A Quickie Q&A With Jandy Nelson + Giveaway

If you know me, you know that Jandy Nelson is one of my favorite authors (she wrote The Sky Is Everywhere and the soon to be released I’ll Give You The Sun). I’m pretty sure that you should know that. Her books are just something out of this world and I damn near lost my shit meeting her at BEA this year. I might have scared her but I’m hoping my heart eyes and ecstatic praise translated more HUGE FAN than creeper. But seriously these words, people:

I'll give you the sun quote

So when I was approached to possibly do an interview with Jandy Nelson I was like OH MY GOD YES OF COURSE ALWAYS. But then I realized I actually had to form coherent questions and that interviewing didn’t mean exclaiming my love (though TOTALLY did….disguised as Super Smart Interview Questions).


Jandy Nelson tweet

BUT I DID IT. I PREVAILED. And her interview answers are even freaking works of art. NOT HUMAN I TELL YOU. So for your pleasure, here are 3 of my most burning questions I asked Jandy Nelson. Just as an FYI for you — there are NO spoilers so you are safe to read my questions and her answers!

1. In both The Sky Is Everywhere & I’ll Give You the Sun you feature really layered relationships between siblings (which I love because my relationship with my sister has been a HUGE part of my life). What is it that draws you to this relationship? Do you have any personal inspiration that you draw from when it comes to writing those relationships?

Thank you! And it’s funny. I didn’t even realize I was writing predominately about sibling relationships in my two novels until people started reading I’ll Give You the Sun and noting it! And my next one The Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradise is also about three siblings. Writers are so oblivious! But I do find the sibling connection endlessly fascinating as I do all family dynamics. I grew up with older brothers, and like you, they’ve played a huge role in my life. Luckily, unlike Jude and Noah in Sun, we’ve had way more harmony than rivalry over the years. I just adore my brothers, can’t imagine going through life without them, and I definitely think I draw on that love when I’m writing siblings—it’s a powerful one, a jump-in-front-of-a-train-to-protect-them kind of love. But more generally, I like how siblings seem to create their own parentless mini-civilization within a family, one that has its own language and humor, its own laws and myths and loyalties and treacheries. Families are such rich fodder for stories—they’re so inherently dramatic and comedic both, like pressure cookers and with the right (or wrong) ingredients, the lid always blows.

2. I LOVED the way I’ll Give You the Sun was told and found it very effective to alternate chapters between young Noah and then Jude years later. Did you know from the beginning that you weren’t going to follow a linear path to tell this story? Were there any difficulties in alternating in this manner?

That makes me so happy you enjoyed the structure. Honestly, it was a bear to figure out and really challenged me. I knew from the beginning I wanted the novel to be told from both twins’ perspectives and in different timeframes but it took longer for me to figure out what those timeframes would be and how I’d manage the alternating. But early on, I realized that the best way for me to write the book would be to write Noah’s story start to finish, then Jude’s start to finish, always keeping in mind the other’s trajectory. Also, I’d lock the file on one twin during the periods I was writing the other’s story and vice versa to help insure each twin’s voice and world would be distinct. Then once drafts of both twins’ stories were written, I began to braid them together, which was really like writing a whole new novel. At that point, I was about two and a half years into the writing process of the book so that last step involved A LOT of praying that it actually would work!

3. Both The Sky Is Everywhere & I’ll Give You the Sun have made me feel very INTENSE emotions. Do you ever have to step back when you are writing because it is just too intense with what the characters are dealing with?

I’m glad about the INTENSE! And sorry! But more glad. Ironically, usually when my heart starts racing or breaking with what’s going on with the characters I do the opposite of stepping back. That’s actually when I know I have to go for it, go deeper, go full-throttle, because I might be getting at something real and alive and true. As a writer, I think that’s one of the greatest pleasures, no matter how painful it can be. It’s much harder for me to write when I’m not feeling much at all. That said, there have definitely been days when I stagger out of my office, feeling like I’ve been run over by a freight train of emotion!

About Jandy Nelson:

Jandy NelsonJandy Nelson, like her characters in I’ll Give you the Sun, comes from a superstitious lot. She was tutored from a young age in the art of the four-leaf clover hunt; she knocks wood, throws salt, and carries charms in her pockets. Her debut novel, The Sky Is Everywhere, was on multiple Best Books of the Year lists, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, earned numerous starred reviews, has been translated widely, and continues to enjoy great international success. Currently a full-time writer, Jandy lives and writes in San Francisco, California—not far from the settings of The Sky Is Everywhere and I’ll Give You the Sun. Visit her online at www.jandynelson.com or find her on twitter at @jandynelson.




Got burning questions of your own?
Penguin Teen is hosting a Twitter chat with Jandy Nelson, Stephanie Perkins, and Gayle Forman on September 5th at 7:00 PM EST. IT IS LIKE THE TRIFECTA OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS NIGHT!! Follow along using #PenguinTeenChat!

Pre-order your copy of I’ll Give You the Sun today! Want a signed / personalized copy? They’re available for pre-order from Books Inc. in San Francisco!

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour for additional interviews, guest posts from the author, giveaways, and more!

Sept. 1 – Cuddlebuggery
Sept. 2 – Novel Sounds
Sept. 3 – Perpetual Page Turner
Sept. 4 – Forever Young Adult
Sept. 8 – The Young Folks
Sept. 9 – The Book Hookup
Sept. 10 – Grown Up Fangirl
Sept. 11 – Bewitched Bookworms
Sept. 15 – Candace’s Book Blog
Sept. 16 – Novel Novice
Sept. 17 – Alice Marvels
Sept. 18 – Icey Books
Sept. 22 – The Midnight Garden
Sept. 23 – The Starry-Eyed Revue
Sept. 24 – Tales of a Ravenous Reader
Sept. 25 – Katie’s Book Blog
Sept. 29 –GReads!
Sept. 30 –Anna Reads


And now for the giveaway!

A paperback copy of The Sky Is Everywhere…which is GORGEOUS and this book is one of my favorite contemporaries!

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-Open to US residents only. Please read terms & conditions on the widget. Shipping will be fulfilled by Penguin!

ISLA IS HERE + Giveaways!




ISLA IS HERE. I REPEAT ISLA IS HERE. The moment we’ve all been waiting for — Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins is HERE!

I will wait a moment while you all compose yourself.

We’ve been having such a great time rereading Anna and Lola with you all and a special thanks to all our wonderful blog tour stops for their creative and awesome celebrations on their blog! I know it was great for me to revisit Anna and Lola. It’s easy to forget things and it’s like I fell in love with my favorite books all over again. I forgot how truly funny Anna is and what made me really connect with her in the first place. And how SWOONY her and St. Clair are. LE SIGH. And I forgot how adoooorable Cricket was and how much I love Lola’s dads and her dog Heavens to Betsy! It was just so easy to fall in love all over again with these books.

Now I got the chance to read Isla early (you can read my non-spoiler review here) and I’ll tell you it was a pleasure to really get to know Isla and Josh. I realized who they were when, in Isla, there were some memories from Anna’s book and I was like OH MY GOSH YES I REMEMBER YOU GUYS! It was really nice to revisit their relationship in Anna even though I already knew how their story ended!

So guys, I can’t wait to reread Isla this week with you all. Keep tweeting using the #ISLAISCOMING hashtag and share all our (non-spoilery) reactions and fangirling. I KNOW THERE WILL BE MASS MELTING INTO PUDDLES OF HAPPINESS.

While you are reading be sure to check out the tour — there are some awesome posts and giveaways happening!


Anna and the French Kiss
7/31 – Paper Riot (Anna Readalong Kick-Off)
8/01 – Novel Sounds
8/04 – The Book Addict’s Guide
8/05 – Alexa Loves Books
8/06 – A Bookish Sinister Kid

Lola and the Boy Next Door
8/07 – Cuddlebuggery (Lola Readalong Kick-Off) + GReads!
8/08 – Novel Thoughts
8/09 – Book Revels
8/12 – Rather Be Reading
8/13 – Finding Bliss in Books

Isla and the Happily Ever After
8/14 – The Perpetual Page-Turner (Isla Readalong Kick-Off)
8/15 – AndiABCs
8/18 – Writer of Wrongs
8/19 – Anna Reads
8/20 – Good Books and Good Wine


Now for some giveaways:


Right now on Twitter we have a giveaway going on for an adorable Stephanie Perkins themed bracelet!

BuzBInNCIAEfZz-Check out this tweet for how to enter! This bracelet was donated by Cara who owns an Etsy shop full of WONDERFUL bookish jewelery. In addition to kindly donating to our celebration she offered readers a 15% discount on anything in her shop using the code ISLADISCOUNT15 at checkout. I hope you’ll check her shop out!


And now for another giveaway:



The wonderful folks at Penguin Teen have generously donated Anna and Lola paperbacks ( YES THE NEW COVERS OMG!!) and a hardcover of Isla and the Happily Ever After along with some AWESOME Stephanie Perkins swag!! The most exciting news is that Stephanie Perkins is slated to come to my area early September so I will MORE THAN LIKELY be getting those books signed for the winner! (This is the plan but alas LIFE might not allow it).


- US Only. Sorry! :(
– Ends 8/27.
– You must be 13 years old or older to enter. If you are not, have someone do it for you!
– No purchase necessary!

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So let me know…on a scale of 1 to 10 how excited are you to read Isla???? If you’ve read it what did you think?? Tell me about your rereads (or first time reads) of Anna and Lola! Did you discover anything new or wonderful if it was reread?

Giveaway & Interview With Katherine Longshore (You need this book!)

So if you caught my post on Monday it was a review of Brazen by Katherine Longshore. OH MY GOODNESS. Please tell me it’s on your TBR. If you like fun historical novels or the show Reign…get on this. And if you are not NORMALLY into historical fiction…I vote giving this one a chance. Given my love for history and this book, you can imagine how excited I am for this interview with Katherine Longshore ALL about Brazen, her research and more!

Brazen by Katherine Longshore

1. Describe Brazen in 6 words or less.

I think the tagline does it well in three: Duty. Loss. Rebellion. Though I’d have to add two more: Love and Friendship.

2. In Gilt and Tarnish you wrote about a bit more well known figures in King Henry VIII’s court, what drew you to Mary Howard to write from her POV in Brazen?

One of the first things that drew me to Mary was that she never remarried. This was something almost unheard of in the Tudor court, and definitely frowned upon by the men in her family who were looking to capitalize on her gender, looks and status in any way possible. I wanted to know why. I could only figure that out for myself by getting inside her head for a while.

But probably the most compelling thing that inspired me to write about Mary was the Devonshire Manuscript. I came across a reference to it when I was researching Anne Boleyn and Thomas Wyatt’s relationship, and found the idea utterly compelling. It is a real leatherbound volume in which many different people (including Thomas Wyatt, and some say, Anne Boleyn) wrote poetry, comments and cryptic notes. It was apparently passed around the court for several years. Two of the most consistent hands were those of Madge Shelton and Margaret Douglas, and the initials stamped on the cover were M.F.—Mary (Howard) FitzRoy. I latched onto the idea of this literary brat pack roaming the galleries of Hampton Court and Henry’s other palaces, and took off from there.

3. How do you balance the historical facts and the fictional liberties when writing? How do you choose what remains completely accurate and what doesn’t?

I have always felt that when it comes to the Tudor court, truth is stranger than fiction. The raw material (the tyrannical king, the manipulative advisors, the six very different wives) is irresistible. Because of this, I try to be as accurate as I possibly can with the facts: who, what, where, when. If my characters birthdays were noted, I cannot make them older or younger. If there wasn’t solid evidence that Henry VIII had an affair with someone, I don’t include it. If Anne Boleyn was at Hampton Court on such and such a date, that’s where I keep her—even if it might suit my story better to have her somewhere else. Thus the long stretches in BRAZEN when Mary and Fitz are separated—he wasn’t at court. Period.

It’s the how and why that I get to play with, and this is where the fictional liberties come in. Why did Mary never remarry? How did she and Fitz feel, being married at fourteen and not allowed to consummate? I also get to do my inventing around the gaps in the historical record. There aren’t any complete lists of the ladies at the court during Anne Boleyn’s time as queen. There is no record of Mary Howard being at court, but then again there is no record of her being anywhere else. It suited the purpose of my story to have her be close to Anne, and there is mention of it in the historical record, so I followed my instincts to the (possibly) fictional conclusion.

My biggest departure from known facts again revolves around the Devonshire Manuscript. I wanted the book to be the touchstone I imagined it to be, but couldn’t find enough evidence in the book itself to suit my needs. So I invented extra pages where the three girls (Mary, Madge and Margaret) wrote lists of attributes of the men they might fall in love with. These lists don’t exist, but it made the story so much richer to include them.

4. It’s obvious from reading Brazen how much research you did…what was the most interesting or mind-blowing things that you came across in your research about King Henry VIII’s reign or life in general then?

One of my favorites is something I came across very early on, when I was just reading history out of interest rather than researching for a book. The Tudors drank wine and beer almost exclusively—never water. They thought water was poisonous to humans and, of course, at the time, it was because the rivers were both garbage dumps and sewers. The boiling and fermenting process in brewing beer killed the bacteria, making it potable. In their defense, however, the Tudors didn’t spend their entire lives inebriated, as they often drank what they called “small beer”, which contained very little alcohol. However, unappetizingly, it sometimes had the consistency of porridge.

5. There were so many compelling figures that were just brought to life in Brazen. Mary Howard aside, who was your favorite to research and to write?

I’m fascinated by Margaret Douglas. She is such an enigma. Daughter of the dowager Queen of Scotland and the Earl of Angus, niece to the King of England, royal and yet she had little political power. She was raised in part with Mary Tudor, who became Mary I, and I can’t help thinking that some of Margaret’s opinions and feelings would have been colored by that association. Margaret appeared on the outside to be the perfect courtier, and the obedient niece to Henry VIII, except for these (excuse the pun) royally imprudent love affairs that got her thrown in prison more than once. She spent her later years in and out of court (and sometimes as a thorn in the side of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth), finagling to get herself and her progeny closer to the throne—and succeeded when her grandson became James I. How’s that for tenacious?

6. If you were transported back into the reign of King Henry VIII, what 3 attributes do you think you’d have to survive King Henry’s court?

Discretion—I know when to keep my mouth shut.
Education—If I got transported back with all my faculties intact, I’d have the heads up on things like reading and writing, as well as basic hygiene. Not to mention the foreknowledge of what happens next and to whom.
Imagination—I’ve had some experience telling stories and making them seem absolutely true.

7. Kiss, Marry, Kill Brazen style — Henry Fitzroy, Thomas Wyatt, Henry Howard?

I’d kiss Thomas Wyatt (I imagine he’s pretty good at it!), marry Henry FitzRoy (hello! Son of the king) and regrettably I’d have to kill Henry Howard (who historically made things difficult for himself—Henry VIII agreed with me and had him executed in 1547).


Thanks for such thoughtful answers, Katherine! After reading and loving Brazen, your answers were SOOO interesting to me! Especially the fact that the notebook passed around was real!!



So, I’m really jealous of what Penguin Teen is offering up for giveaway for you guys because I WANT IT FOR MYSELF. I am dying to read Gilt and Tarnish after reading Brazen (two other books set in King Henry VIII’s court — seriously a young Anne Boleyn is the MC is one!!) and Courted is the paperback bind-up of those two. I’m also going to personally throw in Brazen (which will be fulfilled by myself) because I LOVED it so much and want you to read it!

Brazen by Katherine Longshore9780147513687_large_Courted

So what you will win:
* A copy of Courted (bind-up of Gilt & Tarnish) —-> prize fulfilled by Penguin Teen
* A hardcover of Brazen —–> prize fulfilled by me!

US Only.
Ends 7/17 11:59pm

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About The Author


Katherine Longshore (www.katherinelongshore.com) is the author of Gilt, Tarnish, and Brazen. She lives in California with her husband, two children and a sun-worshipping dog. Follow her on Twitter!

Check out COURTED (paperback compilation of Gilt and Tarnish) // Check out BRAZEN



Be sure to follow along with the rest of the blog tour to find out more about Katherine Longshore, her books, and some of her favorite historical hotties!

Midsummer Romance Blog Tour Schedule:

Tuesday, July 8 – Good Books & Good Wine

Thursday, July 10Perpetual Page Turner

Tuesday, July 15Alice Marvels

Thursday, July 17 I am a Reader

Tuesday, July 22 Novel Sounds

Thursday, July 24 Starry-Eyed Revue

Tuesday, July 29 The Midnight Garden

Thursday, July 31 Novel Thoughts

End Times Blog Tour + Giveaway

Hi guys! I’m really excited to be able to have Anna Schumacher, author of End Times, on the blog today and to be able to offer up the opportunity for one of YOU to win a copy! It’s a book I’m really excited about so I hope you guys will be too!

Before we get to the giveaway, let’s get to know Anna a little bit!


Seeing that End Times deals with a coming apocalypse or the “End Times”, what’s your favorite apocalypse story?

I eat dystopian lit like popcorn, so it changes a lot depending on what I’m into. But for the past few months, I’ve been a rabid advocate of the amazing YA novel STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth. It has everything: a devastated LA trying to recover from an earthquake; a creepy prophet and his legions of white-clad followers; a mom with PTSD; a cool underground party called The Rove; a completely badass villainess who walks around with a tarot deck; mind-reading; mind-bending; a sexy love interest; and, best of all, a really compelling protagonist with an addiction to getting struck by lightning! I know it sounds like a lot to cram into one little novel, but Bosworth does it so well. It was a big influence on END TIMES!

Huh I’ve never heard of that one! Sounds intriguing and I’m adding it to my TBR! Has anyone read Struck?

So, want to know more about END TIMES?


When life gets too tough to bear in Detroit, Daphne flees to her Uncle Floyd’s home, where she believes she’ll find solace in the silent hills of her childhood summers. But Daphne’s Greyhound bus pulls over in downtown Carbon County and it’s not silence that welcomes her. It’s the sound of trumpets.

 Daphne’s desire to start again in simple country comfort is instantly dashed as the townsfolk declare that the End Times are here. And incredible occurrences soon support their belief. Daphne does all she can to keep her head down and ignore the signs. She works a job at the local oil rig, helps around the house, hangs out with her pregnant cousin Janie and gets to know Owen, a mysterious motocross racer and fellow roustabout at the rig. But soon a startling discovery shatters her resolve and calls into question all her doubts and fears.

About The Author

Anna Schumacher author photo

Anna Schumacher received an MFA in fiction writing from The New School. Born and raised in the tiny town of Guilford, VT (no traffic lights, no post office, one store), she now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two cats. END TIMES is her first novel.

Things to do while you wait to see if you are the lucky winner:

Add End Times to your Goodreads TBR
Follow Anna on Twitter
Check out Anna’s Tumblr
Check out Anna’s author page on Goodreads

The Giveaway

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The deets:
* Giveaway ends 7/5 at 11:59 pm EST.
* US only — prize will be fulfilled by Penguin Teen.
* You must be 13 years or older to enter or have a parent/guardian/someone older do it for you.

Holy Mortal Instruments Giveaway!

Hi y’all! I have an exciting giveaway for you guys today. Mortal Instruments fans and people who have been curious about this series, get excited!! And even if you aren’t a fan, what a great giveaway to try and win for your library or classroom or a friend!

In honor of the releases of City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare, one absolutely LUCKY winner is going to receive the COMPLETE SET of The Mortal Instruments book series and a Mortal Instruments hoodie!!



I honestly want to win this prize for myself because I need to finish this series! I read book 1 and you all know I stink at finishing series so I haven’t continued on yet. I will, though, I will. I flew through book 1!

So let’s get to the giveaway:

Rules & info:

Prizing & samples courtesy of Simon & Schuster.
Giveaway open to US addresses only.
You must be 13 years of age or older to enter.
Giveaway ends June 5 11:59 EST

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While you are waiting to see if you are the lucky winner you can:

· Visit the official website

· Follow The Mortal Instruments on Facebook

· Follow Cassandra Clare on Twitter & Facebook

· Watch the trailer:


CityofHeavenlyFireCity of Heavenly Fire is the final book in the #1 Bestselling The Mortal Instruments series.

Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the epic conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?


Cassandra Clare photo


Cassandra Clare is the author of the #1 New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Mortal Instruments series, the Infernal Devices trilogy, and the Bane Chronicles. Her books have more than 24 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Cassandra lives in western Massachusetts.




Good luck to everyone who enters!!

What’s More Fun Than Giving Away Books By A Favorite Author??

Okay, so you know recently I already gave away an extra ARC I had of Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (one of my all time favorite authors!!) because I loved it so much but, thanks to Simon Teen, I have another awesome giveaway related to Since You’ve Been Gone to offer you guys…which makes me very excited and I don’t even know how Oprah never exploded from the FEELS when it comes to giving away things you love!!



What You Can Win:

- 1 Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Camera (color will vary)  <— OMG JEALOUS OF WHO WINS!

- 1 copy of  ALL of Morgan’s books (Since You’ve Been GoneAmy & Roger’s Epic Detour, & Second Chance Summer — all books I have personally LOVED and recommend!!)

a pair of heart sunglasses — like the ones I’m sporting below!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

You should also check out morgansbffchallenge.com for an excerpt of the book (if you aren’t sold on it yet from all my raving) & more info about the #bffchallenge with even MORE chances to win!!

Now for the giveaway! Good luck!!

Rules: US Only. You must be 13 years or older to enter. Giveaway ends May 14 at 11:59pm EST.

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Hi there! Will and I have been getting down to business with doing some Spring cleaning — which basically means I pretend to clean things while singing into my hairbrush and dancing all about while Will does a lot of the cleaning. BUT I must do the Spring cleaning of the books piling up because if it were up to Will…I have a feeling any book that didn’t have a home on a proper shelf would be MYSTERIOUSLY GONE. (This is why I need to buy these to have more shelves).

I’m taking the majority of my books to a librarian friend but I wanted to share with you guys also! Because that’s what friends do…even when they don’t have the monies to do the epic Spring cleaning giveaway that they so WANT to do. Seriously, if I could right now, I would have like 6 winners with huge boxes!! But sigh…one day. SOON HOPEFULLY!

So this is how I’m going to do this. I’ve got book giveaways set up all around the Interwebs (including the one that will be on HERE below):

1. Instagram giveaway — an ARC of a contemporary release I loved recently that comes out this month!
2. Facebook giveaway — Stack of 5 hardcovers
3. Youtube giveaway — a hardcover book + a bookish mousepad (I want to keep it for myself!!)
4. Twitter giveaway — giveaway for an ARC of an upcoming contemporary release!


So let’s get to this giveaway shall we??


So I’ve done this before for a beach bag giveaway and it worked well but I’m going to tease you for what is in the box. You are guaranteed these books in the box PLUS some surprise books that will fit in the box — the surprises will all be books that came out in 2014 or are coming out! When the winner emails me, I will ask for their genre preference with the surprises and if you have a goodreads I will stalk that to see if I can make it a good package for you because I have quite a few extras that I can interchange in here!


book giveaway

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
Vivian Divine Is Dead by Lauren Sabel
Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

Rules-y type things: //US Only — promise you guys when I get a job I will do an international giveaway that will blow your socks right off. Shipping is just ACK. // You must be 13 years or older to enter // This giveaway ends May 9th at 5pm// No purchase necessary or anything like that.


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Good luck lovelies!! Have you started spring cleaning yet?? If so, I’m probably just adding to your mess with this giveaway, huh?? NO REGRETS.

Giveaway: The Ring & The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

Wowweee. I feel like in this past month I’ve had more giveaways (3 I think?) than I had in 6 months last year. Lots of book love! Anyways, I’m really excited to be able to offer this prize pack to my readers thanks to Disney publishing & Big Honcho Media! I’m pretty stoked to read this one soon myself!

You’ve probably heard of Melissa de la Cruz before I’m sure — author of Blue Bloods, the Au Pair series and the Witches of East End (which is now a show on Lifetime that I NEED to carve out time for!). Now she’s releasing a new series that sounds SUPER compelling and seems to be a blend of fantasy and an alternate history.


Check out the synopsis:


The Ring & the Crown by Melissa de la CruzMagic is power, and power is magic…

Once they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a mighty castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures.

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second. With the help of her Merlin, Eleanor has maintained a stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. While the enchanters faithfully serve the crown, the sun will never set on the Franco-British Empire.
As the annual London Season begins, the great and noble families across the globe flaunt their wealth and magic at parties, teas, and, of course, the lavish Bal du Drap d’Or, the Ball of the Gold Cloth. But the talk of the season is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her dazzling beauty to recommend her. Ronan is determined to make a good match to save her family’s position. But when she falls for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, her lofty plans are imperiled by her desires. Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans, daughter of the displaced French royal family, finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle arrives in the city bent on reclaiming what is hers. But Marie doesn’t even want Leopold-she has lost her heart to a boy the future queen would never be allowed to marry. When Marie comes to Aelwyn, desperate to escape a life without love, the girls form a perilous plan that endangers not only the entire kingdom but the fate of the monarchy.

If you want more of a visual, this trailer is pretty good and uses one of my favorite songs ever so YAY!

 Visit the official website for The Ring & The Crown.



So what is one lucky winner going to get?

“Heir to the Lily Throne” Prize Pack — One winner receives the Royal Reading Room collection: The Ring and the Crown, Blue Bloods, and Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz.

*US only, prize will be fulfilled by Disney Publishing.
* You must be 13 years old to enter. If not, find a parent or older sibling to enter for you!

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About The Author:




Melissa de la Cruz (www.melissa-delacruz.com) is the author of many best-selling novels, including all the books in the Blue Bloods series: Blue Bloods, Masquerade, Revelations, The Van Alen Legacy, Keys to the Repository, Misguided Angel, Bloody Valentine, Lost in Time, and Gates of Paradise. She lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and daughter.

Follow Melissa de la Cruz on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr




Many thanks to Disney publishing for providing me with this prize pack to share with you! You can follow their awesome teen division on Twitter and Tumblr .

My Fave BFF-ships + A Giveaway For Morgan Matson’s New Book (AHHH!)

So I found myself with a second copy of Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson — who is one of my favorite contemporary YA authors (seriously go read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer) — and I figured, “why not share the love for one of my 2014 most anticipated novels with my readers???” Seriously guys. If you are not on the Morgan Matson train at this point…come aboard please! Her books are amazing and just so full of life and beauty and raw human emotions. GAH. I can’t even explain what her books do to me. And out of ALLLLL my favorite authors, I’ve seriously met most of my faves, she is the ONE I have NOT yet met and it kills me because I want to hug her for writing these books that just ME kind of books that really impact me.

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How cute are the sunglasses they put in with the package?? You should check out the #bffchallenge Simon Teen & Morgan Matson are doing on Instagram each month!

I started reading it yesterday and it is FABULOUS already. Since it largely revolves around friendship + a list Emily’s bff, who has mysteriously disappeared, leaves her to help her be brave and get out of her shell, I figured I’d talk about a few of my favorite bffs in literature and tv before we get to the giveaway.


In Books:



Queenie & Maddie from Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: GAHHHH. Kiss Me Hardy. Seriously, this friendship is one of my tops.

Aria & Roar from the Under The Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi: I’d also throw Perry & Roar in here but I just really loved Aria and Roar’s friendship throughout the whole series. Plus, I always wish for more platonic female/male friendships and this one is PERFECT.

Liesel & Rudy from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: This is one of my favorite books and GOD this friendship is just one of my favorites ever. The wonderfulness of a young friendship and it was so sweet and beautiful amidst the awfulness going on in the story.

Parker and Kat from Golden by Jessi Kirby: If anything, their friendship reminds me a little of the one going on here in Since You’ve Been Gone! Kat is the more outgoing and free spirited one and Parker is the one who could use some nudging to take chance and be wild and free!  I thought they were solid and I loved them! Also, that book….GORGEOUS.

Elise & Vicky from This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales: I LOVED THEM. I want Vicky to be my friend. I loved that Vicky helped Elise become who she wanted to be but not in a “you need to change” kind of way.

Cath & Reagan from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: I always kind of love bff stories that start out maybe with not-so instaBFF vibes and I loved watching these two become friends.


From TV:

Christina and Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy: TWISTED SISTERS FOR LIFE. I love the way they are together and how truly they GET each other and love each other — flaws, messiness and all! I love that they are each other’s person and it’s truly been one of the most touching friendships I’ve ever watched because they so strangely fit together and I just want a bff like that.

Wallace & Veronica from Veronica Mars: I just always loved these two from the moment V saved him from the flagpole. They did an awful lot of saving each other’s asses, sleuthing but also being really good friends to each other and opening up. Some of my favorite vulnerable V moments happened with Wallace.

I also have two GROUPS of friends I loved:

1. Golden Girls — my mom and I used to watch this all the time together and when I’m an old lady I want to have friends as bitchin as them.

2. Friends — oh the Friends gang. They are just my favorite to watch ever.



So let’s get down to the giveaway!

US & Canada ONLY — sorry guys. Still no full time job so no can do. I promise an excellent international giveaway when the job fairy sees fit.

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Synopsis for Since You’ve Been Gone:

Emily is about to take some risks and have the most unexpected summer ever in this new novel from the bestselling author of Second Chance Summer and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour.Before Sloane, Emily didn’t go to parties, she barely talked to guys, and she didn’t do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—someone who yanks you out of your shell. But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list with thirteen bizarre tasks that Emily would never try. But what if they can lead her to Sloane? Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough. Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a stranger? Wait…what? Getting through Sloane’s list will mean a lot of firsts, and with a whole summer ahead of her—and with the unexpected help of the handsome Frank Porter—who knows what she’ll find. Go Skinny Dipping? Um…

Follow Morgan Matson on Twitter!
Check out her books!


Who are some of your fave BFFs in books and tv?? I’m always looking for great friendship stories or dynamics within a story!

Storycrush Recap + Giveaway

Out of all the tours out there, the Storycrush tour is a tour after my own heart — all about contemporary YA. I love me other genres of course but you know this is my one true love. So when I heard that Storycrush was coming to the Philly burbs I wrangled book club and we made a date of it. And I mean…the author lineup was fantastic with a mix of newer debut authors and established authors.

Who was there you may ask? Lauren Oliver, Courtney C. Stevens, Melissa Kantor, Katie Cotugno and Robyn Schneider.


If you don’t know who they are/what their books are about, I got the chance to hang out with them for a while (wasn’t able to get there in time to do an interview with them!) and asked them to give you a synopsis of their book in 6 words or less.


Storycrush Books in 6 Words Or Less (Aren’t They All Adorable?)

The event:

The event took place at a Barnes and Noble that I’ve been to quite a lot because I used to live in that area during college and they host some great events there. When book club and I arrived it was already busy busy busy! I had the honor of being the official Storycrush live blogger — basically I live tweet the event until my fingers fall off. Very frantically because they have so much good stuff to say. I got to meet them before the event and I seriously loved every single one of them — so sweet and charming and fun! I knew it was going to be an energetic panel.

And an energetic panel it was — lots of laughs, really genuine conversations about their writing process and certain aspects of their books, great advice and wonderful questions from the audience. It was the kind of panel where I was DYING to get to the books I hadn’t read yet based on their answers and the non-spoilery discussion of their books and it gave new life and dimensions to the books I had read already. It was so apparent even from just talking to book club that we were all excited about various books now because of the panel. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, tour! It was one of my favorite panels of authors ever!

photo 2Book club with Lauren Oliver

Most LOL-worthy Moment

Either when Alison (publicist & moderator) called Ezra an “old grumpy man” when asking Robyn Schneider a question and Robyn said, “ummm well he’s kind of autobiographical.” (Seriously we were all dying). Or when an audience member started having a coughing/choking fit and got up (she took it all in stride!) and Lauren Oliver had just started speaking and she’s like, “Did I scare you off already??”

Best Writing Advice Given:

They all had a lot of great things to say — know there are ups and downs, don’t try to write how everyone else does/how you think you should, don’t take rejection letters as an “I hate this” but know it could mean many more things, etc. But my favorite piece of advice was from Courtney C. Stevens when she said, “Wear a cone of shame (you know those things dogs wear) — don’t look to the left or to the right trying to see what everyone else has.” I think that’s a good life lesson to in comparison and trying to make your own path. Your path is your own and isn’t the same as others.

Most Interesting Fact I Learned:

I totally didn’t know that Lauren Oliver started out for many years, before she wrote Before I Fall, writing a lot of adult books that she described as books talking about nothing for a zillion pages and pretty boring. The panel members all joked, “Pretty much what adult fiction IS!” Got a good laugh out of that!

Also, Courtney C. Stevens accent is adorable.

Most Exciting Moment:

Well besides meeting them I would say getting a postcard for Lauren Oliver’s new book (an adult fiction book!):

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Question I Loved The Most:
What Was Your Favorite Scene to Write?

Lauren Oliver (Panic): A tiger scene!

Robyn Schneider (The Beginning Of Everything): A silent disco flashmob scene. (Also, a sex scene with an interrupting poodle? hahah)

Katie Cotugno (How To Love): A kissing scene that happens because it was a very high, wonderful moment for the character and then it is followed by a low low. (OMG I started How To Love after the tour and THAT SCENE. Devastating.)

Melissa Kantor (Maybe One Day): A scene where Zoe and Olivia talk about what happens when you die. (That scene!!)

Courtney C. Stevens (Faking Normal): A tent scene where Alexi really lets go and opens up.

Something I Learned About Each Book/Author That Made Me Want To Read It/Gave New Depth To What I Read:

1. Panic: I loved learning about Panic and I was interested to hear that Lauren Oliver thought as a high schooler she would have totally have played the game of Panic because was reckless and didn’t care about life back then. It sounds exciting and crazy and I can’t wait to read it!

2. Faking Normal: I think Courtney C. Stevens is one of the most wonderful and inspiring human beings ever. A lot of what she talked about added more to my reading experience but her and I had an interesting chat about how so often discussions of faith and God happen in YA in a way that isn’t preaching. I really appreciated that about her book because as a YA I felt like I was constantly questioning life and if God existed and why God lets bad things happen, etc. It was a wonderful side convo with her and I really enjoyed getting to know her!

3. Maybe One Day: I loved hearing how Melissa came to all of her ballet details in the book. Melissa had a friend’s daughter who had been in that competitive world and had the same kind of thing happen to her with getting cut from the program and so she talked to her a lot and drew upon her research! Love well researched details like that!

4. The Beginning Of Everything: It was so nice to see Robyn again. She is so delightful. I totally didn’t even KNOW that there was a huge Gatsby thread in her book and I’m so intrigued now. She was talking about how in high school people said they hated reading but suddenly everyone’s favorite book was the Great Gatsby on Facebook. She also said it’s a book that she thinks gets so misread in ways but a lot of people connect with and she wanted to explore that. I am intrigued about Ezra and his connection to Great Gatsby.

5. How To Love: I had to read this book immediately after this tour and finished it in a day and a half. I loved that Katie was inspired by the fact that she went to Catholic school growing up and every year there would always be a couple girls who would just disappear from school and then be back like 9 months later. She wanted to explore their story because she was always so curious.


Thanks to HarperTeen 1 very lucky winner will get a copy of the following:

- Panic by Lauren Oliver
– How To Love by Katie Cotugno
– Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stephens
– Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor
– The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider


- US Only.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter. Please have a parent or someone older do it for you if you are not.
– Giveaway winner will be contacted via email. You have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be picked.

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