Author Archives: Carrie

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Love, Lucy by April Lindner

I am so excited that LOVE, LUCY by April Lindner releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome guest post from the author in which she shares “Some Rules of the Road” for traveling abroad, as Lucy did in the book.

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful new book by Author April Linder, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blast also includes a giveaway for a copy of the book courtesy of Rockstar Book Tours and 3 signed JANE posters courtesy of the author. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


About LOVE, LUCY

Title: LOVE, LUCY

Author: April Lindner

Release date: January 27, 2015

Publisher: Poppy

Pages: 304

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description:

While backpacking through Florence, Italy, during the summer before she heads off to college, Lucy Sommersworth finds herself falling in love with the culture, the architecture, the food…and Jesse Palladino, a handsome street musician. After a whirlwind romance, Lucy returns home, determined to move on from her “vacation flirtation.” But just because summer is over doesn’t mean Lucy and Jesse are over, too.

In this coming-of-age romance, April Lindner perfectly captures the highs and lows of a summer love that might just be meant to last beyond the season.

Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS


About April Lindner

April Lindner is the author of three novels: Catherine, a modernization of Wuthering Heights; Jane, an update of Jane Eyre; and Love, Lucy, releasing January 27, 2015. She also has published two poetry collections, Skin and This Bed Our Bodies Shaped. She plays acoustic guitar badly, sees more rock concerts than she’d care to admit, travels whenever she can, cooks Italian food, and lavishes attention on her pets—two Labrador retriever mixes and two excitable guinea pigs. A professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University, April lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

 


The Guest Post

SOME RULES OF THE ROAD

Like Lucy Sommersworth, the heroine of Love, Lucy, my parents gave me the gift of a lifetime: a backpacking trip to Europe. I was a bit older than Lucy—22, and just out of
college—but when I arrived in Milan, Italy with a Eurail pass, a copy of Let’s Go: Europe, and a seventy-pound backpack I could barely lift, I was a wee bit terrified. Like Lucy, I spoke only a little bit of Italian, just barely enough to get by, and I wasn’t particularly good at
reading maps or train schedules. Unlike Lucy, I was travelling solo.

Luckily, my journey began with training wheels. I’d just taken a college Italian class, and my professor had offered a safe crash pad for the first few days of my trip—in
her family home in the Alps. Less luckily, when I reached Malpensa airport, nobody was there to pick me up. Giddy with excitement and jet lag, I wandered around the airport, eavesdropping on Italians as they hugged each other hello and goodbye, and had noisy arguments. I’d never felt more alone in
my life. Where would I sleep that night if my ride didn’t show up?

Luckily, my professor’s brother arrived at last to whisk me away to the family home in Domodossola. The extended family welcomed and fed me, gave me tours of their city
with its charming medieval center, helped me practice my Italian, and, when the time was right, brought me to the train station where my solo travels began for
real. It was time to take off the training wheels.

If I’d felt alone back in the airport, I was even more so on that train to Verona, a city where I didn’t know a soul. In those pre-internet days, I could disappear
into thin air and nobody would even notice I was gone. The thought was chilling, but oddly exciting.

By nightfall, I’d made it to Verona. I’d figured out the public transportation, found a youth hostel, and booked myself a bed. Best of all, I had introduced myself to a handful of other backpackers. We hung out together in the hostel’s common area, sharing bread and cheese, exchanging stories, discussing the rules of the road—those bits of practical wisdom our travels were teaching us. Here are a few.

Time passes differently on the road.  Spend a few very intense hours seeing the sites with strangers and by the end of the day, those strangers have become a part of your story. Years later you’ll see their faces in your photo album and still remember stray details of the adventures you shared together, even if you can’t quite recall their names.

Spontaneity is key.  There are few things as magical as showing up at a train station with no idea where you’re headed next, picking a random
train, and hopping on.

Janis Joplin said it best: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.  When you’re carrying all your possessions on
your back in a city where you don’t know a soul, you’re absolutely free. You can go anywhere, do anything. That freedom has its lonely moments—but it
can be the doorway to all kinds of adventures.

Embrace misadventure.  As carefully as you plan there will be crazy mistakes: wrong turns, slept-through train stops, multilingual misunderstandings, and all kinds of other blunders—and these will make the best stories. My misadventures are some of my favorite memories. The time I missed curfew and had to climb into my hostel through a second-story window. The morning when, hanging out my recently washed clothes to dry, I dropped my wet underthings out the window, onto a
stranger’s head. The night when, with no room to stay in, I slept on Venice’s train station steps with about a hundred other backpackers, the stars above us and the Grand Canal stretched out before us.

Would I trade that last memory for a safe, comfy night in an actual bed?  Not on your life.


The Giveaway

There is a blast-wide giveaway, ending February 6th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific, for:

  • 1 copy of LOVE, LUCY to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository – Int’l
  • 3 JANE posters (signed) – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SPOTLIGHT: Bridges Burned by Chris Cannon

BRIDGES_BURNED
Bridges Burned
By Chris Cannon
Going Down in Flames Series, Book Two
Don’t just fight the system…burn it. Since discovering she is a shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon on her sixteenth birthday (surprise!), Bryn McKenna’s world has been thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed”—part Red dragon and part Blue—means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking…But sneaking around
with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn’t a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally. Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it.
BUY IT ON AMAZON, ITUNES, BARNES AND NOBLE, & KOBO:
~*~ABOUT CHRIS CANNON~*~
Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures. Going Down In Flames is the first book in Chris Cannon’s shape-shifting dragon series.

 

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Stupid Boy by Cindy Miles

Title: Stupid Boy

Author: Cindy Miles

Series: Stupid in Love #2

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

From Cindy Miles, bestselling new adult author of STUPID GIRL, comes the next installment of her blockbuster Stupid in Love series – STUPID BOY. 

Brax Jenkins and Olivia Beaumont are the most envied couple at Winston University—but the so-called “virginity dare,” orchestrated by Brax’s old fraternity, almost tore them apart. Now, a new dare is taking shape, and it’s sure to set emotions ablaze–more than ever before.

Winston’s “It Girl” Harper Belle isn’t just president of the Deltas–she’s also a master at keeping her ugly past a secret. So, when the Kappas’ dare hits closer to home for her more than anyone realizes, she devises a competition of her own as payback. Three sorority sisters will seek out a notorious womanizer on campus and–unbeknownst their “mark”–secretly train him to be the perfect boyfriend. Always up for a challenge, Harper targets the biggest player she can find: Brax’s wickedly handsome foster brother Kane McCarthy.

But, Harper discovers there’s much more to Kane than girls, games, and partying. His easy smile belies the quiet, old soul reflected in his deep brown eyes. All it takes is one night, one secret laid bare, and one kiss from Kane to shift Harper’s world on its axis. Suddenly, the girl who’s always walked a straight and narrow path can’t think of anything else except losing control.

Pre-order:
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Excerpt
 
By the time I’d finished a very poor attempt at studying for an Art test and exited the library, the tell-tale signs of pending dusk had crept onto Winston’s manicured campus. The early November air felt crisp against my cheeks as it whisked through, rustling the leaves and sending several pirouetting to the ground to land in scattered colors on the grass like some strange abstract stained glass. Knowing darkness would soon swallow everything, I hurried to the campus coffee house and café that stayed open until midnight. Inside, students sat at tables studying, their laptops open, the light illuminating their faces and coffee cups by their sides. As I took my place in line I selected my usual pre-packaged turkey sandwich and a bottle of lemonade and stood, waiting to pay.
    “That’s all you’re eating?”
    I jumped at the voice behind me and turned to find Kane there. Instantly, my insides froze. He gazed down at me, his hands shoved into his pockets, those broad shoulders sort of hunching toward me, almost…cornering me; his eyes as worn and soft as the leather jacket he wore.
    “Um, yes,” I answered. I gave a hesitant smile. “Not very hungry, I guess.” What was he doing here? Suddenly I felt closed in—a feeling I avoided at all costs.
    “So what’s good here?” he asked. His Boston accent was heavy and void of the letter r, just like Brax’s, only…softer. Quiet. The kind of voice that you had to pay close attention to or else you’d miss what they were saying completely.
    I couldn’t believe he was talking to me. I shrugged, pretended he didn’t bother me, and held up my sandwich. “Turkey?”
    He said nothing as he lifted three turkey sandwiches from the cooler; his smoky gaze remained riveted to mine. Then, he bent his head close. “Kane McCarthy.”
    I looked at him then, taken back by how his voice washed over me and made my skin tingle. I forced myself to breathe; I wasn’t used to being in this kind of situation. Guys just didn’t go out of their way to talk
to me. I made sure of it. But I didn’t balk. I mean, after all—Kane was my potential reformation Dare. Right? Murphy’s words rushed back to me. Reform the barmy beast! I breathed. Smiled. Pretended. “Harper Belle.”
    Again, his eyes softened, and as we stepped up to the cashier he gave her a nod and inclined his head toward me. Before I could say a word, the cashier had rung our orders up together, and Kane handed her a twenty.
    I looked at him, embarrassed. “Oh no, really, that’s okay, you don’t have to—”
    Kane’s eyes moved over me. “Yeah,” he said quietly. “I do.”
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About Cindy

 

National bestselling author Cindy Miles writes edgy romance, ranging from contemporary love stories to sexy paranormals. A native of southern coastal Georgia, she loves reading (naturally), baking swoon-worthy desserts, traveling abroad, yoga, and classic rock. The cover for her upcoming New Adult romance, STUPID GIRL, was featured on USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog. In the novel, a volatile mix of bad boys, sassy smart girls, dark secrets, and red-hot romance add up to one wild ride through college.
Hang out with Cindy on her Facebook fan page at: https://www.facebook.com/officialcindymilesfanpage
Or check out her website: http://www.cindy-miles.com/

 

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Giveaway

Enter to win a bracelet and a digital copy of the book!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

GIVEAWAY: An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey

An Appetite for Violets

by Martine Bailey

Historical Fiction

Book Description

That’s how it is for us servants. No one pays you much heed; mostly you’re invisible as furniture. Yet you overhear a conversation here, and add a little gossip there. A writing desk lies open and you cannot help but read a paper. Then you find something, something you should not have found.

Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at the forbidding Mawton Hall, can’t wait to settle down with her sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries the young, enigmatic Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up into a world of scheming, secrets, and lies.

Forced to accompany her new mistress to Italy, Biddy takes with her an old household book of recipes, The Cook’s Jewel, in which she records her observations. When she finds herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, Biddy realises that the secrets she holds could be the key to her survival – or her downfall . . .

AN APPETITE FOR VIOLETS is an utterly compelling story of food, obsession and mystery, introducing a brilliant new voice in historical fiction.

About the Author

An amateur cook, MARTINE BAILEY won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge and was a former UK Dessert Champion, cooking at Le Meurice in Paris. Her recipes have appeared in many publications including Good Housekeeping, Olive Magazine and Green and Black’s Chocolate Recipes. Martine lives in Cheshire, England. This is her first novel.

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One reader will win a copy of the book, thanks to St. Martin’s Press! US ONLY please.

To enter, simply leave a comment letting me know your favorite flower. Winner will be chosen 2/1/15.

REVIEW: Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters

With the new year beginning and everyone going into healthy resolution mode, it’s the perfect time to change the way you snack.  Dark chocolate has been shown to provide heart health benefits, and everyone loves chocolate, right? With new Brookside Dark Chocolate Crunchy Clusters you can have your chocolate with a touch of fruit and love it!

Smooth dark chocolate, multi-grain clusters and alluring, fruit flavors create an enticingly delicious taste experience. Its unexpected crunch and texture like you’ve never experienced before.

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The clusters are nice in size, and of course some are bigger than others–but for a few you can take a couple of bites for them!

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While sometimes dark chocolate can be bitter or too dark, this one is just right.  I would love to try this in a milk chocolate variety, though.

The clusters have the perfect amount of crunch and are easily poppable.  Along with the crunch of granola, the clusters also contain pieces of juicy infused cranberry.  These are slightly tart and complement the chocolate and granola quite well.

Brookside Crunchy Clusters are a great way to make a small change to your snacking habits without sacrificing a ton of flavor!

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**DISCLAIMER: I received this product free for review purposes from Crowdtap.  I received no other compensation for this post, and all opinions and photos contained in this post are my own.

Hot Wedding Dress Trends of 2015

Are you ready to get married in 2015? Do you still have no idea about choosing which kind of wedding dress to walk down the aisle? How about following Cocomelody.com to see biggest gown trends in 2015? This professional online dress store compiles the standout fashion trends from Bridal Fashion Week for you. Broadly speaking, in the brand new year, an increasing number of simple and fluid shapes spring up to make it much easier for brides to fully show their elegance. Now, start your journey to appreciating those wow-worthy details!

1

Modern Minimalism
When it comes to the wedding dress, many of us will think about the word “bling”. But some of this season’s wonderful works have jumped out of the luxurious and gorgeous box of traditional wedding dresses and are tailored with clean lines, like the Cocomelody style below. (We can still feel a sense of gorgeousness from this minimalist dress). This kind of Americana aesthetic is very suitable for brides who want to be comfortable yet graceful on the big day.

2

Ethereal Ball Gowns
Ball gowns present a more ethereal and flowing look due to breezy fabrics and a more relaxing silhouette. When the bride wears such a light-as-air ball gown, she will feel comfortable and move freely.

3

Exaggerated Neckline Designs
Want to search for something more special than those popular strapless or sweetheart necklines? What about this one? The high-neck style in front matches with a plunging V-neck at the back to perfectly showcase the bride’s sexuality. This innovative design appears on various kinds of shows this season.

4

Sheer Magic
We are often captivated by optical illusions, such as flesh-colored netting bodice, silky stockings, sexy see-through underwear and etc. Take a look at this picture below. This mermaid style lace wedding dress shows off the bride’s hourglass figure and its sheer back gives us infinite imagination. Would you like to have a try?

5

Off-the-shoulder Design
Cocomelody.com found there are more off-the-shoulder designs than ever before on different fashion shows. Undoubtedly this style will gain popularity as it will easily create a sexy and romantic feeling and not only that, it has an extremely figure-flattering effect. Moreover, off-the-shoulder design is able to create a triangle shape, which instantly makes the slender waist a highlight.

6

Cool Tone’s Coming
Who says you must wear a white wedding gown? That touch of blush was favored by the majority of girly brides last season, but a rainbow collection of bridal wedding dresses of 2015 seems to give brides more unexpected selections. So why not break through the routine to display your personality?

California Store:
http://www.cocomelody.com/california-store

Netherlands Store:
http://www.cocomelody.com/netherlands-store

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Hellhole by Gina Damico

 Hellhole

by Gina Damico

YA Supernatural/Humor

Book Description

A devil is a bad influence . . .

There was a time when geeky, squeaky-clean Max Kilgore would never lie or steal or even think about murder. Then he accidentally unearths a devil, and Max’s choices are no longer his own. The big red guy has a penchant for couch surfing and junk food—and you should never underestimate evil on a sugar high. With the help of Lore, a former goth girl who knows a thing or two about the dark side, Max is racing against the clock to get rid of the houseguest from hell before time, and all the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos this side of the fiery abyss, run out. Gina Damico, author of the Croak series, once again delivers all the horror, hilarity, and high-stakes drama that any kid in high school or hell could ever handle.

 

 

MY THOUGHTS:

4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

 

Hellhole by Gina Damico

It’s my opinion that Gina Damico is one of the best modern YA authors in the biz right now. Her series Croak was hilarious, and I knew by the description that this book would be in the same vein of dark humor.

Max Kilgore is a dorky dude with a cool name. When he’s not working at the local convenience store, playing with his model dinosaurs, or hanging out with his one friend, he’s taking care of his ailing mother. Max would do anything to see her get better…and he gets his chance when he somehow frees a devil from hell.

First off, I really love novels written from a male’s point of view. They are so rarely done that I often seek them out. I like to get inside the mind of a guy and see how they are feeling in certain situations. Often I have found that they seem just as neurotic as women when it comes to some things.

Max isn’t exactly a loser, but he is a loner. He just doesn’t have the time or the interest to make friends. His best friend is actually his mom, which is sweet but also sad because the is on the verge of dying any day.

The devil in this story, Burg, is definitely one heck of a character. he has a penchant for video games, booze, unhealthy snacks, and hot tubs. The author does a nice job of making you feel that maybe he’s not too bad…and then hitting you with something heinous.

There is romance in this story, but don’t expect it to be sappy or saccharine sweet. Max knows he likes Lore, but often tells her to shut it or puts his foot in his mouth in other ridiculous ways. I’m not really sure why Lore stuck with him, actually, expect maybe that she saw through all his awkwardness and didn’t take his curtness personally.

I found the end to this novel pretty funny and unexpected, though it was very abrupt. I am on the fence about a couple of things, because it seems a lot of bad things had to happen for one good thing. But, maybe I have a little devil in me, because I think it was all worth it in the end.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Gina Damico is the author of Croak, Scorch, and Rogue, the grim-reapers-gone-wild books of the Croak trilogy. She has also dabbled as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker and breadmonger. A native of Syracuse, New York, she now lives outside Boston with her husband, two cats, and one dog, and while she has never visited hell in person, she has spent countless waking hours at the Albany Regional Bus Terminal, which is pretty darn close. Visit her website at www.ginadami.co.

WEBSITE | TUMBLR | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

| INSTAGRAM | YOUTUBE | GOODREADS

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We are giving away a Hardcover copy of HELLHOLE to TWO WINNERS
Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships.
Giveaway ends on January 21st at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

ALSO–A SPECIAL GIVEAWAY FROM GINA DAMICO!

Hey there book fans! I’m running a Follow Frenzy giveaway over the course of this blog tour, and the prize is pretty neato: a signed copy of HELLHOLE wherein each chapter will have a little bit of trivia and/or a doodle handwritten by yours truly. (Gina) (Damico) To enter, all you have to do is follow me on one or more of my various social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Youtube), then fill out this adorable little form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1MbfSsZCiALw_I_C7WpI0d71hPNe0b94Ot89sxFesUzM/viewform . That’s it! The more things you follow, the more chances you will earn to win. Good luck!

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The Tour Schedule

Week One

Jan. 5 – Xpresso Reads – Guest Post

Jan. 5 – Fiction Fare – Spotlight

Jan. 6 – Paranormal Book Club – Guest Post

Jan. 6 – Two Chicks on Books – Spotlight

Jan. 7 – A Dream Within A Dream – Review

Jan. 7 – Book Jems – Guest Post

Jan. 8 – BookHounds YA – Interview

Jan. 8 – YA Midnight Reads – Dual Review

Jan. 9 – Novel Novice – Guest Post

Jan. 9 – Consuming Worlds – Interview

Week Two

Jan. 12 – Once Upon a Twilight – Review

Jan. 12 – Book Sniffers Anonymous – Interview

Jan. 13 – No BS Book Reviews – Interview

Jan. 13 – The Best Books Ever – Review

Jan. 14 – Teen Readers’ Diary – Guest Post

Jan. 14 – The Book Bratz – Review

Jan. 15 – Sweet Southern Home – Review

Jan. 15 – Eli to the nth – Review

Jan. 16 – Bad Bird Reads – Guest Post

Jan. 16 – Crossroad Reviews – Review

 

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Son of Set by Kelsey Ketch

Title: Son of Set

Author: Kelsey Ketch

Series: Descendants of Isis #2

Genre: Upper Young Adult Fantasy

Publication: May 2nd, 2014

“. . . the Sons would never just let him go—alive.”

Seth O’Keefe has broken the laws of his god. He never thought he would sacrifice his own future to protect a Daughter of Isis. But when the Sons of Set discovered Natti is the Secret Keeper, he had no choice. Now, Seth and Natti are on the run from his father, who wants nothing more than to see Seth dead. With no allies, Seth turns to the Daughters of Isis for help, hoping they would protect Natti. But when they meet the Daughters, he discovers a secret that puts both their lives in more danger. Low on options, Seth sees only one possibility for survival. He must help Natti solve an ancient puzzle and find the secret name of Ra.

Natara “Natti” Stone is having a hard time swallowing the truth. She can’t believe what she has learned in the past twenty-four hours: Seth is a Son of Set blessed with charm; she is a Daughter of Isis blessed with a sliver of Ma ‘at; the locket her grandmother gave her holds an ancient Egyptian secret linking to Osiris and Isis. That along with being tortured and brutalized by the Sons of Set, she can hardly hold herself together. Thank God for Seth’s touch! That warm, tingling sensation that drowns it all out. Yet her heart struggles to stay focused. She must quickly embrace her destiny before the secret name of Ra falls into the wrong hands.

*Note: Content for Upper YA*

Purchase

 

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Excerpt•
Natti awoke and sat bolt upright in the bed, gasping for breath. Her heart raced and a headache flared right between her temples. The nightmare seemed incredibly real, Sean’s eyes and the dagger ingrained in her mind’s eye. Looking around the little hotel room, she pulled the sheets closer to her chest. She felt cold and alone in the queen-size bed, which only heightened her lingering fears. Everything appeared ominous in the dark; the shadows seemed to slither along the walls. These hauntings were eating her alive from the inside out.
 
Her pulse pounding wildly, she glanced at the second bed. Seth’s chest rose and fell under the blankets. He looked so peaceful, and though the idea seemed wrong, she knew she would feel much safer curled up in Seth’s arms, like back in the hospital when her friend, Wanda, had been drugged. She pictured herself resting her head on his chest, his warmth easing her back to sleep.
 
She knew she shouldn’t for a number of reasons, the top being he had the reputation of sleeping with half the girls at Setemple High School. And if it was true he had a power as mind-bending as a drug, then those girls, most likely, weren’t doing it of their own free will. The thought sickened her, yet it didn’t deter her need for his comfort. Was she becoming addicted, just like he had said? The Ma‘at feather or whatever “blessing” she had was supposed to protect her, but if it was, she couldn’t tell.
 
If I even have a “blessing” at all.
 
She pulled her knees up to her chest, wishing Seth had brought Anubis, the stuffed jackal he had given her at the Pharaoh’s Festival. It had become her most precious keepsake and a source of comfort when she felt lost and confused. She also wished Seth hadn’t surrendered the locket, which she never finished translating. At least that would have occupied her mind for a while as she tried to piece the family secret together. Except she already knew what the secret was, supposedly: the location of the secret name of Ra. And now it was in the hands of the cult Seth keeps referring to as the “Sons of Set” or the “Sons.”
 
The darkness seemed to continue to press in on Natti, making her restless. Wrestling with her conscience, she slipped out of her bed, lifted Seth’s covers, and crawled in. She was quiet and careful, trying not to wake him. Finally able to place her head on his pillow, she snuggled up next to him.
 
Her body jerked when his arm draped over her. “You have no idea how often I’ve dreamed of this moment,” Seth whispered in a drowsy voice.
 
He moved closer, slipping one arm under to support her head and shifting the other around her waist. His hand slid under her “Keep Calm and Carry On” nightshirt to massage her spine, his nimble fingers rotating in small circles over her skin. Natti snorted softly, secretly loving his touch and hating herself for it. The feel of his flesh was smooth as silk and every lean muscle flexed steadily while he moved his hand up behind her neck. Her body warmed, completely aware of every place their skin made contact. Thank the lord for her nightshirt and the Calvin Klein pajama bottoms Seth slept in. There was hardly any space between them, and yet, he managed to pull her even closer.
 
“So to what do I owe the pleasure?” Seth asked.
 
“I couldn’t sleep,” Natti breathed, her galloping heart drummed in her ears.
 
“Hmm.” A smile pulled at Seth’s perfect lips. “So you crawled in looking for some company?”
 
“Well, I would have stayed in my own bed, but you forgot to pack Anubis.”
A laugh rumbled in Seth’s throat. “What is it with girls and stuffed animals?”

“Oy, you gave him to me,” Natti shot back while slapping her hand against his chest. “And he’s been providing comfort when I need it ever since. But since you left him behind, you’ll just have to take his place.”
“I guess I can live with that.” Seth stroked the back of her neck, sending goose bumps over her skin.

The room was quiet. With no sight and no sound, Natti was only left with her heightened sense of touch and smell. She memorized Seth’s embrace; every little shift of his muscles and every little movement of his fingertips. The gentle heat that took her breath away slowly radiated through her system. She felt closer to Seth right now than she had ever felt with anyone in her life. Yet she hardly knew him. She knew who he was and even what he was, just nothing really about him. What music did he like? What kind of films did he watch? What was his favorite past time? Well, actually, she already had a sense what his answer would be to that last question just by knowing his reputation. Still, she wanted to know more. Rattling her brain for a conversation starter, she asked the simplest question she could think of.

“What’s your favorite color?”

He groaned in response and crinkled his brow. “Is that what it would have taken to get you into bed with me? Knowing my favorite color? We could have fixed that long ago.”

“No,” Natti hissed. “This is just a conversation. You know, something normal people do.”

“I know what a conversation is.” Seth’s perfect grin glistened in the dark. “There’s just other things I’d rather be doing in the middle of the night, like sleeping or . . .”

Natti’s cheeks burned when his hand moved south. “Bloody hell, Seth!” She pushed his hand back to the small of her back. “I’m talking about things like your favorite class subject, when your birthday is—”

“What’s my favorite color?” Seth mocked with a hidden smile, his exhaustion weighing in his voice.

“What about you? What’s your favorite color then?”

Taken aback by his abrupt turnaround, Natti sputtered her answer. “Red.”

“Hmm.” Seth fell silent, his eyelids drooping a bit. Natti shifted, thinking he had dozed off. She closed her eyes, his warmth gently pulling her into sleep.

“History. March fifteenth. Black,” Seth finally responded.

“Wait—What?” Natti jerked, now fully awake again.

“The answers to your questions.” Seth’s eyes opened, taking her in while they laid together in the dark. His hand skimmed her hair, pulling a lock toward him. “My favorite subject is history. My birthday is March fifteenth. And my favorite color is black, like the color of your hair.”

A smile pulled at Natti’s lips. “Is black even a color?”

“Hey, don’t knock it.” He paused, looking deep into her eyes. “I’ll admit, though, lately I’ve also become enamored with a unique shade of purple.”

Natti swallowed a lump forming in her throat. Seth leaned his forehead to hers, their noses touching. Even in the dark, his gaze captured her, drawing her full attention.

“You know how tempting it is to kiss you right now?” he said, an intense, fiery tingling sensation growing strong throughout her body.

Natti could barely speak as she melted into the sheets. She really wanted to kiss him. He was too tempting with his heat, his eyes, and the feel of his body conforming to hers.

A sudden flashback to the halls of Setemple High caused her to hold back and bite her lower lip. It had been her first kiss with Seth. The very thought of it still coursed fire through her veins. It had only been a distraction. A method he used to pickpocket her grandmother’s letter before abandoning her and leaving her in the hands of his friend, Ky.

“Don’t push it,” Natti mumbled. “Not after you used the last one to pinch from me.”His eyes searched hers, his voice deep with pain. “You really don’t remember then.”

Natti tried to think of what he was referring to. “Remember what?”

Seth attempted a charming grin, but it faltered. “Never mind. It wasn’t important.”

He lightened his touch, withdrawing a bit. The sensations that were running rapid finally eased. She watched Seth’s expression fill with disappointment, making her wonder what she had forgotten that had been clearly special to him.

She slipped her hand along his well-formed abs and over his chest. She could feel him shiver. Goose bumps appeared over his skin. Her own body also reacted to the touch, her skin prickling with little sparks. She froze when he caught her gaze, desire shining in his eyes like a beacon in the night. Reality struck, and it struck hard. She wanted him too.

“Maybe I made a mistake.” Natti’s body quivered, and she moved back. What had she been thinking, crawling into a guy’s bed? In a freaking hotel no less! What kind of impression does that give? “I shouldn’t have come over here. I’m sorry.”

Seth strengthened his grip, his voice tight with emotion. “No. It’s fine. Stay.”

A strange calm replaced her abrupt urge to run. She looked at Seth, feeling the tingle of magic under her skin. She was scared. She stupidly crawled right into his element, and she knew in her heart she was too weak to resist any advance. His fingers reached up and stroked her cheek. With the warm breeze from his touch, her excitement and fear were whisked away, leaving her to feel only a bliss that affected her very being. She lowered her body back into Seth’s arms. Her muscles relaxed into his embrace. She gave into the power, unsure if she was staying of her own free will or if he was controlling her actions. Either way, it was too late. She had stepped into his web, just like the oracle at the Pharaoh Festival had warned. But maybe if she kept him talking, nothing ominous would come of it.

Natti’s voice came out flustered when she finally spoke. “We used to talk about you. My mates and I, that is. Back in school.”

Seth perked up. “Really? What about?”

“Oh.” Natti tried to be sly with her words while thinking about Jen, Kevin, and Wanda. She missed them all very much. Even more than some of her friends back in London. “Different things.”

Seth raised a brow and smiled. “Like how devilishly handsome and extremely charming I am?”

“Actually, we couldn’t decide if you were a vampire, a werewolf, or a fae.”

“Say what?” Seth jerked. “What plebs have you been talking to?”

Natti rolled her eyes. “Well, you can’t really blame us. With your looks and how you charm most of the teachers and students, Jen figured you had to be paranormal.”

“And what did you think? Did you think I was a vampire or a werewolf?”

“No. I only thought you were a spoiled rotten rich kid whose only charm was his father’s money.” A malicious grin spread on her lips. “And I still stand by it.”

Seth crinkled his nose, smiled, and shoved her back slightly. Natti burst into laughter; her first real laugh since the day of the fire. Her body released all its tension in one fell swoop. The high was addicting, her adrenalin soaring to new heights. Finally, as her body became weary and calmed, she could still hear Seth laughing beside her. A laugh that was as soothing as Big Ben chiming out the time, giving her a sense of home. Natti basked in the sound until Seth abruptly faded from sight and Sean’s cold eyes flashed before her. She gasped and pushed away as the icy cold emptiness burned her insides.“Natti.” She felt Seth pull at her waist. “Natti, stop!”

________________________________________________About Kelsey

 

During her high school years,
Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall
or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps.
Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office
building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble Café in Cary, North Carolina.
She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at
Ketch’s Book Nook,
and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate.

For more information, please
visit her site at
kelseyketch.com.

 

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SPOTLIGHT: A Dark Road by Amanda Lance

Dark Road Banner
A Dark Road by Amanda Lance

BLOG TOUR

January 12-16, 2015

ADRCover

Not every friendship is as harmless as it seems.
Loner James McKay wants nothing to do with Hadley Grayson. After all, the last
thing a drug dealer needs is the pretty, new girl trying to be friends. Walking
distractions like her lead to trouble, the kind that can get you 10 to 15 behind bars.
Likewise, fencing champion Hadley Grayson isn’t thrilled about her family uprooting
her during her senior year of high school. At least there’s James McKay, the quiet,
mad scientist who is as adorable as he is mysterious.
Though McKay may reject the idea of friendship, he gets one whether he wants it or
not. But once the lies are told and the rumors spread, the dangers of meth making
and dealing are impossible to avoid. Between secrets and overdosing classmates,
McKay and Hadley will learn that loneliness can be a two-way street, changing both
of their lives forever.

BUY IT FOR ONLY 99 CENTS ON
AMAZON:

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~*~ABOUT AMANDA~*~

Amanda

A native of New Jersey and lifelong nerd, Amanda
Lance recently completed her Master in Liberal Arts at Thomas Edison State College
after her BA in English Literature and AFA in creative writing.
She currently resides in Easton Pennsylvania with her boyfriend and their spoiled
hound dog. She is a cliché booknerd who is terrible at math, clinically obsessive, and
prone to addictive behavior. She may or may not be a recluse.

SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: The International School Series by Chanel Cleeton

Title: I See London

Author: Chanel Cleeton

Series: International School Book #1

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.

When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.

Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.

____________________________________________________________
Title: London Falling
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Series: International School Book #2
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

We weren’t a relationship, we were a ticking time bomb…

Maggie Carpenter walked away from the hottest encounter of her life when she left the seductive glitz of England for summer break in her South Carolina hometown. Now that she’s returned to the International School in London—and sexy, privileged Samir Khouri is once again close enough to touch—she can’t help but remember the attraction, the drama … the heartbreak.

She can’t help but want him even more.

Samir can’t afford to fall for someone so far removed from his world, not when his time in London is running out. It’s his senior year—his last chance at freedom before he returns home to Lebanon. There, he’ll be expected to follow in his father’s footsteps—not follow his heart to Maggie. But when a scorching secret hookup becomes a temptation neither can resist, they’ll both have to fight to survive the consequences … and find a future together.

____________________________________________________________
Title: French Kissed

Author: Chanel Cleeton

Series: International School Book #3

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

On the surface, Fleur Marceaux has it all. If only the facade matched reality. With one year left at the International School in London, Fleur’s struggling to graduate, her love life is a mess, and she can’t stop thinking about Max, her ex-boyfriend’s best friend. But all that pales compared to the blackmailer determined to destroy her.

There’s a social hierarchy at the International School and Max Tucker is outside the velvet ropes. After watching Fleur break his friend’s heart, Max knows to stay away from trouble, despite the crush he’s had on her since freshman year. But when they’re partnered on a project, Max learns there’s more to Fleur than meets the eye, and she just might be worth the wild ride.

The more time they spend together, the further Max falls. And when a kiss awakens a passion Fleur never imagined, she’s unable to resist Max, who she had thought was all wrong for her but might be the only thing that’s right. But will he stand by her when her secrets are revealed?

____________________________________________________________
About Chanel

Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in Asia.

Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her fighter pilot husband.

She is the author of I SEE LONDON and LONDON FALLING, published by Harlequin HQN, FRENCH KISSED, and FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL, the first book in a new three-book series to be released by Penguin/Intermix in 2015.

 

 

__________________________________________________

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