Jan 31, 2014


Review of Matt Archer: Bloodlines by Kendra C. Highley

Bloodlines is back! This is the fourth book in the Matt Archer series, and the subject of a tour I was on a few days ago (which you can find here along with a GIVEAWAY!!!). I wasn't able to review it at that point in time, but luckily I am now.

If you're interested in learning more about the previous three books in the series, you can read about all of them here. My review of the first novel, Matt Archer: Monster Hunter, is also there if you want to check that out too.

Now, back to Bloodlines!


Matt Archer: Bloodlines by Kendra C. Highley

When seventeen-year-old Matt Archer set out on his last mission in the Australian Outback, he thought it would be like every other hunt.

Not even close.

After only two days on the ground, his best friend is possessed, a long-lost family member has returned and hidden truths have come to the surface. Add in a coven of witches bent on bringing about the end of the world and, well, this trip has started to suck. Badly.

As his power and strength continue to grow, so does Matt’s concern that he’s becoming more and more like the creatures he’s been charged to hunt: a monster.

Faced with some of his biggest challenges to date, Matt has to decide what he needs to protect most—his family, his team…or himself.

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Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most important job. She believes chocolate is a basic human right, running a 10k is harder than it sounds, and that everyone should learn to drive a stick-shift. She loves monsters, vacations, baking and listening to bad electronica.

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"When I was fourteen, I picked up a knife and started a fight that was named as mine long before I was born. When I was fifteen, I was forced into a war against creatures the rest of humankind should never know about - and they won't if I have anything to do about it. When I was sixteen, I became a slave to my destiny, and the spirits who guided it.

Now I'm seventeen, and the fault, a man once said, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Or in my case, my blood. Which is why I was chosen... and why I have to fight.

My name is Matt Archer. And I am my father's son."

This series just keeps getting better and better! The plot is fantastic, the character development is phenomenal, and the battle scenes actually seem realistic! Well, as realistic as they can be with Tink and Coach Shaw (the knife spirits) shooting Matt and Will up with their special brand of other-worldly mumbo jumbo. Oh, and then there's the witches. You can't forget the witches.

Bloodlines is probably my favorite of the Matt Archer series so far. All of the characters have come such a long way from the beginning of Monster Hunter, and I loved watching them change this whole time. Bloodlines shows us entirely different sides of many of the characters, and we even get to meet a few more special ones as well. While the end of Legend briefly (and I mean very briefly) introduced us to a very important new character, there are some other ones that we've never heard from before. Such as those witches I was talking about.

The novel is filled with the perfect twist of action, adventure, comedy, mystery, and that little bit of romance that I've come to love in this series, and I'm so glad the story is continuing. For some reason, while I was reading this, I had thought that it was the last book, and you have no idea how excited I am to be wrong! There's still one more left, and I'll definitely be reading it as soon as I can!

The novel starts up right where Legend left off, which is definitely a good thing because that was certainly a cliff hanger. Kendra C. Highley seems to have a habit of ending her books that way, but I'm very happy to report that this ending wasn't quite as nerve-wracking as the others. Kendra seems to have mastered the perfect balance between enough suspense at the end to keep the readers pining for the last book and substantial closure to make sure they don't want to tear the book in half at the end. Which would be kind of unfortunate for me because I was reading Bloodlines on my Kindle.

Probably my favorite part of the book were the new monsters, especially the bears at the end. I can't really tell you what they do, but I will let you know that it is equal parts amazing and heart-breaking. We saw part of that side of some of the other monsters in earlier books (I think it was with the Cats?), but it's so much stronger here. To say that the monsters have developed with each eclipse would be an understatement, and it's incredible to see what they're capable of now. I can't tell you any more than that, so you'll just have to read the book to see what I'm talking about! Trust me, it's worth it.

Probably the biggest surprise of the novel is the identity of the next shaman. I really didn't see that one coming (I was personally voting for him/her either being from China or Australia), but when I think about it, it really makes sense. I was definitely shocked, but I can't deny that it fits, and I really think that it furthers the story. Sometimes in books that I read, big reveals just kind of annoy me because all they're there for is the shock factor. That was certainly there with this next shaman, but I am completely convinced that the story is going to be better because of it. I just can't wait to see where it takes us.

My Rating:

"You know, just when I think you're this ultra-logical super-brain, you whip out some girlie sappy stuff and that picture is totally wrecked."

She gave me a pretty hard shove for a person whose idea of exercise was taking the stairs instead of the elevator at U of M. "I am a girl, silly. You and Brent may not notice, but guys on campus do."

I clutched my chest, feigning a heart attack. "If one of them ever touches you - even with your consent - I'm going to kill him with my bare hands. I'm completely serious."

Mamie laughed, but it sounded a little sad. "Don't worry. I'm saving myself for something special."

"The convent?" I asked hopefully.

Jan 30, 2014


Alchemy Blog Tour: Excerpt

The concept for this book is so cool! I don't want to ruin anything for you, but I highly suggest that you read the excerpt so you can understand what I'm talking about!

Alchemy by Sheena Boekweg, Melanie Crouse, and Sabrina West

We didn’t know how much we had to lose until we were infected with magic. Sam was in love, Juliette was the main caretaker for her siblings, and Ana and her dad planned the best parties in New York. But we lost it all when we were shipped to Chebeague, an exclusive school for newly infected mages.

Everyone knows about the mages, those who survive the infection and end up with magical abilities. We’ve seen the power of magic, the high-paying jobs, and the world fame. But we never saw the cost. We didn’t know we’d be forced to give up everything: sanity, family, even the right to talk on the phone.

We didn’t know mage was just another word for prisoner.

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Sabrina West, Sheena Boekweg and Melanie Crouse never dreamed they would actually create a book worth publishing when they started writing together. Alchemy was merely supposed to be an exercise in flexibility. And it has been that, but it is so much more. Friendships that span the American continent have been forged, and unforgettable characters have been created.

Writing this first book in the Prophecy Breakers was a fun-filled adventure, and we hope that reading it is just as fun for you.

Visit us at theprosers.blogspot.com or check out Sheena Boekweg's amazing novel, Funny Tragic, Crazy Magic.

Sabrina's Goodreads          Sheena's Goodreads          Melanie's Goodreads

In the middle of the street, the semi truck was cut in half, right down the middle. Smoke and embers licked the scorched edges. All that was left of the front seat was this blackened lumped shape that I prayed to God wasn’t the driver. The air was filled with the smell of burnt hair. Fire blazed up my arms, and it didn’t hurt.

I tried to catch my breath as I looked around, but I couldn’t fill my lungs. It was like I was breathing through a straw. Police lights ricocheted across the street. Three black SUVs came to a stop behind the police cars, and MPB agents flooded out. My mom put her hands up, but they shoved her to the asphalt, and then circled me with their guns aimed at my head. A wave of madness trickled in, and every one of the MPB agents had Spencer Teriolli’s face.

I didn’t want him to hurt me again. And I wasn’t going to let him.

A whole patch of time was gone, and all I could remember are these flashes of reality through this wall of black. The fire and smoke followed behind me. Every time I woke up, I was running somewhere different, with smoke seeping from my skin. I didn’t understand where I was in most of the places that appeared in the flashes of cognizance, but I knew Katie’s house when I saw it. She came out to greet me. For a second, as she put her phone into her purse, it was like before I had been infected. Her body was perfection in a bright yellow summer dress. Her skin was a warm caramel from being outside so much, and her long dark blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail.

“I was starting to get worried,” she said as she rummaged through her purse for her keys to lock up. “You never texted me back.”

She locked the door and turned to me. Horror flashed over her perfect face, and she dropped her keys.

“Sam,” her voice was empty, “your arms.”

Flames danced across my forearms.

“No,” she took a step back. Tears pooled in her eyes, and in that second, I saw the death of our relationship. Years of my life ended in that second.

I put my hand out to her. “I’m running,” I said stupidly. “Run with me.”

I really thought she would. I thought we were enough, that our love was enough to start a life on.

“Sam,” she said my name like she was saying goodbye. “No. I can’t.” Her long dark blonde ponytail tossed as she shook her head, as she whispered no over and over and over. The darkness seeped into my vision as my heart broke.

Katie stepped closer to me, and kissed me. She tasted like her tears, or maybe they were mine. I’m not sure.

The MPB agents pulled their black SUVs into Katie’s cul-de-sac. “Run, Sam,” Katie said, pulling my arm.

“Without you I have nowhere to run,” I said, fighting to control my mouth, and knowing those words were my goodbye.

“Step away from the mage,” an MPB agent yelled from her car. Guns were raised and pointed at us. I could feel them on me, the lasers shaking as they lit my shirt red.

“Go, Katie,” I said. Katie shook her head and clung to my arm. I flexed my hands and the fire burst from my fingertips. Katie took a step back. “They’ll kill you, Katie.”

Katie took three steps backwards, and then turned and ran into her house. The MPB agents caught up with me then, and they shoved me onto the grass on Katie’s yard. Katie’s parents looked on, holding Katie back from the window. It was the same window we had stood in front of to take our prom pictures. I tried to watch her, to see her for the last time, though at the same time, I didn’t want her to see me like this. I didn’t want her to smell the magic on me.

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Jan 29, 2014


Alien Bride Blog Tour: Interview & GIVEAWAY!!!

Alien Bride by Brie McGill

Ninkasi Mara didn’t plan to celebrate her university graduation entangled in a bungled kidnapping meant for her father, a corrupt senator in the pocket of Techthonic Innovations. Locked alone in the gilded tower of Chateau Bernadette, Ninkasi fears its opulent pleasures will erode her will until she collapses into the comforting arms of the mysterious masked man who frequents her chamber with vintage wines and sumptuous dinners.

For more than twenty years, Orion has plotted the perfect revenge. Manipulating the hand of an insurrectionist faction, he intends to settle a shadowy score with Techthonic Innovations, a biotech giant with a history of dubious experiments. When the faction’s amateurs fail to return with the senator, they further complicate Orion’s task by returning instead with a woman who is a painful reminder of a love lost long ago. Torn between risking the secrecy of the faction and a maelstrom of emotion, Orion secretly visits her chamber in disguise.

When Orion disappears, Ninkasi is dragged into the search and rescue mission. To find him, she must learn the truth of his secrets about his hatred for the company and the physical anomalies he tries to hide. The answers await discovery in a terrifying alternate world beneath her feet in which human sacrifice is the least of her worries.

There is a reason Orion went alone...

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Doctors suspect Brie developed an overactive imagination during childhood to cope with the expansive corn maze known as rural Pennsylvania. Unable to afford an operation to have the stories surgically removed from her brain, she opted instead to write them down.

Brie lives with two devious cats, Lunar and Loki. In her spare time, she enjoys making laser sounds with her MiniKorg, channeling entities in hyperspace, and roflstomping video games from the nineties.

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1.   For those who don't know much about Alien Bride, how would you describe it?

Alien Bride is a Gothic/Paranormal Romance, with elements of science fiction and horror. It's Dante's Inferno, meets Story of O, meets Flowers in the Attic.

2.   What was your favorite scene to write in Alien Bride? Your least favorite?

I won't spoil it, but I had a blast writing the ending--it's both romance and satirical romance, lots of laughs all around. Also, the lovemaking between Ninkasi and Orion became quite intense. As for difficult scenes, certain characters have some deep trauma in the backstory. One of my intentions in writing Alien Bride was to explore the way trauma shapes a person, so while it was necessary and brings value to the story, some of it was tough to write.

3.   How did you come up with the names for your characters?

I hijack character names from relevant mythology as much as possible. I'm a shameless mythology nerd.

4.   Are there any fun facts about your characters that you can share with us?

Ninkasi is named after Ninkasi, the Sumerian beer goddess, said to warm men's hearts.

5.   What has been your favorite moment as a writer?

Holding my printed books in my hands. Nothing ever beats that moment. POD is a brand new thing in the course of human history. Gutenberg would flip.

6.   What food can you not live without?

Dark chocolate. I get ornery if I have to skip a day.

7.   What do you do on a rainy day?

Write, do yoga, and angst about how I can't go for a walk.

8.   If you had a code name, what would it be? Why?

First, you'd have to promise not to say it three times.

9.   What's the strangest fact about your life?

For many reasons I was drawn to Emily the Strange...

This or That

Ice Cream Cone or Bowl? Bowl, with 50% ice cream and 50% toppings.

Morning or Night? Mornings hurt my brain!

Paperback or eBook? Despite the fact 98% of my sales are electronic, I'm a sucker for the paperbacks. I like that I can hold them and take them with me anywhere independent of a battery. I can hear and smell the pages turning.

Call or Text? Face-to-face. Life is too short not to be real. I don't have a cell phone; I'm obstinately refusing the cyborg revolution (or, refusing to upgrade the level of convenience in my life for no apparent reason).

Coffee or Hot Chocolate? Mmmmmmm... hot chocolate!

Happily Ever After or To Be Continued? As I get older, the more and more difficult it becomes for me to deal with investing myself in any kind of series where major characters die. Sometimes I check on Wikipedia to see if anyone dies before engaging. When Richard Dean Anderson left Stargate SG-1 after season 7 (he just left, he didn't even die, and had lots of cameos after the fact), I had no idea what to do with myself, so I watched his Mastercard commercial on Youtube. If I'm telling a story, I can't willingly send my readers into that same place. It's a dark place.

Star Wars or Star Trek? Ewoks or Wesley Crusher? Tough call.

I completely agree with you about face-to-face conversations being better. I only have a cell phone for safety's sake, and I'm not afraid to admit that I definitely prefer voicemail over talking through the phone. While that's not much better, it always bugs me to listen to people talk without being able to see their face.

Hot chocolate all the way!

Okay, you pass the Star Trek test, but only because you mentioned Wesley Crusher. He's pretty great.

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Jan 27, 2014


Captivate Me Cover Reveal

Hats off to Brittany Bowman for designing this cover!

Captivate Me by S.J. Pierce

“My mom had always told me – when you meet “the one”, you’ll know; they’ll captivate your heart the moment you lay eyes on them. I had always wondered, though, if my mom’s words of wisdom were finite – if they applied to everyone. Maybe those who had found their one great love were the lucky few, and maybe the rest of us would have to settle for less than earth-shattering.”

Seventeen-year-old Kat Walsh is a Gifted – a human with paranormal abilities. With her mom a former Angel and her dad a dream prophet, it’s always been in her genetic make-up to be extraordinary. Unfortunately for her, the world can’t handle the strange or unusual. So when she slips up and uses her powers at her high school in Ireland, the entire student body treats her like a freak – even the ones she thought were her closest friends.

Broken, but hopeful for a fresh start, she allows her parents to enroll her in a boarding school buried deep within the forests of a small Colorado town. At Midland Pines, School for the Gifted, she feels as though she can finally be herself; she makes new friends and even has the attention of the most popular guy in school – Levi. Everything feels normal again… or does it?

Not long after her arrival, weird dreams of an alluring boy whom she’s never met surface during the night, and the eerie, shadowy trees encircling their school seem to call to her. As these disturbing, yet enticing developments intensify, other bizarre occurrences happen – students and staff turn up missing, and mystery visitors leave gifts while she sleeps. With all of these other things vying for her attention, a desperate Levi has to fight even harder to keep her interest. But with the dreams of the attractive boy slowly captivating her heart, Kat has to make a choice – will she settle for ‘great’ Levi, or will she search for her elusive dream visitor, possibly stumbling across ‘amazing?’

From the author of the Alyx Rayer Chronicles, comes a refreshingly different Young Adult series with plenty of love, suspense, and a new take on the Paranormal.

Recommended for readers 16 and up due to mature content.

Captivate Me releases April 1, 2014!

Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare time to writing Fantasy and Sci-fi novels. 

Even though her full-time career has nothing to do with books at all, she has always enjoyed complex storytelling with fascinating characters, and has had a penchant for the written word since grade school. As a matter of fact, her first publishing credit was a poem she wrote at the age of twelve. Why her love for writing never translated into a career, she can only attribute to 'life happens', but her wish is that she can redirect her career path into something that satisfies her creative inner-self.

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Jan 24, 2014


Wish For You Blog Tour: Teasers & GIVEAWAY!!!

Wish For You by Marquita Valentine

There’s only one place in the world where I feel normal—the roller derby track. When I put on my skates and fasten my helmet, I’m powerful and in charge. I know exactly what to do and what to say. The rules are clear and everyone does exactly what they’re supposed to, penalties are enforced for those who don’t.

But in the real world, I’m far from powerful and in charge. I never know exactly what to do and say. For years, I counted on one person to be exactly who he said he was—my best friend -Wyatt Tanaka.

Only he's changed. Being a Marine and serving in a war has made him different. Now I want to help him, but I also want to kiss him. And that’s not something best friends do.

Neither of us, it seems, is content being just friends anymore. If we cross that line, change the rules of our relationship, it could be wonderful and everything I've ever wanted.

But it might also mean I'll lose the one person I've come to rely on and I don't think my heart can take it.

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Marquita Valentine, writes sexy heroes that make you swoon and sassy heroines that make you laugh. She’s the author of the bestselling contemporary romance series, Holland Springs, and the new adult romance series, Boys of the South.

Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man—and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children.

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(From what I can tell, Wish For You is written with alternating POVs, so I chose one teaser for each character. The first one is from Lacey, and the second is from Wyatt.)

My throat gets all lumpy again, and I bite my lip to keep from crying.

For him to get so mad over me telling him that we can’t kiss anymore… that we had to go back to being only friends again. I just don’t get it. After all, it was just a kiss or two, nothing life altering.

Okay, so it was more than just one kiss or two. It was tons of kisses, tons of his hands on my face and shoulders. His hands coasting down the sides of my body, tenderly and carefully, as if he was afraid I might break. His lips crushing mine. His breath becoming mine. I was his, and though we never did more than that, though his hands stayed on top of my clothes… I felt branded by him.

This beautiful girl, leaning against the door to our shared apartment, is practically shaking, her face devoid of color. Only this time, she holds my hand to her heart instead of pushing me away. This time, her eyes are closed, auburn lashes resting on her pale cheeks, while she trusts me to help her. Her pink lips part as she breathes, as she tries to get control, and I stand there helpless, trying to protect her, trying to help her, and trying not be pissed off at the mixed signals she’s giving.

But in the end, I’m the man who loves her, the man who’ll always love her, and I’ll always protect her, even from things that don’t go bump in the night, even when she tells me she doesn’t need me.

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Jan 23, 2014


Of Sea and Stone Cover Reveal

Look at this cover! Can you believe that the author designed this herself! It's so beautiful! She is one talented lady.

Of Sea and Stone by Kate Avery Ellison

All her life, clever Aemi has been a slave in the Village of the Rocks, a place where the sea and sky meet. She’s heard the stories about the fabled People of the Sea, a people who possess unimaginable technology who live below the waves in the dark, secret places of the ocean. But she never dreamed those stories were true.

When a ship emerges from the ocean and men burn her village, Aemi is captured, and enslaved below the waves in Itlantis, a world filled with ancient cities of glass and metal, floating gardens, and wondrous devices that seem to work magic. To make matters worse, her village nemesis, the stuck-up mayor’s son Nol, was captured with her, and they are made servants in the same household beneath the sea.

Desperate to be free, Aemi plots her escape, even going so far as to work with Nol. But the sea holds more secrets than she realizes, and escape might not be as simple as leaving…

Of Sea and Stone releases February 2014!

I've been making up stories since I was five years old, and now I'm thrilled to be able to do it as a full-time job. I have an obsession with dark fantasy, dystopian futures, and Pride and Prejudice-style love stories full of witty banter and sizzling, unspoken feelings. When I'm not writing, I'm creating digital art, reading funny blogs, or watching my favorite shows (which include TVD and BSG). I live with my geeky husband and our two bad cats in Atlanta, GA.

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Jan 18, 2014


Revival Blog Tour: Dream Cast, Excerpt, & GIVEAWAY!!!

This is my first tour for TeamNerd Reviews, and I'm so excited! The two lovely ladies running the service are absolutely incredible, and they're best friends, which makes it even better!

And this book! It's so good! You guys really need to check it out! Unfortunately due to circumstances out of my own control (and yes, these are the same circumstances as earlier this week), I'm not able to have the review up quite yet, but I promise that I will soon! You guys really don't want to miss this one!

Revival by Jena Leigh

Possessing the uncanny ability to fry a television set from twenty paces can really wreck a girl’s social life.

If you’re looking for proof, just ask sixteen-year-old Alexandra Parker. After catching her boyfriend in the arms of the prettiest girl in school, she made the journey from social elite to social pariah in a haze of electricity and exploding electronics. But finding herself at the bottom of Bay View High’s social hierarchy was nothing compared to the shock of discovering who—and what—she really is.

After being zapped out of a burning bookstore by the mysterious Declan—a hero nearly as handsome as he is infuriating—Alex finds herself under the protection of the powerful Grayson family. It’s through them that she learns the truth: that the world she’s always known is nothing like it appears to be... and that she has far more in common with them than she might want to believe.

Now, on the run from a fire-wielding hit man and a secretive government organization, Alex must navigate a strange and treacherous new world filled with superhuman mutants known as Variants. As she begins to unravel the many secrets of her family’s past, she uncovers the real reason for her parents’ death twelve years earlier—and finds out that the threat to her family, and to everyone she cares about, is still dangerously real.

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Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Jena Leigh spent ten years in the mountains of North Carolina before returning home to the lightning capital of North America. A shameless geek, she loves bad sci-fi movies, Skittles, writing cracktastic e-mails to friends and taking shenanigan-filled road trips to faraway concerts. She has a degree in English from Appalachian State University. REVIVAL is her first novel.

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Declan finished the circle and, without bothering to answer her, disappeared once more into the woods lining the lakeshore.

Alex tried not to groan in frustration.

What was the point of all this? When were they going to get around to the actual training?

Alex wondered what her aunt would think about Declan teaching her to jump, and then dismissed the thought entirely. Aunt Cil had given up any right she had to complain the minute she decided to keep the truth from her.

If training meant that she would eventually be able to control her gift—control her effect on electronics—then train was exactly what Alex planned to do.

Declan reappeared in front of her, this time with a bundle of branches in his arms. He made for the circle again and dropped the twigs in a pile beside it.

He started toward her. “Jacket, socks, and shoes. Off.”


“Take them off.”

Suddenly wary, Alex complied. The temperature was dropping quickly in the half-light of the setting sun. Shivering, she tossed the jacket Kenzie had loaned her over the base of the fallen tree.

“Why? Is it more difficult to teleport with clothes on?” A sudden fear gripped her. “Wait. I’m not going to reappear naked, am I?”

Declan laughed. “Well, it would certainly make my job more interesting,” he said. She felt her cheeks grow warm. “Don’t worry about it. You’ll take whatever’s touching you along with you when you go. Clothes, some of the air around you… Even other people, if they’re touching you when you jump.”

“Alright. Good to know.” She tugged at the hem of her borrowed black camisole, feeling self-conscious. “So then why am I standing here barefoot and jacket-less in fifty degree weather?”

There was that grin again.

“Your eyes. Close them.”

“Yes, master.” She’d been trying for sarcasm, but the unexpected sensation of warm hands on her bare shoulders caused her voice to catch. His touch held that same electric charge she’d felt when she’d taken his hand in the bookstore. Alex peeked one eye open. “What are you doing?”

His expression was serious again. “Eyes closed.”

She curled her toes into the sand and tried to breathe normally. The heat radiating from Declan’s hands and the faint scent of his cologne were making it difficult to concentrate.

“I want you to think back to when we teleported here from the bookstore.” Declan guided her along the shore as he spoke. From the direction they were moving and the changing texture of the ground beneath her feet, she thought they were headed toward the water. Alex struggled to keep from stumbling in the loose sand. “Think about how it felt. Replay the motion of it over and over in your head.”

He brought her to a stop at the waters edge. Alex could feel damp sand beneath her feet and the frigid waters of the lake lapping at the back of her heels.

“Okay,” she said. “Insane pressure, tingly feeling, falling through the air…”

She let out a cry of surprise as Declan pushed her backwards.  The shove was gentle, but with her eyes closed tight and the wet ground giving way beneath her feet, she’d lost any chance she had of maintaining her balance.

As Alex began to fall she found herself clinging to the memory from earlier. If she could just teleport herself away from the water, she could fall in the sand.

Acting on instinct, Alex braced herself. At first nothing happened.

And then time shuddered to a stop.

The world around her had come to a standstill. She was no longer falling, but the feeling of weightlessness remained.

Tendrils of violet electricity arced through the air and coiled themselves around her. Before she could react, a blinding flash of light engulfed her and the ensuing change in pressure forced her eyes closed. As the pressure peaked and then abated, a tingling sensation surged through her, every muscle struck useless by the same prickling numbness she was accustomed to feeling when her foot went to sleep.

And then it was over.

Her eyes sprung open. She was falling, but not into the sand like she’d planned.

One second… two seconds… three…

Alex let out a curse as she sliced through the still waters of the lake.

She was going to kill Declan.

Jena's Dream Cast

Not long after I started writing Revival, I began dreaming up the perfect cast for the book. Even back then, I found myself selecting actors and actresses who were already too old to play the parts. (It was often because I’d watched them in a years-old movie or TV show and thought to myself, “They’d make for a perfect ___!”… And then the mental image of the character stuck.) 

So as you read through my dream casting for the book, keep an open mind and use a bit of imagination where necessary—and then dream up your own perfect cast for the Variant Series and post your suggestions in the comments! I’d love to know how readers imagine the characters to look!


Alex Parker – ? 

Alex is the only character in the novel I don’t have an actress in mind for! I describe her appearance at different points in the series, of course, but I’d rather leave her potential casting up to the reader. She looks different to everyone, and I’d like to leave her without a fixed image. This way, Alex will always be whoever you’d like her to be! 

Declan O’Connell – Garrett Hedlund 

From the very beginning, Declan (in my head) has had the voice and the face (and the hair) of Garrett Hedlund. The scruff, that rumbling voice, his always-perfectly-tousled hair—Garrett will forever be my dream version of Declan. 

Nathaniel Palladino – Steven Strait 

Just like Garrett Hedlund will always play the role of the Declan in my mind, Steven Strait will always be the face of Nathaniel. He was one of the few characters whose appearance I knew by heart before I even knew anything about the character’s personality. 

Kenzie O’Connell – Allison Scagliotti 

When I first saw Allison playing the role of Claudia on the Syfy show Warehouse 13, I had one of those surreal oh-my-god-she’s-real moments and spent half of the episode just staring at her in awe. With that short red bob and her ample supply of sarcasm, watching Allison play Claudia was a bit like watching Kenzie come to life, right there on my TV. 

John Grayson – Liam Neeson 

An early forties Liam Neeson will always be my ideal image of the Grayson patriarch. A little gruff, but always intelligent and calculating, Neeson could portray the commanding presence of John Grayson perfectly. 

Cassie Harper – Dakota Fanning 

One of the more recent dream castings I’ve made! For ages, I struggled to come up with an actress who could successfully capture Cassie’s look, while also exuding the epic levels of sass required to play the role. Dakota’s definitely high up on that list of potentials! 

Aiden O’Connell – Taylor Kitsch 

Ah, Taylor Kitsch during his Friday Night Lights days. The image of him in a beat-up truck was what inspired me to include Norma Jean in the story. After that, Aiden was always Taylor, to me. 

Carson Brandt – Robert Carlyle 

Or, more specifically, Robert Carlyle’s character Nicholas Rush on the Syfy show Stargate Universe. Not sure what it is about the Syfy channel, but it seems to be an excellent place to watch my characters magically come to life on the screen. The character of Rush matches Brandt in physical appearance (right down to his style of dress), and possesses the same bad attitude and dubious moral code. In my mind, Robert would be able to play the role perfectly. 
There are plenty of other characters in the Variant series still to be added to this dream cast, but I’ll leave the rest up to the readers! Who would you like to see play these characters on the big screen one day?

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Jan 17, 2014


London Falling Blog Tour: Excerpt & GIVEAWAY!!!

It's time! I introduced this book on its release date a few days ago (the post is here if you're interested!), and now it's time for my stop on the tour! I've got an really interesting excerpt and an awesome giveaway below, so keep on reading!

London Falling by T.A. Foster

It’s London’s senior year and she only needs one class to graduate. She just didn’t expect her final assignment: fall in love.

Communication 224 has a reputation for giving out the most unique projects of the semester. When London James and Beau Anderson signed up for the class they had no idea they would be paired up together, much less spend an entire semester working on their final grade.

Professor Garcia tasks them to produce a study on the hit reality show, Love Match, a show about strangers falling in love on over the top dates. London and Beau decide to debunk the popular show’s fantasy portrayal of romance. Determined they can date the entire semester and not fall for each other, the classmates share blogs about their dates and start a website where everyone can follow their dating experiment.

Is staying out of love as easy as it seems? Headstrong and success-driven London discovers there might be more important things in life than an A.

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T.A. Foster is a Southern girl whose heart and spirit are connected to the beach. She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children and two canine kiddos.

Her long love affair with books started at an early age, and as soon as she was able, she transformed imaginative stories into words on paper. Time Spell is T.A.’s debut novel, and the first in a series about a very adventurous, clever, and magical girl named Ivy.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing or planning her next beach trip.

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Beau had planned our first four dates. It was only fair that I start contributing to the execution of this project. Spoiled Hearts ended its one-week run last night, and other than sitting next to him in class, I hadn’t spent any time with Beau since we watched Love Match together on Monday. My entire Saturday was devoted to preparing for the date. It was time I tried to surprise the campus expert on all things Carolina with something I knew he hadn’t done yet.

“No peeking.” I had wrapped the blindfold around his eyes as tightly as I could without hurting him.

“You’re not going to give me some kind of clue?” Beau was outwardly amused by the date I created.

“No way. I’m in charge today. You just have to trust me.”

“Does it involve body paint, bagpipes, or a floating hot tub?”

I laughed. The floating hot tub would have been fun, but I couldn’t find one of those in Chapel Hill on such short notice. “None of the above. You’ll see.”

I pulled the car onto the gravel path and turned into a dirt parking lot. It was almost sunset. We would have to hurry if I was going to pull this off. I threw my car in park and ran over to the passenger side to help Beau.

“I’m kind of at a disadvantage here with the blindfold.” I steered him toward the opening in the brush and led him down the path twenty yards before I stopped him.

I placed his hand on the trunk of the tree next to us so he could steady himself.

“Ready?” I couldn’t wait for him to get started.

“Yes, please take this off.”

I walked behind him to untie the knot, but as my hands traced over his neck, I changed my mind.

“There’s one thing you have to do first.”

I could see his eyebrow arch under the silk scarf and a smile crept across his face. I took a step back and my body met the bark of the tree. Beau turned in my direction, anchoring his hands on either side of me. I wasn’t entirely sure he couldn’t see right through the blindfold.

I reached forward, taking his face in my palms, and brought his lips crushing down onto mine. With the force of his body, he pinned me harder against the tree and hitched both my legs around his waist. We were completely derailing from the plan. I fisted my hands in his hair until I had loosened the knot on the scarf and freed his eyes from the cover. I watched as he took in our surroundings.

“Where are we?” It was getting darker. We were deep in the middle of the woods and I didn’t account for the light changing so quickly with the towering trees. Maybe we didn’t have time for a woodsy make out.

“You are on a Love Match scavenger hunt.” I smiled.

“Sweet. What am I hunting?” He pressed himself harder against me.


His right eyebrow shifted high. “What?”

“You better get going if you’re going to get your prize.” I wiggled out of his tight hold and landed next to him. “Here’s your first clue.” I handed him a folded piece of paper and tried to refrain from laughing. Mr. Adventurous looked worried all of a sudden.

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