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

It all ends now.

About Lola StVil

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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?

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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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Cornerstone by Kelly Walker

Free on Amazon    Free on iTunes   Free on Kobo    Barnes and Noble

Epic Fantasy combines with Young Adult romance in this stunning new adventure set in a richly developed medieval world.

When Emariya Warren learns enemy forces have captured her father, she’ll do anything to save him. Anything. Even marry a mysterious prince she knows nothing about in order to rally the strength to arrange a rescue. During her journey to Torian’s foreign castle, Emariya comes face to face with her mother’s killers–and a deadly secret.

Not only does Emariya possess a powerful but unexpected magical gift passed down through each of her families, the prince she’s promised to marry possesses a third, and an ominous prophecy has warned the three gifts must never be combined.

If she breaks her promise to marry Torian, she won’t be able to save her father and if she keeps it, she may bring a curse upon everything she holds dear. Determining which choice is best won’t be easy, but when she meets the gorgeous prince who may desire more than just her heart, she realizes she will have to fight just to have a choice at all.

Her heart wants him desperately. Her head begs her to run. If she doesn’t want to share her mother’s fate, she’ll have to find a way to untangle the truth from the lies in time to save herself.

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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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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Giveaway

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About Kelly Walker

6546134

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.

Website    Facebook    Twitter   Goodreads

Cover Reveal: Twisted (Deathwind Trilogy #1) by Holly Hook

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

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.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Holly Hook

4114641

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.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Deep Blue Secret by Christie Anderson is free!

Free on Amazon

Free on Smashwords

Deep Blue Secret is Book 1 of the Water Keepers series
A sweet, mysterious teen romance with a refreshing fantasy twist.California teen Sadie James thinks her life couldn’t get any better. She has great friends, an energetic mother she adores, and the beach practically in her own backyard. But her carefree life is turned upside down when she’s rescued by a mysterious and strangely familiar boy who won’t even tell her his name. Each time the boy appears, Sadie’s unexplainable attraction to him deepens along with her need to unravel his secrets. The boy is there to protect her, but as wonderful and exciting as it might be to have an irresistible boy with crystal green eyes protecting her every move, every minute of the day…why does Sadie need one? As Sadie finds answers, she realizes her life isn’t as perfect as she thought. Not only is she caught in a world of dangerous secret agents she never knew existed, but it turns out her true identity may be the greatest secret of all.
Check out the first chapter

THE EYES

I tossed my school bag to the back seat of my run-down Honda. The car was a hand-me-down from my mom when she upgraded to a new one last year. It had been super reliable for how old it was, but the radio didn’t work. That was a major bummer. But not even a broken radio could bring me down on such a beautiful, sunshiny day.
I toggled through the menu on my MP3 player until I found the perfect song for my upbeat mood. My earphones blasted as I drove down the street, admiring the cloudless Newport Beach sky, wisps of hair circling my neck from the breeze through the open window.
It was usually in the sixties this time of year, but I heard it was going to hit eighty this week; pretty nice for November. I could feel the extra warmth already. The sunshine gave me an extra burst of energy, making an already good day seem even better.
It took maybe five minutes to drive to my high school. Traffic lined the web of Southern California freeways every day, but I rarely ventured out that far. I had everything I needed right here in my own little corner of the world.
My poor old car buzzed into the student lot at the back of the school, and I circled around the corner to find a parking spot. Normal teenager clunker-cars, just like mine, studded the rows, but they were interspersed among the typical mix of new convertibles, sports cars, and SUV’s. I wasn’t embarrassed by my car; I was glad to even have one. And it wasn’t like anyone gave me a hard time for driving it.
As I pulled into a parking space and turned off the engine, a slow, melancholy song played in my ears. Without thinking twice, I grabbed the headphones and yanked them off immediately. I thought I had removed all the sad stuff a few weeks ago. This day was too cheerful and bright to listen to something so blah.
Plus, I was sort of developing a fear of love songs over the last couple months. I’d always enjoyed all kinds of music, but I’d been having some crazy emotional reactions to it lately. And music wasn’t the only problem. A couple of weeks ago, I felt completely depressed for hours after reading a scene in a book—totally out of character for me. My life was way too great to be sad and moping around for no reason at all.
It was probably just teenage hormones going haywire.
I waved at a few kids I knew talking by their cars and continued to the outdoor quad area covered in grass and leafy trees. It was already full of my classmates, and I greeted a few more as I crossed the sidewalk.
Then I saw him. Justin Crane.
My head darted down and away, hoping he wouldn’t notice me from across the path. It wasn’t like I made a habit of avoiding people at school, but I’d been on a few dates with Justin earlier this year and they didn’t exactly turn out the way I had hoped.
I thought…what was the harm, you know? Maybe it could be fun. But that totally backfired on me. The truth was, I was hesitant to go with him in the first place, but saying no just seemed too…mean.
I should’ve listened to my instincts. Once Justin got the first yes, he couldn’t be stopped. He pursued me like crazy, almost obnoxiously. And his hands really had a problem with wandering. I tried to tell him I only wanted to be friends, but he just wasn’t willing to take no for an answer. The guy had some serious determination; I had to give him that. But it got to the point where I had to be outright rude, and I didn’t like that.
The last week or two it seemed like Justin was finally backing off, but I wasn’t about to give him a chance to change his mind. I hurried through the double glass doors of the school building at the end of the sidewalk and let out a sigh of relief. Justin Crane was safely out of view.
When I approached my locker, I glanced around the hallway to see if Heather was nearby. She was my best friend. We had first period together, so she always came to meet me before class.
When I spotted Heather from across the hall, her lean physique approached my direction with purpose, holding her phone to her ear. That wasn’t an unusual sight; Heather would probably choose to have her phone surgically attached to the side of her head if it was possible—as long as it was also considered fashionable of course. I had a cell phone too—I mean, who didn’t—but mine seemed like a piece of junk compared to hers.
I’d known Heather since second grade, so I was totally comfortable around her, and I spent more time with her than anyone else, besides my mom of course. But, I had a feeling Heather could be a little intimidating to some people. I was a decent height at five feet five inches, but Heather beat me by at least four more inches. And it wasn’t just her height. Even in a crowd, Heather had a way of making sure she was noticed, but not in a bad way. At least, I didn’t think so.
Heather and I had a lot in common, yet somehow we were nothing alike. Maybe that was why we worked so well together. Either way, we’d been friends a long time.
Heather slid the phone in her designer bag and sprung up beside me.
“Hey, Sade!” she said, her face animated, like she had a juicy secret to share. Heather used the mirror in my locker to check her long platinum hair for any imperfections. “So I was just talking to Lindsey,” she went on, “and you will never guess what she said.”
“What?” I asked.
Suddenly, Heather was pulling me down through the crowded corridor of students. Some looked like they were modeling for a designer clothing catalog, kind of like Heather, while the majority were dressed in flip-flops and shorts like they just stepped foot off the beach.
Heather stopped around a quiet corner and brought her perfectly made-up face close to mine, lowering her voice. “I don’t know if I’m supposed to say anything, so you totally didn’t hear this from me.”
“Okay…” I said, confused but intrigued.
“Lindsey heard that, Nick,” she said the name with emphasis, “Christensen, like, has a thing for you, and wants to ask you out on a date or something.” She paused dramatically, waiting for my response.
That was the big news? I did like going on dates—or at least I thought I did—but I wasn’t sure I was ready to deal with another boy just yet. Nick Christensen was definitely cute, there was no question about that, but what if he turned out to be just like Justin Crane? I wasn’t sure if I should be excited about this or cringe and run away.
Hello?” Heather said. “Did you not just hear me? Nick Christensen wants to hook up with you.”
It took me a second, but I finally responded. “Nick likes me?” I said. “Um, that’s…good, I guess. I mean, he seems like a nice guy.”
Heather clutched my arm, dragging me forward with agitation. “He seems nice? He’s only, like, one of the most gorgeous guys at our school. Seriously, Sadie, could you be any more clueless when it comes to guys? You have boys lining up to drool at your feet and you’re completely oblivious.”
I stopped. “What? No I don’t. And by the way, you get asked out on dates too.”
“Not by guys like Nick Christensen. You could at least try to appreciate how lucky you are.”
I thought about it a second. Maybe Heather had a point. I was lucky to get asked on dates at all, so I should be more excited. I didn’t want to come off as a jerk or something. And there was no way that all the boys in our school could be as bad as Justin Crane, right?
“Wait, so Nick Christensen really wants to ask me out?” I said, trying to mimic Heather’s enthusiasm. “I mean, he is pretty cute. I guess a date with him sounds like fun.”
“Of course it does,” Heather said, like I was ridiculous for thinking otherwise. “He’s totally hot.”
We entered the classroom and sat in our usual seats. Mr. Rivera lectured and scribbled illegibly on the white board as my chin sunk deeper into the palm of my hand. Math first thing in the morning was a bit of a challenge. My mind wandered.
The depressing song I heard in the car started playing through my mind, the chorus repeating in my head over and over again. It was annoying. I should’ve listened to something more cheerful before I turned it off. I straightened in my seat and tried to focus. Even math sounded better right now than that stupid song.
During break I went back to my locker and grabbed a bag of baby carrots. I tossed one in my mouth, but it was bigger than I expected and I struggled to chew as I shut the locker with my elbow.
I almost choked. Nick Christensen was standing right in front of me.
“Oh,” I said, surprised. I threw my hand to my face, covering my mouth full of food, chewing as fast as possible. I practically swallowed the carrot whole.
Nick ran a hand through his chestnut hair, eyes shifting to the floor. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to sneak up on you.”
I tried to smile, hoping I didn’t have any food stuck in my teeth. “It’s okay. You just surprised me.”
I usually didn’t get super nervous around boys, at least not in the past, but all of a sudden, I felt strangely uncomfortable.
Nick paused. “So, I was just wondering if maybe you wanted to hang out with me this Saturday?” He fidgeted with a strap on his backpack in this cute, almost endearing sort of way—which was probably the exact opposite thing that Justin Crane would have been doing if I was talking to him right now. It made me feel somehow at ease again. Nick seemed like a really nice guy, and Heather was right…he was pretty nice to look at, too.
But then I remembered I already had plans with my mom that day. My eyebrows wrinkled apologetically. “This Saturday? Actually, I can’t. I told my mom I would help her paint our living room.”
Nick looked away, blue eyes full of disappointment. “Oh. That’s okay.”
I immediately felt bad. I didn’t want him to think I made up some excuse not to go. I really did have plans. Each week my mom had just one or two nights off from the hospital where she worked. That was really our only time to see each other, so we started girls’ night. It had become our weekly tradition. We’d usually do stuff like get take-out and watch chick flicks, but this time my overly-energetic mother talked me into another do-it-yourself project. At least this time it wouldn’t require tearing down any walls.
I wasn’t that excited about painting in the first place, and with Nick looking way cuter than I realized before, I was starting to regret making plans with my mom. But instead of becoming bitter at my mother’s ambition, I quickly thought of a solution that would work for everyone.
The smile returned to my face. “Well, school’s closed Friday for Veteran’s Day. I don’t have plans if you want to do something then.”
“Sure!” Nick’s face brightened. “My uncle works at Disneyland and he could get us in, but that’s kind of an all-day thing, so I don’t know if you would be interested.”
I didn’t have to think about it. “Totally,” I said, touching his arm. “That sounds like fun.”
I loved Disneyland. Growing up in the area, I used to go all the time, but I hadn’t been in a while. That would be something to look forward to.
“Okay,” he said. “I’ll come pick you up Friday morning. Would nine work?”
I nodded. “Nine sounds good.”
There was an awkward pause in our conversation. It looked like Nick wanted to say something but couldn’t push out the words. He laughed nervously and scratched his head but still came up with nothing.
“Well…I probably should get to class,” I finally said. “I guess I’ll see you Friday?”
Nick nodded, wearing a semi-goofy grin as I turned to walk away. Without thinking, I found myself glancing back with a flirty wave goodbye. It couldn’t hurt to be a little flirty, right? Nick seemed completely harmless compared to Justin Crane.
Thanks to Nick, I was suddenly in an extra great mood. Even though the whole dating thing secretly freaked me out a little, it still felt good to know that someone like him was interested in me. I just hoped Nick would be okay with just hanging out and having fun together. I wasn’t interested in dealing with the stress of taking things to the next level. The last thing I wanted was to end up like my mom—deserted and alone.
I was in such a good mood that even Chemistry wasn’t that bad today. And when I sat down for lunch next to Heather at our usual outdoor table, I was genuinely excited to tell her about my date.
But before I could even say hello, Heather reached for my arm with raised brows and practically sang as she said, “I heard that somebody has a date this weekend…”
I laughed. “How is it possible that you already know that?”
“Oh please,” Heather said. “You do remember who you’re talking to, right?”
The next thing I knew, Heather was making an announcement to everyone at our table of the news. Nicole, Lindsey, and an entire table full of girls squealed and clapped in unison, causing curious glances from around the lunch area.
After everyone took turns expressing their jealousy and wishing me luck on my date, Heather retold the story of her first kiss on the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland when she was a freshman. She and Lindsey both agreed that this would be a good opportunity for me to finally do the same, especially with Nick Christensen.
Kissing did sound like a lot of fun. Heather had done a lot of kissing since that boat ride and she never ceased to tell me about it. But I didn’t want to just do it for the fun of it. I wanted it to mean something.
I mulled over the idea. Maybe I was building it up to be something bigger than it needed to be. What if, once I finally tried it, it would be a huge disappointment because I made too big a deal out of it? Should I just kiss Nick Christensen on Friday and get the whole thing over with? It might be fun. But, it didn’t seem like a decision I could make in one lunch period. I had to at least get to know the guy before I decided, right? It could wait until Friday.
I left our table to make my usual social rounds, hopping from one group of friends to the next to hang out and chat for a few minutes. I was like my mom in that way. She was friendly and talkative with everyone she met.
At least, I was like that most of the time, especially at school, but lately it felt like I was living a double life. I didn’t always enjoy socializing like I used to. There were times I could be in a crowd full of friends and feel utterly alone. When I had the random episodes of depression triggered by music or emotions, it was even worse. Then I was definitely not in the mood to socialize.
But there was no problem today. I was my happy, carefree self, enjoying the laughter and company of friends.
I was still in high spirits when the bell rang, signaling the end of lunch. The only classes I had left for the day were my two favorites this semester, Spanish and Photography. As I moved cheerfully down the path outside, I noticed my friend Ariana from the other side of the quad. Her parents were originally from the Dominican Republic, but they moved here from New York a few years ago.
Ariana jumped up and down with a huge smile when she saw me. I loved her enthusiasm. She was one of the most energetic girls at our school. Next thing I knew, she was bounding across the grass in my direction, her curly black hair bouncing back and forth around her face.
“Sadie!” she called happily as she skipped up next to me. When she reached my side, Ariana pulled a handful of my wavy blonde strands in the air and let them fall through her fingers back to my shoulder. “I love your hair today, chica.”
“Thanks,” I said. “That’s a cute shirt.”
Ariana looked down at herself, as if trying to remember what she was wearing, and giggled. “Oh, thanks, it’s new. So I brought you that CD I was telling you about.”
Ariana was always putting together CD’s with new music for me to try; mostly salsa type music that I would have a hard time finding on my own. Despite how well I was doing in my Spanish class, I couldn’t understand most of the words in the songs, but the beats were infectious.
Ariana rummaged through her backpack and handed me a plastic case.
“Cool,” I said, sliding it atop the Spanish textbook in my arm. “I’m excited to listen to it when I get home.”
“Make sure you listen to track two,” Ariana said with animation. “That’s so totally my favorite this week.”
I started to nod, but a small jolt from behind interrupted my response as somebody bumped into me. I glanced up, taken off guard.
A boy in dark clothes muttered a quick sorry under his breath and continued walking, turning his face only partially towards me. I could’ve sworn a glint of light caught his eye, causing a stream of little green sparkles.
A slight tingling sensation shivered up my arm and I looked down at it instinctively. There was a silvery film with iridescent swirls shimmering just below my elbow. I tried to touch it, but it disappeared. I wasn’t sure if I had imagined it. Maybe the sunlight was playing tricks on my eyes.
My thoughts flew back to the intriguing boy that bumped my arm, but I couldn’t see him anymore. He seemed oddly familiar, like something was pulling me after him, drawing me towards him.
“Who was that?” I wondered aloud.
 Ariana shrugged. “I have no idea.”
Suddenly, I felt the strangest desire to follow after the mystery person.
“Hey, I have to get going,” I said to Ariana, moving away in a daze.
I wandered quickly through the crowd of students, searching their faces for the boy with the sparkling, familiar eyes. I had no idea why the eyes seemed so familiar, but I felt an unmistakable need to find them. I was sure I followed right in the direction where the boy had hurried away, but it was no use. It was like he had disappeared without a trace. The mysterious green eyes were nowhere to be seen.
About Christie Anderson
CHRISTIE ANDERSON grew up in Southern California and goes back to visit every year. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University and recently moved to Colorado with her husband. Visit her Web site at www.christieanderson.org

No One’s Angel by Kelly Walker is on sale!

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If you are looking for an intense, passionate love so wrong it is right, a story about losing your way but clawing desperately at any chance to find your way back, about hanging on to your last shred of sanity and trusting someone enough to let go of your fears, look no further. No One’s Angel’s angel is a New Adult (NA) Contemporary Romance about a girl learning to fight back and a boy learning to let go. 

Tess used to spend more hours than she’d care to admit playing her favorite computer game, using the nickname Angel. She could pretend her life was different, and she could pretend Arion was just a friend. But a girl needs more to keep her warm at night than pixels, and she traded her virtual heaven for a real-life hell. Now she’s on the run from a past she won’t talk about, and the only place she has to go is the doorstep of the friend she’s never actually met.

When Angel disappeared from their nightly games, it nearly destroyed Arion. He threw himself into work and women, but he can’t help knowing the one-night stands will never compare to the angel who haunts his dreams. At first, when she shows up soaking wet and scared-shitless on his doorstep, he thinks his prayers have been answered.

But the more Arion tries to keep Angel close, the more her fear drives her away. If they are ever going to have a chance for a future, they’ll first have to deal with the past that hasn’t forgotten her any more than she’s forgotten it–and Arion will have to learn how to let her go.

CONTENT WARNING: Due to adult sexual situations and language, this novel may not be appropriate for readers under 18.

Excerpt

Arion reaches for my hand but catches only air. I freeze. And then Ishiver. Without the warmth of the blankets, I remember I’m not
wearing anything but his shirt, and given the look he’s giving me now, I’m not the only one who’s noticed. That expression I can
read just fine.

“You aren’t going anywhere, Angel.”

I suck in a sharp breath, hearing his words in someone else’s voice.

But I did. I’m here. I left.

My eyes dart around the room like a moth fluttering against a light.  My pile of clothes, which should have been by the door, is missing.

“Did you take my clothes?” The tightening in my chest makes my words breathless. I try to tell myself not to panic, but that’s
like telling a dog not to wag its tail. Acknowledging it only makes it worse. I gulp for more air as my head starts to spin.

“Would only seem fair. After all, you took mine.” His tone is tense, but beneath it I can hear his familiar teasing. I try to tell myself I don’t have to be afraid. This is Arion. The one person I trust. I know him.

But I don’t, and to tell myself otherwise is a lie.

If he wants his freaking shirt he can have it. I’ve got to get out of here. My fingers begin undoing the buttons without me really
thinking about it, and then I’m shrugging my shoulders free.

His eyes go from warm pools of interest to sexy oceans of desire in the time it takes me to remember I don’t even have a bra on.

I manage to catch the shirt just before it falls away from my hips, and I quickly wrap it around me, covering myself. I tilt my chin
toward him defiantly, daring him to say or do anything even as I want to beg him to let me go. At the same time I want to beg him to pull me close. My emotion is a giant see-saw, and I’m tottering on the edge with him in the middle. If he takes one step toward me, it will tip the balance.

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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Cover Reveal: Soul of Flame by Rebecca Ethington

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Today is the cover reveal for Soul of Flame (Imdalind #4) by Rebecca Ethington!

Soul of Flame

Soul of Flame is releasing on December 2, 2013

The Time for the final battle has come.

Edmund’s armies have surrounded the Rioseco Abbey, trapping the few survivors inside. The sight that Ilyan was given a thousand years ago is about to come to pass.

If only Joclyn was able to fight.

Joclyn is tormented by the hallucinations that Cail’s mind has left her with, her magic an uncontrollable torrent that even Ilyan cannot control. Her moments of lucidity are broken by fears of dripping pipes and bleeding walls, and a desire to kill Ryland that she is trying to ignore.

Love may be the only key to her sanity, to her strength, and to Edmund’s death.

But that love may stand in her way, and a single choice may tip the scales and secure their future, or destroy their fate.

Add Soul of Flame to your Want To Read list on Goodreads

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About Rebecca Ethington

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Rebecca Ethington has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then in stage with years of theatrical performances. The Imdalind Series is her first stint into the world of literary writing. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. She was born and raised in the mountains of Salt Lake City, and hasn’t found the desire to leave yet. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her amazing family.