Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cover Reveal - Stolen by Keren Hughes

Stolen Cover Reveal Information

Coming November 2013…


Roshanna O'Dare wakes up in her own home in shock when she discovers part of her memory is missing and her parents are dead…

With no clues of any kind as to what happened to her parents, and no other close family, Roshanna must move to Texas, Austin, to live with her last living relative, Uncle Joe after the funeral. But this means leaving her best friend, Marissa Mason behind.

That’s when she meets Bodhi Vincent, her uncle’s chauffeur, who seems to understand Roshanna in a way no one else has…

Bodhi is her rock after the death of her parents and the longer she stays with her uncle, the closer they become.

But before moving away, Roshanna was confronted with a shocking secret that Marissa had kept from her, a secret that changes how she sees life and the people in it—Marissa is a pure soul and her foster parents are soul drainers who need her pure energy to survive.

More shockingly, her parents’ souls were stolen by their murderer.

When Roshanna and Bodhi try and track down Marissa’s father, Leith Mason, in order to retrieve her parents’ souls back, they find themselves held hostage at gunpoint.

Will Roshanna and Bodhi survive? Will she ever find her parents souls? Or will their souls be the next ones to be taken?


Keren lives in the UK and is an avid bookworm; she has been since she read things like Black Beauty, What Katy Did and The Hobbit as a child. Her first real memories of reading are the summers she used to lie on her bed and re-read What Katy Did and What Katy Did Next.

Over the years she has come to realise that she is a bit OCD about books. They have to be in perfect condition without the slightest bit of damage.

She is a book reviewer and has been for the past 18 months or so.

The idea for Stolen came to her one day but she never thought she’d actually write it let alone publish it. If it wasn’t for her author friend Kira Saito, the idea would still be stuck in her head not on paper. But constant love and support from Kira is why you are now able to read Stolen.

Stolen is her first novel but now that she’s written one, she knows she needs to write more. There will be one sequel, called Freed which will be from Bodhi’s POV. This will be set a couple of years on.

Then, the plan is for her to write either NA or Adult Contemporary Romances. She has a big crush on Lady Antebellum’s music at the moment and their songs have inspired a few book ideas.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blog tour - The Descending Darkness by Michael Chulsky

I’m so happy to be here at Worlds of Wonderment to talk a bit about theme songs for the characters of The Descending Darkness. I hope you all enjoy! =)

Shadow: Paranoid – Alana Grace
I’m not crazy, I know what I see
I hear them staring at me.

I chose this song for Shadow because it fits his mood in the first novel. He doesn’t just have himself to worry about – he has to worry about the lives of ten others. He’s constantly afraid that something will happen, some dangerous creature will appear and hurt someone. He’s very paranoid.

Ellie: Girl On Fire – Alicia Keys
Everybody stares, as she goes by
Cause they can see the flame that's in her eyes
Watch her when she's lighting up the night.

Ironically, this song fits Ellie the best. Ironic because her powers are ice-based. :P
Her determination is powerful and she never backs down from anything that stands in her way. She’s a fighter and there’s constantly a flame burning deep down inside her.

Kay: Off With Her Head – Icon For Hire
I’m lucky if I ever see the light of day again.
My skin is choking me, my feeble walls are closing in.

Kay is very nervous about her new “hero” role. What seventeen-year-old wouldn’t be? She has the world on her shoulders and it’s overwhelming. This song fits because she feels like being a hero gives her a death sentence. And she doesn’t want that.

Isaac: Just Like a Pill – Pink!
Run just as fast as I can, to the middle of nowhere,
to the middle of my frustrated fears.
And I swear, you’re just like a pill. Instead of making me better, you keep making me ill.

Isaac is young and impressionable. He isn’t outgoing or sociable. He only has one friend and it’s a wonder if that friend is healthy for him or not.

Faith: Imaginary – Evanescence
I linger in the doorway, of alarm clock screaming monsters calling my name.
Let me stay, where the wind will whisper to me.
Where the raindrops, as they’re falling, tell a story.

Faith has visions of the future. As a result, she’s constantly haunted by things that may or may not happen. She has to figure out what is real and what is just imaginary.

Tristan: Me Against the World – Simple Plan
I’m a nightmare, a disaster, that’s what they always said.
I’m a lost cause, not a hero, but I’ll make it on my own.

Tristan has the tendency to open his mouth without thinking. And that quirk gets him into trouble. As a result, he has to work harder in order to prove himself. He refuses to let himself be taken lightly.

Ethan: Your Guardian Angel – Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
I will never let you fall, I’ll stand up with you forever.
I’ll be there for you through it all, even if saving you sends me to heaven.

Ethan is not human, at least, not in the traditional sense. He’s an angel reborn as a human in order to act as protector to Crystal. He’s her guardian angel. He takes his job very seriously and views her as a younger sister.

Crystal: Material Girl – Madonna
Living in a material world,
And I am a material girl.
Crystal is spoiled. Thanks to a huge inheritance from her father, she is used to the finer things in life. Any talk about wholesale clothing is likely to make her faint. She has a lot of learning to do about the way the world works and Shadow intends to be her teacher.

Ryan: Riot – Cher Lloyd
If you think we’ve all gone crazy, how’d ya guess?
Gonna tear the world apart until there’s, nothing left.

Ryan is the jokester of the group and he lives his life chaotically. In his mind, if you aren’t going crazy, you aren’t having fun. He laughs in the face of danger. Ha, ha, ha…ha.

Tereya: Brave – Sara Bareilles
If you say what you want to say and let the words fall out,
Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.

Tereya is very shy and introverted. He doesn’t say much at first because he thinks that anything he has to say is unimportant. Over time he learns that he’s a valuable member of the team and that his opinion matters as much as anybody else’s.

Niki: Just The Way I Am – Skye Sweetnam
Might as well get over it, don’t try to understand,
I’m strange and I like it, just the way I am.

Niki is very unique. She’s a breath of fresh air and will always speak her mind. She doesn’t believe in sugar-coating things. To her, the truth is always the most important thing. She goes about things differently than most people and doesn’t care if people think she’s weird.

Cameryn: Like A Prayer – Madonna
Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone.
I hear you call my name, and it feels like home.

Cameryn was abused by people who were supposed to care for him and is left broken, but not irreparable. He is rescued and slowly learns to trust again. Out of everyone, he views Shadow specifically as his savior. Shadow is tough, brave, and confident – all of the things that Cameryn wishes he could be. He views Shadow as the answer to his prayers.

Maedara – Primadonna – Marina and The Diamonds
Primadonna girl, all I ever wanted was the world.
I can’t help that I need it all,
The Primadonna life, the rise and fall.

Maedara is the living embodiment of this song. She wants everything the world has and more. She loves fashion, money, power, and all things sparkly. She won’t stop until she has it all.

After going from demon hunter to babysitter, seventeen-year-old SHADOW has truly hit rock bottom. One week he’s slaughtering demons, and the next he has ten super-powered teenagers in his care. Shadow needs them, because without them he can’t hope to defeat his new foe. But he’s never dealt with other teenagers before. He never had a real childhood. He’s always been a loner. Hell, he’s tried the whole having-a-pet thing. It died.

Shadow’s mission: save the world and ensure his team survives the potential apocalypse. If MAEDARA, self-proclaimed fashionista and Queen of Evil, wasn’t trying to rule the world, it’d be cake. Now, not only does Shadow have to deal with teens more concerned with going to the mall than fighting evil, but also a villain who, in his opinion, makes Lady Gaga look like Mother Theresa.

Michael Chulsky grew up in New Jersey and has been writing ever since his fourth grade teacher let him create a class newspaper to channel his creativity. He is the author of The Descending Darkness and currently lives with his fiancé. When not writing he enjoys browsing Tumblr, listening to music, and devouring every piece of cheesecake that falls into his line of sight.

Buy links:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Finding Faith Release Day Blitz with Giveaway!

Who's excited for Finding Faith?! I am! I can't wait to read Finn and Faith's story.

A little FAITH can get you through…

One night. That’s all Finn had with the only girl he ever loved. Years
later, all he has left of that night is a silver cross, a broken give a
damn, and the unrelenting desire to drink her memory away. As the lead
singer of Blow Hole, Finn has his pick of women, but none are able to squash
the need he still carries around for Faith. To hate her offers some relief,
but when Finn sees her again after so many years, it’s hard to despise her.
Especially when every reason he had to hate her, turn out to be lies.

As the daughter of a strict Baptist preacher, Faith Warren lived sheltered
from all things sinful. When she met Jimmy Finn, the epitome of all seven
deadly sins, she found out exactly what she was missing. After being forced
to choose between her soul and the only person in the world who made her
feel alive, Faith walked away from Finn and dove head first into her
father’s preferred life. But now Finn’s back and he’s getting payback by
wreaking havoc on her emotions. Except sometimes bad things feel good, and
Faith has to decide once again if she wants to stay in her gilded cage or
fly free with the dark angel of lust himself.
Buy links:


“Tabatha Vargo is a USA Today bestselling author from a small town just
outside of Charleston, SC. Tabatha is a sweet tea sippin', front porch
sittin' kind of girl from the south. She loves old, historical anything,
wind chimes, and all things romantic. She is the mother of a seven-year-old
rockstar/princess and the wife of her very own Prince Charming. When she
isn't writing or reading, she's texting book ideas to herself and spending
time with her friends and family. Her first publication was a little poem in
her elementary school paper and from that point on she was hooked. She
finished her first novel, ‘Wicked Fate’, in 2009 and released it in November
2012. She has since released ‘On the Plus Side’, USA Today bestselling
‘Playing Patience’, and ‘Perfecting Patience’.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cover Reveal - Revealing Kia by Airicka Phoenix

Can't wait for Revealing Kia! I loved the first book in the series, Finding Kia. Airicka Phoenix is one amazingly talented lady. You're missing out if you've never picked up one of her books!

Book Title: Revealing Kia
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Series: The Lost Girl Series, book #2
Publisher: Fire & Ash Publishing
Release date: Nov 2013
Genre: Young Adult contemporary, coming of age romance
Warnings: Language and sexual content
Formats: eBook & Paperback

The events of Claudia’s party were nothing more than a distant memory as far as Kia was concerned. She was ready to resume her life as though that night had never happened. But it’s a slippery slope keeping a secret and Kia’s about to learn just how hard when she’s faced with the truth and the consequences of her decision.
Adam Chaves was no stranger to girls wanting him. He was no stranger to breaking hearts, although never intentionally. What he didn’t understand was how Kia could undress him, touch him, burn him with her eyes and still keep him at arm’s length when it was evident how much it cost her. But what Kia didn’t realize was that he had never given up on anything in his life and he wasn’t about to start now. He would have his girl even if it meant he had to kidnap her to do it.

Huddled beneath a perpetual cloud of imagination, International Best-Selling author Airicka Phoenix lives with her husband and four gorgeous children in the beautiful province of British Columbia. When she's not busy playing with her imaginary friends, creating worlds and toying with fictional lives, she can be found reading, polishing her collection of daggers, or chilling with her kids.

Airicka is the creator of
THE TOUCH SAGA, THE SONS OF JUDGMENT SAGA, THE LOST GIRL SERIES, and GAMES OF FIRE. Her standalone novel, BETRAYING INNOCENCE will be published Oct 2013 and the conclusion of Finding Kia, book 2 of The Lost Girl Series, REVEALING KIA, will be out Nov 2013. She also has plans to release a Sci-Fi horror/romance, WHEN NIGHT FALLS, Dec 2013.

Airicka also writes adult paranormal & contemporary romance under her alter ego,
Morgana Phoenix. She has a paranormal short coming out Dec 2013 in SNOWED IN, An Anthology and CAPTURE ME, Morgana's debut novel will be released Fall 2014.

For more about Airicka, visit her website at:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review: ARC Welcome to Sugartown by Carmen Jenner

Title: Welcome to Sugartown (Sugartown #1)
Author: Carmen Jenner
Age Group: New Adult
Release Date: 3rd November 2013
Publishers: Self-published
Available from: Not Yet Available

Source: Author

Ana Belle never wanted anything more than to hang up her apron, jump on her Vespa and ride off into the sunset, leaving Sugartown in the dust.

Elijah Cade never wanted anything more than a hot meal, a side of hot arse and a soft place to lay his head at night where he could forget about his past.

But you know what they say about wanting: you always want what you can’t have.

Nineteen year-old virgin Ana is about to discover that’s not quite true because a six foot three, hotter than hell, tattooed, Aussie sex god just rode into town. He’s had a taste of her pie and he wants more– no really, Ana bakes pies for a living, get your mind out of the gutter.

She’d be willing to hand over everything tied up in a big red bow, there’s just one problem; Elijah has secrets dirtier than last week’s underwear. Secrets that won't just break Ana’s heart, but put her life at risk, too. When those secrets come to light, their relationship is pushed to breaking point.

Add to that a psychotic nympho best friend, an overbearing father, a cuter than humanly possible kid brother, a wanton womanizing cousin, the ex from hell, and more pies than you could poke a ... err ... stick ... at.

And you thought small towns were boring.

Welcome to Sugartown.

Welcome to Sugartown by Carmen Jenner has to be one of my favourite reads of the year. It’s sexy, heartbreaking and incredibly funny. I was on an emotional rollercoaster until the last page. Ana and Elijah are one of those couples that have a fiery passion from the get go. It doesn’t always seem healthy, yet you can’t help but to fall in love with them. Their journey is not an easy one; it’s full of pain and heartache. You’ll be laughing out loud, crying into your pillow and wanting to throw your ereader at the wall.

Jenner’s characters are so vivid and full of life, you’d swear they were real people. Ana is a sassy, independent nineteen year old who bakes pies for a living. She’s already had her fair share of heartbreak, but it’s made her a stronger person. Her best friend Holly is a pocket-rocket of epic proportions, with a slightly psychotic personality. I don’t think WtS would be half as good without her in it. Her scenes help add an extra zing to everything. I wish she was my best friend.

You won’t have to look much further for your new book boyfriend. Elijah Cade, smoking hot, tattooed, motorcycle riding man-whore with a heart of gold. He’s not one for stable relationships, but then he meets Ana Belle and everything changes. He’s hiding some pretty dark secrets that put both their lives in danger and could destroy any chance they have of happiness. You’ll love him one second and hate him the next.

Jenner has filled the pages with enough sugary goodness to have you in a sugar coma for days after you’ve read WtS. I laughed, I cried and just like Ana and Elijah, Welcome to Sugartown will tear you to pieces but put you back together again with its humour and host of unforgettable characters. You’ll be craving more of Jenner’s pie once you’re done.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cover Reveal - When Night Falls by Airicka Phoenix

Book Title: When Night Falls
Author: Airicka Phoenix
Publisher: Fire & Ash Publishing
Release date: Dec 2013
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi, Thriller with strong elements of Romance
Warnings: Language and sexual content

Formats: eBook & Paperback

The Earth as we know it no longer exists. Humanity has destroyed itself and with it any chance we may have had of returning.

What had started as a six month voyage through the stars becomes a nightmare when the passengers are stranded in space without hope. With Earth gone, the crew and passengers of The Dawn Light are left wandering the galaxy in search of a new planet. After years of searching, one is found, but no one is prepared for the terror that takes claim of the Galaxy Cruiser when one by one the people begin to turn, mutating into flesh eating monsters.
For Scarlett, Hunter and Rolf, this means being trapped in a sardine can full of piranhas. Their only hope... to get the hell out before they’re next, but someone on the ship wants to be the only survivor to reach the new planet and will do anything to stop them. But just how far are they willing to go?
          Stalk Links:

          :Add to your TBR list

Best-Selling author Airicka Phoenix lives in rainy British Columbia with her beautiful family. When she's not pounding away at the keyboard, she can be found reading, shining her collection of daggers or chilling with her kids. 
She is the author of the 
Touch Saga, The Sons of Judgment Saga, The Lost Girl Series, and Games of Fire.

Airicka also writes adult paranormal & contemporary romance under her alter ego, 
Morgana Phoenix. Her first novel, Capture Me, will be out 2014.
For more about Airicka, visit her website at:

Friday, October 11, 2013

Our Souls to Keep by Gary Caruso Book Blitz

Title: Our Souls to Keep
Author: Gary Caruso 
Genre: Dark YA, Romantic Thriller 15+
Blitz Host: Lady Amber's Tours

As Wake struggles to keep his new sensations hidden, Satan orders him to corrupt the soul of a pregnant girl, Annemarie. Beautiful, gentle Annemarie. From the moment Wake sees her, she brings lightness to his blackened heart, dampening his loneliness, fueling his passion. If he chooses to defy Satan and spare the lives of Annemarie and her unborn child, his mother’s soul will writhe in Hell’s deepest pit for eternity. Annemarie or his mother? It’s a choice no one should have to make.

Author Bio:
Gary Caruso lives in northern Virginia with his wife Jill, but their favorite place is in Ohio with their three beautiful grandchildren. Although Gary is exhilarated when he sits down to write, teaching middle school science is his first love. He’s passionate about empowering students to make thoughtful decisions and positive choices in life. Gary enjoys reading, especially fiction that blurs the line between what’s real and what’s fantasy. He never imagined becoming a writer until an ordinary car ride on a spring day jolted an unlikely thought into his head. Gary’s early experience writing is a reminder that no matter how intimidating the challenge, action and determination are the foundations for fulfilling any dream. Gary has an insatiable love for writing, a blessing he’s excited to share with his readers.



The crowd thins, eventually leaving Annemarie and me alone in the hallway. She gathers her books and turns, quicker than I expect. I can’t maneuver out of her way. Our collision is mild, but jarring enough to dislodge the books from her hands.
“I’m so sorry,” she says as she kneels to pick up her scattered books.
I should be helping her, but my eyes are fixed on her graceful movements. Her long brown hair has fallen to the side, exposing the back of her softly curved neck, and every reach for a stray book lengthens her back and shoulders, inviting my touch. From the lowest point, just above the waist of her jeans, the tip of my finger would snake upward, navigating the gentle ridge of her spine until my hand laces through the richness of her flowing hair.
She tilts her head upward and grins at me. “Are you okay?”
Her voice snaps me from my fantasy. “Me? Yeah, I’m…fine. Oh, god. I’m so sorry. I should be picking up your books. You’re…you know.” I point feeble-mindedly at her extended stomach.
“Pregnant,” she says as she stands and straightens her blouse. “It’s all right to say it. I already know.”
The tip of her tongue unknowingly caresses her lower lip and the gentle arc of her full upper lip stretches, the smallest amount, as a smile slowly radiates across her flushed cheeks. These emotions, human, raw and…hormonal, forgotten for so long, now my only hope for clear thought is to suppress them. This has to be one of Satan’s sadistic jokes.
I laugh from embarrassment, but it’s the first time, in too long, that the sound of untempered, unrestrained joy bubbles from my heart. How can she have this warming effect on me? I want to say something cute and funny, but my mind is a hornet’s nest of scrambled thoughts.
“You look familiar,” she says. “Do we have a class together?”
I gaze into her hazel eyes. I must appear flustered because she tilts her head and grins.
“No. I mean, I don’t know. Today is my first day at this school.”
“Great. Welcome to Roosevelt High School. My name is Annemarie.”
“I’m Wake.”
“Wake? That’s an interesting name.”
“Yeah, I know. It sounds like a funeral.”
“I like it. But I have to go. My little guy keeps pushing on my bladder. Lately, I have to use the restroom between every class.” She covers her mouth as if she gave too much information to someone she just met, but her joyful eyes can’t hide the smile hidden behind her hand.
“I can’t believe I just told you that.” She starts to hurry away, but looks over her shoulder. “See you later, Wake.”
I wave like an embarrassed adolescent. What a lousy first impression. I sounded like a bumbling, immature little boy.
I watch as she continues down the hall. I’ve seen other pregnant women before. They were clumsy, out of balance from carrying extra weight in front. But not Annemarie. Her steps are graceful and refined, like she’s gliding on a frozen pond. The gentle curves of her hips have remained slender, and sway hypnotically side-to-side in a rhythm that matches the drumming of my heart.
What am I thinking? Mooning about like a lovesick teenager. I can’t let my physical attraction for Annemarie erode the resolve I’ll need to complete this assignment. Yet, she’s the most beautiful… Does she even know how she makes me feel…how human? I’m stuck in a moment reserved for young love. There’s nothing merciful about denying the uninhibited excitement coursing through every inch of my body, but my plan is already in motion. The fate of my mother’s soul is in my hands. As much as I hate myself for thinking it, Annemarie’s beauty has to be extinguished. I have to collect her. I know Satan is convinced these human emotions will help, but right now, I wish I was a stone-cold demon. It would make it a lot easier to incinerate her goodness from the earth. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Full Series Cover Reveal - Intoxicating Passion by Felicia Tatum

all 5 banner
Full Series Cover Reveal
Intoxicating Passion
Felicia Tatum
masked encounters
Masked Encounters Book #1
Korah Daniels has been through a lot in her nineteen years. Broken hearts, abusive relationships, and horrid dates have caused her to doubt love. When her friend talks her into attending the local frat house’s Halloween party, will she find the one person who can change her outlook on life?
Dane Davidson is the worst kind of playboy. The ultimate frat boy, drinking and ending up with a different girl every night. When his frat house throws a masked Halloween party, a certain angel catches his attention and may just turn his life upside down.
Masked Encounters is the first in a five part novelette series.
Releasing: October 25, 2013
unveiled ties
Unveiled Ties Book #2
Dane has been haunted by the mysterious and sexy angel from his fraternity’s Halloween party. He sees her in every store, every class, on every corner. How long will he fight his feelings?
Korah is consumed with guilt over her vulnerability at the ball, vowing to never go to a party again. Leela and Windi desperately try to pull her out of her funk. The start of new semester should bring new beginnings…right?
The spring semester is now underway for Korah and Dane. When the pair ends up becoming biology partners, will Dane reveal his true identity
Tentative Release Date: January 10, 2014
daring dane
Daring Dane Book #3
Korah and Dane have taken their attraction to the next level, causing both to guard their hearts closely. After a frightening encounter with Korah’s ex-boyfriend, she desperately seeks Dane’s comfort, but can’t find him.
What will happen when both decide to date other people? Will their true feelings prevail? Can Dane change his playboy ways when Korah dares him to be a better man?
Tentative Release Date: February 14, 2014
pursuing korah
Pursuing Korah Book#4
Dane confesses his feelings and his intentions, but to his dismay, Korah isn’t buying it. He regrets letting her kick him out after the trauma she endures hours later.
Korah wants Dane more than anything, but can’t trust him with her heart. After a brutal run in with her ex, she ends up finding the comfort she seeks from a very distraught Dane.
Can the two learn to trust in order to be together? Will Dane’s angry reaction to her trauma warm or harden her heart?
Tentative Release Date: March 14, 2014
unexpected consequences
Unexpected Consequences Book#5
Korah is working hard to learn to trust and let go of her past. Her feelings for Dane continue to grow, surprising everyone around her.
Dane knows he has to change and finally finds a way to win Korah’s heart. No one is as shocked by his admittance as he is.
What will happen when unexpected consequences arise from their feelings?
Tentative Release Date: April 11, 2014
Felicia Tatum
About the author:
Felicia Tatum was born and raised in Tennessee. She always loved reading, and at the age of twelve began writing. Her passion for creating stories grew and in May 2012, she finally wrote her first novel, The White Aura.
She still lives in Tennessee with her daughter and her kitty. She loves cooking, books, and animals are some of her best friends. She watches a lot of Disney channel and often dreams up new book ideas. She's currently working on various projects, including the rest of the White Aura Series, the Scarred Hearts Series, and a novella series. Her dream is to write as many books as possible while entertaining as many people as possible.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Release Day Blitz - Unwanted by Alivia Anders

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Title: Unwanted
Author: Alivia Anders
Genre: NA Dystopian
Purchase on Amazon
Purchase on B&N
Book Description:
She would be his freedom. He would be her price.
In a world overrun with people and narrowing resources, the basis of life has turned to do or die. No longer does the balance of wealth and power apply. A strict split between the rich and poor has made the lines clear- the more money you have, the more power you control. For seventeen year old Emily Beucant, life is an equal gift and curse. Having grown up pre- Unwanted society, she can still remember the days it was okay to play with children from the other side of the concrete wall, back when her father was still alive, and back when the Unwanted program was used to Mark and hunt criminals, not sign away the lives of ungrateful children or spouses with high insurance collections over their heads. But since her father's creation of the program, the government has taken control and made it into a lucrative monster. And as Emily is days away from her eighteenth birthday, and handsome inheritance, she will soon see just how badly it is to be Marked. When her soulless aunt places Emily up to be Marked an Unwanted, she is forced to go on the run from all she has ever known. No where is safe for her, and no one will protect her, least they wish to have the same fate as her. It isn't until she forms a tense, explosive alliance with a former doctor, Ben, that it looks like the tables may turn in her favor. Together they race against those searching for her, desperate to find a way to free her from an early death. But is it too late? No one is safe. No one is free.
The time on my phone flashes 4:09AM by the time I come within sight of the first glimpses of Primrose Gardens. It’s nearly identical to Greener Lanes; a carefully monitored entryway was the only real way in, as the land was secured in a fence at least twenty feet high. Of course, like all high property, the maintenance of areas like the bottom of fences was generally overlooked, and were easily broken into by stray animals. Or fugitive eighteen year olds. I double-check no cameras are positioned on the outside of the fence, then carefully navigate around it. My hands and fingers brush through dewy ferns and pines, the cold droplets a welcomed relief to my grime-coated fingers. At the corner of the first half, I spot an opening. It’s small, roughly the size of a skinny barrel, and pieces of rotting wood have been shoved in front of it in a weak attempt to conceal it. I wiggle them free with little effort, check the other side for any pesky animals, and slip in. The backyard is empty, nothing but freshly mown green grass to both corners of the enclosed yard. Inwardly I sigh with huge relief. Nothing in the backyard means there’s almost no chance of the house having dogs or kids. I sprint up to the house and press myself into the siding, peering over the corner inside. Sunlight beams over the hedges and fencing, shining streaks of yellow into the wide floor-to-ceiling windows backing most of the house. There’s no lights on, and nothing casually abandoned or out of place. Maybe the place is abandoned. Pressing my luck, I try the handle to the sliding glass doors. It’s unlocked. I hold my breath and pop the door open a pinch. When no alarms sound, I can barely contain my jittery hands from smacking the windows with glee like some over-sugared toddler who found out the square shape goes in the square-shaped hole. I step inside and quickly shut the door behind me, careful not to make too much noise. Even with the sunlight streaking through the glass, I can’t see too much, but I figure it’s best not to turn on the lights just in case. The kitchen reminds me eerily of home. Modern, glass and black metal fixtures create a desensitized atmosphere, devoid of emotion and memory. No fruit in a bowl on the counter, no washcloths hanging on the bar to the oven, no magnets on the fridge. Whoever does live here, doesn’t seem to be really living. Two slim envelopes sit on the far counter near the entrance to what looks like a dining room. I inch closer and squint, trying to make out the name on the label. The sound of a door upstairs stops me cold. I spin about the room, frantic. A place to hide, a place to hide... the kitchen sink cabinet. The cabinet was small, barely built to hold the pipes for the sink. Tiny bottles of cleaner, rags, scrubbing brushes, and several wrenches were piled in a corner, eating up any extra space I could fit into. This was most likely the only moment I would ever be thankful for my recent years of near-death starvation movements at my aunt’s hand. I was told once that when you adrenaline hits, everything slows to a crawl. At the time, Dad had used the words heightened senses, joking that for a blink in our lives, we became superhuman. For my sake, I hope he was right. If the owner of the house found me, it would be either fight or flight. And I was counting on the former. My fingers silently grasp for one of the wrenches, and I tense, going quiet and still. Footsteps sound on the linoleum tiles. A chair is pulled from the dining room table, and a sound of something heavy dropped on the table. I dare not breathe. My heart races faster than helicopter blades slicing through the cloudy skies on an emergency rescue. Pressure builds in my ears and chest, my throat squeezing until I can barely gather a thread of air. Seconds tick by, painfully slow. The nervous tick in my chest shifts to my feet, the fight flickering within. It crosses my mind that if I move swiftly, I could catch the owner off guard, burst from the cabinet doors and run for the fence. Outside the cabinet doors, there’s nothing but silence. No feet, no mutters, not even a grunt. All I can be sure of is my heart, slamming erratically against my chest, pulsing faster with every passing moment. The cabinet door flies open. A hand reaches in, grasping onto my upper arm. I try to swing the wrench but there’s no room in the cupboard. In one move I’m yanked out and tossed onto the tiled floor, and greeted by a blackened barrel of a gun holding true to my face. I know better than to scream for help. Instead I scramble with haste, rolling over and finding myself on my feet. My eyes focus, and I meet with the owner of the gun hovering in front of my nose. Sharp, dark green eyes stare holes into me, but his expression is glacial, reserved. Instantly I’m reminded of Matthew, and how I’d handle his past dealers who would try and stiff him. Like a lion lying in wait, poised and in control, I’d wait until they left a sliver of their guard down and attack the first weak spot available. But this isn’t a drug deal gone wrong, and Matthew is not here. This is real life, and I’m staring down a loaded weapon poised to blow my face all over the wall. If I give this man a fraction of a weak spot, he will use it and exploit it. I refuse to give this man a weak spot. He jerks his head to the cabinet doors, the short brown hair on his head bristling with motion. “You have exactly ten seconds to give me one good reason not to empty my gun into your thieving frame.” Surprise crosses my face, but I mask it as quickly as it slips. Could he possibly not know who I am? That I’m Marked and as good as dead? I say nothing. His eyes narrow, as if he can see right through me and learn all my dirty secrets. I try not to visibly flinch. He motions his free hand to the chair that’s been pulled from the table in the adjacent room. Our eyes stay locked and unblinking, neither moving. “Why don’t you hand me the wrench, and take a seat?” My lips stay sealed. I run over the options in my head, each more bizarre and unlikely than the last. Each one ends with me getting a bullet lodged into some part of my body, and I really don’t like the idea of becoming swiss cheese. He sighs disappointingly. “Unless you prefer that I call the police?” His free hand now reaches into his pocket, cellphone ready to dial on his touchscreen. If I wasn’t shaking before, I am now. My body shudders so hard I drop the wrench, the sound the smack against the floor so loud I yelp. The willful voice in my mind resurfaces, screaming. Run! Attack him, take the gun from him and go! But the brazen drive fades as quickly as it comes, and I haven’t made a move. Confusion swings in my head. Part of me still clings to the past I ripped myself from. The truth that I am no longer Emily Beucant, socialite of Camardine, daughter of the man who established the Unwanted program, continues to sink it, startling me with each passing tick of the clock. I am now Emily, fugitive of the law, outcast of all areas of society, Marked an Unwanted and fighting a system my own blood created. Unwanted. Unloved. Undesired. “No one,” I say, ignoring the crack in my voice. “Is going to take me alive, Unwanted or not. You may as well shoot me.” The man lowered the gun by a fraction, tilting it to the side. His eyes darkened as if he would explode with rage, but he spoke as if confused. “I’m not going to... hold on,” he zeroed in on my face, taking in my blonde tresses. “You can’t be that girl...” I did my best to stand rigid and tall, envisioning a plank of wood for motivation. It offered little help for my intimidating factor. Okay, so he knew. His eyes couldn’t hide the connection behind them, same way Matthew couldn’t hide his traitor behavior. Where did that leave me? I was going to find out. “Do it,” I make the words harsh, hot like scalding water. “Shoot me. You have every right.” The frown on his lips deepens, and he lowers the gun by another inch. Then, just like that, he flips the gun’s safety on and tucks it into the side of his black pants. A new wave of emotion, raw and frightened, rolls over me. Is he going to turn me in? “Are you hungry?” His words catch me off guard. Until he asked, I hadn’t so much as given a passing thought to food. My stomach gnawed and groaned. “What, no-?” He stares at me suspiciously. “You look like you weigh twenty pounds soaking wet. Might want to refuel if you plan on trying to break into any more houses.” I couldn’t help it. “Are you seriously asking the person who just broke into your home if they want breakfast?” “Are you going to take breakfast from the only person who’s offered it to you?” He counters, scowling. “I’m not-” “Breakfast or the police. Your choice.” What the actual hell was going on? I crossed my arms and made a face. “Fine.” He motions to the dining room one more time, the grand gesture like salt rubbing in the wounds. Looking over my shoulder, I carefully walk past him, crossing into the next room and sitting on the pulled out chair. A basket is placed on the table, muffin tops poking out from the thin cloth covering the top. I peel back the cloth and sneak a peek between keeping my eyes on the man. “Blueberry.” “Do you not eat blueberry muffins?” His mouth turns up at the corners, fighting a snicker. “Actually,” I begin, pushing the basket away. “I’m allergic.” He pushes off the doorframe, moving for the fridge. “I have orange-cranberry, too.” “I’m not hungry.” He sighs with irritability, and runs his hands over the top of his head. “You’re either incredibly stupid or stubborn.” That gets a rise out of me. “Talk to my aunt, and she’d tell you I’m both.” “My guess is stubborn with a side of stupid, if what I saw earlier was any indication,” he jabs at me, eyes turning to their glacial stare. “You’ve got some nerve, some seriously huge cojones, thinking you could break into a place like this. Let me guess, you thought you were so lucky. No one spots you at the fence, the door’s are unlocked and place immaculate.” “You have no ide-” “I spotted you clear as day from the second floor, little girl. You hadn’t even finished moving those planks I shoved over the gaping hole. If I spotted you that fast, imagine how quickly the cameras on the other side got a look at your face.” I went weak in the knees. “But I didn’t see-” “Damn right you didn’t see, you were too busy enjoying the win of your little conquest. Tell me, what was your plan after you got inside, huh? Take the car, look for jewels to pawn, murder a family if they spotted you and reported to the Unwanted call line-” “It wasn’t supposed to happen!” I’m on my feet, but don’t remember standing. Flashes of my hands, white-knuckled as they grip the edge of the table, dance at the bottom of my line of sight. His green gaze is unforgiving. “Is that what you were planning to say if you were caught? ‘I’m sorry, sir, it wasn’t supposed to happen’?” “Is breakfast a codeword for lecture? Because I really, really don’t want any breakfast. Now or never.” I make to leave, but he stands in the way. My fists clench tight, and I relax my arms in case I need to power-fist my way through him. “Move.” “Answer me one question,” he says coolly. I can’t believe the nerve of this taunting jerk. In less than ten minutes, I’ve gone from fugitive to captive, all because my stupid instincts said to go to a place familiar to home. I can’t look him in the face, so I turn my head down to the ground. “Ask.” His words are like a thin thread of breath on my neck, a cold breeze that makes me shudder from the chill. “What was your plan?” To save Matthew. To kill Christine. To run long enough for someone to reverse my Unwanted status. “I have to fix it,” the words barely leave my lips, the truth a burning declaration I hadn’t known existed even in the deepest pockets of my mind. “I have to stop it before someone else ends up in my shoes. Marked while innocent, captured while terrified, slain without cause.” I tilt my head up slowly, coming within inches of his face. Waves of green swallow me, and for a second I swear I’m caught in the tide in his eyes, ready to be pitched into the waters, lost to the sea. “I have to end the Unwanted program.”
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About Alivia Anders
ALIVIA ANDERS is the author of the Amazon bestselling Illumine Series. Born and raised in PA, she fell headfirst into the world of writing at thirteen with the discovery of internet fan-fiction and RPG-forum boards. A lover of chinchillas, mexican food, and coffee, she spends most of her time drumming up new ideas to spin into tales to enchant readers everywhere. You can find out more about Alivia, and her upcoming projects, by visiting her Facebook or Blogger. Books Available by Alivia Anders: The Illumine Series: Illumine (Book #1) Obumbrate (Book #2) Riven (Book #3) Ethereal (Book #3.5, releases March 2013) Other Series By Alivia Anders: The Black Symphony Saga Novellas: An Ice Princess Heart (Novella #1, releases 2013) An Ice Princess Kiss (Novella #2, releases 2013) An Ice Princess Symphony (Novella #3, releases 2013) An Ice Princess Dream (Novella #4, releases 2013) The Black Symphony Saga: A Shard of Ice (Book #1, releases April 2014) A Brush of Fire (Book #2, releases January 2015) A Breath of Life (Book #3, releases December 2015)
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