Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Review & Book Tour ~ His Rebel Heart by Amber Leigh Williams

His Rebel Heart
by Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin (Superromance)
Pages: 380
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Being a single mother and successful florist is tough, especially when your new next-door neighbor is the man who shattered your heart. Eight years ago, bad boy James Bracken walked away from Adrian Carlton…and their unborn child. Now he's back. And Adrian's desire to protect her son from the truth of his biological father isn't enough to hide the wild blue eyes of father and son, or to keep Adrian from surrendering to the raw passion between her and James. But is he truly the changed man he claims to be? Maybe this time his rebel heart really is home to stay.

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I must admit that I was surprised on just how good “His Rebel Heart” was.  This was my first experience reading anything by Amber Leigh Williams, but this woman can write a seriously good story.  Going into this book, I thought it was just going to be your typical run-of-the-mill romance story, but it was so much more.  It’s a story of finding forgiveness and learning to forgive.  It’s about facing the people who had given up all hope on you and proving that change for the better is possible – even for the biggest rebel.  Most of all, it’s a story of true love that was always meant to be despite a very long interruption.

I really enjoyed most everything about “His Rebel Heart”.  The only thing I couldn't get past is that Kyle, Adrian’s son, came across much older and wiser than his young age of seven.  He just appeared way more mature than most seven year old kids that I know.  Besides this small detail, he was the cutest little boy ever! James character has a special place in my heart with his needing to be firmly placed in Kyle’s life regardless of whether or not he was able to be in Adrian’s.  Of course, this story wouldn't be complete if there were characters involved that were created for the soul purpose of being despised by the reader and those two for me were Adrian’s abusive ex-husband and her mother.  There was no love whatsoever for these two – at all.

Amber Leigh Williams delivered with a page-turning, angst-filled experience that was both captivating and intriguing. I was really impressed by the plot and how the author managed to suck me right into the story.  I love a no-nonsense story with characters I can relate to and this one did not disappoint.  From the very first page, I didn't want to put this book down – it was just that good - and I loved every minute of it!

4 stars

“I need you to go.”
“I can’t—”
“We’ll be fine,” Adrian told him firmly. “I just need some peace and quiet so I can—”
“I can’t leave you alone,” James told her. “Either of you. Not now that I know what you’ve been through.”
“We’ll be fine,” she said again. “I’ll keep Kyle’s BB gun close.” She paused, wrestling over the next words. “And…and you can come by tomorrow morning. For breakfast, if you want.”
James looked at her, his eyes skimming between hers, then over her cheeks, the line of her jaw. “I don’t want you to be alone,” he murmured.
She sighed. “James, I have been alone, for a really long time.” You made sure of that, she added silently. When you left me. The resentment and anger that were usually brought to life by the words didn’t stir. Tired. God, she was so tired.
“Adrian, I’m so sorry,” he said again. When he drew her into his arms, she was helpless to stop him. She had nothing left to fight him with so she closed her eyes as the chest she had fantasized about burrowing herself against moments before rose up to meet her. She felt his lips come to rest on the top of her head. His arms wrapped around her back, closing her in, tightening.
He held her, simply held her, for what seemed like ages. Long enough for the tension to drain from her body. Long enough for her to lean into the hard, strong line of him without scruples, to breathe in the work shirt permeated with the sweet scent of grass and the slight tinge of motor oil. At some point, her arms rose to his waist, folding around to the small of his back to complete the embrace.
A small eternity passed in the space of moments. A hundred unspoken words. Memories stirred, whispering to life, ghosts of what had been.
He moved first, just enough to move one hand up to the nape of her neck. He made a noise in the back of his throat, drawing her attention upward. When his lips touched hers, it felt so natural for her mouth to receive the firm, yielding line of his.
Minutes before, she’d felt drained. Fatigued. The simple press of his lips brought her back to life. Her heart fluttered, lifting and soaring in a way she hadn’t felt since…well, since being with James.
She should have pushed him away. After everything, she should shove him back, make him leave. Instead, she let the moment stretch, slide, deepen until she felt him brush up against the soul she’d buried from everything and everyone. 

Amber Leigh Williams lives on the Gulf Coast. A southern girl at heart, she lives for beach days, the smell of real books, relaxing at her family’s lakehouse, and spending time with her husband and two children. When she’s not keeping up with rambunctious little ones and two large dogs she can usually be found reading a good romance or cooking up a new dish in her kitchen. She is represented by D4EO Literary Agency.
Her latest book is the contemporary romance, HisRebel Heart.

Visit Amber Leigh Williams’ website.
Connect with Amber on Facebook and Twitter.
Find out more about Amber at Goodreads.
More books by Amber Leigh Williams.
Contact Amber.

M9B Friday Reveal: Horror/Halloween – MG Edition with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we present to you the
Horror/Halloween – MG Edition
presented by Tantrum Books/Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Dead Jed is Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jed's not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being 'different' for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend's sister's birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.
From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and into a trophy case as the bully's “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys' room (Jed's always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he's back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed's had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it's awesome what you can do when you're already dead!
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The first part of seventh grade was rough on Jed, but things are looking up now that Christmas is almost here. As with past Christmases, Jed asks for the one thing he’s always wanted–a dog–and again, his parents tell him they’re not ready. But fate has a different plan when Jed sees a dog get run over by a car. Then, it happens. Jed suddenly has a pet, Tread, a zombie dog bearing his namesake–a tire tread down his back. Jed may have gained a dog, but he loses his best friend Luke, who fears the way Jed created his undead pet.
When Jed returns to school, he finds a mysterious group called the No Zombies Now Network spreading rumors of the dangers the undead pose to normal people. Forced to disprove Hollywood stereotypes, Jed has his work cut out for him as stories of a zombie dog begin to circulate. Jed could be expelled if he can’t expose the NZN Network as a fraud. Jed needs help from his kind of girlfriend Anna, especially after he discovers Luke has joined the shadowy group.
Once again navigating the treacherous waters of middle school, Jed does his best to stay in one piece. Only this time he’ll need even more duct tape and staples than usual.
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Proud graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, have one son who will turn 18 in March 2013, now a features writer for The Arizona Republic.
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Undertakers-3 cover
The Corpses are up to something.
U.S. Senator Lindsay Micha has been kidnapped and replaced with a “dead” ringer, the sister to Lilith Cavanaugh, the Queen of the Dead. Now Will Ritter must go undercover in our nation’s capitol to ferret out the truth and try to stop this ambitious deader. But his mission becomes even more dangerous when he learns of a mysterious ten-legged monster that prowls the halls of the Capitol Building — a lethal monster with a taste for Corpse flesh.
The Undertakers: Secret of the Corpse Eater is book three in the wildly popular The Undertakers series from Ty Drago.
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While away on an undercover mission, Undertaker Will Ritter has made an unthinkable alliance...with a Corpse! But though Robert Dillin (aka 'The Zombie Prince') is indeed one of those alien invaders who animate and possess the bodies of the dead -- unlike the rest of his kind, Dillin isn't evil. In fact, he wants to help. And Will needs that help, because the Queen of the Dead has learned the location of Haven, the Undertakers' secret HQ, and is planning a massive and deadly assault.
With the last day of the Corpse War finally upon them, Will and his friends find themselves in a desperate race to close the Rift between worlds and forever kill the Corpses. But can they do before Haven is overrun?
For that matter, can they do it at all?
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Ty Drago
Ty Drago does his writing just across the river from Philadelphia, where the Undertakers novels take place. In addition to The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses,The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead, and The Undertakers: Secret of the Corpse Eater, he is the author of The Franklin Affair and Phobos, as well as short stories and articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including Writer’s Digest. He currently lives in southern New Jersey with his wife and best friend, the real Helene Drago née Boettcher.
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Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10 year old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember.
But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know.
Like the rest of Luca’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters?
If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them.
When a ghost hunter determines to shut the show down, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing. There’s little time and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show’s enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family?
Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.
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Steve Bryant
Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a 40+ page monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction; and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals (his most recent article was about the séance at Hollywood’s Magic Castle).
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Can one boy stop a nefarious plot to turn kids into super-mutants?
Maverick Mercury enjoys his life as the sideshow attraction known as “Gator Boy” at Grumbling’s Traveling Circus and Sideshow.
His freakish mutations are the result of some billionaire geneticist’s experiments gone awry. But life as a mutant is about to get worse, as Maverick uncovers a plot to kidnap kids, turns them into super-mutants, and sells their powers to the highest bidder.
Now, Maverick is on a mission to find the mad scientist who may have created him and destroy his sinister plans!
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Samantha Verant
Samantha Vérant is a travel addict, a self-professed oenophile, and a determined, if occasionally unconventional, French chef. Over the years, she’s visited many different countries, lived in many places, and worked many jobs— always on the search for the one thing that truly excited her. Then, one day, she found everything she’s been looking for: a passion for the written word and true love. Writing not only enabled her to open her heart, it led her to southwestern France, where she’s now married to a sexy French rocket scientist she met over twenty years ago, a stepmom to two incredible kids, and the adoptive mother to one ridiculously expensive Bengal cat. When she’s not trekking from Provence to the Pyrénées, tasting wine in American-sized glasses, or embracing her inner Julia Child while deliberating what constitutes the perfect boeuf bourguignon, Samantha is making her best effort to relearn those dreaded conjugations.
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Cover Reveal ~ Walking Heartbreak by Sunniva Dee

Walking Heartbreak
by Sunniva Dee
Publication date: December 17th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Don’t judge me.
I am not what you see.
I am the opposite.
—Nadia’s lipstick note on Bo’s mirror.

Indie-rocker Bo Lindgren is worshiped for his looks and musical genius. It’s been lonely at the top since his ex left. Bo will never take a girlfriend again though, because he doesn’t have the chops to love. He knows he’s poison, a heartbreak waiting to happen for anyone he allows too close—like his ex. Bo screws his way through the fangirls until he’s sick of it all. Until the dark gaze of Nadia Vidal appears in the door to his dressing room.

Saved from an arranged marriage by Jude, the love of her life, Nadia eloped and got married at nineteen. But now, two years later, life is wilted, dead, and not what anyone should have to endure.

Nadia, with her secret-keeper eyes and instant understanding of who Bo is, attracts and fascinates him without even trying. The ring gleaming on her finger should keep them apart, but morals can’t always resist destiny.

When brokenhearted meets heartbreaker, whose heart is really at stake?

WH God I love you teaser

"Baby," I croak before I open my eyes. I stretch beneath our sheets, writhing at the sound of the alarm clock. Awakened from dreams colored by our past, my first thought goes to my husband. "Turn it off, babe? Please," I say.
The alarm keeps beeping, beep-beep-beeping. It's annoying and chased by my customary just-awake confusion. "Jude, you know how much I hate that sound.”
I'm at home in our apartment in St. Aimo, Los Angeles. Slowly, it registers that the alarm is for me, not him. I turn to face him, whine softly, but he doesn't give me the response I crave: a chuckle and a kiss while he playfully commiserates with me.
"Oh sweetie," he usually murmurs. "I'm sorry you have to leave for school. Maybe you should play hooky and stay in bed for a rubdown? I’ll rub… all the way down."
I always crack a smirk then, reading between the lines. He would leave us mumbling heated words and gasping for air if I surrendered.
Deep in my belly, something contracts. Something bittersweet and beautiful that hurts, because today, again, he doesn't react.
I slide from the covers and sit on the edge of the bed. My head feels heavy. It needs support, and for a second, I’m struck by how alive my hand is when I cup my cheek with it.
Soon, I find the courage to rise.
The bathroom door is closed, but I go to it anyway. “Do you remember when you first came to our church?" I ask Jude, my words stuttering, sleep-exhausted. I exhale and lean my forehead against the door. "Your eyes were bright with fear as you entered the Heavenly Harbor between your parents. You were lanky, a gangly fourteen-year-old, a little boy big enough to have gotten yourself into trouble."
My throat produces hard lumps so easily these days. This one I muscle down. I control the sadness accompanying it and let a small smile filter out instead. "Oh Jude baby. We didn't know then, of all the adventures to come.
“I remember sitting in the pews between Mother and Father, head twisted at the creak of the door. You entered on a lull between psalms.
“I didn't know. We didn't know."
I sniff, an attempt at stanching the tears.
The wood of the doorframe cools my cheek. Presses into it as my memories brighten. "Your skin," I mumble. He’s quiet behind the panel. The shower has stopped—in our bathroom or in the one above us, I'm not sure. If he's moving, he's not making a sound. Perhaps he's listening to me.
"Fine veins shone blue at your temple beneath your too-long hair.” I snort out a wet laugh. “And the sun reached you through the stained-glass window, spilling the rainbow over your face."
I roll my forehead to the side against the door. "Funny how your parents picked our church because ‘Heavenly Harbor’ sounded like the right kind of place. They wanted the best haven for you."
 Not long ago, my Jude would have grinned at this. He'd pull me in, golden bangs falling over me and tickling me while he ran his nose up mine. He'd croon, "Oh and weren't they right. I found my haven—in you."
I'd push him good-naturedly, not allowing fear of the future to ruin our love. "But you'd be safe at home with your parents if they hadn't crushed on the name of our church."
He’d kiss my nose, groan, and say, "Right, and I wouldn't have a beautiful wife."
"A child bride," I teased once.
"Nineteen is a fine age. Get them early." He winked, knowing well he only held two months on me.
We were young. Married. And so on the run.

Walking Heartbreak Full

Sunniva was born in Norway, the Land of The Midnight Sun, but spent her early twenties making the world her playground. Southern Europe: Spain, Italy, Greece—Argentina: Buenos Aires, in particular. The United States finally kept her interest, and after half a decade in California, she now lounges in the beautiful city of Savannah. Sunniva has a Master's degree in Spanish, which she taught until she settled in as an adviser at an art college in the South.

Sunniva writes New Adult fiction with soul. Sometimes it's with a paranormal twist, like in Shattering Halos, Stargazer, and Cat Love. At other times, it's contemporary, as in Pandora Wild Child, Leon's Way, Adrenaline Crush, and now Walking Heartbreak.
Sunniva is the happiest when her characters take over, let their emotions run off with them, shaping her stories in ways she never foresaw. She loves bad-boys and good-boys run amok, and like in real life, her goal is to keep you on your toes until the end of each story.

 Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Website /


$50 gift card and e-books giveaway: Sunniva Dee has a Rafflecopter up that will run through OCTOBER 31st. For a chance at winning a $50 gift card and e-books, go to:

Signed paperback giveaway: Goodreads runs a signed paperback giveaway for Walking Heartbreak and will pick two winners on December 15th, two days before its release. The giveaway is open internationally. To enter, go to:

Facebook release party with fun and giveaways raised with Sunniva and a few of her author friends. The party runs December 17th between 7 pm EST and 10 pm EST. Join asap and you will receive a reminder when the time comes:

Release party authors: the list will be updated with more writers, but for now, these are attending with giveaways ++ : Addison Moore, Alessandra Torre, Angela Mc Pherson, Beth Michele, Cheryl McIntyre, D Nichole King, Kristin Vayden, Laura Thalassa, Lynn Vroman, Penelope Ward, SC Stephens, and Sunniva Dee.

Newsletter sign-up: to make sure you’re the first in the know when a Sunniva Dee release or a sale begins, sign up for her non-spammy newsletter here:

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Review ~ This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp


This Is Where It Ends
by Marieke Nijkamp
Expected Publication:  January 5, 2016
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

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It seems that lately, school shootings are becoming more frequent in our society.  This Is Where It Ends gives the reader a very disturbing ‘eye-witness’ fictional account of one school shooting through the eyes of four very diverse high school students. Although this is a very impactful read, it does have its issues that I just couldn't get past. 

For starters, I found the lack of timely police presence unrealistic, especially in an age when most teenagers have cellphones.  This story takes place in a small town, yet it seemed to take forever for any help to arrive.  Next, the author threw in some random twitter-like messages and what looked like blog posts throughout the story and I felt they did not contribute any value to the actual story and made the story choppy.  Added in the mix, there were random gray boxes that I felt served no purpose whatsoever except to take up space kept appearing after every twitter-like message.  Since I was reading an eARC, I’m not sure if the published work will have actual pictures instead of these annoying boxes, but in its current state I felt as though it prevented a smooth reading experience. And last but not least, there was some dialogue in Spanish thrown in.  As a reader who does not know a second language, I found this inconsiderate.  Yes, I could have gone and performed a Google translate, but why should I?  It would have been a nice touch if the author would have translated for the reader or perhaps just kept it all in English.

I applaud the author for presenting very diverse characters in the story, but I felt they fell flat and were under-developed.  Although there are four main characters, the story has many minor characters and it was difficult to keep up with them.  Although the main character’s flashbacks provided some insight on what makes them ‘tick’, at times it came across as a ‘poor me’ mentality.  Don’t get me wrong, I really felt for some of the characters, but some of them just came off as your typical whiny teenager and I just couldn't feel that sorry for them.

For the most part, this was an okay story that was intense and despite the minor nuisances kept me on the edge of my seat most of the time.  It’s a very traumatic but timely story that has a lot of potential but unfortunately fell short of the high expectations I had for it.

2 stars

Marieke Nijkamp a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, and diversity advocate. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies.

Her debut YA novel THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS will be out from Sourcebooks Fire in 2016.

M9B Two for Thursday Book Blitz: Crown of Ice by Vicki L. Weavil and To Bear an Iron Key by Jackie Morse Kessler with Giveaway #T4T

Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy, and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
This week, #T4T presents to you:
Crown of Ice by Vicki L. Weavil and 
To Bear an Iron Key by Jackie Morse Kessler
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Thyra Winther's seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can't reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she's doomed to spend eternity as a wraith. Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact.
Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal. A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai's childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra's willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts - to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast.
Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup's devotion and the fire of a young man's desire, the thawing of Thyra's frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.
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“Crown of Ice was great young adult fantasy novel. It offers an interesting and refreshing retelling of Snow Queen fairytale, but also so much more – realistic, confident and a bit bad heroine, magic, cute animals, subtle romance, …”Dragana, The Paisley Reader
“Crown of Ice, is a luscious and fantastical retelling of the Snow Queen.”Tina, Goodreads Reviewer
“A solid YA adventure with teenagers who learn so much about themselves, and each other. Even the expected happily ever after offers believable surprises that underscore the maturity and independence they each have gained.” All Things Urban Fantasy
Vicki Weavil 11
Vicki Lemp Weavil was raised in a farming community in Virginia, where her life was shaped by a wonderful family, the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an obsession with reading. Since obtaining her undergraduate degree in Theatre from the University of Virginia, she’s gone on to acquire two masters degrees, living in places as diverse as New York City and rural North Carolina. She’s currently the library director for a performing an visual arts university. Vicki loves good writing in any genre, and has been known to read seven books in as many days. She enjoys travel, gardening, and the arts. Vicki lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and some very spoiled cats.
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This richly-imagined universe from an acclaimed fixture of YA storytelling introduces a the young witch Bromwyn, a strong heroine who wields great power. Five years ago, Bromwyn refused a gift from the powerful fairy king. Tonight, on Midsummer, that decision comes back to haunt her. When her best friend Rusty picks the wrong pocket, he and Bromwyn are all that stand between their village and the rampaging fairies who have pushed through the World Door. If they cannot outwit the fairy king and queen before the World Door closes at sunrise, the friends will lose everything--their village, Bromwyn's magic, and Rusty's life.
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If you want to get lost in magic and spend some time away from this grey, dreary world of reality, then look no further.” – Nicky Peacock, Author
“his was a really strong little book--a wonderful start to a brand new series, and I think it's safe to say I'll be looking for more of Jackie Morse Kessler's work!”Kels, Literature Obsessed
“This is a great tale about the transitions in youth and of true friendship. It also depicts the emotional wounds caused from misjudgment and rejection.” – LuAnn, Rockin Book Reviews
Jackie Morse Kessler grew up in Brooklyn, NY, with a cranky cat and overflowing shelves filled with dolls and books. Now she’s in Upstate NY with another cranky cat, a loving husband, two sons, and overflowing shelves filled with dragons and books (except when her sons steal her dragons). She has a bachelor’s degree in English and American Literature, and yet she’s never read any Jane Austen (with or without zombies). She also has a master’s degree in media ecology. (The living study of technology and culture. Which is cool, but she still can’t figure out how to use Tweetdeck.)
Jackie spends a lot of time writing, reading, and getting distracted by bright and shiny new ideas. (She just came up with a new idea right now.) She has a weakness for chocolate and a tendency to let her cat take over her office chair.
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