Wish You Were Italian – Review

                            Wish You Were Italian


Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Publish Date/Publisher: May 6, 2014/Bloomsbury

Format: Paperback

Genre: YA – Contempory/Romance

Pippa has always wanted to go to Italy … but not by herself. And certainly not to sit in art school the entire summer learning about dead guys’ paintings. When she steps off the plane in Rome, she realizes that traveling solo gives her the freedom to do whatever she wants. So it’s arrivederci, boring art program and ciao, hot Italian guys!

Charming, daring, and romantic, Bruno is just the Italian Pippa’s looking for—except she keeps running into cute American archeology student Darren everywhere she goes. Pippa may be determined to fall in love with an Italian guy … but the electricity she feels with Darren says her heart might have other plans. Can Pippa figure out her feelings before her parents discover she left the program and—even worse—she loses her chance at love?

Needing a good fix of YA romance, I decided to pick up Wish You Were Italian. I was not disappointed in my choice, and I am very glad that I decided to read this.

Not many authors can really transport a reader into a different society. Kristin Rae did more than that. She transported me into another country, another world. I now long to travel to Rome, as Kristin beautifully described it with deep imagery and well-chosen words. It felt like I was walking the streets with Pippa, and tasting that wonderful gelato which was described in such a way that had my mouth watering. Page after page was filled to the brim with great world building and architecturally written sentences, which positively contributed to a very great reading experience.

The plot never had a dull moment even at the slower times. I was very impressed by the surprises Kristin kept throwing in, which really moved the flawless plot along. There were no gaps or holes, which made the read very enojyable.  The plot was always set straight and never wavered to the negative side. The plot was definitely well-planned and very researched, making this book even better.

The character development was amazing, and throughout this novel we had a wide ranging cast of characters that made seemingly boring moments the exact opposite. Even the tourists in this book played a great role in the overall development. Our main character, Pippa, was such a healthy character to follow. She wasn’t bratty, supercilious, or really angsty, which is something that I can hardly find in a YA romance novel. Alongside Pippa, we had two irresistible love interests: Darren and Bruno. Both boys brought out qualities in Pippa that made the love triangle a great one. I stood right with Pippa when she started to discover which boy was better for her, and I am very happy with the decision she made. Darren and Bruno both brought very different, and unique qualities to the story, which helped the diversity in this book.

Wish You Were Italian brought out so many of my emotions. I was constantly smiling and laughing. I even cried a couple of times. Kristin really had me feeling for the characters, which is something that is very hard to do, and I applaud her for that. This is definitely one of my new favorites and I know for a fact that I will be reading more of Kristin’s writing. I would recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a well-written and lasting romance story that is wrapped in a bubble of great imagery and emotions. Five out of five stars to Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae.

Five of my favorite quotes:

“It’s always good to try new things. Especially if it scares you a little bit.” Page 34

“But then she might point out that you never know what could happen unless you try. That each of our choices, no matter how small, has the potential to change the rest of our life. And that trying and failing is better than not trying at all.” Page 217

“Hey, you.” Page 314

“‘Figure out what you love doing, then figure out how to make money doing it.” Page 232

“‘Run from the truth all you want. It always has a way of finding you you..” Page 166

Meet the author!

Lover of books, music, crafty things, and chocolate. Kristin Rae writes YA fiction and is represented by Marietta Zacker of the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. Author of WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN and WHAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED (Bloomsbury)

Connect with Kristin!

Instagram: http://instagram.com/kristincreative

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/kristinraewrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kristincreative?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7123138.Kristin_Rae

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kristin-Rae/e/B00FX9EGSA

Website: http://www.kristinrae.com/?m=1

I do hope that you will check out the amazing book and author. Thank you for stopping by!


Aftermath – Review + Interview




Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes and Noble

Publish Date/Publisher: 2016/Merit Press

Format: ARC (kindly provided by author)

Genre: YA

Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad’s a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte’s twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life–the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.


Most authors that write about such touchy subjects usually portray them in a fantasized, bright way. But Kensie portrayed this deep subject perfectly. Everything down to the choice of words made Aftermath great. I was gripped right from the start.

The characters were so deeply written, each having such a great backstory. Our main character Charlotte, was such a unique character to read the story through. Charlotte’s sister, Alexa (or Lex,)  kept the story running through her actions and love for Charlotte. Each character had such great character development, making the plot very strong. All of the characters were very important towards the plot, and Kensie was magnificent in showing that.

The plot started out very strong, but wavered a bit towards the end. In some chapters I couldn’t really tell the direction of the plot, and some things were thrown into the story that were hard to believe. That being said, in the places where the plot was strong, the story was very enjoyable and fast-paced. I had so many different emotions while reading this book, and I’m pretty sure on some pages the ink is smudged from my tears.

I really enjoyed Aftermath and the story inside. It was filled with great characters, strong character development, and a good plot. Aftermath was a book about overcoming the past, and living life to the fullest. The ending was beautiful and I was extremely happy with the outcome of the book. Clara Kensie had such a powerful message to send, and she did it perfectly. I recieved amazing  values from this book, and I hope other readers will too.

Four out of five stars to Aftermath by Clara Kensie.

Interview with Clara Kensie!

1. In your acknowledgments, it says you’ve wanted to write this story since you were 12. What gave you the idea to write such a powerful story about such a dark subject?

When I was twelve, a girl my age, from my neighborhood, disappeared on her way home from school. I knew about stranger danger and all that, but until then, I never really believed bad things could happen in my safe, suburban town to girls like me. It was the first time I truly felt unsafe and vulnerable. But I knew that the fear I was feeling was nothing compared to the terror the missing girl must be feeling.

Fortunately, she was found a few days later. She’d been kidnapped by a man who lived a few blocks away, and he kept her locked in a corner of his crawlspace. Following a lead, the police had searched the man’s house, even going into the crawlspace, but the girl’s captor had terrorized her so much that she was too scared to call for help, and the police didn’t see her. They came back later to search the crawlspace again, and she finally found the courage to cry out to them.

The girl and her family moved away soon after her rescue, and I never learned what became of her. But I never forgot about her. I made up a story about her recovery, and that story became Aftermath. I’ve thought of her often over the years. I want to know how she survived, how she recovered, what kind of impact the experience had on her and her family. I became fascinated with the subject of recovery from traumatic events – so much so that in college, I majored in psychology, sociology, and social services, with a minor in criminal justice. Triumph over tragedy is a frequent theme in the books I write.
Although that girl’s experience inspired Aftermath, the book isn’t her story. Aftermath is Charlotte’s story. Charlotte is kidnapped just before her twelfth birthday and escapes when she’s sixteen. The book starts with her escape and follows her journey to recovery, as well as her family’s.

Wow. It is great that an experience like that inspired Aftermath. 




2. If Aftermath becomes a movie, which actors/actresses could you see playing the main characters?


Ooo, this will be fun! Let’s see.

• Angelina Jolie as the mom, Vickie.

• Bradley Cooper as the dad, Cory.

• Delroy Lindo as Detective Lindo (hey, that worked out perfectly!)

• Blythe Danner as Dr. Goldbloom

• Chris Cooper as the Keeper (sorry, Mr. Cooper!)

• For Charlotte and Alexa– hmmm. I had to do some digging on this one. The protagonist, Charlotte, and her sister, Alexa, are identical twin sisters. I found some actresses who are identical twin sisters, but none were the right age. Until I discovered Amanda and Rachel Pace! They are the perfect age to play Charlotte and Alexa, and they look how I imagine the characters to look, too: dark hair, blue eyes. So for the Aftermath movie, I would cast…

o Amanda Pace as Charlotte

o Rachel Pace as Alexa

All of those actors and actresses are amazing! Delroy Lindo is totally who I imagined as Detective Lindo while reading Aftermath.

3. Aftermath covers a topic that is relevant to our time today and is very touchy to some people. What was the hardest part about writing this topic?

I was very careful to handle the subject in a manner that was tactful and not gratuitous. The hardest part was striking a balance between being painting a truthful picture about what happened in the attic while not being too graphic. My readers are smart. They will understand what happened without needing explicit details.


4. What question do you wish someone would ask about Aftermath, that hasn’t been asked?

“Do you think your readers will be surprised that Aftermath is so different from your Run to You series?”

My answer: Yes, I do think they will be surprised that Aftermath is a different genre than Run to You! My Run to You series (Deception So Deadly and Deception So Dark) is a super-romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past, and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies, and danger. There are psychic powers. And action. And adventure. And a romance that will make you swoon. Aftermath is a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines contemporary about a girl’s recovery from abduction, rape, and captivity.

BUT. Run to You and Aftermath share many elements:

• The protagonist in both books is a teenage girl who finds the strength within herself to overcome a tragedy.

• Both books are categorized as YA but have crossover appeal for both the teen and adult audiences.

• Both books have a mystery.

• Both books have knock-your-socks-off plot twists that the reader won’t see coming.

• Both books will make you cry.

• Both books explore the complex dynamics of dysfunctional families, the meaning of home, and the significance of being called by your own name.

I hope my Run to You fans will give Aftermath a try, and vice versa! I think they’ll love both books. 

I am now very interested in your Run to You series because I adored Aftermath.

5. If you could spend time with only one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be, and what would you do?
Oh boy. Hmm. Tough one. It would have to be Tessa, the heroine of my Run to You series. The Run to You books were the first books I ever wrote. Writing Tessa’s story taught me how to write and how to get published. Tessa’s story won me one of the industry’s most prestigious awards, the RITA© Award for Best First Book. Tessa and I went through a lot together, both good and bad. I love Aftermath’s Charlotte, but I have such a strong connection to Tessa that I feel she’s an extension of myself.

What would we do during this time together? Honestly, I think I’d just like to talk with Tessa, maybe have a chat as we take a walk in the park (Tessa would like to go for a run, but I hate running, so…). I’d tell her about winning the RITA. I’d tell her that I want to continue the series and write more adventures for her and Tristan, and for the secondary characters in the series. I’d tell her I wish that she were real.


•Cake or ice cream? Ice cream

•What are you currently reading? SCARS by Cheryl Rainfield. Amazing and powerful.

•Favorite movie? Strictly Ballroom

•Floppy paperbacks or hardcovers? Doesn’t matter, I like both equally

•Can you describe your clothing style in three words? Jeans, hoodies, Converse


Excellent interview questions, Bridget! Thanks for having me on your blog!



Thank you Clara! I loved having you on my blog, and I hope all of you pick up Aftermath once it releases later this year! Before gou leave, make sure to check out Clara Kensie’s bio and all of her social media links!

Clara Kensie, author of dark fiction for young adults

…don’t forget to breathe…

 Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.

 Today Clara is a RITA© Award-winning author of dark fiction for young adults. Her RUN TO YOU series is a super-romantic psychic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past, and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies, and danger. The RUN TO YOU series was named an RT Magazine Editors Pick for Best Books of 2014, and Book One, DECEPTION SO DEADLY, is the winner of the prestigious 2015 RITA© Award for Best First Book. Her next book is AFTERMATH, a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines contemporary thriller in the tradition of ROOM and THE LOVELY BONES, releasing November 15, 2016 from Merit Press.

Clara’s favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.

Find Clara online:

Website Newsletter Instagram Twitter Facebook Goodreads


Pokemon Go Tag!



Today I will be doing the Pokemon Go book tag that was created by the lovely Aentee at readatmidnight.com

I was tagged by Joey from @ thoughts and afterthoughts

Without further-a-do, lets get started with the Pokemon Go book tag!pokemon-tag-01starters

For this category, I have chosen Alien’s on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith. I bought this book from a used bookstore when I was younger, and the next day after I finished it, I went back to the same bookstore and traded it in for more books.


An iconic classic that I will always love, is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read this about four years ago, but I still remember every detail vividly. It was such a great classic that really got me to think harder about my normal, daily life.


For this one, I have to say I’ve lost interest in The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry. I’ve seen this book around everywhere and from what I hear, most people are not enjoying it. Maybe I will one day pick it up, but definitely not anytime soon.


Firstlife by Gena Showalter is a book that reminds me of other books, but only very slightly. In the beginning, I was totally getting huge Shatter Me vibes, but as the plot kept going, it became its own story, that was AMAZING.


I have not started The Enemy series by Charlie Higson because it is seven books long. The premise definitely intrigues me, but I am worried to dive into a new series that will take a lot of time to read.


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff kept me up all night just recently! It had such a cool format that made the reading go a lot faster, but it was 599 pages long, so, of course, I had to stay up and finish it.


This one is very easy. Anna and St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. They were so cute with each other, and I totally need to re-read this book soon.


The Defy trilogy by Sara B. Larson is a series that I marathoned in three days. I am crying just thinking about the last book and how much it killed my heart. I highly recommend it to fantasy fans!


Vampire Academy is a series I will never get tired of seeing spin-offs for. Bloodlines was such a great spin-off series, and boy oh boy, you do not know how much I need the tenth-anniversary edition of Vampire Academy.


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is a book everyone talks about, but I hear it does not live up to the hype. However, I am still interested in eventually reading it to see how I feel about it.


I wish I had all three collectors editions of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. All three of them are just gorgeous with their pastel colors and vibrant letters. I need them.


The Balance Keepers by Lindsay Cummings was a book that surprised me. I pre-ordered it back in 2012, and I just recently read it and it blew me away. I loved everything about it.


A book release I have been waiting on forever is The Traitor of Belltroll by Lindsay Cummings which is the third and final book in The Balance Keepers trilogy. It releases in September, but I need it now!


An auto-buy author for me is definitely Victoria Scott. She has written the Fire & Flood duology, the Dante Walker trilogy, Titans, and the upcoming Hear the Wolves and Violet Grenade.I have loved all of her work, and will definitely continue to purchase it in the future.


Flashfall by Jenny Moyer is a debut novel I am very excited for. It is my number one most anticipated book of the year, and I have been dying to get my hands on an ARC. The premise is so interesting, and I have heard nothing but great things about it.

That was such a fun tag! Thanks again for tagging me, Joey! I tag all of you to do it. I hope you enjoyed my answers, and I would love to see yours!Drawing (3)

Riley Carson and The Cherokee Caves – Review


Riley Carson and The Cherokee Caves


Goodreads / Amazon

Publish Date/Publisher: Hound and Thistle/April 15, 2016

Format/Pages: e-Copy (provided by the author in exchange for an honest review)/173 pages

Genre: Middle Grade

Riley Carson is just an average kid…or so she thinks. Days before starting middle school, Riley’s beloved dog dies in her arms and this tragedy impacts her more than she can imagine. As Riley and her friends, Finn Murphy and Eve Rycroft, navigate the world of middle school, they stumble across something more daunting…dogs in their town are being mistreated. The kids must find out what is happening before another dog is hurt.

From paranormal activity to legends of Cherokee gold, Riley, Finn, and Eve are about to begin the adventure of a lifetime!


I really loved the concept of this book. Being a huge lover of dogs, I knew I would enjoy this.

The writing was so beautiful, gripping me from the first page. Riley, our main character, was such a strong and reliable character. Just starting out at middle school can be tough, but Riley, Finn, and Eve (her friends) got through it together.Their curiosity and strong-will really fueled the plot and made every single page interesting. The character development was amazing, and I could really tell that the character’s personalities and their actions were greatly thought-out and well written. The plot was fast moving, and never got slow, really creating a great reading atmosphere.

I loved that the story had mystery and paranormal aspects, making me constantly wonder what was going to happen next. All of the side characters were never pushed into the background, making the story more enjoyable with the plot being impacted by the characters. The fact that this story revolved around saving dogs, made me so happy. I loved every good moment we had with the dogs and was very happy with the outcome.

Although the characters were in the 6th grade, sometimes they seemed a little too mature for their age. I found that sometimes whenever something unnatural happened to a character, that character only questioned the event for a couple of seconds, if at all.

This story was filled with adventure, friendship, a fast plot, and beautiful dogs. I highly recommend it to dog lovers of all ages.

Four out of five stars to Riley Carson and The Cherokee Caves by Megan Wargula.

Drawing (3)

Balance Keepers: The Fires of Calderon – Review

img_7931Balance Keepers: The Fires of Calderon (The Balance Keepers #1)

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Goodreads /Amazon/Barnes and Noble


Publish Date/Publisher: September 23, 2014/ KT (an imprint of HarperCollins)

Format/Pages: Hardcover/352 pages

Genre: Middle Grade – Fantasy

After following a mysterious map into the woods and then under the woods, eleven-year-old Albert Flynn learns he’s a Balance Keeper—someone with special magical skills for fixing problems in three underground Realms at the Core of the earth. His new job is important; if the realms fall out of balance, the world above could be in great danger.

Albert and his Balance Keeper teammates Birdie and Leroy arrive in the Core not a moment too soon. There’s an Imbalance in the Calderon Realm and it’s threatening to bury Albert’s hometown of New York City in a mountain of ash.

The three must train hard completing mental and physical challenges, but above all, they must harness the power of their Tiles—unique superpowers given to each Balance Keeper. So far, Albert’s mastered the art of not mastering his Tile….

With the situation in Calderon growing worse every day, can Albert, Leroy, and Birdie restore balance before New York is destroyed forever? Will Albert master his Tile before it’s too late?


In 2014 I pre-ordered this book from Amazon and made the stupid mistake of not reading it until this year. This book was AMAZING! I could compare Balance Keepers: The Fires of Calderon to Harry Potter, but that would not bring this book justice.

I was hooked right from the start. Our main character, Albert Flynn, was so adventurous and curious, making the story fast-paced and full of fun. Leroy and Birdie (our other main characters) made me laugh a lot, and that’s something we need a lot more of in fantasy books. Even though the characters were only 11, they were very mature when they needed to be, and had great character development (the best I’ve read in MG Fantasy.) The side characters were almost as well written as the main characters, and I loved their interactions with everyone. All of the characters had such great emotion and something special that helped the plot move.

The whole entire story was thoroughly detailed and bursting with great imagery. I could clearly see everything Lindsay Cummings was describing. Her writing was beautiful and I could not get enough of it. The way she described creatures was astonishing, and I felt like I could look out my window and see a Guildacker fly by, or see Hissengores slithering up my window. I had to constantly resist the urge to look on the next page because I was so into the story. There were no holes in the plot, and it all ran smoothly, creating a great reading experience. Cummings had my heart racing on nearly every page, and my imagination going wild. I had such a great time in this world, and I cannot wait to dive back in.

Five out of five stars to The Balance Keepers: The Fires of Calderon by Lindsay Cummings, and all of my heart the amazing characters and the best fantasy world.

Drawing (3)

The Realm always provides the Means.

Prisoner of Night and Fog: Review

Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog

Author: Anne Blankman

Publish Date/Publisher: April 22, 2014/ Balzer + Bray

Pages: 401

Format: Hardcover

Genre: YA – Historical Fiction

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews.
As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

I was very excited for this book after hearing Sasha Alsberg talk about how much she loved it.

However, despite my excitement to read Prisoner of Night and Fog, it did not live up to all of my expectations.

Certain characters really got on my nerves. Reinhard, Gretchen’s brother, annoyed me so much that I almost had to put down the book. The way he acted made me so mad, and somewhat ruined the story for me. Hitler made me cringe every page he was mentioned, and even Daniel, the male protagonist, got on my nerves a little.

That being said, Gretchen, our main character, was very strong and determined, and I really liked that. Her slight stubbornness really helped move the story along, and made her stronger in the end.

The plot was greatly thought out, and I could tell that Blankman really did her research. But, I felt the plot got slow in some parts, and I had to force myself to finish the novel, which made me get bored very easily.

The love in the novel was not my favorite. I felt it was just a little bit to fast for my liking, but I did enjoy that it wasn’t the main focus, and it laid in the back. I did enjoy the small lovey parts, but I did not like how some decisions were made based solely on love for each other.

Although I didn’t really like Prisoner of Night and Fog I will eventually read the second novel, and see if I prefer that better. Even though a lot of aspects got on my nerves, I did like the novel, and I do hope to see how it evolves over the series.

Three out of five stars to Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman.

Bottled Blitz!

bottled blitz banner.jpg

Hi! I’m Bridget, and welcome to my blog for the BOTTLED BOOK BLITZ!


This cover is to die for! I need it in my life.


Title: Bottled
Author: Carol Riggs
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: July 7th 2016
Publisher: Clean Reads

At seventeen, Adeelah Naji is transformed into a genie and imprisoned in a bottle. For a thousand years, she fulfills the wishes of greedy masters—building their palaces, lining their pockets with gold, and granting them every earthly pleasure. All that sustains her is the hope of finding Karim, the boy she fell in love with as a human. When at last she finds a note from her beloved, she confirms he has access to the elixir of life and that he still searches for her. 

But someone else also hunts her. Faruq—the man who plots to use her powers to murder and seize the life forces of others—is just one step behind her. With the help of a kind master named Nathan, Adeelah continues to search for Karim while trying to evade Faruq. To complicate matters, she begins to experience growing fatigue and pain after conjuring, and finds herself struggling against an undeniable attraction to Nathan.

As Faruq closes in, Adeelah must decide just how much she’ll risk to protect Nathan and be with Karim forever. How much power does she really have to change her future, and what is she willing to sacrifice for an eternity of love? If she makes the wrong choice, the deaths of many will be on her hands.

Well, I have goosebumps now! Here are the links to purchase BOTTLED.


AmazonBarnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads:



Now, we have a fun interview with the author herself. That’s right! An interview with Carol Riggs! *happy dances*

  1. What’s your writing ritual like? Where do you work, and do you listen to music?

I work really well at home in my “office” on my desktop computer; I don’t even own a laptop. Music can be inspirational before I write, but when I do the actual writing, I like quiet (or the patter of rain outside), because music throws off the rhythm of my words and sentences. I can concentrate better without any distractions. For my schedule, I get through my email, Facebook, and Twitter, and I’m ready to work. On a typical day, I write about 700-1500 words, putting in 4-6 hours. I treat it as my job.

Wow, 700-1500 words? That is amazing!

  1. How long does it usually take you to complete a novel?

For the rough draft, about 3-4 months. Depending on what’s going on in my “real” life, up to 6 months. Then comes the important part: letting it set for a while, doing a complete read-through, and sending it off to my critique partners to shred. Then I revise according to their feedback. The rewriting timeline varies, of course, depending on what other projects I have going on.

I guess all of the hard work pays off! All of your novels seem amazing.

  1. What are you working on now?

BOTTLED is my second novel to be released, after my debut, THE BODY INSTITUTE. I have a third book releasing in October, a YA sci-fi called SAFE ZONE. The one I’m currently writing is a YA fantasy, a retelling of a French fairy tale. I’ve always wanted to do a retelling, so it’s exciting to be finally doing it. It has ogres in it and I’m half done. I can’t tell you any more, or I’d have to de-materialize you…

A retelling? O(gre)h gosh, I am in love already, and I would be willing to be materialized to hear more.

  1. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Well, that’s not very often! but I love the beach, and I’m lucky to be less than 1.5 hours away from the Oregon coast. I have a college degree in art, but I haven’t done much drawing or painting or quilting or even fabric art the past few years. I used to do pencil portraits, but found it wasn’t creative enough; I felt too much like a camera since my style was realistic (representational). I like to walk rather than jog. I love listening to music, watching dance of any kind, and attending writing conferences.

It sounds like you’re living the author dream. I am jealous!

Excerpt from BOTTLED

A disturbance scrapes the edge of my awareness.

I stop twisting the rings on my fingers and concentrate on the intrusion rather than my new master who sits in front of me. Five humans have reached this shabby Arabian hotel, clustering like scorpions in the street far below our room. A niggling sense of them rises up in my mind.

They make their way closer, feet scraping on pavement, their eager breaths rapid and shallow. I get the impression it’s me they want.

While that’s no surprise, the approach somehow disturbs me more than it should, plagues me like a dense thundercloud under my skull. Why is that? The harm is already done. After a century of seclusion in my former master’s crypt, I’m in servitude again. It doesn’t matter if someone challenges my current master for possession of my bottle. One self-centered human master is just as unappealing as the next.

“This is excellent food, genie girl,” my master Bello says, licking mango chutney from his fingertips, ignoring the drips plopping onto the saggy mattress. He’s quite young as masters go. My guess is about eight years older than the seventeen I appear to be, the age I became immortalized.

I frown at his big ears and smacking lips, not caring a half-spittle that I’ve impressed him.

WOW! I am very impressed. I do not think I have read anything that gives me goosebumps like that just did! I need more!!

About the author of BOTTLED:


Carol Riggs is an author of fiction for young adults (and adults!) who lives in the beautiful green state of Oregon, USA. Her debut novel, The Body Institute, released Sept 2015 from Entangled Teen, exploring body image and identity. Her fantasy YA, Bottled, will release from Clean Reads on July 7, 2016, and her sci-fi YA, Safe Zone, will release from Entangled Teen in October 2016. She enjoys reading, drawing, and painting, writing conferences, walking with her husband, and enjoying music and dance of all kinds. You will usually find her in her writing cave, surrounded by her dragon collection and the characters in her head.

Author Links:

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

Make sure you add Carol on her social media,  she always has such fun tweets!

Hey! Don’t leave yet! You still have to enter the giveaway!

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Thanks Ya Bound Book Tours for organizing this Book Blitz!

YA Bound Book Tours

And thank YOU for stopping by!

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The Keplar Project: More than a review


Note: This cover is not final and is subject to change.

Title: The Keplar Project

Author: Sarah Jones

Publish Date/Publisher: N/A

Format: Manuscript /sent via author/

Genre: YA – Dystopian

Before you read my review, make sure to check out Sarah on all of her social media!









Note: This synopsis is not final and is subject to change.

How far are you willing to go to protect the ones you love?

For Sariah Kent, the ends of the Earth are just the beginning.

The Commander is cruel, he has made the Republic of Prospect a living Hell and now he wants more. More power, more land, a planet of his own to dictate. But in order to do that he needs lab rats, human ones, to test out the most promising planet his scientists know of, to see if this planet is survivable… and who better to do that than criminals?

When Sariah Kent and her two best friends are caught for vandalizing the Commander’s home there is a price to pay. She knows that her options are few and that a public hanging at the Gallows awaits her. Sariah isn’t one to beg or put up a fight and has accepted her fate but when the Commander proposes an ultimatum the three friends are faced with a problem bigger, worse, than the Gallows. The Commander tells Sariah and her friends they can either live on death row for five years, or take the place of the citizens who were chosen to participate in an experiment, the Keplar Project. A project which involves banishment to the foreign planet, Keplar-518e. When Sariah sees her little sister’s name on the list of citizens chosen to participate, she and her friends have to make a choice. Choose to have the extra five years, or go in the place of their family members to a planet where they may die in minutes.


I was so excited when I started beta reading The Keplar Project (TKP). The whole idea of new planets and adventure really appealed to me. Although I was a beta for TKP, I still connected to the story as a reader.

I read TKP a total of three times and each time only made me love the story more.

All of the characters were so unique, each bringing something to the story, whether it was a small joke, a big smile, or an evil laugh, TKP was erupting with liveliness. The multiple POVs really kept the plot moving fast and were always such a great insight on the characters.

Sarah’s writing was smooth and never left me confused. The plot line was so detailed and well thought out, really making the story speak. Each scene was perfectly formed into a beautiful world that I couldn’t get enough of. I often found myself getting lost in the beautiful words of The Keplar Project.

The Keplar Project by Sarah Jones has such great potential and I cannot wait to hear of its future success!


While searching Sarah’s blog for every detail I could find about The Keplar Project, I came across character descriptions for some of the main characters. So below, you will find a description of some of the characters (all descriptions from Sarah’s blog,) pictures from Google based on Sarah’s description, and my thoughts on those characters!


Sariah Kent

Sarah’s Description:

“Dirty blonde hair and brown eyes. Medium height. She is the type of girl who rolls with the punches. Some might say she is a leader type, others might say she is reckless. Crime: Vandalism…and a few other things..oops!”

My thoughts:

Sariah was such a strong-willed main character who was determined right from the start. She never left me bored, always keeping the story entertaining and open. Sariah was good to others and never wavered in personality. Although she could use some more character development, she was nearly a “perfect” main heroine.


Taaria Kent

Sarah’s Description:

“Dirty blonde hair and brown eyes. She is a Keplar Project sibling. Little sister to Sariah. Her personality is spunky and ambitious. She loves her older sisters more than anything!”

My thoughts:

Taaria was such a loving character towards her family. She was very determined (much like her sister) and very open. I would love to know more about Taaria, and feel more of her voice would be great in the plot.

Nixon McCoy

Sarah’s Description:

“Black hair which curls at the tips and Jensen Ackles green eyes! Mysterious personality. Observant. Crime: unknown. (of course I know what it is! lololol)”

My thoughts:

Nixon (Nix) may sound like the generic “broken inside” character, but he was the opposite. He was mysterious, yet open. Observant, yet ignorant. Quiet, yet loud. You get to know so much about him through a couple chapters.


Luke Cramer

Sarah’s Description:

“Tall, Brown hair and eyes. Snarky personality. Some would call him the class clown, others would say he is a pest. Crime: Contempt and Disorderly Conduct.”

My thoughts:

Luke was amazing. He was funny, keeping the plot light-hearted. Almost as mysterious and Nixon, he left me thinking on his ordeal and his thoughts.


So, as above I mentioned I basically stalked Sarah’s blog. Well, I found that she wrote a song for one of Sariah’s older sisters, Seera. Seera’s song is absolutely beautiful and I can’t get enough of it, so let’s enjoy it together!!

“Seera’s Song (Written by me, so ya can’t listen because it’s not an audible thing.)”
All my sister’s
With all their bright lights
All my sister’s
They’re shining so bright

All my sister’s
With all their brown eyes

The space ship takes flight
Away into the night
We’re on our way now
We’re on our way now

My head is on your shoulder
We’re growing much older
And when we get there I’ll be 23

All my sister’s
With all their bright lights
All my sister’s
They’re shining so bright

All my sister’s
With all their brown eyes

we will reunite.

Five out of five stars to The Keplar Project by Sarah Jones!

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Devil and the Bluebird: Review


Title: Devil and the Bluebird

Author: Jennifer Mason-Black

Publish Date/Publisher: May 17, 2016/Amulet Books

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover (I was provided an Advanced Readers Copy /via the publisher/ in exchange for an honest review.)

Genre: YA

Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes and Noble

Blue Riley has wrestled with her own demons ever since the loss of her mother to cancer. But when she encounters a beautiful devil at her town crossroads, it’s her runaway sister’s soul she fights to save. The devil steals Blue’s voice—inherited from her musically gifted mother—in exchange for a single shot at finding Cass.

Armed with her mother’s guitar, a knapsack of cherished mementos, and a pair of magical boots, Blue journeys west in search of her sister. When the devil changes the terms of their deal, Blue must reevaluate her understanding of good and evil and open herself to finding family in unexpected places.

I went into this book with such high expectations, and I was not disappointed.

Jennifer Mason-Black has such a beautiful way of writing that really captivates and tugs at reader’s hearts. The plot was fast, never slow, and the characters (minor and major,) were all very different and very fun to read. The imagery was deep and written in a way that intrigued me.

Some parts of the plot were a little predictable, but the fantasy and music aspect made up for it. The ending of the book was great and I was very happy with the outcome. Blue learned a lot about herself through mourning and loss, travel and music, and humans and demons. I could not get enough of Devil and the Bluebird and all of the great characters, travel, and fantasy. I will definitely read more of Jennifer Mason-Black’s future work as I am sure I will not be disappointed.

Five out of five stars to Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black.

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P.S. I Like You: Review


Title: P.S. I Like You

Author: Kasie West

Publish Date/Publisher: July, 26 2016/Point (Scholastic)

Pages: 304

Format: ARC – I was provided an Advanced Readers Copy /via the publisher/ in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: YA – Romance

Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes and Noble

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she’s flustered — and kind of feels like she’s falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer — but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?





Wow. I was really impressed with P.S. I Like You! I was easily able t0 relate to Lily and everything thing she did because I am a lot like her. I often found myself nodding in agreement to what she said and did.

I loved the whole idea of a secret pen pal and I thought the way that Kasie West wrote it was so unique and easy to read. Some parts of this book were easy to predict (do not worry. No spoilers here!) and although I pretty much knew what was going to happen, I could not put it down.

I loved reading about Lily’s crazy family because they made me laugh so much! I could easily picture her being bombarded by her younger brothers and her parents laying work on her shoulders. Lily’s best friend, Isabel, was such a great friend and a really fun character, who really impacted Lily in a good way.

The romance aspect in this book did seem a little forced at first, but it eventually grew on me. I also found some of the events just a tiny bit unrealistic but understandable in the way of the plot.

Overall, I really enjoyed P.S. I like You. This was such a fun and easy read that had me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I could easily connect with the events and characters in this book, and I felt like I was Lily writing the notes and falling in love. Is anyone open to being my secret pen pal?

Four out of five stars to P.S. I Like You by Kasie West.

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