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Thursday, 19 November 2015

☀ The Awakening: Emerge [1] - Melissa A. Craven

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Emerge: The Awakening, a Young Adult Paranormal Urban Fantasy by (, Midnight Hour Studio, 440 pages).

This is the first book in the Emerge series.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below, as well as our Q&A with author Melissa A. Craven.   Read the first three chapters with Amazon Look Inside or visit the author's website to read the fist ten chapters.

Emerge: The Awakening
is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

This tour carries two giveaways. The first will award Kindle copies of Emerge: The Awakening + The Edge to one of our readers. The second award signed copies of Emerge books 1 + 2, bookmarks, mug, keychain and a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).


Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Synopsis

Allie Carmichael has always believed life is simple.

You’re born. You live. You die.

She has no cause to believe that equation works differently for her, but there has to be a reason the world treats her like a pariah.

When an unexpected move to Kelleys Island brings Aidan McBrien crashing into her life, Allie is thrown by his reaction. He doesn’t shrink from her touch. He doesn’t stutter or make a quick exit. He smiles and welcomes her into his circle of friends, who aren’t exactly comfortable with Allie, but they seem to get her in a way most people don’t.

Finally, Allie has a real shot at normal and rides that high right up to her sixteenth birthday when she wakes in agony—an experience Aidan insists they have all faced. She struggles in ignorance, uncertain of what is real and what isn’t. When she emerges, Allie is different. She has always been different, but even among her extraordinary friends, she and Aidan are special.

As Allie struggles to maintain her tenuous grasp on the power that threatens to overwhelm her, she worries she will lose herself in this strange new world. A dangerous world where she will have to fight tooth and nail to defend the power and freedom that is her birthright. …only Allie hates to fight.

Behind the veil of exciting supernatural themes, Emerge is a story about a strong, stubborn young woman struggling to maintain her identity when everyone around her expects her to do things their way. She is meant to be a shining example of a real girl, with flaws and insecurities, while Aidan is meant to be her equal in every way. This is not a story about an extraordinary girl and the boy who loves her. It is about showing young readers what equality and strength looks like.

Emerge is an urban fantasy about a powerful young generation of Immortals and the ancients who guide them. Book one takes place among the islands of Lake Erie and follows Allie Carmichael as she struggles to embrace the immortality she never expected or wanted.

Teaser: Excerpt

CHAPTER 
One

      “My friends are idiots, Allie. Don’t listen to them!” Gavin’s voice echoed across the sand dunes.
      “They’re right! Why do you want me around?” She stumbled in the darkness and fell to the ground. Allie watched his friends at the bonfire party below.
      You don’t belong down there, Allie.
      “Gavin, I know how people feel about me, but walking into a heated discussion about how much everyone can’t stand me just isn’t something I can shrug off.”
      “I’m so sorry.” He sighed, sinking down beside her.
      She absently reached for his hand and saw it. Just in that brief moment when he tried to hide it— his subtle flinch that indicated her touch was somehow uncomfortable. It was that way with nearly everyone. Allie spent most of her life alone and lonely while the rest of the world kept a respectful distance. A rare few were polite and friendly, trying to hide it like Gavin, but there was always an air of deference in their behavior. And then sometimes, like tonight, others would react with barely concealed contempt, no matter how hard she tried to set them at ease. She learned to accept it, choosing to keep to herself instead. It was easier for everyone that way. Everyone but Allie.
      This sweet summer romance was a first for her, and she didn’t want it to end. But she didn’t want to come between her boyfriend and his friends either.
      “See? You feel the same way.” She dropped his hand.
      “I do not.” He laced his long fingers through hers. Allie could see his determination to power through his discomfort and she was touched by the effort he put into their relationship.
      “I’m a pariah, Gavin. I don’t know why. People just don’t like to be near me.”
      “You’re an intimidatingly beautiful and unique girl.” He brushed a kiss across her fingertips.
      “Unique? That a nice way of saying I’m weird?”
      “Okay, you’re weird. But hot-weird, which in my humble opinion is an excellent combination.” His teasing tone set her at ease.
      “Thanks.” She felt her cheeks flush. With her long, wavy red hair, almond shaped green eyes and curvy figure, Allie got a lot of looks from boys her age, but not many made the effort like Gavin had.
      “Seriously,” he said. “Don’t ever try to be anything less than what you are, Allie. You’re different, and that’s an incredible thing. You just need to own it.”
      “You’re right.”
      “Come on, freckles. Can I tempt you with hot fudge sundaes? My treat?”
      “Extra fudge?”
      “On one condition.”
      “Name your price.”
      “Ignore my friends, because you and I are good. More than good.” He leaned in for a kiss.
      She liked kissing Gavin. Despite his trembling hands and brief fumbling hesitations, it was nice. She didn’t feel blazing fireworks, but she definitely enjoyed the connection they shared. Allie often wondered if she should end it before she hurt him, but was reluctant to let him go. He’d done wonders for her in the few months they’d spent together. His friends didn’t really care for her, but for the first time since she could remember, she was interacting with kids her age and doing things she’d always sat on the sidelines watching others do.
      “Let’s get outta here.” He offered his hand.
      Allie felt a twinge of regret as she slipped into the front seat of his beat up old truck. She shouldn’t let it get to her, but she’d been in a pensive mood all night and couldn’t seem to shake it.
      “Let’s get ice cream and head up to Dover Heights before we call it a night.” He pulled into the drive-thru and Allie slid across the seat to read the menu. She smiled when his arm snaked around her.
      “Chocolate peanut-butter ice cream with extra hot fudge and extra whip cream, please.”
      “And one normal sundae.” He rolled his eyes. “That is entirely too much chocolate.”
      “There’s no such thing.”
      They drove the short distance up to the cliffs in silence but she still couldn’t pull out of her funk. Something ominous lay ahead, but she wasn’t sure of the details yet. Allie had a way of knowing things. Her strong intuition was such a normal thing for her she hardly noticed it anymore. She feared her anxious mood tonight might be a warning that her encounter with Gavin’s friends this evening was only a precursor to what school would be like for them if she decided to enroll at Cook Park High instead of the all girls’ school she’d planned to attend.
      Will he constantly have to defend me like he did tonight?
      “You’re too quiet.” Gavin sighed as they sat on the tailgate, enjoying the cool breeze of the mild Australian winter. Allie stared down at the Tasman Sea below. She’d just crossed it a few months ago when they left New Zealand for Sydney after nearly two years in the same place. A rare feat for Allie’s family.
      “You haven’t been this reserved with me in weeks. Don’t make me coax you out of that shell again.”
      “I’m currently preoccupied with chocolate.” She scraped the last of the fudge from her cup.
      “Liar.” His laughter echoed across the water. “It will be better once you’re in school with us, I promise.”
      It really wasn’t fair, the way she dragged him down. She knew he wanted to be with her, but how long could it go on? Eventually he would tire of making excuses.
      “Sorry, I’m such a bummer tonight.”
      “You’re never a bummer. Come on, curfew’s in ten minutes. Let’s get you home.”
      It was a short drive and Gavin was doing his best to make her laugh, but her smile wilted when they parked in front of her apartment building.
      No, no, no! Not again! Tears burned her eyes when she saw her mother loading the car with their most essential belongings.
      “What’s wrong, freckles? You look like someone just punched you.”
      “That about sums it up,” she sighed. “I’m sorry, I don’t have much time to say goodbye.”
      “Why does it sound like you mean forever?”
      “Because I do.” She scrubbed the tears from her face. She’d done this so many times, it shouldn’t hurt anymore, but this time would be so much harder. She couldn’t face losing Gavin, or the thought of returning to the lonely life she knew before him.
      “You see my mother packing the car?” she whispered. “I know what that means.”
      “By the look on your face, I’m guessing a family vacation isn’t on the list of possibilities?”
      “I’ve told you we move a lot.”
      “But you just got here! You can’t possibly leave again so soon!”
      “My parents’ jobs keep us on the move. I don’t even ask anymore, I just follow.”
      “Gavin.” She reached for his hand. “I will never forget you.”
      “Allie— No. Come on, let’s just go talk to your mom and find out what the deal is. It might not be what you think.”
      “I don’t need to ask. I can read the signs now and I don’t want to say our goodbyes in front of my mom.”
      “Dammit! Allie! I can’t do this!” He pulled her into his arms. “Promise me you will call whenever you get where you’re going? Maybe we can still see each other?”
      “I’ve done this a lot. It’s usually better if I just walk away and not look back.”
      “That’s not fair. You have to at least let me know you’re okay.”
      “I’ll try.” She made the vague promise, knowing she would never be able to keep it. Allie already knew this was one of those times she would be expected to cut all ties.
      “Look at me, freckles.” He tilted her chin up to meet his gaze. “It hurts that I might never see these green eyes again. I need you to know how amazing you are. Whatever this thing is that makes you so different, call it whatever you want, but it’s something special. Don’t resist it. Be proud of who you are because you’re so much stronger than you know.”
      “Back atcha.” She met his kiss one last time. “You’ve been a great friend. Thank you for forcing me out of my shell. I was in there for a really long time.”
      “Don’t go back, Allie. Be yourself and the people that really matter will stick around … despite your quirky ways.” He smiled sadly.
      “Quirky? I like it. That’s better than weird.”
      “You have to put yourself out there, Allie or nothing will ever change. Promise me you’ll try.”
      “I will. I’ve met a lot of people in my life. Not many are as kind and patient as you’ve been with me. I won’t ever forget that.”
      Allie stepped out of the car, feeling like she left a piece of herself behind. She crossed the street, her vision blurry from the tears she couldn’t control, and the fuzzy images of Gavin in some distant future with the cute blond girl who was just right for him.
      “I’m so sorry, Allie,” her mother said when she approached.
      “Don’t.” She shook her head miserably. She didn’t want to hear all the perfectly logical reasons why they had to leave this very instant.
      “Let’s go get your things.” She took Allie’s hand as they headed for the decrepit old elevator that would take them up to the seventeenth floor.
      “Navid is here to say goodbye,” Lily said.
      “I guess that’s something.” Allie was happy she would get to see him one more time. Navid was really her parents’ friend and colleague, but he’d become more like family over the years.
      She felt the tension when she entered the apartment and was startled to find Navid in a heated discussion with her father.
      “Navid?” she asked hesitantly.
      “Allie!” His smile was warm as he reached to hug her. He was comfortable with her, and as a result, she’d always felt drawn to him. “How was your date?”
      “Good.” She shrugged, distracted by the way her father hung his head in his hands.
      “You seem to know more about my daughter than I do.” Carson frowned.
      “Allie and I have grown closer these last months,” he said in his British/ Middle Eastern cadence. “She is a delightful girl and a tribute to you both. You should be very proud, you’ve done a marvelous job raising her.” He grabbed his coat and prepared to leave. “I apologize for the intrusion. Lily, Carson, always a pleasure.” He smiled graciously. “Would it be alright if Allie sees me out?”
      She was surprised by her father’s glower.
      “Carson, please.” Lily rolled her eyes. “Of course, Navid. It was wonderful working with you again. Perhaps next time will be under better circumstances?”
      “Oh, I’m certain it will.”
      “Thank you for your candor.” Carson reluctantly shook his hand.
      Allie followed him into the hall, feeling profoundly affected by the awkwardness of the last few moments.
      “What was all that about?”
      “Nothing to concern yourself with. I’m so sorry you have to go, sweetheart. I know you will miss Gavin. He’s been good for you.”
      “So have you.”
      “Don’t be sad, we will see each other again. We always do.”
      “This sucks.”
      “Allie, I need you to listen to me.” Navid grew serious. When they reached the elevator, he pressed the call button and she knew they had only a few moments for their goodbyes. “What I am about to say probably won’t make much sense right now, but I hope my words of caution and support will come to you when you need them most. You are approaching a very important phase of your life. Everything will change in the coming months and years as you prepare for college and take your first tentative steps into adulthood. I urge you to always remember who you are,” he said. “Right now at this very moment, you are everything you should be and you cannot allow circumstances to change who you are at your core. Always remember this girl, this version of yourself.” He looked down at her with a brilliant smile. “You are a beautiful, strong willed, stubborn young woman, who just needs a little more confidence. Hold your head high and don’t ever lose the fire in those beautiful green eyes.” He hugged her tightly.
      “Goodbye for now, Alexis Carmichael.” He stepped onto the elevator.  

Emerge: The Awakening
Available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.ukUS: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble find on Goodreads

The Series: Emerge

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.


Emerge: The Edge: A Prequel Novella [1.5]

**FREE on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner's Lending Library** 

Alienated by everything that sets him apart, Aidan McBrien suffers in silence. He is the most powerful Immortal of his generation, but he chooses to live behind a mask to protect himself, even from those he loves. They can never know how much he struggles just to get through each day, overwhelmed by the pain and loss of everyone around him. As Aidan fights a constant battle to control the gifts that threaten to push him over the edge, he dreads the day his world will look to him to fulfill a prophecy he doesn’t believe in.

Allie Carmichael is dying inside and she doesn't even realize it. Half a world away, she endures the same isolation Aidan experiences, but in complete ignorance of her true nature. As she forges a hesitant friendship for the first time in years, Allie sees a tiny glimmer of the life she wants, and the person she wants to be, but her instincts tell her the timing is all wrong.

Allie and Aidan's paths are about to converge. With others making decisions for them, will they ever truly understand the immeasurable power they posses, or the prophecy that might not be about Aidan after all?

[Published 29 September 2015, 153 pages]

About the Author

Melissa A. Craven (the “A” stands for Ann–in case you were wondering) was born near Atlanta, Georgia, but moved to Cleveland, Ohio at the age of seventeen. She still thinks of Cleveland as home, so it was only natural for Emerge to take place there.

Today, she is back in Atlanta–for some reason she can’t seem to stay away from the ungodly heat that makes her long for things like “lake effect snow” and wind that will knock you flat.

Melissa decided a long time ago that the “life checklist” everyone else was clutching so tightly in their fists, just wasn’t for her. She does everything backwards because she is weird like that, but then, she is an artist and artists are notoriously “unique” and “quirky.”

She is an avid student of art and design, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of West Georgia in 2009. She worked as an interior designer for several years, but she’s always thought she might like to be a writer when she grows up.

In her spare time, if she has any, she enjoys shopping for derelict furniture she refinishes to exercise the interior design part of her brain.

Follow Melissa A. Craven:

Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on Google+ Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads Visit the author on Instagram Visit the author on Pinterest

Giveaway and Tour Stops

Enter to win Kindle copies of Emerge: The Awakening + The Edge.
Remember to comment to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Enter to win signed copies of Emerge books 1 + 2, bookmarks, mug, keychain and a $10 Amazon gift card
Remember to comment to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Emerge: The Awakening's tour at:

November 16th
My Book Addiction
Fiction Dreams ✉
Bedazzled By Books ✍
Nocturnal Predators Reviews

November 17thYaReads
Taking It One Book at a Time
Mythical Books
Bibliobibuli YA

November 18thReading To Distraction
A British Bookworm’s Blog
A Book Addict’s Bookshelves

November 19thWorth Reading It?
Addicted Readers
BooksChatter ☀ℚ

November 20th
The Page Unbound
Lisa Loves Literature
I Feel the Need, the Need ✍

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