Posts Categorized: simon schuster

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson Release Day Blitz and Giveaway

05 May, 2021 by in simon schuster, Uncategorized 1 comment

I am so excited that TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT by Morgan Matson is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for FOUR finished copies of TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT courtesy of Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers & Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, check out the giveaway info below.


About The Book:


Author: Morgan Matson

Pub. Date: May 4, 2021

Publisher:  Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 416

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, AudibleB&NiBooksKobo, TBD,

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist in this romp through the city that never sleeps from the New York Times bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone.

Two girls. One night. Zero phones.

Kat and Stevie—best friends, theater kids, polar opposites—have snuck away from the suburbs to spend a night in New York City. They have it all planned out. They’ll see a play, eat at the city’s hottest restaurant, and have the best. Night. Ever. What could go wrong?

Well. Kind of a lot?

They’re barely off the train before they’re dealing with destroyed phones, family drama, and unexpected Pomeranians. Over the next few hours, they’ll have to grapple with old flames, terrible theater, and unhelpful cab drivers. But there are also cute boys to kiss, parties to crash, dry cleaning to deliver (don’t ask), and the world’s best museum to explore.

Over the course of a wild night in the city that never sleeps, both Kat and Stevie will get a wake-up call about their friendship, their choices…and finally discover what they really want for their future.

That is, assuming they can make it to Grand Central before the clock strikes midnight.



About Morgan:

Morgan Matson is a New York Times bestselling author. She received her MFA in writing for children from the New School and was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start author for her first book, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which was also recognized as an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. Her second book, Second Chance Summer, won the California State Book Award. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit her at

Website | Twitter |Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Goodreads | Amazon

Giveaway Details:

4 winners will receive a finished copy of TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, US Only.

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Simon & Schuster 15 Book Holiday Giveaway

26 Nov, 2014 by in giveaway, simon schuster Leave a comment



Do YOU want to win a library of 15 NEW RELEASES?

Treat yourself and enter this sweepstakes for a chance to win one copy of each of the hardcover titles below in the Simon & Schuster Holiday Prize Pack Sweepstakes!

Books in the giveaway: Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans, MONEY Master the Game by Tony Robbins, Innovators by Walter Isaacson, Map of Heaven by Eben Alexander, Rocks by Joe Perry, Dominique Ansel, Sudden Light by Garth Stein, Woman I Wanted to Be by Diane Von Furstenburg, Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer, Eat More Better by Dan Pashman, Thirteen Soldiers by John McCain, At Home With Madame Chic, Elements of Style by Erin Gates, Outlaw Pete by Bruce Springsteen and Frank Caruso, and Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke.
Winners: Two (2)
Dates: Open through 11:50pm December 19.

Enter to win HERE.


Book Review: Let the Storm Break by Shannon Messenger

19 Mar, 2014 by in simon schuster, ya 1 comment

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Let the Storm Break by Shannon Messenger

Let The Storm Break

by Shannon Messenger
Series: Sky Fall #2
Published by Simon Pulse on March 4, 2014
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 400 pages
Format: eARC


Source: Edelweiss
Buy the BookGoodreads

Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?

The Sky Fall series by Shannon Messenger has so many things going for it…

What I loved

The covers…gorgeous!

The new and unique mythology of wind walkers or slyphs

The fun personality of the main male protagonist Vane. He is supposed to be a king, yet he’s still young and snarky. His thoughts and snide comments will keep a smile on your face

There is a ramping up of both external and internal conflict in book two. The ad guys get more bad and the good guys are struggling with their own issues.

The concept of bonding for life with a kiss between two slyphs is romantic and old fashioned.

I loved the introduction of Vane’s intended companion Solana. It wasn’t a true love triangle but I would love to see and hear more from her.

The dual point of view. We get to know both Vane and Audra better.

Fun words like haboob!


What I struggled with

The pacing in book two is a bit slow. By the end things really pick up speed but it felt a little too late to really hold and capture interest.

I wanted to know more about each character. I was hoping to dig deeper into the story line instead of just touching on the setting and the new side characters.

The predictability of the cliff hanger ending and some of the plot elements.

I wanted to see Vane’s training. Let’s get him able to fight back ( even though it is against his very Westerly nature!)


Overall, I will definitely read book three in the series.

Content (highlight to reveal): sleepovers between boy and girl, comments about girls body parts, some sensual thoughts, kissing, mild violence


About the Authorshannon messenger

Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she learned–among other things–that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She also regularly eats cupcakes for breakfast, sleeps with a bright blue stuffed elephant named Ella, and occasionally gets caught talking to imaginary people. So it was only natural for her to write stories for children. She’s the author of the middle grade series, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, and LET THE SKY FALL, a trilogy for young adults. She lives in Southern California with her husband and an embarrassing number of cats. Find her online at


The Traitor’s Wife Blog Tour and Kindle Giveaway

21 Jan, 2014 by in allison pataki, blog tour, kindle paperwhite giveaway, kismet book tours, simon schuster, traitor's wife, Uncategorized 8 comments


Fire and Ice is thrilled to be today’s stop on the official tour for The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki hosted by Kismet Book Touring. We have an exclusive excerpt from the book as well as a kindle paperwhite giveaway which is international! I love the cover…isn’t it gorgeous?!

The-Traitors-Wife_COVER-PHOTOBook Summary

A riveting historical novel about Peggy Shippen Arnold, the cunning wife of Benedict Arnold and mastermind behind America’s most infamous act of treason.

Everyone knows Benedict Arnold—the infamous Revolutionary War General who betrayed America and fled to the British as history’s most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John André, who was apprehended with Arnold’s documents in his boots and hanged at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot; a charming and cunning young woman, who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.

Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold’s age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as Military Commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride’s beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John André. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former lover and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.

Told from the perspective of Peggy’s maid, whose faith in the new nation inspires her to intervene in her mistress’s affairs even when it could cost her everything, The Traitor’s Wife brings these infamous figures to life, illuminating the sordid details and the love triangle that nearly destroyed the American fight for freedom.


September 25, 1780 West Point Fort, New York

When the second messenger arrives on horseback, Mistress hears the frenzied pace of the horse hooves outside her open window.

“Another rider? Goodness, we must be the busiest home on the Hudson River this morning.” Mistress chuckles, tugging at the loose sleeves of her white linen nightdress. “Don’t they know we are set to receive Washington and his party for breakfast this morning? You’d think they could withhold these errands for at least one day.” She sighs, her features fresh from rest, beautiful beneath the frame of loose blond curls.

“Better go see what they want.” She directs me with a nod and I leave her room, making my way down the narrow wooden staircase.

“Scoot, pup.” I edge the dog aside from the door. From my perch on the front step, I shield my eyes and stare up the shaded post road. The rider emerges from the dappled cover of the thick trees into the stark early-morning light. My heart lurches involuntarily at the memory of another morning, when another rider had trotted up this trail. How that soldier had been here to see me. But I cannot allow myself to grow hazy in daydreaming, not today.

I notice that this man is not liveried in the General’s crest, and therefore does not come from Washington’s camp. He approaches the house at alarming speed, urging his weary horse forward with the ruthless spurs of his dusty boots. He halts just feet from me, his horse breathless, the rider looming over me like one of St. John’s horsemen come to warn us of the end of the world. I straighten up to my full height as the man alights from the horse, landing in a cloud of churned-up dirt, uniform filthy, hair matted with sweat.

“Can I help you?” I stand, sentry-like, before the front door of the farmhouse.

“I need to speak with Major General Benedict Arnold.” The man, still gasping for air, careens toward the house, dust surrounding him like a shroud. “Water my horse, miss. I must speak to the General!” The man hands me the bridle and staggers toward the front door without another word.

I hear the commotion in the front of the house as this lone rider calls out the master’s name: “Where is General Benedict Arnold? Urgent message for Benedict Arnold from the south Hudson.”

I tie this man’s horse to the post out front and glide noiselessly back into the house, positioning myself out of sight at the top of the stairway. I hear my master approach the messenger in the drawing room. His telltale plodding on the wooden floor—lopsided, uneven—due to the war wound that has forever crippled him and rendered his left leg useless. Muffled sounds as the master of the house greets the messenger, his voice like gravel as he chides his subordinate.

“What is your aim, man? Barging in on us like this on the morning we are to receive His Excellency George Washington, and with the lady of the house not yet arisen and


The messenger answers through uneven breath. “I assure you, Major General, you will pardon my abruptness when you see the message I’m delivering. I was ordered to deliver it posthaste.”

Good heavens, from where are you coming?” My master’s voice now betrays his alarm.

“North Castle Fort, down the Hudson. A full day’s ride, sir.”

“Give it here, then.” I hear papers being ruffled as they change hands. Silence follows, with just the sound of the morning birdsong to accompany the scene unfolding inside the farmhouse.

Then the master’s gait, again lopsided, but with an urgency I haven’t heard in years. He soon reaches the stairs, causing me to flee back into my mistress’s room.

“What is it?” Her eyes widen as I dash across the threshold of her sunlit chamber.

“Master’s coming!” is all I have time to say. We hear his rapid approach; using his impressive upper body strength, he’s pulling him- self up the stairs. The floorboards groan beneath his boots as he climbs. I look to my lady, and her features are horrorstruck as we understand each other. No words are needed between us after all these years.

“But surely it’s not . . . it can’t be?” Mrs. Arnold fidgets with the bedcovers, deliberating whether to rise or remain abed.

“Peggy.” Arnold bounds through the door, his hulking frame atremble in the doorway.

Struggling to breathe, he gasps, “They’ve found us out! All is lost, all is lost. We’re unearthed.”

His face tells me that he struggles just as much as my lady does to make sense of the words, even as his lips utter them. And then, as quickly as he entered, General Arnold exits back out my lady’s doorway. And I am left alone, in this room, with nothing but my lady and her shrill wails.

“BENEDICT!” she cries after him. “BENEDICT ARNOLD!”

About the AuthorView More:

ALLISON PATAKI grew up in upstate New York, in the same neighborhood where Benedict and Peggy Arnold once lived. Allison attended Yale University, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. While at Yale, Allison received Distinction in the Major from the English department and served as a campus reporter and news anchor for the student-run campus television program, YTV News.

The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison was inspired to write The Traitor’s Wife: A Novel of Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America based on the rich Revolutionary War history of her hometown in New York State’s Hudson Highlands.

Allison spent several years writing for television and digital news outlets prior to transitioning to fiction. The Traitor’s Wife: A Novel of Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America is Allison’s first novel. Allison lives in Chicago with her husband.

Find Allison Website | Goodreads |  Twitter | Facebook


Tour Schedule

Monday, January 20th – Daily Mayo
Tuesday, January 21st – Fire & Ice
Wednesday, January 22nd – Sofia Loves Books
Thursday, January 23rd – Little Miss Drama Queen
Friday, January 24th – Book – A – Holic
Monday, January 27th – The Most Happy Reader
Tuesday, January 28th – Evie Bookish
Wednesday, January 29th – Books Besides My Bed
Thursday, January 30th – Crossroad Reviews
Friday, January 31st – Reading Reality
Monday, February 3rd – Curling Up with a Good Book
Tuesday, February 4th – Le Grande Codex
Wednesday, February 5th – Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, February 6th – Supernatural Snark
Friday, February 7th – Rose’s Book Corner


The Giveaway

We have a fantastic giveaway for this tour: A Kindle paperwhite! This giveaway is open internationally provided ships to you.

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Abandon by Elana Johnson Blog Tour, Scavenger Hunt and Giveaway

10 Jun, 2013 by in Possession series, simon schuster Leave a comment

 photo Elanas-Button1_zpscc8012ab.gif

Today we’re here to celebrate the completion of the Possession series by Elana Johnson! ABANDON came out on June 4, and I hope you’ve been participating in the series scavenger hunt! Today I’m bringing you one of the stops!

Once you know what city in the Association we’re visiting today, GO HERE to fill out the form to enter to win today’s prize (a series swag package), as well as an overall scavenger hunt prize: signed paperbacks of the entire series, as well as digital copies of the two short stories (REGRET and RESIST) that round out the Possession series + a $50 Amazon gift card.

“Emotion pumps through every scene of this thriller. Given all the urgency and action, the novel’s ending may surprise readers as the heroic adventure turns into a tragic love story.” –School Library Journal

“The end is satisfying in a full-circle way and is set up for a third novel in this world. Some recent dystopian novels with a similar them are the Matched series by Ally Condie and the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver.” –VOYA “A thrilling, fan-pleasing sequel.” –The Deseret News

Available now!

 The fight for independent thought becomes a matter of life or death in this sizzling and intense conclusion to the Possession trilogy.

 Your clue for the scavenger hunt today: Gunn stops in this city in Surrender, only to wake up alone.

And go to Books Complete Me where Cindy has an exclusive interview with Elana — and another clue to discover which city in the Association we’re visiting!

Then be sure to ENTER TO WIN the grand prize signed paperback giveaway + Amazon gift card.

To enter the daily swag package giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter below a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you get lost, you can always go to Elana’s blog to find your place.

Happy hunting!

Surrender Blog Tour

24 May, 2012 by in posession, simon schuster, surrender 7 comments

Fire and Ice is today’s stop on the official blog tour for
Possession #2
By Elana Johnson
Published by Simon Teen
To Be Released on: June 5th, 2012

Summary From Goodreads: Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…
Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque… –
Possession, book one of the series was one of Fire and Ice’s favorite books of 2011 and book two woke me up out of a book rut with its new, fresh characters Gunn and Raine. Elana take readers on a wild ride through the dystopian society that forces citizens to control or be controlled. I was hoioked from page one and would highly recommend this series to fans of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series. Surrender is sure to make it on our 2012 list of five star favorite reads for teens.

As part of the tour we have a chance for reader to take a peek at the first three chapter of Surrender plus an ARC giveaway
Read the first two chapters of Surrender on Elana’s Facebook page and Fire and Ice has an exclusive look at

Contest for the SURRENDER ARC Giveaway, Week of May 21

Pre-release blog tour badge

So this week, as part of the pre-release tour of awesome, you have the chance to win an ARC of SURRENDER before it releases on June 5. And not just one chance. FIVE CHANCES.

That’s right! There are FIVE (5!) ARCs available to win this week. Here’s what you can do to win one.

1) Comment on each of the pre-release blog posts this week. (1 entry for each comment)

2) Tweet about the giveaway.

3) Purchase the POSSESSION paperback (10 entries – no purchase necessary to enter)

4) Purchase REGRET (5 entries – no purchase necessary to enter)

5) Put the SURRENDER blog tour badge on your blog (3 entries)

Please fill out the Rafflecopter entry widget with what you’ve done. This contest ends at midnight on Friday, May 25, is open in the US and Canada, and winners will be notified over the weekend. Good luck!
Click here for full details and schedule.

YA Book Review – This Dark Endeavor

19 Apr, 2012 by in bea, simon schuster, This Dark Endeavor - The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein 1 comment

This Dark Endeavor – The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein 
The Dark Endeavor Chronicles #1 
by Kenneth Oppel
ARC, 304 pages 
Publication Date: August 23, 2011 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Book Source: BEA
ASIN: 1442403152 
4.5 Stars 
Summary from GoodreadsVictor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures…until the day their adventures turn all too real. They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only peaks Victor’s curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not be satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. Elizabeth, Henry, and Victor immediately set out to find assistance in a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula. Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrads life. After scaling the highest trees in the Strumwald, diving into the deepest lake caves, and sacrificing one’s own body part, the three fearless friends risk their lives to save another.” 
Margie’s ReviewA forbidden secret library. Adventure. A love triangle. Suspense.
The quest to find the ingredients to the elixir of life…

What an amazing prequel to Mary Shelley’s classic, Frankenstein –Victor is your typical 15 year old teen boy, everything seems to be fun and games until something serious and life-changing happens and Victor must decide if doing the wrong thing is actually the right thing to do. He enlists his twin brother, Konrad, their ‘distant’ cousin, Elizabeth, and family friend, Henry, on an adventure never to be forgotten. 
Yes, there is a bit of a love triangle going on, but it is done so perfectly that you will not lose the pace of the story, nor be distracted by it either. 
There were a few ‘gasp-out-loud’ moments where I had to will the images out of my head – but I am squeamish, lol, and those who are not, will love every single detail of their journey. 
About the Author: Kenneth Oppel is the author of numerous books for young readers. His award-winning Silverwing trilogy has sold more than a million copies worldwide and has been adapted into an animated TV series and stage play. Airborn won a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award and the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award for children’s literature; its sequel, Skybreaker, was a New York Times bestseller and was named Children’s Novel of the Year by the London Times. His most recent book is Half Brother.
Born on Canada’s Vancouver Island, he has lived in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Canada, and in England and Ireland and now lives in Toronto with his wife and children. 
Learn more on his website/ facebook/ blog

Best I’ve Read 2011 Day 4- Possession #BIR2011

14 Dec, 2011 by in book giveaway, Possession, simon schuster 19 comments

Possession by Elana Johnson is our pick for Best I’ve Read 2011 Day 4. Elana has written an awesome guest post for us and offered up a giveaway as part of BIR11!

By Elana Johnson
Published: June 7, 2011
by Simon & Schuster
ISBN 139781442417618
5 stars

Summary: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn…and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi’s future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they’re set on convincing Vi to become one of them…starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can’t leave Zenn in the Thinkers’ hands, but she’s wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous–everything Zenn’s not. Vi can’t quite trust Jag and can’t quite resist him, but she also can’t give up on Zenn. This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.

I first picked up this book from Simon Schuster as an E-ARC and then last week when I got a paper copy in the mail you know what I did? Something I’ve only ever done with a handful of books…I read it again. The paper in my hands and the awesome cover was too big a temptation to pass up. I loved Possession even more the second time around with it’s layers of meaning and depth. Once you know what’s going on with the main characters and reach the surprise ending, I’m sure you will want to do the same.

I felt an immediate draw to Possession’s protagonist Vi with her sarcastic, fiery personality. She is one strong 15 year old who stands up for herself and isn’t afraid to throw punches. Victoria Schoenfeld is a water worker living in the Goodlands with mom after her father went missing and sister died working in the hands of the government. Vi’s a free thinker who’s had more than one brush with the law. So when she’s caught crossing borders to meet her match Zenn, a newly recruited special forces agent, the Greenies want consequences for Vi. They wish to rule a society where their model citizens, Goodies are “walking paper dolls” devoid of personality. All must plug into transmissions including messages about not lying and sticking to the rules. But Vi has stopped plugging in and has a mind of her own. Those in charge have an upper hand with advanced technology capable of modifying memories, scanning fingerprints and tracking identities. Vi can feel the tech in her bones and though her father invented it, she’s not convinced it’s not all that it seems. In the end it’s a choice for Vi between “control or don’t control, alone or together, Zenn or Jag, duty or death.” (p.366)

Jag…oh Jag. Bad boy who likes to read, leader of the Resistance, lover of wicked hair and distributor of hair gel & illegal tech. He stole my heart with his laughter, calmness, and laid back personality. He’ll snag yours the first time he utters the words “nice” and shrugs his shoulders. But readers beware that Jag is not alone in his efforts to win Vi and freedom, Zenn is fighting behind enemy lines.

Elana Johnson is genius. She’s crafted characters that push and pull you in all directions. There is not a clear cut line between what is bad and what is good. The last 1/3 of the book feels like a choose your own adventure quest for the truth, full of action and suspense. Possession is an ingenious mix of dystopian, paranormal and science fiction that had me thinking long after I finished the book. If you’re a fan of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series, prepare yourself for something even more mind blowing. Control or be controlled? Join the Resistance.

Guest Post by author Elana Johnson: Choose to Conform
Wow, Heather’s hitting me with the hard stuff. She’s asked me to talk a little bit about the pressures teens face today to conform or be controlled (a theme in my dystopian novel POSSESSION).

I think there’s a lot of conformity that takes place during the teen years. As a mother of a teenager, I find myself doing it all the time.

Clean your room. Take out the trash. Get your homework done.

I find myself saying all that. And it’s not like, “Clean your room today sometime.” It’s “Clean your room right now.”

Basically, “Do what I say, when I say it.”

I think they face similar situations at school. They have to be in class by the time the bell rings. They have to take certain classes for graduation. They have to get certain grades to play sports, be a student aide, or participate in the special extra-curricular activities—not to mention the pressure to get into a “good” college and have the opportunity to have a “good” career.

Everything is set up to reward those that conform—and not just as a teen. I believe adults face similar situations at work, college, and life in general.

So yeah. I think there’s a lot of conformity going on. Do I think it’s all bad? Not at all. But I believe a couple of things:

1. There comes a point in your life when you have to decide what’s “good.” Your parents may be pressuring you to go to a certain college. Your friends may be pressuring you to do something you’re not sure about.

Ultimately, you need to take a step back and take a good hard look at your life. What do you believe? Why do you believe that? Who are you listening to? Why is what they’re saying right for you?

Those are the kinds of questions the main character in POSSESSION is constantly wrestling with. I think teens go through a similar period of their lives, and dude! I’m still regularly analyzing my life and where I’m spending my time and making what I do fit with what I believe and who I listen to.

It’s a life-long process, I think, that should be repeated each time you arrive at a cross-roads in your life. And with each decision you make based on your own personal belief system, the more confidence you’ll achieve. Confidence that you can live the best life—for you.

2. We can overcome obstacles by making informed decisions. Don’t just show up to vote because you can. Read and study and make an informed decision about the candidates.

Don’t just go to the same college as your parents. Read and study and make an informed decision, based on what you want to do with your life and the quality of the programs offered.

Don’t just go along with your friends, doing what they do or dressing the way they dress. You have to live inside your skin forever, and the decisions you make determine whether that skin is too tight or just right.

So yeah, I think there’s a lot of people out there conforming to societal rules and regulations. I don’t think they’re all bad. Not at all. But I do think each person has the opportunity to live the best life they can, and in order to do that, they need the freedom to make a few decisions on their own, after truly examining what it is they believe/want and then making life choices to support those things.

When we do choose how we will conform, self-confidence will be won and obstacles overcome.

Choose to Conform

About the Author: Elana’s debut novel, Possession, is available now from Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster). Learn how to spell and say her name.

Elana wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.

Using her boring human powers, she graduated from Southern Utah University with Summa Cum Laude honors in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics. She started her teaching career as an upper grade music and art specialist. After a four-year stint in 3rd grade, she is currently the technology specialist.

In her world, Oreos and bacon would be the only food groups. Everyone would drive 10 over the speed limit. Winter would be eliminated as a season, and Jeff Probst would be President. As it is, she lives with her husband and two kids in central Utah, gets cited when she drives too fast and eats Oreos only on special occasions.

Find Elana on her blog/facebook/ twitter/ goodreads

We have one copy of Possession to give away as part of Best I’ve Read 2011 courtesy of Elana and Simon & Schuster. To enter to win fill out this form
. And be sure to check the Best I’ve Read home site for a chance to win Wolfsbane and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer as well.

Book Review- Clockwork Prince

09 Dec, 2011 by in simon schuster 5 comments

Clockwork Prince
The Infernal Devices #2
by Cassandra Clare
Hardcover, 502 pages
Published December 6th 2011
by Margaret K. McElderry Books
ISBN 1416975888
Source: bought

4.5 stars

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

I was a huge fan of the first three books in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series but have to admit that she lost me with City of Fallen Angels as well as Clockwork Angel, the first in the Infernal Devices series. I didn’t finish either book. I know hardcore Cassie fans will think I’m crazy but I just felt a loss for where my favorite writing and characters had gone. I decided to give things one more try with book two in the Infernal Devices. I wasn’t disappointed with Clockwork Prince. The thing I love about Cassandra Clare is her rich descriptions, witty banter between characters and the inclusion of literary classics within her storyline. I finally felt like things are back to what I fell in love with in the first place. The steles are back, the feel of magic and loyalty, the rich world building. Clockwork Prince is set in Victorian London, a mix of steampunk and paranormal with several scenes of romance. I wouldn’t pass this one on to a young teenager, which is my main complaint about CP. There are two very steamy scenes that have a more adult romance because of the detail. There is also mention of drugs, moderate violence and lots of innuendo. So if you are a parent, I’d give the series a read yourself before you pass it on to a teen.

Overall this is my favorite of the last three Cassie has published. It has peaked my interest in how the MI and ID series overlap as well as the family lines. Does anyone want to help me out here? Have you found the family links intertwining between the two series? I’m also curious to see how things shake out between Tess, Will and Jem. I get the feeling she loves both of them for very different reasons and is concerned about coming between them as parabati. I’m so glad our questions are finally answered about Will’s walls. I loved every interaction he and Tessa have. We see a depth to Will never before shown. Jem, while kind and attentive is not in my mind the most appealing. Maybe she ends up not choosing either! Guess we will have to wait until book three to find out. Even at over 500 pages, I’m guessing most readers will devour all of Clockwork Prince in one sitting. The beautiful seamless writing of Cassie Clare is back!

Horses Never Lie About Love Blog Tour

27 Oct, 2011 by in simon schuster Leave a comment

Fire and Ice is honored to be the first stop in the blog tour for

Horses Never Lie About Love: A True Story
by Jana Harris
Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: November 1st 2011
by Simon & Schuster
ISBN 1451605846

When Jana Harris moved with her husband to Washington State for a teaching job, she realized that she could also fulfill her lifelong dream of having a horse farm. And Harris knew the horse on whom she could build her dreams the minute she saw her on a ranch in the Eastern Mountains where a herd had been corralled to be sold: a beautiful, deep dark red–colored mare known as a blood bay, standing about sixteen hands, with a pretty head with a white star and a narrow stripe that slid down her face to two black nostrils. Something about the way the mare guarded her handsome foal, a black two-month-old 200-pound colt, spoke to Harris. The mare was named True Colors.

But when True Colors was delivered to Harris’s ranch three months later, she was unrecognizable. She had gone feral, run away, and been recaptured. Terrified of people, she was head-shy from the infected sores on her face and her lungs were damaged by smoke-induced pneumonia. She sensed demons hiding in everything from the scent of fabric softener on clothes to a gate in a fence. Her will to escape was enormous. This injured, traumatized horse existed between two worlds—wild and domesticated—and belonged to neither. But there were glimmers of hope: The other horses fell in love with her on sight, just as Harris had. And true to her name and herself, True Colors would never pretend to be something she was not; with her wise, intuitive nature, she would end up changing the lives of everyone she encountered, animal and human.

Horses Never Lie About Love is the story of this remarkable horse and the revelations about life and love that she gave Harris over the course of their decades together. Now thirty-three years old, this complex, magnetic animal retains the outsize personality that transforms everyone around her, both human and equine. True Colors has grown to become the heart of the range and the farm, her quiet wisdom transmitting a strength of character that transcends the thin line between animals and the humans they love. There is a famous horseman’s saying: A horse never lies about its pain. But maybe we should also consider: A horse never lies about love.

About the Author: A poet, novelist, short story writer, and essayist, Jana Harris has been a Washington State Governor’s Writers Award winner and a PEN West Center Award finalist. Born in San Francisco and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she worked for six years as director of Writers in Performance at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. She now lives with her husband in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, where they raise horses. She studies the riding discipline of dressage and competes.

Ms. Harris teaches creative writing at the University of Washington. She is editor and founder of Switched-on Gutenberg (, one of the first electronic poetry journals of the English-speaking world. Her seventh book of poems, The Dust of Everyday Life, an epic concerning the lives of forgotten Northwest pioneers, (Sasquatch) won the 1998 Andres Berger Award, and she has been twice nominated for the Pulitzer (for Manhattan as a Second Language and Oh How Can I Keep On Singing?). In 2001 she won a Pushcart Prize for poetry for her poem “I Drive You From My Heart.” More information at

View the full blog tour schedule and more about the book here:
Click here to read an excerpt.

We are giving away one copy of Horses Never Lie about Love courtesy of Simon & Schuster as part of the blog tour. To enter click here and fill out the form. Giveaway ends November 9, 2011. A big thanks to Simon & Schuster for the chance to be a part of their tour!