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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Cover Reveal: Waterproof by Amber Garr




Dying of thirst is the new reality.

Five years after the last drop of clean water disappeared, global societies collapsed and nuclear war shattered all hope of recovery. In a place now only a skeleton of its former self, survivors fight to avoid capture by the government. Forced to work in factories that produce the only drinking water available, those who go in, never come out.

Zach and Vivienne have lived as deserters since they were teenagers. Fighting amongst their own and scrounging for the necessities of life, they’ve learned to rely on each other in every way. Yet when tragedy strikes and the true objectives of the government facility are revealed, their world is ripped apart. A fate once thought to hold their demise may be the sole answer to their survival. Who can they trust? Who can they believe?

In this life, it pays to be waterproof.

Disclaimer: Waterproof is a new adult dystopian with sex, violence, and language that may not be suitable for a younger audience.
Teaser


Vivienne yelled out and I whipped my head around to see what happened. The last man standing held an impressive hunting knife in his hand, while Vivienne had a fresh cut on her arm. Still, she held steady, sword gripped tightly in front of her, legs in a fighting stance. 
Something stirred inside of me at the sight. Time slowed when I watched her wield the sword like an ancient warrior. It was hard to imagine that just a few years ago we were in high school worrying about football games and which party to go to on the weekend. Now we stayed in abandoned houses, scrounged for water, and spent most of our lives running. If things had been different, Vivienne and I would be graduating college this year. I had plans to go into medicine, and she wanted to be a vet. Funny how those dreams seemed so far away now. 
A loud thump echoed through the now darkened night. She almost fell to the ground with the amount of momentum needed to decapitate the man. He dropped to his knees like a sinner begging for mercy, head rolling further down the hill. My stomach fluttered with admiration and annoyance. 
“I didn’t need your help,” I said to her, getting up on my feet and trying not to wince at my injuries. 
“Sure,” she huffed. Ripping her bandana off her face she tore it in two. “Here, wrap that up.” She nodded toward the tear in my sleeve and I stubbornly yanked the cloth out of her hand. 
“I had everything under control,” I said between clenched teeth. It was the only way to mask the pain. “How did you know where to find me?” 
“I followed the girly shrieks,” she said without missing a beat. I looked down at her in time to see a smirk pull at the corner of her mouth. “Let me do it.” 
Once again, I allowed Vivienne to rescue me. It killed every part of that male ego inside, but I knew she’d let me do the same for her. In fact, I had. We always saved each other. 
“Ow,” I said when she tightened the bandana a little too rough around my arm. 
“Stop being a baby.” 
“Stop showing off your man strength.” 
She pulled even tighter but let a small laugh escape. I sucked in a breath at that sound, realizing how close I’d come to never hearing it again. 
“Are you hurt anywhere else?” she asked, turning me around and patting her hands along my body. I froze, trying to ignore how comforting her touch felt. We’d been friends for years, and she was the only person in this world I trusted. Why had I risked so much for this run? 
I stepped away from her, not liking where my thoughts were headed. “I’m fine,” I mumbled. “Stop mothering me.” 
“I wouldn’t have to if you’d listen to me.” She stopped in front of my face and stared me down. I stood a little over six feet tall and she was just a few inches shorter. Together with that glare, almost any man would cower under her. “Was it worth it?” 
“Huh?” 
“The water. How much did you get?” 
I hung my head in embarrassment. “I had eight, but they shot through one. So six, I guess.” 
“Six bottles?” She looked impressed. 
“No, six liters.” Silence. 
“You just made me kill three men for six liters of water?” 
I shuffled my feet. “You only killed two.” 
She reached out so quickly, I couldn’t defend myself. Both hands pushed against my chest and I stumbled back, falling to the ground. 
“I could make it three,” she hissed. “I should kill you for your stupidity alone.”


About Amber Garr


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Amber Garr spends her days as a scientist and nights writing about other worlds. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell.

Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner, author of Waterproof, The Syrenka Series, The Leila Marx Novels, and the upcoming Death Warden Series. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cornerstone by Kelly Walker



Epic Fantasy combines with Young Adult romance in this stunning new adventure set in a richly developed medieval world.

When Emariya Warren learns enemy forces have captured her father, she’ll do anything to save him. Anything. Even marry a mysterious prince she knows nothing about in order to rally the strength to arrange a rescue. During her journey to Torian’s foreign castle, Emariya comes face to face with her mother’s killers–and a deadly secret.
Not only does Emariya possess a powerful but unexpected magical gift passed down through each of her families, the prince she’s promised to marry possesses a third, and an ominous prophecy has warned the three gifts must never be combined.

If she breaks her promise to marry Torian, she won’t be able to save her father and if she keeps it, she may bring a curse upon everything she holds dear. Determining which choice is best won’t be easy, but when she meets the gorgeous prince who may desire more than just her heart, she realizes she will have to fight just to have a choice at all.

Her heart wants him desperately. Her head begs her to run. If she doesn’t want to share her mother’s fate, she’ll have to find a way to untangle the truth from the lies in time to save herself.


About Kelly Walker

6546134

Kelly Walker is a YA and NA author of several romantic titles, including the Souls of the Stones series. She has an unhealthy appreciation for chocolate, and a soft spot for rescued animals. Her best lessons on writing came from a lifetime of reading. She loves the fantastical, and the magical, and believes a captivating romance can be the most realistic magic of all. Kelly, her husband and her two children share their Virginia home with three dogs who walk her, and two cats who permit her to occasionally share their couch.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Release Day: Jaded Stone by Kelly Walker




In Cornerstone, Valencia Roth died to protect her daughter. In Jaded Stone, she'll live for her.

 Twenty years before the events of Cornerstone, Valencia Roth is the Crown Princess of Sheas, as lonely as she is privileged. She wants for nothing, except a clear path toward peace for her land. She’s always known personal happiness might not be in The Three’s plan for her. As the future ruler of Sheas, and a Cornerstone, her life belongs to her people.

 But when Valencia meets the charming Reid Hendel, she dares to believe love could be within her reach. That is, if they can both survive long enough for it to blossom. A new threat prowls the land, and she’s their primary target. Armed with stubborn pride and all the resources of Sheas, she fears nothing—until her brother leads her intended directly into the fray and at least one of them doesn’t return. Burdened with grief, Valencia must carve her own path forward. From the forge of chaos, a new era will be born.

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About Kelly Walker

6546134

Kelly Walker is a YA and NA author of several romantic titles, including the Souls of the Stones series. She has an unhealthy appreciation for chocolate, and a soft spot for rescued animals. Her best lessons on writing came from a lifetime of reading. She loves the fantastical, and the magical, and believes a captivating romance can be the most realistic magic of all. Kelly, her husband and her two children share their Virginia home with three dogs who walk her, and two cats who permit her to occasionally share their couch.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Glass House Press Cover Reveal: The Firedragon by Mary Fan




Today is a joint cover reveal of three authors from Glass House Press, PT. McHugh, Linda Foster and Mary Fan.


Almost a hundred years ago, the Enchanters defeated the Lord of the Underworld in one of the most fearsome wars the world had ever seen. The public thinks that this victory means the people are safe. But they’re wrong. The supernatural beasts the Lord unleashed remain on the earth, multiplying and ravaging what’s left of civilization. As long as these monsters exist, mankind will be in danger. And though the government, ruled by the magic-wielding Enchanters, seeks to protect their people, they are too few in number. They need the Defenders – a special class of non-magical humans – to fight the monsters. The Defenders are an elite force, and mankind’s only hope against the horrors that live beyond their gates.
Fourteen-year-old Aurelia “the Firedragon” Sun has been training since she could walk to become a Defender, and her extraordinary combat skills have earned the attention of the powerful government. In fact, she’s been tapped to represent her nation in an international monster-fighting competition, which pits champions from across the globe against creatures of the Underworld in a violent spectacle. If she wins, she will become a full-fledged member of the Defender force.
But as Aurelia moves deeper into the competition, she realizes that all is not as it appears. There’s something sinister behind the competition, something that could change the way she sees everything … and the Enchanters, it seems, are not the heroes she thought. Aurelia begins to ask questions. But before she can discover the truth, she is pitted against the most dangerous monster in the competition – one that will take her life if it can.

About Mary Fan

Mary Fan is a hopeless dreamer, whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now she tells them through books—a habit she began as soon as she could pick up a pencil. Flynn Nightsider and the Edge of Evil follows a well-received debut novel, a space opera titled Artificial Absolutes (2013), and is the first in the Flynn Nightsider series. Mary would like to think that there are many other novels in her bag, and hopes to prove that to the world as well.
Mary lives in New Jersey and has a B.A. from Princeton University. When she’s not scheming to create new worlds, she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and blogging about everything having to do with books.
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Promises by Amber Garr is free!



Life as a mermaid can be suffocating.


Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.
When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancĂ© would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined.
A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those who she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life that she had so adamantly tried to escape.
Promises is the first book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends through the perils of growing up in a discrete world that inherently threatens human society.



About Amber Garr

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Amber Garr spends her days as a scientist and nights writing about other worlds. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner, author of Waterproof, The Syrenka Series, The Leila Marx Novels, and the upcoming Death Warden Series. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie. 

Cover Reveal: The Enlightening (Mackenzie Duncan Series #2) by Adrianne James

Today is the cover reveal of The Enlightening (Mackenzie Duncan Series #2) by Adrianne James.

  


Title: The Enlightening

  Series: Mackenzie Duncan Series #2

  Author: Adrianne James

  Genre: NA Paranormal

  Release Date: December 6, 2013


Mackenzie Duncan found out that pack life wasn’t for her. Now she is running for the second time in the six months   since she was bitten and turned into a Werewolf. But this   time, she isn’t alone. This time, she has Geoff and Liam     with her, two very hot Werewolves vying for her heart.

But her companions aren't her focus. The only thing she can focus on is getting far from her old pack and their murderous ways. Only, she doesn’t just want to run. She wants to warn every pack she can that their lives are in danger too. No one should be turned against their will like she was and no other pack should have to surrender to the ideas of a centuries old, power hungry woman.

Not only does Mackenzie have to deal with her crazy ex-pack leader sending people out to kill her, she has to keep both men at arm’s length (and that proves to be much more difficult than she thought), but she finds out more about her own life and heritage than she ever thought imaginable.

And suddenly, everything makes sense...


Giveaway


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About Adrianne James


Growing up, Adrianne couldn't get her hands on enough books to satisfy her need for the make believe. If she finished a novel and didn't have a new one ready and waiting for her, she began to create her own tales of magic and wonder. Now, as an adult, books still make up majority of her free time, and now her tales get written down to be shared with the world.

During the day, Adrianne uses her camera to capture life's stories for clients of all ages and at night, after her two children are tucked in bed; she devotes herself to her written work. Adrianne is living the life she always wanted, surrounded by art and beauty, the written word and a loving family.

As a young adult and new adult author, Adrianne James has plans to bring stories of growing characters, a little romance, and perhaps a little magic and mythology down the line for her readers to enjoy.

Monday, November 11, 2013

No One's Angel by Kelly Walker is on sale!




If you are looking for an intense, passionate love so wrong it is right, a story about losing your way but clawing desperately at any chance to find your way back, about hanging on to your last shred of sanity and trusting someone enough to let go of your fears, look no further. No One's Angel's angel is a New Adult (NA) Contemporary Romance about a girl learning to fight back and a boy learning to let go. 

Tess used to spend more hours than she'd care to admit playing her favorite computer game, using the nickname Angel. She could pretend her life was different, and she could pretend Arion was just a friend. But a girl needs more to keep her warm at night than pixels, and she traded her virtual heaven for a real-life hell. Now she's on the run from a past she won't talk about, and the only place she has to go is the doorstep of the friend she's never actually met. 

 When Angel disappeared from their nightly games, it nearly destroyed Arion. He threw himself into work and women, but he can't help knowing the one-night stands will never compare to the angel who haunts his dreams. At first, when she shows up soaking wet and scared-shitless on his doorstep, he thinks his prayers have been answered. 

 But the more Arion tries to keep Angel close, the more her fear drives her away. If they are ever going to have a chance for a future, they'll first have to deal with the past that hasn't forgotten her any more than she's forgotten it--and Arion will have to learn how to let her go.


CONTENT WARNING: Due to adult sexual situations and language, this novel may not be appropriate for readers under 18.
Excerpt
Arion reaches for my hand but catches only air. I freeze. And then Ishiver. Without the warmth of the blankets, I remember I'm not wearing anything but his shirt, and given the look he's giving me now, I'm not the only one who's noticed. That expression I can read just fine. "You aren't going anywhere, Angel." I suck in a sharp breath, hearing his words in someone else's voice. 
But I did. I'm here. I left. 
My eyes dart around the room like a moth fluttering against a light.  My pile of clothes, which should have been by the door, is missing. 
"Did you take my clothes?" The tightening in my chest makes my words breathless. I try to tell myself not to panic, but that's like telling a dog not to wag its tail. Acknowledging it only makes it worse. I gulp for more air as my head starts to spin. 
"Would only seem fair. After all, you took mine." His tone is tense, but beneath it I can hear his familiar teasing. I try to tell myself I don't have to be afraid. This is Arion. The one person I trust. I know him. 
But I don't, and to tell myself otherwise is a lie. 
If he wants his freaking shirt he can have it. I've got to get out of here. My fingers begin undoing the buttons without me really thinking about it, and then I'm shrugging my shoulders free. 
His eyes go from warm pools of interest to sexy oceans of desire in the time it takes me to remember I don't even have a bra on. 
I manage to catch the shirt just before it falls away from my hips, and I quickly wrap it around me, covering myself. I tilt my chin toward him defiantly, daring him to say or do anything even as I want to beg him to let me go. At the same time I want to beg him to pull me close. My emotion is a giant see-saw, and I'm tottering on the edge with him in the middle. If he takes one step toward me, it will tip the balance.


About Kelly Walker

6546134

Kelly Walker is a YA and NA author of several romantic titles, including the Souls of the Stones series. She has an unhealthy appreciation for chocolate, and a soft spot for rescued animals. Her best lessons on writing came from a lifetime of reading. She loves the fantastical, and the magical, and believes a captivating romance can be the most realistic magic of all. Kelly, her husband and her two children share their Virginia home with three dogs who walk her, and two cats who permit her to occasionally share their couch.

Deep Blue Secret by Christie Anderson is Free!


Deep Blue Secret is Book 1 of the Water Keepers series

A sweet, mysterious teen romance with a refreshing fantasy twist.

California teen Sadie James thinks her life couldn't get any better. She has great friends, an energetic mother she adores, and the beach practically in her own backyard. 

But her carefree life is turned upside down when she's rescued by a mysterious and strangely familiar boy who won't even tell her his name. Each time the boy appears, Sadie's unexplainable attraction to him deepens along with her need to unravel his secrets. 

The boy is there to protect her, but as wonderful and exciting as it might be to have an irresistible boy with crystal green eyes protecting her every move, every minute of the day...why does Sadie need one? As Sadie finds answers, she realizes her life isn't as perfect as she thought. Not only is she caught in a world of dangerous secret agents she never knew existed, but it turns out her true identity may be the greatest secret of all.

Check out the first chapter
THE EYES
I tossed my school bag to the back seat of my run-down Honda. The car was a hand-me-down from my mom when she upgraded to a new one last year. It had been super reliable for how old it was, but the radio didn't work. That was a major bummer. But not even a broken radio could bring me down on such a beautiful, sunshiny day.
I toggled through the menu on my MP3 player until I found the perfect song for my upbeat mood. My earphones blasted as I drove down the street, admiring the cloudless Newport Beach sky, wisps of hair circling my neck from the breeze through the open window.
It was usually in the sixties this time of year, but I heard it was going to hit eighty this week; pretty nice for November. I could feel the extra warmth already. The sunshine gave me an extra burst of energy, making an already good day seem even better.
It took maybe five minutes to drive to my high school. Traffic lined the web of Southern California freeways every day, but I rarely ventured out that far. I had everything I needed right here in my own little corner of the world.
My poor old car buzzed into the student lot at the back of the school, and I circled around the corner to find a parking spot. Normal teenager clunker-cars, just like mine, studded the rows, but they were interspersed among the typical mix of new convertibles, sports cars, and SUV’s. I wasn't embarrassed by my car; I was glad to even have one. And it wasn’t like anyone gave me a hard time for driving it.
As I pulled into a parking space and turned off the engine, a slow, melancholy song played in my ears. Without thinking twice, I grabbed the headphones and yanked them off immediately. I thought I had removed all the sad stuff a few weeks ago. This day was too cheerful and bright to listen to something so blah.
Plus, I was sort of developing a fear of love songs over the last couple months. I’d always enjoyed all kinds of music, but I’d been having some crazy emotional reactions to it lately. And music wasn’t the only problem. A couple of weeks ago, I felt completely depressed for hours after reading a scene in a book—totally out of character for me. My life was way too great to be sad and moping around for no reason at all.
It was probably just teenage hormones going haywire.
I waved at a few kids I knew talking by their cars and continued to the outdoor quad area covered in grass and leafy trees. It was already full of my classmates, and I greeted a few more as I crossed the sidewalk.
Then I saw him. Justin Crane.
My head darted down and away, hoping he wouldn’t notice me from across the path. It wasn’t like I made a habit of avoiding people at school, but I’d been on a few dates with Justin earlier this year and they didn’t exactly turn out the way I had hoped.
I thought…what was the harm, you know? Maybe it could be fun. But that totally backfired on me. The truth was, I was hesitant to go with him in the first place, but saying no just seemed too…mean.
I should’ve listened to my instincts. Once Justin got the first yes, he couldn’t be stopped. He pursued me like crazy, almost obnoxiously. And his hands really had a problem with wandering. I tried to tell him I only wanted to be friends, but he just wasn’t willing to take no for an answer. The guy had some serious determination; I had to give him that. But it got to the point where I had to be outright rude, and I didn’t like that.
The last week or two it seemed like Justin was finally backing off, but I wasn’t about to give him a chance to change his mind. I hurried through the double glass doors of the school building at the end of the sidewalk and let out a sigh of relief. Justin Crane was safely out of view.
When I approached my locker, I glanced around the hallway to see if Heather was nearby. She was my best friend. We had first period together, so she always came to meet me before class.
When I spotted Heather from across the hall, her lean physique approached my direction with purpose, holding her phone to her ear. That wasn’t an unusual sight; Heather would probably choose to have her phone surgically attached to the side of her head if it was possible—as long as it was also considered fashionable of course. I had a cell phone too—I mean, who didn’t—but mine seemed like a piece of junk compared to hers.
I’d known Heather since second grade, so I was totally comfortable around her, and I spent more time with her than anyone else, besides my mom of course. But, I had a feeling Heather could be a little intimidating to some people. I was a decent height at five feet five inches, but Heather beat me by at least four more inches. And it wasn’t just her height. Even in a crowd, Heather had a way of making sure she was noticed, but not in a bad way. At least, I didn’t think so.
Heather and I had a lot in common, yet somehow we were nothing alike. Maybe that was why we worked so well together. Either way, we'd been friends a long time.
Heather slid the phone in her designer bag and sprung up beside me.
“Hey, Sade!” she said, her face animated, like she had a juicy secret to share. Heather used the mirror in my locker to check her long platinum hair for any imperfections. “So I was just talking to Lindsey,” she went on, “and you will never guess what she said.”
“What?” I asked.
Suddenly, Heather was pulling me down through the crowded corridor of students. Some looked like they were modeling for a designer clothing catalog, kind of like Heather, while the majority were dressed in flip-flops and shorts like they just stepped foot off the beach.
Heather stopped around a quiet corner and brought her perfectly made-up face close to mine, lowering her voice. “I don’t know if I’m supposed to say anything, so you totally didn’t hear this from me.”
“Okay…” I said, confused but intrigued.
“Lindsey heard that, Nick,” she said the name with emphasis, “Christensen, like, has a thing for you, and wants to ask you out on a date or something.” She paused dramatically, waiting for my response.
That was the big news? I did like going on dates—or at least I thought I did—but I wasn’t sure I was ready to deal with another boy just yet. Nick Christensen was definitely cute, there was no question about that, but what if he turned out to be just like Justin Crane? I wasn’t sure if I should be excited about this or cringe and run away.
Hello?” Heather said. “Did you not just hear me? Nick Christensen wants to hook up with you.”
It took me a second, but I finally responded. “Nick likes me?” I said. “Um, that’s…good, I guess. I mean, he seems like a nice guy.”
Heather clutched my arm, dragging me forward with agitation. “He seems nice? He’s only, like, one of the most gorgeous guys at our school. Seriously, Sadie, could you be any more clueless when it comes to guys? You have boys lining up to drool at your feet and you’re completely oblivious.”
I stopped. “What? No I don’t. And by the way, you get asked out on dates too.”
“Not by guys like Nick Christensen. You could at least try to appreciate how lucky you are.”
I thought about it a second. Maybe Heather had a point. I was lucky to get asked on dates at all, so I should be more excited. I didn’t want to come off as a jerk or something. And there was no way that all the boys in our school could be as bad as Justin Crane, right?
“Wait, so Nick Christensen really wants to ask me out?” I said, trying to mimic Heather’s enthusiasm. “I mean, he is pretty cute. I guess a date with him sounds like fun.”
“Of course it does,” Heather said, like I was ridiculous for thinking otherwise. “He’s totally hot.”
We entered the classroom and sat in our usual seats. Mr. Rivera lectured and scribbled illegibly on the white board as my chin sunk deeper into the palm of my hand. Math first thing in the morning was a bit of a challenge. My mind wandered.
The depressing song I heard in the car started playing through my mind, the chorus repeating in my head over and over again. It was annoying. I should’ve listened to something more cheerful before I turned it off. I straightened in my seat and tried to focus. Even math sounded better right now than that stupid song.
During break I went back to my locker and grabbed a bag of baby carrots. I tossed one in my mouth, but it was bigger than I expected and I struggled to chew as I shut the locker with my elbow.
I almost choked. Nick Christensen was standing right in front of me.
“Oh,” I said, surprised. I threw my hand to my face, covering my mouth full of food, chewing as fast as possible. I practically swallowed the carrot whole.
Nick ran a hand through his chestnut hair, eyes shifting to the floor. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”
I tried to smile, hoping I didn’t have any food stuck in my teeth. “It’s okay. You just surprised me.”
I usually didn't get super nervous around boys, at least not in the past, but all of a sudden, I felt strangely uncomfortable.
Nick paused. “So, I was just wondering if maybe you wanted to hang out with me this Saturday?” He fidgeted with a strap on his backpack in this cute, almost endearing sort of way—which was probably the exact opposite thing that Justin Crane would have been doing if I was talking to him right now. It made me feel somehow at ease again. Nick seemed like a really nice guy, and Heather was right…he was pretty nice to look at, too.
But then I remembered I already had plans with my mom that day. My eyebrows wrinkled apologetically. “This Saturday? Actually, I can’t. I told my mom I would help her paint our living room.”
Nick looked away, blue eyes full of disappointment. “Oh. That’s okay.”
I immediately felt bad. I didn’t want him to think I made up some excuse not to go. I really did have plans. Each week my mom had just one or two nights off from the hospital where she worked. That was really our only time to see each other, so we started girls’ night. It had become our weekly tradition. We’d usually do stuff like get take-out and watch chick flicks, but this time my overly-energetic mother talked me into another do-it-yourself project. At least this time it wouldn’t require tearing down any walls.
I wasn’t that excited about painting in the first place, and with Nick looking way cuter than I realized before, I was starting to regret making plans with my mom. But instead of becoming bitter at my mother’s ambition, I quickly thought of a solution that would work for everyone.
The smile returned to my face. “Well, school’s closed Friday for Veteran’s Day. I don’t have plans if you want to do something then.”
“Sure!” Nick’s face brightened. “My uncle works at Disneyland and he could get us in, but that’s kind of an all-day thing, so I don’t know if you would be interested.”
I didn’t have to think about it. “Totally,” I said, touching his arm. “That sounds like fun.”
I loved Disneyland. Growing up in the area, I used to go all the time, but I hadn’t been in a while. That would be something to look forward to.
“Okay,” he said. “I’ll come pick you up Friday morning. Would nine work?”
I nodded. “Nine sounds good.”
There was an awkward pause in our conversation. It looked like Nick wanted to say something but couldn’t push out the words. He laughed nervously and scratched his head but still came up with nothing.
“Well…I probably should get to class,” I finally said. “I guess I’ll see you Friday?”
Nick nodded, wearing a semi-goofy grin as I turned to walk away. Without thinking, I found myself glancing back with a flirty wave goodbye. It couldn’t hurt to be a little flirty, right? Nick seemed completely harmless compared to Justin Crane.
Thanks to Nick, I was suddenly in an extra great mood. Even though the whole dating thing secretly freaked me out a little, it still felt good to know that someone like him was interested in me. I just hoped Nick would be okay with just hanging out and having fun together. I wasn’t interested in dealing with the stress of taking things to the next level. The last thing I wanted was to end up like my mom—deserted and alone.
I was in such a good mood that even Chemistry wasn’t that bad today. And when I sat down for lunch next to Heather at our usual outdoor table, I was genuinely excited to tell her about my date.
But before I could even say hello, Heather reached for my arm with raised brows and practically sang as she said, “I heard that somebody has a date this weekend…”
I laughed. “How is it possible that you already know that?”
“Oh please,” Heather said. “You do remember who you’re talking to, right?”
The next thing I knew, Heather was making an announcement to everyone at our table of the news. Nicole, Lindsey, and an entire table full of girls squealed and clapped in unison, causing curious glances from around the lunch area.
After everyone took turns expressing their jealousy and wishing me luck on my date, Heather retold the story of her first kiss on the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland when she was a freshman. She and Lindsey both agreed that this would be a good opportunity for me to finally do the same, especially with Nick Christensen.
Kissing did sound like a lot of fun. Heather had done a lot of kissing since that boat ride and she never ceased to tell me about it. But I didn’t want to just do it for the fun of it. I wanted it to mean something.
I mulled over the idea. Maybe I was building it up to be something bigger than it needed to be. What if, once I finally tried it, it would be a huge disappointment because I made too big a deal out of it? Should I just kiss Nick Christensen on Friday and get the whole thing over with? It might be fun. But, it didn’t seem like a decision I could make in one lunch period. I had to at least get to know the guy before I decided, right? It could wait until Friday.
I left our table to make my usual social rounds, hopping from one group of friends to the next to hang out and chat for a few minutes. I was like my mom in that way. She was friendly and talkative with everyone she met.
At least, I was like that most of the time, especially at school, but lately it felt like I was living a double life. I didn't always enjoy socializing like I used to. There were times I could be in a crowd full of friends and feel utterly alone. When I had the random episodes of depression triggered by music or emotions, it was even worse. Then I was definitely not in the mood to socialize.
But there was no problem today. I was my happy, carefree self, enjoying the laughter and company of friends.
I was still in high spirits when the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch. The only classes I had left for the day were my two favorites this semester, Spanish and Photography. As I moved cheerfully down the path outside, I noticed my friend Ariana from the other side of the quad. Her parents were originally from the Dominican Republic, but they moved here from New York a few years ago.
Ariana jumped up and down with a huge smile when she saw me. I loved her enthusiasm. She was one of the most energetic girls at our school. Next thing I knew, she was bounding across the grass in my direction, her curly black hair bouncing back and forth around her face.
“Sadie!” she called happily as she skipped up next to me. When she reached my side, Ariana pulled a handful of my wavy blonde strands in the air and let them fall through her fingers back to my shoulder. “I love your hair today, chica.”
“Thanks,” I said. “That’s a cute shirt.”
Ariana looked down at herself, as if trying to remember what she was wearing, and giggled. “Oh, thanks, it’s new. So I brought you that CD I was telling you about.”
Ariana was always putting together CD's with new music for me to try; mostly salsa type music that I would have a hard time finding on my own. Despite how well I was doing in my Spanish class, I couldn't understand most of the words in the songs, but the beats were infectious.
Ariana rummaged through her backpack and handed me a plastic case.
“Cool,” I said, sliding it atop the Spanish textbook in my arm. “I’m excited to listen to it when I get home.”
“Make sure you listen to track two,” Ariana said with animation. “That’s so totally my favorite this week.”
I started to nod, but a small jolt from behind interrupted my response as somebody bumped into me. I glanced up, taken off guard.
A boy in dark clothes muttered a quick sorry under his breath and continued walking, turning his face only partially towards me. I could’ve sworn a glint of light caught his eye, causing a stream of little green sparkles.
A slight tingling sensation shivered up my arm and I looked down at it instinctively. There was a silvery film with iridescent swirls shimmering just below my elbow. I tried to touch it, but it disappeared. I wasn’t sure if I had imagined it. Maybe the sunlight was playing tricks on my eyes.
My thoughts flew back to the intriguing boy that bumped my arm, but I couldn't see him anymore. He seemed oddly familiar, like something was pulling me after him, drawing me towards him.
“Who was that?” I wondered aloud.
 Ariana shrugged. “I have no idea.”
Suddenly, I felt the strangest desire to follow after the mystery person.
“Hey, I have to get going,” I said to Ariana, moving away in a daze.
I wandered quickly through the crowd of students, searching their faces for the boy with the sparkling, familiar eyes. I had no idea why the eyes seemed so familiar, but I felt an unmistakable need to find them. I was sure I followed right in the direction where the boy had hurried away, but it was no use. It was like he had disappeared without a trace. The mysterious green eyes were nowhere to be seen.
 
About Christie Anderson



CHRISTIE ANDERSON grew up in Southern California and goes back to visit every year. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University and recently moved to Colorado with her husband. Visit her Web site at www.christieanderson.org

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cover Reveal: Soul of Flame by Rebecca Ethington

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Today is the cover reveal for Soul of Flame (Imdalind #4) by Rebecca Ethington!

Soul of Flame

Soul of Flame is releasing on December 2, 2013

The Time for the final battle has come.

Edmund's armies have surrounded the Rioseco Abbey, trapping the few survivors inside. The sight that Ilyan was given a thousand years ago is about to come to pass.

If only Joclyn was able to fight.

Joclyn is tormented by the hallucinations that Cail’s mind has left her with, her magic an uncontrollable torrent that even Ilyan cannot control. Her moments of lucidity are broken by fears of dripping pipes and bleeding walls, and a desire to kill Ryland that she is trying to ignore.

Love may be the only key to her sanity, to her strength, and to Edmund's death.

But that love may stand in her way, and a single choice may tip the scales and secure their future, or destroy their fate.


Giveaway

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About Rebecca Ethington

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Rebecca Ethington has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then in stage with years of theatrical performances. The Imdalind Series is her first stint into the world of literary writing. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. She was born and raised in the mountains of Salt Lake City, and hasn't found the desire to leave yet. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her amazing family.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Promo Blitz: Aqua Blue by Marian L. Thomas

Aqua Blue Sale

A friendship that begins to unravel.  A young man fleeing the tragic loss of his mother. A romance that crosses the boundary of hatred and proves that love is stronger than the color of skin. Find it all in, AQUA BLUE.  It is now on sale for 99¢ November 5th- November 12th!

The Genre:
Clean Fiction for Women
Available on:

 
AquaBlue-FRONT-vWEB

In 1968 a child was born. Her father's eyes boast a beautiful green and her mother was born with hazel. Yet, Aqua Blue was brought into the world with neither.

Haley wishes her parents would forget her. Her mother wants to control her, her father constantly beats on her and Haley, however, just wants to dance on Broadway. Will her dreams cost her more than she ever expected?

Jonathan Jacob Benjamin Brown is running from the memory of a mother he loved. His journey will thrust him into a world filled with secrets so shocking, he must determine whether he will forgive or walk away.

As they each step foot into the intoxicating city of New York, their dreams are standing before them with open arms. Yet, in order to embrace the possibilities, they must first learn to live, love, and breathe.

What People Are Saying About this Book:

"Aqua Blue is an emotionally gripping story that will keep readers turning the pages as they travel back in time to the turbulent 60's to meet characters whose forbidden romance is sure to mark a place in their hearts, long after they close the book."
 ~ Rhonda McKnight, Author of Black Expressions Bestsellers, What Kind of Fool and An Inconvenient Friend.

“When I first opened Aqua Blue I was pulled in to the main character's desire to explore the world outside her small town. I won't give it away but right from the start you know something major is going to happen to the two best friends -- and their traveling companion -- that will change them and their relationships. Once you start reading this novel, you won't want to put it down!”
~ Faith Knight, Author of the Real Book on How to Cook

" Mrs. Thomas,I truly enjoyed reading your novel. The book always kept me wondering what would happen next. Please do a sequel.
~ Johnnie Stewart, Between Friends Literary Club, Memphis, Tennessee

Author Bio:

Author Marian L. Thomas, is no stranger to the world of fiction. With three dramatic and engaging books to her credit: Color Me JazzmyneMy Father's Colors and Strings of Color, this award-winning author continues to weave colorful stories of emotion and realism, that crosses all boundaries and finds a home in the heart of today's female reader. This has become her trademark.

Author Website:
http://www.marianlthomas.com

Let's Connect Socially:
Twitter: MarianLThomas01
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cleanfictionbooksbymarianlthomas
Blog: http://thewritersinkspot.blogspot.com/
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marian-l-thomas