Sassy's Blogiversary Bash Day Seven - Maggie Hall + MEGA INT GIVEAWAY!

Happy Friday!

It is finally the weekend! Do you know what that means?! More reading time! But also time to film my booktube video! WOOHOO! So very excited to start filming it tomorrow and I can't wait for you guys to watch it!

In other news, there was no bookmail today which makes me so very sad! I've got tons of packages that are supposed to come my way, but unfortunately the mail dude is slow as all Hades. Hopefully some of them will arrive next week! :)

But onto today's festive's! Today I will be featuring the lovely YA author, Maggie Hall. Her book The Conspiracy of Us has been on my TBR for so long and I have yet to pick it up. But I definitely will soon because it sounds so much fun! Don't forget to leave Maggie some love in the comments below and to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a swag pack from her!

Title: The Conspiracy of Us
Author: Maggie Hall
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Mystery
Release Date: January 13th, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

BUY LINKS: | Amazon | B&N |
A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance--perfect for fans of Ally Carter

Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family--but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she's falling in love with.

Hi Maggie! I am so happy to have you stop by the blog today! Before we get the interview started, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Hi! I've just come back to Albuquerque, NM after a year of traveling around the world with my husband. When I'm home, you can usually find me DIY-ing something off Pinterest, or learning to cook new, delicious things, or watching USC football. (Fight on!)

1. What gave you the idea to write The Conspiracy of Us? Was it a long time idea or did it just come to you randomly? 

I wrote CONSPIRACY because it was the book I wanted to read. I’ve always loved international thrillers, especially with a hint of conspiracy, and I’ve always loved YA romance, and I’m a huge traveler, so the idea came from combining those three things! 

2. What was the most difficult part in writing it? The easiest?

The easiest part was probably the romance. That came easily—I feel like the characters always just had a connection. The hardest was probably the logistics—the clues, the history, the travel, and making sure it all matched up in the end. 

3. Are there any parts in the book that you feel particularly close to? If so, what would it be? 

Again, the romance and the relationships in general were the easiest things for me to write, and I feel pretty close to all the characters! They feel more like people I know than characters in my head. 

4. During the cover design process (I bet that’s always the fun part!) where you able to voice what you wanted/pictured? 

Most authors are not really part of the cover design process, but I was lucky that Penguin did a wonderful job coming up with great concepts for the cover, and yes, they were happy to make tweaks that I suggested. The cover turned out even better than I could have hoped!

5. Do you have any upcoming projects? If so, can you let us in on a sneak peak? 

I’m working on Conspiracy of Us #2, which is called MAP OF FATES! It takes Avery, Jack, Stellan, and their friends through much more of the world and deeper into the conspiracy. It’s been really fun to write, and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! 

What a fun interview! Thank you once again for stopping by Maggie and congratulations on your amazing book!

Maggie Hall is a traveling, decorating, champagne-drinking, USC-football-watching YA author. She is currently traveling the world for an indefinite amount of time with her husband, which means right at this moment, she might be on a beach in Thailand, drinking wine in Paris, or anywhere in between. 

 Her debut novel, a YA international thriller, is coming from Putnam/Penguin in 2015.


      | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Sassy's Blogiversary Bash Day Six - Lori M. Lee + MEGA INT GIVEAWAY!

Happy Thursday!

Tomorrow is the last day of July! Can you believe how fast time has flown by? It is truly unbelievable! So far, I've read over 53 books of my 50 book challenge which is also pretty amazing! I am currently on my 54th book and will hopefully finish it by tomorrow.

I'm also going to be making my first booktube video this weekend! I tried filming an un-boxing two weeks ago, but unfortunately, when editing, the footage was really bad and I didn't like how it turned out. So, instead of doing an un-boxing, I will be doing a July Book Haul of all the books and swag I got this month! Hopefully it'll turn out much better than the last one!

Now, let's get onto what you guys are waiting for! Today I will be featuring the lovely YA author, Lori M. Lee on the blog. She is the sweetest person I've ever met and I had so much fun doing this interview! Check her answers below and don't forget to give her some love in the comments! She will be giving away audio book copies of her first and second book and also a swag pack, so enter the giveaway!

Title: Gates of Thread and Stone
Author: Lori M. Lee
Genre: Young Adult, Romance,  Fantasy
Release Date: August 5th, 2014
Publisher:  Skyscape

BUY LINKS: | Amazon | B&N |
In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

Hi Lori! I am so happy to have you stop by the blog today! Before we get into our interview, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I’m your typical dork with a love for unicorns and languishing at home all day marathoning TV series and/or movies.

1. What gave you the idea to write Gates of Thread and Stone? Was it a long time idea or did it just come to you randomly? 

The original idea came from something a friend said in passing about the “children of time.” I filed that phrase away for future book ideas, and when the time (lol) came to contemplate what to work on next, Kai’s character came to me almost immediately. But the plot and the world didn’t come together until I combined the fantasy idea about a girl who could manipulate time with a sci fi idea about mind-controlled super soldiers.

2. What was the most difficult part in writing it? The easiest?

The saggy middle is always the hardest part for me because I worry things start to get dull. So that was hardest for me to amp up. And actually, the whole drafting process was easy. This was the easiest book I’d written to date, which was kind of amazing.

3. Are there any parts in the book that you feel particularly close to? If so, what would it be? 
Kai’s moments with Reev were special to me because she loves her brother so much. They’re fun to write. 

4. During the cover design process (I bet that’s always the fun part!) where you able to voice what you wanted/pictured? 

My publisher was great in that they wanted me to truly love my cover, so they were open to hearing my thoughts and making sure I was happy. The entire concept was the cover artist’s, but I really liked what he came up with so I’m pretty lucky. 

5. Do you have any upcoming projects? If so, can you let us in on a sneak peak? 

I’m working on the third book in the series, although when/if the book will be released is yet to be seen. I’m also working on a new YA fantasy that I’m super excited about. I’m afraid that’s all I can say for now :)

What a fun interview! Thank you once again Lori for stopping by and congratulations on your amazing series! 

Thanks so much for having me!

Lori is an avid writer, reader, artist, and lover of unicorns. She should probably spend less time on the internet (but she won't). She has a borderline obsessive fascination with unicorns, is fond of talking in capslock, and loves to write about magic, manipulation, and family. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, kids, and a friendly pitbull.


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Sassy's Blogiversary Bash Day Five - Emily Wibberley + MEGA INT GIVEAWAY!

Happy Wednesday!

I am finally out of my review slump! I just finished reading My Secret Rockstar Boyfriend by Eleanor Wood and I'm dying to write a review for it, so I will be starting that right after this post! 

But, today I am REALLY excited to have a special author over on my blog. I came across her book Sacrificed not too long ago, and I loved the cover and the synopsis so much that I knew I had to send in a request for it. She was so kind in sending me a copy and when I was done reading it, I knew it was one of the best books I've read so far this year. 

My friend Colette and I loved the book so much that we put together a street team to show our love for it! That's how freaking amazing that book was. :) I became great friends with Emily and Colette over this and I am so happy that I was able to meet both of them! 

So, please help me welcome the lovely Emily Wibberley and don't be shy in leaving her some love in the comments below! She will be giving away a copy of her book, so don't forget to enter the giveaway as well! 

Title: Sacrificed (Book 1)
Author: Emily Wibberley
Genre: Young Adult, Romance,  Fantasy
Release Date: February 13th, 2015
Publisher:  Self-Published

BUY LINKS: | Amazon | B&N |
Knowing the future can save her city – but not her heart.

Born to serve the merciless Oracle, Clio wants nothing more than to break free. But when her entire family is murdered by Mannix, the king's adviser, Clio inherits the Oracle’s power, a power she never wanted and doesn't understand.

Hunted by Mannix, Clio is forced to flee her home in Sheehan and seek refuge in a foreign city where oracles are forbidden. If she's found out, she will be sacrificed atop its great pyramid.

Clio has no choice but to win the trust of Riece, an enemy warrior. Despite the undeniable attraction between them, Clio knows that if he finds out who she really is, he won't hesitate to execute her.

Clio tries to hide her budding powers, but the Visions she keeps having of Mannix and his barbarian army slaughtering her people torture her conscience. She alone has the strength and foresight to stop him, but only if she can embrace her destiny and sacrifice everything.

Hi Emily! I am so happy to have you stop by the blog today! Before we get the interview started, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I’m so happy to be hanging out on this blog today! Let’s see, well, right now I’m sitting in my home in Hermosa Beach, California, quickly collecting a ton of dog hair all over my clothes (I have two German Shepherds who are pretty much as big as I am, and who love to take over my bed any chance they get). I’ve been writing books for several years now, which is weird to say, but I started when I was a sophomore at Princeton. And besides writing, reading is my absolute favorite pastime. In fact, I think I got into writing just to justify the crazy number of hours I spend reading YA.

1. What gave you the idea to write Sacrificed? Was it a long time idea or did it just come to you randomly? 

It’s actually pretty impossible for me to pin down the moment I came up with the idea for Sacrificed. I think first I decided I wanted to write a YA novel, and then I just sort of went back to reading a ton and waited for some inspiration to strike. So while I can’t say how long it took for an idea to come, I can say I proceeded to spend about a year outlining (and then of course that outline was quickly destroyed during the next year that I spent writing).

2. What was the most difficult part in writing it? 

Writing is re-writing, and re-writing is a very painful mix of emotions. Anytime I would come up with a new idea, I would be thrilled for about two hours, but then I would have to sit down and think about how everything I had already gotten down on the page would need changing. And then of course, Sacrificed faced a unique obstacle in that I was trying to finish up my psychology degree at Princeton as I was doing this painful re-writing process. I felt very schizophrenic as I switched between analyzing the data for my psychology thesis and going over edits with my editor.

3. Are there any parts in the book that you feel particularly close to? If so, what would it be? 

Hmm that’s a question I haven’t actually considered. I suppose the answer lies in Clio, the protagonist. The beautiful thing about YA is that even though a heroine can be fighting evil and inheriting super powers and meeting several insanely swoon-worthy boys, she is relatable to all of us. She goes through the same crisis (albeit with a bit more action perhaps) that we all do as we grow up and take on the world. Clio isn’t perfect, but she’s strong, and I think that’s how lots of girls feel when they look back on their adolescence. We may not save the world, but at the end of the day we’re still pretty kick ass.

4.  During the cover design process (I bet that’s always the fun part!) where you able to voice what you wanted/pictured or did you design it yourself?

This is the fun part of being self-published—I had total say in how my cover looks. I bought some images from some artists and then got to put them together myself on Photoshop. I didn’t have a vision for the cover going in, but as each piece clicked into place, I was able to see a bit more of where it needed to go. 

5. Do you have any upcoming projects? If so, can you let us in on a sneak peak? 

I do! The next book in The Last Oracle series, Forsworn is coming out July 21st. Other than that, I am currently working on a YA contemporary book with my boyfriend of nearly six years. It’s a ton of fun, super geeky and a teeny bit autobiographical. And of course, I’m going to be starting in on the third book in The Last Oracle series very soon. Gahh, I better get writing…

What a fun interview! Thank you once again Emily for stopping by and congratulations on your amazing series! If you guys have not checked them out, I highly recommend you that you do! 

Emily grew up in the South Bay where she spent her formative years battling zombies on her Xbox, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and voraciously reading everything from The Hunger Games to Jane Austen, where her love for feisty young heroines was born.After graduating from Princeton University Magna Cum Laude in 2014, she began writing. 

 Her debut novel, Sacrificed, was named a finalist in the Young Adult categoryof the 2015 International Book Awards, the Young Adult category of the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Awards, and in the Young Author category of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Since its release, Sacrificed has spent more than four months as a Kindle Top Ten Teen and Young Adult Bestseller.


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Sassy's Blogiversary Bash Day Four - Deirdre Riodran Hall + MEGA INT GIVEAWAY!

Happy Tuesday!

You will not believe how hot it is down here! I am literally melting off and all I want to do is go down to the pool and just swim. I don't even care if I won't be able to read for hours. I just need to cool down in this freaking heat!

But to make my day a bit cooler, I am having the lovely Deirdre Spark on the blog today! Not too long ago, she sent me an ARC copy of her book, SUGAR, and I am so very excited to read it! Just by reading the synopsis, I can kind of relate to the main character so I am intrigued to see how it all turns out. A huge thank you to Deirdre for sending me a copy! :) Don't forget to leave some love for her down in the comments below and to also enter the giveaway!

Title: Sugar
Author: Deirdre Riordan Hall
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: June 1st, 2015
Publisher:  Skyscape

BUY LINKS: | Amazon |
I’m the fat Puerto Rican–Polish girl who doesn’t feel like she belongs in her skin, or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.

Sugar Legowski-Gracia wasn’t always fat, but fat is what she is now at age seventeen. Not as fat as her mama, who is so big she hasn’t gotten out of bed in months. Not as heavy as her brother, Skunk, who has more meanness in him than fat, which is saying something. But she’s large enough to be the object of ridicule wherever she is: at the grocery store, walking down the street, at school. Sugar’s life is dictated by taking care of Mama in their run-down home—cooking, shopping, and, well, eating. A lot of eating, which Sugar hates as much as she loves.

When Sugar meets Even (not Evan—his nearly illiterate father misspelled his name on the birth certificate), she has the new experience of someone seeing her and not her body. As their unlikely friendship builds, Sugar allows herself to think about the future for the first time, a future not weighed down by her body or her mother.

Soon Sugar will have to decide whether to become the girl that Even helps her see within herself or to sink into the darkness of the skin-deep role her family and her life have created for her.

Hi Deirdre! I am so happy to have you stop by the blog today! Before we get the interview started, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi Talina, Thank you for having me by! Happy, happy blogiversary. I'm so happy for you and grateful you're sharing SUGAR! Hmm. A little about me. I'm a chips and salsa loving, surfing, Harry Potter super fan, and of course, author. Even though I'm on summer break with my kids home, it's hard not to have a few irons in the fire aka writing projects in the works ;-) I'm also an avid reader and am taking some time to shorten the stack of to-be-reads on my bedside. Some titles include: Adi Alsaid's Never, Always, Sometimes, Top Ten Clues you're Clueless by Liz Czukas, and Kissing in America by Margo Rabb.

1. What gave you the idea to write Sugar? Was it a long time idea or did it just come to you randomly?

The idea to write Sugar came in two parts. One was related to my own health and dealing with my emotional relationship to food. I became sick several years ago and had to eliminate foods like dairy, gluten, sugar, and caffeine from my diet to determine allergies and sensitivities. Thankfully it helped tremendously, but it also called up how attached I was to certain foods, how they comforted me in times of stress, often to an extreme. The second part was studying the question of what would happen if we all learned to love ourselves. Sugar, in the beginning, doesn’t love or even really like herself or anything about her life, but what if

2. What was the most difficult part in writing it? The easiest?

One of the big challenges was writing Mama, Skunk, and the bullies; putting the character Sugar through that caused me to relive some of the bullying I endured when I was younger, though Sugar's was much worse. The easiest parts were the scenes with Even. I so wanted Sugar to experience light and hope and kindness, so that was a joy and gift to write.

3. Are there any parts in the book that you feel particularly close to? If so, what would it be?

Great question! I'm close to Sugar overall. I think aspects of her life inhabit all of us, for better or worse and serve as opportunities to learn and grow. Whether we find holes in our self-esteem, people in our lives who are toxic—but we're tethered to them in some way—or lacking in positive relationships. Conversely, we might have been insensitive to the struggles of others, judgmental, or harsh because of their appearance, socio-economic background, or our assumptions about them. This is an exceptionally hard thing to admit, but in doing so we offer peace to the world and ourselves. The good thing I've learned is that life fluctuates, nothing is permanent, which gives us the hope that unpleasant or painful situations can change and we can all contribute by being sensitive and kind.

4.  During the cover design process (I bet that’s always the fun part!) where you able to voice what you wanted/pictured?

I had a loose vision for the cover that involved either the title, SUGAR, written in table sugar or an image like the one later in the book where she writes with lipstick on the mirror. I'm not a graphic designer or visual artist, so I'm thankful it was in the hands of the pros! However, I did have the good fortune to offer my input. The cover designer came up with several mockups including an original idea, which was an early iteration of the present cover. After a few rounds of revisions, that's the one we went with. I think it is stunning!

5. Do you have any upcoming projects? If so, can you let us in on a sneak peak?

I sure do! My next young adult novel, PEARL, will be published by Skyscape in the spring of 2016. It's about friendships that become sisterhoods and breaking the cycle of addiction. I'm super excited to share it with readers!

Other than that, I'm revising several other YA contemporary novels and I have a few middle grade projects up my sleeve. Stay tuned for more, subscribe to my newsletter to get the latest updates, or of course, connect with me on social media.

What a fun interview! Thank you once again for stopping by Deirde and congratulations on your amazing book!

Thank you! Cheers!

Deirdre Riordan Hall is the author of the new adult contemporary novel, To the Sea. Deirdre studied at George Washington University. She enjoys writing, reading, surfing, and yoga. One of the best things about those activities is they're all done barefoot. Although she loves shoes, she doesn't like to wear them. Deirdre writes upper young adult and new adult fiction. 

She spends her days with her family, at the custom-made desk her husband crafted—writing (what else?) or seaside, pretending she's a mermaid.


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Sassy's Blogiversary Day Three - Chris Cannon + MEGA INT GIVEAWAY!

Happy Monday!

Finally the start of a brand new week! I've got a few things that I want to get done this week and hopefully it'll all come together smoothly. I'm hoping to finish writing up some reviews, write up this discussion post I have forming in my head AND to film my booktube video.

A little secret? I actually filmed an un-boxing video about a week and a half ago, but when editing, the footage was so terrible that I am going to have to do it again! But instead of doing an unboxing, I will be doing my monthly haul of what I got in the month of July, including the box that was in the original video! Hopefully this time, the footage will be a lot better. 

But enough about that! I'm sure you are all here to read about my interview with the lovely YA author, Chris Cannon and to enter the awesome giveaway, right? I'm sure you are! ;) Don't forget to leave some love in the comments below for Chris and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

Title: Going Down In Flames
Author: Chris Cannon
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Release Date: June 30th, 2014
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

BUY LINKS: | Amazon | B&N |
If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can't have.

Hi Chris! I am so happy to have you stop by the blog today! Before we get the interview started, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I’m a speech therapist by day and a writer by night. I live in Southern Illinois with my husband and three dogs: Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, Tyson the sandwich stealing German Shepherd Beagle, and Pete the Shi-Tzu who sits on my desk while I write.

1. What gave you the idea to write Going Down in Flames? Was it a long time idea or did it just come to you randomly? 

After reading The Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, I wanted to write my own book featuring a snarky kick-butt teenage girl. I wanted the males and females to be equal in strength and ability like the characters were in the Harry Potter series. And, I wanted the characters to shift into something amazing that could fly, and that’s how I came up with shape-shifting Dragons. 

2. What was the most difficult part in writing it? 

Conflict is the key to a good plot and authors are supposed to torment their characters, but that is the hardest part for me. I love my characters and I hate doing mean things to them. 

3. Are there any parts in the book that you feel particularly close to? If so, what would it be? 

One of my favorite parts of the book was that once Bryn shifted she had a much higher metabolism and could eat whatever she wanted because I think that’s always been a fantasy of mine. I’ve never said, “I’ve had enough double stuffed Oreo’s, I’ll stop now.” I’m always like, “I must stop eating if I want my butt to fit into my jeans.”

4. During the cover design process (I bet that’s always the fun part!) were you able to voice what you wanted/pictured? 

I love my cover, and the funny part is I had no input on it besides a description of what Bryn looked liked.

5. Do you have any upcoming projects? If so, can you let us in on a sneak peak? 

The third book in the series, Trial By Fire should be out this winter. Here’s a scene from Chapter 3:

Classes the next day were oddly normal. If you didn’t count the guards posted at the front door of every building and the undercurrent of animosity toward the injured students who’d returned to school. "Is it just me," Clint said as they walked across campus to the dining hall for lunch, "or do the guards seem a little tense?" 

"They’re supposed to be on guard," Bryn said. "It’s kind of part of the job description."
“On guard is one thing,” Clint said. “I sneezed when I walked out of the restroom, and the guard in the hall shifted and growled at me… because I sneezed.” He emphasized that last part like she  might not have gotten it the first time.

“The solution is simple,” Ivy said. “Stop sneezing.” “I’ll get right on that.” Clint slowed as they reached the steps to the dining hall. “In my head, I just thought wouldn’t a pizza from Fonzoli’s be good right now. Then I remembered about the attack on Dragon’s Bluff. Every time, it’s like a smack in the face.”

“I know what you mean.” The attack on Dragon’s Bluff had come in the form of fire. Bryn and many other Blue dragons had tried to beat back the fire by combatting the flames with ice. Still, damage was done. None of these attacks made sense. If the enemy wanted to overthrow the Directorate, then they should attack the Directorate not everyone else. Bryn trudged up the steps and nodded at the Red guard who opened the door for her.

Ironically enough, the buffet was loaded with Italian food. Bryn inhaled. “Is it me, or does that smell like Fonzoli’s?” “It should, since a Fonzoli made it.” 

I also have a Contemporary YA/romantic comedy coming out in a few months called, Blackmail Boyfriend. Here’s a sneak peak at the beginning of the book.

I turned into the Greenbrier High school parking lot with a singular mission on my mind. Figure out a way to keep my brothers from chasing off every guy who seemed interested in me. Telling them to mind their own business hadn’t worked. What I needed was a guy who wouldn’t let my brothers intimidate him. A guy who was confident enough to stand up my brothers.  At this point I didn’t even care if I liked the guy, he just needed to prove I was datable. 

Maybe I should put an ad online.  Honor student seeks overly self-confident young man for fake relationship. Terms negotiable. That would bring the weirdos out of the woodwork. I wasn’t that desperate...yet.I parked my yellow Volkswagen Bug and I’d barely stepped out of the car when my best friend Jane descended on me. 

“Tell me it’s true,” Jane demanded. “What are you talking about?”  She jumped up and down in her brown, furry Uggs. “Everyone’s talking about it, Haley. It’s so exciting.”

I placed one hand on her shoulder to make her stand still. Merry-go-rounds make me sick. Watching her bounce after I had scarfed down a glazed donut on the drive to school wasn’t a good idea. “Everyone’s talking about what?”

“Bryce Colton is telling everyone you hooked up after the bonfire Friday night.” “What?” Everyone in the parking lot turned and stared. Okay, maybe I said that a little loud. 

I hooked my arm through Jane’s and steered her toward the sidewalk. “I went to the bonfire with you. Do you remember seeing me naked with Bryce Colton?” She pouted and kicked a rock off the sidewalk. “I thought maybe you went back after you dropped me off.”  “Why do you sound disappointed?”

“It would be nice if one of us had a sex life.” I laughed so hard I snorted. That’s one of the reasons I’m best friends with Jane. You never know what she’s going to say. 

What a fun interview! Thank you once again Chris for stopping by and congratulations on your amazing series! 

Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures. Going Down In Flames is the first book in Chris Cannon's shape-shifting dragon series.


   | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Sassy's Blogiversary Day Two: April Lindner + MEGA INT GIVEAWAY!

Happy Sunday!

Even though my blogiversary was on the 24th, we will be celebrating it for an entire week! Exciting, right?! I have an amazing line up of authors that will be participating on the blog with either an interview/guest post or even just a giveaway!

Today, I am very excited to feature YA author, April Lindner on the blog today! She has also offered a signed hardcover copy of her book, Love, Lucy, so don't forget to enter the massive giveaway below and show April some love in the comments! :)

Title: Love, Lucy
Author: April Linder
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: January 27th, 2015
Publisher:  Poppy

BUY LINKS: | Amazon | B&N |
While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food...and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her "vacation flirtation." But just because summer is over doesn't mean Lucy and Jesse have to be, does it?

In this stunning novel, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

Hi April! I am so happy to have you stop by the blog today! Before we get into our interview, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Sure! I’m a college professor, and the things I love most (besides writing) are travel, live music, and  classic British novels.   (In Love, Lucy, I’ve combined all these passions into one story.)  I’m a college professor at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and I’m a wife and the mother of two sons.  I’m also crazy about animals, and I’ve got two rescued dogs—a cockapoo and a Labrador retriever mix—and a rescued guinea pig.

1. What gave you the idea to write Love, Lucy? 

When I was 22, I was given the chance to backpack solo through Europe, and I’ve wanted to write about the experience ever since.  After writing Catherine, I was looking for another novel to retell, and E. M. Forster’s  A Room With a View has long been one of my favorites.  Reimagining it as the story of  two American backpackers who fall in love seemed like a wonderful way to finally get around to writing about travel and backpacking.

2. What was the writing process like for writing it? Did you have any special writing rituals to get you motivated? 

Writing Love, Lucy was a slow process; I had to do some pretty significant rewriting before the book was ready to see the light of day.  But it gave me an excuse to dig out all my old travel journals and photo albums from various trips to Europe.  It also gave me the excuse to make a research trip to Florence and Rome, where I took about a thousand reference photographs and plenty of notes!
My ritual is the same with every book.  I start out the day with coffee.  I write with my dogs nearby for company.  And I try to get as much on the page as I can between the hours of nine and five. 

3. What was the most difficult part in writing it? The easiest? 

The blank page makes me nervous.   The rough draft is always the toughest; sometimes it’s hard to choose from the many possible ways a story can go.  Some days it goes really well and it feels as though my characters are speaking through me—as though I’m taking dictation.  Other days are harder, and the real challenge is to keep going.   I always feel like I might not be able to make the story work out the way I want it to—like I might hit a wall and have to give up.
Rewriting is my favorite part—going back through the story and polishing up the prose.  I started out as a poet, and I’m very comfortable with the close, word-by-word attention to writing that poet’s specialize in.  And by then the scary part is behind me!

4. If you had the chance to visit any place in the world and live there, (real and fiction), where would you go and why? 

I’ve had a longstanding fantasy about living in Verona, Italy—the city of Romeo and Juliet.  It’s a lovely, charming, small city, and just a brief train ride away from Venice—the most magical place on earth, but maybe not an easy place to live with all the floods and tourists!  I love all things Italian—the art, the architecture, the food, the people—but most of all, I love the Italian language.  I’ve been practicing it ever since college, and my dream is to stay in Italy long enough to learn to speak it fluently. 

5. Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like your fans to know about? 

I’m finishing up a reimagining of Jane Austen’s Persuasion set on a study tour to the Greek Islands. And I’ve got another YA novel in the works, but it’s too soon to say much about it.

Once again April, thank you so much for stopping by the blog today and congratulations on your amazing book! 

You’re very welcome!  Happy Blogoversary!

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I'm April Lindner, author of three young adult novels: Love, Lucy, a retelling of A Room With a View; Catherine, a contemporary retelling of Wuthering Heights; and Jane, a retelling of Jane Eyre, all published by Poppy/Little, Brown Young Reader. I'm also a poet, with two collections in print: This Bed Our Bodies Shaped, from Able Muse Press, and Skin, winner of the Walt McDonald First Book Prize from Texas Tech University Press. I write literary criticism and edit poetry anthologies too. 

By day, I'm a mild-mannered English professor at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. By night, I attend way too many rock concerts and travel wherever and whenever I can. I also lavish attention on my rescued pets--two wonderful mutts and two exciteable guinea pigs. I'm a wife, mother, a lover of all things Italian, and a New Yorker at heart though I haven't lived there in quite a while.


Happy reading!

Summer Blog Tour Promo Week 4: Melissa at The Reader and the Chef

Happy Sunday!

This week has been entirely amazing! I received so many books and swag in the mail and on the 24th of this month, and it was my one year blogiversary! Definitely a great week! To celebrate my one year blogiversary, I am hosting a bash to interview authors and a huge international giveaway! Awesome right? You can check out the interview I did with Jenny Martin HERE and don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

Today we have Melissa from The Reader and the Chef stopping by the blog today for the Summer Blog Tour Promo! Today she will be talking about her favorite book boyfriends and why we should stay away from them! ;) 

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to share with you today my top 5 favorite book boyfriends (one of my favorite things to talk about!).Surprisingly, this list was not hard to pull together because, even though I have a TON of book boyfriends (and my heart cried a bit for leaving most of them out), I know, I KNOW, who I absolutely NEED for my Happily Ever After. Who are the ones I cannot live without. So I present to you... THE LOVES OF MY LIFE. *cue fangirling squeal*

Prince Tristan de Montigny from The Malediction Trilogy by Danielle L. Jensen

My love, my heart! Tristan came into my life early in 2014 and he blew me away with his awesomeness. I would marry this handsome troll prince in a heartbeat. Heck, I'm already married to him on Twitter. Tristan starts off as cold and distant when you first get to meet him, but after a while, you know this guy is so worth it. Did I mention he's a PRINCE? And that he has MAGIC? *Swoons* (I'd fight ANYONE who dares take his heart from me, you have been warned)

Prince Ash Tallyn from The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa

Another prince! (I love my book princes.) Ash is my second favorite book boyfriend of all times. I feel sort of guilty for having him in second place because he is amazing. I mean, who would go against the winter fey so he could be with his half-fey girlfriend? Or go to the ends of the world in search of a soul so he can become human for HER? Ugh, I love my dark ice prince fairy so much. ❤

Henry from The Goddess Test series by Aimée Carter

Oh, Henry *le sigh*. What I love so much about him is that he's an underdog. My favorite underdog because, in reality, he's the infamous Hades. And I love Hades. He's just not understood, you guys! My beautiful boy has had a hard time, and though he's not perfect, he surely stole my heart right from the start just like Persephone (haha get it?).

Étienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Do I really have to explain why? Étienne is the epitome of the perfect book boyfriend. He's gorgeous, charismatic, smart and French/English/American! He also loves history so that gained him major points from me. ;)

Ridge from Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover 

Can there be anyone more romantic than Ridge? He writes songs & plays music even though he's deaf. That, my friends, is true talent. He's also the sweetest guy you'll ever meet. And before being your boyfriend, he'll be your best friend and help you out and be there when you need him the most. Oh, can you hear that? It's my heart singing for him. 

So these are my boys. Aren't they amazing?!? Who do you have on your list? I want to know!
And huge thanks to Talina for having me here today. *blows kisses* ;)


Melissa is a 21 year old book blogger and reviewer, currently studying Foreign Trade and Customs in Mexico. Her favorite genres are fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, and basically all things young adult with a hint of romance. She also enjoys reading new adult books and classic literature from time to time. When she's not reading, she loves to sing out loud, eat sweets, stare at her collection of books and daydream about marrying one of her favorite book boyfriends. You can find her at her book blog The Reader and the Chef, at Kate Tilton, Connecting Authors & Readers, and stalking her author friends and bloggers as @MeliRobles.

Happy reading!

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