Sunday, February 8, 2015

BOOK BLITZ: Revelations by Jennifer Carole Lewis - Excerpt - Inspiration + GIVEAWAYS!!

Book & Author Details:

Revelations by Jennifer Carole Lewis
Publication date: January 30th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance

For millennia, the lalassu have existed at the fringes of society, hiding in the shadows. But someone is determined to drag them into the light.

Dani has spent years fighting against her family’s urges to take on the mantle of High Priestess for the lalassu. Stronger and faster than any ordinary human, she has no interest in being a guide for her people. She likes being independent and enjoys her night-job as a burlesque dancer. But a darker secret lurks inside of her, one which threatens everyone around her.

Isolated and idealistic, Michael works as a developmental therapist for children, using his psychometric gifts to discover the secrets they can’t share with anyone else. When one of his clients is kidnapped, he will do almost anything to rescue her. The investigation leads him to a seedy little performance club where he is shocked and thrilled to discover a genuine live superhero.

Michael and Dani must join forces to save those they care about from becoming the latest victims of a decades-long hunt. But the fiery chemistry between them threatens to unlock a millennia-old secret which could devour them both.

The clock is ticking and they will be faced with the ultimate hero’s choice: save the world or save each other?



Chapter One

            Wherever there is prey, there are hunters. Jungle, ocean, city—the location doesn’t matter. A predator will always find the vulnerable.
            People spilled across the Lost Eden’s dance floor, a constant tide of glittering men and women ebbing to and from the bar. Dim lights flattered the desperate and popular alike, hiding the first glimpses of age-drawn wrinkles.
            Past experience had taught Dani Harris that she could choose whomever she wanted from the crowd to go home with. The small army of free drinks lining the bar behind her only reinforced the lesson. But she’d come here with a specific purpose in mind, dressed in her guaranteed-to-attract-attention, curve-hugging red silk dress, her black hair artfully tousled to evoke sweat-dampened pillows and her eyes painted with smoldering charcoal for a classic bedroom look. All she needed was a suitable candidate.
            Toying with the straw in her drink and scanning the crowd, she made note of the few potential candidates. Her fingers clenched the straw, crushing it with her growing unease. Since she’d sat down, the sexual tension had ratcheted up, becoming as tangible as the dry ice fog. Guilt gnawed at her, but she’d already pushed her luck further than she should have. She didn’t have the time to indulge in her conscience. Time to choose and hope she didn’t end up too badly scarred.
            The thickly muscled black man with the shaved head in the corner kept fondling the waitresses and the customers, using his size to intimidate any potential protests. The blond in the custom-tailored leather jacket up on the VIP platform, whose companions avoided eye contact as he carried on an energetic monologue, ignoring the buxom redhead cuddled up to his side. A pair of massive bodyguards stood guard at the entrance. And the guy with the purple hair, piercings in his nose, lip, and tongue was harassing the female DJ, trying to climb into the booth. They were the best she could hope for tonight.
            Brilliant light strobed the crowd in time with frenetic bass and drums. Dani scanned the club again, shaking her head lightly. The crowd was beginning to turn ugly, shoving matches breaking out on the dance floor. The oaky taste of her whiskey went sour on her tongue. She should leave and try her luck elsewhere.
            “You can’t leave just yet.” A deep male voice cut across the ambient noise.
            Perhaps she had a winner after all. “Why the hell not?”
            “Because then I wouldn’t get a chance to talk to you.” It was the blond from the platform. “And you should know that I personally find it inexcusable.”
            “What would that be?” She didn’t offer him a seat but wasn’t surprised when he took it anyway. Up close, his looks were even better: easily over six feet with broad shoulders and a well-used gym membership.
            “Whoever left you waiting. He should have his head examined. Let me buy you a drink.” He lifted his hand in the bartender’s direction. Immediately, the young Latino man behind the bar abandoned the thirsty crowd to bring Dani’s new acquaintance a glass of scotch.
            His glib smugness struck sparks of irritation in her, but long practice helped her to keep her feelings masked under a seductive smile. Time for a test. “You know what they say. No matter how hot you are, someone is tired of your shit.” Dani looked deliberately at the VIP platform. “For example, I think Miss Copper Top over there is getting tired of yours.”
            The buxom redhead in question glared down at them with a ridiculously childish, sulky pout. The blond glanced over his shoulder and waved his hand in a universal gesture of dismissal. Immediately, one of the bulky bodyguards approached the redhead and said something to her. She shouted something inaudible through the music and actually stamped her foot. The gentleman insisted and began escorting her off the platform.
            “She won’t be a problem anymore.” The blond turned back to Dani, clearly pleased with himself. For the first time, his smile reached his eyes. He’d enjoyed the public spectacle and humiliation. “I’m Josh Hinton, and my family owns this club.”
            Dani watched as the woman was summarily hustled out the front door. She forced herself to relax her grip on the smooth glass tumbler before she shattered it.
            “Break-up via bodyguard. A new low mark for the record books. Somewhere between text and post-it note.” Dani shook her head and started to get up again.
            Josh immediately grabbed her arm and held her down in her seat, looming over her. “You didn’t tell me your name.”
            Dani searched the room, considering her options. The bartenders were studiously ignoring her companion. The people who had been sitting beside her at the bar were long gone, pushed aside by Josh’s evident ego. A wild recklessness burned inside her, urging her to lash out and escape. But common sense warned her: no one wanted to get involved, and no one would stand up to help—and even if they did, she would still be trapped by her own demons.
            Her mouth dried as a scrap of memory flickered briefly despite years of suppression. He must have seen the fear in her eyes. Predators always sensed fear no matter how deeply it was hidden. She’d learned that lesson the hard way.
            “I think you’re starting to understand.” He let his hand trail up her arm, his thumb casually brushing against her breast on the way past. “I always get what I want.”
            The bodyguards had descended and now stood on either side of Josh like unmovable monoliths, an unbreakable prison wall. Dani swallowed hard. It was as if the three men sucked up all the air around her. “You could have any other girl here. Why not pick someone more interested?”
            “I like the challenge. Come with me to my apartment. You’d love the view.” He ran his hand freely up and down her side, a chill slither like the rasp of a reptile’s skin.
            A human predator doesn’t take victims in public. A second location will be chosen in advance for the attack. Once a victim reaches the second location, chances of survival drop to nearly zero. Never go quietly to the second location. The words whispered inside her head, distantly remembered from the urgent plea of a police officer who’d spoken at her school.
            “Don’t freeze up, and don’t pretend it isn’t what you came here for in your little red dress.” He slid his hand up her thigh, inching up the hemline. “Everyone comes here to have a good time.”
            Dani studied the looming bodyguards. Not a blink or even a grimace of disapproval. The time for second thoughts was over. She wasn’t going to do better tonight. This was her punishment and the sooner she accepted it, the sooner it would be over. “Is that what you came for?”
            “Business mostly. This tourist trap has a lot of things to recommend it.” He took a healthy swig from his drink.
            It certainly had. The town of Perdition had a reputation as the “New York experience without the expense,” according to the tourist board. Between conventions and other events, the majority of the population changed on a weekly basis. It was one of the reasons her family had chosen to live here.
            She put down her drink. No amount of whiskey would make this easier. She got to her feet but the bodyguards quickly blocked her exit. Adrenaline surged and her legs tensed to run but instead she forced herself to keep her wits. Blindly fleeing never helped. She couldn’t resist a flash of strength, glaring down at Josh, still perched on his stool. “Does this intimidation approach ever actually work for you?”
            He grinned. “I like you. You’re interesting. Most people don’t have the balls to call me on anything.” He stood up. “Let’s get out of here. Come on, I’ll show you I can be a nice guy with the right motivation.”
            Dani kept her face impassive. Maybe this wouldn’t be as bad as she feared. Josh moved in for the kill.
            “Trust me. I’m worth it. I guarantee it’ll be a night you’ll always remember.”
            Or one you’ll always pray to forget.

Inspired by Special Needs Children and the People Who Love Them

Every parent believes his or her child is special.  Bringing home a newly wrapped bundle from the hospital or from the adoption agency is one of the most frightening and wonderful events possible in life.  It can become even more frightening when things don’t go as they are supposed to.

Some parents find out before birth, others while their child is still a toddler and others after their child is grown.  The number of possibilities are terrifyingly prolific.  Ask any pregnant woman who has had to look over long lists of conditions and disorders.  Not to mention accidents and all the other pitfalls waiting in the outside world.

As soon as a parent discovers their child has special needs, the entire game changes.  Some describe it as the death of their hopes and dreams.  Others spoke of a terrible shock, as if they literally cannot comprehend what they are being told.  Even when a parent suspects, having their fears confirmed is a difficult experience.

I based my character, Martha, on real parents who struggle daily with their child’s outbursts and limitations.  They are exhausted.  They are bruised, emotionally and physically.  They face daily scenarios which defy all expectations, such as cleaning up toileting messes from teenagers or having to spend an hour coaxing their child out the door because a different car is parked outside.  But I was struck again and again by how much they loved their children.  When no one would question it if they were ready to give up, the sight of their child still brought a loving smile to their face.  These parents are ready to sacrifice anything: their time, their savings, their homes.  Anything which might give their child a chance.  Many had to quit jobs to devote themselves to hours of therapy and multiple weekly appointments.

The truly remarkable part is that they don’t see themselves as remarkable.  In their minds, they’re just doing what they need to do.  What anyone would do in their situation.  If their assessment is true and we all could step up to do what they do, then the world and the people in it are better than our daily news report would like us to believe.

Bernie is not based on any particular child but I was inspired by the special needs children I met.  Although their differences often make the initial contact uncertain and hard to navigate, once you get past that, you see an amazing array of unique little personalities.  Children with autism who had no social understanding and are thus brutally honest and rapturously thrilled with equal intensity.  Children who defied brain injuries to learn to speak and walk and their contagious delight in their accomplishments.  Some couldn’t speak but still managed to communicate their enthusiasms and dislikes.  Others needed constant supervision because of their ingenious talents for thinking outside the box.  In all of their cases, their spirits shone through.  Their parents cherished those moments, perhaps more than we might expect, because of the contrast with the challenges.

My hero, Michael, is also based on real therapists who devote huge amounts of their time and energy to helping these families.  Male therapists are exceedingly rare, but I indulged in a little literary licence.  It’s difficult to find men who are interested in such an intense caregiving role and even more difficult for those men to find jobs.  Sadly, our fears of abuse make any man who wants to work with young children into a suspect personage.

The therapists I spoke to love their work.  Trust me, the money they make is nowhere near enough for anyone to do the job who doesn’t love it.  They love the moments when they manage to teach a child something he or she has been struggling with for weeks, months or even years.  They enjoy interacting with the children and discovering their quirky personalities.  They find little toys or stickers and pick them up for their clients.  They spend hours playing boring, repetitive games and still have smiles on their faces.

I asked parents what message they would like to send out and the response was almost invariably to be thankful for what you have and to be understanding of others.  Parents whose children cannot speak see children relentlessly nagging their parents for a toy or treat and think “I would give anything to have that problem.”  They ask for patience and understanding when they are dealing with a meltdown in the grocery store, instead of angry comments and disapproving glares.  Many of these children have no outward sign of their disabilities, making it hard for others to understand the challenges.

After seeing what they experience, it certainly made me want to give my own children a hug.  And it inspired me to try and show both sides of their experience: the wearing grind and the inexhaustible love.

Jennifer Carole Lewis


Jennifer Carole Lewis is a full-time mom, a full-time administrator and a full-time writer, which means she is very much interested in speaking to anyone who comes up with any form of functional time-travel devices or practical cloning methods. Meanwhile, she spends her most of her time alternating between organizing and typing.

She is a devoted comic book geek and Marvel movie enthusiast. She spends far too much of her precious free time watching TV, especially police procedural dramas. Her enthusiasm outstrips her talent in karaoke, cross-stitch and jigsaw puzzles. She is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction and always enjoys seeking out new suggestions.

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