Blog Tour: RAINY DAY FRIENDS, by Jill Shalvis — 5 Star Review & Giveaway
Jun 20th, 2018 by Liza Wiemer


By Jill Shalvis

Buy here: 

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million | iBooks


US/Canada GIVEAWAY is on TWITTER: Here’s the link: https://twitter.com/LizaWiemer/status/1009419501648171008


MY Review:

Rainy Day Friends (Wildstone, #2)Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This might be Jill Shavis’s best novel yet!

If you read my book reviews, then you know that I absolutely love Jill Shalvis and read everything she writes. I adored her Lucky Harbor series.

But this novel? As I said, it may very well be her absolute BEST yet! (FYI: It also received a starred review from PW)

Although it’s part of the Wildstone series, no need to read book one to love this. The setting is the same small town, but the characters are different.

Here’s what I loved:
1. Lanie is one strong, incredible woman! After she discovers that he deceased husband was married to other women, Lanie seeks a fresh start. She takes a temporary marketing job working at the Capriotti Winery. The Capriotti family is so warm and welcoming—they make you a part of their family!
2. The Capriotti’s,especially the matriarch, Cora, have hearts of gold. Thinking of Cora, I would have loved to have had her for a mom. Her love and kindness seem to know no boundaries.
3. Mark Capriotti – swoon. What a dad and I am a sucker for awesome dads. He has twin girls who are imperfectly perfect. I adore them. Mark has his own issues to deal with, but he figures them out. I love his relationship with Lanie.
4. THE BIG embarrassing moment! Hilarious! You have to read the novel to find out what it’s about.
5. River. Such an amazing young woman who faces life’s challenges with heart. She fits in beautifully with the Capriottis. Her connection with Lanie…this truly makes the novel heartbreaking and beautiful!
6. Realistic and sad portrayal of Lanie and her parents’ relationship. Heartbreaking. Lanie had a lot to overcome.
7. HEA! Oh man. Do I love a fabulous HEA! Go Lanie! You are awesome, girl!

So, if you read contemporary romance, don’t miss this!

View all my reviews

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.



Following the USA Today bestseller, Lost and Found Sisters, comes Rainy Day Friends, Jill Shalvis’ moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship.

Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife. Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person?  Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan. Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Green changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.


Connect with Jill

Website: http://jillshalvis.com/

Facebook: @JillShalvis

Twitter: @JillShalvis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jillshalvis/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jillshalvis/

Tumblr: http://jillshalvis.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22370.Jill_Shalvis?from_search=true



WHAT I LEAVE BEHIND by Alison McGhee, 5 star review
May 16th, 2018 by Liza Wiemer


by Alison McGhee

Where to buy it: IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  Book Depository


This novel has received 3 starred reviews! 

Thank you @simonteen for my review copy!

From Goodreads:

After his dad commits suicide, Will tries to overcome his own misery by secretly helping the people around him in this story made up of one hundred chapters of one hundred words each.

Sixteen-year-old Will spends most of his days the same way: Working at the Dollar Only store, trying to replicate his late father’s famous cornbread recipe, and walking the streets of Los Angeles. Will started walking after his father committed suicide, and three years later he hasn’t stopped. But there are some places Will can’t walk by: The blessings store with the chest of 100 Chinese blessings in the back, the bridge on Fourth Street where his father died, and his childhood friend Playa’s house.

When Will learns Playa was raped at a party—a party he was at, where he saw Playa, and where he believes he could have stopped the worst from happening if he hadn’t left early—it spurs Will to stop being complacent in his own sadness and do some good in the world. He begins to leave small gifts for everyone in his life, from Superman the homeless guy he passes on his way to work, to the Little Butterfly Dude he walks by on the way home, to Playa herself. And it is through those acts of kindness that Will is finally able to push past his own trauma and truly begin to live his life again. Oh, and discover the truth about that cornbread.



What I Leave BehindWhat I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If this isn’t on your radar, it should be! This is a remarkable YA novel!

From page one, I was pulled into this beautifully written, uniquely told story. There are 100 written pages with 100 words on each page. Perfect for reluctant readers, this novel will draw you in. Will, our narrator, shares his pain of his dad’s suicide, the rape of his best friend, Playa, and the action he takes to cope with this trauma. He walks it off. But during his walks, he gives to others, often in secret. It brings him great joy to make other people’s lives better. For a book with few words, it’s filled with plenty of fascinating characters. There’s a homeless man named Superman, Will’s boss, Major Tom, and Mrs. Lin, who owns what Will calls “the blessings store.”

I really felt for Will. He has a huge, loving, compassionate heart. This world needs kindness, and this novel spreads it in spades!

Highly recommend!

View all my reviews


About Alison McGhee

Allison McGhee, photo from her Goodreads page

Alison McGhee writes novels, picture books, poems, and essays for all ages and is the author of #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller SOMEDAY, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages. She lives in Minneapolis, California and Vermont.

Visit her: Website 




THE GOOD LUCK SISTER by Jill Shalvis – Showcase/Spotlight
May 3rd, 2018 by Liza Wiemer

I love Jill Shalvis. There isn’t a book of hers that I haven’t read. So if you want to get swept away in a great story with some romance, pick up any of her books.

I’m happy to share with my readers a Wildstone Novella. The first book in this series is called Lost and Found Sisters. I loved it. The second book, Rainy Day Friends comes out on June 19, 2018! I can’t wait

My review of Lost and Found Sisters:

Firstly, I absolutely love Jill Shalvis. This is classic Jill—characters with heart, quirks, problems to deal with, and of course, romance.

I loved the relationship between Quinn and Tilly. What makes Jill’s writing so compelling is the authenticity of her characters and their struggles and choices. Not easy.

Wildstone is a place I’d love to see, and Jill knows how to paint it on the map with her words, allowing us to get an excellent view or what life is like there.

So thrilled that there is more to come!



New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.



After a difficult few years, Tilly Adams is ready for life to start going right. Though she has a case of first-day nerves teaching art at the local community college, she knows it isn’t anything a few snuggles from her rescue puppy won’t cure. Until she sees Dylan Scott again, her one-time BFF and first love sitting in the front row. Dylan knows he should’ve left well enough alone, but when he sees Tilly living her dream, he can’t help but make contact. Ten years ago, he left Wildstone and everything in it behind, including Tilly. He had his reasons, but now he wants her back in his life, anyway he can get her. When Tilly agrees to design the logo for Dylan’s new helicopter touring company, it’s business only . . . until she finds herself falling into his arms once again. Can she possibly open her heart back up to the only man who’s ever broken it? But soon they’re both realizing the truth—love always deserves a second chance.


Connect with Jill

Website: http://jillshalvis.com/

Facebook: @JillShalvis

Twitter: @JillShalvis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jillshalvis/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jillshalvis/

Tumblr: http://jillshalvis.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22370.Jill_Shalvis?from_search=true



Amazon: https://amzn.to/2qOBwgM

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2vCGAdQ

Books-A-Million: https://bit.ly/2Hfc5Qt

iBooks: https://apple.co/2vwQkpN

GooglePlay: https://bit.ly/2kpDG2S




Chapter 1


“I’ve finished my free trial of adulthood and am no longer interested, so please cancel my subscription.” From The Mixed Up Files of Tilly’s journal.


Tilly Adams sat in the vet’s office staring at the doctor in shock. “Say that again?”

Dr. Janet Lyons smiled. “I think Leo faked being sick. Probably so you’d stay home from work today.”

Tilly looked down at Leo. “You do know he’s a dog, right?”

All six pounds of him smiled up at her. About a month ago, she found him on a street corner hiding beneath a bus bench; wet, dirty, cold, hungry and matted. He’d been Dobby meets Gremlin meets neglected, abused Care Bear. Tilly had looked around for an adult, and then had to remind herself that at twenty-five years old, she was legal herself. So then she’d searched for an adultier adult, but she’d been the only one in sight.

So she’d scooped the little guy up and had brought him to the SPCA, who’d said he was about five weeks old, a possible Maltipoo, which meant he came by his care bear look naturally. He was malnutritioned and suffering from mange. They’d said they’d do what they could, and Tilly had turned to go. That had been when she’d seen all the eyes on her from an endless row of cages … and she’d realized her care bear would soon be sitting in one too. Then she’d heard herself offer to foster him until they found him a forever home.

They’d found him one too. Tilly had signed the adoption papers last weekend in spite of the fact that just that morning he’d escaped his crate, eaten her favorite sneakers, destroyed her favorite pillow, and then yakked up the stuffing from the pillow.

He was a destructo of the highest magnitude, and something else too. He had no idea how small he was. He went after her sister Quinn’s twenty-plus pound cat and her neighbor’s hundred pound black lab with the same fierce, fearless gusto. Turned out, the little guy had a bad case of small-man syndrome, which was how he’d earned his name.

Leo, short for Napoleon.

And now on top of Leo’s impressive chewing skills, his escape artist skills, and his ability to get up on her bed and yet still not understand why stepping in his own poop was annoying, he had a new skill.

He’d faked being sick.

Proud of himself, Leo smiled up at her. Smiled. An hour ago he’d been coughing and limping and acting all sorts of odd. Now he just kept smiling up at her while sending her meaningful glances at the open dog biscuit bin between her and the doctor.

Dr. Lyons laughed and gave him one.

“Dogs can’t fake sick,” Tilly said while Leo inhaled the biscuit whole before licking the floor to make sure he got all the crumbs. “Can they?”

Dr. Lyons scooped him up and gave him a kiss on his adorable snout. “Yours did.”
Tilly sighed. It was too early for this. She’d had a crazy late night. Not hanging at Whiskey River, the local bar and grill. Not at a club with friends. Not working on her designs for he upcoming graphic art showing.

Nope, she’d been on a serious stress bender — a marathon of Game Of Thrones. She hadn’t fallen asleep until after two and her alarm had interrupted her in the middle of a really great dream starring Jon Snow.

Dr. Lyons handed Leo over. He immediately snuggled into the crook of Tilly’s neck and dammit, her cold heart melted on the spot and she hugged him close. “You’re sure he’s okay? He was coughing. And then he limped funny. And then he wouldn’t eat.”

“But he hasn’t coughed once that I’ve seen. And he’s not limping either. And you said all his food vanished while you took a quick shower.”

“Yes,” Tilly said.

Dr. Lyons waited for her to catch up.

Tilly sighed. “He really did fake

Blog Tour: MY OXFORD YEAR by Julia Whelan – Review & Giveaway (on Twitter – @lizawiemer)
May 2nd, 2018 by Liza Wiemer


American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day. When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret. Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.

My Review

My Oxford YearMy Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I went into this novel knowing that it would have a Jojo Moyes Me Before You feel, so I was ready to fall in love and have my heartbreak.

I loved it! I loved this story. Julia took me along and I totally got into the Oxford experience from classes to walking the streets to eating fish and chips to drinking beer. I fell in love with Ella and Jamie. What a couple! Loved them from that first moment they came on the page together. I loved watching their relationship develop, and even though they tried to hold back, love trumps all!

For me, this was a novel about living life to its fullest, embracing the gifts you’ve been given, and cherishing whatever time a person has on this earth.

I’m a romantic, and this hit all the cylinders for me! Highly recommend for those who love to have their heartstrings pulled!

PS. Julia Whelan is one of my absolute favorite audiobook narrators. I hope she narrates her own book, because I will listen to it! Also, I am under the impression that it will be a movie. I sure hope so!

View all my reviews


Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HjFtVB

IndieBound: https://bit.ly/2z4ur2u

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2qPk5gL

Books-A-Million: https://bit.ly/2qPZ8l5

iBooks: https://apple.co/2HhOJty

GooglePlay: https://bit.ly/2K5jIqj


Julia Whelan


Julia Whelan is a screenwriter, lifelong actor, and award-winning audiobook narrator. She graduated with a degree in English and creative writing from Middlebury College and Oxford University. While she was in England, her flirtation with tea blossomed into a full-blown love affair, culminating in her eventual certification as a tea master.






Connect with Julia

Website: http://www.jmwhelan.com

Facebook: @justjuliawhelan

Twitter: @justjuliawhelan

Instagram: @justjuliawhelan

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2939944.Julia_Whelan




IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY by Leila Sales – The hardest review I’ve ever written
May 1st, 2018 by Liza Wiemer


This provocative and relevant young adult novel is about Winter, a one-time National Spelling Bee Champ with a bright future ahead of her. That all changes after she haphazardly writes a racially offensive tweet that she thought was a harmless joke. What unfolds is a barrage of Internet shaming and rejection from her community and closest friends. Winter seeks to redeem herself, but first must come to terms with what she wrote and understand why there was so much backlash.

Deep breath. This is not an easy book to read and not an easy book to review. By far, this is the hardest review I’ve ever written. There are going to be people who despise this book, want to tear it to shreds, throw the book against the wall. There will be people who will read the first 10 pages and stop. I understand. I wanted to give up on it. This novel is painful! Really painful, so please if you’re struggling with it and you’re hurting, take care of YOU! It sits too close to home. We’ve watched this scene unfold way too many times on social media, and Leila Sales was brave to write about it. Brave, brave, brave, BRAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!

What I’m going to say next is very painful for me. I admit, I struggled. I put this book down. Winter Halpren (the MC) is NOT my kind of people. I don’t know anyone like her, and personally, I wish so much that her faith wasn’t a part of this story. This hurt, really, really hurt. When you’re a part of 0.2% of the world’s population and have experienced personally the most horrific hate and anti-Semitism, in my mind it felt like adding fuel to those who have hate in their hearts, just another reason to despise us.

Set that aside…Winter is a seventeen-year-old girl. I’m glad I read about her. And I know there’s much more to her than what’s on the pages. This novel has many, many, many layers. It will evoke emotion.

Here’s the thing…

Winter posted a despicable, inexcusable racist comment. She paid for it and deserved everything she lost. But I also ached for her. Because damn it! She’s seventeen. What she did online was the worst of the worst of F@#!#!!ing up!!!!

This book brought tears to my eyes. Tears of anger over what she did, tears of frustration for not recognizing the pain she caused and for focusing on her own pain, and yes, tears of compassion.

I was angry with Winter. I hurt for Winter. Maybe that’s the mom in me.

I’d like to bring up forgiveness. Some people will say that Winter should pay for the rest of her life. She unredeemable. Evil incarnate. Her sincerest of apologies will never be enough. Losing her dream is not enough. Losing a national title for something she worked hard for is not enough. It will never ever ever ever be enough. For what she wrote, she should DIE! (Better yet, she should kill herself.) Oh my gawd. No. No! That’s not okay, but there are people who really say these things to others online.

This is a novel that I believe will allow us to examine our beliefs on forgiveness. (Regarding Jason, a character in this novel. Thank you, Jason, for your big heart and for seeing the good in Winter.)

Obviously, I don’t speak for anyone but myself. But I believe that people can learn from their mistakes. I believe that Winter has a lot more growing up to do. And I believe that she has the ability to take what she’s done and add goodness to this world. There are no easy answers.

I hope that the anger, frustration, and all the other emotions a book like this brings up will be utilized for good! That we take it and vow to be a little kinder, a little more compassionate. That we take time to get to know others and hear a sliver of their story. That’s just a start. We can, we must be more. This world needs it.

Leila Sales was brave enough to open the window or hold up the mirror. This book takes you on an emotional journey. You can’t help but respond, react, feel. I hated what Winter did, despised what she did with every ounce of my soul, but I also found compassion for her. That says something big about Leila’s writing.

So, if you’re wondering if you should read this book, I can’t tell you. All I can say is that I’m glad I read to the very last page.

I can imagine that this was probably the hardest book Leila has ever written. She was brave to take this on. She’s brilliant writer. No, this wasn’t an easy book at all. Not at all.

NOVEL SECRET: BROODING YA HERO by Carrie DiRisio and Broody McHottiepants, Illustrated by Linnea Gear
Nov 30th, 2017 by Liza Wiemer

Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me
By Carrie DiRisio and Broody McHottiepants
Illustrated by Linnea Gear

Sky Pony Press hardcover,

also available in eBook
On Sale: October 3, 2017
Price: $17.99 | 352 pages | Ages 12+


From Twitter Sensation @BROODINGYAHERO, a Hilarious Parody “How To” (told as a fiction/nonfiction hybrid) on the World of YA Books, Writing, and Finding Your Inner Main Character:image001


Novel Secrets:

With a hero as mysterious and magical as Brooding YA Hero himself, the number of secrets could be endless! So, I’d like to talk a little bit about Broody himself, and share his secrets. Broody’s full name is Broody McHottiepants, and he was born on February 14th (of course.) His deepest, darkest secret is that he is afraid of hedgehogs.
Hmm. Perhaps that’s not quite what you’re looking for. Let me talk a bit of the secrets behind his character design. The twitter account started with a photo of an actor that i found on google. I had no idea the account would be so popular, so I simply grabbed the broodiest looking actor I could find.
Once it became clear that Broody was incredibly popular, I decided to hire an artist to design him. Then, I was faced with a problem. You see, Broody is the embodiement of all brooding, moody, male characters in teen fiction. How could I pick just one face for him?
The answer is… I couldn’t.
I worked with the artist to design four different ideal broodies, and then let the fans vote.
They picked the winning broody! Later, when I was discussing the book itself with my publishers, I was so thrilled to find out they’d picked my same illustrator!
Her name is Linnea Gear, and you can find her at linneart.tumblr.com


Praise for Brooding YA Hero:

“Readers and authors will swoon and raise a perfectly arched and knowing eyebrow at this clever confection, narrated by an egotistical main character, about writing the perfect main character. With a tongue-in-cheek look at YA tropes, writers are subtly encouraged to expand the genre in a way that is more clever, more subtle, and more inclusive. I would tell you more, but Broody and I are about to meet-cute in an epilogue.” –Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and Between the Lines

“A satirical look at the world of the male hero in young-adult literature . . . In short, subheaded chapters that address the audience directly, he does so, hitting on some funny moments that are also critically insightful.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Whether brooding snarkily, brooding soulfully, or brooding with a side of melodramatic backstory, Brooding YA Hero embodies everything I love—and love to hate—about the bad boys of young adult literature.”
—Jessica Cluess, author of A Shadow Bright and Burning

“Hilarious and sneakily, cheekily feminist in the best way. I’m gifting a copy to every YA reader in my life.” —Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi

“I smiled, I laughed, and I might have swooned! A brilliant combination of humor and clever insights. If you’re looking for entertainment or writing a young adult novel, you need to read this book.” –Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a “self-help” guide (with activities—you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), what’s his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.

About the Authors and Illustrator:


Carrie DiRisio

Carrie DiRisio is an aspiring Disney villainess in addition to a social media expert and owner of a ridiculous cat. She resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she practices Krav Maga and knitting in equal measures.Brooding YA Hero



Broody McHottiepants is a master of all trades. His current hobbies include making bad life choices, shedding manly tears, rescuing clumsy protagonists, and, of course, gazing into everyone’s eyes. This is his first book, although he’d like to remind you he’s starred in many novels and movies, including your favorite one.

Linnea Gear earned her BS in chemistry and splits her time between drawing concept art and drawing chemical equations. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Blog Tour: HELLO, SUNSHINE by Leila Howland – Review & #Giveaway – Nantucket Summer
Jul 10th, 2017 by Liza Wiemer



& Giveaway for Nantucket Summer

If the Movie La La Land was a Young Adult Novel

Hello, SunshineHello, Sunshine High Res

by Leila Howland

Publisher: Hyperion

Publication Date: July 11th, 2017


Praise for Howland’s Nantucket Blue:

“When it comes to indulgent beach reading, sometimes it’s more fun to get pushed over by a wave than to stay safely on your towel.”

The New York Times

“Sand, secrets, Nantucket Reds, and romance. A fresh, feel-good debut.”

   —The Boston Globe


With a relatable heroine, diverse cast of characters, and an aspirational story, in HELLO, SUNSHINE (Hyperion | On Sale July 11, 2017) the author of the Nantucket duology, Leila Howland, takes readers on a journey based on her own experience moving to a big city to pursue her dreams of acting. An ode to Los Angeles, this grounding, sarcastic, and relatable story chronicles one girl’s struggle to be brave while pursuing a dream, and makes for the perfect summer read.

Becca Harrington is a reject. After being rebuffed by every college on her list, she needs a fresh start, so she packs up everything and moves to LA, giving herself one year to land an acting gig. Unfortunately, after a few grueling months, LA is looking like the worst idea ever. Becca can’t land an agent, she’s running out of cash, and her mom is hounding her to apply to more schools.

In an act of desperation, Becca and her friend Marisol start posting short videos online—with the help of their adorable filmmaker neighbor, Raj—and the videos catch the attention of a TV producer. Could this be her big break? Or will she have to move back home with nothing but some bad head shots and a monstrous credit-card bill?

Readers will love every page of HELLO, SUNSHINE, a funny, romantic, and aspirational novel about a girl who just wants to make it on her own.

About Leila Howland:Leila Howland Author Photo

A graduate of Georgetown University, LEILA HOWLAND spent five years acting in New York in everything from an MTV public service announcement for safe sex to a John Guare play at Lincoln Center, and was a proud company member of the award-winning Flea Theater in Tribeca. Currently, she is a school librarian in Los Angeles, where she lives with her family. Visit her online at leilahowland.com or on Twitter @leilahowland.



Hello, SunshineHello, Sunshine by Leila Howland

Hello, Sunshine is a book for young adults who have dreams and are afraid to go after them. It’s a book for those who have experienced…



hard knocks,

friendships lost

and friendships found.

It’s a book for those who have struggled to cut those apron strings from Mom.

This is a novel for those who have had to work hard and long hours without getting paid.

It’s a book about




fighting self-doubts,

finding your inner strength to go after what you want, even after you’ve lost everything but a kernel of hope.

It’s a novel about making mistakes, keeping secrets, making choices—some of them not good at all and living with them.

It’s filled with Hollywood dreams and Hollywood drama.

This was a fast read for me. I finished it in one sitting. For those who are looking for and have been craving a young adult novel that opens the window to what can happen after high school, this is an outstanding novel.

Do I recommend it? Yes! I absolutely do! Maybe, just maybe your alternative (college) post-high school dreams could come true?

Tour Schedule:

Week One

Monday, July 10th: Who R U, Review

Tuesday, July 11th: Page Turners, Ode to LA Guest Post

Wednesday, July 12th: The Lovely Books, Review

Thursday, July 13th: YA Books Central, Playlist Post

Friday, July 14th: Fiktshun, Review


Week Two

Monday, July 17th: Ex Libris, Review

Tuesday, July 18th: Such a Novel Idea, Author Post

Wednesday, July 19th: Book Crushin’, Review

Thursday, July 20th: Across the Words, Dream Casting Post

Friday, July 21st: The Reading Nook Reviews, Spotlight Post


Nantucket Summer

[Nantucket Blue and Nantucket Red together!]

By Leila Howland

Published by Disney-Hyperion

Pub. Date: 4/25/2017 

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Spend two intoxicating summers on Nantucket with the spunky Cricket Thompson in this bind-up of Leila Howland’s poignant and romantic Nantucket Blue and its sequel, Nantucket Red.

NEW FORMAT: Just in time for Leila Howland’s new young adult novel, Hello, Sunshine, readers will be able to kick back and read her first two books straight through.

GREAT REVIEWS: This delicious duology received impressive critical acclaim, and Nantucket Blue landed on multiple “Best of” lists, including the Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year and the IRA/CBC Young Adults’ Choice lists.

A BEACH READ FOR THE THINKING GIRL: These novels have a satisfying blend of commercial and literary elements that will appeal to readers of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen.

NANTUCKET SETTING: The famously beautiful seaside community is the perfect backdrop for these wistful, coming-of-age love stories.


Follow the exploits of Cricket Thompson as she explores the alluring island of Nantucket and faces the unexpected in this collection of Leila Howland’s first two novels.

Nantucket Blue

For Cricket, a summer on Nantucket with her best friend Jules is a life-changing dream come true. That is, until Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy, and Jules becomes a stranger. And instead of lying on the beach working on her tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise. But it’s the things she hadn’t counted on—most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits—that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.

Nantucket Red

Cricket is headed to Brown University in the fall, but to help pay for her living expenses, she returns to work on Nantucket for the summer, where she finds challenges she hadn’t anticipated. As her world opens up in new ways, Cricket questions the future she’s been working toward her whole life. With the pull of a love triangle complicating everything, she’ll have to learn that success isn’t just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she’s been trying to ignore—her own heart.

Praise for Nantucket Blue

“[Howland] evokes the Nantucket setting vividly . . . when it comes to indulgent beach reading, sometimes it’s more fun to get pushed over by a wave than to stay safely on your towel.”

—The New York Times

“Sand, secrets, Nantucket Reds, and romance. A fresh, feel-good debut.” —The Boston Globe

*”Readers should feel empowered by Cricket’s efforts to grow up into a strong, honest, and emotionally intelligent young woman, even as they are enchanted by the romantic and exclusive island setting. This is a natural beach read, but will easily win Howland year-round fans, too.”

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Fans of Sarah Dessen will find much to like here, as the charm of this summery yarn lies in Cricket’s open appeal.”

—Library Journal

“[Cricket’s] story is told in a way that is both engaging and alluring. Definitely a standout novel in its genre.”

—School Library Journal

Praise for Nantucket Red

“Enjoyable and introspective, this is more than just a summer beach read.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“In this novel about finding oneself and following your heart, Howland creates a character that readers will be cheering for from beginning to end.”


“Nantucket Red is an engaging continuation of Cricket’s story, and its pace is perfect for a long weekend or beach read.”

—School Library Journal


Praise for Nantucket Blue

“[Howland] evokes the Nantucket setting vividly . . . when it comes to indulgent beach reading, sometimes it’s more fun to get pushed over by a wave than to stay safely on your towel.”

—The New York Times

*”Readers should feel empowered by Cricket’s efforts to grow up into a strong, honest, and emotionally intelligent young woman, even as they are enchanted by the romantic and exclusive island setting. This is a natural beach read, but will easily win Howland year-round fans, too.”

—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Fans of Sarah Dessen will find much to like here, as the charm of this summery yarn lies in Cricket’s open appeal. Readers will root for her as she falls down, takes her lumps, and moves forward to her final year in high school, always remembering what she learned under the Nantucket sun.”

—Library Journal

“Several elements in this novel make it a little more than just another summer romance. Cricket’s struggle to define herself apart from Jules, her decision to follow her heart, and her realization that she can rise above her parents’ divorce make this a story that many teens will find absorbing.”


“Sand, secrets, Nantucket Reds, and romance. A fresh, feel-good debut.”

—The Boston Globe

“A rich, satisfying novel.” —Providence Journal

“Utterly romantic and fun. I didn’t want Nantucket Blue to end.”

—New York Times best-selling author Jenny Han

“Just like the moonlit shores of the island where it is set, Nantucket Blue casts a spell that will make you hope the summer never ends.”

—Elin Hilderbrand, author of Beautiful Day

Praise for Nantucket Red

“Enjoyable and introspective, this is more than just a summer beach read.” —Kirkus

“In this novel about finding oneself and following your heart, Howland creates a character that readers will be cheering for from beginning to end.”



I looked up; he was so close. Our cheeks touched.

“You are just . . .” he said into my ear. My eyes closed, eyelashes like matches striking my cheeks, setting them on fire. He kissed me, long and sweet, on the mouth.

“Just what?” I asked when we came up for air, stunned, heart stomping like a parade, wrists aching from holding the oars.

He seemed unable to finish his sentence with words. He pulled the wet oars inside the boat, wrapped his arms around me and kissed me again.


Jun 20th, 2017 by Liza Wiemer



Publication date: June 20, 2017

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share THE STRANGE CASE OF THE ALCHEMIST’S DAUGHTER with you all! I read Theodora Goss’s The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a novella in a two-sided accordion format, and it was unforgettable.

Here’s my review:
The Thorn and the BlossomThe Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

My elder son Justin had Professor Theodora Goss for a class at Boston University his freshman year. He has always spoken so highly of Prof. Goss that I was excited to read her two-sided love story. Incredible. I started with Brendan’s story. The story was so engrossing. I loved his perspective on his relationship with Evelyn. I loved the mystical aspect of their relationship and the medieval connection with THE TALE OF THE GREEN KNIGHT. Magic, romance.
Evelyn’s story bought an entirely different perspective and insight to their relationship. I am actually glad I didn’t read her story first. But then again, maybe because I didn’t, I’m biased? There were things about her that I am really glad I didn’t know before I read Brendan’s tale. I think it would have changed my thoughts and taken some of the mystery away. But as I said, who knows?
The idea behind THE THORN AND THE BLOSSOM is so clever.

The story unfolds in an accordion, so that also was unique.

I loved it. I highly recommend this very quick read!

View all my reviews



 Based on some of literature’s horror and science fiction classics, this is the story of a remarkable group of women who come together to solve the mystery of a series of gruesome murders—and the bigger mystery of their own origins.

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

ABOUT THEODORA GOSS:Theodora Goss (Matthew Stein Photography)

Theodora Goss’s publications include the short story collection In the Forest of Forgetting (2006); Interfictions (2007), a short story anthology coedited with Delia Sherman; Voices from Fairyland (2008), a poetry anthology with critical essays and a selection of her own poems; and The Thorn and the Blossom (2012), a two-sided novella in an accordion format. She has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, Locus, and Mythopoeic Awards, and on the Tiptree Award Honor List. She has won the World Fantasy and Rhysling Awards. 

LINKS: Website | Twitter

Blog Tour: STAR-CROSSED by Barbara Dee, Novel Secret & #Giveaway (USA)
May 25th, 2017 by Liza Wiemer

Blog Tour: STAR-CROSSED27242442

by Barbara Dee

Published by: Simon & Schuster, Aladdin

Important Links:

Goodreads | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


Mattie is chosen to play Romeo opposite her crush in the eighth grade production of Shakespeare’s most beloved play in this Romeo and Juliet inspired novel from the author of Truth or Dare.

e, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite’s Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing—and, if all that wasn’t enough: British.

As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and fu
nny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life.


“A sweet story of young love amid middle school theatrics. Mattie’s genuine inflections and stream-of-consciousness narrative resonate well with the early-adolescent experience. Readers cannot help but root for Mattie as she discovers bravery she never gave herself credit for, both onstage and in life.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“A sweet coming-out story for jr. high readers. The clever Shakespeare content is a bonus…VERDICT: A fine choice for middle school libraries in need of accessible LGBTQ stories and a great option for students reading or performing Romeo and Juliet.”—School Library Journal

“A star student falls for the lead actress of her school play in this welcome addition to the middle grade LGBTQ bookshelf…Dee thoughtfully dramatizes the intricate social performance of middle school, with its secret crushes and fierce rivalries. The book benefits from a memorable cast…Mattie’s narration is intimate and believable, and readers will be pleased to watch her grow from spectator to star.”—Publishers Weekly

“A sweet look at unexpected first love. Recommended.”—School Library Connection

School Library Journal “Popular Pick” for March, 2017!

About Barbara Dee:Barbara Dee 2 142 kb

Barbara Dee is the author of seven middle grade novels all published by Simon & Schuster, including TRUTH OR DARE (Sept. 2016) and STAR-CROSSED (March 2017). Her next middle grade novel, HALFWAY NORMAL, will publish September 5, 2017. Barbara is one of the founders and directors of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. She lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.

Novel Secret:


You know those T-shirts and mugs that say “Be nice to me or I’ll put you in my novel”? I have a confession: I based a character in STAR-CROSSED on a real-life acquaintance whose name-dropping (particularly about famous authors) was driving me crazy. I couldn’t call her out on it, so I used her irritating behavior in the creation of Miss Bluestone, the teacher who “talked about authors as if they were her former boyfriends,” and referred to Emily Dickinson by her first name. It’s the first time I ever created a character to help me deal with a tricky person, but I highly recommend it as a coping mechanism.

Giveaway: 1 signed copy of


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Five Star Review: Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor
Mar 27th, 2017 by Liza Wiemer

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)Strange the Dreamer

by Laini Taylor,

Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers,

Publication Date: March 28, 2017

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Strange The Dreamer is a rare, precious gem. Every word is a part of a stunning masterpiece of one of the most unique, imaginative stories I’ve ever read. Get swept away in a magical fairy tale filled with romance, monsters, myths, friendship, betrayal, and the most fascinating flawed heroes and heroines. Be prepared to savor it, then crave the next book the second you reach the last page.

Strange The Dreamer is a work of wonder, one that will leave you breathlessly awed by the incredible imagination and storytelling skills of the brilliant Laini Taylor.

Don’t miss it!

I received an ARC of Strange The Dreamer from Little Brown!

View all my reviews

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