Sunday, March 30, 2014

Release Day Blitz: Summoned by Rainy Kaye



Summoned
By- Rainy Kaye
Publication Date- March 28th, 2014
Genre-New Adult Paranormal


Twenty-three year old Dimitri has to do what he is told—literally. Controlled by a paranormal bond, he is forced to use his wits to fulfill unlimited deadly wishes made by multimillionaire Karl Walker.
Dimitri has no idea how his family line became trapped in the genie bond. He just knows resisting has never ended well. When he meets Syd—assertive, sexy, intelligent Syd—he becomes determined to make her his own. Except Karl has ensured Dimitri can't tell anyone about the bond, and Syd isn't the type to tolerate secrets.
Then Karl starts sending him away on back-to-back wishes. Unable to balance love and lies, Dimitri sets out to uncover Karl's ultimate plan and put it to an end. But doing so forces him to confront the one wish he never saw coming—the wish that will destroy him.
Summoned is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA.

Amazon US

 


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review: Shadow's Dangers by Cindy Mezni

Today is my review of Shadow's Dangers by Cindy Mezni.


Synopsis-
Losing a loved one is never easy. Deliah learned to live without her parents when fate took them from her as a young girl. But history repeats itself and causes her to face even greater challenges when Tess, the woman who raised her and was like a second mother to her, passes away. Even worse than dealing with her loss is the coinciding arrival of inexplicable nightmares that haunt Deliah’s nights.

She becomes consumed with images she doesn’t understand and a recurrent dream about her parents’ car accident. Oddly, this dream details different versions from what she had always been told about the accident. 

But when a new family, The Wates, arrive in town and begin to pay close attention to her, even stranger events follow. Now, Deliah must not only face her nightmares, but the possibility that a world she never suspected exists. And this world may cost her everything.

Goodreads

Purchase Links-

Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&NKoboiTunes

My 4.5* Review-

Disclaimer-
I was given a copy of Shadow's Dangers by the author in exchange for nothing more than an honest review.

Shadow's Dangers introduces us to Deliah. Deliah has had a pretty rough life so far. Her parents died when she was young, and more recently Tess; the woman who raised her, passes away. And to make things worse she now has to contend with the nightmares that she is now suffering from. Her nightmares are full of images that she doesn't understand and they show her a version of her parents death that differs from what she was told.

Deliah has always just existed and no one takes much notice of her until the arrival of a new family; the Wates - Garreth, Travis and Leighton. If Deliah thought things were odd before their arrival, things get even weirder once they notice her. Deliah is drawn to them but her instincts tell her to run away from them too. As she gets closer to two members of the Wates family she is drawn into a world that she never knew existed. That world knows that she exists and has big plans for Deliah. So now Deliah must face her nightmares and the fact that this new world may cost her everything.

So this is the first book by Cindy Mezni that I've read, and it certainly won't be the last. I was hooked from page one! I loved Cindy Mezni's writing style,  she has a great way with words which allowed me to create the scenes within my head. I could see clearly the characters and the events as they happened and as if I was alongside Deliah.

Deliah was portrayed as a normal teenager, she goes to school has her best friend Hayden, her parents were killed in a car accident when she was younger, and she has been raised with her sister Annabelle by Tess, now Tess is dead and Deliah begins to have some strange nightmares. Just a normal teen life!! That is until the appearance of the Wates family!

The Wates family consists of two teen boys and a teen girl who live with their uncle and aunt. They move just down from Deliah. There is Garreth, Travis and Leighton. There is something about the Wates that draws Deliah to them but at the same times tells her to run away from them. Leighton quickly befriends both Deliah and Hayden. Travis and Garreth seem somewhat more aloof, they don't seem to be that friendly towards anyone including each other!

The book is written in Deliah's POV and for me I found that her thoughts and feelings were portrayed in such a way that I could feel her frustration, confusion, anger and happiness too. I was able to visualise her nightmares and visions in my own mind. I must admit that if I was Deliah I'd have been confused, scared and concerned too. 

After being introduced the Wates family and the freaky things that she begun to experience, I had gathered that the Wates were not normal but I didn't manage to guess what they were. I formed some ideas and thoughts about them but I was proven wrong time and time again.

For me the story got better as it progressed, I felt like I was always being given a little more but never enough to give anything away. The mystery and suspense in this story made me want to stay and keep reading, I love the way Cindy left a trail to follow and with each and every tidbit that I read I was more and more hooked. I'm really looking forward to book 2.

The characters were well thought out and played their roles well. The synopsis intrigued me and left me wanting to know more. The plot was good and pulled me in, page after page I couldn't walk away. 

I must admit that until I received an email asking me if I'd like to review Shadow's Dangers I had never actually heard of Cindy Mezni. I'm glad that I received the email and have now been introduced to her because I loved this book. I will definitely be reading book 2 when it becomes available.

I think that if you love paranormal books then you should love this too

So Cindy... if you need any more reviewers for book 2 you know my email *wink, wink, nudge nudge* ;) :0

About The Author-

Cindy Mezni is an accomplished young Swiss author making her U.S. debut with this book, Shadow’s Dangers. She discovered her passion for writing by chance one winter afternoon and has never looked back. Since then, not a day goes by without her fingers grazing the keys of her computer keyboard to write new adventures. She writes in several genres including YA paranormal romance, dystopia and adult dark fantasy.

Places To Find Cindy Mezni-

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook


Friday, March 28, 2014

Blitz: Uncovering You by Scarlett Edwards


Uncovering You
Series- Book # 1
By- Scarlett Edwards
Publication Date- March 27, 2014
Genre- Dark Romance  

When I wake up in a dark, unfamiliar room, I have no idea what's waiting for me in the shadows. My imagination conjures up demons of the worst kind. 

Reality is much worse:  

A collar with no leash. A prison with no walls. And a life stripped of meaning.  

I am presented with a vile contract and asked to sign. It outlines the terms of my servitude. The only information I have about my captor are the two small letters inked at the bottom: 

J.S.  

Armed with only my memories, I must do everything I can to avoid becoming ensnared in his twisted mind games. But in the end, it all comes down to one choice:

Resist and die. 

Or submit, and sign my life away.

    

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: Miyuki by Veronica Bane

Today I'm happy to review Miyuki by Veronica Bane. Miyuki will be available to buy April 2014.

Disclaimer-
I received a copy of Miyuki from the author in exchange for an honest review.


*Cover and Synopsis from Goodreads
Synopsis-

In the town of Jericho, a group of misfit teenagers haunts the underbelly of their society. Armed with the ability to manipulate different parts of nature, these teenagers fight for their right to stay alive. In the months following an attack on their lives, danger still lurks around them. Those behind the original strike have risen from the ashes, and new powers are beginning to reveal themselves. With this mysterious threat imminent, Mara, Miyuki, and the rest of the Unusuals must stand together to fight. However, time is running out for the group, for someone—or something—is hunting them, and this time around, not all of them will survive.


“Picking up where Mara left off, Miyuki is an enthralling tale that brims with the same action-packed storytelling and complex teenage realism that fueled its predecessor. Author Veronica Bane has built Jericho into a supremely engaging world that is at once strangely mysterious and comfortingly familiar, and the pulse-pounding buildup to our unlikely heroes’ final confrontation will leave readers clamoring to know what will happen next.” -Ashley Heaton, Editor.

Goodreads

My 4* Review-

In Miyuki I was launched back into the world of the Unusuals! I rejoined the band of misfit teenagers in Jericho.

Once again the teens are fighting for their right to stay alive and live their lives in peace! We see the return of the baddies behind the original attack in book 1. We meet some new players! Will these new players be good or bad?

So Mara, Miyuki and the rest of the group of Unusuals need to stick together and be prepared to fight once more. Not everyone will be able to fight as there is someone or something hunting them. This  someone or something is determined to kill them all; one by one. 

This is the second book in the series, last year I read Book 1; Mara, (my review can be found here). I was left wondering what was going to happen next, so when I received an email from Veronica asking me if I'd like to review book 2, naturally I replied "yes please"!

Mara is able to control fire and can conjure flames and fireballs in the palm of her hand. Miyuki has control over water, which is more difficult as she needs to have water nearby in order for her to manipulate it.

As much as Miyuki, Mara and friends seem intent on doing nothing except living their own lives, not all unusuals are so good natured! It's because of these 'other' unusuals that once again Miyuki, Mara and company are forced to find a way to fight/escape them and stay alive.

Once again I found myself hooked and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Miyuki. This book is concentrated more on Miyuki so we learn about her, see things from her perspective. There is still lots of interaction with all the other characters too.

Veronica's writing style seems to have progressed and grown in this book, along with her characters. The goings on in both books seem to have helped each of the characters to grow, their personalities appear stronger; Mara's stubbornness is ever present.

It looks as though Veronica is choosing one character to focus on and use as that particular book's title, I'm interested to see what the title will be and who will be the focus foe the 3rd book.

All in all Miyuki is another great book from Veronica, I'm certainly glad that I squeezed this one into my already heaving TBR list.

About The Author-


Veronica grew up in San Diego, California and spent her days writing in local coffee shops and at the beach. Her writing was and has always been fed a healthy diet of chai tea lattes and film scores. She studied Creative Writing at Chapman University and now lives in Los Angeles.

Places To Find Veronica-

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook 

Cover Reveal: Ultimate Kill by Kristine Mason


Title: Ultimate Kill
Author: Kristine Mason 
Series: CORE Series or Book 1 Ultimate CORE Trilogy
Genre: Romantic Suspense 
Publisher:  Self Published 
Release Date: Mid April 2014
Edition/Formats It Will Be Available In: eBook
Blurb/Synopsis: 
When the past collides with the present, the only way to ensure the future lies in the ultimate kill…
Naomi McCall is a woman of many secrets. Her family has been murdered and she’s been forced into hiding. No one knows her past or her real name, not even the man she loves. 
Jake Tyler, former Marine and the newest recruit to the private criminal investigation agency, CORE, has been in love with a woman who never existed. When he learns about the lies Naomi has weaved, he’s ready to leave her—until an obsessed madman begins sending her explosive messages every hour on the hour.
Innocent people are dying. With their deaths, Naomi’s secrets are revealed and the truth is thrust into the open. All but one. Naomi’s not sure if Jake can handle a truth that will change their lives. But she is certain of one thing—the only way to stop the killer before he takes more lives is to make herself his next victim. 

I didn’t pick up my first romance novel until I was in my late twenties. Immediately hooked, I read a bazillion books before deciding to write one of my own. After the birth of my first son I needed something to keep my mind from turning to mush, and Sesame Street wasn’t cutting it. While that first book will never see the light of day, something good came from writing it. I realized my passion and found a career I love.

When I’m not writing contemporary romances and dark, romantic suspense novels (or reading them!) I’m chasing after my four kids and two neurotic dogs.

Author Links




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spotlight: Besieged by L.P. Lovell


Inline image 2Book Info-
Title- Besieged
By-L.P. Lovell

Blurb-
What would you do if you were granted millions of pounds and a face that melts the underwear off of any woman? Meet Theodore Ellis, the business man who parties like a rock star, and has more women than he has room on his bedpost to put the notches.

Meet Lilly Parker. With a difficult past; Lilly is cold, closed off and emotionally unavailable in every way. Don't go thinking she's the sweet and innocent victim though, she plays the game better than most men, and is the original use and abuse woman.
She's built her walls ten feet high and topped with razor wire, but Theo is relentless in the face of a challenge and Lilly finds herself besieged by him. Can he get in her pants? Or will the unsuspecting man whore go a step further and finally tear down her walls? Unlikely.

This is no hearts and flowers love story, it is a battle of wills as a woman who trusts no-one denies a man who has never been denied.

Cue fireworks as female sass meets alpha male tenacity.

Besieged will make you laugh, fantasize and perhaps even shed a tear.

Links-

About The Author-
Inline image 1
I'm a 24 year old Indie Author from England. I'm a real country bumpkin and I love to read. I can easily finish a book in an afternoon!
My love of literature lead me to write my first book Besieged. I have quite a cutting sense of humour, and HATE soppy love stories. I like sass and fire in my characters.
This is what Besieged is, sass and cutting humour.
I hope you'll read it so I can be the next E.L James and just write kinky books all day. Ha.
I love being an author and it makes my day when someone sends me a message telling me they enjoyed my book. If even just one person enjoyed it then it was worth writing it.

Links-
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/lplovellauthor

Excerpt/Spotlight: Uncovering You by Scarlett Edwards


Book Info-
Title- Uncovering You
Series- Book # 1
By- Scarlett Edwards
Expected Publication Date- March 27, 2014
Genre- Dark Romance


Blurb-
When I wake up in a dark, unfamiliar room, I have no idea what's waiting for me in the shadows. My imagination conjures up demons of the worst kind.


Reality is much worse:


A collar with no leash. A prison with no walls. And a life stripped of meaning.


I am presented with a vile contract and asked to sign. It outlines the terms of my servitude. The only information I have about my captor are the two small letters inked at the bottom:


J.S.


Armed with only my memories, I must do everything I can to avoid becoming ensnared in his twisted mind games. But in the end, it all comes down to one choice:


Resist and die.


Or submit, and sign my life away


Links-

Excerpt-

Chapter OneOctober 2013. Date unknown.(Present day) A faint hiss, like the sound of an angry cat, jars me from my sleep.I open my eyes to pure blackness. I blink, trying to get my bearings. A vague memory forms in the back of my mind, too far away to reach.

Why can’t I see anything?

My breath hitches. Panic rips through my body as the horrifying answer comes to me:

I’m blind!

I scramble onto hands and knees and desperately claw at the dark, searching for something, anything, for my senses to latch onto.A dim overhead light comes on.

Relief swells inside.

I plop back on my butt and close my eyes, taking deep breaths to dispel the rush of adrenaline released by my body. When my heart’s not beating quite so fast, I open my eyes again.

The light’s gotten brighter. I look up at the source. It’s far above me, like a dull, miniature sun. It spreads a little sphere around me, maybe ten feet in diameter. Past that, everything is swallowed by darkness.

An irksome memory keeps gnawing at me. But my head is too heavy to remember. I feel… strange. Kind of like I’m hung over, but without the telltale pounding between my ears.

Cautiously, I try to stand. My limbs are slow to react. They feel heavy, too, like they’ve been dipped in wet clay. I steady myself. Only when I’m satisfied that my knees won’t give out, do I strain my ears for that hissing sound again.

It’s coming from somewhere behind me. I turn back—and nearly smash my head on a gleaming white pillar.

What the hell?

The sound is forgotten as I reach out and brush tentative fingers against the pillar’s surface. It’s cool to the touch. Smooth, too. I put my other hand on it. If I had to guess, I’d say it was made of marble. But what is a lone, white marble pillar doing in the middle of this room?

The memory is like a gong going off inside my head. But trying to reach it is like grasping at a smooth, slippery stone at the bottom of an aquarium. Just when I think I have it, it slips through my fingers and falls even farther out of reach.

I walk a slow, measured circle around the pillar. If I tried wrapping my arms around it, I doubt if I could even span half the circumference. Something far in the back of my mind tells me I should be alarmed. I look behind me and frown. By what? A dark room?

No, you idiot. By the reason you’re here!

My eyes widen. The reason I’m here? I don’t… I don’t remember.I wince and bring one hand to my temple. Why am I having so much trouble remembering?

I gasp as a second gruesome thought hits me. Did I lose my memory? Do I have… amnesia?

I sink down with my back to the pillar. Desperation starts to take over. I hold my head between my knees and close my eyes to focus.

My name is Lilly Ryder. I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 17th, 1990.

My eyes pop open. Joyous tears form in the corners. I do remember! I take a deep breath and try to keep going.

I was raised by my mom. I do not know my dad…

Suddenly, all my childhood memories come streaming back. Moving around as a kid. Never staying in one place longer than six months. All the cities I’ve lived in. All the apartments my mom and I called home. Even the revolving door of her boyfriends. There was Dave, and Matthew. Tom, and Steve. There was…

I shake my head to stop myself. I don’t doubt my memory anymore. But that still does not explain why I have absolutely no recollection of this place, or how I got here.

I push myself back up. The spotlight above me has gotten progressively brighter. The little enclosure of light doesn’t feel quite so tight anymore. I trail my eyes up the length of the pillar. I can’t see where it ends because of the light. But I can tell it’s tall, at least twenty, maybe twenty-five feet…

There’s also something about its surface that calls out to me. My hands itch to run over the smooth stone. A giggle bubbles up as I picture myself stroking it. The column is quite phallic.

I waver at the unfamiliar thought and have to catch my balance against the beam.

Focus, Lilly! I chide myself.

I have no idea where that thought came from. I have never been overtly sexual.

Nothing feels right. The fog that’s heavy on my mind is starting to lift, but not yet enough for me to understand—or remember—where the hell I am. This place is unfamiliar. I know that much. But right now, I feel almost like a surgery patient whose anesthetic kinked out: fully awake mentally, but completely impaired physically.

I go back to my memories. I can remember high school. I remember college. That’s where I spent the last three years of my life, isn’t it? Yes. Yes, it is.

“Hello?” I call out. My voice echoes into the surrounding gloom. “Is anybody there?”

I wait for an answer. All I get is the hollow repetition of my own voice.

anybody there, there, there…

I spent the last three years in college… but that’s not where I think I am right now. No. I shake my head. I knowthat’s not where I am. My memories are fuzzier the closer I bring them to today. Time feels… skewed. Freshman year’s easy to remember. So is sophomore, and most of junior… but things get weird toward the end.

I… finished junior year, didn’t I? Yes. Yes, I did. And then…

And then I took an internship in distant California for the summer, I remember with another gasp.

Suddenly, my mind is crystal clear. That pressing memory hurtles into view. It’s from yesterday. The last thing I recall, I was alone in a booth at an upscale restaurant. The waiter brought me a glass of wine. I took a few sips, contemplating my future….

Oh, God! Fear wraps a stranglehold around my neck.The restaurant. The wine.

I’ve been drugged!

I can’t breathe. A suppressing tightness constricts my throat. I feel dizzy, and terrified, and most of all… ashamed.

Holy shit, Lilly, way to look out for yourself! My semi-mad inner dialogue pans with a generous dollop of sarcasm.

I’ve always known about the dangers of sick men preying on unsuspecting girls. I just never thought I’d fall victim to it.

I’ve been on my own since I turned eighteen, after the final falling out with my mother. I’ve always been proud of how well I managed. Even the shabby holes I’ve lived in while saving up college tuition were an improvement over living with her and all her low-life boyfriends. At least there, I had autonomy.

I’ve dealt with landlords selling crack on the side and the junkies they attract. Always, I’ve been known as independent, and strong—maybe offputtingly so. But, those were the character traits I had to develop to have any chance of getting ahead.

And all that lead to what? To this? To letting my guard down for one night and ending up… here?

Wherever “here” is, I think to myself.

The shock of the revelation has subsided a bit. I push off from the pillar. I can figure this out. I take a deep breath and look at my hands and feet. I am not bound. I pick at my clothes. They are the same ones I wore last night.

Do you know what might be lurking in the darkness?

I shove the meddlesome voice down. I don’t need more worries. Not now.

Carefully, I place one foot in front of the other and edge to the outer reaches of the light. The strange hissing noise has gone away. I don’t know when that happened. Maybe it was in my head the entire time.

I strain my eyes, trying to pierce the surrounding darkness. It’s impossible. I reach out with one hand and find nothing but air. This far from the pillar, I can barely see my outstretched hand.

“Hello?” I try again. “Who’s there?”

There’s no answer.

What kind of madman would do something like this? I wonder. What is hidden in the shadows?

Without warning, my imagination starts to run wild. Torture devices? Bondage equipment? Something… worse?

Snap out of it! I tell myself firmly.

I refuse to give in to despair, even if my entire self-preservation mechanism is on high alert. Despair is what whoever brought me here wants me to feel.

I will not succumb to that.

I look down at the floor. It is made of some expensive stone. I kneel down and brush my hand over the large, square tiles. They feel solid. Sturdy. They don’t belong in a dingy basement or a dirty warehouse.

Somehow, that thought strengthens me. Things aren’t quite as bad as they could be.

I stand up and peer into the black. I glance back at the safety of my pillar. If I venture past the light, I can always find my way back.Go slow, I warn myself. Who knows what might be waiting for me out there?

I’ve seen the horror movies. Just because I don’t get the dungeon vibes here does not mean I’m not in one.

Haltingly, my foot reaches past the edge.

A thousand bright lights flood the room. I gasp and shy back, shielding my eyes on instinct.

After a few seconds, I lower my arm, blinking through the sharp pain that shoots through my head. I can almost groan. Light sensitivity, too?

Then I see the room.

Holy shit.

It’s huge. Massive. It must be at least five thousand square feet of pristine, flat space. I’m smack dab in the middle of it all.

The lights come from embedded ceiling lamps high overhead. Three of the walls, far away from me, are decorated with black and white abstract paintings created in bold brush strokes. The fourth wall is shielded by a heavy red curtain. The entire floor is made of rich, creamy white tiles reminiscent of steamed milk.

The ceiling is so high above me I almost feel like I’m in a cathedral. It’s made of exquisite dark oak beams.

But this is no church.

I do a slow turn. Something about this is all wrong.

So wrong.

Why am I here? What is behind the curtain? Other than the massive pillar and the paintings, there is nothing in the room.If I’m being kept prisoner, why am I unbound? Why waste so much space on me?

I cup my hands around my mouth and yell.

“HEY! Anybody? Where am I?”

As before, I’m greeted with silence.

I take one more careful look around. If I got in, there must be a way out.

My eyes dart to the curtain.

Behind there.

I start toward it, my bare feet making determined slaps against the cold floor. I’ve not even gone ten paces toward it when I feel a small tug on my ankle.

I stop and look down. I discover a thread, so thin it’s almost translucent, tied loosely around my foot. The other end is attached to the base of the pillar.

I bend down and finger it.

What on earth is this?

The thread looks like it should snap with the smallest amount of force. I wrap my hands around it and tug.

It doesn’t give.

I frown, and apply a little more effort.

This time, it breaks in a clean cut.

I shake my head as I straighten.

Strange.

I half-expected something to happen when I did that. Alarms to blare, the lights to go off, something.

Nothing.

That’s when I notice a small white envelope leaning against the pillar. It’s right where the thread connects. In fact, it blends so well with the marble that I’m sure I would have missed it were it not for the string.

Exploration forgotten for now, I pick up the envelope. Maybe it will give some clue about what the fuck is going on.

It’s made of heavy paper. A wax stamp seals it, imprinted with a two-faced drama mask that I would find unnerving no matter where I saw it.

The only time I saw a wax-sealed envelope was when my ex got tapped by the Spade and Grave at Yale. I can understand the need for antiquity in New Haven. It makes no sense here.

My finger slips under the flap. I carefully ease it open. A foreboding sense of doom swirls around me as I pull the folded letter out.I stare at it for a long minute. This is all so surreal. It feels like being caught in a bad dream. Once, I play myself right into my captor’s hands.

My natural inclination to resist, to fight back, tells me to tear the paper up without another glance. But that would be madness. The only clue I have to my whereabouts might be contained inside.My thirst for information gets the better of me. I sit on the floor, cross my legs, and slowly unfold the paper.

It’s handwritten in swift, flowing blue ink. The rows of words make perfect strides across the page. Precision is the first word that comes to mind to describe the owner of the handwriting.

I set the sheet on the floor in front of me, lean forward and begin to read: Two items require your immediate attention. 1.   You may spuriously assume you are being held here against your will. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You are a guest. As a guest, you retain full ability to leave my home at any time. The door behind the drapes shall remain open for the duration of your stay. There are no physical barriers to speak of—though I would advise you to read to the end of this letter before making decisions based on a flawed understanding of your situation. 2.   You may have already noted the new adornment around your neck. If so, well done! I applaud— Adornment? I stop reading. What adornment?

I bring my hands to my neck. I feel the unfamiliar shape against my skin. Why hadn’t I noticed it before?

I scamper closer to the marble pillar to try to make out my reflection. I can’t see much, but I can make out the “adornment”. There’s a black collar around my throat. I touch it with one hand.It’s smooth and flat. It’s made of some kind of matted plastic, like the edges of a computer screen. It’s not tight or uncomfortable.It frightens me. If it warranted a place in the letter, there must be something to it. I need to get it off.

My fingers dart around the edges, seeking the clasp that opens it.I don’t find one.

The collar is smooth inside and out. It feels like a single piece of plastic. I trail one finger around the rim on the inside, and, finding no discrepancies, do the same on the outside. Again, I feel nothing.There’s no crack, no edge, nothing to indicate how it was put around my neck.

I jam all my fingers between my skin and the plastic and pull with all my might. The collar flexes ever-so-slightly but doesn’t give.

Dammit! I cry out and try again.

I pull with all the strength God gave me. It’s not enough. I try again, and again, and again.

Nothing.

I realize I’m panting at this point. The exertion has me almost hyperventilating.

I drop my hands. It’s just a stupid, harmless little piece of plastic. Why do I want it off so much?

Because the idea of having anything foreign touch your skin is repulsive.

The voice is right, as always. But what can I do? The collar is bound to be part of the mind game in which I’m an unwitting participant. Reacting the way I just did is probably exactly what my captor wants. He—and I am certain it’s a “he” now, from the wording of the letter—wants me to feel terrified.

I will not give him the pleasure. I return to the letter and continue to read:

…applaud your perspicacity! You should know, however, that it is not an ordinary collar. Contained inside is a small positioning chip and two electrodes. They become activated the moment you stray outside your designated safe zone.The string around your foot offers a conservative estimation of the distance you may roam past the marble column. Stay close, and you will remain untroubled. I am told that the electric shock the collar provides, while not lethal, can be quite unpleasant. Holy fuck!

My spine goes absolutely straight and I forget to breathe. Now the collar has meaning. It feels like a live serpent wrapped around my neck.

My eyes are wide as I look down to my foot. The piece of string is still there, but it’s not connected to the one linked to the pillar.I’d ripped it like a moron.

How far do I dare go? I’ll have to retie the string—unless I find a way to get the collar off my neck, first.

Another thought occurs to me:

Maybe this is a bluff? Does the collar really have an electrode in it? It’s so thin. Where would it draw power from?

I stand up. Assuming the collar is rigged, and the pillar is the center point… but that’s just what he wants me to believe, isn’t it? The letter claims there’s a door behind the drapes. It could be my path to freedom. I would have to be an idiot to stay here without testing the boundary myself.

I can’t trust anything the letter says. But, I can’t give in to despair, either. My only choice is to contest everything that’s thrown at me. If this is supposed to be a battle of the wills, the guy chose the wrong girl to mess with.

I pick up the remainder of the string and hold it in my fist. I square my shoulders to the long, drawn curtain. I hold my head high. My free hand itches to tug at the collar, but I keep it still. If my captor is watching me—which I’m sure he is, because I’m positive there are cameras hidden all around me—I will not give him the satisfaction of seeing me hesitate.

I take a deep breath and start toward the curtained wall. My strides are strong and purposeful. I will not waver. I will not turn back. Fear of a little shock will not keep me from testing the true limits of this prison.

The string goes taut, and I stop.

So far, so good.

It’s the next few steps that will determine everything.

I glance at the floor to mark my position. So, he expects to keep me in an invisible cage, does he? A cage of my own imagination?

Yeah, tough luck.

I drop the string and take one solid step forward.

Nothing happens.

I risk one more.

Nothing happens.

The corner of my lip twitches up in a hint of a smile. I called his bluff. But, I’m not home free yet. The veiled wall is another thirty-odd paces away from me.

I take two more steps forward, and, when nothing happens, start to walk more briskly.

My stroll is cut short by a sharp little zap beneath my left ear.I tense and wait for more.

Well, color me surprised.

It looks like the collar does have bite, after all. When a second jolt doesn’t come, I can’t stop my smile from becoming a satisfied smirk. I knew the collar couldn’t possible have enough juice to hurt me.

Where would the battery go?

Extremely pleased with myself, I venture onward, toward the curtain and its promise of freedom.

The violent torrent of electricity blindsides me. One second I’m on my feet, the next I’m writhing on the floor.

The current pours into me. I thrash about like a grounded fish. Fierce convulsions rock my body. And all I know is pain, pain, pain.

I can feel the source of it, snug around my neck. I’m helpless to fight the onslaught. My head flails about on the ground, throwing hair into my face. A high-pitched squeal sounds in my ears and I desperately hope that pathetic sound is not me.

My eyes roll up and all goes black.


About  the Author-
I’m Scarlett Edwards. I wrote my first book as a college sophomore. After six months of edits, it made its debut as Yours to Savor.


That was at the start of 2013. I’ve written more books since then. You can find them all here.


It’s funny how quickly life changes. I used to think I’d need a degree to get a “Real Job.” Then I wrote a few books, they got somewhat popular, and now I’m living the life as a full-time romance author.


Thanks to all my readers for making my dreams come true!


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