TTT: Illustrated Books We Love


hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week is all about the visuals, from graphic novels to manga to picture books!  We decided to do a combination of all the illustrated books!


Lauren’s Picks

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (illustrated)

2. Percy Jackson Graphic Novels

3. Black Cat by Kentaro Yabuki

4. Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss

5. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S Lewis


Melissa’s Picks

1. Elephant and Piggie We Are In a Book by Mo Willems

2. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers (Niece was obssessed with this)

3. Press Here by Hervé Tullet  (Anoter of Niece’s favorites)

4. Sailor Moon manga by Naoko Takeuchi

5. Fruits Basket


Kelly’s Picks

1. Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbasch

2. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

3. Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

4. Creole by Stephan Cosgrove

5. The Absolutely True Dairy of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

What are some of your favorite illustrated books? Let us know in the comments below!!


Musings of Jennifer Donnelly


On Conquering Writer’s Block
by Jennifer Donnelly

A question I get asked a lot is this one: How do you handle Writer’s Block?

Here’s my answer: Writer’s Block is like the monster under the bed – it only exists if you think it does.

I don’t believe in it. In fact, I think the whole concept is baloney. Evil baloney. It scares writers, especially young ones, and makes them think they’re powerless victims of some huge, ugly force outside of their control. It sets up an expectation of failure.

Writing, like a lot of things, is hard and frustrating. Getting from a lovely, sparkly, beguiling little wisp of an idea to a finished novel takes dirty, ugly, faith-shaking work, and lots of it.

Struggling, coming up blank, getting stuck…that stuff isn’t writer’s block. It’s normal.

False starts, dead ends, plot holes you could drive a Zamboni through…normal.

The stack of scribbled pages on your desk, the five unfinished drafts on your computer, the hopeless print-out in a box on the floor of your closet…that, too, is normal.

All this stuff doesn’t mean your story is doomed. It doesn’t mean you suck. What it means is that you haven’t thought your essay or term paper or novel through properly and you’ve stalled out because of it.

I’m on my thirteenth novel and I still stall out. A lot. I get stuck. There are times when I want to scream and yell and sweep everything off my desk. But I don’t. Because I can’t. Writing is my art; it’s also my livelihood. I have contracts and deadlines and I need to meet them if I want to paid.

This is how I get unstuck...

I move away from my computer screen.

I get a stack of blank white paper. (I use the backs of old manuscripts.)

And a good pen.

Then I sit down and start writing out questions on what’s wrong with my story. The more specific, the better. Such as: Why is my main character two-dimensional? Why is my dialogue flat? Why is the love scene in Chapter Four a total joke?

Sometimes I can’t be specific. Because I don’t know what’s wrong. When that happens, I write this question: Why does this entire book suck?

And then I wait, and think about my question. Maybe for seconds. Maybe for minutes. And then it’s like there’s a Ouija Board in my head, and it starts spelling out the answers. Sometimes they come slowly. Sometimes fast. Either way, I write them all down.

There seems to be something about getting away from my computer screen and applying ink to paper that allows me to identify the problems with my story, and find the answers.

This method might work for you, or you might have to find your own way out of a stall, but as you do, know this: nothing controls your progress but you. Look inside your own head, not under the bed.

© Jennifer Donnelly 2017

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About Jennifer

Jennifer Donnelly is an award-winning, best-selling author of books for young adults and adults, including the Waterfire Saga: DEEP BLUE, ROGUE WAVE, DARK TIDE, and SEA SPELL. Her other young adult novels include These Shallow Graves, Revolution, and A Northern Light, winner of Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and a Michael L. Printz Honor. She has also written Humble Pie, a picture book, and the adult novels The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley. You can visit her at, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @jenwritesbooks.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book (On sale January 31) is an enchanting original story set in the world of the upcoming Walt Disney Studios film, Beauty and the Beast.

Smart, bookish Belle, a captive in the Beast’s castle, has become accustomed to her new home and has befriended its inhabitants. When she comes upon Nevermore, an enchanted book unlike anything else she has seen in the castle, Belle finds herself pulled into its pages and transported to a world of glamour and intrigue. The adventures Belle has always imagined, the dreams she was forced to give up when she became a prisoner, seem within reach again.

The charming and mysterious characters Belle meets in within the pages of Nevermore offer her sparkling conversation, a life of dazzling Parisian luxury, and even a reunion she never thought possible. Here Belle can have everything she has ever wished for. But what about her friends in the Beast’s castle? Can Belle trust her new companions inside the pages Nevermore? Is Nevermore’s world even real? Belle must uncover the truth about the book, before she loses herself in it forever.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

Thank you so much to Jennifer for sparing your time to write this wonderful piece of advice! We all need to step away from the computer once in a while, and I think I’m going to be trying something very close to this tactic next time I get stuck! =)

As always, a special thank you to everyone who has contributed to this feature. Your advice never falls on unappreciative ears. Your words mean so much more than you know. Thank you!

We hope everyone has a wonderful rest of your week!


TTT: Freebie – Series We Need to Start


hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Whoops kind of slacked on Top Ten Tuesday last week and this week. Sorry guys!! Without further ado, here’s our list of series we still need to start!

Lauren’s Picks

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo

The Witchlands series by Susan Dennard

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The Wrath and the Dawn series by Renee Ahdieh

Something Strange and Deadly series by Susan Dennard

Melissa’s Picks

Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce

The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman

Jackaby series by William Ritter

Curse Workers series by Holly Black

Abhorsen series by Garth Nix

The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer

Are there any here that you still need to start? Let us know in the comments below!


Musings of Claire Legrand


Don’t Be Afraid To Take Time For Yourself (and Your Words)
by Claire Legrand

I love being part of the writing community. I’ve been active on Twitter since 2009, and I blogged pretty steadily for a few years, too. Via social media I’ve met amazing people and forged some incredible friendships. I’ve also learned a lot—about the publishing industry, the writing craft, the experiences of marginalized communities, and how to better articulate my thoughts about my own mental illness.

For any human being, existing as part of a community is healthy. For a writer, it’s essential. Writing can be a fulfilling—but lonely—endeavor. We need friends and writing partners around us who understand why we do this, who understand the sacrifice and the discipline and the brain-twisting work that goes into creating a book. We need fresh eyes on our words, to ensure they haven’t become too precious. We need friends within the community to reach out and let us know when we’ve screwed up, when they need a hug, when we need a hug.

But sometimes? Sometimes, being part of a community can feel noisy, even overwhelming. Sometimes you need a break from the hustle and bustle of social media.

One of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever gotten is to “keep your eyes on your own paper.” But that is difficult to do when you’re plugged in to multiple social media platforms every day. You can’t help but see what everyone else is working on and accomplishing. You can’t help but measure yourself against the achievements of others. And that takes time and energy away from the central work of, you know, actually writing your book.

As important as community is, it’s equally important to step away from it when you need to. If you’re anything like me, you suffer from a severe case of FOMO. That is, Fear Of Missing Out. I’m on a social media hiatus right now, and sometimes my brain screams at me, “For the love of everything holy, get back on Twitter right now! You’ll miss out on A Thing! You’re not being a responsible and vocal member of the community! You’ll lose followers! People will forget about you! Your book sales will plummet!”

But aside from those moments of FOMO guilt and panic? My hiatus has been a blessing. In addition to working my part-time jobs, I’m writing thousands of words per day. My head is clearer; my chest isn’t quite as clenched with fear that I’m not writing quickly enough, or selling enough books, or that I’m not clever enough on Twitter, or that I don’t have the right number of followers. All that noise—it’s not there right now. And without it? I can focus on the work. And the work is the thing.

I miss being a part of the active daily community online. Sometimes I feel guilty for not being there. But I also know that I needed to do this, for myself and for my manuscript. I needed to unplug, to step back, to close the door. Not forever, but for a while. I needed help keeping my eyes on my own paper, at least until I type “the end” on this first draft. (Drafting, by the way, is the worrrrst.)

And you know what? That’s okay.

In Some Kind of Happiness, Finley learns that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. In real life, I have learned that it’s okay to step away when you need it, for your own sake and for the sake of your work. Please don’t be afraid to sign off and unplug. Embrace that peace and quiet. Use it to hone your focus. Use it to read, refill that creative well, and focus on making your words the best words they can be.

That’s the greatest thing about the writing community—everyone gets it. We’re all on this wild creative journey together. And we’ll all be there, happy to see you, when you get back.


About Claire

Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a writer and former librarian living in central New Jersey (although her heart will always live in her home state of Texas).

Her first novel is The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2012. She is also the author of The Year of Shadows, a ghost story for middle grade readers; and Winterspell, a young adult re-telling of The Nutcracker. She is also the author of Some Kind of Happiness, a middle grade novel about mental illness, family secrets, and the power of storytelling, which was one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2016. Her latest novel, Foxheart, is a classic fantasy-adventure and a 2016 Junior Library Guild selection. She is one of the four authors behind The Cabinet of Curiosities, an anthology of dark middle grade short fiction that was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Bank Street Best Book, and among the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2014.

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Orphan. Thief. Witch.

Twelve-year-old Quicksilver dreams of becoming the greatest thief in the Star Lands. With her faithful dog and partner-in-crime Fox, she’s well on her way—even if that constantly lands them both in trouble. It’s a lonesome life, sleeping on rooftops and stealing food for dinner, but Quicksilver doesn’t mind. When you’re alone, no one can hurt you. Or abandon you.

But the seemingly peaceful Star Lands are full of danger. Witches still exist—although the powerful Wolf King and his seven wolves have been hunting them for years. Thankfully, his bloody work is almost complete. Soon the Star Lands will be safe, free of the witches and their dark magic.

Then one day a strange old woman and her scruffy dog arrive in Quicksilver’s town and perform extraordinary magic. Real magic—forbidden and dangerous. Magic Quicksilver is desperate to learn. With magic like that, she could steal anything her heart desires. She could even find her parents.

But the old woman is not what she seems, and soon Quicksilver has to decide—will she stay at home and remain a thief? Or will she embark upon the adventure of a lifetime and become a legend?

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository

Some Kind of Happiness


• Her parents, who are having problems. (But they pretend like they’re not.)
• Being sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer.
• Never having met said grandparents.
• Her blue days—when life feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to keep her head up. (This happens a lot.)

Finley’s only retreat is the Everwood, a forest kingdom that exists in the pages of her notebook. Until she discovers the endless woods behind her grandparents’ house and realizes the Everwood is real–and holds more mysteries than she’d ever imagined, including a family of pirates that she isn’t allowed to talk to, trees covered in ash, and a strange old wizard living in a house made of bones.

With the help of her cousins, Finley sets out on a mission to save the dying Everwood and uncover its secrets. But as the mysteries pile up and the frightening sadness inside her grows, Finley realizes that if she wants to save the Everwood, she’ll first have to save herself.

Reality and fantasy collide in this powerful, heartfelt novel about family, depression, and the power of imagination.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository

Claire, thank you so much for taking the time to write this article and discuss the effects of social media and the outside world on your own mental and writing health. Interacting with other people through any portal can be over whelming, tiresome, and sometimes even draining. We all need to take some time for ourselves now and again, refresh, and get away from the world in order to find our love and/or gift of writing again.

As always, thank you so much to everyone who participates in this feature. Your words never fall on unappreciative ears. You’re helping so many new writers!

We hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week!


Musings of Jaye Robin Brown


by Jaye Robin Brown

We’ve all heard the phrase “to err is human”. That’s part of why, particularly in writing contemporary young adult fiction, it’s important to imbue your characters with flaw as well as shine. Characters should be on a journey, whether inward or outward, and somewhere along the way they must hit some road blocks. Otherwise they wouldn’t be believable.

So how do you find your character’s flaws while still making them someone the reader wants to travel along with for the ride? I think there a couple of factors involved to settle on flaws that feel most organic to your character.

Foremost is plot. What flaw can you give your character that will stymie them as they travel through the scenes? In Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, Joanna is faced with having to hide her queerness to satisfy a request from her father. It was easy for me to see how she needed to mess up. She needed to believe she could spin half truths about herself without it affecting anyone around her. Of course, she was wrong and her over-confidence almost messed up everything. If I had written a backwoods adventure story, maybe my main character would have had recklessness issues that would lead them into larger danger. Or I might put a know-it-all in with a group of new, smart friends. What is the external flaw that will make the plot more difficult for your character?

Secondly, I think about what my character’s interior arc is. When Joanna agreed to go along with her dad, part of what she had going on deep inside was relief. If she could hide behind a false truth, then she’d never have to face the fear of rejection in her new environment. For her, this willingness to turtle away, meant she kept people at arm’s length and in turn, she ended up judging them as much as she feared their judgment.

And here is the MIND-BLOWING tidbit: the thing that is best about your character can ALSO be their flaw. Joanna Gordon sees the goodness in all and wants to be good for all. Which makes her a people pleaser. She sacrifices for her father in order to please him, to be good. But in sacrificing for him, she sacrifices herself in a way that’s not okay. Her want to please blinds her from seeing that he shouldn’t have asked to start with, and that perhaps the best and good thing to have done, would have been to stand up to him from the start. Then, her father could have found his own way to being his best self, rather than asking her to lie low for her senior year.

Human beings are complex. Things like fear and recklessness and over confidence can help us achieve greatness, but they can also hold us back. The trick in writing is to find a way to showcase these dual natures inside of us that fit with your character’s story. The thing propelling them forward can, in its deeper forms, also hold them back. Find your main character’s duality and you’ll discover their fullness! Let their particular story, guide you in your writing.

jaye-robin-brownAbout Jaye

Jaye Robin Brown, or Jro to her friends, has been many things in her life–jeweler, mediator, high school art teacher–but recently she’s taken the plunge into full-time writer life. She’s a Southerner at heart, by way of Alabama, then Atlanta, and for many years just outside of Asheville, but now she’s moved north for a bit of city living. Boston baby! And though she’d like to think brownstones might find a way into her fiction, she figures kudzu will always be what comes to her imagination first.

Her debut young adult novel, NO PLACE TO FALL, came out in the fall of 2014 from Harper Teen. It’s about dreams, singing, friendship, love, betrayal, family, and mistakes. It’s also a love song to small town girls and mountain music, both of which shape the area that Jaye now calls home. In April 2016, a companion novella, WILL’S STORY: A NO PLACE TO FALL NOVELLA, released from Epic Reads Impulse, a digital only imprint, and follows Will McKinney’s side of the story. Her sophomore novel, GEORGIA PEACHES AND OTHER FORBIDDEN FRUIT, released August 30, 2016, also from Harper Teen, and is the story of Jo Gordon, the out lesbian daughter of a moderate evangelical minister and what happens when he marries for the third time and they move from Atlanta to small-town Northern Georgia. It’s a love story and a look at the sometimes conundrum of having faith and being queer.

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Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.

Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?

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No Place to Fall

No Place to Fall

Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

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A big thank you to Jaye for writing this article! Even as an agent, editing is still hard, especially when you’ve looked at and read that manuscript over, and over, and over again. These tips can definitely help, and we thank you so much for opening up and being a great inspiration to new writers every where!

As always, a huge thank you to all who have participated in this feature. We love Musings, and you all are helping so many new writers complete their first books, continue fighting for their shot at being published, and just keep the hope. Your time and your words don’t go unappreciated!

We hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!


Waiting on Wednesday: Wait for Me


Nothing like waiting patiently for that next new book to come out! This week the book we are waiting for is:


Title: Wait for Me

Author: Caroline Leech

Genre: YA, Historical

Page Count: 384

Release Date: January 31st, 2017


The perfect blend of sweet romance and historical flavor, Wait for Me, from debut author Caroline Leech, brings a fresh new voice to a much-loved genre.

It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.


TTT: 2016 Books We Plan to Read This Year

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


Raise your hand if you personally felt overwhelmed by the number of amazing books that came out in 2016.


Of course 2017 will be no different. But we are determined to read some of books that came out last year! Well at least I know I am.

Melissa’s Picks

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown

What Light by Jay Asher

Black Moon by Romina Russell

Lauren’s Picks

The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid

Scythe by Neal Schusterman

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Kelly’s Picks

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Musings of Destiny Soria


How to Rescue Your NaNoWriMo Novel:
A Study in the Virtues of Chocolate and Fizzy Drinks
by Destiny Soria

It’s December. You’ve had a whole month’s worth of distance from the 50,000 words that consumed your entire November. You open the document. Depending on whether your proverbial glass is half-full or half-empty, you start reading with either gleeful abandon or miserable trepidation. Regardless, I can promise you that the conclusion you’ll reach by the end (or in the most cases, by the end of the third chapter) is that this is utter and complete garbage, and you’ve wasted thirty days of your life, and oh the horror, etc. etc. ad nauseam. If your conclusion is none of these things, then congratulations you’ve achieved the highest level of ascendency, continue onward to fame and fortune. Or possibly you are sloshing about in a state of egg nog-induced delirium and should maybe take a nap before proceeding.

As for the rest of us, those poor souls leading their lives of quiet desperation at just how terrible we are at writing, we are faced with a choice. Option #1: Bury the “novel” in a folder so deep in the bowels of your computer that it will never again see the light of day. Option #2: Dust off the red pen and get to work.

For those of you who choose Option #1, I commend you for a draft well-finished. Carry on without shame to the “Third” section of this post.

For those of you who choose Option #2, you have a long and lonely road ahead, full of weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Unless you like editing better than drafting, in which case, the hard part is over!)

I’ve won NaNoWriMo five times, so I consider myself fairly seasoned in that regard. But I’ve only revised one of those winners (heavy air quotes) into a real actual novel—my debut Iron Cast. So in the NaNo revision department, I’m in the same boat as most of you, and probably several strokes behind those who are more dedicated than I. All the same, I’ve got a few tips that helped me survive my miserable trepidation (oh yes, my glass is always half-empty) and salvage a novel from the wreckage.


Go easy on yourself. You wrote a novel! In thirty days! No matter how terrible it is, that’s an accomplishment worth celebrating. I recommend chocolate and a fizzy drink. And while you’re treating yourself, take a few minutes to write down everything that works in this draft. It can be as broad as a plot twist you’re proud of or as specific as a witty line of dialogue that you love. I promise the manuscript, no matter how disjointed or rambling, is peppered with these gems. Having them written out will not only help you during revisions, but it will also remind you how awesome you are.


Find the revision process that works best for you—not what you think is the “right” or “best” process. I’ve known authors who covered a wall with every beat of the novel on note cards before they even touch the first sentence, and I’ve known authors who start at Page 1 and revise/rewrite everything in order. And if you’ve revised novels before, what worked then might not necessarily work for you this time. Don’t be afraid to branch out if your tried and true methods aren’t quite so true anymore. Here’s my personal process, which might be worth trying if you’re not sure what works for you:

-I set my critique group loose on the draft. Sometimes I have an idea of what I want to keep/change, but mostly I just let them tell me what they think is working or not and what characters/concepts they wanted to see more or less. Nothing’s off limits.

-Keeping my critique group’s comments in mind, I write out a list of all the changes I want to make, big and small. Obviously it’s not an exhaustive list at this point, and for every item I cross off, I usually end up adding two more. But for me lists are much easier to tackle than 50K+ words all at once.

-I make changes chronologically, chapter by chapter. I know a lot of writers who prefer to start with big picture and work their way down to small. There’s any number of ways to do it, but the important thing is that you dive in. The most daunting part of the editing process is actually starting. Once you’ve gotten that over with, the rest is much easier.

-Once all the items on my list are crossed off, I consider my second draft complete. If possible, I take a break for a couple weeks to clear my mind. The third draft involves more hard-hitting edits—usually a lot of cutting and being sad about the things I’m cutting. I might have another critique partner give their thoughts at this stage too, just to make sure everything is cohesive.


Have some more chocolate and fizzy drink. You earned it.


Once your draft is fighting fit, you can move on to the next stage of the never-ending publishing process (assuming that’s what you want, of course). If you’re looking for tips on what to do next, Live, Love, Read has got you covered. (Personally, I recommend the posts by Ava Jae, Rebecca Podos, and Elise Kova.) No matter what stage you’re in—querying, submission, crying under the kitchen table—the important thing to remember is that you did the thing! You did the thing that almost everyone you meet in your entire life is going to tell you they wish they could do, and that is finish a novel. I salute you.

Headshot_small.jpgAbout Destiny

Destiny Soria grew up in a tiny town in Alabama that you’ve never heard of, where she spent her summers playing with sticks in the woods and exploring such distinguished careers as Forest Bandit, Wayward Orphan, and Woodland Fairy Princess. After college, she ran away to New Zealand for seven months and only pretended to be a character from Lord of the Rings on special occasions. Nowadays she lives and works in the shadow of the mighty Vulcan in Birmingham, AL.

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Iron Cast

Iron Cast

In 1919, Ada Navarra—the intrepid daughter of immigrants—and Corinne Wells—a spunky, devil-may-care heiress—make an unlikely pair. But at the Cast Iron nightclub in Boston, anything and everything is possible. At night, on stage together, the two best friends, whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, weave magic under the employ of Johnny Dervish, the club’s owner and a notorious gangster. By day, Ada and Corinne use these same skills to con the city’s elite in an attempt to keep the club afloat.

When a “job” goes awry and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes they’re on the precipice of danger. Only Corinne—her partner in crime—can break her out of Haversham Asylum. But once Ada is out, they face betrayal at every turn.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s | Books A Million | Indiebound

Thank you so much, Destiny, for this wonderful post! You are just the sweetest for being a reader of Musings, as well! Plus, who doesn’t love chocolate and fizzy drinks?! You’re amazing, just like your book!

Thank you so much to everyone who is a part of Musings. Your words of advice never go unnoticed and unappreciated.

We hope you all have an amazing rest of your week!



Waiting on Wednesday: Poison’s Kiss


The first WoW post of 2017!!! So many great books are coming out, but this week we are going to talk about:


Title: Poison’s Kiss (Poison’s Kiss, #1)

Author: Breeana Shields

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Page Count: 304

Release Date: January 10th, 2017


A teenage assassin kills with a single kiss until she is ordered to kill the one boy she loves. This commercial YA fantasy is romantic and addictive like– a poison kiss– and will thrill fans of Sarah J. Maas and Victoria Aveyard.

Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya a poison maiden is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.


About the Author:


Breeana Shields graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English. Her debut young adult fantasy, POISON’S KISS, will be released from Random House in 2017, with a sequel to follow in 2018. When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, playing board games and spending time with her husband, three children and an extremely spoiled miniature poodle. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where it drizzles, rains or pours nine months of the year, but then transforms into paradise during the other three. She’s willing to make the trade-off.

TTT: 2017 Debuts We Are Excited About

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

New year means new book which also means new authors!!


Melissa’s Picks

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Wintersong by S. Jae Jones

Empress of A Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Geekerella by Ash Poston


Lauren’s Picks

Gilded Cage by Vic James

Wicked Like A Wildfire by Lana Popovic

This Beats Perfect by Rebecca Denton

Cold Summer by Gwen Cole

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts


Kelly’s Picks

Forest of A Thousand Lanterns by Julia Dao

Askari by Kristen Ciccarelli

Game of Secrets by Kim Foster

Romancing the Throne by Nadine Jolie Courtney





The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

Which debut authors are you excited for? Is there anyone we haven’t listed we should know about? [We know there’s hundreds] Let us know in the comments below!!