Saturday, March 1, 2014

MISSING ROYAL FINDING GOLD,BOOK ONE by Konstanz Silverbow




Title: Missing Royal
Author: Konstanz Silverbow
Genre: YA Romance Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours


Blurb:
One princess destroyed the world. One princess must save it. When she was little she wished to be a princess. Now as a teenager she just wishes she fit in. But Shanice doesn't feel like she belongs, she never has. When her parents tell her she is the last known princess from another world, it all makes sense. A world full of magic in place of technology. One where she is more than just royalty, she is their last chance to stop the one who is bent on destroying it. Mendina. But she can't do it alone, first she must find the other missing royals. In her quest, Shanice will
be forced to choose between the course prophecy set for her, and the one that leads to the man her heart belongs to.

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18168719-missing-royal
Special Edition: https://www.etsy.com/listing/174266027/pre-order-missing-royal-special-edition?ref=listing-shop-header-0
Regular Edition: https://www.etsy.com/listing/174253470/pre-order-missing-royal-regular-edition?ref=listing-shop-header-1
Attend the Launch party: https://www.facebook.com/events/370961089716046/?ref=br_tf





                                                        ***REVIEW BY KIM***


*** I Received a copy of Missing Royal in exchange for an honest review***
This is the first book and first time I have heard of Konstanz Silverbow.  I really enjoyed this book and I do look forward to reading more books from her.  The cover is beautiful.  I was interested in the story from the very beginning. Not ever hearing or reading any of Konstanz books I didn't know what to expect. But I was able to be drawn into the story and did not want to put the book down.


Author Bio: 



Konstanz Silverbow has always been a dreamer . . . but not a writer. Being an author was something she was dragged into. But since that day, she hasn't stopped. It has become more than a hobby, it is a passion.

During the day Konstanz works, making jewelry, playing the violin, collecting dragons, and learning all she can about medieval weapons. But at night she creates made up worlds and places where those dragons come to life and the weapons are used in battle."

Young adult fantasy, paranormal with a dash of romance author, Konstanz Silverbow; Proud Creator of magical worlds, fictional creatures, ideal super heroes and sarcasm since 2007!

Links: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/konstanzsilverbow
Twitter: https://twitter.com/konstanzs
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7102407.Konstanz_Silverbow
Blog: http://nothoughts2small.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.authorkonstanzsilverbow.com/


Excerpts: 
We don’t race like usual. No games or laughing. Just silence as we ride through the trees and towards the gate. The one place I’ve always wanted to go. The one place I wish I was never going. The one place I can’t avoid.
We arrive at the gate far too soon. I begin shaking. My hands tremble as I fidget with the reins. My entire body is tense. I’m not sure what terrifies me the most about this whole scenario but one thing I know for sure, this is real.
It isn’t a joke set up by my parents. This isn’t just a dream that’s about to end. Tears well up in my eyes once more as I finally let the truth sink in – I’m leaving everything I’ve ever known and never coming back.
Everything I know is behind me. And all that lies ahead is a life I’m not ready for. People wait for me because they love me, they claim me as their own but I do not know them. It’s like my whole life is walking along a cliff. One more surprise, one last push and I’ll go over.
I don’t know who I am anymore. I don’t know much of anything. I’m walking into the unknown with someone I thought I knew, but don’t really know at all. Each haunting thought
fills me as we approach the gate. So desperately I long to turn around and run now while I still can.
“My dear Shanice, please be comforted and know that you are being watched over. No harm will befall you at this time. Feel peace, my daughter.” The haunting voice of my mother, the one who beckons me, overcomes my senses. And where it terrified me before, now her voice is soft and comforting.
I feel the peace she wishes me to and as scared as I am, as much as I don’t want to go, I make it to the gate and continue walking as it opens with one loud squeal. Valentino allows me to enter first. Perhaps he can feel how much I feel like running right now and knows I won’t make it through on my own.
But I nudge Star forward, sobbing uncontrollably. Five steps in and I pull on the reins. I turn around in the saddle and watch the gate close. More racking sobs overtake me as my past is closed behind me by a hauntingly beautiful gate.


***BOOK BLITZ*** THE PRINCE OF PUNK ROCK (RADICAL ROCK STARS #1) by Jenna Galicki

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Title: The Prince of Punk Rock (Radical Rock Stars #1)

Author: Jenna Galicki

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 21, 2014

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Synopsis

I love her, but I also love him.

She's everything to me.

He sets my world on fire.

It's our dirty little secret, and it’s about to blow our record deal sky high.

I’m Tommy Blade, the Prince of Punk Rock, and this is our story.


Tommy Blade is a man with a secret. It’s a secret he only shares with one person, Jessi Blade – and the men he surrenders to in the bedroom. Her only condition to their tumultuous sex life is that these men are one night stands. But when Angel Garcia enters his life, it’s like a match to gasoline.

Mega-talented punk rock singer Angel Garcia, with his smoldering ebony eyes, tight leather pants and unstoppable stage presence, is a man who is use to getting what he wants. He has his eyes set on Tommy Blade as his new lead guitarist, and as his life partner.

Jessi Blade, sympathetic to her husband's bisexual needs, loves him enough to share him, but she never counted on Angel Garcia to test the threshold of her marriage. He makes her life hell . . . and heaven. He’s her damnation and her salvation. She wants to hate him. She wants to despise him. But, his charm and raw sex appeal are impossible to resist. Without warning, she finds herself falling in love with her husband's gay lover.

At the height of it all, their punk rock band catapults to stardom.

Their lives are marred by secrecy, deception and sacrifice. Feelings of betrayal, backlash from the sensationalistic media and threats of blackmail send them down a hard road filled with tough decisions.

They aren't your ordinary rock stars. They're radical rock stars. And they have a big story to tell.



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About the Author

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Jenna Galicki, Author of Adult Contemporary Romance

Jenna Galicki is a strong advocate for LGBT rights and marriage equality. She volunteers with God's Love We Deliver, delivering meals to people with HIV and AIDS and other life threatening illnesses. She actively raises money and participates in AIDS Walk New York and is a proud sponsor of Children International.

She lives in Long Island, NY with her husband and three dogs. She's a Rottweiler enthusiast and an avid music buff. Elaborate stories

and fictional characters are her constant companions. When she's not hunched over a computer breathing life to these strong souls through the written word, you can find her front row at a rock concert.


Follow Jenna Galicki, she would love to hear from you:

www.jennagalicki.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jennagalicki.author1

Twitter: @jennagalicki





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***COVER REVEAL*** SELECTIVE MEMORY (The Depth of Emotion, #2) by D.D. Lorenzo

Selective



Title: Selective/Memory (The Depth of Emotion, #2)


Author: D.D. Lorenzo


Release Date: April 3, 2014


Genre: Contemporary Romance


Cover Artist: Regina Wamba, http://www.maeidesign.com/


Hosted by: Love Between the Sheets Promotions


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Synopsis

 

“Selective/Memory”


Reception or retrieval of only some of


the events in an experience.


Darkness Descended…


After tragedy claimed love as its victim, Declan and Aria struggle to move forward alone. They each have endured hurt and devastation inflicted and influenced by circumstance.

 

Rebuilding Slowly…


Aria’s inner strength is brought to the surface as she regains control of both her emotions and her body, but Declan’s supremacy over her heart is a consequence as a result of loving him so completely.

 

Blatant Trivialization…


As thoughts of Aria continue to haunt him, Declan attempts to minimize their effect on him using whatever means possible, no matter the effect on himself or its impact on his relationships.

 

An Agenda of Evil…


Revenge reigns supreme in Marisol’s agenda. Her satisfaction is found in the bitterness she cultivates as she grows in her contempt for Aria and her manipulations of Declan. Will she be successful in total annihilation of two people who have already suffered the crushing weight that sorrow and guilt can deliver?

 

Join Declan Sinclair and Aria Cole in “Selective/Memory”, Book Two in “The Depth of Emotion” series and witness the conclusion of their story. They will attempt to restructure their individual worlds, but fate continues to intervene by bringing them into the atmosphere of each other. Are they willing to bear love again? Will their emotions sustain the depths that their relationship exposed? Will their feelings for each other be strong enough to sustain a love that will last a lifetime?

Only Fate can Decide…



About The Author


DD Lorenzo is a modern-day storyteller. Her novels reach deep into the heart of readers and engage them through the emotions of her characters.

DD resides in Maryland, The Land of Pleasant Living. She met the love of her life in high school and decided to look no further. Together, they have an eclectic and amazing family. When she isn't writing stories of the impassioned lives of her characters, she is rooting for the Baltimore Ravens or the Baltimore Orioles. Her favorite pastimes include spending time with the wonderful people in her life and riding in her husband's classic Mustang to the Eastern Shore.

"Selective/Memory” is Book 2 in The "Depth of Emotion" Series. It is the conclusion to the cliffhanger “Positive/Negativity” (she promises!). There are five books planned for the series. Book 3, “Here/Now” will be centered on character Carter Sinclair, a fan favorite. “Here/Now” is planned for release Fall, 2014.

 

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“Selective/Memory”


By D D Lorenzo


Prologue/Capacity


It was perfect—at least, for this purpose. This was the location. That was, after all, what she had come to expect, wasn’t it? Perfection. Nothing more, nothing less, and it pleased her. An ocean view because he liked it, seclusion because she did. It wasn’t an enormous house, but would be adequate for her needs; she truly didn’t consider his. She had only picked the ocean view house due to the seclusion, and she could make him believe that she chose it for him. It was all an illusion, really—as were most things for her accommodation.

The furnishings had arrived earlier in the week. She didn’t inconvenience herself for their arrival—there were people who handled that sort of thing—and she hated mingling with

those that didn’t matter. Money took care of them and what they did to suit her.

As she walked from room to room, she took in some of the mediocre choices she had made—all for his taste—so she could achieve her ultimate goal—him.

How did that beach bitch ever stand the look of this shit? she thought as she wrinkled her nose in distaste at the overstuffed sofa and chairs in the living room. It was a bit more elegant a display than was in Declan’s home. Of course it would be—she was Marisol Franzi! Her taste was much better than Declan’s or his former plaything. That was evident to even the most mundane decorator.

Walking through the kitchen, she snickered at the coffeemaker, thinking it almost blasé.

Did he never think of cappuccino, espresso? Did the man even remember he had been all over the world?

The kitchen looked adequate enough, but no matter, she wouldn’t be there long enough to think about it—and she certainly didn’t cook! The idea was appalling.

As her stiletto heels made a clicking sound on the shiny hardwood stairs, Marisol ascended as a queen in a kingdom. The master bedroom suite at the top of the stairs held a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean, its iniquitous waters as black as the void in her soul. The dark night sky held not a single star, to spare her a flicker of hope in her malevolent beauty. An imposing full moon cast a sinister light into the room. It beckoned her to walk up to the large window, which could be seen from the massive bed, the wood expertly carved in the four posters. ♪

“Oh…the things you will see me do, Mr. Moon…” she said suggestively as she reached up, first one arm, then the other, behind her to unzip her dress.

Letting it fall to the floor, Marisol made her way to the bed and crawled like a cat into the middle of its grand size as a contemptible shadow followed her from the window.

Lying there, she stared out at the moon, reveling in the knowledge that she could hear nothing but the objectionable ocean, and that no one would be able to hear the screams and moans that would come from this house. The thoughts that crossed her mind gave her the most delicious sensation running through her veins. She closed her eyes to savor the mental pictures. She had been tolerant, compliant, and even passive until she felt she would scream, but for this, she had planned every small detail. She shivered with the intensity of joy that flooded her, knowing that her efforts would not be in vain, and the time was coming soon. She’d finally get what she had planned and waited for. Nothing—and no one—could stop her. No one ever could.

When she had come to this country, and she, Marisol—THE supermodel—was created, they told her she’d never want for anything again—and they didn’t know how right they were.

She was invincible.


She had conquered everything.


She was a vencedor—a winner!



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Friday, February 28, 2014

LOVE'S SUICIDE by Jennifer Foor


Title: Love's Suicide
Author: Jennifer Foor
Release Date: March 6th 2014



Synopsis: 


My heart belonged to Branch and Brooks Valentine since we were children, when we were all too naïve to know what that even meant. We didn’t understand that when we became adults, love would change us. I had to make a choice and when I did, it ripped our bond apart. Brooks left town, and he took half of my heart with him. It was difficult, but I coped and planned my future with Branch. I thought I’d made the right decision. I loved him and I always had.

Brooks showed up to be our best man the night before our nuptials. After drinks and too much reminiscing, I ended up in bed with the wrong brother. To avoid the humiliation and the fact that I’d ruined all of our lives, I left Branch and the only family I’d ever known.

That’s where my story should have ended.

Two years, one beautiful little girl and an abusive marriage later, I was standing there staring at the man that would always hold my heart.

The only question was…

Would I give it to him

I’m Katy Michaels and this is my story.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20632153-love-s-suicide



Purchase Link: 



Excerpts: 












Trailer:
Embed Code:
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/oNwEEK02lGU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Direct Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNwEEK02lGU&feature=youtu.be




Author Bio: 



A Maryland native who spends most of her time
devising a plan to live off the land on some remote island, where no one will ever find her.

She is a married mother of two kids, who may or may not drive her completely bonkers. In her spare time she enjoys shooting pool, camping and spending time with friends and family.


Media Links:
Website: www.jenniferfoor.com
 Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferFoorAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jennyfoor
Blog: http://jennyfoor.wordpress.com/
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/jennyfoor
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/jenniferfoor




* I received an ARC for my honest review*

OMG, I'm in love. This is the feel good book of the year! Jennifer Foor has touched my heart and soul with this book!

The story begins with Katy and her best friends/ neighbors, the twins, Branch and Brooks. They have known each other since they were infants as their parents were best friends. They were inseparable. Tragedy strikes close to home for Katy when the attacks on 9/11 affect her home life.

As she grows up, she makes a series of choices that aren't necessarily the best, but she makes it though. She lives and learns from them. How would she be able to get past this? What would happen to her?

I don't want to give anything away in this book, it was one that I couldn't put down. My poor family had to fend for themselves last night for dinner because I refused to stop reading. (Don't feel too bad for them, my boys are 18 and 22, they know how to cook) I really hope that Jennifer Foor has at least a part two in mind. I could see in my mind where she could continue this from a couple of different angles. Super book!!!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

UNCOVERING YOU by Scarlett Edwards



Title: Uncovering You

Author: Scarlett Edwards

Genre: Dark Romance

Release Date: March 17th, 2014 Series (Y/N) - Yes, first book in series. Second will be out April 20th, 2014

Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours



Book Description:
  When I wake up in a dark, unfamiliar room, I have no idea what's waiting for me in the shadows. My imagination conjures up demons of the worst kind.
Reality is much worse:
A collar with no leash. A prison with no walls. And a life stripped of meaning.
I am presented with a vile contract and asked to sign. It outlines the terms of my
servitude. The only information I have about my captor are the two small letters inked at the bottom:
J.S.
Armed with only my memories, I must do everything I can to avoid becoming ensnared in his twisted mind games. But in the end, it all comes down to one choice:
Resist and die.
Or submit, and sign my life away

GoodReads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20512700-uncovering-you


Author Bio: I live near beautiful Seattle, Washington. I grew up reading all types of fantasy books before discovering the wonderful world of romances in high school. Now, I spend most of my time writing about sexy men and the women who love them.

Links:
www.facebook.com/ScarlettEdwardsAuthor
www.scarlettedwards.com
www.goodreads.com/scarlettedwards



                                                                REVIEW BY Terri

*I received an ARC for my honest review*

College student, Lilly Ryder wakes up in a dark room. Where is she? What has happened to her? She finds that she has a string around her ankle and a collar around her neck. What is going on?

This short story jumps back and forth from the past to the present several times throughout the story. At first, it was hard for me to stay on track, but after a couple of times of the author jumping, I got that it was Lilly reliving those moments in her life and it helped build the story.

It is a good short story that leaves you wanting more. You want to know why the person who put her there really wants her there. I am looking forward to reading the next book to find out for myself.


Excerpt: 
  
 “Lilly.”
Oh God. It’s him. There’s no mistaking that rich, masculine treble.
What’s he doing down here?
“M-Mr. Stonehart,” I stutter, turning. I curse my inability to hide my surprise. He totally caught me off-guard. I have to look up to meet his eyes. Then up some more.
The face that I find is so striking it should belong to a Greek god.
He’s younger than I expected. Late thirties, maybe early forties.
That means he started his company when he was younger than me!
Dark scruff lines his angular cheeks. His jet-black hair is styled in long, natural waves. My fingers itch to run through it.
Totally inappropriate.
He has a prominent nose that might be too big on a less imposing man, but on him, it’s perfect.
In short, he’s a package of the purest masculinity I’ve ever seen.
And then there are his eyes. Oh my God. His eyes. They pierce into me like honing missiles. They are the deepest black I have ever seen. They would be frightening if they weren’t so beautiful. When the light reflects a certain way, you catch a glimpse of the purple underneath.
They are like midnight sapphires. His eyes reveal a cunning intellect. Those eyes do not miss a thing.
Add all that to his towering height, his wide shoulders, his confident-yet-at-ease posture… and Stonehart cuts an intimidating figure.
My gaze darts to his left hand before I can stop it. No ring. He’s unmarried.
He looks down at me, expectantly. His eyes narrow ever so slightly, and I feel like I’m being dissected, measured up, and tucked away in some small corner of his brain. I imagine this is what a gemstone feels like under the magnifying class of the most critical appraiser.
Stonehart clears his throat. I come to with a start, realizing I haven’t said anything in ages. I open my mouth, but the capacity for speech seems like a foreign concept to my brain. “I—”
Somebody bumps into me from behind. I stagger forward. I’m not used to these shoes, so my heel steps the wrong way. My ankle twists under me, and I start to fall.
I don’t fall far. The hand still on my elbow tightens, and Stonehart pulls me into him.
I plaster myself onto the solid steel wall the man has for a body. I catch a scent of his cologne. It’s a deep, musky smell with a hint of charred spruce that is all male. It scrambles my thoughts even more.
“Sorry!” a rushed voice calls out. From the corner of my eye, I see the postman giving a hurried, apologetic wave.
Although the sequence lasts less than a second, it feels like an eternity. Pressed up against him like that, I don’t want to move. I know that I couldn’t have made a worse first impression.
Stonehart eases me off him with a firm yet gentle grip. Our eyes meet. I flush the most vibrant red. His fingers graze my forehead as he brushes a lock of hair out of my face.
Any tenderness I may have imagined vanishes when Stonehart takes out his cell. He long dials a key and growls an order. “Steven. See the delivery boy leaving right now? Have his building pass revoked.”
I gape. Stonehart keeps speaking. “Wait. I thought of one better. Bar his company from accessing the building.” There’s a pause. “For how long? Indefinitely. FedEx can talk to me when they have an improved employee selection program in place.”
The phone call gives me just enough time to compose myself. My heart’s still beating out of my chest. But nobody has to know that.
I speak without thinking. “You’re going to restrict the entire company from serving this building because of that?”
Stonehart humors me with an answer. “A company’s employees are its most important asset. Their behavior reflects the organization as a whole. If FedEx decided that clown is good enough for them, it tells me they’re sloppy. I do not do business with sloppy organizations.”
“What about the other tenants in the building?” I ask. “Won’t that piss them off?”
When I hear myself and realize how improper my question is, my cheeks flame red again.
Stonehart’s eyes darken, as if he cannot believe I asked that question. I open my mouth to apologize for my imprudence, hating the way my professional skills have evaporated into thin air. I’m cut off by a short, barked laugh.
“Miss Ryder.” He sounds amused. “I believe that is the most direct and honest question anybody has dared ask me in weeks.” He takes my elbow again and leads me to the elevators. I have to take two quick steps to match one of his long strides.
“Yes,” he continues. “They will be ‘pissed off.’ But the perk of owning a building—” he hits the elevator call button, “—is that you get to make executive decisions.” He gives me an unreadable glance as the doors open. “That is, at the risk of being questioned by inexperienced interns.”
If that isn’t a loaded remark, I don’t know what is. I flush scarlet red for the third time since I’ve met him. I’ve never had a man throw me so off balance.
The elevator is packed, for which I’m infinitely thankful. The trip up will give me some time to properlycompose myself.
Gratitude turns to panic when the crowd files out, meek as mice, when Stonehart steps in. None of the people waiting in the lobby follow us.
The doors close. I’m alone in here with him. My heart’s beating as fast as a hummingbird’s wings.
He catches me staring. “Impressed?” he asks.
“They know you,” I manage.
His dark eyes flash with amusement. “Astute.”

Chapter One
October 2013. Date unknown.
(Present day)

A faint hiss, like the sound of an angry cat, jars me from my sleep.
I open my eyes to pure blackness. I blink, trying to get my bearings. A vague memory forms in the back of my mind, too far away to reach.
Why can’t I see anything?
My breath hitches. Panic rips through my body as the horrifying answer comes to me:
I’m blind!
I scramble onto hands and knees and desperately claw at the dark, searching for something, anything, for my senses to latch onto.
A dim overhead light comes on.
Relief swells inside.
I plop back on my butt and close my eyes, taking deep breaths to dispel the rush of adrenaline released by my body. When my heart’s not beating quite so fast, I open my eyes again.
The light’s gotten brighter. I look up at the source. It’s far above me, like a dull, miniature sun. It spreads a little sphere around me, maybe ten feet in diameter. Past that, everything is swallowed by darkness.
An irksome memory keeps gnawing at me. But my head is too heavy to remember. I feel… strange. Kind of like I’m hung over, but without the telltale pounding between my ears.
Cautiously, I try to stand. My limbs are slow to react. They feel heavy, too, like they’ve been dipped in wet clay. I steady myself. Only when I’m satisfied that my knees won’t give out, do I strain my ears for that hissing sound again.
It’s coming from somewhere behind me. I turn back—and nearly smash my head on a gleaming white pillar.
What the hell?
The sound is forgotten as I reach out and brush tentative fingers against the pillar’s surface. It’s cool to the touch. Smooth, too. I put my other hand on it. If I had to guess, I’d say it was made of marble. But what is a lone, white marble pillar doing in the middle of this room?
The memory is like a gong going off inside my head. But trying to reach it is like grasping at a smooth, slippery stone at the bottom of an aquarium. Just when I think I have it, it slips through my fingers and falls even farther out of reach.
I walk a slow, measured circle around the pillar. If I tried wrapping my arms around it, I doubt if I could even span half the circumference. Something far in the back of my mind tells me I should be alarmed. I look behind me and frown. By what? A dark room?
No, you idiot. By the reason you’re here!
My eyes widen. The reason I’m here? I don’t… I don’t remember.
I wince and bring one hand to my temple. Why am I having so much trouble remembering?
I gasp as a second gruesome thought hits me. Did I lose my memory? Do I have… amnesia?
I sink down with my back to the pillar. Desperation starts to take over. I hold my head between my knees and close my eyes to focus.
My name is Lilly Ryder. I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 17th, 1990.
My eyes pop open. Joyous tears form in the corners. I do remember! I take a deep breath and try to keep going.
I was raised by my mom. I do not know my dad…
Suddenly, all my childhood memories come streaming back. Moving around as a kid. Never staying in one place longer than six months. All the cities I’ve lived in. All the apartments my mom and I called home. Even the revolving door of her boyfriends. There was Dave, and Matthew. Tom, and Steve. There was…
I shake my head to stop myself. I don’t doubt my memory anymore. But that still does not explain why I have absolutely no recollection of this place, or how I got here.
I push myself back up. The spotlight above me has gotten progressively brighter. The little enclosure of light doesn’t feel quite so tight anymore. I trail my eyes up the length of the pillar. I can’t see where it ends because of the light. But I can tell it’s tall, at least twenty, maybe twenty-five feet…
There’s also something about its surface that calls out to me. My hands itch to run over the smooth stone. A giggle bubbles up as I picture myself stroking it. The column is quite phallic.
I waver at the unfamiliar thought and have to catch my balance against the beam.
Focus, Lilly! I chide myself.
I have no idea where that thought came from. I have never been overtly sexual.
Nothing feels right. The fog that’s heavy on my mind is starting to lift, but not yet enough for me to understand—or remember—where the hell I am. This place is unfamiliar. I
know that much. But right now, I feel almost like a surgery patient whose anesthetic kinked out: fully awake mentally, but completely impaired physically.
I go back to my memories. I can remember high school. I remember college. That’s where I spent the last three years of my life, isn’t it? Yes. Yes, it is.
“Hello?” I call out. My voice echoes into the surrounding gloom. “Is anybody there?”
I wait for an answer. All I get is the hollow repetition of my own voice.
…anybody there, there, there…
I spent the last three years in college… but that’s not where I think I am right now. No. I shake my head. I knowthat’s not where I am. My memories are fuzzier the closer I bring them to today. Time feels… skewed. Freshman year’s easy to remember. So is sophomore, and most of junior… but things get weird toward the end.
I… finished junior year, didn’t I? Yes. Yes, I did. And then…
And then I took an internship in distant California for the summer, I remember with another gasp.
Suddenly, my mind is crystal clear. That pressing memory hurtles into view. It’s from yesterday. The last thing I recall, I was alone in a booth at an upscale restaurant. The waiter brought me a glass of wine. I took a few sips, contemplating my future….
Oh, God! Fear wraps a stranglehold around my neck.
The restaurant. The wine.
I’ve been drugged!
I can’t breathe. A suppressing tightness constricts my throat. I feel dizzy, and terrified, and most of all… ashamed.
Holy shit, Lilly, way to look out for yourself! My semi-mad inner dialogue pans with a generous dollop of sarcasm.
I’ve always known about the dangers of sick men preying on unsuspecting girls. I just never thought I’d fall victim to it.
I’ve been on my own since I turned eighteen, after the final falling out with my mother. I’ve always been proud of how well I managed. Even the shabby holes I’ve lived in while saving up college tuition were an improvement over living with her and all her low-life boyfriends. At least there, I had autonomy.
I’ve dealt with landlords selling crack on the side and the junkies they attract. Always, I’ve been known as independent, and strong—maybe offputtingly so. But, those were the character traits I had to develop to have any chance of getting ahead.
And all that lead to what? To this? To letting my guard down for one night and ending up… here?
Wherever “here” is, I think to myself.
The shock of the revelation has subsided a bit. I push off from the pillar. I can figure this out. I take a deep breath and look at my hands and feet. I am not bound. I pick at my clothes. They are the same ones I wore last night.
Do you know what might be lurking in the darkness?
I shove the meddlesome voice down. I don’t need more worries. Not now.
Carefully, I place one foot in front of the other and edge to the outer reaches of the light. The strange hissing noise has gone away. I don’t know when that happened. Maybe it was in my head the entire time.
I strain my eyes, trying to pierce the surrounding darkness. It’s impossible. I reach out with one hand and find nothing but air. This far from the pillar, I can barely see my outstretched hand.
“Hello?” I try again. “Who’s there?”
There’s no answer.
What kind of madman would do something like this? I wonder. What is hidden in the shadows?
Without warning, my imagination starts to run wild. Torture devices? Bondage equipment? Something… worse?
Snap out of it! I tell myself firmly.
I refuse to give in to despair, even if my entire self-preservation mechanism is on high alert. Despair is what whoever brought me here wants me to feel.
I will not succumb to that.
I look down at the floor. It is made of some expensive stone. I kneel down and brush my hand over the large, square tiles. They feel solid. Sturdy. They don’t belong in a dingy basement or a dirty warehouse.
Somehow, that thought strengthens me. Things aren’t quite as bad as they could be.
I stand up and peer into the black. I glance back at the safety of my pillar. If I venture past the light, I can always find my way back.
Go slow, I warn myself. Who knows what might be waiting for me out there?
I’ve seen the horror movies. Just because I don’t get the dungeon vibes here does not mean I’m not in one.
Haltingly, my foot reaches past the edge.
A thousand bright lights flood the room. I gasp and shy back, shielding my eyes on instinct.
After a few seconds, I lower my arm, blinking through the sharp pain that shoots through my head. I can almost groan. Light sensitivity, too?
Then I see the room.
Holy shit.
It’s huge. Massive. It must be at least five thousand square feet of pristine, flat space. I’m smack dab in the middle of it all.
The lights come from embedded ceiling lamps high overhead. Three of the walls, far away from me, are decorated with black and white abstract paintings created in bold brush strokes. The fourth wall is shielded by a heavy red curtain. The entire floor is made of rich, creamy white tiles reminiscent of steamed milk.
The ceiling is so high above me I almost feel like I’m in a cathedral. It’s made of exquisite dark oak beams.
But this is no church.
I do a slow turn. Something about this is all wrong.
So wrong.
Why am I here? What is behind the curtain? Other than the massive pillar and the paintings, there is nothing in the room.
If I’m being kept prisoner, why am I unbound? Why waste so much space on me?
I cup my hands around my mouth and yell.
“HEY! Anybody? Where am I?”
As before, I’m greeted with silence.
I take one more careful look around. If I got in, there must be a way out.
My eyes dart to the curtain.
Behind there.
I start toward it, my bare feet making determined slaps against the cold floor. I’ve not even gone ten paces toward it when I feel a small tug on my ankle.
I stop and look down. I discover a thread, so thin it’s almost translucent, tied loosely around my foot. The other end is attached to the base of the pillar.
I bend down and finger it.
What on earth is this?
The thread looks like it should snap with the smallest amount of force. I wrap my hands around it and tug.
It doesn’t give.
I frown, and apply a little more effort.
This time, it breaks in a clean cut.
I shake my head as I straighten.
Strange.
I half-expected something to happen when I did that. Alarms to blare, the lights to go off, something.
Nothing.
That’s when I notice a small white envelope leaning against the pillar. It’s right where the thread connects. In fact, it blends so well with the marble that I’m sure I would have missed it were it not for the string.
Exploration forgotten for now, I pick up the envelope. Maybe it will give some clue about what the fuck is going on.
It’s made of heavy paper. A wax stamp seals it, imprinted with a two-faced drama mask that I would find unnerving no matter where I saw it.
The only time I saw a wax-sealed envelope was when my ex got tapped by the Spade and Grave at Yale. I can understand the need for antiquity in New Haven. It makes no sense here.
My finger slips under the flap. I carefully ease it open. A foreboding sense of doom swirls around me as I pull the folded letter out.
I stare at it for a long minute. This is all so surreal. It feels like being caught in a bad dream. Once, I play myself right into my captor’s hands.
My natural inclination to resist, to fight back, tells me to tear the paper up without another glance. But that would be madness. The only clue I have to my whereabouts might be contained inside.
My thirst for information gets the better of me. I sit on the floor, cross my legs, and slowly unfold the paper.
It’s handwritten in swift, flowing blue ink. The rows of words make perfect strides across the page. Precision is the first word that comes to mind to describe the owner of the handwriting.
I set the sheet on the floor in front of me, lean forward and begin to read:

Two items require your immediate attention.
1. You may spuriously assume you are being held here against your will. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You are a guest. As a guest, you retain full ability to leave my home at any time. The door behind the drapes shall remain open for the duration of your stay. There are no physical barriers to speak of—though I would advise you to read to the end of this letter before making decisions based on a flawed understanding of your situation.
2. You may have already noted the new adornment around your neck. If so, well done! I applaud—

Adornment? I stop reading. What adornment?
I bring my hands to my neck. I feel the unfamiliar shape against my skin. Why hadn’t I noticed it before?
I scamper closer to the marble pillar to try to make out my reflection. I can’t see much, but I can make out the “adornment”. There’s a black collar around my throat. I touch it with one hand.
It’s smooth and flat. It’s made of some kind of matted plastic, like the edges of a computer screen. It’s not tight or uncomfortable.
It frightens me. If it warranted a place in the letter, there must be something to it. I need to get it off.
My fingers dart around the edges, seeking the clasp that opens it.
I don’t find one.
The collar is smooth inside and out. It feels like a single piece of plastic. I trail one finger around the rim on the inside, and, finding no discrepancies, do the same on the outside. Again, I feel nothing.
There’s no crack, no edge, nothing to indicate how it was put around my neck.
I jam all my fingers between my skin and the plastic and pull with all my might. The collar flexes ever-so-slightly but doesn’t give.
Dammit! I cry out and try again.
I pull with all the strength God gave me. It’s not enough. I try again, and again, and again.
Nothing.
I realize I’m panting at this point. The exertion has me almost hyperventilating.
I drop my hands. It’s just a stupid, harmless little piece of plastic. Why do I want it off so much?
Because the idea of having anything foreign touch your skin is repulsive.
The voice is right, as always. But what can I do? The collar is bound to be part of the mind game in which I’m an unwitting participant. Reacting the way I just did is probably exactly what my captor wants. He—and I am certain it’s a “he” now, from the wording of the letter—wants me to feel terrified.
I will not give him the pleasure. I return to the letter and continue to read:
…applaud your perspicacity! You should know, however, that it is not an ordinary collar. Contained inside is a small positioning chip and two electrodes. They become activated the moment you stray outside your designated safe zone.The string around your foot offers a conservative estimation of the distance you may roam past the marble column. Stay close, and you will remain untroubled. I am told that the electric shock the collar provides, while not lethal, can be quite unpleasant.

Holy fuck!
My spine goes absolutely straight and I forget to breathe. Now the collar has meaning. It feels like a live serpent wrapped around my neck.
My eyes are wide as I look down to my foot. The piece of string is still there, but it’s not connected to the one linked to the pillar.
I’d ripped it like a moron.
How far do I dare go? I’ll have to retie the string—unless I find a way to get the collar off my neck, first.
Another thought occurs to me:
Maybe this is a bluff? Does the collar really have an electrode in it? It’s so thin. Where would it draw power from?
I stand up. Assuming the collar is rigged, and the pillar is the center point… but that’s just what he wants me to believe, isn’t it? The letter claims there’s a door behind the drapes. It could be my path to freedom. I would have to be an idiot to stay here without testing the boundary myself.
I can’t trust anything the letter says. But, I can’t give in to despair, either. My only choice is to contest everything that’s thrown at me. If this is supposed to be a battle of the wills, the guy chose the wrong girl to mess with.
I pick up the remainder of the string and hold it in my fist. I square my shoulders to the long, drawn curtain. I hold my head high. My free hand itches to tug at the collar, but I keep it still. If my captor is watching me—which I’m sure he is, because I’m positive there are cameras hidden all around me—I will not give him the satisfaction of seeing me hesitate.
I take a deep breath and start toward the curtained wall. My strides are strong and purposeful. I will not waver. I will not turn back. Fear of a little shock will not keep me from testing the true limits of this prison.
The string goes taut, and I stop.
So far, so good.
It’s the next few steps that will determine everything.
I glance at the floor to mark my position. So, he expects to keep me in an invisible cage, does he? A cage of my own imagination?
Yeah, tough luck.
I drop the string and take one solid step forward.
Nothing happens.
I risk one more.
Nothing happens.
The corner of my lip twitches up in a hint of a smile. I called his bluff. But, I’m not home free yet. The veiled wall is another thirty-odd paces away from me.
I take two more steps forward, and, when nothing happens, start to walk more briskly.
My stroll is cut short by a sharp little zap beneath my left ear.
I tense and wait for more.
Well, color me surprised.
It looks like the collar does have bite, after all. When a second jolt doesn’t come, I can’t stop my smile from becoming a satisfied smirk. I knew the collar couldn’t possible have enough juice to hurt me. Where would the battery go?
Extremely pleased with myself, I venture onward, toward the curtain and its promise of freedom.
The violent torrent of electricity blindsides me. One second I’m on my feet, the next I’m writhing on the floor.
The current pours into me. I thrash about like a grounded fish. Fierce convulsions rock my body. And all I know is pain, pain, pain.
I can feel the source of it, snug around my neck. I’m helpless to fight the onslaught. My head flails about on the ground, throwing hair into my face. A high-pitched squeal sounds in my ears and I desperately hope that pathetic sound is not me.


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AWAY by B.A. Wolfe

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What good is running AWAY when you only end up lost?

Cassandra Pierce had her whole "perfect" life planned out by her parents. One night of pure weakness and lust has her running away from it all and seeking refuge in Alamosa with her best friend. But it seems life has other plans for her when she finds herself lost in the small town of Keaton.

Jason Bradley is a charming country guy. He lives a simple life that’s nothing like what Cassandra is used to. A single moment in life changed everything he thought he once knew, leaving him with a broken heart and an unplanned future.

What happens in Keaton is nothing Cassandra or her heart could have ever prepared for. The instant connection she shares with Jason is no secret, but what they're keeping hidden from one another is. Will these two be able to find a way to trust each other or will their secrets tear them apart?

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“You left. It scared me,” I told him, embarrassed by my fear of being alone in this dark, vacant library.

“I’m right here.” He reached out his hand. At the same time I grabbed his hand, a loud rumble of thunder roared through the old building making everything in my body tense. I screamed like a little girl and all but jumped into Jason’s arms.

“You’re okay. I’ve got you,” he whispered into my ear as I clung onto him. His hands slid down my back to my waist, soothing me from the thunder’s jolt.

The candle in the aisle next to us did little to break the darkness that surrounded us, but I could clearly see his eyes. I would always be able to see those eyes. They pierced mine as my hands leisurely moved up his chest and around his neck. He slowly took a step closer, moving us so that my back was now against the bookshelf. His hands left my waist to rest on the shelf behind me. My chest was rising and falling as quickly as his was, and it was as though our bodies were in sync. I could tell we both were feeling everything. Every butterfly that fluttered in our stomachs, every breath exhaled and inhaled, and every bit of self-control lost the longer our bodies held this position.

I couldn’t help but lick my lips. I wanted his on mine badly, they needed the taste of Jason on them again. It was as if the storm now raged inside of us, ready to be unleashed. Another loud roar of thunder around us, and then, there it was. A growl escaped Jason as I bowed my back to take a tighter hold of him. His eyes watched as my teeth captured my bottom lip, and his lips immediately found mine. For a split second, a crash of lightning appeared, lighting up the row around us. Our tongues immediately intertwined, kissing frantically as though it was our first kiss.

I slid my hands from around his neck, and up his arms, until I reached his hands, placing mine inside his. He gripped them tightly as he pulled his lips from mine and began softly placing kisses down my neck into the curve of my shoulder. I let out a soft moan, loving the feel of his wet lips against my skin. His grip tightened as his body pressed harder against mine, and his teeth bit down softly on my ear. I wanted to melt into a puddle right here on the floor. Turning my head toward him, my lips were ready to taste more of him. I kissed him and then like something fierce had stricken inside me, I bit his bottom lip. His answering growl made every pulse in my body race. I trailed my lips down his neck but enjoyed the feel of his scruff against my soft cheek first. When I got to his neck, he moved back slightly. With my hands still gripped tightly in his, I was stuck, unable to continue kissing his neck.

“This isn’t funny,” I said, my voice husky.

He leaned closer, his hold still firm on my hands. “Cassandra, I don’t know if I’ll have the ability to stop, so I have to keep your hands locked in mine where they’re safe.”

I slowly shook my head. “I don’t want to beg for this. I have never wanted anything more in my life. I’m giving this to you, and I want you to take it and never give it back. I want you, Jason.”

Away Collage

alternate pov

JASE

"I gotta go. I promised Kasey a dance," Moose said before running off like he was up to something.

I shook my head and took another sip of water.

"Hey there. This seat taken?"

I didn’t even have to look at her to know who the voice belonged to. The sweet sound made everything inside of me melt. "For a girl like you? It’s never taken," I told her as I finally realized what Moose was up to.

She smiled back, but this time, she didn’t take her eyes off of me. I knew the feeling all too well. I didn’t ever want to stop staring at her. She looked away and began fidgeting with her glass. The contents were clear and only confirmed what I thought I knew.

"What are you thinking about over there Cassie?" She swiveled her stool in my direction and I couldn’t help but watch her cheeks flush. It was the perfect shade of red on her. Jase, get a grip man.

"Nothing," she replied.

The look in her eyes said otherwise. "I can tell you’re lying."

"Fine, you seem sad, Jase," she said.

How could she tell? How did she know? Was I not hiding my feelings or past good enough? I gazed down at the floor as I held my glass tight in my hands.

"You can talk to me," she said, placing her hand on my knee. My skin blazed with heat under her touch. It was all I could do to keep from screaming out to her what was wrong. She had too much going on in her life to have to deal with my problems too. I was stuck. I couldn’t tell her the truth. She wouldn’t accept it and then it would just be heartbreak. At least at this point, we weren’t anything but friends. I wanted more. I couldn’t deny that part of my heart that was internally punching me for not making a move already. It wouldn’t be fair to her though.

A sudden coldness lingered over my knee. Her hand was back up on the bar. I missed her touch. I needed to touch her. We had to dance.

I hopped off the bar stool and stood behind her gorgeously dressed body. It was all I could do not to put my lips on her bare shoulder as I inched my mouth closer to her ear.

"You can talk to me too you know," I whispered.

I moved her stool around so she was now in between my legs. "Let’s dance pretty girl," I said.

A smile tugged on her lips. Her hand was still in mine as I started to walk away, except she didn’t budge.

I looked back; her eyes were double their normal size. "There’s a slight problem," she said, quietly.

I moved in closer, put my hands on her knees, and leaned my ear by her mouth. She smelled so good. Jase, man you have got to stop. Focus.

"I don’t know how to dance country," she confessed.

What? I moved back and started laughing, uncontrollably. That was what her problem was? It was adorable and innocent and in turn, only made my feelings for her that much stronger. Why couldn’t it have been that she had to go the restroom or something awkward like that?

The flesh of her palm suddenly covered my mouth and instantly stopped my laugh. My stomach knotted. It took all of the control I had in me not to press a kiss to the inside of her hand that so roughly covered my lips.

"Stop laughing, this is serious," she said. Yes, it is serious; seriously cute.

I reluctantly took her hand off my mouth. "I’ll lead, you just follow. You’ll be okay. Just go with it, Cassie," I told her. This time I made sure she came with me as I pulled her off the chair similar to a parent helping a child off.

The song that played through the speakers was perfect. I didn’t even plan it, but it worked out to my benefit. I really hoped she recognized it, but I wasn’t positive she would. I didn’t know if she was feeling the same pull I was and if our moment in the street was one that would stay with her, like it did me.

I took her hand in mine and placed her other behind my back. I pressed our bodies together as I wrapped my other hand around her lower back. I made sure there was no space between us, not even room to breathe. The song had me wanting her badly, and getting her as close as possible was all I could think about.

"Don’t be scared, just like we practiced in the street," I said. Her eyes gazed into mine as if they were seeing them for the first time.

My mission at first was to get her to let loose and have fun tonight, but now, all I wanted to do was recreate the moment in the street. This was far surpassing that though.

I took control and did as I told her I would. I led and swayed us, keeping it smooth and slow, just like the song. Our eyes hadn’t stopped staring into one another since we stepped onto the dance floor, and every ounce of me wanted our skin to touch. The music kept us moving as I slowly rested my check against hers. The heat of her skin immediately radiated onto mine. It traveled down to my torso and only continued further.

This girl had me flushed from head to toe. Her body suddenly relaxed into mine as my hand held onto her. It was that moment that I knew I had her; I had all of her, mind and body. And it was then that my voice box let loose and started humming along with the song.

Her body tensed in my arms and a second later her warm soft cheek slid away from me. Her eyes peered into mine as she searched them. I continued to hum as the wheels in her head seemed to turn. I know you know this song, Sweetheart. Come on. I know you do.

"This is the song you were humming in the street isn’t it?" she asked, her lips smirking.

God yes. She knew it. It came to her.

My lips grew into a smile that was larger than life. I pressed our bodies back together and finally without having her eyes to distract me, I moved my lips by her ear.

"It’s called Wanted by Hunter Hayes," I whispered gently.

Feeling her body mold next to me as I held her, I thought to myself how nothing could ever explain how badly I wanted this girl.

Her hands moved and delicately cupped behind my neck. Feeling her latch onto me was enough to make my brain fog over and my knees want to collapse. I did everything I could to contain myself as I locked both of my hands behind her back. We were a chain link; nothing could break us apart now. Our cheeks were no longer side by side, as our eyes were now peering softly into each other. Her eyes. Those damn eyes could kill a man. The soft hazel color could get you lost if you stared into them long enough. They swirled green and brown and became lighter the happier she was. They were like a drug as they caught your attention and didn’t let go. They pulled me in and I’d be lying if I said I tried to stop it. Her whole face was drawing me in like a gravitational pull. Those eyes, those flushed red cheeks, and those pink lips. They took me in and pulled me so close I could feel her warm breath hitting my lips. We weren’t inches apart or even centimeters. We were mere millimeters, a breath and one second apart.

As the song winded down my heartbeat only grew louder. It was the only thing my ears were hearing. Boom. Boom. Boom. It accelerated faster as I moved and passed our millimeter mark. One last breath and one more second my lips would be on hers. The rights, the wrongs, and every reason why I shouldn’t kiss this phenomenal girl in front of me silenced as my breath hitched and now we were only one second from kissing.

Her eyes seared into me, her body was snug against mine and her lips were within reach. They were almost grazing, and then it happened. We stopped moving toward each other and gravity now yanked us apart. The song changed, the mood altered, and the crowd around us went chaotic. Our moment was gone, vanished. Only one second away from our lips connecting and one second was all it took to steal it away.

Was it a sign? I knew I was playing with fire, but maybe it was bigger than a matchstick flame and more like a bonfire. I almost kissed this fantastic girl. What was I thinking? I couldn’t have her. She wasn’t mine to take. She would kill me if she knew the secret I was withholding from her while I stood there, trying to kiss her and make her mine. I was more than sure this was a sign and I was even more positive it was needed.

"My turn next," Moose shouted as he grabbed her hand. The very one that was just around my neck.

The stinging pain behind my eyes threatened as I watched her face. It had lost its luster as we both stared. Was she thinking the same thing as I was? Were the wheels turning in her mind about the coincidence of the moment we lost? The first moment I reluctantly stopped and then this one that was cut short for us? I tried to smile for her but I’d be lying if I said it was easy.

Kasey grabbed my hand and led me off in another direction, far away from the only person I wanted to be next to. I lost sight of Cassie as we got closer to the edge of the dance floor, away from the crowd. We were dancing, but it was weak and the allure of having fun on a dance floor vanished the minute my hands left Cassie.

The look in Kasey’s eyes snapped me out of my thoughts. "Why are you looking at me like that?" I asked.

"What was all that about?"

I popped a brow and looked at her like I didn’t have a clue what she was asking.

"With Cassandra. Stop playing dumb. I know you better than you think."

I felt the tension in my shoulders relax as I let out a breath. She knew me well. Too well. Growing up together didn’t help the fact that she already knew the things going on in my life and the blank emotions I wore on my face to hide my feelings.

"I don’t know what to do Kasey."

A smile surfaced on her face like she knew something. "Make a move you pansy ass. She likes you. A whole helluva lot. I had to get the scoop out of her too."

"What did she tell you?" I asked her, sounding way too eager for a guy that’s twenty two.

"I’ve already told you enough. She likes you, you like her. Make your move already."

"I don’t think it’s a go-." She hovered her hand over my mouth and stopped what she knew was going to come out of it; the reasons why I should not make a move.

"Just go with it Jason. I see the way you look at her. Even when you brought her over for dinner at Maggie’s," she said as her eyes went soft. "What is it you always say? Let the-the-"

Damn her and her smarts. "Chips fall where they may," I reminded her.

"That’s it. Let them fall where they may. Make a move and let the rest work itself out."

"We’ll see. I can’t promise anything, but I appreciate the subtle nudge." I laughed.

"You deserve to be happy too, Jason," she said. Her eyes went from determined to soft as she gave me a knowing smile.

She was right. I needed to follow my own damn advice. Tonight I’d let the chips fall and not look back.

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REVIEW By Terri:
*I received an ARC for my honest opinion.*

Cassandra Pierce had a secret, running away to find answers, she has an accident and is rescued by the handsome cowboy, Jason. She was trying to get to her best friend but somehow got lost.

This is not a story to start before you go to bed.  I started it last night and could not sleep because I was thinking of the characters. I woke up very early to continue to read.  I had to know what Cassandra's secret was, I needed to know what the handsome cowboy was up to.  

B.A. Wolfe reached into my very soul and touched upon so many feelings.  What a heartwarming story, with twists and turns you don't see coming.  There were tears of joy, tears of sadness and everything in between.  This book captivates the reader from the first page.  Now I'm addicted.  I will be reading everything and anything that B.A. Wolfe writes.






Playlist

Cowboy Take Me Away – Dixie Chicks

Wanted – Hunter Hays

If I Didn’t Have You – Thompson Square

Crash into Me – Dave Mathews Band

Sure Be Cool If You Did – Blake Shelton

Runnin Outta Moonlight – Randy Houser

Don’t You Wanna Stay – Jason Aldean

Collide – Howie Day

Fix You – Coldplay

Wherever you will go – Lifehouse

Over You – Miranda Lambert

Book Blitz Sale

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Barb

B.A. Wolfe is a girl with a passion for reading and writing, and lives in the good ol’ state of Colorado with her husband (her biggest cheerleader), and her two crazy min pin fur babies. These days, her life is anything but calm, and there isn't one thing she’d want to change. B.A. spends all her free time either furiously typing stories on her laptop or happily reading through her endless TBR on her Kindle. Her list of favorites would be long enough to fill a book, but most would likely fall under the romance category. She is a sucker for a good love story that makes her cry, and an amazing book boyfriend who will melt her heart. ‘Away’ is B.A. Wolfe’s debut novel.

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***COVER REVEAL*** NUMBER THIRTEEN by Bella Jewel

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Title: Number Thirteen


Author: Bella Jewel


Expected Release Date: March 17, 2014


Genre: Dark Romance


**AUTHOR NOTE - This is NOT a BDSM Romance**


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Synopsis


We're thirteen girls, captive, slave to our master.

A master we've never seen.

Obedience will become all we know in our shallow existence. It is the only emotion we're permitted to feel.

When we're bad, we're punished. When we're good, we're rewarded.

Our scars run deep. Yet we survive, because we have to...

because HE teaches us to.

All of us are special, we feel it with everything we are.

He has us for a reason, but it's a reason we don't know.

We've never seen his face, but we know that something deeply broken lies beneath the darkness. With every touch, with every punishment, we know it.

Then something changed.

He showed me who he truly is.

Now I want him.

I'll go against everything I know to be with him.


A monster.


My monster.


Loving him is a sin, but a sinner I am. I won't stop until I see every part of him. Even the parts he keeps locked deep down inside.


I am Number Thirteen, and this is my story.

No one said it was pretty, or right, but it's mine.


PROLOGUE


My boots crunch in the yellow autumn leaves as I walk towards the schoolyard. I didn’t want to come today, but Momma told me I had no choice. She said school is for smart kids, and if I don’t go, then how am I ever going to get smart? I could get smart, the man on the television tells me everything I need to know. But she claims that I can’t make friends with the man on the television, that the only way to make friends is to go to school. I could have told her that I don’t need friends to be successful, but she’d only tell me I’m being silly.

So I came to school.

I didn’t tell her that there are bullies here, or that every day they push me around and shove me into lockers. That would make me sound weak, and now that my dad is working, and my brother is away because he didn’t like the school here, I’ve had to become the man of the house. There’s no room for weakness.

Momma tells me bullies pick on the kids who are victims. I think she’s wrong. I’m not a victim; I’m just a kid. They pick on me because I’m different. I don’t look at the girls like they do; I don’t try to sneak out to parties. I’m only thirteen. I’m just there to learn, then I go home and I take care of my family, because, I’m the man of the house.

Like I said.

The shrill sound of the school bell ringing, tells me I’m late. I pick up into a jog, rounding the corner and into the schoolyard. It’s a cool winter day, and I have to pinch my coat together to stop it from flapping in the icy breeze. I can see the students piling in the front doors, and I turn my jog into a run. I’m focusing so heavily on the doors, that I don’t see them. A strong hand lashes out,

catching hold of my sleeve and tugging me into the alleyway that runs down beside my school.


I always knew this alley was dangerous.

My body is slammed against a hard wooden fence, and I set eyes on my bullies. Four of them. They’re all bigger than me, all of them on the football team. They’re from a few grades up, and they’ve just turned sixteen. The leader of the group, Marcel, steps forward first. He scrunches his nose in disgust, as if I’ve just dragged myself out of a gutter, as if I’m offending him. He leans in close, and I can smell cigarettes on his breath.

Smoking is not cool.

“You’ve been trying to avoid me, Will. Did you really think you could hide at home with Mommy, and never have to come out again?”

I stare at him, wondering why he chose me to pick on. I didn’t even know his name until he flagged me down and shoved my head down a toilet six months ago. I was just a kid, keeping my head down, studying and learning like I should. Now here I am, pressed against a fence, wondering why they decided I was good enough to take extra special effort to attack. I don’t bother answering him; it’ll only make him worse. My answers won’t make a difference. If I answer, I’m wrong. If I don’t answer, I’m wrong.

“Are you fucking mute, you little cunt?”

My body jerks. I hate that word, it’s so…vulgar. I let my eyes move to the four other guys standing like protective pack animals around Marcel. I don’t know their names; they’re not significant enough. The tall boy with orange hair looks nervous, like he knows what’s about to happen could put him in a world of trouble - but he’s still here, still making the choice to stay. The other two guys are stony faced, and fully aware of their part in this attack.

I still don’t answer him. If I just let them beat me, it’ll go away quicker.

“You’re a freak, Will, do you know that?” Marcel hisses, leaning in closer.

Of course I know that. I wouldn’t be pinned against a fence if I didn’t know that.

Bullies are so dumb.

Marcel raises his fist, and brings it down over my face, cracking my nose so hard blood spurts onto his shirt. I don’t cry out, because that’s what he wants, but the pain radiating through my head is nearly enough to make me beg. Nearly. Marcel takes hold of my shirt, and his grey eyes scan my face. He’s panting, as though I’ve shoved him into an alley and challenged him. Like this is my fault. The world is twisted like that, and it’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way.

“You know,” he growls, locking eyes with me. “I heard my girl saying how handsome you were the other day. Do you know how much it sucks to have my girl saying that a freak is handsome? Especially a freak that’s only what? Thirteen years old? Your dick would be no bigger than a tube of damned lipstick, yet she thinks you’re handsome!”

I wouldn’t know how much it sucks to have a girl say that, because I don’t have a girl.

Again, bullies are dumb.

“Don’t answer me, you little twerp. It doesn’t matter. I will make sure by the time you leave this alley; you’re not handsome anymore. I won’t have my competition being some little weasel that can’t even speak.”

I taste blood filling my mouth, and my nose is pounding so heavily I’m almost sure I can hear my own heart in my head. I don’t take my eyes from Marcel. They say look danger right in the eye; it gives you power and strength. I don’t feel powerful right now, in fact, I don’t really feel anything. Someone like me doesn’t fight, I’m the underdog, and underdogs are weak. Everyone knows it.

Marcel reaches into his back pocket, and pulls out a pocket knife. The heart that feels like it’s in my head begins thumping even harder. I try not to show fear, I try to stand tall and take what he dishes out with strength, but that’s not so easy when your attacker is waving around a pocket knife.

“She said it was your eyes,” he begins, lazily tracing circles on his palm with the blade. “She said they’re the most stunning eyes she’s ever seen. Like the ocean.”

I didn’t know my eyes were like the ocean.

He takes hold of my shirt, yanking me close. “No one is more appealing to my girl, than me.”

They say bad things happen in slow motion, they’re right. I feel Marcel throw me down onto the floor. I feel every movement as my body slammed into the dirt. I feel his body weight coming over me, his knees pinning me down as I squirm. I feel his friend take my arms, pulling them above my head, while another puts a hand over my mouth. With my nose pouring with blood, that makes it difficult to breathe.

I feel the knife ripping into my skin as I thrash my head from side to side, and I can feel the blood pouring down the sides of my face. Each time he attempts to stab me, I move and the knife only slices through the skin around my eye. My pained wails fill the alley, but no one comes to help me. No one is around in the one moment of my life that I need them.

I know what I’ll remember most about that day, and that is the moment he finally manages to drive the knife into my eye.

I don’t feel pain, not right away. Instead I hear the popping sound, as his blade pierces right through. Then I feel pressure as he twists. It’s only when he yanks it out of its socket, that I start to scream. Then the pain is unlike anything I’ve ever felt. Words cannot begin to explain the horror I feel as darkness begins to invade my body. I know my face is covered in blood, because it drips down to soak my hair. I know I bite his friends hand so hard I nearly take off his finger.

I don’t know what they’re saying, or even acknowledge the moment when they run away. All I know was that I am bleeding to death in an alley, missing an eye. Red fills my vision as the blood begins to cover every part of my face. I know I’m still screaming, even though I can’t hear it. All I can hear is an excessive ringing in my ears. I can’t even move my hands to cover my eye, in an attempt to protect the empty socket. I can do nothing but lay and scream, witnessing a pain that I’ll never witness again in my life, and wondering what I did to deserve it.

No one deserves to die.

But I do die that day.

And in my place, a monster is born.

About the Author


Bella Jewel


Bella Jewel is an Aussie girl through and through. She spent her life in Western Australia, growing up in many different areas of the state. She now currently lives in Perth with her husband, children and mass amounts of pets. She's crazy, fun, outgoing and friendly. Writing is her passion, she started at the young age of 18 but finally got the courage up to publish, and her first novel Hell's Knights was released in August 2013.



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