Author Molly Booth’s Love of Shakespeare | Saving Hamlet Blog Tour

October 25, 2016 Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post 0

Author Molly Booth’s Love of Shakespeare | Saving Hamlet Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the blog tour for debut author Molly Booth’s Saving Hamlet, hosted by The Irish Banana Review! I’m so excited to have Molly here today! She’s here to talk about her discovery of Shakespeare, and how hard she fell for him! After her post, read more about the book, Molly, and enter to win a copy of Saving Hamlet!

Jana’s Question: 

Tell us about your love of Shakespeare and what it was like discovering him.


I didn’t fall in love with Shakespeare until college, but when I did, I fell hard. Right through the stage, down to the basement.

At Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, MA, spring semester of my sophomore year, I signed up for a literature course called Shakespeare and Sophocles. I was super intimidated by the reading list, but I’d heard awesome reviews about the professor, Lucius Salisbury. He immediately assigned us Hamlet, and I was scared. I’d only read some of Romeo and Juliet in high school; I’d skimmed it for the origins of West Side Story. Reading a Shakespeare play, eek especially Hamlet!, and writing a paper about it was a totally different ball game. (Professor Salisbury loves using baseball metaphors.)

I had a long commute to the campus, so I did a lot of homework on the train or on the bus. One afternoon, on the blue line train, I’d cracked open my well-worn, used copy of the play, and braced myself to not understand a word.

Who’s there?

Nay, answer me. Stand and unfold yourself.

Long live the king!

Those first lines hooked me, and I fell into the play. My mind swirled with the beautiful text, the supernatural (ghost dad) plot, and the connection I felt to the main character. I was in the middle of applying to transfer schools, and a little depressed, so Hamlet’s identity struggle really pulled me in. I’d never encountered anything that described being a human better or more eloquently. I was so into Hamlet that I almost missed my transfer to the orange line.

And I’ve been obsessed ever since! I went on to Marlboro College, where I studied Shakespeare and Elizabeth history, and along with my creative writing courses, this passion evolved into writing Shakespeare-oriented YA novels. Like Saving Hamlet, which is a historical time travel Shakespeare YA, and Nothing Happened, my spring 2018 book, which is a YA retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. I’m also about to start graduate school in Boston to continue my Shakespeare nerdiness in academia.

And this school year, I’m directing a Shakespeare play with a student theatre company in Massachusetts, All the World’s a Stage Players. We’re doing TWELFTH NIGHT, and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had!! A stormy shipwreck, mistaken identities, a prank with yellow socks — I’m thrilled to be directing it, especially with such a wonderful group of young actors.

So yeah, once I discovered Shakespeare, there was no turning back for me. I turn to Shakespeare for advice, for comfort, for direction, and for creativity. In a recent interview, author Patrick Rothfuss said: “When you’re a geek for something, it means you love it beyond all sense.” I am a total Shakespeare geek. I don’t exactly know why, but my life revolves around these texts and this history, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth
Published by Disney Hyperion on November 1, 2016
Genres: Time Travel, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads • Amazon • B&N

Emma Allen couldn’t be more excited to start her sophomore year. Not only is she the assistant stage manager for the drama club’s production of Hamlet, but her crush Brandon is directing, and she’s rocking a new haircut that’s sure to get his attention. But soon after school starts, everything goes haywire. Emma’s promoted to stage manager with zero experience, her best friend Lulu stops talking to her, and Josh–the adorable soccer boy who’s cast as the lead–turns out to be a disaster. It’s up to Emma to fix it all, but she has no clue where to start.

One night after rehearsal, Emma stays behind to think through her life’s latest crises and distractedly falls through the stage’s trap door . . . landing in the basement of the Globe Theater.

It’s London, 1601, and with her awesome new pixie cut, everyone thinks Emma’s a boy–even Will Shakespeare himself. With no clue how to get home, Emma gamely plays her role as backstage assistant to the original production of Hamlet, learning a thing or two about the theater, and meeting an incredibly hot actor named Alex who finds Emma as intriguing as she finds him. But once Emma starts traveling back and forth through time, things get really confusing. Which boy is the one for her? In which reality does she belong? Will Lulu ever forgive her? And can she possibly save two disastrous productions ofHamlet before time runs out?

About Molly Booth

Molly Booth grew up homeschooled in Massachusetts with her four boisterous siblings. She stage managed for three different community theatres in high school. Her first college was Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, MA; she then went on to study writing, literature, and Elizabethan history on a very cold hill at Marlboro College in Vermont. There, she wrote the first drafts of Saving Hamlet, her debut novel, coming 11/1/16 from Disney Hyperion. Her second book, Nothing Happened, will be coming spring 2018.

Molly also writes for The Mary Sue, and sometimes other sites like HelloGigglesThe Tempest, and McSweeney’s.  She spends most of her time snuggling her adorable dog Suzie, pet rats Meg and Marigold, and Harriet the queen cat.

She’s represented by Alex Slater at Trident Media Group, and edited by Kieran Viola at Disney Hyperion.

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Tour Schedule:

10/24: Fiery Reads – Review
10/25: That Artsy Reader Girl – Guest Post
10/26: The Young Folks – Review
10/27: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
10/28: The Book Cellar – Review
10/31: The Irish Banana Review – Top 10
11/1: The Plot Bunny – Review
11/2: Adventures of a Book Junkie – Q&A
11/3: Betwixt the Pages – Review
11/4: Princessica of Books – Guest Post

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Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz | Mini Book Review (+ Giveaway)

October 19, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult 1 ★★★

Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz | Mini Book Review (+ Giveaway)Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 18, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
AmazonBarnes & Noble Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
• Julian Roman, age sixteen, is an escapee from the Fairmount County Juvenile Detention Facility.
• His parents, Michael Roman and Jennifer Roman, are dead.
• Julian is wanted for murder.

• Why is Julian Roman on the run?
• Just how dangerous is he?
• And who did kill Michael and Jennifer Roman, if not Julian?

Seventeen-year-old Day Baker views life through the lens of her camera, where perspective is everything. But photographs never tell the whole story. After Day crosses paths with Julian, the world she pictures and the truths she believes-neatly captured in black and white-begin to blur.

Julian is not the "armed and dangerous" escapee the police are searching for, but his alibis don't quite add up, either. There is more to his story. This time, Day is determined to see the entire picture . . . whatever it reveals. Did he? Or didn't he?

Day digs deeper into the case while Julian remains on the run. But the longer her list of facts becomes, the longer the list of questions becomes, too. It's also getting harder to deny the chemistry she feels for him. Is it real? Or is she being manipulated?

Day is close to finding the crack in the case. She just needs time to focus before the shutter snaps shut.

Laurie Faria Stolarz is a master of suspense and romance. In this page-turning thriller, Stolarz tackles dark truths with a powerful, contemporary voice. Shutter will keep readers guessing until the very end.

Welcome to my stop along the Shutter blog tour, hosted by the Irish Banana Review! Doesn’t the book synopsis sound awesome? I was totally on board as soon as I read about it, as I love reading mystery-type books in October. Shutter takes place during the exact same time of year as I read it, which I thought was a lot of fun. It got me so excited for fall and colder weather. I love this time of year, and the author did a great job of really capturing the season.

I liked Day a lot. Her obsession with photography was unique and fun to read about. I saw a lot of myself in her. I’ve always had an artistic outlet in my life, so I understood her passion and desire to always keep it close to her heart. I also understood her desire to help Julian. I would have wanted to do the same thing, especially since Julian is such a nice guy. I actually found him to be more interesting to read about, though. The chapters alternate between Day’s narration and Julian’s journal entries, and I liked getting more insight into Julian’s past and how he got to where he was even though some of it was very heartbreaking. He had a horrible family life as a child, and I really felt for him.

The story itself was very interesting, but not as mystery/thrillery as I expected it to be. I wasn’t biting my nails or wishing I could sleep with the lights on. It was a slower, more controlled mystery. Day goes on a hunt for the truth while hiding Julian in her barn in the backyard. It enjoyed reading his story and what other people had to say about him. His story never quite added up, so I wasn’t really sure I could trust him… and I wanted to slap Day for being SO trusting. He’s a wanted murder suspect! I could have done without the romance… I liked the story more before that happened, but it did add a complicated layer to things and that’s always entertaining. I was definitely eager to get to the end to see how everything turned out.

If you’re in the mood for a whodunit with a Nancy Drew-type detective, some heavier subject matter and a good dose of autumn, give this book a try!

About Laurie Faria Stolarz

Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston. 

Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.

Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance, as well as a companion graphic novel, Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz is also the author of the Touch series (Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, and Deadly Little Lessons), as well as Bleed and Project 17. With more than two million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been named on various awards list.

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Tour Schedule:

10/10: Pretty Deadly Reviews – Review
10/11: The Irish Banana Review – Q&A
10/12: A Writer Named Charley – Review
10/13: Novelgossip – Guest Post
10/14: The Worn Bookmark – Review
10/17: Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Review
10/18: Bibliobuli YA – Guest Post
10/19: That Artsy Reader Girl – Review
10/20: In Wonderland – Top 10
10/21: Stuck In Books – Review

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Becky Wallace | 2017 Apollycon Author Spotlight Tour

October 19, 2016 Blog Tour, Giveaway 0

Becky Wallace | 2017 Apollycon Author Spotlight Tour

Woohoo! Today I get to spotlight the lovely Becky Wallace, who will be joining us at Apollycon in Orlando next year! Becky was one of my 2015 debut authors, and I got to spotlight her last March on the Debut Dish. I love it when Becky takes up my blog space because she is so much fun. I haven’t read either of her books yet, but I own them and am super excited because HELLO. They sound amazing, right?

About Becky Wallace

In second grade, Becky Wallace had to sit in the corner because she refused to write anything except princess stories and fairy tales (and because she talked too much). Her time in isolation gave her plenty of opportunities to dream up the fantasy worlds she’s been dabbling with ever since. She was lucky enough to find her own real-life Prince Charming. They have four munchkins and live in happy little town near Houston, Texas.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram


The Keepers’ Chronicles


The Storyspinner Synopsis

Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.

Add to Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

All 2017 Apollycon attendees are eligible to win one of these awesome prizes! Gift Cards will be distributed to the winners at Apollycon 2017 to be used within the Apollycon bookstore. The passes will allow you to skip to the front of one author’s signing line (your choice).

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Follow the rest of the tour!

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Coutdown to Heartless by Marissa Meyer!! | Book Review + Challenge

October 15, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Review, Young Adult 0 ★★★½

Coutdown to Heartless by Marissa Meyer!! | Book Review + ChallengeHeartless by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends on November 8, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 464
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
AmazonBarnes & Noble Add to Goodreads
3.5 Stars
Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

You’d have to living under a rock to not know that the blogosphere is all a buzz with celebration as we count down the days to Marissa Meyer’s Heartless! Today is my day to share my review with you, however… let’s get something out of the way first:

There are only 24 days until Heartless!

 Are you excited to see what the evil Queen of Hearts was like before she became evil??
Well you should be!

heartless promo


So! What did I think of Heartless? Well… it was pretty insane. lol. Let me preface this review by saying that I am not a fan of Alice in Wonderland. I did not like the movie as a kid, and I’ve never read a retelling (or even been interested in reading one). I read this book based solely on my love for Marissa Meyer and The Lunar Chronicles, which is one of my very favorite series ever in life. We saw how she wrote Queen Levana’s backstory in Fairest, and I was super intrigued to see her write another villain’s story. Marissa did a wonderful job with the Queen of Hearts, and even though I’ve never been a fan of the Wonderland world I really enjoyed reading about it in Heartless. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Since when do I love a villain? Marissa is so good at making you fall in love with the characters who you know will end up doing nothing but breaking your heart in the end. Catherine is sweet and spunky and so full of innocence and hope. I just loved her personality and her quirky love of baking and her sarcasm. We all know how she turns out, but boy was I hoping for a different outcome.

2. Jest. *swoon* Oh my goodness. I love that court joker so much. He’s so witty and charming in a broody, nerdy, adorkable kind of way. Right at the beginning of the story the King of Hearts (who is the grossest, slimiest, giggliest, creepiest guy I’ve read about in a long while) throws a ball that Catherine attends. Partway through Jest makes a grand appearance, mesmerizing everyone there. He captured Catherine’s heart immediately, and he captured mine right along with it.

3. The supporting characters are all so much fun. I really liked the Hatter, and he was one of my least favorite characters from the old Disney movie. I also loved Cheshire and the turtle and the lion and Raven. What a fun little band of whimsical characters.

4. Speaking of whimsy, ho boy. Marissa is a wonderful writer, and I got so caught up in some of her scenes. Such beautiful storytelling. At the same time, though, the whimsy got to be a little much for me at times. We’re in Wonderland, though, right? When in Wonderland, expect over the top.

5. So many yummy treats adorn the pages of Heartless. I got so hungry reading about all of Catherine’s dessert creations!

6. The story is about so much more than the origin of the Queen of Hearts. We’ve got all these other characters (like Peter Peter the Pumpkin Eater) and characters from other kingdoms and a Jabberwock and we really get to see what all of Wonderland was like before Lewis Carroll’s story.

7. This story is SO heartbreaking. We all know that Catherine becomes the Queen of Hearts. How can anyone go into this not knowing that, right? Well… I knew, and I still kept hoping things would go my way. I wanted my perfect ending. Her decline to queendom and the reasons behind that decline just completely broke my heart. All the characters broke my heart in some way, but it had to happen. I don’t even know why I thought this wouldn’t happen. Haha.

All in all, this was a fun vacation from my comfort zone! Marissa Meyer was able to get me to enjoy a story that I was convinced I would not like. I’m not familiar enough with Alice In Wonderland and the other companion stories to really understand everyone’s role in Heartless, but I got the general idea and think Marissa did an awesome job of making a timeless classic her own. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves Alice, Wonderland, Marissa Meyer, great fantasy, and stellar writing. I can’t wait to see what Marissa does next!

About Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer is the USA Today- and New York Times-bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter, and Fairest, a Lunar Chronicles Tale. She lives in Tacoma, Washington with her husband.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest


Join Fierce Reads in celebrating all things Heartless by Marissa Meyer! Starting Monday, September 19, they will be counting down to on sale with daily challenges where you can show your love and excitement, AND where you’ll have the chance to win a special edition advance copy of Heartless and MORE every single day.

Enter for your chance to win each day from September 19 – November 8 on Twitter or Instagram using #HeartlessCountdown and #Sweepstakes. Check out the schedule to see all the challenges.

Today’s Challenge:


Who can resist a perfect YA kiss? Share your favorite #yalit kiss for a chance to win today’s #HeartlessCountdown challenge!

To complete the challenge, share your favorite YA kiss! You can use words, fanart, gifs, emojis, whatever you want to share/describe/etc. Be sure to tag with #HeartlessCountdown and #sweepstakes!


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738 Days by Stacey Kade | Mini Book Review

October 12, 2016 Book Review, New Adult 1 ★★★★

738 Days by Stacey Kade | Mini Book Review738 Days by Stacey Kade
Published by Forge Books on June 7, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
Amazon Add to Goodreads
4 Stars
At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.

Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.

Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.

To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?

I’ve been on a new adult kick lately, and was really excited when I heard about this book and heard what others were saying about it. I read 738 Days months ago, and have been unsure as to how to review it. I really, really enjoyed the book but it wasn’t totally what I was expecting. I was expecting more time with the kidnapper, more mystery, and more suspense. What I got was much more real. It was a surprise, but not a bad one.

The book starts off with a bang. We see Amanda in her little room in her kidnapper’s home, and we see one of the most despicable men I’ve ever read about. Immediately, I was invested because I saw a small piece of what Amanda dealt with for so long. I wanted her to be ok. After her rescue and return home, she is understandably a shell of a person. She’s dealing with very severe PTSD and an intense fear of living. Her family is not entirely sure what to do with her except shield her from everything, so relationships are strained. I felt for all of them. It must be so hard to see a sibling or child recover from something like this, much less recover from it on your own. I have not experienced anything like Amanda did, but I felt like I understood her a little. This is a testament to the author’s writing and storytelling.

I really liked Chase, and I liked who he was with Amanda. I liked who Amanda became when she trusted him and pushed herself to take risks while she was with him. Chase has a past too, and he is recovering from that past. These two heal in one another, and it was beautiful to watch. Chase is so delicate and patient and compassionate and caring in his interactions with Amanda. He is constantly checking on her and asking her if things are ok. He completely puts her first and puts his own feelings aside. I loved watching them open up to one another and begin to trust. They are so sweet together, and I loved their romance.

The ending was crazy, and I wasn’t expecting it at all. Our pasts always seem to catch up with us, and that was the case with one of our characters. Things were intense and suspenseful and I was on the edge of my seat until the last page.

All in all, I really enjoyed this story. I was not expecting such heartbreaking reality, but I really liked what I did get. Kade does a great job of depicting PTSD and other strong, heavy issues in a way that was not overly depressing and dark. Every word was highlighted with a sense of hope and resilience. I loved these two perfectly flawed characters and their quest for happiness. I would highly recommend it to lovers of new adult, survival stories, and sweet, real romances.

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The Debut Dish: October 2016, Issue #1

October 9, 2016 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish 0

The Debut Dish, a bi-monthly Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?

This issue of The Debut Dish features Sarah Glenn Marsh (Fear the Drowning Deep) and Caleb Roehrig (Last Seen Leaving).

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
October 11, 2016 from Sky Pony Press
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Sisters, sea monsters, and kissing!

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
It’s tough to choose just one! So I’ll say: all the scenes involving Morag, the town’s supposed witch. And the scene where Bridey first discovers Fynn, the injured lad with no memories.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was at FaerieCon–a fantasy art, book, and music convention in Baltimore MD! Being surrounded by costumed fairies felt like a perfect setting for such magical news!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Doughnuts! But also ice cream. And cheesecake. And chocolate chip cookies. …If it’s sweet, I like it!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
I work in my living room, but the oddest thing in here is probably my set of bird statues. They’re realistic sculpted birds, but they’re wearing ridiculous hats–one’s got star-shaped antennae, and another has a hat like a train conductor. They’re so cute!

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
October 4, 2016 from Feiwel & Friends
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

Describe your book in five words or less.
What happened to January McConville?

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
About three-quarters of the way into the book, as Flynn (the main character) is trying to figure out what happened to January (his missing girlfriend,) he speaks to some of her classmates. These classmates don’t like January, and in having them explain why, I actually learned things I didn’t know about one of my own characters–how she behaved towards certain people, and why, and how that affected others’ perceptions of her. It added a new layer of depth to her and to the book, one I hadn’t been expecting, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience for me.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
Finland! I was actually living in Helsinki when I wrote LAST SEEN LEAVING, and since I didn’t have an international calling plan, I got the news from my agent via email. It was February and freezing cold out, but my husband and I still walked a mile through the snow to go buy champagne.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Chocolate-covered peanuts all the way. I am addicted. Oddly, I despise peanut M&Ms? But I LIVE for chocolate-covered peanuts.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
I don’t have a desk, per se, but the oddest thing sitting on my work space at the moment is probably this giant Ziploc bag filled with decorative glass pellets. I have no idea why they are here, to be honest.

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Spotlight: Bury the Living by Jodi McIsaac (+ Giveaway)

October 5, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Giveaway 2

Today I’m spotlighting a pretty awesome sounding book with time travel and history and Ireland and a magical artifact! Read about it and enter to win a copy!

Bury the Living by Jodi McIsaac
Series: The Revolutionary #1
Published by 47North on September 6, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Time Travel
AmazonBarnes & NobleAdd to Goodreads

Rebellion has always been in the O’Reilly family’s blood. So when faced with the tragic death of her brother during Northern Ireland’s infamous Troubles, a teenage Nora joined the IRA to fight for her country’s freedom. Now, more than a decade later, Nora is haunted by both her past and vivid dreams of a man she has never met.

When she is given a relic belonging to Brigid of Kildare, patron saint of Ireland, the mystical artifact transports her back eighty years—to the height of Ireland’s brutal civil war. Here she meets the alluring stranger from her dreams, who has his own secrets—and agenda. Taken out of her own time, Nora has the chance to alter the fortunes of Ireland and maybe even save the ones she loves. In this captivating and adventurous novel from Jodi McIsaac, history belongs to those with the courage to change it.

About Jodi McIsaac

Already an accomplished writer, Jodi McIsaac is the author of several novels, including A Cure for Madness and the Thin Veil Series. She grew up in New Brunswick, and after abandoning her Olympic speed skating dream, she wrote speeches for a politician, earned a graduate degree in global studies, spent a few years as a fundraising and marketing executive with non-profit organizations in Toronto and Vancouver, which then morphed into her own copywriting business.

Website | Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
10/3: The Irish Banana Review – Spotlight
10/4: Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Excerpt
10/5: That Artsy Reader Girl – Spotlight
10/6: The Hardcover Lover – Spotlight
10/7: Resch Reads & Reviews – Excerpt
10/8: Fiction Fare – Q&A
10/10: Mundie Moms – Spotlight
10/11: Avid Reader – Excerpt
10/12: Such A Novel Idea – Spotlight
10/13: Two Chicks On Books – Q&A
10/14: Take Me Away to a Great Read – Excerpt
10/15: Lisa Loves Literature – Guest Post
10/16: Novelgossip – Excerpt
10/17: Here’s to Happy Endings – Q&A
10/18: The Petite Book Blogger – Mood Board
10/19: Books, TV, and More … Oh My! – Q&A
10/20: Owl Always Be Reading – Spotlight
10/21: The Worn Bookmark – Review
10/22: The Book Return – Review

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P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | Book Review

October 3, 2016 Book Review, Young Adult 1 ★★★★★

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West | Book ReviewP.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point on July 26, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 330
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
AmazonBarnes & Noble Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds thatsomeone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

What’s a girl to read the day after she finishes A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas? I was worried no book would pull me out of the already very strong hangover I was experiencing. I had heard amazing things about P.S. I Like You, so I figured I’d give it a try. I LOVED it. It was exactly what I needed! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

(This is a spoiler-free review. I will not use the names of any guys in this story, so you won’t find out who Lily’s mystery guy is from me!)

1. This is my first Kasie West book. I had tried one other of hers, but did not finish it. I must have been in the wrong frame of mind or needing a different kind of book that day. I’m going to go back to that book and pick up more of hers!

2. The story is so unique and special to me. I loved this romance that bloomed from handwritten notes hidden under desks. It felt nostalgic to me, and reminiscent of my high school years where we wrote notes to each other rather than texts or emails (boy, do I sound old… it’s not like these things weren’t around, but texting was relatively new, Facebook wasn’t a thing yet, and the lack of smart phones prevented email/MySpace communication during school hours… lol).

3. Music is a huge theme in this story, and I loved that! I love that Lily and her mystery guy connected over their nearly identical tastes in obscure music. Lily is also a songwriter, so we read a lot about her lyrics brainstorm sessions.

4. The characters are amazing. I love awkward, odd, hilarious Lily and her sweet family. She’s got adorable relationships with her little brothers, her older sister, and her parents. This book has the family dynamic done right. I love the strong friendship between Lily and her best friend. Those two are friendship goals. There’s also the hunk of burning love Lily has a crush on but is scared to look at for too long and the jerky guy who has caused her so much hurt and embarrassment for years. Each character is well developed, their own person, and an important part of the story. And seriously, the relationships are the best part.

5. The notes are so cute! Both Lily and her mystery guy let their personalities shine through and are their true selves with one another. That’s rare, especially in high school when you’re not even completely sure who your true self is. We get to learn so much about these two–intimate details that round them out and make you pull for them. I was just as excited to read their daily notes as they were!

6. I LOVE the mystery guy. So much snark, sarcasm, and swoon. He’s adorable, yet flawed. He’s real and sweet and even though I figured out who he was pretty easily I loved the mystery anyway. I also love that his identity is revealed at about the halfway point and we get to see how everything pans out.

7. So. Much. Swooning. The romance is adorable.

8. Halloween and Thanksgiving happen in this book, so I will always associate this book with fall and the holidays. I read this at the exactly perfect time of year, and I love how the holidays were covered in this book. I would love to go to Thanksgiving at Lily’s house. I adore her family and their silly traditions.

Bottom line, I have no complaints. I loved this book, and I can’t wait to read more books from Kasie West. Definitely give this a try if you’re looking for wonderful, developed relationships; sweet, amazing characters; and a swoony romance. Seriously, just read it.


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Debut Author Challenge 2016: October Review Link-Up

October 1, 2016 Debut Author Challenge 2


I love October! I love cooler weather, sweaters, comfy socks, throw blankets, pumpkin bread, changing leaves, and hot chocolate. Fall is when I start reading more, and I love reading under the covers on chilly nights. What do you love about fall? More important, what are you doing for Halloween? I can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by!

Happy reading this month!

Some things to remember:

– It’s never too late to join the fun! If you’d like to join or make sure you’re signed up, there is a sign-up list and list of participants located in the Debut Author Challenge tab at the top of my blog.

– In order to get credit for your review, you must have read the book in 2016. If you read an ARC of a 2016 debut in 2015, it does not count. (I don’t want people with access to ARCs to have an advantage over those who don’t.)

– I’m here if you have any questions at all, so don’t hesitate to shoot me a message via Twitter or comment or homing pigeon.

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Who Wins?: 100 Historical Figures Go Head-to-Head and You Decide the Winner! By Clay Swartz | Book Review

September 28, 2016 Book Review 0 ★★★★★

Who Wins?: 100 Historical Figures Go Head-to-Head and You Decide the Winner! By Clay Swartz | Book ReviewWho Wins?: 100 Historical Figures Go Head-to-Head and You Decide the Winner! by Clay Swartz
Published by Workman on July 12, 2016
Genres: Non-Fiction
Pages: 104
Format: Hardcover
Source: From the Publisher
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
Who would rock the mic at karaoke night? Abraham “The Great Emancipator” Lincoln or Jane “Lady Persuasion” Austen? How about a hot dog eating contest between Harry “Mr. Magic” Houdini and Mary “Mother of Frankenstein” Shelley? What about a pie contest? A staring contest? And who has a better chance of sneaking into Area 51, Isaac “Gravity Guy” Newton or Sacagawea aka “The Pathfinder”?

In Who Wins?: History, you decide the winner in over 50 head-to-head challenges between 100 of history’s most illustrious characters. But choosing the victor isn’t arbitrary. Readers must justify their answers using each of the historical figures’ six 0-10 category rankings in bravery, leadership, artistry, wealth, wisdom, and fitness; as well as facts from short biographies.

As funny as it is informative, the book is uniquely formatted so readers can match up each and every character in any of the head-to-head battles. History has never been so much fun!

This interactive, educational book is seriously so much fun! And it’s so unique! I’ve never seen anything quite like this before. I thought that posting a picture of one of the inside spreads would be the easiest way to review this book, so look:



Ok, so here we have Napoleon and Thomas Jefferson. Above their pictures is all the information you need to know about each of them, including the years they were alive, their lives growing up, the parts they played in history, and some little known facts. Basically, everything you need to know to make an informed decision as to which of them would be more successful at stopping a runaway train. The middle flap at the top prompts you with some things to consider during your decision-making process. Their skills are rated on a scale of 1-10. After getting to know them well, you make your decision. There’s no right or wrong answer. If you’re alone, you win! If you have friends, family, or classmates with you then the debate begins. Perhaps one of the other players will convince you to change your mind or you might just stand your ground. Then you move on to the next round. You can continue the face-off between these two guys and flip up the middle flap to give them a new battle (like sneaking into Area 51 or winning the talent show) or you can flip up the people flaps and pick new opponents.

There are so many possible combinations of opponents and battles that it will take forever to get through them all. You know what would make it even more fun? Get a dice and roll it three times. The first number will tell you how many pages to flip the first flap, the second number will tell you how many times to flip the second flap, and the third number will tell you how many times to flip the third flap. Then it’s all completely random and feels like a game.

How fun is this? I can see this being taken on road trips, played in social studies or history classes (divide the class in two, put the book up on the projector, and have the teams discuss before sending representatives to the front to argue their case), or added to the family game night rotation. The images are bright, colorful, and fun to look at. The book is well-constructed and easy to flip through. The information provided is written in an easy to read and understand way, so it’s great for kids and adults of all ages. I seriously do not have one complaint in the world about this book, and just love it to pieces. Run out and grab yourself a copy right now!

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