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Grief does a number of things, none of them pretty. At the best end of the spectrum you simply cry yourself dry. At the worst end, you do things that will either leave you full of regret once you swim up from your grief or you do things you’ll do your damnedest to forget. Sometimes you manage to run the entire spectrum, and nobody involved is the better for it.
**WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC MATERIAL**
“No one’s.” I shouted, tears pouring down my face. “I don’t want to worry about people dying because I’m a screw up, because I don’t know what to do.” I pressed my hands over my chest, like the pressure would help the aching and burning. “What am I supposed to do without Gillian? What am I supposed to do?”
I wasn’t aware Williams had crossed the room until suddenly his arms closed around me, pulling me close to him. I couldn’t keep the crying under control anymore and my knees buckled. Williams slid to the ground with me, whispering words in a language I couldn’t understand.
It seemed like forever and yet not nearly long enough before my sobs quieted down to whimpers. I became aware of Williams’ holding me very, very close. His hand moved slowly up and down my back. My face pressed close to his neck, and I took a deep breath, inhaling his mixture of expensive cologne and otherness. His hand slid under my shirt on its trip up my back and I tensed, muscles knotting faster than an expert seaman.
I should have pulled away. Instead, I drew him closer.
“Jude.” His breath ruffled my hair, sent shivers down my spine. “You’re drunk.” He started to draw back and I tightened my grip, dug my fingers into his hips. “Jude.”
“Don’t. Don’t go. I don’t want to be alone right now.” I laid my lips over where his pulse would have been and kissed softly. “Stay with me. Please.”
His hands slid over my back, came up to fist in my hair. He jerked my head back until I could see his face and he could see mine. “You would tempt a saint. And I am no saint, Jude Magdalyn.”
His mouth was as decadent as I remembered, more so, as if the events of the night had changed us both so much that every flavor, every touch was deeper, richer. My fingers shook as they gripped his shirt. My skin warmed where his hands touched my stomach and tangled with the button of my jeans.
He bit my lip. I jumped, moaning, my hands fisting in his hair. His tongue swept into my open mouth, swirling, coaxing. Thoughts of Theo slapped at me, quickly pushed away when Williams sucked on my tongue. I was vaguely aware when he opened my jeans, but not fully until his hand slid into them. Inside and down, teasing over the most sensitive part of me before pulling gently.
I came, instantly, powerfully, so intensely my head reeled for a moment and I could only gasp breath in and out. He didn’t give me time to recover. Moving his clever fingers down further Williams slid them into me, my hips arching to drive them deeper. His mouth moved down my neck, licking a path down my chest. I don’t know when he did it or how, but the front clasp on my bra opened and he shifted his head, sucking a nipple deep into his mouth.
I came again, harder this time, the tension in my muscles bringing tears to my eyes. I felt his fangs, just the slightest pressure, against my breast, and the implied danger had me pulling his head closer with one hand, even as my other struggled to push my jeans the rest of the way off. His fingers slid in and out, and mine clutched convulsively in his hair, the only reaction I could truly manage.
He pulled out, and I whimpered in protest, more so when he raised his head from my breast and pushed to his knees. Williams’ shirt was lifted off and tossed in much the same way mine had been. Unable to help myself, I pushed to a sitting position, leaning forward to run my mouth over the smooth muscle of his chest. He shuddered again, sliding my bra the rest of the way off before pushing me back to the carpet. His pants were off faster than I could see and I raised my hips when his hands tugged at the denim caught on the carpet.
When he settled between my legs, I felt him hard and ready. He leaned over me, bracing his weight on his hands, his mouth inches from mine.
He thrust into me, crushing his mouth to mine. Settling his hips firmly against mine, he did something I’d never expect someone with hundreds of years of experience to do. He fucked me.
There was nothing gentle or romantic or seductive in what we did. There was nothing but need and want and underneath everything grief trying to push out. I held on and let him use me, used him. I concentrated only on what I physically felt and let sensation wash over me, the emotional storm trying to push its way through.
The orgasm caught me surprise and I gasped, nicking my tongue on one of his fangs. The tiny taste of blood was too much for Williams. Between the blood on his tongue and the clenching of my muscles, his body let go. Pushing into me one final time, he held for a long moment before sliding down to lay his head between my breasts.
Reality began to creep back in. It took longer than I expected and yet not nearly long enough. I pushed on his shoulder and he obliged me by rolling off to lie next to me. I sat up, shook my hair back. “I’m sorry.”
“We shouldn’t have done this.” Theo’s face swam into my mind. “I’m sorry. This was a mistake. A stupid, drunk mistake that will never happen again.”
He lay there for a few minutes longer and then I felt him stand, heard him rustling around for his clothes. “I’ll leave you alone, then. Unless you require anything else of me?”
I pushed to my feet, keeping my back to him, and began pulling on my own clothes. “No. Just leave. Please.”
Author Info: L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. Titles written include New Moon Rising, Shades of Gray, the first novel in the Jude Magdalyn series, as well as Hole in the Wall, a Jude Magdalyn short. She is currently at work on Taken. She makes her home in Florida with one two cats—one smart, the other an idiot.
Author: Lacey Weatherford Title: Blood Of The White Witch (Of Witches and Warlocks Book 3) Publisher: Global Authors Publications Publish Date: Aug 2, 2011 Buy: Amazon Review Copy Provided By: The Bookish Snob Promotions and the author Book Blurb: As the personal connection between Portia and Vance explodes, the two quickly find themselves in a world of shifting balances. While searching for Vance’s missing mother, they realize they are suddenly unsure of who to trust, learning sometimes things are not always as they appear. When Vance’s demon characteristics abruptly begin to resurface without warning, the horrible truth comes out, crashing down upon them and shattering some of their most precious dreams. Once the deadly secret is uncovered, Portia and Vance find themselves hastily rushing against the hands of time in and attempt to stop an ancient ritual. Passion, loyalties, powers, and family ties, will all be tested when dangerous adventures abound in the third installment in the Of Witches and Warlocks series...Blood of the White Witch.
Review: This series is very different from what I usually read in the YA area. I jumped into it without reading the first two books, but that was ok, because things are explained nicely so that a new reader won't be too confused.
The relationship between Portia and Vance kinda creeps me out because I know there ages...16 and 18. A lot of sex goes on...though its alluded to rather than described, since this is a YA novel. These two have a very passionate relationship. The thing that doesn't sit well with me is Vance. Not that I don't love him, because he's the kind of hero we all want. Super alpha male, ready to do anything to protect his lady..but he feels like he's older than 18. Portia on the other hand doesn't seem as mature. It was the one thing I had a hard time getting past in the story. Oh and for Portia's protection, the two are married.
The story itself is awesome. I was totally taken in by Douglas and Fiona, Vance's grandparents, when the couple were in Scotland. The fact that they weren't what they seemed was a total shock to me. The conflict they bring to the story really is gripping. I was totally intrigued by "The Awakening" and the "White Witch Coven."
Again, I wish the passion were a little more toned down between Vance and Portia, because for me it detracted from the action, but that is me.
I really want to go back and read the first two books in the series so I can tie everything together.
Today we welcome Lacey Weatherford, author of Blood of the White Witch to A Chick Who Reads! How exciting is that.
A Trip through “Vanceland” - Part Three
Yay! You’re back for more touring with me! I love it!! Well, let’s get on with it, shall we? This is a fun one!
About midway through Blood of the White Witch, Vance and Portia find themselves in London, England on an unplanned detour. They end up staying at the fabulous Milestone Hotel. When they aren’t busy researching information on an ancient ritual, they often find themselves strolling through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens for a little relaxation time.
However, they soon discover information that sends them and their group out looking for a particular stone circle. Stone circles number in the thousands when it comes to Europe so this is certainly no easy task.
The two find themselves taking a little day trip to check out Stonehenge to see if it could be the particular circle they are looking for. They come back to visit the stones that night, all alone and they have an interesting little encounter.
“Something very powerful is at work here,” Vance said, and he lifted his palms into the air in front of him.
I watched him in amazement when sparks began generating from the tips of his fingers. There was a loud snapping sound, and suddenly the air burst into electrical currents around him.
He chuckled, and the currents spread through the air, twisting, zipping, and arcing in all directions until there was a current attached to every stone in the circle. I felt like we were standing in the middle of an electric storm ball, and I could feel the static electricity in the air begin to even lift the hairs on my head.
“Come here,” he said with a grin while he continued to manipulate the magic.
I walked toward him, and the streams of electricity danced harmlessly away from my body as I approached, until I was standing right in front of him.
“Lift your hands up,” he commanded me, and I did as he asked.
He moved until our palms were almost touching, but not quite, and I felt him link with me mentally.
Sparks began shooting from my fingertips the second his mind attached to mine, and I jerked as a wave of the most intense power I had ever felt coursed completely through my body from head to toe.
My breath caught when I suddenly realized this was his magic flowing through me. Never could I have imagined the strength or the level at which he operated. I had always known he was strong and gifted magically, but I would have never dreamed it possible at this magnitude.
A stronger surge moved through me. I felt my hair lift and swirl away from my body as it did, and I realized with awe that he was playing. What I was feeling was not even the full extent of his power! I wondered how he could possibly contain it all. My body was trembling at the invasion of it, and it continued to pulsate through me, causing magical reactions from my own power. I noticed the tips of my fingers had now turned to solid ice.
The air churned and throbbed with the electric streams that lifted from our bodies, twisting together. I watched the display around us in amazement. It was a phenomenal sight to behold, to be a part of.
He stepped forward, locking his fingers with mine, and I felt more than saw the explosion of electricity when his lips touched mine. My knees buckled under the power of his magic. He released one of my hands and caught me easily around the waist before pushing me backward with his body until my back was pressed against one of the ancient stones.
He lifted the one hand he still held up over my head, pressing it up against the rock too. He ran his free hand down my arm, sending actual sparks over my skin, raising huge goose bumps there, before he took my free hand and threaded it around his waist.
Lifting his hand, he touched my face, running his thumb over my lips while he looked at me. He looked like some sort of mythical god standing in front of me with the very air crackling and swirling around him.
Suddenly his fingers felt very cold on my lips, and I looked down to see that the tips of them had ice on them also, and I realized my powers were transferring to him as well.
“Look at the two of us.” He grinned seductively while continuing to run his thumb over my lower lip. “Fire and Ice … literally.”
I had so much fun writing this part of the book!! Stay tuned to the tour for more fun “Vanceland” locations!!
Lacey Weatherford has always had a love of books. She wanted to become a writer after reading her first Nancy Drew novel at the age of eight.
Lacey resides in the White Mountains of Arizona , where she lives with her wonderful husband, six beautiful children, one son-in-law, and their energetic schnauzer, Sophie. When she's not out supporting one of her kids at their sporting/music events, she spends her time writing, reading, blogging, and reviewing books.
You can contact Lacey by following her on her social medias:
Author: Bill See Title: 33 Days: Touring In A Van, Sleeping On Floors, Chasing A Dream Publisher: Lulu.com Publish Date: June 7, 2011 Buy: Amazon Review Copy Provided By: The author Book Blurb: For 33 days in the summer of 1987, Divine Weeks set off on tour in a beat up old Ford Econoline Van, sleeping on strangers' floors, never sure they'd make enough gas money to get them to the next town. This deeply personal, coming of age, on the road memoir follows critically acclaimed 80s indie alt rock band Divine Weeks' first tour of the U.S. and Canada. Liberated from alcoholic upbringings and rigid cultural constraints, all they have is their music and each other's friendship. The road is filled with yuppies, brothels, riots, sleeping on floors, spiked drinks, DJs with no pants, and battles with racism. They set out on the road to discovery to drink in all they could and maybe sell a few records. They grew up instead.
Review:Very few memoirs about rockers come across so wonderfully...well..uplifting. This book doesn't deal with fights and egos. What it deals with are a bunch of guys setting out to make it in the music business. It also made me want to hunt down the music of Divine Weeks and give them a listen.
For all intents and purposes, the reader will feel like these guys are wasting their time trying to make it big, but music is hard business to break into and apparently you really should have a day job if you want to survive the early part of a career. These guys weren't making any money and they were schlepping across the country and across Canada! (And not without their share of problems) Yet, through it all this book shows how a dream and friendship make things happen even when there are things that make some band members want to give up. (George had a girlfriend he left behind in L.A. and Raj had family he felt strong ties too).
The 33 days of Divine Weeks' first national tour is full of fun and probably typical rocker behavior... a little drugs...a lot of booze..and a lot of sex...erm...nope ...not much of that unless you were the soundman. (This is lamented several times in the book)
These guys faced a lot together and they could have given up, but they didn't. I think that is what made me feel so good at the end of the book. These guys toughed it out for a few more years. Oh and though I had never heard of Divine Weeks before picking up this book, I came to love this band. Bill writes like a person sitting down at a table sharing stories. That's what made this book so good for me.
If you have an interest in rock n' roll, this is a great story for you, even if you aren't this is just a good all around memoir that reminds us to chase our own dreams.
In the third installment of The Black Knight Chronicles, vampire private investigators Jimmy Black and Greg Knightwood find another vampire (or more) playing in their sandbox, and the boys are NOT happy about it.
While tracking down the killer of a young college student, they encounter boobytraps, defenestration, coeds, a hirsute bounty hunter with a moon fetish and a bad attitude, and worst of all - game night at a comic shop!
This comic urban fantasy series has drawn comparisons to The Dresden Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Kevin Smith movies. Knight Moves is the followup to the kindle best-selling Hard Day’s Knight and Back in Black.
John G. Hartness is a poet, actor and novelist from Charlotte, NC. He is the author of the urban fantasy series The Black Knight Chronicles and the stand-alone novel The Chosen. His work has been compared to Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, Jim Butcher and other grown men who spend too much time in comic book stores. He likes bluegrass, fried pickles and cheap beer.
Author: Lisa Jewell Title: After The Party Publisher: Atria Books Publish Date: August 16, 2011 Buy: Amazon Review Copy Provided By: Crazy Book Tours & The Publisher Book Blurb: Eleven years ago, Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary fell deeply in love. They thought it would be forever, that they’d found their happy ending. As everyone agreed, they were the perfect couple. Then two became four, and an apartment became a house. Romantic nights out became sleepless nights in. And they soon found that life wasn’t quite so simple anymore. But through it all, Jem and Ralph still loved each other. Of course they did.
Now Jem is back at work part-time as a talent agent. Ralph, a successful painter, is struggling to come up with new, hopefully groundbreaking, work for his upcoming show. But the unimaginable has happened. Two people who were so right together are starting to drift apart And in the chaos of family life, Jem feels like she’s losing herself, while Ralph, stuck on the sidelines, feels like he’s lost his muse altogether. Something has to change. As they try to find a way back to each other, back to what they once had, they both become momentarily distracted—but maybe it’s not too late to recapture happily ever after…
Review: After the Party is a sequel to Ralph's Party...and for some, the book might be better received if the first book is read...well....first. However, as I read, I found that After the Party could stand alone. Lisa gives enough backstory that you don't really need to have all the details of how they got together.
What will surprise most...well, at least it did me, is that Jem and Ralph aren't married. The way the story read, they felt like a married couple, but only Jem acted like she was part of one...for the most part.
Jem and Ralph are two characters that are really not very likable. It is difficult to believe that these two managed to get together at all, they seem that intensely different in what they want out of life. Both are selfish and stubborn and it was difficult to hope for the best for them as their relationship deteriorates.
This couple is very real, maybe too real for readers looking to escape "real life" when it comes to their reading.
What was most surprising is the "happily ever after", because these two people certainly didn't seem to deserve it.
Bio: Lisa Jewell is the international bestselling author of nine novels, including Ralph's Party, Thirtynothing, and One-Hit Wonder. She was born and raised in north London, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Visit her at www.facebook.com/LisaJewellofficial or www.twitter.com/lisajewelluk
Author: Sandra Byrd Title: To Die For Publisher: Howard Books Publish Date: Aug 9, 2011 Buy: Amazon Review Copy Provided By: Historical Fiction Book Tours & the Publisher Book Blurb: What would you sacrifice for your best friend? Would you die for her?
Meg Wyatt has been Anne Boleyn's closest friend ever since they grew up together on neighboring manors in Kent. So when twenty-five-year-old Anne's star begins to ascend, of course she takes Meg along for the ride.
Life in the court of Henry VIII is thrilling...at first. Meg is made mistress of Anne's wardrobe, and she enjoys the spoils of this privileged orbit and uses her influence for good. She is young and beautiful and in favor; everyone at court assumes that being close to her is being close to Anne.
But favor is fickle and envy is often laced with venom. As Anne falls, so does Meg, and it becomes nearly impossible for her to discern ally from enemy. Suddenly life's unwelcome surprises rub against court's sheen to reveal the tarnished brass of false affections and the bona fide gold of those are true. Both Anne and Meg may lose everything. When your best friend is married to fearsome Henry VIII, you may soon find yourself not only friendless but headless as well.
A rich alchemy of fact and fiction, To Die For chronicles the glittering court life, the sweeping romance, and the heartbreaking fall from grace of a forsaken queen and Meg, her closest companion, who was forgotten by the ages but who is destined to live on in our hearts forever.
Review: Tudor England is one of the most popular periods to write about it seems. I usually avoid this period, but this book looked fascinating so I had to jump on this tour and I wasn't disappointed.
Meg Wyatt is the BFF of Anne Boleyn. She is also the sister of Thomas Wyatt the poet. Sandra paints the friendship as a typical one between the girls, but she doesn't sugarcoat Anne's personality, which is very haughty.
But though the story revolves around Anne, the real heroine is Meg, whose life seems to run in Anne's shadow, but was truly a loyal friend....following Anne to the scaffold. Her own problems, an abusive father, loss of a childhood sweetheart to the priest hood and much more are overshadowed by Anne, but she takes it in stride.
This is a story of true friendship.
Any lover of historical fiction will gobble this book up. Definitely worth the read and a great addition to my collection of books that involve the Queens of England.
Author: Terri Giuliano Long Title: In Leah's Wake Publisher: Createspace Publish Date: Oct 1, 2010] Buy: Amazon Review Copy Provided By: The author Book Blurb: A mesmerizing story of love, loss, connection and grace
The Tyler family had the perfect life until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn't want to be perfect anymore.
As Leah's rebellion escalates, her parents, Zoe and Will, wage a desperate battle to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future. Meanwhile, her younger sister, Justine, must bear the burden of coping with the destruction her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake.
In Cortland, Massachusetts, where money and image reign supreme, the Tylers, once town royalty, soon find themselves isolated, the subject of vicious gossip and speculation. Jerry Johnson, the townie-turned-town-cop who intervenes, may be the only person in town who instinctively understands Dostoevksy's conviction, that "everyone is responsible to all men and for all men and for everything."
This mesmerizing debut novel tells the tale of a contemporary American family caught in the throes of adolescent rebellion a heartbreaking, funny, ultimately redemptive quest for love, independence, connection and grace.
Review: This story was really moving. It chronciles a family in crisis, as the Zoe and Will's oldest daughter spirals out of control. Leah could be any girl, in any high school. She was perfect until she got mixed up with the wrong people and things go from bad to worse.
But the thing is...this book reads like real life. The perfect family with their lives collapsing around them. Work issues...parenting issues...it is all there, and it isn't all pretty.
Terri doesn't sugar coat things and though the book has a happy ending, in a roundabout way, fairy dust wasn't sprinkled on the story so that Leah could resume her old life.
In Leah's Wake reminds everyone that opens it that parenting isn't easy...mistakes are going to be made by everyone, and that your family should be the most important people in your lives.
Leah wasn't always the most likable teenager, in fact, most of the time you are hoping the cops would bust her and scare her straight, but it doesn't always work that way. Life is not easy, and In Leah's Wake life doesn't cut many people a break.
This was a truly amazing read.
Rating: 5 flowers
Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and as a lecturer at Boston College.
While her passion lies in the written word, Terri’s primary inspiration comes from her interest in existential philosophy and her observations of people and human nature. Her stories expand upon the subtle truths and what-ifs of everyday life. No matter where her stories journey, they always tie back to the family—the ways we love yet, in loving, too often hurt one another, the grief, the sorrow, the revelation, and the joy. Terri’s goal is to offer lasting hope and deep emotional connection in a compact and entertaining package.
Her life outside of books is devoted to her family. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, traveling to far-flung places, and meeting interesting people. True to her Italian-American heritage, she’s an enthusiastic cook and she loves fine wine and good food. In an alternate reality, she could have been very happy as an international food writer.
The one thing I noticed in the last few months about book blogging, is it is damn hard to keep organized. I have so much I need to spend time on. Challenges need updating, my yearly review master post needs updating and my sidebars need cleaned up.
The question is, WHEN AM I GOING TO HAVE TIME!
In the last few months my father has had some health issues that have really nasty and have put some restrictions on my time for fun stuff...like leaving my house and reading.
I keep vowing I'll get the blog organized and that I'll start updating posts as soon as I make them, but so far, that isn't happening.
So fellow book bloggers, do you have any tips for me on keeping the blog organized?
I've been crazy busy in the last few days, and I've got very little reading done, which really disappoints me, because I've got a bunch of tour spots coming up.
I can only hope the next few days calm down. (Though I can't imagine that happening, as my dad has a doctor's appointment tomorrow and those always take up so much time) But one can hope right?
I just wanted to let you all know that the Chick isn't dead...she's just crazier than usual right now. But not to worry there will be lots of reviews coming...just as soon as things calm down this week.
Author: Stephanie Laurens Title: Viscount Breckenridge To The Rescue Publisher: Avon Publish Date: Aug 30, 2011 Buy: Amazon Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley and The Goddess Fish Promotions Book Blurb: You are cordially invited to the wedding of Miss Heather Cynster . . . but not before she encounters kidnappers, danger, and a daring rescue at the hands of Viscount Breckenridge
Determined to hunt down her very own hero, one who will sweep her off her feet and into wedded bliss, and despairing of finding him in London’s staid ballrooms, Heather Cynster steps out of her safe world and boldly attends a racy soiree.
But her promising hunt is ruined by the supremely interfering Viscount Breckenridge, who whisks her out of scandal—and straight into danger, when a mysterious enemy seizes her, bundles her into a coach, and conveys her out of London.
Now it’s up to the notorious Breckenridge to prove himself the hero she’s been searching for all along . ..
Review: I love Stephanie Laurens, but this book was a bit slow moving with me. Both the hero and heroine have a past together and as work to deal with a kidnapping (the heroine) the start to realize they have feelings for each other.
The problem is the romance between them take a bit too long to take off and the first hundred or so pages are filled with Heather trying to talk information out of her captors. That may not be enough to keep readers very interested.
I was curious to see who the mysterious laird was, who ordered the kidnapping so I read on. Plus I really loved Heather and Breckenridge. It is absolutely great to see an author create two strong characters in a romance. If Breckenridge was an alpha male, Heather was his female counterpart.
This book is part of the Cynster series. Having read it, I will now have to go back and read the previous books, and will definitely be grabbing In Pursuit of Eliza Cynster when it comes out in Sept.