Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pandora's Box...# 52

Pandora's Box has gone as high as #43, but today it is back to #52! Still a fantastic ranking to be in the top #100 with names like Sherrilyn Kenyon and Kresley Cole. 

It still just 99 CENTS at Amazon...what a steal! But it won't stay 99 cents for long, so skip, hop, run and sprint to Amazon to purchase your insanely cheap copy of Pandora's Box today. And with 18 FIVE star ratings at Amazon--over 30 FIVE star ratings on Goodreads--you can't go wrong! Even better, book 2 in the series, Hell's Phoenix, releases on February 17th!! (check out the countdown on the right-hand side of my blog)

Click HERE to go directly to Pandora's Box on Amazon. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pandora's Box...#57

What does "Pandora's Box #57" mean, you ask? Here's what Amazon's site says about Pandora's Box:

"Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,490 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #57 in Books > Romance > Gothic." 

No, it's not #1, but #57 is FREAKING AWESOME to me! AND it's just 99 CENTS at Amazon...what a steal! But it won't stay 99 cents for long, so skip, hop, run and sprint to Amazon to purchase your insanely cheap copy of Pandora's Box today. And with 18 FIVE star ratings at Amazon--over 30 FIVE star ratings on Goodreads--you can't go wrong! Even better, book 2 in the series, Hell's Phoenix, releases on February 17th!!

Click HERE to go directly to Pandora's Box on Amazon. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pandora's Box is 99 CENTS!!

Pandora's Box is 99 CENTS at Amazon!!! The sale is just in time for the release of Hell's Phoenix (Book 2 in the Road to Hell series), which releases in 18 days! (See the countdown to your right). Here's your chance to catch the first book in the series at a reduced rate...just in time for the release of book 2!!! This sale is for a limited time, so click HERE to purchase your copy today!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ask the Road to Hell Gang...

Do you have a question you'd love to ask one of the cast of characters in the Road to Hell series? Now is your chance to ask them anything!

All of the gang will be there--


NIX                   MICAH                         ZEN



Even the Birminghams (Zoe, Gage, James and Georgie) are invited to join.

So ask, ask, ASK! Just leave a comment below. Make sure you tell me who the question(s) is directed to (even if you're asking all of them, say that so I'll know) and then submit your question. On an upcoming guest interview, I will post your name beside the question and the response from whichever character.

No limit on the number of questions...unless it begins to grow too lengthy. ;-)

Ready, set...ask away!

NOTE: All questions should be submitted by noon CST on Tuesday, January 31st!


All photos were snagged from google images or shutterstock for use as visual aids...except for the photo of the child, which is a personal photo. 
I do not claim ownership or copyright of any of these photos.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Lure of Shapinsay

What’s in a Cover?

It’s a no brainer that a book’s cover is equally as important as what’s on the inside of a book.  To illustrate my point, a few months ago, my nine-year-old was addicted to Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books.  She couldn’t get enough.  While shuffling through some of my old books, I scrounged up a hard cover of Ramona the Brave printed in 1975.  It had a bright orange cover and an outdated image of Ramona swinging on the cover.  You guessed it—my nine-year-old wanted no part, convinced that the content was an inferior knock off of her other pretty new books.

So how to make a cover that will “lure” the reader in.  I’m not a promotions expert and really don’t have a clue, but I’ll share how my cover came to be.  I wanted to set my book apart from the thousands of other paranormal romance books on the market.  I figured there was two ways of doing this.  First, put a dude on the cover.  With an exception to the beefcakes in the erotica market, the vast majority of books targeted to females have girls featured on the cover.  Usually she has long hair and she’s rocking some sort of dress.  One lone guy—check.

The second thing I figured that would make my book stand out is the selkie himself.  Selkies are lesser known mythical creatures, and the few selkie books on the market don’t actually illustrate what a selkie is—a seal man (or woman).  In case they are new to the reader, the male selkies have the power to lure women to their deaths beneath the sea.  One dangerous selkie—check.

I wanted to hint at my selkie’s mystery with a stormy sky and the sea as a backdrop.  Reese Dante, my cover artist, went one step further with making the cover nighttime.  The most difficult part of this whole process was finding Eamon, the drop dead gorgeous selkie who stars in my book.  Here’s my dilemma: he must be young, feral, dangerous, and be insanely good looking.  This last part terrified me because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

Reese and I must have looked through thousands of pictures of gorgeous half naked male models.  I must say it was really a sacrifice.  After a few days, I narrowed my search down to two men and then as requested, sent my top choices to Reese.  That night I dreamt about my two cover models, my wavy haired Eamon, and a slightly older model.  In my dream, I chose my Eamon and then was nearly panicked that Reese would prefer the other model.  I woke up with my stomach in knots and then anxiously waited with bated breath to hear back from her.  There are a lot of artistic factors to consider when designing a cover.  It was with the greatest relief that Reese preferred my Eamon.  I knew I had made the right choice when I got three thumbs up from my daughters.  Beauty is still in the eye of the beholder, but at least my stomach isn’t clenching anymore.  Now the question is, are you the reader lured?      

The Lure of Shapinsay BLURB

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant. 

Kait is woken unexpectedly by a beautiful, naked selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure. 

She obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?


The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle is an interesting story and nothing like I’ve ever read before. Luckily I had some knowledge of selkie myth, so I was easily able to follow some of the selkie traditions in Ms. Holle’s story. I liked that she wrote the myths into the book. If you’re unfamiliar with selkie folklore, a little bit of research might help you understand Eamon’s obsession with his skin and how he takes it on and off. Here’s the Wikipedia page on selkies:

There are way too many adverb words used. The over-usage would make my editor cringe. However, even with the overdose of adverbs, I enjoyed the story. At times the story felt repetitive with Eamon accusing Kait of wanting his skin. But his obsession with his skin was explained, so his anxiety is understandable even though it is tedious. Just makes you realize how tired she is of being accused of wanting his skin. The language was difficult for me at times because it’s different than our own. “Wan” is “one” and on one occasion I had no idea what the author meant by a statement (I should've wrote it down, but was too engrossed with the book to stop long enough...SORRY). I looked up the reference on the internet, but couldn’t find an explanation either. A little more detail and explanation would’ve been nice.

The story read as if someone was narrating it in my head. It has an easy cadence and flowed smoothly from one scene to the next. It is a fresh and unique tale, definitely not the same story you’ve seen written a million times with a different twist. The Lure of Shapinsay is different, and well worth the read. I had a difficult time putting the book down. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next...would they stay together? But how could they? The odds were against them. I'm still mixed on the ending, but I won't give that away. 

For those who enjoy reading a unique, not ordinary, fresh tale, I would recommend this read. You're not going to be blown away and left gasping with intrigue and excitement, but it's not that type of story. It's a sweet, enduring and epic kind of romance that I think you'll enjoy. If you want something dark or erotic, this is not your story.

Character Interview with Kait Swanney

Krista:  Kait Swanney is here with me today.  She is one of the main characters in my newly released novel, The Lure of Shapinsay. She’s twenty-years-old and lives with her twin brother Blair on the remote island of Shapinsay.  Kait, I would like to thank you in advance for agreeing to this interview.  I’d like to start by asking you about your family.  It’s just you and your brother, right?

Kait:  Aye, Blair and I were orphaned seven years ago when our Ma and Da come down with the rattle.  It’s just been just the two of us ever since.  He’s a nit, but he’s all I’ve got in the world.

Krista:  Is there anything you are really passionate about?

Kait:  Aye, I’d be loving the sea ever since I was a wee lassie.  Blair’s scared of drownin’ but not me.  I love to swim.  My Da was a fisherman and never afraid.  He made certain I wouldn’t sink before he died.   There may be another swimmer on the island, but I’ve yet to have the pleasure o’ meeting him.

Krista:  The currents around Shapinsay are treacherous, but what most villagers fear is what’s under the currents.  Does your love of the water have anything to do with the selkies, maybe one in particular? 

Kait:  Are ye trying to trick me into talking about Eamon?  I’m not ashamed o’ what he is.  Did ye think I dinnae notice his eyes, too dark to be human and that pearly white skin?  It matters not a mite that he is not human.  He has ten fingers and toes—that is human enough fer me.

Krista:  You’re courage regarding Eamon is impressive, but your encounter was just a brief passing in the night.  For hundreds of years, the male selkies have been luring unsuspecting women to their deaths beneath the sea.  Aren’t you scared that Eamon will come back and kill you?

Kait:  (Kait nervously twists her fingers)  I’ve nae choice but to hope he will come back.  Odin willing, I’ll live to tell the tale once more and not wash up on Stronsay a bloated corpse like my friend Astrid.   The gods forgive me fer speakin’ her name.

Krista:  Have you ever had a serious relationship with a man?  I understand the men on the island outnumber the women three to one.

Kait:  I try to avoid the hairy numptys looking fer a wife.  They only wish for someone to scale and bone their slimy fish.  But ever since Eamon crept into our home uninvited, Blair’s been pressuring me into marrying the very old Magnum Muir.  Ha, I have no intention of falling into that musty old net.  Magnum’s more ancient than the cliffs of Hoy. 

Krista:  One last question.  For hundreds of years, fishermen have been stealing skins so they can land a selkie bride.  Would you consider stealing Eamon’s skin if the opportunity presented itself? 

Kait:  I haven’t been thinking straight since Eamon tried to strangle me.  Always I gaze across the water looking for a small glimpse of his tail or even his whisker.  Have ye seen his skin?  I’d really like to know where he hides it.

Krista:  Selkies guard their skins very closely, but I wish you the best in finding it and pinning down your selkie man.

Giveaway is open to everyone, including international. One winner will be chosen to receive the above T-shirt and and one book from author Krista Holley. In order to be eligible to win this giveaway, you must do ALL of the following:

1) Leave a comment WITH your email address.
2) Promote this blog post somewhere on the internet. Please provide a link in the comment section where you posted it so that it can be verified. For ease of convenience, below are Facebook and Twitter posts you can just copy and paste:
     Twitter: The Lure of Shapinsay is a click away...join author Krista Holle for an exciting GIVEAWAY!! #author #giveaway #writer
     Facebook: The Lure of Shapinsay is a click away...join author Krista Holle for an exciting GIVEAWAY--open to international residents as well!!
3) Winner will be drawn on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at noon CST.

Note: Giveaway items are provided by author Krista Holle, not me. 

Buy Links
Barnes & Noble


***FTC Disclaimer: This book was provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a conveince, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Sweete Spot: Let's Take a Ride to Hell

The Sweete Spot: Let's Take a Ride to Hell: I have been a fan of Gracen Miller since our first meeting on facebook. I used to get a kick out of her cuss and get pissed when she had to ...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hellish Poem Contest

I'm stealing this idea from Mindy Janicke, who suggested it...Write me a hellish poem. If one of them fits my third book in the Road to Hell Series--Genesis Queen--I'll put it in the beginning of the book and give YOU credit for it, of course. The poem  doesn't have to rhyme, and doesn't have to follow any poem formula. Make it creative and have fun! Since this is such a huge creative request, I won't close the contest until February 29th, 2012.

Here's the hellish poem I wrote, which spawned the suggestion from Mindy:

One, two Hell's coming for you...
Three, four with lots of gore...
Five, six with flesh ripping licks...
Seven, eight pain is great!
Nine, ten start all over again!

To give you some idea of what Genesis Queen is about--FYI some parts of the storyline may alter since it is a work in progress--here is a very broad concept of the story:

Upon Nix's resurrection from Hell, tranquility has fallen. In the shadows a threat emerges, one that may claim more than their lives, but feast on their souls. Prophecy foretells Madison and Amos’s imminent demise. Desperate to save his family, Micah convinces Madison to accept his help to defeat the enemy, but can he persuade her to trust and love him again? With her heart pulled in two directions, betrayal comes from an unexpected source. Bloody sacrifices will be made by everyone, but none as great as the one Micah must bear. Amid the rubble of defeat, Hell’s Genesis Queen will dawn.

Again...have fun and enjoy! I want something dark and twisted, even bloody and gory is great! Let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing what y'all come up with. You may submit an unlimited number of poems. Invite all your friends to join in the fun!

You can either post your poem here or email it to me at But PLEASE make sure you put "GQ Poem Contest" or something similar in the subject line so I won't mistake it for spam!!! If you post it in the comment section here, PLEASE make sure you give me your EMAIL address so I can contact you if you're the winner!!! 

What you get for winning!
If the winning poem fits my storyline, I will post it in the book, giving you credit, as stated above. The winner will also receive your choice of a print copy of Hell's Phoenix (when it releases in print format--approximately May 2012) or an ARC of Genesis Queen (when it releases in e-book format...the date is currently unknown and cannot be projected). If the poem doesn't fit my storyline, but it's just my favorite of the twisted poems, then you'll receive the same choice as the winning poem, but your poem won't be featured in the book.

NOTE: So there is no confusion...there is no guarantee the poem will be featured in Genesis Queen.  

Happy writing!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Las Vegas Baby!

I flew to Vegas on December 26th to visit family! I've been there many times over the years, as my aunt and grandparents have lived in Vegas since I was a little girl. This was my first visit where nothing new had been built. 

My Aunt and I went to Freemont Street and Ziplined. I'm on the left-hand side of the photo.

I found HELLHOUND ALE!! Who knew my Hellhounds had their own beer! Very kewl!

Cool attractions in Vegas!

And in Honor of my Hellhounds, a hellish picture just for you!

Leave a comment with your email address and you'll be entered to win! Two winners will be drawn and you'll receive one of the two decks pictured below. Good luck!! Winner will be drawn Monday, January, 16th at noon CST!

A family photo--I'm the short one in the center wearing green!
(Uncle Mike in plaid, Aunt Joanne in pink, Uncle Frank in black & Mom in blue)