Book Blitz & Giveaway: Love is a Battlefield by Whitney Dineen

Love is a Battlefield
Whitney Dineen
(Seven Brides for Seven Mothers #1)
Publication date: September 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Who doesn’t want their mom to play Cupid?
Addison Cooper had planned on an all-expense paid vacation to the Cayman Islands to celebrate her most recent business success. Instead, she’s trekking to the outback of Oregon to help a friend of her mother’s.
Reclusive novelist Brogan Cavanaugh’s new thriller just hit the New York Times Best Seller list. To reward himself, he was planning to spend the summer at his family’s fishing cabin until his mom unexpectedly calls in a favor.
Even though moms Libby and Ruby have been best friends since they were college roommates, Addison and Brogan have barely spent time in each other’s company. And when they did, things didn’t go well.
How will they react when they start to suspect their interfering mothers are setting them up?
Find out in this deliciously funny rom-com about mothers who really do know best and the children who don’t know they need them.
Something is definitely up.
Brogan interrupts his mom, “Where are you thinking about setting up a glamping site?”
“We have those old cabins up near the fishing cabin. I thought that would be the ideal place,” she tells him.
He visibly jolts. “No one has stayed in those in years. At this point they’re probably more shack than cabin.”
“That’s why I want to do something with them now. I thought Addie could check them out and get a feel for what we’d need to do to make them worthy of the glamping title.”
She’s got to be kidding! Before I can express my shock, Brogan lets out a great big boisterous that’s-the-most-ridiculous- thing-I’ve-ever-heard-of laugh. He sounds borderline hysterical.
“What are you laughing at?” I demand.
‘I just can’t see you being interested in a project like this, that’s all.”
“I’ve decorated resorts that specialize in all kinds of different things.”
“Don’t be rude, Brogan,” Ruby admonishes her son. “Addison is an accomplished young woman known the world over for her innovative designs.”
“I’m sure,” he says. “But she’s known for fancy five-star designs, not something like this.”
“Are you saying I can’t do it?” More than anything this gets my dander up. I am first and foremost a professional. “How about a little wager?” I ask him.
“I’m game if you are. I bet you can’t spend a week up there without running home to New York.”
I never said anything about staying up there. But instead of pointing that out, I knowingly and ill-advisedly declare, “I could do that in my sleep. In fact,” —and here’s where I totally lose my mind— “I raise your week to a month. What do you think about that?”

Author Bio:
Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries -- not always in that order.
Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.
She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.
Gold Medal winner at the International Readers' Favorite Awards, 2017.
Silver medal winner at the International Readers' Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.
Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.
Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.
Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017
Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017


We'd like to thank the team over at Xpresso for allowing us to be a part of this book blitz! If LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD sounds like the kind of story you'd be interested in, make sure to add it to your TBR!


The College Diaries: Back to School!

Hi everyone! In today's installment of The College Diaries, I'm talking about how now that the fall is here (my favorite season!), I officially am starting my first semester of grad school today. It's really exciting and also really nerve-wracking, but I'm really excited that it's happening! I mentioned this in previous posts, but just in case you didn't know, the program was always entirely online and asynchronous, which is great because it means that I can get all of the work done on my own time and whenever I'm able to fit it in. I'm really excited about that aspect!

Also, I'm not the only member of The Book Bratz going back to school this fall -- Emily is starting another semester of nursing school, and Amber is also starting another semester of undergrad! So if things get a little quiet here on the blog for a few weeks while we all adjust to our new schedules, have no fear -- we will be here as often as we can, and we will hopefully settle into a routine and be able to read at our usual pace again soon. :)

Starting grad school is an exciting new chapter -- I hope I do well! Have any of you gone to get your Creative Writing MFA? Or just done any graduate program in general? If you have any advice or wisdom for me, I'd love to hear it!

Are you going back to school this semester? If so, are your classes in person or online? Synchronous or asynchronous? Comment down below and let me know -- I'm curious!

First Day Of School GIF by MOODMAN

2020 Debut Author Interview: Mara Fitzgerald!

In 2019, we made it our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. It was such a success last year that we decided to continue the fun this year as well! Follow us this year as we pick the minds of the 2020 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats and more!
At the end of 2019, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Mara Fitzgerald and her novel BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL , and we have been interested in it ever since. We are so excited to have Mara on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

Mara Fitzgerald

Mara Fitzgerald writes YA fantasy about unlikable female characters who ruin everything. She is a biologist by day and spends entirely too much time looking at insects under a microscope. She was born near Disney World and now lives near Graceland, which is almost as good.

Keep up with Mara: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads / Pinterest

The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?
Mara: Thank you and happy to be here! Being a debut author feels like one long hallucination. It’s still hard to believe that the words I created while holed up in my living room, typing frantically like a gremlin, have come together to form a Real Book.
The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what's the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?
Mara: I love the element of discovery and surprise. I’m what we in the biz call a “pantser,” which means that when I begin writing, I don’t have much—just a premise and some vague characters—and I move forward by the seat of my pants. I rely heavily on my writer’s intuition. I go in the wrong direction a lot. But oh, when I figure out how to go in the right direction! That’s magic. The hardest part is the existential despair. Writing a book is creating something out of nothing, and for most people, we spend years getting essentially zero external rewards. We all have to find the reasons that it’s worth it.

The Book Bratz: Where did you get the inspiration for BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL?
Mara: A dream. Should I come up with something cooler to say? It’s too late—I’ve admitted it in too many places. I had been struggling to get a story off the ground, but it wasn’t really coming together, and then I woke up with a totally new idea in my head—an idea about two characters who were looking for something. Then, I started to develop the idea in my usual way, by asking questions—what were they looking for? Why was it missing? I’d also been listening to the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack not long before. I feel like it’s partially responsible for the amount of blood in the book.

The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the most difficult?
Mara: My main character, Emanuela, is a terrible person, and that was both fun and challenging to write. It was almost cathartic to portray someone so unapologetically selfish. Her nemesis—and maybe, just maybe, eventual love interest—Verene, was also challenging because of the particular way I wanted her to serve as a foil to Emanuela. I didn’t want her to be the complete opposite, nor did I want her to be exactly the same. Figuring out how to execute and walk that line was also fun, but it took a lot of engineering. And by that I mean my editors deserve all the credit.

The Book Bratz: This story involves omens, secrets, and even a touch of magic. How did you go about keeping all of this information in order while plotting?
Mara: I didn’t. The beauty of writing is that once I figure out everything I need to tell the reader, I can go back and make it look like I intended to do it smoothly all along. You know the thing where you left an argument with someone thirty minutes ago, but you’re still coming up with new things you should have said? In writing, you can just go back and say them!

The Book Bratz: What do you hope that readers will take away from BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL?
Mara: I’ve always wanted to write the type of book people will read in one sitting. I love the idea of being an “airport” novel or a “train trip” novel—a book that makes that little moment in your life more fun. But the book isn’t about straight white men.

The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL in the future, or do you have any other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?
Mara: I’m currently working on a sequel to BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL, which should release a year after the first book. All I can tell you about it is that it’s even weirder than the original! 

Title: Beyond the Ruby Veil
Author: Mara Fitzgerald
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 13th, 2020

Summary: Emanuela Ragno always gets what she wants. With her daring mind and socialite schemes, she refuses to be the demure young lady everyone wants her to be. In her most ambitious move yet, she's about to marry Alessandro Morandi, her childhood best friend and the heir to the wealthiest house in Occhia. Emanuela doesn't care that she and her groom are both gay, because she doesn't want a love match. She wants power, and through Ale, she'll have it all. But Emanuela has a secret that could shatter her plans. In the city of Occhia, the only source of water is the watercrea, a mysterious being who uses magic to make water from blood. When their first bruise-like omen appears on their skin, all Occhians must surrender themselves to the watercrea to be drained of life. Everyone throughout history has given themselves up for the greater good. Everyone except Emanuela. She's kept the tiny omen on her hip out of sight for years. When the watercrea exposes Emanuela during her wedding ceremony and takes her to be sacrificed, Emanuela fights back...and kills her. Now Occhia has no one to make their water and no idea how to get more. In a race against time, Emanuela and Ale must travel through the mysterious, blood-red veil that surrounds their city to uncover the secrets of the watercrea's magic and find a way to save their people-no matter what it takes. 

Thank you so much to Mara for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL and can't wait for it to be out in the world on October 13th

Celebrate So Excited GIF by Hey Violet

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Beginning's End by M. Dalto!

Beginning’s End
M. Dalto
(The Empire Saga #3)
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: September 8th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Ever since her unexpected return to the Empire, all Queen Empress Alexstrayna wanted was to protect her family. Despite of the life-altering events that occurred within the Borderlands, her family – those that remained- were all she had left, and as Empress is was her predestined duty to protect the while ensuring the safety of the Empire.
But when the ever-threatening forces from the Borderlands challenge all she has worked towards to maintain that peace, she must search within herself to discover a new magic stronger than anything the Annals have foretold before.
Previous books in the series:
The lords from the outlying territories began arriving a week later.
Alex and Reylor had made the decision together that the lords would be called to the palace as soon as Alex was well enough to receive them. Rumors spread since the incident within the Borderlands, with some even questioning the health and well-being of the Queen Empress. That Alex had returned was one thing—it was as if the lords flocked to them only to see her in the flesh, living and breathing, to decide if she was truly capable of leading them.
War was coming.
There was nothing Alex could do to stop it. She knew she needed lords on her side, to believe her position, and to listen to her when the Empire needed them the most.
She had taken up residence in the rooms that once belonged to Reylor. They were a few of the only rooms that hadn’t been affected by the library’s explosion, and therefore were not disturbed by the ongoing efforts to stabilize the palace and return it to its former glory. She had initially insisted Reylor have his own rooms back, but he refused to have her reside anywhere else, and instead he took up residence in the Council’s chambers; the proper place for the Lord Steward, he told her.
One benefit of her title Alex did not reinstitute were her Mistresses.
With two of them dead, and the third dismissed for her own safety before she left the Empire, she didn’t have it in her to petition any more innocents to wait on her when there was too much at stake being a member of her inner circle. She looked after herself—dressing herself, doing her own hair. It was no different than when she was on her own in Boston, and she appreciated the time alone when she had it.
She had just finished donning her dress—simple yet elegant enough the lords wouldn’t question her level of formality when she greeted them. Her jewelry and crown and all other frivolous items were lost when the palace collapsed and she was in no state to replace them.
Wartime was not a time for embellishment.
She assessed her reflection in the mirror in passing as she grabbed her hairbrush. Alex had lost weight—she had been bedridden for a week and never regained any of it back. She ate, but nowhere near enough; nothing satisfied her. Yet, by some magic of the Empire, she looked…beautiful. As if her perfect hair, bright eyes, and flawless skin was enough of a mask to hide the destruction beneath.
Alex was a mess, but the power of the Empire refused to show the truth behind the mask.
She hated it.
She wasn’t sure she would ever be how she was supposed to be. She knew Reylor tried to keep her mind from drifting—the constant stares, taunts, dinner invitations. Perhaps he thought it would keep her preoccupied, but it wasn’t working. Or it hadn’t been working. More recently, she found herself thinking about his invitations…for no other reason than she was lonely.
A mess.
A desperate mess.

Author Bio:
M. Dalto is a bestselling New Adult author of adventurous romantic fantasy stories, having won a Watty award for excellence in digital storytelling for her debut novel, Two Thousand Years, in 2016. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda, and when she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.


We'd like to thank the great team over at Xpresso for allowing us to be a part of this book blitz! If BEGINNING'S END seems like something that you'd be interested in, make sure to add it to your TBR!