Sunday, October 31, 2010

In My Mailbox (28)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi, over at The Story Siren.

Fractured by Joanna Karaplis
Misguided Angel by Melissa De La Cruz
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

Harvest Hunting by Yasmine Galenorn
Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning
A Stockingful of Joy by Hannah Howell
The Perfect Love Song by Patti Callahan Henry
Nocturne (ARC) by Syrie James

Meet Us At The Crossroads Tour: Final Giveaway

Well, we did it folks! We’ve reached the end of the Crossroads Tour! I want to thank each and every author that came to visit here on my blog, and I’d also like to thank all of the people who left such lovely comments.

I have one last giveaway to celebrate the success of the tour, and yes this one is INTERNATIONAL! Joy Preble has offered up one SIGNED and PERSONALIZED copy of Dreaming Anastasia!

Rules for entry:

- Leave me a comment telling me what’s your favorite book to read around Halloween, or if you don’t have a favorite…what’s your favorite scary movie?
- Leave your email address with your comment so I can contact you if you win!
- Open to EVERYONE!
- Contest ends on November 8, 2010 12am EST.

Meet Us At The Crossroads Tour Day 16: Linda Joy Singleton

1. What inspired you to write Sabine 's character?

While most of my characters are based on traits of people I know, Sabine came to me from dreams. Even her name seemed already in my head, even though I considered changing it. When I write about her, she feels like a real person.

2. What was the first book you read that made you fall in love with reading (past or present writer)?

When I was in 3rd grade, I started reading mysteries like Nancy Drew. My favorite series was the Judy Bolton series by Margaret Sutton because Judy felt like a real person who would make mistakes, get mad and fall in love. She got engaged (twice) then married in the 17th book RAINBOW RIDDLE. I still love that series, and I was lucky to know the author, too.

3. What paranormal author are you currently addicted to?

I really enjoy Maria V. Synder and her POISON STUDY & SEA GLASS series. I’m also a huge fan of Suzanne Collin’s and have enjoyed her HUNGER GAMES and GREGOR books.

4. What band or artist currently tops your play list?

I like Katy Perry, Leonna Lewis, Abba (loved Mama Mia!) and Lady Gaga.

5. Do you have any projects you are currently working on that you are able to share? And can you give us a little teaser?

I have a spin-off from THE SEER starring Thorn coming out in 2011. Goth Girl Thorn reluctantly uses her psychomentry skills by touching objects to get psychic visions. Here’s part of the scene where she first meets a mysterious masked guy with a dangerous reputation at school:

I lunge for the gym door but before I can make it, Masked Guy’s gloved hand springs out. He grabs my arm and spins me around, pinning me against his chest.
“Let me go!” I squirm, kicking his leg and feeling some satisfaction when I hear him grunt in pain.
“I’ve played nice until now,” he growls. “No more.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“I never threaten.” He’s close enough to feel his hot breath on my neck and I catch a whiff of musk-cologne. “I act.”
Then he yanks my backpack from my shoulder and shoves me roughly to the ground. “You’ll find this in the dumpster by the library,” he says. “But you’d better hurry because someone else may find it first—and you know how dishonest students can be in this hellhole.”
Then he strides off away with my backpack.
I stumble to my feet, shaking with fury, and see the back of his head: the bright yellow design on his knitted mask.
A cheerful smiley face.
Mocking me.


Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new research question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page, and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Meet Us At The Crossroads Tour: End of Week 2 Swag Giveaway

I hope you are all enjoying the Crossroads Tour; I love all the answers from all the authors! To celebrate the end of the tour, I have another bunch of SWAG to giveaway!

In this week’s prize we have:

Class of 2K10 postcard

The Ghost and the Goth magnet (signed)

The Crescent bookmark (signed)

Forget-Her-Nots bookmark (signed)

Shade bookmark (signed)

Zombie Queen bookmark (signed)

Locket necklace and card (signed by Kitty Keswick)

Rules for entry:
- Contest runs until November 7, 2010 12am EST
- Canadian and US addresses only please!
- Leave a comment about your favorite interview I posted from the tour, and what was your favorite answer?
- Leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

On My Wishlist (23)

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

Blood Wyne by Yasmine Galenorn:
We're the D'Artigo sisters: half-human, half-Fae, we're sexy, we're savvy and we just turned in our badges to the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. My sister Camille is a wicked good witch. Deliliah's a werecat and blossoming Death Maiden. And as for me? I'm Menolly, acrobat extraordinaire turned vampire. But being a vamp isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when the Godfather of all vampires decides to play Prince Charming...

It's the holiday season and a vampire serial killer is on the loose. Hungry ghosts are tearing up the town and people are running scared. I strike a deal with Ivana Krask--one of the Elder Fae--and too late, discover strings are attached. But when I turn to Roman, one of the oldest, most powerful vampires around, for help, he offers me more than I ever bargained for.

Dark Peril by Christine Feehan:
Dominic of the Dragonseeker lineage, one of the most powerful lines the Carpathian people has, ingests vampire blood laces with parasites in order to be able to go the very heart of the enemy camp and learn their plans. It is a one way mission. He knows he has little time once the parasites and the blood go to work. He plans to get in fast, relay the information to the leader of the Carpathians living in the area and go out fighting—an honorable way to end his life.

Solange Sangria is one of the last of the jaguar people, a royal pureblood. Her people, once many are now nearly extinct, a dying species that cannot recover from the choices they made over hundreds of years. She has long been alone, fighting to save the remaining women who are able to shift, from the hands of Brodrick the Terrible, her own father who slaughtered her family and everyone she loved. Wounded, weary, she plans one last battle, hoping to stop the man who has made an alliance with the vampires, accepting she will not come out alive.

They are two warriors who have lived their lives alone. Now, at the end of their time, they find each other, a complication, neither saw coming.

Awakened by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast:
At the start of Awakened, the pulse-pounding eighth installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey has returned, mostly whole, from the Otherworld to her rightful place as High Priestess at the House of Night. Her friends are just glad to have her back, but after losing her human consort, Heath, will Zoey - or her relationship with her super-hot Warrior, Stark - ever be the same? Stevie Rae is drawn even closer to Rephaim, the Raven Mocker with whom she shares a mysterious and powerful Imprint, but he is a dangerous secret that isolates her from her school, her red fledglings, and even her best friends. When the dark threat of Neferet - who is coming closer and closer to achieving her twisted goal of immortality - and Kalona returns, what will it take to keep the House of Night from being lost forever, and what will one desperate girl do to keep her heart from being irreparably broken?

Meet Us At The Crossroads Tour Day 15: Kitty Keswick

1. What inspired you to write Kasey’s character?

I had a dream about Kasey and Gillie chatting about who was hotter, Spike or Angel and it went from there. It took awhile to get published so that chat was changed from Sam or Dean. I’m a fan of Dean myself. I’m sure you know which supernatural hunter I’m speaking about. (Drool.)

2. What was the first book you read that made you fall in love with reading (past or present writer)?

Laurel K. Hamilton’s early stuff I devoured it.

3. What paranormal author are you currently addicted to?

Charlaine Harris, been a big fan even before HBO.

4. What band or artist currently tops your play list?

I like indie and British bands. I’ve also recently taken up playing the drums (again did it in college). Don’t get too excited, I’m still at the sucking stage. But I hope to get good enough to jam someday with fellow author, Judith Graves, she plays guitar and base.

5. Do you have any projects you are currently working on that you are able to share? And can you give us a little teaser?

Really rough unedited teaser? This isn’t final but it’s a scene taken from FURRY & FREAKED, book two. I really like Ruby and Kasey. They play off each other in a fun way. They are complete opposites but common goals bring them together as friends. Ruby is blunt, she’ll tell you how it is, and everyone needs somebody like that.

I think this is somewhere in chapter five... Kasey is alone at her new school. Valkyrie is Ruby’s pet name for her. You’ll have to read the series to find out what it means.


Chairs screeched signaling the mass exodus of the final bell and end of the school day. I hung back pretending to dig through my backpack waiting for the last student to leave the classroom. I didn’t want to run into Clay and his gang. I’m not one to hightail it from ghosts or teenage werewolves but, heckling was something I was never good at swallowing.

“You’re going to miss the bus, Valkyrie.”

I nearly jumped out of my skin as Ruby materialized next to me. Her jet black hair was pulled into two short pigtails streaked with navy blue. She ran her hands down her black and navy plaid pegged leg pants studded with massive amounts of safety pins, until, she came to a zipper and proceeded to remove a mint, not before blowing a piece of lint off it first.

“Here,” She said thrusting it my way.

“I don’t want it. No telling how long it’s been there. You died in the seventies, right?” I replied hoisting the backpack over my shoulder as I ignored my personal poltergeist. As I weaved in and out of the desks until I was out of the classroom and in the hall. Ruby followed with her blue combat boots hovering an inch or so above the floor.

“As if, 1988. Take it or I’ll cram it down your throat! Don’t think I won’t do it. Your breath smells like something died.” She took a step closer and sniffed, curling her upper lip in disgust."I stand corrected you reek. What’s in the backpack? A body?”
“Could be, if you keep it up.” Ruby and I had this little verbal wits match. I really liked that about her.

*** Furry & Freaked, Kitty Keswick


Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new research question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page, and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday 56...Shade (30)

The book today: Shade by Jeri Smith Ready

She strode into the foyer and hustled up the stairs.

The Rules:

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
* Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Meet Us At The Crossroads Tour Day 14: Jordan Deen

1. What inspired you to write Lacey's Character?

Hi Amy! Thank you so much for hosting the authors of the Crossroads Tour! We are thrilled to be with you.

Lacey is directly modeled after a few people that I know. My niece, my friends, and others are always used as inspiration for characters. The best way to write a characters mannerisms is to know them first hand, after all!

2. What was the first book you read that made you fall in love with reading?

The very first book that I loved and hooked me in reading is Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson. It’s an amazing story of a girl that has a beautiful, popular twin. It’s about finding yourself and your place in your family. It’s a beautiful story. If you haven’t read it, pick it up today. It’s still available on Amazon.

3. What paranormal author are you currently addicted to (past or present writer)?
I’m seriously addicted to Shannon Delany right now. I swear it feels like I’m stalking her right now. I check her blog every other day; I’ve read 13 to Life many times and I follow Shannon’s tweets. I feel like such a fan-girl. Writers are Rockstars.

4. What band or artist currently tops your play list?

Hands down: Framing Hanley. I have many other artists that come and go, but Framing is always in my ‘most played’ list.

5. Do you have any projects you are currently working on that you are able to share? And can you give us a little teaser?

I’m always working on something else. Always. I have several novels in the works right now, but I’ll give you a teaser of the one that is nearest to me: Benches

My parents and I arrive in California a month into my sophomore year. We’re moving to save my parent’s marriage, I guess. We’re running away from my hometown of Fairview, Illinois, where everyone stared at my mother like she had a giant A on her chest, no, not for adultery—for arson. Dad should have a giant red A for adulterer. Yup, after twenty years of seemingly perfect matrimony, my father “allegedly” cheated on my mother, and she “allegedly” burnt our house down. It’s hard to believe either story is true considering dad still brings mom red roses every Sunday and she still bakes him an apple pie before games; although, now he watches games on TV instead of on the sidelines. Dad was fired from his coaching job at the High School and the insurance company refused to rebuild the house… I guess both stories hold some truth… no matter how much they suck and I refuse to believe them.
Summer taught me one very painful lesson: small town people talk about any disaster they can because they have nothing better to do. Even people that said they were our friends gossiped about us. Luckily, my older brother and sister didn’t have to endure being shunned by their friends since they were already at college by the time everything fell apart.
I’ve changed clothes more than twenty times for my first day, trying to look cooler and skinnier than I actually am. Even though I’m fifteen, Mom is hovering by my bedroom door to inspect my clothes and make up to make sure I’m not trying to mirror my older, popular, sister. Her presence is making my mission of looking awesome almost impossible. The sound of her heels on the carpet outside my door makes me forget which shirts I’ve already had on and which ones are still options.
My parents might see California as an opportunity to start their marriage over again, but I see it as a chance to reinvent myself. No more being teased for being Lynn and James’s chubby kid sister. This is my chance to step out of the shadows and finally be popular instead of the tag-a-long. I hated being called that by my sibling’s friends, even though it fit since I’m five years younger than them and never had really close friends of my own. Or a boyfriend because all the boys in town hung out with my brother and wanted to date my sister… they barely gave me a second glance. But that’s o-v-e-r. I’m done with it and that life. My mother and sister were both cheerleaders and popular in school. My father and brother were on all the sports teams and just as popular…this is my chance to have the life I’ve always wanted. Today is just the beginning. So, I have to get this right. You only get one chance to make a first impression—and I’m going to knock it out of the park, or, at least I hope I do. If I can channel half of Mom or Lynn’s charisma, then today will be a breeze.
Mountain View High looks more like a college than a high school. Getting lost on the way to the office for my schedule is zero fun. The map they give me doesn’t really help anything either. Then again, I’ve always been directionally challenged. Rushing to get to my Theater Tech class, I run straight into a short blonde girl with heavy make up and a crazy short denim skirt on. I drop my backpack and she drops all her books. So much for not looking like a fool on my first day.
“I’m so sorry!” My skin lights on fire. This certainly isn’t the way to meet new people.
“Oh hey, are you new here?” She gives me a wide grin.
“Yeah.” I let out an uncomfortable laugh and start picking up the scattered items from the sidewalk; some hers, some mine. There’s no way to salvage today. Maybe I can get a do-over tomorrow.
“Thanks. Where you heading? I’m Allison. But, my friends call me Ali.”
“Umm… the Theater Arts room. I’m Lauren.” Oh man. Where is my charisma? My charm? If I’m going to redeem myself, I need Lynn—not Lauren. She’d know exactly what to say in this situation.
“Cool. I’m going there now. Come on.” She grabs my hand and goes the opposite way. “So, where are you from? Did you just move here?”
“How did you know?” Paranoia fills my gut that the word outsider is tattooed on my shirt for the whole world to see. Talk about uncomfortable. I’m going to have to avoid this girl for the rest of the year.
“You have a funny accent.” She smiles again. Her kind eyes give me hope that I can still salvage my bad first impression. “So, you’re from another state?”
“We just moved here from Illinois. My older brother and sister are still at college there.” Mentioning Lynn and James makes me homesick and angry at myself for sounding like the mousy-tag-a-long sister again.
“Oh. Why did you move then?” she asks, ending my inner search for my cool alter ego.
“That’s a really long story...” Full of a past I have no intention of sharing… with anyone.
“Well, then you can tell me over lunch!” Ali stops in front of the door to the Theater Arts department and introduces several girls. The only names I remember are Mandi and Jamie, but only because they’re wearing cheerleading outfits. An honor I hope to get soon. If not this year, definitely next, after I have a long talk with my mother and lose some weight, that is.
Just as Mr. Claymore calls the class to order, the theater doors fling open and quench the darkness with perfect rays of glowing sun. I swear the boy that cuts through them is walking in slow motion. He’s at least five eight, not too tall or too short, with light brown hair and dark brown eyes with a football jersey on. My heart goes into hyper speed and my head is cloudy.
With my eyes wide, I lean over to Ali. “Who’s that?”
“Ahhhh—that’s Josh Miller. He’s on the football team, shortstop on the baseball team, forward on the soccer team; all around he’s high school royalty.”
“Yeah, pretty much everyone’s crushing on him.”
“Is he a senior?” Oh man. Pllleeassse say no! He has to stick around long enough to fall for me.
“Nope, junior.”
“He’s … he’s just…”
Ali giggles. “I know.”
“You have a crush on him, too?’ I ask without thinking, feeling instantly possessive over number nineteen—Josh Miller.
“No, I don’t date high school boys. They’re too immature.”
“Are you a junior?” I hope she’s not since she’s pretty much the only person that’s talked to me since we moved here.
“No. I’m a sophomore. Are you?”
I don’t answer, my eyes lock onto Josh’s. He’s sitting across the aisle, less than five feet from us, with a smile that is growing inch-by-inch revealing the most perfectly straight, white teeth I’ve ever seen. I feel faint when he asks about me. “Who’s your new friend?’
He asked about me? Oh my god! Breathe Lauren, breathe!
“This is Lauren. She just moved here from Illinois.” Ali’s voice is distant as she gives him the play-by-play on her new dorky, mouth-half-open friend. Chills are competing for space up and down my spine as he leans in to introduce himself.
“Hey, Lauren. I’m Josh.”
“Hey.” I can’t manage to say anymore. If I believed in love at first sight, I’d say this is it. Harps and angels singing reverberate in my ears. I have no idea what the teacher even says during the next forty-five minutes; I’m too busy planning my honeymoon. Lynn would be so mad if I get my fairy-tale before her. Then again, Mom’s going to be pissed if I ask to date a jock… I’ll call in Dad for back up, that’s for sure. I’ll do anything to make #19 mine.
I agree to meet Ali at my locker after lunch since I have no idea how to get to hers. Mandi and another girl are waiting at my locker instead.
“This is Jenn,” Mandi says.
“Hey. I’m Lauren.”
“I know. I heard all about you this morning from Mandi!” Jenn smiles and hooks her arm through mine.
Loud laughing and screams from the tables in the grassy area behind my locker catch my attention. Teenagers are lounging all over the tables and benches eating lunch.
“Don’t look over there. That’s bad news,” Mandi cautions.
“What do you mean?” I stare even though she warned me not to.
“They’re a bunch of losers. Criminals, drug users and alcoholics.” She lists them like she’s listing what’s for lunch—casual and dismissive. She leans close with a secret, “Ali has been trying to hook up with this guy that hangs out there. Sometimes I don’t get her, out of all the available guys she picks a slacker.” Mandi laughs.
“I know a few of the people over there. They aren’t all bad, but I try to avoid most of them.” Jenn look at Mandi and me.
“Oh. Okay.” I stare again at the blurry scene of bodies. The girls are draped all over boys. They don’t seem to care that everyone can see them making out in broad daylight. Fairview High’s proctors never would have allowed it and I’m almost embarrassed that I’m staring at it. But in all the mangled mesh of bodies, the bluest set of eyes piques my curiosity and holds every inch of me hostage. Even with dark purple bruising, his eyes are magnificent and captivating. He sits on one of the tables with his feet resting on a bench. His dark brown hair is messy and his gray t-shirt hugs every muscle in his arms. The allure of his eyes holds me in his stare much longer than I’m comfortable with, but I can’t help it. I’ve never seen anything like him in my entire life—so at home on the benches, yet, so obviously out of place in high school. Curiosity definitely trumped Mom teaching me not to stare.
“Ooooh no no no- don’t look at him.” Mandi grabs my arm, swiftly breaking the trance and yanks me towards the quad.
“Who’s he?”
“That’s Danny. He’s dangerous. He’s been suspended like a million times, and he’s always getting in fights. I heard he was in Juvie last year.” Mandi says like she’s spilling international secrets. I look back and another boy with bruises to match Danny’s is standing with him. The second boy is rougher around the edges than Danny. It’s almost like Mandy is describing him rather than Danny, or maybe I’m hoping she is because Danny still hasn’t taken his eyes off of me.
“Who’s he?”
Jenn looks back at the benches, “That’s Brandon, Danny’s best friend. Now if you want to talk about trouble…”
“Ali said she might invite you to sleep over on Friday. Do you think you can go?” Mandi asks, stopping Jenn from dishing the dirt about the mysterious boys. Even though they warned me, my eyes drift back to him; he’s still staring at us as we round the corner heading into the quad.
“Lauren?” Mandi yanks at my arm again; displeased she has to share my attention with someone she obviously feels is beneath her.
“I’ll have to ask my mom.” They both laugh at me. I kinda laugh, too. But not really.


Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new research question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page, and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Future Favorites (13)

Future Favorites is an awesome blog feature over at Electrifying Reviews. I post about a book that is yet-to-be-released and that I can't wait to read!

Haunted by Joy Preble:
Release Date: January 1, 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire

Anne Michaelson’s world turned upside down last fall when a handsome, blue-eyed and temporarily immortal Russian named Ethan informed her that she had a destiny to save the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, held captive for decades by the witch Baba Yaga. But Anastasia had her own thoughts about destiny. And Anne and Ethan discovered that some things aren’t so easily undone. Now, six months later, the craziness in Anne’s world hasn’t gone away. Neither have her feelings for Ethan. Anne still has powers she doesn’t fully understand. She’s still dreaming about Baba Yaga’s forest. And she’s got a new boyfriend – very normal and very sweet lifeguard, Ben Logan. As for Ethan, well, he hasn’t quite gotten over the events of last fall, either. And he definitely hasn’t gotten over Anne. In short, everyone’s haunted by something – or someone.

Enter the rusalka – a Russian folklore mermaid with a malevolent streak - and a particular interest in Anne. When Ethan suddenly returns from Europe, Anne’s world collides with the paranormal once again. Her heart torn between Ben and Ethan, Anne’s search for the rusalka’s identity reveals deep and startling secrets - including the true source of Anne’s powers.

Like Dreaming Anastasia, HAUNTED is a wild adventure of a tale, a genre blend of fantasy, folklore and romance alternately narrated by both Anne and Ethan. As lives and fates intertwine and the romance heats up, so does the danger. “Stories within stories,” the rusalka tells Anne. “Secrets within secrets.” And as Baba Yaga frequently observes, nothing is as simple as it seems.

Meet Us At The Crossroads Tour Day 13: Shannon Delany

1. What inspired you to write Jess' character?

I was coping with the loss of my own mother and Jess just stepped out of the shadows of my mind and fit what Pietr and I needed.

2. What was the first book you read that made you fall in love with reading (past or present writer)?

So many influenced my love of reading--The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey made me love science fiction, A Walk through Wolf Wood by Mary Stewart encouraged my love of fantasy and the Arrows of the Queen trilogy by Mercedes Lackey cemented that love pretty firmly.

3. What paranormal author are you currently addicted to?

Ohhh. This is a tough one! Okay. Becca Fitzpatrick. I don't know why I didn't read hush, hush until just recently, but the world she's created is richly atmospheric and, well, Patch is undeniably hot.

4. What band or artist currently tops your play list?

It changes from day to day and depends on characters and the story I'm writing at the time. Right now I'm splitting my attention between 3 projects (other than the 13 to Life series). For "ST" the music's part Les Mis, part Linkin Park. For "CL" it's a lot of Linkin Park and Green Day. And for "Project F" it's Annie Lennox, Alan Parsons Project, Meatloaf, Celine Dion and Christina Perri's Jar of Hearts. 13 to Life is Snow Patrol, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, My Chemical Romance and Thriving Ivory.

5. Do you have any projects you are currently working on that you are able to share? And can you give us a little teaser?

Muahaha! Of course I do, silly girl--you know I love to tease you all with what I'm doing. ;-) Because you asked...

Here's a snippet from Secrets and Shadows (book 2 in the 13 to Life series):

As soon as the door closed behind us, Cat was all business. “Since we agreed to one sidearm, I’d like you to carefully produce it. Then Max will pat you down.”
“Not him,” Wanda said, slowly drawing her gun from her ankle holster. “He’s handsy.”
Max barked out a laugh. “My reputation precedes me.”
“Pietr,” Cat instructed.
From behind Max he came. Not even sparing me a glance, he took Wanda’s gun. “Ten shots. Three for him, three for me, two for Cat. Two left. Alexi and Jess,” he presumed. “Good thinking. You might get out alive.” He ran his hands over her arms and legs, skimming down her front and back. “She’s clean.” He handed the gun back to Wanda.
He didn’t miss her look of surprise.
“You can’t take away our teeth or claws—-we shouldn’t take away your weapon either.”
“Now do Jessie,” Cat commanded.
His upper lip curling, Pietr glowered at his sister.
“You’re the one who suggested limiting her involvement. Your attitude toward her has changed. So search her.”
Pietr looked to Max for support.
“I’d search her for you, little brother, but I’d enjoy the job.” He grinned, giving Pietr a smug look. “And I’ll bet I could make Jessie enjoy it, too,” he rumbled, the challenge clear.

Here's a little from the prologue of Bargains and Betrayals (book 3 in 13 to Life):

Pietr steadies himself. His breath stirs the chestnut-colored strands of hair that curl slightly by Jess’s ear and he says, “I won’t let them take you, Jess. I promise. I won’t let you down.”
Some seventeen year olds might make promises hastily. Might not be prepared to back them up. Jess has done her share of that.
But Pietr wasn’t made that way.
Pietr doesn’t take promises lightly.
Clutching his arm she whispers, “Please — puhzhalsta...”
Her breathing calms. The thrumming of her heart slows as she feels a subtle shift in the muscles sliding just below his skin.
Pietr is her hero.
Capable of amazing things.
A growl builds softly in his gut, clawing toward his chest. “Don’t touch her,” he warns.

And for snippets of my other projects you should trail me at my blog or on Facebook. ;-)


Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new research question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page, and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday Random Recommendation (29)

Seventeen-year-old Gwen hides a dangerous secret: she’s Other. Half-pooka, to be exact, thanks to the father she never met. Most Americans don’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others, especially not the small-town folks of Klikamuks, Washington. As if this isn’t bad enough, Gwen’s on the brink of revealing her true identity to her long-time boyfriend, Zack, but she’s scared he’ll lump her with the likes of bloodthirsty vampires and feral werewolves.

When a pack of werewolves chooses the national forest behind Gwen’s home as their new territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate-into murder. It soon becomes clear a serial killer is methodically slaying Others. The police turn a blind eye, leaving Gwen to find the killer before the killer finds her. As she hunts for clues, she uncovers more Others living nearby than she ever expected. Like Tavian, a sexy Japanese fox-spirit who rivals Zack and challenges her to embrace her Otherness. Gwen must struggle with her own conflicted identity, learn who she can trust, and-most importantly-stay alive.

Karen Kincy created a society where humans and Others (paranormal beings) interact every day. But humans are afraid of the unknown and there is discrimination against non-humans and so most Others, like Gwen, hide their true selves from being discovered. Until one day she believes that she can trust her boyfriend, things begin to change drastically as Others are murdered and it seems like the police are not all that interested in finding the killer. There is romance, betrayal and mystery throughout the book keeping any reader who loves urban fantasy turning pages.

I invite and welcome anyone interested in participating to post their own "Random Recommendation" (original post) on their blog (and include a link back to this blog) and join in the fun! Some books might not be very recent reads, but I hope that just helps these (sometimes forgotten) books earn a spot on your own bookshelf!

Meet Us At The Crossroads Tour Day 12: Judith Graves

1. What inspired you to write Eryn's character?

Eryn walked on the set and just owned my laptop the way most of my characters seem to. They have likes and hates, loves and losses, agendas and secrets. Sure, I discover things about them on the way…but how do they appear in the first place? (shrugs) I dunno. But I’d say Eryn appeared as a part of my obsession with Buffy and loving a story with a strong female lead character. Joss Whedon ROCKS!

2. What was the first book you read that made you fall in love with reading (past or present writer)?

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. A Canadian classic and a strong female character.

3. What paranormal author are you currently addicted to?

I adore Christopher Moore. He’s got just my kind of humour, gore, and quirky characters. I read his stuff and instantly want to write more and aspire to his level of greatness. Check out his site:

4. What band or artist currently tops your play list?

Here are few of my current favs:

“Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” – Cher
“The Ghost Who Walks” – Karen Elson
“The End” – Allison Weiss
“I Only Want To Be With You” – Bay City Rollers
“Out of Our Minds” – Melissa Auf der Maur
“Magic” - Pilot

5. Do you have any projects you are currently working on that you are able to share? And can you give us a little teaser?

Here’s a smidge from the next book in the Skinned series, Second Skin:

The cool night air ghosted my breath as I tore through the trees, dodging their heavy, snow-covered branches. I leapt over the randomly placed tombstones scattered throughout Crimson Cemetery like a pro whipping through a round of mini-golf. It sucked that I was becoming familiar enough with the cemetery’s terrain to charge forward on automatic. That I was doing so for the third night that week was just plain irksome.
The hair on the back of my neck trembled. Not a good sign. I inhaled sharply, the pungent scent of hungry, drooling werewolf drifted on the breeze. I was heading right into its path.
It seemed I was always running straight toward the stuff any normal person would be running from, screaming their heads off. But then I wasn’t normal. I wasn’t really a person either if you wanted to get picky about the details. I shot a look up at the starry sky, tracking the dark form that dipped and swooped over the graveyard like some ginormous half-baked prehistoric bat. In her dark sprite form, my best friend’s wings sliced through the trees, causing mini-snowstorms to dump down on me with each impact.
My thighs worked harder as I bolted up hill, keen to take the advantage of the higher ground. Brit was closer now. Reachable. Physically at least. I knew she was hurting, no one doubted that. She wore her feelings like a shroud, blocking us out. She wouldn’t even talk about it to Matt, her boyfriend. But going all clammy wasn’t the extent of the problem.
On a nightly basis, Brit drowned her sorrows in her mother’s liquor cabinet. She was out of control, self-destructing.
Unfortunately, a lot of her pain came down to choices I made.
“We don’t have to do this tonight,” I called as I sprang into the air, swiping at the jean-clad legs hovering five feet above me. “Let’s just rent a tear-jerker and bawl our eyes out. We’ll both feel better.”
“Leave me ’lone!” Brit glared down at me, though her eyes were slightly unfocused. Her long black hair whipped around her, twitching like the tails of hundreds of angry cats. “I’m just goin’ for a walk.”
Still running at top speed while Brit flew above me, I had to laugh at her interpretation of walk.
“I hate to shatter the illusion,” I told her, “but this ain’t your average evening constitutional.” I leapt up again. Once. Twice.
“Stop that!” Brit’s expression changed from rage to shock. “What are you doing?”
“Friends don’t let friend fly drunk,” I shouted. I gripped a hand around her calf and hung on for dear life. Brit dipped at the change in weight, then surged upward and banked hard all at the same time, pinwheeling us in space.
I looked down.
I shouldn’t have.
We’d cleared the hill and were now soaring twenty feet over the graveyard. My stomach rolled. Werewolves, vampires, and other beasties I could handle, but heights? Not so much.


Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new research question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page, and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst

Enchanted Ivy:
What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet! Lily’s test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princeton’s—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets. When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage—and a little magic—to unite the worlds and unlock the secrets of her past and her future.

Sarah Beth Durst has an incredible talent for writing fairy tales and with powerful visuals and strong characters this book was truly a pleasure to read. I admit that the start of this book was a little slow to begin, but by the end of the second chapter I was completely engaged in Lily’s world. When Lily travels to Princeton with her mother and grandfather, for what she believes to be a campus tour and her grandfather’s reunion. She has no idea just how much her life is about to change. Her dream of attending Princeton after high school is within her grasp--and all she has to do is find something called the Ivy Key. Her quest puts her into the path of Tye, a handsome boy that seems to know a lot more about what is going on then he reveals. His honesty is questioned by both her grandfather and his mysterious group of friends, but Lily still finds herself believing in him rather than Jake, the boy named as her guard, after she is attacked on the campus grounds by a mysterious creature. Her adventure leads her to discover a magical gate that separates the human realm from a dimension filled with magic, and Lily is quickly plunged into a world where secrets and betrayal are waiting for her to make a mistake and end her life once and for all. As the truth about the tragedy that claimed her father’s life and changed her mother forever is revealed, Lily must use all the knowledge she has gained to save both her world and the magical one from being destroyed.