Book Review, Blog Tour and Giveaway: Milayna, by Michelle K. Pickett
I love Fridays, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my favorite day than to share the love for a new YA book by a newly discovered author on my part. Milayna, by Michelle K. Pickett, is an awesome YA book right up my favorite topic lane—Angels, and the war between the good guys and the bad ones. Plus, Milayna reminds me of favorite books by authors Cynthia Hand and Becca Fitzpatrick, with an amazing sparkle of newness on the subject, and that is something difficult to do. So without delaying your curiosity any further, here it is…
Series: The Milayna Series, Book 1
Author: Michelle K. Pickett
Published: March 17th, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Adult language and violence
Recommended Age: 16+
Synopsis: It’s hard being good all the time. Everyone needs to be bad once in a while. But for seventeen-year-old Milayna, being good isn’t a choice. It’s a job requirement. And it’s a job she can’t quit. Born a demi-angel, Milayna steps in when danger and demons threaten the people around her, but being half angel isn’t all halos and happiness. Azazel, Hell’s demon, wants Milayna’s power and he’ll do anything to get it. But he only has until her eighteenth birthday, after which she becomes untouchable.
With the help of other demi-angels, Milayna thwarts the trouble Azazel sends her way. Fighting by her side is Chay. He’s a demi-angel who’s sinfully gorgeous, and Milayna falls hard. But is Chay her true love… or her nemesis in disguise?
When she learns of a traitor in her group, there’s no one she can trust… not even the one she loves.
Excerpt Three from Milayna by Michelle K. Pickett:
I sat at the kitchen table, eating a sandwich and talking with Muriel on the phone, when the vision hit. My stomach clenched; I gagged on my sandwich, ran to the sink, and spat it out.
“I have to go. I’ll call you when it’s over.”
Who is it? No one is here for me to protect. Oh, geez, maybe it’s a neighbor. Or the red rugrats are coming. Then what do I do?
“I’ll be right there.” She slammed the phone in my ear.
My stomach roiled, and my mouth was filled with the rancid taste of stomach acid. My breathing came in gasps, like I was running. My head and heart pounded in time with each other like a pair of drums. The sound bounced through my head.
I heard Muriel come in the back door just as the first of the vision appeared.
Mom’s building. She’s leaving work, walking to her car in the parking garage.
“Call my mom,” I said.
“What’s the number?”
I jumped when I heard Chay’s voice. “Speed dial two on my cell. On the table.” I pressed the heels of my hands to my eyes and focused on the vision.
The parking garage is dark. I see our car. I smell damp cement and exhaust fumes.
“I’m here, Milayna,” I heard Muriel tell me.
My breathing grew faster. My heart beat so hard it hurt, and I rubbed my chest with my hand.
“Your mom is on the phone, Milayna,” Chay said quietly. I could barely hear him over the blood rushing behind my ears. “She wants to know what’s going on.”
“Has she left work?”
“Tell her to call a cab. Don’t go into the parking garage. It’s dangerous.”
Sulfur. Coughing. Hobgoblins.
“Wait! It’s not her. The vision hasn’t changed.”
The smell of sulfur is stronger. Red high heels.
“Red high heels. Tell her to look for someone wearing red high heels… and… and… red nail polish. I see her fingers. She’s holding a black notebook. “
A force jerked me forward, and I screamed. Tears pushed behind my eyes. I tried to pull away, but it squeezed my wrist so hard it was painful. I tried to jerk away. But I couldn’t. I tried, I really tried, but it was too strong. Much stronger than me. So big, too. How could we do it? How could we win against something like that? I jerked again and again, but it held me easily.
A manhole cover moved to the side. The hole is open. A gray face… horns.
“Oh, shit, it’s disgusting,” I choked.
The wood-like horns curled back from its face and were so long they almost made a perfect circle on each side of the gray demon’s head. The smell of burning flesh wafted off its skin. Smoke and ash billowed around it. Its large, jutting bottom jaw didn’t align with the top and it couldn’t get its mouth to close all the way, so saliva and remnants of its last meal dripped from its mouth. Its large, gray forehead was bare but for three circles in the center. The circles were in a line. Their sides touched but did not overlap. A line with a slight curve extended from the center of the middle circle. It almost looked like the picture of a cherry on a Vegas slot machine.
Its unblinking, black eyes stared at me. A reflection bounced back to me. But it wasn’t me I saw reflected in its eyes. It was the woman in the parking garage. Her face was twisted in pain and horror. Her mouth was open as if she were trying to scream, but no sound came out.
About the Author:
Michelle is the bestselling author of the young adult novel “PODs.” She was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now lives in a sleepy suburb outside Houston with her extremely supportive husband, three school-aged children, a 125 pound “lap dog,” and a very snooty cat.
Red Bull or Monster Khaos are her coffee of choice, and she can’t write without peanut butter M&Ms and a hoodie. A hopeful romantic; she loves a swoon-worthy ending that will give her butterflies for days. She writes across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups. She loves to hear from her readers.
Michelle signed her new young adult contemporary novel— Unspeakable, with Clean Teen Publishing in 2014.
Clean Teen Publishing Links:
My Review: 3 Stars
Milayna is the main character in the story with a beautiful name and a spunky beautiful attitude on the inside and out. Born of a human mom and an angel dad, her gifts are maturing the closer she gets to the age of 18. Plagued with life altering visions for everyone around her, Milayna is destined to help others before terrible and sometimes unnatural events are about to occur to harm them. The visions also have a consequence for Milayna. They wear her down and leave her vulnerable to the bad forces, the demons who feed off angelic power.
Author Michelle K. Pickett did an excellent job juggling a handful of unique characters. I loved meeting all her friends and of course her potential love interests in her life. The best part? Author Pickett rocked the dialogue. The words and phrases matched each unique personality.
Compelling and Forward Driven Action. Author Michelle K. Pickett built the tension up even when the point of action revolved around her visions. I cared about each person Milayna seemed destined to save. The visions also built on each other, giving me new experiences the further I progressed in the book. One other positive note revolved around the absence of flashbacks, which is good in my opinion. Sometimes I find myself questioning books with lengthy flashbacks whether or not the author truly picked the right place to start the story.
A Few Challenges to Note.
The reason I’m giving Milayna 3 stars is two-fold. First, as I started to read Milayna, I struggled with the way characters were introduced. If the MC (main character) knows the person they are staring at, I want to know the name too, right away. To me introducing characters is not just about a face, but the association of both the picture with the name. The second part worth mentioning is some scene development. I could have used more description in the swimming pool area and the football field. But that’s just me and I’m only one reader.
There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
- Signed print copy of Milayna, a $20 Amazon gift card, a “Guardian Angel” personal alarm, & bookmarks
- A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.
- Signed print copy of Milayna and bookmarks
Giveaway is International.
Don’t forget to enter the contest to win by clicking this Rafflecopter link.
For more information about the Milayna book tour, visit Juniper Grove Book Solutions. The official blog tour page is here. Happy Friday, all, and thank you so much for joining me today.