Tag Archives: young adult

“Dating the It Guy” by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Blonde student worried about exams

Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager

YA contemporary romance

Published by Clean Reads

Blurb:

Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator’s son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon’s world and it doesn’t help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren seems determined to get back into his life along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you’re dating the it guy.

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HdfnUqZPKU

Short Excerpt:

“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”

“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.

Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”

“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.

“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”

I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?

“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.

Long Excerpt: He put the magazine between us, and when I moved forward to see it, he put his arm across the back of my chair. Now lots of guys did put their arms on chair backs, even Kirk did that with Rory, and he definitely wasn’t interested in her, but I couldn’t help but hope it meant something. I got this shivery feeling, and he asked if I was cold. I shook my head. I always got a feeling before something major was about to happen, and it has nothing to do with being cold, but I didn’t know why I got the feeling. Grandma used to do the same thing and always said, “Somebody just walked across my grave.” Somehow I didn’t think Brendon would understand if I told him I needed to move my future burial plot to a less high-traffic area.

“Are we still on for the art fair?” he asked.

I had only been circling it with hearts on my calendar since he asked.

“Sure, I think I’m still free,” I said.

We finished up our work, and he walked me out to meet Kylie.

“Okay, I’ll pick you up at three tomorrow,” he said, walking off.

“Can I ask a stupid question?” Kylie asked as soon as Brendon was out of earshot. “What’s he like? Because he’s so well-known, and I can’t imagine what it’d be like to grow up with your whole life under a microscope. I mean, my mom remembers his first birthday party pictures being shown on the news. And he’s hot, but he’s not like I-know-I’m-a-hottie hot, but more like a confident, ‘Yes, I am hot. Any questions?’ I mean, he has to have noticed there aren’t any guys who look like him walking around.”

“I should tell him what you said.”

“Don’t you dare,” Kylie said.

“I get what you mean—he’s grown up with everybody knowing his dad and watching him, but he’s pretty down to earth.”

“So what’s up with you two? You guys didn’t do any work last Saturday, and now you’re going to an art fair.”

“I dunno. He just asked me to go with him.”

“Asked you to go with him as his study buddy or asked you to go with him because he’s desperately in love with you?” she asked.

I said we were just friends, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“Okay, duh, obviously I like him, but let’s be honest. He’s out of my league. He’s out of most people’s league. It’s weird because normally if I like a guy then one of two things happens—either he likes me and asks for my number…or I find out he’s not into me and I cry in my pillow and listen to man-hating music for at least three days,” I said. “But this time’s different because he’s, I dunno, not just ‘some guy.’ I mean, I’m not putting up a shrine to him in my room, and I haven’t rooted though his garbage can, but I have as much chance of going out with him as Kirk does of getting an ‘A’ in this class.”

“You listen to man-hating music?” she asked, and I narrowed my eyes at her. “Whatever. Anyway, Em, he’s asked you out once already, and you are seeing him tomorrow. Plus, he’s always staring at you.”

I said he was probably just bored in class today, but she wouldn’t let it go.

“I’m not just talking about today. When we watched the movie on Monday, he watched you instead, and whenever I see you guys, he acts like there’s no one else in the room,” she said.

I couldn’t hold back the big, stupid smile spreading across my face. “He does? For real?”

She nodded. “You know, it’s weird. Here you were all upset you didn’t have a partner at the beginning of the semester, and then you ended up with like, Mr. Perfection, as your partner.”

Purchase:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XBFRX47

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2m5y9OC

​itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dating-the-it-guy/id1208876011?mt=11

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dating-the-it-guy

Smashwords:  www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=Dating+the+It+Guy

Follow Krysten

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClIQCsRcKc97-25oXvabZ8A

Bio: Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, ​Krysten is a also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes young adult, middle grade, new adult, and adult fiction as well as humor essays. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows (she’s addicted to American Dad to the point where she quotes episodes on a daily basis and also loves Girl Meets World). She’s also a third generation Detroit Lions fan.

Krysten writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, and Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2). Her debut novel, True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times and on Living Dayton.

Praise for Dating the It Guy:

“A sweet, endearing story—you’ll fall in love with Emme just like I did!”

–Kimber Leigh Wheaton, YA/NA author

“Hager’s authentic characters will resonate with readers of all ages as they are immersed in the story  – complete with teen drama and angst, but also the relationships which make it all worthwhile.”

–Leslie L. McKee, book reviewer, Edits and Reviews by Leslie

 What people are saying about Krysten’s work:

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

“Krysten captures the teenage girl today. The struggles are real, the issues are something children have been dealing with since before I was a teen, and oddly-Krysten captures the readers! I was prepared for another “Mean Girls” story. This is NOT that. This is the real story of teenage girls! You watch Landry flower into a young woman who finds out trust is an invaluable item to find, and friendships are hard to seek genuine realism in. You will learn about relationships with not just friends, but peers, boys, and others. The details put into the book will draw you, and make the story so much more realistic. Krysten expresses emotions beautifully through her writing, and the story flows flawlessly…”

–By Candice J. Conway Simpson

“True Colors, is just a dazzling story of how middle school kids show their true colors of jealousy, drama, loss and gains of friendship. However, the way Krysten wrote her story; she wrote it with passion, creativity and honesty that this story line could be placed in anyone’s life at any age.”

–Review by Double Decker Books

 “Krysten Lindsay Hager understands what it means to be a teen today, and she writes with an authentic voice. Landry, the main character, is funny, lively, and very real. Readers will relate to her struggles with friends and family, self-esteem and self-discovery, boys and school and life in general. It’s fun to read about Landry’s blossoming modeling career and the changes it brings.”

–Review by Author Diana Jenkins

 

 

New Release: WICKED TRUTHS by Michelle Areaux

wicked-truths-blog-banner

wicked-truths-front-cover

Death seems to follow seventeen year old Sadie Sanders everywhere she goes–literally. As a mediator to the dead, she must constantly face fighting demons and the occasional angry dead girl. In WICKED TRUTHS, the third instalment of the WICKED CRIES series, Sadie learns that some secrets are meant to stay dead, for the truth, once it has been uncovered, may be wickeder than she could have ever imagined.

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Paranormal, Clean Romance
Pages: 178
Release Date: 1 Oct 16
Blog Tour Date: 1 – 8 Oct 16

Death seems to follow seventeen year old Sadie Sanders everywhere she goes–literally. As a mediator to the dead, she must constantly face fighting demons and the occasional angry dead girl.

After a dangerous and almost deadly first year in Salem, Sadie’s parents decided to send her away for the summer to visit her Aunt Morgan in the small town of Nicholasville, Kentucky. After uncovering a murder hidden for centuries, she embarked on a deadly mission to solve the crime while trying to enjoy her summer vacation.

Now back in Salem, Sadie has found another hidden secret in the wicked town. Secret underground tunnels are hidden under the streets of Salem, beckoning to those with wicked souls. When Sadie encounters a ghost named Laura roaming the streets of Salem, she and her friends Noah and Lucy must uncover the clues leading to Laura’s death, which is made even more complicated by the fact that Laura has no memory about her life or death. To make matters worse, Sadie must also track down the person who has been sending her threatening messages in an effort to stop her mission for justice.

In Wicked Truths, the third installment of the Wicked Cries series, Sadie learns that some secrets are meant to stay dead, for the truth, once it has been uncovered, may be wickeder than she could have ever imagined.

Buy Wicked Truths by Michelle Areaux at Google Play, Kobo, iBooks, Kindle, and Amazon.

Also by Michelle Areaux – Coming Soon!

Wicked Cries – Book 1 of the Wicked Cries Series

wicked-cries-front-cover-final

For 16-year-old Sadie Sanders, dealing with the dead is growing tiresome, especially when they expect her to be their messenger from the afterlife. But when her family moves to Salem, Massachusetts, and she finds the diary of a young girl named Elizabeth who was accused of witchcraft, she may need some help. Soon, Elizabeth begins to haunt Sadie, first in her dreams and then when she’s awake. As Sadie delves into Elizabeth’s journal, she slowly uncovers the secret Elizabeth needs to reveal, and it’s one that could change the course of history. Sadie needs help, and she wonders whom, if anyone, she can tell about it. Worried that her friends and family wouldn’t believe her, or worse, prevent her from continuing her journey to find the truth, Sadie has a choice to make…and it’s not going to be an easy one.

Wicked Lies – Book 2 of the Wicked Cries Series

 wicked-lies-front-cover-final

Sadie Sanders believed her life couldn’t get any worse when her parents moved her from sunny California, to gloomy Salem, Massachusetts. Of course Sadie was wrong–dead wrong.

After a dangerous and almost deadly first year in Salem, Sadie’s parents decide to send her away for the summer to visit her Aunt Morgan in the small town of Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Seeking normalcy from her twisted life as a messenger for the dead, Sadie hopes her stay in the small Kentucky town will be the break she needs from her paranormal obligations and a way for her to escape the demons that haunt her.

Unfortunately for Sadie, the dead don’t take a break, not even for summer vacation. Soon after arriving in Nicholasville, Sadie discovers a murder that’s been haunting the town for centuries. Refusing to ignore the injustice she uncovers, Sadie sets off on another wild adventure.

In Wicked Lies, book two of the Wicked Cries series, Sadie’s quest for justice just may be the thing that finally ends her career as a messenger to the dead, and her life

Guest Post: My Publishing Journey by Michelle Areaux

hiking-1312226_960_720Hello all, my name is Michelle Areaux and I am excited to talk with you all today about my crazy journey in the publishing world and what inspired me to write my debut novel, Wicked Cries. When I first got the idea for Wicked Cries, I was a college student at the University of Kentucky. I was studying English as part of my degree to become a middle school language arts teacher. My true dream was to be a writer, but let’s face it: I needed a “real” job in case my dream job never came true. Thankfully, I accomplished both dreams.

My inspiration for this novel came from my interest in the Salem witch trials. I have always been intrigued by moments in our history that really defined an historical moment. I began researching the history behind the Salem witch trials. Once I began delving into the unanswered mysteries around the people, the town, and the events that transpired, I knew I was in trouble; I was hooked. I had to know more about their stories. I needed to capture that moment, but put my own twist and find my own destiny for those people. I wanted to create characters and put them in fantastic dilemmas while having a control over their fate. I also wanted to create raw characters that readers could identify with and who shared the same quirks, insecurities, strengths, and dilemmas we all face.  So…I began writing a story about a young girl who found a journal hidden in a restored home her parents had purchased in Salem, Massachusetts.  I wanted this character, who I named Sadie, to be a martyr for the victims and to stand up against the hate and unfair treatment of those involved. While researching the history of the events of this tragic moment in our history, I became obsessed with telling this story. As silly as it sounds, I felt like I was becoming an advocate for the people who were shamelessly condemned. Of course I had to add in a cute boy and a mean girl to add some more spice to the story line.  Even though this story is fiction and contains fighting ghosts and paranormal activity, the concept behind the plot is real.

Fast forward ten years.  I am a middle school language arts teacher, mother of two crazy little boys, and a wife of a very patient, and motivating husband. Wicked Cries sat untouched for almost ten years. Finally, after gaining the courage to share this story with my husband Anthony, he encouraged me to send it to agents and publishers. Now, I wish that I could say this journey was easy and that the first publisher I sent my query letter to jumped at the chance to represent me. But, sadly, that is not the case. It took another year of sending my manuscript to agents and publishers before Black Rose Writing took a risk on me and my novel and offered me a publishing contract. Black Rose Writing has been amazing, and the authors I have met along the way have been helpful and great mentors.  My novel is sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, Black Rose Writing’s website, and at The Morris Book Shop in Lexington, Kentucky.  The publishing journey has been crazy and exciting at times. Holding my novel in my hands was a true accomplishment and a dream come true. But having my family, friends, and students read the story and share their thoughts about the characters with me was exhilarating.  My goal in becoming a published author was not to get popular or become a rock star like Jamie McGuire, Stephenie Myer or J.K. Rowling. No, I wanted to become a writer so I could share my stories with others and live my dream. Wicked Cries is more than just a story about a girl who fights ghosts and learns about the Salem Witch Trials. This story contains real life scenarios that teens and adults face.  I wanted the story to be fun, educational, and something anyone could connect with.  I guess the momma and teacher in me took over when writing this book.

For anyone reading this who aspires to be an author, my advice to you is simple: never give up. I know it sounds so cliché, but it is true. Once you have the idea and the itch to write a story, do it! Keep writing. Send out your story to anyone willing to take a peek at it. What’s the worst that could happen–someone says no? If you don’t try, you will never know. My novel was published ten years after its making. Forget the timeline, don’t stress about how long it takes to get noticed. Keep focusing on your dream and you will get there.

Book three in the Wicked Cries series, Wicked Truths, is now available via EMSA Publishing, wherever online books are sold. Look for the reprints of Wicked Cries and Wicked Lies by EMSA Publishing before the end of the year!

*Image by MaxMann through Pixabay CCO Public Domain agreement https://pixabay.com/en/hiking-map-orientation-hiking-shoes-1312226/

Win 1 of 3 copies of Wicked Truths by Michelle Areaux in our Rafflecopter Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The secret to compelling characters: life outside the story

Britbear’s Book Reviews is pleased to welcome Laurel Garver, author of Almost There, with a guest post entitled “The secret to compelling characters: life outside the story.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]

About Almost There

Genre: Young Adult Inspirational

Paris, the City of Lights. To seventeen-year-old Dani Deane, it’s the Promised Land. There, her widowed mother’s depression will vanish and she will no longer fear losing her only parent, her arty New York life, or her devoted boyfriend.

But shortly before their Paris getaway, Dani’s tyrannical grandfather falls ill, pulling them to rural Pennsylvania to deal with his hoarder horror of a house. Among the piles, Dani finds disturbing truths that could make Mum completely unravel. Desperate to protect her from pain and escape to Paris, Dani hatches a plan with the flirtatious neighbor boy that only threatens the relationships she most wants to save.

Why would God block all paths to Paris? Could real hope for healing be as close as a box tucked in the rafters?

Buy Almost There by Laurel Garver on AmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords, and Apple iTunes.

 The secret to compelling characters: life outside the story

The most compelling characters seem to have a life outside the confines of a story on the page. They’re not like those animatronic beings on Disney World rides that are switched on and come to life only when there’s an audience to observe them.

Giving a character that life might entail developing backstory. But more importantly, it involves giving every character things to do, places to be, relationships, worries, plans and goals that engage them during the “here and now” of your story. Doing this not only makes them more real, but also can give them additional purpose, as plot catalysts. Making the cousin a real estate agent with keys to empty houses, for example, can prove useful to plot later.

Much of that present life may take place offstage (or “off page”). But it should leave traces–evidence apparent in the details you sprinkle in.

Those details might support what we already know about a character. A nice guy might show up late for a formal date with wheel grease on his knees. And we know he’s the type to stop and change someone’s tire, even if it’s inconvenient.

The details might play against type. She’s a tough girl from the ‘hood, but that strange indentation under her chin…well, it looks like the mark of hours of practising violin.

When details play enough against type, you can end up making a powerful social commentary. Think of J.K. Rowling’s Dolores Umbridge, the sadistic bureaucrat who takes over Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Her office is decorated with pink and lace and collector’s plates depicting frolicking kittens. It’s absolutely chilling, because Rowling has deftly shown you the heart of evil–one that perpetuates wrong in the quest for building a comfy utopia.

How you work in those details could take a volume to explore. But I’ll list some broad-strokes categories, followed by examples from my new novel, Almost There.

Physical traits

  • Peculiar hand calluses from rowing crew
  • Smelling of horse and leather
  • Celtic knotwork tattoos
  • Scar from a past injury
  • Unwashed hair and food-stained clothes

Actions

  • Mimicking guitar chord fingering when watching another musician perform
  • Calling someone by the wrong name
  • Cringing when a particular character raises his voice
  • Anxiously checking a phone for text messages
  • Sketching the waitress while waiting for food
  • Whistling songs you wouldn’t expect the person to know

Objects

  • A truck full of carpentry tools and an unfinished coffin
  • Pantone ink swatch book carried in a purse
  • Nietzsche t-shirt
  • Whole box of children’s safety scissors
  • Collection of war memorabilia

The best sort of details to include are ones that hint at a character’s skills, values, passions, commitments, and priorities. It’s a powerful way to make character traits dynamic–giving them legs so to speak. That, to me, makes a fictional being more than a cardboard cutout taking up space–it makes him have a life that means something.

What are some of your favorite characters who seem to have a life outside the novel? What resonates with you about these concepts of “life outside” and “life that means something”?

About the Author

Laurel 1Laurel Garver is a Philadelphia-based writer, editor, professor’s wife and mom to an arty teenager. An indie film enthusiast and incurable Anglophile, she enjoys geeking out about Harry Potter and Dr. Who, playing word games, singing in church choir, and taking long walks in Philly’s Fairmount Park.

Follow Laurel Garver on:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook |

 

COMPETING WITH THE STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Competing with the Star FRONTGenre: Young Adult

About Competing with the Star

Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…

Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.

A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…

After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.

The past is the past—or so they say…

Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.

Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

Buy Competing with the Star at Amazon Kindle,  Amazon Paperback, Amazon UK, and Barnes & Noble.

 

Excerpt from Competing with the Star

Two days passed and Nick hadn’t called again. I couldn’t blame him. After all, I had pushed for him to be honest and then had bailed on him. I’m sure he was mad at me for telling him he could tell me the truth and then I punished him for it—and he would be right. I couldn’t handle the icky feelings, and instead of being a big girl and dealing with them, I came home from school and retreated into the world of books. A world where people were kidnapped, jewels were stolen, but nobody’s heart ever got broken because in my favorite series, The Raven Chronicles, Raven’s boyfriend, Fernando, was ever faithful and loyal and would never even look at another girl. He was the perfect book boyfriend. In other words, he was fictional and didn’t exist.

What readers are saying about Competing with the Star:

From Reader’s Favorite:

Competing With The Star is the continuation of Krysten Lindsay Hager’s epic YA drama series, The Star Series. Through a captivating plot, amazing character development, and Krysten’s flawless writing, the story captures the true essence of the drama, confusion, and emotional high that is teenage romance. It brings to life the beauty of YA romance with all its uncertainties and possibilities. In the midst of all the drama, confusion, and romance, the story also gives off a beautiful and serene sense of family. I especially loved how the book dived into the story right away, and captured the genuine feeling of the story down to details, language, and interaction between the characters. Lovers of YA romance will definitely love The Star Series.

From Katie’s Clean Book Collection:

Oh, the feels! Krysten Lindsay Hager has a way of drawing me right back to my high school days with her writing–feelings and all. This book is a continuation of Next Door to a Star. Hadley is now settling in and a new boyfriend, Nick, really helps her feel like she belongs. What girl hasn’t felt insecure at one time or another when trying to figure out if “he loves me, he loves me not?” Hadley is real. She has real struggles, real strengths, real reactions, and real emotions. Nick once had a crush on former TV star, Simone, and although Simone swears her friendship with Hadley means more to than anything, but oftentimes, actions speak louder than words and Simone is an actress…

Nick is a great boyfriend, especially for a first relationship, as he and Hadley have a lot in common. Many assumptions lead to drama and realizations as Hadley, Nick, and their friends try and navigate the confusing roads of teenage life. I love how this story seems to unfold like a TV show–easy to picture and imagine. The characters and situations are vibrant, almost leaping off the pages and I felt like I was either a fly on the wall or a silent friend, sitting smack in the thick of it. I love the dynamics and can’t wait for more to the story!

About the Author:

Author picKrysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Here’s how to learn more about Krysten Linday Hager and her writing:

| Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest |

 

 

 

Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book 3)

LandryinLike453X680Series Info: The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image.

Genre: contemporary clean teen fiction

Landry in Like (Landry’s True Colors Series: Book 3) by Krysten Lindsay Hager

About the Book:

Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes. Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cupcakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?

Watch the book trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CsGREKFQco&feature=youtu.be

By Landry in Like by Krysten Lindsay Hager on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Nook UK, Kobo, and Itunes/Ibooks.

 

About the Author:

Author pic (2)Krysten Lindsay Hager is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series, a clean reads young adult series and the new ​Star Series. Krysten writes about  friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, modeling, crushes, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? And Landry in Like, as well as in, Next Door to a Star (Star Series). Her sequel to Next Door to a Star will be out March 22 2016.

Krysten is a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and writes YA, MG, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in Portugal, South Dakota, and currently resides in southwestern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite shows. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Find out more about Krysten Lindsay Hager at

| Website | Instagram | Amazon | Pinterest | Facebook |Twitter | Goodreads |

Author talk show interview |

Excerpt from Landry in Like by Kristen Lindsay Hager:

I wanted to call my friends and tell them about being on the talk show, but Mom said we had to be at the TV station super early — even before school started. She said I could text them, but I had to turn off my phone and go to bed.

“I’m waking you up at four a.m.,” she said. “You have to be there at five-thirty.”

“Can I just call Peyton and Ashanti? Please?”

“Fine, but you have five minutes and then that phone is mine and you’re in bed.”

I dialed Peyton, but her mom said she was in the shower. I told her mom about the show tomorrow and said my mom wouldn’t let me stay up any later to call Peyton back.

“How exciting! I will make sure Peyton knows, and I will be watching you tomorrow. Good luck, honey,” Mrs. Urich said.

I called Ashanti next and told her.

“Get out. Get. Out. No way. This is so exciting!”

“I’m so nervous. My stomach is already doing cartwheels. I can’t do one, but my stomach can. Seems unfair. What if I throw up before I go on? I did that right before I went on at the statewide Ingénue modeling competition in Detroit, and my mom had to give me a cough drop to cover up the smell.”

“I’m sure you’ll be fine, but… just in case, take a cough drop with you,” Ashanti said. “Good luck. You’ll be great and I’ll go set the DVR now.”

I hung up and sent a text to Vladi, India, Devon, Thalia, Tori, and Ericka, so no one would be mad and feel left out. Then I shut off my phone. Mom poked her head in the door to make sure I was in bed.

“Night, hon. Try to get some rest,” she said.

Easier said than done. I stared at my ceiling while thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong tomorrow. Seeing as the show was on in the morning, I never got to watch it, so I had no idea what the set was like — did it have super high chairs and I’d struggle to get into them? And what if it had those higher stools that were kind of tippy and my rear overshot the seat and I fell off? Or what if the prep questions got lost and the interviewer asked me random things like my feelings on nuclear war or asked me about some foreign political leader who I had never heard of before, and I appeared stupid? Why did I say I’d do this? I tried to get comfortable and it felt like I had just dozed off when I felt my mom shaking my shoulder.

“Rise and shine, TV star,” she said.

true colors book 1What people are saying about True Colors (Landry’s True Colors Series Book One):

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

 

 

The Omen Operation

omen operation tour BANNERfirst concept omen operation

Omen Operation
by Taylor Brooke
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Limitless Publishing

Summary:

After an epidemic spreads through the country, Brooklyn Harper’s high school years come to an abrupt end.

Implanted in a rural camp, Brooklyn and her friends are cut off from their families and the outside world. Each day is filled with combat training to assure their safety against the crazed, belligerent, and deadly— those infected with a mysterious virus.

If the world couldn’t get any crazier, a letter ups the insanity…

After being assured day after day that the world outside their little camp had been compromised, Brooklyn’s cabin-mate, Dawson Winters, finds a letter that turns everything they’d known upside down. There is a world outside the trees that surrounds their camp, and the virus they all feared seems non-existent.

Determined to see it herself, Brooklyn plots with others to attempt an escape…

On the outside, Brooklyn finds the world is as normal as ever. But when they are attacked in the city, they dispose of their attackers far more efficiently than any normal human.. Is there more to Brooklyn and her friends then just being highly trained?

As their exploration continues, the group is faced with impossible feats. Betrayal, love, death, and a powerful sense ofcamaraderie lead Brooklyn and her friends to fight for their life, their freedom, and most of all, each other.

Buy Omen Operation on Amazon.

Add to Goodreads

omenopteaser2

About the Author:

taylor brooke

Taylor Brooke is the author of the upcoming sci-fi adventure trilogy The Isolation Series. She started out as a freelance makeup artist, and quickly discovered her love of elves, zombies, mermaids, kaiju, and monsters of all kinds. After receiving eight professional certifications in special effects makeup, working on countless projects, and fleshing out a multitude of fantastical creatures, she turned her imagination back to her one true love- books. Taylor has had a knack for writing since she was a little girl, and received recognition for her skills throughout grade school and junior college. When she’s not nestled in a blanket typing away on her laptop, she can be found haunting the local bookstore with a cup of steaming hot tea in her hands, scanning the shelves for new reads, or hiking one of the many mountains that surround her home in Oregon.

Author Links:

Website │ Goodreads │ Twitter |

GIVEAWAY:

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9e540ef9107/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”9e540ef9107″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_c6qsv8me”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

<script src=”https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js”></script>

Book Tour Organized by:

YA Bound Tour Button

YA Bound Book Tours

Fast-paced and Entertaining

andrea and the 5-day challengeWhen Andrea promises to complete a 5-day bible study and journal, she isn’t sure if she will be successful or how it will affect her life. But as the week wears on, she faces a number of seemingly insurmountable challenges, most of them concerning school and her crush on new guy Luke Ryan, not to mention Luke’s crush on her. Then there’s the piano recital and the potential to be scouted for Julliard. To make matters worse, mean girl Stephanie is also interested in Luke. Will Andrea survive the week, let alone see her 5-day challenge through to the end?

Cindy K. Green’s Andrea and the 5-Day Challenge is a quick and entertaining read, one which I finished over the course of 4 days. The story is fast-paced and the characters are believable. Poor Andrea is stuck feeling like such a hopeless failure as she tries to please everyone around her: her parents, whose only dream is to see her be a successful pianist, her friends who want her to let loose and have fun with Luke, she neglects to please herself. Rather than embrace a chaste relationship with Luke, she spurns him several times, but by the end of her 5-day challenge, she learns how to communicate and negotiate and that, if she’s simply honest with the people in her life, there is a way to make everyone, including herself, happy.

Though I’ll admit I was a bit wary of the religious aspect of this text, Green manages to work in the importance of prayer and God in one’s life without hitting the reader over the head with it. The Bible passages are short and relevant to what’s happening in Andrea’s life. In addition, Andrea uses the passages she chooses on each day of the challenge to find solace in her life and to become a better person, which is kind of cool. Young girls will be able to identify with Andrea’s search for her identity, her soul, and for a way to have it all.

Mamabear gives this book:

four-bears

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Welcome back, Ines Bautista Yao

Britbear’s Book Reviews is pleased to welcome back author Ines Bautista Yao, talking about her new book, Just a Little Bit of Love.

just a little bit of loveAbout Just a Little Bit of Love:

Three short stories about three young girls: Anita, Ina, and Carla. Each one finding their lives disrupted by a boy. Maybe it’s because he wanders into the coffee shop where she works after school every Tuesday. Maybe it’s because he won’t leave her alone even if she has made it clear that she is crushing on his football team-mate. Or maybe it’s because she’s spent one unforgettable afternoon with him—despite being oh-so-forgetful. Three small doses of love that serve up a whole lot of feels.

Buy Just a Little Bit of Love on Amazon.

Welcome back, Ines!

When we last spoke, it was about Only a Kiss. Tell me a bit about your latest release, Just a Little Bit of Love.

Hi, Elise! Thank you for having me again! 🙂 Just A Little Bit of Love is made up of three stories that are all set in the world of Only A Kiss. What I did was imagine who else could have possibly been in particular settings of the book.

In the first story, “Watching, Waiting”, I used a scene where my main characters were in a coffee shop. Naturally, there will be more people there with their own stories, their own problems, and their own hopeful endings.

The second one, “On The Sidelines”, is about a girl who is also obsessed with Ethan, the boy Katie, my main character in Only A Kiss had a huge crush on when she was a kid.

The last one, “Sticky Notes and Forgetfulness” is about a minor character who comes out in Only A Kiss too. I found her so adorable, I wanted to write more about her.

Both Only a Kiss and Just a Little Bit of Love are sweet romances. What do you like about writing in this genre? What draws you to the genre?

I love this genre! I love reading it and that’s probably why I love writing it.

Just a Little Bit of Love is a series of short stories about three girls. Are the stories connected or related?

They aren’t really related, but they happen in order. And I guess you can say the characters are all basically at the same point in their lives as each other, age-wise — if that makes any sense. The first one happens in high school, the second in college, and the third after college.

I love that as a way to organize your stories!

Your Goodreads bio says you used to be an editor for two magazines and that you currently work as an editor for Summit Books. How does writing compare to editing? Do you find your job as an editor helps you to write? Do you consult an editor prior to publishing?

I believe everyone needs an editor. If you say you don’t, you’re either too full of yourself or you have some magic power I wish I possessed haha! Even the best writers need feedback because they’re too close to their stories and to their words. Sometimes, when something makes sense to me but isn’t too clear to my editor/readers, then I know I have to change it. Because I’m an editor, I know how important it is to have my work edited and I never release something unless I have it edited first.

I prefer writing to editing because it is less technical and it’s more creative. Editing is work. But I enjoy it too. I learn a lot as I go and it also helps me when I write. I have a better idea of what works, what the best practices are, and what I should be mindful of.

Your bio also says you’ve been a teacher in the past. Were your students aware of your status as an author? How did they react when they found out? Have you ever mentored a student to help with his/her writing career?

I wrote and published my first book after I stopped teaching. But my former students are so supportive and so wonderful! They come to my launches, buy my books, and spread the word. It’s wonderful!

I help a lot of people with their writing. I guess it’s because I used to teach? So it comes naturally. When I find out friends have been wanting to write since forever, I encourage them till they finally do it. I love it when people finally realize their dreams!

My last question is a wild card. Choose a question you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview. What is it? How would you answer it?

Why do you write?

I don’t think anyone has ever asked me this question. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t need to be asked, or because writers interview me so they too have the same feelings burning within.

I write because there’s something inside me that needs to be satisfied, sated, addressed, acknowledged. It’s not anything I can pinpoint, but it’s there. When I’m not writing, I don’t feel complete. But when I am, I feel more alive—like the world is more interesting, my life is more fun, and I am filled with an enthusiasm I never really knew before—or maybe I did when I was teaching.

But this is different. While writing, I’m lost in another world, yes, but at the same time, something happens to me. Maybe it’s because I’m creating something, maybe it’s because I’m finally doing what God created me to do. Whatever it is, writing makes me happy. That statement is so simple and I feel doesn’t fully capture the wonderment, the vividness, and plainly, how much more alive I feel when I’m doing it. And not just the act itself but while I’m writing something, I pay more attention to what’s happening around me, I’m constantly thinking of what will come next or how I will work a particular scene—I’m more engaged, not so lost, but oh so free.

Refresh our memory as to your social media, please.

| Instragram | Twitter | Facebook | Website |

About the author:

photo-2Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at theeverydayprojectblog.com. She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head.

Excerpt from “Breathe” by Christine Grey

Breathe-Final Cover (1)

About Breathe by Christine Grey (from Amazon.com):

Dearra comes into possession of the magical Sword of Cyrus just as the evil Breken attack her island home. Though her people succeed in driving their enemy back to the sea, one of the invaders remains behind, left for dead by his cruel kin. Now, Dearra doesn’t know what to be more surprised by, the fact that her sword can speak to her, or that it has imperiously informed her that the handsome Breken warrior is her destiny. The two are bound together by a chain of events that was set into motion a thousand years earlier, and everything they thought they knew about themselves, their history, and their future is about to change.

Buy Breathe on Amazon.

Excerpt from Breathe

Dearra bolted upright at the voice that seemed to come from all around her and inside her head at the same time.

“Who is it? Who’s there?” She meant to speak with authoritative calm, but the words came out in a pitiful squeak.

You really aren’t very bright, are you? came the response, the voice flowing around her and through her.

She leapt from the bed, dropped to the floor, and looked beneath it.

Not even warm, taunted the voice.

Dearra sprang to the window and tore aside the heavy drapery…nothing.

It will come to you. I know you can do this. Connect the dots, girl.

Dearra’s gaze drifted back to her bed and the sword that waited for her on top of the soft coverlet. But it couldn’t be, could it? It was impossible, wasn’t it? Dearra took a small, tentative step back toward the sword. What else could it be? She took another step.

Ah, success! There may be hope for you after all, girl.

Coming to a stop at the bedside, Dearra let her weak knees have their way, and she sank to the floor in shock.

“How are you…? I mean…what are you…? I mean…Wow! You can talk!” The words tumbled from her in a confused jumble.

Yes, yes, very good, girl. You’ve not only managed to grasp the obvious, but you almost succeeded in completing a coherent sentence. Very, very impressive. I can see we’re going to get on famously.

It was impressive, when you considered it, Dearra thought, that without facial expression to assist, one could convey that level of sarcasm.

Thank you; I try.

“Have you always been able to talk?”

Certainly. I am incredibly intelligent, even for my kind.

Your kind? Are there other swords like you?”

Of course not; I am quite unique. And as to ‘my kind’, well, that is a story for another day, if I decide I can tolerate you well enough to share that kind of personal information with you.

Dearra sniffed lightly. “Not too full of yourself, are you?”

The sword paused, as if considering the question seriously before responding. No, I should think I am full of myself just the right amount.

Dearra wrapped her arms around herself as a fit of giggles shook her from head to toe. She slowly regained control, as the events of only an hour ago came flooding back, and a frown creased her brow.

The deep sadness was about to take hold again when the sword spoke brusquely. Now, now, none of that. We have much to discuss and much to do, and curling yourself back into a useless ball on the bed won’t get us anywhere. Unless, of course, you wish to reconsider the whole notion of death by cliff. That would certainly save me a fair bit of trouble.

Dearra scowled at the sword and snapped, “No, I have myself quite under control now, thank you.”

Good. Now, what else would you like to know before we save Darius?

“Well, I guess I would like to know…Wait—who’s Darius?”

Excellent, girl! You grasped that one much more quickly. You’re improving.

Exasperation dripping from Dearra’s tongue as she fought to control her simmering temper, she said, “Could you please just answer the question?”

Darius is the Breken warrior I saved from you earlier today. The one that little man so thoughtlessly clubbed on the head.

Dearra was stunned. “Wait! He lives?” she said.

Wouldn’t make much sense to save him if he were already dead, would it?

Dearra was overwhelmed. The image of the handsome Breken warrior shimmered in her mind. Questions came in a steady stream and her pulse quickened. How had he managed to survive such a vicious blow to the head? How did the sword know he was alive, and why was it so important she save him?

Are you quite finished?

It was amazing how quickly Dearra had gotten used to someone responding to the thoughts she hadn’t spoken out loud. Strangely, it felt like remembering a skill she had been born with and forgotten from lack of use.

Firstly, I have no idea. The Breken have hard heads, what can I say? Secondly, I know a lot of things you don’t and do not feel the need to share the whys and hows of it with you, and lastly, because we need him to get back that little brother of yours so you won’t spend the rest of your life in a useless catatonic state. Oh, and he’s your destiny, which I suppose you may find an interesting piece of trivia, though hardly useful.

Dearra nearly choked. “My what?”

He’s not going to be your anything if we don’t get moving. They’re about to find him. You may want to hurry things along a bit, girl.

Scooping the sword from the bed, Dearra raced from her room and down the winding staircase, past the shocked faces of Daniel and Hugh, and out into the courtyard.

Not knowing what else to do, the men followed behind her. The look they shared clearly conveyed their fear that Dearra had lost her mind, perhaps as a side effect to the terrible loss of Pip. They were not really trying to catch her, just follow her to make sure she wouldn’t hurt herself in her mad dash to Cyrus only new where.

Coming to a skidding halt at the gate, she asked out loud, “Where now? I can’t remember where I was.”

Take the path east out of the castle, cross the stream, and you should hear them. Hurry, girl!

As she sprinted over the bridge, familiar voices came to her. The hatred and anger in their tone made her feet slow to a gentle trot so she could make out what they were saying more clearly.

“Run him through!”

“He’s half dead already.”

“Evil spawn doesn’t deserve to live.”

Dearra felt shock cross her features as she came around the small clump of bushes that had hidden the scene from view. This was not the behavior she expected from the people of Maj. Certainly, they had a right to be angry; their home had been invaded, their lives put in jeopardy, friends and family injured, and dear Pip had been taken from them. This last thought sent a shiver through her. But to speak with such bitter hatred and eager anticipation of the death of another, even a Breken, made Dearra’s blood run cold. Then she saw him and it all clicked together.

Jacob stood back and a little away from the others, but there was no doubt in her mind as to who had stirred the people into this angry mob. Jacob was not born to the isle but had joined them three seasons ago. He seemed a quiet and unassuming addition to their group, but wherever trouble was, so too would be Jacob, usually whispering in someone’s ear. Her father tolerated Jacob, hoping that, eventually, the people of Maj would rub off on him, making him into a useful and productive part of the community. Dearra had her doubts as to their potential for success, but it seemed important to her father so she held her tongue.

Sitting part way up, his back propped against a large stone, Darius held his sword out in front of him. It was a futile gesture; his arm shook so badly from the effort it took simply to hold the sword, there would be no force behind any swing he could manage. His black hair was matted from the head wound he had received from Daniel, and the blood that had run so freely had dried to form a gruesome mask covering the left side of his face. Dearra’s eyes met his for just a moment, but it was long enough to see recognition flitter across his features.

“What’s going on here?” she said evenly, meeting each pair of eyes that looked to her own.

Hugh and Daniel walked around the same cluster of bushes Dearra had passed and moved to stand behind her.

“I said, what’s going on here?” her tone became sharper.

Several of the people dropped their heads. Shame washed over them as they realized what they had been about to do.

Jacob stepped forward, and with no hint of remorse in his voice as he addressed Dearra, said, “We were about to exterminate a pest, Dearra. You’ve been through enough today. Return to the castle, and let us deal with this unpleasant business.”

“No,” she stated simply.

Oh, that’s wonderful, girl. I am sure everything will be fine now.

“You be quiet,” she mumbled. “I can handle this.”

Concerned glances flitted about the assembled group at what appeared to be Dearra speaking to herself. But one set of eyes widened almost imperceptibly as Darius, from his prone position, looked first at Dearra and then to the sword she held.

“I don’t understand, Dearra,” Jacob said, speaking as if to a half-wit. “No? You wish to kill him yourself, then?”

“There has been enough pain today, Jacob. Are you so eager to bloody your hands against this defenseless man? Besides, he may prove useful in restoring my brother to us.”

Very nice, what an excellent notion, girl. Did you think of that all by yourself?

I’m trying to diffuse the situation, Dearra thought. Be still, and let me try to fix this. That is what you wanted isn’t it?

Humph, came the reply.

“Be reasonable, Dearra,” Jacob whined like a child who was not getting his way. “He’s dangerous. Let us put an end to him quickly. It will be more merciful than his kind would be for any of us.”

Hugh stepped forward and put his hand upon Dearra’s shoulder, silencing the sharp retort he knew was coming. “Dearra speaks wisely. This Breken may indeed prove useful in returning Phillip to us. In any case, I will not make a decision that could affect us all in haste. Take him to the keep and lock him in the lower store room. The apples have not yet been harvested; use that room. Bar the door, and put two guards outside.”

Disarming him with ease, they picked the young man roughly from the ground, and half dragged, half carried him toward the castle. Dearra trailed a short way behind to make sure they did not get too enthusiastic in their efforts to hurry him along.

Darius’s eyes were everywhere at once. He surveyed his surroundings anxiously, trying to commit to memory any opportunity for escape. What he could do to escape an island, with no boat, and no one looking for him, was a detail he ignored for the moment. At that instant, he was simply grateful to be breathing; he would work the rest out later.

They took him to a room one level below the main keep. It was cool and dry and held the faintest aroma of fruit. He leaned against the dirt wall and slid less than gracefully to the smooth, plank floor. Empty baskets of varying sizes were strewn about in haphazard stacks, waiting to be needed again.

Dearra took one last, long, lingering look, and then firmly shut the door. Jacob volunteered to be one of the guards, and since she could think of no reason to object, she let him have his way. She was comforted, however, when the much milder tempered Bryan stepped forward as the second volunteer.

Dearra’s footsteps echoed through the deserted corridors as she made her way back to her personal chamber. Her thoughts were a twisted mass as she relived, over and over, the moment she saw her brother on the Breken ship, his innocent face pale, and his eyes wide in fear. The cold black, eyes of his captor were too far away to really be visible, yet she knew they had been filled with triumph at his victory over the people of Maj. Then her mind remembered the eyes of another, golden brown, holding her captive and refusing to let her look away, and she shook her head trying to rid herself of the image. Dearra swept up the stairs into her room and dropped the sword onto her bed, unceremoniously. She scanned her room until she found what she was looking for, and made her way to the jumbled pile of objects near the fireplace.

Where do you think you’re going?

“To my father and Daniel, and then back to our strange…um…guest. His wound needs attention,” Dearra explained. She pushed aside a pair of mud-caked pants and a torn vest she kept meaning to repair, and scooped up the bag in which she kept her supply of healing medicines, assorted bandages, and basic medical instruments.

Fine. Leave me here, then. Abandon me. I’ll just wait until you are content to give me your attention once more.

“Yeah,” Dearra responded, distracted. “That would be great, thanks.” Turning back toward the bed, she asked, “Hey, what’s your name?” almost casually.

My name, girl, is ancient. I am descended from… well, never mind that. My name is a thing of power and awe. I am called Brin’du Drak’Tir, the sword said brimming with pride.

Dearra absorbed the name, briefly, finding it cumbersome and awkward in her mouth. “Ok, I’ll just call you Brin,” she responded, pleased with her solution to the problem of the funny name.

Decidedly offended, taken aback that anyone could be so casual about a thing of such monumental importance, the sword shot back, Fine! And I shall call you Big Fuzzy Animal with Antlers.

“Yeah, yeah. Deal,” Dearra said, as she whisked from the room.

***

Forgetting her plans to speak to her father and Daniel first, Dearra flew through the halls and down the short set of stairs leading to the storerooms. Heart pounding, she came to a stop in front of Bryan and Jacob. They looked at Dearra, and then at one another in confusion.

“Well? What are you waiting for?” Dearra demanded. “Open the door!”

“But, Dearra,” Bryan stammered, clearly at a loss for words.

“Absolutely not!” Jacob stated. “Lord Hugh ordered us to keep watch over the prisoner!”

“So? Keep watch. No one’s stopping you.” Dearra took a step forward and placed a hand on the heavy board barring the door. As she braced herself to lift the board up and out of her way, Jacob’s hand clamped down on her upper arm.

“I said, no, Dearra.”

“Let go of me immediately.” Dearra’s voice was calm and cool, but a bolt of panic swept through her as the grip tightened painfully around her arm. Her temper flared to life. She saw Bryan take a step back, recognizing the golden flames that sprang to life in Dearra’s eyes. Bryan had always been a friend to Dearra, and the look of fear on his face unsettled her where nothing else would have. Though the pain in her arm increased along with the pressure of Jacob’s grip, Dearra took a slow deep breath before speaking in as calm a voice as she could muster under the circumstances, “You’re hurting me.” Dearra’s voice shook with the effort it was costing her to remain in control, but only slightly so.

Bryan’s eyes popped wide open, and his jaw dropped as far as it could go as he stared at the scene in front of him in disbelief.

Two sounds came to Dearra almost simultaneously, one in her head, the other clearly coming from the other side of the door. The first was easily recognizable.

I’ll bet you wish I was there now, don’t you, Fuzzy? Her sword spoke in an ‘I told you so’ manner that grated on her nerves. And that nickname was going to wear quickly thin.

Who knew the blasted thing could hear her thoughts even when it wasn’t with her?

The second sound was indistinguishable at first, but as it grew in intensity, there could be no doubt the prisoner behind the heavy door was…no, he couldn’t be…but he was. Dearra could clearly hear that the fierce Breken warrior was…growling a low, throaty sound. Jacob hastily loosened his hold, though he did not let go completely.

Things could have gone badly had Daniel not chosen that exact moment to make an appearance at the base of the stairs.

Daniel spoke, and the fierce growl coming from behind the door ceased abruptly.

“Is everything alright here, Dearra?” Daniel’s eyes (and ears for that matter), had assessed the situation rapidly, and if he were to be honest with himself, he had to say that, in this circumstance, he was completely with the Breken.

Jacob took a wise step away from Dearra before speaking again. “Of course, Daniel.” A simpering smile appeared on Jacob’s face as he continued. “Dearra was…confused. She thought to enter the room with the Breken dog, and so, naturally, I had to protect her.”

“Protect her from what, exactly? One injured man against Dearra with the two of you standing guard just feet away? Open the door, Jacob,” Daniel said, daring Jacob to contradict his instructions, “and when you’ve finished with that, please fetch Serah to take your place at watch. You’ve clearly had a busy day and are deserving of some rest.”

“You want Serah, Daniel? Wouldn’t one of the men be better suited to…?”

Daniel raised one brow at the now tongue tied Jacob, who went at once to remove the board barring the way to the prisoner, then turned and left without another word.

“I’ll be right here for you, Dearra. Until Serah arrives.”

“Thank you, Daniel.” Dearra reached out, patted Daniel’s arm in gratitude, and walked into the storeroom turned cell.

A scowl grew on Dearra’s face as she saw no blankets, nor food, nor even water, for that matter, had been brought to the prisoner. She quickly stuck her head back through the door and instructed Bryan to bring some of each to her immediately. Having witnessed Daniel’s ire with Jacob, Bryan didn’t need to be told twice, and was gone almost before Dearra was done speaking. Dearra closed the door before turning back to her patient and lowered herself beside him on the wooden floor. He was large, of course, but seemed smaller than many of the Breken she had seen earlier that day. He was, maybe, only six and a half feet tall. His skin was the beautiful, copper color she remembered from their earlier encounter, though it was harder to see now, with only one small torch lighting the room. His thick, black hair looked even blacker, if that was possible, with the blood matted and dried in the strands. And then there were his eyes, made even more glorious by the flickering light of the torch, that deep, rich brown with flashes of gold. They looked right into Dearra, and her breath quickened, and she had to look away. She busied herself opening her bag, and laying out all of the contents before her to better evaluate what she would need. The young Breken watched her intently as she worked; she could feel his eyes on her as she arranged and rearranged bandages, unguents and salves in a neat row.

Bryan returned with the water, two blankets, and some fresh bread and soft cheese. Dearra handed the young warrior a chunk of bread and some of the chilled water, and dipped a soft cloth in the bowl of steaming water Bryan had brought in anticipation of her needs. He shied away as she reached to begin cleaning his head wound, but then held himself still as she worked. Dearra noticed the pained look on his face and paused.

“What is it?” she asked hesitantly. “Am I hurting you? You can tell me if I am. Please, you look so…strange.”

He didn’t speak, but raised a hand, ever so slowly, and traced the bruise just beginning to show on her upper arm.

Dearra froze at his touch and the jolt running down her arm as his fingers brushed, feather light over the red bloom making itself evident on her pale skin.

“Why?” he asked softly, the deep timbre to his voice strong and menacing in the small room.

“Well…” Dearra spoke the word and had to swallow to begin again, the feel of his hand on her arm making her mouth go suddenly dry. “I have always bruised easily. It’s a terrible nuisance, but I’ve gotten used to it.”

“That’s not what I meant,” he said, and though his hand had dropped back to his side, his eyes never left the mark marring her porcelain skin. “I meant, why did you do it? Why did you challenge him just to come in here?”

“Oh! Well, you needed attention. Your wounds aren’t going to clean themselves, you know.” She was relieved to have such a simple answer to give, though he seemed genuinely startled by her response.

Dearra dipped the cloth in the water again and continued to do what she could to clean the nasty lump at the back of the Breken’s head. She leaned in close in the dim light, to get a closer look, probing as gently as she could to make sure the injury wasn’t more serious than it seemed.

The silence of the room enveloped her, and she couldn’t, at first, identify what had changed. She looked down at the Breken sitting placidly before her, and realized that, in her effort to get a better view, she had provided the Breken with a view of his own—her chest was directly in front of his face. His jaw was clenched tightly, and his eyes stared straight ahead, as though he were completely unaware of what was right before him, but Dearra noticed that the silence she had sensed had been due to the fact that the fierce warrior was no longer breathing in his efforts to remain completely still. She eased back from him and returned to her bag of supplies pretending to not have noticed the awkward moment, but she couldn’t stop the grin that spread across her face when she heard him exhale loudly behind her.

She finished with her task, and after gently covering him in one of the blankets, turned to leave.

“Wait!”

Dearra turned back to face him as he spoke. “Yes?”

“Thank you…Dearra.”

His voice was rough and the words were spoken haltingly as if they words he was not used to speaking. She had not introduced herself, but it was not surprising that he knew her name, as at least a dozen people must have used it around him today. Still, it was presumptuous of him to speak to her with such familiarity without her consent.

A small smile lit her face and she said, “You are truly welcome…Darius.”

His eyes flew open wide, as he knew he had definitely not given his name to anyone.

Dearra left the room with a grin on her face. Let him ponder that for a while, she thought.

About the author:

BookChristine Grey lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Dan, and their seven children, three dogs, and two cats. With a family like that, she knows how important it is to escape from reality from time to time! She and her husband have grown their family through foster care adoption and are advocates for helping children find the permanency and support they all deserve. When she isn’t busy chasing children, running a household, or savoring a hot cup of tea, Christine spends her free time creating worlds of magic, romance, and humor.

Here’s how readers can learn more about Christine and her work.

| Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Email | 

Divine Fall – a clean romance with a steamy side

rp_DivineFall250-200x300.jpgIn Kathryn Knight’s Divine Fall, Jamie meets Dothan, the handsome and mysterious stable hand, Dothan, who works at the barn where she likes to ride. They soon strike up a relationship, which worries her “adoptive” grandfather, Nathaniel, who disapproves. Dothan, it seems, isn’t the only one with a secret past, and neither one is as they seem.

Divine Fall begins with a Twilight vibe, in which a supernatural boy saves a regular girl from potential harm and they fall in love, and Fox Run, where the story takes place has some parallels with Forks, but that’s where the similarities end. There is also a Romeo and Juliet feel to it in that overprotective Nathaniel forbids Jamie from seeing Dothan, and like the infamous star-crossed lovers, they refuse to listen, which almost leads to their demise. Knight’s novel is a suspenseful page-turner. In Divine Fall, she explores a universe where Nephilim walk the earth, in a clean, romance thriller that is not without its steamy side.

I recommend Divine Fall to lovers of paranormal fiction searching for a new take on the genre. Though the protagonist is quite mature, without parents, and living on her own, teen girls will still be able to identify with her. Because the protagonist is quite mature, Knight’s novel will also appeal to readers of new adult (and adult) fiction as well. My initial comparison to Twilight aside, Divine Fall is a quick read, sure to keep you questioning Dothan’s origin, his connection to Nathaniel, and whether Jamie will choose to embrace Dothan, Nathaniel, or neither, as the story unfolds.

Mamabear gives this book:

five-bears

Note: I was gifted an eCopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.