Thursday, May 31, 2018

0 Download two free #audiobooks with Sync's Summer of #Audiobooks for Teens.

When teens leave their once-predictable lives behind, what comes next? I can't believe we're already six weeks in with Sync's Audiobooks for Teens. To download these FREE titles go to Titles are delivered through the OverDrive app, which is also free. There's a link to download the app on Sync's website.

These titles are free to download this week only! 

Available: 05/31 - 06/07

by Robyn Schneider | Read by Khristine Hvam, James Fouhey
Published by HarperAudio

John Green's The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park in this darkly funny novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Beginning of Everything. Up until his diagnosis, Lane lived a fairly predictable life. But when he finds himself at a tuberculosis sanatorium called Latham House, he discovers an insular world with paradoxical rules, med sensors, and an eccentric yet utterly compelling confidante named Sadie - and life as Lane knows it will never be the same. Robyn Schneider's Extraordinary Means is a heart-wrenching yet ultimately hopeful story about the miracles of first love and second chances.

by Josh Sundquist | Read by Pat Young
Published by Hachette Audio

After a lifetime attending a school for the blind, sixteen-year-old Will Porter's first day at a mainstream high school went about as well as he expected. He accidentally grazed a girl's boob when reaching for a handrail on the stairs, he sat on another student in the cafeteria, and he somehow drove a new classmate to tears without saying a word. His high school career can only go up from there, right? As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl name Cecily. And despite his fear that having a girlfriend will make him inherently dependent on someone sighted, the two of them grow closer and closer. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will could have ever imagined, and as he adjusts to his new sense, he finds the sighted world has been keeping more secrets from him than he realized. It turns out that the girl he's been falling for doesn't meet traditional definitions of beauty. In fact, everything he'd heard about her appearance now appears to be a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed? Told in Will's voice as he transitions from blind to sighted, this is a story about the nature of perception, love, trust, and romantic attraction. With moments of breathtaking poignancy, it's about how we relate to each other and the world around us, and how true friendship is one thing you don't need to be able to see to believe.

1 Review: Monsterland Reanimated #monsterland2 #partnership


Monsterland Reanimated
Written by Michael Okon
Ages 14+ | Publisher: WordFire Press | April 6, 2018 | ISBN-13: 978-1614756729

Publisher’s Synopsis: After Monsterland has been destroyed, the entire world is thrown into chaos. Wyatt Baldwin and his friends must go beyond the boundaries of their small town to reestablish contact with the outside world. During their journey they discover a new threat released from the bowels of the defunct theme park. The danger of werewolves, vampires and zombies pale in comparison to an army of relentless mummies, Vincent Conrad’s reanimated monster and the menace of a life-sucking ooze they call The Glob.  Will Wyatt and his friends survive when they reenter the scariest place on earth?

My Thoughts

Zombies scare me. I usually don't read books or watch movies that contain zombies in them for that reason. Vampires, werewolves, mummies, bring them on. Just no zombies. However, I do make exceptions on occasion, for example iZombie. Love it. And maybe by watching that show it has raised my zombie tolerance level. And considering Monsterland Reanimated is for teens, I thought it would be a safe bet.

Monsterland Reanimated by Michael Okon is the sequel to his first book, Monsterland. I've not had the opportunity to read the first book, but I was able to jump into the sequel with no problems. But you would probably want to read the books in order because, from what I could tell, there was some kick-butt action that you don't want to miss out on. 

It hasn't been that long since Wyatt Baldwin's life got turned upside down. The world is still in chaos. Any day now, Wyatt's town will be reconnected with the outside world. Any day now. Except it doesn't. In fact, things start going from bad to worse. Wyatt, along with his friends, must investigate the what and why of things. And what they discover lies at the center of Monsterland--the derelict supernatural theme park. Home of zombies, vampires, mummies, oh my!

Monsterland Reanimated is full of non-stop action. Wyatt and his friends are forced to leave their childhood behind and take on leadership roles. They must learn to work together as a team, despite their differences. They must learn to overcome preconceived notions, all while battling normal teenage stuff and supernatural creatures. 

Monsterland Reanimated is a great tribute to classic monster stories. It's for those who love a good mystery, a bit of mischief, and who aren't afraid of things that go bump in the night. 


Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

Be sure to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat  @IAmMichaelOkon #Monsterland2!




Tour Kick Off + Giveaway
May 1
Guest post
May 2
Book Review
May 3
Book Review
May 4
Book Review
May 8
Author Interview
May 9
May 10
May 13
Author Interview
May 22
Book Review
May 29
Book Review
May 31


Enter For A Chance To Win A Monsterland Reanimated Prize Pack!
One (1) grand prize winner receives:

A Monsterland Reanimated Prize Pack

A copy of Monsterland Reanimated, signed by Michael Okon
A t-shirt (Large)
An ice pack
A set of nail files (for all that nail biting you’ll be doing)

Three (3) winners receive:

A copy of Monsterland Reanimated, signed by Michael Okon

Age Range: 14+

Giveaway begins May 1, 2018, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends May 31, 2018, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

Giveaway open to residents of Canada and the fifty United States and the District of 

Columbia who are 13 and older.

Prizes provided by The Children’s Book Review

Per FTC guidelines, I work in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Michael Okon.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

0 Review: Too Wilde to Wed

by Eloisa James
384 pages | May 29th 2018 | by Avon 


The handsome, rakish heir to a dukedom, Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde—known to his friends as North—left England two years ago, after being jilted by Miss Diana Belgrave. He returns from war to find that he's notorious: polite society has ruled him "too wild to wed."

Diana never meant to tarnish North's reputation, or his heart, but in her rush to save a helpless child, there was no time to consider the consequences of working as a governess in Lindow Castle. Now everyone has drawn the worst conclusions about the child's father, and Diana is left with bittersweet regret.

When North makes it clear that he still wants her for his own, scandal or no, Diana has to fight to keep from losing her heart to the man whom she still has no intention of marrying.

Yet North is returning a hardened warrior—and this is one battle he's determined to win.

He wants Diana, and he'll risk everything to call her his own.

My Thoughts

Romance is the genre I read when I need to escape for a while. And Eloisa James is one of my favorite authors that helps take me to the place where I need to go. I love her strong heroines and her dashing heroes. I love that even though her romances are steamy, there's also an interesting storyline to go with it. 

Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde (aka North) was jilted by Diana Belgrave. Confused and hurt, he flees the country and doesn't return for two years. When he does return, he finds he has quite the reputation and his ex-fiance is now employed as the governess of Lindow Castle. 

Diana had never really wanted to be a Lady. She never meant to break North's heart. But when she was called upon to save a child, she knew that she'd have to give up North to do so. Diana is determined to make the best possible life for herself and the child. And if North's family assumes he's the father, well, then, she'll just have to play along for the sake of the child.

Seeing Diana again brings back all the mistakes he made with her. He's determined to see her right. Diana is still as attracted to him as she ever was. But she still doesn't want to be his Lady. Diana is proud and wants to make her own way. North is smitten and wants to make her his.

And so the story goes. Flirting, gossip, mystery, intrigue, peacocks, meddling mamas, and the list goes on. James transports you to a castle where you'll fall in love. I loved most of the story. I say most because at times it felt as if the storyline were a little too modern. Especially concerning Diana. I love her plucky spirit, but I had a hard time accepting some of the plot. 

Overall, it's a great book to read over a rainy weekend, a trip to the beach, or when you need a reading vacation. I love Eloisa James and will continue with this series. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

0 When Love Surprises: Week 5 of Sync's Audiobooks for Teens #Free #Audiobooks #YA

When Love Surprises is this week's theme for Sync Audiobooks for Teens. To download these FREE titles go to Titles are delivered through the OverDrive app, which is also free. There's a link to download the app on Sync's website.

These titles are free to download this week only! 

Available: 05/24 - 05/31

by Sandhya Menon | Read by Sneha Mathan, Vikas Adam
Published by Dreamscape Media

Now that Dimple Shah has graduated, she's ready for a break from her family - especially from Mamma's inexplicable obsession with her finding the "Ideal Indian Husband." Ugh. But Dimple knows that her mother must respect that she isn't interested in doing that right now - otherwise she wouldn't have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers, right? Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic, so when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him - during which he'll have to woo her - he's totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. Although their parents hadn't planned suggesting the arrangement so soon, when their kids signed up for the same summer program, they figured Why not?

by Diane Zahler | Read by Tavia Gilbert, Michael Crouch, Stephen DeRosa, Kenneth Cavett, L.J. Ganser, Robin Miles, Stina Nielsen, Elisabeth Rodgers
Published by Live Oak Media

Bee, a young orphan, is terribly hungry when she steals a bun from a local bakery. This desperate act sets off a series of events that takes the twelve-year-old on an incredible adventure that begins with her being hired by the baker and discovering that whatever she bakes reflects her current mood. Bee’s unusual talent comes in handy as she helps her new friend Princess Anika escape the evil mage, meets up with pirates and finds a family. A magical, meaningful story and a most magnificent heroine will delight readers of all tastes!

Monday, May 21, 2018

0 Books to Take to the Beach, Fahrenheit 451, and Spidey and Deadpool

Books to take to the beach:

Fahrenheit 451 premiered on HBO over the weekend. I've not watched it yet, but I plan to. I can't decide if I want to re-read the book first. I haven't read it since high school.

Just for fun

Thursday, May 17, 2018

0 Week 4 of Sync's Summer of Free Audiobooks Is Live #audiobooks #girlpower #books

I can't believe we're on week 4 of Sync Audiobooks for Teens. To download these FREE titles go to Titles are delivered through the OverDrive app, which is also free. There's a link to download the app on Sync's website.

These titles are free to download: 05/17 - 05/24

Two heroines find ways to fit in—without selling themselves short. 

Saving Montgomery Sole
by Mariko Tamaki
Read by Rebecca Lowman

Montgomery Sole is a square peg in a small town, a girl with two moms forced to go to a school full of homophobes and people who don't even know what irony is. Her saving grace--her two best friends, Thomas and Naoki. Monty's obsessed with paranormal mysteries like ESP, astrology, superpowers, and the healing powers of frozen yogurt, but when strange things actually start happening to Monty, she realizes that the greatest mystery of all is herself. Thoughtful, funny, and honest, this audiobook will make you want to laugh and cry over a big cup of frozen yogurt with extra toppings and your best friends at your side.

Being Jazz
by Jazz Jennings
Read by Jazz Jennings

Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. A year later, her parents allowed her to share her incredible journey in her first Barbara Walters interview, aired at a time when the public was much less knowledgeable or accepting of the transgender community. This groundbreaking interview was followed over the years by other high-profile interviews, a documentary, the launch of her YouTube channel, a picture book, and her own reality TV series—I Am Jazz—making her one of the most recognizable activists for transgender teens, children, and adults. In her remarkable memoir, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community. But it hasn’t all been easy. Jazz has faced many challenges, bullying, discrimination, and rejection, yet she perseveres as she educates others about her life as a transgender teen. Through it all, her family has been beside her on this journey, standing together against those who don't understand the true meaning of tolerance and unconditional love. Now Jazz must learn to navigate the physical, social, and emotional upheavals of adolescence—particularly high school—complicated by the unique challenges of being a transgender teen. Making the journey from girl to woman is never easy—especially when you began your life in a boy’s body.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

1 Cover Reveal for THE BLUE!! @hfvbt @TudorScribe @EndeavourQuill#CoverReveal #HistNov #HistFic #Historical #London #Blue #FallRelease #CoverLove

The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

Publication: Fall 2018
Endeavour Quill
Genre: Historical Fiction

What would you do to possess the most coveted color in the world? The year is 1758, and a headstrong woman artist, 24-year-old Genevieve Planche, is caught up in a high-stakes race to discover the ultimate color, one that threatens to become as deadly as it is lucrative. When Genevieve's mission is complicated by her falling in love with the chemist behind the formula, she discovers the world of blue is filled with ruthless men and women and how high the stakes really are. The story sweeps readers from the worlds of the silk-weaving refugees of London’s Spitalfields and the luxury-obsessed drawing rooms of Grosvenor Square to the porcelain factory of Derby and, finally, magnificent Sevres Porcelain in the shadow of Versailles. And running through it all: the dangerous allure of the color blue.

"Bilyeau’s sumptuous tale of mystery and intrigue transports the reader into the heart of the 18th century porcelain trade—where the price of beauty was death"’ E.M. Powell, author of the Stanton & Barling medieval mystery series.

Praise for Nancy Bilyeau's Fiction

"Bilyeau deftly weaves extensive historical detail throughout, but the real draw of this suspenseful novel is its juicy blend of lust, murder, conspiracy, and betrayal." —Review of The Crown published in Oprah, which made the book a pick of the month.

"English history buffs and mystery fans alike will revel in Nancy Bilyeau's richly detailed sequel to The Crown." —Parade magazine review of The Chalice

"The story in The Tapestry is fiction, but it is a sheer joy to have Henry’s court recreated with an eye to the reality of its venality, rather than the trendy Wolf Hall airbrushing of its violence and rapacity. The tone is always modern and light, but with none of the clumsy thigh-slapping faux period language. Bilyeau’s writing is effortless, vivid, gripping and poignant, bringing Tudor England to life with sparkling zest. If you want to see the Reformation from the side of the English people rather than the self-serving court, it is tough to do better than this trilogy." —Review of The Tapestry by Dominic Selwood, published in The Catholic Herald

"As always, Bilyeau has done her historical homework, bringing the drama, and details of Henry VIII’s court to life. You’re basically watching the rise and fall of Catherine Howard, Thomas Cromwell, Walter Hungerford and Thomas Culpepper through Joanna’s eyes. Her private moments with the king were among my favorites in this book. This a true historical thriller. It’s a Tudor novel full of suspense, intrigue, brutality, and death. It’s a well researched page turner. If you’re looking for an exciting historical read, this will be on your list." —Review of The Tapestry by Sandra Alvarez for

“Nancy Bilyeau's passion for history infuses her books and transports us back to the dangerous world of Tudor England. Vivid characters and gripping plots are at the heart of this wonderful trilogy. Warmly recommended!” —Alison Weir, author of The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I and many bestsellers

"Nancy Bilyeau's polished, inventive debut has all the ingredients of the best historical fiction: a broad cast of characters, well-imagined settings, and vivid story-telling... In Joanna Stafford, Bilyeau has given us a memorable character who is prepared to risk her life to save what she most values, while Stafford's desperate search for a lost religious relic will satisfy even the most ardent mystery fans." —Deborah Harkness, author of A Discovery of Witches

About the Author

Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, DuJour, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Good Housekeeping. She is currently a regular contributor to Town & Country and the editor of the digital magazine The Big Thrill. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel and an Oprah pick, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013. The third in the trilogy, THE TAPESTRY, was published by Touchstone in 2015. The books have also been published by Orion in the UK and seven other countries.

Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

For more information, please visit Nancy Bilyeau's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Cover Reveal Schedule

Wednesday, May 16

Thursday, May 17

Friday, May 18

Saturday, May 19

Sunday, May 20

Monday, May 21

Tuesday, May 22

Wednesday, May 23

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

0 Review: Royally Romanov

by Teri Wilson
Pocket Star ebook | 304 pages |  B01M5CMDEN
Buy: Amazon


In this charming modern day retelling of the 1956 classic Anastasia, a museum curator falls for a mysterious man who may or may not be a long lost heir to Russia’s imperial Romanov dynasty.

Finley Abbot is organizing the most prestigious art exhibit of her career at the Louvre museum—a retrospective of art from the House of Romanov. But the sudden appearance of Maxim Romanov threatens to turn her into the biggest laughingstock of the art world. When she finds herself falling in love, she realizes there’s even more at stake than her career. How can she trust a man with her whole world when he can’t remember a thing about his past?

After suffering a violent blow to the head, Maxim’s only clue to his identity is a notebook containing carefully researched documentation in his own handwriting indicating that he is the sole surviving descendant of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, previously thought dead in the murder of her family during Russia’s Bolshevik revolution. His struggle to put the mysterious pieces of his past back together leads him to Finley. At first, she’s convinced Maxim is nothing but a con artist. But there’s something undeniably captivating about the beautiful, brooding man who claims to be searching for his identity—something Finley can’t quite bring herself to resist. When he reveals a secret about one of the imperial Fabergé eggs in the collection, she accepts he may actually be telling the truth. But as soon as Finley and Maxim act on their feelings for one another, Maxim is confronted with evidence that calls into question everything he’s begun to believe about himself.

My Thoughts

I've been fascinated with the mystery surrounding Anastasia for as long as I can remember. After reading Royally Roma last year, I knew I had to put Royally Romanov on my tbr. And I have to admit that with the upcoming nuptials of Harry and Megan, it put me in the mood for book two or The Royals series.

Maxim wakes up in the hospital with no memory. Well, he remembers bits and pieces, but not the whole picture. He keeps dreaming of a mysterious woman who may be able to help him, but he doesn't even know where to begin to search for her. His only clue to his identity is a notebook where he's written that he is a Romanov--which puzzles him even further. 

Finley Abbot is a curator at the Louvre and has been working on an exhibit that features art from the House of Romanov. Maxim's search to uncover his true identity leads him to her. And it turns out she is the woman that he's been dreaming about. Finley is curious but cautious about this man who claims he might be a direct Romanov descendant. If what he claims is true, it could ruin her career. But Finley wants the truth, so she reluctantly agrees to help him.

The chemistry between these two only seems to increase with every meeting. Finley knows he could be a con-artist, but that doesn't deter her. Together, though danger lurks around every corner, they set out to find the truth in this exciting novel about an ancient mystery. Royally Romanov is a fast-paced, highly addictive book that will have you reading past your bedtime and have you dreaming of a prince of your own.

Monday, May 14, 2018

0 Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin, Unforgotten, and a reading by Flannery O' Conner

A new documentary will explore the life and legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin

Also, this is hilarious! 

I loved watching Unforgotten on Masterpiece Mystery! It's kept me enthralled for the last six weeks. I can't wait for season 3.

And last but not least, listen to this recording of Flannery O'Conner reading A Good Man is Hard to Find.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

0 Boys Are Running For Their Lives in Week 3 of Sync's Summer of Free Audiobooks

Week 3 of Sync Audiobooks for Teens is live. To download these FREE titles go to https://audiobooksync.comTitles are delivered through the OverDrive app, which is also free. 

Available: 05/10 - 05/17

Two boys on the run face danger—and

struggle with mistrusting everyone around

by John Ball | Read by Dion Graham
Published by Brilliance Publishing

When a nine-year-old boy shoots an older child, a race war is ignited between militant blacks and racist whites of 1960s Pasadena. Follow black homicide detective Virgil Tibbs as he investigates the scene of the conflict involving riots, brutalities, a chase through Disneyland, and a heartwarming—and heartbreaking—scene that takes place in the baseball stadium of the former Los Angeles Angels. Here you will find childhood gone awry, racism that ought to shock but in context does not (we know it too well), and political conflicts that add fuel to the fire.

by Abbas Kazerooni | Read by Abbas Kazerooni
Published by Brilliance Publishing

Abbas Kazerooni is not yet ten, but he’s suddenly forced to leave his parents, his friends—his entire world—and flee Tehran. The Iran-Iraq war is at its bloodiest, and the Ayatollahs who rule Iran have reduced the recruitment age for the army. If Abbas doesn’t escape, it’s almost certain that he will be drafted and die fighting for a regime that has stripped his family of all they have. On his own in the strange, often frightening city of Istanbul, Abbas grows up fast—with little more than his wits to guide him. He must conquer difficult things: how to live on his own, how to navigate a foreign city and culture when he doesn’t speak the language, and, most importantly, how to judge who is a friend and who is an enemy. Facing the unexpected as well as the everyday challenges of life on his own, Abbas walks a tightrope of survival—yearning to please the demanding father he has left behind, yet relishing his new found independence. His quick thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, and the kindness of strangers allow him to make the best of his dire situation in surprising ways. Does he have what it takes to not only survive against these challenging odds but achieve his parents’ ultimate dream for him: a visa to England, and the safety it represents? This compelling true story of one young boy’s courage provides a powerful child’s-eye view of war, political tumult, and survival.

Thank you, Brilliance Publishing, for this week's downloads!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

0 Word to Your Mother

Leading up to Mother’s Day on May 13, visit Read It Forward to find heartwarming, relatable, and emotional essays. The pieces cover experiences such as a shared Kindle account bringing a parent and child together to a dying mother reading her daughter’s novel, and more. Highlights from Word to Your Mother include: 

  • Elisabeth Cohen, author of The Glitch, who reminisces about the soundtrack of her childhood—her mother’s audiobooks—and the ways listening to stories brought them together. 

  • Chloe Esposito, author of Bad, who shares a witty account of adventures in bedtime stories—one of the greatest pleasures she shares with her daughters. 

  • Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book, who recalls the lessons that remain with him from reading The Country Bunny with his mother as a child.

On Read it Forward you can also find bookish gift ideas for mom and a reading list of moving “momoirs” that cover loving and losing mothers, and reckoning with complicated relationships.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

0 Review: Prince in Disguise

Hyperion | Ages 12-18 | 320 pages


Someday I want to live in a place where I never hear “You’re Dusty’s sister?” ever again.
Life is real enough for Dylan—especially as the ordinary younger sister of Dusty, former Miss Mississippi and the most perfect, popular girl in Tupelo. But when Dusty wins the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan on the TRC television network’s crown jewel, Prince in Disguise, Dylan has to face a different kind of reality: reality TV.

As the camera crew whisks them off to Scotland to film the lead-up to the wedding, camera-shy Dylan is front and center as Dusty’s maid of honor. The producers are full of surprises—including old family secrets, long-lost relatives, and a hostile future mother-in-law who thinks Dusty and Dylan’s family isn’t good enough for her only son. At least there’s Jamie, an adorably bookish groomsman who might just be the perfect antidote to all Dylan’s stress . . . if she just can keep TRC from turning her into the next reality show sensation. 

My Thoughts

It was a windy, drizzly, miserable Saturday. The kind of Saturday where I don't change our of my PJ's if I can help it. We had nowhere to be. Nothing to do. I ate breakfast and then I picked up Prince in Disguise. It was my intention to read only a few chapters. That's every bookworm's story, isn't it? Anyway, several hours flew by and I was still glued to the pages. Before I knew it, I had finished the book. I regret nothing. 

Prince in Disguise is recommended for kids ages 12-18. C.S. Lewis said, “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” And I believe this book is exactly the kind of book he is referring to. I couldn't help falling in love with the characters. Dusty and Dylan are sisters. Dusty is older and is filming for the reality television series, Prince in Disguise. Dusty gets engaged to the prince (well, he's actually not a prince but a laird) and is preparing for their upcoming nuptials in Scotland. 

Dylan is less than thrilled to be heading off to Scotland for her sister's wedding. She loves watching television, but hates being on television. She feels awkward and out of place in her family. However, Scotland starts looking like the exact place she wants to be after meeting Jamie, a member of the wedding party and all-around charming guy. From the moment they met, sparks fly between these two kids. He's the perfect distraction she needs from the drama the television crew tries to create. He's also adorably bookish. 

Pop culture references, literary references, trap doors, hidden rooms, family secrets, romantic dream dates, Scotland--this book has it all. Dylan and Jamie will have you believing in happily-ever-after. And if they made this book into a movie, I'd probably watch it over and over again until the dvd broke from overuse. Prince in Disguise is a fun rom-com that will have you begging for a sequel. Read it. Love it. And then hit me up on twitter so we can talk about it. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

0 Meet the Author and What I'm Reading

Meet the Author: Stuart Neville

Meet the Author: Imbolo Mbue

What I'm Reading

I'm listening to this on audio. It's powerful, people. Here's the summary:

In this valuable and revealing anthology, cultural critic and best-selling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are "routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied" for speaking out. Contributions include essays from established and up-and-coming writers, performers, and critics, including actors Ally Sheedy and Gabrielle Union and writers Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, and Claire Schwartz.

Covering a wide range of topics and experiences, from an exploration of the rape epidemic embedded in the refugee crisis to first-person accounts of child molestation, this collection is often deeply personal and is always unflinchingly honest. Like Rebecca Solnit's Men Explain Things to Me, Not That Bad will resonate with every listener, saying "something in totality that we cannot say alone."

Searing and heartbreakingly candid, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that "not that bad" must no longer be good enough.

Narrators include: Roxane Gay, Gabrielle Union, Ally Sheedy, Amy Jo Burns, Lyz Lenz, Claire Schwartz, Aubrey Hirsch, Jill Christman, Lynn Melnick, Brandon Taylor, Emma Smith-Stevens, A.J. McKenna, Lisa Mecham, Vanessa Mártir, xTx, Sophie Mayer, Nora Salem, V.L. Seek, Michelle Chen, Liz Rosema, Anthony Frame, Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Miriam Zoila Pérez, Zoe Medeiros, Sharisse Tracey, Stacey May Fowles, Elisabeth Fairfield Stokes, Meredith Talusan, Nicole Boyce, and Elissa Bassist.

Jane Eyre set in space. Enough said. 

But in case you need more, here's the summary:

Seventeen-year-old Stella Ainsley wants just one thing: to go somewhere—anywhere—else. Her home is a floundering spaceship that offers few prospects, having been orbiting an ice-encased Earth for two hundred years. When a private ship hires her as a governess, Stella jumps at the chance. The captain of the Rochester, nineteen-year-old Hugo Fairfax, is notorious throughout the fleet for being a moody recluse and a drunk. But with Stella he’s kind.

But the Rochester harbors secrets: Stella is certain someone is trying to kill Hugo, and the more she discovers, the more questions she has about his role in a conspiracy threatening the fleet.

Both book are in stores now. Grab 'em here:

Not That Bad | Amazon
Brightly Burning | Amazon

Don't forget to download Week 2 of Sync's summer of free audiobooks of teens (13+) before it's too late. Check out this week's selection:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

0 Week 2 of Sync's Summer of Free Audiobooks is live!

Week 2 of Sync Audiobooks for Teens is in full swing. To download these FREE titles go to https://audiobooksync.comTitles are delivered through the OverDrive app, which is also free. 

Is leaving home to look for something
better worth the risks—and the

Available: 05/03 - 05/10

by Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess
Read by Kwame Alexander

New York Times bestseller! Blade never asked for a life of the rich and famous. In fact, he’d give anything not to be the son of Rutherford Morrison, a washed-up rock star and drug addict with delusions of a comeback. Or to no longer be part of a family known most for lost potential, failure, and tragedy, including the loss of his mother. The one true light is his girlfriend, Chapel, but her parents have forbidden their relationship, assuming Blade will become just like his father. In reality, the only thing Blade and Rutherford have in common is the music that lives inside them. And songwriting is all Blade has left after Rutherford, while drunk, crashes his high school graduation speech and effectively rips Chapel away forever. But when a long-held family secret comes to light, the music disappears. In its place is a letter, one that could bring Blade the freedom and love he’s been searching for, or leave him feeling even more adrift.

The Devil's Highway
by Luis Alberto Urrea
Read by Luis Alberto Urrea

The author of "Across the Wire" offers brilliant investigative reporting of what went wrong when, in May 2001, a group of 26 men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona. Only 12 men came back out. "Superb . . . Nothing less than a saga on the scale of the Exodus and an ordeal as heartbreaking as the Passion . . . The book comes vividly alive with a richness of language and a mastery of narrative detail that only the most gifted of writers are able to achieve.--Los Angeles Times Book Review.

Download This Week's Free Auidiobooks

Thank you, Hachette Audio and Blink for this week's downloads! 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

0 Audiobook review: Holding by Graham Norton

Holding by Graham Norton
Published October 6th 2016 by Hodder & Stoughton
Hardcover, 320 pages | 9781444792003 | 
Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins | Simon & Schuster Audio


The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama, and yet its inhabitants are troubled: Sergeant P.J. Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; Brid Riordan, a mother of two, hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains—suspected to be those of Tommy Burke, a former lover of both Brid and Evelyn—are discovered on an old farm, the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As a frustrated P.J. struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his professional life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regrets.

Darkly comic, at times profoundly sad, and “especially inviting because of its tongue-in-cheek wit” (Kirkus Reviews), Holding is a masterful debut. Graham Norton employs his acerbic humor to breathe life into a host of lovable characters, and explore—with searing honesty—the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

My Thoughts

Graham Norton has been in movies, is an awesome television host, and has written a few nonfiction books. He's accomplished a lot in his career and now he can add kick-ass novelist to his resume. After reading the summary of Holding, I was intrigued but also a little trepidatious. Because while I like him as a television personality,  I couldn't help but wonder if I would feel the same way about his debut novel. 

I decided audio was the way to go with this book. Graham Norton not only has a pleasant voice, he also has a very animated voice. I thought he would be a great narrator. And I was right. His Irish accent transported me to the heart of Duneen where this small little town came to life through his words.

Holding takes place in Duneen, Ireland. It's a small village where not much happens. That is, until human remains are discovered. And with this discovery, secrets that the residents have been holding on to for some time begin to find their way out of the dark. The story centers around a few of Duneen's residents: Sergeant P.J. Collins, Brid Riordan, and Evelyn Ross. Each character has their part to play in this spellbinding mystery as well as a juicy secrets of their own.

I don't want to give too much of the plot away, and it is well-plotted, because finding out the details as Norton unravels them is half the fun. I think Holding would have impressed the Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie. It had the small town charm, the troubled but interesting characters, and, well, the a dead body. Though PJ isn't quite up there with Periot or Miss Marple, he's still an endearing character.

I enjoyed listening to this story, and I think you will too. I also learned that Graham Norton has another mystery coming out this year: A Keeper. I hope he narrates this book as well! 


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