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OMG, I can’t believe it’s finally here. The Summer Marked is officially out today!!!! This is the 2nd book in The Winter People Series…

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Fresh off a break-up with her boyfriend, Kadie’s glad to be home from college for Thanksgiving. All she needs is a  rebound guy, a box of chocolates, and some girl time with her best friend, Salome. Problem is, Salome isn’t returning her calls, and her family won’t say where she is. Feeling sorry for herself, Kadie ends up at Club Blade, a place filled with pumping music, dangerous  guys, and promises of a good time. However, when midnight strikes, Kadie’s fun turns into a nightmare as she’s ripped from the human world into Faerie by a vengeful Winter Prince named Etienne. For the first time in her life, she realizes the monsters Salome always spoke of are real, and they’ll stop at nothing to destroy her friend.

Salome thought the winter curse was behind her. But winter has left its mark. Not just on her, but on the whole summer court. The Kingdom of Summer is falling apart, and Nevin is hanging onto his throne by a thread. With war on his doorstep,  he has no choice but to send Gareth into enemy territory, which means Salome will be left alone—vulnerable in a world she doesn’t understand. A place where beauty is deadly and humans are pawns in the macabre games the Fae play. Both Kadie and Salome will have to call on all their strength to survive in  a  world where humans aren’t meant to be. With death and enemies all around them, it’ll be a miracle if they can survive.

Buy link:  http://www.entangledpublishing.com/the-summer-marked/

Also you can enter to win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card: http://www.aroundtheworldinbooks.ca/2015/09/release-day-blitz-summer-marked.html?utm_content=bufferd2ab7&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Gingerkrick from wikimedia commons

 

We ducked behind the twisted metal of what was left of an old station wagon. Ace grabbed my hand, jerking me toward the alley.

 “Come on Rina, you need to move, now.” He shoved me into the shadows right as flares erupted overhead, lighting the whole street.

 “There’s nowhere to hide. They’ll find us.” I swallowed hard. Today was Blood’s Day. A day we were forced to celebrate and give to those who’d allowed us to live.

 It’d been seven years since the world had been punished—nearly obliterated. Or so the Grand Mayor said. But I didn’t remember anything, other than the moment Ace found me six years ago. Everything before that was lost. I had no family. No home. Nothing. Hell, I didn’t even remember my own name. So Ace gave me one. Rina.

 Screams echoed off the crumbled buildings as people ran, trying to hide from the soldiers. No one ever came to this side of town, until they needed something. Or rather, someone. We all knew what they came for and none of us wanted to give it willingly.

 “Damn it, Rina, move your ass.” Ace ducked inside the remnants of the cinema. His grip on my arm tightened as we dove behind the rows of dilapidated cinema seats.

 Dust kicked up like we’d been sucked inside a vacuum, and the loud whir of helicopter blades sounded from above.

 Bright light exploded. I covered my face to shield my eyes. But it was too late. A man repelled down a rope, snagging hold of me.

 “Ace,” I screamed. The last thing I saw were his startled blue eyes as I was ripped into the air. “Let me go.” My foot connected with my captor’s shin, but he held tight like a coiled snake constricting its victim.

 “Stop thrashing or I’ll drop you right here.” The soldier warned.

 The chopper carried us a short distance, where a wooden platform stood erected near several white tents. Fear ensnared me like a giant bear trap. This was it. We landed several feet from the stage and two armed guards immediately met me.

 They ushered me under one of the canopies.

 “Let’s get you cleaned up, shall we?” a woman with white cotton ball like hair said. “Such an honor to be chosen.”

 My jaw clenched. “Chosen? I wasn’t chosen, I was stolen. I don’t want to do this.”

“Come now. We can do this the easy way or the hard way.”

 Then maybe you should go in my place you rich piece of crap. The words rolled around my thoughts like marbles.

 The guards raised their guns. I closed my eyes, sucked in a deep breath, and followed the woman. She showed me to a steaming wooden tub.

 “Get those grimy clothes off and I’ll have Greta come give you a good washing. We don’t have much time, it’s nearly midnight.”

 My fingers trembled as I unbuttoned the baggy shirt and tight pants, they fell to the floor in a heap. Hands shoved me from behind, until I stumbled into the scalding water. It burned my skin and I yelped.

 “Sit down,” another woman, Greta, I think, said. “Can’t having you look like vermin in front of the Gods.”

 I wanted to tell her to go to hell and to take her fake Gods with her. Every year the Grand Mayor ordered young women to be taken from the city and brought here. He made a celebration of death, while everyone cheered and partied and carried on as if this was a joke. And every year, the Gods ignored the gifts—we still suffered and the Grand Mayor still controlled everything. Well, everything but the Labyrinth.

 Strong hands forced me down, dunking me under the fiery hot liquid. I couldn’t breathe. She’s drowning me. My lungs burned. Bubbles rippled in my vision.

 At last she jerked me upward, scrubbing at my head, face, and back with a thick brush. Tears ran down my cheeks as the bristles dug into my skin. Any moment now, I expected to see my flesh come away or spatterings of blood in the tub.

 “Hurry Greta, they’re almost ready,” the other woman called.

 Arms the size of tree branches hefted me from the bath and rubbed me dry. “Here, put this on.”

 I was handed a long white robe. My stomach churned. I reached forward to steady myself on a nearby chair. The Blood’s Day girls always wore white. So the whole village could see us bleed.

 Trumpets sang in the distance and cheers from the plaza nearly deafened me.

 “Ah, so here is our little flower.” The Grand Mayor parted the flaps of the tent; his beady eyes rested on my legs, which were visible beneath the sheer fabric of the robe. “You should hold your head high this day.”

 He reached a meaty paw out to caress my face.

 “Burn. In. Hell.” I spat.

 His eyes narrowed. “Take her to the Labyrinth’s center.”

 Guards dragged me forward, the stones scraping my legs as I fought to free myself. When the spectators saw me, they cheered louder—whooping and hollering. My gaze drifted over the gathered crowd. Mothers held tight to their daughters, relief flooding their features, for their children were safe for another year.

 “Rina!”

 My head snapped up. Ace pushed his way through the throng of people. Shaggy dark hair fell across his forehead nearly hiding the piercing blue eyes I’d grown so accustomed to. Even with dirt smudged across his face, he was perfect. Strong. Beautiful. And I’d never get the chance to tell him.

 “Ace.” My fingers brushed his before the guards pinned him to the ground, keeping him from me. My throat thickened with emotion. Sorrow washed over me. I love you. And I’d die to keep you safe.

 Two other girls were rushed through the center of the chaos both adorned in white, like me. One cried, clutching tight to a gold chain at her neck. The other marched forward on her own, no resistance at all as if she was proud to give herself over to this madness.

 We were ushered to the middle of the Labyrinth like stones. The Grand Mayor tapped on a microphone, taking his place at the raised podium.

 “Good people of New Virginia Beach. Today is a special day for us. A day we celebrate and offer blood unto the gods. We ask only for their continued blessings. And for the opening of the powerful Labyrinth, which will grant us what it is we seek.”

 Three of the guards stepped toward us each armed with a ceremonial dagger.

 “Which of our Blood Girls offers first blood?” The Grand Mayor’s toothy grin reminded me of a hungry monster.

 “Me,” the proud girl said.

 “Very well.” He gestured for the soldier to proceed.

 I turned my head, but as the crowd quieted I heard the first slice of flesh then felt the spray of blood on my own skin. My stomach rolled, but the onlookers hollered their approval.

 “Thank you for your sacrifice Milicent Wendell,” the Grand Mayor said. “But she is not the one. Next girl please.”

 The girl with the necklace shrieked even before the knife made contact. I have to get out of here. I can’t die, not like this. Help me. Please.

 More agonizing yelps sounded, drowning out all other noises. My heart pounded and I kicked out my legs, knocking one of the guards to the ground. It was fight or die. My mouth clamped down on my captor’s arm. He released me and I leapt over the bodies of the fallen girls, blood already pooling around the Labyrinth like tiny rivers.

 Crimson fluid splashed against my legs as I tried to run.

 “Rina, now is the time to remember,” Ace shouted. He shoved aside the armed soldier who’d held him at bay only moments ago. With a sickening crack, he broke the guys neck.

 Remember what?

 “Remember us.” Voices sprung up from the stones beneath my feet. “Come home my daughter.”

 The ground rumbled causing people to fall to their knees. The moon turned red, casting scarlet shadows on the surrounding buildings and faces At last, Ace reached my side, clutching me tight. The Labyrinth sprung up around us. Air whooshed and thunder boomed. Painful howls and shrieks spiraled from outside our protective wall.

 “What’s happening?” I clung to Ace, burying my face against him.

 “You’re going home, Goddess. You’re job here is done.” Ace’s dirty rags fell away to reveal bronze armor beneath. He clutched a sword in his hand. “The people have been punished. And after the Grand Mayor’s death today, no one shall be sacrificed again.”

 “Goddess?” I whispered. Then I remembered all.

 The light. My arrival to Earth. The battles. The deaths. And now, it was over. I could go home. Ace held tight to my hand and we stepped into the light.

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Vanessa Barger

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Since my publisher has the book blurb up under the “coming soon” portion, I’ve decided it’s safe to share (LOL).

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Maggie Winters can’t think of anything more exciting than junior year. There’s her first prom to look forward to, she can drive, and most important Connor Prince has finally noticed her. But unfortunately so has the school snob, Katrina Melville, who goes out of her way to make Maggie’s life a living hell. If that’s not enough, Maggie’s grandma has decided to retire, which doesn’t seem like such a big deal. That is until she finds out her grandma is a Fairy Godmother, and not just any Fairy Godmother. The Fairy Godmother, as in Cinderella, pumpkins, and mice. And she has informed Maggie that she’s next in line to become the new Fairy Godmother.

At first Maggie is excited, the whole getting wings, flying (or rather trying not to crash), and a wand that lets her grant wishes. It’s like being a superhero, without all the action, explosions, and spandex. Then she gets her first assignment, Katrina Melville, her nemesis. And if that doesn’t make her want to poof herself into oblivion, she finds out that part of Katrina’s happily-ever-after is Connor Prince. Life is so unfair. Even worse, she can’t tell her two best friends about any of it and they’re getting sick of her disappearing acts. Then there are the dangerous creatures, called Grimms who will stop at nothing to keep the happy endings from being fulfilled, even if it means destroying the Fairy Godmother responsible. With time running out, Maggie has to make this wish come true or it will ruin the fates of everyone involved, and open the world to darkness beyond imagination. Maggie will soon find out what it truly means to be a Fairy Godmother—and it isn’t all about princes, gowns, and wings, but something much more.

Only a few more weeks until it’s release! So excited to share it with everyone! Seriously, this book has been a couple years in the making.

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It has been a quite the week (geesh). Between snow storms and craziness at the day job (ahh), I’m so ready for the weekend. There’s another round of snow coming in this afternoon/tonight so it’ll be another lovely commute home.

Tomorrow (weather pending) we’ll have my daughter’s basketball game. So hoping it’s a good one. Last week was a little rough as 2 girls got injured, 1 girl was sick and didn’t show, and another dropped off the team. So yeah, they were a little short. Erin had all but one of the baskets for the team (woohoo). She was amazing on defense (lots of steals), but yeah, they lost by 6 points.

And ZOMG, Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle were flipping AWESOME last night. Seriously LOVING these shows. Thursday is like my favorite TV night (well, I also like Wednesday (Ghost Hunters) and Sunday (Once Upon a Time) too-hehe). Hmmm…on the VD front methinks Stefan might be starting to show signs of caring for Elena again (much to my dismay—LOL). I so LOVE Damon and want him and Elena to be together. And I’m trying to figure out what’s going on with Alaric and the Dr. There’s something up with her. So don’t trust her. Definitely some interesting turn of events (Bonnie’s mom). HOLY CRAP, I didn’t see the Elijah thing coming, great plot twist.  So much going on. Can’t wait until next week.

Oh, and on the Secret Circle, I love me some Jake. He and Cassie have a GREAT connection. I’m anxious to see how it’s played out. And I can’t wait to see more on Cassie’s dad. And of course, I know there will be some major craziness coming especially if Faye gets hooked on this drug. I really liked seeing a little bit of the past and seeing that softer side to Jake last night. Still like Adam, but want to see Cassie and Jake have a moment or two. I’m wondering how long Diana will stick with “just being friends” with Adam. I have a feeling they’ll hook back up for a little bit. Still hoping they have Adam go look for the Master Tools. But we’ll see.

My TBR pile is still humongous. I’m almost finished reading Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris. I’m really liking it so far. After that, I’ll read Passion by Lauren Kate (which I bought last October for my birthday). Yeah, as you can tell my TBR pile hasn’t been touched much lately (LOL). And with Valentine’s Day coming up, I hope my hubby gets me a gift card for books (or a bouquet of books would be kind of flipping awesome).

Have some crazy stuff going on regarding the writing front. Still waiting to hear back on some stuff (eek). I’m leaning toward writing two books at once. I want to get book 2 for My Dad’s a Paranormal Investigator written. I’ve got some research I need to do on it, but I’m hoping to get that underway soon. I also want to work on another book that I have some great ideas for (YA Fantasy). But that’s going to be more of rewrite/overhaul than anything.

Also, have to give props to my girls over at YAFF (Traci, Min, Pen, Vanessa, Jenn, Barb, Rachel, and Kelbian) and also my Non-YAFF writing friends (Angie and Lee) this week for your lovely emails/PM’s etc. You’ve totally been dolls.

I hope everyone has a FABULOUS weekend. Try and stay warm!!!!

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Okay, so I’ve spent the last 4 months working my tail off on my YA Fantasy/Horror.  Phew. This weekend, I finally typed the end (yay). Although, I found a few logic flaws I had to sit down and try and rethink, luckily my hubby let me bounce some things off of him.

Now, I’ll be going back through to edit, apply crits from my critique partners, and rewrite some sections where the plot needs to change based on some things I had come up in later chapters.  I’ll also be concentrating on adding some more details with the setting, and making sure to up the creep factor (woohoo). LOL.

I’m hoping to have everything cleaned up and off for betas in the next month or so.  Then, after that, it’ll be put in the hands of Agent Lady.  Since this story is darker, I’m hoping it does well on submission (ahhh).

This story was somewhat out of my comfort zone. The fantasy elements, I had no problem with, but the horror elements took more thought and even though I’m finished, I know I’ll need to add a few more of them in when I do edits.

But, I loved the challenge of writing something outside my norm, it really tested me. Luckily, my FAB crit partners kept me on track and honest.  I know a few of them received emails from me asking questions about several scenes or trying to make sure that everything I had planned was going to work out. 

But yeah, it’s nice to write “The End!”

Now, I’ll be working on edits, while waiting to hear back from my editor on TFGF.  So much stuff (LOL). Already trying to wrap my mind around my next project (another dark story–well, at least if I get the research done).

 

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Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read. Enjoy!

A strong hand shook me awake, and I glanced up to see my sister leaning over me.  “Kendall, listen, you’ve got to get out of here, now.”

Her bright blue eyes pierced mine as she tugged me out of bed.

“Shit.  What’s your problem?”  I glanced at my alarm clock.  “It’s two in the morning, Paige.”

My older sister knelt next to me.  “If you don’t leave, they’re going to kill you.”

Blonde hair cascaded into my face as I let her pull me to my feet.  “Who’s going to kill me?”

“Listen, the Federation stopped here earlier.  I heard them talking to Mom about you.”

My throat went dry.  The Federation.  Crap.  They’d been trying to recruit me since I was thirteen.  But my being underage had kept them from touching me, from using me in their games.

But now, at seventeen, I was legal. 

Paige jerked my duffel bag out from underneath my bed and shoved some of my clothes in it.  Then she turned to her dresser and pulled a wad of bills from her purse.

“What did Mom say?”  I met her gaze as she shoved the money into my hand.

“I told them they could have you, if they promised to leave your sisters alone.”  Mom flicked on our bedroom light.  She refused to meet my eye.  “It was either I send one of you, or lose all of you.”

Two grizzled men pushed past my screaming sister and gripped hold of my arm, dragging me toward the door.

“Stop.  Please!”  They covered my mouth with a gag and tied my hands behind my back.

People taken to the Federation, never came back.  At least not alive.  What had mother done? 

Tears burned my eyes as I watched Paige’s grief stricken face disappear from sight.  Then everything went black.

***

I struggled to open my eyes as my arms brushed against the coolstone walls behind me.  But when my lids fluttered opened, I noticed I was in a tunnel. 

Tiny red lights flickered along the ceiling and I knew the cameras watched my every move, broadcasting it for the sick fucks who bet on people like me making it through the Labyrinth.

High pitched alarms blared in the distance.  The games had begun.  Too bad they didn’t know who the hell they were messing with.  With a smile, I wiped the make-up from my neck.  My tattoo blazed in the darkness.  Flames licked at my fingertips as my magic shot forth.  I rushed forward where a shower of bullets came at me from a lone sniper in the corner.

I rolled to the ground, creating a shield around myself.  The ammunition fell to the floor in front of me. 

“My turn.”  Heat licked at my body as I thrust fiery orbs at the gunman.  He screamed as his flesh burnt on contact.  I wrinkled my nose against the scent of his charcoaled body.

“Shut down the Labyrinth,” a frightened voice came over the intercom.

I laughed.  “Too late.  The Federation is going down.  You really should do better background checks before you recruit people.”

Smoke filled the Labyrinth as I went path by path, taking out the workers who’d aided in killing people for fun.  All so they could place bets and watch our fear on TV.  Tonight, they’d get their fill.

When I came to the end of the maze, I kicked opened the door.  A helicopter loomed overhead, its spotlight focused on me.  “I don’t even think so.”

With a flick of my finger, I sent a fireball right for the gas tank.  I dove to the side as it exploded mid air, in a shower of hot metal and body parts.  I slipped into the shadows and raced towardNickletreePark. 

There, I found Paige waiting for me, a slow smile upon her lips.  “I knew you’d do it.”

I hugged her tight.  “Did you make the bets?”

“Oh yeah.  The monies already in the account.”

“And Mom?”

“Taken care of.  She’ll never betray us again.”  Paige grabbed my hand and jerked me to our getaway car. 

At last, we were free.  Free of our mother who’d sold us for various things over the years.  But most of all free from the Federation.  Never again would I have to hide my powers or be afraid of the dark.  No.  I was the one to be feared.   

Thanks for coming by. Please be sure to drop by my fellow YAFFers blogs and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Traci Kenworth

Vanessa Barger

Joey

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Okay, so life has been out of control busy (ahh). Football started back up for my son 2 weeks ago, next week he has his first game.  And soccer gets under way next week as well, along with school.  So things in the Purdy house will be chaotic. My days will start 5:45 am, when I get up to go to work, and I won’t see my house until 8:30 pm.

My current WIP TLOM (hehehe—yep a hidden codename—so love them), is going really well. I’m close to ½ way through writing it (the YA Fantasy/Horror). I’m hoping to squeeze in a little writing time this weekend since I’ve been limited to my lunch hours at work.  I’m getting to some awesome scenes that I can’t wait to see how they play out.

OMG, and the other day on my way home from work I got these vivid images for another new story.  And then a brilliant title flashed in my mind.  *Gasps for air* and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. To and from work, my mind pours over characters, plots, details. So, I ended up blurbing it. And get this, it’s another darker story (YA Horror). This coming from a girl who normally writes the light, funny, YA stories.  Not sure what’s bringing on the dark, but I’m totally geeked about both stories.  However, new idea won’t be touched until I finish TLOM. 

Let’s see, I’m currently reading Graceling by Kristen Cashore and am TOTALLY LOVING IT.  And I’ve got Bloodlines by Richelle Mead waiting in the wings (just got it this week).  I keep seeing a bunch of awesome YA books I want to pick up, but will have to wait until my birthday in October (come on October, so can’t wait).

Oh and last weekend, I went to a Detroit Lions football game with my brother, dad, and nephew and had a total blast. We played the Patriots and totally spanked them (oh yeah).  I didn’t have my voice for most of the week do to all the cheering/yelling etc.

I hope everyone has a FABULOUS Labor Day weekend. I’ll be spending mine school clothes shopping at the mall.  The kidlets already have a list of what stores they want to visit.  And I’m noticing that they’re the more expensive stores (see this is what I get with my kids getting older).

But it’s fun going with them.

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