12/18/2014

Swoon Thursday (166): A Little Less Talk




It's that time again! We created a HOT meme, and if you're new to the game, here's how to join in the fun:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering.

Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the steamy button above and share it on your blog. We want to know!

Hey, y'all! Ashley here.  This week's title comes from my swoon.  Sometimes, we just want the other person to stop talking, and start doing.  ;)  I hope you enjoy this week's swoons!


Happy Thursday, y'all!



TRISHA:  Swooning over RUNNING BAREFOOT by Amy Harmon :

 I heard a guttural groan behind me. I heard the pail and the silver bowl hit the ground with a jarring twang. When I turned, Samuel was striding towards me, and I gasped at the vehemence in his face. I was suddenly gripped tightly in his arms, the force of his embrace lifting me off my feet. Then Samuel's mouth was on mine, his hands in my hair. His lips were demanding, his hands holding my head firmly beneath the onslaught of his kiss.



ASHLEY:  Swooning over Kiersten White's ILLUSIONS OF FATE:


I put my finger--from the hand without the glove--over his mouth and trace the soft curve of his bottom lip.  "Please stop talking."  Hooking the collar of his shirt, I pull him toward me and kiss him again.   
This time he does not break away, cradling the back of my head with his hand, his thumb stroking down the side of my neck.  His lips are soft and warm and fit mine like the answer to an equation I didn't know I was trying to solve.   
Fate is a choice, and I cannot imagine any other choice making me as weightlessly happy as I am in this moment.

KELLY: Swooning over ICY PRETTY LOVE by L. A. Rose:


He lifts me up, his hands cupping my thighs, and I wrap my legs around him. He bites my lower lip and I gasp. The voice wrenches a moan from him and he tears his lips from me. I almost complain, but then he's kissing my neck savagely, each bite a melting star.

JESSICA:  Swooning over SAWYER by Lori Foster: 

"Not...not anymore." 
"What?" He was so rattled, he wasn't at all sure what he understood. 
"I'm not engaged, not anymore." 
Something turbulent and dangerous inside him settled, but in its place was a sudden blast of violent heat, an awareness of how much her answer had mattered to him. 
He looked down at her mouth, saw her parted lips tremble, and he went right over the edge. He leaned down until he could feel her warm breath on his mouth, fast and low, and the vibrancy of her expectation, her own awareness. 
And then he kissed her.


Delicious Repeats:


KELSEY: Swooning over STRANGE SKIES by Kristi Helvig:

James pulled me into the hut and secured the flap behind us. I stepped away from him and crossed my arms across my chest. Running from Kale was not something I wanted to keep doing. I'd have to deal with him sooner rather than later, but before I could say anything to James, his mouth was on mine. My words dissolved. James ran his hands slowly down my still-crossed arms, gently pulling them to my sides, then wove our fingers together as his lips moved against mine. After a minute, he broke away.




HEATHER:  Swooning over LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins:


I kiss him like I've never kissed anyone before.
He doesn't move. His lips aren't moving.
My head jerks back in alarm. I've acted rashly, I've pushed him too quickly---
He collapses to his knees and yanks me back to his lips. 
His kiss isn't even remotely innocent. There's passion, but there's also an urgency verging on panic. He pulls me close, as close as my dress and chair will allow, and he's gripping me so tightly that I feel his fingers press through the back of my stays.



NEREYDA:  Swooning (TWICE!) over THE HOOKUP by Kristen Callahan:
"I want to kiss you, Anna."
My breath hitches.  I'm all the way under the covers now, in a dark heated world.  And there's nothing but his voice.  "I think about it all the time.  How soft your lips will be?  What will they taste like?  Will you make those sweet little noises like you do when we make love?"

and:

“Why won’t you let me kiss you, Anna?”
I can’t breathe.
“Why, Anna?”
“It’s too much,” I rasp.
“Not when I want everything.” He says it so deep and strong, a staking of a claim. “And I want everything with you, Anna.”



SO NOW IT'S YOUR TURN! On your blog (and be sure to leave us a link), and/or on Twitter... SWOON us!

And PS! Make sure to tweet with the #YABound hashtag so we can RT you!


12/12/2014

Blog Tour: The Letting by Cathrine Goldstein!


The Letting
Release Date: 12/15/14
335 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
What if the Devil doesn’t know he’s the Devil?

This is the question Veronica “Ronnie” Billings poses to Phoenix, her sworn enemy, the leader of the Peaceful Revolution, and the one she loves.

Kidnapped by Phoenix’s rebels, Ronnie learns how wrong she has been. She had no idea that her patriotism was wasted on a corrupt government. Ronnie was proud to be a Leader; taking hundreds of harvested girls to the Letting facility. After all, she was saving them from future Couplings and bringing them to the safety of the New World. Or so she thought…

Confused, Ronnie realizes the only way to discover the truth is to trust her heart. Together, Phoenix and Ronnie devise a plan to stop their corrupt government and preempt the dangerous rebel coup which is approaching. But when their plan goes awry, will Ronnie be strong enough to save Phoenix, her country, and herself?


An interview with the elusive Phoenix, the male lead of THE LETTING, a dystopian NA/YA romance published by The Wild Rose Press, release date, December 15, 2014.

Time and again readers have referred to Phoenix as “swoonworthy” – the kind of guy who knocks you off your feet. Today, I am lucky enough to interview him.

Phoenix is wearing army green fatigues and a white t-shirt that pulls just perfectly across his chest. I gather my wits and proceed.


I have to say I’m a bit surprised you agreed to this interview. Yeah?

Yes! But thank you for joining us. You’re welcome.

I guess we’ll cut straight to the chase. Can you tell us a bit about THE LETTING in your words?
Before he answers, Phoenix runs his hands through his tousled black hair and leans forward, resting his elbows on his thighs. He looks straight up at me and I gasp. He doesn’t react in any way, as if he’s unaware of the pure magnetism he possesses. He stares at me, waiting for me to compose myself.

Uh…THE LETTING? In your words? What can I say? It’s Ronnie’s story really.

You call her Ronnie? (Phoenix breaks out into a wide smile and caught up, I smile back.) Sure. Ronnie. Ron.

So it’s Ronnie’s story. But tell us about it in your words. THE LETTING explains Ronnie’s quest for the truth. She uh…she becomes her own person. And she is finally free to be the brilliant, loyal, fierce young woman she is.

Sounds to me like you like her…? Anyone who meets her would like her. She’s…she’s just special.

So you’re saying you like her the same as anyone else who meets her? (At this point Phoenix sits back in his chair and stares straight at me. I am unnerved, but he looks as relaxed as I’ve ever seen him.) No. I’m not saying that. I can’t speak for how anyone else feels about her.

Are you referring to Principal Leader Farnsworth? (Phoenix sighs.) Among other people.

But you do like her? (Phoenix stares at me, blankly.) Yes, I certainly like her. (He smiles again.)

Are you in love? (Phoenix looks away and back again. I can tell he’s fighting hard against a smile growing on his lips.)  I am going to choose not to answer that.

Can you tell us what your plans are for the future? You have no small questions do you? No what’s my favorite color or food? (He smiles that unnerving smile and I have to fight to stay grounded.)

Fine.  What’s your favorite food? Easy. Ravioli.

Really?  I think if you read THE LETTING you’ll understand why.

Ah! And your favorite color? Deep brown. The color of Ronnie’s eyes.

Phoenix, I think this answer might have answered that earlier question too. Maybe. (He smiles again.) 

So, where are you from? I was born in the city, but I’ve lived in the woods for many years now.

In the woods? Must be lonely. Do you have a home? It can be lonely. Except when…well, anyway. I have a small cabin hidden deep in the woods.

Did you stumble across the cabin? No, I built it.

You did? That must have been quite an undertaking. It was okay. I’ve always been good with my hands. (This time I sigh and sit back. Phoenix runs his hand across the scruff growing on his chin and I can tell he is antsy.)

I asked Ronnie so it only seems fair to ask you. What did you think the first time you saw her? I saw Ronnie long before she ever knew I existed. So it’s a bit of a difficult question to answer.

Can you give us anything? How about what you thought the first time you met face to face. (Phoenix looks away, truly distraught.) That was the most bittersweet moment of my life. There she was, in front of me, I could just reach out and…touch her, but she was in a terrible situation. She had been…roughed up at the hands of my “partners,” and it was all my fault.

But you stopped your partners… Yes. But I wasn’t fast enough.

And she was your enemy. Yes.

How about when it was just the two of you? What did you think then? I thought…Nothing will ever be the same.

How so? All I want to do is protect her. From everything and everyone.

Now will you tell us about your plans for the future? I’m hoping I have the opportunity to right all of those wrongs in our world.

With the Peaceful Revolution? Yes.

Do your plans for the future include Veronica? If she’ll have me. Yes.

What plans do you have for the two of you? (He smiles a small smile.) That is private.

Ah! Ronnie told us she believes in love, even though your world doesn’t allow it. Actually, Ronnie says it’s the only thing she believes in. Do you believe in love as well? (Phoenix stands now, and grabs his shotgun. He slings it over his shoulder and reaches his hand out to me, pulling me gently to my feet. He shakes my hand with determination—then he holds my hand as he speaks.) 
I don’t believe in hurting anyone intentionally. I don’t believe in greed or power. I believe in finding that one person and understanding she is your reason for living. I believe in Ronnie.

With that, Phoenix smiles and politely walks away. Our interview is over, leaving me completely, happily, befuddled.


About the Author
Given my love for cities and all that is gritty, my new obsession with trees really has me stumped. (Sorry.) Maybe it's because trees are the inspiration behind my new YA/NA novel, theLETTING.

Whatever the reason for my new infatuation, some things remain constant -- like my love for: coffee (although sadly, it's now decaf); yoga; Luna bars (I am petitioning for them to bring back Chocolate Raspberry!); running in my neighborhood; Hemingway; Bukowski... and, above all, my husband and my girls.


I am the author of the bestselling novel, Sleeping With Mortals: The Story of a New York Mistress, and I'm also a playwright. I have my B.A. in English and my M.A. in Theatre. 

Author Links:
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12/11/2014

Blog Tour: Inner Fire by R.L. Stedman!


Inner Fire
by R.L. Stedman
Release Date: 11/30/14

Summary from Goodreads:
‘Maybe it would be better if I started at the beginning.’ Gran watched me carefully. ‘This ability we have; my mother, me. You. We draw heat along our bodies; anger makes us flame.’

When her friend is assaulted, Corrine Peterson can’t help reacting. But she didn’t think and now her hands are burnt, Gran is coming to look after her and, scariest of all, strange men are watching her house. Could they be terrorists? Secret agents? 

It seems that Gran’s idea of a solution is to introduce Corrine to Rowan. Okay, sure, maybe eighteen year old Rowan is gorgeous – but he has his own troubles. And right now, Corrine doesn’t need complications in her life. 

But in a world of surveillance and secrecy, complexity is inevitable. And as the tension mounts Corrine realizes - maybe Gran can help her, after all.


Buy Links:
Amazon

Excerpt:
‘Don’t worry, my dear. Everything will be just fine.’ Holding her around the shoulder, Mr Patel slipped off her school bag. Deepti didn’t even try to stop him; she just stood there, letting him move her around. He passed me the bag. Automatically, my hand reached out and I took it.
‘You can leave,’ he told me, staring at Deepti. ‘Deepti and I have something to discuss now, don’t we dear?’
‘Don’t touch her!’ My voice sounded weak, afraid.
He said nothing, just turned away from me, as though I didn’t exist, as though Deepti was the only thing in the world to him, like she was his own personal private present.
I held her bag to my chest, fighting for breath. This is not happening. This is not happening.
‘Stop it!’  I could feel my anger, almost taste it on my tongue.
Mr Patel looked at me, his face mildly surprised, as though he wasn’t doing anything wrong.  ‘But Miss Jalali and I have an understanding.’ He smiled at me. His skin was olive-gray and his eyes had tiny red veins in them. ‘The last time I caught her lovely hands stealing my stock, I warned her. Didn’t I, Miss Jalali? I told you I would demand payment of you.’
Deepti turned her head away.  ‘No! No!’ She struggled against him like a pinned fly. ‘I didn’t. I didn’t. Please let me go!’ She was crying now, really crying.
‘Let her go!’ But my voice sounded small and weak, and he ignored me.
Oh my God. What do I do? Then, quite suddenly, I wasn’t scared – I felt angry. The walls of the grotty shop seemed to pulse in time with my heart. Who the hell did this man think he was? I heard a distant roaring, the sound of fire and heat and red-hot flames.

I shouted, ‘Leave her alone!’

My name is Rachel Stedman. I’m a physiotherapist (physical therapist) by background, but now I work as a freelance contractor. I live in the wild and windy place of Dunedin, New Zealand, with my husband and two kids.

I write mostly for children and young adults. In 2012 I won the Tessa Duder Award for an unpublished YA work and my first novel, A Necklace of Souls, was published by HarperCollins in 2013 (available in the United Kingdom and on Book Depository from June 2015). This year, A Necklace of Souls was awarded Best First Book at the 2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards and won a Notable Book Award from Storylines. Inner Fire is my second novel.

Author Links:
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