Monday, December 29, 2014

Favorite Books of 2014

My Favorite Books of 2014:

Okay. I'll admit that 2014 has been a slow reading year. I've been bogged down with three kiddos, the day job, a WIP, edits, and reading for CPs, but I have read several books that I love, love, love.

So, in no particular order, because it's Monday, I woke up with a sinus headache, and I'm just happy that I can string a few thoughts together:

HOOK'S REVENGE by Heidi Schulz (

DOLLBABY by Laura Lane McNeal (

RITE OF REJECTION by Sarah Negovetich (

SWAY by Cat Spears (


THE WRATH & THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh (an ARC that won't release until 05/15, but it's available for pre-order, so I'm counting it.) (


The book I'm most looking forward to in 2015:

BURNED by Karen Marie Moning. I've been waiting for the next book in this series for so long that it feels surreal that it's almost here.
Buy here:

Did you love them or hate them? Comments are welcome and appreciated. If you have favorites that didn't make my list, please share. I just added a dozen books to my TBR pile, but there's always room for more.

Happy reading and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Miss Snark's First Victim: The Christmas/Chanukah Song Lyric Contest

Miss Snark's First Victim Blog is hosting a Christmas/Chanukah Song Lyric Contest where you change the lyrics to something writing/publishing related. Here's my entry:

Miss Snark's First Victim: The Christmas/Chanukah Song Lyric Contest

The contest will open at 8:00 am EST on Wednesday, December 10, and will close at 8:00 am EST on Thursday, December 11. Comments will then be closed.
 For more info go here:

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Query Blog Hop - Witch Way Down

The always amazing Michelle Hauck is hosting a query blog hop, where writers can give and receive constructive criticism on (arguably) the most important tool in the querying process. Sure the first pages of a manuscript are important, but a query needs to grab an agents attention first or those pages might never be read, so I am open to any and all suggestions.

For more information on how to participate in this awesome event go to:

Here is my REVISED query:

Age Category: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Manuscript Status: Complete

Dear [insert agent name here],

Grace Taylor isn’t your average psychic. When she reads the dead, she relives the person’s last moments. After working with the New Orleans Police Department for a year, her picture makes the front page of the Times-Picayune and a reporter outs her as the N.O.P.D.’s secret weapon. Now every monster worth its weight in body bags knows how to get away with murder—take Grace out of the picture.
With unrest brewing in the monster community, Bane—the city’s most powerful vampire—offers Grace his protection if she’ll use her “gifts” to locate Nicolas—the monster leaving a trail of victims through the city—but she refuses. When she’s dragged from her home and nearly killed, she (incorrectly) assumes Nicolas ordered the attack, so she pilfers some crime scene evidence and taps her psychic abilities to track down his hidey hole—which leaves her face-to-face with a monster. Grace wakes chained underground with Bane’s second in command—Christian—demanding answers. Grace’s only way out is to learn the identity of the traitor among Bane’s men before Nicolas comes for her or Christian kills her.

WITCH WAY DOWN is complete at 99,000 words and is a dark Urban Fantasy with series potential filled with a menagerie of monsters and anti-heroes, and plays on a mythology where vampires were created by the Fae Queen to kill her own kind, which will appeal to readers of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Karen Marie Moning. I have a B.S. in biology from the University of New Orleans, where I also studied writing under Amanda Boyden. I’m currently juggling three kids, a husband, and a full-time job as an office manager for a CPA firm. Writing keeps me sane-ish.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Chelly Pike



Monday, December 1, 2014

RITE OF REJECTION by Sarah Negovetich

Rite of Rejection (Acceptance #1)

"Before you stands the future."

Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can't wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she's shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.

A life behind barbed-wire fences with the world's most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she's almost certain she can learn to love.

But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence, Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.

What I thought:
First, I'd like to admit that I am not a big dystopian reader. I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I haven't read any of the popular titles that are currently being turned into Blockbuster movies. *Hangs head in shame*
With that out of the way, I really enjoyed this book. The cast of characters was fleshed out nicely and, while the MC, Rebecca, was a little soft at the beginning of the story, I felt her actions were consistent with being forced out of polite society and housed with criminals. She does find her backbone toward the end, and I liked seeing her evolve into a strong, self-assured person.

I loved the diversity in this novel. I loved the twists and turns. I loved the romance. I thought the setting felt a little flat at times, specifically regarding the other people in the PIT. The PIT is supposed to house thousands, but it sometimes felt like Rebecca and her gang of friends were the only ones there. With that many criminals housed in one place, I guess I expected more violence.

The ending left me feeling slightly disappointed, like there could've been more. I'm not sure if this is a stand-alone novel or the first in a series, but--without adding spoilers--the ending snuck up on me. Don't get me wrong. The ending is an ending, and it ties up the threads nicely, but if there is a second novel, I will definitely read it.

  I rate this book 4.5 STARS.

If you like dystopian, if you like diverse books, if you like YA, if you like well-written books, then I highly recommend Rite of Rejection. The book is available for pre-order now, and will be released on December 4, 2014. Go buy it now.

Where to find it:



Barnes and Noble:

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Next of Kin first 250 for critique

I'm participating in Michelle4Laughs's Fall First Page Critique Blog Hop, where writers can post a link to the first 250 words of their manuscript for critique by fellow writers.

Here is the link for more information:
Title: Next Of Kin (w.i.p.)
Genre: YA UF
First 250:
One more miserable day and I’d be eighteen.

I pulled on a pair of knee-high black combat boots and tugged my too-short khaki uniform skirt down so that it brushed my legs mid-thigh. Mom’s keys jangled as she headed for the door so I scooped up my schoolbag on the run, tucking in my white shirt as I careened down the stairs.

Last day of school, last day of childhood; for better or worse, everything would change tomorrow. And, seriously, as if my life could get any worse.

“Emily Andrea Chance, what did you do to your hair?” Mom stood frozen with the front door gaping as wide as her mouth.

“It’s a pixie cut. What, you don’t like it?”

She blinked a few times then pressed her lips together as she headed for the car.

Wow. An actual reaction and all I’d had to do was hack off my long, blonde hair with a pair of kitchen shears. Who knew?

With a wistful glance at my truck, a twelve-year old Chevy pick-up mom wouldn’t let me drive, I hurried after her and climbed into the backseat. One more day, then I was transferring the title, getting insurance, and heading to the DMV for my license. And becoming a card-carrying member of the local coven. That’s why this mother of all birthdays was so damn important. Once I was legal, there was nothing Mom could do to stop me.
Magic was in my blood. Literally.