The Smaller Evil Review

I had just finished the series The Path on Hulu when I picked up this book.


I have always been fascinated with cults. From Charles Manson to the Branch Davidians cult, what drives their purpose? Are they truly insane or do they really believe in what they do.


I love when books dive into the dark corners of the mind and some sinister things wait there. Let’s take a look at this psychological thriller The Smaller Evil.

  • Hardcover:¬†256 pages
  • Publisher:¬†Dutton Books for Young Readers (August 2, 2016)

17-year-old Arman Dukoff can’t remember life without anxiety and chronic illness wpathhen he arrives at an expensive self-help retreat in the remote hills of Big Sur. He‚Äôs taken a huge risk‚ÄĒ
and two-thousand dollars from his meth-head stepfather‚ÄĒfor a chance to “evolve,” as Beau, the retreat leader, says.

Beau is complicated. A father figure? A cult leader? A con man? Arman’s not sure, but more than anyone he’s ever met, Beau makes Arman feel something other than what he usually feels‚ÄĒworthless.

The retreat compound is secluded in coastal California mountains among towering redwoods, and when the iron gates close behind him, Arman believes for a moment that he can get better. But the program is a blur of jargon, bizarre rituals, and incomprehensible encounters with a beautiful girl. Arman is certain he’s failing everything. But Beau disagrees; he thinks Arman has a bright future‚ÄĒthough he never says at what.

And then, in an instant Arman can’t believe or totally recall, Beau is gone. Suicide? Or murder? Arman was the only witness and now the compound is getting tense. And maybe dangerous.

As the mysteries and paradoxes multiply and the hints become accusations, Arman must rely on the person he’s always trusted the least: himself.

Buy Links:
 Amazon * B&N * Book Depository * Indie Bound

Tawney’s Review: ¬†¬†This was a mind boggling book that left¬†me confused and maybe that’s why I liked it. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. I knew it was a psychological¬†book, which are the books I LOVE.


Amran, our main character, heads to a week long retreat to overcome certain problems or as the retreat emphasizes to evolve.  He was a paranoid high anxiety teen that comes from a troubled home, which makes him a perfect candidate for this retreat. The problem with Arman was that he saw himself as a useless person and that was his weakness. He gets taken advantage of and influenced heavily, especially by the leader Beau.


When Beau disappeared everyone tells Amran¬†different things of what could have happened. As Arman tries to decipher what’s true and not, we were¬†right there with him¬†on a thrilling ride while he tried to uncover the truth.


This book was very unique and bizarre. The cult like retreat was interesting and Kuehn weaved the mystery together with powerful description and words. I was engaged throughout¬†the entire book though sometimes a bit confused, especially at the end. And I think that was what frustrated some readers but I loved it. I am partial to books when authors leave¬†the ending hanging for the readers to decipher¬†on their own. It also doesn’t have the feel of a¬†YA book. It was so much more psychological, digging deep into the mind with dark twists, that some teens may not take to it.


Should you read it? Yes! This book was mind bending and engaging. If you like Inception and Gone Girl this book is for you.


Thank you Penguin Young Readers for this book in exchange for an honest review!

About the Author:

IMG_1740highresBWStephanie Kuehn holds degrees in linguistics and sport psychology, as well as a doctorate in clinical psychology. Her debut young adult novel, CHARM & STRANGE, was the winner of the 2014 William C. Morris Award, and her second novel for teens, COMPLICIT, was named to YALSA’s 2015 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. Stephanie was also awarded the 2015 PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship for her forthcoming novel, THE SMALLER EVIL and her most recent book, DELICATE MONSTERS, won the 2016 Northern California Book Award.Stephanie lives in Northern California with her husband, their three children, and a joyful abundance of pets.

Follow her on  *  * 

How to Hang a Witch Blog Tour

We are so excited to be a part of How to Hang a Witch Blog Tour! Sometimes a good witch story is needed.


I have always been fasinated with the Salem Witch Trials with¬†reading the Crucible in high school and learning the¬†history and this book dove right into that history. Let’s take a look at How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather.

Title: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana MatherMath_9780553539479_jkt_all_r1.indd
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Source: Publisher
Publisher: Knopf/Random House
Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse¬†affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with the Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.

Tawney’s Review:¬†This was a refreshing entertaining book that I read in one sweep. I loved how Mather’s brought in bullying and history through the Salem Witch Trials and a 300 year old curse.
Our main heroine¬†Samantha moves from New York to Salem when her Dad slips into a mysterious coma. Once in Salem Sam finds she’s unwelcome and that her family is blamed for the witch trials. One group in particular isn’t¬†happy to see her. Dressed in all black, they are¬†the Descendants.
This story was intriguing¬†with mysteries and great characters. It was slow at the beginning but once you get past the setup you’re hooked.¬†Sam was¬†a strong character that spoke¬†the truth on her mind. Jaxon was a great sidekick but my favorite character was Elijah, the uptight ghost who made you laugh. I enjoyed the history woven in this book and the twist and turns Mather’s gives.
Should you read this? Yes! A great historical read with great imagination woven into each word.


Actor, producer, cat whisperer, and pizza enthusiast. Author of HOW TO HANG A WITCH (Knopf/Random House)

Find Adriana Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagra

melissa 2

United Launch Day Blitz and Giveaway!

We are so excited to be part of Melissa Landers release day for her third book to the Alienated series.


Now a special word from author Melissa Landers!

Hey there, booklovers!

I‚Äôm author Melissa Landers, and I‚Äôm thrilled to announce the release of UNITED, the final book in the Alienated trilogy. Our star-crossed lovers Aelyx and Cara have overcome some heavy obstacles to be together‚ÄĒriotous mobs, alien hybrids, and worst of all, high school on two planets. Now to stay together they‚Äôll have to unite their people against a common enemy, a threat more deadly than they ever imagined. (NBD, right?) I‚Äôve written an ending to this trilogy that makes my heart happy, and I hope you‚Äôll love the conclusion as much as I do!

melissa 3

After thwarting a deadly coup and saving the alliance between their worlds, Cara and Aelyx have finally earned a break. Their tiny island colony is everything they dreamed it would be‚Äēdays spent gathering shells on the beach and nights in each other‚Äôs arms.

But the vacation is short-lived.

The treaty between Earth and L’eihr has awakened an ancient force that threatens to destroy them all. The Aribol, mysterious guardians charged with maintaining interstellar peace, deem the alliance a threat to the galaxy. They order a separation of the races, decreeing humans and L’eihrs must return to their own planets within the month or face extinction. In fact, they already have agents in place on Earth, ready to begin.

With the clock ticking, Aelyx and Cara assemble a team of colonists and race back to Earth, where they unite with old friends to solve the mystery of who the Aribol are, what they want, and the real reason the alliance has provoked them. As tensions build to a full-scale war, Aelyx and Cara must fight harder than ever‚Äēnot just for their future, but for the survival of both their worlds.

Buy Links:
 Amazon * iBooks * B&N * Book Depository * Indie Bound


To celebrate my book birthday, I‚Äôm offering one lucky winner a set of all 3 mini-posters in the Alienated series‚ÄĒsigned by me! The giveaway is open internationally.


Best of luck, and happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

melissa landers


Melissa Landers is a¬†former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn‚Äôt afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public‚ÄĒjust ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, ‚ÄúSweetheart of Ohio.‚ÄĚ For more information or just to say hello, visit


The Singles Game Review

I loved LOVED The Devil Wears Prada.


So I was excited to read The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger. Today’s book¬†was an interesting read on the world of tennis. It was a fun summer book. Let’s take a look at The Singles Game.

The new novel from the¬†New York Times¬†bestselling author of¬†The Devil Wears Prada¬†and¬†Revenge Wears Prada‚ÄĒa dishy tell-all about a beautiful tennis prodigy who, after changing coaches, suddenly makes headlines on and off the court.


  • Print Length:¬†352 pages
  • Publisher:¬†Simon & Schuster (July 12, 2016)
  • Publication Date:¬†July 12, 2016

How far would you go to reach the top?

When America‚Äôs sweetheart, Charlotte ‚ÄúCharlie‚ÄĚ Silver, makes a pact with the devil‚ÄĒthe infamously brutal tennis coach Todd Feltner‚ÄĒshe finds herself catapulted into a world of celebrity stylists, private parties, charity matches aboard mega-yachts, and secret dates with Hollywood royalty.

Under Todd‚Äôs new ruthless regime, Charlie the good girl is out. Todd wants ‚ÄúWarrior Princess‚ÄĚ Charlie all the way. After all, no one ever wins big by playing nice.

Celebrity mags and gossip blogs go wild for Charlie as she jets around the globe chasing Grand Slam titles and Page Six headlines. But as the Warrior Princess’s star rises on and off the court, it comes at a cost. In a world obsessed with good looks and hot shots, is Charlie Silver willing to lose herself to win it all?

Sweeping from Wimbledon to the Caribbean, from the US Open to the Mediterranean,¬†The Singles Game¬†is a sexy and wickedly entertaining romp through a world where the stakes are high‚ÄĒand no one plays by the rules.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository / IndieBound

Tawney’s Review:

I may have expected too much from this book given my love¬†for The Devil Wears Prada. The Singles Game is set in¬†women’s professional tennis. Now I’m not much of a tennis fan but I loved the movie Wimbledon so I definitely wanted to read this one.


Charlie Silver has to make some changes to make her dreams of winning in the world of tennis come true. And that may mean her looks and status. Not only is that stressful but she¬†has an overbearing bully of a coach. ¬†She changes her looks and mingles with celebrities It does sound all very familiar to Weisberger’s other book. The story was a little slow but I liked how the setting traveled all around the world. I found the behind the scenes of professional tennis very interesting and fun too.


There were some slow parts that dragged a bit but that could be because I’m not a tennis fan. This book didn’t hit me like The Devil Wears Prada but it still was a fun read. I think many will enjoy the characters and settings. It was sort of a new revamp of The Devil wears Prada I you think about it. Very similar in story.


Should your read it? ¬†Yes! Even if you aren’t a tennis fan this is a good beach read for the summer!


Thanks Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Never Missing, Never Found Blog Tour: Review


I am a mystery reader. I love trying to gather the clues and solve the story. I just love a good thriller too.



There have been many children kidnapped and missing for many years. Some stay missing while others come back. Take Jaycee Lee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart,¬†Steven Stayner and many more returned to a life of normalcy… or¬†do they?

Never Missing, Never Found explores the concept of a stolen¬†child and her return home to normalcy. But when a girl goes missing a mystery converses throughout the whole book that takes the reader on a roller coaster¬†of a ride! Let’s take a look at the Never Missing, Never Found.

“A juicy thriller about a girl who returned from the missing. . . . Hand to
fans of We Were Liars, Bone Gap, and Vanishing Girls.

Some choices change everything. Scarlett chose to run. And the consequences will be deadly.

Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she’s
starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends,and the chance to finally have a normal life.

Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it’s too late? “

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository / IndieBound

Tawney’s Review:¬†

This book was a great thrill ride. I enjoyed it to the surprising ending!

Scarlett was kidnapped at age 12 and held for a period of time in a basement cleaning a house for a wicked woman she deems Stepmother. Now she’s 17 and working at an amusement park trying to get her life on track. But when a co-worker goes missing things spiral out of control.


Panitch does¬†a wonderful job at setting up the suspense, mystery and intrigue in this story. Scarlet goes from the present to the past throughout the book. From her times at the amusement park to her times in the basement. I looked forward with each turn of the page to being thrust back to the house where Scarlett lived. I found I wanted to that read time period more than the present day setting. I wasn’t sure what was going on until Katharina appeared and the mystery of Scarlett’s past deepened.


It’s in the basement that Scarlett bonded with another stolen girl named Pixie. You couldn’t help but feel sympathy for these girls¬†and their trials with Stepmother. You coundn’t¬†help but feel for Scarlett and the way her sister Melody treated her with cold distaste and much distant. Panitch does¬†a wonderful job at creating sympathy for these characters. I wasn’t really into the romance between Scarlett and Connor or some of the other secondary character but it doesn’t¬†matter. The story took¬†hold of you in the prologue. Grasped you the moment you went¬†back to¬†the past with Scarlett. Chokes you when you think you solved the mystery, which I thought I did¬†because of some clues and phrases throughout the book. But wait…. there is even a bigger¬†twist at the end! If you think you solved it just turn to the last page. Bam! I haven’t been that surprised¬†in a while. It wasn’t¬†expected. I hadn’t¬†seen it coming.


Should you read it?¬†Yes! A satisfying thriller with a twisted ending! I couldn’t put the book down!




About the autamandahor:

AMANDA PANITCH grew up next to an amusement park in New Jersey and went to college next to the White House in Washington, D.C. She now resides in New York City, where she works in book publishing by day, writes by night, and lives under constant threat of being crushed beneath giant stacks of books. Visit Amanda online at and follow her on Twitter at @AmandaPanitch.

I am a mystery reader. I love  trying to gather the clues and solve the story.



How Adult Coloring Books help my anxiety.


I have anxiety. There I said it it. Whew that was hard.


Anxiety is hard. I’ve tried everything to calm my mind and heart. From yoga to running to therapy. They help during the day but at night my mind churns and my heart pounds against my chest like a drum. It keeps me up with worry. With stress. With what’s next?


 I needed a way to calm my mind. Something to bring everything back down. I need sleep. I wanted to be normal again.


And then a couple of years ago I stumbled across this beautiful coloring book…for adults. I bought it along with markers and started to color an hour before I went to bed every night. I was teased¬†for it. You’re coloring? Why? Isn’t that for kids?


Now this was before it became popular. Before the color parties started and the¬†books could be bought anywhere. I didn’t care. You know what? It worked. I would color these eccentric designs of animals or objects and my mind would only concentrate on that particular thing. What color to pick and to stay between the lines. ¬†Everything left my thoughts except the coloring book.¬†My body responded with relaxation.


It helped! It may not have cured it but it has made me calm before bedtime, something I have been struggling with.

So below I gathered all of my favorite coloring books and listed the top 5. Yes I have finished¬†most of them. I tell you the coloring works. If you have anxiety, or fears, or worries just pick up a coloring book and color. Don’t worry about anything but that coloring book.

1: The Secret Garden: An inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book 


This beautiful and interactive coloring book features delicate and highly detailed pen-and-ink illustrations‚ÄĒall waiting to be brought to life with color. As added entertainment, tiny garden creatures are hidden on the pages, waiting to be found, and a key and index are included in the back.

This was the first adult coloring book I picked up. 




2. Lost Ocean: An Inky Adventure and Coloring Book



With this coloring book for adults, Johanna Basford invites color-inners of all ages to discover an enchanting underwater world hidden in the depths of the sea. Through intricate pen and ink illustrations to complete, color, a
nd embellish, readers will meet shoals of exotic fish, curious octopuses, and delicately penned seahorses. Visit coral reefs and barnacle-studded shipwrecks, discover intricate shells and pirate treasure.


3. I Love My Hair


 Revel in the mesmerizing patte
rns and intricate details of Andrea Pippins’s delicate pen-and-ink illustrations, ready for you to color, complete, and embellish. Lose yourself in page after page of bold hairstyles and accessories, from rows of braids, to Mohawks, to sweeping updos, to cascades of ribbons and beads. Be transported to another world as you ink in Medusa’s slithering coiffure, Cleopatra’s elaborate headdress, and Marie Antoinette’s towering bouffant.

Perfect for experienced color-inners and newcomers alike. Coloring enthusiasts of all ages will love this empowering and stylish book. So go ahead‚ÄĒlet your hair down, grab some pens or pencils, and add some color to your life.

4. Enchanted Forestanxiety

This magical coloring book by Johanna Basford takes colorists through an enchanted forest to discover what lies in the castle. Similarly interactive like SECR
also features hidden objects and fun mazes. Beginning at the entrance to a fairy-tale forest, the journey progresses through highly embellished woods and through intricate flora. Castles, treasure chests, and other magical elements add a fairy tale narrative to the designs. Special features include a gate-folded two-page spread, and a colorable jacket

5. Imaginmorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge 


Fans of adult coloring books are invited to enter the weird and wonderful world of Kerby Rosanes, the illustrator behind the Sketchy Stories blog and Animorphia, the international phenomenon and New York Times bestseller. In Imagimorphia, animals and objects morph and explode into astounding detail. Bring each intricate image to life with color and find the objects hidden throughout the book.







These books have helped immensely¬†and I can’t wait to find new ones! If you have anxiety feel free to comment and tell me how you combat it! Or what you like to color!

Love Tawney

Behind the Mask Review

I love FBI thrillers.


The book I’m reviewing today is by a good friend and former FBI agent Dana Ridenour. SO you know it’s has to be good when a FBI agent is writing¬†about the FBI! She is the real deal!


Let’s take a look at Behind the Mask.


  • Paperback:¬†344 pages
  • Publisher:¬†Wise Ink Creative Publishing (April 5, 2016)
  • Language:¬†English

You build relationships to betray relationships.
That is the motto for the FBI’s undercover program, and special agent Lexie Montgomery is just beginning to understand what that means. Lexie’s first assignment is infiltrating a radical cell of the Animal Liberation Front. Underground and operating in splinter groups throughout Los Angeles, the only way in is through Savannah Riley, a new recruit.
Savannah left the safety of her small southern town for the bright lights of the city. Pulled into the animal rights movement by her college roommate and a gorgeous anarchist, she sinks deeper and deeper into the dark, paranoid world of ALF extremists.
As the actions of her cell escalate beyond simple demonstrations and graffiti, Savannah turns to Lexie to keep her grounded. But as the two women grow closer and the FBI’s case builds, Lexie is forced to decide what betrayal really means.


Tawney’s Review:¬†This was a strong debut novel by Dana. We are introduced to the world of the FBI with our protagonist¬†Lexie Montgomery. Lexi is an undercover agent going out on a mission for the first time. She is tasked to uncover a¬†group of violators of¬†the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Our other protagonist is Savannah, a college student who becomes entangled with the¬†animal activist group Lexie is infiltrating.


Dana did a wonderful job and showing the turmoil of being undercover with the stress that accompanies it.¬†¬†Lying and keeping secrets are a daily job for Lexie but when she meets Savannah¬†they become friends and Lexie’s job just got harder. Lexi begins to sympathize with Savannah and as they grow closer Lexie’s emotions sway because she doesn’t want to see


The pace was fast and with each word the description throws the reader into Lexie and Savannah’s adventure. Dana did a wonderful job at¬†immersing¬†the reader into the FBI world. The characters were relatable in their struggles and wants. The story was thrilling and i couldn’t put this book down. I had fun reading this and look forward for more from Dana.


Should you read it? Yes! A thrilling read that has you rooting for both Lexie and Savannah.



About the author

Dana Ridenour is a retired FBI agent. ¬†She recently released her debut novel,¬†Behind the Mask.¬†¬†Ridenour’s¬†Behind the Mask¬†follows Alexis Montgomery, an undercover FBI agent who infiltrates a radical underground mo
vement of the Animal Liberation Front.

Ridenour graduated from Meade County High School in 1984, then attended the University of Kentucky.  After two years at the University of Kentucky, she changed her major to Police Administration and transferred to Eastern Kentucky University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1989.  Ridenour earned her Juris Doctor in 1992 from Chase College of Law.

Over the years, Ridenour has been employed in a wide variety of jobs including first mate on a tour boat (her favorite job), lawyer, and Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. ¬†Ridenour entered on duty with the FBI in November of 1995 and retired in April of 2016 after over twenty years of service. ¬†Ridenour was assigned to four different FBI Field Divisions and had the opportunity to work a wide variety of cases to include multi faceted narcotics investigations, domestic sex trafficking of minors, and violent crime. ¬†Over the years, Ridenour was a proud member of the FBI’s Evidence Response Team where she and her team traveled to New York City in response to the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. ¬†The highlight of Ridenour’s career came in 2003 when she attended and passed the FBI’s prestigious undercover school, thus allowing her to work as an undercover FBI agent. ¬†This undercover certification opened the door for Ridenour to work a series of long term, deep cover cases focusing on domestic terrorism. ¬†Ridenour had the rare experience of working a long term undercover investigation with her husband who was also an FBI agent.

Ridenour attributes her law enforcement career to her father and her love of books to her mother. Her mother instilled a love of reading from a young age. ¬†It was her mother who also encouraged her to keep a journal while working as a Special Agent with the thought that one day a novel would materialize from the experiences. ¬†Ridenour’s writing is a reflection of her career and life experiences. ¬†Although she enjoys a wide variety of genres, her literary influences are her favorite southern writers such as Pat Conroy, Dorothea Benton Frank, and Anne Rivers Siddons. ¬†Ridenour’s favorite novel is Pat Conroy’s¬†The Prince of Tides¬†which she has read many times.

An award winning author, Ridenour lives in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina with her wonderful husband. She is currently writing the second Alexis Montgomery novel.