Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: Heartless

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Rating: 3 Stars

Book Title: Heartless

Author: Marissa Meyer

Release Date: November 8th 2016

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 464


I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m not sure Heartless was my favorite of Meyer’s writing.  While I ADORED The Lunar Chronicles and had high expectations for Heartless, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.  I should also mention, this is a standalone which I did not know going into it.

Favorite Bits:
o   The Alice in Wonderland references: It’s so hard for me to go into a book that’s a spinoff/retelling of Alice in Wonderland without any bias.  Add the fact that the book is written by one of my favorite authors and the bias just doubled.  What was great about Heartless wasn’t just the bits of the book that included parts of the original Alice in Wonderland (ie the mad hatter, jabberwock, or great tea parties).  It was HOW Meyer incorporated these old characters and original storyline into her own story. It didn’t feel like reading Alice in Wonderland, it felt like it’s own story but with a bit of Wonderland dust sprinkled on it
Not So Favorite Bits:
o   There was one reoccurring aspect of Heartless that I found bothersome. Even though it wasn’t her fault that she was raised a Lady and as such, her parents had certain expectations for her (especially her mother), Cath didn’t do a great job of rebelling against them at first. There’s a specific scene where Hatta tells Cath he has no time for “spineless creatures” and that he doesn’t trust her because she was leading Jest on while also allowing herself to be courted by the King.  During the scene Cath is dumbfounded because she can’t believe he said that to her and all the while I was thinking HELLO. The Hatta is completely right! The entire first half of the book Cath was so worried about what her mom would say/think/do it drove me crazy.  I do understand that was part of Cath’s personality and that she was timid about standing up to her parents, but at some point I wanted to see her show some backbone and stop dragging Jest along because I agreed 100% with Hatta. Cath was so worried about the King courting her and spends all this time complaining about it, but she did little to help herself by leading him on (as well as Jest) instead of just telling him she wasn’t interested. She should never have allowed things with the King to get as far as they did unless she was interested in him. And even if she did, then she needed to stop complaining and deal with the consequences of her actions. Because she only had herself to blame.
o   The ending: Honestly, I am not a fan whatsoever of the ending and it is what brought my original rating of this book from a 3.5 to a 3.  The ending would have been fine HAD it been part of a series.  After finding out that this was a standalone from Meyer herself, whom I tweeted immediately after finishing Heartless, the ending was completely ruined for me.

All in all, I liked the worldbuilding and the retelling aspect of Heartless, but there were more cons than pros for me reading this.  If you can deal with a less than perfect ending though (I confess, I’m on the happy ending bandwagon all the way) I think you’ll fare better with this book than me. Anyone already read an ARC of Heartless? If so, what did you think of the ending?


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Waiting on Wednesday is a featured post hosted by Breaking the Spine that discusses upcoming releases that bloggers are excited about. 

This week's book I am looking forward to in 2017 is:
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Expected Release Date: February 7th, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 448

In the third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Red Queen series, Mare is forced to play a psychological cat-and-mouse game with an old and deadly enemy, where the stakes are not only the future of the Red Rebellion but the sanctity of her own mind.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (22)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Books On My Fall TBR List
1. The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
2. The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa
3. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
4. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke
5.  Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare
6. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
7. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
8. The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
9. The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold #1) by Traci Chee
10. The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Friday, September 23, 2016

Review: The Iron Knight

My name - my True Name - is Ashallayn’ darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…
To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase - a half human, half fey slip of a girl - smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end - a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.
To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Book Title: The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey #4)

Author: Julie Kagawa

Release Date: October 26th, 2011

Pages: 400

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

   They say count your blessings! And let me tell you, you won’t hear me forget to count mine after finding out there was a fourth book to Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey Series! Seriously, my heart hurts for those of you who read this series when it first came out, because I can’t imagine having read the third book, The Iron Queen, thinking the series ended there. ALL. THE. FEELS. Luckily Julie’s editor (or publicist) encouraged her to write another book in this series so that there would be more of a happy ending (THANK GOSH). I won’t lie, I was a teensy bit mad at Kagawa after reading about that in her acknowledgements for book 4, when she mentioned she thought Meghan’s journey ended where it did in book 3 because she thought it was more realistic. OUCH. Either way, I am entirely too happy with how this series ended overall and I was even more ecstatic to learn that The Iron Knight was told from Ash’s POV for most of the book.  #teamash

Favorite Bits:
o   The scene with the “evil doppelgangers” (as Puck so calls them): Imagine the mirror room at a fun house/carnival, the ones that distort appearances, long halls crammed with floor to ceiling mirrors.  Now add an evil twin of yourself who is trying to kill you. Creepy, right? Besides having a weird fascination with doppelgangers to begin with (I blame Vampire Diaries), I thought it was interesting to see what each of them could potentially become should they give in to their dark sides. We witnessed snippets of these personalities in the past in some of the other books in the series. Ash, when we first meet him, is pretty dark and has shut off most of his emotions.  Puck even has displayed instances of his darker side, usually when he’s fighting, or when his jealousy got the best of him and he took his rage out on Ash. The scene with the doppelgangers before Ash’s trials began was almost like a wake-up call or warning of what they could be if they weren’t careful.  My favorite part of this scene though was when Puck looks over to find Grimalkin watching the fight.  While everyone else is battling their evil twin in the mirror room, both Grimalkin and his doppelganger are watching everyone while reminding them that they are running out of time. Leave it to Grimalkin to stay out of danger as normal!

                   “ ‘Shouldn’t you two be trying to kill each other?’ The Grimalkins                                      sniffed. ‘Please,’ they said at the same time."

o   The unexpectedness of the trials: I think I was just as dumfounded at the trials and what was expected of Ash as he was.  I was so sure it would be similar to the Triwizard Tournament, with at least a few fire breathing dragons, or battling to the death.  It’s Faery after all! Instead, the trials that Ash goes through in order to gain a soul are a precursor to what it is like to be a human rather than the immortal Fey he is. I thought they were all too fitting for the reward he was hoping to gain should he win, and I loved that they ended up being much different from what I was expecting.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cover Reveal: My Junior Year of Loathing by Jennifer DiGiovanni

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
My Junior Year of Loathing by Jennifer DiGiovanni
Be on the look out for this upcoming release from Swoon Romance!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Junior year is supposed to be tough. Exams, term papers, homework, college tours, and participation in extra-curricular activities can all add up to non-stop stress. But Melinda Banner has goals to achieve and dreams to make real. This year, she’ll be unstoppable. But even over achievers need a break.
While walking in the woods to take a break from the stress of it all, Melinda meets a boy named Connor. After a few more run-ins, the two settle into an uneasy friendship, if you can even call it that.
But Connor's closed and mysterious. Whenever Melinda asks too many questions, he suddenly has to go or is no longer interested in talking. When they’re together, she’s torn between wanting him to open up and running away as fast as she can. Still she can't seem to shake her budding interest in him.
Connor has his own way of looking at the world, and his views often conflict with Melinda’s practical nature. Can you like someone and loathe them at the same time? Is he even worth the emotional tug on her heartstrings or distraction from all things Junior year?
And, as if she needs another project right now, Melinda starts to obsess over the abandoned estate she passes on the way to school each day. Between Connor and the old estate, Melinda's beginning to think she's taking on too much.
But Melinda's smart. She finds a way to indulge her interest in the estate and fulfill her obligations. She will uncover the truth behind the aging edifice for an epic article in the school newspaper.
But when her investigation reveals a connection between Connor and a tragedy long-since forgotten, Melinda has a choice: put off her junior year achievements to save a local landmark and a boy who constantly pushes her away or put them both out of her mind for good and focus on making the grade.
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My Junior Year of Loathing by Jennifer DiGiovanni Publication Date: October 25, 2016 Publisher: Swoon Romance
Available for Pre-order: Amazon
Jennifer DiGiovanni
Jennifer DiGiovanni is the author of the School Dayz Series. When she’s not writing or reading, she likes to try new sports and activities from archery to ballroom dancing, with varying degrees of success.
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (15)

Waiting on Wednesday is a featured post hosted by Breaking the Spine that discusses upcoming releases that bloggers are excited about. 

This week's book I am looking forward to in 2017 is:

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Expected Release Date: January 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

All Etta Spencer wanted was to make her violin debut when she was thrust into a treacherous world where the struggle for power could alter history. After losing the one thing that would have allowed her to protect the Timeline, and the one person worth fighting for, Etta awakens alone in an unknown place and time, exposed to the threat of the two groups who would rather see her dead than succeed. When help arrives, it comes from the last person Etta ever expected—Julian Ironwood, the Grand Master’s heir who has long been presumed dead, and whose dangerous alliance with a man from Etta’s past could put them both at risk.

Meanwhile, Nicholas and Sophia are racing through time in order to locate Etta and the missing astrolabe with Ironwood travelers hot on their trail. They cross paths with a mercenary-for-hire, a cheeky girl named Li Min who quickly develops a flirtation with Sophia. But as the three of them attempt to evade their pursuers, Nicholas soon realizes that one of his companions may have ulterior motives.

As Etta and Nicholas fight to make their way back to one another, from Imperial Russia to the Vatican catacombs, time is rapidly shifting and changing into something unrecognizable… and might just run out on both of them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (21)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten of My Favorite Bands/Solo Artists 
When I saw the freebie topic for this week I immediately started panicking. How do I pick just 10 of my favorite artists? Or songs? Or albums?! As a music junkie, this was a really hard one for me this week! But I found picking my favorite songs/albums was even harder to do, considering most of my auto-buy artists I love most of their songs/albums. I'm always looking for new suggestions for music, especially lately since I have Apple music and can stream as much as I want! Who are some bands/songs you've been loving lately? Discover any new ones I should know about?
1. The Script
2. One Republic
3. Bob Marley
4. Sara Bareilles
5. Keith Urban
6. Colbie Caillat
7. MercyMe
8. Ed Sheeran
9. Fitz and the Tantrums
10. American Authors 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Sunday Post (1)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.   

Well I'm finally doing it! I've only been saying for weeks now that I was planning on joining the fun and doing the Sunday post for my blog, but I kept putting it off. No more! Although I'm not sure if it is something I'll be able to do on a weekly basis, I know I would like to do it at least every other week. I have so much fun reading everyone else's and there's plenty of book-related tidbits I'd love to share with everyone that doesn't get shared otherwise in my weekly posts. So bear with me folks, because this is only my first Sunday post and I still need to get the hang of this! 


 On Wednesday I got to meet Sabaa Tahir on her tour for A Torch Against the Night, the second book in her series, An Ember in the Ashes. She was such a doll and I say that with the utmost sincerity.  Sometimes when I meet authors on tour it feels very rushed and the authors are nice (I've never met one who wasn't), but they aren't overly personable.  Sabaa was so nice though and even while I was waiting in line I didn't mind her taking the extra time with each person who met her, because she was kind enough to have a conversation with each person and answer any questions they had.  She was also more than happy to sign my copy of An Ember in the Ashes and pose for this picture! #fangirlgoals

I also got to see my dear friend Kristen, who blogs over at The Book Monsters! We go to a lot of events together and it's always so much fun because we get to have a girls night afterwards and catch up! This time we went for appetizers at Giordano's Pizza in Downer's Grove after we met Sabaa. Then we stopped in the middle of the walkway with our signed poster from the event so we could take this selfie. Needless to say we got a few stares, but it was totally worth it. #friendgoals
  Other than the book signing this week, nothing too exciting here. I'm finally back to school and this week was my first full week back (both to work and school).  I'm a super senior (still funny to me no matter how many times I tell people that) and this is my last year as an undgrad. I'm triple majoring in Business Management, Marketing, and English so it's taking me a little longer to complete than most, but that's ok because I love my university and the people there! I'm happy to be back, but it's crazy most days.  I work on campus in our Academic Resource Center, so between work and school I'm at our campus 12+ hours a day.  #teamnosleep

This Week On The Blog:

  • Monday: I reviewed The Siren by Kiera Cass (3.5/5 stars) 
  • Tuesday: It was the release day celebration for Operation Tenley by Jennifer Gooch Hummer and TTT: Top Ten Favorite Fantasy Books/Series
  • Wednesday: My Waiting On Wednesday Post was The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia
  • Thursday: Cover Reveal of One Summer with Autumn by Julie Reece 
  • Friday: I reviewed The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3) by Julie Kagawa (5/5 stars)

Currently Reading: 


Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: The Iron Queen

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.







Rating: 5 Stars

Book Title: The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3)

Author: Julie Kagawa

Release Date: January 25th, 2011

Pages: 384

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

It’s with a heavy heart that I sit down to write this review, which is very dramatic and extremely cliché, but the best way to describe my feelings after finishing the third book in The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa. ALL THE FEELS guys. The Iron Queen, although not the last book in the series, was quite conclusive. Although I won’t say how things fared for the world of the fey and whether or not they won the battle against the false king, I can tell you this: the ending will rip you to shreds if you’re even a little bit invested in this story. It’s been a long time since I’ve shed actual tears over the end of a series and I’m so heartbroken by how things ended up I’m not sure I’m going to be able to jump right into the next book, The Iron Knight, right away like I’ve been doing with the rest of the books in this series. I might need a few days to “lick” my wounds before carrying on with the story, although I do fully intend to do so. The ending was extremely fitting and EXTREMELY well-written, and I applaud Julie Kagawa for a job well-done, but as an invested fan in this series now it was a hard one to swallow.  While I would typically share my favorite bits as well as my not favorite bits, this book was a 5 star read for me, and I can’t really share the disappointing elements of this book for me without giving away spoilers. So here are some happy thoughts about The Iron Queen and why I adored it so much! In the meantime, if you have any happy memes, gifs, or good jokes you want to send my way, feel free! I need all the cheering up I can get! *walks away from computer sobbing again…

Favorite Bits:
o   Leanansidhe’s Cabin: Hands down my favorite part about this book in the series was the time Meghan, Ash, and Paul spend at the cabin Leanansidhe sends them to. Safe from the prying eyes of the mortal world as well as the fey, Meghan and Ash spend most of their days training, reading, and helping Paul readjust. It was nice just to see Ash and Meghan together and how their relationship worked once they were away from all the drama they’d been dealing with the last few months.  The way Julie Kagawa described the cabin sounded like a dream come true too, one I couldn’t help but wish I had! The cabin is set in the woods and even comes with its own staff of brownies, who have a 4 course breakfast ready to go every morning for the house’s inhabitants.  I want a cabin with brownies to do all my cooking and cleaning for me! Then I could spend more time reading all day!:) Besides getting to see more of Ash and Meghan together, it was also neat seeing Paul featured in more of the book after hearing about him from the start of the series.
o   The Gremlins: In NO world did I ever envision myself saying gremlins would be one of my favorite creatures (if you’ve ever watched the 1984 movie called Gremlins I’m sure you feel me; I’m certain I’m scarred for life from that movie). And yet, I stand corrected, because those critters were one of my favorites in The Iron Queen.  What a turn of events too, since the gremlins Meghan had come to know were viscious creatures in Faery, ones you always wanted to avoid if at all possible.  Now that’s she able to control them though, this was an advantage to her side of the war. Not only that, but they were kind of cute! I know I know, still evil creatures to an extent, but at least their anger wasn’t directed towards the Summer or Winter Courts during the war. In fact, I thought Razor’s love for Meghan, or his “master,” as he calls her, was adorable. He kind of reminded me of Peeves from Harry Potter right before he would jump into battle or go on a mission for Meghan. Off with an evil chuckle, happy to cause mischief! I guess him and Puck were kind of alike in that regard! Either way, the gremlins had me laughing like crazy this book!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Cover Reveal: One Summer with Autumn

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
One Summer with Autumn by Julie Reece
Be on the look out for this upcoming release from Swoon Romance!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Seventeen-year-old Autumn Teslow arrives at her father’s job fair knowing she’ll never measure up to the perfect image of daddy’s little girl—her twin sister.
Wearing anger management issues like a second skin won’t help Autumn win her dad’s approval for the big trip she’s been planning—or meet his condition that she successfully complete a summer internship for college.
Autumn’s cool unravels when her sister lectures against disappointing the family again. And when a young, bearded guy steps through the crowd to settle the growing argument between siblings, Autumn lashes out, dubbing him a “Duck Dynasty wannabe.”
At Nineteen, Caden Behr is clueless as to why his man parts are threatened by the fearsome girl before him. He'd only come to find an intern for his recreational equipment company, not break up a girl-fight between two sisters.
Unfortunately, the only candidate left is the girl who just told him off. Without her, he’ll never prove to his CEO mother that he’s ready for more responsibility.
Autumn and Caden agree that if they can keep from killing one another, they can use one another to get what they want and then never have to see each other again. Which is what they want.
Until it isn’t.
Because despite her best efforts to scare him off, and his fading desire to push her into the lake, they’re beginning to enjoy the time they spend together. But pride is a hard habit to break. And if neither will admit their changing feelings, they could lose a whole lot more than one summer.
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One Summer with Autumn by Julie Reece Publisher: October 18, 2016 Publisher: Swoon Romance
Available for Purchase: Amazon
As a child, Julie’s summers were about horseback riding and fishing, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all. She struggled with multiple learning disabilities, and spent much of her time gazing out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) she fought dyslexia for her right to read and won.
Afterward, she invented stories where powerful heroines kicked bad-guy butt to win the hearts charismatic heroes. And then she wrote one down…
Writing ever since, Julie weaves southern gothic, contemporary, fantasy, and young adult romances. She enjoys sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. Her writing is proof a dream and some hard work can overcome any obstacle.
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Waiting On Wednesday (14)

Waiting on Wednesday is a featured post hosted by Breaking the Spine that discusses upcoming releases that bloggers are excited about. 

This week's book I am looking forward to in 2016 is:

Author: Kami Garcia
Expected Release Date: October 4th, 2016
Publisher: Imprint

I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday (20)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Top Ten Favorite Fantasy Books/Series
Since a lot of books that I read tend to be fantasy related (fairies/faeries, witches/wizards, Fae, evil high lords, you name it) I thought I would share ten of my favorite from this genre for this week's freebie. Which ones have you read? AND since these are obviously my favorite books to read, what are some of yours that you really enjoyed? I am ALWAYS looking for recs in this category!
1.  Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
2. A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas 
3. Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
-The first one in the series is my favorite!
4. The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole
5.  Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales #1) by Holly Black
6. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
-Again, this one was my favorite of the two that are currently out in the series.
7. Truthwitch by Sussan Dennard
8. The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo
9. The Splintered Series by A. G. Howard
10. The Inheritance Series by Christopher Paolini

Release Day Celebration: Operation Tenley

Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for
Operation Tenley by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Happy Book Birthday, Jennifer!
Operation Tenley cover
Meet Tenley Tylwyth, an Elemental Teen born with the power to produce weather. Cool? Not really. Elementals who can create weather make Mother Nature angry. It’s time she got rid of them. Only one thing is standing in her way—Fair Ones. These ancestors of fairies keep kids like Tenley safe, but when rookie Fair One, Pennie, fails to do so, she’s forced to travel to Earth—a place where no Fair One wants to go. Now, Pennie has forty-eight hours to convince Tenley to give up her power. It won’t be so easy. Tenley’s got a way with wind. And after falling deep into Mother Nature’s gardens, where trees grow upside down and insects attack on command, a little wind might be just what Tenley needs to survive. Even if it kills her.
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Operation Tenley (The Fair City Files #1) by Jennifer Gooch Hummer Publication Date: September 13, 2016 Publisher: Month9Books
Chapter 15

Mrs. Tylwyth stepped into Tenley’s room. “Actually, it’s a good thing you called. I forgot my catalogues anyway. Have you seen them anywhere?”
“You mean these?” Tenley looked up from the other side of the bed. Two pom-poms made of shredded paper were clutched in her hands. She clapped them together.
Tenley. You said you had to come home because you ate a bad waffle.” Mrs. Tylwyth crossed her arms and frowned. “I left the store halfway open.”
“I’m sorry, Mom. But I didn’t think you’d let me come home if I told you the truth.”
                  “Which is?” Mrs. Tylwyth smoothed down the end of Tenley’s bedding before she sat.
                  “Cheerleading auditions. They’re today and I needed pom-poms. I didn’t want you to have to go buy me some real ones, so I made these. I might even use them in my nail tutorials.”
“Cheerleading? Why would they be holding auditions at the end of the school year?”
                  It was a little weird, considering it was June. “All I know is that this really cute guy was setting up auditions with Mr. Frimpy and told me I could audition too. Anyway, it’s the perfect place to get more votes.”
                  “Honey,” Mrs. Tylwyth started.
                  “Don’t worry, Mom,” Tenley brushed out a pom-pom. “I’m going to get it.”
                  “This is a small town, Tenley. These teens that you’re watching, the ones that actually get onto the show and win the nominations, they’re from big cities. ANMIT only takes one teen from each state. And these kids have moms and dads who work in big companies where they can get lots of votes, not at their own antique shop. I might only get one or two walk-ins a day, honey, and even though I put your signs up, well, I just don’t want you to be heartbroken.”
                  “I’m not going to be heartbroken; I’m going to be nominated.” Tenley clapped her pom-poms and stood. “I made these out of your Secret Antique Finds catalogues. I mean, am I inspirational or what?”
“A paper tutu, too?” Mrs. Tylwyth chuckled.
Tenley swiveled her hips. “Cool, huh?”
“How did you know how to make all that?”
“YouTube, Mom. DIY.”
Mrs. Tylwyth couldn’t help but look impressed.
                  “So you’re not mad at me?”
                  “No, I’m still mad, Tenley. And you’ll have to pay me back for those catalogues. But you are pretty clever.”
“Can you take me back to school now please?”
 “Let’s go.” Mrs. Tylwyth walked to the door. “I hope this rain stops soon or I’m afraid you’ll be wearing a soggy ball of paper for a tutu.”
                  “It won’t rain on us,” Tenley said glancing out the window confidently. “I promise.”

Chapter 18

Something sharp was jabbing into her side. Pennie opened her eyes.
Poking her.
Real branches.
The kind that could only be found on Earth.
Pennie jolted upright and hit the ground.
She moaned. She’d landed in a tree. The one she’d just fallen out of.
Her head felt like it was splitting down the middle. She reached for her tool belt before remembering she didn’t have it. She lifted her wrist to look at her stopwatch, before remembering she didn’t have that either.
“Gavron?” Pennie whispered. “Gavron?”
But Gavron was not there. And there weren’t any slurps or drools coming from anywhere, either.
She tried to stand, but must have forgotten about the house on her back. Or maybe it was a small meteor. Something very heavy was preventing her from standing. She pushed against the ground with all her might and got to her knees.
Gravity, she remembered. That’s what it was.

Chapter 23

Tenley blew a quick breath. A gust of air swirled around Pennie’s hands. “Tenley! Stop!” Pennie pulled her hands back.
                  “It’s just wind. What are you so afraid of?” Tenley put the screen in place again.
                  “It’s not just wind. This is exactly why I’m here. You need to stop doing this.”
                  Tenley grabbed her phone. “Okay, look. I’m sorry that for some reason I can make the wind blow. It’s weird, I know. But it’s also awesome. I’m not hurting anybody. I’m just drying my nails and stuff. So I don’t know why you have to go and get all freaked out about it.”
“Because.” Pennie lowered her voice. “Every time you create wind, you’re putting yourself in danger.” She tapped on her temple, careful not to smudge her nails. The hologram form appeared in front of her. “You need to sign this.”

Jennifer Gooch Hummer is the award-winning author and screenwriter of her debut novel, Girl Unmoored (SparkPress). Girl Unmoored has also been published in German (Carlsen). Jennifer has worked as a script analyst for various talent agencies and film studios. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three daughters.
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