Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Update + Review: Bad Blood by Nicky Peacock

Some of you might have remembered that I've already posted a review for Bad Blood. The reason why I'm reposting it again is because the author's book was put off sale. Fortunately, Nicky managed to locate another publishing house so there's a new book cover to for the book. Also, enjoy the excerpt at the end of the post. That's personally one of my favourite parts!!!

Title: Bad Blood (Battle of the Undead #1)
Author: Nicky Peacock
Release Date: 10th May 2013
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Find on: Goodreads

Quick Review: “I am Britannia. I am your protector. I will fend off the hungry hordes of undead hands that reach toward you. I am your steadfast defender. I will stand between you and the zombie masses as they try to taste your flesh. I am strong, unyielding, and dedicated to your survival. All I ask from you… is your blood.”

A five-hundred-year-old bloody game of vengeance will need to be put on hold if vampires are to survive the zombie uprising. Britannia and Nicholas, bitter enemies and the only two surviving vampires left in London,have to work together to save un-infected humans and deliver them safely to a vampire stronghold in the Scottish Highlands. Unable to drink the zombie"bad blood," the remaining vampires need the humans to stay alive.But will the vampires tell the survivors who they are and what they want from them? Will Britannia be able to hold back her vengeance for the greater good?Is survivor Josh the reincarnation of Britannia's murdered true love? And can she bring herself to deliver him to the "safe" hold?

Survival instincts run deep, but bad blood can run deeper.

Detailed Review: Now, the main reason I loved this book so much was the action. Every word describes action. Every page has action. I also really love the author's selection of different species of the book and the contrast between the two: the vampires and the zombies.

In this book, it is explained that vampires are made by magic and zombies through science. The zombie apocalypse has arrived. Humans have been transformed into zombies after a science experiment gone wrong. It is Britannia's duty, together with two other vampires- Phillipe and Nicholas- to rescue the remaining uninfected humans so they can stock up their blood supply (yes I said blood supply, if not how will the vampires survive?)

One thing I'd like to add though, is that Nicky really writes to surprise. When things begin to become dull, she adds a little bit more action and at the same time a well-written twist to liven things up. 

As for the characters, I loved Britannia so much because of her sarcasm and wit and the fact that underneath her violent and unfeeling facade is another kinder person. I think writing Nicholas as the antagonist pairs off with Britannia really well. I really love the arguments they have. The humans who appear briefly in the book are also ones I like, too. All the characters were obviously planned and written thoroughly. 

To end this, let me gift you a quote from the book, which really inspired me.

'Be strong. Be fast. Be deadly.'

Brief Review: So much action you'll find yourself panting from just reading the book. This is an amazing book that will make you heart pound like crazy and sweat like a pig (it is possible, give it a try). I admire the author's ability to excite readers in such a short period of time.

Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!'


To Britannia, who I think should stop avenging Langdon,

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness---Josh Billings

So please forgive Nicholas...

Your Reviewer:

Buy Links:

 Evernight Teen

About the Author:page1image14528 
I guess I’ve always been a storyteller, not in a ‘liar liar pants on fire’ kind of way, although I do work in advertising! When I was little, kids would crowd around me in the playground and I’d tell them tales of blood soaked horror filled with vampires, werewolves, ghosts and more. Yes, most would consider me a disturbed child, but my playmates couldn’t help themselves, they’d huddle around me every break time like an ancient tribe feeding off the fear; and that’s how I learned that horror stories hold a certain power, no matter what some might say, everyone is addicted to a good scare, especially if it is somewhat rooted safely in unrealistic beings... or are they unrealistic?

Writing was really a natural progression. Right now I’m obsessed with writing: a YA Urban Fantasy novel, a Paranormal Romance novella series, and several short horror stories! So I’m currently living in a functional fiction coma – and loving it!

I’ve so far been published in 5 countries: USA, UK, Australia, Ireland and Canada and had short stories included in 40 anthologies with over 17 publishers.

Author Links:

Blog: http://nickypeacockauthor.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickyp_author
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NickyPeacockYaBooks
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Nicky- Peacock/e/B007UH2ACW/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_4
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/list/4958833.Nicky_Peacock
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/nickypauthor/
Tumblr: http://nickypeacock.tumblr.com/


We ran to the hospital. On the way, we encountered hardly anyone, alive or dead. Where were they all? When we arrived at the hospital car park, I understood. Zombies were pack animals. A massive crowd of them were crammed in and around the main building like they were waiting for a concert to start, all barely paying attention to their surroundings and seemingly swaying against the force of gravity. The other thing was the smell. When watching horror films filled with shuffling zombies, the horror came from their ghastly looks—the reminder that death has a tight grip on us all, well, most of us. But what the filmmakers should focus on—if they could—was the acidic rank odor zombies gave off. They had been dead barely twenty-four hours. It took a normal human body at least thirty- six hours to really start to smell, and that was with a vampire’s heightened senses. These guys smelled like they’d been out in the sun for three weeks covered in rubbish and besieged by wily maggots. They were mostly intact, though. Maybe this hospital had been Zombie Ground Zero. Most had turned so quickly their comrades hadn’t had time to feed.

“Maybe we should try a less populated target.” Nicholas twitched his nose and turned away from me to dry retch.
“Maybe you should grow a pair.”

“Maybe you should act like a lady.” He now had his hands on his hips, squaring up for yet another argument.

“Acting like a lady isn’t going to help now, is it? What do you want me to do? Drop my handkerchief in front of the zombies and watch them fight one another to scoop it up for me? Moron!”

“Always to the ‘nth degree with you, isn’t it?”

“Shut up. Look, the doors are holding, and they’re outside, not inside, which means there must be some people left in there alive to have barricaded this place so tight.”

“Or maybe there are just more zombies in there.”

“Well, there’s definitely a blood bank in there, and that’ll help matters no end!”

Nicholas looked thoughtful then nodded. He of course didn’t want to actually say aloud that I’d had a good idea. “So, how do we get past them?"

I assumed it was a rhetorical question, so I started down to the car park entrance, where most of the zombies were mobbing. I opened the outer door as quietly as possible.

“Ladies first,” Nicholas whispered in my ear.

“I thought we’d agreed I wasn’t a lady.” And with that, I shoved him as hard as I could into the throbbing throng of zombies.

Monday, September 29, 2014

ARC Review: Desperate Reflections by Shay West

Title: Desperate Reflections (Adventures of Alexis Davenport #3)
Author: Shay West
Release Date: 28th August 2014
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Find on: Goodreads

Quick ReviewIn this final book of the Adventures of Alexis Davenport Series, we find Alex dealing with more drama than ever: her first break-up, her mom's new boyfriend, and attempting to learn the secrets of her "gift" on her own. Desperate to stop Drifter, Alex uses her ability to locate the evil Traveler, only to discover that he lives in her time... And he knows who she is. In a final race against time, Alex must discover Drifter's ultimate plan, stop him, and save her family...all before prom.

Detailed Review: <<I received an ARC copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest feedback>>

The final book in a trilogy is usually the best.


I clearly didn't expect the magnificent wonder that was Desperate Reflections to really be as good as it was.

My apologies to the author for such low expectations when she definitely possesses awesome writing abilities.

Here is some praise to make up for it:

1. Major page-turner. I'll guarantee you that. 

2. Straight-forward- it conveys just the right amount of action in the book and increases the pace of the story. 

3. The ending! Evil villains always meet their end. *evil laugh* (I hope nobody thinks that's a spoiler) The good guys live to save the day!

4. New and awesome characters and some swoony romance that just makes you go 'Ooh la la!!!'

5. A kick-ass and smart heroine, definitely comparable to Tris or Katniss in the modern world. (I mean, she did stop time from being changed)

6. The time period, which was World War II (Hitler!!!) was perfect for a final standoff between Lane and Alex.

7. The song all readers are familiar with. The plot-twist song! Plot twist plot twist plot twist plot twist plot twist!!! 

That should be more than enough to convince you to read the book.

And if it doesn't... Well, I guess it won't do much harm, but really, it would be really nice of you to actually pick up the book and read it, and be as entertained as I was.

The story is more than perfect. Once again, friendship takes priority in the book. Alex's friends are both supportive and loyal, always trying to help her to the best of their abilities, especially Jennifer. Family also plays an equal part in the book, as demonstrated through the strong bonds between the main character and her mother as well as her uncle. 

You may think that time travel is a topic used commonly by too many authors, but West actually gives this topic a brand new feel to it that will definitely keep the pages turning, mixing it with real life problems, as stated in the synopsis. It's more than one person can actually take, but this particular heroine is certainly brave AND angry enough to take on the challenge!

Before you read Desperate Reflections, you should check out the first two books in the trilogy: Dangerous Reflections and Twisted Reflections.

You can check out my review for Dangerous Reflections HERE.

Click HERE for my review of Twisted Reflections!!'

Brief Review: This book definitely proved to be better than it's predecessors. I wasn't disappointed at all and it proved to be a great conclusion to an even greater series. The author doles out contemporary and fantasy elements in just the right amounts to get you hooked to the book! If you're looking for a time-travel read, this trilogy should be added to your list.

Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!'


I believe this quote suits Alex perfectly,

To be a hero or a heroine, one must give an order to oneself---Simone Weil

Your Reviewer:

Monday, September 15, 2014


We're already more than halfway through! I can't believe it! Today, on the blog, we have Kate Bassett, who has the talent to weave strong emotions into words. Even the title of her debut book, hints at it. Words and Their Meanings!

1. Have you always wanted to be a writer? 

When I was little, I tended to stretch the truth. A lot. Eventually my mom suggested I try writing stories (instead of walking around telling people I had a twin who lived in London, or had managed to sell my brother for a dollar, etc.).  The first "book" I wrote was about a girl who really, really loved her neighbors' golden retriever. The neighbors ended up giving the girl the dog...This was also my first taste of rejection, since I didn't, uh, end up with a new dog. 

Despite this early brush with rejection, I never really thought I'd end up doing anything else.  There were brief stints when other career ideas popped into my head-- at age nine I wanted to be a veterinarian, until my Godfather let me watch a dog's c-section surgery; when I was in high school I thought I should put my arguing skills to work as a lawyer-- but I always returned to writing.  In college, I went through a slew of majors, only to return to Creative Writing. 

My first "real" job after graduating from college was working as a reporter for my town's weekly newspaper, The Harbor Light. Almost 15 years later, I'm the editor there.  So I guess the answer is yes-- writing is the only ambition I've worked hard enough to pursue. 

2. What was the most challenging obstacle when it came to publishing Words and Their Meanings?

Being a debut author is never easy, and I think being a debut author who writes "quiet" and "literary" contemporary stories is especially tough. My agent, Sarah Davies, did an excellent job of forcing me to look at the heart of the story I wanted to tell, and then asked me questions to help build a little element of mystery in before we went on submission. That round of revisions we did together was really difficult, but I don't know that we would have sold the book without it. 

3. What sparked your idea for your Words and Their Meanings?

Bits and pieces of both Anna and Mateo had been floating around my brain for a very long time.  When I started writing Words though, it was a very different book. There were runaways. And guns. And a lot of blue Slurpees.  Sometime between drafts three and five, I started to find the story I wanted to tell.  I knew I wanted to write about grief and art and the creative heart. I just didn't have a darn clue how to get from point A to point B until I'd put almost 250,000 words onto the page (and then deleted every single one of them).

I also had to let go of my strong desire to write about my hometown, Saginaw. I found myself trying to prove the place I grew up-- a place almost broken by the changing auto industry-- could have a fresh start. I actually renamed the town in the book (Grey Iron is an ode to the Grey Iron factory there) to give myself some distance.  Still, I think there is an overarching theme of loss and paralysis and, eventually, hope, that remained in the novel. I think the seed came from Saginaw. 

4. Do you think the contemporary genre has a widespread effect on everyone? If yes, why?

Stories about real life-- little moments, big moments, all the stuff in between-- always hit me the hardest.  That being said, some readers find great science fiction or dystopian novels (or any other genre they love) speak deeper truths than any other kind of book.  It's the great thing about writing and reading, isn't it? Knowing we can all find characters and stories to connect with, words on a page that shift our views and emotions, or simply give us the right dose of escape from reality.

The one thing I will say about contemporary fiction is that it never goes out of style. There might be "mini trends" in the genre, but the heart of what it means to right contemporary is a steady beat throughout the history of books.  I'm glad to believe that will never change.

5. What is the most essential ingredient in writing a good contemporary?

Voice.  To me, that's what it takes to write a standout contemporary novel.  The voice drives the story, and for quiet contemporary especially, it often drives the plot.  There are so many new books that hit bookstore shelves everyday. I always like to skim the first pages and listen for a voice I haven't heard before, or at the very least a voice I know will be interesting and fresh and real enough to keep me reading.

6.  If you had the chance to co-write a book with an author, who would it be and what would it be about?

Well, funny you should ask! My critique partner and dear friend, Alison DeCamp (whose brilliant and hysterical middle grade debut, My Near Death Adventures (99 % true!) coming out in February 2015) have talked about writing a book together for quite some time now.  I'm not sure if it will be middle grade or young adult (probably YA), but we have been tossing ideas around and I would bet we may start putting something on paper sometime in 2015.  Alison's writing is so funny and smart. Her books also have a big heart, so whatever storyline we end up deciding upon, I'd expect a lot of quirky characters and some sort of strange adventure!

7. Why did you choose Patti Smith as someone that Anna would follow in Words and Their Meanings? 

There was something missing about Anna, something I couldn't quite figure out no matter how much I thought about her character.  She needed an anchor. Something or someone to latch onto during this really dark period in her life.  I'd recently read Patti Smith's memoir, Just Kids, and there was something about it...something about the lens through which Patti sees her life and all the losses (and love) she's experienced along the way that just wouldn't quite leave me. 

Fast forward a few weeks. We don't have a television at my house (but believe me, we get plenty of screen time thanks to Netflix and Hulu), and I got sucked into a morning program while visiting with my mom one day. One of the segments had Patti Smith in it; she was revisiting the Chelsea Hotel for the first time since living there with Robert Mapplethorpe.   All of a sudden, I couldn't stop thinking of Patti and Anna together. I loved the idea of Anna grabbing onto a warped image of Patti, who doesn't exactly look like an eternal optimist. We do this in life a lot, I think. As we grow and change, learning to discover someone's full story, trying to understand a whole is made of a sum of all a story or person's parts, it makes a huge difference it the way one perceives the world.

In the end, it just seemed like a great fit. Patti Smith is a true artist. She's talented-- and hit the world stage at a pretty young age-- and she's had a lot of really, really heartbreaking moments in her life. Through all of the loss and pain, she manages to also find beauty and light. I wanted an adult like that to become important to Anna, but also, to be someone who helps her understand the importance of finding her own voice, and her own words.

8. If you could be a character in Words and Their Meanings, who would it be and why?

Selfishly, Mateo all the way!  He's smart and honest. He's talented but not broken by his talents.  He has a stable, loving family and extended family-- that kind of closeness is such a gift-- and has a safety net that helps him understand life and its challenges/responsibilities in a pretty mature way.  Plus, he cooks! 

9. Will you venture into any other genres like fantasy or historical fiction in the future?

I'm pretty grounded in contemporary, realistic fiction. I like reading fantasy, but I think I'll leave the writing to folks who do it really well.  My new manuscript is set in the mid-1990s, although that doesn't exactly count as historical!  

Of course, you never know where some characters or story ideas may lead....So I won't rule anything out as a definite no.  I can say the next two projects I want to work on are both contemporary YA.

10. Why did you pick origami as one of the central themes in Words and Their Meanings?

Art is present in various forms throughout the book, and I wanted Anna's grandfather to have a way to connect to the creative people in his family. As the only very practical, engineer-minded person in his circle of loved ones, origami made perfect sense.  It's an art form that's delicate and strong, very precise, but also, magical.  The idea of one thing-- a sheet of paper-- becoming something else also speaks to me.  The folds of origami have a connotation of keeping, or making, secrets. 

Kate's YA contemporary novel, Words and Their Meanings, released on the 11th of September. To find out more about the author and her books, you can check out her website: http://katebassettbooks.com

Also, you can check out my review for Words and Their Meanings HERE.

And finally, the giveaway! May the odds be in your favour! The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.

P.S. The next two interviews will be after my blogging hiatus! So sorry for the inconvenience!

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ARC Review: Until You Find Me by Amber Hart

Title: Until You Find Me: A Novel
Author: Amber Hart
Release Date: 11th November 2014
Publisher: Random House Flirt
Find on: Goodreads

Quick ReviewAmber Hart pushes contemporary romance to its wildest limits in this heart-pounding novel, the story of a girl who travels to Africa to protect the legacy of one man . . . and stays for the love of another.

Raven Moore, a twenty-year-old college student from Michigan, feels out of place in the beautiful, treacherous jungles of Cameroon, staying in the habitat where her father gave his life to help protect endangered gorillas. He left home years ago; now Raven refuses to return home until she unravels the truth about his last days.

Raven certainly doesn’t count on crossing paths with a handsome young hunter—especially one as charismatic and intense as Jospin Tondjii. Instantly, she’s hooked. But Jospin is hiding a dark truth: He is the heir to a powerful poaching empire, part of a ruthless black market that is responsible for the dwindling gorilla population.

Their fathers may have been enemies, but Raven and Jospin forge a bond that goes beyond blood, a relationship that is tested as Raven draws closer to the source of her father’s death. Can she and Jospin bear the weight of the secrets of the wild—and the secrets of their pasts? Or will the rain forest destroy them both?

Detailed Review: <<I had the privilege of reading an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review>>

Amber Hart has done it again. And this is only the second book she's written so far. 

Talent. It all comes down to talent. There are many authors who steal people's attention using fantasy worlds or some swoony romance, or even some important historical event-like Markus Zusak's The Book Thief.

This particular author doesn't just do that; she also brings people's attention to a global issue. 

Hart decided to push her writing abilities to breaking point. And that's what makes her different from any author I've read so far.

In Until You Find Me, the author decides to use dramatic irony (Shakespeare loved using this!). We will find out things about Jospin and Raven, things that both wouldn't know about the other. That actually made the suspense more palpable as you read along.

She also decided to add one more element-which I'm sure if Shakespeare was alive, would award her an award for: star-crossed lovers.

This novel may well be the Cameroonian version of Romeo and Juliet.

I personally am an animal lover, so I was quite pleased when I found out that there was also some spotlight for gorillas and how they were being hunted to extinction.

To emphasise this issue, Amber Hart decided to put Raven through an almost-death experience with a gorilla, thus planting a hate for them in the main character. 

And then. Magic. With Hart's writing and a gorilla, Raven's opinion of the gorillas was changed to something positive.

This novel isn't just some swoony romance (but it's one of the good parts); it explores the connection between man and animal. And the capability of animals to change the thoughts of men.

I harboured some hate for Jospin because he was a poacher- a person who hunted gorillas for money.

But then I knew he couldn't be blamed because he simply had no choice. He had been born into it.

What I loved the most was Raven's spirit. She didn't give up after her accident, but instead she grew stronger. That's heroine material for you right there. 

I felt that Raven's father played a big part in the 
She also finds out the truth of her father's death is not as it seems; there's something more sinister in the workings.
And the truth might actually pull both Raven and Jospin apart.

The plot, needless to say, had just the right amount of tension and action AND romance to keep it going.

And then, came the great finale- also known as- The Grand Twist.

All you need to know is there was heartbreak and betrayal involved.

Brief Review: This isn't just any NA contemporary romance. It's unique in its setting in the African jungle- where danger lurks everywhere in the form of animals and men, the subject of interest- how often do you read about gorillas- and even the diverse characters. Until You Find Me is a story of star-crossed lovers in a dangerous place; this novel has considerably raised my expectations for all NA contemporary romances- and it may have been what Amber Hart intended to do.

Final Rating: 5/5 'Totally Amazing!'


Since the book is mainly about animals and nature, here's a quote about it,

Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened---Anatole France

Your Reviewer:

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Image taken from http://themissippimama.wordpress.com

Hi, this is Elicia here! Chloe has gone to college and will be dormant for now. I will also be gone for at least 2 weeks since I'm going on a well-deserved vacation (after all the studying and stress). There won't be any posts except for 2 posts coming tomorrow and then nada. 

Just wanted to notify everyone! I hope you guys will enter the giveaways that have been running on the blog. They've got quite delicious goodies to giveaway! 

Thanks and happy reading!


Day three! Today we have Skylar Dorset, author of The Girl Who Never Was, a boy about evil faerie queens (and mothers), ogres, wizards and a powerful half-ogre, half-faerie girl.

Once again, there will be a giveaway! You know what that means *wink*

1. What was the first story you've ever written?

When I was six, I wrote a story about two warring factions of squirrels. One faction sent a spy to infiltrate the other faction and she fell in love with one of the enemy squirrels and he with her. All very angsty and dramatic.

2. What is a writing goal you'd like to achieve in the future?

Oooh, this is a good question. I think my goal is to just always get better. I want the next thing I write to always be the best thing I write!

3. Why did you to choose to write about faeries?

I was intrigued by how capricious faeries always are. They show up in a lot of different types of stories, in a lot of different ways, but they’re pretty generally unpredictable and, well, as Selkie’s aunts would say, flighty. I became fascinated by the idea of what kind of society these all-over-the-place creatures would create.

4. What other mythical creatures would you want to write about in your upcoming books?

Oooh, this is a good one. I really want to explore goblins more, and I know lots of people have written about wizards and witches, but that’s because HOW MUCH FUN ARE WIZARDS AND WITCHES??

5. Would you venture into other genres, like contemporary?

I would, actually. I have an idea for a contemporary book that I think would be fun! I have pretty eclectic tastes, so I write a lot of different things.

6. If a character from your book were to come alive one day, who would you want it to be?

I think I’d actually want it to be Will, because I would love to hear all of his stories. I think he has led a really fascinating life.

7. What can we expect from The Boy With the Hidden Name? (A little teaser would be awesome!)

Well. I can say there’s more Selkie, more Kelsey, more Will, and yes, more Ben. J And also more goblins.

8. Who is your all-time favourite author?

J.K. Rowling.

9. If The Girl Who Never Was is going to be adapted into a movie, who do you want to act as Selkie and Ben?

This question never fails to knock me for a loop and I feel like I pick different actors and actresses every single time I’m asked. I just want to give casting directors lots of options! Anyway, currently my picks would be Shelley Hennig and Torrance Coombs.

10. What advice would you give to all aspiring writers out there (including me)?

Write what it makes you happy to write, and your love for it will make the words glow.

To find out more about Skylar Dorset and her books, check out her website: http://www.skylardorset.com

Click HERE to read my review on The Girl Who Never Was!

GIVEAWAY TIME! A copy of The Girl Who Never Was and some swag! It's definitely something I don't want to miss! International!

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Skylar’s first story was a tale of romantic intrigue involving two feuding factions of squirrels. Think “Romeo & Juliet” but with bushy tails and added espionage. She was seven.

Since that time, Skylar’s head has been filled with lots of characters and lots of drama. She is delighted to be able to share some of it with all of you now, because, honestly, it was getting pretty loud and crowded in there.

Skylar is a born-and-bred New Englander, which is why Boston was a natural setting for her debut novel, THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS. Skylar shares her home with a cardboard cutout of the Tenth Doctor, lots of Mardi Gras beads from the time she spent living in New Orleans, and a harp she’s supposed to be teaching herself to play. She’d like to get a dog.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Now here's interview number two, featuring Lindsay Smith, author of Sekret- a historical fiction about psychic teenagers set in the times of the Cold War. Sounds good?

 As always, there's a giveaway waiting for you at the end so you really should read the interview, and treat the giveaway as a treat.

1.     Your first book, Sekret was set in Russia during the Cold War. Why did you choose such a time and not others, like World War II?

I always think of 1960s as the height of both the Cold War and espionage-chic, both for the political climate then and the pop cultural impact of spies and Cold War rivalry. In 1963, when Sekret begins, the Berlin Wall has gone up and the United States and Soviet Union have just come dangerously close to nuclear war in the Cuban Missile Crisis. The dollar and ruble were of equal value; Russia had gotten several “firsts” in the space race. I loved infusing my characters’ daily lives with that sense of fear and uncertainty—that any moment or misstep could be the tipping point between the two sides.

2.     How did you come up with the different psychic abilities for the characters in the book? 

I really wanted the psychic spywork to feel like a team effort, playing to everyone’s different strengths, with certain types of psychics being able to sense things that others couldn’t. Remote viewing, the ability to psychically “see” into a different part of the world, is what the DoD’s STARGATE program was allegedly trying to develop, but I wanted psychics who could glimpse the future, or glimpse the past as well. And if one person on the team couldn’t verify what another was saying, then I loved the chance for that to add to their mistrust of each other!

3.     Which psychic ability would you like to have?

Ooh, that’s tough! Reading someone else’s thoughts without their knowledge—or even changing their thoughts—sounds way too creepy to me, and I’m not sure it would be comforting to know the future. Maybe remote viewing—I’d love to be able to travel to exotic locations without leaving home.

4. What do you think is the essential ingredient in producing a good book?

I think the author has to be passionate about their story, but not be so blinded by that passion that they can’t bring themselves to tear it apart and put it back together again. That passion will seep into the research they do, the worldbuilding, the care in telling the best possible story that they can.

5.     What book do you think everyone must absolutely read, or they'll miss out on something awesome?

Gosh, so many! Seraphina and the Graceling series are my go-tos for awesome fantasy. I’m absolutely entranced by The Raven Boys books, and the Cahill Witch Chronicles (Born Wicked is book one). There’s a fantastic YA historical coming out at the end of September, Lies We Tell Ourselves, that I think is going to destroy readers in the best way possible. Really excited for everyone to read it.

6.     Thoughts on Sekret being a movie?

I’d love it! My dreamcast would probably include Tatiana Maslany as Yulia and Sebastian Stan as Valentin, but it’d be a huge honor to see anyone bring my characters to life. I always envisioned a sharp contrast between the dirty snow-packed grays of 1960s Moscow and the vivid colors when the psychics read minds or read the past/future. Music plays a major role in Sekretas well, from Shostakovich to the Beatles, so I think it would need to be woven in.

7.     What writing advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep reading voraciously, but think critically about what you’re reading—how the story unfolds, how sentences and scenes are crafted, how secrets are divulged. There will always be a disconnect between how something plays out in your head and how it turns out on the page, but keep fighting to reconcile the two. Every word you write teaches you something, so don’t be afraid to write the wrong one. And write a story you believe in—don’t just try to chase a trend or trope for publication.

8.     Have you thought of venturing into other genres, i.e. contemporary or fantasy?

Actually, I have a YA fantasy standalone coming out in Fall 2015, just after Skandal’s release! Right now, it’s calledDreamstrider, and it’s like Graceling meets Inception—the main character can take control of people in her real world through the dreamworld, but bad things happen when the nightmares start waking up. I also recently finished drafting an extremely nerdy, fangirlish contemporary YA. Historical and/or fantasy tales are what I keep coming back to, however.

9.     Which character in your book would be your best friend if they existed in real life?

I love Yulia, but she’s strong-willed, sometimes to her detriment, and not really interested in making friends. Larissa seems like the sort of person you can trust your problems to, someone even-keeled and honest with you even when you’d rather she wasn’t.

10. Last question! What can we look forward to in Skandal? Care to divert some juicy information about it? *wink*

This is so hard to do without spoiling Sekret for those who haven’t read it! SPOILER ALERT, LOOK AWAY NOW! Possibly my favorite part of Skandal is exploring Yulia’s relationship with her father, and why he is the way he is now. We also learn some more of Valentin’s secrets, and Yulia has to make some really tough choices about who she is and what family, love, and country mean to her.

Find out more about Lindsay Smith on her website: http://lindsaysmith.net

To read my review for Sekret, the author's debut novel, click HERE.

Finally, the giveaway that you must have been waiting for! It is international!

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Lindsay Smith's love of Russian culture has taken her to Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and a reindeer festival in the middle of Siberia. She lives in Washington, DC, where she writes on foreign affairs. SEKRET is her first novel.

Friday, September 12, 2014


So here's the first of the interviews I've promised you to celebrate our blogoversary. And today we'll be having Melissa Pearl, author of the Betwixt series and other works!

*applause and cheers*

And if you want an incentive to read the interview, there's a giveaway waiting for you at the end. *winks*

1. You've written many genres. Which of them do you find the most satisfying to write?

I have loved writing all my books for varying reasons, but to date, my favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. 

In saying that, I REALLY loved writing Fever, which was NA contemporary romance, but that’s probably because of the music element :)

2. What can we expect from your upcoming books?

The next 18 months holds in store for me… four NA contemporary romances (Songbird Series), four more Evatopia Press books (upper YA Romantic Suspense), and a young YA series  - The Mica & Lexy Series (romantic…hmmm - what would you call it….Action, I guess. Think Sweet Valley High, set in New Zealand…two 16 year old best friends who can’t help but get themselves in trouble ;) )

3. I noticed that music was important in your newest release, Fever. How important do you think music is to our lives?

For me, music is hugely important. It’s part of who I am. I feel like it’s the air in my soul sometimes. I love all kinds of music and it moves me in a very deep way. So to be able to combine my two passions - music & story-telling is such a special treat for me :)

I know music’s not necessarily important to everybody, but I don’t know many who don’t at least like some music a little. I think music takes the grey and turns it into sunshine :)

4. What do you do when you encounter writer's block?

I often find moving away from the computer the best thing to do…going for a walk or to the gym, taking a shower (that’s probably the place my mind works best. LOL :D) or doing the dishes. Anything that I can do where my mind can wander and sort through whatever block I’m struggling with. 

It’s also good to remind myself that there is more than one way to get to the ending. It’s sometimes really easy to get caught with a certain scene that you want to use, but at the end of the day, there’s always something else you can try. Sometimes it’s a matter of letting go, so you can make room for something better. 

5. Name a book you believe everyone must absolutely read.

Hmmmm - that’s such a great question…and SO hard to answer. I have read so many great books over the years. 

About two months ago, I finished Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Powell and that’s a book I think all writer’s should read, because it’s one of the best examples of ‘show, don’t tell’ I’ve ever read. 

As for moving and powerful, I’d say The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a must read. 

6. Has your passion for writing always been there since you were a kid?

Yes - definitely, I just didn’t know it. When I was a kid, I was ALWAYS making up stories…always, it just never occurred to me to write any of them down :D 

There’s a scene in the movie Sister Act 2 where Whoopie Goldberg’s character challenges one of her music students saying that when she wakes up in the morning, if the first thing she thinks about is singing, then she’s supposed to be a singer. I remember thinking, what do I think of when I wake up in the morning? Stories - it was always whatever story was floating through my imagination. I guess it means I was meant to be a writer, huh :)

7. Which character in your books do you think would be your best friend if they existed in real life?

If I could hang out with any of them, it’d be Zach, Lucy and all of their friends from the Fugitive Series. Man, I love those guys so much. They are awesome :D

8. If you had the chance to co-write a book with an author, who would it be and what would you call it?

Well, the Mica & Lexy Series is co-written with my best friend and I have to say that it’s got to be one of the coolest experiences of my life. She is SO great to work with and we have so much fun together.

9. Covers play a part in promoting books. Have you ever tried designing your own book covers?

No way!! I wish I was that talented :D But I leave the designing up to those amazing graphic designers who can take my really vague visions and turn them into something AMAZING!!!

10. Do you prefer reading or writing?

Both :D I love getting lost in someone else’s story…and I love getting lost in my own character’s worlds as well. 
Stephen Kind said a good writer, is a good reader and I think that’s so true. You have to enjoy both to be successful.

To find out more about Melissa Pearl and her works, click HERE to access her Goodreads page!

Click HERE to check out my review for I Know Lucy; and HERE for Set Me Free; lastly, HERE for Fever!

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! GOOD LUCK! Giveaway is international!!!

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Melissa Pearl was born in Auckland, New Zealand, but has spent much of her life abroad, living in countries such as Jordan, Cyprus and Pakistan... not to mention a nine month road trip around North America with her husband. "Best. Year. Ever!!" She now lives in China with her husband and two sons. She is a trained elementary teacher, but writing is her passion. Since becoming a full time mother she has had the opportunity to pursue this dream and her debut novel hit the internet in November 2011. Since then she has continued to produce a steady stream of books. Recently she signed with Evatopia Press and her first Evatopia book is coming out in February 2014 - True Colors, The Masks Series #1. She is very excited to be trying out new things this year while continuing to publish under her own name as well. She has six books planned for 2014 and is excited about writing each and every one of them.

"I am passionate about writing. It stirs a fire in my soul that I never knew I had. I want to be the best writer I can possibly be and transport my readers into another world where they can laugh, cry and fall in love."