Monday, March 25, 2013

BLOG TOUR - EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Firefly (Cicada #2) by Belle Whittington

“The darkest days are ahead of us,” Andrew whispered as the drape of shadows slipped away, allowing Blair to awaken. And in her heart of hearts she knew it was true. The unmistakable signs were all around her, growing within her. She was becoming something more than human. All she could do was accept the inevitable. 

“I’ve become a freak … an alien. I no longer belong to the human world,” Blair told her true love, and he held her close, determined never to give her up.

“I’d stay in this darkness forever as long as I could be with you. Wherever you are … that’s my home.” Everett meant every word. In fact, he’d willingly give up his own life to protect the girl he’d always loved.

But there was a storm brewing … a firestorm so strong and catastrophic that it could keep them apart forever.

That storm roared into town wearing a brown leather bomber jacket and riding a motorcycle.

Ash was like a secret in human clothing … a dangerous secret. Everything about him was mesmerizing – right down to the swirls of ink that flowed over the smooth muscles across his chest and around his arms. Being with him was like playing with fire.

Blair knew all about playing with fire.

She knew something else, too. A small quiet voice deep within whispered that she really would be separated from everyone and everything she’d known and loved.

Because some secrets run too deep.

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My mom had owned a bakery called Sprinkles. It had been the only real bakery in town, the favorite breakfast place, and the only place you could get a perfect cupcake and coffee. Now Sprinkles lay in ruins. Ashes blew in swirls where the kitchen used to be, where the body of an alien being had slumped lifeless in a pool of its own blood, and where Everett, my true love, had lain beaten and lacerated at death’s door. Charred boards, tables, and chairs marked the dining area. What remained of the roof was toppled over into the parking lot, covering the dumpster. All of Sprinkles had been lost.
The night the bakery burned was the turning point in many ways. That sultry summer night became a harbinger of death and destruction. Death of not only two of the most hideous creatures I had ever laid eyes on, but the death of innocence. Although I’d heard many Sunday sermons on sin and hell, I’d never imagined such evil existed. Yet it did. And it took away all the happy summer memories with it and left in their place dark secrets that I was bound to protect.
And so I began my senior year in a state of numbness. It was the only way I could make it through the school day. The first few days, I walked the halls of the high school unaffected by the other students who crowded the halls between classes. I didn’t make eye contact. I just stared straight ahead and made my way through the sea of unimportant faces.
As a favor to me, Grandpa had talked Mom into letting me take some dual credit courses at the local community college. I had looked forward to going to the campus for the classes, but later decided that I’d rather take them online. It would make it easier for me to finish my homework and work on my own little research project: Cândido Gondoî, Brazil.
The first time I’d heard about that small Brazilian town was when Everett had asked his father to bring some material about it to the hospital for him to read. I’d scribbled the name down and rushed home to do some research, which revealed that Cândido Gondoî is a town with a record high rate of twinning among human and animal births.
I couldn’t explain how I knew that my true love and best friend, Everett, had joined the ranks of The Resistance. And I couldn’t explain how I knew that The Resistance was somehow related to that small Brazilian town. But deep inside, a growing sense of things told me that Everett was somewhere in Brazil doing God knows what with God knows whom. I hadn’t heard from him in weeks. No text messages. No phone calls. No emails. Just silence.
But he wasn’t the only one who had left me alone, at home, in the dark. My older brother, Andrew, who had an eerie sixth sense, had departed just as abruptly as Everett. I’d had no contact from him, either, and as far as I could tell, neither had Mom or the grandparents.
Somehow, though, I had a feeling that the paths we were all taking would lead us all back to each other in the end. And I could only hope that end would be a happy one. 

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. 

Having studied literature at University of Houston, Belle has been known to consider teaching at the college level someday.

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