Friday, June 22, 2012

Cicada Book Blog Tour: excerpt, review and giveaways

We are hosting the Cicada tour today. Cicada, by Belle Whittington, is a YA fantasy. We have the book trailer, links, our review and the author has some fabulous giveaways. This tour is presented by AToMR Book Blog Tours.

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.

Purchase links: Amazon paperback\ebook | Kindlegraph (for free e-book autographs)| Nook | CreateSpace | BooksonBoard | Smashwords

Find out more about Cicada: Goodreads 

An excerpt from Cicada:
“Do you realize how difficult it is to see properly when the only light available is green?” Andrew moved the icepack from his eye to his lip.

“So, why are you both all banged up like this?” Everett gestured to their injuries.

“We were wrong in thinking that no one was inside,” David snorted then shook his head.

“There are things in there …” Andrew’s voice trailed off.

“What things?” I joined my brother at the kitchen table.

“They have pictures of Mom like they’ve been following her,” Andrew winced as he lifted the icepack to his eye once more. “I took them. They were taped on the wall, and I ripped them off!”

“Then he sorta went crazy in there,” David cut in. “I don’t blame him. I would have, too.”

“You did,” Andrew chucked a feeble laugh.

“There were other pictures,” David hopped down from the kitchen counter and sat on the other side of Andrew.

“Natalie?” The dark dread was growing inside of me again. David didn’t have to nod for me to know the answer.

“You and Everett, too,” David’s voice was matter-of-fact.

“They had pictures of Blair?” Everett’s brows knit together as he glanced at me and back to David and Andrew.

“I got ‘em,” Andrew said through his teeth. “I got all those pictures. I was going to tear that place apart and burn it down, but …” He winced again and grabbed his ribs.

“That damned thing came out of nowhere, man!” David took up where Andrew left off. “Those ain’t humans. I don’t know what the hell they are, but they sure as shit ain’t people!”

Book trailer:  

Our review:

I will begin my review by saying just how surprised I was by Cicada. I first thought I was reading a story set in either the seventies or eighties because the story was so easy going and comforting, but with characters using cell phones and laptops I realized the story was present day. As I continued reading, the time period became inconsequential. Cicada drew me in like the promise of languid summer days and totally hooked me with Blair and her close group of friends (older brother Andrew, his friends 'bug boy' Everett, David and Natalie).

Blair lives with her mom who owns and runs a bakery and Andrew. We find out the family has been hit with tragedy--the recent loss of their father and Andrew's twin brother. Each member is dealing with their grief in their own way and it was nice to see the family interact so well. Blair is one year younger than Andrew and they are close. His closest friends are also her friends as well. These friends spend their free time together, going to the drive-in or to Blair's grandparents' ranch to ride quads on the land. When a crop circle mysteriously appears on her grandfather's property, right near the wooded section Blair has always been afraid of, strange things begin to happen. Blair is a sensitive teen and has dreams that can be viewed as being prophetic. Coupled with the strange building close to mom's bakery in town, the story takes a sci-fi supernatural spin which kept me guessing and entertained.

At times I thought the dialogue came across as too smooth (not the teen speak I'm accustomed to) and establishing a connection to the characters took awhile but once I got into the story of what was going on in Blair's Texas town, I had to keep reading. Whittington's style of writing was crisp and flowed seamlessly from scene to scene. The setting became an important character in this book as well and I could hear the katydids. The author always included just the right amount of detail, thought and movement to the scenes so I never felt lost. There's mystery surrounding the death of her dad and brother and what is living in those scary woods, some romance, friendship, and action. Besides the events with the town and the woods, it was nice to see Blair beginning to grow up and realize she can manage with being on her own when her friends go away to college in the fall. My favorite character had to be Everett, the geeky bug guy complete with glasses and a fierce loyalty to his friends, especially with his watching over Blair.

Reading Cicada with a glass of sweet tea to sip on a humid evening while fireflies flew around my backyard and cicadas serenaded me made my reading experience special. The closeness of the circle of friends and the situations they find themselves in made for a thoroughly entertaining--and at moments, creepy--story. Cicada, a unique tale and a welcome addition to the YA market, is a great summer read. I'm looking forward to reading the next book, Firefly.

Rating: 4 stars. Liked it.

Favorite excerpt: "We scrambled close together, in the center of the crop circle, as we listened to the running footsteps of whatever the thing was that had propelled itself into the dark underbrush. An immediate silence fell over the pasture as the singing cicadas and katydids halted their voices.

The footsteps of the creature were fast. It sounded like it was running the perimeter of the wood while the spinning, whirring ship followed it just above the tops of the trees. After a brief pause in the cadence of footsteps, the creature began running again, spiraling deeper and deeper into the haunted wood…into the blackness. The crunching of the leaves echoed among the trunks of the trees as the dark figure circled its way through the undergrowth toward the center of the forest.

My nails dug into Everett’s hand. “Everett, what is it?” It took every ounce of strength to get those four words out of my mouth."

Cover comment: I like the blue and the model jumping in the air. Pretty.

About the author: Belle resides somewhere north of Houston, Texas in a small inconsequential town with the smallest most inconsequential name. There, in the shady reaches of the pines, elms, and oaks, she daydreams of adventures and secrets that she weaves throughout her stories. 

As a student of literature, Belle is earning her degree in English at the University of Houston. She hopes to teach literature at the college level some day. 

Links:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr 

There are two giveaways during this book tour. The first giveaway is for 12 ebooks to be given away on the tour. The ebook giveaway is open Internationally. The second giveaway is Belle Whittington is giving away an electronic firefly in a jar in honor of the sequel to CICADA called FIREFLY. You can see a video of the jar here. This giveaway is open to residents of the US only. Enter these giveaway below.

CICADA Tour Schedule
Click here to see the full participant list... 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Many warm thanks for reading and reviewing "Cicada" and featuring my book and me on your gorgeous blog! It's an honor to be here today! And many thanks to the lovely readers who stop by, read the review, and enter the contest! :-)

  2. thanks so much for the contest

  3. Cicada sounds interesting. I have a feeling the non-human component is the insect. The story definitely piques my interest and it's a book I would read!

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity to win a copy of this book.

  4. Looks very interesting. I would love to read this.