Book and Bloggers Swap Time!

Hey, y'all! It's time for my most favorite swap; Books and Bloggers Swap from CG Swaps!

I'm so excited to be participating again. Y'all should totally join, too. It's so much fun!

Here are all the important dates:
Sign-Ups Close on April 6th, 2015
Partners Assigned by April 8th, 2015
Packages Ship by April 18th, 2015
Swap Show-Off Post/Linky goes live on April 22nd, 2015

Tour + Review + #Giveaway: Love, Lucy by April Lindner

Love, Lucy by April Lindner

Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: January 27th 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the
summer before she heads off to college, Lucy
Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.
  I'm so hot and cold with this book! I LOVED the part that's set in Italy. It was magical. I truly felt like I was with Lucy on the streets of Florence and Rome. This book was a quick read, so that part wrapped up far too soon for me. The second part, set at Lucy's college during her freshman year, was where I struggled.

  I think if I was younger, I would have had a different reaction to Lucy. Her careless nature and the way she danced with danger so willingly while travelling abroad made my heart skip a few beats. I think younger fans will overlook that aspect, though. The bickering between Charlene and Lucy left me perplexed. Both had valid points, but I couldn't help but want to shake some sense into both of the girls!

  The romance between Lucy and Jesse is very much a whirlwind, and I admit that I got caught up in it. I was rooting for them from the get-go. It's an understatement to say I was devastated whenever Lucy got into a relationship with someone else at her college. And whenever that snowballed into Lucy cheating on her new-found beau when Jesse turns up out of the blue, I had a bad taste in my mouth. I feel like this is one of those situations where if everyone involved would have actually TALKED, things wouldn't have spiraled the way that they did.

  All in all, Love, Lucy was a fun and quick read. It definitely struck me with the travel bug, and I scrambled to find other novels set abroad to read this year. I had some issues with Lucy, but overall I still enjoyed Love, Lucy a lot. Contemporary fans with wanderlust will enjoy getting lost in the pages of this book!

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, due out in January, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

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Tour: Southern Fried Wiccan by S.P. Sipal @HP4Writers

Southern Fried Wiccan by S.P. Sipal

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance

Cilla Swaney is thrilled to return stateside, where she
can hang up her military-brat boots for good. Finally,
she’ll be free to explore her own interests—magick and Wicca. But when she arrives at her grandma’s farm, Cilla discovers that life in the South isn’t quite what she expected. At least while country hopping, she never had to drink G-ma’s crazy fermented concoctions, attend church youth group, make co-op deliveries...or share her locker with a snake-loving, fire-lighting, grimoire-stealing Goth girl…

…Who later invites her to a coven that Cilla’s not sure she has the guts to attend. But then Emilio, the dark-haired hottie from her charter school, shows up and awakens her inner goddess. Finally, Cilla starts believing in her ability to conjure magick. Until…

…All Hades breaks loose. A prank goes wrong during their high school production of Macbeth, and although it seems Emilio is to blame, Cilla and Goth pay the price. Will Cilla be able to keep the boy, her coven, and the trust of her family? Or will this Southern Wiccan get battered and fried?
The Southern Fried Wiccan's Top Ten YA Reads
by S.P. Sipal
The books we read and love affect us throughout our lives, but perhaps more deeply and long-lasting when we are young. There are stories I read years ago that I still remember clearly today because they both touched my heart and steered me toward my future. So my list of top YA includes not only books I've read recently, but books I devoured when I was a teen and still have not forgotten.

Here they are, in no particular order, my favorite YA reads:

Compulsion by Martina Boone – As a Southerner, this story reminded me a lot of the spooky tales my grandfather used to tell my dad, and my dad passed on to me, of strange lights that rose from an old graveyard and floated over the peanut field beside my great-grandfather's farm house. Or of the voices speaking to my great-grandfather from natural springs and hollow logs, spirits telling him where to find old family treasure buried during the Civil War era. (Which I'm still looking for!) I'm looking forward to Boone's next book of the trilogy, Persuasion, which I've been lucky enough to have a sneak peek of.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare – In the days when I was a teen (and I won't say how long ago that was!) YA was not a thing yet. We did have a few, but most of us just went from children's books direct to historical romance novels. I think I remember The Witch of Blackbird Pond fondly because it was a bridge between the two. I loved the history (loved the witch element even then), the brave and compassionate character of Kit, and the forbidden romance between her and Nat.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I'm always fascinated when an author can take an ancient myth and reinterpret it for today…or, in Collin's case, the future. It was the character of Katniss whom I found particularly appealing…how she could take such an awful situation she was thrust into and still be true to herself.

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman – To be honest, Pullman's trilogy is a little darker than I like most of my reads. I think what drew me to this series was the depth of his meaning and his twists of theology. Plus, his world building was deeply inspired.

Soul Crossed by Lisa Gail Green – I love it when an author can take two polarized characters, with a true conflict between them, and still draw them together in a way that makes sense. Green did this with Josh and Grace. This book was at times quite chilling and dark, especially with the "soul" they were both fighting to attain, but always engrossing. Loved the high stakes and how Green envisioned her angels and demons.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – I loved Jo, just loved her. I don't think a character had quite captivated me as much since I'd graduated from the Little House books. Jo's passion for reading and her tomboy personality are probably what I identified so much with. We love to see ourselves in the characters we read.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – I loved the whimsy of this book. And the theme of obedience being a curse was wonderful. Plus Levine's twists on certain fairy tale and adventure tropes made this a delightful read for me.

Forever by Judy Blume – I include this iconic book mostly because of certain awkward memories associated with it…memories I can now laugh at. I'll never forget how it was surreptitiously passed around under desks when I was in seventh grade with certain pages dog-eared. I also vividly remember a guy I liked laughing at me when my face turned bright red from reading those pages. The perils of a pale complexion!

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg -- I know this is technically probably more MG than YA, but I have to include it in my list because it was one of my favorite books of all time when I was younger. I read this book over and over. I think it was the exquisite combination of mystery and adventure that drew me in, coupled with two kids taking care of themselves alone. I loved the details. I still remember Claudia and Jamie fishing for coins in the museum's fountains and crouching on toilets to stay out of view of the night guards.

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling – The Harry Potter series tops my collection of best-loved books. Besides the actual books themselves, I loved not only being a part of the generation who got to experience the magic and mystery of these books as they were released, but especially having experienced it with my children. They grew up with the feel that a book release was a rock-star event and that debating the mysteries of a book and predicting the next was how things should be. I'll always be thankful for that. Of the seven books, I'd say Goblet of Fire was my favorite.

How many of my favorite books have you read? I'd be very curious what your reaction to them was as we always experience a story in such a unique, personal way.

Born and raised in North Carolina, Susan Sipal had to travel halfway across the world and return home to embrace her father and grandfather's penchant for telling a tall tale. After having lived with her husband in his homeland of Turkey for many years, she suddenly saw the world with new eyes and had to write about it.

Perhaps it was the emptiness of the Library of Celsus at Ephesus that cried out to be refilled, or the myths surrounding the ancient Temple of Artemis, but she's been writing stories filled with myth and mystery ever since. She can't wait to share Southern Fried Wiccan with readers in March 2015.

Tour + #Giveaway: My Favorite Second Chance by Rue

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My Favorite Second Chance
  The Lake Effect Series # 2
by Author Rue

Audience: NA and Adult - Genre: Romance/Contemporary; LGBT - Formats: E-book and Paperback - Publisher: Sittin’ On A Goldmine Productions - Cover by:  Regina Wamba, Mae I Design - Editor:  Jazmine Hale- Pages: 328 - ISBN-13: 978-0-9860627-3-5 (Paperback) - ISBN-13: 978-0-9860627-2-8 (eBook) - Date Published: 10 March 2015
Have you ever wished for a second chance?
The Hutchinson sisters are out of the frying pan and into the fire—just like their mother always threatened!
Gwenn is floating in the dreamy, fragile glow of her new relationship with wealthy artist, Daniel Gregory, when a blast from her past makes a triumphant return. Sure he ran out on her over a decade ago, but can she turn her back on a war hero?
Rachel is on the brink of having everything she ever dreamed of, but that’s not how things work out for Hutchinson girls. Her rock-star girlfriend is leaving for a lengthy tour and something is afoot at the bakery. The righteous hand of her mother, Shirley, can orchestrate tribulations from halfway across town.
The sisters think they can run away from their troubles on a quick trip to the heart of Mexico, when an unexpected phone call shatters that illusion.
Filled with intriguing characters, plenty of steamy romance and lovely plots twists, MY FAVORITE SECOND CHANCE will have you flushed with anticipation, blinking back tears, laughing out loud and cheering for your favorite characters.
book links
buy now amazon
add to goodreads
He woke with a start.
A flaccid sliver of grey light had infiltrated the dank blackness. The comforting numbness in his right shoulder convinced him that he had survived the night. He listened carefully and played his second favorite game—how long until they got to his cell and tossed in what he had come to call “breakfast.”
A key twisted in the lock. The door screeched open, the light blinded his nocturnal eyes and a metal tray scraped across the filthy concrete floor.
His hand searched toward the sound. Treasure found, his fingers encircled the spoon handle.
Slowly, painfully he crawled to the corner and scratched a hatch mark on the wall as he recited his “sanity” mantra.
“I am Sergeant Steven Hays. Today is day 2,189 of my captivity. I am engaged to Gwenn Hutchinson and I will return to her. God. Country. Corps.”
            Steven slid the bowl over and forced himself to consume the foul slop it contained. He was emaciated and his mouth burned from canker sores. One thought kept him alive—his last, sweet, searing memory of her. Gwenn was his guardian angel and he intended to live long enough to tell her.
chracter bio
about the author
Rue graduated from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, with a degree in Journalism. Her intimate knowledge of the Midwestern United States, the inordinate amount of time she spent in its churches’ pews and her unique parentage make her an expert on life after religion. Having moved 17 times by the time she graduated from high school Rue has seen more than her share of the Great Plains. She never stayed in one place long enough to make lasting human friends. Her best friends were all characters from her beloved books; and the love of reading led to a lifelong passion for writing.
media links
follow the tour
March 30
Pretty Little Pages
Portals to New Worlds
March 31
Deal Sharing Aunt
April 1
Archaeolibrarian - I dig good books!
April 2
Moonbeams over Atlanta
April 3
Angels with Attitude Book Reviews
April 6
The Avid Reader
April 7
The Idle Musings of a Writer's Mind
April 8
Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom
April 9
Indy Book Fairy
TTC Books and more
April 10
Eclipse Reviews
April 13
Books Books Books
April 14
Hooked on Books
April 15
G & Co. Book Blog
April 16
The Phantom Paragrapher

Blitz + #Giveaway: Orenda by Ruth Silver @writeawaybliss

Orenda by Ruth Silver
(Orenda #1)

Published by Booktrope Publishing
Publication date: December 5th 2014

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

*Free on Amazon and iTunes!*
Join forces with a parallel universe.

Dark forces, magical creatures, and the world Lil thought she knew collide when a dream transports her to the strange world of Orenda. Stunned and terrified, Lil comes face to face with her doppelganger, Willow, who possesses the ability to travel between the two worlds. Everything Lil knows logically says that Orenda can’t exist, but a small clue may be proof that it was more than an ordinary dream. With the threat of her sister in danger, Lil crosses dimensions but it may cost her even more than she bargained for.

A sword wielding girl, the eternal suit, and a parallel universe come together in this action-packed Young Adult fantasy adventure that will keep readers of all ages turning the pages.
What’s your favorite, go to, writing website?
YA Highway is a fantastic resouce for all writers. You don’t have to be just a YA writer to find it beneficial. Here’s the link:

What inspired you to write Orenda?
I wanted to write a fantasy appropriate for middle grade as well as young adults. I loved the show Fringe and how they brought a parallel world into the mix. I wanted to do something similar and yet completely different with Fae, dragons, and magic.

In a few brief words, tell us how you market your novels?
I’m a huge believer in social media. I use Twitter and Facebook a lot. You can always find me on there. I’m also a book blogger, I run the website Write Away Bliss and Ravyn Rayne Reads. I connect those blogs to Triberr, which helps my posts get seen. I believe in both helping other indie authors and self-promoting. Aside from that, I create teasers, run promos and ask other blogs to help with those postings.

How can a new writer get published?
Get a publisher. Seriously. Write a great book, then query it to publishers and/or agents. You can self-publish but you’ve got to have it professionally edited, formatted properly (study similar books and look at text size/font/format), and market the crap out of it. Even then, you still won’t have all the resources of even a small press company. It’s tough, I’m not going to sugar coat it. I’ve done both and I would never go back to self-publishing or co-op publishing. Resources are key. There are connections you can’t get on your own.

What the heck is a Query letter?
It’s not a cover letter or a synopsis. It’s a selling point. You’ll start with a blurb that will entice the reader but not give them every detail about what your book is about. Overall, a query explains why the publisher/agent should read your novel. Often it compares your novel to two or three similar books that would be next to it on a bookshelf. You’ll also include word count, genre, and if you bring something special to the table that they agent/publisher should need to know (i.e. You’re a YA librarian and writing a YA novel). Check out that link above (YA Highway) for sample query letters, even if you’re not a YA writer.

Ruth Silver first began writing poetry as a teenager and reading heaps of fan fiction in her free time. She has written under three unique pseudo names and penned well over a hundred stories.

She attended Northern Illinois University in 2001 and graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication. While in college she spent much of her free time writing with friends she met online and penning her first novel, "Deuces are Wild", which she self-published in 2004. Her favorite class was Creative Writing senior year where she often handed in assignments longer than the professor required because she loved to write and always wanted to finish her stories.

Her love of writing, led her on an adventure in 2007 to Melbourne, Australia. Silver enjoys reading YA novels and sharing her favorite books with other readers. She runs her own book blog and also enjoys photography and traveling.

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Mug o' Comfort Swap Reveal

Hey, y'all! About a month ago, I posted about joining the Mug o' Comfort Swap from the gals at Chaotic Goddess Swaps. I've done plenty of their swaps before, but never this one. And it was so fun!

I was paired with Sarah at Sarahphrasing Life! She's such a sweetheart, and I loved getting to know her! And now for what you're all waiting for; my goodies! 

I loooove the mug she sent. It's the perfect size for a cup of tea! (And I've had a million out of it with this nasty sinus infection I've got going on!) By the time I took this picture, all of the candies were already eaten! Hah. And the notebook was incredibly thoughtful.
Thank you, Sarah!!!

YA Spring Fling #Giveaway

Holy crap, this is the motherlode of all YA giveaways!
There are over 70 authors and 100 books in the giveaway, and they range from YA contemporary to YA sci-fi with everything in between. A few of the authors included: Beth Revis, CJ Archer, Megan Thomason, Katie French, Ann Christy, Lola Stvil, Sutton Shields.

You can check out the participating authors, read the book descriptions, and the giveaway terms and conditions on the official giveaway page. To enter, use this form.

Here's a preview of the YA contemporary novels being offered!

Q & A with the organiser – Sarah Dalton
How can readers enter the YA Spring Fling giveaway?
Head over to my website and find the page for the YA Spring Fling (handy hint, it’s HERE). Once you’re there you can browse through the books on offer, or check out more information about the participating authors

You should see plenty of links prompting you to enter the giveaway. Simply fill out the Google document telling us which books you’d like to win, the format you prefer, and whether you would also like to win paperbacks and swag. It’s that simple. Pick the books you want and sign off. 

How will I know I’ve won?
There are so many books on offer that I’d be surprised if you didn’t win something! So you will be hearing from us. 

After April 3rd, I will collate all the entries and pass them on to the participating authors. They will then choose the winners at random and Email the winners to let them know the good news. 

Will my Email or personal details be used outside the giveaway?
Absolutely not. We’re all against spam and promise not to use your Email for anything other than contacting you as a winner. If you joined up to the YA Spring Fling mailing list you will receive one Email telling you the giveaway is open, and another warning you it is about to close. That’s it! 

Is the giveaway open internationally?
Yes! But there are some paperbacks on offer that are region specific. Not all of our authors are sending paperbacks and swag internationally, purely because it costs us so much money and we ain’t made of it. ;) 

We will ask for your country of residence in the Google document. That’s so we can work out the winners for region specific paperbacks more easily. Everything else is open internationally.

I have a question, who can I contact?
Me! Send me a message on Facebook. My Email might be clogged by answering author queries, so Facebook might be the easiest method. 

Who can I tell about the giveaway? And what can I do to help spread the word?
You can tell everyone and anyone who might like YA books. If you’d like to spread the word it would be awesome if you could follow or like some of the authors and share their posts about the giveaway. You can find a full list of the participating authors and their social media links here.


Waiting on Wednesday: Emancipated by M.G. Reyes

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
It spotlights upcoming releases that we're excited about!

Emancipated by M.G. Reyes
May 26th, 2015
The good girl, the bad boy, the diva, the hustler, the rock star, and the nerd. Six teens legally liberated from parental control for six different reasons, all with one thing in common: something to hide.

Now they’re sharing a house in Venice Beach, acting like a family, and living their lies. No parents. No limits. No alibis. One witnessed a crime, another might be a murderer—and one’s been spying on them all.

As they cling to a fantasy of freedom and slowly let down their guards, the past creeps up on them. And when one of them gets arrested, everyone’s carefully constructed facade comes crumbling down.

In this steamy, drama-filled series, relationships are tested and secrets revealed as lies threaten to destroy their perfect setup.
Why I can't wait for Emancipated:
Does this scream Real World (that amazingly terrible reality show from MTV?) to anyone else?! I always love to see the dynamics of a group, and Emancipated seems like it will deliver on that with a delicious dose of drama. I can't think of a better book for summertime guilty pleasure reading!
What are you waiting on?

Review: The Scorpio Project by Amy Bartelloni

The Scorpio Project by Amy Bartelloni
(The Andromeda Series #3)

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian

The refugee camp at Waterville Valley has survived the
winter. With the coming of the spring, and the defeat of
President Vise and Dax, the camp should be celebrating, but Sera’s dreams tell her their problems are far from over.

Sera has always relied on her intuition, even if she never quite understood it, and when she dreams of a girl trapped in a tank, suffering, she knows she has to help. With a little digging, she uncovers the fact that the Valley’s origins might not have been as benign as she thought. In fact, her parents, who she thought were renowned scientists fighting the infection, might have been part of the very project that released the infection into the world: the Scorpio Project.

Sera is determined to follow the clues in search of the mysterious girl. They lead her to the Plum Island Animal Research facility, and a shadowy figure called Scorpio. In the course of her discovery she finds there is a new, deadly virus, one created by Vise as a fail-safe, but Sera isn’t sure if Scorpio is fighting the virus or fanning it. With enemies inside the facility, Sera must learn to rely on reason over instinct if she is to survive.
   How sad I am that The Andromeda Series is over! It's been such an incredible dystopian series that reminded me why I love this genre so much. And Amy Bartelloni couldn't have created a better send-off than she did with The Scorpio Project. It was a bittersweet finish for me!

  Oh my goodness. With each book, Amy Bartelloni built on her story and characters. In The Scorpio Project, all of her efforts came to fruition. There are a lot of unexpected happenings, and I was surprised until the end! Sera has shown so much growth; I couldn't be more proud of her. This story is hers, and she has owned it!

  Fans of The Walking Dead and The Road will fall in love with this series. Young or old can flock to these pages and find something to identify with and pique their interest. I cannot wait to see what's next from Amy Bartelloni!

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.

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