Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review: Chosen by Kristen Day


Chosen (Daughters of the Sea 3) Author: Kristen Day Publisher: Self Published Blurb:
The essence of who we are lies not in what we have, but in what we are willing to give up. Because in the end, Time and Tide wait for no one. After sacrificing all that she had, the evil princess of the Underworld is still successful in her bid to tear Finn from Stasia’s life. In the midst of her search to reclaim him, Stasia is summoned to the island nation of Cyprus to take part in an age-old ritual; unveiling the missing pieces of her ancestry and re-igniting an ancient war. As she struggles to both save Finn’s soul and free Carmen’s mind, Stasia’s bravery and determination will be pushed to its breaking point. A dark storm is forming on the horizon, and the forces who are vying to destroy her may be much closer than she thinks. Destiny weaves a sticky web of evil, betrayal, and revenge that can only be undone by the purity of love and the soul’s unyielding will to survive. In the last installment of the Daughters of the Sea trilogy, the past will collide with the present as Stasia’s future hangs in the balance. The prophecy that paved the way for her new life may indeed be the very thing that strips her of the ones she loves the most.

Chosen is the stunning conclusion to the Daughters of the Sea series by Kristen Day.  The best part of this series has been the relationship between Stasia and Finn.  It is incredibly sweet, and you really root for them.  The romance isn't the main aspect of the series though, it takes somewhat of a back seat to action and drama.

Kristen Day does an excellent job of world building.  She describes things in ways that make you feel like you are there.  I really enjoyed reading about the different types of descendants   I found this to be one of the most interesting aspects of the story.

In the end, all of our questions from the first two books are answered and I was left feeling satisfied.  I'm looking forward to reading my by this author.

About Kristen Day
v1i368adqrdqni76l1n5 Kristen Day is a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity. She loves all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky. She’s been told she sees the world through rose-colored glasses, but she prefers to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses - swirling and morphing reality into something she can digest (who hasn't pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?). She is the author of the DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA trilogy, which includes FORSAKEN, AWAKEN (Oct 2012), and CHOSEN (Winter 2012). She loves all books, but really enjoys writing young adult, paranormal romances. She’s loved to write for as long as she can remember. Her first published work was her poem RED in second grade (you guessed it - it was a poem about the color red - life altering, right?) that won her 5 gold stars and a spot in her elementary school's poetry book. That's when her addiction to the written word officially began. She was the only kid in fifth grade that actually enjoyed diagramming sentences. Go ahead and laugh - its okay. When she’s not writing she’s making jewelry, painting, feeding her addiction to sweet tea, watching the Discovery Channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with her amazing husband. She was born in Boone, NC and graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Marketing in 2001. Author’s Links Goodreads Blog Twitter Facebook  

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review: Succubus Rising by BR Kingsolver

Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance
Date Published: February ??, 2013

Book 3 of the Telepathic Clans Saga, Succubus Rising

The Goddess has plans for Brenna and Rebecca. And the Goddess has a wicked sense of humor.

Rebecca Healy is a true wilder, growing up with no contact or knowledge of other telepaths. Discovered by a Clan member on the streets of San Francisco, she felt like she’d hit the jackpot. Finally, she knew what she was, or at least she thought she did.

When Brenna O’Donnell, long-lost heir of the O’Donnell Clan, and the strongest telepath in history, is returned to her family, she and Rebecca form a tight bond. Brenna has it all, looks, money, power, and men falling all over her. 

Rebecca isn’t jealous, but it would be nice to find someone who would really love her and stick around in the morning. She’s intrigued by a handsome South American general, but of course, he has his sights set on Brenna. Carlos de Vargas wants more than love. His Clan has its back to the wall, and they hope for an alliance with O’Donnell. An alliance that would lead to war.
The story began in The Succubus Gift and continued in Succubus Unleashed. In Succubus Rising, questions are answered and new mysteries are revealed.

My Review:

Succubus Rising is the third book in the Telepathic Clans Saga by B.R. Kingsolver.  I have read all three books and I really like this series.  Though I like Brenna, I was very excited to read that more of the focus of this book is on Rebecca.  We learn more about who Rebecca is in this story.  We finally see her getting some major attention, and that's great.  I won't spoil the surprise, but Rebecca is more than she seems, and we already know that after Brenna, she is a pretty kick-ass telepath.

In this segment of the series, Brenna has put her gifts as a succubus to work, taking Washington by storm.  When the clan makes an agreement with Carlos de Vargas, a south American clan leader, it leads to an all out war, putting not only Carlos but Collin in danger.  Will both men come back alive?  What toll will the casualties take on both clans?

What new crazy skills will Rebecca and Brenna discover they have?  Find out by reading this third installment in the Telepathic Clans Saga.

Virtual Book Tour March 15 - April 9

March 15 -  Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
March 16 - Author Ever Leigh - Review
March 17 - Mythical Books - PROMO
March 20 - Snifferwalk - Review
March 21 - Musings of a Blodger - Revewi/Interveiw
March 23 - My Reading Addiction - Reveiw
March 24 - Book Marks the Spot - PROMO
March 25 - Queen of the Night - Guest Post/PROMO
March 27 - Waiting on Sunday to Drown - Review/Guest Post
March 28 - Phantasmic Reads - Review/Interview
April 1 - Cozie Corner - Review
April 2 - Must Read Faster - Guest Post/PROMO
April 3 - The Wormhole - Review/Interview
April 4 - The Book Faery Reviews - Guest Post/PROMO
April 5 - Pink Fluffy Hearts - PROMO
April 6 - 
April 7 - Sylv Jenkis - Guest Post/PROMO
April 8 - Beloved Books - Guest Post/PROMO
April 9 - RABT Reviews - Review

BR Kingsolver

Author Bio:
I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, a teacher, and somehow found a career working with computers.

I love the outdoors, especially the Rocky Mountains. I’ve skied since high school and I’ve hiked and camped all my life. I love to travel, though I haven’t done enough of it. I’ve seen a lot of Russia and Mexico, not enough of England. Amsterdam is amazing, and the Romanian Alps are breathtaking. Lake Tahoe is a favorite, and someday I’d like to see Banff in Canada.

I have a very significant other, two cats and two Basset Hounds. I’m currently living in Baltimore, nine blocks from the harbor, but still own a home in New Mexico that I see too infrequently.

Buy Links 
 Book #1
Book #2

Book #3 

Blue Hearts of Mars Book Blast & Giveaway

Blue Hearts of Mars by Nicole Grotepas

Retta Heikkinen knows the unspoken rule of society: love between androids and humans is forbidden. A simple enough edict until Hemingway Koskinen spends an evening charming her with his intense gaze, bewitching smile, and sparkling conversation that hints at so much more than the usual obsessions of high school boys. Rules were meant to be cast aside, especially when love beckons.

If only it were as simple as being in love.

Trouble is brewing, not just for Hemingway--for all androids. Secrets have been kept, lies propagated, and Retta soon discovers that a frightening future awaits thousands of androids if she doesn’t do something to stop it. Worse yet, she will lose the one love she’s ever endangered herself for: Hemingway.


"Nothing like I've read before. A true original story! Everything is so well described. Now if they could make a follow up book and movie, that would be great!" ~Mrs. Z (Amazon)

"I was addicted to this book from the beginning. Life on Mars was very real and not at all a sci fi world I didn't understand . . . I found myself rooting for Retta and Hemingway from the very beginning. Easy reading, couldn't put it down and had it read in a weekend. Waiting for a sequel!" ~TNielsen (Amazon)

"The ending of this book is exceptional. While it was different from what I imagined, the way the author brought in a shocking revelation was amazing. I probably reread the last chapter 3 times letting it sink in and the meaning behind it. It was truly beautiful . . . I would love to see more of Retta and Hemingway!" ~Kat Meyer, (Goodreads)

"I love how the author populated Mars . . . so descriptive and comprehensive . . . I could clearly picture everything as if I was seeing the movie &/or was along for the ride. . . . Retta, the main character, is strong, opinionated, and a great champion for her cause." ~Megan (Amazon)

"I had been in the worst reading slump ever and came across this on Goodreads and thought I'd give it a try. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on how funny and exciting and mysterious it was . . . Mei, Retta's bff, had me laughing out loud quite a bit as well as Retta herself. I'd definitely hang out with those two." ~Deanneluvbooks (Goodreads)

Blue Hearts of Mars has made it to the quarterfinals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Readers are invited to download the excerpts (here) and rate and comment on the entries. So please, if you want to contribute, download and rate Blue Hearts! Your support is incredibly appreciated!

Or purchase the full version of the book here: Amazon

Author Nicole Grotepas

Nicole wrote her first fantasy novel in 7th grade on her mother's old Brother typewriter. It was never finished but it strongly resembled a Dragonlance plot and she's forever wondered what happened to the manuscript and Tonathan--the handsome elven protagonist. After living in Nashville where she worked as an editor, she returned to the Utah desert where she was raised. Nicole now lives near the Wasatch mountains with her husband. She writes and raises her son and three cats full time.

Tour Schedule

Book Blast Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 4/14/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Game by Shane Scollins Book Review & Guest Post

Young Adult Thriller/Suspense
Date Published:3/1/13

No matter where you are, they’ll find you, and put you in “The GAME”.

Candice Laguna’s life is being systematically dismantled, by an unknown force, for a
reason she can’t imagine. But she is about to become the unwilling star of a reality game
competition the likes of which has never been broadcast to the world.

Just when things get darkest, a mysterious man snatches her from the grips of doom.
He is a man who is not what he seems, and not who he says. He has no name and his
motivation to help Candice is not what it seems to be.

But his selfishness has good intentions, he just wants to know who he is and where he
came from. And getting to the man orchestrating this reality game is the only way to find
the truth.

THE GAME is a mystery/thriller with an unpredictable paranormal twist. It has action
and adventure and plays up the everyday exploitation of reality television obsession gone

Virtual Book Tour March 15 - March 29

March 15 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
March 16 - Little Bookstar - Review/Interview
March 17 - Read Review Love - Review/Guest Post
March 18 - The Adventures Within - Review/Guest Post
March 19 - Lust For Stories - Review
March 20 - Musings of a Blodger - Review/Interview
March 22 - Pink Fluffy Hearts - Review/Interview
March 23 - Looks, Cooks, and Books - Review
March 23 - Books and Their Worldly Realm - Review
March 24 - Fictional Reality - Review/Guest Post
March 25 - Lindie Dagenhart - Review
March 26 - Waiting on Sunday to Drown - Review/Guest Post
March 26 - Weakling No. 14 Reviews - Review/Guest Post
March 27 - My Cozie Corner - Review
March 28 - Kindle Obsessed - Review/Guest Post
March 29 - Steph in Wonderland - Review
March 29 - Little Library Muse - Review/Guest Post

My Review:

This book is so different from anything else that I have read.  I think it would make a good movie.  It's very edge of your seat and keeps you guessing.  I also found it to be super creepy.  Imagine if someone was calling you and knew everything about you - making problems in your life until you have no choice but to participate in a sick and twisted game.  Imagine if you didn't know who you really are.  These are things two of the characters in the book are going through.  The book is pretty intense in parts.  There is a bit of romance thrown in, and a weird paranormal twist.  

The book also raises questions about reality TV and the lengths that these types of shows go to  to exploit people for the purpose of entertainment.  It also makes you take a look at how you the reader look at these shows.  

This is the first book I've read by Shane Scollins but it will not be the last.  I can't wait to see what else this guy has written!

Shane Scollins

Author Bio:
Shane Scollins is a freelance writer and author. From New Jersey, he now resides in
Upstate New York with his wife, Heather. He has worked as an automotive service
manager, a website developer and a computer network engineer. Primarily a
science fiction and paranormal novelist, Shane enjoys taking readers on surprising
and unexpected journeys that twist reality. He is currently working on his next

Twitter: @shanescollins

Buy Links 

Guest Post

Book covers are a vitally important part of your book. They are the first thing readers will see. They are the first impression of your work. And as much as we want to believe in that old saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover, we simply know from a marketing standpoint, that’s not even close to true.  

The craziest part is that in this new publishing landscape book covers are even more important. The cover has never been more critical than it is right now. There are more books available and a greater need to distinguish yours from the pack.

Self-publishing and eReaders have put more choices in front of readers than there has ever been before. And at the same time readers are devouring books at a rate they never have. Setting your book apart from the pack is not easy, and at this stage, at the very least, you need to have a cover that will get that second look. It needs to be clean and professional.

Unless your name is King, Koontz, Patterson, Stewart or Roberts, your story is going to need a great cover. Those few big names can just put their name on the cover, some swirly sky colors next to a tree, and end up selling the lights out. Unfortunately, that won’t work for most of us.

The rest of us need a great cover that evokes the emotion of the shopper. Because lets face it, no matter how great the writing is, if the cover is horrible, no one is going to know it.

I have seen firsthand the difference a great cover can make. My publisher, Limitless Publishing, is putting out some of the best book covers on the market, period. And the cover is the window into your book. If people don’t want to look thorough the window, it won’t matter how cool the view inside is.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Shadow of Black Wings Book Promo & Soundtrack


Title: The Shadow of Black Wings

Series: The Year of the Dragon #1

Author: James Calbraith

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Alternate History,

Publisher: Flying Squid

Format: Ebook and Paperback

Length: 70000 words


Purchase: Amazon |


Book Description:


"Fast paced and full of energy"

--Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the Shadows of the Apt


"This manuscript is full of highly crafted detail that will make readers shiver at times with fear and delight ... a familiar yet highly original fantasy that is a worthwhile read."

-- Publishers Weekly


"The real-world cultures are incredibly well-researched and truthful, and yet well-balanced with the fantasy elements. An intriguing and impressive series."

-- Ben Galley, author of the Emaneska Series


It is the Sixteenth Year of Queen Victoria. In the powerful empire of Dracaland, Bran, a young dragon rider, joins his father on a military expedition to the mysterious lands of the Orient. In the reclusive Yamato, Sato, a tomboy samurai girl, strives to prove her right to inherit her father's school of western magic. Nagomi, a timid shrine apprentice, is haunted by the visions of dark future she must keep secret even from her best friend.


They don't know it yet, but their paths will cross... And when they do, nothing will ever be the same again.


Welcome to The Shadow of Black Wings, a steam-powered romp across the land of dragons, wizards and samurai. It's big, it's fast, it's been compared to Tolkien in terms of world-building, it has strong female characters and lots of carefully researched detail. You will meet the Royal Marines sailing mighty ironclads and Chinese walking machines; mysterious warlords and crazy inventors; you will discover dark prophecies, family secrets and blood-thirsty demons. And all that in just the first volume!

"The Shadow of Black Wings" Official Soundtrack, by Various Artists. (opens Spotify Playlist link) All songs can be found on Spotify (except when restricted regionally). Where available, I linked to YouTube. PROLOGUE:1. Overture: The Empire and the Mechanician (And I Will Kiss, Underworld) 17:15 CHAPTER ONE:2. Bran's Aerobatics Exam (Test Drive, John Powell) 2:363. Men of Llambed, The Academy's Anthem (Men of Harlech)2:54 CHAPTER TWO:4. The Bard in the Tavern (Three Welsh Airs, Susan Scott) 4:595. They're playing Farmer's Fancy! (Ffansi Ffarmwr, Dy Werin) 3:306. Dylan ab Ifor's Theme: The Royal Marine (Soldier'an Sailor Too, Massed Bands of HM Royal Marines) 3:04 CHAPTER THREE:7. A Gwynedd Summer (Helfa'r Marchogion, Crasdant) 4:20 CHAPTER FOUR:8. The Memory of Temasek: Ifor's Diary (Singapore, Hans Zimmer) 3:419. The Ocean's Call (Theme de David, Vladimir Cosma) 2:25 CHAPTER FIVE:10. The Ironclads and Factory Smoke (Industrial Revolution, Jean Michel-Jarre) 4:3911. Soldiers and Sailors Too: Brigstow Harbour (Smith of Bristol, The Dubliners) 2:3012. Farewell to Langyfelach: Song of the departing dragoons (Ffarwel i Langyfelach Lon, Meredydd Evans) 2:02 CHAPTER SIX:13. The Greatest Ship Ever Built (A Life on the Ocean Wave, The Band of HM Royal Marines) 1:0514. Tinubu's Tricks; Egungun Dancer (Nigeria Tribal Rhythms and Percussion, Djembe and Dungu Folk) 3:4215. Bran's Birthday Jig (Two Hornpipes � Tortuga, Hans Zimmer) 1:14 CHAPTER SEVEN:16. Fragrant Harbour (Fragrant Harbour, The Band of Royal Hong Kong Police) 2:2017. Fan Yu, the Great Harbour! (Fishermen on the East China Sea, Zhu Xiaomeng) 5:0818. The Songs of the Boat People (Fishing Junks at Sunset, Jean-Michel Jarre) 6:02 CHAPTER EIGHT:19. Battle in the Sky: What Are Your Orders, Arian? (Wheel of Fortune, Hans Zimmer) 6:46 CHAPTER NINE:20. Act II: Another Land (Entrance Music for Traditional Rakugo Entertainer) 0:5321. Nansei Summer; Accursed Weather (Asadoya Yunta of Okinawa, Group from Okinawa) 2:0722. Overwizard-dono! "The Advantages of Floating in the Middle of the Sea" (from Pacific Overtures) 5:51 CHAPTER TEN:23. Sato's Theme: the Samurai's Daughter (Shinsengumi Main Theme, Kyoto Piano Ensemble) 3:4224. Suwa Shrine; Lady Kazuko�(Heron's Dance, Male Shinto Choir) 1:5725. Nagomi's Trance (Shrine Maiden's Dance, Shinto Instrument Ensemble) 3:1526. Ei!Ei!Ie - Toh! (Kendo Drumming) 0:2127. The Bathhouse (The song of Bathing in the Hot Spring, Group from Iwai) 3:29 CHAPTER ELEVEN:28. Snow in Kiyo (Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, Ryuichi Sakamoto) 4:4529. It fell from Heavens! (Blade Runner End Titles, Vangelis) 4:39 CHAPTER FOURTEEN:30. Night Escapade; Streets of Kiyo (Yojimbo Title, Masaru Satoh) 3:01 CHAPTER FIFTEEN:31. The Dark Clouds Gather: The boy is a castaway (Seven Samurai Theme, Fumio Hayasaka) 1:24 CHAPTER SIXTEEN:32. Shuhan's Lullaby (Edo Komoriuta, Takashi Yujiro) 1:1333. Master Tanaka's Machines (Gohatto, Ryuichi Sakamoto) 2:0234. The Best Castella in the City (Bastiana, Coral Dinamene) 1:3735. The Crimson Robe Theme: Demon (Demon God II, Joe Hisaishi) 0:5736. Dark Energies; Take me to Suwa! (Battles, Clannad) 1:01 CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:37. Epilogue - the Scent of Wisteria (Kagemusha, Shinichiro Ikebe) 4:04 BONUS TRACKS:BOOK 2: THE WARRIOR'S SOUL (Suo Gan, John Williams)BOOK 3: THE ISLANDS IN THE MIST (Ar Lan Y Mor)BOOK 4: THE RISING TIDE (Furusato)

About the Author:


James Calbraith is a 34 year old Poland-born writer, foodie and traveller, currently residing in South London.


Growing up in communist Poland on a diet of powdered milk, Lord of the Rings and soviet science-fiction, he had his first story published at the ripe age of eight. After years of bouncing around university faculties, he moved to London in 2007, found a decent IT job and started writing in English. His debut historical fantasy novel, ""The Shadow of Black Wings"", has reached ABNA semi-finals. It was published in July 2012 and hit the Historical Fantasy and Alternate History bestseller lists on Amazon US & UK.




A single gear whirred and clicked into place. A valve opened, letting out a thin plume of grey steam with a quiet hiss. A gold-plated dial moved by a notch. A tiny mallet sprang from its compartment, striking the brass gong - one, two, three, four, five, six times.

       Master Tanaka looked up in surprise - an hour of the Hare already? He turned towards the window and the pink light of dawn illuminated his face. The temple bell only now started to ring out the time. He sighed then yawned, rubbing tired eyes. Another night had passed without him noticing.

       The elementals inside the clock awoke with a soft purr and the automatic brush began to move swiftly inside the glass cloche. A slot opened in the mahogany pedestal and spat out a piece of paper upon which was written the day’s divination. Hisashige reached for it absentmindedly, his attention focused on the piece of complex clockwork on which he had been working. He glanced briefly at the calligraphy - Oku, ‘a gift’. He smiled to himself and nodded knowingly.


A higher-pitched chime rang eight times – counting out the hours of the Western reckoning. The door slid open and a small boy entered the workshop. With his long and angular face, puffed lips and wide straight nose, he bore no resemblance to Master Tanaka.

       ‘It came from Kiyō this morning, Father,’ the boy said, presenting Hisashige with a large, ornately packed wooden box.

       ‘Excellent!’ the old master exclaimed.

       He put the box on the workbench beside the clockwork and began to unwrap it eagerly.

       ‘Shūhan-sama was supposed to send me some Walcheren glass.’

       He stopped abruptly and his shoulders sank when he saw the crest on the box, in golden leaf – three lines in a circle. He lifted the lid without enthusiasm. Inside was what seemed like a small human head, completely bald.

       ‘Some gift.’ Hisashige looked at the clock with reproach. ‘It’s just another of Zōzan’s broken dolls.’


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Going Under by S. Walden Promo & Excerpt

New Adult 
Date to be Published: March 19, 2013


Brooke Wright has only two goals her senior year at Charity Run High School: stay out of trouble and learn to forgive herself for the past. Forgiveness proves elusive, and trouble finds her anyway when she discovers a secret club at school connected to the death of her best friend. She learns that swim team members participate in a “Fantasy Slut League,” scoring points for their sexual acts with unsuspecting girls.

Brooke, wracked with guilt over her friend’s death, decides to infiltrate the league by becoming one of the “unsuspecting girls,” and exact revenge on the boys who stole away her best friend. An unexpected romance complicates her plans, and her dogged pursuit of justice turns her reckless as she underestimates just how far the boys will go to keep their sex club a secret.
(This is a New Adult fiction book with mature themes.  It contains explicit language and descriptions of sexual violence.)

S. Walden

Author Bio:
S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a
full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics
textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have
personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams
include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens
included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at and
follow her blog at where you can get up-to-date information
on her current projects.

twitter: swaldenauthor


Book Excerpt:

I left the bathroom in a hurry, turning the corner for the foyer and slamming into him. The force of the hit was so great that I stumbled backwards, nearly falling on my bottom if not for his outstretched hand. I grabbed it before going down and wobbled on my too-high heels, clutching him as I worked to regain my balance.
“God, I’m sorry!” he exclaimed.
I looked at his face then, unprepared to see something so beautiful. I think I gasped. And then I averted my eyes out of sheer embarrassment.
“I really should watch where I’m going,” he said.
He still held my hand, and I let him. I couldn’t remember who I was or where I was going. I couldn’t remember where I had just been. I only knew that a very cute boy . . . no, he was more than cute. He was gorgeous. This very gorgeous boy was holding my hand, and I had only one thought. I wanted to make our handholding more intimate. I wanted to lace my fingers with his.
“I think I should,” I mumbled.
I chanced another look at him. I made a conscientious effort not to gasp as I took in his light blue eyes. I’d never seen eyes that color. Jared Leto had nothing on this guy’s eyes, and Jared’s eyes were the color of the Mediterranean. No, the eyes I looked into now were so light blue they looked translucent. I thought if I stared a little longer I could see right inside his head, to his brain, and I don’t know why that turned me on so much. I wanted to witness the workings of his mind, the firing synapses, information traveling safely inside neurons to different parts of his body. A few made it to his hand, and they must have told him to keep holding mine because he didn’t let go.
I stared shamelessly, licking my lips at one point. He stared back just as boldly. I wanted him to like what he saw. I wanted him to think I was sexy. I wanted him to feel the same instant attraction I did. I’d never felt it before. Not really. Not even with Finn. It was unsettling, and I wondered how people functioned after being smacked upside the head with it. Instant. Physical. Chemical.
Just rip my clothes off, I thought. Just rip my clothes off and do me right here in the hallway!
He smiled and released my hand. I thought he did it reluctantly, like his brain ordered him to and he finally acquiesced. I smiled back, a flirty grin. I pulled my ponytail forward over my shoulder and played with the strands. I bit my lower lip. And then reality came crashing down like a hailstorm, large lumps of ice banging my head and screaming at me in unison.
I looked at the gorgeous guy, and my face went white.
“Oh my God,” I whispered.
He stared at me for a moment before saying, “Are you okay?”
I shook my head and started towards the sanctuary doors. He followed behind.
“I’m awful, I’m awful, I’m awful,” I whispered over and over. I didn’t care if he could hear.
What the hell was I doing? Trying to flirt with a guy at my best friend’s funeral? How could I even forget for a second that I was at a funeral? I was supposed to be carrying around heavy, black sorrow to match my black dress and black heart, not batting lashes and fantasizing about sex with a stranger. Was I so ridiculous that a hot guy could make me forget to have any kind of decency? Or shame?
I rounded the corner and saw my mother waiting for me. And then I ran to her, threw myself into her arms, and burst into a fit of tears.
“Brooklyn,” she whispered, holding me in a tight hug. “It’s okay,” she cooed as she stroked my hair.
“I’m a terrible friend!” I wailed. I saw the fuzzy outline of a boy walking past us tentatively through the doors.
“No, you aren’t,” my mother replied.
“Yes, I am! I don’t even know why I’m here! Beth hated my guts! She wouldn’t talk to me all summer!”
“Brooke,” Mom said. “I want you to calm down. Now, we talked about this. You knew it would be hard, but she was your best friend for all those years. Do you think she wouldn’t have wanted you here?”
“No, I don’t!” I cried.
“Yes, she would,” Mom said. “Now we have to go in.”
“I can’t!”
“Brooke, Beth was your best friend,” Mom said, trying for patience.
“No she wasn’t! Not after what I did! I ruined everything! I’m a freaking slut!” I sobbed, shaking my head from side to side.
“Sweetheart, don’t say words like ‘freaking’ and ‘slut’ in a church,” Mom replied.
I only sobbed louder.
“You can do this,” Mom encouraged.
I stood my ground, shaking my head violently, refusing to go in.
“Brooklyn Wright!” Mom hissed, pushing me away and grabbing my upper arm. She squeezed too tightly, and I squeaked in discomfort. There was no more tenderness in her voice. “Get yourself together. This isn’t about you. So stop making it about you. You’re going into that sanctuary and you’re going to pay your respects to your friend, and you’re going to make it about Beth. Do you understand me?”
I swallowed hard and wiped my face.
“Do you understand me?” Mom repeated.
I nodded grudgingly, and she took my hand, leading me through the doors.

Blog design by Imagination Designs all images from the My Midnight Dreams Danced Among the Stars kit by Tangie