Thanks for stopping by my blog during the New Year’s Blog Hop.
It’s another year over! Can you believe it? Well, we authors, readers, and bloggers sure can’t. And to celebrate the New Year with bang, we’re going crazy and sending out so many prizes, fun parties, experiences, and other goodies, that it’s a bit scary. Each author has a favorite New Year memory, book, idea, or way to party and we’re going to show you! Can’t wait to see you January 1st – 6th!
And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.
I’m giving away the following prizes on my blog:
Post # 20 will win an ebook download of their choice of Fated, Illusion or Awakening from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Post # 40 will win a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card.
Post #60 will win a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card
But that’s not all….
We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!
Now what are those prizes?
1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $300 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
As the holiday rush comes to an end and we start yet another year, we make resolutions and reflect over the last year. I look back to see what I’ve learned from my mistakes and what I want to do accomplish this next year while recovering from staying up way too late and enjoying one (or three) glasses of wine!
2012 was a busy year for me. I published three books and developed the idea for a new series, The Dark Hart Chronicles. As luck would have it, my 3rd book in The Vampire Destiny Series, Awakening was released December 15th, 2012. I thought I’d share a small excerpt with you.
~~Excerpt from Awakening, The Vampire Destiny Series Book 3
It had been one of the longest plane rides of my life. There was no mile high club fun for me this trip. The overall mood was a somber one. Lukas was still disappointed with his paralyzing fear and inability to help Anna. He didn’t have to say it. The worry was etched across his face, replacing his normal sneer. Stefan was stoically reserved, still deeply concerned the future of his newest child and about the dark side of himself he’d revealed when he killed Derek viciously in front of me.
That was the least of my concerns.
My own mind was a twisted disarray after the events of the last 24 hours. I was still trying to come to terms with my own brush with death and the worry about Anna’s fate was weighing heavily on me. It was during my feeble attempt to make some sort of sense of things that I noticed Stefan’s much stronger presence pulsing in my mind, replacing the normal hum I’d grown accustomed to feeling. There had been some shift, some change that caused his once silent emotions to become a part of me. I could perceive and separate his resigned sense of duty, love, remorse and even more peculiar, his reluctant feelings of guilt that shadowed every single one of them.
Curious at his strange emotional state, I studied his profile as we sat on the plane. His broad shoulders were arranged in a lazy slouch, his beautiful face appeared almost serene, at peace. Blond tousled hair spilled over his forehead, begging me to smooth it into place. His blue eyes were closed, his eyelashes casting shadows over his high cheekbones. If I didn’t know better, Stefan appeared to be the picture of relaxation. The only tell was the anxious set of his chiseled jaw and mouth. Tensed in a slight frown, I wanted to kiss his lips soft again. He had that effect on me. I had this indescribable urge to soothe him, make anything that was troubling him fade away. I couldn’t help but wonder if it would it always be this way for us. Would we always be consumed with visceral urges to comfort, gratify and love the other above anything and anyone else?
It was an equally a troubling and satisfying question.
Probing further into his thoughts, I was plunged into the depths of his mind. It was like stepping into a turbulent maelstrom. Wildly overpowering every thought was his almost covetous love for me, tinged by his compulsive worry for my safety. He was torn between being fearful that I’d seen too much and that someone or something would attempt to tear me away from him. Worry for Anna kept him probing their non-existent blood bond, on alert to any shift that she would awaken. Being inside his mind was an exhausting experience, but I kept pushing forward.
Not one of his thoughts or emotions were surprising to me. This wasn’t what I was looking for. I knew if I continued to search, I’d find the source of his strange feelings of remorse and guilt. Tapping into his emotions, I closed my eyes to concentrate fully on him. I probed deeper, driving further for the answers I desperately needed.
“Vackra, please ask me your questions. Do not sort through my mind like you are rummaging through a filing cabinet. Talk to me.”
His deep voice broke the long stillness that had filled the plane. He hadn’t spoken since his ominous statement of ‘we are one now’ and brief explanation of how I’d mentally called to him when Derek had held me captive.
My eyes slid open at his words. His remained closed, his expressive face calm. “I’m sorry. There’s something different with us now. I can feel you in my mind, Stefan. I can sense your emotions, your whole being in the back like it’s part of me. Why is that?”
More guilt and regret flooded our strange new connection. Finally opening his eyes, he swiveled in his seat to meet my probing gaze. His lips twitched into the tiniest of smiles as one of his hands moved to slowly trace the curve of my face. His fingers were like gentle feathers across my cheekbone and lips. He sighed and let his hand drift down my neck, along the outline of my collarbone to drift down my arm. He reached for my hand, engulfing it in his much larger grip, sighing in the relief that our contact brought him.
“I feel it as well. It was as I said earlier, we are one now. When you called for me, I heard you. You were like a beacon, sending out a distress call for me across the miles. The guilt I feel is because I should have explained the consequences of our blood exchanges. I should have given you the opportunity to choose. Yet I chose for you.”
I sat frozen in my seat, just holding his hand. Warily watching him, I simply waited for him to explain. My unusual calmness seemed to unnerve him. He’d grown accustomed to my overreactions and panic. Maybe his influence had calmed me. Or possibly my close call with death had forced me to grow up a little bit.
His blue eyes averted from mine as he organized his thoughts. “After we exchange as much blood in love as you and I have, we become tied to one another. It is a link that cannot be severed. The tie would not form if the love was not there to bind us. All I did was bond us together indefinitely.”
Unblinking, I said nothing. I was torn between wanting to embrace him and slap him. Lukas was on the plane and my eyes shot to his seat to see if he was listening in on our conversation. His head was bent over his laptop, earbuds stuck in his ears. Leaning closer to Stefan, I lowered my voice to a harsh whisper.
“All you did was bond us indefinitely?” I hissed angrily. He made it sound like he’d chosen my shoes for an innocuous dinner party instead of bonding us eternally. “You thought it would be acceptable to make a decision like this for me? For us? So let me get this straight. You let me ingest your blood, knowing eventually that this would be the outcome. And you also decided I was on a need to know basis about a life-altering experience such as bonding? I don’t get it, Stefan. You knew I’d eventually find out and be pissed off at your high-handed bullshit. Since you clearly have everything figured out, tell me how I’m supposed to feel.”
Stefan stared at the back of the airplane seat in front of him as if it held the answer I’d want to hear. He muttered something inaudible under his breath and I watched as he gave up and his shoulders drooped in defeat.
“You should be furious with me. I deserve every bit of your anger. I cannot explain it to you in a way that you will understand, Josephine. I love you as I never loved another creature. You are my other half, my soul, my life. Exchanging my blood with you was instinctual. It is how two true mates forge the bond we now have. As I said, if there was no true love between us, it would not form,” Stefan replied vehemently. His thumb brushed absently over my wrist. His blazing blue eyes were locked on mine again, imploring for my understanding.