Thank you so much to everyone who participated this week in the Awakened Cover Reveal and the Cover Reveal Giveaway! I’ve received some great feedback and I’m so glad you all love the cover!! J.L. Durfey is just AMAZING at her cover work!!
The four winners of the Awakened Giveaway have been emailed/contacted to claim their prizes. Thank you and Congratulations to Cynderella D., Kirstie H., Jenn T., and Anna C. I hope you all enjoy.
Thank you also to the WONDERFUL bloggers who are so supportive and make my giveaways, reveals, and releases so much fun! If anyone is looking for fun book blogs to follow, these ladies have it DOWN! Thank you Sandwich Making Book Bitches, Can’t Read Just One, Sunshine & Mountains, Bookworm Bridgette, and Victoria’s Gossip!!
As promised, I believe it’s time for an announcement. The RELEASE DATE for Awakened (Book 2 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy) is … TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29th!!! Yep, there will be no waiting until November 🙂 It’ll be out in less than 1 month!
There will be a Release Day Party on my Author Facebook Page to celebrate on the 29th. It’ll start at 8:00pm EST and run about an hour. We’ll chat right there on the page. It’ll be a relaxed and fun way to get to know each other, ask me questions you might be wanting to ask, and have fun! Anyone who “Likes” or “Comments” on something on my page during that hour release party will be entered to win one of the fabulous prizes below:
- 2 Ariya Adams Prize Packs (e-copies of Protected AND Awakened)
- 5 e-copies of Awakened (Book 2 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy)
- 1 Signed Paperback copy of Awakened (Book 2 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy)
- 2 $10 Amazon Gift Cards
IN ADDITION to a fun release day party I will be going GIVEAWAY CRAZY in the weeks leading up to October 29th. I will have 3 e-copies of Protected given away each week until we reach the week of the 29th. The first giveaway will be Monday, September 30th so keep your eyes peeled for questions coming at you on my Facebook Page, Twitter, or here on the website!
Thank you again for all of your support! I can’t wait until the 29th of October!
Well it’s time! Thank you to all who participated in the Book 2 Character Name Contest! I had such fun reading your comments, seeing your dream casts, reading reviews, tweets, and more. 🙂
This character that our winners name belongs to is mentioned twice in Book 2. I can’t share the second time, because it will be a major spoiler, but the first is here! So the announcement is a semi-teaser. Check the excerpt below (**this is unedited) to find out who the winner is! Congrats to…..
James smiled, almost proudly at me. I was glad he was teaching me about my past. “When the Great Battle was over, and your ancestor saved my grandfather, he knew he had to take her away. There couldn’t be a trace of her, or she’d be in danger. He was the sole Protector left. They came to America. Marik was a baby at the time, and had been sent with my grandmother to the states a few months earlier when whispers of threats had come in. It was dangerous for them to travel without my grandfather, but perilous to stay lest they be discovered.”
I was always in awe of James when he spoke of the past. He flicked his eyes towards me, his smile spreading at my obvious enthrallment.
“They started off in Jamestown. My grandfather and grandmother raised your ancestor as their own. Her name was Cianna. She and Marik grew up close. Apparently, they were practically inseparable even with a five-year age difference. They all moved to Colorado when Marik was a teenager to begin training. There were others that my grandfather had begun turning by then, trying to rebuild the Protector legacy.”
James usually always referred to his father as Marik. While I loved listening to the history, he made his father sound like just another part of the story, not someone he even knew. The thought made me sad and I noticed James had stopped talking.
“Cianna is a pretty name.” I said, trying to distract him from any negative thoughts.
I wanted to know more, ask James what he meant by Cianna and Marik being close, but since he hated talking about his father, I stopped myself. I smiled at him in thanks and turned my attention outside the window to watch the snowy landscape as we passed through.
Congratulations Cianna Elizabeth on your win! Cianna earned a HUGE number of 77 points!
2nd Place Winner: Anitra Townsend. Anitra posted up big numbers herself, earning 56 points! Now, I know I had said the Book 2 teaser that 2nd place would get was going to be juicy. But I’m talking SUPER juicy! Juicy as in…Anitra is actually getting an ARC of Book 2!!! Congratulations to Anitra.
Again, thank you to everyone who participated, shared, tweeted, etc. I love contests and prizes and I hope you had as much fun with this as I did!!
Stay tuned….because the next contest will be sooner than you realize. I do have a Cover to reveal after all 🙂
Here it is! Sorry for the delay everyone. James Rymer sat down with me last Tuesday and answered some “Fan” questions as well as some of my own. I hope you enjoy. If there is anything he didn’t answer, be sure to let me know. He agreed to a follow-up interview down the road. I’m sure there will be plenty more to talk to him about.
Me: “Thanks for hanging out tonight, James! Everyone is really excited to get to know more about you. You’re always so reserved.”
James raises his eyebrow and smiles at me as he sits, leaning back against my couch. His arm is propped up on the side and his left leg is crossed over his right. He is wearing a grey fitted shirt and dark jeans. SWOON!
James: “Am I supposed to get really personal?” He asks, almost nervously.
Me: I can’t help but laugh at the question. “I don’t want you to be uncomfortable, but there are some questions I’m hoping for honest answers to.”
James: “Okay, I’ll try.” He chuckles.
Me: “So, I have some questions to ask you and then you are going to share a teaser about Book 2 for the readers. Does that sound good?”
James: “Let’s do it.” He smiles again.
Me: “I’ll start easy.” I reply grinning. I can’t help it. “Where were you born?”
James: “Colorado. There is a remote area that my grandfather and parents have land in, in the mountains. I don’t really give away more of a location than that, usually.”
Me: Oh James, still so reserved. “That’s fine. Did you go to school? If so, where?”
James: “All Protectors go to the Training Academy, not school. While there is an education portion to it, much of it is simply training for attacks, strategy, physical endurance testing, that kind of stuff.”
Me: “Oh. Do you enjoy traveling?”
James: “I really only travel if the person I’m protecting travels. I enjoy it if I’ve had time to take a look at the area and know my surroundings. Otherwise, it can be difficult to relax.”
Me: “That makes sense. So, we saw the tension between you and Ariya throughout Protected. What are your views on dating and marriage?”
James: He clears his throat. “I’ve dated a few vampires, no humans, ever. Until, Ariya. As far as marriage goes, vampires don’t really get married. Since we have immortality, things work a bit differently. It isn’t a process like human marriages, since there are no blood tests or licenses that need to be obtained. Even though vampires do not normally marry, I happen to believe in the institution. I’m unique to my kind in the sense that I believe in God and in the idea of marriage. While I believe in those things, I don’t believe marriage is in my future, nor do I believe a more permanent bond with another vampire is in my future. I take my duty to protect the bloodline very seriously, and while it’s a wonderful notion, marriage is not something that I am going to be partaking in.
Me: Yea, I’m obviously frowning. Since I’m planning on more personal questions later, I’ll let him have this one. Even though I don’t believe him. “What people do you most admire?”
James: “I admire Nick for his adaptability. He is not of the original bloodline, yet his heroism and dedication to the Protector calling has proven to match even my own. Even when taking Caroline’s transition and training upon himself, he still performed his duties flawlessly.”
Me: “Speaking of Nick, how did you guys meet?”
James: James relaxes visibly at this question and smiles. “I was guarding Emma at the time. She was living in New York, trying to make it as an actress.” He rolls his eyes, which only makes me smile more. “The Palace Theater opened on March 24th, 1913 and she wanted to be there. Her mother took her and I had one other Protector with me. Given that it was New York, during a major opening event, we wanted to be careful. Ed Wynn was the main performer that evening, and he had quite a following. The event had drawn a large crowd. I was a bit further away from Emma and her mother than the other Protector that accompanied me. I noticed a scuffle off to the side of the building. A man was being beaten by a large looking group of brutes, while a young girl stood crying, only a few feet away. Seeing as nothing was happening in the line where Emma was, I motioned to my partner that I was going to investigate. I saw the lone young man, bloodied, but standing his ground against a group of four angry drunk men. I scared them off and tried talking to man left behind, asking what happened and if he needed help. He looked at me, wordlessly, stood up on shaky legs, and walked over the crying girl. She couldn’t have been more than twelve. He handed her a silver locket from his hand. She gave him a hug and ran off. I was in awe. I wanted to know more about him. Did he know this girl he helped? His heart was clearly loyal, whether he knew her or not. He turned to thank me, and then started wandering off into the shadows. I stopped him and tried talking to him. I learned his name was Nick and asked if he’d like to spend time learning what I do, telling him that I was in a sort of protection service. He said he was sorry, but had no money to pay for any kind of training. I felt a connection to him though. He was a good person, a Protector at heart. I convinced him to spend the evening learning. I got him a place to stay, near where Emma’s home was, and over the next few months he learned about me, and what we truly did. He was my very first friend. He was the first person I felt understood why I was so passionate about the job. He took on his own passion for the role and was turned before the year ended, although he didn’t like Emma.” James laughs. “There hasn’t been a job I’ve been on without him since, with the exception of the night Ariya’s grandmother died. I trained him myself.”
Me: “Wow. I feel like we have so much to learn about Nick still. It’s obvious you two are close.”
James: “He’s a good man.”
Me: “What, if anything, would you like to change about your life?”
James: “I’m honored to live the life I do. I take pride in having a life that protects those who can’t protect themselves. I cannot imagine anything that would change that, or make me want to change that.” I notice James shifts uncomfortably as he says that last part.
Me: “Is there anything you are lying to yourself about? Or anything you try to convince yourself is not true, but is?” Oh this is juicy!
James: He took on a serious expression here. “I don’t know if I’m lying to myself, but there are things I wish I was stronger to resist.”
Me: “Are you referring to your relationship with Ariya?” Whew, I’m getting bold.
James: His eyes twinkled at the mention of Ariya’s name. “Ariya is one of the most beautiful beings I have ever seen. It is not her outward beauty that attracts me, although, she is breathtaking. It’s her aptitude to love. Her grandmother was the same way, and I admire that ability. She loves as if it was the most important thing in the world. She loves others like there is no one else alive to do it but her, so she must perform to the best of her ability constantly. It is difficult to not be attracted to someone who exudes that much positive energy and life.”
Me: “Really? That’s all you have to say?” I manage the most sarcastic tone I can in his presence.
James: “What would you like me to say?” He shrugs and I swear if vampires could blush, I’m sure he would be right now. I think he loves her.
Me: “Well, you all are together now, how is it going?”
James: “The days we’ve been together have been the best of my existence. My job of protecting her is no longer an assignment, or my duty; it’s a necessity. I cannot imagine a world she is not a part of.”
Me: Okay, I’ll give you a break on the super personal stuff. How do you think you are viewed by others?”
James: He full on smiles here and if I wasn’t sitting on my couch, I would have fallen over at the sight. I don’t know how Ariya stands being so near to him without being a mess. “Difficult to deal with. I believe Ariya and Caroline would call me stubborn, but I know what the right moves to make are. That is one of the things that has made my courtship with Ariya so difficult. I know the struggles and challenges it will bring, but it is the one thing that I am going against my better judgment on.”
Me: “How much self-control and self-discipline would you say you have?”
James: “More than most. Although, that’s been put to the test lately.”
Me: I grin in response to that answer. “What is your biggest fear?”
James: “The decisions that others might make that could throw off strategy. Currently, Ariya is putting my limits to the test on that one.” He actually winks here. Man, he’s a hottie.
Me: “What’s a talent you have that we don’t know about?”
James: “I play the guitar.”
Me: “Seriously? Can we hear?”
James: “Maybe at the next interview. I didn’t bring it with me today.”
Me: I’m sitting here thinking I can’t take much more of him, and I don’t think jumping him is really an option for me. “What is your favorite color?”
James: “If I say blue, will you smirk again and ask the personal questions?”
Me: I don’t really understand this response. “Why would I smirk?”
James: He looks at me, surprised. “Oh, well then, blue.”
Me: “Wait, no. Now you have to tell me? Why would you think I would smirk?”
James: “Maybe I’ll tell you at the end of this interview.”
Me: “All right, well I only have two more questions. What is the best way to spend a weekend?”
James: He’s is still smiling even as I ask this next question. I can feel my cheeks getting red and I’m a bit embarrassed at myself for that reaction. “How I spend my weekend mostly depends on those I’m protecting, and how they spend their weekends.” He paused and grinned, almost evilly, at me. “How private would you like me to get? Your eyes keep lighting up like I’m going to say something extremely special.”
Me: Here I go, blushing again. “Well, readers of Ariya’s story want to get to know you. I told you already I wanted you to open up, but if you prefer to keep some secrets, I’ll have to respect it.”
James: He pondered this for a minute, and then looked back and me, now with his side smile. “I’ve only done it once, but reading with Ariya would probably top most weekends I’ve had.”
Me: I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat. “What would be a great gift for someone to get you?”
James: “Moving around a lot causes me not to carry around a lot of things. Gifts have made me feel uncomfortable in the past. However, Ariya’s Christmas gift was perfect.”
Me: “What did she get you for Christmas?”
James: “Have they not read that far, yet?”
Me: Now, I’m smirking. I love having secrets! “No, that’s coming out in Book 2.”
James: “Oh, can I tell?”
Me: “Yes, please!”
James: “She gave me a framed picture of us at Halloween. She was embarrassed and thought it wasn’t enough, which is ridiculous. It was personal and it was taken on a night I’ll never forget.”
Me: “Why won’t you ever forget it?” I tried using an innocent voice, but I know he sees right through me.
James: “It was the night of our first kiss. I know you know that, Anna”
Me: Obviously, saw right through me on that one. “Have I tested your patience enough for one night?”
James: “It wasn’t that bad.”
Me: “Thank you so much for taking time to do this. It was fun.” I shake his hand and in this moment I wish I got to be Ariya for a day.
James: “Thank you, Anna. It was fun, I’ll admit it.” He’s side smiling at me now as he puts on a sleek black leather coat over his shirt. He stands, towering over me as I continue to sit. Honestly, I don’t trust my own legs to stand steadily right now. He told me before we started he’d show himself out when we were done, and he stars walking for the door.
Me: “Wait! Now that we are done, why did the color comment make you think I was going to smirk?”
James: He turns, smiling back at me. “The teaser I picked is on the table, by the way.” I nod, but look at him, waiting impatiently for his answer. He shakes his head. “Blue is the color of Ariya’s eyes. Personal enough for you?” He winks and walks out of my house
Oh for all that is good in the world, I didn’t need another reason to swoon over this man. I open the paper he left on the table and read the teaser he has picked. It’s leading up to one of the big reveals! That cheat is giving away a big part here…but I told him he could pick, so here it goes!
******TEASER #1 from Book 2 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy (this has not gone through final edits)
“He can’t hear, feel, see, or smell you, Ariya. So please pay attention now. Tristan isn’t very patient either, like me, and he’s been dying to get James back for killing his brother.”
Tristan’s teeth glistened at that remark, and I became truly afraid. Tristan’s brother must have been Devon. That’s the only death on James’ hands, besides Emma, that I knew about. Unless this has nothing to do with me and has everything to do with some other part of James’ 250 year life. The thought seemed unlikely.
“What do you want?” I questioned, trying desperately to make my voice sound stronger than I felt.
“I want you to come with me. Tristan is here for persuasion, should we need it. Tristan?” She turned to him and he lifted the stake he had carried in, twirling it in his hands, and stepping in front of James.
“Stop it!” I said. “Don’t you dare touch him!” Instinctively, I stepped towards James’ unmoving body. He still sat as if nothing in the world was happening around him, and all was well.
The woman held up her hand to Tristan.
“When I wake you up I want you to walk back into this living room and out the door with us. You cannot touch James as you leave. Either you come with us, or Tristan destroys him and we force you with us anyway. If you cooperate, he’ll live.”
My heart stopped and a pit formed in my already upset stomach. This was like Emma all over again. James would be betrayed that I left, but what choice did I have?
Leave quietly or he dies.
His death was not something I would be able to handle. I needed him alive, and if I did leave quietly, he’d be alive to find me. I know he will be able to. There was no other choice but to go with these new monsters.
“Come with us quietly, Ariya.” The woman said to me again, sternly. I didn’t want to try her patience and risk anything happening to James.
“Wake me up and I’ll do whatever you want, but please, please back away from him.” I begged.
Oh man, I can’t wait for more! A big thank you to James Rymer for spending time with us. I hope you all enjoyed!!
Book 1 is complete!!!! Well, almost. Now it’s off for final editing 🙂
Finishing it tonight felt so good. I can’t wait to get the edits back and then finalize everything for you all! One step closer to getting Protected out there and into your hands.
Now that my lovely e-mail list members have had some time to sink their teeth into the teaser I sent out, and due to the fact that I am so excited to share SOMETHING with you, I’m posting the teaser that went out to the mailing list last week. I hope you enjoy this little peek into the world I’ve been living in for the past 8 months 🙂
“I’m gonna run to the bathroom. I’ll be right back.”
I got up to head out to the concourse. The restrooms were off to the side from where the students sat, a bit out of the way. I headed towards the doors.
I was finishing up, washing my hands, when I thought I saw a shadow cross the mirror. I glanced up and didn’t see anything strange.The lights must be warming up still, I thought to myself looking up again at their flickering. They had been switched off for the entire summer after all.
I grabbed the door handle to leave when someone’s arm shot out, slamming the door shut in front of me. Before I could even turn around I was shoved up against the wall with a strong, rather large hand grasping my throat. I almost couldn’t breathe. I opened my eyes to see I was staring straight into the face of Devon.
I clawed at his hand around my throat, trying to gasp in what little air was able to get through my windpipe.
“Not so protected now, are we?” Devon growled.
His eyes were glowing like they were the night of Ashley’s party. Just like they were when I caught them behind her building. His voice was harsh and his arm muscles were bulging. I thought to myself that there was no way it was possible for him to be holding me up like this.
“Listen carefully, Ariya. You are going to do exactly what I say or you are going to regret it.”
He lowered me and released his hand from my throat only to shove both of my shoulders hard against the wall again. It knocked the wind out of me as I felt my head hit the solid concrete wall behind me hard. He was strong, painfully strong.
My vision started blurring from the impact. It almost felt unbearable to have that kind of strength pushing into my shoulders. I tried catching my breath, gulping as much as possible to regain some of the air that had been pushed out of my lungs so roughly.
“What are you doing?”
My voice was raspy and my throat was almost numb from the pain of having it strangled. The throbbing in my head was getting worse. How hard had I hit it? Sharp pain was causing even my eyes to hurt.
“Shut up and listen to me. I’m tired of waiting for you.”
There was something seriously wrong with this guy. He leaned into me, sniffing my hair, and I thought I was going to gag. How had I ever thought he was attractive?
“You’re so beautiful.”
He brought his lips close to mine and I wanted to back away but he had me pinned against the wall. Pulling on lessons learned in my self-defense class, I made a sudden movement to try to bring my leg to hit him in the balls. He was too fast, though, and he grabbed my leg.
“Shame on you, Ariya.”
I started to scream, but he brought his hand up to cover my mouth.
“Now, now. I’m not going to really hurt you. Not yet at least.”
He punched me in the gut swiftly, pushing all the breath I had managed to get back a moment ago out of me. My mouth was open, trying desperately to take in some air. My legs wanted to bend but Devon shoved my shoulders back again, keeping me from falling.
“You are going to ditch Caroline, Nick, and especially James. You are going to come with me ALONE. Do you..”
He was cut off from the rest of his threat by the restroom door flying open. It was Caroline. I tried to call her name to tell her to leave, but had no voice to do so. Instead of being able to warn her and have her safe, I was trapped. She was going to be hurt if I didn’t speak. I went to say her name but could only cough.
Caroline was standing in the doorway and I thought I could see Nick behind her as well. She ran through the door and rushed at Devon.
“Let go you wretched animal!”
She slammed into him harder than I would have thought possible. Devon roughly let go of me when Caroline crashed into him. I crumbled onto the floor. I looked up to try to warn Caroline and to tell her that Devon was really strong. Nothing would come out of my mouth no matter how hard as I tried.
My mouth throbbed. My whole back began to ache as well from being slammed twice into the cement wall. My stomach felt like its insides were moved around in places they shouldn’t be. How was Caroline keeping Devon back against the wall so easily? Was this actually happening?
Devon started grinning wide and opened his mouth. He lunged at Caroline like he was going to bite her. I saw a whirl of dark color, which turned out to be Nick. I could finally see more clearly since things had stopped blurring for a minute.
Nick had moved Devon from the wall and was now holding him back away from Caroline. He had pulled Devon away from her so quickly that none of it seemed real. It was like watching parts of a movie in fast forward. It looked strangely familiar, these blurs of color. I tried to focus on Caroline’s face to see if she was okay but my vision was going in and out. From what I could see, she looked like she wasn’t fazed or scared at all. Was she smiling? Impossible. I brought my hands to my head to see if I could gain some balance.
“That’s enough.” Nick was growling in Devon’s ear.
I couldn’t comprehend what I was watching. It felt like my mind was not able to correctly process what was happening.
“You’ve got your royal here to save her if she dies. Why not see if the rumors are true?”
Devon must have said something horrible in that sentence to Nick because Nick reached down and there was a loud snap and a crunching sound. Devon screamed. My vision was so hazy at this point that I couldn’t see anything of what was really happening anymore. My eyes were heavy and my body slumped again. It sounded like Nick had broken something of Devon’s. What else could that noise have been?
Devon was done screaming and I could hear him say, “You’re going to be so sorry.”
I couldn’t take it anymore. My throat was still hurting and my body was shaking. I was nauseous and dizzy. I didn’t even care that I was on a filthy bathroom floor. My body, my brain, nothing seemed to be working right. I fell forward onto the floor and into a black hole.
I was drifting. Things were fuzzy as the world was going black and then lighter and back to black in my mind. I hurt. My back felt bruised. I could hear voices every so often. They were pieces of sentences that barely made sense.
“She needs blood… heal her…make her forget…protect her.”
I tried to get the voices to come closer. What were they talking about? Who needs blood? Me? When I tried to focus to speak more and ask my questions, pain came. A shadow approached.
Darkness overcame me again.
Hope you enjoyed!! 🙂