Friday, June 27, 2014

Blog tour (guest post): Dwellers of Darkness by Stacey Marie Brown

As a part of the Dwellers of Darkness blog tour, I had to think of a guest post topic for author Stacie Marie Brown. After a long time of wrecking my brain as to what that should be, here's what I came up with: 
 
What is the one MUST HAVE theme in every novel? Why?
 
This is what I got in return:




There are so many themes that are considered important to make a good novel. Theme is crucial to a story. I like to think of a theme as the pulse of the story. Some of the most common are: Acceptance, Courage, Ambition, and Freedom. The list could go on.
Most books have several main ones and even more sub themes running through them. Each reader has a different idea of what themes they hold important and which ones they prefer in the story. Personally, I would have to say I enjoy the theme of Discovery or some kind of growth. A journey. Internal or external. This can be on a grand or a very small scale, but there needs to be some kind of change or development in the plot or in the characters.
Another theme I really find important is love, whether that be for a friend, family, a pet, or lover. Relationships are a crux to a story for me. It can have this action, but if there is no connection to the characters or the characters with each other, then I don’t care about the brilliantly executed action scene. Love adds conflict. It can turn to hate, blind, fades, overcome. Relationships, of some kind, are critical to a story whether the character has any friends or not. The lack of love can be just as interesting.
Loss is another great theme: loss of life, innocence, love, friends. There are so many ways you can write about loss, and usually with loss there is some kind of change from it.
There are so many more themes that are out there, but I feel the main theme running through my Darkness Series is: staying strong and true to yourself.
Okay, now it’s your turn. What themes do you need in a novel?
 
Upon seeing that question up there - you got it, the last one Stacey dared pose -  I wondered whether I should be giving an answer. I mean, is it rhetorical or is it not? Then I thought, what the dunk - I'll just do it. It's quite simple really. One word, to be honest. And it is..... 
 
....it is.....
 
 
....is....
 
 
 
 
.....the answer is.....
 
 
 
.... okay, that's enough of  holding your attention with dots and empty lines. So I guess to me, the most important theme in fiction (and well, in non-fiction as well, but it's hard to incorporate love in a business-column, now isn't it?) is love. Nothing else could ever be more important. Courage, greed, living life to the fullest... these are all secondary things. Love is the ultimate winner.

So, there Stacey! Wait, now that the ball is back on my side of the court, do I challenge you with another question? Oh, that was a question of itself, wasn't it? *wink*


 
Book details:

BOOK ONE
Darkness of Light  by Stacey Marie Brown
(Darkness #1)
Publication date: February 13th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

Synopsis:
Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.

Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.

When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.

Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.



BOOK TWO:
Fire in the Darkness by Stacey Marie Brown
(Darkness #2)
Publication date: August 31st 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

Synopsis:
It's been four weeks since Ember Brycin witnessed what her powers are capable of. The Electrical Current Storm has turned Seattle, Washington into a natural disaster zone. The death toll is in the thousands with countless others homeless and hungry.

And Ember is the one who caused it. Something she will have to live with every day.

Those people who were unable to escape either turned quickly into gangs or live in shelters. Ember, on the other hand, can’t do either. With a price on her head and a Dark Dweller on her ass, she is constantly on the move. Both Light and Dark are hunting her for their own purpose to use her as a weapon or a pawn in the war between the Unseelie King of the Dark and the Seelie Queen of the Light.

Em needs help but doesn’t know who to trust: Lars, the mystery man Torin told her to find? Torin, the Seelie Queen’s personal knight, who has sworn to keep Em safe? Or Eli, who wants to turn her over to the Unseelie King, but whom she has an undeniable, intense connection with?

No matter what she chooses she will probably lose—her life or everything and everyone she loves.


BOOK THREE
Dwellers of Darkness by Stacey Marie Brown
(Darkness #3)
Publication date: February 27th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

Synopsis:
Some days feel like years, but in Ember Brycin’s case just the opposite is true. She had only been in the Otherworld for a day or two when she returned back to the Earth’s realm. But it is three years later on Earth. Em is now 22. It would matter if she was human, but she’s not. She is a Dae, part Demon and part Fay, with a little Dark Dweller thrown in to make her even more of a freak.

Seeing Seattle rebuilt only confirms she has been gone three years. For her it was not long ago that the Seattle area was just rubble of concrete and death. All done by her hand.

One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is her undeniable connection to Eli Dragen, who is sexy, gorgeous, and even more volatile and frustrating. But her problems go way past him. The Seelie Queen of the Otherworld still holds Mark, Em’s father, and her friends, Ryan, and Josh as hostages. Em needs to rescue them without, once again, getting caught and being used as a pawn to help the Queen regain possession of Earth. At the same time Ember is in hot water with Lars, the Unseelie King, after breaking her contract with him.

As some secrets have come to light others seem to become even more enigmatic. The only truth Ember knows is,everyone is harboring secrets. As Eli’s past is revealed, Em understands more clearly why he acts the way he does and how much their lives are intertwined. But she also knows Eli is holding something back, something that could change their relationship forever.

Em herself continues to wrestle with her feelings toward Torin and her own secret she’s withholding from Kennedy. As the tension for war mounts between the Seelie and Unseelie (Light and Dark), the tension at the Dark Dweller’s compound mounts even more as they prepare to obtain the sword no matter what the price. But is Ember the answer to the location of the sword? Is she the one to fulfill the prophecy? As usual nothing is ever what it seems.



Purchase:

__

About the Author
Stacey Marie Brown by day is an Interior/Set Designer, by night a writer of Paranormal Fantasy, Adventure, and Literary Fiction. She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. Even before she could write, she was creating stories and making up intricate fantasies. Writing came as easy as breathing. She later turned that passion into acting, living and traveling abroad, and designing. Though she had never stopped writing, moving back to San Francisco seemed to have brought it back to the forefront and this time it would not be ignored.

When she’s not writing she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.

Author Links:


Giveaway details: Tour wide giveaway
Prizes:
--First two books in the Darkness series (signed) with tote bag (US only) -see picture above!
--Signed copy of Dwellers of Darkness + pouch (US only) - see picture above!
--5 x eBook copy (any book in series) - INTL

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Interview with Desiree Williams

A few weeks back I featured this really pretty cover reveal of Heart Song by Desiree Williams. Wait, you don't remember it? Oh, pity. Well, here it is, an eye candy if there was one!

So anyway, Desiree and I got to chat and I offered to interview here for my awesome readers at YA Story Teller, and she agreed :) Isn't that awesome? I asked her a bunch of questions in the hopes to satisfy everyone's curiosity.

Enjoy!


Me: How do you take your coffee?
Desiree: Extra sweet. =) My fav is the white chocolate mocha from Starbucks. I’m definitely a fan of cream, sugar, and whip cream added to my coffee. Then I pretend there are no calories.

Me: Really? I'm trying to cut back on the sugar. (No, really) If you were given the chance to take the place of one Fairy Tale character, who would you choose?
Desiree: Ariel, although with the condition that I could change into legs whenever I wanted. I’d love to experience her world, but I’d hate to get trapped there.

Me: Ariel? Huh. I guess there is some appeal to the ocean world. Where would a person find you usually?
Desiree: Oh that could be tricky. My schedule changes daily, and where I end up ‘working’ at changes on a whim. You might need a GPS tracker to find me, but Panera is one of my hotspots.
Me: What makes you feel inspired to write?
Desiree: I want my stories to do more than just entertain. Many of us, as we trudge through the day to day activities, need little reminders that we can achieve the impossible, and I hope that my stories can do that. Readers dive into books for an array of reasons, but one I see stand out the most is to escape. I tend to do that myself. When I’m stressed and about to wig-out, I grab a book. I want my tales to give the readers a lingering hope when they escape into them.

Me: You recently released your debut novel, Heart Song. What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
Desiree: I’m so indecisive, usually it’s hard for me to pick a favorite of anything. If you ever see a lady standing in front of the fountain drinks for more than five minutes trying to figure out which of the selections to pick, that’s probably me. But … if I had to pick one of my favorite scenes from Heart Song, it would be when Jerric and Alanna are reconnected – after Laelynn’s rescue. This scene shows the power and strength of their connection, even though their relationship is still new.

Me: What is the highest goal that you desire to meet as an author?
Desiree: I would love to be a bestseller one day.

Me: Don't we all. :) On another note, how often do you visit the library? The book store?
Desiree: Actually, I’m an avid ebook reader, so I tend to buy ebooks off amazon versus hardcopies from the bookstore. (Me: Smart thing, that. And thank you for not endangering more trees :) ) The library is my friend though, but not for checking out books. I like to work there for the peace and quiet, and I plan to schedule ‘read-at-the-library’ days with my daughter. There is a great – and comfy – kids section at our local library.

Me: How awesome! What's the last book you bought? Have you read it yet?
Desiree: Altered by Shelly Crane, and yes I have read it.

Me: I hope it was as promising as her rating indicates :) How long does it take you to fall in love with a book?
Desiree: If the story is solid, I’m hooked within the first few chapters.

Me: Your favorite book genres.
Desiree: Fantasy would be my number one. Although I do lump in paranormal and contemporary – depending on the story line.

Me: Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why?
Desiree: Heather Hildenbrand! She was the wonderful woman that got me rollin’ in self-publishing, and I would love the opportunity to meet her in person one day. We chat on the phone and via email, but not yet in person.

Me: Okay, I'm embarrassed now. I've no idea who she is... but I'm glad she got you into self-publishing! Five deserts that make your mouth water.
Desiree:
    1. Anything chocolate!! (Me: Duh)
    2. Birthday cake Oreo (with milk! I’m a dunker)
    3. Gelato
    4. Sherbet ice cream
    5. Warm apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream (Me: ooooh! Yum!)

Me: What's the most complicated meal you've ever cooked?
Desiree: The first Thanksgiving dinner I hosted – a few years after I got married. I was a hot mess that day! But thankfully nothing was burned and the turkey came out ah-mazing. =)

Me: What are you wearing right at this moment?
Desiree: Aquamarine top with blue jeans and barefooted.

Me: Ooooh! Jeans! No dirty old sweats for you then, huh? You know, authors tend to wear those a lot! I guess I'd better ask, where are you right now?
My house. Dining room table to be more precise.

Me: What's the best thing that could happen to you on an isolated island?
Desiree: Besides getting an awesome tan?! A stress free life. No responsibilities, no worries. Although can my island be a bug free island? If there are spiders that could change my answer drastically.

Me: ROFL!! Yeah, I'd ask for a bug free island too.. although I do enjoy the company of butterflies a lot. If you could take a day off from your everyday life, where would you go?
Desiree: Somewhere fun with the fam. I love taking the opportunity to make as many family memories as I can. Hearing my daughter’s laughter is the best sound in the world.

Me: Yup. I get it all too well! Thank you Desiree for hopping over to YA Story Teller. It was great having you for a cup of extra sweet coffee :)
Desiree: Thanks so much for allowing me to do this interview! It’s been an honor! 

Book summary:


In Aldonnia, the evil of Varkadon overflows its borders. War ravages the lands…
For as long as eighteen year-old Alanna can remember she’s lived in hiding, sealed off from the outside world. Despite a future built around a steadfast rule of seclusion, Alanna dreams of the impossible. Of a life outside of her parents’ cabin. A life with more for company than just birds and woodland creatures. A life she knows deep down is impossible for someone with gifts like hers.
That all changes the day Alanna finds a man floating face down in a stream. Despite her parents’ warnings, Alanna pulls the injured man out of the water and heals him with her elemental talents. Just another good deed. Until the man wakes and Alanna realizes so much more has happened than simply a life saved. The healing she performed on the stranger bound her soul to Jerric, the prince of Aldonnia.
Alanna’s heart wants to keep the prince, but duty and destiny intervene. Alanna’s world is rocked as her parents are lost. Left in the care of family she didn’t know, Alanna learns more than she wanted to about the evil threatening the lands. There is much more behind her parents’ drive to protect. Alanna learns her gifts were bestowed in order to fulfill a greater purpose. A greater calling. One her enemies seek to destroy at all cost.
Alanna’s choice is clear. To either ignore her destiny and remain hidden, or boldly fight to keep what sings to her heart.
 

Book Links

Ebooks available for purchase at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Smashwords.

About the author:

Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.
You can find out more about Desiree and her books at www.desireewilliamsbooks.blogspot.com

Author Links

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blog tour (Interview): Where Life Takes You by Claudia Y. Burgoa



My Tour Stop feature - an interview with Claudia. Please read on, it's kind of entertaining :D!


Me: Hi Claudia! *waves eagerly at the screen* What experience of yours relates to a scene in your book?
Claudia: I lost two friends to a murder suicide, they were twenty at the time.

Me: OMG, what?!?! That's so tragic and sad and all kinds of wrong! I know that saying “I'm sorry” won't help, but I am sorry. Who was the first person to ever read your work?
Claudia: My best friend

Me: If you had a picture of someone in your wallet, who would it be?
Claudia: My family

Me: How do you take your coffee?
Claudia: I prefer tea, caffeine creates a jittery, more crazy me.

Me: Crazy is good sometimes though, no? What's your greatest fear?
Claudia: Not accomplishing the goals I set.

Me: Girl, you sound like a perfectionist. If you were given the chance to take the place of one Fairy Tale character, who would you choose?
Claudia: Red riding hood

Me: Really? But.. but she got eaten! *sniff* Enough sappy stuff already! Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat on your pants type of a writer?
Claudia: I'm a little of both, I guess as you write, you learn and grow. Now I outline some, then the pantser in me loose for a bit and then retake the outline. The Freedom of both worlds.

Me: What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Claudia: I need to have my hair tied or I can't concentrate.

Me: Okay, that's weird. FYI, I can't stand my hair not being tied up, so I totally get your point. Why do you write?
Claudia: To share the stories I imagine with others.

Me: The best book you've ever read?
Claudia: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Me: Oooh! Coelho!! How often do you visit the library? The book store?
Claudia: Physically, I'll say weekly. Digitally… Twice a day :)

Me: How long does it take you to fall in love with a book?
Claudia: Not much, first pages.

Me: Do you read any blogs regularly?
Claudia: Yes, cooking blogs, author’s blogs, reading blogs and a few music blogs.
Me: Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why?
Claudia: Oscar Wilde, I want to have a long conversation with him. I have a bit of a mindcrush on him. So sad the guy is no longer among us.

Me: Describe your dream car.
Claudia: Black convertible Bentley

Me: Yeah, 3 words describe it all, don't they? What's the pet of your dreams?
Claudia: A Pegasus

Me: Mhm, I can see the appeal. One thing you're ready to beg for.
Claudia: Four more hours in a day :)

Me: Just four? You're kind of modest, aren't you? You collect...?
Claudia: Books and sweaters.

Me: Sweaters? Well I guess it's better than candy wrappers... Fruit you can't live without.
Claudia: Grapes

Me: If you were put to the task to create your own soulmate, how would he/she look like?
Claudia: A combination of Daniel Brightmore and Mitchel Knight.

Me: Oooh! Nice one! What are you wearing right at this moment?
Claudia: Lounging pants and a t-shirt, writing uniform :)

Me: Why do all writers wear the same kind of gear when at their laptops? You people are supposed to be a creative bunch! Just kidding. What do you carry in your purse/pockets?
Claudia: Not much, my purse is tiny and only holds my ID, cards and money. Simple.

Me: Have you ever been hurt so much, you didn't find it in yourself to forgive?
Claudia: Forgive yes, but I detached from that person. After having so many whiplashes by the ones I love, I learned to detach from those that said I'm sorry but continued hurting me.

Me: Huh. Smart girl you are, Ms. Claudia. May the muse of romantic stories be always with you ;)


Book details:

Where Life Takes You by Claudia Y. Burgoa
Publication date: July 31st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Synopsis:
Becca Trent lived her childhood next to a cruel woman—her mom—who lived to torment and neglect her. During her high school years, her mother married; bringing home not only a new husband, but a step sister her same age. The latter took over her Mom’s role—making Becca’s life miserable. Including stealing Ian—Becca’s best friend and boyfriend—Lisa treated her worse than her mother had for the previous fifteen years. A couple of years later, things ended up in tragedy.

Becca buried that part of her life in the deep corners of her psyche, but that only work during the days when the nightmares didn’t come back to haunt her. Her best friend, Dan gives her that family love she always lacked. Everything was close to perfect, until everything and everyone from her past came back. Now, she’s trying to figure out how to survive and keep that bond which seems now to be held together by a thread.

Note: This is the first part of a two book novel.


Goodreads: 

Book Trailer: 


Purchase:

----

About the author:
Claudia lives in Colorado with her family and three dogs. Two beagles who believe they are human, and a bichon who thinks she’s a beagle. While managing life, she works as a CFO at a small IT Company. She’s a dreamer who enjoys music, laughter and a good story.

Author Links:




GIVEAWAY DETAILS: Tour wide giveaway
Prizes:
--A Kindle HD or 140$ Paypal Gift Card (INTL) - Ends July 8th
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 20, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellision



Book Details:

Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellision
(Threats of Sky and Sea #1)
Publication date: May 20th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.


_______


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jennifer Ellision spent a great deal of her childhood staying up past her bedtime with a book and a flashlight. When she couldn’t find the stories she wanted to read, she started writing them. She loves words, has a soft spot for fanfiction, and is a master of the fangirl flail. She lives in South Florida with her family, where she lives in fear of temperatures below 60 Fahrenheit.

Threats of Sky and Sea, a young adult fantasy, is her first novel.

You can find Jennifer online at www.jenniferellision.com, or on twitter @JenEllision.

Author Links:



My review follows:

NOTE: I received the book via Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

Seeing the book cover and reading the blurb had me hooked on Threats of Sky and Sea. I was sure that Breena's story will be something worth reading and I was glad to not be disappointed.

Writing style:
It's obvious that Ellision did her job well. Not only is the book written eloquently, it's also edited and proofread. I can't stress enough how important that is for a reader. I am forever grateful to those authors who invest in editors/proofreaders.

Story line:
Let me tell you straight away: Threats of Sky and Sea is not a book that focuses on love. It's a book where magic comes alive in a fantasy world with kingdoms and elemental forces. It's a book where family, friendship and nature come together. Sure, there is romance, and I'm glad for it because books with no love are just not worth reading, but it's most definitely not the center point.

Themes:
- Power - how it changes people, how it's never sated and how people are willing to overlook the cost of it.
- Family - real or not - is important in building one's character. Those ties to the people closest to you shape your moral views.
- It is important to have friends. Even one is enough, as long as they are someone special.
- Love can be found in the strangest of places.

Characters:
They were all well developed. They had depth, encountered ups and downs and grew in the span of those pages.

Breena, a simple girl from a far away, king-forsaken place, stumbles upon a scene that will change her life forever. She never wanted to be anything more than who she'd been her entire life - the daughter of an inn keeper. Yet, she has no idea how far from that scene her roots lie.
When she's whisked away from her life, it's upon death threats and a probable sentence at the king's feet. As the chapters go, Breena is exposed to truths about her father, about herself, that she never thought possible. Truths that would change her life forever. Truths she cannot share with anyone. Breena has a lot to learn in the pages between the covers, things that will break the inn keeper's daughter and birth someone much more powerful instead. Where will that lead her? Will it change her heart?

Breena's father keeps a secret that is the key to his and Breena's survival. Yet, he is relentless to share it because the whispers of the wind carry all sorts of trouble. Being an air elemental, he knows how easy it is for those like him to learn things they shouldn't know.

Caden, the prince who could care less about his father's power mania, has his own agenda. Having no elemental powers of his own, he has assembled a circle to help ruin the king's plans to conquer a far away, island nation. He is also quite charming when he wants to be (especially if Breena is somewhere near him).

Aleta, the princess who lived as a ward/hostage her entire life, has now a death threat upon her head. Will her fire be enough to save her and her people? Will she have to endure a life of guilt, anger and futile attempts of escape?

The King was a ruthless man. He cared not about anything but how much power he would gain if this or that. So what if he ordained his own son to live unhappily? So what if he doomed entire nations to servitude? He didn't give a rat's hat about anyone else, and he wasn't afraid to punish those who dared disobey him.

In conclusion:
Threats of Sky and Sea has the potential to become an epic trilogy. I'm glad I had the chance to read it.

My rating is:



Giveaway Details: Tour wide giveaway Open to US/Can 
--Prizes
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Book spotlight: River's Remorse by Charlotte Abel (finally, FINALLY it's here!)


OMG!!! I've no idea if you've heard of this series, but it's freaking amazing! And after waiting for (like) ever to have the sequel in my hands, IT'S FINALLY HERE!!!. River's Recruit is now available! 
To thank her loyal followers for their patience and encouragement, Charlotte Abel is making it available for the first twenty-four hours for just $.99. On June 21st, the price will go up so grab it while it's a bargain. 
I just did!!!

Here's an excerpt from River's Remorse:

http://bit.ly/RiversRemorse
Jonathan closed Ephraim’s journal then put it in the fireproof safe in the basement. He rubbed his eyes. He had no trouble seeing the tiny words, thanks to his enhanced vision, but it didn’t help him decipher Ephraim's nearly illegible handwriting. It was pretty to look at but a bitch to read. 
Thanks to Dad’s genealogy addiction, he was used to reading that type of stylized writing. He’d already studied the book with a magnifying glass and was able to tell Jonathan what he needed to know. He knew not to eat or drink anything in wolf form—unless he wanted to be a wolf for the rest of his life. He also knew he needed to be careful about how much time he spent as a wolf and that he needed to stay in charge. He’d figured that part out on his own the night he merged.
There was a lot of stuff about shifter history and lore, but that could wait. It was fascinating, but Jonathan needed to focus on the things that would keep him alive and human. 
He hadn’t shifted again since merging, and didn’t want to, but apparently he didn’t have a choice when the moon was full.
He locked the basement door, double checked the plywood sheets he'd nailed over the windows then stripped and removed his prosthesis. He wrapped a towel around his waist then FaceTimed Dad. “Okay, I’m ready.”
“I wish I could help you.”
“You are helping me.” Jonathan didn’t know how out of control things might get so there was no way he was endangering Dad by letting him stay in the basement with him. “Promise me you won’t try to come down here.”
“I can’t even get out of bed without help.” Dad’s bitter tone surprised Jonathan. It was the first time he’d heard him complain about anything to do with his illness.
“There’s nothing you can do down here that you can’t do over the phone. The sound of your voice will help me remember who I am.” Jonathan hoped it would be enough. According to Ephraim's journal, he should be surrounded by older, more experienced shifters. He hoped River was with Reuben. 
The thought of her ignited a radiant heat deep inside his chest. Ever since he’d merged, he felt her presence. It was a blessing and a curse. Their connection was real and tangible and he was grateful to have it. But the need to find her ate at him like an addiction. 
Electricity charged the air. Jonathan’s hair stood up on end. He didn’t want to short out his phone, so he propped it up on a box then scooted over until his entire body was in view of the camera. “Can you see me okay?”
Dad nodded. “Plain as day.”
“Can you reach your water?”
“I’m fine, son. How are you feeling?”
“Itchy.” Jonathan scratched his chest. His bones ached, but he wasn’t going to complain about pain to Dad. "I feel like bugs are crawling all over me."
“Don’t fight it. Embrace the change. Let your wolf help, but stay in control.”
Tremors racked Jonathan’s body as fever consumed him. His connection to River intensified exponentially. She must have shifted. 
Yes! Run. Find mates!
Jonathan felt as if someone had embedded a giant fish hook in his heart and was trying to reel him in. Beads of sweat popped out across his forehead and upper lip. He gritted his teeth to keep from screaming.
“Jonathan? What’s wrong?”
Dad carried enough guilt about delaying Jonathan's search for River. He wasn't going to add more weight to that burden by confessing how much it hurt to fight against their bond. “The fever’s started.”
“It’ll break as soon as you shift.”
Jonathan’s body convulsed then exploded in a blinding flash of pain. But it happened so fast, and disappeared so quickly, he wasn’t sure if the pain was real or imagined. He scrambled to his feet and howled.
Escape. Run.
There was nowhere to run.
Jonathan trotted around the perimeter of the basement, knowing it was futile. He scratched at every board covering every window, but was thwarted by his own prior diligence. A corner piece of plywood splintered under his front paw. He wedged his muzzle into the triangular opening and bit off another chunk. 
“Jonathan? What are you doing? I can’t see you.”
Dad’s worried voice pricked Jonathan’s conscience, but his wolf refused to acknowledge it. He was hellbent on escape. He could almost feel the wind in his fur and the damp gravel under his paws as he ran along a river bank. The sharp tangy scent of pine layered over the sweetness of meadow grass called to him. He knew that he’d find River there. He intensified his efforts, digging and biting at the wood. Splinters pierced his gums and paws, but he barely noticed.
“Jonathan, please, I can hear you tearing something apart but I can’t see you. You’re not on camera.”
Jonathan tried to regain control of his wolf when he heard Dad’s plea, but the beast was too strong. Too determined to escape and find his mate. He knew he wouldn’t be able to shift back until after the moon set, but he tried anyway.
That got his wolf’s attention. He trotted over to the box where Jonathan had set up his phone and hiked his leg.
“No! Jonath—” The screen flickered then went black, silencing the distracting voice.
A feeling of pride and ownership flowed through the wolf. He sniffed his mark then moved to the next box and claimed it, too. 
He marked each wall, establishing his territory. Mine. Mine. Mine. He sniffed the pile of clothes his man had discarded and marked that, too. Mine.
He scratched the floor with his hind legs three times then trotted to the window and got back to work. He would find his mate and bring her here to his new den. They would stay until the man upstairs died then go home.
Happy?
Jonathan was glad that his wolf at least acknowledged his existence, but he was not happy. I can't believe you pissed on my clothes!

If you haven't read River's Recruit yet, pick it up today. And grab River's Remorse while it's on sale.


         

About Charlotte Abel


     

Charlotte Abel was born and raised in Oklahoma where she met her soul mate, Pete. She chased him to Boulder, Colorado and finally convinced him they were meant to be together forever. They've raised three kids, two ferrets, three dogs and countless hamsters -- and are still happily married.
She's in love with "real" life and paranormal romance. When she's not reading or writing, Charlotte enjoys hiking, bicycling and primitive archery (although she's never shot at anything other than a target!)
The final book of The Channie Series, "Finding Valor," is now available!
Look for "River's Revenge," the third book of "The Sanctuary Series" in early 2015.