Wednesday, July 30, 2014

{BOOK BLITZ} EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: The Perfect Boyfriend by Renee Novelle (Boyfriend #2)




The Perfect Boyfriend 
by Renee Novelle 
(Boyfriend #2) 
Publication date: July 27th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
The Perfect Boyfriend picks up right where we left Reagan and Ian in The Boyfriend List.

As their friendship blossoms quickly into a steamy romance, Reagan and Ian have to learn to navigate their shifting relationship…and everything that entails. But their newfound bliss doesn’t come without a few unexpected challenges.

In the midst of realizing just how sweet the romance can be between them, and all the benefits of their new dynamic, Reagan is informed that her ideal situation has changed. Not only will she need to begin taking on more classes to speed up her graduation date, but she’ll also have to start looking for a job to supplement her fading income. Meanwhile, Ian has chosen to pull out of school once his father is diagnosed with a terminal illness in order to help manage the family business and spend time with him while he still can. But he wrestles with the guilt of leaving Reagan behind, and the pressure of his new responsibilities.

As the two meet their new challenges head-on, they’ll be forced to discover whether or not they’re as compatible as lovers as they were as friends. With their focus pulled in so many directions, will they have what it takes to keep a long distance relationship alive? Can Ian prove that he’s still be the perfect boyfriend, or will they fold to statistics under the growing tensions of their lives? Throw in some manipulative exes, a new boss with an inflated ego, and a co-worker from hell and the two have a recipe for either a fairy tale ending, or a complete disaster.

The Perfect Boyfriend is a New Adult Romance about trust, love, and discovering the true depths of personal strength.



Purchase:



Book 1 sale: book 1 - The Boyfriend List - is on sale during the blitz for only 99c!!

EXCERPT
“You told me I could see.” Reagan was insisting, her back turned toward the mirror in her bathroom. 
Petra was standing over her, make-up brush still in hand, heavy with color on the tip. “I said you could see when I was done. I’m not done yet. Close your eyes.” Then she swiped a little color into the crease of Reagan’s large eyes and rubbed it along the lash-line to create a smoky effect. Next she added a couple layers of mascara, swiped some red lipstick onto Reagan’s full lips and fluffed the curls around her face that she’d created earlier in the evening. “Now I’m done. Take a look.” 
Petra stood back, beaming with pride at her creation as Reagan swiveled around to get a good look at herself.
“Oh my god.” The words tumbled from her lips on a breathless whisper of amazement. “Oh my god, Petra.” Then she leaned closer in, scrutinizing her appearance. She looked like one of the models she’d seen in the lingerie store pictures. 
“See.” Petra was smiling as she pulled out her phone and took a quick picture of the two of them to upload to Instagram later. “I always told you you were hot. Now will you believe me?”
“Wow. I guess I’m gonna have to.”
“You’re welcome.” Petra chirped happily as she packed up her tools and walked out of the room to make herself a drink while Reagan changed into her outfit. 
But Reagan was beginning to think she might need a drink herself.
As she added dangling earrings and a bright cocktail ring to spruce up her dress, she began to wonder to herself what exactly to expect from the evening. Every other first date she’d been on had been a variation on the casual dinner/movies theme. Maybe a couple drinks at a popular bar. If she was lucky, really lucky, and the guy had any amount of romantic streak in him, they might end up at Carrabba’s or The Cheesecake Factory or some other place that was a step up from average but far from fancy. This was college, and it was all par for the course when the end result was only meant to be some casual fun.
But then again, this was Ian she was going out with tonight. And Ian never did things quite like any other guy. Somehow from day one he’d been plugged in to this uber-sophisticated, way more mature lifestyle and understanding of how things were supposed to work than most guys his age. She wasn’t quite sure how he’d managed it, but it was one of his many appealing qualities. So the status quo was immediately tossed out the window. And it’s not like he’d given her much of an idea to go on, other than to dress nice, so the part of her that needed to have things in order and a plan to rely on was a little thrown off. 
Yet she had to admit to herself that the not knowing part had made it that much more exciting too. Yes, she had known Ian for the better part of her college life, but she had no idea what dating him would be like. Not really. Because he’d never really dated a girl before. And the more she thought about it, the stronger the jitters grew that were working their way up from her core as ideas and images ran through her head. And by the time she heard the solid knock at the front door, she was practically bursting with excitement and nerves. 
She raced from her room, but backtracked when she realized she’d forgotten perfume. Spritzing a little of her favorite scent on her neck, cleavage and wrists, she took one final glance into her full-length mirror and murmured to herself, “Well, this is it.” Then she nodded in approval and left her room again. 
By the time Reagan emerged, Petra had beat her to the door and she could hear her friend giving Ian the rundown. “I don’t expect you to bring her home tonight. In fact, I really hope you don’t. But if anything happens to her, sohelpmegod I will hunt you down and murder you myself. Got it?”
“Yes ma’am.” Came Ian’s good-natured reply, to which Reagan smiled warmly.
Then Reagan rounded the corner of the hallway, and got her first glimpse of him standing the doorway. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen him in a suit – they’d passed that milestone already – but damn the man could pull off a dinner jacket like nothing she’d ever seen before, and the result of his broad shoulders and perfect face dressed up like that nearly took her breath away.
Apparently the feeling was mutual. She could hear him suck in a deep breath, as though the first sight of her had far exceeded any expectation he’d put on the evening. Then he blew it out again - a long, low steady stream of appreciation as his eyes moved over every inch of her body, lingering at her cleavage then finally meeting her eyes. His expression had shifted somehow, from an almost casual nervousness to a wicked sensuality that was asking to devour her. It was a foreshadowing of what was come, Reagan could feel it in her gut. And if he continued to look at her with those heavy, darkened eyes and the charming curl of his lip that forced a slight dimple into the side of his cheek, she might just let him have his way.



AUTHOR BIO
Renee’ Novelle is Preceded by a long line of published family members, including Pulitzer Prize nominated author and Poet Laureate of Kentucky Jesse Stuart.

As a child, Novelle was already gaining recognition for several of her works, and in her formative years, she continued this trend by earning local awards for her short stories and poems.

Inspired to cultivate her talent, Novelle pursued freelance journalism and has found placement of 75 of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her savvy, effective writing style to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention.

In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. She writes psychological and paranormal thrillers, as well as contemporary fiction and new adult fiction. For a complete schedule of upcoming releases, please visit www.RSNovelle.com

Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, Summa Cum Laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you're meant to be.

Author links:



GIVEAWAY!

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EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot Book 4) by Christine Amsden



Stolen Dreams 
Cassie Scot Book 4 
by Christine Amsden

Genre: Urban fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, new adult

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

Date of Publication: June 25, 2014 (ebook)
October 15, 2014 (paperback)

ISBN:  978-1-60619-281-8
ASIN: Coming soon

Number of pages: 260
Word Count: 84,000

Cover Artist: Ural Akyutz

Book Description:

Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.

When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.

But things may not be precisely as they appear.

Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own?

Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

Excerpt 
Prologue

Evan’s face stared back at him from a large glossy poster hanging in the front window of the local post office. The words “Wanted Alive” were splattered across the top in big red letters. Someone had cast an animation spell over it to make his hooded eyes shift slightly, as if in guilt. Evan had seen all that before, but a new addition to the bottom of the poster stopped him dead in his tracks: “One Million Dollar Reward.”
“Crap,” he muttered under his breath. He looked around, more than half expecting an ambush right there on the street, but he saw nothing sinister. He reached within himself for his magic anyway, channeling it into a shield that would protect him from most magical attacks.
A million dollars. This was going to bring out every crazy in the country! He had been fighting bounty hunters for over a month, ever since the wanted posters first went up, but then the reward had only been $100,000.
The Scots were either getting desperate or stupid to try something like this. Rumors already abounded regarding his bottomless reserves of magic, making him out to be some kind of inexhaustible fountain of power. The million-dollar reward would only confirm these lies in the minds of many; which meant that if someone did manage to catch Evan, the Scots were unlikely to get their hands on him. Why would a bounty hunter settle for money when he could have Evan’s magic for himself?
Evan turned away from the poster and was just about to continue down the street when a black Suburban turned into the post office parking lot, cutting him off. He waited for it to pull into a spot, his shields still up, his senses alert.
Robert Scot, Edward Scot’s cousin, stepped out of the vehicle, threw Evan a dirty look, then went around to the back to pull a four-year-old girl out of a car seat. The presence of the child did not convince Evan to lower his guard, though he truly hoped they hadn’t sunk so low as to fight when an innocent child might get hurt.
One million dollars. People had killed for far less, and had allowed children to become victims. Robert Scot was a strong practitioner, on par with Edward, but he didn’t have access to the secrets of alchemy, and he was not a rich man. He earned a good living as a bank manager or something, but one million dollars had to be a temptation.
The two men did not take their eyes from one another as Robert walked into the post office. Robert clutched the wriggling child, who clearly wanted down, to his chest in an almost painful grip. A minute later he was past, and Evan breathed a little easier. He walked away from the post office, heading down the sidewalk in the direction of his Prius, parked a few stores down. He still had errands to run, but in light of what he had learned about the reward, they didn’t seem important.
Suddenly, an explosion rent the air. Evan dove behind the nearby antique shop, his shields maxed out, his senses hyper-alert. When he peeked around the corner, he saw smoke and debris where there had once been a Suburban.
The chubby face of the little girl filled Evan’s mind, and he felt a moment of terror as he wondered whether or not Robert and his little girl had already returned to the car. Practically flying from his hidden position, Evan sped back to the post office and that mockery of a wanted poster, his eyes searching the interior until they fell, thankfully, onto the shocked faces of Robert Scot and his daughter huddled safely inside the building.
Robert’s face didn’t remain shocked for long; it fell into an enraged scowl. Robert shoved the girl into the arms of a nearby post office patron and marched outside to confront Evan man to man.
“You son of a bitch! My daughter could have been in there. I almost left her there while I ran inside, but then I saw you.”
“I didn’t do that. I ran back to make sure you were all right.” More the girl than Robert, but still....
Robert didn’t respond with words; instead he let loose with a torrent of raw energy that battered Evan’s shields until he could scarcely hold them. Raw magic wasn’t normally a useful attack strategy, but powerful emotion could turn it into one for a short time. Another blast like that and Evan would be in trouble, but he had no intention of letting Robert get off another shot. He parried the attack with his own telekinetic gift, throwing Robert bodily backward, forcefully enough that he smashed through the wanted poster and the glass window, shattering it.
Evan didn’t wait for Robert to get back up; he ran. He hadn’t caused the explosion, and he had no reason to finish a fight against a man he scarcely knew, but one whose family seemed to want to go to war with his.
The worst part was that someone in Evan’s family probably had done it–they had been muttering for weeks that they couldn’t just let the Scots persecute him. Evan had begged them to give him time, but obviously time had run out.
Robert wouldn’t care whether Evan had been personally involved or not, nor would the rest of the Scots. And maybe they were right. Evan would find out who had done it and set him or her straight, but the damage was already done.
The first direct shot had been fired.



About the Author: 

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Website    Newsletter     Blog
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GIVEAWAY!

$100 Amazon gift card from July 15-October 15.


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Monday, July 28, 2014

EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY: Magnolia by Kristi Cook



Magnolia
by Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: August 5th 2014


Synopsis:

In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

EXCERPT

Of course, we’re sopping wet and dripping everywhere by the time we step into the dry mudroom to pull off our boots.  “This is crazy,” I say, shaking my head like Sadie does when she’s wet.  “We can’t walk through the house like this—we’ll make a mess.”  Ryder’s jeans are soaked through and caked with mud.  I’m wearing shorts, but my bare legs are spattered all over.  “We’re going to have to strip here,” I say, shaking my head.  “Just leave it all in a pile.  I’ll toss it in the wash after lunch.”



He just stares at me, wide-eyed.  “What?  Now?”



“Yeah, you go first,” I say, amused by the blush that’s creeping up his neck.  “Geez, Ryder.  It’s not like I haven’t seen you in your underpants before.” 

I have vague memories of Ryder running around Magnolia Landing’s lawn wearing nothing but superhero undies.  And after all the years of shared beach houses and hotel suites, well…like I said, we were more like siblings when we were little. “If it’ll make you more comfortable, I’ll turn around,” I offer. 



“Nah, it’s fine.”  He reaches for the hem of his T-shirt and pulls it over his head in one fluid motion. 



And then I remember why this was a bad idea.  My mouth goes dry at the sight of his tanned, sculpted chest, his narrow waist and jutting hipbones.  Oh, man.  What was I thinking?



I swallow hard as he unbuttons his jeans and slides down the zipper.  Boxers or briefs, that’s all I’m thinking as he peels down the wet denim—slowly, as if he’s enjoying this little striptease.  He steps out of them gracefully and tosses them into a heap beside his shirt before straightening to his full height, facing me. 



Oh.  My.  God. 



I exhale sharply.  The answer is boxer-briefs, heather gray ones.  And right now they’re clinging to him wetly, leaving absolutely nothing to the imagination.  He looks like a god.  A six-foot-four, football-playing god and I am staring at him with my mouth hanging open like some kind of pathetic freak.



Snap out of it.



“Sorry,” I say, averting my gaze.  My cheeks are burning now.  I probably look like a clown—that’s what happens when a fair-skinned redhead like me blushes.  “If you…um…want to shower.  I mean, you know—” 



“I’ll just go put on something dry for now.  We really need to eat and then get that stuff out of the barn.”



I just nod, biting my lower lip.  I can’t even look at him. 



“Your turn to strip,” he says, and my gaze shoots up to meet his.  He’s smiling now, his dimples in full effect. 



“Ugh, just go and change.”  I cover my eyes with one hand and flap the other toward the hall. 



“I’ll meet you in the kitchen in five,” he says. 



“Great.”  I only let my hand drop when I hear his footsteps move away.  Then yeah, I’ll admit it—I allow myself a nice, long look at his backside as he walks away from me. 



And let me tell you, it was well worth the look.





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Follow the FFBC Magnolia Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.




As a child, Kristi Cook took her nose out of a book only long enough to take a ballet class (or five) each week. Not much has changed since then, except she’s added motherhood to the mix and enjoys penning her own novels as much as reading everybody else’s. A transplanted southern gal, Kristi lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

That’s the official version–here are some other fun facts:

~ As an undergrad, I majored in History and minored in English at the University of Southern Mississippi. While at Southern Miss, I was a member of Phi Mu sorority, and I was a Dixie Darling. And yep, Brett Favre was our quarterback at the time!

~ I studied American History in grad school at Columbia University. I *love* history, especially the Civil War era (U.S.) and Regency- and Edwardian-era British history.

~ My all-time favorite book *and* movie is GONE WITH THE WIND. My favorite literary characters are Rhett Butler, Atticus Finch, and Mr. Darcy. I kind of want to add Peeta Mellark to that list!

~Weirdly enough (or maybe not so weirdly?) I’m also a big fan of STAR TREK (the original series). I never can remember if I’m supposed to call myself a “Trekkie” or a “Trekker,” though!


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SPOTLIGHT + GIVEAWAY: THE BOOGIEMAN by Claire Amber





THE BOOGIEMAN 
by Claire Amber


Book Synopsis:

We follow 6 young women into a collaborated dream sequence hosted by the urban-legendary Boogieman.

Who will stay and who will wake up in cold sweat after witnessing such abominations of imagery called "nightmares"? Our host thus accompanies the girls to 6 different worlds and the final 7th world in their dream where he will claim what he was promised to receive. They shall venture through the past events of the USA's 1950s, the future, a lone island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the lost tomb of pharaoh Aswadbomani, a haunted mansion, the Middle Ages and finally those who are left shall see the gardens of Eden. Meet our lovely ladies: Sarah, the self-proclaimed detective, Giselle, the smart one, Natalie, one gritty b***h, Elizabeth, the cunning explorer, Lucille, that one character who is prone to getting into dangerous situations and then the others have to rescue her, and Hellen, the cheerful Miss Goody Two-Shoes who went to sleep only asking for one simple sex dream. They are each given a chance of a lifetime. A chance to unlock secrets to their salvation, hidden within the symbolism of their dreams... and a few very steamy encounters.

How this creature that brought the girls together came to exist and what his motives and goals are will all be revealed. He has nothing to hide, but he finds amusement in letting people figure some things out for themselves.

Think what you like, but you have been warned. The host of dreams in not only mystical, cryptic, perverted and fun-loving, but has also been proven to be quite dangerous if not approached with caution. We do not share the same definition of "fun".

With all of that in mind, I ask you this... Would you shake hands with the monster that lives in your closet?

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Tag Line: Would you shake hands with the monster that lives in your closet?

Release Date: 21/04/2014

Buy Links: : Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Scribd



 Claire Amber

Claire Amber is a young artist and literature enthusiast that seeks to perfect her craft and share her visions with the world. Her out-of-the-box way of thinking and immensely high levels of imagination will leave you wondering how someone was even able to think up the things you will see in her work. Having a thing for monster erotica, mystery and adventure, she mixes all three of those ingredients to bake some weird and high calorie cupcakes of literature and art.




 Giveaway 


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COVER REVEAL: BREATHE & SHIMMER by Elena Dillion



   
Breathe by Elena Dillon 
Book 1 - Breathe Series 
Young Adult Romantic Suspense

Jasmine’s life wasn’t normal for a 16 year old girl. It hadn’t been normal since the murder of her older sister, Daisy, two years ago. Her life had been changed forever. The monster that murdered Daisy was never caught. That was the reason her family decided to move away from their hometown in Southern California, to start over. Hopefully in a place where the last name Rourke wouldn’t bring on staring or judgment or morbid curiosity.

In Lafayette, Louisiana things are quite a bit different but in a good way. Good manners, Cajun accents and a whole lot of Southern Hospitality all make her think things are going in the right direction. On top of that the most gorgeous boy she has ever met is interested in her. Her new friends are better than she could have hoped for even if she is worried about what they might think when they find out who she is. Life would be perfect if odd things didn’t keep happening. Creepy phone calls, texts, and flowers in her locker start adding up quickly to something terrifying. Could the Monster have followed them to Lafayette? Was he coming after her this time? Maybe she was just worrying unnecessarily…or not.




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Purchase
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Shimmer by Elena Dillon
Book 2 - Breathe Series
Young Adult Romantic Suspense

Chandler Raines and her “dad” are on the run. Never staying in one place for very long. It’s just not safe. When they arrive in Lafayette, Louisiana, Chandler quickly realizes this is the place she wants to call home. Friends, a cute boy, and competitive cheerleading have her taking dangerous risks to have the life she always wanted. Risks she promised she wouldn’t take. When her lies catch up to her, a decision has to be made. Stay or run? Will the evil that’s chased them for the last four years catch up to them? When Chandler’s past comes screeching into the present she’ll have to sacrifice everything to keep what she loves safe. But will it be enough?


About the Author
I have had a love of books for as long as I can remember. I got in trouble as a kid for staying up too late on school nights, reading. I'm a nerdgirl and proud of it. I've been writing my whole life but only recently decided to come out in public with it.
I write Young Adult love stories because as my husband would tell you, I never matured much past fifteen. There is nothing better to me than a good romance with an amazing hero, throw in some creepy suspense and I'm in.
I write from my home office in Southern California with our English Bulldog, Brutus to keep me company. To hear about him, my writing experience and read some outtakes of my stories check out my blog at elenadillon.com.
I love to chat with other readers and writers.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

BOOK BLITZ & EXCERPT + Giveaway: Time of Ruin (Ash and Ruin #2) by Shauna Granger


Time of Ruin (Ash and Ruin #2)
Release Date: 07/22/14

Summary from Goodreads:
The world has ended, and hope is the most dangerous thing left.

Battered and bruised after barely escaping San Francisco with their lives, Kat, Dylan, and Blue press north – desperate to reach the possibility of a new home.

But strange, monstrous ravens are tracking the remaining survivors, food is becoming scarce, gasoline is running short, and people are becoming suicidal, making survival almost impossible.

And the Pestas are growing bolder. Somehow, their numbers are growing.

The further north they go, the harder it becomes to ignore the signs that they’ve made a fatal mistake. Kat must face the impossible truth that there is no escape, there is no safe haven, and their worst nightmares don’t come close to their new reality.


Book One:
(linked to Goodreads)


Excerpt 

With a shaking hand, I pull my water bottle from the netted pocket and take a few sips, reluctantly controlling myself from gulping down half of it. Once my mouth is pleasantly wet, I hold the bottle out to Blue and let him take a few sips. I’m happy the mouth is wide so I don’t need to spill any out for him.
The last thing I want to do is to dig through my pack and get out Blue’s bowls and kibble, so I pull out a can of beef stew, my last can of the blessed protein-and-carb packed stuff, and pull the tab to open it. “We’ll share, okay?” 
Blue sits on his haunches, back perfectly straight, as he watches me. I know it’s a leftover trick from his first family, but it makes me smile.
“Me first,” I say and point at the ground.
With a short whine, Blue lays on the ground, resting his chin on his paws as he watches me tilt the can to my mouth. Eating only half of the stew isn’t as hard as I thought it would be; my stomach is so tight with worry over leaving Dylan, over the trail of smoke in the distance, and my need to find transportation that I’m not as hungry as I should be. I have to choke down the last bite of mealy potato before I hold the can out for Blue. He has no such difficulty eating the other half of the stew, and in minutes, he’s licking the inside of the can clean.
“Pig,” I tease as I toss the can away. Blue ignores me and lays down to clean his paws.
I let my head fall back against my pack. My eyelids are heavy, and it’s increasingly more difficult to keep my eyes open. I click my tongue for Blue, and he jumps to his feet in an instant. I chuckle and snap my fingers for him to come to my side. With his warm body tucked in close to me, I lay one hand on his back and let sleep pull me under.
I don’t know how much time passes before I’m awoken by a sound that I know neither I nor Blue made. My eyes snap open, and my whole body goes instinctively still. I hold my breath so that I can hear better. Blue shifts under my hand. He picks up his head, his ears perfect triangles as he listens for the unfamiliar noise. I grip the loose skin at his neck and make a tiny noise to keep him quiet.
Somewhere a twig snaps, louder than any shot fired.
Not for the first time, I miss the farmhouse where I found Blue, with its intact walls and locks on every door. I bite the inside of my cheek, wondering if I can get to the edge of the wall and away from here before whoever is walking up the steps comes around the corner.
A dim yellow light creeps across the floor underneath the dresser we’re hiding behind. My heart is choking me, lodged high in my throat, and all I can hear is the beat of my pulse and the rush of my blood.
“Yeah, this is good,” a man’s voice rings out, striking me like a whip.
I’ve missed my chance to run.



About the Author
Like so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, but it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. Five years ago, Shauna started work on her Elemental Series. She released the first installment, Earth, on May 1, 2011 and has since released four sequels, with the series coming to an end with Spirit. She is currently hard at work on a new Urban Fantasy series, staring a spunky witch with a smush-faced cat named Artemis.
Author Links:
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

COVER REVEAL: Fatal Abduction by Julia Crane

  
Fatal Abduction
by Julia Crane
Book 3 - IFICS Series
New Adult Sci-fi

There’s a serial killer at large. His victims just happen to resemble Kaitlyn—dark haired, pale skin and athletic build. Kaitlyn goes undercover, attending a prestigious high school to try to lure the killer into a trap and save the lives of other potential victims. Will she be able to catch the killer before his body count rises? Or will she become the next victim?
Check out the Cover!


Check out the other books in the series!
Freak of Nature - Book 1
Donate Body to Science. Check.

When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was.

Kaitlyn finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a handsome, brilliant scientist who can’t get over the guilt he feels knowing she was once a vibrant, beautiful young woman. He never expected a science project to affect him the way she does. As he tries to help her rediscover her past, he finds himself falling for the brave girl struggling to find her place and acceptance between the human and computer worlds.


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Fractured Innocence  - Book 2

*Warning 17+ due to sexual gritty topic and language. 
Kaitlyn and Erik are sent on a mission to track down Vance Dasvoik, a ruthless monster. His latest thrill—abducting and selling young women.

Vance's current victim: Aaliyah, a seventeen-year-old who never imagined walking her brother home from school one evening would change her life forever.

The mission quickly turns personal for Kaitlyn when she finds Aaliyah beaten, her mind and soul fractured from abuse of the worst kind. Kaitlyn knows firsthand what it's like to be haunted by the past and resolves to bring justice to the elusive Dasvoik.

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About the Author
Julia Crane is the author of the Keegan’s Chronicles, IFICS and many more. She has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Julia has believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Growing up her mother greatly encouraged reading and using your imagination. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

EXCERPT + Giveaway: Girl in the Middle by Christine Bailey



Genre: YA Romantic Suspense
Published by: Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Release Date: September 22, 2013
Length: 210 Pages

Fifteen-year-old Skye, the middle child, finds herself wishing for a new life-one that doesn’t include daily harassment from the in-crowd at Highland Creek High School. Skye barely survived freshman year. She only did because her best friend, Goose, a semi-popular fellow band geek, was by her side. But when their sophomore year starts, Goose ditches Skye for a new crowd.

Cast into a lone existence at Highland Creek, Skye wishes for a touch of extraordinary that everyone, except her, seems to have. Her older sister, Sara Elizabeth, has it. Goose is getting close to it, and even her little sister is wildly popular in junior high. Skye would do almost anything to cast off her ordinary life…but at what price?

When her older sister goes missing without a trace, Skye gets her wish…but it’s not exactly what she had in mind. And when she questions Bryan, the senior class renegade and also the last person to be seen with her sister, she finds something she never quite expected.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble



EXCERPT

After the bell, I headed to Ms. Stone’s classroom for lunch. It had become my usual place for dining since Lauren and I were so on-again, off-again. I really had no other place to go. But when I walked in, I found the principal and the school counselor—always a bad combination—sitting with Ms. Stone. My gut lurched.

The principal, Mr. Jones, was sitting on the corner of Ms. Stone’s desk with a roll of fat spilling over his belted pants. Mr. Munsey and Ms. Stone sat close to him. They all turned to me, and I began to inch backwards. The room was still. I fixated on the literature posters on the wall. William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and Charles Dickens stared at me. Ms. Stone eased toward me. I sighed slowly through my nostrils. My heart raced, and everything felt like it was moving in slow motion. All I could think was: what have I done? Then I thought, someone’s dead. I was quickly assured that I was not in trouble, that they just wanted to talk to me for a few minutes. I tried to think of something questionable that I had done. Ms. Stone informed me that she had read my latest paper.

“Which one?” I asked. I tried to figure out which paper she was talking about.

“The one on Romeo and Juliet?” Then it hit me.

“I didn’t plagiarize,” I said.

“No, the one you turned in a couple of days ago.” I shrugged.

“Your essay was a little disturbing to Ms. Stone,” said Mr. Munsey. “She asked me to read it and give her my thoughts. That’s why I’m here.” Mr. Munsey, a large and bushy-haired man, looked about the same age as Ms. Stone, like around thirty-something probably. He had the mountain-man look—okay on a movie star, but not so much on Mr. Munsey.

“I don’t even remember what it was about. I wrote it last week when I had my migraine.”

“A story about ‘offing the populars,’ as you put it,” Mr. Jones said.

I slumped into a chair and said, “Oh. My short story.”

“Skye, we’re just concerned…” Mr. Munsey said. “About you being bullied.” He really dragged out the word concerned.

“I’m fine, and the story was not a hit list or plan or anything. I was just having a bad day and wrote a stupid story. It was like therapy. It was supposed to be funny, actually.”

“Well, it’s enough to make us question you,” Mr. Munsey said.

“It’s not a journal entry,” I said. “It’s not a cry for help or anything. I was just writing. It’s a fictional story about a school with no populars. No hierarchy. No Queen Bees or loud-mouthed jocks.”

The counselor pointed out a specific passage. He said, “Skye, it’s just realistic, and it concerns me.” That word again. “See, right here where you say, ‘The cheerleader, wide-eyed and gasping for air, clutched her bleeding stomach. She lifted her fingers and studied the warm liquid that had painted them a deep red, almost dark as night. She looked up into the eyes of her enemy…’”

“I have an active imagination.” Pause. Shrill laughs filtered in from the hallway. I even recognized one of the chicken laughs as Lauren’s. “I watch too much TV?” Pause. The chicken clucked again.

“You can’t write about ways to eliminate popular kids—or anyone for that matter. You watch the news. You know what’s going on in the world today. It’s a scary place,” Mr. Munsey said. He looked at me over his thickly rimmed glasses. I realized in that moment, standing before the jury and still hearing the chicken laugh from the hall, that I was in trouble.

“I was just writing a story…that’s all,” I said. I volunteered myself for any kind of test or evaluation to prove I was not crazy. Big mistake. They jumped on it.

Mr. Munsey wiped his glasses on a handkerchief (those disgusting, snot-holders should be outlawed, by the way). The trio exchanged looks, and then Mr. Jones and Mr. Munsey stood up. Their chairs scraped against the tiled floor. Before filing out of the room, Mr. Munsey said he’d be in touch about starting “sessions” with me or something. They left me alone with Ms. Stone.

“I’m so sorry, Skye, but I did this out of concern for you. I’ve been worried, and then this paper…”

“Wow, do I really look that pathetic and sad?” We stood looking at each other. The blue-gray circles under her eyes became sharper under the fluorescent lights. The window facing the quad outside caught my attention and pulled me away from Ms. Stone’s face. The quad was filled with activity. I saw blurs of color flash in front of me. Pink, wind-chapped faces, blue varsity jackets, white-blonde hair. I closed my eyes and shut everything out. “Can I leave?” I asked.

“I would still like to talk, Skye.”

“Maybe later, if that’s okay,” I opened my eyes and stared at her. She had betrayed me. “Can I leave?” I said again.

“Sure.”

I flew to the bathroom. My make-up had run in places from the tears. I haphazardly reapplied some make-up to my blotchy cheeks and chin. Then I smoothed it in slowly, covering the little bumps on my face with the foundation. I squeezed on berry-flavored lip gloss for good measure. Though it didn’t do much to help, the berry taste was a tiny comfort. Then I went and hid in the library. It was just a stupid story. I played the conversation over and over in my mind. The bell rang for fourth period and then for fifth. I was numb and couldn’t move from the hard, cold chair. The smooth surface of the table felt good against my face, too. At one point, I saw Ms. Stone through my hair that had fallen across my eyes, but I didn’t acknowledge her. Eventually she left.

Finally, I mustered up enough strength and took out a small mirror from my bag. I cringed at the streaks of mascara on my face. I tried to rub them away, but my face was a wreck. I glanced down at my watch and freaked. I had been hiding out in the library for over two hours. I had twenty minutes to pull myself together before last bell. I gathered up my stuff and snuck out of the library, straight to the math hall for a more obscure bathroom. I did not want to chance it by going to the one in the main hall. My instincts were good. It was empty. I dumped my purse out into the sink and began my patchwork. That’s when it went from bad to worse.

Zoë, with her perfect looks and ego the size of New York City, pranced in with her royal court in tow. I didn’t look up. I was told to never ever make eye contact with the enemy.

“Hello, Skye.”

“Hi,” I said and looked up stupidly. She smiled at me with her perfectly straight, perfectly white, and perfectly over-sized horse teeth. Her mouth, too big for her face, overwhelmed her eyes and pointed nose that tipped slightly upward.

“We were just talking about you.” She looked over at her minions and breathed a laugh through her nose.

“Oh yeah?” I said. Trapped in the smallest bathroom in the school, with only two stalls and one long sink, I shared the space with unfriendly forces. I swallowed hard and nearly choked on my saliva. I glanced at the girl standing beside Zoë and realized we used to be friends. Shelby and I played soccer together in the sixth grade.

“So, Skye, I heard a little rumor about you,” Zoë said.

“Okay.”

“Aren’t you a little bit curious?”

“No. Not really.”

“Oh, come on. You have to be.”

“What is it, Zoë?”

“I heard you wrote a story about being bullied. Poor baby, you’re not gonna go psycho, are you?”

“What?”

“My source overheard Ms. Stone and another teacher talking about it.”

“Whatever. They were probably talking about me winning that writing contest. Yeah, first place. Pretty awesome, huh?” I had been kicked in the gut. Well, not literally, but that’s what it felt like having these girls corner me. Everything went numb, except my brain. I couldn’t imagine how they found out. I looked at Shelby for help, but she was more interested in biting her fingernail. I threw my stuff back in my purse and reached for the door, but Zoë pushed me aside and hurried in front of me.

With a quick snap of her ponytail, she glanced back at me and said,“Whatever.”

I waited it out for a few minutes in the bathroom. The call for bus riders filtered through the intercom, and I finally poked my head out just as last bell rang and made a dash for it. I fought my way through the crowd that had begun to fill the hallways and ran to my locker. I noticed Zoë’s handiwork immediately. On my locker: a post-it note with the word “LOSER” in nice, big block letters and a picture of a stick figure with a huge head. It had curly hair and glasses, and it was crying. Great Sharpie skills. I grabbed it and crumpled it in my hand. The sharp little edges poked my palm.



Christine H. Bailey teaches Creative Writing and Written Composition at a private university in Tennessee. Before teaching English, Bailey worked as a journalist, a marketing/public relations writer, and a freelance editor.

Girl in the Middle is Bailey’s debut novel. To learn more about this author and her work, visit her online at www.cibailey.com.



Christine’s Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads



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