Saturday, August 10, 2013

Dead and Missing Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway!

Thank You to AToMR Tours for being an awesome host, as always! I was supposed to review theses books for the tour but, as I have stated before, I have some medical issues that hinder that - but my doctors will tell you I am always reading, lol! So, my review of both books in the series will come soon. As a teaser, I will leave you with a tiny excerpt to get your minds tingling:) As a reminder, I am starting with the second book in the series so don't read the stats yet and scroll down to book one, Date with the Dead! And don't forget the Giveaway!!

Dead and Missing
(Ripsters, #2)
by Chris Myers
Released: July 13, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Mystery/Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours

Book Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Brittany Howland only knows one other girl, Jolie Livingston, who can communicate with the dead like herself. When Brittany takes Jolie’s haunt fishing to get him out of Jolie’s hair, he mysteriously disappears. Brittany isn’t sure how she’ll tell Jolie she lost her stupid ghost. Jolie thinks her dead best friend Drew has finally crossed over, but Brittany knows better. Just before Drew went missing, he revealed why he hasn’t hitchhiked to the afterlife, a secret Brittany swore she’d take to the grave.

As I inch along the cave tunnel, cold chills wrack my body. Panic sets in as the water rises and tumbles over my mouth and into my nose. I cough out the water and turn my head to the side to catch my breath.If it gets any deeper, the water will cover my entire face. Using my hands, I feel a hole that veers off to my right and is big enough to crawl into. I scuttle out of the water to sit and rest. The hole goes back farther, but I just want to get out of the stream for a minute to warm up and calm myself before going any further. The thought of drowning, gasping for breath scares the bejesus out of me.I scoot backward until I bump into something that’s icy cold but soft and squishy—like ectoplasm. My body freezes deathly still.A whisper floats on an unnatural breeze that drifts over my shoulders, icing them. “Jolie. I didn’t expect to see you again so soon.”

Date with the Dead
(Ripsters, #1)
by Chris Myers

Book Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Jolie Livingston’s closest and only friend Drew is this really hot dead guy, and it bites that the self-absorbed princesses at school cannot even see him. That’s right she can communicate with the dead. It’s the living she has trouble with. She and her mom inherited this awesome crib in Plymouth, MA. It’s quite a step-up from the homeless shelter in New Orleans, but there’s a catch. They can’t afford the past due mortgage, so Jolie’s working on that.

She starts a ghost hunting business called Ripsters. Somehow she’s managed to recruit Brittany, a glamour SAP smothered in pink, and a techie allergic to ghosts. Brit actually thinks he resembles the R&B singer Chris Brown. All that pink has clouded her vision. They both have special talents Jolie’s hoping will be useful to their venture. Right now, they’re working for a family in need of major therapy due to a dead guy with a hole in his head.

Chris Myers suffers from an overactive imagination. She spent her high school years writing torch songs for fantasy guys then moved onto writing thrillers and young adult. She has a real job but would love to write full time. Her books have won and placed in the finals and semifinals for several awards including Paul Gillette, Rocky Mountain Gold, and Amazon Breakthrough Novel. Chris lives in Colorado with her daughter, her better half, and BeBe, a rambunctious Bichon.

Twitter - Facebook - Website - Blog - Goodreads


(3) Print Copies of Dead and Missing – US
(8) eBook Copies of Dead and Missing - International
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shadow Embraced Blog Tour: Review, Book Trailer, Excerpt, Guest Post, & Giveaway!

A huge Thank You to Dark World Books for the opportunity to be a part of this tour! Also, to the author, Cheree Smith, Thank You for the ARC and for writing such an awesome story! And a Thanks to NetGalley for the Galley - I knew I had to read this book even before I knew about the tour! 
**To my readers: make sure to check out all the goodies on this post: there is so much to see and read! And don't forget to enter the Giveaway!**

Shadow Embraced
(Haven, #1)
by Cheree Smith
Published April 29, 2013
Published by Dark Cherry Press
Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal
Format Reviewed: Galley from NetGalley
Formats Available: eBook, Paperback ~234 pages

Book Blurb:
No escape.
Those words haunt Scar's dreams. She thinks the creature that terrorises her while asleep isn't real, but when she's abducted and taken to a reform school meant to contain creatures too dangerous to function in society, she starts to wonder whether she isn't some monster.

She turns to an underground fight club full of vampires, werewolves and witches established by the students to control her urges, and who is she kidding, she loves to fight.

When fighters begin to disappear, turning Scar into the prime suspect, she must race to prove her innocence before her true nature is exposed.

The only problem is that she's not entirely sure she's innocent.

Like many books lately, this book, Shadow Embraced, was nothing like what I thought it would be. I mean, hello? An underground fight club for supernaturals? I have seen it before in various mediums - mostly on television, but in print it is just something different and something awesome! Scarlet, aka, Scar has a penchant for violence. She likes to fight and doesn't really know why and keeps ending up in clubs with her friend Alex and inevitably gets into a fight. Not only is she in fights, but after her brawls have ended - with both parties alive - her opponents are ending up dead. Who or what is trying to frame Scar? And why? Well, after one too many she is caught by her police officer of a father and is forbidden to see her best friend. And we all know how well that works out right? *Insert sarcasm here* Of course, she ends up sneaking out with Alex, but without knowing why, she grows fangs and attacks Alex.

The next thing Scar knows is that she is being sent to boarding school - Haven a so called reform school. Oh, how I love boarding school stories! And not any boarding school, one for monsters: Vampires, Witches, and Werewolves. But Scar isn't quite a regular vampire; she is a Dhampir and is technically not allowed to exist because this means a supernatural and a Non (non Supe) got together and had a child which is very frowned upon. And not only is she different, she hears things and feels things greater than most. The words "No Escape" keep running through her mind and have been since she lived with her so-called 'parents'. So now, not only has she lost the only family she has ever known, she is in a new place where she isn't exactly welcome. Sucks to be Scarlett!

As a character, Scar is one that needs some love, but she can't even reach out to the mother she thought she knew. She has all the teen angst she can handle and now she is thrust into a world she knows nothing about. But, there is much more going on than she realizes and must figure it all out. And she fights, a lot. The book starts with fighting and it doesn't just stop when she enters Haven. At first I did not like Scar, but she grew on me little by little. That is how the whole book Shadow Embraced was for me; a new surprise/twist around every corner. There are a few secondary characters that I liked, but mostly the focus was on Scar and her mission to find a rouge killer, but I wouldn't do this review justice if I did not mention the swoon worthy boys, mean girls and the obligatory hateful teachers. What school could function without them? Plus, I love how nothing is quite stereotypical.

Overall, I found Shadow Embraced to be an exciting and incredibly fast-paced read. I was left wondering more about certain things such as the background of Haven and the supernatural world and I would have liked to see a little more romance. And what are the Ghosts and Centurions??But, for those who like the Hex Hall series and the Vampire Academy series, should definitely give Shadow Embraced a try! I am waiting for book two and hoping that all my questions will be answered! A great first book in this new series by Cheree Smith
FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review and I used the book to be a part of a blog tour as well. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.

Guest post by athor Cheree Smith!

Soundtrack of Shadow Embraced

When writing I like to write against music. The write music can give inspiration as well as help drive the story and defeat writer’s block, and when I start a new project I like to create a new playlist based on themes that are present in the story and songs that could represent a character’s theme song.

Here are the songs that belonged on Shadow Embraced playlist:

1. Down with the Sickness by Disturbed
2. Monster by Skillet
3. Fight by Icon for Hire
4. Monster by Paramore
5. Pieces by Icon for Hire
6. Never Look Back by The Nearly Deads
7. It’s the Fear by Within Temptation
8. Faster by Within Temptation
9. Throwing Punches by Paramore
10. Fight Inside by Red

Chapter 1

THE PALE GIRL KNOCKS ME BACK AGAINST THE fleshy wall of the crowd with a couple of hard smacks. I scramble away from a woman in a purple dress, my eyes on my opponent. Over the pulsing music, the crowd keeps up their tribal chant:
“Fight! Fight! Fight!”
This is my first time at The Basement – innovative name for a club set up on the second-storey. The dim lights and smoky atmosphere make the graffiti on the walls blaze. Between the pinball machines, sagging lounges, and the close-pressed crowd, there isn’t much room to manoeuvre.
“What are you waiting for?” the girl hisses. She could be Snow White with her porcelain skin and long, raven hair. “You started this. It was between me and her.” She extends one long finger towards my best friend, Alex.
Alex watches from the side-line. This is becoming the norm. Whenever we go out she always gets in trouble and I’m the one to fix it – usually with some bloodshed.
I don’t know what Alex did to piss this poisonous cow off, but now I want blood.
My opponent launches at me. I shield my face from her punches. It all comes down to waiting for an opening. She’s fast, almost as fast as me. It’s difficult to maintain my balance long enough to strike back.
I duck under a right hook and seize my chance. I throw an uppercut and knock her pale ass to the ground.
A single word roars through the room. “Scatter!”
The tight circle breaks and chaos erupts. The girl springs to her feet. The need to fight still blazes in her eyes, but there’s something else emerging as well. Her eyes change to a deep crimson. I stumble back, trying to suppress the cold fear swimming in my gut.
The woman in purple looms closer. Her dress drags along the floor as she moves. Grabbing my opponent by the arm, she whispers something in her ear.
The woman’s gaze meets mine. Her eyes are as white as quartz with a translucent glaze. I can’t take my attention off of her. I hadn’t noticed the long black stick she carries until now. Her body twists in my direction and she pushes people out of the way with her stick as she nears, dragging the girl – who thrashes and screams – behind her. The girl’s red eyes still focused on me.
I can’t move.
The room plunges into darkness, leaving only the faint bank of emergency lights marking the stairs.
“Come on, Scar. We have to get out of here.” Alex seizes my arm, forcing me back into reality. She pulls me towards the scattering of kids that remain from the mass exodus.
By the time we reach the exit, sirens howl above the noise. The only means of escape is cut off and people charge back up the stairs, taking refuge on the darkened dance floor. The cops block the exit and seal the room.
A strong hand grips my shoulder and jerks me backwards into a group of girls. I fall to the ground and heavy individuals trample on my legs. A cop forces my hands behind my back and secures them in cool metal cuffs.
He pulls me to my feet and leads me down the packed staircase.
“I’ve got it from here,” a familiar voice says as a hand clutches my shoulder. “I’m sure they still need your help inside.”
“Okay,” the cop says, relinquishing his hold of me. “If you’re sure.”
“I am.” The new cop takes me over to his car and unfastens the cuffs. Opening the back door, he says, “You know, I can’t keep doing this for you.”
I open my mouth to say something, but he cuts me off.
“I don’t want to hear it. We’ll talk about this at home.”
I slide onto the vinyl seat and close the door. “Sorry, Dad,” I whisper.
I lean my head against the cold window of the car door and wait for the car to start up. It takes about five minutes before Dad’s sitting behind the wheel and we’re heading away from the club.
An involuntary shiver creeps up my spine as the image of the woman in purple comes to mind. It really looked as if she was coming for me. I don’t even want to think about what she wanted. Turning my attention to the passing scenery, I shake all thoughts of that woman out of my head.
The streetlights forge speech bubbles of illumination in the air. A faint glow from the moon casts eerie shadows behind the dark clouds. The early morning streets of Sydney are still packed with people coming and going from clubs. Most of the girls look like they borrow all their clothes from their little sisters. The guys, on the other hand, choose a different style; fighting hard to keep their pants from falling down. For some reason, they think it’s an appealing look.
I turn my head to face the back of Dad’s seat. His messy auburn hair pokes out from beneath his blue hat. He takes an occasional glimpse at me from the central mirror.
The car slams to the right as we turn a corner and my heart jerks against my ribs. We stop at the curb in front of an aging two-storey redbrick townhouse. Dad gets out and moves around to my door. He opens it and waits for me to get out – without saying a single word to me.
I glance at the house. Mum stands in the open doorway, and she doesn’t look happy. She still has her nurse uniform on. Strands of tangled sandy hair fall free of her ponytail.
I stop in front of her. “Hi, Mum.” My voice comes out as a whisper.
Mum stares at me with puffy hazel eyes for a moment before turning around and going back inside.
“You’d better get to your room.” Dad enters the apartment and leaves me standing in the doorway. “Your mother and I will speak with you later.”
I force my legs to continue moving, staring at the brownish carpet that lines the floor.
Gripping the banister, I launch myself up the stairs. The scent of lavender and bleach drifting around me brings a nauseous wave to my stomach.
I rush to my room, ignoring the loud conversation coming from my parents’ room, and close the door behind me. All the movie stars and bands from the posters covering my walls watch me with accusing eyes.
Wiping the tears away, I throw myself onto the bed without even bothering to pull the sheets down. Feeling the soft mattress beneath me, I draw my eyes shut. I can only muster enough strength to kick my shoes off before the endless abyss of sleep overtakes me.

* * *

The scene plays out as if I’m watching a movie. I stand in a church. Don’t ask me why – I’m not religious, and I’m not even sure if I’ve set foot inside a real one. Thin streamers of light drift through the dirt encrusted stained glass, making spider webs glisten high up in the rafters. The few pews that remain standing sag. The rest is kindling strewn across the floor.
I move down the aisle. The floorboards creak beneath my feet. Each step launches billows of dust through the air. I can see it. A single mirror stands at the far end beside a pedestal that holds a golden chalice. Believe me, I don’t want to be anywhere near it, but my feet have a mind of their own.
The mirror is not normal. Its surface casts no reflection. All I can see beneath the glass is a vast sea of jet-black nothingness, and yet, I know something is hiding there within the shadows. Something that waits for me, watching me. That’s what scares me the most.
‘No escape,’ a voice that doesn’t sound human sneers.
A scent drifts past my nose and makes my mouth water. It smells like cinnamon and honey, but I know it isn’t. My gaze dances around the hall, coming to rest on the chalice.
As I reach out, every nerve screams I must have it. Using my other hand, I try to stop myself. I don’t want it, I only have to tell my mutinous hand that. It won’t stop. I grip the smooth stem. It pulsates with warmth. The thick crimson liquid swirls within the bowl. I raise the cup to my mouth and my heart races as the warm liquid touches my lips.
‘No escape,’ the voice repeats in a low growl.

Cheree Smith lives in a country town in Australia as a high school English teacher where she writes paranormal, horror and dark stories for young adults. She enjoys listening to and learning about legends and myths, watching scary movies and dreaming up new worlds where monsters can come alive. When she is not in her writing cave she can be found listening to music, even dabbling in the occasional writing of music or reading.



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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Love Exactly Blog Tour & Scavenger Hunt & Review

Hello dear readers! Today there is a great giveaway as a part of the tour! Don't forget to hit each blog each day for extra entries by searching for the bold term and entering it in the rafflecopter! Here is the link to all the blogs on the scavenger hunt:
*Note: My word will NOT be in a title or a header as those are already bolded. This will be a word in either the review or the extras. Happy Hunting! If you are having trouble finding the word email me and I will give you a hint!

Love Exactly
(Sticks & Stones Series)
by Cassandra Giovanni
Published: June 20, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Format Reviewed: eBook ARC from author
*Mild sexual content

Book Blurb:
Emma Walker was a writer who'd lost herself to someone else's anger--who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.
Evan Levesque was a rock-god--the one all the woman wanted, but he'd never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.
With just one cup of coffee they'll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan's fame while dealing with her own demons?
Emma's checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words...they'll destroy my soul--Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she's become because of it?

Amazon   -   Barnes & Noble   -   Kobo


Emma is a normal girl working as a journalist, living under her parent's house in a basement apartment, but has a past that haunts her every day. When she was a junior in high school, her boyfriend abused her - both physically and emotionally. Though the bruises may have healed, the words, the taunts, the scars that are seared into the mind and soul have yet to heal. And after five years of living in a shell of a body that neither she nor her parent recognize, something changes.

Evan Levesque, a rock star - no, a "Rock God" - bumps into Emma and spills her coffee. He asks her to reimburse her for the cup and takes her to a nearby coffee place and introduces her not only to a Caramel Macchiato, but to a person that may be able to help heal her soul. But he has his issues too. No one is perfect and though he may try, he has to come to terms with the fact that there are things he can't fix.

Ms. Giovanni is an exemplary writer. I knew from the very first exchanges that I was going to love Emma and Evan. Their relationship is not normal; he must go away for long periods of time to tour and record leaving little time for personal relationships. But Emma waits and they savor each and every minute they get to have together. And it is not perfect either. Evan also has a past; a bad boy with the conquests and groupies to match. And when it comes to protecting Emma he gets a little too enthusiastic with the punches. I love that the author does not gloss over the hard parts of life and love. The emotional struggles, the jealousies and the pain that comes with learning to love: To find out what is love exactly.

True to the New Adult genre, there is some sexual content, but unlike some NA books nothing is erotic or even described beyond slight inferences. I like that the author is able to portray real love and even some lust without having to become something that would be described as MA only. Love Exactly is a beautiful love story that illustrates the growth and healing of two people that were not whole until they found each other. I recommend this book to everyone who has had hurt in their lives and lived through it. I also recommend this book to those people who love a good love story with real life drama.
FTC Advisory: I was given a copy of this book from the author for an honest review. No backroom deals or whispered promises were made.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes and excerpts from Love Exactly!

"Sticks andstones may break my bones, but words... they'll destroy my soul."

"If this was all I ever got from him--if this was the only moment I would ever have with him--I would memorize it."

"Bruises fade, but the words... they continue to sting long after their mark has left. Sometimes the words creep in and they are so much worse than the memories of the fists. I could battle through that physical pain -  I could even fight back, but the words... those are what decimated me."

"I try to memorize every song you sing me... but now I don't think I can. There's too many of them."

"I was quiet as I thought back to what happened over five years ago. It had been so long ago, but I'd blocked it out so well I could barely see past the vapors of pain that remained. I liked it that way, but I felt the fear building that with one misstep I could have all those memories back; that those demons would begin to haunt me again. I'd never dealt with them, and I knew demons unexorcized would always remain."

Cassandra doesn't remember a time when she wasn't writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character's stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. In 2012 she became a published Young Adult author, releasing In Between Seasons (The Fall, #1) and Walking in the Shadows. In 2013 she branched out by using her artistic illustrating talents to publish her first Children's novel, The Adventures of Skippy Von Flippy: Tales of Friendship (Skippy Tales, #1). Cassandra will also release her first New Adult novel, Just One Cup, in the Spring of 2013.

Cassandra is a freelance professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is the owner of Gio Design Studios, a photography and publication marketing company that designs covers and marketing materials for authors utilizing the company's photography. She is currently studying to receive her associates degree in Marketing. Cassandra is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with the other loves of her life their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.

Blog - Website - Facebook - Goodreads


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Monday, June 17, 2013

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Immortals by Ednah Walters

WooHoo! I am so excited to show you the cover for Immortals, book two in the Runes series. And I have not one, but two covers to show you. How awesome is that?!

(Runes, #2) 
By EdnahWalters
 Release Date: August 5th 2013 
Published by Firetrail Publishing

And here is the second version that the author is considering for the eBook. What do you think? Should there be two seperate covers for the print and eBooks? And if you had to pick one overall, which would you choose? Tell me what you think in the comments section!

Raine finally knows that her gorgeous neighbor, Torin St. James, is a legend straight out of Norse mythology but that doesn’t stop her from falling hard for him. Torin is crazy about Raine too, breaking the one rule he lives by: Never fall for a mortal. The problem is he no longer remembers her or that she saved him by making a deal with Norns—Norse destiny deities—the same Norns who have now erased his memories of their past together to punish her.

So Raine comes up with a plan...

She will make Torin forget his one rule a second time and fall in love with her all over again. But before Raine can put her plan into action, the Norns return. This time, they demand she protects Eirik Seville, her best friend since childhood, from an evil so dark even the Norns are scared.

But you know what they say about well-laid plans…

Caught between protecting Eirik and convincing the stubborn, cocky Torin St. James that the two of them are meant to be together, Raine's life slowly unravels. Friendships are tested. Enemies become allies. Desperate, Raine makes choices that could not only tear her and Torin further apart, but lead to the destruction of everything and everyone she loves.

To read my review of Runes, click here.

EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans. Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, will be released April 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN. Ednah also writes New Adult paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. She is presently working on book 2, IMMORTALS. Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published four more books in this series. She's presently working on book six. You can visit her online at or

Vote For Torin St. James at The YA SISTERHOOD Crush Tourney on June 17th.


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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Edge of Truth Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway!

Edge of Truth
by Natasha Hanova
Published: June 6, 2013
Published by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: YA Dystopia

Book Blurb: 
Citizens who report to work on time, obey the Overlord’s laws, and stay off the Synbot’s radar, live long lives. Long, dull, monotonous lives.

It’s not a bad plan for someone with a hidden, emotion-based ability to trigger earthquakes. In a world pitted against her, sixteen-year-old Rena Moon strives for a life beyond working herself to death at the factory. Seeing an alternative, she risks selling relics from the forbidden lands at Market. It becomes the worst decision she ever made. Someone kidnaps her best friend in exchange for the one thing that would end her oppression.

Driven by loyalty, Rena and seventeen-year-old Nevan Jelani, soulful composer, green thumb extraordinaire, and the secret love of her life, plot to rescue her friend and reclaim her salvage. Still, the thought lingers whether Nevan is a true hero or another thief waiting for his chance at her loot. Events spin wildly, deepening Rena’s suspicions and pushing her limit of control. With more than her chance for freedom at stake, she must decide if she’s willing to kill to protect what’s precious to her. For once, the Overlord isn’t holding all the power, but can Rena live with being reduced to what she’s trying so hard to escape?

Amazon  -  Nook  -  Paperback

A transport vehicle plastered with an image of Overlord Andrick’s almost smiling face sped to the scene. A Syn exited, picked the boy up with one hand, and tossed him in the back. Rena felt the engine rumble through the ground as it drove away. She wanted to stomp her feet and squash the lingering sensation, but resisted.

“Rena!” Blaze whispered. “Move it.”

She struggled to keep a normal, non-­conspicuous pace, and even more not to hide her ring. Only guilty people tried to hide. “Did they see us?”

“Don’t think so,” Blaze whispered as she pulled off her new ring and stashed it in her pocket. “Know anyone around here?”

Warmth burned her cheeks. She stared at a blue house with a gray roof. He was inside. “Uhh... Nevan lives in that house.”

“Let’s go.” This time, Blaze did the dragging as Rena planted her feet.

“Are you crazy?” she whispered as she checked the position of the Syns, still three blocks away. “We can’t go to Nevan’s house. I’ll die.”

“Well, we can’t exactly stay outside. Do you want to get caught, too?”

The androids weren’t that close, yet. Okay, maybe they were, but knocking on Nevan’s door?

“Let’s talk about this rationally,” Rena suggested.

“We don’t have time for this.”

“This house here is closer.” She rocked side to side while raking her hands over frizzy braids. “Let’s just go there.”

“And what if the tenants alert the Syns?” Blaze peered over Rena’s shoulders. “We don’t have time for your version of rational.”

“Blaze... What if he turns us away?” The corners of her eyes glistened. Fear of detection battled for dominance over fear of rejection. “I don’t think I can handle that.” She wasn’t ready to find out the truth.

“Fine. Let’s try this house.”

Blaze lightly tapped at the door. After a few seconds, she knocked harder and took a step back. “I don’t think anyone’s home.”

“I could’ve sworn I saw someone peeking out.” Rena had actually felt foot vibrations from inside the house, but she was so used to protecting her secret, the lie came out first.

“Rena! Why didn’t you say so? We don’t have time to waste on people who obviously aren’t going to help.” She brushed past her to the blue house.

The Syns neared. One stopped to identify a pedestrian on the opposite sidewalk. The other angled toward the girls.

Blaze stood on the front porch, jabbed her finger down at the ground and mouthed the words, “Get. Over. Here. Now!”

She shuffled across the lawn to postpone the inevitable. When she stepped onto the porch, Blaze shoved her forward, then reached around her to knock.

“But, what if his parents—” she started to say, but stopped. Someone walked toward them. By the lyrical footsteps, she knew exactly who it was.

The door creaked open.

Natasha Hanova is an award-winning author of young adult and adult dark fantasy/paranormal fiction. Her short stories are published in Undead Tales 2, October Nightmares and Dreams, and Once Upon a Christmas. She is a member of Novel Clique, YALitChat, and an Affiliate member of the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc. She lives in Kansas with her wonderful husband, twin boys, and daughter.

Twitter  -  Facebook  -  Goodreads  -  Sapphire Star Publishing


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