Friday, January 24, 2014

Book tour: The Wind Whisperer

Today I'm proud to be a part of the 'The Wind Whisperer tour', hosted by Dark World Books. To view other stops on this tour just click on the banner.

The Wind Whisperer
At fifteen, Anaii is the most important member of her tribe—and the most mysterious. Ever since Anaii can remember, the spirits of the wind have whispered of fertile hunting grounds and imminent enemy attacks. But when her people are ambushed by a brother clan without any apparent cause, the spirits remain eerily silent.
As the village prepares to retaliate, Anaii is pressured by her best friend, Elan, to marry him. It’s an old plea—Elan has spent a lifetime loving her, but Anaii only sees a childhood playmate out of an imposing warrior. Stifled by Elan’s insistence, Anaii escapes into the forest where she meets Jayttin, the beautiful son of the enemy chief.
Enamored by Jayttin’s carefree spirit and hope for peace, she repeatedly sneaks away to be with him, but when her deception is discovered, Elan is devastated. Pledging his lifelong affection, Elan gives her a passionate kiss, and Anaii begins to see her friend in a new light.
While Anaii is tormented over which man she must choose, the wind whispers of a new threat that could destroy both tribes. Only a union will afford a chance at survival, but the reality of that union is based on one thing—which man Anaii chooses to die.
Amazon – Kobo – Barnes & Noble
Add The Wind Whisperer to your Goodreads list!

Anaii is the daughter of the chief, but she is more important than just that. She has been given a gift from the gods, a gift to be able to hear the wind spirits  and gather information that can help her tribe, especially escape a brutal massacre from an enemy tribe who planned to attack while they all slept. But why did the Zenni tribe attack after having ten years of peace? Well, that's something Anaii's father wants to find out.

The Wind Whisperer proved to be a beautifully written story with plenty of action and suspense to keep the reader turning the page. Anaii started out as a great character, sympathetic and a bit vulnerable as she's forced to watch (with the help of the spirits) as her village is attacked and the people she cares about forced to fight to protect their home and all of the tribe. But as the story moved on I found Anaii becoming more selfish and couldn't agree with several of the decisions she made. One thing that really annoyed me about Anaii was that she kept Elan and Jayttin dangling, holding back her own emotions from them.

The Wind Whisperer is definitely a unique story and besides the irritations I felt from Anaii's character, it's still a story that I thoroughly enjoyed. Romance, intrigue, action, suspense, as well as a healthy dose of teen angst, all of these combine to make a thrilling read that is hard to put down. I would recommend The Wind Whisperer to anyone who loves a good Native American tale or for anyone who is looking for a well-written love triangle.
 About the Author
Krista Holle
Krista Holle is an award winning author who stepped up her writing after reading Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. It occurred to Krista that there is an insatiable audience of women and girls who want to read books filled with stories about true love—not just vampires. When Krista is not writing, she loves to collect seashells, watch movies, and eat obscene amounts of pizza. Krista currently resides in Montpelier, Virginia with her husband, four daughters and an eccentric cat with a weird attachment to the family’s socks.
Website/Blog – Twitter – Facebook – Goodreads – Amazon 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cover reveal: Holly Hearts Hollywood

Holly Hearts Hollywood
Release Date: Spring 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Holly Hart wants to be a star. She moves to Los Angeles from the small town of Cedar Junction, only to hear she’s too fat and ugly to be a famous singer.
But when Shell Shocked Records looks past Holly’s plus-sized figure and less-than-graceful-personality to offer her a recording contract, Holly cannot believe her good fortune. On closer inspection, however, the record execs want Holly to do all the singing, and a thinner and more beautiful girl, Lacey, would lip-sync and get all the credit. Holly goes for it because after all, she wanted to sing.

Contractually bound to secrecy, Holly is more than happy to sit backstage while Lacey shimmies in the limelight and basks in the fame. Before she knows it, Holly is friends with Serena, the pop-star daughter of a music-mogul, flirting with an intern, and developing a strange half-friendship with the seemingly bipolar Lacey.

When Grayson Frost, the biggest country star in America, and coincidentally, a former school bully begins dating Lacey, Holly hopes that he won’t recognize or torment her.

 Through a series of embarrassing and weird events, Holly gets to know Grayson and learns that he is much nicer and more mature than he was four years ago. Holly is horrified when she starts falling for him. When Grayson admits he fell for Lacey's voice, what is a girl to do when she can’t legally tell the truth at the moment when the truth matters the most?

About the Author
From nine to five I am a home insurance agent. At all other hours of the day I am a young adult author, singer, dancer, cat lady, fangirl, wife, bookworm, and internet enthusiast. My favorite pastimes include crying over really good books, riding with my husband on our motorcycle, and binge-watching seasons of television shows. When I’m not working or writing I like to perform in local community musical theatre productions.

Author Links:
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book blitz: PODs

Release Date: 06/24/13
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
312 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

Praise for the Amazon Bestselling PODs:
"5 Stars! I loved this book. I have been kind of bogged down with dystopias lately, but this was amazing. It was so cool to see life before the 'event', to see Eva wrestle with her choices and then, to watch her change as she lived inside the PODs...Yes, there are zombies. Yes, there's a little romance. But I think, at its heart, PODs is a coming of age story about Eva and how she grows from a girl into a strong, decisive woman during this period of absolute destruction. And Pickett writes it beautifully." ~ Sherry Ficklin, author of "Extracted"

"I was blown away by this debut novel from Michelle Pickett! Rather than feeling like I was reading a book, I actually sometimes felt like I was actually watching the characters' lives progress; it was kind of weird! The emotions that Eva felt were so raw and real, and I think Michelle really captured the emotions that one would be feeling in a post-apocalyptic world...PODs may very well be one of the next big things in YA, so I am very happy to have been one of the ones that was part of the beginning of it all! Congrats Michelle on your YA debut and I am looking forward to more by you!  I gave PODs a well-deserved 5/5 stars!  " ~Phil book reviewer at Stack of Hardbacks

5 glowing, sparkling stars for this one!...I absolutely adored every character Michelle introduces us to. This book isn't just about a romance, or two people fighting some battle. This book allows us to get to know several, amazing, diverse characters who all grab your heart (even a few who have attitude issues). They all held such an important place in the story… Now for the plot. Holy crap!... Michelle did a flippin' fantastic job giving us each piece of this puzzle… I won't go into details about what happens after they are removed from the POD but O-M-G! The action never stops…This book seriously needs to be a movie. I could picture every detail and already see it playing out on screen. PLEASE SOMEONE MAKE THIS HAPPEN!”  ~Jessica of Total Bookaholic

Buy Links:
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“Who ate all the damn strawberries?” Aidan yelled. “I was saving them for my cereal.” 

“I did. Use the banana,” Josh said. 

“A banana isn’t a strawberry. I marked the container with my name. You’re a jerk—” 

The container hit the metal wall of the chute with a crack. I always jumped when it did that. I hated it. It reminded me of the banging and crunching we’d heard when Cam’s sub-POD was cut off from the main. 

“It’s not time for our blood checks,” I said. 

“Maybe it’s strawberries. I’d really like some strawberries… Josh,” Aidan said, an edge to his voice. 

“Drop dead,” Josh replied, never looking up from his computer. 

David got up from the table where we were having breakfast. Taking the container from the chute, he pulled a manila envelope out of the basket. 

He dumped the contents on the table for everyone to see. Inside were ten name badges, one for each of us. Our photos— except Faith’s— and names were printed on one side; the other had barcodes. David scanned the label on the envelope, his face growing pale. “What’s it say, David?” I whispered. 

“‘The seals to each sub-POD will be broken tomorrow morning. Do not attempt to leave your sub-POD. Officers will give residents directions and escort them to their appropriate area topside.’ That’s all it says.” 

“It’s over,” Tiffany murmured, pulling the baby close. 

“Hot damn! Finally, I’m free of this tin can,” Josh jumped up and hurried to the guys’ bedroom. 
Well, at least Josh is happy. Why aren’t the rest of us? I thought we’d be excited. But instead everyone looks… anxious. What will we find up there? What has the world become? 

“Well, guess we should start packing up our stuff,” Aidan said.

 “Yeah, I guess so,” Seth agreed, rising slowly from his seat, rubbing his hands up and down his thighs. 

One by one, everyone walked to their sleeping areas and started packing their belongings— except me. I sat in the living room alone, flicking the corner of my name badge with my fingernail. The lanyard wound so tightly around my fingers they turned red. My insides were quivering, jittery. Something wasn’t right. For fifteen months we’d all looked forward to the moment we could leave, but now that the time was here it felt… wrong.

About the Author:
I'm a wife, mother, author, reader, although not always in that order.  I write young adult urban fantasies, science/fiction and paranormal romances and have recently started dabbling in young adult contemporary romance. Reading was one of my earliest passions, writing soon followed. I began writing seriously during college where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Why I chose a career that frowns on creativity remains a mystery.
I’m addicted to Reese’s peanut butter cups and eat way too many while I write, have an abnormal obsession with hoodies and can’t write without one, and I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows on television. An unabashed romantic, I love a swoon-worthy ending that will give me butterflies for days.
I wrote my debut young adult novel, PODs, in 2011. PODs, a science/fiction, post-apocalyptic romance, will be released June 4, 2013 through the amazing Spencer Hill Press.  My second young adult title, Milayna, a paranormal romance, will release through Spencer Hill Press beginning in March 2014. Milayna is a standalone, with series potential. It’s meant to be a trilogy. The Infected, a PODs novel, will release November 2014. It is the second, and last, book in the PODs series.
I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan.  I now reside in a small community outside Houston, Texas with my incredibly supportive, not to mention gorgeous, husband, three amazing school-aged children, a 125-pound lap dog, and a snooty cat.
Keep up-to-date with my current, future projects, appearances, and fun giveaways at

I always love to hear from readers, bloggers and other authors!
Find me here:

First place: Signed copy of PODs, tote bag, and swag (US only see note for international)
Second place: Signed copy of PODs and swag (US only see note for international)
*International winners will receive a print copy of PODs only if delivers to their country. Otherwise they will receive an e-book. Swag will not be included.
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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Book blitz: Darkness Watching

Darkness Watching
by Emma L Adams
Release Date: 10th October 2013
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal
Target Audience: Upper YA/New Adult

Summary from Goodreads:
Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere - little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is. 

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...
If you are a blogger and would like to request a review copy of Darkness Watching, sign up below:

"Emma is an amazing writer. She has become one of my favorites. I couldn’t put Darkness Watching down." - Diane at A Creative Mind

"Darkness Watching provides an original world that is fully complete and from a teens POV. It was dark and entertaining and sometimes teen books don’t go full out, this one did. The world building was truly strong in this novel." - Lexi at 
Book Bliss

"Like good books should, Darkness Watching left me pondering the story after I'd finished reading AND left me wanting more. Adams built a strong world for readers to be immersed. But the regular world retained full realism. Normal every day teen situations felt completely believable." - Erin at 
Erin Albert Books

I have to say, I didn’t see the ending coming! ... the final showdown left me speechless (You will have to read it!)" - Julia at Never Judge a Book by its Movie

"This was entertaining from the start...I didn’t want to put it down, and fans of urban fantasies I think will enjoy this. Darkness Watching was definitely worth the read." - Jenea at Books Live Forever

"This book is unique, fun and interesting. I kept wondering what was going to happen next...I felt that this book was well written and It was hard to put this book down once I started. " -Jessica at Eat Sleep Read

It started out as yet another exam dream. I sat in the school hall, looking at an unfamiliar paper, as all the other students began to write with frantic enthusiasm, pens racing down the page.
I didn't revise this at all. Panic rose within me. I looked around desperately. Everyone else scribbled away. The clock ticked, seconds passing. Minutes. Shit.
I felt a familiar surge of dizziness; my breath stuck in my throat, my heart pounded. I stared at the back of the seat in front of me, which seemed to waver and shimmer before my eyes, turning to blackness―
And a face grinned at me. Sharp teeth formed a malevolent smile. Violet eyes stared at me, unblinking. I could see nothing else for the smoke, which completely obscured everything before my eyes.
Then my chair tipped backward of its own accord. In slow motion, it leaned back, teetered for a moment. The demon grinned as I sat there, powerless to move.
The panic inside my chest spilled over and I tried to cry out. But I couldn't move my jaw, couldn't open my mouth. I was frozen to the seat as it hit the floor with a soundless thud.
I couldn't move.
I couldn't feel anything.
And I couldn't speak, couldn't scream.
I lay on my back, and around me, people continued to write, like robots programmed to scribble endless pages. No one spared a glance for me. I was trapped there on the floor, and no one even knew I was trapped.
The eyes blinked, then vanished.
My heart restarted with a jolt, hammering in my ears. I fought to escape the trap. My eyes felt as though something heavy weighed them shut, but I managed to force my eyelids apart. The sight of my digital alarm clock greeted me, sideways; I'd fallen asleep at my desk, my head resting on my laptop, the cold edge digging into my face.
I tried to lift my head, but I couldn't. I tried to open my mouth, but my jaw remained locked.
Impossible. I'm awake. Trapped again, this time for real. Not a muscle in my body responded to my pleas. I couldn't feel my hands, but I knew my right hand rested under my chin where I'd used it as a pillow. I couldn't feel my face, either.
I'd lost all feeling in my entire body, as if something invisible laid on top of me, pinning me down.
I tried to cry out, but not a sound escaped.
Move! I thought, trying to lift my head. The weight continued to press on me. I recalled one of those websites I'd browsed had mentioned poltergeists that sat on people in the middle of the night, leaving them unable to move. This felt just like it. Terror washed over me, cold and merciless.
Every short breath hurt my chest. Let me go. Please. Please―I'll do anything, just let me move.
"Anything, Ashlyn?"
That voice.
What do you want from me?
Somehow, not being able to see the speaker made it a thousand times worse. It felt like a thousand invisible hands gripped me all over, numbing all sensation. At the edges of my vision, I thought I saw dark shapes, but no eyes, no mouth for the voice.
Finally, the messages between my brain and nerves seemed to hit home, and I managed to raise my head, to lift my arm an inch. Slowly I regained feeling in my limbs. I shifted, twitched my hands, my feet.
Even then, I knew they watched me.
That day, the fear began.

About the Author
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy and paranormal for young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also wrote various novels and short stories. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, she can usually be found in front of her writing desk, creating weird and wonderful alternative worlds. Her debut novel The Puppet Spell, published in January 2013 by Rowanvale Books, is a fantasy tale for young adults and the young at heart, inspired by her lifelong love of the fantastical, mythology, and video games. Emma also writes supernatural fantasy novels for older teens and adults. Her next book, Darkness Watching, is the first in the upper-YA/New Adult Darkworld series, and was published in October 2013 by Curiosity Quills Press.

Author Links:
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$10 Amazon gift card (INT)
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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

So, a new year has begun

I can't believe a year has passed and we're already a week into the new year. Okay, I know I'm a bit late with this (but I promise I have an excuse), but I have decided to make some resolutions for this year. This year is all about change, after all, I'm moving to a new place, and heading into a new career path so for me it's all about big change. 

So, what have I been up to? Even though it is a new year, and with Christmas holidays and all, that doesn't mean I can just lounge around doing nothing. I am throwing myself into a professional photography course and am working hard on the subject of digital imaging (which means improving my photoshop skills, and drawing… if you know me, you would also know that I can barely draw a stick figure by hand, but somehow I have better computer skills and can turn out images that look half-decent, yeah, the picture above was hand drawn by me directly into photoshop). This subject is special to me for two reasons: One is I want to be able to develop my photo manipulation skills, the second is that I'm in the middle of planning the cover design for my story Shinigami Eyes (I'm only hoping I have the skills to back up my imagination).

This is where I'm at for the new year:
  • I've been accepted into a Bachelor of Visual Communication (basically a fancy way of saying a graphics design degree).
  • I've got an interview for a job tomorrow, which I'm hoping to get because being low on funds doesn't help.
  • Prepare for Shinigami Eyes to be released early in the year. I've got a lot planned with this, including help from my wonderful artist of a sister who has agreed to bring some of the manga to life.
  • I'm also working hard to get the sequel of Shadow Embraced completed, so expect that to be released this year as well.
Okay, on to the resolutions:
  • I'm going to complete three drafts this year (trying to get some of my WiP's finished).
  • I'm going to focus hard to complete a portfolio of images. I would love to show you all the hard work I've been putting into these images (and soon you may just see them).
  • And the standard resolution… I'm going to force myself to get fit this year (yeah, my sister says she's going to drag me to the beach for early morning jogs when we start uni… yeah, I'm at the same uni she's at).
  • With reading, I'm not going to over-commit myself as I did last year. I'm aiming to read 60 books this year, but I'm still going to participate in book tours as I have been doing.
Okay, so what are your resolutions this year (if you have any?)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Book tour: Branded

Today I'm proud to be a part of the 'Branded book tour', hosted by YA Bound. You can view the rest of the tour spots by clicking on the banner above. 

Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.

Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Buy Links:
My Review
Lexi lives in a world where the 'seven deadly sins' are considered serious crimes, and to be labelled a sinner, you'll be branded for life, forcefully removed from everything you know and thrown into the 'Hole', a place with little food and medical treatment, where if you don't die from starvation or sickness, then you have to fight hard just to survive the ever growing violence that runs riot in the streets. When Lexi is declared a sinner for a crime she hasn't even committed, she has to say goodbye to everything she has ever known and find the strength inside to survive life in the 'Hole'. Thankfully she has Cole, a guard who has been assigned to protect her while she becomes accustomed to her new way of life, the only problem is the feelings she's developing for Cole and is wondering if he's feeling the same way about her, for the one rule in the Hole, punishable by death, is: never fall in love with a sinner.

I hate the saying 'never judge a book by its cover', and I'm guilty of doing just that for this book. The gorgeous cover is the first thing that attracted me to the story and I'm definitely not sorry. Branded started out as a thrilling dystopian that's different from the countless others that are out at the moment. Lexi is an intriguing main character with so many different sides to her. Abi Ketner and Missi Kaliciki tackled the issues of abuse and depression wonderfully in the story. The only thing that I really wanted Lexi to do is to be a bit more 'take charge' rather than the 'damsel in distress' that she is for most of the story, but that's only a slight niggle as the rest of her character has been fleshed out with her traumatic past.

Cole is a wonderful addition to the story, and I always have a soft spot for characters who need to choose between duty or their heart, especially since the risk was so great. 

Branded created this world where any sin is considered a crime and it was a roller coaster of ups and downs as well as twists as the story progresses, leading up to the big twist (which I won't say here as I don't want to give anything away). At times it did feel a bit repetitive with the amount of guys chasing after Lexi and some of the middle tended to drag for a while a sudden switch in gears where everything happened to Lexi and Cole. 

Even with the story's little problems, Branded was an interesting and quick read and I would recommend it to anyone who loves dystopian novels, especially Divergent. I look forward to seeing where Lexi's journey continues next.

About the Authors
Abi Ketner & Missy Kaliciki
Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Author Links:

20 ebooks of Branded (mobi) Open Internationally

5 signed print copies and picture of Cole (US only)
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Her Lullaby kit by Irene Alexeeva