Monday, February 29, 2016

Flirting With Fame ~ Samantha Joyce (earc) review [@SamJoyceBooks @simonschuster @Pocket_Books]

Flirting With Fame
Pocket Star/Simon & Schuster
February 29, 2016
352 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from B&N/or Amazon

Elise Jameson is the secret author behind the bestselling, cult hit Viking Moon series. But when a stranger poses as Elise, the painfully shy, deaf nineteen-year-old starts to see how much she’s missing. Can she really hide in the shadows forever? This clever, coming-of-age debut is for anyone who has ever felt unsure in their own skin.

After a freak childhood accident leaves her deaf and physically scarred, nineteen-year-old Elise Jameson retreats into a world of vibrant characters she creates on her laptop. She is shocked when her coping mechanism turns into a career as a phenomenal bestselling novelist. Fans are obsessed with Elise’s Viking Moon series and its author—a striking girl with zero resemblance to Elise who appears on the back covers. Elise sent the randomly Googled photo to her editor following a minor panic attack. Now, horrified to learn she is expected on set of the television pilot based on her novels, Elise tracks down her anonymous stand-in. To Elise’s surprise, Veronica Wilde has been taking credit for Viking Moon for years. She eagerly agrees to keep up the charade if Elise will pose as her assistant.

It’s hard for Elise to watch a stranger take credit for her work and get all the perks she desires, including admiration from the show’s heartthrob star. Edged onto the sidelines of her own life, Elise reconsiders her choice to stay anonymous. Is she ready to come to terms with her true identity—and with the long-buried secrets that could cost her her career, her fans, and the few precious friendships she’s made?

What other authors are saying:

"A charming story of learning to embrace and love those things about ourselves that set us apart from others. I don’t think I stopped smiling once throughout Elise's journey except during the moments that squeezed painfully at my chest."
- Molly McAdams, New York Times bestselling author of To the Stars

"With a sprinkle of book fandom and dash of yummy romance, Flirting with Fame is the perfect story for every book lover."
- USA Today bestselling author, Tiffany King

"A sweet and poignant story about finding yourself and falling in love along the way, Flirting with Fame will steal your heart."
-Chanel Cleeton, author of Flirting with Scandal

Flirting With Fame is a pretty cute blend of Young Adult and New Adult. Some of the content does bump up into NA but most of the book, the characters and the relationships felt more YA. The idea of a bestselling author, a teen one at that, who is, by choice, still very unknown to the public was very intriguing. Add in the parts about the television show and its filming and I really couldn't pass this one up.

It was not, however, a great read for me. Mostly - if not entirely - my problem was with Elise. I do think that the author had a compelling setup for her character: a character left deaf and scarred by an accident years before who is now the author of a bestselling teen series. Unable to bear the idea of everyone seeing what she looks like, Elise took a picture off of Google for her book's author photo.

The general plausibility of Elise picking a random person's picture off of Google. using hit on her book jacket and nothing ever coming of it until several years later was questionable to me from the beginning. The idea - of Elise's decision, Veronica, the choices Elise would have to make how she's have to grapple with who she is - was absolutely something I wanted to read.

There were just too many bad decisions on Elise's part (Like Veronica's condition for doing what Elise wants and how quickly she agreed to it. That she agreed to it at all) and too much of the other characters saying how wonderful she was, how she deserved so much, so much better.

I'm not sure if there wasn't enough character development, for me, early on or if Elise's character was just not a good fit for me. It might have worked if there had been more (or, really, any) repercussions for all of her lies, charades. For a coming-of-age story I was expecting more personal growth (and consequences) for Elise.

I did think that the romance was cute and, especially once we learned more about them, the characters were a good fit and brought out good things in each other. Elise's best friend, Jin, was a great character and I really liked their friendship.

Elise was really just not my kind of character but the premise of Flirting with Fame, the plot and the side characters are enough that I look forward to what Samantha Joyce publishes next.

review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Friday, February 26, 2016

Love Me, Love Me Not ~ Alyxandra Harvey Tour Review + Guest Post + Giveaway [@chapterxchapter @AlyxandraH @entangledteen]

Love Me, Love Me Not
Entangled: Crave
February 22, 2016
200 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Amazon/B&N/iBooks/Kindle/Kobo
on Entangled Publishing

Dating isn’t easy when you’re in the middle of a blood feud.

Anastasia Vila’s family can turn into swans, but just once she’d like them to turn into responsible adults.

After hundreds of years, they still cling to the blood feud with the Renard family. No one remembers how it started in the first place—but foxes and swans just don’t get along.

Vilas can only transform into their swan shape after they have fallen in love for the first time, but between balancing schoolwork, family obligations, and the escalating blood feud, Ana’s got no time for love. The only thing keeping her sane is her best friend, Pierce Kent.

But when Pierce kisses Ana, everything changes.

Is what Pierce feels for her real, or a byproduct of her magic? Can she risk everything for her best friend? And when the family feud spirals out of control, Ana must stop the fight before it takes away everything she loves.

Including, maybe...Pierce.

This Entangled Teen Crave book contains language, violence, and lots of kissing. Warning: it might induce strong feelings of undeniable attraction for your best friend.

I was surprised when I saw that Love Me, Love Me Not is just two hundred pages. Not because it feels long (or too long) but because it felt like a full, novel length story.

Love Me, Love Me Not is a 'YA Fantasy/Fairytale retelling of The Swan Maiden with a blood feud twist like Romeo & Juliet,' which sounded like a lot of fun to me even though I know next to nothing about The Swan Maiden story. (Of course, I do need to admit that because of who the author was the description could have just been, 'It's about something," and I would have wanted to read it.)

What I ended up really loving about Love Me, Love Me Not was that there really was a nice mix of Ana's family, the swan girls and the rules and mythos about them; the 'blood feud' between the Vilas and the Renards; and Ana's hopes to fall in love.

At first, I had wanted Pierce, or whomever it was that would be Ana's potential love interest, to be part of the Renard family. I am so, so happy that was not the case. The animosity between the Vila family and the Renard family is serious - it's bloody and death filled and spiteful. And it makes the story better.

Especially next to how fed up with it Ana can be.

I liked that the girls had to fall in love before they could turn into swans. Through the different members of Ana's family - and even Ana herself - we see the myriad of ways how falling in love, not falling in love and all of the missteps, attempts and confusion impact a life.

I loved Ana's character and her desire to just finish high school, but to still be loyal to her family and honor them and her magic . . . even if they are difficult and frustrating and troublesome.

I also really loved Pierce - him giving his dog a 'why' for something would have been enough but add in his honesty, his crazy grandmother, his concern for his brothers, his love of books, how he felt about Ana and how he dealt with it and he's brilliant.

Love Me, Love Me Not is a fun fantasy tale of friendship, love, identity, family (both the good and the bad), oh, and that blood feud. All of the characters are fantastic and are characters whose stories I would gladly read.

About the Author:

Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream. Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with her husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.


Guest Post: 

Book Sp(l)ot: You have created some brilliant friendships in your novels, is there a character () that you would most want as a friend?'

Alyxandra Harvey: I would love to hang out with Ana from Love Me, Love Me Not because she’s so grounded and wry. And she could clear the rainclouds away—but just over my head. I love rain, I’m just very cat-like in my dislike of getting drenched.

I’d also like to hang out with Lucy from The Drake Chronicles because she’s so irreverent and irrepressible. Also, she’s always around the very yummy Drake brothers.

She’s a magnet for trouble though, so I might need to bring some muscle with me. ;)

From the literary world at large, I’d love to make friends with Anne of Green Gables for her humour and courage. I’ve been to Green Gables in P.E.I. and it was just so lovely. The red clay and the sea and the farmhouse all tucked away.

And I already consider Elizabeth Bennet my BFF. Possibly, it’s a problem. : p

Also: Luna Lovegood because she’s quirky and rooted and Hogwarts! Ravenclaw Common Room! Hogsmeade!

Add some cake and we have a pretty good party I think!

Thank you! Those are some great characters individually but now I love the idea of them together so much more.


$200 Amazon Gift Card + Feather Pendant Necklace inspired by the one that Ana, from Love Me, Love Me Not wears

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bluescreen ~ Dan Wells (earc) Tour Review [@The_FFBC @EpicReads @thedanwells @BalzerBray]

Bluescreen (Mirador #1)
Balzer & Bray
February 16, 2016
352 pages
add to Goodreads/purchase links are below review

Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.

I enjoyed Bluescreen on so many different levels. It was the virtual reality/gaming aspect that first appealed to me. That was only part of what I ended up liking, though.

I really liked that there was racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, language, family structure diversity throughout the book and that it was used to further display what society in 2050, in Los Angeles and beyond, was like. It wasn't a thing but part of the story. There were the rich kids, the 'street kids' as one character refers to them, there were all types of families (two parents, lots of siblings, one parent, step-parents, no parents, etc) and different characters had different roles in their families.

Everyone's (or almost everyone's) focus on and reliance on technology did a great job setting the scene for Bluescreen. You understand some of why it would appeal to certain people living then, but as an outsider it's also easier to see the potential dangers. Dan Wells did a great job having characters view the technology and even Bluescreen differently but having it fit their characters and having it believable that they were friends.

When you add in the street gangs, the drugs, the police corruption, and the mob-ish family, it was another layer to the story I hadn't expected. (But definitely enjoyed.)

It's really nice how the different pieces of technology (gaming, virtual reality, the bots, the computers, etc) are so integrated into people's lives that they almost don't think twice about them. And to see where that could be dangerous.

Bluescreen is a thrilling, creative virtual reality filled near future science fiction read. The character, the wold and that ending have me looking forward to Mirador Book 2.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nomine for best new writer, and has won a Hugo award for his work on the podcast Writing Excuses; the podcast is also a multiple winner of the Parsec Award.

Follow the Bluescreen by Dan Wells Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.


Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of BLUESCREEN by Dan Wells (US Only)

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Firstlife ~ Gena Showalter (earc) review [@HarlequinTeen @genashowalter]

Firstlife (Everlife #1)
Harlequin Teen
February 23, 2016
480 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon




Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…
I did worry, at first, that Firstlife might be too trope-y (or): Ten is 'The One' that both realms want, there are two boys, the adults are the enemies. Except, each of those things has enough of a twist that it's really good.

Ten seems to be just an ordinary teenage girl, unable to decide between Myriad and Troika and not going to choose just because someone (or everyone) is pressuring her to choose this one or that one. Then both realms send one of their best laborers to convince her. It's not known why, but it is very important to each of them that Ten chooses their realm.

Firstlife was an example of when I like the main character being 'ordinary' but also being 'chosen' or all important. We did not have to know what made Ten so important to Myriad and Troika. In fact, it doesn't seem like many do know. The questions her special-ness raises, especially for Ten really make it great. Even once there's some answer to what they think makes her so special, the how and why are still unknown.

The questions Ten has over why each realm seems so invested in her choice pair nicely with her back and forth thoughts over the two realms.

Without being spoilery, I loved how Ten's relationships with the two laborers began and how they developed. It is not at all what I was expecting from the book description.

The last fifteen percent of the book was my absolute favorite. Without the first four hundred pages, though, I would not have loved the last eighty so much. The end is where everything -- the characters,;their pasts; their relationships they've developed;, their hopes for each other, the future and each other in the future; and everything they've learned, done and seen in the story so far -- comes together in a fantastic way.

I love everything we learn and everything that happens (even the bittersweet, or perhaps just bitter) things, the things revealed and those new uncertainties. I am absolutely looking forward to Book 2.

review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Monday, February 22, 2016

After the Woods ~ Kim Savage (earc) review [@khsavage @MacKidsBooks @fsgbooks]

After the Woods
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
February 23, 2016
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.

The timeline of After the Woods seems like a fantastic choice. We start with Julia and Liv's run in the woods. The run that ends with Liv attacked, Julia trying to save her and Julia captured. Then we move forward to nearly a year later.

This way we skip over those forty eight hours Julia was in the woods - in the actual narration but not in how it affects Julia, Liv, their families, their town, and their friendship. Then having what actually happened to Julia during that time revealed in bits and pieces (some revealed to her and readers, some just to readers), kept my focus more on the now. Yes, what happened was important, but I was more concerned with the Julia of 'now,' a year later.

Julia's character was different than I would have thought she'd be, but the other characters are, as well. Julia's family setup is unique and the different characters roles in her life and the dynamics between the different characters really adds to the story.

Liv and Julia are both different after the woods so it can be hard to tell what is also a part of who they were before and what is a changes they incurred from what happened.

The more we learn about the characters, what happened in the woods, maybe why it happened, who and how everyone is now, the more questions and concerns are presented. Julia's way of coping - of needing facts and researching,is not what most (including her mother) would be comfortable with but it makes the novel more interesting and the revelations better.

After the Woods is full of damaged - some very much so - characters. Sometimes you know why, sometimes you think you know why, sometimes you partially know why but almost always, the full extent of things is unknown. Kim Savage does a great job with her characters; they're complex, unique, compelling, troubled, confused, even funny (really, when else have you read of someone using Kuru disease to get out of gym?), caring and kind. The characters, their secrets, their desires, their questions -- and the answers to some of them -- are what really make this book.

Julia and Liv may have been attacked in the woods, Liv may have gotten away while Julia did not, but that is truly only the start of After the Woods.

review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Riders ~ Veronica Rossi review [@rossibooks @torteen]

Riders (Riders #1)
Tor Teen
February 16, 2016
384 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

** Enter to win a #TruthRider Swag Pack and find out about the #TruthRider tour here **

For eighteen-year-old Gideon Blake, nothing but death can keep him from achieving his goal of becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. As it turns out, it does.

Recovering from the accident that most definitely killed him, Gideon finds himself with strange new powers and a bizarre cuff he can't remove. His death has brought to life his real destiny. He has become War, one of the legendary four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Over the coming weeks, he and the other horsemen--Conquest, Famine, and Death--are brought together by a beautiful but frustratingly secretive girl to help save humanity from an ancient evil on the emergence.

They fail.

Now--bound, bloodied, and drugged--Gideon is interrogated by the authorities about his role in a battle that has become an international incident. If he stands any chance of saving his friends and the girl he's fallen for--not to mention all of humankind--he needs to convince the skeptical government officials the world is in imminent danger.

But will anyone believe him?

Riders has a great narrator in Gideon Blake former aspiring Army Ranger now War, one of the four horse men of the apocalypse. When we're with Gideon, bound to the chair and telling us what's happened, I pictured him looking like Adam from Supernatural:

But when we are in the story with Gideon, his time in the Army, with his mother and sister and then with the other horsemen, I pictured him looking a lot more like Channing Tatum (particularly as he was in Dear John or below):

Somehow, that didn't mess up the story for me at all - or confuse things. I'm not even sure why I had the two different images of Gideon, I think it was that we get more of an idea of his physical size and strength in the past scenes but his thoughts and attitude are more the focus in the interrogation. Somehow, it still works.

I really liked both the character Veronica Rossi has created and his narration style. He's an easy character to like and to relate to. Though I have no problem with male protagonist and/or narrators, it seems that Gideon was especially easy to connect with. His way of telling what's happened - with the aide-slash-influence of some truth serum type drugs - immediately pulls you into the story. 

The blend of his character, what he's experiencing and how he relates it, and the fantasy aspects make for a very readable tale.  (There's also some nice bits that are clearly the influence of Gideon being drugged - they're a nice touch and quite fun.)

I love that Riders has a male narrator and the majority of the characters are male but they female characters are still strong, unique and an important part of the story. This is a great example of where having a male main character (and narrator) is the absolute right choice and well done.

Everything about the horsemen, what they're tasked with, who they are, who their potential enemies are and everything else that makes up Gideon's new life is really well imagined and integrated into the story. There are surprises for both the characters and readers but things also really make sense.

Riders ended a lot differently than I was expecting and where things are for Book 2 are different than I anticipated - but I love it! I am really looking forward to seeing more of the friendships that started in Riders, some possible romance(s), more of the horsemen (and maybe the bad guys - or new ones) and hopefully repairing a few things from Riders!

Riders is a fun, imaginative read with a great narrator, intriguing characters and fantasy elements and an ending that has me really eager to see what the next book brings.

thank you to the publisher for my copy to review

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Giveaway: #Truthwitch & #Riders Swag (+ #TruthRider Tour Info) [@stdennard @rossibooks @torteen]

Have you heard? Not only did Susan Dennard and Veronica Rossi recently release great books with To Teen - they're going on tour!

As if you needed another reason to want to be in South Florida in February, next week, February 24th at 7pm, they will be at Books & Books in Coral Gables. Find out more on the Books & Books page.

(See the full tour schedule below.)

To celebrate - and help spread the word - I'm giving away a swag package . . .
You can win: 
  • signed "Riders" poster
  • signed "Truthwitch" bookplate
  • a "Riders" bracelet
  • a "Truthwitch" poster
US/Can only; ends Feb 25th

click below to find out more about the books!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Rule of Mirrors ~ Caragh M O'Brien (earc) review [@MacKidsBooks @CaraghMOBrien]

The Rule of Mirrors (The Vault of Dreamers #2)
Roaring Brook Press
February 16, 2016
432 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The fast-paced, psychologically thrilling sequel to The Vault of Dreamers follows Rosie after her consciousness has been split in two.

The entire country was watching when Rosie Sinclair was expelled from Forge, the prestigious arts school that doubles as a reality TV show. But few know how Dean Berg was mining students' dreams in laboratories deep below the school. And no one, least of all the Dean himself, knows that when Rosie's dreams were seeded into the mind of another patient, Rosie's consciousness woke up in that body--a girl far from Forge, a girl with a completely different life from Rosie, a girl who is pregnant.

Told from alternating points of view between Rosie as she makes sense of her new identity and the shattered subconscious that still exists in her old body, this sequel to The Vault of Dreamers will keep readers on the edge of their seats and leave them hungry for more.

The Rule of Mirrors is the sequel to 2014's The Vault of Dreamers and, I think, you really do need to read that book first. There is not much recap, at all, with The Rule of Mirrors so if you don't know about the Forge school, the reality TV show, and, especially, the secret mining and seeding of students' dreams, you may not get some of this second book. I had definitely forgotten some of the first book, but bits of it came back as I was reading.

I loved the concept of Rosie, the girl we met in the first book, who went snooping and ran into trouble with Dean Berg, has now split into two consciousnesses. She is still Rosie, in Rosie's body, but she's also Rosie - the one who left at the end of The Vault of Dreamers - in another girls' body, too. There are now two, quite different Rosie's: Rosie and, Althea, the her in a new body.

Having two different characters who have the same past, who were the same person presents some intriguing possibilities. Whomever was narrating the current chapter always felt the most like 'Rosie' to me. The author does a really nice job making them each feel like the character we know, but different from both that girl and each other.

It also means we get a sort of love pentagon . . . or bisected triangle . . . or triangle meets Venn diagram. Whatever it is when one character is linked to another except now that character is two separate individuals and each has a new character they're possibly linked to. It's confusing to describe but works in the book. Romance is hardly the focus of The Rule of Mirrors but shows some important distinctions in Rosie and Althea and some of each's confusion over who they now are.

The more each girl figures out who they are and the closer we get to what they plan to do as that girl, the faster the story reads and the more exciting it becomes. I loved how the different characters worked (or tried) to work together, despite their uncertainties, the lack of trust in each other, the worry over who was watching and when. I loved how this split in Rosie's consciousness was handled, the developments and discoveries of the characters.

I am really looking forward to the next book(s) and how the characters who were Rosie continue to grow and evolve.

review copy received from publisher, via NetGalley

Monday, February 15, 2016

Falling for Prince Charles ~ Lauren Baratz-Logsted Tour Promo + Excerpt + Giveaway [@TastyBookTours @LaurenBaratzL]

Falling for Prince Charles
Diversion Books
February 8, 2016
320 pages
add to Goodreads
buy from B&N//Amazon/Google Play/iBooks/Kobo

"Lauren Baratz-Logsted has mastered the real life fairy tale in her explosive and hilarious FALLING FOR PRINCE CHARLES. It's all here, lovelorn Daisy Silverman flush with cash and high hopes, Prince Charles who can't resist her, and London in all its splendor. Curl up and get ready to laugh long into the foggy night." —Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of THE SHOEMAKER'S WIFE

Daisy Silverman has always been obsessed with His Royal Highness, Prince Charles. When the underachieving 30-something cleaning lady wins a million dollars, she follows her lifelong dream to go to London. Once there, she meets Prince Charles—the real Prince Charles. Through a series of misunderstandings, the Royal Family doesn't realize that Daisy's Jewish or that she's spent her life up to the elbows in the wrong kind of toilet water. By the time they do, Daisy is in love with Charles, Charles is in love with Daisy, and the Queen's white gloves are off. FALLING FOR PRINCE CHARLES is an offbeat alternate-universe romantic comedy showing the heir to the British throne in a light quite unlike any he's been seen in before.

"Daisy's madcap adventure is more comedy than romance, and her most unusual and unlikely relationship with Prince Charles will appeal to reads looking for lots of giggles." —Publishers Weekly


As Daisy Silverman squatted in front of the toilet bowl, first depressing the flush lever and then watching as the milky outgoing spiral removed the mildew and replaced it with fresh water, the thought occurred to her for at least the thousandth time that if the fickle hand of fate hadn’t cast her as a cleaning lady, working in wealthy households and offices in Westport, Connecticut, she would most certainly have made a perfectly lovely Princess of Wales.

This was a fantasy that Daisy had entertained off and on since 1981, the same year that the late Princess Diana had first become Princess Diana. And to this day, eighteen years later, whenever she thought about it, Daisy still thought that she could have done the job better.
Oh, sure, Daisy had loved the late Princess, would have said that she loved her more than anybody. Well, actually even Daisy was aware enough not to say that; she did know that Diana’s family and friends had surely loved her more. But Daisy could legitimately claim to love her easily as much as anybody who had never met her, and that was plenty. So, if Daisy felt a little competitive with a dead Princess that she had loved beyond reason, what matter that? After all, there were some compelling reasons for making a comparison between the two women.
Just like the woman who had possessed the most photographed profile in the world, Daisy had a genius for making the kind of seemingly interested, throwaway comment that left others feeling a little cheerier about their own lot in life. Although even Daisy had felt that the Princess had been pushing things a bit, several years back, when she had blithely informed a widow on the dole with a flat full of small children: “Oh, yes, I just love those microwave pizzas too. Whenever the Heir and the Spare start to look a little peaked, I just nuke a couple of them in the Palace micro, and we’re all set to go skiing in Klosters or windsurfing on Necker.” Or, if those hadn’t been her exact words, it had been something equally inappropriate...

About the Author:

Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of over 25 books for adults, teens (including The Twin’s Daughter and Little Women and Me), and children (The Sisters 8, a nine-book series she created with her husband and daughter). Before becoming an author, Lauren was an independent bookseller, freelance editor, Publishers Weekly reviewer, sort-of librarian and window washer. She lives with her family in Danbury, CT. Visit her at or follow her @LaurenBaratzL on Twitter.


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