Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book Highlight - Forged by Greed by Angela Orlowski-Peart

I have been lucky enough to meet this lovely author through a Facebook Group I recently joined. When I saw she had recently released Forged by Greed, I really wanted to invite her onto YAlicious. Now, I haven't read the book yet, but the cover is stunning and it looks like a great read. It's sitting on my kindle, eagerly waiting for me to get through my TBR :)

Two Seattle 16-year-olds, Jatred and Jasmira, are not your typical star-crossed lovers.  They are not even your typical Shape Shifters. Sure, they try to live an ordinary life. At least, as ordinary as the Prince and the Princess of the rivaling ancient Races--the Winter wolves and the Summer leopards--can live. But eventually they learn that not much about their existence can be normal. Especially when the Races' two commanding Goddesses are involved.

One of the Goddesses is on a quest to tilt the scale of power to her side. The other will never let it happen, even if it means kicking Jatred and Jasmira's love to the curb. Nothing is off limits, including removing Jatred's memories of Jasmira.

To complicate things even more, there are the Universe's powers to consider. They are trapped in an ancient Amulet in order to protect the stability of the world. But the Universe has a mind of its own, and when the powers are unleashed, the forces of nature are disturbed; earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions shake the Earth. All Shifters of both Races are summoned by their respective Goddesses to fight in the name of, or against, the normalcy of the world.

From the author:
Forged by Greed is a Young Adult paranormal romance novel with elements of high fantasy, thriller, mythology, and humor. Readers of novels by Maggie Stiefvater and Cassandra Clare might consider adding this book to their list. 

Forged by Greed blends the elements of urban fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary. It is a story about teenage shape shifters, goddesses, the powers of the Universe, and magic. 

This is the first book in The Forged Series. Book two is scheduled for publishing in summer 2013. 


It is my total pleasure to have Angela share her guest post on Why Writers Write. Welcome to YAlicious, Angela :)

Why do writers, write? Why do we publish our stories? Is it to express ourselves, or to make that bestseller list? Is it to share the product of our imagination, or is it simply to make a living? There isn’t one answer that would fit all. Every writer has her/his own reasons. So let’s see what some of the famous authors say about why they write and what, in their opinion, the writing is about:

"You don’t write because you want to say something. You write because you have something to say." F. Scott Fitzgerald

"As far as I'm concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning." Neil Gaiman

"The answer to that is fairly simple-there was nothing else I was made to do. I was made to write stories and I love to write stories. That's why I do it. I really can't imagine doing anything else and I can't imagine not doing what I do." Stephen King

"If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that makes a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.” John Steinbeck

"To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself... Anybody can have ideas—the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph." Mark Twain in a letter to Emeline Beach, 1868.

"Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. You know that fiction is possibly the roughest trade of all in writing. You do not have the reference, the old important reference.
You have the sheet of blank paper, the pencil, and the obligation to invent truer than things can be true. You have to take what is not palpable and make it completely palpable and also have it seem normal and so that it can become a part of experience of the person who reads it." Ernest Hemingway

"You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it." Neil Gaiman

"You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair, the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page." Stephen King

Are you a writer? If so, do you write for living or just as a hobby? What does writing mean to you? What, in your opinion, is the most important aspect of writing? 

Thanks so much for these quotes, Angela. I know I write, because I would feel less of a person if I didn't. I write because I have stories burning inside me that want to get out. I write because I love to lose myself in a story and I share those stories, because I want to give other the opportunity to step out of reality and lose themselves in another world for a while.

If you'd like to lose yourself in Forged by Greed, you can purchase the book here:

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

Monday, January 28, 2013

How About You?

We love to find out what other people like to read, write or watch, so we're starting a "How About You?" section on the blog as well.

This month's topic is...

Places to read.

My all time favourite place to read is snuggled up in bed. Before I had kids, I'd often wake up on the weekend, reach for my book and read for a couple of hours. Ahhhh.... bliss!!

Although I don't get those weekend treats anymore, I still read every night before I go to sleep. It really is the best place in the world to lose yourself in a story.

So - how about you? Where's your favourite place to read?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cover Love - Eden Crane Edition

I want to start a new feature on this blog - Cover Love!

I love cover art. I could spend hours in a bookstore, or online, checking out all the amazing covers out there. In particular, I love YA covers. There are so many stunning images out there, and it makes me realize how important covers are. It's the first thing to draw me in. If I'm not intrigued by a cover, I'm not going to read the book description. So it really is vitally important to get it right.

Today I'd like to feature covers by a designer I just discovered - Eden Crane. Her work is amazing and there are plenty of books I'd happily add to my TBR based on her covers alone.

Here are few that really stand out to me...

If you'd like to find out more about Eden Crane, you can find her on:

Facebook - Eden Crane Design
Pinterest - Eden Crane
Website -

Monday, January 21, 2013

Movie Review - Pitch Perfect

Beca, a freshman at Barden University, is cajoled into joining The Bellas, her school's all-girls singing group. Injecting some much needed energy into their repertoire, The Bellas take on their male rivals in a campus competition.


Jason Moore


Kay Cannon (screenplay)Mickey Rapkin (book)

For those of you who know me, you can probably already guess what I thought of this movie. It is about young adults, it involves music and has a romantic element.


I LOVED this movie. It was so completely fantastic. The main character was really understated and I loved that about her. The love interest was a really great guy. I fell for him just a little bit... and man - could he sing! The rest of the cast were all exaggerated characters and so funny. The story is filled with great one-liners that my husband and I keep repeating to each other.

My only aversion was two small scenes involving some puke... I'm not great with puke.

As far as the music was concerned - it was amazing. The singing was top quality, with awesome harmonies and great mash-ups. I ended up buying a bunch of songs off iTunes straight after watching it and my poor family has had to endure hours of me singing the same songs!

If you like a feel-good movie with excellent music and lots of really good laughs, then this one is definitely worth checking out.

5 stars from me :D

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Discussion Time: Is is okay for an author to write in multiple genres?

I have written about this topic before. If you'd like to read my previous post on Indies Unlimited, you can check it out here.

The post generated quite a bit of discussion among other writers, most of them saying that writing in multiple genres is completely fine.

But I want to know what readers think.

You see, as an author, I don't want to get trapped into only writing one genre. I'm happy playing with YA at the moment. I love it actually, but I have some adult stories up my sleeve that I hope to write one day. Also, within YA, I have a plethora of stories I'd like to write ranging from paranormal/fantasy through to contemporary and some action/thrillers. I can promise my readers that no matter what genre my story falls into, it will always have a strong romantic element running through it, be fast paced and filled with lots of dialogue.

As a reader, I quite like it when authors branch out and try new things, as long as they don't lose their voice too much.

As a reader, do you mind if an author strays into different genres? Or do you prefer knowing that when you reach for a book by a particular author that you will get exactly what you expect?

I'm fascinated by what people think about this and I would love it if you could leave your opinion in the comments section.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Chat With Book Reviewer, Carole McKenzie

I am so excited to have the lovely, Carole McKenzie visiting today. She is awesome. I met her through my Golden Blood blog tour and we have kept in touch. I always ask her to review my books now and I'm always SO glad I do. Her Life of Fiction Blog is gorgeous and she writes thoughtful, in depth reviews. I have added many books to my TBR list thanks to her :)

Carole, welcome along. Thank you so much for taking them time to answer some of my questions :)

When did you first discover your love for reading? 
Probably the day I learned to read, I started and never stopped! I used to read a lot as a child. My summers growing up were spent reading a book a day even through High School (I know I was/am pretty nerdy). When I began picking finishing a book over going out in college I really understood that this obsession I had was for real and I have no regrets. I’ve always loved to read and always will, I just hope I can instill that love into my students.

What do you look for in a book description? 
Something new. Originality is a big factor for me, so if I read a book description and it is unlike anything I’ve read I get very excited. I also look for a romantic element, the book can be almost any genre and I’ll read it if it has some romance to it!

How do you like to feel when you finish a book? 
Honestly, I enjoy feeling absolutely crushed and emotionally drained; as well as elated. Depends on the book but if I feel that deeply for a story, I love it no matter if the feeling is negative or positive, I just want to feel something.

What do you like most about reviewing books for authors? 
I have loved getting to know so many wonderful and supportive authors through reviewing for them. They’re not only supportive of each other but of bloggers like myself as well. Reviewing books is my passion and to be able to do it for such awesome people has been a dream come true. I get to meet rock stars everyday and it is so freaking cool! I really enjoy knowing that these authors email me asking me for my opinion about something they poured their time and energy into, it really is a lot of fun and I’m so lucky to have had the opportunities that I have. Best community by far!

Do you find it easy to picture characters and settings in your head? How descriptive do you like an author to be? 
I do find it easy to picture characters in my head and sometimes make them look how I want them to as I read completely ignoring how the author describes them (crazy I know); but settings take a little bit more work for me. World building is usually one of my favorite parts of a book if done right, but I need that image to be planted from the authors words. It’s a talent that I deeply respect and love! I think the more descriptive the better, but not everything needs 12 adjectives to describe it. Writing really is an art form.

A traditionally published author you love: hmm. It’s always so hard to pick just one, so I’ll pick a favorite that I’ve had for years (probably my longest running fave); Sarah Dessen! Her books are always touching and just lovely.
And indie author you love: Of course Melissa Pearl! In addition to Melissa’s awesomeness I have to include Liz Reinhardt and so many other wonderful ladies! I love them all!!
One of your favourite YA books: Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Katsa kicks some major booty!
One of your favourite Adult books: I don’t read very many adult books, but I have been reading a lot of New Adult or Mature YA books and one of my favorites is Tammara Webber’s Easy.
A book you've read more than once and the reason why: I have read Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire probably a dozen times. Any time I need to clear my mind, especially when I’m in a reading funk. Travis Maddox is my go to guy and he manages to makes me LOVE reading all over again. I don’t know what it is about that boy but man.

Thank you so much! :)

Great suggestions, Carole. Thanks!

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

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Release - The Boys of Summer by CJ Duggan

I have known CJ for a little while now and it has been so cool to watch her progress as she has prepared for the release of The Boys of Summer. I managed to sample a few chapters months ago and was very intrigued by the story, so it was with much excitement that I saw the book come online at the end of last year. (Purchase links listed below).

It is such a pleasure to have this gorgeous author join us today to tell us about how she turned her dream into a reality. Welcome along, CJ :)

Firstly a big thanks to the lovely Melissa for having me as a guest today, it truly is an honour to be here.

Today I wanted to share with you how a dream can become a reality. Writing a post for Melissa’s blog I decided to look back on the past few years from when I decided to ‘Own what I do’ by upping the stakes to write and publish my debut novel. I scrolled through my old blog posts to where it all began. Here is my very first post and the decision I made that would change my life forever.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

February 16th, 2011.
I am a writer (and yes I have decided to admit the title and claim it with pride) And as writers, so often many of us shy away from the admission and think ourselves not worthy. Like myself, I am what I would call a “Closet Writer” a writer in secrecy in the fear of being judged as strange, or littered with nosey questions. A writer can be many things and do it for many reasons. I know this sounds rather cliché, but I have always, even from a young age, found myself plotting, world building, scheming the majority of the day to the point I fear becoming more and more detached from this world. How then to answer my husbands “Whatch ya thinking about?” question as I day dream in the car, if I was to answer honestly it would no doubt raise an eyebrow and have me committed.

Unless I am a writer, right?

I have now come to a point where I think, what’s stopping me? Why not pursue what makes me happy? What I am truly passionate about. This isn’t just a phase, I have suffered from this brainstorming affliction all of my life to the point where I have so much pent up story lines and characters waiting to burst from my imagination. So where to begin? Let’s remember I am a newbie (Oh how I loathe that word) I have come out of the closet and am embracing my inner writer. Call me mad, but I actually think of the ‘writer’ in me as my alter ego, the thing within me that has the want to express alternative people and places – therefore the creation of my Author name (C.J Duggan) was born. Yep! I have decided I am releasing my inner alter ego on the world, while keeping some mystery. Let’s face it, and here is the clincher – Start small aim big – by doing so I plan to build confidence, technique, experience, time – indeed so much time and energy might be dedicated to keep anonymous or maybe I will want to shout out to the world “Here I am!!… Look at me!! Guess only time will tell?

And time did tell.

Two years on and I am an honest to God Author. Not only is it a dream come true but through a lot of hard work and determination I have created something that not only resinates with me but is also reaching an international audience. Three weeks after its release ‘The Boys of Summer’ broke into the Top 100 Amazon Best Sellers, both in U.S and U.K, it ranked at Number One in Australian iBooks and Number Sixteen in Canadian iBooks. I really wanted to reiterate that nothing great was ever achieved without some form of doubt and insecurity. The road to this point was filled with such moments and I am so thankful for those moments, because it was everything within them that lead me to where I am today.

"Laugh at yourself, but don't ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don't leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory."
- Alan Alda

That is such a cool story. Thanks so much for sharing with us, CJ.

C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia.
The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.
For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit