Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Librarian by Christy Sloat...with giveaway!

For those like me who have always wanted to literally get lost in a book and fall in love with a book boyfriend, you might be able to relate to the main character in The Librarian.
I am also a huge fan of time travel and historical novels so I am looking forward to picking this one up!
Keep reading to learn more!

The Librarian by Christy Sloat
Genre: YA Historical/Romance
Published June 17th, 2017
Published by CHBB Publishing

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

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…
Christy 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.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Read below for 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.”


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Way It Hurts by Patty giveaway!

Celebrating the upcoming release of Patty Blount's The Way It Hurts today!

Keep reading to learn more about about this contemporary YA novel and its author!
Title: The Way It Hurts
Author: Patty Blount
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Pages: 352 pages
Format: Paperback and Digital
Print ISBN: 978-1-492632-788
Digital ASIN: B06XR172ZD


There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there's only one way to set things right...

Music is Elijah's life. His band plays loud and hard, and he'll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he'd rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town...until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother's. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program--and being the star in her high school musical isn't going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can't take his eyes off of Kristen's performance, and snaps a photo of her in costume that he posts online with a comment that everybody misunderstands. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don't stay online...they follow them into real life.

Add to your “Want to Read” shelf:  Goodreads

Available at:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo  |  iTunes

Advanced Praise for The Way It Hurts:

"Blount writes authentically; both protagonists’ voices are distinct. The author explores the rapidly consuming world of social media and how it affects relationships online and in real life. A relevant read and must-have for all YA collections." – School Library Journal

"THE WAY IT HURTS draws our attention to the joy, heartache and confusing contradictions that arise as we try to find our place in the real world and the virtual one." – Kimberly Sabatini

Elijah and Kristen’s personal evolutions through the novel, along with their chemistry, feel as authentic as the conflicts they face. A genuine plot filled with steady tension that will keep readers hooked.” RT Book Reviews

“This book sensitively covers topics such as sexism, handicapping conditions, communication, and ageism. Agency is also shown when Kristen says she wants to pursue studying in a conservatory rather than continue in the band and the three young men acknowledge her wish. Talking about what bothers us rather than trying to guess another person’s feelings is demonstrated through the actions of the characters. The characters’ issues are eventually resolved through hard work and understanding, making this an interesting and informative read." School Library Connection
Native New Yorker Patty Blount is the award-winning author of several critically acclaimed internet issues novels for teens as well as a few adult contemporary romances. She is inspired to write by such greats as Judy Blume, JK Rowling, and Gayle Forman. In fact, Judy Blume is the reason Patty elected to write under her real name…so she’d appear on shelves next to her idol. Patty adores writing; she’s written everything from technical manuals to song lyrics (see THE WAY IT HURTS, coming August 2017). Patty wants you to know she loves chocolate…really, really loves chocolate.

When not crushing on actors Gilles Marini or Sam Heughan, Patty can be found sitting in traffic somewhere on the Long Island Expressway, listening to audio books or talking wildly to herself about plots and characters. Prone to falling madly in love with fictional characters, Patty suffers frequent broken hearts when they all invariably prefer the heroine to her… go figure. When she’s not writing, Patty loves to watch bad sci-fi movies and live tweet the hilarity, and scour Pinterest for ideas on awesome bookcases. Patty lives on Long Island with her family in a house that, sadly, lacks bookcases.

Connect with Patty:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

I shifted in my broken seat, wondering how many more minutes of the hell that was Bear River High School North’s production of Cats I’d have to endure. My fingers itched for my guitar and notepad. Melodies played in my head, begging to be put down on paper, and there were a dozen other things we should have been doing to promote Ride Out so we could get the band some notice. 
The music rose. Beside me, Nick sucked in a breath. I didn’t know Leah. Nick met her at a concert a few months back, and they’d been hanging out whenever they could because, Nick claimed, Leah was the One. 
I hid half a laugh and shook my head. I didn’t get the whole concept of the One, but I’d help Nick get what he wanted. 
Leah raised her face. When she opened her mouth, I sat up a little straighter. Her voice... Jesus, it was astounding. Clear. Strong. Powerful but sweet. I watched and listened, the audience around me fading away. Her voice swelled, and she attacked the high notes without hesitating, making goose bumps jump out of my skin. What was the top note of her range? She glided across the stage; she never struggled or stumbled. The audience waited for the crescendo, and when she reached it, holy God, it was like a...a promise kept. She blew me away. The notes faded out, and the rest of the production was a blur. I had no idea Leah could sing like that and couldn’t take my eyes off— 
My best friend’s girl. Shit. 
The lights came up, and everybody got to their feet, applauding like mad. Nick held up this lame poster board sign he’d made. I used that time to get my hormones under control and put Leah and her amazing voice out of my head. The rest of the cast assembled on the stage for their curtain call, and I locked eyes with one of the actors— the White Cat. She was incredibly hot—a solid body with an impressive rack. Her solo dance was the best part of the show up until Leah’s song. She looked amazing in that white cat suit. So freakin’ hot. 
“Ladies and gentlemen, a moment please.” A teacher walked to the right of the stage and waved her hands. “Thank you all for attending our opening night performance! I am so proud of these kids. They made all their own costumes and designed the set themselves. And tonight, I want to share with you an amazing last-minute change-up to our program. Grizabella, played by Leah Russo, is ill and was unable to sing this evening. Her songs were actually sung by our White Cat, played by Kristen Cartwright.” 
The teacher’s hand swung to my favorite cat, and my jaw dropped. That awesome voice was hers? Whoa. I stuck two fingers in my mouth and let loose with a shrill whistle while the audience roared their approval. The white cat’s eyes met mine, and I started to picture her in different clothes...maybe some black leather, studded bands on her wrists, hair long and wild down her back, strutting across a stage while I shredded the hell out of the guitar. If she could sing Broadway songs without breaking a sweat, what could she do with a hard metal rock track? I wondered—again—what her range was. Could she get low with some Halestorm or full-on mean with a Slipknot metal scream? I should put her in Ride Out right now. I grinned like a maniac because I knew that would really twist BroadwayBaby17 into a knot. 
A brilliant idea struck. I pulled out my phone, snapped a photo of the white cat, and from the band’s Twitter account, posted this: 
Ride_Out: This cat’s HAWT! And damn, can she sing. 
It needed a hashtag. I tapped out “#CatCall.” Oh, this was awesome. My phone buzzed a minute later with a reply from a fan calling himself JJStix88. 
Sweet! Get her to meow. #CatCall
I tapped out another post. 
JJStix88: Make her arch that back! #CatCall 
Ride_Out: Wanna hear her scream! #CatCall 

Copyright © The Way It Hurts 2017 by Patty Blount

Patty Blount is offering one (1) lucky winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Book Spotlight: Knife's Edge by Hope Larson Illustrated by Rebecca Mock...Review

Today I am so excited to tell you all about a graphic novel series that I have had the privilege to read.  To be completely honest with you, I really haven't read a lot of graphic novels, but the last few that I have read have been so good.  I become lost in the stories and illustrations and find myself reading the books in one sitting and craving more.  And so then I reread and discover things I must have missed previously in the drawings and dialogue.  And this series is just one of those I love.

Anyway, let's get to the books.  I know, the Spotlight book is Knife’s Edge written by Hope Larson and illustrated by Rebecca Mock, but I can't really talk about it without first sharing some brief thoughts on the first book, Compass South.  So…
In Compass South, we are introduced to Cleopatra and Alexander, twelve-year-old twins just trying to survive after their father left home and never returned in the mid-1800s.  After becoming targets of their old gang, they see an ad in a newspaper and decide to head to San Francisco to start a new life by scamming a man looking for his twin sons.  Before they can implement their plan they meet another set of twins with similar ideas and chaos ensues. The sets of twins become separated and spend much of the book apart aboard various ships, with Cleo pretending to be a boy and each one with one of the other twins.  The story alternates between Alex’s and Cleo’s point of view. Each twin also has a family heirloom with them, a knife and a pocket watch. Overall, the story is filled with adventure, a bit of romance, as well as twists and turns I didn't see coming….and a cliffhanger ending.  Also, each illustration fit the story perfectly and helped progress the plot.  I loved this first installment. I found it to be fun, fascinating, and original.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Now let's talk about Knife’s Edge.
Twelve-year-old twin adventurers Cleopatra and Alexandra Dodge are reunited with their father and realize that two family heirlooms reveal the location of a treasure that is their birthright. When they set sail with Captain Tarboro on the Almira, they know they’re heading into danger—the ocean is filled with new and old enemies, including their nemesis, the infamous pirate Felix Worley. But like a coral reef that lurks below the surface of the waves, trouble is brewing between the siblings. Alex is determined to become a sailor and is happy with his role aboard the Almira, but Cleo—the only girl on the ship—is tired of washing dishes in the galley. In an effort to find her own purpose, she begins studying sword fighting with Tarboro, but neither Alex nor her father approves. Can the twins remain close as they pursue different goals and dreams, or will their growing differences tear the family apart before the treasure can be found?

In this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Compass South, Hope Larson and Rebecca Mock once again create an outstanding seafaring adventure.

Hope Larson adapted and illustrated A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel, for which she won an Eisner Award. She is also the author and illustrator of Salamander DreamGray HorsesChiggers, and Mercury. She lives in Los Angeles.

Rebecca Mock is an illustrator and comics artist. Her work has appeared  in various publications, including the New York Times and the New Yorker.  She is co-organizer of the Hana Doki Kira anthology. Compass South is  her first book.

Knife’s Edge picks up exactly where Compass South ends I can't elaborate too much on that because it will spoil the first book.  However, if you read the synopsis, you know the twins have been reunited with each other as well as their father.  They have also found themselves working for familiar face.

As the twins try to figure out their purpose is aboard the ship, they suffer a few ups and down in their relationship.  Alex wants to be a Captain someday so their new Captain, Tarboro, has him working his way up from the bottom by swabbing the deck. But Cleo wants to be more than just a dishwasher in the kitchen so she gets the Tarboro to teach her to sword fight. Neither her father nor Alex like this idea and it really puts a strain on the siblings’ relationship with Alex believing he should be the protector.  This an interesting look at gender roles in the mid-1800s and even now.  It shows how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go.  (Side note: I kept forgetting these kids were just twelve years old)

In addition to Alex and Cleo, we are introduced to or get to know many of the secondary characters much better in this book.  We learn what motivates them and what led them the where they are now.  I loved the use of flashbacks and storytelling that the writer and illustrator used to convey the differences between who these characters were versus what they have become.  They did this in the first book, Compass South, as well.

The illustration for the book was once again awesome. Each panel or illustration fit perfectly with the dialogue or story and helped with the progression of the plot.  Nothing seemed out of place nor did I feel disappointed by the quality.  

I loved Compass South and definitely recommend you read it before this Knife’s Edge (I read them back to back so it was like one long story). We learn so much more in this book and many questions from the first book are answered. And I wish there were more to come because I still have a couple  questions.
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

So what are some of your favorite graphic novels?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Blog Tour: The Beautiful Lost By Luanne Rice...Excerpt and Giveaway!

Emotional Read to tell you about today.
Keep reading to learn more!

The Beautiful Lost by Luanne Rice
Ages 12 and Up
Releases: June 27, 2017
Buy on B&N
Buy on Amazon

In The Beautiful Lost, Luanne Rice deftly uses her experiences with depression to craft a lilting and surprising story about the vagaries of the human heart. Maia has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts ever since her mother left to follow her passion of studying ocean life in the Canadian Maritime provinces. Maia is convinced everything will be fine if she can only reconnect with her mother, meaning she won’t have to take her pills, she will never need to be institutionalized again. When Maia runs away from home in search of her mom, she gets unexpected help and companionship from Billy, her crush from school. On the roads through New England, Maia and Billy learn truths about each other that are equal parts enthralling and distressing.

About the Author:
Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of over 30 novels for adults and the YA novel The Secret Language of Sisters. There are more than twenty-two million copies of her books in print across the world and five of her novels have been adapted into TV movies and miniseries. Luanne lives in coastal Connecticut with her family of cats.
Goodreads | Website | Twitter 

"Where are you going? he asked.  
"Away," I said. 
Our eyes burned into each other. I felt heat in my chest, knowing that this really was the last time.  I wanted to reach over, touch his hand. I hoped he could read my mind and somehow know he was the only person I'd miss, that I'd come here today because he was, ineffably, mine.   
"Away where?" he asked.  
"Too see my mother," I said.  
"Can I go with you. He asked. 
I stared at him. Had I heard him right?  No, I had to be dreaming. 
"Will you take me?" he asked. 
It was real. This was happening. His eyes were begging me. "But people will miss you. They'll wonder where you are," I said. 
"I live in a group home," he said, gesturing at the building. " They won't wonder for long." And then he touched me--just one finger on my wrist bone--so quickly I would have thought I'd imagined it if didn't tingle all through my body. 
"I can help you," he said. 
"Help me?" 
"Yeah, you're running away, right? I know how to do that. No one will catch us." he said. He was already hurrying around the car. 
I don't think after that. I climbed into the driver's seat, he got in beside me, and we sped off.

The Giveaway 
10 finished copies of The Beautiful Lost;
open to US residents only. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Blog Post: Such a Good Girl by Amanda K. Morgan...Guest Posts and Giveaway!

An interesting book and some fun posts from its author to share with you today.

Keep reading...
Such a Good Girl by Amanda K. Morgan
Release Date: June 20th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Riley Stone is just about perfect. (Ask anyone.)
She has a crush on her French teacher, Alex Belrose. (And she suspects he likes her, too.)
Riley has her entire life planned out. (The plan is nonnegotiable.)
She's never had a secret she couldn't keep. (Not ever.)
Riley is sure that her life is on the right track. (And nothing will change that.)
She's nothing like a regular teenager. (But she doesn't have any problem admitting that.)
Riley doesn't usually play games. (But when she does, she always wins.)

She thinks a game is about to start…
But Riley always has a plan…
And she always wins.
Amanda K. Morgan is a freelance writer living in Nashville, TN. She covers events and works on freelance projects when she isn't working on her YA novels.

At age 15, Amanda finished her first novel and continued to write in college, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing.

Amanda's books include After Hours, written as Claire Kennedy, Secrets Lies and Scandals, and Such a Good Girl.

For more information on Amanda's freelance/technical writing, to ask for information on a specific project, or for other questions, contact her.
Website | Goodreads |Twitter
I have a couple of fun posts from Amanda K. Morgan today. 
First, I asked about the inspiration for one of her characters and she obliged.
Second, I am always curious about what books authors love to read and what books are some of their favorites.  And I was glad to see what Amanda enjoyed...we actually have quite a few in common.

So, here's Amanda...
My inspiration for Riley is very complex, but mainly, I wanted to write a character who isn’t, contrary to the title, 100% good.  I want her motivations to be complex, and her life, and I wanted to reveal her motivations piece-by-piece.  I wanted her to be brilliantly smart and strong, and I wanted her to be admirable even if it wasn’t always in the best ways.  

I really shouldn’t give away more than that!
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
 HP is life!  If I got my Hogwarts letter tomorrow, I would be so in.  I refuse to believe I’m a muggle. (Note from Jennifer: SAME!!!)

All in Pieces by Suzanne Young
This book will make you fall in love with the characters and also rip your soul into tiny little pieces.   It’s brilliance.

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
It’s a romantic gothic-dystopian inspired by Poe.  Need I say more? 

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This is the book that made me want to read every book by E. Lockhart.  It’s just incredible.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I want to be Laini someday.  Her writing is just gorgeous.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
 This book has been a favorite since I got it from a Scholastic book order.  It’s the perfect Cinderella retelling.  Also, why don’t adults get Scholastic book orders at work?  Wouldn’t that make the workday more fun

Make sure you follow the tour by clicking the image.

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