Twisted (Deathwinds Trilogy #1) by Holly Hook

TWISTED CROP

Twisted (Deathwind Trilogy #1) will be released on December 15, 2013.  

Add the book to your want to read list on Goodreads

Twisted (Deathwind Trilogy #1) is a spin off from The Destroyers Series

 
Sixteen-year-old Allie isn’t like other girls.  Instead of spending her summer break sitting around on the beach, she takes the epic vacation of a lifetime.
Tornado chasing.
And she’s not disappointed.  Just a few miles from the town of Evansburg, Nebraska, Allie meets her dream of seeing a tornado.  In person.  She can’t wait to tell her friends back home.  Never mind that her parents are going to kill her.
But her dream soon turns into a nightmare, and a strange event leaves her shocked.  Confused.  When she returns home to Wisconsin, something’s…different.  Allie now bears a curse so awful, it could destroy everyone and everything she’s ever known.
With her best friend, Tommy, Allie must return to the plains to find a way to reverse it.  She enters a world that she had never imagined, where she becomes a pawn in a fight to save the people of Evansburg from her fate…or to destroy them.
The cover will be revealed on November 15th!  If you are interested in participating in the cover reveal sign up here.  In the meantime here is the first chapter from Twisted!

Chapter One 

My very first tornado touches the grass of the plains.

I stand next to the van, mouth dropping open, heart pounding.  It’s the moment I’ve been waiting for, saved money for, begged my uncle to book us for the Wild Weather Storm Chasing Tours for.

Uncle Cassius swears next to me, equally in awe.  It barely cuts over the wind rushing towards the distant funnel.  Waves of grass bow down to the twister, whipped down by the surrounding air flying in to feed it.  The perfect white cone stands out against the coal sky, slim and graceful.  A skirt of dust spins around its base, signaling its dance through a field a few miles away.

“Beautiful!”  Kyle, our storm chaser guide, snaps a photo for his website.  He steals a glance at me and smiles.  He’s all enthusiasm, joy that we’ve found our prey. “Don’t worry.  We’re safe.  It’s heading to the east.  It’ll pass no closer than a couple of miles to our north.”

I want his job someday.

“I’m not scared,” I said, but my shaky voice betrays me.  Who am I kidding?  Kyle’s an experienced chaser–twenty years–but this is a real tornado.  In person.  Live.  I never realized it would be this intense, this breathtaking.  A hollow feeling fills my stomach like I’m plunging down the first hill of a roller coaster.

The tornado curves, almost like it’s leaning to the side for a better look at something.  At us?  It’s a silly thought, one that makes me laugh.  The thunderstorm spins slowly above it, low and menacing.  Thunder claps.  It’s enough to remind me that the storm in front of me isn’t just beautiful.  It’s a predator, entrancing like a cobra and ready to strike.

Good thing there’s no houses or buildings in its way.  Only farmland stretches from horizon to horizon.

“Allie.  Forget your camera?”  Uncle Cassius slaps me on the arm, smiling.  It’s a tense smile.  So I’m not the only one with some nerves going.

Camera.

Yes.  Duh.

I pull it out of my pocket and fumble with the slim case, fingers hunting for the button.  The camera zings to life.  Behind it, the tornado looms a bit larger, gaining strength and racing across the ground.  More dust kicks up around the perfect white of the twister.

“Now I can really prove to everyone at school how crazy I am.”  I give Uncle Cassius a nervous chuckle.  The camera trembles in my hands as I catch the tornado in my view, click, and seal it in my memory forever.

I’m having the most insane summer vacation of my entire high school.

I lift the camera for another shot, backing up to squeeze the tornado into the viewport.  I click another picture and lowered the camera again for another look.

My heart jumps.

The tornado looms larger, taller.  Kyle holds his hand up to his face, squinting for a better view.  Even Uncle Cassius goes quiet, stiffening and taking a step back towards the tour van.

All at once I understand.

The tornado has changed course.

Kyle turns.  Real fear widens his features.

“Get in the van,” he shouts.

* * * * *

The one big thing I can recall from those first ten seconds is the roar, like a distant train growing closer.  The wind whips my hair back, trying to pull me back out of the van.  It feels like the twister’s right behind me already, coming down for the kill.

I slam the door on it.  The funnel’s much bigger behind the glass, so much that I can’t see the top of it anymore.

Uncle Cassius snaps on his seat belt next to me.  Kyle starts it up, punches the gas, and gets us back on the road to nowhere.

I toss my camera to the floor.  My hands fumble with the seat belt.  The van speeds up, slamming me into the seat.  The specter of the tornado closes in, whipping across the field towards us.  I’ve heard of tornadoes making sudden turns like this but I never realized it could happen this fast.  It rips across the field, coming straight at us.  My heart beats on a runaway course.  My mind locks into overdrive.  I feel like that news crew they always have on tornado shows, that one that survived by hiding under that overpass.  Will Kyle make us get out and climb under one?  They’re actually bad places to hide.  That news crew got off lucky.  Kyle knows better.  He’s been chasing storms longer than I’ve been alive.

Only green and yellow spreads out ahead.  No shelter for miles.  Worse, no ditches.  The radar on Kyle’s laptop is covered in ugly red and orange blotches like Nebraska has sores.

A hole of panic opens up inside me and for the first time, I regret coming on this vacation.

“Can’t you go faster?”  Uncle Cassius leans forward in his seat, gaze hard, arms trembling.

Uncle Cassius never loses his cool.

Ever.

Not even when I accidentally set his Persian rug on fire when I was seven and broke my arm at the age of nine.

Outside, the tornado grows so close that I could only see the bottom half of the funnel.  The van bounces along every speed bump on the highway, every uneven spot.  My stomach heaves.  I’m going to be sick right here.  It’s my stupid fault we’re in this mess.

“I don’t understand.”  Kyle punches the gas harder, making the van jump.  He turns his head like Linda Blair in the Exorcist, eyes widening.  “The tornado should not be moving this way.”

He’s right.  It shouldn’t.  But it is.

The funnel reaches the road behind us, twisting harder, kicking up earth higher and higher.  We’ve gotten out in front of it.  I breathe a sigh of relief.  Kyle and Uncle Cassius do the same.  It’ll cross the road and forget all about us.

Kyle lets off the gas a little and the whine of the engine calms some.  “We’re safe now.  That was highly unusual.  I’ve never seen a tornado turn like that in my career.”  There’s a hint of an apology in his voice.

“Well, that was a close one, wasn’t it, Allie?”  Uncle Cassius hugs me from the side.

“Yeah,” I say, willing my heart to slow down.  At least I can think straight now.  Can I even do another two days of this?

Wow, what a dumb idea this was.

But I still can’t resist another look at the storm.  I turn as far as my seat belt allows.

My guts fall out of me all over again.

The tornado’s still on the road, bigger than ever.  It can’t be.

The twister has turned again.  It’s coming right up behind us.  Rolling dust eats the entire highway.  There’s tornado taking up the whole view of the back window.  Dust rips to the sides.  The bottom of its funnel spins with fury, big enough to swallow a house whole.  Its roar screams against the outside of the van, shaking the seat, pushing the whole van to the side.

It’s no longer beautiful.

“Ohmigod,” I say, sucking in a breath.  “Um…Kyle?  Stomp on the gas.  Just saying.”

“I know!” he snaps.  His knuckles turn white on the steering wheel.  The van lurches again but he maintains control.

“Allie, get down!”  Uncle Cassius puts his huge hand on my back and pushes me towards the floor.  The seat belt cuts into my throat.

What good is it going to do?  If the tornado lifts the car–

I’m going to die.

I begged to go on this trip and now Uncle Cassius is going to die too.

The windows shatter with a deafening boom and the wind screams in my ears.  AllieAllieAllieAllie…

I can’t breathe.

We’re floating.

Uncle Cassius shouts something.  Kyle yells.  If I’m screaming, I can’t tell.  The storm’s sucking it right out of me.  Windy hands seize my arms, my legs.

They pull.

My safety belt snaps, whipping against my leg.  I cry out with the sting.  The seat disappears under me.

I’m flying.

The tornado’s ripping me right out of the van.

The world turns to a white and brown roar.  The van’s gone.  I have no time to cry out to Uncle Cassius before the world snaps to black and silence takes the place of all.

About Holly Hook

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Holly Hook is the author of the Destroyers Series, which consists of five young adult books about teens who are walking disasters…literally. She is also the author of the Rita Morse series, a young adult fantasy series still in progress, and After These Messages, a short ya comedy. Currently she is writing Twisted, a spin-off of the Destroyers Series due out in December. When not writing, she enjoys reading books for teens, especially ya fantasy and paranormal series with a unique twist.

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Check out Holly’s Books!

1 Tempest SmlTempest (Destroyers, Book One) By Holly Hook

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Sci Fi, Adventure

Price: FREE!

KINDLE EDITION       KINDLE UK
KINDLE CA          NOOK EDITION
iTUNES EDITION       SONY
SMASHWORDS          KOBO (Coming Soon)

*

Book 1 of the Destroyers Series

Sixteen-year-old Janelle never thought the gray spiral birthmark on her arm meant anything special. That is, until she meets Gary, a boy her age with a birthmark exactly like hers. Gary’s attractive, brooding, and perfectly normal…except for the fact that he materialized out of a dangerous hurricane right in front of her. Janelle’s certain of only one thing. Gary’s mark—and hers, too—mean something, but he’s reluctant to tell her what.

At last she squeezes the truth from Gary about their markings. And the truth is utterly terrifying: Janelle and Gary are more connected to the destructive power of nature than she ever dreamed possible. And learning the truth about herself is only the start of her nightmare.

Book 2 of the Destroyers Series, Inferno, is now available.  See below.

*TEMPEST is a 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semifinalist and has now sold over 6000 copies since its release in September 2010!

2 Inferno SmlInferno (Destroyers, Book Two) by Holly Hook

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Sci Fi, Adventure

Price: $2.99 for the eBook (available for all eReaders!)

KINDLE EDITION       KINDLE UK
KINDLE CA           NOOK EDITION
iTUNES EDITION       SONY
SMASHWORDS          KOBO (Coming Soon)

*

Book 2 of the Destroyers Series

Ever since becoming leader of the human hurricanes called Tempests, 16-year-old Janelle is overdue for a vacation. But the trip to Hawaii quickly presents its own problems when she meets Kenna, a local sophomore who makes the volcano start rumbling when she’s nearby. So when Kenna gets kidnapped, Janelle has to find her before catastrophes can start.  If she doesn’t, it could mean the end of civilization as we know it, and the death of everyone she loves.

3 Outbreak SmlOutbreak (Destroyers, Book Three)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Price: $2.99 eBook

KINDLE          KINDLE UK               
KINDLE CA      NOOK EDITION    
ITUNES EDITION      SONY
SMASHWORDS      KOBO (Coming SOON)

*

Book 3 of the Destroyers Series

Paul doesn’t want to kill anyone.  All he’s wanted through his teenage years is to have his first Outbreak, where he’ll leave his body to take the form of a tornado.  In Mobley, Oklahoma, it’s a normal part of growing up.  But just as his wish is granted, he learns that his ability can be used for an evil purpose–and that those in charge are watching him.

*

4 Frostbite SmlFrostbite (Destroyers, Book Four)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Price: $2.99

AMAZON       AMAZON UK
AMAZON CA        NOOK EDITION
iTUNES EDITION       SONY
SMASHWORDS      KOBO (Coming Soon)

*

*
Book Four of the Destroyers Series

Sophia’s teenage years have been plagued with another presence that lives inside her–one that freezes everything around her when it gets angry.  When a new storm goddess arrives in town, it’s determined to get out of Sophia and join her…even it it means Sophia’s destruction and the end of the world.

5 Ancient SmlAncient (Destroyers, Book Five)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Price: $2.99

AMAZON       AMAZON UK
AMAZON CA        NOOK EDITION
iTUNES EDITION       SONY
SMASHWORDS      KOBO (Coming Soon)

 

Book Five of the Destroyers Series

This is the fifth and final book of the Destroyers Series.

Things are never easy when you’re growing up. They’re even worse when you’re also a group of walking natural disasters.

With the insane goddess Andrina on the loose, Janelle and her friends have no choice but to seek out Huracan, the ancient Mayan god of storms, to combat her. But their solution could cause more problems on their adventure than they ever anticipated. Huracan is an old god who craved power and human sacrifice, and handing over power to him could return the world to those days…and mean their end.

Janelle, weary from her position as Tempest High Leader, may finally have a way out of the nightmare she and her boyfriend, Gary, have lived in since she discovered her true identity. But waking up an old, grumpy storm god and giving back her curse might not be better than anything she’s ever known.

Since Kenna learned of her place as a volcano goddess, she has struggled to control her power…and anger. Tired of being helpless in the face of Andrina and falling into her traps, she must discover her own abilities or perish. Unfortunately, Andrina has her own new plans for Kenna.

Paul, riddled with guilt from being forced to turn his girlfriend, Leslie, into an Outbreaker like him, has promised that she will be human again, no matter what price Huracan demands from him. Anything is better than watching her turn into a tornado each time it storms, unable to stop herself from destroying everything around her.

Leslie fears that she will be forced to help Andrina bring Janelle to her side. Worse, she fears that she will lose Paul. She’s willing to sacrifice her humanity forever to keep him safe, but if Paul doesn’t listen, she could lose everything she loves.

Sophia has lived her entire life harboring a winter demon in her body, a dangerous spirit that can take her over and freeze others at any moment. Her new friends need the demon’s help in order to track down the storm god, but there’s no telling what she can do and when.

An adventure told from the point of view of five different teens, this is the conclusion to the Destroyers Series.

Rita Morse and the Sinister Shadow

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Price: $1.99

NOOK EDITION
KINDLE EDITION
ALL OTHER EBOOK FORMATS (INCLUDING SONY READER, PDF, EPUB, AND OTHERS)

*

Fourteen year-old Rita Morse is the kind of girl that the teen-hating Shadow Regime doesn’t like. She won’t put up with crap that isn’t fair. Ever. After she toilet-papers a video game store in retaliation for a ban on teens, the Regime, an army of immortals secretly trying to oppress teens all over the world, adds her to their list of threats. That’s not good, because the Regime’s enemies always disappear.

Now Rita’s in the biggest trouble of her life. She’s being stalked, threatened, and nearly kidnapped by shadow people. And the Regime isn’t the only danger: they also control countless humans around the world, some of which are much closer to Rita than she thinks. There’s nowhere to turn.

If Rita can’t learn the Shadow Regime’s reason for their war on teens—and her—she might not make it through her first week of high school.

Rita Morse and the Treacherous Traitor (Rita Morse, Book Two)

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Price: $3.99

KINDLE EDITION
SMASHWORDS (ALL EBOOK FORMATS)

*

Learning that she’s a Guardian, meant to protect the world from evil and injustice, has only been the start of Rita Morse’s problems. Now the teen-hating Shadow Regime has returned, with its sights now set on kidnapping and enslaving Rita’s classmates.  Rita’s new powers might not be enough to protect them, and worse, there may be a traitor working in her midst.

 

After These Messages (A Parody)

Genre: Young Adult Humor, Fantasy, Parody

Price: $1.99

AMAZON (FOR KINDLE)
BARNES AND NOBLE (NOOK)
SMASHWORDS (KINDLE, NOOK, AND EVERYTHING ELSE)

What would happen if the world suddenly turned into a giant commercial break? Unfortunately, Jade is about to find out, thanks to her little brother’s stupid wish.

Now, not only must she face stupid ads coming to life around her every minute of the day. She’s also being stalked by the most terrifying one of all: the creepy, ever-smiling Burger Planet mascot!

If Jade is unable to face him, she risks losing everyone she cares about to thirty-second slots forever.

*This is a novella at about 23,000 words long. It’s not too serious.*

 

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Cover Reveal: Jaded Stone (Souls of the Stones) by Kelly Walker

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Today is the cover reveal for Jaded Stone (Souls of the Stones) by Kelly Walker!
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In Cornerstone, Valencia Roth died to protect her daughter. In Jaded Stone, she’ll live for her.

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

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

Burdened with grief, Valencia must carve her own path forward. From the forge of chaos, a new era will be born.

Check out the new covers for the rest of the Souls of the Stones series
 

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

Tethered by Brandi Leigh Hall Release Day

Tethered Cover

Title: Tethered

Author: Brandi Leigh Hall

Purchase on Amazon

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New Adult/Upper Young Adult Urban Fantasy

What if the life you were born into, was never really yours to begin with?

I’ve never felt normal in my own skin. Like an oversized pair of UGG boots, nothing about my life fits the way it should. At least, not the way I’d like it to. I was born a Witch, with an ability I despise. And I’d do anything to give it back. But how do you return a “gift” that came with no card? I learned long ago—visions are one thing—you can never send back.

For six years, I’ve been an in-the-closet Seer, desperate to escape the murderous vision that ruined my childhood, and the Wiccan family I tore apart in the process. But I can no longer deny who I am.

Something terrible awaits those I love. Something big.

I’ve only seen bits and pieces, but I know I’m meant to move back home to save them. And who’s the tall, dark and delicious mystery guy in this vision with my family? He kisses me with more tenderness than I’ve ever known, yet I can’t tell how he makes me feel. Are we in love, or is it just a physical thing?

All I know is, I have to meet him. And I have to protect my family.

No more hiding from the truth. The time has come to face the ones I left behind. It’s time my visions of the future—go head-on—with the demons from my past.

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About Brandi Leigh Hall

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Brandi lives in central Pennsylvania with her fur-ball cats (Onyx and Klepto), where she spends most of her time attached to her laptops, reading books, appeasing her sweet tooth, and watching TV for motivation.

Growing up in a haunted house inspired Brandi’s fascination with the paranormal, so it only made sense
that she’d write Urban Fantasy books for both teens and adults.

Brandi hasn’t been lucky enough to meet her soul mate (yet), so she writes paranormal tales of those who have.
Her stories combine magical elements with real-life issues, strong female characters, semi-old fashioned men and family values, woven together and told from an emotional, first-person perspective. She enjoys writing sweet stories that teach girls it’s okay to speak your mind and be independent, career-driven, and not worry about fitting in to society’s mold.

In addition to the BirthRight Novels, she also has four additional adventures she’ll be writing over the next few years, so stay-tuned.

You can follow Brandi at:

http://www.BrandiHall.net
http://www.facebook.com/BrandiLeighHall
http://www.twitter.com/BrandiLeighHall
http://www.pinterest.com/BrandiLeighHall

Cover Reveal: Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell

FB CROPToday is the cover reveal for Fragile Brilliance (Shifters and Seers #1) by Tammy Blackwell!

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Maggie McCray has worked her whole life for the opportunity to attend Sanders College. It’s her one chance at becoming a world-renowned artist, and she’s determined nothing will get in her way. But when a murder brings Maggie and her powers to the attention of the Alpha Pack and the tragically handsome Charlie Hagan, her carefully planned future hangs in jeopardy.

Charlie Hagan isn’t happy when the Alpha Female assigns him as Maggie McCray’s personal bodyguard. Just being near the Thaumaturgic threatens to unleash the primal instincts he’s been suppressing for so long. Charlie knows if the coyote is uncaged, then the person he’ll most need to protect Maggie from is himself.

Fragile Brilliance is the first book in the Shifters & Seers series by Tammy Blackwell, bestselling author of the Timber Wolves trilogy.  It releases on Tuesday November 26, 2013.  Add it your want to read list on Goodreads.

About Tammy Blackwell

Tammy Blackwell

Tammy Blackwell is a Young Adult Services Coordinator for a public library system in Kentucky. When she’s not reading, writing, cataloging, or talking about books, she’s sleeping.

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Read A Book, Save A Life!

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Furthermore

(An Anthology)

 By Rebekah Campbell, David Estes, Amber Garr, Karen Amanda Hooper, Stephanie Judice, Leigh Michael

In honor of those who lost the battle and those who continue to fight, all proceeds from this anthology will be donated to cancer research and support.

A first date, a lottery, treachery and deceit. Sometimes fate has other plans. Sometimes there’s more to tell.

In Furthermore: An Anthology, seventeen original stories take you on a journey through worlds here and beyond. From the depths of the earth to the embrace of the sea, your favorite series continue. Prequels, alternative views, and new scenes give readers a chance to experience more than originally told. Including stories from Rebekah Campbell, David Estes, Amber Garr, Karen Amanda Hooper, Stephanie Judice, and Leigh Michael.

SURPRISE VISITOR -Emily has never been a fan of surprises but Eric has something up his sleeve to change her mind. (The Darkness Through The Light Series)

GETTING TO KNOW THE HEAVIES – The two Sullivan bodyguards are still human beings underneath it all. And everyone has a weakness. (The Darkness Through The Light Series)

PEOPLE CHANGE – When Eric asks his dad a question about his mother, it’s time to go back to where it all began and then went so badly wrong. (The Darkness Through The Light Series)

THE RUNAWAY- TAWNI’S STORY – After learning of her parents’ treachery, Tawni leaves home seeking to make amends for their transgressions. (The Dwellers Saga)

THE LIFE LOTTERY- A STORY FROM YEAR ZERO – With the survival of the human race on the brink, there’s only one way to decide who will be saved in the underground caves: The Lottery. (The Dwellers Saga)

COLD FEET – Kain witnesses Eviana’s deceit on their wedding day and is forced to deal with the consequences of her behavior. (The Syrenka Series)

RIFT – Daniel encourages the group to make a detour to the Grand Canyon, as the distance between the friends begins to rival the great ravine. (The Syrenka Series)
DISCOVERY – Leila’s first encounter with her psychic mentor is nothing short of memorable. (The Leila Marx Novels)

HUMAN RESOURCES – Blake finds a new job while Mac finds a friend who reminds him of home. (The Leila Marx Novels)

THE SOUND OF LOVEGlimpse into one of Nathaniel’s previous lives and see how his soul mate reacts when tragedy strikes. (The Kindrily Series)

MUIRNE’S MELODY – To escape her master’s vile desires, Muirne flees into the snow-swept night, finding a green-eyed stranger and a mystical destiny. (Saga of the Setti Series)

JEREMY’S HEART – Calm, cool, and complete scoundrel, Jeremy realizes the loss he’s suffered means nothing compared to true love. (Saga of the Setti Series)

FALL FROM GRACE – Warped by centuries of darkness, the creature Sveigja plots to capture Clara as his queen. (Saga of the Setti Series)

FATE – Experience Annabelle’s struggle to fulfill the ABA Prophecy in a new light through the parting words of Adrian, Aurelia, Blake, and Lady Katherine. (Annabelle’s Story)

Excerpt 1 (Teasers)

“Emily Jenkins, corrupting young men. What would people say?” He tutted at me and as if by magic, I spotted an elderly lady walking along the pavement, scrunching up her nose to stare at us. – Surprise Visitor (The Darkness Through the Light Series)

When I thought I might make her lips too swollen from my rough need of her, I pulled away. Those half-open dark eyes could’ve pulled me into Hell, and I would’ve gladly followed with a stupid smile on my face. – Jeremy’s Heart (Saga of the Setti)
Even when you know it’s the right thing to do, running away from home is never easy. They’re not good people. I can’t stay here anymore. – The Runaway-Tawni’s Story (The Dwellers Saga)

He smiled and my heart melted. One look like that and I second guessed every decision I made. – Rift (The Syrenka Series)

I had to entertain myself somehow, and being around these ridiculous humans made me homesick for a land I left centuries ago. – Human Resources (The Lelia Marx Novels)

This too shall pass. I mentally repeated it over and over, hoping Nathaniel’s injury wasn’t as bad as my crumbling heart made it out to be. – The Sound of Love (The Kindrily Series)

Perhaps the hardest thing to accept about one’s fate is that it can take years to unfold. But when it does, it’s worth every second, every breath, and every dream. – Fate (Annabelle’s Story)

Excerpt 2 (The Syrenka Series – Cold Feet)

As soon as I saw the first glimmer of sunrise, I trudged back up to the house and tried to prepare myself for the humiliation to come. Though early morning, a flurry of movement reminded me that wedding preparations were in full swing. I sighed as I took that last, heavy step up to the expansive wood deck. No amount of preparation would make this any easier.

The sliding glass door slid open with a thud, and three protectors emerged carrying large vases of flowers. Troy saw me standing in the shadows and nodded in my direction.

“Master Matthew. I didn’t know you were here already.”

I tried to make my smile look authentic. “Couldn’t sleep.”

He set the heavy arrangement down and wiped a bead of sweat from his face. “Getting cold feet yet?” he teased.

My stomach flipped and I swallowed the anger in my throat. Instead of replying I forced out a laugh. This wouldn’t be easy. I was here and no one knew Eviana was gone. Who do I tell first?

“Is Mistress Dumahl inside?” I asked, deciding on her mother, the leader of their clan.

“Yes, in the banquet room I believe,” Troy said.

I nodded to him and walked inside the house. Moving around the center island, I couldn’t help but notice the flowers and baskets and wedding decorations scattered all over the place. A lot had gone into the planning of this wedding, and a lot of people were going to be very disappointed.

As I rounded the corner, I ran into a petite woman carrying a clipboard and yelling into her cell phone.

“No, I said fuchsia, not pink. You better not show up here with pink bows.” She looked up with a glare before recognizing me. “I’m not arguing about this anymore. Just be here soon.” She hung up and shook her head. “I tell you, give someone a little leeway and they think they can redesign the whole wedding.”

“Mistress Dumahl,” I said. “I need to…”

“Please, call me Marguerite, Kain. You’re a part of this family now.” She beamed at me with a smile that perfectly matched Eviana’s. I sucked in a breath. “I wasn’t expecting you so early, but I’m glad you’re here. Perhaps you can get her out of bed?”

“Eviana? But I need to talk to…”

“Yes,” she said and brushed past me. “Please tell Eviana that I need her downstairs in twenty minutes.”

Before she finished that sentence, her phone rang again. I heard her yelling at yet another vendor as she marched through the house. Tempted to leave, I stood there weighing the pros and cons of that decision. I could just slip away until they noticed Eviana had left and let them break the news to me. That would be easier, but that would also be cowardly.

Excerpt 3 (The Leila Marx Novels – Discovery)

The aroma of simmering bacon mixed with freshly cooked eggs filled the kitchen and tempted my stomach. Russ hustled back and forth between the table and stove as graceful as a dancer, not once breaking his stride. Much appreciated in my house, his cooking skills only added to the attractiveness.

I leaned against the counter to enjoy the view. Dressed only in a pair of jeans, Russ’ bare back flexed with each little move. His muscular arms moved effortlessly and when he turned to smile at me, my heart fluttered.

“Good morning, beautiful,” he said.

Despite the novelty of our relationship, I predicted he was here to stay. No one had ever made me feel like this before. I smiled and walked to his side, wrapping my arms around his waist and squeezing tight.

“Morning,” I replied. Lifting my head to meet his lips, another rush of emotions flooded my body. On top of my own infatuation, an overwhelming sense of happiness embraced me. Despite trying to shield myself, Russ’ feelings poured through every place our skin touched. We were both ridiculously content with each other.  I smiled, but then noticed only one plate at the table. “You’re not staying?”

Russ kissed the top of my head and pushed away to finish lifting the bacon out of the sizzling pan. “No, I have to go home and then into work for a bit.”

Pouting, I pulled the chair out and sat down next to the single setting. He laughed and loaded up my plate.

“Don’t look so sad. I’ll be back tonight.”

Rare for us to spend a night apart, I still couldn’t control the tingling in my body every time we planned to see each other.

“What are you doing today?” Russ asked while rinsing the pans.

“I think I’ll go check out that psychic I told you about.” He’d cooked the bacon to a perfect crisp and I savored my first bite. With a full mouth, I added, “She’s one of the last ones I haven’t met.”

Russ shook his head and chuckled. My little project amused him. Knowing the special gifts I had, he accepted the idea of others like me. But he thought my efforts to prove them wrong were unnecessary. Every time I moved to a new city, I made it a point of identifying the true psychics. So far, they’ve all been fake. In a city the size of Baltimore, I expected to find at least one. Maybe the lady today would be the real deal.

“Well, have fun.” Russ dried his hands and leaned across the small kitchen table to grab my face. “As far as I’m concerned, you’re the only psychic in my book.”

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About the Editor

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Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner and author of The Syrenka Series and The Leila Marx Novels. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

Social Contact for all Authors

Name: Amber Garr
Email: amber@ambergarr.com
Website: www.ambergarr.com

Blog: http://ambergarr.blogspot.com
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Series: The Syrenka Series & The Leila Marx Novels
Genre: YA and Adult Urban Fantasy

Name: David Estes
Email: davidestesbooks@gmail.com
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Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Davidestesbooks
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Series: The Dwellers Saga, The Evolution Trilogy, and The Adventures of Nikki Powergloves
Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Paranormal, and Children’s Fantasy

Name: Karen Amanda Hooper
Email: authorkarenhooper@gmail.com
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Series: The Sea Monster Memoirs & The Kindrily
Genre: YA fantasy and paranormal

Name: Leigh Michael
Email: LeighMichaelBooks@gmail.com
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Series: Annabelle’s Story
Genre: YA paranormal adventure

Name: Rebekah Campbell
Email: reflectivebookworm@gmail.com
Website: http://reflectivebookworm.blogspot.com
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Series: Darkness Through the Light series – Living in the Dark (#1) to be published start of Nov.
Genre: YA

Name: Stephanie Judice
Email: sjudice989@gmail.com
Website: http://stephaniejudice.blogspot.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saga-of-the-Setti/203566846334918
Twitter: @sagaofthesetti
Series: Saga of the Setti
Genre: YA Paranormal/Romance

 

Release Day: An Ice Princess Heart by Alivia Anders

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Title: An Ice Princess Heart ( A Shard of Ice Novella)

Author: Alivia Anders

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When a string of men vanish without a trace along the coast of France, Lilix Morgan seeks to uncover the source of the mysterious deaths. Aided by four other immortal Originals, they comb the coast, only to find out the horrible dark truth; one of them is the culprit.

An Ice Princess Heart is the first book in a novella series leading up to the release of A Shard of Ice on April 14, 2014.

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THEIR SOULS, REAWAKENED.

When 13-year-old Lilix Morgan is found alive and floating on a bed of ice at sea, everyone counts it a miracle. Kidnapped nearly four weeks earlier, she remembers nothing of her mysterious abduction. When she tries to remember what happened, she hears only a melody – a faint and delicate set of notes, strung together in a tune she doesn’t understand.

THEIR POWER, UNMATCHED.

A year later and desperate to put the lingering nightmares of her past behind her, Lilix crosses the country to enroll at Baelmorte Academy, aiming to become the violinist she once dreamt of. Things seem to be finally going well, and Lilix settles into a routine of sheet music and inspiration among new friends.

Then the dreams start.

The melody and night terrors she thought she’d left behind return with a vengeance, threatening to ruin her fragile version of normalcy. Then an unlikely ally tells her that she isn’t alone. That there are others just like her, fighting to hide their own shocking truths from coming to light. That they know who she is, and what she’s been through. Now, accompanied by four other girls, Lilix discovers her nightmares are larger than a single trauma; they’re a window to a hidden part of her soul, a place of immense power with a destiny that cannot be ignored.

THEIR BATTLE, IS ONLY BEGINNING.

With this knowledge comes a new and frightening reality. For Lilix has been reawakened to stop an age-old enemy, one thought to have been destroyed centuries ago. Trapped by her destiny, Lilix is torn between what feels right and what she remembers. Her memories tell her of a star-crossed love waiting to be reunited, of friendships and trust broken in the past. But can she save that love when reality brings her an enemy, and an evil that will be the undoing of them all if they don’t destroy it?

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About Alivia Anders

Alivia

Alivia Anders was thirteen when she fell headfirst into the world of internet fanfic and RPG-forum board sites that showed her the ‘back door’ into the world of writing. Four years and many hours spent glued to a computer screen later she found her true calling in writing.
Alivia currently lives with her family in her hometown of Coopersburg, PA. She frequently admits that if she wasn’t so intolerant to dairy she’d live at her local ice cream shop called The Inside Scoop.

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Release Day Blitz: Hollywood Angels by Karri Thompson

Hollywood Angels

Title: Hollywood Angels (Amateur Angel #2)

Author: Karri Thompson

Genre: YA Paranormal

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Ashley’s back – and this time, she’s no amateur. She has a new assignment, someone who’s thoughtful, loveable, and caring – someone unlike her last assignment—Cannon Michaels, rock-and-roll bad boy, her celebrity crush, and the boy she loves. But will her next stint on earth will be any easier than the last? Can she forget Cannon and continue her role as a responsible guardian angel?

Someone has followed Ashley back to earth, and this person reminds her of who she used to be – an untrained angel full of sorrow and regret – but this someone is rash and unpredictable, lacking the patience and training needed to watch and wait and keep his assignment from harm. What will Ashley do when she meets this unexpected angel? Can she suppress her human emotions while teaching him how to love and protect his assignment? If he doesn’t cut it as an angel, will he be replaced by another, tearing Ashley away from her true love? Find out when Ashley falls back to earth and lands in a city full of surprises – Hollywood, California.

About Karri Thompson

Karri

My debut YA novel, Amateur Angel, was released May 1, 2012. The next book in that series, Hollywood Angels, comes out October 21st. The first book in my upcoming dystopian trilogy, The Van Winkle Chronicles, will be released by Entangled Publishing Summer 2013.

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Release Day Blitz: Unwanted by Alivia Anders

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Title: Unwanted

Author: Alivia Anders

Genre: NA Dystopian

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Book Description:

She would be his freedom.
He would be her price.

In a world overrun with people and narrowing resources, the basis of life has turned to do or die. No longer does the balance of wealth and power apply. A strict split between the rich and poor has made the lines clear- the more money you have, the more power you control.

For seventeen year old Emily Beucant, life is an equal gift and curse. Having grown up pre- Unwanted society, she can still remember the days it was okay to play with children from the other side of the concrete wall, back when her father was still alive, and back when the Unwanted program was used to Mark and hunt criminals, not sign away the lives of ungrateful children or spouses with high insurance collections over their heads.

But since her father’s creation of the program, the government has taken control and made it into a lucrative monster. And as Emily is days away from her eighteenth birthday, and handsome inheritance, she will soon see just how badly it is to be Marked.

When her soulless aunt places Emily up to be Marked an Unwanted, she is forced to go on the run from all she has ever known. No where is safe for her, and no one will protect her, least they wish to have the same fate as her. It isn’t until she forms a tense, explosive alliance with a former doctor, Ben, that it looks like the tables may turn in her favor. Together they race against those searching for her, desperate to find a way to free her from an early death. But is it too late?

No one is safe.
No one is free.

Teaser

The time on my phone flashes 4:09AM by the time I come within sight of the first glimpses of Primrose Gardens. It’s nearly identical to Greener Lanes; a carefully monitored entryway was the only real way in, as the land was secured in a fence at least twenty feet high. Of course, like all high property, the maintenance of areas like the bottom of fences was generally overlooked, and were easily broken into by stray animals.

Or fugitive eighteen year olds.

I double-check no cameras are positioned on the outside of the fence, then carefully navigate around it. My hands and fingers brush through dewy ferns and pines, the cold droplets a welcomed relief to my grime-coated fingers.

At the corner of the first half, I spot an opening. It’s small, roughly the size of a skinny barrel, and pieces of rotting wood have been shoved in front of it in a weak attempt to conceal it. I wiggle them free with little effort, check the other side for any pesky animals, and slip in.

The backyard is empty, nothing but freshly mown green grass to both corners of the enclosed yard. Inwardly I sigh with huge relief. Nothing in the backyard means there’s almost no chance of the house having dogs or kids.

I sprint up to the house and press myself into the siding, peering over the corner inside. Sunlight beams over the hedges and fencing, shining streaks of yellow into the wide floor-to-ceiling windows backing most of the house. There’s no lights on, and nothing casually abandoned or out of place. Maybe the place is abandoned.

Pressing my luck, I try the handle to the sliding glass doors. It’s unlocked. I hold my breath and pop the door open a pinch. When no alarms sound, I can barely contain my jittery hands from smacking the windows with glee like some over-sugared toddler who found out the square shape goes in the square-shaped hole.

I step inside and quickly shut the door behind me, careful not to make too much noise. Even with the sunlight streaking through the glass, I can’t see too much, but I figure it’s best not to turn on the lights just in case.

The kitchen reminds me eerily of home. Modern, glass and black metal fixtures create a desensitized atmosphere, devoid of emotion and memory. No fruit in a bowl on the counter, no washcloths hanging on the bar to the oven, no magnets on the fridge. Whoever does live here, doesn’t seem to be really living.

Two slim envelopes sit on the far counter near the entrance to what looks like a dining room. I inch closer and squint, trying to make out the name on the label.

The sound of a door upstairs stops me cold.

I spin about the room, frantic. A place to hide, a place to hide… the kitchen sink cabinet.

The cabinet was small, barely built to hold the pipes for the sink. Tiny bottles of cleaner, rags, scrubbing brushes, and several wrenches were piled in a corner, eating up any extra space I could fit into. This was most likely the only moment I would ever be thankful for my recent years of near-death starvation movements at my aunt’s hand.

I was told once that when you adrenaline hits, everything slows to a crawl. At the time, Dad had used the words heightened senses, joking that for a blink in our lives, we became superhuman.

For my sake, I hope he was right. If the owner of the house found me, it would be either fight or flight. And I was counting on the former.

My fingers silently grasp for one of the wrenches, and I tense, going quiet and still.

Footsteps sound on the linoleum tiles. A chair is pulled from the dining room table, and a sound of something heavy dropped on the table.

I dare not breathe. My heart races faster than helicopter blades slicing through the cloudy skies on an emergency rescue. Pressure builds in my ears and chest, my throat squeezing until I can barely gather a thread of air.

Seconds tick by, painfully slow. The nervous tick in my chest shifts to my feet, the fight flickering within. It crosses my mind that if I move swiftly, I could catch the owner off guard, burst from the cabinet doors and run for the fence.

Outside the cabinet doors, there’s nothing but silence. No feet, no mutters, not even a grunt. All I can be sure of is my heart, slamming erratically against my chest, pulsing faster with every passing moment.

The cabinet door flies open.

A hand reaches in, grasping onto my upper arm. I try to swing the wrench but there’s no room in the cupboard. In one move I’m yanked out and tossed onto the tiled floor, and greeted by a blackened barrel of a gun holding true to my face.

I know better than to scream for help. Instead I scramble with haste, rolling over and finding myself on my feet.

My eyes focus, and I meet with the owner of the gun hovering in front of my nose. Sharp, dark green eyes stare holes into me, but his expression is glacial, reserved. Instantly I’m reminded of Matthew, and how I’d handle his past dealers who would try and stiff him. Like a lion lying in wait, poised and in control, I’d wait until they left a sliver of their guard down and attack the first weak spot available.

But this isn’t a drug deal gone wrong, and Matthew is not here. This is real life, and I’m staring down a loaded weapon poised to blow my face all over the wall. If I give this man a fraction of a weak spot, he will use it and exploit it.

I refuse to give this man a weak spot.

He jerks his head to the cabinet doors, the short brown hair on his head bristling with motion.

“You have exactly ten seconds to give me one good reason not to empty my gun into your thieving frame.”

Surprise crosses my face, but I mask it as quickly as it slips. Could he possibly not know who I am? That I’m Marked and as good as dead?

I say nothing. His eyes narrow, as if he can see right through me and learn all my dirty secrets. I try not to visibly flinch.

He motions his free hand to the chair that’s been pulled from the table in the adjacent room. Our eyes stay locked and unblinking, neither moving.

“Why don’t you hand me the wrench, and take a seat?”

My lips stay sealed. I run over the options in my head, each more bizarre and unlikely than the last. Each one ends with me getting a bullet lodged into some part of my body, and I really don’t like the idea of becoming swiss cheese.

He sighs disappointingly. “Unless you prefer that I call the police?” His free hand now reaches into his pocket, cellphone ready to dial on his touchscreen.

If I wasn’t shaking before, I am now. My body shudders so hard I drop the wrench, the sound the smack against the floor so loud I yelp.

The willful voice in my mind resurfaces, screaming. Run! Attack him, take the gun from him and go! But the brazen drive fades as quickly as it comes, and I haven’t made a move. Confusion swings in my head. Part of me still clings to the past I ripped myself from. The truth that I am no longer Emily Beucant, socialite of Camardine, daughter of the man who established the Unwanted program, continues to sink it, startling me with each passing tick of the clock.

I am now Emily, fugitive of the law, outcast of all areas of society, Marked an Unwanted and fighting a system my own blood created.

Unwanted. Unloved. Undesired.

“No one,” I say, ignoring the crack in my voice. “Is going to take me alive, Unwanted or not. You may as well shoot me.”

The man lowered the gun by a fraction, tilting it to the side. His eyes darkened as if he would explode with rage, but he spoke as if confused.

“I’m not going to… hold on,” he zeroed in on my face, taking in my blonde tresses. “You can’t be that girl…”

I did my best to stand rigid and tall, envisioning a plank of wood for motivation. It offered little help for my intimidating factor.

Okay, so he knew. His eyes couldn’t hide the connection behind them, same way Matthew couldn’t hide his traitor behavior. Where did that leave me?

I was going to find out.

“Do it,” I make the words harsh, hot like scalding water. “Shoot me. You have every right.”

The frown on his lips deepens, and he lowers the gun by another inch.

Then, just like that, he flips the gun’s safety on and tucks it into the side of his black pants. A new wave of emotion, raw and frightened, rolls over me. Is he going to turn me in?

“Are you hungry?”

His words catch me off guard. Until he asked, I hadn’t so much as given a passing thought to food. My stomach gnawed and groaned.

“What, no-?”

He stares at me suspiciously. “You look like you weigh twenty pounds soaking wet. Might want to refuel if you plan on trying to break into any more houses.”

I couldn’t help it. “Are you seriously asking the person who just broke into your home if they want breakfast?

“Are you going to take breakfast from the only person who’s offered it to you?” He counters, scowling.

“I’m not-”

“Breakfast or the police. Your choice.”

What the actual hell was going on? I crossed my arms and made a face.

“Fine.”

He motions to the dining room one more time, the grand gesture like salt rubbing in the wounds. Looking over my shoulder, I carefully walk past him, crossing into the next room and sitting on the pulled out chair.

A basket is placed on the table, muffin tops poking out from the thin cloth covering the top. I peel back the cloth and sneak a peek between keeping my eyes on the man.

“Blueberry.”

“Do you not eat blueberry muffins?” His mouth turns up at the corners, fighting a snicker.

“Actually,” I begin, pushing the basket away. “I’m allergic.”

He pushes off the doorframe, moving for the fridge. “I have orange-cranberry, too.”

“I’m not hungry.”

He sighs with irritability, and runs his hands over the top of his head. “You’re either incredibly stupid or stubborn.”

That gets a rise out of me. “Talk to my aunt, and she’d tell you I’m both.”

“My guess is stubborn with a side of stupid, if what I saw earlier was any indication,” he jabs at me, eyes turning to their glacial stare. “You’ve got some nerve, some seriously huge cojones, thinking you could break into a place like this. Let me guess, you thought you were so lucky. No one spots you at the fence, the door’s are unlocked and place immaculate.”

“You have no ide-”

“I spotted you clear as day from the second floor, little girl. You hadn’t even finished moving those planks I shoved over the gaping hole. If I spotted you that fast, imagine how quickly the cameras on the other side got a look at your face.”

I went weak in the knees. “But I didn’t see-”

“Damn right you didn’t see, you were too busy enjoying the win of your little conquest. Tell me, what was your plan after you got inside, huh? Take the car, look for jewels to pawn, murder a family if they spotted you and reported to the Unwanted call line-”

It wasn’t supposed to happen!

I’m on my feet, but don’t remember standing. Flashes of my hands, white-knuckled as they grip the edge of the table, dance at the bottom of my line of sight.

His green gaze is unforgiving. “Is that what you were planning to say if you were caught? ‘I’m sorry, sir, it wasn’t supposed to happen’?”

“Is breakfast a codeword for lecture? Because I really, really don’t want any breakfast. Now or never.” I make to leave, but he stands in the way. My fists clench tight, and I relax my arms in case I need to power-fist my way through him.

“Move.”

“Answer me one question,” he says coolly. I can’t believe the nerve of this taunting jerk. In less than ten minutes, I’ve gone from fugitive to captive, all because my stupid instincts said to go to a place familiar to home.

I can’t look him in the face, so I turn my head down to the ground. “Ask.”

His words are like a thin thread of breath on my neck, a cold breeze that makes me shudder from the chill.

“What was your plan?”

To save Matthew. To kill Christine. To run long enough for someone to reverse my Unwanted status.

“I have to fix it,” the words barely leave my lips, the truth a burning declaration I hadn’t known existed even in the deepest pockets of my mind. “I have to stop it before someone else ends up in my shoes. Marked while innocent, captured while terrified, slain without cause.”

I tilt my head up slowly, coming within inches of his face. Waves of green swallow me, and for a second I swear I’m caught in the tide in his eyes, ready to be pitched into the waters, lost to the sea.

“I have to end the Unwanted program.”

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About Alivia Anders

Alivia

ALIVIA ANDERS is the author of the Amazon bestselling Illumine Series. Born and raised in PA, she fell headfirst into the world of writing at thirteen with the discovery of internet fan-fiction and RPG-forum boards. A lover of chinchillas, mexican food, and coffee, she spends most of her time drumming up new ideas to spin into tales to enchant readers everywhere.

You can find out more about Alivia, and her upcoming projects, by visiting her Facebook or Blogger.

Books Available by Alivia Anders:

The Illumine Series:
Illumine (Book #1)
Obumbrate (Book #2)
Riven (Book #3)
Ethereal (Book #3.5, releases March 2013)

Other Series By Alivia Anders:

The Black Symphony Saga Novellas:
An Ice Princess Heart (Novella #1, releases 2013)
An Ice Princess Kiss (Novella #2, releases 2013)
An Ice Princess Symphony (Novella #3, releases 2013)
An Ice Princess Dream (Novella #4, releases 2013)

The Black Symphony Saga:
A Shard of Ice (Book #1, releases April 2014)
A Brush of Fire (Book #2, releases January 2015)
A Breath of Life (Book #3, releases December 2015)

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