Thursday, April 25, 2013

YAlicious April Giveaway!

It's time for another giveaway. We have had so many amazing authors visit YAlicious over the past couple of months and I thought we should celebrate this awesome fact. Many of these lovely people have been generous enough to donate books to this giveaway. Thank you so much authors. You rock!

I, being the lover of multiple winners, have put together four prize packs stuffed full of e-book awesomeness. The giveaway runs until May 2nd. Check out entry details below.

Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

Prize Pack 1

Prize Pack 2

Prize Pack 3

Series Prize Pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Chat with Book Reviewer - Juhina from Maji Bookshelf

It's so, so, SO cool to have this awesome lady here today. I met Juhina a couple of years ago when she reviewed the Time Spirit Trilogy for me. She is so completely awesome. I love her reviews and having her visit YAlicious is a real buzz for me.

Welcome, Juhina :)

What were your favourite types of books as a kid? 
I LOVED reading The Baby Sitter’s Club by Ann. M. Martin. I think I have read over 50 of those. Any one I could find I would devour it in a day or two. I only read contemporary, my only exception was Harry Potter.

What is your favourite genre now and why do you like it? 
My favorite genre…it is between Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic and Contemporary. I love the whole survival aspect and the thrill of the dystopian and post apocalyptic novels. As for contemporaries, there always comes a time when I just NEED to read a contemporary. I love contemporaries for their everyday issues and what people deal with everyday. 

What kinds of book covers draw you in? 
I love book covers that make me stop in the middle of the bookstore and pick up the book; Book covers that relate to the actual book. I do not enjoy book covers of the typical girl in dresses as well as boy/girl typical covers. Covers such as The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wonder, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, as well as beach/summer covers!

Is there a fatal flaw a writer can make that will stop you from reading a book?
For me, a fatal flaw would be insta-love. It is the biggest turn off for me. I believe another flaw would be when the author loses focus of the main plot. A ton of authors create many sub plots that they never really wrap up and that annoys me so much.

How do you like to feel when you finish a book?
If it is an amazing book, I also fall victim to the book hangover. I tend to think about the book 24/7 and even end up dreaming about it. I tend to pick it up the day after and reread some of my favorite scenes. I basically obsess over the book. Oh yea, you would see me raving about the book on twitter and recommending it to everyone who would listen to me!

What do you like most about reviewing books for authors?
I have to say, being able to read a book I’ve been waiting on months before it comes out is a huge advantage. I also love giving exposure to books that totally deserve the whole world knowing about it and reading it through my blog! 

Is it sometimes hard to write a fair, honest review? What's the most challenging aspect?
I don’t find it hard writing fair and honest reviews.. My reviews are just that.. what I thought about the book. It isn’t the final verdict for the book and I always encourage people to still check a book that I rated low out. I believe the most challenging aspect is if you become a buddy with the author. I am always afraid that I end up not liking a book of an author I become good friends with on twitter. It creates a potential awkward moment and I just feel uncomfortable and a bit guilty that the author might read my review. I know I have to be fair but it doesn’t mean I look forward to putting myself in that position!

Are there any trends in the publishing world that you do or do not like?
I have to say that I do not enjoy all the kissing covers that are popping up left and right. Especially the new NA covers that look like Harlequin Romantic covers. I do love the emergence of the NA novels! I have read some amazing NA books and I need moreeee!

Do you find it easy to picture characters and settings in your head? How descriptive do you like an author to be?
I always need the authors to describe the physique as well as the typical features such as hair, eye color, etc, but I always appreciate it when authors also describe what the characters wear so I know exactly what their style is. Unfortunately sometimes a character’s specific feature doesn’t appeal to me (I do not like it when the male love interest has long hair!) so if an author mentions the wispy strand of hair or whatever every chapter or so, I try to block it out of my mind. I know that is so weird and I have nothing against guys with long hair, they’re just not my type :P

A traditionally published author you love: Jennifer Echols, Sophie Kinsella, Tahereh Mafi, Cate Tiernan and Jenny Han. (I only picked authors I loved more than one book from them!)
And indie author you love: Melissa Pearl (you of course!), Jolene Perry (I love her contemporaries!), and C.J. Duggan (The Boys of Summer!!)
One of your favourite YA books: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Host by Stephanie Meyer, Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi and The Boys of Summer by C.J. Duggan, and Slammed by Colleen Hoover.
One of your favourite Adult books: Can You Keep a Secret? By Sophie Kinsella and Shout Down the Moon by Lisa Tucker.
A book you've read more than once and the reason why: The Host by Stephenie Meyer (I’ve read the book at least 8 times!), Shout Down the Moon by Lisa Tucker, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Can You Keep a Secret? By Sophie Kinsella, and Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock and The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy! I loved each one of these books to bits and if I feel like I’ve forgotten them then I go right back and reread them. Every single time I read these books, my love for them increases!

Thanks for all the amazing suggestions. I'm going to be adding some books to my TBR!! I love Sophie Kinsella too.

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

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Release - If I Fall by Anna Cruise

It is very cool to have Anna Cruise visiting us today. I am so super excited about her books! Just the cover of If I Fall is enough to get me interested.

Today she's here to tell us about her musical inspiration for this book.

Welcome to YAlicious, Anna!

I love music. Almost as much as books.

What do I not love? Listening to music while writing books.

I know, I know. Tons of writers have playlists that they write to, songs that propel their stories forward, that help mold and shape their characters. Yeah, not me.

Here's what would happen if I listened to music while I was writing.

Now, with that being said, I do have songs that inspire me to write my stories. Um, I just can't listen to them while I'm writing.

For IF I FALL, my new YA book, I had a slew of songs I would listen to...when I wasn't writing. When I was thinking about Meg, my main character, and the monumental mess she'd made of her life. When I was thinking about Aidan, the gorgeous bad boy who helped her make that mess. And when I was thinking about Case, the friend she didn't even know she had, championing her cause.

Instead of writing a guest post about the story, I thought I'd share some of the songs I listened to while I was thinking about Meg and Aidan and IF I FALL.

Nobody's HomeAvril Lavigne

This song pretty much sums up Meg's life. She wants to go home—but nobody's there. Nobody she can connect with, anyway, and certainly no one who can help her navigate everything that's going on in her life.

Le Pony – Italian Japanese

(Sorry - I am having trouble uploading this clip, so follow the's worth it. Melissa)

This is an obscure, brilliant band from Southern California. Listen beyond the instrumental opening and you'll hear a sweetly haunting song about saying “your last goodbye”—just like Meg did when her father drives away in the opening scene.

Free FallingTom Petty

One of my most favorite songs in the Universe. The first four words of the song pretty much sum up Meg: “She's a good girl...” and these words, “And I'm a bad boy 'cuz I don't even miss her...” have Aidan written all over them.

Just The Way You AreBruno Mars

I'm not a big Bruno Mars fan, but this song—for me, anyway—speaks exactly to how Case feels about Meg. He's not trying to change her, he's not trying to make her into someone she's not and he's not trying to make her feel bad about who she's become. He doesn't care about any of that. He likes her for who she is, flaws and all. Just the way she is.

I could list more, but I think those four tell the story pretty well. But you won't hear them playing while I'm working. My words and their lyrics have to keep their distance from one another.

You might, however, hear me singing them while I'm in the shower...

Wow - I have to say that I LOVE your taste in music. Thanks so much for sharing, Anna :)


Anna Cruise has been writing and drooling over boys since middle school. Lots of years have passed but some things never change...

IF I FALL is her second book but her first YA title, IT WAS YOU, a New Adult title, was released February 2013. She is currently at work on two additional NA books (including Tana's story from IT WAS YOU) and another YA title.
Anna loves to hear from readers and authors. Email her at You can also like her Facebook page, find her on Twitter @AnnaCruiseBooks, friend her on Goodreads or check out her blog:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Release - Zarconian Island by Aja Hannah

Aja Hannah is a young author, releasing her very first novel - Zarconian Island. I am very happy to be part of the blog tour. She's here today to answer some questions about her writing and her debut novel.

Welcome to YAlicious, Aja. It's very cool to have you.

What first got you interested in writing?
In second grade, I found out that being an author was a job. A real life job. We were handed out papers and shown the basics of writing a story. Pick a title, pick a subject, name some characters, chose a setting, add conflict, find a solution. I always picked all the characters and my setting before I settled on a title. And, as I sat there with that first paper and wrote about a cat who climbed a mountain, I knew this was what I was wanted to do for the rest of my life.

What was your very first story about... you know the first one you ever created, but will probably never publish :)
I don't remember my first story very well, but I do remember my first series. It was called The Adventures of Cherish and Tisia. It played on the names of my siblings and it was written for my little sister who had recently learned to read. I illustrated it, stapled it, and read it to them. Sometimes we'd even act out the scenes. The two girls in the story would go raft down rivers, climb trees, explore spooky forests, only to always end up safe at home in the end. In fact, in one of the stories they were even stranded on an island, though it was much smaller and less dangerous than Zarconian Island.

I really like the concept of the tropical island and the Zarconians. How did you come up with the idea?
Oh, dear. Well it's been a long process and it has developed quite a bit over time. The idea of a tropical island has always fascinated me. After I read a few novels with strange islands and stranded youngsters, I knew I wanted to use that. I started writing the first draft in high school. 

I've also always liked the old world idea of explorers hacking through jungle to unknown ruins. But nowadays, GPS makes that rather impossible. So I was doing some research when I stumbled upon this idea of the ten dead zones around the world, including the Bermuda Triangle. They each line up and alternate longitude and latitude, and I started to think: "What if Atlantis was the capitol and these were all connected somehow?" 

Without giving too much away, that's how the nation of Zarconia was created.

Which authors inspire you?
That's a toughie. John Green for saying what's on his mind despite the press. Meg Cabot's characters' voices and her strong female leads. Michael Chrichton's mastery of plot development (Chaos Theory!) and weaving of science and reality. Amy Tan's mysticism and strength of culture.

What's the best lesson you've learned so far in writing?
Here are my five biggest:
1. Don't give up.
2. Keep Revising.
3. Market Appropriately. (I begrudginly admitted my work was paranormal romance.)
4. Show, Don't Tell.
5. Don't take criticism personally. (Though I loved some dialogue and some scenes, they had to go in order to make the book more concise and coherent.) 

Excellent pieces of advice, Aja. I totally agree :)

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

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Overcoming Writer's Block by Kelly Anne Blount

Kelly approached me a few weeks ago asking if I'd like to highlight her book on YAlicious. I took one look at the cover and said, "YES PLEASE!!" I'm super excited to have Kelly visit today so I can showcase her book and she can share a little about her writing experiences.

Today she is telling us all about how she overcomes writer's block...something every writer will find useful.

Thanks for being here, Kelly.


Uh oh… I’m stuck! I’m guessing that all writers have uttered this phrase once or twice or even dozens of times during their writing career. I know I have! So, what should one do when they get stuck on a scene, the ending for their book, or even worse, they experience a complete shut down, popularly referred to as writer’s block?

            I have several methods that help me get “unstuck.” The first thing I like to do is step back and take a short break. This helps me clear my mind and I find it helps to get up and stretch my legs. If I’m really perplexed and unable to figure things out, I may go for a run with my dog.

            If getting up and taking a break doesn’t help, I search through my Kindle library and look for a book in the same genre of the manuscript I’m working on. I’m a huge fan of Amanda Hocking’s Trylle Trilogy and Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart Trilogy. I usually don’t reread books; however, I make an exception for my all time favorites. Anyways, I may read a few chapters or half of the book, just depends on how I feel and if the words of another author inspire me to get back to work.

            Another sure-fire way to get my creative juices flowing is to bounce ideas off of my husband, online friends who write, or members of my critique group. I often find that talking through ideas with people I trust is extremely helpful. The simple act of expressing my thoughts out loud to another person is usually all I need to break through the block.

            One last activity that almost always helps me get over my writer’s block is watching a movie or television program in the same genre that I’m writing. You see, I’m a very visual person, and as a visual person who is stuck and unable to think, seeing Jennifer Lawrence experience life in the capital or watching Josh Hutcherson desperately swim to get away from a monster-sized electric eel, helps me visualize scenes and characters in my own books.

            Not being able to work on a manuscript due to writer’s block is an unbelievably frustrating experience that most, if not all of us have experienced while writing. Mounting pressure, such as deadlines or achieving personal goals often increases the stress during this troublesome time. When I encounter this issue, I use the activities discussed above to “snap out of it” and get back to my manuscript. Although what works for me may not work for others, I always find it helpful to hear how other writer’s and authors deal with common problems in the literary world.


 In the world of Necoh, everyone fears Grishma, a hideous murderous beast responsible for ruining or ending the lives of anyone who dare cross her.

As a young boy, Ryder lived with his family, deep in the caves underneath the Kadin Forest, unaware of the horrors of the world. His simple world was turned upside down one horrible night when Grishma attacked his family, killing his father and kidnapping his mother and younger sister.

From that night on, Ryder devoted his life to killing Grishma. He tracked the monster from Necoh, to our world, and back again. Unfortunately, during his quest, he accidentally transported Brooklyn, a high school junior into his tumultuous world, where she is mistakenly identified as Princess Sophie, the missing princess of Sumner.

Days after Princess Sophie’s return, Grishma plots and manipulates the King into drugging and marrying off his only daughter to Prince Algid of Dratun. Desperate to save Brooklyn, who now believes she is the long lost princess, his mother, and his little sister, Ryder embarks on the deadliest part of his quest.

Will he save Brooklyn? Will she ever regain her memory? What will become of his mother and sister?

Through epic adventure, loss, and love, GRISHMA depicts the strength of the human spirit and the tight bonds formed by the unique creatures of Necoh.

If you'd like to connect with Kelly online, you can follow her links below:

Twitter: (@KellyAnneBlount) 

Goodreads Best Fantasy Covers List (currently in first place):

Monday, April 8, 2013

Work In Progress Update - Unseen, The Elements Trilogy #2

We have had so many guest authors recently and I have loved highlighting their books. There are so many cool things happening in the publishing world. It's super exciting :)

I have not published anything so far this year because I am working on a trilogy that I want to release in rapid succession. I made the decision to hold off releasing the first book until all three were written so that readers would not have to wait to find out what was going to happen. You know me and my cliff hanger endings. I just can't help myself :)

So - currently my works in progress are going really well. Unknown - Book 1 is written, edited and awaiting a decent proof-read. The cover is finalised and if you'd like to add the book to your reading list, you can do so here - Unknown on Goodreads.

Unseen is now complete as well. The first draft is done and in the hands of six very amazing authors. They are critiquing it for me. I can't wait to find out what they have to say. I know I have some major edits ahead of me, but I love this stage of a book's journey.

Unseen delves deeper into Jethro and Kyla's journey and their relationship. They are forced to face their feelings for each other head on. I have LOVED writing their scenes together and seeing how they've handled this conflict. The book also introduces three new characters I have come to love plus some very cool creatures. Writing the fight scenes was intense and fun and the climax had me typing on the edge of my seat.

I can't wait to share this series with you!!
It's definitely like nothing I've ever written before and it's been a huge, yet totally thrilling, challenge.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cover Love - April Edition

Welcome to April's Edition of Cover Love. I had some gorgeous covers to share with you this month.

The top billing for me is an upcoming release called Skin Deep by T. G. Ayer. This cover is gorgeous and I'm super excited about reading the book.

Panther Shape-shifter Kailin Odel just wants to be normal. Leaving her clan, and her Alpha responsibilities, to live with her grandmother in Chicago had been the best thing for her. Only then did she discover her ability to track and kill the soul sucking undead creatures called Wraiths. Now she protected the humans, and had something to be proud of.

But, when she discovers the body of a murdered shape shifter, Kailin has to come to terms with the reality that her own kind are just as vulnerable as the humans.

The closer Kailin gets to the killer the more she has to face the intricacies of her people. When the time comes can she accept who and what her real purpose is?

Here is the Goodreads link so you can add the book to your reading list: SKIN DEEP

Another cover that caught my eye this week is If I Fall by Anna Cruise. I love what the girl is wearing, how she's leaning against the railing...the look on her face. It's all good!

You can check out this book on Goodreads and add it to your reading list: IF I FALL

The fourth book in Alexia Purdy's A Dark Faerie Tale series is coming out later this year. Here's the cover... isn't it cool! I love the mysterious vibe.

You can check out this book on Goodreads and add it to your reading list: EVER WRATH

There are SO many more covers I can share. Books seem to be firing onto the web at lightning speed, but I'll stick with those three for now. I hope you enjoy them when they are released later in the year.