Dirty Blood Review, Guest Post and Exciting Giveaway!

“How old are you?” I asked, my head cocked to one side.


“And how long have you been nineteen?”

He looked at me like I had a screw loose. “Since I haven‟t been eighteen?”

“So, you‟ve been on this planet for nineteen years?”

“That‟s usually what an age implies.”

 Title: Dirty Blood

Author: Heather Hildenbrand

Publisher: Accendo Press

Publish Date: April 2011

Purchase: Amazon    Smashwords

I cannot put into words how amazing this book is. I was on a camping trip with my family and decided to start reading it, a mistake, because while my family was crowded around the campfire roasting marshmallows, I was sitting at the table reading. I could not stop until I reached the end and read the whole book in one day.

Tara is seventeen. She lives with her mother, her father passed away when she was a baby. Tara and her boyfriend, George, had been having a lot of trouble with their relationship lately. George is working on a football career and has been busy with his agent and interviews. This leaves Tara alone most of the time and constantly waiting on George.  One particular night, Tara can take no more waiting. She is tired of being stood up. While out at the pool hall, she confronts George and tells him that it’s over and tells him to leave. There goes her ride home and after checking all other alternatives, Tara is left to taking the bus.

On her way to the bus stop, she notices a strange girl standing in the alley. Tara yells to her to see if she needs help and with that, the girl “explodes”. That is the only way that Tara can describe what was happening. The girl attacks and Tara ends up killing the girl. She is in shock and horror at what she has done when a strange guy shows up and keeps telling her to trust him, he will not hurt her.

Tara’s whole life is about to change as she learns about her past and her future.

I just could not put this book down. I fell in love with Wes immediately. *SWOON* I also loved Sam, whom is one of Tara’s BFF’s. She was so funny. I am VERY looking forward to a sequel to see where the road leads for Tara & Wes. Heather wrote a wonderful storyline and a great book that I believe will leave the readers wanting more!

Guest Blog Post with Heather Hildenbrand:

Indie vs. Traditional

I’m laughing as I type this because I was just over on Facebook, chatting with my fellow Accendo Press authors, Jenn Sommersby and Angeline Kace, about paperback formatting and all its booby traps. Then, I opened my email and saw that I am supposed to write about some of the ‘difficulties of self publishing that traditionally published authors wouldn’t deal with’. So, yeah, I guess I’ve found my subject matter. That was easy.

Paperback formatting is the easiest for me to talk about anyway because it’s probably given me the most headache of all. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a complaining, whining, boo-hoo session where in the end I make it sound like self publishing sucks or I’d rather be traditionally published. Because that’s not true. I love self publishing and while I can’t say NEVER when it comes to taking a legacy deal, I will say I completely love being so in control of my career as an indie author.


Paperback formatting.

Let me start by saying I should’ve been Jewish. In that I am cheap; too cheap to pay someone to do something for me that I can do myself. So, I format my own stuff. In theory, it sounded easy. Open Word, number the pages, use a header to insert my name at the top, upload. Um, no. I had to learn what mirror margins meant and trim size and alternating page headers, and gutters. (I thought gutter was where my mind went when I heard a, ahem, adult joke.)

Then you have to make sure all your indents are correct and all your chapters start on a new page, halfway down the page. Then you have to insert the font or picture/art you want for your chapter headings, then you have to make sure you’ve inserted the title page and correct number of blank pages at the beginning so it’s not all squashed together. Then you have to go back and adjust the page numbers so they won’t appear on said title page and blank pages. THEN you can convert it to a PDF and upload it.


Then you have the cover. I’m already mumbling obscenities.

With the cover, you have to create one big picture that contains the front cover, spine, and back cover, all on one document. You have to learn what things like bleed and safe title zone are. (I had to Google it and even then I was confused for awhile.) Then, you have to make sure it’s sized correctly for the number of pages your book is, and then you have to make sure the text isn’t too close to the edges so it won’t accidentally get cut off in printing. THEN you can convert it to a PDF and upload it.

Are you bored yet? Cross eyed? Scared?

Me too. It took me no less than 20 uploads/tries to get the cover right on my first book, Across the Galaxy. And I had a cover artist design the front cover for me. I kept messing up on the bleed and spine width and such. You better believe I had a glass of wine to celebrate when the proof finally came in correct. (And the whole rest of the bottle, to go along with the glass!)

Now, I’m working on formatting my second paperback, Dirty Blood, my YA paranormal romance that just came out earlier this month. The cover was approved on the first try. Yay!

You would think after going through all this, I’d be over it. But, like I said at the beginning, I love what I’m doing. (Okay well, besides the formatting stuff, I love it.) I get to write when I feel like it, and if I finish more than one novel a year, I can just publish it, instead of waiting around with a finished manuscript, like NY does. And I get to pick my own cover art and where and when I market myself, and I set my own deadlines and working hours.

It’s a pretty sweet deal.

So even though I want to bang my head against the wall when it comes to formatting, I’ll keep at it, because there is NOTHING in the world like holding my own book in my hands. Nothing.


I am so excited to be hosting this great giveaway! Heather has agreed to the following:

Grand Prize: Heather will name a character after you in the second book of the series. This is VERY exciting!!!

1 Runner up will receive a signed paperback copy of Dirty Blood. USA & Canada only!

2 Runner ups will receive: A free ebook of Dirty Blood in the format of their choice. International!


1. Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts on Indie Authors!

2. Fill out the form below.

3. The contest for the Printed copy of the book is open to USA & Canada residents only due to cost of shipping, BUT, My international readers are eligible to win the ebooks also and all of you may enter for the chance to have a character named after you in the second book!!!

4. The winners will chosen by Random.org and I will announce 3 different names.

The winners will be announced on Monday, May 23rd.

Good Luck!

*A very big THANK YOU to Heather Hildenbrand for taking the time to write our guest blog and also for allowing me the opportunity to review her great new book!




  1. I love Indie books, their prices are great and most of the time the stories are better 😀 I also find it easier to get to know and Indie author then it is with other authors. They must have a greater sense of pride also doing it on their own.



  2. Great interview and thank you for the lovely giveaway.

    I love reading Indie novels. The authors do an exceptional job of making the genre stand out from the others and I’ve never been disappointed with one.



  3. Great review and guest post!!! First of all Dirty Blood sounds fantastic, secondly, I love Indie Authors! I can imagine how difficult it must be to no only do all of the writing but everything else inlduded in publishing a book! You all rock!


  4. I have a really funny story about “Indie Books.” I started reviewing books for the first time back in December of 2010. My friend had asked me to join her Blog and review books for her, which I excitedly accepted. I love reading books, so why not? A couple of months ago, I received an email from an “indie” author asking me to review her new book. I quickly e-mailed my friend, and asked her if we accepted books from India? She obviously had no idea what I was talking about, so I told her that an Indie author has e-mailed me asking me to review her book. Then She started laughing hysterically at me and I had no idea why. Needless to say, I now know why she laughed at me and I would have laughed at me too. And now I am proud to say that Indie Authors ROCK!! LOL


  5. Indie Authors are so awesome… but aren’t most authors start out Indie!? Well, anyways i like them because the continue to persue their dreams even though times can’t get thick. And most of their stories are well worth a publish but I still highly respect them… all I can say is, keep doing what your doing, because I’ll always be here to support!!! = (by reading that is)

    SpadesHigh @ http://SpadesHighReads.blogspot.com
    Bayayrea_ munkie @ hotmail [dot] com

    Thank you!!


  6. I am a reader of just about all books but I like the way Indie Writers generally take more pride in their books and try and get to know some of their followers. And thx foe this awesome Giveaway the books sounds fantastic. Goin on my TBR pile. Can’t wait to read it.

    Anna Dase


  7. I have really enjoyed Indie Authors, if I hadn’t of checked them out, I would have never read the most incredible stories, I also like how the indie authors tend to take more pride in their books, and are more willing to talk to the readers.



  8. I think indie books are great and love that there are other ways for authors to get their stories out there rather than the traditional.


  9. An old penpal of mine was self-published and she really opened my eyes to the fact that there’s tons of talent out there, it doesn’t matter how it’s published. Indie authors are some of the most hard working folks in the business!


  10. Indie Authors = Awesome! 🙂
    Every book I’ve read by an indie author has been really amazing and so now my tbr pile is overflowing with new books. (how will I ever read them all :0 )
    Thank You so much for this giveaway!

    “How old are you?” I asked, my head cocked to one side.


    “And how long have you been nineteen?”

    He looked at me like I had a screw loose. “Since I haven‟t been eighteen?”

    “So, you’ve been on this planet for nineteen years?”

    “That’s usually what an age implies.” – When I read this I couldn’t stop laughing & smiling 🙂

    Happy Reading 😉


  11. I think Indie books are great! I’m with Memrie….they are making my TBR list/pile grow by leaps and bounds!!!

    This book sounds great! I love books you can’t put down!


  12. I cannot wait to read this book. I have been hearing such wonderful things about it! I think Indie authors are very hardworking and i think that they have guts!! I have been on createspace and everytime I go in there I get rapid heart beat by all the numbers and margins and formatting issues. I think it is awesome how honest Heather is about it all (and funny!). It is an inspiration to all writers out there that they can take their writing into their own hands and put a great product out there! 🙂


  13. Great post! I’m sorry to hear that print is a headache. And I love my print books though. 🙂

    This sounds like a great read.

    On to Indie authors… I love them! I’ve found many great authors this way. I enjoy reading something different than others and the mainstream of what the big publishers think everyone wants. They are always fun to read.

    Thank you!


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