[Blog Tour] A Guest Post from Lexa HIllyer

Hello my lovelies!!

Today I have the wonderful opportunity to share with you a great guest post from Lexa Hillyer, the author of Spindle Fire and its sequel, Winter Glass!!

First, some info about the books if you haven't heard of them.


Title: Spindle Fire
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Series: Spindle Fire #1
Release Date: April 11 2017
A kingdom burns. A princess sleeps. This is no fairy tale.

It all started with the burning of the spindles.


It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape…or the reason for her to stay.


Title: Winter Glass
Author: Lexa Hillyer
Series: Spindle Fire #2 
Release Date: April 10th 2018 
Aurora, torn from the dream world and Heath, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected. Isabelle, meanwhile, opens her heart to Prince William as they attempt to unite their kingdoms and wage a winning war against Malfleur’s army of Vultures.

But when the appearance of an unbreakable glass slipper prompts Isabelle to discover more about her lineage, her true identity begins to take shape and her legacy becomes as clear as ice. Devoted half sisters Isabelle and Aurora will grapple with their understanding of love and loyalty as they face a threat even greater than that of the evil queen—the threat of losing each other forever.

I asked Lexa, "There are so many fairytale retellings out there. Why were you drawn to writing a retelling and why do you think audiences are so enchanted by fairy tale retellings?

Lexa says, 

            I think there’s something thrilling about seeing the familiar made completely strange and different; of tracing the threads of the fairytale you know and love through a whole new fantasy world. And fairytales in particular are held in our cultural minds as these moral objects; they contain simple portraits of innocence and evil, of a series of trials that ultimately lead to triumph. We often associate them very strongly with our early childhood, so they are very formative in our understanding of storytelling. (Of course, Disney may have had something to do with that! :) ) For all these reasons, they make great fodder for re-exploration in the YA space, where those simple notions can be questioned and challenged, and the symbols can be rebranded to mean something altogether new.

            For me personally, I have always loved to take something I already know and reinterpret it through a new lens. There’s a quote in Spindle Fire: “Men have warred and died for centuries over the interpretation of a few words.” I find it exciting and somewhat terrifying the way a text can be made fungible, can be twisted to serve different purposes. It makes you think that maybe there is really no single “right” version of a story, only echoes of shared images and themes making their way into everyone’s personal reading of it.

            As for Sleeping Beauty in particular, it always struck me as one of the most sexist of all the familiar fairytales, with its main character completely passive for the entire tale—literally the object around which men and politics orbit, rather than an actual actor in her own story. I wanted to change that, and I was intrigued by the idea of putting Aurora in a Miss Havisham-like dream realm, which allowed me to build one fantasy world within another. I loved this idea: we all know the story of Sleeping Beauty but what we don’t know is what she was dreaming while she slept. That was the germ of the concept, and it grew from there, wild and uncontrollable, like the thorny vines that spring up all over the kingdom of Deluce when the faerie curse takes hold!

Thank you so much to Lexa for taking the time to write this awesome guest post!!

You can find the rest of the tour at the blogs below as well as more information about Lexa Hillyer!

Sunday: Me! (Hi!) 
Monday: Arctic Books
WednesdayThe Story Sanctuary
SaturdayTeacher of YA


Lexa Hillyer is the author of the young adult novels Spindle Fire, Winter Glass, and Proof of Forever, as well as the poetry collection, Acquainted with the Cold (Bona Fide Books), the 2012 gold prize winner of the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Poetry, and a recipient of the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in Best New Poets 2012, and she has received various other prizes and honors for poetry. Lexa earned her BA in English from Vassar College and her MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast at the University of Southern Maine. She worked as an editor at both Harper Collins and Penguin, before founding the production company Glasstown Entertainment along with bestselling author Lauren Oliver. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, their daughter, and a very skinny orange tree.

Happy Reading!
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[Review] The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross


Title: The Queen's Rising
Author: Rebecca Ross
Series: Untitled Trilogy #1 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 6th 2018 

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

[Review] The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


Title: The Cruel Prince
Author: Holly Black
Series: The Folk of the Air #1
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 2nd 2018 

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

[Blog Tour] Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi + giveaway!

Hello my lovelies!!

I have the great pleasure to be a part of the blog tour for Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi! It's a really buzzed about book right now, and I'm sure you're wondering if it lives up to the hype. Stay tuned for my review and a giveaway!

But first, some information about the book


Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi 
Series: Legacy of Orïsha 
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers 
Release Date: March 6 2018
Goodreads Page

Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy.

I received an advanced copy from the distributor as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

HOWWWWW DAREEEE YOUUUU. Like How dare you end the book like that???? I am a curious person. I need to know things. AND I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

If you can't tell, the book ends with a cliffhanger. Not in a bad way. I am just impatient and curious af.

Children of Blood and Bone is a novel that follows Zélie, a girl who is visibly a maji due to her white hair. Her people were stripped of their power though, when the king of Orïsha wiped magic from the land and had maji slaughtered, including Zélie's mother. Her people are oppressed and treated like dirt. One day Zélie happens on a way to bring magic back to the land. She teams up with her brother and the rogue princess to do so, all while escaping the pursuit of the crown prince who seeks to prevent magic from ever returning again.

This book is a tome. It's a brick. It's massive. My advance copy is 600 pages long and while it's a massive book, I managed to devour half of it in a single night, staying up until the wee hours of the morning. Children of Blood and Bone is a page turner that has you hooked on the rich world and the complex characters.

And what a rich world Adeyemi has created! It's inspired by west African history and mythology as the author has stated. I have 0 knowledge about this, though I will later probably look it up on wikipedia and at the library simply because mythology is fascinating. There is a crash course video pertaining to an African pantheon of gods which coincides with the inspiration that permeates the world that the author has created. The world that Adeyemi has created has a clear and complex history with its brutal conflicts and its own lore. I've stated before that religions in fantasy novels is one of my favourite things ever and its no different here.

The novel is told in differing points of view, switching back and forth between the views of Zélie, Amari (the rogue princess) and Inan (the crown prince). Through these different points of view we are able to empathize with these characters. They are complex and distinct, with their reasons on why they do the things that they do and really allow you to care about them. While I end up reading multi POV books often even though I'm not a fan of them, in this one it really worked well to see all sides of the story in a more intimate way than the omniscient POV.

If you didn't know, this book was already optioned for film when Adeyemi signed her book deal and I can see why. There's a cinematic feeling to this book that I could really see while reading it. I'm a very visual person and I often visualize things in my head as if I'm watching a movie when I read. There are definitely scenes in this book I would love love love to see on film, especially the bits when Zélie sees the painted images of the gods. I really hope that the studio does the book justice, because this could really be magnificent.

While this book was a page turner and a great read, I wasn't blown away by the book as some were and I didn't understand the screaming about it. That is, until I hit the last 30 pages. HOooooLLYyyyy. Yeah the beginning of this review is brought to you by my own screaming. It ends on the perfect note of wrapping up the book, but also leaving you wanting to know more. I empathize with all those who read this book early and have to wait longer than I do for the sequel.

Children of Blood and Bone is a West African cinematic fantasy novel with rich characters and world that you'll stay up all night to read. I had a great time getting to know these characters and this world and I can now join the others who await the sequel with great need.

If you made it through that whole review, congratulations!!


It's simple really. Retweet the tweet below and follow me on twitter to enter the giveaway for a finished copy of this novel (courtesy of Raincoast Books). This is a CANADA ONLY giveaway!

You can find the other tour stops below!

Happy Reading!
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[Review] Everless by Sara Holland


Title: Everless
Author: Sara Holland
Series: Untitled #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 2nd 2018
Goodreads Page
Purchase: Indigo

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

[Blog Tour] S.T.A.G.S. by M.A. Bennett


Title: S.T.A.G.S.
Author: M.A. Bennett 
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Release Date: January 30th 2018 

Seventeen-year-old Greer, a scholarship girl at a prestigious private school, St Aidan the Great School (known as STAGS), soon realizes that the school is full of snobs and spoilt rich brats, many of whom come from aristocratic families who have attended the institute throughout the centuries. She's immediately ignored by her classmates. All the teachers are referred to as Friars (even the female ones), but the real driving force behind the school is a group of prefects known as the Medievals, whose leader, Henry de Warlencourt, Greer finds both strangely intriguing as well as attractive. The Medievals are all good-looking, clever and everyone wants to be among their circle of friends. Greer is therefore surprised when she receives an invitation from Henry to spend a long weekend with him and his friends at his family house in the Lake District, especially when she learns that two other "outsiders" have also been invited: Shafeen and Chanel. As the weekend unfolds, Greer comes to the chilling realization that she and two other "losers" were invited only because they were chosen to become prey in a mad game of manhunt.

[Review] The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli


Title: The Last Namsara
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli 
Series: Iskari #1 
Release Date: October 3rd 2017 

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

[Blog Tour] An Interview with Sara Holland, author of EVERLESS!

Hello my lovelies! Today I have the pleasure of bringing you an interview with Sara Holland, the debut author of Everless! I'm obsessed with stories about time so I was immediately drawn towards this book!

But first, here is some info about the book:


Title: Everless
Author: Sara Holland 
Series: Untitled #1 
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Goodreads Page

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.


Ri: Describe Everless in 6 words.

Sara: Twisty, bloody, magic, friendship, secrets, self-discovery.

Ri: What inspired Everless?

Sara: There wasn't really one "aha" moment. Stories for me usually begin in the form of images, and I had this image of a girl kneeling barefoot at the side of an icy lake, having lost something important. So I was trying to excavate her backstory. I had also just moved to New York without any savings (would not recommend) and was working all the time to make ends meet, so every second was precious, leading me to the question of "what if time was actually money?" So Jules and her world sort of developed, intertwined, at the same time.

Ri: Do you have favourite time-related media pieces? (Books, tv, movies)?

Sara: Probably THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE by Heidi Heilig! It's a time travel book, but there's so much more to it then "character finds herself in strange time, has to find her way back." The main character, Nix, lives with her father on a ship that can take them to any time or place--real or imagined. The writing is gorgeous, and I fell in love with the characters right away.

Ri: Was there anything strange or interesting you found through research for this novel?

Sara: In trying to create the actual, physical process of bleeding time, I did some research about the historical process of bloodletting, which was pretty gross. I learned that some doctors used leeches for that purpose... I decided to just stick with knives.

Ri: If you had a year blood iron coin, what would you do with it?

Sara: I'd like to think I would give it to someone who needs it more than I do!

Ri: What are you currently reading?

Sara: I'm on the road next week for a series of Epic Reads meetups at bookstores around the country, and I'm supremely lucky to be alongside some Harper authors who I've admired since forever--Maureen Johnson, Kasie West, Kendare Blake, Rae Carson, and Colleen Oakes. So I am rereading some of their books--I'm excited to get to fangirl over them in person!

Ri: What is some advice for aspiring fantasy writers?

Sara: I think fantasy writers in particular sometimes feel pressure to have the world and plot all figured out before embarking on a story, and I would caution them not to be beholden to that. While of course the world we live in always influences us, the characters are just as important, and you can always go back and straighten out the worldbuilding after the story is on the story is on the page.


I grew up in small-town Minnesota among hundreds of books. I graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in a tea shop, a dentist’s office, and a state capitol building before heading to New York to work in publishing. These days, I can be found exploring the city’s bookstores or finding new ways to put caffeine in my bloodstream. EVERLESS is my debut novel.

Thank you so much to Glasstown and Sara Holland! You can check out everyone else on the tour at the blogs below:

Happy Reading,
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Review: Last Seen Leaving


Title: Last Seen Leaving
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Relase Date: October 4th 2016 

Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

[Blog Tour] Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking

Happy new year everyone!! Today I come to you with Between the Blade and the Heart!

Here's some information on the book:


Title: Between the Blade and the Heart
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: Valkyrie #1 
Release Date: January 2nd 2018 

When the fate of the world is at stake

Loyalties will be tested

Game of Thrones meets Blade Runner in this commanding new YA fantasy inspired by Norse Mythology from New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking.

As one of Odin's Valkyries, Malin's greatest responsibility is to slay immortals and return them to the underworld. But when she unearths a secret that could unravel the balance of all she knows, Malin along with her best friend and her ex-girlfriend must decide where their loyalties lie. And if helping the blue-eyed boy Asher enact his revenge is worth the risk—to the world and her heart.

*** EXCERPT ***


The air reeked of fermented fish and rotten fruit, thanks to the overflowing dumpster from the restaurant behind us. The polluted alley felt narrow and claustrophobic, sandwiched between skyscrapers.

In the city, it was never quiet or peaceful, even at three in the morning. There were more than thirty million humans and supernatural beings coexisting, living on top of each other. It was the only life I’d ever really known, but the noise of the congestion grated on me tonight.

My eyes were locked on the flickering neon lights of the gambling parlor across the street. The u in Shibuya had gone out, so the sign flashed SHIB YA at me.

The sword sheathed at my side felt heavy, and my body felt restless and electric. I couldn’t keep from fidgeting and cracked my knuckles.

“He’ll be here soon,” my mother, Marlow, assured me. She leaned back against the brick wall beside me, casually eating large jackfruit seeds from a brown paper sack. Always bring a snack on a stakeout was one of her first lessons, but I was far too nervous and excited to eat.

The thick cowl of her frayed black sweater had been pulled up like a hood, covering her cropped blond hair from the icy mist that fell on us. Her tall leather boots only went to her calf, thanks to her long legs. Her style tended to be monochromatic—black on black on black—aside from the shock of dark red lipstick.

My mother was only a few years shy of her fiftieth birthday, with almost thirty years of experience working as a Valkyrie, and she was still as strong and vital as ever. On her hip, her sword Mördare glowed a dull red through its sheath.

The sword of the Valkyries was one that appeared as if it had been broken in half—its blade only a foot long before stopping at a sharp angle. Mördare’s blade was several thousand years old, forged in fires to look like red glass that would glow when the time was nigh.

My sword was called Sigrún, a present on my eighteenth birthday from Marlow. It was a bit shorter than Mördare, with a thicker blade, so it appeared stubby and fat. The handle was black utilitarian, a replacement that my mom had had custom-­made from an army supply store, to match her own.

The ancient blade appeared almost black, but as it grew closer to its target, it would glow a vibrant purple. For the past hour that we’d been waiting on our stakeout, Sigrún had been glowing dully on my hip.

The mist grew heavier, soaking my long black hair. I kept the left side of my head shaved, parting my hair over to the right, and my scalp should’ve been freezing from the cold, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel anything.

It had begun—the instinct of the Valkyrie, pushing aside my humanity to become a weapon. When the Valkyrie in me took over, I was little more than a scythe for the Grim Reaper of the gods.

“He’s coming,” Marlow said behind me, but I already knew.

The world fell into hyperfocus, and I could see every droplet of rain as it splashed toward the ground. Every sound echoed through me, from the bird flapping its wings a block away, to the club door as it groaned open.

Eleazar Bélanger stumbled out, his heavy feet clomping in the puddles. He was chubby and short, barely over four feet tall, and he would’ve appeared to be an average middle-­aged man if it wasn’t for the two knobby horns that stuck out on either side of his forehead. Graying tufts of black hair stuck out from under a bright red cap, and as he walked ahead, he had a noticeable limp favoring his right leg.

He was a Trasgu, a troublemaking goblin, and his appearance belied the strength and cunning that lurked within him. He was over three hundred years old, and today would be the day he died.

I waited in the shadows of the alley for him to cross the street. A coughing fit caused him to double over, and he braced himself against the brick wall.

I approached him quietly—this all went easier when they didn’t have time to prepare. He took off his hat to use it to wipe the snot from his nose, and when he looked up at me, his green eyes flashed with understanding.

“It’s you,” Eleazar said in a weak, craggy voice. We’d never met, and I doubt he’d ever seen me before, but he recognized me, the way they all did when their time was up.

“Eleazar Bélanger, you have been chosen to die,” I said, reciting my script, the words automatic and cold on my lips. “It is my duty to return you to the darkness from whence you came.”
“No, wait!” He held up his pudgy hands at me. “I have money. I can pay you. We can work this out.”

“This is not my decision to make,” I said as I pulled the sword from my sheath.

His eyes widened as he realized I couldn’t be bargained with. For a moment I thought he might just accept his fate, but they rarely did. He bowed his head and ran at me like a goat. He was stronger than he looked and caused me to stumble back a step, but he didn’t have anywhere to go.

My mother stood blocking the mouth of the alley, in case I needed her. Eleazar tried to run toward the other end, but his leg slowed him, and I easily overtook him. Using the handle of my sword, I cracked him on the back of the skull, and he fell to the ground on his knees.

Sigrún glowed brightly, with light shining out from it and causing the air to glow purple around us. Eleazar mumbled a prayer to the Vanir gods. I held the sword with both hands, and I struck it across his neck, decapitating him.

And then, finally, the electricity that had filled my body, making my muscles quiver and my bones ache, left me, and I breathed in deeply. The corpse of an immortal goblin lay in a puddle at my feet, and I felt nothing but relief.

“It was a good return,” my mother said, and put her hand on my shoulder. “You did well, Malin.”

Copyright © 2018 by Amanda Hocking in Between the Blade and the Heart and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Griffin.


Amanda Hocking is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Happy Reading!
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