Friday, 17 January 2014

YA Bound Tours **REVIEW**: "The Promise" by Apryl Baker

The Promise (Coven #1) by Apryl Baker
Release Date: 08/25/13

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Armed with kick-ass shoes, can CJ stop a maniacal coven leader, save the town, and still get Mr. Melt In Your Mouth Gorgeous while surviving the darkness coming for her?

The smoke from the fire burned her eyes, its heat caressed her skin and the taste of fear choked her. She was going to burn just as her ancestor did all those centuries ago in New Salem Village. How could she have been so wrong about everything?

Cassie Jayne Bishop grew up the only non-believer in town of Coven. When a stranger comes to the sleepy town of New Salem, everything she thought was true unraveled around her. Ethan made her question everything, even her sister’s death. Clues start to pile up and Cassie is determined to find out if the Coven was the real reason her sister died.

What she uncovers terrifies her to the very depths of her soul....

Why does it always happen to me?  What did I do to piss off the Fates so badly?  I stared down at my puke-covered  Mary Janes and winced.  Eww,  gross.  So much  for my brand new shoes.

“Come on, Kay, let’s get you home.”  I pulled my best friend up and put my arm around her.  She smelled like stale beer and vomit.  Rancid breath.  I should leave her here, I thought spitefully.  I hadn’t even wanted to come to the stupid party to begin with.  It was just another one of their attempts to get me into the fold, but I had no intention of getting involved in any of that nonsense.  Just look what it had gotten me tonight—Jeff hit on me yet again…ugh… and then my shoes were ruined.  So wrong.

“S-s-sor-ry,” Kay slurred as she focused on putting one foot in front of the other.
“Where’s your car?” I asked as I scanned the vehicles parked too close together on the fringe of the lake.


Perfect, I groaned to myself.  I’d seen her sister earlier arguing with her loser boyfriend, but didn’t know she’d already taken Kay’s car and left.  I used my cell to try and call her, but wasn’t surprised it went straight to voicemail. 

Just fabulous.  It’s not like I could even call Kay’s boyfriend.  His parents had cornered him into some kind of family night. 

I searched the mass of bodies looking for someone who’d loan me their car.  The raucous laughter of teens filled the air as they danced around the mummy of the headless horseman they’d built, his pumpkin head ablaze, to usher in the month of October and the ritual of Samhain.  Bonfires decorated the shore to welcome our most celebrated holiday.

The haze from the bonfires made it hard to see anyone.  Jeff caught my eye and waved.  I could ask him, but Neighbor Boy would think I owed him.  Uh, definitely not.  He was one of my best friends, but he had a serious crush on me.  Loaning me his Jeep would equal a date in his eyes.  Not gonna happen.  I didn’t see anyone else that I knew well enough to ask.
Kay made a horrible retching noise and threw up all over my shoes again.  Why me?

“Looks like we’re walking.”  Thank the Fates she didn’t live far.

I half dragged the semi-conscious girl away from the lake and toward the outskirts of New Salem.  I still couldn’t believe I was stuck hauling her drunken ass home.  She owed me big time. 

It was dark, but I knew my way through the woods.  I’d spent enough time in them growing up to be able to walk through blindfolded.  Kay, however, made it more difficult.  I had to stop every few minutes to let her throw up.  By the time we finally reached the first house on our street, Gallows Lane, I really was ready to leave her. 

She groaned and pitched forward, dragging me with her.  Now I could add scraped knees to my list of things that had gone wrong tonight, I thought as I fell.  Fingers curled around my arm and yanked me backward before I could hit the ground.  Kay fell flat on her face.

I turned around to say thank you, but the words froze in my throat.  I looked up and up.  The light from the street lamp illuminated hair the color of rich, dark chocolate.  It swept down almost to his shoulders in a perfect mess that framed a face of sharp angles and strong features.  Sculpted perfection was my first thought.  Gray eyes that reminded me of the fog swirling over the mountains after a rain, stared steadily down at me.  My mind focused on one fact—he was absolutely gorgeous.

“Are you okay?” he asked.  His voice was deep and gravelly.  I liked it.

I nodded, not trusting my own voice.  I was in full ogle mode.

He looked down at Kay and sighed.  He lifted her into his arms and turned to me.  “Where does she live?”

“Just up the lane,” I told him, grateful my voice didn’t crack while I admired the way his muscles rippled under the tee shirt as he shifted his hold on Kay.  “Thanks.”

He nodded and motioned for me to show him the way.

“I’m Cassie Jayne Bishop,” I told him as we walked.  “CJ.” 

Crap, why I had I told him my full name?  We were taught at an early age not to tell strangers our full names.  To us it was the ultimate taboo.  Oh well.  It’s not like I believed in that nonsense anyway. 

“Ethan Warren,” he said and quickened his pace. 

Okay, so maybe he didn’t want to talk to me.  Or he could just be in a hurry to get away from the stench of dried vomit and beer.  I hoped it was the latter.  Then I remembered my shoes.  I probably reeked too.

We reached Kay’s house in record time.  His long strides ate up the sidewalk.  I found myself running to keep up with him.  He had to be at least four or five inches over six feet.  I barely reached his shoulder. 

Fate decided to forgive me.  Her Dad still wasn’t home.  Neither was Jess.  I opened the back door with the spare key they kept buried in the gravel.  I turned around to take Kay, but he was already entering the house.  I led the way upstairs to her room so I could open the door for him.  He dumped her on the bed.  I pulled her shoes off and tucked a throw around her. 

“Come along, Cassie Jayne Bishop.  I’ll walk you home.”  He turned and headed out the door.

I stared after him.  Who was he?  I found him waiting at the back door when I came down.  After locking the door and pocketing the key (hey, he’d seen me take it—how was I to know he wouldn’t come back?) we started up the lane toward my own smaller, more meager house. 

So who am I? Well, I'm the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friends laugh at me when I scare myself watching them and tell me to stop watching them, but who doesn't love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.
I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.

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