Thursday, July 20, 2017

Blog Tour: Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle...Excerpt & Giveaway!


It's time for some Summer love with today's YA Romance...
Keep reading... 
Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle
Release Date: 7/10/17

About the book:

It’s not chemistry between Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson that made them agree to fake date. With her parents trying to set her up with an annoying student golf coach, and intentionally single Sam’s family pressuring him to bring a date to his brother’s wedding, they could both use a drama-free summer.

So it’s not his muscular arms and quick wit that makes Tinka suggest they tell everyone they’re both taken. Definitely not. And it’s not butterflies that makes a kiss for appearances during the lake party go on way too long—so long that Sam wishes it were real.

But Tinka keeps people at arm’s length—she’s always been second best, even to her parents. And her relationship-for-show could crush everything when she realizes she’s done with fake, pretend, and second-best.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains bikinis at the lake, a lot of making out in dark theaters, and a meet-cute you’ll read twice.



Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled TEEN, 2016) and the North Pole, Minnesota young adult romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). She writes about TV and pop culture for the ChicagoNow blog, Hammervision, and lives in Chicago with her family. She enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television. 



Sam stormed out to the back deck, where he ran his hands along the slick, varnished railing and stared up at the stars in the cloudless sky. If this were a movie, now would be the part where Sam met the gorgeous girl next door. She’d see right through Sam’s physique to his big heart and better-than-average sense of humor.

He glanced over at the Fosters’ house, his new neighbors’ place. It was dark, as usual. Life wasn’t a movie. Life was life. Sam sighed and checked his phone. He opened up his contacts and found the name Harper had entered earlier

today—Dottie Gold, heart emoji.

“You texting Dottie?” came a voice from behind him. Sam turned toward Harper, hiding his phone behind his back. His sister was either a wizard or she had X-ray vision.
“Nope.”

“You should.” She stood next to him and placed her hands on the deck railing, facing the Fosters’. “You’re going to college soon, Sam. Get some experience before you leave.”

“I have experience.” He did. Ish.

“Kissing a random sophomore during a school play is not ‘experience.’”

She had him there. “I don’t want to start anything now. I’m leaving in a few weeks, and it’ll be hard enough leaving this town and you assholes.” He nudged his sister in the ribs.

“You’ll have no problem leaving Dottie, believe me.” She held out her hand. “Give me your phone.”

He hid it behind his back. “No.” Bringing Dottie into this wouldn’t solve anything.

“Suit yourself, but think about it.” Harper turned to leave, but stopped. “Make sure you’re honest, though, about what you want. Hooking up is fine, great even, as long as everyone’s on the same page. Don’t give her the wrong idea. I speak from experience.” Harper had run into a similar situation a few months ago with her friend Regina.

Alone again on the deck, Sam flicked on his phone and turned toward his neighbors’ house. He rested his elbows on the railing and stared at the screen. Hi, Dottie, he typed.

And he was stuck. He lifted his eyes to the Fosters’ second floor balcony again and was so lost in composing his message to Dottie that he almost didn’t notice the person standing there, a girl, resting her hands on the railing. Her long, blond hair curled around her shoulders, and it seemed like she was doing the same thing Sam had been—breathing, escaping.

The girl peered over at him, and he tentatively raised his hand in greeting. She, the actual girl next door, did the same for one brief second, then scurried into the house and slid the door shut.

Sam stared at the balcony for a moment, waiting for her to reappear. He put his hand to his chest, where his heart hammered against his sternum.

This right here was his problem, always had been. He was too caught up in the movie version of his life. That girl showing up on the balcony was a coincidence, nothing more. There was no deeper meaning. They weren’t destined to be together. There was a very strong likelihood they’d never even speak to each other. Sam couldn’t keep putting his life on hold, waiting for something amazing to happen.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Spotlight: Jorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson...plus an Excerpt!

Today I am spotlighting a wonderfully magical tale full of fun and adventure. Y'all it has dragons! And I LOVE dragons!

So here's a little bit more about this fascinating fantasy...

"Jorie and the Magic Stones is the first book in a new chapter book series, by A. H. Richardson, that follows one heroic nine-year-old girl on an unforgettable adventure. Children everywhere are loving this adventurous tale of Jorie and Rufus, two orphans from very different walks of life, who meet by chance and discover a mystic book about dragons, that soon leads them on a quest through a magical world unlike anything either of them have ever experienced…"

Keep reading to learn even more about the book, its author, and check out an excerpt from the story!

Synopsis:

When Marjorie went to live with her frosty maiden aunt, she couldn’t imagine the adventures she would have with dragons — good and bad — and all the strange creatures that live in a mysterious land beneath the Tarn. The spunky 9-year-old redhead forges an unlikely friendship with an insecure young boy named Rufus who lives with his crusty grandfather next door. When Jorie — for that is what she prefers to be called — finds a dusty ancient book about dragons, she learns four strange words that will send the two of them into a mysterious land beneath the Tarn, riddled with enchantment and danger. Hungry for adventure, the children take the plunge, quite literally, and find themselves in the magic land of Cabrynthius. 

Upon meeting the good dragon, the Great Grootmonya, Jorie and Rufus are given a quest to find the three Stones of Maalog — stones of enormous power — and return them to their rightful place in Cabrynthius. Their mission is neither easy nor safe, and is peppered with perils in the form of the evil black half-dragon who rules the shadowy side of the land. They have to deal with a wicked and greedy professor, the tragic daughter of the bad dragon, caves of fire, rocky mountainous climbs, and a deadly poisonous butterfly.

Jorie must rely on her wits and courage to win the day? Can she do this? Can she find all three Stones? Can she save Rufus when disaster befalls him? Can she emerge victorious? She and Rufus have some hair-raising challenges, in which they learn valuable lessons about loyalty, bravery, and friendship. 

Praise:

“An easy to read chapter book that can be enjoyed of children of all ages, Jorie and the Magic Stones succeeds at creating an extraordinary world full of memorable characters and dangerous villains. In Jorie and Rufus, the narrative follows the blossoming of a friendship, while exploring the strengths of each of these two main protagonists. Weaving in morales about important ideals like loyalty, bravery, and what it means to be a good friend, the story shows younger readers how important it is to do the right thing, no matter the costs. With rich descriptions, realistic dialogue, and settings you feel as if you are truly immersed within, this is the start to a promising new fantasy series...” - Red City Review

“Jorie is inquisitive, brave, and wise beyond her years, and yet still a child at heart… she is everything a heroine should be... All this, coupled with a one of a kind plot and an exceptional setting, brought to life an amazing fantasy tale.” - 5 Stars, Readers’ Favorite

“If ever there was a children's book that was meant for children of all ages, this would be that book. From page 1, you instantly fall in love with the Jorie, the heroine. The storyline flows wonderfully. It makes you feel as if you're there with the characters feeling the excitement, fears, and joy that they feel as they go on an incredible adventure.” - 5 Stars, Matthew and Alicia Lucy

“I absolutely love this story! It just carried me away and I couldn't put the book down!! I loved all the different characters... The author did a wonderful job describing all of them and my imagination kept on going!” – 5 Stars, Amazon Review

About the Author:

A. H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author. 

She published her debut novel Jorie and the Magic Stones in December 2014. At the request of those who loved the first ‘Jorie’ story, Richardson has written a sequel titled Jorie and the Gold Key, and she is currently working on the third book in the series. 

In addition to children’s books, she also enjoys writing murder mysteries. She is the author of Murder in Little Shendon, a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two, and introduces two sleuths, Sir Victor Hazlitt and his sidekick,  Beresford Brandon, a noted Shakespearian actor. And she has more ‘who-dun-its’ with this clever and interesting duo… Act One, Scene One – Murder and Murder at Serenity Farm.

A. H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.

Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads

To learn more, go to https://ahrichardson.com/


Excerpt from Jorie and the Magic Stones

Once in the quiet of her room, Jorie closed the door and retrieved the book carefully hidden under the floorboard. She didn’t know why she felt it so important to hide the book, but her instincts told her that this was a very special book that needed to be carefully guarded. Before settling down to study it, she went to open the window in order to hear the sound of the horses when her aunt returned from her errands. In that way, she would have time to put the book back in its hiding place.    
Perhaps because of the rain and damp, the window was stuck and refused to open. Although Jorie pushed, it appeared that it was well and truly stuck shut. Jorie returned to her book and opened the pages oh-so-gently. She didn’t understand the words in front of her, even though she was an excellent reader. They were faded and seemed to be written in another language. Jorie spoke quite good French, but this was certainly not French. She thought it might have been Celtic, because there were c’s, and w’s and y’s, and they all seemed to run together.
She found one phrase that caught her attention, and carefully pronounced it under her breath. “Cwythr ogan mosdrath kiranog. I wonder if that is how it is pronounced.” Then in her most dramatic voice she called out, “Cwythr ogan mosdrath kiranog,” and felt a shiver run through her. No sooner had she said this than the window flew open. Jorie’s hand flew to her mouth. She inhaled, staring hard at the window. “That window was stuck and wouldn’t budge an inch, even under my tugging.”   
As she regained her composure, Jorie decided she needed to memorize these words. She had always been good at history and could easily remember dates of battles, when kings were crowned, and where, and all the things they make you remember at school. She turned the four words over in her mind, a bit afraid to say them aloud again. What if something else happened? Could it be a spell? Could it be a curse? Was it someone’s name? Although it would be a really long name. Of course, it could just as easily be a recipe for a jar of marmalade! Jorie giggled. They probably didn’t have marmalade back in those days, and why would they put it under a picture of a flying dragon? No — that didn’t make sense.      
Jorie studied her new wonderful find for most of the afternoon. After that, she lay back on her bed, her hands clasped under her head, and turned things over in her mind. She thought about the window; now that had been very, very strange! She was sure that Aunt Letty had no idea that the book existed, for had she known, she might have given it to a museum or a library for old stuff. If she had known about it, she wouldn’t have put it under old floorboards, covered with dust and cobwebs.
Jorie didn’t care much for spiders, but she had plucked up her courage and plunged her hands into that space, perhaps sensing that there was a treasure there.  
She wondered what her new friend Rufus might think of it. Should she tell him? Could she trust him? Might he not tell grownups, who she believed would take it away immediately, never to be returned? She couldn’t take that chance.
She needed to give her new friend a chance; perhaps Rufus would keep it their secret, and maybe the two of them could put their heads together and find out a little more about this book. Jorie felt that this discovery of hers had more to do with the history of Dunham and its mysterious past than it had as a mere fairy story.  
**********
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning about Jorie and the Magic Stones...it's a nice pick for parents and kiddos with some summer reading to do.  I'll be posting my own review and thoughts on the book within the next few weeks, but it's definitely an enjoyable story.  Hope you check it out!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Blog Tour: A Void the Size of the World by Rachele Alpine...Author's Favorite Things & Giveaway!


I have what sounds like an intriguing book to tell you about today...

A Void the Size of the World

by Rachele Alpine
Release Date: June 20th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Publisher: Simon Pulse
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Synopsis:

A haunting novel about a girl who must face the consequences after her actions indirectly lead to her sister’s disappearance.

Rhylee didn’t mean to kiss her sister’s boyfriend. At least, not the first time. But it doesn’t matter, because her sister, Abby, caught them together, ran into the dark woods behind their house…and never came home.

As evidence mounts that something terrible has happened to Abby, no one wants to face the truth. Rhylee can’t bring herself to admit what she’s done: that she is the reason her sister ran away. Now Tommy, Abby’s boyfriend, is the prime suspect in her disappearance, and Rhylee’s world has been turned upside down. Slowly, Rhylee’s family is breaking—their lives center on the hope that Abby will return. Rhylee knows they need to face the truth and begin healing—but how can they, when moving on feels like a betrayal? And how do you face the guilt of wishing a person gone…when they actually disappear?


Rachele Alpine is a lover of binge watching reality TV, dogs, knitting, gummy peaches, and lots and lots of coffee!

One of her first jobs was at a library, but it didn't last long, because all she did was hide in the third-floor stacks and read. Now she's a little more careful about when and where she indulges her reading habit.

By day she's a high school English teacher, by night she's a mom and wife, and she writes during any time she can find in between!

Rachele lives with her husband and son in Cleveland, Ohio, but dreams of moving back to Boston, the city she fell in love with while attending graduate school there.
Rachele Alpine was kind enough to share a few of her favorite things with us today…

FAVORITE BOOKS
Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
The Great Gatsby (F Scott Fitzgerald)
Prep (Curtis Sittenfeld) 
The God of Animals (Aryn Kyle)
Looking for Alaska (John Green)
Where the Wild Things Art (Maurice Sendak)
Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson)
Eleanor & Park (Rainbow Rowell)
The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson)

FAVORITE WAYS TO RELAX
Knitting (it’s my old-lady hobby!)
Binge watching reality TV
Hiking with my family
Reading anything and everything
Journaling
Trying new coffee shops
Walking and listening to podcasts


FAVORITE SUMMER ACTIVITIES 
Eating as much ice-cream as I can!
Cheering on the Cleveland Indians
Visiting the overnight summer camp I used to work at
Sitting on my porch at dusk and reading
Outdoor fires
Roasting marshmallows and making S’mores
Outdoor concerts (this summer I’m seeing U2 and Billy Joel!)
Sleeping in (since I teach, I have my summers off)
Going to farmer markets
Drinking iced coffee 





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Monday, July 3, 2017

Blog Tour: The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride...Author's Top Ten & Giveaway!


An intriguing new contemporary YA to share with you today.
Plus, author Kristina McBride shares some of her favorite books.

The Bakersville Dozen

by Kristina McBride
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
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Synopsis:

You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.



Kristina McBride has published three novels for young adults - THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES, ONE MOMENT, and A MILLION TIMES GOODNIGHT. Her fourth novel, THE BAKERSVILLE DOZEN, will be released July 2017.

Kristina is a former high school English teacher and yearbook advisor, as well as an adjunct professor at Antioch University Midwest and Wright State University. Kristina has a thing for music, trees, purses, and chocolate. You might be surprised to learn that Kristina was almost kidnapped when she was a child. She also bookstalks people on a regular basis. Kristina lives in Ohio with her husband and two young children. You can learn more at www.kristinamcbride.com.
Ten Books I Love!
By Kristina McBride
(in no particular order because I love them all!)

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver 

The List by Siobhan Vivian 

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (ANYTHING by LHA – Twisted, Wintergirls, etc.)

Hold Still by Nina LaCour

The Pact by Jodi Picoult . . . or My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult . . . or Nineteen Minutes by Jody Picoult – I can’t decide!

The Fifth Wave series by Rick Yancy 

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Savvy by Ingrid law 

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (Tissue. Alert.)
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