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    Interview with ILLUSION Author Lea Nolan + Giveaway

    IllusionAILeaNolan

    I am super excited to have Author Lea Nolan stop by the blog today to answer a few questions about ILLUSION and the other books in her Hoodoo Apprentice series.

    The author stopped by last week to share a guest post with a short excerpt and I’m totally stoked that this time around I had the chance to ask her all sorts of questions about her book and series.

    If you’d like to know more about this fantastic series, just scroll down to the interview below and enter the giveaway for the chance to win a signed copy of one of the first two books in the series.


    About ILLUSION

    ILLUSION_500

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: ILLUSION (The Hoodoo Apprentice #3)
    Author: Lea Nolan
    Release date: October 5, 2015
    Publisher: Entangled Teen
    Pages: 298
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    Description…

    Things aren’t always as they appear…

    New school. Cross-country move. Broken heart. If only these were Emma Guthrie’s worst problems. Instead, she must battle a trio of enemies–human and spectral–who may or may not have joined forces against her and everyone she loves. All while pretending to be over Cooper Beaumont, her ex-boyfriend and true love, to shield him from her arch-nemesis’s revenge.

    Worse, when the fight escalates, Emma is tempted to use black magic, which will endanger her soul. As her enemies close in, join forces, and fight with new and dark magic she’s never seen before, Emma must harness the power within her to fulfill an ancient prophecy, defeat a centuries-old evil, save her family, and reclaim the only boy she’s ever loved.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | GOODREADS


    The Interview

    Q&A with Author Lea Nolan

    Thanks, Rachel for letting me introduce Fiktshun’s readers to ILLUSION, the third and final installment in the Hoodoo Apprentice series.

    Q. How would you describe The Hoodoo Apprentice series in 25 words or less?

    Emma Guthrie must resist the lure of black magic while battling a trio of enemies intent on destroying her and those she loves.

    Q. What can readers expect from ILLUSION, the final book in the series?

    Since ILLUSION is the series’s final installment, everything’s bigger: higher stakes, bigger consequences, and lots more action. Plus all the questions left over from earlier books are answered.

    Q. Of the three books in the series, which was your favorite to write, and why was it a favorite?

    You know, every time I finish a book I’m convinced it’s my favorite. It happened with CONJURE, then ALLURE, and now ILLUSION. They’re all my babies so it’s hard not to love them. But I do think ILLUSION has to be my ultimate favorite of the three because it’s action packed, provides reveals that have been hinted at throughout the other books, and without giving too much away, provides the happy ending(s) readers have sought.

    Q. What was your favorite Emma scene to write? What was your favorite Emma and Cooper scene to write?

    Emma faces so much in this book. She’s tested over and over again, and though she makes some of her customary mistakes, she generally faces down every challenge. I loved writing one scene in particular that occurs in chapter twelve that was terrific fun to write even though it would be beyond horrific if it occurred in real life. I also love every scene that takes place between Emma and her hoodoo root worker mentor, Miss Delia.

    As for Emma and Cooper, I adore their scenes together, especially when she has no choice but to lean on him for support. He’s always there for her, and believes so strongly in her and her power, he’s basically perfect. There are lots of great moments between them but I think my absolute favorite occurs at the very end of the epilogue. Just thinking about it now makes me smile.

    Q. What kinds of hoodoo magic will Emma need in order to battle her enemies in ILLUSION?

    Lots! She uses some new and different spells in this book that she’s never attempted before. There are some candle spells, Court Case charms, and faces down other spells I’ve always wanted to use (like the one that pops up in chapter twelve). Also, Emma’s own innate magical powers are developing so we get to see how they evolve as well. Of course, we revisit some old favorite charms too because who can resist a Psychic Vision?

    Q. What was the biggest challenge you faced with The Hoodoo Apprentice – creating the characters, the setting, the plot, tying up loose ends, doing the research, or something else?

    The plot for sure. When I started writing this series, I didn’t realize how complicated the story would become. There were lots of characters, subplots, motivations, and consequences to consider. Tying them all up in ILLUSION proved to be way more of a challenge than I’d anticipated, too. But piecing it all together was half the fun. The rest was actually pretty straightforward. Characters sort of organically appear to me as I write so that part was easy; the research was fascinating and a true pleasure to undertake.

    Q. If you could only pick a single quote to call a favorite from any of the books in the series, what would it be? And why is it your favorite?

    There’s an inscription from a locket that appeared in ALLURE and again in ILLUSION that means a lot to me because it can be applied to so many of the characters in the book and also nicely dovetails with the series’ overall theme about the redemptive power of love:

    Your heart and mine, forever entwined;

    Love everlasting till the end of time.

    It still makes me misty to read it.

    Q. When writing ILLUSION did the story take you in a different direction than initially planned – was there an alternate ending, did someone’s fate change for better or for worse – or did things remain mostly on track?

    When I first conceived the series, I thought ILLUSION would have an entirely different plot, although some of the elements I’d envisioned did make it into the final book. I can’t elaborate more because, you know, spoilers! The changes occurred as a direct result of what happened in ALLURE and the natural consequences that would likely ensue. My experience has taught me to follow the story that’s actually happening on paper versus the plan I conceived years ago. I can offer one fun tidbit: While I was writing ILLUSION, there was an open question about Emma’s twin brother, Jack that I didn’t learn the answer to until I wrote the epilogue. I think he didn’t mind the choice I made.

    Q. What was it like saying goodbye to your characters at the end of the series? Who do you think you’re going to miss most? And why?

    In a word, bittersweet. I’ve had these characters in my head since June of 2010 so they’re a part of me. I’ve lived their experience alongside them as their story unfolded. At the same time, other characters are fighting for space in my brain too and they want their stories told. So it was good to complete Emma, Cooper and Jack’s journey and set them free. They belong to the readers now. I’ll miss them all, especially Emma and Cooper, but I might end up missing Miss Delia the most. I seriously love that old lady.

    Q. If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before penning The Hoodoo Apprentice books, what would it be?

    Relax, it’s all going to work out in the end; and if possible, write faster!

    Thanks so much for having me! This was a lot of fun!

    Fiktshun: Thank you so much for answering all my questions! I loved having you stop by.


    About Lea Nolan

    NolanBioPic-CROPPED-Med Res copy

    Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance and YA. Her books for young adults feature bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She also pens smart, witty contemporary stories for adults filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, she resides in Maryland where she scarfs down crab cakes whenever she gets the chance.

    WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS


    Other Books in the Series

    Conjure and Allure - New Covers Side by Side

    Be careful what you search for…

    Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry–hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

    When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge; demon dogs become a threat; and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends–are lost forever.

    Worst. Summer. Ever.

    Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper’s sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.

    Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Faced with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.


    The Giveaway
    • One (1) winner will get a signed paperback of either CONJURE or ALLURE, winner’s choice

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    (Note: This is the same Rafflecopter used in last week’s guest post. The Rafflecopter is hosted by the author. Winner will be selected and prizing sent by her.)

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    ILLUSION by Lea Nolan – {Guest Post, Excerpt + Giveaway}

    IllusionGP

    I am thrilled to have Author Lea Nolan stop by to introduce to you ILLUSION, the third book in her Hoodoo Apprentice trilogy and to share an awesome sneak peek from the book!

    This is a fantastic series, and if you haven’t yet had a chance to get to know it, now’s the perfect time, as the entire series is now available. No waiting.

    Normally I ramble on about what is included in the post, but today I have the pleasure of turning the blog over to Lea Nolan to do that. So without any further ado let me extend my warmest welcome.

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    AuthorLeaNolan

    Thanks so much for having me here at Fiktshun! I’m thrilled to introduce you to Illusion, the third and final book in my Hoodoo Apprentice trilogy, which is out now. I’ve also got a great giveaway just for Fiktshun readers.


    About ILLUSION

    ILLUSION_500

    Add to Goodreads

    Title & Series: ILLUSION (The Hoodoo Apprentice #3)
    Author: Lea Nolan
    Release date: October 5, 2015
    Publisher: Entangled Teen
    Pages: 298
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    Description…

    Things aren’t always as they appear…

    New school. Cross-country move. Broken heart. If only these were Emma Guthrie’s worst problems. Instead, she must battle a trio of enemies–human and spectral–who may or may not have joined forces against her and everyone she loves. All while pretending to be over Cooper Beaumont, her ex-boyfriend and true love, to shield him from her arch-nemesis’s revenge.

    Worse, when the fight escalates, Emma is tempted to use black magic, which will endanger her soul. As her enemies close in, join forces, and fight with new and dark magic she’s never seen before, Emma must harness the power within her to fulfill an ancient prophecy, defeat a centuries-old evil, save her family, and reclaim the only boy she’s ever loved.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | GOODREADS


    The Sneak Peek

    And here’s a special sneak peak of Illusion:

    A screech echoes through the woods. The sound is like a nail scraped against tin and raises the tiny hairs on the back of my neck. It’s the unmistakable caw of a crow. Spinning, I search the dimness for the source. Before my eyes can focus, a glossy black shadow bursts through a sheet of Spanish moss draped on a nearby live oak.

    Shrieking, I cover my head with my hands and duck, then dart toward the path that brought me here. The bird pursues, flapping its large wings and gaining ground fast. With a whoosh, it swoops from the sky and slams into me, sinking its talons into my arm. I scream, then thrash around, trying to knock it loose. Its spiky nails clamp deeper into my flesh.

    “Get off her!” Cooper’s voice booms.

    Tears, the very best kind, surge. I’ve never been so happy to have him near. “Help!” I lamely shake my arm again, but the psychotic bird hangs on.

    Cooper’s feet pound against the dirt as he races toward me and my winged assailant. As he draws close, the crow squawks, then jams its beak into my scalp, yanking out a clump of hair.

    Pain, brilliant yellow and blinding, flashes across my vision. I wail, overcome.

    “Emma, duck.”

    I drop to my knees. Something hard thumps against the bird, launching it into the air like a golf ball from a tee. Its piercing caw bounces across the clearing. As the bird soars into the moonlit sky, it attempts to beat its wings, but something’s wrong. Only one of its feathered sides extends. Midair the shiny black crow stalls then careens back toward the earth. Just as I’m sure it’s headed straight for us, the lame wing unfolds then beats furiously to avoid what is sure to be a deadly collision. Veering off, it follows a wobbly flight path toward the shadowy forest.

    Cooper tosses a long, heavy stick onto the ground, then reaches for my hand and pulls me to my feet. “Are you okay?” His wide hands clutch my arms as his eyes search mine.

    “I—I think so.” My voice shakes as I work to process all that’s happened in the last few minutes. My temperature drops as shock sets in. Was it real, or just an immensely screwed-up dream? One glance at the slick streak of blood dripping down my skin confirms my new wound, though I can’t tell how bad it is until I see it in the light.

    Grabbing me close, he wraps his strong arms around my back. The heady scent of his Cooperness swirls around me, filling me with familiar warmth that heads off my shock. My thoughts zoom to the red stain that has likely already smeared his polo. “I’m bleeding.” I try to pull away.

    “I know.” He grips me close, like he’s fallen from a ship and I’m the only life preserver.

    “But it’ll get it on your shirt.” A tear streams down the side of my face.

    He pulls away, just enough to meet my gaze. “Who cares about my shirt? I thought I lost you, Emmaline.” Brushing his thumb against my cheek, he wipes away the salty liquid.

    “But you didn’t. You saved me.”

    “I was almost too late.” His voice is breathy and so full of despair it nearly breaks my heart.

    I hope you enjoyed this tiny taste of Illusion. If you’d like to read more, you’re in luck because the book is available now!


    Other Books in the Series

    Before I get to the giveaway, I’d like to share the other reason I’m so excited: The other two books in the series, Conjure and Allure have also gotten gorgeous new covers! What do you think?

    Conjure and Allure - New Covers Side by Side

    I couldn’t love them more!


    The Giveaway

    And now for the giveaway. One lucky Fiktshun winner will get a signed paperback of either Conjure or Allure, winner’s choice. Enter below to win!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    (Note: The Rafflecopter is hosted by the author. Winner will be selected and prizing sent by her.)

    Thanks so much for having me! I’m so glad I could stop by.

    ~Lea


    About Lea Nolan

    NolanBioPic-CROPPED-Med Res copy

    Lea Nolan is a USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance and YA. Her books for young adults feature bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She also pens smart, witty contemporary stories for adults filled with head-swooning, heart-throbbing, sweep-you-off your feet romance. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, she loves the water far too much to live inland. With her heroically supportive husband and three clever children, she resides in Maryland where she scarfs down crab cakes whenever she gets the chance.

    WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

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    THE WARRIOR Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

    TheWarrior

    I can’t believe that THE WARRIOR released this week and that this amazing series has come to an end. My finished copy downloaded but I’m not quite ready to say goodbye. Though after reading the excerpt I have to share below I might just be tempted enough. Ohhhh Dante you always make me grin.

    Today is also the last stop on THE WARRIOR Blog Tour. Which means there’s just one day left to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed set of all the books in the series. I want them, I want them!

    There are some fab reviews at many of the other stops on the tour that are totally worth checking out if you want to know what a few bloggers think about this series ending book. And there’s also another exclusive excerpt. So if your copy hasn’t yet arrived and you just can’t wait, it’s the perfect bite. Direct links to all the stops are included at the bottom of the post.

    If you haven’t yet met Dante, now’s the perfect time. You won’t have to wait the months and months between each book’s release. He’s available to devour all at once – every last modest, humble, innocent *cough* bit of him.

    Fried chicken? Really Dante?

    Anyway… as you might have guessed I’m a huge fan of this series and of the author. But if for some reason you haven’t yet met either the awesome author or her amazing books, there’s some information about her and each of the books in this series below.

    If you love books with personality, a bit of an edge, a character who will make you grin, roll your eyes, and swoon once or twice, then the Dante Walker series is an absolute must.

    About The Warrior

    The Warrior

    AddtoGoodreads

    Series: Dante Walker #3
    Release date: May 6th
    Publisher: Entangled Teen
    Pages: 352
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    Description…

    War between heaven and hell is coming, but Dante Walker makes it look damn good.

    Dante’s girlfriend, Charlie, is fated to save the world. And Aspen, the girl who feels like a sister, is an ordained soldier. In order to help both fulfill their destiny and win the war, Dante must complete liberator training at the Hive, rescue Aspen from hell, and uncover a message hidden on an ancient scroll.

    Dante is built for battle, but even he can’t handle the nightmares where spiders crawl from Aspen’s eyes, or the look on Charlie’s face that foretells of devastation. To make matters worse, the enemy seizes every opportunity to break inside the Hive and cripple the liberators. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching, and to stand victorious, Dante will have to embrace something inside himself he never has before—faith.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS

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    The Excerpt

    I’m frozen like an icicle in the ninth ring of hell.

    “Who was that?” Kraven asks in a wary tone.

    “A collector.” I silently curse myself for not opening my mind to sense another cuff. Because once I realized who it was, I sensed that cuff with screaming clarity. It was a careless mistake.

    Turning around, I spot someone I don’t know standing near the girls. My legs move before my brain even processes what I’m doing. Then I’m standing between New Guy and Charlie. I grab the guy by his plaid shirt and shuffle him back and into a wall. “Who are you?”

    “Whoa, calm down, steroids,” he says in a slight British accent. “Name’s Paine, and I’m going to give you some if you don’t ease up on the death grip, capiche?”

    His words hint at smooth confidence, but he speaks in a submissive voice. It’s the voice of someone desperate to please others.

    I barely recognize it.

    Kraven speaks up. “He’s one of us, Dante.”

    Paine nods at his ankle where I imagine a gold cuff must lie hidden.

    “A liberator?” I ask. Paine grins sheepishly, and I let go of his shirt. “Don’t be sneaking up on us like that again or you’ll be taking a dirt nap.”

    “Sorry,” he says, and seems to mean it. He offers his hand. It’s wide and calloused and I respect that it appears he’s done real work in his short life. I shake it, feeling like an arse.

    The guy looks to be in his early twenties and has a shaved head, though I can still spot the reddish-blond color he’s trying to hide. Paine’s eyes are set a bit too far apart, and he has long, chick-like lashes. His forehead protrudes, giving him a slight caveman appearance, and his body is that of a wrestler’s, like he’s itching to take someone to the mat. Overall, Paine kind of looks like a model, someone girls would dig because he’s strangely attractive. That’s not me. I’m hot like a bucket of fried chicken, baby.

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    About Victoria Scott

    Victoria_Scott

    Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe of the Harvey-Klinger Literary Agency. She’s the author of the FIRE & FLOOD series published by Scholastic, and the DANTE WALKER trilogy published by Entangled Teen. Her books have been bought and translated in eleven foreign markets including the UK, Turkey, China, Poland, Israel, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Taiwan, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

    Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

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    Other Books in the Series

    The Collector

    Title: THE COLLECTOR (Dante Walker #1)

    Release date: April 2, 2013
    Publisher: Entangled Teen
    Pages: 400
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    Description…

    He makes good girls…bad.

    Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

    Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

    Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

    Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

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    The LiberatorTitle: THE LIBERATOR (Dante Walker #2)

    Release date: August 27, 2013
    Publisher: Entangled Teen
    Pages: 352
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    Description…

    Bad boy, meet bad girl.

    Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn’t like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

    When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.

    With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

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    The Giveaway

    The tour includes an awesome giveaway for…

    A SIGNED copy of THE COLLECTOR, a SIGNED copy of THE LIBERATOR, a SIGNED copy of THE WARRIOR to ONE WINNER – US

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    April 28th – Library of a Book Witch – Review

    April 29th – Fantasy Book Addict – Excerpt

    April 30th – Meredith & Jennifer’s Musings – Review

    May 1st – Fictitious Delicious – Review

    May 2nd – A Dream Within A Dream – Review

    Week Two

    May 5th – Jenna Does Books – Review

    May 6th – Stuck in YA Books – Review

    May 7th – K-Books – Review

    May 8th – Jenuine Cupcakes – Review

    May 9th – Fiktshun – Excerpt

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    Cover Reveal: SALT + Excerpt & Giveaway

    Salt-Cover-Reveal-Banner

    I had no plans to participate in a cover reveal today, but when I saw the cover for SALT by Danielle Ellison I couldn’t resist. I love this cover! It’s modern and pretty and purple and I love the sans serif, white bordered font with just a hint of purple opacity to make it stand out.

    The tagline is a bit quirky and fun and I can’t wait to learn just why we shouldn’t leave home without salt.

    The title’s placement, justified left, and the author’s name beneath, not quite justified right, feel surprisingly well-balanced and really stand out without feeling too weighty and obscuring the images behind them. The blurred background that fades into a starry night sky is also quite intriguing. And I love that there is a brightness at the top of the cover that gradually darkens at the bottom.

    It is a beautiful and visually appealing cover. And it’s my favorite Entangled cover. But that’s what I think.

    What do you think?

    SALT-COVER-FINAL-1600

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    About Salt

    Penelope is a witch, part of a secret society protecting humans from demon attacks. But when she was a child, a demon killed her parents—and stole her magic. Since then, she’s been pretending to be something she’s not, using her sister’s magic to hide her own loss, to prevent being sent away.

    When she’s finally given the chance to join the elite demon-hunting force, Penelope thinks that will finally change. With her sister’s help, she can squeeze through the tests and get access to the information she needs to find “her” demon. To take back what was stolen.

    Then she meets Carter. He’s cute, smart, and she can borrow his magic, too. He knows her secret—but he also has one of his own.

    Suddenly, Penelope’s impossible quest becomes far more complicated. Because Carter’s not telling her everything, and it’s starting to seem like the demons have their own agenda…and they’re far too interested in her.

    Series: Salt #1
    Author: Danielle Ellison
    Release Date: January 7, 2014
    Publisher: Entangled Teen

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS | iTUNES

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    The Excerpt

    “Jealousy is cute on you, Pen.”

    “Don’t call me that,” I snap, pushing my coffee away from me. “And I’m not jealous.”

    He leans back on the chair. “Sure. And I don’t think you’re adorable.” I jerk my eyes up. He’s smiling. Screw this—this is so frustrating. I tap my foot under the table.

    “We’re stating the facts, right?” he says.

    “Right,” I say.

    I don’t have time for this. And what is wrong with this coffee? I feel like I swallowed a fire and it’s all just burning at my stomach.

    “You look sick again,” he says.

    The poorly—or perfectly—timed waitress comes back with Carter’s coffee and a whole tray of drinks. Carter, obviously, flirts again. I don’t know if he’s doing it to get a reaction out of me, but I’m not going to give him one. I watch him and say nothing, but the whole time it feels darker inside my head and my stomach whirs. It’s more empty, and more full, and unsettled at once. The waitress turns to leave a when it happens.

    The waitress coughs, as if she suddenly can’t breathe, and trips. She flies across the air. The tray spills all over a table of four. I gasp, horrified. Another waitress grabs her by the waist, trying to give her the Heimlich. The waitress coughs out the gum. She’s crying hysterically, apologizing to the customers dripping with water.

    The weirdest part? As soon it happens, all the fury that was building up inside of me disappears. It’s calm again, normal. The change is so sudden that my fingernails dig into the table. All I can hear is the waitress’s cry.

    “I don’t know what happened,” she sobs over and over again. I close my eyes. Everything inside me is completely still. No storm, no clawing, no emptiness or fullness. In fact, I’m suddenly starving.

    Carter’s looking at me when I open my eyes. There’s something unsettling in his gaze, something suspicious.

    “I gotta go,” I say. He starts to say something. I don’t stay long enough to find out what it is.

    Somehow I just did magic.

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    About Danielle Ellison

    Danielle

    Danielle Ellison is from a small town in West Virginia. She spent her childhood pretending to fly and talking to imaginary friends. When she grew up, she finally flew away (in an airplane) and started traveling the world. She hasn’t stopped yet, but someday she may decide to settle in one place. Her real life friends would definitely like that; they would probably also like it if she stopped talking to her characters out loud.

    SALT comes out in January 2014, followed by it’s sequel. In October 2014, FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS (book one of the BOUNDLESS Trilogy) comes out. She’s got a busy few years!

    WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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    The Giveaway

    As part of this cover reveal, the publisher is offering up one eARC of SALT for giveaway. It’s International!

    Just enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Entangled Teen’s 12 Days of Kickass Event

    12 days of Kick-ass Christmas (713x316)

    I’m thrilled to be able to help spread the word about this super fun event that Entangled Teen has put together that starts tomorrow, December 2nd, and runs for 12 days through December 13th.

    Entangled Teen’s 12 Days of Kickass Event will feature twenty-four of their authors who will be joining together to share some exclusive content with you.

    The event will consist of two teams – Team Smartass and Team Badass.

    Team Smartass will post a “good” or “swoon-worthy” deleted scene or excerpt and Team Badass will post a “villainous” deleted scene or excerpt on the opposing team’s blog. See schedule below for details.

    The party starts on December 2nd and wraps up on December 13th with Entangled Teen’s monthly Twitter party at 9 PM EST/6 PM PST.

    Each day there will be two posts from two of Entangled Teen’s authors along with an awesome giveaway.

    How to join

    Just follow the scheduled posts and find the hidden word (it will be highlighted) in each post, then fill out the Rafflecopter form. It’s that easy.

    If you do, you will be eligible to win one of two Kindles (valued at $69). Other prizes include five sets of five Entangled Teen Books (print ed. – US only) and ten Entangled Teen eBooks (International).

    More prizes – books, Amazon Gift Cards, Barnes & Noble Gift Cards – will be given away during the Twitter party. Stay tuned.

    But for now, here are your teams….

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    The Teams

    Team Smartass

    Kendra Highley

    Rachel Harris

    Karri Thompson*

    Danielle Ellison

    Jolene Perry

    Lea Nolan

    Kelley York

    Tiffany Truitt

    Rebekah Purdy

    Shea Berkley*

    Renee Collins

    Tracy Clark

    * will be hijacking Two Chicks on Books for her post

    Team Badass

    Christine Bell

    Vivi Barnes

    Princess Sophie*

    Cecily White

    Victoria Scott

    Sally Rigby a.k.a Sara Hantz

    Melissa West

    Cindi Madsen

    Lisa Burstein

    Jus Accardo

    Chloe Jacobs

    Brooklyn Skye

    * will be hijacking Two Chicks on Books for her post

    The Schedule

    Dec. 2nd – Kendra Highley will host Rachel Harris with a Smartass post
    Dec. 2nd – Rachel Harris will host Kendra Highley with a Smartass post

    Dec. 3rd – Christine O’Neil will host Vivi Barnes with a Badass post
    Dec. 3rd – Vivi Barnes will host Christine O’Neil with a Badass post

    Dec. 4th – Karri Thompson will host Danielle Ellison with a Smartass post
    Dec. 4th – Danielle Ellison will host Karri Thompson with a Smartass post

    Dec. 5th – Princess Sophie will host Cecily White with a Badass post
    Dec. 5th – Cecily White will host Princess Sophie with a Badass post

    Dec. 6th – Jolene Perry will host Lea Nolan with a Smartass post
    Dec. 6th – Lea Nolan will host Jolene Perry with a Smartass post

    Dec. 7th – Victoria Scott will host Sara Hantz with a Badass post
    Dec. 7th – Sara Hantz will host Victoria Scott with a Badass post

    Dec. 8th – Kelley York will host Tiffany Truitt with a Smartass post
    Dec. 8th – Tiffany Truitt will host Kelley York with a Smartass post

    Dec. 9th – Melissa West will host Cindi Madsen with a Badass post
    Dec. 9th – Cindi Madsen will host Melissa West with a Badass post

    Dec. 10th – Rebekah Purdy will host Shea Berkley with a Smartass post
    Dec. 10th – Shea Berkley will host Rebekah Purdy with a Smartass post

    Dec. 11th – Lisa Burstein will host Jus Accardo with a Badass post
    Dec. 11th – Jus Accardo will host Lisa Burstein with a Badass post

    Dec. 12th – Renee Collins will host Tracy Clark with a Smartass post
    Dec. 12th – Tracy Clark will host Renee Collins with a Smartass post

    Dec. 13th – Chloe Jacobs will host Brooklyn Skye with a Badass post
    Dec. 13th – Brooklyn Skye will host Chloe Jacobs with a Badass post

    Be sure to follow along on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #12DaysOfKickass!

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    Double Cover Reveal: The Legend of Me & The Winter People + Giveaway

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    I am thrilled to be able to share the covers for Rebekah L. Purdy’s THE LEGEND OF ME and THE WINTER PEOPLE, both of which will be releasing in 2014 from Entangled Teen. I’m even more excited to share the excerpts for each book as they both sound awesome.

    Both covers are pretty, I love the blues in each, but I like the drama in the cover for THE LEGEND OF ME, making it my favorite of the two. I especially love how the blood red reveals the skulls that might otherwise be unidentifiable as skulls. While I think there could have been a touch more softening around the cover model to blend better with the background and the pattern of the blood spatter could have been a bit more fine-tuned, this cover definitely makes a statement.

    I also love the title font used in THE LEGEND OF ME. It is bold yet classic and works perfectly with the scrollwork and against the backdrop. It’s a bit tougher to read the tagline and I’m not the biggest fan of that font, but the tagline itself is intriguing and I love the sing-song, rhyming quality it has.

    I love the iciness of the blues used in the cover for THE WINTER PEOPLE. But I’m not a fan of the title font. It works well with the cover, I’m not just sure how the quill pen-type font chosen fits with the story and it feels a bit dated.

    I would have also preferred the background image to be faded a bit more where the model’s chin is, as the doorway blends oddly with her lip and chin. And while it looks quite different, for some reason it evokes the cover of Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel of a similar name.

    And I’m not a fan of the tagline. If the book was releasing now it might make a bit more sense, but as it’s a summer release the tagline is somewhat confusing. Also, in winter the nights always feel darker. So I don’t think it adds anything like the tagline for THE LEGEND OF ME does.

    One thing is certain, though, after having read both excerpts, they are definitely books I’ll be adding to my TBR pile and I cannot wait to check them out next year.

    But what do you think?

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    About The Legend of Me

    Coming Early 2014

    Sixteen-year-old Brielle has grown up hearing tales of a beast that kills humans, leaving behind only a scattering of bones and limbs. Or so the village elders say. She thinks it’s just their way of keeping children in line, though it doesn’t explain her grisly premonitions of blood, claws, and severed heads.

    When Lord Kenrick, Knight of the Crowhurst Order, shows up asking questions about the legendary monster and Brielle finds a mangled body in the woods, she begins to wonder if the grim stories are true. Her attraction to the handsome knight grows as she spends time with him searching for clues to the creature’s existence, and she becomes even more determined to help him discover the beast’s location.

    But as her seventeenth birthday approaches, her nightmares worsen. If Brielle doesn’t figure out the connection between Kenrick, the monster, and visions of a ghostly woman in the woods soon, more people could die. Including those closest to her…

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    The Excerpt

    Brambles scratched my legs, snagging my skirt. Gnarled trees bent in gruesome forms, while thick shadows splayed out beneath them. A heavy gloom settled over the woodland as wisps of fog slithered like snakes against the ground. I shivered.

    Don’t think. I picked an animal trail to follow, stepping over dead branches and forest debris. Blood pounded in my ears and the hair on the back of my neck prickled. I twisted around to glance behind me.

    Nothing there. Only the trees. Urgency gripped hold of me and I picked up my pace once more. As I scrambled through the thicket, an overwhelming scent of rotten meat made me gag. I covered my mouth with my hand and stopped running when a bright red piece of fabric caught my eye. With hesitant steps, I moved toward it.

    “Oh God.” I stumbled. There, sticking out from beneath a barberry bush was a severed arm, its finger pointed at me in accusation. My breath came in gasps as I scanned the rest of the clearing.

    My foot nudged against something and I looked down in horror to find the head of Liam Gatekeeper staring up at me.

    I screamed, backing away as fast as I could. All around me were pieces of his body scattered like breadcrumbs. I shielded my eyes with my hands, until I bumped into something else.

    With another scream, I whipped around only to find myself faced with an oak tree covered in dried blood and deep claw marks. My vision darkened and I prayed I wouldn’t faint, that I wouldn’t be stuck in the woods. Because somewhere out here, a monster lurked. If I didn’t believe it before, I did now. The beast was real.

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    About The Winter People

    Coming July 1, 2014

    Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

    An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.

    Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to “stay away.” For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the “special gifts” that must be left at the back of the property.

    Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.

    line5The Excerpt

    The sky darkened with ominous storm clouds. Giant flakes fell onto my face, sticking to my eyelashes and cheeks. Snow blew unhindered across the yard into what looked like small tornadoes.

    Oh God. It’s happening again. The frigid air. The creaking of the treetops beneath the wind. Even the way the snow blew across the yard.

    I only had one more feeder. Just needed to toss the seeds in then I could leave. Be safe.

    The pond water rippled, while the trees bent beneath the strong gusts. Soon, everything became so white I couldn’t see the house. In the distance a strange tinkling sounded, like dozens of wind chimes.

    What had the shrink told me to do?

    Ten, nine, eight. Breathe. Seven, six, five. Shit!

     Panic stole my thoughts. I backed away from the pond as the flurries swirled toward me. Chasing me.

    Then, I bumped into something—something that felt quite human. A firm chest, arms, hands. Not something, someone. A shriek tumbled from my lips and I spun around to face my captor.

    “It’s okay. I won’t hurt you,” a soft masculine voice said, pale hands clinging to my arms as he kept me from falling.

    My gaze followed those long fingers, up black leather sleeves, to the most gorgeous face I’d ever seen. My breath caught in my throat. I’m gawking. But I couldn’t help it. His raven hair shot with strands of blue, his face pale and perfect, like an ice sculptor had chiseled it into existence. His eyes—oh God, his eyes. They were the palest blue I’d ever seen. Glacial. He had to be over six feet tall, muscles evident through the tight shirt he wore beneath an unzipped jacket.

    His mouth turned up at the corners as if enjoying my scrutiny. A cocky grin that made my cheeks warm.

    “You’re trespassing.” I tried to keep the tremble from my voice. “This is private property, or can’t you read the signs?” Bravo, that’s right, scare him off with your bitchiness.

    He chuckled. And it sounded like the low song of the chimes. “Doris doesn’t mind me coming around. In fact, I’ve met you before, Salome.”

    My name on his lips made my knees go buttery. I groaned inwardly.

    “You know my grandma?” I fidgeted with the bucket still in hand.

    He gave a nod. “Yeah, I’ve known her for years. But I haven’t seen you since you were a child.”

    Warning bells went off in my mind, but I pushed them aside. If he knew my grandma, then he must be okay. “Funny, I don’t remember you at all.”

    “Don’t you, Salome?” Strands of my hair blew about my face. He reached a hand out as if to touch them then stopped, dropping his arms back to his side.

    “No. Grandma’s never mentioned you.”

    He gave me another cocky grin. “Well then, maybe we should be reacquainted.”

    “Or maybe not.” I snorted. “I’m not sure how you got on the property, Grandma keeps all the gates locked.”

    He produced an antique-looking skeleton key. “She gave me this. Like I said, Doris has known me for a long time.”

    “I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything, it’s just my grandma never mentioned I’d have visitors.” In fact, I wondered why she didn’t ask this guy to watch her house instead of me.

    The arrogance left his face and he stared at me. “Perhaps, we can try this again.” He held his hand out to me. “I’m Nevin.”

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    About the Author

    author-pic-1-rebekah-purdy

    About Rebekah L. Purdy

    Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan (just look for the mitten-shaped state on the map). She’s lived there most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army, at which time she got a chance to experience MO, KS, SC, and CA.

    She works full time for the court system and in her free time she writes YA stories. Pretty much any genre within the YA realm is game for her, but her favorites are fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, thrillers, light sci-fi, and some time travel.

    She also has a big family–she like to considers them the modern day Brady Bunch. When her hubby and she met and got married he had 3 children from a previous marriage, she had 2. And they have 1 together. It’s a lot of fun though.

    And she can’t forget her other family members–yep, they’ve got some pets: 4 dogs, 3 cats,  and 1 turtle. Everyone in the family has one…she won’t bore you all with their names (unless you really want to know). Okay, you talked her into it! Jack, Pearl, Grr…(yes that’s her dog’s name), Callie, Shadow, Mooshoo, Grouchy, and Sorbert. Other than writing some of her other hobbies include: reading (mostly YA of course), singing, swimming, football, soccer, running, camping, sledding, church, hanging with her kids, and traveling.

    She belong to a fabulous writing group called YA Fiction Fantatics (YAFF) and you guessed it they all write YA!

    REPPED by Jennifer Mishler and Frances Black of Literary Counsel.

    And that’s her in a big ‘ol nutshell.

    BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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    The Giveaway

    As part of the reveal the publisher is offering up to one winner an eARC of THE LEGEND OF ME (International) and to one winner an eARC of THE WINTER PEOPLE (International)

    This is a reveal-wide giveaway hosted by the publisher. See Rafflecopter for details.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Olivia Twisted Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

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    I’m super excited to be kicking off the OLIVIA TWISTED Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. I’m even more excited that I get this awesome scene from Z’s point-of-view to share. He’s the bad boy and he’s Vivi Barnes’ version of the Artful Dodger, so how could I not adore him?

    For those of you who haven’t yet heard about this fab book, there’s also some information about the book and author below, along with a chance to win some amazing prizes, including a signed copy of OLIVIA TWISTED.

    OLIVIA TWISTED has a pretty wicked trailer, and if you’re a fan of trailers like I am, you should definitely check it out.

    And if you are an Oliver Twist fan, you won’t want to miss this modern retelling which releases on November 5th. But for now, here’s just a taste….

    The Excerpt
    A SCENE FROM Z’s POV

    …with an intro from Vivi Barnes

    This is part of the first chapter from Z’s point of view. Z is the equivalent of the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist, and he’s definitely the “bad boy,” being a criminal and all. Of course, he doesn’t see anything wrong with what he’s doing…at least for now.

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    My phone buzzes and I check it. A text from Sam with two words that make my stomach clench: Bill’s here.

    It takes all of one minute for him to find me. I stand as he enters the office, my fingers twitching nervously. He walks to the desk, the thump of his cane the only sound in the room. Bill Sykes used to be decent-looking, sophisticated even, but finding himself on the wrong side of a gun with a former partner and getting steel placed in his leg changed him.

    Nancy insists he’s really kind “once you get to know him,” which is stupid because I’ve known him for years now and “kind” isn’t even in the same universe as a word to describe him. She says he started up this home because he hated the idea of kids on the street. I say he started it because he saw an easy and cheap way to make a shitload of money. Still, I’ve made a similar shitload, so I keep my mouth shut.

    Bill sits across from me, smoothing out the seam of his pants and laying the cane across his legs. Only then do his icy blue eyes find mine, cutting into me even as he nods at me to sit. This is not going to be a pleasant visit.

    “Z,” he acknowledges in the quiet voice that belies the snap of his eyes.

    “Bill.” I try to keep my voice steady.

    He’s twirling his cane in his lap, almost idly if I didn’t know better. “I thought you were going to talk to her.”

    I cringe at the implication in his voice. “I did. But she doesn’t—”

    “She’s sloppy. If I hadn’t stepped in, they would’ve been able to trace the source to this house. You of all people should know what’s at stake here.”

    “I’ll talk to her again.”

    “You need to do more than talk.” His voice rises only slightly but he may as well be shouting. “Do whatever it takes to get her to shape up or I’ll flush her. Do you understand?”

    I swallow hard. “Yes.”

    A long pause, then, “This is two now, Z.” Each word is enunciated carefully, a dagger pricking at my skin. “The next one better shine.”

    “I understand.”

    He pulls a file from his jacket and hands it to me. “Your new target. This one has proven to be difficult.” He leans forward, his long fingers steepled together. “We’ve tried different access codes, insiders, everything, but nothing has gotten through. He’s got firewalls that make me think it’s Fort Knox he’s sitting on. This might be better suited to your expertise.”

    My expertise. Social engineering. In spite of the situation, my skin starts to itch with the anticipation of a challenge—it’s been a long time since I had one that was uncrackable. I open the file and review the picture of an old man. Shouldn’t be too hard. Older people tend to be more sentimental in their passwords. Just a little research and I’m sure I’ll be able to find a way in. “No problem,” I tell Bill.

    About Olivia Twisted

    OliviaTwistedCover

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    Description…

    Olivia

    He tilts my chin up so my eyes meet his, his thumb brushing lightly across my lips. I close my eyes. I know Z is trouble. I know that being with him is going to get me into trouble. I don’t care.

    At least at this moment, I don’t care.

    Tossed from foster home to foster home, Olivia’s seen a lot in her sixteen years. She’s hardened, sure, though mostly just wants to fly under the radar until graduation. But her natural ability with computers catches the eye of Z, a mysterious guy at her new school. Soon, Z has brought Liv into his team of hacker elite—break into a few bank accounts, and voila, he drives a motorcycle. Follow his lead, and Olivia might even be able to escape from her oppressive foster parents. As Olivia and Z grow closer, though, so does the watchful eye of Bill Sykes, Z’s boss. And he’s got bigger plans for Liv…

    Z

    I can picture Liv’s face: wide-eyed, trusting. Her smooth lips that taste like strawberry Fanta.

    It was just a kiss. That’s all. She’s just like any other girl.

    Except that she’s not.

    Thanks to Z, Olivia’s about to get twisted.

    Publication date: November 5, 2013
    Pages: 352
    Publisher: Entangled Teen
    Formats: Paperback, eBook

    AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORYGOODREADS | WEBSITE

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    The Trailer

    About Vivi Barnes

    Vivi author photo

    Originally from East Texas (the accent comes out more often than not), Vivi lives in the magic and sunshine of Orlando, FL with a very understanding husband, three kids, and a strangely quiet beagle.

    Vivi’s debut novel, OLIVIA TWISTED, comes out November 5, 2013 from Entangled Teen.

    WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTERESTGOODREADS

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    The Giveaway

    This tour comes with a few awesome giveaways:

    GRAND PRIZE: A SIGNED copy of OLIVIA TWISTED and an OLIVIA TWISTED T-shirt – US ONLY

    PRIZES: A $10 iTunes Gift Card to TWO Winners – US ONLY

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The Tour Schedule

    Week One

    Oct. 28th – Fiktshun – Excerpt

    Oct. 29th – Book Briefs – Review

    Oct. 30th – The Cover Contessa – Guest Post

    Oct. 31st – Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews – Review

    Nov. 1st – The Happy Booker – Interview

    Week Two

    Nov. 4th – Larissa’s World – Review

    Nov. 5th – Kindle and Me – Guest Post

    Nov. 6th – A Bookish Escape – Review

    Nov. 7th – Reading with ABC – Interview

    Nov. 8th – Realm of the Sapphired Dragon – Guest Post

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