Friday, February 28, 2014

Blog Tour - Dirty Little Lies by Clare James

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00005]

Title: Dirty Little Lies
Author: Clare James
Release Date: January 25, 2014

add-to-goodreads-button31

Synopsis

Twenty-nine-year-old Stevie Sinclair has just lost everything: her boyfriend, her apartment, even her ugly bird named Free. (Yeah, she knows it’s stupid name, so don’t start.) But most importantly, Stevie’s lost herself.
As she shuffles through her days in worn-out Hello Kitty PJs—eating ice cream, sipping wine, and contemplating her next move—a magazine article catches her attention. Blaring black letters read: "How to Get Your Sexy Back in Six Easy Steps." Stevie studies the article in the trashy magazine like the good student she is and immediately knows what she has to do. With the magazine article in hand, and a bottle of red in her bag, Stevie embarks on a journey to reclaim her life and win back her ex. Until she meets Gabe Shannon. Gorgeous, single, and on a quest of his own, Gabe introduces Stevie to a lifestyle that is sure to help get her sexy back and then some. If she doesn’t chicken out … (Oh, you know where this is going.) What follows is a story of self-discovery, romantic gestures, erotic encounters, and following one's heart--even if it leads in unexpected directions. Portions originally published online as The Club e-series, Dirty Little Lies now has 70% more content, chapters from Gabe's point of view, and a sizzling conclusion to this steamy tale.  

Buy the Book

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00005]


Excerpt

When I get down to the garage, an elegant black limo idles just outside the elevator. I immediately feel light-headed. I know Gabe is in there. And if I had any doubt, it dissipates when the window slides down and a hand reaches out, crooking a finger to beckon me inside.
I slowly approach the vehicle feeling equal parts anxious and excited, just as I did last night. Turns out, it is for good reason. Before I know what’s happening, the car door opens and a strong arm swoops around me, yanking me in.
Gabe has me splayed across the seat within seconds, his body caging mine, and his woodsy scent putting me even more off-balance. 
“You look incredible,” his low voice purrs in my ear.
 
Playlist

This just might be one of the strangest playlists ever, but once you meet Stevie Sinclair you’ll understand why. She is a spunky, eclectic character who loves old movies and romance and fun.  These tunes are some of her favorites and they were a blast to listen to as I wrote DIRTY LITTLE LIES. Now go out and listen to these songs (especially Marvin Gaye) – they are guaranteed to help you get your sexy back!!

·         SexyBack by Justin Timberlake
·         Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye
·         Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye
·         As Time Goes By by Herman Hupfeld
·         I Am Woman by Helen Reddy
·         Key Largo by Bertie Higgins (“just like Bogie and Bacall”)
·         I Touch Myself by Divinyls

·         And every song by BeyoncĂ© and Frank Sinatra


About the Author

5495009

Clare James is the author of steamy contemporary romance and new adult novels: BEFORE YOU GO and MORE. A former dancer, Clare still loves to get her groove on—mostly to work off her beloved cupcakes and red wine.
A fan of spunky women, gorgeous guys, and super-hot romance, Clare spends most of her time lost in books. She lives in Minneapolis with her two leading men—her husband and young son—and loves to hear from her fans. Find her at: www.clarejamesbooks.com @clarejamesbooks http://www.facebook.com/clarejamesauthor

Giveaway


BTSPRprofile-1

Shattered World Box Set




Shattered Worlds by Boxed Set 
Publication date: February 26th 2014 
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Read these bestselling tales of survival against the odds, dark worlds, dystopian regimes and heroic rebels.

Shattered Worlds features six full-length novels from bestselling authors. Immerse yourself in post-apocalyptic civilizations and bleak near-futures where hope still lives.

Featured authors and books are:

Elle Casey: Apocalypsis
Shalini Boland: Outside
Zoe Cannon: The Torturer’s Daughter
Scott Cramer: Night of the Purple Moon
Sarah Dalton: The Blemished
Katie French: The Breeders


Purchase:

Limited Time only!
Special sale price of only $0.99! Together these books have over 650 five star reviews!

Read these bestselling tales of survival against the odds, dark worlds, dystopian regimes and heroic rebels.

Shattered Worlds features six full-length novels from bestselling authors. Immerse yourself in post-apocalyptic civilizations and bleak near-futures where hope still lives.

Books:  



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elle Casey – Apocalypsis Book 1: Kahayatle

My name's Bryn Mathis. I'm seventeen years old, and I live in a neighborhood outside of Orlando, Florida. I live alone because my dad died almost a year ago, along with all the other adults in the world. I'm almost out of food and the gangs of kids that roam around my town are getting more vicious by the day.

It's time for me to leave and find another place to live ... a place where I can find food and shelter ... a place where they won't be able to find me.

Alone, it might have been possible; but now I've got company. I'm worried that I don't have what it takes to get from here to my final destination.

And I have no idea what might be waiting for me when I get there.

**May not be suitable for younger, middle grade readers.**



Shalini Boland – Outside

A post-apocalyptic romance thriller.

The world of the future is divided by Perimeters: high-security gated communities where life goes on as normal. If you’re inside you’re lucky, if you’re outside life expectancy takes a nose dive.

Riley is fortunate to have been born on the right side of the fence. But her life of privilege comes crashing down when someone breaks through the Perimeter and murders her sister. She forsakes her own safety to go in search of the killer. Luc decides to go with her otherwise she’ll be dead before she’s past the security gate. But what awaits her outside is more unbelievable than she ever expected.

Cut to the present day where Eleanor's world is falling apart. This time next year, civilisation won't be quite so civilised . . .

*Suitable for adults and teens aged 13+*



Zoe Cannon – The Torturer’s Daughter

When her best friend Heather calls in the middle of the night, Becca Dalcourt assumes it's the usual drama. Wrong. Heather's parents have been arrested as dissidents - and Becca's mother, the dystopian regime's most infamous torturer, has already executed them for their crimes against the state.

To stop Heather from getting herself killed trying to prove her parents' innocence, Becca hunts for proof of their guilt. She doesn't expect to find evidence that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew about the dissidents... and about her mother.

When she risks her life to save a dissident, she learns her mother isn't the only one with secrets - and the plot she uncovers will threaten the lives of the people she loves most. For Becca, it's no longer just a choice between risking execution and ignoring the regime's crimes; she has to decide whose life to save and whose to sacrifice.

It's easy to be a hero when you can save the world, but what about when all you can do is choose how you live in it? An Amazon dystopian bestseller, The Torturer's Daughter is a story about ordinary life amidst the realities of living under an oppressive regime... and the extraordinary courage it takes to do what's right in a world gone wrong.



Scott Cramer – Night of the Purple Moon

Abby, 13, is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple, unaware that deadly bacteria from a passing comet will soon kill off older teens and adults. She must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her--adolescence.

*Parental discretion advised for readers 13 and under*



Sarah Dalton – The Blemished

A beautiful world comes at a price...

In a world filled with stunning clones Mina Hart is Blemished. Her genes are worthless and that takes away her rights: her right to an Education, her right to a normal life and her right to have a child.

Mina keeps a dangerous secret which she never thought she could share until she meets Angela on her first day at St Jude's School. But their friendship is soon complicated by Angela’s adoptive brother Daniel. Mina finds herself drawn to his mysterious powers and impulsive nature. Then there is the gorgeous clone Sebastian who Mina is forbidden from even speaking to…

The Blemished is a frightening take on a fractured future where the Genetic Enhancement Ministry have taken control of Britain. It will take you on a ride filled with adventure, romance and rebellion.

Book one in the popular YA dystopia series 'Blemished'.



Katie French – The Breeders

“When the Breeders come for ya, there ain't no escape. They strap ya to a bed and all ya hear is the thud of your heart and the cries of your friends as they wheel ya down to hell. Then the doctors come. You squeeze your eyes shut and pray you can forget. But ya never do.”

Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world's last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches-- moving from one desolate farm after another to escape the Breeders' long reach. The Breeders control everything- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel. They have unchecked power in this lawless society. And they're hunting Riley.

When the local Sheriff abducts the adult members of her family and hands her mother over to the Breeders, Riley and her eight-year-old brother, Ethan, hiding in a shelter, are left to starve. Then Clay arrives, the handsome gunslinger who seems determined to help to make up for past sins. The problem is Clay thinks Riley is a bender-- a genderless mutation, neither male nor female. As Riley's affection for Clay grows she wonders can she trust Clay with her secret and risk her freedom?

The three embark on a journey across the scarred remains of New Mexico-- escaping the Riders who use human sacrifice to appease their Good Mother, various men scrambling for luck, and a deranged lone survivor of a plague. When Riley is forced into the Breeder's hospital, she learns the horrible fate of her mother—a fate she'll share unless she can find a way out.

About the Authors:



Elle Casey

Elle Casey is a full-time writer of New Adult and Young Adult titles in several genres, including romance, urban fantasy, sci-fi dystopian, and action-adventure. She's an American girl who's been living in southern France with her husband and three children since 2010. She loves chatting with her readers, so feel free to drop her a line.

You can find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ellecaseytheauthor or on her website: www.ElleCasey.com.



Shalini Boland

Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband and two noisy boys. Before children, she was signed to Universal Music as a singer songwriter. Now, writing novels has hijacked her life and she is usually to be found with a laptop welded to her fingers and the house in a permanent state of neglect. Find Shalini at: http://www.shaliniboland.co.uk



Zoe Cannon

Zoe Cannon writes about the things that fascinate her: outsiders, societies no sane person would want to live in, questions with no easy answers, and the inner workings of the mind. If she couldn't be a writer, she would probably be a psychologist, a penniless philosopher, or a hermit in a cave somewhere. While she'll read anything that isn't nailed down, she considers herself a YA reader and writer at heart. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and a giant teddy bear of a dog, and spends entirely too much time on the internet. Find Zoe at: http://www.zoecannon.com

Scott Cramer

Scott Cramer has written feature articles for national magazines, covered school committee meetings for a local newspaper, published haiku and poetry, optioned a screenplay, and worked in high-tech marketing communications. His pursuit of a good story has put him behind the stick of an F-18, flying a Navy Blue Angels' fighter jet, and he has trekked through the Peruvian mountains in search of an ancient Quechua festival featuring a condor. Scott and his wife have two daughters and reside outside Lowell, Massachusetts (birthplace of Jack Kerouac) in an empty nest/zoo/suburban farm/art studio with too many surfboards in the garage. Find Scott at: http://www.facebook.com/authorscottcramer


Sarah Dalton

Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult.

She is the author of the popular YA dystopia series 'Blemished' and the gothic novella 'My Daylight Monsters'. She is currently working on a YA Fantasy series titled 'White Hart'. Find Sarah at: http://sarahdaltonbooks.com/



Katie French

Katie French imagined herself an author when her poem caught the eye of her second grade teacher. In middle school she spent her free time locked in her room, writing her first young adult novel. Though her social life suffered, her love for literature thrived. She studied English at Eastern Michigan University, where she veered from writing and earned an education degree. She spent nine years teaching high school English. Currently she is a school counselor, doing a job that is both one of the hardest things she's ever done and the most rewarding. In her free time she writes, reads great books and takes care of her two beautiful and crazy children. She is a contributor and co-creator of Underground Book Reviews, a website dedicated to erasing the boundaries between traditional and non-traditional publishing. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two children. You can find her at www.katiefrenchbooks.com.

Short Blurb:

Limited Time only!
Special sale price of only $0.99! Together these books have over 650 five star reviews!

Read these bestselling tales of survival against the odds, dark worlds, dystopian regimes and heroic rebels.

Shattered Worlds features six full-length novels from bestselling authors. Immerse yourself in post-apocalyptic civilizations and bleak near-futures where hope still lives.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elle Casey – Apocalypsis Book 1: Kahayatle

My name's Bryn Mathis. I'm seventeen years old, and I live in a neighborhood outside of Orlando, Florida. I live alone because my dad died almost a year ago, along with all the other adults in the world. I'm almost out of food and the gangs of kids that roam around my town are getting more vicious by the day. It's time for me to leave and find another place to live ... a place where I can find food and shelter ... a place where they won't be able to find me. Alone, it might have been possible; but now I've got company. I'm worried that I don't have what it takes to get from here to my final destination. And I have no idea what might be waiting for me when I get there.

**May not be suitable for younger, middle grade readers.**

Shalini Boland – Outside

A pulse-pounding dystopian tale set in post-apocalyptic Britain: Riley has always wondered what lies beyond the high-security perimeters of her community. But when tragedy forces her into the outside world, she can’t believe what awaits her...

*Suitable for adults and teens aged 13+*

Zoe Cannon – The Torturer’s Daughter

Becca has never questioned what she's learned in Citizenship class: dissidents want to tear the country apart, and people like her mother are the only thing keeping them at bay. Until her mother executes Becca's best friend's parents as dissidents, and Becca learns a secret that changes everything...

Scott Cramer – Night of the Purple Moon

Abby, 13, is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple, unaware that deadly bacteria from a passing comet will soon kill off older teens and adults. She must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her--adolescence.

*Parental discretion advised for readers 13 and under*

Sarah Dalton – The Blemished

A beautiful world comes at a price...

The Blemished is a frightening take on a fractured future where the Genetic Enhancement Ministry have taken control of Britain. It will take you on a ride filled with adventure, romance and rebellion.

Katie French – The Breeders

Sixteen-year-old Riley Meemick is one of the world's last free girls. When Riley was born, her mother escaped the Breeders, the group of doctors using cruel experiments to bolster the dwindling human race. Her parents do everything possible to keep her from their clutches-- moving from one desolate farm after another to escape the Breeders' long reach. The Breeders control everything- the local war lords, the remaining factories, the fuel. They have unchecked power in this lawless society. And they're hunting Riley.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cover Reveal - Sweet Temptation by KC Lynn ***GIVEAWAY***


Title: Sweet Temptation (Men of Honor, #2)
Author: K.C. Lynn
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Expected Release Date: June 2014

*Synopsis*

“If you could go back and change one moment in your life what would it be?” I expect him to say the week the three of them were held prisoner, but what he says next is something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

“It would be to find you sooner, because I would have never let anyone hurt you.”

And that was the moment I gave Sawyer Evans my whole heart.

***

At 17 years old Grace Morgan had managed to live through what would be the worst day of her life. One would think this is where her torment ended, but then she was sent to live with him- the devil himself.

Three years later she finds herself in the beautiful, small town of Sunset Bay, South Carolina - a perfect place to start her life over. This is where she meets the best friends she will ever have, and one cocky, sexy, arrogant ex-Navy Seal whose heart turns out to be bigger than his ego. Right when things start looking up the worst day of her life comes back with a vengeance; ruining the peace she had just found.

Sawyer Evans is a strong, sexy, confident ex-Navy Seal who loves women just as much as they love him. His philosophy is: the more the merrier, with no strings attached. But all that changes the day he rolls into Sunset Bay, where he meets a sweet, sexy blonde with sad amber eyes, who smells like cupcakes and bakes the most delicious pies. The only girl who isn’t affected by his good looks and charm...or so he thinks. 

But Sawyer is a fighter who is used to getting what he wants, and he wants Grace. Along the way of making that happen, he finds out she holds secrets, and a pain much deeper than he thought possible- and he has known pain like no other man has. 

A year ago he made a life-altering decision that not only bought him a week in hell with men he considers his brothers, but also ended his career. It was a decision he will never regret, no matter the scars he bares, physically or emotionally. He refused to let that moment in his life break him or define him.

So when Grace’s life is threatened, he will make another decision, one to not only protect her, but also mend her broken heart. 

This is a New Adult Romance and is told from both character’s pov. Due to strong sexual content, coarse language and mature subject matter this book is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

This is Book Two in the Men Of Honor series. If you like hot, tattooed, possessive alpha males than this is the book for you.

Sweet Temptation - Excerpt

I smile now, thinking about him and Cade at a younger age, “How long have you been friends with Cade?”

His easy smile returns, “Since the first day of second grade. We were the most unlikely duo. I was a kid from a good family who had money, and well... let’s just say Cade was the opposite. One day, after school, three older kids were picking on him at the playground, so I walked up and beat the shit out of all three of them. I saved his life. After that he followed me around everywhere I went. No matter what I did I couldn’t get rid of him, so I thought: ah what the hell, I’ll be his friend.”

I stare at him a second before I burst out laughing, “You’re lying!”

He looks at me, affronted, “I am not! You should have seen me baby, I kicked major ass.”

I shake my head and continue to laugh, knowing he’s lying. “Ok, ok, it was actually the other way around, but don’t judge Cupcake I was small for my age, believe it or not. I didn't get all this until closer to junior high.”

I have a hard time picturing Sawyer small for his age, considerin’ what a giant he is now. “So you followed Cade around till he became your friend?”

“Wouldn't you?” he asks looking at me like I’m crazy, “the guy kicked the shit out of all three of those fuckers for trying to steal my new Pumas. I decided right there that this guy was going to be my friend, and I was gonna bring him everywhere I went, which I did. At first he tried acting like he didn’t want to be my friend, but of course it didn’t take long before he realized I wasn’t going anywhere. In the end he decided to give in, and we have been best friends ever since.”

With a big smile I wrap my arms around his neck, “That’s a great friendship story. I’m glad y’all met, and he was able to save your Pumas for you.”

Sawyer grins, “Me too baby. My mom had just bought those for me, she would have been pissed.”

I giggle again, but it fades as I tread into darker territory, “Can I ask you somethin’?”

“Anything Cupcake.”

“How did Cade’s sister die?” His expression turns to stone, his eyes cold and hard. I immediately regret asking. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.”

He shakes his head, as if pulling himself out of some sort of turmoil, “No it’s fine. It’s just... I have never told another soul this story, but I will tell you. You can’t ever bring it up to Cade though, ok? Because it’s something that will send him right over the fucking edge; it’s why he never talks about it.”

My stomach turns to lead and I swallow nervously, knowing what Sawyer is about to tell me is probably going to be the most awful thing I will ever hear in my life.
 
*Purchase book 1 of the Men of Honor series*
Buy Links - Fighting Temptation

*About K.C.*
K.C. Lynn lives in a small town in Western Canada. She’s married and is a stay at home mom of four: two girls and a set of twin boys. She coaches the local high school cheerleading team and also has her own rhinestone clothing business. Her love of romance books brought her to writing her first debut novel and she looks forward to writing many more. When she’s not writing, or spending time with her family, she’s reading and loves going to the movies.

*Connect with K.C.*

*Giveaway*

HERO by Leighton Del Mia ♥ RELEASE BLITZ

Hero Blitz Banner

Title: Hero

Author: Leighton Del Mia

Release Date: February 27, 2014

Genre: Dark Erotic Romance Standalone

add-to-goodreads-button31    

Synopsis

 

Calvin Parish They call me Hero. I defend. I protect. I ask for nothing in return, and that makes me good. Doesn’t it?

That which makes me the ultimate predator also feeds dark impulses I’ve learned to control—until I bring her too close. For years I’ve watched her from afar, but what started out as duty has become obsession.

Cataline Ford I work hard. I play by the rules. I’m content. My scars are quiet and invisible, and that keeps me hidden. Doesn’t it?

One fateful walk home, I’m taken by someone I didn’t know I should fear. Captive and afraid, nobody will tell me why I’m confined to this hauntingly beautiful mansion. I’m given everything; I have nothing. He takes what he needs from me, and for that I hate him. But I might have loved him once.

And just because you’re reading this doesn’t mean I survive him.

 

Buy the Book

ebook

 

About the Author

Author Pic LDM

Leighton Del Mia lives behind large sunglasses and under massive headphones. She can usually be found behind and under these things at any Starbucks on the West Coast, which is where she writes twisty books between sips of black coffee.

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

 

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

smalljacket

 

Keep Me (A Hero Novella)

magic size

“I will disappoint you. I will hurt you. If I could be different, I would. But I don’t think I can.”

Declarations and sacrifices have been made. After three years, a better life is finally on the horizon. But when the past leaves marks that are both painful and permanent, is there ever such a thing as starting over? Can memories be replaced or forgotten—and should they be? Keep Me is a follow-up novella for Hero readers who want a glimpse of life after breakfast. It is only intended to be enjoyed after Hero and is not a standalone. It is entirely optional and not essential to the original plot.

BTSPRprofile-1

Book Blitz - Crashing Back Down by Kristen Hope Mazzola ***GIVEAWAY***



 
Title: Crashing Back Down
Author: Kristen Hope Mazzola
 Release Date: November 4, 2013 



 

Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy's best friends and parents.

Rising from the ashes of this tragedy, Mags starts to learn how to love and trust again, finally being able to find happiness. But sometimes things really are too good to be true and again Mags learns how cruel the world can be as she crashes back down.


 
**18+ for sexual situations, cursing and adult content**
 
A portion of all royalties from Crashing Back Down are donated by the author to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.

 

 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kristen Hope Mazzola is an up and coming independent author from sunny South Florida. Crashing Back Down is her debut into the literary world. Kristen is currently working on the rest of her Crashing Series, which will include a sequel, Falling Back Together, and a prequel, Walking Away. She even has a few more tricks up her sleeve, with more characters to introduce and more twists to unravel, so keep your eye on this talented young author!

When Kristen is not driving a pen into paper, she enjoys reading all different genres and fishing. “There is just something so magical about water and the calm it brings to my life,” says Kristen. Even though writing is not her only career she is pursuing, Kristen hopes to one day be a full time writer. Having a day job and a busy life, makes finding time for writing difficult, but anything worthwhile in life is difficult. Loving life, writing, and fishing basically make up her world.
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 

Cover Reveal ** NUMBER THIRTEEN ** by Bella Jewel

1927208_222980111237944_948817681_n

Title: Number Thirteen

Author: Bella Jewel

Expected Release Date: March 17, 2014

Genre: Dark Romance

**AUTHOR NOTE - This is NOT a BDSM Romance**

add-to-goodreads-button31

 

Synopsis

We're thirteen girls, captive, slave to our master. A master we've never seen. Obedience will become all we know in our shallow existence. It is the only emotion we're permitted to feel. When we're bad, we're punished. When we're good, we're rewarded. Our scars run deep. Yet we survive, because we have to... because HE teaches us to. All of us are special, we feel it with everything we are. He has us for a reason, but it's a reason we don't know. We've never seen his face, but we know that something deeply broken lies beneath the darkness. With every touch, with every punishment, we know it. Then something changed. He showed me who he truly is. Now I want him. I'll go against everything I know to be with him.

A monster.

My monster.

Loving him is a sin, but a sinner I am. I won't stop until I see every part of him. Even the parts he keeps locked deep down inside.

I am Number Thirteen, and this is my story. No one said it was pretty, or right, but it's mine.

PROLOGUE

My boots crunch in the yellow autumn leaves as I walk towards the schoolyard. I didn’t want to come today, but Momma told me I had no choice. She said school is for smart kids, and if I don’t go, then how am I ever going to get smart? I could get smart, the man on the television tells me everything I need to know. But she claims that I can’t make friends with the man on the television, that the only way to make friends is to go to school. I could have told her that I don’t need friends to be successful, but she’d only tell me I’m being silly. So I came to school. I didn’t tell her that there are bullies here, or that every day they push me around and shove me into lockers. That would make me sound weak, and now that my dad is working, and my brother is away because he didn’t like the school here, I’ve had to become the man of the house. There’s no room for weakness. Momma tells me bullies pick on the kids who are victims. I think she’s wrong. I’m not a victim; I’m just a kid. They pick on me because I’m different. I don’t look at the girls like they do; I don’t try to sneak out to parties. I’m only thirteen. I’m just there to learn, then I go home and I take care of my family, because, I’m the man of the house. Like I said. The shrill sound of the school bell ringing, tells me I’m late. I pick up into a jog, rounding the corner and into the schoolyard. It’s a cool winter day, and I have to pinch my coat together to stop it from flapping in the icy breeze. I can see the students piling in the front doors, and I turn my jog into a run. I’m focusing so heavily on the doors, that I don’t see them. A strong hand lashes out, catching hold of my sleeve and tugging me into the alleyway that runs down beside my school. I always knew this alley was dangerous. My body is slammed against a hard wooden fence, and I set eyes on my bullies. Four of them. They’re all bigger than me, all of them on the football team. They’re from a few grades up, and they’ve just turned sixteen. The leader of the group, Marcel, steps forward first. He scrunches his nose in disgust, as if I’ve just dragged myself out of a gutter, as if I’m offending him. He leans in close, and I can smell cigarettes on his breath. Smoking is not cool. “You’ve been trying to avoid me, Will. Did you really think you could hide at home with Mommy, and never have to come out again?” I stare at him, wondering why he chose me to pick on. I didn’t even know his name until he flagged me down and shoved my head down a toilet six months ago. I was just a kid, keeping my head down, studying and learning like I should. Now here I am, pressed against a fence, wondering why they decided I was good enough to take extra special effort to attack. I don’t bother answering him; it’ll only make him worse. My answers won’t make a difference. If I answer, I’m wrong. If I don’t answer, I’m wrong. “Are you fucking mute, you little cunt?” My body jerks. I hate that word, it’s so…vulgar. I let my eyes move to the four other guys standing like protective pack animals around Marcel. I don’t know their names; they’re not significant enough. The tall boy with orange hair looks nervous, like he knows what’s about to happen could put him in a world of trouble - but he’s still here, still making the choice to stay. The other two guys are stony faced, and fully aware of their part in this attack. I still don’t answer him. If I just let them beat me, it’ll go away quicker. “You’re a freak, Will, do you know that?” Marcel hisses, leaning in closer. Of course I know that. I wouldn’t be pinned against a fence if I didn’t know that. Bullies are so dumb. Marcel raises his fist, and brings it down over my face, cracking my nose so hard blood spurts onto his shirt. I don’t cry out, because that’s what he wants, but the pain radiating through my head is nearly enough to make me beg. Nearly. Marcel takes hold of my shirt, and his grey eyes scan my face. He’s panting, as though I’ve shoved him into an alley and challenged him. Like this is my fault. The world is twisted like that, and it’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. “You know,” he growls, locking eyes with me. “I heard my girl saying how handsome you were the other day. Do you know how much it sucks to have my girl saying that a freak is handsome? Especially a freak that’s only what? Thirteen years old? Your dick would be no bigger than a tube of damned lipstick, yet she thinks you’re handsome!” I wouldn’t know how much it sucks to have a girl say that, because I don’t have a girl. Again, bullies are dumb. “Don’t answer me, you little twerp. It doesn’t matter. I will make sure by the time you leave this alley; you’re not handsome anymore. I won’t have my competition being some little weasel that can’t even speak.” I taste blood filling my mouth, and my nose is pounding so heavily I’m almost sure I can hear my own heart in my head. I don’t take my eyes from Marcel. They say look danger right in the eye; it gives you power and strength. I don’t feel powerful right now, in fact, I don’t really feel anything. Someone like me doesn’t fight, I’m the underdog, and underdogs are weak. Everyone knows it. Marcel reaches into his back pocket, and pulls out a pocket knife. The heart that feels like it’s in my head begins thumping even harder. I try not to show fear, I try to stand tall and take what he dishes out with strength, but that’s not so easy when your attacker is waving around a pocket knife. “She said it was your eyes,” he begins, lazily tracing circles on his palm with the blade. “She said they’re the most stunning eyes she’s ever seen. Like the ocean.” I didn’t know my eyes were like the ocean. He takes hold of my shirt, yanking me close. “No one is more appealing to my girl, than me.” They say bad things happen in slow motion, they’re right. I feel Marcel throw me down onto the floor. I feel every movement as my body slammed into the dirt. I feel his body weight coming over me, his knees pinning me down as I squirm. I feel his friend take my arms, pulling them above my head, while another puts a hand over my mouth. With my nose pouring with blood, that makes it difficult to breathe. I feel the knife ripping into my skin as I thrash my head from side to side, and I can feel the blood pouring down the sides of my face. Each time he attempts to stab me, I move and the knife only slices through the skin around my eye. My pained wails fill the alley, but no one comes to help me. No one is around in the one moment of my life that I need them. I know what I’ll remember most about that day, and that is the moment he finally manages to drive the knife into my eye. I don’t feel pain, not right away. Instead I hear the popping sound, as his blade pierces right through. Then I feel pressure as he twists. It’s only when he yanks it out of its socket, that I start to scream. Then the pain is unlike anything I’ve ever felt. Words cannot begin to explain the horror I feel as darkness begins to invade my body. I know my face is covered in blood, because it drips down to soak my hair. I know I bite his friends hand so hard I nearly take off his finger. I don’t know what they’re saying, or even acknowledge the moment when they run away. All I know was that I am bleeding to death in an alley, missing an eye. Red fills my vision as the blood begins to cover every part of my face. I know I’m still screaming, even though I can’t hear it. All I can hear is an excessive ringing in my ears. I can’t even move my hands to cover my eye, in an attempt to protect the empty socket. I can do nothing but lay and scream, witnessing a pain that I’ll never witness again in my life, and wondering what I did to deserve it. No one deserves to die. But I do die that day. And in my place, a monster is born.

About the Author

Bella Jewel

Bella Jewel is an Aussie girl through and through. She spent her life in Western Australia, growing up in many different areas of the state. She now currently lives in Perth with her husband, children and mass amounts of pets. She's crazy, fun, outgoing and friendly. Writing is her passion, she started at the young age of 18 but finally got the courage up to publish, and her first novel Hell's Knights was released in August 2013.

Author Social Media Links

Facebook | Website | Goodreads

1387862_222685844600704_511447514_n

BTSPRprofile-1