Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Sunshine! The Sunshine Series by Nikki Rae (Vampires!)

Happy Birthday Sophie!!!!

Sunshine #1
by Nikki Rae
NA Paranormal with a little bit of Romance
Self-Published January 28, 2013

*Ebook obtained directly from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Synopsis via Goodreads:

18 year old Sophie Jean is pretty good at acting normal. Sure, she’s not exactly happy, but happiness is nothing compared to being like everyone else. She can pretend she’s not allergic to the sun. She can hide what her ex-boyfriend did to her. She can cover up the scars she’s made for herself. Ignore anything. Forget anything. Then Myles enters her life, and he has more than a few secrets of his own. When accident after accident keeps happening to Sophie, she can’t help noticing that he’s everywhere. That he knows too much. That she’s remembering too much.

It’s one thing covering up her own dark past, but does she really need to worry about people finding out just how much Myles likes her? Or that despite how much she doesn’t want to repeat past mistakes, she kind of likes him back? Not to mention the fact that she now has to conceal that Myles drinks blood-that he says he’s about four hundred years old.

She almost forgot about that part.

But Sophie has no plans to ruin the normal life she has created for herself. She can deal with this little glitch, no problem. Even if word has gotten around to the wrong vampire about Sophie and Myles, even if she’s putting the few people she loves at risk. Suddenly, those who were monsters before are just people, and the monsters? They’re real. Now being a normal human being is the least of her problems. Now she has to stay alive.

Sun Poisoned
Sunshine #2
by Nikki Rae
NA Paranormal with a little bit of Romance
Self-Published June 28, 2013

*Ebook obtained directly from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Sophie’s life has changed. She’s moved to New York, she’s playing music for new people, and she’s making new friends. Then there’s Myles, and the fact that he is now her boyfriend—and everyone knows it. There are a lot of new things to take in, but Sophie has no problem adjusting.

She’s not exactly normal, living in a half-human, half-vampire world, but she’s finally, truly happy. But some parts of Sophie and Myles’ old life still hide in the dark, waiting for the right opportunity to strike.

Sophie’s having nightmares again, but they aren’t about her; Myles is hiding something that she’s not sure she wants to know.

And one lie will change everything.

No matter how hard she tries to cover up the marks her monsters have left behind, they never truly go away, and Myles’ monsters are no different.

Once again, Sophie’s caught between life and death, but this time, only she can save herself.

 Grab Your Copy:

Nikki Rae is a student and writer who lives in New Jersey. When she is not writing, thinking, or reading, she is most likely hanging out with her gecko, Neil Gaiman, drawing in a quiet corner, or drinking tea by the gallon. Sunshine is her first book.

Connect With Nikki: Goodreads   Blog   Twitter   Facebook


Now, when I pick up new vampire novels, I'm often pretty leery because there's usually either two outcomes for me: really good (something new gets thrown in and the characters stick with you) or really bad (everything has been done & seen a million times before). So what's the first thing I want to see.... the cover. Yes, I admit, I'm a sucker for a good cover. Now... with that said... scroll up and LOOK at these covers. Really, really LOOK at them. Absolutely stunning. Now, what do you see? The first things I noticed: Magenta hair & piano keys. Me = totally intrigued. I love a novel where any type of music or performing arts in involved. So of course, I'm excited to see where the vampires come into play.

When I first started reading, I was hooked. I loved the characters that I was being introduced to. However, I have to admit that I had a hard time keeping them straight - not their personalities or WHO they were... but their names. LOL Example: Alex is the girl. Adrienne is the guy. Now in my mind, when I hear "Alex" I think Guy.... when I hear "Adrienne" I think girl. But it's the opposite. Each time they'd enter the scene, I had to keep reminding myself which one was talking - the guy or the girl. Ha. Now, their character - loved them.

The main female character Sophie is great. I really, really liked her. I was drawn to her character but it's really hard to describe why.... I'm not really sure what made me love her so much but I did. She's allergic to the sun so she's forced to cover herself every time she walks outside. That has to be the most inconvenient allergy in the entire world. She literally has to grab her trench cote, huge glasses, hat, the works... I can't wait to see how this actually plays out because it's a little ironic. Vampires are normally the characters who have to hide away from the sun, right? But she's NOT a vampire.

Enter Myles. I LOVE this boy. He's....additive? Is that a good word to use. LoL He's the character that I wanted to show up on every single page. He has a calm nature about him that draws me in. But he also has a mysterious dark side that isn't completely exposed. He has, what seems to be, a million and one secrets that he harbors.

Now, I loved the plot sequence. I enjoyed the way everything continuously played out. There were heart-breaking moments, times where I wanted to smack Sophie, times I wanted to scream at someone in the novel, and times where I nearly bit my nails off to the quick. Even though this is a paranormal vampire type novel, the actual fact that vampires are in play is a minor role in the novel. The main focus is on Sophie and the struggles that she's facing. The fact that Myles is a vampire is a small fact within the large picture. It's honestly a nice change as far as vampire novels go.

So, overall, Sunshine was a great read & I couldn't wait to start Sun Poisoned.

Overall Rating for Sunshine: 4 Stars
Cover Rating: 5 Stars
Characters: 5 Stars
Plot: 4 Stars
Climax: 4 Stars
Ending: 4 Stars

Sun Poisoned:

Holy Smokes, this series just keeps getting better. See my review for Sunshine (above). Sun Poisoned's review can nearly be a repeat. I adore the writing style, the characters, and the setting of this novel just as much as the first one. This review will look short, but it's only because I won't repeat everything I've already told you above. LoL

I'm pleasantly surprised and love the ups and downs going on throughout the series. Sun Poisoned has some seriously tense, nail biting moments that I wasn't expecting! I could NOT put it down! 

There were emotional leaps & bounds in Sun Poisoned - I was scared, mad, sad, annoyed, happy, and seriously frightened of what might happen a few times.

This novel, moreso than book 1, focuses on the supernatural elements in the plot. I enjoyed the twist of the illness that certain characters are suffering from. It was very unexpected and original. I'm not sure I've ever read anything similar? I felt sooooo horrible for what they were having to go through. I'm not so sure I could be as strong as them. However, I could nearly feel the love and determination pouring from the pages as they tended and cared for each other when they had to. 

Eeek. Then when Sophie had to be treated because of the virus/illness/craziness - whatever you want to call it - I nearly crawled out of my own skin! Ack! >_< I loved Myles a million times more during this timeframe because of his determination.

The ending - total cliffhanger!! I can't freaking wait to get my hands on the next book!!!!!! Sometimes, cliff hangers seriously drive me bonkers and make me feel like I wasted my time reading the novel. However, this cliffhanger just made me want the next book immediately! Must have! Gimme Gimme! 

Now, an overall rating: Definitely another huge 4 stars. I can't wait for the next novel to come out so I can continue on with Sophie & Myles' story!

Just a side note... I wish I could play the piano...LoL I'll take a hottie like Myles please ;)

Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Cover Rating: 5 Stars <- These freaking covers are Ah-Mazing!
Characters: 5 Stars <- I loved the expansion of the characters and their history. 
Plot: 4 Stars
Climax: 5 Stars
Ending: 4.5 Stars

Tell me a little bit about yourself. What do you like readers to know about the author behind the pages?
My name is Nikki, I go to school full time, I live in New Jersey, and I really, really love animals.

Other than writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Read, draw, play boardgames with my friends.

What made you decide to take the leap and self-publish so your work could reach readers like myself?
It was a big decision. Ultimately, I wanted more control over my work, the release dates, and how it was presented to the world.

Do you have any advice to individuals who aspire to become authors and get their work out there?
Write the best version of your story that you can. Have others give you feedback. Take criticism. Once you’re book is ready to be born, be yourself and be nice. It’s worked for me so far. : )

Why did you choose the paranormal genre for your first series?
I like the paranormal genre. I like reading paranormal books and watching paranormal movies. I’ve always had an obsession with monsters and myths, so it seemed logical. I also have a loose plan of eventually writing a story about every creature that has ever scared me.

If you had to choose another genre to jump into, what would it be?

Oooh, that’s hard. Maybe dystopian one day?

Who are your role models with regards to life as an author & your writing? Have you met them yet?
She's not an author, but she is a talented writer. My little sister, Kelly. Of course there are writers that everyone’s heard of, like Neil Gaiman and Anne Rice, but Kelly is an inspiration for me because we’re so similar and yet so different. She has a beautiful, complicated mind, and I love her for it. I haven't met any other writer, but my sister is enough for me. : )

What do you do to get into your “zone” when you’re trying to fill pages & create a new world?
I either listen to music that reminds me of the characters in the story, or I need complete silence. It depends on the story, really.

Do you have any quirky habits that you have to do when you’re writing? A certain spot/chair/seat, a certain song you have to listen to before getting started, a drink, etc.
I usually can’t write too well if there are other people around. I have a fear of people looking over my shoulder and reading my unfinished work. I also tend to drink a TON of tea when writing. Like, an amount no person should drink in one sitting.

Sunshine Series:
Book 1 & 2 are out! When do you anticipate releasing the 3rd novel?
I have a loose idea of when I want it to come out, which is sometime around this February or January, but that all depends on how the semester goes, and how far I get in writing/revising/editing while taking on a full work load that comes with classes. I’ve started writing it, and I will say that it’s probably my favorite part of Sophie and Myles’ story thus far. : )

How many books do you anticipate will complete the series?
Right now, there are only three, but it could turn into four.

Your covers for both 1 & 2 are absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see 3. Would you like to share who created them? What was the inspiration for the covers?
Regina Wamba of MaeIDesign did the covers and the inspiration behind them was simply the stories. Mainly Sophie and what happens to her in each book, which is reflected in the piano.

What are the first five words that come to your mind when you think about Sunshine? Sun Poisoned?
Sunshine: Sophie, Myles, Sadness, Broken, and Repair.
Sun Poisoned: Love, Monsters, Music, Lies, and Shatter.

Sophie’s Magenta Hair… I love that quirk. Why Magenta?
Sophie likes magenta hair. What can I say? She showed up one day in my head and that’s what she looked like.

Where did you get the idea to create Sophie with her allergy to the sun? That’s such an unexpected “condition” to have but I love how it plays out in the story. It makes for interesting plot turns with the unexpected hospital visits.
Though there’s a “bigger” reason for the allergy, I don’t want to give anything away. At first, Sophie showed up with this issue and I wasn’t sure why. It wasn’t until later that I realized that it mirrored her personality and her past. Things that shouldn’t hurt her do. Things she shouldn’t have to think twice about are the things that she has to be most careful with.

Myles is such a great character. Is he fashioned after someone in real life? If you had to choose an actor to play Myles, what would be your pick?
Myles is a mixture of a few people, but no. I’m sorry to say that he does not exist in real life, and I cannot for the life of me decide on an actor I’d like to play him. It’s too hard!

Is there a character in your work that you connect with most out of everyone? Someone’s whose PoV flows effortlessly while you’re writing or someone who you just can’t get enough of? Or simply someone who won’t shut up and constantly invades your mind even when you’re not writing? Ha.
They all go through their phases of not being able to shut up. As far as a character I connect with most, I’d have to pick Sophie’s brother, Jade. He’s protective of his siblings and would do anything for the people he loves, which mostly came directly from my personality, though I didn't notice until a few people pointed it out.

Do you have a favorite scene that you’d like to share a tiny bit about? Just a teensy little excerpt or quote?
Well, since you asked so nicely, here’s a teeeeeny bit of book three (I’ll also tell you something else: Some of book three is in Myles’ perspective: )):

Sophie’s skin is cold against mine, and she shifts her arms around my waist. My muscles are sore, but her touch soothes me. I can smell dried blood on her chest, mingling with her cherry blossom scented shampoo.

“You left,” she whispers into my neck. Her breath is wet and warm.

I will my fingers into her hair. “I know,” I whisper back.

“You left,” she says again, pulling herself even closer.

“I’m here.”

Is there anything you’d like to share? You have the floor.

Sure! I love hearing from people who have read my books, and even people who haven't. One of the reasons I wanted to self publish was so I could be more connected to people. So you can follow me on virtually anything. Don't be afraid to talk to me, either. I love hearing what others have to say. : )

Here are some things you guys can stalk me on:

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win
An ebook copy of both Sunshine & Sun Poisoned
2 Posters
2 Postcards

US Shipping Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Those covers are gorgeous! Going on my TBR. Thank you for the giveaway!

    1. Aren't they!!!!!! Have to be some of my fave covers of the year! <3


Thanks for stopping by & chatting with me! I try my best to respond to every post but it does take me a few days! Don't think I'm ignoring you - I promise, "non-fiction" life just gets me bogged down sometimes. :) Thanks again!!! I <3 my followers