Giveaway: A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston

I looooove retellings. LOVE. So I’m super excited to be able to offer my readers a prize pack for a book that is a retelling of 1,001 Nights.



 About The Book




A Thousand Nights Ek Johnston



Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

A story threaded with shimmering vibrance and beauty, A Thousand Nights will weave its spell over readers’ hearts and leave them captivated long after the final tale has been told.” —Alexandra Bracken, New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds series


Check out the first four chapters of A THOUSAND NIGHTS here.
Add It To Goodreads
Pre-Order It on Amazon

About The Author



E. K. Johnston is a forensic archaeologist by training, a book seller and author by trade, and a grammarian by nature. She spends a great deal of time on the Internet because it is less expensive than going to Scotland. She can probably tell you, to the instant, when she fell in love with any particular song; but don’t ask her, because then it will be stuck in both of your heads.



ThousandPrizeOne lucky winner will this Pretty Things In A Dangerous Place prize package:

 –  Copy of A Thousand Nights;

– Branded nail polish set & tea bag dispenser

Giveaway open to US addresses only. You must be 13 years or older to enter.

Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.


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5 Questions With Leila Sales Plus She Interviews Me (GIVEAWAY TOO!)

If you followed my blog last year you know that Leila Sales’ This Song Will Save Your Life was one of my FAVORITE reads of last year. So obviously her new release, Tonight The Streets Are Ours, is one of my MOST anticipated books of 2015. If you want to check out what it’s about, hop down to the bottom of the post! So obviously I’m super excited to have Leila on my blog today because I adore her AND we have a fun interview post today — I ask Leila 5 questions and SHE turns the tables on ME and asks me 5 questions. And man, she asked some doozies! I have so much more respect for authors having to answer interview questions after getting the tables turned on me!!!

So, I’ll go ahead and hit Leila with some of my most burning questions!


1. If you wrote a blog outside of writer-y things what would it be about and what would you name it? If Teen Leila was living in 2015 and wrote a blog, what would it be about and what would you have named it?

For many years I wrote a blog called The Leila Texts: I would still be doing it if I were still getting text messages from random strangers every day! When I was in college I wrote a blog that was about my thoughts and relationships—really just a journal, except anyone with the URL could read it. I wanted so badly to be understood (a desire that I think a lot of teens and adults share), and I felt like if people read my blog, then they would understand me.

If I were a teenager today, though, I bet I would start a book blog. You guys have such a cool community. I would have definitely wanted to be part of it. Plus I’ve always wanted excuses to tell people what I think about books I’m reading.

2. Tell me about one of your best spontaneous, crazy nights that you’ve ever had!

New Years Eve this year was pretty great. My friend Emily and I went to a friend’s loft party until 4am, got breakfast at the 24-hour diner, drove to Spa Castle (it’s this giant warehouse of saunas and pools in Queens), got there right as it opened at 6am, and hung out in the spa until mid-afternoon.
Oh, and then there’s Halloween a couple years ago. Emily and I dressed up as two-thirds of the British band the Pipettes (we didn’t have a third friend who wanted in on this group costume), and we went to an house party with a killer sound system, and then a warehouse party overlooking the East River and we hung out on the roof and took a bunch of photos with a dude who was dressed as a lobster (I don’t know), and then went to my favorite indiepop dance party.

I could keep going, but suffice it to say that most of my best spontaneous and crazy nights include Emily.

[Keep Reading]

Dumplin’ Playlist + A Giveaway For An Amazing Prize Pack

Oh man, you guys. If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram (way more real time on both) you know I LOVED Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’. In fact, it’s definitely one of my favorite 2015 books I’ve read this year!! My review will be posted here very soon but I am SO SO SO excited for you all to meet Willowdean and experience this book if you haven’t already.

That being said, I have Julie Murphy here to share a Dumplin’ playlist (YOU KNOW how much I love music here) and she’s offering the cuuuuutest prize pack to one lucky winner. I’m hella jealous I can’t win it myself. (Also, super important, she has a FAB pre-order campaign going on now!)




First, big thanks to Jamie for having me! I’m so excited to share my playlist with y’all. I love music, of course, but it doesn’t normally play such a huge roll in my creative process as it did for DUMPLIN’. When I was first drafting and still getting a feel for Willowdean, I remember feeling kind of stuck because I couldn’t figure out what made her tick. And then EUREKA! Willowdean’s Dolly Parton obsession was like the final twist in the Rubik’s Cube. This playlist isn’t all Dolly Parton, though I definitely have several of those, but I’d like to think that if Willowdean were going to hit the road for a Texas road trip, these tunes would serve her well.


Dumplin playlist jUlie murphy[Keep Reading]

Empathy in Creating Characters With Michelle Levy + GIVEAWAY

Today I’m excited to have Michelle Levy on the blog today. Michelle is the author of Not After Everything which actually is my current read now and just came out in the beginning of this month!


I love her topic for today as I’m slowly (and I mean SLOWLY) developing this story idea I’ve had for a while and this post about how she creates her characters was really helpful to me and something for me to think about as I develop these characters who have been in my head.  So I hope this will helpful for any of you writers out there or for any readers who just like to know how authors craft characters!




“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . .Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” –Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

The Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines empathy (noun em·pa·thy \ˈem-pə-thē\) as: the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.

No, this is not a bad best man speech. Bear with me.

Imagine you’re in line at Starbucks behind a father with his young son. The little boy is trying very hard not to cry because a minute ago the dad harshly warned him that if he did cry, he’d give him a real reason for crying and the boy is clearly very afraid of the dad. You wonder how much worse this father must be if he’s not afraid to show this kind of behavior in public. Now imagine how you’d feel if you were the boy. How would you feel as a teenager who still carries this memory around with you? Did that memory make you tougher? Did it make you more detached? Did it make you a coward? Or did you become the bully?

Now imagine you’re the father. What must you have experienced to make you act so cruelly to such a sweet little boy? Was your father the same way? Your mother? Are you just having a bad day and you’re usually the best father in the world? Maybe you just lost your job. Maybe you’re hung over. And so on.

[Keep Reading]

Paper Towns Movie Giveaway


Paper Towns was my first John Green novel that I read many moons ago and I remember not being able to read for a couple days after because it left me with so many feelings and so much to think about. I’ve always loved that about John’s novels….how it leaves me with both feelings and a lot to genuinely think about.

PAPER TOWNShehe I remember this scene in the book


I’m so, so excited to see the movie adaptation of Paper Towns which is out today!!! I’m going on vacation before I’m going to get a chance to see it in theater but I cannot WAIT to drag Will out to see it with (the extent of Will’s relationship with John Green is sometimes following him on @sportswithjohn and really wanting to play him at FIFA).


I’m so excited to offer one lucky winner the following:


  • $25 Visa to see the film in theaters
  • Paper Towns Buttons
  • Copy of the book (Movie Tie-In Cover)

Open to US mailing addresses only
Prizing courtesy of 20th Century Fox

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Check out this video!


Follow on Twitter & Instagram
Like ‘Paper Towns’ on Facebook
Visit the Official Website



Adapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green (“The Fault in Our Stars”), PAPER TOWNS is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears–leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship–and true love.


Starring: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Halston Sage, Justice Smith
Directed by: Jake Schreier
Screenplay By: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, based upon the book by John Green


Exclusive Sneak Peek Of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids + Giveaway

I LOVE Sarah Ockler, you guys. Twenty Boy Summer and The Book of Broken Hearts are two of my favorite contemporary novels! She’s just so fantastic. I’ve been SUPER excited about her upcoming release, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, and am ridiculously excited to partner up with Simon & Schuster to give you a sneak peek at the first two chapters for your reading pleasure! ENJOY!!

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

(For ease in scrolling put your mouse in the text area and then scroll down)

The Beginning and the End

This is the part where I die.

Don’t panic; it isn’t unexpected. The sea is prideful, after all, and Death never goes back on a deal.
Granna always believed that the d’Abreau sisters were immortal, even after her daughter-in-law died delivering the last of us (me). But among our six bodies, she said, there were only five souls. Twins were special. A single soul dwelling in two bodies.

So Natalie and I—the twins, the babies—were blessed. Blessed by all who loved us. Blessed by the godsand goddesses, by the lore and the legends of Trinidad and Tobago, our islands in the sea.

Our connection was unbreakable, and from the first time we sang together in the bathtub, instinctively harmonizing at age three? Well. We were bright stars, Granna promised. Put on this earth to make music, to share it with the world. No matter that Natalie grew into a soft-spoken beauty with a voice as comforting as a warm breeze, and I became the raging storm, fearsome and bewitching. Our destiny tangled as our limbs in our mother’s womb. We were the first to know each other, the first to feel our matching heartbeats. Together, we made magic.

Two bodies, four lungs, one soul.
The beginning and the end. Completion.

Natalie and I sang for Granna and our father. We sang for our older sisters. We sang at Scarborough in Tobago, for fund-raisers and festivals. We sang in Trinidad, our mother’s homeland. We sang for the guests—always rich, often famous—at d’Abreau Cocoa Estates, Granna’s farm and eco-resort, the place we’d called home after my mother’s death. We sang for the men and women who harvested the cocoa pods, who came in for dinner covered in dirt and laughter, eager to listen. During Carnival we sang on top of the big music trucks that traveled through the streets of Port of Spain, as masqueraders jumped up around us dressed like angels and princesses and mermaids. We sang for home, Trinidad and Tobago, twin-island nation, the proud red, black, and white. For our mother’s memory—though for Natalie and me, she never existed.

We sang for fun. For our lives.
That’s what it felt like, the music. Like being alive.

So maybe I was a liar, and maybe I should’ve told her years ago, but I didn’t. Granna, I mean. It’s just that she was wrong about completion, so wrong about the connection and the stars.

The thing about souls was that Natalie really did have her own, like each of our four older sisters.
And mine belonged to the sea. Always.

I was born into the sea, born knowing this. Natalie had been born on the boat, but by the time my turn came, we’d been tipped. My first breath outside my mother’s body was salt water; the Caribbean Sea lay claim to my soul the moment it took hers.

I’ve never considered this soul more than a loaner, a broken-winged bird I’ve only nursed and borrowed. Granna might not believe it, but eventually, I knew I’d be called upon to return it.

One night last spring, just after Carnival, the moonlight sparkled on the waves not far from where our mother had delivered me, her last, and I came so, so, so close.

Then I escaped.
For a time.

Even a fool knows you don’t cheat Death more than once. And technically, after my watery birth, that night last spring already made it twice.

There’s peace in acceptance. Death in it, always. Inevitable. With the acceptance of one thing comes the dying of another: a new belief, a relationship. An ideal, a plan, a what-if. Assumptions. A path. A song.

Consider: Pregnancy dies upon birth. Plans die upon action. Dreams die upon waking.

Not to ruin the story, but if you’ve come this far, you should know how it happens.
The end begins, as all things must, in the water. Now.
Ropes of black hair twist before my eyes, swaying like reeds. One by one, red clips loosen from the braids, tiny jeweled starfish that
into the deep.

My body is sinking, sinking, sinking. Cold . . . And a memory stirs. The warm sea pressing against me, leaking into my lungs. Stealing my voice.

No, wait. . . . That was then. The spring. That last time, when I came so, so close. Then was the Caribbean, my Caribbean. Now is the Pacific, and though it’s late summer here, the Pacific isn’t as patient, isn’t as warm. My limbs will soon turn as blue-blue-blue as my silk dress.

It’s midnight now, the in-between, and the only person who knows where I am is asleep above, in the berth of our boat, the Queen of Cups. He was dreaming when I left; I knew from his sleep sounds. Beautiful, he was, stretched out alone where moments earlier we’d been entwined.
When he realizes I’m gone, he’ll search the water, dive beneath the boat. Frantic. Desperate. But he won’t reach me.

There’s blood in my mouth now, blood in the water, black-not-red at these dark depths. My lungs burn.
I’m ready.

But as my heartbeat stalls, as my limbs give their final tremble, as all around me turns to darkness, I can’t help but wonder…

If the sea had offered me one last chance—if I could’ve bargained with Death to make this broken wing mine, a soul with all its beautiful imperfections—would I have taken it?

Even after everything I’d lost?

Chapter 1

After spending the day in Aunt Lemon’s gift shop with a sticky note in the shape of a crab stuck to my boomsie (and no one even told me until after I’d escorted a pair of surfers to our collection of mermaid dashboard ornaments, and then my cousin Kirby sent me the picture, all, u got crabs!), I decided a little alone time was in order.

If not for the crab incident, I probably would’ve just gone to Lemon’s Summer Solstice party tonight like I’d promised. Instead, I was slithering around the Chelsea Marina docks, hoping to reach my boat before Kirby ensnared me in her net.

“Elyse!” Kirby shouted. “The party’s starting!” In a gauzy white dress and fitted denim jacket, she stood like a beacon in the sand, hands cupped around her mouth. Her voice skipped across the waves. “Where are you? Elyse!”

She wasn’t my blood cousin—Her mother, Lemon, was Dad’s  best friend, all the way back from their graduate-school days in Miami—and before this summer I’d only seen Kirby twice: the first time five years ago when they’d visited the islands, and then again a year later when our two families met up at Disneyland, my first visit to America.

But I’d been in Oregon a month already now, living in her house, our toothbrushes cohabitating in the zebra cup in the bathroom, and still she couldn’t get my name right. Uh-leese, it was like.
Close enough, maybe. It just didn’t sound-feel-comfort like home.

Sing for us, Ay-leese. . . .
Ay-leese, stop drowning yourself in hot sauce. Give it to me!
Granna, you hear? Our Ay-leese, she got a boyfriend.
Ay-leese, breathe! Fucking breathe, Ay-leese. . . .

“But it’s the Solstice! And there’s . . . cake?” Kirby’s voice lacked conviction. She’d been searching the edges of the marina for twenty -minutes, and I felt a little thrill that she hadn’t found me.

Unseen in the shadows, I crept to the slip that held the old Albin Vega—last place on earth she’d check, since from a strictly “ownership” perspective the boat wasn’t mine. I waited until Kirby finally retreated, white dress vanishing like a sail in the mist, and then I climbed onto the deck and ducked through the companionway into the saloon.


For a holiday that was supposed to, according to Aunt Lemon, “honor the full strength of the Sun God,” the Oregon night was a bruise. I took in the blackness that seeped into the boat, the salty air, the mustiness that clung to torn seat cushions.

But for the damp suck of the sea, all was soundless.

The Vega rocked gently in the tumult, steadying herself, and my view of the sky—pink-purple-black through the starboard window—straightened.

Straightened again.

The ship was a castaway among the polished vessels surrounding us, a forgotten relic here in Atargatis Cove. I didn’t even know her proper name. Queen of was all it said on the hull, once-gold letters peeling from the aqua-blue fiberglass. Could’ve been the Queen of Hearts or the Queen of the Damned for all I knew. But there was something special about that emptiness,
the unknown,
the unsaid.
Potential undefined.
She was abandoned, a fate we shared, which made her the perfect hideaway.

The boat jostled as a wave hit, and I took a deep breath, fought a shiver. The sea can’t hurt me here…I repeated the mantra in my head until fear left my limbs. Until I could breathe again.

I lit the big candle I’d brought from Mermaid Tears—Lemon’s shop—to chase away the mustiness. OCEAN BREEZE, it said. It smelled like chemically enhanced coconut.

Soft yellow light flickered into the saloon.

Everything was as I’d left it. Straightened up, wiped down, cans of expired soup discarded. A fuzzy new blanket spread out in the V-berth, and another on top, for curling up. Scattered on the cushions, a few books Kirby had brought me from her volunteer job at the library. Some extra clothes, flip-flops, sunglasses I never seemed to need here in Oregon. My iPod. A box of crackers with the peanut butter already spread between them. A bundle of Sharpies, rubberbanded together, different thicknesses.
My shoulders relaxed. The Vega was still unclaimed.

I freed a mass of black curls from beneath the hood of my sweatshirt, and from a pocket in my denim cutoffs, fished out a handful of sea glass. Lemon was looking out for me this summer, so in addition to helping at Mermaid Tears, I tagged along on her morning beach combs. She collected glass to forge into sculptures, some for sale in the gift shop and others on display in the gallery above it. She valued each piece of glass like a gemstone, but she always let me keep some of the haul. I’d been saving it in an empty Costco jar that formerly contained a decade’s supply of pitted olives—my hourglass. Once the glass reached the top, things would be right again.

Repaired, renewed, recovered.
All the REs complete, and I’d be whole.
Fucking breathe, Ay-leese. . . .

My hand tipped into the jar, and I watched the colored bits clink and settle among the others, an inch of green-gray-blue rising like the tide.


I didn’t really believe it, but it sounded nice, like a poem. Even if it were possible, what then? Where would I go? Not back. Not forward. I was here, drifting on the current, eighteen years old and totally unmoored.

I pushed the jar back along a shelf in the triangular V-berth, way at the front of the boat, and settled into my favorite spot. My iPod still had a little charge, so I popped in an earbud and scrolled to a new playlist. Lemon had plenty of instrumental on her laptop—Native American wood flutes, classical, wind chimes, dolphin calls, ambient weirdness. On my first night in the States I’d desperately replaced my soca and calypso with it, erased even the reggae—anything that reminded me of home. Of who I should have been. Tonight I was onto Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites, track one. Music hummed in my right ear as I cranked the volume, but I wasn’t fool enough to sit alone on a boat with both ears covered.

A calm ocean could change in an instant.
Sing for us, Ay-leese. . . .

By the time my screen read “Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major,” my heart rate finally mellowed, and I grabbed a Sharpie from the bundle. I found a clear spot among the tangle of words overhead—some nights my notebook wasn’t big enough—and pressed the tip to the low ceiling.

Words spin and spill
ink from a bottle of blood

Queen of lurched left, a game we nightly played, and I tightened my grip on the marker, waiting for her to settle. She perpetually lost. Her body was inked with the evidence.

A smudge, a smear, a shaky line of
black letters stands erect, marches
around my fingers, encouraging,

Back on the island of Tobago, 7,040 kilometers—no, make that 4,375 miles—off the coast of my heartbeat, Dad and Granna had an old Albin Vega in the resort fleet, the Atlantica, a twenty-seven footer like this, one of three boats reserved for our guest charters. They’d taken the fourth out of commission in March, part of a long string of before-and-after afters that ended with me leaving for the States, but as far as I knew, the Atlantica was still going strong. It was the ship my twin sister Natalie had been born on. The one I’d been born next to.

The last thing my mother saw.
It was a dark and stormy night, our birth story. So they say.

yet ever

Now, out here on these chilly summer nights, the pale scar of the moon cutting the Oregon haze, I wondered if Dad was out on the Vega too. Lying in the V-berth, staring at the same moon, thinking of me as I thought of him. Of my sisters and Granna. The cocoa pods, red-orange-yellow, stacked in pyramids after first harvest, spicing the air with their intoxicating plums-and-tobacco scent.

Do you miss me?


“Keep your skirt on! Let me check it out, make sure she won’t sink.” A male voice accompanied shadows through the companionway and into the saloon. The boat bobbed under new weight, and I yanked out my earbud and bolted upright, narrowly avoiding a head injury.

His image flickered in the candlelight. When he spotted me, he put one hand on his head, as if he’d anticipated the crash that never came, and said in a tone much softer than what he’d used on his friend, “Well. Hello there.”

Unlike me, he was unalarmed, the ghost of a smile hovering on his lips. Something softened him around the edges—alcohol, probably—but his gaze was sharp and clear.

Toes to curls, a shiver shook me. This boy wore the ocean in his eyes, green-gray-blue, ever shifting, and I recognized him immediately. Knew before he said another word that he was as dangerous as he was beautiful.

Christian Kane. Official summer scoundrel of Atargatis Cove, fresh off his first year at Stanford. Aside from the upcoming Mermaid Festival and Pirate Regatta, the Kane family’s annual return was the talk of the town. And this son, the eldest? Kirby had him to thank for the cake tonight.

Christian Kane had his own mythology, his own devoted following, much like Lemon’s Sun God. Fitting that they shared a birthday.

I was frozen on the blanketed cushions as he scanned the scene: writing on the fiberglass walls and ceiling, damning black marker still clutched in my fingers. Somewhere beneath my elbow, two battered novels about the sea, ancient legends retold. A half-empty can of Coke on the shelf behind my head. A postcard from home, blank, tacked up on the wall. The yawning jar of sea glass, there next to the soda. Nautical charts and manuals once scattered throughout the saloon, now stacked neatly on the table beside the candle, held in place with a large rock carried in first by the tide, second by me.

This ship had belonged to no one. I’d been so certain. And rickety and neglected as she was, I’d called her my home away from my home away from home, my sacred space. Now Christian’s gaze swept back to me and skimmed the unfamiliar legs stretched across the V-berth, brown skin made lavender by the moonlight.

When he finally looked at me full on, his stormy eyes changed course.


The last was the most worrisome.

I tugged the hood up over my head, tied the strings across my seashell necklace and the scar gouged into the hollow of my throat.

Breathe. . . .

“Christian?” someone said, flirty and singsong. The breeze shifted, carrying a whiff of spicy vanilla perfume, and a girl crashed into him from behind. Her silver-tipped talons curled over his shoulders.“What’s the deal? I’m freezin’ my ass off.”
Christian didn’t take his eyes off me, just raised a curious eyebrow that lit a spark in my chest.
The girlfriend noticed me then, and around a faint smile, still watching me, Christian spoke plainly.
“There’s a girl writing on my boat.”
I basically ran.


Oh man, such a tease, right?? Don’t worry…it’s out June 2 from Simon Pulse so not too much longer of a wait!! And for one of you lucky readers…you are going to win the copy I’m giving away, thanks to Simon & Schuster.


One lucky winner will win a finished copy of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids.

* Open to use US addresses only
* You must be 13 years or older to enter.
* Winner will be contacted via email and has 72 hours to respond or I will draw another winner.


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Giveaway Time!

Hello lovelies! I’m super excited to be able to offer this giveaway as it was on my list of 18 anticipated novels for 2015! The title is Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone and it’s a contemporary YA about a popular girl with OCD who fights really, really hard to hide it and whose life changes when she attends a secret poetry club. It’s coming up soon on my reading list and, thanks to Disney, I’m able to offer one lucky reader a copy!

If this one isn’t on your radar, check out the official summary:

Every Last Word Tamara Ireland stone

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.


 About The Author



Tamara Ireland Stone ( is the author of Time After Time and Time Between Us, which Melissa Marr praised as a “beautifully written, unique love story,” and has been published in over twenty countries. A former Silicon Valley marketing executive, Tamara enjoys skiing, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children. She lives just outside of San Francisco.



Learn more on

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One (1) winner receives the complete Tamara Ireland Stone collection:

  ~A copy of Every Last Word;

~Plus copies of Time Between Us and Time After Time.


Guidelines to enter:

Giveaway open to US addresses only.

 Prizing and samples provided by Disney Hyperion.
You must be 13 years or older to enter.
Winner will be contacted via email and has 72 hours to respond before a new winner is picked.

Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.

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Hey Throne of Glass Fans..Exciting Giveaway!

You all know my love for all things Sarah J. Maas — especially the Throne of Glass series! I was so excited when Litographs, a company that produces literary merchandise made entirely from the text of the work it represents, emailed me about how they teamed up with Sarah to produce a Throne of Glass collection with a t-shirt, tote and poster.

Oh and hey….do I want to host a giveaway for my readers? WHY YES I DO. So, thanks to Litographs, I have a giveaway for all you Throne of Glass fans!!!

But first can we just ogle these beauties???!


glass-featured glass-tote-featured glass-tee-zoom



What will the winner will receive? A gift certificate to Litographs for $34 (the price of the t-shirt). You can pick your color and your size and shipping is FREE anywhere in the US. So, non-US people can totally enter but this won’t cover shipping!



-You must be 13 years or older to enter.
-Open internationally — but know that you’ll get the gift certificate for the shirt but have to pay for shipping.
– Winner will be contacted via email.

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Interview With Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

Oh man, guys. I’m so excited about this interview!! I am so grateful to have gotten a chance to sit down with Sarah Dessen before her event here at Children’s Book World in Haverford, PA (my favorite indie in the area) and chat for a bit about writing and how YA has changed and more! She is SO SO lovely and I really enjoyed talking to her. The event itself was LOVELY and there was quite the crowd. One of the biggest I’ve scene there and I loved watching teens and adults alike fangirling over Sarah and telling her how much her books have meant to them. She’s a great speaker and is so engaging with her audience so it was just a great event all around!


Sarah Dessen

Question: There’s been a lot of discussion recently about “books for boys” and “books for girls”, and I’m sure you probably get pigeon-holed as the latter sometimes. What are your thoughts and experiences with that?

Sarah: I think what I’ve seen more of than necessarily books for girl or boys is, in the bigger chain bookstores (not the independents), they have teen fiction and teen romance and they have me shelved into teen romance.

Me: And your books are so much more than just a romance!

Sarah: I know! And not that I’m bashing romance, I think romance is great, but I feel like if I only had romance in my books than I’d be okay with that but I feel like, especially in Saint Anything, there’s so much else going on.

Me: *agrees furiously with specifics from Saint Anything*

Sarah: And I’ve talked to YA writer friends of mine who are like, “it stinks because I have that I’ve one book I’ve written in YA romance and one put in YA fiction and people can’t find them.” It’s like, if you love a book you go to the bookstore you go to find a book by that person. So it’s really frustrating. I just wish people would give them a chance. I understand when you have a cover like this with the beach and everything (Jamie note: she pointed to a copy of Someone Like You I believe) but I was really happy with this cover (Saint Anything). When they came back with it I thought, “Okay it’s a little bit darker and it’s a little bit deeper and so is the book so maybe it has a chance. It looks more adult even so it has the crossover potential. I am the first to say I don’t have a ton of boy fans but I do have some, ya know, and they come through and I don’t think books are male or female anything. Books are just universal. Books are for everybody. I understand the sales technique in these bigger bookstores trying to compartmentalize but I think it works against it and it’s frustrating.

QUESTION: So, along with this, what I love about your books is that are ALWAYS about more than just one thing. There are complicated relationships and dynamics of all types. I just love how you balance the friendships, the romance, the family and the individual journey. How do you balance all that in your books, especially because in YA the romance angle seems to be the big seller.

Sarah: Well, because high school’s never about one thing. Life isn’t about one thing to me. Even now, at my age, my daily life is my family, my friends, my work. I’m as tied up with my mom as I am with my daughter. And when I was in high school it was the same thing. It was never just about the boy I was involved with or just my friends. It was like my friends, my boyfriend, my work, school. It’s like, you are are cheating yourself if you aren’t giving yourself the opportunity to show the whole picture. Every day was never about just one thing. Nobody’s life was like that.

Me: I think that’s what makes your books so relatable. I was never just dealing with my crush. It was like trying to balance going out with my crush while trying to keep my grades up and deal with my overprotective, strict mom who I had to beg to let me go out with my friends let alone my crush My parents and home life were a huge part of my daily struggles outside boys and friends.

Sarah: Right! Exactly! I think also in YA, and this is something I’ve said before, I think a lot of times the parents are not there. And I know some YA writers just don’t really want to write adults. They just want to write the teens and the parents are like the Charlie Brown adults where they are just like MWA MWA MWA (Jamie note: her Charlie Brown adult impression is on point). For me, my parents were never one note characters in my life. My mom was just as complicated as I was if not more so. So for me I never felt like I could write about being a teen without bringing in the whole family and all that dynamic because it IS where you learn everything and then you kind of take what you learn dealing with your family into the rest of your life. And, for better or for worse, it shapes who you are.

*interlude where I gush all about Jamie & Cora in Lock & Key because I’m currently audiobooking that one and how Sarah, just in general writes amazing adult characters and how there is a lack of great adult characters in a lot of YA*

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A Release Day Guest Post & Giveaway From Sarah J. Maas

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Sarah J. Maas — the author AND the person. She’s the author who made me fall in love with fantasy and opened this whole new world to me. I mean, Throne of Glass holds the spot for my current favorite series and, after reading A Court of Thorns and Roses earlier this year, I have a GOOD feeling it’s going to be competing with the Throne of Glass series. And as a person?  She is amazing. So kind and generous and genuine. So good to her fans. SO SO good to them. And if you’ve ever seen her in action (possibly with her bff Susan Dennard — oh the two of them!) she is so funny and a damn good time!


Bs6grBxCMAA5ijXSarah J. Maas Heir of Fire selfie


So, I can’t tell you how honored I am to have her on the blog on the release day of A Court of Thorns and Roses. She’s so deserving of the praise and love for her books and I hope you all fall in love with this latest series from her like I did (you can check out my thoughts here).
 So now I’m going to let Sarah take it away and I’m going to warn you…this post made some tears pay a visit to my face!

 ACOTAR blog tour banner


I’ve been thinking for some time now about what I’ll say today, what I’ll write about to properly convey my feelings now that A Court of Thorns and Roses is officially out in the world. I wrote the first draft of this book way back in 2009—before I ever sold Throne of Glass—and then let it collect proverbial dust on my computer for years. But during those years, I’d open up that word document—not to edit or tweak, but just to reread, to visit these characters that had somehow stolen a piece of my heart, and who wouldn’t let me forget it.

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