Posts Categorized: Book Spotlight

Never Apart by Romily Bernard | Blog Tour Book Spotlight (+ Giveaway)

October 16, 2017 Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Giveaway 3

Never Apart by Romily Bernard | Blog Tour Book Spotlight (+ Giveaway)

Never Apart by Romily Bernard | Blog Tour Book Spotlight (+ Giveaway)Never Apart by Romily Bernard
Published by Entangled Teen on October 3, 2017
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Thriller, Time Travel
Pages: 400
Amazon Amazon UK Barnes & Noble iBooks Book Depository Add to Goodreads
How many times would you die for love?

What if you had to relive the same five days over and over?

And what if at the end of it, your boyfriend is killed…

And you have to watch. Every time.

You don’t know why you’re stuck in this nightmare.

But you do know that these are the rules you now live by:

Wake Up.

Run.

Die.

Repeat.

Now, the only way to escape this loop is to attempt something crazy. Something dangerous. Something completely unexpected. This time…you’re not going to run.

Combining heart-pounding romance and a thrilling mystery Never Apart is a stunning story you won’t soon forget.

About Romily Bernard

Romily Bernard graduated from Georgia State University with a literature degree. Since then, she’s worked as a riding instructor, cell-phone salesperson, personal assistant, horse groomer and exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service representative. . . . She’s also, of course, now a YA novelist. So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed. Romily currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her debut novel, Find Me, won the Golden Heart Award for YA Romance from the Romance Writers of America in 2012.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Forever’s Holiday Celebration | Blog Tour

December 7, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Guest Post 0

Forever’s Holiday Celebration | Blog Tour

Merry Christmas from five of Forever’s authors! Carolyn Brown, Paula Quinn, Debbie Mason, Hope Ramsay, and Oliva Miles have all published brand new Christmas romances and are here to share with us their holiday memories and favorite yummy recipes!


Merry Cowboy Christmas by Carolyn Brown
Series: Lucky Penny Ranch #3
September 27, 2016 from Forever
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THIS CHRISTMAS, SANTA’S WEARING A STETSON
Tis the night before Christmas and all through the house is the presence of one wickedly hot cowboy who’s come to stay for the holiday. Fiona Logan is downright shocked to return to her childhood home and find that the tall blond stranger who came to her rescue on an icy road will be sleeping just across the hall from her bedroom. Talk about temptation . . .

Jud Dawson never believed the Lucky Penny Ranch would live up to its name until now. Fiona is gorgeous, smart, funny, and everything he thought he’d never find. Now all he has to do is convince her to stick around town instead of hightailing it back to Houston. But with wild weather, nosy neighbors, and a new baby in the family, getting her to admit that she’s falling in love might just take a Christmas miracle.

Read more about Carolyn on her website.

Carolyn Brown’s Pumpkin Bread

Kids, grand children, great-grands, all coming home for the holidays—the aroma of pumpkin bread baking in the oven—everyone waiting for it to get done so they can slice it up while it’s still hot, slather butter or whipped cream cheese on it, and tell the age old stories about the holidays we’ve had in the house. That’s the stuff memories are made off and every time I smell pumpkin bread it puts a smile on my face for the whole day.

Pumpkin Bread

This makes 2 loaves and 8 muffins; Or it makes one Bundt cake

Ingredients:

½ cup butter
½ cup shortening
2 2/3 cups of sugar
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin (one 15-16 ounce can)
3 ½ cups flour
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons soda
1 cup pecans (optional)
2/3 cup of cold strong black coffee
(NOTE: I use all butter if I’m out of shortening or even oil)

Directions:

1. Cream first four ingredients.
2. Add canned pumpkin.
3. Add dry ingredients alternately with coffee
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour for loaves or bundt cake, 25 minutes for muffins, or until they test done in the center.
5. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
6. Cool completely before frosting with Harvest Moon Frosting (below).

Harvest Moon Frosting

3 egg whites
1½ cups brown sugar
6 tablespoons water
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a double boiler. Cook 7 minutes, beating the whole time with an electric mixer, over the boiling water. The frosting will stand in peaks when done. Add vanilla. Beat until thick enough to spread.


A Highlander’s Christmas Kiss by Paula Quinn
Series: The MacGregors: Highland Heirs #5
September 27, 2016 from Forever
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A STRANGER’S SMILE

Christmas may be coming to Linavar, but Temperance Menzie is far from joyful. Grief-stricken over the death of her father at the hands of the Black Riders, she almost didn’t see the wounded stranger in the woods. And now she’s determined to give this braw, brooding Highlander the help she couldn’t give her father. But there’s a secret lurking in the depths of his blue-gray eyes. And Temperance won’t rest until she uncovers it . . .

A LOVER’S KISS

A killer for hire. It’s the last thing Cailean Grant ever thought he’d become, but being part of the Black Riders was his only way to survive. Now, his guilt grows day by day, along with his desire for the beautiful, brave lass nursing him back to health. As Christmas, the season of miracles, draws near and the truth of his identity threatens to come out, Cailean must risk the only thing he has left to lose-his heart.

Visit Paula’s website!

My dad used to live across the street from us. Every year, when my
kids were little, he would dress up like Santa, climb out his window
on the second floor, and hang Christmas lights on his fire escape. My
kids would watch from our window with wonder in their eyes, unaware
that it was grandpa. He would turn and wave to them, sending them into
little fits of breathlessness. Later, we would visit grandma and
grandpa’s for homemade cookies (left there for them by Santa). The
house was always fully decked out with every Christmas decoration
imaginable with Alvin and the Chipmunks on repeat while the kids
hunted down little “pre-Christmas” gifts he’d hide for them. I loved
witnessing the magic of Christmas and love through their eyes. Now
grown, my kids will sometimes still look out the window at his fire
escape and smile, remembering a grandpa who loved them beyond measure.

Grandpa’s Christmas Cookies (A favored Italian recipe)

Ingredients:

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3½ cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder

Directions:

1. Sift dry ingredients.
2. Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs; add
vanilla and dry ingredients.
3. Knead and add flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to hands.
4. Pinch off dough, roll in your hands to form a log and then twirl into
shape.
5. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Icing

2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 teaspoons water

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Stir until creamy. Dip cookies into icing and sprinkle with trim. Place on wire rack with wax paper on counter to collect the dripping icing and sprinkles.


Mistletoe Cottage by Debbie Mason
Series: Harmony House #1
October 25, 2016 from Forever
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‘Tis the season for love . . .
Sophie DiRossi loved growing up in Harmony Harbor. But after fleeing in disgrace many years ago, it is the last place she wants to be. Left homeless by a fire, she’s forced to go back to the small coastal town that harbors a million secrets, including her own. Sophie sees this secret reflected every day in her daughter’s blue eyes-and she must keep it hidden from the only man she has ever loved.

Sophie’s return is a shock for everyone . . . especially Liam Gallagher. The firefighter had some serious feelings for Sophie-and seeing her again sparks a desire so fierce it takes his breath away. Now Liam will do whatever it takes to show Sophie that they deserve a second chance at love, even if everything they’ve concealed threatens to keep them apart. In this special town at this special time of the year, Sophie and Liam can only hope for a little holiday magic…

Learn more about Debbie on her website!

One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is our tree trimming party. We’ve held one every year for the past thirty years. Though I don’t know if it qualifies as a party seeing as it’s just the immediate family. But we do make a thing of it with our favorite carols playing in the background, fire on (mostly for ambience), hot chocolate served in festive mugs, lots of holiday treats, and a special ornament for each of the kids and grandkids to open before the tree decorating gets under way.

But I think the most fun for all of us isn’t decorating the tree, it’s unpacking the ornaments. I’ve always tried to buy an ornament that’s uniquely suited to each of the kids, whether it was a sport they were into that year or a movie, book, or hobby they loved, so unwrapping each one brings back a lot of special memories. Here’s a peek at just some of the collection. I don’t think it will be long before we have to break from tradition and let the kids take some of the ornaments home to decorate their own trees. Either that or we’ll have to put up another tree.

And this one in my office doesn’t count. Every year, my family gifts me with an ornament too. This year they gave me these three adorable ornaments to celebrate the release of the first book in the new Harmony Harbor series, MISTLETOE COTTAGE, and the short story, CHRISTMAS WITH AN ANGEL.

Read more about Debbie on her website!


A Christmas Bride by Hope Ramsay
Series: Chapel of Love #1
September 27, 2016 from Forever
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A season of hope . . .
‘Tis the season in Shenandoah Falls and the first time Willow Peterson has been home in years. But she’s determined to fulfill the wishes of her recently deceased best friend and restore Eagle Hill Manor to its former glory-all in time to host the perfect holiday wedding. She just has to get the owner of the historic inn to hire her. Unfortunately, that means dealing with Scrooge himself…

After the death of his wife, David Lyndon has a bah-humbug approach to Christmas. But as December counts down and the wedding planning is in full swing, it’s harder and harder to stay immune to the charms of Willow, especially when he sees how much joy she brings his eight-year-old daughter. After a simple kiss under the mistletoe turns into something more, David is hoping he can turn the magic of the holiday season into the love of a lifetime.

Visit Hope’s website!

Every year for the last quarter-century, or possibly longer, I have set aside the Saturday closest to Christmas to bake gingerbread cookies with my children, and now, with my grandchildren. These are the only cookies I make at Christmas time, and the activity is more about family fun than turning out a perfect cookie. Usually I do most of the rolling, cutting, and baking. And the rest of the family does the decorating.

The magic is in the royal icing. The white icing is a snap to make, and it can be divided up into small bowls and colored with food dye, creating pots of colored cookie paint. I give each child (or adult) a watercolor paint brush and let them paint the icing onto the cookies. The kids have a blast, and the cookies always come out looking wonderfully homemade.

To me, cookie baking embodies everything I love about Christmas: kids, family, baking, and yummy desserts.

Gingerbread Cookie Dough
Makes about 6 Dozen

Ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dutch cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
1 cup superfine sugar
1 egg at room temperature
½ cup unsulphured molasses

Directions:

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients – flour cocoa, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, backing soda, and salt.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat thoroughly.
3. On low speed, add the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.
4. Cut the dough into thirds, pat into disks, wrap in plastic and chill until firm – 2 hours or overnight.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about 1/16 inch thick and cut cookies with cookie cutters. Transfer the cookies to an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the cookie turn brown.
6. Let cool on sheets and then transfer to a wire rack. Decorate with royal icing.

Royal Icing

2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup water

Using a mixer, place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat at high speed until fluffy, thick & shiny (about 10 minutes.) Divide the icing into smaller bowls and color it using food coloring.


Christmas Comes to Main Street by Olivia Miles
Series: Briar Creek #5
September 27, 2016 from Forever
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The mistletoe is out, and the gloves are off . . .

‘Tis the worst season to be single, but Kara Hastings won’t let a little Christmas funk spoil the festive season. Sure, running her own bakery is a little harder than she expected, but she can handle it. And she’ll prove it to a certain infuriatingly handsome, bossy Big City guy. She may be sugar and spice, but she can kick his butt twice.

Nate Griffin is in Briar Creek only for the holidays, and he refuses to fall for the whole “small town, candy cane-scented Christmas Wonderland” thing. He’s more interested in the fresh-faced cookie chef who always knows exactly how to get under his skin. So when Nate challenges Kara in the town’s big holiday contest, it’s not just the competition that starts to heat up. If he’s not careful, Kara won’t just melt his icy resolve against a small-town Christmas . . . she’ll melt his heart too.

Find out more about Olivia on her website!

In my newest release, CHRISTMAS COMES TO MAIN STREET, my heroine owns a cookie bakery. As this story takes place over the holidays, I thought hard about a signature cookie she might make, and eventually I settled on charming snowflake cookies. Of course these are not just any old cut out cookie, though. No, Kara makes them by the dozen, sure to keep each one in the batch distinct in shape and decoration, because no two snowflakes are ever the same, after all! And it’s these snowflake cookies that she delivers every day to the inn in Briar Creek…where a Christmas visitor falls in love with more than just her cookies.

I hope you all enjoy these snowflake cookies as much as Nate does! :)

Kara’s Snowflake Cookies
(recipes courtesy of Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
2. Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half; flatten each half into a disk. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Let one disk of dough stand at room temperature just until soft enough to roll, about 10 minutes. Roll out dough between two pieces of plastic wrap to 1/4 inch thick. Remove top layer of plastic wrap. Cut out cookies. Transfer cookie dough on plastic wrap to a baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to freezer, freeze until very firm, about 15 minutes. Remove baking sheet from freezer and transfer shapes to baking sheets lined with nonstick baking mats. Roll out scraps, and repeat. Repeat with remaining disk of dough.
4. Bake, switching positions of sheets and rotating halfway through, until edges turn golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Royal Icing

2 large egg whites, or more to thin icing
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, or more to thicken icing
Juice of 1 lemon
3 drops glycerin

Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar, lemon juice and glycerin (if using); beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Decorate each as you wish!


Cristin Terrill | 2017 Apollycon Author Spotlight Tour

November 7, 2016 Author Interview, Blog Tour, Book Spotlight 2

Cristin Terrill | 2017 Apollycon Author Spotlight Tour

Woohoo! Today I get to spotlight the amazing Cristin Terrill, who will be joining us at Apollycon in Orlando next year! Cristin’s book, All Our Yesterdays, is one of my FAVORITE books ever (so sad about no sequels!). I reviewed it on my blog many moons ago, and here’s some of the highlights of that review:

“Your mind will be blown, and your eyes will get huge, and your brain will try to comprehend it but it’s really wacky. And amazing.”

“I loved the sweet relationships between Marina and James. To me, it kind of felt like Corey and Topanga from Boy Meets World.”

“Romance blooms, romance fades, new feelings grow, old feelings are explored. People flip flop. Lots happens. In the midst of all of it, the characters learn a lot about themselves.”

Yeah. I loved this book. So I’m super excited to feature Cristin today!


The Fast Five Q&A with Cristin

Thing you’re most excited about for Apollycon 2017:
Getting to hang out with all the other authors and readers!

Last book you read:
The Sisters Who Would Be Queen by Leanda de Lisle. Just a bit of research for something I’m toying with at the moment (and an interesting examination of Jane Grey’s less famous sisters).

Best moment as an author:
Probably my first real book signing at BEA a couple of months before ALL OUR YESTERDAYS released. It’s all a bit of a haze but I think that was when I really realized that my book was going to be published and people were going to read it and my life was going to change.

Last thing you treated yourself to:
A chocolate frozen custard for surviving a miserable day without hurting anyone.

Last thing that made you laugh:
While typing my previous answer, my cat jumped for a bookcase and totally missed and I evil cackled. Maybe not very nice, but true.

Cristin Terrill is a young adult author and aspiring grown-up. She grew up semi-nomadic and graduated from Vassar College with a degree in drama. After getting her masters in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, she lived in London, Austin, Boston, and Washington, DC while working as a theatrical stage manager. Now she writes and leads creative writing workshops for DC-area kids and teens. All Our Yesterdays is her first novel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


All Our Yesterdays

What would you change?

Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend, James, since they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it… at least, not as the girl she once was. Em and Marina are in a race against time that only one of them can win.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

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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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
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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

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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


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

July 20, 2016 Book Spotlight, Guest Post 3

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.


The Marked Girl Book Cover Makeup Inspirations | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

June 21, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Debut Author Challenge, Giveaway 4

The Marked Girl Book Cover Makeup Inspirations | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop along the blog tour for The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele, hosted by The Irish Banana Review! FYI, this is Lindsey’s debut novel and counts towards the 2016 Debut Author Challenge!

The book cover for The Marked Girl is so beautiful, and I love the colors. I thought it would be fun to pick out makeup in those colors and put together a pretty look for my stop today. See what I chose, and then read more about the book and the author below.


TheMarkedGirl-Makeup

Eyes
Video tutorial, pictures, and supplies found here.

Lips
Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor / Color: HD Addiction

Nails
Fingernails: Julep / Color: Jocelyn / Classic with a Twist  / Finish: Shimmer
Description: Cranberry shimmer with holographic microglitter

Toenails/Accent fingernail: Julep / Color: Cher / May birthstone (Emerald) / Finish: Shimmer
Description: Emerald iridescent shimmer

I’m obsessed with green eyeshadow, and always wear it myself because it makes my green eyes pop and highlights the gold flecks. I loved this eye makeup combination as soon as I saw it. The green matches the green on the cover, and the smoky accents give off a feeling of fantasy and mystery just like the book does.

I love bold, saturated nail colors and if there’s glitter involved I’m even more excited. These two colors go very well together and match the book cover perfectly. I’m not sure if I would use one color for my fingers and one for my toes, or if I would use the Jocelyn color predominately and Cher for accent nails.

I actually own this lipcolor, and it is AMAZING. It goes on so silky and thick without feeling heavy, and the color is gorgeous. How pretty does it look with the eye color? I love this look, and want to buy everything I don’t have so that I can re-create it myself.

What do you think of my choices? Would you wear any of these colors/products?


The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
Series: Marked Girl #1
Published by HarperCollins on June 7, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Time Travel, Romance
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Amazon • B&N • IndieBound • iBooks • Book Depository

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (Los Angeles)…

When Cedric, crowned prince of Caelum, and his fellow royal friends (including his betrothed, Kat) find themselves stranded in modern-day L.A. via a magical portal and an evil traitor named Malquin, all they want to do is get home to Caelum—soon. Then they meet Liv, a filmmaker foster girl who just wants to get out of the system and on with her life. As she and Cedric bond, they’ll discover that she’s more connected to his world than they ever could’ve imagined…and that finding home is no easy task…


About Lindsey Klingele

Lindsey Klingele grew up in Western Michigan, where she read every book she could get her hands on. She eventually moved to Los Angeles (the real land of make believe) and worked as a writers’ assistant for TV shows such as THE LYING GAME and TWISTED. She still loves living in LA, especially since it’s home to great television shows, truly excellent cheeseburgers, and her pitbull, Bighead.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


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Tour Schedule:

6/13: Two Chicks on Books – Q&A
6/14: Across the Words – Review
6/15: The Bookkeeper’s Secret – Graphic Art
6/16: Charmingly Simple – Review
6/17: Bibliobibuli YA – Q&A

6/20: The Book Cellar – Review
6/21: That Artsy Reader Girl – Makeup Inspirations
6/22: I Am Shelfless – Review
6/23: The Irish Banana Review – Top 10
6/24: Fiction Fare – Review


My Favorite Works of Art | Roses & Rot Blog Tour

June 8, 2016 About Me, Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Giveaway 3

My Favorite Works of Art | Roses & Rot Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the Roses & Rot tour, hosted by The Irish Banana Review! In Roses & Rot, sisters Imogen and Marin are accepted to a very elite post-grad arts program, and this school ends up being way different than they expected. The book itself is very atmospheric and the writing is beautiful. Plus, Neil Gaiman blurbed it… so there you go!


I get to do something a little different today for my blog tour stop, and I’m pretty excited about it. I got my undergraduate degree in graphic design and art history, so art is basically my life. I’m all too familiar with the question the book’s synopsis asks us: “How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?” I’ve studied a lot of art and traveled around the world to see some my favorites (but not all!), so today I’m going to show you my favorite pieces of art, many of which were created by artists who sacrificed it all. I had so much fun going through hundreds of pages of my class notes from all my art history courses as I decided which works to showcase.

FavoriteWorksofArt

1. Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (saw this at the MoMA)
2. Water Lilies by Claude Monet
3. Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap by Pieter Bruegel
4. Rise of the Carthaginian Empire by Joseph Mallord William Turner
5. Winter Landscape with Ice Skaters by Hendrick Avercamp
6. The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice by Canaletto
7. Salcombe Estuary, South Devon by Henry Thomas Dawson
8. School of Athens by Rafael (saw this at the Vatican)
9. View of the Pic du Midi d’Ossau in the Pyrenees, with Brigands by Clarkson Stanfield
10. The entire ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo (sat in this chapel at the Vatican)

Are you an art history lover like I am? What are some of your favorite artworks?


Roses and Rot by Kat Howard
Published by Saga Press on May 13, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Fairy Tale
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon • B&N • IndieBound • iBooks • Book Depository

Imogen and her sister Marin have escaped their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, be it art or love.

What would you sacrifice in the name of success? How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.


About Kat:

Kat Howard lives in New Hampshire. Her short fiction has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, anthologized in year’s best and best of collections, and performed on NPR. Roses and Rot is her debut novel. You can find her on twitter at @KatWithSword.

Also, Shane Leonard took her photo, and she’s super grateful.

Website | TwitterTumblr


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Tour Schedule:

6/6: Such A Novel Idea – Playlist
6/7: Cosying Up With Books – Review
6/8: That Artsy Reader Girl – Art History Post
6/9: The Quiet Concert – Review
6/10: Fiction Fare – Q&A
6/13: No BS Book Reviews – Q&A
6/14: Curling Up With A Good Book – Guest Post
6/15: Lilybloombooks – Review
6/16: Reads All the Books – Review
6/17: Fangs & Fur Fantasy Books – Review


Release Day Happiness for White-Hot Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves

June 7, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Spotlight 2

Release Day Happiness for White-Hot Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves

I don’t usually participate in release day blitzes, but Tracey Garvis Graves is and always will be my one and only exception. I love everything she’s ever written, and I can’t wait to read the conclusion of Kate and Ian’s love story! White-Hot Hack is out today, and this is basically the best news you’ll receive all day so there you go.


White-Hot Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves
Series: Kate & Ian #2
Published: June 7, 2016
My review of book #1: Heart-Shaped Hack
Genres: Adult, contemporary, romance
Read the prologue!
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon • B&N • Apple • Kobo

Their love story began in Heart-Shaped Hack. Join Kate and Ian for the thrilling conclusion in White-Hot Hack.

When cybercriminals doxed undercover hacker Ian Bradshaw and forced him to flee, he begged Kate Watts for forgiveness and vowed never to hurt her again. He also convinced her to marry him, and when their idyllic summer on Roanoke Island comes to an end, the newlyweds relocate to their new home deep in the heart of Virginia’s horse and wine country. Ian still struggles with boundaries, but he keeps Kate’s lingerie drawer filled with surprises, and there’s no shortage of number-six kisses. There’s even a fast, new car to replace his beloved Shelby.

Ian promised Kate that life with him would never be boring, but spending her days picking out paint colors and going to Pilates isn’t going to cut it. Meanwhile, Ian discovers that building a white-hat security firm from the ground up seems harder the second time around, and he might have underestimated how much he’d miss the undercover work he walked away from. To make matters worse, the hacktivists are threatening national security, and the task force could really use Ian’s help.

Kate and Ian have always worried that their past would catch up to them, and when faced with the biggest showdown of their lives, they must capitalize on the one thing they excel at most: teamwork. Ian claims no one is a better hacker than him, but in order to triumph, he’ll have to prove it. And if he can’t, he risks losing the woman whose heart he worked so hard to hack.


About Tracey:

Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

 


Sweet by Emmy Laybourne Paperback Release Giveaway

May 23, 2016 Book Spotlight, Giveaway 13

Today we’re celebrating the paperback release of Sweet by Emmy Laybourne, which releases on June 7th! It’s also got a brand new cover, which I quite like. The lovely people at Macmillan have offered my readers the chance to win a copy. Read a little bit about the book and enter to win using the Rafflecopter below.


Sweet by Emmy Laybourne
Published by Square Fish on June 7, 2016
(Originally published on June 1, 2015)
Genres: Horror, Contemporary, Thriller, Survival
Pages: 304
AmazonAdd to Goodreads

They’d kill to get thin.

The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv’s invitation. She’s already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli-the hottest guy ever!-and she’s too sick to even trythe sweetener. And that’s before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a ‘romance’ with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it’s Laurel that he’s determined to save.

Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation in Sweet that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong!

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The Crown’s Game Blog Tour | Debut Book Spotlight (+ Giveaway)

May 18, 2016 Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Giveaway 0

The Crown’s Game Blog Tour | Debut Book Spotlight (+ Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop along the official blog tour for The Crown’s Game, hosted by Rock Star Book Tours! The Crown’s Game is getting wonderful reviews, and I’m so excited to read it. Plus, it’s a debut book so if you’re looking for Debut Author Challenge books his one fits the bill! Read a little about the book and Evelyn, and then make sure you enter to win a beautiful necklace inspired by the book!


the crown's gameThe Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Published by Balzer + Bray on May 17, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Available in: Hardcover, audiobook, ebook
Add to Goodreads 
Purchase: Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBooks

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love… or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear… the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


About Evelyn Skye

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads • Tumblr • Instagram


Giveaway

1 winner will receive a beautiful custom THE CROWN’S GAME necklace (similar to the one in the photo below) made by the lovely Tales of A Ravenous Reader, US Only.

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Check out the other tour stops!

5/9 – Dark Faerie Tales – Guest Post
5/10 – Owl Always Be Reading – Guest Post
5/11 – 125Pages – Review
5/12 – A Backwards Story – Review
5/13 – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

5/16 – The Reader Lines – Review
5/17 – Once Upon a Twilight – Guest Post
5/18 – That Artsy Reader Girl – Spotlight
5/19 – Supernatural Snark – Guest Post
5/20 – Mundie Moms – Review