Gone: Book Highlight + Giveaway!

Title: Gone
Author: Anna Bloom
Genre: Mature YA (intended for readers ages 16-19)
Publication: July 28th, 2014
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Rebecca Walters harbours a dark secret, and as the fifty-three bangles she wears on her wrists as a self-imposed sentence of guilt remind her, she can’t even begin to consider moving on. Not after what happened on that night six months ago… a night which she can’t remember and yet managed to change her life forever.

When Rebecca comes across Joshua Adams, man equally haunted by past tragedies, on a moonlit beach, both of their lives are destined to change forever, and when the girl made out of the sun meets the boy made out of the moon and sea, anything can happen… but will the knowledge of their murky pasts bring them together or drive them apart?

Will Rebecca finally be able to claim her freedom? Will she stay and fight to be the girl she found on the sandy beaches of Cornwall or is she destined to keep running and hiding from a past that won’t stay Gone? One thing’s for certain: either way, nothing will ever be the same again.

 
Keep your eye out for the official COVER REVEAL on June 27th! If you would like to take part in the reveal, you can sign up HERE!
 

Walking down the lane from the pub I decide to take a detour to the beach. The light is fading but the glimmer of light from the sun setting on the horizon is just enough that I can make my way down the path without landing on my face.

I spend a lot of time on the beach at night. This isn’t like the beach in Newquay which is filled with drunks attempting to get it on under the cover of darkness. Our quiet beach in St Agnes is perfect for a solitary ten minutes. If I go home now I know Aunt May will be twitching around me like she has the last half a year, ever since my life ended at the end of one drunken night. She doesn’t know what to say to help my get out of the ‘phase’ I’m going through. Six months in, I think we can rule out the chance of it being a phase. This is just me. I’m a guy without a plan. Aunt May tries, but having her wandering around wringing her hands, asking me every three minutes if I’m hungry and need some food is not a relaxing way to spend an evening.

I don’t know what people want. Do they expect that one day I will wake up and suddenly be over the fact that I carelessly lost my girlfriend one night?

As I walk down onto the beach I keep thinking of Faye’s words. “Bridge Cottage.” “Painting.” “Mum and Dad.” They hammer inside my head.

I know everyone is waiting for me, for some resolution. They want to know that I’ve let go of the past, and that if I can do it, they all can too. But I can’t. I want them to, but I can’t do it myself. I can’t even acknowledge to myself what happened. I can’t even think about it or let the thought enter my mind.

 Small steps, that’s what a counselor told me a few months ago. “Just take small steps, Josh, and everything will work out.” Today I have picked up a paint brush and drunk a pint of cider. That’s got to be two small steps in the right direction. I’m not sure what direction those things are taking me in, but it’s heading somewhere at least.

As I tread over the dark sand I can see someone sitting on my rock. That’s just plain rude. Everyone knows it’s mine.

Edging myself closer, I slip off my flip flops and sink my toes into the cool sand as I walk down the beach and try to get close enough to investigate without being seen.

It’s her.

My feet come to a grinding halt.

I want to move in the opposite direction but my damn legs won’t listen. Instead I stand there, looming behind her on the sand, like an axe murderer.

“I can see your silhouette in the sand.”

Busted.

“What are you doing?” On my rock?

“Thinking. What are you doing?”

“Thinking too.”

“That’s nice.

“Yes it is.”

I stand there like an idiot working out what to say next. “Nice bangles.”

Thanks. They make me walk like a percusssion instrument.

“Why so many?”

“None of your business, dreadlock boy.”

“Well you’re a charmer aren’t you?”

“I was sitting here first. You’re the one with the stalking, stealth-like sand walk.”

“It’s my rock.” It’s my rock? It’s my rock? Really. . .?

She does not say anything. Let’s be realistic there is not much to say to that comment. She just sits there looking out to the sea, and I stand there my feet sunk into the cool sand.

“I like your dreadlocks,” she says after an age has passed.

“Thanks. They’re a lifestyle choice.”

She turns to look at me and for a moment, just one brief moment my mind swirls with colours. The make-up is gone and the waning sun illuminates her skin. She look different. So different. A better different.

I should walk away. I don’t talk to holiday makers unless I’m taking their money in the shop.

I don’t.

Instead I fold my legs and sit on the sand, my fingers automatically picking up a splinter of driftwood as I cast my eyes up at the sun and then I start to draw.

“So do you have a name girl with the bangles?” I’m trying to remember what the young girl who was with her in the shop called her yesterday. Becca? Something like that?”

Turning to me with a frown on her face she bites her lower lip. Jeez, I only asked her name.

The frown and the angry glare instantly make me recall her name. “Bex.” I answer for her. The frown deepens.

“No one calls me that, only my sister.”

“Well I don’t know what else to call you?” I prompt. Her feistiness is rather amusing, it’s actually doing a good job of distracting me from the usual shit I try to keep out of my head.

Her top lip curls a little in distaste at my goading. She really doesn’t want to tell me her name. Who doesn’t want people to know their name? My eyes flick over her with a little more interest. She is rather pretty. Hot, Dan would call it. But I would go with pretty. Pretty is a more delicate sounding word, easy to pair with the freckles and flame hair.

Oh good god. I’ve realized what I am doing? I’m looking at another girl. I try and turn myself away from her a little. She must register the motion because she speaks, her voice low like she is sharing a secret.

“Rebecca.” She clears her throat. “My name is Rebecca.”

Something about her low tone makes me cast my eyes back over her. Well not exactly willingly, my eyes just won’t damn behave themselves and head straight back to the smooth sunlit skin.

She looks nervous, her fingers brushing over her overload of bangles.

“Does Rebecca have a second name?” My feet do this bizarre thing where they scoot over the sand towards her toes.

“No.”

“What no surname? So you are Rebecca No Name?”

She scowls further. “Yes. I am Rebecca No Name.”

Her tone and the death stare she lays on me make me do something I am not expecting in the least. I laugh. Fucking loud. I laugh like I never stopped.

“Well Rebecca No Name. I am Joshua Adams, it’s a pleasure to meet you and your bangles.”

I lean forward and shake her hand my fingers grazing against hers, sand rolls between our connected skin.

Rebecca No Name digs her toes into the sand, burying them deep. “Walters. It’s Rebecca Walters.”

“Bex Walters, now that has a nice ring to it.”

“It’s Rebecca Walters.” She spits her name out like it burns her lips to say it.

“Okay, okay.”

“So Rebecca Walters where are you on holiday from?”

“Nowhere.”

Seriously. It’s like talking to a wall. I don’t even know why I am still sitting here. This makes an evening with Aunt May look like a social highlight.

I get up and start to brush the sand from my legs.

The girl with attitude stares up at me from the ground and I hesitate. “London. I come from London, and I’m not on holiday. My family have moved into Bridge Cottage.”

Just like that the air gushes out of my lungs. The girl with the attitude and the wrong clothes and the frown lives in the house that I was fully expecting to move into one day. The cottage I expected to grow old in.

I sit back on the sand with a bump.

“I am leaving though, in two weeks.” Her gaze is on the sea as she speaks. “Two weeks. I’ve just got to get through two weeks.” She repeats almost to herself.

Two weeks of what?

“Who are you running from?”

Rebecca, Bex, the girl with the attitude turns to me, her eyes hidden in the shadows of the dipping sun. “Myself.”
And that I just don’t know how to answer, so I don’t. I pick my stick back up and start to draw some more.

 

Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.

                  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads  

Of Silver and Beasts: Review + Excerpt + Giveaway!

Author: Trisha Wolfe 
In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena. 

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.

New Adult Dark Fantasy: Intended for readers 17 years of age and older

 

REVIEW:

Trisha Wolfe has a talent for storytelling and creating highly imaginative world. This time it’s mostly dark with magic, action, violence, blood, mercury, goddesses and so much more. I really like Trisha Wolfe’s writing. I’ve read two books by her and both have been equally amazing. I’m so glad that I signed up for the street team because how else were I to discover such a great author and get to read her books before everyone else.


The world building is great. It feels like you are reading some great mythology but it’s all original creation. The world is so vivid, detailed and intricate that I believed it to be real.  That’s what makes a great fantasy novel. The power to make you believe in it’s reality. Cavan is a queendom, a matriarchal society. I haven’t read any book which explored such a culture. So that’s definitely new and the feminist in me loved it. I seriously think that women make better leaders. 

Nactue Guard is a group of women who are to protect the Empress. Kaliope is made the leader of the group but shortly afterwards, the Empress makes her charge of Prince Caben’s safety who is the only living heir to their neighboring kingdom. He appears spoilt and proud at first testing Kaliope’s patience but when Cavan is attacked by the other-worlders and they are abducted and taken below to a realm to fight for survival they form an alliance and connection.

Kaliope is brave, strong and tough. She cares for her friends and family. She believes the mercury running in her veins is a curse and tries to hide it from everyone. She builds a wall around herself and focuses only on her duties. She is fiercely loyal to the Empress and goddess. Kaliope is bad-ass and I love this in a heroine.
Caben is perfect. He is loyal, strong, clever and so sweet. I loved his smile. It made me want to smile too. He wants to escape to protect his Kingdom but he also cares about the people he loves and will go to any lengths to protect them. 
The romance is slow, sweet and seductive. It’s steamy and swoon-worthy. Wolfe sure writes great romantic scenes. It’s so natural and right but it does not take over the entire plot. 

The pace of the book is great. It’s a read-in-one-sitting kinda book. So many unexpected things keep happening that you will keep turning pages. It will make you hold your breath and sometimes sigh in relief because seriously anything can happen. I hated the ending though in a way that I loved it. It’s brutal and made me so angry and I want the next book so bad. The book is dark, there is a dystopian feel to it. There is violence and death. I recommend it to older teens. Fans of fantasy will love it. MUST READ!

EXCERPT
Help Trisha and the Tuff Girl Legion get to 50 reviews on Amazon to read this full scene from Caben’s POV! Scene will release on Trisha’s blog. You can bookmark the bonus material here!
GIVEAWAY

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY’S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), the NA Historical/Supernatural ASTARTE’S WRATH, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. Her NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013. She’s the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies. Check out her website for more on her books and bonus material. Follow Trisha on Twitter and like her Facebook page for updates.  

Excerpt: The Collector by Victoria Scott!

He makes good girls…bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big, red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.
Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:
Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.
Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

EXCERPT
Release the book already. I can’t wait!! Isn’t the excerpt awesome? Charlie sounds adorable and Dante, well he is hot as always. “Papa’s come to play” Oh Dante!