Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog Tour- Burn Out by Kristi Helvig

"Most people want to save the world; seventeen-year-old Tora Reynolds just wants to get the hell off of it. One of the last survivors in Earth's final years, Tora yearns to escape the wasteland her planet has become after the sun turns "red giant," but discovers her fellow survivors are even more deadly than the hostile environment.

Holed up in an underground shelter, Tora is alone--her brilliant scientist father murdered, her mother and sister burned to death. She dreams of living on a planet with oceans, plants, and animals. Unfortunately, the oceans dried out ages ago, the only plants are giant cacti with deadly spines, and her pet, Trigger, is a gun--one of the bio-energetic weapons her father created for the government before his conscience kicked in.

When family friend, Markus, arrives with mercenaries to take the weapons by force, Tora's fury turns to fear when government ships descend in an attempt to kill them all. She forges an unlikely alliance with Markus and his rag-tag group of raiders, including a smart but quiet soldier named James.

She is shocked when James accidentally fires one of her father's bio-weapons--weapons designed to work only for her. She'd felt a strange pull to James from the start, but the odds of someone sharing her energy vibration are statistically miniscule. Tora must quickly figure out who she can trust, as she must choose between saving herself by giving up the guns or honoring her father's request to save humanity from the most lethal weapons in existence."- summary from Goodreads

I have a hardcover copy of the book to give away, courtesy of Egmont USA! All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post by next Monday, May 5 at 9pm EST. US/Canada residents only! If you want to get extra entries, comment on the other blog tour posts happening this week at Curling Up with a Good Book, Live to Read, and The Cozy Reader. Curling Up's post will be up today while Live to Read and The Cozy Reader will be posting tomorrow (Tuesday April 29).

And here's an interview with Kristi:
1) How did you get the idea for Burn Out?

A strange combination of a watching a science documentary about the sun burning out, a song, a vivid dream, and a scorching hot day that left me wondering what would happen if the temperature kept rising. That dream also involved my main characters, Tora and James, along with some powerful weapons I’d never seen before. The story about one of Earth’s last survivors when our sun burns out early came pretty quickly after that.

2) You have a PhD in Clinical Psychology. How did you get involved with writing in general, and specifically YA sci-fi?

I started writing picture books and Nancy Drew fan fiction in early childhood, but never even considered that writing was a viable career choice. It was something I did for fun and aside from some angsty teenage poetry, I didn’t write again until a few years ago. Instead, I went to graduate school, got my Ph.D. and became a clinical psychologist. For several years, I worked on a locked unit with teen girls who’d been committed by youth corrections. They were smart, tough, and funny, not unlike my main character, and I learned a ton from them. After the birth of my second child, I started writing again and joined a critique group. I’ve always been a huge sci-fi fan (BSG is the best show ever!), but never planned on writing sci-fi until the aforementioned events in question #1.

3) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor(s), or if you don't like those, a favorite snack to have while writing or as a reward for writing?

I’m not so much a jelly bean girl, but love, love, love Cadbury Creme Eggs. It’s really good for me that they’re seasonal or I’d be in trouble. I’m in the midst of edits for Book 2 right now and decided to have a Cadbury Egg for breakfast. I wish I was kidding. :)

4) What are you currently working on? Can you tell us anything about it?

I’m doing copyedits for BURN OUT: Book 2 right now and will finish by next week (I’ll deserve a Cadbury Creme Egg for sure!) After that, I’m finishing (finally) a YA fantasy about an assassin ballerina. I’ve been working on it in between edits and promotion for the BURN OUT books, so it will be nice to get back to it again.

Thanks so much for having me on the blog today! :)

Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. She muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics on her blog and Twitter. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs. Grab a copy of BURN OUT on Amazon, Indiebound, or Barnes & Noble.


  1. pretty nice blog, following :)

  2. Nice interview

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com