GRIM LOVELIES by Young Adult Bestselling Author Megan Shepherd is sure to enchant teens and adults alike. 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Title: GRIM LOVELIES

Author: MEGAN SHEPHERD

Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, FANTASY FICTION

Length: 384 PAGES

Publisher: HMH TEEN – HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

Received From: HMH TEEN INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY

Release Date: OCTOBER 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-80918-6 (Hardcover)

ISBN: 978-1-328-80962-9 (eBook)

Price: $17.99 USD HARDCOVER

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love.

But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human.

Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittoria, the evil witch who spelled her into existence.

That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood – and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away.

If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known… but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

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MY REVIEW:

Inventive and dazzling, with a host of characters readers will be unable and unwilling to forget.

With a diverse cast, this book has everything required to become an instant Young Adult Best-Seller. Having just been released a little over two months ago, it is already trending on social media, and, if I have my way, it will trend even more after I post this review.

I love that the Author chose animals turned into humans as her main characters. I love that she chose the city of Paris as the headquarters of the Royals who reign over all magical beings. There has always been something alluring and mysterious about the historic city of Paris, especially to those of us in North America. With the millions of bones in the city’s catacombs, Paris also has a barely hidden sinister air.

Best-Selling Author Megan Shepherd has created a magical world that secretly exists alongside our own. Of course, we humans, or “Pretties” as the witches call us, are completely oblivious to the magic surrounding us.

Within this world there are “Beasties;” animals and birds who have had spells cast on them to change them into humans (sort of like the mice in the tale of Cinderella, except the change is permanent.) Anouk is one such Beastie. She is a year and a half old which is the equivalent of being a seventeen year old girl. For the entirety of her human existence, she has not been allowed to leave the house she was “born” in. It is the home of Mada Vittoria, the witch who changed Anouk from animal to human.

This imaginative tale, filled with magic, mystery and mayhem is perfect for today’s Young Adult audience. Readers of all types, and of all ages will be able to find a character to relate to.

There is a theme of good vs. evil in this book, but what, or who is deemed evil is often in the eye of the beholder.

GRIM LOVELIES is also a unique Coming-Of-Age tale in which Anouk realizes that her captivity at the hands of Mada (Witch) Vittoria, has resulted in her knowing very little about either the Pretties world, or the magical world of the Haute.

GRIM LOVELIES and the world of the Haute would make for a terrific and visually stunning movie. I very much hope to see this series become optioned for film.

I rate GRIM LOVELIES as a 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Young Adult novel and am excited to read more about Anouk and her other “Beastie” friends in the next installment of this wonderous tale.

***Thank you to HMH Teen for hosting the Instagram contest in which I won a Grim Lovelies prize pack. ***

MY FAVORITE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK:

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“Everything had a darker side, magic most of all.”

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“He was a twat and she’d sooner kiss a frog, but even frogs deserved little moments of joy.”

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“Even if we can find someone to recast our spell, I’m afraid that a spell alone can’t make us human. TRULY human. Only actions make a person human, not magic.”

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“I’m not a bird with broken wings… I don’t need to be sheltered.”

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“Through all this darkness, you’ve held on to love and hope, and that’s true strength.”

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THE CHARACTERS:

A

BOUT THE AUTHOR:

MEGAN SHEPHERD – New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

She is the author of several young adult and middle grade novels. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and an especially scruffy dog.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

MORE BOOKS BY MEGAN:

*** Leave a comment and let me know if you have read any of Megan’s books?

And if so, which was/is your favorite? Why?

THE WITCH ELM by Bestselling Author TANA FRENCH Audiobook Review

Title: THE WITCH ELM

Author: TANA FRENCH

Narrator: PAUL NUGENT

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

Length: 22 HOURS, 8 MINUTES

Publisher: PENGUIN AUDIO

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Purchased from: Audible.com

Release Date: OCTOBER 9, 2018

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.
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MY REVIEW:

Phenomenal. Intriguing. Unconventional. Thrilling. Astonishing.

All these words and more apply to Tana French’s novel, THE WITCH ELM.

At it’s core, this book is a modern day whodunit, a thriller of epic proportions, but it is also so much more.

This book is a character study, a tale of teen angst, the story of a family rallying together in the midst of a horrific medical diagnosis. It is the story of a romance. This is a book about siblings, cousins, friends and how relationships can change over time and how they stay the same. It is also a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

This is truly a book that has everything. I enjoyed listening to it immensely. The story takes place in Ireland and having a narrator with an Irish accent gave this book a sense of place and added authenticity to the audiobook.

The story has plenty twists and turns, some which were expected and many that were not.

Tana French has created characters so realistic that you almost expect to run into one of them on the street.

At just over 22 hours of listening time, this is not a short audiobook and you would think that 22 hours would be too long, however, you would be wrong. In fact, I didn’t want this story to end. I had become invested in the character’s futures.

The Publisher has created a reader’s guide for this book which can be found and downloaded HERE.

My favorite character was Uncle Hugo. On the surface he seems like a giant bore. But as you learn more about him, you start to realize that he is like an onion with many layers, some quite shocking. He has a passion for genealogy research and was able to parlay that into a career as a Genealogist. The author is somehow able to make this career choice seem interesting to listeners and Hugo’s research into his client’s history is an interesting side storyline.

I rate THE WITCH ELM as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I also give a 5 STAR rating to the narrator whose Irish accent offers listeners authenticity as well as a sense of place. His pacing is sheer perfection. Listeners are able to easily distinguish between character voices which is a huge plus in my opinion.

All in all, I highly recommend this audiobook to readers and listeners from the ages of 16 and up.

Tana French was new to me before experiencing “The Witch Elm” audiobook, but I will be on the lookout for more books from this author in the future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tana French is the author of The Witch Elm, In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Secret Place and The Trespasser.

Her books have won awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry Awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction.

She lives in Dublin with her family.

AUTHOR NOTE:

“There’s one thing that no one I know, including me, ever has enough of: time. Everyone has at least three things they should be doing with every minute, and everyone could do with about six more hours in the day. So I’m very aware that when you take a chance on one of my books, it’s not just your money that you’re putting on the line; it’s your time, which is probably even more precious. I want to thank you, so much, for taking that chance; for your wonderful support, which never stops taking my breath away. Here’s to all of you. I’ll do my absolute best not to waste your time.”

Tana French in The New Yorker

‘The Trespasser’ begs us to take crime fiction seriously

The Millions Interviews Tana French

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To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

AUDIBLE

GOODREADS
AMAZON

CHAPTERS
“A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.

  • Quotes:

    The thing is, I suppose,” he said, “that one gets into the habit of being oneself. It takes some great upheaval to crack that shell and force us to discover what else might be underneath. What if I never got another day in my life when I was normal again?

    Once the fear took hold, I was fucked. I’d never known anything like it could exist: all-consuming, ravenous, a whirling black vortex that sucked me under so completely and mercilessly that it truly felt like I was being devoured alive, bones splintered, marrow sucked. After an eternity (lying in bed with my heart jackhammering, adrenaline firing me like a strobe light, feeling the last few threads that held my mind together stretch to a snapping point) something would happen to break the vortex’s hold—a nurse coming in so that I had to make mechanical cheerful chitchat, an uncontrollable rush of sleep—and I would clamber up out of it, shaky and weak as a half-drowned animal. But even when the fear receded for a while, it was always there: dark, misshapen, taloned, hanging somewhere above and behind me, waiting for its next moment to drop onto my back and dig in deep.

    ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

    https://vimeo.com/178172746

    To learn more about this Narrator, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    AUDIBLE

    LINKEDIN

    VIMEO

    FACEBOOK

    YOUTUBE

    AMAZON

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    GRIT & GRACE – Uncommon Wisdom For Inspiring Leaders Designed To Make You Think NOW AVAILABLE. This book makes an awesome gift for every woman on the planet. Check it out here…

    Title: GRIT & GRACE

    Subtitle: Uncommon Wisdom For Inspiring Leaders Designed To Make You Think

    Author: QUOTABELLE INC. = PAULINE WEGER and ALICIA WILLIAMSON

    Genre: NON-FICTION, INSPIRATIONAL, QUOTES, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS

    Length: 236 PAGES

    Cover Design: PHILIP BUCHANAN

    Publisher: QUARTO KNOWS

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: OCTOBER 2, 2018

    ISBN: 978-1-63106-530-9

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    DESCRIPTION:

    Grit & Grace is a collection of quotes, thoughts, and advice from female pioneers to inspire young girls and women who want to lead.

    With powerful words from powerful female forerunners, Louisa May Alcott and Susan B. Anthony have inspired girls and women for generations, there are now more women leading the way in more industries than ever. From the authors of the breakout inspirational book Beautifully Said comes Grit & Grace, a showcase of the brilliant minds, sterling careers, and hard work of women in both well-known and less-visible roles in society.

    Grit & Grace is here to inspire young girls and women to pursue their dreams with fearlessness and determination by featuring classic and modern female leaders like Jessica Alba, Courtney Banghart, and Tiffany Dufu. The perfect gift for sisters, daughters, nieces, friends, new graduates, and any other free-thinking young woman in your life, Grit & Grace uses the strengths and successes of today’s women to drive a generation of future leaders to make their talents count. The female voices in Grit & Grace include:

    – Reese Witherspoon
    – Vera Wang
    – Meghan Markle
    – Amal Clooney
    – Ava DuVernay
    – Jane Goodall
    – Beatrix Potter
    – Diana Vreeland
    – Anita Roddick
    – Clara Barton
    – Susan B. Anthony
    – Katharine Graham
    – Rose Marcario
    – Christiana Figueres

    Future female idols, look to Grit & Grace for inspiration as you lead the way.

    MY REVIEW:

    I have always loved inspirational quotes. I have many, many notebooks filled with quotes I have discovered over the years. There is just something satisfying about reading a quote that captures a topic or emotion perfectly.

    A powerful quote can lift your spirits and turn a bad day into a day filled with promise. A quote from someone you look up to can provide inspiration to either follow that person’s path, or to forge an entirely new one.

    The quotes contained in this astonishing book are all from females. I am not 100% sure, but I believe it is the only all-female quote collection available today. In researching quotes in general, the editors of this book discovered that “… less than ten percent of the quotations shared every day are from women and girls.” This number is too low and this book seeks to remedy that appalling lack.

    quoteur
    /kwō tǝr’ / noun
    a person who originates a pithy collection of words worth sharing.

    GRIT & GRACE not only inspires it’s readers, but as it states in the subtitle, the quotes are; “…Designed to make you think.”

    The layout of this book is wonderful. Each time you open the book to a two-page layout. The quote is printed in bold and has a page to itself. On the left side page is the name of the quoteur along with a brief description of who she is and a short biography which highlights her life and achievements. I received as much inspiration from reading about these amazing women as I did from reading the quotes. I also discovered many new role models, women who I am ashamed to admit that I had never heard of before now. Who knows? Readers may find their perfect role model just through the reading of this book.

    So many of the quotations in this collection spoke to me that I had an extremely difficult time deciding which ones were my favorites. Instead, I realized that each and every quote spoke to me at different times and meant different things. I have decided to only include four quotes in this review, but I highly recommend purchasing GRIT & GRACE since it is a book that can (and should be) read over and over again.

    Here are just a few of the included inspirations:

    “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.”
    – Marie Curie (Scientist) 1867-1934

    “To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?”
    – Katherine Graham (Publisher and winner of the Pulitzer Prize)

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    “If you don’t fall down, you aren’t trying hard enough.”
    -Tenley Albright (1935-____)
    (Surgeon, Cancer Researcher, Polio Survivor & First US woman to win a Gold Medal in Figure Skating)

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    “One of the more powerful outbreaks of happiness and meaning in your life will occur when you pair your passion and the world’s need.”
    – Sue Monk Kidd (Novelist)

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    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I think it would make a terrific Christmas present, especially for those young people who are just learning to find their voices.

    ADD TO GOODREADS

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    To learn more about Quotabelle, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE
    http://www.quotabelle.com

    GOODREADS

    FACEBOOK

    INSTAGRAM

    TWITTER

    PINTEREST

    LINKEDIN

    GOOGLE+

    #newbook
    #leadership
    #FemaleFounders
    #entrepreneurlife
    #giftidea

    SHELTER: THE RETURN by Canadian Author ALLYSON YOUNG is available Now. This is a post-apocalyptic romance/action drama. 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Title: SHELTER: THE RETURN

    Series: SHELTER TRILOGY: BOOK THREE

    Author: ALLYSON YOUNG aka: ELIZABETH SCOTT

    Genre: FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, ROMANCE

    Length: 211 PAGES

    Publisher: VICTORY EDITING NETGALLEY CO-OP

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

    ISBN:

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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    DESCRIPTION:
    They won the war but the real battle was right around the corner. Together again, after considerable adversity, Jesse shares the other part of his mission with Addy. The plague that decimated the population has left another legacy and he has been ordered to ‘encourage’ Shelter’s women to move to the base. With the fanatical Sawyer Bridges and his men dealt with, repopulating the country is now the top priority.

    Determined that women be allowed the choice, of both the father of their child or to have children at all, Addison accompanies Jesse in an attempt to appeal to the top brass.

    Their appeal rejected, Addison and Jesse are separated and detained while the General attempts to carry out his plan. But there are decent people everywhere and they rise up to do the right thing.
    Because of his need to protect her, Jesse makes the wrong call and Addy draws a line in the sand. She returns to Shelter, leaving Jesse to follow—if he can find it within himself to accept a true, future partnership.

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    MY REVIEW:

    SHELTER: THE RETURN is the third and final book in a series and at only 211 pages, is a quick, easy read.

    Allyson Young is a talented Canadian Author and has written a great number of books, some written under her own name and others under her pen name: Elizabeth Scott.

    Set in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States, Addison and Jesse both survived the flu-like plague that killed an estimated 90% of the world’s population.

    Addison and Jesse have started a relationship which has been somewhat stormy, but they both have come to realize just how much they mean to each other.

    Unfortunately, humans being what they are, there is always someone who wants what other people have and who would rather take it by force, than put in the work themselves.

    The Bad Guy mentioned in Books One and Two has been defeated but during the mission, Addy is taken prisoner by one of his lackies.

    Jesse is determined not to lose her and despite not knowing if she is alive or dead, he gathers volunteers to go with him on a rescue mission. But, will Addy survive long enough to be rescued?

    The action is fast-paced and the story moves along at a lightening pace. Canadian Author Allyson Young does a terrific job of keeping the reader engrossed in the story.

    If you are looking for a great beach read, look no further, the SHELTER Series is it.

    ***Due to the graphic nature of some of the content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.***

    I rate SHELTER: THE RETURN as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I highly recommend purchasing the entire trilogy.

    *Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.*

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    QUOTES:

    “Too bad the plague didn’t take out the dregs of society, but disasters never seem to work that way.”

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    “She’d earned the right to use Mitchell’s first name the correct way, through friendship and respect, and loyalty. Not by … by spreading her legs.”

    *

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Allyson Young aka Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada. She and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.

    She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.

    A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of April 2018 she has published four series and several standalones—53 books in total, with others under contract.

    To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    GOODREADS

    TWITTER

    AMAZON

    BARNES AND NOBLE

    CHAPTERS

    Check out my review of Book One HERE and my review of the second book HERE.

    SHELTER: THE RECKONING is the second book in Allyson Young’s Post-Apocalyptic Romance/Action Series. New Release

    Title: SHELTER: THE RECKONING

    Series: SHELTER TRILOGY: BOOK TWO

    Author: ALLYSON YOUNG aka: ELIZABETH SCOTT

    Genre: FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, ROMANCE

    Length: 211 PAGES

    Publisher: VICTORY EDITING NETGALLEY CO-OP

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: SEPTEMBER 1, 2018

    ISBN: 978-1721097890

    Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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    DESCRIPTION:

    Captain Jesse Forbes was understandably mistaken in his original assessment of Colonel Mitchell Stone. But his method of gathering that intel has blown up in his face.

    Given Addison Longwood’s history, he knows she’ll never offer him a second chance, and working together against a common foe is going to be torture in more ways than one.

    Addison hopes for the best but expects the worst as she and her fellow defenders gain reinforcements and take it to the enemy, unaware another betrayal awaits them.

    Survivors change sides and lines are blurred—good guys and bad guys wear camo.

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    MY REVIEW:

    SHELTER: THE RECKONING is the second book in a series and at only 211 pages, is a quick, easy read. Allyson Young is a talented Canadian Author and has written a great number of books, some written under her own name and others under her pen name: Elizabeth Scott.

    Set in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States, Addison Longwood survived the flu-like plague that killed an estimated 90% of the world’s population.

    Addison lives in a camp that is set-up extremely well and is in a defensible location. The people who share the camp are all of similar dispositions, meaning that they just want to live in relative peace and are willing to do their part to keep the camp running smoothly.

    Unfortunately, humans being what they are, there is always someone who wants what other people have and who would rather take it by force, than put in the work themselves.

    The leader of Addy’s camp, Mitchell Stone, had decided at the end of Book One that they had to try to take the fight to the bad guys. That book ended just as Addy and the other fighters left to do just that.

    This second book in the series focuses mostly on the fight to rid the world of the local despot. While there are sex scenes, there are less of them in this volume.

    The action is fast-paced and the story moves along at a lightening pace. Canadian Author Allyson Young does a terrific job of keeping the reader engrossed in the story.

    If you are looking for a great beach read, look no further, the SHELTER Series is it.

    Due to the graphic nature of some of the content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.

    I rate SHELTER: THE RECKONING as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I highly recommend purchasing the next book in the series immediately since Book Two ends with a cliffhanger.

    *Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.*

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    QUOTES:

    “Too bad the plague didn’t take out the dregs of society, but disasters never seem to work that way.”

    *

    “She’d earned the right to use Mitchell’s first name the correct way, through friendship and respect, and loyalty. Not by … by spreading her legs.”

    *

    *

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Allyson Young aka Peri Elizabeth Scott lives in cottage country, Manitoba, Canada. She and her husband pretend to work well together in their seasonal business.

    She has always enjoyed the written word, and after reading an erotic romance, quite by mistake, decided to try her hand at penning one. That was followed by a mix of spicy (Ally) and sweet (Peribeth) romances in various genres as well as a post-apocalyptic adventure without a lick of romance by Peribeth.

    A bestselling Amazon author, a hybrid, and a coauthor, as of April 2018 she has published four series and several standalones—53 books in total, with others under contract.

    To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    GOODREADS

    TWITTER

    AMAZON

    BARNES AND NOBLE

    CHAPTERS