Thursday, May 30, 2013

Author Highlight - Amber Garza, author of Falling To Pieces

It's so wonderful to have the lovely Amber Garza visit YAlicious. She is here today to highlight two of her books and tell us a little about the importance of a trusty sidekick :)

Thanks so much for being here, Amber.

The Trusty Sidekick

I've been thinking a lot about the sidekick character lately. You know who I mean. She or he is the best friend of the main character. She's the friend the main character bounces ideas off of, tells their secrets to, and hangs out with most of the time. In most of the books I read the sidekick character isn't one I connect to much. I kind of think of them as a throw away character with their main function being to help me learn more about the main character.

I find that in my own writing I've had some sidekick characters like this. In my first published book PROWL, Haley is Kenzie's sidekick. Honestly the reader doesn't learn much about Haley in PROWL. Mostly she's used to help us get to know Kenzie better. However, in the sequel ENTICE the story centers around Haley, so I do delve more into her character. I'm still not sure she ever outshines Kenzie, but I do hope the reader connects with her on some level.

Recently I wrote a sidekick character that made me rethink my idea about sidekicks. In my contemporary romance FALLING TO PIECES, I absolutely fell in love with my main character Ivy's best friend Billie. Billie is fun, quirky, witty, and honestly I wish she were my best friend. Truthfully I found myself liking her better than Ivy at times. Now that the book is out I'm learning that my readers feel the same way. In many of the reviews of the book readers mention Billie and how much they like her. The problem with this is that now all my future sidekicks pale in comparison.

I just finished another contemporary romance STAR STRUCK, and it's set to release in June. Star's best friend Lola is nothing like Billie, and I had a hard time connecting with her. But let's face it - I can't make every sidekick character exactly like Billie. She's a unique individual.

All of this begs the question, how important is the sidekick character? As a reader do you hope to have a huge connection with the best friend or are you okay with her just kind of being there to help the story along?

I personally think the more characters a reader connects with in a story the better. It draws them in, keeps them reading. But I'm curious what others think. Weigh in on the comments below and let me know what you think. Also tell me who some of your favorite sidekick characters are.

Awesome post, Amber. I've had that a few times where I've loved the sidekick character. I think they are really important to a story. They can provide humour, mentorship, add conflict to scenes that need them. To me, they are a vital part of the story structure. I look forward to seeing what other people think :)

You can find out more about Amber Garza's awesome books on Goodreads and Amazon.

If you'd like to connect with Amber online, you can follow the links below:
Twitter: @ambermg1

Monday, May 27, 2013

Author Highlight - T. G. Ayer

It is very cool to have T. G. Ayer visiting my blog today. She is an amazing writer and has become a close friend. Her latest book Skin Deep is now out. I'm halfway through reading it. She has created a fascinating world and I can't wait to see how the book ends. Keep an eye out for my review post next week :)

But for today, as part of her Skin Deep Blog Tour, here is Tee's interview on Skin Deep and writing.

1. What inspired Skin Deep?
I'm a fan of paranormal and fantasy. the idea of shifters and magic has always enthralled me. Kailin's story came about when I read a scene in a novel where a killer removes the skin of his victim- that inspired the skinned Walkers body being found by the main character- everything just flowed from there. And this book was not plotted - totally on hundred percent pantsed.

2. Who is your favorite character in Skin Deep and why do you like them so much?
Tara the metal-singer -besides Kailin of course  - I love Tara's power, would love to be able to mold any metal to whatever shape I like - and of course, Tara will have her own DarkWorld tale in time

3. If Kailin and Bryn (from your Valkyrie novels) met each other, how do you think they'd get along?
I think they would. Kailin's a bit of a mommy and in many way's so if Bryn. Both are strong and like to be treated with respect. Of course, Kai won't trust Bryn entirely becuase even if she's a Valkyrie she was raised a Human and Shifters don't trust many Humans.

4. I know you are passionate about your craft. What is your favourite part of the process?
I love writing but I also love the part where the ideas begin to fall into place. Where as soon as you ask yourself a question about the MS a whole bunch of ideas and solutions fall into place like pieces of a gigantic puzzle. Love it.

5. Do you listen to music when you write? 
I do listen to music but I tend to prefer quiet during the day. Most of my wriitng is done listening to the three Cold Play albums I have running on repeat- for some reason their music helps me shut everything else in my mind down and allows me to concentrate.

Five Favourites
1. Author - Dean Koontz - cos to this day he still manages to hold my attention and give me the chills
2. TV Show - Revenge - isn't it fun to live vicariously through someone avenging herself against the people who have wronged her.
3. Movie genre - Anything thats fantasy - I love M. Night Shymalan's movies - a little horror a little fantasy- perfect
4. Actor - Gerard Butler - need I say more? 
5. Place to read - by the fire, under a blanket sipping hot chocolate - and since I have no fire sitting in the sunshine will have to do. - oh and lots of rain will make it totally perfect

Thanks so much for visiting YAlicious today. It's so super cool to have you :)

If you'd like to connect with Tee online, you can follow the links below.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

SPECIAL POST - Summer Book Blast

The Summer Book Blast runs from May 24-27 and is THE hottest and largest ebook sale to date for today’s best selling young adult, new adult and romantic fiction.We're giving away over $1,000 in prizes!

In addition to all books being priced at .99 for the four-day sale, there will be:
  • a Kindle Fire raffled off DAILY;
  • ebook bundles raffled off DAILY; and
  • paperbacks and swag raffled off DAILY.
To participate in giveaways, visit the Summer Book Blast Facebook event page! To see the incredible books on sale, check out the Summer Book Blast web page! The Blast features books from over sixty authors, all of whom came together to lower their prices and offer their readers incredible deals to stock up for the hot, lazy summer months.  

A special thank you goes out to our sponsors:
The event has been arranged and coordinated by the following wonderful people on the Summer Book Blast committee: Lisa Markson, Leanne Jacobson, Stephanie Shaw and Jennifer Pringle.

Links to our Sponsors

Lizzy Ford
Julia Crane
Cambria Hebert
DT Dyllin
Book Swag Shop

NEW RELEASE - The Temporal Stone by Suzy Turner

Release Date: May 16th


It's been a couple of months since Emma and Lana entered the Praxos Academy and life has been hectic ever since. What with regular A level classes combined with learning all about the supernatural world, control classes, self defence and fight night, the girls are constantly busy.

But when their world seems to stop right in front of them, they and their fellow Watchers, have a huge mystery to solve. A mystery which leads them on a long road trip across south west England where they meet all kinds of strange creatures, some intent on causing harm and others desperate to put a stop to the problem.

The Temporal Stone is the second full length novel in The Morgan Sisters series. The first book is entitled The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw. There is also a free novella, Daisy Madigan's Paradise.


(other sites and paperback coming soon)

Author Bio

Suzy Turner has worked as a journalist, assistant editor, features editor and magazine editor. Early in 2010 however, she began writing full time and has since completed a trilogy for young adults, The Raven Saga, as well as several books in The Morgan Sisters series.

Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten.

The Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart and husband of 15 years, Michael.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Series Highlight - The Watched Series by Cindy. M. Hogan

I read this series a few months ago and really enjoyed it. As soon as I finished the last book, I invited Cindy to come to YAlicious and tell us a little about the series, plus give us a run down on what else she's been working on.

Thanks so much for joining us, Cindy.

When I first started Watched, I had no idea it would become a three year project. You see, I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew that this Christy character was screaming in my ear that I needed to write her story. 

I took my time going to writers' conferences and sending my chapters through critique groups. What amazed me was that the dream (I know, totally cliche, I had that spurred me to write, ended up in the second book, Protected, right near the end. Here's a's the country club scene).

Now that the trilogy is complete, I've completed another Christy novel, Adrenaline Rush. It stars Christy as her new self - the one she becomes at the end of Created, book three in the trilogy. It will be released this October.

I'm about 1/2 way through a second in that series. Right now I'm calling it Brooklyn, New York, but that will most likely change.

I've also written a mystery called Gravediggers. It was super hard for me to write since my other 5 books are all suspense novels, but I love it.

Finally, I'm working on a serial called Confessions of a Sixteen-Year-Old Virgin Lips. It is structured like a TV series. One episode of about 50 pages (as a an eBook) will come out every other week, starting at the end of June. It will have 6 episodes. It's a lot of fun.

Hands down, the greatest challenge in writing is editing. Even though you know it will make your book better, it's such a drag. I always want to move on to other projects when I get into the nitty-gritty editing phase.

Yay! Sounds like you've got a whole bunch of goodies planned for us. How cool :)

Do you want to another cool thing? Cindy is about to release the Watched series as a trilogy set - May 30th!!

Here's a little about the books...

When Christy witnesses the brutal murder of a senator's aide, she becomes the target of the terrorists, the focus of the FBI and two seriously hot guys. The FBI fails to keep her safe and she ends up in witness protection, far away from everything she knows and loves. Her new identity is compromised and she is sent to Belgium where she is confronted with a life-altering choice: she must decide who it is she wants to become: A normal 17-year-old college student or a spy.

You can find the books on:
Barnes & Noble
Audio - Just released!

You can connect with Cindy online:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cover Love - May Edition

Yay! Time for one of my favourite posts of the month... COVER LOVE :)

I have some very cool covers lined up for you this month. Hopefully you can add some excellent new books to your reading lists.

The first few covers are designed by Mae I Design. Regina is such an amazing designer. I am so impressed by her work that I've actually invited her to YAlicious for an interview. She will be appearing in June to tell us about her process and highlight some of her favourite covers.

And now - for some of my favourite covers this month...

One by Mari Arden. This cover captured me immediately. The girl's face is stunning and I love her intense expression. The blurb for this book sounds fantastic and I added it to my reading list immediately.

Maverick by Anna Cruise. Who doesn't like books about hot surfers! This book sounds so intriguing. The guy on the cover is gorgeous, but to be honest, my favourite aspect is actually the wicked font and colour of the title.

Broken Wings by Cameo Renae. This cover is so stunning. The colours, the women on the front...the feathers. It all works so beautifully.

Losing Francesca by J. A. Huss. I highlighted this book recently as part of J. A. Huss' cover reveal, but I wanted to highlight it again. There is something so haunting about the girl's eyes. The premise for this book is really cool as well. It's going to be a great read :)

The Edge of Darkness by Melissa Andrea. Isn't this cover stunning? It's the shadows of the birds that do it for me. I love it.

Breathe Me by Alexia Purdy. I can't wait for this book to come out. The cover captured me immediately and then when I read the book description, I got super excited. It's going to be awesome :)

So - have any of these covers captured you?
Which one do you like best?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Which Book Characters Have You Fallen For?

I like to break up my author guest posts and giveaways with the odd discussion post. Sometimes it's hard coming up with a topic, but today was an easy one.

Falling in love with book characters.

Have you ever done it?
Do you think it's important that you do?

Personally, I think you get so much more out of a book if you end up swooning (even just a little) over one of the characters. And what's even more important is that you go all mushy over the love story within the book.

If I go through the list of books I've read this year, the ones that jump out at me first are the ones where I fell in love with the characters and the relationships they were in.

The books that come to mind are:

The Greystone Series by Taylor Longford. The beauty of this series, for me, is that I ended up loving the entire family of gargoyles so it made it easy to devour the books. I have enjoyed each book more than the one before and I can't wait for Taylor's next release! Each love story was so easy to root for and I know the rest of the series will be the same.

The Hunting Lila Series by Sarah Alderson. I TOTALLY fell in love with Alex. It was hard not to fall for him! It was easy to imagine I was Lila and swoon :D I know Sarah has a few more stories planned with these two. It's going to be awesome!

The last book that comes to mind is Impossible by Komal Kant. I was smitten with Luca by the end of the book. He was such a great character and perfect for Ashton. I loved the scenes with the two of them together, they were hot and intense. The passion between those two was fantastic!

Have you read any books lately with great romances in them?
Who have you fallen for lately?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Indie Inked Mother's Day Giveaway

I know! Two giveaways in a row! How exciting is this?

The authors of Indie Inked think mothers (in fact all women) are extremely special and we want to celebrate this fact by giving them a chance to win some pampering and a little time to relax.

We've put together two prize packs stuffed full of goodies. There is hours worth of reading, swag and a gift you can treat yourself to something nice.

The giveaway ends on Mother's Day - Sunday, May 12th.

Here are the prize packs...

Prize Pack 1

PLUS... swag from Julia Crane, Tara West, J.A. Huss and Alexia Purdy AND a $50 Voucher for Bath and Body Works or Amazon - your choice.

Prize Pack 2

PLUS... swag from Heidi McLaughlin, Angela Orlowski-Peart, Cambria Hebert and L.P. Dover AND a $50 Voucher for Bath and Body Works or Amazon - your choice.

Thank you so much to every author who has donated their work. Your generosity is amazing.

Good luck to everyone participating. We all hope you have a very special Mother's Day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 2, 2013

And the winners of the April Giveaway are....

Drum roll please....

Prize Pack 1 - Amanda B.
Prize Pack 2 - Thilde K.
Prize Pack 3 - Angelica J.
Series Prize Pack - Donna H.

Congratulations winners! We hope you enjoy hours of reading.

Many thanks to the amazing authors for your generosity. I have come to know you all throughout this year and feel very privileged. You teach me so much and are such a huge encouragement. Thank you for contributing to this giveaway and sharing your awesomeness with the world.

Thank you to all the contestants for participating. It was such a great giveaway and it was excellent to see so many entries.

Keep an eye out for future giveaways.
We have something special planned for Mother's Day next week.