ARC Review: The Masked Maiden by H.D. Gordon

the masked maidenGoodreads/Amazon

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HERO OR VILLAIN? YOU DECIDE.

When she decided to become a vigilante, no one told 17-year-old Aria Fae about the possibility of public backlash, or the attention the media would garner by dubbing her The Masked Maiden of Grant City.

On top of this added heat, a rogue supernatural known as The Scarecrow has escaped his prison, and his history with Aria makes her the crazed warlock’s obvious target.

Now, she must face her past and defeat The Scarecrow once and for all, or die trying.
When things reach their worst, will The Masked Maiden be the hero Grant City needs, or the villain they’ve made her out to be?

review

4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author

I was hesitant to pick this book up because I wasn’t completely sold on the first book in the series. So I put it off for a while and rediscovered it in the process of catching up on back reviews. I’m absolutely floored. I really don’t know where to start because this is such a drastic change from book 1. I am now 100%, completely, and totally invested in this series. 

Aria Fae has always been a badass, but she’s grown so much as the story progressed, not only in maturity, but in heart and understanding. Aria’s past is highlighted. There are flashbacks and agony over her horrible childhood. The cruel way the Brokers rob the Halflings from their homes and the tasks they put them through are truly horrific. Aria as a child is just as feisty as she is now and outspoken. She doesn’t take anything from anyone, she’s a fighter from the get-go. There are moments of fear, and uncertainty, and heartbreak as seen through her young eyes and the emotions are on full chaotic display. 

The story arc is fantastic. A perfect blend of teen angst, superheroes, and serial killers. The suspense is heart stopping, the dangers will keep you on edge. Serious adrenaline rush. There were many moments where I held my breath, hoping that Aria would get there in time or make it out alive. 

The scenes with the Scarecrow are straight out of your deepest fears and worst nightmares. From the way he talks to Aria, the grotesque form of his body, the blunt descriptions of his psychotic murders. Chills. These flashbacks are particularly disturbing and sickening. Every ounce of terror rolls off the pages. 

Romance. Forget triangles. This is definitely a love rhombus. And (un)fortunately they’re all perfect. Dreamy sigh. Aria has the best luck romantically, everything else not so much. The struggle is real. Choosing between a blast from the past childhood love, a super sweet and gentle millionaire heir, and an older ex-military protector, no wonder she’s so spastic and jumps at every opportunity to escape the awkward. The feels are strong. There are many cute, passionate scenes that are both romantic and gasp-out-loud sexy. The way they look at her, happy sigh, the way they make her feel. Break out your Keats poems and put on a romantic comedy post book to recover. 

Secondary characters are as lively as ever. Each has a unique and developed story. It’s not ALL about Aria. She’s there for her friends, she’s kind, she’s awesome and epic and better than before. Her humanity is coming out and it’s glorious. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Epic reading, 

Jordan

Spotlight & Contest: The Cabin by Natasha Preston

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There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent in this new young adult thriller from Natasha Preston, author of The Cellar, a New York TimesBestseller, and Awake.

They think they’re invincible.

They think they can do and say whatever they want.

They think there are no consequences.

They’ve left me no choice.

It’s time for them to pay for their sins.

A weekend partying at a remote cabin is just what Mackenzie needs. She can’t wait to let loose with her friends. But a crazy night of fun leaves two of them dead—murdered.

With no signs of a forced entry or struggle, suspicion turns to the five survivors. Someone isn’t telling the truth. And Mackenzie’s first mistake? Assuming the killing is over…

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Can you survive The Cabin? 

Starting on August 30, we’ll be releasing a series of questions every Tuesday and Thursday at different locations.

Here’s how you play: 

1. Take a look at the schedule below.
2. Go to the location on the specified date.
3. Find The Cabin graphic with the question.
4. Solve the question.
5. Head here to submit your answer for that day’s question.
6. Complete all 8 questions and be entered in to win a $500 Visa gift card! We’ll also be drawing a winner each week who will win a Sourcebooks Fire book bundle!
7. Make sure to submit all answers by September 25, 2016

Cabin(ScheduleGraphic) (1)

Excerpt

The most annoying part was Blake, a guy I’d known for two sodding seconds, recognized that more than my friends and family. OK, so he didn’t know what had happened, but he knew there was something I was hiding. If I could help it, he would never learn what that was.

“I don’t know specifics, but you’ve got frustrated–teen tattooed all over yourself.”

“And what have you got tattooed over yourself ?” Arrogant arse was my guess.

“The Japanese rising sun.”

“Huh?”

He pulled up his T–shirt sleeve, revealing a black tattoo of half a sun.

Oh, he was talking literally. “What does it stand for?”

“No idea. Just liked it.”

OK…

“Well, I think it’s cool,” I said.

Chuckling to himself, he walked deeper into the forest. The trees were a bright, crisp green and leaves blew softly in the light wind as we walked. It was cooler under the trees, and since England was going strong with the heat wave, it was welcome.

“You’ve known the others for years?” he asked as I jogged to catch up with him again.

“Yeah.”

“Kyle and Aaron didn’t seem that happy about me crashing your weekend. Megan either, actually.”

I shrugged. “They’re cool. They just liked the dynamic we had pre–Josh–and–Courtney best. They can be kind of protective, Aaron especially. That guy would literally do anything for his friends. He’d take a bullet for us. Not that I wouldn’t. Once a guy grabbed my arse after I refused a dance and Aaron knocked him out cold.”

“He sounds more psychotic than protective, but put whatever label you want on it.”

“I will,” I replied, narrowing my eyes. I could handle Blake’s theories about me. What I didn’t like was his speaking badly of my friends.

“So, tell me. A group as close as you lot…”

I knew where that was going. “Not me. Josh and Courtney, as you know. Aaron and Tilly had an on/off relationship.”

“You never? Not even once?”

“Nope. Girls and guys can be just friends, you know.”

“Sure, just seems odd. I’ve been around groups of friends, and there’s always a few who have had drunken sex. Or at least gotten their hands busy.”

Oh, that’s lovely. “Sorry. No dirt here.” Not that kind anyway.

“Wow, Kenzie, you lot really are as straight as they come. You plan some board games for this evening?”

“No, of course not! Sorry, we’re so boring, Mr. Excitement. What do you do for fun anyway?”

He whipped around. His eyes were wide and hungry as he grabbed my wrists and pushed me against a tree, trapping me with his entire body. I was stunned. My body wanted to arch into him. I wanted to feel his skin against mine, his tongue in my mouth, his breath on my neck.

Get. A. Grip. Mackenzie.

What was going on with me? I’d never had this kind of chemistry so quickly with someone. Actually, I’d never had this much chemistry with someone else at all. It was his fault. Blake’s outrageously good looks and air of mystery short–circuited my brain, and I had to force myself to stay focused. My legs turned to jelly, and if it wasn’t for him holding me up, I’d be on the floor.

Forcing myself to get it together, I swallowed, my throat like the Sahara, and whispered, “Sex is the only fun you have?” His body pressed against mine a little bit harder, and I stifled a moan. I could feel the hard muscles of his chest. Stop. It.

“No. Sex is the most fun I have.” His eyes, now on fire, looked right through me, to the secrets I hid away. Still, he stayed pressed against me, his jaw tight, as if he was finding it hard to hold back.

I can’t be doing this right now. Or at all. I wasn’t the person that instantly wanted someone. I had to build up to that, get to know them first, but Blake made me want to throw all my rules out of the window. Rules I had worked very hard to keep.

He suddenly pulled away from me. My knees felt weak. Gripping the tree, I barely managed to keep myself upright. “What?” I asked, shaking my head to clear the fog of confusion and lust that had swept over me.

“What’re the odds of you freaking afterward?”

“High,” I replied. Having sex in the middle of the forest with Josh’s brother, who I’d only met today, was a terrible idea. I couldn’t quite get that through to my racing pulse and overheated body though. “Thought so. Come on. I’ll show you where I shoved Josh in the river and broke his arm.”

What? One minute the guy was all over me, and the next, he was playing tour guide?

I took a deep breath to get my thoughts together and stop being an idiot around him. “You broke his arm?” I asked, running again to catch up with him.

“Accidentally.” He smirked. “I’m not a sociopath.”

Suspenseful reading, 

Jordan

Release Day Blitz: Last Chance by L.P. Dover

Cover Designed by Regina Wamba of Mae I Design

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 One last chance.
That’s all Luke Collins, local bad boy and motocross champion, has to not only find his redemption, but win back the girl he lost. He’ll stop at nothing to make her his, even if it means playing dirty.
 
Lara Jacobs doesn’t want her heart broken again and refuses to give Luke a second chance. After he left her after their one night stand, she ran right into the arms of her close friend, Grayson Moore. He’s always loved her, and he’s determined to make her see he’s what she needs.
 
However, in life nothing goes as planned and tragedy strikes. After a fatal accident nearly claims Lara’s life, she’s left inside a world she can’t remember. Her memories are gone, including those of the men vying for her heart. Grayson sees her loss as a possibility to forget her love for Luke, but Luke sees it as an opportunity to start over. All he wants is one last chance to show her that she’s the one he’s been in love with all along.
 
*** An updated version of One Taste (prequel to Last Chance) has been included at the beginning of the book with all new scenes. ***
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author L. P. Dover is a southern belle living in North Carolina with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she began her literary journey she worked in periodontics, enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.
 
She loves to write, but she also loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes and white water rafting, and has a passion for singing. Her two youngest fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime, usually Christmas carols.
 
Dover has written countless novels, including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, the Armed & Dangerous series, the Royal Shifters series, the Society X series, and her standalone novel Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense, but if she got to choose a setting in which to live, it would be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.
Romantic reading, 
Jordan
 

Blog Tour, ARC Review, and Excerpt: Demon Dialysis by Jennifer Siddoway

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Demon Dialysis - Book OneAmazon/Goodreads

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Inspired by the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, Wynnona Hendricks finds herself caught between the realms of Heaven, Hell, and Earth, fighting for her right to live.

The Demon Lord, Aidan, has activated her latent powers carefully hidden behind a mortal facade and now, she must conquer the Seven Deadly Sins or be sent to Hell herself as one of his minions. The only one who seems to believe in her is Caleb, the angel who chose to spare her life rather than risk the shedding of innocent blood, but by doing so, may have started a war between the factions, throwing the Mortal Realm into mayhem.

Follow Wynn as she fights to protect her family from being ripped apart, including her mother, who isn’t what she seems.

ExcerptFocus, I commanded myself sternly. Belphegor laughed at my apparent failure, but then a curious wrinkle came to his eye. His faces twisted into an unnatural and uncomfortable grimace. “What are you—doing…?”

“You’re the one who told me to eat, don’t you want to fill your own belly?” I mocked him callously. “I thought you’d find it satisfying.”

His visible discomfort only encouraged me as I visualized what was happening inside, using everything I had to keep up the summoning charm. Below his fingers, the skin started pulsating and bulging as something stretched and pushed from the inside of his gut. He groaned at the pressure and discomfort of an alien presence adulterating his very being. If he was trying to stop me or attack, I couldn’t tell—my heart and blood were pumping so hard. His moans turned into wails and shrieks as his clutching fingers could not contain the writhing snakes that suddenly exploded from his body, dragging with them the oversized and redundant viscera that remained firmly entangled within their twisted throes.

I hardly had time to savor the wet, sizzling flops of roiling snake and entrails hitting the ground before the demon vanished with a final screech. I stooped, panting and seeing red, as I collapsed on the ground from expending so much energy. He had been right, the auras had made me stronger. I don’t think I could have summoned that on my own. My eyes drifted in and out of focus, but then the indistinct light before me coalesced into Caleb standing there in all his angelic glory. The way he was looking at me didn’t have the usual tenderness though, and I actually shrank from the harsh anger burning in his eyes.

“You mind telling me what in the world that was?” he demanded.

review

***I received this eARC/book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author

Here’s What I Liked:

  • Flawed characters who struggle with temptation, morality, and recognize that good and evil reside in all of us. The fight against their inner demons against all-too-real demonic forces is an uphill battle. Wynn makes mistakes, she fights hard, and is not always successful, that makes her relatable and easy to sympathize with. 
  • The premise is tried and true, but has a special twist. It’s taken a step further than your traditional Heaven vs. Hell trope, adding on a whole world of other paranormal creatures and complexities that blend well in both the para and human worlds. 
  • Aidan is a brilliant take on Lucifer. He’s playful, seductive, and yet, surprisingly helpful. It almost seems like he has a heart buried somewhere deep and dark in his chest. The interactions with Wynn were dangerous, foreboding, and amusing, despite the sense that something terrible would happen. Aidan makes good on horrific threats one second and is sweet the next. You’ll never know if you can trust him. Delightfully complex. 
  • The ending. Epic, in your face, violent and sudden. Seriously brutal. You won’t see it coming and it’s so quick it hits harder. Emotional turmoil extreme. This made me, more than anything else, hunger for the next book. 
  • The deadly sin trials were creative and graphic. You’ll be able to picture everything and they really helped Wynn to grow. 
  • Cover love.

Here’s What I Disliked:

  • The pace. After the initial meeting with Caleb and Aidan, it’s achingly slow at times. The space between the first few chapters, the trials, and that explosive ending drag and you’ll wonder what actually happened in those pages. 
  • Instalove. Wynn’s attraction to Caleb is automatic and understandable. He’s super cute and a sweetheart. Plus, the way he vouches for her, serious knight in shining armor. After that scene and the verdict (purposely vaguebooking to prevent spoilers), they don’t have much interaction and what interaction they do have (up until almost the end of the book with the roof scene) feels like nostalgia or a flashback. It’s a lot of telling, not enough showing. I didn’t experience and live through Wynn’s character because there wasn’t the opportunity, at least romantically. There was more lead up to a romance with Aidan. On top of that, Wynn makes offhand comments about how close she and Caleb are that almost feel like a lie because their interactions weren’t that memorable, were far apart, and short. 
  • At the circle ruling where Wynn meets all the paranormal entities, it’s a rush of information that suckerpunches. All of these details at once were a little overwhelming. There’s one description after another of each of these people without names and then they come in and have names and it’s hard to keep track. The world building is also jam-packed in this tiny section. It would have functioned a bit better and been less intense if it had been more spaced out. 

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Jennifer is a Florida based, Indie Author who writes paranormal romance and fantasy for young adults. When she’s not busy writing or burying her nose in a book, Jennifer enjoys doing medieval reenactment with her husband and two children. Demon Dialysis is a contemporary Young Adult Fantasy and her debut novel.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bookbub | Goodreads

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Fantastic reading, 

Jordan

ARC Review: The Vrai Domicile by Courtney Ruggles

Vrai Domicile book 2 ebookGoodreads/Amazon

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Q437B was ready to die for the Second Revolution. Then she entered the Muertre…

Q and B expected death when the Elders ordered their execution. What they discover instead changes everything they thought they knew about their world. Saved by the mercy of the Elders, they awaken in the Vrai Domicile, a mysterious place hidden below the Sixth Domicile housing hundreds of former rebels.

Except these rebels have been brainwashed, conditioned to be blind followers.

Q quickly learns of the Elders’ new plan for her – she is to become their warrior, to reunite the Vrai and Sixth Domiciles with purity, love, and unwavering faith. But to Q, she’ll be undoing everything she and the rebels fought for.

Now Q and B must fight to survive once more, forced to forge new alliances with strangers who promise nothing is as it seems. But surviving comes with a choice – follow the Elders and quash the Revolution, or defy them and free the people, putting B’s and Grandmother’s lives at risk.

In a place where the fire of rebellion is extinguished at every turn, can Q continue to be the spark that fuels the Revolution?

review

4/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Elephantine Publishing 

The story takes place over a span of a week or so after Q wakes up. The story is fairly short and because of this, the pacing is wicked fast. Information hits like a torpedo, all of these reveals like rapid-fire shots to the heart. The adrenaline is high. The fear and torment nonstop. Everything builds up into this colossal ball of emotional turmoil and crippling hope for the best when the Domicile has proven nothing but heartache. Expect your pulse to race and your blood to boil. The injustice just keeps coming, even worse than in book 1. 

Q is struggling to find out who she wants to be and if she has what it takes to become a leader. What is she willing to sacrifice and is it worth it? Q’s internal battle is painful and bleak. She wars within, weighing what’s important and whether love can be enough to overcome all odds. Q is definitely stronger. She’s confident, fierce, headstrong, and fights her adversaries head on. She leaps into action and unfortunately, the consequences are worse than anything she could ever imagine. Q must decide how much of herself, who she is at her core, that she must give up in order to fan the flames of the revolution she sparked. 

Some scenes are agonizing. Harrowing bursts of emotional trauma and chaos. The flogging scenes, the pain, the threats, everything is blunt and brutally honest. Fresh emotion on full display, no holds. Some scenes are graphically violent and may be a little much for some readers.

Nothing is as it seems. There are tons of clues that push the plot forward and will make you turn pages just to get to the truth.

B & Q. Though some of B’s lines are a little cheesy and a lot sappy, they’re heartfelt. The emotion radiates from the page. He absolutely adores Q. She’s definitely his sun. This book is definitely more mature than book 1. There are quite a few sexy scenes, but holy fire hot. Seriously. 

B. While I’ve liked B since book 1, I felt like there wasn’t enough of him. Most of the story is catered towards Q and how she feels. Her world revolves around B (typically) and her need to be with him completely. B was there, but I wanted to get to know him. He rarely opens up, other than a ton of lust-fueled scenes, I think I needed more downtime or something to show more of B’s personality. 

That ending.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Read on, 

Jordan

 

ARC Review: The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day

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Together is somewhere they long to be.

Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted– he’s admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There’s only one obstacle in Ash’s path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?

All Eden’s ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college — and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . . When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream — one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?

review

3.5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley & St. Martin’s Griffin

I was torn on how to rate this story because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had to get up early this morning and stayed up until 3AM to finish. If you’re a follower of this blog, you may have noticed that I am not the biggest fan of contemporaries. Coming of age stories typically bore me to death and so when I found myself plowing through these pages, it was a shock to my system. What is it about this book that made me a contemporary convert? 

Eden is not always likable. She’s pushy, indignant, a snob, she pushes people away and has no room for anything but her dreams. She makes judgments as harsh as those hanging over her head and doesn’t think before she speaks…and yet, there’s something about her. She’s rude half the time, but patient, intelligent, kind, and thoughtful with some. She let’s public opinions tarnish her shine. Anyone who has ever felt like they had a past they couldn’t shake and that they are their parents’ mistakes (because no one can see past the prejudice and assumption), you’ll get Eden on a personal level. 

This is a modern Romeo & Juliet spin with Jane Austen odes. Class distinctions, racism, and Southern prejudice all combine to form a heartbreaking adversary for these young lovers. Everyone is against this match. He’s Indian, Hindu, rich, she’s white, on food stamps, lives in a trailer park, and Christian. Everyone in this small town sticks to their racial group cliques and stepping outside of the lines invites retaliation in the form of rumors, bullying, and even abuse.

Ash and Eden’s relationship is refreshing, you’ll hope against all odds that they can slay the prejudice and small-minded stereotypes and profiling of their town, but somehow are certain that it’s impossible. And that is the problem.

This is a story about recognizing that there are parts of everyone’s lives that will limit and diminish them; that there will always be someone who disapproves your choices, and that forces greater than you will always think they know better. So much in this world is working against you, but it takes perspective, fresh, creative, and honest to find what’s working FOR you. Opening your eyes, recognizing the hate, the prejudice, and those who only put you down when they should be lifting you up is half the battle.

The romance is fast. It happens late, really late in the story. The first half, maybe 3/4 of the book are pretty much everyday high school scenes with commentary on social class, didacticism, etc. I don’t know how she did it. Actually, that’s not true. Very much in the vein of Pride and Prejudice the explosive fighting, the nitpicking, the anger, through it all, only Ash and Eden have the ability to hurt each other because they care so deeply-you realize that the love has always been there. Always. It’s that sudden realization-that soft and comforting warmth like a ray of sunlight shining on your face right after a rainstorm-that fills you with certainty that Eden and Ash can do anything if they’re together. 

Autism also plays a part in this story. How some teachers can be dismissive of difference and push the child away as disruptive instead of making the effort to understand. While a little reductive, these scenes were poignant and memorable. 

The jealous popular girl was a familiar and disappointing aspect. Also the perverse and sexually aggressive jock who starts rumors. 

Ash has some serious swoon lines. He has a way with words that will have you dropping your defenses as quickly as Eden does. Holy sincerity and adoration. 

Mundy. Harsh. Crazy harsh and brutally honest. No filter on that girl and boy is it painful. Her words are like a slap to the face but a revelation. They force Eden to look at herself and be honest. It also bypasses on the awkward. There are no secrets and there is relief in that. Spontaneous, a little weird, Mundy is a unique bff. 

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

Romantic reading, 

Jordan

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Faithful by Michelle Hauck

Release Date: November 15, 2016

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Following Grudging–and with a mix of Terry Goodkind and Bernard Cornwall–religion, witchcraft, and chivalry war in Faithful, the exciting next chapter in Michelle Hauck’s Birth of Saints series! 

A world of Fear and death…and those trying to save it.

Colina Hermosa has burned to the ground. The Northern invaders continue their assault on the ciudades-estados. Terror had taken hold, and those that should be allies betray each other in hopes of their own survival. As the realities of this devastating and unprovoked war settles in, what can they do to fight back?

On a mission of hope, an unlikely group sets out to find a teacher for Claire, and a new weapon to use against the Northerners and their swelling army. 

What they find instead is an old woman. 

But she’s not a random crone–she’s Claire’s grandmother. She’s also a Woman of the Song, and her music is both strong and horrible. And while Claire has already seen the power of her own Song, she is scared of her inability to control it, having seen how her magic has brought evil to the world, killing without reason or remorse. To preserve a life of honor and light, Ramiro and Claire will need to convince the old woman to teach them a way so that the power of the Song can be used for good. Otherwise, they’ll just be destroyers themselves, no better than the Northerners and their false god, Dal. With the annihilation their enemy has planned, though, they may not have a choice. 

A tale of fear and tragedy, hope and redemption, Faithful is the harrowing second entry in the Birth of Saints trilogy.  Excerpt

            Not for the first time, Claire reconsidered her decision to stay when Ramiro had asked her. She’d lingered out of curiosity—and truthfully because it felt good to be needed—but they didn’t need her now with the Northern army defeated. She could return to the swamp and away from so many people. Despite her hopes of friends and community, she felt awkward here. Reason said she’d get used to their ways, but being around so many folk made her want to hide. Everything pressed down. The walls of the tent shrunk, pinning her in, and smothering her. It became hard to breathe.
           She reached for a fresh strip of cloth, only to have her hand shake. She snatched the material and began to roll it, trying to shut out everything else, including her own doubts. 
           Before she could find a semblance of peace, though, someone shouted. Ladies screamed. Claire looked over her shoulder at the noise. A brown-bearded man in a poncho and a floppy hat ran in her direction. “My family is dead, because of the evacuations. Because of you.”
           Claire gasped. He seemed to be talking to Beatriz, then his gaze found Claire. 
           “Witch!” His outstretched hand suddenly held a long butcher knife. “Witch! Stay away from us! Murderer! Abomination! Die!”
           Fronilde dropped to the ground, but Claire couldn’t move. Surprise robbed her brain of a Song to stop him. Even the words of Hornet Tune, which she knew as well as her name, deserted her. The man closed as everyone scrambled out of his way. Then Beatriz sprang from her chair to stand over Claire, holding up her hand. The tall, black-lace mantilla atop her head waved like a flag. “Stop.”
           Something about the authority in the First Wife’s voice–or maybe her simple resistance instead of the cringing or scrambling away–brought the man up short, making him pause for a moment. Just the moment the bodyguard needed to crush the lunatic to the floor and overpower him, wrestling free the knife. More guards came running from outside. 
           Breath rushed back in Claire’s lungs. Beatriz sniffed and touched a spot on her chest over her heart and then her forehead and stomach areas. “Imbecile. He didn’t know who he was dealing with.”
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Website| Twitter | Facebook page| Tumblr | Goodreads

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Two papillons help balance out the teenage drama. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her epic fantasy, Kindar’s Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, is published by The Elephant’s Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer’s Double Edge. She’s repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.

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2 winners will receive a signed of GRUDGING, US Only.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fantastic reading, 

Jordan