Tuesday, October 11, 2016

EARLY REVIEW + SIGNED ARC GIVEAWAY: On Broken Wings (Wild Aces #3) by Chanel Cleeton

Series: Wild Aces #3 
Author: Chanel Cleeton 
Publication: January 3, 2017 
By: Berkley 
Amazon | B&N | Google Play | Kobo | Book Depository | Goodreads

The author of Into the Blue and Fly with Me returns with the newest, hot and high-flying Wild Aces romance...

A year after losing her husband, Joker, the squadron commander of the Wild Aces, Dani Peterson gets an offer from his best friend, Alex “Easy” Rogers, to help fix up her house. Dani accepts, and their friendship grows—along with an undeniable attraction.

Racked by guilt for loving his best friend’s widow, Easy’s caught between what he wants and can’t have. Until one night everything changes, and the woman who’s always held his heart ends up in his arms. Yet as Easy leaves for his next deployment, he and Dani are torn between their feelings and their loyalty to Joker’s memory. 

But when Dani discovers something that sends them both into a spin, the conflicted lovers must overcome the past to navigate a future together…

 ~ My Feels ~

Let me tell you a story about how badly I wanted this book...I happened to be in the car, riding shotgun while the 16yo drove to his college class, when my phone dinged, alerting me to a new email. I opened it, saw Easy's NG widget, and proceeded to FREAK THE CRAP OUT, scaring the bejeebus out of my boys and the woman in the car next to us. (If she knew why, she'd have been excited too, just saying.)

Then, after practically shoving the oldest out of the driver's seat with a wave and a, "Hope class goes well! See ya later, bye!", I spent 20 minutes driving around, my laptop open on the 12yo's lap, desperately searching for the nearest Wi-Fi. (Waiting 2 hours until I could go home and download it was not an option.) Starbucks came to my rescue--or rather, their parking lot did. I downloaded it, sent it to my Kindle and my phone, and then had to WAIT to read it.

Talk about torture.

Once I started, I couldn't stop, nor did I want to. I thoroughly enjoyed the first 2 books, but this, THIS is the story I have been waiting for! I stayed up well past my bedtime, convinced Chanel Cleeton was trying to kill me. My heart broken for these characters. I wanted them to heal. I needed them to find happiness and to start living again.

I was not disappointed!

YOU GUYS, Chanel Cleeton handled this story and it's characters, both of whom are struggling with grief and misplaced guilt, with grace and empathy. She broke my heart and stitched back together again.

Easy and Dani's relationship is complicated and painful, but their journey is hopeful too, and heart-achingly romantic!

Read it.

~ Book Links ~

Click HERE and HERE to read my reviews of the first two books
Click HERE to pre-order the 3-book series. 
Click the book covers below to start the series. 


One Copy of a Signed Print ARC of ON BROKEN WINGS (to be sent by the author)
U.S. Only 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 7, 2016

BLOG TOUR: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes, this is my stop on THE LOVELY RECKLESS Blog Tour!

*hands you a cookie dough cupcake* 

Photo: Jenuine Cupcakes

Author: Kami Garcia
Publication: October 4, 2016
By: Imprint 

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia, a contemporary romance full of loss, love and redemption…

Seventeen year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad―an undercover cop. She transfers to public school in the Downs, where fistfights in the halls don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him . . . and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?

Your own heart will race with each page turn of this heart-stopping star-crossed love story.

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review*


Edgy, sexy, and completely addicting! 

Once I started this, I couldn't put it down--I didn't want to either. My dad is a retired cop so I could easily relate to Frankie's relationship with her dad. I enjoyed the setting, the characters and the friendships that developed, especially between Frankie and Cruz. The scenes where she's teaching Frankie how to drive a stick cracked me up! (I would love to see Cruz get her own book. Hint, hint, Kami.) 

The romance between Frankie and Marco was immediate and intense, but not surprising under the circumstances.  

Grief and guilt play key roles in this story, both of which, often lead to rash decisions with lasting--and sometimes--serious consequences. Kami handled both in a way that felt realistic and believable. And it's true, sometimes people make bad choices for the right reasons. 

This is perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout's Don't Look Back, Katie McGarry's Crash Into You, and Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry series.

At a recent signing, Kami mentioned that Marco is hot, and she was not lying. She also said Marco is mine...


"A perfect blend of electrifying romance, pulse-pounding street racing, and page-turning suspense.” ―Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Problem With Forever 

“The Lovely Reckless is a thrilling ride full of twists and turns and a love story that will melt your heart!” ―Katie McGarry, award-winning author of Nowhere But Here

“With a feisty heroine, an irresistible bad boy, and an attraction so sizzling the words practically burn up the page,The Lovely Reckless is an insanely addictive, sexy, rush of a read you’ll return to again and again!” ―Alyson Noël, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Immortals series 

PHOTO CREDIT: Vania Stoyanova

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today & international bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures novels. Kami’s solo series, The Legion, includes the instant New York Times bestseller UNBREAKABLE, and the sequel UNMARKED. Her forthcoming YA contemporary romance THE LOVELY RECKLESS releases on October 4, 2016, followed by THE X-FILESORIGINS: AGENT OF CHAOS, a novel about a teenage Fox Mulder, in January 2017, both from Imprint (Macmillan).

Kami was a teacher for seventeen years before co-authoring her first novel on a dare from seven of her students. If she isn’t busy watching Supernatural, Kami can teach you how to escape from a pair of handcuffs or bake a Coca-Cola cake. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Visit Kami at www.KamiGarcia.com and on Twitter and Instagram @kamigarcia.


September 27 - Lost in Literature Blog (Blog Review + Insta Feature and ARC giveaway)
                        - Mara @bookmarauder (Instagram Review + Feature)
                        - My, My Shelf and I Blog (Review & 25 things you don't know about Kami)
September 28 - Mundie Moms (Review + Interview)
                        - Bookworm Boutique Blog (Review + BookTag)
September 29 - Vilma's Book Blog (Review)
                        - Page Turners Blog (Review)
September 30 - Benjamin of Tomes (YouTube Review)
                        - Once Upon a Twilight (Review and Interview)
October 1        - Courtney @LibraryCutie (Review and Instagram Feature)
                        - Schmexy Girl (Review)
October 2        - Nose Stuck in Book Blog (Review + Interview)
October 3        - Taylor @Taylorreads (Instagram feature + review)
                        - Ursula @Ursula_Uriarte (Instagram review and feature)
October 4        - Oh The Book Feels Blog (Review + Insta feature)
October 5        - Supernatural Snark Blog (Interview)
October 6        - Hikari @foldedpagesdistillery (Insta feature and review)
October 7        - Jenuine Cupcakes Blog (Review)
October 8        - Caden @athousandbookstoreads (YouTube booktag + Insta feature)
October 9        - Evie @eviebookish (Review)
                        - Reading Teen Blog (ARC Giveaway)
October 10      - YA Bibliophile Blog (Review)
                        - Casey @caseyannbooks (Insta feature)
October 11      - Fangirlish (Review)
                       - Young Adult Book Addict (Review + Insta feature)
                       - Supernatural Snark Blog (Review)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

BLOG TOUR CUPCAKES: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publication: October 11th 2016
By: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital. In the mirrors that line its grand hallways, which once belonged to a princess. In those that reflect the elegant rooms, now filled with sick children. It is her secret.

One morning, when Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens, she discovers something incredible: a white horse with broken wings has left the mirror-world and entered her own.

Tucked into the garden’s once-gleaming sundial, Emmaline finds a letter from the Horse Lord. He is hiding the wounded white horse, named Foxfire, from a dark and sinister force—a Black Horse who hunts by colorless moonlight. If Emmaline is to keep the Black Horse from finding her new friend, she must collect colorful objects with which to blind him. But where can Emmaline find color when her world is filled with gray?

“The magical realism is reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia, Elizabeth Goudge, or a child’s version of Life of Pi. The right readers will love this to pieces.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Destined to be a classic! The Secret Horses of Briar Hill makes you want to believe---it is simply a must-read!”—Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

~ My Thoughts ~

I love when a story so fully captures my attention it becomes difficult to think about anything else, which is exactly the effect The Secret Horses of Briar Hill had on me.

It's fairy-tale quality had me side-eying the mirrors in my house, much the same way I still check every wardrobe for the way into Narnia. (None of the wardrobes on display at my local IKEA are magical and sadly, none of the mirrors held any winged horses either---just in case you were wondering.) And it's colorful blend of historical fiction and magical realism inspired me to make cupcakes with marshmallow fondant horses with shimmery wings.

Foxfire inspired the rainbow cupcakes.
I started with a vanilla cake recipe, separated the batter into 6 bowls and dyed them the colors of the rainbow. I use food gels you can buy from a cake supply or craft store. Traditional food coloring doesn't produce as vibrant a color and will change the consistency and taste of your batter and/or your frosting.

"There is a white winged horse in the sundial garden." 


I made the horse faces and wings from homemade marshmallow fondant, then dusted them with iridescent shimmer. 


"The Black Horse is strong and relentess, but he has one weakness, and it is this: [you have to read the book to find out]."

 I made dark chocolate buttermilk cake with dark chocolate frosting for the Black Horse. 

Finished product!


~ About The Author ~
MEGAN SHEPHERD grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of several acclaimed young adult books. Shepherd lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband. You can visit her at meganshepherd.com and follow her on Twitter at @megan_shepherd.

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, October 3rd: Twinning for Books, Review
Tuesday, October 4th: The Mod Podge Bookshelf, Interview
Wednesday, October 5th: Jenuine Cupcakes, Review (and cupcakes!)
Thursday, October 6th: Pandora’s Books, Movie Cast Post
Friday, October 7th: Owl Always Be Reading

Monday, October 10th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Review

Tuesday, October 11th: Such a Novel Idea, Playlist Post
Wednesday, October 12th: The Reading Nook Reviews, Review
Thursday, October 13th: Seeing Double In Neverland, Author Guest Post
Friday, October 14th: Mundie Moms, Review

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Frazzled by Booki Vivat (GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY)

Meet Abbie Wu! She’s about to start middle school and she’s totally in crisis.

Abbie Wu is in crisis—and not just because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because the lunch ladies at school are totally corrupt or because everyone seems to have a “Thing” except her. Abbie Wu is in crisis always.

Heavily illustrated and embarrassingly honest, Frazzled dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and how to survive the everyday disasters of growing up. With Abbie’s flair for the dramatic and natural tendency to freak out, middle school has never seemed so nerve-racking!

Packed with hilarious black-and-white illustrations and doodles throughout, Frazzled takes readers through Abbie Wu’s hysterical middle school adventures.

Amazon | B&N  

My Thoughts

This book is so freaking adorable! I can't wait to see the finished version with all of Booki's (the author) sketches. I also can't wait for my own Middle to read it; he's going to love it!

Abbie Wu is a lovable character whose relatable to readers, young and old alike. Even if you don't have a Middle Schooler, you were one--even if it was like, a million years ago. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up, you won't be sorry.


 Guest Post 

I’ve never been good at giving advice. Mostly because I never feel fully qualified to give advice. What do I know, really? One thing I know for sure: writing is hard. Writing Frazzled certainly was! More often than not, I questioned whether anyone would want to read about this flustered, fictionalized version of my younger self trying to figure out who she was. So while I may not feel qualified to give proper writing advice, what I can do is share 5 freak-outs I had while working on this book (in doodle form, of course) and talk about what I learned from those freak-outs. Here goes!

1. Protect your writing time.

Life can be crazy. There never seems to be enough time to write and/or you never feel like you’ve accomplished enough in the time you’ve set aside! I learned that it’s important to make time to devote to your work and concentrate on using that time the best you can. Also, it’s good not to put too much pressure on what you are producing or feel unsatisfied by how you spent that time. The important part is that you give yourself space to be creative!

Some writers set word count goals they want to reach each day, while others choose to schedule blocks of time to focus on writing. Do what works best for you! Different people choose to do this in different ways, but it’s safe to say that every writer has to be intentional about protecting their time. 

2. Embrace writers block.

Writers block hits everyone—and I mean everyone. It hit me hard with Frazzled. The danger of writers block is not necessarily the work you lose when you’re stuck in it, but the much deeper effect that it has on your confidence and resilience as a writer. It’s easy to lose sight of why you’re writing or give up altogether.

I say we collectively learn to embrace writers block. Rather than fearing it or dwelling on it, maybe it’s better to just find ways to work around it. That can mean shifting attention to another project, getting some outside perspective on your work, or even just cutting yourself some slack and taking a break. There isn’t one simple way of getting over writers block, but I know it can be done!

3. Keep working no matter what. 


Sometimes it just feels like you’re running in circles and you’ll never finish! Empty pages seem so empty and the little letters clumping together to form words and sentences don’t seem nearly big enough to fill all that blank space. I know this feeling. There were so many times when I thought I would never finish this book—but here it is, complete! 

It’s challenging when you’re faced with all the pages you haven’t filled and it looks like there’s no end in sight, but sometimes looking back at what you’ve already accomplished can be encouraging! It’s good to get perspective and keep in mind that writing a book is a long process. Perseverance is key!

4. Find people who will encourage and support you. 

Writing itself is hard enough, but sometimes, it can also feel really lonely and isolating. While working on Frazzled, there were definitely moments that made me doubt whether or not I could pull it off. I have so many doodles illustrating all my frustrating moments. But if doodling was my way of releasing my fears, then drawing strength from the people around me was what helped me move past them.

I’ve learned that the best way to combat all the uncertainties is to surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you in different ways. Besides friends and family, finding community with other writers can be a great way to connect with people who understand how confusing, rewarding, and maddening the creative process can be!

5. Do not dismiss or devalue your creative work. 

No matter what, creative work is still work. I used to dismiss a lot of my writing and drawing because I was embarrassed it wasn't good enough or I was afraid people would think I was just a total fraud. So I just wrote it off like it didn't matter and like it wasn't important—it didn’t “count.” But the truth is, everything counts!

If you're taking the time to be creative and you're making something—that takes time. That takes effort. That takes heart! You could be binge watching something on Netfix or playing Minecraft or taking a nap, but instead you're choosing to do work. Nothing can take away the value of that action. Doing the work is the only way anyone gets better, so don’t disregard the importance of your efforts and just keep working! 

About the Author

Booki Vivat has been doodling somewhat seriously since 2011 and not-so-seriously since childhood. She grew up in Southern California and graduated from the University of California, San Diego. She currently works in publishing and lives in Brooklyn, New York. This is her first novel. 

Website | Twitter | Instagram


Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
9/19: Swoony Boys Podcast - Review
9/20: Such A Novel Idea - Guest Post
9/21: What Sarah Read - Review
9/22: Supernatural Snark - Q&A
9/23: Mundie Kids - Review

Week 2:
9/26: The Irish Banana Review - Q&A
9/27: Fiction Fare - Review
9/28: Jenuine Cupcakes - Guest Post
9/29: Wiritng my Own Fairytale - Review
9/30: Reads all the Books - Review

3 Finished Copies of FRAZZLED (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, September 26, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes! 
This is my stop on the AFTERWARD blog tour.

Afterward: A Novel
Author: Jennifer Mathieu 
Publication: September 20, 2016
By: Roaring Brook Press

A tragic kidnapping leads to an unlikely friendship in this novel about finding light in the midst of darkness from the author of The Truth About Alice.

When Caroline's little brother is kidnapped, his subsequent rescue leads to the discovery of Ethan, a teenager who has been living with the kidnapper since he was a young child himself. In the aftermath, Caroline can't help but wonder what Ethan knows about everything that happened to her brother, who is not readjusting well to life at home. And although Ethan is desperate for a friend, he can't see Caroline without experiencing a resurgence of traumatic memories. 

But after the media circus surrounding the kidnappings departs from their small Texas town, both Caroline and Ethan find that they need a friend--and their best option just might be each other.

*I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

~ My Thoughts ~

This was one of those rare times when a book affected me both as a reader and as a parent.

Much like Jennifer Mathieu's two previous books, The Truth About Alice and Devoted, this story was difficult to read at times. It was awkward, uncomfortable, and the rawness of Ethan and Caroline's emotions hurt. But it's also story filled with forgiveness, healing, and hope. 

Read it!

 ~ About the Author ~

Jennifer Mathieu is an English teacher, writer, wife, and mom who writes books for and about young adults. My debut novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE, was published by Roaring Brook Press on June 3, and my second book, DEVOTED, came out in June of 2015.

My third novel, AFTERWARD, about two small town Texas teenagers whose lives are linked by a terrifying crime, will be out in September 2016.

My favorite things include chocolate, pepperoni pizza, and this super hilarious 1980s sitcom about four retired women called The Golden Girls. I can basically quote every episode.

I live with my husband, son, one rescue dog, and one old kitty cat.

When it comes to what I read, I love realistic young adult fiction (duh), creative nonfiction, super scandalous tell-all memoirs and unauthorized biographies, and basically anything that hooks me on the first page.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe 
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publication: October 4, 2016
By: Knopf Books for Young Readers 
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 
From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone—and love someone—for who they truly are.

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review*

My Thoughts

Describe Holding Up The Universe in three words: Honest. Heart-breaking. Hopeful

This book sent me on a roller coaster of emotion from the Author's Note in the front of the book explaining how she drew on personal and family experience to write this story, right up to the last page.

I laughed, I cried and I cheered! 
Jennifer Niven does a great job of portraying these characters--their stories, struggles and victories--in a relatistic and relatable way. And Libby and Jack are the kind of characters who stick with you long after you finish reading their story. The message this book leaves with the reader is one of self-love, confidence, and seeing people for who they really are.    
"Life is too short to judge others. It is not our job to tell someone what they feel or who they are. Why not spend some time on yourself instead?" ~ Libby Strout (hashtagCanIGetAnAmen)

Read it.  

Side note: Jack Masselin's RL doppelganger works at my local Jimmy John's. I foresee a lot of turkey subs in my future. 

About the Author 

Photo credit: Author's website
By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson ("If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win"), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder's sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.

In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven't stopped... I've written nine books (#9 will be out Oct 4, 2016), and when I'm not working on the tenth, I'm writing the screenplay for All the Bright Places, contributing to my web magazine, Germ (www.germmagazine.com), thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads