Saturday, December 21, 2013

Michelle Pickett - Blog Take-Over & Giveaway

Welcome to the 18th day of Christmahanakwanzika. December is the month of giving and Kelly has graciously given me the opportunity to take over her blog for the day. Thank you, Kelly! Don't forget to check out my giveaway below.

 It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to post. I wanted to do something dramatic—life altering—world changing—yeah, well, that’s not gonna happen. But I did figure out something that I think gives back to the writing community. I want to share with you my picks for the five books you should ask Santa to leave in your stocking.

There are SO many wonderful books to choose from. It’s hard for some authors to get noticed in the ever growing ocean of new releases. So I’m going to mainly focus on Indie or self—published authors who don’t normally get the recognition they deserve.

 So, here we go. The five books that should be in your Christmas stocking—in no particular order—are:
 “The Sary Series" by Meradeth Houston. “Colors Like Memories” and “The Chemistry of Fate.” Okay, okay, that’s two books, but it’s one series so it counts as one. Meradeth is a fan-freakin’-tasic author. She has a way of weaving words together that just makes them sing. I love to read her writing. Oh, and my favorite thing about Meradeth’s writing, and the thing I get most excited about when I sit down to read something she’s written, is her first sentence of her novels. She has a flair for writing the best ever first sentences. I mean, who doesn’t want to keep reading when a book starts out with a sentence like this:
“I greeted his tombstone the way I always did— with a swift kick.” (Colors Like Memories)
That makes me want to know what the heck is going on! Meradeth is one author you need to watch…she’s going places. Plus, she’s just an all-around great person
“At Any Price” by Brenna Aubrey. This book really surprised me. Honestly when I received the ARC I wasn’t looking forward to reading it. But, WOW, I’m so glad I did. Itwas such a great story. Brenna blew me away with the story and her writing. The story was original. The plot was well thought out. One thing I loved the most is that the male lead was a good guy. He wasn’t the “typical” bad boy who has a miraculous turnaround at the end of the story (not that I don’t like those stories too). Adam was just a great guy and I loved that.

Brenna wrote strong, likable characters that I fell in love with. It’s an incredible story about giving up control to grab on to love. It’s definitely worth the time to read, but be warned: once you pick it up you won’t want to put it down until you reach the last page. So clear your schedule! I’ve also been lucky enough to “meet” Brenna through email and she is a sweet and kind person. Definitely give this book, the first in a planned trilogy, a try. “Quest of the Hart” Mary Waibel’s debut young adult reverse fairy tale retelling. I love fairy tale retellings, but I especially loved this one since it was done in reverse which was just outstanding! The story Mary weaved was not only entertaining, interesting and engaging, but also empowering for girls. Instead of the prince saving the helpless princess, the princess was the one who saved the prince. This type of message is so important for today’s generation of young women, and Mary delivered it flawlessly. It was truly empowerment on paper! “The Prophecy” by Erin Albert. Okay, I have to admit—I haven’t actually read this book yet. It’s one I want in my stocking and since someone in my family usually buys me a Kindle gift card of some sort for Christmas, I plan to get it. But I know Erin. She’s my Beta and CP so I know how she writes and because of that I have absolutely no doubt that this book is going to be awesome. It’s a young adult high fantasy and the first installment in the “The Fulfillment Series.” “Addicted Series” by Becca and Krista Ritchie. Okay, this is another series so technically it’s more than one book, but since it’s my blog post I say it counts as one. :) I won’t list all the books, because not only are therebooks in the series, but there are companion books, too. So I’ll stick to the three I’ve read: “Addicted To You,” “Ricochet,and “Addicted For Now.” These books are hard to explainin just a couple paragraphs because they are 1) so, so good and 2) deal with so many emotions and complex situations. Here’s what I wrote on my blog for the first book:  Raw. Gritty. The nasty side of the upper echelon of society. “Addicted To You.” It’s surely going to be one of those books that people either love or hate. In my case, I loved it. Bottom line: Definitely worth the time. Characters are well written. Plot is well thought out. But continue with caution, this is not a book that glosses over the world of addiction. You’re gonna get it like it is. And that’s what makes the book so great! The quick synopsis of the books is: She’s addicted to sex and he’s addicted to booze and it’s the story about how they hide their addictions from everyone around them, then how they work to overcome their addictions. Finally, just when they are adjusting to their new life and learning to live and manage their addictions, it's a story about how one person pulls the rug out from under them and everything comes crashing down--and how they deal with the situation. In short, it’s one of the best series I’ve read. It’s definitely for 18 and above because of the subject matter, but everything in the book is written tastefully and there are no gratuitous sexual situations—everything fits the storyline. It’s definitely a series that should be in your stocking.

Honorable Mention:
The writing thesauruses by Marsha Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. These books never leave my desk—ever. They include: “The Emotion Thesaurus,” “The Negative Trait Thesaurus,” and “The Positive Trait Thesaurus.” If you haven’t checked these out, give them a try. They are great resources. I love them. Those are the five (plus the honorable mentions) indie press or self-published books I think Santa should leave in everyone’s stockings this year. I hope you check them out, if you haven’t already. And in a shameless plug, you can always stick a copy of "PODs" in your stocking too. So, what books are you hoping to find in your stocking this year? Whatever you find, I hope it includes love, joy and wonderful moments with your family and friends.

Merry Christmas everyone, Michelle :)  

Buy Links for PODs:
Buy Links for Milayna:

About the Author
Michelle Pickett

I’m a wife, mother, reader and writer, although not always in that order. Between helping my twin eight year-old daughters with their second grade homework and my twelve year-old son with his seventh grade homework (which I’ve recently learned I am NOT smarter than a fifth (or seventh) grader, thank you very much Jeff Foxworthy), and being a football mom (GO BULLDOGS!) I write young adult urban fantasies, science/fiction, post-apocalyptic, and paranormal romances and have recently started dabbling in young adult and new adult contemporary romance.

My work includes:
The Amazon Bestselling young adult novel PODs
Milayna, June 3, 2014
The Infected, a PODs novel, November 2014
Milayna’s Angel (Milayna #2), September 2014
The Innocent (Milayna #3), April 2015.
I always love to hear from readers, bloggers and other authors!

One (1) Signed book & $10 amazon gift card (US only)
One (1) ebook & $10 Amazon gift card (International)

The 23 Days of Christmahanakwanzika


  1. I have Colors Like Memories, but I haven't read it yet - definitely need to get to that one soon. And I'm reviewing The Prophecy so I think I'll be reading that one next week. You just made me more excited to read it! Thanks for the recommendations!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. I like how you're focusing on the Indie writers...very cool because they don't get much recognition.

  3. I actually haven't read any of these books. I'll definitely have to check out Colors Like Memories. I love books that hook me with the first sentence.

  4. howdy michelle..
    looking forward to read ur book PODs because i love dysto and zombies themes..
    thx u for hosting :)