Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book of the Day: Shift by Em Bailey

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Olive Corbett is not crazy. Not anymore.

She obediently takes her meds and stays under the radar at school. After "the incident," Olive just wants to avoid any more trouble, so she knows the smartest thing is to stay clear of the new girl who is rumored to have quite the creepy past.
But there’s no avoiding Miranda Vaile. As mousy Miranda edges her way into the popular group, right up to the side of queen bee Katie – and pushes the others right out – only Olive seems to notice that something strange is going on. Something almost . . . parasitic. Either Olive is losing her grip on reality, or Miranda Vaile is stealing Katie’s life.

But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is the next target?

A chilling psychological thriller that tears through themes of identity, loss, and toxic friendship, Shift will leave readers guessing until the final pages.

“I am weird, and you know what? That's OK. So are most interesting people.” 

Five Questions With... Madison Daniel

AUTHOR BIO: (Taken from Goodreads)
Music is LIFE and the written word is our SOUL. Music and writing have been my true ambition since I was a child. I have used music in every form possible; writing it, performing it, healing with it, etc. I call it my "life's soundtrack." I have always written in some form; from comic books to screenplays to short stories and now the new series "Ember." I have found a true passion for my stories and characters and am eager to share them with the world. See you on the next book tour. 
CONNECT WITH MADISON: Twitter l Facebook

EMBER (Ember #1)

Love never dies...but it can kill.

Ember is the story of Max Valentine, a teenager with secret abilities and many inner demons. His life revolves around music and his love for it. When his father dies he seeks answers with his last living relative, his fathers brother Frank. Frank lives on the island of Maui and eagerly takes Max in as his own. Max soon learns that healing his past will be more difficult than he could have ever believed. Two major complications will tempt and torment him as he tries to make sense of his abilities.

The first temptation comes in the form of a mysterious island girl. Asia Lyn Michaels is rich, spoiled, angry and beautiful. Her path crosses with Max on the beach one afternoon, forever changing both of their lives. Max saves her life and she discovers his secret. From that moment on they are connected, no matter how much they fight it.

The second temptation will test Max’s very soul. Samantha Ann Summers is sweet, artistic, smart and confident. She will help Max find his smile again and maybe even heal his past mistakes. She is possibly his soul mate and Max will fight that with every fiber of his being.

Max’s temper and indecision with the girls will send in motion events that will cost him dearly. He will test the limits of his powers and the new relationship with his protective uncle. He will gain a powerful love and lose another.
CHECK OUT EMBER: Goodreads l Amazon l Barnes & Noble

1. Why did you choose to write a book in the Young Adult genre?

MD: Ember came to me one day at work, by accident. I just wrote it. I figured out where it fit in the genre scene later on. I personally think that the YA market has some of the best stories being told right now.

2. Who is your favourite character you have written and why?

MD: My fav is a new character named Neve. She will be making her literary debut Valentine's Day 2013. (That's all I can say about that. Shhhhh.) In the Ember series, Asia is my fav to write. She's so damaged and moody. So much fun!!!

3. Describe a typical writing day for you?

MD: Get up. Crank the music. Write. Dance. Write some more. Chow some grub. Dance again. Sing. Write again. Repeat til Dexter is on. 

4. What are you reading at the moment?

MD: Never have time to read anymore...but I am trying. Ever Shade by Alexia Purdy. Becoming series by Raine Thomas and I am about to start Creatura by Nely Cab. Also, a handful of shorts by upcoming authors.

5. If you turned your ipod on now, what would be the song that is currently playing?

MD: Just bought brand new Linkin Park "LIVING THINGS"'s awesome so far. BURN IT DOWN!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Book of the Day: Torn Souls by Crystal Cattabriga

Expected publication: October 12th 2012

This book is dedicated to all the children who have lost their lives from being bullied and the one who will find the strength and courage to continue on.....
The unspeakable acts of bulling can destroy a life. So many children are affected in the world and together we can make a difference. Let’s be the change we want to see in the world.

Julia Stone’s life has been turned upside down ever since her parents decided to move out of the country and into the city. The life she knew was gone and starting over was something she wasn’t prepared for. The thought of a new school, new teachers and even new friends was terrifying, but after a few weeks things didn’t seem all that bad. Julia had met a boy and his name was Alex. He wasn’t a jock, he wasn’t even the smartest kid in school, but he was nice and he made her laugh. Alex and Julia hung out all the time, eventually becoming best friends. They even made a pact never to keep secrets from each other, but for Julia it was harder than she thought. She had a secret that was destroying the very cord of her soul. Her life as a teenager was being ripped apart by the kids in her school. Julia was being bullied mentally and physically. The thought of going through the next three years in high school being bullied continuously wasn’t something she was prepared to do. The choice was simple, and she wasn’t about to do it alone.

One life lost to the act of bullying is one too many!! Yet it's an all too common story on our news reports of someone who has taken their own life as a result of the bullying actions of others. I applaud Crystal Cattabriga for this book and for putting the topic of bullying out there. As a mother, I can think of nothing worse than my child feeling that they had no-one and nowhere to turn too. So I urge you all to add this book to your reading list and spread the word and hope that one day we live in a world where the act of bullying is an unheard of act!!

Review: Snow, Blood, and Envy by Jean Haus

With aspirations of being an animator, sixteen-year-old Nivi Nash thought she knew all about fairy tales. Take one beautiful damsel in distress, add a charming hero, and don’t forget a cackling villain. Throw in some pretty colors, a few songs, and mix well. 

But when caught in a real one, she learns the hero—though still hot—isn’t always charming, the story far from pretty, and the villain absolute evil. On the run for her life in a stolen SUV, she isn’t worried about her beauty, but happily ever after? Yes, she wants that the most. It means she’ll live. 

The kiss always at the end of these tales? Most of the time, okay maybe half of the time, the thought of that lip lock is far, far away where these stories are supposed to be. But tied to a stake on the side of a snowy mountain, the thought of her not-so-charming hero’s kiss burns away the reality of the knife hovering above her skin.


I first discovered the writing of Jean Haus when I downloaded her free short story Sleeping Handsome, and was immediately in love with her writing style. I quickly added the rest of her books to my Goodreads TBR list. How incredibly lucky was I, when the author contacted me and asked me if I would like to add those books to my review list!! Unfortunately it's only now that I have managed to get to Snow, Blood, and Envy!! And all I can say is WOW!!!

This is a retelling of Snow White with lots of modern twists and turns. There are no castles, but a high rise apartment building. There are no seven dwarves, but we do have the butthead brothers. Our Prince charming Jai, doesn't ride along on horseback, but he does ride in from Chinatown on his motorbike!!

Nivi moves in with her dad and her new stepmother Mali following the death of her mum. It isn't long before Nivi realises that someone is after her. Enter Jai. And the action begins!!

This is a book that every time I was forced to put it down I seriously couldn't wait for the time when I could get back to it!! It was so full of action that I just couldn't wait to see what would happen next. I couldn't read it fast enough!! We have betrayal, love, action, murder and suspense. Throw in some kick ass fighting scenes and even an Asian gang!! The characters are all awesome, whether they are the one's you love or the ones you hate. The writing is fantastic and everything is incredibly well paced.

So would I recommend Snow, Blood, and Envy? You betcha!! This is one fantastic read!!! 

5 Super Awesome Stars!!!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Book of the Day: Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover

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Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope. 
Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart. 

“I got schooled this year

a boy that I'm seriously,
deeply, madly, incredibly,
and undeniably in love
And he taught me the most
important thing of all...
To put the emphasis
On life.” 

MY THOUGHTS: Wow!! Amazing!! Incredible!! Fantastic!! Awesome!!.... I could keep going, but there just aren't words to describe the brilliance of this book!! It was one of those books, where you get to the end and you just sit there and you realize that you've read something so incredible, that you know that from this point on it's always going to be one of those books that will remain up there as one of the best books you will ever read!!

I can honestly say that there was never one point in the book where I thought "oh, that was predictable!!" Each time something happened it was like BAM!! And you would ride that rollercoaster of emotions and then, BAM!!! You were gone again!!!

The slam poetry was emotional, and amazing!! I adored it all!! The love and heat between Will and Lake was incredible!! The friendship between Will and Lake's brothers was adorable!! And what an amazing character Eddie is!! One of my favourites!!!

If you read Slammed and don't completely fall in love with this story, the characters and the authors writing, then all I can say is that you are incredibly hard to please!!! Colleen Hoover has made a fan of me!!!

This guy is amazing!! His name is Marty Schoenleber and this is his reading of 'The Lake', a poem from Slammed.

Have you read Slammed? If not, what are you waiting for? Go and grab it today!!

UtopYA Con: Where all the cool kids go to meet their favorite female authors

It’s time to get excited and to get to Nashville for the first ever UtopYA Con, which is the convention for female, paranormal/fantasy young adult authors and readers who love them.  It will be held at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville, TN on July 6-8, 2012. Would you like to come? You’re already excited I know, but wait until I tell you who’s coming (and this is just a few)… Myra McEntire (Hourglass and Timepiece), Angeline Kace (Descended by Blood), Amy Bartol (The Premonition Series), Tammy Blackwell (Timber Wolves), Tiffany King (Saving Angels), Abbi Glines (The Vincent Boys), Ella James (Stained), Jessica Sorenson (Fallen Star), and so many more! You can find the full list at the UtopYA Con website.

Here’s what a few of them are saying about going to UtopYA Con:

Raine Thomas (Daughters of Saraquel)-  “"The world's been waiting for a conference like UtopYA. It's unique and in a class of its own. If you enjoy YA fantasy and paranormal stories, you can't miss this event!”

Chelsea Fine (Sophie and Carter)- “"Don't miss out on UtopYa Con 2012: Bringing your YA books to life!"

Brina Courtney (Cryptid Tales)- “If you’re a true YA fan, you’ll be there,  mixing it up with all of us.”

But it’s not just for fans, it’s for authors too. Learn the tricks of the trade from people who are there, doing it successfully already. There are sessions and panels for both readers and writers alike.

So how about it? You wanna go? Well obviously you do, but here’s the question… ARE YOU GOING?
Here’s where you can find out more about tickets.

Now, so maybe you’re awesome, but you can’t go, and you’re bummed obviously. Well you still want to participate right? Here’s your chance, from now until June 29th, 2012 you can vote for your favorite books to win UtopYA Con awards, hosted by CMT’s Katie Cook. Pretty sweet right? I know, I think so too.
Anyway because we had so many blogs help us to promote this unique event we decided to do some fun giveaways provided by some of our authors at UtopYA Con and some other authors.

Good luck and we’ll see you at UtopYA Con!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Want to visit other sites in this hop? Go to:

Summer Swaggin' Giveaway!

I don't know what part of the world you live in, but here in Australia it's WINTER!!! So I could use some warming up!! What better way to do that than to participate in the SUMMER SWAGGIN' GIVEAWAY!!

6 CHANCES TO WIN!!! And the prizes are in abundance!!!

Mera's YA Book List
Paranormal Book Club
Book Reader Addicts
Author Kay Glass
Peace, Love, Teen Fiction
Marcy Rachel's Book Covers
YA Book Addict

There are two portions to this giveaway and three rules. Portion 1: Young Adult; Portion 2: ADULT. Rule 1: HAVE FUN! Rule 2: SHARE! Rule 3: There are TONS of mystery surprises! There are also two extra options for both portions and adults are free to enter for both, but are not allowed to take the extra entry for YAs. That's it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1st place
$10 value book from Book Depository from YA Book Addict
Swag Smash Pack from P, L, TF 
YA Swag bundie from Book Reader Add. 
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
1 custom designed FB cover and/or profile pic for page/profile
Bookmark & Summer book swag from MHAFH 
Ecopy of the If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH
eARC of Burning Bridges from MHAFH/ Nadege Richards


2nd place 
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
1 custom designed FB cover and/or profile pic for page/profile
Ecopy of the If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH
ADULT swag bundie from Book Reader Addict

3rd place (ADULT)
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
1 custom designed FB cover and/or profile pic for page/profile
Ecopy of the If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH
ADULT swag bundie from Book Reader Addict
Signed paperback of LOVE BITE by Kay Glass
Surprise Book & swag from PBC

4th place
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
Ecopy of the If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH

5th place
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
Ecopy of the If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH

6th place
1 assorted swag pack from MYABL
Ecopy of the If I Should Die Before I Wake anthology from MHAFH


With every tweet you hashtag #SummerSwag, you get another entry! It doesn't even have to be about summer or the giveaway!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Read in 2012: Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire. 

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain... magnetism. 

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.


This book was all kinds of intense!! It gripped me in its clutches and just wouldn't let go!! 

I know that a student, teacher relationship is wrong. I know that the older man, 16 year old girl relationship is wrong. But in the context of this story where two characters are broken, and yes, I do think that Mr Anderson is broken, even if to a different degree to Jenna, I find my heart happy that they each have someone to show them that they are loved and cared for even while my head knows it shouldn't be happening!! We all have that need. The desire to feel and know that someone is there who loves us and cares about us. Especially at our lowest points!

Yes, there were things that happened in the book that made me go 'WHAT?' The main one that comes to mind is a trip that Jenna's parents take, but looking back, these are the two most self centred people ever, so I kinda get it!! But anyway, I could overlook those things because this book is so awesome!! Yeah, I know I sound vague, but I don't want to spoil things for you!!

Drowning Instinct is written fantastically, it's gripping, it's suspenseful, it makes you think!! And here I am, some 24 hours after finishing it and it's still churning around in my tummy and my head!! Read it!! You'll love it!!


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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review: The Heart's Ashes (Dark Secrets #3) by A.M. Hudson


Death never leaves us. Once it's touched our souls, it hungers for our return--waiting for us to fall. And if it finds Ara again, she will have no way to escape.

Moving on from David was hard, forgetting the abduction and torture was almost impossible, but nothing as devastating as the thought that now, because of her, David might face the horrific punishments of the Set. 

No one knows where David went after he lost Ara, but she can only hope he's the one leaving subtle clues for her to discover, and it makes her desperate to find him--desperate enough that she would risk her life, hanging out with an informant who means to kill her. What truths she is told about David's dark past, though, will threaten to change her heart and destroy the way Ara perceives everything. She must ask herself if it's right to love one monster, then hate the one who tried to destroy her. 

In all her searching, the promise of immortality will finally be renewed, but sold at a price Ara's not sure she's willing to pay. 

Is love enough to make her submit to this new role, or will it fail her once again and leave her reaching back for the grasp of death?

I want to swear so badly right now, because saying this book is good just doesn't cut it!!! But I have never sworn in a book review before. If I had the ability to write the way that this author does, then I would be able to find much better words to say what I feel. But, I can't, so I'm just going to go with the words that I have!! 

The Heart's Ashes is so F**cking AMAZING!!!

I love this series and I love this author!! Angie Hudson has this incredible gift. The ability to create these characters that have become a part of me. The ability to weave a story that has touched me with so many different emotions. There were times while reading this book that I had to put it down and walk away to gather my thoughts and feelings at the turn that the story had taken. The completely unexpected twists that had the tears rolling down my face or grinning with pure joy. The way that the author can so perfectly describe a scene so that you can picture it as if you are seeing it on a TV screen.

I LOVE these characters. They live in my head and my heart long after I've finished reading about them...

DAVID: I love him!! Unconditionally!! He can do no wrong in my eyes. Everything that we learn about him just adds to how much I adore him!! And this book has cemented that for me!!
ARA: There were times that I was so frustrated with her that I wanted to throw the book across the room, but as the story unfolded and things became so much clearer to me, I was completely blown away by her strength!!
MIKE: He found himself a special little place in my heart reserved just for him in this book. I'd never really been able to get what everyone on Team Mike saw before. But I got it in this book!!
ERIC: He's a new character we get to meet and I love him for his honesty and, for the most part that he tells it like it is... Oh, and he's hot, so that sure doesn't hurt!! 
JASON: Now that's a hard one. So much whirling around my head about him, but I can't tell you without giving things away, so for the moment, I have to keep it all to myself!! But once you read the book, I'm sure you'll get what I mean.
EMILY: Ara's friend plays a much bigger role in this book. There were times I loved her. Times I felt such emotion for her and times I just felt like I wanted to give her a good shake!!

The Heart's Ashes does not disappoint at any stage!! Take the next part of the journey with Ara, David, Mike and Emily. But be prepared for your heart to break!! Be prepared for your heart to be filled with joy!! And if you haven't already, be prepared to fall completely in love with these characters and Angie Hudson's writing because The Hearts Ashes is by far the best book in the series so far and I feel incredibly honoured to have had the chance to review it before it's release!!!

5 of the hugest stars ever!!

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Book of the Day: Awakened (The Guardian Legacy #1) by Ednah Walters

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Most teens turn sixteen and get the license to drive, but Lil Falcon gets the license to kill demons. Orphaned as a child and raised by an eccentric grandfather, Lil is concerned with surviving high school and is unaware that she's a Guardian-a being with super powers charged with killing demons and protecting humanity. When she meets Bran, a mysterious boy with amazing abilities, his psi energy unlocks her latent powers. But Bran has a secret that can ruin their growing relationship, and the truth she discovers may destroy everything she believes in unless she finds the right balance between love and sacrifice.

I've had this one on my wishlist for ages!! I keep coming back to it and each time I come across it, I get this renewed need to go and grab it!! Have you read it? What are your thoughts?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: Wraith by Edie Claire

She thought that seeing the shadows was a curse. Until she saw him. 

Seventeen-year-old Kali has always seen two sets of people: those living now, and those who lived before. But on her spring break in Hawaii, she is suddenly surrounded by more shadows than ever. Including one who, unlike the others, can see her too. 

Zane remembers nothing besides surfing the monster waves of Oahu's North Shore. He doesn't even know how, or when, he died. He only knows that Kali's "gift" could be his last chance to find the light--before the mysteries of his past plunge them both into darkness… 


Let me start by saying that this book needs to be read by lots more people!! I was really surprised by the lack of reviews that it has on Goodreads. This book is so incredibly awesome!! I loved absolutely every minute that I spent reading this!! It was a book that kept me up long into the early hours of the morning reading it!! I simply couldn't put it down!!

Wraith is told from the point of view of Kali, who is in Hawaii with her parents looking for a house so that they can relocate. She has always seen the 'shadows'. Those who have died. But none have been able to see her... Or talk to her... Until Zane. Zane has no memory of how or when he died. But Kali, with the help of her 'gift' is going to help him remember and help him move towards the light.

I loved Kali and Zane. Kali's spunk and Zane's enthusiasm, sense of humour and energy were infectious!! They were so good together!! And then throw in Mark who is just so sweet, you can't help but like him!!

“Zane," I whispered breathlessly, knowing it was wrong, but powerless to stop myself. "If things were different... if you were alive... and I was alive-" "Yes," he said immediately, interrupting me. He leaned in closer. His voice was no more than a whisper. "Absolutely, yes. Don't ever doubt it, Kali.” 

Edie Claire has written a number of books before and it shows in her writing. However this is her first YA book and I certainly hope that she delves into this genre more because she is so incredibly good at it!! Her writing style is so easy to read.

I urge you all to read this book. I would love nothing more than for the author to write a sequel. And I have no doubt that once you read Wraith, you will all feel the same!!

Without a doubt a massive 5/5
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Book of the Day: In the Arms of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane

Published May 2011
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Two years ago Brenna did the unthinkable. She witnessed the aftermath of a murder and accused her only true friend — the first boy she ever loved — of being a killer.

Now sixteen, Brenna returns to Oklahoma only to discover that Isaac ‘White Bird’ Henry isn’t in juvie. The half-breed outcast is in a mental hospital, frozen in time, locked in his mind at the worst moment of his life. When Brenna touches him, she’s pulled into his hellish vision quest, seeing terrifying demons and illusions she doesn’t understand.

Feeling isolated and alone, Brenna’s up against the whole town: targeted by bullying former classmates, a bigoted small town sheriff and a tribe who refuses to help one of their own.

But when Brenna realises she’s as trapped by the past as White Bird is, this time she won’t turn her back on him. She’s the only one who can free them both. Even if she has to expose her secret — a ‘gift’ she’s kept hidden her whole life.

This book sounds so good. I've never read anything by this author before, but have now added this one to the top of my TBR list. What are your thoughts? Have you read it? Will you be adding it to your reading list?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: Cicada (Cicada, #1) by Belle Whittington

Let me start off by saying how incredibly excited I am to be participating in my first ever Blog tour!! A huge thank you to AToMR Book Tours.

Cicada By Belle Whittington

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Summertime for Blair Reynolds and her friends had always been carefree and fun... until the summer they happened upon something that was not human. As they band together in a fight for their lives, Blair's true love becomes something more than human. Something unnatural. And their survival depends entirely upon their ability to keep a secret.


The first thing that drew me to Cicada was the stunning cover. But it didn't really give me any clue as to what the book was about. So I moved on to the book description. And after reading that, I thought I was about to get a book that contained Vampires or werewolves or angels. The regular supernatural elements that we tend to see in paranormal books. Well, I was way off the mark!! Cicada is so original and unlike anything that I have ever read before!! But that's all I'm going to say otherwise it will end up spoiling it for you.

The story is told from the perspective of Blair Reynolds. Through her we get to meet her older brother and their tight knit group of friends who experience a summer that will change their lives. None of them will ever be the same again!!

Cicada, is a gripping read!! Full of twists and turns. I had no trouble relating to all the characters despite the things they are experiencing. They reacted just as I would have expected in the situations that they faced.

Reading Belle Whittington's writing is effortless!! The words flow so smoothly that you are swept along in the story and before you know it you've come to the end, and let me tell you, I was left wanting more! And that is just the perfect spot for an author to leave it's readers. Counting down the days until we have the chance to continue the journey with the characters. And that's exactly what I'll be doing until the release of Firefly.

4.5/5 for an incredibly original read!


Belle resides somewhere north of Houston, Texas in a small inconsequential town with the smallest most inconsequential name. There, in the shady reaches of the pines, elms, and oaks, she daydreams of adventures and secrets that she weaves throughout her stories.

Website l Twitter l Facebook

There are 12 Ebook to be given away on the tour.
Open Internationally.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Grand Prize: The author is giving away an electronic firefly in a jar in honor of the sequel to CICADA called FIREFLY. You can see a video of the jar here. US only.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book of the Day: Blood of Anteros (The Vampire Agápe #1) by Georgia Cates

Published September 21st 2011
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I was tantalized by the mystery of her. The leech inside me came out to find prey, but found none in this enigmatic girl. The close proximity of her essence didn’t entice the monster within, so what did that make her? I had more questions than answers, but one thing was unmistakable; although she released me from her embrace, her hold on me remained.

Cruel circumstances turned Curry Brennan into the wretched monster he hates and refuses to accept, but when an expected turn of events releases him from the bond of his obsessive maker, he returns to the home he knew 161 years earlier and finds the return of happiness and joy in something he didn’t know existed. Puzzled by his growing attraction to Chansey Leclaire, a human, he is unable to resist the captivating relationship that threatens to reveal his existence as a vampire. He eventually discovers the reason he was destined to find what he didn’t know he searched for and is faced with the cruel realization that the living and the immortal undead will always be separated by one thing. Eternity.

Although somewhat involuntary, I was part of this now. My confrontation fanned the flames of Julian’s obsession, making him more determined than ever to have Chansey. Consequences battled within me and my heart spoke against my mind’s better judgement. “Maybe I should drive you back and forth to work for a while, just until he backs off.”

She looked appreciative, but didn’t intend on taking my offer. “I can’t ask you to do that, it’s too much for you to take on.”

I didn’t intend for her to not take my offer. “You didn’t ask. I offered and I insist.”

Relief flooded her face. Then, she surprised me by stepping forward and put her arms around me. She placed her head against my chest, leaving me without an option and I returned the embrace by placing my arms around her. I lowered my face to her hair and inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of lavender and vanilla. I dropped my face closer to her shoulder and smelled the lingering fragrance of jasmine, cherry blossom and peach, mixed with a slight release of salty perspiration due to the combination of heat and anxiety.

The monster, deep within me, unexpectedly resurfaced. He no longer laid dormant as he screamed in agony, begging to be set upon this innocent creature. He pleaded with me for one taste. Didn’t he deserve it? It has been so long.

One scent of her blood essence would surely send me over the edge, giving the awakened one the upper hand as he urged me to side with him. I braced myself for the battle against the leech within me and begged him to leave me in peace.

I held my breath and didn’t move a muscle, for fear the beast might interpret any sudden movement as permission to strike. When I could no longer hold my breath, I exhaled, then inhaled slowly and shallowly. I waited for her fragrance to signal my defeat, giving the leech the permission to strike.

I readied myself to charge against this inner beast when her aromatic essence penetrated my line of defense. When her aroma registered in my brain, I waited to see what my level of temptation would be. The beast received the verdict first and my battle was won as he retreated.
I was intrigued by Chansey’s unexpected essence. It wasn’t unappealing, yet not enticing either. It was neutral and I was spellbound.

She lifted her head from my chest and leaned back to see my face. “I don’t know what to say or how to thank you.”

She raised up onto her tiptoes and planted a kiss on my cheek before she released her hold of me. I reluctantly released my hold, as well, but I wasn’t finished exploring this. I wanted more, I needed more.

We both knew we had just shared a significant moment, although neither of us voiced it.
“I’m sure you’re exhausted. You should get a good night’s rest,” I said, verbally encouraging her to go to bed, but inside begging her stay.

I regretfully watched her walk up the steps to the backdoor. Before entering, she turned and said, “Thank you again, Curry. You’re a real life saver.”

The paradox of her words brought a smile to my face. She saw a life saver in a skilled killer and I was tantalized by the mystery of her. The leech inside me came out to find prey, but found none in this enigmatic girl. The proximity of her essence didn’t entice him, so what did that make her? I had more questions than answers, but one thing was unmistakable; although she released me from her embrace, her hold on me remained.

I was uncertain what this meant for me, but more importantly, I didn’t know what it meant for Chansey. Of all the puzzling things in my head, there remained one clear circumstance; she needed my protection because, for once, I wasn’t the dangerous one.

I lifted my eyes to Chansey’s bedroom window and watched darkness replace the light. She remained standing at her window, believing she was hidden in the darkness, and briefly watched me before she crawled into bed.

She was lying in her bed, unaware of the strange emotions flooding me. Beings like me didn’t desire romantic relationships with humans, so it was unnatural for me to desire anything other than her blood while all I wanted was to be near her. I remembered the way she leaned forward to kiss me and it left room for no doubt in my mind; I wanted her with all of my heart, body and soul, if there still was one within me.

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