Book Blitz & Giveaway: Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats by Carla Rehse

Title: Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats
Author: Carla Rehse
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Gracie Mason is homecoming queen, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and a member of the student council. She’s also a budding burglar. While attempting her inaugural break-in, Gracie blacks out and wakes up far away from the scene. It turns out she accidentally intruded on a male witch’s “circle of power,” and now she’s bonded to him for life. To break the bond, Gracie must delve deeper into a society of witches that involves a secret club, a shadowy council, and all sorts of magical mischief.

Gracie quickly learns that dissolving the bond with Asher, admittedly a very handsome and charming witch, is more complicated than she initially thought. And right when it seems things can’t get any worse, witches start turning up dead. It’s clear that Gracie is out of her depth as her quest to sever the bond magically turns into a murder investigation.

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EXCERPT:

New Hobbies

Daddy told me years ago that to succeed in life I need a strong plan, the right tools, and the gumption to follow through. His words of wisdom helped me get elected homecoming queen, become co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and voted on the student council. Now I plan to use them to help me pull off my first burglary.

My plan is solid. I’ve also never backed down from a challenge, not even last year when Brittany Thomas became overly friendly with the entire football team in a sad attempt to deprive me of my crown. People say I started the rumor about the rash of STD cases spreading through the boys’ locker room faster than a brush fire. I didn’t, of course. Why start gossip when the squad of doctors from the local Health Department did it for me?

I take a deep breath as I enter the Trinity Building. At almost four o’clock on a Friday before a three-day weekend, the place is deader than a PTA meeting. It helps that today is the hottest July first on record for Central Texas and the air conditioning in this building is dismally subpar. The Trinity Corporation may claim to have the most upscale rental space in town, but one look at the gold leopard granite floor paired with peach-painted walls shows that’s a downright fib.

The only guard on duty leans back in his chair and sucks down a Sonic Route 44 Coke like his life depends on it. I wave as I pass the security desk, wearing a megawatt smile and fully confident in the strength of my lavender-scented Lavanila deodorant—vegan, of course. Deputy Dawg gives me his usual perv stare before returning to the comic book balanced on his knee.

Centex Therapy, LPC occupies most of the first floor office space. A small bell tinkles when I open the frosted glass door. What decorum the overall building lacks, the waiting room has in spades. Brown leather chairs sit on a bamboo rug and pastel paintings from local artists brighten the walls. A tall grandfather clock in the corner softly chimes four times. This late on a Friday means the room is empty of other patients. Perfect.

Jane, the receptionist, fans herself with a copy of Country Living. “Cutting it awfully close, Gracie. Go on in.”

Dr. McDozzle gives me a pained smile as I enter the room.

“Good afternoon, Miss Mason. Have a seat.” For a head shrinker, he’s incredibly formal. And a non-Texan, who hates football and sweet tea. I haven’t learned much more about him in the last month, but that’s enough to get him tarred and feathered if word got out.

The leather recliner squeaks when I sit down. “Thanks for seeing me on a Friday, Doc.” I twirl a strand of newly highlighted platinum hair around my finger. It goes wonderful with my bubblegum pink manicure. “Mr. Anderson, Daddy’s new lawyer, is now insisting I have two sessions a month with you. Of course, Mama’s lawyer says once a month is just fine, seeing how I’m such a well-adjusted high school senior and all. Almost a senior, I guess, since school’s not started.”

Dr. McDozzle straightens his glasses. “Yes, well, your parents do seem to have quite the barrage of attorneys involved in their divorce. Have you worked on the homework I gave you during our last session?”

This is such a waste of time. My parents have spent the last five years embroiled in a divorce dirtier than a greased pig-wrestling contest. Both sides of the family have more money than sense, much to the delight of every lawyer in the tri-county area. Not that I want my parents to get back together. Anytime they’re within spitting distance of each other, the tension between them gives me a migraine. Besides, if they hadn’t split up, I never would’ve met Ben.

Ben’s the son of Daddy’s ex-girlfriend. Until four months ago, they all lived together in Daddy’s condo. Ben is a sophomore at the local college and is truly hot, in a geeky, stud muffin, save-the-world, kinda way. Crushing on my almost stepbrother might seem a bit sketchy, but it’s legal—I Googled it twice.

Which means it’s time to start step one in my Get Ben Plan.

I toss my hair over my shoulder before pulling out a pink glitter notebook from my Eiffel Tower-shaped mini-purse.

“You wanted me to write down my feelings about my parents’ shared custody thing. Honestly, I don’t understand why the lawyers are so panty twisted about me spending a week with Mama and the next with Daddy. It means I get double the wardrobe. Hello? What girl would say no to that? It’s way better than Heather’s situation. I told you about her last time, I think. The girl with the hideous frizzed-out curls but drives a cute BMW Z4 roadster? Anyway, her parents are insane.” I continue a steady stream of babble until Dr. McDozzle’s eyes glaze over.

There’s no clocks in the room, but Dr. McDozzle keeps checking his watch. I’m sure the poor man created a nice therapy plan for me, but I’ve completely derailed it. Mama always says a girl has many tools to choose from in her arsenal—perfectly curled hair, well-placed boobs, and endless chatter are my faves. Besides, Daddy’s been paying therapists a fortune for years to show the divorce court how concerned he is about me. Dr. McDozzle’s earning his car payment today.

Author Bio:

Although not a native Texan, Carla prides herself on having mastered the correct usage of “y’all” and “bless your heart.”

Carla is owned by a persnickety kitty, who rules the computer keyboard and only allows Carla to write when demands for cat treats are met.

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If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

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Title:
Blackhearts 
Author:
Nicole Castroman

Publication date: February 9, 2016
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Romance

About the Book:

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay. 

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


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I went into Blackhearts without reading the synopsis. All I knew was that this book was “pirate” themed and I was looking for some ARRRMAZING scenes (hahaha…see what I did there?). To my surprise, after finishing the book, discussing it with the book club I’m in, and then reading the author’s note, I discovered that Blackhearts is a retelling of Blackbeard–a notorious pirate who I had briefly studied in school. Also, to a greater surprise, I did not think this book was very “pirate-y” but that did not stop me from loving it. 

First off, I was a major fan of the slow burn romance that brews in Blackhearts. Not only was a huge fan of the romantic intentions that develop between the main characters, but I love that this relationship is based on the love for books and storytelling, hopes for adventure, and a passion to fall in love with someone based on strength, courage, heart, trust, and ferocity. I won’t give too much away on the relationship that I adored in this book, but I’m telling you, you will LOVE it and you will want to pick up the next book immediately. I need smoochies and I need a happily ever after ending…NOW! They deserve it!

Blackhearts is a fun and unique book. From the first page I was hooked, and the last chapter left me yearning for more of Anne and Teach’s story. The book is told in dual points-of-view, which allows the story to unfold in different perspectives that focus not only on a developing relationship, but also a story focused on challenging social status, race, and gender differences. I loved the diversity littered throughout the pages, and the multiple perspectives add a layer of heartwarming scenes, captivating dialogue, and great desire of wanderlust. Of course the ending comes too soon, but luckily, I immediately bought the sequel Blacksouls and I cannot wait to read it this weekend. 

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

The Best Kind of Magic
by Crystal Cestari
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy

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Synopsis:
 
Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber’s pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone’s soul mate.

Amber works ather mother’s magic shop–Windy City Magic–in downtown Chicago, and she’s confident she’s seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one–her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor’s son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father’s missing girlfriend, she’s distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can’t see her own match, she can see his–and it’s not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn’t her match?


The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.
 

RANTS AND RAVES MAGIC

I am obsessed with anything related to witches, and The Best Kind of Magic is one of my best “witchy” books I have read in a long time. As a first-person narrative story, told through the eyes of Amber Sand, I was fully wrapped in the thoughts of a teenage protagonist entwined with the realities of high school and the consequences of magic. Even though, at first, I thought Amber was going to come off too angst-y for my liking, I really liked that she matured as the book progressed.

Although Amber does not have the powers of a typical witch, she does have the gift of “matchmaking,” in which she is able confirm with couples if they are perfect for each other.  In The Best Kind of Magic, matchmaking is on the lowest step of the magical realm ladder, but Amber still takes pride in her magical ability. I liked Amber as a storyteller and being in her head throughout the story. She is funny, smart, rational, and has a cautious nature in her reactions to most situations. Amber often questions why people get mad when she tells them that they are not with their soulmate, but as the story unfolds, she starts to empathize with these people and understand heartache more.

I was also a big fan of Amber’s friends, Amani and Charlie. Amani is a great best friend, and as the series continues, I look forward to reading more about her pre-cog gift and how her life unfolds, especially in the romance realm…EEEK. I also liked Charlie because he is classy and mature, and I think he has a good head on his shoulders. I really liked that he doesn’t runaway from his problems or conflicts–instead he faces them with open communication and an open mind.

The Best Kind of Magic
leaves room for all the characters to grow and understand life’s ability to throw you into loops. This story is quick-paced, lighthearted, and often times hilarious, but the book also focuses on serious matters. I enjoyed that the novel does not set up a heroine on her way to a happily ever after ending. Instead, reality is complicated and through Amber’s eyes we see her ponder real life complexities and worries. Amber faces difficulties in a story that questions fate and predestination. Do the “powers-that-be” control our lives or do we in fact have choice to control our own lives? Are there truly soulmates or do we control our own destiny with love? As these themes and questions are explored, the story unfolds in some unexpected turns.

Overall, The Best Kind of Magic is a great introduction into a series that I know I will continue to read. The book has a lot of sassy and sarcastic banter, which I love in young adult novels. There is also mystery, great friendship dynamics, and a slow burn of swoons *sigh*.  I cannot wait for book two to come out; I’m not a big fan of book twists but I’m excited to see how the series continues. 

4 star rating

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

FAVORITE QUOTES

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With rainbows in my hair and stories in my head, I am a writer drawn to magic in the everyday world.

My debut novel, The Best Kind of Magic, arrives May 16, 2017 from Hyperion. Follow Amber Sand, a magical matchmaker who can actually see true love, as she takes off on a fun and romantic adventure toward happily ever after.

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Excerpt Reveal: ROAR by Cora Carmack

From New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack comes her debut young adult fantasy, ROAR! Releasing June 13, 2017, ROAR takes readers on an adventure filled with charismatic characters in an enthralling world sure to keep them turning the pages. Don’t miss the amazing excerpt below!

About ROAR (Stormheart Series #1):

New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack’s young adult debut: Roar.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

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EXCERPT:

There was a hole in her chest, an awful, gaping hole that screamed like she wanted to. Like a cyclone, it seemed to suck up everything in its path until her knees were curled into her chest and her body hunched, and she just kept collapsing in and in and in. Suddenly unable to breathe, she clawed at the beaded fastenings that connected her headdress and necklace. One of her fingernails bent and splintered as she scrabbled for the hooks; when she could not find them, she took hold of the beaded cord and pulled until it broke, beads scattering across the stone floor around her.

The headdress tipped sideways, tugging painfully on her hair. Again and again, she pulled at the ties until her palms felt raw and beads littered the floor around her. The headdress began to sag, and she was nearly done, nearly free when someone stepped through the archway, and she froze.

Novaya.

Thank the skies. The dark-haired servant held an urn full of steaming water in her hands, and she stared in horror as if she had stumbled upon a monster rather than a crying girl. Nova had been Rora’s closest friend before she cut herself off from everyone at her mother’s command. Girls with secrets the size of Rora’s could not have friends. Nova took a step forward, paused, then knelt down, her large brown eyes carefully blank.

“Should I call for your guards? The queen?” Nova asked.

“No!” Softer, Aurora said, “No. Please don’t tell anyone.”

Once upon a time, Nova had kept all her secrets. Now the two rarely even looked at each other in the eye when their paths crossed, and it was all Aurora’s fault.

“Your Highness? What happened?”

Rora shook her head and returned to tugging at the headdress still tangled in her hair. She couldn’t say the words aloud, couldn’t let anyone see how much of a fool she was. Aurora had become accustomed to her shortcomings as a Stormling, as an heir. But she’d thought she had her mother’s strength, tenacity, and intelligence. But maybe that was wishful thinking. Maybe she was altogether…inadequate.

“Stop, Princess. You’re hurting yourself.” Nova put the water aside, crawled forward, and grabbed Rora’s wrists. “Aurora, stop.”

All the years spent missing their friendship came rushing back, and she froze at the sound of her name. Not Princess. Not Your Highness. Aurora. But the moment she stopped moving, it all came crashing down on her. Her naïve plan to kiss him, to experience something real. She should have known that her future would hold only more lies. As if she knew anything about real life, real anything. She lived in this palace, protected and pampered and put away like a doll on a shelf, too fragile for anything but appearances. And it seemed that’s all she would ever be.

Cassius wanted control of the city for himself. He thought he’d have to fool her to do it, but the moment the world found out that Rora had no magic, he’d become the ruler in truth, and she’d be the puppet at his side. He wouldn’t have to feign interest in her then. He wouldn’t need her at all.

She wound her arms about her legs and rested her forehead on her knees. Nova moved closer, and Rora sat still and silent as the girl worked to remove the headdress. Her old friend had grown into a beautiful young woman—flawless bronze skin, shiny black hair, stunning features. She’d recently begun assisting the royal seamstress in addition to her position as a maid. She probably had more friends than she could count. Aurora could not help imagining how different her life would be now fi she had never become heir.

The headdress finally gave way, and Nova slipped it off and laid it on the stone floor beside them.

“Tell me what happened.”

Rora leaned back against the wall. It was cool against her abused scalp, and she muttered, “Nothing happened.”

At least she had that much. She hadn’t kissed that beast. But what she had done felt worse. She had hoped. And hope broke more hearts than any man ever could.

“Should I get someone? A friend?”

Rora let out a bleak, cold laugh. As if she had any of those. Softer, she said, “I don’t want to see anyone. I just need this dress off. The makeup too. I need to breathe, and I can’t do it through all this mess.”

“I can do that. I came to help remove the headdress and gown. Stand up and we’ll go to your room. Everything will be fine, Your Highness.”

She didn’t tell her old friend how wrong she was, not as she peeled the dress off her and unlaced the corset. Not as she wiped away the powder that was smudged and striped on Rora’s face, thanks to falling tears. Another maid came in with more steaming water for a bath and Rora let them clean her up, wishing it was as easy to wipe away the last few hours.

She sat in the bath until the water grew cold and her skin shriveled like dying fruit. She had to face the facts. The Rage season was coming, as was this sham of a wedding. And she didn’t know how to fight it any more than she knew how to stop a storm.

But she would not give Cassius any more opportunities to see her vulnerable. Nor was she giving up. If there were no other way, she would marry Cassius.

But she had six days. Wars had been won, empires toppled, and cities leveled in less time. If there was a way out of this, Rora would find it.

About Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Since she was a teenager, her favorite genre to read has been fantasy, and now she’s thrilled to bring her usual compelling characters and swoon-worthy romance into worlds of magic and intrigue with her debut YA fantasy, Roar. Her previous adult romance titles include the Losing It, Rusk University, and Muse series. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website www.coracarmack.com.

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Book Review: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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Title:
The Diabolic
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Publication date: November 1, 2016
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

ABOUT THE BOOK:

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. Nothing else.

For Nemesis, that person is Sidonia, heir to the galactic Senate. The two grew up side by side, and there’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the Imperial Court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia.

She must become her.

Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced Senators’ children, and Nemesis must find within herself the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have—humanity. With the Empire beginning to fracture and rebellion looming, that could be the one thing that saves her and the Empire itself.

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N |  The Book Depository


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As an avid reader of science fiction books, I could not wait to dive into The Diabolic. However, this book did not live up to the high expectations I had for it. Overall, the book started off very slow for me but I did like the ending (no spoilers though). It took me a good 100 pages to finally enjoy the plot, and even after those pages I still felt like I was walking on eggshells every time I turned the page. Due to all the violence and what I believe to be several “unnecessary” deaths (GRRR!!!), some parts of the story made me irritated, cringe, or want to throw the book across the room.

Also, I was not a big fan of the main character, Nemesis. I cannot put my finger on it, but she just rubbed me the wrong way. For a character that was supposed to hold very “little” emotion, she was an emotional wreck and all over the place. Whenever I started to like her character, she would go and do something that made my “eyes roll.” Ugh, get it together Nemesis.

But in the end, I did not walk away from The Diabolic with regret. I mean there has to be a reason why I gave the book a 3-star rating, right? Well, you guys, I was utterly in love with the character Tyrus–a very smart and calculating person with the most swoony lines and scenes. Tyrus carried me through this book and I’m most grateful for his rebellious actions. If the book was solely told through Tyrus’ voice, I would probably have given the book 5 stars, and none for you Glen Coco…I mean Nemesis. 

Even though The Diabolic was slowly drawn out in the beginning, overall I liked where the book went in the end, and I would LOVE to read more of Tyrus in future books. 

3 star rating

My Rating: 3 out 5 Star

NOTE:  I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in an exchange for a review. I received this book as a gift from a friend and reviewed it at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine.

#ReadADessen & Giveaway: Someone Like You–Character-Inspired Popsicle Pairings

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Hey guys, I’ve joined with Penguin for the #ReadADessen campaign, which leads up to the release of Sarah Dessen’s new book ONCE AND FOR ALL (release date: June 6, 2017). This week, I’m aiming the spotlight on Dessen’s amazing story about love and friendship: Someone Like You.

Someone Like You was my first Sarah Dessen book I had read. I remember being on summer break from high school, soaking up the sun, eating a cherry-flavored Popsicle, and not putting the book down. Dessen adds a lot of character development in each of her books, and what I love most about her writing is the friendships that she creates and allows to grow throughout the pages. This book has and will always feel like summer and freedom to me.

When I first read Someone Like You, I instantly became attached to these characters and easily melted into each of their stories and personalities. And during my most recent reread of it, I was inspired to create a tasty post. So instead of doing a typical “Rants and Raves” review of Someone Like You, I thought I would creatively pair the characters to Popsicle flavors based on their personalities. Enjoy!

About the Book popsicle

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Title:
Someone Like You
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication date: (Reprint) June 1, 2012
Publisher:  Penguin
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

The world is a terrible place not to have a best friend.

Scarlett was always the strong one.

Halley was always content to follow in her wake.

Then Scarlett’s boyfriend died, and Scarlett learned that she was pregnant.

Now Halley has to find the strength to take the lead and help Scarlett get through it.

Because true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

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Halley Popsicle

At sixteen years old, Halley is still establishing who she is. Like an Orangesicle, Halley has two main layers. She is quiet and introverted, but she’s also a teenager that gives herself the opportunity to challenge herself and her beliefs. Halley is a trusting and dedicated friend, and deep down she always tries to do what is right.

Scarlett popsicle

Scarlett is Halley’s best friend. Just like watermelon she is sweet on the inside, but tough on the outside. Even with a broken heart and the challenges life throws at her, Scarlett remains determined and confident in herself and her decisions.

Macon Popsicle

Macon is like summer: he’s hot and he’s fun to be around. In his typical bad-boy fashion, Macon is wild and rebellious, but he also has a sweet and mysterious side. But even with his “Firecracker” and carefree attitude, Macon falls short of being responsible and notices that his choices have consequences. 

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Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).  NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

About the Book Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen picture
Sarah Dessen is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels for teens, which have received numerous awards and rave reviews. Her books have been published in over thirty countries and have sold millions of copies worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2017 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to young adult literature for her novels: Keeping the Moon, Dreamland, This Lullaby, The Truth about Forever, Just Listen, Along for the Ride, and What Happened to Goodbye. Her newest novel, Once and for All, will be released in June 2017. An NC native, she currently lives in Chapel Hill with her family.

About once and for all

once and for all


Title:
Once and For All
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publication date: June 7, 2017
Publisher: 
Viking Books for Young Readers (Penguin)
Genres:
Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

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Note: A big thank you to Penguin for a finished copy of Someone Like You, and for allowing me to be a part of the #ReadADessen campaign. All statements and opinions are my own. 

Book Blitz: Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Title: Dating the It Guy
Author: Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publication date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren, seems determined to get back into his life, along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

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EXCERPT:

“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”

“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.

Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”

“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.

“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”

I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?

“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.

 

Author Bio:

Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, Krysten is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

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