I am having a blast with the Summer Teen Reading Party and I am so excited about this month long event! We’ve got lots of great books and authors there – many for $1.99 or less. I hope everyone visits! Make sure to read the rest of this post to find out how you can enter to win a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card!
I usually love reading in the summer, but this year, I will be working on the finishing touches to the sequel to Veiled Virtues so I won’t have time to read much else! The sequel is entitled Latent Legacy and you can read more about it on my website listed below! But first, here is a taste of Veiled Virtues -
When Paige Stewart left America to house-sit in England, her only thoughts were to get away from her controlling mother and to have fun. Little did she know that her working holiday would find her hearing eerie voices, experiencing alarming dreams and bleeding from old scars. Although Paige's differences confuse and disgust her, she opens up to the shopkeeper of a strange metaphysical store in town, where she finds much more than tarot cards and crystals. Soon, Paige is stalked like prized game. Relentlessly pursued, her holiday takes a turn for the eerie and dangerous. Her only saving grace may be a modern-day English knight who sweeps her off her feet and recognizes the true virtues the American teen unknowingly possesses.
“Hello, Paige.” Startled, I nearly dropped the book. Why did Nathaniel always sneak up on me?
“You promised not to do that again,” I reminded him, and he laughed.
“My apologies. How is everything going?” He leaned against a case holding a display of unicorn figurines.
“Very good. Great. Perfect,” I said, perhaps a bit too enthusiastically. His presence intoxicated my body with warmth and dizziness.
“Are you interested in anything in particular? Or did you venture in to check up on me?” he asked, stepping closer to me, eyeing the book in my hands.
I snapped the book shut and put it back in the rack. “Check up on you? Hardly.” I smiled. Why on earth would he think that, anyway?
“I bet you came in to get a better look at that sword. I noticed it caught your eye the other day.” He took it down off the wall.
Is he toying with me? Does he know what the sword caused to happen inside of me?
“Uh, sure.” I was surprised at how easily he managed the four-foot-long instrument of thick, solid metal. Nathaniel held it out, and my hand was instantly drawn to the smooth blade. I knew I shouldn’t touch it, but my hand really wanted to take it from him, as if it was being controlled, not by me, but something else. When my fingers connected with the handle, bright white flashes again appeared in my head, but this time, they were pulsating and pounding. I pictured myself grasping the handle of the sword and lifting it.
Yes, this should be mine, my mind said. The enemy will pay! With that, my arms plunged the weapon forward.
“Watch it!” Nathaniel’s yell snapped me out of it. My hands grasped the handle of the sword, and the tip of the blade pressed into Nathaniel’s stomach, where a small trickle of blood appeared on his light-blue T-shirt.
“Oh, my God!” I yelled, horrified at having stabbed him. I immediately dropped the sword, and couldn’t apologize enough. Luckily, I barely punctured his skin.
“What were you thinking?” he asked me, almost laughing.
“I don’t know. I didn’t realize how sharp it was. I am so sorry.” How on earth could I explain that something took over me?
Once Nathaniel placed the sword safely back up on its mount, I asked if it was for sale, and if not, why he had it in the store.
“I keep it here as a reminder, not as merchandise.”
“A reminder of what?”
“The presence and danger of evil.” Before I could ask him to clarify, Nathaniel took off his shirt and looked at the cut. My legs about gave out at the sight of his naked, chiseled chest. There was a small wound an inch below his belly button. I tried not to stare. He cleaned it and applied a bandage, and I turned back to my original task.
“Hey, can I ask you about something?”
“Sure, what?” he asked.
“Um…” I trailed off, stalling and trying to focus on my game plan. The warmth began to swirl in my midsection when he stepped closer to me, still shirtless, He looked directly into my eyes. “I was curious, more than anything. I had this friend once who swore she saw a ghost in her bedroom, like a dark figure, and heard some loud noises,” I said, trying to seem believable.
“That’s interesting,” he said, not surprised at all. “Was that all that happened to your friend?” He tilted his head a little.
I didn’t like how he emphasized the word ‘friend,’ but the warm glow my body soaked in from his presence urged me to continue talking to him.
“She said her room grew really cold and there were tremors and stuff.”
“Did she hear voices?”
“Do you mean in the house or anywhere?” I asked, really not wanting to divulge too much information.
“I meant in the house.”
“Maybe a little, like her name being whispered, but mostly screams or screeches.”
“There very well could be an entity in the house. It’s not out of the question,” he said, and looked at the titles on a bookshelf. “Here.” He handed me a book called Strange Symptoms of a House Bewitched. Thumbing through it, out of the corner of my eye, I watched Nathaniel take a clean T-shirt off of a rack, pull off the tag, and put it on. A giggle escaped me when he turned around and his usually impeccable wardrobe now included a black t-shirt with the words “Vampires Suck” in big, bright, neon-green letters.
Available to purchase: Amazon | OmniLit | Smashwords | MuseItUp Publishing | Diesel | Kobo | BookStrand | AmazonUK
Coming soon to Barnes & Noble!
About Jan’s Giveaway
Enter to win a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card! One lucky winner will be chosen from the commenters on her blog (including emails to her from non-Book Blogs members), "Likes" and "Shares" on Facebook, and Tweets about her book, Veiled Virtues, or the Summer Reading Party site (include @veiledvirtues in your tweets!). It's that easy! She will be having other giveaways during the month on her blog as well, so make sure to visit it!
About the Author
She and her husband, Scott, have two children, Kelsey, age eight and Easton, age seven. She also owns KidStock Consignment, a seasonal consignment sale in Beatrice, Nebraska.