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May 22, 2015

Joyride Blog tour + Giveway!

Today I have the pleasure of having Anna Banks author of  the Of Poseidon series stop by the blog with a hilarious story of the ultimate April Fool's day. But before that let me tell you a little about Anna's new book Joyride.

Of Triton Anna BanksA popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.
It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.
Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.
All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

April Fool’s Day on Steroids, Anna Banks Style
A lot of people ask if I’ve ever played any of the pranks I wrote in JOYRIDE. The truth is, I’ve enjoyed employing ALL the pranks in JOYRIDE. I’ve been a prankster for as long as I can remember. But there was this one time, this one April Fool’s day, where I really outdid myself. Here’s the story:
I was thirteen. My accomplice, my niece Jennifer, was twelve. It was April Fool’s eve and we were pre-gaming it; encouraging our parents to drink. Even my mom—who never drank alcohol—consented to having a beer. A beer that would later become her arch nemesis.

As the adults began staggering to bed, and as the snores erupted throughout the house from the master and guest bedrooms, Jennifer and I got out a list. A list that had been weeks in the making.

Our main focus was the bathroom. We wanted to mar the sanctity of the bathroom so that no one would ever feel safe there again. Not even ourselves. We began by lifting the toilet seat and stretching saran wrap tightly across it, so it was this clear porcelain drum. We put the seat back down, and proceeded to paint clear nail polish on the soap bar, rendering it useless. We removed any and all towels from the vicinity. On our way out, we taped the light switch down.
Anna Banks JoyrideFrom there we moved to the kitchen, pouring salt in the sugar dish, food colored water in the dish soap, and dirt in the coffee grounds. We greased the handles of everything in the kitchen that had handles. We set a scary mask inside the freezer for an early morning scream. Again, we painted the bar of soap at the kitchen sink with clear nail polish. Again, we removed all towels from the vicinity.  Since the laundry room was so close, we decided it would be a good idea for one of us to poop in the cat’s litterbox. It looked almost like art.
It the bedroom as my parents slept, I sewed their slippers shut. We sprayed a touch of shaving cream in their hands. We rearranged their closet and froze all their clean underwear. But alas, our pranks had come to an end, because the beer Mom had enjoyed hours before suddenly started pushing
against her bladder. Jennifer and I crept to the living room where we had assembled sleeping bags to watch it all unfold.

Mom came out of the bedroom with a confused expression—she wasn’t wearing her slippers. She was also wiping her hands on her robe, which meant that even in her state of half-slumber, she registered the shaving cream we’d placed there. We crept quietly behind her as she made her way to the bathroom. The light switch was taped down, so Mom would have to navigate in the dark—and she still wasn’t sure what exactly was going on. The moment we heard the pee-drum go off in a sort of liquid staccato, we held our breath, waiting for the reaction. “WHAT THE HELL?” is what we were rewarded with.
It was followed by undignified grunts, the sound of running water and the inevitable “What the hell?” again as she realized her soap would not lather. Then, when she realized there were no towels to be found. Also, another expletive over the realization that the light switch was taped very thoroughly in the “off” position.
Bursting out of the bathroom (by then Jennifer and I had made it safely to the living room and were good little sleeping children) Mom rounded the corner wearing her soaking wet pajama pants halfway down and a scowl that could scare a rabid Sasquatch. We listened as she fumbled through her closet, unable to find a matching pair of pajamas or even a decent shirt. And certainly her underwear drawer was emptied just moments before. What she possibly found to replace her pissy pjs, we couldn’t know. In the process, in the glorious game of dominoes we’d concocted, she had awakened my father, who could never go back to sleep after he woke up.
The kitchen was waiting for his slipper-less self. Salt in his coffee. A scary mask when he opened the freezer to take out his daily serving of bacon—and that’s after several attempts because we greased the handles. He kept walking to the laundry room and sniffing the air. One can only hope he was enjoying the abstract art we’d created for him in the litter box.

Oddly, our parents were too impressed to ground us for our masterpiece. They’d forgotten that it was April Fool’s day—and we certainly hadn’t been reminding them—and so it was shame on them for failing to remember what brilliant children they had raised. Our actions had been fair and just. There was no retaliation, no shouting or hair snatching. Just laughter and salty coffee and frozen underwear.  
Along with a well-deserved nap that afternoon…  

After reading that I can't imagine what kind of pranks the character's in Joyride get up to!
I also have a giveaway for a copy of Joyride! U.S./ Canada only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also be sure to check out Anna on social media because she is hilarious, and I'm sure she has even more awesome stories to tell on the rest of the tour so be sure to check it out!

Author Links/Info
 Full Blog Tour Schedule
May 12- Xpresso Reads
May 13- WhoRU Blog
May 19-Fiktshun
May 27-Dana Square
May 29-Paper Riot
May 30-Mundie Moms

May 14, 2015

So You Want to Be A Princess Blog Tour

I am so excited to be a part of the tour for From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess. Meg Cabot's new middle grade princess book about Mia's sister Olivia! So first here's a little bit about From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess

Olivia Grace Clarisse Harrison has always known she was different. Brought up by her aunt's family in New Jersey, book-and-music-loving Olivia feels out of place in their life of high fashion and fancy cars. But she never could have imagined how out of place she really was until Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia, pops into her school and announces that Olivia is her long-lost sister. Olivia is a princess. A dream come true, right? But princesses have problems too.
In FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCESS a new middle grade series, readers will see Genovia, this time through the illustrated diaries of a spunky new heroine, 12 year old Olivia Grace, who happens to be the long lost half-sister of Princess Mia Thermopolis.

Sounds fun right?! Well as part of this blog tour they asked us to write about what we would do if we woke up and found out we were a princess:

If I woke up one day and found out I was a princess i would of course be super excited. I would tell all of my friends and maybe tell all the people who hadn't been very nice to me either. Then I would probably freak out a little and wonder if I was going to have to move, and what were my responsibilities going to be and who was going to teach me what to do?! (I have a tendency to freak out a little) 

But once I got that all figured out I would try to experience some of the fun stuff of being a princess. Like makeovers, and cool clothes. That's not to say I would be completely shallow. I would like to visit sick kids in hospitals and donate some money to organizations that would help sick kids. 

So that is what I would do if I found out I was a princess! Leave a comment down below and fill out the form for a chance to win a copy of From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess as well as a snazzy paper crown! (US only sorry)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 4, 2015

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Embassy Row
Title: All Fall Down
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher:Scholastic Press  
Release Date: January 20, 2015
Received From: Library  
Synopsis:   A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.
This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.
Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay--in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.

Review: I love Ally Carter's books. She writes such amazing, smart, strong female characters. If you liked Heist Society series' Kat or the Gallagher Girls' Cammie you will find a new favorite in Grace.

Grace is smart, spunky, and a risk-taker. She is taking the death of her mother really hard and makes some mistakes along the way, but those mistakes just make her more and more relatable.

I am a huge fan of mystery books, so reading about Grace and the other Embassy Row kids try and solve the murder of Grace's mother was really fun. There are twists and turns, as well as some suspenseful moments. But there is also lots of jokes and humor.

I really liked the setting of Embassy Row. It is such a cool idea because it adds more levels of politics and what Grace can and can't do. It also adds variety and diversity to her cast of friends and enemies. Also important people like the President of the United States dropping by is all ways good for more suspense.

Overall I really like this new book of Ally Carter's and I think Grace will be added to the list of strong feisty female characters. I also can't wait for the next book in the series!