Wednesday, February 10, 2016

#TruthRider Tour Prize Pack

The #TruthRider Tour kicks off this week, and I'm SO EXCITED that the fine folks at Tor Teen asked me to help celebrate with a TruthRider Swag Pack giveaway. Susan Dennard and Veronica Rossi are two of my favorite people on the planet, if you have the chance to meet them, do it.

The Politics & Prose at the Bethesda Library stop on 2/18 will also have Special Guest Kami Garcia. 
(I'll be there. If you are too, say hi. I'll be the one with the cupcakes and pink stripes in her hair.)

Pulication: January 5, 2016

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.




Riders (Riders #1) 
Publication: February 16, 2016

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?



 *Prize generously provided by the publisher.
US/Canada Only 
Must be 13 years old to enter 
One Winner will get: 
Signed Riders poster
Riders bracelet
 Signed Truthwitch bookplate
Truthwitch poster

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 6, 2016

America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie

America's First Daughter
Author(s): Stephanie Dray, Laura Kamoie 

Publication: March 1, 2016
By: William Morrow Paperbacks
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads  

In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France. And it is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that she learns of her father’s liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age.

Patsy too has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé, William Short, a staunch abolitionist intent on a career in Europe. Heartbroken at having to decide between being William’s wife or a devoted daughter, she returns to Virginia with her father and marries a man of his choosing, raising eleven children of her own.

Yet as family secrets come to light during her father's presidency, Patsy must again decide how much she will sacrifice to protect his reputation, in the process defining not just Jefferson’s political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

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

I don't read a lot of Historical Fiction, but a few months ago, I tripped and fell down the rabbit hole known as Hamilton (the musical) and haven't been able to get enough of the Revolutionary War period since.

AMERICA'S FIRST DAUGHTER is engrossing, emotional, and kept me turning the page well into the night. The extensive research the authors have done is evident, but blends together beautifully with fiction, creating a story that will satisfy even the most critical of historians while also appeasing readers (like me), who came for the chocolate drops and the hint of romance.

Read it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Quick Fire Reviews: Midnight Revenge & Dare To Run

Midnight Revenge (Killer Instincts #7)  
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication: February 2, 2016
By: Signet
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads  

From the USA Today bestselling author of Midnight Captive, the latest Killer Instincts novel is “off-the-charts-hot”* romantic suspense that takes readers into the heart of an enigmatic mercenary...

Out of all the stone-cold mercenaries in Jim Morgan's black ops organization, Derek “D” Pratt is the most intimidating. He is tight-lipped and covered in tattoos, and even the other guys on his team are afraid to ask him about his past. D’s been off the grid for years, but after his teammate Sullivan is mistakenly captured in his place, D is forced to come out of hiding and face his demons.

When D lands in Mexico, he’s ready to risk everything to save his friend. To complicate matters, Sofia Amaro, a feisty doctor whom D had a one-night stand with months ago, has tracked him down. And in an instant she’s unintentionally caught up in his life-threatening rescue mission.

Now D must extract not one but two people from the most violent world he's ever encountered. And one of them is carrying his child...

*A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Gritty and intense, with a double shot of steam and a side of kick-you-in-the-feels. (This is part of a series, however, it can be read and enjoyed as a stand alone.)

D is not the warm and snuggly type, but if he's on your side, he's there for life. I enjoyed watching his relationship with Sophia unfold and how she was able to bring out the softer side of him. I really like the redemption aspect each of these stories offers. It isn't always easy or pretty, but it's there for the taking.

His past choices, the mistakes he'd made... He didn't dwell on them, because regret was a waste of time. When he made a decision, he was fully prepared for the consequences.

Dare to Run (The Sons of Steel Row #1)
Author: Jen McLaughlin
Publication: February 2, 2016
By: Signet
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads   
The New York Times bestselling author of the Out of Line Novels takes readers to Boston, where one gang of criminals knows how being bad can be so good...

She knows what he’s like on Boston’s mean streets. Now she’s going to find out if he’s got some heart.

Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The problem is, no one leaves the gang without permission—even if he is one of the boss’s top men. Plus someone’s placed a hit on him. And then there’s that feisty little bartender who’s going to cause him even more trouble.

Heidi Greene knows to keep her distance from a ladies’ man like Lucas—even if she can’t keep her eyes off him. When he rescues her from an attack in the alley outside her bar, she’s forced to stay by his side for safety. But the longer she spends time with him, the greater her chances are for getting hurt in more ways than one.

 *A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review* 

What do you get when you take an anti-hero who is as dangerous as he is delicious, toss in a tough-as-nails heroine, some seriously bad dudes, and a major plot twist? A manicure. That's what you get because you've chewed all your nails off wondering how in the CUPCAKE this could possible end well?! 

So thanks for that, Jen McLaughlin. 

But seriously. You also get a great start to a new series. Dare To Run is how you do a Boston Mafia-esque story! Read it.


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Book Blitz: Starflight by Melissa Landers

STARFLIGHT Launch Blitz & Giveaway

I’m author Melissa Landers, and I’m thrilled to announce the release of STARFLIGHT, the first in a brand new sci-fi series from Disney-Hyperion. I originally pitched this story to my editor as “Overboard” (one of my favorite romantic comedies) meets “Firefly” (an amazing show that was tragically cancelled after one season). STARFLIGHT follows the misadventures of Solara Brooks, a penniless felon who indentures herself to her high school nemesis, Doran Spaulding, in exchange for passage to a new world. But when Doran’s memory is temporarily erased, Solara convinces him their roles are reversed—that she’s the master and he’s the servant—and leads him onto a renegade spaceship, where intergalactic shenanigans ensue. STARFLIGHT is very different in tone from the Alienated trilogy, but the story is still filled with all the things I love: humor, heart, and adventure.

What do reviewers have to say?

“Get ready for blast-off! Action-packed and utterly addictive, nobody writes like Melissa Landers. A smart, satisfying romance set in a vividly detailed world, Starflight was just plain fun!” –New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman

“Teens will be bracing themselves during the swashbuckling action scenes. A great choice for fans of raw sci-fi action, reminiscent of the lawlessness presented in the television series Firefly.” –School Library Journal

“A lively tale of romance, space pirates, conspiracy, and made (as opposed to genetic) families.”

If you like your sci-fi adventure served with a side of romance, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of STARFLIGHT today. It’s now available in stores and online.

To celebrate my book birthday, I’m offering one lucky winner a STARFLIGHT swag pack, complete with custom nail wraps, bookmarks, and a mini poster! The giveaway is open internationally. Due to sweepstakes laws, entrants must be 18 years or older to participate.

Best of luck, and happy reading.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information or just to say hello, visit

Friday, January 15, 2016

BLOG TOUR: The Winner's Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Welcome, to my stop on The Winner's Kiss blog tour!

If you have not read this series yet, do yourself a favor and start it TODAY.

Seriously, high fantasy is not usually my jam, but I have SO MUCH love for these books, it's characters and their author.

Thank you to Gina, Mary, and Brittany at Macmillan for allowing me the pleasure of being part of this tour.

Thank you to Ksenia who handed me an ARC of the first book a few years ago and told me to read it. I'm glad I listened.

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Curse #3)
by Marie Rutkoski
On Sale March 29th, 2016

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

Review of The Winner's Curse
Review of The Winner's Crime

What book is your favorite literary kiss in?

I am a big fan of kissing, having to choose only ONE was difficult. But I chose ALIENATED by Melissa Landers.

Who is kissing? 

Aleyx and Cara.

Why is it your favorite?

It's one of my favorites because it's not the typical kiss. Aleyx is an alien exhange student living in Cara's house on Earth. He and Cara are in constant competition with each other, and she is desperate to beat him at something. They get into a lively discussion about how their kind shows affection.

"You've never kissed a girl?"

He shrugged. "That's not how we show affection."



"Too bad," she said over the top of her mug. "You don't know what you're missing."

"Not much, I imagine. I researched it, and it sounds bizarre to me."

Cara smiled to herself. "Not if you're doing it right. Nothing's hotter than a good kiss."

"Nothing except sh'ellam. It always leads to more."

"So does an amazing kiss." The challenge in her eyes prompted him to say something he probably shouldn't. "Care to put it to a test?"

What follows had me laughing and doing this...

Bonus Question: What kiss do you hope will occur in Marie Rutkoski's The Winner's Kiss?

 One like this.

And this. 

Before Reading: I'm going to need Arin and Kestrel kissing. Each other. A lot. Forever.

After Reading: NOT ENOUGH STARS IN THE UNIVERSE! LOVELOVELOVELOVE! This was beyond anything I could have imagined or asked for, for this book and these characters. Seriously. It was perfection. PERFECTION. Read it.

Dear Marie Rutkoski,

Thank you.

Thank you for this world and these characters and this story.

Thank you for showing that a girl's intelligence, tenacity, determination and cunning is every bit as appealing, sexy, desirable, important and necessary as her outward appearance or physical strength.

Thank you for Arin. A boy who started out with a vendetta and ended up vested.

Seriously, thank you. Arin has moved to the top of my YA Book Boy Shelf. Because swooning is a real thing.

Have I said thank you for Arin yet? I don't won't to forget to do that.

Thank you for Roshar. He is the Be Fri to Arin's Est End and I want to keep him. And his little tiger too.

Thank you for the love, friendship, forgiveness, romance, and redemption woven throughout this series.

Thank you for all of the things I can't say right now--because spoilers--but that I fully intend to tackle hug you for the next time I see you. Don't be scared, I'll be gentle. I promise.

Thank you for your prose which is so gorgeous, it makes anything I've ever written look like I have been finger painting with poop. (This is a compliment, I swear!)

Lastly, in case you didn't know, the god of cupcakes loves you!

~ Jen

Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders and The Celestial Globe. The Cabinet of Wonders, her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, among other honors. Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa, where she took Writers’ Workshop classes and studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner James Alan McPherson. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and creative writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and cat.  

* Blog Tour Bonus *

The generous ladies at Macmillan have offered up a copy of The Winner's Curse as a way to introduce people to this wonderful series. So, I took to Twitter and asked who of my friends had not started this amazing trilogy yet and the first to respond was...
Natalie Blitt! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016


The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
Publication: January 12, 2016
By: Harper-Collins

This full-length novel by debut author Natalie Blitt is a pitch-perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally that proves the age-old adage: opposites attract.

Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.

We want more A to Z!

Natalie Blitt's debut book, The Distance from A to Z, has hit the shelves and the reviews are in. The consensus? Readers want more! They want more of the two main characters they fell in love with. Well fans you are in luck.

Natalie Blitt is going to give us all exactly what we want but we have to give her something in return. What is that something? A review on Amazon (you are welcome to review anywhere else as well, but for the number to count towards the goal it much be posted on Amazon).

Here's the extras options:

If The Distance from A to Z gets 30 reviews on Amazon Natalie will release a deleted scene on her website

If The Distance from A to Z gets 50 reviews on Amazon Natalie will write a short scene that takes place within six months of the last scene of A to Z and post it on her website.

If The Distance from A to Z gets 100 reviews on Amazon Natalie will write a real epilogue that... doesn't take place in the United States.

I don't know about you, but seems really doable to get more of this fantastic story.

Help us spread the word and share this on social media with the hashtag #MoreAtoZ! And post those reviews!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Anything For You (Blue Heron #5) by Kristan Higgins

Anything for You (Blue Heron, #5)
Publication: December 29, 2015
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads  
5 Stars

Before you get down on bended knee…

…you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married.

When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her.

But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks…

*A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

  ~ My Short & Sweet Thoughts ~
  Love, romance, & redemption, Anything For You might be my new favorite Blue Heron novel. I loved Connor & Jess! And that last line is perfection. <3

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA® Award, Kristan lives with her family in a small Connecticut town that boasts a wonderful library, a great agricultural fair, a really good ice-cream stand and not much else. She is the mother of two lovely kids and the wife of a brave firefighter who is also (perhaps more important) a fantastic cook.

Previously a copywriter, Kristan began writing fiction when her children graced her life with simultaneous afternoon naps. Writing, she found, was infinitely more satisfying than folding laundry, and so began her first novel. Kristan holds a B.A. in English from the College of the Holy Cross, which means she can identify dangling participles, quote many great novels and play a mean game of Scrabble.

Kristan is an award-winning baker, devoted fan of the New York Yankees and an avid reader. She and her crew spend as much time as possible at the family home on Cape Cod, where they shiver in the Atlantic, ride bikes, swat horseflies and don’t catch any fish.

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