NOTICE



This blog will no longer be updated but all our previous promotional posts will still be available on here.

Dia, Buona & Amir

About

The Not-So-Literary Heiresses (that's us!) are two sisters and their cousin who share a passion for reading. We are nieces of multi-awarded Filipino author Jose F. Lacaba and the late Eman Lacaba, who is considered the only poet warrior of the Philippines (and whose biopic is being released late this year!).

You would think being related to literary geniuses would sprinkle a little bit of writing talent and ambition our way, but one of us is a bank executive, another one is a broadcast tech on a cruise ship, and another one is in business school. The one thing we've all inherited is an undisputed love for books. This blog is our way of sharing our passion. More?

For book lovers, you can follow us through the different options below. For authors, if you would like a review of your book, please read our review policy first before sending in your request.

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

Genres

25 November 2013

Legend of Me & The Winter People Cover Reveal + Excerpts + Giveaway!

Today Rebekah Purdy and Entangled Teen are revealing the covers for LEGEND OF ME, releasing in early 2014. And THE WINTER PEOPLE, releasing July 1, 2014! Check out the gorgeous covers, exclusive excerpts, and enter to win an eARC of each!

 On to the reveals!

LEGEND OF ME
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: Early 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Brielle has grown up hearing tales of a beast that kills humans, leaving behind only a scattering of bones and limbs. Or so the village elders say. She thinks it’s just their way of keeping children in line, though it doesn’t explain her grisly premonitions of blood, claws, and severed heads.

When Lord Kenrick, Knight of the Crowhurst Order, shows up asking questions about the legendary monster and Brielle finds a mangled body in the woods, she begins to wonder if the grim stories are true. Her attraction to the handsome knight grows as she spends time with him searching for clues to the creature’s existence, and she becomes even more determined to help him discover the beast’s location.

But as her seventeenth birthday approaches, her nightmares worsen. If Brielle doesn’t figure out the connection between Kenrick, the monster, and visions of a ghostly woman in the woods soon, more people could die. Including those closest to her…

Exclusive Excerpt!

Brambles scratched my legs, snagging my skirt. Gnarled trees bent in gruesome forms, while thick shadows splayed out beneath them. A heavy gloom settled over the woodland as wisps of fog slithered like snakes against the ground. I shivered.

Don’t think. I picked an animal trail to follow, stepping over dead branches and forest debris. Blood pounded in my ears and the hair on the back of my neck prickled. I twisted around to glance behind me.

Nothing there. Only the trees. Urgency gripped hold of me and I picked up my pace once more. As I scrambled through the thicket, an overwhelming scent of rotten meat made me gag. I covered my mouth with my hand and stopped running when a bright red piece of fabric caught my eye. With hesitant steps, I moved toward it.

“Oh God.” I stumbled. There, sticking out from beneath a barberry bush was a severed arm, its finger pointed at me in accusation. My breath came in gasps as I scanned the rest of the clearing.

My foot nudged against something and I looked down in horror to find the head of Liam Gatekeeper staring up at me.

I screamed, backing away as fast as I could. All around me were pieces of his body scattered like breadcrumbs. I shielded my eyes with my hands, until I bumped into something else.

With another scream, I whipped around only to find myself faced with an oak tree covered in dried blood and deep claw marks. My vision darkened and I prayed I wouldn’t faint, that I wouldn’t be stuck in the woods. Because somewhere out here, a monster lurked. If I didn’t believe it before, I did now. The beast was real.



THE WINTER PEOPLE
Author: Rebekah Purdy
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1622663682
Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.
Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn’t forgotten their warning to "stay away." For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the "special gifts" that must be left at the back of the property.
 

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she’ll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.


Exclusive Excerpt!

The sky darkened with ominous storm clouds. Giant flakes fell onto my face, sticking to my eyelashes and cheeks. Snow blew unhindered across the yard into what looked like small tornadoes.

Oh God. It’s happening again. The frigid air. The creaking of the treetops beneath the wind. Even the way the snow blew across the yard.

I only had one more feeder. Just needed to toss the seeds in then I could leave. Be safe.

The pond water rippled, while the trees bent beneath the strong gusts. Soon, everything became so white I couldn’t see the house. In the distance a strange tinkling sounded, like dozens of wind chimes.

What had the shrink told me to do?

Ten, nine, eight. Breathe. Seven, six, five. Shit!

Panic stole my thoughts. I backed away from the pond as the flurries swirled toward me. Chasing me. 

Then, I bumped into something—something that felt quite human. A firm chest, arms, hands. Not something, someone. A shriek tumbled from my lips and I spun around to face my captor.

“It’s okay. I won’t hurt you,” a soft masculine voice said, pale hands clinging to my arms as he kept me from falling.

My gaze followed those long fingers, up black leather sleeves, to the most gorgeous face I’d ever seen. My breath caught in my throat. I’m gawking. But I couldn’t help it. His raven hair shot with strands of blue, his face pale and perfect, like an ice sculptor had chiseled it into existence. His eyes—oh God, his eyes. They were the palest blue I’d ever seen. Glacial. He had to be over six feet tall, muscles evident through the tight shirt he wore beneath an unzipped jacket.

His mouth turned up at the corners as if enjoying my scrutiny. A cocky grin that made my cheeks warm.

“You’re trespassing.” I tried to keep the tremble from my voice. “This is private property, or can’t you read the signs?” Bravo, that’s right, scare him off with your bitchiness.

He chuckled. And it sounded like the low song of the chimes. “Doris doesn’t mind me coming around. In fact, I’ve met you before, Salome.”

My name on his lips made my knees go buttery. I groaned inwardly.

“You know my grandma?” I fidgeted with the bucket still in hand.

He gave a nod. “Yeah, I’ve known her for years. But I haven’t seen you since you were a child.”

Warning bells went off in my mind, but I pushed them aside. If he knew my grandma, then he must be okay. “Funny, I don’t remember you at all.”

“Don’t you, Salome?” Strands of my hair blew about my face. He reached a hand out as if to touch them then stopped, dropping his arms back to his side.

“No. Grandma’s never mentioned you.”

He gave me another cocky grin. “Well then, maybe we should be reacquainted.”

“Or maybe not.” I snorted. “I’m not sure how you got on the property, Grandma keeps all the gates locked.”

He produced an antique-looking skeleton key. “She gave me this. Like I said, Doris has known me for a long time.”

“I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything, it’s just my grandma never mentioned I’d have visitors.” In fact, I wondered why she didn’t ask this guy to watch her house instead of me.

The arrogance left his face and he stared at me. “Perhaps, we can try this again.” He held his hand out to me. “I’m Nevin.”


About Rebekah: 

Rebekah was born and raised in Michigan (just look for the mitten-shaped state on the map). She’s lived there most of her life other than the few years she spent in the U.S. Army.  At which time she got a chance to experience MO, KS, SC, and CA.
She works full time for the court system and in her free time she writes YA stories. Pretty much any genre within the YA realm is game for her, but her favorites are fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, thrillers, light sci-fi, and some time travel.
She also has a big family–she like to considers them the modern day Brady Bunch. When her hubby and her met and got married, he had 3 children from a previous marriage, she had 2 and  have 1 together. It’s a lot of fun though.
And she can’t forget her other family members–yep, they’ve got some pets: 4 dogs, 3 cats,  and 1 turtle. Everyone in the family has one…she won’t bore you all with their names (unless you really want to know). Okay, you talked her into it! Jack, Pearl, Grr…(yes that’s her dog’s name), Callie, Shadow, Mooshoo, Grouchy, and Sorbert. Other than writing some of her other hobbies include: reading (mostly YA of course), singing, swimming, football, soccer, running, camping, sledding, church, hanging with her kids, and traveling.
She belong to a fabulous writing group called YA Fiction Fantatics (YAFF) and you guessed it they all write YA!
REPPED by Jennifer Mishler and Frances Black of Literary Counsel.
And that’s her in a big ‘ol nutshell.
Website/Twitter/Facebook/Goodreads

Giveaway Details:
1 eARC of LEGEND OF ME International
1 eARC of THE WINTER PEOPLE International

a Rafflecopter giveaway


22 November 2013

Deep Blue Secret Excerpt + Giveaway!


Title: Deep Blue Secret by Christie Anderson
Genre: Young Adult

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



Deep Blue Secret is available free!

 Amazon  |   Barnes and Noble   |  iTunes  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords


I moved near him and his hand guided me in front of the bench, but I turned to face him instead of sitting down. He immediately shifted back, pulling slightly away. I wasn’t sure if it was the bump on my head suddenly clouding my thoughts, or the romance of being swept away and rescued by a gorgeous, mysterious boy, or this little ache in my heart of forgotten memories and dreams, but something deep inside me drew me towards him.

I wanted to reach out and hold him, but I held the feelings back, unsure if I should act on them. Instead, I stood there unmoving, still gazing up at him. He was tall compared to most high school boys I knew. I searched his face for any sign of reciprocation and moved closer. This time he didn’t move away.


“Thank you again,” I said softly, looking up at him through my lashes.


There was a long, heavy pause as I waited breathlessly for his response. His glowing eyes met mine, and their radiance hypnotized me. I could see nothing else.


Then I felt it again, the unexplainable connection between us. Time slowed around us like a force field pulling us together. I had no desire to resist it; I let the feelings draw me in, and I inched forward, wishing for his lips on mine. His hand lifted gently to my waist, sending a thrill through me in every direction. Never before had I felt the desire to kiss someone so fervently, the divine first kiss I had always dreamed of.


There was no trace of resistance left on his face. He leaned into me and my heart raced. Our faces grew slowly together as I looked from his dazzling eyes to his inviting lips.




CHRISTIE ANDERSON grew up in Southern California and goes back to visit every year. She is a graduate of Brigham Young University and recently moved to Colorado with her husband. Visit her web site at www.christieanderson.org


Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads






a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Highlight hosted by Good Choice Reading Promotions 




20 November 2013

Mini Review: Bring on the Angst! #COYER

I am über behind on my #COYER reviews... not because I haven't been reading, but because with all that is happening in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, I just didn't really feel like ranting or raving over books. I'm back now though and I'm hoping to get my challenge well on it's way.


Statistics So Far: 
[ Goal: 13 Books | Read: 3 | Reviewed: 4 | DNF: 3 ]

As you can see from my stats I have a few DNF books. I wrote my DNF reviews on Goodreads but it doesn't feel right to count those books in the challenge because technically, I failed to clean them out. So now I'm reviewing books that replaced the ones that I ended giving up on. What's with my post title? Well, scroll down to find out.
+++


Damaged and the Beast
by Bijou Hunter

Publication Date:
April 18, 2013

Heir to the local motorcycle club and crime syndicate, Cooper Johansson is accustomed to taking what he wants. His newest conquest is college freshman Farah Smith.

When the tattooed bad boy reminds her of a rough childhood she desperately wishes to forget, Farah keeps him at arm's length. Yet, Cooper refuses to give up. He pushes her buttons, tears through her walls, and forces her to admit her feelings for him. What begins as lust soon builds into something more powerful than either expects.

Can the beast heal the damage inside the girl of his dreams?

Warning: This novel contains scenes of a sexual nature, violent themes, and coarse language. It is intended for mature readers.

Damaged and the Beast is a complete novel with a HEA.


Rating: ★★★½ - Like It!

I'm not a big fan of angst. I know it adds depth to a character but sometimes the angst level is just way too up there for my taste that it borders on the soap opera-ish.

Which is why it was surprising how I much I liked this book. Farrah is definitely damaged and she knows it. She wants a better life for herself and her younger sister so they can finally get away from their no-good parents who were the cause of their dark and abused past. Cooper and Farrah's relationship starts out like any typical NA book relationship does, but even though the angst level is way out there I was surprisingly okay with it. I think it's because I empathized with why Farrah is so damaged in the first place, and her actions and personality is in tune with the turmoil that she goes through.

I like that Farrah's issues do not magically fix themselves once she's with Cooper. She has hang-ups about sex (and it is totally understandable why) and I like that being sexual with Cooper did not erase all that. She cries way too much though and even though I understood why, it did become annoying after awhile. Cooper is definitely OTT jealous and possessive of Farrah that it actually borders on the obsessive but if you like your alpha hero head over heels in love with your heroine and has no qualms about showing it then this book is definitely for you.

Not everybody will enjoy this book and again, it was really surprising for me but I really did. The characters and the relationship are deliciously flawed, the writing is not perfect, and the storyline is a bit unbelievable at times, but somehow it all worked out for me. I'm contemplating if I want to read the next books in the series, but I would definitely read more from this author!

Damaged Series




Falling Stars
by Sadie Grubor
Book Nerd Revelation

Publication Date:
October 16, 2013 (first published August 14, 2012)

"The haunting pools of dark chocolate drew me in and made my skin crackle. She was beautiful, breathtakingly so. before this moment, I don't think I truly realized just how beautiful she is. A new ache formed in my chest."

Christopher Mason, front man of the band The Forgotten. He's hot, he's famous and everything a famous rock star can be. But despite his fame and bad boy look, inside he battles demons. Demons so powerful they may destroy him. All hope seems lost. Slowly, his star is falling.

Mia Ryder, lead vocalist of the band Hushed Mentality, enters his life. Energetic, fun, and laidback, Mia is just about everything Christopher isn't. And he definitely doesn't want her on his tour.

But one night changes everything. For the first time in his life, Christopher Mason becomes sure of one thing, and it's the one thing he's tried so hard to push away.


Rating: ★★★ - Love it!

Thanks to an Amazon thread that I'm currently following I've discovered quite a few hidden gems and this book is definitely one of them. I would never have considered reading this because for one, I'm not really a big fan of rock star romances and two, it is a book brimming with angst and as I said before, I don't really enjoy angst-y characters so much.

I like that both protagonist are in equal footing when it comes to their careers. Compared to the usual rich and famous rockstar hero falling in love with the sweet small town heroine, both protagonists are unbelievably talented and in the same league when it comes to their passion. Even though Mia's Hushed Mentality is just up and coming compared to Christopher's The Forgotten, it still made them equals in my eyes.

I also like that although there was a hint of attraction, it took them awhile to get over their antagonistic feelings for each other and that's only because of Christopher realizing that Mia keeps the nightmares away. Like literally sleeping next to her keeps horrifying dreams of his past at bay. I normally hate it when both protagonist sleep together (emphasis on sleep) as "friends" because they just somehow cannot sleep unless they cuddle up together...of course, there's nothing going on between, they're just friends. Seriously? That's just annoyingly pretentious and deluded to me. In this case though, I kind of understand why they do it. If I'm plagued with nightmares every night and one person can keep them away, I would be cuddling with this person in a heartbeat.

The romance develop gradually and the road to that definitely bumpy. It took them awhile to discover how deep their feelings for each other are and even when they finally did, it didn't magically fix Christopher. This is another jealous and possessive hero and he is troubled and damaged; his reasons for being that way understandable but he still has a long way to go in terms of dealing with his issues. Meeting and being with Mia definitely helped him initially but there are things that Christopher needs to deal with on his own and because of that it makes this relationship surprisingly more realistic for me. I also really like how grounded and believable Mia's reactions to certain situations are. I can see myself thinking over the same things if I was ever in the same situation. Reading from both protagonists' POV with a non-linear style of storytelling took awhile to get used to at first but it also really worked out in the long run.

I ended up loving this book because I really liked a number of things, a few of them I mentioned above. I've ordered the next novella in the series and I'm really hoping that it's as good as this one!

Falling Stars Series


18 November 2013

Branded Book Blitz + First Chapter Excerpt + Giveaway!


Branded (Sinners #1)
by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
Release Date: 06/28/13
252 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.


My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.




Available from:
 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg


***TEASER CHAPTER***



CHAPTER 1

I’m buried six feet under, and no one hears my screams.

The rope chafes as I loop it around my neck. I pull down, making sure the knot is secure. It seems sturdy enough. My legs shake. My heart beats heavy in my throat. Sweat pours down my back.

Death and I glare at each other through my tears.

I take one last look at the crystal chandelier, the foyer outlined with mirrors, and the flawless decorations. No photographs adorn the walls. No happy memories here. 

I’m ready to go. On the count of three.

I inhale, preparing myself for the finality of it all. Dropping my hands, a glimmer catches my eye. It’s my ring, the last precious gift my father gave me. I twist it around to read the inscription. Picturing his face forces me to reconsider my choice. He’d be heartbroken if he could see me now.

A door slams in the hallway, almost causing me to lose my balance. My thoughts already muddled, I stand waiting with the rope hanging around my neck. Voices I don’t recognize creep through the walls.

Curiosity overshadows my current thoughts. It’s late at night, and this is a secure building in High Society. No one disturbs the peace here—ever. I tug on the noose and pull it back over my head.

Peering through the eyehole in our doorway, I see a large group of armed guards banging on my neighbors’ door. A heated conversation ensues, and my neighbors point toward my family’s home.

It hits me. I’ve been accused and they’re here to arrest me.

My father would want me to run, and in that split second, I decide to listen to his voice within me. Flinging myself forward in fear, I scramble up the marble staircase and into my brother’s old bedroom. The door is partially covered, but it exists. Pushing his dresser aside, my fingers claw at the opening. Breathing hard, I lodge myself against it.

Nothing. I step back and kick it with all my strength. The wood splinters open, and my foot gets caught. I wrench it backward, scraping my calf, but adrenaline pushes me forward. The voices at the front door shout my name.
On hands and knees, I squeeze through the jagged opening. My brother left through this passage, and now it’s my escape too. Cobwebs entangle my face, hands, and hair. At the end, I feel for the knob, twisting it clockwise. It swings open, creaking from disuse. I sprint into the hallway and smash through the large fire escape doors at the end. A burst of cool air strikes me in the face as I jump down the ladder.

Reaching the fifth floor, I knock on a friend’s window. The lights flicker on, and I see the curtains move, but no one answers. I bang on the window harder.

“Let me in! Please!” I say, but the lights darken. They know I’ve been accused and refuse to help me. Fear and adrenaline rush through my veins as I keep running, knocking on more windows along the way. No one has mercy. 

They all know what happens to sinners. Another flight of stairs passes in a blur when I hear the guards’ heavy  footfalls from above. I can’t hide, but I don’t want to go without trying.

Help me, Daddy. I need your strength now.

My previous desolation evolves into a will to survive. I have to keep running, but I tremble and gasp for air. I steel my nerves and force my body to keep moving. In a matter of minutes, my legs cramp and my chest burns. I plunge to the ground, scraping my knee and elbow. A moan escapes from my chest.

Gotta keep going.

“Stop!” Their voices bounce off the buildings. “Lexi Hamilton, surrender yourself,” they command. They’re gaining on me.

I resist the urge to glance back, running into what I assume is an alley. I’m far from our high-rise in High Society as I plunge into a poorer section of the city where the streets all look the same and the darkness prevents me from recognizing anything. I’m lost.

My first instinct is to leap into a dumpster, but I retain enough sense to stay still. I crouch and peek around it, watching them dash by. The abhorrent smell leaves me vomiting until nothing remains in my stomach. Desperation overtakes me, as I know my retching was anything but silent. My last few seconds tick away before they find me. 

Everyone knows about their special means of tracking sinners.

I push myself to my feet and look left, right, and left again. Their batons click against their black leather belts, and their boots stomp the cement on both sides of me. I shrink into myself. Their heavy steps mock my fear, growing closer and closer until I know I’m trapped.

Never did I imagine they’d come for me. Never did I imagine all those nights I heard them dragging someone else away that I’d join them.

“You’re a sinner,” they say. “Time to leave.”

I stand defiant. I refuse to bend or break before them, even as I shiver with fear.

“There’s no reason to make this difficult. The more you cooperate, the smoother this will be for everyone,” a guard says.

I cringe into the blackness along the wall. I’m innocent, but they won’t believe me or care.

The next instant, my face slams into the pavement as one guard plants a knee in my back and another handcuffs me. A warm liquid trails into my mouth. Blood. Their fingers grip my arms like steel traps as they peel me off the cement. The tops of my shoes scrape along the ground as I’m dragged behind them until they discard me into the back of a black vehicle. The doors slam in unison with one guard stationed on each side of me, my shoulders digging into their arms. 

Swallowing hard, I stare ahead to avoid their eyes. My dignity is all I have left. The handcuffs dig into my wrists, so I clasp them together hard behind me and press my back into the seat, unwilling to admit how much it hurts.

Did they need so many guards to capture me?

I’m not carrying any weapons, nor do I own any. I don’t even know self-defense. High Society frowns on activities like that.

The driver jerks the vehicle around and I try to keep my bearings, but it’s dark and the scenery changes too fast. Hours pass, and the air grows warmer, more humid the farther we drive. The landscape mutates from city to rolling hills. They don’t bother blindfolding me because they escort all the sinners to the same place—the Hole. Twenty-foot cement walls encase the chaos within. There’s no way out and no way in unless they transport you. They say the Hole is a prison with no rules. We learned about it last year in twelfth grade.

To the outside, I’m filth now. I’ll never be allowed to return to the life I knew. No one ever does.

“All sinners go through a transformation,” one of the guards says to me. His smirk infuriates me. “I’m sure you’ve heard all kinds of stories.” I don’t respond. I don’t want to think about the things I’ve been told.

“You won’t last too long, though. Young girls like you get eaten alive.” He pulls a strand of my hair up to his face.

Get your hands off me, you pig. I want to lash out, but resist. The punishment for disobeying authority is severe, and I’m not positioned to defy him.

They’re the Guards of the Commander. They’re chosen from a young age and
trained in combat. They keep the order of society by using violent methods of
intimidation. No one befriends a guard. Relationships with them are forbidden inside the Hole.

Few have seen the commander. His identity stays under lock and key. His own paranoia and desire to stay pure drove him to live this way. He controls our depraved society and believes sinners make the human race unforgivable. His power is a crushing fist, rendering all beneath him helpless. So much so, even family members turn on each other when an accusation surfaces. Just an accusation. No trial, no evidence, nothing but an accusation.

I lose myself in thoughts of my father.

“Never show fear, Lexi,” my father said to me before he was taken. “They’ll use it against you.” His compassionate eyes filled with warning as he commanded me to be strong. That was many years ago, but I remember it clearly. My father. My rock. The one person in my life who provided unconditional love.

“Get out,” the guard says while pulling me to my feet. The vehicle stops, and I’m jerked back to reality. The doors slide open and the two guards lift me up and out into the night. A windowless cement building looms in front of us, looking barren in the darkness.

The coolness of the air sends a shiver up my spine. This is really happening. I’ve been labeled a sinner. My lip starts to quiver, but I bite it before anyone sees. They shove me in line, and I realize I’m not alone. Women and men stand with faces frozen white with fear. A guard grabs my finger, pricks it, and dabs my blood on a tiny microchip.

I follow the man in front of me into the next room where we’re lined up facing the wall. Glancing right, I see one of the men crying.

“Spread your legs,” one of the guards says.

They remove my outer layers and their hands roam up and down my body.
What do they think I can possibly be hiding? I press my head into the wall, trying to block out what they’re doing to me.

“MOVE!” a guard commands. So I shuffle across the room, trying to cover up.

One.
Two.
Three.
Four.

Five of us sit in the holding room. One by one, they pull people into the next room, forcing the rest of us to wonder what torture we’ll endure. An agonizing amount of time passes. I lean my head back and try to imagine a place far away. The door opens.

“Lexi Hamilton.”

A guard escorts me out of the room, and I don’t have time to look back. As soon as the door closes, they pick me up and place me on a table. It’s cold and my skin sticks to it slightly, like wet fingers on an ice cube. Then they exit in procession, and I lie on the table with a doctor standing over me. His hands are busy as he speaks.

“Don’t move. This will only take a few minutes. It’s time for you to be branded.”

A wet cloth that smells like rubbing alcohol is used to clean my skin. Then he places a metal collar around my neck.

Click. Click. Click.

The collar locks into place, and I struggle to breathe. The doctor loosens it some as I focus on the painted black words above me.

The Seven Deadly Sins:

Lust ⎯ Blue
Gluttony ⎯ Orange
Greed ⎯ Yellow
Sloth ⎯ Black
Wrath ⎯ Red
Envy ⎯ Green
Pride ⎯ Purple

“Memorize it. Might keep you alive longer if you know who to stay away from.” He opens my mouth, placing a bit inside. “Bite this.”

Within seconds, the collar heats from hot to scorching. The smell of flesh sizzling makes my head spin. I bite down so hard a tooth cracks.

“GRRRRRRRRR,” escapes from deep within my chest. Just when I’m about to pass out, the temperature drops, and the doctor loosens the collar.

He removes it and sits me up. Excruciating pain rips through me, and I’m on the verge of a mental and physical breakdown. Focus. Don’t pass out.

Stainless steel counters and boring white walls press in on me. A guard laughs at me from an observation room above and yells, “Blue. It’s a great color for a pretty young thing like yourself.” His eyes dance with suggestion. The others meander around like it’s business as usual.

I finally find my voice and turn to the doctor.

“Are you going to give me clothes?” A burning pain spreads like fire up from my neck to my jaw, making me wince.

He points to a set of folded grey scrubs on a chair. I cover myself as much as I can and scurry sideways. Grabbing my clothes and pulling the shirt over my head, I try to avoid the raw meat around my throat. I quickly knot the cord of my pants around my waist and slide my feet into the hospital-issue slippers as the doctor observes. He hands me a bag labeled with my name.

“Nothing is allowed through the door but what we’ve given you,” he says.
I hide my right hand behind me, hoping no one notices. A guard scans my body and opens his hand.

“Give it to me,” he says. “Don’t make me rip off your finger.” He crouches down and I turn to stone. I don’t know what to do, so I beg.

“My father gave this to me. Please, let me keep it.” I smash my eyes shut and think of the moment my father handed the golden ring to me.

“It was my mother’s ring,” he’d said. “She’s the strongest woman I ever knew.”

With tears in his eyes, he reached for my hand and said, “Lexi, you’re exactly like her. She’d want you to wear this. No matter how this world changes, you can survive.” I turned the gold band over in my palm and read the engraving.

You can overcome anything…short of death.

“You’re going to take the one thing that matters the most to me?” I say, glaring into the guard’s emotionless eyes. “Isn’t it enough taking my life, dignity, and respect?”

A hard blow falls upon my back. As I fall, my hands shoot out to stop me from smashing into the wall in front of me. The guard bends down and grabs my chin with his meaty fist.

“Look at me,” he commands.

I look up and he smiles with arrogance.

“What the hell?” He staggers a step backward. “What’s wrong with you What’s wrong with your eyes?”

“Nothing,” I respond, confused.

“What color are they?”

“Turquoise.” I glower at him.

“Interesting,” he says, regaining his composure. “Now those’ll get you in trouble.”

Reality slaps me across the face. I have my father’s eyes. They can't take them from me. I twist the ring off my finger and drop it in his hand.

“Take the damn ring,” I say. I walk to the door. He swipes a card and the massive door slides open to the outside.

“You have to wear your hair back at all times, so everyone knows what you are.” He hands me a tie, so I pull my frizzy hair away from my face and secure it into a ponytail.

My neck burns and itches as my hand traces the scabs that have already begun to form. Squinting ahead in the darkness, I almost run into a guard standing on the sidewalk.

“Watch where you’re going,” he says, shoving me backward. His stiff figure stands tall and I cringe at the sharpness of his voice.

“Cole, this is your new assignment, Lexi Hamilton. See to it she feels welcome in her new home.” The guard departs with a salute.

“Let’s move,” Cole says.

I take two steps and collapse, my knees giving out. The unforgiving pavement reopens the scrapes from earlier and I struggle to stand. A powerful arm snatches me up, and I see his face for the first time.

If you liked chapter one and would like to join the blog tour, click on the banner below!

+++

About the Authors
Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.


Author Links:

 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png  photo icontumblr-32x32_zps959818ca.png  photo iconpinterest_zps6fcf02a7.png


***GIVEAWAY***
2 grand prize winners with photo and notebook of Matt with signed paperback (INT)
5 ecopies of Branded with promo pic of Matt (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Blitz hosted by:



14 November 2013

Not a book review: Typhoon Haiyan

We are Filipino bloggers. As many of you know, central Philippines was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Typhoon Yolanda, last Friday, November 8. It was one of the fiercest typhoons in recorded history. There have been over 2,000 confirmed casualties, thousands injured, and almost half a million people displaced because their homes were blown away. Today, the Philippine government and international relief workers are still struggling to reach all of the victims to provide food, shelter, medicine, and clothing. It's not easy, because there are many islands to be reached, and many of the airports and landing pads are not operational. Roads are blocked by fallen trees, houses, overturned vehicles. Local government workers themselves have lost their homes and family members.

See photos of the aftermath here.

Of the three of us, only Buona is in Manila right now, so the best we can do is glue our eyeballs to our Facebook news feeds and keep news websites on our browsers, sending money and moral support to our friends and families who are physically helping out in the relief efforts back home, as Filipinos always do when natural calamities strike. I'm supposed to be studying for my final exams but my thoughts keep flying back to what is happening in the Philippines. On the positive side, news of help of all kinds from all over the world makes me feel that we're not alone in this, and strengthens my faith in the goodness of people. There are so many touching stories that have come out from this disaster...

Stranded tourists helping out in relief efforts in Coron, one of the islands affected:
Via choosephilippines.com

Two cute kids in the US raising money for aid through their lemonade stand:
Via twitter.com

My favourite one was this conversation between a little girl in Saudi Arabia and her Filipino nanny, recounted by her nanny on Facebook. It made me tear up a little bit...

Lana: Ya Jo how much my one riyal in the Philippines?
Inday Jo: Maybe 11 or 12 pesos.
Lana: Really? 11 or 12 for 1 riyal? (in wonderment)
Inday Jo: Yes.
Lana: Oh, my god! The children can buy food with my one riyal?
Inday Jo: Yes, they can buy food, Lana.
Lana: Yes! Yes! (hugging her nanny) Give to the kids that I saw crying in the news Ya Jo. Yes! Yes! (jumping up and down and dancing) I'm so happy, Ya Jo, I will tell my classmate to give one riyal for you to send to the Philippines.
Inday Jo: (speechless) Thank you, Lana.
Lana: I'm a good girl now, Ya Jo?
Inday Jo: You're an angel!

Our country faces a difficult task in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. If you would like to help, there are many different ways, and I thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart. Please also keep our people in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you!


12 November 2013

Dark Musicals Trilogy Book Blitz + Phantom Excerpt + Giveaway!


Summary from Goodreads:

The “Phantom” was a musical phenomenon that Rebecca had always found enchanting. She had no idea that her life was about to mirror the play that was her obsession. When her high school drama club chooses “Phantom” as their annual production, Rebecca finds herself in the middle of an unlikely love triangle and the target of a sadistic stalker who uses the lines from the play as their calling card.

Rebecca lands the lead role of Christine, the opera diva, and like her character, she is torn between her two co-stars—Tom the surfer and basketball star who plays the lovable hero, and Justyn, the strangely appealing Goth who is more than realistic in the role of the tortured artist.

Almost immediately after casting, strange things start to happen both on and off the stage. Curtains fall. Mirrors are shattered. People are hurt in true phantom style. They all seem like accidents until Rebecca receives notes and phone calls that hint at something more sinister. Is Justyn bringing to life the twisted character of the phantom? Or in real life are the roles of the hero and the villain reversed? Rebecca doesn’t know who to trust, but she knows she’s running out of time as she gets closer and closer to opening night. Only when the mask is stripped away, will the twenty first century phantom finally be revealed.




Summary from Goodreads:

When Justyn and Rebecca set off to attend the New York School of Performing Arts, they think their dreams are about to come true. To their dismay, they aren’t in high school anymore, and the competition is steep. Rebecca must compete against accomplished singers for a role in the production of Demon Barber, including a stunning Gothic diva with her sights set on Justyn.

It doesn't help that things keep disappearing from their apartment or that Rebecca's father refuses to accept that Justyn is an essential part of her life. Yet, all this seems minimal in comparison to the serial rapist terrorizing the campus.

Consumed by fear and obsessed with revenge, Rebecca and Justyn start living the story of Sweeney Todd—both on and off the stage.




Summary from Goodreads:

Rebecca Hope has looked death in the face twice and lived to tell her tale.

She and the love of her life, Justyn Patko, land a summer internship at a local dinner theater, performing the musical Hyde. While they are excited about their first paid acting gig, they soon find themselves surrounded by more experienced cast mates, jealous of their success. As if the tension isn’t bad enough, they soon discover that the business might be a front for something much more sinister.

When Justyn is accused of a crime that she knows he would never commit, Rebecca must decide if she wants to follow her head or her heart. While trying to prove his innocence, she makes a shocking discovery of her own.

Everyone has something to conceal in the grand finale of the Dark Musicals Trilogy. Rebecca has to look beyond the façade to discover the true Hyde or face her final curtain call.

Excerpt from Phantom:

The orchestra tuned for its virtuoso, and Justyn stood ready. But no one else was ready for the magical performance he began. Beside her, Carmen was rambling on about something mundane. Rebecca elbowed her to silence so she could listen to the perfectly thrilling tenor. As she listened to the song unfold, the world around her started to slip away. Gone was the high school auditorium. Gone were the rowdy teenagers. The Gothic stranger on the stage had become the embodiment of Erik, and Rebecca watched him in all his dark glory, belting out his tormented love through the words of his song. And she was as breathless with wonder as Christine herself must have been when the masked stranger serenaded her in the candlelit labyrinth of the opera house. In that moment, Justyn wasn’t just portraying the phantom. Justyn was the phantom.

                                             “Let the music touch your soul.
                                               Let the darkness make you whole.
                                               Do not fear what is unknown.
                                               Your true path has now been shown.
                                               Listen to the words I sing.
                                               Embrace the peace that night will bring.”

     As he continued to sing in his deep but somehow angelic voice, Rebecca found that she couldn’t tear her eyes away from him. With every line, her heart began to beat faster.  She truly felt the arms of night wrapping her in a warm embrace. She could almost feel the hands of the phantom glide along her body as the words poured forth. The music caressed her. It possessed her—mind, body and soul. Each word left her longing, yearning for more.

     She was gawking so obviously, it was hardly surprising when Justyn felt her eyes on him and steadily met her gaze. She realized her mouth was hanging open in stunned awe, and she quickly snapped it shut. His lips moved into just a small hint of a smile. He never took his eyes off her while he sang the final verse, making her cheeks flush to the point that she felt almost feverish. But it wasn’t embarrassment but excitement, arousal even, which was sending her mind spinning in so many directions.

      When the song was over, and Rebecca had recovered just a hint of her composure, she couldn’t help but burst into a healthy round of applause. A few scattered people joined in, including Debbie and Carmen after she nudged them in the ribs. But only Miss King seemed to truly appreciate the brilliance of his talent as much as Rebecca did.

      “That was amazing, Justyn!” the teacher gushed.

      “Lord Justyn,” he corrected as he stepped down from the stage.

      A few others complimented him as well, but he took in all in stride. In fact, his serious expression never faltered as he stepped down from the stage. He seemed almost bored, like it was all he could do to hold back a yawn, despite the smiles and words of encouragement.

     But not everyone in the crowd was pleased as Justyn glided down the aisle, so ethereal in his dark garments that he still resonated the spirit of the Opera Ghost. Miss King might have been excited about the newest male addition to her cast after being limited for many years, but Tom and his group of boisterous companions glared at him as he passed them by.  Jay sneered and tossed a balled up piece of paper in Justyn’s direction, but the Goth was quick, and caught it in his hand without missing a beat.

    “I think you dropped something,” he said.

    His speaking voice was no less melodic than his singing voice, but something about his tone made Rebecca shiver. He tossed the paper back at Jay, who was nowhere near as coordinated as Justyn. He practically fell off his seat in his efforts to catch it.

     “Hey vampire,” Tom called when Justyn went to walk away. “Are you sure you can handle the competition?”

     Justyn smiled, a cool, sarcastic half-smile, and crossed his arms over his chest. “Are you?”

     Miss King didn’t notice the short confrontation, and Justyn vanished from the auditorium as quickly and mysteriously as he had appeared. Only Rebecca had noticed the very real tension between the two boys. She wondered if it was a bad omen for them to start off the production with hard feelings and envy. That could only lead to trouble. The kind of trouble that could end with someone getting hurt.  The kind of trouble that Rebecca would do whatever it took to avoid.



+++

About the Author

Laura "Luna" DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and three children. She has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Old high school friends would tell you she was always scratching in her notebook instead of paying attention in class and the children she used to babysit for always loved to hear her scary stories at bedtime. In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years.


Author Links:

 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png


***GIVEAWAY***
Geode, incense, gothic bracelet, gothic keychain, sterling silver pentacle charm, mini Buddha figurine, lavender purification bath salts, natural stone pendant and two rough crystal points. Open to US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz hosted by:



We Comment Back, Do You?

Readers in Wonderland


Grab Our Button

Purchase Books & More


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Listed At

Follow Us on GFC

Follow us on Bloglovin'

Follow on Bloglovin
Follow on Bloglovin

Follow by Email