Friday, April 29, 2016

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Soldier (Talon #3) by Julie Kagawa

Welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes, this is my stop on the SOLDIER blog tour!

Warning: There be dragons ahead.

 Like this...

And this...

And even this...

~ About the Book ~

Series: Talon #3
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publication: April 26, 2016
By: HarlequinTEEN

A fighter dedicated to saving humankind from dragons in strictest secrecy.

That was what Garret Xavier Sebastian thought he was part of as a soldier of the Order of St. George. What he learned from a fiery dragon hatchling twisted all he believed in and set him on a collision course with certain death-but not without a chance to put things right.

Betrayed and on the run again, Ember and rogue dragon Riley discover an unthinkable truth about Talon and St. George. They'll need Garret's skills and insider knowledge of the Order to negotiate an impossible deal-and if they fail, there will be no way to stop all-out war.

~ My Thoughts ~

The picture does not do the cover justice. At all. When I received my copy in the mail a few weeks ago, I spent a good 5 minutes just staring at the cover and another 5 minutes petting it, running my fingers across the raised links, and mentally preparing myself for what was coming. I'm a dork like that. Sorry not sorry.

In this installment of the Talon Saga, which is all about Garret--not that I'm complaining-- everything is amped up: the action, the intensity, the danger, and especially the love triangle. 

Garret and Riley are basically like...

While Ember is like...

We learn a lot more about The Order, as well as what Talon's real plan for the dragons is. 
Hint: It's not to live by the sea and frolick in the autumn mist in a land called Honali. No, Talon is all about world domination.  

I'm no stranger to Julie Kagawa and her evil cliffhangers. (The Eternity Cure ending very nearly killed me.) And the end of Soldier had me like...

~ About The Author  ~

Julie Kagawa, the New York Times bestselling author of the Iron Fey and Blood of Eden series was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel.

When not swimming for her life, Julie immersed herself in books, often to the chagrin of her schoolteachers, who would find she hid novels behind her Math textbooks during class. Her love of reading led her to pen some very dark and gruesome stories, complete with colored illustrations, to shock her hapless teachers. The gory tales faded with time (okay, at least the illustrations did), but the passion for writing remained, long after she graduated and was supposed to get a
real job.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all time low. She lives with her husband, an obnoxious cat, an Australian Shepherd who is too smart for his own good, and a hyper-active Papillion.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
4/18: Step Into Fiction - Review
4/19: The Irish Banana Review - Dragon Makeup
4/20: Across the Universe - Review
4/21: The Cover Contessa - Julie's Dragons
4/22: Vi3tbabe - Review

Week 2:
4/25: Star-Crossed Book Blog - Review
4/26: Wonderland Novels - Dream Casting
4/27: The Quiet Concert - Review
4/28: Take Me Away to a Great Read - Fashion Board
4/29: Jenuine Cupcakes - Review

~ Giveaway ~
1 set of TALON, ROGUE & SOLDIER (US Only)

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Sidebarred (The Legal Briefs #3.5) by Emma Chase

Sidebarred (The Legal Briefs #3.5)  
Author: Emma Chase

Join Jake & Chelsea, Stanton & Sofia, Brent & Kennedy as they navigate the hilarious and heartwarming hurdles of love, life and the law in this final addition to the Legal Briefs Series.

There was a time when Jake Becker had it all together. He was controlled, driven, ruthless—in and out of the courtroom.

Then, six irresistible orphans and their heartbreakingly beautiful aunt crashed into his perfectly ordered life. They changed everything. They changed him. Now he’s a husband, an upstanding member of society, a father figure—a family man.
And he’s pretty damn good at it. 

Sure, he has to referee sibling smackdowns, re-learn algebra, ensure his clients stay of jail, and keep his wife happy—but it finally feels like he’s got it together again....
So, of course something has to screw it all up.

It’s huge. Life-changing. Kind of terrifying.

And it will be the most amazing, perfect thing he’ll ever do.

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

I ship all 3 couples in the Legal Briefs series, but Jake and Chelsea--and their brood--are my favorite!

As with the other books, this one has humor, heart, and lots of heat. I read this in bed and had to muffle my laughter (and then my happy tears) to keep from waking my husband up. I loved seeing Jake, Chelsea and the kids a few years down the road. Enjoyed the awkward family conversations, the cameos from the other couples, and loveloveloved the epilogue!

Great addition to the series!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Let The Wind Rise (Sky Fall #3) by Shannon Messenger

Hello and welcome to Jenuine Cupcakes, this is my stop on the LET THE WIND RISE blog tour!  
Today's exclusive content is a guest post by Shannon Messenger, and be sure you enter to win a complete set of the series below!


By: Shannon Messenger

Published by: Simon Pulse
Releasing on: April 26th, 2016
Series: Sky Fall Book #3
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | The Book Depository | iTunes
Add it to Goodreads

Vane Weston is ready for battle. Against Raiden’s army. Against the slowly corrupting Gale Force. Even against his own peaceful nature as a Westerly. He’ll do whatever it takes, including storming Raiden’s icy fortress with the three people he trusts the least. Anything to bring Audra home safely.

But Audra won’t wait for someone to rescue her. She has Gus—the guardian she was captured with. And she has a strange “guide” left behind by the one prisoner who managed to escape Raiden. The wind is also rising to her side, rallying against their common enemy. When the forces align, Audra makes her play—but Raiden is ready.

Freedom has never held such an impossible price, and both groups know the sacrifices will be great. But Vane and Audra started this fight together. They’ll end it the same way.


"The conclusion to this very original fantasy trilogy is stronger than the first two installments, with nonstop action and believable teenage sarcasm, which takes the edge off the brutal reality of Audra and Vane’s highly emotional romance and quest. A good match for fans of Claudia Gray’s Firebird series."RT Book Reviews


Find out more about THE SKY FALL series, Let The Sky Fall (book #1) and Let The Storm Break (book #2), here

GUEST POST: If I wasn't an author, I'd be...

I’m sure when they gave me this post topic, they were hoping I’d come up with some sort of serious, introspective piece on all the “might’ve beens” and “maybe somedays” that come with career selection. But this is me, so …

If  I wasn’t an author, I’d be…

  • Asleep! Seriously. I’ve been up till 4am trying to make an impossible deadline for so many weeks now that I’ve reached the point where my husband catches me sitting alone in rooms mumbling to myself, and I rarely remember to shave both of my legs.

  • In WAY better shape! I bought a Fitbit right before I entered the worst phase of this deadline. So for a couple of weeks I was actually hitting my 10,000 steps and feeling pretty good. Now? There are some days where I don’t even go downstairs. I finally hid the Fitbit in my closet (along with my dusty running shoes) because I was afraid if I went enough days with only 200 steps it was going to start some sort of shock therapy.

  • A functional adult!  This one might be a bit of a stretch, since adulting has never really been my specialty. But it wasn’t until I became an author that my mom had to start texting me questions like, “did you remember to eat lunch today?” My husband also asks things like, “when was the last time you washed those pajamas?” Spoiler alert: the answer is usually not a good one.

  • Wearing pants that don’t have holes in them!  Here’s the thing: comfortable writing pants? Not so easy to find. I have an entire drawer full of sweatpants-that-let-me-down. Finding that perfect pair that’s just stretchy enough and soft enough for the long days of butt-in-chair? Super challenging. So when you get a good one? You cling. Doesn’t matter how faded or stretched out or shredded they become.

  • Asleep!!!! I know I already said this one. But seriously guys. SLEEP.

  • DESPERATE for a creative outlet! There was a time I gave up writing and took a normal day job. And I’m pretty sure I single-handedly kept my local Michaels in business. I painted glass. I drew charcoal portraits. I scrapbooked. I beaded. I arranged flowers. I made hair clips. I put glitter on freaking EVERYTHING. And all of that was fun. But it always left me antsy and heading back to Michaels to find the next thing. (also with boxes and boxes of crafts. Anyone need painted glass or floral hairclips? I’m your girl.) But once I started writing again? The antsy-ness went away.

And that’s the thing—despite the sleep deprivation and the “writer’s butt” and the glamour overload, this job isn’t a want for me, it’s a need. There really isn’t anything else I’d want to be.

(though I’m still hoping to snag a LITTLE more of that “sleep” thing. *writes an epic poem to her poor, abandoned pillow*)


Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she learned--among other things--that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She's studied art, screenwriting, and film production, but realized her real passion was writing stories for children. She's the bestselling author of the middle grade series, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, and the SKY FALL series for young adults. Her books have been featured on multiple state reading lists, published in numerous countries, and translated into many different languages. She lives in Southern California with her husband and an embarrassing number of cats. Find her online at

Find Shannon:  WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr 

Shannon's Going On Tour!

Catch Shannon on the road! Find out what cities she's coming to for her LET THE WIND RISE book tour, here.


Thank you to Simon Pulse, we have 3 sets of THE SKY FALL series to giveaway! To enter, please fill out the form below. This is open to residents of the US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


4/19 - YA Bibliophile, Excerpt #1

4/20 - Jenuine Cupcakes, Author Guest post #1

4/21 - Me, My Shelf & I, Excerpt #2

4/22 - Page Turners, Author Interview #1

4/25 - Novel Novice, Guest Post #2

4/26 - Mundie Moms, Author Interview #2 


Don't forget! Pre-Order LET THE WIND RISE by 4/25/16, you can enter to win! Check out Shannon's pre-order giveaway here!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare #2) by M.G. Buehrlen

The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare #2)  
Author: M.G. Buehrlen
Publication: April 26, 2016
By: Diversion Books  
Amazon | B&N | Goodread

As Alex's sister loses the fight against cancer, a race for a cure sends Alex traveling back and forth through time, dodging enemy Descenders who seem to know Alex's every move before she does. Realizing her enemies have privileged information, Alex fears there is a traitor hiding within the small band of allies she's grown to trust. 

A traitor who might bring Gesh straight to Alex's front door. 

While Gesh closes the gap in Base Life, and Blue's true identity surfaces, Alex stumbles upon a secret about her reincarnations that will change her life, or her lives, forever.

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

 ~ My Thoughts ~

This is a hard one (for me) to review without spoilers, but here goes...

If you loved book one, you will love this one. Maybe even more.

It has all of the edge-of-your-seat time-travely action, and swoony romance book one had, and then some. M.G. Buehrlen leaves no question unanswered, loose end untied, or heart-string yanked. I thoroughly enjoyed the new characters and I really wish more books were in the works. It would be fun to read some of the other Descenders' life stories. :coughs: Levi :coughs:

This is a fantastic sequel and well worth the wait!

P.S. I will go down with my ship, M.G., okay? Speakeasy Pudding Cup All The Way!

MG Buehrlen is the author of THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE and the upcoming THE UNTIMELY DEATHS OF ALEX WAYFARE (available Spring 2016). For 12 years, MG was a web-developer and social media director, and she co-developed, the largest social network for YA book lovers. When not writing or web-developing, MG is a hipster-foodie-history-buff who, some say, is way too picky about the quality of her coffee.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads  


Thursday, April 14, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti

Welcome, this is my stop on the ESSENTIAL MAPS FOR THE LOST tour!

When Madison makes a startling discovery, the body of a dead woman floating in the middle of a lake, the summer after her senior year becomes more complicated than she ever expected.

Madison (Mads to everyone who knows her) is staying with her aunt and uncle in Seattle after graduating from high school. Being away from her needy, unstable mother who's been pressuring her to take over the family business is such a relief. Now all Mads has to worry about is taking classes, swimming laps, and fighting off the sadness that threatens to overtake her.

That is, until the traumatic moment Mads collides with a body in the middle of the lake. After swimming the body back to shore, Mads becomes obsessed with uncovering the identity of the woman and what drove her to leap off of the Aurora Bridge. Determined to discover more, Mads parks outside the woman's home and sees the woman's son: the sweet and tormented Billy Youngwolf Floyd.

Through a series of not-so-happenstance meetings, Mads and Billy realize that desperate mothers and rescue missions are not the only thing that bonds them. Billy carries a map in his pocket; the one of the museum from The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler; and it's his dream to visit the museum one day. And though book-loving Mads is expected to return home to her already-decided future, her dream is to run away to a life of her choosing.

As the unlikely pair fall hard for each other and as the summer draws to a close, Billy and Mads must decide whose story to follow: their family's or their own.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

~ About The Author ~
Deb Caletti is an award winning author and National Book Award finalist. Her many books for young adults include “The Nature of Jade,” “Stay,” “The Last Forever,” and "Honey, Baby Sweetheart," winner of the Washington State Book award, the PNBA Best Book Award, and a finalist for the PEN USA Award. Her first book for adults, “He’s Gone,” was released from Random House in 2012, and was followed with "The Secrets She Keeps" in 2015. Coming this April: "Essential Maps for the Lost," her eleventh book for young adults. She lives with her family in Seattle.

 Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest


~ Top 10: Writing Advice for Aspiring Authors ~
1) Write honestly: The most powerful stuff comes from sharing your own experiences, feelings, truths, whether through fiction or non-fiction. 

2) Read: And then read some more. 

3) Be bold: Go after what you want. Write the book; find the agent. This is not a business for wilting flowers. 

4) Be determined: Be like a dog with a knotted sock. Want it bad, work hard. If your first book doesn’t sell, write your second, third, fourth, fifth. You will get better. This is what it often takes.

5) Write from a place of integrity: When your motivation to publish come from a deep need to understand, a need to convey your world through words, a passion for beautiful sentences and the power of books and reading, this will show in the strength of your work. When your motivation to publish is to become a “famous author,” you’re better off buying a lottery ticket. 

6) Tell the hard and complicated truths:
Go to the ugly places. Go to your own ugly places. You are a hero, but you are a villain, too.

7) Don’t compare: Do you, not anyone else. We can be fragile, us writers, and so can our dreams. Shield your eyes from what everyone else is doing, and look at your own road.

8) Visit the library: Visit for perspective, for information, for soothing of your poor, introverted soul. Visit to remember who you are – book lover, reader. 

9) Toughen up: Unless you keep your writing in a drawer, you will be criticized. What did you think? Remember, some criticism will help you develop your craft. Some will be meaningless. Some will be hilarious. Most will hurt. It’s part of the job. You can take it. 

10) Be wary of writing advice, including any Top Ten Pieces of Advice for Aspiring Writers. 

~ Giveaway ~

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Earl Takes All (The Hellions of Havisham #2) by Lorraine Heath

Author: Lorraine Heath 
Publication: April 26, 2016
By: Avon  
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 

One summer night, Edward Alcott gives in to temptation and kisses Lady Julia Kenney in a dark garden. However, the passion she stirs within him is best left in the shadows as she weds his twin, the Earl of Greyling. But when tragedy strikes, to honor the vow he makes to his dying brother, Edward must pretend to be Greyling until the countess delivers her babe.

After her husband returns from a two-month sojourn, Julia finds him changed. Bolder, more daring, and more wicked—even if he does limit their encounters to kisses. With each passing day, she falls more deeply in love.

For Edward the embers of desire sparked on that long-ago night are quickly rekindled. He yearns to be her husband in truth. But if she discovers his ruse, she will despise him—and English law prevents him from marrying his brother’s widow. Yet he must dare to risk everything and reveal his secrets if he is to truly take all.

*I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review* 
Wow...I knew I would enjoy this, but I was skeptical too, unsure of how Lorraine Heath was going to handle the complicated story line. It requires a delicate balance, and she's done it with compassion, sensitivity, and grace. The redemption aspect alone tugged at my heartstrings and brought me to tears more than once.

This surpassed all of my expectations.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


UNKNOWN by Wendy Higgins
Apocalyptic Sci-Fi NA Romance
Coming August 16, 2016

Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technological communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.

Add it on Goodreads

Learn about the origins of the story in this blog post:

Today I uploaded unedited chapters of UNKNOWN on my Wattpad account for people to preview! Here is the link to my Wattpad account:

Wendy Higgins is the USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series from HarperTeen, the high fantasy duology The Great Hunt, and her independently published Irish fantasy, See Me. She is a former high school English teacher who now writes full time, and lives on the Eastern Shore of Virginia with her veterinarian husband, daughter, son, and doggie Rue. 

Wendy earned a bachelor's in Creative Writing from George Mason University and a master's in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


May 2016 

There was a time when Jake Becker had it all together. He was controlled, driven, ruthless—in and out of the courtroom.
Then, six irresistible orphans and their heartbreakingly beautiful aunt crashed into his perfectly ordered life. They changed everything. They changed him. Now he’s a husband, an upstanding member of society, a father figure—a family man. 
And he’s pretty damn good at it.

Sure, he has to referee sibling smackdowns, re-learn algebra, ensure his clients stay of jail, and keep his wife happy—but it finally feels like he’s got it together again....
So, of course something has to screw it all up.

It’s huge. Life-changing. Kind of terrifying.
And it will be the most amazing, perfect thing he’ll ever do.
Amazon | B&N | Kobo 


Chelsea sits beside me on the couch, facing me, her legs tucked, her pretty feet curled under her. Yes—Chelsea has pretty feet, okay? I never knew feet could be pretty—until I saw hers.

“So . . . that talk I mentioned before? We should probably have that now, while we can.”

I take a sip of my drink and nod. “Yeah—I wasn’t at all hoping you’d forget about it or anything.”

Her face slides into a grin. “Funny.”

I look back at her, straight-faced. “I’m a funny guy.”

When she doesn’t say anything for a few moments, I ask, “What’s up?"
Because now I’m actually getting concerned. My stomach tightens as I brace for whatever’s worrying her—and before I even know what I’m up against, in my head I’m already planning all the ways I’ll take care of it. Because that’s what I do—and I’m good at it. But what she tells me next blows my f**king mind.

“I’m late."

Two words—ten thousand thoughts exploding in my head at once. I’m a big guy, six-five, 225 pounds of muscle. Guys like me, our voices don’t squeak. But at this moment, mine comes damn close.

“Like . . . for an appointment?”

Chelsea inhales deeply, then breathes out, “No.”