Friday, March 28, 2014

The Line That Breaks by J.M. Miller

The Line that Breaks Blog Tour BannerSynopsis
*This is the follow up to The Line That Binds*
While searching for answers involving Stockton Estate's stone well, Ben Shadows and LJ Wayde discover one truth: the curse is real. 
Unfortunately, that truth has LJ facing the same fate that's been tied to her bloodline for generations. The curse has given her the ability to help others conquer their greatest weaknesses, but it comes with a torturous price. As the rush of helping people starts to outweigh the pain of the consequences, LJ moves toward acceptance. She considers it a gift and a possibility to make up for the way she treated people in her past. 
Ben pushes on to find an end to the curse despite LJ's reluctance. With reasons linked to her Aunt Janine's memory loss, Ben fears the real consequences are far worse than LJ's current symptoms. His love for her drives his need to protect her, even if it means hiding the next piece of the well's mystery. 
When LJ finds what Ben has kept secret, she may never forgive him.
Will he lose her heart before he can save her mind?
**Recommended mature YA for mild language and mild sexual content.**
The Line that Breaks Cover

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 My Review:

This book begins about a month after the first book ended. LJ and Ben are still trying to search for the missing well pieces. And the family curse is causing LJ headaches, nosebleeds and all around misery. Ben is her lifeline, her comfort and her love. LJ is mostly in the dark about the curse, but when she learns the truth it may be too much for her relationship with Ben to bear.
Book two has us wondering if they will uncover the truth about the curse and if Ben and LJ will last when the truth is discovered. This one did have more of a paranormal element than the first, but it still seems like the side story and not the focus through most of the book. Though that didn’t detract from the great story told in these books.  I really love the story of young love and I was just as fearful as Ben at the thought that they might not end up together. I have really enjoyed reading both The Line that Binds and The Line That Breaks. I give this one 4 stars! Great love story with a paranormal twist!

Blog Tour Teaser 1
The alarm clock kicked on. Its music was distant, muted. In another room? I shifted my stiff body. My back protested the movement with a pinch that rivaled a knife wound. There wasn't a comforter or any pillows around my body, only a coldness seeping up from . . .
The floor.
Cracking my eyes open, I realized I was in the bathroom. I palmed the frigid, ivory-colored tile and pushed up to my knees. Every part of me ached. I glanced around and noticed a shallow pool of water inside the footed tub. A sponge lay at the bottom.
I'd cleaned again. It was starting to happen more often. Time was slipping away without recollection. I'd be lying if I said it didn't scare me at all. Part of me was terrified. The other part was already numb, ready to accept this fate. My family's fate.

JM Miller Author Pic

J.M. Miller first discovered her love of writing in high school where she penned poetry for extra credit in English class and even braved
the anxiety of an open-mic night at a local coffee shop.  Life soon followed, with a couple of careers, marriage, and a baby.  The urge to write again came not long after her daughter’s birth, this time calling for more than a few lines in a messy composition notebook.
She is a military spouse, and a veteran herself, who finds inspiration in the people she’s met and the places she’s lived and traveled.
J.M. Miller first discovered her love of writing in high school where she penned poetry for extra credit in English class and even braved the anxiety of an open-mic night at a local coffee shop. Life soon followed, with a couple of careers, marriage, and a baby. The urge to write again came not long after her daughter's birth, this time calling for more than a few lines in a messy composition notebook.
She is a military spouse, and a veteran herself, who finds inspiration in the people she's met and the places she's lived and traveled.
Blog Tour Teaser 2
MeetTheCast (1)
The Line that Breaks Dream Cast

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The Line that Binds Cover
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Release day - That's a lie by Victoria Klahr

That's A Lie

Author: Victoria Klahr
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Add It: Goodreads

Seth is back.

When he walked back into my life, it almost felt like the pieces of my broken heart could be fixed. I thought we could go back to being best friends, but then I started to feel what I had been blocking out for years. I tried. Boy, did I try! But once I started to let him in, I wanted nothing more than to cross that line from friendship into something more…

Just when I think I can move on and let myself be happy, an ugly reminder from my past comes storming in and threatens to destroy the sliver of hope that's been growing since Seth came back.

Do I even deserve to be loved?

“I’m not asking to fix your heart. I’m not asking to mend you. I love each and every shattered piece of you. I’m asking that you let me love you. Let me love each piece of your broken heart, and I swear to you I will make up for every heartache you have ever experienced.”

I came back for Josie.

I knew I'd have to fight for her, but with the loss of her dad and the truth about what happened with her and Blake, I quickly realized that making her mine was going to be a lot harder than I first thought. The problem is, I can’t pretend like she’s just my best friend. I can’t pretend I don’t want more.

I'm willing to do anything to get her to admit she has the same passionate feelings for me, because I know once she opens up and stops lying to herself, I can show her what it really means to be loved. It's a battle of wills, but my love for her is stronger than her will to stop me.

So I fight for her. I fight because I know she deserves it.

Where to Buy
That's A Promise (Promises Promises #1)
*Free March 25 and March 26
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

That's A Lie (Promises Promises #2)
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

About the Author
Victoria Klahr (pronounced like “Claire”) lives in Elizabeth City, North Carolina with her husband and daughter, Stephen and Alexis. She loves her chug (Pug/Chihuahua), Bandit, and three year old to pieces. She loves to stay home and take care of them, even if they do drive her insane at times. She is a huge and proud book nerd who looks at her bookshelf in admiration daily. She has her Associate’s degree in Business Administration, but her passion has always been the stories that talk to her in her head. One day she decided to take a chance and let the voices write her story. She has never felt more certain or comfortable about who she is than when she writes.

Where to Find Her
Victoria Klahr Writes | Facebook | @Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

Friday, March 21, 2014

Reveal by Brina Courtney cover reveal!

Title: Reveal (Cryptid Tales #1)
Author: Brina Courtney
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

You think seeing ghosts is weird? Tell me something I don't know.
Shay Tafford's childhood has been fatherless, filled instead with memories of speaking to the dead. She is forced to hide her unique ability from those living around her. That's why it's been comforting to have Jeremy, a child ghost, as her confidante. But recently he's been absent, perhaps lost as her father is. When Shay meets Hugh, the guy she's had a crush on for weeks, and finds he can speak to ghosts too, she's just starting to find a normalcy in her life. But as Hugh reveals the truth to Shay, about who she really is and about what it is she can do, he erases all chances she had at a normal existence. Turns out talking to ghosts is just scratching the surface of her genetically engineered gifts. Shay learns she may be part of an age old prophecy that could save the entire race of cryptids.  But can she?

"So here I am with a dead girl in my car, in a super creepy forest, stalking a potentially dead father…yeah, not one of my brightest moments."
"She sighs, “Shay you can’t live your life in fear.  If you do there’s just no point in living."
"He turns and leaves, heading towards the math building and though I hate to see him leave, I do love to watch him walk away."
 About Brina Courtney

Brina Courtney is a young adult author obsessed with chocolate, crime shows, and fantasy movies. She's spent the last few years as an elementary teacher and a high school cheering coach. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her husband and two very loud, small dogs.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Taint by S.L. Jennings

Title: Taint
Author: S.L. Jennings
Expected publication: May 20th 2014

Right now, you’re probably asking yourself two things:
Who am I?
And, what the hell are you doing here? 

Let’s start with the most obvious question, shall we? 

You’re here, ladies, because you can’t f*ck.

Oh, stop it. Don’t cringe. No one under the age of 80 clutches their pearls.
You might as well get used to it, because for the next six weeks, you’re going to hear that word a lot. And you’re going to say it a lot. 
Go ahead, try it out on your tongue. 
F*ck. F***ck.

Ok, good. Now where were we?

If you enrolled yourself in this program then you are wholly aware that you’re a lousy lay. Good for you. Admitting it is half the battle.

For those of you that have been sent here by your husband or significant other, dry your tears and get over it. You’ve been given a gift, ladies. The gift of mind-blowing, wall-climbing, multiple-orgasm-inducing sex. You have the opportunity to f*ck like a porn star. And I guarantee, you will when I’m done with you.

And who am I?

Well, for the next six weeks, I will be your lover, your teacher, your best friend, and your worst enemy. Your every-f*cking-thing. I’m the one who is going to save your relationship and your sex life.

I am Justice Drake. 
And I turn housewives into whores. 

Now…who’s first?

Unless he’s completely desperate or under the influence, a man can’t - and won’t - fuck what doesn’t get him hard.”
Less gasps this time, but every perfectly powdered face is beet red with embarrassment, causing my mouth to slide into a sardonic smirk.
Truth be told, I love this shit. I love ruffling their meticulously groomed feathers. Their obvious discomfort entertains me. Seeing the rosy hue of coyness bleed through their blush is like a balm to my little, sadistic soul.
And in that case,” I continue, “you don’t want him anyway. What you do want is for him to be salivating at the soles of your Jimmy Choos. And let’s face it, ladies… that’s not happening. Why do you think that is?”
Crickets. Fucking crickets.
Anyone? Come on, ladies. I can’t help you unless you want to be helped. So unless you all have picture-perfect marriages and husbands that blow your backs out on a regular, I should see some hands.”
This time I’m rewarded with the almost simultaneous intake of eleven breaths. They’re all still here. All willing to bare their souls and dirty laundry in an attempt to rekindle the doused flame between their thighs.
You see, women are liars.
Yeah, I said it. L-I-A-R-S.
They want intimacy just as badly as men do. But to them, intimacy is more than just the physical act of sex. They want to be cherished yet want a man that will get down and dirty. They want tenderness, but crave to be banged like a $2 hooker. They want a man that’ll go all night, but still have the energy to kiss and cuddle and talk about their feelings afterward.
Listen up, ladies. We’re fucking tired! You try going jackrabbit-style, throw in some Cirque du Soleil moves and see if you can keep your eyelids peeled. Us passing out after sex is a compliment- a testament to how good it was. And quite frankly, if your dude can hop out of the sack and go to work or run a marathon, then he still has energy left for sex. He’s just done having sex with you.
Copyright © 2014 by S.L. Jennings

Most known for her starring role in a popular sitcom as a child, S.L. Jennings went on to earn her law degree from Harvard at the young age of 16. While studying for the bar exam and recording her debut hit album, she also won the Nobel Prize for her groundbreaking invention of calorie-free wine. When she isn’t conquering the seas in her yacht or flying her Gulfstream, she likes to spin elaborate webs of lies and has even documented a few of these said falsehoods.
Some of S.L.’s devious lies:
v  Dark Light
v  The Dark Prince
v  Nikolai (a Dark Light novella)
v  Light Shadows- coming in 2014
TAINT- releasing in May 20, 2014
Meet the Liar:
Twitter: @MrsSLJ

Monday, March 17, 2014

All Hallows Night by Marie Hall




All Hallows Night Night Series, Book 2 Genre: Urban Fantasy
Secrets and truths, lies and red herrings… which is which? That’s what Pandora’s trying to figure out. Ever since the death of her best, and probably only friend by her own hands, she’s not sure who to trust anymore. The Priest is dead. The Gray Man is… she’s not even sure what. Luc, well, Luc is Luc.
The Order has sent her deep into the heart of Mexico to investigate a potential zombie uprising. She arrives at the start of the Dia de los Muertos festival—a celebration for the dead and immediately things don’t feel right to her. For one, bodies (the living kind) keep disappearing. They’re not being kidnapped, no, if only things were that simple. Literally there one second, gone the next, she’s not sure what to make of it. On top of that mum’s are floating all over the place. Is that merely symbolism associated with the festival, or is it a clue of something far more sinister? In this explosive sequel to the USA Today Bestselling, Crimson Night, an old ally returns and a shocking truth is revealed. One that will turn her investigation into The Order’s duplicity on its head and make Pandora question everything she ever thought she knew…

I’d meant to ask around town, see if any of the locals knew of or had heard about any recent or strange deaths, but I was a stranger to them. A gringa (white face), they wouldn’t trust me enough to answer me. Part of Lust’s glamour was that I could turn myself into the walking embodiment of anybody’s deepest desire, but doing so also required that I had sex recently. A sort of tit for tat kind of arrangement. But since that night and the possession of my third soul, Lust wasn’t working so well for me anymore. My desire for sex was practically nil. Luc was the first person I’d slept with since waking from my semi-coma, and even that had left me empty and cold. I knew I should be a lot more worried than I actually was—I dunno, maybe Lust was still in shock after our stint in Hell. Meeting Wrath had done things to Lust, screwed with her head. She was like a whimpering, terrified dog tucking tail and hiding in a corner, and there wasn’t much I could do to bring her out. So I had to do this sleuthing thing the good old-fashioned way. Being as old as I am, you get a feeling for people. The outer shell might be different, but the inside was always the same. If I wanted to find what I was looking for, I had to go someplace designed to loosen tongues and get men talking. Get a man drunk enough and he’ll tell you anything you want to know. Opening the door to the first dive I found in town, I entered and stood just inside as my eyes slowly adjusted to the dim lighting.
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about author
Marie loves books that make you think, or feel something. Preferably both. And while she’s a total girly girl and loves glitter and rainbows, she’s just as happy when she’s writing about the dark underbelly of society. Well, if things like zombies, and vampires, and werewolves, and mermaids existed. (Although she has it on good authority that mermaids do in fact exist, because the internet told her so.) She’s married to the love of her life, a sexy beast of a caveman who likes to refer to himself as Big Hunk. She has two awesome kids, lives in Hawaii, loves cooking and occasionally has been known to crochet.
Connect with Marie:

Hybrid by B.N. Toler

Title: Hybrid (The Healer Series, #2)
Author: B.N. Toler

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My Aunt Lucy used to say, “If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.” She said many wise things I never heeded when she was alive. I want to be the woman that’s okay with hiding from what she fears and letting her big, strong man protect her. But that’s not me. I hate to be scared. I hate the feeling that there is an evil out there that could hurt me if it finds me. But mostly, I hate that so many before me lived in fear and died at the hands of evil. That is why I cannot find peace within. There is no peace for me while Healers suffer the atrocities of others.

I know Rhett would protect me at all costs. He loves me. And that is why I must leave him behind. It’s impossible to justify hurting someone you love—or many you love—to do what you truly believe is right. Lucy also used to say, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I get what she was trying to tell me now. Hindsight is twenty/twenty. Sometimes we choose a path we think will lead us toward a noble cause, full of ambition and altruism, only to look back and see we’ve run over and crushed the ones we love most along the way. I can only pray that one day those I love will forgive me.

I woke up and I left. I left Rhett, the man who saved me from myself. The man I love. I left my brothers—my best friends.

I left.
But leaving led me to more. I found answers. I found others like me—who want what I want.

But most importantly, I found myself.

My name is Aldo Lawson.

I’m awake.

And I’m a Hybrid.

Purchase Links:

About the Author:

B N Toler is a happily married, mother of three, and HEALER is her first self-published book. She has worked in several fields, including real estate and orthodontics, but writing has always been one of her passions. Though she has written many stories, HEALER is the first one she ever really fell in love with.

Some of her other passions include reading and music. She enjoys most genres including fantasy, erotica, romance and supernatural. She loves to find a book she can't put down. Some of her favorite authors include Charlaine Harris (The Sookie Stackhouse Series), Karen Marie Moning (The Fever Series), Sylvia Day (The Bared to You series), and recently she's become a big fan of Samantha Young (On Dublin Street).

B N Toler loves music and listens to pretty much anything. She's a big fan of blue grass, country, and anything old school. Some of her favorite singers and bands are Johnny Cash, Elvis, Eric Church, The Bootleggers, and old school hip-hop like Salt n Pepa.

Read the first book in the series now for only $.99!

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Uncovering You by Scarlett Edwards


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.

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!
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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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