GUEST POST: Meet the characters of Crazy Messy Beautiful by Carrie Arcos + INT Giveaway!


Crazy, Messy, Beautiful

Carrie Arcos

Published February 7th 2017 by Philomel Books

YA > Contemporary | Romance

Purchase links: Amazon | BN | TBD 



From National Book Award finalist Carrie Arcos–a fresh take on happily ever after, and friendship, that is anything but a love story.

When your namesake is Pablo Neruda—the greatest love poet of all time—finding “the one” should be easy. After all, sixteen-year-old aspiring artist Neruda Diaz has been in love many times before. So it’s only a matter of time before someone loves him back.

Callie could be that someone. She’s creative and edgy, and nothing like the girls Neruda typically falls for, so when a school assignment brings them together, he is pleasantly surprised to learn they have a lot in common. With his true love in reach and his artistic ambitions on track, everything is finally coming together.

But as Neruda begins to fall faster and harder than ever before, he is blindsided by the complicated nature of love—and art—in more ways than one. And when the relationships he’s looked to for guidance threaten to implode, Neruda must confront the reality that love is crazier, messier, and more beautiful than he ever realized—and riskier, too, than simply saying the words.



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Get to know some of the characters!

I’ll pick two of my characters to profile. First there’s Neruda Diaz,16, my main character. Neruda is from Highland Park, CA, so he’s a true Angelino from the east side. He’s an only child of an actuary and a college professor. He’s a bit of an old soul. He’s a romantic and sensitive. I love this about him because I actually know many men who are this way, but who so rarely get portrayed in stories. He feels things deeply. He wants to find his true love. He’s athletic. He’s an artist, portraits are his specialty. He’s not really into school. His best buddies are Greyson and Ezra.

Ezra Hernandez is 28 and has spent the last ten years in prison for robbery. He’s from Pico Rivera, CA, another native Angelino. He’s incredibly smart and reflective. He’s a little lost after getting out and feels like he needs to go and experience the world and find himself. He’s kind and suffers from regret. He became Neruda’s friend, and kind of like an older brother, after Neruda had to write to him for a school assignment.




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Carrie Arcos is a National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature for OUT OF REACH; her second novel is THERE WILL COME A TIME. CRAZY MESSY BEAUTIFUL will be available soon. She lives in Los Angeles with her family. For more information, check out her website:






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ARC REVIEW: The Redeemers by Kate Morgan + Giveaway!!

The Redeemers
Kate Morgan
Published August 3rd 2015 by Dark Recesses Press
YA > Fantasy
arc via tour host

3 ★★★

Purchase links:
Amazon |Goodreads 


Annie cheated death once. Hooded kidnappers nailed her to a cross but strangers pulled her down and healed her. Annie lost her unborn baby to the torture. Now she’s after answers and revenge.
Hounded from town to town, Annie gathers puzzle pieces about the killers but can’t fit them together. They call her “heretic” when they nearly catch her again—a word no one’s heard since the Last War ended 203 years ago. Even her traveling companions think she’s concealing vital information, and she’s got her own suspicions about them.
She sneaks into the killers’ hideaway and finds her answers just as three people are about to be ritually slaughtered. If she abandons revenge, she can try to save them. But heroes aren’t welcome in Annie’s “perfect” world.
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The Redeemers and I did have some problems here and there but by the time I finished it, my only thought was how stunning this book is. I started reading The Redeemers without knowing anything about it (because that’s just how I roll) so I really have no idea what I’m about to encounter. I can’t exactly tell you what the book is about in just a sentence because I feel like it has a hint of every genre that you can think of. Now, that may seem confusing, but Kate Morgan made it work.

Our main character, Annie, is very easy to sympathize with. She has been through A LOT in this book, and I cant help but admire her strength and courage. She’s that kind of heroine that you will root for from the very beginning. Kate Morgan really impressed me with her set of characters because of how well written they are. Even the side characters are done incredibly well.

The setting of this The Redeemers is so interesting and yes, it is set in a dystopian world. Where people look up to Gods that are in human form. Very unique and refreshing concept.

I did find the novel very slow and sometimes, filled with unnecessary information. Even the romance department was lacking, at least for me, that’s why I feel like there was something missing. We do have a love interest and he’s wonderful and this novel didn’t do the traditional romance but even with all that, I was searching for something… more. Good thing Kate Morgan’s writing is very hypnotizing that you won’t let the story go.

The Redeemers isn’t your usual afternoon read. It has one of the most unique concept I’ve ever read and lets not forget that the writing is brilliant! I recommend it for readers who are looking to be lost in an interesting world!








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Kate Morgan is a darn good cook. She grows her own veggies, knits stuffed monsters, and watches lots of Hammer Horror. 









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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: How To Say I Love You Out Loud by Karolle Cozzo + Giveaway!!

How to Say I Love You Out Loud
Karole Cozzo
Published August 4th 2015 by Swoon Reads
YA > Romance | Realistic fiction
240pages (paperback)



Purchase links:
Amazon | BN | Kobo 



Words are strong. Love is stronger.
When Jordyn Michaelson’s autistic brother joins her at her elite school, she’s determined not to let anyone know they’re related. Even if that means closing herself off to all her closest friends, including charming football stud Alex Colby. But despite her best intentions, she just can’t shake the memory of kissing Alex last summer, and the desire to do it again.
Can Jordyn find the courage to tell Alex how she really feels—and the truth about her family—before he slips away forever?



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Karole lives outside of Philadephia, PA with her loving husband, eternally exuberant little girl, and perpetually pleasant little boy.  Hobbies include nursing a persistent Starbucks addition, eating way too much candy, emptying her wallet at Target, spending time with her family, decorating her home, and completing any other crafty project she can think of.  Karole has degrees in School Psychology, women’s studies, and biology but has never taken a formal creative writing course, although she’d really like to one day.




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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: The Network Series by Katie Cross + Giveaway!!

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls:

MMSFG 2 for NookNever Underestimate the Power of a Determined Witch. Letum Wood is a forest of fog and deadfall, home to the quietly famous Miss Mabel’s School for Girls, a place where young witches learn the art of magic.Sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe has inherited a deadly curse. Determined to break free before it kills her, she enrolls in the respected school to confront the cunning witch who cast the curse: Miss Mabel.Bianca finds herself faced with dark magic she didn’t expect, with lessons more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Will Bianca have the courage to save herself from the curse, or will Miss Mabel’s sinister plan be too powerful?Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is the first novel in The Network Series, an exciting new fantasy collection. A gripping tale about the struggle to survive, it will take you to a new place and time, one you’ll never want to leave.

Antebellum Awakening:

Antebellum_FC_FNL_72Never underestimate the power of a volatile witch.Still reeling in the wake of her mother’s death, sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe is forced to move to Chatham Castle. Not even the sudden appearance of ancient dragons in haunted Letum Wood nor her two best friends can distract her from the strength of her deep, dark rage.Her grief puts her magical powers into chaos, endangering any witch around her. She has six months left to destroy the curse that will kill her and fulfill her contract with the most cunning enemy of all: her former teacher Miss Mabel.Bianca must make a choice: learn to control her restless powers, or let the powers control her.Antebellum Awakening is the second book in the thrilling new fantasy collection The Network Series. It’s a haunting tale about tragedy, loss, and the power of moving on.

The Isadora Interviews:

TII 2 for Amazon (1)Isadora is a quiet, old witch living alone in the fog-strewn forest of Letum Wood. Her magical power is great, but her foresight is even greater.As a Watcher, Isadora has the ability to see into the heart of every witch she meets, a talent that makes her the perfect guardian of the prestigious Miss Mabel’s School for Girls.Any witch that wants to enter the school must first pass an interview with Isadora. No secret insecurity or sinister motivation can be hidden from a Watcher, as four teenage girls will soon find out.Join Leda, Camille, Michelle, and Priscilla, as they each encounter Isadora in their quest to join Miss Mabel’s School for Girls. It’s a collection of short stories that fans of Miss Mabel’s School for Girls can’t afford to miss.


Katie Cross grew up in the mountains of Idaho, where she still loves to play when she gets the chance.If she’s not writing, you can find her traveling, working as a pediatric nurse, trail running with her husband and two dogs, or curled up with a book and a cup of chai.


Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter @kcrosswriting



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Bookish Thoughts #008: Do Bookish Lovers Miss Out IRL?

bookish thoughts


Welcome to Book-ish thoughts! A feature here on Her Book Thoughts where we ask for a little of your time to share a thought about useless and nonsense things. YAY! Don’t worry, it will ALWAYS have something to do with a book or anything bookish!

See past posts HERE


This post was inspired by Between Us and The Moon by Rebecca Maizel. To read my review of the book go here.

I’m a bookish person. And I fucking hate the outdoors.

There. I said it. I can go days without seeing the sun and I’m lazy, so I prefer the indoor. Of course I don’t want to be a couch potato (of the bookish kind, not TV) and my parents are freaky about being healthy (ugh!) and so, to keep the parental unit happy, I’ve been doing yoga for some time now. And, I like it. I like having my yoga class friends and my yoga instructor whom I love but who is also a pain in my ass (and my thighs, and my arms and my legs and whatever I’m working on that day).

But here’s what’s been troubling me.

Apart from my daily yoga, regular outings with friends and attending Mass on Sundays, I’m a homebody. Like most of us book lovers, I prefer the company of a good book and a hot drink. Coffee, in my case, but you get the idea. And I’m okay with this, I really am. But I often find myself wondering if I’m missing out on what’s happening outside—in the real world.

I’m not a party person and I’m not a person who likes to drink or smoke or dance and I avoid romantic contact like the bubonic plague. I’m not a loner by any means, but I do enjoy the solitude in my room. It’s the type of person I am.

Again, am I missing out on stuff that happens outside of my current read? Am I missing out on key teenage experiences, ones that I’ll never get back if I stay cooped up at home with a book?

We book people have a tendency to enter a zone wile we’re reading. We don’t want to move, we don’t want to be interrupted, but most importantly, we don’t want to stop. But is all our time inside—that we know is amazing because the book in our hands is fantastic—robbing us of experiencing the world?

How on earth can I judge whether characters make right or wrong decisions in certain situations, if I’ve never seen that situation? Why? I’m home, reading. How will I ever put into practice everything I’ve ever learnt from books if I never get out of my library and make my own mistakes?

At the end of the day, I think what matters most is what helps you sleep easy at the end of the day. Think you’ve spent too long a day inside? Get out. Get a new hobby. Don’t stop reading—NEVER do that—but take up swimming, or dancing, or underwater basket weaving.

Think you’ve weaved too many baskets with the sharks? Read something relaxing.

What makes you happy at the end of the day is the most important thing.


What are your thoughts? Are you an outdoorsy person? Are you an homebody, like me, and worry about missing out on real world experiences too? Speak and you shall be heard!