Mundie Moms

Friday, November 4, 2011

Blog Tour/Giveaway: Eternal Starling by Angela Corbett


We're the next stop in the Eternal Starling Blog Tour hosted by Once Upon A Twilight. Today we're sharing the an excerpt from the first chapter & hosting a giveaway!

By: Angela Corbett
Published by: Pendrell Publishing
To Be Released on: December 6th, 2011

A love so strong, even eternity can’t separate them.

Evie Starling has lived a relatively uneventful life hanging out with friends, gossiping about boys, and driving her 1966 Mustang. All of that changes when she moves to Gunnison, Colorado, to start college and meets two mysterious men. For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie—but they each have their own reasons for wanting to be with her. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she’s not the person she thought she was. Soon, Evie finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between the Amaranthine Society—the soul protectors, and the Daevos Resistance—the soul destroyers. With a past she doesn’t understand, and a future rife with danger, Evie has to decide who she can trust. But Alex and Emil aren’t the only ones who want Evie, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war. -quoted from Goodreads

Angela is hosting a pre-order contest! For those that pre-order Eternal Starling between now and December 6th, Angela is entering them into her Kindle giveaway! All you have to do is email Angela a photo of the receipt or a copy of the email receipt for proof of purchase to EternalStarlingContest@gmail.com

Eternal Starling Prologue and First Chapter

Prologue

London, England

I let my fear carry me and I ran. I didn’t dare look behind me, too scared of who might be following. Lights flickered as I passed them, one thought pounding in my head: he had let me leave. Sadness and anger warred in my chest. Maybe it was love, maybe it was guilt, but he told me I had to go. I couldn’t stay knowing what he was part of, but despite everything, I wouldn’t deny I still loved him. The pain would diminish and though I wouldn’t remember it, our bond would always exist.

I sprinted through the uneven stone streets as my dress wound its way between my legs, threatening to trip me with every step. The narrow alleyways were hot and crowded. I pushed men and women out of my way and hoped they didn’t meet the people I was running from.

I ran from the illusion I was living and blinked away the tears clouding my vision. I ran to the one place I knew I would be safe. I opened the door and entered the stone house; the room was illuminated by candlelight. The heavy door shut behind me with a thud and a lock fell into place. I collapsed on the floor. It was over. I wouldn’t have to run anymore. Someone knelt next to me and took my hand. My body reacted to the touch and I looked up. This time, I made the right choice.



Chapter 1

When there’s a real possibility you might not live another day, you go through a range of emotions. I had already hit fear, then panic. I was currently dwelling on anger, which was leading me straight to blame and Luke Woods was the target of my wrath. It’s not like I even cared about him that much when we were dating, and I liked him even less when I walked into the history room during Senior Prom and found him getting to know cheerleader Crystal Benson in a way he’d never gotten to know me.

He blamed my “irrational morals” for his cheating. I called him an arrogant pig with a brain the size of a pea. He said I looked like a marshmallow and it escalated to a full-on war from there. At one point, a rumor circulated that my classic Mustang was seen leaving the high school parking lot after the oil was drained from the engine in Luke’s Dodge Ram. Rumors are crazy like that.

I dealt with the gossip from the other kids at school until high school graduation then moved to Gunnison, Colorado, three months before the beginning of my freshman year of college.

“Stupid, rotten, snake-of-a-boy,” I mumbled to myself as I stomped through wild grass, bushes, and if the itching on my leg was any indication, probably some poison ivy. “That dumb jerk! I’m lost in the middle of the freaking Rocky Mountains and it’s all his fault!” I’d been talking to myself for a while now and tried to remember if shouting at no one was a sign of a panic attack—I already knew it was a sign of insanity.

In my current, frazzled state of mind, I rationalized that if Loser Luke hadn’t cheated on me, I wouldn’t have left the safety of my parents’ Montana home, wouldn’t have decided to go hiking in the unfamiliar mountains of Black Canyon, and wouldn’t be lost. In an impressive feat of deflected responsibility, I convinced myself Luke was at least somewhat accountable for my impending death. Blaming him made the thought of dying much easier to handle. If I’d had a pen on me, I would have written a note implicating him so that when the rescue crews found my frozen body, they’d know who to arrest.

Okay, so it was partially my fault. I had a perfectly good hiking bag at home equipped with a blanket and GPS, but I hadn’t grabbed it when I left because I wasn’t planning on a long hike. I had been searching for a way down the mountain for three hours and spent the whole time mentally, and sometimes physically, smacking myself in the head for leaving the house unprepared.

Wind ruffled through the trees while I continued walking, paying close attention to my surroundings in case I needed to backtrack. As I came to a clearing, the quiet of the mountain made it easy to hear the sharp sounds of twigs snapping. Great. A wild animal. I shook my head. As if being lost wasn’t enough of a problem, now I’d probably be eaten by a bear.

Running seemed like a good way to make myself look like dinner, so instead, I took a deep breath and tried not to panic as the noises grew louder. Whatever it was, it was big—and it was getting closer. I began backing slowly away from the direction of the rustling noise, wondering what animal was about to appear and use my arms as an appetizer.

So you can imagine my surprise when a guy stepped out of the trees. He looked a little older than me and was at least six feet tall. His dark brown hair accented bronze skin, and his white T-shirt did nothing to hide the hard lines of his chest, broad shoulders, or his massive biceps. His eyes were a bright shade of green that seemed to change from one part of his irises to another. I licked my lips without realizing I’d done it and had the fleeting thought that if he wanted to have me for dinner, I’d help him light the charcoal.

He smiled at me and I couldn’t look away. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, something flickered; those eyes and that smile, something about him was so . . . familiar. I’m not certain how long I stared, but it must have been a few minutes because I kept seeing his flawless lips move before his deep voice finally registered. “Are you okay?”

I nodded, more times than necessary, and still staring, I wiped my hand across my chin to check for drool.

“I think I scared you when I came out of the trees,” he said.

I watched him with wary eyes while he put his backpack on the ground and unzipped it. He took a water bottle out and as he handed it to me, I saw a black ring on his index finger. I probably wouldn’t have noticed it, except the face of the ring was as big as a quarter and it seemed to be some sort of polished stone. I took the bottle and assessed him as I unscrewed the lid. He didn’t look scary, and unless he was lost too, he probably had a compass and could get me back to my car.

I took a drink and answered, “Scared?” I made a psssh noise. “No, I was just . . . startled. You could have been . . . a bear . . . or something.” I mumbled the last part, realizing I probably sounded insane.

He raised his eyebrows like he was questioning how lucid I actually was. “You should have your reflexes checked, most people run when they think they’re about to come face-to-face with a bear.”

“I’m not most people,” I said, “and running is not what the ‘How to Survive the Colorado Mountains’ brochure tells you to do.” I had grabbed the brochure while I was in line at the grocery store a few days ago. Unfortunately, the brochure didn’t cover exceptionally hot guys who seemed to appear out of nowhere.

“What does your brochure say to do when you come across a girl who thought she was about to have an encounter with a wild animal?” His eyes were sparkling in a way that was almost as playful as his voice.

I didn’t know whether to flirt or glare. “Who’s to say I’m not having one right now?”

He smiled, his eyes lighting up again. “I’m Alex.” He stepped forward like he was about to shake my hand, but stopped and pulled back.

I watched him for a few beats and said, “I’m Evangeline. Thanks for the water by the way.” I tossed the bottle back to him.

He caught it and put it in his pack. “So have you hiked before, Evie, or is this your first time?” He shortened my name, which most people did, but usually not until they got to know me better.

I folded my arms across my chest in a defiant gesture. “I started hiking when I was a kid. I bet I know more about the mountains than most of the people who hike up here.”

“That’s interesting.” He pushed his eyebrows together and ran his tongue over the inside of his cheek as he assessed me. “So, if you were, say, ten feet from a cliff face with a two-hundred foot drop-off . . . that would be on purpose?”

I didn’t give him the chance to see the worry register on my face and answered, “Is it ten feet away? I thought it was five.” Crap, where was I?

The corners of his mouth twitched like he was trying to suppress a smile and failing. The attraction I’d had when I first saw him was quickly being undermined by his sarcasm. He was the definition of eye-candy—I just needed to get him to stop opening his mouth.

“And if I told you that you’d been walking in circles for the last three hours, would that also be on purpose?” he asked.

I scowled, but at the same time wondered how he knew that. “If someone knew I’d been walking in circles for three hours, I would say they’re a stalker and probably more dangerous than the bear I was waiting for.”

He laughed. “The ground around this area has been trampled; it looks like a circus came through here.”

Hmm. He was perceptive, I’d give him that.

“For someone who knows more about this mountain than ninety-five percent of the people who hike it, you seem pretty lost,” he said.

“There’s a difference between being lost and exploring,” I mumbled, not caring if I froze to death as long as it meant I didn’t have to ask this guy for help. “I’ll find my way back to the trail eventually.”

“Huh,” he said. “When you do that, do you plan to roll down the cliff, or slide?”

“I’d rather slide, but rolling would get me to my car faster.” I was not about to give in.

“Or to the hospital,” he said. The concern lacing his tone seemed odd. Alex had just met me. Why would he care if I went careening off a cliff?

“It wouldn’t be the first time,” I said.

Emotion flashed across his face, but before I could analyze it, he caught me staring and turned away. “Well,” he said. “I’m hiking down the mountain. Since we’re already together, and one of us is lost, maybe the lost party should follow the person who actually knows where they’re going, back to the parking lot.”

Apparently, like every other hot guy on the planet, Alex had caught a particularly potent strain of arrogance. I gave him my best impression of a beauty queen smile. “Sure, Alex, if you want to follow me, I wouldn’t mind. I understand how confusing these mountains can be.”

“I’m the one with the compass, Evie, so I should probably lead.”

I pushed my eyebrows together. “How do you know I don’t have a compass?”

He paused, “Would you have wandered in circles for hours if you did?”

I stared, not wanting to admit he had a good argument. “I usually hike alone you know.” For some reason, I thought pointing that out would redeem me for getting lost.

“Then it’s a good thing I found you. Maybe in the future you should reconsider your policy for doing things alone. Are you ready to go?”

I put my head up, shoulders back, and walked forward instead of answering. I purposely avoided looking at Alex’s face, but out of the corner of my eye I noticed his mouth curve into a smug smile as I passed him. As much as I hated to admit it, I was glad I’d run into him. I really didn’t know if I could have gotten off the mountain without his help.

***

I decided that since Alex was keeping me company while we hiked, I should try to be nice. “So when you aren’t pretending to be a bear, Alex, what do you do?”

He hesitated like the question had caught him off-guard. “I help an organization, kind of volunteer work,” he replied. “What about you?”

“I just graduated from high school. I start school at Western State College in three months.”

“Do you know what your major is going to be?”

I nodded. “Psychology.” He glanced back at me as we kept walking. “Do you go to college?” I asked

“I did. I already graduated.”

Already graduated? I thought he was older than me, but not bachelor’s degree old. “Oh, you look younger than that,” I said, trying to sound offhand.

“I’m twenty-one.”

I was confused. “So you graduated early?"

“I was in an accelerated program.” He said it in a nonchalant way, like he was trying to impress me with his intelligence by not making a big deal out of it. The attitude bugged me.

“That’s nice,” I said, trying to be polite. “So, you only volunteer places? You don’t have a job?”

He lifted his shoulder slightly. “I don’t really need one.”

I narrowed my eyes. “What do you mean you don’t need one? Don’t tell me you’re one of those trust-fund babies,” I teased.

“Well,” he said, “obviously the baby part isn’t accurate.”

“Oh.” It was as much of a response as I could come up with. As aggravating as he was, Alex was still the most stunning guy I’d ever seen. We definitely had chemistry and for a millisecond, I’d hoped something might happen between the two of us. His financial revelation made that thought obsolete; I knew there was no way I would have a chance with him. Guys like Alex dated ridiculous six-foot tall super models with a waist the circumference of a DVD.

We walked along in silence for a while until Alex changed the subject.

“Why do you always hike alone? Where’s your boyfriend?”

That was subtle, I scoffed to myself. “I’m not dating anyone. What about you? Couldn’t your girlfriend come with you this week, or is she one of those girls who won’t get dirt on their six-inch stilettos?” I asked, still picturing the Angelina Jolie look-alike he was surely dating. I had stood next to Angelina at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and I was pretty sure I was twice her size.

He gave a soft laugh and I thought I heard him mumble something about being feisty before saying, “I’m not seeing anyone at the moment either.”

“Well, it won’t take you long to find someone, trust me.” I stopped short, realizing what I’d said. I hadn’t intended the sentence to make it out of my head and escape my mouth.

Alex stopped, turned, and locked eyes with me. He slowly moved forward until he was standing less than a foot away. “Do you know someone who might be interested?” His eyes grew dark and he was suddenly intimidating in a way that had nothing to do with fear.

I could feel my face turning various shades of crimson. I tried to cover for myself by turning away from him and said, “I know a lot of girls who would be interested.” Like every girl who has ever set eyes on you.

He walked around me until he could once again see my scarlet cheeks. His dark gaze roamed over me as he searched my expression. “Are you one of them?”

That was direct. What in the world would he want to know that for? He could literally have any girl he wanted, and probably had. This conversation was getting way too serious, way too fast for my comfort level. I felt my blushing face had already betrayed me, but I wasn’t going to embarrass myself further by saying it out loud. Before I had to come up with a response, I noticed the Black Canyon parking lot and breathed a sigh of relief. “We’re here! Thanks for keeping me company, Alex.”

He frowned. He seemed bothered that I hadn’t answered his question, but he didn’t say anything.

“Where did you park?” I asked.

He nodded toward a bright blue Audi TTS convertible on the other side of the parking lot. Of course it was an Audi. It surprised me that it wasn’t a Lamborghini.

“What about you?” he asked.

I pointed to a dark purple 1966 GT Mustang, two white stripes running along the bottom of the doors, and a matching white vinyl top with white leather seats. Some people like the scent of cookies and cakes baking; I love the smell of a classic V8 muscle car. A group of guys were standing around the car, ogling it.

“Is the fan club yours?” he asked in a tone that seemed almost irritated.

I lifted a shoulder. “It comes with the car.”

I pulled my keys from my pocket and Alex followed me to my Mustang.

“Hey,” I said to the group of guys. There were six of them and I noticed they were all wearing long-sleeved dark grey fleece jackets like they were on some sort of team. They looked at me, the car, and back at me again, in shock.

“Nice car,” a tall guy with auburn hair said.

“Thanks.”

“Is the engine a 289?”

I fought the urge to roll my eyes. I loved when guys tried to test me, like I was driving a car I knew nothing about. “Most 1966 Mustang engines are.”

“Standard?” he asked.

I was sure he’d already looked in the window and could tell what kind of transmission it had. “It’s an automatic.”

The auburn-haired guy watched while I unlocked the car door. “Did your dad or boyfriend let you borrow it?” he asked. The other boys snickered waiting for my answer.

I glared. I hated when people assumed the only way I could have a classic muscle car was if a man in my life had let me use it. I was done being nice. “I built it, but you probably don’t understand something that complicated. I’m sure you have a difficult time figuring out the toothpaste cap.” The rest of the boys started laughing.

The auburn-haired guy smiled, but the look of defeat I was hoping for didn’t register on his face. “I’d like to see you sometime,” he said. The invitation was so abrupt that I almost laughed.

I could see Alex standing a car length back. His face was tight like he was upset. There was no way he could actually be jealous—was there? I just met him! The guy noticed where my gaze was directed and saw Alex, then seemed to appraise him. Alex returned the look with a hard, confident glare.

I turned back to the guy. “Sorry, I don’t date idiots.”

Instead of answering, the guy took a paper out of his pocket. Another boy with long, mousy blonde hair handed him a pen and I watched as he wrote. When he finished, he folded the note. “My number, and a question,” he said, handing the paper to me.

I took the note and scowled at him in return, but he had shifted his focal point and fixed his eyes sharply on Alex. Alex ignored him.

The guy turned back to me. “Let me know if you change your mind,” he said.

I watched them walk away and ripped the paper up without looking at it. I put the remaining scraps in my pocket.

I glanced up and saw Alex approaching. When he reached me, he leaned his back against the Mustang crossing his legs in front of him. “They certainly seemed interested in you,” he said.

I rolled my eyes. “Whatever. You’re a guy, Alex. You know they were only talking to me because they were hoping for the chance to drive my car. Believe me; I’ve had plenty of experience in this area. If guys could ask my car out instead of me, they would.”

Alex gave me a long stare. “The fact that I’m a guy is exactly how I know that your car has little to do with their interest.”

I blinked, slightly stunned. What in the world did he mean by that?

He interrupted my thought by asking, “You restored this?” He seemed impressed as his eyes traveled from the front to the back of my car.

“Not all of it. Some of the work was done by a body shop, but I did as much as I could. My dad helped.” The restoration project was one of the few things my dad and I had ever bonded over.

Alex ran his hand over the white vinyl top. “You’re definitely not the average girl.”

I gave him a bold smile. “I pride myself on it.”

He was thoughtful for a second. “Is there anything else I should know about you?”

I realized this might be my opportunity to get to know him better. I decided to take a chance. “Come with me next weekend and find out.”

He didn’t hesitate as he answered, “Okay.”




Be sure to also add the book to your Goodreads list, post about the giveaway. Don't forget to follow Angela via her Twitter/ Facebook/ Blog/ Goodreads/ Website

Thank you to Angela, we have a book thong & bookmark we're giving away! Just leave us a comment with your email address to be entered. This giveaway ends on December 6th

46 comments:

  1. YAY! Excerpt .. I love the way she writes! *sigh* I hope everyone else will Fall for her characters too!

    SupaGurl
    supagurlheather@gmail.com

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  2. I love the prologue and I can't wait to read the rest of the book!

    Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books
    alexalovesbooks@gmail.com

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  3. It sounds so gooooood!!! Noooo, why is Dec 6th so far away!!:(( Haha, great excerpt!

    CYP
    cypsays_hi@hotmail.com

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  4. What a tease! This one seemed suspiciously teen-girl-whiny-drama. However, that first chapter was not enough! I can't wait for the release, I'm thinking early Christmas present ;)

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  5. Supa- I do too! I can't wait to read more of this.

    Alexa- I can't either :)

    CYP- I know! Luckily we'll be able to pick up two great books that day. CP and this one.

    Julie- Isn't that a great tease.... I want more

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  6. This sounds really interesting, I can't wait to read the rest of the book!! :)

    nicoleloveskyle2(at)aim(dot)com

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  7. YAY YAY YAY! I'm so excited for Angela's release. Been dying to read ES since she started querying for agents :) So excited for her!

    Heather F.
    Twitter: @hfaesy
    (Tweet me for my email address. Thanks MM's!)

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  8. Thank you for participating on the tour!

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  9. Great prologue. It sounds interesting.

    annafriday11 (@) gmail (dot) com

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  10. My oh my...I didn't want the excerpt to end. Thanks for a little taste of Eternal Starling!

    lovemibooks@aol.com

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  11. Awesome! Thanks for the cool post! I want more :)

    Email: osnapitzAngiex3(AT)aol(DOT)com

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  12. Thanks for the post. This one looks so good.

    Lizzi0915 at aol dot com

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  13. Nicole- I can't either. I've already read the excerpt a few times today.

    Heather- Oh yay!!! I love that you've been excited about it for so long.

    Yara- THANK YOU for asking us!

    Anna- I agree!!

    Mini- I didn't either. I want more!

    Angie- You're so welcome!

    Bethie- You're so welcome!

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  14. I'm so in love with this cover. I can't wait to read it.

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  15. I think that Eternal Starling sounds awesome. I definitely added to goodreads and also shared this post on fb https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002316773685 It is just too awesome not to :)

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

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  16. Thank you so much for the excerpt! Loved it and can't wait for it to come out!

    Jewels13162006 @ Yahoo . Com

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  17. I am very excited for Eternal Starling to come. It sounds so awesome I can't wait to read it. Thank you for the great giveaway.

    Sthrnsweetie115@AOL.com

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  18. Love the excerpt! Thanks for posting!
    And I can't wait to read Eternal Starling in December.

    dropdeadbeauty21(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. That was a fabulous interview! Thank you so much for coming on and sharing with us!

    ReplyDelete
  20. ETERNAL STARLING looks wonderful I loved the prologue thank you.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  21. Awesome excerpt! Thanks for the chance to win!

    Sarah Lim
    two_of_hearts_101 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've had my eye on this book since I first saw it, and I LOVED that excerpt!!! I can't wait to read it:)
    jwitt33 at live dot com

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  23. I've heard about this book awhile ago and was very interested and now reading this, I'm interested even more. Enter me for swag please!

    miss.smileygirlie at gmail dot com

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  24. I'm really looking forward to this book!

    shadowhunters_jace_clary@hotmail.com

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  25. AMAZING! I can't wait to read this book, and the cover is beautiful.

    laughs4life14@yahoo.com

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  26. My TBR pile hates me now since I keep adding new books to it! :P Eternal Starlings sounds so good, plus the cover is beautiful! I really want to read it now!

    jenelleriane(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  27. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway=)

    ansindt@hotmail.com

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  28. This excerpt is great! I can't wait to read the whole book!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  29. This sounds so good! I would love to be entered, please!

    countrygirl922@verizon.net

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  30. This has been on my TBR list for a while now - And the first chapter was such a teaser!
    embeeg@gmail.com

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  31. Oooh! Sounds enticing! I will read any books with the eternal love bit going for them. So many books are like that and the theme never gets old. Each author usually has a brand new take on it and I am excited to see what Angela does with this one.

    Email: sarahagen1@hotmail.com

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  32. The book sounds AWESOME!!

    shadowkatt2011 [at] aim [dot] com

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  33. Great excerpt! The book sounds great!

    melissaseclecticbookshelf at gmail dot com

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

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  34. Thanks for posting the excerpt, I've seen the book around but haven't read any of it before. Looks really good.

    bibliostalker(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. Thanks for the excerpt and the giveaway. Really like the cover.

    geoarchs(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sounds so good can't wait to read this book!!

    heatherheartsbooks(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  37. This sounds like such a great book. sandra at pandareads dot com

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  38. I really really want this book. It's on my tbr list on goodreads. Thanks for this giveaway :)
    tborka4@gmail.com

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  39. Wow, greta giveaway!

    hayley.gomez@gmail.com

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  40. An excerpt. I like it. Can't wait to read the rest. Thanks for the giveaway

    Maria Magdalena
    ultracutezone@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thanks for the giveaway!! This book is on my TBR! It looks amazing! :D
    Jaiden
    girls.on.ya.books@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Sounds like an amazing book!

    Sonya
    cocojaz at hotmail dot com
    @cocojaz

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oooh yey giveaway! Count me in :) andi[at]rywn.net

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for the giveaway and the first chapter preview!

    Amy
    miss.smileygirlie at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you to everyone who entered! The giveaway is now closed & a winner will be announced shortly.

    ReplyDelete

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