Look Out Wednesday: You Were Here


It’s our weekly post that spotlights upcoming books we can’t wait to read.


Today’s book is by an author I adore! I loved her first book Breaking Sky and she was so fun to follow on Pre-Pub Adventure! Let’s take a look at Cori McCarthy’s You Were Here!


Expected publication: March 1st 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

On the anniversary of her dardevil brother’s death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake’s favorite hideout—the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of disfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother’s exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.

As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn’t bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.


Pre-order your copy today!



About the Author:

CM HeadshotCori McCarthy started writing when she was thirteen. Cori is the author of several YA books. Kirkus called her debut novel, THE COLOR OF RAIN, “[an] elegantly written and emotionally cathartic page-turner.” Her second novel, BREAKING SKY, received starred reviews from School Library Journal and the Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books and is currently in development to become a film by Sony Pictures. Kirkus reviewed it as “smart, exciting, confident–and quite possibly the next Big Thing.” Her third YA novel, YOU WERE HERE, is a contemporary story, forthcoming in March 2016.

Cori is a contributing blogger at Through the Tollbooth.

Follow Cori on Twitter, Facebook, and her blog!



Doesn’t this book sound fantastic? All the emotions!


Love Tawney

Twinning Tuesday: Soundless Book Review

I never knew I was looking for a book that stole my attention and took me away on a breathless adventure with great characters. Not until I went on vacation.


This was my view and I felt like we were in Neverland. I’ve never been so relaxed in my life. I had thought that I would get some writing done for NaNo but that didn’t happen. What I did do was read a lot. And out of all the books I finished Soundless in one day and the characters stayed with me for awhile. When you think about a book after you read it, that’s a good book.


Let’s take a look at Soundless!


  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (November 10, 2015)

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiguo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever….

Order you copy!



Tawney’s Review:

The cover is beautifully done. Who couldn’t help but be drawn to it? But the book’s plot had me intrigued when I first discovered it at BEA. Soundless is a fantasy novel based on Chinese mythology with Fei as our main character. Her people live in small mining community on top of a mountain and have been trapped their for a long time. They are deaf and can only communicate with sign language. The miners work tirelessly to mine priceless metals that are sent down to the village below so in return they get food. But some of the miners are becoming blind and when Fei’s younger sister starts loosing her sight, Fei tries to find a way to save her and her village.

soundless 2

Fei is the perfect heroine for this books. She is a fantastic artist who only thinks of her sister since their parents died. One night Fei has a strange dream only to wake up with her hearing restored. The journey she takes is harsh but Fei’s faith never wavers and she continues her journey with the help of Li Wei.

soundless 3

Li Wei is a miner and the love interest of Fei. He is a strong secondary character with skills as a wood working, that comes in handy later. Fei accompanies him to the town below the mountain to understand why the food has stopped and ask for help. It’s a dangerous trek but with her hearing restored she helps them escape falling rocks and soldiers. There’s a tension between the two since Fei became a high artist and miners are looked down upon, even thought they mine the metals needed for food. I loved their interaction together, you could feel the pain they have of loving each other from afar. It’s so swoon worthy!

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The way Richelle describes Fei’s encounters with new sounds is so vivid and well done. I felt like I could hear everything that Fei heard. Richelle did a perfect job at allowing Fei to understand what she is hearing and we get to explore with her what those sounds are.

I loved the fantasy elements that appeared at the end of the book. Richelle did a wonderful job at world building and incorporating Chinese mythology into the story to wrap up everything nicely at the end. She always creates wonderful characters and action adventure. The ending had me at the edge of my seat!

Should you read it? Yes! A wonderfully unique story that brings adventure at the turn of every page. I couldn’t put this book down and carried it everywhere with me



Love Tawney


Look Out Wednesday: Virginia Boecker and Melissa Grey

Happy Wednesday!


It’s our weekly post that spotlights upcoming books we can’t wait to read. Today we’re showcasing two authors that I adore! I’ve followed them since their first books and even met them at BEA this year!

virginia 1

Virginia Boecker and Melissa Grey are so nice in person. Their first books The Witch Hunter and The Girl at Midnight  were fantastic. Today we spot light the anticipated sequels!


  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (July 12, 2016)

Everything in Echo’s life changed in a blinding flash when she learned the startling truth: she is the firebird, the creature of light that is said to bring peace.
The firebird has come into the world, but it has not come alone. Every action has an equal and
opposite reaction, and Ec
ho can feel a great and terrible darkness rising in the distance. Cosmic forces threaten to tear the world apart.
Echo has already lost her home, her family, and her boyfriend. Now, as the firebird, her path is filled with even greater dangers than the ones she’s already overcome.
She knows the Dragon Prince will not fall without a fight.
Echo must decide: can she wield the power of her true nature–or will it prove too strong for her, and burn what’s left of her world to the ground?
Welcome to the shadow hour.

Pre-order your copy today!




  • Series: The Witch Hunter (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (June 14, 2016)

Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He’s readying for a war against those who would resist his rule–namely Elizabeth and the witches, wizards, pirates, and healers she now calls her friends.

Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth’s strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she’ll go to save those she loves.

Pre-order your copy today!





About the authors:

Virginia Boecbdd5f-virginiaker recently spent four years in London obsessing over English medieval history, which formed the basis of The Witch Hunter. She now lives in the Bay Area, California with her husband and spends her days
writing, reading, running, and chasing around her two children and a dog named George.

In addition to English kings, nine-day queens, and Protestant princesses, her other obsessions include The Smiths, art museums, champagne, and Chapstick. She is represented by the incomparable Kathleen Ortiz at New Leaf Literary & Media.

Follow Virginia on Twitter, Facebook, and/or her blog.


melissaMelissa Grey: I’m a writer of young adult fiction powered entirely by candlelight and cups of tea, represented by the fabulous Catherine Drayton of InkWell Management.

My debut novel, THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT, will be published by Delacorte Press in Spring 2015.

I can also ride a horse and shoot a bow and arrow at the same time, for what it’s worth, which is not much at all.

If you’re into zany nonsense, you can find me on TwitterGoodreadsPinterest, and Instagram



If you haven’t read the first books I highly recommend you do. Be prepared to be taken into worlds full of vivid description, kick-ass characters and adventure with every turn of the page. I’m so excited to see what Virginia and Melissa have done with their characters in the second books!


Love Tawney

The Power of Stephen King

I’ve been writing for a while now. It’s always been a thing for me since 6th grade. But I’ve always been a reader too. I had a difficult time reading in first grade so my Mom signed my sister and I up for a tutor. I hated it. Always going to read after school and on weekends. It took so much of my time up!

no more

Then one day my brain opened up and I found I was taken to another world on each visit. I could escape reality in these books. So I dug my heels in and let myself be devoured by each page. It was exhilarating. Characters jumped from the pages and became a part of my life. I looked forward to each visit and with dedication I was reading above my grade level. I wanted to read more!


I started with Goosebumps and the world of horror became my obsession. I was flowing through each book and soon I was diving into the world of adult fiction. Mom knew I loved horror so she brought me to the bookstore to show her favorite horror authors, Dean Koontz and Stephen King.  I picked up a few books by each author, but one book caught my attention the most. It had a picture of a clown on it.


Mom was concern because it was such a thick book. She thought I might struggle. But I wanted to read it because it had kids as the protagonists. Though I did have some struggle reading it because it was more advanced than I thought, I was just 9 years old, by the time I was done I had a great fascination with King’s books. He brought the monstrous tale of an insidious clown to life with a great cast of characters. His vivid descriptions kept me turning each page. So I picked up his other books like Pet Cemetery and The Stand. Then I found his short stories…which have some of the best characters! A Good Marriage, Autopsy Room 4, Mile 81, Children of the Corn, The Mist, The Body, The Shawshank Redemption, and more where some of the best stories I’ve read. A great need to write started prickling in the back of my brain. So I started to write, not horror mind you, but with my kid brain I wrote about my other obsession…dragons!


It wasn’t easy. I never finished a story or novel but I kept writing for fun. Years later I began to take it seriously and started signing up for classes. Then one day I was told by a professor to get Stephen King’s On Writing. Wait what? My favorite author wrote a book for writers?!

writing 2         exciemtne

So I picked it up and read it. The books spoke of King’s life as a writer and honed in on the writer’s craft. It was something I desperately needed but wasn’t aware of it until now. I found this book inspiring and ignite my passion for writing with such enthusiasm that I wrote my first novel, from start to finish, in two months. It was a disaster but I had finally finished a book! I attended writing conferences and author signings. There are wonderful points you can learn at these events to enhance your writing, understanding the writing world, and what other authors go through. I highly recommend if you are a new writer or have been writing for a while to attended conferences, classes and signings. You learn so much.

So as I sit here writing my fifth novel-I have yet to find one I feel is “the one” to query and edit, but that is for another post- I have the dreaded writer’s block. So I picked up King’s On Writing and glanced through my highlights. I then picked up his newest short stories release The Bazaar of Bad Dreams and read a couple of stories. My brain relaxed and I fell under King’s spell once again. The itch to write returned. Everyone has a way to deal with writer’s block, mine goes to King and his ingenious words. He somehow pulls me out of the darkness of my mind and I have my ah ha moment.


I highly recommend you read King’s book On Writing. It will give you a wonderful insight in the writing world with fantastic pointers to the process of writing. Here is another book I find helpful while writing called The Emotional Thesaurus. It helps with different types of emotions for characters and the many words and actions that go with that meaning.

Good luck on your writing!

Love Tawney Twin


Wow, how time flies!


It’s been a little over a month since Blonde Eskimo has been released and out in the book world. I can’t lie, it’s been quit the journey- one full of happiness and tears. So, I want to celebrate and show my appreciation to all the readers out there with another giveaway!!!


Enter the Blonde Eskimo Winter Wonderland Giveaway! Win a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card for all your holiday wishes, a $25 Starbucks gift card, a signed book, totems, and a custom tattoo! The giveaway ends Sunday!

Good luck!


Enter Here!

Look Out Wednesday: Outrun the Moon


It’s our weekly post that spotlights upcoming books we can’t wait to read. Today’s book is by an author who made me love westerns again. Stacy Lee wove a wonderful story of two girls in the wild west and the friendship that kept them alive in Under a Painted Sky. Check my review of the book here.

Let’s take a look at Stacy’s new book, Outrun the Moon!


Expected publication: May 24th 2016 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers.

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.

On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the ‘bossy’ cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?

Add to Goodreads!

About Author:

My name is Stacey Heather Lee and I write young adult books. I’ve dreamed of writing books for a living since I was nine, when I penned my first children’s novel. For four years, I labored to type it on the family Smith Corona (that’s a typewriter, kids). Each time I made a typo, I would retype the whole page. By the time I finished, my fingers flew at 120 wpm. The book became a bestseller amongst my stuffed animals, and baby, I was on my way!

But before I could write for the un-stuffed crowd, I had to make several stops in the real world. Hi Mom and Dad! I studied, got degrees, and earned paychecks. In my spare time, I continued writing. Several years later, I got a wonderful agent, and now I write even when I’m sleeping. I hope you will enjoy browsing my website. All are welcome, stuffing and all.

I am a fourth generation Chinese-American.  A native of southern California, I graduated from UCLA then got my law degree at UC Davis King Hall.  After practicing law in Silicon Valley for several years, I finally took up the pen because I wanted the perks of being able to nap during the day, and it was easier than moving to Spain.  I play classical piano, raise my two children together with my supportive husband, and write YA fiction.

Follow Stacy on Twitter, Facebook and/or her blog!




This book sounds fantastic! I can’t wait to read it and dive into the wonderful world that Stacy creates with vivid description and fantastic characters.

Love Tawney

Funday Friday: Halloween

Today is a spooky day!

It’s almost Halloween and today we’re twinning terrifying movies and frightening fiction!

ghost 2



My favorite horror movies are two I watch every year. It’s like a tradition that every week of Halloween I need to watch them. The first is the 1978 classic movie Halloween. What makes this movie so terrifying for me is the mask! It’s so creepy yet plain. And he never seems to die!


The second horror movie I love is American Werewolf in London. By far the best werewolf transformation in any movie. You never really get to see the beast until the end. With dead zombie friends haunting the main character and a transformation that leaves you breathless, this movie is horrifically awesome!



As a kid I loved reading R.L. Stine books from Goosebumps to Fear Street. He is the master of horror for children and teens! Goosebumps had scary tales of childhood toys coming to life or monsters that haunt our nightmares. There is one Goosebumps book I remember. Night of the Living Dummy was a wooden face of fear! Slappy the Dummy was the puppet that pulled the strings!  I loved the murder and mayhem of Fear Street as a teen. The Halloween book special was about murder at a Halloween party. This got me into murder mysteries!

goosebump 2   fear


For adult books Stephen King’s It. That clown haunted my nightmares. Stephen King has a way with vivid description that leaves the imagination open to nightmares. It was a thick book but I turned each page because I loved the friendship between the characters as they try and defeat the clown Penny Wise.



My favorite horror movie of all time is Wes Craven’s 1984 version of Nightmare on Elm Street. What’s so great about this movie? Well.Two words. Johnny Depp. That and the fact that when I first saw this movie, I couldn’t sleep for weeks as I was convinced Freddy Krueger would suck me into my bed. I think this is still one of the best horror films of all time and perfect if you want some scary fun this Halloween.


For books, for me anyway, there’s still no beating R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps: Welcome to Dead House. It’s just so much fun for readers of any age. I loved rooting for Josh and Amanda Benson as they try to keep the zombies out of their house in Dark Falls. Their discovery, that sunlight will defeat the zombies, has become its own trope. Play the IOS game Plants Vs. Zombies to see this in action!


Speaking of Zombies, in adult fiction, I love Colson Whitehead’s Zone One. Whitehead is such an exceptional writer that he transforms the zombie novel, historically regarded as somewhat lowbrow, into incredible literary fiction. Get ready to be shocked and scared by the final few chapters of this book!




What about you? Tell us what gives you nightmares on Halloween!