Monday, February 26, 2018

A Wrinkle In Time Blog Tour

Hey, all! Today I'll be sharing with you guys some of my favorite quotes from A WRINKLE IN TIME. For the past week, my little assistant (my Mrs. Whatsit if you will) and I have been reading a chapter a night (sometimes more, sometimes less- all depending on her attention span). This is one of my all time favorite novels, and it feels like a blast from the past. I love that we're able to have these moments together and showing her how books can take her to a whole other universe. Granted, sometimes we have to switch over to one of her Touchy-Feely books, but she mostly listens and takes it all in.

As you can see, she very much is a bibliophile in the making:

“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. - Mrs. Whatsit”

“If you aren't unhappy sometimes you don't know how to be happy.”

“Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait point. French. Pascal. The heart has its reasons, whereof reason knows nothing.”

“Qui plussait, plus se tait. French, you know. The more a man knows, the less he talks.”

“It seemed to travel with her, to sweep her aloft in the power of song, so that she was moving in glory among the stars, and for a moment she, too, felt that the words Darkness and Light had no meaning, and only this melody was real.”

“A book, too, can be a star, “explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,” a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.”

"It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract".

Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?"

If you haven't yet, be sure to snag a copy and check out A WRINKLE IN TIME. The movie comes out soon, so you'll want to be prepared for all of the epic adventures!

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository / IndieBound

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Blog Tour: This Heart of Mine Excerpt

Hey, all! I'm excited to share with you guys an excerpt from THIS HEART OF MINE. It's a fantastic read with an interesting set of characters and so much heart. I don't want to keep you guys waiting, so without further ado...

One month earlier
April 13th

“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 quality.

“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

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 hundred.
At least a hundred. I started counting after I got out of
the hospital the first time I survived an infection from my artificial
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 ceiling
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 survived
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. Hesitant.
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 button.

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 Matt.

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 remember
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?”

Add it on Goodreads

A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

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?

About the Author

C.C. HUNTER is a pseudonym for award-winning romance author Christie Craig. She is lives in Tomball, Texas, where she’s at work on her next novel

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Review: The Beauty That Remains

Title: The Beauty That Remains
Author: Ashley Woodfolk
Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by Delacorte Press
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository / IndieBound

"Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death wants to tear them apart.

Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Each of them wonders: How different would my life be if this hadn’t happened? And now that it has . . . what’s next? "

Thoughts: What originally drew me to this novel was (if I'm being honest) the title. After reading the summary, I had high hopes that this was one of those beautifully written novels with so much depth that it took my breath away. Well, I must confess...

It most certainly did.

THE BEAUTY THAT REMAINS deals with many issues both children, teenagers, and adults alike face today. Diversity, depression, suicide, substance abuse, and the struggles of coping with loss - All of these are very real, and this is all the more reason to help others (especially our youth) understand that hey, it's okay to be different. It's okay to ask for help, and it's okay to feel the way you do.

Autumn has lost her best friend Tavia and doesn't know how to cope. She emails Tavia everyday even though deep down she knows Octavia will never receive them. Shay is part of a twosome, a twin who has recently loss the other half of her to leukemia. Being part of a set, she constantly sees her sister in herself and is lost between grief and differentiating herself from who her sister was. Logan, who once shined so bright, has lost his ex-boyfriend to suicide and now struggles with alcoholism as well as so much regret for the things he wished he said.

As you can see, each one has a very different story and journey, but they all come together to find the beauty that remained (see what I did there?). It's a gorgeous, heartbreaking, tale that helps remind us what's important in life and to always, always live. Life truly is far too short, especially when it's taken away early. Fans of Gayle Forman, Adam Silvera, Morgan Matson, and David Levithan will eat this one right up.


5 Stars

Monday, January 8, 2018

Blog Tour: Between The Blade and the Heart Giveaway

"Valkyries have one great responsibility: to return immortals to the afterlife by slaying them. As a Valkyrie, Malin has always known that the balance of the world rests on her ability to carry out orders. But when Malin discovers that her mother spared the life of an immortal who was destined to die, her world is thrown into chaos.

Malin not only wrestles with the knowledge that her mother might not be who she thought—she’s also thrust into the path of a gorgeous blue eyed guy named Asher who needs her help slaying the rogue immortal who destroyed his family. The balance of the world is at stake. And, as Asher competes with Malin’s ex for her love and loyalty, so is her heart. "

Published: January 2nd 2018 by Wednesday Books
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository / IndieBound

Giveaway: Thanks to the fabulous folks at St. Martin, I am giving away one copy to Between The Blade and The Heart. This giveaway is only open to US participants and ends 2/8/2018 at midnight CST. The winner will be contacted via email, and your information will be shared with the publisher.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Love N. Vegas Convention

Get your planners and washi tape out, because the Love N. Vegas Convention is coming to Vegas October 27-29! It's going to be at Planet Hollywood with loads of author signings, meet and greets, parties, the works. As a book convention vet, I thought I'd share some tips on how to survive (for those who are attending their first one) a book convention.

Do: Plan! Look at the schedule and see who is signing when. It's important, especially if certain authors lap each other. If this happens, think about who you love more and go to that one first.

Do: Get to everything early. If you're wanting to go to a certain signing at a certain time, be sure to get there early and snag a spot in line. Waiting until it starts is not a good idea. If you love the author, chances are others do as well, and the line will be a mile long (meaning you might miss other signings in the process.

Don't: Cut in line. You guys, I've had this done to me, and it sets me off. This is my biggest pet peeve. Whenever we were in Anaheim for ALA, a mom held the front of the line spot for not one, not two, not three, but almost a dozen teenage girls. It wasn't even Teen Day! This was when the booths gave away their display copies, and those girls took EVERYTHING we wanted. It didn't matter that we were there a couple of hours early. It happened, and it was the WORST! I also had a friend who missed out on a DESTROY ME arc/signing with Tahereh Mafi all because people were cutting in line. Don't be that person!

What To Bring: Most conventions have an area where you can check luggage in. See if they have one here. If so, bring an empty suitcase that rolls. It works PERFECTLY for all of the books since you can check the suitcase in and out as you go. There's no point in having back problems when you can easily roll your books away. A backpack is also something nice to bring as well. You can fill it up with books for signings and drop them off in your suitcase later. Also, bring a water bottle. There's always a fountain somewhere where you can refill. No one enjoys spending money on overpriced bottled water! Also, bring a snack! Again, overpriced food? No thanks.

What To Wear: It's important to be both comfortable but also dressed accordingly. My go-to outfit happens to be a pair of leggings, a nice/fun top paired with a cardigan (those convention centers are almost always COLD), and comfortable shoes that were made for walking in. Flip flops are a don't for me. I've done it, and the lack of support will kill your feet and back later. Toms, Adidas, and Converse are my personal favorites. My MO happens to be fun socks. Who doesn't love fun socks?

Go To Authors: Let's be honest, we all have our go to authors. Mine happen to be Laini Taylor, Colleen Hoover, Miranda Kenneally, Katja Millay, and Stephanie Perkins. If I hear they're in town or close, I'm there. If they're at a convention I'm at, I will stalk the living daylights out of their line. If you're not first, you're last (kidding but still).

Be sure to check out Las Vegas Travel Deals for the best deals in town. I'll actually be in Vegas soon and will have some recommendations posted once I get back! Food + books = life.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Dark of the West Cover Reveal

"He was raised in revolution. She was raised in a palace. Can their love stop a war? Code Name Verity meets The Winner's Curse in Joanna Hathaway's Dark of the West, a breathtaking YA fantasy debut.

Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe."

Thoughts on the cover: I feel like it works really well with the summary but is also intriguing enough to where if you walked by it, you would pick it up. The only thing I'm not a big fan of is her dress. I feel like a princess would have something much more extravagant, even if her kingdom is small.

What are your thoughts?

Expected publication: May 8th 2018 by Tor Teen

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound

Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Wish You Were Here

Title: Wish You Were Here
Author: Renee Carlino
Expected publication: August 15th 2017 by Atria Books
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / IndieBound / Book Depository

"Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, floating from interest to interest, job to job, and guy to guy, searching for a spark but never quite finding it. All she knows is that she won’t discover it working as a waitress at a pies-and-fries joint in Los Angeles or living with her fun but aimless best friend in a tiny apartment in the Arts District.

Then Charlotte collides with Adam, a gorgeous and soulful painter who seems just as lost as she feels. Their instant connection turns into a midnight drink… and a whirlwind night of champagne, Chinese food, and the kind of conversation that only happens in romantic comedies. But the next morning, Adam gives Charlotte the cold shoulder, leaving her confused and hurt—and wondering if the few odd moments between them the night before were red flags in disguise.

Months later, Charlotte hasn’t been able to shake Adam, so she decides to find out what happened the morning after their magical night together. This fateful decision rewrites their wild love story, but what Charlotte doesn’t know yet is that the ending has already been written. "

Thoughts: Is it just me or does Renee Carlino write some of the most addicting novels (blog pun not intended) known to man? All I have to do is crack one of her babies open and BAM, I'm sucked into the world. They're addicting to the point where I'm blocking out the infant crying in my lap and attempting my best to live in her books for as long as I can. WISH YOU WERE HERE is no exception to this rule. Like all of her books, left me questioning certain aspects of my life and wanting to live it to its fullest extent. This one had me doing it even more so. Let's chat.

One night stand or soulmate? Charlotte isn't the type of girl to just sleep with anyone. She's the type of girl who is constantly trying to find her niche in this world. This makes her completely relatable. Who, regardless of your age, hasn't gone from job to job, major to major, trying to figure out if this is what we're meant to do? Heck, I still do it now! At any rate, after another torturous day swinging soup around, Charlotte's friend Helen convinces her to go out for some drinks and after helping a drunk Helen home, they run into Adam. He seems lost, possibly new to the neighborhood, so Charlotte tries to help him out. The connection between the two is instant, and with one final push from Helen, Charlotte decides to take a leap of faith.

The night seemed perfect, things fairy tales are made of. Sadly, the night cannot last forever and come the next day, Adam seems to have morphed into someone different. What happened? Why the cold shoulder?

Months pass, and Charlotte cannot get Adam out of her mind. These types of fiery attractions don't come very often, so Charlotte decides to track Adam down. This is when the real story starts.

I can't say too much without giving the general story away, but I will say this: WISH YOU WERE HERE will take you on a fantastic journey that will have you wishing for your own Adam. He's hilarious and full of life, and he has the type of personality you can't help but love. There will be moments where you will be questioning his actions, but like all of Carlino's guys, he really, truly has a good heart. Gosh, I've literally fallen for every single one of her male leads. She sure knows how to write them!

If Adam doesn't have you falling in love with this book, Charlotte will. I loved how involved her family was in her life, how much her friends loved her, and how much she loves in return. There are not enough Charlottes in this world.

Overall, I truly loved this book and believe others will, too. There are definitely books I would compare this one to, but I feel like people will look too much into it, so (for spoilers sake) I'm just not going to. You're welcome to find me on Twitter (Lena1xoxo), DM me and ask, but for now just know it's up there with some great ones.


5 Stars