Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bad Kitty Goes To The Vet by Nick Bruel

Author: Nick Bruel
Publication: January 5, 2016
By: Roaring Brook Press
Amazon | Goodreads

A sick kitty is an unhappy kitty.
An unhappy kitty is a BAD kitty.

When Kitty is happy and healthy, everything is perfect. She jumps around, eats everything in sight, and has the energy she needs to keep slobbering puppies in their place. But when she’s sick, all she can do is lie in her bed. Looks like it’s time for this sick kitty to visit her least favorite person . . . the vet.

*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

~ Review by The 11 Year Old ~

Describe This Book in 5 Words: Funny. Awesome. Enjoyable. Recommended. Satisfied.

Favorite Part: I don't want to spoil anything, but...what happens to Bad Kitty when the Vet puts her under anesthesia was my favorite part.

Favorite Character: The Vet because he's funny.

Would I Recommended This to other kids: Yes, because it can be enjoyed by all ages.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Audiobook Review: A Little In Love by Susan Fletcher

Author: Susan Fletcher
Narrator: Melody Grove
Publication: August 25, 2015
By: Recorded Books
Amazon | Goodreads | Recorded Books

Inspired by Victor Hugo's classic Les Miserables, A Little in Love beautifully conveys the heartbreaking story of street girl Eponine. Paris, 1832 - a girl lies alone in the darkness, clutching a letter to her heart. Eponine remembers being a child: her swing and the peach tree and the baby brother she loved.

Mostly she remembers being miserable. Taught to lie and cheat and to hate the one girl, Cosette, who might have been her friend. Now, at 16, the two girls meet again, and Eponine has one more chance. But what is the price of friendship - the love of a boy?

*I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review* 

Audio: Melody Grove does a fantastic job of bringing Eponine and the rest of the characters to life. Her French is flawless and her accent made the whole experience much more enjoyable. 

Story: I love Les Misérables. I saw it on Broadway when I was 15 and have loved almost every adaptation since. (Except the movie version where Russel Crowe sings. That nearly ruined the whole story for me.) Les Mis was the inspiration for this book, but if you go into it expecting a straight retelling of Hugo's story, you will be disappointed. 

I was expecting a backstory filled with details and emotions that would add more layers to the character of Eponine I admire and respect. A girl who doesn't always make the right choice, does what she needs to survive, but who loves a boy so much she is willing to set aside her own feelings for his happiness. A girl who was bold, strong and ultimately, selfless. 

What I got was a sad, depressing story about a lonely girl with horrible parents and little to no backbone. The Eponine in A Little In Love is a shadow of the girl in Les Misérables. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

Thicker Than WaterAuthor: Brigid Kemmerer
Publication: December 29, 2015
By: Kensington Books
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads    
4.5 Stars! 

On his own

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

*Thank you to Kaye Publicity and Kensington for providing a copy for review*

My initial reaction upon finishing: HOLY CRAP THAT WAS GOOD!

I LOVE this cover.

Action, suspense, romance, and mystery---THICKER THAN WATER has it all. I'm usually pretty quick on the uptake when it comes to thrillers, but this one kept me guessing almost to the very end. I didn't want to put it down, I HAD to know what happened! I did not see the twist coming at all, but it elevated the story to whole new level of mind-effery.

Thomas and Charlotte are equally strong characters and as usual, Brigid Kemmerer nailed the male POV. Charlotte's family is overbearing at times, but with good reason. Having been raised by a cop myself, I particularly enjoyed the law enforcement aspect of the story.

I would love to see a sequel!

Read it. 

~ About the Author ~

Brigid Kemmerer finds the time to write somewhere between caring for her family and working at her day job, but sometimes she ends up mothering her coworkers and managing her family. The Elemental Series follows a family of four orphaned brothers who control the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and their battles with those who want them dead. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

#ApollyConOfficial Update

 ApollyCon 2016 is less than 3 months away, have you purchased your tickets yet?


You can find the full line-up of authors and all the event details HERE: http://apollycon.com

Not sure if you can attend? Check out the virtual bookstore! You can order signed/personalized copies. OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL readers too.

Model Drew Leighty as Seth from the Titans Series.
Model Pepe Toth as Daemon Black from the Lux Series

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Golden Braid (Hagenheim #6) by Melanie Dickerson

Series: Hagenheim #6
Publication: November 17, 2015
By: Thomas Nelson

The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower.

Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man around. And her skills as an artist rival those of any artist she’s met. But for a woman in medieval times, the one skill she most desires is the hardest one to obtain: the ability to read.

After yet another young man asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides they need to move once again, but this time to a larger city. Rapunzel’s heart soars—surely there she can fulfill her dream. But Mother won’t let her close to a man. She claims that no man can be trusted.

After being rescued by a knight on the road to the city, and in turn rescuing him farther down the road, Rapunzel’s opportunity arrives at last. This knight, Sir Gerek, agrees to educate Rapunzel in order to pay back his debt. She just has to put up with his arrogant nature and single-minded focus on riches and prestige.

But this Rapunzel story is unlike any other and the mystery that she uncovers will change everything—except her happily ever after.
*I received a finished copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review* 

If you like fairytale re-imaginings with a dash of adventure, a pinch of romance, and a heaping does of faith, then this is the book for you. 

Rapunzel is my favorite of all fairytales and I enjoyed this take on it. Unlike all of the other re-imaginings I've read, Rapunzel does not start out locked in a tower. Nor is she meak. She's brave, strong and wields a knife like nobody's business. 

This was my first Melanie Dickerson book and I enjoyed her style of writing. The Golden Braid is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Tell Me Three ThingsAuthor: Julie Buxbaum
Publication: April 15, 2016
By: Delacorte Press
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 

What if the person you need the most is someone you’ve never met?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel whose characters will come to feel like friends. Tell Me Three Things will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell, Jennifer Niven, and E. Lockhart.

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago—the closest place she has to something like home—she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

The thing is, Jessie does need help. It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live in LA with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

*I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

~ Three Things I Liked About This Book ~

1) The cover has waffles on it. In the shape of a heart. (The slightly raised pictures gives the impression this may be a scratch 'n lick sniff book. Sadly, it is not.)

2) Jessie. I totally wanted to be friends with her! Her grief is palpable, but so is her hope. 

3) The mystery person!

~ Author Q&A ~

Tell Me Three Foods You Don't Like To Eat
1) Blue cheese. The only bad-for-you food I don’t actually like. Also, it smells like feet.
2) Olives. Can’t explain this one. Just not my thing.
3) Anything pumpkin flavored, which makes Trader Joes a no-go for the entire month of October.

Tell Me Three Places You Want To Visit Before You Die 
1) The red dunes of Namibia.
2) Costa Rica.
3) Vietnam.

Tell Me Three Songs You Could Listen To On Repeat Forever

1) The Book of Love. (I think it was originally by The Magnetic Fields, but I’m addicted to the Steve Goldberg version.)
2) Pretty much anything by Taylor Swift (TayTay is our family’s living room pajama dance party music)
3) Anna Begins, Counting Crows (Makes me nostalgic for my high school and college days)

Tell Me Three Pieces of Advice You'd Give Aspiring Authors

1) Read everything you can get your hands on.
2) Sit on your tushy for unhealthily long periods of time.
3) Write badly and then keep writing. And then write some more. And then edit, edit, and edit until you can’t look at your computer screen for another minute. Rinse and repeat.

~ Follow Julie Buxbaum ~



~ Giveaway ~ 

One ARC of Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
U.S. Only
Must be 13 years old to enter  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 4, 2015

OMG Shakespeare: Macbeth #killingit & A Midsummer Night #nofilter

 *Thank you Cassie McGinty and Random House for providing bound galleys in exchange for honest reviews*

Macbeth #killingitTitle: Macbeth #killingit
Series: OMG Shakespeare
Publication: January 5, 2016
By: Random House Books for Young Readers 
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Macbeth, one of the greatest stories ever told . . . in texts?!

Imagine: What if that tragic couple, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!

A prophecy from three witches.
A social-climbing couple committing a murder most foul.
A cover-up that spins way out of control.

and h8. The classics just got a whole lot more interesting. ;)
tl;dr A Shakespeare play told through its characters texting with emojis, posting photos, checking in at locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for hip theater lovers and teens.

A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For example: tl;dr means too long; didn’t read.

A Midsummer Night #nofilter (OMG Shakespeare)Title: A Midsummer Night #nofilter 
Series: OMG Shakespeare 
Author(s): William Shakespeare, Brett Wright Publication: January 5, 2016
By: Random House Books for Young Readers  

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of the greatest stories ever told . . . in texts?!

Imagine: What if the fairies and star-crossed lovers of the forest had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays!

Four lovers who can’t decide who they have a crush on.
One mischievous fairy with a love potion.
Total chaos in the fairy world, the human world, and everywhere in between!

and h8. The classics just got a whole lot more interesting. ;)

tl;dr A Shakespeare play told through its characters texting with emojis, posting photos, checking in at locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for hip theater lovers and teens.

~ My Thoughts ~ 

As with the other two books in this series, YOLO Juliet, and srsly Hamlet, these offer a fresh, fun and modern take on the classics; they're ridiculously fun to read! The Kingdom Chat Room might be my favorite part. 

Read them!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Naughty or Nice Holiday Giveaway by Harlequin Romance Report

Add some spice to your holidays with

Harlequin Romance Report's

Naughty or Nice Giveaway!


~ One Winner
~ US/Canada Only (not Quebec)
~ Must be 18 years old to enter.
~ Winner must respond within 24 hours or another winner will be chosen.
~ Publisher will mail out prize pack, Jenuine Cupcakes not responsible for lost prizes
~ Some titles in ebook format. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 29, 2015

BLOG TOUR + BAKING WITH DAEMON: Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes, this is my stop on the OBLIVION blog tour. 
In preparation for OBLIVION'S release, I invited Daemon over to bake chocolate chip cupcakes for Katy. So far, the only one doing any actual baking is me. Daemon is sitting here with my laptop reading through Katy's latest blog posts, and looking pretty. 
Jen: Say hello to the readers, Daemon. And stop eating the chocolate chips, those are for the cupcakes. 
Daemon: *looks up* I thought we were making cookies.  

Jen: Nope. *mixes flour and sugar* But speaking of cookies, what is your favorite type of cookie?

Daemon: Any cookie Kat wants.

Jen: Smart guy. Hand me the bowl with the eggs, please. *adds eggs, milk, butter, oil* Out of all the girls on Earth, what drew you to Katy and why did you pick her?  
Daemon: She didn’t put up with any of my crap. I liked that. Really liked that. A lot. There wasn’t any one reason behind why I wanted her once I got to know her. It was because she’s Kat. 
Jen: I liked that she didn't put up with your crap too. Here, measure out 1 Tablespoon and pour it in the bowl. 
Daemon: What is it?
Jen: My secret ingredient. I could tell you what it is, but---
Daemon: But then you'd have to kill me, right?
Jen: Well, I was going to go with, call the D.O.D. *grins*
Daemon: *starts to flicker* 
Jen: I'm kidding! No need to go all glow worm on me. 
Jen: *stirs what's left in the bag of chocolate chips into the batter, pours into cupcake liners* Do you have any regrets? About Kat, I mean. Not about eating an entire bag of chocolate chips by yourself.
Daemon: *ignores my snarky comment* I regret not pulling my head out of my ass and making a move on Kat sooner.


Jen: I'm sure these cupcakes will help make up for that. Unless you eat them all on the way home. *hands Daemon two boxes, one for Katy, one for Dee* What are you going to say to Kat when you see her?
Daemon: I'm going to look her in the eye and say, "Hey Kitten, want a cupcake?'

Photo credit: Jenuine Cupcakes

About the OBLIVION:

OBLIVION is a Young Adult Paranormal Romance being published by Entangled Teen, and is a part of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling LUX Series. It is being released on December 1st, 2015. The eBook includes two bonus books from Daemon's POV, as well as original music inspired by OBLIVION embedded in the eBook. 

Experience the epic love story of OBSIDIAN as told by its hero, Daemon Black…

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it. 
And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can't stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won't just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen...

Oblivion (Trade paperback) – will be Obsidian in Daemon’s POV

Oblivion (digital copy across all retailers) – will be Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal in Daemon’s POV


Barnes and Noble

OBLIVION Pre-Order Campaign:

Get Invaded with Oblivion - Daemon's POV, which releases on December 1st! If you order OBLIVION before 12/4/15, you can receive a deleted scene. You must fill out the following form at the link below. This is open to any type of order, from anywhere: http://bit.ly/1HrDlpd 

And don’t miss the first books in the LUX Series!

LUX: Beginnings
Amazon ** Barnes and Noble
LUX: Consequences
Amazon ** Barnes and Noble
Amazon ** Barnes and Noble

About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins. 

~ Blog Tour Schedule ~

November 23-USA Today/Vilma's Book Blog-Chapter One released

November 24-Mundie Moms-Excerpt

November 25-Paranormal Book Club-Daemon Q&A

November 26-Thanksgiving

November 27-No BS Book Reviews-Daemon Q&A

November 28-Stuck in Books-Daemon Q&A

November 29-Jenuine Cupcakes-Baking w/Daemon

November 30-Love Between the Sheets-Daemon Q&A

December 1-Reading Teen-Excerpt

December 2-A Bookish Escape-Daemon Q&A

December 3-Owl Always Be Reading-Daemon Q&A

December 4-Nose Stuck in a Book-Excerpt

December 5-Bookhounds YA-Excerpt 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Anna & The Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

Anna and the Swallow ManAuthor: Gavriel Savit
Publication: January 26, 2015
By: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Anna and the Swallow Man is a stunning, literary, and wholly original debut novel that tells a new WW2 story.

Kraków, 1939, is no place to grow up. There are a million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. And Anna Lania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father and suddenly, she’s alone.

Then she meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall. And like Anna's missing father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced.

Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgement, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous . . .

*I received a copy of this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

I don't read a lot of historical fiction but this one piqued my curiosity enough for me to give it a try. And I'm glad I did, if for no other reason than the beautiful prose. The characters are interesting and the story is intense. I have not read The Book Thief--I know, for shame--so I don't know how it compares to this one. 

Definitely worth the read though.

About the Author:
Photo credit: Author's website
Gavriel Savit holds a BFA in musical theater from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he grew up. As an actor and singer, Gavriel has performed on three continents, from New York to Brussels to Tokyo. He lives in Brooklyn. This is his first novel.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


Friday, November 20, 2015

Fast & Furious Friday Reviews

 It's been awhile since I've done a Fast & Furious Friday post, but here are a couple rapid-fire reviews of books that are worth checking out. 

Up to This Pointe Title: Up To This Pointe 
Author: Jennifer Longo
Publication: January 19th 2016 
By: Random House Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult 
Amazon | Goodreads  
3 Stars
A refreshingly original contemporary YA, unlike anything readers have seen before. Perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, John Corey Whaley, and Libba Bray.

She had a plan. It went south.

Harper is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. And Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in the way of The Plan, not even the boy she and Kate are both drawn to.

Harper is a Scott. She’s related to Robert Falcon Scott, the explorer who died racing to the South Pole. So when Harper’s life takes an unexpected turn, she finagles (read: lies) her way to the icy dark of McMurdo Station . . . in Antarctica. Extreme, but somehow fitting—apparently she has always been in the dark, dancing on ice this whole time. And no one warned her. Not her family, not her best friend, not even the boy who has somehow found a way into her heart.

What I Liked: The cover, premise, ballet, adventure, relationships, penguins, and Owen. I enjoyed the before and after approach to the storytelling too; it was done in the same tense and woven together seamlessly.  

What Left Me Wanting More: I would have enjoyed this book so much more if not for the excessive use of exclamation points. (My digital ARC had an average of 4 per Kindle page.) The idea that all of the characters where either yelling or overly excited about everything all the time was annoying, and distracting. I considered DNFing (multiple times) as a result.  

Final Verdict: Entertaining tale of love, loss, adventure, and finding your way back home again.

*Thank you to Random House and Bloomsbury for providing ARCs in exchange for honest reviews*


Author: Emery Lord
Publication: April 5th 2016 
By: Bloomsbury USA Childrens  
Genre: Young Adult 
3 Stars 

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn't be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.

What I Liked: There is so much to like about this book. The writing, the storytelling, the premise, the dual POV, and Jonah. I also appreciate that Emery Lord tackles not one, but two forms of mental illness, and does it with compassion.

What Left Me Wanting More: I'm not an expert, but neither am I stranger to mental illness. I have a background in Psychology and I have spent time working with (and loving) people who struggle with varying types, including the two featured in this book.
One of the characters suffers from bi-polar disorder. It's easy to rationalize behavior in the midst of a manic episode, claiming the person (who has willingly taken themselves off their meds and then lied about it) "can't help it" which is partly true. However, they are in complete control of whether or not they make amends to those they've harmed once their mood has been stabilized. This character does neither. Choosing instead to take the non-apology route, making it very difficult to sympathize with or respect them.
A good therapist will tell you, taking responsibility--taking agency--for your own mental health also includes taking responsibility for your actions.

Final Verdict: This started out strong but fell short for me.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

BLOG BLITZ: The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel #1) by Sarah MacLean

Announcing a sublime – and scandalously wonderful – new series from New York Times, USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author Sarah MacLean! 
The author aroused immediate interest when she announced this high-concept affair: “I'm thrilled to announce my next project -- the Scandal & Scoundrel series, which I pitched to my editor as ‘Old School TMZ,’" says MacLean. “It’s modern celebrity gossip with a pre-Victorian twist. Basically, this is my way of convincing my husband that all those glossy magazines in our house are ‘work necessities.’

Publication: December 29, 2015
By: Avon Books
ISBN 9780062379412; eISBN 9780062379399

Lady Sophie’s Society Splash
When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin . . . it’s filled with it.

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!
Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

War? Or More?
He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .

~ Pre-Order ~

Anyone who orders a signed, print copy of the book from WORD Bookstores will get a gorgeous printed copy of this map!

New York Times, Washington Post & USA Today bestseller Sarah MacLean is the author of historical romance novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages, and winner of back-to-back RITA Awards for best historical romance from the Romance Writers of America.

Sarah is a leading advocate for the romance genre, speaking widely on its place at the nexus of gender and cultural studies. She is the author of a monthly column celebrating the best of the genre for the Washington Post. Her work in support of romance and the women who read it earned her a place on Jezebel.com's Sheroes list of 2014 and led Entertainment Weekly to call her "gracefully furious." Sarah lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.


Stop #7: “Lyne Castle” 
Author Commentary: The Country seat of the Dukes of Lyne, Lyne Castle is the childhood home of Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley, who left home at eighteen after a terrible tragedy and never returned. Summoned home by his ailing father, King finally returns--with the unexpected addition of Lady Sophie Talbot, irritating and somehow irresistible. The estate boasts one of the most complicated labyrinths in Britain...where King and Sophie find solace, and heartbreak, and each other.

Sophie would want love. She’d want it pure and unfettered, given freely, along with all its trappings. She’d want the marriage and children and happiness and prom- ise that came with it.

King could see it, the life she wanted. The line of little girls, blue-eyed and brown-haired, in love with books and strawberry tarts. For a moment, he imagined them smiling at him the way their mother did, filled with happiness and hope.

For a moment, he let himself believe he might be able to give it to her.

But she would want love, and he would never be able to give it.

He didn’t have it to give anymore. And those children, they would never be his.

He set her down on the edge of the fountain, coming to his knees, as though she was Ariadne and he the Minotaur, worshipping at her feet, adoring her even as he knew she could not survive in the labyrinth, and he could not survive beyond it.

“Tell me about last night,” he said softly, looking up at her, his hands at the hem of her skirts.
“What—” She caught her breath as his fingers explored the skin of her ankles. “What about it?”
“I hated it,” he said. “I hated stopping.”

She pressed her lips into a thin, straight line. “I hated that you stopped.”

His hands were beneath her skirts, pushing them back, farther and farther, up and over her knees. He pressed his lips to the inside of her knee, swirling his tongue there, loving the little gasp of surprised pleasure that came at the touch.

“I hate that I will have to stop today, as well."

Great North Road Map Reveal: Destinations and author annotations 

Stop #1: "Sophie Stows Away" (English Country Estate near London)

Author Commentary:
 There are moments in life when you know that you just can't go on without a change. Lady Sophie Talbot, the youngest of the infamous Talbot Sisters (darlings of the gossip rags and nicknamed the Dangerous Daughters) knows this is the case when she lands her odious, philandering brother in law backside-first in a fish pond at a major event of the London Season. And so, Sophie does what's necessary. “I simply need conveyance home,” she requests of Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley, notorious rake and her only chance of escape. Sophie's desperate, and in possession of the Marquess's boot, so she thinks she has a leg up, so to speak. King has other ideas.

Stop #2: “The Carriage”
Author Commentary: Lady Sophie Talbot, youngest and least interesting of the scandalous Talbot sisters (think 19th Century Kardashians) isn't so uninteresting once she's decided to stow away atop a carriage belonging to the Marquess of Eversley -- notorious rogue and her recent nemesis. Indeed, she cannot wait for the horrible man to discover that she's disguised herself as an outrider and stolen conveyance home to central London. There's just one problem...

Stop #3: “The Fox and the Falcon Posting Inn”
Author Commentary: By the time Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself outside the Fox & Falcon Posting Inn, miles from her home in London, she's realized she's made a huge mistake. She only ever intended to hitch a ride home to Mayfair--and simultaneously stick it to the arrogant, handsome, horrible Marquess of Eversley, who happens to be minus a boot, thanks to Sophie. Suffice to say, things got out of hand. And now, dressed as a male servant in the drive of a roadside inn, things are about to get much much worse.

Stop #4: “Beware Highwaymen!”
Author Commentary: Suffice to say, being on the road with an arrogant aristocrat is no fun at all, so Lady Sophie Talbot does what any self-respecting woman would do, she "borrows" his money, and gets herself on the next mail coach north. All seems fine -- until Highwaymen arrive, and that arrogant aristocrat arrives just in time to see her entire plan go pear-shaped.

Stop #5: “The Warbling Wren”
Author Commentary: Being shot on the Great North Road isn't exactly a thing people expect to happen, and Lady Sophie Talbot finds herself in the rooms above The Warbling Wren pub, under the welcome care of a rather mad doctor and the watchful eye of the rather infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley. There are worse things, she supposes. Or are there? Not for King.

Stop #6: “Mossband”
Author Commentary: Lady Sophie Talbot, youngest and least interesting of the infamous Talbot sisters, has decided that her best bet to escape London and the aristocratic life for which she'd never been intended is to take herself home -- to the small village on the Scottish border where she spent the first ten years of her life. And perhaps, after a disastrous journey north, something would go right, and her childhood friend Robbie, now the village baker, would make good on their silly youthful promises and marry her. Of course, Sophie isn't alone. She's saddled with the horrible, handsome Marquess of Eversley. Who has done everything to ruin her plans. Until now.

Stop #7: “Lyne Castle”
Author Commentary: The Country seat of the Dukes of Lyne, Lyne Castle is the childhood home of Kingscote, Marquess of Eversley, who left home at eighteen after a terrible tragedy and never returned. Summoned home by his ailing father, King finally returns--with the unexpected addition of Lady Sophie Talbot, irritating and somehow irresistible. The estate boasts one of the most complicated labyrinths in Britain...where King and Sophie find solace, and heartbreak, and each other.



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