Posted in Felicia, Review

Book Tour | The Wild Path | Review and Giveaway

I’m very excited to be a part of the tour for The Wild Path by Sarah R. Baughman that is being hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours! I’m always on the lookout for new middle grade books to add to my personal library for when my kids are older and this is one that I was definitely excited for.


TITLE: The Wild Path
AUTHOR: Sarah R. Baughman
GENRE: Middle Grade Contemporary/Mystery
PAGES: 336
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1, 2020
RATING: 4/5 stars


The Line Tender meets The Secret Horses of Briar Hill in this hopeful, heartfelt story about one girl’s search for legendary horses and her quest to piece her family back together.

Twelve-year-old Claire Barton doesn’t like the “flutter feeling” that fills her chest when she worries about the future, but she knows what she loves: the land that’s been in her family for three generations; her best friend Maya; her family’s horses, Sunny and Sam; and her older brother Andy. That’s why, with Andy recently sent to rehab after a DUI, and her parents planning to sell the horses, Claire’s world feels like it might flutter to pieces.

When Claire learns about equine therapy, she imagines a less lonely future that keeps her family together, brother and horses included. But, when she finds mysterious wild horses in the woods behind her house, she realizes she has a bit more company than she bargained for. With this new secret-and a little bit of luck-Claire will discover the beauty of change, the power of family, and the strength within herself.


I received my copy of the book as an advanced copy and it came with a letter from the author as well. I really appreciated this as it gave a little insight on why she wrote the book and how The Wild Path contains traces of her own experiences. This was my first exposure to some of the topics that The Wild Path would contain. I definitely appreciated this as some of the topics are some that are battles of family members and as a result, things that affect my life in some ways.

I don’t typically think of trigger or content warnings for middle grade books, but in this case I do want to mention that The Wild Path deals with addiction and also anxiety.

I was very excited for this book from the beginning and I’m so glad I got the chance to read it. If you’ve read some of my reviews in the past, you know that I typically like to go into a book without knowing much about it. The same goes for this one. I skimmed the synopsis one time and then didn’t look more into it after that. Like I previously mentioned, I’m always on the hunt for new middle grade to add to my personal library for my children to have access to when they’re older. While at five and seven, they may not be ready for it now, they will be in the near future and I always hope to have options for them when it comes to books.

“I do like the idea of a way out. A path I could find, made just for me.”

I was definitely intrigued about this one from the beginning. From the note from the author I knew the book was going to deal with anxiety and addiction, but I didn’t know what the person was addicted to and things like that. I was curious how far it would delve into these topics with being a middle grade and that’s definitely what kept me reading for the first little bit. Once I got more into it, I fell in love with the writing style and was so curious about the little mystery that started becoming prevalent throughout the book.

I thought The Wild Path dealt with these “tough” topics so well! Unfortunately many kids in this age range know someone who is battling some form of addiction. It’s personally been something I’ve heard about since I was in the middle grade age range because of family members who were addicted to something. I definitely don’t think I grasped it like Claire did in any sort of way, but I also wasn’t actively seeking out books at that time that dealt with those topics. I really appreciated that this didn’t show a family going back to “normal” and instead showed them grasping at finding their new normal and how they all handle the situation.

Another aspect of this story that was a pretty big part of it was Claire’s anxiety. While not out right stated throughout the book, it is mention that Claire has these fluttery feelings. These moments are referred to as sparrows and I thought this was an interesting way to explain this feeling to younger readers. The book also takes the time to showcase the different ways Claire tries to cope with these feelings.

“I hear the sparrows’ fluttering wings above me before I feel them swoop inside. But I close my eyes and breathe. Filling my lungs with air seems to push the sparrows away.”

Along with the tough topics and the mystery, there’s a great plot line of Claire learning about equine therapy. While I knew a little about horses, it was very interesting to learn a little more about them and how they can help people.

There is a great cast of side characters in here as well. Not only do we have Claire’s family, but we also have her friend Maya, the support group that Claire goes to, and Mr. Hamilton, who ends up being a really amazing character that I was always excited to have in a chapter. The support group portions were really great as well! I’m really glad they were included and that it makes it clear that addiction isn’t their fault and that they can’t change anything. Such an important lesson and I definitely think the book would have been lacking if it wasn’t included.

I definitely think this is an amazing story and will be one I share with my kids when they’re older. It does a great job of showing how a family deals with addiction and how animals help us. I can’t wait to read more from this author in the future as well!


Sarah R. Baughman is an author whose debut middle grade novel, THE LIGHT IN THE LAKE, is forthcoming from Little, Brown Books For Young Readers in 2019. A former middle and high school English teacher currently working as an educational consultant, Sarah graduated from Grinnell College and the University of Michigan, where she studied English, German, and Education. Sarah is represented by Katie Grimm at Don Congdon Associates. When she’s not writing, she’s probably reading, running, or getting outdoors with her family.

Giveaway (US Only)

During this tour there’s a chance for US readers to win a finished copy of The Wild Path. The giveaway is open until September 22nd. Click here to enter.

Posted in Felicia

Meet Me at Midnight Blog Tour – Interview with Jessica Pennington

Last year I was able to read an advanced copy of Meet Me at Midnight and instantly fell in love like I have done with both of Jessica Pennington’s previous books. I am so excited to have been able to interview Jessica Pennington for the blog tour to celebrate her book!

What inspired Meet Me at Midnight? 

This book was inspired by my own summer vacations! From the time I was 10, my family has rented a lake house, and the layout in Meet Me At Midnight is almost identical: two small rental houses on a hill, with a large house behind them, where the owners live. Unlike in Meet Me at Midnight, I didn’t have a cute, snarky boy living next door, I just had my aunt, uncle, and cousins. Not nearly as much fun!

All three of your current releases feature some similar locations. With any future releases, do you think you’ll carry on that trend of them being centered in similar locations or do you think you’ll venture elsewhere?

I’m honestly not sure. As far as contemporary romance goes, I do really love writing beachy summer stories. But I also have some ideas that take place during the school year, so who knows! But my current work in progress is actually a romantic fantasy, so that setting is VERY different, and it’s been a fun change of pace!

There are many pranks in Meet Me at Midnight. Were you a prankster when you were younger? What was your favorite prank in the book?

Oh my goodness, I wish I had been bold enough as a teen to pull pranks like Sidney and Asher, but I definitely wasn’t. They were so fun to write, though! It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I think it’s probably when Sid makes Asher think he’s wet the bed, and that’s mostly because I love the scenes leading up to that prank and what caused her to do it. But the cherry Kool-Aid would be a close second!

Your books feature a variety of commonly used tropes. Is there a trope that you haven’t used yet that you want to write about?

I love tropes, and I think the one I haven’t done yet that I definitely will in the future is “fake dating.” It’s one of my favorites, it’s actually hard to believe I haven’t used it yet!

Where did you vacation when you were younger? Did you have a favorite location?

My family’s lake vacations were definitely my favorite, and a lot of the locations in both Meet Me At Midnight and When Summer Ends are inspired by actual locations in that area. The cherry-themed restaurant and River Depot in When Summer Ends, and the old-school drive-in movie theater in Meet Me At Midnight are all based on some of my favorite places in northern Michigan (there’s a little tour in my saved IG stories!)

Were you a swimmer? If so, did you compete?

I swam for a few years in early middle school, but that’s it. I grew up down the street from Lake Michigan, though, so swimming was a big part of my life growing up, which is why lakes and lake towns tend to play such a big role in my books. The morning swims in Meet Me At Midnight were actually inspired by a fellow vacationer I met one summer when I was about thirteen—she was a competitive swimmer and her dad would take her out in the mornings to swim across the lake.

How has releasing Meet Me at Midnight been compared to your prior releases?

It’s been strange, since this book released just a few weeks after Covid-19 really started shutting things down. I had to cancel my launch party, and a few book festivals and conventions I was scheduled to attend in March and April. It’s been sad not getting to visit bookstores and see readers like I’d usually get to, but sometimes life is just weird and you have to roll with it, and this is definitely one of those times!

Forever Books (Jessica’s Local Indie!):


Jordan @ The Heart of a Book Blogger (Interview)
Belle @ Belle’s Archive (Creative Post)

Thank you so much, Jessica! I can’t wait to read more from you in the future!

Posted in Felicia

Only a Breath Apart Excerpt Reveal

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with contemporary books and that one of my absolute favorites is Katie McGarry. I requested an ARC as soon as I saw it available and then waited patiently to find out if I was going to be able to read it early or not. I may have screamed a little when the email came up on my phone and I saw the approval email.

I’m even more excited that I get to be part of the tour and excerpt reveal for Only a Breath Apart. I got to meet Katie McGarry several months ago when she was in Ohio and I loved listening to her talk about her inspiration behind all her books and all the research and work she puts into all of them.

Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people’s opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?


“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. “Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART will be available on all retailers on January 22, 2019!


Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.

Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.

Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no.Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.


Amazon | Kobo | Google Play | B-A-M | Barnes & Noble | iBooks


Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.”
―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series


Add it to your Goodreads today!



I’m defying my parents by attending a funeral. Reckless and adventurous teenage behavior, I know. Most seventeen-year-olds lie to their parents so they can go on a date with a forbidden boy or attend a party where there will be questionable behavior. Me? I’m outright lying to my dad, and it’s because Jesse Lachlin’s grandmother died.

The entire way here I’ve questioned my sanity, but I don’t know how I’d live with myself if I stayed home. Jesse Lachlin used to be my childhood best friend. We were inseparable. We had the type of friendship people strive to have, and then, a few years ago, he cut me so deeply that I still bleed. But ten-year-old me would have never abandoned a hurting Jesse. So today I’m not only honoring the memory of Jesse’s grandmother, but also the memory of our dead friendship.

On my way to the funeral, the high grass of the field swats at my legs, but I don’t mind the sting. I love walking barefoot in grass, I love the smell of the earth and I love that brief feeling of freedom open spaces can provide.

It’s the dog days of August. The type of hot that starts when the sun rises and makes you sweat through your clothes within minutes. While my skin and palms are on fire, the pads of my feet are cool against the dirt. The heat is unwelcome, but the sky is deep blue and the sun is bright, and for that, I can be grateful.

Walking out of the field, I stop short of crossing the one-lane road to slip on the flats that dangle from my fingertips. My mother would be mortified if she knew I was entering a church in a cotton daisy-print sundress. It’s not one of the dresses with stiff fabric and impossible back zippers she would have picked for me at an overpriced department store. It’s the type that’s machine-washable and breathable. The type of dress Jesse’s grandmother would have given her stamp of approval.

I can practically hear my mother heavily sigh and mumble my name, Scarlett, as if it were her personal, private curse word. Mom believes there’s a certain way to dress and behave, and I’m breaking all sorts of her rules today. Watch out, world. I’m officially rebellious.

I smile to myself because I’m the opposite of rebellious. For the last few years, I’ve followed every rule. I’m the teacher’s pet and the girl with straight A’s. I’m the poster child of perfection, and have earned every snarky ice princess comment Jesse’s friends whisper about me in the school hallways because he and I no longer speak.

There are only six cars in the parking lot of the white church, and that makes me frown. I thought more people would have wanted to attend. Jesse’s mud-covered pickup is there, and so is an unnaturally clean black Mercedes that belongs to his uncle. This ought to be interesting. Jesse and his uncle have a mutual hate for each other that runs deeper than any root of any tree.

Movement to my right and I slowly turn my head. Shivers run down my spine at the sight of Glory Gardner. Even though I’m seventeen and too old for ghost stories, I still can’t shake the ones regarding this woman. Girls would whisper over lunch boxes that Glory was a witch. As I grew older, I understood that witch meant con artist. She claims she can read palms, tarot cards and “sees” spirits from beyond the dead. All for a glorious fee.

She’s a beautiful woman—long dirty blond hair that’s untamed, even in a bun, and she has an eclectic taste in clothing. Today she wears a white peasant shirt and a flowing skirt made of material that shimmers in the sun.

Glory watches me like I watch her, with morbid curiosity. I knew her as a child, back when Jesse and I ran wild in the fields near her home, but we haven’t talked in years.

She stands under the shade of a towering weeping willow. There are lots of those trees around here. Mom says it’s because there is too much water in the ground. I say it’s because the people in this town have cried too many tears. Mom doesn’t like my answer.

I tilt my head toward the church, an unspoken question if Glory will be joining me. She shakes her head no. I’m not shocked. According to rumors, Glory will go up in flames if she enters the house of God. But who knows? Maybe I will, too.

The church is one of those picturesque, historical, one-room school buildings squeezed between a cornfield on one side and a hay field on the other. A huge steeple with a bell attempts to reach the heavens, but like anything created by a human, it falls tragically short.

The foreboding wooden door makes no noise as I open it, and I’m able to slip in without a huge, squeaking announcement. Orange light filters in through the dark stained glass windows, and its struggling beams reveal millions of dancing particles of dust.

On the altar, there’s no casket, but there is an urn. My heart dips—Suzanne is dead. I used to wish she were my grandmother, and many times, she treated me as if I belonged to her. Suzanne was the epitome of love, and the world feels colder now that she’s gone.

Choosing a spot in the back, I drop into a pew, and as I scan the church my stomach churns. How is it possible that this place is so barren?

Besides the Funeral Brigade, or the FB, as I like to refer to them, there aren’t many people here. The FB are the older group of woman who attend every funeral in our small town even if they didn’t know the person. Attending funerals isn’t my idea of fun, but who am I to judge?

The FB sit directly behind the one person the town believes to be the lone sane member of the Lachlin family, probably because he isn’t blood related—Jesse’s uncle.

On the left side of the church is Jesse. Only Jesse. And that causes a painful pang in my chest. Where are his stinking friends? The anarchists in training who follow Jesse wherever he goes? Where is the rest of the town? Yes, Suzanne was polarizing, but still, where is any respect?

Quietly, so I don’t draw attention to myself, I slip from the right set of pews to the left. Someone should be on Jesse’s side, and it’s sad it has to be me.

A door at the front of the church opens, and the pastor walks out from the addition the church build on as a small office ten years ago. I would have thought any pastor assigned to this place would be as ancient as this church. Sort of like an Indiana Jones Knights Templar scenario where he lives forever as long as he stays inside. But no, he’s the youngest pastor from the main, newer church in town. His name is Pastor Hughes, and he’s a thirty-something black man with a fit build who is just cute enough that he should be starring in a movie.

The pastor looks up, and he flinches as if startled. I peek over my shoulder then sigh. Clearly, he’s surprised to see me. Flipping fantastic.

His reaction, and the fact he won’t stop staring, causes every person to turn their heads. Lovely. I’ve had dreams like this where I enter a room and become the center of attention. Only in my dreams it’s at school, it’s my classmates and I’m naked, but still, this is disconcerting.

Eventually, the FB and Jesse’s uncle return their attention to the front, but Jesse doesn’t. He rests his arm on the back of the pew, and it’s hard to ignore that he’s made me his sole focus, but I do my best to act as if I don’t notice.

To help, I concentrate on what my mom taught me as a child—to make sure the skirt of my dress is tucked appropriately so that my thighs don’t show. I then fold my hands in my lap and straighten to a book-on-head posture. I can be the ice princess people claim me to be.

Five pews separate me and Jesse, and it’s not nearly enough. My cheeks burn under his continued inspection. Jesse has done this a handful of times since our freshman year. Glance at me as if I’m someone worth looking at, someone worth laughing with a little too loud and smiling with a little too much. Then he remembers who I am and snaps his gaze to someone else.

But he’s not looking away now.


Katie McGarry Bio:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumbler | Instagram

Do you plan to pick up Only a Breath Apart on release day? I know I am!

Posted in Felicia

When Summer Ends – Cover Reveal

I’m so excited that I get to be apart of revealing the cover for Jessica Pennington’s next book. Read the synopsis of this book below and then keep scrolling for the official cover for When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington!

Links to add it to your Goodreads shelf as well as to preorder the book are below this amazing cover. To top it off, if you add it to your Goodreads shelf and share on Instagram or Twitter, you can enter to win an ARC of When Summer Ends!

Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen/Macmillan
YA contemporary romance


Aiden Emerson is an all-star pitcher and the all-around golden boy of Riverton. Or at least he was, before he quit the team the last day of junior year without any explanation. How could he tell people he’s losing his vision at seventeen?

Straight-laced Olivia thought she had life all figured out. But when her dream internship falls apart, her estranged mother comes back into her life, and her long-time boyfriend dumps her right before summer break, she starts to think fate has a weird sense of humor.

Each struggling to find a new direction, Aiden and Olivia decide to live summer by chance. Every fleeting adventure and stolen kiss is as fragile as a coin flip in this heartfelt journey to love and self-discovery from the author of Love Songs & Other Lies.


Add on Goodreads

Pre-Order Links



Add When Summer Ends to your Goodreads shelf, and share on twitter or IG, for a chance to win one of the very first ARCs of When Summer Ends, plus a Love Songs & Other Lies swag bag. Open international, ends 8/22!


Anyone else super excited for When Summer Ends? It’s one that I’m highly anticipating for 2019!

Happy reading!