Tag Archives: Julie Reece

Giveaway? Yes! Summer Reads with Swoon Romance Celebration #YAread #romance @chapterxchapter @swoonromance

 

Hello Readers!

Summer is almost over but there’s still time to snuggle up with some romantic summer reads!

Celebrate the last drop of summer with these summer reads from Swoon Romance.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

 

 

Pretend to be from Spain? Act like she can barely speak English? Sure, why not? It wouldn’t be the first time Gabby Vega had agreed to a challenge from her best friend, Kenzie. Besides, it’s only for a week of vacation with Kenzie’s cousins. Gabby will prove to Kenzie she can keep up the fake identity for the whole trip—that she’s not a quitter.

There’s just one major surprise. Noah Jernigan is also staying with Kenzie’s cousins. Noah, the boy she fell in love with at drama camp last summer and the boy she had to dump when it was over. The boy who knows who she really is.

Noah can’t believe it when Gabby appears at the Bryson’s vacation home in the New Mexico mountains. He hasn’t seen her in a year. It practically took that long just to get over her. And now she’s Gabriela from Spain? All he wants is to get as far away as he can. Or maybe the exact opposite. Stick as close to her as possible and find out what the heck happened last summer. And definitely get some payback.

Now Gabby has to keep Noah at arm’s length as she pretends to be Gabriela. She doesn’t want to answer his questions or rehash last summer. Because one thing is clear—the more time she spends with Noah, the more she’s in danger of falling for him all over again.

About Last Summer by Patricia B. Tighe
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Available for Purchase:
Amazon

 

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:

“This book is ADORABLE!”Brookie Cowles, Author

“Cute story with engaging writing!”Shala, Goodreads

 

The mother of two grown sons, Patricia B. Tighe lives in West Texas with her husband and dog. She eats way too much pizza, drinks way too much coffee, and watches way too much NFL football. On the bright side, she also reads and writes teen fiction. She promises to include as much romance, angst, and adventure as possible in her books.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

Seventeen-year-old Autumn Teslow arrives at her father’s job fair knowing she’ll never measure up to the perfect image of daddy’s little girl—her twin sister.

Wearing anger management issues like a second skin won’t help Autumn win her dad’s approval for the big trip she’s been planning—or meet his condition that she successfully complete a summer internship for college.

Autumn’s cool unravels when her sister lectures against disappointing the family again. And when a young, bearded guy steps through the crowd to settle the growing argument between siblings, Autumn lashes out, dubbing him a “Duck Dynasty wannabe.”

At Nineteen, Caden Behr is clueless as to why his man parts are threatened by the fearsome girl before him. He’d only come to find an intern for his recreational equipment company, not break up a girl-fight between two sisters.

Unfortunately, the only candidate left is the girl who just told him off. Without her, he’ll never prove to his CEO mother that he’s ready for more responsibility.

Autumn and Caden agree that if they can keep from killing one another, they can use one another to get what they want and then never have to see each other again. Which is what they want.

Until it isn’t.

Because despite her best efforts to scare him off, and his fading desire to push her into the lake, they’re beginning to enjoy the time they spend together. But pride is a hard habit to break. And if neither will admit their changing feelings, they could lose a whole lot more than one summer.

One Summer with Autumn
by Julie Reece
Publisher: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Available for Purchase:
Amazon

 

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:

“it’s a story of discovering a new you”Moriah, A Leisure Moment

“light and fluffy, hilariously up my alley”Hadassah, Haddie’s Haven

 

 

As a child, Julie’s summers were about horseback riding and fishing, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all. She struggled with multiple learning disabilities, and spent much of her time gazing out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) she fought dyslexia for her right to read and won.

Afterward, she invented stories where powerful heroines kicked bad-guy butt to win the hearts charismatic heroes. And then she wrote one down…

Writing ever since, Julie weaves southern gothic, contemporary, fantasy, and young adult romances. She enjoys sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. Her writing is proof a dream and some hard work can overcome any obstacle.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest |Tumbr | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can’t end fast enough.

To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls’ dreams, but definitely not Lucy’s. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he’s the most beautiful jerk Lucy’s ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there’s more to Justin than Lucy realizes. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs.

Effortless With You (Effortless With You #1) by Lizzy Charles
Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Available for Purchase:

Amazon

 

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:

“I most definitely recommend checking out”Ellen, Always YA at Heart

“It was refreshing and I adored it”Crystal, Bookiemoji

Lizzy Charles writes young adult contemporary romance. She’s a tea fanatic, guacamole expert, and sushi lover. When she’s fixing lunches, dressing kids, or wiping pizza sauce off sticky hands, she escapes to La La Land and imagines all sorts of little love stories. Lizzy loves her daily dose of fitness and is also a RN so she can triage any symptom you send her way. Her best friend from high school is also her husband. Oh and she has a little pup named Professor Lupin who is pretty much the glue to the whole writing operation.

 

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

 

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Get hunting, ya’ll. YA Scavenger Hunt 2017 Spring edition is on! #YASH #giveaway

Welcome to the Spring 2017 YA Scavenger Hunt!

This contest is over.

Thanks to all who entered. Winners announced soon! 

Hey! I am Julie Reece

 

your hostess for this leg of the hunt.

About Me

I love vintage muscle cars

My favorite month is Summer

And I’m currently writing a new YA book

I adore my cat Hemingway

You are currently hunting on TEAM BLUE.

Looking for my exclusive bonus content? You’ll have to keep searching …

Somewhere on this blog, I’ve hidden three things; bonus content from the author that I’m hosting, the secret number you’ll need for the scavenger hunt highlighted in blue, and a personal prize contest—in addition to the main scavenger hunt prizes. Before you go looking for them, check out the amazing author I’m hosting.

But, first, a few rules.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE RULES

DIRECTIONS: Somewhere below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on TEAM BLUE, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!)

REMEMBER: THE SECRET NUMBER IS HIGHLIGHTED IN BLUE!

ENTRY FORM: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

RULES: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April 9th at noon Pacific time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.The 

On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each participating YA author, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one book from each author on my team in the hunt! But play fast. This contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until Sunday, April 9th at noon Pacific time.

There are FIVE contests going on simultaneously as well as a bonus contest and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the BLUE TEAM but there is also a RED, PINK, PURPLE, and GOLD TEAM — each with 20 authors! Check out each team for a chance to win different prizes!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I’ll introduce the author I am hosting on this hunt.

 

I am super excited to be hosting … JULIA EMBER!

About the Author :

Originally from Chicago, Julia Ember now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. She spends her days working in the book trade and her nights writing teen fantasy novels. Julia began her writing career at the age of nine, when her short story about two princesses and their horses won a contest in Touch magazine. In 2016, she published her first novel, Unicorn Tracks, which also focused on two girls and their equines, albeit those with horns.

Her second novel, The Seafarer’s Kiss will release with Interlude Press May 2017. Her hobbies include riding horses, starting far too many craft projects, PokemonGo and looking after her city-based menagerie of pets with names from Harry Potter. Luna Lovegood and Sirius Black the cats currently run her life.

 Find out more about Julia here …  

Website: http://www.julia-ember.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jules_chronicle

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/juliaemberya

Julia is showcasing her upcoming book The Seafarer’s Kiss! 

In case you’re as curious about the story as I am, you’re in luck!

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

“A romantic, atmospheric and richly detailed take on The Little Mermaid. I loved it.” — Samantha Shannon, bestselling author of The Bone Season

“A beautiful Norse retelling of The Little Mermaid, featuring a young mermaid desperate to break free and a shieldmaiden bent on revenge — dark and romantic, and definitely recommended.” — Laura Lam, author of False Hearts and Pantomime. 

Dive deep into the dark and brutal waters of the northern sea in this lush, original retelling of The Little Mermaid. The Seafarer’s Kiss took my breath away.” — Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere.

Pre-order Links:

Publisher: https://store.interludepress.com/collections/the-seafarers-kiss-by-julia-ember

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Seafarers-Kiss-Julia-Ember/dp/1945053208/

Barnes and Nobles: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-seafarers-kiss-julia-ember/1125707903?ean=9781945053207

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Seafarers-Kiss-Juli-Ember/9781945053207

 

It’s Julie, your hostess again: I counted all the fish in Julia’s aquarium and, if I’m right, there are

 

TOP SECRET BONUS MATERIAL STRAIGHT AHEAD!

Hi! I’m Julia Ember. For my bonus content, I’ve made a fancast! A lot of readers have been asking me how I imagine Ersel and Ragna to look. While I couldn’t find perfect celebrity matches, I got pretty close.

 

KATANA FATALE as ERSEL – Ersel is the main character in The Seafarer’s Kiss and the narrator. She’s a 19 y/o  bisexual mermaid who wants to leave the ice fortress she’s grown up in and seek her fortune elsewhere under the sea.

In the book, Ersel is described as fair-skinned and fat, with long topaz hair and dark blue scales. As the plus-sized rep in the book, her look is something very important to me, and I wanted to pick a plus-sized model to represent the character.

 

 

CHLOE GRACE MORETZ as RAGNA – Ragna is a Viking shield maiden who was abducted by pirates who wanted to use her magical navigating abilities. When their ship sinks, she becomes stranded on the Northern ice-shelf. She meets Ersel and entreats the mermaid for supplies so she can survive.

In the book, Ragna is described as blonde, brown-eyed and very athletic.

 

ERIKA LINDER as LOKI — Loki is the book’s main antagonist; a Norse god who enjoys manipulating mortals. Loki first enters the narrative as an ally to Ersel, promising her legs in exchange for another’s mermaid’s voice.

Loki was a difficult pick for casting. Like the true Norse mythical representation, Loki is a shapeshifter, and never appears in quite the same form twice. However, in one passage, Ersel sees their true form – androgynous, slim and with lips sealed with painful magical thread. I chose Erika Linder because she is gender fluid and, like Loki in the book, often changes between masculine and feminine self-presentations.

 

VITO BASSO as HAVAMAL – Havamal is Ersel’s extremely gorgeous childhood friend.  Although he’s in love with Ersel and once agreed to leave the ice fortress with her, Havamal has recently taken a job in the King’s Guard. He loves his family and his home and doesn’t want to leave.

In the book, Havamal is described as muscular with silver eyes, silver scales, and a very slight gap between his front teeth.

 

Hi! It’s your host Julie again with some great news on how you can add The Seafarer’s Kiss to your TBR list on Goodreads!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32890474-the-seafarer-s-kiss?ac=1&from_search=true

And if you want to know more about this book, here’s how you can get your hands on it!

The Seafarer's Kiss by Julia Ember

 

Guys, don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me and many more! Just check out all these unforgettable books on

TEAM BLUE

To enter, you need to write down my favorite number (hidden in the post above in blue), find all the other numbers on TEAM BLUE, add them up, and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

Thank you so much for visiting my website! While you’re here don’t forget to enter the bonus contest I am running exclusively during the YA Scavenger Hunt. One lucky winner will receive both the first and second paperback book in my YA Southern Gothic, fairy tale retelling—THE ARTISANS series.

Just leave a comment about your favorite fairy tale below for a chance to win.

Good luck everyone!

 

“THE ARTISANS is a quick and enjoyable read for fans of Marissa Meyer, with an unpretentious narrator and quirky characters.” —Teenreads

The Artisans is a unique modern day retelling of Beauty and the Beast filled with mystery, romance and wonderful characters.”  —Dark Faerie Tales

The Artisans has all the elements I love — spooky intrigue, strong friendships, and a romantic tension to be savored.”  —Wendy Higgins, NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series.

Ready to move on to the next link in the hunt?

Then head on over to visit author CLARA KENSIE’s page here:

http://writegame.blogspot.com/

 

 


Valentine’s Day FB party with Swoon Romance authors! @SwoonRomance

swoon-fb-party

https://www.facebook.com/events/1334329459952777/?active_tab=discussion

 

♥ Hey everybody! ♥

Since Swoon Romance is all about romance, we’re hosting a

Facebook party for Valentine’s Day on February 14.

I’ll be there along with other romance writers to talk about books,

writing, and the good, bad, and ugly of Valentine’s Day.

So many swoon worthy books.

What’s your favorite romance title?

 

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Here’s the scheduled line up of author times:

10 am EST: Natalie Decker
11 am EST: Jennifer DiGiovanni
12 am EST: Julie Reece

5 pm EST: Elizabeth Miceli
6 pm EST: Linda Budzinski
7 pm EST: Stacey Mosteller

Link to join in!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1334329459952777/?active_tab=discussion

♥♥♥

I’ll be answering questions about my latest romance ONE SUMMER WITH AUTUMN

I love this book quote done by lovely book reviewer @MoriahChavis

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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29151440-one-summer-with-autumn

I hope you will drop by and see us.

♥ We’re going to have a good time! ♥

 


THE ARTISANS, THE PALADINS (Artisans 2) and more! #Giveaway at @goodreads #yalit #YAbooks #gothic #fantasy

Check it out! Starting 8/16, my publisher is doing a giveaway! You could win any of these books Ends 9/6

 

September giveaway 2016

THE ARTISANS:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21944665-the-artisans?ac=1&from_search=true

THE PALADINS:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25757247-the-paladins

ARGOS:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28537159-argos?from_search=true

MINOTAUR:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22264041-minotaur?ac=1&from_search=true

FIRE IN THE WOODS:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22674815-fire-in-the-woods?ac=1&from_search=true

FLEDGLING:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18733563-fledgling?ac=1&from_search=true

FACSIMILE:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18249272-facsimile?ac=1&from_search=true

ARTIFACTS:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25721477-artifacts?from_search=true

 

Enter now to win!

Good luck!

Vector raven or crow in grunge style

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Eep! M9B Friday Reveal: THE PALADINS (THE ARTISANS 2) Cover and Chapter One @Month9Books

Hey everybody!
Today is my reveal day for the cover and first chapter of THE PALADINS,
book 2 in THE ARTISANS Series which releases May 3, 2016!
Be sure to enter the the contest at the bottom of this post to be one of
the first readers to receive an eGalley and an eBook of THE ARTISANS!!


When Month9Books asked me how I liked my cover,
I cheered and said a lot of things like Yeeesssss, and Whoo-hoo, and  then I got it together
and said the following …

 

My respect for cover artists has grown exponentially after entering the world of publishing.

I learned the challenge of a good cover artist is to hint at the story beneath
using a single image. They must create a picture that suggests to perspective
readers what lies within those hundreds of pages—using nothing more than
specific font and a few square inches of graphic design. It seems impossible, yet most of us agree that art evokes emotion. And when I saw my cover, I was overwhelmed.

The Paladins is dark. And this cover is dark.
The story is a Gothic tale, mysterious and eerie. And while parts of this world
are beautiful, beauty is often deceptive. You’re never quite sure if something
lurks in the shadows, where the path you tread is leading, or even if what you
see is real … until it’s too late.

On to the reveal!!!

 
 
Title: THE PALADINS (The Artisans #2)
Author: Julie Reece (That’s me!)
Pub. Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback and  eBook
Find it: Amazon | B&N | TBD | BAM | Kobo |
 
BLURB:
 The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives…or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?

Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.

The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts.

 
In case you missed it, here’s the redesigned cover for THE ARTISANS!
 
 
Title: THE ARTISANS
Author: Julie Reece (Yup, me again.)
Pub. Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books
Pages: 300
Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads
 
BLURB:
They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad’s drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven’s stepdad’s drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she’s ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries’ clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can’t imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.
But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?
Excerpt

Prologue The Before

Cole

It’s been four years since I planted the fireworks in Gideon Maddox’s locker that burned a third of his face.

Four years since his father took revenge, trapping me with a spell that kept me prisoner in The Void.

Three months since the magic found me again.

Two months since my parents put me in therapy.

One day since my parents left for Paris on a month long business tour.

This morning, a mysterious girl no one else can see beckoned again from The Void.

Tonight, I’m standing on the balcony of my parent’s palatial home, buying an airline ticket back to the states—back to Maddox mansion—the heart of my nightmares.

People say the more things change the more they stay the same. I hate them for being right. I lived with the monsters in my prison until I thought I might go mad. Repentant of my past, I made peace with my fate, my eternity. Until the day I was freed, because a stranger had the courage to help.

This time someone needs me.

How can I doom a girl to a fate I barely escaped?

There’s only one answer.

I can’t.

Chapter One

Cole

A bottle-green fly hums, rubbing his tiny legs together as though he’s plotting something. The insect seems a dirty ornament on the shiny desk nameplate he sits upon. Gold on gold, the engraved letters read Navin Cahvan M.D. This is the third psychiatrist I’ve met in as many weeks. Part of my mother’s plan to fix me. Jumpy nerves, insomnia, nightmares about demons when I finally do fall sleep—these are her justifications. Everyone tries to shrink me like a cheap T-shirt in the dryer.

The tawny-skinned man across the desk folds his knotted fingers over his belly and stares. Dark eyes track my movements beneath two bushy white eyebrows. “Mr. Wynter?”

Right. He asked a question. The fly hums again, wings fluttering against his hairy back. My head pounds, my clothes scratch, eyes burn, and my ears are raw with the smallest sounds echoing deep inside.

When Dr. Cahvan shifts, the leather seat groans in protest. “I can help you. But you must tell me the truth.”

All I hear is Jack Nicholson screaming the line from A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth!”

“Trust me, Cole. Tell me your secret thoughts.”

Trust you? Sure. I tell you what happened and you lock me away forever on meds that keep me drooling, while I play dominoes with people who see giant, pink rabbits. No thanks.

He leans forward. His fingers thread together as his hands rest on the desktop. He taps his thumbs together. “I assure you this is a safe place. I call it … the circle of trust.”

Give me a break. You want me to tell you how I was a mean, dangerous kid. Confess that because I tormented a crippled boy, his father used a magic camera to trap me in an alternate universe as punishment. Explain how I lived a half-life in the Maddox mansion for four years until Raven Weathersby rescued me. About how much I miss her and think about going back someday … Maybe I am insane.
“Let’s discuss something else.”

I find his suggestion amusing since I’ve barely said ten words in the past hour, and our time is almost up.
The good doctor shifts again. “Instead of talking about the past, why not speak of the present. How are you adjusting to life at home? I understand your parents had a welcome home party when you first arrived. How did that go?”

How do you think? “Swell.” I would have preferred stuffing my hand in a high-speed blender. A hundred people that I hadn’t seen since I was fifteen—and couldn’t care less to see again—showed up to shake my hand and recite all they’d ever read about amnesia, the lie Gideon made up to cover my absence. “I really just need some space.”

“And you got your wish, did you not? I understand your parents left town yesterday. How does being alone again so soon make you feel?”

Incredibly pissed. “They’ve always been busy people. I’m used to them traveling.” But I wasn’t. I thought with all the time apart, my parents might want to stick around a while. Be a family. Nope. Since appearances mean everything, they threw a party right away to show their friends and colleagues how fine I was. The powerful and highly regarded Mr. and Mrs. Wynter pulled out all the stops to prove their love for their long lost son: fine wine, catered dinner, china, crystal, even a string quartet. Yet, my father couldn’t keep the disappointment from his face any more than my mother could drown her misery in vodka.

Perhaps to appease their consciences, my folks hooked me up with doctors and provided for my physical needs before bailing. But a new car and an obscenely padded bank account wasn’t what I needed. So easily brushed aside again, I couldn’t help but wonder if parts of them were relieved when I’d disappeared four years ago.

Dr. Cahvan’s eyes narrow. “So, you remember your life up until your trip to the States?”

“Yes.” I’m lying about my amnesia. I know it. He knows it. So do my parents, but it’s too late to come up with a better story … like being the victim of a cult brainwashing or joining a psychedelic commune. I drank a different brand of Kool-Aid in Sales Hollow, South Carolina, and I can never tell a soul.

The fly zings to the window. I flinch as the buzzing is magnified ten times in my head. It takes all my will not to jump up and smash the bug against the glass. The doctor watches me with sharp eyes trained to interpret body language. I hold his gaze, though my skin breaks out in a sweat. A sudden wind rattles the panes, and I startle.

Cahvan’s mouth crimps at the corners. “Rather breezy today,” he says, glancing out the window at the quiet, blue sky.

Who cares about the weather? I have to give the old guy something before I start whining about magic spells, heightened senses, or worse: how my daddy never loved me.

I blow out a breath. “Look, some things seem familiar, others are confusing. I don’t need a doctor. I need time.” I only meant to throw him a bone so he’d have something to report when my parents call, but my body heats as I talk. Anger, resentment, and fear all claw their way up my throat and charge out of my mouth before I can stop them. “Time I can’t get back where I finish school, date hot girls, and grow up like normal kids do. I’m trying. Doing the best I can, but what I don’t need is to sit in rooms with smug strangers who are paid to dissect my brain over things I can’t explain, and neither of us will ever understand!” I drag my fingers through my shaggy hair. “That time is gone. I’m pissed off, and I guess I’ll be pissed off until I’m not anymore.”

Dr. Cahvan rubs his jaw. “That’s very interesting, Cole.”

My laugh is harsh. Not that any of this is funny. “Is it?”

“Yes. Thank you for your honesty today.” His bushy eyebrows push together. “Thank you for entering the circle of trust and allowing me to help you. Please see my secretary on your way out and make another appointment for next week.”

Seriously? I stand and head for the door. Oh, I’ll see your secretary, all right. I’ll nod as I walk right past her. He didn’t help me. No one can. There are a lot of things I need. But touchy-feely therapy with Doctor Eyebrows isn’t one of them.

***

After the awkward “circle of trust” episode, I can’t decide what to do with myself. I don’t want to be around people, but I don’t want to go home to an empty house either, so I wind up in the rambling cemetery a couple miles from our house.

I like it here and come pretty often just to think. Crumbling grave markers bear witness to France’s rich history, even with the chiseled dates worn and fading with time. Moss, ivy, and ancient trees lend beauty and peace to a place that soothes my soul. I’m not trying to be morbid. I never kept company with the dead. We were the undead, in a non-sparkly kind of way.

I’m not stupid enough to think I’ll discover the meaning of life. I’m just trying to find meaning in mine.

After surviving a half-death, I’ve been given a second chance. Trouble is, I don’t know what to do with it.
The sun is too hot on my back. No sooner does the thought cross my mind, when a friendly breeze tousles my hair like an old friend. I pull my cell from my pocket and stare at Raven’s number. She said to call her anytime, and I do. Gideon said to call her if I wanted my arse kicked. Typical. He’s still that insecure kid deep down. Still trying to prove himself, as he tries to control everyone and everything within his reach, just like his old man taught him.

Should have known something was wrong when I first got the invitation to visit Gideon in America all those years ago. My parents were so happy Maddox Senior wasn’t pressing charges; they actually thought the gesture was an attempt at friendship. Of course, Mum and Dad sent me packing complete with an olive branch in my mouth. That gesture of goodwill got my picture taken and a trip to The Void with a bunch of vengeful old guys from the early nineteen hundreds and a hot blond with twisted taste in men. We spent our days trying to escape that hell. The labyrinth’s ghouls, the surreal existence of consciousness without a physical body, and the constant pain of regret all earmarked a life that wasn’t.

Until her.

My fingers comb the grass at my sides. I close my eyes and feel the day’s warmth on my face, the wind threading through my thin tee. I may look like a freak, but I can’t stop touching everything around me. While I was gone, I missed the sensation of air in my lungs, the taste of coffee, the sweet sensation of a kiss …

My thumb starts dialing Rae’s number.

Cole …

Shite. Here we go again.

Come to me, Cole …

I wonder if I sounded this creepy to Raven when I begged for her help.

Veins at my temples pulse. Leaves shake and laugh in the breeze, the echo reverberating in my head. “Who are you? What do you want with me?” I want to stand, but my limbs weigh a hundred pounds each. My lungs deflate under the crushing pressure, and I struggle to breathe.

The scenery of oaks and elms surrounding the cemetery blur into a muddy gray-green wall, and I know what’s happening. Gravestones push up from the ground like gnashing teeth and recede again until the ground transforms into a smooth, stone floor. The world of pedestrians, car horns, and singing birds around the graveyard fade to a quiet worse than death. My body rejects the idea of gravity. The weightlessness of being sucked back into The Void again invades my person like a virus, spreading into my muscles and bones, my very essence.

I will the door of my mind closed to shut out the transformation. I place a mental shield before the magic so it won’t consume me, but magic has a will of its own. It snakes under the imaginary door I’ve erected in my head, enveloping me. I thrash, but it’s useless. My soundless screaming and mind-withering despair only seems to feed The Void’s strength.

When I open my eyes, the cemetery is gone. I shift on a cold, damp floor, taking in my new surroundings. I’ve seen this place before, several times. The space is a circular stone room with two tall, skinny windows allowing diffused light inside. A bed sits across from me. Downy quilts worn and faded with use cover the straw mattress. On the wall, a huge, gilt-framed mirror reflects the room where a pretty blond sits in a hardback chair. Watching me.

I’m familiar with strange, but not with sad, soul-eating eyes like hers.

When she rises, I feel like I should thank her, because light from the window shows her curves through an ultra-thin nightdress. The sight chokes my airflow for a whole different reason.

ThinkofRaventhinkofRaventhinkofRaven.

I’m so not thinking of Raven. For all my faults, I’m not the cheating type, but I am a guy, and this girl is seriously fit! I want to touch her in the worst way, but I swallow instead. Attempting to be a gentleman, I lift my gaze and focus on the far wall, yet somehow—because I’m still a guy—I end up watching the way her hair hangs in white blond waves to her thighs. Her rosebud mouth opens slightly. Pleading eyes, more silver than blue, threaten to pull me under and drown me. None of this helps curb my impulse to reach for her.

Then I think about how she brought me here against my will, and that helps tamp down the hormones.

Cole.

What do you want?

Can’t you guess?

I can. I pleaded with Raven for the same help not too long ago. Inside The Void, I thought I’d met everyone. The ones that Maddox had imprisoned, and the indigenous inhabitants of the labyrinth. I hadn’t known there were any others.

The drip-drop of a leaky faucet is the only sound as I gather my thoughts. “Who are you? Where are you? I don’t understand what’s happening. Where is this place? Did Gideon put you here?” I rattle off my questions not pausing for a response.

She doesn’t answer. Maybe she can’t.

Wind picks up, whooshing through the hollow room, though the windows are shut. The sound grows, as though someone dropped a microphone in a washing machine. I grit my teeth against the noise. My mind squeezes in the pressurized vacuum.

Cole … She extends a thin, white hand.

I remember Raven. How she fell to her knees on the floor of the mill house when we first met. Pain rips into my psyche, claws at my sanity. The same way I’m sure it did hers.

“I’m sorry. Forgive me, Raven. I didn’t know.”

… My name is Rosamond …

Stone walls smear and fade, the beautiful girl along with them. I can’t breathe. Then, the faint outline of tree tops bleed back into view.

… Rosamond Bryer …

My panting rivals an overheated Saint Bernard. Grass pokes my palms. Rough bark scrapes my spine through my T-shirt. Any trace of the castle turret is erased as the same decrepit cemetery I know solidifies, and the garden is as it was before.

Almost …

I’m leaning against an old tree, yet my cell and sunglasses still lie next to the rose bushes where I was sitting, almost twenty feet away. I have no memory of moving. How did I get way over here?

Both hands plow through my hair with my exhale. What the bloody hell just happened? Am I imagining this? A nightmare left over from the reality of my imprisonment. Or is the girl real? Trapped like I was and waiting for someone with the courage to free her.

Is that someone me? I’ve been a lot of things, but brave isn’t one of them. To help her means going back to the mansion.

No. I definitely do not need this shite. I’m starting over, leaving that life behind. Yet, the haunted expression on the girl’s face tugs at me. Something about her seems familiar. I’m gutted over how she reached for me. Raven doubted, too, but not for long. If the blond is real, then she’s really in trouble. And if she’s really in trouble, what, if anything, are you prepared to do about it, Cole Wynter?

 

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Come see us for a book signing event in Georgia! #APOLLYCON February 2016 #YA

I will be in Savannah, GA with Month9Books pub sister

Jennifer Jenkins @authorjenkins for this event.

♦♦♦♦♦

Please come by and say hello!

No, really. Please.

 (I’ll be the one fangirling in the corner over all the

amazing authors I’m super excited to appear with.)

I’ll need someone to help calm me down! 

 

Apollycon

Were going to have a blast!

Check it out … 

When: February 26th – 28th
(The book signing will run all day February 27th!)

 Here’s more information:

@ApollyCon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apollycon/?fref=ts

Apollycon 2016: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/apollycon-2016-the-power-by-jennifer-l-armentrout-release-party-tickets-17295152266

ApollyCon 2016 - The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout...

FEATURING AUTHORS…

*Subject to change
 

Hope to see you there!


Woot! Enter to WIN a stack of fab YA books! #HolidayBookBash @2000_words

Get ready….#HolidayBookBash begins today!!

The wonderful Jodie Andrefski will be featuring interviews with some of your favorite authors, as well as the chance to win a book lovers prize pack just in time for a holiday gift for YOU!

Scheduled authors include:
Ann Noser
Amy McNulty
Courtney Sloane
Heidi R Kling
Julia Ember
Julie Reece
Kira Archer
Megan O’Russel
Nina Rossing
Pat Esden
Pintip Dunn
Suzanne van Rooyen
Vicki Weavil

Interviews will run daily beginning today through Christmas Eve, with the prize pack drawing, of books/swag from me as well as each of the authors, to be held on Christmas Day.

Enter daily as you read about some amazing authors and get behind the scenes peeks at their books and what they are working on now.

And for the really good part…..enter to win an awesome holiday prize pack for YOU!

PRIZE PACK INCLUDES:

signed hardcover copy of FORGET TOMORROW by Pintip Dunn
signed paperback of SUMMER OF HOPE by Jodie Andrefski
paperback copy of CROWN OF ICE by Vicki Weavil
paperback of DEAD GIRL RUNNING by Ann Noser
Swag pack for UNICORN TRACKS by Julia Ember
*eARC of Not Okay Cupid by Heidi R Kling
*eARC of THE GIRLFRIEND REQUEST by Jodie Andrefski
*eARC of SCARDUST by Suzanne van Rooyen
ebook of DRIVING HER CRAZY by Kira Archer, along with a travel mug filled with swag chocolates!
ebook copy of THE ARTISANS by Julie Reece
ebook copy of CRUX by Julie Reece
ebook of NOBODY’S GODDESS by Amy McNulty
ebook of SUPERMASSIVE by Nina Rossing
ebook of THE TETHERING by Megan O’Russell
ebook of the holiday novella,  NUTTYCRACKER SWEET by Megan O’Russell
*eARC =  electronic Advanced Reader Copy. You get to read it before it even hits the shelves!

ENTER HERE:

http://www.jodieandrefski.net/
Please Note*Print books/swag may be US only at author discretion since some participating authors live outside of the United States. Winner will be randomly selected 12/25/15. Once selected, we will notify the winner and if the winner lives outside of the US, it will be at author discretion to ship overseas. The decision is up to each author. We apologize for any inconvenience, and we still love and appreciate all of our readers!!
You don’t want to miss it! Happy holidays, and happy reading!!