Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

19 Mar, 2021 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

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

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

Better Than the Movies

on March 18, 2021
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Buy the BookGoodreads
In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.

Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.

The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.

But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.


I smiled throughout this entire book. It was perfect. Such a welcome, fuzzy, charming YA. There were laugh out loud and swoon worthy moments. Childhood friends/ enemies, Liz and Wes are vying for the perfect parking spot. They are constantly at each other with snarky, witty back and forth. Their friend group has known each other all their lives,and when Michael moves back to town, Liz Buxbaum is sure he is destined to be sure to her romantic hero. With a “Can’t Buy Me Love” vibe scheme going between Liz and Wes, they are determined she will get the prom date of her dreams.

Wes. Favorite YA character ever. In tune, keen sense of humor, honest. I was wary at first at all the changes he wants Liz to make to win her man, but he redeems himself over and over again. With deeper issues like grief over the loss of mother, step-parent relationships and lying, the author does a great job of keeping everything low key and seamlessly woven into an awesome story. Highly recommend this one! Prepare to laugh out loud! I am adding Lynn Painter to my “go to” author list. Amazing debut. Thank you Simon and Schuster.

Content and trigger warnings: cigar smoking by minors, drinking, loss of a parent, sneaking out , kissing, mild swearing.

About the Author

Lynn Painter lives with her husband and pack of wild children in Nebraska, where she is a weekly contributor to the Omaha World-Herald and an avid fan of napping. When working on a new book, she can often be found sound asleep on her office floor. Some might say she should grow up and stop randomly dozing off like she’s a toddler, but Lynn considers it part of her writing “process.”

Yeah – because that totally makes it legit.

Second Chance Cowboy by Claire McEwen Tour and Giveaway

17 Mar, 2021 by in Uncategorized 2 comments

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Second Chance Cowboy (Heroes of Shelter Creek, #5) By Claire McEwen Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 210 Pages March 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He was her first love… But some things she can’t forget

Busy small-town veterinarian Emily Fielding is finally ready to take on some help. The best man for the job, however, is Wes Marlow—who broke her heart in high school. Though Wes has a way with horses and a way of melting her resolve, Emily needs to keep things purely professional. Wes left her once—will he do it again? Because she can’t lose her heart a second time…

Heroes of Shelter Creek Book 1: Reunited with the Cowboy Book 2: After the Rodeo Book 3: Her Surprise Cowboy Book 4: Rescuing the Rancher Book 5: Second Chance Cowboy

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Other Books in the Series

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About the Author

Claire McEwen is an award-winning author whose strong heroes and heroines take big, emotional journeys to find their happily-ever-afters. She loves writing stories set in quirky small towns and romantic western settings. Claire lives by the ocean in Northern California with her family and a scruffy, mischievous terrier. When not dreaming up new stories, she’s a busy mom who also enjoys gardening, hiking, discovering flea-market treasures and wandering on the beach. A life-long bookworm, she always has her kindle close by.

Website | Goodreads | BookBub | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a copy of Second Chance Cowboy (ebook or paperback, winner’s choice) and a $30 Amazon gift card

Two winners will each receive a copy of Second Chance Cowboy (ebook or paperback, winner’s choice)

US only Ends March 24, 2021


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Two high school sweethearts collide in town as one is making his way back to apologize. Emily Fielding isn’t ready for the interruption to her busy budding Veterinarian clinic. She has had to work hard to overcome the small town belief that she’s second best as the daughter of the original Vet. Two work side by side. Emily’s stubborn, not willing to give up the reigns of all she has built, including her own emotional walls.

Claire McEwen, as an author, explores a youth aging out of foster care and the loving difference a solid, warm home environment can make. Wes changes and matures over the years in so many ways, including taking ownership for how he may have hurt those who nurtured him.

Second Chance Cowboy is a clean romance about learning to forgive, defend, and sacrifice for the ones closest to you. I enjoyed the references to kinder, gentler methods when treating animals as well as the service minded community. Perfect for horse loving readers as a break from the bustle to feel small town warmth. There’s so much to love about how Wes and Emily’s relationship evolves slowly from mistrust to mutual respect through small acts of kindness.

I received a complimentary Digital review copy from Harlequin Heartwarming and Prism Book Tours.


YOLK by Mary H.K. Choi Blog Tour and Giveaway

11 Mar, 2021 by in YA fiction 1 comment


I am happy to be hosting a spot on the YOLK by Mary H.K. Choi Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Enter the giveaway below!


About The Book:

Title: YOLK

Author: Mary H.K. Choi

Pub. Date: March 2, 2021

Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 400

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, AudibleB&N, iBooks, Kobo,

From New York Times bestselling author Mary H.K. Choi comes a funny and emotional story about two estranged sisters switching places and committing insurance fraud to save one of their lives.

Jayne Baek is barely getting by. She shuffles through fashion school, saddled with a deadbeat boyfriend, clout-chasing friends, and a wretched eating disorder that she’s not fully ready to confront. But that’s New York City, right? At least she isn’t in Texas anymore, and is finally living in a city that feels right for her.

On the other hand, her sister June is dazzlingly rich with a high-flying finance job and a massive apartment. Unlike Jayne, June has never struggled a day in her life. Until she’s diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Suddenly, these estranged sisters who have nothing in common are living together. Because sisterly obligations are kind of important when one of you is dying.



About Mary H.K. Choi: 

Mary H.K. Choi is a Korean-American author, editor, television and print journalist. She is the author of young adult novel Emergency Contact (2018). She is the culture correspondent on Vice News Tonight on HBO and was previously a columnist at Wired and Allure magazines as well as a freelance writer. She attended a large public high school in a suburb of San Antonio, then college at the University of Texas at Austin, where she majored in Textile and Apparel.


Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will win a finished copy of YOLK, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


Westveil Publishing



A Dream Within A Dream



BookHounds YA






Lifestyle of Me



What A Nerd Girl Says






Not In Jersey



Kait Plus Books



Trapped Inside Stories


Week Two:


My Fictional Oasis



Eli to the nth



The Scribe Owl



Nay’s Pink Bookshelf



Lala’s Book Reviews



The Mind of a Book Dragon



Odd and Bookish



Little Red Reads



Amani’s Reviews






Jayne is a Korean born American living in New York and going to school in fashion design. Her sister June lives close by but has always been an awkward embarrassment. Jayne avoids her because she is in with a group of extremely popular, up and coming New York socialites, and their sibling relationship has always been rocky. June is a perfect student with a high paying job and Jayne is living in a roach infested apartment battling an eating disorder and alcohol abuse. Just when you think Jayne will take a break from her self-destructive behaviors, she spirals down into them again. Yolk takes a raw inside look at the cycles of inter-generational abuse and disordered eating. At times it is gut wrenching. It also exposes the insurance problems one faces when trying to continue individual therapy or obtain surgery.

The times she spends with Patrick are the life saver in Jayne’s life. He is a gentleman, honest and kind. His apartment centers Jayne and helps her feel at home. I loved every interaction they have together. In the end, Yoke shows the redemptive power of family and love. Amidst, the mental health and addiction problems, there is hope on the horizon.

Quote: I’ll tell you what, you are only as sick as your secrets. The second you talk about it, it all seems to get a little better. Humans need to share their darkest parts. Unburdening makes you closer to everyone…the truth is we all have the same, boring problems. Sometimes the best thing you can do is talk about it. It makes no sense, but glory if it doesn’t work like a charm.

Content and trigger warnings: Heavy swearing, eating disorder, child abuse, cancer, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, drinking, drug use. Mature- NA or adult read.

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Claire

09 Mar, 2021 by in ya Leave a comment

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Claire

Chain of Iron

on March 2, 2021
Pages: 592
Format: Hardcover
Buy the BookGoodreads
Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade.

But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace.

Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.

It’s been a long time since I have bought a book on release day, but I did purchase Chain of Iron as soon as it came out. I loved book one in the Last Hours Series, Chain of Gold. (5 Stars. Pick it up if you haven’t already) Cassandra Clare has created a world of escape. No matter how many books I read of hers, I still enjoy everything she puts out.

Chain of Iron has so many plot twists and points of view. The marriage between Cordelia and James Herondale is beautiful and selfless. James shows what a gentleman he can be and Cordelia is selfless and strong. It was a delight to just sit with them in their home and enjoy the time they spent as a couple. I did not like the scenes of disloyalty and fleeting romantic encounters between characters, but, they are meant to be developing….young and reckless. The portrayal of alcoholism by two characters is raw and real.

The end was a bit muddled because there’s so much going on all at once. Plots converge at a cliffhanger for book 3. A year is a long time to wait for the ending!

Cassie is one of my favorite writers. She’s a master storyteller in every way. Gorgeous cover!

Content and trigger warnings: alcohol addiction, heavy petting, kissing, moderate violence.

About the Author

Cassandra Clare is the author of the #1 New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices trilogy, and coauthor of the Bane Chronicles with Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson. She also wrote The Shadowhunter’s Codex with her husband, Joshua Lewis. Her books have more than 36 million copies in print worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Cassandra lives in western Massachusetts. Visit her at Learn more about the world of the Shadowhunters at

Daughters of Jubilation by Kara Lee Corthron

05 Mar, 2021 by in young adult Leave a comment

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

Daughters of Jubilation by Kara Lee Corthron

Daughters of Jubilation

on October 13th 2020
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Buy the BookGoodreads
From the award-winning author of The Truth of Right Now comes a stunning, grounded fantasy in the vein of Dread Nation that follows a black teen as she finds her place among a family of women gifted with magical abilities.

In the Jim Crow South, white supremacy reigns and tensions are high. But Evalene Deschamps has other things to worry about. She has two little sisters to look after, an overworked single mother, and a longtime crush who is finally making a move.

On top of all that, Evvie’s magic abilities are growing stronger by the day. Her family calls it jubilation—a gift passed down from generations of black women since the time of slavery. And as Evvie’s talents waken, something dark comes loose and threatens to resurface…

And when the demons of Evvie’s past finally shake free, she must embrace her mighty lineage, and summon the power that lies within her.


“A lyrical novel about a young Black woman discovering her power.”PopSugar

“The exploration of home, and the reflection on how a place where you can’t be safe can nevertheless be called home, is powerful. A compelling story of first love and battling racism with a magical twist.” Kirkus, starred review

“A well-told, fast-paced story about a teenage girl coming of age, while coming to terms with her family’s legacy.” SLJ, starred review

“Corthron brings her writing talent to the realm of YA with a powerful story about a magic-wielding Black teen in the Jim Crow South…Corthron inventively explores America’s heinous racist history while telling the story of a Black teen grappling with a hostile culture on top of ordinary teenage growing pains, like a first crush. Readers swept up by Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation series will gravitate to this historical fantasy, almost as if by magic.”Booklist

“The legacy of slavery, the persistence of racism, and the intergenerational trauma experienced by Black women and girls are explored with a deft hand. . . . Evvie’s narration is bold and self-assured.” BCCB

Breview: Heart wrenching book set in the Jim Crow South. There are some beautiful moments about love. The violence endured by the main characters is devastating. I cried. The author creates a hopeful ending to a horrible past.

Content and trigger warnings: sexual abuse of a child, lynching, racial violence, swearing, sex scene. Mature read.

About the Author

Kara Lee Corthron is a playwright, author, and TV writer based in Los Angeles. Her full-length plays include AliceGraceAnon (New Georges),  Holly Down in Heaven (Forum Theatre, DC area), Listen for the Light (Know Theatre of Cincinnati), Welcome to Fear City (CATF and Kansas City Rep, Kilroys’ List 2016), Etched in Skin on a Sunlit Night (InterAct Theatre, Philadelphia), What Are You Worth?, and Time and a Half. Kara is the author of the young-adult novels, The Truth of Right Now from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse and Daughters of Jubilation from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Awards: the 2019 Otis L. Guernsey New Voices in Playwriting Award,theParents’ Choice Gold Award and a Kirkus Star for The Truth of Right Now, the Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Fellowship, Boomerang Fund for Artists Grant, 2012-2014 Women’s Project Lab Time Warner Foundation Fellowship, The Vineyard Theatre’s 3rd Annual Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Princess Grace Award, the Helen Merrill Award, Lincoln Center’s Lecomte du Nouy Prize (three-time recipient), the Theodore Ward Prize, the New Professional Theatre Writers Award, and residencies at MacDowell (four-time fellow), Bogliasco Foundation (Italy), Hawthornden Castle (Scotland), Skriðuklaustur (Iceland), Camargo (Cultural Diaspora Creative Residency, France), Djerassi Resident Artists Program, the Millay Colony, and Ledig House. She’s a proud member of New Dramatists. Currently under commission for La Jolla Playhouse. Past commissions include South Coast Rep, New Georges, Playwrights Horizons Theater School, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, InterAct, EST/Sloan, and Naked Angels.

A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright Tour

04 Mar, 2021 by in Uncategorized 2 comments

  • Title: A Captain for Caroline Gray (Proper Romance Regency)
  • Author: Julie Wright
  • Genre: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Inspirational Fiction
  • Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing (March 2, 2021)
  • Length: (336) pages
  • Format: Trade Paperback, eBook, & audiobook
  • Tour Dates: March 1 – 28, 2021


Regency London

Caroline Gray’s third season in London society ends as badly as her first two—no marriage proposal, no suitor, not even a glimmer of an interested prospect. She suspects it’s because she is far too quick to speak her mind to men who are put off by her forthright opinions, her eager intellect backed by a formal education, and her unconventional ideas about the future. She is far more daring than demure to suit the taste of her class. Besides, Caroline thinks there will always be next season to find a husband.

However, her family’s dwindling income leaves Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: a one-way ticket to sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend waits. If the match doesn’t work, Caroline cannot return home.

Captain Thomas Scott loves the thrill of the open sea, and as commander of one of the ships of the Fishing Fleet, he ferries scores of young English girls to the shores of India to find husbands. The voyages pay well, but he struggles to understand why families would allow young women to be matched with total strangers so far away.

The trips have always been routine and uneventful—until this trip’s first night’s dinner with one Miss Caroline Gray. She engages in a lively political conversation, presenting opposing viewpoints to the conventionally opinionated gentlemen at her table. Captain Scott is secretly amused and delighted at her boldness, not to mention quite drawn to her beauty.

The rest of the passengers are shocked by her behavior and Caroline finds herself an outcast, suffering harsh judgments from the other passengers. However, she finds an unlikely ally in Captain Scott which quickly draws them closer.

Both know an arranged marriage awaits Caroline at the end of their voyage, yet the attraction between them is undeniable. Caroline will have to decide if she will honor her mother’s wishes and marry a man in India whom she has never met, thus securing a future for her and her mother, or be brave enough to throw convention to the wind and commit to love a sea captain. He may be enchanted by her bold and unconventional ways, but will his love and admiration last?


  • “A charming historical romance in which smarts and sass are vindicated.”— Foreword Reviews
  • “…a delightful, not exactly traditional Regency romance. Teen readers will enjoy this adventurous journey with its proactive heroine and exotic settings.”— Booklist, starred review
  • “An unconventional woman finds herself at home at sea in this stirring Regency from Julie Wright…This adventure is sure to entice fans of historical romance.”— Publishers Weekly


I’ve been on a bit of a Naval Historical novel kick lately. After reading Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks, A Captain for Caroline was perfect. They have similar themes, characters and ship based settings… historical fiction at its finest.

Caroline is off to secure her future. Her choices are being narrowed at the hand of her family and of an Englishman living in India. She’s a bluestocking–outspoken, intelligent. Being fluent in political discussion is all but forbidden for ladies. She’s not afraid to speak her mind. She believes this practice in London’s society circles fails to make her a match and leaves her without girls to call friends. Trying to fit in with the crowd, Caroline loses her feisty spirit. Wright teaches an important message about being true to who you are.

Thomas is a sea captain, in charge of helping many of the ladies of England seeking a husband to India. He’s stubborn and hard headed at times. As a reader, you’ll find yourself wanting to yell at him for his assumptions.

With stops and starts in their relationship, Wright builds a historical romance which teaches about the dangers of gossip, the need to be true to yourself and the value of sincere apologies. The villains of the story could have been a little more well fleshed out, but that’s about all I missed in this book. I so loved being swept away at sea once again. The Proper Romance series by Shadow Mountain continues to put out wonderful books!

Content: clean, mild violence.


Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen and has written over twenty novels since then. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her books Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me, and she is a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.

She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition). She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.

She hates mayonnaise.




Join the virtual blog tour of A CAPTAIN FOR CAROLINE GRAY (Proper Romance Regency), Julie Wright’s highly acclaimed historical romance novel March 1 – 28, 2021. Over forty popular blogs specializing in historical romance, inspirational fiction, and Austenesque fiction will join in the celebration of its release with excerpts, spotlights, and reviews of this new Regency-era novel set aboard an English ship bound for India.


March 01      My Jane Austen Book Club (Excerpt)

March 01      Austenprose — A Jane Austen Blog (Review)

March 02      Storeybook Reviews (Review)

March 02      Lu Reviews Books (Review)

March 02      Bookworm Lisa (Review)

March 03      Probably at the Library (Excerpt)

March 03      Our Book Confessions (Review)

March 03      Lady with a Quill (Review)

March 04      The Caffeinated Bibliophile (Review)

March 04      Fire & Ice (Review)

March 05      Literary Time Out (Review)

March 05      Among the Reads (Review)

March 06      Books and Socks Rock (Review)

March 07      Encouraging Words (Excerpt)

March 08      So Little Time… (Review)

March 09      For Where Your Treasure Is (Review)

March 10      Laura’s Reviews (Review)

March 10      My Bookish Bliss (Review)

March 11      Heidi Reads (Review)

March 12      Reading with Emily (Review)

March 13      The Christian Fiction Girl (Review)

March 14      Silver Petticoat Reviews (Excerpt)

March 15      Austenesque Reviews (Review)

March 16      The Lit Bitch (Excerpt)

March 16      Greenish Bookself (Review)

March 17      Inkwell Inspirations (Review)

March 18      A Darn Good Read (Review)

March 19      Relz Reviewz (Review)

March 20      Book Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina (Review)

March 20      Christian Chick’s Thoughts (Review)

March 21      Jorie Loves a Story (Review)

March 22      From Pemberley to Milton (Review)

March 23      Gwendalyn’s Books (Review)

March 23      Historical Fiction with Spirit (Review)

March 24      Captivated Reading (Review)

March 24      Books, Teacups, & Reviews (Excerpt)

March 25      Roseanne E. Lortz (Review)

March 26      Cup of Tea with that Book, Please (Review)

March 26      Randi Loves 2 Read (Review)

March 27      Library of Clean Reads (Review)

March 28      The Bibliophile Files (Review)





The Soldier’s Unexpected Family -Tour and Giveaway

04 Mar, 2021 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Soldier’s Unexpected Family (Heroines of Hollydale #3) By Tanya Agler Adult Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 230 Pages March 1, 2021 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He had a plan… She changed it all!

Major Aidan Murphy arrives in the charming small town of Hollydale to take full guardianship of his six-year-old nephew. Only there’s a slight problem—his vivacious, fiery co-guardian. School teacher Natalie Harrison has no intention of letting Aidan take her best friend’s heartbroken little boy away. Now Aidan must convince Natalie that blood is stronger than love…even if his heart tells him otherwise.

(Affiliate links included.) Goodreads | Amazon | Bookshop | B&N | Target | Walmart BAM | IndieBound | Apple Books | GooglePlay | Kobo | Harlequin

Other Books in the Series

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About the Author

Tanya Agler remembers the first set of Harlequin books her grandmother gifted her, and she’s been in love with romance novels ever since. An award-winning author, Tanya makes her home in Georgia with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable rescue beagle. When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies and a good cup of tea. Visit her at or email her at

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive an ebook of The Sheriff’s Second Chance and a $25 (USD) Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)

Ends March 17, 2021


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The Soldier’s Unexpected Family is squeaky clean romance set in Hollydale, a small town with a big heart. Aidan and Natalie are vying for their stewardship of little boy Danny, who lost his mother co-guardian a best friend and one an uncle. A lot of the book is taken up by their battering of white way is the best way and which environment will be the best. Planning and discipline or home grown love and stability of placement. There’s discussion of counseling, trauma and avoiding uncomfortable feelings through distraction and projects, or over controlling one’s life plan.

I loved Hollydale’s quirky characters. The pie contest bribes and wars, the Mayor who is willing to look for unconventional leadership options. There is a strong sense of family and duty to country. At times the dialogue seems a bit repetitive between the two main characters. Overall, it’s a light summer read with a homey feel. I loved the larger print paperback and the cover image fits the story well. Thanks to the author who was amazingly kind and to the book tour hosts.

Content and trigger warnings: mention of death, night terrors. Clean.


Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

02 Mar, 2021 by in ya, YA contemporary Leave a comment

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

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

Chasing Lucky

on November 10th 2020
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
Buy the BookGoodreads
Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…


The Saint-Martins are cursed in love and relationships. Their town Beauty is built on half-truths and digging up dirt on others, then spreading it like wildfire. Josie, an amateur photographer, daughter of a famous professional photographer, has moved back with her mother after many years away. Sucked into the vortex of their past and their messy history, Josie wants to get away. The St. Martin girls live in and run the family business– Siren’s Book Nook. Who lurks in first day back, but Lucky Karras, bad boy and former crush?

There’s so much more to this contemporary YA than the dreamy seascape atmosphere. It’s about learning to break down invisible walls and navigating communication….second chances and keeping promises. Nothing is as it seems at first glance. Family is complicated, but loyal.

Love, Love, Loved Chasing Lucky! Thank you Simon and Schuster for the review copy.

Quote: “But Beauty is an insanely finger-wagging, gossipy town that has made an art of shunning outcasts since it was a colonial village, and people are publicly judged, facts or no facts.” (p.45)

Content and trigger warnings: mention of pornography, predatory relationship, homelessness, stalking, moderate swearing, abortion, sneaking out, lying, misuse of personal images, talk of sex, parental neglect.

About the Author

Jenn Bennett is the author of over a dozen books, including the young adult titles: ALEX, APPROXIMATELY; STARRY EYES; SERIOUS MOONLIGHT; and THE LADY ROGUE. She also writes romance and fantasy for adults. Her books have earned multiple starred reviews, been Goodreads Choice Award nominees, and have been included on annual Best Book lists for both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two dogs. Visit her at

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These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

25 Feb, 2021 by in young adult fiction Leave a comment

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

These Violent Delights  by Chloe Gong

These Violent Delights

on November 17th 2020
Pages: 449
Format: Hardcover
Buy the BookGoodreads
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.


1920’s re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet set in Shanghai, China. Blood feuds, gangs, opium dens, a contagion, politics. These Violent Delights is fast paced and vicious. What I loved most of all was rich world building based on history and the multi-layered storytelling. All that glitters is not gold. Chloe Gong knows her characters and the forces behind imperial China.

Juliette is fierce. Princess of the Red Flowers, sent away to speakeasy New York, the heroine collides with her Eastern roots when she returns to Shanghai. Roma is Russian, heir to the White Flower regime, he will risk it all for the one he loves.

Action packed with visually lush scenes and constant intrigue. Two rival gangs need to find common ground. Communism is on the rise, workers are unhappy, all the while people are dying and a monster is lurking.

There’s so much to love. This is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Unique. I plan to read the whole series.

Thanks to McElderry books for the book, the cover is beautiful!

Content: heavy violence, drinking, opium.

About the Author

Chloe Gong is an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, studying English and International Relations. During her breaks, she’s either at home in New Zealand or visiting her many relatives in Shanghai. Chloe has been known to mysteriously appear by chanting “Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s best plays and doesn’t deserve its slander in pop culture” into a mirror three times. You can find her on Twitter @thechloegong, check out her website at or email her at

Lamb of God- The Concert Film

17 Feb, 2021 by in movie Leave a comment

New Concert Film LAMB OF GOD Announces Big Screen Release Date
-Film Opens Exclusively in Theaters on Friday, March 12-

Salt Lake City – Writer, Director and Composer Rob Gardner in partnership with Excel Entertainment and Purdie Distribution announced today the release of a new, groundbreaking concert film adaptation of Gardner’s acclaimed oratorio, LAMB OF GOD. The new film opens in
theatres nationwide on Friday, March 12, 2021, featuring acclaimed performers, a never-before-heard song and narration.

Told entirely through music, LAMB OF GOD portrays the final week in the life of Jesus Christ. The story is told from the perspective of those who loved and followed Him, including Peter, John, Thomas, Mary and Martha of Bethany, Mary Magdalene, and Christ’s mother,
Mary. Filmed in Utah at the Utah Film Studios in Park City, LAMB OF GOD stars acclaimed musical artists Casey Elliott of GENTRI, Oyoyo Bonner, Tyler Hardwick, Katherine Thomas, Emily Moffat, and many more.

“I’ve dreamed and planned for years to create a concert film of ‘Lamb of God’ and I am thrilled to bring this new cinematic, can’t miss experience to long-time fans and newcomers alike,” said creator Rob Gardner. “We brought together a world-class, once-in-a-lifetime cast
and crew to create this film. And I am absolutely overjoyed that we are able to release it in theatres in time for Easter, and help bring light and hope so desperately needed at this time.”

Fans have compared “Lamb of God” to Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem and in the past decade, “Lamb of God” has been performed throughout the world by tens of thousands of performers for millions of fans encompassing nearly every Christian faith. In addition, the original recording of “Lamb of God” featuring the London Symphony Orchestra and Spire Chorus has been streamed millions of times. The new big-screen version features a new, original song as well as updated narration.
“This unique film brings Gardner’s incredible music to the big screen for the first time,” said Brandon Purdie, founder of Purdie Distribution and co-producer of the film. “Audiences will be thrilled to experience this sacred music in a whole new way.”

For more information, visit

About The Show: This Easter, experience the power of the last week of Jesus Christ’s mortal ministry as told through the widely celebrated and sacred oratorio, LAMB OF GOD. This unique concert film brings composer Rob Gardner’s work to the big screen for the first time. Join us for breathtaking performances from new soloists, a new orchestration, and a close-up view of this work that has been compared to Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Requiem.

About Rob Gardner: Rob Gardner began his musical career in high school as a member of and arranger for the a cappella band Two Five Nine. The group recorded 5 albums together and, while in college, toured around the country. From there, Rob began composing original works for film, theater and the concert stage. He is the author of a handful of stage musicals, including Blackbeard, The Price of Freedom, and 12 Princesses. Rob has also composed several sacred music oratorios. Rob is an accomplished producer and conductor and appears regularly on the concert stage conducting his works.

Rob has a bachelor’s degree in Management and Entrepreneurship from Brigham Young University. He also attended the University of Southern California, doing graduate studies in the prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program. He currently resides in Gilbert, AZ.

Trailer Link: