Publication date: July 24th 2014by Stormy Smith
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult
Synopsis:Amelia grew up in a world of half-truths. She knows she’s an Elder but has no idea what that means. Her father reminds her daily that she must maintain control but he refuses to explain why. Even worse, she’s betrothed to the prince of the Immortals and she doesn’t even know his name.
Finally breaking free to live a few normal years at a community college, the last thing Amelia expects is to find her best friend in a cheeky Southern girl and to fall for a self-assured human who sees her for who she is and not what she’ll be.
As she learns more about herself, Amelia realizes the line between love and duty is a thin one. As her power continues to increase exponentially and her questions are slowly answered, Amelia must make the ultimate choice. The question is, will her head or her heart win the battle?
Purchase:On sale for 99 cents October 5 – 11. In your blitz posts, please mention the sale and feel free to use the enclosed graphic.--Amazon: http://amzn.to/
Meet the cast of Bound by Duty!I’ve had a very strange relationship with the cast of Bound by Duty. I had no idea I even wanted to write a book and then BOOM, one day there four people were living inside my head. (Yep, authors are a crazy breed…)
They started out looking a lot like people I knew in my real life, but as I kept writing and I started trusting both myself – and them – more, I saw them for who they really were. They frustrate me to no end when they refuse to play by my outline but they surprise me constantly as they grow and change before my eyes. I’m already well into Bound by Spells (book two in the Bound series) and I’m so proud of who they are becoming.
Each of these characters have so much backstory that I can’t give you right now. But know that if you decide to dig into Bound by Duty, you’ll learn a lot about how family impacts the person you become – like it or not – and how friends have the ability to change your entire outlook on life. And love…well, it makes you do crazy things. But, we all knew that. J
This is Amelia Bradbury. She grew up in Gualala, California but currently calls Brighton, California home. She’s got an older brother, Cole, who treats her too much like the ten-year-old she was when he left home, and her dad, Nathaniel, who’s a little bit nutcakes. She likes Cherry Pepsi, caramel lattes, The Civil Wars, Florence and the Machine and a certain smokey-eyed mysterious boy who just won’t leave her alone.
This is Aidan Montgomery. He’s a little quiet, a little cocky and lot persistant. He loves alternative, hates country and has an affinity for local restaurants and his own space. He’s a foster kid, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to get an education, from spending time in the local MMA gym or setting his sights on one Amelia Bradbury.
Meet Bethany Jackson. Formerly a pageant queen and barrel racer. Currently a connoisseur of frozen yogurt, collegiate California surfers, DIY decorating her first apartment with her new bestie and watching romantic comedies. She wants everyone to know that no matter what life hands her, she'll choose to be happy and make the best of it. She doesn't need anything but good friends and killer pair of heels to make it through. That said, she'd take Prince Charming as long as she had control of the white horse.
Micah tends to be the odd man out. His speech is oddly formal, he doesn’t get America pop culture and his accent is a bit hard to place, while still being utterly adorable. He always seems to be a step ahead, but a certain blonde still keeps him on his toes.
The Bound by Duty SoundtrackHi everyone! Stormy Smith here. My debut novel – Bound by Duty – released on July 24 and I’m here to give you some insider information on me and the book.
Music is a HUGE part of my life. I am addicted to Spotify and adore finding new artists. I spend a lot of time getting to know local artists and live shows are among my favorite places to be. When I wrote Bound by Duty I knew it would have a soundtrack. Every significant moment in my life has a song associated with it and the book I spent a year pouring myself into would be no different!
I’m a little bit of an odd duck in that I can’t actually write listening to music that has words. So, I spend my writing hours listening to classical music that helps distract my mind just enough to keep the creativity flowing without stopping the lovely voices in my head from telling me their stories. But, once I’m in the car, cleaning, or doing anything else, I’ve always got an ear out for songs. I find that the lyrics often inspire new plot lines, emotions or authentic reactions in characters.
You can check out the full Spotify soundtrack for BBD here, but here are my top ten in no particular order!
1. The One That Got Away – The Civil Wars2. Haunted – A Taylor Swift cover by Jess Moskaluke and Alex G.3. In My Veins – Andrew Belle, featuring Erin McCarley4. Hurricane – MSMR5. Clarity – A Zedd cover by Corey Gray6. Boston – Augustana7. I’mnotwaiting – Bonne Finken8. Breathe Again – Sara Bareilles9. Promising, Promises – Jon McLaughlin10. No Light, No Light – Florence and the Machine
It was really important to me to not only cover the storyline with my choices, but also the emotions of the characters. Music is really important to Amelia, my heroine, and she often lets herself get lost in it. I didn’t want to date my story by announcing the songs and artists in the book, but in my head I always knew what she was listening to.
Bound by Duty is truly a coming of age story. It’s a paranormal fantasy that explores the many layers of what makes a person themselves. Is it your family, your duty, the ones you love, the pieces of you that you can’t control or the family (i.e. friends) you choose for yourself? How do you balance the person you are with the life you want? Amelia faces all of these questions as she finds herself with her first-ever best friend – a sassy Southern girl – and her first dose of young love. But there are situations out there bigger than she ever imagined and she has to decide who she’s going to be and what she’s made of.
Excerpt 1:As soon as I stepped out on the giant deck, the sea air hit my face. It tangled in my hair, whipping it around my shoulders as if playing hide and seek in the dark strands. I exhaled, not realizing I had been holding my breath.
I stood there a moment, just listening to the waves beat against the sand as the tide came in. The full moon came out from behind the clouds, brightening my path and leading me to the stairs that would take me down to the beach. I didn’t hesitate. Almost leaping to the bottom, I kicked my gladiator sandals off as soon as I hit the sand and ran toward the water. Just as the tide touched my toes, the hair on the back of my neck stood up.
Someone was there.
Instantly, a jolt of power raced through my veins. I tried frantically to calm it back down, to maintain control. But, against all effort, I’m sure my eyes went from their normal hazel to bright violet, as they always do when my power takes over. I stood there, staring out at the sea, trying to decide how to react. I couldn’t draw attention to myself, but I could protect myself if I had to — I had learned that much. I felt my power build; like small pinpricks of electricity racing through my veins, filling my blood inch by inch. I forced myself to soften my stiff posture, but kept my right hand open and out in front of me in case I needed to use it.
Since moving to Brighton, I’d been working to actually use my magic, but it still felt like a second person trapped inside me that I couldn’t force into compliance. Sometimes it worked with me, sometimes not. We’ve been fighting this battle for as long as I can remember and in times like these, when I didn’t know what I was dealing with, I trusted it more than myself. I stood there, my body still as my power rippled beneath the surface and cautiously probed around me, just waiting to be unleashed.
I slowly started to turn around when he said, “Oh, so you’re hiding from them too, huh?”
His voice was smooth and almost melodic, with just a little fire behind it. I somehow knew he was smirking even though I couldn’t see him. The moonlight hadn’t breached the shadow from the deck where I could see his outline sitting on a picnic table. He was sitting on the top with his feet on the bench and elbows on his knees. I heard the old, weather-beaten table creak and groan as he set his feet on the ground. A shiver ran through me; he looked dangerous.
“Do I know you?” Something told me I’d seen him before. The fear that had ignited my magic instantly turned to curiosity, the danger melting to intrigue. I could actually see the thready, purple wisps spreading out, poking around, trying to get a read on him. It’s a good thing humans don’t actually see our power unless we let them. Abruptly, I turned back toward the ocean, kicking myself as I mentally drew it back in.
What am I doing?! I don’t even KNOW this guy. What if he’s...?
“You don’t have anything to worry about,” he interrupted, as if reading my thoughts. I could hear his voice coming closer, a little tentative, feeling me out.
I’m sure he thinks I’m nutcakes. Well done, Amelia. You are here to blend in, not prompt people to think you’re a freak a month into the semester.
I sighed, took a breath, and turned to face him, not realizing how close to me he now was. The full moon cast light and shadow across his body as he stood just feet from me, silent, sizing me up as I did the same to him. I drew in a quick breath as all my thoughts came together in just two words. He’s gorgeous.
I couldn’t stop my eyes from roaming. There was something tortured about him, I could feel it as easily as I felt my own curiosity building. He stood just a few feet from me, clearly trying not to be intimidating. But, between the hints of a tattoo peeking out from under his black T-shirt and the leather cuffs on his wrists, there was an intensity he couldn’t hide. He had big eyes with long lashes a girl would kill for. As my gaze followed the strong, angular features of his face, I realized he had a dimple, just on the one side that must only come out when that corner of his mouth lifted into the smirk I had heard in his voice earlier. The one he was wearing now as he watched me watching him. For some reason, that dimple changed everything; transformed him in my mind as just being a boy on a beach.
Excerpt 2Bound by Duty released on July 24 and is Stormy Smith’s debut novel. It’s already climbing the Amazon hot new release bestsellers list and today we wanted to give you a preview.
To set the stage, this scene features Amelia and Aidan. They are just getting to know each other and both have pasts that have irrevocably changed the people they have become. There are secrets and fears that have been buried their whole lives. The question is if they can trust each other?
Without looking back at me, he squeezed my hand tightly. His fingers pressing hard into the divots between the bones in my hand. He clutched at my hand as if I could keep him here, pull him away from the memories that overwhelmed him, that threatened to pull him down into a place I could feel he didn’t want to go.
“You can tell me, but only if you want to.” I put the words between us and let the silence follow. Turning back to stare at the sky, I gave him time to decide. I had no idea what he had been through, what he would say, but I understood what the darkness of truth could do to you if you let it.
“I don’t know why, but I want to tell you, Amelia. It’s insane because I never tell anyone this stuff. But, I want to tell you. Before this goes any further, I want you to know who I am.” He still wasn’t looking at me so while I saw him in my peripheral, I kept my gaze on the clouds. “Then, tell me,” I said. Taking a deep breath, I finished with a surprising, “Tell me and I’ll tell you.”
The longer Aidan held my hand, the more I got used to the feel of my nerves being raw and the increased sensations that vibrated from our point of contact throughout the rest of my body. As I lay there, waiting for him to speak, he kept our hands locked, sliding his middle finger up and down in a slow rhythm over the back of my hand. I could feel callouses on his palm and the heat he radiated. It was soothing and, for once, I was truly in control, at least as far as my power was concerned. My heartbeat, however, raced triple time as I had time to realize that I was laying on the forest floor holding hands with Aidan Montgomery, waiting for him to unlock doors I hadn’t known I wanted inside of. Someone I could give some of my truth to and who wanted to give me theirs in return.
Excerpt 3– PrologueHer stark white hair fell down around her face. For the first time in one hundred years it wasn’t pulled back in a waist-length braid. Her crimson robes were torn and stained. She bit back a groan, her lips a tight line as the pain ripped through her once again. The invisible knife raked its way up her back as wounds no one could see flayed her skin and weakened her resolve. It had been days of this and she wasn’t sure if she could continue. As she looked up and met the queen’s eyes, Lavignia pushed the anger down and forced compassion to rise yet again.
“What is it you hope to learn, Julia? What is it you think you have to gain from all of this?” she asked weakly as she tugged on the restraints that kept her tethered to the heavy wooden chair. Her power was already weak when the Hunters had found her, and the enchanted chamber had dampened what remained to a tiny flame.
The room was dark, but the sun was slowly rising. An orange and pink glow filtered through the small window above Julia’s head. The colorful rays that should have resembled hope of a new day only shed light on the reality that Lavignia would never leave this room alive.
Julia stepped from the shadows and walked slowly toward Lavignia. She stopped and crouched down, putting herself at eye level.
“Oh, Livvy, dear. Don’t do that,” she said, her tone patronizing as her ice crystal eyes narrowed. “Don’t pretend you can still look down on me from your Elder tower. Don’t pretend you can utter your polite words and suddenly I’ll remember who you are versus who I am. I know exactly who I am. I am the one who rules them all. I am the one they will bow down to and worship. I am the Queen. Not you. Or your sisters. Your time is done.”
She looked back over her shoulder to the Hunter who stood in the still dark corner of the room and nodded. The Hunter’s eyes burned bright orange as Lavignia’s screams echoed off the walls. Julia raised her hand and the screams dropped to whimpers. With that same hand, she reached out and took Lavignia’s.
“Livvy, look at me,” she commanded. Dazed, dim violet eyes struggled to focus and find hers. Julia tightened her grip, digging her scarlet nails into Lavignia’s already tender flesh, making her yelp and their eyes connect.
“Livvy, you need to tell me,” she said. “I know you see it. You knew this day would come and you know I won’t stop until you tell me. I scoured the lands for you. I know there are others left, but they can be saved. You can save them, old friend. You just have to tell me.” Her tone was persuasive and gentle, but the frantic look that passed through her eyes told Lavignia the truth the queen couldn’t hide — she was scared.
“You won’t harm the others? You will let them live out their lives hidden and free? You will swear an oath?” Her words trailed off and Lavignia’s eyes closed, the torture of the last few days taking its toll. She could only hope the oath would keep her people safe.
She didn’t see the triumph that straightened Julia’s posture or the sneer that twisted her thin, painted lips. “Of course, my dear. I swear to you that I will not seek out and harm the remaining Elders. I swear that I will not take their freedom.”
“Your blood,” Lavignia said, her words barely audible.
Julia removed a small dirk from the folds of her skirts and repeated the words as she slid the blade down her palm. As the deep red drop hit the floor, she sent a small wave of power through to heal the wound, reveling in the knowledge that she had won.
“Now, Livvy, darling, you must tell me.” When Lavignia didn’t respond, Julia whipped back around to the still silent Hunter. “Help her. Give her what she needs. NOW!” she commanded, panic finally breaking through her controlled facade.
The Hunter flicked a wrist at Lavignia and she suddenly straightened, her eyes luminescent and shining at the welcome invasion of power that flooded her system, giving her renewed life for a few precious seconds.
With sudden clarity, she saw the future that had eluded her. She looked down on Julia with authority and pity as the words that would cement the queen’s fate fell from her lips.
“You will have your time, but it will end. She will be born to the one who got away. Inside her, the five families will merge and only a man who is both king and companion will tame the wild and set her free. She will be your undoing. She will lead them all.”
Julia reared back, Lavignia’s words not the ones she expected. Seconds later, her dirk was buried deep in Lavignia’s chest. Lavignia collapsed back against the chair, a content smile mocking the queen from her lifeless face.
Julia’s breath heaved in and out in short bursts as she turned to the Hunter. “I made an oath. You did not. Find them. Kill them all.”
If you decide to give Bound by Duty a shot, I’d love to hear the songs it brought to mind for you! Hook up with me at www.facebook.com/authorstormysmith or @stormysmith on twitter.Sites where your book can be purchased: Amazon http://amzn.to/1lxz3Mg (affiliate link)
AUTHOR BIOStormy 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.
Fun facts about me!1. M&Ms or Skittles?
M&M’s all the way. Bonus points if they are the special Christmas mint kind.
2. Fantasy or Horror?
Fantasy. I’m a TOTAL scaredy-cat. The one and only time I went to a haunted house I tried to bum rush the emergency exit because I was so terrified and up crying my way through it.
3. Typing or Pen & Paper?
For writing the book itself, typing, but for brainstorming I like giant sticky post-its all over my basement so I can scribble and pace while I blare my playlist and talk to myself.
4. Ebooks or Print?
E-books for most books but print for the authors I love.
5. Eat in or Eat out?
In. Then no one has to worry about who’s driving while I pour glass after glass of wine.
6. Water or Flavored Drink?
7. Apples or Oranges?
Apples. With peanut butter, preferably.
8. Laundry or Dishes?
Dishes. I HATE LAUNDRY.
9. Shopping or Movies?
Shopping, only because I so rarely see my girl friends anymore I’d rather spend time perusing and chatting than just sitting next to them.
10. Comfy clothes or Fashionista?
Fashionista! I don’t know that I am one, but I’d love to be. I just feel better in girly clothes. Like I can conquer the world!
11. Go-to book series?
Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series. I could reread them over and over. And Jericho Barrons…swooooon.
12. Favorite way to unwind?
A glass of wine and a date with my husband and our DVR. My brain goes non-stop between work, grad school, marketing one book and writing another. I like the down time!
13. Cats or Dogs:
I like that they are more self-sufficient and have their own personalities. I have one that won’t stop walking across my keyboard right now and I love she wants to purr all over me and lick my hands for attention.
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