Excerpt & Giveaway: Shattered Duty by Katie Reus

ShatteredDuty_100DPI (1)Shattered Duty  Synopsis:

A new novel from the author of Bound to Danger who “has the amazing ability of pulling the reader onto the front lines of the action and drama.” (The Reading Café)

When his wife was murdered two years ago, Special Agent Levi Lazaro turned his back on everything he cared about. Ever since, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. Now he’s finally uncovered the identities of those who killed his wife—and he’s ready to destroy them at any cost. He won’t let anything stand in his way—not even a beautiful NSA agent on a mission of her own.

Special Agent Selene Wolfe prides herself on being the best. Her fearlessness and quick-thinking make her the perfect person to take down a deadly terrorist cell. But she needs Levi’s help, and the moment he shows up, Selene knows her objectivity—and her heart—are in trouble.

As the two strike an uneasy alliance, Levi finds himself tormented by his desire for Selene—a feeling he thought long dead. But when their mission takes an unexpected turn, he finds himself at a crossroads. Can he put aside his need for revenge to save the woman who’s reawakened his soul?

excerpt

Damn it, what the hell was wrong with him? Levi resisted the urge to tug at his collar. It was cool outside but a slow-building heat had started deep inside him, making him question his sanity.

Levi nodded. “Selene what?” He wanted to know her last name, wanted to know everything about her. Which just pissed him off. His skin felt too tight for his body as his gaze strayed to those bee-stung lips. A woman didn’t have a right to be so damn beautiful. And he shouldn’t want her. He shouldn’t want anyone. Something dark settled in his chest and for a moment he wanted to drag up the horrific images that lingered on the edges of his consciousness practically twenty-four seven, but he shoved them back.

For once, he didn’t want to tumble into that deep abyss. He wanted to feel something other than the clawing pain, wearing down his insides every second of every day. That realization sent a sharp stab of guilt into his chest.

The woman started to answer but Alexander spoke. “My apologies, this is Selene Silva. She’s an old friend of mine,” he said, stressing the word friend as he looked at Allison.

It took Levi all of two seconds to register that name. Silva. Yeah, he recognized it and it pissed him off more than his attraction to the woman. “Alexander, will you please keep Allison company? I need to speak to your friend privately.”

Levi heard Alexander murmur his acquiescence as he and Allison stepped away. Without pause, Levi grabbed Selene’s elbow. Her eyes narrowed to slits at the unexpected touch. She started to pull away but he leaned in close so that their noses were almost touching. He wanted to see her eyes up close, to gauge if she was lying. “You’re working for Wesley? And don’t fucking lie. I know that name.”

She paused, but eventually nodded. “Yes.” He figured the only reason she was being honest was because she had no choice. Lying to him would serve no purpose.

“You think you can fucking take me down? Or maybe you thought I’d leave with you because of that hot body? I didn’t realize Wesley had gotten so desperate.” Levi glanced around, looking for other NSA agents, wondering how big of a team his old boss had sent in, as he mentally calculated his escape. He’d been beyond careful for so long but a few weeks ago he’d broken his own rules and reached out to Wesley because Levi had needed to give him the location of a terrorist group. Now he wanted to kick his own ass for his weakness. He’d probably led Wesley right to him.

To his surprise, the woman laughed, the throaty sound having the most annoying effect on his cock. He inwardly cursed himself as he met her gaze again. Those pale eyes filled with humor. “I’d heard you were arrogant. I didn’t know you’d be here and you’re the least of my worries,” she murmured as she pulled her elbow from his grasp.

“What?”

“I know who you are and I don’t care. Levi,” she whispered his name so low he barely heard. Then to his surprise, she turned and walked away, the sway of that tight ass making him positively stupid for a moment.

Copyright © 2015 Katie Reus

author

katie reusKatie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

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Excerpt & Giveaway: Ideal High by Valerie Ipson

Ideal High Banner

Ideal HighIdeal High by Valerie Ipson

Genre: YA contemporary

Published: February 24th, 2015

There’s no way Taryn’s taking Blake’s place as president of the student body. As soon as the memorial for him and six of their friends is over, she’s resigning as VP. Really.

Except people say the fire was no accident.

(She say it’s way too easy to blame someone who’s dead.)
When Taryn reads the writing on the wall, literally, the bathroom wall, she knows what it means. To get to the truth she has to come out from under her paisley comforter.


But, seriously, what stage of grief says Taryn has to be the one to fix what’s wrong at Ideal High? Maybe she’s the one who’s broken.

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Valerie

Valerie Ipson loves her family…and reading, writing, genealogy, and Hershey Milk Chocolate Almond & Toffee Nuggets. She lives in Mesa, Arizona, and IDEAL HIGH is her debut novel. Reading has always been a huge love in her life, but she never thought she’d be on the author side of a book. Valerie hopes she can give readers the same experience that she has enjoyed through the years while being curled up with a good book!

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excerpt

Whose idea is it to broadcast the super-size faces of those who died to the far reaches of the school’s auditorium? Everybody knows they’re gone. Why emphasize the obvious even for the sake of a memorial? And why no rain on this joyless day? Never a good Texas thunderstorm when you need one.

I force a glance at the pull-down screen behind me, but immediately turn to focus on the line where the ceiling meets the wall at the back of the room. I can’t bear to look into the crowd, but I can’t look at the screen either. A giant reminder that I will never see those faces again. Weeks of grief have left me numb, but I should have worn my hair down to give me something to hide behind. Just in case.

Light pours in through the ribbon of windows high along the back wall. It crisscrosses the podium, making me squint at the sheet of paper in front of me.

It doesn’t matter. I know the list by heart.

I blink through the glare and lean in to the microphone, not sure how loud I need to be. “Ashley Bannister.”

My voice echoes across the vast room. Plenty loud.

All eyes rivet on the screen and a kid from Drama Club tugs the rope of the school bell slowly and deliberately for maximum effect. It must have taken practice to get a perfect mournful clang.

The audience’s collective gaze swings to my right. To Chelsea standing at a matching podium, staring at her own list. She’s leaning heavy on her crutches, and on the podium, too. She needs both to keep her vertical, apparently. I’m just glad I don’t have to share the same half of the stage with her. As always, I need my distance. That hasn’t changed.

“Weston James Brown.” Chelsea’s lips tighten into a thin line. I’m amazed she gets the name out. The bell sounds again, even more slowly than the first time, and a chorus of sniffles and muffled sobs grows slightly louder.

I measure my breathing and tap my fingers along the edge of the sheet of paper in front of me. I have to keep my hands busy, distracted. Maybe if I keep moving I won’t think too hard about the next name.

I switch to rubbing my palms up and down the sides of my pants. I just can’t look at Kayla’s parents who sit with my mom and dad in the front row. I pause too long and the principal clears his throat behind me. Very cliché, Mr. Myers. Doesn’t he get that this is beyond difficult?

“Kayla … Marie … Carter.” I speak her name to the back wall then take up tapping on the podium again. But not so loud anyone can hear. So much for avoiding the faces on the screen. All that loops through my brain is Kayla’s wide smile.

Quit worrying, Taryn. Blake’s not getting back with Chelsea, Kayla had said that night after the party. I’ll go find him for you and you’ll see I’m right. Then she walked right back into the old Gin Co. building.

Why was I forced to do this? I’m not the one who should be speaking the names of the dead in front of all these people. The list reads like the school’s Who’s Who, and I have no business pretending I’m one of them.

Except for him. How many more names until his? I’d scanned both versions as soon as they were held out to us, snatching the one with his name among those highlighted. Chelsea has no right to it, to him. Not like I do. At least that’s what I tell myself.

The light flickers from behind me, so I know they’ve moved on to the next abnormous face. A face that should be in the yearbook, not on a screen at a memorial.

A moan rises from the second row, competing with the plaintive tones of the bell. Plaintive? Where’d that come from? Now I’m conjuring up junior year Vocab?

One of Chelsea’s crutches bangs against her podium. I can’t help shooting her a sideways glance. She’s still hunched forward. Definitely struggling and the service is just getting started.

Thankfully, I don’t have to maneuver crutches and the names in front of me. Still, I will it to be over. My knotted stomach begs for it, and the fetal-position imprint on my bed is only growing colder. Who knows how long Principal Myers will feel obligated to address the assembled after our part is done?

Chelsea finally speaks, but the name comes out in a hiccupped sob. The noise of a bump, then a scrape carry through the sound system when she adjusts her crutches again.

“Keisha Lambert.” I blurt it out when it’s my turn, afraid to get stuck on a name again. I shut my eyes and try to erase the image that the crowd views behind me. Her exotic-for-small-town, multi-color-ed cornrows and pierced eyebrow, her excitement at being named cheerleader last May.

Chelsea reads the next name, verbally struggling yet again. It’s understandable. She and Becca Martin were closer than sisters.

My throat tightens when I move in closer to the mic, but I’m determined not to lose it like Chelsea. Fixating on the list, I draw in a breath and the amplification of it hits the back wall. I cover my mouth, but it doesn’t hide my embarrassment. The faces of the crowd blur, and all I can see is Blake’s, creased with alarm as flames leap out of the building behind him.

Don’t turn to look at the screen. Say his name, but don’t look at his face. I hesitate, wanting — needing to. Wishing I could ask him the questions that plague me. They all start with “Why?”

Chelsea’s crutches bump and scrape again, sending javelins of adrenaline into the pit of my stomach. I drop both hands onto the podium in front of me. I suddenly need something to hang onto.

Just say it. Say his name loud and strong. He deserves that. My lips brush the microphone and I taste metal.

“Blake Austin Montgomery.”

His name erupts from my mouth and startles the crowd. The hushed crying and sniffling silences for a moment as if proper tribute to the late student body president mandates it.

Ignoring the looks from the audience, I clench the neatly-typed names on the paper into a fist. Relief surges through me now that my part of the program is over.

But it isn’t over, not really. The memorial is only the beginning of what was supposed to be the perfect senior year.

Blake, the object of my years-long crush, and I were a couple. Sort of.

We’d been elected student body officers — president and vice-president. We spent the entire last month of school sitting in homeroom eating doughnuts on the sly, discussing senior year. True, Blake had done most of the talking and me a lot of nodding, but he intended for us to be a couple, right? I was his date to Junior Prom. That has to mean something.

I head to my seat on the stage, avoiding Chelsea’s eyes as the too-tanned blonde hobbles over to drop into the chair next to me. The principal takes my place at the podium on the left.

“I want to thank these ladies for volunteering for this assignment.” He nods in our general direction, before addressing the audience. “As you know, Taryn Young will step into the position of student body president and Chelsea Manor as head of the cheerleading squad.”

Volunteered? Yeah, right. I stare at my shoes, afraid to look anyone in the eyes. I’m on stage by default. I’m the only one of the newly-elected class officers to survive the fire. But more than that I am a fraud. An abnormous fraud. An enormous abnormal fraud.

I would have never run for vice president if Blake hadn’t talked me into it. The position full-out scared me, but how could I turn him down? Ever since that day in homeroom when he first noticed the doughnut glaze on my shirt sleeves, I couldn’t tell the difference between dream and reality anymore. They were the same. Now I wish I could erase the nightmare, or better yet, rewind it all so the night of the Ideal Gin Co. fire never happened.

I squirm in my seat, trying to get comfortable as Mr. Myers’ words buzz through the sound system. No rewinds. No do-overs. Now I sit with the only other survivor of the fire in front of an auditorium full of people with questions. Why Taryn Young, they must be thinking? Why not my son or daughter, my sister or brother? No, just Taryn and Chelsea. A cruel reminder of those who hadn’t made it out alive.

Things like this don’t happen at my school. Not in a town called Ideal, Texas.

I half-listen as the principal begins his concluding remarks. “The first day of class is one week from today and counselors will be available. Line up outside Ms. McKinney’s door, no appointments needed. Our goal is to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. Let’s not forget,” he stresses, “here at Ideal High School we have a long-standing tradition of unity, pride, and respect. This will carry us through.”

I just want to crawl back into bed where only my pillow hears me scream.

“What about my brother?” A masculine voice coming from the side of the stage jars me. From the shadowed steps, the voice addresses the principal again. “You didn’t call out his name. Isn’t he good enough for your program?”

A figure steps into the stage lights. He wears faded jeans and a gray plaid shirt with sleeves rolled up and shirt tails hanging. The thud of cowboy boots punctuates his step as he edges closer to the podium opposite the principal. He’s about my age, and I can’t help noticing the square confidence of his shoulders, despite the pain that ruts his brow.

“My brother died in the fire, too.”

“Who’s that?” hisses Chelsea. She doubles over like she’s in pain, but maybe she’s just trying to get a better look. The same question seems to vibrate across the auditorium.

I fix my eyes on the intruder. I can’t wrap my brain around his claim. I know everyone who was at Ritter’s Crossing that night where the crumbling old cotton gin had stood for a hundred years before the fire destroyed it.

Mr. Myers takes a step toward the young man. “May I help you after the service? We’re almost finished here.”

“You can help me. You can have one of these pretty girls with their expensive clothes and neon-white teeth stand at the microphone and shout out Tim’s name.” The stranger’s voice breaks, but he continues, “He’s important, too, even though no one knows his name.”

“Son, please,” Mr. Myers begins again. “Let’s discuss this afterwards in my office. I’m sure we can clear up any misunderstanding.”

I sense movement among the faculty members sitting on the stage around me, but I don’t take my eyes off the stranger. Mr. Myers seems unruffled, but my mood moves quickly from confusion to irritation. Who is this guy? Who’s his brother?

“Let me do it. Then I’ll leave y’all alone.” He reaches the podium where Chelsea stood moments before. The mic’s movement grates through the sound system when he pulls it to him, and I slide to the edge of my seat. I have to admit, now he’s really got my attention.

“He was my younger brother. My only brother.” The guy turns away from the mic, momentarily pressing his left thumb and index finger to his eyes. Mr. Myers motions for the others to hold back as the young man continues. “Sure he was new, an easy target for bullies. But he was a student here.”

His words are half-whispers now where before he had been practically shouting. “Can’t you say his name? Can’t you give him even that much?”

The guy takes a deep breath. His next words echo across the room, calm and clear. “Timothy Wade Jenks.”

He turns, steps straight to the bell, and grabs the rope. Yanking it, he sends a single deafening bong reverberating across the room. He pauses, head bowed, then disappears down the same steps from which he came, leaving behind a brief, bewildered silence.

As the auditorium door closes behind him, the room erupts into chaos.

 

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Review: Irreparably Broken by H. D’Agostino

Irreparably broken coverMadison Kennedy has always seen herself as damaged goods. Her ex-boyfriend, Richard, told her on a daily basis that she was worthless. After a tumultuous three year relationship, Maddie finally decided to leave behind the bruises and hurtful words only to find herself scared and alone. Five years have passed, and it still seems like yesterday.
Cole Walker grew up in a household where it was okay to hit. His father used him, his mother, and sister as punching bags when he didn’t get his way. Cole learned early on that life wasn’t always fair. Aside from his best friend, Wes, no one knew his deepest secrets. He thought he’d never escape the nightmare until one day he decided to fight back.
After several chance encounters, Cole and Maddie realize they have more in common than either one could have guessed, but both are afraid that if they open up they’ll scare the other away. Can two broken individuals find peace with each other? Can love heal a cracked soul? Will Cole’s secret past ultimately drive Maddie away?
This book is recommended for readers 18 years or older. It contains adult content, profanity, and graphic sexual encounters.

 

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Madison is a woman still trying to heal after leaving an abusive boyfriend five years ago.  Cole is a man who has successfully turned his life around despite being abused as a child.  To be honest, I do not usually go for a story with these types of characters.  Domestic violence and child abuse are certainly triggers for many readers, and it was difficult getting to know what this couple went through before meeting each other.  That said, I liked that we are introduced to Maddie and Cole as adults, and it is through flashbacks and private conversations that we learn their histories.

When we meet Maddie, she is an introverted veterinarian.  Cole is a cocky personal trainer at a local gym.  They first cross paths at a dog park, and their friendship begins as they run in to each other around town.  They are certainly opposites.  Their friends Erin and Wes help facilitate their relationship because they sense Maddie and Cole make a good match.

Maddie takes self defense classes from Cole, and it is through these lessons that she begins to let him in – which is very difficult for both of them.  She has serious trust issues and doesn’t like being touched and he is smitten from the get-go and is incredibly patient as she very slowly lets her guard down.  His persistence and ability to not take her actions personally are just what she needs to gain traction in their relationship.  Once they get there, however, it is a sweet romance and you sincerely root for them.  Just as things look good, their pasts come back to haunt them to threaten what took so long to build. Irreparably Broken ends in a cliffhanger, and I will be reviewing Book 2, Saving Us, later this week.

Overall I enjoyed this story of broken people helping each other heal and find love.  There are things, however, that didn’t sit well: mistakes in spelling, grammar and missing/wrong words always make me pause, and the disruption to the narrative is disappointing.  Also: I had a hard time connecting with Madison.  She is a good depiction of abuse victims unable to trust others; her defensive attitude, speech, stance and actions are a constant throughout the book.  The crippling fear she has of dating drives her personality. While her back story certainly explains it all, I found myself frustrated with her the majority of the time for failing to give Cole the benefit of doubt.    This made their love story start and stop repeatedly – while this is authentic, it is also wearisome in a contemporary romance.  Lastly, there are chapters that tell the same scenes from different points of view.  I usually enjoy that, but the dialogue between Madison and Cole is identical each time.  It feels too much like déjà vu instead of a new perspective on a conversation.

These opinions are my own, and other reviewers disagree on these points.  I encourage you to read the book for yourself.  Taken as a whole, I found this book to be a good story about the power of love to heal broken spirits.  It is a good illustration of how people overcome fear, doubt, guilt, and pain to find hope, joy, life and peace.

 

author

heather d'agostinoHeather D’Agostino is the author of the Second Chances series and the Shattered Trilogy. She writes contemporary and new adult romance set in Boston and New York. Heather has always enjoyed creative writing, but never pursued it as a career option. Born and raised in Harrisburg, NC she received a BA in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. After teaching for six years, she decided to leave the profession to be a stay-at-home mom. After finding the world of Fan Fiction, Heather decided to “get her feet wet” in the literary world. With much encouragement and inspiration from the Fan Fiction world, she made the decision to publish her work. Heather prides herself in the fact that the books in the Second Chances series have real life situations with believable characters. These characters could be your best friend or your next door neighbor. Her first book, Unbreak Me, has been welcomed with open arms into the self-published community giving her the encouragement needed to continue to pursue this dream. Heather currently lives in Syracuse, NY with her husband, two children, two dogs, and three cats. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching sports, and playing chauffeur for all her children’s activities. You can follow Heather on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/H.DAgostino.Author or at hdagostinobooks.weebly.com

Excerpt & Giveaway: Only Forever by Cristin Harber

Aonlyforeverbout ONLY FOREVER

The fourth and final installment of the Only series. Must be read in order.

There comes a time when Emma must face the secret she kept from Grayson. But she never thought it would be while she stood on stage at Emerald’s. The seconds she has to convey that her life is in danger are lost in the devastation that she sees rip through him.

She pinches her eyes closed. “Don’t leave me. No matter how mad you are, please, please don’t leave me here alone.”

But there’s more on the line than just Emma’s safety. There’s the danger that brought Titan’s Delta team in to the strip club in the first place. A threat that’s too close to home, too close to the family, the daughter and woman Grayson plans to claim.

I push away the sudden spring of fear. Life’s too unknown, with hidden enemies and unseen terrors. The idea that I could lose her again… it’s unbearable.

A love story like Grayson and Emma needs a forever love, and somehow they’ll find their way to her fairytale.

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excerpt

Her delicate hand wipes away the tears, and she carefully takes a step forward. “I was going to tell you.”

“Why?”

She bites her lip. “Please yell at me later. Leave me later—”

“Ems—”

“I’m in trouble.”

My skin prickles. “What?”

She looks above my head, around the room. “I tried to leave.”

“You’re forced here?”

“No.”

“No? Christ. Emma, why?”

“I saw—” She cuts herself off and steps closer. “Why are you here?”

“Work.”

She pinches her eyes closed. “Don’t leave me. No matter how mad you are, please, please don’t leave me here alone.”

“What the hell is going on?”

Again, her eyes dart above me. She’s guarding herself, watching her words.

Knock, knock, knock.

Emma pivots to the door, trembling enough that I can see it despite her clothes.

I push through the anger, the guilt, and all of the questions about her past and concentrate on the scared girl in front of me. “What’s going on?”

“Just act normal.”

 

If you need to catch up on the Only series, you can start with ONLY FOR HIM here!

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Cristin HarberCristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.

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New Release: Saving Us by H.D’AGOSTINO

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synopsis

Our lives are filled with moments… Some that define us, and some that change us.

Madison Kennedy has been running from her past for years. She never thought any man could love her after Richard spent years tearing her down.

Then she met Cole…

Cole Walker did the unthinkable to protect his family, and has been carrying his secret deep inside himself since he was a teen.

What happens when the one we love pushes us to open those long buried fears? Will it make us stronger? Will it break us farther? Will we fight for the future we deserve?

Can Cole convince Maddie that she’s worth saving, or will fear step in and cause her to run? Find out in Saving Us.

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New Release: Evanescent by Carlyle Labuschagne

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Carlyle LabuschagneCarlyle is an South African award winning author, with a flair for mixing genres and adding loads of drama to every story she creates. For now she is happy to take over the world and convert non Sci-fi believers.

Her goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another by delivering strong messages of faith, love and hope within every outrageous world she writes about.

“I love to swim, fight for the trees, and am a food lover who is driven by my passion for life. I dream that one day my stories will change the lives of countless teenagers and have them obsess over the world literacy can offer them instead of worrying about fitting in. Never sacrifice who you are, it’s in the dark times that the light comes to life.”

Carlyle used writing as a healing tool and that is why she started her very own writers support event – SAIR bookfestival.

“To be a helping hand for those who strive to become full times writers, editors, bloggers, readers and cover artists – it’s a crazy world out there you don’t have to go it alone!”

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EvanescentTitle: Evanescent
Author: Carlyle Labuschagne
Series: A Broken Novel
Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing
Release Date: 19th May 2015
ISBN: 9780992244637

Synopsis (Back blurb)
Her fall has just begun. Only his touch can save her from the shift that could destroy it all. Within my blood runs a thing our kind calls the Shadowing Disease. It shadows over, and bends everything to its will. When the first blood- shift came, it tore through flesh and blood, threatening to bend me, break bone, shatter my mind and entrap my heart with its honeyed, seductive poison. It came with vicious intent, moving my thoughts and altering me forever. The shift has caused a rift within me. No one was safe when it entrapped me in its claws of foul lust. But I have the only antidote against the evil that becomes me – his touch alone has the power to release the spurs of sweet darkness that clung on for dear life. I knew what I had to do; the desperation pulled my mind with the deep determination of a hungry predator. By the time the revelation raised me from the dark dungeon of my bounds – it might have been too late.

evan meme

 

excerpt

My makers would say I was created for revenge. I say, I was born to prove them wrong. I defied the Council and its Keepers.  Fought back against the dark magic of our enemies, but I am afraid it had come at a cost.          Inflicted with the dark disease, I was lost in every possible way; and they were wrong – death does not bring you your true purpose. After death, I am more misplaced than ever, but only because I am immune to guidance. I relive my darkest moments over and over again, just to remind myself of who I am.

I am the destined one. The haltered. For me, there is no love and no release, only destruction; but I am on a path to be free of its burden. I do love and I will have it, absorb it and never, ever, let all its enchanting affections go. In order to be with love, there is only one path to lead me there; through this war. But nothing and no one knows what awaits on the other side, or what lies have been afflicted upon us about the after. Remorse is an infection I no longer want. I had made apocalyptic mistakes, and will probably keep on faltering forward. It has become my only direction in a reality where there is none. To him, there is no him, if there is no me. He is bound to me, and I hated it more than I will ever confess. His cross to bear is me, and to be that – to be this – is a curse I must fight.

When the first true blood-shift came, it tore through flesh and parted blood, threatening to bend me, break bone, shatter my mind and entrap my heart to become its will. It comes with vicious intent, moving my thoughts and touching me with a cutting effect from the inside. It has many ways of bleeding out, and when it releases, there is nothing I can do to stop it. No one is safe when it entraps me in its claws of foul lust. Corrupt, damnable, depraved, destructive, hideous, demonic; your kind would call it many things. I have a weapon against the profane that becomes me – his touch alone has the power to release the talons of a sweet darkness that clings on for dear life. It has one trigger – my guilt. I can change it if only I can take the leap, surrender myself utterly. I am ready with all of me, for all of him.

I know what I have to do, the desperation of it pulls my mind with the unfathomable determination of a ravenous predator. I let it sink in hard and true. I feel the swell of the fight fill me with a bitter sweetness, and with a glorious soothing pain that tears my mind from the disease which transforms me. My loss has become my fight as I watch it all wither away. But, I will never stop fighting. I am my own destiny; my destiny is to be with him. And the Truth-seekers of this prophecy will not take it lightly.

Everything else becomes Evanescent.

~ Ava.

New Release Giveaway: Only Forever by Cristin Harber

of-releasedayThe final part in Grayson and Emma’s epic love story is available now! Grab ONLY FOREVER by Cristin Harber today! And if you missed the first part of their story, you can read ONLY FOR HIM here!


Aonlyforeverbout ONLY FOREVER

The fourth and final installment of the Only series. Must be read in order.

There comes a time when Emma must face the secret she kept from Grayson. But she never thought it would be while she stood on stage at Emerald’s. The seconds she has to convey that her life is in danger are lost in the devastation that she sees rip through him.

She pinches her eyes closed. “Don’t leave me. No matter how mad you are, please, please don’t leave me here alone.”

But there’s more on the line than just Emma’s safety. There’s the danger that brought Titan’s Delta team in to the strip club in the first place. A threat that’s too close to home, too close to the family, the daughter and woman Grayson plans to claim.

I push away the sudden spring of fear. Life’s too unknown, with hidden enemies and unseen terrors. The idea that I could lose her again… it’s unbearable.

A love story like Grayson and Emma needs a forever love, and somehow they’ll find their way to her fairytale.

iBooks (more links coming soon)

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excerpt

“You’ve always been by my side. From the day we met. And God knows there were years of secrets and storms and pain and tears, until I came out the other side.”

“Gray…”

“I’m a better man, and I exist for you, for us.” I hold my breath and watch her silence. My chest hurts; my lungs burn. My throat is tight as I choke on the decades’ worth of sentiment. “I love both of you so deeply that my survival, my sanity, would be gone if I couldn’t be yours.”

My voice cracks, and her lips find mine. It’s a soft kiss but packs a powerful punch. She whispers, “We’re yours forever.”

giveaway

Enter to Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card! Click Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

author

Cristin HarberCristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Team Titan Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

You can become a Titan Agent for exclusive scenes, details, and more! Visit the official Titan website here!

Text TITAN to 66866 to sign up for exclusive emails!

Character Interview: Eve Collins of The Revelation Series by Randi Cooley Wilson

20 Questions with Eve Collins,

heroine of The Revolution Series

Actress: Odette Anable as Eve Collins

Actress: Odette Anable as Eve Collins

1. What would you order if you walked in a Starbucks?

I love that this interview begins with this question. A grande java chip, no whip, extra shot of espresso.

2. What kind of shoes are you wearing?

My favorite pair of boots, Frye’s Shirley Shield tall boot in fawn. They were a huge splurge but I love them and wear them almost daily so I guess they’ve paid for themselves.

3. What is your most treasured possession?

Last year for Christmas, Asher gave me this silver necklace of a feather lying on it’s side. I love it, not only because he gave it to me, but because my guardian, Elizabeth, made it.

4. What is on your nightstand right now?

A lamp, my coconut-vanilla lip gloss, my daggers, and a photo of Elizabeth and I paddle boarding.

5. If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living, dead or imaginary), who would it be?

Cleopatra because she was only 17 when she took the throne, a year younger than I am and she became incredibly powerful. I love that she’s known for her beauty, charm, intelligence and willpower. It would be so amazing to pick her brain.

7. What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.

8. What impression do you make when people first meet you?

I’m not sure. I think most people would say I’m plain, girl-next-door-normal, nothing special. Perhaps even a bit standoffish.

I’m surprisingly shy and get tongue twisted pretty easily when you ruffle my feathers.

Actor: Dean Geyer as Asher St. Michael

Actor: Dean Geyer as Asher St. Michael

8. Favorite color?

Recently I’ve come to love black.

9. If you had a free day with no responsibilities, what would you do?

Bask in freedom. I would take Asher and we’d go to the movies, eat a hot dog, and maybe take a nap in freshly cut grass, under the warmth of the sun. I would just be, you know?

10. Favorite place you have traveled?

London. Of course.

11. What do you like best about yourself?

My stubbornness.

12.  What do you like least about yourself?

My stubborness (laughs).

13. Favorite genre of music?

Folk, Rock Music like Mumford and Sons.

14. Favorite subject in school?

Humanities.

15. Righty or Lefty?

Righty.

16. Biggest Pet Peeve?

Not being heard or taken seriously. I also hate goblins.

17. What makes you laugh out loud?

Callan’s aprons, I mean truly.

18. What would your last meal be if you were on Death Row?

Authentic Mexican nachos with tons of guacamole and fresh pico de gallo. Oh and maybe carne asada crispy tacos with sour cream. Can I have a margarita if I’m on death row? If so, a few of those, too.

19. Have any pets?

Does a shape-shifting panther count?

20. Do you keep a diary or journal?

I don’t.

Thank you so much for having me today, it’s been a lot of fun.

**The Book Beacon is a huge fan of The Revelation Series!  Check out our reviews of Revelation, Restraint and Redemption… our review of Book 4: Revolution will be posted May 31, 2015.

Cover Reveal: Catalyst by Casey L. Bond

Catalyst
By- Casey L. Bond
Genre- YA Dystopian
Expected Publication Date- June 3rd, 2015
 
The city of Confidence is surrounded by a thick, concrete wall. These walls are built to protect those within and to keep dangers outside. What happens when the only danger to the citizens within is its leadership?
 
When a young man on a suicide mission meets a young woman with a terminal illness, both of them use one another as a means to their own ends. They never expect to become friends. They never expect to become so much more to each other. Their backgrounds and the secrets they uncover are more dangerous than any plans they could make together or separately.
Revolution begins with a spark.
 

Continue reading

#MustRead Review & $1K Giveaway: Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey

A moving debut novel about two mothers—one biological and one adoptive—from a compelling new voice in Southern women’s fiction.

DearCarolinaCoverHighResOne baby girl.
Two strong Southern women.
And the most difficult decision they’ll ever make.

Frances “Khaki” Mason has it all: a thriving interior design career, a loving husband and son, homes in North Carolina and Manhattan—everything except the second child she has always wanted. Jodi, her husband’s nineteen-year-old cousin, is fresh out of rehab, pregnant, and alone. Although the two women couldn’t seem more different, they forge a lifelong connection as Khaki reaches out to Jodi, encouraging her to have her baby. But as Jodi struggles to be the mother she knows her daughter deserves, she will ask Khaki the ultimate favor…

Written to baby Carolina, by both her birth mother and her adoptive one, this is a story that proves that life circumstances shape us but don’t define us—and that families aren’t born, they’re made…

giveaway

sdc giveaway 2

Kristy Woodson Harvey is offering a $1,000 Shop Design Chic Shopping Spree to one lucky winner. (www.shopdesignchic.com)

To enter: Send proof of purchase of Dear Carolina (photos are fine!) to readdearcarolina@gmail. Every book is an extra entry!

Also receive a free e-copy of the Dear Carolina Companion cookbook, full of favorite Southern recipes from renowned bloggers and family members, and Dear Carolina printable quotes just for entering!

review1

Knotted Heart

I have a friend who always starts a book by reading the last chapter first.  I tease her about how silly it is to know the ending before beginning Chapter One, but she swears that the story is better when you know where it is headed.  I am still not convinced, but I must made an exception with Dear Carolina.  You know how this book ends early on, and it is sincerely wonderful watching the pieces fall in place as the story unfolds.

The birth mother and adoptive mother take turns narrating the events surrounding Baby Carolina – it reads like a shared diary / love letter to their daughter.  The friendship between Khaki and Jodi is full of “the feels,” southern sayings,  laughs, and the power of perseverance.  The character of each woman is beautifully fleshed out in her voice, vocabulary and experiences.  Both narratives are extremely well written, and it is a joy to learn how their paths merge as they each do what is best for the baby.

Dear Carolina is an authentic depiction of Southern life, a Mother’s selfless love, complex family dynamics, finding inner strength and how “sometimes you cain’t make a dream come true all by yourself.”

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Southern lit, unconventional friendships and really, truly good stories that will stay with you long after the last page.  Congrats to author Kristy Woodson Harvey on her tremendous debut novel; we wish her only the best!  We cannot wait to read future titles from this talented writer.