Blog Tour: Poisoned

Hi beauties! Today I am a stop on the Poisoned blog tour hosted Rockstar Book Tours. If you love fairy tale retellings, be sure to check out my excerpt post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About the Book:

Title: POISONED

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Pub. Date: October 20, 2020

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 320

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, AudibleB&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

From Jennifer Donnelly, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Stepsister, comes a fairytale retelling that’ll forever change the way you think about strength, power, and the real meaning of “happily ever after.”

Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen’s huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman took out his knife . . . and took Sophie’s heart.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule — a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she’d heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong . . .

With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can’t extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength. 

GRAB STEPSISTER NOW!


EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

Once upon long ago, always and evermore, a girl rode into the Darkwood. 

Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. 

The tall pines whispered and sighed as she passed under them, the queen’s huntsman at her side. 

Crows, perched high in the branches, blinked their bright black eyes. 

As the sky lightened, the huntsman pointed to a pond ahead and told the girl that they must dismount to let the horses drink. She did so, walking side by side with him. Lost in her thoughts, she did not hear the soft hiss of a dagger leaving its sheath. She did not see the huntsman lift his face to the dawn, or glimpse the anguish in his eyes. 

A gasp of shock escaped the girl as the huntsman pulled her close, his broad hand spanning her narrow back. Her eyes, wide and questioning, sought his. She was not afraid—not yet. She felt almost nothing as he slid the blade between her ribs, just a slight, soft push and then a bloom of warmth, as if she’d spilled tea down her dress. 

But then the pain came, red clawed and snarling. 

The girl threw her head back and screamed. A stag bolted from the brush at the sound. The crows burst from their roosts, their wings beating madly. 

The huntsman was skilled. He was quick. He had gutted a thousand deer. A few expert cuts with a knife so sharp it could slice blue from the sky and the delicate ribs were cleaved, the flesh and veins severed. 

The girl’s head lolled back. Her legs gave out. Gently, the huntsman lowered her to the ground, then knelt beside her. 

“Forgive me, dear princess. Forgive me,” he begged. “This foul deed was not my wish, but the queen’s command.” “Why?” the girl cried, with her dying breath. But the huntsman, tears in his eyes, could not speak. He finished his grim task and got to his feet. As he did, the girl got her answer. For the last thing she saw before her eyes closed was her heart, small and perfect, in the huntsman’s trembling hands. 

• • •

 In the forest, the birds have gone silent. The creatures are still. Gloom lingers under the trees. And on the cold ground, a girl lies dying, a ragged red hole where her heart used to be. 

“Hang the huntsman!” you shout. “Burn the evil queen!” And who would fault you? 

But you’ve missed the real villain. 

It’s easily done. He’s stealthy and sly and comes when you’re alone. He stands in the shadows and whispers his poison. His words drip, drip, drip into the small, secret chambers of your heart. 

You think you know this tale, but you only know what you’ve been told. 

“Who are you? How do you know these things?” you ask.

Fair questions, both. 

I am the huntsman. Dead now, but that’s no matter. The dead speak. With tongues blackened by time and regret. You can hear us if you listen. 

You will say that I’m telling you tales. Fairy stories. That it’s all make-believe. But there are more things afoot in the Darkwood than you can imagine, and only a fool would call them make-believe. 

Keep to the path, the old wives say. Stay out of the forest. 

But one day, you will have to walk deep into those dark woods and find what’s waiting there. 

For if you do not, it will surely find you.


About Jennifer:

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of A Northern Light, which was awarded a Printz Honor and a Carnegie Medal; Revolution (named a Best Book by Amazon, Kirkus ReviewsSchool Library Journal, and the Chicago Public Library, and nominated for a Carnegie Medal); the Deep Blue series; and many other books for young readers, including Lost in a Book, which spent more than 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon


GIVEAWAY DETAILS

3 winners will receive a finished copy of POISONED, US Only.

Enter via this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba21161/


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/1/2020The Book Nut : A Book Lovers GuideReview
10/2/2020oddandbookishReview
10/3/2020popthebutterflyReview

Week Two:

10/4/2020A Backwards StoryReview
10/5/2020FictitiouswonderlandReview
10/6/2020Kait Plus BooksInterview
10/7/2020The Book RookeryReview
10/8/2020History from a Woman’s PerspectiveReview
10/9/2020MomfluensterReview
10/10/2020Thindbooks BlogReview

Week Three:

10/11/2020The Momma SpotReview
10/12/2020Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersReview
10/13/2020Bookhounds YAReview
10/14/2020Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
10/15/2020Book-KeepingReview
10/16/2020Nays Pink BookshelfReview
10/17/2020Lisa Loves LiteratureReview

Week Four:

10/18/2020Two Chicks on BooksInterview
10/19/2020The Pages In-BetweenReview
10/20/2020Two Points of InterestReview

Review: The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly

Click the banner to see the complete tour schedule
Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free as part of The Fantastic Flying Book Club’s Instagram tour for this book. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative.

This was such a fun feminist YA debut! 

I liked how inclusive and diverse this book was. Kit’s best friend Layla is bisexual. One of the characters, Penny, is a transgender Serving Wench at the restaurant. There is also Alex who also works at the restaurant and goes by the pronoun, “they.” Kit’s love interest, Jett, is half Indian. I also liked that Kit checks her own privilege. At one point she states:

“[W]e need this to be bigger than me. I’m just a white girl from the suburbs. Maybe my privilege makes it easier for me to say this isn’t fair, but we need to show people that this is more than just me doing a man’s job. It’s about getting rid of gender restrictions altogether.” 

pg 114

I liked that Kit wasn’t a traditional “good girl”. She is a smart girl who gets into college, but she also smokes cigarettes and drinks alcohol. 

I loved how medieval history was incorporated into the story. You actually learn some cool facts. 

This book was also incredibly fast paced. I flew right through it. 

One thing I didn’t like was that the romance aspect didn’t thrill me. It didn’t add much to the plot and the book would have been just fine without it.

Overall, this is an entertaining YA novel with lots of female empowerment and some medieval merrymaking! 


Synopsis:

Kit Sweetly slays sexism, bad bosses, and bad luck to become a knight at a medieval-themed restaurant.

Working as a wench―i.e. waitress―at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.

Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.


Giveaway

Prize: Win a copy of THE LIFE AND (MEDIEVAL) TIMES OF KIT SWEETLY by Jamie Pacton (US/CAN Only)

Starts: May 5th 2020

Ends: May 19th 2020

To enter click here


About the Author

Jamie Pacton writes all sorts of books: dark, feminist YA fantasy; contemporary YA stories with a funny + geeky bent; funny MG adventure-fantasy; and, even the occasional adult rom-com. She was a Pitch Wars mentee in 2015 and she mentored YA in 2016, 2017, and 2018. She grew up minutes away from the National Storytelling Center in the mountains of East Tennessee; she’s the oldest of ten kids; and, she currently lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband, their two kids, and a dog named Lego. The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly (forthcoming May 5, 2020) is her Young Adult debut.

Author Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19025294.Jamie_Pacton

Website: https://www.jamiepacton.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamiepacton

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamiepacton/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.es/jamie_pacton/

Review: One Day at Disney

Click the picture to purchase the book through my Amazon Affiliate link

Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour.

When I first heard about this book I was beyond excited because I actually have the old One Day at Disney book that Disney put out in 2000. That book shows one day at the Disney parks. 

This book goes above and beyond the parks and shows cast members in all areas of the company. I loved the range of people and jobs they showcased. One of my favorites was Thomas Self, who checks the underwater mechanics of The Jungle Cruise. Who knew that Disneyland had divers to do that? My other favorite was Cyril Soreau, who is a fruit and Vegetable sculptor at Disneyland Paris. Aside from park jobs, jobs in Imagineering, television/film, hospitality, and live entertainment were all featured. 

The write-ups on each person were incredibly well done. I felt like I really got to know each person and what made them and their job unique. 

The book itself is a massive coffee table book that is absolutely gorgeous. The pictures are stunning. It is definitely a book you will want to proudly display. 

Overall, this book is perfect for fans of all things Disney. It gives fans an exclusive behind the scenes look into the magic of Disney. 


Title: ONE DAY AT DISNEY

Author: Bruce Steele, Bob Iger (Introduction)

Pub. Date: December 3, 2019

Publisher: Disney Editions Deluxe

Formats: Hardcover

Pages: 224

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD, Target, Disney Store

Disney+ Subscribers can watch the original documentary on December 3rd!

Discover what it’s like to report to work every day for The Walt Disney Company. Step behind the scenes to immerse yourself in one “ordinary” day at Disney. In addition to the book, the Disney+ team was on hand to capture stories along the way. A full-length documentary and 52 short-form episodes expand the profiles and delve deeper into the essence of what it’s like to be a Disney cast member.

On a Thursday in 2019, a small army of photographers and videographers scattered across the globe to capture what goes on beyond those tantalizing “Cast Members Only” doors – whether eavesdropping on historic endeavors or typical tasks. All the photos in this book were taken on that single Thursday, beginning early in Tokyo and following the sun around the world through Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and dozens of places throughout the United States. More than 40 hours after it began, the day ended as the sun set on the Aulani resort in Hawaii.

On that day, some 80 Cast Members agreed to open up their workshops, dressing rooms, kitchens, cubicles, TV studios, labs, locomotive engines – and some even more surprising and diverse work spaces. They also shared their stories: childhood dreams and chapters, career pivots and triumphs, workaday hurdles and joys. It was just a day in the life, as extraordinary as any other day at Disney. As any Cast Member can tell you, a Disney job is less a destination than a limitless journey. And for just One Day at Disney, we can all tag along for the ride.

Book & Documentary Trailer:

About Bruce:

Bruce C. Steele is a journalist and Disney fan with a long career of profiling the famous and the unheralded, from the pastry chefs at the Biltmore Estate to the stars of Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns. A Pennsylvania native and University of Alabama graduate, he started his career at a daily newspaper in Louisiana and most recently worked at the paper in his current home of Asheville, North Carolina. In between he was the executive editor of Out magazine and the editor in chief of The Advocate newsmagazine and also took time to get an MFA in film studies from Columbia University. He has lived in New York City and Los Angeles, where his husband was a Disney animator. He’s now a freelance writer and regular contributor to Disney’s twenty-three magazine. Apart from this book, some of his favorite past interviews have been Emma Watson, Sir Ian McKellen, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson and crawfish farmers in the Louisiana bayou.

Twitter | Instagram 

About Bob:

Robert A. Iger Chairman and Chief Executive Officer The Walt Disney Company Robert A. Iger is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. As Chairman and CEO, Mr. Iger is the steward of one of the world’s largest media companies and some of the most respected and beloved brands around the globe. His strategic vision for The Walt Disney Company focuses on three fundamental pillars: generating the best creative content possible; fostering innovation and utilizing the latest technology; and expanding into new markets around the world. 

Mr. Iger has built on Disney’s rich history of unforgettable storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar (2006), Marvel (2009), Lucasfilm (2012) and 21st Century Fox (2019), as well as the landmark 2016 opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in Mainland China, Shanghai Disney Resort. Always one to embrace new technology, Mr. Iger has made Disney an industry leader through its creative content offerings across new and multiple platforms, most recently leveraging cutting-edge direct-to-consumer technology to successfully launch the Disney+ streaming service on November 12, 2019 and ESPN+ in 2018. 

Disney’s exceptional entertainment experiences, widely diverse content, and unique skill in managing businesses in an integrated manner have led to strong results. During Mr. Iger’s tenure, The Walt Disney Company has been recognized as one of the “Most Reputable Companies” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2006-2019); one of the “Best Employers” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2019 and 2018, respectively); one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine (2009-2019); one of the “World’s Most Respected Companies” by Barron’s (2009-2017); one of the “Best Places to Launch a Career” by BusinessWeek magazine (2006-2010); and as “Company of the Year” by Yahoo Finance (2013). 

Prior to his current role, Mr. Iger served as President and Chief Executive Officer beginning October 2005 and President and Chief Operating Officer from 2000-2005. Mr. Iger officially joined the Disney senior management team in 1996 as Chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group and in 1999 was given the additional responsibility of President, Walt Disney International. In that role, Mr. Iger expanded and coordinated Disney’s presence outside of the United States, establishing the blueprint for the Company’s international growth today. As Chairman of the ABC Group, Mr. Iger oversaw the broadcast television network and station group, cable television properties, and radio and publishing businesses and also guided the complex merger between Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. and The Walt Disney Company. During Mr. Iger’s years with ABC, he obtained hands-on experience in every aspect of the television business—including news, sports, and entertainment—as well as in program acquisition, rights negotiations, and business affairs. He began his career at ABC in 1974. 

Mr. Iger has been named one of the “World’s Most Powerful People” by Forbes magazine (2018); one of Fortune magazine’s “25 Most Powerful People in Business” (2006, 2007); one of the “Top Gun CEOs” by Forbes magazine (2009); one of the “Best CEOs” by Institutional Investor magazine (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011); MarketWatch CEO of the Year (2006); and “CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive (2014). Mr. Iger serves on the boards of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Bloomberg Philanthropies. In 2012, Mr. Iger became a member of the Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, which recognizes some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders. 

Mr. Iger is a graduate of Ithaca College.

Twitter  

Giveaway Details: 

3 winners will win a finished copy of ONE DAY AT DISNEY, US Only. To enter click here.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/18/2019For the Love of KidLitReview/Feature
11/19/2019Pooled InkReview/Feature
11/20/2019HBB ReviewsReview/Feature
11/21/2019onemusedReview/Feature
11/22/2019FictitiouswonderlandReview/Feature

Week Two:

11/25/2019DevourbookswithdanaReview/Feature
11/26/2019Eli to the nthReview/Feature
11/27/2019BookHounds Review/Interview
11/28/2019What A Nerd Girl Says Review/Feature
11/29/2019Not In Jersey Review/Feature

Week Three:

12/2/2019BookishRealmReviewsReview/Feature
12/3/2019Savings in SecondsReview/Feature
12/4/2019Life Within The PagesReview/Feature
12/5/2019PopthebutterflyReview/Feature
12/6/2019YA Book NerdReview/Feature

Week Four:

12/9/2019Novel NoviceReview/Feature
12/10/2019She Dreams in FictionReview/Feature
12/11/2019She Just Loves BooksReview/Interview
12/12/2019NerdophilesReview/Feature
12/13/2019Paper ReaderReview/Feature

Week Five:

12/16/2019Here’s to Happy Endings Review/Feature
12/17/2019fictitious.foxReview/Feature
12/18/2019The Reading Corner for AllReview/Feature
12/19/2019Wonder Struck Review/Feature
12/20/2019Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview/Feature

Week Six:

12/23/2019Odd and BookishReview/Feature
12/24/2019Southern Girl BookaholicReview/Feature
12/25/2019Two Chicks on BooksReview/Feature
12/26/2019Thepagesinbetween Review/Feature
12/27/2019Two points of interestReview/Feature

Review: Marilla of Green Gables

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours as part of a review tour. 

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables. I read the book and used to watch the animated TV show on PBS. I wanted to live in Avonlea with Anne. So naturally I was excited to read this book. 

I was not disappointed. The book felt in the spirit very much like Anne of Green Gables. I can tell that the author did her research (in her author’s note she goes over in detail how much research she did). It had the same quaint feel as the original. Even the stylistic choices mimicked the original. The book is divided into three parts: Marilla of Green Gables, Marilla of Avonlea, and Marilla’s House of Dreams. The chapter titles even paid tribute too. 

The author has a fantastic writing style. The whole book just flowed so nicely and transported you into Marilla’s world. 

I thought the inclusion of the Underground Railroad in Canada was a bold choice. I was happy the author incorporated it because it was an area of history that I did not know much about. I enjoyed learning more about Canada and its history. 

Overall, this was a worthy prequel to an iconic classic series. I think a reread of Anne of Green Gables is in my future. 


Connect with me!

Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Blog tour: Elizabeth Webster and the Court of Uncommon Pleas

Hi beauties! Today I am a stop on the Elizabeth Webster and the Court of Uncommon Pleas blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. This book sounds perfect for Halloween. There is giveaway for this book so be sure to keep reading!

About the Book

Title: ELIZABETH WEBSTER AND THE COURT OF UNCOMMON PLEAS

Author: William Lashner

Pub. Date: October 15, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 320

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindleAudibleB&NiBooksKoboTBD

Welcome to Elizabeth Webster’s world, where the common laws of middle school torment her days . . . and the uncommon laws of an even weirder realm govern her nights.

Elizabeth Webster is happy to stay under the radar (and under her bangs) until middle school is dead and gone. But when star swimmer Henry Harrison asks Elizabeth to tutor him in math, it’s not linear equations Henry really needs help with-it’s a flower-scented, poodle-skirt-wearing, head-tossing ghost who’s calling out Elizabeth’s name.

But why Elizabeth? Could it have something to do with her missing lawyer father? Maybe. Probably. If only she could find him. In her search, Elizabeth discovers more than she is looking for: a grandfather she never knew, a startling legacy, and the secret family law firm, Webster & Son, Attorneys for the Damned.

Elizabeth and her friends soon land in court, where demons and ghosts take the witness stand and a red-eyed judge with a ratty white wig hands out sentences like sandwiches. Will Elizabeth’s father arrive in time to save Henry Harrison-and is Henry the one who really needs saving?

Set in the historic streets of Philadelphia, this riveting middle-grade mystery from New York Times best-selling author William Lashner will have readers banging their gavels and calling for more from the incomparable Elizabeth Webster.

About William: 

William Lashner is the New York Times Bestselling creator of Victor Carl, who has been called by Booklist one of the mystery novel’s “most compelling, most morally ambiguous characters.”  The Victor Carl novels, which have been translated into more than a dozen foreign languages and have been sold all across the globe, include BAGMEN, KILLER’S KISS, FALLS THE SHADOW, FATAL FLAW, and HOSTILE WITNESS.  He is also the author of GUARANTEED HEROES, THE BARKEEP, which was an Edgar Award nominee and a Digital Book World Number One Bestseller, THE ACCOUNTING, and BLOOD AND BONE.

Writing under the pseudonym of Tyler Knox, Lashner is also the author of KOCKROACH, described as “roaringly entertaining,” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “an energetic tour de force,” by USA Today.  As Tyler Knox he has written a number of book reviews for the Washington Post Book World.

Lashner was a criminal prosecutor with the Department of Justice in Washington D.C. before quitting the law to write fulltime.  A graduate of the New York University School of Law, as well as the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he lives with his wife and three children outside Philadelphia. 

William Lashner Photo © Sigrid Estrada 

Website | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of ELIZABETH WEBSTER AND THE COURT OF UNCOMMON PLEAS, US Only.

To enter the giveaway click here!

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/1/2019- Pandora’s Books– Excerpt

10/2/2019- Southern Girl Bookaholic– Review

10/3/2019- Shelf-Rated– Review

10/4/2019- BookHounds YA– Excerpt

Week Two:

10/7/2019- Odd and Bookish– Review

10/8/2019- EatingbetweenthelinesINC– Review

10/9/2019- Little Red Reads– Review

10/10/2019- History from a Woman’s Perspective– Review

10/11/2019- Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers– Excerpt

Week Three:

10/14/2019- Books_andPoetrii– Excerpt

10/15/2019- Jena Brown Writes– Review

10/16/2019- Nerdophiles– Review

10/17/2019- Savings in Seconds– Review

10/18/2019- The Reading Corner for All– Review

Week Four:

10/21/2019- Books a Plenty Book Reviews– Review

10/22/2019- Wonder Struck– Review

10/23/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

10/24/2019- Novel Novice– Excerpt

10/25/2019- fictitious.fox– Review

Week Five:

10/28/2019- Fyrekatz Blog– Review

10/29/2019- Two points of interest– Review

10/30/2019- Fictitiouswonderland– Review

10/31/2019- PopTheButterfly Reads– Review

Blog tour: 10 Blind Dates

Hi beauties! Today I am a stop on the 10 Blind Dates blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. There is giveaway for this book so be sure to keep reading!

About the Book

Title: 10 BLIND DATES

Author: Ashley Elston

Pub. Date: October 1, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 336

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, AudibleB&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship.

Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.

When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.

This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever . . . or is it?

“This piece-by-piece romance doesn’t need its Christmas theme to sell, but it makes it glitter all the more.”—Booklist

“In a funny holiday romance that has Sophie dog-sitting in a hockey rink, watching porn at a drive-in theater, and playing the Virgin Mary in a middle school Nativity, Elston cleverly reflects the family members’ personalities through their choices of dates for Sophie.”—Publishers Weekly

About Ashley: 

Ashley Elston is the author of several novels, including THE RULES FOR DISAPPEARING (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Awards) and THIS IS OUR STORY. She graduated with a Liberal Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Ashley worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Louisiana with her husband and three sons. 

Ashley is represented by Sarah Davies at The Greenhouse Literary Agency.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of 10 BLIND DATES, US Only.

To enter click here!

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/1/2019- BookHounds YAExcerpt

10/2/2019- Odd and BookishReview

10/3/2019- FictitiouswonderlandReview

10/4/2019- Here’s to Happy EndingsReview

Week Two:

10/7/2019- PopTheButterfly ReadsExcerpt

10/8/2019- Read. Eat. Love.Review

10/9/2019- Paper ReaderReview

10/10/2019- A Bookish DreamReview

10/11/2019- Savings in SecondsReview

Week Three:

10/14/2019- book briefsReview

10/15/2019- Shelf-RatedReview

10/16/2019- Smada’s Book SmackReview

10/17/2019- Do You Dog-ear?Review

10/18/2019- Wishful EndingsReview

Week Four:

10/21/2019- Southern Girl BookaholicReview

10/22/2019- Eli to the nthReview

10/23/2019- fictitious.fox– Review

10/24/2019-  Fire and IceReview

10/25/2019- Two points of interestReview

Week Five:

10/28/2019- Riddle’s ReviewsReview

10/29/2019- Jena Brown WritesReview

10/30/2019- Moonlight RendezvousReview

10/31/2019- Novel NoviceReview

Review: Bill Marriott

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Initially, I thought this book might be on the dull side since it’s nonfiction, but I was wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

First off, I’m a big fan of Marriott hotels. Whenever I stay in a hotel, it’s usually a Marriott. However, I had no idea just how big the Marriott company actually is. 

This book is jammed packed with information. I could tell that the author did a tremendous amount of research. I learned so much about Bill Marriott and the company. Like I had no idea that Marriott built Great America, which is an amusement park in my hometown. I also did not know that Marriott almost bought Disney. Or that the Marriotts were friends with the Romneys (Mitt Romney is actually named after Bill’s father). My mind was blown. 

The book also discusses Bill Marriott’s faith. Bill belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The discussion o his religion never gets too overpowering or preachy, but instead gets woven throughout the book. It was interesting to see how his faith influenced his business decisions and his way of life. 

Overall, this was an insightful book about an incredible man and his company. I’m so glad I read this book because now I love staying at Marriotts even more since I know all the history behind it. 

Review: Flora Air

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★

I received this book for free as part of a blog review tour.

This was a very interesting book. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. 

Initially I was drawn to the premise. It’s about a woman getting involved with a married professor who helps her with her novel writing. I didn’t quite know how this would play out. I didn’t know if it would take a more scandalous route or play it safe. 

In the end it did go a safe route. For me, I thought it got too safe past the halfway mark. I was really into the story in the first half, but once I got into the second half it got a bit boring. There wasn’t much conflict to make it more interesting. 

There was an unexpected touch of magic to the story. I’m not quite sure it really added much to the plot. It definitely gave the book an extra something but it also felt a bit out of place and random at times. 

I did like the setting. The story takes place in Ireland which gave it a very quaint feel. I loved Oliver’s house by the sea. He had an amazing library. The book states, “the minute the library door was fully open, there was a heavenly smell of books, the intense aroma of lots and lots of books. The smell was like a heavenly perfume…it was truly a spectacular literary oasis. There was a gold mine of books in this enchanted nook. And the whole atmosphere was entirely magical” (pg. 41-42).

I also liked the message of finding love later on in life and the message of not giving up on your dreams. 

Overall, there were some things that I didn’t like, but there were also things that I did like. If you like the premise and you’re looking for something quick to read, then consider reading this. 


Synopsis

Flora Air is passionate about writing and she dreams of becoming an author, but she’s in a fog with her mundane day job. She meets a charismatic professor who nurtures her writing and suddenly her dreams seem possible. A touch of magic at the professor’s home adds old-fashioned charm and enchantment to Flora’s writing journey. When she realises she loves the married professor, her journey takes a wild turn. Can Flora actually succeed in becoming an author? What happens to the love Flora Air feels for the professor

Author Bio

Janice Cairns is the author of quality romantic fiction.  For more than thirty years she has lived in Edinburgh and her first three novels are set there.  She now lives in a historic market town not far from Edinburgh.  Most of her time is spent writing or thinking about writing.  She loves long country walks, reading good books and eating out in lovely restaurants.

Giveaway

To enter the giveaway click here

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Review: Patron Saints of Nothing

Click the picture to purchase the book

Rating: ★★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher as part of a blog tour. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative. 

I just want to preface this review by saying this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Like the main character of this book, I am half Filipino and half white. Seeing myself represented in literature means the world to me. I also want to say that I’ve never been to the Philippines so I can’t speak to anything in that regard.

Wow. This book was everything. I don’t even know where to begin. 

First off, all the Filipino culture was amazing to see. I’ve never read a book with this much Filipino culture. Every time I saw something, I was like, “Yeah, that’s my culture right there!” By the way, that happened a lot throughout this book. 

The blurb on the back of the cover compares this book to Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. That was likely a marketing ploy, but in a way I do see merit to that comparison. There’s something about Randy Ribay’s writing that reminds me of Angie Thomas’s. They both like to bring up big points in subtle ways. If you’ve read my review of THUG, you’ll see some examples. In this book, one example is when  the author casually brings up the American human zoos. Tito Maning says to Jay, “Do you know the Americans stole entire villages and then displayed them in your country as I they were animals in a zoo?” (pg. 153). Yes, that really did happen. Just google, “1904 World’s Fair filipino.” I only just learned about that when I was in college. 

I thought that the author did a great job describing the President Duterte’s war on drugs in a multifaceted way. He showcased different viewpoints on it and shared actual accounts, like the story of Kian delos Santos, who was unjustly shot and killed by the police. 

I also loved how the author tackled the issue of identity and being biracial. As a fellow biracial Filipino, I could relate to Jay a lot. Being biracial is such a tricky thing and the author captured it perfectly. 

There’s a little bit of LGBT representation which I appreciated. It’s always nice to see the LGBT community acknowledged and normalized, even when it’s not a part of the main storyline.

As for the plot and what happened with Jun, there was a lot of gray areas, which made it feel realistic. Things aren’t so clear cut which is what happens in real life. I appreciated that approach. 

Basically, I just want to thank the author for writing this book. Not only does this book successfully highlight the biracial Filipino American experience, but it also shines a light on a lesser known social injustice. 

To end, I want to share a quote that really hit me:

“It strikes me that I cannot claim this country’s serene coves and sun-soaked beaches without also claiming its poverty, its problems, its history. To say that any aspect of it is part of me is to say that all of it is part of me”

pg. 227

BOOK DESCRIPTION

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.

Patron Saints of Nothing blog tour: author guest post!

Hello beauties! Today I am so thrilled to be a stop on the Patron Saints of Nothing blog tour. As a biracial Filipino American like the main character, this book means the world to me because representation matters! I have written a review for this book (which will be up on a later date, spoiler alert: I gave it 5 stars), but for today I have an awesome guest post from the author, Randy Ribay, where he describes why he decided to tackle the heavy subject of President Duterte’s war on drugs.

Without further ado, here is the post written by Randy Ribay:

In the novel Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami writes, “Closing your eyes isn’t going to change anything. Nothing’s going to disappear just because you can’t see what’s going on. In fact, things will even be worse the next time you open your eyes. That’s the kind of world we live in. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won’t make time stand still.”

I think about this concept a lot, and I think it helps explain why I’ve always been drawn to “heavy” subjects, as the books and TV shows and movies I love the most are usually stories grappling with very serious issues. I feel as though such stories get at the core of what’s real. They show us who we truly are—as individuals, as humanity—at our best and our worst. I believe it’s important to confront these moments to figure out what leads us down one path or another. 

As a Filipino American, I wanted to explore the drug war in the Philippines because the thousands of extrajudicial killings comprise such a moment. I wanted to think through why President Duterte and other politicians believe it’s a good solution, why so many Filipinos support it, why some fight it, and why so many people (Filipino and otherwise) choose to ignore it. Of course, it’s one thing to try to understand this at the macro-level as a matter of policy, but there’s also a human impact of these cumulative actions/reactions/inactions, and that’s what I wanted to look at through Patron Saints of Nothing

The main character, Jay, is a Filipino American only vaguely aware of the drug war going on in the country where he was born. But when he gets news of his cousin’s death as a result of that drug war, he decides to try to figure out what really happened. Pursuing that question causes him to also confront a whole host of other questions about identity, family, faith, morality, truth, etc., that he likewise hadn’t given much thought to before. I think it’s only by struggling with such questions that can we develop a better understanding of who we are as individuals and who we are as a community. With that, we have a much better chance of becoming who we want to become. 


BOOK DESCRIPTION

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.


AUTHOR BIO:

Randy Ribay was born in the Philippines and raised in the Midwest. He is the author of After the Shot Drops and An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes. He earned his BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Master’s Degree in Language and Literacy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He currently teaches English and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.