Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tour: Sprite by Leigh Michael

Author: Leigh Michael
Title: Sprite
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Author

Series summary:
Annabelle Walsh thought she had it all. She was the star of her swim team, had a loving family, a great boyfriend, and to top it off, she’d be starting at UCLA in the fall. One day, she’d be referred to as Dr. Annabelle Walsh.

She was living every girl’s dream – until her life was turned upside down. All starting with finding out that she's not just a human, but also a water spirit. Half-human, half-sprite to be exact. Although not just any sprite, Annabelle is prophesied to be the only one who can save both the sprites and mankind.

With a mix of current events, anecdotes from Greek mythology, tidbits of folklore, and Leigh’s own imagination, we join Annabelle in her journey to restore order beneath the sea. Each step of the way her mind, body, and soul are pushed to the limit begging the question, how much can one half-human, half-sprite take?

Thoughts: Annabelle is an interesting character; she just learns that she descends from mythological lore itself. A water sprite, well half and not only that, she discovers that she may be the only hope to save her underworld family. Bombarded with new information about this world and her feelings about the cute merman Adrian, Annabelle finds that she can't turn her back on her destiny, no matter how unreal it all appears. 

I like Annabelle, she handles the news of her heritage fairly well considering she was "kidnapped" and dragged into the ocean for her safety. Of course, she freaks out because she thinks she’s dying but she embraces her new ability. The one thing she struggles with is not so much the different species surrounding her but her part in saving this water world. She remains in denial till the end. Though, the mythology is fascinating, it was also confusing trying to sort through all this information about types of mermaids, fairies and sprites and such that Annabelle learns during her time in Tritonis. The story itself made me think several other mermaid books that have come out this summer such as Of Poseidon, where the girl in that book also discovers that she is a half-breed, yet the journey for each girl beyond that similarity evolves much differently. I like that she is the hero and gets to do the saving and her gifts are pretty cool. My favorite scene in this book is when the use the jet streams, pretty darn cool way to travel. Lastly, there is just a smidge of romance, which hopefully there will be more in the next book.

Verdict: The writing is good and the plot moves along steadily. There are many good things about this book and I am curious to find out how Annabelle handles the task she has been given, especially with that cliffhanger of an ending. Overall, okay read for the mermaid and mythology lovers' out there. 

Leigh’s Indie ABCs
(Part two of a guest post by Leigh Michael)
When I released Sprite (Annabelle’s Story Part One) in April, I knew very little about the writing industry. Over the past 6 months, I’ve acted as a sponge for information. It’s been an amazing, gut-checking, rewarding, and humbling experience. Along the way, I’ve picked up a few tricks of the trade that I’d love to share with you all. Below is part two in what I’ve learned thus far in self-publishing my first series, Annabelle’s Story. Part one was posted on Flying on Silver Wings on October 1. Part three will be posted on Girls on YA Books on October 26.

INDIEpendance Day — This year it came and went without me knowing a thing about it. Next year I hope to get involved.

Joining industry sites — I recommend SheWrites. I love this site. When I first started looking for tips within the industry, SheWrites is where I started. One of my favorite groups is Novelists (Struggling or Not).

Kindle Direct Promotions — I decided to initially self-pub my ebook version through Kindle Direct Publishing. They have this great promotion that lists books for free on for up to 5 days (in a 90 day period). Over 4,000 readers picked up copies of Sprite this way. Keep in mind, agents may consider past works when determining if they’d like to represent a current manuscript, but free copies do not count toward the total amount sold.

LMichaelBooks — It took me a little while to jump on the Twitter bandwagon. It just seemed a little... overwhelming. I’m proud to say I’ve made the leap and created a handle. I’d love for you to follow me @LMichaelBooks.

Marketing your book — Man, this takes a lot of time. Reaching out to book bloggers (couldn’t do it without them) and promoting my series is a job within itself. I’ve tried to come up with some unique ideas such as a 99 cent book challenge, teaming up with other YA authors, some cool extras, and even this book tour to help spread the news about Annabelle’s Story.

Negative reviews — No one wants to get a negative review, but let’s be honest, not everyone is going to like my book. I’ve learned that it’s important to ignore the reviews that are unnecessarily harsh and pull insights from the reviews that have merit.

One release — What I mean is, release your book once. I was excited, scared, impatient, etc to publish my first book and did so a little too early. I didn’t use beta readers or self edit enough. I’m very happy with the version of Sprite that’s available now. With Kin, I gave it lots of TLC. This book has only been released once. Lesson learned.

Plotter vs pantser — AKA an author who plans before writing vs someone who writes from the seat of her pants. What I’ve learned is that I’m more of a plotster… a mixture of both. I create an outline for how things will unfold. But when the time comes to write, I let my creative-side wander. I do little “check-ins” to make sure my plotter side is satisfied. I just don’t shy away from coming up with new ideas at the seat of my pants.

Thank you for reading part two of my A through Z of industry learnings. Be sure to check out part one on Flying on Silver Wings from October 1 and part three on Girls on YA Books on October 26.

So what’s next for me? I’ve thrown myself into a new series. This one is a historical fiction that I’m pretty thrilled about. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll pursue the traditional route or follow the same indie path. Who knows, there could be a “Leigh’s Bestseller ABCs” post one day. One can only hope!
Also, don’t forget to stop by Leigh Michael Books on October 31st for a special Trick or Treat surprise!

Author Bio
Leigh Michael is an author of YA fiction. She's worked within the advertising world for nearly a decade before writing her debut series, Annabelle's Story. Leigh lives in Washington, DC with her husband and goldendoodle. Please learn more about Leigh and her works at her Website 
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Also in this series:
Purchase information:
Sprite (Annabelle’s Story Part One) can be purchased at:

Kin (Annabelle’s Story Part Two) can be purchased at:

Barnes & Noble


  1. "fascinating", "I like that she is the hero", "cool", "favorite scene", "plot moves along steadily", "many good things about this book", "curious"... all words and phrases I love to hear!

    It's funny you mention "Of Poseidon" and other mermaid tales. "Of Poseidon" was released just a month after mine. Also, according to Amazon, the keyword "mermaid" returns a list of 253 new titles since the release of Sprite in April. I had no idea this many mermaid books were out there. And yes, I'm a nerd and checked.

    Anyways, thanks you for your review and for posting part two in my Indie ABCs. I really appreciate it :)

  2. You're welcome! Yay, there are a lot of them.

  3. It seems Mermaids are a hit. I've had people on Facebook asking about them, I've of course referred them to Little Library Muse. ;) If it ends in a cliffhanger and she has other abilities besides being able to breathe under water- I should probably check the books out!

  4. Misty, I'd be thrilled if you gave Sprite a read.

    Annabelle has affinities for earth, fire, wind, and water. All stemming from the lineage of Arethusa, Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon.

    I'd love to hear what you think if you give Annabelle's Story a try :)


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