BEAUTY IS IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER: THE BELLES by Dhonielle Clayton, Event Recap Post + Giveaway!!


Thank you for stopping by on our tour stop of THE BELLES by Dhonielle Clayton, hosted by ROCKSTAR Book Tours. We became fans of the book with it's lush writing and intricate world centered on beauty and all the we are willing to do to attain it. THE BELLES is captivating, enchanting and equally disturbing and you cannot help but keep reading it until the very end. 

Not only did we get a chance to read THE BELLES but we got the chance to meet the author as she came to visit our favorite bookstore, Kepler's Books in Menlo Park. Dhonielle was not alone she had great company and conversation with local author, Sabaa Tahir. Both had a great time and kept everyone entertained. For those of you that did not have this honor I have included the event in my post below. Please check it out and make sure to enter in the giveaway posted at the end. 


DHONIELLE CLAYTON and SABAA TAHIR at Kepler's Books










Title: THE BELLES
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Pub. Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 448
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD


Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.
But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever. 


About Dhonielle:
Dhonielle Clayton (“Dhon” like “Don” or “Dawn”) spent most of her childhood under her grandmother’s dining room table with a stack of books.
She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side, but now lives in New York City. She was an extremely fussy and particular child with an undying love for Cheerios (honey nut only), pink lemonade, and frosted animal cookies. A self-proclaimed school nerd, she loved covering her books with brown paper and filled her locker with Lisa Frank stickers. She loved putting headings on her homework, odd-looking pens and freshly sharpened pencils, and numerous notebooks to fill with her research. On most Saturdays you could find her with her equally nerdy Dad at Crown Books and then the comic bookstore where she stocked up on her weekly reading material. Plus, she was so spoiled that her grandfather took her to the library after school almost daily.


She attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School because her parents thought Catholic school would keep her out of trouble. She went to Wake Forest University, and studied pre-med until she received a fateful F in Chemistry. This setback prompted her to change her major to English, and earned a BA. She rediscovered her love of children’s fiction by re-reading Harriet the Spy, which pushed her to earn an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and an MFA Writing for Children at the New School.


She taught secondary school for several years – at a pre-professional ballet academy and a private K-8 school. She spent most of her twenties in and out of America – living in London, Paris, a small Japanese town, Bermuda – and wandering the planet. She’s been on five out of seven continents, and has grand plans to reach all of them.


She is a former elementary and middle school librarian, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent – and decidedly diverse – literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers. She is also COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books.


What’s next? She will be enrolling in culinary school in New York City and plans to open up a restaurant in the city of her soul, Edinburgh, Scotland.


Giveaway Details: International
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE BELLES, US Only.


Ends on February 20th at Midnight EST!


Rafflecopter Code:
Rafflecopter Link:


Tour Schedule:
Week One:
2/5/2018- Adventures of a Book Junkie- Interview
2/6/2018- The Young FolksReview
2/7/2018- YA BibliophileReview
2/8/2018- YA Books CentralInterview
2/9/2018- Ex LibrisReview

Week Two:
2/12/2018- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
2/13/2018- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderEvent Recap Post
2/14/2018- NerdophilesReview
2/15/2018- Novel NoviceGuest Post

2/16/2018- Mundie MomsReview

HOW TO DATE A DOUCHEBAG: The Coaching Hours by Sara Ney, REVIEW


   

THE DOUCHEBAGS HAVE RETURNED!! and I could not be a happier human. I am the first to admit my faux pas in not reading Sara Ney's books from the start (bad Nancy!!) but I am seriously making up for lost moments of smexy, sweet, and swoony boys that only Sara can deliver while making me laugh out loud.

Ana and Elliot's story is a great addition to this series and I could not seem to get enough of their story. The friends to lovers trope is always a favorite of mine and Sara Ney does a fine job of bringing these two together because I can always appreciate a good slow burning romance that turns into a full on five alarm fire. Although they are smoking the pages with their interactions I find them to be the most relatable and possibly my favorite couple of this series.

The douchebag hero is M.I.A. in this story, but that is not to say they are not hanging around being totally douchey (thank you, Rex and Eric) and making you want to bag and tag them. Every story needs a bit of angst and drama and those two give it in spades. 

If you are a fan of this series HOW TO DATE A DOUCHEBAG: The Coaching Hours is a perfect addition to it's already stellar line up. Don't miss out on this read and for those that love college sports romances with a touch of humor and heart, it's a great addition to your library. Get this book now!









THERE ARE NO DOUCHEBAGS IN THIS STORY. Well, there are, but they’re not who this story is about. This story is about me—the coach’s daughter. When I moved to Iowa to live with my dad, the university's take-no-prisoners wrestling coach, I thought transferring would be easy as pie—living with my father would be temporary, and he'd make sure his douchebag wrestlers left me alone. Wrong on both counts. ASSHOLES ALWAYS COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH. A bet is placed, and I'm on the table. After one humiliating night and too much alcohol, I find the last nice guy on campus. And when he offers to rent me his spare bedroom, I go all in. It’s time for the nice guy to finish first. Midnight chats and spilling my problems turn to lingering touches. Lingering touches turn to more. And the ultimate good guy has the potential do more damage than any douchebags ever could.  

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU

         


Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte's, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British. She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog. 

Get to Know Tate & Why You Should Be Reading SHOOT THE MOON


Get to Know Tate & Shoot the Moon - Interview w/ Kate Watson

With Tate, you took a character that should be unlikeable and made the audience like him. What personality traits make him so tough to hate and how did his character come to you?

Tate is one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written. He has a lot of layers and not all of those layers will appeal to everyone, but I tried to make his complexities and motivations make sense. For all of his bad boy exterior, he’s ultimately hurting, and he uses his addiction to mask that. I’m a sucker for characters who are just better at something than others—whether that’s through natural talent or hard work—and Tate has that in spades. He’s brilliant at reading people, a trait he comes by naturally that he has honed to a careful science. Unfortunately, he’s been using his powers for evil instead of good, and he has a comeuppance to face.

"A wild journey into the depths of addiction, evoked with such intensity that readers may find themselves short of breath." — Booklist
However, at his core, Tate isn’t a bad person. He’s torn. He understands that his actions have consequences and that they’re hurting the people around him. But, like any addict, he isn’t ready to face that he has a problem and he isn’t sure how to address that problem, even if he were to admit the truth. I tried to place characters around him, especially his sponsor, Nia, who softened his sharp edges and made us (and him) see the truth behind his lies. I hope readers will connect with him and his struggles!

In Shoot the Moon, Tate is faced with an addiction he initially refuses to accept. What was your research process like get his part of his character arc right?

My research was abundant for this book. In addition to reading YA books about gamblers and addicts for literary research, I read the memoir of a gambling addict and spent a great deal of time on addiction forums. I visited virtual GA (Gambler’s Anonymous) meetings and sites and pored over GA literature. In addition to needing to understand a poker addiction, though, I had to try to understand replacement fixes, like how Tate uses lottery scratch-off tickets. That was a fascinating and heartbreaking bit of research. I recruited a clinician to read the manuscript for accuracy, and I also had a beta reader who has intimate knowledge of addiction. 

Reading what real addicts suffer was difficult, and for as much as I wanted to be authentic, the fact is that Tate got off lucky compared to most. 

With Shoot the Moon living in the classically-inspired space, which classic characters could you see being best friends (or worst enemies!) with Tate and Alex?

Oh, this is hard! Alex is obviously inspired by Estella from GREAT EXPECTATIONS, so those girls would be two miserable peas in a pod. I see Tate and Gastby being fast friends, neither of them being willing to hold the other to any sort of standard of behavior. But eventually, both Tate and Alex would tire of people who enable them. Tate seeks out people who challenge him to be better. His best friendships are always with women who cut through the crap and make him face himself, so Jane Eyre would probably be an excellent friend to and foil for him. And Alex, who craves a real connection with someone who sees her, would do well with a patient, long-suffering friend like Jane Bennett or John Watson.

What's a classic book that deserves a re-imagining/retelling? Any thoughts on who should tackle it? 

I would love to see a good retelling of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO! My favorite retellings of the last few years have been by Katie Nelson and Brittany Cavallaro. Katie’s update of THE GREAT GATSBY absolutely blew me away. She writes from the male POV with ease, and she puts a modern spin on outdated plot points and events that make them so accessible for today’s readers. Similarly, Brittany’s gender-bent Sherlock Holmes is done as well as any retelling I’ve ever read, and she has become an auto-buy author for me. I think either woman would do a killer adaptation of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO.


"Smart writing, complex characters, and high stakes abound--this sharp, clever novel is both fast-paced and heartbreaking." — Brittany Cavallaro, #1 NYT Bestselling Author of The Charlotte Holmes series

Shoot the Moon is your second YA book. How was writing Shoot the Moon different than Seeking Mansfield? What would you tell debut authors who are starting their second book?

They were so different! SEEKING MANSFIELD was an act of pure inspiration at a time when I had no deadlines or expectations, only hopes. SHOOT THE MOON, on the other hand, was sold on synopsis and came with a deadline attached. My editor was lovely and never pushed me, but the ticking clock element of it—and knowing I was hedged in to the synopsis—were tricky to deal with. I think I would have written the same story either way, but I wouldn’t have stressed about it as much. To debut authors tackling their sophomore novel: I feel your pain. Hang in there, try to put the pressures out of your mind, and when that fails, I send you all the virtual caffeine and candy.


Kate Watson is a young adult writer, wife, mother of two, and the tenth of thirteen children. Originally from Canada, she attended college in the States and holds a BA in Philosophy from Brigham Young University. A lover of travel, speaking in accents, and experiencing new cultures, she has studied in Israel and lived in Brazil, the American South, and now calls Arizona home. 

For several years, Kate worked as a senior director for a private university and was one of the faces of a national ad campaign for the university. Shortly following the birth of her first child, she chose to stay home full time and focus on her family and her writing. 

Her first novel, SEEKING MANSFIELD, debuted in 2017. A passionate adoption advocate, she is also a contributor to Eric Smith's WELCOME HOME adoption anthology. Her second book, SHOOT THE MOON, releases February 6th, 2018.

Follow her on social media


SHOOT THE MOON
by Kate Watson
Published: February 6th, 2018
Publisher: Flux Books
Source: Publisher

Despite what his brother and sponsor think, Tate isn't an addict. He has the 30-day chip to prove it. But when his father learns Tate's been running an illegal card room out of a friend's dorm to pay off old gambling debts, Tate is cut off. With his family no longer talking to him, his aunt Nora offers him a chance to intern for her political campaign. 

Juggling school with the intense internship, Tate finds himself buying scratch-off lottery tickets to take the edge off. Tate is surprised to find the beautiful and calculating Alex Wolf--his first crush and the girl who taught him how to gamble--volunteering with Nora's campaign, too. Soon, Tate is more drawn to Alex than ever. Her mind games stick in his head, but her vulnerable, softer side gets into his heart. 

But as tensions rise along the campaign trail, Tate is forced to question whether he's really addiction-free, after all.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS meets ROUNDERS in this high stakes tale of the cost of winning and the price of redemption.

Have Dress Will Follow: The Prince And The Dressmaker by Jen Wag Review


Nancy & Christy Chat THE PRINCE AND THE DRESSMAKER

Ahh, Sebastian and Frances. Aren’t these two characters just lovely? Talk about how they drew you in and impossible to not love. 

Nancy: This story about a teenage prince who likes to cross-dress and the seamstress that he finds to help him fulfill his dreams. Little did he realize that Frances has very big dreams of her own. Together they navigate the pains of growing up and like a fairytale they find acceptance, friendship and love. 

Christy: I love that Frances accepted Sebastian for who he is. Her support gave him the confidence to bring who he was on the inside to the outside. 

Let’s talk about the art in this story. What most engaged you? 

Nancy: Since I am new to graphic novel scene. I am slowly building my knowledge base, but I feel that the illustrations fit the narrative quite perfectly. They are fun and whimsical, a feast for the eyes.

Christy: The color palette! In graphic novels, color can tell a big part of the story. That is definitely the case with The Prince and the Dressmaker.

There’s a little part in the back about how this story was originally about adults. Why is it important that the characters were switched to the teen perspective? 

Nancy: I think that it’s important for this story to be seen in that teen perspective because of all the growing pains that come at this age. To see a story portrayed with such emotion and acceptance can mean so much.

Christy: We are seeing middle school youth struggle with coming into themselves in their changing friend groups. Having a medium that attracts them and shows that you CAN find your way in the world is so key! 



The Prince and the Dressmanker
Coming  February 13, 2018
Paperback: 288 pages // Publisher: First Second
ISBN-13: 978-1626723634
Find it on AmazonGoodreads
-------------------
Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:


Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!



Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart. 

Some of our favorite panels & art!


We love this panel because Frances is like, SEBASTIAN I have my own stuff going on. The world does not revolve around you! 




Come see what panels everyone else liked at the tour list!

Happy Release Day: HOW TO DATE A DOUCHEBAG: THE COACHING HOURS by SARA NEY


   




THERE ARE NO DOUCHEBAGS IN THIS STORY. Well, there are, but they’re not who this story is about. This story is about me—the coach’s daughter. When I moved to Iowa to live with my dad, the university's take-no-prisoners wrestling coach, I thought transferring would be easy as pie—living with my father would be temporary, and he'd make sure his douchebag wrestlers left me alone. Wrong on both counts. ASSHOLES ALWAYS COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH. A bet is placed, and I'm on the table. After one humiliating night and too much alcohol, I find the last nice guy on campus. And when he offers to rent me his spare bedroom, I go all in. It’s time for the nice guy to finish first. Midnight chats and spilling my problems turn to lingering touches. Lingering touches turn to more. And the ultimate good guy has the potential do more damage than any douchebags ever could.  

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU

       

EXCERPT

She perks up. “Wait, you’ve never had a back massage?”

“No?”

“Ever?”

“Nope.”

“Well, what the hell? How can I, in good conscience, lie here letting you rub my back when you’ve never had anyone rub yours?” She scoots over, pointing to the mattress. “Lie on your stomach, I’ll do you first.”

I wave my hands in front of me in protest. The last thing I need is her warm hands roaming my body. “No, no, you don’t have to. It’s not a big deal.”

“Are you crazy? Back massages are the best—like, better than an orgasm. You’re first, so lie down.”

“And you call me the bossy one?”

“Quit stalling and get on the bed.”

Obediently, I climb to the middle of my bed in nothing but a pair of gym shorts, legs hanging off the side. Next to me, the mattress dips, Anabelle on her knees, approaching my side.

A finger glides down my spine. “It will be easier for me to do this if I’m sitting on you. Hope that’s okay.”

“Is that the approved method?”

“No, but my arms will get tired if I have to lean over you the whole time.”

“Do whatever then, I don’t care.”

I stiffen when Anabelle swings one leg over my body, straddling my ass. Warm palms at my lower back.

“You’re so tense. Try to relax,” she coos, making it worse. “Tilt your head to the side, that’s it.”

I hear the lotion bottle snap open. Click closed. My roommate’s palms rubbing together, warming it up. “Sorry, I don’t have any actual massage oil. This will have to do.”

When her hands make contact with my back, I almost groan it feels so fucking good. Warm. Smooth. Pressure in all the right places, pushing gently into my muscles.

Slowly.

Slower still, caressing along my shoulders, thumbs and fingers working together to soothe the burning on my right side.

“Doesn’t this feel great?” Her soft voice cuts into the silence. “You’re loosening up. That’s good.”

I feel her leaning as her hands move up and down my spine until they stop, hovering at the base of my neck. Thumbs stroking the skin below my hairline, back and forth.

Kneading.

Her torso dips, hands maneuvering my arms, placing them at my sides. Palms slide up and down my biceps.

For several minutes, she rubs my arms and shoulders. Then she skims down my ribcage unhurriedly, in no rush, making little humming sounds inside her throat.

I know I’m not imagining the feather-light way her hands drift down my spine. I remain still, letting her touch me, basking in it.

Remain still when her lips kiss the tender spot of my shoulder where it meets my neck, nose nuzzling behind my ear, her breasts rubbing against my back and what the fuck was that all about? What does she think she’s doing, trying to drive me insane?



   


Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced latte's, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British. She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog. 

COVER REVEAL: BRING ME THIER HEARTS by Sara Wolf

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf Cover Reveal

In a new series Publishers Weekly has listed as “one of the most anticipated YA's of 2018”, we're excited to share the cover for Bring Me Their Hearts! NYT bestselling author Sara Wolf delivers a fast-paced, gritty fantasy sure to thrill fans of Holly Black, Sabba Tahir, and Sarah J. Maas.




About the book:

Zera is a Heartless—the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera’s heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him—every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him—until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.

--


Release Date: June 5th, 2018

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About Sara Wolf:

Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.