Top reads of 2015

I shared my complete Goodreads list from this year’s reading in my last post, but I wanted to take a minute to highlight some of my favorites. Because, you know, everyone needs a few more books on their to-read list. 🙂

This was apparently a big year for reading/finishing series, so we’ll start with those.

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke (series, graphic novel): I picked this series up when I was exploring the world of graphic novels and loved it. Great story for young readers.

Jinx by Sage Blackwood (series, MG fantasy): The final book in the series, Jinx’s Fire, came out this year, and I loved it every bit as much as the first two.

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (series, classics): I had never ventured beyond the first book before this year, but I devoured the other seven in just a couple of months once I got started. Some are better than others, but all are worth the read.

The Casson Family by Hilary McKay (series, YA contemporary): This is one I’m kind of hesitant to recommend to everyone, because I’m not sure everyone would appreciate the family dynamics. But I picked up Indigo’s Star by chance at the library and had to read the rest after that. I’m a sucker for properly quirky characters, and the Casson family fits the bill.

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (series, MG family): Another series that wrapped up this year with the publication of The Penderwicks in Spring. I adore the Penderwicks, and while I struggled at first with the leap forward in time between the third and fourth books, I still loved the final installment.

Okay, a couple of standalone books:

As You Wish by Cary Elwes (memoir): I’ve always loved the movie The Princess Bride and finally read the book last year. So when I saw that dear Westley had written a memoir of the making of the movie, I had to check it out. It was a super fun read, filled with goofy stories and little snippets from other cast and crew members.

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith (YA historical fiction, WWII): This book is SO good for covering difficult questions that don’t have answers. A beautiful story of a black woman fighting for the chance to prove her worth.

There you have it! What were some of your favorite reads from 2015?


Another year of books

“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.” (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)

Another year of fabulous reading is almost at an end! I was wretchedly ill on Christmas, but still managed to enjoy the day reading (and rereading and rereading) Scout’s horde of new books (more just kept appearing under the tree, I don’t know how it happened). Once she went down for her nap, I pored over the absolutely stunning illustrations of my very own Illustrated Harry Potter, thanks to my wonderful husband who tolerates and indulges in my deeply rooted obsession.

I love that Goodreads gives me a visual at the end of each year showing which books I’ve read. If you’re interested, you can see my Year in Books here–not counting, of course, the scads of pictures books I’ve read aloud all year. Let me tell you, folks, I’m getting pretty darn good at Fox in Socks.

Here’s to all the books that will change our lives in 2016!

12 Giveaways: Bloodline


Welcome to the last day of our 12 Giveaways! Tara Ellis is our final author, giving away her sci-fi novel Bloodline. Read on below, then take advantage of this last day to enter all 24 giveaways!


12 Giveaways of Christmas


I’m excited to be a part of a great group of ‘clean read’ authors, who have come together this Christmas season, to offer twelve days of book giveaways! Each day, until the 25th, I will be sharing another authors giveaway, as well as my own!

Be sure to enter them ALL!!!
Please click the below link to enter your chance to win a paperback copy of my young adult, scifi book, Bloodline!


Goodreads Book Giveaway


by Tara Ellis

Giveaway ends December 30, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway



12 Giveaways: Angela Carling


Today you get a choice of four novels from author Angela Carling! Get the details below, then check out all 24 other giveaways running! Only two days left now!


Welcome to the 11th Day of the Twelve Days of Giveaways!

Twenty four authors of all genres have worked together to bring you AMAZING giveaways and just in time to celebrate the big day of giving.

Today is Day One of the fun and it’s my giveaway day. Who am I, Young Adult Author Angela Carling. Here’s my bio for those of you seeing my name for the first time.

Angela Carling was raised in Palm Springs California, but lives Arizona with her husband, three kids and five felines. After years of denial she finally admitted that she is a hopeless romantic which led her to write her first Young Adult book Unbreakable Love. Since then she’s published three more books, Shackled, Becoming Bryn and The Secret Keeper. Shackled won the silver IPGA award in 2012 and has been optioned as a screenplay. She always eats the frosting off her cake and leaves the rest, and can be caught singing in public bathrooms just for the acoustics. When she’s not writing YA novels, she’s mentoring teen writers, making pizza with her family or dreaming of taking a nap, not necessarily in that order.

Now on to the fun part…here is what I am giving away. In this post I’ve given you a little information on each of my four published Young Adult books. All you have to do is look them over and choose your favorite. You even get to pick whether you want a paper or digital copy. Below, I’ve pasted in the blurb you’d read on the back of each book and the book’s cover so that check them out as if you were browsing in a book story.

Anyone else love to spend hours combing through the book shelves?

When you’re all done, take a minute to enter to win your copy in my easy-peasy Rafflecopter giveaway and I’ll contact you by email on December 26 so it’ll be like extending Christmas an extra day. Meanwhile if you want to learn more about my work or read reviews you can drop by my website or Amazon\

Now, about the books…

The first book is called Becoming Bryn and it is a stand-alone tale with a ton of heart and a really hot kiss scene:)

Here is the blurb and cover for Becoming Bryn:  

Bryn cover

For months, Jesse has been envious of her twin sister Bryn and even has a crush on Bryn’s gorgeous, popular boyfriend, Quinton. When Jesse awakens from a coma to learn that everyone thinks she IS Brin, the option of actually taking over her sister’s life is beyond tempting, but there’s a downside. She’d have to give up her relationship with Ethan, her best friend and the only person she trusts. Could she actually live s Brin for the rest of her life? And if her family and friends found out, would they ever forgive her?


Next is my award-winning, been written into a screenplay, stand-alone novel SHACKLED! Here’s the cover and blurb. This one’s sure to keep you awake reading and somehow make you believe in love at the same time.

ShackledFcover (Small) (2)

After shy, quiet Lucy and her family move from their small hometown in Minnesota to Seattle, Washington, she is surprised when Ryan, the most popular boy at school asks her out. Soon, she is swept up in a whirlwind romance and her naïve and trusting nature allows her to fall head over heels in love with her too-good-to-be suitor. Suddenly, Lucy finds herself enraptured by the excitement of her new relationship, leaving her blinded to the warning signs of danger ahead. Can her fairy tale romance last, or will she find that her prince charming is more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.


Keeping things a little intense, I’ll introduce The Secret Keeper. This is book one of a three book series and is all kinds of suspenseful and surprising! Also, book two In the Dying Light comes out early in the New Year so you won’t have to wait long to find out what happens next. Here’s the cover and blurb.


When Seventeen year old Winter Merrill made a bargain with the mysterious Secret Keeper, she knew there were rules. The most important one, the next time you have a secret, you will not be able to tell it….even if you try.

What she didn’t know is that her next secret if not told, would destroy her life and the life of Liam, the only boy she ever loved. Can Winter find a way out of the dark bargain that binds her tongue or will her deal with the Secret Keeper bring devastating consequences unimaginable even to her?


Finally for all you romantics, here is Unbreakable Love. This was my first published book about a guardian angel that cannot touch the one he must protect. If you like cookies, love and other sweet things you’ll enjoy this tender romance.

Unbreakable_Love_cover_new (Large)

Jennie Townsend is unlucky in love, so she is suspicious when a mysterious new student named Nate tries to gain her friendship. Despite her mistrust of the boys at school she finds herself inexplicably drawn to Nate.

Nate is captivated by her too, but lives in a rule bound world as a guardian angel. His sacred task is to protect Jennie during a dangerous time in her life. However, he’s strictly forbidden to touch Jennie and falling in love is completely off limits. The more time Nate spends with Jennie, the harder the rules are to follow. Will Nate be able to save Jennie from a premature end, or will his own emotions – and Jennie’s – get in the way of completing the task for which he was specifically chosen?

Well, you’ve seen them all. Now all you have to do is enter to win and when I email you, let me know which one you want.  Thanks for stopping by and hope your holidays are filled with good things and excellent books. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Once you are all done entering to win, come and find me. I’d love to connect!







12 Giveaways: Christmas Socks


Cassie Shiels is visiting today with a giveaway of her new children’s book, Christmas Socks. Read more about it below, then visit here for a chance to get even more free books!


Myself and 23 other authors are giving away one of our books during a very special 12 days of Christmas!

From Dec 14th to Dec 25th we are all giving away a book and winners will be announced daily.

The book I am giving away is my new Children’s book called: Christmas socks

Christmas Socks

About the book: Macy, Ally and Ruby love Christmas. But when Mom and Dad say they need to make Christmas presents for each other Macy isn’t sure if she can make something her oldest sister Ruby will love.

Find it on


Its open from Dec 14th to Dec 23rd. On the 23rd I will announce a winner.

Go to my Facebook page to enter.

I hope you enjoy Christmas Socks as much as I did writing it! 😀



About me:


Cassie has loved stories since she was little. Her love of writing started even before she could write words. She was one to be found, reading late into the night, on the school bus or before she did her homework. In middle school she determined that she liked creating her own stories as much as she liked reading them; so she decided she wanted to be an author and keeps working on making that dream come true with every story idea that bounds into her head.

Find out more about Cassie and her books at her website: or visit her blog:


12 Giveaways: The Archer’s Hollow


Another free book for you today! Read on to learn about Peggy Urry’s The Archer’s Hollow, and don’t forget about the other giveaways still running!


Merry Christmas! I’m excited to share my fantasy adventure, The Archer’s Hollow with you. All you have to do is follow my blog:

For the last six years, Siri has sought a way to fulfill a vow made during the last hours of her beloved mother’s life. Faced with an unwanted betrothal, she knows any chance to honor her mother’s request is dwindling. Risking her life to escape the arranged marriage, she unwittingly triggers an ancient elven curse. Death and destruction will begin with the rise of the next full moon. The only recourse is restoring an ancient talisman to the elves. But pleas to return it go unanswered. Siri’s journey plunges her into a land of mystical creatures, some terrifying, some fascinating. As she begins to lose her heart to one very handsome Master Archer, his valley spirals toward irreversible ruin. Siri begins to wonder if she holds the key and how one lowly human could ever make a difference in a strange land of myth and magic.

About me: I’m a small town girl who loves the city and the ocean (and the mountains as long as I don’t have to camp or hike). I credit the lack of television in my parents’ home for my love of reading and my imagination. I credit the guy who hangs the moon for my belief in romance and true love. Along with him, five wonderful kids, extended family, and great friends keep my life exciting.

12 Giveaways: Demon’s Heart!


This Christmas, I’m pleased to give away a signed copy of my YA fantasy novel Demon’s Heart (Sweetwater Books). Enter here for your chance to win—and get it read before the sequel comes out March 2016!


demon's heart cover

Rustav is carrying a dangerous secret—one his uncle won’t hesitate to kill for. Now on the run, Rustav has only two options: turn and fight his uncle and the bloodthirsty demons of the island, or flee into the unknown and face the mysterious dangers of the forest.

Forced to choose between following his destiny and saving his life, Rustav soon discovers that his only hope of surviving lies in the mysteries of his past . . .

Get lost in this fantasy filled with a daring combination of action, adventure, and a hint of romance.


Praise for Demon’s Heart

“A talented writer can convince a reader that fantasy is real; a gifted author makes it look easy from the opening scene. This was Emily Hall Bates’s novel Demon’s Heart! It’s a creative story
that simply doesn’t stop. Intense action sequences, along with a brave and selfless hero, make this book highly addictive. Every reader who loves original, powerful fantasy will be absorbed in this compelling read.” —Rachel McClellan, Amazon best-selling author of the
Fractured Light series and Confessions of a Cereal Mother

 “Bates’s style is striking and sophisticated. Her mastery of storytelling grabbed me from the beginning and still hasn’t let go! Demon’s Heart is a fantastic new fantasy that will appeal to fans of author R. K. Ryals and Rothfuss’s very popular King Killer Chronicles.” —Hannah Clark, author of Uncovering Cobbogoth

 “Demon’s Heart takes the reader on a colorful adventure through lands of peasants and kings, soldiers and demons. Rustav’s tragic past and his solemn destiny make his journey one of poignant self-discovery.” —Adrienne Quintana, author of Eruption

 “Bates has created a world rich in history and originality—a perfect backdrop for an epic romance.” —R. C. Hancock, author of An Uncommon Blue


About the Author


 Emily lives with her husband, 2 daughters, and a goblin that sleeps in a cupboard. She can usually be found reading voraciously, writing madly, crocheting sporadically, or eating chocolate behind the fridge so she doesn’t have to share.

Visit her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and website for more news and excessive love of words and books.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of our 12 Giveaways of Christmas!

12 Giveaways: The Firethorn Crown


Today’s featured giveaway is The Firethorn Crown (Firethorn Chronicles #1), by Lea Doué. Learn more about her book and the giveaway below, and don’t forget to check out all 24 giveaways running from now until Christmas!


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00018]


Princess Lily, the eldest of twelve sisters and heir to a mighty kingdom, desperately seeks a break from her mother’s matchmaking. Tradition forbids marriage with the man Lily loves, so she would rather rule alone than marry someone who’s only after the crown.

Fleeing an overzealous suitor, Lily stumbles into a secret underground kingdom where she and her sisters encounter a mysterious sorcerer-prince and become entangled in a curse that threatens the safety of her family and her people. Lily can free them, but the price for freedom may be more than she’s willing to pay.

Lea Doue-Photo

About the Author:

A native of south Georgia, Lea currently lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her husband, their two boys, a rescue greyhound, and a cat. But, sadly, no dragons. Homeschooling and writing take up most of her time, but she also enjoys directing a small puppet team at her church. The Firethorn Crown, a re-imagining of Grimm’s “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” is the first novel in the Firethorn Chronicles, a series inspired by fairy tales and other stories.

– – –

What can I say—I love fairy tales! Enter to win a paperback or Kindle copy (winner’s choice) of The Firethorn Crown!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway.


The winner will be contacted on December 26. In the meantime, you can learn more about me or the Firethorn Chronicles here:







Merry Christmas and good luck!

12 Giveaways: Mages of Vane


Today we feature Jennifer Kibble, author of the Phoenix Element series! Read more about her giveaway below, and don’t forget that there are 24 giveaways going on from now until Christmas! Click here to see them all!


December 14th will kick off the Twelve Giveaways of Christmas. For twelve days, you have a chance to win books from twenty-four different scribes in genres across the spectrum!

During the Twelve Giveaways of Christmas, you will have a chance to win the second book in the Phoenix Element series, Mages of Vane. This giveaway will take place over at Amazon, so be sure to bookmark this page in preparation of the giveaway. Best of luck!

If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, Mages of Vane is free to read on your kindle. Want a physical copy? Use coupon code 68K4VN9J to get $4.00 off from Createspace!

Mages of Vane is the second book from the Phoenix Element series. Anya has now made her home at the Vane Magic School on the planet of Zerron. She is honing her abilities, and learning about auras. Behind the scenes, the Order of Blood is working to take down Vane. The mages must hold the magic school or the threat to the known galaxy will be that much greater.


On Amazon:

On Createspace:


12 Giveaways: Raft 9



Today’s featured author is AJ Harred, giving away a free copy of Raft 9! Read below, then click here to visit the website and claim your free ebook!

And don’t forget to see all 24 giveaways running from now to Christmas!


Today is Day 5 of the epic Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway!

It’s been great fun so far hasn’t it? And today, it’s my turn! I’m giving you my newly released e-book. Tada! It’s that easy. It’s my way of saying ‘Merry Christmas!’ All you have to do is tell me where to send it. I can send it to an email address or your Kindle email address, it’s up to you which you prefer. Enjoy!!!


There’s always Plan B… One hundred years from now accomplished aerospace engineer, Sara Ahmed, and the crew of Raft 9 are forced to flee from impending nuclear holocaust to the Peninsula, a space station waiting just beyond the moon. Chased by the blast, with no means of communication, and unsure of what the future holds, their launch seems doomed to fail. Will they escape in time? This first episode in The Peninsula series will have you perched on the edge of your seat. See for yourself why advance readers are saying of Raft 9:

I felt like I was racing along with the characters to hurry and get off the planet!

Can’t wait to find out what happens next