The Unicorn Quest: Secret in the Stone Blog Tour: Q&A with author

I’m so excited to be part of The Unicorn Quest book 2 blog tour!

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Today author Kamila Benko answers some questions regarding her book 2 on this part of the blog tour.

The first book The Unicorn Quest was a delight and I’m happy to return to Benko’s world again. Check out my review for the first book The Unicorn Quest here.

Let’s take a look at The Unicorn Quest: Secret in the Stone.

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Series: The Unicorn Quest (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Order here

Claire Martinson and her sister Sophie have decided to stay in Arden–the magical land they discovered by climbing up a chimney in their great-aunt’s manor. If what they’ve learned is true, the sisters are the last descendants of the royal family, and only a true heir of Arden–with magic in her blood–can awaken the unicorns.

Since Sophie has does not have magic, the land’s last hope rests on Claire. The sisters journey to Stonehaven, a famed Gemmer school high in the mountains of Arden, so Claire can train in the magic of stone. As Claire struggles through classes, Sophie uncovers dangerous secrets about the people they thought they could trust. With Arden on the brink of crumbling, can Claire prove she is the prophesied heir and unlock the magic of the unicorns before it’s too late?


1. What was it like working on book 2? Was it different than book 1?

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It was very different! In book one, the possibilities were limitless! Your characters can say and do anything they want without being beholden to previous choices, and you can switch up the world to be whatever you need it to be. You need a mountain? Put it in! The forest needs to move north? Switch it! But in book 2, you have to stay true to the decisions you made in Book 1, and also set up the finale events of Book 3. And that was also challenging. Book 2 needed to be bigger and more exciting than Book 1—but not give away the ultimate ending of Book 3. It took a lot of work, and a lot of rewrites, but at the end of the day, I’m so proud of Secret in the Stone, and I can’t wait for people to read so I can talk about the ending!

 

2. What are you excited about for readers in regards to this new adventure of Sophie and Claire?

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In book one, the sisters spent most of the pages apart, but in book 2, Secret in the Stone, the sisters get to explore the magical land of Arden together. It was really fun to have the sister together and to be able explore the ins and outs of their relationship. It was particularly fun to hang out with Sophie, instead of only seeing her in Claire’s memories. She’s so spunky!

 

3. How do you unwind after a long day of writing?

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I really love to cook dinner. It’s a way of being creative that doesn’t involve the same brain muscles and my eyes can be so tired of looking at a screen or a page, that it’s not super relaxing to watch TV or read a book. Plus, writing always makes me hungry!

 

4. What are you currently working on?

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I’m currently working on Book 3 of the Unicorn Quest trilogy which should come out in about a year, as well as collaborating with Disney on a middle grade novel that will bridge the FROZEN with FROZEN II.


Kamilla Benko spent most of her childhood climbing into wardrobes, trying to step through mirrors, and plotting to run away to an art museum. Now, she visits other worlds as a children’s book editor. Originally from Indiana, she currently lives in New York with her bookshelves, teapot, and hiking boots.

Follow Kamilla: Twitter * Instagram * Blog

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Song of a Whale Blog Tour: Spotlight

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (February 5, 2019)
  • Order here!

In the spirit of modern-day classics like Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s comes the story of a deaf girl’s connection to a whale whose song can’t be heard by his species, and the journey she takes to help him.

From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she’s the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she’s not very smart. If you’ve ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be.

When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to “sing” to him! But he’s three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?

Full of heart and poignancy, this affecting story by sign language interpreter Lynne Kelly shows how a little determination can make big waves.


 

If you want a feel good book Song for a Whale is for you!

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With wonderful characters named Iris and a whale named Blue 55, you couldn’t help but fall in love with the story. Iris is deaf and she finds it hard to be herself among hearing kids. Blue 55 can’t speak to other whales of his kind, they just don’t seem to hear him. Both come together in this special story.

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It was nice to see a disabled kid as the main character. Iris was strong but struggled to be herself among people who don’t understand her. It was Blue 55 that gave her something that she felt only she could do…find his song and speak directly to him.

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I just couldn’t put this book down and highly recommend it. I could picture Iris signing and Blue 55 swimming through the ocean. I love the fact that there were chapters in the book in Blue 55’s perspective. You felt his loneliness seeking someone to communicate with. What a wonderful job Kelly did on Iris’s struggle speaking with others. You felt the disheartening sadness as she tried but through all the emotions you felt in this book the ending brings you pure joy.

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Parkland Speaks Blog Tour: Review

  • Order here!
  • Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers (January 22, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1984849999

 

 

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School share their emotional journeys that began on February 14, 2018, and continue today. This revealing and unfiltered look at teens living in the wake of tragedy is a poignant representation of grief, anger, determination, healing, and hope.

The intimate collection includes poetry, eyewitness accounts, letters, speeches, journal entries, drawings, and photographs from the events of February 14 and its aftermath. Full of heartbreaking loss, a rally cry for change, and hope for a safe future, these artistic pieces will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and the importance of valuing and protecting the ones you love.


 

Tawney’s Review: The collection of essays, poems, pictures and art were moving. With such a tragedy that had happened at this school and told by survivors some of these stories will wreck you.

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It was very eyeopening to read their experience during and after the horrors of that day. What they went through and felt draws a connection for the reader to these survivors. You feel for them. You cry with them. Very powerful words and art by students who should have never been through an experience like this.

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Should you read this? Yes! A book every teen or adult should read on a tragedy that brought loud voices to be heard.

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Song of the Dead Blog Tour

 I am excited to be part of the Song of the Dead Blog Tour!

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Today I am doing a Listicle on facts about necromancers…since Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, raising the dead!

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So the definition of necromancy is a practice of some type of magic that involves communication with the dead, by summoning a spirit or raising a dead body for the purpose of retaining information or to be used as a weapon.

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Necromancer’s can be evil or maybe they can be good…like Odessa. There are plenty of genres regarding necromancer’s besides novels like Song of the Dead. There are comics, games, and they are in movies like Lord of the Rings.

 

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One question I do have is in The Walking Dead comic and TV series there are antagonists called the Whisperers, who wear the flesh of the dead and walk among the dead. Are they necromancers because they are bringing the dead to life by wearing them? Because they live with them?

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I loved Song of the Dead, a perfect sequel to Reign of the Fallen! The adventure continues in new lands with new characters and a perfect romance for Odessa. If you haven’t read these books check them out now.


 

Song of the Dead Cover

SONG OF THE DEAD

Order here!

The Dead must stay buried.
Karthia is nothing like it used to be. The kingdom’s borders are open for the first time in nearly three hundred years, and raising the dead has been outlawed. Odessa is determined to explore the world beyond Karthia’s waters, hoping to heal a heart broken in more ways than she can count. But with Meredy joining the ocean voyage, vanquishing her sorrow will be a difficult task.

Despite the daily reminder of the history they share, Odessa and Meredy are fascinated when their journey takes them to a land where the Dead rule the night and dragons roam the streets. Odessa can’t help being mesmerized by the new magic–and by the girl at her side. But just as she and Meredy are beginning to explore the new world, a terrifying development in Karthia summons them home at once.

Growing political unrest on top of threats from foreign invaders means Odessa and Meredy are thrust back into the lives they tried to leave behind while specters from their past haunt their tenuous relationship. Gathering a force big enough to ward off enemies seems impossible, until one of Queen Valoria’s mages creates a weapon that could make them invincible. As danger continues to mount inside the palace, Odessa fears that without the Dead, even the greatest invention won’t be enough to save their fates.


 

 

Reign of the Fallen Cover

REIGN OF THE FALLEN

Order here!

Without the dead, she’d be no one.

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their soul from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised: the Dead must remain shrouded. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, a grotesque transformation begins, turning the Dead into terrifying, bloodthirsty Shades.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears around the kingdom. Soon, a crushing loss of one of her closest companions leaves Odessa shattered, and reveals a disturbing conspiracy in Karthia: Someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?

Fighting alongside her fellow mages–and a powerful girl as enthralling as she is infuriating–Odessa must untangle the gruesome plot to destroy Karthia before the Shades take everything she loves.

Perfect for fans of Three Dark Crowns and Red QueenReign of the Fallen is a gutsy, unpredictable read with a surprising and breathtaking LGBT romance at its core.

 

Sarah Glenn Marsh_credit Stephanie Dennehy


AUTHOR BIO:

Sarah Glenn Marsh has been an avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life; she’s been making up words and worlds ever since. When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys painting, ghost hunting, traveling, and all things nerdy. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband and their menagerie: four rescued sighthounds, a bird, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep and Reign of the Fallen.

 

 

 

 

 


Follow the tour here!

Week One

January 7 – Bibliobakes – Review

January 8 – Twinning for Books – Listicle

January 9 – A Court of Binge Reading – Review + Creative Instagram Picture

January 10 – Anxious Bookoholic – Creative Instagram Picture

January 11 – Oh Hey! Books – Author Q&A

Week Two

January 14 – The Quirky Book Nerd – Review

January 15 – Dazzled by Books – Creative Instagram Picture

January 16 – Smadas Books Smack – Author Q&A

January 17 – Jena Brown Writes – Listicle: Characters New Year’s Resolutions

January 18 – The Book Shire – Listicle: Gifts the Characters would love or hate

Week Three

January 21 – YA Wednesdays – Creative Instagram Picture

January 22 – Fear Your Ex – Creative Instagram Picture

January 23 – The Fearless Reader – Playlist

January 24 – Novel Knight – Author Q&A

January 25 – The Book Deviant – Review + Inspired by the Book

Week Four

January 28 – The Life of a Booknerd – Favorite Quotes + Creative Instagram Picture

January 29 – The Fandom – Author Q&A

January 30 – Holed Up in a BookAuthor Guest Post: Dream Cast + Creative Instagram Picture  

January 31 – Upon the pages – Review + Creative Instagram Picture

February 1 – Pop the butterfly reads – Review + Creative Instagram Picture

Blog Tour: Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage Review

Today I am excited to share with you a wonderful book that really left a mark on me. A diverse set of stories that anyone can find inspiring with powerful messages with each turn of the page!

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  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 4, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524771961

A powerful collection of essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, actress Alia Shawkat, actor Maulik Pancholy, poet Azure Antoinette, teen activist Gavin Grimm, and many, many more, each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back because of their race, gender, or sexual identity–but persisted.

 

Order here!

 


Tawney’s Review: This book couldn’t come at better time. Our world is somewhat in chaos from politics to racism so reading this book gave me hope and many of the stories had an affect on me. What an encouraging way to see these authors tell their story of persistence, to never give up.

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A wide diverse collection of stories from holocaust survivors to athletes, to the disabled, to realizing you’re gay, to how mass shooting effects the families and so much more. These are people from all walks of life overcoming obstacles and still perusing their dream.

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The stories are short and the pace swift. The voices are very different from each other and you can relate and feel for the authors emotionally. You connect to their pain and persistent to never give up. I loved the diverseness of each author and the variety of subjects spoken about in the book. The stories were uplifting and each had a very powerful messages. I highly recommend reading this book to encourage those feeling a little lost in this world to never give up. Peruse your dream.

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Should you read it? Yes! An enjoyable read full of diverse emotional stories of persistent hope of never giving up that will leave readers gratified.

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In Her Skin Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway!

 

Today we’re excited to be part of In Her Skin Blog Tour! Let’s take a look at the book.

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IN HER SKIN Blog Tour Assets

About The Book:

Title: IN HER SKIN

Author: Kim Savage

Pub. Date: March 27, 2018

Publisher: FSG

Pages: 304

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Find it: AmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

 

Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest heist of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine.

When Jo takes on Vivi’s identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes come to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold onto an illusion of safety, or escape the danger around her before it’s too late.


Review:

This was a creeptastic book!

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The dark premise intrigued me. I think I saw a Law & Order SVU episode that had a girl posing as a missing girl and her story didn’t turn out well either. I love that Jo went to con a family but as you read each page you started to wonder who was conning who?

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Savage does a wonderful job at keeping the mystery at bay but all the while keeping the pace swift with all the shocking plot twists. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! It was a dark sinister read.

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Savage also does a wonderful job at painting a dark world with her vivid descriptions and interaction of the characters. It’s a haunting story full of secrets and at every twist and turn you hold your breath in anticipation.

Should you read this? Yes, In Her Skin was a twisted delight and a perfect dark ride for any reader of thrillers.

starstar  starstar


 

About Kim:

I was born and raised in Massachusetts, on the South Shore, which sounds beachy, even luxe. Think Winnebagos and chicken coops. My three brothers, 16, 10, and 8 years older, were teens by the time I became a person. Happiest around adults, who often forgot I was there, I spent days eavesdropping on gossipy moms in lawn chairs and nights listening under the table during tipsy Scrabble parties.

My dad read to me nightly. Eventually and early, I read to myself, everywhere. On top of an enormous freezer chest stuffed with meat. On drives until I grew nauseous. In bed until my eyes gave out. I read anything I could get my hands on. V.C. Andrews and Dickens. Black Beauty and the Bible. The Economist. Madeline L’Engle and Margaret Atwood. National Geographic.

I got a bachelor’s degree in English from Stonehill College and a Master’s in Journalism from Northeastern University. For a while, I worked as a business journalist. Instead of waiting for the Federal Reserve to release the Beige Book, I pitched story ideas along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You see where things were headed.

Today, I live with my family northwest of Boston in a town a lot like Shiverton, near the real Fells reservation of AFTER THE WOODS. Born with dysgeographica—I’m directionally challenged—the fear of getting lost in that lovely, dark forest lives close to my skin.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads


 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of IN HER SKIN and BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS, US Only.

Enter here!

 

 

 

Follow the rest of In Her Skin Blog Tour!

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

3/19/2018- Bookhounds YA– Interview

3/19/2018- Hauntedbybooks13– Review

3/20/2018- Falling For YA– Excerpt

3/20/2018- A Gingerly Review– Review

3/21/2018- Dani Reviews Things– Interview

3/21/2018- Book-Keeping– Review

3/22/2018- Nerdophiles– Review

3/22/2018- JustAddAWord– Review

3/23/2018- Literary Meanderings– Interview

3/23/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Review

 

Week Two:

3/26/2018- Pretty Deadly Reviews– Excerpt

3/26/2018- Riddle’s Reviews– Review

3/27/2018- Feed Your Fiction Addiction– Review

3/27/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

3/28/2018- Storybook slayers– Excerpt

3/28/2018- Twinning for Books– Review

3/29/2018- Rainy Day Reviews- Review

3/29/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings- Review

3/30/2018- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview

3/30/2018- FICTION FARE– Review

 

Orphan Monster Spy Blog Tour: Questions and Answers with author Matt Killeen

 

 

Today we’re excited to be part of the Orphan Monster Spy Blog Tour!

As part of the blog tour author Matt Killeen will be answering some of our questions. But first let’s take a look at this fabulous book!


BOOK DESCRIPTION 

Her name is Sarah. She’s blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish in 1939 Germany. And her act of resistance is about to change the world.
After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she’d ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she’s the Nazis’ worst nightmare.
 

Order here!


 

And now to our interview with Matt Killeen!

1. How did you come up with Orphan Monster Spy?

I’ve had a life-long horrified fascination with WW2, Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, partly because I grew up in the war-mad ‘70s and partly because I knew real-live Germans. My mother’s best friend was German and as a child I had real problems squaring the lovely, pacifist people I knew with the war stories that made up the majority of the films, comics and TV programmes at the time. As I learned the details of the Holocaust that dichotomy grew more profound and disturbing. I’ve carried this horrified fascination ever since and a lot of the research for this book was built on that foundation. Moving to South London, I regularly passed a mural dedicated to Violette Szabo – an SOE agent who had parachuted twice into occupied France to help organise resistance and sabotage. I knew her story well, as I’d seen the movie Carve Her Name With Pride as a child, but I was amazed how young she was when she volunteered for what was barely more than a suicide mission. At 21 I’d been a mess, not much more mature than I had been at 18 or 15…and Sarah was born, pretty much fully-formed and clearly calling the shots. Stockwell was also where the innocent student Jean Charles de Menezes was murdered by anti-terrorism police. It’s a classic example of what happens when you let fear dictate action and policy and made the whole bus trip fertile creative ground. Would the Allies use a teenage agent if they needed to? They did much worse before the end of the war and it turns out there were plenty of teenage partisans, couriers and resisters fighting the Nazis, some as young as 12.

 

2. What is your writing process like?

I’m a plotter, but I’m cusp pantser…there’s a framework with an ending and a few plot critical events along the way. Then I start writing chronologically from the start. This allows the characters to guide the action – they are very much in charge and sometimes do unexpected things. Sarah was supposed to be saved by the Captain, but that didn’t feel right and, in the end, she saved him. Her decision in many ways. It also allows for new bits as I research. Sarah needed to be at a port looking for escape – realistically that needed to be Lake Constance, which meant Friedrichshafen, which meant Zeppelins and so on.

 

3. What advice do you have for newbie writers?

WRITE. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Carve out time and write as often as possible – every day if you can, no matter if it’s rubbish – and don’t let anyone take that time off you. Find yourself a website, crit group or other support network of writers you respect. Learn to crit (give constructive feedback) and be critted. READ. Learn your craft.

 

4. If you had to pick a character from any book, who would you want to meet and what would you do?

That’s a tough question. I have a problematic savior complex so there are a few characters I’d like to sweep in and rescue from their dubious decisions and sticky endings – I’d elaborate but, you know…spoilers. That’s not very healthy I think. Most fictional characters are on some kind of progression and shouldn’t be messed with. I imagine a dinner with Clarice Bean, Cassandra Mortmain and Anne Shirley would be good value.

 

 


AUTHOR BIO:
 
Matt Killeen was born in Birmingham, in the UK, back when trousers were wide and everything was brown. Early instruction in his craft included being told that a drawing of a Cylon exploding isn’t writing and copying-out your mother’s payslip isn’t an essay “about my family.” Several alternative careers beckoned, some involving laser guns and guitars, before he finally returned to words and attempted to make a living as an advertising copywriter and largely ignored music and sports journalist. He now writes for the world’s best loved toy company, as it wasn’t possible to be an X-wing pilot. Married to his Nuyorican soul mate, he is parent to both an unfeasibly clever teenager and a toddler who is challenging his father’s anti-establishment credentials by repeatedly writing on the walls. He accidently moved to the countryside in 2016.
 Follow Matt on Twitter

Check out the rest of the Orphan Monster Spy Blog Tour!

 
WEEK ONE
3/12 – Crossroad Reviews – Review
3/13 – Twinning for Books – Q&A
3/14 – Live To Read – Review
3/15 – Spinatale Reviews – Review + Creative Picture
3/16 – Bookworm Banter – Review
 
WEEK TWO
3/19 – The Young Folks – Playlist
3/20 – Cracking the Cover – Review
3/21 – Bookish Connoisseur – Review
3/22 – Bookfoolery – Review
3/23 – Four Violet Reviews – Review
 
WEEK THREE
3/26 – Katy’s Library Blog – Creative Instagram Photo
3/27 – Adventures in YA Publishing – Q&A
3/28 – The Heart of a Book Blogger – Book Aesthetics
3/29 – Forever Young Adult – Review
3/30 – Bookablereads – Review
 
WEEK FOUR
4/2 – The Lovely Books – Review
4/3 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
4/4 – Once Upon a Twilight – Review + Fav Quotes
4/5 – Books Coffee and Repeat – Spotify Playlist
4/6 – Book Reporter – Review