Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I HEART YA: Book Spotlight + Sneak Peek: The Phantom Island Series by Krissi Dallas

Windchaser (Phantom Island Series, #1)

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Synopsis: High school senior Whitnee has spent six years rebuilding her identity after her father's mysterious disappearance left her with more questions than answers. With her two best friends, Morgan and Caleb, she returns as a mentor to the summer camp of her childhood. Nestled in the Texas hill country, Camp Fusion is everything Whitnee remembers—except for the haunting visions that only she can see. One fateful night, Whitnee and her friends embark on a magical voyage where unexpected adventure and heart-stopping romance collide—a journey that might unlock the dark, complicated mysteries of Whitnee's family history. But will she find the answers she is looking for?


Morgan skipped over to my side with the girls trailing her like baby ducks.

“Soooo?” she prompted anxiously.

“So, nothing!” I told them. “Get away, you vultures! I’ve got nothing for you to chew on.”

“Oh, you are so lying, Whitnee Skye Terradora!” Morgan accused. “We saw him hug you.”

“Yeah, that was when Caleb dropped the fish. I don’t think he liked that,” Emily pointed out.

“Oh my gosh. We”—I gestured between my young campers and myself—“are not discussing this. Drop it, please?” I looked at Morgan pleadingly.

“Man, I’m done fishing!” Kevin said from the rock ledge. “They’re not biting anymore. Caleb, can we go down there and skip rocks before it gets too dark?” Caleb grunted his assent as he worked to untangle one of the fishing poles. He looked flustered and annoyed—I probably knew why.

“You know what? That sounds like fun. Why don’t you girls go join them?” Morgan suggested. The girls didn’t need any more prodding when it came to being with the boys, so they rushed down to the river’s edge and started searching for smooth, flat stones. I turned on her in a heated voice once they were out of earshot.

“Morgan Armstrong! Could you not have distracted them from watching? That’s completely embarrassing! I don’t want my love life or potential for a love life broadcast all over camp!” I ran my hands through my long blonde hair, pulling absentmindedly through the little tangles that had formed in the breeze.

“What did he say? What happened?” She was desperate for details, but I noticed Caleb still up on the rock ledge growing more and more agitated.

“Later,” I hissed and pushed past her to approach him. He acted like he didn’t notice me there at first. “Need help?” I asked timidly.

“No, I got it,” he responded shortly, not meeting my eyes. He stacked up all of the fishing poles, slammed the lid of the tackle box, and then plopped down on the ledge with his back to me. I turned to see what Morgan thought.

“I’m going down there with the kids,” she announced and gave me a pointed look that said I’ll let you handle this. With a sigh, I trudged over to Caleb and quietly sat down beside him. He still wouldn’t look at me, so we both stared unseeing across the river as the sky quickly darkened.

“I know you’re mad about Jaxson,” I said quietly. He just grunted. “What I can’t figure out is why it makes you mad.”

“Why should I be mad that some guy you met two weeks ago is hanging all over you like that? You can’t figure that out?” he replied in a low growl.

“You know, most of the time, I appreciate you looking out for me, but all he’s done is hug me. I hug people all the time and you never get upset.”

“I don’t trust him,” he retorted.

“Oh, please! You know he’s completely trustworthy. You’re just hiding behind that excuse because it’s easier than admitting the truth!” I flung back.

“What truth is that?”

I took a deep breath and made an effort to calm my voice. “I can’t believe I’m going to say this … ” I paused, trying to find the right words. “The truth is that you’re the one who’s acting kind of … well, kind of jealous, which I guess is understandable,” I added quickly. “I mean, you and I are so close … ” I trailed off, not sure if I wanted to finish my sentence. I had never been jealous before of Caleb and other girls, but this summer things were changing. I couldn’t kick the horrible green monster that roared through my veins every time I saw him and Claire together. I was sure it wasn’t the kind of jealousy that meant I wanted Caleb for myself … it was just a selfish kind of jealousy. He was like a brother, a stupid, annoying brother who I had absolutely no romantic feelings toward.

None at all.

He still wouldn’t even look at me, so I pressed on with what I believed was the heart of the matter. “I want you to know that no matter who comes along in my life—whether it be Jaxson or some other guy I haven’t even met yet—you are still one of my best friends. I don’t plan to replace you.”

“You really believe that, don’t you?” His tone had softened dangerously. “You think someday our friendship won’t have to change once you find the right guy?”

“I don’t know—why do we have to worry about that now? I want you in my life, Caleb. And since we could never … I mean, we know that we’re not right for each other, so—”

Do we know that, Whitnee?” he interrupted, and this time he looked at me. His familiar green eyes searched mine for something I didn’t understand.

“I’m sorry? I thought we already had the ‘you-and-I-are-wrong-for-each-other’ discussion?” I replied incredulously.

How could this continue to be an issue?

“Yeah, remind me again why it would be so awful to date me.”

“Oh, come on.” I attempted a laugh. “What, are you serious?” His face was not joking at all. “Caleb, you know why. We’re friends. We know each other too well … it would be boring. And there’s this little thing called attraction—”

Whitnee.” He breathed my name in such a way that I faltered at the pained expression on his face.

“We’ve talked about this … ” I murmured.

“Yeah, yeah … you want the knight in shining armor … and the butterflies in the stomach. But, if that wasn’t so important to you, could you see us together?” Before I could answer, he continued passionately, “I know everything there is to know about you. I know how to read the ninety-eight different expressions that you have. I know when you’re not telling me the whole truth. I know your deepest fears and your favorite Starbucks drink. I know when you’re thinking about your dad and you don’t want to admit it. I know what really pisses you off, and I’m good at pushing those buttons just to get a reaction out of you. I’ve seen you with and without makeup, and you’re beautiful both ways. I know that you hate your gray eyes, but you have no idea how bright and vivid they get when you’re emotional about something. I’ve seen you cry like the world may be ending, and I’ve seen you laugh like you may never stop. I’ve been there through everything, and yet I’m the one you feel nothing for!”


I was absolutely stunned as his words sank in. This made Jaxson’s you’re-really-cool-speech seem like a pathetic attempt at winning my heart. And speaking of my heart, could he hear how loudly it was pounding?

Windfall (Phantom Island Series, #2) 

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Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Synopsis: Transported along with four friends onto a mysterious and magical Island, Whitnee Terradora wants nothing more than to return home safely—until she starts performing supernatural feats such as cyclones, healing, and communicating with the plant she accidentally set on Fire.

Suddenly, finding the Island seems like more than just a coincidence. When an ancient prophecy causes a controversy among the leaders of the White Island, Whitnee questions who is looking out for her interests, and who is interested only in gaining power. Even Gabriel, her one ally on the Island, has secrets that both confuse and allure her.

Who can Whitnee really trust to find out the truth about herself and her missing father? Could Whitnee really be the answer to the White Island's problems and if so, is it worth the danger of never returning home?


“This is intense work,” Morgan commented between bites. “I can see why Whit has been exhausted since we got here. I just can’t understand how the rest of you live with this kind of energy surging through you all the time.”

“We are born with it, and we learn how to control it from a young age,” Thomas told her. “I cannot imagine what it would feel like at my age to have to learn it all for the first time. What you are doing is difficult.”

“Is the fighting part harder than this?” Caleb questioned.

“With Earth, I think it is. The defensive shield is the easiest part,” Eden answered.

“Fighting with Water is only difficult when you don’t have any to work with. That is probably the greatest weakness,” Thomas pointed out.

“Wind and Fire are usually the fiercest when it comes to offensive fighting, as Whitnee has already discovered …” Gabriel commented and then gave me a knowing smile that had me blushing and losing my appetite again.

“It appears you two have already been working on that part,” Eden needled us with a raise of her eyebrows.

“Apparently Whitnee can knock him flat to the ground,” Morgan teased, and Eden became excited at the possibility of witnessing such an event.

“Yeah, what was all that about Whit shooting blue Fire at you, Gabe?” Caleb wanted to know, and I glanced nervously at Gabriel.

“All I will say is that she has quite a temper about her,” Gabriel said with an easy laugh. “A temper which she must learn to control. She puts her emotions into her fighting, and that is why she nearly kills herself every time.”

“Yeah, but I produce some pretty wicked moves every time,” I reminded him.

“That will only last for so long. You have to learn to fight logically and without emotion or you will lose,” he told me for the fifteenth time that day.

“I understand … but I’m a girl. It’s a little harder to separate those emotions out,” I sighed.

“Well, I think you should both give us a demonstration before we start,” Morgan suggested. I barely caught Caleb rolling his eyes, but he kept his mouth shut.

I raised my eyebrows at Gabriel. “I’m game, if you are. But I don’t want to embarrass you in front of everyone.”

“Oh, Little One …” He shook his head as if he pitied me. “Your confidence is amusing as always.”

I made a face. “Well, let’s go.” I stood up, brushing my hands off.

“Right now? Do you not need more rest?” He looked surprised.

“I’m fine … maybe you need more rest, though?” I smiled innocently and took a swig of Water. He smiled back and stood to his feet.

“Uh-oh. We should move,” Morgan said.

Eden called out, “Try not to set the trees on Fire, Gabriel!” He gave her a dirty look as we moved into position several yards away from each other.

“You first.” He took a defensive stance. I allowed myself to breathe evenly and feel the breeze within. Then, with a shout, I launched a mini-whirlwind at him. He burned it up the moment it came within reach. So I sent a mighty force of straight-line winds his direction. He emitted a wall of orange flame around himself that directed the winds away from his body and toward the onlookers. I heard Morgan squeal as the force blew away some of our picnic. I placed my hands on my hips and glared at him.

“Is that what you were doing last night? Using some kind of Fire barrier?”

“Yes.” He grinned.

“Geez,” I muttered. And I thought I had hurt him when he seemed to erupt into flames! I took a moment to catch my breath, and that was when I doubled over as if I was suddenly weak. I dropped to one knee on the ground, gasping.

“Whitnee?” Gabriel called, dropping his defenses and running toward me. I took a deep breath and threw the most powerful gust of Wind I could conjure right at him. His eyes widened in shock as he was launched backwards, realizing too late I had been faking. He landed on his rear and cursed out loud. Eden cheered while the others laughed uproariously. I skipped over to his sprawled position on the ground and leaned over on my knees.

“That is the second time I’ve knocked you on your butt. Now, where’s the respect?”

Watercrossing (Phantom Island Series, #3)

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Synopsis: Summer at Camp Fusion is rapidly coming to a close for Whitnee and her best friends, Morgan and Caleb. Working as mentors for troubled preteens all summer would have been adventurous enough, but discovering a secret portal on the forbidden side of the Frio River turned their idea of reality upside-down. Now the three friends are determined to find a way back to the magical White Island in the hopes of recovering Whitnee’s missing father and setting things right once and for all. However, the journey back is complicated–especially since Morgan is hiding a terrible secret and Caleb is looking less like a best friend and more like a potential boyfriend. Whitnee is determined to stay focused this time and not get distracted, especially by a certain someone, but she is completely unprepared for the moment she enters again into a deadly game of control on the Island. Can Whitnee navigate her way through the danger and survive the lies that threaten the people she loves?


My heart stopped—a pair of glowing eyes watched me as I approached. I froze mid-step in fear, turning the beam of the flashlight on the person, afraid of whom I might find there. I was, in turn, blinded by my own flashlight.

It was my eyes. Reflecting in the mirror above the sinks.

I clicked the flashlight off so I could stare at my irises, lit up like a nuclear substance under a black light.

“Ohmigosh, ohmigosh…” I chanted, trying to keep the hysteria at bay.

I jumped back into action. Clicking the flashlight on again and slipping slightly on the tile floor of the bathroom, I hastened back into the bedroom and practically launched myself up to Morgan’s bed. I landed hard on top of her legs. She jolted but didn’t come out of it very quickly.

“Morgan, wake up,” I whispered loudly near her face. “Wake-up-wake-up-wake-up—”

“Huhh…?” She twisted uncomfortably, and I shook her by the shoulders, making the flashlight beam jump all over the room.

“Get up! We have to go! We have to go now.” I tried to sound as urgent as I could while being quiet at the same time. That was when her eyes fluttered open. She took one look at me, and I saw her eyes go wide and her mouth open to scream…I covered her face with my hand before she woke everybody up.

Talking quickly, I told her, “I just used a life force! See my eyes? I need you to calm down and listen to me!” Only, why she would listen to me when I was acting crazy myself, I don’t know. She stopped squirming and gazed at me in terror. “Don’t scream, okay?” I warned her. Slowly, I released the pressure of my hand on her face.

She clumsily pulled herself up into a sitting position, scrutinizing me the whole time. I backed away and gave her some space.

“Am I dreaming?” she whispered.


“Are you sleepwalking?”

“Morgan, no! I’m completely awake, and so are you!” I told her in exasperation. “Put your shoes on, we need to go—”

“I’m not going anywhere until you tell me what’s going on…” She was acting as if she didn’t trust me.

“What? Morgan, it’s me…”

“Prove it,” she demanded.

“Are you crazy? Just give the eyes a second and they’ll stop glowing, okay?”

“Prove that you are Whitnee.”

“Morgan, this is ridiculous…” We were wasting time, but she had such a terrified look on her face. “Okay, um, you know all the lyrics to ‘Baby Got Back’ and rap them shamelessly when nobody is around and…Oh, in ninth grade we toilet-papered Billy Mattock’s house because you had a crush on him, and we never told anyone it was us, even though you had all those suspicious mosquito bites and…uh…You still write letters to Santa Claus, and I only know because I caught you doing it last year—”

“It’s a tradition!” she hissed in the darkness. “Fine, okay. I believe you. Now what the beep are you doing? You look like the creature from the freaking black lagoon with your eyes, and your hair, and the polka dots all over your face…ugh.” She shivered visibly.

Oh, yeah, I forgot about the toothpaste…

“Sorry, but watch.” And I did the shield again—it was becoming like second nature very quickly.

She flinched in surprise. “Holy—”

“I know.”

“So what do we do?”

“We get our shoes on, and we go down to the river to see what’s happening!”

“That is so not a good idea, Whitnee.”

“Then I’m going alone,” I said simply, jumping down quietly to find my flip-flops under my bed. “And if I don’t come back, then you probably know where I went.”

“Ughh, déjà vu…” She groaned but joined me on the floor anyway.

She kept up a running monologue under her breath even as we made it outside, softly clicking the cabin door closed behind us. I couldn’t understand everything she was saying (thankfully) but I did catch the phrases “sneaking out,” “horribly mauled by night animals,” and “psychotic best friend.” I was in the lead, marching purposefully down the trail but throwing cautious glances all around me. Morgan was close on my heels, even accidentally treading on them a few times. Once we were away from the floodlights of the campgrounds, the trees cloaked us in thick darkness. If it hadn’t been for our flashlights, we would not have been able to see a thing. Where was the moon?

I knew the path to the river well, even in such darkness. But Morgan’s negative chanting was distracting me, and okay, it was making me more nervous. I stopped dead in the trail and turned my flashlight on her.

“Morgan. Stop panicking.”

“Whitnee,” she pleaded. “Can we please go back to the cabin?”

“We’re almost there!”

“Then let’s get Caleb first…”

I snorted. “Oh, sure…if we were caught sneaking into the guys’ cabin, we’d be in seriously more trouble than sneaking down to the river. Besides, I can protect us with life forces right now. Look!” And I pushed my free hand out with a force of Wind…only nothing happened. I looked down at my palm. I tried the Earth Shield this time…No green force field came out around us. I tried to use each of the four life forces, and it was the same as before. They felt very close, but I couldn’t get the right connection in place.

“Oh, perfect!” Morgan cried in exasperation.

I was dumbfounded, but instead of standing there arguing with her, I spun around and continued as fast as I could to the river. Maybe I just needed to be closer to the portal.

“Wait for me!” I heard her cry.

Watermark (Phantom Island Series, #4)

Coming Fall 2013!

Synopsis: Relationships on the White Island are volatile and Whitnee, Morgan, and Caleb aren’t sure who they can trust—even each other. Politicians are lying, history is being rewritten, and motives are questionable. Whitnee sets out with Gabriel and a band of rebel spies to take back the enemy's biggest weapon—Whitnee's father. However, a shocking turn of events proves once again that the Island's secrets have the power to destroy more than just the truth. Separated from her friends, Whitnee battles her own fears in order to survive and protect the ones she loves. But when Morgan's illness finally comes to light, Whitnee faces a decision that could alter her future—and Morgan’s—forever. And whether she ultimately stays on the Island or leaves might not be her choice, after all.



Her eyes refused to meet mine. In that moment, I wanted to yell at her to snap out of it and start being honest with me. But before I got my chance, she spoke.

“Can I ask you something?” Her voice was distant. I nodded, even though her eyes were fixed on some unknowable point in the darkness. “When they asked you at the meeting to consider staying on the Island…you looked surprised. As if you had never thought of that possibility before.”

I waited impatiently for her to get to her question.

Finally she looked up at me with her luminous blue eyes set into a gaunt face that appeared ghostly in the darkness. “Well? Would you ever live here…permanently? I mean, what if we found your dad tonight and we could bring your mom here? What if we all stayed here together?”

“You’re not serious, right?” I scoffed. But she was serious. A chill ran down my spine. “First of all, that’s ludicrous. Why would you want to stay here?”

She cast her gaze to the ground and didn’t respond.

“Geez, Morgan. Is this about Thomas? I know you guys kissed and the new romance is fun and all, but—”

“No, it’s not about Thomas. I don’t know, Whit…” She paused for a moment. “Sometimes I just feel better here. Sometimes I think I feel like Amelia and just want to disappear.”

I stared at her in frustration. “What is with you?!” I exploded. She was not acting like my best friend. Like my Morgan. “You’ve been so different this summer, and I don’t get it!”

“Well, you’ve been different too! People change, you know,” she snapped back.

“If I’ve changed, fine. But at least I’m still honest with you. You, however, have turned into a liar! If we don’t have trust between us, then what do we have, Morgan?”

“Forgive me if there has never been an ideal time to sit down and talk about me. Your summer has been one big drama…to the point where maybe other people don’t feel like there is time to actually have an honest conversation with you!”

“What—But—” Oh my gosh. That was completely unfair! “Don’t give me that crap, Morgan! I have given you plenty of opportunities to tell me what is wrong with you, but you chose to lock me out of your life this summer. I know you. And when something’s wrong, you keep it all inside until you’re about ready to combust. I’ve tried to wait patiently until you decide to tell me the truth, but this has gone too far. Are you depressed or something?”

She laughed petulantly as if I had just made a huge understatement.

“So that’s it?” I clarified. “You’re dealing with depression? Over what? I don’t understand…”

“How could you ever understand? I’m not like you, Whitnee.” She pulled herself up from the ground and threw her arms out. “I’m not driven to do great things. I’ve always been in the back seat of your adventures. My life…it’s nothing. It’s inconsequential. It always has been.”

“That is not true!”

“Oh, come on. We found an Island whose entire existence seems to revolve around you.” She looked away to dust herself off. With a biting undertone, she added, “I just happened to pick a best friend who will always be more important than me. When I’m gone, it will make no difference to anyone.”

When she was gone? What in the world was she talking about? I was speechless. Her words about me were upsetting enough, but beneath them lay something even more disturbing. Morgan had a very sad, very messed-up idea of herself. I had never seen it before then.

“What is wrong with you two?” Caleb called, waving his arms in the air. “I’ve been trying to get your attention! Let’s go.”

Without a word, Morgan stalked away and left me there in the darkness.

“Morgan!” I called out. She didn’t turn around, but marched right past Caleb toward the shadows of the ruins.

Caleb crossed his arms over his chest and stared after her with concern. “Is she okay?”

I took a deep breath and tried to swallow down how upset I was. “No,” I told him honestly. “No, she is definitely not okay.”

Enter to win the first three books in the PHANTOM ISLAND SERIES under the Swag Pack Giveaway Pile on the I HEART YA page!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for spotlighting the Phantom Island series!! #iHEARTTeamNerdReviews!! ;)


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