Release Day Blitz: Forsaken by Kristen Day

Once you’ve been touched by darkness, it never leaves you…

Abandoned by her parents as an infant; seventeen year old Hannah spent her childhood wading through countless foster families until being adopted by the Whitmans three years ago. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s high society wasn’t quite ready for Hannah…or the strange events that plague her

Chilling visions of murder, unexplained hallucinations, and a dark, mysterious guy who haunts her nightmares all culminate to set in motion a journey of self-discovery that will challenge everything she’s ever believed; not to mention her sanity.

Sent to live at The House of Lorelei on Bald Head Island, NC for ‘kids like her’, Hannah quickly realizes things are not what they seem. Her fellow ‘disturbed’ teens are actually the descendants of mythical Sea Gods and Goddesses. And so is she.

But when Finn, the ghost from her dreams, appears in the flesh; her nightmares become reality and her dark visions begin coming true. Inexplicably drawn to him, she can’t deny the dangerous hold he has on her heart. The deadly secrets he harbors will ultimately test her courage and push the boundaries of her love.

She must decide if she is ready to embrace the ancient legend she is prophesized to be a part of. The fate of all the descendants will forever depend upon it.

Purchase on Amazon: http://bit.ly/ForsakenRDB

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About Kristen Day

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I am a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity. I love all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky. I’ve been told I see the world through rose-colored glasses, but I prefer to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses – swirling and morphing reality into something I can digest (who hasn’t pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?).

When I’m not writing I’m making jewelry, painting, drinking sweet tea, watching the discovery channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with my amazing husband.

Release Day Blitz: Surrender The Sky by Meradeth Houston

 

“I wish I didn’t know. I wish my heart hadn’t been seared black in my chest. I wish everything were different.” – Surrender the Sky

 

Surrender the Sky by Meradeth Houston

Gabby lives by two unbreakable rules: don’t expose her kind, the Sary, and don’t fall in love—too bad some rules are made to be broken.

When Gabby’s most difficult charge accidentally shoots her in front of a class full of students, the event exposes her carefully hidden identity. She shifts from looking like a normal teen to her secret Sary form, revealing her wings and the existence of her kind—immortals who try to keep people from committing suicide. Her incident attracts the attention of the next leader of the Sary, Jassen, who offers her an impossible bargain: she can keep her wings if she makes amends with those who know the truth. Things get more complicated when a rebel Sary, intent on exposing them to the world, starts interfering with Gabby’s work. And there’s no denying her attraction to Jassen, who is torn between his duties and his heart. With threats at every turn and her immortality on the line, Gabby has to find a way to save the Sary or surrender the sky forever.

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Excerpt

” I knew the day was not going to end well as soon as I saw the gun. It bulged in the outside pocket of his backpack, hidden unless someone looked for it. Of course, I had to be the one looking for it.

Chad kept his head down in class, his pen scratching dark lines of some doodle across his paper. I couldn’t drag my gaze away from him.

He’d brought a gun. Damn it. He was going to follow through with his plan.

I was focusing so hard on the knot of guilt in my stomach and the tangle of plans to stop Chad that Bea had to kick my chair to alert me class had started. Of course, Bea had to be in this class with the homicidal kid who was my responsibility.

I did a quick head count. It was Friday, half-day schedule, last period, with spring break starting next week. Most everyone had ditched already, and only thirteen people remained, including our teacher.

Unfortunately, just enough of the students on Chad’s list stayed for the last class. “

 

Companion Novel on Limited Time Sale!

.99 cent sale – Limited Time!

About the Author, Meradeth Houston

meradethI’ve never been a big fan of talking about myself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about me:

>I’m a California girl. This generally means I talk too fast and use “like” a lot.

>I have my doctorate in molecular anthropology. Translation: I sequence dead people’s DNA and spend a whole lot of time in a lab, which I love.

>I’ve been writing since I was 11 years old. It’s my hobby, my passion, and I’m so happy to get to share my work!

>My other passion is teaching. There’s nothing more fun than getting a classroom of college kids fired up about anthropology!

>If I could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because I’m terrified of heights.

Website / Faceboook / Twitter / Goodreads / Tumblr / Google +

StoryTime Release Day Blitz and Soul Bound Cover Reveal

All proceeds from the StoryTime events will be donated to SDDAS Spirit Fund, a
nonprofit society dedicated to giving homeless animals the medical care they need.For more information, visit their website at sddac.com/donations.asp. 

The Firedragon- A Flynn Nightsider Tale

Mary Fan, April 8th, 2014

Almost a hundred years ago, the Enchanters defeated the Lord of the Underworld in one of the most fearsome wars the world had

ever seen. The public thinks that this victory means the people are safe. But they’re wrong. The supernatural beasts the Lord unleashed remain on the earth, multiplying and ravaging what’s left of civilization. As long as these monsters exist, mankind will be in danger. And though the government, ruled by the magic-wielding Enchanters, seeks to protect their people, they are too few in number. They need the Defenders – a special class of non-magical humans – to fight the monsters. The Defenders are an elite force, and mankind’s only hope against the horrors that live beyond their gates.

Fourteen-year-old Aurelia “the Firedragon” Sun has been training since she could walk to become a Defender, and her extraordinary combat skills have earned the attention of the powerful government. In fact, she’s been tapped to represent her nation in an international monster-fighting competition, which pits champions from across the globe against creatures of the Underworld in a violent spectacle. If she wins, she will become a full-fledged member of the Defender force.

But as Aurelia moves deeper into the competition, she realizes that all is not as it appears. There’s something sinister behind the competition, something that could change the way she sees everything … and the Enchanters, it seems, are not the heroes she thought. Aurelia begins to ask questions.

But before she can discover the truth, she is pitted against the most dangerous monster in the competition

– one that will take her life if it can .

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Fallen Souls- A Realm of the Claimed Novella

Linda Foster, April 8, 2014

Ash never thought going to a party could be dangerous. He certainly never thought it would change his life. But when a man with red eyes begins following him – and his sister – he realizes he was wrong. Soon they’re running, leading the man on a desperate chase over icy roads.

When Ash crashes his car, nearly killing his sister, the red-eyed man offers Ash a choice – save his sister, but pay the highest price possible. Bring Grace back to life, at the cost of his own soul.

Suddenly, Ash is facing a choice he never sought. But will he use that choice to save his sister? And if he does … what will it mean for Ash himself?

 Purchase on Amazon

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COVER REVEAL

Soul Bound:  The Realm Of The Claimed #1

Ash laughed — an evil, hollow sound – and grasped his knife more firmly. Kali blinked slowly, her heart breaking. This wasn’t her Ash, she reminded herself. This wasn’t the boy who’d sold his soul to save his sister, or fought by her side. This wasn’t the boy who had changed everything she thought she knew about life, love, and herself.

“I’ll die before hurting you,” Kali repeated, lifting her chin. He possessed the greater strength now, she knew, and would beat her even if she fought. At least, in the end, she would die at his hand rather than someone else’s.

Maybe he would still win his soul back that way.

A boy who sold his soul to save his sister’s life.

A fallen angel turned demon, seeking her redemption.

And a surprising love story that could save them both … or destroy the world.

Join Ash and Kali, and a cast of dark characters, as they fight for the fallen angels of the world, the right to choose their own path, and the one thing they never thought they’d find – true love.

 

About the Authors

Mary Fan

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Mary Fan is a hopeless dreamer, whose mind insists on spinning tales of “what if.” As a music major in college, she told those stories through compositions. Now, she tells them through books—a habit she began as soon as she could pick up a pencil. And what stories she has! Currently, she has three series in progress: her well-received Jane Colt sci-fi novels (Red Adept Publishing, released 2013), her upcoming Flynn Nightsider YA dystopian fantasies (Glass House Press, 2015), and her recently contracted YA fairytales, Fated Stars (Glass House Press, 2015). Mary would like to think that there are many other novels in her bag, and hopes to prove that to the world as well. And though she’s well on her way, she can’t help dreaming of more.

Mary lives in New Jersey and has a B.A. from Princeton University. When she’s not scheming to create new worlds, she enjoys kickboxing, opera singing, and blogging about everything having to do with books.

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Linda Foster

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Linda Foster was born and raised in Colorado, where she still lives with her (very patient) husband and four (very spoiled) ferrets. Linda became an avid reading enthusiast the moment she picked up her first book, and has

grown steadily worse with time. By the time she was 15 years old, her library had become too big for her shelves, and she was forced to donate all of her books to the local school, just to make room for new ones. She started writing short novellas for her friends in middle school, and expanded into full-length novels several years later. Soul Bound is her first published novel. 

Release Day Blitz: Runaway by S.M. Knowles

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At seventeen years old, Courtney Apuzzo is fed up. With a dead mom and an alcoholic father that beats her every chance he gets, Courtney decides that enough is enough. Packing up only what she needs, Courtney leaves home without telling a soul and heads off to find her new life.

Life on her own is not exactly as she thought it would be. With nowhere to stay, Courtney finds herself sleeping on an old stoop in an abandoned apartment alleyway. A chance meeting with a new group of friends seems like a great beginning to her second chance at a real life. But everything is not as it seems.

Tricked into a life she never wanted and fears, Courtney needs to run away, again. She needs to find a way out of this new and dangerous life. With the help from a man she barely knows, will Courtney find her way out? Or will she find herself on the run from a dangerous past, and a hopeless future? Faced with a choice that will change her life forever.

 

About the Author

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   While growing up, S.M. would travel the roads around her house while       imagining she was somewhere else. Her imagination would take her everywhere, making the long hot summer days seem shorter throughout her fantasies.

At the age of twelve, she decided to write her first book. Filled mostly with dialog, she filled up one-hundred pages, front and back. After taking the book downstairs to show her mom, and persuading her to buy her more paper, she excitedly ran back to her room. As she barreled through the door, S.M. tripped over items left on her floor, and her papers came raining down in her room. Discouraged, she stood there in tears, picking up her papers and throwing them in the trash. Her work had no organization, no numbers on her pages, just a child fulfilling a joy that she would put down and not pick up again.

When she became older, she joined the military for something different. In that time, she was able to explore many places and even met her husband in Iraq. After coming home, she started her family in Arizona and went back to school, earning a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Training.

The Harder I Fall by Jessica Gibson

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Becca Langer was not a normal girl, she didn’t have normal girl problems. For most of her life, she’s had to take care of herself, her younger brother Chad, and her drunk mother. She’s lived under the shadow of what her father did when she was ten years old. Forever branded by his actions.

College was her escape, she could get away and finally live. Her dream was to make it in the New York Ballet Company one day. That for her meant a long road full of hard work and dedication. She didn’t have time for distractions, and Levi Klein was definitely a distraction.

Will Levi be able to crack through her tough exterior and really see the wounded soul underneath? Becca needs to be loved, but the question is, will she let Levi love her?

Come to the Facebook Party Release Event!

Teaser

About Jessica Gibson

Jessica Gibson is a recovering bookaholic, she’s down from four books a week to a more reasonable one. It was that love of words and creativity that made her dream about writing her first book. That dream was hidden for years, always put on the back burner, filed away in the “someday” section, until her husband Matt gave her the kick in the pants she needed to actually get off her butt and write.

Jessica and Matt live in Southern California and have a serious addiction to reality tv shows like Pawn Stars and American Restoration. They have one son and hope to add to the family in the near future.
Aside from writing, she runs an online event planning business called the Release Day Diva. In addition to novels, Jessica writes and maintains the blog Book on the Bright Side. Keep up with Jessica and her latest releases and events on her blog.

Website       Blog       Facebook     Twitter      Goodreads

The Nycren (Guardians Book 6 Part 2) by Lola StVil

It all ends now.

About Lola StVil

lola

Lola was seven when she first came to this country from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She attended Columbia College in Chicago, where her main focus was creative writing. In addition to plays, she also writes screenplays and short stories.

She has been commissioned to write for ABC, CBS and Princeton University. She won the NAACP award for her play “The Bones of Lesser Men”. In addition to being nominated for LA Weekly awards. Her work has also received positive reviews from The LA Times, Variety and LA Weekly.

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Guardians Series

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Book 1: The Girl

The prophecy says I will fall in love with team leader and Angel, Marcus Cane. The prophecy also says that our love will cause his mission to fail and end the world.

Whatever.

This human is not worried. Why?
Because I do not intend to fall in love with Marcus.

The truth is I hate him. I hate his warm brown eyes with flecks of gold, his chiseled face and broad shoulders.
I hate how over protective he is just because a few thousand demons are after me.

In fact, I couldn’t care less about Marcus or his perfect telekinetic girlfriend.
And when I see him holding her, I don’t die a little inside…

Book 2: The Fallout

Just because she has wings,
doesn’t mean she’s an Angel…

It’s front page news on every Angel gossip rag:“Marcus & Ameana: Gone The Way Of “Brad & Jennifer.”So, Who Is The “Angelina?” Emmy Baxter—a mere mortal!”

Ameana tries to avoid her ex and his new love by focusing
on the other evil out to destroy the team. But soon her pain
turns to fury.

And before the end…a girl plots revenge, a leader is on the edge
and an Angel falls.

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Book 3: The Turn

There. Will. Be. Blood.
After the Council hands down a severe punishment,
A Guardian declares war on the Angel world.

Before the end
Lives will be lost
Love will be tested
And blood WILL flow…

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Book 4: The TriplexThe team finds the locaton of the Triplex, but in order to destroy it and save the world, a horrific decision must be made. Can Marcus do what he needs to do in order to complete the mission? Or will his heart get in the way…Add to Your Goodreads Shelf | Purchase on Amazon

Book 5, Part 1: The Quo

  
WARNING: This book contains a scene in chapter 20 that is for mature audiences only. Readers can skip this chapter without missing any info vital to the plot.
A team divided.
A leader in turmoil.
A love tested.

Now, it’s the heroes who need saving

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Book 5, Part 2: The Lyris

The end of the world is not coming; it’s here

An impossible decision…
A massive war…
A Guardian silenced forever…
(Please note chapters 29 & 30 are for mature audiences)

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 Book 6, Part 1: The Shoma

In order to reunite the Council and save both our world and theirs, the Guardians need to assemble three missing pieces of an ancient  relic called The Shoma. But their search is derailed by their love lives and entanglements. Surrounded by evil and under the threat of annihilation our lives depend on this one team. But with all the sex, scandal and secrets, who has time to save the world?

Purchase on Amazon

 

Short Stories

(THIS BOOK HAS SPOILERS, SO IT IS BEST READ AFTER BOOK 1 (The Girl))
Please note this is a book of short stories about the Guardians and their lives before the mission. This book is 20k words long and has nine short stories including
*Julian’s Core
*Rio’s secret crush
*Julian & Femi’s first meeting

*The days & nights of Tony-Tone and more…

Short Stories From Book 5
Can’t get enough “Guardians?”
Read these short stories AFTER reading book 5 part 2 and find out:
Why Marcus made the decision he did at the end of book 5.2
How Jay and Miku hooked up for the first time
and where Mouse came from!

Release Day Blitz: Hidden Magic by Melanie Crouse

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When Jenny has the opportunity to spend the summer with her sister, a small slice of freedom is all she’s really hoping for when she has the opportunity to spend the summer with her sister. Instead she finds something else altogether: electricity.

That’s what Jenny feels when she looks at Arram. She knows he’s drawn to her too, but the mage-in-training does his best to hide it.

Stung, Jenny turns to Arram’s former best friend, Jack. But Arram and Jack’s rivalry is much darker than Jenny suspects, and so are Jack’s intentions. Soon she’s caught in a mystery of old murder, ancient prophecies, and magic hidden where no one has thought to look.

When Jenny uncovers a secret magic, she is offered two choices. Arram wants her to do the safe thing. Jack wants to show her the easy way out. Whatever Jenny decides, her life will irrevocably change.

Either way, freedom may be the one thing Jenny can never have.

Excerpt

Jack put his finger to his lips and motioned toward an empty bedroom across the hall. Not knowing what else to do, she went in, her heart thudding against her ribs. “Jack,” she whispered. “What are you doing here? How did you get in?”

“What? No welcome home kiss?” His voice was mocking.

Trying to keep her voice steady, she said, “So Arram was right. You do want to kidnap me after all.”

“Kidnap you?” Jack looked horrified. Underneath the horror though, Jenny could see that his eyes were sparkling with mischief. “I should have known Arram would fill your head with something stupid like that. No, you wonderful, impossible girl, I’m here to rescue you.”

About Melanie Crouse

Melanie Crouse is the author of Hidden Magic,  coauthor of the book Alchemy and the CEO of the craziest household in the Western Hemisphere. Lately, both of those full-time jobs have collided, creating chaos on a colossal scale. Which is just the way she likes it.

In her spare time, Melanie likes to play the piano, swim, hike and teach preschool. Whether she has spare time or not, she manages to read prolifically, which probably explains more than it doesn’t.

She loves her family dearly, and wishes with all her heart that her teenage children weren’t so embarrassed that their mom writes “kissing scenes.”

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Release Day Blitz: Stealing Promises by Brina Courtney

Today is the release day of Stealing Promises by Brina Courtney!

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Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Promises are made to be kept, never stolen. But that’s exactly what happened to Victoria Blane and Levi Manor. Tragedy strikes their perfect relationship leaving Victoria struggling to overcome the darkness that threatens to bury her.

With Victoria’s life in tatters she decides that running away is easier than dealing with her troubles. But when a friend finds her on the floor in her kitchen, she knows it’s time for a change.

Brighton Hanley knows what it’s like to lose someone. He knows what it’s like to be haunted by things that can never change. When he meets Victoria he recognizes the pain she’s trying to bury deep in her eyes. He knows she’s trying to run away, but he also knows that you can’t run forever.

Victoria is drawn to Brighton in ways she never expected. He becomes her champion, her life line… her sunshine in the darkness. But is Victoria ready to let go of the past and grab on to her future? Or will she run away from Brighton before she can be hurt again?

Teaser

The next morning Victoria was surprised to find it drizzling outside. She snuggled further under the quilt but when she reached over for Levi, he wasn’t there. She groggily opened her eyes and started to sit up looking for him, but he wasn’t inside the small cabin.

Wrapping the quilt around her body she shuffled over to the window to look out and see Levi rearranging some things in the truck. She opened it slightly and called out to him, “Morning, did you have breakfast yet?”
He waved back at her, there was mud down his jeans but he looked relaxed and almost cheerful. “No not yet. I’m trying to get down to the main house to get us some, it was included with our stay. God damn truck is stuck in the mud.”

Victoria sighed deeply, so much for getting to see the small town that was close by. “Well I packed some snacks.”

He smiled back at her and shrugged his shoulders and walked into the cabin taking off his muddy boots upon arrival.  He walked over to Victoria and delivered a light kiss on the cheek, “How did I get so lucky?”
She smiled back at him devilishly, “Can’t tell ya. So what’s the grand plan for today vacation planner?”
He laughed at her teasing, “You’ll just have to wait and see won’t you?”
She set her lips into a thin line, Victoria didn’t like surprises very much.
“Don’t worry about it. Just eat your granola bar.”

After they ate and Victoria had gotten dressed Levi led her to the back of the cabin to a small trail. “I think you’re really going to enjoy this.”

They walked through the cool spring air while trees shed sprinkles on them. They walked in silence, hand-in-hand over small rocks and twigs, through the mud until Victoria finally heard rushing water. “Is that a waterfall?”
Levi smiled at her. “Nope. I did you one better.”

As they continued to walk they came upon a clearing with a small hot spring receded into the ground. There were rocks set up around it clearly put there by nature while others had been moved by people to keep clothes dry and supplies away from the steam. Victoria smiled and pushed Levi playfully. “You know I didn’t bring a bathing suit!”

Levi kissed her on the lips pushing his body against hers, “Of course I know that.” He quickly began to strip, taking his hoodie and shirt off in a flash. Victoria watched with interested eyes as he turned to her, his tanned muscles rippling beneath the light rain. He walked over to her and wrapped his hands around her body to bring her closer. “You’re going to join me, right?”  He whispered hotly in her ear.

About Brina Courtney

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Brina Courtney is a new adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She’s spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs.

Links:

Release Day Blitz: Twisted (Deathwind Trilogy #1) by Holly Hook

Today is the release day of Twisted (Deathwind Triolgy #1) by Holly Hook!

Purchase on Amazon    Purchase on B&N   Purchase on Smashwords

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.

Teaser 

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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Jaded Stone (Souls of the Stones) by Kelly Walker Release Day Blitz

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.

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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.

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