Blog Tour: The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash Book Excerpt


It’s our day on the Birdie & Bash blog tour and we are here to introduce you to a bit of the narrative!  Check out the synopsis, a bit about the author, and an exclusive excerpt below!

Birdie never meant to be at the party. Bash should have been long gone. But when they meet, a collision course is set off they may never recover from.

Sebastian Alvaréz is just trying to hold the pieces together: to not flunk out, to keep his sort-of-best friend Wild Kyle from doing something really bad, and to see his beloved Ma through chemo. But when he meets Birdie Paxton, a near-Valedictorian who doesn’t realize she’s smoking hot in her science pun T-shirt, at a party, an undeniable attraction sparks. And suddenly he’s not worried about anything. But before they are able to exchange numbers, they are pulled apart. A horrifying tragedy soon links Birdie and Bash together—but neither knows it. When they finally reconnect, and are starting to fall—hard—the events of the tragedy unfold, changing both their lives in ways they can never undo. 

Release Date: July 25, 2017




Candace Ganger is a young adult author, contributing writer for Hello Giggles, and obsesswive marathoner. Aside from having past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and the world’s worst vacuum sales rep, she’s also ghostwritten hundreds of projects for companies, best-selling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. Candace – aka – Candyland – has a severe Milky Way latter addiction + eats way too many donuts/doughnuts but all things in excess, amiright? FYI: She’s TOTALLY awkward in person (#sorrynotsorry). She lives in Ohio with her family.




Book Review: Nemesis by Brendan Reichs

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.

Release Date: March 21, 2017

Holy hell, I don’t even know where to start.

There is SO MUCH HAPPENING in this book.  Let’s see, if you came here looking for a book about a serial killer, you found it.  If you came here looking for a post-apocalyptic book, you found it.  If you were looking for a government conspiracy novel, you found it. I went into this book woefully unprepared for the story I got, but in a good way.  I love it when a book takes me by surprise and keeps me on my toes.  Honestly, I could have read this book in one sitting if it wasn’t for the pesky thing called work that gets in my way most days.

The novel is separated into parts, but the most interesting part isn’t necessarily the rotating narration between Min and Noah, but the different structure that their narration takes individually. Both are being treated by a psychiatrist for their condition (not even sure if that is an appropriate way to describe being murdered on your birthday, but I’ll go with it for now), but Min’s story is filled with italicized flashbacks to her traumatic experiences, while Noah’s includes a transcript from his sessions with their psychologist.  Personally, I really liked the addition of the transcripts because it gave a really eye catching change to the novel.  But the whole structure was well done.

I can understand why this book was compared to Lord of the Flies, but only in the sense that it really showcases the different ways humans can act during times of distress.  Although I will say that Tack was by far the best secondary character in this book and I can tell you exactly why: one of my best guy friends in high school was totally the same.  Always mouthing off when it wasn’t necessary, but in a witty and sardonic way that begged attention.  He was a very good comedic relief in a lot of ways for this book, as it’s pretty heavy and his humor is welcome levity.
Freaking never-see-it-coming twist at the end, Batman!


You will not see this coming. I’m still coming to terms with it.  I think readers will be pleasantly surprised that they were duped the whole time, I certainly was, especially if they read a lot of books, this twist was never something I’d considered or seen before.

I don’t even know how to talk about it without giving any of it away, so I’m just going to say I had the chance to ask Reichs about it during our interview (which is below), but it was off the record because SPOILERS.

There are still a lot of questions to be answered and waiting the next year for the sequel will be almost unbearable because I NEED TO KNOW.

Overall, I’m giving Brendan Reich 4 Bards! Look for my coverage of his Launch event with Renée Ahdieh and our interview, coming up in a few minutes!







Book Review: Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Sometimes our enemies are also our only allies…

After an explosion destroys his ship, the world believes Prince Merik, Windwitch, is dead. Scarred yet alive, Merik is determined to prove his sister’s treachery. Upon reaching the royal capital, crowded with refugees, he haunts the streets, fighting for the weak—which leads to whispers of a disfigured demigod, the Fury, who brings justice to the oppressed.

When the Bloodwitch Aeduan discovers a bounty on Iseult, he makes sure to be the first to find her—yet in a surprise twist, Iseult offers him a deal. She will return money stolen from him, if he locates Safi. Now they must work together to cross the Witchlands, while constantly wondering, who will betray whom first?

After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

In my review of Truthwitch, I gave the book some pretty high praise, “Dennard has created something beautiful,” being the top compliment I gave.

I honestly could not have imagined how the sequel, by separating my two favorite characters Safi & Iseult, could possibly live up to the absolute beautiful example of fierce female friendship in Truthwitch.  Well, don’t mind me over here trying to stuff my narrow feet into my ridiculously loud mouth, because Dennard proved me wrong in spades. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted this book to be as good as it turned out to be, I was just scared it wouldn’t be! We all have those fears, right?

Anyway, let me get to the gushing. I 100% support re-reading Truthwitch before you start Windwitch.  Why? Well, for me it had been over a year since I had completed Truthwitch then lent it to someone else, so I didn’t get a chance to renew my knowledge of everything that happened.  I really think it would have saved me the slow start of remembering everything and would have enhanced my experience with Windwitch. So if possible, a re-read is definitely beneficial! *random side note over*

The narrative picks up with Merik, who is serving *fierce* back on the cover, the unlikely survivor of a burning ship and an assassination attempt. He spends the majority of the narrative struggling with his new reality as a “dead man,” (he names himself that, I promise, not a spoiler!) and trying to seek revenge on his would-be murder, while posturing a plan to save his beloved kingdom. He has gone through such a transformation from the first novel through this one, and it’s been such an organic development that I just am so excited to see how he continues to progress. This might be KIND OF spoilery, but if you are hoping for a *certain* reunion, like I was, it doesn’t happen YET. I’m not giving up hope.

While the first novel gave us the beginning of the Merik and Safi ship, this second novel really gave us more insight into the possible connections between Iseult and Aeduan.  While Merik and Safi were a match on the verge of igniting, Iseult and Aeduan are the snow melting slowly on the tip of a mountain top, and it’s just as compelling. Their journey together throughout this book kept me on my toes and wanting more.  I can only assume (and HOPE) that the third installment will continue this, since the title is Bloodwitch!

As strong as Iseult and Safi are together, I will say the one great thing about keeping them apart in this book was giving them both the chance to shine on their own. That being said, it was definitely the place for Safi to come into her own as an individual and powerful Truthwitch.  Dennard did such a great job of keeping up with her fiery personality while allowing her to grow more mature.  I honestly think Safi might be my favorite of the pair, but let’s be honest my favorite will be Safi and Iseult’s friendship.

Dennard continued the upbeat and pressing plot pace from the first novel, and I can only imagine with the introduction of a few new key characters (OWL! *so cute*) that the story will keep on being exciting.

HUGE props to Dennard for Cam and his storyline throughout this book. Seriously, way to give us feels with this secondary character and for including a transgender narrative. It is such a wonderful moment when the character’s preferred pronouns are accepted and used.  In addition, does anyone else hardcore ship Vivia and Stix? I’m predicting some excellent fan fiction to come out of this pairing.  (*hint* Don’t sell Vivia down the river Styx yet*—*cackles*)

This is by far one of the best sequels I’ve read in a long time! Order your copy of Windwitch, now. You won’t regret it!

4.5 Bards




Special thanks to Tor Teen for providing me with a review copy!


Blog Tour: In Real Life by Jessica Love

Welcome to Midsummer’s stop on the In Real Life blog tour! Below you will find an excerpt from the novel AND the spotify playlist provided by the author.

First, let me tell you a little bit about the book:

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There’s just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she’s supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Las Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah’s surprise romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and finds out that Nick has been keeping some major secrets. Hannah knows the real Nick can’t be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.

Release Date: March 1, 2016 **Hot off the press**

Check out a short excerpt!

CREDIT: In Real Life by Jessica Love; Courtesy of Thomas Dunne Books


Did you love the excerpt? Well, be sure to listen to the author’s spotify playlist that was created especially for you.

(My personal favorites from the playlist: Edge of Desire by John Mayer, Ghost Under Rocks by Ra Ra Riot, You and I by Ingrid Michaelson)



My copy is already on the way, get yours now!

Author Spotlight: Adi Rule



Be sure to check out my review of Strange, Sweet Song!  You can find it here.

 A Midsummer Night’s Read (AMND): Adi, thank you so much for stopping by our blog and giving us the opportunity to pick your brain about your wonderful novel, Strange, Sweet Song!

Adi Rule (AR): Thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here.

AMND: Did Gaston LeRoux’s Phantom of the Opera or Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom inspire you during the plotting and writing process? I actually was thinking this prior to your character’s actually mentioning it!  And if they did, which do you prefer? LeRoux’s or Webbers?

AR: I didn’t have The Phantom of the Opera in mind in terms of adapting it or using it as a framework, but I love that story. I’m sure it influenced me under the surface. The original novel is so beautiful and heartbreaking! As far as adaptations, I think my favorite is Phantom by Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit. The music is gorgeous. (And it was the first big show I was ever in, when I was 14. I was in the chorus and had one line and a scream.) I like Andrew Lloyd Webber’s adaptation, too, but for me, ALW is all about Cats! 

AMND: The dynamics of Strange, Sweet Song remind me of whether you planned the main character’s storyline to mimic Christine’s and focused on the possibility of what could have happened had the Phantom been more humanized and lovable.  Is Ryan supposed to be a Raoul and Nathan a Phantom?

AR: That’s an interesting question. I think the Felix is the closest thing to a Phantom of the Opera in this story. She’s homicidal, a bit mythical, and was once grand and glittering but has been cast low. Nathan has quite a lot of bitterness going on as well, though, and he does have the creepy tower and dark mentor angle. And Ryan is the handsome, popular guy, just like Raoul. But Nathan’s intentions are pure, like Raoul’s, and Ryan is more about advancing his personal agenda, like the phantom, so in that way I think they’re opposites.

Sing’s rising star, met with equal parts jealousy and adoration, does mirror that of Christine. They’re very different people, though. Sing isn’t an ingenue off the street; she has been raised in the highly competitive world of classical music and groomed to succeed. She also is very much in control of her personal trajectory, whereas Christine always seemed to me to be a lovely, precious object that is manipulated for good or ill by stronger forces.

AMND: Your bio states that you are a soloist and chorus member at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  Are you a soprano like Sing?

AR: Yep, I am a soprano. I’m definitely not as talented as Sing, though! 🙂

AMND: What is your favorite piece to perform?

AR: My favorite audition piece is “Je veux vivre” from Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, my favorite choral work to sing is Brahms’s A German Requiem, my favorite role was the Witch in Into the Woods, and I’m not sure I could pick a favorite karaoke song. Some friends and I recently utterly demolished “Buddy Holly” by Weezer. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

AMND: Will we see any more of Sing’s story?  Or is Strange, Sweet Song a standalone? (It is strong on it’s own, but I just loved the characters!)

AR: I’m so glad you loved the characters! I’m very attached to them, too. It’s a standalone right now — my next book from St Martin’s is a whole different cast — but I’ve definitely kicked around some ideas about where the characters in Strange Sweet Song would go next.

AMND: Do you have any advice for readers who are aspiring writers?

AR:  I find a lot of people are looking for someone’s — anyone’s — permission to write. So that’s the first thing, just knowing that you don’t need anyone’s approval to do it. Go for it! The second thing is to read and write a lot. A lot lot. All the genres you can put up with. When you’re ready, find a person or people who can give you honest, helpful feedback. (So no bullies and no cheerleaders.) Write, revise, repeat. Remember the best and most efficient route to publication, if that is your goal (and for many writers it isn’t, and that’s totally fine, too), is to create the best, most polished stories you can.

AMND: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us, and we are looking forward to your next novel, Redwing!

AR: You’re very welcome. It was fun popping by. Thanks for reading, and for connecting with readers every day. 🙂


Be sure to pick up a copy of Strange, Sweet Song–you won’t regret it!

Links to buy! Amazon, Books-a-Million, B&N

Follow Adi Rule on Twitter: @luciferadi


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