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Monday, October 31, 2016

Haunted Halloween Tour - Asleep by Krystal Wade

October is the month of fears, and we're going on tour with some of our favorite authors to talk about what their main characters are afraid of. What keeps them up at night? What nightmare has them waking in a cold sweat? Each day, we'll feature a new main character and delve deep into their subconscious to see what they fear. And each day, you'll have a chance to enter to win some awesome prizes!

It only seems fitting that we'd end on Halloween with a main character pitted against her very own Freddie Kreuger while locked away in an asylum. Nightmares run rampant in Asleep by Krystal Wade, and we're going to take another look at one of the nightmares torturing young Rose...

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About Krystal Wade

Author. Chicken (and dog) Lover. Mother. Wife. Dreamer.

I’m happily married to the love of my life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. We live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day I wake up to find myself stuck in traffic trying to get there.

The horrid commute gives me plenty of time to zone out and think about my characters in full, brilliant details (I’m a safe driver; don’t worry). Stories give me a way to forget about the sometimes smelly strangers sitting next to me on the fifty mile trek into town (I pick up hitchhikers every day. True story. Check out if you don’t believe me).

I’ve been a part of organized hitchhiking for nearly fifteen years, but that’s just one small aspect of my oh-so-large life. When I’m not working, commuting, or chasing after my three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find me outside talking to my chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training my amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).

I hope you love my stories (or just like them a little; that would be okay, too). And I hope that one day you find your passion, because there’s nothing in life better than doing what you love while surrounded by people you love.

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About Asleep

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"To cure fear, you must use fear."

Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He's understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they'll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.


Rose fell asleep that way, smiling, exhilaration making the trip into dreamland take forever. But once she was there, she wanted to crawl back out, back into the land of the waking.

Someone dressed in dark robes grabbed Rose by the wrists and jerked her forward. “Come.”

“No. Please. Not again. Just leave me alone. I just want to sleep.” She glanced back toward the bed and found it wasn’t there. She wasn’t even sure where she was. Her eyes burned, and everything appeared black and fuzzy, like opening her eyes under water at night.

“Come.” The person tugged her along by some invisible force, down dark hallways and stairs, and through cold, drafty rooms where she couldn’t see anything and felt like she was surrounded by ghosts or lunatics—or worse, ghosts of lunatics.

Jingling sounds bounced off the walls—keys? Weapons? Rose didn’t want to find out—and the clang of doors closing vibrated in her chest.

Blackness stretched on forever, only an occasional light swirling by in Rose’s peripheral vision, ramping up her heart even faster than before she’d fallen asleep. “Where are you taking me?”

The person finally stopped next to a big gray door, and Rose ran into his back. His, because he grunted, his, because he was a giant, too tall and too wide and too strong.

Rose tried to apologize, but she couldn’t open her mouth again, her muscles too weak to break through whatever barrier trapped her voice. Panic took hold of her, and she tried to reach up and touch her lips, but she couldn’t. Her hands were secured by the giant before her.

Rose backed away and made it two steps before she was yanked right back, chains jangling.

Chains. She’d been chained.

Why couldn’t she wake up? Why couldn’t she force her way to the surface? Maybe if she hurt herself or found a way to kill herself, she’d wake up. People can’t die in their dreams, supposedly, or so she’d heard on some silly cartoon in the common room the other day.

Yanking harder, planting her feet with all her strength, Rose tried to dislocate her wrists, pulling and twisting and groaning.

“Stop it.” A growl erupted from the man in front of her, which only made her pull harder, struggle more, breathe faster. Breathe, breathe, breathe through her nose. Not enough air. The smell of duct tape overwhelmed Rose.

She’d been chained and duct taped.

“Don’t. Please.”

Phillip? Rose stilled to get her chains to stop banging against each other, listening for his voice. When she didn’t hear anything over her own breathing, she ran at her captor, knocking the hood from his head. His bald, white head was disfigured by thick, raised scars tracing his skull in circular patterns. He turned around as if time was not a concern to him, as if on some mechanical switch flipped to the slowest setting. The man’s expression was blank, but his eyes were as red as blood.

Definitely not Phillip.

She wanted to hide, to cower. Her legs quaked beneath her. Her heart thundered against her ribs. The man reached into his pocket, and Rose’s panicked breaths through her nose and muffled sobs bounced off the walls.

“Don’t,” she heard Phillip say again, but the man’s mouth hadn’t moved. Was Phillip here somewhere? In her nightmare? “Don’t hurt her.”

The man pulled out a skeleton key and inserted it into the cuffs securing Rose’s hands, and she immediately backed away, rubbing at the raw, tender flesh. She ripped the tape from her lips next, crying out as she lost a layer of skin and tasted blood flowing into her mouth. He reached into his pocket again and then held out several charcoal pencils, one of them her pencil. He inclined his head in the direction of the door beside them, which she now saw had 206 and Briar written on it. “Draw.”

Digging his long, witch-like nails into her back, the man shoved her into the room, slammed the door, and slid a bar across it. He locked her in.

Rose was alone, freezing and shaking and alone, holding charcoal. All along the walls were outlines of trees, spindly, leafless trees. Winter trees, white chalk against a concrete canvas.

“No. No, don’t leave! Don’t leave me here . . . .”

She spun around in search of Phillip, for the origination of his voice, for some clue as to what the hell was going on. But she found nothing but the white trees staring back at her.

“Hello?” Rose held her breath and waited for a response. Anything. “Greg? MacGregor?”

“Mom. Mom!” she heard him shout, and then another voice broke through the madness, “You have to save her.”

Rose didn’t recognize the second speaker. He didn’t even sound human, just a bunch of garbled words that found a way to make sense in her dream.

“I can’t. She left me.”

“Not her.” Two lights flashed on, one above Rose, the other above Phillip. He was tied to a chair, bound at the wrists and ankles, naked from the waist up and covered in bruises. A black splotch covered his ribs, big enough for a fist to have made, the same shape as the bruise on his elbow. She took in the others, details about his injuries. A long, bleeding cut above his left nipple. A yellow bruise at his right hip bone. Rose had to memorize this Phillip against the real, breathing, living Phillip so she could differentiate between dream and reality.

But just as quickly as his form appeared, it disappeared before she could finish her appraisal. “Make her draw.”

The reminder that she was here too raised the hairs on Rose’s arms and neck. She waited, sure her heartbeat could be heard by everyone within a three-block radius, but Phillip didn’t respond except with stony silence.

She took a step forward but found her ankle chained to a peg in the middle of the floor. “Phill—?”

Something smacked Rose in the head from behind, and her vision filled with spots. She whirled and threw her hands out, trying to find someone she could fight, someone who deserved her wrath, but her hands didn’t find anyone.

A light blinked on from overhead, and a dark figure rushed up to Rose and punched her in the stomach. She doubled over and gasped, sucking air into her lungs in harsh, wheezing breaths.

“Draw,” the garbled voice demanded.

Rose shook her head, unable to get to her feet and fight, unable to breathe.

A booted foot slammed into her back, flattening Rose to the floor and stealing what little air she was able to recover. She lay there, face pressed to the cool concrete, head spinning, light from above blinding her. Rose wished she could just wake up. Wake up. Wake up.

“Draw,” the voice once again demanded.

Rose couldn’t. Not in her dreams. Not in real life. Not ever. Rose couldn’t draw because she had no inspiration. She couldn’t even remember what her inspiration was, what prompted her fingers to turn her daydreams and creativity into reality, what made them finish something once started.

“Stop,” Phillip shouted, his voice strong and sure. “Just draw, Rose. Draw. You’re like me. They won’t stop. Draw, Rose. Please.”

Wheezing, she lifted her head and looked at the wall full of outlined trees. With sore muscles and no air and feeling like she might die any second, how could she get up and do anything?

The light blinked off again, and the light over dream-Phillip came on. A cloaked figure approached him with a red-hot branding iron aimed right at his chest. Phillip’s eyes went wide and he screamed, loud and feral and absolutely terrifying, pushing against the floor with his bound feet. He turned his head to the side, shaking the chair so much Rose was surprised it hadn’t broken. Screaming. Over and over he screamed, breaking her with his terror.

“Stop,” she muttered, her voice weak and not nearly loud enough to be heard over his. So Rose got to her knees and said it again. The figure still approached Phillip. So she got to her feet and sucked in a ragged breath and shouted through the pain coursing through her chest. “Stop!”

The figure tossed a casual glance her way and shook his finger at her, the iron an inch from Phillip’s chest.

Rose looked in her palm and then up to the wall. Maybe she couldn’t draw, but she could fill in the trees with color. “Okay.”

She made her way to the lifeless trees, legs trembling as she pulled the weight of the chain along with her, back and stomach aching. White chalk rested near her bare toes, so Rose picked it up, placed it on the wall, and set to work.

Phillip stopped screaming. The lights blinked off from over him, but the hot iron remained in the dark. Rose knew it was a threat. If she quit or gave up, Phillip would be injured.

And so she drew and drew and drew, filling in all the empty spaces between the tree outlines with plain colors until her hands felt like they would fall off. Until her legs were too weak to hold her up any longer and she collapsed. And the next moment she blinked her burning eyes open, she was lying face up in bed.

Rose never slept on her back. Ever. She lifted her hands, half-expecting to see residue of chalk on her fingers, but there was nothing. Just a dream.

Just a dream that left every muscle sore, her body trembling with exhaustion, and her brain demanding she sleep at least four more hours. But she hadn’t moved, hadn’t left this room. Reaching beneath the mattress and bed frame, she found her pencil. Right where she’d left it. These meds were really messing with her. Rose hated the way they made her feel, and she planned to tell Dr. Underwood all about the nightmares to see what he could do to fix this.

She hurried to get dressed, marched down the hall and took her meds, then marched along farther to grab breakfast. But Rose stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Phillip sitting at their table, counting his bruises, ignoring the bowl of crap in front of him.

The urge to run to him and ask if he was okay was so strong Rose had to fight to remain rooted in place. She knew what happened last night was just a dream, but she couldn’t seem to balance that with the image of this broken guy sitting at her table. They looked so much the same: dream-Phillip and reality-Phillip.

Ignoring the food line, she took a seat beside him and grabbed his left hand. Rose had to touch him, to see if he was real or an illusion. She didn’t trust herself anymore. Not with nightmares as vivid as she had. And she could hardly ask him to lift his shirt so she could see his bruises.

“Are you in there?” she asked.

Phillip startled and squeezed her fingers in his hands, his warm, trembling hands. “You’re like me, Rose. Like me. They won’t stop. They’ll hurt you.”

Win many amazing bookish prizes. Good luck!

Book Review - Scouts of the Apocalypse: Zombie Plague by Michell Plested

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Review by Anniek

A group of scouts are in the woods together with their scout leaders. They have been out there multiple times. It's about learning survival skills and working together as a group. While they're breaking up their camp to go back home some strange noises are coming from the woods. On the dirt road they are being confronted with a car accident. This accident looks strange, but they can't figure out what's not right about it. Because of the thick fog they decide to wait a while before they continue. When it turns out that the world is no longer the same world they left behind the scouts have to rely on all of their skills to make it out alive.

The scouts and their leaders are a strong group of people. The scout leaders are also the dads of some of the boy scouts, so that created a scary double role. Of course they want everybody to be safe, but keeping your own child safe will always be the top priority. I liked it a lot that everyone stayed kind, helping each other out and recognizing strengths instead on focusing on weaknesses. Even if someone made a mistake or misjudged the situation they all choose to stay together. This positivity is a perfect example of what being a member of the scouts and close groups of true friends should be all about.

 Michell Plested has written a zombie story with several unusual twists and turns. It gives another perspective on the traditional zombie stories that are already out there. Being a big fan of zombie books, series and movies there is not much that can still surprise me, but Scouts of the Apocalypse did just that. Scouts of the Apocalypse is fast-paced and it kept me on the edge of my seat. It's a gripping and thrilling story about a group of young boys with their scout leaders, who have to fight their way through the zombie herds to get home. If you're still looking for a great Halloween read, I'll definitely recommend this great zombie story.

Children of the Veil by Colleen Halverson - Book Review & Quick Q&A

Book review

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Review by Suze

Elizabeth has found out a lot about herself already, but there are more answers for her to be received. Her mother is missing and Elizabeth wants to find her. She doesn't want to see her father, but she has questions about her mother and he's the only one who can give her the information she needs. Elizabeth has Finn by her side. They were separated and can't be together, but he has an assignment that brings him near. Elizabeth has to make a couple of very important decisions that will influence her future forever.

When the ultimate sacrifice is being asked of her Elizabeth willingly gives what she can. Does she completely understand what she's done and what are the consequences of this decision? There's unrest and battles are being fought. Elizabeth and Finn are in the middle of it, which means they will get their information, but they are also in constant danger. Will they remain unharmed or will the battles leave scars they can never erase?

Children of the Veil is the second book in the Aisling Chronicles. I love this series. It's action-packed and filled with secrets and intrigues. Bit by bit Elizabeth and Finn unravel them and Elizabeth learns many new things about her family and her powers. She's fierce and strong and she's willing to sacrifice everything for her loved ones. That's a wonderful quality, but also a dangerous one. It kept me on the edge of my seat. Finn is a tough man with a good heart. There's a lot of great chemistry between him and Elizabeth. Their relationship is complicated and that makes their love affair really interesting.

Colleen Halverson has created amazing magical worlds. I love her creativity. There are two main characters in her story and they meet a lot of interesting and different people on their journeys. This keeps the story new and fresh, which is something I liked. Colleen Halverson's main characters don't have it easy. Their lives are under threat, they are being captured, they are being assaulted and there are plenty of nasty and spiteful remarks. The underlying relationships between the characters are fascinating and I liked the political views Colleen Halverson shares with her readers. Children of the Veil is a fabulous fantasy story and I enjoyed reading this gripping and original book very much.

About Colleen Halverson

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

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Read Through the Veil before Children of the Veil. The books need to be read in the correct order to fully understand the story.

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Quick Q&A

1. Name 3 random facts about yourself.

I have a green belt in karate, I can play the guitar, and I love all vegetables except beets.

2. Sum up your personality in 5 words.

Fearless, passionate, adventurous, smart, and playful.

3. What's your favorite fairytale?

Beauty and the Beast. And yes, I know it’s problematic. I just don’t care.

4. What are your 3 favorite places in the world?

Ireland, the Colorado Rockies, and the Caribbean.

5. Where do you write and where do you read?

I write at the dining room table, and I read in bed before I fall asleep.

6. Name 5 things you like about romance.

The stories generally center around a woman and a woman’s experiences.
The sex, of course. The complexity of the relationships. The redeeming power of love.
Did I mention the sex?

7. Name 5 things you like about fantasy.

1) I love the epic nature of fantasy stories, like great quests and big sweeping battles.

2) The idea that anything is possible.

3) The creativity in the worldbuilding. When it’s done well, it can make me look at my normal, mundane world in an entirely different way.

4) The rich themes involving courage, persistence, friendship, and loyalty.

5) The sense of escape.

8. Explain in two sentences what's makes Children of the Veil so special for you.

Children of the Veil was the second book I ever wrote, and it was the book where I realized that the writing thing wasn’t a fluke or some silly lark. This is the book where I really began to take myself seriously as a storyteller.

9. Name 4 things you like besides writing and reading.

Running, hiking, and walking. I use long runs to help me with stress and to work with plot or character issues.

Martial Arts.


Curling up with my husband and a glass of wine on Friday nights and watching TV.

10. What's your favorite reading/writing snack?

Chips and very spicy salsa. Gets the blood flowing to the brain!

11. Name one thing that's on your bucket list for 2017.

Get on the NYT Bestseller list? I like to dream big. ☺

Children of the Veil

Elizabeth Tanner has one goal: to find her mother in whatever dimension she’s imprisoned. But to do that, she has to face her estranged father, and to do that, she needs a shot of whiskey…or seven. But after an attempt on her life and the return of her lost love, she wakes up with one hell of a hangover and a whole barrage of questions.

Finn O’Connell doesn’t know why the Fianna want him to aid Elizabeth in her search, but he’ll take any excuse to be near her again. Together, they dive headlong into the shadows of her mother’s secrets and find themselves embroiled in a Fae rebellion that will test Finn’s loyalties and their love.

With the Faerie realm verging on chaos, Elizabeth and Finn will embark on a quest that will lead them from the streets of Chicago to London’s seedy Fae underground. But rescuing Elizabeth’s mother means journeying to a place Finn can’t follow, and Elizabeth is forced to make a choice between finding her at last or saving her own soul.

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Win several bookish prizes and a $50 Amazon gift card.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Deadline by Jackie Kabler - Book Review & Giveaway

Book review

Review by Suze

Cora Baxter is a television reporter. She loves her job and many of her coworkers are close friends. That also goes for Sam, the producer of the show Cora presents. When Cora is at a murder scene for work she instantly recognizes the victim. The police found DNA and one of Cora's closest friends, Sam, is being arrested. Cora doesn't think Sam is capable of murder and has just got a short period, until Sam's trial, to prove Sam is innocent. She gets help from many people, but the trail is complicated and full of dead ends. Will Cora be able to prove her friend's innocence?

I loved The Dead Dog Day and couldn't wait to read the second Cora Baxter mystery. Jackie Kabler writes about the world of television in a terrific way. I really like the topic and she has great knowledge about her subject, which makes her stories wonderfully informative. This means they have a solid basis, which is always a good beginning. I love that Jackie Kabler writes about something she knows so well and shares her knowledge, while combining it with a creative and dramatic plotline.

Cora loves working as a reporter and she likes both the studio and the location work. She's a fabulous heroine. She appreciates life and knows how to have fun. She can stand up for herself and she's fierce, determined, strong and capable. She works hard to get to the bottom of things. What I love about her is that she stands by the people she loves. It's an admirable quality and seeing this part of her character even more clearly in the second book of the series makes Cora even more sympathetic. She's the perfect main character for mysterious stories, which results in imaginative gripping novels.

Jackie Kabler's writing has an easy flow. She's a good observer and clearly describes the looks, activities and personalities of her main characters. This allows the reader to get a lot of inside information. Cora uncovers plenty of fascinating secrets. There's grief, but there's also joy. Jackie Kabler never let her story become too dark. Her sense of humor brings some lightness and there were a few scenes that made me laugh out loud. The plot is interesting and amazingly strange and Jackie Kabler has a vivid imagination. I enjoyed reading The Deadline very much. I loved this unusual and fun book, it has the exact right setting, there's a thrilling plot and the main characters are intriguing.
About Jackie Kabler

Jackie Kabler worked as a newspaper reporter and then in television news for twenty years, including nearly a decade on GMTV. She later appeared on BBC and ITV News, presented a property show for Sky, hosted sports programmes on Setanta Sports News and worked as a media trainer for the Armed Forces. She is now a presenter on shopping channel QVC and has a three-book deal with Accent Press for her Cora Baxter Mysteries, a series of murder mysteries set in a television newsroom.

Find out more at


Two very lucky winners will receive signed copies of both of Jackie Kabler's books, a Nails Inc nail polish set and a cosmetics bag.

YA Book of Choice Giveaway

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a YA book of your choice. Good luck!

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Secrets & Lies by Elleby Harper - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Anniek

Nikki and Leigh have been best friends for as long as they could remember. Nikki is shy and introvert and Leigh is outgoing and spontaneous, so they perfectly complement one another. Both of them are going to marry very powerful men. Nikki is destined to marry Alex, who strives to be the next president, and Leigh is going to be a queen when she marries Henri, the King of Altobello. The women are used to get what they want at the moment they want it. That ends when Nikki and Leigh find themselves in an accident that could easily change their rich lives, their friendship is not meant to last under this enormous amount of pressure. They part ways promising never to talk about that night again.

In 1985 Charley and Maixent are the next generation of powerful people. Charley is Nikki's daughter and the heir of the status and capital of one America’s greatest political families. Maixent is Leigh's son and the heir to the thrown of Altobello. Charley is a photographer and she's extremely passionate about her job. She travels all over the world to capture the most amazing scenes on camera. Maixent is working under his father and is responsible for the justice department. He also has great ideas about putting Altobello on the map, but is being held back by his father. King Henri is a man who is stuck in the past. He is not willing to change something that has worked perfectly for him for many years, which can be frustrating. When Charley and Maixent meet they instantly have a connection and they understand each other. Will they be the ones who will reinstate their mothers' friendship?

Charley is a hardworking girl and she doesn't take money for granted. She has a soft spot for people who are less fortunate than she is. This often results in people taking advantage of her. Charley is smart and loyal and she isn't afraid to stand up for herself when she needs to. She will not let the powerful men in her life overrule her anymore. I liked it a lot that she has a creative job and that she is working hard to achieve perfection. She's incredibly wealthy, but is not wasting this money by buying things she doesn't need. Maixent will be the King of Altobello. He works hard and he wants his father to see that he is capable of running their kingdom. Maixent is really handsome, a good polo player and a loyal son and brother. He grew up without ever having to worry about money. He is a kind person and will always lend a helping hand if someone needs it. It was interesting to find out how Charley and Maixent would interact. They are from similar backgrounds and they have clear goals in life. I enjoyed reading about both of them and the way they bonded made me curious about their future friendship.

Elleby Harper has written a scandalous and intriguing story about the rich and famous. As I was born in the 80's myself I loved being taken back to that period. All of the main characters are interesting. They have their own insecurities and flaws, which makes them just like everybody else. With the only difference that they have a lot more money than most. I liked reading about the secrets of the Heirs and I'm wondering how much more Elleby Harper with uncover in her next story. I'll find out for sure since this first book in the series makes me crave to know more about the Heirs and how their story will continue.

The books in this series cannot be read as standalones, so please be aware of this when you start reading Secrets & Lies, the first book in the Heirs series.

 About Elleby Harper

Elleby Harper is a literary enthusiast, life explorer, world traveler and amateur photographer. After writing in the realms of non-fiction for many years, Heirs is her first fiction trilogy. This suspenseful romance has sizzling characters, strong women and the sexy men who love them, all set in the glitzy, ritzy, glam-filled 1980s.

Pursuing a healthy lifestyle took her and her family to regional Australia for clean air, fresh fruit from her orchard and eggs laid daily by her pet chickens, Ruby, Doreen, Rusty, Goldie, Ice Cream, Ginger and Nutmeg. It’s here she gains inspiration for all her writing.

Her guilty pleasures include Oz port wines, dark chocolate (of course!), binge watching Oz soapie Neighbours and hanging out with her son.

To find out more about Elleby, read her smashwords interview.




1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

You could call me an escape artist. I love escaping to the worlds inside my head or the worlds that other people create in their books. In real life I have escaped to live in a small country town in Australia with my husband and son. Here I can collect eggs from our pet chickens, pick fresh fruit from our orchard and have the time to mull over my ideas and peck away at the keyboard. Essentially I’ve been writing my entire life, and for quite a while I made my living as a free-lance writer and editor where I had to write about what other people wanted to hear. Now I’m able to write about what appeals to me. All in all I’m totally happy with my life at the moment.

2. On your website I found that you're a life-explorer. What do you like to explore the most?

I believe that you should open as many doors as you can as you travel through life to explore what’s on the other side. The Heirs series I’ve written revolves around the fictional European country of Altobello and I am having a wonderful time exploring that. I’m discovering new facets to Altobello all the time!

3. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I have lived, studied and worked in Canada, the US and Australia and I have traveled throughout Asia and western Europe. I haven’t been to Antarctica but I once had a boyfriend who wintered there while we were in a long distance relationship, so I feel I know the place. That leaves South America and Africa. I think it would be so much fun to let my hair down and join the Mardi Gras in Rio. I would also love to participate in a wildlife safari in Africa as that appeals to my sense of danger and luxury.

4. Could you tell us about the books / genre you personally love to read and why?

I read many kinds of genres. Why I choose to read one book over another depends on my mood at that moment. I enjoy thrillers and suspense to chick lit and all types of romance; self-help and health non-fiction to science fiction and fantasy. I also have a soft spot for royal histories, particularly for the English and French royal families.

5. Can you tell us about your hobbies?

My hobbies have changed over the years. Let’s see, I love ballroom dancing - where I met my husband and we have been together for over 17 years now - it’s active, fun and romantic! I love digital scrapbooking, this marries several of my interests including design, photography and writing. (Because I’m so impatient I can’t do physical scrapbooking at all!) Raising chickens because they are so entertaining and have such distinctive personalities they never fail to make me laugh. As a family, we enjoy outback camping together and the more isolated a spot we can find the better. Sometimes we are the only people for hundreds of miles and we have to be totally self-sufficient bringing our own water supplies, food, medical supplies, etc. Apart from that I spend time with my son doing things he loves, including shooting hoops and racing RC cars.

6. If your Heirs series would be made into three different movies, who would you like to have as the lead characters?

Oh, I love this question! I had so much fun deciding which actors would suit the main characters and a great deal of difficulty narrowing some down. But here is my final list:

Prince Maixent would be played by Chris Hemsworth. He’s a little older than Maixent, but has the right body/coloring.

Charley Cassidy would be played by Jennifer Lawrence with dark hair - this gives her the perfect coloring.

Princess Leigh would be played by Charlize Theron.

Nikki Cassidy would be played by Angelina Jolie.

Lorenzo De Angelis would be played by Antonio Banderas, just love the authentic accent he would bring to the role!

Declan Cassidy would be played by Jeremy Irvine.

7. What's your favorite festive holiday and why?

It has to be Christmas because it’s the time of year where everyone makes a real effort to be kind to each other or go the extra step to be helpful and friendly. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a world that was Christmas all year round!

8. Do you have a specific writing routine?

I try to write in the mornings as that’s when I’m freshest, but essentially I write whenever I get the chance. My desk is rather chaotic with bits of research, ideas and information littered all over, but it gives me a brilliant view of our back garden so I can watch our chickens as they free range, enjoy the changing weather or keep an eye on my son and his friends.

9. Who are your favorite romantic couple and why?

If I can only pick one couple it would have to be Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester. Jane overcomes so many obstacles in her life but instead of giving up when life becomes even more complicated, she perseveres in order to obtain her HEA with Mr Rochester. Together they show that true love is more than just skin deep.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

I am finishing the fourth book in the Heirs series, which is a stand alone romantic suspense. This concentrates on Declan’s story and what happens in his life during 1985. I have some ideas for Princess Aurelie’s life and will be revisiting Charley and Maixent in a future book. But for 2017, I’m giving Heirs a break after book 4 to work on more of a thriller series about a police officer who has to fight her attraction to someone she suspects is the bad guy. She has a complicated backstory that impacts on her work life.


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Haunted Halloween Tour - The Surrendered by Case Maynard - Book Review & Giveaway

October is the month of fears, and we're going on tour with some of our favorite authors to talk about what their main characters are afraid of. What keeps them up at night? What nightmare has them waking in a cold sweat? Each day, we'll feature a new main character and delve deep into their subconscious to see what they fear. And each day, you'll have a chance to enter to win some awesome prizes! We met Vee from our recent dystopian release The Surrendered, but now we're getting to know her a bit better by finding out what haunts her each night when she closes her eyes...

Book review

Review by Suze

The dollar fell and now life in the United States is a lot more difficult than it used to be. Parents have to pay taxes for their children and if they can't the state enslaves them. Vee and her brother Oliver were given to the state six years ago. They are working at the mills and life there is tough. The food is awful and scarce, the work is daunting and the punishments they regularly receive are cruel. Vee and Oliver only have to get through one more year and then they will be free. All they have to do is keep their heads down.

When Jane arrives at the mill Vee recognizes her immediately. She wants to talk to her, but when she's at the mill she finds out that something terrible is happening there. Vee can't let this go, she has to take action. Before she knows it she's mixed up in something that's too big to comprehend and she has to fight to keep herself and the people she loves alive. Will Vee win her battle against power hungry adversaries or is she doomed from the start?

Vee is fierce, bold and outspoken. She can stand up for herself and she always defends those who need it. This regularly gets her in trouble and Vee knows being beaten or worse will be the result. She never complains when they mistreat her and she keeps fighting to make the situation better. Vee can handle a lot and I admired her strength. She isn't afraid and when she is she gets over it quickly enough to do whatever she has to do. She's a fabulous main character and I liked her from the start.

The Surrendered is set in the United States, but after the collapse of the dollar it's a completely different country. I loved Case Maynard's world building and she has a great vivid imagination. She constantly switches between emotional and adrenaline-packed scenes, which makes The Surrendered an interesting roller coaster ride. The battle scenes are amazing and I was moved by the abundance of love Vee is able to give. The Surrendered is a wonderful book.

About Case Maynard

Growing up in the South, I spent many a day beneath the canopy of an old oak tree, a good book in hand. I came out of the womb with a fanatical love for reading–though while young, I had no favorite genres and no favorite authors. I loved them all.

I cut my teeth on Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary. I devoured every word of every installment in the Sweet Valley High series by Francine Pascal. I pilfered my mother’s Harlequin and Silhouette romance novels, drinking them in by the hundreds while she wasn’t looking. I perused yard sales and book nooks to garner every Stephen King paperback available. I slept with Dean Koontz’ latest work of art tucked beneath my arm and took long drives with Clive Barker. I made weekly trips to the local library and signed up for every direct-mail book club offer that was ever deposited into my mailbox just so I could read more. More. More!

Oftentimes, with the last page of each book, I would find myself wishing desperately that there was more to the story. I hated for them to end and would sometimes imagine my own continuations, introducing new characters and settings, and constructing new themes and plots. And then one day, it dawned on me. I was creating my own stories! And it was then that I knew. I am a writer!

And so I write.

My tastes these days lean toward YA dystopia and steamy paranormal romances, but inside my books, you’ll find a mix of all the works I’ve ever read. A hefty dose of suspense thrown in with a dash of drama, a bit of humor, and a whole lot of romance.

Inside my books, you’ll find me. The result of a lifetime of reading. And I can’t wait to meet you.
I hope you enjoy my stories as much as I think you will.

Find out more at

Guest post

My name is Vee Delancourt, and my biggest fear is all about failure. In a world where the nation abuses its children in unspeakable ways, losing this fight just isn’t an option. I hope I can prove myself worthy of the trust so many have put in me. I hope I can one day redeem myself for the mistakes that I’ve already made. . .and for the lives that have already been lost.

She’s here, my old friend is. Stalking my sleep again.

Well, not her exactly, but some version of her. While the pale skin is the same, if maybe a shade lighter, the hesitant smiles I once marveled at have disappeared. A twisted scowl now decorates her gray lips. Grayish. Not quite blue; not quite white. The color of death.

“You,” she snarls at me, one thin finger aimed in my direction. “You killed us all.”

I shake my head, backing until I come in contact with something. I don’t have to look to know it’s the big covered truck from Hopkins Farm. I’ve been here before, in these very Mills, on this very day. It’s the day that everything changed. The day I escaped the System and set into motion a chain of events that would forever change the lives of so many people. Not all for the better.

My ethereal pursuer continues to advance on me, and my heart races wildly in my chest. “I didn’t mean to!” I cry, pleading with her to understand. “I didn’t know so many would die!”

“Die, die, die. We’re all dead. We died. We’re done. Dead.” Babbling is her only response.

My chest squeezes. Something’s not right. Isn’t there supposed to be peace in the beyond? A great releasement of all the bad experiences? A big screw you to all who did you wrong? This is unfair.

She hesitates in her advance, her feet floating stationary over the dirt path for one moment. Her head tilts slightly, as though listening to sounds in the distance. She grimaces, shudders, and then moans. “They beckon. They call. . ..” She throws her head back, wailing, “No! I will not go!”

I cover my ears at the thunderous howl, releasing a scream of my own. “Let me help you! Let me fix this!”

Another murderous shriek sounds as I step toward her. “I don’t want to go! Make it stop! I WILL NOT GO!”

I sob, the gasping sounds ripped from my chest as I struggle to stay upright. I feel the blackness trying to take me even now. “Please. Please let me make this right.”

Her head drops forward, drool running from her mouth and over her chin. Colorless eyes swing back to me, and in them I see a sorrow unlike any I have ever witnessed. “You’ve done enough, little rebel. Selfish. Unthinking. Ignorant, rebel. You killed us all.”

“No.” My head continues to deny, but my heart twists at the knowledge that she’s. . .right. She’s dead because of me. Tears overspill my eyes, tracking marks through the grime on my cheeks. I choke. “But I was only trying to help you.”

Her bark of laughter startles me and I jerk in surprise when her finger points again, this time to my left. “Fail. Failing. Failed.” She cackles. And what of them? Will you help them too?”

My head turns.

They’re all there. My dear, sweet friends. Ann and John William. Cason. Matthew. My father. The Overseer. The Master. Asa. All the children. There are so many of them, both known and unknown.

All with the same murderous intent.

To make me pay.

About The Surrendered


After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.
Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.

Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.


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Friday, October 28, 2016

Book Review - Love Connection by Camilla Isley

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Review by Anniek

Gemma is a successful lawyer and lives in London. She's at a crossroads and sits in a bar at the airport not knowing what she should do. She has two plane tickets to different destinations. One ticket will bring her to the wedding of her best friend Amelia where she'll be her maid of honor. The other ticket will take her to the wedding of her ex-boyfriend Jake. Gemma never got over Jake and she's willing to risk it all to see if Jake still loves her too. But first she has to make a choice, which plane will she take?

In Love Connection both choices are being described. Camilla Isley switches between situation number one and two. It was interesting to see where Gemma's choices are taking her. Gemma is crazy, feisty and full of love. She is the best friend ever and when she gives someone her heart she loves completely and unconditionally. She finds is hard to hurt and disappoint people, which sometimes lands her in the worst kind of situations. I really liked Gemma and loved to read about her and her life.

Camilla Isley has written a story about a love so pure that it warmed my heart. I needed to get a little bit used to switching from choice number one to choice number two, but after a few chapters I was totally engrossed in the story. I loved the chemistry between the characters and the way they all deal with hurt, betrayal and love. Camilla Isley always manages to write a story that is so unique and refreshing that it's hard to put her books down. The way Camilla Isley connects Gemma's two paths eventually is brilliant and I couldn't wait to get to the end of both of them. The endings had me in tears because I felt the true love through the beautiful words.

I think everyone wonders about the what ifs in life. Would things truly be much different from what they are today after making a different choice? Camilla Isley gives her readers a possible answer in Love Connection. I have been a fan of her books ever since I read I Wish For You. I highly recommend any book Camilla Isley has written as they are all unique gems.

My favorite quote is:
- " From the night you kissed me for the first time my heart started to ache with how much I love you. It felt like my chest could no longer contain it, as if it didn't belong to me anymore. And it didn't; it doesn't, because my heart belongs to you". -

Book Review - The Witch's Kiss by Katharine & Elizabeth Corr

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Review by Suze

Merry and her brother Leo are close, they're good friends. Merry tells Leo everything. He knows she has magic, but as there are conflicts in Merry's family nobody is training her. Her mother wants Merry to stay away from it, but she can't. She tried to learn by herself and that leads to something she will always regret. Merry's grandmother does want to teach her about magic, but it might be too late to start lessons. Merry is already having dreams about Jack. There's a family curse and she's the one who has to break it. Together with her brother Leo Merry tries to figure out how to do this. Jack is important and therefore Merry spends a lot of time with him. Will she be able to do what she's destined to do without having her heart broken into a thousand little pieces?

The Witch's Kiss is a gripping story with amazing main characters. I loved the fact that Merry and her brother are so important to each other. Merry is a sweet girl with a conscience. She has her flaws and knows what they are, which is an admirable quality. She's strong, determined and selfless. Leo is protective, kind and smart. Jack has a great warm character, but he can't always be himself and I felt bad for him. I loved the brilliant teamwork, the progress that's being made with each meeting and the way power is being presented. Together that makes the story energetic, sparkling and complete.

Katharine & Elizabeth Corr have an enchanting writing style that flows easily. I loved their idea for the story. Family curses and stories about siblings always make me eager to read a book and The Witch's Kiss doesn't disappoint, I was hooked from the start. Merry is a witch and she has to learn how to control her powers, that makes interesting reading. Leo is always there to guide and help her, but also to talk some sense into her, which is exactly what I think a fictional old brother should be like. Reading about the sweet and concerned way Leo and Merry interact with each other put a big smile on my face. 

The finale of The Witch's Kiss is fantastic and there's a fitting and beautiful ending. I loved the dreamy setting and due to the vivid descriptions I could easily picture everything that happened. I especially liked the intriguing lake where most of the important scenes are taking place. It's a gorgeous place that hides so much incredible history. Katharine & Elizabeth Corr have thought of everything and they've written a dazzling, spellbinding story. They are a fabulous writing duo and I hope they will write many more books. 

The Witch's Tears
 January 26, 2017

I'm happy there will be another book about Merry and Leo. I can't wait to read it and the cover is absolutely stunning. Pre-order it here:

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Book Review - A Different Life by Wendy Lou Jones

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Review by Suze

Tristan's mother thinks her son needs to learn a lesson. That's why she decides to take away his phone, his wallet and his car. She drops him off at a remote cottage that has no luxuries and gives him an allowance that will cover food and not much else. He's supposed to stay there for a couple of weeks and the aim is to make him realize that he needs to make something of his life. There's one person he's allowed to contact, a girl he doesn't know named Michelle. Tristan is a spoiled brat and he needs someone who's strong enough to tell him the truth. He also needs some lessons to acquire basic life skills and Michelle is the perfect person to help him with that. Tristan finds her incredibly attractive, but they're from different worlds, so it could never work between them, or could it?

A Different Life is a wonderful story about two people who haven't found much happiness in their lives yet. While Tristan's parents are rich. He's never given money a lot of thought and takes the means to allow excessive spending for granted. Tristan seems lucky, but his life is empty. Michelle grew up being poor, but having a loving family made up for the lack of money. She doesn't have much income now either, but she makes things work, even when her wallet is practically empty. Her heart was broken by someone years ago and she hasn't let anyone in since. She deserves a break and I hoped she would get a chance to be young again for a while. Tristan and Michelle are both amazing people and I loved them from the start. They have fabulous chemistry and their love story is original and interesting.

Wendy Lou Jones always writes honest books about real life. She doesn't spare her characters and that makes her stories realistic. She has a beautiful distinctive writing style and I enjoyed reading her unique combinations of words. I loved the creative beginning of A Different Life and think Wendy Lou Jones has a great sense of humor. Her story is emotional, but it's filled with many surprises as well. The main characters have fascinating personalities. Tristan and Michelle are both vulnerable and are trying desperately to protect themselves and the person they love. They want to be brave and are striving to make things perfect, but because of that they don't always make the wisest decisions. This leads to many moving scenes that made me want to keep reading. I read A Different Life in one sitting, I couldn't put it down and I was completely mesmerized by the stunning heartwarming romance.

The Echoes of Nut Hill series is amazing and A Different Life is another terrific book by Wendy Lou Jones that can easily be read as a standalone. The characters are all fantastic and they have a special place in my heart. I highly recommend this charming, moving and incredibly romantic series.

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Teacup Bookmark & Book of Choice Giveaway

Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a teacup bookmark made by Kawaii Craft Cottage and a book of choice worth $10. Good luck!

  The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

Haunted Halloween Tour - The Carver by Jacob Devlin

October is the month of fears, and we're going on tour with some of our favorite authors to talk about what their main characters are afraid of. What keeps them up at night? What nightmare has them waking in a cold sweat? Each day, we'll feature a new main character and delve deep into their subconscious to see what they fear. And each day, you'll have a chance to enter to win some awesome prizes! Read on to find out what our dear friend Pietro from Jacob Devlin's The Carver worries about at night...

Book review

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Review by Suze
Crescenzo thinks his father just makes wooden toys, he doesn't seek anything behind them. His father is Pinocchio and he knows there's something terribly wrong. Crescenzo's mother and his best friend are missing. His father is smart enough to leave clues before he's being taken as well. When Crescenzo's being told that his father is from a different world and that fairytales are real he doesn't believe a word. However, the evidence keeps piling up. Together with his friend Pietro, who's actually Peter Pan, he goes on a quest to find his missing loved ones. Will they succeed?

Hansel's heart is aching because of the disappearance of his sister Gretel and he's willing to do anything to get her back. He even buys a mine because he thinks he'll be able to find her there. Instead of his sister he runs into great evil, a witch who's far more powerful and cunning than he could have ever imagined. Will he fall into her trap and will she manage to put him under her spell or can he fight her?

The Carver is a book about disappearing fairytale characters. There are a lot of them, but as they're all well known the story never becomes confusing. I loved following Crescenzo. He's stubborn and unwilling to believe, but he has a good heart and will eventually see what happens right in front of him. I liked the combination of characters. They are from all kinds of stories, for example Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Ridinghood, Peter Pan, Snow White, Mulan and many more. Some of them have children, so there are some additions made by Jacob Devlin too. He lets the fairytale characters work and interact together like it's the most natural thing in the world, which was fabulous.

Jacob Devlin makes sure there's a clear common thread in his story. The Carver is set in different times and above each chapter the reader can find when and where the scene is taking place. He makes his story easy to follow this way and the reader can focus entirely on the action. There's a battle of good against evil and evil is very strong, so good has quite a big problem. I was curious to see if they would be victorious, but as there's an open ending I need to wait just a little bit longer. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. The Carver is a fast-paced story with plenty of unexpected twists and turns. I really enjoyed reading this book, its a lot of fun.

About Jacob Devlin

When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

Find out more at


Guest post

Hey everybody! Pietro Volo here, your favorite character ever from The Carver and the handsome, dashing alter ego of your favorite Lost Boy, Peter Pan.

Friends, I know what they say about me. I’ve seen the movies. I’ve listened to the songs. If I’ve understood them correctly, the stories ask you to believe the following:

That I am still a ten-year-old boy.

That I need a bottle of Gorilla Glue to stick my shadow to my toes.

That I’m going to fly into your children’s windows and whisk them off to some isolated world filled with man-eating gators and pirates, kinda like how I picture Florida.

There was a time when all of this might have been true, but it bewilders my brains to believe that all these stories handle this so casually. The songs are slow, soulful, and even a little touching. But now that I have a fifteen-year-old son? Dude, I’m freaked. What if there’s another me flying around world and he’s determined to snatch moody teenagers right out of their beds and zoom them off to a place where we can’t get a hold of them because AT&T doesn’t reach that far? This is scary. Zack doesn’t even wear pants to bed.

*clicks on flashlight and points it under my chin*

That is one of my worst nightmares. The other one is a terrible dream that I have all. The. Time. You know who else likes to fly through your window while you’re sleeping? The Sandman. He’s supposed to bring you some nice REM, but when he gets sick, we all get these recurring fever dreams.

You’ll never guess what my nightmares involve. There are some tiny changes from night to night, but they always involve one freaky element that kicks me--hard, I’ll have you know--right in the Assassin’s Creed parts I and II. One time, I was on top of Mount Everest. Don’t ask me how my lazy bum got up there, but then there was an earthquake that brought the whole mountain down. Another night, I was standing on top of Clocher de Pierre, the bell tower offering the best view of Florindale, and my shadow took a torch and lit the base on fire. I’ve also been on a tightrope across two skyscrapers, and my wife and kid are at either side holding Santoku kitchen knives. How fair is that, Sandman? But my least favorite is probably the Ferris Wheel, which is clearly falling apart as I swing back and forth at the very top by one hand.

But wait! you say. You can fly! I get that a lot when I talk about nightmares. You can fly, you can fly, you can fly. Well, hey. You ever have those dreams where you’re being chased by like, a leathery winged demon, or a dude with a bloody axe, or an animatronic orangutan from Disneyland? And sometimes, your feet plant roots into the carpet or you suddenly weigh a hundred thousand pounds? That’s me. That’s Murphy’s Law. When the Ferris Wheel crashes into dust, you don’t get to fly.

Yeah, the Sandman’s a friggin’ jerk. You should hear about how many times Prince Liam’s had to fight off a dragon with a toothpick, or Snow White’s twisted dream where her feet turn into apples. Hansel? Pretty sure his nightmares are drizzled on a graham cracker and loaded with a generous coat of pure sugar. Hey, that might be a beautiful dream for you and I, but that guy probably wakes up plastered in sweat. Gross!

I wanna share something a morally grey, shady magical fairy once told me on one of the scariest nights of my life. Do not be angry when your shadow eludes you, she said. After all, shadows are born from the light. The world can be a real scary place sometimes. There’s violence and pure hate. There are hateful queens, chameleon wolves, and aquamantulas. There are deceptions and cancers and poisonous fruits, and Space Mountain breaks down when you’re in line. And the Sandman doesn’t care. But, I’m here to remind you that it takes a light to cast a shadow (unless it’s my shadow--this thing doesn’t obey me or physics or anything.) Find your light source. It can be anything. Family. A hobby. A good book and a Netflix show to binge on. Or, you know, me… But whatever you do, I really hope you don’t turn to a mirror to solve your problems. I mean, you can, but good things don’t usually happen. That’s another story for later.

Happy Halloween, Lost Children! BOO!

About The Carver


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The girl in the red hood has been looking for her mother for six months, searching from the depths of New York’s subways to the heights of its skyscrapers . . .

The Prince looks like he’s from another time entirely, or maybe he’s just too good at his job at Ye Old Renaissance Faire . . .

The actress is lighting up Hollywood Boulevard with her spellbinding and strikingly convincing portrayal of a famous fairy. Her name may be big, but her secrets barely fit in one world...

Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.

With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time.


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