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Review – Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay HagerDating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager
on March 21, 2017
Genres: YA, Romance
Pages: 290
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator's son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon's world and it doesn't help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you're dating the it guy.

Emme takes a summer class and partners with her crush Brendon Agretti. After spending some time together, they start dating. The problem is he is the popular guy and many girls want to date him. Emme feels insecure in their relationship. She depends on Astrology to guide her. The couple breaks up, and she has to deal with every girl trying to fill her place. Even though they break up there still seems to be something there between them.

In an Oyster Shell – A satisfying YA romance that is really about growing up and learning how to deal with life.

The Pearls – The concept was interesting and well executed. Having the popular guy come in contact with a sophomore over a summer class was a great way to start the story. The relationship that ensues is the stuff that daydreams are made of. The fact that Emme relies on Astrology is an interesting aspect to the story.

I liked the character development, especially in Emme. I like how throughout the story she was challenged and learned to overcome them. I appreciated that another character in the book points out how relying on Astrology could be a way of not dealing with things.

The romance was engrossing. It was quite tumultuous. Emme had a lot of insecurities to overcome. Not to mention the couple was constantly challenged with misunderstandings. It wasn’t an easy romance for the characters and that made the story interesting.

The Sand – It was a good book.

4 Pearls!

4 Stars

About Krysten Lindsay Hager

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Bellbrook Times, and on Living Dayton.


Review – Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

Review – Black Dawn by Mallory McCartneyBlack Dawn by Mallory McCartney
Published by Clean Reads Publishing on February 14th 2017
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Pages: 180
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


The end of an Empire, The rise of a Queen
Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory's arrival she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.
With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.
Some things are better left in the shadows.

Emory Fae is just relaxing in her apartment when two strange men come for her. They bring her to another world. In this new world, she is to be queen. The two men that brought her back were Memphis and Brok. They are part of the Black Dawn resistance. They are looking to overthrow Adair who is destroying their world.

In an Oyster Shell – A story that felt like it had barely started when it ended.

The Pearls – The concept was interesting. The resistance hides their queen on earth to keep her safe. They bring her back to overthrow the current king. It was a well-executed plot.

The world building was spot on. The setting was distinctive and very imaginative. I especially liked the part where the king was hiding. An underground city. The resistance base was cool too.

The characters were distinctive and well-defined. Brokk was my favorite character. He was a shapeshifter and had other special abilities. I wasn’t too impressed with Emory at first, but she surprised me in the end.

The Sand – The story felt incomplete. I think it is intending to be a series. I still feel like there could have been more to this story. I won’t be continuing on with the series.

The main character was a little weak.

3 pearls!

3 Stars

About Mallory McCartney

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Blog Tour with Review – No Second Chances by Kate EvangelistaNo Second Chances by Kate Evangelista
Series: Dodge Cove #3
Published by Swoon Reads on May 16th 2017
Genres: YA, Romance
Pages: 272
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Natasha was DEVASTATED when Jackson, her first love, disappeared without a word only to pop up months later as a famous DJ. But now she's over it―over him!―and ready to move on with her life! Isn't she?
Jackson thought he was leaving Dodge Cove behind forever when he set off to LA to start his career as a DJ. But the one thing he had never been able to leave behind was the memory of his first love, Natasha, and now that he's proven his success, he's coming home to win her back...
Get ready to stop time, defy gravity and bring down the stars in this final book in Kate Evangelista's Dodge Cove Trilogy!

Natasha is still recovering from when Jackson left without telling her. She is taking a gap year to figure out what she is going to do. She feels lost because she thought Jackson was the one for her. Now she says she’s not going to give him a second chance. Jackson didn’t know he wanted a second chance until he saw Natasha in Amsterdam. Now he can’t make music because he is sad that he lost her. Now he will do anything to get her back even stop time if he has to.

In an Oyster Shell –  A beautiful creative romance.

The Pearls – The characters were strong and had you cheering for them. Natasha was a debutante but she was really down to earth. She was helpful to people in her community. Even though she was “lost” in what she was going to do for the rest of her life, she was really grounded. Jackson was a really creative type. He was also very determined. He wanted Natasha and he’d do anything to get him back.

The romance was sweet though it was drawn out. Natasha was serious about not giving second chances. She gave Jackson a run for his money. It was a nice change to have the romance stretched out. It was fun to see the lengths that Jackson went to win back Natasha.

The Sand – It was a good book.

4 Pearls!

Follow the Tour –

May 15th
Becky on Books >> Interview
Haddie’s Haven >> Review
Perks Be With You >> Review
The Boundless Booklist >> Review

May 16th
underneath the covers >> Excerpt
To Be Read >> Review
With Love for Books >> Review
BooksChatter >> Interview
Bookwyrming Thoughts >> Review

May 17th
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
Between books >> Review
Girl vs Books >> Review
Girls With Books >> Playlist
blogs and coffee >> Guest post

May 18th
The Bibliophile Confessions >> Review
Dreamland Teenage Fantasy >> Review
Loves Great Reads  >> Excerpt
Evolving Perceptions >> Review
The Reading Belles >> Review

May 19th
Writing Pearls  >> Review
A British Bookworm’s Blog >> Review
Whoo Gives A Hoot >> Review
The Heart of a Book Blogger >> Review

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Kate Evangelista

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full-time and is based in the Philippines.

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Scone Cold Killer
by Lena Gregory
Series: All Day Breakfast Café Mystery, #1
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Release Date: January 2, 2018



First in a brand new cozy mystery series by Lena Gregory – available January 2, 2018!

Official Blurb to come!





Lena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.





Blog Tour with Review – The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole CozzoThe Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo
Published by Swoon Reads on May 16th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Chin up, Princess, or the crown will slip.
A theme park princess must put her life back together after her happily ever after falls apart in this contemporary YA romance from Karole Cozzo, author of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall and How to Say I Love You Out Loud.
Everything was supposed to be perfect. Alyssa has a job she loves, working as Cinderella at her favorite theme park; a fantastic group of friends; and a boyfriend who will no longer be long distance. But as the summer progresses, her prince becomes less charming and more distant, and Alyssa's perfect summer falls apart.
Forced to acknowledge that life is not always a fairy tale, Alyssa starts working to pull her herself back together. Fortunately, she doesn't have to do it alone. With her friend Miller's support, she's determined to prove that she's more than just a pretty princess. And with his help, maybe she's finally ready for something better than dreams. Maybe she's ready for something real.

Alyssa seems to have the fairytale life as summer starts perfect boyfriend, a dream job as a princess, and she belongs to a sorority.  This all starts to unravel when her boyfriend breaks up with her. Struggling to recover from the break-up she finds a friend in Miller, a colleague at the amusement park where she works. Alyssa starts discerning between fairy tales and reality, and she just might find herself a little happier than before.

In an Oyster Shell – An uplifting romance that will leave you satisfied.

The Pearls – A story about a girl who plays a princess at a theme park. The Same girl who believes in happily ever after. Yes, please! It was a great story that had you rethinking ever after. I like the concept of a more realistic happily ever after. The author well executes this idea.

Alyssa seemed like a weak character at first. Other characters interpreted her that way as well. She surprises us all by being resilient and tough while still being demure. She rises from the ashes almost literally. She shows us all she’s not just some beautiful blonde sorority girl. Alyssa has a lot of depth.

The romance is sweet. The first romance in the book doesn’t work out. It’s a good thing it didn’t. The second romance is even better and more realistic. It’s hard to find a love that is grounded in reality. This one was, and I appreciated that.

The Sand – It was a good book.

4 Pearls!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour

May 15th
blogs and coffee >> Guest post
Fic Central >> Review
Ammie’s Book Obsession >> Review
Kourtni Reads >> Review
Novels and Necklaces >> Review

May 16th
CBY Book Club >> Excerpt
Maya Hearts Books  >> Review
The Avid Reader >> Interview
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books! >> Excerpt
Only True Magic >> Review

May 17th
Daydreaming Books >> Review
Rebel Mommy Book Blog  >> Review
Eru Books and Recs >> Review
Writing Pearls >> Review

May 18th
Kindle and Me >> Guest post
Dandelions Inspired >> Review
The Candid Cover  >> Review
Wishful Endings >> Interview
To Be Read >> Review

May 19th
Blushing babes are up all night >> Review
Twirling Book Princess >> Excerpt
Girl vs Books >> Review
Feed Your Fiction Addiction >> Review


About Karole Cozzo

Karole lives outside of Philadelphia, PA with her loving husband, exuberant little girl, and smiley little boy. She adores YA Romance, because it would be awesome if life in general had a requisite feel-good happy ending rule. Vices include obscene Haribo gummy consumption, addiction to Starbucks NF vanilla lattes, and tendency to hoard Bath and Body Works 3-wick candles.

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Review – Forbidden Darkness by Alec John BelleForbidden Darkness by Alec John Belle
on January, 9th 2015
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 172
Source: YA Bound Book Tours

Being a sixteen year old Monster Hunter sucks.
That’s what Heather Hawkins learns just days before her sixteenth birthday. After dealing with her best friend, Kristen’s, attempted suicide, the last thing Heather wants is any more drama. When the realistic dreams of Heather being haunted by a guy named Kadin begin, she learns the truth. She is a Monster Hunter, and on her birthday, she will undergo a change that will make her stronger, more powerful, and nearly invincible to Monsters. Along with having a hot new trainer named Philip, she believes that this will be a new beginning for herself.
Unfortunately, Monsters aren’t the only thing Heather needs to worry about. With someone stalking her dreams, she realizes there may be more than just Monsters in the world, and that Kadin will do anything to stop her from helping the Monster Hunters. Even if that means unleashing an entity that was locked away by his people thousands of years ago.
In this all-new paranormal young adult series, romances will be formed, evil becomes unleashed, and everyone Heather loves will soon be at risk. Because in a world where Monsters walk the earth, anything is possible.

Heather Hawkins is looking forward to her sixteenth birthday. That is until she finds out from her closest friends and family that she will be turning into a monster hunter. She finds out some other things about her life and starts to wonder if she can trust these people at all. She decides that she can and while she awaits for the change she is being haunted by Kadin. Kadin is not your typical monster. They don’t know what he is. They do know that he doesn’t want Heather to become a monster hunter.

In an Oyster Shell – A fairly interesting paranormal that lacks depth and complexity.

The Pearls- The concept of being a monster hunter is an interesting one. They know little about being monster hunters. I found this interesting that the perspective of the council was one dimensional. With Kadin showing up it shows there is a lot more that they don’t know. It’s interesting that the author keeps its characters in the dark adding more mystery for the reader.

There were several mysteries in the story. Like where did Heather come from? Who is Kadin? What is Kadin? All of these questions made for a page-turning read.

The action was nicely paced. It was intense at times but there were some cool down moments. This made so the reader didn’t fell overwhelmed.

The Sand –  The story overall lacked depth and complexity for me. I wasn’t too impressed with the main character. She often went into little tantrums about things. She was dramatic for my taste.

3 Pearls!

3 Stars

About Alec John Belle

Alec John Belle resides in Carson City, NV, where he is currently attending high school for his senior year. At the age of 16 he wrote his first novel, Before I Break. His hobbies include reading, writing, and obsessing over Pretty Little Liars. He writes about tough topics that many are too afraid to talk about like suicide, homosexuality, self harm, bullying, mental illness, among other teenage issues, and he often blends these ideas with the paranormal. Despite writing such topics, he is a very cheerful person who enjoys looking for the best in life, while trying to help others do the same.

ARC Review – Under the Cherry Tree by Lilac MillsUnder the Cherry Tree by Lilac Mills
Published by Lilac Tree Books on May 31st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 331
Source: Author

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


“A feel-good, heart-warming, tear-jerking love story.”
The best sort of holiday read, recommended for fans of Jane Costello, Erica James, and Lucy James
“My dog didn't like men. Actually that was a lie – she didn't like the men I chose. The only ones who rocked her world had been my father (who was no longer with us), Ross (who was gay), and the butcher on the high street (for obvious reasons).”
When Jenni Meadows has the opportunity to expand her dog-grooming business she takes it, and when a nice man appears on her horizon but fails to make any sparks fly, she decides she has enough on her plate with her business without adding a boyfriend into the mix.
Besides, Millie doesn’t like him and when her dog doesn’t like a man, Jenni knows all about it. So why does Millie take a very strange liking to the new vet, especially since he has a taciturn expression, wears a wedding ring, and wields a needle?
Under the Cherry Tree is a tale of love and hope, waggy tails, and cold noses.

Jenni Meadows has a dog that doesn’t like most men. She likes her gay friend and her dad that has passed away but that’s it. When a man comes around often Millie doesn’t approve, she lets Jenni know about it. When Scott comes into the picture the Vet Millie loves him. Jenni can’t figure it out because Millie doesn’t like vets usually and he’s wearing a wedding ring. Jenni doesn’t have time for love anyways because she is expanding her dog grooming business. Will love find it’s way to her anyway? Will Millie approve?

In an Oyster Shell – A heart-warming, funny, thought-provoking romance.

The Pearls – Under the Cherry Tree is a touching story. The title is appropriate because Millie the dog falls in love with a cherry tree at the old farm Jenni is looking to buy. That tree becomes very symbolic in the story. I haven’t read anything by this author before as I believe this is her first book. I would read something from her again.

The plot was very interesting easy to engage with. How can you not like a story about a stubborn dog who doesn’t like the men her owner dates. It gets quite humorous how obstinate Millie gets when there are men around that she doesn’t like. It was a neat concept that was well executed.

Jenni dates three men total in the book and Millie only likes one of them. Jenni’s mom jokes that Millie will know which one is for Jenni. I liked that Jenni had to go through a couple of men to find the one she was meant to be with. The book wasn’t just about the main romance. It’s a nice change to usual romances.

The Sand – It’s a good book a mistake or two but it’s an ARC so it happens.

4 Pearls!

4 Stars

About Lilac Mills

Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!

She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…

When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing (she meant to say “borrowing”) her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.


Hi, everyone! It’s been a long time. I’m not doing these as often as I used to. They will still be sporadic going forward but once in awhile, I’ll drop a discussion.

Today I am drinking fresh roasted Papua New Guinea with cream what are you drinking?

I’ve been doing the blog for two years now and I’ve noticed that my reading schedule is quite regimented. My reading schedule is based on books that I do for a review. Those commitments can come from NetGalley, blog tour companies, or author themselves. Running a blog I commit to reading a lot of books. Not all of those books are ones that I particularly would read for fun.

I find myself obligated to read but not always excited to read them. I want to help authors out so I stretch my comfort zone and read books I wouldn’t normally read. Doing this has made me realize the books that I really love to read. I have learned what my just for me reads are.

I love to read light-hearted chick lit. Those are my ultimate favorite. I find myself making more time for books like this. I do this because life is short and you don’t want to waste your time on books that drag you down. I find that I am getting more picky with what I choose to read. I am more drawn to the just for me reads.

It really comes down to balance. I need to balance pleasure reading with commitment reading. This is a lesson I have learned in two years of book blogging.

How do you balance pleasure reading with committed reading?


Review – Searching for Sarah by Julieann DoveSearching For Sarah by Julieann Dove
Series: The Sarah Series, #1
on April 27th 2017
Pages: 240
Source: Caffeinated Book Reviewer

I received this book for free from Caffeinated Book Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


The first in a three book series called Searching for Sarah. Come meet Sarah and begin her journey....
Sarah Keller is convinced that her Mr. Right is stuck in traffic…in another country…on another planet. ‘Thirty-one and still single’ isn’t how she wants to be introduced by her dad. That’s why she’s on five dating websites, posing as anything from an avid gardener to a crazed thrill seeker.
Sam Turner is a single dad, workaholic, who owns his own company. Long-term relationships have never worked out for him. That’s why he needs a nanny.
When a mutual friend suggests Sarah take the job temporarily, everything changes for them both. Sarah begins falling for the man who meets almost none of her online criteria. And when strange things start happening—things that jeopardize the safety of Sarah, Sam is the last person she would imagine is hiding something.

Sarah is 31 and single. She doesn’t have much direction in life. Currently, she’s in law school. She dates but relationships don’t seem to last. Her friend recommends that she nanny for Sam Turner. Sam has it all together a big house, his own company, and a daughter. Sarah nannies for Sam and falls in love with the little girl. She isn’t interested in Sam at first because he seems to have it all. Sarah keeps looking for Mr. right. Could Mr. right be right in front of her?

In an Oyster Shell – A book about the main character finding herself.

The Pearls – I always love a book where the character is finding themselves. This seems to be a popular theme for Julieann Dove. The concept was well executed and interesting. I like that Sarah nannies for Sam. It puts them in close proximity and an intriguing story unfolds.

The romance is unexpected for Sarah. It follows a nice pace. Sarah has to kiss a few toads before Mr. Right comes along. Even when things seem to be working out there is conflict. The story ends with you not knowing what to expect in the romance department. This is okay because there are going to be more books.

Sarah was a free-spirited character. She kind of went as the wind blows in the beginning. She settles down more towards the end of the book. Circumstances, in the end, seem to ground her though there is still a little upheaval. The supporting characters were well-developed and defined. It was a strong character driven story.

The Sand – I find the main character a little off-putting at times.

3.5 Pearls!

3.5 Stars

About Julieann Dove

Julieann lives in Virginia, yet longs to live everywhere else. It doesn’t come as a surprise that along with her gypsy soul, comes an active imagination. That’s why she loves to write and invent worlds and people, so that she can formulate their happily ever after. Hobbies include cooking new recipes, sewing, and spending time with her cute boyfriend/husband and five fabulous children. Vacations happen in Nantucket or the Carolina beaches—anywhere there is inspiration for her next book. One day she hopes to travel to Italy, drive one of those little cars around the countryside, and speak the language fluently!


Review – Depravity by M.J. Haag

Review – Depravity by M.J. HaagDepravity (Beastly Tales, #1) by M.J. Haag
Series: Beastly Tales #1
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on June 10th 2015
Genres: Retelling, Romance
Pages: 176
Source: Xpresso Book Tours

I received this book for free from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


**ADULT ROMANCE**A classic fairy tale with a new twist, the Beauty and the Beast saga begins with Depravity...
Sixteen year old Benella is concerned with two things–avoiding the two village boys who torment her and scrounging for food to help feed her family. Unfortunately, the best wild fruit and vegetables are near the walls of the estate, a dark misty place inhabited by an unforgiving beast.
When her tormentors lock her behind the massive gates, Benella knows her fate is sealed. Yet, the fate isn’t one she expects. Her encounter with the beast starts a bizarre cycle of bargaining for her freedom, a freedom the beast seems determined to see her lose.
Note: Intended for mature readers due to sexual situations, violence (attempted rape), and moderate language.

Benella forages for her families food. She has her two sisters and a father to fend for. Benella often finds what she needs at the mysterious enchanted estate where she knows not to go in. With two tormenters in the town, they lock her in the estate and Benella is sure the beast is going to do away with her. Instead, he bargains for her freedom and she starts going to the estate often. The beast wants her to stay but Benella is not so inclined.  Will the beast be able to bargain for Benella’s freedom?

In an Oyster Shell – It was a fantastic Beauty and the Beast retelling. It was so good I ordered the second book right away.

The Pearls –  The concept of a Beauty and the Beast retelling was good and well executed. The difference between the original story and this one is mainly the main character has two sisters to care for. This is what drives Benella to go foraging which ultimately leads her to encounter the beast. I liked this concept of the story. It went along with the original idea with a few added twists to make it interesting.

The main characters were well defined. Benella was an interesting beauty character. She was quite tomboyish. Not what you would think of as a beauty. She develops into her character well. The beast starts out as this intimidating character and the author then brings out a lot of depth in him.

The romance is slow going but satisfying. There is more of a friendship that starts and develops. That turns into something more. The development of the relationship is a key component of the story and does not disappoint,

The Sand – The story was so good I continued with the series immediately.  I was surprised at how much sexual content was in the next book. There is some sexual violence as well. So I would be aware of that if you choose to read this series.

4 Pearls!

4 Stars

About M.J. Haag

MJ Haag is the pen name for Melissa Haag, a multi-published author of three series.

As MJ Haag she writes adult paranormal/fantasy romance. The Beastly Tales saga starts with Depravity, published June 2015. There are 2 more books in this series. Deceit publishes July 2015 and Devastation in August 2015.

As Melissa Haag she’s the bestselling author of the YA paranormal romance Judgement of the Six series and the Judgement of the Six Companion Series. Check out her YA books