Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Time

You may have already guessed by my major lack of blogging recently, but the school term has finished and I now have a very busy household with my entire family around 24/7. Finding time to write is becoming a challenge.

In saying that, it's also great to have everyone home and tomorrow we are setting off for our summer vacation. It will be so nice to hit the beach, get some sun and have fun in the waves with the boys.

I will not be blogging over this time. Instead I have a huge pile of books I'm taking with me and intend to do some major catch-up reading.

So look out for my reviews when I get home.

I hope everyone out there has a truly blessed and happy Christmas.
See you next year!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

What Do You Think It Is?

I started up this blog to celebrate YA fiction. I thought it'd be a great chance to talk about movies, books and authors who all love YA.

What is about YA that is so super cool?
I'm 33 and I always find myself in the teen section of the library or bookstore. I just can't get enough of teenage angst, obviously!

I can't decide why. Maybe it's because I love young people. There is something so real and pure about the way they feel, love and respond to things. Everything is so dramatic! I love how hyper aware teens are and I love the way they live life with such passion and zest. They haven't been tainted by the reality of the mundane work force or mortgage payments yet.

So, to read stories about these cool beings is so exciting. As a writer putting them into these adventures is so fun. You have so much scope to work with. You can make anything happen for them.

Now - I'm not saying I don't enjoy reading adult stories as well. I'm not saying that you can't have enormous fun writing adult stories - I have a few up my sleeve that I can't wait to write one day. I'm just saying the the YA market is huge and it has to be for a really good reason.

What do you think it is that makes YA so deliciously fun to read?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Favourites - Series

Having just launched the second book in the Time Spirit Trilogy (Black Blood), I thought it would be appropriate to choose favourite series as my Friday Favourite for the week.

What is your favourite YA series?

Again - hard to choose one, right? So just pick the first one that comes to mind.

Mine?

Hmmm - that is tough.
I guess the first one that pops to mind is Twilight. I really did enjoy that series.


How about you?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

And the winners are...

Well, the Black Blood contest has come to a close.

I must admit, I didn't get as many entries as I was hoping for, but we live and learn. I might run another one next year when the final instalment of the trilogy comes out. I'll see how I go.

However, I am pleased to announce that we have two winners....

Cassie & Terri.

Well done!!

Because of a slight glitch in the matrix, I have decided to award both of you first prize.
So - congratulations. I will be e-mailing you shortly with details.

Thank you so much for joining the YAlicious site in its baby stages.

I hope you enjoy your Amazon Gift cards and I REALLY hope you enjoy Black Blood :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Little Bit of Honesty...

Sorry I've been so out of the loop the last couple of days, I've been having a bit of a hard time nailing down this cover.

One thing about this whole indie publishing thing is that I'm learning as I go. I thought I should share with you some of the things I have learned in the last few days.

ONE...
Allow plenty of time to get your cover art done. I haven't done this and it has put pressure on me and my designer. Next time around, I will be starting the cover months in advance so that I can keep adjusting it until it screams perfection.

You see - I had this really clear vision in my head of what I wanted... it's all been put together and I haven't fallen in love with it. Now I feel forced to use it, because I promised my readers the book would be released December 15th.

Can I just say though - my graphic designer, Amanda Crane, is all types of awesomeness. She has been so patient with me and done everything I've asked her too. She's met deadlines and never once complained about my fickleness. So, Amanda - THANK YOU!!

I am comforted by the fact we are revamping the covers for the paper back copies next year and we have come up with some awesome ideas that are going to rock!

TWO...
When it comes to cover design - do some research. I was so set on my vision, that I didn't take the time to pour over other YA covers. Since getting the feedback that my Golden Blood cover wasn't hitting the mark, I have spent a lot of time looking at great covers and I now have a really good idea of what appeals to the YA market.

THREE...
I might be freaking out over nothing. My cover isn't all bad. It has some really cool elements I like. Some people might see it and love it. Others will scrunch up their noses and some probably won't really mind what the cover looks like, because all they want to do is find out what's going to happen to Gemma & Harrison.

I never really liked the covers for Hunger Games, but the stories are amazing. I looked past the covers, because the books had come highly recommended.


Now - without further ado, the day before the book is due to be released.... here is the cover for Black Blood and the blurb.

I really hope you enjoy the second book in the Time Spirit Trilogy. I loved writing it.



Gemma's parents have put enough rules around her relationship with Harrison that she feels like she's living on parole. But she wins one battle—a summer job working for Harrison's step-father. It is the perfect chance to spend the steamy, hot Florida days with her boyfriend. It's also a great distraction from the cellphone hiding in her underwear drawer—her only contact with Gabe, the mystery man who's stalking her. 

When she confronts Gabe, he tells her that her parents are not who she thinks they are, and Harrison has the gall to believe him. Surrounded by conflict, Gemma doesn't know what to believe, and it takes a trip back in time for her to glimpse the sickening truth. 

Thanks to her parents, she returns to the present to find the love of her life no longer exists. His family line was broken and now, so is she.

This betrayal forces her to seek out Gabe. Setting aside her fear of the truth, she must trust this man and learn what he can teach her... otherwise, she'll never get her boyfriend back.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Favourites - What's Your Favourite Book Cover of 2011?

I am eagerly awaiting the completion of the cover for Black Blood. I was hoping to reveal it today, but I'd rather take the time to get it perfect than show you something that wasn't quite right... so I'm sorry, you'll just have to wait a little longer.

In the meantime, let's talk covers and let's talk favourites.

What is your favourite book cover from 2011? Here - I'll even give you the link to the Goodreads Best YA Covers 2011. You may have other covers in mind, but it will give you a start.

Now it was very hard to choose, because there are so many gorgeous covers out there, but here's my pick...


I don't know what it is about this cover, but it makes me want to read the book. I love the image, the emotion portrayed, the font for the title, the cool design in the corners. It just totally works for me!

How about you? What's your favourite YA book cover from 2011?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Black Blood Excerpt

 Well, you've seen the trailer (if not, check it out in my previous post). Now it's time for an excerpt. A little taste of what Gemma encounters in Black Blood.

Just as an intro - Gemma, Harrison and Sam (Harrison's little brother) have driven down to Daytona Beach to pick up a car Bryan wants to restore. While Sam waits in the truck, Gemma and Harrison check out the rust bucket, then Harrison gets a horrible feeling running down his spine.

"Sam!" he whispers and races back to his brother...


     Gemma watched Harrison wrench the door open and fly through. Her muscles were tight as she chased him out to the forecourt. She arrived just in time to see Bryan’s new truck screeching away with a screaming Sam in its passenger seat.
     Harrison stood puffing on the forecourt, his eyes wide with shock, his lips exploding with one repeated expletive. Gemma placed a calming hand on his shoulder as he reached into his pocket for a cell phone. She watched the truck swerve around a car and flinched.
     Her eyes scanned the court for any cars she could “borrow” for pursuit, but the need was ripped from her when a motorcycle pulled up and screeched to a halt at her feet.
      “Get on.” The man kept his eyes on the retreating truck.
      Gemma's insides recoiled as she recognized the dark hair and tanned skin of the man from the beach.
      “I’m not going anywhere with you!”
      “Do you really want do this now? I can’t get him back on my own. Now get on the bike!”
       Harrison’s eyes were wild as his gaze flickered between the two of them.
      “Is this…” he began to ask, but was cut off. “Yeah, police?”
      Gemma watched him pace away, running a frantic hand through his hair as he spoke. Her legs began to jitter as she looked at the expectant gaze of “beach mystery man” then took on a mind of their own as they swung over the seat.
      “Damn it,” she muttered as she wound her arms around the man’s waist and hoped Harrison would forgive her.
      She heard her name being called as they accelerated away from her boyfriend.
      At the speed the bike was going they soon had the truck in view on the I-95. Gemma winced when she realized she couldn’t see Sam’s little head screaming from the window anymore. Panic sizzled through her system.
      “I’m going to pull up alongside the truck. Slap my shoulder when you’re ready to jump on and I’ll hold her steady.”
      Gemma listened to his yelled instructions, emptying her brain of fear and focusing on the task at hand. The highway traffic whizzed and honked as they wove towards the erratic truck. Gemma braced her hands on the sturdy shoulders in front of her and carefully brought her legs up onto the seat. Crouching in that position, she narrowed her sights on the pick up and was relieved to see the passenger window was open.
      “Passenger’s side!”
      The bike slid up beside the truck. She noticed Sam huddled on the floor in tears, but there was no blood. Her heart began palpitating again. Slapping the man’s right shoulder, she launched herself towards the window, managing to slide most of her body through in one movement.
      The truck swerved. Hauling herself through, she grabbed at the wheel while trying to fend off a couple of fierce punches. She jabbed her elbow back in a swift movement that had the carjacker releasing the wheel and grabbing at his bloodied nose.
      Gemma ignored his indignant cries of pain as she kicked his foot off the gas and headed towards the shoulder. Guiding the truck to an abrupt stop, she flicked the door open and shoved the boy out with a firm boot to the backside. He crumpled to the ground just as police sirens wailed into hearing.
      Swivelling back, she reached for the whimpering boy on the floor and heaved him into her arms. His little hands snaked around her neck and he clung like a limpet.
      “You okay?” She cupped the back of his head, closing her eyes in relief.
      “That was so cool,” Sam sobbed into her shoulder. “What you did was so cool.”
      Gemma shook with relieved laughter as she pulled Sam away from her and looked into his laughing, crying, smiling face.
      She grabbed him back into her arms and shimmied out the open door. The police were cuffing the young teen who was busy yelling about how she had broken his nose and sending cusses her way like bullet fire.
      She wrapped her arms tightly around Sam as she stepped away from the vehicle and headed to the safety of the bank. Her eyes scanned the surrounding mayhem looking for the black haired rider, but he was gone.
      A shiver laced through her belly.
      He’s been following me.
      She clutched Sam against her shoulders and sat down with a thud. With her spare hand, she rubbed at her aching head.
      He’s been… How long has he been…
      “Gemma!”
Harrison raced towards them. He skidded to a stop at her feet and wrapped her and Sam in a shaking embrace. Sam struggled free of the sandwich hug and gave his brother a shy smile.
      “You okay?” Harrison brushed the damp curls away from his brother’s face.
      “Yeah, Gemma saved me.”
      His adoration made her blush.
      “It was nothing, kid.”

If you want a chance to win this story, check out my Black Blood Contest.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Black Blood Trailer

As promised, over the coming days I am going to hand out small tastes of Black Blood for you to enjoy. I know some of you have not had the chance to read Golden Blood yet, but I promise, none of my reveals will spoil any plots :)

All I can hope is that you will be so intrigued by the end of this week that you'll be desperate to read both books.

Don't forget to enter the Black Blood Contest and be in to win a free ecopy of the book. There's also an Amazon gift card up for grabs. 

If you haven't picked up your copy of Golden Blood yet, do it now, while it's still free. Here's the link: GOLDEN BLOOD. Use the coupon code number: AP58L.

And now for the book trailer.... enjoy :)
(Remember - the book is available from December 15th)

video

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Black Blood Contest

Yay - Black Blood (Book 2 of Time Spirit Trilogy) is coming out this month. Squeals of excitement.

It's time to celebrate with a contest.

First let's talk about the prize packs...

Grand Prize: A free ebook copy of Black Blood, plus a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

Also up for grabs are 3 more ebook copies of Black Blood.

(Please note: Golden Blood is currently available for free - see the button at the top of this blog - until Dec 15th. Get your copy while you have the chance.)

It's really easy to enter this contest. I'm using Rafflecopter - super fun, so just follow the instructions and be in to win! (Hopefully I've set it up right!!)

Winners will be announced on the day the book is released - December 15th.

Keep an eye on this blog over the coming days, as I will be posting excerpts and teasers from the book, s book trailer, and of course, the cover and blurb (final tweaks being done as you read)... and we can't forget about Friday Favourites!

I have been bubbling with anticipation over the release of this book, especially after the ending I left you with in Golden Blood. I'm really excited for you guys to find out who the beach mystery man might be.

So, bring on December 15th!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Favourites - The Kiss

It's my favourite time of the week again :) And this time, I want to find out what your favourite kiss scene is in a book or a movie.

Do you like those slow, a ton of anticipation kisses like Bella and Edward's first in Twilight?

Or are you more of a girl talking, boy kissing her through the prattle like Patrick and Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You?

I have two favourite kiss scenes that come to mind, both from movies.

The first is technically not a YA, but I'm going to share it anyway, because it just totally rocks.. the best kiss ever, in my humble opinion is the one from The Notebook - you know, the one in the rain. Happy sigh.

My second favourite kiss of all time is a YA and can be none other than the baseball mound, melt my heart, extra happy sigh kiss from Never Been Kissed. I always rewind and watch it again, every time I see that movie. I love it.

Can you tell I'm a romantic?

So what's your favourite kiss scene?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Forbidden by Megan Curd

Forbidden is the story of a fallen angel, Levi and the girl he falls in love with, Hannah. He is her guard and while protecting her, he can't help falling in love, which is forbidden. He then must face the consequences of his choices and fight to keep his girl alive.

It is a great read. The whole idea of forbidden love is so enticing. Levi is easy to relate to and the relationship he has with his best friend, Ethan, is awesome. I loved the characters in this book. They were engaging and fun.

Megan Curd wrote with a sense of humor and good pace. She had me chuckling, biting on my lip and she even gave me a great dose of the warm fuzzies. Sleeping cuddled up to an angel, surrounded by his wings - who would not LOVE that!!

I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to reading her other work... Bridger.

You can find Megan on Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4904383.Megan_Curd

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Favourites

Okay - it's that time of the week again :)

So - last week was all about the reading... this week is all about the watching.

What's your favourite YA movie?

I know, I know - another impossible question. How do you narrow it down to just one? So I'll make it easier on you. What was the last YA movie you watched and loved.

Now I haven't seen the latest Twilight yet (hey - I have two kids and I've been sick - gimme a break!), so my answer is...

Easy A.

Funny movie, EXCELLENT script, great acting, awesome characters and some good life lessons. Definitely worth a watch.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gemma's Teen Time Travel Guide

My name is Gemma Louise Hart and yes, I can travel through time. Freaky, I know.

Man, I can't believe I just told you that! My parents would kill me. I'm not supposed to tell anybody what I can do. It all goes back this ancient oath.

You see the first of my kind, the chosen seven... the electus. They appeared on the earth in like 100BC and were adopted by Quintus and Lucia. When the kids hit puberty, that's the first time it happened. It's like the body suddenly clicks into traveling mode or something. According to legend, Lucia died and when the kids found her they disintegrated to gold dust.

That's how it happens... we disintegrate. I know, gold dust sounds pretty cool and everything, but it's no picnic. It really hurts. You feel like your body is being torn apart and then stitched back together one particle at a time. We always recover quickly, but I can't help resenting the pain just a little.

So back to my story... the electus disappeared then reappeared moments later. Quintus went rushing into the woods where Lucia had been hurt and there she was, sitting like a stunned mullet, having just witnessed her seven children appear naked out of nowhere, fight off the wolf pack that was about to attack her and then evaporate into gold dust again.

Everything changed after that. The whole village was sworn to secrecy... and the electus finally understood what they were put on this earth to do. You see, we... time spirits, travel to save others. We rewrite history for them. I don't really have a say in the matter, my father decides, but I guess it's kinda cool. I like that we can help people. I just... I mean I don't want to sound ungrateful or anything, my gifts are pretty amazing - I just never asked for them.

Dad makes us train everyday. We have to run fast, fight hard and never quit unless he says so. I guess that makes me pretty healthy, not to mention the fact my mother won't let me eat anything but fruit, meat and vegetables. I've only tasted chocolate once. It was so divine, but majorly outweighed by the guilt trip that followed.

And don't even get me started on the whole naked thing. I'd love to ask whoever designed us, "Would it have really been that hard to include clothing in the travel gig?" It's SO embarrassing! I always run to the bathroom when I feel the travel coming on, that way I can't get caught. I do always worry that I'm not going to make it one of these days and someone will see me. I often wonder what would happen if someone ever did. Would they freak out? They'd see me naked. That would freak ME out.

So, what else do you need to know? Oh yeah, when we're "across the line" time is different. One hour over there is only a minute in the real world. I don't know why it's set up that way, probably so normal humans don't wonder where we've gone to. A five-hour trip is just like a toilet stop in the real world, nothing suspicious about that.

So that's a brief guide to my life. I stick to myself mostly, because I never know when I'm going to be ripped from this time and space. It gets lonely sometimes, but I'd rather deal with that than risk telling people the truth. At least this loneliness is self-imposed.

****************

I have a guest post on Laura's Magic Day blog today. To see the rest of this article - go check it out :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Which first? The book or the movie?

It's an age-old argument, isn't it? What should you do first - read the book or see the movie?

Personally, I prefer to see the movie first. I love having an image in my head of what the characters look like. I find I still really enjoy the book. If anything, I get more out of it, because there are normally extra scenes that weren't in the movie.

If I read the book first, I'm often disappointed, because the movie hasn't captured the characters the way I would have or they have skipped out scenes I would have left in.


Twilight is a weird exception for me. I saw the movie first and liked it. Then I read the book and loved it. I then went back to the movies and saw it again. The movie was so much better after reading the book.

What do you prefer to do?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friday Favourites

Time to start up a regular slot, which you will find every Friday.

Today I am going to start with a simple, yet incredibly hard one....

What's your favourite YA book?

If you're anything like me, that is an impossible question to answer. There are WAY too many to choose from. So I'll make it a little easier... if you have too many, just pick the first YA book that pops into your head.

Mine?

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Welcome

I know I already have an author blog, Melissa Pearl, but I wanted to start up a blog that celebrates YA fiction - movies and books.


I wanted a blog that ran opinion polls and talked about favourite books and movies. Also a place for new authors to get some exposure. That's why I've decided to start this one. Yes, there are plenty out there already, but it's fun to do new things.


So, if you love YA storytelling, I'd love for you to join me.

What can you expect to find?
- Book reviews
- Movie reviews
- Posts about your thoughts and opinions
- Discussions about my books
- Interviews and guest blogs from authors and reviewers
- Random thoughts I might have about pretty much anything :)

I can't promise I'll blog every day, but I'll try and keep things going on a regular basis.

I will always try and respond to any of your comments, so please leave some and we can get a discussion going.

Yay for new ventures!
Catch you real soon :)