Absolute Favorite Books

Absolute Favorite Books

Own the Wind
Motorcycle Man
Wild Man
Lady Luck
Rock Chick Revenge
Leave Me Breathless
Nobody's Perfect
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades Freed
Tied with Me
My Unexpected Forever
The Reluctant Dom
Wild and Free

KC -- Reading Is My Superpower's favorite books »

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Blitz -- Stay by Emily Goodwin

Stay by Emily Goodwin
Publication date: May 19th 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance,



“I felt like I was walking to the end of a plank precariously hanging over shark-infested water. When I jumped, sharp teeth would rip into me and the cold water would steal my breath away. The monsters would take everything from me, leaving me shivering and naked in the water. The only difference was that tonight I would be pulled from the icy darkness and forced to do it again. There would be no release from death, only pain.”

Home after her first year of college, Adeline Miller is looking forward to a stress free summer filled with reading, working on her blog, and spending time with friends. But all that changes in an instant when she is witness to something terrible, something she wasn’t supposed to see.

Beaten, drugged, kidnapped.

Adeline Miller is ripped from her innocent and carefree life and thrust into darkness, into a world full of pain and horror. As a sex slave, she is forced to do horrible things, and have horrible things done to her. One of her captors has a past as dark as the world she is now living in. Will getting close to him mean freedom? Or will he pull her deeper into the shadows?

Emily Goodwin is the author of the award winning Contagium Series published by Permuted Press as well as many independently published novels, including the internationally bestselling novel, STAY. Emily writes in a wide variety of genres, from horror to romance. She holds multiple degrees in psychology and nursing and has worked in mental health and general healthcare. Emily resides in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and German Shepherd named Vader. Along with writing, Emily enjoys riding her horse, designing and making costumes, and Cosplay.


I slowly blinked and shook myself. I turned the water off and pulled back the curtain just far enough to grab the towel. I wrapped it around my goosebump-covered torso and walked back to my cot, water dripping on the floor. Dirt and grit stuck to my wet feet. Normally, that would have grossed me out, but what was a little dirt compared to what was going to happen to me?
Phoebe and Lily exchanged sorrowful looks. Phoebe came up behind me and gently towel dried my hair.  I just sat there, completely still except for the shivering.
“Here,” Lily offered and held out a robe.
Holding the towel up with one hand, I snaked my arms through the crushed velvet robe and tied it around myself.
"I don't get your tattoos," she said and tipped her head.
"Theban," I simplified and looked at the squiggly characters that surrounded a triple moon symbol my left shoulder blade. "It's an old alphabet. It’s from a book."
"Oh." Lily nodded. "What about that one? It's a circle inside a triangle with a line through it?"
"From another book," I summed up, looking at the tattoo on my wrist. I had one more tattoo on my left side. I parted the robe to show her. "Get this one?"
"Nope. 'To infinity'," she read. "Don't get it."
"'And beyond'," Phoebe finished. "I like Toy Story. Who has other half?"
"My best friend, Lynn," I told her, my voice hollow.
"You must miss her," Lily said quietly. I bit my lip and nodded. Lily looked at me for a few seconds, her blue eyes flashing with emotions. She closed them, shook her head, and put on a small smile. “Rochelle will do your makeup,” she said. I nodded and rose from the cot and made my way over to the makeshift vanity. Rochelle was leaning on the counter, keeping the weight off of her injured ankle. I sat on a rickety stool and faced the mirror.
It was the first time I had allowed myself to look at my face since I’d been taken. I had bruises on my face from being hit by Nate and Zane. My right eye was swollen a little on the outside. I knew I had bruises on my body, both from being beaten and from the trunk ride to wherever the hell we were.
“You have nice skin,” Rochelle told me. “It’ll be easy to work with.” She said it in such a way that it wasn’t a compliment. Before she started on my makeup, she brushed and blow dried my hair and set it in curlers. Then she spun me around so that I couldn’t see in the mirror anymore.
I flinched from the cold liquid foundation she smeared over my cheeks. If I had such nice skin, why did she feel the need to cover it all up? I rarely wore makeup at home. If I did, I focused mainly on my eyes, having fun playing with different colors of eye shadow and liners. I hated the way foundation felt caked onto my face.
“There,” she said, sounding satisfied. She had been working on me for what had to be at least half an hour. She took the curlers out of my hair, and after a while of fluffing and spraying enough hair spray to eat away a layer of the O-zone, she leaned back and pressed a smile, nodding as she admired her work.
I turned and looked in the mirror. My eyes were heavily outlined in silver and black. The bruises were gone, though my right eye still looked tender. Red blush on my cheeks made it look like I was permanently embarrassed, and the dark red lipstick was just … trashy. My hair was teased and was inches away from my head. It was coated in so much hair spray that it barely moved with me. Big, wavy curls cascaded around my face.
Suddenly, a smile cracked my face, and a snort of laughter escaped my lips.
“What?” Rochelle demanded.
I shook my head, the humor in my grossly stereotyped appearance quickly fading. Rochelle glared at me for a moment longer before waving me away. She hobbled to the rack of clothing and skimmed through the section of lingerie. She pulled a short, silky nightgown from its hanger. It was dark purple, with black lace outlining the top and bottom. My stomach churned when my fingers touched the shiny material.
“You’ll need this,” she mumbled and tossed me a push-up bra. “Your boobs are on the small side.” She shook her head and sighed. “Whatever. I’ll make it work. You should gain some weight.”
I held my arms close to my body, feeling very self-conscious. I was thin due to an over-active thyroid. Over the years, I had tried different medications but was unable to find something with a good balance so I just stopped taking the pills. I always had eaten more than enough, but I just couldn’t keep the weight on. It had been one of my number one pet peeves to be told I was lucky I was thin. I had a medical condition that took a toll on my body and my health. How lucky is that? 
“Tonight you have Travis,” Rochelle began explaining. “Give him a good show. He likes to watch.”
My stomach clenched and the sting of sour vomit bubbled in my throat. I felt like my head was being shoved into a bucket of dirty water, and no matter how hard I struggled, I couldn’t get out, couldn’t take a breath.
“I don’t know any good shows,” I mumbled.
“What?” Rochelle asked and wrinkled her nose. “Well, you do now,” she went on, widening her eyes and giving me the girl-you’re-crazy stare. She shook her head and sighed. “Just follow his lead, do what he wants, and you’ll be fine.”
Nerves audibly grumbled through my intestines. I feared something was going to come out one end or the other. Yet I just stood there, my mind wanting to shut down and refuse to process what was going to happen. There was no way around it.
I was going to go upstairs. I was going to go into a room with a sick and twisted man who would force me to have sex with him.
Or I could refuse.
And that would get me severely beaten, if not killed. For a few seconds, dying seemed better than getting raped. I shook my head at the thought. I wasn’t going to give up. Today might not be my day for escaping, but it would come. It had to.

Since I typically write paranormal/horror, my usual writing playlists are filled with epic songs from soundtracks with lots of NIN and Marilyn Manson thrown in. With STAY, I needed something different. While this novel is just as dark—if not darker—than the books I usually write, it’s a different kind of dark.

STAY is the first book I’ve written with a contemporary setting and no elements of fantasy. And yet it was one of the scariest books I’ve ever written. After all, the truth is often worse than fiction. Unlike ghosts, demons, and zombies, being kidnapped and forced into human trafficking is something that really could happen.

I needed music that set the mood for not only fear, but a sense of hopelessness and utter despair the characters felt. I am not a fan of slow, sad music, so this is as close at it comes for me. Here is the playlist I listened to on repeat while writing STAY

1.)   Imagine Dragons- Demons
2.)    Of Monster and Men- Little Talks
3.)    Imagine Dragons- Bleeding Out
4.)    One Republic- Counting Stars
5.)    One Republic- Come Home
6.)    Animals- House of the Rising Sun
7.)    Tom Petty- Free Fallin’
8.)    Tom Petty- Mary Jane’s Last Dance
9.)    One Republic- Secrets
10.) Coldplay- Fix You
11.) Goo Goo Dolls- Iris
12.) Tom Petty- I Won’t Back Down
13.) Jason Mraz- I Won’t Give Up
14.) Katy Perry- Unconditionally

Adeline’s summer TBR list.

Adeline Miller from STAY is a self-proclaimed book nerd. She runs a book blog called Contagious Reads (yes…I named it after the REAL Contagious Reads blog!) Before Adeline is kidnapped and her life is forever changed, her summer plans include relaxing with a good book and getting caught up on her summer To Be Read list.

So what was Addie looking forward to reading? I stumbled upon her Summer TBR list and picked her top 10. (The list was long…very long!)

1.)The Killing Woods, Lucy Christopher
2.)Midnight Thief, Livia Blackburne
3.)Dissonance, Erica O’Rourke
4.)A Castle Made of Sand, Daniel Cotton
5.)Little Dead Man, Jane Bible
6.)Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King
7.)The Hunt, C.J. Ellison
8.)Savage Possession, Belinda Boring
9.)City of Heavenly Fire, Cassandra Clare
10.) Dangerous Creatures, Kami Garcia

Addie’s Top Five Favorite Books

In STAY, the main character Adeline Miller is a bookaholic. She runs the book blog Contagious Reads, which I of course had to name after my real-life favorite book blog. Books offered an escape from reality to Adeline even before she was kidnapped and held captive. They mean even more to her now.

In the book, Adeline mentions she has a hard time picking her top favorite books. Who could blame her when so many good books are out there? It took her some time, but she finally came up with a list of ten of her all time favs.

“What’s your favorite book?” Jackson asked when he saw me looking.
“Oh gosh,” I started. “I have like fifty books in my ‘Top Ten Favorites’ list.” I shook my head. “That’s a really hard question. I love so many. I will admit I’m biased toward paranormal or fantasy. There’s just something about the worlds those books take place in. I used to say I’d give anything to live in a magical land but now …” I sighed. “People usually thought I was weird when I said that.”
“I don’t think it’s weird,” Jackson quickly agreed. “I’d give anything to be anywhere else.”


This post is supposed to be easy. Pick your top ten favorite books, they say. It’s easy, they say. Yeah right. Tell a mother to pick her favorite child and you’ll know how I feel. I’ve thought about this post for days now, and feel guilty for leaving so many amazing books off this list. But…without further ado (and before I change my mind. Again.) here is my current Top Ten Favorite Books, in no particular order.

1.)  Harry Potter, JK Rowling (the whole series…more than my ten, I know)
2.)  Watership Down (because, bunnies!)
3.)  Ever Shade, Alexia Purdy (what’s better than sexy faeries?)
4.)  Dead Witch Walking, Kim Harrison (badass witches, need I say more?)
5.)  City of Bones, Cassandra Clare (love me some secret destiny and Shadowhunters)
6.)  Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris (telepaths and vampires…yes!)
7.)  A Song of Ice and Fire Series, GRR Martin (I can’t just pick ONE…)
8.)  Death is but a Dream, Erin Hayes (love Greek mythology!)
9.)  Club Dead, Charlaine Harris (Sookie just keeps getting better and better!)
10.) Fallen, Lauren Kate (Yes…the pretty covers pulled me in at first)  

Jackson’s Top Ten Favorite Books

The quiet, mysterious Jackson Porter from STAY has lived a life of darkness. One thing that has offered him peace and an escape from reality amidst the violence is books.

“Book hangover?” he questioned, the words foreign.
I raised my eyebrows. “Yeah. You know, when you get hung up on a book.”
“Oh, right.” Then he smiled and almost looked happy. “I love that books can do that. Effect you so much, I mean.”
“Yes,” I gushed, my mind going into obsessive reader mode. “I do too. Books are dangerous. They pull you in and make you fall in love or totally destroy you. For the time being of course. Then you finish it and those feelings linger around in agony until you start another and the whole process happens again.” I let out a breath and suddenly felt vulnerable in front of Jackson. I regretted being so open. Would he use it against me?

Though his choices are a bit limited, here are his top ten favorite books.

1.)  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling
2.)  The Shinning, Stephen King
3.)  The Dark Tower, Stephen King
4.)  Misery, Stephen King
5.)  The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
6.)  The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch
7.)  A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L' Engle
8.)  The Once and Future King, T.H. White
9.)  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling
10.) The Terror, Dan Simmons