Thursday, August 29, 2013

Blog Tour: Shadow Embraced by Cheree Smith

Shadow Embraced (Haven, #1)

Title: Shadow Embraced 
Author: Cheree Smith
 Dark Cherry Press
Publishing Date: April 24th 2013
Pages: 234
Genre:  YA Paranormal 
Series: Haven #1
Source: Kindle edition


No escape.

Those words haunt Scar's dreams. She thinks the creature that terrorises her while asleep isn't real, but when she's abducted and taken to a reform school meant to contain creatures too dangerous to function in society, she starts to wonder whether she isn't some monster.

She turns to an underground fight club full of vampires, werewolves and witches established by the students to control her urges, and who is she kidding, she loves to fight.

When fighters begin to disappear, turning Scar into the prime suspect, she must race to prove her innocence before her true nature is exposed.

The only problem is that she's not entirely sure she's innocent.

Chapter 1 


THE PALE GIRL KNOCKS ME BACK AGAINST THE fleshy wall of the crowd with a couple of hard smacks. I scramble away from a woman in a purple dress, my eyes on my opponent. Over the pulsing music, the crowd keeps up their tribal chant:

“Fight! Fight! Fight!”

This is my first time at The Basement – innovative name for a club set up on the second-storey. The dim lights and smoky atmosphere make the graffiti on the walls blaze. Between the pinball machines, sagging lounges, and the close-pressed crowd, there isn’t much room to manoeuvre.

“What are you waiting for?” the girl hisses. She could be Snow White with her porcelain skin and long, raven hair. “You started this. It was between me and her.” She extends one long finger towards my best friend, Alex.

Alex watches from the side-line. This is becoming the norm. Whenever we go out she always gets in trouble and I’m the one to fix it – usually with some bloodshed.

I don’t know what Alex did to piss this poisonous cow off, but now I want blood.

My opponent launches at me. I shield my face from her punches. It all comes down to waiting for an opening. She’s fast, almost as fast as me. It’s difficult to maintain my balance long enough to strike back.

I duck under a right hook and seize my chance. I throw an uppercut and knock her pale ass to the ground.

A single word roars through the room. “Scatter!”

The tight circle breaks and chaos erupts. The girl springs to her feet. The need to fight still blazes in her eyes, but there’s something else emerging as well. Her eyes change to a deep crimson. I stumble back, trying to suppress the cold fear swimming in my gut.

The woman in purple looms closer. Her dress drags along the floor as she moves. Grabbing my opponent by the arm, she whispers something in her ear.

The woman’s gaze meets mine. Her eyes are as white as quartz with a translucent glaze. I can’t take my attention off of her. I hadn’t noticed the long black stick she carries until now. Her body twists in my direction and she pushes people out of the way with her stick as she nears, dragging the girl – who thrashes and screams – behind her. The girl’s red eyes still focused on me.

I can’t move.

The room plunges into darkness, leaving only the faint bank of emergency lights marking the stairs.

“Come on, Scar. We have to get out of here.” Alex seizes my arm, forcing me back into reality. She pulls me towards the scattering of kids that remain from the mass exodus.

By the time we reach the exit, sirens howl above the noise. The only means of escape is cut off and people charge back up the stairs, taking refuge on the darkened dance floor. The cops block the exit and seal the room.

A strong hand grips my shoulder and jerks me backwards into a group of girls. I fall to the ground and heavy individuals trample on my legs. A cop forces my hands behind my back and secures them in cool metal cuffs.

He pulls me to my feet and leads me down the packed staircase.

“I’ve got it from here,” a familiar voice says as a hand clutches my shoulder. “I’m sure they still need your help inside.”

“Okay,” the cop says, relinquishing his hold of me. “If you’re sure.”

“I am.” The new cop takes me over to his car and unfastens the cuffs. Opening the back door, he says, “You know, I can’t keep doing this for you.”

I open my mouth to say something, but he cuts me off.

“I don’t want to hear it. We’ll talk about this at home.”

I slide onto the vinyl seat and close the door. “Sorry, Dad,” I whisper.

I lean my head against the cold window of the car door and wait for the car to start up. It takes about five minutes before Dad’s sitting behind the wheel and we’re heading away from the club.

An involuntary shiver creeps up my spine as the image of the woman in purple comes to mind. It really looked as if she was coming for me. I don’t even want to think about what she wanted. Turning my attention to the passing scenery, I shake all thoughts of that woman out of my head.

The streetlights forge speech bubbles of illumination in the air. A faint glow from the moon casts eerie shadows behind the dark clouds. The early morning streets of Sydney are still packed with people coming and going from clubs. Most of the girls look like they borrow all their clothes from their little sisters. The guys, on the other hand, choose a different style; fighting hard to keep their pants from falling down. For some reason, they think it’s an appealing look.

I turn my head to face the back of Dad’s seat. His messy auburn hair pokes out from beneath his blue hat. He takes an occasional glimpse at me from the central mirror.

The car slams to the right as we turn a corner and my heart jerks against my ribs. We stop at the curb in front of an aging two-storey redbrick townhouse. Dad gets out and moves around to my door. He opens it and waits for me to get out – without saying a single word to me.

I glance at the house. Mum stands in the open doorway, and she doesn’t look happy. She still has her nurse uniform on. Strands of tangled sandy hair fall free of her ponytail.

I stop in front of her. “Hi, Mum.” My voice comes out as a whisper.

Mum stares at me with puffy hazel eyes for a moment before turning around and going back inside.

“You’d better get to your room.” Dad enters the apartment and leaves me standing in the doorway. “Your mother and I will speak with you later.”

I force my legs to continue moving, staring at the brownish carpet that lines the floor.

Gripping the banister, I launch myself up the stairs. The scent of lavender and bleach drifting around me brings a nauseous wave to my stomach.

I rush to my room, ignoring the loud conversation coming from my parents’ room, and close the door behind me. All the movie stars and bands from the posters covering my walls watch me with accusing eyes.

Wiping the tears away, I throw myself onto the bed without even bothering to pull the sheets down. Feeling the soft mattress beneath me, I draw my eyes shut. I can only muster enough strength to kick my shoes off before the endless abyss of sleep overtakes me. 

* * * 

The scene plays out as if I’m watching a movie. I stand in a church. Don’t ask me why – I’m not religious, and I’m not even sure if I’ve set foot inside a real one. Thin streamers of light drift through the dirt encrusted stained glass, making spider webs glisten high up in the rafters. The few pews that remain standing sag. The rest is kindling strewn across the floor.

I move down the aisle. The floorboards creak beneath my feet. Each step launches billows of dust through the air. I can see it. A single mirror stands at the far end beside a pedestal that holds a golden chalice. Believe me, I don’t want to be anywhere near it, but my feet have a mind of their own.

The mirror is not normal. Its surface casts no reflection. All I can see beneath the glass is a vast sea of jet-black nothingness, and yet, I know something is hiding there within the shadows. Something that waits for me, watching me. That’s what scares me the most.

‘No escape,’ a voice that doesn’t sound human sneers.

A scent drifts past my nose and makes my mouth water. It smells like cinnamon and honey, but I know it isn’t. My gaze dances around the hall, coming to rest on the chalice.

As I reach out, every nerve screams I must have it. Using my other hand, I try to stop myself. I don’t want it, I only have to tell my mutinous hand that. It won’t stop. I grip the smooth stem. It pulsates with warmth. The thick crimson liquid swirls within the bowl. I raise the cup to my mouth and my heart races as the warm liquid touches my lips.

‘No escape,’ the voice repeats in a low growl.

Cheree Smith
Cheree Smith lives in a country town in Australia as a high school English teacher where she writes paranormal, horror and dark stories for young adults. She enjoys listening to and learning about legends and myths, watching scary movies and dreaming up new worlds where monsters can come alive. When she is not in her writing cave she can be found listening to music, even dabbling in the occasional writing of music or reading.


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Delightful Discoveries #32

Delightful Discoveries are books that I have discovered during the week... old, new, just released... from blogs, Goodreads, libraries, friends, or bookstores. 

So this week I found these goodies...


The Repeat Year by Andrae Lochen


Everyone has days, weeks, even months they wish they could do over—but what about an entire year? After living through the worst twelve months of her life, intensive care nurse Olive Watson is given a second chance to relive her past and attempt to discover where she went wrong…

After a year of hardships, including a messy breakup with her longtime boyfriend Phil, the prospect of her mother’s remarriage, and heartbreaking patient losses at the hospital, Olive is ready to start fresh. But when she wakes up in her ex-boyfriend’s bed on New Year’s Day 2011—a day she has already lived—Olive’s world is turned upside down. Shouldering a year of memories that no one else can recall, even Olive begins to question herself—until she discovers that she is not alone. Upon crossing paths with Sherry Witan, an experienced �repeater,” Olive learns that she has the chance to rewrite her future. Given the opportunity of a lifetime, Olive has to decide what she really wants. Should she make different choices, or accept her life as she knows it, flaws and all?

Speak Easy (Speak Easy, #1)Speak Easy by Melanie Harlow


Temptation is everywhere. And anything goes.

By day twenty-year-old Tiny O’Mara works for her father’s smalltime bootlegging operation, but by night she craves the roll-your-stockings-down lifestyle of a flapper—until her father is kidnapped by a mobster in Detroit's exploding organized crime scene, and it’s Tiny who has to come up with the ten-thousand-dollar ransom…in one week.

Suddenly she’s thrust into an intoxicating underworld of greed, lust, lies, and betrayal.

Enzo DiFiore is the son of the mobster holding her father hostage, but his screen idol looks and dangerous charm leave her breathless. When the forbidden spark between them refuses to burn out, she tries to use their powerful chemistry to buy more time. And irritatingly handsome childhood pal Joey Lupo has the street smarts Tiny needs to make a quick ten grand, but he’s got his own agenda where gang rivalries are concerned.

Deciding whom to trust isn’t easy in a world where everyone wants something—be it booze, money, power, or sex—and no one cares what it takes to get it.

The Rule of Three

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters 

One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon—as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends—he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival.

Sorry You're Lost
Sorry You're Lost by Matt Blackstone


When Denny “Donuts” Murphy’s mother dies, he becomes the world’s biggest class clown. But deep down, Donuts just wants a normal life—one where his mom is still alive and where his dad doesn’t sit in front of the TV all day. And so Donuts tries to get back into the groove by helping his best friend with their plan to get dates for the end-of-the-year school dance. When their scheme backfires, he learns that laughter is not the best medicine for all of his problems. Sometimes it’s just as important to be true to yourself

Playing TylerPlaying Tyler by T.L. Costa


When is a game not a game?

Tyler MacCandless can’t focus, even when he takes his medication. He can’t focus on school, on his future, on a book, on much of anything other than taking care of his older brother, Brandon, who’s in rehab for heroin abuse… again.

Tyler’s dad is dead and his mom has mentally checked out. The only person he can really count on is his Civilian Air Patrol Mentor, Rick. The one thing in life it seems he doesn’t suck at is playing video games and, well, thats probably not going to get him into college.

Just when it seems like his future is on a collision course with a life sentence at McDonald’s, Rick asks him to test a video game. If his score’s high enough, it could earn him a place in flight school and win him the future he was certain that he could never have. And when he falls in love with the game’s designer, the legendary gamer Ani, Tyler thinks his life might finally be turning around.

That is, until Brandon goes MIA from rehab and Tyler and Ani discover that the game is more than it seems. Now Tyler will have to figure out what’s really going on in time to save his brother… and prevent his own future from going down in flames.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #73 and W.W.W. Wednesday #63

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2)

Never Fade by Alexnadra Bracken

October 15th 2013


Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster. 

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

W...W...W.. Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.... I wold love to hear What you are currently reading, what did you just finish and what are you reading next...

So this last week not much reading went on at all. I was at the hospital most of the week with my daughter and grandson and now that they are home... I just can't put him down.. I am hoping to get back on my normal reading and blogging schedule soon. 

What Are Currently Reading: 

Teardrop (Teardrop, #1)ScorchedAshes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)

What Did You Recently Finish Reading?

Shadow Embraced (Haven, #1)Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

What Do You Think You Will Read Next? 

Timepiece (Hourglass, #2)Confessions of a HaterShadows (Ashes Trilogy, #2)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Teaser Tuesday #71 and Top Ten Tuesday #61

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Bloggers choose two
sentences out of our current read to peak others' curiosity.

Shadow Embraced (Haven, #1)Teaser: 

It's five in the afternoon, so naturally, it's lunchtime. This place is weird. 

Shadow Embraced by Cheree Smith


No escape.

Those words haunt Scar's dreams. She thinks the creature that terrorises her while asleep isn't real, but when she's abducted and taken to a reform school meant to contain creatures too dangerous to function in society, she starts to wonder whether she isn't some monster.

She turns to an underground fight club full of vampires, werewolves and witches established by the students to control her urges, and who is she kidding, she loves to fight.

When fighters begin to disappear, turning Scar into the prime suspect, she must race to prove her innocence before her true nature is exposed.

The only problem is that she's not entirely sure she's innocent.

Top Ten is an original feature/weekly meme created here at
The Broke and the Bookish that features a great bookish top ten every week.

Top 10 Secondary Characters

1. Siena from Belladonna. Loved her loyalty. 

2. Toraf from Of Poseidon and Of Triton

3.  Bhuvana “Boo” Chodhari from Shades of London Series

4. Celeste Watkins from Flat Out Love

5. Roux from Also Known As 

6.  Howie from the Jasper Dent Series
7. Lord Macon from Soulless

8. Mr. Kadam from The Tiger Saga

9. Dave the Laugh from Confessions of Georgia Nicholson

10. Simon from The Mortal Instruments Series

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Delightful Discoveries #31

Delightful Discoveries are books that I have discovered during the week... old, new, just released... from blogs, Goodreads, libraries, friends, or bookstores. 

So this week I found these goodies...

Persephone's Orchard

Persephone's Orchard by Molly Ringle


The Greek gods never actually existed. Did they? Sophie Darrow finds she was wrong about that assumption when she's pulled into the spirit realm, complete with an Underworld, on her first day at college. Adrian, the mysterious young man who brought her there, simply wants her to taste a pomegranate.

Soon, though she returns to her regular life, her mind begins exploding with dreams and memories of ancient times; of a love between two Greeks named Persephone and Hades. But lethal danger has always surrounded the immortals, and now that she's tainted with the Underworld's magic, that danger is drawing closer to Sophie.

The Winner's CurseThe Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski 


Seventeen-year-old Kestrel is an aristocratic citizen of Valoria, a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers. Here, a girl like Kestrel has two choices: join the military or get married. Despite her skills in military strategy, Kestrel’s real passion is music.Which is why she feels compelled to buy Arin, a slave with a talent for singing, at auction. It’s not long before she finds herself falling in love with Arin, and he seems to feel the same for her. But Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for Arin is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart

Whistling Past the Graveyard

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandal

The summer of 1963 begins like any other for nine-year-old Starla Claudelle. Born to teenage parents in Mississippi, Starla is being raised by a strict paternal grandmother, Mamie, whose worst fear is that Starla will turn out like her mother. Starla hasn’t seen her momma since she was three, but is convinced that her mother will keep her promise to take Starla and her daddy to Nashville, where her mother hopes to become a famous singer—and that one day her family will be whole and perfect.

When Starla is grounded on the Fourth of July, she sneaks out to see the parade. After getting caught, Starla’s fear that Mamie will make good on her threats and send her to reform school cause her to panic and run away from home. Once out in the country, Starla is offered a ride by a black woman, Eula, who is traveling with a white baby. She happily accepts a ride, with the ultimate goal of reaching her mother in Nashville.

As the two unlikely companions make their long and sometimes dangerous journey, Starla’s eyes are opened to the harsh realities of 1963 southern segregation. Through talks with Eula, reconnecting with her parents, and encountering a series of surprising misadventures, Starla learns to let go of long-held dreams and realizes family is forged from those who will sacrifice all for you, no matter if bound by blood or by the heart.

The Glass Casket
The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman 


Death hasn’t visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders’ bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal.

Rowan’s village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan’s door once again.

Only this time, its appetite is insatiable.

Seeds of Hate (Cardboard Hearts, #1)

Seeds of Hate by Melissa Perea 


They said high school would be fun.
They said we would make forever friends.
They said we would have the time of our lives.

They lied.
Imagination Designs