My Lullaby of You Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway



About the Book:

My Lullaby of You_Cover FinalTitle: MY LULLABY OF YOU

Author: Alia Rose

Pub. Date: June 16, 2018

Publisher: Plum Anchor Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 287

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon


For fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen, My Lullaby of You is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance about guarded love, complicated families, and the summer that changes everything. 

It’s the summer after high school. Amy can’t wait to leave her small hometown in North Carolina for the vibrant city of Chicago, where she plans to go to her dream college and hopes to build a stronger relationship with her father.
But as she deals with her mother’s resentment over her leaving and an intriguing yet provoking college student, Amy’s reminded of things she’s tried to forget and forced to face emotions she never expected.

It’s the summer before the last year of music school. Seth would rather be anywhere else than a small beach town in North Carolina, reopening wounds he thought he’d patched long ago and facing the father he hasn’t seen since his mother’s death.
While on his mission for answers, Seth is drawn to an observant and driven local he can’t seem to figure out. 2950337_orig



My moment in smoothie paradise was rudely interrupted by a body plopping down next to me. I didn’t need to look up to know who it was.

“Now what do you want?” I demanded.

“I want,” he said, “your name.”

I looked up and Obnoxious Guy smiled at me. I felt myself flush but was glad I was probably already red from running. I glared at him and turned back to the beach.


“Why not?” he challenged.

“Why are you answering me with a question?” I asked, getting annoyed.

“Because you didn’t answer mine.”

“Wanting to know my name is not a question,” I pointed out.

He opened his mouth and then closed it. I took the opportunity to get up and start walking away.

“Wait,” he called after me, “why are you always storming off?”

I stopped and turned back around. “Why are you stalking me?”

“I am not stalking you.” He scoffed. “Trying to buy you a smoothie for your sorry attempt to save me.” He paused, holding back a laugh. I raised my eyebrows and he continued. “Bumping into you at the beach last night and you sitting with me was not stalking you.” He walked closer to me, staring at me intensely. I stared back, not lowering my gaze. He blinked away from me and faced the water.

I could have walked away then, but I decided not to.

“Amy,” I said, finally giving in and sitting back down.

He glanced at me, then back at the ocean before joining me on the sand. “You’re pretty impossible.”

 I found this to be satisfying. “So I’ve been told.”

We continued sitting there, waiting for the other to say something.

“So what’s your story?” he finally asked.

“My story?” I repeated.

“Yeah, your story?” he echoed, still staring straight ahead.

I sighed. “Okay, I was born and raised here. I live with my mom and stepdad. I just graduated a week ago.” I paused. “I’m a lifeguard,” I emphasized, giving him a look. “And I’m going off to college once summer ends.”

 He nodded. I looked at him curiously. I wondered why he cared.

“Why?” I asked.

“Why what?”

“Why are you asking?”

He laughed quietly, running a hand through his hair. I looked at him with my eyebrows raised, waiting.

He looked back at me and held my gaze before saying, “I was curious.”

“You were curious.”

“Yeah.” He shrugged. “You seem interesting.”

“Trying to drown you and accusing you of being a stalker is interesting?” I questioned.

“Hah, yeah, it is,” he said, “to me.”

I shook my head, not understanding him at all. He was different. Weird. Strange. I told him this.

“So I’ve been told,” was his reply. Figures.


About Alia:

AliaI’ve been writing since I fell in love with reading and now the characters in my head refuse to leave me alone. My debut novel, My Lullaby of You comes out in June 2018!

When I’m not writing, I work full time as an architectural designer and enjoy drinking too much coffee, making to-do lists, and traveling.

You can find me rambling about all of the above on Instagram and Twitter.


Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page


Giveaway Details:

 1 winner will win a signed finished paperback copy of MY LULLABY OF YOU a bookmark, a bookish beach towel, a beach inspired candle and annotation cards, US Only.

 Rafflecopter link:



Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/25/2018- Mama Reads Blog– Blogger Made Playlist

6/26/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

6/27/2018- What’s Your Story Reviews– Review

6/28/2018- Books & Other Pursuits– Review

6/29/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview


Week Two:

7/2/2018- Simply Kelina– Review

7/3/2018- A Gingerly Review– Excerpt

7/4/2018- the bookdragon– Review

7/5/2018- Sincerely Karen Jo– Review

7/6/2018- Book Briefs– Review




A Cowboy’s Sweetheart Blog Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway





About the Book:

A Cowboys Sweetheart_bleachTitle: A COWBOY’S SWEETHEART (Rodeo Academy #1)

Author: Crista McHugh

Pub. Date: June 25, 2018

Publisher: Crista McHugh

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 164

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Pampered New York Socialite and dressage rider, Kensington Pope, has been exiled by her jet-setting parents to her aunt’s Rodeo Academy in Wyoming. She wants nothing to do with the rough and tumble students there, especially one particularly handsome cowboy, Javier. But she won’t be there for long. She has a plan in place to break out after her next international competition.

Javier Cruz takes one look at the spoiled city girl and instantly dismisses her. The school of tough knocks has already educated him on what the important things in life are, and he has bigger things on his plate. He’s counting down the days until his eighteenth birthday when he can pull his younger siblings from the foster care program and reunite his family. But as he gets to know Kensi, he sees a kindred spirit and discovers there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Kensi begins to question her desire to flee the ranch as her relationship to Javier deepens and she learns the importance of family. But when he discovers her escape plan, will he be able to trust her again? And when tragedy comes to the ranch, will Kensi be able to step up and take her place in the family?



Classical music blasted from the practice arena, luring Javier toward it like a siren. Definitely not the type of music the Ramos family preferred. Brad Paisley, sure. Jason Aldean, absolutely. Maybe some Zac Brown Band when they wanted to push the envelope. But as far as he knew, their idea of the classics was confined to the three Gs—Glen Campbell, George Jones, and George Strait. This sounded more like Beethoven than Blake Shelton.

Sierra stood on the bottom rung of the gate on the bull chute, a small video camera in her hand, following her cousin’s movements on horseback.

Kensi was wearing a spotless black blazer and riding helmet. Her uptight posture matched her prissy outfit, unyielding as the bay hopped and pranced around the sawdust floor with an exaggerated gait, his hooves rising high to the beat of the music.

“You’re bouncing too much,” a woman with a harsh German accent bellowed from the loudspeaker over the music. “There should be no jiggling. Kiener!

Javier searched for the source, but as far as he could tell, he, Sierra, and Kensi were the only ones there. He mosied up alongside Sierra. “What’s all this?”

“Kensi’s dressage practice,” she whispered, her eyes never leaving her cousin.

Of course it would have an equally prissy name.

“Ain’t it pretty?” Sierra asked. “It’s like watching the horse dance.”

He propped his elbows on the top of the gate and leaned forward, understanding why Sierra was so mesmerized. It did look like the horse was doing some sort of trotting ballet across the arena. Just when he figured out the gait, Westley smoothly transitioned to a new one, all while his rider stared blankly ahead.

Volte!” the German woman barked.

With just the slightest tug on the reins, Kensi steered her horse into trotting in a tight circle.

“Still looking sloppy,” the woman reprimanded.

Javier searched the arena one more time before nudging Sierra. “Where’s that coming from?”

“Kensi’s coach in New York, Hilde. I’m recording it, and she’s watching it in real time and giving Kensi feedback.”

“You look like a fat potato on a bucking bronco,” Hilde added.

“More like insulting her every chance she gets.” Javier squinted to see where the criticism lay, but as far as he could see, Kensi rode with pure elegance. “No wonder she has a sharp tongue.”

“I have a feeling people back east in those big cities are so uptight, they’ve forgotten how to appreciate the little things like being patient and polite.” Sierra’s grin widened as Westley crossed the rink in a diagonal line, hooves crossing over each other in the process. “Ain’t that one of the prettiest things you’ve ever seen?”

His gaze drifted from the horse up to his rider. A rich, rosy hue infused Kensi’s lips and cheeks, but her expression remained determined and focused. As far as he could tell, she didn’t even realize there were other people in the area. Her attention never wavered from the precise movements her mount orchestrated from one end of the floor to the other. For the second time that morning, he saw her as something other than the spoiled little rich girl. She was as devoted to her sport as any other student at the Double Buckle Academy, and an ounce of respect sparked inside him. “Yeah, pretty,” he agreed.



About Crista:

headshotsmall-579x640Crista McHugh is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of fantasy and romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She also writes fantasy with a little less kissing and bit more action (outside the bedroom) as C. A. McHugh.

Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.

She currently lives in the Tesla-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician on the occassional weekend.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

Find Crista online at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page



Giveaway Details:

 1 winner will win a Kindle Fire 7, US Only.

1 winner will win a $20 Amazon GC, US Only.

 Rafflecopter link:



Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/25/2018- Bubbly Books– Review

6/25/2018- Sophie Reads YA– Review


6/26/2018- Never Too Many To Read– Guest Post

6/26/2018- Cindy’s Love of Books– Review


6/27/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Excerpt

6/27/2018- StoreyBook Reviews– Spotlight


6/28/2018- A Gingerly Review– Excerpt

6/28/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview


6/29/2018- Demi Reads– Review

6/29/2018- The Cozy Reading Corner– Excerpt


Week Two:

7/2/2018- Books & Other Pursuits– Review

7/2/2018- The Phantom Paragrapher– Review


7/3/2018- Books a Plenty Book Reviews– Spotlight

7/3/2018- Parajunkee– Excerpt


7/4/2018- books are love– Review

7/4/2018- underneath the covers– Excerpt


7/5/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Interview


7/6/2018- The Reading Life– Spotlight

7/6/2018- Jaime’s World– Spotlight



Books Left Unread #133


Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

This Raging Light


This is another that I have an arc of but still have not read. I tend to feel it is magical realism and I’m not a big fan of those stories. Have you read it?


Review: Not The Girls You’re Looking For

Not the Girls You're Looking For


Please bear with me during this review. I wanted to like this book so much but in the end it just did not work for me.

Lulu is a biracial Arab-American Muslim teenager going through Ramadan. At the beginning of the book she starts her fasting for the month. While Lulu isn’t a strictly religious Muslim, she does participate in a lot of the customs. She also does like to hook up with boys, party, and drink. The way she did all of those things and how often she did them felt shocking to me. I know it shouldn’t but it did. Maybe things were just different when I was a teenager because I didn’t hook up with boys that often or at all. I did the partying and drinking but it was a rare occurrence for me. And she did all of this while fasting. I’m not a subject matter expert but the drinking did not seem like the best idea since she was only allowed to eat after the sun went down, which equated to one large meal a day. At the same time I’m saying I found some of Lulu’s behavior a bit shocking, I appreciate the author’s candor and honesty. She didn’t shy away from speaking the truth and I appreciate that.

In the same breath, I openly admit that I did not like Lulu as a character. I felt she was a mean, spoiled, ungrateful brat of a girl who was mean for no reason. I get that there was supposed to be a level of unlikeablity to her character but it felt over the top. She was always trash talking, always bullying, always getting away with murder even with her hands covered in blood and the murder weapon in her hand. I had no choice but not like her. And don’t get me started on how she talked to her parents. So disrespectful and they took it! I know that some parents feel their child can do no wrong but come on! She was a bitch to everyone she met. She called them names, slut shammed girls, and talked behind everyone’s back. Not once did Lulu have a moment of self-reflection or a reality check that woke her up to see the error of her ways. She was cruel and rude to everyone simply because people never told her she couldn’t. Nobody told her No.

While I did not like Lulu, one element of this story I did like was the focus on female friendship. I am a huge advocate of females (and everyone, really) having a strong circle of friends. I believe it is very healthy and important. That being said, I don’t understand how Lulu and her group of friends actually stayed friends. They were always calling each other hateful names, talking trash about the other, and they did not feel like they liked each other at all. I was puzzled on that front.

Here is the final point I will make about why I struggled with this book: I failed to figure out the actual plot of the story. This story read like a “Here is what happened during this time in Lulu’s life during Ramadan” narrative. I felt like I was reading a long story where absolutely nothing of importance happened. I kept waiting for some type of controversy or event to take place that put Lulu on a mission-type quest to figure out but it just did not happen. There were many times I would finish well-written lengthy paragraphs that talked about absolutely nothing. So many mundane things were talked about instead – what they ate for lunch, how they picked out their halloween costumes, how they gave each other manicures and braided hair. Not any of this contributed to the overall story.

I’m not sad I read this story but it was absolutely not what I was expecting. When I read that this was supposed to be about friendship and the importance of friendship, I was completely on board. In good faith I cannot say this was a great story. I did like how it gave a little more insight into a Muslim Arab-American family during Ramadan but even that insight was few and far between. I wish it would have focused more on the culture and traditions instead of teenage girls trashing talking everyone and being nasty for no reason.



Review: Orphan Monster Spy

Orphan Monster Spy


I was so, so, so excited when I received this book because I’m finally starting to enjoy historical fiction novels. Sadly, there was something missing from this story and I found myself struggling with it.

Short recap: During WWII, Sarah finds herself in a very difficult situation. She is a Jew but has an Aryan appearance. She meets a man, a spy, who recruits Sarah for a mission after her mother is killed. Sarah has never been a spy before but knows this is the only way she can stay alive. Can she successfully infiltrate the Nazi boarding school and learn its secrets?

The characters in this story were very strong. Sarah’s character went through horrific events and how she came out stronger on the other side is still a mystery to me. I’m not sure I could be that brave. But she knew she had no other choice if she wanted to survive. She was clever, sharp witted, and quick on her feet. She adapted to whatever challenge was thrown in front of her. I really enjoyed reading about her. Her connection to the spy that took her in and taught her everything she knew was a special one. She did look up to him like a father-figure and that was endearing. In that day and time, close relationships were very difficult to find.

The setting of the story was masterfully executed. I often felt that I was in the school with Sarah or walking the countryside. It was obvious that the author really did his research. The world building was rich and vibrant.

What I felt was lacking was the actual plot. It felt very thin and stretched for this type of story. Call me selfish but I felt there should have been a little more to it. I know that in real life events like the one in this book happened all of the time and never made news, but it just did not hook me the way it should have. There were still scenes that were almost too brutal and gruesome to read but I pushed through knowing they could have really happened. I won’t shy away from history. However, when the climax of the story happened, I felt slightly let down. I wanted just a little bit more.

Am I upset I read this? Not at all. I’m glad I took a chance. I liked the author’s writing style but it was the thin plot that kept me at arm’s length. Would I recommend? I say yes. Reading more about what happened during this point in history is always fascinating and I encourage that.




Waiting on Wednesday: Seafire

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:


Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

Seafire (Seafire, #1)



From Goodreads:

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, whose lives have been turned upside down by Aric and his men. The crew has one misson: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command just barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether or not to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all…or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?




Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Short Stories/Novellas

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…

Favorite Short Stories/Novellas



My True Love Gave To Me

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories



Zombies vs. Unicorns

Zombies Vs. Unicorns



The Language of Thorns

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grisha Verse, #0.5, #2.5, #2.6)



Night of Cake & Puppets

Night of Cake & Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2.5)



Summer Days and Summer Nights

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories



Tales of the Peculiar

Tales of the Peculiar (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #0.5)



Three Sides of a Heart

Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles



Stars Above

Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5)



Selection Stories

The Selection Stories: The Prince & The Guard (The Selection, #0.5, 2.5)





Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1 - 0.4)

Before this topic I didn’t think I read a lot of short stories but I was wrong! What are some of your favorites?




Review: My Plain Jane

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies, #2)


It’s official, I am in serious like with this series. I thought My Lady Jane was as good as it was going to get but I take that thought back. My Plain Jane may have been a wee bit better in my eyes. I now need all books like this about all Janes throughout history.

Short recap: Jane Eyre and her best friend, Charlotte Bronte, are students at Lowood School, a deplorable establishment. Jane is keeping a secret – she can see spirits. She has always kept this a secret until someone from the Society for the Relocation of Wayward Spirits realizes what Jane is after she stumbles into a local bar that is rumored to be haunted. Alexander Blackwood comes calling upon Jane to try to persuade her to join SRWS for his own reasons, but the fact she can see ghosts is a huge plus. Jane doesn’t want anything to do with SRWS so she leaves for other employment and things quickly spiral out of control.

I’m not sure how I can properly do this story justice with my meek review. I was a little unsure when the story started out because I wasn’t feeling it until ghosts. I don’t know why that topic always captures my attention but it does. It did not hurt that there was so much wit and one liners that had my busting a gut with laughter. The snark and quick quips had me wishing I could be that quick on my feet.

What did you learn at Lowood school?
Starvation. And the usual maths and history.

This was such a fantastic and clever twist on the original story. How many more descriptive words could I possible use? Brilliant? Marvelous? Delightful? I’m sure I will think of more, give me time. All of the characters, and there were a lot of characters, were so well developed and unique. They all had a flushed backstory and personality.

While I am gushing about this one, I can see where not every reader will jive with it. There were times it seemed a little too much, a little too over the top. Maybe it was for the sake of a chuckle, who is to say. What I can say is that this story worked for me as a reader. I was hooked and had to know what was going to happen. I needed more of the laughs, the snark, the quips, the wit. I loved them. And don’t get me started on the HP references! I nearly lost my shit towards the end when they dropped a HUGE HP reference! Masterful.

No matter what Jane these authors go after next, I’m absolutely there for it.



Books Left Unread #132


Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols

Such a Rush


This cover = <3. That being said, I still haven’t not pulled it off of my shelf. Have you read it?