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Promo: “Dwarf Story” by Professor W.W. Marplot

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BOOK DATA 

“Dwarf Story” by Professor W.W. Marplot

Pub date: June 30, 2020

Publisher: Waxing Gibbous

Genre: Middle grade fantasy

ISBN: 978-1-64388-321-2

Price: $14.99

BOOK SUMMARY

For Arty to miss a day of school, either he is very, very sick or a fairytale-character turf-war has begun in his backyard — such as what begins this particular Wednesday. First, he finds an ax-swinging, bearded, sweaty warrior Dwarf scaring his dogs. Soon enough, Emma, Cry and other middle-school friends also find fairy creatures — Elves, Spriggans, Pixies, and a hoped-for Dragon — crashing into their normal homework-doing, backpack-carrying, phone-charging schooldays. 

Why are these magical beings here? What should be done? Is that axe sharp? Can Pixies be given aspirin? 

Arty with his friends — and spying jerks, and questionable strangers with long names — follow the clues and try to find out, even as things turn dark and dangerous. 

The mythical beings are taking sides. The Gwyllion, that legendary Old Woman of the Mountains, has a sinister plan, turning the neighborhood into a fantasy battleground. One that awaits young heroes. 

EXCERPT: Chapter 1 – Arty

I found a Dwarf, and there is something funny growing in my yard.

That’s what I was thinking as the Dwarf—short, rectangular, and grunting—and I ran through the woods, early in the morning, trotting away from the bus stop, his breath like fog, his beard like a flapping flag, and his axe like a swarm of wasps—which was making me very nervous, even though he hadn’t stung anyone with it. 

Yet. 

He made me miss the bus. 

I kept running. He followed me, and I followed him. 

I didn’t have a beard to sway or an axe to swing, but in compar- ison, my overstuffed backpack bounced back and forth behind me and released loose school notes and to-do lists to the wind and to the ground. 

A Dwarf and a funny thing in my yard, I thought, again. 

I didn’t want to worry about that funny thing yet, and since it wasn’t following me and my new, strange, dangerous, and impossible friend, it was easy to forget. 

But the Dwarf—a wide, muscular, fantasy-warrior Dwarf—was easy to remember and hard to ignore. When he followed me, I led him: from the corner bus stop and away into the wet morning trees. As we ran, I grasped for breaths and for reasons why: why I found a Dwarf this Wednesday, why he followed me, and why I followed him. And what: what should I do with him? And whether: was I still asleep? And another why: why were my dreams now about fantasy characters? I hate that stuff and am more of a scientist who likes math and logic and making lists of things to do before doing them—and keeping them on color-coded sticky notes like the ones flying from my bag and leaving a pretty trail behind us. 

This was like those games other kids play, rolling dice shaped like extra-credit geometry, pretending to have swords and sorcery, imagining Elves and Orcs fighting, arguing over treasure and whether charisma is better than a catapult and how many dragons fit in a dungeon. There aren’t even any rules to that nonsense. 

But there I was, a human running wildly with a fantasy character whose axe had already killed a tree, scared my dogs, and made me make at least two bad decisions already. He kept yelling things in some strange language that sounded like how cement mixers might communicate. And I couldn’t even stop to keep track of it, or take notes or pictures, or anything. 

INTERVIEW WITH GERTRUDE DEE MARPLOT

  • How and when did you discover your great-grandfather’s manuscripts? 

I was very young — I think 5 or 6 years old — when I went on an extended family reunion that had us tramping all over Great Britain. All I remember of Great-Grandad is wandering around in this dark old mansion. It looked like a cathedral, with the light inside coming at all crazy angles and through huge colored windows, and everywhere were large bookcases, and bookshelves, from floor to high-ceiling, and with every desk or table piled high with old papers, books stuffed with flattening parchments, scrolls and tube containers — a musty, dusty maze through the whole house. And they told me not to touch any of it! That experience definitely started my love of books. I don’t think I was even there very long, but those images are burned into my memory, a very happy one.

I don’t remember seeing the professor too much, but he must have noticed me because when we left, he wobbled over to me — he had a cane, was very old and gray with a stiff, short beard and a pipe sticking out of his fat, fluffy mustache. He said something about me being a good girl and that I should read a lot, or something. I don’t remember much else; it was so long ago and dream-like. But on my birthday every year since, he sent me some old parchment or ancient book with leaves disintegrating off the binder, and they were about very strange things — supposedly hidden knowledge or stories that just looked like a mess of symbols to me. Some had designs with bright colors and gold and silver etched lines — and pictures!  Very cool.

When I was 13, I asked him to send me something that I could actually read, something a normal girl would like. And in pieces — large pieces, in big boxes — I started to receive papers filled with more modern stories. And with very little explanation! I finally convinced him to get a computer and email so we could communicate faster and more often. He wouldn’t want me to say much more, but he did help me get the papers in order, and he told me all he knew of their history — which honestly wasn’t much. 

  • How did you weave together the story as you sorted the tattered pages, and how long did it take?

A long time for “Dwarf Story” because pieces of it arrived in a scattered and disorganized way. And specifics as to the story’s setting were missing — as if any scenes that revealed specific data were intentionally left out, cut from existence. With some — very little — help from my great-grandfather I narrowed down some possible U.S. locations for the story, though it could have taken place almost anywhere. The place names in the tale were hints, as well as the weather and landmarks. I followed clue after clue, the way Arty does in the story, and did the best I could. Interesting that such a modern story could have such a mysterious source. I was just about 15 when the first package with “Dwarf Story” pages came — marked as “Mary’s letters,” and those scenes from the middle of the book. Because I recently finished it, it was about eight years from beginning to end. A lot of fun! But eight years to tell a story that takes place over one week is crazy!

  • Do you think your grandfather left behind more pages that you’ve yet to uncover?

Oh, yes. In fact, there are pages that didn’t make it into the book, a few scenes that definitely take place in Scotland, but they didn’t fit the main story and still need work. It is a good question I ask myself also: For how long will I keep getting more “Dwarf Story” pages? 

  1. What do you think your grandfather would say, knowing you went through all of this effort to tell his stories? 

I think he will be proud to see more stories published because, to him, they are the latest link in a long chain. One theme of all his research and investigations concerns stories of young adults and how they cross into the fantastic and legendary. Though he doesn’t communicate much — or say much when he does communicate — so it’s hard to tell. But I think he is enjoying it. 

  • Did you learn more about your grandfather after discovering his writing? Was anything surprising?

Only that he seems more real, sometimes, seeing the work he did to collect these stories, and the writing he did on pulling together all old legends and connecting them up — like what I did for “Dwarf Story,” now that I think about it! Though his work is much, much greater. The hidden knowledge he compiles and collects and seams together is truly amazing — and I have only seen a small part of it!

  • Have you preserved the original manuscripts? Where are they now?

I made copies and worked with those. All the originals are in storage.  I had to seek some expert advice for how to preserve them. A local university has a Special Collections Department and they helped. My great-grandfather’s working spaces were far from pure — so much pipe smoke and dust, and that old mansion amid year-round cold, wet weather! What he sent me is now in airtight containers and temperature-controlled rooms. I had a local historical society staff volunteer some time also; they were very interested in the material.  

AUTHOR BIO

Professor Welkin Westicotter Marplot, of Coillemuir, Scotland, is a collector of esoteric tales of global wisdom and curator of ancient manuscripts. He is a recluse and, as he claims, has been collecting and collating adventure and fantasy stories for over a century.

A third-generation descendant, Gertrude Dee Marplot, of the United States, has edited for publication a number of the professor’s texts that she found — to her surprise — take place in modern times.  

Each tells of normal, young teenagers in strange, terrifying situations — or of unique kids in worse ones. As she continues to learn more of the stories’ origins, Ms. Marplot has edited these numerous tales from their tattered and disorganized shape for the enjoyment of modern readers.

Cover Reveal: Vicious Prince by Rina Kent

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👑🖤 ℍ𝕠𝕥 ℂ𝕠𝕧𝕖𝕣 ℝ𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕒𝕝 🖤👑

Check out Rina Kent’s HOT cover! The notorious player meets his match in a petite girl with a smart mouth. And now, he has to marry her. This dark new adult, enemies to lovers romance is hot and gritty. Not only will it test your limits but it will toy with your emotions! Vicious Prince releases July 16th! #Pre-order today!

Photographer: Michelle Lancaster

Model: Chase Mattson

🖤PRE-ORDER LINKS🖤

GOODREADS ➜ http://bit.ly/VP-GR

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👑𝔹𝕝𝕦𝕣𝕓👑

He’s prince charming. Just not hers.

I have a secret.

I stole a heart, or rather a marriage contract.

It wasn’t mine to own, to look at or to even consider.

But it was there for the taking so I took it.

Huge mistake.

Ronan Astor is a nobility in this world.

Arrogant player.

Heartless bastard.

Vicious prince.

Now, he’s out to destroy me.

What he doesn’t know is that I’m out to destroy him too.

My name is Teal Van Doren, and I’m where princes go to die.

🖤BINGE THE SERIES🖤

CRUEL KING

AMAZON US ➜ https://amzn.to/358myVr

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DEVIANT KING

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STEEL PRINCESS

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BLACK KNIGHT

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GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate the cover reveal of Vicious Prince, Rina Kent is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Head to her Facebook page to enter: https://www.facebook.com/rinaakent/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rina Kent is an international bestselling author of everything enemies to lovers romance.

Darkness is her playground, suspense is her best friend, and twists are her brain’s food. However, she likes to think she’s a romantic at heart in some way, so don’t kill her hopes just yet.

Her heroes are anti-heroes and villains because she was always the weirdo who fell in love with the guys no one roots for. Her books are sprinkled with a touch of mystery, a healthy dose of angst, a pinch of violence, and lots of intense passion.

Rina spends her private days in a peaceful town in North Africa daydreaming about the next plot idea or laughing like an evil mastermind when those ideas come together.

Don’t forget to Sign up to Rina Kent’s Newsletter for news about future releases and an exclusive gift.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: https://rinakent.com/

Newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/rinakent

BookBub: http://bit.ly/rina-bookbub

Instagram: http://bit.ly/RinaIG

Facebook: http://bit.ly/RinaFCB

Exclusive Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/RinaGroup

Twitter: http://bit.ly/RinaTwitter

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/RinaPinterest

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/rina-goodreads

Release Blitz: The Girl In The Love Song by Emma Scott

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At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…

The Girl in the Love Song, book one in the Lost Boys, an interconnected coming-of-age series of standalones, from USA Today bestselling author Emma Scott, is live!

Miller Stratton is a survivor. After a harrowing childhood of poverty, he will do anything it takes to find security for himself and his mom. He’s putting all his hopes and dreams in the fragile frame of his guitar and the beauty he creates with its strings and his soulful voice.

Until Violet.

No one expects to meet the love of their life at age thirteen. But the spunky rich girl steals Miller’s heart and refuses to give it back.

Violet McNamara’s life hasn’t been as simple as it looks. Her picture-perfect family is not so perfect after all. Her best friend Miller is her one constant and she is determined not to ruin their friendship with romantic complications.

But the heart wants what it wants. As Miller’s star begins to rise to stratospheric heights, what will it take for Violet to realize that she’s the girl in all of his love songs?

The Girl in the Love Song features two original songs written by Emma herself.

Download today or read for free in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2UdV79C

Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TheGirlintheLoveSongES

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2MLnYhU

About Emma:

Emma Scott is an internationally bestselling author whose books have been featured in Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Daily News and USA Today’s Happy Ever After. She writes emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy emotionally-charged stories that rip your heart out and put it back together again, with diverse characters and heroes with a heart of gold, you will enjoy her novels.

Connect with Emma: Amazon author link: https://amzn.to/2yUnFKJ

Webpage: emmascottwrites.com

Facebook: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottFB

Reader group: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottEntourage

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottBB

Instagram: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottIG

Twitter: http://bit.ly/EmmaScottTW

Stay up to date with Emma by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/2nTGLf6

Blog Tour: Transcendent (Denazen #4 ) by Jus Accardo

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Transcendent (Denazen #4) by Jus Accardo

Publication Date: March 2, 2020

Publisher: Entangled Teen

The boy she’d lost, and finally found again, is not the same boy she remembers. As one of the most powerful Sixes, Kale has changed in ways Dez can’t ignore.

He swore he’d never kill, and now he’s out for blood.

He swore he’d never harm her, and now he struggles to control his fatal touch.

They’ve been to hell and back, over and over, but this time they might not survive the fire.

When the truth at the root of the Denazen Corporation’s origins begins to unfold, those behind the scenes will do anything to keep it hidden.

Dez and Kale will be pushed to their breaking point. As long buried secrets come to light, they must fight for their freedom—and each other—as they never have before.

Kale’s destructive power could win the battle, if he doesn’t lose himself to it in the process. Or Dez will be faced with an impossible task—saving the world from the boy she loves.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17931385-transcendent

Purchase Links:

Amazon | B&N

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food.

Jus is the bestselling author of the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing, as well as the Darker Agency series, and the New Adult series, The Eternal Balance. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Instagram

Giveaway Details:

Release Day Blast: The Killing Cure: Redeem (Book Three of The Killing Cure Series) by C.S. Kendall

In this fast-paced, edge of your seat final installment to C.S. Kendall’s The Killing Cure, Julia and Charlie are finally building a life together after a century apart. But when Charlie starts to display puzzling side effects of his supernatural existence, they are forced to seek help from the last person they want to see. Can Julia and Charlie find their way to a happy ever after, or have their fates been sealed by the murderous fountain of youth?

About The Kill Cure: Redeem

Title: The Kill Cure: Redeem

Author: C.S. Kendall

Series: The Killing Cure #3

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Release Date: February 4, 2020

Publisher: Escape Artists Enterprises

Format: Digital eBook

Digital ISBN: B0847CCKGY

Finally, after a century apart, Julia and Charlie begin building a life together. But once again, their plans for a future are thwarted when Charlie displays puzzling side effects of his supernatural existence as the Phoenix. As his symptoms progress and Julia runs out of options, they are forced to seek out the only other immortal they know—Charlie’s former captor, Amara.

Darius and Amara go back millennia. Having drunk from the murderous Fountain of Youth, their history is marred by deadly choices. Amara is desperate to have Darius back but he cannot forgive her for the part she played in unleashing the Fountain of Youth on the world or for what the water made her do.

When Julia gets wind of Amara’s insidious plan to redeem herself, she finds that an enemy of an enemy is a friend. After saving her life, Darius reveals the truth about Charlie’s existence as the Phoenix, including the fact that this time, Julia can’t save the only man she’s ever loved. Armed with nothing but a shadowy foretelling about the Phoenix, Julia discovers that with Charlie and his newfound abilities they may be able to stop Amara from unleashing her treachery on the world. The only problem is they have no idea how. Even if they could figure it out, will the cost of bringing Amara down be too high?

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available:  Amazon

Excerpt:

Copyright© 2020 The Kill Cure: Redeem

C.S. Kendall

The coffee finished dripping, and Julia poured two mugs in silence. She turned to face Charlie, handing him one of the mugs. “We need to figure out what’s happening here.”

“You don’t’ have to convince me. As distressing as it is to take on the painful memories of others, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that being a miracle worker comes with side effects.”

Julia laughed. “Stop calling yourself that.”

“What? Miracle worker? What would you call me?”

She stared at him for a moment, but nothing clever came to mind. “I got nothing.”

“Then don’t judge.”

Julia sobered. “But why? Why side effects? You do the world a favor! As far as Amara’s concerned, you’re some kind of freaking Savior or something. Why should you suffer?”

“Why should anyone? What makes me less entitled to my share of suffering?”

“This isn’t your share. This is other peoples’ share.”

“I don’t know…there’s always balance, right? The Fountain of youth heals you, but it makes a killer of you. The antidote spares you from such a fate, but you’ll be sick or mortal again. Everything has a cost. A counterweight.”

“I supposed. Still—“

Charlie set his coffee on the small spread of counter and wrapped his arms around Julia. He pierced her gaze with his chocolate eyes.

“Can you just enjoy the moments I’m sane?” Pushing a tendril of hair out of her face, he laid a kiss on her forehead. “I have an idea. We’re up early. How about we try to catch the sunrise?”

“I think that’s an excellent idea.”

Hand in hand, they retreated to the porch. Julia draped herself across Charlie’s lap, and they sat in quiet content, waiting for the sun to take its first glimpse over the horizon.

“Ah, this is what I always imagined.” Charlie’s eyes were closed, his arms wrapped around Julia as he held her close to his body.

“These are the perfect moments,” Julia agreed. “When I was out on the road hunting down all those who had a drink from the Fountain, I would often wonder what a quiet morning would be like with you. Or an uneventful evening. Sometimes I felt so far from the girl I was, I wondered if I’d be able to enjoy something normal like this with you.”

“And can you?”

“So far, so good.”

She kissed Charlie’s nose.

Charlie tipped Julia’s chin with his finger, lifting her gaze to meet his. “This is all I ever wanted. You, me, the quiet…” he trailed, a certain sadness shadowing his expression.

“And children. You always wanted children.”

She tousled her fingers through his hair and kissed him on the cheek, with the wish in her heart that she could give him what he’s always longed for.

“I did. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that that dream had to go with everything else. But I’m happy to find a new dream, as long as you’re by my side.”

“Nothing could tear me away.”

Other Books in the The Killing Cure series:

Title: Guardian: The Kill Cure Origins

Author: C.S. Kendall

Series: The Killing Cure: #0.5

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Release Date: February 24, 2016

Publisher: Escape Artists Enterprises

Format: Digital eBook

Digital ISBN: B01C6LB40U

What if Ponce de Leon was right, and there truly exists a fountain of youth somewhere? Would you take a drink? Indeed, everything you’ve heard is true, but only half-true. Such a fountain exists, and the water gives life. But it demands it too. Once a sip is taken, the waters within come calling, awakening a need within those who have had a drink to kill so the water can replenish the stores of life giving power flowing from the fountain. But there is a safeguard–a family who has passed down guardianship of the water from generation to generation. Guardian tells the story of Norman, who struggles to come into his new role and ultimately makes a decision that will alter the course for those across the generations who have taken a drink from the deadly spring.

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo

 

Title: The Kill Cure: Drink

Author: C.S. Kendall

Series: The Killing Cure #1

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Release Date: November 7, 2019

Publisher: Escape Artists Enterprises

Format: Digital eBook / Print

Digital ISBN: B07YRTYMDC

Print ISBN: 9781513704586

Childhood friendship turns to love in this dark reimagining of the fountain of youth. In 1919, Charlie returns from WWI and gives his heart to Julia. As their love story begins, tragedy strikes when Julia contracts a deadly illness. On her deathbed, dreams of a future together shatter, but Charlie refuses to give up, convincing Julia to drink from a vial of “healing waters” his war buddy swore would bring spontaneous healing. Julia’s miraculous recovery brings hope, but the water’s murderous side effects snuff out the couple’s short-lived joy. Can Charlie help Julia fight the water’s call to kill? All their efforts may be in vain when Julia has to choose between running from the curse or embracing it in order to save Charlie. Journey with Julia and Charlie through a love story that spans a hundred years and an age-old curse that spans more and worse, puts Charlie’s life and Julia’s soul at risk.

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available:  Amazon

Title: The Kill Cure: Heal

Author: C.S. Kendall

Series: The Killing Cure #2

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance

Release Date: December 12, 2019

Publisher: Escape Artists Enterprises

Format: Digital eBook / Print

Digital ISBN: B01CRIMK5K

Print ISBN: 9781734256215

After completing the one hundred year-long mission Julia was forced to carry out, she returns to the island where it all began. But rather than finding her beloved Charlie where she left him, the island which houses the cursed fountain of youth is abandoned. In her frantic search for Charlie, Julia will enlist the help of an unlikely ally—someone from her past whom she believed to be dead. This new partnership is rocky, but together they will work to solve the mystery of where Charlie has gone. But even more perplexing than his disappearance is what Charlie has become. With extraordinary abilities of his own, Charlie’s talents are valuable, and they’ve been found out by a dangerous foe. Journey again with Julia as she finds Charlie, unearths a wealth of secrets contained within the fountain of youth’s waters, and discovers that a mission she thought completed…has only just begun.

Add to your TBR list:  Goodreads

Available:  Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo

About the Author:

Kate has an MA in art history from San José State University and has taught art history at a local college. For many years, she has worked as a dental hygienist, courageously offering encouragement to her non-flossing patients.

She has always enjoyed writing but became more serious after being encouraged by a friend to participate in National Novel Writing Month. She began writing historical fiction but soon realized that the romance was taking over the history.

Kate is a Bay Area native who lives near the beach with her husband and Lola, their spoiled Labrador Retriever. When not writing, she enjoys cooking, music, movies, reading, and fangirling over Jamie Dornan.

Connect with Kate:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub

Rafflecopter for The Killing Cure Release Day Blast Giveaway:

C.S. Kendall is offering one lucky Grand Prize winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card and three Runners-up an eBook copy of Guardian: The Killing Cure Origins and The Killing Cure: Drink.

To enter for your chance to win, please fill out the Rafflecopter link below:

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Blog Tour with Review: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

Early Praise:
Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” – Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters

“Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist.” – Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight

“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favorite’ from page one.” – Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest

Buy Link: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/tweet-cute/

MY REVIEW

Tweet Cute is the young adult novel I have been waiting for. Tweet Cute is the debut novel from Emma Lord and hits all the marks that I was looking for.

Tweet Cute follows the story of Pepper and Jack. Pepper is the overachiever, swim team captain and overall perfectionist. Her life might be full of chaos, but the family business is doing better than ever. Then we’ve got Jack. Jack is the class clown and Pepper’s mortal enemy. Between trying to escape his brother’s shadow and keeping his family’s business afloat, Jack’s life is anything but easy. He has a love/hate relationship with the family business, but when the competitor comes out with a recipe that’s a dead ringer for his grandma’s, he’ll stop at nothing to take his enemy down…

All’s fair in love and war, and Tweet Cute was a real treat. This book was a fantastic debut novel and was a fun read to spend my day getting lost in. I loved the modern take on You’ve Got Mail. I thought the authors take was fresh and entertaining. Not only was this book a part of one of my favorite troupes, Enemies to Lovers, but it also delivered on excellent chemistry and push and pull. I loved the interactions between Pepper and Jack. They appeared to be so opposite, yet so alike at the same time. I thought their story was well written and entertaining. And I for one, couldn’t wait to see their story play out.

At the end of the day, Tweet Cute was the perfect light read. It was paced well, smart and filled with some great swoon-worthy moments. As far as debut novels go, this one is pretty fantastic. I look forward to seeing what this author will have in store for readers in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

TWEET CUTE Blog Tour Q&As

Booklover_lex

What was your inspiration to become a YA writer?

I don’t think I ever set out to be any genre in particular, but what draws me to YA again and again is probably that a lot of the fandoms I was in growing up featured strong teen leads — I spent most of my time writing about teens when I was a teen, and then I guess I never really stopped!

What is your favorite show tune?

Oooh, love this question! This is a tough decision for me but I think I have to say “Astonishing” from Little Women — I think anyone who’s ever had a dream that has felt bigger than them can relate.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My parents, for sure. They’re both pretty prolific writers and storytellers, and they raised me and my siblings to let our imaginations run wild. No other parents were as delighted as mine to hear about all bajillion pages of fan fiction their kid was uploading every other day growing up.

Bookishly Nerdy

How did you come up with this idea?

I actually tweeted the whole idea for a plot as a joke in 2017, saying there should be a story about two social media managers from competing accounts falling in love. It wasn’t until the tweet got picked up by a few bookish friends and people started saying that someone should write it that I was like, “Oh! I guess that person could be me!”

What books influence your writing?

In terms of books, I’d say anything from Anne Brashares or Rainbow Rowell — but to be honest, a lot of influence came from my favorite fan fiction writers, who were the champions of banter-y dialogue and breaking conventional YA rules long before they were getting recognized for it.

Do you use twitter a lot?

Oh, boy howdy. I’m on Twitter WAY too much. But I think it’s okay for me, because even though I do get some of my news on it, I mostly use it for friendship and memes. At the moment my timeline is basically just Baby Yoda, Spider-Man, and Hufflepuff jokes.

Book Chelle

When the idea for Tweet Cute came into fruition, did you imagine the characters or the plot first?

This was a rare moment that the plot came first! I tweeted the idea as a joke a few years ago, and then was tasked with making characters that would fit the bill. It was a little harder for me because it’s not my usual process, but I was happy with how they turned out in the end.

Do you listen to music, soundtracks, or any ambient sounds when writing? If so, what do you listen to?

I do listen to music while I’m writing, but it’s surprisingly mopey! Lots of singer/songwriter acoustic songs, the kind I can appreciate the prettiness of when I do happen to pay attention. I’m pretty sure my Spotify Discover thinks I walk around dressed in all black with a rain cloud hovering over my head. (In real life I am much more cheerful than my writing playlists would suggest!)

What is your favorite romance trope?

Yikes on BIKES am I a sucker for enemies-to-lovers. It is my baguette and butter. I am also a big fan of the secret identity trope, courtesy of being obsessed with all things superheroes, so I’m very pleased I got to work that into Tweet Cute!

Kitty’s Book Spot!

Do you write to music?

I do! It tends to be slower, more acoustic music while I’m doing the actual writing, and more bops when I’m plotting. These days it’s a lot easier to find good music to write to, with other writers sharing playlists on Tumblr all the time.

Do you make music playlists for your works?

I’ve recently gotten into making character playlists for works, at the suggestion of other writer friends. I tend to listen to those when I’m walking around and daydreaming about the plots, though, since I find that the music I think my characters would listen to isn’t often the kind of music that helps me focus on actual writing. I’m have a WIP right now that has six different character playlists and is probably about to get more, my poor Spotify account is just a big mess of character names!

What would you tell us about yourself that no one knows?

I saw the Star Trek 2009 reboot in theaters seven times. (My friends thought it was six. I lied.)

The Book Marauder

What’s the most exciting part about being a writer?

Oh, for sure whenever someone mentions my characters’ names out loud to me. It’s wild to think that other people are living in the same little world you created, even if it’s just for a few hours. It’s like you opened up your brain and other people hopped in.

What is the first book that made you laugh?

Junie B. Jones!! I remember my kindergarten class howling with laughter when our teacher would read it out loud in class. I can’t remember a single one of the plots in adulthood, but I do remember everyone just losing their marbles at them.

Who is your favorite ”Tweet Cute” character and why?

Oooh. I don’t think I have a favorite, but I will say that the one I relate to most is probably Taffy, the overworked Hello Kitty-loving millennial trying to run Big League Burger’s social media. She gets mentioned very briefly, but it was a way of sneaking myself into the book for sure.

Swoony Boys Podcast

What was your favorite part of TWEET CUTE to write?

I think my favorite parts by far were whenever Pepper and Jack bantered with each other in person — there’s a scene early on when they do that in a cafe, and one mid-book where they’re bantering in the pool, and those were my favorite to write. The latter scene I especially loved because it was the first time I’d gotten to use all those years of high school swim team for any kind of purpose in the “real world” — teenage me may have hated it, but adult me is glad to have had some experience to draw from!

Tell us about Pepper and Jack.  We want to know all the things!

Oh BOY. Okay, Jack is a Cancer, and Pepper is a Capricorn. Both are Hufflepuffs (Pepper with a Slytherin bent, Jack with a Gryffindor one). Jack is a firm believer in never walking and texting. Pepper has way too many socks, but they always, always match. Jack does coffee, Pepper does tea (hallmark of a “bad New Yorker,” as I’ve been told by my coffee-guzzling friends). Pepper’s favorite color is rainbows (hence, the color coding of everything in her life, from her closet to Excel spreadsheets to planners). Jack is the only person in his family who hates cilantro and as deli owners and foodies it brings them all deep shame.

If you could introduce one of your characters to another character from any other book, who would it be and why?

I feel like Jack and a young James Potter would have plenty to talk about re: scheming.

Awkwordly Emma

With TWEET CUTE based around a Twitter battle, how do you think social media has changed modern teen romances?

I think it’s given teens an entirely new language to communicate — like, literally, teens are crafting their own slang, creating infinite new types of memes, crafting their own unique forms of syntax and grammatical rules. I think it only broadens the opportunities you have to get to know and relate to people, having this shared language that is tight knit and highly relatable, and takes a lot of the pressure off interactions that might otherwise cause anxiety. Social media has its pitfalls, sure, but at its best it gives teens a low stakes, high reward way to connect with each other, whether it’s for friendship or romance or just to share some laughs.

Did any rom-coms influence you while writing TWEET CUTE?

Oh, for sure You’ve Got Mail — or at least, what I knew of it. (As soon as people started likening the idea to the movie, I wouldn’t let myself watch it so I didn’t rely too much on its plot!)

Pie or cake, and what kind?

What an excellent question that I have a highly specific answer for!! Cake, and the best kind I’ve ever had was a yellow cake that was filled with three types of frosting between each of its three layers: a peanut butter cream cheese frosting, raspberry jam, and chocolate ganache. I never would have thought of it on my own, but I used to work in a cake bakery, and when they were chopping off the ends of this particular cake to shape it into a football they let me eat the leftovers. I still DREAM about it. But truly, I’m here for any cake except chocolate cake (I’m ashamed to say it — I’m more of a chocolate frosting lady, unless the chocolate cake is like, absurdly rich, in which case it has my attention).

The Nature of Pages

Did the plot or the characters come to you first when writing this novel?

This one was an odd one for me because the plot came LONG before the characters, in the form of a tweet I made in 2017 joking that there should be a rom-com about social media managers from warring fast food chains falling in love. Usually I’ll think of a character first and build plot around them, but I had to go through about five iterations of characters before landing on Pepper and Jack.

What was your favorite part about the process of writing Tweet Cute?

For sure writing with my friends! We try to meet up once a week and are constantly bopping around in the group chat. I wrote Tweet Cute in a month and a half while holding down a full-time job, so my brain was basically just leaking memes by the end of it, but those sessions we spent writing in coffee shops after work were my best memories of the process.

As a debut author, what was a surprise when it came to writing your book?

Uh, people READING it. That was profoundly surprising to me. Like, logistically you understand that people are going to read it if it’s getting published, but usually I’ll write something, stick it on a fan fiction platform anonymously, and that’ll be the end of it. I’m still not over the surprise any time someone reads the book and tags me in something about it!

Nailthatbook

What inspired you to write Tweet Cute? How did you come up with the idea?

The idea actually started out as a tweet — I’d been laughing at some of the Twitter wars between brands, and thought it would be a funny concept if two of the social media managers from competing accounts fell for each other without realizing it. Once people started saying they wished it was a book, it all kind of took off from there!

How would you describe your writing process? What part do you focus on the most or take you the longest to work through?

I would describe it as organized chaos. I try to sit down and plot, but more often than not the plot comes when I’m walking to work or in the shower or somewhere deeply inconvenient. Usually I’ll just start writing the first two chapters to see what comes out of me, then stop and figure out where it’s going until about the 40,000 word mark, then stop and adjust the plot outline and start again.

What Hogwarts Houses are some of the characters?

Oh, everyone’s a Hufflepuff. I’m busting into the YA world with an unrepentant Hufflepuff agenda. Pepper’s a Hufflepuff with a Slytherin moon; Jack is a Hufflepuff but a Gryffindor rising; Pooja is a Hufflepuff with aggressive Ravenclaw tendencies; Paul is about as Hufflepuff as it gets. But they are all unquestionably Hufflepuffs, and I think that’s going to be the case with most of my YA going forward.

BookCrushin

What parts of online culture were important for you to showcase in Tweet Cute?

I really, really wanted to inject the fun of social media in Tweet Cute — the bantery, laugh-out-loud relatability of it, and how it can be full of surprises. I think we’re often so fixated on the bad qualities of social media that we forget the ways it brings us together.

Which came first – the ship name or Pepper & Jack’s name? How did their ship name fully form for you?

MWAHAHAHA. So this was a happy accident, really. I had the name Jack, and I could not for the life of me figure out a name for the girl lead. I tried four or five of them but when I was typing them they all seemed wrong. I think I’d fully finished two chapters and just hit a dead end with it when my brain cells finally crashed into each other and were like “PEPPER!! PEPPER AND JACK!!!!!!!” And that was that.

What do you hope readers take away from the story?

I want the book to feel like eating a really good, deeply satisfying, thick slice of cake. But also, I want readers to consider the kind of pressure they’re under to be a certain way, or pursue certain things, and separate that pressure from what they think is actually best for them — the characters deal with that a lot, as do most of us, and I think that’s something we can all check in with ourselves on every now and then.

The Elven Warrior

For both Jack and Pepper (I adore those names!) what would you consider their core character trait? The thing that makes them solely THEM?

Hmmm — for Pepper I’d say it’s her drive, and for Jack I’d say it’s his empathy. I think they both have a lot of both of those elements, but those seem to be the factors that spur their decision-making in the book and lead them into all their mutual shenanigans.

Sending your first book out into the world and being a debut in general can be nerve wracking. But it can be an amazing! What has been the best thing about this experience?

Is it cheating if I say the whole thing? Everything is new to me — getting to work with a team on edits and marketing and how things look, getting a cover, meeting other authors, having people legitimately read something that I wrote and know that I wrote it (unlike the bajillion years I’ve spent writing fan fic). It feels like every day something happens to me that’s never happened before.

If you had to choose between working in a bakery, a sandwich shop, or as an author, which would you choose and why?

Fun fact: I’ve done ALL THREE of these. I spent my post-grad years working in a sandwich shop, and then a bakery, and then a whole bunch of other things (lol, job market) before becoming a digital media editor and eventual author. I’d say I’d rank them as author (you get to play god to a bunch of characters you made up!), bakery (FREE STALE CUPCAKES EVERY DAY!), and sandwich shop (great coworkers, but not as delicious, and I always came home reeking of basil).

Reading, Writing, and Me

Social media is obviously a huge part of this story. Were you ever hesitant or concerned about trying to capture internet culture in a book? Did you do any kind of research to prepare?

Oh boy, I did almost zero research. I was working as an editor who wrote and assigned daily content based on things going viral both in the social media and food space, so I was already aggressively online. I think my primary concern was mostly trying to keep the book from feeling too hyper specific to the time I was writing it, but also keeping it fresh — I was careful to try and choose the more “lasting” memes than the memes of the week.

One of the major threads of the story has to do with Jack’s app Weazl. How did you get the idea for Weazl? Was it important to you to show the really positive side of social media with this app because I really enjoyed that focus.

I knew I wanted some element where they were getting to know each other without any pressure, so that’s kind of where Weazl came in. I also did want to emphasize that although there are always cases of social media being used for bad, there’s so, so much good that comes out of it too! I really loved the idea of these kids who were forced to be so hyper competitive all their lives coming together in a place where they could help each other out and band together, because ultimately that’s what a lot of these social media platforms and tools help teens do.

Jack and Pepper are both quite complex, well drawn characters that complement each other perfectly. Do you have any advice for writers looking to further develop their own characters, and do you have any advice for people writing multiple points of view?

I think what really helps for me is just figuring out who the characters are by mentally putting them in all kinds of situations that may or may not ever actually land in the book. I think of life experiences I’ve had, or my friends have had, and I ask myself, “How would this character have reacted to that? Would it have been similar or different to the way I did, and why?” That also helped with figuring out the fundamental differences between the two characters when I was switching POVs; I was definitely worried in the beginning about making them sound too alike, so figuring out what set them apart was definitely a priority when I was first shaping them up!

Books Real When Shared

In your opinion, which is one of the best Twitter wars in history?

Hands down, without a doubt when Moon Pie smashed Hostess during the eclipse. Hostess tweeted saying that Golden CupCakes were the official snack of the eclipse, and Moon Pie simply quote retweeted “Lol ok …” and I have been DYING ABOUT IT EVER SINCE. Sometimes I’ll just be walking down the street and think about it and start laughing to myself. We stan the Moon Pie Twitter social media manager from now until the end of time.

https://twitter.com/moonpie/status/899624556377276416

Are you a fan of baking like Pepper? And if so, which is your go-to dessert?

Yes!! I’ve been baking my whole life. I can’t say I’m all that good at it, but I sure do love it (one of my little sisters is the true genius who has the actual patience for complicated things). My go-to is anything involving cookie dough; I’d say my favorite dessert on the planet is the “Sex Positive Brownies” in the book, which are the already popular combo of brownies, Oreos, and cookie that are all slightly underbaked. (I also like to add a pinch of salt to mine!)

F A N NA

The twitter war in Tweet Cute is primarily between a fast-food chain and a deli regarding an iconic grilled cheese sandwich. While Pepper is working behind the scenes to defend Big League Burger, Jack is stern on stating the fact that this sandwich recipe belongs to his grandmother who worked hard behind the deli. How did this idea of back-and-forth debating in 280 characters emerge?

The idea actually started at as a tweet! Back in 2017, I made a joke about how there should be a rom-com where two social media managers from competing accounts fell for each other without realizing they were Twitter battling. I knew I wanted it to be over something I already was familiar with, and I was pretty much raised on a steady diet of grilled cheese and Eggo waffles, so grilled cheese became the central focus. It helps that everyone who loves grilled cheese has strong opinions about how it should be made (I have yet to find a single grilled cheese opinion that’s wrong, though — it truly is the most delicious canvas of all).

Tweet Cute also entails some emotionally important themes like the rat race to good grades or college admissions, living up to the academic expectations set up by parents, figuring out everything by the end of senior year in high school, and being unresponsive to the pressure of familial responsibilities. What would you like the targeted young readers to take away from such aspects of the story?

I think the main takeaway I want is for young readers to know that everything is never set in stone. The things you study in high school, the colleges that accept you right out of the gates — it can all just be a blip if you let it. It’s easy to transfer schools, to change your course of study, to start all over again if you want to (trust me, I did all three of those things, sometimes more than once). Pepper and Jack deal with a lot of the pressure of thinking their futures are decided for them because they’re already committed to a certain path, but the truth is that path only gets more forked with options the older you get and the better you understand yourself.

Lastly, which of the two main characters Pepper or Jack do you see more of yourself in? The over-achiever girl with social-media managing ability and baking talents, or the goofball boy with the coding aptitude and a sweet-tooth?

Oh, boy. I think I’m a Jack-esque goofball when I’m out with my friends, but I’m so, SO much like Pepper in the privacy of my own brain. I think that’s why I was especially worried about how people would react to her — that was very much me, both in high school and now, even if it’s not necessarily the personality I project when I’m not working. That said, I could not code my way out of a paper bag. (Jack inspired me to take some free coding lessons for fun, though, so we’ll see!)

Casual Fangirl

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I love when you think you have the whole thing plotted out and then midway through the draft a character surprises you and is like, “Nah, I’m not gonna do that. Here’s what I’m gonna do instead.” Never a dull moment!

What is your go-to writing snack?

I’m actually terrible at snacking and writing, but I am definitely a tea gal. I’m part of the 5am writer’s club, and tea is the one way to bribe my lazy butt out of bed. That said, my entire life and times is basically sponsored by Taco Bell. When I hit word count for the day you can almost always find me in line for a spicy tostada and chips and guac.

What is your favorite Rom-com (book/tv/film)?

I love love love the movie About Time, and the book Something Borrowed. Those are my main comfort watch and comfort read for sure. I think there is something innately Hufflepuff about the main characters in both of those works, and being inside their brains is a cozy place to be because of it.

In Between Book Pages

Tweet Cute featured a Twitter brand war, something we have seen (and laughed at) before [e.g. Taco Bell vs Old Spice, Burger King vs Wendy’s]. Were you inspired by any IRL Twitter brand war?

I wasn’t inspired by any one Twitter war, but definitely Twitter Brand War Culture. I work in digital media, so I was covering a lot of them in pieces I was writing and assigning out. Plus one of my very close friends is a social media manager, and it was always funny to get insight on her side of the Twitter curtain and find out what’s really going on behind the scenes. A lot of that factored into the decision to write the book.

Even though Tweet Cute is mostly sweet and fluffy, both Jack and Pepper was put through the wringer having to deal with school, their families and friends, and deciding what they want to do. What do you want your readers, especially the younger ones, to take away from your story? And if you could give them an advice, what would that be?

I guess one of the takeaways that felt important to me was that nothing really truly gets “set in stone” in high school; even if you’ve set yourself on a certain path or feel obligated to follow one someone set out for you, you’re allowed to change your mind. Also, the thing you’re meant to do and truly love might be the last thing you expect! Definitely let your heart lead you, whenever you’re lucky enough to find things you’re passionate about.

Finally, using three memes, describe Tweet Cute.

OKAY MY BODY IS READY. My number one is based on that text post meme that’s like “on the outside I am human on the inside I am pasta and sin,” except for Tweet Cute it’s “on the outside i am human on the inside i am cheese and tweets”.

Number two is the “is this a pigeon?” meme:

Number three is the Captain America detention meme, and it is not aimed at Pepper and Jack, but at me.

A Glass Of Wine

What gif do you feel best describes Tweet Cute?

I don’t know if this is a meme or a GIF, really, but the Elmo fire one comes to mind. I think it’s sort of come to represent a weird intersection of joy/pain/chaos/hilarity, and I think Tweet Cute’s got all of that in the mix.

If a signature ice cream were to be made for Tweet Cute what might be included?

OOOOH. I think the base would be a classic vanilla, but it would be stuffed to the gills with Rolos, Reese’s, Oreos, and rainbow sprinkles like Monster Cake from the book, and have ribbons of caramel and a healthy pinch of salt and oh my god I am so hungry now, BYE.

Tweet Cute is inspired by You’ve Got Mail. What are some of your other favourite rom-coms?

I love About Time above all, I think, but I’m also a fan of Crazy Rich Asians, The Proposal,  27 Dresses, Bride Wars, Love, Rosie, and the woefully underrated period rom-com, Mrs. Pettigrew Lives For A Day. I’m sure I am missing about a gazillion that I also love.

Author bio:

Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.

Social Links:  @dilemmalord (Twitter/Instagram)

Review: Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry

Echoes Between Us is bestselling author Katie McGarry’s breakout teen contemporary novel about a girl with everything to lose and the boy who will do anything to save her.

Veronica sees ghosts. More specifically, her mother’s ghost. The afterimages of blinding migraines caused by the brain tumor that keeps her on the fringes and consumes her whole life haunt her, even as she wonders if it’s something more…

Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but his adrenaline addiction draws him to Veronica.

A girl with nothing to live for and a boy with everything to lose–can they conquer their demons together?

MY REVIEW

When it comes to Young Adult novels, Katie McGarry is my go-to author. So, when I heard about Echoes Between Us, I just knew I had to get my hands on it. I mean, have you seen the cover for this book? It is just stunning!! I took one look at it and knew this book was going to be a winner and I was not disappointed.

Echoes Between Us follows the story of Veronica and Sawyer. Veronica is the unique outsider. She’s considered weird or strange by most. However, there is more to her than meets the eye. She’s fearless and makes the most out of each and every moment. She’s not afraid to be her true self and isn’t about to let her blinding migraines get her down. Oh, did I mention she also sees her mother’s ghost? And then we have Sawyer. He’s the golden boy. He’s handsome, popular and an amazing swimmer. However, the pressure from having to perfect all the time and the responsibilities life has handed him has led to one crazy addiction. When times get tough, he likes to dive off cliffs. He can’t get enough of the high and is afraid he won’t be able to stop. His life is crazy and chaotic. His mother can’t be counted on and his dad isn’t really around. What happens when the weird girl and golden boy cross paths?? You’re just going to have to pick up Echoes Between Us to find out…

Overall, I thought this book was a really fascinating read. As with every Katie McGarry book, this one sucks you in instantly and completely consumes you. This story intrigued me as much as it thrilled me. I loved seeing Veronica and Sawyer come together. They started off as enemies and quickly became more. Their relationship was sweet and honest. I loved how real these two were with one another. Veronica and Sawyer both had a lot of layers and I loved getting to know each of them. Their story was powerful and dealt with a lot of tough subject matter. I loved how well the author not only researched their issues, but how true she stayed to the characters.

Echoes Between Us was a consuming and heartfelt story. I devoured it easily in just one sitting. The characters were entertaining and left me hanging on every word. I enjoyed getting to know Veronica and Sawyer and had a great time getting swept up in their story.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Release Blitz: From Flame And Ash by Carrie Ann Ryan

Title: From Flame and Ash
Series: Elements of Five #2
Author: Carrie Ann Ryan
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: November 19, 2019
Blurb
NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan continues Lyric’s epic journey in this spellbinding sequel to From Breath and Ruin.

Lyric lost her past, her friends, and even her connections to both worlds when she found out about the Maison realm and her calling. But now she must put that aside and travel back to the Maison realm to continue her training as the Spirit Priestess. Only her journey isn’t to Rhodes and those she fought alongside before. This time, Easton and the other Obscurité warriors will stand by her side as she tries to unlock her final three elements.

However, just as she starts to learn more about what she’s been prophesied to do, a Seer’s wish and the calling of the Lumière kingdom calls her forth, thrusting Lyric into another journey where she must trust those on both sides of the age-old war to survive…and keep those she loves safe.

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Author Bio
Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary, paranormal, and young adult romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Fractured Connections, and Elements of Five series, which have sold over 3.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over seventy-five novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not losing herself in her emotional and action-packed worlds, she’s reading as much as she can while wrangling her clowder of cats who have more followers than she does.
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Review: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

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No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

Girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for their chance to grab one of the girls in order to make their fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

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MY REVIEW

The Grace Year is a title that I have been impatiently waiting to get my hands on. From the synopsis alone, I just knew this book was going to be special and that it would be thrilling. I mean, it sounded like all of my favorite dystoptian novels were wrapped into one. So, if you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale or even Lord of the Flies, you are in for a real treat with The Grace Year.

The Grace Year follows the story of Tierney James. Tierney has always dreamed for a better life than the one she knows. She lives in a society where dreams are forbidden and where women are seen as the weaker sex. When a girl reaches her sixteenth birthday, she enters what is called her grace year, a time that no one dares to talk about. Rumor has it that women are filled with magical power that they must accept and eradicate in order to return home pure and ready for their husbands. But, what they don’t tell you is that you will be pitted against one another, that your friends are not who you thought they were, and that there is more to fear than just poachers in the woods….

As a huge fan of YA Dystopian novels, I couldn’t wait to see what The Grace Year would bring to the table. And let me tell you, it does not disappoint. This story is filled with mystery and intrigue. The plot is totally unique, yet has similar elements to some beloved dystopian novels. This story is gritty and intense at times and it will certainly keep you on your toes. This is a story of survival in the worst of circumstances, yet there is also hope for a better life and future. The Grace Year does have some romantic tones, but the romance does not drive the book, the plot does. The Grace Year is filled with lots of fantastic twists and turns and at times will have you questioning what you have gotten yourself into.

Overall, I found The Grace Year to be a very enjoyable read. I thought it was very unique and written well. I found myself glued to the pages and unable to put this book down. I know this is a YA book, but do not let that fool you. This book packs a punch and keeps you guessing the entire time.  If you’re a fan of dystopian novels, I definitely would recommend giving The Grace Year a try.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher & NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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When Evelyn Dasher crossed paths with Luc, she was thrown headfirst into the world of the Lux—only to discover that she was already far more involved in their world than she ever suspected.

Because the Luxen aren’t the only ones with a hidden past. There’s a gap in Evie’s memory, lost months of her life and a lingering sense that something happened, something she can’t remember and nobody is willing to tell her. She needs to find out the truth about who she is—and who she was. But every answer she finds only brings up more questions.

Her search for the truth brings her ever closer to Luc, the Origin at the center of it all. He’s powerful, arrogant, inhumanly beautiful, extremely dangerous…and possibly in love with her. But even as Evie falls for him, she can’t help but wonder if his attraction is to her, or to the memory of a girl who no longer exists.

And all the while, a new threat looms: reports of a flu-like, fatal virus that the government insists is being spread by Luxen. A horrifying illness that changes whoever it touches, spreading panic across a country already at its breaking point.

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the world of the Lux with this steamy, shocking second installment of the Origin series that will leave readers reeling.

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MY REVIEW

“You’re real, Evie. It doesn’t matter who you used to be or who you thought you were. You are real, and I see you.”

The highly anticipated sequel to The Darkest Star is finally here and I don’t know about you guys, but I have been anxiously waiting to get this bad boy in my hands. The Burning Shadow picks up right where The Darkest Star left off and leaves no stone unturned. Evie is still trying to come to turns with who she is and why her memories are all messed up. However, with every answer Evie gets, she is left with a million more questions and this quest for the truth only stands to bring her closer to the one and only Luc. Luc is all that and a bag of chips with the arrogance to back it all up. And while Luc may think he’s in love with Evie, Evie herself can’t help but fall for Luc. The question of what is real and what isn’t has never been more critical to Evie. And if dealing with her own crisis isn’t enough, it seems there’s more on the horizon to worry about. A new threat looms and is spreading panic far and wide. Will Evie find out the answers she so desperately needs? Will Evie, Luc and the gang be able to stop the new threat from spreading??? There’s only one way to find out….

Overall, I found this book to be a really enjoyable read. I loved getting wrapped up in the Luxen/Origin world again and seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones. This book is filled with Jennifer Armentrout’s signature humor and swoon worthy romance. It checked off all of my boxes giving me a read that is filled with romance, sarcasm, mystery, intriugue, suspense and lots of twists and turns. Yes, that is one thing I love about JLA’s writing is that her twists always knock me off my feet and just leave me begging for more.

I will say that for me, the pacing for The Burning Shadow was a bit slower than I would have liked, but that being said, the slower pace did not take away from all the action this book had and once I got into the stories groove, I could not put it down. The Burning Shadow has a lot going on in the best possible way and I loved how the author left little breadcrumbs for readers to follow along the way.

The Burning Shadow is a terrific addition to The Origin Series. It kept me on my toes and left me with a ton of questions that I am just dying to have answered. I have no clue how this story is going to play out in the end, but I can definitley tell you that I will be waiting anxiously to see where this series will take us next!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*