Monday, December 31, 2012

And The Winners Are...

Thank you so much for everyone who participated in the YAlicious Christmas Giveaway. It was so awesome to see people checking out our site. We really hope you can benefit from our future posts as we introduce you to amazing authors, reviewers and YA books and movies.

Thank you also to the authors who participated in this giveaway. Your generosity is much appreciated :) You are all amazing people and we have so loved having on YAlicious.

And now for the winners....

Congratulations to:

1st Prize Winner - Lindsey C.
2nd Prize Winner - Grace
3rd Prize Winner - Len P.
4th Prize Winner - Alyssa

The authors will be contacting you within the week with digital copies of their books for you to enjoy.
Happy reading!

We hope all of you have a fantastic New Year and we look forward to seeing you again in 2013 :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's A Time For Giving! YAlicious Christmas Giveaway

What better way to end 2012 then to have a giveaway!

We thought it would be a great chance to celebrate a few awesome-sauce things...

1. Christmas!!!
2. Our YAlicious revamp :o)
3. The amazing guest authors we've had featured on YAlicious this year.

We are really happy with how our "new" blog is going. It's super fun having all these cool people join us to tell us about their writing and reading. 2013 looks to be an awesome year with plenty more guests lined up and hopefully some new features.

I would like to thank all the authors who have contributed to this giveaway. It's been so cool having you on the blog and we so appreciate your generosity.

There are four e-book prize packs up for grabs and they are all filled with amazing reads by a bunch of authors I really admire - Patti Larsen, Brenda Howson, Suzy Turner, Heather Marie Adkins, Julia Crane, C. M. Keller, Tara West, J. J. Bonds and T. G. Ayer.

The giveaway will be running over the Christmas period. We will be back on December 31st to announce the winners. Good luck and we hope you all have a fantastic Christmas!!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Reading - What Books Are On Your List?

I am the sort of person that saves books up when I know I'm going away on holiday. I have a few little gold nuggets stashed away so that when I leave on my break I can pull them out and lose myself in a book or two as life slows down for just a moment.

We are now home in New Zealand for Christmas and I have my Kindle loaded up.

I have finished reading Dare by Taylor Longford, so her next book Reason (just released!!!!) is the first book on my list.

I am also doing a critique read for my awesome friend, T. G. Ayer. It is the first book in a new series. I am half way through the book and really enjoying it.

Next on the list is a book by a favourite author of mine - Dee Henderson. I haven't read anything from her in ages and I noticed a few months ago that she has a new release - Full Disclosure, so I've added that to my list.

I'm pretty sure that's all I'll have time for, but if I can squeeze in another read, it will be Protected by Cindy M. Hogan. I read her first book, Watched, a couple of months ago and really enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to book 2 in the series.

What are you planning on reading over your Christmas break?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Work In Progress Update - Unknown by Melissa Pearl

Another feature we want to introduce at YAlicious is a Work In Progress Update. I love finding out what different authors are working on. It's fun to keep track of their progress and see a book come to fruition.

So I thought I'd start things off with my current WIP - Unknown.

This is the first book in the Elements Trilogy and I am hoping to publish all three books in 2013. At this stage I am aiming for a June release for Book 1 - Unknown.

Unknown is a YA fantasy romance filled with mystery and action. A prophecy discovered years ago is brought to life when a star in the north falls to the earth. As people struggle with their differing beliefs and whether or not to trust this ancient prophecy, two seekers are sent on a quest. Following the prophecy's instructions they head out to discover the four elements who can unleash a powerful light that can save their world from the brewing darkness. These young seekers - Kyla and Jethro - have a mammoth task ahead of them and the question is not just if they can complete their mission, but if they can do it without killing each other.

I have never written anything like this and I am having so much fun with it. I have to admit I am finding it a huge challenge... hopefully I can pull this off :D

On Sunday I finished the first draft and am now doing my first full read through. Once I've completed that I will be sending it off to my critique partners for some very honest feedback. I feel like this project has a lot of potential, so I'm asking them to be brutally honest. I want these books to shine :D

Once Unknown is off for inspection, I will start working on a detailed plan for Book 2 - Unseen. I have mapped out the entire trilogy, but new things present themselves as I write, so I will be tweaking accordingly then launching into the first draft.

The photo shoot for all three covers has been completed and my graphic designer will be working on the covers over the next couple of months. The ideas we have come up with are pretty awesome, so I can't WAIT to see what she puts together. She's a super talent so I'm pretty excited :)

If you'd like to be a part of this project, I'd love to have you enter the Name That Troll competition. You can find out details by signing up for my monthly updates newsletter here.

So - that's what I'm working on.
How about you?

If you are an author and you'd be keen to share your WIP with us, please contact me. You can message me on my FB page: or leave a comment below.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Chat With Tamara Beard

I think book bloggers and reviewers are amazing. They help put us indie authors on the map and I think they need to be applauded, hugged and praised for their efforts. That is why we have decided to start interviewing them on YAlicious. We thought you might want to get to know these amazing people a little better.

Today we have Tamara Beard with us. Now this chick seriously rocks. She is always out to promote indie authors. She is kind, sweet and her enthusiasm for books is contagious. It was our absolute pleasure to interview her.

Welcome to YAlicious, Tamara :)

When did you first discover your love for reading?
*snorts a laugh* Honestly? I think I fell in love with reading that very first time I read a word back in Kindergarten. I’ve been reading my entire life, and plan on reading for the rest of it.

What were your favourite types of books as a kid?
Depends what age we’re talking about. Some of my all time favorites growing up were the Magic Tree House books, The Magic School Bus books, and, of course, Dr. Seuss. One of my all time favorites was Bears in the Night. I loved that book more than anything.

What is your favourite genre now and why do you like?
Contemporary New Adult Romance J To explain why I like it, let me break it down. I like contemporary romance because it is believable. I can really see it, hear it… feel it. Whereas most sci-fi, paranormal, and fantasy books have to be extremely detailed and well written for me to truly get sucked into believing the world around me in the book. I like the New Adult genre because it is more detailed then a simple ‘peck on the lips’, like YA novels, but it isn’t as… ‘squirm inducing’ as Adult and Erotica.

What kinds of book covers draw you in?
You know, I hate to say it, but covers have a lot of weight in my sway of buying a book or not. You know that saying “never judge a book by its cover”? Yea, well, guilty as charged! I just… I buy so many books, and read so much, they begin to blur together. With work, and school, I barely have time to sleep, let alone read every book description. So when I am running through my ‘tbr’ lists on Goodreads, or looking at the Indie books on Amazon, I go with the intriguing covers. The covers that I am drawn to are those with contrasts in color, extremely bright or extremely dark shades, and where you can easily pick out a theme from the picture on the cover.

What do you look for in a book description?
For me, a book description is extremely important as well. If a cover draws me in, the next thin I look at is the description. The description has to be unique, and show the potential that the book contains. It has to show the emotion, suspense, action, or romance contained in the story, so that my curiosity is piqued. One type of description that, if I see, I most likely will not buy the book, is when they have reviews, instead of the synopsis. To me, this gives off that the book doesn’t have enough potential to be shown in a paragraph or two, so they took the good reviews, and tried to lure readers in that way.

What do you like most about reviewing books for authors?
In general, my favorite thing about working for authors, including reviewing books, is the smile on their face, or the happiness expressed in a message, when I’m done. Even if it is a low star rating, I try to be positive, and always make sure the author knows how I think they can improve. So… whether I see their face, or read their words, when an expression of happiness from an Indie is put in my path, it makes all the late nights, frustrated screams, and stressed out moments worth it.

Do you find it easy to picture characters and settings in your head? How descriptive do you like an author to be?
Well, I’m actually a really unique reader I’m told, because when I read, I don’t… see the words? It’s like… My brain processes the words, but instead of seeing my kindle in front of m eyes, I see what I’m reading, and I don’t even mean like a movie… It’ like.. I’m there, ya know? The best way I can describe it is like I’m a ghost, invisible and floating, in the world I’m reading. Because of this, most of my favorite books are highly descriptive when it comes to characters, settings, and scenes in general.

A traditionally published author you love: Molly McAdams (I don’t read traditionally published books. Being ‘The Indie Helper’, I try to help Indies as much as I can, that includes only reading their stuff. However, Molly is definitely an exception!)
And indie author you love: Shelly Crane!!! (Biggest Fan *points at self* right here!)
One of your favourite YA books: Unlikely Allies by Tiffany King =)
One of your favourite Adult books: (New Adult) Easy By Tammara Webber!!
A book you've read more than once and the reason why: I read Collide By Shelly Crane at least once a month. I just absolutely love the series, it is amazing! 

Great answers, Tamara. I love Bears in the Night too. I'm now reading it to my son. It's so cool!!
If you'd like to connect with Tamara, you can follow the links below:


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Book Highlight - Fresco by Patti Larsen

I was lucky enough to score a copy of Fresco in exchange for an honest review. If you'd like to read my thoughts, you can check out the review here... but in a nutshell - I loved the book. One of the best things about it though, was that it was written by an author I really look up to. I have been monitoring her progress since getting into the indie world and I am completely inspired by her. She is one of the indie authors I want to mirror my career on, so it is my absolute pleasure to have her visiting YAlicious today.

Patti is here to tell us how she first met Fresco - the MC of her Diamond City Trilogy. Welcome to YAlicious, Patti.

I teach a class called Get Your Book Done—not focused on how to write, but more so on how to structure writing. The breakdown of what makes a good story, how a book is built from the beginning of act one through the wrap up of act three. I adore teaching, sharing my method with anyone who wants to learn it.

Part of the process when I teach is walking my students through an idea for a book so they can see it evolve in front of them. While I was preparing one of my classes, I started that process myself as an exercise to remind myself what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it.

An image came to me, of a blonde young man in a denim jacket, standing in a back alley over a girl high on drugs. As he crouched over her, he told me his name was Fresco.

Yes, I hear voices. Crazy, I know. I know! Still. I had to listen. So, I took my own advice, pulled out a onepage, or breakdown sheet of the basic plot, and filled in what I knew.

From that came an amazing trilogy about love, loss, addiction and redemption told through Fresco’s eyes. I find it so amazing how ideas come, usually when I least expect, and take me along for such an emotional ride.

And while I had someone ask me once why I’d named him Fresco (with a wrinkle of her nose as though she disapproved), I smiled and told her I didn’t.

Fresco, like all of my characters, named himself.

When you read the book, you will soon see, that Fresco is the perfect name for the book and this character.

If you'd like to connect with Patti online, you can follow the links below:

About the Author: Patti Larsen is an award-winning middle grade and young adult author with a passion for the paranormal. Her YA thriller series, The Hunted, is available now. Book one of that series, RUN, is a recent recipient of the 2012 PEI Book Awards for Fiction. Ten books of her very popular Hayle Coven Novels, beginning with Family Magic, are also out now. Her YA steampunk series, Blood and Gold, can be found on Amazon, along with her YA paranormal novel, Best Friends Forever, The Diamond City Trilogy and the Clone Chronicles. Her middle grade novel, The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House (Acorn Press), is available now. She is a full time writer and a part time teacher of her Get Your Book Done program. Patti lives on the East Coast of Canada with her very patient husband and four massive cats.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Betwixt Blog Tour

I am VERY excited to have A Tale of Many Reviews hosting a blog tour for me.

There are so many amazing blogs involved... sharing reviews, guest posts, interviews and of course there are a couple of giveaways running as well.

I would LOVE for you to join me for the week to celebrate my new book, Betwixt.

Below is the tour schedule.

Have fun reading all the posts. Thanks so much for everyone's support. It is truly overwhelming :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Movie Review - Breaking Dawn Part 2

REVIEW: Twilight ~ Breaking Dawn part 2 [contains spoilers] 

Whenever I go to a movie that is based on a book, I have expectations. Before I went to Breaking Dawn part 2 last night I had a mental list of things I wanted to see:
- Bella acting differently as a vampire than she did as a human
- How the movie would portray Bella using her shield to save everyone
- Seeing the romance between Bella and Edward bloom

This being the last movie in the Twilight series I was both excited and sad to see it. This is the end of an era and I know this sounds corny, but I'll miss waiting to see the next Twilight movie.

In a nutshell, the last movie was awesome. It had romance, action and mystery. It was almost entirely true to the book and brought the characters from the book alive. I found a lot of the scenery exactly how I'd pictured it in my head and I LOVED watching Bella and Edward finally able to act on their love without the fear of hurting Bella.

There are a few things I would have changed. I would have loved Bella to be a bit more vicious in the beginning. She turned from human to vampire but seemed a bit tame. I wanted to see her leap up on the table and growl. I wished the movie had made more of a big deal about her being able to resist human blood. It was kind of glossed over with a few comments here and there.

The movie added one scene in, that wasn't in the book, which was the fight scene between the Voltari and Cullens where we saw people we love getting killed. I had been forewarned that this would happen, so I grinned through the whole thing, waiting for the catch, which was Alice just showing Arlo what would happen if he decided to fight the Cullens. The girl next to me was aghast. She had her hand over her mouth and was almost crying... so she obviously had not had a heads up.

I was sad they didn't show the use of Bella's shield much, as that part of the book gripped me so much. I wanted to see her saving everyone and the Voltari getting frustrated and not knowing what was going on. But they did have the final scene in the book where Bella gets to show Edward how much she loves him. Perfect!

I pretty much had a big grin on my face the whole movie. I just loved it, despite the comments I've made above and would still give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

What did you guys think? 

(Post written by Brenda - Yay! I'm back!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Release!! The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw by Suzy Turner

I'm very excited to have Suzy visiting YAlicious today to tell us what has inspired her books, including a great little story about how, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, came about.

Thanks for joining us, Suzy :)

Most authors take their inspiration from just about anything... an overheard conversation in a coffee shop, the image of two people arguing on a train platform, a child throwing a tantrum in the middle of a busy supermarket... real lives can make for some fantastic stories.

 My inspiration so far, however, has come from places, dreams, music and people I've met. For example, The Raven Saga (my first series) was inspired by a trip to Western Canada in 2009. Specifically, it was during a visit to the town of Powell River when we (my husband, best friends and me) chose a beautiful little beach for a picnic. We carried our food down to the shore and sat on these massive pieces of driftwood that were scattered all over the beach. 

It was so breathtaking and there was an air of mystery to it too which led me to imagine all kinds of weird and wonderful possibilities. I could imagine supernatural events happening right there in Powell River. And thus, The Raven Saga was born.

 The Morgan Sisters series was inspired by something quite different. As I mentioned in a previous post in the tour, earlier this year I had the pleasure of working on a movie where I met British actor Mark Killeen (a very proud Londoner). We hit it off immediately and became buddies. Mark has such an amazing joie de vivre and is so positive and fun to be around that, after filming had finished, I decided to base a character on him. And so Declan Alexander was created. Although Declan isn't the main character, his role is a crucial one... looking after the daughters of a close friend when they visit London. Little do they know, that Declan has something in common with the girls, something that is about to change their lives forever...

 The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw
Adopted sisters Lana Beth and Emma Jane are polar opposites, but when the same strange 'tattoo' suddenly appears and winds its way up their bodies within days of each other, they soon realise there's more to their relationship than they could ever have imagined.
Sent off to London for two weeks of 'work experience', the Morgan Sisters soon find themselves being initiated into the ancient Praxos Foundation, one that protects the innocent while fighting evil, both human and supernatural.
At the same time, Lana Beth and Emma Jane must also investigate why the sweet but sometimes pesky ghost of Josiah Grimshaw just won't leave them alone.

If you'd like to find out more about this exciting book, you can check out the book trailer here:

If you'd like to connect with Suzy online, you can follow the links below:

I'm also lucky enough to be a stop on The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw Virtual Tour. Here are the details of how to enter the giveaway. Good luck!!

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

New Release!! Flutter by Melissa Andrea

Now, I have not read this amazing looking book yet. I intend to soon, but I still wanted to have Melissa visit YAlicious and tell us what inspired her debut novel - Flutter.

Welcome to YAlicious, Melissa :)

How did I come up with Flutter… it’s funny because I practiced answering this over and over in my head while writing Flutter incase I was ever asked this question, incase I actually finished Flutter haha. Now that I’m finally being asked it, I don’t remember the sparkly, polished, wow, answer I use to recite over and over in my head *insert face palm here*
Well the answer is still the same, just no bells and whistles this time! Flutter didn’t come to me in a dream like Twilight did for Stephanie Meyer, nothing cool like that. I actually came up with Flutter on in my car, on the way home from the store. I remember passing my daughter’s school and thinking how I wanted to do something different, something that hasn’t been done before. Like Amanda Hocking did with her Trylle Trilogy. I ran over a bunch of different idea’s, even going as far as Spanish fly, I know gross right! A split second after I thought that and quickly crossed it off the list, I came up with the idea for Flutter –what was that idea you ask?? Well I can’t tell you! It’s the very essence of Flutter and the big SECRET to what Sara is!
SO that’s my big ‘how I came up with Flutter’ story! Nothing fancy, no confetti or fireworks, but I will always remember that car ride home… *insert soft sigh, dreamy look off into space and cheesy smile here*

And now I want to read the book even more!!

Flutter is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
You can also add it to your reading list here: Flutter on Goodreads.

If you'd like to connect with Melissa online, you can follow the links below:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Discussion Time - Paranormal vs. Realistic Fiction

As part of the face lift of this blog, we thought it'd be fun to bring in some discussion times. It's fun to find out what other people think about different aspects of YA and we welcome your thoughts in the comments section.

The argument I've put forward is: Paranormal vs. Realistic Fiction.

Which genre do you prefer reading?

Most of the stories I used to dream up were always contemporary/realistic in nature, but then Twilight came out. This was my first experience of paranormal and I loved it. I devoured the books and so far, have enjoyed every movie.

It was after seeing Twilight that I wanted to give paranormal writing a go. I wrote the Time Spirit Trilogy and had so much fun with it. Since then, I have basically only read paranormal books and I am now working on a fantasy trilogy.

Now - this does not in anyway suggest that I no longer enjoy contemporary/realistic fiction. The honest truth is, I prefer reading realistic stories. I'm all about the relationships in books and there's something about the realism of contemporary novels that I really love.

I have some contemporary stories in my head that I hope to write some day, but for now I'll keep playing with the magical realms of paranormal and fantasy. I definitely think there is room for both in my writing career, but I didn't realise until planning this post how much I do love reading a realistic love story.

Do you like the realism of contemporary or the magic of paranormal?
What makes you prefer one over the other?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Chat with Book Chatter Cath

Book reviewers are awesome. As a writer, I can't thank them enough for helping to promote my work. I highly value their time and opinions and so I thought it would be great to start having them come to YAlicious for a chat.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the lovely, Book Chatter Cath, who always gives refreshingly honest reviews. Her enthusiasm for reading is contagious and I'm so excited to have her as my first guest reviewer :)

Welcome along, Cath. It's super cool to have you :)

What were your favourite types of books as a kid?
Twist-a-plots or pick-a-plots I think they were called…after each chapter you could choose what should come next in a story and change the middle and ending. I liked having the ability to pick alternative storylines.

What is your favourite genre now and why do you like it?
I don’t have one distinctive favourite, but I do read a lot of YA. There just wasn’t as great an array of YA books available back in the eighties as there is now, so I’m making up for lost time!

What do you look for in a book description?
Tease me. I like a blurb to tell me just enough to interest me, but not enough that I can guess as to how it ends. A short teaser, rather than a blow-by-blow.

Is there a fatal flaw a writer can make that will stop you from reading a book?
I hate sentences that go on and on and have no punctuation and spell words wrong and use bad grammar and generally read like they were written by a twelve year old like you know like you know!
*snort* seriously though, even if an author is going to self publish, I would highly recommend they get a proof reader or an editor, or even just a family friend to help out. There is nothing worse than reading a story that is full of basic errors.

What do you like most about reviewing books for authors?
Hmm, that’s a hard one because I don’t always like everything about a book and sometimes conveying my feelings can be difficult to do without hurting an author’s feelings. I do love the fact that most authors just want you to get it, whatever it may be.

Is it sometimes hard to write a fair, honest review? What's the most challenging aspect?
Yes, it can be hard to write a fair and unbiased review, especially if I have LOVED previous books in a series and then book 4 or something comes around and I’m like “what were you thinking, that was a complete and utter copout” Sometimes the most challenging thing can be putting your hand up and saying “I did not like this because…” I sometimes feel as nervous as hell hitting that publish button on a low rated review.

Are there any trends in the publishing world that you do or do not like?
I’m so over the love triangle. The girl who is in love with one boy but is unwilling to let go of a second boy storyline is doing my head in!! And if she is kissing them both, and leading them on – oh Lordy, that makes me mad - lol!!

What's the most recent book you've read that you thought would make an awesome movie?
That’s really funny because I just had this conversation with my Mum after I lent her my copies of the Time Spirit trilogy!!!!
I kid you not, we both agree that Gemma and Harrison’s story would be awesome as either a movie or TV show; however, I would hate for some director to come along and loose the essence of the story by making changes.

A traditionally published author you love:
Nalini Singh

And indie author you love:
Mireille Chester is a fantastic indie author, but I’m in embarrassing fangirl love with T.G. Ayer and Melissa Pearl *snort*!!

One of your favourite YA books:
Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer because it’s one of the few stories based around a myth/legend that I felt did justice to the original inspiration.

One of your favourite Adult books:
Too hard!! Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh blew me away. It was the first book of hers that I read and she hooked me immediately!

A book you've read more than once and the reason why:
Man, really?! The only book that comes to mind is The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis. I read it as a kid, a teenager, and as an adult; I’ve even read it to my girls. It’s a classic. I love the magic of it, and I’d love to meet a real talking lion like Aslan!!

I'm currently reading that book to my son. He's loving it. Great choice :)

If you'd like to connect with Cath online, you can follow the links below: