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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Shattering Halos by Sunniva Dee Virtual Blog Tour and Giveaway

Shattering Halos
Author: Sunniva Dee
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc;
Publication: February 22, 2014
Pages: 364 
Genre: New Adult/Paranormal Romance


- it is "Beautiful Disaster" meets the TV series "Supernatural"...if the brothers were angels and love made them lose their heads.

He traded my death for love. I wasn’t given a choice. His decision has caught up with us, so now I am a living, breathing catalyst to war between Heaven and Hell.

The violations he committed saved my life. Since the collision, he’s appeared everywhere. In my hospital room, my school, even my house. He shows up in my paintings, my drawings, in all of my art projects. I can’t stop thinking about him.

He says his name is Gabriel, and he doesn’t understand what’s happening to him. He doesn’t know how I can see him or why he loves me in ways that should be impossible for a Celestial.

My obsession grows. I want him to hold me, kiss me—give all of himself. For every day he protects me, the consequences loom darker and taller. Soon, they’ll crash down on us. Yes, the war is about to begin.

Guest Post;
Judging Books by Covers
I like to repeat myself when it comes to our biggest "bookstore," Amazon; it's a jungle chock-full of books—at the moment around eight million up for grabs. Amazon's search system is great, and so are the individualized recommendations based on former reads you've enjoyed.

More than ever, the cover of a book and its blurb (the description on the back cover) need to hit home, the main issues being as follows:
- The blurb and the cover need to stand out from those of other books.
- They have to be representative of the book's content.
- On top of this, they have to please the readers that I, as an author, think will enjoy my novel.

This all sounds pretty simple, right? That's what I thought too, but it's a long, hard road to the goal. Unfortunately, what I've seen in some great books from awesome writers is that if you don't follow these rules, you might have one or both of these outcomes:

1) There is a big chance that your target reader will not notice your book if, for instance,
- the cover blends in with the other books on your reader's list of Amazon recommendations.
- the blurb doesn't trigger their interest.
The ultimate result is that the book doesn't sell as well as it should.

2) The book could sell to the wrong readers. It might disappoint readers if for instance:

- If the cover is perfect for one genre while the content of the book represents another.
- If the blurb focuses on (often shocking) issues barely touched on in the book.
- If the writing style in the blurb is very different to the content itself.
The result: the book sells in the beginning but receives more critical reviews than positive ones, which, at a later stage in the book’s life, can impede it from reaching readers who would love it.

I just discovered and read the perfect example of a book that merges an authentic, genuine cover with an equally true-to-its content blurb. The result has been off-the-charts sales and incredibly happy readers. In this case, we all enjoyed our guilty pleasure, knowing up front exactly what we went into. When the author is good in terms of writing and character development too, like in this case, then it's the readers' fault, not the author's, if the novel receives the occasional bad review. I'm not here to plug someone else's book, but the one in question is the erotic novella "Slade" by Victoria Ashley. Everything about it is in your face, and you better take it or leave it.

Lastly, let me apply my musings to my book, Shattering Halos, a New Adult Fantasy. I needed the cover and the blurb to portray two genres in one: this is a hot, New Adult book with lots of chemistry and heart-stopping, sexy moments, at the same time as it's got the paranormal, ethereal element of someone dealing with Celestial and Fallen hotties, not just regular college boys. My book is Beautiful Disaster meets the TV series Supernatural. If the Winchester brothers were angels and love made them lose their head, that is. How to put all this in a cover and a blurb?

As it turns out, the light aqua cover stands out among its peers on Amazon. There aren't many books with this color at the moment, which has been good for Shattering Halos. I have noticed that readers buying Ella Frank's aqua-colored Veiled Innocence, are also drawn to my book.

In the Shattering Halos cover, a single feather represents the angels, and the beautiful girl with the dreamy look in her eyes, is Gaia, the main character. There is water rippling in the background, symbolizing a major event in Gaia's life with her angel. Those of you who have read it already, should be giggling and blushing a little bit at the memory about now. ;)

As for the blurb, I needed it to give away how it felt to be Gaia throughout the book.Then, the style had to be clipped and simple, like in the book itself, and move fast through some major incidents Gaia experiences on her way. All in all, I'm happy about how it came out, and judging by the reviews (70% are 5 stars and 20% are 4 stars,) I'm led to believe that Shattering Halos has hit its target group.

In September/October, my New Adult contemporary novel Pandora Wild Child will be released. It's about a bad-girl (That's right! Not a bad-boy,) and the guys who try to save her...or deprave her in her first years off-leash in college. The cover has just been finalized, and I cannot wait to reveal it. I think it really says everything you need to know about this book. Now, all I have to do is match it with the perfect blurb. *Breathes in. Breathes out. Takes the challenge.*

Sunniva Dee



"Why was she so upset with you, Gabriel?” I asked.

I can’t read her mind.”

Oh right, how silly of me.” I rolled my eyes. His thoughts were somewhere else, so my sarcasm didn’t register with him.

I’ve never had to cloak myself before.”

Oh, with your other humans, you mean?” My voice came out strange.

Gabriel turned fully and looked at me. His eyebrows lifted. “Right…”

How many others have you had?”

I don’t know, thousands.”

Holy. Crap.

I leaned my forehead against the window, trying to hide the flare of jealousy.

Gaia.” A gentle hand reached around and pulled me back toward him. I couldn’t meet his stare.

They were humans that lived before you.”

Girls?” Why did I sound sulky? Oh, right, because I was a terrible actress. Gabriel’s quiet laughter drizzled over me. “Babies. Some growing into women and others into men. Many never grew up.”

Did they see you?” Did you kiss them?

Gabriel didn’t reply at first. Then the back of his hand traced my cheekbone down to my mouth.

No, I didn’t.”

My breath hitched. I must have heard wrong. His eyes focused on my lips, and my gut clenched.

He let go of me too fast. An arm hid his expression as he fell back into his seat. I leaned over, my palm molding to his face. I needed him close.

When it slid down his neck, a muffled groan slipped from him. “Please don’t touch me, Gaia.”

You started it.”

I know—I won’t. We have to stop this.”

Crap! You’re not making any sense—you know that? This is bullshit!”

Gabriel pushed his seat up and faced me, his irises shimmering like water. “Gaia. I don’t know why the archangels haven’t come for me, but humans and angels—” He cut himself off, then continued. “I screwed up. Since I’m still with you, they must have given me another chance.”

And just like that, I transformed into pure instinct all over again and jumped into his lap. Clearly I could not be trusted near this—this…angel.

The steering wheel jabbed into my back, but I barely noticed. The pain was just another reason to get closer, much closer to him. My fingers slid into his hair, tangling with it. I tugged him to me and pressed my mouth against his.

Gabriel reacted immediately. He crushed me so tight that my breath wheezed out. The seat lowered underneath him, and he pulled me with him, devouring my mouth.

We can’t be together?” I panted.

No, we can’t.”

Never?” Desperate, my tongue found his. He shook his head against my mouth. My stomach burned with need.

One at a time, I forced the words out in clipped gasps. “I can’t ever touch you again?” Gabriel groaned. I could feel him under me. So male, so alive.


I want him so much it hurts!

Gabriel’s eyes opened beneath me. He rocked me closer, and I moaned.

Will you be visible to me?”

Sometimes.” The tiny suckling noises as he feasted on my lips sent fire straight to my womb.

Please, promise me you’ll be visible always.”

His hands moved up to my face and held me out from him. The kiss he gave me was too light on my lips, and I shuddered.

No, not always. But I promise that you will see me every day.”

I absorbed the kisses, lucid enough to know they were the last ones I would ever receive from Gabriel.

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Originally from Norway, I moved to the United States twelve years ago.

The first awesome five years I spent in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, before moving to the beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia.

I'm currently on my seventh year in the South, where my husband, son, and I are enjoying the heat, the humidity, as well as our crazy menagerie of animals better known as the petting zoo. The only one not here is my daughter, who returned to Norway for college.

I hold a Master's degree in languages, and for ten years, I taught at university level, before settling in as graduate adviser at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Writing is my passion, my joy, and my addiction. Shattering Halos is my debut novel. When I'm not writing, I read. A lot. :)

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