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Friday, March 16, 2018

MORE THAN WE CAN TELL by Brigid Kemmerer // Excerpt and Giveaway

Hey ya'll! (I say ya'll now since I moved to SC)

I am SUPER excited to be a part of the MORE THAN WE CAN TELL blog tour. I absolutely LOVED this book. If you read LETTERS TO THE LOST you will know how special Rev is, and that he just needed his own book. As soon as I got done with LTTL, I begged for confirmation that it would happen and I squealed when Brigid said Rev's book was being written. I was nervous that it wouldn't hold up to LTTL, but I shouldn't have worried. I think I loved it even more. Rev is such an awesome, complex, and beautiful character, and I can't wait for all of you to read about him! (P.S. You do not have to read LTTL to read MTWCT).

Check out the excerpt below, and don't miss the giveaway at the end!

by Brigid Kemmerer
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (March 6, 2018)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon
Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay...until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.
I’m having the most bizarre emotional experience.
There is another e-mail from my father on my phone.
There is a girl walking next to me.
I’m taking her to my house.
It’s pouring rain and we’re holding hands and I’m soaking wet. I’m freezing on the outside and warm on the inside, and I both want this moment to end and go on forever.
I shove my phone into the sodden pocket of my hoodie. I only checked because I thought it might by Geoff or Kristin.
“What just happened?” says Emma.
My movement must have been a little too forceful. “My father sent me another e-mail.”
“Do you write back to any of them?” She looks up at me. Her hair is plastered back from the rain, and her eyes are huge.
“Only the first.” I wince. “I told him to leave me alone.”
She doesn’t respond to that. We walk in silence for a while.
“Do you think there’s a part of you that wanted to talk to him?”
“Yes.” No mystery there. “And I know that sounds weird.”
“No, I think I get it.” She shrugs. “I don’t like my mother, but she’s still my mother.”
“You don’t like her?”
“She doesn’t like anything about me either. She thinks I’m a slacker wasting all my time playing games on the Internet. It’s basically the same way she feels about my father, but she knows she can control me.”
“Your parents don’t get along?”
She snorts. “They must have gotten along at some point, but not now. Mom is all about eating healthy, working out, and spending seventy hours a week at her job. Dad is all about eating nachos, staying up all night, and also spending seventy hours a week at his job.”
“So they’re never home.”
“Not a lot, no. But really, that’s better. When they’re home they snipe at each other. When he’s not home, Mom snipes at me.”
No wonder she doesn’t feel like she has anyone she can tell about the guy sending her those hateful messages.
“So you think your mother is disappointed that you’re doing what your father does?”
“I know she is. And it sucks. I’m good at game design. I love the creativity of it. I write out whole storyboards. I have my own game, and a whole community! But she—”
“Wait.” I use our joined hands to pull her to a stop. “You have your own game?”
Her cheeks turn pink, even in the rain. “It’s nothing. It’s small.”
I stare at her. “Your own game. Like—you built a computer game.”
“It’s nothing. Really.”
It’s literally the most fascinating thing in the world and she says this like it’s nothing. “Emma—I don’t know anyone who can write a computer game. Are you kidding me? Can I play it?”
She glances away. “It’s silly. Like I said. It’s ridiculous.”
“It’s not. I want to see.”
“I don’t want you to see.”
Her words stop me in my tracks. I’m not entirely sure how to take them, and my brain is such a twisted, screwed-up place already. “Okay.”
Her blush deepens. “It’s not perfect yet. I haven’t even shown my father. It needs to be perfect before I show it to him.”
“And probably not your mother either?”
“God, no. She wouldn’t be impressed by any of that. She finds it disappointing. So I spend all my time resenting her but also wishing I could please her. If that makes any sense.”
“Of course.”
“Of course.” Light and shadows play games with the trails of water on her face. My eyes trace her lips, the lines of her face, the soft curve of her jaw. I want to touch her so badly that my hand aches for it.
“Are you stalling?” she whispers.
It breaks the spell. I blink and look away. “No. Come on.” We start walking again.
Are you stalling?
Much like her refusal to let me see her game, I don’t know what to make of that. Maybe this attraction is one-sided. Maybe my head can’t even wrap itself around normal social cues.
Then again, she’s still holding my hand.

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BRIGID KEMMERER is author of LETTERS TO THE LOST (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; THICKER THAN WATER (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Cover Love: A WRINKLE IN TIME Blog Tour

Today we are celebrating the film adaptation of a beloved classic, A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle.

Who else is excited to see A WRINKLE IN TIME movie this weekend?? I. Can. Not. Wait.

With Disney at the helm and Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Oprah Winfrey starring as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, you know it's going to be epic!

In honor of the upcoming movie, @macmillankidsbooks sent us a special movie tie-in edition of AWiT and a copy of BECOMING MADELEINE, a biography of the author of A WRINKLE IN TIME written by her granddaughters.

For the blog tour we were asked to show a picture of our copies of A WRINKLE IN TIME. It's crazy to see all the changes over the years, and I know there have been even more covers. Which cover is your favorite? I think I may like the movie tie-in the best, but the older copy will always have a special place in my heart!!

What does your copy look like? Are you excited to see the movie? 

Make sure you check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour!

February 21: YA Bibliophile
February 22: Adventures of a Book Junkie
February 23: Falling For YA
February 23: Fiktshun

February 26: Addicted 2 Novels
February 27: Swoony Boys
February 28: Book Nerds Across America
February 28: YA Wednesdays
March 1: Fiction Fare
March 2: Evie Bookish
March 3: Forever Young Adult

March 5: That Artsy Reader Girl
March 5: Hello, Chelly
March 6: Book Briefs
March 7: Ex Libris
March 8: Reading Teen

A Wrinkle in Time will be in theatres on March 9th, and the movie tie-in edition of the book is available now.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

THE TOMBS Blog Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to Day #8 of The Tombs Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Tombs on February 20th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Deborah Schaumberg and 10 chances to win a finished copy and a custom bookmark handmade by the author!

Two Truths and a Lie

Do you remember playing this icebreaker game at school? You say two truths and a lie about yourself and the other person has to guess which one is the lie.

Two truths and a lie about Deborah:

1. I've ridden an elephant in a three-ring circus.
2. I had a pet duck in college that followed me around campus.
3. I hiked the entire Appalachian Trail - from Maine to Georgia.
Answer (Highlight to reveal): The lie is number 3. I have not hiked the Appalachian Trail…yet! It is definitely on my bucket list though! My daughter was supposed to ride the elephant but panicked, so I had to. My duck's name was Chester. He thought I was his mom. People would tap me on the back and say, "Did you know there's a duck following you?"

Two truths and a lie about The Tombs prison:

1. The Tombs was built on a pond where slaughterhouses and tanneries dumped the blood and guts.
2. The Tombs was designed to look like a Roman temple.
3. Over fifty hangings took place in The Tombs courtyard.
Answer (Highlight to reveal): The lie is number 2. The Tombs was designed to look like an Egyptian mausoleum, with massive proportions intended to intimidate and strike fear into people. Here is what it looked like:

Two truths and a lie about Avery:

1. Avery is the only girl welder at Cross Street Ironworks.
2. Avery tried to fight off the men in crow masks when they came to take her mother.
3. Avery went to a party as a hired courtesan to try and discover the secrets of The Tombs.
Answer (Highlight to reveal): The lie is number 2. When the men in crow masks seized her mother, Avery did nothing. In fact, she is riddled with guilt, and wishes she could go back and change how she'd just watched and done nothing to help her mother.


Blog Tour Schedule:

February 19th — BookhoundsYA
February 20th — Good Choice Reading
February 21st — Book Briefs
February 22nd — Crossroad Reviews
February 23rd — Novel Novice

February 26th — A Dream Within A Dream
February 27th — Positively Book Crazy
February 28th —Reading Teen
March 1st — Page Turners
March 2nd — Mundie Moms
Follow Deborah: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn't. Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.

Like her mother's, Avery's powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city. Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power--or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own:  strange experiments are being performed on 'patients'...and no one knows why.

Deborah Schaumberg's gripping debut melds history and fantasy, taking readers on a breathless trip across a teeming turn-of-the-century New York, and asks the question: Where can you hide in a city that wants you buried?

About the Author: Deborah Schaumberg was born in Brooklyn, not far from where her novel The Tombs takes place. She grew up renovating dilapidated old houses with her family. She and her father would walk the rooms, floor by floor, making up stories about the inhabitants that were filled with dark secrets, monsters, and, of course, ghosts. Deborah is a writer and an artist whose work always has an element of fantasy to it, and since she also studied architecture, settings are equally important. It was on a trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal that she imagined a girl with the ability to see energy, and the seed of The Tombs was planted. She collects old bottles, and her favorite holiday is, you guessed it, Halloween. Deborah lives with her family and two dogs in Maryland, just outside DC. Visit her at


  • One (1) winner will receive a SIGNED finished copy of The Tombs and a custom bookmark handmade by Deborah Schaumberg
  • US only

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Monday, February 26, 2018

THIS HEART OF MINE by C.C. Hunter // Book Trailer and Excerpt

by C.C. Hunter
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Wednesday Books (February 27, 2018)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon

C. C. Hunter's This Heart of Mine is a haunting, poignant tale about living and dying, surviving grief, guilt, and heartache, while discovering love and hope in the midst of sadness.

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was ― a boy from her school ― and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?
Today we're so fortunate to get excerpt from C.C. Hunter's new novel, THIS HEART OF MINE. Check out the book trailer, then read the excerpt below!

One month
earlier April

“You lucky bitch!” I drop back down on my pink bedspread,
phone to ear, knowing Brandy is dancing on cloud nine and I’m
dancing with her. I glance at the door to make sure Mom isn’t
hovering and about to freak over my language. Again.

She isn’t there.

Lately, I can’t seem to control what comes out of my mouth.
Mom blames it on too much daytime who’s-the-baby-daddy
television. She could be right. But hey, a girl’s gotta have some

“Where he’s taking you?” I ask.

“Pablo’s Pizza.” Brandy’s tone lost the oh-God shriek qual-
ity. “Why . . . why don’t you come with us?”

“On your date? Are you freaking nuts?”

“You go to the doctor’s office, you could—”

“No. That’s hell no!” I even hate going to the doctor’s office.
If people stare long enough they see the tube. But this isn’t even
about me. “I’d die before I get between you—”

“Don’t say that!” Brandy’s emotional reprimand rings too
loud. Too painful.

“It’s just a figure of speech,” I say, but in so many ways it’s
not. I’m dying. I’ve accepted that. The people in my life haven’t.
So, for them, I pretend. Or try to.

“But if you—”

“Stop. I’m not going.”

There’s a gulp of silence. That’s when I realize my “lucky
bitch” comment brought on the pity invite. Brandy’s worried I’m
jealous. And okay, maybe I am, a little. But my grandmother used
to say it was okay to see someone in a beautiful red dress and
think, I want a dress like hers. But it wasn’t okay to think, I want a
dress like hers and I want her to have a wart on her nose.
I don’t wish Brandy warts. She’s had the hots for Brian for
years. She deserves Brian.

Do I deserve something besides the lousy card fate dealt to
me? Hell yeah. But what am I going to do? Cry? I tried that. I’ve
moved on.

Now I’ve got my bucket list. And my books.
The books are part of my bucket list. I want to read a hun-
dred. At least a hundred. I started counting after I got out of the
hospital the first time I survived an infection from my arti- ficial
heart. I’m at book twenty-eight now. I won’t mention how many of
them were romance novels.

“Leah,” Brandy starts in again.

The chime of the doorbell has me glancing at the pink clock
on my bedside table.

It’s study time. Algebra. I hate it. But I kind of like hating
it. Because I hated it before I got sick. Hating the same things as
before makes me feel more like the old me.

“Gotta go. Ms. Strong is here.” I bounce my heels on the
bed. The beaks on my Donald Duck slippers bob up and down.
Lately, I’ve been into cartoon-character slippers. They make
my feet look happy. Mom’s bought me three pairs: Mickey,
Donald, and Dumbo.

“But—” Brandy tries again.

“No. But you’re gonna tell me everything. All the sexy
details. How good he kisses. How good he smells. How many
times you catch him staring at your boobs.”

Yep, I’m jealous all right. But I’m not a heartless bitch. Well,
maybe I am. Heartless, really heartless, but not so much a bitch. I
carry an artificial heart around in a backpack. It’s keeping me

“I always tell you everything,” Brandy says.

No, but you used to. I stare up at my whirling polka-dot ceil-
ing fan. Even Brandy’s walking on eggshells, scared she’ll say
something to remind me that I got a raw deal, something that
will make me feel sorry for myself. I’m done doing that. But I
hate hearing that crunch as people tiptoe around the truth.

“Leah.” Mom calls me.

“Gotta go.” I hang up, grab my heart, and get ready to face

I really hate it, but it’s number one on my bucket list—my
last hurrah. Well, not algebra, but graduating high school. And
I don’t want a diploma handed to me. I want to earn it.
I spot Mom standing in the entrance of the dining room
turned study. She’s rubbing her palms over her hips. A nervous
habit, though I have no idea what’s got her jittery now. I sur-
vived the last infection and the one before that. She hears
my footsteps, looks at me. Her brow puckers—another sign of
serious mama fret.

I stop. Why’s she so nervous? “What?”

“Ms. Strong couldn’t make it.” She’s rushes off faster than
her hurried words.

I hear someone shuffling in the dining room. I’m leery. Hes-
itant. I move in. My Donald Duck slippers skid to a quick stop
when I see the dark-haired boy at the table.

“Shit.” I suck my lips into my mouth in hopes I didn’t say it
loud enough for him to hear.

He grins. He heard me. That smile is as good as the ones I
read about in romance novels. Smiles described as crooked,
mind-stopping, or coming with a melt-me- now quality. I swear
my artificial heart skips two beats.

He’s one of the Kenner twins, either Eric or Matt, the two
hottest boys in school. I used to be able to tell them apart, but
now I’m not sure of anything. If I combed my hair today. If I
brushed my teeth. If I have on a bra?

I close my mouth, run my tongue over my fuzzy-feeling
teeth, trying to quietly suck them clean.

Glancing down, away from his eyes, I rock back and forth
on my heels, my Donald Ducks’ bills rocking with me. Should I
run back to my room? But how pathetic will I look then? And if I
do, he’ll leave. Lifting my gaze, I realize I’m not sure I want him to
go. I kinda like looking at him.

“Hey,” he says.

“Hey,” I mimic and realize I’m hiding the backpack behind my
leg. I give my bright red tank top a tug down to cover the tube
that extends from the backpack and pokes into me under my left
ribcage. A hole that kinda looks like a second belly but- ton. Yup,
I’m hiding the very thing that’s keeping me alive.

“Ms. Strong couldn’t make it,” he says as if reading my
mood and realizing he needs to justify his being here. “She
asked me to sub.”

“For how many extra credit points?” I wait for him to tell me
he did it just out of kindness. And, if true, it would mean
he did it out of pity. I’m not sure I’d enjoy looking at him
anymore. I’d rather be someone’s means to a better grade.
Brandy told me that everyone in school knows about my dead

“Fifteen. I got lazy and didn’t turn in some homework.
You’ll pump me up to a B.”

“You should have held out for twenty.”

He smiles again. “I don’t think it was negotiable.”

Moving in, I try to guess which twin he is. I try to figure out
how to ask, but everything I think of sounds lame. Let him be

I had a thing for Matt since seventh grade. It might have
been wishful thinking, but in tenth grade I thought he liked me
too. Not that it ever went anywhere. He was football, I was book
club. He was popular, I was . . . not. Then I started dating Trent. A
guy in book club. A guy I let off the hook as soon as I found out
my heart was dying.

“Your books?” he asks.

I don’t understand the question, until I see he’s pointing to
my backpack.

Crap! I freak a little. I have several pat answers in my head
that I came up with when Mom, afraid I was turning into an
agoraphobe, insisted I get out of the house. But I can’t remem-
ber them. The silence reeks of awkwardness.

So I go with the truth. “No. It’s my . . . heart.” “Shit.”

He spills my favorite word.

I laugh.

His eyes meet mine and he smiles again. Yup, it’s kinda
crooked. My mind’s not working. And I’m melting.

“Oh, you’re joking,” he says. “Right?”

I nod yes then shake my head no as if I don’t know the

His smile fades like a light on a dimmer switch. “Seriously?”

“Seriously.” I move to the desk in the corner.


Monday, February 26, 7:00 PM
LAUNCH PARTY at Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77079

Monday, March 5, 7:00 PM
Interabang Books
10720 Preston Road, Ste 1009B, Dallas, TX 75230

Thursday, March 22
Katy Budget Books with Farrah Penn
2450 Fry Rd, Houston, TX 77084

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Black Sheep Review of THE CRUEL PRINCE by Holly Black

by Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air (Book 1)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (January 2, 2018)
Language: English
Goodreads | Amazon
Of course I want to be like them. They're beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him--and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.
I've been putting off reviewing this book for a long time because I just don't have a lot to say about it. I don't know if it's the fact that it was SO HYPED, or maybe I'm just not a huge fan of HBs faeries, but I thought The Cruel Prince was . . . fine. It was ok. I was mildly entertained. But I just didn't feel the LOVE that so many others described. I wasn't compelled to pick up the book at every possible moment. I absolutely adore her Curseworkers series, and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown was freaking awesome! But I didn't even finish The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her Tithe series is decent, but I didn't find it amazing.

The Cruel Prince is still definitely good, and worth the read, for sure, but maybe just don't go into it with ALL THE EXPECTATIONS. Of course, given all the other reviews, maybe you'll be fine.

I really enjoyed Jude's character. I liked how strong-willed she is, and how hard she works to master her life that has turned upside down. The contrast between her and her sister is great, and I found myself so frustrated by the way basically everyone behaved. But what can you expect in Faerie? Cardan will be a very difficult love interest (if that's where it goes) to get on board with because I'm SUPER picky when it comes to toxic relationships, and this has poison written all over it. But stranger things have happened. The story line was a little slow, in my opinion. Not much happens throughout most of the book, until the end, which is, admittedly, pretty awesome. This world is brutal, and the characters are cruel, but that's to be expected when faeries are involved. I love that Jude learns how to use her human-ness to her advantage, while also using tricks she's learned being raised in this harsh world.

I'm excited to see where this story goes. I hope with book 2 I can join the hordes of flailing fans across the book world. Until then . . . we wait.