Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Betraying Xaverique Blog Tour

On time this time! Wahoo! I'm trying to cram this in before things get busy here at work. I'm about 80% through with this book, and so wish I could just sit and read, but tisn't the season for free time :P At least I managed to get this put together, so hopefully I can copy and paste it all before we get busy again. Loving this story, by the way. I really liked the first one, and book two does not disappoint!

Title: Betraying Xaverique
Author: Karyn Sepulveda
Summary from Amazon.com: Gabby Valis is a Xaverique. Sois the boy she loves, Noah; he’s also her enemy. Gabby and her family are once again thrown into battle with Zlanythe and his crew after they seek revenge by killing one of their own. To defeat evil though, one must first understand it and delving into Zlanythe’s past initiates the ultimate fight between good and evil. ‘Before this week ends, I will lose three people I love. Two will die and one will succumb to the darkness that has been assailing them for so long. If I went back in time, I’m not sure there’s a thing I could have done to stop any of it.’
Amazon Link:
Goodreads Link:

This excerpt is taken from www.karynsepulveda.com
Prologue March 1961, Sydney
Sophia gripped the metal handrail, watching the veins in her thin hands pulsate rhythmically. Soon, the flow of blood would stop, she thought. She would never have to worry about the fighting, the screaming, the hatred, ever again. Sophia closed her eyes and breathed in the fresh air. It smelled oftrees, of rain and of peace. She wasn’t scared now; the pain would soon be gone. She would soon be gone. Sophia opened her eyes, gazing at the thick bush that filled the deep valley beneath her. She quickly glanced behind her, to make sure no-one was around. She didn’t want to traumatise anyone by dying in front of them. But the bridge was deserted. Sophia looked straight up into the drizzly grey sky and then she simply stepped off. As she fell, Sophia didn’t think of anything. Her life didn’t flash before her eyes; she didn’t feel regret or fear. She just fell; completely aware of the wind rushing through her, the tiny droplets of rain splattering her face, the weightlessness of her empty stomach and then... Nothing. It was over. ‘Hold still. Don’t try to move. Not yet.’ A deep voice filled the darkness. Sophia was thrashing
about, lying amidst broken branches and thick wet grass. Her arms and legs seemed to be moving by themselves. Her back arched, creating a nauseating crunch. She opened her eyes, but everything was blurry. She managed to focus on her hand, staring at the blue veins that had not changed. She was still alive. How? ‘OK, now, let’s take it slowly. Can you try to sit up?’
That voice again.
Sophia squinted. Someone was hunched over, cradling her in his slender arms. The stranger brushed the hair from her eyes and helped ease her to a sitting position. Their faces were close now and hewas wiping something wet from her cheeks. He was an angel, she realised. He had to be. All the crap she’d gone through in her life had been worth it. She was in heaven and this was an angel greeting her. ‘Well, you must beOKif you’re smiling. I’m Nathan; it’s nice to meet you, Sophia.’ The angel put his arm around Sophia and guided her to her feet. Sophia looked down at her body. She was soaked, muddy, and her clothes ripped to shreds. But there was not a scratch on her. She’d felt crushing pain for a moment, she remembered, before she’d blacked out. But now, here in heaven, everything was OK. Sophia, for the first time in many years, felt OK. She must have been smiling again because the angel was smiling too. ‘Sophia, do you feel OK? ’he asked.
She nodded her head. ‘Are we going to stay here?’ She asked, wondering where the fluffy white clouds she’d heard about in primary school were. ‘No, I’m going to take you back to my place. Is that OK?’
‘Is it a cloud?’ Sophia asked as Nathan took her hand in his and began walking up the steep, bushy wall of the valley.
Nathan chuckled. ‘No, just a regular flat I’m afraid. Are you sure you’re OK? How much do you know about transitioning? Physically, you regenerated perfectly. But it must be a lot to absorb.’Transitioning, regenerating – what funny ways to describe death, Sophia thought. ‘I’m OK. I wanted this. I didn’t want to live anymore, so I guess that’s why I regenerated ortransitioned or whatever so well. I’m happy tobe dead. I didn’t think it would feel so, real.’
Nathan stopped walking and turned to face her. He was higher up and toweredover Sophia, but there was not a single intimidating feature in this man. Everything about him was gentle and calm. His soft brown hair fell easily around his delicate face. And blue eyes that Sophia imagined herself swimming in radiated kindness. Sophia felt an odd sensation around him; trust. ‘
Sophia, you’re not dead. You’re sixteen today, you’ve transitioned.’
‘I jumped from a bridge. I’m dead,’ Sophia said. Of course she had tobe dead. But as Nathan shook his head, she couldn’t explain why she knew that she wasn’t. That something else had happened.
‘You’re not dead,’ Nathan repeated. ‘Actually, your real life has just begun. You’re a Xaverique, Sophia.’

March 1963, Sydney

Sophia held Nathan tightly. ‘Why do you have to go?’
Nathan wrapped his arms around Sophia. ‘I’m going to the shops, we need groceries.’
‘We can survive without food, we’re strong enough,’ Sophia said and kissed Nathan firmly on the lips. He returned her kiss, but pulled away when she started running her fingers through his hair.
‘Soph, I’m hungry. I’ll be back in an hour OK?’
Sophia sighed loudly and threw herself onto the huge bed. She laid her head on the soft pillow. ‘Fine, but get me some chocolate.’
Nathan laughed and kissed her on the forehead. ‘I forget how young you are sometimes. Chocolate it is.’
Sophia sat up and threw one of the pillows at him. ‘Eighteen is not that young!’
‘Of course it isn’t.’ Nathan threw the pillow back and Sophia ducked. ‘I’ll see you soon,’ Nathan said and whistled ashe closed the door to their apartment behind him.
Sophia smiled and lay back down on the comfortable bed. She still wasn’t used to feeling so happy. She and Nathan had been living together for over two years, ever since the day he found her broken, under the bridge. She could barely remember the desperate misery she had felt during the days before she decided to jump. The life she’d had before Nathan was now just a blur. She continued to smile as she ran a hot bath and began undressing. As she slipped her dress off and stepped into the steaming water, she thought about Nathan’s eyes. They were blue, but not just any blue; they were the dark blue of the ocean. Every time she looked into them she felt she would always be happy. Sophia bunched up a dry hand towel and placed it under her head to act as a pillow as she lay in the lavender-scented bath. She breathed in deeply and felt happiness reach every part of her body. Yes, she was undoubtedly the luckiest Xaverique that ever existed.
Sophia woke with a start. The water was cold and the bathroom had darkened. She was shivering and reached for a towel. She wrapped it around her body and rubbed at her arms, trying to warm up. She heard the front door close. ‘Nathan?’
Sophia called out and opened the bathroom door. Nathan was standing in the entrance. He was looking around the apartment. ‘Sophia, ah, hello,’he said in his deep voice. He had no shopping bags with him. ‘Where’s the groceries?’
‘Oh,’ Nathan glanced at his empty hands. He looked up again and this time he smiled. ‘I must have forgotten them.’
‘But you were so hungry. Did you eat out? Where have you been?’
‘I had something to attend to.’ Nathan walked slowly towards Sophia and she got the goose bumps. She wasn’t sure ifit was because she was still cold from the bath or if it was a warning. Something about Nathan was different. He stood in front of her and looked her up and down. She pulled the towel tighter and shivered. ‘So what did you do?’ she asked again.
Nathan glared at her. ‘None of your business.’
Sophia took a step back. Something was very wrong. Nathan had never spoken to her like that before. His voice was different too; it was coarse and cold. He threw his head back and laughed. ‘Take a joke will you? Actually, I think I will go back out and eat. See you.’
He looked into her eyes for a moment, then turned and stormed out. Sophia’s body froze, as she realised his eyes were no longer blue; they were black.
Before this week ends, I will lose three people I love. Two will die and one will succumb to the darkness that has been assailing them for so long. If I went back in time, I’m not sure there’s a thing I could have done to stop any of it. The guilt lies with one person; Sophia. And I will never forgive her.
Click HERE to read Chapters 1 & 2
About the Author
Karyn comes from a background in teaching and theatre. Teaching drama, and writing and directing Theatre in Education productions. She’s always loved creating stories and characters, so completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Macquarie University. It was here that her journey of writing Choosing Xaverique began. Now, six years later, she is just a little bit thrilled it has finally been published! Karyn is currently working on the sequel to Choosing
Xaverique, slated for production later this year.
Rafflecopter giveaway

December 12th:
Jen (http://www.happylilbooknook.com)
December 13th:
Sarah (http://www.transientdrifter.blogspot.com)
December 14th:
Priyanka (http://abooklionshideaway.blogspot.in)
December 15th:
Maia (http://silver-dagger-scriptorium.weebly.com/)
December 16th:
Jordan (http://www.readbyroe.com)
December 17th:
Suhani (https://nicheofabooknerd.wordpress.com)
December 18th:
Misty (http://www.mistysbookspace.wordpress.com)
Blog Tour Organized by:
Happy Lil Book Tours
*Hosts were provided with a copy of the book for review purposes in exchange for their honest reviews and opinions.*

Now for my favorite part, the Author Interview :)

1. How long did you take off before writing book 2? Was it hard to get back into the characters of did it feel like coming back to hang out with friends?

I wrote the bones of book 2 (about 25,000 words) just months after completing my final draft of Choosing Xaverique - so about five years ago now. I didn't read it again until after Choosing Xaverique had been published (early 2016) and it honestly felt like reading someone else's book, I didn't remember writing most of it. So that made editing a lot of fun, as it was all fresh and new. I absolutely loved returning to my characters and creating more of their story. They certainly felt like old friends.

2. I noticed on Instagram that you think you're done with this series after book two. Is there any possibility that you might leave things open enough that you could come back and revisit the series in the future, or at least tell more about other Xaveriques?

I was originally planning to write a third book in the series and did write some rough plans for one. But not long ago I had a very strong feeling that I should end the story with book two. I had the idea for the epilogue and wrote it in one sitting. I'm so content with how my story ends, so, while I'll miss my Xaverique characters, it's time to leave them alone :)

3. I am really enjoying learning more about the history of the Xaveriques. What inspired you to create this unusual group of super humans?

I don't know! I just had that initial idea of a young girl finding out she had powers once she dies and comes back to life and the species has evolved from there. Writing the history pieces was so enjoyable - but I wrote them all separately, so fitting them into the novel in a sequence that made sense felt like attempting an impossible puzzle. I still can't believe I managed it!

4. What most appeals to you about the idea of being a Xaverique?

Gabby's ability to heal is the most appealing element of being a Xaverique to me - wouldn't that be an incredible power to have.

5. Are you working on any other story projects?

I am just about to start my newest project - it will be a novel in a completely different style. It's all just ideas swirling around in my mind at the moment and a whole lot of notes in my book.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Breakwater Blog Tour

So I am totally living in busy Christmas mode, and somehow missed the date I was supposed to post for this blog tour. Tis the season for a messy life, or so it would seem. I haven't had a chance to finish reading Breakwater by Errin Stevens yet, but I am enjoying it so far, and hope that once the holiday craziness is over I'll have a chance to finish reading.

Breakwater (The Mer Chronicles: Book 2)
Errin Stevens
Summary from Amazon.com:
The sirens of Griffins Bay are in trouble, and the recent slew of royal suicides looks to be the least of their worries. For one, unless a blood relative of the queen shows up, no one's around to staff the monarchy. Well, except for a whack-job bureaucrat and he seriously won't do. Worse is the community unrest threatening siren society, a problem caused by too many humans in the pool, which means Simon and his off-limit girlfriend will have to run and hide if they want to make more of their flirtation... The solution doesn't inspire confidence at first, but the Blakes have everything at hand to set their world to rights - namely, a hidden queen, a dead prince, and a facility for human manipulation.
Once they find their sea legs, they'll restore order, distribute smart phones, and drive that conniving bureaucrat to a grisly, satisfying end.
Amazon Link:
Goodreads Link:


(from Amazon.com)
She sensed his death and then ignored the possibility for several days. She couldn't
be sure, couldn't know after all this time, could she? More than forty years had passed since she'd last seen him, and they hadn't been bonded, not truly...how could she know? But she couldn't stop herself from thinking about it; she
felt the dissolution and it was not a feeling one could confuse. But...Peter? Why?
She experienced no real grief - she'd grieved over him, over their emotional catastrophe of a marriage, when she was still with him. But there was a distinct emptiness in her now, and a sadness that one of her kind was gone, someone she'd known as well as she knew anyone. Still, she felt unsure. When she could no longer tolerate her unease, she dove into the lake and transformed, a delicious
freedom she craved especially when troubled. Lake Superior had taken some getting used to - she was less buoyant here than in the salt water back home - but her feelings were clearer when she swam. She came here when she needed to think.
What did she perceive? She sifted through her thoughts and sensations, examining each carefully. No, she was not mistaken: Peter Loughlin was dead. And her,
far under the water where hardly any light penetrated, she suffered for her clarity, felt her remorse more keenly. She cried both for him and for herself.
The decision she had always put off would never be made now, the one to tell him or at least get him word he had a daughter. Now he would never know he'd been a father, would never hear her apologize for leaving without telling him she was pregnant.
She liked to believe he would have forgiven her for fleeing as she had, for protecting their baby from the environment that had crippled them both. Peter's inner distress, so like her own, would have schooled him she hoped; would have helped him accept she would have stayed if she could have.
Her uncertainty dispatched, Seneca meandered toward the surface while watching the play of light on the waves rippling overhead. She slowed as she rose, unwilling to approach the world above yet, when this exit from her lake might well be her last. Twenty feet down, she paused to contemplate the most thrilling, heartbreaking endeavor she'd undertaken since running away four decades earlier.
She could no longer apologize to her dead husband, but she could find their daughter, explain to her who she was, where she came from. Knowing she would do this, Seneca wept with relief at the prospect; how many hours over how many years had she yearned for her child? The orphanage and nuns who ran it were long gone - Seneca knew because she'd checked - but her little girl had stayed there through high school. And surely by now she was aware of what she was, although Seneca was confident the sisters had followed her directive, had kept her daughter from the ocean when she was small. She'd used all of her inconsiderable influence to ensure they would. Seneca surged through the last twenty feet of water, took a breath, and re-entered the lake. She flipped and then propelled herself face-up, just below the surface this time so she could watch the clouds. She felt like she was flying whenever she did this. She felt centered. Her understanding sharpened...and the decision to go became solid and right. She headed for shore thinking about all this place had been to her and what it would mean to her to leave it. She would try to leave her fosterling, Parker, behind, although she truly didn't know if she could. And yet the more she contemplated a return to North Carolina, the more eager she was to get on with it and go. If she had to bring Parker, when then she would. But she would at last, go to her beautiful baby, her girl. Carmen. She would find her and explain everything.

Listen to the songs that have inspired Breakwater...
"The Last Broadcast" by The Doves
"In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" by The Allman Brothers
"Our Deal" by Best Coast
"Shangri-la" by M. Ward
"Umbrella Beach" by Owl City

Errin Stevens writes paranormal suspense/romance from her home in Minnesota, where she lives with her husband and son. When not wrestling with unruly narrative –or reading everything from mythology to contemporary romance to literary novels – you’ll find her swooning over seed catalogs (winter), or digging in the garden (the other three days of the year). Visit her blog site at http://www.errinstevens.com for release updates and random essays on writing and mothering.

Rafflecopter giveaway

December 5th:
Jen (http://www.happylilbooknook.com)
December 6th:
Misty (http://www.mistysbookspace.wordpress.com)
December 7th:
Jordan (http://www.readbyroe.com)
December 8th: oops 11th :)
Sarah (http://www.transientdrifter.blogspot.com)
December 9th:
Kathy (http://www.instagram.com/bookfoxes)
December 10th:
Katie (http://www.facebook.com/katiesbookblog)
December 11th:
Paige (http://www.electivelypaige.com)
December 12th:
Tracy (http://www.thepagesinbetween.com)
December 13th:
Wilmarilys (https://bookalmighty.wordpress.com)
December 14th:
Priyanka (http://abooklionshideaway.blogspot.in)
December 15th:
Helen (https://bibliophileinwonderland.wordpress.com)
December 16th:
Shoshi (http://shoshireads.weebly.com)
December 17th:
Madeena (http://www.bewitchingladym.tumblr.com)
Blog Tour Organized by:
Happy Lil Book Tours
*Hosts were provided with a copy of the book for review purposes in exchange for their honest
reviews and opinions.*