Blog Tour Spotlight: Jackie & Me by Louis Bayard

Today I’m shining a spotlight on Jackie & Me by Louis Bayard. This is a historical fiction about a young Jackie Kennedy before she was a Kennedy. Special thanks to Algonquin Books for having me on tour!

Goodreads: Jackie & Me
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: 14 June 2022
Genre: Historical Fiction

In 1951, former debutante Jacqueline Bouvier is hard at work as the Inquiring Camera Girl for a Washington newspaper. Her mission in life is “not to be a housewife,” but when she meets the charismatic congressman Jack Kennedy at a Georgetown party, her resolution begins to falter. Soon the two are flirting over secret phone calls, cocktails, and dinner dates, and as Jackie is drawn deeper into the Kennedy orbit, and as Jack himself grows increasingly elusive and absent, she begins to question what life at his side would mean. For answers, she turns to his best friend and confidant, Lem Billings, a closeted gay man who has made the Kennedy family his own, and who has been instructed by them to seal the deal with Jack’s new girl. But as he gets to know her, a deep and touching friendship emerges, leaving him with painfully divided alliances and a troubling dilemma: Is this the marriage she deserves?
 
Narrated by an older Lem as he looks back at his own role in a complicated alliance, this is a courtship story full of longing and of suspense, of what-ifs and possible wrong turns. It is a surprising look at Jackie before she was that Jackie. And in best-selling author Louis Bayard’s witty and deeply empathetic telling, Jackie & Me is a page-turning story of friendship, love, sacrifice, and betrayal— and a fresh take on two iconic American figures.

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Blog Tour Spotlight: Slip by Marika McCoola & Aatmaja Pandya

Today I’m shining a spotlight on Slip by Marika McCoola and illustrated by Aatmaja Pandya, as part of the blog tour hosted by Algonquin. This is a YA coming-of-age graphic novel that deals with topics such as suicide, self-harm, and mental health.

Special thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for having me on tour and for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: Slip
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: 07 June 2022
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Magical Realism

Right before Jade is about to leave for a summer art intensive, her best friend, Phoebe, attempts suicide. How is Jade supposed to focus on herself right now?

But at the Art Farm, Jade has artistic opportunities she’s been waiting for her whole life. And as she gets to know her classmates, she begins to fall for whimsical, upbeat, comfortable-in-her-own-skin Mary. Jade pours herself into making ceramic monsters that vent her stress and insecurities, but when she puts her creatures in the kiln, something unreal happens: they come to life. And they’re taking a stand: if Jade won’t confront her problems, her problems are going to confront her, including the scariest of them all—if Jade grows, prospers, and even falls in love this summer, is she leaving Phoebe behind?

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Blog Tour Spotlight: The Tiltersmith by Amy Herrick

I’m excited to be shining a spotlight on The Tiltersmith by Amy Herrick today! This middle-grade story combines science and folklore to spin a page-turning, action-packed story of friendship, love, teamwork, and environmental stewardship. It sounds like a pretty unique read and certainly like nothing that I’ve read before especially for this age range, and I’m excited to read it at some point! Plus, how great is this cover?!


Myths and monsters collide with climate chaos in a thrilling fantasy adventure

“Vacillating between scientific reasoning and lore from worldwide cultures, the descriptions of beautiful legends of seasons and the sobering study of climate change are so rich.”—Kirkus Reviews


Special thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for having me on tour and for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Tiltersmith
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: 06 April 2022
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Spring has arrived in Brooklyn, New York, but winter refuses to let go. Sleet, snow, and even a tornado batter the city. Mr. Ross, the science teacher, believes climate change is the cause, but classmates Edward, Feenix, Danton, and Brigit suspect older, magical forces are at work. When a peculiar character calling himself Superintendent Tiltersmith appears with a keen interest in the foursome, their suspicions are confirmed, and they’re swept up in a battle of wits and courage.

The friends must protect a set of mysterious tools belonging to the Lady of Spring. If they can free her from her underground prison, winter will end. But if the Tiltersmith steals the tools, he will keep the Lady in his power and upset the balance of nature forever.

Perfect for readers of Madeleine L’Engle and Susan Cooper, The Tiltersmith returns to the world of Amy Herrick’s acclaimed Time Fetch in a timely, exciting stand-alone adventure.

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Blog Tour Spotlight: Letter to a Stranger by Colleen Kinder

Hi, friends! I’m excited to be shining a spotlight on Letters to a Stranger: Essays to the Ones Who Haunt Us by Colleen Kinder on the blog today!

When I first heard about this book, it absolutely delighted the part of me that often thinks about all the people, significant or seemingly insignificant, that I’ve met in life. I think it’s such a romantic notion and I love the idea of writing a letter to whichever person has (un)knowingly left a mark on your person. I haven’t heard of any of the featured authors in this book but I’m excited to dive into it. This seems like a collection of essays that is best taken in over an extended period of time by consuming maybe one or two stories a day to really be able to savour the experience!

Special thanks to Algonquin Books for having me on tour and for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: Letter to a Stranger: Essays to the Ones Who Haunt Us
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: 22 March 2022
Genre: Non-Fiction

Sixty-five extraordinary writers grapple with this mystery: How can an ephemeral encounter with a stranger leave such an eternal mark?

When Colleen Kinder put out a call for authors to write a letter to a stranger about an unforgettable encounter, she opened  the floodgates. The responses—intimate and addictive, all written in the second person—began pouring in. These short, insightful essays by a  remarkable cast of writers, including Elizabeth Kolbert, Pico Iyer, Lauren Groff, Gregory Pardlo, Faith Adiele, Maggie Shipstead, Lia Purpura, Kiki Petrosino, and Jamil Jan Kochai, are organized around such themes as Gratitude, Wonder, and Farewell and guide us both across the globe and through the mysteries of human connection. Addressed to a first responder after a storm, a gambler encountered on jury duty, a waiter in  Istanbul, a taxi driver in Paris, a roomful of travelers watching reality TV in La Paz, and dozens of others, the pieces are replete with observations about how to live and what we seek, and how a stranger’s loaded glance, shared smile, or question posed can alter the course of our lives. 

Moving and unforgettable, Letter to a Stranger is an irresistible read for the literary traveler and the perfect gift for anyone who is haunted by a person they met once and will remember forever.

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Blog Tour Spotlight: The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill

I’m excited to be shining a spotlight on The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill on the blog today!

I have to admit it was the cover art that immediately caught my eye, but this is a fantasy about the power of generosity and love, and how a community suffers when they disappear, and it sounds like there’s a wonderfully heartwarming tale to be found inside. I don’t know about you but a heartwarming tale full of kindness sounds like the perfect read right now, what with everything happening in the world.

Special thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for having me on tour and for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Ogress and the Orphans
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: 08 March 2022
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy

Stone-in-the-Glen, once a lovely town, has fallen on hard times. Fires, floods, and other calamities have caused the people to lose their library, their school, their park, and even their neighborliness. The people put their faith in the Mayor, a dazzling fellow who promises he alone can help. After all, he is a famous dragon slayer. (At least, no one has seen a dragon in his presence.) Only the clever children of the Orphan House and the kindly Ogress at the edge of town can see how dire the town’s problems are.

Then one day a child goes missing from the Orphan House. At the Mayor’s suggestion, all eyes turn to the Ogress. The Orphans know this can’t be: the Ogress, along with a flock of excellent crows, secretly delivers gifts to the people of Stone-in-the-Glen.

But how can the Orphans tell the story of the Ogress’s goodness to people who refuse to listen? And how can they make their deluded neighbors see the real villain in their midst?

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Blog Tour Spotlight: The Counterclockwise Heart by Brian Farrey

I’m excited to be shining a spotlight on The Counterclockwise Heart by Brian Farrey today! This middle-grade fantasy sounds really good and I actually started it on a whim the other day. I’m already getting slightly dark but very magical fairytale-gone-wrong vibes from it and I can’t wait to dive back in whenever I have to put it down. I can’t wait to see where this story goes 😄 Also, how cool is this cover?!

Special thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for having me on tour and providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Counterclockwise Heart
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: 01 February 2022
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy

Tick . . . tick . . . tick . . .
Time is running out in the empire of Rheinvelt.
 
The sudden appearance of a strange and frightening statue foretells darkness. The Hierophants—magic users of the highest order—have fled the land. And the shadowy beasts of the nearby Hinterlands are gathering near the borders, preparing for an attack.
 
Young Prince Alphonsus is sent by his mother, the Empress Sabine, to reassure the people while she works to quell the threat of war. But Alphonsus has other problems on his mind, including a great secret: He has a clock in his chest where his heart should be—and it’s begun to run backwards, counting down to his unknown fate.
 
Searching for answers about the clock, Alphonsus meets Esme, a Hierophant girl who has returned to the empire in search of a sorceress known as the Nachtfrau. When riddles from their shared past threaten the future of the empire, Alphonsus and Esme must learn to trust each other and work together to save it—or see the destruction of everything they both love.

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Book Spotlight + Excerpt: Revenge by Dani Hoots

Hello, friends! Today I’m shining a book spotlight on Revenge by Dani Hoots.

Be sure to click here or on the banner above to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Special thanks to the author, Dani Hoots, for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads: Revenge (City of Kaus #1)
Publisher: FoxTales Press
Publish Date: 16 November 2021
Genre: YA/NA Western Sci-Fi, LGBTQ+

A swashbuckling upper YA/NA LGBTQ+ sci-fi western you don’t want to miss!

It has been three years since Elvira “Ellie” Ryder was betrayed by her ex-boyfriend Cor, which caused the destruction of her people by invaders from a different Zone. Now she will do anything to find him and make him pay.

Ellie has found someone who knows where Cor is. The price—assassinate a half-human, half-Sirian who is trying to join the Society, a high-class club only for the rich. Ellie takes the job, as it wouldn’t be the first assassination job she has taken, and heads to the Human Zone. However, when she learns more about her target, the more she realizes what is going on behind the curtain, and how her people were really destroyed.

Will Ellie be able to forgive Cor after learning the truth? Or will she forever hold on to that hatred?

*Rep: Bisexual, asexual, & gay

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Book Spotlight + Excerpt: Towers and Tithes by Christina Bauer

Hello, friends! Today I’m shining a book spotlight on Towers and Tithes by Christina Bauer. This is actually the eighth book in the Fairy Tales of the Magicorum series but all the books in this series can be read as a standalone!

Be sure to click here or on the banner above to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Special thanks to Monster House Books for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: Towers and Tithes (Fairytales of the Magicorum #8)
Publisher: Monster House Books
Publish Date: 09 November 2021
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy, Retellings

I’m a Tower Tithe with a Rapunzel problem. That’s not as weird as it sounds.

Ever wonder how Rapunzel survives without leaving her home? After all, someone must stock groceries, buy hair products and fix the plumbing. Witches don’t wield toilet brushes, so “Rapunzel care” becomes the job of Tower Tithes like me. Not that we choose this gig. We’re just unlucky elves who get magically chucked into servitude. Since our kind live for ages, being a Tower Tithe can drag on for thousands of years… and I’m eighteen. Yipes.

That said, it wouldn’t be too awful if I had a cool Rapunzel. No such luck.

I serve none other than Lady R, the social media sensation and sadist who lives in Manhattan’s famous Apex Towers. With the help of her manager—a witch named Jocasta—Lady R releases daily gossip videos while assigning me “torture chores.” Many tasks are designed to remind me how Lady R is the gorgeous variety of elf, while I’m beyond plain. I spend a lot of time scheming my escape.

My work pays off when an eccentric billionaire offers to magically set me free. The catch? I must move to Arizona and become his personal assistant. Needless to say, I rush for the door. Turns out, my new employer is none other than Lady R’s ex-boyfriend, Dex, a guy who was blinded in a strange accident and has since become a recluse.

In other words, I ran from my fairy tale life, but it found me again anyway.

At this point, I should head for the hills, yet I simply can’t leave Dex. For the first time, I truly feel comfortable around someone. In all honesty, it’s probably because I have self-esteem issues and Dex can’t see my bland face. Even so, it’s all good until Lady R discovers where I am. And that leads to my Rapunzel problem.

With Lady R back in the picture, can I still find my happily ever after? The truth will emerge soon enough.
Because my name is Grayson Eyre, and this is my story.


Ideal for readers who crave a mash-up between Rapunzel and Jane Eyre.

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Book Spotlight: How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino, translated by Bruno Navasky

Special thanks to Algonquin Books for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hello, friends! Today I’m shining a book spotlight on How Do You Live? by Genazburo Yoshino. This book is the first English translation of the Japanese classic and it has a foreword by Neil Gaiman! It has also inspired the world-famous director: Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is the genius behind some of my all-time favourites from Ghibli Studio (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc.), so of course I’m interested in seeing what inspired the man! 😍

Goodreads: How Do You Live?
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publish Date: 26 October 2021
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction, Japanese Literature

Anime master Hayao Miyazaki’s favorite childhood book, in English for the first time.
First published in 1937, Genzaburō Yoshino’s How Do You Live? has long been acknowledged in Japan as a crossover classic for young readers. Academy Award–winning animator Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle) has called it his favorite childhood book and announced plans to emerge from retirement to make it the basis of a final film.


How Do You Live? is narrated in two voices. The first belongs to Copper, fifteen, who after the death of his father must confront inevitable and enormous change, including his own betrayal of his best friend. In between episodes of Copper’s emerging story, his uncle writes to him in a journal, sharing knowledge and offering advice on life’s big questions as Copper begins to encounter them. Over the course of the story, Copper, like his namesake Copernicus, looks to the stars, and uses his discoveries about the heavens, earth, and human nature to answer the question of how he will live.

This first-ever English-language translation of a Japanese classic about finding one’s place in a world both infinitely large and unimaginably small is perfect for readers of philosophical fiction like The Alchemist and The Little Prince, as well as Miyazaki fans eager to understand one of his most important influences.

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