Posts Categorized: Blog Tours

Blog Tour: Butterfly Ginger

November 13, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews 1 ★★★★★

Blog Tour: Butterfly Ginger

Blog Tour: Butterfly GingerButterfly Ginger by Stephanie Fournet
on November 3rd, 2015
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five-stars
Butterfly Ginger is the story of first love getting a second chance. The summer before freshman year, Nate Bradley and Blythe Barnes meet and fall hard. Even with plans to attend college in different cities, they’re convinced that nothing can tear them apart—until everything does. Now, six years later, life in South Louisiana is giving them the chance to put the pieces back together.

This was a beautiful book that I absolutely couldn’t put down once I started it! I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did but there was just something about the lovely writing from Stephanie Fournet that completely sucked me in. I also felt like there was just the perfect amount of flashbacks and present day sprinkled in that allowed the narration to flow and for us to get the proper background information on Nate and Blythe’s love story. There were also a few supporting characters that were totally refreshing to me. So as a whole, this was a story that left me in awe and not wanting it to ever end.

So the characters are just one of the amazing things about Butterfly Ginger, but I’m definitely excited to talk about them. I honestly can’t think of a book I’ve read where the mother of one of the lead characters was autistic, especially not in any NA books since most of the time are total jerks. But I really love Nate’s mom, one of the last scenes in the book may or may not have made me shed tears. Six years ago, Nate gave up going away to college in order to take care of his mother, and his sacrifice alone proves what a great and selfless guy he is. Another surprising supporting character that we don’t see much of is Blythe’s younger brother Calvin. He’s sixteen years old and I love the bond that he and his big sister share. Blythe also discovers that he enjoys dressing up like a girl, but does it in secret because he’s ashamed of it. I felt like Blythe’s reaction to it was seriously the sweetest and most supportive answer that any high schooler going through something like this desperately needs.

Based on the supporting characters, you can tell that the two main protagonists are obviously incredible people for the love and compassion that Nate has shown for his mother, and the support Blythe showed for her brother. I feel like this is a good introduction into talking even more about why I love them both so much. Nate was definitely my favorite because from the first moment that he met Blythe, he was constantly doing everything he could for her. I’m not typically a fan of insta-love but it didn’t bother me here because this characters were so good together. The romance between them did fly by pretty fast when they were 18, but I still believe that it showed just how fast young love works. Blythe was a lovely character and I really enjoyed her, but I felt like Nate was a more developed character.

I recommend reading this book if you love swoony boys and a plot that isn’t filled with the same cliches. If you need to be convinced even more, I’ll tell you something that I found amazing about Nate that is uncommon in NA boyfriends. He discusses all of his past sexual partners with Blythe, which is something that you don’t typically see. In the stories where the two main characters were once together but have been apart of so many years, usually the guy copes with it by hooking up with tons of girls or even getting engaged. Nate does nothing even close to that, which I found so refreshing and adorable how he was still devoted to Blythe. So on that note, all I have left to say is that you need to read it!

ABOUT STEPHANIE FOURNET:

StephanieFournet

Stephanie Fournet, author of Fall Semester, Legacy, and Butterfly Ginger, lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and her daughter Hannah, their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and an immortal blue finch named Baby Blue. When she isn’t writing romance novels, she is usually helping students get into college or running. She loves hearing from fans, so look for her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and stephaniefournet.com.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Blog Tour: Overwhelm Review

November 12, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

Blog Tour: Overwhelm Review

Blog Tour: Overwhelm ReviewOverwhelm by Layla Messner
on November 13th, 2015
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three-stars
The living crystals that feed elemental power to Atlantis are exhausted. They give and give, but the Altantians just want more energy to fuel their magical city. Sixteen years ago, the crystals came up with a plan to make it all stop, a plan that revolves around three teens:

KALIOPE is a soulsinger, an empath with the power to sing the souls of the dead to their next lives. She just wants to grow up, but her mother won't let her.

DANICA is Kaliope's whipping girl. She gets punished whenever Kali disobeys.

CHIARAN is a firestarter, so reckless even his family considers him a monster.

When Chiaran arrives in Atlantis, he's the first fire person to set foot on the island in a hundred years. Kaliope naturally considers him an enemy and uses the last of her depleted power against him. But the battle reveals that the two have more in common than anyone could have guessed.

Anyone, that is, except the crystals.

Three teenage antiheroes, a bisexual love triangle, and an island about to sink.

Overwhelm is a darkly sensual fairy tale about growing up against all odds.

Truthfully, this is an extremely difficult book to really talk and share my thoughts about. I’m not even sure where I should start! I guess I’ll start by saying this novel is quite a whirlwind. It’s all over the place in terms of the narration, which makes it hard to follow at times, but overall this is a story that certainly held my interest. I’m not typically a huge fan of fantasy YA books in general, but the synopsis sounded seriously unique and refreshing to me. I decided to take a shot on Overwhelm and I’m glad that I did. The ending was rather abrupt, and so I’m definitely on edge waiting for the sequel to come out.

As I already mention, this wasn’t an easy book to follow. There are so many characters, and keeping each story together was more complicated than I would have liked. However, I also believe that this narration might jump around, but the writing style is still distinct and that makes the author memorable and different. I’m all about YA standalones/series that are not like anything else that’s been written before. That can seem like an impossible task since there’s so many great books out there and lately, it seems like some of the latest novels have just been taking from others. It’s safe to say that this isn’t the case with anything that you’ll find within these pages.

Kaliope, Danica, and Chiaran were all complicated but fascinating characters. Each of the teens come from a tribe. Kaliope and Danica both come from the water tribe and Kaliope can turn into a dolphin while Danica can turn into a shark. More on their relationship later, but for now I want to talk about where Chiaran comes from. He belongs to the fire tribe and he is a dragon shifter. So anyway, the queen of Atlantis has predicted that the bonding of a fire and water person will be what brings Atlantis down for good. Now more on the relationship between Kaliope and Danica now that I’ve made clear how danger the prior relationship has the possibility of being. Basically, the two girls have deep feelings for each other, but it’s complicated due to the lines of slave/master that are drawn between them. I felt a lot of sympathy for Danica, I definitely want to see a happy ending for her of some form in the next book.

This isn’t the easiest book to read and you will have more questions than answers after reading it, but I think there is a lot to like about Overwhelm. The characters and the story as a whole isn’t super developed, but I have some major hopes about the next book. So while this may not be something that every YA fan will love, I think that readers who love reading fantasy and getting lost in these brand new creative worlds.

About the Author:

Láyla Messner is a young-adult author and the founder of ChrysalisSanctuary.com for healing childhood sexual abuse. She has an M.A. in embodied writing from Goddard College and her novels provide New Sexual Mythology for teens. She believes that love is real. She does not believe in unsolicited advice or the word “impossible.”

Author Links:
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Blog Tour: The Edge Of Something More Review

November 11, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews 1 ★★★

Blog Tour: The Edge Of Something More ReviewThe Edge Of Something More by Andi Loveall
Published by Swoon Romance on November 10th, 2015
Genres: New Adult
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three-stars
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After a nasty breakup, twenty-two-year-old Devin Ashford is on a mission to travel the world one random excursion at a time. He wants to forget his ex, discover new experiences and end up with some awesome stories to tell. If it takes spending all of his savings to do it, he is ready.

His first stop is a communal homestead in the Appalachians of North Carolina, which turns out to be a bohemian paradise. The weed is plentiful, the owners adore him, and the very sight of Cora, their nineteen-year-old goddaughter, makes him want to set up a permanent camp.

Cora warns that she isn’t ready for a serious relationship, but Devin is falling hard. Playful kisses turn into passionate sex, and each day is spent connecting and enjoying the mind-numbing awesomeness—until he makes the mistake of saying “I love you.” Discussing the future kills the good vibes, and Cora pushes him away.

Pissed off and rejected, Devin begins preparing for his next excursion: backpacking India. But just when it’s time to go, the death of one of the homestead’s beloved animals leaves Cora upset and in need of a friend. Devin’s kindness wins him another shot at romance.

With a plane ticket in hand and his pride on the line, Devin and Cora find themselves teetering on the edge of something more.

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The Edge of Something More was a surprising and steamy New Adult romance that kept my interest all the way through. I think that Devon was a very charming and swoony character all around. More than that, I found it refreshing how he was a kind of free spirit who was traveling all around the world. Although it was a bit more complicated than that since he was actually escaping something, but it was still different and intriguing to me as a reader.

As I already mentioned, I really enjoyed the characters, specifically Devon. While not the best book boyfriend I’ve ever read in New Adult, I was still charmed by him which is always a good sign for me. I also liked the supporting cast of characters here, and felt like the author did a great job of bringing them to life. As for the female protagonist, Cora, she was a little more difficult to connect with at first. However, she does become more likable as her walls slowly come down and it begins to become more evident just how much she loves and cares for Devon, despite some of the heartbreak she’s experience in the past. I never like it when a character shuts down from the love interest when they did nothing to deserve it, but it does begin to get a bit easier to understand when the story and background is revealed.

I think this was a solid book about love and just letting people in and not running from them when things get difficult. Andi Loveall is a true storyteller and I did like this book. Some parts of it weren’t all that new, but it was still good. I also wasn’t totally blown away by it, which is partially what gets my attention and makes me love a book as a reader, but I was still glad that I read it anyway.

Andi
AUTHOR BIO:

Andi Loveall grew up in the blistering heat of California’s Central Valley and has since traveled far and wide in search of adventure and romance. From the steamy streets of Bangkok to the dancing fireflies of the Appalachians, the places, people and things she has seen have convinced her of two things: Life hurts no matter where you go, and the world is a crazy-beautiful place.

A freelance writer by day and storyteller by night, Andi is on a mission to create characters that come alive in worlds she can’t quite reach. When she’s not writing, she’s usually hula hooping, dying her hair bright colors or making delicious home-cooked meals for herself and the people that she loves.

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Consent Book Blitz

November 10, 2015 Blog Tours, Features, Reviews 0 ★★★

Consent Book Blitz

Consent Book BlitzConsent by Nancy Ohlin
Published by Simon Pulse on November 10th 2015
Pages: 288
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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three-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In this sexy and intriguing novel, an intense—and passionate—bond between a high school senior and her music teacher becomes a public scandal that threatens the reputation of both.
Bea has a secret.
Actually, she has more than one. There’s her dream for the future that she can’t tell anyone—not her father and not even her best friend, Plum.
And now there’s Dane Rossi. Dane is hot, he shares Bea’s love of piano, and he believes in her.
He’s also Bea’s teacher.
When their passion for music crosses into passion for each other, Bea finds herself falling completely for Dane. She’s never felt so wanted, so understood, so known to her core. But the risk of discovery carries unexpected surprises that could shake Bea entirely. Bea must piece together what is and isn’t true about Dane, herself, and the most intense relationship she’s ever experienced in this absorbing novel from Nancy Ohlin, the author of Beauty.

I’m thrilled to be apart of this release week blitz for the book Consent, which is hosted by Barclay Publicity. This was an intriguing and action packed story that definitely captured my attention. Truthfully, I have mixed feelings about teacher/student relationships. On one hand, I think it makes for a fascinating sort of fairytale, but I also believe that it’s romanticized and unrealistic at times. Consent is different from other books I’ve read that also tackled this complicated subject. Nancy Ohlin did a really great job with creating the characters of Dane and Bea. They are both complex and layered, and the journey between them was obviously a difficult one. This is an edgy YA read, but one that I personally believe will certainly intrigue readers.

While I’ve never played an instrument before, Bea’s passion for playing the piano felt super authentic to me. Her general attitude reminded me of Mia from If I Stay. I know that they play different instruments, but both characters are quiet and focused on playing their respective instrument. Dane is a complicated character to say the least. One particular thing that I enjoyed about him was how he helped lead Bea to pursue music in college. Those close to her, such as her own parents, are unaware about how serious she is about the piano. I like that she was able to be encourage by Dane, someone who went to a performing arts college and can give her helpful advice. As the novel goes on, things about the characters (particularly Dane) become more unclear and troubling. That’s all I’m going to say about that, but I will urge you to read the story!

I can’t completely reveal why this book became a little bit off the mark for me. It has to do with how things end, I was just expecting more resolution. I was also expecting it to be darker than it was. Maybe I should lower my expectations, but some things that we learn about Dane towards the end did make extremely weary. All in all, this was a solid read that I do think those who love YA stories that go against the grain will enjoy.

Release Week Blitz for Consent by Nancy Ohlin!

In this sexy and intriguing novel, an intense—and passionate—bond between a high school senior and her music teacher becomes a public scandal that threatens the reputation of both. CONSENT by Nancy Ohlin is a dark, edgy love story wrapped around the complex and controversial subject of sexual consent laws. Fans of THE LUCY VARIATIONS by Sara Zarr and IF I STAY by Gayle Forman will enjoy CONSENT from Simon Pulse.
Follow the blitz and enter to win great prizes!

3 grand prize winners will receive an autographed/personalized copy of CONSENT, an autographed/personalized blank journal, a CD of the Schumann Fantasy (which is the music that brings Bea and Dane together), and a SWAG goody bag!

10 runner-ups will receive a SWAG goody bag that includes a CONSENT button, an autographed CONSENT bookmark, and an autographed/personalized bookplate
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Also look for reviews on release day from:
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Praise for CONSENT:
“Consent is as delicate, as profound and as subtle as the music that gifted young pianist Beatrice plays in moments of near-mystical inspiration. Nancy Ohlin tackles a very delicate subject with so much wisdom, so much clear-eyed honesty, and such a deft touch that I was blown away. A quick read you can’t put down.” – Michael Grant, New York Times bestselling author of the Gone series

… a layered and thoughtful contemporary novel. The push and pull between what is perceived and what is true throughout the narrative adds another dimension to the unreliable first-person narration as readers and Bea contemplate Rossi’s agenda. …Ohlin delivers an open-ended novel ripe for discussion as readers follow the plot’s twists and turns.” – School Library Journal
“A compassionate but clearsighted look at student-teacher liaisons.” – Kirkus

Read an Excerpt from CONSENT

“May I?”
Without waiting for my answer, Mr. Rossi sits down next to me at the piano and pushes the quilted cover aside. As he does, his tweed jacket grazes my bare arm. My skin tingles from the contact, and I want him to do that again: accidentally-on-purpose touch me. Although it was likely just an accident, and I really need to cut this out already.
He raises and lowers his elbows, then closes his eyes. He smells like his handkerchief, except warmer, sultrier. He launches into the first movement—initially at tempo, then more slowly, then with a series of fits and starts in the form of ritardandos and accelerandos. His interpretation is decidedly more measured and melancholy than mine, and more passionate, too.
He stops just before the shift to the second movement and turns to face me.
“So . . . what do you think?” he asks me.
Our legs are almost touching. Should I inch away? Or stay where I am?
“Beatrice?”
He knows my name. After just the one class. I should correct him and tell him that everyone calls me “Bea.” But I love the way he says “Beatrice”—like a poem, and with that dreamy accent.
Oh, right, I need to respond. “Yes! Sorry! That was wonderful! Really deep and intense and tormented.”
“Schumann was in a great deal of torment when he wrote this part.”
“What was the matter with poor old Schumann?”
“Poor young Schumann. He was twenty-something at the time. He was in love with his piano teacher’s daughter, Clara Wieck. But Mr. Wieck wouldn’t let them be together. Schumann wrote a song for Clara called ‘Ruines’ because he felt that his life was in ruins without her. That song became the beginning of the Fantasy.”
Oh my God, how romantic. But I probably shouldn’t say that to a teacher. “That’s insanely interesting. How do you know this?” I ask instead.
“Conservatory. You’ll see for yourself, next year.”
Conservatory. I drop my gaze and study my nails.
“At Juilliard or Curtis or wherever you decide to go, you’ll learn everything there is to know about the lives of the composers. Who was in love with whom, who died of syphilis at age thirty-one, who had a morbid fear of the number thirteen . . .” Mr. Rossi hesitates, apparently noticing that I’ve checked out on this conversation. “You are a senior, right? That’s what it said on my class roster: ‘Beatrice Kim, senior.’ ”
I nod.
“Sorry . . . I simply assumed . . . So you’re not applying to conservatory, then?”
“Nope.”
“It’s just that I don’t run across people your age who can play the Schumann Fantasy like that. Or at all. You have ‘piano performance major’ written all over you.”
“Thanks. Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of . . . um . . .” Quick, make something up. “Pre-law.”
“Pre-law?”
My phone buzzes. I glance at the screen. It’s a text from Plum: I’m done. Where are you? Meet me out front.
“I have to go,” I say, rising to my feet.
Mr. Rossi glances at his watch. “Actually, so do I. I’m due at a meeting that starts—started—five minutes ago. It’s probably not good to keep Principal Oberdorfer waiting.”
“See you in class, then.”
“Yes. See you in class,” he replies. “Beatrice?”
“Yes?”
“The rest of the Schumann. Could I hear you play it sometime?” He sounds shy and hesitant, like he’s asking me out. My heart feels hot and fluttery.
“I’m still working on it,” I murmur.
“Good. I can offer you more unwanted advice, then.” He smiles, and I have no idea if he’s joking or not.
I’d better start working extra hard on that last movement.

About Nancy Ohlin:

Nancy_Ohlin_Author_Photo-1-cropped

Nancy Ohlin is the author of CONSENT, ALWAYS, FOREVER, and BEAUTY. She has also collaborated on several celebrity novels, including a New York Times bestselling YA trilogy. She received a BA in English from the University of Chicago. Born in Tokyo, Japan, she lives in Ithaca, New York with her family.
Connect with Nancy: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon
Photo Credit: Emma Dodge Hanson

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Blog Tour: Poet Anderson…Of Nightmares

November 6, 2015 Blog Tours, Interviews, Reviews 1 ★★★★½

Blog Tour: Poet Anderson…Of NightmaresPoet Anderson ...Of Nightmares by Tom DeLonge, Suzanne Young
Published by To the Stars on October 6th 2015
Pages: 368
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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four-half-stars
From the critically acclaimed transmedia project Poet Anderson: The Dream Walker, comes one of the most anticipated collaborations in YA literature this year: a thrilling, edge of your seat story written by award-winning musician, producer and director Tom DeLonge and New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young. 
Poet Anderson...Of Nightmares follows the epic journey of two orphan brothers, Jonas and Alan, who are Lucid Dreamers. After a tragic car accident lands Alan in a coma, Jonas sets out into the Dream World in an attempt to find his brother and wake him up. What he discovers instead is an entire shared consciousness where fear comes to life as a snarling beast called a Night Terror, and a creature named REM is bent on destruction and misery, devouring the souls of the strongest dreamers to get closer to the Waking World. With the help of a Dream Walker—a guardian of the dreamscape, Jonas must face his fears, save his brother, and become who he was always meant to be: Poet Anderson.

So what’s special about this book? Truth be told, there’s so many things about Poet Anderson…Of Nightmares that standout to me as a reader. There are just so many different genres that are meshed together in this YA book that makes the end result truly special. The story itself is one that I personally could kick myself for not coming up with. It’s just fascinating and instantly drew me into the story and I had to keep reading to find out what in the world was going to happen. Simply put, you get sucked into this complex world that these two authors have created. You also care about each and every character, and definitely cheer for them to defeat the bad guys. My first reaction to the ending was anger, but that was short lived once I realized that there will luckily be two more books after this one! I can’t wait to find out what’s next for our main boy Jonas and all of the other memorable characters that more or less come to life throughout the story.

Who should read it? This is a complicated question to answer because I personally think that the story covers pretty much every genre out there. I have seen that fans of Star Wars and other science fiction novels will potentially love this more than other readers, but I am not a huge fan of Star Wars (shocking I know) and I still found myself lost within the world of lucid dreaming here. I think it’s a genius topic to cover because I’m sure that a lot of people have at least heard of lucid dreaming, but might not be familiar with it in the way that it is presented in this story. Personally, I thought that it was insanely creative and different to come up with all of these trials that come with lucid dreaming.

Jonas and Alan are both orphan brothers who also are lucid dreamers. Alan, who is older, ends up in a coma from a car crash and Jonas then sets off into the dream world of Genisis to find him. There is where he discovers that he is a poet. There is a war going on in the dream world, and the villain is REM, who wants to take over the Dream World and the Waking World. Jonas must face off against REM and save these two worlds. Additionally, there’s also some romance thrown into the novel between Jonas and Sam. I found it to be an added bonus in the story, and I really enjoyed getting to read about their relationship.

While some may say that this is a trilogy that Science Fiction fans are most likely to enjoy, I also have to say that those who just enjoy a unique and complex YA story will love the book as well. Since it covers a variety of readers, I’m going to recommend it for those that love YA and are looking to escape to a completely unique and creative world that you will definitely get lost in.

Interview with Tom DeLonge:

What inspired the storyline of Poet Anderson and is there a character that you most identify with?

I saw a fascinating documentary about the study of nightmares at Stanford University. It talked about nightmares preparing human beings for real world events. It instantly made me think of my already existing character Poet Anderson, a post-punk and introverted kid from a rainy downtown Seattle. He’s a lucid dreamer, somebody that can see a better world, even if there is myriad of conflict. Yes, a character that I see a lot of myself in. From the days when I had much longer bangs. HA.

Have you always wanted to write a novel? How was this experience for you? 

When I was younger I could never find the desire to read. I cheated over and over and never read one book in school. Out of all the books they had given us, in all my years of school, I never read one of them.

As Blink-182 got popular, I started to realize what really made me excited about art was the way people felt when they come together, quite an epiphany for me. I became fascinated by the world of film, books, and music coming together. Hitting somebody with a 360 degree bat of art on the head. Angels and Airwaves was the genesis of that. Now, whenever I have any time at all, I find myself reading anything I can get my hands on, and trying to learn something of value.

Lucid dreaming plays a key part in the storyline, have you ever experience a lucid dream? What attracted you to the role that dreams play in our lives? 

There are two main reasons that attracted me to dreams, I have had lucid dreams in the past where I can’t get these pictures out of my head to this day; wondering what they meant, and what the hell they were, I am also a daydreamer by trade, and I spend every waking hour thinking about how to improve my future, my environment, and my experience.

The novel is part of what you call a Poet Anderson Transmedia  experience. Can you explain what other media assets you have created that help tell the story and how …Of Nightmares fits into it? 

I believe that the future of art is the convergence of film, music, and publishing. This will create new ways for people’s imaginations to be immersed into new worlds and new ways of thinking. This is called Transmedia, a cohesive mix of various mediums of art working together leading to a much grander experience for the audience.

Recently you’ve shifted your focus from your platinum-selling band Blink-182 to your new company To The Stars. What can you tell us about your future plans? 

As I’ve grown, I find myself wanting to do more things that involve other young artists. I get inspiration from talented people. I want to learn from them. I want to meet more people, try more things, feel new emotions, and see more reactions on people’s faces.

I just don’t do well in a box. After 25 years of one thing, I’ve developed a really cool new view of the world. I am always looking for new interesting ways to share my ideas and exciting, innovative people to collaborate with. The sky’s the limit for To The Stars, and I get to be the captain.

Interview with Suzanne Young:

What is your take on lucid dreaming? 

I wish I could lucid dream. I read up on the act itself, and there are some who don’t believe it’s possible and others who think it’s a learned skill. I’d like to believe that a true lucid dreamer can modify and change his/her dream, but then again, if we all had the skill, how many of us would wake up again? It’s almost like virtual reality. But in the case of POET ANDERSON, it’s an actual reality.

Where did you draw your inspiration for the world? 

I was lucky in that Tom and screenwriter Ben Kull already had a clear idea of what the world should look like. I tell character-driven stories, so my focus was on the Anderson brothers, and later, Poet’s relationship with Samantha. It was great to have pictures and graphic novel images to draw on for the setting.

There are a lot of intense battle scenes. What is your process for writing those? 

When I write, I always imagine the scene as a movie. I watch it in my head and then try to describe it on the page. Sometimes it works; sometimes it’s a mess. But those were the times I’d send it to Tom and he’d be like, “I love it!” Or he’d be like, “Yeah, I don’t know what’s happening here.”

How does the novel …Of Nightmares fit in to the TransMedia universe? 

The novel tells the origin story, introducing a young adult version of Poet Anderson. We know he’s going to be a serious badass, but right now, he’s Jonas Anderson, and he just wants his brother and he to live their lives. Then a Night Terror and a bunch of Dream Walkers show up and throw his life into total upheaval. He grows from here, but this was a great place for him to start.

Some of your other novels have heavy emotional themes. Does that carry into Poet Anderson at all? 

Most of my books are about loss and grief, and I think one of the more interesting aspects of this book, in addition to the world Tom created, is the relationship between Jonas and Alan Anderson. That sense of belonging to no one can be a driving force. Some of us have to create our own families. So I think in that aspect, fans of The Program series will connect to the emotions that Poet Anderson will stir up.

Where do you see the story going from here? 

No spoilers, but I will say this; going forward, nothing will be the same for Poet Anderson. He undergoes a significant change, losing a lot of people along the way. In the end, he realizes exactly what he is capable of. And what it can mean for the entire dreamscape.

four-half-stars

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Blog Tour: Cadence Review

November 6, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews 0 ★★★★

Blog Tour: Cadence Review

Blog Tour: Cadence ReviewCadence by Lisa Swallow
Source: Publisher
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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four-stars
four-flames

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tegan Hughes joins Blue Phoenix and Ruby Riot on tour, and drummer Bryn isn’t the only one who notices his little sister isn’t a kid anymore.

Jax Lewis is the guitarist for Ruby Riot and the band are rising to success. He’s hot property and loving every minute of his new found fame. Now, he’s on tour supporting Blue Phoenix and living his rock star life to the full. Until Tegan walks into his world and puts the brakes on.

Tegan Hughes is taking a year out and has her sights set on touring Europe with her big brother’s band. Blue Phoenix drummer, Bryn isn’t happy when his sister arrives unannounced at his hotel in Lisbon, but Tegan isn’t the type of person to take no as an answer.

With her big brother breathing down their necks, Jax and Tegan attempt to keep a handle on their growing attraction but that proves harder than they thought. Jax is used to getting whoever and whatever he wants and after kissing Tegan once, he knows one thing…he wants more.

The problem is, Tegan isn’t rock star girlfriend material. She has ambitions of her own and refuses to let anything stand in the way of her plans. But when Jax and Tegan’s relationship becomes public knowledge life becomes a hell of a lot more complicated.

Cadence is the first standalone book in a new rock romance series, Ruby Riot. The series is a spin-off from the Blue Phoenix books but you do not need to read the Blue Phoenix series first.

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Unfortunately, I’ve never read any of the Blue Phoenix books by Lisa Swallow. However, reading this new series from her, which is a sort of spin off, made me definitely want to read all of them. I was pleasantly surprised to find an affordable deal on all of the books through Kindle Unlimited. Anyway, I’m excited about the following Ruby Riot books. If they are as incredible as this one, this is completely a series worth checking out.

 

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Tegan and Jax were layered but still fairly likable characters for most of the book. Yes, Jax definitely had his bad boy side considering the fact that he’s a big time rocker, but the way he treated Tegan was so swoon worthy. There were quite a few steamy scenes between the awesome couple and it’s safe to say that I loved all of them! As for Tegan, she’s a completely fabulous protagonist. I loved her BA feminist attitude, it was lovely to see that she didn’t take anybody’s crap at all. I didn’t know much about Bryn, since I obviously haven’t read the Blue Phoenix series and all of the band members also appear in the Ruby Riot novels. Reading about him in this one made me want to pick up his story immediately! I wanted to hear more about his and Avery’s love story. For those of you that don’t know, Bryn is Tegan’s big brother and he is a member of Blue Phoenix, a band that is currently more popular than the rising Ruby Riot band. He was believable in his role as big brother, and I loved his protectiveness over his little sister. My only complaint is that I did want more sweet brother and sister roles between them, but I might just be biased since I have a big brother and love seeing that in books.

As already stated, this is a steamy and fascinating novel that captured my attention from start to finish. I loved getting to read Jax and Tegan’s story, but I’m also looking forward to reading more about the Ruby Riot members. Specifically, the twins in the group who are pretty much the only guys left in the group that have yet to shack up! If you’re looking for an addicting new adult romance novel that centers around sexy band members, look no further than this new series and the Blue Phoenix series as well.


AUTHOR BIO:

Lisa is an Amazon bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. She is originally from the UK and moved to Australia in 2001. She now lives in Perth, Western Australia with her husband, three children, and Weimaraner, Tilly, who often makes appearances on Lisa’s social media.

Lisa’s first publication was a moving poem about the rain, followed by a suspenseful story about shoes. Following these successes at nine years old there was a long gap in her writing career, until she published her first book in 2013.

In the past, Lisa worked as an English teacher in France, as an advertising copywriter in England, and ran her own business in Australia. Now she spends her days with imaginary rock stars.

She lived in Europe as a child and also travelled when she left university. This has given Lisa stories which would sound far-fetched if she wrote them down, and maybe one day she will. These days, Lisa is happy in her writing cave, under Tilly’s supervision.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Newsletter

Amazon

Blue Phoenix Facebook Page

GIVEAWAY:

One winner will receive a paperback copy of any of Lisa’s books. Another winner will receive a swag pack!

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four-stars

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Blog Tour: The Libby Garrett Intervention

October 26, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

Blog Tour: The Libby Garrett InterventionThe Libby Garrett Intervention (Science Squad Book 2) by Kelly Oram
on October 24th, 2015
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Libby Garrett is addicted to Owen Jackson's hot lovin'. But the sexy, popular college basketball player doesn't appreciate all of Libby's awesomeness. He refuses to be exclusive or even admit to people that they're dating. The relationship is ruining Libby and she's the only one who can't see it.
When Libby's behavior spirals completely out of control, her best friend Avery Shaw and the rest of the Science Squad stage an intervention hoping to cure Libby of her harmful Owen addiction. They put her through her very own Twelve Step program--Owen's Anonymous--and recruit the help of a sexy, broody, hard as nails coffee man to be her official sponsor.
...
Adam Koepp has watched Libby Garrett for years. How could he not notice the sassy girl with the purple skateboard and helmet plastered with cat stickers? But in all the years he's crushed on her, Libby has failed to take notice of him. Why would she when he was just a nobody high school drop out who served her apple cider several times a week? Especially when she was hooking up with a guy like Owen Jackson--a guy with a college scholarship and more abs than Kyle Hamilton.
Adam finally gets the chance to meet Libby when his co-worker Avery Shaw recruits him to take Libby on the journey of a lifetime. With his ability to play Bad Cop and his experience with the Twelve Step program he's the perfect candidate to be Libby's sponsor. But will he be able to keep his personal feelings out of the matter and really help her the way she needs? And will Libby hate him when he forces her to take an honest look at herself?

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So I was pleasantly surprised by this one and am looking forward to checking out more books by this author! I’ll admit that I didn’t read Avery Shaw’s story, but I adored Libby and although I wasn’t sure about all the background on Avery, I did love her as a supporting character here. There were so many good things that happened in this book and I love reading unique YA books.

I loved Libby, sometimes I did want to shake her for not seeing her own worth as a person. But that’s what makes her so realistic. I see myself in Libby, and that can sometimes be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s definitely needed. While Owen was a total jerk, I did get why Libby chose to be with him and I truly sympathized with her throughout a good portion of the novel. On the other hand, I REALLY felt for Adam. He was a guy who worked extremely hard, and even gave up graduating from high school just so he could have sole custody of his little sister since his dad wasn’r around and his mom was an alcoholic. I’m always a sucker for boys in books who have had a crush on the MC since forever but she doesn’t know and this was no exception at all. I loved how Adam saw Libby for who she really was. These are two incredible characters and I loved getting to see the story from their dual perspectives.

Besides the two awesome main characters, the book also has tons of important and fun supporting characters. I felt like Adam’s little sister Katie was endearing and BA all at once. I also loved the Science Squad and felt like they each had their own distinctive personality that managed to set them apart. I’m looking forward to hopefully getting to see more of their stories in the following books! (If she writes more books, of course) Don’t even get me started on how awesome Libby’s parents are. Her dad is a professional snowboarder and both of her parents are completely in love with each other, young, and they actually get along with Libby. I love how supportive both parents are from the very beginning of the book. I also was a huge fan of the growing bond that Adam had with Libby’s parents, even before he and Libby became much closer.

In short, I would certainly recommend this book. It brings up the issue of body image, which makes it an important read for pretty much every girl, regardless of your age. I also was impressed by the writing and drawn into this world that the author created, along with seriously memorable characters.

Buy Links:

Amazon * iBooks * Kobo Nook

About the Author

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Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

Author Links:

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Book Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

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four-stars

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The Secret Crush Release Day Launch and Review

October 18, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews 0 ★★★★

 

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We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for THE SECRET CRUSH by Sarah M. Ross! THE SECRET CRUSH is a sweet romantic novella perfect for those chilly fall nights! This title is only available on Amazon as it is in Kindle Unlimited. Grab your copy of THE SECRET CRUSH for $.99 today!

AMAZON

 

The Secret Crush - Cover

I was really excited about this short and sweet New Adult release! Why you may ask? Well, I could tell based on the summary that it was going to be an adorable love story. I’m always a sucker for stories where you’re not sure who the main character is going to end up with and this is an interesting take on that familiar idea. Novellas are a great method of storytelling when they are well done. Meaning, it can sometimes be even more difficult to write something short since you’re required to make your audience care about your story in an even shorter amount of pages. I feel like this was written extremely well because I did in fact care about the characters and was required to do a lot of thinking about who The Secret Crush might be.

Writing reviews about novellas can also be tricky considering the length and that there isn’t as much to talk about as there is with full length novels. I will admit though, I felt like Hadley was a great protagonist. I really loved her voice and felt like she was a strong and memorable character. Obviously, I wanted more time with her but that’s okay! I still did feel connected to her and believed in her story. I also really loved her cast of friends. They all helped her figure out who it was that was sending her these messages that said from “Your Secret Crush.” If it was me in her shoes, I highly doubt the detective work I would have done with my friends would have been as productive as hers was. I’ve said too much already so I’m just going to stop while I’m still somehow ahead here!

Anyway, the best word I can think of to describe this work is definitely cute. Other words just don’t it justice, but I’m sorry for frequenting that word and similar words so often here in this post. I’m glad that I was able to get to see inside this world that Ross has created here. Even though it was short, it’s still a light read. Yeah, it’s definitely cheesy at times, but I didn’t mind that. I felt like it was well written and I cared about getting to end and figuring everything out.

Excerpt:

My head tilted back, and I leaned on his chest. His thumb continued, now sliding up and down my forefinger. Tiny swipes back and forth, each one like a flame licking my hot skin. My fingers tingled with the need to touch him back, but I couldn’t move. All the noise from the other rooms seemed to fade away as he held me there. And even though I didn’t know who he was, I felt at home in his arms. Like it was where I belonged.

“Close your eyes, Hadley.” My eyes slid shut upon his command. “No peeking.”

I nodded, keeping my eyes tightly shut as he spun me around, facing him. My lips parted slightly as he reached up and cupped my face in his hands. I held my breath, anticipating whatever he was going to do next. My pulse raced as the seconds ticked by. God I hope he kisses me, I prayed.

“I want you to do something for me, Hadley.”

“Okay,” I murmured.

“When everything is over tonight. When the last guest has gone home and the lights are all out. When you’re back in your dorm and the world is quiet, I want you to glance out your window and look out at the stars. At how brightly they shine down from millions of miles away. And then I want you to remember what I’m telling you right now.”

He moved his face against mine, his breath like a warm caress against my cheek. “You, Hadley, shine brighter than them all. You radiate beauty and warmth and passion and determination. You put them to shame, Hadley.”

I sucked in a breath as tears pooled at his beautiful words. And just then, when I was filled to the brim with so much emotion I could explode, his lips came down on mine.

I sighed in contentment as his warm and soft lips pressed against my own with the briefest of kisses, leaving me craving more.

But before I could even flutter my eyes open, he was gone.

The Secret Crush - RDL Teaser 1

THE SECRET CRUSH SYNOPSIS:

I’ve been in love with Hadley Monroe for three years. Over a thousand days.

But Hadley doesn’t see me. Not the real me, anyway.

It’s time to change all that.

I need to show her—convince her—that we could be more than friends. That we are actually perfect for each other.

It’s time to put it all out there. Risk everything before it’s too late.

It’s time for a grand gesture.

It’s time to reveal that I’m her Secret Crush.

Praise for THE SECRET CRUSH:

“It’s like Clue but with love.” –I’m A Book Shark

 

The Secret Crush - RDL Teaser 2

 

Author pic - Sarah M RossAbout Sarah M. Ross:

Sarah started her obsession with reading at an early age, often sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class. She would read any book she could get her hands on. Her love of reading quickly evolved into a love of writing and stories began to pour out of her.

She grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as she does for several years. Sarah will always be a proud member of the Steelers’ Nation, but couldn’t take the cold and moved her frozen tush to Florida where she now lives with her family and two cats. You will find her now with her trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

Sarah’s debut novel, AWAKEN, released in January, 2012. Other novels include AVENGE, ATONE, ECHO OF AN EARTH ANGEL, and INHALE EXHALE.

 

Website | Twitter| Facebook | Author Goodreads | THE SECRET CRUSH Goodreads

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four-stars

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Blog Tour: Super Freak

October 16, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews 0 ★★★½

Blog Tour: Super Freak

Blog Tour: Super FreakSuper Freak by Vanessa Barger
on October 13th 2015
Pages: 285
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Thirteen-year-old Caroline is a freak. Her parents have uprooted her to a town full of Supernaturals. You'd think she'd be thrilled. But, to someone without a magical bone in her body, this daughter of tree sprites feels even more like an outcast than she ever has before. To make matters worse, her new home is cursed. But when Caroline takes to investigating the mysterious and strange happenings of Harridan House, her BFF goes missing. Seems someone doesn't want Caroline sticking her non-magical nose where it most certainly doesn’t belong. Determined to prove herself, Caroline uncovers a plot to destroy her new hometown. But what's a human without magical powers to do? Caroline better figure it out fast, before she loses everything she has ever loved and the whispers she's heard all her life prove true: "Caroline is a useless super-freak."

I’m beyond thrilled that I could be involved with the blog tour for Super Freak, a brand new middle grade book from Tantrum Books! This was a quick and sweet read that I was very into from start to finish. Vanessa Barger has crafted a cute story that was extremely creative and nothing like anything I’ve ever read before. I think she’s really onto something different and refreshing in the middle grade world and I like it a lot!

I loved Vanessa Barger’s writing style from the very first page. Caroline was a sassy and hilarious character that I immediately connected with. Who doesn’t feel like a freak sometimes or maybe even all the time? I know that when I was her age particularly, I often felt like I was the only person in my family or at my school who was different from the other kids. I felt like Barger put a unique spin to the story making Caroline being literally the only person around her who had no ounce of magic. Initially, I was thinking that she would be the only one in her family to lack magical powers, but I felt like this way was a lot more different and fascinating.

Besides Caroline, the other characters were also cool and fun to read. I loved her best friend who is a half vampire, Diana. The girl immediately sticks up for Caro and I adored how protective and sassy Diana was from the first scene that we met her. I wish that the author could have explored why Kevin, who is a vampire with a much nicer twin named Leo, was so mean to her. At one point, he does begin to get nicer and I was hoping for an explanation behind why he was bullying her in the first place and also why he chose to stop. Maybe that’s something that only I thought of when reading since it’s typically supposed to be a shorter book, but I think that could have possibly been worked in somehow.

All in all, I recommend this for younger readers because it is different and intriguing. It has hilarious and relatable characters. It also blends fantasy in there, but not in an overwhelming way. I felt like Barger wrote the story so well, I was definitely craving more by the time the book ended. In my humble opinion, you should give this one a shot if you’re a fan of middle grade books, it won’t let you down!

Tour Date:

October 12-23, 2015

Purchase Links:

BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Giveaway:

• Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Super Freak by Vanessa Barger (INT)

ABOUT VANESSA BARGER:

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Vanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), the Virginia Writer’s Club, and the Hampton Roads Writers. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She is married to a fabulous man, and has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Pinterest |YouTube

three-half-stars

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Blog Tour: Dream On, Amber Review

October 6, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Blog Tour: Dream On, Amber ReviewDream On, Amber by Emma Shevah
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on October 6th 2015
Pages: 272
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
My name is Amber Alessandra Leola Kimiko Miyamoto. I have no idea why my parents gave me all those hideous names but they must have wanted to ruin my life, and you know what? They did an amazing job.
As a half-Japanese, half-Italian girl with a ridiculous name, Amber’s not feeling molto bene (very good) about making friends at her new school.
But the hardest thing about being Amber is that a part of her is missing. Her dad. He left when she was little and he isn't coming back. Not for her first day of middle school and not for her little sister’s birthday. So Amber will have to dream up a way for the Miyamoto sisters to make it on their own…
“[A] beautifully written story.”—The Independent“One of those books that you simply won’t want to put down…five out of five stars!”—The Guardian

This is the first middle grade book that I’ve ever reviewed on my blog. That being said, this was an absolutely adorable and unique story to start out with. I’m currently in my second year of college and I’m studying to be an elementary school teacher. Right now, I’m taking a children’s literature class and we’ve been discussing how important it is to have diverse books in the classroom. Dream On, Amber is an incredibly diverse book, our heroine is half-Japanese and half-Italian, and I have never seen that in kid’s books before. This is a book that certainly managed to stick with me and I’m keeping it in mind to add to my own future classroom library.

Most of the middle grade books that I’ve read in recent years have male lead characters. Truthfully, I can’t remember the last book I read with a girl, probably something when I was younger. Amber was a total breath of fresh air. I loved how considerate, caring, creative, hilarious, and unique she was. There were several times when I actually laughed out loud from some of her opinions about the other girls in her grade who loved Justin Bieber and she felt left out. I liked that she did her own thing because it made her happy and didn’t care what anyone else thought.

The family factor in Dream On, Amber was a large part of what made this book special. I felt like the absence of Amber’s dad was heartbreaking, but also important. More and more children these days may not have a father around, so I feel like Amber’s story has the ability to really speak to them. I also adored her whole family: her sister Bella, her mom, and her grandmother. I’m not going to lie, there was a scene towards the end of the book between Amber and Bella that made me cry. I don’t have a sister, but I just found the relationship between them to be so beautiful and emotional. I felt like both her mom and grandma were wonderful characters who were supportive of these two awesome young girls. I love parents and grandparents in middle grade books that are loving and accepting, instead of the main character viewing them as overbearing or not being around enough.

I felt like the storyline itself was memorable. I loved how Amber embraced her creative side. At first, she was afraid to share her drawings with others, but it was something she loved. We also get to see Amber slowly find a place where she belongs within her school. Anyway, this was a fabulous and diverse middle grade book that I strongly recommend to any fans of unique books for younger readers.

About the Author:

Emma Shevah is half-Irish and half-Thai born and raised in London. She has lived in Australia, Japan, India (her first child was born in the Himalayas) and Jerusalem before moving back to the UK. Emma has busked as a fire-juggler, been a restaurant manager, a copy writer, an English teacher, and is now a blogger and author.

Excerpt from Dream On, Amber

Bella came in wearing her matching pink nightdress, pink dressing gown, and pink slippers with Hello Kitty all over them. I just don’t get why people like Hello Kitty. I know it’s Japanese and supposed to be kawaii (cute) and everything, so maybe I should like it, but it’s just a picture of a cartoon cat’s head. I mean, seriously, what’s the big deal?

Bella’s hands were behind her back like she was hiding something. She looked much happier than she did when we got home from the party. She moved her arms to the front and handed me a sealed envelope.

“What’s this?” I asked, putting my sharpener down.

“Can you mail it for me tomorrow?”

I looked at the front of the envelope. There was nothing written on it.

“But it’s blank, Bella.”

“Yuuup.”

“Who’s it for?”

“None of your beeswax, Mrs. Nosy Pants.”

“Um…okay. So you…you want me to put it in the mailbox?”

“Yes, Amber. Duuuh. That’s what mailing means.”

“But how is the mailman going to know who to give it to if it has no name on it?”

“Oh,” she said, frowning.

She lay down on her belly on the floor and with her red crayon from the dollar store (well, she wasn’t borrowing any of mine), she wrote on the front of the envelope:“TO MY DAD.”

I looked at her.

“Bella—”

“Shush,” she said. “Just mail it for me.”

“But there’s no address on it—”

“The mailman will know where he lives. He knows where everyone lives.”

“He won’t know where Dad lives. Nobody knows where Dad lives. Not even Mum.”

“Didn’t I say ‘shush’? I’m sure I said ‘shush.’ Just mail it for me. Pleeease, Amber.”

I sighed. What was I supposed to tell her? She was too little. She didn’t get it. So I took it and put it on my desk, just to make her happy.

I know I shouldn’t have done it and it’s probably against the law and everything but when she went out of my room, I opened it.

It said:

Dier Dad,

My nam is Bella and Im your dorta. My bithday party is on Sunday 16 Speptmbr and I rely want you too come. And I neid you to play with me in the park and posh me on the swing. Please come home

love, Bella

P.S. Please buy me a perpel Swatch wach and Sparkle Girl Julerry Makar for my bithday.

I didn’t know what to do. Obviously, I wasn’t going to mail it without an address on it. So instead, I put it in my secret place. If you pull the bottom drawer of my dresser all the way out, there’s a space under it on the floor where I put my most sacred things. I had a coin that I found in Hyde Park that I’m sure is Roman or Viking and one day I’m going to sell it and get mega rich. I had a few other cool things in there too. Some of them are embarrassing, like key-rings I made out of lanyard strings when I was, like, seven and valentine cards my mum sent me. Stuff you can’t exactly throw out but really don’t want anyone to see. The letter wasn’t one of my sacred things but where else was I going to put it?

I also had a picture of my dad holding me when I was a baby that I sneaked out of Nonna’s album. Obviously, we have a whole bunch of photos of him in that album, but I wanted one for myself. One of him with me. Just to prove to myself that he did actually exist and hold me once, and he even looked proud. I don’t look at that photo much because it makes me angry. I know it doesn’t make sense to keep it, but there you go. Not everything makes sense. If it did, he would never have left in the first place.

There was another knock on my door, so I quickly closed the drawer.

“Hang on… Okay, you can come in now.”

Bella stuck her head in.

“When do you think he’ll get it?” she asked.

“Well, they have to find him first. It’s not easy, you know. It takes teams of detectives months to find missing people.”

She walked in to my room and said, “Oh,” and did that thing where she points her toes inward and puts one foot over the other, like her toes are hugging.

“Do you think he’ll get it before my birthday?”

“I don’t know, Bella. I don’t think so. But if by some weird miracle he did get it before then, I’m sure he’d come to your party.”

Bella unhugged her toes and put her hands on her hips. “Amber?”

“Mmm?”

“How do you know I want Dad to come to my party?”

Oops.

“Well, it’s kind of obvious, Bella. You did ask if he’d get it before your birthday.”

“Oh,” she said, frowning. “Hmm. Well, okay.” And she skipped back to her room.

The letter wasn’t my biggest problem at that point. I was so worried about starting my new school in the morning that I couldn’t get to sleep for ages. When you can’t sleep, your mind starts going a bit doolally. Well, mine does anyway. I start thinking all kinds of crazy things. And eventually the problem with Bella and her letter worked its way into my churning brain.

It was kind of mean and everything but there were times I really wished Bella wasn’t my sister. But knowing there was a huge hole where our dad was supposed to be wasn’t much fun either. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that maybe, just maybe, I could do something about it. I could save Bella from years of torture with one quick solution.

It seemed straightforward enough.

I decided to pretend to be my dad and write back to her, you know, to make her feel better.

And that was it.

Paff!

The most ingenious idea I’ve ever had lit up my mind like a firework.

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five-stars

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