Friday, May 29, 2015

Review & Excerpt Tour: Hades by Larissa Ione

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We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Larissa Ione's HADES!

HADES is a novella in Larissa's Demonica Series as part of the 1001 Dark Nights Collection and is exclusively available as Amazon Kindle and Paperback. Grab the latest installment in this sexy series!

  Hades -cover

Amazon US Kindle ** Amazon Paperback ** Amazon UK Kindle

 
 
“And what does good and evil feel like?” he rasped. “On your skin, I mean?”
“I’ll show you.” She moved toward him, every step popping out her hips and making her breasts bounce in a smooth, seductive rhythm. His mouth went dry again, but then it began to water as she reached out and placed her palm in the center of his chest.
Very slowly, she dragged her hand along the contours of his pecs, her touch so featherlike that he barely felt it, and yet, he was hyper-aware of every move her hand made, every centimeter of skin her palm passed over.
“Goodness and light,” she said softly, “is like bathing in Champagne. It’s tingly and effervescent. It wakes you up even as it relaxes you.”
“Like sex,” he murmured. “With someone you like.”
“With someone you like?” She blinked. “Why would you have sex with someone you didn’t like?”
A rumbling purr vibrated his chest. “Baby, it’s like fighting, but with orgasms.”
“And less blood, I suppose.”
“Not if you’re doing it right.” He waggled his brows, and she rolled her eyes. “So what does evil feel like to you? If good feels good, then does evil feel bad?”
“That’s the funny thing.” She inched closer, adding another palm to his chest, and he gripped the cup so hard he heard it crack. More. He needed more. And damn her for making him crave it when he’d been perfectly fine being alone for all these years. “It’s as seductive as good, but in a different way.” She shivered delicately. “It’s hot. If good is like bathing in Champagne, evil is like bathing in whiskey. There’s a burn, but it’s almost always a lovely burn.”
Yeah, he felt that lovely burn where she was touching him. As she talked, it spread across his chest and into his abdomen, then lower, to his pelvis and groin. Everything tightened and grew feverish with lust.
“Seems to me,” he said in a humiliatingly rough voice, “that bumping up against evil would be an incredible temptation for angels like you.”
“It is,” she purred. “Which is why we aren’t allowed to leave Heaven except under certain circumstances, and even then, we must have an escort. It’s one of the reasons I know I can’t ever enter Sheoul. To become a True Fallen would be to have my full powers of detection restored, and I’d be skewed toward evil. The few Seraphim who have become fallen angels are like drug addicts, seeking out the most evil beings they can find, to serve them, to just be near them.”
He wondered how having a Seraphim fallen angel as a warden in the Inner Sanctum would play out. Then Cat dragged her palms down his chest to his abs, and he forgot all about everything except what was happening right now, right here in his home.
 
 
 
  HADES - teaser  
 
 
About HADES:
A fallen angel with a mean streak and a mohawk, Hades has spent thousands of years serving as Jailor of the Underworld. The souls he guards are as evil as they come, but few dare to cross him. All of that changes when a sexy fallen angel infiltrates his prison and unintentionally starts a riot. It’s easy enough to quell an uprising, but for the first time, Hades is torn between delivering justice — or bestowing mercy — on the beautiful female who could be his salvation…or his undoing. Thanks to her unwitting participation in another angel’s plot to start Armageddon, Cataclysm was kicked out of Heaven and is now a fallen angel in service of Hades’s boss, Azagoth. All she wants is to redeem herself and get back where she belongs. But when she gets trapped in Hades’s prison domain with only the cocky but irresistible Hades to help her, Cat finds that where she belongs might be in the place she least expected…
 
 
 
 
  Larissa Ione
About Larissa Ione:
Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.      

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Author Spotlight/Interview: Temple West


Author Bio.

Temple West, debut author of the YA paranormal romance Velvet, is as nerdy in real life as she is on the Twitter. Armed with a very shiny English degree, she spent four months in Oxford holed up at the Radcliffe Camera amongst the hush of ancient books and the rich musk of academia. Returning to Los Angeles, she acquired a concurrent degree in film, mostly as an excuse to write essays about The Princess Bride and Hook. She can sew (poorly), drive stick (please fasten your seatbelt), and mostly lift her feet off the ground while stuttering into first gear on a very small motorcycle. She currently lives in Seattle and is the proud mother to a one-year-old laptop and a vintage Remington typewriter.

She loves getting questions on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and her website (or here on Goodreads), so don't be afraid to submit a question! 

Author Links:   Website   |   Twitter   |   Pinterest  |   Tumblr



Interview with Temple West

What was your experience like on Swoon Reads?

Phenomenal.  I felt very comfortable going into it because I'd read all the terms and conditions and fine-print, and realized there were literally no downsides to submitting my manuscript.  

Do you have any strange writing habits?

Occasionally I'll bang my head against the wall and curse the blinking cursor on my blank first page.

What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?

I'm a slave to the muse, and the muse tends to like coffee shops and airplanes.  Seriously, I get a ton of writing done on planes.  It's weird.  But nah, no daily writing goals.  I'm the sort of writer where the more I try and force / regulate it, the more I get stuck.

What are your must have writing accessories?

Laptop with a raised keyboard.  I can't write on Macs because the keys are too close together / smooth.  I also like the click-y sounds of PCs.  Other than that I tend to carry around at least four pens and two notebooks at all times.  I don't know if it counts as an "accessory," but my two other go-to writing tools are Scrivener (that's what I write my manuscripts in now), and Google. 

If you could work with any author who would it be?

Scott Lynch or Laini Taylor.  Or Tolkien.  Or Brandon Sanderson.  

What inspired you to write Velvet?

I love vampires and it was really only a matter of time before I wrote my own vampire novel.  But the thing I really wanted to do with Velvet was write a story where vampires made sense.  Where they felt almost as if they could really belong in our world, with our physics.  I also wanted to create a new and satisfying mythology, or origin story, which is definitely going to be an important part of books 2 and 3.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

Nerdster: Tales of a Blue-Haired Girl

What are you working on now?

Book two.  And some screenplays.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Stick around for book two!  Things are about to change.





Synopsis: 

First rule of dealing with hot vampire bodyguards? Don't fall in love.

After losing both her parents before age seventeen, aspiring designer Caitlin Holte feels like her whole world has been turned upside down, and that was before the terrifying encounter with a supernatural force. Then, she learns that her hot bad-boy neighbor, Adrian—who might have just saved her life—is actually a half-demon vampire.

Suddenly Caitlin is stuck with a vampire bodyguard who feels that the best way to protect her is to become her pretend boyfriend. Trouble is, Caitlin is starting to fall in love for real, while Adrian can never love a human. Caitlin trusts Adrian to keep her safe from his demon father, but will he be able to protect her heart? 

Purchase Links: Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble


Lisa's Review:  First and foremost, the cover of this book is gorgeous. It is the reason this book jumped to the top of my TBR pile. Secondly, I LOVED this book so much. I just want to buy everyone I know copies so they can read it. It's just amazing. I mean who wouldn't love to read about a gorgeous, hunkie, vampire bodyguard and a story about forbidden love. I know that was what also made this book jump to the top of my TBR pile. 

The main characters, Caitlin and Adrian are simply amazing. It was really easy to connect with them. They were really well developed characters. 

Caitlin is definitely resilient. She has endured a lot in her life and overall, adjusted well. Having to move to Stoney Creek after the loss of her mother was difficult but she continued to focus on her life goals. I loved that about her. 

Although Adrian is a bit reserved he is extremely intelligent and compassionate. It would be difficult for anyone to have to grow up with so many rules and nobody caring for you, but Adrian recognizes he wants more. His journey of self discovery in this book really tugged at my heart strings. 

The vampires in this book are not the ferocious type nor are they like the ones in Twilight as they don't sparkle. These vampires feed off emotions as well as blood. They are governed by a Council, which sets many rules with serious penalties. They are able to be in the sun but typically isolate themselves from humans. They cannot create new vampires as they are born not made. 

Adrian's father is a demon who is after Caitlin. Adrian is appointed by the Council to protect her from his father. There appears to be ulterior motives for this which are not explained in this book. Which is why I want the next book, like now. 

The book is paced well and kept my attention throughout. Temple's writing is superb. Her writing really draws you in and keeps you connected. 

This book will definitely be reread again and again. 



Giveaway Time!! 
-2 winners will receive a paperback copy of Velvet.
-Open Internationally. 
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fierce Reads Spring Fling

Next Friday, June 5th I will be moderating a great panel of authors. 
 I'm very excited and nervous about this event since Lisa won't be with me this time.  (Downside to having a blogging partner that lives so dang far away!) 
But I'm going to go out and give all that I have!

There will be a lot of fun activities going on at this event that night.  There will be games, pizza, a photo booth, Q&A with the authors and a few more things.  It should be a lot of fun!

Here are the authors and their books that will be at this great event...



Courtney Alameda
 
Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat -- a girl?who?sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With?an?analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.
 
When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain.?As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends?will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.
 
Lock, stock, and lens, she's in for one hell of a week.







Anna Banks
 
Who says opposites don't attract?
 
It's been several years since Carly Vega's parents were deported. Carly lives with her older brother, studies hard, and works the graveyard shift at a convenience store to earn enough to bring her parents back from Mexico.
 
Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He used to date popular blondes and have fun pranking with his older sister. But now all that's changed, and Arden needs a new accomplice. Especially one his father, the town sheriff, will disapprove?
 
All Carly wants, at first, is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to not do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they've been living according to the wishes of others. Carly and Arden's journey toward their true hearts - and one another-- is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh. Just like real life.
 
 




Emmy Laybourne
 
 
The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv's invitation. She's already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli--the hottest guy ever!--and she's too sick to even try the sweetener. And that's before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange.

 Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jennifer Mathieu
 
Rachel Walker is devoted to God. She prays every day, attends Calvary Christian Church with her family, helps care for her five younger siblings, dresses modestly, and prepares herself to be a wife and mother who serves the Lord with joy. But Rachel is curious about the world her family has turned away from, and increasingly finds that neither the church nor her homeschool education has the answers she craves. Rachel has always found solace in her beliefs, but now she can’t shake the feeling that her devotion might destroy her soul.






If you would love to come out and join the fun click on the link below for all the information and directions. I look forward to seeing everyone there!
Event information
 
 
 

New Addition To Our Blog Team

Sarah and I would like to take this time and introduce you all to a new member of our blog team. Our friend Amber has graciously agreed to be a reviewer for GWB and we are extremely excited to have her on our team.

Please Welcome Amber.....and read a little bit about her below.


So a little about me...I'm Amber and I'm from sunny San Diego.  I'm a mom and wife.  I fell in love with reading in junior high; Gilbert Blythe and Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series got me hooked.  But college left little time for reading.

I love all things Twilight.  Twilight let me to meet Sarah and Lisa - with Comic Con and Twilight Tent City, we are now friends for life. 

Twilight also rekindled my love of reading; which now borders on obsession.  I'm always reading something; whether it's the latest release or Twilight fan fiction; there is always something to be read.  I have several hundred ebooks on my never ending TBR.  

Favorite authors include Stephenie Meyer, Cassandra Clare, J.R. Ward, Richelle Mead, Colleen Hoover, Christina Lauren, Alice Clayton...the list goes on and on.



Welcome Amber! We are looking forward to having you on our team.

Release Week Blitz: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

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We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Katie McGarry's NOWHERE BUT HERE!

NOWHERE BUT HERE is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance and is a part of Katie McGarry’sThunder Road Series, published by Harlequin Teen. Grab your copy today!!

Nowhere But Here - cover

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  About NOWHERE BUT HERE:
An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.


  Hand rider on handlebars, close-up  
 
 
 
 
 
From Emily's Point of View. Set up: Emily is riding a motorcycle for the very first time and she's riding it with Oz.
 
THE MOTORCYCLE ACCELERATES AND THE FEW inches I had established between me and Oz: gone. My body slides forward, colliding into his, and we click together like two puzzle pieces. Heat rushes up my neck and onto my cheeks. My thighs are too close to his, too tight against his body and this is way more intimate than I have been before with a guy.
Even when the two of us kissed.
Oz veers left, away from Olivia’s, away from the main road, and the entire motorcycle pitches to the side. My heart thun­ders and my fingers clutch not only at Oz’s belt loop, but at the material of his jeans, and his hips.
Oz glances at me over his shoulder as the bike straightens out. “Lean with it, Emily.”
Right. Lean with Oz and the bike. Got it. The narrow road curves ahead and this time when Oz and the bike tilt, I move along with it. Oz releases one of the amazingly high handlebars and massages my knee before returning his hand to the grip. Whether in reassurance or to affirm I mastered the curve I don’t know, but either way, I sit higher.
The wind whips through my hair and onto my face and I shut my eyes for a brief second and pretend that I’m flying. There’s something energizing, something hypnotic, something inside me that begs to burst out of a cage in search of freedom.
The motorcycle kicks forward and our speed increases. Beams of sunlight filter through the towering trees and green foliage blurs together as we fly over the road. From head to toe, my body vibrates with the loud growling of the power­ful machine.
My knee still tingles from where Oz laid his fingers on me and I’ve never been more aware of my hands in my life. I should let go of Oz’s body, but I can’t. Belt loops weren’t enough and my fingers have somehow edged up and onto his sides. Oz is solid. Yes, definitely solid. Every inch of him that I touch is tight muscle.
Oz is a year older than me, but somehow he seems older, wiser and hotter than any other guy I’ve known. Just the way he rides his bike creates this overabundance of confidence.
Warm sensations I’ve never experienced before blossom through me. We enter another curve and I lean with him. I like how in sync I’ve become with Oz and the motorcycle. Like we’ve merged into one.
The purr of the engine deepens and Oz eases the bike to a stop. His feet hit the ground and he turns the machine off. It’s as if all sound in the world ceased, or maybe I’ve gone deaf because there’s no way anything can be this still or silent.
The wind picks up and the silence is frightened away with the roar of the trees bending. Both Oz and I shift with the flow of air and Oz doesn’t move the bike until the breeze gentles.
Oz kicks down the stand and the bike tilts, but not too much. He sets a hand over the fingers that I laced together across his stomach. Oh, hell, I’m plastic wrapped to him. I drop my head onto his shoulder and it places me closer, and closer is not what I need.
I go to unglue myself, but Oz squeezes my fingers, send­ing a jolt of electricity up my arms. “You okay?”
I have to clear my throat to speak and that just sucks. “Yes.”
Oz slides his fingers against mine and a fluttering occurs in my stomach. It’s a light fluttering. Ticklish even, and my survival instincts scream at me to get off this motorcycle.








NOWHERE BUT HERE Trailer:

 
 
 
 
 
  Katie McGarry Author Photo
 
About Katie McGarry:
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.  

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  Nowhere But Here - Teaser 1    


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Release Week Blitz: 21 Stolen Kisses by Lauren Blakely

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We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Week Blitz for Lauren Blakely's 21 STOLEN KISSES!! 21 STOLEN KISSES by Lauren Blakely is a standalone New Adult Forbidden Romance from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author being published by Bloomsbury Spark! Lauren Blakely is well known for writing sexy, heartfelt and humorous contemporary romance as well as deeply emotional new adult stories. 21 STOLEN KISSES is a beautifully written forbidden romance that will have you holding your breath and turning the pages as fast as you can!




  21 Stolen Kisses - cover

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  ABOUT 21 STOLEN KISSES:
When I first met him I resisted. Like any forbidden love, I told myself he was a crush, and it would pass. That was a lie. It never faded. And I never expected he would fall for me just as hard. There were so many reasons that should have kept us apart, least of all, the decade that separated us. Growing up in New York City, I learned early on that love is a double-edged sword. Love broke up my parents, love took away my friends, and love -- the big, intense, never-been-like-this-beforelove -- landed me in therapy. Now I'm heading to college, and it's time to give love a clean slate again. But, can I really start over when he's still in my life? Because the one man I've always wanted, is also the only guy I absolutely can't have… And he wants me just as fiercely. Can I settle for anything less than the love of my life?



 
 
He inhales sharply. The look in his eyes says we’re crossing into the danger zone again. It’s the only place I want to be with him. Because when we’re there, nothing between us feels dangerous. Everything feels right.
 
“I turn eighteen in a few more weeks,” I say, like my birthday is an open invitation for us to slam back into each other.
 
He nods. “I know.”
 
A breeze blow by and rustles his hair. A lock falls out of place. Instinct takes over. I raise my hand to reach for his hair.
 
But he’s faster. He grasps my wrist, and the second he does, the moment expands. It stretches and unfolds into the thing I will replay tonight and tomorrow and the next day. I stare at his hand clasped around my wrist, flashing back to all the times he held my hand, touched my wrist, and ran his fingers along my arm. I shiver as the memories collide, the past slamming into the present.
 
I look up from our hands to his eyes. Blazing, full of heat. Full of all that restraint from him that I know so well.
 
 
  Author Photo
 
 
 
About Lauren Blakely:
Lauren Blakely writes sexy contemporary romance novels with heat, heart, and humor, and she has had seven books on the New York Times Bestseller list and eleven on the USA Today Bestseller list. Like the heroine in her novel, FAR TOO TEMPTING, she thinks life should be filled with family, laughter, and the kind of love that love songs promise. Lauren lives in California with her husband, children, and dogs. She loves hearing from readers! Her bestselling series include Caught Up in Love, Seductive Nights, No Regrets and Fighting Fire. She recently released Forbidden Nights, a standalone novel in her New York Times Bestselling Seductive Nights series that became an instant New York Times Bestseller. This summer she'll release Consumed by You, her next title in her NYT Bestselling Fighting Fire series about sexy firemen and the women they love, and Sweet Sinful Nights, the first book in her new series Sinful Nights. She also writes for young adults under the name Daisy Whitney. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, text BLAKELY + your email address to 678-249-3375 (please use the actual + sign).  

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | 21 STOLEN KISSES Goodreads | Lauren Blakely Goodreads

   




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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Blog Tour: Prodigal and Riven by Tyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin

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Title:  Prodigal and Riven
Series:  The Lost Imperials Series, books 2 and 3
Author:  Tyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin
Published:  May 5th, 2015  
Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YAm Steampunk, Time Travel
Content Warning:  Violence, adult language, and mild romance
 photo Prodigal-and-Riven.jpg

Synopsis: 

Welcome to the TIME WAR

STEIN has been with the Hollows for as long as she can remember. Taken as a child, she has no memories of her past—and that’s always been fine by her. Until the day she stumbles across a hidden journal containing the devastating truth about her paternity. Now everything she thought she knew—and everyone she thought she could trust—has changed. The truth about who she is and where she came from is a secret so deep, it will rock the Hollows and the Tesla Institute alike.

ETHAN is left with a serious problem after what should have been a routine mission. He’s fractured—a break between mind and body that leaves him at the mercy of his Rifter abilities, which are quickly tearing him apart. He will have to trust the only person who might know how to fix him, a mysterious Rifter named Stewart Stills, who seems to have a special connection with the time stream.

Excerpt from Prodigal by Tyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin

STEIN
One
          Though I’ve never been here before, the darkness is familiar, comforting. Above me, the moon reaches its apex, the soft, full glow illuminating the sky so the stars are barely visible. I nestle against the bark of a large pine tree. There’s no snow on the ground yet, but the air is heavy with the promise of a coming storm. The smell is crisp and clean and not at all like home.
          Home.
          The Hollow Tower.
          Subconsciously, my hand goes to my arm, gently stroking the device wound around my wrist.             The Tether is a Tesla invention, something the Hollows aren’t supposed to use. But there was no way was I going to try to get permission for this little trip, so I made an exception. Ember brought a few Tethers with her when she defected from The Institute. I doubt she’ll even be upset when she figures out that I pinched one from Nobel’s lab. He’s working on re-creating them for us, a welcome alternative to the stomach churning Contra we normally use. In the past few weeks, things have changed rapidly in The Hollow Tower, and one of those things is my newfound friendship with Ember—a girl I’d been all too willing to kill just a few short weeks ago.
          The enemy of my enemy and all that.
          No, this was better. Getting permission would mean going to Gloves for Contra, and he would want to know why I needed it. I’m not ready to face him—or the others—just yet. Not until I’m absolutely sure.
          During my last mission, I’d found one of Tesla’s old journals. I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, if not for the emblem sketched on the first page, the symbol so like the mark I carried below my naval.
          As a rule, Rifters don’t remember our pasts; it’s all part of the process, the washing away of our memories. Lex and Ember are the only ones I know who recovered those lost years, who know who they are and where they come from. For them, it is a mixed blessing. It brought them back together as brother and sister, but also brought back the truth about everything they lost.
          And they lost so much.
          I was never curious about my past before that. The Hollow Tower had been my home since I was only a few years old— much younger than most of the others when they were brought in. I always assumed there was something tragic, some dark reason I was taken so young. And unlike Lex,           I was perfectly content not remembering.
          Until now.
          I creep through the woods to the dirty window of the cabin, stepping carefully in my tall, black leather boots. The slightest noise will alert the paranoid man inside to my presence. Luckily, I have plenty of practice sneaking up on people. Inside, Tesla fiddles with a rat’s nest of antenna wiring that drops through a duct in the roof. Crouching down, I blow on my hands and rub them together. Being at fourteen thousand feet elevation smack in the middle of the Rocky Mountains isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. I have a major headache, my toes are numb, and my nose is running like a leaky faucet. I sniffle hard and my ears pop from the pressure building in my sinuses. It’s going to take a week’s worth of hot showers just to get warm again.
          I watch through the glass as Tesla gets frustrated with the wiring, throws a handful of tools against the wall, and begins pacing back and forth, running his hands through his jet-black hair and down his face, yelling at the wad of copper filament on the wood floor. Finally, he slumps into a chair facing a chalkboard on the wall. Pouring himself a drink from a half-empty bottle of amber-colored liquid on the table beside him, he rests the glass against his forehead.
          This is one of the few times I’ve been able to catch him alone. For a recluse, he somehow manages to keep a constant orbit of assistants and hangers-on nearby. Tonight, however, he’s working alone, having long since sent the others away in a fit of frustration.
          The window has warped with age, forming ripples in the glass. Between that and the frost beginning to form, it’s getting harder to see. Trying to ignore the cold biting at my fingers and the tips of my nose and ears, I lean forward, forcing my eyes to focus through the distortion. This is actually the closest I’ve ever been to him. He sits there, red faced and sweaty, swigging another mouthful of alcohol. His suit coat has a hole in the elbow and half of the collar is folded inside the jacket. His shoes and pants are muddy to the knees. I’ve never seen him so disheveled, or so drunk. I check the date on my Tether. It’s my third trip to get what I need from him. I’ve tried twice before, in other times and other places, only to wind up empty-handed. If I don’t get what I came for tonight, I don’t know when I’ll be able to try again. The others are already growing suspicious of my random disappearances—especially Lex. He’s entirely too tuned into me. It’s hard to keep things from him.   Unlike the others, he has an uncanny ability to see through me, and he never hesitates to call me on my crap.
          I kind of love that about him.
          But as with Gloves and the others, I am stuck keeping secrets from him. Right now, all I have is a pile of questions with no answers. What I found written in the tattered journal pages read like fiction—the insane ramblings of a lunatic scientist. But there was something else too, bits and pieces that when put together…



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About the Authors:

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs. She is the author of several YA novels ranging from contemporary romance to science fiction. In her spare time she co-hosts the Pop Lit Divas radio show and is constantly trying to take over the world.
Tyler Jolley was born in the era of the Star Wars and the Indiana Jones sagas. He has been enamored with science fiction and adventure stories ever since. In order to support his hobby of writing he decided to pursue dentistry. He graduated from Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in 2002. He then completed a four year orthodontic and periodontic residency at the University of Pennsylvania. In June 2006, he opened a private practice, Jolley Smiles, in Grand Junction, Colorado.Snowboarding, mountain biking, road biking, fly fishing, bird hunting, camping, hiking, and backpacking are the things he enjoys doing with his family. He also enjoys lecturing internationally on temporary orthodontic implants. Some of his journal articles have also been published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. However, his true passion has always been fiction writing.When life gets stressful he escapes to unseen worlds to find relaxation. His career has been the vehicle to let him write without worry. He finds inspiration from most of his adolescent patients. He continues to dream up fun and thrilling books to this day.

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