Belle Whittington

Belle WhittingtonSerial daydreamer, Inkslinger, Author of YA Paranormal Novels, Shopaholic, and Professional Nerd.

Join me as I begin my journey to publication. Here, I will post articles of interest, blogs, and interviews pertaining to Indie Publishing.

Check out a sample of my novel, CICADA, posted on my "About My Writing" page. I've also got some CICADA short stories posted here, as well.

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Posts tagged "ya paranormal sci fi"

Chelsea Rafferty won the chocolate giveaway on my Facebook Fanpage!  YAY, Chelsea!  I sent you an email! :-)

Thanks to everyone who entered! I do these chocolate giveaways from time-to-time, so keep your eyes peeled! Also, when we reach 320 new “likes” I’ll give away some bookmarks! :-)

I love my readers and followers! You make all this worthwhile ♥

Check out the video and see how you can enter the t-shirt contest which is international!
The rules are:
It must be Cicada-themed
You can’t use any part of the book cover art
It’s open to international contestants
The deadline is June 30th, so you’ll have time to read Cicada and have an idea of what the book’s about

The winner will receive the t-shirt you’ve designed, and your design will be made available in the online store that I’ll be opening up later this summer.

Send your designs to cicadatshirt@ymail.com

Good luck and have fun!

bellewhittington.com
CONNECT: GOODREADS / WEBSITE / BUY A COPY: AMAZON / SMASHWORDS / B&N
Cicada by Belle Whittington is a book I’ve really been looking forward to reading. The cover is gorgeous, the summary begs you to read it, and the title makes you wonder. I actually think the title is the best thing about this book after reading it. It pulls the book together in a beautiful way. The rich southern atmosphere seeped from the pages like heat. One great thing about Cicada is the visual picture you form in your head while reading. I found myself intensely focusing on certain scenes, and I think that’s always great when you read a book. But despite my initial excitement I ended up having issues with Cicada that were difficult to ignore. In the end I can safely say Cicada was great, but the beginning wasn’t.     
Aliens aren’t something you see a lot of in the young-adult genre, so right from the start Cicada had a uniqueness going for it. Aliens in the south I’d suspect you’d see even less of. I will admit it took me a long time to warm up to Cicada. There was something loose and unfocused about the writing and the story layout that prevented me from immediately forming a connection. It needed a lot more editing I think. That was my biggest problem with Cicada. A little more attention to the details would have a profound effect. I found myself dreading the dialogue and looking forward to Blair’s perspective, because the way she saw things, as opposed to how she said them, was night and day.
The second half of this book became something better, in my opinion, that the first half. It was non-stop, I mean secrets and puzzle pieces and questions were piling up so fast I couldn’t keep up. I was desperate to find out what would happen and to know all the answers. I kept trying to solve it my head but I don’t think we were given all the pieces for a reason. Book two can’t come fast enough. It picked up so much steam and body in the second half and I was pretty sad to see it end. 
The plot was also really good. It kept me going, especially in the beginning as I struggled to find my place in this novel. That scene where they’re all hanging out near the crop circle and that UFO appears, it was amazing! Plenty times Cicada had me freaked out in a very good way. I do wish the characters had more presence, personality, and authenticity though. The way they spoke to each other, the way Blair saw everything, just the overall focus of this novel would feel ordinary if you took away the aliens. With a plot this good I wanted everyone to keep up but they didn’t.
One person I loved? Everett! Immediately I loved how intelligent, trust-worthy, and mature he was. Some characters, like David and Natalie, felt mildly unimportant. All David said was “I think we should kill it,” and Natalie cried and disappeared. But Everett was my favorite! When he explained about the cicada’s you get to see his personality up front and personal. And the fact that Blair loved the same thing about him made me really like her. I missed the old Everett as much as she did, and the ending left me biting my tongue to keep from crying. Blair’s grief was one thing that was exceptionally portrayed. I felt so bad for her at night, because I knew what she would go through. Her pain and sadness were like another character, and I love Belle Whittington for showing us that side of her. I know who Blair is as a character, and I loved what I saw. I feel bad that she’s stuck with all those secrets and I know there’s still more secrets to come.
I can’t wait for those secrets!
Overall I really liked Cicada. It was action-packed and fast-paced, weaving together aliens, mystery, and romance in a highly unique and exciting way. I would definitely recommend Cicada to alien lovers and those looking for something different.

Belle Whittington has stopped by today with an interview about her new book Cicada!

About the book:

Describe Cicada in one sentence.

Cicada is a YA novel in which a group of teens learn that family and friends can get you through anything.

Give me a quick blurb about the book and do pitch on why you think readers will enjoy it. 

“Summertime for Blair Reynolds and her friends had always been carefree and fun … until the summer they happened upon something that was not human.  As they band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human. Something unnatural.  And their survival depends entirely upon their ability to keep a secret.”

Cicada was released last July, so I’ve had close to a year to observe what readers like about my little book.  And what they like is that the characters are authentic, the story is unique and fresh, and there’s enough suspense woven throughout the story to keep readers hooked until the end.  There are no vampires or werewolves here!  Dive in and find out what lurks between the covers of this book…but only if you can keep a secret!

Go here to read the rest and show Rachel’s blog some luuuvvvv!!!!


Hey all! Welcome to my stop on the Cicada blog tour! I have a fantastic guest post from Belle Whittington, author of the YA novel Cicada! So enjoy yourself, read the guest post, and go find a copy of this book. YAY!

Belle Whittington - Cicada



• Pub Date: September 13, 2011
• Publisher: CreateSpace
• Format: Paperback 220pp
• Age Range: Young Adult

Summertime for Blair Reynolds and her friends had always been carefree and fun… until the summer they happened upon something that was not human. As they band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human. Something unnatural. And their survival depends entirely upon their ability to keep a secret.



Guest Post

I have been daydreaming stories for as long as I can remember. My first recollection of wanting to be a writer was when I was in the second grade, and my teacher, Mrs. Rambin, would have us lay our heads on our desks after lunch while she read us stories full of magic and imagination.

Most of my early writings were stories with a twist of science fiction…even my earliest poems. I remember sitting on the dam of a neighbor’s pond around the time I was eleven, writing a story about space travel. In fact, I still have that little handwritten story. It’s still bound in the same yellow notebook that I put it in way back in the sixth grade!

Growing up in Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, afforded me summers full of adventure with my friends. I call on those adventures and memories a great deal for my YA stories. Cicada has a lot of the energy of those childhood adventures spun throughout. One of them is something that actually happened to me when I was thirteen years old. I was on one of my adventures in the woods with my dog, Dusty. We made our way through the woods to a neighboring pasture and crawled through the barbed wire fence. When we got to the top of one of the rolling hills in the grassy field, I realized I was standing in the middle of a giant circle imprinted in the pasture grass. No one had ever told me about crop circles at that time in my life, so I just thought it was an odd occurrence that there was a strange circle in the tall grass. Now that circle is forever memorialized in a YA novel, Cicada!

Click here to read the rest and show this blog some bloggy luvvvv!!!!!!!!


Today I have Belle Whittington author of Cicada in the spotlight!
Welcome to the blog Belle, What inspired you to write CICADA? 


There’s not any one thing that inspired me to write Cicada. I find inspiration in everything around me, and there are a lot of cumulative memories of inspiration from over the years that all culminated 
Growing up in Nacogdoches, the oldest town in Texas, afforded me summers full of adventure with my friends. I call on those adventures and memories a great deal for my YA stories. Cicada has a lot of the energy of those childhood adventures spun throughout. One of them is something that actually happened to me when I was thirteen years old. I was on one of my adventures in the woods with my dog, Dusty. We made our way through the woods to a neighboring pasture and crawled through the barbed wire fence. When we got to the top of one of the rolling hills in the grassy field, I realized I was standing in the middle of a giant circle imprinted in the pasture grass. No one had ever told me about crop circles at that time in my life, so I just thought it was an odd occurrence that there was a strange circle in the tall grass. Now that circle is forever memorialized in a YA novel, Cicada! 

Indie publishing- Why do you think it’s becoming so popular? 
Traditional gatekeepers (agents, etc.) have long held the power of setting trends of what was published and when it was published, thereby deciding for the masses what would be in vogue in the writing world. The pendulum has swung toward the readers and book bloggers/reviewers, who are now the new gatekeepers. I think Indie Publishing is becoming so popular because authors finally have a venue to publish their works without having to conform to what the traditional gatekeepers want. Indie authors are now able to offer readers a wider variety within each genre, which is better for the reader. Also, there are so many viable options for indie publishing available now, allowing authors to create quality books for readers. That’s my two-cents-worth! 

CICADA has become a movie, who is playing your main character and why? 
Oh, I really do love this question, because I actually have in mind a list of actors who could easily step into the shoes of my characters. By no means did I pattern my characters after these actors though. However, I feel they would fit the parts very well! How about I go a step further and show you who I think could fill all their shoes? Drum roll………..

{Book Tour: Review} with Cicada by Belle Whittington

Seeing Night Reviews is the next stop in The Teen Book Scene Tour for Cicada by Belle Whittington.
Cicada
Cicada by Belle Whittington
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

GENRE: YA Fantasy
THEME: Aliens
RECEIVED: Review Request for Book Tour
AUTHORS BLOG: Belle Whittingtons Site
Cicada
Cicada
Goodreads rating: 4.22 (51 ratings)


BLURB:
Summertime for Blair Reynolds and her friends had always been carefree and fun…until the summer they happened upon something that was not human. As they band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human. Something unnatural. And their survival depends entirely upon their ability to keep a secret.

REVIEW:
I didn’t know what to expect with Cicada the synopsis caught my attention right away and the cover didn’t give much of a hit of what to expect. But I truly enjoyed this one of a kind young adult novel. Finally! A book without the usual paranormal creatures and a plot that just kept on making me guess. Though the beginning was a bit slow for me, when it started picking up I couldn’t put this book down.

Blair Reynolds lives in a small town and she is about to start summer with her friends. But it’s a summer that not only is their last together before college, it’s a summer filled with secrets after finding something that know one would ever believe.

Blair is dealing with being the only one a year younger than her friends and brother, all who are going to start college in the fall. Everything started out normal for them all until Blair and her friends discover crop circles in their hometown. Blair is a young girl who lost two people in her family and is struggling with their loss. But her strength starts to show its face once the discovery of this creature is discovered and a friend becomes in danger.

Click here to read the rest and show this blog some luuuuvvvvv!!!!! <3

Pop on over to Larkin’s Book Bloggers to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY for an AUTOGRAPHED PAPERBACK of Cicada! 

Once you’ve done that, hop over to my FB fanpage to ENTER THE GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY!!!

As part of Teen Book Scene’s Author and Book Tour, we are pleased to host Belle Whittington today!  Belle is the author of the new novel, Cicada.  Don’t forget, we’re running a contest to win a signed copy of Cicada – enter below!  Belle will be answering some Author This or Thats – one of my favorites.  Welcome, Belle!

1. TV Junkie or Music Junkie? I’m not either, really. I guess I’d be more of a book junkie! LOL! But if I had to choose from these two, I would be closer to a music junkie.

2. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook

3. Coke or Pepsi? Coke

4. Tropical beach vacation or cabin in the woods vacation? Tropical Beach Vacation

5. Addicted to your smart phone or what’s a smart phone? What the devil is a smart phone?

6. Email or snail mail? Email

7. Cats or dogs? Doggies!

8. Rock or pop or country? Rock (especially alternative rock)

9. Red Sox or Yankees (I know, you’re from Texas – but this is an important question up here in New England)? I’m speechless and I hear crickets chirping in the background. I’m a nerd. I don’t have an answer to this question… I don’t even follow sports in Texas! LOL!

You can find Belle at her website – http://bellewhittington.com/

Thank you Belle!

Cicada Book Blog Tour Stop #9: Character Tweets at Ashley Suzanne’s lovely book blog! Ever wonder what the main characters in Cicada would tweet about? Here’s your chance to find out! Pop on over to Ashley’s blog and show some love! Once you’ve left your comment, don’t forget to come back here and enter it in the rafflecopter form for THE GRAND PRIZE! Just click on the tab to the left labeled GRAND PRIZE! ♥

I’ve decided to offer a GRAND PRIZE to my current Cicada Book Blog Tour, hosted by The {Teen} Book Scene!

How does it work?  Comment on each stop on the book blog tour and then go to my rafflecopter to enter!  Each comment on each stop equals one entry for the grand prize!  Easy peasy!

Where’s the schedule for the book blog tour?  It’s right —>HERE<—

Where’s the rafflecopter entry form?  It’s right —>HERE<—

What’s the grand prize?  Chocolate Molded Cicadas (not real bugs) shipped directly to you from The Chocolate Vault.

Pop over to Cicada Book Blog Tour Stop #3 to read the review and ENTER THE GIVEAWAY for an autographed paperback of Cicada and bookmark!  Oh!  And show the blog some love! <3

Courtesy of Teen Book Scene

You know how it seems like lately that all YA Fantasy novels revolve around the same topics…wolves, vampires, ghosts?  Recently I’ve read two new novels that break away from this trend – Cobbogoth and now Cicada, a debut novel from author Belle Whittington.  Belle breaks from traditional fantasy/science fiction by giving us a novel about aliens, and it’s freaky.

Summertime for Blair Reynolds and her friends had always been carefree and fun…until the summer they happened upon something that was not human. As they band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human. Something unnatural. And their survival depends entirely upon their ability to keep a secret.

That’s a pretty bare-bones summary for a book that has so much more.  This story is basically a mystery involving a brother and sister, Blair and Andrew.  We discover that they have recently lost their brother and father, and details about how they die are teased out until almost the very end.  What started out as tragic deaths later has weird ties to the other mystery going on in this story – what the kids discover in the woods.  At a graduation party for Andrew, the kids go out on quads where they have an encounter with a spaceship and then much more.  How does this all tie in to the mysterious store-front with eerie lights across from the drive-in?  How are Blair, Andrew, and their grandfather all connected to what’s going on in the woods?  How will Everett, Andrew’s friend and Blair’s secret crush, be effected by all that happens?  Belle Whittington has certainly given us a story full of mystery and suspense – and the story will continue in her next installment titled, Firefly.

Click here to read the rest of review and ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Post by the lovely Mrs. L.

Want to get to know the main character, Blair, a little better? Here’s an enlightening interview with her and Trini!

  1. Sand Dollar or Shark Tooth:  “I think I’d prefer a sand dollar,” Blair answered, her voice low and thoughtful. 
  2. Deep Space or Ocean Deep:  “Definitely deep space.  Although, I’m not really sure why…” she twisted a tendril of her light brown hair around her finger and bit her lip. 
  3. Bar-B-Que or Fast Food:  “Bar-B-Que!  At my grandparents’ ranch!  There’s nothing better in the world than Grandpa’s brisket and Grandma’s banana pudding!” she giggled.  “You’ll have to come to the next one.  I’ll send you an email when we plan one,” Blair scribbled the interviewer’s email onto the palm of her left hand. 
  4. Cicadas or Mosquitoes: “Cicadas are the little lullaby bugs that sing me to sleep in the evenings,” Blair smiled.  “You know, there’s a parallel in the Cicada’s life cycle that can also symbolize change.  Or so my friend, Everett, tells me. Well, maybe he’s a little more than a friend.” 
  5. Cupcakes or Brownies:  “My mom makes the best cupcakes in the world at her bakery.  Have you been there?” Blair asked the interviewer.  “It’s called ‘Sprinkles’ and it’s the best place in Willis for bakery items.” 
  6. The Drive-In or Theater: “Definitely the drive-in with my friends!  We pile into the back of my brother’s truck and hang out until the place closes sometimes,” she said while checking her text messages on her cell phone.
Click here to read the rest and show this blog some love! <3

The {Teen} Book Scene has put together an awesome tour for my little YA book, Cicada!  Wanna join in the fun and festivities?  Here’s the schedule:

Cicada by Belle Whittington
March 12-24
Coordinated by: Kari

Picture

Monday, March 12: Trini at A Book Lover’s Review(Character This or That: Blair)
Tuesday, March 13: Jen Howell at Late Bloomer Online(Author Interview w/ Book Line Answers)
Wednesday, March 14: Jen Larkin at Larkin’s Book Bloggers(Review)
Thursday, March 15: Kristen T at Seeing Night Reviews(Multicharacter Interview)
Friday, March 16: Vickie at Me, My Shelf and I (Music Post)
Saturday, March 17: Ashley S at Ashley Suzanne (Review)

Monday, March 19: Patricia at Patricia’s Particularity(Character This or That: Everitt)
Tuesday, March 20: Nicole at Books Complete Me (Author Interview)
Wednesday, March 21: Trini at A Book Lover’s Review (Review)
Thursday, March 22: Ashley S at Ashley Suzanne (Character Tweets)
Friday, March 23: Jen Larkin at Larkin’s Book Bloggers (Author This or That)
Saturday, March 24: Kristen T at Seeing Night Reviews (Review)

Cicada by Belle Whittington

Published September 13th 2011 by CreateSpace 

Source: Won in a Giveaway

Add it to Goodreads

Purchase a copy at Amazon|B&N

Summertime for Blair Reynolds and her friends had always been carefree and fun…until the summer they happened upon something that was not human. As they band together in a fight for their lives, Blair’s true love becomes something more than human. Something unnatural. And their survival depends entirely upon their ability to keep a secret.

Review

I love the way this book starts off. It asks the reader if they can keep a secret and if not, they should just close the book and not even read it suggesting possibly burning it. This gave me a chuckle and had me even more intrigued to read it.

Blair doesn’t really have any friends of her own. She usually just hangs out with her older brother and his friends. Andrew and the crew are a year older than Blair and the book starts at the beginning of the summer before Blair’s senior year. Blair wants to spend as much time with them before they all head off to college and she is stuck at home all alone.

Blair seems to have a little bit of a crush on her brother’s friend Everett. It really never is quite said out loud, but it is hinted around. Hmmm, how do I explain Everett? Well, Blair’s nickname for him is “bug boy”. He knows all there is to do with bugs, ask him any question about any bug and he will know the answer. He is kind of nerdy, but very sweet. He also tends to gravitate toward Blair.

The summer seems to be going fine until the crop circle appears at Blair’s grandparents farm. That is when all hell breaks loose. The crew finds a strange-looking pod in the woods and Everett, being the bug boy, decides that they need to save it. The pod looks just like the cicada shells, only much much larger.

When the pod starts bursting open and reveals what is inside, the trouble really begins. Everything and everyone is changing before Blair’s eyes and she is really having a hard time dealing with it. Also the fact that everyone is trying to keep secrets from her and she will do her damnest to find out what they are.

Click here to read the rest and show Heather’s blog some love! <3

Post by the lovely Heather

The lovely Cathy Keaton has written a thoughtful review of Cicada.

Care to check it out?  Pop over to her awesome blog.