Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blog Tour: Touch of Death by Kelly Hashway Review, Interview, and Giveaway

Today, I have my stop on the Touch of Death blog tour! I have a my review and a great interview with Kelly Hashway. There is also a great tour wide giveaway at the end of the post too. Thanks so much to Spencer Hill Press for letting me take part in this awesome blog tour!

  • Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2013
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.

After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.

Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.

My Thoughts

As soon as I saw the gorgeous cover for this book and then read the overview I knew I had to read this! The story just sounded too awesome to pass up, and I was correct. This book had me hooked from the first few pages. I knew that this book would be one that I would love. Full of horrifying events, a romance that doesn't distract from the plot, and a whole lot of awesome revelations about what is really going on, this book is a true winner!!

Jodi was a character that I could relate to, I mean not that I have the kiss of death or can bring people back to life of anything, but because underneath her not so pleasant powers, she is a pretty normal girl. She is accident prone beyond belief, and though it leads to some pretty traumatizing events, it was quite funny at times. I am one of those people who could hurt myself on anything so she was very real to me. She also grows so much from beginning to end. To me she starts off as someone who isn't quite sure of herself and doesn't have a lot of confidence, to a totally bad ass chick who will do anything she can to save her race. As broken as she was leaving her old somewhat normal life, she really embraces her new one and does the right thing at times when almost anyone else would take the easy way out.

Alex was iffy to me for most of the book. I never really could completely put my trust in him. For one, he is a total stalker to begin the book, then he does some really... odd things. He is also a bit of a moody guy too. He goes from one extreme to the other like Jekyll and Hyde. But really, for the most part, I thought he was sweet and a little broken. I could almost see where his behavior was coming from, but like a lot of guys in books lately, I wanted him to grow a pair and man up. I guess easier said than done. In the end I did really like him though, and to me those are the best kind of characters. When they have to work to make you like them.

The take on mythology in this book and what the Ophi can and can't do was really great! I loved the whole idea of it all and as the story progressed it just got better and better. This is one of those books that you really can imagine the setting, and the things happening. You can feel what the character is going through. This was a slightly creepy, fantastically awesome book with a lot of action, and humor. And for those who don't like huge cliffhangers, this one doesn't leave you in suspense, but does leave you wanting more. Touch of Death was an amazing start to this series and I will be counting the days until Stalked by Death. 4 out of 5 stars


BLM: Hi Kelly! Thanks for taking time to do the interview.

BLM: You have written a number of children's books. What made you decide to write YA?

KH: I actually started writing YA first, but my children's books were published sooner. YA is where my heart is because I never truly stopped being 16. That version of me is still going strong in my mind.

BLM:What inspired you to become a writer?

KH: I've always loved to read. Books have impacted my life in so many ways and I wanted to be able to have that kind of impact on other people's lives. I guess you can say, I'm trying to pay it forward.

BLM: What gave you the idea for Touch of Death?

KH: I was researching for another book at the time and came across a lesser known myth about Ophiuchus and Medusa. According to the myth, Ophiuchus was given two vials of Medusa's blood. Being Gorgon, the blood on the right side of Medusa's body could bring back the dead and the blood on the left side of her body could kill. I knew immediately that I wanted to have a cast of characters who could do the same thing.

BLM: What type of research did you do for the mythology aspect of the story?

KH: I had to do a lot of research on Ophiuchus (the 13th sign of the zodiac) and Medusa. I also had to research Hades quite a bit. I've always loved mythology, though, so the research was really fun. In addition to regular research, I read books that featured Hades. I wanted to make sure I was portraying him in a convincing way, but I didn't want him to be stereotypical either. I had to put my own spin on him.

BLM: This is a planned three book series, correct? Do you have the whole series plotted out or are you kind of figuring it out as you go?

KH: Yes, it is. I actually planned the entire series before my agent took Touch of Death out on submission. All three books are written at this point, too. I like to be ahead of things. Of course, my characters did make me stray from my planning on numerous occasions. They're much smarter than I am. ;)

BLM: Are any of your character based on people who you know?

KH: No. I may pull traits from myself or other people, but none of my characters are modeled after real people.

BLM: How did you come up with the characters names? Was it random? Did they choose their own names?

KH: Thankfully, they come to me named. I know that makes me sound crazy, but my characters come to me the same way I'd meet a new friend. They approach me with their names and stories already in mind.

BLM: Do your characters speak to you or get in your head and lead the story directions that you don't expect?

KH: All the time! I really don't even feel like I write the books. I feel like I'm just trying to keep up with the characters playing out their stories in my head.

BLM: You have a few different books that will be coming out in the next two years. Is it hard to switch your mind off from one story to get into another?

KH: All my MCs are very different and that really helps. They each have their own story to tell, and that allows me to love them all and give them separate attention.

BLM: The cover for Touch of Death (and Stalked by Death) is gorgeous! Did you have any say in the design of it at all?

KH: Yes. Kate Kaynak at Spencer Hill Press asked me for my thoughts before the cover was designed, and I found a picture that I loved as Jodi. Kate loved it too, and she worked her magic on it, altering it to fit the story perfectly.

BLM: Now I have some random this or that questions for you.
Coffee or tea? Coffee

M&M's or Skittles? M&M's

Chips or cookies? cookies

Sneakers or Heels? Heels

Morning person or night owl? morning person

Pool or ocean? pool

Facebook or twitter? twitter

Okay that's all I have. Thanks so much Kelly! It was a pleasure to be able to interview you!

About the author:
I write for children of all ages from picture books up to young adult. I am proudly represented by Lauren Hammond of ADA Management. My debut YA, TOUCH OF DEATH, releases January 15, 2013 through Spencer Hill Press. Also look for my other upcoming YA novels: STALKED BY DEATH (Spencer Hill Press, July 23, 2013), THE MONSTER WITHIN (Spencer Hill Press, April 2014), THE DARKNESS WITHIN (Spencer Hill Press, TBA), and INTO THE FIRE (Month9Books, spring 2014). My debut MG series CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE releases in 2016 through Month9Books.

Upcoming books:
LOVE ALL, Swoon Romance, December 2012

TOUCH OF DEATH, Spencer Hill Press, January 15, 2013 Pre-order on Amazon or B&N

STALKED BY DEATH, Spencer Hill Press, July 23, 2013

THE MONSTER WITHIN, Spencer Hill Press, April 2014


INTO THE FIRE, Month9Books, Spring 2014


That is a whole lot of books coming out in the next few years!! I can't wait to read all of them. :) Don't forget to enter the tour wide giveaway using the rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Having a kiss of death would really suck! LOL I'd be killing boys left and right! Love mythology and necromancers so this one caught my attention early! Glad it also has some great humor too! I still very much feel like a 16 year old as well! I think that is why I enjoy YA so much.

    1. Haha!! Right?! That's just evil!!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed Touch of Death, and thank you for being part of the blog tour. I'm accident prone like Jodi, too. I can hurt myself sitting still. LOL

    1. It was my pleasure to take part in the tour!! I really enjoyed Touch of Death. I am very accident prone too. That's what made this so much more fun to read. I was thinking "I would totally do that!" Lol!

  3. Nice interview and nice review. This book sounds awesome. Glad you enjoyed the book.

    1. It was a very good book!! I really liked Jodi!

  4. Oy a creepy love interest? No thanks! I like that she has the kiss of death, thats pretty cool. But not sure this one would be for me. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I really liked the mythology of this. I thought it was interesting. I like that things were explained well too. Not a book for everyone though.

  5. Sounds good. I'm glad you liked it. I love descriptive books that make you feel like you're part of the story.

    1. I am really excited for the next book!! This one ends with a bang and I know things will get really interesting.

  6. I'm really excited for this book. I absolutely love the premise. Now that you've mentioned how relatable the MC is, I'm determined to buy a copy of this when it comes out next year. I'm a little worried about the love interest though. Still, the world-building and mythology seem to be well written, so I'm happy to hear that! Lovely review, Amy! :)

    1. I liked that I didn't know what to really think of the love interest. It kept things interesting. This was very well written. I enjoyed this one so much that I pre-ordered a copy right after reading it and sent my ARC to another blogger to share the love! Besides, this book is too pretty to not own a copy!

  7. Ooooh I'm so excited for this book, Amy! :) Thank you for the giveaway!! :) Glad you liked it for the most part!

    1. It was a very fun book. And I loved that things were explained. You know how some books all the weird stuff "just is" well this actually tells you why.

  8. I have to read this for the tour, also, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Looking forward to seeing Jodi become bad ass! Fab review!

    1. I think you will like Jodi. She will have you laughing!!

  9. Yay! We're blog tour twins!!! :)

    Loved the interview! Kate is a pretty awesome editor, and person, love her! So cool that Kelly has so many books coming out! Can't wait to read them!

    I agree w/you, Alex is a bit iffy, but he has potential. I'm interested to see how Kelly develops him and his relationship with Jodi. Great review Amy!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

    1. I am looking forward to the other books she has coming out!! Alex was just so freaking creepy. He redeemed himself a little, but I'm still not sure about him!!

  10. Nice. I have this one coming up soon.


  11. DUDE! Alex was CREEPY! I was like "Are you, like, certified to follow Jodi around like a stalker? Oh, it's not just me? Kay, good." Like, I totally agree about the mythology aspect of it and Jodi, but Alex seriously got on my nerves after a while with his polar opposite attitude.

    But I'm glad you really liked it! Awesome review as always!

    1. OMG right?! Total stalker!! And the thing in the closet!!! He's such a creepy dude! I did love the book and I am super excited to know where the story will go.

  12. Great review and interview! I have definitely had my eye on this one for a while now. I'm especially even more interested in the mythology now. Will certainly be picking this one up soon!

    1. I think you would like this one. If I hadn't already gave my ARC to someone I would have sent it to you.

  13. What a great post! I've been hearing great things about this book and I love learning about Kelly and her process. I absolutely love love the cover. Thanks for sharing!

    1. The cover is so gorgeous!! I really enjoyed learning more about Kelly too.

  14. Your description on Jodi is SPOT ON! That's exactly how I saw her! And you are soooo right! All those traumatizing events were funny! I can understand your iffiness about Alex! He was creeptastic in the beginning! And yep, characters that grow on your are the best, IMO :))) I hope more develops between Jodi and Alex and MORE MYTHOLOGY! :) YAY for being review twinsies <333

    AMAAAAAZING review, Amy :D

    1. Dude!! All I could think at first was "OMG Alex is a creepy stalker!" Then I liked him a little, then I didn't, now I'm not sure haha!! I get why he is the way he is though, so as long as he proves his worth in the next book I will like him.

  15. I had no idea that Touch of Death had aspects of mythology in it! Am I living under a rock or something? The book sounds fantastic and your review made me want to know what odd things Alex did. I so cannot miss out on reading this book now. Sounds awesome for a lover of mythology like me. Yay!

    Great review, Amy!


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