Prisoner of Prophecy by Casey L. Bond {Excerpt}

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The only two things that seventeen-year-old Solara longs for, are the very things that she can’t have. True love isn’t an option when you’re told who to marry. Freedom isn’t possible when you’ve been held captive your entire life. Just when things in her life seem to be falling into place, she learns that she’ll never be free to live or love as she would like. She is a prisoner of prophecy. The dead have been resurrected to guide her. The fallen angels who prowl the Earth want to manipulate her. And the most frightening monsters of all are human. Can Solara love the one boy prophesied to betray her? Will she learn to embrace her destiny, or will she be crushed by the weight of the world on her shoulders?
 
 
 

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The behemoth of a man, extremely tall, broad, and muscular with long flowing amber hair and cobalt-blue eyes walked toward me. I countered his progression by moving backward toward the fire, toward Faric, and toward safety.

His skin was luminous and without flaw. He was dressed in what I could only describe as a white loincloth with a golden plate of armor over his chest and some sort of engraved gold-armored plates on his forearms and shins. His enormous feet were clad in leather sandals with laces crossing one another on their journey up his ankles.

He inched toward me, and I heard a loud whoosh rush past my ears. I grasped them and sunk to my knees, unsure of what had caused the loud sound and wind turbulence at the same time. I looked back up at the mountain of a man and saw a pair of beautiful stark-white wings spanning at least ten feet to his sides. I clasped my mouth at the sight of him.

I could hear Faric approaching hurriedly, and then I heard him cry out as if in pain. The angel glowered in his direction, and his arm extended toward Faric, who was pinned against a tree by some invisible force. He panted and grunted in battle against the pressure of the invisible restraint.

“It is time, Solara,” the man said with a melodious tenor voice. He stepped toward me, lowering his hand.

I looked at Faric, still plastered to the tree despite the angel dropping his hand.

Before I could look back at him, I was hoisted into the air by an invisible force as well. With one strong beat of his wings, the angel lifted himself off the ground and hovered across from me, maybe twenty feet away. I looked down at Faric, and terror flashed through his eyes as they met mine. I started to panic. My breath expelled in short, ragged huffs. I frantically tried to look for whatever was suspending me in the air but could see nothing.

The angel smiled and lifted me higher toward the canopy.

“Let me down. Please, I beg you. Let me down.”

He just looked at me before turning to survey the area behind him. I heard another whoosh before my hair lashed my face.

Hovering beside the angel was another beautiful man with short dark hair, light-gray eyes, and sun-kissed skin. His armor was similar, except had black metal to match his onyx wings.

He smirked and looked arrogantly at the white-winged angel. “Sorry, I’m late.”

 The white angel laughed heartily and said, “Do you not grow tired of hell, brother?”

The dark angel laughed and said, “My hell is currently situated on Earth, and so I am thoroughly enjoying the sins in which I am currently able to partake.”

“Excuse me, I hate to interrupt, but put me down.” I pointed toward Faric. “And let him go.”

Both angels burst into laughter as I was whipped around to face away from them. My hair was blown over my shoulder, exposing my back completely.

The white angel’s voice resounded through the forest. “Chosen one, you will now receive the mark of the Creator.”

Terror flowed through my veins as just as his voice boomed and reverberated through the forest. Crows flew from their perches, blending with the black of the sky, leaving an ever-fading cacophony in their wake.

It can’t be that bad to get this mark thing, right? I mean, the examiner looked over every square inch of my back to try to find it, so it must be small.

I looked back over my shoulder in time to see the white angel draw a long, glistening sword from behind his back. It shone with light, and he approached so fast, I couldn’t even comprehend how he’d moved. Deep, hot pain flashed down the length of my spine.

Before I could even scream, I heard a sickening crack behind me and looked back still trying to recover from the sword’s slice. The dark angel’s whip dripped with flame before I saw a flash. A searing pain blazed across my shoulder blades from left to right. The scream released from my throat didn’t even sound human. My vision blurred, and my muscles fell limp and useless against the blinding pain.

As my head bobbed on my chest, I caught a glimpse of Faric, still pinned against the trunk of the oak below. He was screaming and thrashing against the invisible forces that held him, looking up at me.

Then all went black.

 

 
 

Award-winning author Casey L. Bond resides in Milton, West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction.
 
 
  
   
 
 
 
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Clean by Mia Kerick {Cookie Brittle Recipe + Giveaway}

 

 

 

High school senior Lanny Keating has it all. A three-sport athlete at Lauserville High School looking at a college football scholarship, with a supportive family, stellar grades, boy band good looks… until the fateful day when it all falls apart.
Seventeen-year-old Trevor Ladd has always been a publicly declared zero and the high school badboy. Abandoned by his mother and sexually abused by his legal guardian, Trevor sets his sights on mere survival. 
Lanny seeks out Trevor’s companionship to avoid his shattered home life. Unwilling to share their personal experiences of pain, the boys explore ways to escape, leading them into sexual experimentation, and the abuse of illegal drugs and alcohol. Their mutual suffering creates a lasting bond of friendship and love. 
When the time finally comes to get clean and sober, or flunk out of high school, only one of the boys will graduate, while the other spirals downward into addiction. 
Will Lanny and Trevor find the strength to battle their demons of mind-altering substances as well as emotional vulnerability?
Clean takes the reader on a gritty trip into the real and raw world of teenage substance abuse.

 

 

 

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Guest Post

Hello, and thank you so much for welcoming me to your blog today to promote the release of Clean!

Open up your recipe box! Give us something that would thrill us.

I shared this a long time ago, in one of the first blog posts I ever wrote. This is my secret recipe. Okay, I’m lying. This is the Brown Family’s secret recipe. I stole it.

Ruth Brown moved into the house up the street in junior high. She was not a popular sort of girl, in that she was rather ordinary looking, not the typical popular-girl-beautiful, she was extremely outspoken, not the popular-girl-quiet- and-coy, and she just had this way about her that made people want to run…
But Cookie Brittle changed all of that for her.

Ruth would show up at all sorts of important high school events—play practices, football games, Homecoming Parade Float meetings—carrying a lunch size brown paper bag in each hand. The bags were full of something warm… and judging by the smell emanating from the bag, something buttery and chocolatey.  The bags were filled to the brim with fresh from the oven Cookie Brittle.

Everyone flocked to Ruth Brown when she came armed with these goodies. Hungry athletes, cheerleaders with chocolate cravings, the loud and obnoxious… the shy and detached… the studious… the total slackers. No one could resist the smell… and then there was the taste.

MAGICAL!!! Maybe slightly addictive….
Ruth Brown became the most popular girl at the high school.

She guarded the secret “Cookie Brittle” recipe with her very life. But one day, her absentminded mother left the recipe, written in neat script on a worn notecard, out, face up on the countertop. I read the card and like a secret sleuth committed it to memory. It is still in my memory right now.

I started attracting people to me with this secret recipe in college. My kids have attended many parties and swim meets and meetings armed with the stuff.

We have no shortage of friends.

Cookie Brittle

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup softened butter
pinch salt
tiny bit of vanilla extract
1 bag or Nestlé’s Semi-sweet Chocolate chips

Mix together in a bowl. Should make a crumbly dough. Press onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until just a tiny bit brown on top. Cool on cookie sheet. Break into pieces like peanut brittle. 

You will have to fights off the crowds. You have been warned.

 

 

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Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

 

   

 

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Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow {Excerpt + Giveaway}

 

 

 

 

Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love! 

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

 

 

 

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“There’s energy everywhere.” Chris moved his hands in a giant arc above his head to demonstrate. “Humans know that energy exists—they’ve harnessed it for electronics. The difference between us and humans is that we have the power to tap into energy and use it ourselves, and humans don’t.” He smiled at me, as if I was supposed to understand what he meant. “Make sense?”
“Not really,” I said. “Sorry.” 
“It’s easier if you relate it to something familiar,” he said, speaking faster. “What happens to the handle of a metal spoon when you leave it in boiling water?”
“It gets hot?” I said it as a question. This was stuff people learned in fifth grade science—not high school homeroom.
“And what happens when it’s plastic?” 
“It doesn’t get hot,” I said slowly. “It stays room temperature.” 
“Exactly.” He grinned at me like I’d just solved an astrophysics mathematical equation. “Humans are like plastic. Even if they’re immersed in energy, they can’t conduct it. Witches are like metal. We have the ability to absorb energy and control it as we want.”

 

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Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

 

 

 

   

 

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Spotlight on Author Anita Oh {Interview + Review}

 

 

 

After several years in the warm, comforting cocoon of fandom, Anita has decided to see what's up with this real world she's heard about. Judgment is reserved until more information can be gathered.
Anita likes dogs, naps, food, and Japanese idol group Arashi. Everything else can be improved when combined with these four things.
Anita lives with a grumpy beagle who bosses her around terribly, and won't even snuggle.

 

 

I was so excited to snag an interview with Anita and wish to thank her again for taking the time to do this and for her great sense of humor. Let's get started!

 

Where do your ideas come from?
I just look at the type of things I like, what I thought worked and what I would’ve done differently, then I steal the bits I like and dump the rest. Basically, everything I write is just a massive multiverse fanfic with a few bits of myself thrown in. 

Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
The main thing about Lucy, I think, is that she’s very poor and she’s had to take on the responsibility of looking after her family with no money and nobody else to rely on. I think she’s been forced to be really practical about things, which gives her an interesting perspective when she gets to this school full of super rich, supernatural people.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
Not nearly enough! The Truth Spell was my first book, so I still don’t have much idea about the marketing side of things, and I’m really bad at it!  I always feel as if I’m being too pushy or that people don’t care or whatever, so I’m really hesitant about posting on social media and that kind of thing. I need to get over myself and just do it!

What do you do to get book reviews?
For The Truth Spell I did a book blitz and review query through YA Bound (http://yaboundbooktours.blogspot.com.au), which was really fun.  Again, this is one of those things that I’m really bad at but I guess I’ll learn as I go along!

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Really successful!  Well, I mean, my bar for success was pretty low, I’m shocked that anyone left any reviews at all!  But everyone has said really nice things and I’m super happy with the response so far!

In what formats is your book available?
At the moment, just mobi because I wanted it available through Kindle Select, but once book 3 is out in late April, it will be available on all platforms as well as paperback. If anyone is desperate to read it in a different format, they could message me and I’d organize something though!

What's your next project?
Werewolf High #2: The Tiny Curse, which is out March 15th and currently available for preorder on Amazon here — so far it’s been a lot of fun to write. In this book, Lucy makes some new enemies and ends up being shrunk to two inches tall!

Have you ever had the feeling you were being watched?
All the time. It’s always my dog, trying to mind control me into giving her food.

If you could go to the past or future, where would you stay and why?
Probably neither. The past seems like it would be cool but then you have to think they didn’t have antibiotics or hygiene or women’s rights, so I’m not sure I’d like it. I’d have to see the future before I made a definite decision, it might be a dystopian wasteland, but I kind of like the present well enough. My dog is here and the coffee is good, so I’m satisfied!

If you had the ability to do two major task at the same time, what would they be?
Sleep and eat. Or sleep and work. Sleep and anything else would be good… I’d sleep and sleep if I could!  Double sleep would be awesome!

Name one funny trait you have, that you would like others to know.
I’m really gouda at making puns about cheese.

Sitting alone in a big field, looking at stars, what do you think/feel?
My though process would go something like: I hope I am actually alone in this big field. I hope there are no snakes. Or serial killers. How did I even get here? Am I kidnapped? How am I going to get home? Why am I not in my bed? I wish I’d bought a jacket, it’s a bit chilly out here, alone in this big field. Wow, stars are sparkly! 

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?
I’m clumsy, so anything acrobatic is out, and I’m against animals being used for entertainment purposes, so it would be one of those animal-free circuses… I could be a ringmaster! I could have a top hat and a twirly moustache and a megaphone, that would be cool!

You were bitten by a werewolf, now what? 
I’d go running with my dog! We could sniff things and frolic around and howl at stuff, then come home and have snuggle naps together!

Why am I asking you these questions?
Mind control, probably.

Thanks Anita for your candid and fun answers!

 

 

 

 

As soon as I stepped onto the grounds of Amaris High, I knew I'd made a big mistake. I could never fit in at such a snobbish school – I was more IT girl than "it girl". But then I saw him.

Sam Spencer. My childhood best friend. But it couldn't be. Sam Spencer had died three years ago, on the night that changed everything. I need to know what happened, why he's suddenly not dead and is hanging out with a bunch of rich kids.

When the school is hit by a truth spell, it seems like the perfect chance to find out what Sam and his creepy new friends are hiding, but the weirder things get, the less I'm sure I want to know. Even for Sam, even for the free food, Amaris High might be more trouble than it's worth.

 

 

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I received an eARC via the YA Bound Book Tours review library. I made no guarantee of a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are unbiased and my own.

What a fantabulous YA read!! I just couldn't get enough of this book. Lucy comes from a poor family and has been fortunate in receiving a scholarship to a prestigious and very private high school. Upon arrival at the school she is greeted by her roommate Hannah who tries to acclimate Lucy to her new surroundings however, she immediately gets on golden boy Terryson's bad side and she becomes the school pariah. Lucy has also suffered devasting losses in her young life but things aren't always what they seem and she is quickly cast into some paranormal/supernatural drama and time is not only running out for her but also for the entire student body.

This fast paced read was well written, suspenseful and the characters all have unique characteristics. The world building was so vivid that I quickly became a part of the student body. My favorite quote from this book is; "The truth is everything. Every work of art aims to reveal the fundamental truths that we all yearn for. We study them to uncover the truths we've not yet discovered for ourselves." I cannot wait to see how the story continues in the next book.

I give this book: