Friday, June 13, 2014

Author Spotlight: Cyn Balog and Nichola Reilly

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:22 PM

While the other neighborhood children were out getting fresh air and sunlight playing Zim Zam and freeze tag, Cyn Balog preferred to be locked in her bedroom, writing. When she emerged, with her growth only slightly stunted, she graduated from Rutgers with a degree in Shoelace Tying or something. She'd wanted to major in Writing, but certain "wise elders" in her life told her that career writers must learn to subsist on three Saltines a day, and being part-Italian, Cyn adamantly refused to give up Pasta Sundays. 

Cyn now lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. She rarely listens to "wise elders" anymore, still eats pasta regularly and is currently looking for a way to get back her figure, possibly by taking up Zim Zam or freeze tag. Her first novel, FAIRY TALE (Delacorte), is a 2009 RITA finalist in the young adult category, and her second novel, SLEEPLESS, which School Library Journal calls "an interesting, quick-paced, and compelling paranormal romance" and Kirkus calls "a lovely read," released this year. Two more young adult paranormal novels, STARSTRUCK and LIVING BACKWARDS, will be released in 2011 and 2012. Visit her online at 

She also writes under the pen name Nichola Reilly. Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog's post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.

Twitter - @CynBalog

I haven't read any kind of actual scary book in a long time so this book was a semi-new experience for me.

Kiandra was a pretty strong character. I didn't like her at first but as the book progressed it wasn't so much about the characters as it was about the story-line and events going on.

Lying to her father about going to the cabin with her boyfriend and cousin wasn't exactly a a smart move and was one of the reasons I didn't like her very much. And wanting to go someplace where your mother had a tragic end doesn't seem like something a normal person would do. I know I wouldn't do it. Also, who misses prom to go to some creepy cabin?

I liked the campfire stories. They were actually pretty creepy. The ghostly elements were pretty nice too. I love how the ghosts stories and death are told throughout the book as well. It gives the ghosts more a real aspect.

I really enjoyed the book but I couldn't sit down for long periods of time and read it. I felt like I had to absorb what was going on so I would put the book down and go do something else while I thought things through. It was a slow book but for a good reason. There was a lot to take in. The ending was also a little unexpected. Which was a nice change from the books you can predict.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 Kitties.

Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog's post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.

Twitter- @NicholaReilly

Royalty that doesn't care if their people die? Check. A heroin as unique as a unicorn? Check. A love interest that will cause a lot of drama? Check!

I am not big on fantasy type books. But when you throw a bit of dystopia/post apocolyptic aspect into the mix then you have my attention. 

Coe, is such a shy and timid character. Well, in the beginning. She has always been the bottom of this weird islands totem pole. I feel like she does use her disability to make excuses for herself though.

Tiam is such a strong male character. He is wounded and still tries to protect the people he cares about. Even though caring is what can get you killed on this island.

I like the way the author made up her own "year" format. Instead of years there are seasons. Coe is in her 16th soft season, almost her 16th hard season. Which I believe means that Coe is 16 and less than 6 months. Hard season would be 16 and 6 plus months.

Princess Star is a spoiled, annoying, delusional brat. In the end she does prove to be somewhat helpful.

I loved the diary from Coe's ancestors. It was nice to get some back story as to what put them on the "island" which turns out to really be a mountain under water.

I don't want to give too much away because this book isn't even out yet but I really enjoyed everything about it. I even enjoyed the fact that the human race reverted back to having Kings and Queens. It shows how weak we are when you take away out technology. We wouldn't survive without air conditioning. We would need guidance from someone else and that is actually pretty sad.

That ending! Oh my god, I need to know what happened to Tiam. The next book won't be out for a year! The agony...

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars

*Thank you to Goodreads and Amazon for author pictures and bios*


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