Debut Author Take Over – Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell

Next on my journey of Debut Books I have Kara McDowell on the blog. Her book, Just for Clicks is coming out in a little under two weeks and it is fantastic! I seriously loved this one. Since the book is about twins that are brought into the social media spotlight because of a choice from there mother Kara is sharing her inspiration behind this must read book!

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I’ve been following the same woman online for the last decade.

(More than a third of my life!)

I can’t decide if this is horrifying, or not.

(It probably is.)

Although, truth be told, keeping up with this woman hasn’t been much work. Ten years ago, I faithfully read every blog post. Now, the highlights are available to me as I scroll Instagram. Through almost no effort on my part, I can tell you the cities she’s lived in, the style of wedding dress she wore, her favorite restaurants, the places she buys her clothes.

Even more bizarre, I can tell you the names of all five of her children. (Not to mention their birthdates, favorite colors, Halloween costumes, Christmas presents, and favorite family vacations.)

As a test, I just Googled the name of her eldest daughter. Without even scrolling, I see fourteen pictures of her childhood, including a newborn picture still in the hospital bassinet. (It’s adorable, by the way.)

This young girl is a child star, but not. She is famous for being born, for looking cute, for knowing how to pose for a camera. An internet starlet before any of us knew what that term meant. Unlike the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsens of the world, however, this girl does not go to work in the morning and come home at the end of the day. She’s eating ice cream at the park and playing with her siblings and riding her scooter. The work is her life, and vice versa. And thanks to careful editing, her parents are making more money off these breezy, carefree images than most of us can even comprehend.

I won’t lie: in the first half of this decade, I also had a mommy blog. (Didn’t we all?) One day, shortly after the birth of my second son, I was thinking about my blog and the pictures and stories I’d shared, and I had two distinct thoughts.

What if my blog had a huge following?

and

What if I never stopped writing about my kids?

The next day I hung up my mommy blogger hat and started writing JUST FOR CLICKS, which imagines the lives of two teenagers raised in the internet limelight. One of them loves it, the other resents it.

This story is inspired by so many things: my blog and my kids. This woman and her family, as well as dozens of others just like her. It’s inspired by the hateful, disgusting comments written not only about these women, but also about their children.

But most of all, it’s inspired by the question: What’s going to happen when all these blogger babies become teenagers?

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Debut Author Take Over – Just for Clicks by Kara McDowellJust For Clicks by Kara McDowell
Published by Amberjack
on February 19, 2019
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Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they're expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as "just Claire"? And what should Claire do about Mom's old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don't sound like Mom's perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

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About Kara McDowell

Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.

JUST FOR CLICKS is Kara's debut novel.

Make sure you pick up a copy of Just For Clicks, in stores February 19th!

 

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New to Me – March Voting

In 2018 I had the idea to have readers and friends read my favorite books from years past. I had 20+ amazing people sign up and read some of my all time favorite books. They took the time out of their busy lives and reading schedules and read books I love and shared what they thought on my blog. It was a lot of fun and I got to see some new takes on old favorites. It actually was a fun experience. If you are interested in the reviews HERE.

This year I decided to give back in away and asked everyone that signed up to tell me their favorite book (that I have not read) because in 2019 it is time to do NEW TO ME.

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Last month I had you all vote on what I should read. 26 of you voted. For a while it was a close race between 3 books but in the end one book came out on top with a 35% favorite. I’m currently reading it and will be reviewing at the end of the month:

Vampire books are not my typical thing, but I am giving this a go.

Now it is your time to vote again and pick the book I will read in March. You have until 2/25/19 to get your vote in and tell me what book I should read next!

Create your own user feedback survey

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Briefly Romantic (3)

Welcome to the third installment of Briefly Romantic. Today’s books are all books from Forever Publishing.

Briefly Romantic (3)Now or Never by Victoria Denault
Published by Forever Yours
on January 15, 2019
Format: eARC
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three-stars

Get ready for all the feels in this sexy, "emotionally charged" (Library Journal) romance about a bad boy hockey player who wants a second chance to win the heart of his high school crush.
All Winnie Braddock wants is a quiet place to be alone and time to heal her battered heart. But the refuge she'd hoped for in her family's summer cottage is destroyed when she gets there to find Holden Hendricks literally camped out in the driveway. He made her life hell when they were kids, and despite what he says, it doesn't look like much has changed. She doesn't care if her brother hired Holden to renovate the house this winter; she wants him gone.

You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. Holden knows that hockey saying all too well. After all, he could have gone pro if he hadn't messed up so much as a kid. But now he's desperate to prove he's changed for the better, especially to Winnie Braddock. As the two work together to fix up the cottage piece by piece, they realize that perhaps they can give each other the new beginning they've both been waiting for -- if they're just willing to take the shot.

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

First let me say how much I love the Braddock family! They are so genuine and loving and just a really fun group. I think they are the reason this series as a whole (I still need to read book 1, OOPS) is so enjoyable. But sadly Now or Never just didn’t 100% do it for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was entertaining and a super quick read, but there was something missing. I don’t know if it was the chemistry between Winnie and Holden, the pacing, the storyline? I just know that something felt off and there was some kind of spark missing. It was a good read, but just not my favorite of the series. I do think there should be a mystery Braddock that we don’t know so I don’t have to lose this family. Just sayin. But if you are a fan of the series definitely make sure you check this one out.

 

Briefly Romantic (3)Three Little Words by Jenny Holiday
Published by Forever Romance
on January 29, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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five-stars

Gia Gallo is officially in bridesmaid hell. Stranded in New York with her best friend's wedding dress, Gia has six days to make it to Florida in time for the ceremony. And oh-so-charming best man Bennett Buchanan has taken the last available rental car. Looks like she's in for one long road trip with the sexiest - and most irritating - Southern gentleman she's ever met...

Bennett's pretty sure that if there was ever a woman to break his "no flings" rule, Gia would be it. Sure, she's stubborn. She's also funny, smart, and the attraction between them is getting hotter with every state line they cross. While Bennett doesn't do casual, Gia doesn't do "relationships." But if they break the rules, this unlikely pair might discover that their impromptu road trip could turn out to be the best ride of their lives.

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

I had an interesting relationship with the Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series. I adored book one and enjoyed book 2 a little less book one. I wasn’t really sure how I would feel about Gia’s story as I didn’t think I really knew her as much as I knew the other two. Instead I got my FAVORITE of the series. I loved, loved, loved this book. Gia and Bennett had off the charts chemistry and I found myself desperate for more words. There was showing so natural about their pairing. Two people that seemed to be 100% opposites just clicked. Did they both frustrate me at times? Absolutely, but only in the way that a perfectly told romance can. This was just the perfect end to this amazing series about friendship and finding love.

Briefly Romantic (3)The Fearless King by Katee Robert
Published by Forever
on February 5, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Undercover Attraction comes a sexy convenience romance between the heir to a Texas oil company and the rugged, dangerous man who may be the only one who can help her out of deep family drama.

Ultra-wealthy and super powerful, the King family is like royalty in Texas. But their secrets can be deadly.

Fake boyfriend. Real danger.Journey King is an expert at managing the family business. But when her father returns to Houston hell-bent on making a play for the company, Journey will do anything to stop him, even if that means going to Frank Evans for help. Frank deals in information, the dirtier the better. Rugged and rock solid, he's by far her best ally - and also the most dangerous.

Frank knows better than to get tangled up with the Kings. But something about Journey's rare vulnerability drags him deep into enemy territory... and into her darkest past. Pretending to be her boyfriend may be necessary for their plan to work, but Frank soon finds helping Journey is much more than just another job - and he'll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

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

I have a minor obsession with the King family and a major obsession with Frank Evans. This book was totally addicting and edge of your seat. There is nothing that will hook me quicker than a fake relationship that turns real and that is exactly what Journey and Frank’s relationship is. But there is more to it than that and that is what I ended up truly loving about this book. This isn’t just a typical romance. There are some darker themes in this book, heavy things that each character deals with like abuse and the past. Between those themes and the romance this book was an amazing balance. Sure there were a few questionable moments for me, but that didn’t take away from the fact that this was an A+ reading experience. The King family is one you need to meet and Frank Evans needs to be in your life for sure! Check this series out.

Make sure you add these to your TBR!

What kind of romance books are your go tos?

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Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid KemmererA Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Bloomsbury YA
on January 29, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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five-stars

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.
Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she's instead somehow sucked into Rhen's cursed world.


Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn't know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what's at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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

Back in March 2017 I opened a book called Letters to the Lost and I didn’t close it until it was finished. I wouldn’t stop until all 391 pages were done and I had let Brigid Kemmerer thoroughly break my heart. That was also the day I fell in love with her writing. So when I heard about A Curse So Dark and Lonely, a book that is a retelling of my favorite fairytale, Beauty and the Beast, I was so there for it. Two readings of it later, I am COMPLETELY IN LOVE, love beyond measure, with this book and these characters.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is about Harper, a girl who is ‘transported’ from her home in DC to the kingdom of Emberfall. Having no idea why she was taken she confronts Rhen and Grey, her captors and soon finds out that Emberfall is cursed. Wanting to get back to her family Harper makes a deal to help Rhen and Emberfall rebuild their trust in one another and their trust in the Royals. But as Harper gets herself deeper and deeper into their story she learns there is so much more going on and starts to feel less like a prisoner and more like a person that belongs there even though her heart is with her family in DC.

My explanation of the story honestly doesn’t do it justice. It really is hard to explain just how amazing this story actually is. It is filled with flawed people and action and love and heartbreak. It has monsters and royalty and evil witches. It has sweet, heartfelt moments, moments of sadness, and moments WHEN CAN I HAVE MORE?! It truly hits all the marks and you won’t want to put it down. You will be left hugging the book and never wanting to let go. Rhen, Grey and Harper will steal your heart and you will gladly give it to them.

I don’t want to give anything away so I’m being as vague as possible. All I can say is you need to read A Curse So Dark and Lonely. I promise you will be happy you did. It is just that good!

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Review: Furyborn – Claire Legrand

Review: Furyborn – Claire LegrandFuryborn by Claire Legrand
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
on May 22, 2018
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five-stars

The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing herself as one of a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light, and a queen of blood. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven elemental magic trials. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

One thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a fairy tale to Eliana Ferracora. A bounty hunter for the Undying Empire, Eliana believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain and discovers that the evil at the empire's heart is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

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

When I heard about Furyborn I was interested but I wasn’t sure I wanted to start another fantasy trilogy. It appeared to have all the elements I want in a fantasy read, but I’m in the middle of so many series it gave me pause. Then people started talking about it and really amping it up. And then I got my hands on a copy and I was done for. Furyborn was everything I needed and more.

Furyborn is the story of Rielle and Eliana, two women on a path in two different worlds. For years Rielle has hidden who she was from her world, hidden the fact that she can control all 7 types of powers. When she uses her powers to save her best friend and future King, Rielle finds herself participating in trials to find out just who she is. Eliana, on the other hand, is doing everything and anything she can to protect her brother and find her mother and finds herself waged in a war that is centuries old. She is hiding an important part of herself from the world for fear of how it will be used and who it could hurt. Both women are on separate journeys, but connected in ways they couldn’t imagine. In the end one of these women will save the world and one will doom it.

It is really hard for me to put into words what I loved about this story. The world building was fantastic and I got a really clean picture of what I think Rielle and Eliana’s worlds were like. I also loved the narrative and how it was told from beginning to end. And can we talk about the supporting cast of characters? From Audric, Ludivine, and Corien to Remy,  Navi, and my FAVORITE, Simon. All of these characters really made both Rielle and Eliana who they are and gave them the drive they have. But honestly, I think the dual POVs of Rielle and Eliana really helped me fall as hard for this book as I did. Really getting to know their fears and desires and inner thoughts made me understand their motivations and how they got to the places they were in their lives.

From the moment I opened Furyborn I was hooked. The opening chapter gave so much yet so little away I needed to know more immediately. I felt like I got to know some of these characters in the first few pages and I was itching for more. I can’t say it enough, get your hands on this book and start this fantastic trilogy!

Have you read this amazing book yet?

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