Blog Tour: Permanent Record – Mary H. K. Choi {Excerpt + Giveaway}

Blog Tour: Permanent Record – Mary H. K. Choi {Excerpt + Giveaway}Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
Published: September 3, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of Emergency Contact, which Rainbow Rowell called “smart and funny,” comes an unforgettable new romance about how social media influences relationships every day.

On paper, college dropout Pablo Rind doesn’t have a whole lot going for him. His graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn is a struggle. Plus, he’s up to his eyeballs in credit card debt. Never mind the state of his student loans.

Pop juggernaut Leanna Smart has enough social media followers to populate whole continents. The brand is unstoppable. She graduated from child stardom to become an international icon and her adult life is a queasy blur of private planes, step-and-repeats, aspirational hotel rooms, and strangers screaming for her just to notice them.

When Leanna and Pablo meet at 5:00 a.m. at the bodega in the dead of winter it’s absurd to think they’d be A Thing. But as they discover who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy the deafening expectations of everyone else, Lee and Pab turn to each other. Which, of course, is when things get properly complicated.

~~~~~~~~~~~

About Mary H.K. Choi

Mary H.K. Choi is a writer for The New York TimesGQWired, and The Atlantic. She has written comics for Marvel and DC, as well as a collection of essays called Oh, Never Mind. Her debut novel Emergency Contact was a New York Times bestseller. She is the host of Hey, Cool Job!, a podcast about jobs and Hey, Cool Life!, a podcast about mental health and creativity. Mary grew up in Hong Kong and Texas and now lives in New York.

I double tap without hesitation. The gauntlet has unquestioningly been thrown. Let the record show I am game.

But for what?

For three full days I contemplate the futility of a DM slide while waffling maniacally as to whether or not I should leave a comment. I decide not to. I wish there were a field guide for this. Someone to ask about the rules. Quora, unsurprisingly, is unhelpful. That’s always an accurate gauge for desperation. If I’m on the Quora part of the Internet, it’s a cry for help.

In an effort to exert even a modicum of chill, I do absolutely nothing and writhe in self-loathing while being extra vigilant around the deli just in case she really does live in the area. The loserish feelings have reached a deafening, skin-crawling crescendo by the time she comes back.

Which she does.

Just like that.

Leanna Smart strolls into the store. This happens in a disembodying dreamscape slow motion. I’m basically Dare­devil I’m delivered so much information at once. The way she smells (different from the perfume bearing her name), the way her head bobs when she speaks, her teeth. I can’t even explain how in the moment it feels impossible but entirely inevitable. Like the end of the world in certain mythology where everyone knows it’s coming but you don’t fully believe it until it arrives. Except of course this is different. It’s a beginning.

Finally.

“Hey, Sad Boy,” Leanna Smart calls to me exactly eleven days after we met. Again at an ungodly hour.

I’m stunned as thousands of windows in the browser of my mind explode to play a manic GIF of me fist pumping the sky. I am jubilant. Triumphant. I am also tempted to poke through her cheek to make sure she’s not one of those freakish flight attendant holograms you get at the airport now.

This time she’s wearing an enormous puffer coat with a fur collar and sweats.

“Uh, hey,” I tell her. And then, “What’s up, Suarez?” Since calling her Leanna Smart feels insane. Like calling someone Mickey Mouse. Or Coca-Cola.

“You know,” she says. “I’ve eaten your food and huddled to you for warmth, but I don’t know your name.”

She smiles easily. As though we’re friends. As though we’ve been friends.

Me, I’m working on a delay. I’m stuck on her lips, the way they move. Her cheekbones. The hand brushing a strand of hair away from her forehead. Her short thumbs that make better big toes than fingers. Statistics fly through my head: 345,112,459—the number of times people have viewed Leanna Smart’s multi platinum single “Tower” from her bestselling fourth studio album Milestone. One hundred and forty-three million—Leanna Smart’s follower count across all social media platforms (rando bots notwithstanding). How her left eye’s slightly bigger than her right one. Sadder. Sadder? Yes, sadder. Slightly. And the voice, the voice, the voice. Deeper than you’d ever imagine. Gravelly. No, raspy. Textured. Tangible.

“I know ‘at Munchies Paradise’ isn’t your government name,” she says evenly. “Unless your parents are Frito-Lay industry plants and you’re the poster child for early-onset type 1 diabetes. Plus gout.”

She smiles at me, tilting her head in a way my mind recognizes as A Thing Leanna Smart Does from the hours of interview videos I’ve studied.

I remind myself to clear my browser history.

“Can you imagine?” I ask her coolly. My heart is thundering in my chest—spelunk, spelunk, spelunk—but I keep it together. “If that were what my parents ultimately wanted for my life? I’d have to tattoo junk food logos on my body like NASCAR patches.”

“That would be amazing,” she says. “Part SoundCloud rapper, part Nestlé ad.”

She approaches with her hand extended. “You can call me Lee,” she says, and I feel a warmth at the prospect of calling her anything since I thought for sure I would never see her again.

Lee. My mind furiously attempts to reconcile the syllable with building-size ads and the countless—so very many—photographs from every conceivable angle that I’ve absorbed. Lee. As in the title of the only-just-announced fifth studio album from one Leanna Smart. Allegedly the grown-up one. The . . .

Shit. Answer her.

“Pablo,” I tell her, taking her hand. It’s cold. I release it reluctantly. “And don’t think my parents did me any favors. Pablo Neruda’s my first name. Last name Rind.”

“The poet?”

Usually I dread this. People who recognize the name ask me to recite something, as if to make them closer to a dead Chilean poet laureate. Then again, I’m happy that Leanna— Lee—knows who he is. Tons of people don’t.

“Yeah,” I say.

“Jesus. That’s emo.”

She’s not wrong.

“So, wait,” she says. “Do I call you Pablo Neruda as your full first name?”

“Nah. Pab’ll do.”

“Pab’ll it is.” She smiles goofily.

 

August 26thVicky Who Reads
August 27thAdventures of a Book Junkie
August 28thUtopia State of Mind
August 29thRead by Tiffany
August 30thRich in Color
August 31stYour Tita Kate
September 2ndBooks on Pointe
September 3rdAndi’s ABCs
September 4thBook Scents
September 5thTwirling Pages
September 6thBookshelves & Paperbacks
September 9thYA Bibliophile
September 10thMary Had A Little Book Blog
September 11thChasing Faerytales
September 12thNicole’s Novel Reads
September 13thMel to the Any

One winner will receive a hardcover copy of Permanent Record. US ONLY. Ends September 10, 2019 at 11:59pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Continue Reading

Blog Tour: Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud {Giveaway}

Blog Tour: Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud {Giveaway}Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud
Published by Point
Published: July 30, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
three-stars

Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She's excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she's definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who's an actual prince of an island off the coast of England. But Owen is funny, charming...and undeniably cute. Zora can't ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother's big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora's not sure it's something she can live with. Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that's like The Princess Diaries for a new generation.

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 go through phases where I find myself reading books set in certain settings. Sometimes I will read 4 different hockey romances in a month. Some months I will read a group of fantasy books with magic. This month it was all about the royalty. For some reason I found myself reading a lot of books about princes and princess and soon to be kings and queens. And to kick off my royal reading, Truly Madly Royally.

Truly Madly Royally is the story of Zora, a girl that wants to change the world. She finds herself enrolled in a prestigious summer program where she is surrounded by mostly white classmates making it hard for her to fit in. That is until she meets Owen in the library and they immediately click. But what Zora doesn’t know is that Owen is an actual prince. Soon everyone is talking about the two of them and it only gets worse when Owen invites Zora to the wedding of his brother. From private person to gossip headlines Zora has to figure out if her feelings for Owen is worth the scrutiny or if she wants to break his royal heart.

Truly Madly Royally was an entertaining, albeit a light read. I immediately felt the Harry and Meghan vibe as soon as Zora and Owen met. I could see where the author possibly got her inspiration and I liked that. I think YA readers will appreciate that too. A ‘ripped from the headlines’ feel but not in a dramatic way, but in a fun, love story way. Zora is the kind of character that will be relatable to readers. She has a great moral compass and does what she can for her community. (Personally, my favorite part of this book was Zora’s best friend and Zora’s brother. I totally want a book about the two of them. They had such great chemistry.)

If you are looking for a quick read about royalty, then you should pick up this book for sure.

About Debbie Rigaud

Debbie Rigaud was born in Manhattan to a Haitian immigrant family. The third of four daughters, she’s certain her first greeting into this world was, “A girl…encore?” At the time of her birth, her family lived in Brooklyn. But before Debbie could say “Theodore Aloysius Huxtable,” the Rigaud ’rents packed up the fam and headed to East Orange, NJ to break from city living. (Ha!)

Debbie began her writing career covering news and entertainment for magazines, including Seventeen, Twist and CosmoGIRL!. She’s interviewed celebs, politicians, and social figures, but enjoyed interviewing “real” girls the most. Her first work of Young Adult fiction, the novella “Double Act,” was featured in HALLWAY DIARIES/Kimani Tru. Soon thereafter, romantic comedy PERFECT SHOT/Simon Pulse became her first standalone book. Debbie’s non-fiction essays have been published in anthologies IT’S ALL LOVE/Broadway Books and DEAR BULLY/HarperTeen. Her humorous short story “Voila!” is included in the critically-acclaimed book OPEN MIC/Candlewick Press. Look out for her upcoming rom-com TRULY MADLY ROYALLY (Scholastic/Point) releasing July 30th! And HOPE: PROJECT MIDDLE SCHOOL (Scholastic), her Middle Grade debut co-written with activist Alyssa Milano, releases October 1, 2019. Book 2 in the HOPE series is coming April 2020.

Beyond bylines, Debbie has edited Middle Grade and Children’s stories for publisher Just Us Books, and has been a finalist in Bermuda Music & Dramatic Society’s annual playwright contest. For tween girl retail giant Justice, she currently scriptwrites a tween variety show webseries and a magical folktale series. A total Jersey girl at heart, Debbie and her husband live in the Columbus, Ohio area with their preschooler daughter and toddler son in a vibrant home brimming with child safety locks and baby gates. (They have lots & lots of cabinets!)

Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of TRULY MADLY ROYALLY by Debbie Rigaud (US Only)

Starts: 24th July 2019
Ends: 7th August 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

July 24th

July 25th

Book Slaying – Guest Post
Book Rambler – Review
The Clever Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookmark Lit – Review

July 26th

Musings of a (Book) Girl – Review + Favourite Quotes
Wishful Endings – Review
Struck by Stories – Review
Phannie the ginger bookworm – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 27th

Bookishly Nerdy – Review + Favourite Quotes
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post
Flying Paperbacks  – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 28th

The Layaway Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes
Andi’s ABCs – Review
Inky Moments – Review + Favourite Quotes
Kait Plus Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

July 29th

The Candid Cover – Review + Playlist
The Reading Faery – Review + Favourite Quotes
Magical Reads – Review + Playlist

July 30th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Bibliophile Confessions – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookish_Kali – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Dream Within A Dream – Promotional Post

 

Continue Reading

Blog Tour: The Boy Next Story by Tiffany Schmidt

Blog Tour: The Boy Next Story by Tiffany SchmidtThe Boy Next Story by Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Bookish Boyfriends #2
Published by Amulet Paperbacks
Published: May 21, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

The second book in a series where your favorite literary characters come to life, inspired by the timeless classic, Little Women!

There’s no one better than the boy next door. At least not according to Aurora Campbell, fourteen, who has been in love with Tobias May since their very first sandbox kiss. The problem is, he’s in love with her older sister, Merrilee. And Merri is already dating one of his best friends.

Rory is learning all about pining as her class reads The Great Gatsby, a book she doesn’t find “great” at all. Also not great—her GPA, something she needs to fix, quickly, if she’d like to apply for the chance to spend a week studying art with her hero in New York City over winter break. But when Ms. Gregoire assigns her to read Little Women for extra credit, Rory discovers more than she expected—both about herself and Toby. Maybe she wasn’t in love with the boy next door. . . but the boy next story.

Love is complicated, and it’s all about to get even trickier for Rory at Reginald R. Hero Prep . . . where with the help of one quirky English teacher, students’ fantasies come true, often with surprising consequences.

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.

Last year when I reviewed A Date with Darcy (previously Bookish Boyfriends) I said: “…I have read a couple of books by Tiffany Schmidt, and I have met her in person. Bookish Boyfriends is probably the most Tiffany book I have ever read.” After reading The Boy Next Story, I stand corrected. This is the most Tiffany book I have ever read! I know that sounds weird to say and if you have never met her you may not understand, but I could feel her and her love for writing and teaching and the classic novels in every turn of the page. Honestly, I couldn’t have loved this book more if I tried and that is because I could tell how much Tiffany loved crafting it.

The Boy Next Story is Rory’s story. The youngest of the Campbell girls, Rory has always had trouble finding her place. She is the artistic one, the forgotten one, the one that feels like the extra. Now at a new school, she is having even more trouble. Between her failing math grade to being blatantly disliked in her once favorite class, art, Rory is having a hard time. And her crush on her neighbor, Toby isn’t helping since he is still head over heels for her sister, Merrilee. All Rory wants is to be seen and to be herself. Now she just needs to figure out how to do that…and manage not to flunk out of Hero High. Good thing her English teacher is some kind of magic.

I have loved Rory since the first time she was introduced in A Date with Darcy. There was something about her that connected with me and I think that is what also made her book so much more special to read.  I 100% loved everything about this book. I loved Rory and her sisters and her group of friends. I love her relationship with Toby and with her art. I loved how lost she felt and alone and how that made her a better person when she grew and learned from all of it. And I loved how, as a reader, I got to watch her grow and develop into the fantastic person that she is.

I say this all the time, but reviewing a book you love is so hard to do. My love for The Boy Next Story is difficult to put into the appropriate words. I loved it so much and I feel like that isn’t enough to say. I feel like I’m doing this amazing book a disservice by only saying that, but honestly that I all I have. That and I need you to go out and buy a copy and fall in love with Rory and Toby and all the others like I did.

 

About Tiffany Schmidt

Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a Sign, Bright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family book 1).

She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles.

You can find out more about her and her books at: TiffanySchmidt.com, TiffanySchmidtWrites.Tumblr.com or by following her on Twitter @TiffanySchmidt.

Prize: Win a copy of BOOKISH BOYFRIENDS: THE BOY NEXT STORY by Tiffany Schmidt (US Only) Ends 6/4/19.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 21st

May 22nd

A Dream Within A Dream – Book Excerpt
Musings of a (Book) Girl – Review + Favourite Quotes

May 23rd

Andi’s ABCs – Review
The Caffeinated Reader – Review + Playlist
Savings in Seconds – Review

May 24th

Struck by Stories – Character Outfit
Justicereads – Review + Favourite Quotes

May 25th

Ohana Cascadia – Review + Favourite Quotes
BookCrushin – Review

May 26th

Kait Plus Books – Top 10 List
R E A (D) I V I N E – Review + Favourite Quotes

May 27th

Wanderer in Neverland – Review + Dream Cast

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Blog Tour: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

Blog Tour: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah FaizalWe Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1) by Hafsah Faizal
Published: May 14, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads

People lived because she killed.People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Set in a richly detailed world inspired by ancient Arabia, We Hunt the Flame is a gripping debut of discovery, conquering fear, and taking identity into your own hands.


Glossary and Pronunciation Guide

I am fortunate enough to be today’s stop on the blog tour for We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. In terms of full disclosure, I am currently not finished with the book but I can happily tell you that it is really great based on what I read. Stay tuned for my review to be posted sometime this month. Anyway, I don’t need to be done with the book to do today’s post. All I needed was some inspiration, and the location Hafsah set up worked perfectly.

As some of you know, I create handmade cards. On occassion, I am inspired by the book I am reading and create a card based off of that. Well, my recent book inspiration was for We Hunt the Flame.

Hearing that the setting was based on Arabia I immediately knew what I wanted to do and collected my supplies. I grabbed three of my Distress Inks (chipped sapphire, salty ocean, and seedless preserves), black and gold card stock and, the city skyline die by Hero Arts. (Not seen Pretty Pink Posh Rose Gold gems and Bristol Smooth white cardstock.)

Starting with the Bristol Smooth paper and the chipped sapphire Distress Ink I blended the color on the paper. Then I added the Seedless Preserves being sure I overlap the colors to blend them before finally adding in the salty ocean. Once I had the colors blended to my liking I had created a night sky to be used as the backdrop.

With the blending complete I used the gold and black card stock to create the city skylines and glued them on to the blended background. Once the glue was dried I used a stamp in my stash and used white embossing powdered and heat set it to make the powered shiny and smooth. To top it off I added the rose gold gems to mimic stars in the sky.

About Hafsah Faizal

Hafsah Faizal is an American Muslim and brand designer. She’s the founder of IceyDesigns, where she creates websites for authors and beauteous goodies for everyone else. When she’s not writing, she can be found dreaming up her next design, deciding between Assassin’s Creed and Skyrim, or traversing the world. Born in Florida and raised in California, she now resides in Texas with her family and a library of books waiting to be devoured. WE HUNT THE FLAME is her first novel.

Continue Reading

Blog Tour: Love from A to Z by S. K. Ali

Blog Tour: Love from A to Z by S. K. AliLove from A to Z by S.K. Ali
Published by Salaam Reads
Published: April 30, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Add to Goodreads
five-stars

From William C. Morris Award Finalist S.K. Ali comes an unforgettable romance that is part The Sun Is Also a Star mixed with
Anna and the French Kiss
, following two Muslim teens who meet during a spring break trip.

A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.

An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.

But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.

When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.

Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.

Then her path crosses with Adam’s.

Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.

Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.

Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.

Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…

Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

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.

The description for Love from A to Z says, “…an unforgettable romance that is part The Sun Is Also a Star mixed with Anna and the French Kiss…”. I was concerned when I read that. Anna and the French Kiss is my all-time favorite book so those are some really big shoes to fill. However, the book sounded too good to pass up, even if it scared me. Well, thank goodness I did because Love from A to Z was so heartbreakingly beautiful and I didn’t want it to end.

Love from A to Z is a book about Adam and Zayneb, two teens from two different parts of the world. Besides both being Muslim, they have one thing in common, they journal in the same Marvels and Oddity notebooks. When these two randomly meet on their way to Doha, Qatar they end up on a journey they didn’t expect and learning things about themselves and each other that will forever change them.

It is going to be really hard for me to put into words how amazing Love from A to Z is. Simply saying ‘I loved it so much’ doesn’t seem to be enough, but I’m struggling to find the most accurate way to describe it.  I can tell you that Adam and Zayneb were magical together and as their own character. I can tell you that each of them had such strong stories that stood completely on their own, but bringing them together was like setting off fireworks. I can tell you that I cried in a place or 30 and peoples actions broke my heart. I can tell you that Adam had a rough road ahead of him but he was dealing with it with grace. And I can tell you that Zayneb should never have dealt with the discrimination she faced on the daily, and she had every right to feel the anger she did.

To simply say that Love from A to Z was fantastic is doing it a disservice. It was a beautifully written story about life, love, and disappointment. It was about two teens that find each other when they needed each other the most. In the end, it is a book that all I can say is…READ IT!

About S.K. Ali

S. K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S. K. Ali's debut YA is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith.

Mon, April 29 – Utopia State of Mind
Tues, April 30 – Andi’s ABCs
Weds, May 1 – Runaway with Dreamthieves
Thurs, May 2 – Take Me Away
Fri, May 3 – Vicky Who Reads
Sat, May 4 – Book Scents
Mon, May 6 – Mary Had A Little Book Blog
Tues, May 7 – As Told by Zaheerah
Weds, May 8 – The Infinite Limits of Love
Thurs, May 9 – Pop! Goes the Reader
Fri, May 10 – Rich in Color
Mon, May 13 – Actin’ Up With Books
Tues, May 14 – Kaitlyn Gosiaco’s Blog
Weds, May 15 – It Starts at Midnight
Thurs, May 16 – Sleepy Sam Reads
Fri, May 17 – Wishful Endings

Continue Reading
1 2 3 21