MARKED BEAUTY BY S.A. LARSEN BLOG TOUR – DIGITAL ASSETS
Title: Marked Beauty
Author: S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017
Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.
Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.
Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.
After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.
As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.
Deleted Scene from Marked Beauty
Between his visit with the Adorers and his conversation with Anastasia, Viktor realized he was far more invested in her than he’d intended. He wanted all good that life could offer her. Most importantly, he wanted her safe. Ensuring her that safety if something happened to him was the next plausible step. All he needed was to get her to ask.
“Here.” Roxi placed her hand in his. “You’re exhausted.”
“I’m not nibbling off your energy and messing with my memory.” Viktor pulled his hand away.
Kahl and Justice shifted in the backseat and shared a glance.
Roxi leaned into the dashboard. “Isn’t that Sebastian?”
The three guys glanced through the windshield at Sebastian ambling up the steps to Rose Hall.
“Now,” Justice began, “what could your former Rifter bro from the Dusk Court be doing here where this Ana chick lives?”
Muscles flinched at Viktor’s jaw. “I don’t know. But when I first saw Sebastian on campus I wondered if Caspian had sent him, despite Caspian’s denial of any involvement in the strange happenings lately.” Viktor turned to Roxi. “Go to your room before Sebastian gets inside.”
Roxi pecked him on the cheek. “I can handle Sebastian.”
“Justice and I will be near,” Kahl said, as Roxi scurried off.
“We’ll track around back, in case Sebastian decides to make a quick getaway,” Justice said. He and Kahl gently latched each door and jogged toward the nearest tree line.
Viktor shifted in his seat.
Anastasia needed stronger protection, but a personal invite was required for that. He’d been nudging her all week to ask for his help, but she was a stubborn girl. Asking showed trust, which would serve the same purpose as her pledging allegiance to his League. This would obligate them to shield her from Callista and any threat. Of course, he would have to come clean about what he’d done to her.
Regret tugged at his heartstrings.
Now, outside her room, Viktor sensed her tension. Thin pages fluttered in the air as a book lobbed across the room; his keen hearing had no trouble picking up that. She mumbled, her words breaking up. Her breathing slowed. A gush of sorrow rolled over him. Feeling her anxiety pierced Viktor’s armor, the metal box entombing his heart where he’d promised never to let another visit. It would end in disaster.
Being infected by a Rifter and not dying had been hard for him. Accepting himself had been harder. Even worse had been the guilt of surviving when other Lynceus had fallen. But his father being made to watch Callista’s poison alter Viktor’s genetics while he lay dying was what haunted Viktor most.
He evened out his breaths and mentally reached for Anastasia’s energy. He could almost feel her. Just a few more…
Birds swooped overhead in their shared netherworld. Sunlight trickled down, highlighting the tall grass that waved in the warm breeze. Anastasia teetered on her boots, a mere yardstick from him. Her hands fondled the edges of her jacket, her hair bunching atop her shoulders.
“You look worried,” Viktor said, realizing that bothered him more than it should.
“I’m not now that you’re here,” she said.
But she wouldn’t be if she knew who he really was.
Gathering her hands in his, he guided them to his mouth, brushing his lips against her fingers. As the ring on his middle finger pressed against her knuckle, his heart recalled his old hope of sharing the true meaning of this ring with a girl someday.
Anastasia tugged one hand free to explore the light stubble of his chin and roam his face with her eyes. She paused at his lips. Viktor gathered all his strength to muffle the growl within him. Did she want him to kiss her because, help him, he wanted her to. This girl had peered beyond prophesy and directly into his heart. She’d changed him. He’d never let anything happen to her.
Their sunlight dimmed. Her hand slipped from Viktor’s face as space skulked between them. He reached for her, but couldn’t seem to touch her. A force wrenched at her jacket. Her body jerked backward, her lips moving, but he heard nothing. The volume of their world abruptly muted.
Viktor searched for the source and found Sebastian breaching their backdrop, spying from the perimeter of their wooded lot. His energy was changing Anastasia’s dreamland. Roxi must have lost him. Where were Kahl and Justice?
The grass faded. Anxiety churned in Viktor’s stomach at Anastasia’s horrified expression. Her figure blurred and dimmed. The ground shook. Soil fell away from beneath Viktor’s feet. He clawed at a newly exposed tree root as his dashboard came into view.
“No!” he roared, suddenly back inside his car. He kicked his driver’s door open. She couldn’t be left alone with Sebastian.
Mustering as much composure as he could, Viktor pictured Anastasia: her fair skin, her soft touch, the innocence in her eyes from their private time at the bonfire. Their connection was unique; they just needed to learn how to control it. Her name swirled off his lips. His aura swelled and their energies stretched, reaching for each other. She was right there. He could almost touch her.
The instant Viktor was back before her he spotted Sebastian along with the same limousine from Anastasia’s previous thoughts.
“Sebastian!” he roared.
Sebastian tensed and retreated until he faded into nothingness.
Viktor wanted to chase him and beat what was going on out of him, but caring for Anastasia was more important. He wrapped her in his arms.
“I’m sorry I left,” he said.
“But you came back.” Her voice muffled against his chest.
“I’ll be here to protect you as long as you want.”
“Yes,” she whispered. “That’s good.”
Finally, her allegiance was his. He’d broken every personal rule dreaming with her, but it had been worth it. If his absence must happen—and after their car ride he believed that was where this was heading—Viktor’s Solstice League was now bound to care for her.
He cradled her chin and leaned in to kiss her forehead. Though still in her dream, Viktor sensed that odd energy increasing. The weather was off and the air was thicker.
Danger was on the move.
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Blog Tour Giveaway:
One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
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Release Party Giveaway:
What better way to celebrate a book birthday then by a giveaway! There are many ways to enter, which you’ll find below. You can win an iTunes, Amazon, or Starbucks gift card, an authentic Vera Bradley Little Crossbody in Cobalt Tile, an assortment of bookish swag, and even a KINDLE Fire HD 7″! The giveaway runs from release day, October 17, 2017 to December 5, 2017. Winners will be announced via social media December 7, 2017.
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However, if you have read Marked Beauty or purchase it and read you can earn extra entries by posting a review on any major online retail bookstore and Goodreads! All the information you’ll need is in the form below.
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About the author
S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.
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