Last List Blog Hop: Guest Post by Author Kristi Helvig & Giveaway


So, my dears, I am taking part in a unique event today: the Egmont Last List Blog Hop, hosted by Cuddlebuggery! It is bittersweet for many of the authors, as their lovely books are being released at the same time their publisher is closing its doors. This blog hop is all about celebrating them and their fabulous upcoming books, and I am so excited to be featuring a guest post from author Kristi Helvig! Kristi is the author of Burn Out (available now!) and Strange Skies, the sequel which will be released on April 28 as part of Egmont’s Last List.  I’ll give you all that fun information after Kristi’s lovely post about trying to maintain sanity while writing a sequel!


I’ve written several guest posts about the serious side of sequel writing in terms of planning, character arcs, etc. What I haven’t written about is the personal side—what keeps a writer sane during this intense period. The first book you ever write is the easiest because you have all the time in the world and there are no expectations. When that books sells, you’re excited, but then you realize that your publisher also bought your second book—you know, the one that doesn’t have a single word of it written. Yeah. There’s also this pesky little deadline thing, so you have to write it much faster than you wrote your first book. Oh, and you’re juggling promotion and marketing of your first book, while trying to write, then polish and revise the first book. As a psychologist, I’ve always been pretty good with things such as chaos and time management, but it was a trying time. So here are several things that kept me sane during my sequel writing insanity (not in order of importance—well, maybe the first one):

1. Chocolate—this probably sounds cliche because writers always talk about chocolate, but some stereotypes are true for a reason. My wonderful hubby would come home with various dark chocolate bars containing cherries, almonds, and other yummy ingredients. I don’t think I would have survived that time without chocolate. If you follow me on Twitter, you also know my complete obsession with Cadbury eggs—I’m just lucky Easter only comes once a year or I’d weight a lot more.

2. Beverages—the last few weeks before my deadline involved an insane spurt of writing where I wrote thousands and thousands of words each day. I started each day with coffee, moved on to tea in the afternoon, and then wine in the evening. You might have noticed water is not mentioned here even though it’s the healthiest beverage for you. Well, I drank plenty of water after I finished the book but I’ll admit I was pretty dehydrated for several weeks. I’m currently trying to trick myself into drinking more water—I just wish it tasted better. 🙂

3. Friends—I’ve seen writers talk about how they refuse to go out or be social at all in order to hit their deadlines. I’ll cut back on outings when I have a deadline, but my friends are awesome and energize me to be a better writer. I’d rather go out to dinner and stay up til midnight writing than miss seeing them. Plus, they make me laugh and I come up with better dialogue when I’m happy.

4. My hubby and offspring—he has a cup of coffee with cream on the bathroom vanity waiting for me every single morning, whether I have a deadline or not. I am so not a morning person, and will never ever be a morning person, so he starts my day off right. My kids make me laugh harder than anyone and even when I’m super stressed and trying to work, they’ll come in the room and do or say something that cracks me up. My hubby and kids make me feel like I can do anything!

5. My dogs—my dogs couldn’t give a rat’s ass about my deadline. They want attention, food, and walks regardless of how important I feel my time is at any given moment. I love that about them—they keep me grounded. Also, they love me no matter how well I’m writing, how many books I’m selling, or how cranky I might get when a deadline is looming. There is nothing quite like unconditional love when you’re incredibly stressed. So there you have my top tips for dealing with the stress of writing a sequel, and if all else fails, simply go back to step #2 and drink more wine! 🙂

About the Books

Last List Blog Hop: Guest Post by Author Kristi Helvig & Giveaway Strange Skies by Kristi Helvig
Series: Burn Out #2
Published by Egmont USA on April 28, 2015
Pages: 272

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.

22926687Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

272 pages

Published April 8th 2014 by EgmontUSA

A futuristic blend of Beth Revis’s Across the Universe and Lenore Appelhans’s Level 2, Burn Out will satisfy the growing desire for science fiction with a thrilling story of survival, intrigue, and adventure.

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.

About Kristi Helvig

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 and Twitter (@KristiHelvig). You can also find her on Facebook. Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.

Thanks so much to Kristi for stopping by and sharing such a fun post! I have Burn Out on my shelf right now, and am really excited to read it, and I’ll be looking forward to Strange Skies as well! 


In celebration of her book’s release, I figured it’d be nice to give one of you guys the chance to read it! Since it is a series, and you may not have the first book yet, I am going to give away your choice of either Burn Out OR Strange Skies. This is international, so go forth and enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And be sure to visit Cuddlebuggery to find all the other books and authors being featured in this wonderful hop! 

Posted March 2, 2015 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Giveaway / 22 Comments

22 responses to “Last List Blog Hop: Guest Post by Author Kristi Helvig & Giveaway

  1. CHOCOLATE IS LIFE AND IT KEEPS YOU SANE. I mean, we obviously don’t eat it just because it’s yummy, it’s a necessity. 😉 Same as Coffee. *cough* Is it weird I used to be a morning person but now I’m an adult, I’m not? Such a fun guest post! 🙂

  2. Anita Yancey

    I love science fiction thrillers, and both of these books sound fantastic. Great covers. I would really enjoy reading them. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  3. Valentina

    I love the covers and the book sounds very interesting, I love science fiction books so I am looking forward to reading these books. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Tolkienite

    Burn Out is one of my most favorite books I have ever read. I can’t wait to read Strange Skies. Thank you so much Kristi Helvig for writing such awesome books!

  5. Sarah M

    I love her bio! Ph.D. clinical psych (<3 psych, it was my additional major in college), Star Trek (what self respecting nerd *wouldn't* love Star Trek!!), and a blog that talks about space monkeys that I *must* visit now. I love the cover designs, too – they really get the sci fi theme across. Sometimes you can't quite tell what a book is from the cover, but these feel like a frame from a sci film or something. Books sound really good, too 😀

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