Month: July 2016

Mary E. Pearson on Building the World of The Remnant Chronicles | The Beauty of Darkness Blog Tour

Posted July 31, 2016 by Jana in Blog Tour, Guest Post / 1 Comment

Mary E. Pearson on Building the World of The Remnant Chronicles | The Beauty of Darkness Blog Tour

This is a really exciting day on the blog! I LOVE LOVE LOVE The Remnant Chronicles, and cannot believe it’s all coming to an end with The Beauty of Darkness. I’ve read it already, so keep an eye out for my review in the coming weeks!

Today Mary E. Pearson, the author of this amazing trilogy, is stopping by the blog to tell us about her inspirations for the world of the series as part of the official blog tour hosted by Macmillan! I love her post because it really brings everything to life for me. I love traveling and I love settings, so I’m really excited that she included pictures! Following her post, read more about Mary and The Beauty of Darkness!

I asked Mary: The world in this series is so dynamic, with so many different locations and types of people. Were you inspired by any places or people in our own world when you created Morrighan, Terravin (the small village Lia fled to), and Venda, not to mention the terrain they crossed traveling between locales? 

Mary: Yes, I was inspired by many real places. Several years ago I visited the small island of Burano, just a ferry ride away from Venice, Italy.  I adored the beauty of it—including the houses painted in all kinds of bright colors.  I was told by a local that originally, the homes were painted with different colors so they would stand out from the rest and the fishermen who were out at sea could see their own home distinctly as they returned, and would watch for their loved ones who might be waiting and waving to them. It was all so beautiful and charming and inviting that I knew I wanted to base Terravin, in part, on this tiny colorful Italian island.


I also visited the coastal town of Avila Beach in California, just north of Santa Barbara. It is tucked away behind hills and down a winding road, and it has a beautiful little jewel of a bay. The town is quite small and out of the way, like Terravin.


I’ve also visited various deserts, from California to Utah, so I drew from that experience to create the desert scenes in the first book.

MCEscherVenda, the Sanctum in particular, was based partially on overcrowded cities and slums that I researched, and in part from my love for the artist M.C. Escher. His play with perspective and depictions of architecture are a mad mix of whimsy and razor sharp calculation. Trying to follow a path can unsettle you, or at the very least, lead you in circles, very much like the Sanctum. Stairways and paths come out of nowhere. It also came from my travels and observations of old European architecture (I’m one of those people who takes pictures of walls–details fascinate me) and how centuries of stone and brick are sewn together like a piece of fabric, old meeting new, doorways bricked up, materials reused, a trail of clues left that hint to generations re-purposing what came before and adding to it.

The Sanctum is also based on one particular city—but I imagined it as it would look  centuries after cataclysmic events had caused it to fall into ruin.

In The Beauty of Darkness there are more familiar cities, Civica for instance with its unique features, including the rocky island of lost souls in the middle of the bay and the leaning spire of Golgata. We’ll also revisit the book that Aster stole from the caverns which will reveal another clue about this long ago world. Many details that may seem offhand and imaginary, actually have roots in a concrete world.

If you visit my Pinterest board for The Remnant Chronicles, you will find tons of other images that helped inspire “moods” and atmosphere for the story.

Thank you for having me at your blog Jana!

How much did you LOVE Mary’s post? I’ve been to Murano, Italy, which is very close to Burano… but now I want to go visit Burano! Thanks so much for writing such a fun post for us, Mary!

Are you even more excited for The Beauty of Darkness now? Or maybe Mary’s post has made you want to give the trilogy a try? You really should.

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #3
My reviews of the trilogy: The Kiss of Deception, The Heart of Betrayal, The Beauty of Darkness
Published by Henry Holt & Co. BYR on August 2, 2016
Pages: 688
Add to Goodreads
Amazon • B&N • Book Depository

Lia and Rafe have escaped Venda and the path before them is winding and dangerous – what will happen now? This third and final book in The Remnant Chronicles is not to be missed.

Bestselling author Mary E. Pearson’s combination of intrigue, suspense, romance and action make this a riveting page turner for teens.


The Kiss of Deception | The Heart of Betrayal | The Beauty of Darkness

The Kiss of Deception Synopsis

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can’t abide. Like having to marry someone she’s never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

About Mary E. Pearson

Mary E. Pearson is the author of bestselling, award-winning novels for teens. The Miles Between was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and The Adoration of Jenna Fox was listed as a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, an IRA Young Adult Choice, NYPL Stuff for the Teen Age, and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. She is also the author of A Room on Lorelei Street, David v. God, and Scribbler of Dreams. Pearson studied art at Long Beach State University, and worked as an artist before earning her teaching credential at San Diego State University. She writes full-time from her home in Carlsbad, California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.

Blog | Website | Twitter

Visit the rest of the tour stops!

July 20 – What Sarah Read
July 21 – Vilma’s Book Blog
July 22 – Good Books & Good Wine
July 23 – Adventures of a Book Junkie
July 24 – Bookiemoji
July 25 – Step Into Fiction
July 26 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader
July 27 – Dark Faerie Tales
July 28 – Stuck in YA Books
July 29 – Two Chicks On Books
July 30 – The Book Hookup
July 31 – That Artsy Reader Girl (You’re here!)
August 1 – Jenuine Cupcakes
August 2 – My Friends are Fiction
August 3 – Mundie Moms
August 4 – The Eater of Books!
August 5 – Belle of the Literati

Five Novels That Will Transport You to Amazing Places | Guest Post

Posted July 20, 2016 by Jana in Book Spotlight, Guest Post / 3 Comments

Today I’d like to welcome Isa to the blog to talk about a handful of books that will take you on wonderful journeys. Isa writes at Culture Coverage, so make sure you go check them out when you’re done here!

read with pleasure


Summer is here, and for a lot of us most of the sunshine and hot weather will be spent inside, at work. This, however, is one of the many reasons why we love reading so much. Even if you’ve not managed to save enough vacation days for a getaway this year, there are many amazing novels that will transport you to exotic locations all around the world, from the comfort of your own home.

These five books are set all over the four corners of the globe, and with their emotive descriptions of beautiful settings, you will feel as if you’re traveling each country with the characters themselves.

Tracks by Robyn Davidson

This autobiographical account of an incredible true story follows the author, Robyn Davidson, as she sets out on a mission to cross 1,700 miles of desert in Western Australia. From her shocking revelations about the systemically-racist town of Alice Springs to the picturesque accounts of the Australian outback, Davidson has captured the enchanting, yet barren, atmosphere of rural Australia and has translated this perfectly onto the page, alongside lessons from her unique adventure.

The book begins with her learning to train camels to take with her and, as she sets off on her journey, transforms into a wonderful reflection of modern vs. aboriginal life and what it means to drop everything and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

This book is available to purchase on Amazon, along with the movie adaption.

100 Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Set in Colombia, before its establishment as a country, this book is a true literary masterpiece and a fantastically unique concept. It follows one family as the small village they founded grows, expands and joins up with surrounding towns to form what we know as modern-day Colombia.

While the history isn’t entirely literal, it does mirror a lot of events as they happened. Alongside this, there’s something incredible about witnessing these changes through the eyes of several generations. Not only does the style and structure of this book transport you to early Colombia, but it also provides a witty and poignant reflection on the cycles of human nature.

Buy this book on Amazon now!

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

After the release of the movie-adaption, this book has shot to notoriety in recent years. The compelling story follows two boys, as their beautiful and loved country begins to collapse around them. Historically, the book is set in the period where the Afghan king was overthrown by rebels, however, instead of focusing on the wider political matter, it is instead portrayed via the innocent eyes of childhood and a local kiting competition.

Years later, the boys have grown, and the conflict has intensified. Now the story follows its protagonists as they escape to Pakistan, emigrate to American and return again once they’ve found love. This incredibly valuable book gives readers a real, human insight into what it’s like to live in a war-torn world and is an unmissable read.

Get the book from Amazon, or if you’re interested in the film, then it’s available for subscribers to American Netflix. If you’re based outside the US, this Secure Thoughts article explains how to gain access.

Lonely Traveller by Sereno Sky

Self-publishing is beginning to take the world by storm, and this release from independent author, Sereno Sky, is an incredible testimony to its success. Set in the midst of the hippy era, the book follows the main character—Bernardo—as he embarks on the famed hippy trail trough Holland, Spain and, he hopes, India. Through the incredible backdrops of these beautiful places, Bernardo is able to reflect on life and find what being a hippy means to him.

It’s an inspiring read, even if you weren’t lucky enough to have lived through the era yourself, and provides such intricate reflections on all the places he visits that it’s as if you were traveling along with him yourself.

The book is available from Amazon, and you can also keep up with the author via his extremely popular Tumblr blog.

Wild: An Elemental Journey by Jay Griffiths

The only truly non-fiction book to make the list, Jay Griffiths has done a fantastic job at creating a masterpiece under a book name that has been used so many times. As an Oxford graduate, when Griffiths embarked on the journey of a lifetime, she did so with genuine scholarly prowess. Her epic journey starts with a trip to meet Shamans in the jungles of the Amazon, takes her across the world to stay with the aborigines, into the cannibalistic tribes of West Papua, on to the homes of Artic Inuit’s and out to the makeshift world of the sea gypsies.

Every step of the way, Griffiths explores indigenous life and the connection to our natural surroundings that the modern world has lost. Her academic background allows her to comment expertly on the etymology of each language, and some of the insights she makes are truly mesmerizing to consider. This book will do more than transport you to a different part of the world; it will make you feel like you are a part of a much greater existence.

Buy this book from Amazon!

Anything that we’ve missed off the list? Be sure to leave a comment below if you can think of another amazing novel that we haven’t mentioned.

About the Author: Isa is an entertainment blogger and has been in love with books her entire life. She knows how to find the perfect read for any occasion and loves sharing her favorite novels with fellow bookworms.

Top Ten Books Set Outside The USA

Posted July 18, 2016 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 11 Comments


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

I LOVE reading books that take place in other countries and/or have some kind of a travel theme in them, so I am so excited about this TTT prompt!

If I’m missing any awesome books that you think I should read, please tell me! My favorite thing about reading is escaping to a new place, so throw all the recommendations at me!



Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard • Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Lyla Payne • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins • Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney • Love, Lucy by April Lindner • Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae • Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson • Just One Day by Gayle Forman • Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill • Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

What are your favorite books set outside the USA? Leave your links and I’ll come visit!

My Dream Heist Crew | Smash & Grab Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Posted July 18, 2016 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway / 3 Comments

My Dream Heist Crew | Smash & Grab Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop along the Smash & Grab blog tour, hosted by The Irish Banana Review! In honor of this heisty, exciting new book by Amy Christine Parker I get to tell you all about the heist crew I’ve dreamed up! I don’t know about you, but I’d love to have a crew of awesome peeps who would drop everything at a moment’s notice to help me take over the world. My crew consists of characters from the big screen, the TV screen, and my favorite YA books because these are my rules. Make sure you hang around to read more about the book, the author, and enter for a chance to win a copy of Smash & Grab for yourself!

Jana’s Heist Crew

Neal Caffrey from White Collar
Ok, so every crew needs a little eye candy but Neal is SO much more than that! He’s a master con artist, art forger, smooth talker, and killer dresser. He’s sweet, loyal, makes you feel good about yourself, loves fine things, and would always be in it for the long haul. This guy is not going anywhere, and who would want him to? (And seriously. He’s gorgeous.)

Nikolai Karimov from The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Every heist crew needs a little magic and enchantment, right?

Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
He’s pretty powerful, plus he’s the perfect blend of loyalty, protectiveness, chivalry, bravery, nobility, angst, and fierceness.

Scarlet from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
This girl gets things DONE. She stops at nothing, and will put everyone in their place.

Cress from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Universe-class hacker right here, ladies and gents! All heist crews need hackers.

Maggie Silver from Also Known As by Robin Benway
She’s an expert safe cracker. So is Neal, but since he’s super versatile it’s nice to have another one so he can do something else.

Mal from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
He’s awesome at tracking things!

Jason Bourne from the Bourne films
Do I even need to explain?

Marguerite Caine from A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Someone with a Firebird who can travel between parallel dimensions would be PRICELESS.

Kari from Two Lies and a Spy by Kat Carlton
She will stop at nothing to clear the names of those she loves, so basically we need her for her loyalty and her determination. She also has connections, and we could totally use those.

Who would be in your heist crew?

Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker
Published by Random House BFYR on July 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon • B&N

Ocean’s Eleven meets the star-crossed lovers of West Side Story.Grab some popcorn and get ready for an adrenaline-filled heist!

LEXI is a rich girl who loves a good rush. Whether it’s motorcycle racing or BASE jumping off a building in downtown Los Angeles, the only times she feels alive are when she and her friends are executing one of their dares. After her father’s arrest, Lexi doesn’t think twice about going undercover at his bank to steal the evidence that might clear his name. She enlists her hacker brother and her daredevil friends to plan a clever heist.

CHRISTIAN is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. The local gang has blackmailed him and his friends into robbing banks, and he is desperate for a way out. When the boss promises that one really big job will be the last he ever has to do, Christian jumps at the chance for freedom. In fact, he’s just met a girl at the bank who might even prove useful. . . .

Two heists. One score. The only thing standing in their way is each other.

Told in alternating points of view, this caper is full of romance and fast-paced fun. Hand to fans of Perfect Chemistry, The Conspiracy of Us, and Heist Society.

About Amy

AMY CHRISTINE PARKER writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. Visit her at and follow her on Twitter @amychristinepar.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Tour Schedule:

7/11: Fiction Fare – My Heist Crew
7/12: Who R U Blog – Novel Secrets
7/13: Bookish Escapes – Review
7/14: Paperback Princess – My Heist Crew
7/15: Bookiemoji – Review
7/18: That Artsy Reader Girl – My Heist Crew
7/19: In Wonderland – Review
7/20: Live to Read – Review
7/21: Go Read a Book – Review
7/22: Bibliobuli – Q&A

The Debut Dish: July 2016, Issue #2 (+ Giveaway)

Posted July 17, 2016 by Jana in Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway / 8 Comments

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 Sonya Mukherjee (Gemini), Tracy Edward Wymer (Soar), and Kathleen Burkinshaw (The Last Cherry Blossom).

Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee
July 26, 2016 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

In a powerful and daring debut novel, Sonya Mukherjee shares the story of sisters Clara and Hailey, conjoined twins who are learning what it means to be truly extraordinary.

Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins Clara and Hailey have lived in the same small town their entire lives—no one stares at them anymore. But there are cracks in their quiet existence, and they’re slowly becoming more apparent. Clara and Hailey are at a crossroads. Clara wants to stay close to home, avoid all attention, and study the night sky. Hailey wants to travel the world, learn from great artists, and dance with mysterious boys. As high school graduation approaches, each twin must untangle her dreams from her sister’s, and figure out what it means to be her own person.

Told in alternating perspectives, this unconventional coming-of-age tale shows how dreams can break your heart—but the love between sisters can mend it.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Conjoined twins with conflicting plans.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
All I can tell you is it involves soccer, Lady Gaga, and aliens.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was in the parking lot of Michael’s Arts & Crafts when I got a mysterious email from my agent, asking me to call. For various reasons, I thought it was about bad news. I was congested, grumpy, and had a headache, and I almost convinced myself to put off calling him until the next day, when I figured I’d be feeling better. I’m glad I didn’t wait!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Chocolate chip cookies! Wait, no, brownies. Wait, cheesecake. Chocolate chip brownie cheesecake?

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A Tupperware container full of light bulbs.

Soar by Tracy Edward Wymer
July 5, 2016 from Aladdin (Simon & Schuster)
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Seventh grader Eddie is determined to honor his father’s legacy and win the school science fair in this fun and quirky debut novel.

Eddie learned everything there is to know about birding from his dad, including the legend of the Golden Eagle, which Dad claimed he saw once down near Miss Dorothy’s pond. According to his dad, the Golden Eagle had wings wider than a creek and talons the size of bulldozer claws. But when Eddie was in sixth grade, Dad “flew away” for good, leaving Eddie on his own to await the return of the elusive raptor.

Now Eddie is starting seventh grade and trying to impress Gabriella, the new girl in town. The annual seventh grade Science Symposium (which Dad famously won) is looming, and Eddie is determined to claim the blue ribbon for himself. With Mr. Dover, the science teacher who was Dad’s birding rival, seemingly against him, and with Mouton, the class bully, making his life miserable on all fronts, Eddie is determined to overcome everything and live up to Dad’s memory. Can Eddie soar and make his dream take flight?

Describe your book in five words or less.
Boy. Bird. Love. Loss. Family.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favorite scene in my book is the very last scene. It’s my favorite scene because, honestly, the outcome of my story is inevitable, but the surprise comes in how the main character gets to that outcome.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I had just walked into my office at school. I’m an assistant principal. I had just come from a meeting, and I checked my cell phone and had a voice message from my agent, John Rudolph. He had also sent me an email. Needless to say, he was trying to contact me! I high-fived everyone in sight. Administrators. Teachers. But especially the students.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Wings. Spicy wings with blue cheese dressing.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
On my desk at school I have this pencil holder my daughter made out of purple Play-doh. It’s all bent out of shape now and as hard as stone. It’s actually kind of gross. I’d say that’s fairly odd.

The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw
August 2, 2016 from Sky Pony Press
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Following the seventieth anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, this is a new, very personal story to join Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

Yuriko was happy growing up in Hiroshima when it was just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan’s fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden fom its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and the air-raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home. When the bomb hits Hiroshima, it’s through Yuriko’s twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror.

This is a story that offers young readers insight into how children lived during the war, while also introducing them to Japanese culture. Based loosely on author Kathleen Burkinshaw’s mother’s firsthand experience surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The Last Cherry Blossom hopes to warn readers of the immense damage nuclear war can bring, while reminding them that the “enemy” in any war is often not so different from ourselves.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Family, friendship, secrets, loss, survival.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favorite scene takes place when MC Yuriko is on the veranda with her Papa, as he tells her stories.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was at home when I received the email from my agent. I wanted to share with my husband, but he was outside trying to get our dog away from a squirrel. So I’m standing in the door way trying to get his attention through all the barking and squirrel shenanigans!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Rice crispy treats tied with chocolate!

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Olaf candy dispenser!

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Rebellion by J.A. Souders | Blog Tour Book Review (+ Giveaway)

Posted July 15, 2016 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult / 8 Comments

Rebellion by J.A. Souders | Blog Tour Book Review (+ Giveaway)Rebellion by J.A. Souders
Series: Elysium Chronicles #3
Also in this series: Renegade, Revelations
Published by Tor Teen on July 12, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher (Mail)
Amazon Barnes & Noble Add to Goodreads
3.5 Stars
The thrilling conclusion to J. A. Souders’s riveting SF psychological thriller series for teens

In this conclusion to J. A. Souders’s thrilling, twist-filled Elysium Chronicles series, Evie Winters and Gavin Hunter return to the isolated, dangerous underwater city that they fought so hard to escape.

Back in Elysium at last, Evie has finally found her true self hidden under layers and layers of false memories implanted by the woman she knew as Mother. Thanks to the intervention of her father, she knows the horrible truth about Mother and her insidious plans for her city. With the help of the love of her life, Gavin, and her best friend, Asher St. James, she’s determined to free her people from the cruel dictatorship of Mother’s laws. But how do you free people who don’t know they need rescuing?

Working with the growing Underground rebellion, Evie tries to remove Mother from her position by force—with disastrous results. As the body count rises, Evie must find a way to save Elysium before Mother destroys them all.

Welcome to my stop along the official blog tour for Rebellion by J.A. Souders! Rebellion (released on July 12, 2016) is the final book in the Elysium Chronicles, which is a trilogy I absolutely LOVE (see my reviews for the first two books here and here). This concluding story has been a long time coming, and I’m excited to share my thoughts with you today! I’m going to keep things as spoiler free as possible, which is why my review will be shorter than some, but please be aware of the fact that my review might end up spoiling parts of the first two books in the trilogy.

Many of my points in my reviews for Renegade and Revelations apply to Rebellion as well. The city of Elysium is amazing, and we get to experience more of it in this book. I was really happy to be back here, rather than in the Outlands (which was the dangerous stretch of land Gavin and Evie crossed in Revelations). I just love cities beneath the surface of the ocean. Souders does a wonderful job of describing the setting and the scenery.

Again, the story is written in dual perspectives from Evie and Gavin. I really enjoyed reading both their thoughts, and felt it enriched my reading experience. Our beloved characters have gone through some changes, and it was fun to see them grow. Evie, who started out as a naive, brainwashed, lightweight of a girl has transformed into a stubborn, kick-butt heroine who essentially holds the world of Elysium in her hands as she leads the rebellion against Mother. Gavin is the same old knight-in-shining armor I fell in love with in the first book, and will stop at nothing to make sure Evie is safe. Asher is still the sweet older brother figure, and Mother has reached new levels of insanity. We even meet some new people along the way.

The action is non-stop, heart-pumping, and ends in a way I’m not sure anyone will see coming. Rebellion is a strong conclusion to an even stronger series, and I will miss this world and the characters I’ve enjoyed so much. I definitely recommend this trilogy to anyone looking for a unique sci-fi reading experience. I’m excited to see where J.A. Souders takes us next.

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Tour Schedule

July 11 – Chapter by Chapter
July 12 – Seeing Double in Neverland
July 13 – Short n Sweet Reviews
July 14 – Gizmo’s Reviews
July 15 – That Artsy Reader Girl
July 16 – The Nocturnal Library

Happy 4th of July 2016!

Posted July 4, 2016 by Jana in Personal / 3 Comments

4th of july 2016


I love the 4th of July because it’s all about family and food! My family is having a barbecue tonight and then my mom, sister, and I are having a Bachelorette viewing party! Then we’re sitting outside and watching fireworks. :)

How are YOU celebrating today?

The Debut Dish: July 2016, Issue #1 (+ Giveaway)

Posted July 3, 2016 by Jana in Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway / 5 Comments

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 Katie Kennedy (Learning to Swear In America).

Learning to Swear In America by Katie Kennedy
July 5, 2016 from BloomsburyUS Kids
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Brimming with humor and one-of-a-kind characters, this end-of-the world novel will grab hold of Andrew Smith and Rainbow Rowell fans.

An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been called to NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster. He knows how to stop the asteroid: his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize–if there’s ever another Nobel prize awarded. But Yuri’s 17, and having a hard time making older, stodgy physicists listen to him. Then he meets Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he’s not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and save a life worth living.

Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and have your mind burst open with questions of the universe.

Describe your book in five words or less.

Asteroid, highest stakes, Immanuel Kant.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
Hmm…today my favorite scene is when Yuri and Dovie have a picnic on his office floor at the Jet Propulsion Lab as the asteroid nears Earth.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
In my kitchen. (That’s where the phone is.)

What’s your favorite junk food?
I almost put mint chocolate chip ice cream in the acknowledgments, because the book couldn’t have been written without it. I did name a chapter for it.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A Harry Truman Pez dispenser.

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Debut Author Challenge 2016: July Review Link-Up

Posted July 1, 2016 by Jana in Debut Author Challenge / 2 Comments


Happy July! We just passed the halfway point for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge! Can you believe it!? How are you doing? How was your June? We had such a huge response from participants last month, and I’m so excited about all the reviews that were linked up. Make sure you keep up the good work!

Who has finished the 12-book goal for the challenge already? Have you increased your goal yet? You totally should! Which debuts do you have on pre-order? And which ones are you most excited to read?

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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