Friday, June 29, 2012

Forbidden Territory - Tour Schedule and Giveaway

Hey everyone!!

Brenda and I are VERY excited to be hosting the Forbidden Territory Blog Tour.
We all hope you have a wonderful time checking out these awesome blogs and learning more about the first book in the Mica & Lexy Series.

The blog tour is running from July 2nd - 6th, but we have decided to open up the giveaway on the day of publication - JULY 1st.

Make sure you stop by and enter to win some cool prizes.

But first things first.... the tour schedule....

July 2nd
J. C. Hart - Just Cassie
Review and Interview

Parchment Place
Guest Post - Location, Location, Location

July 3rd
Maji Bookshelf

Book Briefs
Review, Giveaway and Dream Cast Post

Dragonfly Scrolls

July 4th
SJ Byrne
Guest Post from MC, Mica Latham, about geo-caching

My Book Chatter
Review and Interview

July 5th
The Life of Fiction
Review and Giveaway

Laura's Magic Day

July 6th
Novels on the Run
Review and Excerpt

My Home Away From Home
Guest Post from Mica & Lexy about keeping secrets

Claire Reads
Guest Post - Series vs. Stand Alone novels

July 7th
Winners will be announced!!

And now for the giveaway. Please spread the word far and wide. The more, the merrier.

We are giving away 3 prize packs, which include:
- a digital copy of Forbidden Territory
- a friendship necklace like the ones Mica and Lexy wear
- Forbidden Territory and Time Spirit Trilogy bookmarks

We are also giving away a Grand Prize, which inclues:
- a paperback copy of Forbidden Territory
- a friendship necklace like the ones Mica and Lexy wear
- bookmarks
- a digital copy of Golden Blood (Bk 1 of the Time Spirit Trilogy by Melissa Pearl)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday Favourites - Make-Up

I'm not one for wearing much make-up. I do love getting dressed up every now and then and decorating my face, but within the hour, I'm usually over it. My poor mother - she tried her best, but I have just never been a girly-girl :)

Because I'm not a huge make-up person it's very easy for me to fall into the trap of writing characters who never wear any.

The character I'm working on at the moment would kill me if I wrote her into this book without a scrap of make-up on. Appearances are important to her and she would never leave the house looking anything less than presentable.

I haven't delved into too much description about this. I just know this about her and it will hopefully come across in her personality.

How much make-up do you like teenage characters wearing?
Do you like the writer to mention it?
When you picture a character from a YA novel, do you imagine them with make-up on?

I like characters who are natural, like Bella Swan from Twilight or Katniss Everdeen for The Hunger Games.

How about you?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


When I was a kid, the most popular books to read were 'pick-a-paths' which used the most rare point of view - 2nd. Second person is where YOU are part of the story.

The books are formatted where after a couple of pages of reading you are faced with a choice. Will you go into the cave or continue through the forest. This continues, giving you choices, until you end at one of about 5 different endings. Being a nerdy reader, I would read the book over and over until I'd come to every ending and gone down every scenario. I LOVED them!!!

Another brilliant thing about them is they got people reading. My brother hated to read but he would devour a pick-a-path.

I wonder if it's time for a come back. Maybe a YA romance or paranormal version where YOU actually get to choose who the heroine ends up with. Fun!

Thanks for stopping by and send me your thoughts :-)

Zealous Girl

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's Count Down Time!!

Brenda and I are getting uber excited.

Forbidden Territory is being released on July 1st!! Followed by a very fun blog tour including awesome blogs from all over the world.

We have busily been preparing guest posts and answering fun interview questions. We can't wait to share it all with you guys.

This weekend I will post the schedule and giveaway info... because, let's face it, what's a blog tour without giving some stuff away :)

We really hope you can join us!

Oh yeah - and don't forget to check out the Mica & Lexy Series Facebook Page too :)

In the meantime, here's a little nibble of the book for you to enjoy.

by Melissa Pearl and Brenda Howson

Chapter One


    This party sucked!
    It wasn't that the music was bad. It was actually awesome, pumping through the house with that loud thump that vibrated up your body. I loved that feeling.
    It wasn't that the people were bad. A bunch of my school friends were here and I had spent the last half hour waving and smiling at each of them.
    It wasn't that it was lame. This was one of those, ‘The parents are away! Let's break all the rules!’ kinda parties. The teenagers filling this house were on a liberty high. I could tell that things were going to get wild by the end of the night. Wild and probably very entertaining.
    I looked at the front door with a grimace.
    There were two things bugging me... one was the fact the he had just arrived and the other was the fact the one person I needed to help me through this disaster was the one person I couldn't find.
Stupid Suzanne Feldman. If she hadn't invited Tom to the party, we wouldn't even be here. Lexy usually hated this kind of thing, but as soon as Tom said, "Well, that sounds delightful," in that posh pommy accent of his (he's too polite to respond any other way), she just HAD to come... and of course
I just HAD to be her wingman... or winggirl. Whatever.
    I huffed.
    So much for wing-anything, my best friend had disappeared with none other than Tommy boy.

    We got separated in the dining room when I was pulled aside by Kenny to ask if ‘Sexy Lexy’ would be interested in a ride home.
    I rolled by eyes and slapped him on the shoulder as he passed me a cup of beer. "Kenny, I love you man, but get it into your head." I raised my fingers one at a time, listing each reason. "Lexy is not into you. Calling her Sexy Lexy is only damaging your chances. She's basically with Oxford now... and besides, she brought her car... and after the sheep incident last month, there's pretty much a snowball's chance in hell of me ever being able to drive it again."
    I frowned.
    "Who's Oxford?"
    "Really, Kenny?" I tipped my head and patted his shoulder. He was such an idiot. I looked at his sad confusion and relented with a sigh. "Tom, aka Oxford, is the British exchange student... from Oxford. In England."
    He still looked blank.
    "Oh come on, Kenny! He's been living at my place for weeks now! He comes to school with me every day! He's even come to a couple of our band practices. Are you blind?"
    The long-haired bass player let out a wistful sigh. "I only ever see Lexy."
    "You know you're pathetic, right?"
    He gave me one of his dopey smiles. I couldn't help adoring him.
    "Plenty of fish, mate. Just let that pretty little one go and you'll catch another." I followed my pointing finger and was surprised to find the pretty little fish was nowhere to be seen. Neither was Tom.
    I wandered into the lounge looking for the leggy brunette, sipping my beer and teetering on my stupid heels. Why we had convinced ourselves to dress up for this thing was beyond me. Lexy and I lived in normal clothes. We weren't huge fans of make up or skirts, but just occasionally we got a little nutty and tonight had been one of those nights. Lexy wanted to look pretty for Tom. She's been so giddy over the guy, I couldn't help getting excited too, so we donned our minis, I forsook my beloved Doc's for a pair of ridiculously high platforms, which admittedly made me as tall as Lexy, but also made me feel like a total idiot. Besides, she decided to wear heels too, so I was back to being ‘the short one’ again. I'd have done anything to be short at this moment. What was it about my ripped jeans, scuffed boots and Ramones T-shirt that made me feel so safe?
    I stood in the lounge, fluffing my mass of curls, not knowing what else to do with my spare hand. My finger caught on one of Lexy's hoop earrings.
    I rubbed my sore lobe and scanned the couches. They were strewn with teenage bodies, some looking more drunk than others. I saw Suzanne in the corner, wrapped within the arms of a sleazy looking creep in a leather jacket. He was rolling a cigarette as she whispered in his ear and giggled. I shook my head, wondering what had happened to the straight-A, goody-two-shoes who used to walk the halls with her nose in the air. She'd certainly taken a step down.
    With an irritated huff, I realised I couldn't see my bestie and was about to walk back through the dining room when the front door flew open, followed by a loud laugh.

    "Uch!" I shivered. The person I hated most in this world had just strolled inside with a perky blond beneath his arm.
    So he was the star winger on the rugby team. He scored more tries last season than ever before and held the school record. Big deal. The guy was a total dickhead... pus-brain, tosspot, moron, prick. Screwing up my nose, I ducked around the corner before he spotted me and continued with my list of insults. They were getting dirtier by the second. I had to find Lexy. I couldn't handle an entire party with cheating Rob here. He was supposed to be totally in love with me. Well, that's what I thought until I found him practically having sex with Lizzy McKay at the Valentine's dance. I swear if I hadn't walked in, they would have totally done the dirty on the floor of the music room... next to my Fender Stratocaster guitar case. The insult was too much to bear.
    I blinked at tears that rushed up, unbidden. Where was Lexy?! I took a large gulp of beer. I didn't actually like the stuff that much, but it was in my hand so I took another swig. It didn't make me feel any better.
    I continued my hunt down the hallway and stopped outside a closed bedroom door. They wouldn't, would they? Lexy wasn't like that. They weren't even really together yet, but she was pretty in love. I mean I'd never seen her like this before. But...
    I placed my hand on the knob and listened against the wood, but couldn't bring myself to believe that those moans belonged to the girl I'd been attached to since I was eight.
    Stepping back, I headed down the stairs to the rumpus room, thinking about how much things were changing. I liked Tom a lot. He was an awesome guy and I wanted Lexy to be with someone that cool. What she didn't know about him was the fact he was a thief. Not the smash and grab kind, but the subtle kind who came into your life and stole your best friend without even meaning to. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Favourites ~ Baddies

Imagine a story without a baddie. The girl and guy fall in love, nothing stands in their way, they live happily ever after. The end. BORING!

Books need a baddie or a bad situation to give the story tension, oomph and the plot. Tension works with conflict to raise the emotional level of the story to a boiling point. It forces the reader to become invested in the story.

Imagine a book written from the antagonist's POV, how interesting would that be? Of course the writer would have to work hard to get us invested in the story by liking the baddie to start with.

Do you prefer a bad situation or a bad person?
I've just been lucky enough to read a first draft of a friends next book and it had both a bad situation and a bad person which added to the tension triple-fold. It was awesome!!!

What books have you read recently that had awesome baddies?
Who is your favourite villain?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Love Triangles

Do you like reading a book where you have to guess which guy the heroine will end up with? AKA the love triangle?

Of course the modern love triangle is Bella and her werewolf and vampire. For me there was never any other choice for her but Edward but having Jake there, kept things interesting and kept us wondering. It adds to the tension, which is always a must for a good read.

Other stories just have the one guy and one girl with the question, will they or won't they?

Personally I think the love triangle breeds more tension and interest but at the same time I would hate that in my own life, having to choose between two guys. HARD.

What good love triangle books have you read recently? What made them a 'must read'.

By Zealous Girl

Monday, June 18, 2012

Interview with Eli from Forbidden Territory

Eli Connell is a very cool guy. He is Lexy's older brother and Mica's total heart throb. Creating him was an absolute pleasure. Everything about him seemed to appear in this neatly wrapped up package, but then as I wrote him I got to know him better.

I thought it would be cool to interview him today - so you guys could get to know him a little better too.

Hey Eli, welcome to YAlicious. Thanks for joining us today.
No problem.

So - we all know you are Lexy's older brother. Are you two close?
In age, we're just over two years apart so growing up we had our moments of all out war, but on the whole, I'd say we are very close. Lexy's awesome. She's fun to hang out with, intelligent, easy to talk to. She's a great sister.

And Mica? I guess you'd think of her as a sister too.
It's kind of hard not to. Those two seem joined at the hip. I've watched Mica grow up along side Lex and it's been great. She can be a real pain in the backside sometimes, but she can always make me laugh. She's one of the most entertaining people I know. She's... he blushes... yeah... she's great.

We hear you spent four months travelling around Africa. What prompted a trip like that and how did you find the experience?
I don't really want to go into details, but my last year of high school had some major low points. When I finally finished, I just wanted to get as far away from Te Anau as I could. My Dad and I don't always see eye-to-eye and I wanted to do something completely on my own. I know it sounds selfish, but I just wanted some time to think about me and what I wanted.

Africa was totally amazing. The best experience of my life. I met up with an exchange student I'd met a few years earlier and stayed with him for a few weeks. Then I went on safari, got to see the most amazing wild life and experience the culture of the place. I started in South Africa and travelled north a little. Four months is a decent amount of time, but definitely not long enough. I really want to head back again some day.

What do you plan on doing in between?
I'm looking for a job so I can save some money and travel again. I don't just want to see Africa, there's a whole world out there that needs exploring. He smiles. But I'll earn my way. I think a building apprenticeship is a good place to start. I've been asking around. Something might be in the pipeline.

No plans to study?
He groans. My Dad wants me to, but I don't see the point on spending a truck load of money when I'm not exactly sure what I want to study yet. There's plenty of time for that later. There are too many other things I want to do first.

Like geo-caching treasure hunts?
Yeah, not sure how keen I am on any more of those to be honest. He laughs. Who knows what the future holds. We might go hunting again one day. I know, in spite of everything, that Tom's still pretty keen. I wonder how hard it will be to convince the girls.

You four seem to make a good team. Do you hang out a lot together?
Well the girls and I grew up together, so I guess we spend a bunch of time hanging out by default. Tom seems like a pretty cool guy and Lexy is ga-ga over him, so I guess I will get to know him a whole lot better this year.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. I'm sure we're all looking forward to finding out exactly what happened on that geo-caching trip.
Bring on July 1st, right?

If you'd like to read interviews with the other main characters in Forbidden Territory, you can click the links below.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Favourites - Hospitals

I spent most of Wednesday at the hospital. It was no big deal, just a minor operation, but I thought I may as well pay tribute to it today :)

I'm not sure why, but hospitals make a fantastic setting. I think it's because there is always conflicted involved. You don't rush to a hospital if nothing is wrong. It usually means one of the characters is injured or sick, causing emotional distress.

It also makes a great setting for chase scenes, what with all those long corridors, busy medical staff and worried visitors to bust through... and it can also be a great place for playing dress up. How many movies have you seen where characters have dressed up like a doctor or nurse to get away with something they normally couldn't.

So much fun!

Now I know this blog is YA, but for the purpose of this particular post, I'm going to branch out and list some other movies that involve some of my favourite hospital scenes.

The first one that comes to mind is The Fugitive. Dr Richard Kimble sneaks in, looking for clues on who killed his wife. While he's there he ends up saving a young boy's life. A very tense and exciting scene as you wait for him to get caught at any moment.

Another one like that is in MI3 when Ethan Hunt is searching for his wife, knowing that something bad has happened to her.

And you can't pass up that heart wrenching moment in Million Dollar Baby when Frankie Dunn finally grants Maggie her wish and let's her pass away in peace.

There are plenty more, but I'm going to end with the heart warming moment in the Notebook when Noah and Allie lay next to each other in their old age and you're left to wonder if they'll stay that way forever.

How about you?
Which hospital scenes in books or movies have tugged your heart strings or made you bite your lips in nervous anticipation?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book Review ~ Falling for Romeo by Jennifer Laurens

John can have any girl he wants. Jennifer's never been kissed. Everybody thinks he's perfect. She's got issues with pride and jealousy. They were best friends - once. Now, they're playing Romeo and Juliet. Virgin lips Jennifer must have her first kiss on stage with John, the guy every girl in school wants. The pressure and tension build along with each staged kiss. Both are shocked when feelings bloom. Can either tell which kisses are real and which are for show?


This is a hard review to write as it's not going to be very complimentary.

For starters the cover is not very attractive (to me). I wouldn't have even picked it up off the shelf, but had ordered it into the library on a recommendation so didn't see the cover beforehand.

Second, the story was lacking a real twist. I could guess what was going to happen from page one and I didn't like the fact the couple kissed on the first page. No anticipation.

Any tension was pretty mild but as a quick teen read it does hit the mark.

Character wise, I really liked John but found Jenn a bit annoying. In saying all this. The writing was good. Some nice descriptions and turns of phrase.

I would give this 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Review by Brenda (aka Zealous Girl)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Create-Spirational Blog Award

A few months ago we were awarded an Inspirational Blog Award by the very lovely and talented writer - Kim Koning

This is an award she put together and it's basically an opportunity to recognise and celebrate those bloggers you find inspiring.

Due to time constraints, I am miniaturising Kim's version of the award. This does not, however, make it any less significant.

The part that was the most challenging, was narrowing it down to just five recipients!!!

If I have given you this award and you would like to pass it on to someone else, it's really quite easy. All you have to do is write a very small acceptance speech, list five things that have inspired you this year, pick a song that you found inspirational and choose five worthy blogs to highlight.

So here I go...

Thank you, Kim for this super cool award. I started YAlicious because I wanted to celebrate all things YA - both movies and books. Having Brenda join me a few months into it has made this whole blog a million times cooler. I am having such a great time posting about topics that are light-hearted and fun. Friday Favourites is my highlight of the week. 

I really wanted to create a forum where people could chat about YA things that interest them and partake in our posts. So far, Brenda and I are having a blast with this and we hope all our visitors have some fun too :)

5 Things That Have Inspired Me This Year
- Joining Indies Unlimited and discovering a world of fantastic indie authors
- Reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Talk about an amazing book!
- Seeing The Avengers - I know, I know... but it really was such a dynamic movie. It made me realise that I want my books to grip people the same way this movie kept me transfixed the entire time.
- Spending a writing weekend with my bestie putting the finishing touches on Forbidden Territory
- Discovering the following blogs I'm about to award and being in awe of how cool they are :)

Inspirational Song

And without further ado. I would like to pass this award onto the following blogs...

- Refracted Light Reviews - This is SUCH a beautiful blog. I always love visiting.
- The Erin Summerill Surf - I love this blog. It is SO entertaining... Erin can always make me smile.
- Novel d'Tales - This is another great blog that is set out beautifully and always full of interesting posts.
- The Life of Fiction - I love the simplicity of this blog. It's gorgeous. Carole does fantastic reviews, always in-depth and honest.
- Cassie Mae - This is such a fun blog. Cassie is another person who can always make me grin. 

Congratulations to the awardees. You guys all deserve it. Thanks for making the blogosphere a better place :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Favourites - Country

I've had a lot of discussions with friends about what country to set books in. A lot of my writer friends set their novels in America/UK as there is a school of thought that American's/English prefer to read books set in their own country. What I want to know from YOU is, is it true? 

Melissa and I have set our Mica and Lexy series in New Zealand. Melissa has occasionally worried about this, but being the stubborn arse that I am I wouldn't consider anywhere but New Zealand, where I'm born and bred. I've never been to America or England so would feel a fraud if I set a book there, with no experience of the landscape or culture. Sure I watch movies but how real are they? 

Personally I love to read books set all over the world. I like to find out new and fascinating facts about different places. 

Does it make a difference to YOU where a book is set? Do you prefer books set in your own country or do you like to read about other areas in the world? 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Interview with Tom from Forbidden Territory

It's less than a month until Forbidden Territory is released! Eeekk. Today we're interviewing Tom (Thomas) Williams, an exchange student from Oxford, England. 

Welcome Tom. How are you enjoying New Zealand so far?
Hullo. Thanks for having me today. I am in love with New Zealand, the nature and the scenery are completely amazing and the people aren't too bad either! Living in a small town surrounded in bush, lakes and mountains is such a contrast to my life back in Oxford.

Do you miss England?
Will my family read this?
Not likely...
Cool. Then not at all.

Heh heh. So you live with Mica Latham's family. What's that like? 
How long have you got? It's like living in a sitcom! I didn't know they made families like this. Rebecca (Mica's mum) is a cuddly, caring, annoyingly lovely person who hugs me a little too often.

Mr Latham is a typical kiwi bloke and is kind enough to teach me some farm stuff and is incredibly patient when I mess up. Very very different to my father...

And Mica... well she's a whirlwind. She talks constantly, walks into my room without knocking, is up and down like an umbrella but I completely love her like a sister. This experience wouldn't be as cool without her.

In Forbidden Territory you run into some trouble in the bush. What was that like?
Trouble, that's one word for it. I admit it was like a horror movie at times, I was pretty terrified but lucky I was with Lexy. She is amazing when under pressure and in fact saves my life more than once. I owe her a lot. There were some pretty amazing times too, but I'll let you read the book to find out more about that.

Would that involve you and Lexy? 

... so are you in love with Lexy?
(long silence)... completely!

Well thank's for your time, Tom. Leave a comment if you have more questions for Tom. We'll chat to him again soon. 

If you want to find out a little more about Mica and Lexy, you can check out Forbidden Territory on Goodreads, LIKE the Mica & Lexy Facebook Page and there is also a FREE SAMPLER available with the first few chapters of Forbidden Territory.

To read past interviews click on the following links:

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Quiet Hero

I was lucky enough to have a weekend away working on my next solo project - Betwixt. It was very cool to bury myself away with this story. I really like the characters I'm working with. Dale, in particular, is my favourite.

He's the hero of this story, but he doesn't meet that typical hero persona. He's not the tall, gorgeous guy that all girls fall for. If anything, most girls don't like him. I can't picture him running into battle with a sword and shield. He's definitely not the sporty type.

Don't get me wrong, he's capable, but other than long distance running, he really doesn't like doing PE. He'd rather bury himself in the basement of his house playing drums until his mother can't hack it anymore. Or he'd rather spend hours at his computer losing himself in a game or novel.

Dale's the kind of guy who isn't afraid to speak his mind, has no time for high school dramas and to most, he probably comes across as either shy or grumpy.

But to me, he is a true hero.

You see throughout this story, he puts the one girl that drives him insane, before himself. In my opinion that is the ultimate quality of a hero. Someone who puts other people's welfare above their own. They think of others first and they make sacrifices to help them, not caring what it costs.

Those are the heroes I fall in love with.

People in my story will probably never see Dale as a hero, but that's what he is. He just doesn't make a big song and dance about it :)

What do you think about the quiet heroes?
Have you read a book recently where you encountered one?

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