Category: Giveaway

Book Birthday Debut Dish: Steering Toward Normal by Rebecca Petruck + Giveaway

Posted May 13, 2014 by Jana in Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway / 3 Comments

The Debut Dish, a 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?

Happy, happy book birthday to Rebecca Petruck! Rebecca’s debut middle grade novel, Steering Toward Normal, was released today and I am pleased to have Rebecca on the blog to talk about her new book and offer up a pretty fun prize!

Steering Toward Normal by Rebecca Petruck
May 13, 2014 from Amulet Books
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Eighth grade is set to be a good year for Diggy Lawson: He’s chosen a great calf to compete at the Minnesota State Fair, he’ll see a lot of July, the girl he secretly likes at 4-H, and he and his dad Pop have big plans for April Fool’s Day. But everything changes when classmate Wayne Graf’s mother dies, which brings to light the secret that Pop is Wayne’s father, too. Suddenly, Diggy has a half brother, who moves in and messes up his life. Wayne threatens Diggy’s chances at the State Fair, horns in on his girl, and rattles his easy relationship with Pop.

What started out great quickly turns into the worst year ever, filled with jealousy, fighting, and several incidents involving cow poop. But as the boys care for their steers, pull pranks, and watch too many B movies, they learn what it means to be brothers and change their concept of family as they slowly steer toward a new kind of normal.

Describe your book in five words or less.

Two boys, steers, and poop.

Why should readers pick up your book?

Steering Toward Normal is about the people we choose to have in our lives, and about how to keep our hearts open to the joys and despite the pains. I think watching Diggy cope with the troubles that come his way is both inspiring and really stinking funny. (Get it? “Stinking?” Because of the poop. Comedy gold, people.)

Also, since Steering Toward Normal is about two boys who raise steers as part of a 4-H program to compete at the Minnesota State Fair, it’s set in a world that middle grade readers don’t see as frequently in novels. I think it’s as fascinating as many fantasy worlds I’ve discovered in books. Also, part two: pranks and poop.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?

The best thing about being a debut is the fellowship with other debuts, multi-published authors, and aspiring writers. Publishing is a business with deep troughs and high crests. It is not for the faint of heart and requires a stamina of the soul I discovered I could not have maintained without the support of critique partners, mentors, and the writing community at large. Having Steering Toward Normal finally enter the world is like an acknowledgment to all the people that have encouraged me that their time, energy, and love were put to good use and with deep appreciation.

rebeccadeskWhat’s your favorite movie theater candy?

Frozen Junior Mints that we smuggled in.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?

Sheesh. That’s a tough question as my desk is kind of covered with odd things. The Absinthe purifying hand gel? The steampunk anglerfish? The monster nesting dolls? The cityscape made of paper tubes? Pick one.



Giveaway! (USA/CAN)

Rebecca has a very fun giveaway to offer you! Enter below to win a signed copy of Steering Toward Normal, a blue ribbon, a 4-H wristband that says “Head, Heart, Hands, Health”, and cow-themed candy! Good luck! I hope you win. :)

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Have you heard about Camp Payback by J.K. Rock? + a Giveaway!

Posted May 7, 2014 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Giveaway / 0 Comments

Have you heard about Camp Payback by J.K. Rock? + a Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop along the Camp Payback blog tour, hosted by AToMR Promotions! Last summer I read the first book of the series, Camp Boyfriend, and ADORED it. It is such a fun, summery romance that had me itching to go to summer camp, even though I hate bugs and dirt and campfire smoke. Check out my review of Camp Boyfriend here (the authors even wrote a fun guest post to go along with my review)! Anyway, I have been eagerly anticipating Camp Payback’s release, and you should be too! Here’s everything you need to know about it! My review will come later, as some crazy school/life stuff happened and I fell into a major reading slump that left me liking nothing I read. :)


camp paybackCamp Payback by J.K. Rock
Series: Camp Boyfriend #2
Published by: Spencer Hill Contemporary on April 29, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, contemporary romance, romance
Buy the BookAdd to Goodreads

Alex has big plans for camp this year, starting with making it the best summer ever. Having fun and breaking some rules will get her the payback she wants against her parents and her ex-boyfriend. Because of his disgusting texts, she’s headed to a super strict all-girls school in the fall.

Then she meets Javier and revenge doesn’t seem nearly as important as getting to know the troubled loner determined to keep a low profile at camp. But Alex’s trouble-magnet personality and Javier’s need to stay in the background don’t mix nearly as well as their irresistible chemistry.

With her home life eroding under her feet and her last year of summer camp speeding to a close, Alex wants to make her mark on the world and squeeze every bit of fun out of her time with Javier. Too bad her old plans for revenge turn back on her just in time to ruin everything. Will she lose Javier too?

All the Links:

Author Website | Tumblr | Pinterest | Google+ | YouTube | Facebook | Goodreads

International Giveaway!

WOW. What an awesome giveaway J.K. Rock has for you! Good luck! I hope you win. :)

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Emmy Laybourne’s Monument 14 Series Retrospective + a Giveaway!

Posted April 27, 2014 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway / 11 Comments

Emmy Laybourne’s Monument 14 Series Retrospective + a Giveaway!

I’m so excited to have Emmy on the blog today to talk about her Monument 14 trilogy, and what it’s like to finish a trilogy. She has filmed a very fun video blog that perfectly showcases her fun personality, and will hopefully get you all psyched up for the final book, Savage Drift, which comes out on May 6th. Before I turn you over to the video, here’s some very helpful information about Savage Drift and the rest of the trilogy!


Savage Drift (Monument 14 #3) by Emmy Laybourne

The survivors of the Monument 14 have finally made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Dean and Alex are cautiously starting to hope that a happy ending might be possible.

But for Josie, separated from the group and trapped in a brutal prison camp for exposed Type Os, things have gone from bad to worse. Traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue or safety.

Meanwhile, scared by the government’s unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid (with her two protectors, Dean and Jake in tow) joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with his lost love Josie.

Monument 14 on Goodreads | Sky on Fire on Goodreads | Savage Drift on Goodreads
Savage Drift Book Trailer | Emmy’s Website


Thanks for stopping by today, Emmy! Monument 14 is one of my very favorite trilogies, and I am sad to see it end. I’m excited for what you have in store for us next, though!

Macmillan is kind enough to offer up a signed trilogy to one lucky reader (USA/CAN) of my blog! I’m SO excited, because now I get to introduce this amazing trilogy to a new reader! PLUS, you don’t even have to go crazy waiting for the books to come out. You can just binge read. :) OH. And do follow the rest of the tour! There are some very fun posts. :)

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Taken with You by Shannon Stacey | Book Review + Giveaway

Posted April 3, 2014 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway / 4 Comments

Taken with You by Shannon Stacey | Book Review + Giveaway

Taken with You by Shannon Stacey | Book Review + GiveawayTaken With You by Shannon Stacey
Series: Kowalski Family #8
Published by Carina Press on March 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
Add to Goodreads
Hailey Genest has seen most of her friends marry and have babies, and she's happy for them, but it was a lot easier before she hit forty. She's spent her entire life in Whitford, Maine, and if she hasn't found her Prince Charming by now, she has to accept she's probably not going to. When a new friend suggests they go on an adventure and embrace being single, Hailey agrees.

Surviving in the woods is game warden Matt Barnett's idea of a relaxing vacation. But when he meets two women in need of help, he leads them back to safety - a task that proves more fun than expected, thanks to a certain hot blonde. He can't resist pushing her buttons, even though she's made it clear that the rugged, outdoorsy type just isn't for her.

Hailey is glad to see the back of her tempting-tour-guide-slash-pain-in-the-ass. When he shows up in her life again, she's determined to avoid him, no matter how good he looks in his uniform. But that's easier said than done in Whitford, especially when he's renting the house right next door...

Welcome to my stop along the Taken with You blog tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! I’m so excited to promote such a fun and romantic book today. :) This is my very first Kowalski Family book, and I am absolutely in love. I can’t wait to grab the other books in the series!

In this book, Hailey the librarian comes across Matt the game warden while being stranded in the woods. She is not at all outdoorsy, and is certainly not at her best when he finds them and shows them to their car. Matt is not at his best either, as he is covered in camping grime and hasn’t shaved. He’s not too fond of Hailey, but thinks she’s a little on the cute side. Imagine how surprised he is when he moves in to town and ends up hosting a meeting at her library. THEN he moves into the house next door to her! I loved all the coincidences, and how exasperated these two were because of each other.

Throughout the entire story, these two keep telling themselves that they are SO wrong for each other. But for some reason, Hailey keeps showing up at his house and Matt keeps looking in her living room window to watch her clean. And Matt’s dog LOVES Hailey. I love books with sweet pet sidekicks, and Matt’s dog is one of my favorites. The romance is a slow burn on again, off again kind of relationship, which I loved. I love that Hailey is a librarian, and in a small town! That’s my dream job! I loved reading about her work and the fun activities she hosted. I love Matt’s ruggedness. Like Hailey, I’m very girlie girl, but I could SO go outdoorsy if I had Matt with me. Phew! I love how these two become friends who really care for one another. Friendships turn romance are always so much fun to read.

All in all, I loved Taken with You! I can’t wait to read more about these Kowalski family members who kept popping up in the story. Had I been a long time reader of the series, I’m sure I would have loved seeing them again! BUT the book can stand alone as well. I did not feel like I was missing anything important, so don’t worry about picking the series up in the middle like I did. There’s not really any bad language, and very few sex scenes, which I appreciated. This book was more about feelings, which I love so much. Definitely give this series a try if you enjoy contemporary romance!


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Zips Goes Wandering by Chris March | Children’s Book Review + Giveaway

Posted March 14, 2014 by Jana in Blog Tour, Children's Book Review, Giveaway, Inner Child / 4 Comments

Zips Goes Wandering by Chris March | Children’s Book Review + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Zips Goes Wandering tour, hosted by CBB Book Promotions! I’m excited to tell you all about this sweet little picture book, and offer a giveaway for your chance to win a copy of your own!


Zips Goes Wandering written and illustrated by Chris Marsh
Series: Savannah Friends #1
Published by booktrope on March 14, 2013
Pages: 21
Grade Level: Preschool through 2nd grade
Source: From the publisher
AmazonB&N • iTunes • Add to Goodreads

Zips is a zebra, a curious one at that. Despite his mum’s warnings, he follows his curiosity across the savannah. After a close brush with a lion and a croc, Zips discovers he’s lost, far from home. What should a youngster do when he’s lost and alone? Zips seeks friends he can trust and uses his wits till he’s reunited, safe and sound, with his mum. This colorful, rhyming picture book has lively pictures of African animals. Zips Goes Wandering can help parents and children discuss safety issues and what to do if they ever get lost or separated.

Zips Goes Wandering is a fun rhyming picture book about a little zebra who goes on an adventure and gets lost. Reminiscent of Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman, Zips goes to different animals to ask if they have seen his mother. He searches and searches before finding a really tall giraffe who is able to help him. Children will enjoy the repetition of Zips asking for his mom and then rushing off to see if that animal directed him in the correct direction or sent him to the wrong place again.

The illustrations are absolutely delightful, and are my favorite part of the book. Each illustration is bright, colorful, and enhances the text of the story so that emerging readers feel confident in trying to sound out the words. Children will love looking at pictures of several different animals. The author plays with perspective and Zips’s nose is frequently fish-eyed on the page, big and adorable. He has the sweetest little face, and so much personality.

The story presents a very important message to its readers, and that is to be careful and stay close by so as not to get lost. I think this is a great book to read to a child in order to explain this lesson, as well as come up with a plan for what to do if someone does get lost. Zips comes close to getting hurt by a crocodile and a lion, which is a compelling reason to not wander off. Luckily Zips was taught to ask other grow-ups for help, and he ended up home safe. I’ve found several lost children in stores over the course of my life, and it’s a super scary thing for everyone involved. This is such an important lesson to discuss with children, and I’m so happy to see such a sweet book that does just that. Highly recommended.


About the Author

Chris Marsh grew up in the heart of the English Countryside and spent many sunny days going on wild adventures and long expeditions, with his mother constantly reminding him to be careful. On those rainy days he would spend hours either reading, painting or drawing, letting his imagination go wild and creating a variety of stories and tales about his adventures. Surrounded by pets and constantly exploring the local wildlife and farm animals, Chris developed a love for animals which crept into his creativity. Years later it was Chris’ turn to do the careful reminding to his adventurous nieces and nephews and he found the only way to engage them was through stories.

Savannah Friends Website  |  Savannah Friends Facebook  |  Author on Goodreads

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The Secret Diamond Sisters Blog Tour | Character Profile – Peyton + Giveaway

Posted March 7, 2014 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway / 10 Comments

The Secret Diamond Sisters Blog Tour | Character Profile – Peyton + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop along the book blog tour for The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow, hosted by Kismet Blog Touring. This post is chock full of goodies, including all the information about the book and the author, the character profile for Peyton, and a really exciting giveaway! So, let’s get started!

About the Book

The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow
Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #1
Published by Harlequin Teen on February 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
AmazonBarnes & Noble • Book DepositoryBooks-A-Million

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

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Character Profile for Peyton

Peyton.inddAt seventeen years old, Peyton is the oldest Diamond sister. She’s been hurt in the past, but because of it, has developed a thick skin. She will do anything for her sisters, going as far as protecting them from their mom’s outbursts and getting home first from school to make sure everything in the house (including their mom) is ready for them. She’s tough, doesn’t trust easily, and while she has many people she hangs out with, the only people who she feels truly know her are her sisters. She doesn’t like school (she gets restless sitting in classrooms!) and can’t wait until graduation so she’ll be done forever.

Peyton’s a natural night owl, and waking up in the morning is a constant struggle. (Her sisters usually resort to throwing things at her to wake her up, and often yell at her to hurry up showering so they can have time for their morning routines, too.) She needs at least three cups of coffee to get going. She loves rock music, and can usually be found with an earbud attached to her ear, even during her classes. She loves partying and dancing and getting lost in the music. She also enjoys an occasional chill night of movies and television shows, as long as it’s not a rom-com chick flick.

She wears mostly black clothing—why bother with colors when black always looks hot on her? Her nails are usually painted black as well. She’s not afraid to speak up for what she believes in and she will always stand up for her sisters. She tries to not let anyone in to avoid getting hurt—but really she just wants to find that one person who cares enough to break down her walls.

About Michelle Madow

Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in the Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video. Michelle’s upcoming YA trilogy, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner will be published by Harlequin TEEN in Spring 2014.

Michelle graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta. She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010.

She lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and spends way too much time on Facebook and Twitter.

Find Michelle here!
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

Contest Information

Each tour stop is offering up a copy of The Secret Diamond sisters, and one winner will receive a fantastic Grand Prize Package including the following Harlequin Teen titles: 2 copies of The Secret Diamond Sisters, a copy of White hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout, Grim edited by Christine Johnson, a signed copy of Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott and an ARC of Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid.

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Follow the rest of the tour!

Monday, March 3rd – Chapter by Chapter
Wednesday, March 5th – The Book Bells
Friday, March 7th – That Artsy Reader Girl

Monday, March 10th – Good Books and Good Wine
Wednesday, March 12th – Book Swoon
Friday, March 14th – Spiced Latte

For the Love of Book Boyfriends by Heather Demetrios | Author Guest Post + a Giveaway!

Posted February 14, 2014 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 13 Comments

For the Love of Book Boyfriends by Heather Demetrios | Author Guest Post + a Giveaway!

I’m so excited to have Heather on the blog on Valentine’s Day to talk about the book boyfriend from her new novel, Something Real, as well as some of the book boyfriends she’s crushed on! She has picked some amazingly swoonworthy ones! Also, make sure you make it to the bottom of the post and enter the giveaway for your own copy of Something Real!

For the Love of Book Boyfriends
by Heather Demetrios

It being Valentine’s Day and all, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to talk about book boyfriends. Specifically, the book boyfriend from SOMETHING REAL, my debut novel. Here’s a little description of Patrick Sheldon:

…with his longish hair and threadbare secondhand couture, he could be a beat poet, Kerouac or one of his friends. He looks like the kind of boy who would jump trains, strum a guitar, and pass a joint.

He might not be everyone’s version of dreamy, but he’s my version of dreamy—and, more importantly, my protagonist’s. Creating a book boyfriend is A LOT of fun, but it’s no easy task. I didn’t want Patrick to be a cardboard guy, an Everyteen that could be any number of seventeen-year-old dudes across America. How many times have you read just another version of Ned from Nancy Drew (which, ironically, is short for EDWARD)? You want your guy to be loveable, yes. Swoony? Yes. Perfect? No. In one of my early drafts of SOMETHING REAL, my agent told me Patrick was too perfect and I knew she was right, so I had to dive back into the manuscript and roughen him up a little. The main issue was that he never got upset about any of the crap he has to deal with. His girlfriend’s on a reality TV show and paparazzi are everywhere: even if some teen guys might think that’s cool, I’d already created a Patrick who wasn’t about the fame game. Remember: he looks like the kind of boy who would jump trains, strum a guitar, and pass a joint. That’s not the kind of guy that wants to be on the cover of US Weekly. In his perfection, it was almost as if Patrick existed to be my protagonist’s boyfriend instead of a living, breathing character who’s a person in his own right. When your book boyfriend is unbelievable, it’s much harder to fall in love with him because you can’t pretend that he’s real. The fantasy dies a quick death.

Over the course of Something Real, Patrick and Bonnie™ have their ups and downs. Though it was hard for me to write those downs because I fell in love with both of them, the book is better for it. Patrick is also his own person, with a passion for architecture, some serious smarts, and a refusal to be a doormat. He makes sacrifices for the girl he loves, but he also knows when to say enough is enough. Because of that, they have…wait for it…something real.

Right now is a great time for book boyfriends in YA. Here are three of my favorites:

St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

People had been telling me to read this book forever, but I didn’t get to it until this past Christmas. Oh my gosh—talk about swoon-worthy! What I love is that Stephanie Perkins gives St. Clair some quirks and imperfections so that even though every girl in the school wants him, he’s not your typical high school hottie. St. Clair’s not always nice to Anna and he doesn’t always make the right choices. He’s very, very cute but Perkins offsets that with his self-consciousness over being short and his unmanly fear of heights (and his utter inability to come to a decision about his love life). I like how smart he is, that he appreciates Anna’s oddities, and that he does a ton of adorable things. I also liked that sometimes he pissed me off and had to earn his way back into my heart…and Anna’s.

Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Who doesn’t love Levi? Rainbow Rowell is pretty much the queen of creating amazing book boyfriends (Park from Eleanor and Park is my jam, as well). I love that Levi’s a gentleman, but he’s not a chaste dude. I like that he has his own passions and that he’s a super positive guy. It is so rare to find someone who always looks on the bright side and who can’t keep a smile off his face. Oh, and he makes a mean latte. Need I say more?

Sean from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Here’s an awesome fantasy book boyfriend for you. What I really like about Sean is that he has his own singular passion and this is what brings him and Puck together. They are very much their own people, but they discover ways they can support and care for one another. Their individual fierce independence is part of what creates so much chemistry between them. He’s also tough in the most laid back kind of way, a bit of a loner, and has a good heart. I love those mystery guys, the iconoclasts that are comfortable in their own skin and don’t give a crap what anyone else thinks. But it only works if they have a sensitive side and know how to treat a girl right, like Mr. Sean Kendrick.

About the Book

Something RealSomething Real by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt books for Young Readers on February 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Buy the BookAdd to Goodreads

There’s nothing real about reality TV.

Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

About the Author

Demetrios Author PhotoHeather Demetrios

I love books. I love writing stories almost as much as I like reading them. When I’m not traipsing about the world, I prefer to spend my time in imaginary places—maybe I’ll see you in one of them. I’ll be the one with my nose in a book and more tattoos than your mother would approve of.

Author WebsiteFacebookTwitter


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Why Cress was First Named “Arugala” by Marissa Meyer | Blog Tour + Author Guest Post + Giveaway

Posted January 20, 2014 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 139 Comments



I am so happy to be kicking of the Cress blog tour today! The Lunar Chronicles is my favorite series ever, and Cress is a wonderful addition to a group of amazing characters. Marissa’s writing never ceases to amaze me. It’s no surprise that her books get better and better as she publishes them. I loved Cinder and Scarlet, but Cress is definitely my favorite. Here’s my review, if you’re interested. I can’t wait for you to read it!

I’m excited to have Marissa Meyer on the blog to tell you all about the making of Cress. I always love it when authors have behind the scenes tidbits to share with us, and Marissa has written a very fun post that I’m sure you’ll enjoy!

Why Cress was First Named “Arugala”
by Marissa Meyer

Cinder = Cinderella.

Scarlet = Little Red.

Winter = Snow White.

It doesn’t take too much imagination, or fairy tale know-how, to figure out how I got the names for most of my heroines. But Cress and Rapunzel? That’s where a lot of readers get hung up.

So, allow me to explain.

The tale of Rapunzel opens with a poor man and his wife overjoyed at their first pregnancy. However, during her pregnancy, the wife begins to have some pretty intense food cravings. Not for pickles and ice cream, as a normal pregnant woman might have. Oh, no. This poor woman was craving salad. In particular, she really, really wanted a very particular kind of lettuce called . . . wait for it . . . rapunzel.

She wanted this lettuce so badly that she believed she would die if she didn’t get it. Unfortunately, the only place in their town that rapunzel grew was in the witch’s garden. So one night the husband hopped over the wall and stole some rapunzel and brought it back to his wife, who devoured it like a ravenous vegan.

This continued for a few nights until—dun dun dun!—one night, the witch caught the husband stealing from her. So she posed a compromise. The witch would kindly spare the man’s life, and even allow him to take as much rapunzel back to his wife as she wanted, if, when his wife gave birth, they would give the child to the witch as payment. The husband agreed and his wife got a nice steady diet of salad greens for the remainder of her pregnancy.

09 witch


A while later, the wife gives birth to a beautiful baby girl. They give the baby to the witch who takes her and raises her as her own daughter.

And the witch names the child, you guessed it, Rapunzel.

The point of this story is that rapunzel is a type of lettuce. As it so happens, cress (a.k.a. watercress), is also a type of lettuce.


On a side note, when I was first coming up with character names, I called my Rapunzel heroine “Arugula” (another kind of lettuce) for all of ten minutes, before I realized I’d never be able to say it with a straight face.09 arugula

Side note number two: Another word that is sometimes used interchangeably with rapunzel is rampion. Also known as the name I gave my spaceship, thanks to the clever suggestion of a friend.

Lettuce greens FTW.

09 Rampion


Lastly, while I’m on the topic of Lunar Chronicles names, I’ll tell you that both “Carswell” and “Thorne” have hidden meanings that relate to Thorne’s role in the books and fairy tale.

But I’ll let savvy readers figure those out on their own . . .


The lovely people at Macmillan are offering a pretty amazing prize to the readers of my blog! One lucky person (USA/CAN) will win paperback copies of Cinder and Scarlet, as well as a hardcover of Cress and a special Cress comb! You know you want it! If you are brand new to the series, and are interested in learning more click on the book titles above to be taken to the Goodreads page.

lunarcovers(For a picture of the comb, click here!)

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Awesome Places to Be!

Become a fan of the Lunar Chronicles on Facebook!
Become a fan of Marissa Meyer on Facebook!
Follow Marissa Meyer on Twitter!
Become a fan of the Lunar Chronicles on Tumblr!
Pre-Order a copy of Cress to get a free comb! Details here. (US Only)
See Marissa Meyer on tour!
Join the Scarlet Readathon!
Get more fun Lunar Chronicles links and info on the MacTeenBooks blog!
Follow the rest of the Cress blog tour!

A Very Merry Giveaway!

Posted December 16, 2013 by Jana in Giveaway / 40 Comments



I love buying presents for my friends and loved ones. It’s one of my favorite ways to celebrate Christmas! I thought it would be fun if this time, I get to be Santa for a very special International wishlist giveaway! All you need to do is create a wishlist of 10-20 books (or more!) you would love to receive in the mail, then enter the giveaway like you would any other giveaway. When the winner is drawn, I will surprise them with something from their wishlist! You won’t know what you’re getting until it shows up on your doorstep! This is just my way of wishing all of you a very happy holiday season, and to thank you for supporting me and my blog for the last two years. :)

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Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally | Book Review + Giveaway

Posted December 5, 2013 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult / 7 Comments

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally | Book Review + GiveawayRacing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Also in this series: Stealing Parker
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on December 3, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

This is the second book I’ve read in the Hundred Oaks series. I read Stealing Parker last year, and did not fall in love with it like I had hoped. I was really drawn to Racing Savannah, because of the horses. I’ve never been a horse person, but I loved the idea of a racetrack romance. After all, I’ve always had a thing for cowboys! I ended up liking Racing Savannah much more than Stealing Parker, and am glad I gave this series another shot! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I really loved the setting of Racing Savannah. I loved the stables, the racetrack, the horses. The author did a great job painting a picture of the farm and the horse racing. I actually really liked the horse races. They were exciting! When I was little I always wanted to ride horses, so this aspect of the story made me really happy. The horse that Savannah spent most of her time with, Star, had a sweet personality and I loved the time she spent with him.

2. The characters were fun, but I particularly liked one of the secondary characters, Rory. He also works on the farm, and is Savannah’s wacky friend. He writes questionable screenplays, and has the hots for Vanessa. I love these two. Vanessa is sweet and such a good friend to Savannah. I actually liked their romance more than Savannah and Jack’s, just because there was much less drama. I liked Savannah ok, but she was nothing special. I liked that, despite her family’s lack of money, her time on the farm inspired her to make more out of her life. I liked watching her fight for her future. I did get annoyed at her judgmental attitude. I liked Jack, but did not really like him in the role of owner of the farm. He’s just a little too young to be running things, and making such big decisions. And really, could Jack have been more perfect? I was constantly questioning him, because I could not find one thing wrong with him (except that he was a bit too scared of his parents). I liked both his and Savannah’s families, but I think Savannah’s dad was my favorite. I liked how much he cared about her, and what a sweet father-daughter relationship they have.

3. I’ve never been a fan of the clash between classes kind of storyline. I felt like there was too much emphasis placed on rich people vs. poor people. Savannah’s dad was worried he would lose his job if Savannah dated Jack. Cindy, Savannah’s dad’s pregnant girlfriend, was scared to ask for time off because she would be fired for being sick. Jack was worried his parents would be mad if he dated Savannah. She was referred to as not being girlfriend material. Savannah had a really bad attitude towards rich people, figuring that they were all heartless people who only cared about getting more money. It just frustrated me. Is this still a valid concern in this day and age? I know this was a problem in the olden days, but I thought it had mostly died out. I don’t understand why money makes a difference.

All in all, I enjoyed Racing Savannah and am happy I read it! The horses made the story unique and enjoyable, and the romances were sweet. Even though I liked Vanessa and Rory’s story a bit more, I did like reading about Savannah’s life-changing decisions and her romance with Jack. There were some pretty sexy scenes, so I would not really recommend this for younger young adults, but it’s a fun new contemporary romance that I’m sure many readers will love. I have not read all of the Hundred Oaks series, but I could tell from some of the names dropped that characters in the previous books check in and let you know what’s going on with them now. I always love it when authors do this, so I’m sure fans of the series will be happy to see them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to see the boots? Here’s the link! I think they are adorable.


Thanks for visiting my stop along the Racing Savannah tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!
If you are interested in following the tour, you can find the schedule here.

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