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Because the new YA WIP is taking over my life right now, this is me:

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The Dark Side of Dillan Sloan in Til Death

             Dillan is one of the first characters to move into my head. As I have mentioned before, I have apartment complexes in there brimming with characters. He came long way back when I still had a day job and getting published was a distant dream I still hadn’t taken seriously as a career choice. He’s experienced a transformation over the years. In some ways he’s matured and in others he remains exasperatingly immature, but that’s what I love about him. He’s close to my heart because of who he is.

            When I signed the contract for Til Death with Entangled Teen, the whole story was told exclusively in Selena’s point of view. Dillan had a few chapters, for sure, but not enough to make him more of an integral part of the book even if he is the hero. Through the miracle of editing, the story slowly evolved to include his point of view and now he shares equal chapter time with Selena. He even kicks off the book, which he enjoys very much, let me tell you. He can be an arrogant ass about it sometimes. And you won’t believe the swell in his ego when he found out he’s starting the second book too. *shakes head*

            Anyway, with Dillan’s part in Til Death increased exponentially, I was given a chance to explore his character more. I found out a little more about the Illumenari, which is an organization he is born into sworn to protect people from anything that goes bump in the night (his words, not mine). His insight into their organization comes from his frustration at being demoted. You’ll find out more about this when you read Til Death. It’s actually part of the opening chapter.

            What I loved the most about Dillan is that he is a character in search of redemption. During a mission gone wrong, he failed to do the one thing he was trained to do. This is a crushing blow to him and his family. He’s the first son of the first son, which is an important distinction in the Illumenari. It means he’s poised to take over his grandfather’s seat in the Council when the time comes. He grew up handling this kind of pressure, so it was second nature to him to succeed in everything he does. Until, of course, the time comes when everything counts and he chokes.

            He arrived in Newcastle, banished and dejected, willing to redeem himself in the eyes of his family and the organization he’s served all his life. But despite this sense of purpose, he’s still as snarky and arrogant as ever. It gets him in trouble with his uncle several times. And it earns him the nickname of Mr. Rock-Star-National-Geographic when he is forced to live the life of a high school student to retain his cover.

            There are moments when Dillan is exasperating, even to me, but when he finds it in his heart to be sweet, he can rock your world. He’s an enjoyable character to write, that’s why I’m really looking forward to the second book. I want to see him grow more, grapple with new challenges, and push the snark-o-meter to extremes. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s hot, now does it?

~*~

            Find out more about Dillan Sloan by pre-ordering your copy of Til Death today. He’s someone you should get to know and swoon over. You won’t be disappointed. Also, please make sure to like the Fractured Souls Facebook Page. Lots of exciting things happening there.

            Here’s info on Til Death and the links to where you can pre-order:


Pre-Order



Sixteen-year old Selena Fallon is a dreamer. Not a day-dreamer, but an I-see-the-future kind of dreamer. Normally this is not a problem as she has gotten pretty good at keeping her weird card hidden from everyone in her small town. Except from her best friend Kyle and her grandparents, of course. But when Selena dreams of her own rather bloody death, things get a little too freaky even for her.

Enter Dillan Sloan. Selena has seen the new guy in a different dream, and he is even more droolworthy in person. Beyond the peircing blue eyes and tossled dark hair, there is something else that draws her to him. Something…electric. Unfortunately, Dillan makes it more than clear that he does not feel the same. They just met, so why would he act like he hates her?

When Dillan and Selena are forced together one weekend to work on a school project, Selena prepares to be ignored as usual. But when she stumbles across a few undead in the backyard, Dillan comes to her rescue and reveals a whole lot more. Not only is he part of a society that hunts otherworldly creatures…she is too. And she is being targeted by a force bigger and darker than anything she ever imagined. Despite her death dream, Selena is not going to give up easy, especially when she discovers that Dillan might not actually hate her after all.

Previously posted on the Darkly Delicious YA blog on February 10, 2014.

My Valentine's Letter to You

Dear D.,

So, it's been what, five years since? And I still can't find it in myself to visit you. I'm sorry. Why'd you pick today of all days? Note the hint of bitterness here. I'm trying to get over it like you taught me how. You were always good that way.

There's something acutely tragic about losing love on a day especially dedicated to lovers. I know you'll be angry with me, but at the back of my mind I know. I've let myself go, and allow my mother to ridicule me, because I can't stand the thought of another man seeing me the way you saw me. Beautiful. Attractive. Sexy. Have someone else hold my hand. Have him trace the curves of my body with his fingertips. I don't fit into the clothes you used to love on me anymore. I don't have the heart to give them away, but I thought if they didn't fit then I could still keep them without having to wear them. Crazy, I know. You would have kicked my butt by now and pushed my fat ass onto a treadmill.

I hate that I have to think of you in the past tense. I hate the past tense.

I started dating again. Well, one date. Do you remember S? Well, I owed her a favor. I don't know why I even said yes to this. I figured I needed to get out of the house some time, right? So, I went out. I dub this the Date From Hell. It made me want to crawl back into the cave you left me in and never come out. Knowing you, you would have found the entire thing hilarious, laughing at the look on my face. The guy ordered for the both of us. Sadly, he ordered salmon. Granted, he didn't know I was allergic. I politely told him so and he didn't believe me, insisting salmon is good for me. DHA and Omega whatever. The whole time I wanted to stab myself with a fork. He even ordered me wine. Normally this would be okay if I wasn't sober. Again, I told him so. And you know what he said? One glass wouldn't kill me. I got up and left, wishing the entire time I could call you so I could tell you about it.

Safe it to say, S is no longer our friend. *laughs*

Today, I'm carrying around a you-shaped hole. I'm fine the rest of the year. It's just today. Today. I can't ask you why, it's useless. And if you could answer, it would be, "Because I can." That's your favorite answer for everything, isn't it? You buy me a pair of shoes and when I ask you why you answer because you can. You convince me to ditch work for the day so we can have a movie marathon and when I ask you why we would do that and you'd say because we can.

The pale band on my finger has long since faded. There are days when I catch my gaze drifting to it, wondering where the band went then I realized it's just gone. That you're gone. I think what I miss most are the things I discovered about myself that you brought out. You got me hooked on dystopian novels. You showed me how to stop and watch birds bathe in a fountain. You taught me how to keep myself warm on a rainy day. You showed me how to get out of a traffic violation (I still hate you for that, by the way. I thought I would die of embarrassment).

My picture of you is fading. I can't quite recall if you had diamond flecks in your eyes or starbursts. I forget what your cologne smells like, even if sometimes when a guy passes me by just when I inhale, and bam, it takes me back to you. I'm starting to forget the feel of your callused hand. Or the sound of your voice when you say my name.

You said you would never hurt me. My heart aches and you put it there. But I'm getting better. I honestly think I am. The days when I wish to see you're smile in person are less and less. I think I'm almost done with picking up the pieces. I think I'm ready to wear my old skin over the new me.

Know that I love you, D. I will always love you.

Happy Singles Awareness Day.

K.

I *heart* Swag Giveaway Hop

Peeps!

I have a giveaway for all of you.

Actually, it's multiple giveaways because I'm a part of the I *heart* Swag Giveaway Hop. Lots of awesome swag to be won, so after you enter mine, use the Linky Tool below to hop around.

But, before that, I'd like to share a SAVOR Excerpt with all of you.

~*~

Luka looked up at the sky, his flaxen curls gleaming gray in the darkness. Our only light came from inside my quarters. When I reached him, my heartbeat sped up for a different reason. Had he seen me run to the bathroom?
            “Are you sick?”
            His question crushed my insides. “No.”
            He twisted toward me slightly and touched my forehead. I didn’t back away even if I wanted too. Maybe the shock of how good his calluses felt against my skin kept me from moving. His blue eyes scanned my face as if searching for something. For a second, I wondered how that hand would feel squeezing my breast, his thumb teasing my nipple to life. Thank goodness he dropped his hand before my thoughts scrambled and I completely forgot myself.
            “You don’t seem sick to me,” he finally said, returning his attention to the sky.
            “It’s because I’m not. What are you looking at anyway?” I looked up with him. This far away from the city, the stars shined brightly above us. A blanket of diamonds in the sky. 
            “It’s not what I’m looking at.” He sighed. It must have been the saddest sound I’d ever heard from the way my heart jerked inside my chest. I would have teared up if I hadn’t already wasted my quota for the day in the bathroom. “It’s what I’m looking for.”
            I swallowed. “What are you looking for?”
            “Answers,” he whispered. “They say, if you look up at the stars long enough, you will find answers.”
            “To what?”
            “All of life’s questions.”
            How did we get philosophical all of a sudden? For the first time, no matter how beautiful Luka looked, I didn’t want to take his picture. I was afraid that if I went inside to grab my camera he wouldn’t be here when I got back.
            I couldn’t be sure what drove me to ask, “Any specific questions you’re looking for answers too?”
            He turned to face me again. His hand brushed over the banister until his fingers touched mine. My lips parted slightly when he took my hand and placed a soft kiss over my knuckles. Not once did he remove his gaze from mine. I willed myself not to blink, not wanting to miss a moment of what Luka was doing. My breath hitched when he turned my hand over and kissed the center of my palm. The tip of his tongue darted out and traced my love and life lines. My own tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth, the inside having gone dry. Then Luka spoke into my palm, his hot breath drying the wetness he’d left behind.
            “Like if I wanted to kiss you, will you let me?”
            The muscles in my abdomen quivered. I heard no hint of teasing in his question. I cleared my throat before swallowing.
            “But you’re already kissing me,” I said, admonishing myself for the tremor in my voice.
            As if to prove my point, he kissed my palm again, open-mouthed this time. “That I am. But this isn’t the only place I want to kiss you.”
            Squaring my shoulders, I took the dare in his tone. “Where else?”
            He moved his lips to the sensitive skin on the inside of my wrist. “Here.” He licked the cluster of veins there. I couldn’t stop the shiver ravaging my body even if I wanted to.
            “Cold?”
            I shook my head. “Go on. Where else.”
            Keeping his eyes on mine, Luka trailed kisses until he reached the inside of my elbow and nipped the skin there. I twitched from the pleasure pain of the contact. He licked the spot before running his hand up my arm until he closed it behind my neck. He pulled me closer and I stopped thinking. My tongue darted across my lower lip, waiting, wanting what happens next.
            “Can I kiss you here, Dakota?” He ran his thumb along the exact same path the tip of my tongue took earlier.
            I dipped my chin once, unable to really nod because of the brace his hand behind my neck created.
            “Say it,” he whispered. “Tell me what you want.”
            “Yes.” It came out more breath than word. “I want you to kiss me.”
            Excruciatingly slow, Luka leaned in, never adjusting his seat on the banister. One mistake and he would fall. But the consequences were the furthest from my mind. In fact, I barely had any coherent thoughts. Luka took my bottom lip between his teeth and pulled me toward him. I didn’t resist. I was beyond resisting.
            I took his face into my hands and crushed myself against him, plunging my tongue into his mouth. With a groan, he moved his hand from my neck to the small of my back. He pressed me against him. My nipples pebbled almost immediately inside my bra upon contact with his chest. His heat enveloped me, banishing the cold of night.
            As I ravaged his mouth like it was my first drink of water after a yearlong draught, I noticed Luka only held me with one hand. He kept the other holding onto the banister. It struck me as odd at first because I wanted both his hands on my body, but I stopped caring when my tongue slammed against the metal stud in his mouth. God Almighty! A tongue ring. I whimpered, shaking. I couldn’t get enough. His spicy sweet scent extended into his taste. I didn’t care that I lapped at him. This kiss was sloppy, messy, and all kinds of sexy. At some point I forgot to breathe and got light-headed. I needed air, but not even the Jaws of Life could rip me away from Luka’s delicious mouth.
            Vaguely, I felt Luka’s hand climb back up my spine to my hair. He closed it around the strands and pulled. At first, I thought he was trying to keep my mouth against his. Seconds later he tugged harder than what was considered sexual. I had to detach myself from him to keep from having my scalp ripped off.
            “What are you doing?” I stared into his hooded eyes. I barely caught the blue in them. His long eyelashes created shadows against the tops of his cheekbones.
            He breathed just as hard as I did when he finally met me stare for stare. Untamed desire colored his irises black. I noticed then how hard he was shaking. His knuckles knocked against the base of my skull. I whispered his name, my own desire morphing into fear. My heart hammered in my ears.
            He closed his eyes and sucked in a deep breath. “You better go.”
            “Huh?”
            One by one he opened his fingers, his knuckles popping from the effort. They were so tight against my hair that the pain pulsed from the roots. I actually hissed.
            “Just go!” he growled.
            “Not until you tell me why,” I demanded. I had to be angry because the alternative was far more frightening.
            Luka looked away from me and rubbed his hand over his face. “Because if you don’t go, I don’t think I’ll be able to stop myself.”
            I shifted, trying my best not to massage the spot where his hand last touched my body. “What if I don’t want you to stop?”

            He shook his head and sighed. “Wrong fucking question, Dakota. Just leave before this goes to a place you will surely regret.”

~*~

Want more? Grab your copy today:



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Til Death is HERE!

Check out what came in the mail today!!!


Aren't they pretty? *faints*

SAVOR SALE

To celebrate Savor's Review Tour coming to an end, Crescent Moon Press has graciously allowed me to put Savor on SALE to thank all of my readers for their continued support.

This is SALE is for a limited time only so you better grab your copy now!


Savor Review Tour: February 1 to 6, 2014

It's been a wonderful month filled with awesome reviews from excellent bloggers. I feel the Savor love and that is thanks to all of you. Thank you!

One more week, and at the end of it, I have a special treat for all of you. ;-)

For now, please visit all the blogs participating this week and enter the giveaway to be one of five winners of an ecopy of Taste:


February 1, 2014


February 2, 2014


February 3, 2014


February 4, 2014


February 5, 2014


February 6, 2014



My Wicked Experience

I first discovered Wicked after hearing Defying Gravity. The song still gives me goose bumps, and having watched it performed live today is quite possibly the highlight of the first quarter of my year. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

After researching where the song came from, I quickly added watching Wicked on Broadway to my bucket list. Of course, life gets in the way, as it often does. So, when I found out the play is being performed here in the Philippines, I made it my mission to buy tickets. And since I do many things with the Momager, I bought her a ticket too, making it a shared experience for us.

The tickets first went on sale the last quarter of 2013. Even if I could only afford nosebleed seats, the sense of accomplishment that came with paying for my chance to watch Wicked was priceless.

Skip ahead five months and the day has come. Believe it or not, with all the crazy good things going on right now, I actually forgot about my Feb 1 date with the cast. If it weren’t for the constant reminders of TicketWorld… *shudders* I don’t even want to think what would have happened.

Working into the wee hours of this morning, I ended up waking up late. Not a very good start to the day, I must say. But the Momager and I still managed to make good time getting to CCP. We even had time for lunch. Unfortunately for my OCD when it comes to being punctual, I didn’t account for the parking nightmare that would befall us.

A near meltdown later, I still missed the first ten minutes of the show! I was only allowed in because there was this mother who had two crying children. They were late for the show too and the usher took pity on all of us. I honestly felt like a wet kitten right then.

I finally got in when Elphaba and Glinda were already singing about being roommates at Shiz University. Boy was I heartbroken. I couldn’t even make it to my seat, forced to sit on the stairs for the entire first half of the play, because it was so dark.

One thing you need to know about me? I don’t like squeezing in front of seated people just to get to my seat.

On the verge of tears, I hugged my bag to my chest and watched.

The show was so engrossing that I soon forgot all my heartache. The power of a beautiful story is truly magical. I think I didn’t blink for the entire play.

Watching Wicked didn’t just make me happy despite the speed bumps, it affirmed my commitment to becoming a better writer. No wonder the play is a hit. The storyline is engrossing and so well executed. I want to be able to write novels like that. I broke out in goose bumps several times and even teared up when Elphaba “died” and was reunited with Fiyero.

The story has so many wonderful layers to it that if the show isn’t sold out, I’d want to watch it again. Maybe next time I’ll actually camp out at the theater so I wouldn’t be late. Ah, the lessons I learned today.

After watching this version of Wicked, I wonder what the original with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth would have been like. Two powerhouses singing those songs? I get chill bumps just thinking about it.


Put watching Wicked on your bucket list, lovelies. So. Worth. It.

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