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Title: Rising

Author:  Holly Kelly

Published:  September 6th, 2013

Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing

Word Count:  approx. 76,000

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Recommended Age:  16+

Underwater scene with rays of light

Synopsis: In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. But first there’s one small thing he needs to do… kill a beautiful young woman in a wheelchair.

Killing her doesn’t start out as part of his plan. He entrenches himself deep in the human world. Aligning himself with his enemies, he prepares to send them to Triton to face their punishment. Then Sara Taylor rolls onto the scene. Xanthus knows at once she’s a
criminal. And her crime? Being born. She’s a human/Dagonian half-breed, an abomination. Killing her should be an easy job. All he has to do is break into her apartment, slit her throat, and feed her body to the sharks. Simple, right? Wrong. If only she weren’t so beautiful, so innocent, so sweet…

Saving the world may have to wait. It appears Xanthus has a woman to save. But protecting her may cost him his own life.


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About the Author:

Holly Kelly is a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation–She hides in the bathroom with her laptop and locks the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls.

Holly was born in Utah but lived in Salina, Kansas until she was 13 and in Garland, Texas until she was 18. She’s now back in Utah–“happy valley”. Holly is married to her wonderful husband, James, and the two of them are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. Her interests are reading, writing (or course), martial arts, visual arts, and spending time with family.

Holly Kelly’s first published book is: Rising. Rising was published by Clean Teen Publishing on September 6, 2013.

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Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

If US:

GRAND PRIZE: Print copy of Rising, bookmark, surprise Clean Teen Publishing swag gift, and reader’s choice of two digital Clean Teen Publishing books.


GRAND PRIZE: $10 Electronic Amazon Gift Card, Rising bookmark, surprise Clean Teen Publishing swag gift, and reader’s choice of two digital Clean Teen Publishing books.

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Excerpt from Rising by Holly Kelly:


He knew what he had to do, what he’d done countless times before. As a trained soldier, he had a sacred duty to protect his people, guard their secret, and uphold the law. This female’s presence here was not only a criminal act, but it also presented an imminent threat. And because of that, his course was clear.

He had to kill her.

His plan lay clearly before him. Blanketed in the shadows, he’d enter her apartment window. Moving silently, he’d strike fast. Before she could cry out for help, he’d have her throat slit wide open. With her blood flowing swiftly, she’d be dead in mere seconds. The fact that she bathed at this time added to the ease of the execution. Clean up would be simple. Before the night ended, it would be as if she’d never existed. The Dagonian threat of exposure would be wiped clean from the human world.

Xanthus stood, his feet rooted in place under her window. Her sweet scent surrounded him as he listened to her pitiful sobs. Then, in that moment, he did the most shameful thing he’d ever done in his life.

He hesitated.

No, he didn’t merely hesitate. He halted. Fingering his blade in his holster, he willed his feet to move, but they seemed unwilling to obey. Then his mind latched onto a thought. It was no crime to wait for a more opportune time or a more secluded place to strike. He didn’t need to act rashly. True, finding her here in the human world shocked him, but he needed to be clear-headed and sure when he killed her.

He made his way back to his vehicle and climbed behind the wheel. He leaned his head back against the seat, closed his eyes, and attempted to clear his head.

He’d be back and she would die. She deserved to die. She may have the voice of an angel, but that was a lie. She was a traitor, a threat to their people. No other explanation made sense.

He felt someone near just before a fist rapped on the glass. A big, filthy man with wild hair motioned for him to roll down his window.

As soon as the glass lowered, the barrel of a high-caliber pistol poked inside. “Give me all your money and I won’t hurt you,” the man growled.

“Put away that gun and I won’t hurt you,” Xanthus said, his voice low and menacing.

The man didn’t seem too impressed. “Yeah man, right. You might notice I’m the one with the…” Before he got the words out, Xanthus had the gun out of the man’s hand and pointed back at his face with his windpipe clenched in his fist.

“Hey man, I was just joking,” the human choked out.

“Just walk away. And don’t come back. If I see your face anywhere near here again, I’ll kill you. Do you understand me?”

The man’s eyes widened in fear. “Yeah, yeah, I hear you,” he said, just before Xanthus released him and he escaped into the darkness.

Xanthus looked toward the little female’s apartment building across the street. Could she have found a more dangerous place to live? He placed the gun in the glove compartment. He shouldn’t have let the gunman live.

This Dagonian female probably felt at home with these bottom-feeders.

Probably? Aw Hades. He cursed himself and the doubt in his mind. He doubly cursed that he couldn’t seem to stop himself from caring about her welfare. He’d be killing her himself, after all. The traitor had to die, regardless of his feelings and no matter how appealing she was. Of course if she died by a human’s hands then he wouldn’t…


He shook his head at his own idiotic thoughts. If a human killed her, then her body would be taken to the morgue, for the humans to see. He couldn’t let that happen. He had to be the one to kill her and carefully dispose of her body. And he would, soon.

Just not tonight.



My Review: 

4 stars

I was a mermaid…oh I am sorry not mermaid, Dagonian virgin. Not anymore!

So I received this for an honest review, on a blog tour with Juniper Blog Tour Company. With that said honesty is the best policy. Yup, yup, yup.

Song Choice: “What a Catch, Donnie” by Fall Out Boy (yeah I was trying to be slightly funny there, but also serious), and “Never My Love” by Har Mar Superstar featuring Adam Green

First thoughts: As a mermaid – sea creature (almost all sea creatures I can think of only one book that I read that had sea-creatures in it) virgin I was very pleased with this experience. I thought that this was a really easy read, I finished it within the day, and I wanted to find out what happened. While there were some parts that were too vague for my likings I really did enjoy this book. I think that if you interested in trying out a water-creature book this might be for you because (I have no NONE, NADA, experience in this area of paranormal) there was a lot of time spent on land, and there was time spent in the water as well. But it wasn’t a completely sea-based book.

Thoughts on Plot: Well I thought that was this was really interesting, I have to say it again I have no experience really with the water-like creatures, but do I knew mermaids, and I don’t think that I have ever heard of the Dagonian so I am going to assume that it is an original creation. I would probably have loved it more…if the differences of mermaids and Dagonian were explored a little bit earlier in the book, because for the first half I was just thinking well apparently you look the same so what the hell is the big difference? I got they were descended from different Gods, yeah I got that but otherwise…not so much. So that was one thing I personally struggled with. I loved some of the overall plot ideas that were presented. Ideas like the crimes of the father, the ideas of racism that were brought in slightly. It was interesting how they were tied into this plot. I liked it, I liked it a lot. So back to actually happenings in the book, some things didn’t really shock me at all, others were a bit more surprising. There is one thing that I am still trying to figure out but spoilers 😉 Overall I really did enjoy this book, there was a case of insta-love, but after the insta-love they did spend a lot (and when I mean a lot of I mean more than a week) before they decided anything rash.

*Oh okay so I went into this for some odd reason thinking this was an adult rated book – I really don’t know why, but there is no funny business here wink wink, nudge nudge get it? Kay just kissies




Sara: She was interesting… she was an odd mix of innocent, sweet, caring, and feisty. She thought she was born with a deformity and she cannot walk. So she becomes very hostile when people make certain comments, which yeah I understand that sometimes disabled people feel that way but at the same time I was wondering wouldn’t she want to lighten up a bit, she did make a lot of things about her disability (like when a comment was made, she automatically was like oh well he must not like me because of this…) Anyways I did for the most part like her, she was a good mix I think of being strong-willed and could take care of herself, but not so much so that when Alpha male comes in that she is just a bitch.

Speaking of Alpha Males… Xanthus: Over 7 feet tall, black hair, dark, dark, dark eyes, and dangerous to boot. He is a warrior and ready to destroy anything and everything that would harm Sara. I think for the most part I liked him, he was very much the Alpha male but also again he was that good mix, of Alpha male but also stepping back when he knew he should, and giving her space to breathe and do her own stuff. I liked him.  😀

The ending, hmmm… I think for the most part I am okay with it. I thought it was the end of the Sara and Xanthus story, could there be another book about other characters maybe. Would I recommend it (being another book I mean)… I am not entirely sure to be honest.

Very last thoughts I liked this, a lot.