Happy 2nd Blogaversary to ME = GIVEAWAYS for you!

This year has been a great one! I finished nursing school. Graduated at the top of class. Started a new career and job that I love. My sister got married! And then I moved out to my own two bedroom apartment and finally have the library I have always wanted!

I have still been reading and trying my best to blog as much as possible. But working 50 + hours a week sometimes makes it hard. But in the last month, with finally be completely moved in, I have been able to start reading again and hopefully that will help me get into doing reviews and such. But with all the chaos going on, somehow I missed my two year blogging anniversary! But alas my dear and faithful followers, even though it is a tad bit late I do want to take the time and thank you guys for sticking by me for so long!  

Even if my reviews have not been as often as I'd like, the touring company I co-own with
my Spanish sister Patricia, The Fantastic Flying Book Club, has been really taking off! 
We have had the privilege of working with some amazing authors and publishers. 
Some who have returned back for second and third tours! 

I've met some amazing blogger friends and authors who have became like family!
All I am so thankful for the entire blogging community! 

So without further ado, I share with you an amazing giveaway!
Some of these books are ones I have extra copies of, some are ones I read and do not 
foresee re-reading and others are ones I read and just did not like.

So guys! Enter away! All are open internationally. I will pick 1 winner every other day! 
So keep entering! 


Open Internationally
a Rafflecopter giveaway

FFBC: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids + BIG GIVEAWAY!

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Retellings, Chick Lit
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The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life. 

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

Hello Sarah! Welcome Back! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours again!

Thank you for having me! I’m excited too. J

Of course! Aside from the “official” book summary, here are some things that come to mind about The Summer of Chasing Mermaids:

Coastal Oregon’s wild, untamed Pacific. A singer from Trinidad and Tobago, and a silent summer away from home. The Little Mermaid remade. Falling in love with the totally wrong (but totally perfect) guy. Awesome girlfriends who’ve got your back even when you’re at your worst. A mermaid parade, a pirate regatta, a sea glass artist. Finding your true voice, no matter who or what tries to silence you.

They’re both so passionate and intense, yet struggling with finding and accepting their authentic selves. That struggle means different things to each of them, but one of the things I love most about them is how they really grow together, helping each other face personal demons, falling in love, yet never once eclipsing each other. Elyse and Christian are very much their own people, but they’re stronger together because they believe in each other, and that unwavering faith and mutual support helps them to believe in themselves. To me, that what makes them the perfect YA couple. Not that they’re perfect people—far from it!—but that they support and encourage one another so much.

Dean Winchester on a boat. But slightly younger. And without all those nasty demons chasing him. J

Like all of my book ideas, inspiration for The Summer of Chasing Mermaids came from many different sources, all crossing my path at the same time and ending up in a big daydreamy soup pot that eventually boiled down into a story! It went something like this:

1. The beach. I love books that take place in the summer on the beach, and the last time I’d written a story like that was in 2009 (Twenty Boy Summer). Five books and five years later, it was time for me to go back to the sea!

2. Mermaids. Daydreaming about the ocean got me thinking about mermaids, and soon I found myself wondering how I might incorporate a bit of mermaid lore while still keeping the book grounded in a contemporary realistic setting. I re-read the original The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen, and watched the Disney adaptation, and took a bit of inspiration from each!

3. Voice. This was a huge one for me. Denial of voice is a major theme explored in the book, and something I see so many young people—particularly girls and women—struggling with. From a young age girls are often taught—explicitly or implicitly—to be nice, accommodating, and selfless. Often we’re also told to “be ourselves,” and that we can do anything we put our minds to, but we’re not given a lot of direction on what that really means, or how to deal with the challenges that inevitably arise when we truly, authentically put ourselves out there. Not everyone will accept that—even (and sometimes especially) the people who claim to love us most. And so often I see—in my own life as well as the lives of girls and women around me—denial of voice in action, where we’re shut down and shut up simply because we don’t fit into whatever box society has built for us. We’re confronted by things like sexism, gender roles, expectations, double standards, lack of opportunity, aggression, poverty, racism, fear, power dynamics, institutionalized misogyny, just to name a few. That’s a super simplified reduction of a complex issue, but one that’s very important to me. So I really wanted to explore that theme in a YA novel, symbolized by a character who literally has no voice—she’s permanently mute after an accident—and has to learn new ways of expressing herself, embracing her new life, and standing up for herself when others either speak for her or shut her out.

4. Trini Accent Tag. Around the same time I started thinking about the beach, mermaids, and denial of voice issues, I was randomly clicking through YouTube and came across a meme about accents. I’ve always been fascinated by regional accents, slang, and language development, so I got totally sucked in to watching them—a kind of fun game to see just how differently people say the same words and phrases in English. I ended up in the Trini accent tag collection, and one of the videos featured two sisters from Trinidad and Tobago who’d also posted other videos of singing performances. When I saw these girls singing, it just hit me all at once, like a big anvil of inspiration falling on my head! I thought, that’s my character, and she has a twin sister. But what is her family like? Where does she live? How did she grow up? What does she do for fun? I immediately dove into research mode, learning as much as I could about Trinidad and Tobago, the culture, the food, the music, the history, the people—it was such a rewarding process; I didn’t know much about the country at all when I started. So thanks in large part to random strangers on YouTube, Elyse was born, one of six sisters (like in The Little Mermaid), a girl who grew up singing with her twin, both of them en route to stardom. But then she loses her voice, and everything changes. She can’t sing. She can’t speak. Who does she become? What happens to her sister? Where does she belong? Who is she, if not the girl with the beautiful voice? I wrote the book to answer those questions.

5. Supernatural. It’s true when I said earlier that Christian Kane is basically Dean Winchester on a boat. ;-) 

“When one dream burns to ash, you don’t crumble beneath it. You get on your hands and knees, and you sift through those ashes until you find the very last ember, the very last spark.”

In addition to the sexy romance scenes (of course!), I really loved writing the tarot card scene. I read tarot, so it was super fun to use one of my decks to create a tarot spread specifically for Elyse.

“Sea of Lovers” by Christina Perri.

Gosh, I have no idea! I’m so bad at this question. I love it when readers make fan casts, because I can’t do it to save my life!

Pick out some soca music, fix yourself a fruity frozen drink, and find a place to stretch out on a blanket in the sun! That’s what I’d do, anyway! 

Deb Caletti, Sarah Dessen, Cindy Pon, Jessi Kirby, Courtney Summers, Lynn Joseph, Maggie Stiefvater, to name just a few!

San Diego! I love visiting California, dipping my toes in the ocean before an event. 


Sarah Dessen is my go-to summer reads author, but this summer I’m looking forward to curling up with two fantasies that recently hit the shelves: AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir and THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh. Typically I wait until the fall to read fantasies, going for more beachy settings in the summer, but I just can’t wait that long for those two!

Heaven! As long as you’ve got some shade and a cooler full of drinks and snacks.

I’m working on two very different projects at the moment—another contemporary and a paranormal thriller—but I’m not ready to share any details yet!

Thank you so much for everything, Sarah!

Thank YOU so much for having me on your blog, and for sharing THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS with your fans! It means a lot to me. J

Follow the The Summer of Chasing Mermaids Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of young adult novels, including #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens' Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. Her latest, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, hits the shelves in June 2015. 

Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she's not writing or reading at home in Washington, she enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.

Visit her website at sarahockler.com or find her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook.

US Only

FFBC: Spelled by Betsy Schow + Giveaway!

by Betsy Schow
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
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Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called "Kansas." Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

Most of the crowd had dispersed. The final few stragglers looked at me with the all­too-common look of fear mixed with trepidation. Pix ’em. They were just servants. It wasn’t like their opinion mattered.
Only one remained, watching me with open curiosity. He looked to be in his late teens or was magically enhanced to appear so. He could have been a hundred for all I knew. I’d never seen him before in my life. He was handsome enough, for a commoner, even in his worn leather pants and cracked work boots. A foreigner, his hair was unruly and dark auburn, which complemented his tanned but dirt-smudged complexion, though the tall, dark stranger vibe was ruined by his piercing pale blue eyes.
Well, I’d had enough of being a sideshow for the day. “If you’re the new gardener, the hedges are overgrown and in need of a trim.” I pointed in the direction of my father. “While you’re there, you can help the king with the wisps.”
The young man’s expression clouded over, but he didn’t move.
I stamped my foot and pointed more forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful boots before coming back in.”
“Someone told me I’d find a princess of great worth here. One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice water—made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing.
In brisk steps, he strode across the marble to the courtyard. But before crossing the threshold, he turned back to glare at me with his lip curled ever so slightly. “It seems she was mistaken.”
Just like that, I had been sifted, weighed, and found wanting.
I felt my own lip curl in response. How rude! Who the Grimm was this peasant to judge me? I was wearing a Glenda original. Original! Not some fairy-godmother knockoff worn by those servant girls turned royal. I was a crown princess, for the love of fairy, and no one dismissed me.
Before I could put the boy in his place—down in the dirt, where he belonged—a clatter came from behind, making me nearly jump out of my shoes. I checked and was relieved that Sterling had simply dropped his sword. By the time I looked back, the gardener was gone.
After stowing his blade, Sterling held up his shield, not in defense of the entrance but so he could look at his reflection. “Clearly he’s blind and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
I didn’t ask for Sterling’s opinion, but it made me feel better.
Until he opened his mouth again.
“Worth, pffft. I mean, look around at all the jewels. Your palace has everything you could ever want. Honestly, I don’t know what you’re fussing about. Why would anyone want to leave?”
Because a cage is still a cage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are.

And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.

Oooh, toughie. Right now, “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff

@Midnight because I need a good long laugh at the end of a torturous day of writing whilst beset by two mini monsters (my kids)

“Frozen” I think my children have brainwashed me by forcing me to watch it a bajillion times. But really, I love the poking fun at all the traditional princess stories; “You got engaged to a man YOU JUST MET!”

Currently, it’s “Shatter me” by Lindsey Stirling

Sushi. Not the crap grocery store kind, the rolled-right-in-front-your-nose kind where the fish just came off the boat.

Oz (that’s a duh), Wonderland (because I would love to have my own little Cheshire kitten), and Middle Earth (because who wouldn’t).

It’s cliche, but Mr. Darcy. Actually, really anyone with a British accent.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston S. Churchill

Dr. Who, Wicked (just saw for the first time in London), and pretty much anytime I get to converse with one of my favorite authors in real life. Pretty sure Aprilynne Pike and Jennifer Nielsen are going to take out restraining orders on me.

Mark Twain aka Samuel Clemens. The man was a quirky freakin’ genius.

I had loads of fun writing this and put my heart and soul into it. So here’s hoping that in some small way, you can share in that feeling while you read.

Hello Betsy! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

Spelled is an upside down and inside out twist of Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz that takes place in a world where every character from fairy-tales and legends live together and play out their stories as designed by the Storymakers. Our main character, Princess Dorthea of Emerald, is pretty sure that whoever wrote her story got it wrong and she’s tired of being locked up in her castle, waiting for her happy ever after. So she makes a wish upon a star--too bad it’s cursed.

I’ll keep it real, she’s a brat. LOL. At least she starts out that way, which was intentional. I really liked the idea of a deeply flawed princess instead of the typical loves-every-furry-creature princess with a heart of gold that is beloved by all. She’s obliviously entitled with no clue how good she really had it until it’s gone. Her best quality (aside from a killer fashion sense) is her fierce bravery. Unfortunately her worst quality is being unable to take responsibility when her actions have big consequences. 

I came up with the idea by being very annoyed with stories where there is often an underlying message of ugly = bad while beautiful = good. That of course reminded me of the iconic green ugly hag witch. What if she was just cranky, but still a good guy while the beautiful witch was actually a different *itch word. From there using the Wizard of Oz as the base of the fractured fairy-tale seemed like the obvious choice. I loved Frank Baum’s imagination and was really inspired to use his Oz works in fun ways. I’m somewhat ashamed to say that I have never seen the movie Wizard of Oz and only saw the play Wicked last month. I really didn’t want to inadvertently use anything that was still under intellectual copyright. And watching Shrek and Ella Enchanted with my kids gave me the idea to add all the little pop culture nods.

My favorite lines are from when Dorthea starts to feel the weight of what she’s done. It plays really well with the entire theme of the storyline.

“An unwelcome theory started to form in my mind, an explanation for why my story had skewed so far off course.

Maybe I wasn’t the hero. 

Maybe I was the villian.”

Hydra’s spare parts shack and the witch doctor scene.

“Dark Horse” by Katy Perry

Dorthea: Anna Kendrick

Rexi: Jena Malone

Kato: Richard Madden 

Eat Pocky, a great substitute for chocolate wands. I highly recommend listening to girl power music like Katy Perry and Paramour.

After the launch party, a week in my bed with Netflix and no computers! Just kidding. If Spelled does well in stores, then hopefully I’ll be given the opportunity to write the rest of the series so I can tell Rexi’s (the daughter of Robin Hood) story.

Thank you so much for everything, Betsy!

Follow the Spelled by Betsy Schow Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

BETSY SCHOW is the TODAY Show featured author of the non-fiction book, Finished Being Fat; however she’s been mixing up real life and fantasy for as long as she can remember. If someone were to ask about her rundown truck, she’s 100% positive that mechanical gremlins muck up her engine. And the only reason her house is dirty is because the dust bunnies have gone on strike. She lives in Utah with her own knight in geeky armor and their two princesses (that can totally shapeshift into little beasts). When not writing, she acts as the Tournament Director for Odyssey of the Mind and helps teach kids creative thinking (or how to turn their toasters into robots).
Her debut novel, Spelled, comes out June 2015 from Sourcebooks. She is represented by Michelle Witte, Mansion Street Literary Agency.


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