Thursday, March 1, 2018

Book Sketch: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

By: S. Jae-Jones
Published By: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Series: Wintersong
Pages: 436
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

First Thought After Finishing: Honestly, I still don’t know how I feel! 

From the first time I heard about it, Wintersong seemed like the perfect book. With its historical German setting, the Erlkonig lore, and all of the references to music, I knew that this book would make an impression, and it’s definitely been on my mind since I read the last page.

Liesl has grown up hearing her grandmother’s stories of the Goblin King. As a child, she fancied him her friend, but then she was forced to grow up and help her family stay together. A musician and dreamer at heart, Liesl has had to sacrifice much of her identity in the face of her sister Kathe’s beauty and her brother Josef’s musical talent. But when legends of the Goblin King resurface as more reality than dream, Liesl finds herself trying to navigate Der Erlkonig’s underground world to save her sister...but she may just lose her heart in the process.

"'Life,' he said softly, 'is more than flesh. Your body is a candle, your soul the flame. The longer I burn the candle...'

He did not finish.

'A candle unused is nothing but wax and wick,' I said. 'I would rather light the flame, knowing it will go out, than sit forever in darkness.'"

From the beginning of the story, I felt an immediate kinship with Liesl. She was a musician at heart who had to shoulder responsibilities other though music, though she never forgot the pull of the song. Liesl’s identity is wrapped up in her family, and throughout this book, she is rediscovering who she is as an individual. Enter the Goblin King, who fuels Liesl’s musical dreams. S. Jae-Jones’s reimagining of Der Erlkonig’s character honored the original story while creating something beautifully unique. From the descriptions of the Underground to its inhabitant creatures, the world was thoroughly infused with magic. Beyond this, I loved reading the shy, at times unsettling, but always tender romance that blossomed between the two. Liesl may have agreed to become the Goblin Queen, but their relationship still had a slow burn that made the story that much more intense. Like Liesl, I wanted to discover all of Der Erlkonig’s secrets and to see what happened when they both became the best version of themselves.

I’ve been thinking for some time about how to adequately describe the one sticking point I had with this book. Several times LIesl credited her intimacy with the Goblin King with helping her to become authentic and free, and that struck a dissonant chord. I wish she would have chosen that path because she wanted to share herself rather than find herself.

Regardless of the reason, the emotional journey of Liesl and Der Erlkonig was nothing short of magical. I cannot wait to read the second installment of this story and discover the future for them both.

Most Memorable Aspect: The musical references and lush writing style.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Book Sketch: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

By: Leigh Bardugo
Published By: Henry Holt & Company
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Series: Six of Crows
Pages: 452
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done - and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first.

First Thought After Finishing: WOW! I need more now!

Even though Six of Crows has been out for a while, I hadn’t gotten around to reading it because I’m about 382,746,988 (yes, that’s an EXACT count) books behind on my TBR pile. I actually started listening to this book on a trip with my family, and may I just say that the audiobook is phenomenal! Needless to say, I was immediately sucked into the story and continued to read furiously once out of the car.

Set in the Grishaverse, Six of Crows tells the story of Kaz “Dirtyhands” Brekker and his exploits in Ketterdam. Known for his shrewd cunning and ruthless deeds, he has become the de facto leader of The Dregs, one of Ketterdam’s rival gangs. After (unknowingly) displaying his skills to a council member, he is approached with an impossible proposition: to rescue one of the most-wanted people from the most secure place in the land. Together with a hand-picked team, Kaz sets out on what might well be a suicide mission, but one that offers riches only dreamed of if he succeeds.

If it’s not obvious, I love Kaz. He definitely qualifies for book-boyfriend status. He has a troubled past—because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a bad boy with a troubled past?—but I don’t love him for the sympathy angle. Kaz is a schemer and a visionary. How could anyone help but fall for his skill with tactical maneuvers and the way he takes the weight of everything onto himself? If that sounds unromantic, it might be because Kaz struggles with emotions himself.

Enter Inej, the Wraith. She might technically be second to Kaz, but she earned her reputation with skills that Kaz could never have. Inej is the master of stealth and gathering secrets, which fuel many of Kaz’s plans. I loved Inej’s strength and her devotion to her Suli saints even in the face of everything that said she had no reason to believe in the good anymore. At this point, I hardly think it’s a spoiler to say that everyone knows she and Kaz should be together, but as with all good stories, it could hardly be that easy.

The rest of the cast of characters is also wonderful. From Nina, who embraces who she is and is willing to make sacrifices for those she loves, to Mathias, the strong, stoic, somewhat silent type, who shows what you have to risk to pursue what’s right, to Wylan and Jesper, who bring much-needed comedic relief but are no less heroes in their own right. I loved this subsection of the Dregs and would read about any of their adventures any day.

Six of Crows might be a fantasy, but it’s also an action-packed thriller. Plot twists came with every turn of the page, but the conversations and development of the characters were woven so thoroughly into the adventure that I never felt like anything was sacrificed. The only thing that bothered me (aside from wanting MORE) was the fact that Kaz was supposed to be 17. I know it’s YA, and I know it’s fantasy, but in this book it bothered me more than normal, because his character just seemed to be so much older. But all of my feelings on that subject will be in their own post soon.

With every book she writes in the Grishaverse, Leigh Bardugo proves why she is a storytelling sorceress. “Loved” hardly seems to be a sufficient description for how I felt about this story and these characters. It has earned a place on my favorites shelf, and I’m only delaying reading Crooked Kingdom because I want the magic of the story to last a little longer. But I have no doubt it will be just as magical as Six of Crows.

Most Memorable Aspect: Kaz. Inej. All of the Dregs.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (118)

I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Like her grandfather, Kyra wanted to study storytelling. She collected the town's myths and legends, and she was always curious about what lay beyond. But Lost is a town that thrives on secrets, and in Kyra, all of Lost's secrets lay exposed."

Taken from pg. 16 of BEFORE I LET GO
by Marieke Nijkamp

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Book Sketch: Rules of Rain by Leah Scheier

By: Leah Scheier
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Series: None
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: A dramatic new novel about the bond between a teen and her twin brother.

Rain has taken care of Ethan all of her life. Before she even knew what autism meant, she's been her twin brother's connection to the hostile world around him. She's always prepared—when her father abandons them, when her mother gets sick, when Ethan is tortured by bullies from school—Rain is the reliable, stable one holding them all together. She's both cautious carer and mad chef, preparing customized meals for her family and posting crazy recipes on her cooking blog.

Each day with Ethan is unvarying and predictable, and she's sure that nothing will ever change—until one night when her world is turned upside down by a mistake she can't take back. As her new romance with her long-time crush and her carefully constructed life begins to unravel, she discovers that the fragile brother whom she's always protected has grown into a young man who no longer needs her. And now, for the first time, she finds that she needs him.

First Thoughts After Finishing: What a rollercoaster!

Initially I was drawn to the synopsis of this book because it features a character with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I teach at a school for autistic children, so I was curious to see how an autistic teenager would be represented in literature. Add to that a neurotypical twin and what seemed like a dramatic contemporary plotline, and I was sold. And Leah Scheier did not disappoint.

For as long as Rain can remember, she’s been taking care of her family. Her twin Ethan has autism, and she has been his support and caretaker, helping him navigate safely through the world. When he couldn’t talk or didn’t understand why something was happening, she was there to fix things. When Ethan became gluten-free, she started inventing new recipes and blogging about them. Rain thinks she has her family’s entire future mapped out. But Ethan, who never changes, seems to be changing. And one misstep has her questioning what she thinks. And if Rain isn’t holding everything together, who will?

Rules of Rain isn’t the kind of book that you fly through, but it is the kind of book that draws you in and doesn’t let you go. I started reading this on vacation, and I found myself wanting to steal moments to read to see how everything developed. This book is about relationships: Rain and Ethan, obviously; Rain and her parents (her mother is dysfunctional, to put it mildly), Rain and her crush, which unfolds in an interesting way, and Rain and her friends, who are purely awesome. I would have loved to have seen more from her friends, particularly Hope. She is completely endearing and a great best friend to Rain, and I wish that we had been able to read more of her storyline.

Then there is Ethan and the treatment of ASD. Excuse me while I hop onto my soapbox for a moment. There’s a saying about autism: If you’ve met one person with autism, then you’ve met one person with autism. Each person is different, which is why it’s considered a spectrum. Still, certain tendencies are common. I thought Ethan’s manifestation of autism was handled very well; it was most peoples’ treatment of Ethan that bothered me. People with autism shouldn’t be ridiculed for it any more than people should tease others who are different. Moreover, autism isn’t a disease to be “fixed” or “cured.” It’s just a different approach to the world. Autistic individuals are still capable of leading richly fulfilling lives complete with any experiences they want. And with that said, I’ll hop down now.

I loved reading about the world from Ethan’s point of view. Even after working with autistic individuals for a number of years, it’s still not always possible to fathom how their brain works, but it is fascinating to explore. In a way, this book was as much Ethan’s journey as Rain’s, and I was cheering for him every step of the way. I would love to know what happens next for him.

Overall, this book took me through every emotion, and I never stopped caring about the characters or where they would end up. Nothing was one-sided, and that was such a refreshingly honest depiction of real life. I look forward to reading more books from this author!

Most Memorable Aspect: The treatment of ASD.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"Waiting on" Wednesday

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's selection is:

By: Mati Rehtrota
Published By: Harper Voyager
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Preorder the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: Kyra is the youngest Markswoman in the Order of Kali, a highly trained sisterhood of elite warriors armed with telepathic blades. Guided by a strict code of conduct, Kyra and the other Orders are sworn to protect the people of Asiana. But to be a Markswoman, an acolyte must repudiate her former life completely. Kyra has pledged to do so, yet she secretly harbors a fierce desire to avenge her dead family.

When Kyra’s beloved mentor dies in mysterious circumstances, and Tamsyn, the powerful, dangerous Mistress of Mental Arts, assumes control of the Order, Kyra is forced on the run. Using one of the strange Transport Hubs that are remnants of Asiana’s long-lost past, she finds herself in the unforgiving wilderness of desert that is home to the Order of Khur, the only Order composed of men. Among them is Rustan, a young, disillusioned Marksman whom she soon befriends.

Kyra is certain that Tamsyn committed murder in a twisted bid for power, but she has no proof. And if she fails to find it, fails in her quest to keep her beloved Order from following Tamsyn down a dark path, it could spell the beginning of the end for Kyra--and for Asiana.

But what she doesn’t realize is that the line between justice and vengeance is razor thin . . . thin as the blade of a knife.

Why it's Wanted:

Epic fantasy is my favorite genre! I love the idea of a sisterhood, telepathic blades, and adventure combined with danger. I can't wait to see how this turns out!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (117)

I'm very excited to be one of the many blogs participating in Teaser Tuesdays! TT is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat. To participate:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
(Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"I do not know what to call him, but I cry out his name. My fingers reach, but he is gone."

Taken from pg. 137 of WINTERSONG
by S. Jae-Jones

Please share your teasers - post them or link to your blog!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Book Sketch: Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George

By: McKelle George
Published By: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Series: None
Pages: 368
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: Six teenagers’ lives intertwine during one thrilling summer full of romantic misunderstandings and dangerous deals in this sparkling retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

After she gets kicked out of boarding school, seventeen-year-old Beatrice goes to her uncle’s estate on Long Island. But Hey Nonny Nonny is more than just a rundown old mansion. Beatrice’s cousin, Hero, runs a struggling speakeasy out of the basement—one that might not survive the summer. Along with Prince, a poor young man determined to prove his worth; his brother John, a dark and dangerous agent of the local mob; Benedick, a handsome trust-fund kid trying to become a writer; and Maggie, a beautiful and talented singer; Beatrice and Hero throw all their efforts into planning a massive party to save the speakeasy. Despite all their worries, the summer is beautiful, love is in the air, and Beatrice and Benedick are caught up in a romantic battle of wits that their friends might be quietly orchestrating in the background.

Hilariously clever and utterly charming, McKelle George’s debut novel is full of intrigue and 1920s charm. For fans of Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Anna Godbersen.

First Thought After Finishing: I love Shakespeare retellings and the excitement of the Roaring Twenties, and this book captured the best of both worlds!

Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, so I was very excited to read this historical version. After hearing McKelle George read from the book at her signing, I was sure the book would be fully of snappy dialogue and touching moments, and the story did not disappoint. The adventures of Beatrice and Benedick were transformed in this new setting and made for lively reading.

Beatrice, poor yet feisty, dreams of being a doctor; Benedick, privileged but disenchanted, dreams of being a writer. When their paths first cross thanks to a speakeasy, quick-witted barbs take the place of flirtation as they try to help keep the speakeasy alive. In the midst of bootlegging and hosting parties, the friends can’t help but notice the romantic tension between Beatrice and Benedick and decide to intervene. In this comedy of errors, one can’t help but be entertained.

As much as I love fantasy, sometimes opening a window to the past is a wonderful escape. With this novel, I enjoyed the best of life in the twenties, from the dangerous excitement of the speakeasies to the lazy days of summer spent with friends. The schemes that transpired as well as wanting to know the fate of Hey Nonny Nonny kept me turning pages. Furthermore, the romantic tension wasn’t isolated to Beatrice and Benedick. The story between John and Maggie was one that I found myself drawn to as I hoped for happiness for everyone.

One of my other favorite things about this book was the writing style. Lush and descriptive, with just the right amount of snappy dialogue, this book captured the romanticized aspects of the ‘20s. It was refreshing to read such a unique voice, and I’m eager to see what she writes next!

Most Memorable Aspect: The witty repartee and slow-building tension between Beatrice and Benedick.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne

By: Livia Blackburne
Published By: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Series: Rosemarked #1
Pages: 400
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it’s only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she’s destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art—until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he’ll do anything to free them from Amparan rule—even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn’t be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.

This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes.


New York Times best-selling author LIVIA BLACKBURNE has a PhD in neuroscience from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she conducted research on the neural correlates of reading. She still blogs on the intersection of writing and brain science, and she now lives in Los Angeles with her family. Livia is also the author of Midnight Thief, an Indies Introduce New Voices selection, and its sequel, Daughter of Dusk.

Find Her Online:
Website | Twitter | Instagram


To celebrate the ROSEMARKED release, the author is offering 3 lucky winners a ROSEMARKED swag pack, which includes a copy of ROSEMARKED and a signed bookplate! Entrants must be 18+ to participate. Best of luck, and happy reading!

Enter to Win!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Blog Tour and Book Sketch: Haven by Mary Lindsey

By: Mary Lindsey
Published By: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: Nov. 7, 2017
Series: None
Pages: 371
Genre: Paranormal
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads Summary: Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

First Thought After Finishing: I have missed Mary Lindsey’s writing!

I haven’t read anything by Mary Lindsey in years, but I loved her earlier books. I was excited to have a chance to read this book, because I know what a magical world she can create. Haven certainly did not disappoint, and I found myself turning page after page in a compelling story.

Rain Ryland has never had a home, and he hasn’t had much of his family. He and his mother have migrated from shelter to shelter for most of his life, but he’s always believed there could be more to his life. After an unfortunate accident, the judge orders him to live with his aunt in Hill Country, Texas. At first, Rain feels out of place in this small, obviously close-knit town. But one female, Freddie, catches his attention. Her tough, no-nonsense exterior appeals to him, but he knows there must be more beneath the surface. New Wurzberg is not entirely what it seems, and Rain is about to have more at stake than he ever imagined.

When I started reading this book, I was prepared for an emotional journey between two troubled people. I have to admit that I love these kinds of stories. There is something about overcoming every hardship and obstacle and still being willing to love again. Rain is that perfect mix of “bad boy” and teddy bear, and I wanted to reach through the pages and give him a hug several times. He and Freddie complement each other so well. In a sense, she’s the kind of girl I always admired—a tough and skilled leader by nature with the power to back up her words and actions.

Admittedly, this book almost read like a different paranormal romance, but there was much more to it than that. The history surrounding the magic added a lot to the story and is something I would be interested in reading more about. In addition, the mysteries and conspiracy theories running throughout this book definitely kept me on my toes. In the midst of second-guessing so many characters, Petra stood out as someone trustworthy. I would love to read more about her in a companion novel. But for much of the story, nothing was quite what it seemed, and the uneasy feeling made for the perfect Halloween read. This book was impossible to stop reading, because I needed to know how everything would turn out for Rain, Freddie, and the others.

Most Memorable Aspect: The history and balance between the Watchers and Weavers. I would love to see this explored more!

~ ~ ~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~ ~ ~

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.

Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 "pet" Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the "pet" roaches found a home... somewhere else.

Find Her Online:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram


Week One:
8/21/2017 - Twinning for Books - Review
8/21/2017 - Flyleaf Chronicles - Review

8/22/2017 - Blushing Bibliophile - Review
8/22/2017 - Ex Libris - Review

8/23/2017 - Omg Books and More Books - Review
8/23/2017 - Novelties - Review

8/24/2017 - Deep Dark Feminist Reviews - Review
8/24/2017 - Mama Reads Blog - Review

8/25/2017 - Kendra Loves Books - Review
8/25/2017 - Why I Read - Review

Week Two:
8/28/2017 - Bibliobakes - Review
8/28/2017 - Betwixt the Pages - Review

8/29/2017 - For the Lover of Books - Review
8/29/2017 - Katie's Bookaholic Rambling Reviews - Review

8/30/2017 - Adventures Through Wonderland - Review
8/30/2017 - Tea With Mermaids - Review

8/31/2017 - Hauntedbybooks13 - Review
8/31/2017 - The Best Books Ever - Review

9/1/2017 - Portrait of a Book - Review
9/1/2017 - Nerdophiles - Review


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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Blog Tour & Author Interview: Sublime Karma by Peyton Garver

By: Peyton Garver
Published By: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: May 28, 2017
Pages: Not Listed
Buy the Book: Amazon

When Brie's stepfather moves the family for what he calls a new beginning, it's not the new beginning the beautiful, yet guarded, senior would have hoped for. Brie is instantly targeted by jealous girls at her new school, and the only available seat on her bus is next to the school's star wide receiver, Jake, who for some reason, finds her offensive. After a humiliating article and picture of Brie is posted in the online school journal, a demon she thought she'd overcome resurfaces, and her life unravels. A newly compassionate Jake has finally taken an interest in her, but can Brie learn to trust her heart, or will she miss out on the best thing that ever happened to her?

Jake has his own secrets and has built his own walls, but eventually his curiosity about the new girl gets the best of him. Unfortunately, now there is competition: the captain of her cross-country team. Jake's romantic histories with the girl next door and the school's queen bee, adds tension to a simmering tempest when all he wants is Brie. Is he strong enough to help the one he loves weave sense into her crumbling new reality while overcoming his own tainted past?


As a child, Peyton called places like Livorno, Italy; Orléans, France; and Augsburg, Germany home. She has since settled in Maryland, where she earned her degree in education at Towson State University, married her sweetheart of two years, and became an instant mother to three spirited young boys before adding another son to the brood. And, with their yellow lab George, it's no stretch to say she's outnumbered.

When not writing, Peyton is a full time teacher. Inspired by the individual spirits, heartaches, and triumphs of her students, Peyton has developed characters who resemble real world teens dealing with real issues: relationships, jealousy, bullying, and depression. Her newest novel, Sublime Karma, is a contemporary story filled with emotion, depth, wit, and suspense. Sublime Karma was published in the fall of 2016 by Soulmate Publishing.

When asked if she actually involves her students in her stories, Peyton answered that her stories are completely fictional, but then admitted to an activity in which she does involve them. "One quirky, fun thing I like to do with students who have read my book is develop a dream cast for my characters. That all started when a group of girls were arguing over which actor they thought best fit the character Four in Veronica Roth's novel Divergent. They then turned their efforts to my manuscript. I've since added those dream casts to my website."

When she's not teaching or writing, Peyton enjoys traveling. The Caribbean Islands have become a favorite vacation getaway for Peyton and her husband. "Nothing is better than sitting on a beach, in front of the crystal clear sea, enveloped in the warmth of the tropical sun with a frosty piña colada and a good book that I just can't put down."

1) If this were Twitter, how would you pitch Sublime Karma in 140 characters or less?

Sublime Karma: Is Jake strong enough to help Brie weave sense into her crumbling new reality while overcoming his own tainted past? #ContemporaryYA #EdgyYA

2) From where do you draw your inspiration as a writer? Who are some of your favorite authors?

My inspiration comes from my students, their individual spirits, challenges, heartaches, and triumphs. I also wanted to promote advocacy, for both self and others. In a sense I wanted to get the point across that everyone has a story, there’s a reason why they are the way they are, and to think before judging someone. I’d like my readers to step back and maybe identify with a character and think more deeply about the way they themselves act toward others. Are they an advocate, a bystander, or a bully? How do they want to be perceived. In a sense, what is their own personal brand?

My favorite author? I have an eclectic taste. My favorite classics author of all time is Jane Austen. Fantasy? Without a doubt, JK Rowling. As for contemporary authors, I have favorite stories of authors, but it seems I can’t latch onto a specific writer. For instance, I like Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star but I wasn’t a fan of Everything Everything. I liked John Green’s, The Fault in Our Stars, but didn’t care for Paper Towns. Colleen Hoover? Hopeless. Judy Blume—Summer Sisters.

3) Brie does not have things easy in the book. Were you able to draw on personal experience for any part of her story?

My personal experience as a teacher has exposed me to so much as far as personal turmoil of my students. It has given me empathy and insight into the challenges of adolescence. Some things remain constant other trends come and go. But, social and emotional changes are huge in adolescence and sometimes their perception that their world is falling apart is all consuming to them.

4) If you could be part of any fictional family, which one would you want to jump into and why?

Wow, there are so many. The first family that comes to mind is Swiss Family Robinson, but eh… that might get old, the whole tree house on a deserted island thing. So, I think I’ll go with the ginger Weasley family. That would be awesome. A magical, large, close-knit family…yep, the Weasley family. Why? Loyalty, love, adventure, and magic.

5) Do you have a life motto or words to live by? If so, what is/are it/they?

I never thought about a motto to live by. But, I suppose I do try to live by The Golden Rule. And, it certainly has a thematic place in my novel Sublime Karma.

Find The Author Online:
Author Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


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Don't miss any of the tour stops for Sublime Karma! Find the full schedule below:

Week 1
9/4/2017 - Howling Libraries - Review
9/4/2017 - Bookish in Beds - Review
9/5/2017 - BookHounds YA - Guest Post
9/5/2017 - Blushing Bibliophile - Review
9/6/2017 - YA/NA Book Divas - Review
9/6/2017 - Bibliobakes - Review
9/7/2017 - Seeing Double in Neverland - Interview
9/7/2017 - The Phantom Paragrapher - Review
9/8/2017 - Cindy's Love of Books - Guest Post
9/8/2017 - Caffeine and Composition - Review

Week 2
9/11/2017 - Don't Judge, Read - Excerpt
9/11/2017 - YA and Wine - Spotlight
9/12/2017 - Portrait of a Book - Interview
9/12/2017 - Reese's Reviews - Review
9/13/2017 - A Dream Within a Dream - Spotlight
9/13/2017 - Why I Read - Review
9/14/2017 - Mrs. Leif's Two Fangs About It - Excerpt
9/14/2017 - Novel Novice - Guest Post
9/15/2017 - Books at Dawn - Excerpt
9/15/2017 - Wonder Struck - Review

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