Friday, May 30, 2014

A Day In The Life... GUEST POST by AJ Aalto + Giveaway

By A.J. Aalto: Author of The Marnie Baranuik Files

4 A.M. -Turn off phone alarm and squint at the alert, which reads, “Reminder: Don’t kill anyone today.” Picture Jude Law naked for a solid five minutes to stir the blood. Ask myself if I am determined to be a writer, or whether I should sleep like a normal person. Take a vote inside my head. Decide to be a writer. This vote happens every day.

4:10 A.M. -Things go on in this order: computer, kettle, Songza, headphones. Teapot is prepared for a long day of abuse. Stereo volume is adjusted to rattle brain cells.

4:15 A.M. -Inform editor that I *am* in fact awake and working as promised, as part of accountability. Open Dropbox and begin writing where I left off yesterday.

4:20- A.M. – Stop to wonder what having sex with a troll would be like. Are trolls hairy? Smooth? Is their skin bumpy like toad’s flesh? Marnie might need to know! Get lost in the weird part of Youtube until I am frightened enough to return to writing. Write “<research troll sex. Eww!>” and carry on.

5:30- A hankering for tea and murder breaks my concentration. While kettle boils, scan articles about poisons you can hide in hot beverages. Get placed on a watch list (probably).

5:45 A.M. - Remember I’m trying to be a writer. Drink all the tea. Stare at Marnie’s last bit of dialogue until it reads as so stupid that I want to smack her. Reread entire page. Reword and rediscover. Fall back in love. Return to writing.

6:00 A.M. -Super serious, now. Chortle at some dirty thing Marnie said, as if I didn’t make her say it. Almost backspace over it. Decide to trust editor to make that call.

6:50 A.M. - Sit back, confused by an unexpected plot turn. Stop writing to shuffle through plot note cards to make sure the shift works with the rest of the outline. It does not. Sigh. Crave cookies. Resist.

7:00 A.M. – PIRATE ATTACK! If by “pirate attack,” you mean me, stuffing my face with cookies in the pantry in the dark, fully prepared to lie about it later and blame the empty bag of cookies on the puppy. BAD DOG!

7:10 A.M. – Back to the grind. Marnie needs to sound smart for this part …Major brain strain. More tea. Consider coffee. Instead, I type “<insert scientific things with super-impressive names and stuff>” and skip on to the action. My free time is quickly running out. Decide to skip morning porn break.

7:30 A.M. –SASQUATCH SIGHTING! Nope, that’s just the husband emerging from the cave on his way to the shower to start his day. Attempt to amuse him with colorful and completely fictional anecdote. He growls something that might be English and waves me away. Return to writing. Consider throwing a yeti into book so I can title the book “Spank the Yeti.”

8:00 A.M.-3:45 P.M. – Reserved for Mom/Writer Stuff, including but not limited to: getting youngest to school, home schooling the oldest, blogging, answering interview questions, writing guest posts, researching, meeting with cop buddy for brainstorming, science chat with science buddies, checking on my beloved Writers Without Borders, cemetery walks, harassing editor, preparing notes for future work, watching son play soccer, stealing candy from my kids and blaming it on goblins (I’d like to see you prove it wasn’t.) .

4:00 P.M. –Back to work. While kids clean their rooms and do homework, and before I have to cook supper, I sneak a bit of writing in, provided I can focus.

5:00 P.M.-7:00 P.M. – cooking, eating, clean-up while mentally reviewing the day’s work. Print out chapters to edit on the front porch with a glass of wine or a cocktail.

8:00 P.M. - Ritual bath with plenty of staring-at-tiles time to think about plot, characters, and how on Earth I’m going to find the strength to make it through tomorrow without indulging in my eight million hedonist vices.

8:15 P.M. -Sleepytime tea (or Fireball whiskey, depending on how bad the day was), melatonin, catch up on TBR pile. Review day with editor, bookending accountability. Report word count to journal. Resist temptation to embellish. Yes, even when I tell myself the truth, 85% of the time it’s fiction. What my shrink calls “pathological lying,” I call “unleashed creativity.”

8:30 P.M. -Drowsily make promises I can’t keep, mostly to myself. Jot down some ideas. Forget most. Close my eyes, lulled by the voices of my characters, slipping off into the lies I’ve spun. 

WOW! Um… that was frightening  enlightening. Not sure what I was expecting A.J. but… well… WOW! You are one busy woman living a concerning entertaining life! Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse into all that hard writer-ghoulie work.

I hope you all enjoyed sharing in A.J.'s typical day. Although, the troll sex is a bit concerning. 

Coming up next week: DREAM CAST FOR LAST IMPRESSIONS by Ms. A.J. Aalto herself! Trust me, you DO NOT want to miss next week's post. Here's a hint of what's to come next week... 

Check back next Friday for the full reveal of just who A.J.'s dream cast is for a Last Impressions movie! And don't forget to share this post with your friends and enter the giveaway! We're giving away 7 (that's right, 7!) e-copies of the entire Marnie Baranuik Files! So, if you have friends who haven't read the series, or heaven forbid, you haven't read it, make sure to get entered!

Missed something? Here's the links to the KICK OFF and AN INTERVIEW WITH MARNIE!




Monday, May 26, 2014

REVIEW ~ 4 Summers by Nyrae Dawn


Charlotte Gates is tired of being Charlie Rae. She loves the lake she was raised on, their rental cabins, and spending her nights under the stars…but inside she yearns for more.

After his freshman year, Nathaniel Chase’s family spends their first summer at The Village. From the beginning Charlotte intrigues him. She’s the girl who always says what’s on her mind, wins at night games, and each time she looks through her telescope, gets lost in the sky.

Over the course of four summers together, Charlotte and Nathaniel become best friends, share firsts, mend broken hearts, protect each other’s secrets, overcome tragedies…fall in love. And say goodbye…

Charlie wants out of The Village. Nate wants her to have her stars. And they dream of being able to do it all together. But life isn’t as easy as their summers.

Each summer is told in alternating points of view between Charlie and Nate. Journey with the pair, and their friends, as they share their story about growing up, discovering who they are, making tough choices, and falling in love again and again.
 
Wow!! The cover art for 4 Summers, by Nyrae Dawn is gorgeous. It's so picturesque. The cover alone made me think that the story held a span of memories.
The premise behind this story was awesome. It covered a duration of 4 summers. It flowed beautifully and was amazing to mentally picture these characters and watch their story, develop. My heart fluttered in awe as I read this gentle, young adult present-day love story.

To be in my teens again, *sighs*. And to have a summer boy, *dreams*. I get all giddy just thinking about Nathanial.

From Chapter Two, I knew that 4 Summers would be my most favorite Nyrae Dawn YA book to date. I lived in this story. I was every word written. I became so emotionally attached to the characters. I shared their pain, their gain, their need, their fear, their confusion, their crave, their loss.
Charlie Ray was a character I instantly connected with and I adored her voice. Her reactions and struggles were right on and I loved how she wanted more; something everyone relates to, but she remained herself through that want. She was a devoted daughter and a loyal friend. She managed that attribute very well.

She thought her destiny was figured out, not to her advantage. But the stars led her in the right direction. It was incredible to witness her breaking free from her insecurities and watch her mature.

The friendship behind this story captivated me as much as the romance. Charlie Rae had two wonderful guys in her life, two wonderful friendships. One just led to “more.” More of what Charlie Ray longed for.
Everyone should have a friend like Alec. He was so upbeat and loyal to Charlie Ray. Well, mostly. They both supported each other and that's what real friends do, No.Matter.What. And Charlie Ray proved that. Alec was very possessive of Charlie Ray and it made me swoon.

I heart me some Alec, but there's that summer boy, Nathanial. Made me all want to be in the middle of a Nathalec Sammich.
Nathanial’s sarcasm made me giggle. His regrets made me sad. He took it slow with Charlie Ray, much respect to him for that. I admired him for the way he made Charlie Ray feel, even though I wanted to break his neck at times—boys! She intrigued him and he charmed her.

Each time Charlie Rae and Nate had to part, it wrenched me, but there's always next summer, right? And that left me with anticipation. And I constantly wondered where in the heck things stood with Alec?? Oh, but we find out!

It is amazing when you have two characters that have so much need for each other. To see them evolve, to see their relationship progressing, it was all so emotional.

Things happened, friendship was tested, secrets were kept, secrets were revealed, sadness incured, happiness was gained.
It was a struggle for all to get their happiness-- and there is a spinoff of 4 Summers (RUSH) that I'm itching to read. I know it will be full of obstacles just as 4 Summers.

Thanks Nyrae for writing such heartwarming stories. Every one of Dawn’s books I’ve read thus far, are inspiring and I have so much admiration for them.

Find 4 Summers on Goodreads.
Purchase 4 Summers at B&N or Amazon.

KIMBERLY

Friday, May 23, 2014

Last Impressions: Interview Marnie!

We're still celebrating the upcoming release of Last Impressions! Today, we have a fabulous treat. Marnie herself is here! That's right, and she's answering all of Britney's questions. And there might be a little hint or two about Britney's relationship to Marnie and Last Impressions revealed as well. Below is the upcoming schedule of our weekly events. So please, share share share! And don't forget to stick around and enter our giveaways as well!

Welcome Marnie and thanks so much for coming over today. Please have a seat. Make yourself comfortable. Can I get you anything? I prepared! (holds up a frog mug and smiles) I have an endless supply of espresso and brownies! They aren’t Harry’s brownies, but I’ve never had any complaints.
You don’t by any chance have any eyeballs in your pocket or zombies following you around do you? I’m not really prepared for any additional “guests” and I have dogs. I don’t think I need to bring up the zombies and dogs situation. Although, I now keep kitty litter on hand; you know, just in case.
No? Great! Let’s get started.

Britney: So Marnie, I have to know! What’s it really like being a day-sitter for Lord Dreppenstedt and how do you ever understand anything he says?!

Marnie: Being Harry’s caretaker is a blast; he’s great company when he’s not throwing a drama king fit, and he never points out my faults and blunders, except that yes he does, he always does, and if he wore underpants, I’d give him the wedgie of a lifetime.  I understand maybe half of what comes out of his mouth; the rest sounds like “blabbity blabbity blah blah England!” I like to imagine he’s saying, “darling, you are as clever as you are beautiful,” which is probably right, but not in a good way.

B: We’ll just keep thinking he’s praising you with every sentence. I mean, of course he is! Why wouldn’t he? You’ve had some pretty crazy adventures and met a lot of new people recently. Without sharing any spoilers, since some of our readers may not have met you and your gang yet (I know, crazy right?! But it’s possible.) who has been your favorite person to interact with? If you say Cosmo or Neil, I may have to take you to the crazy ward! *winks*

Marnie: I’m very, very fond of Byron Merritt, the butler at North House. Any man whose job is to bring me comfort and cookies is gonna be pretty high on my We Like This Guy list. Also, I’m pretty sure he’s a ninja. Everyone should have a Combat Butler. However, overall, I’d have to say that my life is most enriched by my boss, Gary Chapel. He’s a tolerant dude, and though I have no idea why, he believes in me. When everyone else is rolling their eyes or yelling at me, he’s got my back and he’s handing me a gun. Weird, right? Maybe he was dropped on his head as a child.

B: Lol! Gary is certainly one of kind. And I for one, certainly would love to have a Combat Butler! He would come in handy for all those adventures. Speaking of those crazy adventures, which one do you think you’ve learned the most from?

Marnie: Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’ve learned a LOT in the past few years while working with the Preternatural Crimes Unit. I learned not to take tea from strangers. I learned never to go to a party dressed like a squirrel unless you’re sure you can handle the nuts. (FYI: I can’t.)  Don’t offer to feed an ancient revenant with your mouth unless you want your tongue nearly torn out. Maybe don’t offer to feed an ancient revenant at all, even if you’re about to become a demon’s hand-puppet. Check your pockets for eyeballs before going to funerals. Very important! If you’re checking on your neighbor during a zombie plague outbreak, don’t sneak over in little more than a raincoat, or you may find yourself fighting zombie Labradoodles in your underpants. Also, diet soda may kill certain monsters if they’re already anointed with every herb in your arsenal, so if you’re not quite mundane yourself, you might want to switch back to regular. I’ve learned that I can shoot really well, and I have incredible natural aim, but this means nothing, because the zombie head-shot rule is apparently bullpuckey. I learned that I don’t know nearly enough about boggles, especially Stonecoats. I will be going back to school and taking a class or two on the larger weirdlings. I guess that’s what I’ve learned from all my cases: I don’t know nearly enough about monsters.

B: Wow! That’s a lot. Apparently you still haven’t learned not to talk to ghosts though. (smirks) Ok, moving on. I have to ask this question. What is really going on with you and Kill-Not--- I mean, Agent Batten? I’ve kinda got my eye on him and ya know, if you aren’t going to make a move, I was thinking I might give it a go. He sounds super sexy!

Marnie: Sexy? Mark Batten? Puh-lease! He’s a giant dillhole. I mean, sure, he could crush rocks flexing  those biceps, and he’s got a wolfish grin that lets a woman know she’s in for the romp of a lifetime, but, I say, “HA!” Nobody needs that. *uncomfortable wriggle* Nobody needs that. Also, he’s a big doody head, so by all means, have at him! The last thing I need is *ahem* any further contact with said gentleman in an unclothed or otherwise naked fashion. You go right ahead, missy, and enjoy… Wait just a second… *squints at Britney Wyatt* Aren’t you dead? Aren’t you the reason I’m not a blonde anymore? Oh good! I’m being interviewed by ghosts, now. *head/desk* My life is too weird.

B: (smirks again.) You caught on to that did you? Well, I personally like your new rockin’ look, and I’m getting some mixed vibes in relation to Batten, so maybe I’ll just haunt around him for a while. Get little glimpse. (giggles) So, I’ve read Last Impressions, and let’s face it, I’m a little more involved with this book than just reading. Let’s say I have a personal connection to this fine story. But you go girl! You kick ass! (Which I totally appreciate by the way because that polte… uh, nevermind.) This book has a bit of a different feel to it. Is your lifestyle starting to wear on you? You seem to be getting tired and I can’t blame you. You’ve been through some major crap lately!

Marnie: When I first retired from Gold-Drake & Cross, I promised myself that I was never going to work with cops, monsters, or the FBI ever again. I was so looking forward to holing up like a hermit with my cookies and my revenant and having a nice, peaceful life. And then the ghouls happened. And the demons. And the zombie plague that damn near got out of hand. And then I nearly got crunched by a Stonecoat boggle. And I helped track down a stalker who was also a serial killer. I am absolutely worn out. I’m losing my edge, if I ever had one to begin with. Time for what I call “sharpening the saw.” I need to hole up like a hermit again, take on fewer cases, maybe none at all. I can do that, right? I keep trying to quit, but no one listens. Harry was thinking of going on a Baltic cruise. I’m not exactly sure how that would work with his issues with daylight, but it sure sounds good to me.

B: Whew, that all would start to wear on a girl. If you retired right now, where would you go and what would you do? (Not who Marnie! Where!) And I’m not encouraging this by any means, the retirement that is, so don’t tell Harry! Or Chapel!

Marnie: I’ve been having a happy fantasy about opening my own psychic detective agency. Maybe I’d only take easy cases, like, “Dear Marnie: is my wife cheating on me?” “Yes! But hey, she’s really super happy, and why would you wanna mess with that? Happy wife, happy life. You should pork your busty secretary and also be happy. That’ll be eight hundred dollars and a pack of Oreos, please.” That’s terrible advice. But the job sounds right up my alley, right? And probably I wouldn’t get punched, bitten, or roofied as much as I do now.

B: Uh, maybe you should stick to what you know. I’m not sure the rest of the world is quite prepared for your patented mix of humor and, well, scary shit. Last one, I promise. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I mean, do you think you can continue doing what you’re doing or do you have other plans? Places to see, people to meet?

Marnie: Well, Harry’s not going anywhere. And thanks to the ms-lipotropin and V-telomerase in my veins from feeding him, I’m going to look and feel pretty much like this *swirls finger at face* for the next decade at least. (Britney rolls her eyes.) And as luck would have it, Chapel and Batten are an unshakeable force in my life. Soooo, I’ll probably be parking my ass right here, in Shaw’s Fist, Colorado, kicking monsters in the gonads, swilling espresso, and savin’ butts. Could be worse. Could be swillin’ butt and saving monster gonads; that sounds like the worst job ever.

Hahahaha! No monster gonads! Thanks so much Marnie! It has been so great getting to spend some time with you. You know, if you ever need a girl to talk to, just ring me up, or I guess that be summon me up? You’re surrounded by men. I mean, some of them are sexy, beautiful men, but if you want some girl time I’m around. Grab some coffee, hit the mall, avoid all zombies, ghouls, and ghosts… could be relaxing. I’m just sayin’.

Marnie: You hit me up on my new Wee-Gee Fun Board any time for a chat, Ghost Girl. J

(Britney disappears into thin air.) Yea, this ghost girl thing is pretty cool!
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

REVIEW ~ What A Boy Needs by Nyrae Dawn

A companion novel to WHAT A BOY WANTS.

Jaden Sinclair knows he'll never amount to anything...so why would he deserve a girl like Priscilla Mendoza?

Since last summer, things have been screwed up between Jaden and Pris. He knows it's his fault, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to go a few rounds with her new boyfriend. He also knows he’s the loser his dad calls him, but it doesn’t stop him from wanting her.

After getting a huge bomb dropped on him, Jaden lashes out and lands himself in jail. Everything in his chaotic life is turned upside down and to make it worse, his mom kicks him out in order to side with his dad. Yeah, he’s totally a prize for a girl like Pris.

Sebastian, Aspen, and Pris are all going places in their lives...and he knows he can't keep tagging along for the ride.

The group has one last chance for The Epic Adventure they've been looking for: a road trip to New York, where Jaden's friends will be going to college. Unfortunately, the more time Jaden hangs around Pris, the harder it is to keep the carefully constructed walls between them so she doesn't find out what a train wreck he really is.

When the trip ends, Jaden has to decide if he's ready to say goodbye to his friends, and the girl he loves. He knows what he needs, but will he be man enough to go for it?


*****

Sebastian!! Oh how I've missed you, you quirky boy!!

Reality slap!!! SMACK! This isn't about Bastian, although he's a supporting character-- woo hoo! You'll have to revert back to What A Boy Wants for his story. You can see my review for What A Boy Wants by clicking here.

What A Boy Needs, by Nyrae Dawn is about Jaden, Sebastian's best friend, and how he's damn near too late and just about lost his love date.
He had his chance. But now, the dude's hanging on as an odd wheel. And trying to hold on... to himself. Oh how I flipping loved the interaction between Jaden and Bastian.

Jaden was full of the funnies. Dude could crack some jokes. He was such a cocky fella and I lurved it!! What makes him more special was his sentiment, something I was surprised he had since he didn't get it from his parents. I wanted to jam my fist to his "so called" dad's throat and paralyze his vocal cards. Angry, much? Yes. But, as far as that goes, in the end, I was so happy Jaden found what he was looking for in that aspect.

So, between the "not so cool" home life and the girl/friend that got away, Jaden is crushed on the inside. Oh man. It's a wonder how these young guys can be so vibrant and charming on the outside but so wounded on the inside. As I read what went on in Jaden's mind and how he craved reciprocal feelings from his friend, I became so protective of him. Thank God for Sebastian's mom. If I had to be a momma in a young adult read, I'd want to be her.

I hated, hated, hated that Jaden felt alone. Thing about it is, he really wasn't. You know guys and their pride. Poor darlins'. Even though we have a broken boy here, this story had a lot of wit. So, while they had a few frowns, there were a lot of smiles.

The friendship and support between the characters was true and sweet. Little by little, Jaden was able to express his self. Little by little, he was able to gain trust from the girl he loved. Little by little, he trusted the girl. Little by little, the shame left him. All of that made me a happy reader, but was it enough to make him stay or run?

When Jay was with his friends, when he was himself, I adored his personality. I really would wear him as an earring, just so I could always hear his wit.

I've been on my Nyrae Dawn reading spree for a month now. She writes for everyone. What I love most about her work, is that her stories have the effect of reality, true situations. Her characters think and handle situations just like you or I would. It's like witnessing real moments.

Find What A Boy Needs, by Nyrae Dawn on Goodreads

Purchase What A Boy Needs, by Nyrae Dawn at B&N or Amazon

KIMBERLY

Friday, May 16, 2014

LAST IMPRESSIONS: Spotlight and Festivities Schedule

WELCOME! Today we begin the countdown to the fabulous 3rd installment of THE MARNIE BARANUIK FILES by AJ Aalto! We have some amazing things to look forward to as we countdown to the release of LAST IMPRESSIONS on June 13th; including meeting Marnie herself, a glimpse into AJ's mind (frightening!) and a special guest host for the release day! We also have a great giveaway, and sharing will get you extra entires! So, check out the schedule, get a glimpse into what's to come, and meet AJ!

Here's the schedule of festivities to come. Please share!

Last Impressions 
(The Marnie Baranuik Files #3)
When an FBI Internal Affairs investigation lands the Preternatural Crimes Unit in a bureaucratic spank-fest, it feels like the perfect time for Marnie Baranuik to skip town and lend her expertise to a bear-sized Canadian cop who doesn't want her help with his case, his love life, or his car stereo.

Back in her childhood stomping grounds, Marnie leaps into action, facing an exorcist in skinny jeans, a slap-happy specter, and an old friend up to new tricks. Are ghosts behind a string of unusual deaths? Why didn't her revenant companion, Lord Harry Dreppenstedt, tell her he had a Combat Butler? Can she survive dinner with her parents?

With a shifty man of the cloth offering her soul's redemption, and a revelation that could change the future of her love life, she has her gloved hands full. She may not make a great first impression, but no one makes a Last Impression quite like Marnie.




Haven't met Marnie yet? Check out the links below to find out more about The Marnie Baranuik Files.



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Friday, May 2, 2014

Release Event: SEERESS (Runes #3) by Ednah Walters


Book Title:  Seeress
Series:  A Runes Novel #3
Author:  Ednah Walters
Release Date:  April 28th 2014
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Firetrail Publishing
Presented by:  As You Wish Tours

BLURB

I love Torin St. James...
I need his strength…
But someone from his past wants me dead.


Raine Cooper is certain of two things: her love for Torin St. James and her destiny to be a powerful seeress. But when she starts having premonitions, they are unclear and disturbing. Worse, they involve Torin. With her mother gone, her father dying, and her best friend in Hel, she is not sure who to talk to.

But when the visions become more personal and she foresees her future with Torin threatened by someone from his past, Raine becomes desperate for answers. Just her luck two new students arrive at her school and they seem to have answers. When with them, her powers are enhanced and her visions become clear. There is only one problem: Torin forbids Raine to see the two girls.
Can their love survive without trust?


EXCERPT

In-between classes, I cocked my ear to catch the song again. No such luck.

Lunch time, Torin was waiting outside my class, a group of girls hanging on his every word. One reached up and brushed his shirt. That was crossing the line. I stake my claim when I reached his side, sliding my hand into his. They took off. “Groupies?”

He laughed. “No.”

“Next time Leanna Finch strokes your chest, I’ll break her fingers.”

“Who’s Leanna?”

I forgave him for not noticing. Girls were always pushing boundaries like damn predator checking for weaknesses. Someone needed to tell them Torin and I was tight. Fortified like Fort Knox. “Have you seen Ingrid?”

“No.” He stroked my cheek with his knuckles. “Are we eating here or at home? I can make us something.”

I wanted to stay there and let him stroke me. His touch was intoxicating. But first things first. “Okay, but I need to ask Ingrid something first.”

He went still. “About?”

“Something.” I reached up and kissed him. “Go. I’m right behind you.”

He didn’t look happy leaving me behind, which was sweet.

“I won’t take long,” I added.

He nodded. With a fingertip brush across my cheek, he disappeared into the men’s room to find a portal. I shook my head. Sometimes he could be so possessive. He hadn’t had a relationship in centuries and was learning to adjust to ours, which hadn’t exactly been smooth. What mattered was we loved it each other, knew it and cherished out time together. Whatever bumps laid ahead, and I was sure the Norns weren’t done with us, I was determined to never let them destroy what we had.

I turned the corner and saw Cora at the cafeteria entrance. Her lunch schedule depended on whether or not Echo was around. She waved.

“Please tell me you’re eating here. Please. Echo will be gone most of today and evening,” Cora explained. “There was a fire at some nursing home in Seattle.”

“I’m heading home, but you can join us. Torin already left to make something.”

She sighed melodramatically and looked around the cafeteria. “I don’t want to be a third wheel.”

“You won’t be.”

“Nah. Go enjoy your man.” She waved and I turned to see three girls from the swim team, Kicker, Sonya and Tess. “I’ll join the girls and catch up on the latest gossip. See you tonight.”

“You want to come and watch The Originals online? I missed last two episodes.”
Her eyes widened. “Ohmigod, the poor, damaged, just-needs-to-be-loved Klaus. I have to get my Klaus fix every week. I’ve even gotten Echo to tolerate him. Okay, I’ll watch with you, so we can hate on some witches. I also want your opinion on something.”

“Okay.” Ingrid, her cheerleader friends, and their jock boyfriends walked in.

Cora beamed at me and gave me a quick hug. “You’re the best.”

Everyone at Ingrid’s looked up questioningly when I stopped by their table. “What?”

“Where’s Torin?” a girl asked.

“Around. You know I can actually breathe without him. Ingrid.” I indicated outside with a nod and took off.

“What’s going on?” she asked, sounding a bit worried.

“I want to pick your brain.” Some of the students were hanging out on the deck. Others threw football in the grassy area along the building. It was still cold, but the sun was up and diehards were already wearing shorts. I found an area away from the others and faced her.

“You are beginning to worry me,” Ingrid said. “If this is about Andris—”

“No, this is about me. Do you remember I told you last night that I heard the woman sing during my vision?”

She nodded. “VarĂ°lokur.”

“Varo-what?”

“The warding or spirit-summoning song. We sing it before the Seeress goes into a trance. What about it?”

“I thought I heard it this morning.”

Her frown deepened. “Where?”

“Here at school. What does that mean?” I saw a movement from the corner of my eyes and turned to look. It was Blaine. He waved.

“I don’t know. I guess whoever sang the song last night is a student here.”

“But the Seeress was older. At least, she sounded older.”

“Uh, that’s because the Seeress never does the singing. Someone else does. You sure it wasn’t the same voice?”

I nodded. Someone working with a Seeress was here at my school. “Is Blaine waiting for you?” He was talking to friends but he kept looking in our direction.

Ingrid waved to him. “No. Do you want me to point her out when I recognize her?”

“You can do that?”

She shrugged. “Oh, yes. It’s like, uh, having a witch radar. Why do you think Maliina hated you from the moment she saw you?”

“Uh, because Andris was being a total douche?”

She laughed. “That came second. My sister was a powerful Seidr witch, but in you, she saw something else. Something she’d never seen before and she was jealous. Maliina always wanted to be important and, uh, revered. Back at home, they did, but it wasn’t enough. Then she met Andris and he turned her. But he took her away from home and her adoring fans. She stopped being important and she didn’t like it. That’s why she joined the Norns. She was very ambitious.”

It didn’t excuse what she’d done, but it made sense. “So what did she see in me?”

Ingrid shrugged. “A more powerful witch, I guess. I’m not as strong as Maliina, but I should be able to spot the witch here at school. I’ll let you know when I do.”

“Thanks.” I really liked this new Ingrid. She stopped by the group with Blaine, said something to him and disappeared inside the building. Blaine followed her. I went to the nearest restroom and headed home to Torin.




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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, was released March 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN. Visit her at www.ednahwalters.com.

Ednah also writes YA paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. IMMORTALS is book 2. She just released book 3, GRIMNIRS December 2013. Read more about this series and the world she's created here www.runestheseries.com.

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 five more books in this series. She's presently working on book seven. You can visit her online at or www.ebwalters.com.

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