Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Tour: Only For You by Genna Rulon

http://literatiauthorservices.com/2013/10/23/review-only-tour-schedule-only-for-you-by-genna-rulon-nov-1-dec-16/

Welcome to the Only For You book review tour! Unfortunately, I don't have my review ready yet. Between having trouble getting the book downloaded to my kindle, and then forgetting my charger on my trip out of town for Thanksgiving, I haven't had the chance to finish it yet. I can tell you that I'm enjoying it so far though! I will have my review up within the next couple of days. Until then, you can find out more about the book and author, and enter the giveaway!

Title: Only for You (For You #1)
Author: Genna Rulon
Genre: New Adult
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

 
Synopsis

“In its purest form love is self-sacrificing, eternal, selfless, enduring, truthful, forgiving and indulgent. It also feels an awful lot like a kick to the stomach when you try to fight it!
All Everleigh Carsen wanted to do was complete her final semester at Hensley University and begin the life she carefully planned.
When a wave of violent crime seizes campus, Everleigh is persuaded to attend a school sponsored self-defense seminar by her best friend, where she meets volunteer instructor, Hunter Charles. After Everleigh’s biting sarcasm induces Hunter to eject her from class, a tempestuous relationship is born.
Everleigh is determined to forget the striking man, but fate–that fickle shrew–continuously intervenes. Unable to escape him, she declares Hunter an enemy combatant. The only complication… Hunter is resolutely pursuing vindication…by any means necessary. Verbal warfare ensues, and despite Everleigh’s ingenious efforts, in Hunter, she has finally found her equal.
Only For You is a compelling tale of friendship, desire, and redemption--brimming with intelligent characters, witty dialogue, unexpected twists, profound sorrow, unfettered hope, and love’s unassailable perseverance.
Note: Although this is series, each novel can be read as a stand alone.


Purchase Links


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About the author:

Genna Rulon is an up and coming contemporary romance author.
During her 15 years in the corporate world, Genna, inspired by her love of reading, fantasized about penning her own stories. Encouraged by her favorite authors, many of whom are indie writers and self-published, she committed to pursuing her aspirations of writing her own novels.
Genna was raised in Long Island, New York, where she still resides, surrounded by the most amazing family and friends. Married to a wonderful man, who patiently tolerates her ramblings about whichever book she is currently working on, even feigning interest relatively convincingly! Genna is blessed with two little boys who do their best to thwart mommy’s writing time with their hilarious antics and charming extrapolations.
Connect with the Author:  Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr

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Tour Wide Giveaway:

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Extravaganza


Title: The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy #1)
Author: Laura Howard

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.


Right now it is FREE on Amazon!! 


Find the author here:


Enter for your chance to win one of 4 Amazon gift cards!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blog Blitz and Review: Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye


Congratulation to Laura Kaye - her new book, Hard As It Gets, releases today!!!

Find it at the following places:
BAM

 
 
 
 
Title: Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink #1)
Author: Laura Kaye
Source: received copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review
 
 
Synopsis:

Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...




Review:




Hard As It Gets is the first book in the brand new Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye. Our heroine is Becca – a cute and innocent woman whose brother has gone missing. Before he disappears, Charlie gives Becca a message that says to get the help of Nick Rixey. Little does Becca know, her father (an army commander) ruined the lives of Nick and several men on his team. Of course, Nick holds a grudge and doesn't think he should care about the problems that his ex-commander's family is having. He turns Becca away, but yet can't get her out of his mind.

The characters were all great. Nick is this ex-soldier turned tattoo artist who is a little rough around the edges. He has a lot of physical and emotional scars that he must deal with on a daily basis. Becca may be the innocent damsel in distress, but she's not stupid. A lot of things happen to her that would make most women have a breakdown, but Becca keeps pushing forward – determined to find her brother. There are a lot of interesting secondary characters, including Nick's brother Jeremy. I'm really hoping that he gets a book of his own. Also included in this book are the remaining members of the Special Ops team, who come to Nick's aid.

Hard As It Gets is a great romantic mystery. It's not a fun, carefree romance. It's serious, yet sensual at the same time. It's a fast-paced mix of romance, mystery, and action – in that order. It's first and foremost a romance – a very steamy one at that. If you love hot romance, intriguing mystery, tattoos, and sexy military men – then this book is for you!

Visit Laura Kaye here:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Release Day Blitz: Deadly to Promise by Mia Hoddell




Deadly to Promise (Elemental Killers #2)
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy

Blurb:

A broken promise is all it takes.


Becoming an E.K isn’t a choice for Serena – it’s a necessity to survive. To destroy the Elementals she has to leave her old life behind. She has to train and follow a strict regime. But with time against her, she has only a few weeks to master the skills Kai spent his whole life perfecting.

The knowledge passed down from her ancestors is crucial to the Elementals demise and the success of their mission. However, the path they must follow is lined with riddles, each more confusing than the next. It doesn’t matter how close to succeeding they get, it’s never enough. The Elementals are one step ahead at every revelation and that can only mean one thing – the E.Ks have a traitor among them.

For one week only, both Deadly to Love and Deadly to Promise are 99c / 77p!
Buy Now: Amazon | Amazon.co.uk

Excerpt

“Have you ever been swimming here?” I asked moving my head to watch his reaction as I brought my feet up out of the water and folded them beside me.
“Yeah, most summers when I came here. We all used to use it as a way to cool off or just have some fun in between training.”
“How about skinny dipping?” I asked my grin growing due to the thoughts running through my head.
“Why? You want to try it?” he challenged.
“Only if you go first,” I laughed but stopped instantly when he removed his shirt and tossed it behind us. My eyes widened in surprise and I started to regret my words. “You’re not being serious are you?” I stuttered as he pulled off his shoes, throwing them over to where his shirt was crumpled.
“You can’t chicken out now Rea. It was your idea,” he said smiling as he removed each sock, teasing me as they ended up with the rest of his discarded garments.
I just stared at him, my lips moving but not making a sound as I tried to find an excuse.
He laughed at me. “Relax Rea, I’m just teasing you. Well unless you’ve changed your mind. In that case I’m being deadly serious.” He had a cheeky grin on his face as he spoke and I pushed him hard, toppling him into the water below.
There was a lot of splashing but Kai surfaced finally, taking a deep breath as he flicked the hair out of his eyes. I was clutching my stomach in fits of laughter as I bent over. The shock on his face was priceless.
“Oh you are so dead Rea, so, so dead,” he said, his voice ragged as the cold water and shock affected his half naked body. I just continued to laugh as he floated in front of me, his head bobbing up and down in a comical way.


Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell


Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy
ASIN: B00BDQ3QGA
ISBN: 978-1-291-41025-9

Blurb

The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.
Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.

She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.

His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.

What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.

She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.
Buy Now: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Lulu


Praise:

“I couldn't put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.” Brianna (Book Blogger)

“I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)

“In the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure was sound.” Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)

About the Author

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.

Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.
Links: 



Mia's favorite book couples:


  1. Cameron and Andrew from The Edge of Never by J. A Redmerski. They were so sweet and realistic
  2. Valkyrie and Fletcher from Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. It’s just a funny relationship as they have different opinions on everything.
  3. Willow and Alex from Angel Fire by L. A Weatherly. I could really connect and sympathise with them.
  4. Ramil and Tashi from Dragonfly by Julia Golding. One of the best hate at first sight relationships.
  5. Faythe and Marc from Stray by Rachel Vincent. I love the banter between the two of them.




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Deadly to Love by Mia Hoddell

Deadly to Love

by Mia Hoddell

Giveaway ends December 06, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Blast: Out of Tune by Michelle D. Argyle

Twenty-year-old Maggie Roads’ parents are legendary in the country music world. She wants nothing more than to follow their example, but the limelight is not reserved for singers who cannot carry a tune, let alone keep a rhythm.

When her parents tell her they are getting divorced, Maggie decides it’s time to leave home and take her future into her own hands. Moving in with Cole, her best friend and sometimes boyfriend might not be the best of ideas, but she has to start somewhere. 

Their off-and-on romance gets even more complicated when Maggie crushes on her new voice teacher, Nathan, who unlocks her stunning potential. 

A sensational music career of her own is finally within reach, but Maggie might need more than perfect pitch to find what she is really looking for.

                                                                                                       
Cole’s steady beat on the drum relaxed her. She could feel his eyes on her as she played, but she did not turn around. He would never know what this meant to her. She had wanted and dreaded this moment forever. She could only imagine what tomorrow would be like, with an audience full of strangers.
She closed her eyes as the music flowed into her. Iza came in on her fiddle, her notes weaving in and out like bright threads in a tapestry. Justin started singing the first lines and she tapped her foot, counting like Nathan had taught her. “Every beat is a physical thing,” he had said. “See the music, feel it, just like you’ve done your whole life. Pearls on a string—let each one slide through your fingers. Measured.”
Mandolin line. Then the bass started. Maggie’s turn.
When she came in, her voice was louder and stronger than it had ever been. Justin’s voice filled her up like honey. She swam through it, adding her own to his. Maybe he was a womanizer and constantly looking at her like, he wanted to get her in bed, but he was an amazing singer. They smiled at each other as they melted into the song.
She had never been inside music like this before. The stage lights sparkled in her eyes and she understood for the first time in her life why musicians put up with all that travelling and recording, and the stressful nights like when her mom was puking her guts out with the flu—the real flu—but had to go on stage in five minutes. Maggie remembered her smiling as she wiped her mouth and shrugged. “It’s part of the singin’ life, hon. We don’t always get breaks when we need them.” She had patted Maggie on her twelve-year-old head and squared her shoulders as her makeup artist dusted some powder over her pale cheeks. Then she had left for the stage in a flutter of sequins and curls.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Michelle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She adores cheese, chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in the time she grabs between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter.
She believes a simple life is the best life. 
Michelle writes contemporary Young Adult and New Adult fiction (and other genres when she feels like it).
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Blog  | Facebook | Twitter
hosted by:
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

 Title: Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1)
Author: Michelle Rowen
Source: Purchased


Synopsis:

I don't do dangerous.

Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back.

Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me....

NIGHTWATCHERS

When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising...


 



Review:


Photobucket


Dark Kiss is the first book in the Nightwatchers series by Michelle Rowen. It's about a teenage girl named Samantha who is dealing with the after effects of a life changing kiss. After her crush kisses her, she starts feeling different. She feels hungry all the time, but food doesn't diminish the hunger.

Sam meets Bishop, who figures out what has happened to her and thinks that he can help her. He has to finish his mission first, but for some reason he can only think clearly when he is touching Sam. They should be enemies, but they are able to help each other.

Overall, I was disappointed with the book. I was really drawn to the cover and the synopsis sounded great. The plot was interesting, but I felt that the book just kind of dragged on. The most interesting character in the book was probably Kraven – a background character. The two main characters were just dull and boring to me. Bishop was a weak character because of his constant mental confusion.

There was no cliffhanger at the end, but I was still left with a lot of questions. I suppose they will probably be answered in the following book, but I don't know that I'm interested enough to continue this series. If you're a big fan of young adult paranormal romances, then you might give this book a try. There are a lot of other readers who loved this story.


Find the author here:


Find this book at the following places:
BAM

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Free eBooks!





**Note** I have no idea how long these will remain free


Title: Element, Part 1 (Element #1)
Author: CM Doporto


College freshman, Natalie Vega, offers to be a test patient for several vitamins and supplements created by Kronberg Laboratories, a large pharmaceutical company where she interns. Immediately her body starts going through physical changes but when she runs into her former high school crush, Ryan Garrett, she is unaware of the life altering affects he will have on her.

New Adult Romance/Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy


Free on Amazon and B&N


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 Title: The Lies that Save Us (Broken Heart #1)
Author: J.L. Redington


Alexa is beautiful, smart and alone in the world, a result of devastating losses in her life. She purchased a diner in the quiet out of the way town of Startup, Washington and hired employees to help run it. She’s just beginning to feel secure in her loneliness.

Suddenly her world is jolted awake by Cayman, a handsome young stranger that enters her diner seemingly from nowhere. Event’s happen quickly, and soon Alexa is deep into secret lives, deception and desire.
Will she figure out the riddle of her father’s death? Will she be able to resist the temptation to fall in love with Cayman in spite of her suspicions? Will she live to tell the tale?
 


Free on Amazon and B&N 


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  Title: In Search of a Love Story (Love Story #1)
Author: Rachel Schurig


Emily Donovan doesn’t have a romantic bone in her body.

At least, that’s what her friends Ryan and Ashley keep telling her. They’re convinced her bad luck with men is directly related to her life-long lack of interest in all things romantic. When Emily’s latest relationship crashes and burns, she decides to go along with her friends’ plans for a romance research project. Sure, the idea that she’ll have better luck if she learns about the great romances of literature and film seems a little silly, but Emily figures it can’t hurt.

In no time at all, Emily finds herself buried under a mountain of romance novels, chick flicks, and sappy love songs, hopeful that her hard work will pay off with true love. When she meets Greg, Ashley and Ryan are convinced she’s found prince charming—after all, he’s rich, handsome, and totally into Emily. What more could she want? And why does it seem that her friend Elliot isn’t exactly happy for her?

Faced with misunderstandings, miscommunications, and a seemingly endless string of missteps, she is nevertheless determined to give true love a try. In doing so, Emily will eventually find that true romance, the kind that lasts, has little to do with stereotypes or clichés, and everything to do with finding out what’s in her own heart.
 


Free on Amazon and B&N


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  Title: Vengeance (SSU Trilogy #1)
Author: Vanessa Kier


Left for dead after assassins killed her parents, Jenna Paterson believes she survived for one reason only. Vengeance. She vows revenge on the men behind the attack, including her once beloved older brother, Kai. But Kai has disappeared with a microchip containing data on a top-secret government research program.

Ten years ago, undercover agent Niko Andros sent a vicious Mexican crime lord to prison. Now the man has been released and he's kidnapped Niko's aunt. The price for his aunt's freedom is Kai and the microchip. Niko will do anything to save his aunt―including using Jenna as bait.

As Niko dives back into the deadly criminal underground he'd barely escaped, Jenna discovers she's not as tough as she thinks. Teamed up to find her brother, Niko and Jenna fight to survive in a dangerous world of lies, betrayal, and hidden agendas. Only love can save them...if they'll let it.
 


Free on Amazon and B&N


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  Title: Oh, Cherry Ripe
Author: Claudy Conn


Cherry Elton was beside herself! Her own mother had arranged a marriage for her to a man she had never even met. She had no choice but to run away.

Sky Westbrooke had no wish to marry, but his mischievous siblings sorely needed a firm maternal hand. Yet, how could he court his unseen bride, when into his employ had come the most remarkable, enchanting governess?

And Cherry, playing at being a governess was smitten by the handsome, cavalier Lord Westbrooke. His stolen kisses left her breathless—yet, he was betrothed to another. Whatever was a love struck governess to do?


Free on Amazon and B&N


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  Title: Masquerade (Heaven and Hell #1)
Author: Cambria Hebert


I'm disfigured. Scarred. Ugly.
When I look in the mirror, I see a stranger. When I look over my shoulder, no one's there…
Yet I feel watched. Hunted. Afraid.
And then he tells me I’m beautiful.
He tells me I’m safe.
I believe him.
Until someone tries to kill me.
Secrets abound, danger is near, and still… my heart desires a boy with whiskey-colored eyes and far too many secrets.
Secrets that could cost me my life.
To stay alive I have to look deep, beneath the masks everyone wears, to find the truth.
To find myself.




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  Title: Details, Details, Details (Modern Gods #1)
Author: Odette C. Bell


Yes, she's a goddess. And, oh yes, he is most certainly a god. You can tell from the fact he marches around in glinting armour, picking fights with titans and picking up divine broads. But she didn't sign up for this. Sea monsters, kidnappings, evil plots, and the end of the world? Are you kidding? She spends most nights reading the weather report and icing cupcakes.

It is all his fault.


Free on Amazon and B&N



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 Title: Draykon (Draykon #1)
Author: Charlotte E. English



When shy and retiring Llandry Sanfaer discovers a mesmerising new gemstone, she suddenly becomes the most famous jeweller across the Seven Realms. Demand for the coveted stone escalates fast; when people begin dying for it, Llandry finds that she herself has become a target.

Lady Evastany Glostrum has her life in pristine order. Prestigious, powerful and wealthy, she is on the verge of crowning her successes with the perfect marriage. But when her closest friend is murdered for the jewellery she wears, Eva is drawn into the mystery surrounding the curious "istore" gem.

The emergence of the stone is causing chaos across the Seven. Gates between the worlds are opening at will, pulling hordes of creatures through from the shadowy Lower Realm and the glittering Uppers. As Eva works to discover the culprit behind the spreading disorder, Llandry must learn the truth about her precious istore stone — before she herself becomes a victim.


Free on Amazon and B&N


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  Title: Bitten (The First Book of "The One Rises")
Author: Anna Wolfe



Only fanatics and lunatics believe demons can possess human beings. Or at least, that’s what Callie White thought until one possessed her best friend. Now, wanted for murdering the thing that crawled into her friend’s body and dealing with hungers and powers she doesn’t understand, Callie White just wants to die. She just has to make sure no one can bring another demon over before she goes. When that proves more difficult than expected, Callie is pushed to her limits and discovers just how common demon possession really is.

“There is another world touching ours that is filled with demons or, at least, that’s what we call them. They call themselves something else entirely, though that is neither here nor there. Every now and again, human beings manage to pull these demons through to our side. The human dies, of course, and the demon gets a person shaped suit to live in. We call these creatures the demonridden.”


Free on Amazon and B&N


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 Title: Hollowland (The Hollows #1)
Author: Amanda Hocking


"This is the way the world ends - not with a bang or a whimper, but with zombies breaking down the back door."

Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way - not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.



 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cover Reveal: Tipsy by Cambria Hebert

Title: Tipsy
Author: Cambria Hebert
Series: Take It Off - all the novels in this series can be read as stand alones
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 13, 2013
Format: Ebook and Paperback

Synopsis

 ***This is a new adult contemporary novel and contains sexual content and graphic language. It is not intended for young adult readers.***

Julie Preston is an artist. But her canvas isn’t paper or clay. It’s hair. She spends her days coloring, blow drying and styling her clients hair at the Razor’s Edge salon. Julie is also annoyed. She went out on a date and had a great time, gave the guy her number and the jerk never called.

So when he waltzes into the salon and sits down in her chair she briefly considers strangling him with the pink cape she fastens around  his neck.

Too bad she can’t.

Blue Markson, the guy who never called, is a police officer so causing him bodily harm would be a first class ticket into the slammer. Just looking at him again makes Julie forget why she was mad in the first place, but she’s already learned that Blue is nothing but heartache. So when he starts coming around, acting like he hadn’t made her stare at the phone for days, she tries to brush him off.

Only…

Her life is about to blow up in her face, she’s about to get caught up in a sticky web of crime and the one guy who can help her is the one guy she vowed never to trust again.





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AUTHOR BIO:
 
Cambria Hebert is the author of the young adult paranormal Heven and Hell series, the new adult Death Escorts series, and the new adult Take it Off series. She loves a caramel latte, hates math and is afraid of chickens (yes, chickens). She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and children (both human and furry) where she is plotting her next book. You can find out more about Cambria and her work by visiting http://www.cambriahebert.com

Monday, November 11, 2013

Release Day Giveaway: Taken by Felicia Starr

Title: TAKEN (Breaking the Darkness, #1)

Author: Felicia Starr
Expected Release Date: November 11, 2013
Genre: Fiction | YA | Paranormal
Opening her eyes to an imposing prison of complete darkness, Kasha is accused of possessing powers and abilities she had no previous knowledge of until the moment she comes face to face with herself while meditating. Haunted by memories strung together by lies and deceit, she soon discovers that maybe her beloved grandmother kept a few secrets she had not been aware of.  Secrets that could be her salvation… or her undoing.   As she struggles to control her newfound powers, only time will tell if they will be enough to help her decipher who has imprisoned her or what they want from her. She must search for the answers and the freedom she so desperately desires. Could a handsome guy whom vows to help her get away prove to be the man of her dreams… or perhaps her worst nightmare?
NOT KNOWING WHO TO TRUST, SHE MUST FIND A WAY TO ESCAPE BEFORE SHE PAYS THE ULTIMATE PRICE AND FINDS HERSELF TAKEN BY THE DARKNESS.
You must betray your heart and walk amongst the darkness in order to find the truest light.
                                                                                                           
Without the sun and moon to guide my inner clock, there was really no way for me to distinguish how many nights or days had passed. The darkness was different from any I had experienced before. My eyes could not quite adjust.
Although I had a real bed and a partial bath with a toilet and small wash sink, there was no sense of comfort. What seemed to be the only entrance was   sealed so tight that no light seeped in from the perimeter. There were no windows; the walls were cold and barren. My hands explored my surroundings, yet I could not even find an outlet or light switch.
I tried to escape my fears by focusing on remembering less stressful times, most of which were with Gram. I replayed the past in my head, hoping that somewhere hidden in those memories might be a clue as to what happened and how I ended up in the dark.
When my fear and confusion subsided enough, I willed myself to sleep. It was my only escape from the heaviness the darkness imposed upon me. This didn’t help my capacity to estimate the length of my imprisonment. I didn’t know how long or how often I drifted off to sleep. There were moments I lay there struggling to determine if my eyes were open or closed.
One would think the quiet would be soothing, only it amplified every little thing. I realized there was no true stillness. I could envision the flecks of dust floating through the air, crashing into the floor like pellets of hail on a summer day. The anticipation of hearing footsteps approaching my room sent continuous chills up my spine with every little noise the silence allowed.
There was something about the smell in the air and the chill of the walls and floor that led me to believe I was still somewhere in the desert. The lack of moisture in the atmosphere left my mouth sticky and dry. Being dehydrated from lack of fluids wasn’t helping. I wasn’t sure if the faucet water was safe to drink.
The pains in my stomach reminded me how much I longed for a veggie-filled pita with hummus and feta cheese. My mouth watered at the thought of a guilt-filled bag of Doritos. I should have been grateful I wasn’t completely being starved in there. I don’t know how or when, but food did appear in my room from time to time—and I use the term food loosely. A couple of crackers or a piece of jerky doesn’t really constitute food to me. I had to take what I could since I still didn’t have a clue where I was, who was keeping me, or why.
Since Gram died, while I was away at college, there really wasn’t a home to go back to. I decided to take the small amount of money she left me and put most of it in the bank. I’d just moved to Santa Fe and prepaid a year’s rent for a studio-sized house on a small side street. Santa Fe was appealing because it was close to the last place Gram lived, La Cienega, just outside the city limits. The sad thing is, without employment and friends or family in the new city, no one would miss me.
At this realization, my heart grew heavier. Although I could feel the burn in my throat, threatening the shower of tears, I choked it back. Tears wouldn’t fight off the shadows. Appearing resilient would help me keep up my strength.
I contemplated screaming out, demanding an answer as to why I was there. Trepidation brought that action to a silent halt. I didn’t want to face the potential terrors that stalked the future. I watched enough crime television shows to know how much worse this could get. I counted on my silence as my best defense.
I continued to make desperate attempts at feeling around the walls that encased me. Pressing my face against the cold surfaces, I struggled to hear a trace of someone, anyone, only my ears were denied. Could it be I was truly alone in this unwarranted exile? Perhaps this was it; in the end the darkness would consume me.
I dropped to my knees at the center of my prison. I could feel the surge of sadness and anger coursing through my body. My core heated and it felt as though my blood was on fire. I acknowledged each pore of my skin as the fine hairs stood at attention from the vibration that shook my extremities. With my teeth clenched and my eyes pressed shut, I tried to regain my breath and focus on Gram.
In a whisper, I called out to her. “Gram… Gram, I know you are out there watching over me. I just wish I could hear your voice.”
I continued to speak to her in my head. As much as I always wished something exciting would happen to me, being incarcerated in this godforsaken dark box wasn’t at all what I had in mind.
As I looked down toward the amulet resting on my chest, my fingers encased the charm. I closed my eyes, and memories of the time my grandmother draped it around my neck flocked to the forefront.
It was the summer I turned sixteen. Gram and I took a road trip to the Painted Desert, one of our favorite places to visit. I loved being surrounded by mountains made of rainbows of rock. Some people referred to this location as the “badlands.” When I was there, though, I felt filled with a unique sense of lightness that almost lifted me off my feet. Being there was effortless.
I could walk for hours, soaking in the beauty and freshness of the landscape. I felt connected, not necessarily to anything in particular; I just felt at one with nature. It was like the spirit of the earth moved through me. Even when I was alone on a trail, I never felt lonesome.
The day Gram gave me this necklace, it was as if the heavens had opened up and dumped colors all around us. The sun sank past the painted-rock walls that bordered our location. The sky swelled with layers of purple, pink, orange, and even a touch of gold at the tips of the earth. Gram always knew how to pick just the right moment and location to make a special occasion feel magical.
“Kasha, you are becoming a strong and beautiful young woman. The women in our family have always had a special bond with one another. You must always remember, even when we’re not together, we’re a part of each other, linked always.”
I knew part of what she was being at had to do with my mother. It had been many years since I saw her last, but now was neither the time nor place to start thinking about that. Squeezing the pendant in my hand, a giant, slow breath helped push her out of my head, for now.
Gazing back down at my necklace, I pretended to make out more than the silhouette in the darkness. In my mind, I could see the pentagonal piece of petrified wood encased in silver. The pie-shaped stones enhanced each point of the rounded pentacle. Beautifully etched floral designs in the metal surrounded the stones. A remnant of something engraved on the rear side was almost visible, but it had worn down long before I took possession. If only I could make out what had been there; I often fantasized about what it might have said.
I wasn’t sure if there was any significance to the markings, but they looked ancient. Maybe it once belonged to an Egyptian pharaoh or a Celtic princess. Too bad I never took the time to ask Gram if she knew the history of this piece. It would have been interesting to know to whom it had belonged.
“You have an intensity about you that is unrivaled. Keep this with you at all times. You will find it will keep you grounded and connected to what is important.”
Gram always said weird stuff like that. I’d gotten used to it and stopped trying to figure out if her comments had hidden meanings. As a kid I would get embarrassed when she talked like that in front of other people. I saw the way they looked at her, probably thinking, What a shame that beautiful woman is so crazy. It was that quirkiness I grew to love most about her when I became a young adult.
I guess Gram was at least a little bit right about this amulet. Holding it brought thoughts of her to me. It seemed to cool me down and calm my nerves. At the same time, it warmed me and gave me comfort. A brief moment of peace helped subdue the constant fear and avoid the panic that could set in at any moment.
Author Felicia Starr lives five miles from her favorite Jersey Shore destination with her amazingly supportive family.  She loves to spend time creating special memories with her husband and two young boys.   Everyone expected her first publication to be a cookbook, but her love for writing has surpassed her love for cooking.  Felicia graduated magna cum laude from Kean University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a post baccalaureate in elementary education.  She is a licensed real estate sales person, a certified yoga instructor, and most importantly, a stay-at-home mom.  
 

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