Review: Bright Burning Stars

Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small

I went into this with high hopes but I was not able to connect to any part of the story. I expected more of a mystery story than hardcore ambition. The synopsis promised one thing but the actual story delivered something else. It took a lot of willpower to not DNF.

The main characters, Kate and Marine, were underdeveloped, flat, lifeless, and dull. All of their POV chapters sounded the same so it was difficult to tell who was actually speaking. That went hand in hand with the plot being weak. and full of holes. It all tied together to create one story that was tough to get through. I didn’t care what was going on with anyone so it was hard to pay attention. I’m not sure I could recommend this to anyone as it needed serious reediting and proofing.

Blinding Night Audiobook Tour: Review and Giveaway

Book Info:

  • Publisher: The Parliament House
  • Book Title: Blinding Night Audiobook
  • Series: Blinding Night Book #1
  • Author: Chantal Gadoury
  • Narrator: Dollcie Webb


What if you were the missing piece in one of the world’s most epic legends?

Despite being an art history student, Summer isn’t thrilled to be stuck with her archeologist family all summer in Greece. While the rest of her college friends are posting a million selfies by the pool together, Summer is stuck alone, trying to entertain herself alone in a place where she doesn’t even speak the language.

Upon her arrival to Greece, strange dreams and even stranger shadows seem to haunt Summer, leaving her to ponder the meaning of pomegranate seeds and twisted, darkened faces.

Suddenly, her stay abroad leads to tragic twists, leaving Summer in the arms of a dark stranger, who claims to be the god, Hades, whom she feels like she knows from another life. In a whirlwind through the busy streets of Athens, Summer is seduced to the lowest point of Greece where Hades’ lair awaits…the Underworld. Determined to find out who she is and where she belongs in an age-old myth, Summer joins Hades to discover that the secrets about her past life are beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

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This story surprised me in a good way. I enjoyed the original story of Hades and Persephone. While this seems to be a well loved classic tale, this author did a wonderful job of giving it a fresh spin.

I am going to try very hard not to give anything away. Know that the character development was very well done, the world building was lush, and the pacing was exactly where it should be. There was some delightful humor sprinkled throughout the story so I wasn’t just listening to a retelling drone on. I can tell you, with a smile on my face, that there were no love triangles and no insta-love. Hooray!

I do recommend this book so please check it out. Links to the audio book are above.

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Author Bio:

Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published several novels including, “The Songs in Our Hearts” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Between the Sea and Stars,” “Blinding Night,” and “WinterDream” with Parliament House Press, with other titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.

Author (@chantalgadouryauthor) (@daydreamingdollcie), (@adornedbyaisha) FB: (Chantal Gadoury) (Daydreaming Dollcie -Actor-) Twitter: (@cgadouryauthor)  Website: (


Instagram: (@theparliamentpress) Twitter: @parliamentbooks

Facebook: The Parliament House

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– Greek inspired ring and headband from @adornedbyaisha

To enter:

– Must be following @theparliamentpress @chantalgadouryauthor @daydreamingdollcie and @adornedbyaisha

– Go to @theparliamentpress and click on the link in their bio to enter.

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Tour Schedule:

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THE DYSASTERS by P.C. and Kristin Cast Blog Tour – Review and Giveaway

THE DYSASTERS by P.C. and Kristin Cast


By P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Wednesday Books

On Sale: February 26, 2019

Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio


P.C. and Kristin Cast, the #1 New York Times bestselling authors of the House of Night phenomenon, return to the scene with The Dysasters—the first action-packed novel in a new paranormal fantasy series.

Adoptive daughter of a gifted scientist, Foster Stewart doesn’t live a “normal” life, (not that she’d want to). But controlling cloud formations and seeing airwaves aren’t things most eighteen year olds can do.

Small town star quarterback and quintessential dreamy boy next door, Tate “Nighthawk” Taylor has never thought much about his extra abilities. Sure, his night vision comes in handy during games, but who wouldn’t want that extra edge?

From the moment Foster and Tate collide, their worlds spiral and a deadly tornado forces them to work together, fully awakening their not-so-natural ability – the power to control air.

As they each deal with the tragic loss of loved ones, they’re caught by another devastating blow – they are the first in a group of teens genetically manipulated before birth to bond with the elements, and worse… they’re being hunted.

Now, Foster and Tate must fight to control their abilities as they learn of their past, how they came to be, who’s following them, and what tomorrow will bring… more DYSASTERS?


I received an early copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.

This will be a quick and dirty review as I don’t want to give too much/anything away.

This was the first book I read by the author(s) so I was impressed with what I read. As you know, this is the first in a new series by the mother/daughter duo. It was a wild, fast paced, magical ride that had me on the edge of my seat. I haven’t read a book that dealt so much with the extreme weather or elemental power side of fantasy before so this was new for me.

The most interesting part of the book was that there were graphics every few chapters. I felt it helped me picture the characters and events more. Nice touch!

I highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for a book that has good character development, story arcs, world building, and suspense. Give this a read and let me know what you think!


#1 New York Times & #1 USA Today bestselling author P.C. Cast was born in the Midwest, and, after her tour in the USAF, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time. PC is a member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, Booksellers’ Best, and many, many more. Ms. Cast is an experienced teacher and talented speaker who lives in Oregon near her fabulous daughter, her adorable pack of dogs, her crazy Maine Coon, and a bunch of horses.

Kristin Cast is a #1 New York Times and #1 USA Today bestselling author who teams with her mother to write the wildly successful House of Night series. She has editorial credits, a thriving t-shirt line, and a passion for all things paranormal. When away from her writing desk, Kristin loves going on adventures with her friends, family, and significant other, playing with her dogs (Grace Kelly and Hobbs the Tiny Dragon), and is currently obsessed with her baby.




Barnes & Noble:


Google Play:





Enter for a chance to win 1 of 20 hardcover copies!  Winners will be selected at random.

Abbreviated Rules: No purchase necessary. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia or Canada (excluding Quebec) who are age 13 years of age or older. Entry period begins at 12:00 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, February 24, 2019 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, March 10, 2019. Void where prohibited. For full Official Rules, visit Sponsored by St. Martin’s Press, 175 5th Ave 10010.


Review: A Very Large Expanse Of The Sea

A Very Large Expanse of Sea



This may be a short review as I do not share the same thoughts on this book as many other readers do. I did not connect to it nor was I blown away by it. Maybe I’m just not the right reader for Mafi books.

I know this is an important book and I am not disputing that at all. I know that my thoughts and reactions to the book differ greatly from other readers. I liked the MC enough and I get why she was defensive and angry all of the time, but those two things made it hard for me to want to like her. She was constantly lashing out at people before getting to know their true intentions. I have been guilty of that myself and have worked hard to not do that, but sometimes old habits die hard.

Perhaps one of the big reasons I did not enjoy this story as much was because of the forced romance. I did not find that believable at all. Every time she talked about having almost instalove feelings for the boy, I found myself rolling my eyes. It felt awkward, forced, and out of place in this story. I don’t believe it was necessary in this story.

The other thing that I had a hard time with was the writing style. Mafi’s delivery felt broken, choppy, and jagged. Chapters could be one page or less and that was frustrating for me. It felt like complete thoughts or events or even points could not be properly expressed in the very short amount of page space they were given. I felt that way about her other books so maybe that is just me as a reader. It also felt super rushed, as if everything was wrapped up in a pretty bow in the last few pages. I am not ever a fan of books ending that way. Don’t take the entire book laying out the story and then BAM end it in two pages.

I know this is an important story and it will resonate with a lot of readers, sadly it was just not for me. I could not connect to any part of this. I know it will still be a beloved story for many people.




Otherearth Book Tour: Review and Giveaway




About the Book:

OTHEREARTH coverTitle: OTHEREARTH (Last Reality #2)

Author: Jason Segel, & Kirsten Miller

Pub. Date: October 30, 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 320

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

 Return to the series BuzzFeed compared to Ready Player One in the second book in a new fast-paced trilogy from New York Times bestselling authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller that’s perfect for fans of HBO’s Westworld

Simon would have done anything to save his best friend after a mysterious accident almost killed her–including follow her into a virtual world. And what he and Kat discovered there was more terrifying than they could have ever imagined. Unwitting hospital patients are being forced to test a device that lets VR be experienced with all five senses. The technology is so advanced that it’s deadly.

Now the world’s biggest tech corporation is hunting Simon and Kat while war rages in Otherworld, the virtual world it created. Determined to destroy the Company, Simon and Kat must join forces with a hacker, a gangster, and a digital entity. But as they battle to save two worlds, they uncover an all-new threat to our world: the Company’s latest creation, an augmented-reality game called OtherEarth. Not only does OtherEarth kill, it has the power to erase the line between what’s real and what’s fantasy.



While I loved the first book, this one suffered from Middle Book Syndrome. It did a good job of recapping what happened but most of the book was spent with the characters within the game of OtherWorld itself. Many chapters were spent describing new simulated characters, new Children, new worlds within the game. I felt there was just too much time spent describing things that did not matter to the overall story. Hence the reason I said this was a true Second Book.

Regardless, this was such a fast paced read that it was over before I knew it. The story took twists and turns I was not prepared for. It certainly set up for the next book, which I hope promises to be big.  If you are interested in a gripping read that has echos of Ready Player One and Warcross, you need to check out this book.


Praise for Otherworld 

A New York Times Bestseller

“A potent commentary on how much we’re willing to give up to the lure of technology.”–

“A fantastic journey from start to finish.” –

“An engaging VR cautionary tale.” —AV Club

Full of high stakes, thrillers, and fantastic twists and turns, fans of Ready Player One are sure to love this addictive read.” —BuzzFeed


About Book 1:

 Untitled-1Title: OTHERWORLD (Last Reality #1)

Author: Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

Pub. Date: November 7, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Pages: 368

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksAudibleTBDGoodreads

The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.

Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.

And it’s about to change humanity forever.

Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.


About Jason:

JasonNew York Times bestselling author Jason Segel used to have nightmares just like Charlie, and just like Charlie, he’s learned that the things we’re most afraid of are the things that can make us strong…if we’re brave enough to face them. Jason likes acting, writing, making music, and hanging out with his friends. Sometimes he writes movies. Sometimes he writes songs for movies. Sometimes he stars in those movies and sings those songs. You might know him from The Muppets and Despicable Me. Your parents might know him from other stuff. Nightmares! is his first novel.

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads



About Kirsten:

KirstenI write books.

Some of my books are what librarians call middle grade. (Kiki Strike, Nightmares!)

Some should be kept away from small children and people with weak stomachs. (How to Lead a Life of Crime, The Eternal Ones, Otherworld)

I write some books with Jason Segel.

I’ve written quite a few books on my own.

I’m an Aquarius.

My favorite food is cauliflower. (No joke.)

I will eat almost anything. And I’m weirdly proud of it.

I believe New York City is the most magical place on earth.

I love Dolly Parton and David Attenborough. Equally.

I cannot sing or play any musical instruments.

I’m obsessed with sewers and sanitation systems.

I once broke into a Mayan temple with my brother, Spike.

Spike is an alias. It’s not his real name.

I also have a sister. She prefers to remain anonymous.

We have the same birthday.

Yes, that sucks.

I think that’s all you need to know.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of OTHEREARTH, US Only.

Rafflecopter link:


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/1/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

11/2/2018- Jena Brown Writes– Review


Week Two:

11/5/2018- Zach’s YA Reviews– Review

11/6/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

11/7/2018- YA Books Central– Interview

11/8/2018- The Pages In-Between– Review

11/9/2018- Moonlight Rendezvous– Review


Week Three:

11/12/2018- Mundie Moms– Excerpt

11/13/2018- Bri’s Book Nook– Review

11/14/2018- Book-Keeping– Review

11/15/2018- The Book Nut– Review

11/16/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review


Week Four:

11/19/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

11/20/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

11/21/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

11/22/2018- Lisa Loves Literature– Review

11/23/2018- Savings in Seconds– Review


Week Five:

11/26/2018- Girl plus book– Review

11/27/2018- Book Briefs– Review

11/28/2018- The BookWorm Drinketh– Review

11/29/2018- Nay’s Pink Bookshelf– Review

11/30/2018- Christen Krumm, Writer– Review



NTTBF ’18 Recap

Welcome to my North Texas Teen Book Festival 2018 Recap! It was April 21, 2018 in Irving, TX. It is the fourth year for this festival. It was surprising to see so many publisher tables with really good ARC drops and social media interactive ways to get free stuff. I could tell that a lot of extra steps were put in place to ensure everyone’s safety.



The festival was at the Irving Convention Center again. It is a very nice place for an event like this as last year there were between 9,000 and 12,000 attendees. Four floors were utilized but I personally felt some of those vendors on the fourth floor were a bit neglected. That meant there was a LOT of walking and carrying of books up & down escalators.  People seemed a little calmer this year, as if they were confident they had their day planned out and knew where to go. Even more of the convention center was utilized this year but the weather just was not playing nice (think cold and rainy).2950337_orig.png

Book Sales

What booknerd doesn’t love book sales??? Barnes and Noble was in charge of sales again. My plan was to get books first because almost every single book available was presigned. Not too shabby. I spent about 15-20 minutes wandering the tables to make sure I bought the books I wanted. This was the line to check out after only being opened 20 minutes:




It was kind of scary to see how many people were lined up to either look at books (which was not a calm and peaceful process this year) or buy books (which the volunteers were rather rude – I’ll get into that in a bit).


Publisher Additions

There were several Publisher tables again this year, which was awesome to see. They were spread out this year, two or three were on the first floor while the others were on the fourth floor. When I mentioned vendors feeling neglected on the fourth floor, this is what I meant:


Sure, there were panels taking place on the fourth floor but from first blush, you have no idea there are two publisher tables around that corner.  And there were some characters from the Captain Underpants book:


Overall that floor was relatively quiet, if you can believe that.

I will say that there was one publisher table – I will not name names – that was overly rude to anyone over the age of 15. They were snapping, standoffish, and used non-verbal means of communication (facial expressions) to let me know they were not too happy that I was at their table. They loudly pointed out, “WE SENT THAT EMAIL OUT FOR TEENS ONLY” or “WE DO HAVE BAGS, BUT YOU ARE CLEARLY NOT A TEEN SO THIS IS NOT FOR YOU”. I’m not really the right person you want to go up against so it took everything I had to bite my tongue. I did glare at them and said, “There is no need to be so rude about it. Everyone can see and hear you being a jerk. Is this where you want to be when Jesus comes back? Think about it next time.” I do know I was not the only one they did this too because everyone I talked to about this particular table told me they had the same experience. It makes me question doing anything with the publisher, to be honest.2950337_orig.png


This may be the shortest part of my post because changes were made to Publisher Events this year. They clearly stated TEENS ONLY on the events that were, in fact, targeted at/for/to teens. Maybe that was because of the outcry from last year, or perhaps it was a choice made by higher ups. Either way, it made my day a hell of a lot easier because it meant I didn’t have to made a decision on if I wanted to stand in line for XYZ event or not.  I am disappointed but there isn’t anything I can or could do about it.

There was only ONE ARC drop I stood in line for (The new V.E. Schwab MG ARC) and that was on the fourth floor. Since there was hardly anyone up there, I found myself first in line for that precious. Penguin Teen, Epic Reads, and Underlined were on first floor doing ARC drops all day. While I wish I could have gotten my hands on most of the beauties they were passing out, I was not going to risk a repeat of last year. I think Penguin had the right idea – they used Social Media to their advantage. If you did *insert task here* and proved to them you did it, you were given your choice of ARC and a shirt. Talk about AWESOME! Not to mention they had coupons handed out that could be cashed in for another ARC. These guys had their stuff down to a science. Well done, Penguin Teen. 🙂

The one main line I stood in was for a wristband for one of four authors. I arrived at 7am (thinking I would be early) only to find the lines started LONG before I showed up. I was informed that the girl at the head of the Cassandra Clare line arrived at midnight to hold her place in line. Girl. I arrived at 7am and still got a wristband for Cassandra. That seemed a little extreme to me but who am I to judge. I had been told that I could only get ONE wristband so that’s what I did. LITTLE DID I KNOW THAT WAS NOT TRUE. *grumble* *grumble*



This made my time in the chilly April morning worth it:



The other line that is the real focus is the signing lines… but that will come later. I promise, my darlings, I will give you the skinny on those lines.



I try to express how important it is to make friends at these festivals. I made more friends this year and was over the moon excited about that!


Who doesn’t know Xander! For me it isn’t a book event until I get to chat with him for a few moments. 🙂 Plus, it never ceases to amaze me how authors will stop him in the hallway to talk to him.




I still stress the importance of making friends at these events. One can never have enough friends no matter what.



I am still keeping this as a talking point for this event. I will humbly say that I had a better experience this year but I also stayed far away from publisher sponsored events and most ARC drops. It hurt me to stay away from those things because I REALLY wanted to partake but unable to. Either I was not able to attend or I chose to remove myself from the area for fear of a repeat from last year.

I will say the one main interaction I had with a RUDE volunteer was during the wait in the wristband author signing line. There was one volunteer that acted like Thanos wielding power. She yelled at nearly every single person and scolded people if they got out of line to use the restroom. At one point I did have to use the restroom (waiting in a 3+ hour line will do that….) and I approached this volunteer for instructions. She became visibly upset that I would dare offend her by admitting I had to use the necessary during her watch! She proceeded to tell me to go through a certain door. I was then informed by security that she was incorrect. Security and Volunteer proceeded to have a loud discussion about what really should be done. The entire time I still needed to use the necessary. Someone finally stepped in, someone on the planning committee maybe? He was a higher ranking person, that is all I know and he helped me. Bottom line – volunteers did NOT know what was going on (especially in the  signing area). They each had their own story of what would happen and spoke it like gospel without bothering to find out the truth. (Edit: turns out none of the stories they told were actually true. Every single person was incorrect.)

I also had a volunteer straight up bite my head off early in the morning while trying to buy books. I asked a simple question about a book and she said, “*SIGH* I don’t have time to deal with you. I have a lot going on.” Uh.. excuse the piss out of me? Was that necessary? The answer (always) is no. Her job was to help direct people and answer questions. Guess what I was doing: asking a question about buying books – which is exactly what she was there to help with. Sorry I disturbed you, your highness. I will know to avoid your grumpy ass next year.

Morale of the story: don’t be rude to people. They are having a hard enough time as it is. Ask someone, it’s okay if you admit you don’t know.



I didn’t attend any panels. It seems that was a downfall for me as arcs were handed out at a lot of panels. When this girl has to decide if they want panels or a good spot in line for signing, the signing line will win every time.2950337_orig.png

Author Signings

Now we get to the topic that you really want to know about (unless you have really been curious about the entire day). I am guessing that you are probably like me and want to know about the authors and the rush of meeting these awesome people. If you read my post from the last couple of years, you will remember what a nightmare the authors signing was like. I’m happy to report that it was only somewhat better this year. That was due to the simple fact that I gave up my entire afternoon to stand in line. I did have a wrist band for Cassandra Clare so that was my #1 stop of the day. The line for that was still insane.

This was the start of the non-wrist band line. I want to point out that the line curved to the right (in the photo) and went all the way along that back wall, alllllll the way out into the lobby.





I want to point out something new that was done this year: the attendees were allowed to line up early in front of the authors they wanted to meet first. It looked like chaos at first but if you think about it, it was kind of smart. It eased the lines a bit so people were not running/pushing/shoving/screaming/being stupid when the lines officially opened.



I had a game plan this year. I knew who I was going to wait in line for and had a solid plan. This is how I spent my hour and a half signing time:






















First thought: Someone teach me how to pose for a photo/selfie. The struggle is real, y’all. Second: I was able to stop by every author I had hoped for! Sure, there was one that left early and I wasn’t able to get my book signed but that’s the nature of the beast. I am not going to complain.

This is how the lines looked while I waited on authors:








My Book Haul

Would you believe me if I tell you that I carried about 90lbs worth of books this year? Go big or go home. I go to these festivals with a mission.

All of the books I carried with me all day:







The swag I walked away with. Swag was not as plentiful this year but that is ok. I’m not a swag collector kinda gal. I am, however, a shirt and bookmark gal. If you are curious, I could tell you the horror I went through to get those enamel pins, deck of playing cards, and the Top Ten notepad. I did think I would make it out alive.



The books I took from my library to be signed:


Now what I actually had signed (this includes pre-signed books I bought there):



Books bought at the event (only 6! That’s good for me!):



The ARCS I brought home:





EDIT: Overall Thoughts

I have attended this event every year and I pride myself on that. I have watched this festival grow and evolve. Obviously some years are better than others but that can be chalked up to growing pains and learned lessons, right? As always, please remember that my opinions are all my own and they are meant to be read in a heartfelt tone. I do not mean anything harsh or derogatory tone. I am not bashing this event, nor will I. I simply have thoughts and opinions as an attendee that I feel I need to write down.

I don’t believe this year was as crowded as last year. Maybe the threat of horrible rain kept people away? Maybe it was something else. I’m not a mind reader so I do not know. I do know that there was hella security this year. You could not walk five feet without seeing a cop or security guard. I believe they were there for crowd control but most of the time they simply barked orders about always walking, never stopping. That was not enjoyable, of course, but clearly the committee felt it was necessary.

If people know me, they know that I will always bring two massive canvas bags full of books with me to be signed. I am not ever ashamed nor will I apologize. I am not the only one to do so. However, I am an avid YA reader that is always looking to expand my library. That being said, I know the publishers and committee kept a lot of the interactive sessions to teens only. Yes, that does and did hurt because the age demographic for YA readers is technically 18-64. That means I fall into that age range. Yes, more teens need to read and/or get into reading and I completely support that. But it takes me back to the question I asked last year when I was discriminated against because of my age: why do I keep going? Why do I keep my love for this genre, authors, and stories going strong? Small answer is: it makes me happy. Bigger answer: dunno. I often wonder why I keep doing what I’m doing if only to be shunned at festivals FOR YA.

I still urge everyone to try to be considerate and be nice. YES, VOLUNTEERS, I’M STILL TALKING TO YOU. I signed up to be a volunteer this year and sadly it felt unfulfilling. I was not utilized and found myself keeping the wall up at the back of the room. There were four of us volunteering in the same room and it felt like too many. Regardless, none of us yelled at attendees or tried to assert power. That means there are still good people who want to help others – hooray! It seems to be the line volunteers that need to be reminded of basic manners and how social interaction should work.

If you attended, I would love to hear your thoughts on how the day went. Did you go to panels? Did you get all of your books signed at the end of the day? Were you able to attend a TEEN ONLY event? Let me know! I really would love to hear your thoughts.






Review: What The Night Sings

What the Night Sings


As I have mentioned in previous reviews pertaining to and involving the Holocaust and WWII, the stories can often be hit or miss. I do mean that with all due respect as the topic itself is an important one. It is important and necessary for the history and stories to still be told. That being said, I had a hard time connecting with this particular story.

Short recap: This is the story of Gerta and her life during the war. Gerta is a viola player and but prefers to sing. When the war starts, she struggles to understand why she can no longer go to school and must be taught at home. Shortly after, Gerta and her father are sent to a concentration camp and Gerta still struggles to make sense of everything. She loses her father but manages to keep her viola, which happens to be her saving grace.

Gerta’s story was sad and full of heart ache. The girl lost her father and held on to what she knew to comfort her – music. She was forced to survive by any means necessary during one of the darkest times in World History. While those stories are still necessary, I had a hard time connecting to Gerta’s story. Why? I felt it was not a fluid story. It came across choppy, like an inconsistent thought. I wanted to know more about Gerta and her life during/after camp but instead, it was small sections of her life during those times and more on her trying to figure out where her life is going to go after the War ended. She spends a lot of time chasing Micah, a boy she has a crush on. She crushes on him for a while and is constantly pursued by Lev, a fellow Jewish boy who really likes Gerta. It is clear that Lev and Gerta want different things out of life but Gerta quickly changes her mind and does end up marrying Lev.

This was an somewhat interesting read but I felt it was rushed, and again, choppy. I didn’t like the inconstancy of Gerta’s character. I also was not a fan of, what felt like, a strong focus on romance. It felt like Gerta spent a lot of time trying to figure out who she was going to marry. She was constantly told by Lev what her place as a Jewish female was and it felt like she finally caved in and stayed with him. I may be completely mistaken and if I am, please tell me. I will always admit if I’m wrong.

This just did not feel like the story I expected. I’m not sorry I read it but I am still scratching my head at what I read.




ARC Review: Song of Blood and Stone

Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1)


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


The pitch of this book is what sold me. Return of the King meets Romeo and Juliet?! I’m here for this!

I was so excited to read this new fantasy novel. It had everything I wanted. It started out so strong. Granted the first chapters were very, very long, but they were very well written. The introduction of Earthsong magic / elemental magic, strong characters, and the battle to save a race of people – all very well done. But once I got past those, I found that I wanted to know more. I wanted to know about the family the protagonist, Jasminda, lost before the story started. I was only given flashbacks and memories to base an idea from and that was not easy. Apparently Jasminda lost her parents and twin brothers but I knew next to nothing about them unless it was relevant to something specific happening in the story. I felt the same was true with Jack, the love interest. He came into Jasminda’s life and BAM! Instalove. From the beginning these two were instantly attracted to one another and they were head over heels. I always have a hard time with instalove because it is never ever believable. However, I tolerated it and pushed through.

The biggest thing that stood out to me about this is that it was less of a fantasy story and more of a love story. For once the romance took front and center while the threat to a civilization, political aspects, magical elements took a prominent backseat. It appears that nothing else in this story really mattered but the attraction between Jasminda and Jack. This caused me to lose a lot of interest by the end of the story. I wanted it to be over so I wouldn’t have to read about these two smitten kittens any longer. I couldn’t do the cheesy lines and fluttering hearts when the other glanced their way any longer. If it had been a nice side story that was playing quietly in the corner while the bigger part of the story took center stage, that would have been marvelous! I wanted to know more about the magic, the reason for the battles and mysteries!

With that being said, I also have to say the constant romance made it rather difficult for me to figure out what the actual plot was. I mean, I think I have an idea but I am not completely sure. There was nothing to help me figure it out since I was submerged in cheesy lines and swooning moments. An all too perfect kind of romance, mind you.

While this was an alright story when it was said and done, I felt it could have been so much better if some of the writing had been revamped. There was not anything exactly wrong with the writing style, per say, other than it did not feel engaging. There were no scenes that jumped out at me or truly made me gasp. It felt rather subdued and that caused me to grow a little bored.

Now please don’t leave this review thinking I hated the story because I did not. I just think there are very specific things that could have been improved upon to make the story a lot better. The idea and concept are absolutely fantastic, but the execution was lacking. While it did not hit me in the right way, I do believe a lot of readers will really enjoy this. Obviously these are just my humble opinions, I urge you to get the book and read for yourself. I always say not every book is for every reader so give this a try. If you read it differently and love the book, come back and tell me!



Full Fusion Book Tour: Review and Giveaway




About The Book:

fullfusionfinalTitle: FULL FUSION (The Fusion Series Volume 1)

Author: NJ Damschroder

Pub. Date: June 4, 2014

Publisher: Dragonsoul YA

Pages: 322

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

Eighteen-year-old Roxie Sebastian lives a charmed life, and she knows it. Too bad she can’t feel it.

All her life, she’s felt disconnected from the world around her. Everything changes just before graduation, when she’s drawn to an eerie, brilliant light-which narrowly misses her as it blows up her friend Lincoln’s car. Clearly someone’s after Roxie, and finally Lincoln tells her the truth: He and Roxie are angels, beings from another dimension, and that light is her soul, separated from her human body in a traumatic birth.

Once a skeptical Roxie rules out the other possibilities-like Lincoln created this delusion to escape his abusive father-she accepts her gut-deep knowledge of the truth. But someone has been screwing with her light, using it to commit crimes, and their actions are about to cause irreparable damage to two worlds: the one she lives in, and the one she can’t remember.

Aided by her best friend Jordan, her boyfriend Tucker, and Lincoln, Roxie tracks down the criminal and uncovers many more secrets not only of her past, but of the history of their race on Earth. And then Roxie faces a horrible dilemma-the only way she can stop them from ripping apart both worlds is to fuse with her light…which could be tainted by the evil with which it was used.



This book surprised in me one of the best ways. Even though this book came out a few years ago, it still reads as if it is a new publication. I may struggle with my review as I tend to do when I like books.

The main thing I enjoyed about this story were the characters. They all felt developed and wonderfully flawed. I won’t like, I didn’t like Roxie in the beginning as she felt like a spoiled brat but she changed as the story progressed. She had a bit of a reality check that brought her back to reality and she began to humble a lot. That is when I started to really like her. The rest of the characters really helped to round out the story – Jordan, Lincoln, and Tucker. The interaction between all of these friends was a lot of fun to read.

The plot of the story itself was rather fascinating to me. I’ve been trying to read more books like this because I find they are better than I could have imagined. I love stories that deal with good vs evil and this was a good story. This was also a fast paced story that never slowed down. I was totally invested the entire time. I had to know what was going on and where Roxie’s race of people came from.

I am trying SO HARD not to give much away in my review so it’s short this time. Bottom line – give this book a try! Add it to your TBR or borrow from library/buy a copy. This is a good read that will make you want to jump into book 2, so have that ready.



About NJ:

NatalieNatalie J. Damschroder is an award-winning author of contemporary and paranormal romance, with an emphasis on romantic adventure. She has had 24 novels, 7 novellas, and 16 short stories published by several publishers, most recently with Soul Mate Publishing, Entangled Publishing, and Carina Press. She recently debuted her Fusion Series, a young adult paranormal adventure series, with Full Fusion, as NJ Damschroder. Learn more about those books here.

Natalie grew up in Massachusetts, and loves the New England Patriots more than anything. (Except her family. And writing and reading. And popcorn.) When she’s not writing, she does freelance editing and proofreading. She and her husband have two grown daughters, one of whom is also a novelist. (The other one prefers math. Smart kid. Practical.)

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

Giveaway3 winners will receive a Box Set of the FULL FUSION Series, US Only.


Rafflecopter Link:








Tour Schedule:

Week One:

3/19/2018- Caffeine And Composition– Interview

3/19/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review


3/20/2018- Twirling Book Princess– Excerpt

3/20/2018- The Underground– Review


3/21/2018- Elley the Book Otter– Guest Post

3/21/2018- Wonder Struck– Review


3/22/2018- Am Kinda Busy Reading- Review

3/22/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post


3/23/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

3/23/2018- two points of interest– Review


Week Two:

3/26/2018- Always Me– Excerpt

3/26/2018- RhythmicBooktrovert– Review


3/27/2018-Smada’s Book SmackReview

3/27/2018- Wonder Struck– Excerpt


3/28/2018- books are love– Excerpt

3/28/2018- Ginger Mom and the Kindle Quest- Review


3/29/2018- Reading for the Stars and Moon- Review

3/29/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt


3/30/2018- Paulette’s Papers– Excerpt

3/30/2018- Diary of an Avid Reader– Review




ARC Review: Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)


This is one of those books that comes along once in a blue moon. A story so well developed, written, and executed that it makes you want to buy every copy just so you can give them out to everyone you know. This is one of those books that, when you finish, makes you sit back and digest what you just read. Then you play the entire thing over in your head just so you can commit it to long term memory so you can always remember the exact order of events. This is one of those books that makes you wonder where the author has been hiding all of these years and why she hasn’t written anything before.

Forgive the pun but everything about this story was just magical. The tale Adeyemi was able to weave was masterfully done. I could have sworn I was reading a book by a heavily seasoned writer, not her debut. It was a wonderfully complex story about family, history, staying true to oneself, following your destiny, being strong, and so much more. This is going to be another review I struggle to write because this story was just so damn good. The arc was 600 pages and slightly intimidating but once I started I found I couldn’t stop. I had to know what was going to happen.

No doubt you already know the premise of this story – a magical West-African inspired adventure sent in a land called Orisha. A small group of people are born known as Diviners. Everyone knows who they are as they are born with stark-white hair. Back in the day Diviners used to belong to one of twelve tribes of magic, but that all changed the day magic disappeared. The tide starts to turn for the Diviners and they will no longer be treated like lower class people because there is a way for them to get their magic back thanks to the Zelie. She is tasked by the Gods to bring magic back to everyone. Can she do it?

While this was a purely fiction YA fantasy story, it did feel like Adeyemi pulled themes from modern day into her story: racism, prejudice,  injustice, and more. The Diviners were able to live in freedom but were certainly hunted and treated worse than those not born with the mark of the Gods (white hair). Every Diviner that was living had lived through the genocide ordered by the current King, Zel will never forget that as she lost her mother at that time. To read how oppressed the Diviners were and how unfairly they were treated turned my stomach. It also gave me pause to reflect on our current times and how we might think that type of treatment has gone away, it has not.

There are four POVs in this story: Zel, her brother Tzain, Princess Amara, and Amara’s brother, the Crowned Prince Inan. These were wonderfully complex characters that were painfully flawed. They all had their own monstrous demons to battle while trying to figure out how they fit into the world. They developed so well as the story continued and were different people by the time the book ended. I feel honored to have been a part of their journey. I am excited to continue their adventures in book 2 (which I need yesterday).

I really cannot say it enough – there was not a dull moment in this story. It was non-stop adventure. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time simply wanting…. nah, needing to know what happened. I had to know if Zel was able to bring magic back to the Diviners and she recognize her true place in the people. I am always hesitant to read books with this much hype because I often find myself not seeing what everyone else saw. That isn’t true for this one, again, the hype is real and very much deserved. There are so, so many powerful and necessary topics covered in the best way possible. Adeyemi deserves all of the celebration that comes with this story because she earned it. I do not know how I am going to make it until next year to find out what happens but I’ll have to find a way.

If you have read this, let me know your thoughts. Did you enjoy it? Do you recommend it to everyone? I know I certainly do.