Pre-Pub Adventure: July

It’s Pre-Pub Adventure and today we have some new authors joining us!

Every month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered how authors prepare for a book release or what they are working on while also getting ready to publish a new book? How do they multitask? What is publishing like? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.

Please welcome authors Liara Tamani and Heather Kaczynski!

Liara Tamani


1. Welcome to the publishing adventure! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you! Being a debut author definitely feels like an adventure. So many exciting things to take in. My name is Liara Tamani and I’m from Houston, Texas—H-town! (Gotta represent.:)) When I’m not writing or reading, I’m usually dancing, doing yoga, or hanging out with my five-year-old daughter and boyfriend. I love hanging out in parks, being in nature, but summertime in Houston makes that a little hard. It’s hot as hell! When the Houston heat is in full force, I like to spend time in museums and restaurants that have good tacos and margaritas. I’ve recently tried to take up skateboarding, and I have a ton of big bruises on my legs if that’s any indication of how it’s going.:)

Here’s a longer bio with more details about my background.

2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with Calling My Name? I just love the cover!

I basically wrote this book to heal my teenage self. Like Taja, the protagonist of Calling My Name, I grew up in a very loving and religious family in Houston, Texas. My family was always in church—Bible study, choir rehearsal, Sunday school, Sunday service, sometimes second and third Sunday services, Vacation Bible School, church conventions, etc. Also like Taja, I had a lot of doubts and questions about religion but quickly learned that I wasn’t supposed to have these doubts and questions, that their presence meant I might not be saved. So I dealt with them internally, fighting against the fear of hell, which was very real to me at the time. And when I became sexually active in my later teenage years, my fears were compounded by guilt and shame. Let me tell you, it wasn’t fun.

 While Calling My Name is not my story, it was definitely born out of these struggles. And now I couldn’t be happier that this book will soon be out in the world and in the hands of teenagers, especially girls, who unfortunately struggle with sexual shame and guilt a lot more than boys. I want to help change that! But Calling My Name is not just about spiritual and sexual freedom; it’s about departing from one’s family and community teachings to find one’s own way.

3. Give us an insight of your main character Taja? What does she do that’s so special?  

Omg, the beautiful, soul-searching Taja. She’s so incredibly strong and radiant. I totally wish I had the strength to choose my own path when I was in high school, but I didn’t. That came much later in life for me. If I had read about Taja’s journey as a teenager, it would’ve saved me from a lot of suffering. Through her curiosity and thoughtfulness, her interior life is on full display. And the emotional journey she goes on is inspiring. I can’t wait for y’all to meet her!

Follow Liara on her blog * Instagram * Twitter * Facebook

Heather Kaczynski


1. Welcome to the publishing adventure! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you! I live in Huntsville, Alabama, which – if you’ve heard of it at all – you might know as the home of Space Camp. Before I was ten years old, I moved about every year and a half growing up because my dad was in the military – almost a different school for every grade. None of us figured we’d set down permanent roots in Alabama, but it’s home I’ve known the longest. Being the home of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, growing up here helped develop my love of science, space, and sci-fi. We literally have a lifesize replica of the rocket that took men to the moon that you can see from all over town. The space program always seemed incredibly present and relevant in my life.

I also went to college here, where I got a degree in biology with a minor in exercise physiology, because I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist. Little did I realize I’d develop panic disorder in college and faint at the sight of blood (or, as I discovered, in first aid class) so a medical career was out. However, I lucked out and found a job working at a military library not long after graduation. To my good fortune, because it turned out to be the perfect place for me. I wrote Dare Mighty Things not long after I started that job, and I love putting books in the hands of kids who crave them.

I balance my day job and writing career with parenting my preschooler, so right now I watch a lot of cartoons and read a lot of picture books. (And write blog posts while she plays with trains at my feet.) In my precious moments of spare time, I’m obsessed with Bioware games – I’m still slowly working my way through Mass Effect Andromeda.

2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with Dare Mighty Things? The cover is gorgeous by the way!

Dare Mighty Things is about a girl in the near future who dreams of making history by exploring space and seeing things no other human ever has – except in her world, America hasn’t trained any new astronauts for years, and her dream seems impossible. But when she gets an impossible chance to win a spot on a mission to the far reaches of space, she’s determined to win, no matter what.
The seed for the book, oddly, came to me in a dream. Right after I graduated college, I’d been determined to do Camp NaNo to get away from writing sterile lab reports and re-learn how to write fiction. The night before, I’d gone to bed without any ideas but figured I’d come up with one in the morning. And when I woke up, a single scene had left a lasting impression on me, and as I lay there trying to reconstruct it, Cassie and her entire story just filled my head. I sat down to write it and it flowed like nothing else I’d ever written. The seedling scene idea I’d dreamt about didn’t even make it into the final book, but it is in the sequel – so I can’t say anything about it just yet!
I wrote the book around a time that NASA was facing a Congressional budget crisis, and that weighed heavily on my mind. This may seem odd, I know – but when your whole city’s economy, identity, and future is linked to the space program, it’s big news. People were worried. It was a sad time for science and the idea that budget (or possibly greed) was the limiting factor for humanity’s advancement formed a core of the book. I wanted to encourage girls to love science and to go after their dreams, that they were achievable, and that other girls weren’t the enemy – but could prove valuable allies.

And then of course the rest of it was just me fangirling over the space program, adding in things I loved and things I’d pulled from research of space programs all over the world. It was just a fun book to write and I hope it comes across that way in the reading.

3. What is your writing quirk? 

I find I really have to get in the “zone,” and once I do, time has no meaning. I’ll put on headphones to listen to my book’s particular soundtrack (every book I write requires one), but eventually I have to turn it off as it gets distracting. And then I’ll look up and realize seven hours have passed and I should probably blink my eyes once or twice. It’s very hard for me to write in short snippets, so I have to force myself if I’m on deadline to use whatever time I may have.

Follow Heather: Blog * Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr

Nic Stone


1. What have you been up to since we last checked in?

Trying to keep my head on my shoulders? Does that count? LOL!

Let’s see… I went to ALA Annual which was kind of a whirlwind, but really cool at the same time. I got to sit in on both the Printz Award reception and the Coretta Scott King Awards breakfast, and I’m sure I looked like a kid in a candy store at both, they were just so magical!

Since then, I’ve just been home working on revisions for my Fall 2018 release (another YA contemporary) as well a new project I’m not allowed to talk about yet. Oh, and gearing up for what looks to be a rollercoaster of a Fall. Also planning my launch, which will be at the Center for Civil and Human Rights here in Atlanta, GA on October 17th at 6:30pm. **hint hint**EVERYBODY COME!**

2. I love your makeup tutorials on Instagram that coincide with books! What spurred you to do these lovely posts?

HA! It was all a fluke! I got mu copy of Nicola Yoon’s THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR last year and thought: Wow this color palette is really pretty! I should put it on my face! Took and posted a picture, and voila—the idea was born. Hoping to expand on it a bit soon. Stay tuned…

3. Do you write full-time or part-time? How do you manage to get the words?

I kind of… write when I can. I don’t have a technical job other than writing, but I do have two small kids, one of whom is home with me all day, every day. So I write during naptimes/while the little is eating/whenever I have more than five minutes to get words down. And for me, the words come in these squeezed times because they have to, lol. It also helps that when I’m driving/carpooling/running errands/folding laundry/etc., I’m constantly thinking about the stories I’m working on. A lot of the legwork happens away from the page.

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube


Amanda Foody



1. Your book is one week out until it’s published! How do you feel?

I feel pretty good. I’m not too nervous, not too overwhelmed. A lot of that is because I moved and started a job last week, so I haven’t had much time to work up any nerves. I’ve been focusing all my extra energy on finishing Ace of Shades and ensuring it is the best book it can be.

2. What have you done to prepare for the release?

I’ve been trying to keep up with social media accounts–there have been a lot of wonderful photos of DOTBC on Insta lately. I’m also planning a different giveaway for each day leading up to release for a week straight. There are some really fun prizes, like DOTBC-themed eye shadow pallets and also gift cards. Those will be held via my newsletter.

3. What secret talents do you have?

I can juggle! Three items at a time, though I’d love to work my way up to more. Perhaps if I learn to juggle knives I would be qualified to perform at the Gomorrah Festival in DOTBC myself.

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram

S.F. Henson

1. How has your July been treating you?

July has been hot. And busy. But mostly hot! This month I finished up my edits, got a little work done on my WIP, and started preparing for my launch. I did squeeze in time to take a mini vacation, and I picked up some awesome books:  One Shadow on the Wall, by Leah Henderson, One of Us is Lying, by Karen McManus, and Letters to the Lost, by Brigid Kemmerer.

2. What does your writing process look like?

I recently started Scrivener, so my process has changed. I always start by sketching a quick query from the idea. It just helps me stay focused on the core story as the manuscript develops. I do initial research–look up pictures of my setting, study the weather, figure out where my character lives, etc–so that it’s clear in my mind while I’m writing. This step is also called “procrastination.” Then comes the actual writing. If I hit 15,000 words, then I know a story is a keeper. Doesn’t seem like much, but I edit as I go, so that 15k is usually a victory. I like to send to my CPs in small chunks as I write, then get betas when I finish the manuscript. After a couple rounds of betas, my last step is to run the manuscript through the YA Story Analyzer for polishing. (I love that thing!). Then off to my agent and cue constantly refreshing my email while I wait for her thoughts.

3. Your book releases in 3 months, what are you doing to prepare for that release? 

3 months! It seems like so much time until you start doing things. I’m done with my edits and am planning my launch, setting up a mini-tour, and working on a secret project that I might unveil next month! Oh, and trying not to freak out about the fact that people will be reading my book soon. No one prepares you for how scary it truly is to put your book into the world. Eep!

Follow S.F. Henson: Twitter * Goodread *Facebook

Until the next adventure!

Release Day Blitz: What to Say Next Review

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (July 11, 2017)
  • Language: English

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they?  I don’t even understand.
DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David.  Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

Amazon * BN *

Tawney’s Review: What To Say Next had been on my TBR list for a while now and I finally had the chance to read it. I adored this book.

The characters Kit and David are strong with what life had dealt them. Kit’s dad died and David has autism. When an unlikely friendship spurs the book takes off into a sweet friendship that blossoms. Buxbaum does a wonderful job at separating the voices with Kit’s and David’s point of view. You can’t help but connect with them and root for them all the way.

Buxbuam did a wonderful job at showing David’s autism.It was a great read on a subject often overlooked. It felt real and genuine. She put’s humor into the book in the right places so the book doesn’t become too serious and keeps it light hearted. Though at times this book could be painful to read because of the reality of teenage cruelness. But that brings the emotion to the story and Buxbaum let’s the story flow engaging the readers.

Should you read it? Yes! A wonderful read that invests you on page one and brings on all the emotions.


**Huge thanks to Delcorte Press for providing the arc!**

About the author: 

Julie Buxbaum is the New York Times best selling author of Tell Me Three Things, her young adult debut, and the critically acclaimed novels The Opposite of Love and After You.  Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times. She is a former lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young children, and an immortal goldfish. Visit Julie online at and follow on Twitter.

Fragile Chaos Blog Tour: Review


I’m so excited to be part of the Fragile Chaos blog tour! This was an exciting book that I couldn’t put down.

First let’s take a look at the book!

About the Book


Author: Amber R. Duell

Pub. Date: July 11, 2017

Publisher: Radiant Crown Publishing, LLC

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 300

Find it: AmazonB&NiBooks, Indiebound,  Goodreads




“Every fiber of my being is woven from the rage of mortals.”

Theodric, the young God of War, has a talent for inciting conflict and bloodshed. After being stripped of his powers by his older brother, King of Gods, he sets out to instigate a mortal war to prove himself worthy of being restored to power.

“I loved Kisk once; it was my home… But that was before. This is now.”

Sixteen-year-old Cassia, like many in the modern era, believes gods and goddesses to be just a myth. Enemy to her country and an orphan of the war, she has no time for fairy tales. That’s until religious zealots from Theo’s sect offer her up as a sacrifice.

Can Cassia and Theo end the mortal war and return balance to the earth and heavens? Or, will their game of fate lead down a path of destruction, betrayal, and romance neither of them saw coming?

Join the FRAGILE CHAOS Release Day Party on Facebook! Chat with Amber & win prizes!


Review: I love mythology. Fragile Chaos has plenty of that with war and romance.

Theo is a war god trying to prove something to his siblings. Because he’s a war god he can’t get involved but that’s tough when things seem to be spiraling out of control. He struggled to prove himself    to his siblings and in the process keeps his emotions bottled up.

Enter Cassia, the heroine of the book who is strong and independant. She was a potential sacrifice for the God of War but now is a great ally. The slow smoldering romance that Theo and Cassia can’t deny greatly pushes each page with anticipation.

The world building was fantastic. Duell does a wonderful job at describing the setting and the gods with their powers. Their relationships with each other could be toxic.

The ending was perfect. I felt things were neatly wrapped up after all the twists and turns. The words flowed keeping the pace moving.

Should you read it? Yes! This was a fun book I couldn’t put down. And the cover is gorgeous!



About Amber:

Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s spent the last six years living in Germany, Maine, and Mississippi as a military wife where the next step is always an adventure.

When Amber isn’t writing, she’s wrangling her two young sons. She is a lover of history, a fan of snowboarding, and a travel enthusiast. In her downtime, she can be found curling up with a good book and a cat or two.

Website | Twitter  | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest |  Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a FRAGILE CHAOS map postcard, bookmark, printed Fate dice, and a Theo/Cassia poster, US Only.

1 winner will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card

1 winner will receive an eBook of FRAGILE CHAOS in their preferred format.

Enter here!



Tour Schedule

Week One:

7/3/2017- YA and Wine– Interview

7/4/2017- Twinning for Books– Review

7/5/2017- Literary Meanderings – Guest Post

7/6/2017- YA Book Madness– Review

7/7/2017- YABC – Interview

Week Two:

7/10/2017- Quite The Novel Idea– Review

7/11/2017- Margie’s Must Reads– Guest Post

7/12/2017- Wishful Endings– Review

7/13/2017- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

7/14/2017- Rachel’s Book Reviews– Review

Pre-Pub Adventure: June

Today we are excited to have a new author joining us for Pre-Pub Adventure and another authors who has her book out in the world!

Every third Friday of the month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered how authors prepare for a book release or what they are working on while also getting ready to publish a new book? How do they multitask? What is publishing like? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.

Let’s welcome S. A. Chakraborty!

S. A. Chakraborty



1. Welcome to the publishing adventure! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks for the welcome, and thanks for having me! I have my official bio over here but in short, I’m the author of The City of Brass, a historical fantasy coming out this November from Harper Voyager. It’s my debut novel – and the first book I ever wrote! I got into writing fiction through my interest in history – it seemed a good way to put to use all the hours I spent pouring over manuscripts in Cairo and DC. I’m from the Jersey shore originally…

(yes, I know: I’ve heard all the jokes), and while I’m still proud to call it home, I’ve been living in New York for about ten years where I’ve found an excellent writing family in the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers. I have a toddler who keeps me on my toes, a husband whose brain I unabashedly pick for all the medical elements in my work, and three deeply lazy cats. In the little spare time I can cobble together, I like to run and read. Besides science fiction and fantasy, I have a soft spot for historical fiction; my favorite authors are Naguib Mahfouz and Amitav Ghosh.

2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with The City Of Brass? The cover is gorgeous by the way!

Thank you! I was literally speechless when I first saw the cover!

The City of Brass is a historical fantasy that takes place in the 18th century about an Egyptian con artist who gets a bit more than she bargained for when one of her schemes ends up dragging her into a brewing magical war. It actually started not as a novel, but as sort of a passion project/exercise in world-building that I never intended to show a soul! I’m a big history buff and with The City of Brass I wanted to recreate some of the stunning worlds I’d read about while also exploring traditional beliefs about djinn. A bit contrary to Western lore, djinn are said to be intelligent beings similar to humans, created from smokeless fire and living unseen in our midst—a fascinating, albeit slightly frightening concept, this idea of creatures living silently among us, dispassionately watching the rise and fall of our various civilizations.

It’s also a concept that offers a great opportunity to imagine how djinn might have built their world, mimicking the ways of their human neighbors. So in The City of Brass, there’s a djinn version of Baghdad’s great library, filled with the ancient books humans have lost alongside powerful texts of magic; they battle with weapons from Achaemenid Persia (enhanced by fire of course); the medical traditions of famed scholars like Ibn Sina have been adapted to treat magical maladies; dancers conjure flowers while singing Mughal love songs; a court system based on the Zanzibar Sultanate deals justice to merchants who bewitch their competitors… not to mention a cityscape featuring everything from ziggurats and pyramids to minarets and stupas. I also pushed a little further with the idea of the unseen, imagining a world of enchanted creatures created from other elements passing through ours: marid raising rivers into great serpents, peris whipping the air into tornados, djinn conjuring maps of smoke and racing birds of fire. And then, of course, there’s scheming con artists, irritatingly handsome ancient warriors, and rebellious princes to round things out!

3. What is your writing quirk?

I’ve heard enough other authors confess to this to know I’m not alone, but I love writing to soundtracks. And not just any soundtracks, but the ridiculously over-the-top music for things like Pirates of Caribbean and Game of Thrones. And then, like, the orchestral re-mix version to make it even more epic. It just sets the mood!

Follow S. A. : Twitter * Blog

Congrats to Kayla for the release of The Sandcastle Empire!

Kayla Olson

kayla      pre-pub-4


1. How does it feel to have your book out in the world?

It’s been so exciting to have The Sandcastle Empire out in the world—people have been so wonderfully supportive, friends and strangers alike, and it’s been fun seeing everyone’s reactions. I was on deadline for my second book at the same time my debut hit shelves, and while it was emotionally/physically taxing to flip between YAY DEBUT and ACK, MUST REVISE, it was incredibly encouraging to receive so many messages from friends and family who’d already finished the book and were ready for another one.

2. How has your book tour been going?

The book tour has been so much fun!! We sold out of books at both BookPeople in Austin *and* Brazos Bookstore in Houston, and had an amazing turnout at every single stop—it’s been so excellent to connect with family and friends, and to meet new readers. I also had the opportunity to participate in a teen day + author panel at the South Irving Library, which was really fun; not only did I get to hang out with five other brilliant, talented authors, but the reader turnout was fantastic! The library staff was wonderful, too, and made these GIANT stand-up posters of all our book covers. It was pretty amazing.

3. What’s next for you?

I just turned in my second book to my editor, so right now I’m taking a few weeks just to read and rest and brainstorm some other projects I’ve had in mind for a while! Hopefully I’ll get to share more details about that second book soon…! 🙂
Follow Kayla: Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr * Blog

Nic Stone


1. You just recently went to Bookcon and Book Expo in May, how was it? 

Oh man. It was like my own personal version of heaven. Books and people everywhere! I met SOME of my heroes/heroines (like as in more than three of them), did lots of fun author-y things like sign books and read aloud and sit on/moderate panels, went to fancy dinners and a fun party, spent some quality time with friends over food… it was incredible! Can’t wait to do it again one day (hopefully, lol!).

2. What’s it like going as an author and signing your book?

Surreal, I think would be the best word. I’m still blown away by the fact that I HAVE a book, so the fact that people are willing to stand in a line and wait for me to sign it was unreal. By the end of the second signing (I had THREE. What is even happening??) I’d perfected what I put in the book, so now I’m ready for the next round. **cracks knuckles**

3 .What was your favorite part?

Definitely the meeting-new-friends-and-connecting-with-people-I-only-knew-online part. Like I got to meet some of my favorite bloggers (Like CJ @sarcasmlemons, and Joey @afterthoughtAn, and Shelly @shellysrambles, and Mishma @chasingfaes, and Vee @findmereading–those are their Twitter handles and you should follow them all), some fellow debuts (Stephanie Garber, Chelsea Sedoti, Jeff Giles, Karina Yan Glasser, Jake Burt, as well as some 2018 debuts like Samira Ahmed), and some cool agents and editors (like Matt Ringler from Scholastic. Follow him [@doesntmattr] on Twitter, too. He’s hilarious!).

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube

S.F. Henson

1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

Editing, editing, editing. Pretty sure this was my response last month too! I’m working hard to make sure this book is the best it possibly can be, though. And I can see the finish line! I’m soooo close.  Then I can start planning my launch party!
2. What book do you wish you could have written?
This is a tough one because there are SO many. My first impulse is to say Harry Potter (I mean, who doesn’t wish they could’ve written HP??) but if I’m being honest, I wish I’d written A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s the first book I remember reading as a kid that I couldn’t get enough of. The way L’Engle crammed so many world-building and characterization details into such a small space, gahh. I envy that so hard.
3. What are you working on now?
Well, technically still my debut, but I have a WIP drumming its fingertips impatiently. It’s about a girl who travels across the world to find her missing brother. There’s complicated family relationships, mental illness, a forest fully of mysteries, and coming to terms with the things that hold you back and push you forward. I can’t wait to dive back in.

Follow S.F. Henson: Twitter * Goodread *Facebook

Amanda Foody

1. You just recently went to Bookcon and Book Expo, how was it? 
BookExpo and BookCon were amazing! Since I got some of my start in blogging, I’ve been waiting to attend for years, but college and conflicts always got in the way. I was able to connect with so many friends from Twitter, and I came home with several bags full of ARCs! Absolutely magical!
2. What’s it like going as an author and signing your own book?
It was definitely surreal. My signings were in the morning, so when I first arrived at BookExpo, I was dumbfounded to see the line circling around the Harlequin TEEN booth for DAUGHTER. We were out of tickets almost immediately, and we had no copies to spare! I cannot being to describe how much I appreciate that enthusiasm and support. I spent my afternoons waiting in signing lines for other authors, so I feel like I got to attend as both author and reader.
3. What was the most memorable moment there?
Probably meeting and introducing myself to some of my favorite authors. I almost collapsed several times when a few of them had already heard of me and DAUGHTER. So many of these authors are ones who I loved as a teenager, who are still huge names in YA, and it would be so fun to tell my 17yo self that in a few years, my favorite author would know who I am because I’m also an author. I pinched myself several times.

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram



Bad Romance Review

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (June 13, 2017)
  • Language: English

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director―anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness―and emerging into the light again.


Tawney’s Review: This book moved me completely.

This was a tough read as the book opens into an abusive relationship that’s ending. Grace starts off by telling the reader what happened to this bad romance with her boyfriend Gavin.

It’s real, it’s raw and it will leave you heartbroken. From Gavin’s manipulation to Grace becoming an echo of herself, this book brings to light a tough subject on a toxic relationship. It was told in the second point of view of Grace writing a letter to Gavin. You could feel every pain, every heartbreak that she suffered.

Demetrios does a wonderful job at showing how the abuse escalates and the repercussions of such a relationship. You root for Grace all the way through the train wreck. It was a very addictive book but one that was a rough to read.

Should you read it? Yes! This was an emotional brutally honest book about an abusive relationship that everyone should read.


Royal Bastards Review

Being a bastard blows. Tilla would know. Her father, Lord Kent of the Western Province, loved her as a child, but cast her aside as soon as he had trueborn children.

At sixteen, Tilla spends her days exploring long-forgotten tunnels beneath the castle with her stablehand half brother, Jax, and her nights drinking with the servants, passing out on Jax’s floor while her castle bedroom collects dust. Tilla secretly longs to sit by her father’s side, resplendent in a sparkling gown, enjoying feasts with the rest of the family. Instead, she sits with the other bastards, like Miles of House Hampstedt, an awkward scholar who’s been in love with Tilla since they were children.

Then, at a feast honoring the visiting princess Lyriana, the royal shocks everyone by choosing to sit at the Bastards’ Table. Before she knows it, Tilla is leading the sheltered princess on a late-night escapade. Along with Jax, Miles, and fellow bastard Zell, a Zitochi warrior from the north, they stumble upon a crime they were never meant to witness.

Rebellion is brewing in the west, and a brutal coup leaves Lyriana’s uncle, the Royal Archmagus, dead—with Lyriana next on the list. The group flees for their lives, relentlessly pursued by murderous mercenaries; their own parents have put a price on their heads to prevent the king and his powerful Royal Mages from discovering their treachery.

The bastards band together, realizing they alone have the power to prevent a civil war that will tear their kingdom apart—if they can warn the king in time. And if they can survive the journey.

Amazon *BN * Book Depository

Tawney’s Review: Coming off of a Game of Thrones very long lull I thought this book would be the perfect thing  to take my mind off of swords and dragons and winter coming.

This was a fantasy with swords, betrayal and mystery. It was a dark, edgy story with a band of misfit characters. Tilla is the bastard daughter of a Lord who ignores her now that he has a real proper family. When a visiting princess needs help it’s up to Tilla and her unlikely band of misfits. Almost like the Breakfast Club for fantasy.

The pace was fast and the book had lots of action that kept the reader occupied. My main problem with the book was the modern language. It felt out of place in a fantasy world that left me a little distracted. But not so much so that I couldn’t read further. After a few chapters I got use to the language and it didn’t seem as important.

I didn’t really connect with the characters but the ending was great. It was a different type of fantasy that really didn’t grasp my love but I did like it. Tons of action and fantasy to keep you occupied.

Should you read it? Yes, even though I found some faults it may just be the fantasy you are looking for with tons of action and mystery.


Thank you Disney-Hyperion for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!

I Believe In A Thing Called Love Review

I love Korean Dramas. I binge watch them obsessively.

Today’s book incorporates that love into a wonderful fun story you just can’t put down. This had to be one of my favorite books this year.

  Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

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Tawney’s Review: This book came at the best possible time. With the world in turmoil I Believe In A Thing Called Love brought great humor and wonderful characters that immersed me in a world full of Korean Dramas. It was just the lighthearted thing I need right now. It just made me feel so damn good!

Desi Lee is fantastic at everything except boys. She can’t flirt. In fact she has epic disasters. So one with a plan Desi uses her Father’s K-Dramas for guidance. Let the over the top drama ensue!

And after a binge marathon of K dramas Desi created a list called “K Drama True Steps to True Love.” I love step  #1: “You are the living embodiment of all that is pure and good.” Which if you ever watched a K Drama most of the heroines in the story are pure, sweet and oh so innocent. See K Drama The Moon Embraces the Sun. I also love #4: “Let the guy get to you with annoyance or obsession. It does seem that all the K Drama heroines have this issue. See Boys Over Flowers. And the best one #20: “You are not allowed to be happy until the very last possible minute.” See Rooftop Prince. All K Dramas seem to have this issue and it can be quite annoying but you watch anyway. You need to see the couple win!

The book is humorous, just like K Dramas, and Desi is such a strong heroine with complex feelings and you just root for her to get the guy. And like any K Drama she gets hurt, tries her best but it just ends in disaster, hurts others, and it’s so frustrating that you can’t understand why she does some of the things she does…cue K Drama characteristics!

Oh the glorious torture of waiting for the couple to get together. Definitely K Drama step #20. K Dramas always have this torture that makes a binge worthy weekend. The ending to the book was perfect. It brought a smile to my face. Desi and Luca are the embodiment of a K Drama couple. Every mistake and misstep Desi makes was hilarious and it enhanced the story. As watching a K Drama you groan, you smile, you balk and then you laugh. So many emotions flowed while reading this.

Should you read it? Yes even if you have never watched a Korean Drama you will easily fall in love with the story and characters. I Believe In A Thing Called Love is one of my favorite books of 2017! I highly recommend it and you may just also fall in love with K Dramas too.


About the Author:

Maurene Goo grew up in a Los Angeles suburb surrounded by floral wallpaper and piles of books. She is the author of Since You Asked… and I Believe in a Thing Called Love and has very strong feelings about tacos and houseplants. You can find her in Los Angeles with her husband and two cats–one weird, one even more weird.

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