Category Archives: Book Review

Dear Delilah by T Bester Book Review

Title: Dear Delilah35701298__UY2208_SS2208_

Author: T. Bester

Genre: New Adult

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Published: August 2017




 

It has been said that boys and girls can never be ‘just’ friends, and until Nathan Penn barged into my life, I thought it was complete and utter nonsense. But one night changed everything, and what I thought was the defining moment in our friendship turned out to be more than either of us were ready for.
When my boss tasks me with writing the University’s new sex advice column, Dear Delilah, I make it quite clear that I’m the least qualified person for the job – my experience is limited to one sexual encounter that taught me about love and loss all at once.
So what makes me say ‘yes’?
Simple.
A distraction.
Something to take my mind off Nathan.
But once I start, I find myself wanting to be the voice of the girl who’s too afraid to ask for advice, the girl who wants to own her sexuality but doesn’t know how. Sounds easy enough.
Except it isn’t.
It’s complicated, and messy and awkward, and when Nathan offers to help, I’m caught between a rock and his hard place. Literally.
It’s only when my identity is threatened that I realize I might be in over my head. With all of it.




 

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

After reading the synopsis for this book, I was really excited to dive right in, thinking it would be a fun book to fly through. I was mistaken. According to my kindle, I only had an hour reading time left and I decided to DNF this book, I cannot finish it. I can’t recall ever reading a book where I didn’t care what happened to the characters in the end, until this one.

The characters were flat. I don’t think they had any loveable traits. If you were to take out the dialogue tags, I couldn’t tell you who might say what because everyone was just that boring. The character development was almost non-existent in this novel. The only character that had any ‘spunk’ was Nathan’s sister and I got really annoyed with her because it seemed like she was pressuring Sav too much to be sexually empowered. She did not sit well with me.

The setting was bland. It really bothered me that it felt like Sav was always just sitting in the room and no one else was around. What do I mean by this? When she went into the newspaper department, I never saw anyone else there but Toby. When I hear talk of a school newspaper, I think of the newspaper from Gilmore Girls where people were always bustling around, trying to meet deadlines, this newspaper just seemed… dead. It was as if Toby, Nathan and Sav were the only staff. I wanted more description. It seemed like Sav and her friends were the only people who existed on campus.

The romance was not swoon-worthy. I love romance, but there really wasn’t any in this novel. Nothing about Nathan seemed to make him good book boyfriend material. I’ve seen more loveable villains.

Why did I not give this one star if I hated it so much? Because I feel like this had the opportunity to be a really good book. From other reviews I’ve read, everyone loved the synopsis, but the writing was lacking. I’m assuming since this was an ARC, there were drastic changes that were made between when I received it a few months back and the actual publication. My copy read more like a first (very) rough draft.

 

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November 9 Review by Colleen Hoover

Title: November 925111004

Author: Colleen Hoover

Rating: 5/5 stars




 

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.




 

I’m sure if you’re reading a blog about books, you’ve probably experienced the feeling I’m about to explain. You know when you finish a book and you just don’t know what to do with yourself? You got so invested in the characters lives that once you put the book down, you can’t imagine ever starting another book because you loved the last characters so much? That’s how I felt after reading November 9. This book has made it to the tip top of my favorites list.

Prior to reading November 9, I hadn’t enjoyed the books that I’ve read from Hoover, so I wasn’t expecting much from this one. I only started it because I saw it was on sale since it’s November. This book exceeded my expectations. The characters were beautiful, I loved the plot, and I adored how we only got to see the one day out of the entire year for these characters.

I laughed, cried, screamed… everything while reading this novel. I’ve never experienced such a crazy roller coaster of feelings.

I don’t want to say too much, and spoil this amazing novel, but I must say, it comes full circle but I was still very shocked by the plot twist. Normally, I can predict pretty well what will happen, but not with this one.

Even though I loved this book, I’ve seen many negative reviews, mostly on Goodreads. This novel has stirred some unnecessary controversy (guys, it’s fiction, get off of Hoover’s metaphorical dick!) that I don’t really agree with, but we’re all free to have our own opinions. I won’t go into those reviews because I don’t think they deserve attention, and I’m kind of still fuming from the annoying tumblr rants, sadly, Hoover felt like she had to apologize for some of what was written. That being said, proceed with caution when reading this book, but also have an open mind.

I’m planning on ordering an autographed copy of this novel from her website, if that helps you understand just how much I enjoyed the lives of Ben and Fallon. Three days after finishing this book, I’m still having issues with moving on from their story.

Well done, Hoover, well done!

gFMhf

 

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Wytches (Vol. 1) by Snyder

Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the81HOHp3nwWL remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.




 

It’s kind of tough to give a review of a graphic novel… and I’m just now realizing that. It was even hard for me to pick what star review I should give this also. I found this graphic novel/comic to be very creepy but also mysterious at the same time. I loved the bond between Sailor and her dad, though there were times I didn’t really understand their relationship. Sailor has anxiety and I couldn’t tell if her dad hated her for it or was worried about her. We have these flashbacks that seem to be her dad trying to put her in a situation that she doesn’t want to be in, thinking she needs to fight her fears but I don’t think it worked out too well. Though, we do see Sailor’s strength and thirst for life come out later in the comic.

I loved the plot, but some of the actual conversation bubbles were tough to read. I’m not a expert reviewer/reader of graphic novels, so I might be alone on this thought but I felt like the font size and type was not good on the eyes. This took away from the story a bit for me.

I think I’d give this a 3/5 stars. Plot was great, but a little tough to follow. You can’t just stop in the middle of this and pick it up again, you have to keep pushing through so you don’t miss out on anything. Hoping this story continues on! Would love to see more of the wytches!

Top Ten by Katie Cotugno Book Review

Title: Top TenTopTen_1

Author: Katie Cotugno

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 3/5 Stars



 

Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship:

10. Where to begin? Maybe the night we met.
9. Then there was our awkward phase.
8. When you were in love with me but never told me…
7. Those five months we stopped talking were the hardest of my life.
6. Through terrible fights…
5. And emotional makeups.
4. You were there for me when I got my heart broken.
3. …but at times, you were also the one breaking it.
2. Above all, you helped me make sense of the world.
1. Now, as we head off to college—how am I possibly going to live without you?



 

I didn’t think it would happen, but I’ve finally read a book of Katie Cotugno’s that I wasn’t thrilled about. I’ve never given her anything less than a five star until this novel. It won’t stop me from reading her stuff in the future, but I don’t think it was nearly as good as 99 Days of How to Love.

Gabby’s Anxiety

Gabby reminded me so much of myself. She hates being put in social situations, doesn’t want to be in a crowd, hates parties and constantly thinks she makes mistakes and dwells on the past. Literally. Me. There were moments I thought, ‘Shit, Cotugno, how’d you get into my brain and write my anxiety so well?’ She did a great job at the ‘panicers’ and anxiety, but I found myself really annoyed with Gabby for how she treated Ryan and her sisters sometimes. She came off as a total ass and I know she didn’t mean to, but you can only blame the anxiety for so long.

Sexuality

I was also put off my Gabby being bi, I’m not a big fan about ready non-heterosexual romance (I’m not against this, I’m just not a fan of reading something I can’t relate to like that). I feel like if you’re going to make a character bi/gay/trans it needs to be in the synopsis, especially since this played a huge role in the book. I may be the only one who feels this way, and forgive me if I sound ignorant, but that’s how I felt.

Out of Order Plot

How to Love was written in a THEN/NOW alternating chapters, which I loved. This novel however did a countdown that was mixed in some areas. Had it been written their senior year, backwards until you get to when they meet each other, that would have been easier to follow.

 

For Ryan and Gabby being best friends, I feel like they never actually knew how to handle one another, they seemed to constantly be stepping around their feelings for each other. This drove me absolutely nuts! Ryan was always worried about setting off Gabby and Gabby was always worried about pissing off Ryan. It didn’t seem healthy for either of them. And poor Ryan! I felt like Gabby was constantly messing with his emotions!

 

 

 

 

Dirty (Dive Bar Book 1) by Kylie Scott Review

Title: Dirty (Dive Bar 1)25671827

Author: Kylie Scott

Genre: Romance

Rating: 3/5 Stars



 

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that come with her.

Lydia Green doesn’t know whether to scream or cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it’s with his best man is another thing all together.

Just when this runaway bride has nowhere left to turn, a handsome stranger offers her a broad, muscular shoulder to cry on. Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessmen she’s normally drawn to. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and is facing his own crossroads. But Lydia’s already tried Mr. Right and discovered he’s all wrong–maybe it’s time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what’s wrong with getting dirty?



 

After I read Trust by Scott, I was really excited to check out some of her other books. I was a little let down by this one, it wasn’t as good as Trust was and I felt like things moved way too quickly. The ‘instalove’ was VERY instant in this novel. It started out hilarious, I mean, what would you do if you found a porn of your soon-to-be husband having sex with his groomsmen? Talk about dodging a bullet.

One thing I’m not a fan of in Kylie Scott’s books is how she makes her characters self-conscious of their body weight. Unless it has to do with the plot, which it didn’t in this novel, don’t make it part of the story. I feel like she’s only writing overweight characters in order to get a target audience. Not into that.

This novel takes place over one week… as I mentioned before about the instant love between these two characters, I wasn’t lying. Even Lydia says at the end of the book that they moved too fast.

With all that said, I might still read book two in the series (Twist) just to see if it’s any better.

 

October Wrap Up & Preparing For NaNoWriMo

 

October Wrap Up/ Halloween Read-a-thon

 

If you’re interested in checking out my Halloween Read-A-Thon post, click here.

 

Dearly Departed by Rachael Rawlings- 4/5 Stars. This is an amazing story but it’s a bit slow moving until the final chapter. I felt like Eli/Thomas was only in love with Thea because he felt like he owed her something. I would have loved to see more romance between the two. Rawlings, however, does set this up for the sequel pretty well. This did complete one of my Read-A-Thon challenges for the month of October, this was my read 7 books. First one off the list!

Dirty (Dive Bar Novel) by Kylie Scott- 3/5 Stars. Wasn’t the best, but it was a cute story. If you’re looking for a romance novel with tatted up guys, minimal sexy scenes (for this type of novel anyway), and a fast paced plot, this one is for you. This also completed two of my readathon challenges, reading 7 books and trick or treat which was a free pick from any genre.

The Engagement Plot by Krista Phillips-   I received this via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. DNF. Great plot but the formatting on my kindle edition was horrible and I couldn’t stand to read past chapter 5 of this. I’m sure they have the kinks out of it by now, so if you’re into cutesy, romance novels, check this one out.

Top Ten by Katie Cotugno- 3/5 Stars I totally forgot this one was coming out in October! It fell very short for me though. Full review coming in two weeks.

Wytches Volume 1 by Scott Snyder- This was extremely creepy! Started it just in time for the week leading up to Halloween. Loved the art, but at times it was tough to follow who was walking and what was going on. Very dark art. I haven’t finished it, but thought it should be included since it was the only creepy thing I read during October.

 

 

 

Honorable Mention: I did start reading IT by Stephen King, this will be my first ever It_1990_Promotional_PosterStephen King book. Obviously, I didn’t finish it yet since it’s over 900 pages but IT’s okay so far. I wish it had the kids in it more like in the movies. Only 3% into IT so far. Loved the movie remake so much that I ended up naming the new kitten we rescued, Pennywise and I got this sick new tattoo…

 

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Halloween/Horror Movies I Watched in October

 

  • Stephen King’s It (Original)- Was not a fan of the original!
  • Hocus Pocus– A tradition for me, watch this movie as many times as possible in the month of October.
  • Tucker and Dale VS Evil– Another favorite of mine. A comedy horror about teenagers who keep killing themselves on a hillbilly’s property.
  • Sleepy Hollow- I’m a sucker for Johnny Depp Halloween movies. Plus, one of our cats is named Ichabod, so of course I had to watch this.
  • The Babysitter- This is a Netflix horror comedy with just enough gore and humor to make it onto my favorite movie list.
  • Friday the 13th (remake)- One of the very first horror movies I ever watched. I forgot half the plot line since I first saw it when it came out in 2009, so I jumped, many, many times.  
  • Corpse Bride- A classic that’s always on my list to watch. Sometimes you have to take a break from the gore and horror.
  • Don’t BreathThis had a great plot, but I found so many issues with it that I was kind of annoyed with the movie by the time the credits rolled. There were a few interests WTF moments though, and those almost made up for it.
  • Mama- When this movie first came out, I said I would NEVER watch it. It looked scary as hell! I ended up watching this one morning by myself (during daylight, it’s easier for me to watch horror movies) and I loved it. Not nearly as scary as I thought it would be, but the mama figure was one of the creepiest creatures I’ve ever seen in a horror movie.

 

 

National Novel Writing Month Preparations & Goals

 

NaNo-2017-Participant-Facebook-Cover

 

So since I published my first novel, I’m bound and determined to have my second one out by May next year. What does this mean? I have to finish the novel I’ve been working on during both Camp NaNo sessions this summer.

As of right now, I have 53,486 words written on this novel, so I’d like to write 22k more words in November to finish it up.

What I’m first going to do is go through and edit what I have the first week of NaNoWriMo. That way I know what I have to work with and I can get a refresher on my characters. Hopefully after some edits, I’ll have a bit more added into the story, sensory details and what not.

Then I’m going to finish the ending. I have most of it already written down in a notebook so as long as nothing major changes in the plot, I’ll be AOK.

I’m still working on the title. It’s currently called ‘On Lake Time’ which I think is super cheesy and I don’t like it at all. I feel like it’s too adult romance and I need something fun since it’s YA. The novel follows a girl who gets in trouble the last few weeks of her senior year at Catholic school, so her parents’ punishment is for her to go work all summer down at their lake house. She ends up meeting a family who shows her what love really is and she gets very close to their son, who is in a band. That’s about all I can say without spoiling anything. Any suggestions for a title? Leave them in a comment!

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino Book Review

Title: Before We Were Strangers23309634

Author: Renee Carlino

Genre: New Adult/Adult

Rating: 5/5 Stars




 

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

M




 

Before We Were Strangers is a story of friendship, love, loss and finding your way. This novel is beautifully written and deserves nothing less than 5 stars. I was taken on an emotional roller coaster while reading the story of Matt and Grace, I devoured this book in one weekend. It was with me everywhere I went.

Matt and Gracie try their best to be just friends, but they can’t fight the chemistry. Have you ever felt like you’re just meant to be with someone, because Matt and Grace know they should be together forever, the only problem with these quick moving relationships is that they can come crashing down.

I felt this horrible feeling throughout the book that there would be no happy ending for Grace and Matt. Carlino did such an amazing job establishing that fear along with the setting and characters.

Carlino gives these subtle hints throughout the novel of what’s going to happen in the end and they’re easily forgotten or read right over, but once you get to the end, all those things come rushing back to you! This novel was brilliant.

You have to read this one…

 

 

Everything, Everything Book Review/Movie Comparison

Title: Everything, EverythingEverything,_Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 5/5 Stars




 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.




 

Book Review

This book was amazing. I’m not sure how to put how amazing it was, into words. I read it because I saw the movie trailer and I really wanted to watch it but thought the book was worth a try.

I loved Maddy because of how pure and kind she was. She can’t remember a time of ever leaving her house, she literally didn’t understand the concept of traffic. The things we take for granted, are things Maddy was just getting to experience at 18 for the first time. Olly brought out this new person in her and he was so caring and concerned for her.

I’m a huge lover of insta-love in books, so I was kind of worried how this one would play out because the characters don’t get too much interaction together. However, I was not disappointed at all. It was the perfect about of swoony, cute, first love and personal dilemmas with Maddy.

Olly was the perfect image of the boy next door that most girls dream of falling in love with. Enough bad boy vibe, but nothing over the top. Maddy and Olly made one another into better versions of themselves and I think that’s a romance worth looking up to.

I think this may have been my favorite book that I’ve read this year.

The movie, on the other hand, is another story….

Movie Adaptation

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I was so excited to watch the movie adaptation. When I heard this was going to be a movie, I immediately bought a copy to read before it came out. Me being me, I procrastinated all summer and then just waited for it to come out on DVD/BluRay. Sadly, the movie fell way short in my opinion, probably because the book was so fresh on my mind, so I was picking everything they did wrong with it.

I loved these scenes when they were in Hawaii, those were my favorite, but I missed the visit and conversation with Olly’s friend, that seemed like a big part to miss out on, along with the visit with her nurse before she left.

The way they handled the text conversations could have been better. If I hadn’t read the book I would have been really confused. My parents watched this with me and they didn’t understand how one second they were just texting and the next they’re in the diner or library together. However, I did love the astronaut in the background. My favorite part of the whole movie had to be when he was trying to drink his milkshake and he couldn’t because of his helmet. I could not stop laughing!

The casting of Olly and Maddy were fantastic, I felt like these two really pulled off these roles well. I wasn’t too thrilled with the casting for the mother though, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t she supposed to be Korean and the father African-American?

They should have also stepped out Olly’s father’s drinking and abuse. They hint at it, but not enough.

Overall, I’d give this movie a 2/5 stars. Yeah, I said it, ouch. Was not a fan.

September Wrap Up & October TBR

As you’ll notice in my blog by the lack of actual ‘book review’ posts during September and going into October, I’ve been going through a reading slump. I started three different books and only finished one.

I’d like to blame my book reading slump on the fact that my own novel release was taking up most of my time, but it wasn’t. I still had plenty of time to read, just couldn’t find the desire. Instead, I filled my time up with binge watching Bates Motel.

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September and October also hold the busiest months for me (on weekends) because I have a ton of birthdays in the family and all the haunted houses and Ren Fests that I want to attend. I do most of my reading on weekends, so, you can see the issue.

So, guess how many books I finished in September….

Zero.

Well, that’s a lie. I did read my own book because I was editing it before it was published. I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I wrote some funny parts in my novel. It’s a cutesy summer YA read and if you like Jenny Han or Katie Cotugno, you might enjoy my novel. It comes out October 1st! I’ll probably have a page on my blog where you can order a signed copy from me, sooner or later.

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October TBR

 

For October, I decided to try and get in on a Halloween Read-a-Thon that Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews is doing. I’m hoping this will take out my reading slump for the month of October. We shall see! Lauren is also doing a giveaway, so go check out her post!

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So this is actually a erotica novel that I got for free and started in September but got distracted. It’s not creepy, but the cover does creep me out and the main male character isn’t human, I’m not sure what he is actually…

I guess I’ll find out…

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I don’t normally read scary books, so there’s nothing on my TBR in that genre that I’ve been putting off, but I might as well finish up books that I’ve started and try to get them off my reading list. This one will be a decent treat… if you know what I mean… haha!

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Of course I’m going to be watching scary movies this month! I also have a blog post coming up in October about my top favorite horror movies. I think I’m going to try and finish the original IT for this challenge, I only have about an hour left of it. We all know I’ll be watching the usual Tim Burton collection though!

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Easily done, the only time I really have time to read is after dark. I always read between 8pm-11pm. 🙂

 

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I guess you could say this book series is a bit paranormal…

Hoping to read all three, but we’ll see what happens.

Nevermore-Kelly-Creagh

 

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Meh, I don’t really have one that I’m interested in at the moment.

 

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Book two in the Nevermore series hopefully!

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Let’s do this!

 

 

Cover Reveal and 10 Fun Facts About The Last July!

With the upcoming release of my very first novel, I thought it would be fun to share some facts about The Last July as it went from it’s very rough first draft to the final edit. Today is also my birthday, and for my birthday, I’d like to share my cover reveal with my blog followers! This has been a long time coming!

  • The Last July was originally in two different POV’s, Penelope and Sampson’s.
  • In the first few drafts, TLJ was a story about a romance between a camper and counselor. It wasn’t until the final two drafts that Penelope was almost 18 and Sampson was slightly younger.
  • The very first draft of TLJ was written in the Spring of 2014 during Camp NaNoWriMo, I didn’t go to finish it until April 2016 when it was only 31k words. It still wasn’t finished! So it pretty much took me three to four years to write this novel, I just took many breaks. Too many breaks.
  • Some of the camp activities in the novel are my favorite things that I did at camp when I was younger. Swimming, hiking, capture the flag, even the mashed potato mohawks!
  • Camp Arthur is based off of the camp I attended as a kid/teen in Ohio, but is set in Tennessee because it’s one of my favorite places to vacation.
  • I’ve hiked Abrams Falls (twice) and it’s a very tough trail! But the waterfall is so worth it!
  • I wrote about five different final chapters, never sure of how I wanted Sampson and Penelope’s story to end. I finally went to my husband to give me their ending. Yay for having a husband who is also an author!
  • In one of the many drafts, Penelope’s friend, Jenny was supposed to be a camper who suffered an awful fate of a bee sting. I quickly realized that was a bit too morbid, I was watching Game of Thrones at the time.
  • TLJ is a stand alone, but I do plan on writing in the world of Camp Arthur again one day.
  • The authors that I got some inspiration from over the years were Sarah Dessen and Katie Cotugno. I love their contemporary summer romances! Hopefully, one day I can inspire someone the way they inspired me!

 

I also made a blog post for the songs that inspired some scenes in the novel, find that one here. And a sneak peak that can be found here.

The Last July is set to come out very soon, fingers crossed. Follow the blog for updates on the release, deals, and pre-order!

This is an exclusive blog post that I won’t be sharing to any of my other social media platforms! So you guys get to be the first to hear the news!

Guys, now I’m starting to feel like an author!

Here’s the cover! Tada!

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