New Release and Giveaway! DATING THE IT GUY by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Dating the It Guy
by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: March 21st 2017

Summary: 

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

Excerpt:

He put the magazine between us, and when I moved forward to see it, he put his arm across the back of my chair. Now lots of guys did put their arms on chair backs, even Kirk did that with Rory, and he definitely wasn’t interested in her, but I couldn’t help but hope it meant something. I got this shivery feeling, and he asked if I was cold. I shook my head. I always got a feeling before something major was about to happen, and it has nothing to do with being cold, but I didn’t know why I got the feeling. Grandma used to do the same thing and always said, “Somebody just walked across my grave.” Somehow I didn’t think Brendon would understand if I told him I needed to move my future burial plot to a less high-traffic area.

“Are we still on for the art fair?” he asked.

I had only been circling it with hearts on my calendar since he asked.

“Sure, I think I’m still free,” I said.

We finished up our work, and he walked me out to meet Kylie.

“Okay, I’ll pick you up at three tomorrow,” he said, walking off.

“Can I ask a stupid question?” Kylie asked as soon as Brendon was out of earshot. “What’s he like? Because he’s so well-known, and I can’t imagine what it’d be like to grow up with your whole life under a microscope. I mean, my mom remembers his first birthday party pictures being shown on the news. And he’s hot, but he’s not like I-know-I’m-a-hottie hot, but more like a confident, ‘Yes, I am hot. Any questions?’ I mean, he has to have noticed there aren’t any guys who look like him walking around.”

“I should tell him what you said.”

“Don’t you dare,” Kylie said.

“I get what you mean—he’s grown up with everybody knowing his dad and watching him, but he’s pretty down to earth.”

“So what’s up with you two? You guys didn’t do any work last Saturday, and now you’re going to an art fair.”

“I dunno. He just asked me to go with him.”

“Asked you to go with him as his study buddy or asked you to go with him because he’s desperately in love with you?” she asked.

I said we were just friends, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“Okay, duh, obviously I like him, but let’s be honest. He’s out of my league. He’s out of most people’s league. It’s weird because normally if I like a guy then one of two things happens—either he likes me and asks for my number…or I find out he’s not into me and I cry in my pillow and listen to man-hating music for at least three days,” I said. “But this time’s different because he’s, I dunno, not just ‘some guy.’ I mean, I’m not putting up a shrine to him in my room, and I haven’t rooted though his garbage can, but I have as much chance of going out with him as Kirk does of getting an ‘A’ in this class.”

“You listen to man-hating music?” she asked, and I narrowed my eyes at her. “Whatever. Anyway, Em, he’s asked you out once already, and you are seeing him tomorrow. Plus, he’s always staring at you.”

I said he was probably just bored in class today, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“I’m not just talking about today. When we watched the movie on Monday, he watched you instead, and whenever I see you guys, he acts like there’s no one else in the room,” she said.

I couldn’t hold back the big, stupid smile spreading across my face. “He does? For real?”

She nodded. “You know, it’s weird. Here you were all upset you didn’t have a partner at the beginning of the semester, and then you ended up with like, Mr. Perfection, as your partner.”

 

 

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About the Author:

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is also the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series (True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, and the soon to be released, Landry in Like) and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

 

Author Links:

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A Conversation with A.L. Davroe, Author of REDUX (Tricksters #2)

 

Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, A.L.! What 5 things should readers know about you?

Geez, this is a hard question…Um…

  1. I can pick my nose with my tongue. That’s always fun at parties…
  2. I have anxiety and I’m not afraid to talk about it.
  3. I make cheese, write novels, and pet sit for a living.
  4. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up and that’s ok.
  5. I drink nothing but tea and seltzer.

Okay, now I really want to go to a party you’re at! And kinda don’t, both at the same time… 😉

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

The first inspiration came from two of the women from my previous agency talking about wanting a Steampunk Cinderella concept. I got this idea for a Cinderella that loses her leg instead of her shoe. Of course, I was sick of writing Steampunk at the time and I was curious about writing futuristic pieces, so I chose to go with that instead. NEXIS, the resulting novel, went a completely different direction than the actual Cinderella story, but you can see some of the threads there. The follow up novel, REDUX, had a number of versions, but the current one came about through a sort of learning experience that the main character, Ella, and I had together as creator and project. I talk about that journey in the acknowledgements.

Cool! I’ll have to check that out.

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I started writing for fun my freshman year of high school. My mother had always said to me that I was a good writer, but I never really listened to her. Parents are supposed to tell you stuff like that, right? It took a friend asking me to write a fan fiction with her that really got me into writing for enjoyment. She’d always enjoy the sections I wrote and I enjoyed writing them. I started to miss working on the fan fiction when it was in her possession. One day, I was waiting after school for my mother to pick me up after drama club. I finished reading this one novel that I had been really into and I was so bored. I wanted the book to continue. I wanted to be writing. Mostly, I just wanted something to pass the time. I thought to myself, “Why don’t I just write my own story? Something like this, but different.” That was my first novel. I went on to continue writing just for fun throughout high school and college. I finished this one novel about a year out of college and thought to myself, “This story needs to be shared with the world.” And that started my path to publication.

That’s awesome! I love that you started with fan fiction…

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I always have a bunch of projects that I’m working on. I can’t really say which one will be finished first or what’s next. Rest assured that I have more YA novels coming – both Sci-Fi and fantasy. I also have some adult pieces that I’m excited to bring you in the future. However, I plan to take a nice long vacation after REDUX comes out.  😀

LOL—sounds like a plan!

 

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

Would you believe that I’ve been on a non-fiction stint? I started taking classes, so I’ve been reading lots of books for my classes. The current book I’m reading is on graphoanalysis. It’s pretty interesting and I find it hard not to start analyzing everyone’s handwriting, LOL!

That does sound interesting—and I can see how that would be very tempting… 🙂

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

I’m a firm believer that readers should read NEXIS before REDUX, so the pitch for NEXIS would be: A female version of Matrix meets Tron and Ender’s Game.

Excellent point—works for me! Thanks, A.L.!

 

About the author:

I write both YA and adult speculative fiction. I’m represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. I’ve written FOR YOUR HEART; CITY STEAM; NEXIS; and M.I.A.. My latest novel, REDUX (YA science-fiction) is coming out with Entangled Teen in March 2017.

By day, I live in Connecticut with my feline hench-creatures and I make cheese. I’m a terrible blusher, have a weak spot for cuddly animals, love Laffy Taffy and Cadbury MiniEggs, and I’m a huge advocate of alternative healing methods. I wear purple shoes and corsets…Though not always in the same ensemble. I’m a Capricorn, a Hufflepuff, and a few nuggets short of a Happy Meal. I also suffer from Resting Bitchface Syndrome (RBS), so even though I might look like I’ll tie you in a knot if you come near me, I’m more afraid of you than you are of me (see blushing problem above).

About the book:

The domed city of Evanescence is in ruins. With nowhere to go, prodigy hacker Ellani “Ella” Drexel and a small band of survivors flee to the Undertunnel below their city.

To escape the wasteland she unknowingly created.

But sanctuary is hard to find. With malfunctioning androids and angry rebels at their backs, the group hopes to press on for the neighboring city of Cadence. But Ella’s chosen path is challenging…life-threatening, even. Worse, the boy she loves is acting distant, and not at all like the person she first met in Nexis.

But then Ella learns a secret…and it changes everything.

Ella knows she needs to turn back and make a stand to reclaim her home. She’s determined to bring a new—and better—life to all who’ve suffered.

Or die trying.

5 Things You Don’t Know About Meredith Molloney of Aileen Erin’s SHATTERED PACK (Alpha Girls #6–with a giveaway!)

5 Things You Don’t Know About Meredith

  1. Meredith is a member of the American Wayfarer Pack.

The world is divided up among packs, but Meredith’s is different, mostly made up of Cazadores. When big bads start acting up—vampires, feys gone murderous, leprechauns running amuck—they fly in to save the day. That’s why Meredith is a super awesome fighter. She was trained by her herd of brothers—not to mention the rest of her pack—since she could walk.

 

  1. Meredith’s pack was against her going to St. Ailbe’s Academy.

Annoying as it is, women in the packs don’t have a ton of independence. Especially in the Wayfarer pack. (Don’t worry. Tessa and Meredith are going to change all that. 😉 ) There are only a few women in the Wayfarer Pack. Meredith, her mother, and her nanny Ciara. Which is why Meredith wanted to get out so badly. But the Cazadores wanted to protect her. How could they do that if she wasn’t with them? And don’t get them started about Luciana cursing her… That would never have happened with them watching over her. But even with all the craziness, Meredith was glad she left. She made some amazing friends, learned a lot about other supernaturals, and most importantly, she never would have met Donovan if she hadn’t been at St. Ailbe’s. Who could regret that?

 

  1. Meredith’s nanny, Ciara, is more like her mom than her bio mom.

Meredith and her mother have never seen eye to eye. So, when Ciara sought refuge with the Wayfarers from the Irish Pack, Meredith clung to her. Now that Meredith is going to be joining Donovan’s notoriously cliquish Irish Pack, she’s going to need Ciara more than ever.

 

  1. For a while, Meredith thought about leaving the packs behind, going to a human college, and getting a job.

Sure, she was cursed to stay in her human for during that time. Since she couldn’t shift, she was basically human anyhow! Why not give it a shot? Seemed like a real chance at freedom from her overpowering pack. And when everything is going crazy, she still things about it. If she were human, what would she be doing? It’s nice to dream.

 

  1. Meredith is obsessed with reality TV.

Having never been integrated with humans, she finds it unendingly fascinating. Especially Finding Bigfoot. But really, she’ll watch any of it. She also thinks the fact that E! cancelled The Soup to be one of the biggest tragedies of her lifetime so far. When she’s busy at school, she can’t keep up with it all. The Soup was her way to keep up to date with human pop culture in 30 minutes. If anyone can fix this crime against society, she’d been in their debt. And having a Were like Meredith on your side is a very good thing. So, any takers?

Shattered Pack
(Alpha Girl #6)
by Aileen Erin
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: March 28th 2017
Ink Monster Books

Summary:

Meredith Molloney never thought she’d find a mate, let alone someone like Donovan Murry—one of the most powerful Alphas alive. Now that she’s no longer cursed and the evil Luciana Alvarez has been taken care of, she thinks life will finally settle down. Boy, has she never been so wrong.

In the middle of the night, Donovan gets a call telling him that his pack has gone to pieces. The news that his second in command has been found brutally murdered has Donovan packing his bags for Ireland, but the last thing Meredith wants to do is leave Texas. She’s heard about how the Celtic Pack are with outsiders. And Donovan has more than a few exes in the pack that will be less than friendly.

Meredith’s never let a few angry wolves stop her, and she’s not about to start now. She’s faced down much worse the past few months. But when she gets there, she finds that it’s not just a few exes who stand in the way between her and her Full Moon Ceremony with Donovan.

Meredith is thrust in to a deadly game of pack politics, one the fey have happily joined in on. When the dust settles, she knows she’ll either have everything that she wants or lose it all.

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Becoming Alpha (Alpha Girl #1) on Goodreads

Avoiding Alpha (Alpha Girl #2) on Goodreads

Alpha Divided (Alpha Girl #3) on Goodreads

Bruja (Alpha Girl #4) on Goodreads

Alpha Unleashed (Alpha Girl #5) on Goodreads

Enter the giveaway here!

New Release! A STAR TO STEER HER BY by Beth Anne Miller

A STAR TO STEER HER BY
by Beth Anne Miller
release date: March 20, 2017
Entangled Publishing, Embrace

 

About the book:

I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.

But I will take this journey.

Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.

I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.

Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can’t be together.

When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.

 

bamstartosteerherbybookcover500x750

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Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Entangled Publishing

 

Excerpt:

He held my hand as we glided slowly around the reef. The euphoria I felt at actually getting under the water faded as I squinted into the distant blue haze, on constant lookout for…anything that might be lurking out there. It was utterly silent, except for the Darth Vader-like sound of our breathing. That was one of the things I’d always loved best about scuba diving, the silence of it. For a short time, I could leave behind the noise of the world above and get lost in the alien world beneath the sea. I’d missed it so much.

My fear began to slip away. The reef was a huge mass of life and motion. Tiny yellow fish nibbled on purple sponges, vividly colored parrotfish pecked at coral with their sharp beaks, blue-and-yellow angelfish swam lazily between sea fans. None of them seemed disturbed by our presence. They just went about their business.

I’d almost forgotten Tristan was there until he tapped my arm and pointed to a big hole in the coral, where a slimy green head emerged on a sinuous neck. It was a moray eel. It stared at us, its mouth opening and closing to reveal glimpses of curved, needle-thin teeth. Novice divers tended to be afraid of them because their teeth looked wicked sharp. But I’d been around them enough to know that they opened and closed their mouths to breathe, not to be aggressive (usually), and I watched it for a moment, unafraid.

We continued exploring, my eyes remembering how to see beyond the camouflage to find the animal. A crusty “rock” sitting on the bottom was a scorpionfish. A mound of sand turned out to be a flounder. I still searched the blue waters around us, but less frequently than before. I even let go of Tristan’s hand.

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of silver. My heart started to pound. Take it easy, it’s probably a barracuda.

No, it wasn’t. Barracuda usually just hovered motionless in the water, seemingly menacing with their protruding teeth, but generally harmless to humans. This was moving quickly. And it was big. Where’d it go? I spun around.

There it was again, lurking just at the edge of my vision. Oh God, not again! Hiss-whoosh, hiss-whoosh. My breath came faster and faster.

I needed to get out of there.

 

About the author:

Beth Anne Miller’s first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. She soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led her to a college semester aboard a schooner. She returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug she couldn’t quite shake.

In addition to horses and the sea, she has a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which she explored with her first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into her new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, March 2017). A native New Yorker, Beth Anne works in the publishing industry and is always looking ahead to her next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship.

Connect with Beth Anne Miller:

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New Release Review! OPERATION PROM DATE by Cindi Madsen (Tactics in Flirting #1)

Operation Prom Date
Tactics in Flirting #1
by Cindi Madsen

Synopsis:

Kate ships tons of fictional couples, but IRL her OTP is her and Mick, the hot quarterback she’s crushed on since, like, forever. With only one semester left of senior year, it’s now or never if she wants to land him in time for prom. Since she’s flirtationally challenged, she enlists Cooper Callihan, the guy who turned popular seemingly overnight but who used to be a good friend.

Cooper lives and breathes rowing, but his partner just broke his wrist. When he remembers Kate’s good with a set of oars, he strikes a deal: help him train, and he’ll make sure her crush notices her. Only he didn’t know how addicting spending time with her would be. Or how the more successful the Operation is, the more jealousy he experiences.

The mission has been set. The troops have their marching orders. But what if the target is the wrong guy all along?

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains stargazing, accidental swimming, and poker swindling. This kissing practice will melt your ereader…and give you a new couple to ship.

 

Review:

So much swoony, feel-good adorableness here!

Operation Prom Date is everything that is good about YA romances–a slightly geeky, fairly awkward heroine; a seriously nice (and ripped! bonus…) hero; a friends-to-something more pairing–throw in the perfect prom dress and a bearded dragon, and I’m not sure what else you could possibly want 🙂

Often the romantic-tension-could-be-fixed-with-a-conversation-type plots drive me crazy, but here it actually worked. Kate and Cooper were both trying to stick to the plan (he helps her land her dream prom date, she helps him train for the rowing contest while his regular partner is unable to, both are super-adorable as they use military terms to refer to their mission a la what Kate used to do with her dad) and every time one of them started to get other ideas, Ms. Madsen gave them a perfectly reasonable reason for them to deny it. Even when I was thinking Gah! You’re each other’s OTP! Wake up already! and trying to come up with ship names that didn’t just sound like their actual names (fortunately, Cooper did a much better job with that than I did) I still loved every minute that I spent with these two.

And then the ending? Made every second of semi-frustration totally worth it.

Anxiously awaiting book #2!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

New Release Review and Giveaway! SECRETS OF A RELUCTANT PRINCESS by Casey Griffin

Secrets of a Reluctant Princess
by Casey Griffin
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

 

At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…

Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.

Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.

Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.

The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.

 

Review:

 A cute story, though it does stretch the boundaries of credibility a few times:)

Andy, Kevin, Keelie, and Harper are all fun characters, and easy to root for even when you’re questioning the choices they (okay, mostly Andy) are making. The live action role playing aspects were fun, and almost made me want to try it myself. I really liked how the author used both larp and Andy’s other talents to help her create a path to her own HEA; it was a nice touch. 

My first book from Ms.Griffin; I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more from her in the future! 

Rating: 4 stars / B

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. 

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks

 

About the author:

Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion. Casey is a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel finalist, and is currently busy writing every moment she can.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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Cover Reveal! NINJA GIRL by Cookie O’Gorman

Ninja Girl
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 30th 3017
Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Snow-Soon Lee kicks ass–literally. She teaches at her family-owned martial arts gym, The Academy, and cares more about training to be the next Bruce Lee than hooking up. In fact, Snow’s never even been kissed. But when Girls Night rolls around, Snow decides to prove to her friends (and herself) that she’s not just some boring tomboy. Impulsively, she kisses a hot stranger and even manages to escape his two security guards.
One stolen kiss…
Ash Stryker’s senior year sucks. His politician father pulled him out of Chariot High, separating him from his championship-winning soccer team. Now he’s stuck at a prissy private school with no friends, no team and no chance of being scouted. On top of that, thanks to the death threats his dad’s received, Ash has a security tail aka professional babysitters. When the mystery girl from the movies shows up at his school, rappelling from the rafters, Ash knows one thing: he won’t let her get away again.
One interesting job proposition…
After a seemingly random attack, Ash’s mother surprises everyone. She hires Snow to be Ash’s personal bodyguard until after the election. But can Snow’s kick-ass skills hold up against the rising threats to Ash’s family? More importantly, can Ash convince his ninja girl to screw ethics and kiss him again?
Opposites attract in this YA romance where a smooth talker meets his match in the tough girl who (literally) sweeps him off his feet. Moral of the story:
Sometimes even bad boys need a bodyguard.
 
About the Author:

Cookie O’Gorman writes YA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her debut novel ADORKABLE is out now!

Author Links:
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Cover Reveal Organized by:

A Conversation with Diana Rodriguez Wallach, Author of PROOF OF LIES (Anastasia Phoenix)

Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, Diana! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I love to travel, and I have a goal to visit every country in Europe before I die. I’ve already made a solid dent. All of my books have settings both in the U.S. and abroad, and all are based on places I’ve visited. So PROOF OF LIES is set in Boston, Tuscany, Rome and Venice. Book Two is set in England and Rio de Janeiro. And Book Three, well, you’ll have to wait and see.
  2. I have two kids, ages 2 and 5, and I dedicated PROOF OF LIES to them and my husband.
  3. I used to be a reporter, so the topic of disinformation that comes up in PROOF OF LIES (and on CNN lately—hello, “alternative facts”) is near and dear to my heart.
  4. I’m going to the U2 Joshua Tree concert this summer, and for a long time lyrics from U2’s song “One” were the epigraph for PROOF OF LIES.
  5. In PROOF OF LIES, Anastasia describes eating the local cuisine everywhere she goes. I actually do this; and yes, I have eaten snails in Paris and they do taste like buttery pencil erasers.

Hmmm. I’ll have to take your word for it, because pencil erasers—buttery or not—just don’t appeal to me 😉

 

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

Oddly, the first spark of inspiration for Anastasia Phoenix came when I was in high school. I was attending a college fair at the now defunct Adams Mark Hotel on City Line Ave., and I was listening to students talk about Boston University. One kid was going on and on about the knowledge depth of his professors—how he was learning journalism from Pulitzer-prize winning reporters from the Boston Globe, The Washington Post and The NY Times. Then he spoke about a very unusual professor, one who was a former communist spy for Czechoslovakia during the Cold War and who now taught budding journalists how to tell if they were being fed false information. Not only was I hooked by the story and utterly impressed by the faculty, but for some reason the tale of the rouge spy stuck with me long after I left Conference Room B that day.

By the time I ultimately got to BU, Lawrence Martin Bittman, the spy-turned-journalism professor, had since retired. I never had the pleasure of taking his course. However, years later when I decided to attempt an international thriller packed with super spies, that story came back to me as if it had always been waiting there. I wanted my world of espionage to be focused on a unique specialty that offered me some creative freedom, and disinformation fit the bill.

Eventually, I got to meet the spy who inspired me, and we had a fascinating conversation in his home that led to many of the espionage elements in PROOF OF LIES, as well as the name of the CIA agent that appears at the end of the novel, Martin Bittman.

That is SO cool!

 

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I’ll warn you, it’s kind of strange. I started writing my first novel because I had a dream one night that I was a young adult author, and I dreamt the concept for an entire series of books. Seriously. When I woke up and told my husband, he reminded me of a vacation we took five years earlier through New England.

We had stopped in Salem, MA to see the witches’ houses. While there, I decided to visit a psychic (when in Rome, right?). So I sat down and the psychic immediately said, “You’re a writer.” And I was; at the time, I was a reporter. I told her this, and she asked what I wrote about. Intentionally trying to be cryptic (I mean, she is a psychic, shouldn’t she already know?), I told her that I wrote about “business.” She swiftly said, “No. I see you writing books, little books, like children’s books.”

I had never considered writing a book before. But after the dream, and my recollection of that encounter, I figured it was “a sign.” So I sat down and started writing my first novel. I published the first book in the Amor and Summer Secrets series in 2008, and now I’m about to publish my fourth novel, Proof of Lies.

And OMG—that is even COOLER.

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m working hard on Books Two and Three of the Anastasia Phoenix series! Book Two, Lies that Bind, comes out in March 2018, and its first chapter appears at the end of Proof of Lies. Book Three comes out in March 2019. I’m also working on a draft of a children’s picture book, but that’s still very much in the early stages.

Fantastic! So much to look forward to 🙂

 

What are you currently reading, and what are your thoughts about it so far?

I’m currently reading the YA thriller With Malice by Eileen Cook. I’m only 15% of the way in, so I can’t comment too much other than to say it reminds me of the Amanda Knox story, which I was obsessed with, so I’m enjoying it. The two favorite books I’ve read recently are A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis and The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. Both are dark psychological YA thrillers that kept me hooked not only by the plotlines, but also the gorgeous writing. I could read them again and again.

Annnnd my TBR grows…again! Thanks for the recs!

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Are you kidding? Do you know how many tweets I’ve written about this book? J Lately, I’ve been posting collages on Twitter to showcase my characters.

Here’s a tweet, with a collage, I posted for my main character Anastasia Phoenix:


Since I’ve been marching & protesting so much, seems fitting I get to write about a kick butt, Girl Power teen. #anastasiaphoenix https://twitter.com/dianarwallach/status/830093431074648067

 

Here’s a tweet, with a collage, I posted for Anastasia’s love interest, Marcus Rey:


The making of a book boyfriend–1 part leather jacket, 1 part motorcycle, 1 part Spanish accent & a heaping dose of mystery. Stir & swoon. https://twitter.com/dianarwallach/status/827203394532159488

That is awesome! I’ve seriously never had anyone already have tweets at the ready, let alone tweets with collages!

 

About the author:

Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of the Anastasia Phoenix series, three YA spy thrillers set to debut beginning in March 2017 (Entangled Publishing). She is also the author of three award-winning young adult novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books); as well as a YA short-story collection based on the Narcissus myth, entitled Mirror, Mirror (Buzz Books, 2013).
In 2011, she published a highly regarded essay in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins). It was the only essay chosen from the anthology by Scholastic to be used in its classroom materials. Diana is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books, 2015), and she is currently on staff as a featured blogger for Quirk Books.

Proof of Lies
Anastasia Phoenix #1
Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.

And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.

She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.

Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

She will find her sister.

New Release and Giveaway! ULTIMATUM by K.M. Walton

Ultimatum
by K.M. Walton
Publication date: March 7, 2017
ISBN: 9781492635079
Young Adult

 

From the author of Cracked and Empty comes a gripping, emotional story of two brothers who must make the ultimate decision about what’s more important: family or their differences.

It’s not Oscar’s fault he’s misunderstood. Ever since his mother died, he’s been disrespected by his father and bullied by his self-absorbed older brother, so he withdraws from his fractured family, seeking refuge in his art.

Vance wishes his younger brother would just loosen up and be cool. It was hard enough to deal with their mother’s death without Oscar getting all emotional. At least when Vance pushes himself in lacrosse and parties, he feels alive.

But when their father’s alcoholism sends him into liver failure, the two brothers must come face-to-face with their demons–and each other–if they are going to survive a very uncertain future.

 

Excerpt:

I watch the nurse jab the needle into my father’s arm. He doesn’t make a move. He hasn’t made a move on his own in days. I look over at my brother, Vance, and his head is down, lost in his phone. I close my eyes and just focus on breathing.

I feel a gentle squeeze on my shoulder. “That should make him comfortable, Oscar. I’ll be right out in the hall if you need me,” the nurse says.

Vance told me that since Dad had this thing called a living will with a do-not-resuscitate order, there are no IVs or breathing tubes or anything else that will help to keep him alive longer. His liver is in failure, and he doesn’t have time to wait for a transplant. He will not be coming home from this place.

I nod. “Thank you,” I say to the nurse. Why can’t my brother put down his phone and be present?

“How long now?” I whisper. I read her name tag: Barbara.

She purses her lips into a tight smile. “I wish I could tell you. Definitely not today.”

“Tomorrow?” This is the end of day two here at the hospice, and I’ve been told multiple times that he’s not in pain, that they’re doing everything they can to make him comfortable. But I’m not convinced. How do they know he’s not in pain?

Barbara tilts her head and looks back at my comatose father. “Maybe, maybe not. He’ll leave when he’s ready.”

I want to jump up and shake her. She’s a damn hospice nurse! How can she not know? I want her to know.

I want her to tell me when he will die.

Sitting here watching him fail like this, so close, is harder than watching him live. I want it to just be over. I’m done.

“How many times does she have to tell you that she doesn’t know?” Vance asks after she leaves.

I turn away and ignore my brother.

“I know you hear me,” Vance says.

I lift my eyes and stare into his. To annoy him, I put in my earbuds and turn up the volume as loud as my phone allows. He shakes his head, indicating that he can hear the Mozart. Good.

My head fills with the layered richness of Symphony No. 29, and I let my eyes slide closed. While I’m into everything from baroque to classical to romantic, Mozart has always been my favorite. When I listen to his music, I’m taken out of my life.

My life right now consists of being trapped in this damn room with my brother and watching my father slip away one labored breath at a time. If I count the freckles on Dad’s arm one more time, I may start drooling.

I steal a peek at Vance, and he’s still glaring at me. When isn’t he? Having Mozart drown out him and his never-ending dickhead ways is helping right now. I turn and gaze out the window.

Vance has never understood me—and he never will. Even down to the music I listen to. When we were in middle school, he’d make fun of me because of it. I can still see him playing an imaginary violin with wild, insulting movements, doing everything in his power to look weird.

Were Vance and I ever close? I blink and realize the answer. No, we’ve never been close—despite only being ten months apart.

I scroll back as far as I can remember, and my hands tighten into fists.

I think it’s the classic “he took my place as the baby” situation. Vance resents me—like, my very existence. He couldn’t be any more unbrotherly. In fact, I’d say he stands firmly behind enemy lines. Let’s just say that if I needed saving on the battlefield, Vance would probably let me bleed out.

My brother is an attention junkie, and apparently I robbed him of having our parents’ complete and undivided focus. He has never verbalized this to me, of course—that would involve a deep conversation between us. This is all pure guesswork on my part. But I know I’m right.

To Buy

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lzrHzk
B&N: http://bit.ly/2m9frsj
iBooks: http://apple.co/2mFyUio

 

About the Author:

K.M. Walton is the author of Cracked and Empty. As a former middle-school teacher, she’s passionate about ending bullying, and her powerful presentations have made an impact on thousands. K.M. is a graduate of West Chester University. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, and cat. Visit her at kmwalton.com.

 

Social Media Links

Author website: www.kmwalton.com
Twitter: @KMWalton1
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kmwalton1/pins/
Instagram: @kmwalton
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4515355.K_M_Walton

 

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New Release Review and Giveaway! OFF THE ICE by Julie Cross (Juniper Falls #1)


Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1)
by Julie Cross
Publication Date: February 27, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

 

The NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Whatever Life Throws at You kicks off a brand-new series perfect for fans of Miranda Kennealy and Abbi Glines.

All is fair in love and hockey…

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

 

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Amazon | Indies | B&N| Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Review:

I think I have a new favorite series. How fast can Julie Cross write the rest of these books, do you suppose? 😉

(No, really, Julie. Take your time and do it right. I. Can. Wait.

Really.

Probably.

Sigh…)

Where to start? I loved this book. Claire and Tate were just fantastic, full stop. And yes, he’s her best friend’s little brother, and two years younger, and that was a part of the story, but not really, if that makes sense. They both had so much other stuff going on here, though, that made those details pretty much just that…details. They were way more than their troupes.

(Not that I’m dissing troupes. I <3 troupes. But this story? Goes so far beyond them.)

Claire’s home from Northwestern for a semester, maybe more, because of her dad’s health problems. Tate, a junior who’s pretty much planned on being second string to the senior goalie, suddenly finds himself thrust into the top spot, which intensifies the already scary-a$$ relationship between him and his dad. (That guy? I wanted to pound him into the ground for what he was doing to his kid.) They’ve both had to grow up fast, and take on more than any teenager should have to. As a mom of teens, it made my heart hurt.

But together–when they finally let themselves be together and lean on each other (and their good friends)?–they were absolutely fantastic. Seriously, the last 25% of the story had me in such a state–tears, cheers, and ready to burst into song (so not my fault; Claire talks about trying out for Eponine! And singing “On My Own”! I am helpless to resist!)–I was torn between dying to get to the HEA and never wanting it to end.

But end it did, and it was so, so good.

So…how soon until book 2? 😉

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

 

About the author:

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).

She’s also the author of the Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.

She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing cred, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

 

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