April 23, 2018

Hiding Lies Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt + Giveaway

Hiding Lies (Eleanor Ames #2)
Author: Julie Cross
Genre: YA Mystery/Suspense
Release Date: April 17, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen


At Holden Prep, dirty little secrets always have a way of coming to the surface. 

Eleanor Ames has never been what she seems. Average high school student on the outside, but reformed con artist trying to break free of her past on the inside. When Eleanor receives startling news about someone from her previous criminal life, plans for a new operation coinciding with her school’s upcoming field trip quickly consume her. 

But operations rarely go according to plan. And this is one her irresistible teen FBI agent boyfriend, Miles, would never approve of. 

Now, more than just Ellie’s reputation is at stake. If she fails, it could be her life. 

Buy Links: https://entangledpublishing.com/hiding-lies.html


My feet have been dangling. I start to lift them up, attempting to conceal myself. But I’m not fast enough. Warm fingers wrap around my ankle.

“Got you,” the guy says. “How long have you been up there spying on me?”

“Spying? On you?” I shake my head. “Don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m waiting for someone. He’ll be here any second.”

The hot guy takes the binoculars and looks them over, analyzing the zoom-in and recording switches hidden on the underside. “Fancy. Not exactly for recreational use.”

That’s because they’re Aidan’s. My sister’s boyfriend. Up until two weeks ago, when he was forced to resign, Aidan was a Secret Service agent. He used all kinds of spy gear in his former job—like these high-tech night-vision binoculars.

I hop down from the tree, assessing the intruder, searching for body language that says friend or enemy, even though I already know the answer. No harm in having a little extra practice. Role-play is definitely a skill of mine, but it’s also a muscle that must be worked regularly. “Just so you know, I am trained in self-defense. Wouldn’t try anything if I were you.”

“Yeah?” He lifts an eyebrow. “That’s good because this place is sketchy as hell.”

We both glance around the deserted warehouse building beside us, the vandalized lumberyard nearby, and the questionable items strewn across the walkway leading to the giant warehouse door—condom wrappers, broken beer bottles, cigarette butts.

“You’re right, it’s sketchy,” I say. “I better take off before something bad happens.”

“Wait…” Hot Guy reaches for me, his fingers curling around my waist. He tugs me until my back rests against the tree and we’re hidden from anyone on the street. “Tell me about this other guy you’re waiting on.”

I stare up at him, taking in the cocky smirk, perfectly messy dark hair, and blue eyes that hold dozens of secrets. “What other guy?”

He grins, showing off two perfect dimples to go with the rest of his perfects. “Good answer.”

Then, before I can refocus on the role I’ve been playing, he leans down and kisses me. It’s only been a week but feels like a month. Maybe longer. His cheeks are cold, but his lips are warm and tender. I bring him closer and closer until his slinged arm is lodged between us.

“Miles,” I mumble against his lips.


“Miles,” I repeat, too caught up in this kiss to celebrate the slip he just made. “That’s his name. The guy I’m waiting on.”

“Miles. Sounds like an asshole. Forget him.” He pulls away just enough to see my face. His good hand rests against my cheek. He looks like he’s about to dive into kissing me again but hesitates. “It’s really cold out here.”

“And sketchy,” I add. “Why would you pick a place like this? You can’t coast forever on the whole mysterious-hot-guy persona. So if that’s your plan, I’d rather meet at the Y or Planet Fitness like a normal person.”

He rolls his eyes. “Yes, that’s my goal in life. Devote all my time to training to be a spy so I can impress girls.” 
Hiding Lies is the thrilling second installment in a young adult thriller series that fans of the genre need to get their hands on. I've read several of the author's other books and really enjoyed them, so I was excited to get my hands on this one. I was not disappointed. This novel lived up to my hopes and expectations - and then some. Everything about the story is incredibly well done - from the characters and plot to the setting and writing style. Eleanor continues to be a fantastic main character for the book. She's smart, determined, down to earth, realistic, and a force to be reckoned with. I loved watching her figure out the mystery and overcome all the difficult situations she comes face to face with.

Another part of the book I really liked was Eleanor and Miles, which surprised me because I normally don't like a lot of romance in books that aren't in that genre. Like in this, as a mystery, I hate when a romance aspect takes over the entire story and ends up overtaking the actual plot. However, I liked seeing their relationship continue to change and grow throughout the story. I thought the plot of the book was great. Just the right mix of mystery, thriller, suspense and romance. There were twists and turns I didn't expect - which definitely made things more exciting. The pace was quick and had me drawn in from the very beginning of the book. I ended up reading the novel in a few hours because I couldn't put it down. I'm so excited that this book was just as good as the first book was, because a lot of times a series can start off strong only to have the following books fall short. That doesn't seem to be the case here, and I can't wait to see where Eleanor ends up next and what kind of trouble she'll get into. Very highly recommended to fans of thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and even romance - there's a bit of something for everyone to enjoy.


Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, Chasing Truth, Off the Ice and many more to come! Julie Cross was a longtime resident of central Illinois but has recently moved her entire family across the country to continue her academic studies at Stanford University.

Author Links: 
Website: http://juliecrossbooks.com/ 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliecross1980 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FansOfJulieCross/ 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3429117.Julie_Cross



Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

Author: R.J. Garcia
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: The Parliament House
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it:Amazon, Goodreads 


Mystery surrounds the town of Summertime, Indiana, where fifteen-year-old Tommy Walker and his little sister are sent to live with relatives they’ve never met. Tommy soon makes friends with Finn Wilds, a rebellious local who lives with his volatile and abusive stepfather, who also happens to be the town’s sheriff. 

Finn invites Tommy to late night meetings in the woods, where Tommy gets to know two girls. He forms a special and unique connection with both girls. The meetings become a place where the kids, who don’t fit in at school, or home can finally belong. As the group of friends begin to unravel clues to a cold case murder and kidnapping— they learn the truth is darker and closer than they ever imagined. Even if they live to tell, will anyone believe them?  
The pounding woke me up. I was half asleep and freezing because we kept the thermostat at fifty. I grabbed a blanket from the bed and wrapped it around my body and got up. The dawn crept in through the flimsy blinds.

I walked into the living room, rubbing my eyes with my fingers, under the fluorescent glare. I saw my mom open the door. An older, black lady in a business suit stood there, with two police officers posed just behind her. They all wedged their way in. One of the officers was Hispanic with a bone-clean head and Van Dyke. The other officer was a muscly, white guy with a big neck and bloated face.

The lady asked my mom if she was Jennifer Walker. My mom made a noncommittal noise, before saying, “Yeah.” Next, the lady told my mom her name, and that she was with The Department of Child Welfare. I took a couple steps toward them. The lady talked to my mom. “I am here for the welfare of the children.”

My mom asked her to “Please go.”

The social worker did this thing where she put her hand up and said, “Ah, ah, ah, I am here for the welfare of these children.” This time, the lady overenunciated each word.

My mom looked small and shaky. She started to slur her words a little. “I’m a good mom.” She looked over at me, her eyes with a peculiar glaze over them. Her right hand was nervously clutching at her collarbone as she said my name over and over like I could get her out of this. The police officers came out of my mom’s room.

I didn’t know what to do. “She’s a good mom,” I mumbled. I heard the patter of small, quick feet. I turned to see Isabella running to me. I picked her up. Her face never left my shoulder.

The caseworker was a fat woman made puffier by superiority. The white officer held up a small bag of crack and looked at my mom. I flinched inside. My mom always told me not to use anything stronger than pot. “You’re going with us, good mom,” he said. I hated that guy.

That was it. I felt a twist in my gut. My life ended.
I’m a writer, avid reader, and HufflePuff, who wants a re-do at the sorting hat. I am a wife and proud mom, too.

I’ve earned my MSW and have worked with foster kids. Writing has been my other great love. 
I have published several non-fiction pieces about teen issues and wrote short stories since I was a kid. A longer story began keeping me up at night, and I finished my first novel! I am now thrilled to announce that this story, Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced has found a home at The Parliament House!

Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced (81,000 words, mystery, suspense) – Mystery surrounds the town of Summertime, Indiana, where a group of teens must unravel secrets in order to expose the town’s dark past. 

(1) winner will receive a finished copy of NOCTURNAL MEETINGS OF THE MISPLACED - US Only!

Tour Schedule: 
Week One: 
4/23/2018- A Dream Within A Dream- Excerpt 
4/24/2018- Literary Dust- Review 
4/25/2018- The Underground- Interview 
4/26/2018- Literary Meanderings- Excerpt 
4/27/2018- BookHounds YA- Interview 

Week Two: 
4/30/2018- Malanie Loves Fiction- Review 
5/1/2018- Owl Always Be Reading- Excerpt 
5/2/2018- Novel Novice- Guest Post 
5/3/2018- A Gingerly Review- Excerpt 
5/4/2018- K.L. Knovitzke – Author- Spotlight 


Book Blitz + Giveaway: ISAN by Mary Ting


Author: Mary Ting

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopian
Publication Date: May 1, 2018

Publisher: Vesuvian Books




Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into our quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.

Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her “better.” To receive the serum, Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.

While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.

When the bodyguard with the gun directed the weapon at Roxy, something dangerous ignited in me knowing my team would be next. This foreign existence in my core wanted blood. It wanted death. It wanted destruction. I became a monster. Helix transformed me into a shallow shell to servitude—a perfect model of ISAN assassin.

I pulled my gun from the side of my boot and took aim. The bodyguard who had shot Roxy’s team went down first, followed by the others.

Don’t look at their faces. Don’t make eye contact. But I did look at their faces, and I did make eye contact.

Each guard held my foster father’s cruel face, his steel malevolent eyes. I saw the man who ripped the happiness out of my soul, who towered over me into submission, and molded me into a terrified little girl. For a heartbeat I froze, knees buckling, heart palpitating with trepidation and regret. I became that little girl. A rat, he had called me, and beat me until I stopped crying from missing my mother.

No more. No more. I am no longer that petrified girl.

Then, one after the other, as hunger for revenge drove me, as if each of the men was him, I shot them until they were all down.
International Bestselling Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.


April 22, 2018

Ash Princess Blog Tour: Review

Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)
Author: Laura Sebastian
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers


Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess--a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.


Ash Princess is the first book in an fantastic new young adult fantasy series that leave readers begging for more. I enjoy reading fantasy but I never seem to get that deep into most of them, but I slipped right inside this world and didn't want to come back out. Its world-building was wonderful and instantly transported me to Thora/Theo's world. When I found out that this was the author's debut novel, I was floored. I never would have guessed in a million years. The story was expertly written, flowed with ease, and showcased the author's natural storytelling and writing talent. She's an author to keep an eye on, which I certainly will be since this is just the beginning of a new series.

The plot wasn't completely unique, but it's really hard to come by any novel that you can say is truly original anymore. There was a lot happening during the story - a dominating kingdom that made slaves of and killed the previous people that lived there, intricate court politics with backstabbing and traitors, secrets alliances and treason. And - of course - forbidden romance. Although these plot traits can be found in a ton of other novels, the author put her own stamp on them and made them her own. And I honestly loved every part of it. I don't want to go deep into the plot and every single thing that happened, but it's full of everything I listed above and more. I found it exciting and reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next. The author also used tons of detailed descriptions and vivid imagery to really bring this world and the characters to life. I felt like I was right beside Theo the entire time and experienced everything along with her.

The main character - Theodosia or Theo - was fascinating and well rounded. She was a complex and realistic character, and I immediately connected with her right from the beginning of the prologue. She's been through so much in the past decade, but even though she's been basically broken - she keeps a flame of hope in her heart about escaping and being freed. She remembers who she really is - who she's supposed to be - and then becomes determined to do everything in her power to help her people and make those who tortured them for years pay. Her character really changes, grows, and matures throughout the story and I loved watching it happen. She comes into her own and starts becoming the strong queen her people need and her mother knew she could be one day. One other thing I have to mention is that the author used the first person point of view and told the story from Theo's perspective. This is by far my favorite writing style and I'm so happy she chose to write it this way. It made connecting and identifying with the characters - especially Theo - so easy and made it almost impossible not to fall into her world. The secondary characters were also rounded and had unique personalities and flaws, which made them all realistic as well. I enjoyed getting to know each of them on a personal level and I hope to keep learning more about them in the coming books. I can't wait to see where the next book will take Theo and the rest of the gang and what obstacles they'll face. I very highly recommend this book to fans of the genre and readers looking for a realistic fantasy with a very strong female lead. 

I write YA books and I'm also entrusted with taking care of other people's children. I write books about girls who are strong in all different ways, usually with a healthy dollop of magic and a few dragons.

I live in NYC with my extraordinarily fluffy dog, Neville. 


April 21, 2018

Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Promotion by Mika Lane


The Promotion: A Reverse Harem Novel
Author: Mika Lane

Genre: Adult Romance
Publication Date: April 18, 2018


You know that saying “I get by with a little help from my friends?”

Well, that’s not me.

I don’t take help. Not from anyone. At least I didn’t, until I was backed into a corner. With no choice.

And when help came my way in the form of several handsome guys, I wasn’t sure if my situation had gone from bad to worse.

Or if it was just what I needed—and what I’d actually needed all along.

Two pair of lips met either side of my neck, but I squirmed away from their temptation just as a hand slithered over my silk-covered ass and pinched me.

But my anxiety slipped out the door the moment I saw him. He entered the coffee shop, a tall drink of water with an expensive, perfectly fitting suit. He turned heads as he moved like a strong, graceful athlete. What a catch he was. Why had it taken me so long to realize that?

I came to, tucked under a down comforter. For a quick moment I wasn’t sure where I was, but the moonlight coming in the bedroom windows told me I wasn’t at home. I looked around, my heart startled into a panicky rush.

And while I was hyperaware that I was about to fuck Brade, it was really as though I were making love to each guy in the room.

And, there was Von, who so expertly tormented me with his decadent attentions. I pushed my hips back toward him to give more of myself, and he growled his appreciation. His thumbs opened me and next thing I knew, his tongue was buried to the hilt. If my mouth hadn’t been full of Cato’s cock, I would have screamed loudly enough for the neighbors and the people in the building next door to hear, too.

Two hands came from behind to grasp my breasts, and those in front of me pulled me closer by grabbing the cheeks of my ass. I was sandwiched nice and tight between two hot as hell men. While the mouth of one bruised my lips, those of the other ravaged my neck. I figured I’d be covered with marks the next day, but that’s what cover-up was for, right?

Now behind me, he began massaging the most amazing-smelling shampoo into my hair. He lathered it up on my scalp like a pro, and somehow knew to let just a little of it dribble down to the long ends. Maybe he’d washed some other woman’s hair in his past? I didn’t know, and I certainly didn’t care.
“I’ve wanted to touch you since the first day I met you. Actually, I wanted to do more than that. A lot more,” he whispered.

He walked up behind me, his hands falling on my shoulders. He pushed aside my hair, his lips traveling down my neck. His touch was soft but strong at the same time, leaving a trail of fire on my skin and a throbbing between my legs. I had to feel his lips again on mine, and spun around to face him.

I leaned toward him and he tilted back for a split second, not something a girl wants to see when she’s trying to be gutsy. While I tried to figure out what to do, he must have screwed up his own courage, because the next moment I was enjoying his mouth on my lips.

At first, his kiss was soft, but the second I invited him in with my parted lips, he pressed against mine with a passion that took my breath away. Like he was dying of thirst and I was his glass of water.

“They have no idea we’re standing right here. They have no idea how turned on you are. And they have no idea I’m about to unzip the back of your dress.”

“If you really want to move up in the firm…”
She waited for me to respond, so I nodded furiously.
“You need to have a husband.”

Writing has been a passion of Mika’s since a young age (her first book was "The Day I Ate the Milkyway"), but erotic romance is now what gives purpose to her days and nights. She lives in magical Northern California with her own handsome alpha dude, sometimes known as Mr. Mika Lane, and an evil cat named Bill. A devotee of the intelligent and beautiful, and lover of shiny things, she’s a yogi, hiker, traveler, thinker, observer, and book worm. She has been known to drink cheap champagne and has way too many shoes.

A National Reader's Choice Awards finalist, Mika always deliver a hot, sexy romp, often with imperfect characters, and a promised happily ever after (or at least happy for now).

She LOVES to hear from readers, and can be found at www.mikalane.com, and facebook.com/mikalaneauthor, when she's not dreaming up naughty tales to share.


April 20, 2018

The Summer of Broken Things Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to Day #5 of The Summer of Broken Things Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Summer of Broken Things on April 10th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Margaret Peterson Haddix and 10 chances to win a copy of the book!

From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes a haunting novel about friendship and what it really means to be a family in the face of lies and betrayal.

Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

Margaret Peterson Haddix weaves together two completely separate lives in this engaging novel that explores what it really means to be a family—and what to do when it’s all falling apart.


Sometimes books are the best medicine.

I knew this instinctively as a kid, when I often retreated into books when I was sad or upset, angry or anguished. Sometimes the books were only an escape; other times, even as they consoled me, they also empowered, emboldened, or, yes, helped heal me. If my favorite fictional characters could survive their much more dramatic—and traumatic—lives, then maybe I could cope, too.

But I have to confess that I didn’t know the term “bibliotherapy” until after I’d written books that were being used in bibliotherapy.

Because of privacy concerns, I’m certain I don’t know even a fraction of the ways my books have been used to help kids solve their personal problems while undergoing therapy or in less-formal settings. And that’s fine. But based on what I do hear from readers and the adults trying to help them, I’m guessing the book of mine that’s been used the most in bibliotherapy is Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey.

One of the best responses I ever heard to that book was when a middle school teacher told me of reading it to her special education class. Soon after the class heard the chapter where the main character, Tish, finally seeks help for her difficult family situation by writing a letter to her teacher, the real-life teacher found a lengthy, painstakingly written letter on her own desk from a girl in her class.

Unbeknownst to the teacher—until then--the girl was also dealing with an awful family situation, and the girl had felt completely stymied and trapped, thinking she had nowhere to turn. She didn’t feel that it was possible to tell the teacher or anyone else outright. And because of her learning difficulties, she wouldn’t have thought of writing as a way out on her own. But with Tish’s example, the teacher said, the girl was able to seek help. And the teacher was able to provide it.

Obviously in that tale the teacher was a much bigger hero than my book was—she was the one who provided the help; she was the one the girl ultimately trusted. The girl also deserves a great deal of credit for mustering the courage to speak out. And maybe she eventually would have found a way out even without a fictional role model.

But I was so glad to hear that my book played any part in helping that girl escape a bad situation; I’m delighted to hear of any of my books playing that kind of role.

From the beginning of my writing career, I naturally wanted to depict kids dealing with fictional problems as realistically as possible. But the more I heard of my books being used as bibliotherapy, the more I felt that I had an intense responsibility to do so. If kids see realistic depictions of other kids dealing with problems like theirs in books, they’re more likely to view the solutions the fictional characters find as realistic, and possibly feasible for themselves as well. Conversely, I fear that unrealistic depictions of fictional characters finding too-easy solutions can be damaging.

When I began plotting my latest book, THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS, I knew I wanted to tell of two girls whose supposedly carefree trip to Spain is upended when they find out a secret that their families have kept from them their entire lives—a secret that, to varying degrees, also upends the way each girl views herself. Since the secret was not based on anything I’d personally experienced, I did a lot of research to try to depict it accurately, especially by talking to psychologists who deal with patients involved in similar situations.

One psychologist in particular was especially helpful, even going so far as to read my book in a near-final draft to give me additional advice. As I thanked her profusely, she reminded me that she was helping me do my job so she and other psychologists could do their jobs better, too. To the best of her knowledge, my book is the first for teens about kids dealing with that particularly issue, and she saw an increasing need.   

I do realize it can be dangerous for authors to get too invested in seeing their books as potentially therapeutic: I’m not sure there’s a faster way to destroy kids’ interest in a book than telling them, “This is going to be good for you!”

So I’m a firm believer in the idea that an author’s first responsibility is to tell a good story. But I think it’s good stories that kids respond to the most.
And with SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS, the more I understood the psychological underpinnings of Avery’s and Kayla’s situations, the better I was at visualizing and telling their story.

And that’s good for everyone.

Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularly acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the Children of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio.

Follow Margaret: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
One (1) winner will receive a finished copy of The Summer of Broken Things
US only

I'm going to make entering this giveaway an easy one - just leave a thoughtful comment and a way to get in touch with you if you're the winner!

    Blog Tour Schedule:

    April 16th — BookhoundsYA
    April 17th — The Book Rat
    April 18th — Book Briefs
    April 19thParajunkee
    April 20th — A Dream Within a Dream

    April 23rd — Crossroad Reviews
    April 24th — I Am a Reader
    April 25th — Page Turners
    April 26th — Once Upon a Twilight