Blog Tour: Harper Teen Winter 2016 – The Word for Yes (Epic Giveaway)


Welcome to stop 43 on the Harper Teen Winter 2016 Blog Tour.  Hannah (The Irish Banana) and Stephanie from Harper have put together a fab tour that is showcasing all of the fantastic books coming out in Winter 2016 from Harper Teen. Along the tour there has been an epic giveaway going on. Be sure to check out the end of the post for details and my secret word. Without further ado I give you The Word for Yes:

Blog Tour: Harper Teen Winter 2016 – The Word for Yes (Epic Giveaway)The Word for Yes by Claire Needell
Published by HarperTeen
Published: February 16th 2016
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fter their parents’ divorce, Jan, Erika, and Melanie have to get used to the new world order: a father who’s moved to another continent and a mother who throws herself into moving on. Jan, off at her first semester of college, has plenty to worry about, including an outspoken roommate who’s kind of “out there” and an increasingly depressed and troubled long-distance boyfriend. Her younger sisters, left at home in New York City, and dealing with all the pressures of life in high school, aren’t exactly close. Erika is serious and feels awkward and uncomfortable in crowds, though her beauty tends to attract attention. Melanie is socially savvy and just wants to go out—to concerts, to parties, wherever—with her friends. The gap between all three girls widens as each day passes.

Then, at a party full of blurred lines and blurred memories, everything changes. Starting that night, where there should be words, there is only angry, scared silence.

And in the aftermath, Jan, Erika, and Melanie will have to work hard to reconnect and help one another heal.

At once touching and raw, Claire Needell’s first novel is an honest look at the love and conflicts among sisters and friends, and how these relationships can hold us together—and tear us apart.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

About Claire Needell

Claire Needell is a graduate of Brown’s MFA Program, a middle school teacher, and the author of two books of poetry. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Sunday Review.


#1 – A Harper Teen Winter 2016 Catalog prizepack of 40+ books*.

*All YA titles in the winter2016 catalog with the exception of The Siren by Kiera Cass, Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige and Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard.*

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#2 – 5 Finished Copies from the Harper Teen Fall 2015 Catalog

5 books are: The Lies About Truth, Walk on Earth A Stranger, Dreamland, Dumplin’, and Da Vinci’s Tiger

How to enter:

Collect the daily word from each blog stop during the Harper Winter 2016 Tour (a total of 45). Once you’ve collected them all, email the complete saying to: HarperTeenTour(at)gmail(dot)com

Prize Rules:

1.)    Winner must have a valid US mailing address to receive the prize

2.)    Winner must be over 13

3.)    Only one (1) entry per person for Prize #2 – duplicates will be deleted.

4.)    Only a completed phrase will be accepted as an entry – do not email each word/phrase daily. Wait until you have the complete saying and then email in.

5.)    All email submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EST 11/30/2015.

6.)    Winners will be selected 12/1/2015 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another is selected.

7.)    Participating blogs and bloggers are not responsible for unsent, damaged, and/or stolen prizes offered by the publisher.

My Code word…AND

This is a Blog Hop!


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Blog Tour: The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens – Q&A plus a Giveaway

I have been a fan of Courtney C. Stevens since I read her first book Faking Normal. She has a way about her writing that just pulls me in. And she writes the CUTEST boys and the best friendships. Anyway as much as I loved Faking Normal I loved The Lies About Truth 100 times more. I seriously can’t say enough good things about this book. I will review it in the future but today we have Courtney on the blog answering a few of my questions about the book.

Make sure you check in after the Q&A as we are giving away 3 finished copies of The Lies About Truth and you don’t want to miss it.

Q & A with Courtney C. Stevens

First I have to tell you how much I loved loved loved The Lies About Truth. It was this perfect story wrapped up in 330ish pages. So thank you for that. On to the questions.

1) Both your debut Faking Normal and The Lies About Truth deal with some really heavy topics like rape and death/grief, respectively. As an author how do you put yourself into that mind frame and craft a story that is balanced between the serious and romantic and not completely depressing?

When I’m at schools and I read from either Faking Normal or The Lies About Truth I usually say, “As you can tell, I don’t write about puppy dogs and rainbows.” They all laugh. And as we continue that dialogue, there is an understanding that I write about these things because they are living them. Because I once lived in that same head space. Offering a balance of “life is hard” and “life is still rewarding” and “life has love in the middle of pain” are truths I believe I need now and I needed in high school.

As far as keeping it from being too depressing, that’s where my editor and critique partners help me reign things in. I write everything raw, and then go back and do humor and pity checks.

2)Friendship is a huge part of The Lies About Truth, which I personally love to see in YA books. Friendships are complicated and real and for Sadie that is no different. Why was friendship such an important part of this story?

When I look back at high school, friendship was THE thing. Did I date? Absolutely. Did I obsess over boys? Absolutely. Did I worry about my grades? Absolutely. But I did those things with my friends on the couch over chips and salsa. My day-to-day life was lived out with friends instead of romantic hopefuls. They were the people who made my life and broke my heart and showed up with life sucked the hardest. With that history in mind, I always try to express complicated and rewarding friendships in my work, because those are the people I do life with.

3) And finally I can’t not ask about Max. You seem to have a knack for writing the most adorable boys for a story. How did Max come about and why is it so important that this main female characters have the good guy in the corner?

Thank you. I rather love Max myself. I love writing a good guy, because I believe they are out there. But … I think it’s important to note that he could have been a girl too. I try to write secondary main characters who see beyond the layers/walls a main character builds to disguise herself. So far, in both Faking Normal and The Lies About Truth, those happen to have been boys. But I never want a girl to read my work and think she just has to have a guy in her life to be whole. She needs a friend in her life. Love in her life. Acceptance in her life. I deeply believe that people need people. Trust and authenticity within a community is a powerful, life-altering thing. That has nothing to do with gender or romantic love (although those can be wonderful additions.) Alexi and Sadie needed someone who saw them, and the people who saw them happen to be boys. Good boys, who are looking to add to the world rather than take.

When I set out to build Max as a gift for Sadie, I thought about who she needed to help her transform, and who I’ve met in my life that comforted me when I felt the most broken. The boys I write always come out of the kindness I’ve met in friends and relationships.

Blog Tour: The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens – Q&A plus a GiveawayThe Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens
Published by HarperTeen
Published: November 3rd 2015
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Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past.

About Courtney C. Stevens

Courtney C. Stevens grew up in Kentucky and lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She is an adjunct professor and a former youth minister. Her other skills include playing hide-and-seek, climbing trees, and being an Olympic torch bearer. She is also the author of Faking Normal, which Kirkus Reviews called "a story that resonates" and Publishers Weekly called a "rich debut," as well as the e-novellaThe Blue-Haired Boy.

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

Tour Schedule:

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Blog Tour: The ABCs with Emerson from Hello? by Liza Wiemer

Today we have a Blog Tour edition of The ABCs brought by a character in Liza Wiemer’s book Hello?. The book is currently available for purchase and is written in a bunch of varying styles. You can find out more on the book and enter the giveaway below. But now let’s welcome Emerson (and Liza) to the ABCs!


Accessories: Fossil Coachman Chronograph Brown Leather Watch
Building off a classic design, a thick rich leather cuff adds rugged appeal to this sharp steel chronograph.

Emerson would wear this watch because he likes the vintage look. After all, he drives a ’68 Camaro.

Books: Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1847, 1st Edition, Signed Bennett Binding
Yes, this is expensive. But it would be a Christmas gift to Emerson from Tricia, who inherited a great deal of money from her father and grandmother. This first edition signed copy of Ralph Waldo Emerson poems would mean so much to Emerson. After all, he was named for Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Tricia and Emerson bantered over quotes during their first phone call. It’s something that Emerson would cherish forever.

Clothes: Armani Exchange Colorblock Wool Polo
The black, grey combo would look amazing on Emerson, and would most likely bring out the blue in his eyes. He’d love this sweater for it’s classic, formfitting look. (And the jeans are pretty hot too!)


Blog Tour: The ABCs with Emerson from Hello? by Liza WiemerHello? by Liza Wiemer
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary
Published: November 10th 2015
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One HELLO? can change a life. One HELLO? can save a life.

Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma's death.
Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical.
Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry.
Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past.
Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both.

Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens' stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope.

Told from all five viewpoints: narration (Tricia), narration (Emerson), free verse poetry (Angie), screenplay format (Brenda), narration and drawings (Brian).

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | The Book Depository

About Liza Wiemer

I am the author of two non-fiction adult books, short stories, and newspaper and magazine articles. A pre-school to high school educator now writing YA fiction full time, which I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! And I'm a diehard Green Bay Packers fan.

For my author posts on writing and my upcoming YA novel HELLO?:
Unique "job" experiences: I spent a summer selling popcorn in a Koepsell's popcorn wagon while listening to awesome music on the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee. I also know my way around a fender and a quarter panel and under the hood of a car. I spent a few years driving to accident scenes, scrapyards, hospitals, auto repair shops as a claims adjuster for an insurance company.

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Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
Week 2:
Week 3:
Nov. 18: Andi’s ABCs


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Blog Tour: I’ll Meet You There Q and A with Heather Demetrios and a Giveaway


Blog Tour: I’ll Meet You There Q and A with Heather Demetrios and a GiveawayI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Macmillan
Published: February 3rd 2015
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If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

1. I was lucky enough to win a copy of I’ll Meet You There and read it back in the summer. It is one of those books that just stays with you (4 months later it still kills me in the best of ways!). You can 100% tell that you put your heart in soul into this book. The emotions just leap of the page. What was that like for you? How was the experience of writing it?

In some ways I feel like IMYT kind of ruined me—it’s raised the bar so high in terms of what the journey of writing a book can be. I literally started sobbing when I finished the last line of the first full draft, in part because it had been so hard to write the book and there were so many points when I thought I couldn’t do it, and also because I loved my characters so much and was able to guide them to where they needed to be. I’m really freaking proud of this book. There were so many highs and lows throughout the process, what with the research and interviews and stories I was being told. Mostly, I just wanted to write something worthy of the subject matter. I’ve talked before about how incredibly difficult it was to deal with such heavy topics as PTSD, death, the war in Afghanistan, poverty and how working on this book forced me to come to terms with my dad’s PTSD. I also wrote the bulk of this book in the months after my grandfather died. He was my main father figure all of my life, so it was hard. That was how I was able to enter into some of Sky’s feelings about losing her dad. I think the coolest thing about the book was how my writer’s group realized that Josh was such a huge character before I did. He was kind of buried in my subconscious and they held him up to the light. I’ll love them forever for that. Writing IMYT opened my mind and my heart and there are so many pieces of me in there that I honestly am not sure where reality stops and fiction begins.


2. Personally I fell in love with your writing when I read Something Real earlier this year. It was such a great story really relevant to everything in pop culture with great characters. I’ll Meet You There is definitely a different book but that is still very relevant to now. What was it like to explore too different parts relevant to today’s world?

I want to write books for my time and, hopefully, they will also stand the test of time. It’s so exciting to deal with relevant subject matter because it allows me to enter into the conversation about issues I care about. Knowing that I can shed light on things like trafficking or veterans issues or children’s rights through my work keeps me focused on what matters and gives me perspective. I believe we all have a responsibility to serve society in some way. As a writer, my goal is to give people hope, to let them know they’re not alone, and to open their eyes to groups of people or things in our world they weren’t aware of. I also, of course, want to entertain and give people a chance to escape, to be voyeurs. Because my books are also marketed to teens, I’m very aware of the opportunity I have to inspire them and get them thinking—but, of course, I want to do that for all my readers, regardless of their age! One of the best things about dealing with relevant topics is that I get to learn about those things in depth. I’m a better person because of the research I had to do for I’ll Meet You There and Something Real. Sadder, in some ways, but better for it.


3. There is no denying that Sky and Josh are very flawed characters. The two of them have been through a lot in their young lives. Even with their flaws they were relatable and likable. How was it getting into the head of these two amazing characters?

Everyone has flaws, Sky and Josh no more than anyone else. You know, my characters are complicated people who screw up and hurt others and themselves—just like we all do. I think readers will connect to Josh and Sky because they put it all out there—all the messy, ugly things we don’t want other people to see. If I had met Josh Mitchell on the street before writing this book, I would have had this whole preconceived notion of this jarhead guy, right? But because I had to get in his skin, it helped me to see how profoundly fascinating Marines and Soldiers are. There are lots of poets in those ranks, and people who are hurting and fighting wars on the inside just as much as on the outside.

To me, Sky and Josh are real. The level of intimacy I had to have with them in order to understand who they were—and particularly to understand Josh—required me to get in the trenches with them. Sky and I have several parallels, so I had to take a look at some things in my own life and find those places where I completely got her. But she’s very much her own person—she’s much tougher than I am. I wonder if I’ll ever, ever again have such a satisfying experience as I’ve had working on Josh. He taught me so much about what it means to have courage and loyalty and selflessness. It was really hard being in his head because it’s a scary place to be. And he’s such a guy’s guy—I had to rely on my research and my guts when it came to him.   


4. Tell me about the setting! The hotel that a lot of the book takes place in is pretty awesome. How did you come up with the idea? Is it a kind of setting you have wanted to use for a while or something that just came to you?

The motel was the genesis of the story. I don’t remember exactly when it popped into my head, but as soon as I thought of it, I knew it would be such an intriguing setting for a book. Once I started creating Creek View, it took on a life of its own. Ray’s, the trailer park, the abandoned gas station…they really just appeared out of nowhere, like they were hiding in my bones. I also relied on memories of my many trips up and down the 99 and being a native Californian who went to high school in Central California. Then the town sort of ran with it. Originally, the motel was a really negative, crappy place, but I think my writer’s group pointed out that Marge, instead of being a terrible boss, could be a more positive person. And once I realized that I could go there, the Paradise became this really special haven for Sky and Josh. It was one of my writer friends’ ideas to have themed rooms. Then I just went to town! (The Tom Cruise room is my favorite, no contest. But the Viva Mexico room is a close second). As cliché as this sounds, it really did take a village to write this book. So many people supported me along the way.


5. Since I read I’ll Meet You There pretty early, okay, August of 2014 early, I’m kind of dying for your next contemporary. Anything kind of hint you can give us on that? Or even what you are currently working on?

I had one idea that I played with for most of last year that crashed and burned spectacularly and that left me feeling a little freaked out, to be honest. The whole time I was working on it, I had this niggling feeling that I didn’t love it. Right now, I’m working on my next fantasy series, which I’m keeping under wraps but will hopefully be able to shout from the rooftops about by summer. In terms of contemporary, I do have this one idea I’m really intrigued by, but it’s hard because it feels like nothing can compare to this experience of I’ll Meet You There. I know, I need to get back on the horse. Part of it, too, is that I just finished getting my MFA and I’ve got all these ideas swirling around in my head about being experimental and such. I don’t know. I have to say that whatever I write next must have a voice that grabs me, like Josh did, and won’t let me go. I’m kind of interested in some Jandy Nelson type magical realism, too. And love, of course. Whatever I write will have lots of that because, to me, that’s what this whole living thing is all about.


6. And I ask all interviews this question since my blog deals with clothes and accessories too. What is the one accessory or clothing item you personally could not live without?

Socks! I know that’s so boring, but being a native Californian who now lives in freezing cold Brooklyn, my feet are blocks of ice and when I’m cold I can’t write. I also have this gorgeous infinity scarf that my husband bought me at Anthropologie and it’s my favorite thing in the world to wear. I always feel like a jetsetter fashionista when I wear it.

A HUGE thank you to Heather and Macmillan for this amazing blog tour experience. You can read my review of I’ll Meet You There HERE.

If you would like to win a cop of I’ll Meet You There, please enter below. The giveaway is US/Canada ONLY and provided by the publisher. Winner will receive a hardcover copy of I’ll Meet You There.  Runs February 3rd at 12am to February 8th at 11:59pm EST.

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About Heather Demetrios

When she's not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real, which Publisher's Weekly calls “[An] addictive yet thoughtful debut” about reality TV stardom. She is the author of EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, a smoldering fantasy about jinn in Los Angeles and what Kirkus called in its starred review "an intoxicating, richly realized realm of magic, politics, spirituality and history" (#1 in the DARK CARAVAN CYCLE). She is also the author of the upcoming I’ll Meet You There (Winter 2015). I’ll Meet You There is a love story about a young combat veteran and a girl trapped in their small town, both struggling to escape the war at home. Heather is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for underserved youth. She is proud to have an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can always find her on Twitter (@HDemetrios), ogling the military dogs she wants to adopt (but can’t because her NYC apartment is way too small). Find out more about Heather and her other books at and

Blog tour stops can be found HERE.

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Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe – Miranda Kenneally + a Giveaway {CLOSED}


Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe – Miranda Kenneally + a Giveaway {CLOSED}Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #5
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: April 7, 2015
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From the bestselling author of Catching Jordan comes a contemporary YA you won't forget.

The finish line is only the beginning.…

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can't escape the guilt that if she hadn't broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she's at war with her body, her mind-and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms...and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

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 and foremost I will state of the bat that I was lucky enough to read a very, very early draft version of this book that was sent to me by the author. I say this because I want it clear that the opinion I have on this book was not swayed by any shape or form by the opportunity to be a BETA reader. These thoughts are my thoughts and my thoughts alone.

With that out of the way I can tell you that Breathe, Annie, Breathe is the MOST FANTASTIC book that Miranda Kenneally has ever written. It had emotion and a beautiful story and fantastic writing. It had all the things I have come to expect from a Kenneally book but on a level that was different from her other books. Breathe, Annie, Breathe is definitely a heavier subject since it deals with death and guilt and being left behind, but Kenneally hit it out of the park with this one and showed the depth of her writing.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe is the story of, you guessed it, Annie. Annie is training to run a marathon to honor her boyfriend who unexpectedly died. Filled with anger and sadness and guilt, Annie decides to honor Kyle’s memory and to do the thing he dreamed of doing and never did, run all 26 miles. With the help of some familiar faces (see the first books in the Hundred Oaks series) Annie begins training and trying to start a life that doesn’t involve Kyle. What Annie didn’t expect though was the attraction she feels to her trainer’s younger brother Jeremiah. And as Annie and Jere get closer Annie has to make a decision just where she wants her life to actually go.

This book is really hard to put into words to show how really good it is. What I can say is that it was really poignant. My heart just broke for Annie. Here she was this 17-year-old girl that had her whole life to look forward to. She was going to college and was going to make something of herself. And the rug was pulled right under her when her boyfriend died. Sure she was still going to go to college and have a career, but Kyle was supposed to be by her side for all of it and then he was just gone. I can’t imagine what that would be like at my age never mind for a 17-year-old that thinks her boyfriend is the be all and end-all of her life. Even feeling so lost Annie did the one thing she could think of and that was to run because that was what Kyle liked to do and had dreamed of running a full marathon. Actually, the running was what I really admired about Annie because it ended up symbolizing two things. It symbolized her love for Kyle and it symbolized her having enough guts to keep on going even when the wind was knocked out of her. And in a weird way, it was Kyle telling her it was okay to move on in the direction of college and life. And he brought her to Jeremiah who changed her in a way she never saw coming.

Ah, Jeremiah Brown. What do I even say about him??!! I loved him for the brief time we saw him in Things I Can’t Forget so I was over the moon when I found out he was the “hot Kenneally boy” (that is a technical term!) in Breathe, Annie, Breathe. And trust me when I say hot he was. But he was also really sweet and patient and caring. He was pretty much a typical boy with his competitiveness and his need for a rush, but he also took thought when it came to other people’s fears and worry for him. And he was the PERFECT counterpart for Annie. She was terrified of losing someone else she loves so she held back, especially after learning about his love of extreme sports and danger. But Jere was also able to teach Annie a lot more about herself through his love of the rush. Basically, they had major chemistry and that is all I’m going to say about that.

Simply put, Breathe, Annie, Breathe was phenomenal. I’ve now read it twice and it got even better the second time which was hard to do. Kenneally put her heart and soul into this book and wrote a winner. It was one of those books that I just laughed and cried and smiled and sniffled over. It was 100% Miranda Kenneally and it was 100% awesome. Can’t wait for her next masterpiece.


About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.


And because this book is so awesome here is your chance to win a copy for yourself or a BN gift card for $50. Just click on the picture below to enter! US/Canada ONLY. Ends July 29, 2014.


*Jere pin created by me and Jen at Jenuine Cupcakes.

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