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Aug 27, 2014

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway: Adagio by Delancey Stewart

August 27, 2014 1 Comments

Title: Adagio (The Company, Book 1)
Author: Delancey Stewart
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance


The world of professional ballet is built on illusion. The illusion of perfection. The illusion of effortless beauty. The illusion of eternal love.

But backstage, few members of the Union Ballet Company suffer from such illusions.

Anna Glaser has dreamed of nothing but dancing professionally her entire life. And when she's finally offered a position with Union, she takes it, giving little more than a passing thought to what she might have to give up in exchange. But Sebastian Kaplan, the director who gave her the chance, won't forget so easily.

When Anna meets Cain, who has been dubbed by the local media as Union's most eligible bachelor, she realizes that making a deal with the devil might mean that Heaven -- in the form of a gorgeous dark-haired man -- is forever out of her reach.

Dancers at Union know that something that glitters and shines under the stage lights can still be vicious and evil when the lights go down.

Adagio is the first episode in the series The Company -- an engaging drama-filled ride through the darker parts of the ballet and the lives of those who live to dance.

*This book contains explicit content and is suitable for readers over 17

Kayla's Thoughts:

I adore dance...especially ballet. There is just a beauty in it that makes me in awe of the people who learn and become almost masters of this exquisite sport. But that is only what we see on stage, during the performance. What we don't see is the blood, sweat and tears behind the curtain. There is so much more to ballet than meets the eye, and sadly, what is portrayed in this story is part of it.

Before anything, I just want to commend this book cover, because it is initially what forced me to read the blurb of the book, and once I did that I was hooked. It is just such a beautiful cover, and probably one of my favorites.

Now, to the characters. I must give kudos the author for starting the story out with a creepy factor with Sebastian and his cringe-worthy antics. I got chills and uncomfortable feelings at the beginning of this book, to the point where I was almost wasn't sure if I was truly going to like the rest of the book. In my head I was like, I do not like this. Something is not right. And boy was I correct. But the beginning opened up into a relief when the character of Cain was introduced. I mean, a visible sigh of relief actually ran through me when he came into the picture. I was all YAY! The leading man! That is what made me continue reading. I just knew he was going to be what made this story grand.

I have to admit that there is a bit of a thriller aspect to this story. What with the reopening of the OD case of a former member of the company. There is this tension throughout the story that something happened...something big. And while I could not quite put my finger on it, I knew that somehow her OD wasn't just a mere accident. No sir. It was not.

I absolutely adored the parts of the story where Anna described how dancing made her feel. Her awe was reminiscent of my own when I used to perform music. It is just something that cannot be taught or forced. That passion has to be inside of you.


This is the story of two people with terrible pasts coming together through what they love most. It is a story of learning to trust, and protecting those you love. I am completely in awe, and I cannot wait to see what the next books in this series will unfold.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

Delancey Stewart writes contemporary romance.

Stewart has lived on both coasts, in big cities and small towns. She's been a pharmaceutical rep, a personal trainer and a direct sales representative for a French wine importer. But she has always been a writer first.

A military spouse and the mother of two small boys, her current job titles include pirate captain, monster hunter, Lego assembler and story reader. She tackles all these efforts at her current home outside Washington, D.C.

Links for Author: 
Dancer in Rest and Motion

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Aug 25, 2014

Book Review: Upon Your Honor by Marie Lavender

August 25, 2014 0 Comments
Title: Upon Your Honor
Author: Marie Lavender
Publication Date: April 20, 2014
Publisher: Summer Solstice
Genre: Historical Romance


Deception is a dangerous path...

New York City, August, 1891 -- Orphaned after the death of her father, Chloe Waverly stows away on La Voyageur to escape the clutches of her cruel fiancé, Lamonte Beckett. Gabriel Hill, a strange and compelling gentleman, comes upon Chloe and promises to protect her without knowing the true circumstances of why she is running away. During their journey, Gabriel doesn't bargain on being distracted by her fair beauty or succumbing to her many charms. As their attraction to each other grows, so does the danger, and Gabriel suspects things are not as they should be.

Both are determined to get to New Orleans, where she can start a new life. But, once they reach their destination, events spin out of their control and Chloe is captured by the fiancé she escaped. Gabriel is left wondering if he can overlook her betrayal. Soon he finds himself in a race against time, to reach her before Beckett can exact revenge.

Kayla's Thoughts:

I loved this book so much! SO MUCH!!!

I know that I have probably mentioned this before in a previous review of mine, maybe not, but ever since I was a little girl I have had this love for ships. Sailing ships. I love the terms for everything. I love the idea of being able to traverse oceans and leading a band of miscreants, and just the camaraderie that happens when you sail for months at a time. Sure there are bad days too when it comes to the sea, but I just absolutely  it. (Okay, so my kinds of ships are normally only in books, and the groups I'm talking about are mostly pirates, not a those on a trading ship like the men on La Voyageur, but it's kind of the same principle, right?)Anywho...that was one of the things I absolutely adored about this story. The fact that most of it takes place on a vessel of the seas.

I also loved the characters, mostly the supporting characters, my favorite being Gabriel's father. He just seemed like such a sweet man, and his daughter Adrienne was a bit of a firecracker in comparison. Gabriel's mother was also very sweet when it came to Chloe, and you could definitely tell she was a strong woman, considering what she herself went through for true love.
It also doesn't hurt that she was a redhead...REDHEADS UNITE!! *ahem* Sorry, kinda slipped out. And Gabriel was a redhea....AUBURN. Sorry, his and his mother's hair is auburn. The characters are kind of berating me for not getting that right. Now...where was I... Oh yeah. I loved that I could sort of relate to those two because of hair color.

While Chloe was an integral part of the story, without her running away from her fiancé there would be no story, she definitely wasn't one of my favorite characters I have ever read. I liked her, don't get me wrong, I just sometimes felt a bit annoyed by the fact that she was SO proper, SO well brought up. At one point I just wanted her to spit on a bad guy or her fiance, just once. I was completely rooting for that to happen. That would have made my day. But other than that, she was a good character.


All in all, this was really great story. I freaked out a bunch of times while reading it, especially near the end, where...well, you'll have to read to find out. This reaction always indicates to me that whatever I am reading has to be good. At first I couldn't figure out how the other books were connected to this one, since this is the first I have read from the series, but it made me smile when I was able to connect all three with characters that I was pretty much introduced to in this second book. It reads very well on its own, but the other books are definitely on my to read list for the future.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.

At the tender age of nine, she began writing stories. Her imagination fueled a lot of her early child's play. Even growing up, she entered writing contests and even received a certificate for achieving the second round in one. She majored in Creative Writing in college because that was all she ever wanted --to be a writer. While there, she published two works in a university publication and was a copy editor on the staff of an online student journal. After graduating from college, she sought out her dream to publish a book.

Since then, Marie has published seventeen other books. Marie Lavender's real love is writing romances, but she has also written mysteries, literary fiction, and dabbled a little in paranormal stories. Most of her works have romantic elements involved in them. She is currently working on the Heiresses in Love series.

Links for Author:

Aug 23, 2014

Book Review: Deviation by Christine Manzari

August 23, 2014 0 Comments
Title: Deviation
Author: Christine Manzari
Publication Date: August 8, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian


Being a Sophisticate of the Program seems like it'd be a pretty sweet deal: a little genetic alteration and anyone can be smarter, faster, stronger. It's a dream come true. All you have to give up is your freedom.

Cleo is a Sophisticate and she has a bright future in the Program. But she has a secret. When she gets upset, bad things happen. Explosive thing. Things she can't control.

When her secret is discovered, she's sent to the Academy to train in the military branch of the Program. She's destined to be a human weapon in the war that's been going on since Wormwood occurred nearly 30 years ago. She soon learns that although her ability is unique, there are others like her -- other Sophisticates with lethal skills and odd code-names like Archerfish and Mimic Octopus.

Immersed in a dangerous game of supernatural powers and dubious motives, Cleo doesn't know who to trust. Ozzy, the annoyingly attractive cadet who has perfect aim in weapons class and deviant lips behind closed doors, begs her not to use her powers. He's the golden boy of the Program, but can she trust him? Or will she find herself a target, caught in his crosshairs?

Kayla's Thoughts:

For some reason this past week, I have been picking and reading books that have a character or more in it that slightly annoyed me. While this too was the case in this one, but only in select situations I must say involving her friends and a boy she just happens to have the hots for that they don't trust, I absolutely LOVED this book. It was different and new and actually kind of awesome in a way.

Our main character is just one of many genetically enhanced beings. These beings, because they are superior to normal humans, get all the good positions when they finish school. However, some of them will be used in warfare, and there is definitely a chance they could never come back if and when they are, in fact, used.

Cleo is NOT one of these warbound beings. At least in the beginning she doesn't think she is. But she causes things around to explode with her anger, she is sent away to the Academy to become a Mandate, as they are called. However, her first few weeks there seems like a big mistake. She doesn't seem to have what it takes to make it at the Academy, but, then again, she is also in denial that her power exists at all. She is too afraid to admit to herself that she could actually have the capability to hurt someone, let alone fatally.

This denial lasts until she meets a boy named Ozzy. He begins to warn her about using her powers at all, stating she needs to keep a low profile. That works exceptionally well (NOT!!) due to one fact being that her Cleo's new friends at the Academy do not trust him AT ALL!! But he breaks through to her and allows her in on his secrets, symbolically speaking since the Program knows everything about everyone, showing that he trusts her. And by learning his secrets, she'll learn so much more about herself and what the Program really wants with her and her powers.


This book frustrated me and it made me laugh. And my favorite part was the ROLLER DERBY! Those were some intense and amazing scenes. I also loved the rivalry between Chloe and a character named Quinby (I just had to use her full name here, it was too tempting). Everyone had their own personalities that shown through...and speaking of personalities, my favorite character was Arabella. I will not state the reasoning behind this, because it is completely obvious throughout the book. I completely wish I was her. 'Nuf said. Also....THE CODE NAMES!!!! I LOVED THE CODE NAMES!!! Basically, this book is totally...I have run out of words to describe how wonderful it is, because it is just that good.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

The first thing Christine does when she's getting ready to read a book is to crack the spine in at least five places. She whole-heartedly believes there is no place as comfy as the pages of a well-worn book. She's addicted to buying books, reading books, and writing books. Books, books, books. She also has a weakness for adventure, inappropriate humor, and coke (the caffeine-laden bubbly kind). Christine is from Forest Hill, Maryland, where she lives with her husband, three kids, and her library of ugly spine books.

Links for Author:

Aug 18, 2014

Book Blitz: Excerpt: Shades of Chaos by Alexia Purdy, Cameron Jace, Chrystalla Thoma, Katie Salidas, Megan Duncan, Nadege Richards

August 18, 2014 0 Comments

Title: Shades of Chaos
Author: Alexia Purdy, Cameron Jace, Chrystalla Thoma, Katie Salidas, Megan Duncan, Nadege Richards
Publication Date: June 11, 2014
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult


Dare yourself to enter into post-apocalyptic future with this gritty collection of first-in-a-series books by six bestselling authors! Discover unique worlds packed with non-stop action, adventure, and suspense set against a gritty, futuristic backdrop.

NOTE: Together, these books have over 320 5-star reviews on Amazon!
Over 1400 pages of stories, with *exclusive* content from Alexia Purdy, Katie Salidas, and Chrystalla Thoma!
Best for ages 16 and up~

I Am Alive by Cameron Jace: I am not my heart rate. I am not my skills. I am not how I look. My name is Decca Tenderstone. I live in a future America where teenagers are ranked on a scale from 1 to 10 on graduation day. There has never been a 10. Those below the rank of 5 are considered Monsters, a liability to society. The system says I am a Monster. I will not let them kill me. I will survive.

Initiation by Katie Salidas: Being a vampire is a crime punishable by eternal servitude in the arena as a Gladiator of the Iron Gate. Mira, a newly turned vampire, must prove she has what it takes to survive in the human's world. It's kill or be killed. Immortality is not guaranteed.

Dissension by Katie Salidas: In the aftermath of the great cataclysm, vampires are enslaved by humans and used for blood sport as gladiators in the arena. Mira is undefeated, uncompromising, and unbreakable, but when an escape attempt leads her into the path of the city's Regent, her destiny is changed forever.

Finding Hope by Chrystalla Thoma: After the death of the one person he called mother, Elei leaves the Trashlands of Ost for the city -- looking for other people and for answers. But he soon finds out that people are complicated and answers hard to come by...

Rex Rising by Chrystalla Thoma: In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life as an aircar driver -- until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side and the fleet at his heels.

Resonant by Alexia Purdy: As the first days of the end of humanity tumble across the city of Las Vegas, turning everyone into vampire-like creatures, April Tate will find out what it really means to survive.

Reign of Blood Alexia Purdy: April Tate is a seventeen-year-old ferocious vampire killer who lives in the remains of Las Vegas one year after a viral epidemic has left the world decimated. After her family is abducted, her world tilts when she discovers they're not truly alone.

Released by Megan Duncan: After a demon apocalypse kills everyone they know, 17-year-old Abby Phillips, her brother and her friend Max flee their home to travel through the wastelands of America, chasing a radio transmission of a resistance offering shelter. But soon enough, Abby and her companions discover what awaits them is much worse than they could have ever imagined.

Burning Bridges by Nadege Richards: In a world divided between Hunters and Warriors, where prisoners are forced to fight in the arena until death, young Princess Echo must fight to find out who she really is and to put a world that has been swallowed by lies back together again.

Excerpt from Initiation:

"On your feet, 8254-A."

Her heart stuttered, skipping more than a few beats. Not again.

The guard butted his gun against the bars of her cell. "On your feet."

On edge as she was, holding her tongue wasn't as easy as she'd have liked. "I have a name. It's Mira!" Smarting off would only get her more painful torture, but she couldn't help herself. The least they could do was use her name.

The soldier responded with a fast click of his light, shining it straight into her eyes. "On your feet, 8254-A."

So, it's going to be like that, she thought, shielding her face from the burning light. "Okay, I'm up." She winced as fiery tongues of light seared every bit of her open flesh. She took an unsteady step toward the cell door.

"Stop! Come no closer." The warning was clear in the soldier's voice. He was not going to put up with anything except utter obedience.

Mira held her hands up in surrender, squeezing her eyes shut against the barn. "I'll do whatever you want. Just get that bloody light out of my eyes!" She didn't mean to shout, but the pain was intolerable.

"8254-A, you will stand with your arms where I can see them."

What little bit of civility she had was spent. "I'm already doing that. Will you shut off that damn light?"

The light clicked off and blissful darkness enveloped her. It took a moment for the sting to subside, but Mira let out a sigh of relief anyway.

The faceless guard, hidden behind his black helmet and shield, spoke again. "8254-A, you're to report to the arena for placement."

She'd heard rumors of what happened to vampires but hoped that was all they were. "Am I allowed to ask what this is?"

"You fight to the death." The guard's tone was nothing short of mocking. "If you live, you'll put up for auction and earn yourself an owner."

Links for Book:
Amazon / Goodreads / Barnes and Noble / Fido / Apple / Google / Bookstrand / OmniLit (ARe) / Smashwords

This book is on sale at $0.99 for a limited time.

Aug 14, 2014

Book Blitz: Excerpt and Author Interview: Handpicked by Dani Oden

August 14, 2014 0 Comments

Title: Handpicked
Author: Dani Oden
Publication Date: August 4, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult


College freshman Jill Holloway takes one look at the stuck-up girls going through sorority rush and nearly returns her borrowed dress and heels. Against her best judgement, she ends up falling for the prestige and parties, and snagging a bid from a top house. After moving in, she quickly grows skeptical of her too-perfect sorority sisters. She tries to ask questions, though no one will take time from their busy social calendar to give her any real answers.

Jill wastes no time digging for everything she's not supposed to find, and soon comes face-to-face with a big and bloody secret hidden in her sorority's basement. She knows she's in over her head, but taking off so soon would raise the perfectly-plucked eyebrows of her suspicious new sisters. She's stuck until she can make a smooth exit.

But the closer she gets to leaving, the more it becomes clear that it won't be as simple as she hoped. A tempting fraternity guy, a best friend who needs her, and new details about what has really been happening in the basement have her questioning what her next move should be, and whether or not it'll be worth the risks.

HANDPICKED is a New Adult coming of age novel, with elements of suspense and romance.


Under a moonlit, starless sky, I joined the crowd of passing girls who'd just been released from preference parties at neighboring sororities. Recruitment counselors lined the sidewalks, forbidding us from talking and herding us toward the biggest lecture hall on campus to fill out our preference cards. If I wasn't in the middle of it, I would have thought that hundreds of dressed up young women walking silently in rows might seem a little creepy, but who was I to judge? I was one of them. One of us.

At the end of the block, below a streetlight, was a line of guys in dress pants and collared shirts. A couple of them were all disheveled and wrinkly, clearly out of their element in the nice clothes, though for the most part they were a hot bunch. I tried not to stare, but one in particular, with grayish pants, a light blue shirt and a face that rivaled the boyband posters that hung in my old locker, was particularly difficult to look away from.

When the wave of girls I was with passed, they handed each of us a rose with a crookedly cut tag tied on with ribbon. My cheeks burned as the one in blue held his back as a few girls went by and then handed it directly to me, smiling.

I wanted to stop and say something, but the sea of girls behind me pushed me along, forcing me to keep walking. I settled for a smile, the best one I could muster through shaky lips and soggy eyes. Once I was down the block, I peeked at the tag hoping to see his name, but all it said was, Congratulations on completing rush, from the gentlemen of Nu Mu Chi. We hope to see you at our parties this year.

I made a mental note to go to every single one of them.

Links for Book:

Getting to Know Dani Oden:

Tell us three interesting facts about yourself.
My dream vacation is an RV roadtrip across the USA, my favorite food is macaroni and cheese, and I'm a boyband enthusiast.

What made you decide to sit down and write an NA novel?
It happened the other way around, actually. It was a couple years ago, when I was about mid-way through the first draft of HANDPICKED, that I first heard of New Adult as its own category. The more I researched, the more I realized how much of a fit it was. I can still remember telling my husband that I'd heard of a new genre that I just happened to be writing already. It was good timing!

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I had a baby this year, so snuggling him is pretty high on my list. I also love thrift shopping, reading, and anything involving coffee and/or wine. I'm a semi-ambitious DIY-er, I make a lot of my own jewelry. I also have a real-world career in educational outreach, so that takes up a lot of my time as well.

Who are your favorite writers?
All time favorites? Curtis Sittenfeld, Judy Blume, Rebecca Wells. I'm also getting into Jennifer Weiner lately, and I'm having a lot of fun discovering other NA authors, too. My to-read list is almost all NA, since so much has come out since I've been in my writing bubble!

Where can you see yourself in 5 years' time?
Probably still living with my family somewhere on the West Coast (where I've spent most of my life already), with more books out. Hopefully I'll have traveled a bit more by then, too -- I really want to see the southern states and the UK.

What is your favorite movie and why?
So many! I have the entertainment tastes of a teenager. My husband teaches film and just rolls his eyes at the movies I love...Mean Girls, Pitch Perfect, all the Harry Potter films, Wedding Crashers, Wet Hot American Summer. Though, if you twist my arm, I think I'd say Dirty Dancing. It's such a classic New Adult story, and I love the soundtrack.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Keep reading and don't worry so much.J

Links for Author:

Aug 12, 2014

Book Blitz: Excerpt and Giveaway: Stormfront by K.R. Conway

August 12, 2014 0 Comments

Title: Stormfront
Author: K.R. Conway
Publication Date: August 15th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance


Not long ago, Eila Walker's choices were limited: death by a bullet to the head, or at the hands of her beloved bodyguard, Raef. Now, five weeks after Raef triggered her power and she nearly leveled a historic mansion, Eila is dealing with the fall-out of her decisions. While she doesn't remember dying in the arms of the soul thief who loves her, she knows that Raef remembers everything about the night he nearly killed her.

Now on the mend and attempting to keep one step ahead of the FBI, Eila and her team of misfits are desperate for a bit of normal. Eila is trying to navigate high school, while her BFF Ana is cautiously hanging with past boyfriend and soul thief Kian. Shape-shifter MJ is trying not to piss off his mother, while Raef is coping with his fears that Eila will never be safe.

But just as "normal" seems within their grasp, a powerfully built newcomer arrives. Raef knows the scarred man as a Blacklist Dealer -- a soul thief who peddles the names of humans who deserve to die. Eila, however, knows him as the protective hunter from the woods, who she nicknames Thor. Before long, Raef and Eila realize they've met the same killer, and he has one hell of a story to tell the five friends...if Raef doesn't murder him first.

STORMFRONT is the second book in the bestselling UNDERTOW series.


The smell of cinnamon and coffee lured me out of my warm cocoon of sleep. I blinked into the early morning sunlight filling the parlor and listened to the echoing quiet of the house. The soft drip of Mae's coffee maker confirmed that the power had returned and the brilliant blue outside the window revealed a crystal clear sky. I realized I must have nodded off in front of the fire last night, because I was still camped out on the floor, but somehow I had acquired what felt like a pillow. It was a bit too firm though.

I moved slightly and realized the pillow was attached to a perfectly sculpted forearm...and hand, which had my long hair gently woven through its fingers. Something warm and solid tightened around my waist and my eyes widened as I realized Raef was tucked against my back, one of his arms supporting my head and the other clasped around my waist.

Sweet baby dolphins everywhere, Raef was SPOONING me, pressed firmly against my back.

Now acutely aware of my surroundings, I could feel his warm breath on the back of my neck as he slept. I wanted to turn to him, but I was terrified he would wake and realize he had jumped headfirst into those revisions we had briefly mentioned last night.

Heck, he was WAY MORE than touching me. He was holding me as if I would disappear -- as if I would fade into the molecules in the air. I swallowed and stayed still, taking inventory of his hard body against mine, and how we seemed to fit so perfectly together.

A metal pan scraped against something in the kitchen, breaking the silence of the house, and I felt Raef take a deep breath and stretch ever so slightly.

Then he froze.


I stayed still, hoping he would think I was asleep. Hoping he wouldn't suddenly shoot across the room, taking with him the warmth and safety I felt in his arms.

He didn't move for what felt like forever, keeping his arm around my waist, but then I felt him softly spread his fingers out over my stomach. It took everything I had not to spontaneously combust.

I felt his forehead touch the back of my neck and he drew a slow, deep breath against my shoulder blade. It sent electricity fanning out from my skin and down my arm. All ability to control myself fled my body and I dragged in a shaky breath.

He loosened his grip and I rolled onto my back, his arm still behind my head and his hand just below my belly button. His fingers grazed the area of my skin that was now exposed thanks to a too-short tanktop.

God bless the discount rack at Abercrombie.

"Uh...Good morning," I said, my voice a little dry.

"Good morning," he replied, quietly. "I didn't mean to wrap myself around you like that. I don't even remember doing it." worries!

"You just needed a snuggle buddy," I replied, flashing him a knowing grin, but my face started to flush. Oh my god...that was so lame.

Raef gave a soft smile and was about to reply, but a paisley pillow shot up from behind him and whacked him on the back of his head. "HEY!" he protested.

"Will you two SHUT UP!" moaned Ana, who was sprawled on the floor as well. "I think I might actually throw up in my mouth. Will you be my snuggly-swuggly pooh bear? UGH! Seriously -- I'm gonna barf."

I blushed hot and sat up as Raef's hand fell away from my tummy. He slowly got to his feet, tossing the pillow that attacked him onto the couch. He stretched, looking really well rested for the first time in weeks, and his black t-shirt rode up just enough to torment the heck out of me.

He looked down to where I sat on the floor, scrambled hair and silly PJs most likely making me quite the sight to see. "I'm going to go bring in some more wood and see if Mae needs anything," he said, taking his fine self and walking into the kitchen. I heard him greet Mae, though Mae returned a clipped Hello, and then the side door closed.

I turned to Ana, who was still sprawled on the floor with pillows and blankets. "What the hell, woman?"

"SNUGGLE BUDDY? That's all you can come up with after not having your hands on him for how long?" laughed Ana.

"Hey -- at least I could speak. I was so shocked that he was with me, I though I was hallucinating. Did you fall asleep down here too?"

"No. I went to my room, but was freezing by one in the morning. Kian and Raef were down here talking while keeping the fire going, and you were drooling on the floor, so I figured I'd camp out too, minus the unsexy drooling of course."

"I do not drool!" I laughed, horrified.

"Well, maybe not, but you do have a line indented on the side of your face from however you were sleeping," she said smiling.

"I do not!" I protested, but then felt my cheek. Sure enough I had a long groove running the length of my face.


Mae appeared in the parlor doorway, her arms crossed over a stained plaid apron. "I need to talk to both you girls. Now, please."

That didn't sound very promising. I glanced at Ana, who gave me a curious look, but we followed Mae back into the kitchen where feast preparations were in full swing.

"Sit," Mae instructed as she poured herself a fresh cup of coffee. She added some sugar and slowly turned to face us as she stirred the caffeine. The soft clink of her spoon against the cup seemed to echo ominously in the silent room. What was she up to?

"Um -- did I forget to take the trash out or something?" I asked, daring a nervous glance to Ana. Mae cleared her throat, a sure sign of whatever she was about to say was not going to be enjoyable.

"Raef and Kian are lovely young men. They've helped me out enormously while the two of you have been laid up, and I am very grateful for all they have done. However, what I am about to say is non-negotiable."

Oh please -- don't say it. Don't go there.

"Sex should be between two people who are in love and are mature enough to understand the ramifications of such an activity."

Yup. She went there. I bet the deed to the house it was because Raef had been curled around me, too.

The color drained entirely from Ana's face.

"Mae -- you really don't..." I started, but she raised a hand to silence me. It was very possible I would never recover from this conversation. I was sure Ana's ears were shriveling off her head as Mae spoke.

"I am not so naive that I do not see how you four act around each other. It's obvious that there are feelings that go far beyond friendship between you two and the boys. All I ask is that you girls are careful, use your head. Don't do something you're pressured into. And for heaven's sake, if you are determined to do it, DON'T do it under this roof and always, always be protected."

Silence descended on the room, as if a black hole had opened up on the table, sucking all gravity and sound from the kitchen. Mae stood there, glancing at the two of us. I was mortified. I slid my eyes to the kitchen door that Raef had passed through minutes ago. If he was still anywhere near the side of the house, his supernatural hearing would have just offered him an earful. Kill. Me. Now.

Ana, no doubt ready to perform a self-inflicted mental exorcism to erase the past few moments, hopped up from her seat as if she had been scalded. "Right. Good talk. Will keep it under advisement. Gotta get dressed," she declared, bolting from the room. I think her little feet actually left a smoke trail in their wake. Her leg was definitely all healed.

I glanced at Mae and she eyed me over her steaming cup of coffee as she took a sip.

Somebody save me.

Links for Book:
Amazon / Goodreads / Barnes and Noble

*All links will be live on release day.

Author's Bio:

K.R. Conway has been a professional writer for most of her adult life. She has been a journalist since 1999, an editor, graphic designer, critique partner for other writers, novelist, and book reviewer. She teaches the devious art of telling lies for money to various impressionable young people (i.e. she teaches fiction craft classes for teens and adults). She is also on the Board of Directors for the Cape Cod Writers Center, a PAL member of the SCBWI, and the driver of a 16-ton school bus. She tweets her random thoughts @sharkprose and is on Facebook, because even her BFF's dog is.

Conway is the author of the UNDERTOW series, which includes last year's Amazon bestseller, UNDERTOW, and this August's release, STORMFRONT. She lives on Cape Cod with her two children and husband, two weird dogs, and a cage-defiant lovebird that sleeps in a miniature tent.

Links for Author:

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