Posted in Uncategorized

YA Scavenger Hunt-Fall 2017


Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive an awesome Red Team prize pack of books!  

Special Note: I’m running another giveaway at the bottom!


Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SEVEN contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! That’s 140 books up for grabs!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt you can see links to all the authors participating, and the full list of prizes up for grabs on the YA Scavenger Hunt page.


Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the RED Team, and then add them up.


Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.


Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 9th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.



 For this year’s fall YA scavenger hunt, I’m thrilled to be hosting fellow New Zealander Kelly St. Clare! When Kelly St. Clare is not reading or writing, she is lost in her latest reverie. Books have always been magical and mysterious to her. One day she decided to start unravelling this mystery and began writing.
The Tainted Accords was her debut series, and her second series, The After trilogy, is now available.
A New Zealander in origin and in heart, Kelly currently resides in Australia with her soon-to-be-husband, a great group of friends, and some huntsman spiders who love to come inside when it rains. Their love is not returned.


Fantasy of Frost by Kelly St. Clare

 I know many things. What I am capable of, what I will change, what I will become. But there is one thing I will never know…

The veil I’ve worn from birth carries with it a terrible loneliness; a suppression I cannot imagine ever being free of.

Some things never change…

My mother will always hate me. Her court will always shun me.

…Until they do.

When the peace delegation arrives from the savage world of Glacium, my life is shoved wildly out of control by the handsome Prince Kedrick who, for unfathomable reasons, shows me kindness.

And the harshest lessons are learned.

Sometimes it takes the world bringing you to your knees to find that spark you thought forever lost.

Sometimes it takes death to show you how to live.


Exclusive Content

YASH is all about exclusive content and Kelly’s offering up a cover reveal! I love book covers so can’t wait to show y’all the cover of Olandon, the second Tainted Accords novella.  Olandon releases February 2018, and is the second part of a companion novella series to The Tainted Accords.













What a sexy beast of a cover!!!!




To enter for the RED TEAM PRIZE, you need to know that my favorite number is 11.  That’s right, 11. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Red Team and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

Before you go, check out the rafflecopter below to win the They Call Me Alexandra Gastone Audio Book (4 copies up for grabs).  If you’re not into audiobooks, you can grab Alexandra for the bargain price of 99 whole cents over on Amazon.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



To keep going on your quest you’ll need to visit… Hilary Thompson!

Posted in Uncategorized

Waiting on Wednesday: Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers

Tiff's Book Lair Wow Logo

WoW is a weekly meme created by Jill from Breaking the Spine where bloggers highlight what books they are eagerly awaiting!

My pick this week is Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers!

Given that I wrote They Call Me Alexandra Gastone, it probably isn’t a shock to learn I love spy novels! I’m always on the look out for the newest entries into the spy genre, which is why I’m so excited about Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers hitting shelves April 12th! I love both male and female spies but as a huge sucker for kick ass female heroines, I’m particularly excited this book has a female lead. The book’s blurb sounds like a whole lotta fun and check out these awesome reviews from the bigwigs!

“Jocelyn makes for a kick-ass, determined heroine, and there’s no shortage of scenes of adrenaline-charged adventure…[A] strong debut for both the author and the Raven Files series.”–Publishers Weekly

“There’s a plot twist, revealed secret, or chase scene in every chapter—Rogers knows how to keep the pages turning….The cliff-hanger ending begs for a swift sequel.”–Booklist


Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers

Amazon | Goodreads


When Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped by a North Korean spy agency, she was only a little girl. Young. Scared. Powerless. And completely moldable.

Now, ten years later, she’s a ruthless assassin. Yet her target isn’t who you might think. Jocelyn is determined to escape her kidnappers and take down North Korea and their spy agency forever.

But when she makes it to U.S. soil, she finds that not everyone believes her story. Will she be able to get the Americans to trust her? Or will the North Koreans discover her deception before she has a chance?

In this life-or-death action-packed spy thriller, Meghan Rogers creates a teen girl character whose toughness, intelligence and determination rival Jason Bourne, Sydney Bristow and James Bond.

The first novel in the Raven Files series will leave you breathless.

Posted in Uncategorized

Floating My Boat Friday #4


The first thing that FMB this week was that I got a free ticket to go see Magic Mike XXL. You already know how much I love to watch dancing and that extends to sexy dancing as well. Channing Tatum can MOVE. I liked the first Magic Mike okay. For a movie about male strippers it was kinda dark and a bit seedy but Magic Mike XXL was all about the fun. I haven’t laughed so hard in a movie in a really long time. I definitely recommend it.

I discovered a new show this week…Tyrant. My husband and I don’t exactly have the same taste in TV, but we’re both enjoying this one. The added bonus of Tyrant is that the first season has already aired and is available on Netflix. I love finding something I can binge watch!

The final thing that made my week was receiving the first entry into the Alexandra Gastone Movie Poster Contest! A special thanks to @bookwormjane for coming up with this great poster!














What’s floated your boat this week?

Posted in Interview, Uncategorized, Writing, YA books, YAlit

Interview with YA Author-Moriah McStay

Super excited to have Moriah McStay on the blog today! Her debut Everything that Makes You is one I’ve been very keen to read since I first heard about it. I’ve always been very intrigued by ‘What if’ scenarios and to have a YA book focused on this theme immediately made me go all grabby hands! I can’t wait to dive into this one. Publishers Weekly called Everything that Makes You “Entertaining and intellectually stimulating, the novel invites discussion about how much of a person’s life is determined by events and whether some tendencies are inborn.”











The Amazon Synopsis:

Ever wonder “What if?” Everything That Makes You is a romantic, epic story about one girl—and her two possible lives after an accident changes her fate.

Fiona Doyle’s face was horribly scarred as a child. She writes about her frustrations and dreams in notebooks, penning song lyrics. But she’d never be brave enough to sing those songs in public. Fi Doyle never had an accident. She’s the best lacrosse player in the state and can’t be distracted by her friend who wants to be more than that. But then her luck on the field goes south.

Alternating chapters between Fiona and Fi tell two stories about the same girl—hopes and dreams and crushes, fears and failures and loss. This beautifully written realistic contemporary novel with a twist is perfect for fans of If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.

Now that we know a bit about Moriah’s debut, let’s get to know Moriah!

Favorite book(s) read in the last year?

This is a hard question! I’ve read so many books through Fearless Fifteeners and Class 2k15, both debut groups for MG and YA writers publishing in 2015. Here’s an off-the-top-of-my-head list of books currently available. It’s by no means exclusive (and not all YA)
• Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
• Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
• Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
• The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (this was a reread, but always a favorite.)
• The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Favorite movies?

The Princess Bride. Elf. Raising Arizona.

Favorite tv shows?

I don’t watch a ton of TV, but Sherlock has me hooked.

Favorite foods?

Bacino’s Spinach stuffed pizza in Chicago.
Anything with lentils.
Dark chocolate.

Favorite bands/songs?

R.E.M. has been my favorite band since I was 16. I love Jack White, too. Lazaretto is a current favorite song. Oh, and Lonely Boy by the Black Keys

Favorite travel destinations so far?

This is a toughie. Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands were pretty amazing. I’m not a particularly religious person, but I’ve never felt closer to God than at Big Sur in California. Scotland and Ireland are beautiful, in an aching kind of way.

Where in the world would you like to go next?

I’d love to get to Asia. My husband’s family comes from Korea, and it would be great introducing our kids to that half of their culture.

What are your hobbies outside of writing?

I like to be outside—walk the dogs, or even just sit on my front porch and read. I do yoga, and try to work out three or more times a week. I read a lot, but most of my free time is sucked up by my three teenage daughters.

Do you have any pets?

Two lovable but devilish dogs who escape my backyard all the time. Molly is half golden retriever- half poodle and Luna is half wheaten terrier-half poodle. Extra points if you guess the common theme of their names. (Hint: our late boxer was named Hagrid.)

My dogs, kindly offering to join me on the treadmill.









If you could be any fictional character from a book, movies or the television, who would you be and why?

Hermione Granger, because she’s magic.

Everyone has a bit of an inner geek inside them, can you tell us what causes you to geek out?

Books, totally. It’s my go-to conversations at all awkward social events. What are you reading? What’s your favorite book? I get especially excited when someone tells me about a book I’ve never heard of, or wouldn’t think to read. It’s like a little life lesson, over cocktail food.

Now that we’ve gotten to know you better, can you tell us about your inspiration for Everything that Makes You?

I wanted to write this story a long time. Like Fiona, I was in an accident as a child. It wasn’t nearly as bad as Fiona’s, but my right eye was badly damaged, and looked quite different than my left. You could tell. I got lots of questions, couldn’t play contact sports, had to wear big glasses. As I got older, I wondered what parts of my personality changed because of that freak accident. Or maybe none did.

In college, I engaged in this “what if” conversation with friends, and everyone had at least one moment of their own. Maybe not an accident, but an incident in middle school. A sick parent. A move from one city to another. I thought it’d be cool to write a book about it. So eventually (many, many years later) I did!

In a single sentence, how would you describe your novel?

It’s a book about what ifs.

I’m loving the title. How did you come up with it?

My editor Jill Davis did. We went through several lacklustre ones, none of which thrilled either of us. Then, as she was making copy edits on a draft, she sent me an email that said, in all caps, EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU. JACKSON JUST SAID IT!
Everyone liked it, and so it stuck. I revised one of Fiona’s later songs, with the new title in mind.

Can you describe your writing process or schedule?

I write during the day, while my kids are at school. I try to get a solid six hours or so in every day. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t.

How long did it take you to write Everything that Makes You?

I had the idea for over fifteen years. Once I finally worked up the nerve to write it, it took about eight months before I had something solid enough to submit to agents. My agent didn’t ask for any real changes, so that was the draft purchased by Jill Davis at Katherine Tegen Books at HarperCollins.

What are you most looking forward to about your debut year?

Feeling like a real writer. This is my full-time job now. It’s nice to point to a tangible thing and say, “This. This is what I do.”

Since I’m a movie addict, would you be willing to indulge me and give us your dream movie cast for the book?

This is so funny. When a lot of people hear ETMY’s concept, they say, “Oh, like Sliding Doors.” It’s a movie from the late 90s starring Gywneth Paltrow. In honor of that, I always pictured her as Caroline Doyle, Fiona/Fi’s perfect mom.

I don’t have an idea for any other characters, though my daughters would probably insist we find some role for Dylan O’Brien, so we could invite him over to dinner.


Thanks for visiting the blog Moriah!

Want to connect with Moriah? Check out her website and follow her on twitter.

Check back with the blog on Wednesday for an interview with Jenny Martin the author of Tracked!

Posted in Uncategorized, YA books, YAlit

Giveaway in honor of They Call Me Alexandra Gastone’s Upcoming Release

I wanted to share with everyone, the wonderful giveaway my publisher has put together in the lead up to THEY CALL ME ALEXANDRA GASTONE’S release on May 20th. Lots of great prizes to be had and lots of ways to enter so check it out!

Two winners will get a $10 Amazon gift card, 3 ebooks and Alexandra Gastone Swag
Two winners will get 3 ebooks and Alexandra Gastone Swag
Ten winners will get Alexandra Gastone Swag

Giveaway Image

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Expat, Living Abroad, New Zealand, New Zealand Life, NZ Life, Travel, Uncategorized

Expat Life in New Zealand #16-Autumn or the lack there of







For as long as I can remember, autumn has been my favorite season. I love the changing leaves, the crisp air, and the smell of wood smoke that often hangs in the air. Other than my family and friends, autumn is what I probably miss most about not living in the States. New Zealand you see, tends to skip right from summer into winter. Last week it was summer and this week winter is here. No, it’s not snowing, that happens only every five years or so, but the weather has definitely slipped into winter coat territory. My son is particularly crushed that he now needs to wear shoes so his toes don’t freeze off on the cold concrete.

Sitting warm and comfy in the house, I wouldn’t necessarily know that winter was here. As NZ native trees are evergreen, my view is pretty much the same year around. Green, green and more green. It’s lovely but…

This is the view from our backyard. It never changes.









While I’ve always found leafless trees a tad on the depressing side unless they’re covered in snow, I’d gladly accept a little winter barrenness in exchange for some autumn color. I really and truly miss the leaves changing. Everything always felt so vibrant as the trees had one last burst of mirth before retiring for a long slumber. The horses I rode were always full of beans, I always felt comfortable from a temperature standpoint (I hate being hot), and all my favorite foods made their seasonal appearances-pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pie, Starbucks pumpkin spiced whatevers.

It’s funny what you miss when it’s gone!