Saturday, August 25, 2012

Blog Tour: Hollowed by Kelley York Review and Guest Post

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  • Publisher: Kelley York
  • Publication date: 8/13/2012
  • Format: eBook 
  • Source: eBook provided by the author for review/tour
Purchase: Amazon | B&N


All 18-year-old Briar Greyson wanted was to figure out this whole living-away-from-your-parents thing. Apartment, steady job, cool roommate? Check. Noah, her adorable (albeit elusive) boyfriend? Check. Everything in the life of Briar was pretty good.

Then she and her roommate are attacked on their way home one night. Briar wasn't supposed to survive.

Instead, according to the two guys who saved her, she's turning into the things that attacked her: a vampire. Totally crazy and Not Okay. Now Noah's secrets are coming to light, and he wants Briar dead. Then there are the vampires who attacked Briar to lure out her sister.

Her sister...who died years ago.

(Didn't she?)

The city's body count is rising, and Briar wants to help put a stop to it. But first, she has to figure out who the real enemy is: the vampires, the boy she loves, or the sister she thought she'd lost.

My Thoughts

When I heard that Kelley York had another book coming out I was so excited for it. I took part in the cover reveal for this and knew I had to be part of the blog tour. I loved her book Hushed and was eager to read more of her books!! This book was great. The characters really pull you in, the story keeps you interested, and the mystery of it was fun to try to figure out. I sometimes wish that I wasn't so good at solving mysteries, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story at all. I was so interested in how everything was going to pan out. I also really loved the pacing of the book. It had action, but not constant. You were able to take a breather and try to piece things together.  

Briar is a wonderful character. She is funny and sarcastic. She may not make the smartest choices all the time, but it makes her more likable. She knows that she messes up sometimes. She takes things pretty well I think. At first she totally doesn't believe she is a vampire, but eventually she realizes that Cole and Oliver aren't lying to her and she needs their help. She still doesn't really trust them, but I like that she slowly gets to know then and let them in. She is also hurting that her boyfriend Noah now hates her because of what she is. She needs to try to get him to see that she isn't really a  monster, and find out why he seems to know exactly what she is before she actually tells him. I felt my heart breaking a little over the whole situation with Noah and with the mystery about her sister. I really started to connect with Briar and loved her character. 

The secondary characters are really great too. Oliver took a little while to grow on me, but once I got to know him I understood him better and really liked him. His interactions with Briar were pretty awesome at times. Daniel is another character I totally loved. I wanted to get to know him more. He is very interesting. there has got to be a whole lot more to him. Then of course Noah, I went back and forth with him. I wasn't sure whether to trust him. At times I did and at other times I didn't I can't really say much more about him except that he does play quite a large role in the book. 

I really enjoyed getting to know Briar and slowly getting to know some things about the other characters. I loved how the story progressed and how the mystery unfolds. I enjoyed that there are more than just vampires and how it incorporated other paranormal beings. I loved the settings too. I could really imagine walking through the park or the other places. This book is fabulous!! 4 out of 5 stars. 

I also have a guest post for you. Since Kelley had previously had a book go the traditional route, (Hushed was published by Entangled Publishing and she also has another book coming out that will be published by them.) I asked her about the process of going self pub. So a big welcome to Kelley!!

Guest Post

Self Publishing Process

After making the decision to self-pub I ran in circles for a while, unsure where to start. I had friends who had gone the SP route, so I was clumsily trying to follow their example. I had a vague idea of all the things I needed, and it all seemed really daunting and scary. My steps went something like this:

1. Cover design.
Even when doing this myself, I still had to pay for the image I used, so it wasn't free. (Thankfully, much cheaper than paying someone else to do it.) I also arranged a cover and blurb reveal.

2. Editing.
Hollowed had been edited many, many times already, but I hadn't touched it in nearly six months, so I was able to go in one last time and see things with fresh eyes.

3. Formatting.
By far, the most time consuming part of my process. I followed the Smashwords formatting guide to a T. Let me tell you, even if you aren't pubbing through Smashwords, that style guide is invaluable. It was a lot of work, but it paid off. I didn't have a single formatting error with spacing, indents, centering, my table of contents, or anything else when I was done.

4. ARCs and Blog Tour.
Also time consuming, but totally worth it. I sent out e-ARCs (which I made myself using Sigil and Calibre) to anyone who helped with the cover reveal, and those who were participating in the blog tour. For the tour, I kept a spreadsheet with every stop, their website, date, and what kind of post they were doing (so that I knew if I had a guest post to write for them, or interview questions to answer).

5. Release date and pricing.
I went back and forth on the pricing for Hollowed for a while, and researched what the "sweet spot" was for self-published books. Because SW, B&N, and Amazon don't let you schedule a release date, I uploaded everything two days ahead of time, just in case I encountered some kind of error. Thankfully, all that prep-work ahead of time made the entire process run smoothly. SW went live immediately, and the other two were live within 24 hours.
All in all, I think my process went pretty smooth. It was tiring, but a lot of that exhaustion came from learning. I bugged Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry several times for advice, and fumbled my way through the rest. Google was my best friend.
I think my biggest piece of advice for anyone considering self-publishing: do your research. Know what you're getting into. Self-publishing is a lot of learning, a lot of patience, and a lot of work. Nothing about this process is easy. However, it has the potential to be extremely fun and rewarding.

Thanks, Amy, for letting me stop by!

About the author

 Kelley was born and raised in central California, where she still resides with her lovely wife, daughter, and an abundance of pets. (Although she does fantasize about moving across the globe to Ireland.) She has a fascination with bells, adores all things furry – be them squeaky, barky, or meow-y – is a lover of video games, manga and anime, and likes to pretend she’s a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or maybe a mermaid.
Within young adult, she enjoys writing and reading a variety of genres from contemporary with a unique twist, psychological thrillers, paranormal/urban fantasy and horror. She loves stories where character development takes center stage.
As of January 2011, Kelley is a proud member of the Young Adult writers group blog, YAtopia, as well as For the Love of Contemporary. She is currently unagented. Her YA thriller, HUSHED, is now available via Entangled Publishing. She has two upcoming novels: HOLLOWED (August, 2012) and MADE OF STARS (Fall 2013).

*image and about info taken from Kelley's website

Find Kelley around the web

And lucky you!! There is also a tour wide giveaway going on too!! Just fill out the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I was so excited to see this book on your blog today. I loved Hushed, too, and have been anxious to read another book of Kelley's. I'm glad you enjoyed Hollowed. I can't wait to read it. Nice review!

    1. Her writing is so great. This book was fantastic. I think you will enjoy it.

  2. Sounds like a great book! I'll have to look into it! I'm still excited about my WAKE win!

    1. Squee!! I am excited that you won!! I love when my friends win!! :)

  3. Sounds like a fabulous read! So glad you enjoyed it.


  4. Hollowed looks really great! I think it's super interesting that the author decided to go the self publishing route, even though she was published with a traditional publishing. I think I can definitely understand her reasoning though, even though it seems like it's a lot of work!

    Thanks for sharing Amy! =)

  5. I love reading self-publishing success stories. Wishing Kelley much luck with her book!

  6. I loved Hollowed so much! Thanks so much for telling a few weeks back that there were spots on the tour :D Great review! I completely agree with what you said about Briar such as her being wonderfully sarcastic.

  7. Hushed was awesome! I loved the self publishing info. Very interesting! Sounds like a lot of work but I'm sure very worth the outcome. The cover is so pretty! And I love paranormal mysteries so I will have to check it out. I love vampires especially if extra paranormal creatures are also included ;-)

  8. This is actually the first time i hear about this author, but her books sound interesting! Some self-published authors can REALLY surprise you!! I really like the paranormal mystery, so ill def have to check this book out! and i LOVE the cover! Great post Amy!
    - Farah @ Maji Bookshelf


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