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March Contemporary Challenge Review Link-Up and Giveaway

Hi everyone! The following is the March link-up and giveaway, which will stay open through April 8. This giveaway is international  and in order to be eligible to win, you must be signed up as a participant in the challenge. For the review to count, it has to be a contemporary novel in the young adult genre and have been read in 2015 and reviewed in March. As always, I hope you all have been having an amazing reading month :) It's hard to believe 2015 is already a quarter over!

Things We Know by HeartSince You've Been Gone
-1 Preorder of Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
-1 SIGNED Hardcover of Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
-Isla and the Happily Ever After Mug

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Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid Book Review

The explosive conclusion to the series reviewers have likened to Ender’s Game and “Hogwarts-in-Space”
This exhilarating, explosive, and heartrending conclusion to the Insignia trilogy brings Tom and his intelligent, passionate, and brave young friends stunning tests and dangerous confrontations and through to an impossible future they could never have predicted.
Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closest allies.
Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip.

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows Book Review

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

The Secrets of Flirting and a Giveaway

The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine is coming out at the end of next month, and in anticipation for its release, I'm sharing my flirting story!
The Secrets of Attraction
Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Jennifer E. Smith.
Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down.Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.

What's the best/worst advice you've been given (or gave) to help woo that special someone or secret crush?

The summer before I started high school, I was told by a friend that a good way to start a conversation with a guy was by asking him lots of questions about himself. During freshman year, there was a guy I liked in one of my classes. I remember thinking that maybe that advice would be useful in trying to start a conversation with him. So, I put it to the test and it ended up being extremely awkward. The guy I was talking to responded to all my inquiries with very brief, one word answers and I pretty much had to carry the conversation, which resulted in me rambling due to the fact that I had become nervous.The whole situation ended up being extremely uncomfortable for both us. Although I'm sure that advice may sometimes be useful, it's definitely easier (at least for me) to start a conversation by pointing out something both you and the other person have in common :)

Giveaway: Share your flirting story in the comments or on another outlet in order to be entered to win a paperback edition of The Promise of Amazing. This giveaway is US only.

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About The Promise of Amazing:
The Promise of AmazingWren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.
Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how. One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills Blog Tour Stop

I'm so excited to take part in the blog tour for Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills! The novel sounds amazing and is one that I'm planning to read this month. For my stop, I had the opportunity to do a Q & A with the author. Here's more info about the novel and the  Q & A: 

Positively Beautiful
16-year-old Erin is a smart if slightly dorky teenager, her life taken up with her best friend Trina, her major crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had the knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.

Then everything changes forever one day after school when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer. And there’s even worse news to come. Horrified, Erin discovers that her grandmother’s death from cancer is almost certainly linked, the common denominator a rare gene mutation that makes cancer almost inevitable. And if two generations of women in the family had this mutation, what does that mean for Erin? The chances she’s inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to know now and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?
As Erin grapples with her terrible dilemma, her life starts to spiral downwards, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking with grumpy Stew and his little yellow plane, Tweetie Bird. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. Down on the ground it’s a different story, and facing betrayal from Trina, humiliation from Faith, and a world of disappointment with Michael, Erin knows she must discover the truth about herself. Sure enough, she’s positive for the gene that’s slowly killing her mom.
Suddenly, Erin’s life has turned into a nightmare, and the only person she can truly talk to is a girl called Ashley who she meets online. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away with Tweetie Pie to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair - but ultimately to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty, meaning, and love.

Do you know how to fly yourself? How did that aspect come to be part of the novel?
I grew up taking trips in my step-dad’s small plane, so flying has been part of my life for a long time. Having Erin’s father be a pilot was clearly my subconscious at work, because I never really thought about “Wendy has pilot step-dad” = “Erin has pilot dad.” Too funny. But once I made her dad a pilot, it was a natural step to have Erin think about flying. Her memories of her dad (who died when she was young) are all tied up in flying, but Erin was also a different person back then, fearless and brave, and that’s something she hasn’t been for a long time as the story opens.    

How long did it take you to write Positively Beautiful? 
I write pretty quick. Once I came up with the idea for Positively Beautiful, I wrote it in a few months and submitted it to my agent. (Who wasn’t my agent at the time.) As far as how long it took from there… my first editorial note from my agent was something like sixteen pages long. It may have been shorter, but in my head, it was VERY LONG. My agent is so amazing and I’m beyond thankful she took a chance on what must have been a very rough manuscript. Both my editors also had very insightful editorial notes for me, so hands down, the editing of this book took faaarrr longer than the actual writing itself.

What advice would you give to teenagers/young adults dealing with similar things that Erin goes through (cancer of a loved one, a genetic mutation, other similar struggles)? 
This is a tough subject, as every person has their own story, their own journey. There is no one-size-fits-all advice. But what I would say is that life is strange and wonderful and surprising and that nobody on this earth knows what is going to happen tomorrow. 

Are you currently working on writing anything? 
Yes! My next book, Reflecting Absence, comes out in 2016. It’s also a contemporary young adult, but that is about all it shares in common with Positively Beautiful. It’s set simultaneously in the present and in 2001, during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to write. And Positively Beautiful was no walk in the park! 
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? What/who inspired you to become one?
I suppose if I was going to credit someone for my love of writing, I would have to say all the authors of the wonderful books I read when I was a kid. Even now, reading books that I love inspires me to write.  
Wendy Mills
WENDY MILLS was born in Virginia and spent several years in North Carolina, but now lives with her family on the tropical island of Bokeelia, off the south-west coast of Florida where she spends her time writing and dodging hurricanes. She has published adult mysteries with Poisoned Pen Press, and Positively Beautiful is her first young adult novel.  Visit her online at or on Twitter @WendyMillsBooks.

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Blog Tour Schedule
March 2nd Jenuine Cupcakes
March 3rd YA Bibliophile
March 4th Book Revels
March 5th   The Hardcover Lover
March 6th Bookiemoji
March 9th Dana Square
March 10th Lovin Los Libros
March 11th The Book Belles
March 12th Adventures in Reading 
March 13th Who Ru Blog

Stacking The Shelves #71

How to Say I Love You Out Loud by Karole Cozzo: Thank you so much to Margie for the trade! I'm trying to collect all of the SwoonReads titles, and this one sounds especially cute. I love the cover, too :)

The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (x2): Brittany was nice enough to send me an ARC, and then a finished copy unexpectedly showed up this week. I've heard nothing but amazing things about this novel. 

Vendetta by Catherine Doyle: I've read & loved this one. My review will be posted sometime this week.

Duplicity by N.K. Traver: The looking-glass aspect of this one sounds really cool! I'm definitely looking forward to reading it. Thank you so much to Michelle @ St. Martin's Press!

Velvet by Temple West (not pictured): I'm actually reading this one right now, and it's great so far. It was one of my most anticipated reads for the year. Thanks again to Brittany!

What did you get this week? I'd love to visit your Stacking The Shelves! :)

March New Release Giveaway

Hi everyone! The winner of the February New Release Giveaway was Emma M., who chose Red Queen. For this giveaway, it's international and the winner will be able to pick a book of their choice from the options below. Good luck! :) 

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1)The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)The Storyspinner (The Keepers' Chronicles, #1)Everything That Makes YouThe Start of Me and YouEtherworld (Elusion, #2)The Wrong Side of RightVanishing Girls

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The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel Cover Reveal

The Book of Ivy is one of my all time favorite reads, so I'm really excited to help reveal the cover for the sequel, The Revolution of Ivy. This one sounds like it'll be just as amazing, if not even better, than the first book! :) Here's the cover:

**Spoilers if you haven't read book one**

The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #2)
by Amy Engel 
Release Date: 11/03/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty--forced marriages and murder plots--for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall's borders.

But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy's life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she's fought for.

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)
by Amy Engel 
Release Date: 11/04/14
Entangled Teen

After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.
This year, it is my turn.
My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.
But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

About the Author Amy Engel was born in Kansas and after a childhood spent bouncing between countries (Iran, Taiwan) and states (Kansas; California; Missouri; Washington, D.C.), she settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives with her husband and two kids.  Before devoting herself full-time to motherhood and writing, she was a criminal defense attorney, which is not quite as exciting as it looks on TV.  When she has a free moment, she can usually be found reading, running, or shoe shopping. The Book of Ivy is her debut YA novel. Find her online at or @aengelwrites.

Author Links:
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Cover Reveal Organized by: