Thursday, September 20, 2018

ARC Review: Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

SummaryDarius doesn't think he'll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He's about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it's pretty overwhelming--especially when he's also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom's family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what's going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understand that sometimes, best friends don't have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he's spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush--the original Persian version of his name--and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he's Darioush to Sohrab. When it's time to go home to America, he'll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own (via

Pages: 312

Release Date: August 28th, 2018

Rating: 5/5 Stars


I was fortunate enough to read an advanced copy of Darius the Great is Not Okay, which I absolutely loved. Daruis the Great is Not Okay follows an Iranian-American teen struggling with his cultural identity and clinical depression. As a biracial teen he finds himself in situations where he is too Persian to fit in with white kids, but also where he is too white to fit in with Persians. To me, Darius the Great is Not Okay truly encases what it is like to be a teenager. While I cannot relate to being biracial, high school is a difficult period for some and I deeply related to Darius. 

Darius the Great is Not Okay also featured an amazing friendship and family dynamic. Many Young Adult novels choose to focus on romantic relationships instead of friendships and family relationships. While I have no problems with romantic relationships being featured in Young Adult books, it is also important to showcase friendships and family relationships. 

Darius and Sohrab's friendship was adorable. They had their occasional problems, like any friendship, but they were both extremely supportive of one another. I loved reading the developments of their friendship and also the progression of their character developments. They were both fantastic characters and I am disappointed that this is a standalone novel. I wish I would be able to read more about them. 

Another crucial part of the story was Darius' family. On his trip to Iran, he meets his mother's family for the first time. While he has talked to them over Skype previously, he has yet to meet them in person. Although he fears that they will be disappointed in him, he finds his place among them and discovers what a supportive and loving family he has. Throughout the novel, Darius' strained relationship with his father is also explored. Both he and his father suffer from depression and are only able to bond over their mutual love of Star Trek. Darius believes his father is disappointed in him while his father fully embraces his younger sister, Laleh. Although he feels a strain with his father, he does love his sister dearly and is a fantastic older brother. He would do anything for Laleh and it was enjoyable seeing their banter. It was also nice seeing the progression of Darius and his father's relationship. While their relationship was strained at times, the problems of their relationship were explored and truly developed.

Darius' mental illness also plays a large role in the story. While he is properly medicated, his symptoms are still present to the reader. His depression feeds into his self-doubt and insecurities. It was also interesting how mental illness was expanded through a cultural lens. While Americans are relatively tolerant to mental illness, Persians are not. In Iran, Darius' family and Sohrab act as though depression is something he can shake off. I knew that other countries were not as accepting of mental illnesses as the United States, but it was still shocking to read about. 

I may have described Darius as a rather depressed and insecure character, but I need you to realize that he has his uplifting moments. While he suffers from depression, he is also a teenage boy who is conscious of his acne and is rather awkward. He is such a lovable character that always uses Star Trek references and could talk to you about tea for hours. I would love to have the opportunity to get tea with him one day. He is quite the expert and I know he would never leave me astray. I absolutely adore his character and I wish I had more than one book with him.

While I have never visited Iran, I truly felt like I was there. In order to show Darius and Laleh their heritage, Darius and his family travel throughout Iran to places such as Persepolis and the Towers of Silence in Yazd. It was interesting learning about Persian culture and the Zoroastrian faith. Current events in Iran are not always positive in the news; however, it was refreshing to hear about Iran in a loving and immersive environment. Iran might not be perfect, but Persians are extremely proud of their culture and heritage.

Darius the Great is Not Okay is one of my absolute favorite books of 2018. I laughed, cried, and everything in between. I wish I had more time with Darius, Sohrab, and his family. It was a beautiful story about family, friendship, and cultural identity. I highly recommend Darius the Great is Not Okay. The book is much more than okay. Adib Khorram did an amazing job on his debut, I fell in love with his characters and storytelling, I cannot wait to see what he writes next. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Teaser October: YA Fest 2018 Author Announcements


Can you figure out who's coming to #YAFest2018? Try to guess starting October 1 at 8:30pm EST on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

ARC Review: Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One by Jessica Hernandez

SummaryFifty-three families looking for a new beginning board a ship and sail to an uninhabited island. Happily they live for well over two decades. Homes are built and the past is forgotten. Paradise, however, is no more after the adults suddenly vanish one night. For three years, the teens and children rule the island of Oridd. For three years, they survive. When an old woman unexpectedly appears on Oridd, all is cast into disarray as the strange and awful threaten to become commonplace. The old woman wants something, and she won’t leave until she gets it.

Pages: 333

Release Date: Saturday, October 7th

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy of Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One from its author, Jessica Hernandez. While I have read a few random classics for my Advanced Placement Literature and Composition class, I have not read many books for pleasure this last month. I was glad to add some variety and read Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One. It was a refreshing read that I greatly appreciated. Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One was a thrilling, suspenseful, and compelling novel that should be on everyone's to-be-read list. 

I never knew where the plot of Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One was going, every two steps I thought I was ahead was actually five steps in the wrong direction. It was truly a thrilling and suspenseful ride that kept me guessing at every turn. It is the perfect read for the fall and Halloween season. The ending left me with a dozen more questions. I never saw the end coming and I am still coming to terms with it. It was a risky move that proved worthwhile. I am impressed by Jessica Hernandez. I am hooked on this story-line and cannot wait to explore more of the story. I presume there will be a sequel to Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One, otherwise that would be cruel. After its ending, the reader needs more.

The main complaint and praise I had with Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One was the writing. While it typically flowed smoothly, a few segments of the writing left me rereading specific sections. The rough patches were descriptions that might have been edited out in the final copy, but it was something I wanted to mention. Although the world was one I had never heard of or explored before, Jessica was able to seamlessly transition me into the world within the first page. I was only caught up on a few descriptions that were focused on the movement and activities of the characters, not the world. Some descriptions were confusing and took away from the story; overall, the story flowed very smoothly and I enjoyed the writing style.

I enjoyed the world of Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One. It was an interesting concept that Jessica executed well. I hope to be able to explore the world further in its possible sequel(s). The end uncovered more of the world the novel had yet to mention. I am interested to see what Jessica has planned for the continuation of the story. Like I have mentioned numerous times, I am excited for more from this world.

The characters were also enjoyable, but they lacked luster at times. While they were not necessarily characters I will forever remember, their journey and obstacles were compelling and it brought the story to life. I will admit that I was overwhelmed at times by the amount of characters introduced within the span of one page. Many were not crucial to the story, overshadowing the description of characters that would prove valuable to the story. Cayleth was a decent character, but I absolutely loved her relationship with her sister, Lorelle.  At times, the characters lacked something that made them three-dimensional; however, the  relationship between Cayleth and Lorelle always made them jump off the page. Cayleth by herself or with Poins frequently left the story lacking, but Cayleth's relationship with Lorelle brought much needed dimension to the story.

Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One was a suspenseful read that I highly recommend ordering. It had a compelling plot and world that left me wanting more. I am excited to read Jessica Hernandez's other titles. She has caught my eye. Let me know in the comments below if you have read Cayleth Warding and the Scarlet One or another novel by Jessica Hernandez. If you have read one of her titles, please let me know what you thought.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Blog Tour: Ally (Nemesis #2) by Anna Banks I Review

Summary: Princess Sepora of Serubel and King Tarik of Theoria have formed an uneasy truce between their kingdoms since the deadly plague began to rip through Theoria. Since their feelings for each other are entangled in politics and power, they must use their own trusted resources to find common ground.

But when traitors with powerful allies arise from unexpected places, Tarik and Sepora face challenges that will change both of their kingdoms forever. Will they learn whom to trust—including each other—in time to save their kingdoms, their relationship and even their lives?

Pages: 320

PublisherFeiwel & Friends

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Ally is the second book in Anna Banks' Nemesis duology. I received an advanced copy of  the first book in the duology, Nemesis, last year at San Diego Comic-Con and I thoroughly enjoyed it, you can read my review of Nemesis here. Ally was the perfect conclusion to Tarik and Sepora's story; however, I would love to see Anna Banks pursue more stories in this world. I understand if she does not want to create any spin-off series; however, I would love  to read novellas following other characters in the series. I am particularly adamant to read  novellas following Sethos and Tulle, they both stole my heart in Ally. I would also love to see a novella following Cy. Although he is a crucial member of the story, not much is known about him. His relative youth also allows for the potential of a spin-off series...

Nemesis' ending left the main characters in an interesting predicament that made Ally one of my highly anticipated releases of 2017. Although Tarik and Sepora's romance swept me off my feet in Nemesis, I was slightly annoyed with them throughout Ally. Their tendencies to be stubborn, forced them to constantly face opposition from the other. While I understand their stubbornness, their lack of willingness to communicate left their relationship in tatters. It was rather annoying to always have them unwilling to communicate. I knew they could not instantly forgive each other, but they both were unwilling to speak or listen to the other. It forced my love for the two of them to dwindle; however, that void was easily filled with my love for Sethos. I could read an infinite amount of stories featuring him. 

The characters of Nemesis and Ally are a crucial component of the story. The interactions between the characters makes the story come to life. Nemesis and Ally are both quick and easy reads because the characters are a joy to read about. I am disappointed that this is the end of their story. I really would love to see Anna Banks reconvene with these characters sometime in the future. They have a special place in my heart and I would love to revisit them in new content sometime in the future.

Another crucial part of the story is the world Anna Banks created. The world is unlike any other fantasy novel I have read. It is detailed and truly fascinating while also being easy to submerse oneself in the world. I was unable to reread Nemesis before starting Ally; however, it was easy to reenter the world and the story. The only complaint I have about the world and its characters is that many characters went on different missions throughout Ally; however, the reader was unable to follow the journey of these character because we are restrained to the perspective of the two main characters. I would have liked if the novel's perspective would have been extended to allow us to view the extended world and the journey each of these characters took. We were only able to see a small portion of the repercussion these journeys resulted in. I really would have liked to see the perspective of the novel extended or add novellas to fill these gaps. I do understand that adding all of these journeys would have doubled the novel in size; however, I am very fond of these characters and I would have liked to spend more time with them.

I love the cover change that was made for both Nemesis and Ally. While the original cover for Nemesis was not terrible, it did not accurately represent the world or story told by Nemesis. On the other hand, the new covers perfectly represent the world of Nemesis and the epic story within. Unfortunately, it is an underrated duology that deserves more attention; hopefully, the new covers will allow it to gain a larger audience.

I have enjoyed my time with the characters and the world of the Nemesis duology. I am disappointed to let these characters go; however, I am excited to read future works of Anna Banks. I have yet to read any of her other works so I am excited to see what her other novels have to offer. The Nemesis duology is an exhilarating fantasy duology full of political intrigue, secrecy, adventure, and romance. I highly recommend starting the duology if you have yet to do so. 

*  *  *

I am excited to unveil one of the exclusive pieces of art Anna Banks had created for the series by David North. Each host of the tour is unveiling a piece or two!

12 winners will receive a complete set of the exclusive pieces of art created for the series by David North (the images revealed during each tour stop), US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NYT Bestselling YA author of The Syrena Legacy series: OF POSEIDON (2012), OF TRITON (2013), OF NEPTUNE (2014). Repped by rockstar Lucy Carson of the Friedrich Agency.

I live with my husband and daughter in the Florida Panhandle. I have a southern accent compared to New Yorkers, and I enjoy food cooked with real fat. I can’t walk in high heels, but I’m very good at holding still in them. If you put chocolate in front of me, you must not have wanted it in the first place.
Favorite Books:
Shatter Me, Cinder, Linger, Shiver, Forever, Pushing the Limits, Unravel Me, Shadow and Bone, Enclave, Divergent, Candor, Graceling, Fire, The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Host, Most of James Patterson, and Janet Evanovich makes me laugh through my nose in an unfeminine sort of way.

Visit Anna’s website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
9/25/2017- a GREAT readReview
9/26/2017- PaperTrailYAInterview
9/27/2017- Owl Always Be ReadingExcerpt
9/28/2017- Reese's ReviewsReview
9/29/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview

Week Two:
10/2/2017- Little Red's ReviewsReview
10/3/2017- Lisa Loves LiteratureGuest Post
10/4/2017- Take Me Away To A Great ReadReview
10/5/2017- YA Books CentralInterview
10/6/2017- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian

SummaryThe Authentics is a fresh, funny, and insightful novel about culture, love, and family—the kind we are born into and the ones we create.

Daria Esfandyar is Iranian-American and proud of her heritage, unlike some of the “Nose Jobs” in the clique led by her former best friend, Heidi Javadi. Daria and her friends call themselves the Authentics, because they pride themselves on always keeping it real.

But in the course of researching a school project, Daria learns something shocking about her past, which launches her on a journey of self-discovery. It seems everyone is keeping secrets. And it’s getting harder to know who she even is any longer.

With infighting among the Authentics, her mother planning an over-the-top sweet sixteen party, and a romance that should be totally off limits, Daria doesn’t have time for this identity crisis. As everything in her life is spinning out of control—can she figure out how to stay true to herself? (Via

Pages: 279

Release Date: August 8th, 2017

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


The Authentics was a 2017 release that I was oblivious about until the week of its release. I stumbled upon a blurb from Adi Alsaid about The Authentics on Twitter and it intrigued me enough to request a copy from my local library. The Authentics follows an Iranian-American teen, Daria, who begins to struggle with her identity after she discovers some unexpected news about her heritage. The novel was absolutely mesmerizing, I highly recommend reading The Authentics whenever you have the ability to do so. 

After finishing The Authentics, I felt that I learned a lot from it. I had never read a book about an Iranian-American before, so it was interesting to learn about their culture and the pride they take in their identity. I have never identified strongly with any particular culture or country, so it was refreshing to read about an individual that does. It was amazing to see the pride that Daria takes in her heritage and how impactful it was to learn that her heritage was not what she had always assumed it was. 

Whenever I started The Authentics, I was nervous that I was not going to enjoy the novel because I did not initially like the writing style of Abdi and his characterization of Daria. It appeared that the writing style was going to make Daria the cliche annoying teenager. However, I was pleasantly surprised that after the first few chapters the writing style was able to seamlessly capture the challenges of being a teenager and Daria's identity crisis without anyone or anything being annoying. Since I am a teenager, I was able to identify with some of the challenges that Daria faced and the writing style actually represented them in a positive and relatable way. Many Young Adult novels tend to degrade the significance of particular teenage problems, but I am glad that Adbi was able to frame them in a positive light, unlike other YA authors. Some challenges seem to be the end of the world to us and authors should respect that, especially when they are supposedly writing for us.

I also enjoyed the relationships in The Authentics. Daria is a part of a group of friends who refer to themselves as The Authentics and they are a great support system for her and each other. While they are hesitant to reveal everything to each other, they are always there for each other and they genuinely care for one another. I also loved Daria's relationship with her family. While some of those relationships are strained, it a realistic portrayal and caused an interesting dynamic. I also enjoyed her venture into romance, it was an interesting relationship to say the least, but I am glad where they ended things. 

The Authentics was a refreshing novel that dealt with ethnicity, identity, and family. I absolutely loved The Authentics and I am excited to read Adbi's past and upcoming works. I also plan to read other books featuring Iranian-Americans in the future. I highly recommend reading The Authentics, it was a fantastic novel that I hope to see more love for, I have barely seen anything posted about it on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. If you have read The Authentics, please let me know in the comments below what you thought of it and also let me know in the comments if you plan to add it to your TBR. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

ARC Review: Night of Cake and Puppets (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2.5) by Laini Taylor & Illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo

SummaryIn Night of Cake & Puppets, Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy — the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Told in alternating perspectives, it’s the perfect love story for fans of the series and new readers alike. 

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to meet him, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. 

It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before finally leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy’s not going to know what hit him. 

Expected Release Date: September 12th, 2017

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced physical copy of Night of Cake and Puppets from NOVL, the Young Adult division of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, in exchange for an honest review. Night of Cake and Puppets is a novella from the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy that follows Zuzana and Mik's first date, which takes place during the second book in the trilogy, Days of Blood & Starlight. This novella was originally published in November of 2013 in only digital formats; however, it is now being released in physical format with illustrations on September 12th. I originally  read Night of Cake and Puppets when it was released digitally in 2013; however, it was great to revisit a story and characters that I absolutely adored. Rereading Night of Cake and Puppets has made me want to reread the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy.

It is hard to talk about the story since it is a novella that takes place during the second installment in the trilogy. All I can say is that I have always loved Zuzana and Mik and Night of Cake & Puppets does not disappoint. The development of their relationship is precious and has made me extremely nostalgic. Be warned that Night of Cake & Puppets may have you reaching for the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy again. The only negative I have about the novella is that two particular expressions the characters use are a bit inappropriate and rude to particular groups of individuals. While they are things a teenager, and even some adults, would say, they are sayings that should not be used commonly, if at all, in media. 

While the story itself was fantastic, the illustrations were absolutely gorgeous. The illustrator, Jim Di Bartolo, was able to capture these characters and their story perfectly. Not all of the illustrations were in the advanced copy I received, but I am excited to see them all in the finished copies. If you preorder a copy of Night of Cake and Puppets, submit your preorder here to receive an exclusive signed art print. Also, if you would like to see some of the illustrations, Laini Taylor teases some of them here

Night of Cake & Puppets is absolutely adorable. It was amazing to revisit the Daughter of Smoke & Bone characters and world for a brief time. If you have yet to complete the trilogy, wait to read Night of Cake & Puppets until you have finished the second book in the trilogy, Days of Blood & Starlight, or after Zuzana mentions the date to Karou in Days of Blood & Starlight. Night of Cake & Puppets is a fantastic addition to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy that any fan needs for their collection. Do not forget to preorder or request a copy at your local library. The release, September 12th, is right around the corner.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Review & Excerpt Tour: Wish You Were Here by Renée Carlino

You know when you’re looking at someone and you can’t help but smile at how oblivious they are to their own charm? That’s what was happening to me, and it was making me feel…happy. Euphoric. Something indescribable. It was like we already knew each other, like we had met in a previous life. Memories that didn’t exist began exploding in my mind like fireworks. 

Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, searching for a spark to jump-start her life and give her a sense of purpose. She’s had as many jobs as she’s had bad relationships, and now she’s feeling especially lost in her less-than-glamorous gig at a pie-and-fry joint in Los Angeles, where the uniforms are bad and the tips are even worse. 

Then she collides—literally—with Adam, an intriguing, handsome, and mysterious painter. Their serendipitous meeting on the street turns into a whirlwind one-night stand that has Charlotte feeling enchanted by Adam’s spontaneity and joy for life. There’s promise in both his words and actions, but in the harsh light of morning, Adam’s tune changes, leaving Charlotte to wonder if her notorious bad luck with men is really just her own bad judgment.

Months later, a new relationship with Seth, a charming baseball player, is turning into something more meaningful, but Charlotte’s still having trouble moving past her one enthralling night with Adam. Why? When she searches for answers, she finds the situation with Adam is far more complicated than she ever imagined. Faced with the decision to write a new story with Seth or finish the one started with Adam, Charlotte embarks on a life-altering journey, one that takes her across the world and back again, bringing a lifetime’s worth of pain, joy, and wisdom.  

AMAZON | B&N | iBooks

“You’re making love sound tragic,” I said.

“No”—he shook his head—“I wouldn’t want it any other way. Tell me about us. What do we like to do?”

“Paint and sail and eat and drink. Just simple things.” “Don’t forget about sex,” he said.

“Yeah, lots of sex. Before the children were born we-"

"We were practically naked every second of the day.” 

“I like that.”

“When they got older, we’d sneak away for weekends and leave them at my mom’s.”

“What are they like? Our children.”

“Happy. That’s all we wished for. We put our love first and it just spilled over into them and now they’re happy.”

Tears sprang from my eyes and ran down my cheeks. Isn’t that what we all hope for when it comes to our children?

His tone suddenly changed. “That’s beautiful, Char- lotte.” It was like he was waking up from the dream. I didn’t want to go back to reality yet, but I knew these fantasies were just to help Adam get his mind off things.

“I can imagine a long life with you,” he said. “I can imagine what a great wife you’d be."
I pulled my hand out of his. “The story is about you and me.” He didn’t say anything; he just nodded and then continued to stare out the window. I bent and kissed the top of his head again, and whispered, “It’s about us. Don’t take that away from me.” 

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Wish You Were Here is the first contemporary novel of Renée Carlino's that I have read. I previously read her paranormal romance, Lucian Divine, which I did enjoy, but I have never read any of her strictly contemporary novels. I knew nothing about Wish You Were Here before I started reading it and I am glad I did not. Wish You Were Here was a quick, engaging, and emotional read that I enjoyed. I would recommend reading Wish You Were Here if you are interested in reading a quick New Adult contemporary novel that has the potential to make you cry.

My favorite part of Wish You Were Here was the fact that part of the story was based in San Diego, California. I fell in love with San Diego the first time I visited the city for San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in 2014 and I loved being there in the story. I especially loved that the convention center, where SDCC is annually held, was briefly mentioned. I was unable to attend SDCC this year or visit San Diego, but I am glad that I was able to journey there in Wish You Were Here. I wish I was there in San Diego.

Although the ability to predict the storyline of Wish You Were Here was rather easy, I appreciated the path the story took. Wish You Were Here is essentially a book about life. While it also features love, loss, moving-on, and recovery, the true purpose is to celebrate life. Not many books I have read feature the theme of life when under these particular circumstances. 

The characters of Wish You Were Here were, by no means my favorite characters of all-time, but I fell in love with them and their story. While I do not agree with all the main character's choices and I do condemn some of them, it was interesting to follow her on this journey. Laura's Mvula's Show Me Love is a great anthem for her journey and story arc. The romance in Wish You Were Here was nice, but it was cheesy, at times.

Wish You Were Here was an enjoyable read and I am interested to read Renée Carlino's other contemporary books, I currently own Sweet Thing and After the Rain. If you have read any of her other books, please let me know what you thought and which one I should pick up next. 

Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women's novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher's Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at