Thursday, June 11, 2015

Book Blitz: Bound by Spells by Stormy Smith (Excerpts + Interview + Dreamcast + Giveaway)

Displaying BoundBySpellsBlitzBanner1.png

Displaying Bound by Spells Final Web.jpgTitle: Bound by Spells by Stormy Smith
(Bound #2)
Publication date: March 19th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal

Synopsis:
Aidan Montgomery hadn’t been prepared for Amelia Bradbury to walk in and then out of his life. He also hadn’t expected to find the powerful magic hidden deep within him for the last nineteen years, but he’s embracing it — finding more control and more answers every day. Now, with the help of Amelia’s best friend, Bethany, Aidan is on a quest to understand his destiny and find Amelia.
Amelia decided to stand by her duty, which meant walking away from her first chance at love. Trapped in Cresthaven at the Queen’s mercy, she spends her days with Micah — an ally she still holds at arm’s length — struggling to manage her heartbreak while keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. As she continues to unlock the secrets of the Keeper power, Queen Julia’s true motives reveal themselves, forcing Amelia to decide, yet again, how much she’s willing to sacrifice.
Will Aidan get to Amelia before it’s too late, or will the very power that sustains them keep them apart?



It’s always fun to talk about a second book, but we never want to spoil anything about the first one for you, so today, we have a special treat from Stormy Smith, author of the Bound Series. Right now, BOTH Bound by Duty and Bound by Spells are on sale for just 99 cents each on Amazon (US and UK).

To set this up, the Bound Series is a coming of age story. A clean, new adult, urban fantasy that has wracked up 190 5-star reviews between both books. Bound by Duty is the story from Amelia, our main character, and Bound by Spells alternates between Amelia and Aidan.

Right now, Bound by Duty is nominated for “Best Book Hangover” in the UtopYA 2015 awards and Bound by Spells was endorsed by USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog as “paranormal gold.”

Our treat, however, is an alternate POV scene from the swoon-worthy Aidan, our main man in the Bound series. This scene happens near the beginning of Bound by Duty and gives you a glimpse into what’s to come without spoiling anything. Consider it a teaser of the man you’ll get more from in Bound by Spells!

Bound by Duty – from Aidan

What in the hell am I doing here? The thought raced through my head for the hundredth time. I scrubbed both hands over my face and back through my hair, yanking on it a little and trying to reason with myself. 

You’re going to freak her out. 

She doesn’t even know you. 

‘Oh, hi, Amelia. I know you don’t know me but I’ve been watching you the last few weeks and I think we’d get along great. No, I’m not a creeper. Trust me.’ 

I groaned and dropped my head down. I was sitting under some kind of beach pergola on a picnic table that had seen better days. If I even took a deep breath it might crumple under me. I was hiding and I knew it. It’s bad enough I heard Amelia and her friend talking about this party and then psyched myself into showing up, but now I have totally chickened out. I wasn’t interested in the party or the drunk chicks upstairs. Just her.

I don’t normally get worked up like this but she has me all turned around. I’d been watching Amelia Bradbury since the first day of class. I was the charmer. I knew from years of experience with foster families how to make sure people liked me, but she never even gave me a chance. She wanted to hide and never once even looked my way. I could see it in the way her eyes darted all over the room without making eye contact with anyone. And in the way she wore her hair down, trying to hide behind the long, dark strands. She sat in the back, forcing me to the outer edges of the room so that I could keep watching without making it obvious. When she got up she would often run into things, but never people, clutching her backpack before hustling to the next place. 

The first time I saw her relax was by accident. I was in the commons eating and suddenly, there she was. Her eyes lit up and her posture straightened. She yanked the band from her wrist and flipped her head down, coming back up with it in a ponytail. It was the first time I’d been able to truly see her and I was captivated. Her eyes couldn’t decide what color they wanted to be and floated between brown and green. Some people would call it hazel but they didn’t mix so much as shift as the light hit them. She was thin but curved. I wanted to run my hands from her shoulders to her hips just to feel the dip and flare. I turned, anxiety flooding my system, and found the source of her joy…another girl. I let go of a breath I hadn’t known I was holding and couldn’t stop the laugh the erupted from my chest. Amelia strode up, gave the blond a hug, and they immediately started talking. Then the blond spoke and Amelia laughed. It was music to my deaf ears and something inside me came alive. I wanted to be the one to do that. I wanted to make her laugh. For the first time in my life I was jealous of a girl.

I was ready to call it. Being here on this picnic bench was ridiculous and there was no way I was going to have the balls to walk up to her now. I had completely psyched myself out of having any kind of shot at this. I was ready to get up and head for my car when I heard someone bouncing down the stairs. I worried first that something was wrong. Their feet pattered down so quickly I thought they might be running. I stayed in my spot in the shadows, but tensed my body in case I had to move quickly. Lately I had had way too much excess energy and I’d been spending a lot of time in the gym. I could do some damage if it came down to it. The last thing I expected was to see shoes flipping off and long legs soaring through the air as Amelia leapt from the last step and landed softly out into the sand. For just a moment she was suspended mid-air and I could have sworn she was flying. When she hit the beach she didn’t miss a beat, her feet moving her swiftly toward the water. 

Her body was long and lean. A ballerina but with curves. She was so focused on the water that it wasn’t until she was ankle deep and had dropped her head back, a small satisfied smile pulling at her lips, that she realized she wasn’t alone. I had barely moved, a low groan coming from the bench underneath me. Her whole body stiffened in what I assumed was fear. I felt like an intruder. This was going to be a great way for us to meet, surely. But, you shouldn’t blow opportunities when they come. Or so said my last caseworker before I turned eighteen and had been accepted into Brighton’s community college. No sense in turning back now.

“So, you’re hiding from them, too, huh?” I was going for charming. Like I had some kind of game. But the words felt like peanut butter in my mouth and I was glad she couldn’t see my reddened face from where she was standing. Amelia slowly turned toward me, her voice small as she squinted and tried to see me better. “Do I know you?”

I felt like even more of a tool. She had no idea who I was. She stared my way for a few more seconds and then whipped around, facing back out into the water. I watched her chest moving quickly, her breaths coming too fast. I slowly started to move toward her, worried she might be getting a little too freaked out and wanting to reassure her that I wasn’t actually a sociopath.

“You don’t have anything to worry about,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady but soft. She turned to face me slowly and the full moon sliced its light just perfectly to illuminate me but keep her face mostly shadowed. She was close enough that I could see her eyes widen and roam from my nose to my knees, without ever meeting my own. I stood up a little taller and couldn’t stop the smirk as I realized I might have some of the same effect on her that she had on me. She raked her gaze up and down and it wasn’t until I tried to get her attention that her eyes finally snapped back to mine.

I couldn’t help but laugh as I waved a hand in front of her face and said, “Hello?” Then the Amelia I knew came back in a mad rush. She fumbled over her words, looking anywhere but at me. She tugged at the ends of her hair and a tried to walk away, but I couldn’t let her. I wasn’t ready to let her go yet and I needed to know her. I couldn’t stop myself from reaching out and taking her arm. It was our first contact and I don’t know what I had expected, but it wasn’t heat blooming under my fingertips or her heartbeat inside my head. In milliseconds of my skin on hers she was inside me, and I knew I’d never get her out.

“Wait. Just wait.” More quiet, controlled words. I couldn’t let her leave. I had to keep her there. I had to keep touching her. “I’ve seen you before. You’re Amelia, right?” Normal, Aidan. Act normal.

“Yeah,” she whispered. I had forced her to look at me and I would swear to any judge that we wore the same expression. She felt something. I knew she did.

“We have a couple classes together, but you always sit in the back and never say anything.” Dammit. So suave. So charming. You’re an idiot, Montgomery 

I was instantly ashamed. I watched her reaction and I knew it too well. She squeezed her eyes shut and her lips smashed together, holding in the pain of not fitting in. I might be a charmer now, but I’d been sent away by enough families to know what I had just done.

“Oh, that was dumb. I’m sorry. Anyway, I’m Aidan. Aidan Montgomery.” I took advantage of the opportunity to trail my fingertips from her bicep down to her wrist and then folded her hand into mine, shaking it softly. I felt fire the whole way and judging by the widening of her eyes and the swift intake of breath, so did she. For a second, she gripped my hand, but as our eyes connected again and I couldn’t stop my grin, she dropped it and without a word took off running. I couldn’t move, my hand still in front of me and my jaw hanging open, as I watched her bound up the stairs and disappear. I dropped onto the hard-packed sand and didn’t bother to move as the tide rose and the salty water surrounded me.

Well, that couldn’t have gone better. 

Bound by Duty – from Amelia

I stayed true to the promise I had made myself. Once Micah drove us away, I hadn't cried another tear. But as his SUV took me farther from Aidan, the madness within me spread, burrowing into every crevice and threatening to push me over the edge. I heard her voice, but couldn't make out the words. It was all emotion and sound and color, but nothing I could understand. It was a feral agony and it consumed me.


I didn't understand what made today different, but with every mile we drove, it got worse. I was in no physical danger. There were no threats. Still, my small violet light was reduced to a tiny flame as the dark blot of power the Keeper magic represented took over. After Uncle Derreck had explained my power came from five female Elders, I had taken to personifying my Keeper as a girl instead of just a thing. And right now, she was pushing me past anything we'd experienced to date. My head throbbed, sweat built on my forehead, and it sounded like a horde of bees had taken up space between my ears. My blood raced in my veins and the violet smoke I'd grown to love turned on me, swirling around my fingers and building in my palms, even when I willed it back down. She raged in my mind, wailing and screaming in a multitude of tones and pitches, making me want to bash my head against the glass of the window just to let it out and make it stop. Micah kept glancing my way, never fully turning to look at me, but watching me as the situation grew worse. Finally, he stopped the car and turned to me. "Amelia," he said softly, reaching a hand in my direction. My head snapped toward him and I could only stare, panicked, at his outstretched hand.
"Don't touch me," I gritted out through clenched teeth. I hoped he could see the fear. I was teetering on the edge of losing myself to her and even with everything we'd been through, I didn't want to hurt him.


He slowly retracted his hand and nodded. "Okay, I won't touch you. But, Amelia, you have to control this. Or, at least, just make it back to Esmerelda's. The room will quiet the pain." He threw the car into drive and punched the gas as he continued to watch me out of the corner of his eye.

The room. I sighed audibly. For the first time, I was looking forward to the enchanted bedroom quelling my power. I could feel my mother's bracelet in my pocket, but there was no way I was putting it back on. I knew nothing about the bracelet or what it may have been meant to do. The only sure thing was it had given me my power back, and right now, all I wanted was for that power to go away. If only Micah understood this wasn't pain. Pain I could shove into a little box and file away in the back of my mind. This was agony. This was the very fabric of my soul being shredded into jagged pieces, slicing and splitting me open, then dropping to the ground beside my broken heart.

Interview:

Today, we’re talking about the amazing urban fantasy, Bound by Spells.

Bound by Spells is book two in the Bound series and was endorsed by USA Today’s Happy Ever After Blog, where Serena Chase said, "Featuring a cast of mages and shapeshifters with unique magical abilities, one destiny-shaping prophecy, a genocidal megalomaniac, and a budding, heated romance (or two!), this book is paranormal gold! Read the first book in the series first, of course, but once you finish this one you're sure to be salivating for the next release in this not-to-be-missed romantic paranormal series."

The great news for you guys is BOTH books in the Bound series are on sale for 99 cents (US and UK) from June 11 – 14!

We caught up with the author, Stormy Smith, and asked her to give us five non-spoiler facts we should know about Bound by Spells, and here is what she had to say.

Bound by Spells, in Five Words - List five words that describe Bound by Spells the best, and tell us why.

Action – Bound by Spells drops you right into the story and basically doesn’t quit. You’ll follow Amelia and Aidan separately, but meet a lot of new faces and never stop learning along the way.

Growth – Both Amelia and Aidan are young, just eighteen and nineteen. They are still figuring out who they are and what they are capable of. As the story progresses, you’re going to see some significant change out of both of them.

Connections – As a reader walking along with Amelia and Aidan, you’ll make a lot of connections between what you learned in Bound by Duty and what the realities of their situations truly are. You’ll also find the ties between some of our central secondary characters.

Friendship – If you were hoping to see Bethany again, of course I brought her back! But, there are also a lot of new friends introduced, and the whole story is impacted by friendships that were forged (or broken) years ago.

Love - Because at the heart of every good story and complicated ending is love. Sometimes it is between hearts, and sometimes it is the bond between people who are simply tied together by the will of another. But love changes everything.

Dreamcast:

Meet the cast of Bound by Spells! Today we’re talking about Bound by Spells, endorsed by USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog as “paranormal gold” and a highly-rated follow-up to the number one best-seller, Bound by Duty.

To get you acquainted with the Bound Series, without spoiling any secrets, how about a peek at the cast and some commentary from the author, Stormy Smith?

Adelaide Kane is the perfect Amelia. Her features are spot on and she has the perfect amount of naivety, youth and guts (at least playing Mary in Reign). Amelia was born into a life she doesn’t understand and no one will fully explain. She’s on her own to figure it out, and there are quite a few curveballs coming her way. But, she’ll meet your next book boyfriend and you’ll wish you had her best friend. You just may not want all the other stuff.



Enter said book boyfriend, or you can call him Aidan. His life hasn’t been picnics and playdates, and Aidan has secrets of his own. His relentless pursuit of Amelia is only matched by his intensity and swagger. He’ll protect her, whether she likes it or not, and he’ll find himself drug into a world he never expected.






Bethany. She’s sassy, she’s southern, and she’s the best damn best friend you could hope for. She tells it like it is and doesn’t back down when shit hits the fan. She’s Amelia’s first real friend and she’ll go to lengths even she didn’t expect to be there for her.







Micah. You won’t be too sure about him, you probably won’t trust him, but one blond southern girl will have him wrapped around her finger while you spend time figuring him out. He’s complicated and as you might expect, there’s more to him than meets the eye. Oh, and he also has an accent, so there’s that. ☺



Purchase:
(Book 1 will be only 0.99c during the blitz!)










Displaying Profile Pic Low Res.jpgAUTHOR BIO:
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.

If you want to stay tuned in to all of the new release news, sign up for Stormy's spam-free newsletter here. It only comes out when something exciting is happening...promise!

Get more information on her website - www.stormysmith.com.

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