Friday, February 28, 2014

Death Bed Blog Tour and Review

Title: Death Bed: A Detective Geraldine Steel Mystery (DI Geraldine Steel #4)
Author: Leigh Russell Genre: Mystery/Detective
 Publication Date: February 25, 2014
 Publisher: Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins Event Organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.


Two brutal murders. No witnesses. The battered bodies of two young girls are discovered in North London, one shortly after the other. Desperate to avoid hysteria in the community, the police struggle to make a quick arrest before the deranged killer can strike again. Not having any luck, Detective Geraldine Steel, recently transferred to London, is called in to make sense of the grisly murders and the killer's unusual signature: he extracts two teeth from each of his victims. With the death toll mounting, Geraldine is running out of time as she hunts for the elusive killer the papers have dubbed "The Dentist."

Purchase Link: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review: First off I am a mystery book enthusiast! I love mystery novels so when I got the chance to review Death Bed I was over the moon excited! I will have to say I did not realize this book was part of a series which threw me off a little. I can't say that it had any impact on reading the story other than some back history to the main character. Detective Geraldine Steel is an awesome character and I totally felt like her shadow in the book. The scenes at times gruesome yet very detailed leaving nothing out and yet leaving out just enough for the reader to capture the scene and invision it. I was completely involved in  Death Bed and wanted more. I felt the frustration and the need to catch "The Dentist". He was not right in the head the man needs to be caught and put away for a really long time. I just thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I will definitely be reading more by Leigh Russell. I can't wait to see where we find Detective Steel next.

About the Author
LEIGH RUSSELL is described as “a brilliant talent” by Jeffery Deaver. CUT SHORT (2009) was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award for Best First Novel. Road Closed (2010) was listed as a Top Read on Eurocrime. With Dead End (2011) Leigh’s detective Geraldine Steel was Number 1 on amazon kindle’s bestseller chart for female sleuths. Leigh Russell is the award-winning author of the Geraldine Steel and Ian Peterson mysteries. She is an English teacher who lives in the UK with her family.
Connect with the Author: Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
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Walk Into Me Blog Tour and Review

I know I will never get over her. Watching her walk away with him ripped my heart out and left it bleeding on the floor. But I can’t hide anymore. I have to face my life without her. ~ Brad

Brad has been in love with Lisa for as long as he can remember. One night years ago they took each other’s virginity but while it was the best night of Brad’s life, for Lisa it was a way to forget about Bobby. Or was it?
Brad re-emerges right when Lisa needs him most. Only Brad knows everything about her and when Lisa’s insecurities come to the surface the shoulder Lisa needs is Brad’s. Now Brad has to decide if he has it in him to trust his heart.

My Review: The moment I started reading this book I knew I was going to want to punch Lisa in the face. She wants her cake and to eat it too. She is selfish. Stringing along two men's hearts like that! My heart broke several times while reading Walk Into Me. I cried and was totally for Brad at first because he loved Lisa with all he had in him and Lisa kept just putting him at a distance because she could chose who she wanted to be with, Then there was Bobby who I didn't like at first thought he was a little to macho for me but, then I really started to really see him and I became team Bobby all the way. This story had me reeling in so many emotions it seemed as though I was a roller coaster ride that would never stop. Then I get to the end of the book and I hit the brakes to keep from sliding off of the page and the phrase that went through my mind was "Oh no you didn't". Jill Prand my hat goes off to you, kudos for an excellent story but, girl you left me hanging I have to know where this story goes from here. Oh and the next book in this series could you please send along some tissues. I would truly recommend this series to anyone. It was very well written and had a little bit of something for everyone. 

She left with him. I watched them walk out of the party into the cold night air with his arm around her. What is she thinking? He is only back for a few days and she’ll be alone again and she’ll be crying on my shoulder that he doesn’t call or write. I know she loves him and I can see the pull they have on each other, but really, why does she do this to herself?

I make my way over to the keg and get another beer. I might as well get drunk so I don’t have to think about him touching her. Joe is there and he pats my shoulder, “How you doing?”

“I was having a great time until a few minutes ago,” I say, pouring my beer. “Hey, let’s get a game of quarters going,” I suggest. Joe’s kitchen table is just right and it wouldn’t take much to clear it off. Joe’s not much of a drinker, but he starts rounding up some of the guys to play.

Richie, Doug, and Rob come over as I’m moving bags of snacks to the counter. Rob starts flipping a quarter while Richie looks in the cabinet for a glass.  “Good idea Brad, we need to get this party rockin’,” he says sliding the glass into the middle of the table. By that time George and Chris have joined us and a few of the girls are standing by to watch. We each take a few practice shots to get used to the table and then we start. Within 15 minutes I have downed 3 beers and started to get a buzz. I should feel fine by the time midnight comes around.

Suddenly she’s there, standing across the room, with tears running down her beautiful face. What the hell did he do to her this time? I stand up and tell the guys I’m out. I walk over and hold out my hand like she’s a wounded animal I have to get to trust me. She looks at me and falls into my arms.

“He doesn’t want me,” she cries.

I kiss her head and lead her out the sliding glass door.  “How can he not want you? I’m sure you’re wrong.” I stroke her back and god she smells great.
“We were making out...and other things, but when he found out I was still a virgin, he stopped and told me to get dressed. That he didn’t want to be the one to take my virginity.”  Her words come out all sniffly and I can feel my shirt getting wet from her tears. “I should have just done it with Steve and then I would be in his arms right now. I mean what does it matter if he is the first or someone else is? I don’t want to be a virgin anymore.”

I know the feeling but the only person I want to be with is currently crying in my arms about another guy. I’ve loved her since the sixth grade, when she sat next to me on the bus the first time. I can’t imagine my life without her.

“Will you do it?”  She looks up at me.  “Will you sleep with me Brad?”

My heart stops, she did not just ask me that. Just the thought of touching her like that has me hard. “You don’t mean that Lisa, you’re just upset,” I say as I brush the hair away from her eyes.

“No, I’m totally serious. I don’t want to be a virgin anymore and other than Bobby I can’t think of anyone I would rather do it with.”  She puts her hand behind my head and pulls me down for a kiss. She is tentative and sweet and I can taste her tears on her lips. I have waited so long to kiss her.  I lick the seam and her mouth opens to me. I moan because my whole body is on fire and I am not going to be able to stop. My hand fists in her hair and I pull it back to angle her head and my tongue explores every crevice of her mouth. I have wanted this for so long and now here she is letting me kiss her. I press her body against mine so she can feel how she affects me. Her hands start stroking my back and my shirt starts to pull up, my cock jerks when her fingers touch my skin and I suck the air out of her mouth. I know we have to move, we can’t do this here.

I break the kiss and stroke her cheek, her eyes are half closed and I hope she’s not thinking of him, but even if she is I am taking my one chance, “Let’s get out of here, my parents aren’t home,” I lean down and give her a quick kiss.
“I’m driving Jodi home; I can’t leave her,” she starts to pull away and I can see she’s thinking about what we’re doing. This is not going to end the way I want it to unless I get her out of here now.

“Hold on,” I tell her and take out my phone. “Hey John, Lisa is upset and I’m taking her home.  We will leave her keys with Joe, can you drive Jodi home?” I listen as he relays what I’ve said to Jodi and hear her ask where we are. “Let Jodi know she just needs to be somewhere else right now.” I pull her against me and stroke her hair. God, I love this girl and I hope to show her how much tonight. I am going to worship her body with mine. John agrees to get both Jodi and Lisa’s car home and I hang up. “Let’s give your keys to Joe and get out of here,” I take her hand and lead her in. I can tell she’s a little hesitant, but she’s still coming with me. Lisa hands Joe her keys without saying a word and walks towards the front door.

“Is she okay?”  He whispers to me.

“Bobby did a job on her again,” I pat his shoulder. “I’ll make sure she’s okay. What are friends for right?”

He knows I want to be more than just her friend. Hell, everyone knows, even Lisa, but it’s never been possible before. Now maybe he fucked up enough for her to give me a shot. I gotta believe this will be more than just one night.
I follow her out to my car and she is waiting for me. “Are you sure?” I ask even as I wonder why I feel the need to give her an out?

“I’m sure Brad. I want it to be you.”  She leans up on her toes and kisses me. If I don’t stop this I will never get her home. I open the door for her and she slides in. It only takes us fifteen minutes to get to my house, and we have the place to ourselves.

Taking her hand, I lead her up the stairs to my room.  I’m so glad my mother makes me keep it clean; I know there are no dirty clothes lying around.  I close my door behind us and just look at her. I have fantasized about having her here for years. Not that she hasn’t been here before, but never for more than doing homework.

She walks up to me and starts to unbutton my shirt, she doesn’t say anything as her fingers work from one button to another. I reach down and put my finger under her chin, she finally looks at me. “Lisa, we don’t have to do this.”
She runs her hand up my now bare chest to my neck and pulls me down towards her mouth, “I want this,” she says breathlessly into my mouth as our lips meet. My hands find her hips and pull her against me. I let my tongue explore her mouth, god she tastes sweet! My cock is jerking in my pants and her hand stroking my chest is driving me crazy. I move my hands under her short skirt and grab her ass. I’ve been obsessed with that ass, I love to watch her walk away from me.

I lift her up, she puts her legs around me, and I let my fingers explore her slit. Her panties are damp and I hope to god that is from me and not him.  I can’t think anymore. All I feel is her and I want to be inside her. I walk us over to my bed and place her on it. I stand up and take off my pants leaving my underwear on and she takes off her shirt and skirt. “God, you’re beautiful Lisa,” I say, laying down beside her.

I tentatively reach out for her breast and gently touch her nipple through the lace. I hear as she sighs, “I need you to touch me Brad.”

Losing all control, I pull the bra down and take her nipple into my mouth.  I suck her and lick that tight little nub. My cock is straining against her leg and I rub myself against her. She reaches behind her, undoes the clasp, and her bra falls away. I grab onto the other breast and kneed it roughly.

Arching her back, she moans, “More Brad, I need more.”

I move my hand lower and slip it under the silk into the wetness.  Lisa lifts her hips to meet my hand and I slip a finger into her, I stroke her a few times before adding another. She is so tight and I worry about hurting her.  She pushes her underwear down, lifting her hips and pushing my fingers further inside, she says, “That feels good Brad, please.”

“Please what?” I look up at her face.

“Now. I want you inside me now,” she says seriously as she looks at me. 

I pull off my boxers and reach into the drawer next to the bed to get a condom. Thank god for health class. I roll the condom on and position myself between her legs and push inside. It feels so good, she’s tight and I have to stop for a moment or I’m going to lose it before I’m totally inside her. I pull out almost all the way and push back in harder and feel her barrier give way. She inhales sharply and I know I’ve hurt her.  “Are you okay?” I ask.

She looks up at me with tears in her eyes, “I’m fine just give me a moment.”
I don’t know if I can, the urge to move is too great. I start to pull out and she shuts her eyes. I have to move and I start stroking slowly. She keeps her eyes closed I don’t know if I’m hurting her, but I can’t stop. I move faster and within a minute find my release. I lean down to kiss her and she lets me.

That was the best night of my life. The worst...was when I watched Bobby carry her away.


Into Me Playlist

And don't forget about the first book! 
Fall in love with Lisa and Bobby all over again! 

Buy Links:    



At the age of seventeen, Lisa was broken when Bobby left. He was supposed to be her first. First Love. First Time. First Everything. No word for six long years. She moved away from the painful reminders sacrificing her relationship with her best friend Brad

Now six years later she returns as a strong, successful woman grabbing a job at one of New York’s hottest marketing agencies. She is dating a gorgeous guy with his eyes on a corner office. But it all changes when she sees Bobby.

Can she risk another heartbreak from Bobby? Will she be able to repair her friendship with Brad? Lisa will have to decide between the man she's with, and the two men that want her.

Who will she be with, and who will she tell to "Watch Me Walk Away?"





Meet Jill Prand

Living in Northern New Jersey and originally from Long Island, Jill Prand is a wife and mother of two girls. She's been an avid reader all her life, spending Sunday afternoons curled up with a good book. 

"We had a huge bookshelf in our den when I was a child with a diverse set of authors like Ayn Rand, Stephen King, Mario Puzo & Danielle Steele. I cut my literary teeth on Walter Farley, Judy Blume and SE Hinton before raiding my parents library." 

Jill is currently working on the Walking Series as well as a stand alone novel. She loves to hear from readers.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sworn to Secrecy Review Tour

Book Info-
Title- Sworn to Conflict
Series- Courtlight Series # 3
By- Terah Edun
Genre- Young Adult, Fantasy, Coming of Age

Publication Date- December 6, 2013

Ciardis Weathervane fought for the living dead and won. But worse than taking on a mass murderer, was her discovery that she had been deceived by her friends. Now she needs to not only fight a war in the North and survive, but also decide where she stands in the midst of competing sides.

A threat to all she holds dear lies in the North and her heart is not the only thing she might lose. A massive army awaits in the mountain pass, surging closer to the gates of the southern lands. Nothing the Algardis army has done so far has dissuaded their march forward and Ciardis finds out that her powers to enhance are needed now more than ever.

As she faces her greatest fears on the battlefields and her heart is torn between her love of Sebastian and loyalty to her family, Ciardis must choose her fate carefully. For in her path, lies the destiny of the empire.

This third novel continues the story of Ciardis Weathervane from Sworn To Transfer.

My Review: The plot thickens and as I began reading book three I realized that this was not going to be a happily ever after. Ciardis is thrown into the never ending war of the north and unaware of what or whom she is fighting for. She quickly discovers the path of betrayal that leads further back then even Ciardis was aware of. Ciardis is left to figure it out pretty much on her own as the lies and secrets that have been told to her or with held start to surface she soon discovers that she must chose between her heart and her family she never new. Sworn to Conflict is a slammed down hike up your britches and either stand and fight or put your head in between your legs and kiss your bum goodbye. Forget the mushy cutesy love story as this book has no room for that even though Ciardis is torn between her heart and family she keeps rolling with the punches as war rages on and leaves her to be the deciding factor in how or if the war ends. I know that book three can not be the end of this series. I am completely hopeful that there is at least one more book to this series. I am hooked and enamored with The Courtlight series.

Book Info-
Title- Sworn to Secrecy
Series- The Courtlight Series #4
By- Terah Edun
Expected Publication Date-February 28, 2014

In the heart of the Imperial Courts, Ciardis Weathervane knows that death is coming for the empire. With her friends by her side and the new triad of Weathervanes, she's in a race against time to convince the courts of the same.

She must do her best to unite kith, mages, nobles and merchants under one cause - the fight to prevent a war. Soon she is forced to keep a secret that could exonerate her mother of the Empress's death, and is always one move away from stepping into diplomatic chaos.

Throw in a Daemoni Prince who is showing interest in the youngest Weathervane, a jealous Prince Heir, and a irritated dragon with her own designs on Ciardis, and you have an Imperial Court in turmoil.

This fourth novel continues the story of Ciardis Weathervane from Sworn To Conflict.

My Review: I have become addicted to this series. Ciardis and all the characters are so very well written. Every adventure jumps off the page and just grabs your attention. There was no way I could put it down. By the time comes around Sworn to Secrecy we have seen Ciardis grow in so many ways she as become a more powerful and confident character. I love her need to learn and how cunning and secretive she has become. As the plot thickens in this the fourth book of The Court Light Series the adventures and secrets also reveal answers to some secrets yet still are fast paced, nail biting, adventure. I believe I can honestly that The Court Light Series has become one of my all time fantasy book favorites. I personally think that Terah Edun has written a very popular series and I am desperately hoping for at least a one more book to this series as the end of this one will leave you gaping for air totally jaw dropping!


About the Author-
Terah Edun is a young adult  fantasy writer born and raised in the Atlanta metropolitan area, who transplanted to the Northeast region for college, and has spent years living abroad in South Sudan and Morocco. She writes the stories that she always loved to read as a young girl.


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Friday, February 21, 2014

When Tidal Waves Call Cover Reveal

Title: When Tidal Waves Call (The Lost Immortals Sage, Book Three)
Author: KaSonndra Leigh 
Genre: Dystopian Fantasy w/Strong Romantic Elements

Expected Release Date: June 2014
Reveal Host: Lady Amber's Tours
Book Description:The utopian society that Chela Prizeon once lived in is corrupted—divided by fear of an ancient prophecy and scarred by past betrayals between the humans and exiled celestials. So when given a chance to explore the world on the other side of the Borderlands, Chela seizes it, gaining an unlikely ally in the process. Perhaps beyond the veil, she and Faris will find a way to save his land, the sleeping world, and begin a new life, free from lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.  But Chela fights a darkness growing stronger each time she uses her power. She also finds herself falling under the alluring spell of someone she once considered her greatest enemy. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths will change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Chela must struggle to understand the complexities of herforbidden world—and of herself—while facing significant choices about loyalty, sacrifice, honor and love.  Told from engaging multiple point-of-views, When Tidal Waves Call, by #1 Internationally best-selling author KaSonndra Leigh, brings the Lost Immortals Saga to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian-fantasy world that has captivated readers in When Copper Suns Fall and When Silver Moons Rise.
KaSonndra Leigh was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She now lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, North Carolina. She likes to write about people of all ages doing fantastical things in magical worlds. She considers her two sons (aka the X-Men) the most authoritative editors around.
She loves to play CLUE, Monopoly (the Indiana Jones version), and Pandora's Box (good writer's block therapy). She lives in an L-shaped house with a garden dedicated to her grandmother. It has a secret library complete with fairies, Venetian plastered walls, and a desk made out of clear blue glass.
Author Links:
Join thousands of Lost Immortals Saga Fans on the Facebook FanPage:
Author Website:
Newsletter Signup:  The Seraphine News
Book Review Blog: The Seraphine Muse

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Finding Fey Review

Title: Finding Fey
Author: C.L. Collar
Genre: Fantasy/ Fairy Tales
Pages: 108

The Blurb:Let’s take a trip into the Land of Enchantment where everything is magical and always unpredictable. The Land of Fey has both intrigued and inspired humans since the beginning of time. Finding Fey brings you a new breed of fairy tale. One that reintroduces you to old myths and legends in a family friendly way. These stories and poems are meant to be read, remembered and shared for the pure enjoyment of Finding Fey. So let us begin. Look into the twilight at the end of day and find the lighted pathway into the Land of Fey.

My Review:  This book is a magical array of beautifully written short stories and poems. Although the stories were short they had such a mystical and a fantasy vibe about them that seems to grab your attention and wants you to fall into each one. Finding Fey will make any ones love of faeries just grow deeper. I would love it if C. L. Collar were to write more stories like Finding Fey it was a totally wonderful way to walk through the dimension of faeries!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Uncovering You Cover reveal

Title - Uncovering You
Author: Scarlett Edwards
Genre - Dark Romance
Release Date - March 27th, 2014
Cover Reveal - February 18th, 2014
Series - first book in series.  Second will be out April 20th, 2014.

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:


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

GoodReads Link:

Oh God. It’s him. There’s no mistaking that rich, masculine treble.
What’s he doing down here?
“M-Mr. Stonehart,” I stutter, turning. I curse my inability to hide my surprise. He totally caught me off-guard. I have to look up to meet his eyes. Then up some more.
The face that I find is so striking it should belong to a Greek god.
He’s younger than I expected. Late thirties, maybe early forties.
That means he started his company when he was younger than me!
Dark scruff lines his angular cheeks. His jet-black hair is styled in long, natural waves. My fingers itch to run through it.
Totally inappropriate.
He has a prominent nose that might be too big on a less imposing man, but on him, it’s perfect.
In short, he’s a package of the purest masculinity I’ve ever seen.
And then there are his eyes. Oh my God. His eyes. They pierce into me like honing missiles. They are the deepest black I have ever seen. They would be frightening if they weren’t so beautiful. When the light reflects a certain way, you catch a glimpse of the purple underneath.
They are like midnight sapphires. His eyes reveal a cunning intellect. Those eyes do not miss a thing.
Add all that to his towering height, his wide shoulders, his confident-yet-at-ease posture… and Stonehart cuts an intimidating figure.
My gaze darts to his left hand before I can stop it. No ring. He’s unmarried.
He looks down at me, expectantly. His eyes narrow ever so slightly, and I feel like I’m being dissected, measured up, and tucked away in some small corner of his brain. I imagine this is what a gemstone feels like under the magnifying class of the most critical appraiser.
Stonehart clears his throat. I come to with a start, realizing I haven’t said anything in ages. I open my mouth, but the capacity for speech seems like a foreign concept to my brain. “I—”
Somebody bumps into me from behind. I stagger forward. I’m not used to these shoes, so my heel steps the wrong way. My ankle twists under me, and I start to fall.
I don’t fall far. The hand still on my elbow tightens, and Stonehart pulls me into him.
I plaster myself onto the solid steel wall the man has for a body. I catch a scent of his cologne. It’s a deep, musky smell with a hint of charred spruce that is all male. It scrambles my thoughts even more.
“Sorry!” a rushed voice calls out. From the corner of my eye, I see the postman giving a hurried, apologetic wave.
Although the sequence lasts less than a second, it feels like an eternity. Pressed up against him like that, I don’t want to move. I know that I couldn’t have made a worse first impression.
Stonehart eases me off him with a firm yet gentle grip. Our eyes meet. I flush the most vibrant red. His fingers graze my forehead as he brushes a lock of hair out of my face.
Any tenderness I may have imagined vanishes when Stonehart takes out his cell. He long dials a key and growls an order. “Steven. See the delivery boy leaving right now? Have his building pass revoked.”
I gape. Stonehart keeps speaking. “Wait. I thought of one better. Bar his company from accessing the building.” There’s a pause. “For how long? Indefinitely. FedEx can talk to me when they have an improved employee selection program in place.”
The phone call gives me just enough time to compose myself. My heart’s still beating out of my chest. But nobody has to know that.
I speak without thinking. “You’re going to restrict the entire company from serving this building because of that?”
Stonehart humors me with an answer. “A company’s employees are its most important asset. Their behavior reflects the organization as a whole. If FedEx decided that clown is good enough for them, it tells me they’re sloppy. I do not do business with sloppy organizations.”
“What about the other tenants in the building?” I ask. “Won’t that piss them off?”
When I hear myself and realize how improper my question is, my cheeks flame red again.
Stonehart’s eyes darken, as if he cannot believe I asked that question. I open my mouth to apologize for my imprudence, hating the way my professional skills have evaporated into thin air. I’m cut off by a short, barked laugh.
“Miss Ryder.” He sounds amused. “I believe that is the most direct and honest question anybody has dared ask me in weeks.” He takes my elbow again and leads me to the elevators. I have to take two quick steps to match one of his long strides.
“Yes,” he continues. “They will be ‘pissed off.’ But the perk of owning a building—” he hits the elevator call button, “—is that you get to make executive decisions.” He gives me an unreadable glance as the doors open. “That is, at the risk of being questioned by inexperienced interns.”
If that isn’t a loaded remark, I don’t know what is. I flush scarlet red for the third time since I’ve met him. I’ve never had a man throw me so off balance.
The elevator is packed, for which I’m infinitely thankful. The trip up will give me some time to properlycompose myself.
Gratitude turns to panic when the crowd files out, meek as mice, when Stonehart steps in. None of the people waiting in the lobby follow us.
The doors close. I’m alone in here with him. My heart’s beating as fast as a hummingbird’s wings.
He catches me staring. “Impressed?” he asks.
“They know you,” I manage.
His dark eyes flash with amusement. “Astute.”

Chapter One

October 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 restaurantThe 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.
I half-expected something to happen when I did that. Alarms to blare, the lights to go off, something.
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.
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!
Stalker Links
Giveaway Details
10 Uncovering You audiobooks
20 - Signed paperbacks of Uncovering You
50 - Digital copies of all of Scarlett's books (Change of Heart, Change of Heart Part 2, Never Let Go, Yours to Savor, Uncovering You)
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