Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Blood Vengeance

Chapter 1:
He looked off to the west, where the last traces of the sun fell

below the horizon, leaving just a trace of orange lining the

edge of the sky where it met the land. The light was dim and a

slight mist gathered, warning of the fog that would coat the

city in grey and shadow under what he knew would be a full

moon tonight. He could hear the music from Bourbon Street

drifting down the alley where he was walking, the alley

commonly called Pirate’s Alley. The alley where the girl had

been found earlier in the week. Found bound and gagged, her

dead eyes wide open in fear and her throat cut from ear to ear.

The work of some madman that Vincent Adcock was sure

would kill again.

It always happened that way it seemed. One girl would turn up

dead and then another and another. Some strangled, some

tortured in other ways, almost always they would have been

violated in some unimaginable way. Even after close to two

hundred years, Vincent still didn’t understand the mentality,

the mental defect, the warped mind behind the madmen’s

eyes. So he did what he could, he hunted. He hunted until he found the madman and then he

wreaked his own type of punishment upon those perpetrators

of horrid crimes against helpless women. Vincent loved to

hunt, he loved to chase his prey and toy with them just as they

toyed with the women that they hunted. It was his one

redemption for being what he was. A soulless man in a body

that would not grow old. A vampire.

He stopped in front of the Faulkner house, once home to the

author William Faulkner, now a bookstore with living quarters

above. He remembered the days when the author was in

residence and how he and his artist accomplice played havoc

on visitors to the Quarter. Now, the bright yellow exterior held

his shadow as he stood there in the growing dimness. The fog

filled the night air, and he lifted his head. Inhaling deeply, his

sense of smell was much more effective than that of a

bloodhound. He smelled the leftover scent of food, something

that he only ate in public to keep questions about his nature to

a minimum, as he really had no need for anything other than

the blood he thirsted. A slight breeze slipped through the

alleyway and upon it he smelled the odor of excrement and

urine, probably that of some dog or cat who had come through

this way recently. Generally, Vincent would take the time to enjoy the city at

night. He loved New Orleans; he had loved it at the turn of

three centuries now. He had been a young, virile man when

the city got its first group of refugees from Haiti. Quite a

mixture of people he remembered. Whites, free blacks, and

slaves. With them came the French language and voodoo.

Then there had been the War of 1812 when he saw the British

defeated by the troops led by Andrew Jackson, among those

troops were the privateers that were recruited by the pirate, Jean Lafitte. Not

long after the defeat of the British at Chalmette, his life as he

knew it was forever changed by the loss of his lovely wife and

the arrival of the woman who had made him into the monster

he was. He never should have seen the turn of the next century

or the one after that. He saw the coming and going of the Civil War, the city being

occupied and claimed early in the battle by Union troops. He

watched as slaves were freed and political changes came to the

area during the Reconstruction. He saw hurricanes come and

go, flooding, the building of levees, more hurricanes and

flooding yet somehow the city always survived and held onto

to the rich history that seemed to live there. Only during the

last hurricane, the one named Katrina, Vincent became aware

and appalled of what humankind was willing to do, that

people were sometimes less human than himself.

Finally he smelled the scent he was seeking, something on the

air that was unlike anything that a normal human could detect.

Sickeningly sweet and verging on decay, the odor of madness.

He recognized it, the distinct smell that he wished he had

noticed that night in 1815 when the woman who had made

him showed up at the doorstep of his plantation house outside

of the city. She had been mad, sick with the need for blood

and tortured with the lust for male companionship. She had

pretended to be destitute, running from a husband that had

abused her in his drunken rages. He had invited her in,

something one must never do to a vampire. For once they are

invited in and cross the threshold to your home; you become

their prey, their victim. And now, Vincent was doomed to live

for the rest of the years that the earth existed and maybe even longer. Nobody really knew.

He followed the trail of the scent out into the street, walked

across the lawn of St. Louis Cathedral, stopping for a moment

to envy those who could enter. He had been in the Cathedral

several times as a child and remembered the peaceful look that

passed over his mother’s face each time they had entered. To

him, it had just been a place where a young, active boy had to

be quiet for much too long, and now he regretted not being

able to enter the building as an adult. Vincent could not enter a

place of worship; he was banned forever from going to one of

the places where others could go for solace and an infusion of

faith. He shook his head and got back to the task at hand,

hunting. The scent wafted throughout the lawn around the cathedral,

growing stronger at times then fading away to just a hint on

the breeze. He continued to follow it back out to Chartres

Street and across the street from the cathedral. He stopped

briefly, listening with ears that heard things that sometimes he

didn’t care to hear, and looked to the right then the left. Then

he heard it. The distinct sound of a frightened heartbeat,

fluttering in terror of what was to come. In a flash, so quickly

that the human eye could not detect his movement but might

feel a trace of chill as he passed, he was upon the sound at the

rear of a house that still had plywood covering the windows,

evidence of the wrath that Hurricane Katrina had brought to

the city a few years back. There, by a haphazardly placed

dumpster, the animal had his hands on a young woman.

Wide, blue eyes bespoke of the terror the young woman must

be feeling. She was crying but could not make a sound because of the gag in her mouth, her hands and

feet were bound and she writhed to get away from her

attacker. Vincent felt the rage rise in his throat, and then the

thirst hit him. With his superhuman speed, he came to stand

behind the girl’s attacker. The monster had not heard him,

Vincent never made a sound. Vincent’s nose turned up in distaste at the overwhelming

stench of the man. Stale cigarettes, perspiration, and sex

permeated the air surrounding the two men. Reaching out with

his pale, cold hand, he grasped the shoulder of the man and

turned him around in the same motion and with the same

speed that he had reached the scene. “So, you like to torture

and rape and kill pretty young girls, do you?”

Releasing the young woman, the man’s fist shot out in an

attempt to hit Vincent in the jaw, but Vincent was too quick

for that. He laughed at the man’s efforts. “Not so easy when

you pick on someone your own size is it?” The man lunged at

him again but was met with empty space as Vincent had

quickly moved behind him. The man stumbled and about lost

his footing before Vincent cleared his throat, causing him to

turn again. This time, Vincent threw the man against the wall

of the abandoned house, laughed again when the man’s head

made a hollow, thumping sound against the wood siding and

then fell to the ground where he laid, out cold from the blow

to his head. Vincent turned to the young woman, her blue eyes wide with

panic. “Do not fear, I am not here to harm you and I will not

allow this animal to harm you.” He stooped down to where

she laid on the weed choked, beer can littered yard and gently

undid the ties that held her feet. “I am going to get you away from here.” He focused on her eyes

and used his own mind to calm her. The way that his maker

had calmed him before she had turned him into the thing that

he was. The thing that he hated to be.

The girl stopped wriggling and he snapped the ropes around

her wrists and removed the gag from her mouth. He knew that

she wouldn’t scream out in the night, she wouldn’t even

remember how she got back into her own bed when he took

her there. “I need to get your address so that I can take you

home and put you safely into your own bed. Tell me.”

She mechanically recited the name of a hotel in the French

Quarter and gave him the room number. It was an outside

room overlooking the courtyard, so it would be easy for him to

jump up and open the window from the outside. And he had

been invited in the hotel many times, so there was no problem

getting her back in her room and into her bed. He tossed the

limp body of the girl over his shoulder and moved with his

superhuman speed to the hotel.

Once he had her in her room, he reached into one of the

suitcases lying on the chair and retrieved a nightgown. “Take

this, go into the bathroom and clean up and put it on and come

back in here.” He started pacing as he waited for the girl to do

what he told her to do. He listened as he heard the shower go

on and he smelled the fresh fragrance of her soap. Lavender.

Lavender reminded him of his lovely Lisette with her dark

eyes and hair the color of ebony. Had Lisette become sick

before he was what he was now, he could have saved her. But

instead, she rested in the cool, damp earth beneath the oak tree

on the small knoll beside his plantation home. Her place

marked by a simple, stone cross bearing her name. Although the property

was still owned by Vincent, it was not his home anymore; the

plantation was a museum of times gone by that strangers

walked through each and every day. His staff over the years

had ensured that there were adequate caretakers to keep the

looming French Creole home his father built for his mother

and to which he had later brought his beautiful bride Lisette.

He remembered the day he brought Lisette home from

Natchez. Her eyes widened at the sight of the oak lined drive

and the colonnades that held the roofs of the upper and lower

galleries. He smiled as he remembered the question in her

eyes as she asked him the question that would forever be

engraved on his mind for eternity. “Whatever did you see in

the daughter of a prostitute after coming from this?” Her

hands swept the landscape and then the house which sat along

the Mississippi River banks with vast fields of cotton and

sugar cane as far as she could see. He had kissed her tenderly

and lifted her into his arms as he carried her up the steps and

across the lower gallery to the door of his home. “I saw an

angel brought to me by God’s hand.” And the angel that came

to him by God’s hand was taken from him by the same hand

only three years later.

The girl returned to the main part of the hotel room and came

to stand in front of him. “Who are you?” She murmured softly

through a pair of perfectly bowed lips. “You came to help me,

you saved me. I owe you my life.” She reached out to touch

Vincent. “He came up from behind, I couldn’t stop him. I felt

the shock and then I could do nothing.” An involuntary shiver

passed through her small frame. Backing away, he shook his head. “No, you don’t owe me

your life.” He couldn’t understand why his effort to block her

memory of the evening’s events was not working. One of the

things that vampires were able to do was erase the memory of

humans. It was a necessity for a vampire to be able to do that

so that they could feed upon a human and leave them with no

memory of the event. He reached out and put his cold, dead

hands on her shoulders. “Look at me, look into my eyes.”

The girl obeyed and her blue eyes locked with his gold ones.

“Your hands are so cold. Let me warm them for you.” She

reached up to cover his hands with her own. “Tell me who you

are.” Pulling his hands against her heart, she gazed at him,

bewilderment crossing her delicate features for a brief

moment. She cocked her head and a lock of her fragrant hair

fell across their hands, cool and damp from her shower.

“Don’t.” He commanded as he continued to gaze into her

eyes, his mind trying desperately to reach into the confines of

hers. For a brief moment, he allowed himself to enjoy the feel

of her warm hands on top of his. The vibrant feel of her heart

beating, her blood pulsing through her body. He mentally

chastised himself for the thought of bedding her right then, at

that moment. Oh, how it would feel to have her slender body

wrapped around his. To feel the heat from her body as he slid

his manhood inside her. Stop it, you fool, you have work to do

right now! She blinked her eyes in confusion. “What did you say?” She

gripped his hands tighter and stepped toward him. “Who are

you and how did you know where to find me?”

Here is my review:

4 of 5 stars
bookshelves: paranormal-romance

Read on December 28, 2013

I received this book in exchange for my honest review...

I don't even know where to start with this book. OMG this was so good I swear I don't know where to begin my review.
In this story we are introduced to a group of vampires and a girl who has dreamed of all of them helping her find her sister. Abigail is in New Orleans looking for her missing sister Riley, while looking for her sister she happens to be attacked by a stranger but recused by Vincent( OMG SUPER HOT MYSTERY MAN) Vincent saves her and takes her back to her hotel room, he clears of her mind of their events (or so he thinks)

Abby goes looking for Vincent because she needs his help and the help of his friends. Abby gets Vincent to help her as well as falls in love with him.
This is some really hot intense scenes in this story

This story is amazingly awesome and I can not wait for the next installment. I am so glad I read this book and now the only thing to do is wait for the next installment (please don't make me wait too long)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Virtual Blog Tour- Under the Stars

Book Blurb:
All she wants is a home, but can she find one...UNDER DIFFERENT STARS

Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.

Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.

Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket's gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.

Under Different Stars Excerpt:
When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?
Water swirls around me as I open my eyes. I shiver, realizing I’m in Trey’s arms. He’s standing chest deep in crystal blue water with Wayra pacing on the bank only steps away. Clutching Trey closer to me, my cheek remains on his shoulder. Watching a bead of water slip down his powerful neck, I hear Jax say, “She’s waking up.”
Trey, cupping his hand in the water, pours some of it over my hair. It drips down the sides of my face, cooling me. “Let’s get her out. I’ll get the visor and we can check her vitals.”
As Trey wades out of the pond with me in his arms, I try to lift my head from his shoulder. It makes me dizzy so I lay it back. It’s then I notice that I’m only in my bra and underwear. A blush creeps into my cheeks as I hug Trey tighter to me. Wayra meets us on the bank, draping a blanket over us. Trey sits down with me on his lap. He leans against a tree trunk holding me securely to his chest. Peeking at his face, he seems angry as he smoothes my hair back from my face.
Hurrying over with the visor that looks like grandma goggles, Trey sets them on my eyes. Everything is green as I gaze around at the water in front of us. Flashing green lights and readouts occupy the peripherals of the glasses, but the information is running faster than I can possibly read it.
“Ho!” Jax exclaims next to me.
Immediately, Trey’s arms tighten on me as he barks out, “What? How bad is it?”
“Naw, it’s not bad…it’s just…Kricket…” Jax breathes, like he’s in awe. “Look at this brain activity…it’s massive.”
“What do you mean?” Trey asks with relief in his tone.
Jax grins. “She’s lighting everything up. Look at her frontal lobe…it’s off the charts.”
“What does that mean? Is she healthy?” Trey growls.
Jax nods enthusiastically. “She’s healthy! We didn’t fry her with heat stroke, that’s for sure. Or, if we did, she’s got more brain activity than anyone I’ve ever seen to compensate for it,” he replies, sounding seriously geeked about it.
“Those things aren’t broken, are they?” Trey asks speculatively.
“No…here.” Jax pulls them off my face. “Wayra, come here.”
Wayra walks over and Jax puts the glasses on his eyes. “See! He’s normal, well, normal for him. See how it doesn’t light up in these areas?” he points out to Trey.
“Now watch this,” he says, taking the glasses off of Wayra, he places them back on my face. “See? It’s like Christmas in Chicago with all those lights,” Jax says proudly.
“So that means she’s smart?”
Jax beams. “Yeah, she’s smart! She’s brilliant! There’s no telling what she can do.”
“If she’s so smart, why did she run until she almost popped? Why didn’t she just tell us she needed to rest?” Wayra asks derisively.
“Personality flaw,” Trey replies. “She’s going to show us that she’s not weak.”
“She’s sitting right here,” I murmur, pulling the glasses off my face and handing them

My Review: 

Let me start of by saying I LOVE AMY BARTOL AND I AM A HUGE FAN!!!!

I have just finished Under Different Stars, this book was GREAT. It has everything I have come to love from the author, its sci-fi, its romance and its action packed. Think Star Trek meets The Three Musketeers meets Beauty and the Beast. (Only Trey is so not anyone's beast, he's HOT)

This installment is so amazing, that I was hooked from the first chapter, Kricket is a girl who doesn't have any family but she has 2 great friends, however she knows that she is different from the fact that once she cuts her hair it grows right back plus add in having violet eyes.  One night will taking the train home from work she meets three very interesting very handsome men but she knows that something is off about them, she manages to get away from them only to be attacked by 3 more interesting men (some women have all the luck LOL)

This story takes you on her first journey to discovering who she is and where she came from. I am so in love with all the characters and as always Amy can even make you love the bad guys( check out my baby Brenner in her Premonition Series), also as usual since Amy is such a great author she leaves me waiting for the next installment in yet another one of her series...

Awesome read check it out you will not be disappointed...



I live in Michigan with my husband and our two sons. My family is very supportive of my writing. When I’m writing, they often bring me the take-out menu so that I can call and order them dinner. They listen patiently when I talk about my characters like they’re  real. They rarely roll their eyes when I tell them I’ll only be a second while I finish writing a chapter…and then they take off their coats. They ask me how the story is going when I surface after living for hours in a world of my own making. They have learned to accept my “writing uniform” consisting of a slightly unflattering pink fleece jacket, t-shirt, and black yoga pants. And they smile at my nerdy bookishness whenever I try to explain urban fantasy to them. In short, they get me, so they are perfect and I am blessed.


  • 1st place: KINDLE FIRE + ebook of Under Different Stars
  • 2nd place: Kindle Cover + $50 Amazon Gift Card
  • 3rd place: $50 Amazon Gift Card

Thursday, December 19, 2013

 Forever & Always  and After Forever
(The Ever Trilogy)
Jasinda Wilder
Expected Release: Dec. 20th, 2013
Hosted by: The Book Avenue
Join the Release Party Here


These letters are often all that get me through week to week. Even if it’s just random stuff, nothing important, they’re important to me. Gramps is great, and I love working on the ranch. But…I’m lonely. I feel disconnected, like I’m no one, like I don’t belong anywhere. Like I’m just here until something else happens. I don’t even know what I want with my future. But your letters, they make me feel connected to something, to someone. I had a crush on you, when we first met. I thought you were beautiful. So beautiful. It was hard to think of anything else. Then camp ended and we never got together, and now all I have of you is these letters. S**t. I just told you I have a crush on you. HAD. Had a crush. Not sure what is anymore. A letter-crush? A literary love? That’s stupid. Sorry. I just have this rule with myself that I never throw away what I write and I always send it, so hopefully this doesn’t weird you out too much. I had a dream about you too. Same kind of thing. Us, in the darkness, together. Just us. And it was like you said, a memory turned into a dream, but a memory of something that’s never happened, but in the dream it felt so real, and it was more, I don’t even know, more RIGHT than anything I’ve ever felt, in life or in dreams. I wonder what it means that we both had the same dream about each other. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. You tell me.

~ ~ ~ ~


a rule that I never erase or throw away what I’ve written and I always send it, no matter what I write in the letter. 

Your literary love,




~ Caden ~

Between art classes and the requisite camp activities—which were stupid bullshit— the first week of camp passed in a blur.

It was Monday afternoon, all- camp free time, so most everyone was gone somewhere—into downtown Traverse City, to Sleeping Bear Dunes, canoeing on one of the two lakes, swimming at Peterson Beach. There were a few students on campus, most of them doing the same as I was, finding a solitary place to play an instrument, paint, draw, or dance. I had found the perfect spot overlooking Green Lake, sitting with my back to a pine tree, sketchbook on my knees, trying to capture the way a duck’s wings curved for landing as they floated over the rippling surface of the water.

I’d been there for over an hour already, the bark scratching my back through my T-shirt, earbuds in and playing my current favorite album, Surfing With the Alien by Joe Satriani. I’d drawn the same picture six times, each one a quick, rough sketch,capturing the outlines, the curves, the angle of the bird’s body and the delicate arch of its neck. None of them were right, though. Like with my work on human hands, one particular detail was eluding me. This time, it was the pattern of the pinfeathers as the duck fluttered its wings, the way each feather rounded into the next, layered, yet separate, while its green head and yellow beak thrust forward, the wings creating a bonnet around its body. I’d stuffed each failed sketch under my foot, using the last as reference for the next. My pencil went still as another duck approached the water. Its wings curved to slow its descent, orange feet outstretched, and then at the very last moment it reared back and flared its wings, braking to a stop and settling on the water with barely a sound or splash. I watched intently, my eyes and mind capturing the moment of wing-flare, watching the tips of its wings, then I glanced down and erased frantically, redrawing, pencil moving furiously now, line overlaying line, adjusting the curve and angles.

“You’re really good,” a voice said behind me.

I knew without turning who it was. “Thanks, Ever.” Had I really remembered her voice after that one conversation?

I wished I didn’t feel so self-conscious all of a sudden. Would she think I was stupid for drawing ducks? Watching them land had been fascinating when I was alone, and drawing them had captivated my focus for the last couple of hours, but now that a pretty girl was standing behind me…I was pretty sure it was the nerdiest thing ever.

I closed the sketchbook and set it on top of the pile of discarded sketches, standing up and brushing off the seat of my shorts. When I finally turned my gaze to Ever, I had to blink several times. I hadn’t seen her since the day we arrived, despite looking for her in the visual arts classes and at meals. She’d been pretty then, dressed casually in jeans and a T-shirt. But now…she was so beautiful it made my stomach flip and tighten.

She was wearing a pair of khaki shorts that barely made it to mid-thigh, and a rib-hugging green tank top that matched the emerald of her eyes perfectly. Her hair hung in loose spirals around her shoulders, and she had a bulky easel under one arm, a canvas under the other arm and a wooden carrying case for paints in her hand. A smudge of red paint stood out on her forehead, matching a similar smudge on her left wrist, and green paint was smeared near her right cheek and earlobe.

I felt an absurd compulsion to wipe away the paint with my thumb. Instead, I reached for the easel and took it from her. “Were you just setting up? Or heading back?” I asked.

She shrugged, and the strap of her tank top slipped over the round of her shoulder, revealing the white strap of her bra. “Neither. I was kinda just…walking around. Looking for something to paint.”

“Oh. I was just…sketching. Ducks. Obviously.” I felt myself blushing as I mumbled, forcing my gaze away from the overlapping green and white straps and the hint of pale skin as she brushed the strap back in place. “I don’t really like ducks, I just…I thought the way they looked when they landed was kinda cool, and I—do you want me to carry your easel?” I felt like a spaz, shifting tracks so suddenly and blurting like an idiot.

Ever shrugged again, and the damn strap of her shirt slipped again. I wished she would stop shrugging so much, because it was wreaking hell on my ability to not stare at her. It wasn’t just the strap, though, it was her chest, the way it lifted and settled along with her shoulders. I felt my cheeks burn and wondered if my thoughts were visible, somehow, like I had a digital marquee on my forehead, announcing the fact that I was staring at her boobs.

“Sure,” Ever said, and I had to refocus to remember what we were talking about. “It is kinda heavy.”

Oh. The easel. Right. I leaned down and scooped up my sketchbook and papers, then adjusted the easel under my armpit more securely. “Where to?”

I was sensing a pattern now, and managed to avert my gaze before she did the shrug.

“I dunno. I was thinking somewhere on that side over there.” She pointed to a not-too-distant portion of the Green Lake shoreline.

We traipsed through the woods along the shoreline, chatting about our art classes, comparing notes and complaints. Every once in a while, Ever would move ahead of me, and the way her shorts clung to her backside was so distracting I almost dropped the easel a few times.

This was new territory for me. Girls were just girls. There’d never been one that had grabbed my attention like this before, and I didn’t know how to handle it. Of course, there were hot girls at school, and I looked at them, ’cause duh, I’m a guy. But this was different. Ever was someone I could see becoming a friend, and it was tricky having a friend who you couldn’t stop staring at like some wonderstruck moron. I felt like she had this power of reducing me to a mouth-breathing caveman.

Ook. Me Caden. You woman.

I trotted up to walk next to her, which was only nominally better. The problem was that anywhere I looked, there was something I shouldn’t be staring at.

Eventually, she came a stop on a little knoll surrounded by trees with a stunning view of the lake. “This is good,” she said. “I could paint this.” I set the easel down and unfolded it, then moved away and watched her arrange her canvas on the easel, open her paint case and select a pencil. “You can’t watch over my shoulder. That’s weird and creepy and I won’t be able to think.” She gestured off to one side. “Find your own spot and we’ll critique each other’s work when we’re done.”

“So we’re both drawing the same basic landscape scene?” I asked.

She nodded. “Well, I’ll paint it. You draw it.”

I found a place off to Ever’s left, framing the lake between two huge Jack Pines. I set my pad on my crossed legs and started sketching, and pretty soon disappeared into capturing the scene before me. I didn’t entirely forget about Ever, because she was hot even while painting— especially while painting, really. She was messy. She had a tendency to use her fingers as much as the brushes. She would swipe her bangs out of her face and get paint on her forehead and cheeks and nose. Even as I tried to force my attention back to the sketch in my book, she scratched her wrist with one hand, smearing orange paint on her wrist, and then rubbed her jaw with the same wrist.

I must have laughed out loud, because she glanced over at me. “What?” she asked.

“It’s just…you have paint all over your face.”

“I do?” She wiped at her cheek with one hand, which of course only smeared it worse.

I set my pad and pencils down and moved to stand next to her. “Yeah, it’s…everywhere.” I hesitated, then dragged my thumb lightly across her forehead and showed her the paint on my thumb.

She frowned, and then lifted the bottom edge of her shirt to wipe her face. At the sight of her stomach and the hint of white bra, I turned away. “Is that better?” she asked.

I turned back around. She had paint all over her shirt, but her face was clean. “Yeah, you got it off your face. Except…” I took a strand of her hair between my finger and thumb, and it came away green. “You have it in your hair too.”

“I’m a messy painter, I guess. I like to use my hands. At home, I don’t even use brushes. But the teachers here want me to try and expand my ‘vocabulary as an artist’ or some bullshit like that.” She put air quotes around the phrase, mocking it. “Mom was the same way.”

Something in her eyes and voice when she mentioned her mother, along with the fact that she’d used past tense, had me on alert. “She’s a messy painter?” I didn’t want to ask, or assume anything.

“Was.” Ever turned away from me and focused on her canvas, dabbing her brush into a glop of green on her palette, darkening the shade closer to the green of the pine needles.

“Why was?”

“Because she’s dead.” She said it calmly, matter-of- factly, but too much so. “Car accident. Not quite a year and a half ago.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I mean…yeah. I’m sorry for your loss.” That was a phrase I’d heard before, but it sounded awkward when I said it. Fake and empty.

Ever glanced at me. “Thanks.” She wrinkled her nose. “We don’t have to talk about it. It happened, and that’s it. No point in getting all weepy about it.”

I felt like she was putting on a brave face, but I didn’t know how to tell her she didn’t have to do that. If she wanted a brave face, what business was it of mine to say she shouldn’t? I took a few deep breaths, and then changed the subject. “I like your painting. It’s not quite realistic, but not quite abstract, either.”

It was an interesting piece. The trees were thick, blurry, smeared representations of trees, browns and greens that barely seemed like anything at all, but the lake beyond and between them was intensely realistic, each ripple detailed and perfect, glinting and reflecting the sunlight.

“Thanks,” she said. “I wasn’t sure it would work when I started, but I think I like it.” She stepped back, rubbing the side of her nose with her middle finger, blotting brown on her skin, then realized what she’d done and sighed. “Lemme see yours.”

I hated showing people my drawings. I drew because I loved drawing. I drew because it just seemed to come out of me, whether I intended to do it or not. I doodled all over my textbooks and notebooks at school, on my desk calendar at home, even on the leg of my jeans sometimes. I didn’t draw to impress people. Letting someone see my work was like showing someone a part of me, it felt like. I showed my dad my drawings sometimes, because he was an engineer with a background in drafting and knew what he was talking about. And he was my dad and wouldn’t be too harsh or critical.

What if Ever thought I was shitty? I liked her and wanted her to think I was cool, talented.

Before I could re-think the decision, I handed her my sketchpad. To disguise my nerves, I picked up a thick stick from the ground and started peeling the bark off. Ever stared at my sketch for a long time, looking from it to the lake, and then walked to where I’d been sitting when I drew it. After what felt like a thousand years, she handed it back.

“You kick my ass at drawing. That’s really amazing, Caden. It almost looks like a photo.”

I shrugged, picking at the bark with my thumbnail. “Thanks. It’s not really all that photorealistic, but…it’s not bad for a quick sketch.”

She just nodded, and neither of us knew what to say. I wanted to be calm and cool and confident, make casual conversation and impress her with my wit. But that just wasn’t me.

I was a bark-picker and a dirt- kicker, words sticking in my chest and tumbling around each other.

“We should draw each other. Just pencils and paper,” Ever said, breaking the awkward silence.

“Sure,” was all I could say. I flipped the page of my book to an empty one, then realized she’d only brought her canvas, so I carefully ripped the page out and handed it to her. “You’ve got a pencil, right?”

Ever lifted her pencil in response, and then sat down cross-legged in the dirt. I sat facing her and tried to pretend that my eyes weren’t drawn to her inner thighs, bared and looking softer than I could possibly imagine. I ducked my head and regrouped, then forced my gaze to her face. I started sketching, getting the basic shapes down first. By the time I’d finished the outline of her face and shoulders, I had an idea. I wanted to mimic her own style, mixing realism with abstraction. It flowed easily once I had the concept down. We were companionably silent then, glancing up at each other every now and again, but focused on our work.

Wind blew in the tree around us, and the sun filtered lower and lower, and somewhere voices echoed, laughing and yelling. The scent of pine trees was thick in the air, a smell so pungent it was almost visible. It was the scent of a northern Michigan summer, to me.

I didn’t know how long we sat there drawing each other, and I didn’t care. I had a sense of complete peace, soul-deep contentment. Our knees were touching, just our kneecaps brushing, and that was enough to make me feel euphoria. Then Ever shifted, and my right knee touched her left shin, pressing close and making my heart skip more beats than could possibly be healthy.

Finally, I knew the drawing was done. I examined it critically, adjusted a few lines and angles, and then nodded. I was pleased. I’d captured her face with as much realism as I possessed, her hair hanging in loose waves around one shoulder, head tilted, eyes downcast. The farther down her torso the drawing went, the more blurred and abstracted it got, so that her feet and knees were charcoal smudges on the paper.

I stood up, leaving the pad on the pine- needle-carpeted ground, and paced, working the blood back into my legs and numb backside. When I returned to my seat in front of Ever, she was holding my sketchbook and staring at it, an oddly emotional expression on her face.

“Is this how you see me?” she asked, not looking up at me.

“I—sort of? I mean, it’s just a drawing. I was trying to mimic the way you did that landscape, you know?” I reached for my book, but she held on. “Are you…I mean, you’re not mad or anything, are you?”

She shook her head and laughed. “No! Not at all. I was just expecting it to be a profile or something, you know? And this is totally not that. I don’t know, Caden. You make me look—I don’t know…prettier than I am.”

“Not—um…I kind of think it doesn’t do you justice. It’s not good enough. You’re…you’re prettier than that.”

“You think I’m pretty?”

I was beet red, I could feel it. Once again I wished I could say something debonair like James Bond would say in the old Sean Connery movies Dad watched every weekend. “Yeah.”

Nice. Might as well have grunted like a Neanderthal.

Ever blushed and ducked her head, smoothing her hair over her shoulder with one hand. “Thanks.” She glanced up at me, and our eyes met, locked. I wanted to look away, but couldn’t. Her eyes were mesmerizing, green and almost luminous. “I almost don’t want to show you my stupid drawing.”

I reached for the drawing, but Ever didn’t let go of it. Our fingers touched, and I swore actual physical sparks shot up from where our skin touched. Neither of us pulled away.

After a forever that could have fit into the space of a single breath, she let me take the sheet of paper, and touch became loss.

It was an amazing portrait of me, ultra-realistic. I was sitting cross-legged with my pad of paper, pencil held in my fingers, head down. You could just barely see the upper portion of my face, the frown of concentration.

“It’s incredible, Ever,” I said. “Really amazing.” I was torn between admiration and jealousy. She was really good.


She held my drawing, and I held hers. A cicada sang somewhere, the loud buzzing sound of summer.

“I have an evening composition class,” I said. “I should probably go.”

“Yeah. I should too.” She stood up, brushing off her backside, an action I tried not to watch, then handed me my sketchpad back. “I had a good time today. Maybe we could do this again. Another day.”

I tore my drawing of her free and gave it to her. “Yeah. I’d like that.”



She gave an odd, half- circle wave, then looked at her hand as if to question why it had done such an awkward thing. Then, before I could say anything, she gathered her things and left.

I watched her go, wondering what this thing was between us. Friendship? Something else? We’d only hung out twice, but it had felt like more than that. Like we knew each other, somehow.

I went to class and then back to my cabin, where I stashed her drawing of me.

~ ~ ~ ~

I didn’t see Ever again until nearly the end of camp, even though I went out of my way to find her. Every time I went by her cabin she was gone, and I never saw her in any classes or workshops, or at dinner. I got a glimpse of her once, swimming with her cabin-mates, laughing and wet and beautiful, but I was with some guys from my own cabin, on the way to shoot hoops in the gym.

It was three days until the end of the camp. Late at night. I was supposed to be in bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I had an unsettled feeling in my stomach, a restlessness that had no source or definition, just an anxiousness that I couldn’t seem to dispel. I snuck out of the cabin and went down to one of the docks.

It was a clear night, moonless and dark, lit only by a sky full of stars. The air held a touch of coolness, whispering over my skin. I hadn’t bothered to put on a shirt, wearing a pair of gym shorts and sports sandals as I stepped lightly on the creaking wood of the long dock.

I was so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I didn’t see or hear her until I was nearly on top of her.

Ever sat on the edge of the dock, feet dangling. I opened my mouth to speak, but then I saw that her shoulders were shaking. She was crying.

I didn’t know what to do, what to say. She’d come down here to be alone—I mean, that much was obvious, right? And asking her if she was okay seemed stupid. I hesitated, turned to leave. I didn’t know how to even begin comforting her, but I wanted to try. So, I sat down next to her, dangling my feet over the black, rippling water.

She wasn’t sobbing, just quietly crying. I put my hand on her shoulder and squeezed, a gentle touch that let her know I was there. A short hesitation, and then she turned into me and my arm went around her and held her. I felt wetness touch my shoulder, her tears on my skin. I held her, let her cry, and wondered if I was doing it right. If there was something I was supposed to be saying that would make it okay.

“I miss her, Caden.” Her voice was tiny, barely audible. “I miss my Mom. I—I miss home. I’m homesick. But most of all, I wish I could go home and see Mom again. Dad doesn’t talk about her. Eden doesn’t talk about her. I don’t talk about her. It’s like she died and now we pretend like she never was.”

“You can talk to me.” I hoped that didn’t sound too cliché.

“I don’t know what to say. She’s been dead a year and a half, and all I can really say is…I miss her. I miss how she made our family a family.” She sniffled and straightened away from my shoulder, although our bodies were still flush against each other, hip to hip. I left my arm around her shoulders, and she didn’t seem to mind it. “Now it’s just each of us by ourselves. Eden and I…we’re twins, did I tell you that? We don’t even really talk about her, or about missing her, or anything. And we’re twins, we almost share a brain sometimes. Like, legit, we can read each other’s thoughts sometimes.”

“Nothing like that has ever happened in my family. I don’t know how we’d handle it if it did. I know my dad probably wouldn’t talk about it. My mom might. I’m like Dad, I think, and I’d have a hard time talking about things. I already do. I’m sure you can tell. I never know what to say.” We were quiet for a while. But Ever needed someone to talk to. And I thought about last week, the two of us sitting by the lake, drawing—both of us knew how to speak with our hands and pencils. An idea came to me, and I said it without thinking. “What if we were pen pals?”

God, that sounded stupid.

“Pen pals?” At least, she didn’t laugh at me outright.

“I know that sounds dumb, or whatever. But it can be hard to talk on the phone. And we don’t really live close to each other, and…I just thought maybe if we wrote letters, we could talk about whatever we wanted, but on our own time.” She hadn’t said anything, and I was starting to feel intensely self-conscious. “I guess it’s dumb.”

“No, I…I like the idea. I think it’s awesome.” She turned and looked up at me. The starlight shone dim silver in her green eyes, and I felt like I could fall into her eyes if I stared long enough. “Like, we’d write actual paper letters? Every month?”

“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Or it could be more frequently, if we wanted to. Whenever, you know? Whenever we needed to say something.” I ran my thumbnail in the grooved grain of the faded wood.

“I really…I think that would be awesome.” She rested her head against my bicep.

We sat like that in the silence of a northern Michigan summer midnight, close and touching, but not embracing, not talking, lost in our own thoughts.

I heard voices behind us, turned to see two flashlight beams bobbing toward us. “We’ve been found,” I said.

Just before our respective cabin staffers found us, Ever clutched my hand in hers. “Promise me you’ll write?”

“I promise.” I squeezed her with my arm, an awkward hug. “Good night, Ever.”

“’Night, Caden.” She hesitated a beat, and then turned into me, makin it a full fledged hug, bodies pressed against each other.

Totally worth the trouble I got in.

~ ~ ~ ~

Pick-up that Saturday was chaotic, a thousand cars, parents and campers reuniting. I found Dad leaning against the door of his truck, arms crossed. I spotted him from a distance, held up a finger to signal “one minute,” then wove through the crowd, duffel bag on my shoulder, looking for black hair and green eyes and a body that had featured in more of my dreams than I cared to admit.

Ever was standing in the open door of a boxy silver Mercedes SUV, looking around almost frantically. She saw me and flew toward me, slamming into me and hugging me. I was so surprised that I didn’t react for a moment, and then I dropped my bag and my arms went around her shoulders and I was hugging her back, holding her, smelling the shampoo in her hair and the faint, indefinable scent that made a girl smell like a girl.

When we pulled apart, I handed her a folded slip of paper on which I’d printed my name and address as neatly as I could. The paper she handed me had a heart on it, my name written in a curving, looping script within the heart. Did that mean something? Was the fact that she put my name inside the heart significant? Or was that just something girls did? I wished I knew and I tried not to read too much into it.

“You better write me,” she said.

“I will. I promise.” I held onto the folded square of paper, not wanting to put it in my pocket in front of her. That would just feel rude, somehow.

“Good. And I promise I’ll write you back.”

“You better.” I heard her father say something to her sister Eden, and I shuffled back a few steps. “Good luck. You know, with…everything we talked about.”

“You too.” She gave me a half-wave, a stiff semi-circle of her arm. Her eyes were on me, and her lips were smiling, and it was all I could do to tear myself away, grab my duffel bag and trot back toward Dad and the truck. My head was spinning and my heart was doing strange sideways cartwheels.

Dad was waiting for me in the driver’s seat, the engine idling, staring off out his window. His expression was pensive, brooding, and dark. I made sure to wipe the goofy grin off my face as I tossed my bag into the bed of the truck and ran the aged black rubber bungee cord through the handle, slipping the hook securely under the lip of the bed rim. I had Ever’s note in my palm, and I slid my hand against my thigh to hide it.

“Got a number, huh, bud?” Dad’s voice was amused.

I glanced at him, stifling the urge to roll my eyes. “Sort of.”

“How do you ‘sort of’ get a number?”

“It’s not her phone number, it’s her address.”

“Her address?” Dad sounded incredulous. “You must have some serious game, Cade. Where does she live?”

Serious game? My dad was trying to be hip again, apparently. I lifted one shoulder in a shrug, not wanting to tell him about the pen pals idea, but knowing he’d pester me until I did. “I dunno where she lives, I haven’t looked at it yet. Somewhere in Bloomfield, I think.”

“Bloomfield, huh? The ritzy area. Her pops must be loaded.”

I shrugged again, my standby response to pretty much everything. “I guess. I think he works for Chrysler or something. An executive or vice president. Something like that.”

Dad huffed in sarcastic laughter. “‘Something like that.’ How informative. Did you learn anything definite about her?”

“Her name is Ever Eliot. She lives in Bloomfield. She’s into painting and sculpture. She has a twin sister named Eden.” I wasn’t going to mention the fact that her mom had died in a car accident. It seemed like it would be a breach of confidence to tell him. “She’s beautiful.”

“You like her?”

I shrugged yet again. “I guess.”

“You guess.” He shook his head in frustration and then turned up the radio as “Springsteen” by Eric Church came on, and we both tuned in to listen. When the song ended, he turned it down again. “So this Ever girl aside, how was Interlochen?”

“It was good.”

He waited a few beats, glancing at me expectantly. “Thousands of dollars and three weeks, and all I get out of you is “it was good’?”

Ugh. Adults always wanted more information from me than I ever knew how to give them. “What do you want, Dad, a day by day breakdown? I don’t know. I learned about all sorts of artistic bullshit. Angles, shading, perspective, composition. I tried my hand at oil painting and watercolor. Even tried clay sculpture, which I suck at. I took a class on drawing anatomy, which was pretty awesome. It was camp. I swam. Played basketball with some of the guys from my cabin.”

“And met a pretty girl.”

“And that. Yeah.”

“Sounds like a great time.” He grabbed my shoulder in his iron-hard fist and shook me, which was meant to be affectionate, but ended up feeling rough, like he was trying to be casual, or playful. “Think you’ll go back next year?”

I’d been thinking about that a lot the last few days. “Maybe? I don’t really know. I’m torn. I did have a good time, and I learned a lot, but…it was like a whole extra summer of school, just for art. Summers at the ranch with Gramps…it’s just…different. “

Dad nodded. “Well, think about it, I guess. You’ve got a year. I know Gramps would happy to have you back next summer, but do what you want for you.”

We kept quiet after that, listening to country and classic rock as the miles passed. The closer we got to home, the more pinched and worried Dad’s expression became. I opened my mouth several times to ask him what was wrong, but never actually spoke. He’d pass it off, brush it off, say it was nothing for me to worry about. But if he was still acting stressed or worried after three weeks, there was something going on that my parents weren’t telling me.

At home, I tried to ignore it, but as the summer days dwindled, bringing me closer to the start of ninth grade and my fifteenth birthday, I couldn’t help noticing the whispered conversations while I was watching TV, the increasingly frequent times they left together on mysterious “errands,” or the way Mom seemed to be withdrawing into herself. But when I walked into a room or started to ask Mom if she was okay, she pasted a smile on her face and changed the topic to some variation of whether I needed any more school supplies.

When I got home from my absolutely shitty first day of ninth grade, I sat at my desk in my room with the door closed, dug my American Literature notebook from my backpack, and sat down to write to Ever for the first time.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading. 

​Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre. 

She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio. 

You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake. 

Jasinda is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Demon's Possession by Kiersten Fay

Demon's Possession by Kiersten Fay

I received this book in exchange for a review...

Here is my review, this book was fast paced and very interesting from the first page. This book contains it all, really hot paranormal guys and a girl, we also have a heroine who is so fragile but strong at the same time. If there are demons in outer space as hot as the demons in this book then I might consider joining the space program LOL.

This is a story about a girl named Anya who has special powers and is being held against her will by a evil man Dairus(don't worry he gets his in the end ;)
Bastain is the hot hero Demon and Cal and Marik are his brothers, lets not forget Sonya the very funny no sugar coating sister Demon.
Anya is desperate to get away from Darius and steals away on Bastian's ship un-noticed. While Bastain is on his next mission Anaya is discovered, she is safe on the ship because his new job has come with some very strict rules no one on or off until delivery is made.

While on the ship Bastian and Anya begin to fall in love which is awesome but also cool is Anya gets to develop friendships and family with the crew members. This story has it all Love, action and the bad guy gets it in the end.I am so glad I read this and will be moving on to the next installment in this series.