Absolute Favorite Books

Absolute Favorite Books

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


KC -- Reading Is My Superpower's favorite books »
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Blitz -- Bound By Duty by Stormy Smith (with Excerpt)


Title: Bound By Duty
The Bound Series #1 
By: Stormy Smith
Release Date: July 24, 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary Romance






Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn't even know his name.


Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.


As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?


Stormy Smith calls Iowa’s capital home now, but was raised in a tiny town in the Southeast corner of the state. She grew to love books honestly, having a mom that read voraciously and instilled that same love in her. She knew quickly that stories of fantasy were her favorite, and even as an adult gravitates toward paranormal stories in any form.


Writing a book had never been an aspiration, but suddenly the story was there and couldn’t be stopped. When she isn’t working on, or thinking about, her books, Stormy’s favorite places include bar patios, live music shows, her yoga mat or anywhere she can relax with her husband or girlfriends.
 










Random Facts:
1. M&Ms or Skittles? M&M’s all the way. Bonus points if they are the special Christmas mint kind.

2. Fantasy or Horror? Fantasy. I’m a TOTAL scaredy-cat. The one and only time I went to a haunted house I tried to bum rush the emergency exit because I was so terrified and up crying my way through it.

3. Typing or Pen & Paper? For writing the book itself, typing, but for brainstorming I like giant sticky post-its all over my basement so I can scribble and pace while I blare my playlist and talk to myself.

4. Ebooks or Print? E-books for most books but print for the authors I love.

5. Eat in or Eat out? In. Then no one has to worry about who’s driving while I pour glass after glass of wine.

6. Water or Flavored Drink? Water.

7. Apples or Oranges? Apples. With peanut butter, preferably.

8. Laundry or Dishes? Dishes. I HATE LAUNDRY.

9. Shopping or Movies? Shopping, only because I so rarely see my girl friends anymore I’d rather spend time perusing and chatting than just sitting next to them.

10. Comfy clothes or Fashionista? Fashionista! I don’t know that I am one, but I’d love to be.  I just feel better in girly clothes. Like I can conquer the world!

11. Go-to book series? Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series. I could reread them over and over. And Jericho Barrons…swooooon.

12. Favorite way to unwind? A glass of wine and a date with my husband and our DVR. My brain goes non-stop between work, grad school, marketing one book and writing another. I like the down time!

13. Cats or Dogs: Cats. I like that they are more self-sufficient and have their own personalities. I have one that won’t stop walking across my keyboard right now and I love she wants to purr all over me and lick my hands for attention. 

 

Her stark white hair fell down around her face. For the first time in one hundred years it wasn’t pulled back in a waist-length braid. Her crimson robes were torn and stained. She bit back a groan, her lips a tight line as the pain ripped through her once again. The invisible knife raked its way up her back as wounds no one could see flayed her skin and weakened her resolve. It had been days of this and she wasn’t sure if she could continue. As she looked up and met the queen’s eyes, Lavignia pushed the anger down and forced compassion to rise yet again.


“What is it you hope to learn, Julia? What is it you think you have to gain from all of this?” she asked weakly as she tugged on the restraints that kept her tethered to the heavy wooden chair. Her power was already weak when the Hunters had found her, and the enchanted chamber had dampened what remained to a tiny flame.


The room was dark, but the sun was slowly rising. An orange and pink glow filtered through the small window above Julia’s head. The colorful rays that should have resembled hope of a new day only shed light on the reality that Lavignia would never leave this room alive.


Julia stepped from the shadows and walked slowly toward Lavignia. She stopped and crouched down, putting herself at eye level.


“Oh, Livvy, dear. Don’t do that,” she said, her tone patronizing as her ice crystal eyes narrowed. “Don’t pretend you can still look down on me from your Elder tower. Don’t pretend you can utter your polite words and suddenly I’ll remember who you are versus who I am. I know exactly who I am. I am the one who rules them all. I am the one they will bow down to and worship. I am the Queen. Not you. Or your sisters. Your time is done.”


She looked back over her shoulder to the Hunter who stood in the still dark corner of the room and nodded. The Hunter’s eyes burned bright orange as Lavignia’s screams echoed off the walls. Julia raised her hand and the screams dropped to whimpers. With that same hand, she reached out and took Lavignia’s.


“Livvy, look at me,” she commanded. Dazed, dim violet eyes struggled to focus and find hers. Julia tightened her grip, digging her scarlet nails into Lavignia’s already tender flesh, making her yelp and their eyes connect.


“Livvy, you need to tell me,” she said.  “I know you see it. You knew this day would come and you know I won’t stop until you tell me. I scoured the lands for you. I know there are others left, but they can be saved. You can save them, old friend. You just have to tell me.” Her tone was persuasive and gentle, but the frantic look that passed through her eyes told Lavignia the truth the queen couldn’t hide — she was scared.


“You won’t harm the others? You will let them live out their lives hidden and free? You will swear an oath?” Her words trailed off and Lavignia’s eyes closed, the torture of the last few days taking its toll. She could only hope the oath would keep her people safe.


She didn’t see the triumph that straightened Julia’s posture or the sneer that twisted her thin, painted lips. “Of course, my dear. I swear to you that I will not seek out and harm the remaining Elders. I swear that I will not take their freedom.”


“Your blood,” Lavignia said, her words barely audible.


Julia removed a small dirk from the folds of her skirts and repeated the words as she slid the blade down her palm. As the deep red drop hit the floor, she sent a small wave of power through to heal the wound, reveling in the knowledge that she had won.


“Now, Livvy, darling, you must tell me.” When Lavignia didn’t respond, Julia whipped back around to the still silent Hunter. “Help her. Give her what she needs. NOW!” she commanded, panic finally breaking through her controlled facade.


The Hunter flicked a wrist at Lavignia and she suddenly straightened, her eyes luminescent and shining at the welcome invasion of power that flooded her system, giving her renewed life for a few precious seconds.


With sudden clarity, she saw the future that had eluded her. She looked down on Julia with authority and pity as the words that would cement the queen’s fate fell from her lips.


“You will have your time, but it will end. She will be born to the one who got away. Inside her, the five families will merge and only a man who is both king and companion will tame the wild and set her free. She will be your undoing. She will lead them all.”


Julia reared back, Lavignia’s words not the ones she expected. Seconds later, her dirk was buried deep in Lavignia’s chest. Lavignia collapsed back against the chair, a content smile mocking the queen from her lifeless face.


Julia’s breath heaved in and out in short bursts as she turned to the Hunter. “I made an oath. You did not. Find them. Kill them all.”
-->
I’ve had a very strange relationship with the cast of Bound by Duty. I had no idea I even wanted to write a book and then BOOM, one day there four people were living inside my head. (Yep, authors are a crazy breed…)


They started out looking a lot like people I knew in my real life, but as I kept writing and I started trusting both myself – and them – more, I saw them for who they really were. They frustrate me to no end when they refuse to play by my outline but they surprise me constantly as they grow and change before my eyes. I’m already well into Bound by Spells (book two in the Bound series) and I’m so proud of who they are becoming.


Each of these characters have so much backstory that I can’t give you right now. But know that if you decide to dig into Bound by Duty, you’ll learn a lot about how family impacts the person you become – like it or not – and how friends have the ability to change your entire outlook on life. And love…well, it makes you do crazy things. But, we all knew that.  J
This is Amelia Bradbury. She grew up in Gualala, California but currently calls Brighton, California home. She’s got an older brother, Cole, who treats her too much like the ten-year-old she was when he left home, and her dad, Nathaniel, who’s a little bit nutcakes. She likes Cherry Pepsi, caramel lattes, The Civil Wars, Florence and the Machine and a certain smokey-eyed mysterious boy who just won’t leave her alone.







This is Aidan Montgomery. He’s a little quiet, a little cocky and lot persistant. He loves alternative, hates country and has an affinity for local restaurants and his own space. He’s a foster kid, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to get an education, from spending time in the local MMA gym or setting his sights on one Amelia Bradbury.









 Meet Bethany Jackson. Formerly a pageant queen and barrel racer. Currently a connoisseur of frozen yogurt, collegiate California surfers, DIY decorating her first apartment with her new bestie and watching romantic comedies. She wants everyone to know that no matter what life hands her, she'll choose to be happy and make the best of it. She doesn't need anything but good friends and killer pair of heels to make it through. That said, she'd take Prince Charming as long as she had control of the white horse. 








Micah tends to be the odd man out. His speech is oddly formal, he doesn’t get America pop culture and his accent is a bit hard to place, while still being utterly adorable. He always seems to be a step ahead, but a certain blonde still keeps him on his toes.





AMAZON




You can check out the full Spotify soundtrack for BBD here, but here are my top ten in no particular order!


1.     The One That Got Away – The Civil Wars
2.     Haunted – A Taylor Swift cover by Jess Moskaluke and Alex G.
3.     In My Veins – Andrew Belle, featuring Erin McCarley
4.     Hurricane – MSMR
5.     Clarity – A Zedd cover by Corey Gray
6.     Boston – Augustana
7.     I’mnotwaiting – Bonne Finken
8.     Breathe Again – Sara Bareilles
9.     Promising, Promises – Jon McLaughlin
10.  No Light, No Light – Florence and the Machine



Music is a HUGE part of my life. I am addicted to Spotify and adore finding new artists. I spend a lot of time getting to know local artists and live shows are among my favorite places to be. When I wrote Bound by Duty I knew it would have a soundtrack. Every significant moment in my life has a song associated with it and the book I spent a year pouring myself into would be no different!

I’m a little bit of an odd duck in that I can’t actually write listening to music that has words. So, I spend my writing hours listening to classical music that helps distract my mind just enough to keep the creativity flowing without stopping the lovely voices in my head from telling me their stories. But, once I’m in the car, cleaning, or doing anything else, I’ve always got an ear out for songs. I find that the lyrics often inspire new plot lines, emotions or authentic reactions in characters.

It was really important to me to not only cover the storyline with my choices, but also the emotions of the characters. Music is really important to Amelia, my heroine, and she often lets herself get lost in it. I didn’t want to date my story by announcing the songs and artists in the book, but in my head I always knew what she was listening to.

Bound by Duty is truly a coming of age story. It’s a paranormal fantasy that explores the many layers of what makes a person themselves. Is it your family, your duty, the ones you love, the pieces of you that you can’t control or the family (i.e. friends) you choose for yourself? How do you balance the person you are with the life you want? Amelia faces all of these questions as she finds herself with her first-ever best friend – a sassy Southern girl – and her first dose of young love. But there are situations out there bigger than she ever imagined and she has to decide who she’s going to be and what she’s made of.

Synopsis for Bound by Duty: Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she's an Elder, but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control, but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she's betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and doesn't even know his name. 
Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky southern girl, or fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is, not what she will become.
As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head win the battle, or her heart?


If you decide to give Bound by Duty a shot, I’d love to hear the songs it brought to mind for you! Hook up with me at www.facebook.com/authorstormysmith or @stormysmith on twitter.