Meg and Linus digs deep and brings new, strong voices to the ya contemp-o-sphere.

Meg & Linus
Hanna Nowinski
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Young Adult

Can friendship, Star Trek, drama club, and a whole lot of coffee get two nerdy best friends through the beginning of their senior year of high school?

Meg and Linus are best friends bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. It’s not always easy to be the nerdy lesbian or gay kid in a suburban town. But they have each other. And a few Star Trek boxed sets. They’re pretty happy.

But then Sophia, Meg’s longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg. Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny—and Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. But Linus isn’t so sure Danny even likes guys, and maybe Sophia isn’t quite as out of the picture as Meg thought she was. . . .

From crowdsourced young adult imprint Swoon Reads comes Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski, a fun friendship story about two quirky teens who must learn to get out of their comfort zones and take risks—even if that means joining the drama club, making new friends, and learning how to stand on your own.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo
M
ama Says:
Don’t miss out on what may very well be your favorite contemporary ya novel this year! If you’re a fan of reading characters that make you cringe, laugh and cry and cheer with them, you’ll love Meg and Linus.  It might seem like a gimmick at first glance, but these are two friends who could be in any high school, and you probably know people just like them.  It made reading this hard at times, as I really wasn’t expecting so much depth, but was glad for it.  I like to experience emotions while reading, rather than not caring what’s happening to anyone in the story.  While there isn’t some huge outer conflict to be resolved, the inner turmoil the kids go through mirrors some of what I went through as a teen and allowed me to reflect upon how I moved past it, compared to them.  It’s great to see another author being inclusive and not just relegating their diverse characters to stereotypical roles.  I highly recommend this to all my readers who are looking to change up their reading, or already enjoy non-heteronormative romances.

 

Author Bio:

Hanna Nowinski is a language enthusiast and trained translator for German and English who lives in the middle of nowhere, Germany. She has wanted to be a writer since she learned that books were made by real people. As a kid, she made up her own bedtime stories, mostly sending her stuffed animals on adventures around the world. She loves books, music, coffee, and getting way too emotionally invested in TV shows. Meg & Linus is her debut novel.

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GIVEAWAY!
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#RedLeaves by @paullinasimons will keep you guessing, and possibly cringing throughout #review for #TLCBooktours

About Red Leaves

• Paperback: 448 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reissue edition (April 11, 2017)

In the tradition of Ira Levin’s A Kiss Before Dying and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History comes a suspenseful thriller from the international bestselling author of The Bronze Horseman—an utterly captivating story about four Ivy League students whose bizarre friendship leads to a twisted maze of secrets, lies, betrayal, and murder.

As the star player of Dartmouth College’s women’s basketball team, Kristina Kim is beautiful, intelligent, and fearless. But though she’s just 21, Kristina has already had her share of heartache, loss, and dark secrets that haunt her. She’s best friends with Conni, Albert, and Jim, but the only one who seems to really know her is Albert. With long dark hair, tattoos, and a rebellious streak, Albert doesn’t fit in with the rest of the clean-cut Ivy Leaguers. Like Kristina, he has his share of secrets—secrets that are beginning to unravel this intimate circle of friends.

One wintry Thanksgiving weekend tragedy strikes…

When Detective Spencer O’Malley goes to investigate something suspicious at the foot of a steep hill on Dartmouth’s campus, he doesn’t expect that the frozen, naked body found in deep snow would belong to Kristina Kim—the remarkable young woman he met recently who entranced him. Now Spencer will never know if the chemistry he had with her was real. All he can do is find her killer.

Spencer is pulled into the strange, complex web of the surviving friends. Many important questions about Kristina’s murder cannot be answered, such as: why did none of them report her missing for nine days before her body was discovered? The more Spencer digs, the more clear it becomes that each of the three has a motive for killing Kristina. And as Spencer, seeking justice for a dead girl, is led down a labyrinth of deceit, every new revelation proves more shocking than the last….and more dangerous.

“Simons handles her characters and setting with a certain skill, creating mystery from the ordinary, protected lives of these Ivy League kids, slowly peeling away their deceptions to reveal denial, cowardice, and chilling indifference…an engrossing story.”—Publishers Weekly

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Mama Says:
With gems like this, it’s easy to see why readers love Simons so much:

“College was the great suppressor, the warm blanket that covered them all and made them safe.  How could you not fall in love in college?”

As soon as I thought I had everything figured out, she pulled the rug out from under me.  I love a book that keeps me guessing, thus reading, til the end or close to it!  I haven’t read her other work, but judging by the subject alone I’d say this is rather different from some of her previous novels.
It’s great to see more fantasy authors become well-rounded writers and this book shows that Simons is versatile, not stale.  I’d certainly read more contemporary from her, and now have a bit more interest in some of her previous series which til now, I’ve been hesitant to read due to mixed reviews.
If you enjoy books that oscillate between lulling prose and gripping suspense, you’ll enjoy Red Leaves.

My thanks to William Morrow/Harper Collins and TLC Book tours for the review opportunity!

About Paullina Simons

Photo by Renaissance Studio

Paullina Simons is an internationally bestselling author whose novels include Bellagrand and The Bronze Horseman was born in Leningrad in 1963. As a child she immigrated to Queens, New York, and attended colleges in Long Island. Then she moved to England and attended Essex University, before returning to America. She lives in New York with her husband and children.

Find out more about Paullina at her website, follow her on Twitter, and connect with her on Facebook.

Something for my adult fans today: CB Halverson’s #TheCaptainsRebel is now available! #giveaway #excerpt #review

The Captain’s Rebel

by C.B. Halverson
Publication Date: April 3, 2017
Genres: Adult, Entangled: Scorched, Erotic, Historical Romance

BUY:

SYNOPSIS:

Land. Power. Influence. Mary O’Malley knows these are the only things that matter in her war-torn country. Determined to win back her ancestral home, she must embark on a journey across the Atlantic disguised as a cabin boy. But her ruse brings her under the control of a dangerous sea captain who demands from her the one thing she will never give—complete and total submission.

Captain Richard Grant runs a tight ship, and he didn’t claw his way up through the ranks of the Royal Navy to be undone by a headstrong Irish girl hell-bent on jeopardizing his mission and his crew. If she insists on dressing like a man, then she can take his punishments. He demands obedience, but his insatiable need for her leads to a complex game of sex, desire, and dominance not even he can control.

Awakened by the passion Grant stirs in her, Mary finds herself falling for the stern captain. But when her false identity leads to rumors of her spying for the French, she must choose between her love for Ireland and the man who commands her body—and her heart.

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EXCERPT:

“What are you doing aboard my ship?” 

I swallowed hard, my lip trembling as I fumbled for the words. I didn’t even know where to start, and my face burned as I tried to gather my thoughts. No matter how I told the story, it all seemed so ridiculous. 

“Tell me!” he commanded. 

“I’m searching for my fiancé.” 

He took a step forward, his boots thudding hard on the floor. “Your fiancé.” He took another step, and I flinched. The ship rolled and tumbled beneath my feet, and I grasped onto the panels, my fingers digging into the polished oak planks. 

“Are you mad?” His fists clenched at his sides, powerful and trembling. 

“It would look that way, sir.” My eyes drilled into a tiny knot on the floor, willing myself to shrink in size so I could dive into it and scurry away like a little mouse. But his boots thundered forward, the small buckles making a sound like clinking chains. 

“Are you in some sort of trouble? Is that it? Are you with child?” His voice softened, and I looked up, startled at the sudden change in his tone. 

“No, sir.” 

“Well, then?” he boomed. 

I jumped, folding myself deeper into the corner of the room. What could I have possibly said to him in that moment? Telling Captain Grant that Johnny’s father had accused me of stealing, so I had to run away to consummate our marriage in order to clear my name and win back my homeland was perhaps not the best way to endear myself to him. 

“There’s been…” I swallowed the lump in my throat. “There’s been trouble at home.” 

Grant let out an exasperated sound, shaking his head and turning away with a curse. “You do understand you are aboard a ship with over seven hundred male sailors, correct? A woman has no place on a ship of the line bound for battle. I cannot guarantee your safety.” 

“I know that, sir.” 

“And due to the nature of our mission, I am in no position to turn us around.” 

“Yes, sir.” 

He shook his head, pacing the room. “You have endangered yourself and my men with your presence. I know officers who would hang you for treason against England for what you have done.” 

“I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not English, then.” The words popped out before I could stop them, my latent nationalism waving a pitiful green flag in the dim light of the Captain’s chambers. 

A muscle flickered in his jaw, and when he turned to me again, I nearly gasped at the rage in his bright eyes. All the blood drained from my face, and I bit my lip, willing my saucy tongue to hold still. 

“You think this is some sort of game?” His eyes narrowed, and he pressed closer to me. 

My courage fired back, and I straightened, raising my shoulders in a challenge. 

His eyes flitted over me from head to toe, and he made a low sound in the back of his throat. “I should throw you overboard and let the fish eat at your rebel heart.” 

“Better to die a rebel than live as a slave.” 

Mama Says:
Whoa dude, this should come with a complimentary bucket of ice water, hold the salt! I was used to Halverson’s writing from her fairy fantasy series so I was prepared for something hotter, but couldn’t have known it would get so very detailed.  As per her previous works I was immersed in another world, and there were some very interesting characters populating this story!
I can definitely see why this book is generating some buzz- it’s got some great scenes and combines historical romance, mystery, erotica and fighting female awesomeness!
Although I’m not sure I’d want to continue the series, it is really a matter of time for me, because I enjoyed reading this, but I can only read erotica when everyone else is asleep, it’s just my preference, and quite honestly, that is a rare thing to have any time to myself when my household are asleep.  I’m usually asleep too!
Overall I’d give this a rating of “a great read if you enjoy racy historical romance.”

ABOUT C.B. HALVERSON

As a child, Colleen Halverson used to play in the woods imagining worlds and telling stories to herself. Growing up on military bases, she found solace in her local library and later decided to make a living sharing the wonders of literature to poor, unsuspecting college freshmen. After backpacking through Ireland and singing in a traditional Irish music band, she earned a PhD in English with a specialization in Irish literature. When she’s not making up stories or teaching, she can be found hiking the rolling hills of the Driftless area of Wisconsin with her husband and two children. She also writes as C.B. Halverson.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter | Amazon Author Profile

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY


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Have you been dying to read more since #escapingthelutha well now you can with #facingthelutha from #mjhaag

Exciting news for MJ Haag fans!

Escaping the Lutha released as a stand alone novella last month, and I’m so excited to share more of Tink and Rogan with you this month! If you have read Escaping the Lutha, please consider popping over to Amazon and leaving a review. Reviews are so important to  Indie authors, and they appreciate each and every one you take the time to write.  ️

New Release News…

Those of you who read Escaping the Lutha, when it was part of the Shifters and Spice Boxed Set, have been waiting a while for something new from Tink and Rogan. I hope you are as excited as I am to return to their world in Facing the Lutha, which releases today APRIL 4TH!

If you haven’t ordered your copy, you can do so here: http://amzn.to/2mmyJLp

If you haven’t read Escaping the Lutha, you can grab a copy while it’s on sale starting April, 6th!

Welcome to the world #ZennDiagram read an #excerpt and enter to #win a copy from @WendyJoBrant and Rockstar Book tours!

 
 
I am so excited that ZENN DIAGRAM by Wendy Brant is available now and that I get to share the news!
 
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Wendy Brant, be sure to
check out all the details below.
 
This blitz also includes a giveaway for 3 finished copies of the book courtesy of Kids Can
Press and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the
Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:
Title: ZENN DIAGRAM
Author: Wendy Brant
Pub. Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Pages: 328
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there’s another thing that makes it even worse:
when she touches another person or anything that belongs to them — from clothes
to textbooks to cell phones — she sees a vision of their emotions. She can read
a person’s fears and anxieties, their secrets and loves … and what they have
yet to learn about calculus. This is helpful for her work as a math tutor, but
it means she can never get close to people. Eva avoids touching anyone and
everyone. People think it’s because she’s a clean freak — with the emphasis on
freak — but it’s all she can do to protect herself from other people’s issues.
Then one day a new student walks into Eva’s life. His jacket gives off so
much emotional trauma that she falls to the floor. Eva is instantly drawn to
Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist who also has a troubled home life, and her
feelings only grow when she realizes that she can touch Zenn’s skin without
having visions. But when she discovers the history that links them, the truth
threatens to tear the two apart.
Excerpt:
While he waits for his coffee, I snuggle deeper into the couch, hoping he
won’t notice me. The only thing worse than filling out college applications the
night of the homecoming dance is your crush seeing you fill out college
applications the night of the homecoming dance. I guess it should make me feel
better that he’s not at the dance, either, but it doesn’t. When guys don’t go
to homecoming it seems like a conscious choice. When girls don’t go, it just
seems like they didn’t get asked.
….
“Tall black drip!” the barista calls out, like she’s calling out his name
and not the drink. Zenn is tall and dark, but there is nothing drippy about
him. He is most definitely non-drippy, whatever that means. He takes his coffee
and I think I am home free until he steps away from the counter.
Crap. He sees me. I am equal parts mortified and thrilled.
He raises his cup in a silent greeting and comes a few steps closer. He
opens the lid and I try not to stare at his mouth as he blows on his coffee to
cool it.
“Hey, Zenn.” My voice sounds goofy in my own ears. Too loud in this
small, cozy space.
He takes a tentative sip from his cup. Straight black coffee, no cream,
no sugar, no chocolate syrup. What a badass.
“No homecoming for you either?” he asks.
I close my laptop and press my hands against the warm surface. I shrug.
“I’m not much of a dancer.”
Zenn nods in agreement. “Yeah. Me neither.”
He comes even closer and sits down on the arm of the sofa across from me.
His knees are spread wide, his forearms resting on his inner thighs, his
hypnotizing hands holding his coffee in the triangle between his legs. He looks
so comfortable, so at ease in his own skin. How does one get that way? You
wouldn’t think it would be hard – I mean, we’re born in our skin. It should be
pretty comfortable by the time you hit seventeen, eighteen. But for me … not so
much.
Excerpt from Zenn Diagram © 2017 Wendy Brant, with permission from Kids Can Press.

About Wendy:

So my name alone should give you a clue that I graduated from high school when bangs were big and clothes were baggy. I went to Northwestern University
and majored in journalism even though I had no desire to be a journalist. I’ve been married to a great guy for a whole drinking-aged person’s life. I’ve got two amazing and yet very different (and very tall) teenage kids. I like crappy food, pinning inspirational quotes on Pinterest, have a tendency to start paragraphs with “anyway”, and I wish I were funnier. I would love to
be one of those really, REALLY funny bloggers (like Insane in the Mom-Brain) that makes you pee yourself a little bit. I am only moderately funny. I admit that. It’s one of my great sadnesses in life.

I started writing fiction when I was 10, but tried to be practical with the
whole journalism thing. Didn’t take. Shortly after college, the fiction-writing
desire reared its non-practical head and I’ve been writing ever since.Anyway, I’m probably just like you. We’d probably be friends if we met in real
life. (Well, let’s be honest. It’s likely that only my friends are actually reading
this blog, so we probably ARE friends in real life.) But whether we are friends
in real life, or just virtual friends through cyberspace, I hope you will enjoy
your time here.

 Check out my debut YA novel, ZENN DIAGRAM (KCP Loft 4/4/17), available for
pre-order at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Target!
Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a hardcover of ZENN DIAGRAM, US Only.

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@LIFT2017 Authors, Readers and Bloggers in action for autism #autismacceptance #inclusion #giveaway #auctionforautism #kulturecity

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LIFT 4 Autism Online Auction: Monday, April 24 – Friday, April 28

As a mother of a child on the Autism spectrum, I know exactly how hard it is to find organizations who are truly trying to create an inclusive environment and assist those with disabilities when needed, rather than spread false information and discrimination, all under the ruse of “awareness.”

Initiatives such as Kulture City are making real strides to help people living on the spectrum and their families.  They are involving entire communities in projects that foster acceptance, encourage inclusiveness, and plant the seeds for a brighter future.

Read on for more information on LIFT and Kulture City, and how you can help!

Enter the GIVEAWAY celebrating LIFT!

Autism.

A mystery to some. A way of life for others. A cause for all since it is now the fastest growing and most common disability in the US. 1 in every 68 children are diagnosed with Autism. Many of these kids will rely on their parents to some degree, depending on severity, all their lives, with estimated costs between 5 to 7 million dollars in services and care over their lifetime. Many of the services those living with Autism require are not covered by insurance. It is an expensive and difficult lifelong diagnosis to navigate.

Authors Ginger Scott and Kennedy Ryan started LIFT 4 Autism a few years ago as a charitable initiative rallying the romance reading community in April, which is Autism Awareness/Acceptance month. All proceeds go to this year’s charitable partner Kulture City, who is doing amazing things for Autism families. Discover more about them at kulturecity.org. Specifically, LIFT will benefit Kulture City’s lifeBOKS program, which provides families with free kits to curtail wandering, a common and potentially life threatening challenge. Proceeds will also benefit Kulture City’s tablet program, which provides iPads to improve communication for non and limited verbal children on the spectrum to families who cannot afford them.

HOW WILL WE RAISE FUNDS?

  1. Online Auction, featuring many of your favorite romance authors!

Find the full list here: http://lift4autism.com/contact. If you are an author and want to donate, sign up here.

Browse all the amazing items up for bid here: charityauction.bid/lift4autism

The auction will be LIVE and open for bidding Monday, April 24 – Friday, April 28.

 

  1. 1-Click the YA Fantasy Anthology Ever In the After for 99¢

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Amazon: http://buff.ly/2kM0D2j

Nook: http://buff.ly/2kM83SX

iBooks: http://buff.ly/2kLTS0j

Kobo: http://buff.ly/2kM2J2f

*All proceeds go to LIFT 4 Autism!

 

  1. Buy LIFT Wear! (t-shirts, mugs, totes, etc…)

https://teespring.com/Lift2017

LFIT 2017 t-shirt

  1. Make a financial donation through the LIFT Campaign.

DONATE here: https://www.kulturecity.org/lovewithoutwords/lift-4-autism/#lwow-donate

 

Don’t miss a thing this month!

*Subscribe to the LIFT mailing list at lift4autism.com.

*Join the LIFT Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1705524696326889/
*Support the LIFT Thunderclap Campaign: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/54946-lift-4-autism-auction

*Follow us on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/lift4autism/

*Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LIFT4Autism