Category:

Rockstar Tours: NINJA NICKELS AND THE PROBLEM WITH PICKLES (Leah Cupps), Excerpt & Giveaway ~US ONLY

July 5th, 2022 by

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot
on the NINJA NICKELS AND THE PROBLEM WITH PICKLES by Leah Cupps Blog Tour
hosted by 
Rockstar
Book Tours
. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: NINJA NICKELS AND THE PROBLEM WITH
PICKLES

Author: Leah Cupps

Pub. Date: June 22, 2022

Publisher: Vision Forty Press

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 28

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N

Read for
FREE with a Kindle Unlimited Membership!

Will Ninja Nickles tell Mom the truth
and admit that he’s the one who dropped the pickles?

Or will he stay and hide while Lincoln is scolded for the pickle pantry mess?
Read along with Ninja Nickles and his story of the midnight pickles to find
out!

In this delightful rhyming story, Ninja Nickles teaches children that there is
a time for fun and games and a time for personal responsibility. In Ninja
Nickles and the Problem with Pickles, Leah Cupps tells a story about
friendship, loyalty, and doing the right thing that will have children laughing
and learning along with their new friend, Nickles the dog!

Make reading and bedtime a treasured family experience with Ninja
Nickels! Also available in paperback!

Ninja Nickels Book Series:
Book 1: Ninja Nickels and the Problem with Pickles
Book 2: Ninja Nickels and the Trouble with Tickles (Coming Soon)

 

 

~Excerpt~

 

About Leah Cupps:

Leah Cupps is an entrepreneur and author. She writes Middle
Grade Mystery Adventure Books as well as Thriller, Mystery, Suspense for
Adults.

Leah’s novels are fast-paced mysteries that will keep you up
at night as you can’t wait to see what happens in the next chapter.

Leah lives in Indiana with her husband, three young children
and three dogs. When she isn’t losing sleep writing her next novel or scaling
her next business, she enjoys reading, golfing working out and spending time
with her family.

 

Connect with Leah Online:

http://www.facebook.com/harleyjamesadventures

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17178076.Leah_Cupps

 

Sign up for Leah’s VIP email list, and you’ll automatically
be notified as soon as her next book is released:

www.harleyjamesadventures.com

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of NINJA NICKELS AND THE PROBLEM WITH PICKLES, US
Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/4/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG Post

7/4/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review/IG Post

7/5/2022

Yabookscentral

Excerpt/IG Post

7/5/2022

Write. Read.
Live.

Excerpt/IG Post

7/6/2022

Locks, Hooks
and Books

Review

7/6/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

IG Review

7/7/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

7/7/2022

Little Red Reads

Review/IG Post

7/8/2022

@thebookishfoxwitch

IG Review

7/8/2022

For
The Love Of The Page

Review/IG Post

Week Two:

7/11/2022

@just_another_mother_with_books

IG Review

7/11/2022

Two Points of
Interest

Review/IG Post

7/12/2022

One More
Exclamation

Review/IG Post

7/12/2022

The Book Review
Crew

Review/IG Post

7/13/2022

@jacleomik33

Review/IG Post

7/13/2022

Nerdophiles

Review/IG Post

7/14/2022

Jazzy Book
Reviews

Review/IG Post

7/14/2022

celiamcmahonreads

Review/IG Post

7/15/2022

Cocoa With Books

Review/IG Post

7/15/2022

@enjoyingbooksagain

IG Review

 

Rockstar Tours: NEXT DOOR TO HAPPY (Allison Weiser Strout), Excerpt & Giveaway! ~US ONLY

July 5th, 2022 by

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot
on the NEXT DOOR TO HAPPY by Allison Weiser Strout Blog Tour hosted by 
Rockstar Book Tours. Check out
my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: NEXT
DOOR TO HAPPY

Author: Allison Weiser Strout

Pub. Date: June 12, 2022

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 192

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

Twelve-year-old Violet Crane is an
only child in a lonely household who longs to be part of the gregarious family
that’s just moved in next door.

With a mother struggling with anxiety, a father who recently moved out, and no
siblings to commiserate with, socially awkward Violet Crane feels like she is
starting middle school with less going for herself than that of your average
kid.

When the rambunctious Walker family moves in next door, Violet can’t help but
wish she could become a part of their household–everyone and everything seems
so normal compared to her own.

After she meets them, Violet falls in love with all five Walker siblings and
especially with Mrs. Walker, who is nothing like her own mother. Violet and
Reggie, the black sheep of the Walker family, find that they have an easy
understanding of each other, and it doesn’t hurt that they are in the same
grade at school.

But then Violet overhears a conversation between Reggie and his mother in which
she tells him that she doesn’t feel like Violet is an appropriate friend.
Violet is devastated until she faces a truth–no person, family or friendship
is perfect–and realizes just how lucky she is.

 

 

About Allison Weiser Strout:

Allison
Strout is a writing tutor for middle school and high school students. Next
Door to Happy
 is her debut novel. She lives in New York City and
Maine.

Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of NEXT DOOR TO HAPPY, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/4/2022

Log Cabin
Library

Excerpt

7/4/2022

Two Chicks on
Books

Excerpt

7/5/2022

Yabookscentral

Excerpt

7/5/2022

#BRVL Book
Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

7/6/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG Post

7/6/2022

Little Red Reads

Review/IG Post

7/7/2022

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt/IG Post

7/7/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Post

7/8/2022

Midnightbooklover

IG Post

7/8/2022

beersbooksandboos

Excerpt/IG Post/TikTok Post

Week Two:

7/11/2022

Nerdophiles

Review

7/11/2022

One More
Exclamation

Review/IG Post

7/12/2022

Locks, Hooks
and Books

Review

7/12/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review/IG Post

7/13/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

Review/IG Post

7/13/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

7/14/2022

@enjoyingbooksagain

Review/IG Post

7/14/2022

The Bookwyrm’s Den

Review

7/15/2022

hodophile_z

IG Review

7/15/2022

Two Points of
Interest

Review/IG Post

 

Rockstar Tours: ROTO AND ROY: HELICOPTER HEROES (Sherri Duskey Rinker & Don Tate), Excerpt & Giveaway! ~ US ONLY

July 4th, 2022 by

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot
on the ROTO AND ROY: HELICOPTER HEROES by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Don Tate Blog
Tour hosted by 
Rockstar
Book Tours
. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: ROTO
AND ROY: HELICOPTER HEROES

Author: Sherri Duskey Rinker & Don Tate

Pub. Date: February 1, 2022

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover

Pages: 384

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, TBD, Bookshop.org

Meet Roto and Roy, helicopter heroes!

When a dangerous forest fire burns out of control, helicopter Roto and pilot
Roy are ready to fly to the rescue! They’re braver than brave, tougher than
tough, and nothing will stop this firefighting crew from completing their
mission.

From Sherri Duskey Rinker, bestselling author of the Goodnight, Goodnight,
Construction Site series, and award-winning illustrator Don Tate, this
action-packed series starter will have kids cheering for two awesome new
heroes—and imagining how they might save the day themselves! 

 

INSERT

 

About Sherri Duskey Rinker:

Sherri Duskey Rinker is
the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Goodnight,
Goodnight, Construction Site
Steam Train, Dream TrainMighty,
Mighty Construction Site
; and Construction Site on Christmas
Night
. Her newest bestsellers in the Construction Site series
include Construction Site Mission: Demolition! and Three
Cheers for Kid McGear! 
Sherri lives with her husband and two sons in
Illinois, and she invites you to visit her online at sherririnker.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

 

 

 

About Don Tate:

Don Tate is an award-winning creator of William Still and His
Freedom Stories: The Father of the Underground Railroad
 and the
illustrator of Swish!: The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying
Harlem Globetrotters
 and Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s
Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
, among others. Don lives with his wife
and son in Austin, Texas, and he invites you to visit him online at
dontate.com.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of ROTO AND ROY: HELICOPTER HEROES, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/4/2022

Yabookscentral

Excerpt/IG Post

7/5/2022

celiamcmahonreads
on insta

Review/IG Post

7/6/2022

Bea’s Book
Nook

Review

7/7/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

Review/IG Post

7/8/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

Week Two:

7/11/2022

For
The Love Of The Page

Review/IG Post

7/12/2022

@enjoyingbooksagain

IG Review

7/13/2022

@thebookishfoxwitch

Review/IG Post

7/14/2022

One More
Exclamation

Review/IG Post

7/15/2022

The Book Review
Crew

Review/IG Post

 

Rockstar Tours: THE STAR THAT ALWAYS STAYS (Anna Rose Johnson) Excerpt & Giveaway! ~US ONLY

July 4th, 2022 by

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE STAR THAT ALWAYS STAYS by Anna Rose Johnson Blog Tour hosted
by 
Rockstar
Book Tours
. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: THE
STAR THAT ALWAYS STAYS

Author: Anna Rose Johnson

Pub. Date: July 12, 2022

Publisher: Holiday House

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 224

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audiobook, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

When
bright and spirited Norvia moves from the country to the city, she has to live
by one new rule: Never let anyone know you’re Ojibwe.

“INSPIRING.”—Kirkus Reviews
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection!
A #1 New Release in Native American Children’s Fiction!
A #1 New Release in Historical Fiction for Children!
A #1 New Release in Stepfamily Fiction for Children!

Growing up on Beaver Island, Grand-père told Norvia stories—stories about her
ancestor Migizi, about Biboonke-o-nini the Wintermaker, about the Crane Clan
and the Reindeer Clan. He sang her songs in the old language, and her
grandmothers taught her to make story quilts and maple candy. On the island,
Norvia was proud of her Ojibwe heritage.

Things are different in the city. Here, Norvia’s mother forces her to pretend
she’s not Native at all—even to Mr. Ward, Ma’s new husband, and to Vernon,
Norvia’s irritating new stepbrother. In fact, there are a lot of changes in the
city: ten-cent movies, gleaming soda shops, speedy automobiles, ninth grade.
It’s dizzying for a girl who grew up on the forested shores of Lake Michigan.

Despite the move, the upheaval, and the looming threat of world war, Norvia and
her siblings—all five of them—are determined to make 1914 their best year ever.
Norvia is certain that her future depends upon it… and upon her
discretion.

But how can she have the best year ever if she has to hide who she truly is?

Sensitive, enthralling, and classic in sensibility (perfect for Anne of
Green Gables
 fans), this tender coming-of-age story about an
introspective and brilliant Native American heroine thoughtfully addresses
assimilation, racism, and divorce, as well as everygirl problems like first
crushes, making friends, and the joys and pains of a blended family. Often
funny, often heartbreaking, The Star That Always Stays is a
fresh and vivid story directly inspired by Anna Rose Johnson’s family history.

“INTIMATE.”—Publishers Weekly
“UNPUTDOWNABLE.”—Anne Bustard, author of Parents’ Choice Book
Award Winner Blue Skies

 

 

 

~Excerpt~

 

About Anna Rose Johnson:

Anna Rose
Johnson is a journalist, blogger, and seasoned correspondent for Inside
Gymnastics. Anna is passionate about historical fiction, the Native experience,
and writing for children. She is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa
Tribe; The Star That Always Stays is directly based on her great-grandmother.
Find her at annarosejohnson.com. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook Group |
Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE STAR THAT ALWAYS STAYS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/4/2022

Yabookscentral

Excerpt

7/4/2022

#BRVL Book
Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

7/5/2022

hodophile_z

IG Review

7/5/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG Post

7/6/2022

The
Paperback Princess

Review/IG Post

7/6/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review/IG Post

7/7/2022

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt/IG Post

7/7/2022

Two Chicks on
Books

Excerpt

7/8/2022

The Page
Ladies

Review/IG Post

7/8/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

Review/IG Post

Week Two:

7/11/2022

Log Cabin
Library

Excerpt

7/11/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

7/12/2022

One More
Exclamation

Review/IG Post

7/12/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Post

7/13/2022

Two Points of
Interest

Review/IG Post

7/13/2022

Nerdophiles

Review/IG Post

7/14/2022

celiamcmahonreads
on insta

Review/IG Post

7/14/2022

Little Red Reads

Review

7/15/2022

100
Pages A Day

Review

7/15/2022

Books and
Zebras

IG Review

 

Rockstar Tours: Myracles in the Void (Wes Dyson), Excerpt & Giveaway! ~International

July 4th, 2022 by

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot
on the MYRACLES IN THE VOID by Wes Dyson Blog Tour hosted by 
Rockstar Book Tours. Check out
my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: MYRACLES IN THE VOID (Myraverse #1)

Author: Wes Dyson

Pub. Date: April 22, 2022

Publisher: WONDERLOVE

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 334

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

“He
used to say, ‘a broken heart breaks all around it. Heal you, heal the
world.'”

There once were two children,
a girl and a boy.
One could create,
the other, destroy.

Within every heart lies the power to bond or break.

On an isolated port of floating garbage called Hop, Gaiel Izz and his sister,
Lynd, never imagined they’d be able to change anything…

Not their nasty neighbors, not their hungry bellies, and especially not their
missing father.

That will change when they discover the power of myracles —
magic that either creates or destroys.

As the brother and sister set across Esa to bring their family back together,
this power will either unite them or shatter their entire world to pieces.

It will all come down to what truly lies within their hearts…

Create or destroy?

Explore the Myraverse and meet the
characters here!

Book
Trailer:

~Excerpt~

Chapter One – Unforgiving Hop

THE RED TIDE is COMING!

Water Level Low.

SPRYT Sightings Highly Expected.

Un-luck + Disaster To All Who Encounter.

BLOCK EVERYOPENING.

— Mayor Tanning

What a delightful sign to have hanging in front of one’s home — a mix of “watch out” with “you’re on your own.” But that’s living in Hop for ya, a’kay?

As a floating port in the middle of the sea, there weren’t any roads to or from Hop. On their own, indeed. But it wasn’t always so lonely. Fifty years ago, Hop was a bustling pitstop for the hundreds of trade ships sailing across the Domus Gulf every year. A place to “hop” from one side of the gulf to the other. Being a travel hub made it bursting with exotic goods and fresh ideas. But the wild waters of the gulf were hard to predict, and they only seemed to grow more dangerous over time. One shipwreck was enough to send thoughts and prayers, but after ten and twenty ships washed back blown to bits, it started to nip at the profits. Soon traders found alternate land routes that may have taken longer, but at least weren’t so death-y.

Practically overnight, Hop and its people were forgotten like a used hanky in a puddle. Trapped on a floating port amid the unforgiving sea, a stagnant idea stuck to them — anything made would just be unmade. What was to stop anything they worked hard to build from falling to pieces like Hop did? Nothin’ lasts but salt in yer ass became the most graffitied words on the splintering streets, a series of long planks called “Boards.” Was there any point in shining your shoes, doing your hair, brushing your teeth? They would all end up dirty, tasseled, and yellow. Undone, eventually. Was there any point in building relationships, then? Nothing lasts but the salt in their asses, indeed.

Just behind that friendly “red tide” warning sign on Boulie Board, a skinny wreck of a home rose from the battered planks. Its number, 76, was drawn large and wide on the front and side in “Hopper White,” a local specialty paint whose main ingredient was seagull poop. Nothing could be wasted in Hop, not even waste. The pieces that made up the home had a kind of widely used look about them, like maybe that wall had once been the barnacled belly of a rowboat, and before that, it was a sign that said HOP: POPULATION 600. Its door was a full fourteen shades of a should-I-touch-that sort of green and was cracked at the bottom up to the knob. Its two sea-weathered windows were small and narrow like suspicious eyes squinting at the neighbors. By Hopper standards, the Izz family actually had quite a fine little nest.

The only reason the Izz house somewhat outshined its raggedy neighbors was because of the family’s firstborn, Gaiel Izz. Gai liked to fix things when they broke. Something about broken objects made him queasy, compulsive even; a roar in the belly yapping at him to make it better. As for the things he couldn’t fix, he’d at least insist on putting a sheet of soggy newspaper over it or something. In fact, he patched so many holes in his clothes with newspaper that it became the dominant fabric. It crinkled as he walked.

One special night, this industrious fifteen-year-old was lying motionless on the floor in one of the home’s damp upstairs bedrooms. His right ear was practically suctioned to the floorboards as he listened carefully for any signs of movement downstairs. He’d been listening so long his ear had become a bright, throbbing mushroom. This night, he’d embark on his most ambitious fixing project yet — his twelve-year-old sister, Lynd.

While Gai may have been on the floor, he wasn’t out of bed. The floor was both of the Izz children’s bed. Many, many things floated by Hop in the strong currents, like sunken ship junk or garbage from far off Electri City on the mainland. But few were “cozy” materials for them to scoop out and use to make bedding. Since nothing came in or out of Hop, if a Hopper wanted something new, they’d best grab a scoop and pray to Zeea that whatever they needed happened to be floating by that day. Gai once scooped an armful of braided anchor rope and wove it into a nice blanket. He looked over at Lynd sleeping on it, snoring like a ship headed out to sea

— Twaahhh! Peaceful as she seemed, her little hands kept pulling at the fraying edges of the rope-blanket, almost like tearing it apart soothed her as a babe suckling their thumb would. She was definitely not a fixer like her brother. Truly, she was quite the opposite.

Gai hadn’t heard a peep or a creak downstairs for quite some time and began to imagine their mother, Mape, had fallen asleep in her favorite rocking chair again. He then carefully studied his sister’s breathing. Slow and steady. Lynds asleep, too, he thought. Its now or never.

The boy crept over to their narrow window. As usual, Mamma Mape heeded the mayor’s spryt warning outside and boarded up their windows nice and twice, like a good Hopper. He dared not risk yanking them open and letting the briny night mist blow in and wake up his sister. All he wanted near the window was a single piece of wood he’d hid above the pane — a reach too high for either Ma or Lynd to find. Pulling it down, he remarked just how new this forearm- sized chuck of wood was. It didn’t have nail wounds from its time as a post or curly grooves where worms had eaten it. It didn’t smell like rot. It was the least Hop-like piece of wood he’d ever seen. It was even delicately curved — perfect for his plan to fix Lynd. But it was only part of his plan.

Gai stuck the wood into the waist of his pants and quietly scurried to the only other opening in the Izz household — the toilet. Or, in Hopper terms, the “dumper.” The floorboards creaked as he entered the small room with a generous hole cut in the floor for elimination of all kinds. Gai could hear the whooshing water directly beneath. Sometimes it splashed up at him if the chop was particularly rough. He peered down into the wet darkness, and his stomach churned like the sea. Did he absolutely have to fix Lynd tonight? After all, he could easily just curl back onto his floor-bed and no one would know a thing. Should he use the bathroom first? His sister snored so loudly and abruptly in the next room — Twahh-twahhh! — that he nearly wet himself right there out of fear. He exhaled, hoping his fears would sort of just blow out of him. “I have to. For Lynd.”

Getting through the dumper hole was the easy part. Finding his footing in the nasty, molding jungle of posts that held up Hop below was indeed a trick. It was sticky and slippery in all the wrong places. This area was called the “Under Board,” and it was nowhere anyone ought to be. It was closer to the dangerous water, smelly as a dead cod, and who knows who could be sneaking around in the dark with him? And let’s not even mention the chances of getting a splinter. But Gai believed his plan was worth the risks. His sister needed help. He went carefully and only breathed in with quick mouth-gulps. In about twenty gulps, he found his way under the house and back up onto Boulie Board proper, gasping for what counted as fresh air in Hop.

He’d made it out of the house. He’d actually done it. He was outside in the middle of the Hop night for the first time ever. And he was alone. It was time to find the ingredients he needed for his plan to work. Leaning near the front door of 76 were two long nets — scoops, as they were cleverly called — about three times his height. He snatched one and tippy-toed to the Board edge, listening for anything that wasn’t the sound of rushing water. There were plenty of characters to encounter in Hop’s darker hours — nosey neighbors, thieves, rival scooper gangs, spryts even. Anything was possible. “Definitely should’ve used the bathroom first.”

Gai lowered his scoop into the strong currents below. “A’way, Zeea. Gimme some luck.” His handle bent three times with fresh catches before he pulled it out. “Balls at ya,” he huffed, pawing through the dripping net. “All watermoss.” The boy plucked out a small crab from the tangled watermoss. “Well, there’s a nice crabby for Emilie in here, at least. More than we scooped earlier—”

“Ya snuck out to get pet food?” someone spoke behind him.

Ahh! Gai dropped everything but the crab and spun around with it in his hand like its tiny claws were a weapon. Pinch, pinch. In the dim light, his not-at-all-sleeping, absolutely-faking-it sister stood chest-high to him. Her wavy hair was dark as the night around her, so she was all cheeks and eye-whites. “Lynd.” His shoulders relaxed. “I thought ya were asleep? Get back inside.”

“I know.” She sighed. “Finally had to fake snore to get ya to leave . . . Did ya just wee yer pants?” “No! What? Never! What?”

“But durin’ that thunderstorm—”

“I told ya that was the rain leakin’ through the roof !” He came close to whisper. “How’d ya even know I was gonna sneak out?”

“I didn’t.” Lynd reached for his newspaper-patched shirt and crinkled it. “But ya sound like a rat chewin’ on garbage when ya move.”

“Ya think yer so smart,” he huffed.

Gai then noticed a thin sliver of wood gripped tightly in his sister’s hand. It was about the length of her foot and as thick as a finger. She was mindlessly playing with the splintering edge the same way she did with her blanket.

“At least ya listened to Ma,” he said. “Always bring somethin’ to snap when ya leave the house. Just in case.”

She ignored him and looked at the crab, “Gaiel Izz, the good boy, snuck out for the first time. To get Em pet food?”

“Yeah,” he lied, stone-faced.

Lynd bent the tip of that piece of wood in her hand off with her bare thumb. Snap!

The boy flinched, “A’kay. A’kay. Don’t get mad. Please at ya.” “Waitin’,” she sung, rocking on her heels.

“Keep yer voice down,” he whispered. “I’m just lookin’ for some‐ thin’, a’kay?”

“I knew it,” she said, pointing to Mayor Tanning’s red tide warning sign. “Ma said the sign’s about spryts comin’. Yer out to find one without me, ain’t ya?”

“Spryts?” he scoffed. “No. I’d like to live.” “What’s so important, then?” Lynd whined.

“Get. Back. In. Side,” he said with all the older-brother-authority he could fake. “Wait, how did ya get out?”

“All I had to do was break those boards over the window,” she said proudly. “I pulled apart that rope blanket ya made me and climbed down.”

“Ya don’t say.” Gai wiped off a layer of Under-Board muck from his arm. “Anyway, get back in. I won’t tell ya again.”

Snap! She broke off another piece of the wood in her hand. “Fine.” Gai tossed the crab back into the water. “I’m not out here for food. I’m not out here for spryts. What’s tomorrow?” Lynd smiled wide. “My birthday . . .”

“A big one.” He fanned out both his hands. “Yer gonna be thirteen fingers old.”

She grabbed one of his hands and closed it. “Ya still talk to me like I’m only five fingers.”

“Still got the claws out?” He turned his back to her and sat down, dangling his feet over the edge of the Board. “All’s a’kay. I didn’t scoop what I need to make yer present anyway.”

“Ya risked sneakin’ out . . . to make me a present?” Lynd sat next to him and wrapped her arm all the way around to his other shoulder. “Thanks at ya! I love it — will love it. Whatever it is. What is it?”

“Will ya keep yer voice down? I don’t wanna think what’ll happen if someone finds us out here.” He pointed down, “Someone could crawl right up from the Under Board and grab us.”

“A’kay. . .”

“And yer stabbin’ me with yer broken wood.”

“Oh, sorry at ya.” Lynd shriveled a bit in embarrassment.

He sighed. “No, lucky ya brought that thing. Or Boulie could’ve gotten a new crack in it instead. Or could’ve.”

“I-I don’t—”

“I know ya don’t mean to break things,” Gai interrupted, peering down Boulie Board to the center of Hop.

All the Boards started in a central point and radiated out like spokes on a wheel. At night, the center glowed faintly yellow with a few bright electri lamps. Most Hoppers could never afford fancy Electrian toys like flameless lamps, so having one was sort of a status beacon. Note, having high status in Hop still meant one’s toilet was a hole in the floor.

He whispered, “Remember the time we scooped a lamp?” “Mhm. Was the happiest I saw Ma since Pa left,” Lynd said. “We should’ve kept it.”

“She was right to sell.” Gai pointed to each yellow light. “Light makes ya easy to spot. I’d rather not have any extra targets on our back.”

“Ya think Pa could be back for my birthday, Gai?”

The boy turned away. “I thought ya got tired of askin’ me that?” Lynd stood up. “A’way.”

“Finally,” he yawned. “I’m ready for bed.”

“Bed? There’s no bed when ya got a present to make.” She offered her hand. “Let’s head to the center. Everything that floats by collects there, so maybe we’ll scoop what ya need?”

Gai shot to his feet. “Have ya lost yer brains? Every spot down there is claimed by one scooper gang or another. Ever heard of the Wicked Wikets? They’ll net us up like clams!”

Lynd had already started walking down Boulie while he was babbling. When he finally finished, she whispered, “I wish ya weren’t such a sogg sometimes.”

“What’d ya call me?” The word struck Gai right in the beating heart. Sogg. Bump. Bump. Was that what he was? Bump. Bump. Sogg was Hopper slang for a useless person, like when someone would scoop something they thought was nice at first, but turned out to be all soggy and unusable. What an unforgiving term. How could he fix being a sogg? The boy picked up his scoop and banged it like a gavel. “Back home, now!”

Lynd stopped. But she wouldn’t turn around. Her little shoulders rose and fell with a sigh. “We only go outside to work.” She began sniffling. “Everything’s too dangerous. Can’t even remember the last time Ma stepped out onto the Boards. We can’t make any friends because—” Snap! She broke the wood in her fist again. Snap! Then another piece. Snap!

“All’s a’kay,” Gai said softly, gesturing with his palms open like Lynd was a wild, bucking horse. Breaking things was some kind of release for her. When she got upset, she had to break something. If she didn’t break something with her hands, then something would just break around her — hands-free. It was frightening to the boy and terrifying to their mother, who tried her very best to ignore it. That nice crack in their front door was Lynd’s doing, as were four more just like it inside the Izz home.

Boulie Board’s planks began to rumble under their feet as if the waves were pounding the Under Board. The posts rattled. Gai’s cheeks rippled. But the boy knew this was no seaquake. It was Lynd’s bizarre destructive power boiling up to the surface again. The boy hobbled to his sister, softly singing a song their Pa used to play, “We’ve been here before . . .”

Lynd’s fist loosened.

“With yer hand in mine,” he continued.

The planks eased their quaking. Lynd’s shoulders settled down away from her jaw.

Gai sang, “In my heart, there’s a window. And it sees through time . . .”

Lynd turned to him and smiled as if nothing super crazy just happened.

“See,” said Gai. “All’s a—”

Waaahhhhhhhh! A loud horn blared from a few houses down, followed by heavy, clanking footsteps coming at them fast. Gai took Lynd’s free hand and led her to the edge of the Board, where they both climbed down to hide in the Under Board.

The noisy boots banged right above them, pounding back and forth like they were searching around. Then, sniffing them out like a dog, they stepped right to the edge from where the Izz kids had just climbed down. Gai and Lynd huddled tightly just beneath and held their breath. They dared not make a sound. Finally, after a few long beats, the boots clanked back to where they came. The boy and girl exhaled together with relief.

“Mrs. Shakk,” Gai said. “Our favorite neighbor.”

“Why does she have to use that yellin’ horn?” Lynd plugged her ears. “Makes my head wanna explode.”

“Satisfied?” Gai waved her to the edge. “Let’s get home quick before someone else comes. Or you get upset—ugh—before someone else comes.”

Lynd stayed leaning in the crux of two beams.

“A’way, Lynd. Ya gotta admit this is way more excitement than anyone promised ya when ya went to bed.”

She grasped the wood tightly in her hand. But did not break it this time. “A’kay.”

“Wow.” Gai gently put his hand on her shoulder. “Pa’s old fiddle song really calms ya up, yeah?”

Lynd only offered a tiny smirk.

As the boy began his climb back up to the Boulie, two more stomping feet rushed toward them again. Who knew the Boards were so busy at night? Gai ducked back under and waited for whomever it was to pass.

Clink. The person dropped something just as they were walking above Gai and Lynd. “This rotten old sachet,” a woman said, picking it back up. “Everythin’ else in this world’s got a hole in it, ‘course this does too, she says.” The woman then walked down toward the center of Hop, muttering, “Zeea, I pray this is worth it.”

“Gai,” Lynd whimpered. “That was Ma!”

“What?” He tried to peak through the spaces between Boulie’s planks. “What did she mean ‘worth it’? What’s she doin’?”

“She never goes out!” Lynd smacked his shoulder. “We have to follow her!”

“No, Lynd. We’re goin’ home.”

She scoffed and paused, glaring at him. “Yer such a sogg. What if somethin’ happens to her?”

Bump. Bump. The sogg remark. That made two times. A fist-sized lump formed in his throat. Where did she get an idea like that? Bump. Bump. He looked at the wood still clutched in his sister’s hand. All that destruction nonsense started the night Pa left. Was that why he was a sogg? Because he couldn’t fix her? He was trying. He did his best to fix everything that broke in the house due to her strange power. He was even sneaking out to make the perfect present, one that actually might calm Lynd when she needed it. Maybe then the destruction would stop. He could patch up a few cracks, but what else was he supposed to do to fix Lynd? Bump. Bump. Put a piece of news‐ paper over her?

Lynd turned and said, “What if somethin’ happens to her like P—”

“Stop!” Gai accidentally shouted. He went to cover his mouth but then puffed out his chest instead. “Ya won’t keep up with Ma, jumpin’ on the dinky ones.” He leaped from beam to beam as a monkey moves through tree limbs.

She giggled. “Lead the way, wetleg.”

 

 

About Wes Dyson:


Wes Dyson is
a creative marketer and dog-daddy of four Pomskies living in Western MA. He
loves classical music and earthy, grass-tasting tea.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

 

 

 

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, International.

3 winners will receive an eBook of MYRACLES IN THE VOID, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/1/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG Post

7/2/2022

@creepylilbookworm

IG Spotlight

Week Two:

7/3/2022

Better_0ff_Read

IG & TikTok Spotlight

7/4/2022

Ya Books Central

Excerpt/IG Post

7/5/2022

@allyluvsbooksalatte

IG Spotlight

7/6/2022

Pick A Good Book

Excerpt/IG Post

7/7/2022

#BRVL Book
Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

7/8/2022

For the Love of
KidLit

Excerpt

7/9/2022

thepaperworlds

Review/IG Post

Week Three:

7/10/2022

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG Post

7/11/2022

Two Chicks on
Books

Excerpt

7/12/2022

Emmiepooh2

Review/IG Post

7/13/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review/IG Post

7/14/2022

Nagma
| TakeALookAtMyBookshelf

IG Review

7/15/2022

Fire and Ice

Review

7/16/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Post

Week Four:

7/17/2022

Books
a Plenty Book Reviews

Review

7/18/2022

brittreadsalattebooks

IG Spotlight

7/19/2022

The Page
Ladies @jacleomik33

Review/IG Post

7/20/2022

Nerdophiles

Review/IG Post

7/21/2022

More
Books Please blog

Review/IG Post

7/22/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

Review/IG Post

7/23/2022

Lifestyle of
Me

Review/IG Post

Week Five:

7/24/2022

@wraithreads

TikTok Review/IG Post

7/25/2022

rose.colored.books

Review/IG Post

7/26/2022

Books and
Zebras

IG Review

7/27/2022

modefii

Review/IG Post

7/28/2022

A Bookish
Dream

Review/IG Post

7/29/2022

@enjoyingbooksagain

Review/IG Post

7/30/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

Week Six:

7/31/2022

Two Points of
Interest

Review

 

 

Rockstar Tours: BLUE BLOODS: AFTER LIFE (Melissa De La Cruz), Excerpt & Giveaway! ~US ONLY

July 4th, 2022 by

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the BLUE BLOODS: AFTER LIFE by Melissa de la Cruz Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

 

About the Book:

Title: BLUE BLOODS: AFTER
LIFE

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Pub. Date: July 12, 2022

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 352

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

 

The Blue Bloods are
back…more fanged and fabulous than ever.

After defeating Lucifer and sacrificing the love of her life, Jack, Schuyler
wakes up back in New York safe and sound. Only it’s not quite the New York she
knows, and she’s not in her regular body. She looks different and feels
different and so does everyone else. Schuyler soon discovers that in this
world, her best friend has a different last name, her parents are both alive
and well and one of them is an entirely different person, and the love of her
life? Not so dead after all. The catch? Jack has no idea who she is.

As it turns out, Schuyler is not in her New York. She’s not even in her
universe. This is an alternate reality. One where Lucifer is alive and well and
acting as mayor of New York, Blue Bloods are luring humans to clinics to drain
their blood, and Jack is Lucifer’s right hand man. Just when she thinks all is
lost, Schuyler is contacted by a familiar friend―the Silver Blood, Kingsley.
The Kingsley from her world. He actually remembers the Schuyler she used to be!
But he also has a theory, and it’s one she doesn’t like. That Schuyler was sent
here to defeat Lucifer. Again. And that she’s the only person in this universe
or any universe that can defeat him.

New to the BLUE BLOODS
world? Read the original series and the spin off books now!

BLUE BLOODS

 

 

 

 

 

Stream the WITCHES ON
EAST END TV series on Hulu
or watch on Prime Video!

 

 

~EXCERPT~

Catherine Carver’s Diary

21st of November, 1620

The Mayflower

It has been a difficult winter. The sea does not agree with John, and we are always cold. Perhaps we will find peace in this new land, although many believe we have not left danger behind. Outside my window, the coastline resembles Southampton, and

for that I am grateful. I will always long for  home, but our kind are no longer safe there. I myself  do not believe the rumors, but we must do as instructed. It has always been our way. John and  I are traveling as husband and wife now. We are planning on marrying soon. There are far too few of  us, and more are needed if we are to survive. Perhaps things will change. Perhaps good fortune will shine on us, and our situation will ameliorate. The ship has anchored. We have landed. A new world awaits!

—C.C

 

New York City The Present

One

The Bank was a decrepit stone building at the tail end of Houston Street, on the last divide  between the gritty East Village and the wilds of the Lower  East Side. Once the headquarters of the venerable Van Alen  investment and brokerage house, it was an imposing, squat  presence, a paradigm of the beaux-arts style, with a classic  six-column façade and an intimidating row of “dentals”— razor-sharp serrations on the pediment’s surface. For many  years it stood on the corner of Houston and Essex, desolate,  empty, and abandoned, until one winter evening when an  eye-patch–wearing nightclub promoter chanced upon it after  polishing off a hot dog at Katz’s Deli. He was looking for a  venue to showcase the new music his DJs were spinning—a dark, haunted sound they were calling “Trance.”

The pulsing music spilled out to the sidewalk, where  Schuyler Van Alen, a small, dark-haired fifteen-year-old girl, whose bright blue eyes were ringed with dark kohl eye  shadow, stood nervously at the back of the line in front of  the club. She picked at her chipping black nail polish. “Do  you really think we’ll get in?” she asked.

“No sweat,” her best friend, Oliver Hazard-Perry  replied, cocking an eyebrow. “Dylan guaranteed a cakewalk.  Besides, we can always point to the plaque over there. Your  family built this place, remember?” He grinned.

“So what else is new?” Schuyler smirked, rolling her  eyes. The island of Manhattan was linked inexorably to her  family history, and as far as she could tell, she was related  to the Frick Museum, the Van Wyck Expressway, and the  Hayden Planetarium, give or take an institution (or major  thoroughfare) or two. Not that it made any difference in her  life. She barely had enough to cover the twenty-five dollar  charge at the door.

Oliver affectionately swung an arm around her shoulders. “Stop worrying! You worry too much. This’ll be fun,  I promise.”

“I wish Dylan had waited for us,” Schuyler fretted, shivering in her long black cardigan with holes in each elbow.  She’d found the sweater in a Manhattan Valley thrift store  last week. It smelled like decay and stale rosewater per fume, and her skinny frame was lost in its voluminous folds.  Schuyler always looked like she was drowning in fabric. The  black sweater reached almost to her calves, and underneath  she wore a sheer black T-shirt over a worn gray thermal undershirt; and under that, a long peasant skirt that swept  the floor. Like a nineteenth century street urchin, her skirt  hems were black with dirt from dragging on the sidewalks.  She was wearing her favorite pair of black-and-white Jack  Purcell sneakers, the ones with the duct-taped hole on the  right toe. Her dark wavy hair was pulled back with a beaded  scarf she’d found in her grandmother’s closet.

Schuyler was startlingly pretty, with a sweet, heart shaped face; a perfectly upturned nose; and soft, porcelain  skin—but there was something almost insubstantial about  her beauty. She looked like a Dresden doll in witch’s clothing. Kids at the Duchesne School thought she dressed like a  Dickensian urchin. It didn’t help that she was painfully shy  and kept to herself, because then they just thought she was  stuck-up, which she wasn’t. She was just quiet.

Oliver was tall and slim, with a fair, elfin face that was  framed by a shag of brilliant chestnut hair. He had sharp  cheekbones and sympathetic hazel eyes. He was wearing  a severe military greatcoat over a flannel shirt and a pair  of holey blue jeans. Of course, the flannel shirt was John  Varvatos and the jeans from Citizens of Humanity. Oliver  liked to play the part of disaffected youth, but he liked shopping in SoHo even more.

The two of them had been best friends ever since the  second grade, when Schuyler’s nanny forgot to pack her  lunch one day, and Oliver had given her half of his lettuce  and mayo sandwich. They finished each other’s sentences and liked to read aloud from random pages of Infinite Jest when they were bored. Both were Duchesne legacy kids who  traced their ancestry back to the Mayflower. Schuyler counted  six U.S. presidents in her family tree alone. But even with  their prestigious pedigrees, they didn’t fit in at Duchesne.  Oliver preferred museums to lacrosse, and Schuyler never  cut her hair and wore things from consignment shops.

Dylan Ward was a new friend—a sad-faced boy with  long lashes, smoldering eyes, and a tarnished reputation.  Supposedly, he had a rap sheet and had just been sprung  from military school. His grandfather had reportedly bribed  Duchesne with funds for a new gym to let him enroll. He  had immediately gravitated toward Schuyler and Oliver,  recognizing their similar misfit status.

Schuyler sucked in her cheeks and felt a pit of anxiety  forming in her stomach. They’d been so comfortable just  hanging out in Oliver’s room as usual, listening to music  and flipping through the offerings on his TiVo; Oliver booting up another game of Vice City on the split screen, while  she rifled through the pages of glossy magazines, fantasizing  that she, too, was lounging on a raft in Sardinia, dancing the  flamenco in Madrid, or wandering pensively through the  streets of Bombay.

“I’m not sure about this,” she said, wishing they were  back in his cozy room instead of shivering outside on the  sidewalk, waiting to see if they would pass muster at the door. “Don’t be so negative,” Oliver chastised. It had been his idea to leave the comfort of his room to brave the New York  nightlife, and he didn’t want to regret it. “If you think we’ll  get in, we’ll get in. It’s all about confidence, trust me.” Just  then, his BlackBerry beeped. He pulled it out of his pocket  and checked the screen. “It’s Dylan. He’s inside, he’ll meet  us by the windows on the second floor. Okay?”

“Do I really look all right?” she asked, feeling suddenly  doubtful about her clothes.

“You look fine,” he replied automatically. “You look  great,” he said, as his thumbs jabbed a reply on the plastic  device.

“You’re not even looking at me.”

“I look at you every day.” Oliver laughed, meeting her  eye, then uncharacteristically blushing and looking away.  His BlackBerry beeped again, and this time he excused himself, walking away to answer it.

Across the street, Schuyler saw a cab pull up to the curb,  and a tall blond guy stepped out of it. Just as he emerged,  another cab barreled down the street on the opposite side.  It was swerving recklessly, and at first it looked like it would  miss him, but at the last moment, the boy threw himself in  its path and disappeared underneath its wheels. The taxicab  never even stopped, just kept going as if nothing happened.

“Oh my God!” Schuyler screamed.

The guy had been hit—she was sure of it—he’d been  run over—he was surely dead.

“Did you see that?” she asked, frantically looking around for Oliver, who seemed to have disappeared. Schuyler ran  across the street, fully expecting to see a dead body, but the  boy was standing right in front of her, counting the change  in his wallet. He slammed the door shut and sent his taxi on  its way. He was whole and unhurt.

“You should be dead,” she whispered.

“Excuse me?” he asked, a quizzical smile on his face. Schuyler was a little taken aback—she recognized him  from school. It was Jack Force. The famous Jack Force. One  of those guys—head of the lacrosse team, lead in the school  play, his term paper on shopping malls published in Wired,  so handsome she couldn’t even meet his eye.

Maybe she was dreaming things. Maybe she just thought she’d seen him dive in front of the cab. That had to be it.  She was just tired.

“I didn’t know you were a dazehead,” she blurted awkwardly, meaning a Trance acolyte.

“I’m not, actually. I’m headed over there,” he explained,  motioning to the club next door to The Bank, where a very  intoxicated rock star was steering several giggling groupies  past the velvet rope.

Schuyler blushed. “Oh, I should have known.” He smiled at her kindly. “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why apologize? How would you have known that? You  read minds or something?” he asked.

“Maybe I do. And maybe it’s an off day.” She smiled.

He was flirting with her, and she was flirting back. Okay,  so it was definitely just her imagination. He had totally not  thrown himself in front of the cab.

She was surprised he was being so friendly. Most of the  guys at Duchesne were so stuck-up, Schuyler didn’t bother  with them. They were all the same—with their Duck Head  chinos and their guarded nonchalance, their bland jokes and  their lacrosse field jackets. She’d never given Jack Force more  than a fleeting thought—he was a junior, from the planet  Popular; they might go to the same school but they hardly  breathed the same air. And after all, his twin sister was the  indomitable Mimi Force, whose one goal in life was to make  everyone else’s miserable. “On your way to a funeral?”  “Who died and made you homeless?” were some of Mimi’s  unimaginative insults directed her way. Where was Mimi,  anyway? Weren’t the Force twins joined at the hip?

“Listen, you want to come in?” Jack asked, smiling and  showing his even, straight teeth. “I’m a member.” Before she could respond, Oliver materialized at her side.  Where had he come from? Schuyler wondered. And how  did he keep doing that? Oliver demonstrated a keen ability  to suddenly show up the minute you didn’t want him there.  “There you are, my dear,” he said, with a hint of reproach. Schuyler blinked. “Hey, Ollie. Do you know Jack?” “Who doesn’t?” Oliver replied, pointedly ignoring him.  “Babe, you coming?” he demanded in a proprietary tone.  “They’re finally letting people in.” He motioned to The Bank, where a steady stream of black-clad teenagers were  being herded through the fluted columns.

“I should go,” she said apologetically.

“So soon?” Jack asked, his eyes dancing again. “Not soon enough,” Oliver added, smiling threateningly. Jack shrugged. “See you around, Schuyler,” he said,  pulling up the collar on his tweed coat and walking in the  opposite direction.

“Some people,” Oliver complained, as they rejoined their  line. He crossed his arms and looked annoyed. Schuyler was silent, her heart fluttering in her chest. Jack Force knew her name.

They inched forward, ever closer to the drag queen with  the clipboard glaring imperiously behind the velvet rope.  The Elvira clone sized up each group with a withering stare,  but no one was turned away.

“Now, remember, if they give us any trouble, just be cool  and think positive. You have to visualize us getting in, okay?”  Oliver whispered fiercely.

Schuyler nodded. They walked forward, but their progress was interrupted by a bouncer holding up a big meaty  paw. “IDs!” he barked.

With shaking fingers, Schuyler retrieved a driver’s license with someone else’s name—but her own picture— on its laminated surface. Oliver did the same. She bit her lip.

She was so going to get caught and thrown in jail for this.  But she remembered what Oliver had said. Be cool. Confident.  Think positive. 

The bouncer waved their IDs under an infrared machine,  which didn’t beep. He paused, frowning, and held their IDs  up for inspection, giving the two of them a doubtful look.

Schuyler tried to project a calm she didn’t feel, her heart  beating fast underneath her thin layers. Of course I look  twenty-one. I’ve been here before. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that ID, she thought.

The bouncer slid it under the machine again. The big  man shook his head. “This isn’t right,” he muttered. Oliver looked at Schuyler, his face pale. Schuyler thought  she was going to faint. She had never been so nervous in  her life. Minutes ticked by. People behind them in line made  impatient noises.

Nothing wrong with that ID. Cool and confident. Cool and confident. She visualized the bouncer waving them through, the  two of them entering the club. LET US IN. LET US IN. LET  US IN. JUST LET US IN! 

The bouncer looked up, startled, almost as if he’d heard  her. It felt as though time had stopped. Then, just like that,  he returned their cards and waved them forward, just as  Schuyler had pictured.

Schuyler exhaled. She and Oliver exchanged a restrained  look of glee.

They were inside.

 

About Melissa:

Melissa de la Cruz is the author of
the #1 New York Times best-selling Descendants series, as well as many other
best-selling novels, including Alex & Eliza and all the
books in the Blue Bloods series: Blue BloodsMasqueradeRevelationsAfter
Life, The Van Alen Legacy
Keys to the RepositoryMisguided
Angel, Bloody Valentine, Lost in Time,
 and Gates of Paradise.
She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and daughter.

 

Website | Twitter
|
Facebook
|
Instagram
|
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|
Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

 

Giveaway
Details:

1 winner will win a finished copy of BLUE BLOODS: AFTER LIFE, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/1/2022

Sadie’s Spotlight

Excerpt/IG
Post

7/2/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG
Post

Week Two:

7/3/2022

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt/IG
Post

7/4/2022

Ya Books Central

Excerpt/IG
Post

7/5/2022

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt/IG
Post

7/6/2022

What A Nerd Girl Says

Excerpt/IG
Post

7/7/2022

beersbooksandboos

Excerpt/IG
Post

7/8/2022

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

7/9/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG
Post

Week Three:

7/10/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review/IG
Post

7/11/2022

Fire and Ice

Review

7/12/2022

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG
Post

7/13/2022

One More Exclamation

Review/IG
Post

7/14/2022

Living in a Bookworld

Excerpt

7/15/2022

Nerdophiles

Review/IG
Post

7/16/2022

Lifestyle of Me

Review

Week Four:

7/17/2022

Nagma |
TakeALookAtMyBookshelf

IG
Review

7/18/2022

pluvioreads

Review/IG
Post

7/19/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

IG
Review

7/20/2022

@wraithreads

TikTok
Review/IG Post

7/21/2022

@allyluvsbooksalatte

Review/IG
Post

7/22/2022

Eye-Rolling Demigod’s Book Blog

Review/IG
Post

7/23/2022

Books and Zebras

IG
Review

Week Five:

7/24/2022

@drewsim12

IG
Review/TikTok Post

7/25/2022

More Books Please blog

Review/IG
Post

7/26/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG
Post

7/27/2022

A Bookish Dream

Review/IG
Post

7/28/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review

7/29/2022

onemused

IG
Review

7/30/2022

Books a Plenty Book
Reviews

Review

Week Six:

7/31/2022

@lexijava

Review/IG
Post

 

Rockstar Tours: Fractured Path (J.C. Cervantes), Excerpt & Giveaway! ~US ONLY

July 1st, 2022 by

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot
on the FRACTURED PATH by J.C. Cervantes Blog Tour hosted by 
Rockstar Book Tours. Check out
my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: FRACTURED PATH (The Mirror #3)

Author: J.C. Cervantes

Pub. Date: July 19, 2022

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 384

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N TBD, Bookshop.org

Can dreams come true when you’re living with a family curse?

1965—San Francisco, California

 

The 1960s are bursting with music and movement and love in San Francisco,
perfect for a budding artist like Blake. Unfortunately, the art world is not
welcoming to people of her gender or her multi-racial heritage, making it tough
to land an internship that could put her on the map. That, plus the fact that
Blake’s family has been notoriously riddled with bad luck, makes her feel like
she can’t catch a break. Things only get worse when Blake starts to have
ominous, confusing visions that grow stronger and more frequent, prompting
Blake’s aunt and uncle to tell her about a long-lost family heirloom that could
be the key to everything

Fueled by the ambiguous clues in her visions, Blake sets out on a journey
through the city to retrieve her ancestors’ legendary mirror. But Blake is not
the only one looking for it. Soon she must attempt to unleash her own dormant
powers . . . or else risk all she holds dear.

Fractured Path is the third book in the YA fairy-tale quartet,
following one family—and the curse that plagues it—over several generations.

Haven’t read the first 2 book in THE MIRROR
QUARTET? Get them now!

 

 ~Excerpt~

“While the beasts of prey, come from caverns deep, viewed the maid asleep.” –William Blake.

1

Tuesday, March 9, 1965

San Francisco

The rain was a soft pattering outside the classroom window.

A smooth rhythmic dance so unlike Blake’s rebellious paintbrush hovering over the  canvas.

The other Mission High students sat in front of their easels, painting and creating. Some  were pensive and focused; others were gabbing with their neighbors. Blake, on the other hand,  was bleary-eyed and entirely unfocused. She had only managed four hours of sleep last night.  Again.

She blamed it on the strange recurrent dream she’d been having for the last couple of  weeks. A dream that was hell bent on consuming her sleep. Maybe her sanity. Mr. Brown walked around the lively classroom, stopping at each student to offer  suggestions, words of encouragement, things like excellent layering or what does this represent?  He wore a thick wool sweater with plain gray slacks that were an inch too long. The  teacher was young, private, and forever distracted unless he was talking about art.  His hands were clasped behind his back while an overly zealous operatic tune crooned from the little record player in the corner. And while Blake questioned his choice of music, this  was her favorite place to be with its woody aroma of charcoal pencils, the intoxicating scent of  oil paint on over-used palletes, and the pungent smell of brush cleaner. For her, this classroom  smelled of dreams and possibilities.

In the gray afternoon light, Blake stared at her half-finished painting of a girl sleeping in  the same Willow tree Blake had been dreaming about. She tapped her paint brush across the  palm of her hand as if she could loosen the bristles into creative servitude.

Mr. Brown lifted the needle off the record and clapped his hands together loudly, to get  everyone’s attention. “Okay, class I think we need some quiet, contemplative, centering time.” A few groans rose up. Blake, on the other hand, was more than happy to fall under the  spell of one of her teacher’s meditations, close her tired eyes, and crash.

The rain fell steadily as Mr. Brown flicked off the lights, making the room a cool gray  oasis. “Fold your arms on the tables and put your heads down.” His voice was soothing, velvety.  Blake relaxed, inhaled, exhaled. Her eyelids grew heavier with every breath. Her limbs  weightless.

“Now, imagine a calm quiet peaceful place,” Mr. Brown went on. “Let yourself go.” “Where to?” some smart alec asked, but Blake was already drifting.

She began to imagine a stroll along the bay when…

A shadowy darkness unfolds. 

Mist rises.  

The Willow stands tall, its branches heavy with the weight of untold secrets. With a  resounding crack, the dark trunk splits down the middle. 

To reveal a moonlit scene of sweeping trees draped across a stately brick home.  An imposing iron gate adorned with the name Devereux creaks open slowly as if a  phantom is urging Blake inside.  

On top of one of the gate’s spires floats a pale blue heart, transparent as glass. At its  center is the drawing of a single brown eye, half closed eyelid, long lashes. One inch lower, Blake thinks, and the iron will shatter the heart. Another appears on a different spire. And  another. Large flakes of snow begin to tumble from the sky and then a woman’s voice comes  from inside the house, muffled and distant.  

Blake’s limbs are heavy. An unseen force is pinning her in place, forcing her to see the  heart, forcing her to listen to the whispering wind.  

Look. See. Remember. 

“Blake?”

Startled awake by her teacher’s voice, Blake shot up, banging her knee on the table. A  chorus of laughter rose up as the guy next to her, Bruce, said, “Sleeping beauty not getting  enough rest?”

She threw him a glare before Mr. Brown quirked a brow and said, “Seems you’re wanted  in the office.”

Half awake, Blake rose, adjusted her cardigan and smoothed her dark hair with all the  dignity she could muster.

She took the pink slip from Mr. Brown and headed into the corridor where she found  Olivia, the sixth period monitor. And her best friend.

“You won’t believe what I just heard,” Olivia squealed.

Blake, still a little light headed from her sadly short lived nap said, “You called me out of  class for gossip?”

“Well, yeah,” Olivia said nonchalantly leading Blake down the hall and out of Mr.  Brown’s sight. “Because it involves you.”

“Me? What did I do?”

Olivia tucked a shiny blonde hair behind her ear and rolled her wide set, curious eyes.  She had been Blake’s first friend when Blake moved to San Francisco to live with her aunt Remi  and uncle Cole after her parents’ deaths ten years ago. Their friendship was cemented in second  grade over snails. Willie Johnson had planted one in Blake’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Olivia had been the one to save her from the impending doom of crunch and slime. Blake had  been the one to clean the poor sticky snail before setting it free on lush piece of lawn outside.  The two girls were immediately inseparable after that.

“You didn’t do anything, but…” Olivia stopped, leaned closer. “You know Carl, the fink  from P.E.? Well, he’s friends with Richie and Richie is going to, or at least he wants to ask you  to the prom!”

Richie Bannister. The boy with sharp blue eyes and a Beach Boy grin. The truth was that  Blake hardly knew him —she had only sort of admired him from the baseball bleachers and in  between locker stops for the last several months. He was quiet, barely speaking a few hellos, a  couple of heys, and a single apology for knocking into her accidentally in the hall.

“Richie?” Blake tried to make room for a plausible explanation. “He doesn’t even talk to  me. Why would he want—”

“—because you’re Blake Estancia. That’s why. You’re beautiful and talented and  mysterious. Boys love mystery.”

Blake disagreed with her friend’s assessment. She was not mysterious. She was just busy.  Still, her heartbeats grew into hard anxious thumps. “Liv, please tell me you didn’t do this.” It  would be just like her to play matchmaker, and the thought of that was both endearing and  humiliating.

Olivia released an annoyed sigh. “Of course not.” Then she grabbed Blake’s hands and  smiled. “I thought you’d be happy.”

Happy. Terrified. Stunned. Was there a difference?

“I just wasn’t expecting—” Blake inhaled slowly. “Just give me a minute to absorb it.  And you’re sure?” Her heart started to race again. “We can trust Carl the fink? l?” Liv rolled her eyes. “You think I would even mention it if I wasn’t sure?” Prom.

Blake knew it was a right of passage, but she had given it little thought. She had been  completely consumed by her art since she had applied, at Mr. Brown’s urging, for the most  competitive internship in the city with the amazing artist T.K. Grayson. He had been a child  prodigy, had been compared to Picasso by the time he was fifteen, had shown his work in  premier galleries all over the world by the time he was twenty. Had married and divorced two  actresses and three models by the time he was fifty. Not exactly a role model, but getting the  opportunity to learn from his artistic brilliance, to be his student, sort of overrode all that.

“Richie would definitely make for a nice prom picture,” Blake teased. “But it’s only  March. The prom is two months away. There’s still spring break, exams…” The internship.  “Maybe he’s an early planner. Or maybe he wants to clear the field.”

A tingle of excitement ran up Blake’s legs. “And you?”

“What about me?”

“Who are you planning on taking?” Blake knew Olivia would have her choice of who to  go with.

“I’m keeping my options open. I’m kind of scared that Dean is going to ask me.” “Big burly football Dean?”

 

“The one and only.”

“Well he has liked you since ninth grade and he’s really nice and…”

“…nice is such a drag. And speaking of.” She reached into her pant pocket and pulled out  a half used pencil with teeth marks and a ChapStick. She glanced over her shoulder then handed  Blake the items, “Can you do your thing with these?”

“Who do they belong to?”

“A couple of guys I’m trying to choose between. I figured you might get a glimpse— good or bad and it would help me decide. So how about it?” She gave a coy expression. “Use  your magic for your best friend?”

Magic . . . ha. She wouldn’t exactly call what she could do that. Magic was the thing that  always felt out of reach.

When Blake was a child, she had wanted to possess her mother’s power. She would  climb her backyard tree, raise her hands like a little sorceress and try to call the magic to her. To  make it bend the branches, incinerate the leaves, blow a gust of wind. Blake’s longing grew to a  size she couldn’t contain—year after year it stretched and pulled, tearing apart her ribs and  clawing up her throat. But her mother’s magic never came.

And even though magic had run in both sides of her family, the greatest powers seemed  to have been held by Blake’s grandmother Zora, a woman she only knew through stories.  According to Remi, Zora had the astonishing ability to create any disguise she desired and move  things with her mind. And then there was her extraordinary music and how she could use it to  channel her powers. That was useful magic. Significant magic that changes the world and your  place in it.

Sadly, Blake had barely-there magic. The rules were simple: She could sense things  when she touched objects—a flash of the sea, or a single note of music, or the taste of lavender  tea, or the fleeting feeling of regret. Nothing more. But the true power was in the object’s  memories, not in Blake. If the object chose to speak to her through any one of her five senses,  she could get a small sense of its history, which could be interesting, sure . . . just not earth  shattering.

Blake’s inheritance occupied an in-between space—not as powerful as her mother and  grandmother’s telekinesis, but not as slight as her aunt Remi’s ability, which consisted of  sending a waft of air to anyone anywhere in the world. The truth was, Blake was just a bits and  pieces girl.

“Nothing on ChapStick,” she said, handing it back to Olivia. “And the chewed up pencil?  I saw a puddle of blood.”

Liv’s eyes went wide with terror. “Seriously?”

Blake laughed. “No, but it sounds more interesting than the soda fizzing I heard.” “Well, that’s not at all helpful,” she sighed.

“I better get back.”

Olivia inched closer, studying Blake’s face. “Hold on…you look terrible.” “What happened to beautiful and mysterious?”

Ignoring Blake’s attempt at humor, Olivia said, “Beautiful and mysterious but with  serious bags. What’s the deal?”

“Just some weird dreams lately,” she admitted.

“About what?”

Blake thought about the dream she had just had in class with the spinning heart and an  eye at its center.

“Just weird symbols and a tree and stuff.”

Olivia pressed her lips into a thin line. “Jung says that dreams are the psyche’s way of  trying to communicate important stuff, so we should try to interpret them.” “Fine, but right now my psyche better get back to class.” Blake started to turn when  Olivia caught her arm.

“I bet I could help you interpret them.”

Blake was about to argue.

“Look,” Olivia said, “you’d be helping me. I’m supposed to find a research project—” “—Liv. I am not going to be your project. And really,” Blake urged, “they’re nothing.” Blake headed back to the art room, where everyone was back to work on their freestyle

projects. Thirty minutes later, Blake set her unfinished painting in her cubby and packed up her  supplies as the bell rang.

“Blake, can you hang back a minute?” Mr. Brown asked.

Shouldering her bookbag, she waited for the other students to file out before she headed  to Mr. Brown’s desk. Maybe he had some kind of technique advice. Maybe he wanted to check  in with how obviously distracted she’d been today. But instead he handed her an envelope.

The paper was crisp, cool against Blake’s fingertips. And then came the image of a shiny  white floor just as Mr. Brown said four magical words:

“You got the interview.”

 

 

About J. C. Cervantes:

J. C. Cervantes (www.jccervantes.com) is the New York Times best-selling
author of The Storm Runner, which Booklist called
“a rip-roaring adventure” in a starred review. Her first novel, Tortilla
Sun,
 was a 2010 New Voices pick by the American Booksellers
Association and was named to Bank Street’s 2011 Best Book List. Jen grew up in
San Diego and was fascinated by stories about Maya gods and magic. Follow her
on Facebook, Twitter: @jencerv, and Instagram: #authorjcervantes.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub

 

 

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of FRACTURED PATH, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/1/2022

Ya Books Central

Excerpt/IG Post

7/2/2022

Sadie’s Spotlight

Excerpt/IG Post

Week Two:

7/3/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG Post

7/4/2022

#BRVL Book
Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

7/5/2022

Two Chicks on
Books

Excerpt

7/6/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Post

7/7/2022

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG Post

7/8/2022

Rajiv’s Reviews

Review/IG Post

7/9/2022

The
Moon Phoenix

Review/IG Post

Week Three:

7/10/2022

Stacialovestoread

Review/IG Post

7/11/2022

Fire and Ice

Review

7/12/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

IG Review

7/13/2022

Lifestyle of
Me

Review

7/14/2022

Books
a Plenty Book Reviews

Review

7/15/2022

Eye-Rolling
Demigod’s Book Blog

Review/IG Post

7/16/2022

More
Books Please blog

Review/IG Post

Week Four:

7/17/2022

Kait Plus Books

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

7/18/2022

beersbooksandboos

Review/IG Post

7/19/2022

The Chatty
Bookworm

TikTok Review/IG Post

7/20/2022

pluvioreads

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

7/21/2022

History
from a Woman’s Perspective

Review

7/22/2022

A Backwards
Story

Review/IG Post

7/23/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

Week Five:

7/24/2022

A Bookish
Dream

Review/IG Post

7/25/2022

hodophile_z

IG Review

7/26/2022

onemused

IG Review

7/27/2022

@drewsim12

IG Review/TikTok Post

7/28/2022

Books and
Zebras

IG Review

7/29/2022

@lexijava

Review/IG Post

7/30/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review

Week Six:

7/31/2022

popthebutterfly

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

 

Spotlight on Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth (Joseph Gergen), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only

June 27th, 2022 by

 Today we’re spotlighting Theo & Sprout: A Journey of Growth by Joseph Gergen!

Read on for more about Joseph, his book, and a giveaway!

 

 

 

Meet Joseph Gergen:

Born and raised on the plains of North Dakota. Moved to Twin Cities because it’s actually warmer. Enjoy creating in whatever form it takes. I’ve pursued writing, painting, and furniture making. The enjoyment is in the doing. My writing tends to fall into magical realism where I let the characters tell me where the story should go.

 

Website * Twitter * Instagram

 

 

 

About the Book: Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth

Sprout says she’s there to help him, to guide him. Theo, an introverted, teenage boy form a large family, is not so sure about that. He’s not sure about much of anything at the moment. You see, Theo is thrown into absolute uncertainty one morning after he has showered for school when Sprout shows up.

While Theo longs for some guidance through the perils of adolescence, the guidance he knew his family wouldn’t give him, he isn’t prepared for Sprout to present herself and offer it to him. In fact, he doesn’t appear to have a choice since Sprout, sassy and confident about her presence, won’t go away.

Thus begin the adventures of Theo and Sprout.

Amazon

 

 

~Excerpt from Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth ~

SPROUT. My brother had no idea the impact the nickname he derisively gave me would have. Neither of us knew how unwittingly appropriate it would become. Was it destiny or self-fulfilling prophecy? I don’t know. Memories and dreams and possibilities like to mix together. As far as my past is concerned and the makeup of who I am and what shaped me, I can make no distinction between memory and reality and dream. I usually don’t try.

While I certainly don’t remember all of my childhood, and many aspects are densely foggy, I remember with clarity the day my life changed. I was preparing for school in the basement bathroom—the small, cramped bathroom that seemed more like a large porta-potty with a shower than an actual bathroom. Wet towels covered the floor and almost all available surfaces. Countless toiletries jumbled themselves wherever space allowed them to balance or stack. Most of these did not belong to me. They belonged to my collection of brothers and sisters. I had a toothbrush. I knew that. Usually, I found toothpaste. If I absolutely needed a less common toiletry, I picked through a baffling array of products, many of which I had no understanding, until I found something useful.

The bathroom door could have been used in a magic show, presenting only an illusion of a door. The useless expandable accordion door secured itself with a weak set of magnets. No locking mechanism whatsoever. Talk about a constant childhood fear. Forever filled with anxiety a sibling would barge in on me as I did my business. Brothers would barge in like some bad slapstick comedy knowing, like we all knew, if the door was closed, the bathroom was in use. If the boys heard the shower, they wouldn’t hesitate to sneak in and use the toilet. The girls exhibited more restraint. They at least would knock before they told you to hurry up, which would never sped up your business. Of course, just because the door was closed didn’t always mean someone was on the toilet. The girls fondly engaged in hours of preening before the mirror. So, privacy—that wasn’t a thing growing up.

The day my life changed I don’t recall anything out of the ordinary going on, neither in the bathroom nor the world at large. Spring had ushered in milder weather and the near ending of the school year. My freshman year of high school. And have I mentioned I was an average 15-year-old boy? I was short and lean, a sprout. My hair buzzed close to my head. My face was angular, all the fat sapped away from constant running. I didn’t spend much time worrying about my body image. It just was.

When puberty enters the scene, the body has a few topics it wants to talk about. You should probably pay attention or ask for guidance. I did not. Deep down I knew I needed guidance, but since my parents and family hadn’t provided any in the first 15 years of life, I suspected any request for guidance would have ended in terrible awkwardness. I guess my older brother BJ gave me guidance, if you call tough love and admonishments to be more manly guidance.

 

Book’s Title: Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth

Author: Joseph Gergen

Release Date: 5/21/2022

Publisher: Joseph Gergen

ISBN-13: 978-1734736625

Genre: Coming of Age

Age Range: 14+

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

 

 

Ten winners will receive a paper copy of Theo and Sprout: A Journey of Growth (Joseph Gergen) ~US ONLY

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rockstar Tours: THE PACK #2: CLAW AND ORDER (Lisi Harrison), Excerpt & Giveaway! ~US ONLY

June 21st, 2022 by

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot
on the THE PACK #2: CLAW AND ORDER by Lisi Harrison Blog Tour hosted by 
Rockstar Book Tours. Check out
my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: THE PACK #2: CLAW AND ORDER

Author: Lisi Harrison

Pub. Date: June 21, 2022

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 192

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

Sadie and
her best friends are back in book two of this series about girls with animal
powers. The Pack seems stronger than ever but Sadie has a secret that
could claw its way out.

Sadie thought joining the Pack would be the wildest thing to happen to her this
year but the school year is becoming even harder.

On top of classes Sadie has to navigate her growing feelings for her crush,
taming her powers during cheer practice and trouble making hyenas trying to
take her crown.

 

Then there is the massive secret she is keeping from her BFF Lindsey–that
could destroy their friendship and The Pack as they know it. Will the shocking
truth come out to bite them?

 

Grab book 1, THE PACK now!

 

~Excerpt~

Excerpt:

one

The classroom smelled like a Sephora. Instead of paying attention to Professor Norma’s snoozer of a lecture on landforms, the caged animal-lights were swiping fruit-flavored gloss across their lips and rubbing floral-scented salves into their hands–all in anticipation of that final gong. Once struck, Typical Topics would be over, and the most anticipated weekend of the year (since last month’s dance with the Allendale boys) would finally begin.

Sadie gazed beyond the metal-framed windows. Those smoke-gray clouds were still hovering. Oppressive and suffocating, they loomed above the private grounds of the Charm House boarding school like an overbearing parent, there to put a damper on her plans and, even worse, her new hairstyle. Hair that Sadie spent most of the day admiring in the reflection of her dead laptop screen.

She’d meant to charge her computer the night before. Really. But Claw Spa, the new beauty salon Sadie was opening with her pack mates, had become a major attention suck. Saturday morning was fully booked, and they were wildly unprepared.

Lindsey, tiger-light and queen of the claws, had to set up a manicure table. Taylor, chameleon-light and color expert, needed a dyeing station. Amy, snake-light and scaly skin specialist, had to blend her oil treatments. And Sadie, lion-light with superhuman strength and a dry blond mane, was stuck rearranging furniture–a bummer, but not a surprise.

They had finished setting up around midnight. While Lindsey, Taylor, and Amy applauded their work, Sadie, now surrounded by mirrors, fixated on her unruly hair. Gathering it in a bristly bundle, she tried twisting it into something elegant at the nape of her neck. Tying straw into a bow would have been easier. “I should just shave it off.”

“Funny,” Taylor said as she worked her short pink layers into spikes. “I’ve been thinking about all of that”–she waved her hand in the general vicinity of Sadie’s head–“and I have an idea. Trust me.”

“You’ve been thinking about it?” How long had Taylor been contemplating Sadie’s look? “Is it that bad?” Her stomach dipped as she remembered the girls at her old school, how they called her Hairy Poppins. And Taylor’s whole “trust me” thing? That was an elephant-sized ask.

Only weeks earlier, Taylor had secretly terrorized the animal-lights–and worse, her own pack mates. Her plan was to scare the girls (mostly Lindsey) so they would stop sneaking out to meet the boys. If the animal-lights were discovered, the evil doctors at Institute of Behavioral Science would lock them in cages on the thirteenth floor, just like they did with Kate, and experiment on them 24/7. So Taylor’s intention was to keep them safe. But really, T? Did you have to turn invisible, scratch venom into our bodies to make us sleep, then carve the number 13 into our skin? You couldn’t think of any other way to keep us safe from IBS? Nothing?

Apparently, she couldn’t. And technically, that was fine. Taylor meant well and the Pack forgave her. But “trust”? Yeah, that was going to take a while.

“Sadie, I’m not saying your frizzy vibe is brutal,” she continued. “I’m just–”

“Then I’ll say it,” Lindsey interrupted, her emerald-green eyes fierce and focused. “Sadie Lady, we love you, but your frizzy vibe is brutal.”

“Brutal is a little harsh,” Amy said. “Brittle is more appropriate.” Her sympathetic smile revealed one fang on either side of her mouth. “Why don’t I heat some orange and clove oil and–”

“We can give you a mane-over!” Taylor bellowed.

“Purrrfect,” Lindsey said. “I’ll do her claws!”

Two hours later, Sadie was running the sharp points of her gold nails through flat-ironed, deep-conditioned blond hair that faded to black.

“Wow, you look sixteen!” Amy gushed.

“Yeah, the ombré technique is a total mane-changer,” Taylor said. “And the dark tips hide your split ends.”

“You actually look pretty!” Lindsey added.

“Actually?”

“Not that you didn’t look pretty before. You did. On the inside. But now you’re pretty on the outside, too.”

Sadie was too excited about her mane-over to be offended. Before heading to bed, Taylor gave her a bottle of dry shampoo and strict instructions not to get her hair wet or it would frizz again. Which was why Sadie was currently admiring her reflection in a dead laptop screen and praying the rain away instead of listening to–

“Miss Samson!” Professor Norma shouted, or maybe it just sounded like a shout because of Sadie’s extra-sensitive hearing. “Are you paying attention?”

Chairs creaked as everyone turned.

“Uh . . .” Sadie’s cheeks warmed. “You were talking about animal migration.”

“Correct. I was talking about animal migration. Twenty minutes ago . . .”

The hyena-lights giggled. Jealous of the Pack’s popularity, they feasted on their misfortunes.

“Now I’m asking our Charm Club leaders for status reports, and since you’re one of those leaders, why don’t you update us on your progress.”

Lindsey, Taylor, and Amy glared at Sadie, silently reminding her not to divulge their secret. As if she needed a reminder. The Charm Club project was worth 50 percent of their Typical Topics grade. And with her slipping GPA, Sadie was counting on a high score to bring up her average. If word got out that their club, the Claw Spa, was charging for treatments, they’d fail. Granted, the Pack wasn’t asking for money. Just that customers cover the Pack’s chores and hand over their desserts whenever asked. This seemed like a reasonable request, considering Claw Spa was the only club providing an essential service. But try telling that to a professor preaching a free-flowing exchange of ideas and teamwork.

“Our progress?” Sadie lowered the screen on her laptop. “Um, last night we set up the spa in our dorm rooms, and it opens tomorrow. That’s about it.”

Professor Norma lowered her glasses, which were attached to a beaded string that held them around her neck, against her navy cardigan. Her small features were tight, and her makeup-free skin was the color of Silly Putty. She was probably a terrible joke-teller. “Can you share your most positive experience so far?”

Sadie reached for the glossy tips of her hair and sat up a little taller. “Um, the Allendale football game is tomorrow night, and Family Day is Sunday, so we’re booked solid, which is cool.”

“Sounds promising.” The professor searched Sadie’s eyes like hiding places. “And your most challenging experience?”

“Fitting everyone in, I guess. Demand is pretty high.”

“Well, you are offering a free service.”

“Free?” Val yipped. “Ha!” She and the other hyena-lights had started a comedy club named Cackle. Ever since Professor Norma had said she thought the name was clever (cackle is the sound of a laugh, and it’s also the name for a group of hyenas), Val had been incredibly cocky.

Professor Norma folded her arms across her dangling glasses. “Is there a problem?”

“Only if you think doing someone else’s chores is a–”

Lindsey growled softly.

“Chores?” Professor Norma’s thin eyebrows arched.

Lindsey glowered at Val and whispered, “Watch it, hy-e-nerd,” knowing that Professor Norma couldn’t hear her.

“Val, are you suggesting that–”

“Nope. All good. I was just workshopping one of my jokes for the Family Day showcase. I guess it needs more work. Sorry about that.”

Unlike the other teachers at Charm House, Professor “Normal” did not have an animal-light, so quiet whispers often went undetected. Sadie often wondered why Headmistress Flora had hired a Typical in the first place. Yes, she taught Typical Topics, so that part made sense, but still. The whole point of Charm House was to protect its students from the outside world. A world in which researchers from the Institute of Behavioral Science hunted animal-lights and imprisoned them on the thirteenth floor of their creepy building, where they experimented on their prisoners and would continue to do so until the source of their animal powers was uncovered. Professor Norma’s daughter was a light, which was why everyone trusted her. But what kind of light? And where was this daughter? Was she with Kate–Amy’s old roommate, who had been captured by IBS the week before Sadie arrived? No one seemed to know.

“Who else will be presenting their club during the Family Day showcase?” the professor asked.

Before anyone could answer, the gong rang. The weekend had officially started, and the students began clearing out.

“Miss Samson, may I have a few words?”

“Of course.” Smiling, Sadie made her way to the front of the room, anticipating another compliment. All her other teachers had had something positive to say about her hair, and every student (except the hyena-lights, of course) had booked a spa appointment, hoping for a similar look. If Professor Normal’s few words were flattering, she could have as many as she wanted.

“I’ve noticed a change in you lately,” she said once Sadie approached her desk.

“I elevated my style.”

Professor Normal glanced at Sadie’s black tips. “I see that.”

An awkward silence filled the space between them. A space that no longer smelled like fruity gloss and floral salves. Just tension.

“Any chance of you elevating your grades?”

“My grades?” Was that was this was about? Because come on. For the first time, Sadie had best friends, regular friends, and a crush on an Allendale boy who liked her back. As the only lion-light at Charm House, she no longer feared mean girls; they feared her. She was CEO of Claw Spa. Boss-lady of the jungle. Leader of the Pack. Yes, socializing had been cutting into her study time lately. But she’d bounce back. Good grades had always come easy to her. But BFFs? Not as much.

“I’m concerned,” Professor Normal said with a coffee-scented sigh. “The other teachers are, too.”

“Don’t worry. I’m a cat. We always land on our feet.”

“Do you think your parents will feel the same way?”

“I do,” Sadie said, sure of it. Her parents always wanted her to branch out and make friends. So yeah, they would feel the same way. How could they not?

 

two

The Claw Spa opened its dorm-room doors immediately after breakfast, and now Sadie’s bacon-free belly was shouting, Time for lunch! Had it been five hours already? She chased her hunger with cucumber-infused water, then greeted her next customer.

“Welcome to Claw Spa,” she said to Sondra, a petite rat-light with chin zits and oily brown hair. “Checking in?”

Sondra nodded, brows raised, smile wide. Like a caterpillar on the verge of metamorphosis, she, and the dozens who checked in before her, wanted a beauty transformation, just like Sadie’s. “I’m getting ombré hair with Taylor and an oil treatment with Amy.”

“Same,” said her friend Kara–a dingo-light with deep-set brown eyes and sharp, uneven teeth. “Can you see if Lindsey has time to do my nails?”

Sadie checked her spreadsheet. “I can squeeze you in with Lindsey if Sondra skips her treatment with Amy.”

Did it make sense? No. Amy’s schedule had nothing to do with Lindsey’s. But someone had to stop Sondra from getting an oil treatment, or her already greasy hair would look wet.

“What do you say?” Sadie asked, desperate to speed things up. The check-in line was snaking into the hallway, and the reception area was standing room only. The beds, which Sadie converted into couches thanks to some creative pillow placement, were taken. Same with the four chairs she positioned under Amy’s heat lamp. Who knew the hot orange light, meant for warming cold-blooded reptiles, could cut nail-polish drying time in half? Lindsey, that’s who.

Sondra approved the change, and Kara thanked her with a suffocating hug.

“Once you agree to the terms, you’ll be all set.” Sadie folded a piece of paper and slid it across her desk. It read: Kara and Sondra do our laundry Monday, November 8. Then she handed them a pen. “Your signatures, please.”

They scribbled their names without hesitation, and Sadie filed the paper away in her desk drawer. “Next!”

Rachel stepped forward. An energetic monkey-light with a nasty nail-biting habit and the swollen cuticles to prove it. “One manicure, please.”

“What about a hot oil hand massage?” Sadie said, realizing that Sondra’s cancellation left Amy wide open. “Those cuticles look parched.” If Rachel’s bloody nubs came within five feet of Lindsey, she’d pack up her Caboodles kit and walk off the job.

“But I booked a manicure.”

“Yeah, but right now, you need a little less mani and a lot more cure. The oil treatment will be perfect.”

Rachel began nibbling on her thumbnail.

“Trust me.” Sadie slid a folded piece of paper across her desk, which Rachel promptly signed. Now that Sadie had someone to return the water glasses to the cafeteria after closing, she could dry-shampoo her hair, raid Lindsey’s closet for a flattering outfit, and get to Allendale without missing a second of the football game.

Not that Sadie liked football. She loathed it. Her father, a San Francisco superfan, always shouted at the TV when the 49ers played. Which, thanks to Sadie’s super-sensitive lion-light hearing, sounded like he was screaming into a megaphone aimed at a microphone.

It was Beak she looked forward to–a like-minded sports hater who also preferred books to balls. And she hadn’t seen him, or his distracting green eyes, since the dance, four weeks earlier. She listened to “Without Me” by Halsey several times a day to relive their magical night.

Beak’s warm breath against her neck while they swayed to the heart-pounding beat of the song. The grape bubble gum scent of his skin. How the twinkle lights in the gym hinted at the C-shaped scar on his cheek–a scar he got while breaking up a fight between his sister and an innocent girl at a coffee shop. How he shared his most guarded secret–that this sister was Lindsey–and Lindsey had no idea that Beak was her brother. . . .

Granted, Beak already knew that Miss Flora (his grandmother) and Professor Jo (his mother) had let Sadie in on the family secret. What choice did they have? Sadie figured it out. But Beak said he was relieved that he had someone to talk to about it and that that someone was Sadie. Which made the soda-pop love mist inside Sadie’s belly fizz even more.

Since then, they’d texted frequently and shared each other’s locations on Trkr. She loved seeing a picture of his face move around the app’s map as he roamed the Allendale campus, loved knowing where he was. Not because she was a stalker, but because it helped her feel connected to Beak when they were apart. There hadn’t been any more school-approved occasions for the Charm House girls to hang out with the Allendale boys until this football game. And Sadie couldn’t wait! She’d put in her earplugs, cozy up to Beak on the bleachers, share her popcorn, and captivate him with her new hair. Then, as if hearing her thoughts, he texted.

 

 

About Lisi Harrison:

Lisi Harrison
is a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

In 2003,
Lisi left her position as senior director of development at MTV Networks to
write The Clique series (2013-2011), which sold more than
eight million copies and was on the New York Times bestseller
list for more than two hundred weeks. Ten titles hit #1, and foreign rights
were sold in thirty-three countries. Alphas was a #1 New
York Times
 bestseller, and Monster High was an
instant bestseller. In 2013 Lisi released her YA series Pretenders and
her first adult novel, The Dirty Book Club in 2017. In
2021 Lisi launched two new middle-grade seriesGirl Stuff and The
Pack
. Currently, she is working on a middle-grade series with New
York Times 
bestselling author Daniel Kraus called Graveyard
Girls (9.6.22).

Lisi lives
in Laguna Beach, California, where she leads Drama Free Friend workshops
that teach kids, and their parents, how to have healthy, drama-free
friendships.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE PACK #2: CLAW AND ORDER, US Only.

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/20/2022

The Momma Spot

Excerpt/IG Post

6/20/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG Post

6/21/2022

Ya Books Central

Excerpt

6/21/2022

Lady Hawkeye

Excerpt/IG Post

6/22/2022

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt/IG Post/TikTok Post

6/22/2022

#BRVL Book
Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

6/23/2022

Two Chicks on
Books

Excerpt or Guest Post

6/23/2022

@jaimerockstarbooktours

IG Post

6/24/2022

meetcuteromancebooks

IG Review

6/24/2022

Little Red Reads

Review

Week Two:

6/27/2022

M reads often

IG Review

6/27/2022

Nerdophiles

Review

6/28/2022

@travelersguidetobooks

IG Review

6/28/2022

Struck by
Stories

Review

6/29/2022

The
Real World According To Sam

Review/IG Post

6/29/2022

@allyluvsbooksalatte

Review/IG Post

6/30/2022

onemoreexclamation

Review/IG Post

6/30/2022

beersbooksandboos

Review/IG Post/TikTok Post

7/1/2022

Two Points of
Interest

Review

7/1/2022

onemused

IG Post

 

Spotlight on The Starburst Effect (Kelly Oram), Plus Giveaway! ~US ONLY

June 20th, 2022 by

 Today we’re spotlighting The Starburst Effect by Kelly Oram!

Read on for more about Kelly, her book, and a giveaway!

 

 

 

Meet Kelly Oram

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

Website * Twitter * Instagram * Facebook

 

 

About the Book: The Starburst Effect

Lily Rosemont lives next door to the biggest jerk in high school. Noah Trask has bullied Lily for years, and now he’s ruined her senior year by making her a target and turning the whole school against her. On top of that, her parents are getting divorced, and her world is falling apart around her.

After an accident on the football field leaves Noah with a traumatic brain injury, shattering his life as he knew it and leaving him with a whole heap of new disabilities, he’s no longer at the top of the high school food chain. In fact, he’s right down at the bottom with Lily.

In a cruel twist of fate, if Noah wants to graduate high school on time, he needs Lily’s help to complete a project—a book he wants to write about his experience. Lily’s not sure she can put aside her anger and hate for the boy who destroyed her senior year, but she desperately needs this project to get a scholarship to college.

It doesn’t take long for Lily to realize that the Noah who got injured is not the same Noah who survived the accident. He’s different. Way different. Lily slowly softens to this new Noah, but can she find it in her heart to forgive him? Can the two most unlikely people find friendship in adversity and help each other pick up the pieces of their broken lives?

~Excerpt from The Starburst Effect~

Noah falls to his bed, lies back, and puts his hands behind his head, looking up at the faded glow-in-the-dark stars that have probably been on his ceiling since he was a little boy. “I like music,” he admits. “Can’t really follow lyrics anymore, but…” He struggles for a moment, then sighs.

“But you can still enjoy the music?” I guess.

“Yeah.”

There’s a hint of melancholy in his voice that makes me sad. How many things in his life have been affected, or even taken from him, because of his injury? His inability to follow a fast conversation or stay focused for long periods of time must make him miss out on so much.

Wanting to take his mind off of whatever’s got him down, I cross the room and push his arm, forcing him to make room for me on the bed. He scoots over, and it feels natural to lie down beside him as if we’re just two friends hanging out for the millionth time. “What else do you do?” I ask, staring up at the stars with him. “What are your hobbies now, besides listening to awesome music?”

He opens his mouth, then shuts it again. His brow furrows. Whatever he wants to say, he can’t come up with the answer. “I can’t remember the name,” he says with a grunt of frustration.

He leans up and reaches over me to grab a TV remote off his nightstand. My breath catches. I don’t think he meant to practically lay on top of me, but my body seems to come alive from his nearness. And have I mentioned before how good he smells? I need to find out what cologne he uses and then spray my pillow with it or something.

Oblivious to the chaos he’s just put my body through, he sits back, placing his pillow up against the headboard. I sit up with him, attempting to get my heart rate back to normal, while he finds whatever it is he’s looking for. Once the TV and a Netflix menu comes up, things seem to click back in place for Noah. “There it is.” He finds what he’s looking for in his Continue Watching list.

I grin at the show he pulls up. “You watch Bob Ross?”

He acts offended by the teasing tone in my voice. “Bob Rock is cool.”

I hold my hands up. “I don’t disagree. I just didn’t figure you for the type.”

He shrugs. “I like art. Plus, he talks slow enough, and it’s not over…over…”

“Overstimulating?”

“Yeah. Doesn’t hurt my head.”

It makes sense. Bob Ross is very slow and soothing. I’m sure it’s one of the few shows he can follow fairly well. He clicks on an episode and leaves the show on mute. For a minute, we watch Bob Ross paint the beginnings of a mountain landscape while The Mad Hatters jam out softly in the room. It’s nice. “You ever painted along with him?” I ask, pointing at the screen. “I’ve always wanted to try it. I bet you could follow along. Or at least you could pause and rewind as much as you needed.”

His eyebrows climb his forehead. He watches the screen, and after a few seconds, nods his head. “Maybe.”

“Could be fun.”

He perks up the tiniest bit, and there’s a touch of excitement in his voice when he says, “Let’s tire it. My mom will get us the…the…” He mimes painting. “She always wants me to try new things.”

“Sounds good. You, me, and Bob Ross.”

Noah nudges my shoulder with his. “Next weekend. It’s a date.”

I smile to myself. Painting with Noah sounds fun. I could play it off as a “friends” thing, but something stops me. Taking a breath, I force myself to take a chance on something that might be strange but could also be amazing. “It’s a date,” I agree.

 

Book’s Title: The Starburst Effect

Author/Illustrator: Kelly Oram

Release Date:  June 20, 2022

Publisher: Bluefields Publishing

ISBN-13: 978-1-7341812-4-1

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Age Range: 12 and up

 

 

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

 

 One Winner will receive a Kelly Oram Starter Pack. Books: Signed copies of Cinder & Ella and Girl at Heart  Swag: postcard, magnet, keychain, bookmark

Cinder & Ella Summary:

It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.

Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

Girl at Heart Summary:

As the daughter of a successful Major League pitcher, Charlie Hastings has baseball in her blood. Unfortunately, being the only girl on her high school baseball team, Charlie has always been just one of the guys.

When her best friend, and secret love of her life, asks another girl to the prom, Charlie is devastated. She’s tired of being overlooked by boys because she’s not like other girls. Suffering a massive identity crisis, she decides to hang up her cleats and finally learn how to be a girl.

But with only two weeks until the state championships, the Roosevelt High Ravens can’t afford to lose their star catcher. Team captain Jace King makes her a deal: Don’t quit the team, and he’ll help her become the girl she’s so desperate to be. After all, he’s got four sisters, one of whom happens to be a cheerleader. He knows a thing or two about girls. (And if he can win her heart in the process, all the better.)

From the bestselling young adult author of Cinder & Ella, V is for Virgin, and the Avery Shaw Experiment comes a new sweet romance that’s sure to leave you with all the feels! Girl at Heart is a clean and wholesome sports romance that will leave you with warm fuzzies and an itch to watch a baseball game.

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

 

 

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