Saturday Spotlight: The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

TWKTitle: The Waking Forest

Author: Alyssa Wees

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: March 12, 2019

Page Count: 304 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Summary:

Pan’s Labyrinth meets The Hazel Wood in this novel about a girl with terrifying visions and a wish-granting witch whose lives collide in the most unexpected of ways.

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more–until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

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Purchase Links

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    Book Depository     Indie Bound

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Preorder Giveaway

Alyssa has an awesome preorder giveaway going on, so check it out here!

If you have already preordered, fill out this handy-dandy form here!

Everyone who preorders will be entered to win the grand prize!

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 About the Author

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In between training in ballet and watching lots of Disney movies, Alyssa grew up writing stories starring her Beanie Babies. She earned a BA in English from Creighton University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Currently she works as an assistant librarian in youth services at an awesome public library. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her husband and their two cats. (Bio and photo provided from Goodreads)

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*First Line Friday* 2/15/19 The House- Christina Lauren

Happy Friday! The weekend is a few hours away and I couldn’t be happier.

This weeks book is something that I currently read this week and it was quite bizarre. Enjoy!

24885831     Gavin tells Delilah he’s hers—completely—but whatever lives inside that house with him disagrees.

After seven years tucked away at an East coast boarding school, Delilah Blue returns to her small Kansas hometown to find that not much has changed. Her parents are still uptight and disinterested, her bedroom is exactly the way she left it, and the outcast Gavin Timothy still looks like he’s crawled out of one of her dark, twisted drawings.

Delilah is instantly smitten.

Gavin has always lived in the strange house: an odd building isolated in a stand of trees where the town gives in to mild wilderness. The house is an irresistible lure for Delilah, but the tall fence surrounding it exists for good reason, and Gavin urges Delilah to be careful. Whatever lives with him there isn’t human, and isn’t afraid of hurting her to keep her away.

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“Places with boys always seem so dirty.”

stacy

You’d Be Mine- Erin Hahn

36146624     Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

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“Just because your family is gone doesn’t mean that you are. Your identity is tied to who they made you into, not who they were. The way I see it, you can honor them by becoming the best possible version of who you are meant to be, or you can wither away to nothing with no one to remember you.”

Fans of Katie McGarry will be swept off their feet by this not so perfect romance. With its witty and swoon-worthy clamp on your heart, this is the new contemporary we have been waiting for.

Clay has been the new “It” performer in country music for the past few years but he comes with plenty of baggage. He has the bad boy reputation and the record producers are getting tired of it. To save his tour and his career, he must go to Michigan and talk Annie into joining his tour for the summer.

Annie comes from country royalty. Her parents were bigger than life before that tragic day that took their lives. Annie promised herself that she wouldn’t let performing take over her life as it did with her parents. But singing and playing music is in her soul. She promises to go on tour with the infamous Clay but she builds a wall around herself.

As the tour gets larger and stadiums start to sell-out, Clay and Annie grow closer but Clay keeps telling himself and Annie that he’s not good enough for her. Clay continues to pull his stunts and we find out some personal history, not only about Clay but about Annie as well.

Can these two put the past behind them and live the life they were destined to have? Or will they let these things eat them up?

You’d Be Mine has a lot of heart and soul. It was more than romance, it has family moments, close friendships, witty banter, and deep soul-searching with music thrown into the mix. No punches were pulled to create this perfect blend of music and heart-stealing characters. You’ll fall in love with Clay and Annie. And I really hope that their story isn’t over.

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*Blog Tour + Q&A + Giveaway* You Asked for Perfect – Laura Silverman

You Asked for PerfectTitle: You Asked for Perfect

Author: Laura Silverman

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Release Date: March 5th 2019

Genre: Young Adult, LGBT, Contemporary

My Review

Synopsis:

Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.

Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

BOOK LINKS

Goodreads| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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AUTHOR INFORMATION

laura-silverman_author-photoMy debut novel, GIRL OUT OF WATER, is a summery coming-of-age story about a California surfer girl sent to landlocked Nebraska for the entire summer. It debuted in May 2017. You can order it from most book retailers and of course request it at your local library! My second novel, YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT, is about the effects of intense academic pressure on a teenage Valedictorian-to-be. It comes out March 2019, and you can add it on Goodreads here.

I have degrees in English and Advertising from the University of Georgia, and I have an MFA in Writing for Children from the New School. While I lived in NYC, I interned at Penguin and two different literary agencies. In addition to writing, I also freelance edit manuscripts and query letters. Please check out my services if you’re interested! I particularly love helping with those query letters!

You can find Laura Silverman at the following sites:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Q&A WITH LAURA SILVERMAN

Thank you, Laura, for stopping by on the blog! I had so much fun chatting with you!

1. Your second book is coming out in March, that’s so exciting! What inspired you to write this story?

I went to an extremely academically competitive high school. We were pressured to take as many AP classes as possible and do well in them. At the time, almost ten years ago now, this high school experience was pretty unusual. We jokingly called the school a university instead of a high school. But I’ve noticed in recent years it’s been more and more common to put this intense academic pressure on high school students all over the country, and that amount of pressure can be extremely harmful to the mental and physical health of the students. I wanted to write a book where high school students feel seen and heard. I wanted to tell them that they are much more important than their grades. I also wanted to send a message to teachers, parents, administrators, etc. Many already know this pressure is an issue, but I hope they will work harder to solve it.

2. I read an ARC of YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT a couple months ago and I absolutely loved it! I related to Ariel so much, and I know a lot more readers will, too. Was it difficult writing Ariel’s character, or any of the other characters?

Ariel’s voice came fairly naturally to me. He’s one of the other main reasons I wrote this book. I’ve had his voice in my head for years now. Originally, he belonged to another book I scraped after a few chapters, but his voice stayed in my head, so a couple years after that, I started writing YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT. That said, it was definitely still difficult in a way to write his voice because the poor guy is super stressed out for a large portion of the book. I felt that stress right along with him and would often continue to feel it after my writing session. Thankfully there are some fluffy, happy scenes in the book as well that gave us both some relief J

3. If you could give one piece of advice to those struggling with any type of pressure to be perfect, what would it be?

Reach out to people and ask for help – whether it’s parents or a therapist or someone else. Perfection is overrated, and hopefully someone in your life can work with you, provide comfort, and help shift your perspective.

4. What was your writing process like for YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT?

As mentioned above, it was super stressful! I had a lot of high school flashbacks. I wasn’t exactly like Ariel, but there were times when I felt like a single grade or project was the end of the world. I really dipped back into that internal spiral, and it was a difficult space to live in again.

5. There are a ton of inspiring authors out there. What advice would you give them?

Write what you enjoy! I strongly recommend writing fanfiction if you’re just starting out. I wrote a ton of fanfiction in college, and it was the best writing practice. You get instant feedback from your reviewers, and you’re incentivized to keep posting new chapters because they’ll want to know what happens next. And most importantly, it’s really fun!

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TOUR SCHEDULE

See what other amazing blogs joined this fantastic blog tour!

http://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2018/12/tour-schedule-you-asked-for-perfect-by.html

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YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT GIVEAWAY

Prize: Win a copy of YOU ASKED FOR PERFECT by Laura Silverman (INT)

Disclaimer: INT as long as Bookdepository ships to the country of the winner.

Start Date: 11th February 2019

End Date: 24th February 2019

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, so much for having A Court of Coffee and Books on the blog tour!

*Blog Tour- Review + Giveaway* The Deceivers- Kristen Simmons

The Deceivers Tour Banner

39863259     Pretty Little Liars meets Ocean’s 11 in this intrigue-filled contemporary drama from acclaimed author Kristen Simmons.

Welcome to Vale Hall, the school for aspiring con artists.

When Brynn Hilder is recruited to Vale, it seems like the elite academy is her chance to start over, away from her mom’s loser boyfriend and her rundown neighborhood. But she soon learns that Vale chooses students not so much for their scholastic talent as for their extracurricular activities, such as her time spent conning rich North Shore kids out of their extravagant allowances.

At first, Brynn jumps at the chance to help the school in its mission to rid the city of corrupt officials–because what could be better than giving entitled jerks what they deserve? But that’s before she meets her mark–a senator’s son–and before she discovers the school’s headmaster has secrets he’ll stop at nothing to protect. As the lines between right and wrong blur, Brynn begins to realize she’s in way overhead.

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My Review:

“But careful isn’t an option. Careful is a luxury you have when your baseline isn’t chaos. When every decision isn’t determined by a calculated risk. In lives like ours, you grasp onto those who understand you, or you face every obstacle alone.”

This is the first book by Kristen Simmons that I’ve ever read and it won’t be the last. I own books by her but I’m not sure why I haven’t read them. This book is going to make me bump those up my tbr list.

Ocean’s Eleven meets Pretty Little Liars in this fun and mysterious school for Con Artists.

Brynn hasn’t ever had it easy. Her Dad passed away suddenly when he was shot at work and her Mom decided to strike up a love interest in someone who disrespects them both and does some underhanded things to make money. To say that Brynn’s life sucks would be quite the understatement. One day as she’s pulling her con on some unsuspecting people, a boy with a raven crest on his shirt starts to follow Brynn. She thinks it’s a coincidence at first but then becomes freaked as he starts showing up where she works.

She does the next best thing and starts to follow him. He lures her into a secluded spot where other teenagers are hanging out and then the games start to begin. The newbies are put through a test. They have to go to the Senator’s mansion and get the son to agree to a date with them and then they’ll get an invite to one of the most prestigious private schools. Brynn needed an out and this is her chance and she’s not going to blow this.

Brynn blows the competition out of the water and she now has her foot in the door, but at what costs? Secrets start to pile up and Brynn starts to feel the pressure of overwhelming proportions. Pulling Cons on people she’s starting to care about is harder than she thought. Can she figure out her home life and her life at school before they both come crashing down around her?

This book had a lot of shocking twists and none of them were suspected. It was a very clever read with characters that you wanted to pull cons with. I will say that there was more romance than I was expecting but I think it was a great addition to the story. Kristen knows what she’s doing and she’s a pro at it.

Even though I was sick while reading this, I couldn’t put it down. I needed to know what was going to happen. This book took more priority than me taking care of my illness. It was that damn good.

Vincit Omnia Veritas

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

–  10 Winners will receive a Copy of THE DECEIVERS by Kristen Simmons.

Click on the image below to enter. Good Luck!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

    KRISTEN SIMMONS is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series, THE GLASS ARROW, and METALTOWN. She has worked with survivors of abuse and trauma as a mental health therapist, taught Jazzercise in five states, and is forever in search of the next best cupcake. Currently, she lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, where she spends her days supporting the caffeine industry and chasing her delightfully rambunctious son.

Blog Tour Schedule:
WEEK ONE
FEBRUARY 4th MONDAY JeanBookNerd GUEST POST
FEBRUARY 4th MONDAY The Eater of Books! TENS LIST
FEBRUARY 5th TUESDAY MetalPhantasmReads EXCERPT
FEBRUARY 6th WEDNESDAY We Live and Breathe Books REVIEW
FEBRUARY 6th WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT
FEBRUARY 7th THURSDAY Book Rambler REVIEW
FEBRUARY 7th THURSDAY TFAULC Book Reviews EXCERPT
FEBRUARY 8th FRIDAY Casia’s Corner REVIEW
FEBRUARY 8th FRIDAY Insane About Books SPOTLIGHTWEEK TWO
FEBRUARY 11th MONDAY A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW
FEBRUARY 11th MONDAY The Candid Cover REVIEW
FEBRUARY 12th TUESDAY Wishful Endings REVIEW & INTERVIEW
FEBRUARY 5th TUESDAY BookHounds YA REVIEW
FEBRUARY 13th WEDNESDAY A Court of Coffee and Books REVIEW
FEBRUARY 13th WEDNESDAY Literary Meanderings EXCERPT
FEBRUARY 14th THURSDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW
FEBRUARY 15th FRIDAY Nay’s Pink Bookshelf REVIEW
FEBRUARY 15th FRIDAY Carina’s Books REVIEW

Thank you, Jean Book Nerd, Tor Teen, and Kristen Simmons on allowing us to be a part of this fantastic Blog Tour. Click on the button below to find out more about this tour and upcoming tours.

Happy Reading!

stacy

Red, White & Royal Blue- Casey McQuiston

41150487     A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

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My Review:

“You’re the Han to my Leia in that you are, without doubt, a scruffy-looking nerf herder who would pilot us into an asteroid field.”

Have you heard all the hype surrounding this book? A Prince and the first son are in a secret relationship and it’s giving everyone life. Well, you damn well better believe all that hype because this was the cutest thing ever.

Prince Henry and the First Son, Alex has a very mutual hatred towards one another and it’s definitely not a secret. They can’t even be in the same room together without chaos following.

At a royal wedding, an altercation ensues and it ends up with them ruining the cake. It instantly hits the press and both families are enraged.

To bring peace between the Royals and the US Presidents family, they come up with a contract that has Henry and Alex becoming friends and showing that to the public. They have to act cordial towards one another in public but can despise each other behind closed doors.

With spending so much time together, something happens between the two and secrets start to flow. Will their secret ruin the lives of their families? Or will their secret change history for the better?

This was so much more than a sweet romance that sweeps you off of your feet. It was quirky and quite funny. Some parts were laugh-out-loud funny and it makes this stand out from others.

Red, White & Royal Blue is a new romance that we were all craving. It was absolutely adorable and totally swoon-worthy. The love between Henry and Alex felt natural and not forced which we see in a lot of romantic titles. Add this one to your tbr because this one will not disappoint. And I can’t wait for you to fall in love with Henry and Alex just as I did.

Happy Reading!

stacy

*Blog Tour + Q&A + Giveaway* Dark of the West – Joanna Hathaway

book coverBook Title: Dark of the West (Glass Alliance #1)

Author: Joanna Hathaway

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: February 5th 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

He was raised in revolution. She was raised in a palace. Can their love stop a war? Code Name Verity meets The Winner’s Cursein Joanna Hathaway’s Dark of the West, a breathtaking YA fantasy debut.

Aurelia Isendare is a princess of a small kingdom in the North, raised in privilege but shielded from politics as her brother prepares to step up to the throne. Halfway around the world, Athan Dakar, the youngest son of a ruthless general, is a fighter pilot longing for a life away from the front lines. When Athan’s mother is shot and killed, his father is convinced it’s the work of his old rival, the Queen of Etania—Aurelia’s mother. Determined to avenge his wife’s murder, he devises a plot to overthrow the Queen, a plot which sends Athan undercover to Etania to gain intel from her children.

Athan’s mission becomes complicated when he finds himself falling for the girl he’s been tasked with spying upon. Aurelia feels the same attraction, all the while desperately seeking to stop the war threatening to break between the Southern territory and the old Northern kingdoms that control it—a war in which Athan’s father is determined to play a role. As diplomatic ties manage to just barely hold, the two teens struggle to remain loyal to their families and each other as they learn that war is not as black and white as they’ve been raised to believe.

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BOOK LINKS

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32949202-dark-of-the-west

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2EkaLsY

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-of-the-west-joanna-hathaway/1127026418?ean=9780765396419#/

Bookdepository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Dark-West-Joanna-Hathaway/9780765396419?ref=grid-view&qid=1544720532762&sr=1-1

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dark-of-the-west/id1279815748?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/dark-of-the-west

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AUTHOR INFORMATION

authorJoanna was born in Montréal and is an avid storyteller who was inspired to write after reading her great-grandfather’s memoirs of the First World War. A lifelong history buff, she now has shelves filled with biographies and historical accounts, and perhaps one too many books about pilots. She can often be found reading, traveling, or riding horses.

Her debut novel, DARK OF THE WEST (Tor Teen, February 5th, 2019), is the first in a WWII-infused fantasy series of forbidden love and deadly revenge.

You can find Joanna on the following sites:

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest

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Q&A WITH JOANNA HATHAWAY

Thank you, Joanna, for stopping by on the blog! It was wonderful chatting with you!

  1. Your debut novel, DARK OF THE WEST, comes out next year! Congrats! What inspired you to write this story?

Thank you so much! Honestly, the biggest inspiration for me was history. As a teen, all I read were memoirs and biographies and historical accounts from as many different perspectives as I could get my hands on. I wanted to read the real stories of real people around the world—people who had faced these incredible (and often horrific) events with such courage. It always made me wonder what I would do in the same situation. What choices would I make? But I also wanted to write a book that wasn’t bound to the rules of our own history, so I began building this fantasy world that felt like our own yet was distinctly unique. I wanted to make an exploration of the timeless themes of our history, but see it through the eyes of two youthful and idealistic narrators who still believe in the best. Thus, Dark of the West was born!

  1. What was it like to write two point of views? Was one easier to write than the other?

I originally started with only one POV (Aurelia), but then I did a test scene from the perspective of Athan and discovered he had a whole family demanding to be shared! And once I started weaving his story with Aurelia’s, I realized how well they complemented one another, illuminating the larger story. It worked out perfectly. I don’t think either POV is “easier” than the other, but often when I get tired of writing one, I can just switch to the other and feel immediately rejuvenated — handy for those deadlines!

  1. Are you more of a plotter or did you let the story come to you naturally, without a ton of plotting?

This particular story has been with me since I was in university, so it’s definitely come about more gradually and naturally, left to simmer for years. While I didn’t specifically sit down and create an outline for it, I have had the series in my mind for a long time, so I do plot out each book and each character arc to satisfy the overarching themes and events which I know are coming.

  1. If you had the chance to spend one day with Aurelia and Athan, what would you all do?

I think I’d want to visit Aurelia’s horses and Athan’s airplanes. And if I could ride one and fly another, that would be even better. I think they’d be on board with that!

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Trust your heart and know that no one else can tell the story you wish to tell. It’s a reflection of you, which is quite sacred, and while you should always seek out critique and be unafraid to put in the sweat and work, never belittle the heart of what you’re trying to say. Always fight to get it out into the world. There’s room on the shelves for your unique story.

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TOUR SCHEDULE

See what other amazing blogs joined this wonderful blog tour!

https://fantasticflyingbookclub.blogspot.com/2018/12/tour-schedule-dark-of-west-glass.html

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GIVEAWAY

Prize: Win (1) of (10) physical copies of DARK OF THE WEST by Joanna Hathaway (US Only)

Giveaway Starts: February 5th, 2019

Giveaway Ends: February 18th, 2019

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Thank you, Fantastic Flying Book Club, so much for having A Court of Coffee and Books on the blog tour!