Apr 23, 2017

Teaming Up With RogueCart: 10 Books You MUST Read Before The End Of 2017!

Today on the blog, we teamed up with RogueCart, an online list-making site, to show you just how helpful that can be to bloggers and bookworms like us. I am infamous for having ten million notebooks lying around, scribbling shopping/packing/reading lists in all of them, and then losing them or not being able to remember which list I put in which book. So, needless to say, an online system where I didn't have to worry about that was a very welcome concept to me.

So with the help of my handy dandy new RogueCart account, I made a bookishl list about the 10 Books You MUST Read Before The End Of 2017! The list contains some popular favorites of mine that weren't necessarily published this year, as well as a few newbies. All of the books on the list, however, are equally as special in the realm that you simply cannot go another minute of your life without having read them, so finishing them by the end of this year the latest is advised! So click the link above to check out my list and see if you've read any of my absolute favorites! Comment down below if you have, or if any of those books were already on your TBR. (And if they are, I recommend moving them up immediately.) I'm curious to see how many of my favorite books are also the favorites of you guys!

Overall, I really loved making this list with RogueCart. I can definitely see how it'd be helpful when creating Top Ten Tuesday posts, so I think I'll most definitely be checking that out as a resource! If you are on the fence about trying RogueCart, I certainly recommend it -- it's fast, free, and easy to use, so all of you organizationally-savvy readers out there can get started and get listing in no time! :-)

I'd like to extend another big thank you to RogueCart for reaching out to us and letting us know about their awesome service! Before this post, I had no idea that something like this existed, and now I am already making plans to utilize the website for packing lists, Secret Santa parties, and even bookish wishlists when the holiday season starts to roll around.

If you're interested in checking them out further, explore their website and Twitter!

Apr 22, 2017

Guest Post: Samantha Chase, Author of The Bridal Squad

Hello, everyone! On this lovely Saturday, we bring to you a guest post. But not just any guest post -- a guest post by an author that we have really grown to love, and whose stories captivate us and punch us in the feels every single time. That author is none other than the amazing Samantha Chase*, and she's here with a guest post about her writing process/coming up with characters for her story. We also have a little bonus section about her new story, The Bridal Squad, which is also worth checking out!


Hey, Girls!!  Or should I say, Hey, Bratz!! Thank you so much for having me back on the blog!!  You know, I think I can envision the girls of THE BRIDAL SQUAD being the kind of girls you probably know or are friends with – you know, a core group of girls who’ve been friends for ages and just know how to be there for one another.

What I decided to share with you today was a Q&A of questions I’ve been asked about THE BRIDAL SQUAD and about the girls of the Enchanted Bridal Series as a whole ☺

Q:  So these stories are all a little more women’s fiction than romance, although there are definitely romantic elements.  What made you decide to do that?

Romance is always going to be my number one choice of what to write, but I have found that I really enjoy writing about the friendships between my characters.  Especially the female characters.  I discovered that early on in my books that the scenes that I normally write between the heroine and her best friend are the ones that I love the most.  So writing an entire book based on that relationship just seemed like something that I wanted to try.  But at the end of the day, I love writing romances and that’s why each girl in the series will have some sort of romantic story line as well.

Q:  Are any of the girls based on people you know?

The character of Angie is definitely based on a friend of mine – it’s all her personality traits, but none of the life experiences.  Angie is definitely a character and I think I had the most fun writing her because I literally knew exactly what she’d do or say in any given situation!  But all of the rest of the girls are more of a combination of people that I know rather than any one individual person.

Q:  In THE BRIDAL SQUAD you talk a lot about fitness and taking classes at the gym.  How often do you work out?

LOLOLOLOL!!!  If we were to simply put a picture of me here rather than words, you’d still get the same answer – Not a lot.  I recently bought a bike desk (and yes, it is exactly what you think it is) but other than that, I do not go to the gym at all.  Back in college, I had a friend who taught aerobics and she used to drag me to classes with her so that she could see at least one face she knew in the room.  I always went begrudgingly but I used that memory to help the girls when they had to go to one of Julianne’s classes in the book.

Q:  The sneakers.  Oh, my gosh…the SNEAKERS!!  Where did you get them??

Funny story.  The cover of FRIDAY NIGHT BRIDES featured a pair of sparkly white shoes and everyone loved them.  For THE BRIDAL SQUAD I wanted a pair of sparkly sneakers.  Easy, right?  Um…no.  There are ZERO royalty free images of sparkly white sneakers to be found.  ZERO!  I had people take some pictures of sneakers they had but the lighting wasn’t right or the style wasn’t right and it was getting close to the deadline so I went on eBay and found a pair and bought them.  I didn’t care about what size they were, I just needed a pair of sparkly sneakers!  Then we had a photographer come and take the pictures right in my house and VOILA!    This cover is the first time EVER that I did a photoshoot specifically for it and it was a lot of fun!  And the good news at the end of it all: The sneakers fit!!  Well, they’re a little snug, but I’m stretching them and I plan on wearing them to the RT Booklovers Convention in Atlanta!

Q:  What’s next for the girls of Enchanted Bridal?

I am already planning a third full-length book for next year and just like what you saw here in THE BRIDAL SQUAD, you’ll get guest appearances by all of our girls.  However, there is going to be a novella coming out in the fall that will feature the new girl to the Enchanted Bridal shop team – Penny ☺  So be on the lookout!

Thank you for having me here today and I hope you all enjoy THE BRIDAL SQUAD!!!


About Samantha Chase

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Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina.

About The Bridal Squad

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Title: The Bridal Squad
Author: Samantha Chase
Publication Date: May 10th, 2017
271 Pages
Add it on Goodreads!
Summary: The Friday Night Brides are back! And this time, it’s their first season running the business! It was one thing to just model in a weekly fashion show, it’s quite another to be the ones calling the shots and making future brides’ dreams come true. Their first client has them wondering if they’re really prepared for their new roles! The Bride: Julianne is big on fitness, small on patience. And planning her wedding is grating on her every last nerve. As a Zumba instructor, she loves the freedom to create and choreograph her routines and help others achieve their goals, but having to stand back and let others choreograph her big day has her wanting to hip-hop toward eloping! The Matron of Honor: As the only married member of the bridal party, Natalie considers herself the aficionado on all-things weddings. And even though her time in the spotlight is over, that doesn’t mean she isn’t full of ideas on how her best friend’s wedding should look and feel and be! And it doesn’t take long for her to realize that maybe it’s not so much that she’s wanting to help as it is that she’s afraid of her own honeymoon ending. The Bride’s Sister: Nothing screams unwanted relationship advice than when your younger sister gets married before you. It’s not that Harper doesn’t want to get married, after three failed engagements she really does! But finding the right man to walk down the aisle with is proving harder than she thought. And it gets even harder when constantly being compared to the perfect couple! The Reluctant Bridesmaid: There is nothing Kayla wants more than to see one of her best friend’s get married…if only the whole process wasn’t so exhausting! Travel and adventure and being on the go fuels her. Having to stay in one place for an extended period of time while wearing taffeta? Not so much. Her job tends to take her away on a moment’s notice and this is one time she may have to pass up the trip of a lifetime in the name of friendship. 

It was so great having Samantha here today to talk about her writing process and her new book -- it's always a pleasure! If you like what you read, add The Bridal Squad to your TBR!

*I'd just like to point out that in no way did Samantha or her publishers have any chance to read this post before it went live, and all of her praises that we were singing were not solicited in any way -- she is seriously one of the kindest, sweetest authors we've ever worked with and we absolutely love reading her books and having her visit!! <33

Apr 20, 2017

Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer


Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 453 Pages
Published November 2016

Summary: Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen. At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. 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 a secret courtship. Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

I've been a huge fan of Marissa Meyer since I read The Lunar Chronicles, so I was super excited to get my hands on Heartless, especially after seeing so many great things about it. I've never been a huge fantasy fan, but there's something about Meyer's books that get me hooked every single time without fail.

As the summary explains, this book is the story of Cath, a young girl in the kingdom of Hearts who has a grand passion for baking and can't wait to open a bakery with her friend (and loyal servant) one day. There's just one small problem -- the King wants to marry her, and her parents will not let her choose any other path for her life other than to be his bride. And she has zero affection towards him whatsoever.

Even worse than that? She starts to develop feelings for his court jester instead, and goes on to learn some dark secrets from him -- secrets that could alter the course of her life, for better or for worse.

There were a lot of things I liked about this book. I have never been super familiar with the story of Alice in Wonderland, having seen both the cartoon and the Tim Burton movie (which was overwhelmingly terrifying because I'm a chicken), but I didn't know many specifics about the world. I recognized a lot of the characters, but the story itself was entirely unique, which was refreshing. In a way, it was a retelling without really retelling anything. It almost seems to be set in the future from Alice's story, in a way, because Hatta makes several references to his ancestors, the mad hatters who came before him. (But that's just an assumption of mine. I'm no detective here.) 

(Spoilers ahead, please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read the book already!) I was absolutely in love with the romance between Cath & Jest. They were so adorable and romantic, and he was so dark and brooding and witty and protective and ugh. My typical teenage fangirl heart could barely take it. I loved him so much, and I loved him and Cath even more. (Even if sometimes it felt a little instalove-ish, which I'm not a big fan of.) I shipped them from the get go, even when Cath was hesitant about them or he wasn't sure that being together was the greatest idea. Every moment that they were together was a giant swoon-fest. Total relationship goals right there. *heart eyes*

(More major spoilers here. Onto the next paragraph if you don't want the book ruined for you!) It wasn't until the end of the book that I realized this book may be the entire story behind the craziness of the Queen of Hearts, who is so famous in previous retellings of Alice in Wonderland. Being that the last words in the book are "off with is head!", that's what led me to that conclusion. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending, mainly because I'm a total hopeless romantic and wanted her to end up with Jest. But if she's supposed to be taking on the persona of the horrid Queen of Hearts, I can see why the story had to end the way it did. Cath ended up alone without anybody she truly loved, and she became the cruel, heartless queen that all of the stories make her out to be.

Overall, I really enjoyed Heartless. As someone who isn't a huge fantasy fan, I find it miraculous that I'm always so interested in Marissa Meyer's stories, and that I never want to put them down. I finished this book while I was at a family party because it was just so good that I couldn't stop reading, and I kept wanting to flip to the next page to see what else was going to happen. I really enjoyed this book and I'd definitely recommend it to anybody looking for a refreshing fantasy read to pick up! As always, Meyer does not disappoint!