Saturday, April 25, 2015

Goodbye!

It is with a heavy heart that I close
Once Upon a YA Book. 


Be sure to drop by my author site, Kimber Leigh Writes (click on the photo above), for reviews, author interviews and guest posts, and lots of giveaways. My author blog encompasses numerous genres, so there is something for everyone.

Thank you so much for following the blog! Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

The site will remain up for a few months, so everyone has a chance to check out anything they missed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review: The Enchanted Rose by Nadia Nader

The Enchanted Rose

Nadia Nader

YA Paranormal
January 14, 2015

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

When Vivian’s mother dies in a tragic accident, Vivian’s world is turned upside down. Her life, as she knows it, is over. A new life, full of her mother’s secrets, begins…

Sent away by her father to live with two eccentric aunts on the mysterious Tremaine Estate, Vivian comes to learn that a powerful curse  lurks over her family – one that only she may have the power to break. With each day she spends in Misty Hills, Vivian uncovers more unsettling discoveries about the town, her reclusive family, and herself.

Can Vivian let go of every truth she’s ever believed and discover who she really is, before the dark secrets hidden within the supernatural town threaten to consume her and those she loves?


I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

The Enchanted Rose was a fast-paced paranormal mystery with an engaging plot and lots of great atmosphere. I was pulled into the author's world immediately and devoured the entire book in a couple hours. Main character Vivian was sweet and easy to root for. Her aunts were intriguing characters, one cold and aloof, while the other almost overly loving.

I truly felt horrible for Rose, and thought her reactions to Vivian were well-written. The mystery kept me immersed, and I enjoyed following along with Vivian as she uncovered her family's sordid past. I loved the myriad of characters, each with their own personalities. There were some twists and turns, along with a couple things I didn't see coming.

The overall feel of the novel was spooky, from the descriptions to the characters and their actions. It was the little details the author sprinkled in that I really appreciated. There was a bit of romance, but Vivian's primary concern was her quest to end the curse on her family.

The ending, or lack thereof, was a surprise cliffhanger. I knew that going in so at least I was prepared this time. If you like a good, fast-paced paranormal mystery, then add The Enchanted Rose to your TBR list.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Supervision by Alison Stine - Excerpt & Giveaway



 Supervision

Alison Stine

YA Paranormal
Harper Voyager
April 9, 2015

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Something is wrong with Esmé.

Kicked out of school in New York, she’s sent to live with her grandmother in a small Appalachian town. But something is wrong with the grandmother Ez hasn’t seen for years; she leaves at midnight, carrying a big black bag. Something is wrong with her grandmother’s house, a decrepit mansion full of stray cats, stairs that lead to nowhere, beds that unmake themselves. Something is wrong in the town where a kid disappears every year, where a whistle sounds at night but no train arrives.


And something is wrong with the cute and friendly neighbor Ez’s age with black curls and ice-blue eyes: He’s dead.

Excerpt

My stop was the last in Manhattan before the Bronx. My building was the last on the block before the highway, and our apartment was on the top floor, up five flights of stairs. No elevator. “It builds the muscles,” my sister had said when she was a dancer.
            But she wasn’t a dancer anymore.
            She was waiting for me in the hallway of the apartment when I unlocked the door, which was bad. Really bad. The Firecracker never got home before me, not since she started working her real job, as she called it, that kept her late every night, sometimes until nine or ten. I checked my phone. It was six.
            “The Head-of-School called,” the Firecracker said. “You’re getting a D in English.”
            That hurt, but I tried not to let it. “So?” I said.         
            “So, they won’t let you out of the ninth grade if you don’t get at least a C.”
            I followed her into the kitchen. “What does that mean, they won’t let me out?”
            “That means, you’ll lose your scholarship and be kicked out of school. You can’t coast by anymore, Esmé.”
            “I’m not coasting,” I said.
            But I knew I was.
            Miss Wrong.
            I did well in school when I was a kid, well enough that they made me take tests, and the tests got me into a new school, a private school. Acid and I were scholarship kids, brought in by the tests. In middle school, I had raised my hand and answered questions, and I had usually got them right. But in high school, this year, something had changed in me. I got the questions wrong sometimes, often enough that I got a new nickname.
            The teachers at my new school all called us by our last names, like we were in the military or gym class. So Wong became Wrong for my classmates. Miss Wrong. It wasn’t a stretch. It wasn’t very creative.
But I still stopped raising my hand.

            The Firecracker was banging pots in the kitchen. “They’ve given you multiple chances at that school,” she said.
            I dropped my bag on the floor. “No, they haven’t.”
            “Those were their words. Not mine. Your scholarship is a big deal, and if you don’t deserve it, if you don’t work for it, they’re going to find someone who does.”
            “So?” I slumped against the doorframe. My sister was kneeling, her head and shoulders in a cabinet. “Are you actually going to try and cook something?” I asked.
            “I’m home early. I thought I might as well.”
Her frame was twisted to reach into the back of the cabinet, her arm was extended, almost artfully. I thought of her dancing—and then I thought of how I was never going to see that again.

            She backed out of the cabinet, holding a frying pan at a distance, as if it were something distasteful. “I can’t afford that school. If you lose that scholarship, you’re out.”
            I shrugged. “Public school.”
            “No. You don’t understand. If you lose your scholarship, you’re out of here. You’re out of New York. I’m sending you away.”

            I had had nightmares since my parents died. Not nightmares: dreams. I dreamed about a dark space. At the end of the space was a light, a bright white light growing brighter and bigger and whiter—and in the light, my mother danced.
            I knew it was my mother, not my sister, although I had never actually seen my mother perform. But the face on the dancer in my dreams matched the face I saw in pictures—like the Firecracker’s only thinner, a slimmer face than mine, with the high cheekbones I would never have, and the wrinkles on the forehead I didn’t have yet. It was the smile most of all that made me certain it was my mother. She always smiled when she danced, and I knew—I remembered from seeing her on stage—my sister never did.
            My sister grimaced. She grunted and frowned and stomped across the stage, a ball of energy, a lightning bolt. She danced like she was always angry. She tore through toe shoes. Her tutus ripped. Her feet bled. “The Firecracker,” The Times called her, and the name stuck. They also wrote that she was a tribute to her mother.
            My sister quit dancing, right after that.
            I didn’t really remember my mother, and I remembered my father only as a voice, a deep belly laugh. They died when I was a kid, in a car crash.
            But I never dreamed about that.


About the Author

ALISON STINE’s first novel SUPERVISION will be released by Harper Voyager UK in 2015.

Also the author of three books of poetry: WAIT (University of Wisconsin Press, 2011), OHIO VIOLENCE (University of North Texas Press, 2009), and LOT OF MY SISTER (Kent State University Press, 2001), she has worked as an actor, an artist’s model, a high school teacher, and a professor. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio University, and is an avid urban explorer.

Author links:


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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: Awakening by Shannon Duffy



Awakening

Shannon Duffy

YA Urban Sci-Fi
Entangled Teen
April 7, 2015

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A thrilling, futuristic sci-fi novel set in a unique and thought-provoking world, from author Shannon Duffy.

Desiree Six (because she was born on a Friday) believes in everything the Protectorate stands for. She likes the safety and security of having her entire life planned out—her career, her mate, even the date of her death. She doesn't even think to question when Darien, her childhood friend and neighbor, is convicted of murdering his parents. They had seemed like such a loving family. But if he was convicted, then he must have done it.

Then Darien shows up in her room late one night. He has escaped from the Terrorscape—a nightmare machine used to punish all Noncompliants—and needs Desiree's help. What he tells her rocks her world to its core and makes her doubt everything she's ever been told. With this new information, will Desiree and Darien be able to escape the Protectorate before it's too late?


My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Awakening was a fast-paced, intriguing story about a supposedly utopian society that really wasn't as wonderful as advertised. I loved the Dreamscape/Terrorscape aspect of the plot. The Terrorscape sounded truly terrifying!

Darien was a great character. After what he endured at the hands of this perfect society, it was amazing he wasn't completely damaged beyond repair. In fact I really liked all of the characters. I was prepared to despise Desiree's Protectorate-chosen mate, yet even he managed to grow on me as the story progressed. Desiree started doubting the Protectorate when she was paired with her childhood bully-- Darien's arrival and revelations merely confirmed her darkest fears.


The story starts out strong, pulling the reader in, and it doesn't let go. There's really never a lull or dull moment in the story. I was so immersed in the characters and their story that I lost all track of time, devouring half the book without stopping. The ending, or lack thereof, just left me wanting the next book sooner not later.


If you like YA dystopian, Awakening is definitely one to add to your TBR list.

About the Author

Author of MG and YA books full of adventure. I grew up on the east coast of Canada in the province of Newfoundland and now live in Ontario. I love writing, reading, fashion, fitness, and traveling.

Author Links:







Tuesday, April 14, 2015

True Calling by Siobhan Davis - Excerpt

True CallingTrue Calling
True Calling #1

Siobhan Davis

Genre: Dystopian/Science Fiction/Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: August 1, 2014

Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17-year-old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.
As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.

Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant, ‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.
You can find True Calling on Goodreads.

You can buy True Calling here:

Excerpt

He runs quickly and quietly through the dense woodland; his breathing is shallow yet steady. Beads of sweat glisten on the translucent skin of his forehead. His intense brown eyes drink in the surroundings of the forest as they flash by. The muscles flex in his arms and legs as he runs, and the sun reflects the contours of his body, showcasing his strong physique.

I wake with a start; I can feel the blood pumping ferociously through my veins and hear a ringing in my ears. My heart is pounding so loudly that I’m sure it will wake Mom, Dad, Lily, and Deacon. Taking deep breaths, I slowly inhale and exhale, in an attempt to calm my beating heart.

This is the tenth night in a row that I’ve dreamt of him: Zane. I’m surprised we’ve retained the ability to dream, that they hadn’t programmed it into the Vita. I’ve no idea what the dreams mean, or if they mean anything at all. No doubt, I’ll spend the rest of today thinking of him, instead of concentrating on my classes and maneuvers.

A slight movement in the corner of my eye catches my attention. The Medicet has entered the room so quietly that it startles me, and my heart pounds again in response. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to these medical drones, sophisticated robots that work with assigned doctors, to provide the high-quality medical care essential to ensure the continuation of the human race. It’s just one of the many changes that we’ve had to get accustomed to on Novo. Obediently holding out my arm, I instantly feel relaxed as the Medicet administers the shot; my previous anxiety over the dream a distant memory. I drift into unconsciousness.

When I wake again, I reach out to the panel over my bedside locker, pressing the top right-hand button. Groaning, I scowl at the screen as 5.30 a.m. registers on the commiboard in the corner of the room. It’s too early, but I know there’s no point in trying to go back to sleep. Yanking off the covers, I swing my legs over the side of the bed. I rise slowly and stretch my arms out over my head, gently twisting my neck from side to side. As I move, I can feel the slight metal edge of the Vita, resting at the base of my neck just above my spinal cord. I remember how difficult it was to get used to the sensation of it at first, but now, it’s practically seamless, it’s become an accepted part of my body. It’s only my daily morning stretch that reminds me of its existence. I think back to the day it was inserted—the day we had to vacate Earth. Sighing loudly, I still can’t believe the events of the last two years. It still feels like it was something straight out of a Hollywood movie.

Shaking myself from my melancholy, I pull off my pajamas and head straight for the shower. As I stand under the steaming hot water, my mind wanders back to Zane. Is he a figment of my imagination? A memory fighting to be restored? Or is there something else at play here? Except Dr. Victus says it’s impossible; the whole point of the nostalgia elixir was to make the transition from Earth to Novo as easy as possible. Its sole function to wipe our memories of those left behind.

So who is Zane? And why am I dreaming of him? I visualize him as I’ve seen him in my sleep. Chocolate brown eyes, short dark hair, average height. On his right upper arm is an apparent tattoo, but it’s too indistinct in my dreams to decipher. He’s clearly athletic and very fit. My heart quickens as I recall the images of him showering and dressing, and I feel a natural stirring throughout my body. There’s no one else in the room, but I still blush furiously—I have to stop this! Maybe I am going crazy, and it’s my minds way of saying ‘enough!’ Stepping out of the shower, I throw on my jogging pants and top and lace my sneakers tight. Swiftly drying my hair, I tie it into a loose bun before heading out of my room.

I tiptoe down the stairs as quietly as I can, no point in disturbing my family this early. As I enter our living space, I see that my father is already up and dressed for work. I look at him with pride, so handsome, so strong in his uniform. My father is the center of my universe. Period. He’s standing at the far end of the large circular glass wall that spans the entire structure of our home, overlooking the man-made lake, staring pensively at the calm water outside. “Hey, Dad, why are you up so early? Penny for your thoughts?” I ask. My father turns around, a frown quickly forming on his face.

“Ariana, I could ask you the same thing.”

“Weird dreams again,” I say by way of explanation. “What’s your excuse?”

“We’re piloting the latest model stealth-craft this morning. We thought it least disruptive to the citizens of Novo if we conducted our tests early.” Striding forward, he grabs a file from the table-top. 
“Are you going out for a run?”

“Yes, I thought it might help clear my head.”

“Well, make sure to stick to the running track and keep safe.”

I inwardly laugh; Novo is about the safest place you could live. All citizens have been carefully chosen from Earth based on a variety of specific assessments, including personal characteristics, medical status, age and possession of—at least one—desired talent from the requisite ‘skills list.’ No one is older than forty-five; apparently, there’s no place in the new world order for the elderly or the sick. I’m fairly certain they didn’t do any recruiting in prisons either, and the intense personality screening ruled out any supposed ‘undesirables.’

There’s also the Magna Superiore: an invisible forcefield that surrounds Novo; shaped like a dome, it acts as a protective shield. No one can enter or exit without permission. It’s practically invisible to the naked eye except where it glints in parts and reminds us of its existence. Dad says it’s to protect us from unknown enemies. I think it’s further evidence of the extent to which the authorities desire to control everyone and everything in Novo.

My father has always been very protective of his family because of all the things he’s seen as a Command Major Sergeant in the Army. He’s now a Level 1 Commander, which is a position of high seniority and great responsibility; I see it weighing on his shoulders, as if the stress is a real living thing. My sixth sense goes into overdrive again as I get the feeling there’s more to this than meets the eye. I wonder what has him so preoccupied lately. There’s no point asking him though; he has a natural ability to easily deflect any uncomfortable topics. I know he’ll confide in me when he feels the time is right.

SiobhanAbout the Author:

Siobhan Davis is the author of YA science fiction romance series True Calling.

A self-diagnosed ‘teenager forever’—at least when it comes to books, music and movies; Siobhan is totally addicted to teen fiction and superhero/blockbuster movies. Siobhan loves baking, crime novels, shoes, bags, make-up, anti-wrinkle cream, anything pink, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Robert Pattinson (definitely Team Edward).

Siobhan has forged a successful corporate career, in Human Resources, over the last twenty years.

A member of the IWI writers group, Siobhan resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons.

Contact Siobhan at: www.siobhandavis.com

You can find and contact Siobhan here:
- Website
- Author blog
- Book website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Google +
- Goodreads

Friday, April 10, 2015

Dark Siren by Eden Ashley - Excerpt & Giveaway



Dark Siren
Dark Siren #1

Eden Ashley 

Release Date: 07/03/13
Paranormal
452 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

To survive, their bond must be unbreakable.

When the mysterious and passionate Rhane rescues Kali from an attacker in the theater parking lot, they form an immediate, smoldering connection. But Kali doesn't remember Rhane or anything from their past. As far as Kali knows, she's just a seventeen-year-old kid coping with an insatiable hunger for the “spark” or energy of others, feeding on classmates to survive.

A unique artifact—one that may hold the key to returning Kali’s memories—is uncovered by the archaeology firm where she works part-time, sending Kali and Rhane on a dangerous journey that leads them to the Forbidden City, into the unforgiving Gobi, and into the ruins of Rhane’s ancient homeland. As they fight for survival, Kali begins to discover who she really is and the true power she possesses.

But Rhane still harbors a secret that could destroy Kali…unless old enemies kill her first.




Buy Links (CURRENTLY FREE):
Amazon / B&N

Excerpt

Outside was the most gorgeous pizza delivery guy she had ever seen. His eyes were an unworldly shade of green that peered right through her, appearing to glow from within. He was dressed simply, a black t-shirt and dark denim jeans ending in a pair of worn but comfortable looking boots. Kali suspected he spent a lot of time on trails or in the woods.
Discreetly nudging off the fuzzy socks, she opened the door wide. It was his turn to stare breathlessly. Kali was glad she hadn’t changed. “Don’t I know you?” She tapered her voice to make it sound less accusing, “You were at the theater last night.”
He nodded slowly. “Do you remember what happened?”
Kali shook her head. “Only bits and pieces. There was a man…” she stopped mid-sentence and shoved back the blur of jumbled memories trying to rush forward. She refused to relive those terrifying moments. Kali swallowed. “Thank you for helping me…and for bringing me home last night.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t get there sooner.”
“No.” She lowered eyes and then lifted them again shyly. “You were great.”
 The stranger responded to her praise with a slow smile. Kali would have recognized that smile anywhere.
He held the pizza box up higher. “May I come in?”
She glanced over her shoulder and turned back to him. “S-sure,” she stammered and barely remembered to step back so he could enter the house.
Kali couldn’t stop watching him. She gave herself a mental slap. Of course, the stranger was really so very hot, but she had always been cool and collected when it came to boys. She was mesmerized and didn’t understand why. Maybe it was because this was a man. And there was something enthralling in the way he carried himself. Glamour and the most tedious grooming couldn’t hold a candle to the confident air that surrounded him. He was a different kind of predator, one she wanted to hunt.
Kali’s pulse fluttered erratically. She didn’t move as he took a few steps into the living room.
He turned to her expectantly. “Would you like this in the kitchen?” He gestured with the box.
“Uh, yeah, let me get that.” She took the pizza from him and found her voice again. “So I know two things about you. You’re a fan of scary movies and you deliver pizza for a living.”
He chuckled softly. “No.”
Not much of a talker. She lifted an eyebrow. “No to one or both?”
“Both. The delivery boy had just arrived when I got here. So I grabbed the pizza for you. I paid him of course and tipped. As for the films…” He scanned the room, taking in every detail and design. His piercing appraisal settled onto her again. “I’ve seen and experienced things far more frightening than any contrivance of the human mind.”
Unable to bear another second under his unflinching gaze, Kali escaped into the kitchen with the pizza, setting it down on the counter. Get it together, Kali. He’s only another guy. With a deep, motivating breath she spun to return to the living room and almost jumped over the counter. He had moved without making a sound and stood only inches behind her.
“I didn’t mean to scare you.” He was eerily still. His peculiar eyes watched her as if they saw everything.
Kali slid her gaze away. “You didn’t,” she said, but her heart disagreed. It was trying to pound out of her chest. His heat was affecting her. Brain getting foggy again, Kali saw his eyes flash. And for a split second, the stranger seemed to be fighting against something very primal, restrained under a fragile veil of calm. Then his features relaxed and she thought she had imagined it.



About the Author

Cynic, realist, and hopeless romantic all rolled into one, Eden was born and raised in a small, sunny town in South Carolina, but finds thunderstorms to be inspiring. There are few things she loves more (except maybe cake) than curling up with a good book on a rainy day, often reading into the wee hours of morning when something really grabs her. Dark Siren is the first book in a four part series that begins an epic adventure of redemption and second chances between two lovers. Banewolf and Blood Chained, available on Amazon, continue Rhane and Kali's exciting journey into the unknown. Look for Primed Son, the conclusion of their story in 2015.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Shadeborn Series by K.C. Finn - Character Bios, Excerpt, Playlist & Giveaway

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The Book Of Shade -  Shadeborn #1
by K.C. Finn
Audience: General, 13+ - Genre: Urban Fantasy, Adventure and Romance - Formats: E-book and Paperback - Publisher: Starstorm  - Pages: 513  - ISBN: 1505677556 - ASIN: B00RD7SGK4 - Date Published: 21 March 2015
blurb
Lily Coltrane’s to-do list for starting university life is pretty simple:
1. Make friends
2. Meet a cute guy
3. Survive her first year in Modern History

In the little English town of Piketon this seems more than achievable, so much so that Lily even joins The Illustrious Minds Literary Society, an extra-curricular club that promises a truly unique social experience. What Lily doesn’t bank on are the society’s monthly visits to the mysterious Theatre Imaginique at the edge of town, a dark venue that houses the most obscure cavalcade of carnival performers she has ever laid eyes on.

Stranger still is the emergence of the theatre’s enigmatic proprietor Lemarick Novel, a stupendous showman with a frosty wit who never seems to smile, and who raises a plethora of questions in Lily’s fearful mind. How does he levitate with no sign of wires or mirrors? Why do the lightning bolts that shoot from his hands look so real? And why, of all the people in the theatre, do his pale eyes keep locking on hers?

The answers to this and more lie buried in heritage and blood. The Book of Shade is opening, and Lily Coltrane will read it, whether she wants to or not.
book links
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excerpt
“Ladies and gentlemen, your raucous applause, if you please, for the sensational Monsieur Novel!”

The audience obeyed the MC’s command, but when Baptiste had vacated the spotlight, nobody came to the stage. It wasn’t until the last clap died, some moments later, that Lily heard footsteps clicking along the old theatre boards. The illusionist stepped from total blackness into the shadow at the edge of the stage, and even craning her head only afforded Lily the frame of a man in a long Victorian coat. The tense air in the dated theatre was thick enough to be sliceable, and every spectator breathed in their portion of that heavy air, in anticipation of the moment when the odd Monsieur would step into the spotlight.

Novel did not disappoint them. A shock of lightning appeared from nowhere at all and in the split-second that it flashed he appeared for the waiting patrons to see. It seemed as though the contents of the theatre gasped as a single being, even those who must have seen him before were transfixed in shock. His eyes were cast into black, shadowy sockets by the bright white spotlight pouring down from above. Skin pale as a spectre’s was exaggerated by the darkly drawn eyebrows arching into points above those gloomy hollows. His lips too were black as coal, a superb effort in stage makeup that reminded Lily of a haunting cross between a French mime and a black-and-white movie serial killer. She didn’t know which to be more afraid of.

Perhaps more astonishing still was Monsieur Novel’s hair. It was long enough to be combed behind his ears, though it did not grace his neck, and in the dusty spotlight it appeared to be totally white. It was a strange whiteness, for even through his make-up, Lily thought that the gentlemen couldn’t be more than ten years her senior. The illusionist’s black mouth stretched into a serious sneer as he surveyed the awestruck crowd. He held out one pale hand with a slow and deliberate grace. Tiny blue sparks grew in his palm as he swept the hand from left to right in welcome.

“Good evening,” he purred in the darkest of tones.

And this time the lightning came straight from his palm when it exploded into life.
The dumbstruck crowd suddenly applauded in a blast of appreciation, but Lily’s hands remained still, clutching the sides of her chair. Novel stalked the very edge of the stage like a patient predator, the invisible orchestra striking up as the beams of lightning shot about the cavernous space in time to the music. He appeared to be controlling them, but his thin frame and well-fitted suit left no space in which to hide any apparatus on his body. Occasionally, he seemed to lose control of the larger forks of electricity which shot out towards the audience in frighteningly loud snaps. The patrons flinched as the whip of energy crackled above them.

All the while Monsieur Novel’s expression remained dark and thoughtful. Not once did his lips rise into a smile. They simply sneered continually at the power he was controlling, parting for him to suck in precisely choreographed breaths when he turned in his display of perfect grace, avoiding every spot the forks could hit. A few patrons in the front row, perhaps those who had never seen him before, were starting to panic at the multitude of power growing rapidly on the stage before them, with no reasonable explanation in sight. It looked like a major fire hazard for sure. One of them tried to get up.

“I would kindly recommend you stay in your seat for this performance, good sir,” Novel said loudly over the buzz of the lightning strikes. “It could be rather nasty for you, if you don’t.”

There was something foreign lurking in the shadows of his accent. Perhaps he had been living in England a long time, but he definitely wasn’t from around these parts. His voice had an amused kind of youth in it that didn’t suit his skeletal pre-modern look, and though he gazed upon the terrified patron as he sat back down in his chair, he still didn’t let the mirth in his warning show on his face.

All at once the lightning stopped. Novel stood in the dead centre of the stage, looking down at his feet with his shadowed eyes. Lily caught her breath as the flicker of hot white energy grew beneath his feet, sparking and growing into a ball of buzzing power. He thrust out his pale hands, raising them upwards as he slowly began to levitate into the air. Lily could see no wires to hoist him, and his clothes didn’t move as though they were under any strain. He simply rose up in a slow, straight line as the lightning ball grew larger and larger in the space where he’d been standing. In his ascent, his face was lit from under his chin and Lily finally saw a pair of pale blue eyes glowing out of the black sockets on his face.

And they glowed directly at her.

She started in her seat, shocked to find his gaze so blatantly fixed. She would have sworn the floating man had raised one of his black eyebrows at her, but a moment later the lightning ball exploded with a deafening crack that made the entire contents of the theatre sink down into their seats and clutch their heads in wild panic. When Lily looked up again, Monsieur Novel was gone. Someone behind Lily broke the shocked silence of the audience by starting to applaud. Gasps erupted as some of them looked beyond her to the source of the clap, then suddenly everyone was giving an ovation.

Lily craned her head around, almost jumping out of her skin when she realised it was Monsieur Novel sitting in the seat directly behind her. He had started his own applause. He sat with a casual grace, an elegant hand accepting the praise as he slowly got back to his feet and straightened out his beautiful clothes. Once more his frosty blue eyes snapped to Lily. She wanted to look away, but it just didn’t happen. Novel inclined his head to the rapt audience without breaking his stare, then swiftly retreated up the theatre aisle, his long coat billowing in another invisible gust of air.
character
lily biolemarick bio
  z5356418f239e6
Track List and Key Lyrics:
1. E.T. - Katy Perry
You're so supersonic
Wanna feel your powers, stun me with your lasers
Your kiss is cosmic
Every move is magic
2. Gravity - John Mayer
Oh I'll never know what makes this man
With all the love that his heart can stand
Dream of ways to throw it all away
3. Everybody Talks - Neon Trees
It started with a whisper
And that was when I kissed her
And then she made my lips hurt
4. Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
And if you have a minute, why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go somewhere only we know?
5. Butterflies - Lucy Spraggan
Cause there's nowhere else I'd rather be
No one else I'd rather see
Controlling every part of me
I love skipping a beat every time you speak
6. Safe and Sound - Me Vs Gravity
Don't you dare look out your window, darling,
Everything's on fire
The war outside our door keeps raging on
Hold on to this lullaby
Even when music's gone
7. Kiss From A Rose – Seal
You remain,
My power, my pleasure, my pain, baby
To me you're like a growing addiction that I can't deny.
Won't you tell me is that healthy, baby?
8. True Love – Pink
Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say,
Sometimes I wanna slap you in your whole face.
There's no one quite like you, you push all my buttons down,
I know life would suck without you.
9. Still Into You – Paramore
It's not a walk in the park
To love each other
But when our fingers interlock,
Can't deny, can't deny you're worth it
10. Loved Me Back To Life - Celine Dion
Strong hands, thick skin, and an open heart
You saw through the pain, saw through the mask
You never gave up on me

book 2 gif
The Bloodshade Encounters & The Songspinner -  Shadeborn Series # 2
Pages: 300 - ASIN: B00RQMB5MW - Date Published: April 4, 2015
blurb
Shadeborn: Volume Two provides a unique insight into the past of some of your favourite Book Of Shade characters, through two spine-tingling novellas:

The Bloodshade Encounters shows readers where present and past collide, as they learn the dark history of how the charming and enigmatic Baptiste Du Nord came to know Lemarick Novel. Prepare for vampires on the streets of revolutionary Paris, and the day when Novel first laid eyes on the Theatre Imaginique. Amidst all this, a dark secret about Novel is unearthed, one which may threaten his relationship with Lily in the future.

The Songspinner begins with the present-day Salem Cross, now weak and powerless, as the old shade looks back on his life, and the dirty deals he made to try to make a success of himself. Witch-trials loom in Salem’s murky past, and werewolves roam the streets of Victorian London, not to mention a certain dark lady who would one day become the mother of the heroic Novel. Can Salem face the demons of his past, or bear the thought of a future with no magic? Or will he decide that the end of his time has come?
book links
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character
salem biobaptiste bio
 
 
 
 
book3gif
The Potioneer - Shadeborn Series # 3
Pages: 500 pages - Expected Publishing Date: Late May
blurb
When humans break a mirror, the idea of seven years of bad luck is little more than superstition. But, when it happens to a magical being like a shade, that quaint old saying takes on a terrifying new reality. As Lily Coltrane looks down at the smashed remains of Lemarick Novel’s mirror, she can already feel that her luck is about to run dry, even though her illusionist boyfriend is certain that he can protect her. With a suicidal Salem Cross on red alert and newly-disabled best friend Jazzy to look after, Lily’s not so sure that Novel is right.

Lily’s suspicions will be confirmed in this, her second year of university, as the quiet English town of Piketon is flooded with a new array of supernatural beings, including Jeronomie Parnell, a gifted potioneer who seems to have solutions for Salem and Jazzy’s conditions. Suspicion fills the air at the old Theatre Imaginique, as Lily uncovers yet more secrets about the people she thought she knew.

The question of who to really trust will bombard Lily’s mind, especially after she is introduced to the horror that is the House of Novel, and is forced to question the bloodline that her new true love comes from.

It seems like having a soul mate isn’t quite the ideal that Lily dreamed it would be, and she can only hope that The Book Of Shade will give her the power to get through the trials that she’s about to face. And as for the even greater darkness, slowly rising in the depths of that ruined mirror? Well, that’s quite another story for Lily to unfold.
character
Jeronomie Parnell biopascal bio
giveaway
 
 
about the author
clip_image012K. C. Finn was born and raised in Cardiff, South Wales, where her love for storytelling grew at a precociously young age. After developing the medical condition M.E. / C.F.S., Kim turned to writing to escape the pressures of disabled living, only to become hooked on the incredible world of publishing.

As an author for Clean Teen Publishing and Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Press, Kim spends most of her time locked in the writing cave with an obscenely large mug of tea. When not writing, she can be found studying for her MA in Linguistics, watching classic British comedy, or concocting evil schemes in the secret laboratory in her attic.
media links
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