WhoDunIt with There's Someone in Your House +GIVEAWAY

Queen of contemporary writes Scream meets YA? Y'all aren't sleeping on this one, right? We were lucky enough to get a PARTIAL ARC (which is the most frustrating thing when you are waiting to find out the big reveal - it's like stopping the movie as they pull the mask off!) and are left hanging. While we all wait till the end of September, we thought we'd theorize the who and the what.



WHO IS THE KILLER AND WHY ARE THEY DOING IT?


Here are some of the tropes of killers in books...And our thoughts around which one it MIGHT be.

The least expected - It's totally one of the main characters, right? Right. They're the most impacted so it's like OMG WHAT when it's unveiled. I'd be pretty sad if Makani and Ollie were the culprits...but that would be pretty sneaky on Stephanie's part.

The obvious choice - There's a little hint partially through the book of who it could be. But is it? No, usually this is to throw people off. Or is it...

The random side character you've met once - Wait, who? It's like The Sixth Sense where you go back and read to see what you've missed. This is always the least satisfying for me.

The unnoticed secondary character - They're there but not super in your face. Sometimes it's even one of the murdered, coming back from the dead in some capacity (they were never really dead, etc). 

THERE'S SOMEONE IN YOUR HOUSE
by Stephanie Perkins
Published: September 26th 2017
Publisher: Dutton
Find It

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between August 9, 2017 and August 31, 2017. Open to US residents, 13 and older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. See Official Rules at http://bit.ly/2vP4Jgg for full details.

Let's Get Wrecked: #AMapForWreckedGirls by Jessica Taylor Launch Recap


Hello lovely readers! and thank you for joining us on our tour stop for A MAP FOR WRECKED GIRLS by Jessica Taylor. We are so excited to bring you the details of Jessica's launch event not only because she is a local author but because she is also the sweetest person you will ever meet. We at Tales of the Ravenous Reader are so very excited for her  launch and were made sure to get you all the details you will need to feel as if you were there sharing this moment with Jessica. So, please enjoy the post and make sure to send Jessica some love with some comments. 





Emma has always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two have always been best friends. Until something happens that wrecks them.

I'd trusted Henri more than I'd trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I'd follow.

Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in a gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart. To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?

For the first time, I was afraid we'd die on this shore.

I listened to this awesome book on audiobook and here is a snippet available on Penguin Random House Audio on YouTube. Check it out for it is definitely a great listen.





Jessica Taylor adores atmospheric settings, dangerous girls, and characters who sneak out late at night. She lives in Northern California, not far from San Francisco, with a law degree she isn’t using, one dog, and many teetering towers of books.

Jessica displayed her book tailer earlier this week and I think it fits her A Map For Wrecked Girls perfectly. Look at how amazing it is.


Tour Schedule

Week One:
August 7 – Novel Novice – Styled By A Map for Wrecked Girls
August 8 – Twinning for Books
August 9 – ButterMyBooks – Author Guest Post | AMFWG Playlist
August 10 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Author Guest Post | Character Interview
August 11 – A Page With a View – Book Photography

Week Two:
August 14 – BookCrushin
August 15 – The Fandom – Author Guest Post | NEED TOPIC
August 16 – Fiction Fare – Author Q&A
August 17 – Ex Libris
August 18 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – AMFWG Launch Recap!

Week Three:
August 21 – Once Upon a Twilight – Author Guest Post | AMFWG in 10 GIFs or Less
August 22 – The Book’s Buzz – Author Q&A
August 23 – Here’s to Happy Endings – A Map for Wrecked Girls Recipe
August 24 – Lost in Lit
August 25 – YA Wednesdays – Traveler’s Guide to Being Marooned

Now for the best part. You have seen how awesome the book launch was with all the colorful props and tasty goodies that Jessica made herself. The book is beyond great and you seriously need to add it to your bookshelf like NOW!! So, make sure to enter in the giveaway below for your chance at this opportunity.


Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor. (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on August 7, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 28, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about August 30, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nothing is as It Seems + Trust No One - Little Monsters (review)


I dare you to pick up this book and be okay at the end. If you are, I'd like to talk to you about moving far, far away from me, you messed up person. 😵

That was when I decided that all the ghost stories got it wrong: evil isn’t a spirit or a monster or a ghost. It lives inside regular people, and it doesn’t know the difference between night and day.


Throughout this story, you'll find yourself suspicious of everyone and rooting to figure out who is trying to screw over Kacey, who is new to town with more packed baggage than the average teen. I had myself wondering if the local legend was at play. I was half convinced that maybe the Winchester brothers were going to pop out and clean up some mean ghosties. But no, just your run of the mill HUMAN PSYCHOPATH. As to who it is, well, you'll have to read to find out. Or listen, and be totally creeped out like I was.

I really love thrillers and I really love thrillers where you uncover these intense, mosaic teen relationships that remind you that girls are not all sugar and spice and everything nice. I like a little murder, too. I also like when they're solved and you can go back and see the pieces you missed along the way. Little Monsters drops hints like The Sixth Sense and at the end you're like OF COURSE...but wait, what?

I also love small towns and complicated family dynamics. I totally got a Stepford meets Cruel Intensions vibe along the way here. This book is dark and twisted and I am here for Kara dominating this market. 

LITTLE MONSTERS
by Kara Thomas
Published: July 25th 2017
Publisher: Delacorte
Source: Audible + Publisher

Find it: Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD, Goodreads
For fans of Pretty Little Liars, Little Monsters is a new psychological thriller, from the author of The Darkest Corners, about appearances versus reality and the power of manipulation amongst teenage girls.

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.

Follow the Tour
Week One:
8/14/2017- YAandWine- Interview
8/15/2017- The Best Books Ever- Review
8/16/2017- BookHounds YA- Guest Post
8/17/2017- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Review
8/18/2017- adventures of a book junkie- Interview

Week Two:
8/21/2017- Portrait of a Book- Review
8/22/2017- Such a Novel Idea- Guest Post
8/23/2017- YA Books Central- Interview
8/24/2017- Feed Your Fiction Addiction- Review
8/25/2017- Home of a Book Lover- Review

GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here Is Where You Need To Be: WISH YOU WERE HERE by Renée Carlino, Review + Excerpt




When I heard that Renée Carlino was writing a new book I was beyond excited. I have read her novels and believed each one to practically wreck me (but in a good way). I'll admit to not know too much about this novel. I wanted to go in with a clean slate and let the book surprise me as I went on my journey, but I was not prepared for what Renée has in WISH YOU WERE HERE. I think it's her best novel yet and I want to tell you why.






You know when you’re looking at someone and you can’t help but smile at how oblivious they are to their own charm? That’s what was happening to me, and it was making me feel…happy. Euphoric. Something indescribable. It was like we already knew each other, like we had met in a previous life. Memories that didn’t exist began exploding in my mind like fireworks. 

Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, searching for a spark to jump-start her life and give her a sense of purpose. She’s had as many jobs as she’s had bad relationships, and now she’s feeling especially lost in her less-than-glamorous gig at a pie-and-fry joint in Los Angeles, where the uniforms are bad and the tips are even worse.

Then she collides—literally—with Adam, an intriguing, handsome, and mysterious painter. Their serendipitous meeting on the street turns into a whirlwind one-night stand that has Charlotte feeling enchanted by Adam’s spontaneity and joy for life. There’s promise in both his words and actions, but in the harsh light of morning, Adam’s tune changes, leaving Charlotte to wonder if her notorious bad luck with men is really just her own bad judgment.

Months later, a new relationship with Seth, a charming baseball player, is turning into something more meaningful, but Charlotte’s still having trouble moving past her one enthralling night with Adam. Why? When she searches for answers, she finds the situation with Adam is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Faced with the decision to write a new story with Seth or finish the one started with Adam, Charlotte embarks on a life-altering journey, one that takes her across the world and back again, bringing a lifetime’s worth of pain, joy, and wisdom.



EXCERPT

“You’re making love sound tragic,” I said.
“No”—he shook his head—“I wouldn’t want it any other way. Tell me about us. What do we like to do?”
“Paint and sail and eat and drink. Just simple things.” “Don’t forget about sex,” he said.“Yeah, lots of sex. Before the children were born we
"We were practically naked every second of the day.”
“I like that.”
“When they got older, we’d sneak away for weekends and leave them at my mom’s.”
“What are they like? Our children.”
“Happy. That’s all we wished for. We put our love first and it just spilled over into them and now they’re happy.”
Tears sprang from my eyes and ran down my cheeks. Isn’t that what we all hope for when it comes to our children?
His tone suddenly changed. “That’s beautiful, Char- lotte.” It was like he was waking up from the dream. I didn’t want to go back to reality yet, but I knew these fantasies were just to help Adam get his mind off things.
“I can imagine a long life with you,” he said. “I can imagine what a great wife you’d be."
I pulled my hand out of his. “The story is about you and me.” He didn’t say anything; he just nodded and then continued to stare out the window. I bent and kissed the top of his head again, and whispered, “It’s about us. Don’t take that away from me.”



Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com






Getting a Little Feverish - Review +GIVEAWAY

I wanna know - what music fandoms do you belong to? Grace and the Fever is one girl's story about coming into adulthood with her fandom, including the sudden fame of being associated with her favorite band. Those of us within music fandoms know how fast gossip can run and how tough it is behind the scenes.

I am a diehard #ATLHustler, which I think most people know. I’ve been a Hustler for 10 years now and there’s no going back. 

How you know I’m an ATLHustler (aka fangirl):
  • I have a group chat solely dedicated to talking about All Time Low. Well, mostly. Shout out to Yasmeen and Helen, two Hustlers a state away who keep me rooted in the fandom. There’s no friends like fangirl friends.
  • I have a fan club membership. Hey, Hustlers get perks like first chance at tickets and free meet and greets. Plus all the official news. 
  • I have a tattoo. I have several music inspired tattoos but I have one specific to All Time Low. Nothing Personal got me through some emo times in my early 20s and I memorialized my love for this band, album, and the song Lost in Stereo with ink over 5 years ago.
  • Merch. I own a lot. Hoodies. CDs. T-shirts. Pants. I think I own underwear. I definitely own stickers. 
  • Special tokens. I have guitar picks from lead singer Alex Gaskarth and also guitarist Jack Barakat. They sit on my signed guitar. Yes, I got a guitar signed by them. 
  • They have their own album of photos on my Facebook. Yep.
Five Reasons Why Fangirls Will Love Grace and the Fever

“People always try to pretend like fandom is some freaky subculture, but honestly, I don’t think it’s that far off from what most people do with celebrities, or even, like, the people you don’t know well at school, you know? It’s so hard to understand that other people are people, so we create them for ourselves. We create whole worlds to live in, and that’s fine. That’s necessary, I think, sometimes—and sorry to sound like a textbook, but it’s especially necessary if you’re a teenage girl living in a patriarchal culture. Which you are, and I was, until recently. A teenager, I mean. The patriarchy is still alive and well.”

  • She’s flawed in a way all of us fangirls are. I don’t know about you but if you put me in front of the members of All Time Low, I lose my ability to speak and have to remember to ACT COOL. At age 33, Even though I’ve met them more times than I can count. So when Grace ends up in a room with her boys, she doesn’t exactly do the 100% right thing. But she does do what most young fangirls might do. 
Even when she’s complicated and the boys are confusing, the music is just what it is. The song lasts four minutes, maybe just three and a half. No time to get sentimental. All she can do is raise her hands and open her mouth, close her eyes, sing along.
  • Her online engagement is on point. If you are in the thick of your fandom, you know how things go. There are cliques. Levels of fan-ness. Your go-to spot for news. YOUR PEOPLE. Grace embodies it all with her online persona and Tumblr account. '
    Her mother hated Grace being a Fever Dream fan: all the fantasizing and the wasted hours. You don’t know those boys, she used to say. I’m sure if you met them, you wouldn’t like them at all, and then wouldn’t you feel silly? That was the beginning, Grace has always thought, of the particular deep rift that’s between them now: her mother didn’t want to hear about Fever Dream, so Grace stopped talking about them. When she did, she found out that it was almost too easy to stop talking about other things, too. 

  • She’s not 100% out about her obsession. To her IRL friends and family, her fangirl obsession ended in tween-land. Unfortunately, it’s just not cool to be a fangirl. I was teased pretty terribly about my NSYNC obsession in high school (whatever, don’t be jealous that I owned the dolls) and even in my 30s, people don’t quite understand my relationship with my fandoms. Or why getting meet and greet EVERY All Time Low show is the upmost importance. Or why I sobbed the one year I was too broke to buy my tickets during presale (thank you to Yasmeen who saved my butt with meet and greet tickets). 
Grace has always wondered about this: what it’s like to have someone you’ve never met before come up to you and say, You saved my life, and not just one of them, but hundreds of thousands, legions of people pinning their existence on you and your band and your songs.
  • Watching a band from behind the scenes will remind you that they are people too. Grace gets a healthy dose of reality in getting to know her favorite band from behind the scenes. Hopefully it doesn’t ruin the magic ;).


GRACE AND THE FEVER
by Zan Romanoff
Published: May 16th 2017
Publisher: Knopf
Source: Publisher

In middle school, everyone was a Fever Dream fan. Now, a few weeks after her high school graduation, Grace Thomas sometimes feels like the only one who never moved on. She can't imagine what she'd do without the community of online fans that share her obsession. Or what her IRL friends would say if they ever found out about it. 

Then, one summer night, the unthinkable happens: Grace meets her idol, Jes. What starts out as an elusive glimpse of Fever Dream's world turns into an unlikely romance, and leads her to confront dark, complex truths about herself and the realities of stardom.

Geek Actually is Heating Up! Co-Review with Kelly (@bookcrushin)


Maybe you missed my obsession coverage of ReMade, a YA weekly serial that I gushed over for 15 weeks in the fall/winter. NOT A PROBLEM because we are back today with another amazing serial - Geek Actually!

Today I'm here to co-review episode 1.10 along with Kelly from BookCrushin. We've been listening to the serial together and agreed to co-review every 5 episodes. Let's be real...We spend Wednesdays talking about Geek Actually so this is just an excuse to share it with you all ;).

Do you think Diego can redeem himself? Can he be reformed? Is he willing to learn from his gamergate stance?


K: As much as I wanted these two to succeed as a couple, I am thankful that Taneesha discovered this aspect about Diego, before things were taken to the next level. I want to hope that he could learn from her, if he truly cared, but I am so affected by current events in our world right now and I just want Taneesha to walk away.

CJ: I want to believe people can learn. Hopefully he went home and googled some of the stuff Taneesha was telling him. But if he can’t, better they learned that now. It’s tough when you’re in a serious relationship and you find out the person’s ideologies are not what you thought they were.

Elli's response to tragedy was impressive. How do you think she will fare after the initial shock wears off? 


K: I was not expecting Elli to react the way she did, she just collected herself, and got right to work. I was impressed. I think I would have curled up in a ball and cried for days. She was deeply connected and learned so much and I think that has helped Elli really grow as a character and I hope she keeps kicking ass.

CJ: Well, Elli handled that a lot better than I did. I had to back up and listen several times. That plot point came out of left field and I don’t think I’ve recovered yet. Anyways, I hope she never changes. She should live on as she did, which is what *spoiler* would have wanted. But first, burn those letters and fight the assholes who think it’s cool to send them.

How do you think Aditi & Michelle will handle this new obstacle in their publishing relationship? 

K: Completely fueled by fire, and I don't think the relationship is going to last. I have a sinking feeling that this sequel will never happen and Aditi will breach her contract. I can't say if their relationship will survive that either. I am not sure if it will blacklist Aditi. I can only hope her book is a breakout success so the publisher will do what they can to keep her happy. 

CJ: I feel like Aditi and Michelle’s relationship has been the canon waiting to explode behind the scenes. There have been subtle hints along the way but with all the other things going on, their potential eruption has been secondary. They have to figure out how to put their friendship and business in separate buckets - no easy feat. 

Christina is definitely experiencing 'being thrown in the deep end' scenario with her new position; do you think she'll learn to swim?

K: Possibly Christina will actually end up loving this job, but I feel like Vivi will not like the working all the time Christina. I also hope that maybe her fast lane life might slow down a little as she learns her responsibilities and understands her importance to the show.

CJ: I feel like most creative jobs are this way. Sink or swim. Christina’s new job looks like a challenge, which could crumble her with everything going on with Vivi. She’s going to need her girlfriends! 

What are you hopes for the final 3 episodes of the series? Big shocking theories? 


K: Assuming we get a little closure on some story lines and I expect there to be a season 2, I want Elli to become a champion for her work and become well known. I want Taneesha to find some solace and happiness in life, and maybe a whole new job. I would love for Aditi to rock the book world, and write a kick ass sequel. I want Michelle to tell her publisher who supports dickhead men to go shove it. Christina to find a balance between being responsible and having a life.

CJ: GEEZ the worst part is you know some stuff is going to be left unfurled since seasons go on but I hope we don’t get some Grey’s Anatomy level ending here. I hope Taneesha gets some resolution with the crap at work. I really just want management to step the hell up.

Come back weekly for mini reviews! As always, the first episode is free on audio and ebook - so you can try it out! 

Well, Actually
by Rachel Stuhler
Published: August 9th 2017
Publisher: Serial Box
Source: Publisher

Meet your new best girlfriends. Michelle is a hard-nosed Science Fiction editor who is used to things going her way; Taneesha is a talented video game programmer who is used to being the odd (wo)man out. Aditi is a fantasy writer on the verge of her big break; Christina is a rebel on the sidelines of Hollywood. And Elli is a fan – of anything and everything that keeps are from “proper adulting.” Together they are Rebel Scum (at least in their shared group chat), and best friends through thick and thin. They might live far apart but through the power of the internet and a shared love of all things geek, they are ready to face the world side by side.

This is the 10th episode in the first season of Geek Actually, a 13-episode serial from Serial Box Publishing. This episode was written by Rachel Stuhler.

Let's #PlayWarcross +GIVEAWAY

Who's ready to PLAY WARCROSS? Each Warcross team consists of Team Captain, Architect, Thief, Shield, and Fighter - and we are here today to create our own from (kickass female) YA characters! Here's who we want in our arena when the VR world catches up!

Our WARCROSS Team

Captain.

Charlotte Holmes from A Study in Charlotte. A little gutsy, a lot smart, and somewhat unpredictable is what you get from Charlotte and why she needs to be the captain of this team.

Architect.

Dimple Shah from When Dimple Met Rishi. You want something done? Dimple is your person.

Thief.

Peekay from The Female of the Species. Slightly cunning. Good at distracting. Could disable the enemy and you wouldn't even expect it.

Shield.

Samantha Kingston from Before I Fall. She's got the team in mind and wants to keep them safe. Can antagonize the opposite team but willing to take the fall for the greater good. 

Fighter.

Nemesis from The Diabolic. Did you read The Diabolic? Enough said.

Who's on your Warcross team?

PREORDER


WARCROSS
by Marie Lu
Published: September 12th 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Preorder It on Amazon

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of five (5) grand prize winners of a WARCROSS Galley set (including galley, shirt, keychain, and postcard) or to be one (1) of ten (10) second place prize winners of a WARCROSS Galley (ARV: $0.00 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on July 31th, 2017 and 12:00 AM on August 28, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about August 5, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.


All Hail ROYALLY ENDOWED by Emma Chase Release Blitz

 

Hello lovely readers!! I am so very excited because today is the day that ROYALLY ENDOWED by Emma Chase is out!!! Yaaaaaaasssss!!! Can you tell how very excited that I am. Well I seriously am. This series started my #summerofsmut and these books are so amazingly sexy and sweet that it is like having the best of both worlds. I cannot rave about this series enough and if you haven't read these books yet, then you seriously need to and for those that have been waiting patiently for Logan and Ellie's story, let the swoon begin.

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go. *** Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love. 

AMAZON | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | iBooks | B&N


         

Prologue

LoganSome men think with their cocks. You know the type. Quick smooth-talkers, shifty eyes always scanning for a nice pair of legs, a set of full tits, or a tight arse they can pant after. Other blokes think too much with their brains. You know that type too. Annoyingly careful, slow-moving, constantly parsing their words like they already know whatever they’re saying is going to come back and take a bite out of them. I’m not either of those. I always go with my gut. When it clenches with a warning, I act—no hesitation. When it tugs and nudges, I pause and reevaluate. When it twists and writhes, I know, guaranteed, I’ve cocked up big-time. My gut is my best friend, my conscience, my most lethal asset. And it has never let me down. It’s my gut that drags me to her door. That roots me in place as I knock. That gives me the words—pleading, unfamiliar remorseful words—I’ll gladly say to make this right. To get her back. Because while my gut is brilliant, sometimes I can be a real fucking idiot. Yesterday was one of those times. “Ellie. It’s me—open up, we need to talk.” I sense movement on the other side of the solid oak door—not in sounds or shifting shadows beneath it, but more of an awareness. I can feel her in there. Nearby and listening.   “Go away, Logan.” Her voice is tight, higher-pitched than usual. Upset. “Ellie, please. I was a twat, I know . . .” I’m not keen on begging from the hallway, but if that’s what it takes . . .  “I’m sorry. Let me in.” Ellie is difficult to anger, quick to forgive; she just doesn’t have it in her to hold a grudge. So her next words fall like an axe—cutting my legs right off from under me. “No, you were right. The princess’s sister and the East Amboy bodyguard don’t make sense—we’ll never last.” Did I actually say that to her? What the fuck is wrong with me? What I feel for her is the one thing in my life that makes sense. That matters. But I never told her that. Instead . . . instead, I said all the wrong things. I brace my palm against the smooth wood, leaning forward, wanting to be as near to her as possible. “Elle . . .” “I’ve changed my mind, Logan.” If a corpse could speak, it would sound exactly like my Ellie does now. Flat, lifeless.   “I want the fairy tale. I want what Olivia has . . . castles and carriages . . . and you’ll never be able to give me that. I would just be settling for you. You’ll never be able to make me happy.” She doesn’t mean that. They’re my words—the insecurities I put on her—that she’s hurling back in my face.   But God, it fucking hurts to hear. Physically hurts—stabbing deep into the pit of my stomach, crushing my chest, grinding my bones. I meant it when I said I would die for her . . . and right now, it feels like I am. I grab the doorknob to walk inside, to see her face. To see that she doesn’t mean it. “Ellie—” “Don’t come in!” she screeches like I’ve never heard her before. “I don’t want to see you! Go away, Logan. We’re done—just go!” I breathe hard—that’s what you do when pain wrecks you, breathe through it. Then I swallow bile, straighten up, turn around and walk down the hall. Away from her. Just like she wants, like she asked. Like she screamed. My brain tells me to move faster—get the hell out of there, cut my losses and lick my wounds. And my heart—Christ—that poor bastard’s too battered and bloody to say anything at all. But then, just over halfway down the hall, my steps slow until I stop completely. Because my gut . . . it strains through the hurt. Rebels. It shouts that this isn’t right. This isn’t her. Something’s off. And even more than that . . . something is very, very wrong. I glance up and down the quiet hall—not a guard or a maid in sight. I look back at the door. Closed and silent and still. Then I turn and march straight back to it. I don’t knock, or wait, or ask for permission. In one move, I turn the knob and step inside. What I see there stops me cold. Because whatever I was expecting, it sure as fuck wasn’t this.
Not at all . . .


         

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine. 












WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | NEWSLETTER | TWITTER GOODREADS | READER FAN GROUP

A Little Strangeness on Roanoke Island - Author Interview + Review

Y'all know I love Gwenda Bond AND the Roanoke Island mystery, right? So it's not surprising that I LOVED Strange Alchemy. Woo! 

At the start colonial America, a whole colony of people just disappeared. Some speculate the colony died of illness, others say they just left the area, and the really creative look toward alien abduction. If you're a Supernatural fan, you know they became zombies. Gwenda gives us another theory of the more paranormal variety.

Miranda and Grant both have longstanding history (ahem, legacy) on Roanoke Island, both descendants from the historical colonists. Miranda's family are the town outcasts thanks to some unfair shaming and Grant hears the voices from the past. As you can imagine, this puts them square in the middle of trying to solve a mystery when the same number of current day residents goes missing as their ancestors did many years ago. 

To say it doesn't happen easily is an understatement. Together they work as the mystery deepens and more lives, including their own, are at stake. 

I enjoyed Gwenda's take on the mystery and how she linked it to the modern day world. I mean, if aliens are on the table, why not alchemy? I won't say more but I enjoyed the paranormal and fantasy elements of the story as much as I enjoyed the characters.

PS Gwenda really likes writing kissing scenes...and she's pretty dang good at it. Check out our interview below because she is the best! 

Interview with Gwenda Bond

Strange Alchemy, originally titled Blackwood, was your debut and is now being re-released. What was it like to revisit the story after so many years and so many books?

Odd, to be sure! There was part of me that truly worried looking at it again would lead to a "my eyes! my eyes!" reaction, despite all the people I know who read and enjoyed it (writer brains = not always logical). It was a great relief when I found I still had a lot of affection for this book, and while I did make changes with the help of a new set of editorial eyes, I was happy to find that I still felt like I told the right story and loved the characters. 

What was your research process like in writing within an event that actually took place? Which of the current theories about what happened to the colonists piqued your interest most? Are there other pop culture references to Roanoke that you have enjoyed?

I've always been obsessed with the Roanoke legend, and I very much wanted to include details that aren't usually -- while, at the same time, I'm obviously taking history and running with it. I feel like part of what this book is about is small towns and the intense pressure being defined in the context of your family by other people can take on there. Which, if you think about it, matches up thematically with what we can suspect about people who'd have been willing to cross the sea and abandon all they knew to start a new community. It's so funny, because right after the book was first published there was evidence uncovered that John White actually did use drawings to hide a possible clue to the colonist's location, the same kind of steganography I posited because it was in use at that time. So who knows? ;) Anyway, I always geek out over Roanoke references, and certainly the Croatoan virus on Supernatural delighted me. (You know what I mean!) (Side note - YES OMG CROATOAN IS THE BEST)

Which of the characters is your favorite and what do you enjoy about them?

I love Miranda and Grant both. But...Sidekick the dog. He was based on our wonderful, late, lamented golden retriever George the Dog and then we lost our half-golden, half-basset Emma the Dog during my revisiting the book for this new edition. So I think of Sidekick as both of them living on forever in fiction.

STRANGE ALCHEMY
by Gwenda Bond
Published: August 1st 2017
Publisher: Switch Press
Source: Publisher

Gwenda Bond's first book Blackwood has been reimagined and brought back to life with new vision. On Roanoke Island, the legend of the Lost Colony—and the 114 colonists who vanished without a trace more than four hundred years ago—still haunts the town. But that’s just a story told for the tourists.

When 114 people suddenly disappear from the island in present day, it seems history is repeating itself—and an unlikely pair of seventeen-year-olds might be the only hope of bringing the missing back. Miranda Blackwood, a member of one of island’s most infamous families, and Grant Rawling, the sherrif’s son, who has demons and secrets of his own, find themselves at the center of the mystery.

As the unlikely pair works to uncover the secrets of the new Lost Colony, they must dodge everyone from the authorities to long-dead alchemists as they race against time to save their family and friends before they too are gone for good.