Thursday, June 30, 2022

Yay! For Middle Grade Books 2022 Wrap Up!

Hi, everyone! Today is the end of Yay! For Middle Grade Books 2022! This was another wonderful year for the event, and I had so much fun posting the interviews for you all to enjoy. I want to again thank all the authors who participated this year (and who are all lovely people!), and everyone who read, commented, tweeted, and in any way supported this event. You all are awesome! Now, onto the wrap up! :)

Weren't those posts absolutely fantastic?! Thank you again to everyone, and here's to next year! :)

Blog Tour: To Kiss A Wallflower - Review!

To Kiss A Wallflower by Jen Geigle Johnson, Heather B. Moore, and Anneka R. Walker

To Kiss a Wallflower is the nineteenth book in the Timeless Regency Collection, a bestselling anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from acclaimed historical romance authors whose stories reveal that eventually, all wallflowers will have their chance at love . . . This is where it begins.

“The Wallflower’s Dance,” by Jen Geigle Johnson

Lottie Hughes likes people, as long as they aren't too close. Does it bother her that no one asks her to dance? Yes, but she's not sure how to drum up dance partners when she has almost no dowry, no title, and freezes up when anyone tries to talk to her. When she suddenly inherits a huge amount and is the new center of attention all over London, her secret dreams might come true but also her worst nightmares. Suddenly everyone wants to talk to her. Men ask her to dance. And she is inundated with interested suitors. She fights to stay close to the few friends she knows are true. One man saw her before her life changed forever. But does she want to accept his help when he, too, might be insincere?

“Letters to a Wallflower,” by Heather B. Moore

Ellen might be beautiful and considered a diamond of the first water by Society, but she is so very tired of the pressure to marry a titled gentleman so that her beauty won’t go to waste. When her cousin Dinah dares Ellen to attend a ball with no frills and to stand with the wallflowers, Ellen takes on the dare. What’s in the wager for her? The prize cuttings of her aunt’s extraordinary roses. But what Ellen isn’t expecting is Lord Ravenshire to engage her in the most interesting conversation. When she confesses to him of her opposition in marrying for a title, he confesses his distaste of the London scene. They strike a bargain together, one which will either push them apart or lead to a future sweeter than either of them could have imagined.

“To Marry a Wallflower,” by Anneka R. Walker

Charlotte Winters is destined to spinsterhood until she turns down an unwanted proposal and everything changes. With gossip rampant, her father attempts to salvage her reputation by betrothing her to another. Soon she is sent off to her aunt’s to meet Lord Templeton, her intended. Anxiety-ridden, Charlotte begs her aunt to let her observe Lord Templeton from afar before their introduction. She never planned to pretend to be her fictional cousin to learn more about him, or to fall in love with Lord Templeton’s friend in the process. Lord Templeton dreads returning to the empty halls of Newcliff Manor. When his father’s old friend, Mr. Winters reaches out for assistance, Lord Templeton finds himself returning home engaged to a woman he has never met. Desperate to learn more about Miss Winters, he befriends her cousin. He wouldn’t have spoken to her, or lied about his identity, if he’d known the quiet woman would sneak into his heart.


Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Regency Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.   

My Review:

I quite enjoyed this short story collection of regency romance! The romances were wonderful, and I liked all the characters. I don't think I'm able to pick a favorite, because I think all the stories were great! Overall, I would definitely recommend!

I received a copy of the book from the publisher and blog tour company.


  • “5 STARS - I loved the unique twists that each author used in their stories and how they tied them into the theme.”— Julie Carpenter, Goodreads

  • “What a great set of stories! If you have read any of these three authors you know you are in for a treat. If you aren’t familiar with them, prepare to add their names to your list of favorites.”— Shauna Jones, Goodreads

  • “I thoroughly enjoyed all three of these novellas. They were lighthearted, fun, and took me away from my worries for a while.”— A Bookish Romantic, Goodreads




Jen Geigle Johnson

An award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy's top award for Romance, Jen Geigle Johnson has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well. 

She loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.


Heather B. Moore

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She's lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about anything in history and, as an author, is passionate about historical research.


Anneka R. Walker

Anneka Walker is an award-winning author raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor's degree in English and history. When she isn't dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she is busy living her own with her husband and adorable children.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Blog Tour: A Dress Of Violet Taffeta - Review!

A Dress Of Violet Taffeta by Tessa Arlen

A sumptuous novel based on the fascinating true story of La Belle Époque icon Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon, who shattered the boundaries of fashion with her magnificently sensual and enchantingly unique designs.

Lucy Duff Gordon knows she is talented. She sees color, light, and texture in ways few people can begin to imagine. But is the male dominated world of haute couture, who would use her art for their own gain, ready for her?
When she is deserted by her wealthy husband, Lucy is left penniless with an aging mother and her five-year-old daughter to support. Desperate to survive, Lucy turns to her one true talent to make a living. As a little girl, the dresses she made for her dolls were the envy of her group of playmates. Now, she uses her creative designs and her remarkable eye for color to take her place in the fashion world—failure is not an option. 
Then, on a frigid night in 1912, Lucy’s life changes once more, when she becomes one of 706 people to survive the sinking of the Titanic. She could never have imagined the effects the disaster would have on her fashion label Lucile, her marriage to her second husband, and her legacy. But no matter what life throws at her, Lucy will live on as a trailblazing and innovative fashion icon, never letting go of what she worked so hard to earn. 

My Review:

This was a fascinating look at someone from history who I had never heard of before! I quite enjoyed this book. An excellent read that I would definitely recommend!

I received a copy of the book from the publisher and blog tour company.


“Fans of the 1991 BBC series The House of Eliott will find familiar comfort in Arlen’s descriptions of fabrics, colorworks, and evolving fashions.” —Library Journal

“Tessa Arlen’s novel is as elegant as a Lucille gown, full of movement, color and beauty…For anyone interested in fashion, in the Gilded Age, in stories about strong, visionary woman, Tessa Arlen’s novel is a must read!” —Jeanne Mackin, author of The Last Collection

“A sumptuous treat of elegant prose, evocative descriptions, and compelling emotions. Arlen’s writing absolutely shines.” —Anna Lee Huber, USA TODAY Bestselling author of A Perilous Perspective

“Tessa Arlen delivers a fascinating tale based on the real-life fashion icon, Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon, who went up against a male dominated industry and revolutionized it…A must read for fashion fans everywhere.” —Renee Rosen, USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces

“…written in a sumptuous, engaging style that appeals to all the senses and brings Lucy, her creations, and her world vividly alive.” —Alyssa Maxwell, author of The Gilded Newport Mysteries




Tessa Arlen writes historical fiction when she is not toiling away in her garden. She is the author of the Edwardian mystery series: Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson; the Woman of World War II mystery series. Poppy Redfern. And two standalone historical novels: In Royal Service to the Queen, and A Dress of Violet Taffeta


Yay For Middle Grade Books! Interview With Leah Cypess!

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Leah Cypess, the author of Glass Slippers, which is out now! She has also written multiple YA novels, and the MG book, Thornwood, which is the first is the Sisters Ever After series.

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Glass Slippers?

Glass Slippers is the story of Cinderella’s forgotten third stepsister, Tirza, who was only a baby at the time of the Cinderella story. When the book starts, Tirza is being raised in Queen Ella’s palace, where most people are sure she’s just as wicked as the rest of her family.

Then Queen Ella’s famous glass slippers are stolen, two days before the annual anniversary ball. Everyone is sure that Tirza is the one who stole them.  Now she has two days to discover the real culprit and prove her innocence. But her investigation might uncover some secrets about Cinderella’s story… and about the fate of Tirza’s other two sisters.

What’s your favorite fairytale that you haven’t (at least not yet) written a retelling for?

Oh, that’s a tough one! I think I’m going to say The Snow Queen. It’s not my favorite, exactly, but I’ve always found it fascinating (Hans Christian Andersen had such a uniquely dark mind). It’s a challenge to write a retelling of it because the existing story is already so complex. Someday, though….

Random Question! What’s your favorite word?

Every author’s favorite word: OFFER!

If you're able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I’m under contract for six books in the SISTERS EVER AFTER series (!!!!!!), so I’m almost always working on one of them. In fact, I’m usually working on two at once – editing one and first-drafting another.  I just recently finished proofs for the third book, THE PIPER’S PROMISE (about the Pied Piper’s little sister), which will be published in April 2023, and I'm working on a second draft of the fourth book while also doing research for the fifth book.

What are some of your favorite MG books you've read recently? And what are some that you're looking forward to reading?

Another tough one! I was under deadline until literally yesterday, so unfortunately I haven’t read a ton recently. The last middle grade I finished was Aviva vs. the Dybbuk by Mari Lowe, which I absolutely loved. I’m currently in middle of The Mirrorwood by Deva Fagan, which so far is great. After that, I’m looking forward to The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat and A Comb of Wishes by Lisa Stringfellow.

Thank you to Leah Cypess for participating in this event! :)

Here are a few links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Yay For Middle Grade Books! Interview With Jenna Yoon!

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Jenna Yoon, the author of Lia Park and the Missing Jewel, which is out now!

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Lia Park and the Missing Jewel?

Lia Park and the Missing Jewel is the first book in a series and is perfect for fans for Storm Runner and the Aru Shah series. It is a thrilling middle grade contemporary fantasy that follows the adventures of a young girl as she ventures into the underworld kingdom of the Dragon King to save her parents from an evil diviner spirit. Lia Park and the Missing Jewel blends Korean art history, mythology and language into a fun, fast-paced, fantasy adventure to create an easily accessible entry point into Korean culture for all kids, and spark their curiosity. 

Lia Park is a Korean-American tween, who just wants to fit in. Her family belongs to a secret magic organization that Lia always wanted to join. Except for one big problem. She has no magic – or so she thinks. Lia decides to be a part of the normal people world instead. When she receives an invitation to the birthday bash of the year, her over protective parents forbid her from going. But Lia sneaks off and goes anyway because she believes that this will change her life. This sets off a chain of events leading to her parents being kidnapped by an evil diviner spirit. Lia travels to Korea with her best friend Joon, and must follow the clues left behind by her parents and recover the jewel before it’s too late.

Did you always want to write MG books?

I actually started off writing picture books but then quickly realized that the stories I wanted to tell would be a better fit for middle grade. So I switched to writing books for middle grade and couldn’t be happier. I think it’s an absolutely magical age range and am having so much fun writing.

Random Question! What’s your favorite holiday?

My favorite holidays are Christmas and New Years because that’s usually when the whole family could get together. We live in different countries and states, so those few weeks of winter holiday is such a special time for us to all come together and celebrate. I’ve also enjoyed creating new traditions with my kids such as having them pick out books to gift to another person in the family.

If you're able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on Book 2 of the Lia Park series. I’m so excited to share more of Lia’s adventures with you.

What are some of your favorite MG books you've read recently? And what are some that you're looking forward to reading?

Some favorite middle grade books I’ve recently read were Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu and Freddie Vs.the Family Curse by Tracy Badua, and The Lost Ryu by Emi Watanabe Cohen. I’m looking forward to reading Molly and the Machine by Erik Jon Slangerup, Etta Invincible by Reese Eschmann, and the Ghost of Spruce Point by Nancy Tandon.

Thank you to Jenna Yoon for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Jenna Yoon studied Art History at Wellesley College and received her Masters degree in Korean Art History from Ewha Woman’s University. She’s lived about half her life in both Korea and the United States. When she’s not writing, Jenna loves to travel, find yummy eats, play board games and takes skin care very seriously. Currently, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two kids.

LIA PARK AND THE MISSING JEWEL is Jenna’s debut MG book and will be published by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster in Summer 2022.

She is represented by Penny Moore at Aevitas Creative Management. 

Here are a few links:

Review: Summer on Blackberry Beach (Mistletoe, Maine #2)!

A faux summer fling seemed like the perfect solution . . .  until they start falling in love for real.
Teacher Stella Marshall’s summer break has just began, but the gossip is already sizzling: Luke Keegan’s back in town! Stella’s high school crush is all grown up and smolderingly sexy. She might even consider a fling with the former Navy SEAL, if she hadn’t already sworn off all romantic entanglements. But there isn’t a single thing she can do to stop the rumor mill whispering about her and Luke being together—unless . . .

A showmance! Luke never thought he’d propose a fake relationship, but it’s the only way to stop the runaway speculation about their love lives. Pretending to date a woman as stunning as Stella is easy. Not actually falling for her is the hard part. Luke isn’t sure he deserves a hometown happy ending, when members of his SEAL team never made it back at all. But there’s real attraction buzzing between him and Stella . . . and he knows she feels it too. Could their faux summer romance lead to true love?

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: I absolutely loved the first book in this authors Mistletoe, Maine series, so I knew this book was going to be a highly anticipated read for me. And when I read the summary and saw fake dating (my favorite trope) mentioned? Plus, it's set in summer, which is my favorite season. I was looking forward to this book so much! And I'm happy to write it did not disappoint. This was a lovely romance, with a perfect summer feel. 

Characters: Stella and Luke were great main characters, and the supporting cast was wonderful. I loved the glimpses of characters from the first book!

The Cover: I love it!

Overall: Where are my Hallmark movies based in this series?!? They would be perfect for that. This was an absolutely wonderful romance that I highly recommend reading!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Blog Tour: For The Love Of The Bard - Spotlight/Review!

To go for it or not to go for it? That is the question when two former high school flames return to their Shakespeare-obsessed hometown for a summer of theater and unexpected romance, in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author Jessica Martin.

Literary agent and writer Miranda Barnes rolls into her hometown of Bard's Rest with one goal in mind: to spend the summer finally finishing her YA novel, the next installment in her bestselling fantasy series. Yet Miranda's mother, deep in the planning stages for the centennial of the town's beloved annual Shakespeare festival, has other ideas.

Before you can say "all's fair in love and war," Miranda is cornered into directing Twelfth Night--while simultaneously scrambling to finish her book, navigating a family health scare, and doing her best to avoid the guy who broke her heart on prom night.

When it comes to Adam, the veterinarian with a talent for set design and an infuriating knack for winning over Miranda's dog, the lady doth protest too much. As any Shakespeare lovers knows, the course of true love never did run smooth, and soon Miranda realizes she'll have to decide whether to trust Adam with her heart again.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Review: I really enjoyed reading this adult romance! The characters were all great, and I loved the romance. Jessica Martin created a fantastic book, and I look forward to seeing what she writes next!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Yay For Middle Grade Books! Interview With George Jreije!

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with George Jreije, the author of Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria, which releases in October!

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria?

My novel follows 12-year-old Shad, who loves nothing more than his grandma and Arabic sweets, but is fiercely independent. When he discovers he comes from a long line of alchemists, receiving an invitation to the mysterious Alexandria Academy, he can’t wait to learn more about the ancient art. Yet uncovering his knack for alchemy also makes him a target for the necromancers, a group working in the shadows to revive a forgotten evil. To beat them, he’ll have to rely on his newfound skills as well as overcome his aversion to working with others. Only then can he save the world of alchemy from chaos.  

What was the inspiration for the book?

My inspiration came from wanting to create a more original alternative to the traditional magic we see in many fantasy books. Alchemy had roots in Arabic-speaking countries, which is where I’m from, so this seemed like a very natural—and fun—direction to go. Shad Hadid himself is a reflection of the boy I had been at his age, which is where his inspiration came from as well as why he’s such a troublemaker! 

Random Question! What’s your favorite word?

A tough question, but probably “Salaam”. It’s an Arabic word that means peace, and can be a greeting. It just makes me happy that I can meet people and wish them peace!

If you're able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m working on the second book in my series! The world of Alchemy has been so exciting to live in, and I’m always eager to return to it. My writing tends to be cinematic, and the first book is full of unexpected twists, so I’m working hard to live up to that in the next installment.

What are some of your favorite MG books you've read recently? And what are some that you're looking forward to reading?

Recently, I’ve really enjoyed HANA TSU AND THE GHOST CRAB NATION by Sylvia Liu and NURA AND THE IMMORTAL PALACE by M.T. Khan. I’m looking forward to reading ZACHARY YING AND THE DRAGON EMPEROR by Xiran Jay Zhao as well as SIR CALLE AND THE CHAMPIONS OF HELSTON by Esme Symes-Smith.  

Thank you to George Jreije for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: George Jreije is the Lebanese-American author of SHAD HADID AND THE ALCHEMISTS OF ALEXANDRIA, a forthcoming children’s fantasy novel with HarperCollins. He has also written short stories published in collaboration with UNICEF. When not writing, George enjoys helping other writers via mentorship or his freelance editing services, trying tasty Arabic pastries, and messing with new yoga poses.

Here are a few links:

His Website

His Twitter

His Instagram

Review: Never Marry a Scandalous Duke!

Review: Never Marry a Scandalous Duke by Renee Ann Miller

A thoroughly roguish nobleman and a devoted lady entomologist have absolutely nothing in common—or do they? Love is far from scientific when it truly blooms...

In the eyes of the ton, Lady Sara Elsmere is so firmly on the shelf, she might as well be nailed in place. Not that Sara minds. She is far more concerned about her study of butterflies than society’s gossip. Of course, it’s also true that the nervous laughter that ruined Sara’s debut—and every social event thereafter—is a bit embarrassing. She can hardly help it—men are quite nerve-wracking. Except for one: the rake who pulls her into a dark room during a costume ball and kisses her senseless. He doesn’t make her titter, he makes her burn...

Ian McAllister, the Duke of Dorcester, is perfectly satisfied to remain a rogue for the rest of his days. But when he finds he has kissed the wrong shepherdess, albeit a decidedly luscious one, he’s faced with a dilemma. His indiscretion with an innocent may cost him a lucrative business arrangement—and his two scapegrace wards need a maternal influence they can’t scare away. Promising Sara the use of her dowry to fund her studies seals the pair’s businesslike deal. But as they embark on their life together, they discover that their mutual attraction has sparked a desire not easily tamed—and certain feelings each of them are surprised to own.

Can their matrimonial experiment possibly end in real love?

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: I really enjoyed the plot of this one! Marriage of convenience stories are always fun, and I quite liked Sara and Ian's relationship. Sara being an entomologist was nice! And there is a twist in the story towards the end, that I did not expect at all! 

Characters: The characters were what made this story for me, from Sara and Ian, to the boys, the butler, and their friends, I liked them all!

The Cover: I really like it, I love how bright the colors are on it!

Overall: This was a great historical romance novel, and I would definitely recommend reading it!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Yay For Middle Grade Books! Interview With Sonja Thomas!

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Sonja Thomas, the author of Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence, which is out now!

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence?


Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence is about a twelve-year-old scientist named Mira Williams who will stop at nothing to save her sick cat, Sir Fig Newton, when her parents can no longer afford to treat his diabetes. It’s a story about friendship, family, and the power of persistence.

What was the inspiration for the book?


The inspiration for Sir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence came from real life. My first cat Whiskey was diagnosed with diabetes and a co-worker had shared with his young son who has Type I diabetes that my cat was receiving insulin shots. His son was so excited, that he’d said, “If a cat can get insulin shots, then so can I!”


At that moment, I knew I had to write Whiskey’s story.

Random Question! What’s your favorite time of year?



If you're able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?


My short story “Lovebugs Bite” will be coming out this July in the fantasy/sci-fi anthology Beware the Bugs. Although I can’t get into details, I just wrapped up my third freelance project, historical chapter books to supplement fourth grade social studies textbooks. I also have some projects on submission, so keeping my anxious mind busy by focusing on school visits, speaking at various events, and daydreaming about new story ideas.

What are some of your favorite MG books you've read recently? And what are some that you're looking forward to reading?


Sadly, I’m way behind on my TBR pile, but the most recent middle grade books that I’ve read and loved are Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin, The House That Wasn't There by Elana K. Arnold, and JR Silver Writes Her World by Melissa Dassori.

I’m really looking forward to reading Every Bird a Prince by Jenn Reese, Dad's Girlfriend and Other Anxieties by Kellye Crocker, and Etta Invincible by Reese Eschmann.

Thank you to Sonja Thomas for participating in this event! :)

Author BioSONJA THOMAS (she/her) writes stories for readers of all ages, often featuring brave, everyday girls doing extraordinary things. Raised in Central Florida—home of the wonderful world of Disney, humidity, and hurricanes—and a Washington, DC transplant for 11 years (go Nats!), she's now “keeping it weird” in the Pacific Northwest.

 Ruled by coffee & cats, a few of her favorite things are

  • dancing to music blasting in the living room 

  • traveling to new places and buying a magnet before leaving

  • snuggling with her furry friend, Gabbie Lu (just don't let her roommate's 3 other cats know!)

She's a contributing author for Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl MagicSir Fig Newton and the Science of Persistence is her debut middle grade novel 

Here are a few links:

Her Website

Her Twitter

Her Instagram