Thursday, August 30, 2012

Drasmyr: Virtual Tour and Review



Drasmyr
by Matthew D. Ryan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

We vampires do not make easy prey. Our weaknesses are few, our strengths many. Fear is something we do not know, and death but a distant memory. So tread softly, pray to your god, and gird yourself with silver when the moons arise and night’s dark prince awakens. We fear not the wizard, nor the warrior, neither rogue, nor priest; our strength is timeless, drawn from darkness and we know no master save the hot lust of our unending hunger. We long for blood, your blood and no blade, nor spell, nor clever artifice, can keep us long from our prize. Feel our teeth at your throat, your life ebb from you, and know as darkness comes to claim you that the price of your folly is your everlasting soul.



There’s a woman in chain mail standing across the room from me; her sword is leveled at my chest. I can smell the enchantment on the blade, it’s a strong one; maybe even strong enough to cause me harm. Still, I’m not too concerned; it’s at least a ten foot lunge and I know I move faster than she does. Indeed, she’s the one who is looking worried. My display of strength and the death of her comrade have shaken her resolve.

She’s got a pretty face, flushed with excitement but strong and in control. It is her neck that really draws me, though, so soft and inviting, filled with the warm blood I desire. The curve of her flesh glistens, waiting for a well-placed gentle kiss.

She’s breathing rapidly now, her breath coming in shallow gasps. Her trek up through the castle has sapped much of her strength. And the fear she feels is naked in her eyes. Now, she’s getting ready to pounce, just a little too much tension in her stance, her eyes just a little too focused. She couldn’t give me more warning if she were to ask my permission first.

She moves in with remarkable speed, her blade striking out like a serpent’s tongue. Even winded, she still manages to cut my cape, then prances away with her back toward the wall, ready for anything. Anything, except me.



Overall:

If you are a fan of paranormal sci-fi and fantasy with a penchant for role playing games, you will love this book. The language reminded me of gamers that I hung out with in high school. The world building was very similar and author Matthew Ryan did a good job with it. More action oriented than I am used to, this book was a little confusing at the onset, but gained ground as I read further. The mystery element, vampires and strong plot make this a good pick for a teen that likes edgier books that fall into a fantasy and adventure range.

3/5


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Matthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has a background in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He also has a black belt in the martial arts and studies yoga. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He believes he saw the legendary Lake Champlain Monster (a.k.a Champy) once and he has a cat named Confucius.

Author’s Twitter Handle: @MatthewDRyan1
Author’s Shelfari Page: http://www.shelfari.com/matthewdryan/shelf

The book is available on Smashwords and elsewhere for no cost.





Matthew will be awarding a package of metal miniatures of vampires/vampire hunters to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US/Canada only).

The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Naturals Cover Reveal




NATURALS on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15811135-naturals
Tiffany's website:  http://tiffanytruitt.wordpress.com/  
Tiffany on Twitter: https://twitter.com/tiffanytruitt

Pre-order link for NATURALS: http://www.amazon.com/Naturals-Lost-Souls-Tiffany-Truitt/dp/1620611473/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345929106&sr=8-1&keywords=naturals+tiffany+truitt



About NATURALS: Tess is finally safe from the reach of the Council, now that she is living in the Middlelands with the rebel Isolationists. With James having returned to Templeton, she easily falls back into her friendship with Henry, though her newfound knowledge of Robert’s chosen one status still stings. Even surrounded by people, Tess has never felt more alone. So she’s thrilled when James returns to the settlement, demanding to see Tess — until she finds out that it’s because her sister, Louisa, has been recruited into Tess’s old position at Templeton, and that the dangerously sadistic chosen one George has taken an interest in her.

NATURALS is the second book in The Lost Souls trilogy, and follows the dystopian hit CHOSEN ONES.



About Tiffany:  Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of  one McDonald's and Banana Rats (don't ask) she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).

Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman(5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered “low brow” or outside the “classics.”

Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom. She currently teaches the following novels: The Outsiders, Speak, Night, Dystopian Literature Circles: The Hunger Games, The Giver, The Uglies, and Matched.

Make sure you put The Naturals on your Goodreads TBR list today!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr: The Trailer





In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures--if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.

All Mallory knows of The City is that her father--and every other witch there--fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.

From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and "Graveminder," comes a brand-new tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one's own destiny.





Available September 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

On My E-Reader- Feathermore by Lucy Swing





When the one thing you live for is taken from you, do you let it go or do you fall?

Jade, like any other student at Brushwood High, awaits the start of the school year with a certain measure of dread. Worse, she is being threatened by a voice that only she can hear—a voice that lurks at the edges of her awareness, haunting her and warning her of something unknown. She has always been able to count on her two best friends, Claire and Nate, but can she confide in them now? About this? Would they even believe her?

Life takes a turn for the better when she meets Avan, a darkly handsome new student who, somehow, seems to drown out the voice and make her feel at ease.

But Jade soon comes to realize that good things don’t last forever. When everything spirals out of control, she is shattered by something she never saw coming. Dazed and despairing, she must now overcome tragedy and embrace her true existence and a new but dangerous love. Will she be able to save herself and those she loves, before it’s too late? Or will she let the surrounding darkness consume her?

Witch Way To Turn Virtual Tour and Giveaway




Witch Way to Turn
By Karen Y. Bynum
Witch Way Series Book #1

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc.
Date of ePublication: August 6, 2012
Print: October 1st

ISBN: 9781616503994
Number of pages: epub 237
Word Count: 78,000


Blurb/Book Description:

Can you give one guy your heart and another your soul?

The last thing eighteen-year-old Breena Cross needs in her life is more complications. It’s all she can do to balance studying, working, trying to keep her foster-sister safe and drooling over the new guy at work. But things go from complicated to crazy when a fit of rage ignites the dark magic inside her and she finds herself fending off the supernatural underworld.

Myles, Breena’s drool-worthy coworker and vampire convict, is carrying a load of secrets--one of which is that he’s fang-over-lip in love with Breena and in danger of violating the terms of his sentence.

Orin is a soul-hungry assassin sent to kill Breena. However, he takes one look into her eyes and sees his own lost humanity. For once thinking of someone other than himself, he chooses not to end her life, even though it means risking his own.

Despite a convict and an assassin fighting over her, all Breena wants is custody of her sister. But to do this, she will need help from both Myles and Orin. And if Breena doesn’t learn to control the darkness within, she could lose her sister…forever.

WARNING: Contains strong language and some graphic content.




“You Breena Cross?” The white guy closed the distance between them.

“Who’s askin’?” she shot back.

“The witch has attitude.” The black guy moved closer.

“Hey, who you calling a witch, ass?” She gripped her car key tight against her palm, ready to go for the eyes first.
It happened so fast, she didn’t even have a chance to use her makeshift weapon. The white guy pinned her against the car door and her keys fell to the ground.

“We got her,” the white guy said. His breath smelled like rotten hamburger.

She tried to push him off her, but he forced her even harder into the door handle.
“He’s gonna be real happy with us, Jay,” the white guy practically sang.

Breena wondered who “he” was, but only for a second, because the guy’s lips pulled back and she saw his teeth. They were flat but, somehow, they looked sharp.

Sharp? What the hell?

His gaze was a roaring fire of hunger. Predatory. It looked like he wanted to rip her throat out.

He made a low growl and pressed his lips to her neck. A sound like crazed bees buzzed in her ears, nearly deafening her. She didn’t know what to do. Her palms began to sweat and, for a moment, she thought the blue light would be her saving grace, but her hands only shook.

“Back away from her.” The man sounded calm enough, but his voice had an edge to it that meant business.

“You lookin’ to lose a fight?” Jay swiveled around.

“I never lose.”

He appeared out of nowhere, grabbed Breena’s attacker by the back of his shirt and threw him a good two or three parking spaces down the lot. The black guy froze in place.

Her savior’s ears sprang up through his hair into two sharp points.

The two guys got one good look at the pointed ears and hauled tail.

Breena didn’t blame them for running. She would’ve joined them if curiosity hadn’t got the better of her. Besides, it was hard to be too scared of someone who’d just saved your life and looked sexy as all get out. So what if he had weird-looking ears?
“What are you?” She fidgeted with the strap on her backpack, swallowing her nerves.

He smiled, revealing beautiful not-at-all-sharp teeth. “You can’t tell?” He sounded surprised.

“No.” She twisted her hair. “Should I be able to?”

“I’m not sure. I’ve had very little experience with halflings.”

“You didn’t answer my question.” Halflings?

“No. I didn’t.”

Annoyance chasing away the last remnants of fear, Breena let out a little huff. Was he trying to push her buttons?

He moved closer, his steps as graceful as flowing water. His eyes caught her attention immediately--a ghostly pale-green with a golden circle around each pupil. Standing by her side, he propped himself against the VW.

“Amazing,” he whispered, staring at her. His gaze was intense, and slightly bewildered, as if he were trying to solve a riddle.

“What is?”

“Your soul. It’s strong.”

Weird much? She shifted on her feet, eyeing the keys on the ground.

“Sorry. You must think I’m a crazy superhero-wannabe.” He shook his head and traced his finger along his open palm. “Your kind is so rare.” His eyes lit up as he smiled. He stooped to pick up the keys and handed them to her.

Breena snatched them and started backing away from the car as nonchalantly as possible.

About to run like hell? Me?

“You asked what I am,” he said.

She hesitated. Nodded.

“I’m a preternatural.”

Guest post on witches, what you love about them!

Hi everyone!

What I love about witches is more than just the magic…it’s their connection to emotions. To each other. To nature. To something greater then themselves. Witches are more than spells, cauldrons and broomsticks. They are strong-willed girls and women with inner beauty and determination that won’t quit.
Breena Cross is part witch and her abilities are awakened as she tries to protect her foster sister. Her power is heavily tied to her emotional state… So she’s constantly faced with this inner struggle: does her magic control her or does she control her magic? You’ll have to read to find out! (I’m such a tease. lol)
In Witch Way to Turn, my witches are the figurehead of the supernatural community. They form the Witches Council (WC) and are able to blend their government in with the mundanes because of their corporation—Betty Lou Cosmetics.

EXCERPT
She ignored his emotional assault as she locked the door. They walked through the shared backyard, down the hill, and to the stony side of the river. She sat on the biggest rock, closest to the water. He trailed along after her at human speed, choosing a spot next to her on the gray surface.
A strong citrus smell hung in the air, like a bucket of lemon-fresh Pinesol had been dumped out nearby.
“I called the president,” he announced.
“Why?”
“You’re not safe here. I don’t know how to protect you anymore.”
“I don’t need protecting.” She pushed off the rock.
Myles grabbed her arm by the elbow. His touch sent little shockwaves through her body. Breena knew he only wanted to look out for her and Jenny but she needed him to help her understand this, not keep her from it.
“Dammit, Myles.” She tried to pull her arm free.
He released her the moment she started to resist. “Lucinda sent a local crew to clean up at Norma’s.”
“Lucinda?” She sat on the edge of the rock.
“The president.”
“What’s she the president of anyway?”
“The company the witches run. It’s their way of blending in. Keeping their power a secret.”
“Why all the secrecy?”
His eyes seemed to twinkle in the sunlight. It was distracting. “We all have our orders.”
Okay, so the witches must not be at the top of the food chain, even though the WC sounded like a very powerful lot. “Who do the witches take orders from?”
“The Djinn.”
She’d heard of them before. But where? Then she remembered a book she’d read in English class in high school. “Like genies?”
“Sort of.” Standing, he offered her his hand but said nothing more.
Guess this conversation is over.
Still there were plenty of things she wasn’t telling him either, so she couldn’t really complain. For starters, should she tell him about the feeding?
Overall:

This book has some snap and it grabbed me from the first page. I liked Breena immediately and was sucked in. We meet her first when she is at work, clock watching and worried about her sister. The voice comes across clear, with emotion blaring right through and that is a read worth pursuing. Breena is placed in the all too common situation of worrying about her sister, only the danger lurks at home with her foster mother's abusive boyfriend. When Breena lets loose, she unleashes a power that will drive every supernatural being within miles to her door. Compelling story line...I liked it a lot.

The characters, voice, realistic action, dialogue and the interesting love story really piqued my interest. I wasn't sure who to vote for, but that is part of the fun! If you want a fast paced, action packed supernatural adventure, then you will love this book!

4.5/5







Author Bio:
Karen Y. Bynum is an author of young adult paranormal fantasy.  Her novel Witch Way to Turn is published through Lyrical Press.  She grew up in Hickory, North Carolina where mountains and magic surrounded her.  Even as a child, she wrote her own faery tales and prattled incessantly to her imaginary friends.
After graduating from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Communications, she went on to become certified in culinary arts from The Art Institute of Charlotte.  But it wasn’t until her aerospace engineer husband accepted a job in Virginia and they relocated that she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.
With the support of family and friends, Karen embarked on a journey with the voices in her head.  They wouldn’t stop talking (yes, she does answer back) and their stories took shape.
Karen currently lives in coastal Virginia and enjoys reading, tweeting, writing and spending time with her husband and their spoiled rotten Vizsla named Rusty.



Tour wide giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift card
$15 Starbuck Gift card
2 ebook copies Witch Way to Turn

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Syrenka Series Blog Tour and Giveaway!



Arise
Book Three of The Syrenka Series
By Amber Garr







Excerpt 1

Eviana
When Graham and I surfaced back inside our coral-walled prison, we noticed that someone had brought us two plates of food.  Without speaking to him, I pulled myself out of the water and willed my legs to come back to me.  Considering our history, I might have had some concern over Graham seeing me naked, but once again, I couldn’t muster up the energy to care.
“I see they’ve improved the food,” he commented.
“Doesn’t matter, I’m not eating,” I said without even looking at the plates.  Now that we had the light from underwater, it made it easier to move about the room and identify what Lucian’s cronies were feeding us.
“No?”
“Nope,” I said as I finished pulling my shirt over my head.  When I turned around, I saw Graham chewing on a piece of pineapple and sifting through the rest of the items.  Much to my dismay, my stomach growled.  It was so loud that Graham chuckled.
“Perhaps your body wants some nourishment.”
“I don’t care.”
“Suit yourself, tart.”
I rolled my eyes and walked over to him.  The smell of the food was overwhelming and I couldn’t help but look down at it.  “Don’t call me that,” I said but spoke more to the plate.  There was some type of fish wrapped in a banana leaf and it smelled delicious.
“You’re drooling,” he teased.
“It’s probably poisoned.”
He bit into another piece of fruit.  “Well, I haven’t eaten anything solid in days, so I’ll take my chances.”  Grabbing his plate, he sat down cross-legged on the floor and proceeded to stuff his face.
Tempted, I fought the urge to give in.  I didn’t really know what the purpose of my hunger strike was and how it would help get me out of here.  I guess I just wanted to be difficult.


Excerpt 2

Kain
I finished packing up the duffle bag full of knifes, hand grenades, and a couple of Japanese short swords.  It was Julian’s weapon of choice, but I preferred to stick with my natural abilities.  I’d been practicing my compulsion and my water control seemed to improve every day.  It was like a switch had been turned on and I suddenly knew exactly how to manipulate the element with very little effort.  The compulsion I would save for a few choice selkies if needed.
As if listening to my internal thoughts, Brendan appeared on the beachside deck and knocked on the door frame.  Neither of us acknowledged his presence, so he walked inside and sat down next to Daniel.
“I need to talk to Marisol,” Daniel said and quickly jumped out of his chair then disappeared around the corner.  I would thank him for that later.
“Do you need any help?” Brendan asked.
“Nope.”
After a full minute of silence, he spoke again.  “Abhainn will find her, right?”
I stopped filling the snack bag I was working on and took a deep breath.  Do I respond or do I stay silent?  I decided to listen to my heart.  “Do you really care?”
As though I stabbed a sword through him too, Brendan recoiled in shock.  “Of course I care!  I love her more than anything in this world!”
“If you truly did love her, you would have left a long time ago.”  My voice wavered with anger and a thousand other emotions.  Apparently we were going to have this discussion and I wasn’t fully prepared to filter my words.
Brendan jumped to his feet and leaned across the table toward me.  “You would have loved that, wouldn’t you?  Having her to yourself.  Going through with a marriage she never wanted.  It would have been perfect for you if I would have stayed in Washington, right?”
“Yes,” I said through gritted teeth.  “She would have had a chance to choose me.”
“She always had that chance.  I never stopped her.”  He moved around the edge of the table so that we were looking at each other eye to eye.  I could see the lines around his face and the grey tone of his skin.  He looked like hell and I smiled.  “What’s so funny?” he snapped.
Ignoring his question, I stared into his eyes.  “She doesn’t want you now.”
He sucked in air then turned away from me.  “But I need to help her.”
“No, you don’t.  We have this under control.”


Buy Links

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Arise-The-Syrenka-Series-ebook/dp/B008HI4AGW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341540423&sr=8-1&keywords=amber+garr+arise 

Smashwords - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/179080 

Barnes and Noble - Not posted yet. 




Betrayal
Book Two of The Syrenka Series
By Amber Garr
Life as a mermaid can be suffocating.

Eviana Dumahl has returned home as a clan leader, an orphan, and a heartbroken teenage girl.  Her parents are dead and her boyfriend, Brendan, has decided that he needs some time away.  While battling her inner turmoil, Eviana is forced into the war that Lucian Sutherland has incited amongst her own kind.  With the help of Kain, her friend and formally betrothed, the two work together to prove that they deserve their birthrights as young merfolk leaders.

When The Council requests a demonstration of Eviana’s mermaid powers, she finds herself with an opportunity to win back Brendan’s heart.  But her orders to train with a repulsive merman and the presence of an attractive new suitor challenges Eviana to embrace her leadership and resist temptation. Lucian is after her, and no one seems to understand why.  Loyalties are tested as the casualties increase, showing Eviana that sometimes it is impossible to delineate between friends and enemies.





Excerpt 1

I wanted to punch him in the face.
For at least the hundredth time today, I swung my fist towards his infuriating smirk.  He easily dodged it, of course, and proceeded to look down at me like a child.  “You’re getting closer,” he teased.
Throwing my arms down in frustration, I shook my head.  “How am I supposed to learn if you won’t even let me get a hit in?”
He laughed and resumed a fighter’s stance.  “How are you supposed to learn if I just stand still and let you pummel me?  That’s not ever going to happen in the real world.  Now, try with your legs.”
I rolled my eyes and shifted my feet so that my stronger right leg was in front.  Ideally, I’d be having this battle underwater where my legs were not an issue.
“Protect your face,” he yelled at me and I lifted my fists up to nose level.  I could do this.  He’d taught me how to incapacitate my enemies.  Just go for the knee.
I faked a few smaller kicks, pretending to hesitate.  Then, like a ninja, I struck.  The underside of my right foot was directly on target and I expected it to land a perfect hit to the side of his left knee.  Only it didn’t happen.
Out of nowhere, he grabbed my ankle and I was suddenly airborne.  The world spun around me once before I landed with a thud on my back, effectively knocking the air from my lungs.  I even saw some stars floating by.  My training sessions were getting harder every day, and after this debacle, I decided that it was time to quit.
A shadow moved above me and I used my hand to block out the rest of the sun.  Looking up at his ominous figure I said, “I’m done.”
I heard another laugh rumble through my trainer’s chest as he reached down and grabbed my arm.  In one swift motion, he pulled me up off the ground.
“You would have broken my knee with that kick, Eviana.  I had to stop you.”  I glared at him.  “What?” he continued.  “I’m not going to let you hurt me.  But you did well.  I knew that you’d learn eventually.”
I jumped towards him as fast as I could, intending to get him in a choke hold.  My arms slipped around his neck, but my body kept rolling over him as he bent forward and used my momentum to toss me towards the ground.  In less than two seconds, I was on my back again with a forearm pressing against my throat and my pride seeping away into the dirt.
“Ahh!” I screamed in frustration.  The annoying grin on his face told me that I would never beat him in a fair fight.  Palmer was my cousin, my trainer, and also one of the numerous protectors now living at my house.  We’d been practicing for the past two weeks and although I couldn’t hurt him yet, Palmer reassured me that I was improving.

Excerpt 2

“Try that one next,” Daniel mumbled through a mouth full of bagel.
“Stop pointing!” I warned him.  The three of us were sitting on one of the benches in Bennett’s Park that surrounded the largest playground area.  We probably looked young enough that this wasn’t creepy, otherwise the adults would wonder why we stared and laughed at their kids all morning.  I felt kind of bad but it was the only way I could practice.  “What should I do?”
Daniel tilted his head in thought, and I could see the moment he got some demented idea.  “Make him do the chicken dance!”  Kain snorted and I agreed with his sentiment.
“Daniel…,” I groaned.  “Really?”
“Yes, it’s genius because no one would be suspicious if an adult is dancing for a kid.  Plus, you can try to give the command to just one person,” he pointed out.
“Okay, let’s see.”  I did my best to block out all background noises and focused in on one of the few fathers who braved the playground scene today.  It wasn’t like I could find his mind per se, but that’s what I was trying to do.  The more I practiced, the easier it was for me to visualize every individual’s consciousness.  I directed my power towards the jumble of thoughts that I figured belonged to the man and pushed the music into his head along with the command to dance.  A wave of confusion swept over his face and he stopped fiddling with his daughter’s coat.  He stood up and began to sway from side to side.
“It’s working!” Daniel squealed.  The man smiled down at his daughter and brought his hands up to his ribs.  Flapping his elbows up and down like a bird, he began the chicken dance.  I was so excited, I continued to push the command out towards him without realizing that I touched a few other minds as well.  Nearly twenty parents and their children began dancing the choreographed steps and I totally lost my concentration.
“Oh crap,” I moaned.  Kain and Daniel laughed beside me and I elbowed them both.  “Humans are too easy.”  I was learning that the power of suggestion on a human’s mind was way more potent than I could handle at this point.  Pushing out one command to one person with a little too much force indirectly affected all of those around him.  Now half of the playground was wiggling and twisting to an inaudible tune, and Daniel was in hysterics.
“Keep going.  This is too good,” he sputtered out in between giggles.  I ignored him and yelled Stop! in my head to erase their urge to continue dancing.
Within a few seconds, everyone stopped and looked around in confusion.  My friends were laughing loudly and several parents glanced in our direction.  But they soon went back to their normal business as though they hadn’t just been part of a flash mob.  Mermaid compulsion: got to love it.
“Oh, you’re no fun,” Daniel chided.
 I rolled my eyes at him and slumped back against the bench.  Sipping the latte we grabbed on the way to the park, I looked around the rest of the scenery and tried to think about nothing.  Not an easy task.
“You try it,” Daniel said.  At first I thought he was talking to me, but was surprised to see him looking at Kain.
“I don’t think so,” Kain said with an edge.
“No, he’s right.  You need to practice too,” I added.  Kain had the ability as well, although for some reason mine had jumped from zero to extreme in one evening.  His power repertoire was building slowly but he still had the skills necessary to manipulate minds.
“You’re the one they want to see demonstrate,” Kain reminded me.
“So?  You’re a leader, too and the more control you have, the more people will respect you.”

Buy Links

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-The-Syrenka-Series-ebook/dp/B007B5XFU4/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329793432&sr=1-2

Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/134695 

Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/betrayal-amber-garr/1110013549?ean=2940033154135 





Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love. 

 When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancĂ©, would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined.

A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life she so adamantly tried to escape.





Excerpt 1

I barely heard her parting words as the screen door slammed shut.  My head spun in desperation as the anger coursed through my bones.  “Get back in here Eviana!” she continued to scream at me.  “We are not finished with this conversation!”  
I was already racing down the deck stairs toward the sandy beach, kicking off my shoes and unbuttoning my blouse.  We are for now, I thought as my blood boiled with rage and resentment.  I was going to be trapped!  How dare they?  This was not the eighteenth century anymore!  I had rights!  
I stumbled onto the sand, taking just a brief moment to savor the warmth and the feeling of the grains massaging my toes.  My shirt came off and I started to unzip my jeans.  No one was around.  But I wouldn’t care anyway.  The water was calling me and it was the only voice that I could hear now.  With one pant leg off, I hopped along in my forward progression until the other one was free.  My oasis was so close now that I could taste the salt in the air.  The sun broke free of a cloud, stopping me for a moment.  It was late afternoon with sunset still a few hours away, but the sky had already turning multiple shades of pink and orange.  The coloration reminded me of the inside of a brilliant conch shell. 
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.  I knew there would be hell to pay when I returned to the house.  Marguerite, my mother, had tolerated my rebellious behavior when I was younger, giving me more freedom and second chances than anyone in our clan.  But apparently now, at seventeen, I was an adult.  Adult enough to bear children.  Adult enough to participate in clan gatherings.  Adult enough to navigate our youth through their transition period.  But not adult enough to choose who to love.  
A slight breeze wafted off the ocean, bringing with it scents that filled my gut with longing.  The freedom of the ocean.  Why couldn’t I just stay there forever?  A gull called overhead, beckoning me to join him.  The splashing waves calmed my inner rage as they ebbed and flowed in a hypnotic pattern.  A distant moan of a shipping vessel reminded me of our history.  I opened my eyes to see that I was standing alone along miles of sandy beach interlaced with large rocks and cliffs emblematic of the northern California coast.  So beautiful.  I stripped off the rest of my clothes and ran into the ocean.
As soon as I was under the water, I could feel the transition begin.  My lower body ached as the bones adjusted from a life on land to one at sea.  Both legs began to fuse together and work as one.  My foot bones elongated while I prepared for the agony.  I was accustomed to the changes now, but it was still a struggle of mind over matter.  Breaking through the surface of the water, I grabbed one last breath before the final jolt of pain ravaged through my body.  I bit my bottom lip and squeezed my eyes shut, willing the moment to be over.  At last I felt an electric tingle move from my hips to my toes as the hardened iridescent, scales appeared on my tail.  I opened my eyes to find that the internal transformation was complete as well.  My vision cleared.  My lungs expanded.  I could hear for miles.  I was free.
So I swam.  I swam away from the shore and the house that I lived in.  I swam away from my fears and obligations as though they could disappear with the distance.  I would temporarily forget my responsibilities, my duties, and the argument with my mother.  In here, I wasn’t trapped.  The sea was my true home.  I was a mermaid and this was my world.  

Excerpt 2

My swim home was too quick.  Lost in the elation of Brendan’s promise, I thought about what I could take with me when I left my home.  Maybe one suitcase and my iPod; we could always replace what we couldn’t carry.  Would we fly or drive?  Where would we go?  Brendan had promised to make all of the necessary arrangements soon, but I didn’t know if I could wait to hear his plan.
Night was nearly here and the silhouette of my house looked bleak and menacing.  When I reached our backyard stretch of beach, someone was waiting for me.  I sighed and picked up my scattered clothing without acknowledging my guest.
“You are in so much trouble this time,” a whiney, nasally voice taunted. 
“Shut up, Marisol and mind your own business.”  I walked briskly back to the stairs, trying to ignore my sister, but she followed closely at my heels.
“I don’t understand what’s wrong with you.  This is what we were born to do and Kain is super rich and totally gorgeous.”  She tripped on one of the steps and stumbled into me.  I turned with a glare so evil that she stepped away.  “He doesn’t deserve you.”
The words were sharp but I knew that they rang true.  Kain didn’t deserve someone who couldn’t love him.  He was too good and too nice.  My sister was right, but that didn’t mean I had to let her know it.
“You don’t even know what you’re talking about Mars,” I snapped at her, using the childhood nickname she loathed.  “Just mind your own business for once and leave me alone!”
Stomping up the stairs was probably a mistake.  Although I managed to lose one nagging voice, two more were waiting for me at the top.  I looked into my parents eyes and could see their growing disappointment.  The dark wood deck wrapped entirely around the raised first floor of our house and was large enough to hold a hundred people.  But there were only two of them standing there now.  They leaned against the railing on the far side with my father holding my mother in front of him in a show of support and unity.  I rolled my eyes.
“Told you,” chirped Marisol as she dodged out of the way of my swinging hand.
“Eviana Anne Dumahl.  Do not strike your sister.”  My father’s harsh command sent chills through my body.  I really hated it when he was this mad at me.  “And put some clothes on.”
I was standing before them completely naked and soaking wet.  Succumbing to the grueling glares, I reluctantly pulled on my blouse using my arms to secure it to my body rather than button it up.
“Where did you go?” my father asked in a lighter tone.
Before I could answer, my mother cut in, “You were with him weren’t you?”  She pulled away from my father’s arms and walked toward me with determination.  Her long dark hair flowed around her perfectly smooth face.  The grace and confidence with which she moved still astounded me.  
Without looking into her eyes, I threw back my shoulders and stood my ground.  Anything to defy her.
She literally sniffed me.  Her nose moved around my neck, my hair, and even my hands.  There was no way that I could deny who I’d spent the last few hours with, and I wouldn’t try to anyway.
“I want to be with him.  Not Kain.”
My mother tsked at me in disgust and grabbed my face with her hands.  She was slightly shorter than me, but her domineering personality was still intimidating.  Plus she was squeezing my cheeks pretty hard.  
“You will not see that boy again, do you understand?  The Matthews have finally agreed to conduct this marriage and you will respect your duties and your family.  This is very important to our survival.  Can you even begin to comprehend what type of message your behavior is sending?”
I could see the frustration building in her eyes, and before I realized what was happening, my tears spilled over.  I pushed her hands away and turned to my father.
“Please, dad.  Please!  Don’t make me do this!”  I waved my arm back toward the house.  “Marisol would kill to have the chance to marry Kain and provide him children.  Why can’t she just do it?”  
“Oh Eviana, please don’t upset yourself like this.”  He glided over and wrapped me in an embrace.  His warm body and soothing voice kept offering false hope.
“Stop babying her, Charles,” my mother snapped.  “She is almost eighteen now.  It’s about time she started acting like it.”  
Marguerite, my mother and the Dumahl Clan leader, didn’t stop there.  “You and I had to endure our marriage when we were much younger than this.”  Turning toward me, she continued, “I became a leader when I was your age.  I survived.  Charles and I survived.  And so will you.  Stop acting like a spoiled brat and accept your responsibility!”
My mother walked away toward the deck’s edge to regain her composure and my father sighed.  I knew what was coming next.  
“Eviana, you must do as you are told.  Kain is a nice young man with a good family.  And from what I can see, he is already quite smitten with you.”
I sobbed out of control.  I really did hate to disappoint my father and even my mother sometimes.  But this is not the life I wanted.  I suddenly realized that I wasn’t crying because I’d have to marry Kain, I was crying because I knew that I had to run away.  There was no other choice at this point.  
Feigning total defeat, I pulled away and looked up at him.  His middle-aged face could pass for someone ten years younger, but the wrinkles around his eyes did little to hide his distress.  I’d probably been the cause of most of those lines.
“When is it?” I asked.
Both of my parents looked at me in shock.  They shared a glance between them, no doubt trying to figure out if this was a trick.  My mother replied hesitantly, “The first of the month.”

Buy Links

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Promises-Book-Syrenka-Series-ebook/dp/B006JS1TN4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332363217&sr=8-1

Smashwords - http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=promises+amber+garr

Barnes and Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/promises-amber-garr/1108007711?ean=2940032957805&itm=1&usri=amber+garr



Overall:

These books are a great romantic trilogy. Secrets, politics, wars, betrayal, suspense, family drama, enchanting creatures and just plain fun! Amber Garr does a great job with the voice of the novels.  Her dialogue is natural and I love stories about mermaids and sea creatures. It is a favorite theme. When I was asked to review these, I was cheering for joy! Sometimes it is hard to not write a spoiler, but the mermaids and selkies won my heart and I will be following Amber to see what she comes up with next. A double thumbs up summer reading choice!

5/5

The Interview:


1. What fascinates you about merfolk?
That they get to enjoy both a life on land and in the sea (or at least my mermaids do).  I’m very jealous of that.  How awesome would it be to take a swim like them every morning before work or school? J

2. Do you find that mermaids are like the sweet Disney version or a little feistier?
They are definitely feistier.  I think they would have to be in order to blend in with humans while at the same time protecting them from the hidden secrets of merfolk society.  But just like humans, there is a darker side to them much more deadly than Disney created.

3. Do you listen to music when you write?
Yes!!!  I have to listen to music when I write…it’s one of my biggest influences for setting the mood.  I literally don’t function if I’m not listening to something.

4. Splash vs. Little Mermaid?
Splash all the way.  I used to dream about being Daryl Hannah in that movie!  Okay, I still do.

5. Are you a beach vacation person and where is your favorite dream destination?
I grew up in the mountains of Pennsylvania, but living in Florida has spoiled me.  We have great weather, warm water, and white beaches that I love.  My husband and I are SCUBA divers so we always enjoy visiting the Caribbean.  However, we recently took a trip to Europe and spent our days hiking around castle ruins and enjoying the fresh mountain air.  So, although I am a beach person, I do enjoy getting away from it once in a while.  My dream destination is Antarctica!  I think that’s got to be one of the most beautiful and unspoiled places in the world.

 6. What is your next writing project?
I wrote another novel called Touching Evil before tackling The Syrenka Series, so I am currently going back over that and making some editorial changes.  I’ve also started two other books: a YA paranormal and an Adult abnormal (is that a genre?).  It’s not supernatural, but is has a protagonist that you might not want to meet in an alley.









About the Author


Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.


Social Contact

Website: http://www.ambergarr.com
Blog: http://ambergarr.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amber-Garr/232359720165110?sk=wall
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5374297.Amber_Garr



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One paperback package: All three signed books plus SWAG (US only)

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