Tuesday, 3 June 2014

MARK MY WORDS TOURS **GIVEAWAY & REVIEW**: Dirty Blood Series By Heather Hildenbrand **reviews added**



Dirty Blood book #1
Series: Dirty Blood
By Heather Hildenbrand
Published: April 28th 2011
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I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. That’s about the time I went into shock… And that was the moment he showed up.

Now, all I can do is accept the truths that are staring me in the face. One, Werewolves do exist. And Two, I was born to kill them.


Up ahead, a movement caught my eye, pulling me out of my thoughts. I stopped short and felt my pulse jump at the unexpected company. I didn’t usually see anyone else in this part of the cut-through, but just past the next Dumpster, a girl with long blond hair and pointy-heeled boots stood in the center of the alley, shaking uncontrollably. I took a step towards her, wanting to help in some way, and then stopped again when I saw her face. She was glaring at me with a look of hatred so raw, it sent a shiver down my back. 

“Um, are you okay?” I called out, still trying to understand why she was basically convulsing. Was she having a seizure? But she was managing to stay on her feet. Her gloved hands were balled into fists at her sides, and she was breathing heavily now. I tried again. “Do you need some help?” Something about the way she looked at me made my skin tingle. I shivered again.

“Help,” she repeated, through clenched teeth. “Right.” Her words dripped with sarcasm and unconcealed malice. 

Then, before I could think of something to say to that, her shaking reached its crescendo and then she … exploded. There was really no other word for it. With a harsh ripping sound, her clothes disappeared, scattering into the air in tiny pieces. In the same second, her body seemed to waver and then morph, leaving in its place the largest wolf I’d ever seen. My jaw dropped. Was I crazy, or had that girl just turned into a giant dog?

I had a split second to stare at her before she charged. The brown fur became nothing more than a blur as she rushed forward, teeth bared, claws extended. In that moment, I was completely sure that I was going to die. I didn’t even have time to be afraid; it would all be over too quickly. 

Then, somehow, though my conscious brain had nothing to do with it, my body reacted. Just before impact, I twisted aside, dodging her. Using my body’s momentum, I brought my hand around and swung. I hadn’t even realized I’d made a fist, but my knuckles connected and I heard the crack of bone as my hand slammed into the wolf’s cheek. The hit drove it—her?—back a few paces, but then she straightened and seemed to right herself. Her yellow eyes locked onto mine and she came again. I shed my jacket, and let it fall next to me on the concrete; some hidden part of me knew I needed better use of my limbs.

Three more times I managed to dodge the wolf as she lunged. On the fourth, her claws caught on my shirt and raked down my abdomen on either side, driving me back. I stumbled and fell. My back slammed onto the pavement with a hard thud. Again, I accepted my inevitable death. I watched as she continued to come at me, slower and more confident now that I was on the ground. All I could see were razor canines aimed straight for my throat. I cringed and turned away, unable to look into those bright yellow eyes, knowing what was coming. When I turned, a glint of slivered moonlight caught a piece of piping nearby, probably meant for the Dumpster but somehow had landed here.

Again, subconscious reasoning took over and I felt myself reaching for it, my hand closing around the cold steel. With a grunt, I swung out.

I hadn’t expected to actually land the blow or for the crack to be quite so loud. I felt the vibrations from it all the way up my arm but managed to hold onto the pipe until I felt the wolf’s weight go slack. She crumpled in a heap, half on top of me. I pushed her aside, which wasn’t easy, and scrambled to my feet. I stood, staring down at the giant mass of fur, wondering how in the world no one else had noticed what just happened.

As I stared, the wolf’s form began to shake and then shimmer around the edges, going hazy, and then finally, it was the girl again. Her long hair covered her face in stringy waves, matting to her head on the side where the pipe had made contact. Blood seeped slow and steady from the wound to the pavement. Her body was naked and curled together, almost fetal, except for her knee wedged at an unnatural angle. I could see that her eyes were open and staring vacantly but I didn’t linger on that. I couldn’t. Shock and disbelief surged through me as I gaped at her crumpled form, struggling to accept what I was seeing. No way. It was impossible. People couldn’t be … wolves. That was a myth. A way for Hollywood to cash in.

But there was no mistaking it. The girl lying in a heap in front of me was definitely the same girl as before. And she smelled, distinctly, of animal.
I kept hoping she’d move, or at least groan, from the pain of the head trauma. Ignoring the feminine details of her bare body, I stared hard at her shoulders and chest, looking for any sign that might indicate breathing. I didn’t see any. And I knew, deep down, that I wouldn’t. 

My hands began to shake. Maybe from the cold, but I was too numb to feel the temperature against my skin. I took a step back and stumbled.
Hands closed around me, keeping me upright. I jolted and tried to jerk away from the unexpected contact. A strangled scream escaped my lips as the hands whirled me around to face my attacker. 

“Whoa, it’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you,” he said.

I didn’t answer. My ability to speak coherently had been momentarily lost; any sound would’ve been a scream, anyway. My breath came in uneven gasps and he waited until I got myself under control.

There was concern in his eyes but that didn’t go very far with me. I noticed vaguely that his eyes were the same exact color as his hair, a sort of bronzed brown. The color was fascinating: unlike anything I’d ever seen, and they seemed to hold some dark edge that hinted at danger, no matter how gentle they got. The rest of him wasn’t bad, either. His face matched his eyes, rugged and hard edges from his cheekbones to his jaw. When he’d spun me around, I’d grabbed out to steady myself and even now my hands still rested on his shoulders, where I’d first gripped. Underneath my fingers, and the leather of his jacket, was solid muscle. 

The fact that I was actually checking him out—just moments after killing a girl—was my first clue I was in shock.


It not often i give a complete 5 stars, but this book - and the series - i LOVED it! Devoured all 4 books and am gutted book 5 isn't out until later in the year!

This book revolves around werewolves. And you're chucked into the deep end with the story, which is brilliant.

Walking home after breaking up with her boyfriend - and her ride home, she hears a noise. And of course its down a dark alley - it sounds like someone in pain. Tara's conscience wont leave them be, she enters the alley to find a girl upset......one minute then a great hulking wolf attacking her the next.
Reacting on her instincts - shes never had a fight and has no idea how to! But she keeps the wolf away, and surprisingly kills it with a metal bar close by.
In shock she stares at the wolf's body who changes back into the girl.
She cant believe she just killed a girl. Even if she did..what, wait? Turn into a wolf??

The alleyway is shadowed by a man who tried to help her. He seems way too calm, and not surprised when Tara tells him about her turning into a wolf...he IS surprised she lived to tell the tale and the way she fought and how she killed the girl.

Walking her home, she freaks out. He alters her memory so she cant remember what had happened and leaves her in her own room and fine to sleep the night....

She wakes up the next day feeling sore and feverish. Her mum leaves her to rest it off....but the man is sat in her bedroom. And she doesnt remember who he is, and again freaks out about him! He tells her hes called Wes and he wants to know "what she is".....with no idea, she feels, again, completely freaked and no idea!
He restores her memory. She quiets. Relearns what she did, and demands explanations.

Werewolves exist. So do Hunters. Humans born with extra strength to fight and kill werewolves.

So whats this got to do with Tara?
Wes takes her to "a friend" - thats all we know.
But he is friendly to her, so thats ok.

Hes Jack, and his wife is Fee. They're full blooded Werewolves.
They believe Tara is a Hunter.

Who thinks its hilarious! If she was a hunter, why didnt she know? If its hereditary she would have known by now, right?
but after talking with Jack and Fee and given a book called "The Draven"......shes not so sure she ISNT.
Its arranged that Tara will visit Jack to learn to fight - or at least defend herself.

Wes takes her home (in his very nice sporty and sleek Aston Martin!) when they are jumped by a wolf, who identifies himself as "Leo". he calls Wes a "Dirty Blood", and aims this low shot at Tara too parting with a "what a shame, so much potential". 
Asking what a "Dirty Blood" is...Wes seems almost ashamed by it. All it means is that one parent was a Hunter and the other was a Werewolf. Thats Wes, but she cant figure out why aimed at her....

So ensues a secret life for Tara. She keeps it from her normal friends and her mum. She learns to fight with Jack. She reads the Draven. She meets the rest of the group who are called "The Cause" - a group striving to bring peace between hunters and weres alike. Not everyone wants this, as bizarre as that seems (on both were and hunters sides)....theres a few in the group that appear hostile, some seem nice enough - like Miles - another hunter - the only other hunter in the group, so shes happy shes not the only one!

Can she keep this from her mum? More questions in her mind come up with that question. If it was hereditary, which parent was the hunter?? And why was she kept in the dark?
What about her friends?
Why is she so attracted to this Wes? Not a normal attraction (altho yeah, hes cute and she does fancy him!) but theres almost a physical pull.
Who's Leo? Whats Miles got to do with this??
Tara has a lot to get her head around....and the last shot to her - she too is a "Dirty Blood"...which means she had both as parents...but who was who??

I could write about this for ages and trust me when i say ive tried to not give too much away, but if you like Weres, a little bit of fighting, a little bit of romance and a lot of information and shocks - this is perfect for you!




Cold Blood Book #2
Series: Dirty Blood
By Heather Hildenbrand
Published: November 22nd 2011

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Wood Point Academy is not at all what I expected. For one thing, it looks like a cross between military school and Buckingham Palace. Everyone stares, the floors shine so bright you can see your reflection in them from a mile away, and no one smiles. Unless they're kicking your butt in the process.

At least I've got plenty to take my mind off the fact that my psycho cousin, Miles De'Luca, keeps calling and declaring his love and promising to come for me just as soon as he's destroyed anyone standing in our way. Wes isn't going to like that idea. So between Miles, Wood Point's evil welcoming committee, and the drill sergeant hottie trainer from hell, I just keep asking myself, how did I end up here?


So, this book sees Tara heading for Wood Point Academy (and no the name is not lost on me!!).  This is a specialist school, and supposedly the best Hunter Training School in the country.

However, Tara wasnt ready for the shunning she got the first step she takes on Academy soil....for not being a pure blood Hunter.
Trying to ignore the whispers and words she trudges through her first week.  Of course the obligatory blonde barbie bully and her cronies are there just taking every opportunity to make her feel worse than she is.
However, she meets two other "outsiders" - Logan and Cambria.  Cambria is just a pure misfit, whereas Logan was last years new kid, but despite his good looks and intelligent, theres no clique to cater to both!

We meet the boy who saved Tara in the last book - hes called Alex, and he is assigned to train Tara every night and at the weekend.  Hes not happy - he still sees her as a Dirty Blood, and Tara takes great pleasure in proving him to see WHO she is, and not what.  Their relationship goes from hatred to almost a love relationship, but one that cannot be.  Tara has mixed emotions about this, and its recalled really well.

And of course cant forget Miles - the hunter from the first book who turns out to be Leo's son - he too reveals as a mixed blood, but he is creepy.  Calling Tara that he and her can rule and that he has a plan in the works.....and then he wants to meet her...

Of course it cant end well....
But what was the plan.....? And did he succeed in it?
Wesley is being promoted to be the leader of The Cause, so Tara is frustrated at not being able to contact him or see him....but when he shows up outside the Academys defense shield.....he reads Taras mind......and what had happened with Alex....
Something is changing in Tara too.....

One heck of a cliffhanger again, one that leaves one of the people Tara knows to be changed forever......



Blood Bond Book 3
Series: Dirty Blood
By: Heather Hildenbrand
Published: August 31st 2012

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Hybrids.

If I had to choose one word to sum up all of my problems, this would be it.

Without hybrids, I wouldn’t have to watch my best friend slowly becoming a monster. Without hybrids, I could let go of the mentality “hunt or be hunted.” 

CHAS wouldn’t be scouring the Earth, intent on slaughtering and using Alex to do it. Without hybrids, I wouldn’t have to be on guard that losing my temper meant losing my shape. There would be no monster inside me, struggling to get out.

Then again, without hybrids, I wouldn’t have Wesley St. John


It was a wedge between Alex and me, his wanting to join these teams. The fact that he was volunteering to kill something that represented a part of me—a bigger part than I was willing to admit—was hard.

“Which team?” I asked quietly.

“A scouting team to start, but if I do well,” he shrugged, “I should be promoted quickly.”

I nodded, not trusting my voice, and stared at a pile of nuts and bolts on the tailgate.

He sighed and dropped the wrench. “Say something.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know, but your silence is weirding me out. Usually you just yell or wave your arms or something.”

“I’ll remember that for future arguments.” As soon as I said it, my eyes watered. What future? This was it.

“Tara …” Alex took my hand.

“Don’t,” I whispered, but he ignored it and laced his fingers through mine.

“I’ll miss you. Will you miss me?”

All I could do was nod. He leaned closer, his eyes on my mouth. His free hand traced an invisible line down my jaw and rested on my shoulder. I held my breath, sure he was going to kiss me. I had no idea what I would do if he did. My feet became anchors, holding me in place.

At the last minute before our lips touched, he exhaled. His breath was warm on my lips before he leaned away. He let go of my hand and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me into a tight embrace. I hugged him back and tried to ignore the sting in my eyes and throat. We didn’t move for a long time. 

****

When he spoke again, his voice was rough. “This is harder than I thought it would be.”

“For me too.” It was easier to talk standing in his arms, without him looking at me. “Alex? Will I see you again?”

“Absolutely.”

“Promise?”

He pulled away, facing me squarely. His hands rested on my arms. “I’m going to tell you something, and then I’m going to walk away because it’s late and also because I don’t want you to feel like you have to say anything.”

“Okay.”

“I love you, Tara Godfrey. I love you so much that I walk around breathless from the exertion. No, don’t talk,” he said when I opened my mouth to respond. “Just listen. I don’t have family. I don’t get attached. It’s easier that way. Which is what I kept telling myself about you, but it happened despite my best efforts to prevent it. It’s not going away and it’s not fading. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

“I understand you have feelings for me but you love him. The only option that leaves me with is hunting hybrids. And even though you hate the idea, it’s not what keeps us apart.”

“Alex, I—”

“No, don’t.” He attempted a smile but it looked pained. “I’ll see you again. I’ll always see you again. No matter how much you hate what I do in between. I also suck at goodbyes. So …” He dropped his hands from my shoulders and buried them in his pockets. When they were safely tucked, he leaned in and planted a kiss halfway between my mouth and my cheek. It was quick, chaste, his expression strained. How much had that cost him?

“I’m going to head back. Get some sleep. I leave early so you won’t see me in the morning. Bye, Tara.”

He spun on his heel and began a long retreat down the gravel path that led back to school. I stood there, torn between wanting to respect his wishes and needing to give him what I could. The ache won out. My dress flared up around my legs as I sprinted. I held it down and kept running.

“Alex, wait!”

I threw myself into his arms. He staggered backwards before catching his balance, holding me to him and lifting my feet off the ground. He didn’t complain that I’d come after him.

I wrapped my arms tightly around his shoulders, burying my face in his neck. I breathed in his scent of outdoors and bar soap and committed it to memory.

“Be careful,” I said when he finally lowered me to my feet. “And—you’re my family, too.” His expression clouded. “I know you said not to respond.” I grabbed his jacket lapels to brace myself and rushed on, not caring whether the gesture was right or not. “I just had to say that, so you know it’s mutual. No matter what.” I squeezed my eyes against all of the rest that I couldn’t respond to and added only, “Always find me, okay?”

“Okay.” His voice was hoarse. His hands closed over mine, gently removing my fingertips from his jacket front. “I have to go.”

“See you later, Alex.” I dropped my hands from his.

This time I let him leave. 


to be added....

Blood Rule Book 4
Series: Dirty Blood
By: Heather Hildenbrand
Published: August 6th 2013

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Forty-six.
That’s how many hybrids survived the Hunter attack in the woods after I revived them with an injection of my blood. That’s how many followed me home to Frederick Falls. And that’s how many were now mentally linked to me through a blood bond.

Two days. Three valium. Fourteen hours of sleep.
That’s what it took to realize I wasn’t losing my mind as a result of the noise in my own head.

Sixteen.
That’s how many days have passed since I almost killed Alex. That’s how many days I’ve sat by his bedside, waiting for him to wake up. To ease the guilt, to understand his betrayal, to remember the exact shade of brown in his eyes.

Zero.
That’s my chances of skating by with Gordon Steppe and the Hunter Council. They want me for questioning. I’m afraid what’ll happen if I give them answers.

to be added...





Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places.

Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys. 
For more information visit www.phoenixauthorink.com and find out how to create your own OutRAGEous Life. 


2 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for posting! Glad you liked it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my gosh!! Hi! Thank you for the comment and stopping off to say hi! Thank YOU for giving me a chance to read them!! I LOVED the series- I've read them all and will get the two reviews as soon as I can!
      Do please let me know when book 5 is out as I'll want to find out what happens next!!!

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