Blog Tour: Mirrors and Mysteries by Christina Bauer Exclusive Excerpt!

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Mirrors and Mysteries by Christina Bauer Series: Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #9 Publication date: March 24th 2022 Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult View on Goodreads

Mirrors and Mysteries by Christina Bauer

Series: Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #9

Publication date: March 24th 2022

Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

View on Goodreads

Rapunzel meets Jane Eyre in the epic conclusion of this fairy tale romance!
Grayson Eyre has left her old life behind. She’s no longer stuck serving Lady R, a sadistic Rapunzel from the Lowood clan of elves. Instead, Grayson now teaches at the Thornfield home for shifter orphans. Even better, her boss is none other than the sexy alpha, Dex. It’s all good until a mysterious witch, Jocasta, appears in a nearby tower, demanding that Dex and Grayson discover the true nature of all Rapunzels. If not, Lady R will return to claim Grayson… and Thornfield will be wiped out by the evil Prism Master. Can Dex and Grayson discover the truth in time? And what will it mean for their growing attraction?

GRAYSON

Dex and I sit before the hearth. Breakfast sits on a tray before my favorite chair. Maybe it’s because this spot is so warm and cozy. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that Dex and I are alone. But whatever the reason? An idea hits me. I stand before the fireplace and make my announcement.

“I thought about what you said last night,” I declare. “We should go to the lake. I could use my magic to raise another mirror and… things.”

This concept isn’t as crazy as it sounds. After all, I conjured mirrors back at the Bartlebee. Through those magical items, I know what happens between a man and a woman. Or in the case of me and Dex, two wolf shifters.

Leaning back in his chair, Dex kicks his legs forward. I can’t help but notice the bulge in his leather pants.

This is so wrong.

“Eat.” says Dex, his voice low and growly.

“What?” I can’t help looking at his length again. “We haven’t even kissed.”

That sly grin of his only deepens. “Eat breakfast, Grayson.”

“Right, breakfast. I need breakfast.”

Why, oh why, aren’t I sitting down?

“You need your strength, Grayson.” That growly voice is still doing things to me. “Take your seat or I’ll put you there.”

About the author

Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

Blog Tour: Words Composed of Sea and Sky by Erica George Mood Board

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Words Composed of Sea and Sky

Author: Erica George
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Release Date: May 25th 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Historical Fiction

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This modern summer romance set on Cape Cod features two young adult poets divided by centuries.

Michaela Dunn, living on present day Cape Cod, dreams of getting into an art school, something her family just doesn’t understand. When her stepfather refuses to fund a trip for a poetry workshop, Michaela finds the answer in a local contest searching for a poet to write the dedication plaque for a statue honoring Captain Benjamin Churchill, a whaler who died at sea 100 years ago.

She struggles to understand why her town venerates Churchill, an almost mythical figure whose name adorns the school team and various tourist traps. When she discovers the 1862 diary of Leta Townsend, however, she gets a glimpse of Churchill that she didn’t quite anticipate. In 1862, Leta Townsend writes poetry under the name Benjamin Churchill, a boy who left for sea to hunt whales. Leta is astonished when Captain Churchill returns after his rumored death. She quickly falls for him. But is she falling for the actual captain or the boy she constructed in her imagination?

Erica George is a writer of young adult fiction. She is a graduate of The College of New Jersey with degrees in both English and education, and is currently an MFA student at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She resides in scenic northern New Jersey, but spends her summers soaking up the salty sea air on Cape Cod. Many themes in Erica’s writing rotate around environmental activism and helping young people find their voice. When she’s not writing, you can find her exploring river towns, whale watching, or engrossed in quality British drama with her dog at her side.

Blog Tour: The Jade Bones by Lani Forbes Book Spotlight

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The Jade Bones

Author: Lani Forbes

Series: The Age of the Seventh Sun #2
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Release Date: February 16th 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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Cast into the underworld after an act of shattering betrayal, Mayana and Ahkin must overcome unimaginable odds if they are to return home and reclaim the throne of the Chicome. A river of blood and demons disguised as children are only two of the challenges standing in their way. Fortunately, they are not unequipped. Mayana’s royal blood controls the power of water, and Prince Ahkin wields the power of the sun itself. Ometeotl, the Mother goddess, provides them with other gifts—and an ominous warning that one of them may not survive. But can the goddess be trusted?

Back in the lands above, Mayana’s best friend, Yemania, has survived the empress selection ritual—but her next challenge may be more than she can bear. The new empress of the Chicome Empire demands she become High Healer. Yemania has no interest in serving in the palace; she wants to use her healing ability to help the common people. More than that, her heart is no longer her own. She has met an enchanting stranger—Ochix, one of the feared Miquitz people who are ancient enemies of the Chicome.

As Mayana and Ahkin move ever closer to confronting the lords of the dead, Yemania and Ochix must hide their forbidden romance or face the wrath of both their empires. Meanwhile, the new empress has made a dangerous alliance that might destroy everything they hold dear.

Four young people risk their lives to save the world from a looming apocalypse in this captivating sequel to The Seventh Sun. Based on ancient Mesoamerican legends and mythology, The Jade Bones is a compelling and romantic adventure that builds to a heart-stopping climax.

about the author

Lani Forbes is the daughter of a librarian and an ex-drug smuggling surfer (which explains her passionate love of the ocean and books). A former teacher turned trauma counselor, her passion is showing readers the transformative and encouraging power of story on the human experience. She helps others process anxiety, depression, and complex PTSD, both in her stories and in real life. A California native whose parents live in Mexico, Lani now resides in the Pacific Northwest where she stubbornly wears flip flops no matter how cold it gets. She is a proud nerd, Gryffindor, and member of Romance Writers of America and the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Blog Tour: The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones by Daven McQueen, Exclusive Interview with Author!

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The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones

Author: Daven McQueen
Publisher: Wattpad Books
Release Date: June 16, 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

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It’s the summer of 1955. For Ethan Harper, a biracial kid raised mostly by his white father, race has always been a distant conversation. When he’s sent to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle in small-town Alabama, his Blackness is suddenly front and center, and no one is shy about making it known he’s not welcome there. Except for Juniper Jones. The town’s resident oddball and free spirit, she’s everything the townspeople aren’t―open, kind, and full of acceptance.

Armed with two bikes and an unlimited supply of root beer floats, Ethan and Juniper set out to find their place in a town that’s bent on rejecting them. As Ethan is confronted for the first time by what it means to be Black in America, Juniper tries to help him see the beauty in even the ugliest reality, and that even the darkest days can give rise to an invincible summer.

Daven McQueen’s Juniper Jones is a character for all ages in this sweet coming of age story set in 1950s Alabama.

exclusive interview with author on

acceptance, identity, and true friendship

Question: What inspired you to write The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones?

Daven McQueen: The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones started as a summer lakeside story – I knew I wanted to write about friends in a small town by the water, but that idea alone wasn’t actually compelling to me. This was in my senior year of high school, as I was beginning to read more books by authors of color and realizing how much those narratives had been excluded from the stories I’d read growing up. As a biracial person, I decided I wanted to write a character who looked like me in a story that would allow him (and me) to grapple with racism, allyship, and identity, and the novel grew from there.

Q: Why did you choose to set this story in the 1950’s? How would the story be different if it took place in 2020?

DM: I feel that setting this story in the 1950s allowed me to more clearly articulate the racism Ethan faces. By having it take place before high-speed communication and the 24-hour news cycle, I had space to make Ethan’s reckoning with race more internal, focused primarily on his own lived experiences. In 2020, it would be impossible for Ethan’s naivete to be so pronounced, and he would likely be dealing with racism in the form of insidious microaggressions that he and the people close to him would have to process and work through differently. I wanted to write a story that could focus on its main characters and their immediate situation without too much interference from the greater world around them, and that felt most possible with a historical setting.

Q: How did you create the character Juniper? And how did you create her relationship with Ethan?

DM: Juniper was definitely inspired by some of my favorite childhood characters – Pippi Longstocking, Anne Shirley, Stargirl, Jo from Little Women – but her character felt like she came to the story mostly complete. I’d chosen the name Juniper from a street near my parents’ house (one my my favorite ways to collect character names), and it was such a bubbly, summery name that her personality came naturally. In creating her relationship with Ethan, I was really focused on building a strong and believable friendship. I imagined her first as a character who supported Ethan through everything – then, building on that, I thought about the ways that, even if she cared for Ethan unconditionally, she would make mistakes and even hurt him because of her limited understanding of racism. I felt that allowing moments for Juniper to mess up and Ethan to call her out on it made their friendship stronger, because it could stand through difficult conversations.

Q: In the story, Ethan grapples with understanding his identity. What do you hope your readers take away from Ethan’s struggle to accept himself while rejection is all around him?

DM: I hope that Ethan’s story makes clear the importance of a community, no matter how small. Ethan’s friendship with Juniper and their community of two is what helps carry him through his summer in Ellison. And moments of community with people who understand your lived experiences, as Ethan has with his mother, are invaluable to processing pain and healing together.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced while writing The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones?

DM: I found it especially difficult to write about forgiveness in Invincible Summer. It was hard to balance wanting better relationships between Ethan and the people close to him while also honoring the pain they caused him that apologies and even growth can’t make up for. In the end, I think the challenge was acknowledging that maybe forgiveness wasn’t and didn’t need to be possible, but still allowing the characters to start rebuilding their relationships.

Q: Do you have any advice for readers who identify with Ethan and face the same struggles that he does in the book?

DM: To readers of color who struggle or have struggled with their identity, whether because of racism, being the only one, or any other reason: I see you, I get you. Your feelings are valid; you’re allowed to be sad, angry, confused – and sitting with and processing how you feel is a huge first step to stepping into your power and loving who you are.

about the author

Daven McQueen grew up outside of Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Brown University, where she earned a B.A. in literary arts and economics. When she’s not writing, Daven can be found tap dancing, embroidering, cooking, and eating dessert. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts and works in education.

Blog Tour: The Storyteller’s Daughter by Victoria McCombs ARC Review!

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The Storyteller’s Daughter

AuthorVictoria McCombs
Publisher: Parliament House Press
Release Date: July 14th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings

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His shadowed face lit by flam es,

Rumpelstiltskin is my name…

For as long as anyone can remember, every child in Westfallen has been born with a Gift, and these Gifts defined them.

Then Cosette is born, Giftless.

An attempt to hide her misfortune brings her before the King, who entraps her to use her Gift as a pawn in his war.

Caught in a lie, Cosette desperately searches for a power strong enough to free her. Intrigued by whispers of an old king and a dark curse, she calls upon Rumpelstiltskin and finds him trapped in a magic deeper than she bargained for. Now, Cosette must fight to reclaim her freedom from the King and break Rumpel’s curse. When time runs out, she’ll lose more than her heart. She’ll lose her life.

my review

** Spoiler alert ahead! You have been warned**

I received a free copy of an honest review.

YES. I FINALLY READ A GOOD ONE.

Okay, sorry for screaming. But as book bloggers, I think ya’ll can understand my pure joy of reading an ARC that is actually a good read, right?

Let me get on with it.

This book is an adaptation of the famous Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. For a quick refresher, it’s about how a village girl’s miller dad so helpfully spread a false rumor that she can turn straw into gold to the king. In desperation, the girl to live made a deal with Rumpelstiltskin that in exchange for him to helping her, she would give Rumpelstiltskin her future first child. The thing is this child would be the girl’s child that the had with the king (because the king would wed her as a reward, which is…so not creepy but that’s off-topic). Either way, she didn’t want to later on, and Rumpelstiltskin said that if she can tell him his name he’ll let her off the deal. And she did (yay!), and everyone lived happily ever after.

Obviously, the biggest difference we can see right from the beginning was how this book had a lot more references to magic. Everyone in this kingdom has gifts except for Cosette. This flaw would become the core of her “tragic background story” element that makes her worthy of a protagonist. Either way, I personally think this book did a great job as a retelling book, because although you can see the clear inspiration behind the original fairytale, it also had its own creative elements and basis in the story enough to make it not feel like too similar or too different from the original story.

Regarding the “villain” in this book, I really appreciated how there wasn’t a “one explicit villain”. Even up till the end of the book, I wasn’t sure of who the true antagonist was. The king was too stereotypical to be the true villain (it’s kind of those decoy villain vibes I was getting from him). Conrad was in this awkward situation where everyone is warning Cosette of how “possibility dangerous he is”. But heisa really nice guy, and the fact that we know what “made him dangerous” from Rampel so early on made me doubt whether he was the “true antagonist” (although I never trusted him completely). And then we got Aiden.

I liked Aiden in the beginning – he cared for our protagonist and was a perfectly nice guy, there was no reason to dislike him. But any sort of positive feelings I’ve had for him had diminished into nothing as his behavior started to mutate into something almost disgustingly toxic. I originally felt really bad for him because even if we know that Cosette wasn’t interested in the Conrad (and hence wasn’t rejecting Aiden for the prince’s wealth and status), we can still perfectly understand why Aiden would see otherwise. But where any guilt I had for him left when he started to try and talk down to Cosette, to make her feel miserable and worthless, in a desperate attempt to get her to choose him.

“‘I know I can’t Compete with a rich prince.’

Suddenly my heart hurt from a new angle, and I took a step back. ‘A simple village girl? There’s nothing I’d have to offer a prince?’

Aiden raised his eyebrows at me. ‘Really, Cosette? What could you offer to the heir to Westfallen?'”

Okay, okay, let me get this straight. As someone who had been reading this entire book from Cosette’s perspective, I can tell you that from my observation, Cosette is a character who has a great balance between self-awareness and dignity. She is perfectly aware of her position as a magic-less, average village girl, but it also doesn’t stop her from standing up for her own rights and dignity as a girl and as a human being. This is why for Aiden, her childhood friend, the person who should’veknown her better than anyoneto say something like this to her is just so…ridiculously, almost disgustingly, offensive.

And this is also my personal preference, but I loved it when Aiden tried to sabotage her by “exposing her truth for her own good” to the prince, it ended up completely backfiring thanks to Rampel’s help. It’s just a beautiful slap across his face (I absolutely loved it ahahaha).

But I’m not going to lie, I hated Aiden now but he made this book more interesting for me to read. Firstly because hew as a character who transformed throughout the story and secondly, the “slap across his face” I just mentioned…ah. That satisfied me to the bone.

I also really enjoyed how the romance between Rampel and Cosette was written. I loved how the “true love’s kiss” was written into the story and the way it was foreshadowed. The fact that they actually kissed (worth a shot haha) before their relationship truly solidified was a really refreshing way to tell the story, especially when we kind of know that they are the official pairing. A even more interesting dynamic is created when it’s heavily foreshadowed that a true love’s kiss may be the solution to his curse, and yet both of them are holding back because he was dying and they were afraid of hurting each other by losing one another. They were literally afraid of falling in love while their love may best resolution to their problems…it’s almost a bit of a paradox at this point.

This book is not perfect though, and I feel like it’s one of those books with a weak ending that may have ruined the book for me a little bit. The ending felt quite rushed and there were several logical flaws in the decisions made (and the direction the story went) that I…don’t really understand or agree with. In fact, the ending of this book was what dropped my original score from 4.5/5 to 3.8/5.

Either way, although I would recommend this to all YA readers because it’s a good book in general, I would highly, highly recommend this book to retelling fans specifically. Youmayneed to throw your brain out the window and forgot what the word “logic” means toward the end…but overall I really you should be able to enjoy it for the most part.

Rating: 3.8/5

about the author

I write YA Fantasy. I love being transported to worlds that take my breath away. Worlds so complex and vivid, and yet I get to hold them in my hands. My writing inspirations are John Flanagan, P.W. Catanese and C.S. Lewis.

In June 2018 I signed a publishing contract with Parliament House Press for my debut novel, The Storyteller’s Daughter. In October 2018 I signed my second contract. I now have a contract for the first four books in that series, which will be my only fairytale retellings. Beyond that, I have a Pirate Adventure in the making, and series with a vivid world with rich kingdoms and other races, already one book done.

Blog Tour: The Redpoint Crux by Morgan Shamy + Exclusive Giveaway

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The Redpoint Crux

AuthorMorgan Shamy
Publisher: The Parliament House
Release Date: June 9th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

Goodreads

Fans of The Phantom of the Opera and Black Swan will enjoy this thrilling debut.

When Megan Van Helsburg gets kicked off the U.S.A. Climbing Team, she has no choice but to return home and leave her climbing career behind. With no coach, no money, and no prospects, she joins the corps de ballet determined to improve her strength and agility. But the ballet theater is in dire straits. Not only do a series of murders break loose, but the ballerinas are becoming deathly thin and brain-dead. As Megan investigates, she meets Bellamy, a tortured young man who lives beneath the depths of the theater. Megan falls hard and fast for Bellamy, who becomes her mentor, but something is off about him.

It isn’t until the company announces they’re doing Giselle for the fall performance that Megan realizes the parallels between the ghost story and the lives around her. Megan must find a way to not only save her climbing career, but balance her feelings for Bellamy, and stop the murders and dying girls before she, too, is numbered among the dead.

exclusive giveaway

about the author

Morgan Shamy is an ex-ballerina turned YA writer. She is represented by Kelly Peterson of Rees Literary Agency.

Morgan has been immersed in the arts since the young age of 4, where she trained under the tutelage of Julie and Stacey Orlob. She performed various roles alongside a professional ballet company for over seven years, and has danced on prestigious stages like soloing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 

She has taught hundreds of girls in her fifteen years of teaching, where some of her students have received full-ride scholarships to schools like School of American Ballet, the Harid Conservatory, Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, to name a few. 

Morgan discovered writing when her three-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. It was through that experience which instilled the need to share art and magic with children through words on the page. Morgan currently lives with her X-Games gold-medalist husband and four children in the cold mountains of Alaska.

ARC Review: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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Truly Devious

Author: Maureen Johnson

Series: Truly Devious #1

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre: Mystery, YA, Contemporary, Thriller, Fiction

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Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

New York Timesbestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.

my review

I received a free copy for an honest review.

*Sigh*

Where do I start?

I don’t get it. I don’t get it. What went wrong? This book’s synopsis seemed so good. There were no clear things to “hate” about this book, but it just…failed to keep my attention. Reading this book, I failed to experience the Adrenaline rush, the “not being able to put the book down” feeling that I get when I read a book that I truly enjoy. Was it the romance’s fault? Or were my standards for murder mystery too high? A book that I don’t even hesitate to think, “Wow, I goddam love this book”. My experience with this book is more so like I keep putting it down and I keep forgetting about it. And when I try to pick it back up I literally cannot remember anything about what I just read even when I swore I did actually read it. When I finished the book, I sit on it for a while before I wrote my review because I wanted to talk about it with a clear mind. But before I knew it, days passed, weeks passed. Whenever I tried to review it I realized I am forgetting more and more about it…

This is so sad. But here we go (I had to rescan this book multiple times for this review).

Truly Devious follows the protagonist Stevie. Stevie was a huge murder mystery fan, and this her passion. It’s also the thing that got her into Ellingham Academy, the mysterious gifted academy that everyone wants to get into. Looking back, I did not realize the giant logic plot hole behind this school’s entire existence. I saw the words “academy” and I lost all sense of logic. It was only reading this book that really got me to realize how this school’s existence kind of…made absolutely no sense.

First off, Ellingham Academy is completely free. Only the most intelligent, capable students are admitted. Sounds reasonable right? But is it just me or is it…completely unrealistic? A school like this would never exist in real life. I have never heard or don’t think there would ever be a prestigious school that is completely free purely for the sake ofeducation.

Sorry, no offense, but in the world of American capitalism that is never going to happen. And since this book is a contemporary YA novel, I’m going to judge this from the basis of a real-world perspective, because that’s what contemporary is.

Okay, but because this is anoveland interesting plot-line-worldbuildings arenecessary, I am more than willing to temporary forget I have a brain and throw it out of the window for the sake of just enjoying the book, which I’ve done countless time before.

But something else caught me off-guard. The writing style. This book’s unique writing style reminded me heavily of Furyborn. If you remember, Furyborn is a story about two queens who were thousands of years apart, but both their stories had a direct impact on each other. This book is written alternatively between the actual events in the past that Stevie is investigating in the present.

This should be a good thing, because non-linear writing styles can be really cool and eye-catching, right?

But here’s the thing: I never really…liked the Furyborn books as much as other readers.

If I didn’t lose my memory, I gave Furyborn a decent review because just like Truly Devious, I want to give both books credit for the obvious hard work the authors put in the writing, story, and characters. But both failed to capture enough of my attention for me to love it.

However, I would finish it. This series was not horribly enough for me to be like “I would rather remove my eyeballs than to read it again”. So because I have all three copies, me being (such) a frugal person, I don’t want to waste the three books. So look forward to those. So this series definitely still have a chance of transforming my opinion immensely. Let’s see how it goes.

(please be good please be good I actually want to give you a chance)

Rating: 3/5

about the author

Maureen knew from an early age she wanted to be a writer. She went to high school at an all-girls’ Catholic school and graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in writing. She now lives and writes in New York City.

Many of the adventures Maureen’s characters face in her books are based on real-life stories. Maureen has traveled all over Europe, and is a Secret Sister to vlog brothers Hank and John Green.

Blog Tour: Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura Promotional Post

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Every Reason We Shouldn’t

Author: Sara Fujimura

Series: Every Reason We Shouldn’t #1
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: March 3rd 2020

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Fiction, Teen, Cultural

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————————

Warning: Contains family expectations, delightful banter, great romantic tension, skating (all kinds!), Korean pastries, and all the feels.

Fifteen-year-old, biracial figure skater Olivia Kennedy’s Olympic dreams have ended. She’s bitter, but enjoying life as a regular teenager instead of an athlete… until Jonah Choi starts training at her family’s struggling rink. Jonah’s driven, talented, going for the Olympics in speed skating, completely annoying… and totally gorgeous. Between teasing Jonah, helping her best friend try out for roller derby, figuring out life as a normal teen and keeping the family business running, Olivia’s got her hands full. But will rivalry bring her closer to Jonah, or drive them apart?

Every Reason We Shouldn’t by Sara Fujimura is a charming multicultural romance perfect for the many fans of Jenny Han and Rainbow Rowell.

about the author

SARA FUJIMURA is an award-winning young adult author and creative writing teacher. She is the American half of her Japanese-American family, and has written about Japanese culture and raising bicultural children for such magazines as Appleseeds, Learning Through History, East West, and Mothering, as well as travel-related articles for To Japan With Love. Her self-published young adult novels include Tanabata Wish and Breathe. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and children.

Blog Tour: Camp by Lev A.C. Rosen Promotional Post

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Camp

Author: Lev A.C. Rosen
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 26th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Queer

View on Goodreads ——————

From the author of the acclaimed Jack of Hearts (and other parts) comes a sweet and sharp screwball comedy that critiques the culture of toxic masculinity within the queer community.

Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.

This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.

But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?

about the author

Lev Rosen is the author of books for all ages. Two for adults: All Men of Genius (Amazon Best of the Month, Audie Award Finalist) and Depth (Amazon Best of the Year, Shamus Award Finalist, Kirkus Best Science Fiction for April). Two middle-grade books: Woundabout (illustrated by his brother, Ellis Rosen), and The Memory Wall. His first Young Adult Novel, Jack of Hearts (and other parts) was an American Library Association Rainbow List Top 10 of 2018. His books have been sold around the world and translated into different languages as well as being featured on many best of the year lists, and nominated for awards.

Lev is originally from lower Manhattan and now lives in even lower Manhattan, right at the edge, with his husband and very small cat. You can find him online at LevACRosen.com and @LevACRosen

Blog Tour: Kingdom Above the Cloud + Exclusive Interview

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Kingdom Above the Cloud

Author: Maggie Platt

Series: Tales from Adia, #1
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: April 17th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Allegory

View on Goodreads

———————-

What if the nine Fruit of the Spirit and the Seven Deadly Sins were locked in a battle for control?

Abandoned as infants, Tovi and her twin brother were raised by an eclectic tribe of warm, kind people in a treehouse village in the valley. After her brother’s sudden disappearance Tovi questions her life and her faith in an invisible King. Ignoring her best friend Silas’ advice, she decides to search for her brother in the kingdom on top of the mountain.

Above the cloud, the Council of Masters receives their orders. Tovi and her brother are the objectives. King Damien has a plan and Tovi is the key. The Council of Masters want her, but will she remain unscathed?

Amidst the glamour of the kingdom above the cloud Tovi is torn between her own dark desires and unanswered questions. It starts with a snake and a crown. When the ring is complete, will her life be over?

exclusive interview

1. Nine Fruit of the Spirit and the Seven Deadly Sins are both Christian ideas, and so this book must be inspired by some Christianity at least to some extent. May I first ask if you are Christian? If you are, how did your identity as a Christian affected how you wrote the book? If you’re not, why did you decide to take Christianity as an inspiration?

Absolutely you can ask! Yes, I am a Christian, and my faith impacts everything. I try to keep Jesus, His love, and His teachings in the center of everything I do. Now, having just written that, I can think of the 50 times I’ve failed today. So, please don’t think that I even pretend to be perfect!

Because my Christian faith is so important to me, my mind is often occupied with spiritual themes: light and dark, good and evil, belief and doubt, sin and redemption. And that’s how the idea for the book popped into my head! I asked myself the question, “What if the fruits of the spirit and the deadly sins were embodied by characters and locked in a battle for control?” That lead to a lot of dreaming and thinking through how these concepts have influenced my own faith, along with my characters’.

2. When doing research about your books, I’ve noticed some reviews reminiscing the similarities between this book and other books such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, and even the Narnia series. Were any of these series an inspiration for you? If so, how?

I love all of those books. My copy of The Hunger Games has tons of highlighter and writing in it because I used it to study how the author described so many characters in a way that was easy to remember.

Of the series you mentioned, Narnia has been the most influential for me. C.S. Lewis is a favorite of mine, both for his fiction and his nonfiction. In the Chronicles of Narnia, he has created this incredible fantasy world that is super enjoyable at face value. And, it’s even more incredible when you look at the faith themes that underlie every scene. I hope it’s the same for my books – that they are enjoyable in and of themselves, but that they also offer a deeper allegorical meaning.

3. How many books do you have planned for this series?

That is a fantastic question! I know the ultimate ending, but I don’t know all the steps to get there. There will be at least three, but maybe more. I am currently working on Book 2, and I have the whole thing outlined (and about half written). I know I will need at least one more book to get to the final scene.

4. If you could switch your batch of main characters from another series/book, who would it be?

I love the entire ensemble of main characters in Game of Thrones, but I have to admit that I’ve only seen the show. I’m hesitant to read them since I have become so attached to show! This is exactly why I USUALLY read things first!

The characters in GOT all have such massive flaws, yet it is so hard to not fall in love with them. Jamie is this total cad, but I absolutely love him. That is the brilliance of the character development! There is so much good and evil in each character – so much light and dark. It is compelling and makes them seem so real.

about the author

Maggie Platt is a writer, traveler, cancer survivor, and dreamer. Her greatest joys are being Auntie M to her amazing nieces and nephew and sitting with students and friends over cups of coffee and deep conversations. She works at her alma mater, Anderson University in Indiana, and she lives in a cozy little cottage nearby where students come to sit on her couch just to laugh, cry, and talk about life.

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