Tuesday, September 24, 2013

$50 GIVEAWAY and EXCERPT: Eramane by Frankie Ash

by Frankie Ash
(Eramane Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: Summer, 2013 
by Archway Publishing
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

In the village of Eludwid, seventeen-year-old Eramane Fahnestock goes about her life, cheerfully disregarding a prophecy made to her parents that she would have a great gift. Not yet wed and beset with boredom, Eramane cannot shake the feeling that something exciting awaits her beyond Eludwid. But when she is invited to picnic with a handsome young suitor, Eramane has no idea that her life will soon change forever. 

As Eramane prepares for her date, she is suddenly hypnotized by a strange voice that tells her he will be coming for her that night. Unsettled but determined to press forward, Eramane and her suitor, Lebis, head to the woods to enjoy their picnic. As darkness falls on the forest, however, a beast emerges, transforming their beautiful outing into a terrifying scene. Taken captive and carried away to a mountain hideaway, Eramane finds her memories are soon clouded, even as her family frantically searches for her back home.

In this gripping fantasy tale, evil is summoned to the mountaintop, forcing a young woman to discover her magical gifts and exact revenge against a beast determined to destroy everything she has ever loved.

Crackling flames from the oversized hearth touch my face with their heat and wake me from my void. I feel as though I have been asleep for days, without having dreams or any other reassurance of existence. I am lying on a white fur on the floor of a chamber. The bright fur stuns my vision momentarily; I have had my eyes closed for too long. I move my fingers through the fur; it is soft and smells like wood and smoke. Where am I? I blink my eyes to adjust my vision, and it begins to clear. Then my mind clears. Lebis! I sit up, and fright surges through me. My eyes search the room for my abductor. Where is it? It is dark in the corners of the chamber; does it lurk there? The chamber is a large stone room with no outside openings, and the ceiling is so high that I cannot see where it ends. I rise from the soft fur bedding and put my feet onto the cold floor. It is not until I stand on the chamber floor that I notice my foot has been re-bandaged. I look around the room, desperately trying to see into the darkness. If that thing is in here with me, I would rather discover it now than wait in wonder of my fate. I make my way to the shadowed corners. I see nothing, for now I am alone.

    The rock walls have pieces of crystal that catch the reflection from the fire, causing them to twinkle like the night sky. I feel as if I am atop a mountain, surrounded only by the starlit skies. I walk slowly toward one of the walls, touching one of the sparkling crystals. The warmth of the large fire does not reach the walls, so I go back to it for comfort. I stand in front of the hearth feeling the flame’s heat begin to lightly toast my skin. I stare into the flames, and their color reminds me of what brought me here, those fire-colored eyes! Images of Lebis flash inside of the flames, like a reflection in a mirror replaying that horrible event. Tears fill my eyes and blur the flames. I lie down on the white fur again and weep until I lose myself again to the bliss of sleep.

    My breath is taken by a swift, musky draft. I am aware that I am still in the room with the twinkling walls and golden fire pit, but when I wake this time I can sense the presence of someone else in the chamber. However, my eyes cannot find anyone. I had hoped that death would find me in my slumber; instead it passed me over, left me alive, in the captivity of a monster. I am at the mercy of the beast that murdered Lebis, robbed me of an innocent life, and confiscated my future. Only where is this murderer? I do not believe that I can bear to gaze upon that creature again. The horrid memories spin through my head, and I wonder if I will go mad harboring all of them.    
    Creak, the door to my chamber opens. Hinges squeak and rattle, taking me away from my thoughts. I am suddenly keenly aware of my vulnerability, not having the safety of a closed door. “Come, Eramane,” a raspy, cracking voice says. I stand and listen for the voice to speak again. “Do not be afraid; you are safe here,” it says. My eyes dart around intently, not finding the source of these words.

    “What do you want from me? Why have you brought me here?” I shout. My voice carries around the chamber, echoing off the stone. The door closes, leaving me alone once more, alone with my thoughts.

    I do not know how long I have been held captive—hours, days? It could be either, for I have battled exhaustion the entire time, sleeping most of it. I am certain that my brother is searching for me by now. I imagine him and his Riders invading this stone prison and saving me. I have dreamt that scenario several times. It is a hope that keeps me from walking into the fire that continuously burns, hot and strong. My daydream of rescue is intruded on as the creaking of hinges and jarring of metal accompany the opening of my chamber door. There is no dark, odorous cloud this time. Again a voice, seeming to radiate from the walls themselves, offers a meal to me. Taking the offer as a cue, my stomach rumbles and gnaws at me, as if trying to claw its way out, hoping to find food on its own, in the belief that I have given up on its need of sustenance. I am starving but afraid to leave the chamber. I stare at the open door, wondering what fate awaits me if I walk through it. The door begins to close, but this time my fear of the unknown is second to my need of nourishment. “Wait, please,” I say, choking back my words, afraid to actually say them. The door pauses. I walk toward it, and it waits for me.

    I cannot see anything outside of the door, but I am compelled to continue through the opening anyway. I look to my right, into the darkness, and there is nothing. I look left, and it offers the same. My body is numb with fear, but I cannot seem to control its will to find food. My body moves me forward while my mind pleads for me to turn around and run back to the warm fur next to the hearth; it is desperately trying to fight against going into the dark hallway

    As I proceed down the dark corridor, torches hanging from the walls begin to ignite with my every step. The walkway appears to be endless, yet with each grumble from my belly, I am compelled to proceed. I turn to look behind me; there is nothing there, not even the torches that burned a moment ago. Complete darkness backs me. All I can navigate is the way in front of me. I follow the torches until I come to another door, an oversized, wooden double door, with black iron rings the size of wagon wheels hanging from the center. The doors are so big that it seems like I will need a team of plow horses to open them. I stand in front of the wooden barriers and watch with intense curiosity as they slowly open on their own. Finally, the enormous doors cease to move, and my eyes take in a beautiful sight.
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Frankie Ash is the author of the YA novel Eramane, COMING SOON! She holds a B.A. in English and resides on the east-coast somewhere between “Will it ever be warm again?” and “The summers here are too short!” She is currently writing book #2 of The Eramane Trilogy, to be published in 2014.

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Monday, September 9, 2013

EXCERPT: Heist by Laura Pauling

Heist by Laura Pauling
Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
No release date yet (will be in 2013)

Can one decision change the past?
Jack Brodie has a sixth sense that someone has been watching him. Following him.

One night he travels back in time to one of the world’s largest art thefts, known as the Gardner Heist. Why that one moment in time? And what does it mean for Jack?

When he returns, his world is different. His best friend is rougher, meaner. His dad hasn’t been around in years. And then there’s Jetta. The girl who took over his heart the moment she stepped into his life. No one is safe.

Each time Jack goes back to the heist to fix his mistakes, he returns to face the fallout. Disaster strikes in the present until Jack must make a choice. His family and his own happiness. Or the girl he loves. Except, he learns that his sixth sense was right.

Someone has been watching him and wants him dead.

The cops return. Their fake swagger and cop routine is gone. Now they move and talk quickly, with purpose, with no one to impress or fool. They leave the lobby and take the stairs two at a time. I follow them on silent feet up a wide and smooth marble staircase into a small alcove on the second floor. I hover in the hall and peek around the corner, afraid of what I’ll find.

Light from fake candles cast a ghostly shadow on the mix of large and small paintings hanging on the walls. The room drips with elegance, like two old ladies should be sitting on the velvet love seat, sipping Earl Gray Tea and nibbling on rye crackers. 

The cops survey the room like they’re kids in a toy store. Dad’s partner moves close to a painting and a screeching alarm sounds. The blaring noise echoes through the entire museum. They mutter curses, and I jump back and clap my hands over my ears, the sound drilling into my head. 

Seconds later, it stops. My heart pulses in my throat, and I dare to peek into the room again. Dad has kicked in a motion sensor on the wall. The plastic is shattered and wires hang out. He stands on one of the three chairs, not caring about the street grit on his black shiny shoes, and pulls a large painting of a boat on the ocean from the wall.

Together, they smash the painting from the frame. A knife glitters. Dad pierces the painting and cuts it like he’s slicing an apple for his kid’s snack. Flakes of paint drift to the floor. 

I lean against the wall in the hallway, a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. My legs shake. I cringe at the sound of another painting being smashed from its frame. I want to go home. I want to party with my friends, eat a roast beef sandwich with Mom. I want to laugh with Jetta. I want to hold her hand and trace my thumb across her smooth skin. I want to pull her to me and feel her heartbeat against mine.  

A strong hand grips my arm and jerks me into the room. “Looks like we have a little friend.”

I stare into Dad’s gleaming eyes. Eyes I don’t recognize. There’s no hint of a smile of recognition. Of course not. 

The Gardner Heist happened in 1990. I wasn’t even born yet.

Laura Pauling writes young adult fiction. She lives the cover of suburban mom/author perfectly, from the minivan to the home-baked snickerdoodles, while hiding her secret missions and covert operations. But shh. Don't tell anyone!

Her YA Circle of Spies Series includes A SPY LIKE ME and HEART OF AN ASSASSIN. Book three, TWIST OF FATE will be released in the fall of 2013.

HEIST, a young adult, psychological thriller, will be released the summer of 2013.

Author Links:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

GIVEAWAY and TRAILER REVEAL: Deadly Kisses by Kerri Cuevas

 Deadly Kisses 
by Kerri Cuevas
Publication: March 5th 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Aiden Grant has a killer kiss.  Literally. And it’s not every reaper who gets to work with the Sixteenth President. Sure, Honest Abe likes to throw out history lessons with reaping assignments, but when you’re favored by the ancients, grim reaper life is pretty sweet for a newly dead seventeen-year-old.

Then things get messy.

Aiden is assigned to reap the soul of Bee, the only girl he has ever loved. When Aiden’s kiss of death fails, intertwining their souls, she is still very much alive and they are both in trouble. The ancients want Bee, who has special powers of her own, and they’ll do anything to get her.

Some rules are meant to be broken, even if that means Aiden must bargain with his own soul to save Bee. Who knew the afterlife could get so complicated?

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Kerri Cuevas was born and raised in Rhode Island. She moved to New Hampshire in 2005. When she's not writing, she's chasing chickens on her small farm or searching for the ultimate mac-a-cheese recipe.

Kerri went to college for Early Childhood Education but now writes books for young adults full-time. Her storytelling stems from watching too many horror flicks as a teen, but she no longer needs to sleep with the lights on.

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