Category Archives: Giveaway

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Chomps Snack Sticks

Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for that hard to buy for guy in your life? Or how about something you can gift without adding to the empty-calorie filled goodies you are running into everywhere during this holiday season?

Give them a snack they’ll love–Chomps Snack Sticks!

So why isn’t Chomps like your average beef snack stick?  Well first, they are made with 100% Non-GMO Grass-Fed Angus Beef which is sourced from New Zealand.  I don’t think any other brand can say that!  Even better, the sticks contain no artificial ingredients (no nitrites, nitrates, MSG, colors, flavors) and are shelf stable for a year with the help of celery juice! But how do they taste?  I got to try the three flavors and find out!


Original Flavor is the one you will enjoy if you love snack sticks such as Slim Jim.  Think of this as a better for you version of that!  The stick is hefty at one entire ounce (lots of brands are under this), and has a fantastic beefy flavor.  You can tell when you open the wrapper that this is quality meat–there is no yucky orange grease anywhere to be seen.


Hoppin’ Jalapeno is the one you should try if you want a bit more spice!  Made with real jalapeno powder, it offers a pleasing tongue tingle but not an overwhelming burn.  You will know you are eating something jalapeno-flavored, and you will enjoy it.


Crankin’ Cran is the spicy-sweet snack for those who want to turn up the heat!  This one is made with habanero and cranberry.  So you are getting a good kick of heat but the tartness of the cranberry is there to add another level of flavor! This was my favorite one, even though I needed some water when I was done🙂

Chomps Snack Sticks are the perfect protein filled pickup you need to make it through your day.  They are amazing  whether you have them post workout, on the go, in the office, or serve them to your kids after school!


If you’re ready to get some of this beefy goodness in your house, be sure to enter the giveaway to win a box of goodies from the company, including these three flavors of Chomps and much more!


Super Middle Grade Mondays SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Jennie K. Brown #SuperMGMondays



Welcome to this week’s Super Middle Grade Mondays
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9books!

Today, we get up close and personal with

Jennie K. Brown

author of Poppy Mayberry, The Monday
a 2016 title coming from Tantrum Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!



Jennie K. Brown is a high school English teacher by day, freelance magazine writer by night, and middlegrade/young adult author by late-night and weekend. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Jennie can be found reading a good book, traveling, or spending time with her awesome husband, amazing son and super-spoiled yorkie.In 2010, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) named Jennie the Pennsylvania English teacher of excellence, and she currently serves as President of the Pennsylvania Council for Teachers of English and Language Arts (PCTELA). She is also an active member of SCBWI, NCTE and ALAN.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram


Inspiration with Jennie K. Brown


Many people have asked me where I got the big idea about having magical powers based on the day of the week you’re born for my MG novel POPPY MAYBERRY, THE MONDAY. So, I’ve written a bit about my inspiration below!

The idea actually came to me when I was stopped at a red light in my hometown. I glanced up at the Starbucks on the corner across the street to see a young girl tossing a ball into the air. From the angle I watched, it looked as if the girl was controlling the ball with her mind. At pretty much the same time I asked myself, What day of the week is it? (I have a tendency to lose track of the days over the summer!) And then I put those thoughts together – What if a person had certain powers depending on the day of the week? Or what if a person had a special power specific to the day of the week in which they were born? And that’s where I got the concept for Poppy’s town of Nova. Then I took that a step further and gave certain powers to certain days of the week. If you check out this link, you can see what day of the week you were born and the power behind that day!

Monday – telekinetic powers (controlling things with your mind)
Tuesday – teleportation
Wednesday – energy/electricity manipulation
Thursday – mind reading (So cool!)
Friday – invisibility (disappearing!)
Saturday and Sunday – powerless  (This is funny, because I was actually born on a Saturday myself!)

In POPPY MAYBERRY, THE MONDAY, the main character (Poppy Mayberry) is struggling with her telekinetic Monday power. Because of this she is sent to a remedial summer camp for the powerless – Power Academy – where she gets teamed up with her archrival, a mind reading Thursday, and a few other weekday hopefuls to combat the awful headmistress Clothes-too-tight Larriby and her equally awful sidekick. The novel is set to release in April 2016 with a sequel in December! Find out more and Jennie and her writing inspiration on her website

🙂    Jennie



What if your teacher could read your mind just because she was born on a Thursday? Or the kid next to you in class could turn back the clock just because he was a ‘Wednesday”? In the quirky town of Nova, all of this is normal, but one thing is not—Poppy Mayberry. As an almost-eleven-year-old Monday, she should be able to pass notes in class or brush her dog, Pickle, without lifting a finger. But her Monday telekinesis still has some kinks, and that plate of spaghetti she’s passing may just end up on someone’s head. And if that’s not hard enough, practically perfect Ellie Preston is out to get her, and Principal Wible wants to send her to remedial summer school to work on her powers! It’s enough to make a girl want to disappear…if only she were a Friday.

“Whimsical, imaginative, and fun. Poppy Mayberry is a modern Annie – immediately likable, charming and spunky. Kids will be rooting for this wonderful heroine from page one.”
— Robert Beatty, New York Times Bestselling Author of SERAFINA AND THE BLACK CLOAK

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Poppy Mayberry, The Monday
by Jennie K. Brown
Publication Date:  September 2016
Publisher:  Month9Books



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Two for Thursday Book Blitz: The Night House by Rachel Tafoya and The Emissary by Kristal Shaff with Giveaway #T4T



Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

The Night House by Rachel Tafoya and
The Emissary by Kristal Shaff!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


The Night House_Final

Bianca St. Germain works at a Night House, a place where vampires like the aristocratic Jeremiah Archer, pay to feed on humans, and she doesn’t much care what others think of her. The money is good, and at least there, she’s safe. Bianca also doesn’t care that the Night House is killing her. All she cares about is: nauth, the highly addictive poison in vampire bites that brings a euphoria like no drug ever could.

But when Bianca meets James, a reclusive empath who feels everything she does, for the first time, she considers a life outside of the Night House and a someone worth living for. But Jeremiah has decided to keep Bianca for himself; he won’t allow her to walk away.

As she allows her feelings for James to grow, she struggles to contain nauth’s strong hold on her life. If they are to have a future, James must make her see what she’s worth, what she means to him, before Jeremiah and nauth claim her for good.

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“This is not your usual vampire book. The inceptions and the mystery messed with my head and I loved every moment of it.  ”Paula, Her Book Thoughts


“Rachel Tafoya brought vampires back to life for me, made them mysterious and intriguing again.”Jaime, The Best Books Ever


“I found Rachel Tafoya’s debut to be an entertaining read with a unique plot, super interesting world, and great character development! I found myself thoroughly immersed in the world of The Night House.” – Jessica, Jessabella Reads


Rachel Tafoya studied creative writing while at Solebury School and was published in their student run literary magazine, SLAM. She attended a writing program for teens at both Susquehanna University and Denison University, and the Experimental Writing for Teens class and Novels for Young Writers program, both run by NY Times bestselling author, Jonathan Maberry. Rachel is the daughter crime author Dennis Tafoya.

Connect with the Author:  Tumbler | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads


The Emissary

For hundreds of years, dark clouds covered the skies of Adamah, and an ageless king ruled. Those who emerged with one of six extraordinary Shay powers were forced into the king’s army, an unmatched force with inhuman Strength, Speed, Accuracy, Perception, Empathy, and Healing. With the army at his side, the king—a man who wields all six abilities—was invincible and unquestioned in his rule. To most, serving the king was an honor. And for some, it was a fate worse than death.

When seventeen-year-old Nolan Trividar witnesses the transformation of his brother from kind to cruel after entering the king’s army, he vows never to follow the same path. So when his own power—the Shay of Accuracy—comes upon him at the Tournament of Awakening, Nolan conceals his emergence instead of joining the king’s ranks. For years, he traitorously hides his power, pretending to be a gifted scribe. But when Nolan comes face-to-face with a deserter, the man discovers his secret. To evade detection and a death sentence, Nolan escapes with the deserter and flees into a night filled with dark creatures who steal both powers and souls.

Nolan joins a resistance, a village hidden deep in the forest, filled with others who secretly wield a Shay. But his peace is short lived when they discover that the dark clouds, the undead creatures, their own decreasing powers, and even the king, are all connected.

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If you like super powers/magic, character development, and reading on the edge of your seat then I highly recommend this book to you!” – Aisazia, Originique Quanimity


“It’s a great YA fantasy book with all the things that make for a memorable high fantasy.”Ashley, The A P Book Club


“Between the magical elements, the rebellion against a psychotically evil king, the group of rebels who band together to become a family of sorts who fight and sacrifice for each other, amazing fighting scenes, truly creepy zombie-like creatures who add even more danger to the game, and even a bit of romance, this definitely goes on my “must read” list – I highly recommend!” – Michelle McLean, Author




Kristal Shaff


Kristal Shaff grew up with books (and used to drive her mom crazy when she wouldn’t leave the library); her first job was even shelving books at the library. She loves anything creative, and you can often find her exploring strange and fantastical worlds in her choices of movies and fantasy fiction. Kristal resides in Iowa with her farmer husband, numerous pets, and 3 awesome  kids (plus one more on the way though the journey of adoption). When she isn’t writing, she is a professional face painter who enjoys making children smile.

 Author Links:  Website  | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads



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REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Crow Made a Friend by Margaret Peot

Crow Made a Friend

by Margaret Peot

Children’s Fiction

Book Description

Try, try again is the lesson Crow teaches beginning readers in this picture book reader. Crow was all alone. But like all crows, he was very clever. Using autumn leaves for wings, sticks for the body and a crab apple for the head, Crow made a friend! But winter winds blew in, destroying his creation. Undaunted, Crow fashioned another bird friend out of snow but could not prevent it from melting in the warm spring sun. Alone again, Crow heard the caw, caw, caw of a real, live bird. Together they built a nest and by summer, Crow had a family. This warm, satisfying story, celebrates perseverance and ingenuity.



My first grader and I read this book together! It’s the perfect length for a bedtime story, not too wordy and with only a sentence or two on each page.

This book is about a crow who’s lonely, and tries to make himself friends.  The crow fails a couple of times, but he never quits.  I like that the lesson of perseverance is taught in the book in a way that’s not super blatant or detracts from the story.

The reason I took away one star is that I felt the ending was a little rushed and not something kids could understand–crow meets another crow and then suddenly there is a family?  As an adult, I got it I suppose, but my seven year old was like, “Mom, where did the family come from?”

My child’s favorite part was definitely the gorgeous illustrations.  He loved pointing out the crows’ beautiful and shiny feathers, especially on the last page when they were all together.

Crow Made a Friend is a super book for beginning readers and one your child will be happy to share with you.

About the Author

Margaret is an artist, writer and costume painter. Margaret has two new books out in 2015, Stencil Craft (F&W) and an early reader picture book, Crow Made a Friend (Holiday House). Margaret’s book Inkblot: Drip, Splat and Squish Your Way to Creativity (Boyds Mills 2011) was awarded a Eureka! Silver Medal for non-fiction children’s books. She is also the author of The Successful Artist’s Career Guide (F&W 2012), Alternative Art Journals (F&W 2012), and Make Your Mark (Chronicle Books, 2004), voted one of Library Journal’s best how-to books of 2004.

An avid believer that art making can be for everyone, Margaret has presented art workshops with cancer survivors, elders, children, parent and teen groups, writers, nurses and caregivers, at The Creative Center at University Settlement’s Creative Aging conferences, and their Artist-in-Residence Training program, with EngAGE Utah, at Gilda’s Club, The Huntsman Cancer Institute, Operation Exodus in NYC, and at Miami University’s Scripps center with Dr. Like Lokon, and Opening Minds Through Art.

Connect with Margaret

Website | | Facebook | Twitter Pinterest (Crow) | Pinterest (Birding)


Amazon | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble


One reader will receive a copy of Crow Made a Friend!

Let me know which animal is your child’s favorite in a comment below!


Two for Thursday Book Blitz & Giveaway: Shadows Fall Away by Kit Forbes and Last Siege of Haven (The Undertakers #4) by Ty Drago #T4T



Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

Shadows Fall Away by Kit Forbes and
Last Siege of Haven (The Undertakers #4) by Ty Drago

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!



Mark Stewart is one incident away from becoming a juvenile delinquent, and his parents have had enough. They ship Mark off to London, England, to stay with his eccentric aunt Agatha who is obsessed with all things Jack the Ripper. After a strange twist of luck, Mark is struck by lightning, and he wakes to find himself in 1888 Victorian London. His interest in a string of murders Scotland Yard has yet to solve make him a likely suspect. After all, why would a young boy like Mark know so much about the murders? Could he be the ripper they’ve been searching for? Convinced the only way to get back home is to solve the murders, Mark dives headfirst into uncovering the truth. Mark’s only distraction comes in the form of the beautiful Genie Trembly, a girl who is totally out of his league and who may have already caught the attention of the infamous ripper. To save her, he’ll endanger both their lives, and risk being trapped in the past forever.

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“If you enjoy YA time-travel mysteries, I think you’ll like this fast-paced novel.”Kimber Leigh Wheaton, Author


“I found Shadows Fall Away to be extremely engrossing. It’s the type of book you want to start and finish in one day because you can’t put it down.”Jennifer Bardsley, Author


“’Shadows Fall Away’ is a gripping and imaginative young adult novel that mixes time travel, historical fiction, and mystery to keep readers on the edge of their seats.” – Stephanie, A Dream Within A Dream



Kit Forbes

Kit Forbes has  been a lover of books, history, and all things paranormal for as long as she can remember. She lives in Western Pennsylvania with her youngest daughter and an assortment of cats who give new meaning to the world bizarre.

 Author Links:  Website | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest



While away on an undercover mission, Undertaker Will Ritter has made an unthinkable alliance…with a Corpse! But though Robert Dillin (aka ‘The Zombie Prince’) is indeed one of those alien invaders who animate and possess the bodies of the dead — unlike the rest of his kind, Dillin isn’t evil. In fact, he wants to help. And Will needs that help, because the Queen of the Dead has learned the location of Haven, the Undertakers’ secret HQ, and is planning a massive and deadly assault.

With the last day of the Corpse War finally upon them, Will and his friends find themselves in a desperate race to close the Rift between worlds and forever kill the Corpses. But can they do before Haven is overrun?

For that matter, can they do it at all?

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Over all I really liked the book. It was literally nonstop action and I read most of it on one night because it was so great.” – Monomaniacal Middle Grade Reviewer


“Ty Drago, an extremely talented author, has once again proven the adult mind can be as creative and intuitive as a child’s.”Ryan – Amazon Reviewer


“Fantastic conclusion to the series! Has us on the edge of our seats, and by the end, cheering and crying at the same time.” – Felicia, Amazon Reviewer



Ty Drago

Ty Drago does his writing just across the river from Philadelphia, where the Undertakers novels take place.  In addition to The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses,The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead, and The Undertakers: Secret of the Corpse Eater, he is the author of The Franklin Affair and Phobos, as well as short stories and articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including Writer’s Digest.  He currently lives in southern New Jersey with his wife and best friend, the real Helene Drago née Boettcher.

 Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads






TWO FOR THURSDAY: The Pretty Dark Nothing Series by Heather L. Reid


Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

The Pretty Dark Nothing series by Heather L. Reid!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!





It’s been twenty three days since Quinn has slept for more than minutes at a time. Demons have invaded her dreams, stalking her, and whispering of her death. The lack of sleep and crippling fear are ruining her life. Energy drinks and caffeine pills don’t make a dent. When Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. The demons are determined to keep them apart, and Aaron from discovering the secret locked away in his memory. Together, they could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.

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What Readers are Saying:


“This is a surprisingly very psychologically draining book and reminded me of the first season American Horror Story and Stephen King’s Carrie.” – Syahira – Requiem for More Books


“The characters, the world building, the plot… I really think the author had great control over her craft.”Alyssa – Eater of Books


“This is a thrilling story that will keep you up at night!” Katie – Curse of the Bibliophile





It’s been five weeks, two days, and eight hours since the demons forced Quinn to throw herself into the raging river, since Aaron sacrificed himself to save her, since his body disappeared without a trace.

Everyone wants Quinn to move on, but she can’t, not after a spirit appears to her at Aaron’s memorial, convincing her he’s still alive.

When a mysterious box materializes on the very spot Aaron disappeared, Quinn finds she’s at the center of an ancient prophesy of betrayal, revenge, and sacrifice that takes her to the depths of the underworld to face Lilith—Adam’s first wife.

If Quinn can stop Lilith from unleashing the demon horde Eve, trapped inside the box during the Battle of Eden millennia ago, she will save the human realm and free Aaron from an eternity in torment.

All it will cost is her blood.

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What Readers are Saying:


“A love story that lasts for eternity.”
Sherry, Fundinmental


  “This book was engrossing and engaging, and functioned well as a sequel novel.”Alyssa – Eater of Books


 “…I definitely recommend giving this series a try if you’re looking for a refreshing take on demons or like paranormal romance.” – Analee – Book Snacks








Heather L. Reid is both American and British and has called six different cities in three different countries, home. Her strong sense of wanderlust and craving for a new adventure mean you might find her wandering the moors of her beloved Scotland, exploring haunted castles, or hiking through a magical forest in search of fairies and sprites. When she’s not venturing into the unknown in her real life, she loves getting lost in the worlds of video games or curling up by the fire with good story. For now, this native Texan is back in the Lone Star State, settling down with her Scottish husband and writing new tales of fantasy and horror.

Connect with the Author:  

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr | Pinterest | Instagram




Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win copies of the series!





TWO FOR THURSDAY: The Dragonrider Chronicles by Nicole Conway


Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!

Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!

You just might find your next read!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

The Dragonrider Chronicles by Nicole Conway!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Fledgling cover

Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?

Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.

While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.

Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.

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“The author has taken the dragon concept putting her own unique spin and creating a captivating new series that spark the imagination.” – MandyThe Reading Diaries

“Nicole Conway does a fantastic job creating her world and describing it in a way that the images fill my head while reading.” – Cassandra – Lost in Books

“It was a nice, fast read and I’m really hoping that we learn more about the Grey Elves, the war and the Dragons in future books because this series has the potential to be really great.” – Natalie – Book Lovers Life


What kind of power is lurking inside him? After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves. Jaevid must face a new fear as he is tormented by a gruesome nightmare of a mysterious gray elf warrior murdering the royal family of Maldobar. It seems obvious to him that this is some kind of message about how the war started long ago—until Felix assures him the king is very much alive. With his strange powers growing stronger by the day, and that violent dream replaying in his mind every night, Jaevid no longer wonders if he will pass his avian year or not—he wonders if he will even survive it. The truth will soon be set loose.

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“I highly recommend this series to fans of Eragon and Lord of the Rings because those movies jump to mind a lot when I’m reading this series.” – Cassandra –Lost in Books

“This was a very exciting book two that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could to see what would happen next.” – Jasmyn – Bitten by Romance

“This is a sequel of pure perfection!” – Nay – Nay’s Pink Bookshelf



Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.


Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Two winners will each receive a digital copy of the books!






 by Holly Hook 

The Deathwind Trilogy, Book One

Book Description

Sixteen-year-old Allie isn’t like other girls. Instead of spending her summer break sitting around on the beach, she takes the epic vacation of a lifetime.

Tornado chasing.

And she’s not disappointed. Just a few miles from the town of Evansburg, Nebraska, Allie meets her dream of seeing a tornado. In person. She can’t wait to tell her friends back home. Never mind that her parents are going to kill her.

But her dream soon turns into a nightmare, and a strange event leaves her shocked. Confused. When she returns home to Wisconsin, something’s…different. Allie now bears a curse so awful, it could destroy everyone and everything she’s ever known.

With her best friend, Tommy, Allie must return to the plains to find a way to reverse it. She enters a world that she had never imagined, where she becomes a pawn in a fight to save the people of Evansburg from her fate…or to destroy them.

About the Author

Holly Hook is the author of the Destroyers Series, which consists of five young adult books about teens who are walking disasters…literally. She is also the author of the Rita Morse series, a young adult fantasy series still in progress, and After These Messages, a short ya comedy. Currently she is writing Twisted, a spin-off of the Destroyers Series due out in December. When not writing, she enjoys reading books for teens, especially ya fantasy and paranormal series with a unique twist.
Author links:



Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)

Signed copy of Twisted by Holly Hook


Xpresso Book Tours

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

The Wonder of All Things

by Jason Mott

Literary Fiction

Book Description

On an ordinary day, at an air show like that in any small town across the country, a plane crashes into a crowd of spectators. After the dust clears, a thirteen-year-old girl named Ava is found huddled beneath a pocket of rubble with her best friend, Wash. He is injured and bleeding, and when Ava places her hands over him, his wounds disappear.

Ava has an unusual gift: she can heal others of their physical ailments. Until the air show tragedy, her gift was a secret. Now the whole world knows, and suddenly people from all over the globe begin flocking to her small town, looking for healing and eager to catch a glimpse of The Miracle Child. But Ava’s unique ability comes at a great cost, and as she grows weaker with each healing, she soon finds herself having to decide just how much she’s willing to give up in order to save the ones she loves most.



The Wonder of All Things by Jason Mott

From the moment a plane crashes at an air show and 13 year old Ava saves her best friend from death, her life is changed. She doesn’t even understand the “powers” she has, but others seems to think they do–and that it is Ava’s responsibility to heal the world. Nevermind the fact that each time she heals, her own health deteriorates. It’s up to her father, Macon, stepmom Carmen, and best friend Wash to try to help her cope and to keep her safe from a world that would take everything from her, no matter what the cost.

Unfortunately, all the adults in both Ava’s and Wash’s lives make some terrible decisions. Both kids are mature beyond their years because of tragedies they have had to endure, but it’s sad when 13 year olds seems to know how to take better care of themselves than their guardians do. As soon as the world realizes what Ava did, they are in her face asking her to heal them and their loved ones. Even Ava’s own stepmother inevitably asks Ava for something. Macon, who is not only Ava’s dad but the town’s sheriff, does a bad job at keeping his daughter away from those who want to test and exploit her. Every person in this novel is more than a little bit lost, and every person seems to be looking out for themselves first.

This made me very angry for Ava, from the beginning. It’s very unclear to me why Macon did not take the offensive and tell the world that his daughter was slowly dying each time she performed her “miracles.” Would the people have cared? It’s hard to say, but it would have shown that Macon took a hard stance on protecting his child, which is sometimes questionable when you consider his actions.

In spite of all these frustrations, I got this book finished very quickly. The relationship between Ava and Wash was very special, and it’s obvious from the beginning that they need each other. Since both kids have one parent dead and one that’s on a weird path, they are the only constants in each others’ lives. Every moment the kids spend together is extremely touching and your heart just aches for them because you have this feeling that not everything will turn out the way it should.

By the end, events were moving very quickly and chaotically, and still not everyone had found their head. I won’t spoil it here, but the end is very emotional and moving. I don’t think it will make everyone happy, it may leave them angry (as it did for me), and still others may find it a bit ambiguous. But that goes along with the theme of the entire book and Ava’s mysterious abilities. After all, this is a story about a child, which can be forgotten as you read along. At its’ heart, this novel brings up numerous questions to which there are no right answers.

View all my reviews

About the Author

JASON MOTT holds a BA in fiction and an MFA in poetry both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and is the author of two poetry collections. His writing has appeared in numerous literary journals, and he was nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize. In addition to the rare achievement of receiving starred reviews from all four of the top publishing industry magazines—Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews—The Returned was named a “People Pick” by People magazine, and was featured in Essence, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post, among others.  Mott also appeared on numerous broadcast programs including NPR’s All Things Considered and Tell Me MoreThe Travis Smiley Show, the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Radio Show and many local television shows across the U.S. Mott lives in North Carolina.

Connect with Jason

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


One reader will win a copy of The Wonder of All Things! US/CAN only please.  Ends August 14, 2015.

To enter, please leave a comment telling me if you have read any of Jason Mott’s books or if you’ve seen the show based on The Returned!

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Confessions of a Queen B* by Crista McHugh

Confessions of a Queen B*

by Crista McHugh

YA Contemporary

Book Description

Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch.

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she’s carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways.

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check.
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check.
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan.

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

3 fleur


Confessions of a Queen B* by Crista McHugh

This short tale gets three stars, but just barely. To be honest, it’s full of stereotypical characters, decisions that make no sense, and predictable moments. But at its’ heart, it had a compelling theme that kept me reading until I finished it in one sitting.

Our main character is Alexis, senior and resident gossip blogger at her high school. There apparently is enough going on at this school that Alexis has gained quite the rep: if you’re trying to hide something nefarious, she will find out, and it will be posted on her blog for the entire school to see!

It should come as no shock that Alexis doesn’t have many friends. Her besties are the outliers; a flamboyantly gay Asian kid, and a sex grazed Goth girl. Other than that, everyone else in school is pretty much scared of her. Except for one boy: quarterback and student body president Brett Pederson.

It just so happens that Brett and Alexis get paired up for a school project. Though Alexis does her bitchy best to repel him, Brett is immune and instead seems to want to get to know her better. Alexis must learn to let her guard down around him, which she never does with ANYONE.

As I said, the book is full of stereotypical characters–the gay boy that can only talk about penis (wtf, I know that’s not all he thinks about), the head cheerleader with fake boobs, the quarterback that is nothing but perfect. I saw another review that said if you can remember Freddie Prinze Jr’s character in She’s All That, then you’ve got Brett–and that is a SPOT ON observation. Even when it comes to his parents putting pressure on him about college. That is literally the only problem he has in his life. He is too good to be true, and that does not make a good YA character.

Alexis does have a bit more depth, and getting peeks into her true feelings is what kept me interested. Alexis cannot let anyone see her true self; I think she does not know how. She’s also concerned about losing her status at school, though she would never admit it. If she’s not the Queen Bitch, then what is she? Her struggles with her identity are a bit buried, but there if you are looking.

Apparently this book is the first in a series, but I’m not sure if I’ll be continuing. I might though, just to see what Alexis turns into once she breaks out of her high school mold.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.

She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

For the latest updates, deleted scenes, and answers to any burning questions you have, please check out her webpage,

Xpresso Book Tours