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Friday, May 1, 2015

Blog Tour- STRANGE SKIES by Kristi Helvig Her Favorite Passages and a Giveaway!

I am so excited to be hosting a spot on the STRANGE SKIES Blog Tour! I love this sci-fi series and I really hope Kristi finds a home for book 3 (since Egmont has closed)! I have a post about Kristi's favorite passages from the book. Make sure to enter the giveaway below for a copy of the book!

Haven't heard of STRANGE SKIES? Check it out!

Author: Kristi Helvig
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 272
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Action, adventure, and romance are heating up in this sequel to the futuristic science fiction thriller Burn Out. Perfect for fans of Across the Universe and The Memory of After.

Caelia is the new Earth. That's what the Consulate told everyone and, against all odds, Tora finally has made it there. She can't see the ocean from her cell in the Consulate's containment center, and she doesn't know what happened to the weapons her father died for and she's risked her life to save.

But as she plans her escape, she runs into the last person she ever expected to see-her dad. The Consulate has kept held him prisoner in a complicated plot designed to lure Tora out of hiding. Now Tora has a new purpose: break free, get the guns, and save her father.

But first she'll have to navigate a strange new planet, track down James (whose loyalties still remain questionable), and find Kale…before he finds her first.

Now on to the post!

Hi all—I’m very grateful to Jaime for having me back again on her blog. For the debut of the first book in the series, BURN OUT, I shared a scene from the POV of James, the quiet soldier who draws Tora toward him even as she suspects she can’t trust him. I thought I’d change things up for the sequel, and this time, I will share my top 5 passages from the book and tell you why they’re my faves. I have to admit that I’m not including 2 of my very favorite scenes: one because it’s a sex scene between Tora and James, (redacted because it’s spoilery lol) and the second one because it’s at the climax of the book and would be a huge spoiler. But I love these other scenes too! Ready? Here we go.

Scene #1)
A high-pitched beeping of a nearby monitor permeated my consciousness. Goose bumps broke out on my arms as my skin registered the cold air. An extra thin blanket lay on the cot by my feet, yet I couldn’t find the strength to pull it up. My eyes had trouble focusing and I could just make out the giant form coming toward me. A mix of relief and hostility swirled through my brain. I couldn’t think straight. I didn’t know what it meant.   

“Morning, Miss Sunshine,” the large woman grumbled. “Couldn’t even wait another hour for your dose, could you?”

I stared back at the red button under my finger. So I’d caused the beeping sound. The woman grabbed my arm as though she expected resistance, but my limb was limp in her hand. Her dark eyes bore into me as she lifted a green med tube and pressed the tip of it to my arm. I swear she smirked as she pressed the injection trigger.

Why I chose this scene: In the first book, BURN OUT, Tora would never use any kind of meds due to her mother’s addiction, yet through forces beyond her control, she begins STRANGE SKIES addicted to them. She starts the book in a position she never imagined she would be in.

Scene #2)
I gasped at what lay before me. It looked like the Infinity program, only better. Pink sand stretching out in all directions. Beyond that, aquamarine water as far as the eye could see.

The ocean.

I took off my shoes, put them in my satchel, and squished my toes in the pastel sand. It felt incredibly soft, like I’d stepped into a cloud. My eyes fixed on the sparkling, churning sea of blue.

Alec smiled. “Breathtaking, isn’t it?”

Why I chose this scene: When Tora’s younger sister was alive on Earth, they used to pull up a simulator program of the beach and pretend they were there. Tora has only known a barren, scorched Earth with no lakes, oceans, or streams. This was her first time seeing a real ocean so I loved writing this scene.

Scene #3)
Reddish hair fell in waves over her shoulders as she leaned toward James, her mouth curved into a smile. His left arm rested on the table, and her fingers playfully walked up his muscled forearm as she spoke. I felt like I’d been punched in the gut and wanted to throw up. So shooting you is okay but talking to another girl makes you sick? I couldn’t speak, so I grabbed Alec’s arm before he could leave. He followed my gaze to the corner table.

“Oh, her,” Alec said.

She looked up and noticed us staring. Her eyes fixed on mine and something flashed across her face before she removed her hand from James’ arm.

Why I chose this scene: This scene introduces a new character, Sonya, who turns out to have a complicated relationship with Tora for reasons that Tora doesn’t realize in this scene. It seems like a case where Sonya doesn’t like Tora solely due to wanting James, but it’s not that simple.

Scene #4)
As it grew closer, the howl morphed into a snarl. I was so done for. My ankle felt like it had swelled to twice its normal size. Though I’d never be able to outrun the creature even in my best condition, I certainly couldn’t out-hobble it. I grabbed for my gun but it was still waterlogged and wouldn’t fire, so I reached down in a desperate attempt to find anything I could use to defend myself. My fingers curled around a broken tree branch that was just visible the dark gray light, and I lifted it into the air.

I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time when I realized it was only about six inches long and the width of my pinkie finger. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, the creature charged. I registered its massive size and glowing red eyes before it lunged. I ducked and rolled on the mud-soaked ground, snapping my pathetic twig in the process.


Why I chose this scene: Along with some beautiful, strange new things such as glowing bird-like creatures, there are also some scary animals. One of them, that Tora nicknames the “tooth monster” due to its large jagged teeth, comes across her while she’s alone and injured in the forest. I felt Tora’s fear while I wrote this scene.

Scene 5)
Kale’s smile was forced and his cheerful tone couldn’t have been more fake. But you had to give him credit for having ginormous balls. “Tora, let’s let bygones be bygones, water under the bridge, as people used to say on Earth. We’ve got Consulate burners after us and I think we have a chance if we all work together. I know you and I have had a bit of a rocky relationship—”

That was the understatement of the year. Like saying Earth had been water-challenged.

Kale held out his hands in a gesture of goodwill. “—but I think we can get past it. We both want the Consulate off our backs, once and for all, and I have the guns that can make that happen…if you’re willing to use them. Then we can go our separate ways and pretend this never happened.

I loved how he called the stolen guns his. Whatever. He wasn’t going to live long enough to go anywhere once I was done with him. I forced a smile.

Why I chose this scene:

In this scene, Kale realizes that he needs Tora in order to survive the Consulate, and Tora realizes she needs the guns in order to survive at all. She knows as soon as they’re safe that Kale will kill her, so she’s trying to walk a fine line with him until she can make her next move. This scene sets up a showdown with the Consulate and the eventual face-off with Kale. 

About Kristi:

Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. Her first novel, BURN OUT (Egmont USA), which Kirkus Reviews called “a scorching series opener not to be missed,” follows 17-year-old Tora Reynolds, one of Earth’s last survivors, when our sun burns out early. In the sequel, STRANGE SKIES, coming 4/28/2015, Tora makes it to a new planet only to discover a whole new host of problems—and the same people who still want her dead. Order Kristi’s books through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite local retailer. Kristi muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog at www.kristihelvig.com and Twitter (@KristiHelvig). You can also find her on Facebook. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a signed paperback of BURN OUT and a signed hard cover of STRANGE SKIES...plus swag! US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the Tour Schedule!

Week One:
4/20/2015- Dark Faerie TalesInterview
4/21/2015- Curling Up With A Good BookReview
4/22/2015- Such a Novel IdeaGuest Post
4/23/2015- Addicted ReadersReview
4/24/2015- A Book and a LatteInterview

Week Two:
4/27/2015- Reading with ABCGuest Post
4/28/2015- Moonlight Gleam ReviewsReview
4/29/2015- Bookhounds yaInterview
4/30/2015- Library of a Book WitchReview
5/1/2015- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post


  1. Sounds great! I love sci-fi and those are some great scenes. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Kristy—great name by the way! ;)

  2. This sounds great, I haven't read the first one yet so the chance to win them both is a huge bonus. Thanks for the excellent prize.

    1. Thanks for entering, Carl—good luck! :)

  3. It's been a while since I've read any good sci-fi, this sounds awesome! I really enjoyed the scenes. :)

  4. Sorry for commenting twice, but the comment above^^ (xingsings) is me, Summer (just in case if there's any confusion for the rafflecopter entry)! Thanks for giving us all an opportunity!

  5. I love strong female characters like Tora with a sci-fi twist. So excited to read more! Thank you

    1. You're very welcome...thanks for reading! :)

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. That's for me to know and the winner to find out. ;)

  7. I love finding sci-fi done well. Congrats on your books and I can't wait to read them. Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. You're welcome and I hope you have as much fun reading them as I had writing them! :)

  8. This series sounds fantastic v-- I'm looking forward to checking both books out!


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