Month: July 2019

Ten Books with Beautiful Places On the Cover

Posted July 29, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 26 Comments

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie post, which I love because it allows you to express your creativity! It also allows you to do more niche-y, specific topics that I don’t usually select as weekly prompts because I want to keep things broad so everyone can participate. Anyway, I can’t wait to see your list and potentially steal it (with credit, of course) for a future TTT!

I chose to feature books with beautiful places on the book cover. I’m a sucker for a great cover, but even more so if there’s a place I love, or a pretty landscape scene, or a cute shop or house on the cover that makes me want to jump in and be there immediately.

One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan
When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton
The Lady Travelers Guide to Larceny with a Dashing Stranger by Victoria Alexander
Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber
The Summer Getaway by Tilly Tennant
Sailing to Capri by Elizabeth Adler
Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks
Ever My Love by Lynn Kurland
Finding You by Jo Watson
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

What topic did you pick this week?
Which of these covers is your favorite?


Tomb of the Ancients (House of Furies #3) by Madeleine Roux Spotlight and Giveaway

Posted July 26, 2019 by Jana in Book Spotlight, Giveaway / 2 Comments

Tomb of the Ancients, the third and final book in the House of Furies trilogy, came out this past May and Wunderkind PR is graciously offering up a finished copy to one of my readers! Read more about the book below, and enter to win!


Tomb of the Ancients by Madeleine Roux
Series: House of Furies #3
Published by HarperTeen on May 14, 2019
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The war between old gods and monsters comes to a thrilling climax in this final book in the “darkly delightful”* House of Furies series, from the New York Times bestselling author of Asylum. (*Publishers Weekly)

Free from the nightmares of Coldthistle House, Louisa and her friends have taken up a posh new London residence. But there’s no rest for the wicked. Religious zealots from the shepherd’s flock are gathering in the city, and ominous warnings are being left on Louisa’s doorstep. With the evil influence of her father’s spirit growing stronger—trying to take over—Louisa knows she will be forced to pick a side in the coming war between the old gods, whether she’d like to or not.

To save herself, Louisa is desperate enough to do whatever it takes—even if it means returning to Coldthistle House and striking another deal with Mr. Morningside. To uphold her end of the bargain, Louisa will have to rejoin his supernatural staff to venture to a gateway between worlds, a place of legend: the Tomb of Ancients. But, as always, there’s a catch…

Have you read any of the books in this series yet? What did you think?

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Top Ten Settings I’d Like to Visit More Through Books

Posted July 22, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 20 Comments

Sorry I’m late! I had kittens on me!

I love visiting new (or beloved) places through books, and this week’s topic allows me to share some of my favorites with you! I tend to gravitate towards books set in the following places/kinds of places, so if you have any recommendations for books you think I’d love based on my picks this week, please leave them in the comments below!

Creepy Hotels/Apartment Buildings (Like in Lock Every Door by Riley Sager)
Alaska (I love the scenery and the Northern Lights)
Ships/Yachts/Boats (Bonus points if people are visiting cool places.)
Outdoor/Wilderness (Camping, survival stories, etc.)
Secluded Resorts (Like the Snow Crystal Ski Resort in Sarah Morgan’s O’Neil Brothers series)
Venice, Italy (Really, any place in Italy.)
New York City (I SO heart New York, especially at Christmas.)
Castles (Like in Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare)
Any place with snow!! (I love cabins, fireplaces, Christmas, blizzards, etc.)
Cute, quaint, picturesque small towns (Like Kristan Higgins’s Gideon’s Cove)

Which settings do you love and would like to see more of?


BLINK Summer Reading Tour Event Kick-Off (+ Giveaway)

Posted July 22, 2019 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Giveaway / 9 Comments

BLINK Summer Reading Tour Event Kick-Off (+ Giveaway)

It has been an absolute pleasure organizing and coordinating this absolutely HUGE blog tour, featuring five amazing books and the authors that wrote them. This two-week long tour will feature book reviews, author guest posts and interviews, and creative content dreamed up by our FFBC dream team of bloggers and bookstagrammers. I’m kicking things off today by highlighting the books and authors on tour! Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win one of five summer reading bundles that include all five books! Follow the tour (click the banner above) for more opportunities to win.


A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan
Published by BLINK on August 14, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction — Mythology, Retelling
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King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her everywhere she goes, and she harbors secret powers that are getting harder to hide.

Kora spends her days locked in the palace, concealed behind gloves and veils, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn’t until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn’t fear her or her curse. But their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, leaving the treasury depleted and King Midas vulnerable. Thanks to her unique ability to sense gold, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora learns that not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.

Midas learned his lesson at a price. What will Kora’s journey cost?

About Annie Sullivan

Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).

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Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle
Published by BLINK on September 4, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction — Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
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It all started with the accident. The one that caused Sophie’s dad to walk out of her life. The one that left Sophie’s older sister, Meredith, barely able to walk at all.

With nothing but pain in her past, all Sophie wants is to plan for the future—keep the family business running, get accepted to veterinary school, and protect her mom and sister from another disaster. But when a hurricane forms off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and heads right toward their island, Sophie realizes nature is one thing she can’t control.

After she gets separated from her family during the evacuation, Sophie finds herself trapped on the island with the last person she’d have chosen—the reckless and wild Finn Sanders, who broke her heart freshman year. As they struggle to find safety, Sophie learns that Finn has suffered his own heartbreak; but instead of playing it safe, Finn’s become the kind of guy who goes surfing in the eye of the hurricane. He may be the perfect person to remind Sophie how to embrace life again, but only if their newfound friendship can survive the storm.

About McCall Hoyle

McCall Hoyle writes honest YA novels about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. She is a high school English teacher. Her own less-than-perfect teenage experiences and those of the girls she teaches inspire many of the struggles in her books. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and their odd assortment of pets—a food-obsessed beagle, a grumpy rescue cat, and a three-and-a-half-legged kitten. She has an English degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She lives in a cottage in the woods in North Georgia where she reads and writes every day.

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No Place Like Here by Christina June
Published by BLINK on May 21, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Retelling
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Ashlyn Zanotti has big plans for the summer. She’s just spent a year at boarding school and can’t wait to get home. But when Ashlyn’s father is arrested for tax evasion and her mother enters a rehab facility for “exhaustion,” a.k.a. depression, her life is turned upside down.

The cherry on top? Ashlyn’s father sends her to work with a cousin she doesn’t even know at a rustic team-building retreat center in the middle of nowhere. A self-proclaimed “indoor girl,” not even Ash’s habit of leaving breadcrumb quotes—inspirational sayings she scribbles everywhere—can help her cope.

With a dangerously careless camp manager doling out grunt work, an overbearing father trying to control her even from prison, and more than a little boy drama to struggle with, the summer is full of challenges. And Ashlyn must make the toughest decision of her life: keep quiet and follow her dad’s marching orders, or find the courage to finally stand up to her father to have any hope of finding her way back home.

About Christina June

Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she’s not writing college recommendation letters during her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they’re meant to become – whether it’s her students or her characters. Christina is a voracious reader, loves to travel, and hopes to one day be bicoastal – the east coast of the US and the east coast of Scotland. She lives just outside Washington DC with her husband and daughter.

She is the author of IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, EVERYWHERE YOU WANT TO BE, and NO PLACE LIKE HERE.

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Pretty In Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton
Published by BLINK on January 22, 2019
Genres: Young Adult — Contemporary, Romance
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A Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from author Laurie Boyle Crompton, Pretty in Punxsutawney tells the tale of a girl willing to look beneath the surface to see people for who they really are.

Andie is the type of girl who always comes up with the perfect thing to say…after it’s too late to say it. She’s addicted to romance movies—okay, all movies—but has yet to experience her first kiss. After a move to Punxsutawney, PA, for her senior year, she gets caught in an endless loop of her first day at her new school, reliving those 24 hours again and again.

Convinced the curse will be broken when she meets her true love, Andie embarks on a mission: infiltrating the various cliques to find the one boy who can break the spell. What she discovers along the way is that people who seem completely different can often share the very same hopes, dreams, and hang-ups. And that even a day that has been lived over and over can be filled with unexpected connections and plenty of happy endings.

About Laurie Boyle Crompton

Laurie Boyle Crompton is the YA author of the upcoming PRETTY IN PUNXSUTAWNEY (Blink/HarperCollins 2019) as well as ADRENALINE CRUSH (Macmillan/2014, Square Fish/2016), BLAZE (or Love in the Time of Supervillains), THE REAL PROM QUEENS OF WESTFIELD HIGH and LOVE AND VANDALISM (Sourcebooks/2013, 2014, 2017). Growing up in ‘Pennsyltucky’ in the 1980s, Laurie couldn’t wait to escape rural life. After saving up her tips from waitressing at a local greasy spoon at 18 she packed up her acid wash jeans and moved to NY. Where everyone else had stopped wearing acid wash.

She graduated first in her class from St. John’s University with a BA in English and Journalism. Since then she’s written for national magazines like ALLURE, survived a teaching stint at an all-boy high school, and appeared on Good Day New York several times as a Toy Expert. And yes, ‘toy expert’ is an actual profession. Really.

She has lived in places like Orlando, Florida where she and her husband spent all of their spare time and money visiting theme parks before moving to the Cotswolds in England for six months, which was every bit as cool as that sounds. The Cromptons are now back in New York where their two children resent never going to Disney.

Laurie occasionally enjoys hanging out in fields of blooming flowers and also referring to herself in the third person.

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Swing by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess
Published by BLINK on October 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction — Poetry, Realistic Fiction, Sports
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Things usually do not go as planned for seventeen-year-old Noah. He and his best friend Walt (aka Swing) have been cut from the high school baseball team for the third year in a row, and it looks like Noah’s love interest since third grade, Sam, will never take it past the “best friend” zone. Noah would love to retire his bat and accept the status quo, but Walt has big plans for them both, which include making the best baseball comeback ever, getting the girl, and finally finding cool.

To go from lovelorn to ladies’ men, Walt introduces Noah to a relationship guru—his Dairy Queen-employed cousin, Floyd—and the always informative Woohoo Woman Podcast. Noah is reluctant, but decides fate may be intervening when he discovers more than just his mom’s birthday gift at the thrift shop. Inside the vintage Keepall is a gold mine of love letters from the 1960s. Walt is sure these letters and the podcasts are just what Noah needs to communicate his true feelings to Sam. To Noah, the letters are more: an initiation to the curious rhythms of love and jazz, as well as a way for him and Walt to embrace their own kind of cool. While Walt is hitting balls out of the park and catching the eye of the baseball coach, Noah composes anonymous love letters to Sam in an attempt to write his way into her heart. But as things are looking up for Noah and Walt, a chain of events alters everything Noah knows to be true about love, friendship, sacrifice, and fate.

In Swing, bestselling authors Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess (Solo) present a free-verse poetic story that will speak to anyone who’s struggled to find their voice and take a swing at life.

About Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times Bestselling author of 21 books, including THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Passaic Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. His other works include SURF’S UP, a picture book; BOOKED, a middle grade novel; and He Said She Said, a YA novel.

Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his PAGE TO STAGE Writing and Publishing Program released by Scholastic. A regular speaker at colleges and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love (Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, etc.). Recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded.

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About Mary Rand Hess

Mary Rand Hess is a poet, screenwriter, mixed-media artist, and New York Times bestselling author of notable and award-winning books such as Solo and Swing(Blink YA), coauthored with Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander, Animal Ark: Celebrating Our Wild World in Poetry and Pictures (National Geographic Children’s Books), also coauthored with Kwame Alexander and Deanna Nikaido, Little Larry Goes to School (National Geographic Children’s Books), written with renowned photographer and filmmaker, Gerry Ellis, and the forthcoming picture book, The One and Only Wolfgang: From Pet Rescue to One Big Happy Family, coauthored with Steve Greig of @wolfgang2242 Instagram fame. She is currently at work on a few novels in verse, picture books, and screenplays.

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Which of these books are you the most excited about?
Have you read and loved any of them yet?


The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare | Mini Book Review

Posted July 18, 2019 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 2 Comments

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare | Mini Book ReviewThe Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #1
Also in this series: The Governess Game
Published by Avon on April 22, 2017
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Pages: 389
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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3 Stars
When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules… 

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.


But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

This is a suuuuper mini review, but I just don’t have a ton to say! Everyone knows that I love Tessa Dare, but this book was not a favorite of hers. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t particularly memorable. I really enjoy marriage of convenience stories, and I liked Ash and Emma. I found it funny that these two were going to try and keep the passion out of the marriage and just make a baby, when it’s so obvious that they’re falling for each other. I liked the dual points of view. I loved the cat, Breeches. I enjoyed the romance and the banter. Really, I don’t have any specific complaints other than the fact that the magic just wasn’t there for me like it usually is. I’ve loved some of Tessa’s other books more than this one!


Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors

Posted July 15, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 22 Comments

Happy TTT! This week’s topic was harder for me than I thought it would be, just because I read books by a LOT of authors, and many of those authors that I love (s0 far) only have 1-2 books out right now. I feel like an author has to have been around for a while and have multiple books out in order to be an auto-buy author for me. For example, I’m thinking of this one author and I love her a lot but she’s released two books in two years, with no more announced right now. I know I’ll buy it, but it’s hard to put her into this category since she is so new and has so few books. So I’m sticking with the authors I’ve been reading for YEARS and have proven how wonderful they are to me!

Tessa Dare

Christina Lauren

Tracey Garvis-Graves

Mary Higgins-Clark

Jill Shalvis

Riley Sager

Jenn Bennett

Kate Avery Ellison

Sarah J. Maas

Sarah Morgan

Which authors are auto-buy authors for you?


One Summer in Santorini by Sandy Barker | Book Review

Posted July 12, 2019 by Jana in Adult Fiction, Book Review / 5 Comments

One Summer in Santorini by Sandy Barker | Book ReviewOne Summer In Santorini by Sandy Barker
Published by Maze on June 24, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
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1 Stars
Sarah has had enough of men. It's time to rekindle her first true love – travel – so she books a sailing trip around the Greek islands with a group of strangers.

The very last thing Sarah wants is to meet someone new… But then a gorgeous American man boards her yacht and she knows she's in trouble. And when she also encounters a handsome silver fox who promises her the world, she realises that trouble really does come in twos.

Will Sarah dive into a holiday fling, embark on a relationship, or stick to her plan – steer clear of men, continue her love affair with feta, and find her own way after all?

UGHHHHHH. I love books set on vessels. I love books that involve travel–ESPECIALLY to other countries. Greece!! I love when all these things come with a huge side of romance. I expected to LOVE this. I did not expect to find the kind of disappointment I did in this book. As always, my main points are bolded.

1. Where do I even begin? I really disliked Sarah. She went on this trip hoping to avoid men at all costs. Did she? No. And instead of owning it and just being with men anyway (nobody would blame her), she just used her I-don’t-want-men-right-now mindset to justify her leading on one guy while leading on another guy and not really caring about the feelings of either one of them. She’s also very dull and boring and lacks personality. I kept forgetting her name.

2. The love interest is an American boy named Josh (I legit just had to check Goodreads to make sure that’s his name, so score one for me), but simply calling him an American doesn’t make him an American. He needs to sound like an American. Josh said things that sounded so non-American. For example, he said “Don’t poke your tongue out at me.” We don’t say that here! We say “Don’t stick your tongue out at me.” There were more non-American things he said, but you get the picture. He was also a snoozefest. I don’t have any clue what he does or who he is. And I’m pretty sure we are never told what he looks like. So I pictured a Ken doll because what else was I going to do?

3. The dialogue was pretty awful and made me want to scratch my eyes out. I like dialogue, but only if it’s interesting. I was beyond bored. Josh and Sarah in particular didn’t talk about anything interesting. I read this on my Kindle with the default font size, and these two doorknobs talked about how much they liked a movie for roughly 5 pages. FIVE PAGES. I did so much skimming to try and slog my through what felt like a very fly-on-the-wall kind of experience throughout the entire book. I felt like I was trapped in a room with two of the dullest people.

4. Every single day was the same. There was so much repetition. The characters wake up, they make toast, they eat breakfast as a group, they say “wow, nice view”, they disembark the boat and go explore various towns. Or they stay on the boat to talk because that’s all they do and who needs cute Greek towns when you can be boring instead? But these towns were all the same. Every town looked the same. I don’t even know why they got off the boat! It seemed like they just kept visiting the same place over and over again because nothing noteworthy was ever said about any of them. They shopped. They looked at the view. They ate food in some cafe or restaurant. But it was all the same food. I kept seeing the same Greek foods mentioned over and over again. Everything they ate was SO GOOD. There was so much horiatiki and it was all SO GOOD. It’s just salad, people! Talk about something else! Oh, and they would not shut up about the AMAZING tomatoes. They’re tomatoes. Move on.

5. The characters also had the same conversations over and over again. “Are you and Josh a thing? Did you sleep together? Did you sleep well? Are you ok? Are you drunk? This travel group is like family!” On and on and on.

6. This is seriously the most boring group of people. Some of them were very sweet and most were completely unremarkable. I’ve already forgotten all of them. They did nothing. They sat around the boat talking about boring stuff. Or they read. They didn’t go swimming off the boat or play games or do anything. They just sat. And talked. About boring things. At one point some dolphins swam in the boat’s wake, and it was seriously the most exciting part of the book for me.

7. The romance just bugged me. I’m fine with the age different between Josh and Sarah (I believe she’s 8-10 years older than he is), but it was brought up so much that I felt like I was supposed to be uncomfortable. And they kept saying they were just friends because neither one wanted to be in a relationship, but then they kept doing very relationshippy things like kissing and cuddling and getting jealous when the other noticed another member of the opposite sex. And it was all so insta-something. How do you look at a guy and decide he’s going to be your best friend by the end of the trip before you’ve even talked to him? And then it happened. It was all so formulaic and easy. And I really hate these two, whether what they have is a relationship or friendship. I just don’t like them. To go from “we’re just the best friends ever” to planning out their sexcapades and never shutting up about all the sex they want to have just… it just didn’t work for me! They felt too brother/sister to me at that point. I cringed a lot.

8. So what kept me reading? Well, there’s this older guy, James, that Sarah meets before the trip who is very drawn to her in a creepy “I’m going to kidnap you and hide you in a secret room in my fancy mansion” kind of way. He puts a little pep in her step because he’s a sexy and serious older man who strokes her ego and makes her feel alive, but she blows him off. But then they cross paths again and he was too smooth for comfort. I wanted to see if she picked our non-American American or our probable “import/export, a little of this, a little of that” creepily mysterious silver fox, so I kept going. I’m all about the drama.

9. Worst ending ever. We are left with all the loose, frayed ends just flapping around in the breeze. The book just ended. There was no climax, no resolution, no information. Just done. There’s no sequel, and I honestly don’t care enough to read one if there is one someday. But to put me through 400 pages of boredom only to leave me hanging just makes me mad. This book wasn’t worth my time.

10. There were some pretty scenery descriptions in the beginning that I liked (and they gave me high hopes for a wonderful trip to Greece), but they were used so many times that by the end I was begging to get off that boat.

Bottom line, I’m mad. lol. Maybe Josh’s non-American speak was fixed by an editor in the finished copy, but I highly doubt any of the rest of this was fixed because it’d have to be a completely different book. I’m so disappointed! One Summer In Santorini had all the makings of a very Jana book, but nope. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend it.


Lock Every Door by Riley Sager Mood Board | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

Posted July 10, 2019 by Jana in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Mood Board / 13 Comments

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager Mood Board | Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)

I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for Riley Sager’s Lock Every Door! I LOVED this creepy, atmospheric book, and will be posting my review soon. Today I get to share my mood board, though, which was so much fun to create!


My Mood Board for Lock Every Door


Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
Published by Dutton Books on July 2, 2019
Genres: Adult Fiction — Horror, Thriller
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No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.


About Riley Sager

Riley Sager is the award-winning pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer who previously published mysteries under his real name.

Now a full-time author, Riley’s first thriller, FINAL GIRLS, became a national and international bestseller and was called “the first great thriller of 2017” by Stephen King. Translation rights have been sold in more than two dozen countries and a film version is being developed by Universal Pictures.

Riley’s second book, THE LAST TIME I LIED, was published in 2018 and became an instant New York Times bestseller. It was inspired by the classic novel and film “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and one horrible week Riley spent at summer camp when he was ten. A television adaptation is being developed by Amazon Studios.

His next book, LOCK EVERY DOOR, inspired by a lifelong fascination with the grand apartment buildings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, will be published in July.

A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, cooking and going to the movies as much as possible. His favorite film is “Rear Window.” Or maybe “Jaws.” But probably, if he’s being honest, “Mary Poppins.”

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Ten Books with Bookish Characters I Want to Read

Posted July 8, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 18 Comments

Four years ago we did a character freebie at The Broke and the Bookish, and I chose to feature bookish characters. I love reading books about people who are bookish like I am. Today I’m going to share some books from my TBR that have bookish characters! I can’t wait to see what kind of character you chose to highlight this week.

By the Book: A Novel of Prose and Cons by Amanda Sellet
This book is about a girl who loves classic romance novels and writes a Scoundrel Survival Guide all about the type of men you should avoid based on her literary research. (This comes out next Spring.)

The Boy Next Story by Tiffany Schmidt
This is part of the Bookish Boyfriends series, and this bookish boyfriend is inspired by Little Women.

My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh
A bluestocking who would rather remain a wallflower than waste her time finding a man hires a bookish academic and transforms him into a dashing rake so she can pass him off as her suitor. I love a good fauxmance!

Writing Mr. Right by T.K. Leigh
A bestselling author of romance novels with a crappy personal life and a bad case of writer’s block joins a bunch of dating apps in the hopes of finding inspiration.

The Way You Love Me by Miranda Liasson
Gabby is an attorney, but wishes more than anything to be an author. She signs up for a writing class taught by a bestselling author who ends up being pretty sexy.

By the Book by Julia Sonneborn
A modern retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen. “An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.”

The Librarian by Christy Sloat
“On a dark, wintery night, alone in the library, she takes her first glance into one of the antique novels and finds herself transported to 1892 England staring into the eyes of handsome and dashing hero Jack Ridgewell.”

The Bookworm and the Beast by Charlee James
A Christmas retelling of Beauty and the Beast about an assistant for a very grumpy children’s book author.

The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life by Sharon Pywell
I just have to include this entire official synopsis. lol.

“As a young girl, Neave was often stuck in a world that didn’t know what to do with her. As her mother not unkindly told her, she was never going to grow up to be a great beauty. Her glamorous sister, Lilly, moved easily through the world, a parade of handsome men in pursuit. Her brother didn’t want a girl joining his group of friends. And their small town of Lynn, Massachusetts, didn’t have a place for a girl whose feelings often put her at war with the world — often this meant her mother, her brother, and the town librarian who wanted to keep her away from the Dangerous Books she really wanted to read.

But through an unexpected friendship, Neave finds herself with a forbidden copy of The Pirate Lover, a steamy romance, and Neave discovers a world of passion, love, and betrayal. And it is to this world that as a grown up she retreats to again and again when real life becomes too much.

Neave finds herself rereading The Pirate Lover more than she ever would have expected because as she gets older, life does not follow the romances she gobbled up as a child. When Neave and Lilly are about to realize their professional dream, Lilly suddenly disappears. Neave must put her beloved books down and take center stage, something she has been running from her entire life. And she must figure out what happened to Lilly – and if she’s next.

Who Neave turns to help her makes Sharon Pywell’s The Romance Reader’s Guide to Life one of the most original, entertaining, exciting, and chilling novels you will read this year.”

Dancing at Midnight by Julia Quinn
Another bluestocking! Thank goodness men are willing to overlook that quality in a woman and fall in love with them anyway, right? (end sarcasm)


My Top Ten Favorite Picture Books from My Childhood

Posted July 1, 2019 by Jana in Top Ten Tuesday / 24 Comments

We at The Broke & the Bookish did top ten childhood favorites back in 2011 (see my picks here), so this time around I’m limiting my picks to picture books. My parents subscribed to a Parents Magazine children’s book program, so pretty much all of my favorite books came from that collection. Those stories were wonderful, and I’ve spent years buying used copies on Amazon and eBay for my own collection.

Sherlock Chick and the Case of the Night Noises by Robert Quackenbush
Only Sherlock Chick can solve the case of the mysterious loud noises that are awakening the farm animals every night. I have a very old home video of me laying on the floor as a 3ish-year-old reading this book to my baby sister. I loved the entire Sherlock Chick series.

Henry’s Awful Mistake by Robert Quackenbush
Henry the Duck has invited his good friend Clara to his home for, but as he starts preparing the food, he sees an ant in his kitchen. He decides the ant absolutely must go, and by the end Henry is basically homeless. This story cracked me up so much.

The Ghost In Dobbs Diner by Robert Alley
Little scaredy-cat Jana could handle a friendly ghost that pops out of the old green bottle Mr. Dobbs finds in his diner!

No Carrots for Harry! by Jean Langerman
Harry the rabbit wants nothing to do with carrots until he goes to his aunt’s house for dinner. I loved this story, and hate carrots too!

The Old Man and the Afternoon Cat by Michaela Muntean
Proof that a sweet little orange and white tabby can melt even the frostiest of old men.

But No Elephants! by Jerry Smath
A salesman stops by the sell lonely Grandma Tildy an animal, and she’ll take pretty much anything that’s not an elephant.

Elephant Goes to School by Jerry Smath
After seeing some children on their way to school, Elephant decides he wants to go to school too.

Who Put the Pepper In the Pot? by Joanna Cole
Fancy Aunt Tootie is coming for dinner, and everyone adds so much pepper to the pot that it’s kinda… whoa.

Miss Mopp’s Lucky Day by Leslie McGuire
While walking through the woods to deliver her cakes, the unobservant Miss Mopp avoids disaster when the threat of a rain storm makes her remember something she forgot.

The Biggest Shadow In the Zoo by Jack Kent
Goober the Elephant loses his shadow when he falls into a moat, and wonders how he will ever save it.

I don’t know about you, but I REALLY loved this trip down memory lane! 
Did you ever have any Parents Magazine books, or were these before your time?
What are some of your childhood faves, picture book or not?

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