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The Dark Circle: The Betrayal: Chapter 1

The Dark Circle: The Betrayal: Chapter 1: "Chapter 1 The beautiful Gatlinburg night enveloped the McCannon brothers in deep blue velvet. The beginning of June, usually blistering..."

The Betrayal: Chapter 1

Chapter 1

    The beautiful Gatlinburg night enveloped the McCannon brothers in deep blue velvet. The beginning of June, usually blistering hot this time of year, felt cool.
Flowers bloomed everywhere and the sent of Magnolia blossoms perfumed the air for miles.
    Stars, bright, shiny, like a million tiny diamonds, bedecked the cloudless sky. The night provided exactly what eighteen-year-old Zachariah McCannon and his brother, seventeen-year-old Matt, needed.
     Pink Azalea bushes and ruby red roses surrounded the new Amphitheater. Crossing the parking lot, the bass throbbed through the bottom of their shoes, making the brothers all the more anxious to get inside. They rarely got to be normal teenagers, and planned to enjoy every second of the concert. Inside, speakers boomed with the music from the rock band on stage. The amps pulsed with the beat and had the sold-out crowd going wild. Zack and Matt were no different. The group performing was their favorite and they sang along to each song. When the lead guitarist cut loose, Zack joined in with his own air guitar.
    When the group started the next song, Zack and Matt jumped to their feet, clapping and yelling in time to the music. Stage lights switched from red to purple, reflecting on their faces.
    “Isn’t this great?” Matt proclaimed during a drum solo, his eyes bright.
    “It’s fantastic,” Zack agreed, whistling. “I’m glad we were able to get tickets. I love this group.”
    “Me too. It sure beats sitting in a motel room, watching boring T.V. That’s for sure. You know, Zack, we should do this more often. I’m really having a good time.” Matt picked up his soda, taking a long sip and eating a few nachos before the start of the next song.
    Zack studied his brother for a moment, noting how relaxed and happy he seemed, something rare in their life lately. He nodded, agreeing. “Maybe we will, but Matt, we have to be careful. You know we do.”
    Matt shook his head and groaned inwardly even though no one was able to hear him. “Not tonight, Zack. Please. Let’s just have a good time, okay?”
    Zack nodded again, then grinned a little. “Okay, not tonight.” Jabbing his brother in the ribs, he added, “You know you sound like a girl when you sing?”
    “Ha! Ha! Maybe I do, but I still sound better than you.” He turned, about to take another sip of his soda, when his eyes locked on the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. She swayed to the music and his heart simply stopped beating.
    She looked to be about sixteen, with the body of a dancer, fluid, elegant, and poised. Red flowing hair cascaded to her waste and the most intense green eyes were watching him. His adolescent hormones soared.
    “Matt?” Zack turned at his little brother’s lack of movement. He just stood and stared. Zack followed Matt’s gaze and his eyes fell on the object of Matt’s attention.
    “Wow!” Zack proclaimed.
    “Tell me about it,” Matt said, swallowing hard. Taking a chance, he waved once, his nerves sparking when she ducked her head, then glanced at him from the corner of her eye. He scanned the area around her and she seemed to be alone. Gesturing for her to join them, he straightened when she began to walk over, her eyes never leaving his.
    “Hi. I’m Kira. You sure are cute.” She batted her lashes. Matt swallowed again. The girl was definitely not shy. He grinned.
    “I’m Matt.”
    Kira shuffled her feet. Matt wanted to reach out and touch her hair. It looked like pure silk. He shoved his hands in his pocket instead, his hormones kicking into overdrive.
    Beside him, Zack cleared his throat, but Kira paid him no mind.
    “Ahh…this is my brother, Zack.”
    “Hello,” Zack said, putting on his best grin.
    “Nice to meet you,” Kira replied, looking at Matt. Zack rolled his eyes. She leaned in and touched Matt’s shoulder. “Want to dance?”
    “Sure,” Matt said readily. He glanced once at his brother, his expression showing he couldn’t believe his good luck.
    “I like to dance,” Zack mumbled, irked at being ignored.
    The band played one of their slower songs and Kira led Matt to a platform the Amphitheater set up for people who wanted to dance. They put their arms around each other and began to sway to the music.
    The two acted as if they were the only ones in the whole theater. At first, they gazed into each other’s eyes, her hands on his shoulder and his arms around her waist, standing several inches apart. In a moment, they touched foreheads and her hands slid around his neck. By the second verse, he pulled her to his chest and she rested her head between his collar bone and chin—a perfect fit.
    Just before the song ended, she raised her head enough to pull on his earlobe with her teeth, the sensation making him crazy. Matt knew he had fallen helplessly in love—inside of five minutes—a new record for him.
    When the song ended, they walked back to Zack, with his arms crossed, scowling. Matt held Kira’s hand and she laid her head on his shoulders as if they had been together forever.
    With almost hypnotic eyes, Kira glanced at Zack over Matt’s shoulder and Zack felt paralyzed. She really is pretty, he thought.
    An hour later Matt tapped Zack on the arm. “I’m going for another soda. You want one?”
    “No. I’m good.”
    “Kira?” Matt turned to her, “You want anything from the snack bar?”
    “No thanks.”
    “Okay, I’ll be right back.”
    Kira nodded and Matt left. She turned her attention to Zack and stared.
    After and awkward moment, he asked, “What?”
    “You’re cuter than your brother, you know.”
    Zack grinned, “I know. I’m older too.”
    She laughed. “I can tell.”
   “How?”
    “You seem more…mature. I like that.”
    His chest puffed out at the compliment, even as his head warned him to quit flirting. His brother had seen her first. Instead, he heard his mouth say, “So what are you doing with Matt?” Zack cocked his head to the side, studying her, but she didn’t answer. Instead she rose up on tiptoes and kissed him on the mouth, then hugged him tightly. Something like electricity flooded his veins. He tried to step away, but her eyes mesmerized him and his lips wanted hers again.
    Matt came through the crowd just as Zack leaned in and whispered something in Kira’s ear that had the girl giggling. She hugged him again.
    “Hey, Zack!” Matt stormed up and pulled Kira back by the arm. “What’s going on?”
    Zack shrugged. “Nothing. I was just talking to Kira, here.”
    “It looks like you were doing more than that,” Matt fumed.
    “What?” Confused, Zack turned to face his brother.
    “She was dancing with me. Leave her alone.”
    “Matt, calm down. We just met her.”
    “You were flirting with my girlfriend.”
    Shaking his head, Zack said, “She’s not your girlfriend.”
    Matt shoved him.
    “Cut it out. What’s the matter with you?” Zack shoved him back.
    “You were flirting with her!”
    “She was flirting right back!”
    “Stay away from her, Zack. I mean it.” Matt turned to address Kira, but she had disappeared in the crowd and he couldn’t find her anywhere.
    Zack stared at Matt as if he’d gone crazy.
    “See what you’ve done?” Matt jabbed a finger at him.
    Zack still stared, not knowing what to say.
    “What?” Matt asked.
    “Nothing,” Zack replied. “Let’s just go.”
    “Fine!” Matt huffed and they headed to their SUV.
    Outside of the Amphitheater, away from the crowd, Kira stretched, eyes glinting. She laughed as she turned back into Alanya. The Destroyer sneered and headed back to the cave where he lived, his plan working beautifully.
                                           * * *
    The ride to the motel filled with silence. Street lights flashed by to reveal two scowling faces. In their room, Zack tossed the keys on the nightstand, where they clattered against the lamp.
    Matt threw himself on his bed, legs straight out, arms folded.
    “I can’t believe you did that to me,” he fumed. “Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had a date?”
    “Yeah…I”
    “And you just had to cut in! Thanks for nothing!”
    “Look…she”
    “Why couldn’t you let me have this one night out without ruining it? Just one!”
    “Matt, she came onto me.”
    “Uh huh. Sure she did.”
    “Why would I lie about that?”
    “I dunno. Same reason you’d steal my girlfriend.”
    “She was not your girlfriend!”
    Matt clicked on the TV, refusing to listen to, or even look at his brother.
    A few sullen hours passed and Zack tried one more time.
    “Matt.” Zack went over to sit on the bed opposite his little brother.
    “What?”
    “You okay?”
    Matt sighed. “Yeah. I’m sorry. I don’t know what got in to me. She was so pretty and I thought it was cool she liked me instead of you. I don’t know why I got so angry. It was like I couldn’t control myself.”
    “Well, she was pretty. Anyway, we’ll probably never see her again. Don’t even worry about it.” Zack rose to take off his shirt and climbed into bed.
    Matt stole a glance. “Are we okay?”
    Grinning, Zack said, “We’re okay.” Both of them lay down and fell asleep instantly.
    Several hours later, Matt began to toss and turn in his sleep as the dream began. He was in a cave, the darkness almost impenetrable. He could hear water dripping into a pool just ahead of him and it seemed like the cave howled. He felt compelled to come to the cave. He needed to find something there, but he didn’t know what it was. The darkness of the cave began swirling and solidifying until it became a figure and started chasing Matt, trying to grab him. He ran for the opening but it kept getting further and further away. The darkness washed over him and he felt pure evil. No matter what he did, he couldn’t escape it. It was so tangible he could almost reach out and touch it.
    Again he ran for the opening. The evil grew worse, making him sick. He had to get out of there. Just about to reach the mouth of the cave, something grabbed him from behind. In the dream he screamed.
    Matt jumped straight up in bed, his heart beating a million times a minute, and sweat soaking him. Instinctively he knew the dream was a vision. He needed to go to the cave because it held something he needed to get. Zack was still asleep so Matt went to the bathroom for a shower. When he finished, he looked on his computer to find the cave’s location as he waited for his big brother to wake up.





The Betrayal: Prologue

Prologue

    He roamed through the cave, listening to the sounds around him. Water dripped into an underground pool further down, the drops spaced several seconds apart and the splash echoing off the rocks. Sand and pebbles crunched under his feet, and wind whistled across the cave opening, all of it familiar. He’d walked that cave a million times for a million different reasons. His domain—where he drew his strength—also became his weakness at times, for the cave was alive.
    His name, Alanya, meant The Destroyer. He wandered the ages, seeking to slaughter people with special gifts.
    He fed on them for their strength and power, each special power offering a distinctive flavor. Their cries resonated in the cave’s memory; their blood splattered in its walls and drenched the floors. If he closed his eyes and concentrated, he could still smell the coppery tang.
    Outside, patches of golden moonlight speckled the ground beneath pine and alder, yew and birch. Strolling to the mouth of the cave, he looked at but didn’t see the forest. His mind seethed in his hatred for the brothers Zachariah and Matthew McCannon.
    Their parents abandoned them ten years earlier when they were only seven and eight. Since then, Zack took it upon himself to care for his younger brother. Matthew’s powers caught Alanya’s attentions and, from Matthew’s infancy, the demon made one attempt after another to steal them. But always—always—Zack stood in the way.
    The thought of a mere boy defeating him sent Alanya’s jaws cracking. A fury flooded him, so fierce he couldn’t breathe, so fierce the claws on his clenched fists drew blood from his palms.
    Alanya roared, the walls of the cave shaking with the sound, and his chest heaving. Moonlight reflected off his blood red scales, so dark they almost looked black. In his fury, outstretched dragon wings brushed the cave walls and the long tail, spiked at the end, drove a hole into the floor.
    Lowering his bald head, human in shape except for horns twisting on either side, he scanned the forest, yellow eyes glittering at his new plan.
    The demon decided to play brother against brother, slowly, so he could enjoy his feat and revel in their pain. He smiled at what he’d do to them before they died, licking his lips in anticipation at the thought of Matt’s powers becoming his. And, to treat himself, toward the end, he’d watch Matthew kill Zack, breaking the boy’s spirit and mind. Payback, he nodded; retribution for refusing to submit to his superior power, for daring to defy him.
    Sucking in a deep breath, Alanya turned from the mouth of the cave to gaze around his domain, he walked into the shadows, sneering.
    “I’m coming.”

The Betrayal, Teaser

Hi everyone. I just wanted to let people know I'm in the process of re-inventing my Young Adult paranoramal book, The Betrayal. I will post a new chapter for the next five days and would love for all of you to read it and let me know what you think. Please read and leave comments.

Thanks,
Sheila

Review of Stilletos and Scoundrels

Presley Thurman is your average run of the mill single female trying to make a name for herself. She loves her job, most of the time, except for when she's being sexually harrassed by her boss. She also loves to shop.  When she refuses his advances one to many times, he fires her.
Now Presley doesn't know what to do. She really liked the job, working in Human Resources but now she has to start a new career. Growing up, she's always wanted to write so she contacts an old friend of her's, Trevor, who is the editor of a  newspaper, and asks him if she could work for him. Trevor knows Presley's always wanted to write and offers her a job. He gives her an assignment to go back to her home town of  Alkon Illinoise and do an article on Senator Tom Daniels.
After putting on her favorite killer suit and high heels she set's out to get her article. She does her interview and thinks everything is okay but tables are turned when the Senator is murdered. She quickly takes advantage of the news deciding to find the killer herself, thus jumpstarting her writing career.

Cooper Sands job is protecting Senator Daniels. He's head of Security. He's also gorgeous, sexy, and had a thing with Helen in high school. When the two start working on finding the killer together, the passion they  had in high school comes back full force and now he tries his best to keep Presley out of the way but she's stubborn and doesn't take no for an answer.

Laina Turners book Stilletos and Scoundrels has it all. Murder, mystery, lust, and fashon. The story was well told. My only regret was that it was mostly written in Presley's POV. I would have really liked to have gotten into the backgrounds of some of the other characters but that was my only problem with the book. All in all in was well written.

My rating:  ***

Join me tomorrow, May 11th for a review of Laina Turner's new book, Stilettos and Scoundrels. I will also be posting a give a-way of one ebook copy of the book! Stay tuned!

In the meantime, visit the secret Nurture Tour Book Special page to get your paperback copy of Stilettos & Scoundrels for $5.00 or your Kindle copy for $1.90. Don't miss out on these fantastic savings!

Be sure to use secret access/key code 134438.

Thanks!
Sheila

Interveiw with Jamie Magee

NURTURE Book Tour post with INSIGHT by Jamie Magee

Hi everyone and welcome. First of all I would like to thank you all for being here! With me today is Jamie Magee who is here to talk about her first ever Young Adult book, Insight. Jamie, thank you so much for being here with me today. If it's okay with you I'd like to start off by asking you some questions about you and your book. I've read it and it is awesome! I can't wait to read the next one.

I would also like to let everyone know, I will be doing a book reveiw Monday, May 2 of the book. Let's get started!
1. Please tell me a little about yourself. When did you realize you wanted to become an author? Hi there! My name is Jamie Magee and my debut novel is Insight. Before writing I was simply a mother, wife, and a business woman. I enjoyed listening to music, watching movies, and playing with my children.  I grew up in the beautiful town of Franklin, TN. Around me it was not hard to find talent, but the talent was not in literature it was in music (Franklin sits just 20 min south of Nashville TN), or in the equestrian world. I’m not one of the blessed people who were born with a defined dream in their heart – I envied those around me who were. When I was eighteen applying for collage, sitting at my parent’s kitchen table with a sea of pamphlets in front of me my thoughts danced across all of the possibilities – in one afternoon my imagination let me be a philosopher, photographer, teacher, veterinarian, and even a fashion designer. Even though my imagination was vivid and created a wonderful life for me – each day dream lacked passion. To pursue anything in this life passion is the core element you need. I decided to just enter the wide field of business and hoped that somewhere in my path I would discover who I was supposed to be. I married my high school sweetheart, my soul mate, when I was only twenty one. It seems so young now, but then our love was the only thing that held any passion in my life. We began our family two years later, and I built my career in the field of business. I found myself living the typical American life, celebrating the milestones in my children’s young lives, and mine and my husband’s career. At times I admit as full as my life was I knew there was something missing.  In December of 2008 like most people I was looking back over the year that was about to end and the one that would begin soon. 2009 and would be a big year for me – I would turn thirty. I know one day I will look back at tell myself that age was not as important as I thought it was, but at that time I began to worry that I had not done enough in my life. I asked myself what was teaching my young children – that life was simply getting married, having children and going to work every day.  I was proud of the life I had given them, but I wanted to teach them that life was about passion and it did not matter how insane their dreams were they should chase them. It’s hard for me to pin point the moment I decided to write Insight – I had been toying with a daydream throughout the month of December of 2008 of this gifted green eyed girl – honestly I think I was just looking for a good love story and at that time I could not find a book or movie to satisfy my craving. On New Years Eve of 2008 sitting next to husband on our couch watching the ball drop in New York I turned and looked at him and said “Alright time for resolutions – I have three: first I want to run every day, then I want to learn to play the guitar – oh yeah and I’m going to write a book, too.” I remember his blue eyes sparkling as he grinned and then turned back to watch the ball fall. My insane resolutions did not catch him off guard, by this point in our lives he was used to my ambitious ideas – however he was not used to me following thorough with any of them. The next day I borrowed a lap top from my father in law and that night I opened a word document and began with “It was a warm day in Franklin”. Honestly I assumed I would grow bored with the idea and by the end of the week and I would find myself lost in my all American life once again, but something strange happened – I found passion. I had no idea what I was doing or how I was doing it. Throughout my day I would daydream the next scene in the book, at night once the kids were tucked away I would write out what I had seen in my mind. I’d written almost 50,000 words before I told any of my friends what I was doing in my ‘free’ time. To say that writing was the last thing they imagined me ever doing would be understatement – thankfully they let me humour them and asked me to verbally tell them my story – I would gage their expressions to see if the story I was telling would interest anyone beyond myself and was surprised when I discovered that Willow Haywood, in her own way, was fascinating.Letting others read what I’d written was to this day, the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. I feared if they hated it that this breath of passion would fade and I would be right back at square one – trying to figure out what mark I was suppose to make in this life.Thankfully, I was able to take in everyone’s feedback – both the positive and the constructive and the passion I had for my story and my characters grew. It’s hard for me to imagination my life without writing in it. I know no matter where my writing career takes me that I have managed to teach my children that life is precious and the passion we have in our souls will lead us to amazing people and a blessed life.
2. What is Insight about?   Insight is a paranormal romance. Willow Haywood by all outward appearances was a normal teenage girl, the only talent she openly displayed was her love of art. Her entire life she had struggled with a six sense, one that allows her to feel others emotions as her own. At times this sense caused images of people to appear in front of her, with a touch she was taken to wherever they may be in this world, and she had the power to change their emotions, to make them happy, or at the very least she brought them to peace.  Beyond this strange characteristic she had vivid dreams. Each night she dreamt of a breathtaking blue eyed boy, the dreams were silent but her gift of emotion told her that he loved her as intently as she loved him. On the night of each new moon she struggled with a painful nightmare – her gift of sensing emotion was taken from her and she battled a suffocating weight on her chest.  All of these odd characteristics came into play when a nightmare marked her wrist with a star and Willow learned who she really was and had no choice but to outrun a fate that was chasing her.
3. What has been your best author experience so far?I have had one of the most amazing years as a writer – everyday I meet new bloggers or readers and find myself falling deeper in love with the world of books and reading. The one experience I remember vividly was my birthday last year. Insight had a very silent release in July, I didn’t really have a launch - I just told my friends on face book and twitter that Insight was now available. By the fall I had reached out to a few pages on face book and had met a lot of outstanding people on the social network. There is a page called Book Reader Addicts the admin of that page Cynthia Hatfield had read and reviewed Insight and really liked it. She asked me to do an interview and a giveaway. Cynthia posted the interview and the giveaway the night before my birthday. I remember waking up the next morning and glancing at the face book app on my phone – the members of the Book Reader Addicts page had commented on my interview and on my Insight page there were countless birthday wishes and comments on my debut. It was the first time felt like an author ~ I simple could not stop smiling. It was one of the best birthday’s I’ve ever had!I admit every time I read a review whether it is  good or bad I smile – I smile because I know that the reader is seeing me as an author – a title I feel honored to carry. I love every single one of my readers!
4. What advice would you give to those wishing to pursue a career as an author? Write – Write as fast as your fingers will let you. There is nothing in this world that can stop you from living in your bliss. Listen to your dreams and let your heart lead you through your perfect daydream.
5. Have you written any other books? Why did you choose that genre?I have completed the next two books in the Insight series and have almost finished the fourth in the series. Last month I took a break and wrote and entirely different story – I can’t say that I will ever publish that story because it is simply too fresh. I feel like this genre picked me –when I sat down to write the story I had no idea what was I creating. I even asked my friends to help me classify the story in the beginning. The best thing about YA is that it’s the beginning – weather you are living through those moments now – or remember them clearly - falling in love –discovering who you are and looking out at a sea of endless possibilities is a remarkable place to be in life. Beyond that, I have always loved the paranormal and a good love story!
6. What's next? I’m very excited to be releasing Embody the second book in the series on June 7th of this year!  I look forward to meeting more readers and writers and taking in the beautiful world of literature one breath at a time.
7. Who is your favorite author?  I love so many authors across varied genres - I always struggle with this question. My favorite novel (which is most defiantly outside of genre) is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – to be on the safe side I always answer with Francine Rivers’s name. J
8. Are the characters going to be seen again?Most defiantly! Insight has a large cast of characters that will stretch across the series, in the future books some characters fade as new ones are introduced. I’m simply in love with each and every one of them!
9. Describe your typical writing day.I have a very full and active life outside of writing – so I’m sure my typical day is not like most. All day long with every free thought I have I daydream my story to the next point I need to reach – or simply try to unwind the plot that is building in front of me.  At the end of the day around nine PM I sit down with my lap top and write until around midnight – I never edit at this time, I just let it flow as fast I can. On the weekends I give myself more time, and allow myself to read what I wrote throughout the week, then move the story further. Oddly my strongest, biggest twist seems to come in stolen moments of writing.
10. What is something that will draw the reader to your book?The amount of talent and unforgettable stories on the shelves today is unbelievable. I believe every story has a reader it is intended for. My story has a deep thread that involves soul mates, past lives, and the Zodiac – I believe those elements will draw readers that believe in such things to Insight – or at least that is what I tell myself everyday!
Thank you so much for taking the time to get to know me ~ it means so much to me!-- Jamie MaGee
 
Thank you for being here with us Jamie and I hope you'll drop by again!
 
I would also like to thank Bobbie Crawford for telling me about this wonderful lady.

than
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Review of Insight by Jamie Magee

A man is never whole without the heart of the one he loves-this heart would be the power to move so many.

-Livingston-

    Eighteen year old Willow has a gift. She can feel the emotions of those around her and help where there's a need. She's been this way her whole life. She's also plagued by the same nightmare over and over. It used to only happen during a Blue Moon but lately it's happening everynight. In it, a dark, forboding person taunts her, telling her she's the love of his life. There's another part to the dream in which a handsome, blue-eyed boy is always there, his presence calming her.
   When the dark person brands her with a star that appears in the center of her ankh tattoo, she decides to tell her father. That is when Willow's world is turned upside down. Her father tells her that she is not of this world, neither is he, her mother or her sister. He also tells her it's time that he takes them all home to Chara where everything is beutiful and peaceful.
   When she arrives in Chara, she meets her blue-eyed boy. His name is Landen and he's her soulmate. She is overjoyed Landen is real but there's also another, Drake, who she finds to be the dark figure that haunts her dreams.
    Drake won't rest until Willow belongs to him. He takes her friends hostage and she will stop at nothing to get them back.
   As a battle brews, Willow and Landen find they are the key to everything that happens in Chara and when they find out who they really are, they pray they'll be strong enough to withstand the evil, win the battle and save their friends.

   Insight is the debut novel from Young Adult, fantasy author, Jamie Magee. The story is delightful, drawing me in from the very first page. It's the story of love, family, finding your soulmate and will even have you believing in a place called Chara. I thoroughly enjoyed this imaginitive  book and can't wait to read the next in the series.

Sheila

My rating:  ****1/2