Thursday, March 26, 2015

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Bright Fire by MJ Austin @mjaustinbooks

Introducing MJ Austin and her debut novel, BRIGHT FIRE!


Delfia thought she was a normal girl about to turn sixteen until her adoptive parents are murdered by creatures from the underworld. Her life gets thrown into chaos as she teams up with her best friend, a strange guy, and a prophetess.

She soon discovers her biological father, Hades, ordered the attack on her and her family because a prophecy names her as the one to take him down. She must first complete a set of tasks to free Persephone, her mother, from the underworld and defeat Hades.

Will she be reunited with her mother or will she get sucked into the underworld?

*Book is geared towards readers that liked Percy Jackson Series, Need Series, etc.*


Mondays are the epitome of all evil. It's just a fact.
Do you ever get those feelings deep in the pit of your stomach? The ones that make you feel all queasy and anxious? Well, that’s how I feel right now. I am standing at my locker at a way too early hour, and I am in Dragon Bitch mode; which is surprising because today is my birthday.
Normally, I love my birthday. I officially turn 16 at 11:59 tonight, and instead of reveling in the excitement, am I staring at my locker without really seeing it. I just keep trying to figure out what’s causing this annoying pinch in my stomach. I jump when I hear the locker next to mine slam shut.
"Jeez, Lyla,” I huff. “How many times do I have to tell you not to do that? Now excuse me while I find a doctor to remove my heart from my nasal passage." I’m not in the mood for the early morning antics of Lyla Browning, even if she is my best friend.
"Soooorrry, but it seems to be the only way to get your attention. I say 'Happy birthday, Dell' and what do you do? You ignore me and stare at your locker. What is up with you?"
"Nothing, just a funny feeling."
She eyes me for a minute, then shrugs her shoulders and in a matter-of-fact tone tells me, "It's probably PMS."
“Yeah, maybe I dunno...” I trail off, the feeling still bugging me. I understand that she is trying to snap me out of it so I muster up some enthusiasm and sing, “Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me.”
She perks up instantly, and before I can clamp my hand over her mouth she starts bellowing out “Happy Birthday” in the middle of the hall that is seriously starting to fill up. By the time she finishes, everyone is staring at us, and my face is burning red.
“Aww come on, you love me and you know it,” she beams.
I smile because I do love her. Lyla and I have been best friends since forever. We first met in kindergarten when this little twerp, Zach Moreno, decided to pull my hair, and she punched him square in the nose.
We’ve been joined at the hip ever since then.
“But hey, you should be thrilled you’re turning 16.” she nudges me in the ribs a little.
“Yeah, I know, but my parents still won't let me get my permit till I’m 18.”
“No offense, but your parents are a little...intense.” She says.
“What do you mean by that?” I ask getting a bit defensive.
“Well, it’s just that lately they seem to be taking your safety to the extreme. You can't have sleepovers anymore, a car or a life. I mean it’s sweet that they care, but I thought parents got more lenient the older you get.” She fidgets with her wavy blond hair, afraid that she has gone too far.
The truth is she’s not wrong. My parents are great people, and I love them, but lately they have been too over-protective. When I ask them about it they just tell me, “the real world is full of dangers, kiddo.”
and that’s the end of that conversation. “Yeah, I know, I’m sure that is just their way of showing me that they care.”
“By the way, are we still on for binge night Friday?” She sees right through my attempts to change the subject. Binge night has been happening every Friday since the 6th grade. We start off at the roller rink and end up at my place with a large bag of cheddar popcorn, candy, and cokes.
“Uh, duh.” She says rolling her eyes. She grabs her stuff out of her locker. “Come on, we have homeroom.”
I turn to grab my bag out of my locker when the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Everybody gets those feelings now and then, but it was so intense I had to shiver to shake it off.
“Dude, what is your problem? Take a picture it lasts longer.” Lyla clicks her tongue, her usual reaction when something annoys her.
I whirl around to see who she is talking to and meet the gray eyes of Alec Hales, who is staring at me intensely like he’s waiting for something to happen. He would be the hottest guy in school if he weren't so weird. He continues to stare at me unabashed. I can’t help but stare back.
“Come on,” she grabs my arm. “This guy is freaking me out” She throws him the stink eye, and we head to class.
I spend the rest of the morning stumbling through class in a daze worried about that creepy stare. I’ve never seen anything like it.
What’s worse is that I’m pretty sure he’s the reason I had a chill that ranked 100 on the creep factor. OK, Dell get a grip, I tell myself as I walk into the cafeteria.
I do my normal scan and Lyla’s waiting for me at our usual table in the corner of the room, trays in tow. We are not the least popular students, but we are definitely not a part of the in-crowd. Lyla could be, but she sticks with me. Aside from her slightly crooked nose, she is the picture perfect replica of a Barbie doll, with her blond hair, green eyes, and mile-long legs. You get the picture. Me, on the other hand, my height is OK, not too short or too tall, but my drab brown hair and beanpole body are nothing special. The only thing I have going for me is my clear blue eyes. Lyla always calls them hypnotic.
“Ugggghhh,” she whines as she rolls her shoulders back and forth. “I think the teachers are secretly evil demons sent to torture teens with tests on Mondays. Seriously, who wants to take tests on Mondays?”
“Who wants to take tests at all?”
She throws a piece of lettuce at me. With a mouth full of food she asks, “What are your birthday plans?”
“Dinner with the family.”
“Same old, same old,” she laughs “maybe we can do something special for binge night like go shopping before the roller rink.”
“Yeah, that would be...” I trail off instantly when I feel the same eerie feeling I had by my locker. I lean into Lyla and whisper, “Is Alec staring at me?” She lifts her head up, and I pull her down. “Can’t you be discreet?” I hiss.
She subtly does a sweep of the cafeteria and relaxes, “Nope; nowhere in sight. Why do you ask?”
“I just got this creepy feeling earlier and again just now. I thought maybe it was his intense stare earlier.”
“Wow, I hope your weird doesn't rub off on me. Do you think it happens to everyone when they turn 16?” she jokes.
I laugh half-heartedly unable to shake the strange feeling.

About the Author:

M.J. Austin is the author of the Bright Fire series and NaNoWriMo 2014 winner. She has always found the world of fantasy preferable to the real world. She channels this love of mystical worlds and creatures into her writing. She is an avid reader and proud bookworm. She has a Master's Degree in Project Management, but her true passion is writing.

When she isn't working or writing she is diving into random projects as often as possible. She lives in Tennessee with three children, husband, and three dogs.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Heartsong Rerelease from Samantha LaFantasie

Relena wants freedom, depending on herself and not having to answer to anyone, but a betrayal takes that away. The last thing she expected was the incredibly handsome Marren to free her. The catch? She has to fall in love with him, fulfill a prophecy involving their heart song, and rejoin the two realms. But Jiren, the last Ancient of his kind, isn’t convinced and will stop at nothing to maintain his throne, even if it means breaking their most sacred law.

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For today only, there will be fun, games, and special appearances by Marren and Relena. Don't miss it!


Chapter 10

Something fell on my shoulder, jarring me from my relaxed state. I shrugged off the weight and then a painful groan fell on my ears. I turned to find Marren picking himself up off the floor in front of the cracked door that hung half off its hinges.

“Oh no, Marren! Are you—how did I do that?” I was caught off guard as soon as the realization I was responsible dawned on me.

“The change has been coursing through your body before you actually turn. Your strength has already evolved.” He stood, stretched his shoulders and neck then took a fighting stance.
“Seriously, you want to spar? Now?”

His lips pulled taut, revealing bright white teeth, the thrill of his intentions gleaming in his eyes.

“Marren,” I said, pleading to no avail.

He lunged at me. I jumped out of the way before he reached me, sending him sliding into the fireplace, chipping a piece of the marble off.

He picked himself up. “Come on, Relena. Don’t you want to play?”

“Any other day maybe, but I’m in pain, I’m scared, and the last thing on my mind is trying to break every bone in my body before I change.”

“You won’t break anything.” He ran at me, this time much faster, tackling me to the floor. A loud crack and a sharp pain entered my ribs, and I hit my head hard against the floor, leaving a spot filling with blood, despite a lack of pain. I kicked him off me and tried rolling to my side to get up. He overpowered me, pinning my legs in between his and my arms above my shoulders. “See?”

I panted, trying to push the wave of desire back, not wanting to change in the middle of that above all. I tried to struggle from under him. He held me in place, chuckling under his breath at my feeble attempts to break free. A light shone in his onyx eyes that I didn’t catch before. His smile faded as his gaze softened, and he gently touched his lips to mine. Slowly, his kiss deepened, becoming harder, more feverish. He released my hands, sliding his down the length torso to my waist. In one thrilling swoop, he lifted me to my feet.

“Something has you in a lighter mood tonight,” I said.

“I’m simply experiencing the euphoric effect you have on me.”

“I hate you,” I teased.

“Why?” It came out in his chuckle.

“You have a beautiful world, a beautiful language, such amazing, beautiful things to say to me, and that makes me feel inadequate. I don’t have a beautiful world to give you or a beautiful language, and my words are plain compared to yours.”

“Relena, you gave more than you can ever possibly understand. You don’t need fancy words, a different language, or a different world to be adequate for me. I’m the one who should feel that way. I’m the inadequate one. I say those things not just because I mean them but also because anything less would not be worthy of you. What you gave me is beyond what words can say. Your gift is the rarest beauty, the most sacred of all . . . You gave me yourself.”

As he spoke, his words touched me. My heart fluttered. I focused through the tears filling my eyes as I reached eager fingertips to his lips. I slid my hand along his face to the back of his head, closing the space between us. I paused before my lips connected to his and whispered, “I love you.”

He squeezed me, bringing my lips to his. Our emotions, for the first time, were aligned. With the way it seemed, I was sure a light shone between us, like a sun, that filled the room and flowed down the hall, over the balcony, and into the world, spreading the light of our love.

But the dark side of our love shadowed our moment in the form of a painful cramp, like a dozen blades slicing across my torso, coursed throughout my body. My skin seared red hot as though layers were peeled off. I couldn’t move. The hurt was too much. I was forced under the weight of the pain and held under as the change ripped through me.

When my skin seemed to no longer cover my bones, the sensation of acid poured on me took over. The fire coursed through my veins until nothing remained but ash and bone. Even then, the pain didn’t stop as every section of bone was shattered by boulders. Once I had no more to be consumed, the pain ripped through me again, starting over from the beginning, with the sensation of peeling muscle and skin, taking the layers one at a time, and as slowly as possible, so that the pain turned bittersweet.

Marren said I wouldn’t die, but I wished I would. The pain was incomparable to anything I had ever experienced before. I wanted it to end, to never experience pain again. Yet, it kept coming. I endured the continuous sensation of being consumed, piece by piece, for what I thought lasted like hours. Then an ease in the intensity. Until the pain ebbed, leaving me afraid to move for fear it would rush back through me again.

About the Author


A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her spouse and three kids. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession, even though she often finds herself arguing with her characters through much of the process. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others. Samantha became a bestselling author with the Pandora Boxed Set (which includes Made to Forget: Nepherium Novella series--Part One) on both Amazon and USA Today. Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.    

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