Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Brush Strokes by Janelle Stalder - Cover Reveal

Brush Strokes
by Janelle Stalder
Release Date: May 27th, 2014

Book Description:

Art student, Olivia Banks, was living her dream at an exclusive school when everything came crashing down around her. Now back in the small town she grew up in, she's forced to spend her senior year at her old school where she's known as the 'freak', all because she'd rather focus on her painting than the trivial drama of high school. But things aren't the same as they were when she left. And the one thing that is turning her life upside down the most just happens to be the resident bad boy, Colt Morgan. Her senior year was supposed to fly by so she could pack up and leave again, but what happens when there's suddenly a reason to want to stay?

GR Link Here

 About the Author:
 Janelle Stalder was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario. At an early age she developed a love for literature. Her debut novel, Eden, was the first book in a series of four, released in September of 2011. The second book, Eden-West, was released in July of 2012, and the third book, Eden-South was released in March of 2013. The fourth book of the Eden Series, Eden-East, will be release at the end of 2013. She is a strong supporter of other independent authors, and loves to interact with her readers. When she's not writing, Janelle is at home with her husband, two children, Aiden and Elora, and her two furry children, Alice and Lily. She now resides in a small town in Ontario in her old, possibly haunted, century home.

 Authors Contact Information:





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Monday, 28 April 2014

Question & Answers with K.L. Rose

Questions & Answers with K.L. Rose


1. What made you want to start writing?

When I was in third grade I had an assignment where I had to create a children’s book to share with the first graders in our school. I spent all my time perfecting this story and my teacher actually chose it to be “published” in our school library. That really made me see my love for writing. From that day on, writing became a part of my everyday life, a true release for me.

2. What are you currently working on?

Besides the marketing of Found in You, right now I am writing the second book in the Lost and Found Series called Saved by You. It picks up where Found in You leaves off but is told from the male character Cole’s point of view.

3. Who are some of your inspirations?

In my personal life, my husband and two daughters are true inspirations. Every word I write will be always be for them.

In the writing world, author A.L. Jackson has inspired me. The emotion in her stories is something I strive to achieve in my own writing.

4. How did you get the idea for your latest book?

I don’t think there was that one moment when the light bulb went on and I had the story for Found in You figured out. I really just wanted to introduce a different twist to the contemporary romance genre and explore some life situations that have some type of meaning to me and my loved ones.

5. If your latest book was a movie, which actors would you see playing your main characters?

I always pictured Mila Kunis when I was writing Camryn’s character in the book and Trevor Donovan for Cole. He’s very hot and has surfer written all over him!

6. What is the process of writing a book like?

For me it’s really a release. I am a part time preschool teacher and the rest of my day I am with my four and five year old daughters. So, when I get the opportunity to sit down at night in front of my laptop, I feel like I’ve entered a different world, my own happy place!

7. Is your latest book going to be part of a series? Or are you looking at something completely new for your next book?

I always intended that Found in You would be two books – one from Camryn’s point of view and the second would tell Cole’s story. So I am currently writing Saved by You in Cole’s point of view and it will continue from where Found in You left off. However, it also flashes back to the past so we get a glimpse of the darkness that Cole seems to be running from in the first story.

However, as I was writing Found in You I felt that many of the secondary characters had such strong voices and that they deserved to be heard as well. So I decided to also write a third and fourth book in this series. The third will be about Heidi and Dusty who are introduced in the first one and then the fourth will be Lila’s and Carter’s story. So Cole, Camryn and Gavin aren’t done after the second book. We will be able to see glimpses of them in the final two books as well!!

8. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kinds of music? Or do you need quiet?


Music definitely inspires my writing. I have even created playlists for both Found in You and Saved by You. I really listen to all types of music, but I have always been drawn to alternative. I love discovering small, unknown bands and watch them rise to the top as people start to hear their music. Imagine Dragons, Zac Brown, and Dave Matthews are all favorites of mine.

9. What is your favorite genre to read/write?

I mostly read contemporary romance, however sometimes I dive into the dystopian world as well. Reading is what gave me the courage to write my own romance novel and I don’t think I ever plan on leaving this genre. My mind seems to always go the happily-ever-after.

10. Can we follow you on social media? Do you have a Facebook page and/or Twitter and website?

Please do follow me on social media!  I love talking to other readers about new books! Here is how you can find me:

            Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter  / Author blog site


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Friday, 25 April 2014

Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton - Book Blitz & Giveaway!


Bleeding Hearts
(Demimonde #1)

Book Description

Sophie Galen is an advice columnist who is saving the world – one damned person at a time. Shy and sensitive Sophie has all but given up on love until she meets Marek, a mysterious stranger who seduces her with his striking good looks and his take-charge attitude. Yet the darkness she senses within him may be more than she is prepared to handle when Marek draws her into a world of vampires, werewolves, and treachery. Forced to leave behind the comfortable routines and certainties of her past, Sophie makes unbearable sacrifices and uncovers hidden truths about herself and the world around her.

Bleeding Hearts is on sale at $1.99 on Amazon and Barnes&Noble until April 30th!!
Add Bleeding Hearts to your Goodreads list!
Don’t forget to check out “Blood Rush” (Demimonde #2) and get ready for “Wolf’s Bane" (Demimonde #3), coming out this June!

About the Author
Ash Krafton is a writer of all things spec fic. She believes spectacular endings make the best beginnings… Why not? One billion black holes can’t be wrong. Her first novel BLEEDING HEARTS: Book One of the Demimonde is available through Pink Narcissus Press. The manuscript earned finalist distinction in several Romance Writers of America 2011 competitions and has earned several other awards. The follow-up BLOOD RUSH (Demimonde #2) was published in 2013 and the third installment WOLF’S BANE (Demimonde #3) is expected mid-2014. Her urban fantasy novelette STRANGER AT THE HELL GATE is available through the Black Rose line of The Wild Rose Press. In addition to novel-length fiction, Ash enjoys writing poetry and short fiction, some of which earned awards and distinction in several national competitions. One of her poems was selected as a Pushcart prize nominee. She’s a member of Pennwriters, RWA, Pikes Peak Writers, SFPA, and the Maryland Writers Association. She also contributes to Query Tracker’s blog at http://querytracker.blogspot.com. Ash resides with her family in a rural town in the heart of the Pennsylvania anthracite coal region. She’ll never leave, either, because coal is just another example of a spectacular ending waiting for a brilliant beginning. (It’s kinda fitting.) And because, like a black hole, once you’re in…you can never get out.

Website – Blog – Twitter – Facebook – Goodreads

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Cover Reveal - Tested by Janelle Stalder

  
Tested by Janelle Stalder
 Release Date: Tentative Date of June 24, 2014

Book Description

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.

Faced with the scariest decision of her life, Missy is going behind enemy lines to save the rebel that seems to haunt her every dream. Finding courage is one of the hardest things she’s ever done, especially when she comes face-to-face with a terrifying reality. The green eyes that have fascinated her, no longer gleam with recognition. Now Missy must find a way to not only get them out alive, but to save the mind of the man who is quickly capturing her heart. And she must do it all without getting caught. Put to the test, will Missy be able to rise above her fears and find love, or watch it all blow up in smoke?

*This book is for mature audiences due to sexual situations, violence and strong language

Add to your TBR! on  Goodreads

About the Author

Janelle Stalder was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario. At an early age she developed a love for literature. Her debut novel, Eden, was the first book in a series of four, released in September of 2011. The second book, Eden-West, was released in July of 2012, and the third book, Eden-South was released in March of 2013. The fourth book of the Eden Series, Eden-East, will be release at the end of 2013. She is a strong supporter of other independent authors, and loves to interact with her readers. When she's not writing, Janelle is at home with her husband, two children, Aiden and Elora, and her two furry children, Alice and Lily. She now resides in a small town in Ontario in her old, possibly haunted, century home.

 Authors Contact Information:


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Friday, 18 April 2014

BOYSTOWN (Season One) by Jake Biondi - Promo Blitz

 

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Title: Boystown
Author: Jake Biondi
Genre: M/F & M/M Romance
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The Story

BOYSTOWN is the continuing story of several couples living in Chicago's famed BOYSTOWN neighborhood (recently named the country's "most incomparable gay neighborhood" by readers of OUT Traveler Magazine and users of its website).
 
The Mancini brothers -- as well as their friends and significant others -- are at the core of BOYSTOWN. Emmett Mancini, the youngest of the brothers, is a bright, caring guy whose boyfriend Keith Colgan has a past Emmett knows little about...yet. Derek Mancini, and his wife Joyelle, are BOYSTOWN's straight couple...but a recent encounter with hunky Cole O'Brien could have life-altering consequences for Derek. And Justin Mancini, the oldest brother, arrives in BOYSTOWN in episode 9 and brings with him a family history that both Emmett and Derek were hoping to forget.
 
Before long, BOYSTOWN's newest residents Cole O'Brien and Jesse Morgan find themselves at the core of the drama and intrigue that makes up this adult playground.

The History
 
BOYSTOWN has a very interesting history. Late last Spring, I started to toss around in my head the idea of writing a continuing drama that focused on gay characters. I considered some ideas for characters and storylines. Then I finally began actually writing BOYSTOWN in June of 2013 as an online story and intended to release one "episode" online per month, each ending in a cliffhanger. The story became so popular -- and the online reading audience grew so quickly -- that people from all over the country began to email me demanding to know what happened to their favorite characters and wanting the episodes to be released faster. They also had suggestions for future storylines! I was surprised and excited by the readers' response to BOYSTOWN and began to write and release installments more quickly. By November, I had released 10 episodes and the reading audience had expanded well beyond the borders of America.
 
Because of BOYSTOWN's huge success online and the serialized nature of my writing, readers from all over the globe have been able to correspond with me and influence the storylines of the BOYSTOWN saga as I write it. It's really exciting to interact with fans in this way. I think it's something very unique to BOYSTOWN.
 
Readers also suggested that I publish the first 10 episodes as a book rather than leaving them online. I took their advice -- and “BOYSTOWN Season One” was published in late November. The book is selling very well locally and nationally. In the meantime, I have continued to write additional episodes. Episodes 11 - 20 will be released this Spring as “BOYSTOWN Season Two.” The books are available in local bookstores as well as on amazon.com, bn.com, and through my website www.JakeBiondi.com.
 
Fans of BOYSTOWN are the best; they are very dedicated. One fan from Massachusetts loves the book so much that she organized an "online book tour" with 20 bloggers from all over the country to promote BOYSTOWN -- all on her own. Another reader has created social media accounts to help with promotion. I'm really humbled by and grateful for the kindness and generosity of my readers.
 
As I have been working on Episodes 11 - 20, I have "leaked" them to some fans of the series to get their responses and input. I love this interactive creative process with my fans.
 
The Future
 
I think readers really like that BOYSTOWN is written like a TV series. It moves quickly and keeps people on the edges of their seats! And now the BOYSTOWN team is working to bring BOYSTOWN to television or the internet.
 
When my friend Aaron Savvy, who is a model, personal trainer, and actor living in Los Angeles, read the book, he called me right away and said, "We have to get this made into a TV series." What's interesting is that I created one of the characters with Aaron in mind, but I didn't tell him which character until after he read the book. Luckily, he identified the character right away and has been working ever since to promote the book and bring it to people in the entertainment industry who may be interested in bringing it to television or the internet. Aaron appears on the cover of the book.
 
Then actor Billy Santoro became interested in the project as well. Billy expressed an interest in playing one of the characters and has also been working hard to get the book into the hands of entertainment executives. In the process, we have become good friends, which has been great. He has been so proactive about giving the book to directors and producers he knows.
 
Another actor, Boston Miles, first learned about BOYSTOWN when he saw people talking about it on Twitter and Facebook. So he ordered a copy on his own and read it -- and then got in touch with me. He immediately recognized the huge potential of the project and offered to assist me in any way he could. So he is also promoting the book and interested in appearing in the television version.
 
Most recently, I was excited to welcome actor DeMarco Majors onto the BOYSTOWN team. DeMarco is a phenomenal guy who also realized the potential for BOYSTOWN and has already been in contact with producers, directors, managers, and other actors to make the dream of turning BOSTOWN into a series a reality. He has such a great sense of "vision" and really pushes me to consider things from a variety of points of view.
 
Things are moving very quickly and I am really excited. All of this has happened in less than 8 months…and the future of BOYSTOWN will surely be a bright one.

jakebiondi

Excerpt

Ben and Jacqueline


Later that evening, after her shopping spree, Jacqueline was sitting at the bar in the first floor lounge of her hotel. She was having a martini and talking occasionally to the bartender. Mostly, she was just taking in the scene and relaxing after her hectic day.

“This one is good,” she told the bartender about her martini.

“Like it better than the first one?” he asked. “I thought you might.”

“Yes, but they are strong,” she smiled.

“Well, you get your money’s worth from me,” he joked.  The bartender stepped away for a moment and Jacqueline pulled Max’s business card out of her pocket. She stared at it for a while and finally took out her phone. She dialed Max’s cell number, but hesitated before pressing the “call” button. The bartender walked back over.

“Not sure if you should call the guy, huh?”

Jacqueline smiled. “How did you know?”

“Happens often at the bar this time of night,” the bartender smiled. “My advice?

If you’re not completely sure, don’t do it.”

Jacqueline smiled and then put her phone and Max’s business card into her purse.

  “You’re probably right. Thanks.”

“That’s what bartenders are for.” He smiled and stepped away to greet a man who was sitting down at the bar, several seats away from Jacqueline. It was Ben Donovan, dressed handsomely in a suit and tie. He took his seat and ordered a Cosmopolitan from the bartender. As the bartender prepared the cocktail, Ben made eye contact with Jacqueline. She smiled, then looked away.

“Thanks,” Ben told the bartender, handing him a credit card. “I’ll start a tab.” The bartender took the card and walked back to his cash register. Then he went back over to Jacqueline.

“So you’re in town for a few days?” the bartender asked.

“Yes,” Jacqueline replied. “Long weekend with my son. He’s out with a friend tonight. I figured I’d call it an early night. Especially after these martinis you’ve made me.”

Ben got up and walked over to Jacqueline. “Not too early, I hope.” Jacqueline smiled. “Mind if I sit down?”

“Go right ahead,” Jacqueline said. She was intrigued by the sexy stranger. “I’m Shawn,” Ben lied, as he extended his hand to Jacqueline.

“Hello, Shawn. I’m Jacqueline. It’s nice to meet you.” Jacqueline turned on her stool to face Ben, who sat down and faced her.

“Pleasure’s mine,” Ben said. “Are you visiting from out of town? I overheard you talking to the bartender.”

“Yes,” Jacqueline smiled. “I’m in town for the weekend. With my son.”

“Excellent. Great time of year to visit Chicago.” Jacqueline finished her drink and Ben signaled to the bartender. “Let me get another for my friend here.”

“Oh no, I shouldn’t,” Jacqueline said.

“Aw come on. Have a drink with me. I’m enjoying talking to you,” Ben smiled as he indicated to the bartender to bring Jacqueline another drink.

“Well, okay. But just one more,” Jacqueline said.

“Whatever you say,” Ben smiled. The bartender put Jacqueline’s fresh drink on the bar in front of her. Then Ben and she lifted their glasses and touched them together.

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Author Bio

Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Jake Biondi fell in love with "The Windy City" at an early age. He left the Chicago area for four years to attend the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated with degrees in English and Business. He was awarded the university’s prestigious William Mitchell Award for Playwriting. Upon graduating from Notre Dame, Biondi returned to Chicago where he attended and graduated from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He has been living in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood for over 20 years.
 
While studying literature, Biondi became a huge fan of Charles Dickens whose novels were originally released in installments, each ending in a cliffhanger to keep readers coming back for more. Because of his love of those novels as well as television dramas such as Dynasty, Knots Landing, Dallas, and Revenge, Jake Biondi decided to create a serialized saga for contemporary audiences. Thus, BOYSTOWN was born.
 
Biondi began BOYSTOWN in June of 2013 as an online story and intended to release one "episode" online per month, each ending in a cliffhanger. The story became so popular -- and the online reading audience grew so quickly -- that people from all over the country began to email him demanding to know what happened to their favorite characters and wanting the episodes to be released faster. They also had suggestions for future storylines! Biondi was surprised and excited by the readers' response to BOYSTOWN and began to write and release installments more quickly. By November, Biondi had released 10 episodes and his reading audience had expanded well beyond the borders of America.
 
Because of BOYSTOWN's huge success online and the serialized nature of Biondi's writing, readers from all over the globe have been able to correspond with Biondi and influence the storylines of the BOYSTOWN saga as Biondi writes it.
 
Readers also suggested that Biondi publish the first 10 episodes as a book rather than leaving them online. He took their advice -- and “BOYSTOWN Season One” was published in late November. The book is selling very well locally and nationally. In the meantime, Biondi has continued to write additional episodes. Episodes 11 - 20 will be released this Spring as “BOYSTOWN Season Two.”
 
Because of the popularity of the book, people have suggested that BOYSTOWN be turned into a television series. Biondi has begun to reach out to television networks and producers -- and their response has been very positive. Working with actors and other professionals in the entertainment industry, Biondi hopes to bring BOYSTOWN to television in the near future.

Social Links


season2

Giveaway

One $10 Amazon Gift Card and 2 ebook copies of Boystown
 
 
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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Fix You, Bash and Olivia Book One (The McDaniels Brothers #1) by Christine Bell - Blog Tour & Giveaway!


"Fresh, sexy, and addicting--you won't want to put it down!"—New York Times Bestselling Author Jen McLaughlin 

FIX YOU is part one in the new adult McDaniels Brothers serials from USA TODAY Bestselling Author, Christine Bell. Fans of Monica Murphy, Jen McLaughlin, and H.M. Ward will be seduced by Bash and Olivia's story and will look forward to a new installment in this ongoing family saga every month!

Want to learn more about FIX YOU? Be sure to check out this exclusive interview with Christine Bell!


About FIX YOU, Bash and Olivia Book One (The McDaniels Brothers, #1)

Olivia Beckett’s once-charmed life is falling apart. Her family is about to lose everything, and she has almost no chance of continuing her college education. She can't even seek solace from her high school sweetheart. He's changed. She doesn't recognize the boy she used to know— his violent behavior is escalating and it scares the hell out of her. Her whole world is crumbling, and she has no one to turn to……

Sebastian “Bash” McDaniels is an up and comer in the boxing world working nights at the local college bar until he can land the fight of his dreams that will get him the hell out of Boston and away from his family's tragic past. He’s weeks from his goal when Olivia Beckett comes tumbling into his life in a flash of silky dark hair and haunted eyes. When he saves her from a potentially brutal beating, they begin to grow close, but Olivia's ex isn’t ready to let her go so easily.

Bash can't bring himself to walk away, but fixing Olivia just might leave him broken…
On Sale: March 31, 2014

Add FIX YOU to your TBR pile on Goodreads!
 
My Review:
 
Fix You, Bash and Olivia Book One by Christine Bell
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Fix You, Bash and Olivia Book One (The McDaniels Brothers #1) by Christine Bell

Christine Bell has written a short novella that is around 74 pages that introduces us to The McDaniels Brothers series. This novella is well written, story flows extremely well and was a very enjoyable read. Fix You tells us the story of Bash and Olivia.

Olivia life is falling apart, her boyfriend who she thought was great is now showing his true self and she is not sure what to do about it and how to get away from his anger and the violence before he hurts her to much. But on the other side Olivia still can see the good side to him and ends up confused, hurt and alone with no one to talk to.

Bash McDaniel walks in her life and saves the day and maybe even her life. Bash is not sure if he should get involved as he has his own plans that do not involve saving the amazing beautiful girl. Growing closer, attraction building he knows he can't walk away from Olivia plus he really needs to make sure she is safe. Bash and Olivia become friends. The attraction between Olivia and Bash is right there in front of you and you can almost feel it. So when things heat up between these two it is HOT! and Exciting!

Christine Bell does an amazing job with this story, even though it was a fast read everything about it was great. This is Book One and I for one cannot wait to read Book Two in this series. I have rated Fix You a 4.5 star rating and would recommend it to anyone who loves romance, hot sexy alpha males and a great story.


About Christine Bell
 Christine Bell is the USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romances, and one half of the happiest couple in the world. She doesn't like clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but loves movies, football, and playing Texas Hold 'Em. Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she’d be a wizard. She loves writing fun, sexy romance and deep, emotional new adult novels, but also hopes to one day publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with rusty spoons.
 
Subscribe to Christine’s mailing list for exclusive content, ARCs, giveaways and more!


Follow the tour and win some awesome prizes! 

Prizes:
 
A $50 e-giftcard to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice, open internationally) and an opportunity to have a character named after the winner in serial #3 of The McDaniels Brothers series!
 

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

I Am Forever by Wynne Channing - Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!


I Am Forever
(What Kills Me #2)

Book Description

Axelia fought an army of vampires and survived. Once fated as the destroyer of the vampire race, she is now welcomed into the immortal empire and revered as a god.

But instead of relishing her victory, she faces a dangerous new world and an empire at war. Axelia is thrust into the position of supreme vampire and caught in the crossfire of battle. To make matters worse, her role alienates Lucas, the one vampire that she trusts.

Her power spawns evil enemies. And they know how to get to her — by hurting those whom she loves most.

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Kobo – Smashwords
Add I Am Forever to your Goodreads list!

About What Kills Me (Book #1)

Book Description

So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive.An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race.

How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?

Amazon US – Amazon UK – Barnes & Noble – Kobo – iTunes

Excerpt from I Am Forever
Book Two in the What Kills Me series
By Wynne Channing

Axelia.

It was a whisper. A hiss.

Ax-eee-liaaa.

Louder. Raspy. From the corner of the room.

I sat up and blinked but saw only black. 

Lucas?

It called my name again, this time from the foot of my bed. Oh my God. I froze.

“Who’s there?”

In the darkness something reached out and grabbed my leg, nails piercing my flesh. The agony shocked me. I screamed and struggled like an animal crushed in a steel trap. 

It was neither vampire nor human. It was slimy, oozing blood and some other rancid liquid. I choked on the putrid stink of rotting meat.

I shrieked and kicked it in the face. The jagged edges of its fangs sliced my heel. I rolled sideways, fell from the bed, and hit the floor. My bloody feet slipped as I tried to skid away. But the creature was on me, snarling, dragging me by my feet toward its mouth. Then I saw its eyes. Yellow. Filmy. Their black centers bleeding at the edges.

The creature snapped at my face.

“NO!”

I put my fingers in its mouth and it sank its teeth down to the bone. With a cry I tore its jaw off. It didn’t even scream, just reeled away. I scrambled back against a dresser, and a lamp smashed and fell to the ground. 

Still blind, I felt around until my hand closed around a shard of glass. I stood and the creature crashed into me, a storm of claws and teeth. As we slammed into the wall, it stabbed its talons into the back of my shoulders, the pain hot and intense. I drove the shard in between its ribs. We fell together.

Laughter. I heard a low, hoarse cackle and when I looked toward the sound, I saw eyes. Blood red. And then they were gone.

The monster was shaking me. It was talking. No. It had Lucas’s voice.

Lucas.

Suddenly, there was light. Lucas was crouched over me and I was twisted under him, mid-struggle.

What? What’s going on?

“Zee! Stop!” Lucas shouted. “Stop. You’re all right.”

“Where is it?” I cried. “Where did it go?”

“Calm down. You were dreaming.”

“No, th-there was something in my room. Where is it?”

“You were having a nightmare, my lady,” Uther said. He clutched the belt of his robe, eyes wide. A row of soldiers stood beside him, their gloved hands on the handles of their swords.

“What...?” I blinked to clear the fog in my head.

Lucas rose and helped me to my feet. Then he staggered back. He had blood on his hands.

“Lucas, you’re bleeding!”

“I’m fine.”

I rubbed my eyes. “What happened?”

Wincing, Lucas lifted his shirt and seemed to yank at the skin on his abdomen; he threw a piece of glass to the ground.

The shard of glass. I put that in the monster. The monster is Lucas? No, wait.

“Oh my God,” I whispered. “Did I do that to you?”

“Yes.”

“In my sleep?”

“Yes.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“I swear, there was something in my room and then someone else who was watching. I heard them. I felt them.”

I reached around to rub my shoulder, searching for bloody punctures. No wound. I looked down at my rumpled dress, stained with sweat. I turned my hands over and searched for scratches. “There was something here. It was so real.”

A chunk of the bed frame had splintered off. Chairs and tables were overturned. One of the doors had come off its hinges. Water from the vase, now broken, dribbled from the table to the floor.

“Did I do all this?”

“You had some help,” Lucas said.

Uther nodded. “The swordsmith and the maids tried to wake you from your nightmare.”

Oh no. “Did...did I hurt them?”

“They will be all right,” Uther replied.

Under the light the confusion dissipated and guilt swept in. “I’m sorry,” I said. “Lucas, are you okay?”

“I’ve healed already, so don’t give it another thought.”

I put my hands up as if I was facing a squadron of armed officers. “Sorry, everyone.”

“Please leave us,” Uther ordered. The Aramatta filed out without a second glance.

I plucked a few feathers stuck to my clothing. A cushion had been gutted and its fluffy innards were strewn all over the bed and floor. Lucas placed a hand on my still trembling shoulder. His fingers touched where the creature had pierced me with its nails.

“You were stuck in a very bad dream, my lady,” Uther said.

“I’ve never had a nightmare like that before,” I said. “Usually I dream that I’m horribly late for a final exam and I can’t find the classroom. But there were monsters. One was attacking me and biting me and I couldn’t get away. It was so real.”

The creature’s fetid blood still lingered in my nose. It made me nauseous. I sank down onto the once-beautiful bed.

“You’ve also never been through the kind of trauma that you’ve experienced,” Uther said. 

“I’m not making a good case for myself, am I? Being a house guest from hell.”

“My lady, the Monarchy is only concerned with your safety and well-being.”

“Thanks, Uther.”

“Try to get some rest, my lady.”

“Yeah, I’ve given up the whole sleeping thing. It’s overrated.”

“I will return shortly. If there is anything you need, just call for one of the maids.”

“I don’t know how eager they’ll be to come in here after what’s happened.”

“We are all here to serve,” Uther said with a bow before leaving.

“I’m not,” Lucas said. He sat on the bed beside me. “But apparently I’m here to be your pin cushion.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“I’m teasing you.”

I raked my fingers through my hair. “What happened?”

“You fell asleep while the cleric was trying to convince me to give you space. I refused and ended up resting on the couch in your room. Then you started sleepwalking and screaming.”

“I was standing up?”

“Yes, you threw a maid through the door.”

“Seriously?”

“Yes. And anyone who touched you.”

“Were my eyes open?”

“Yes.”

“Then what did you do?”

“I tried to wake you.”

“Then I stabbed you?”

“Well, you did that after.”

“After what?”

“After a struggle. Let’s just say that I learned very quickly that I could never fight you.”

I slapped my hands to my face. I wanted to fold into myself and disappear. I’m dangerous. This is partly why the Monarchy hunted me in the first place. They feared that I would be out of control and murderous. The Empress would have something to say about this. Maybe this was enough proof that I could not be free.

“Don’t beat yourself up over this.” Lucas pulled my hands away from my face. “You’ve done enough beating up today,” he added with a wink.

“Seriously. I hit something so hard that my hand was sore.”

He slid his thumb into my palm and massaged my hand. “You’re all right?” he asked.

“Mmhmm,” I murmured.

I turned my hands to feel him trace my skin with his fingertips. He grazed the inside of my wrist and the pleasure radiated up my arm and into my core.

“Thanks for waking me up,” I said.

“Thanks for not killing me in your sleep.”

“That’s not even funny.”

“They have cameras in your room. You could probably ask to see the whole thing.”

“No, I’d rather pretend it didn’t happen. Hey...I didn’t...I didn’t pull off anyone’s lower jaw, did I?”

Guest Post

“You talk too much.”

“Maybe you talk too little.”

“You’re going to live forever. Pace yourself.”

- Lucas and Zee, What Kills Me”

Romance is as unique as the person living the love affair.

People fall in love in so many different ways and I wanted to make sure that my characters developed feelings for each other organically.

I’ve never experienced love at first sight. And I don’t really believe in soul mates. Studies show that you’re either a soul mate person (someone who believes in a fated partner) or a make-it-work person (someone who believes that you find someone and you make it work). I’m the latter.

When I first met my husband, I didn’t like him. I thought he was full of himself. And I didn’t like his gait. I know that’s a weird thing to dislike but that’s how I felt. Over the years, he basically wore me down. I learned to admire his confidence. I learned to find his walk endearing. I came to trust him and then I fell in love with him.

When my heroine, Zee, first meets Lucas in What Kills Me, love is the last thing on their minds. She has just “died” and been reborn as a vampire. The undead empire has just tried to murder her and she’s running for her (second) life. Lucas, meanwhile, sees her as a threat to his family and their peace. She sees him as abrasive. He sees her as naive.

But with time, their connection grows. I think that they come to understand each other. His abrasiveness is his protective shell and her innocence is a positive ray of light. The things that they hated about each other become beautiful.

Some readers may not want to hear this but their love is new and in my opinion, untested.
True love, in my opinion, is one that has weathered storms and evolved into something truly powerful.

And I’ve got much more in store for these characters. More tests and more changes to contend with. This, to me, is real love in real life.

About the Author
Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and award-winning young adult novelist. Wynne loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite). She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.”

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