages. After graduating from Tufts University, Bianca began working for artist/filmmaker Julian Schnabel. She managed his studio for the past 11 years and was his assistant on the Academy Award-nominated film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. She lives in a cozy studio apartment in Brooklyn, New York, that houses her very extensive and much-loved vintage collection. The third book in the series, The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile will be released December 3, 2013.

     She is represented by Meredith Kaffel at DeFiore and Company and Howie Sanders and Dana Borowitz at UTA.

    Learn more on her website