Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Here They Lie Blog Tour! Excerpt + Giveaway


Here They Lie by D’Ann Burrow
(The Bloodstone Legacy #1)
Publication date: October 5th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Southern Gothic
Reese Everett’s aunt picked a bad time to die.  Just weeks after a car accident left Reese’s mother unable to travel, her aunt’s house needs to be emptied and sold, leaving Reese as the only member of the family who can do the job.  She typically wouldn’t balk at the opportunity to sift through her aunt’s collection of antiques, but when she arrives in Devil’s Vale, Georgia, she discovers the family house in a state of disrepair she won’t be able to handle alone.

Colton Waters is back in Devil’s Vale – whether he likes it or not.  After he loses his acceptance to medical school with no explanation, he’s left with a single job offer…one that will return him to the hometown he’d hoped to escape.

When an errand to help his sister ends in a meeting with Reese neither will easily forget, Colton takes a job as her temporary handyman.

The longer Reese stays in town, the more she realizes the condition of her aunt’s house isn’t the only thing she hadn’t expected when she made the trip to Devil’s Vale.  Reese isn’t the only gifted member of the family – her aunt Kate has been practicing the family business…the business Reese has been sworn never to discuss.

After a ghostly visitor arrives one night, Reese and Colton learn Kate wasn’t the only one practicing the darker arts.  They begin to uncover secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Here They Lie won the Young Adult Romance Writer’s 2014 award for New Adult fiction.
“Took you long enough.” I pointed to the clock on the wall. “I’m pretty sure the words ‘on my way’ don’t typically mean in two hours.”

“Had a little delay.” Max stood halfway in the door to the office. When the principal called to tell him to empty his dad’s office or the janitor was going to do it for him, I’d volunteered to help. But I didn’t know that meant I was going to be doing the packing while wondering where in the hell Max was.

I recognized the expression on his face, and it wasn’t one that said I’m-sorry-for-making-you-do-this-alone. Nope. He had been preoccupied with something far different than books or yellowed photographs. “Blonde or redhead?”

“Brunette, if you have to know. But it wasn’t like that.” He shook his head, using his best innocent expression.

I didn’t buy it for a second. It was hard to be angry with him, though. He’d spent the first two weeks after our college graduation dealing with a police investigation, planning a funeral, attending the funeral, and then messing with financial stuff that required a lawyer.

Being an only child must suck.

Still, I couldn’t let him off too easy. “Sure it wasn’t.”

“Really.” He held up his hands like he wanted to surrender. “I was driving in from picking up more boxes like you said we needed. I took a wrong turn.”

“Stop right there.” I held my hand up, shooting him a glare. “You took a wrong turn? In Devil’s Vale?”

“Not exactly in Devil’s Vale. Right outside town.” Max shrugged and shook his head in distaste. “I know. I must not have been paying attention. Lucky I did, though. I ran into a girl having car trouble and had to drive her into town.”

“You had to, huh?”

“What was I supposed to do? Leave her stranded out by the bridge?”

He had a point. No one deserved to be stranded out there. Not at night. “You didn’t tell me that’s where she was. What were you doing out there?”

“No idea. Like I said. I got confused. Ended up out on 20. When I came back, there she was.” He ran his fingers through his shaggy, black hair. In the past, he’d always kept his hair almost military-short, and I couldn’t get used to seeing him like this. His hair was just another sign of all the things that had gone wrong since the last week of May. I didn’t think he’d gotten a haircut since before his dad’s funeral, and he’d needed one back then. “Sorry. I shouldn’t have left you with all this mess.”

Come to think of it, I wasn’t sure if he’d been in the office since the day the police had called him. I couldn’t say that I really blamed him for avoiding it. Even after I’d already boxed almost all his dad’s knick-knacks, awards, and old textbooks, the newly painted wall and the new tiles on the ceiling made the memory of what happened in this room too fresh, even for me.

Green eyes just a little too wide, Max toed the threshold like he’d spontaneously combust if he entered the room. That did it. We weren’t staying here any longer. I folded the panels of the box closed and ran a strip of packing tape over them. “Tell you what. I’ve been here long enough. Why don’t we call it a day?”

“No, I can do this,” he protested. But his expression said he couldn’t.

“Look.” I gestured around the room. Almost everything left was property of Devil’s Vale Independent School District. “We can come back in the morning and finish up in an hour. If I pack any more tonight, I’m going to turn into a box myself.”

I didn’t need to say that the old, empty building crossed my creeped-out tolerance an hour ago. I’d only stayed because he wasn’t answering his cell phone, and I wanted to make sure he didn’t try to tackle this himself. Spend enough time in here alone, and anyone would start seeing ghosts.

“I don’t care what they do with the rest of this shit.” Max’s voice rose with the same annoyed edge that it always got when he’d had a pass picked off in an interception.

He was in over his head, and he didn’t have anyone else to help him. Well, he didn’t have anyone who wasn’t a member of the not-quite-dead-yet Sunday school class at his dad’s church to help. He didn’t need their whispers making this any harder. That’s why I was helping my teammate when he was in trouble.

“I don’t have anything better to do. You know that.”

“Too well. When are you going to talk with your dad about your little issue?” Max hit upon the topic I’d been trying to avoid.

My little issue. He’d graced my situation with the nickname to make it seem less important than it was. As I’d driven down the roads leading from campus to home, I’d barely been able to think of anything else. I’d stayed behind, waiting to hear word from my interview. I should have known it wasn’t going to be good news. When the medical school spread good news, it didn’t wait to call you last.

We’d been dancing around my issue for close to a month. Dealing with the loss of Max’s dad had almost made things easier. Almost. No one expected to get the call from the principal yesterday announcing that he had to clear out the office by Sunday, least of all him. He was also the least prepared to deal with cleaning up the aftermath of the end of his only parent.

“Honestly, no idea. I’ve been waiting for him to be in a good mood.”

“With your dad, you’re going to be waiting a while.”

“I know.” I brushed my hands on my jeans. I tucked the worn, leather chair into its familiar home at the oversized desk before heading toward the door. “I have one thing my sister needs me to do, but give me an hour and meet me at my place.”

“You’re Shelby’s errand-boy now?”

“She had to stay late tonight, making sure she was set up for the festival. And besides, she saw a letter from Augusta.”

“Ah, so she’s blackmailing you. That one’s impressive.”

I didn’t need to see that glint in Max’s eye. I’d seen it plenty of times when we were partying at a sorority house. The last thing any of us needed was Max turning his bad-boy vibe on Shelby.

“Just bring the beer.” The discussion was over.

“Your mom will kill you if she finds us drinking.”

“My mom never wanders down to the cabin. Not unless it’s daylight.”

He didn’t pretend like he wasn’t relieved we were heading out of the office. For a while we just walked, and I let myself relax with every step we took.

But I could sense a question hanging in the air. As we passed the humming water fountains, he finally gave up and asked it. “Do you think your dad’s going to let you stay here?”

“Mom’ll probably make him. At least for now. He’s probably going to want me to come to work on the ranch.”

“You’re going to love that.”

I let out a long breath. “Yeah. Not exactly what I had planned.”

“You. On the ranch. That’s…that’s kind of funny.”

“Sure it is. It’s freakin’ hilarious. Dad’s going to be thrilled to trap me in the business. He didn’t want me to go to med school in the first place.” A lifetime of smelling like horses. Exactly what I’d always wanted. Exactly why I’d tried to escape.

Max laughed for the first time in weeks. I didn’t even have to look at him to know he was shaking his head, but I did. Sure enough, he had his best you-have-to-be-fuckin’-kidding-me expression on his face while he ran his fingers through his hair as if someone had dumped a cup of spiders on top of him.

We’d been friends since before either of us could pronounce the word friend. I didn’t remember a time that he wasn’t seated at our family’s table for Sunday dinner. We could finish each other’s sentences, but there were things that even Max didn’t understand. Things I wasn’t allowed to explain.

“That’s going to go well.”

“Tell me about it. I’m not sure if I really have a choice.” With student loans already begging to be repaid and parents who’d given the We’re Not Paying for Your College lecture not quite four years ago, I never really imagined myself in this scenario.

High school valedictorian. Captain of the football team. Member of the right fraternity. Getting into my choice of med schools should have been a breeze.

Should have.

Seems like I had a whole lot of should-haves lately.

“So you’re just staying here?”

Being a Waters in this town carries a responsibility. Even without my dad in the room, I could hear his voice echoing in my head. “Until I figure something else out, yeah, I’m staying here. I don’t really have much other choice.”

“Sure you do.” He shrugged, and his collar pulled back just enough to reveal the crow tattoo he’d recently gotten. “There’s always a choice.”

“Speaking of choices, you’re still taking that job in Seattle?”

“Money’s great.” Max pursed his lips and nodded like a dashboard bobble head. “It’s a great job. I can’t turn it down.”

He sounded like he wanted me to believe he was excited, but something in his voice was forced. He needed me to believe he wanted to take this job, even though he’d never mentioned applying for it. One day he was the last one standing next to the freshly covered grave in Devil’s Vale’s cemetery, and the next he’d taken a job out of state.

“You ever going to tell me what it is?”

“If I told you, I’d have to kill you.”

I waited for him to laugh, but it didn’t come. “Never really figured you for one of those kind of jobs.”

He swallowed, and a hard edge came into his voice. “Maybe you don’t know me as well as you think you do.”

Was that why couldn’t he look me in the eyes?

“You know, you don’t have to go. Hell, you can stay with me.” I pushed open the heavy doors leading to the locker rooms. Our footsteps echoed through the empty, tiled hallway. I was surprised to realize I was happy not to be alone. The place was filled with spirits of football players past. Even in the dead of summer, the locker rooms never lost their odor of sweat, grass, mud, and teenage hormones gone wild.

“Look, there’s nothing here for me. Except for you, of course. But bro, I just don’t roll that way.” Max half laughed and shoved his hands in the pockets of his jacket. It shouldn’t have been cold enough for jackets. Not in June. Not in Georgia.

“You don’t know how lucky you are to be getting out of here.”

“Trust me, Colton, I do.” He hit the crash bar to the door leading outside. He took a deep breath, and I could almost see the relief spreading across his face. I hadn’t realized how badly he wanted to move, to leave Devil’s Vale and its memories behind. Max had always been a guy of few words. Since he’d taken the job in Seattle, he’d become a man of even fewer.

We descended the steps without talking. We’d been down this path more times than I could count: pee wee football players leaving high school camp; middle school teammates when our school’s field was damaged after a wave of vandalism hit the town; finally, championship co-quarterbacks from the first team to win state. Everyone predicted the guys from our team were destined to do great things.

Destiny was a funny thing.

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D’Ann Burrow once told her preschool teacher she wanted to be a witch when she grew up. That simple comment signaled the start of a life-long fondness of things that go bump in the night. As she grew older, she could most often be found with her nose buried in a book, and she was especially fond of the Nancy Drew series as well as anything by Christopher Pike or Stephen King.  Occasionally she’d take a trip to the world of the classics where The Scarlet Pimpernel and A Little Princess reigned among her favorites.  She’s lost count of the times she’s read Little Women.

Today, D’Ann enjoys the world of Supernatural, stories about guys with fangs, and she’s seldom met a disaster film she hasn’t liked.  When she grows up, she’d like to work at the Haunted Mansion. Until then, watching Ghost Hunters will have to count as research.

D’Ann writes about secrets people keep.  Even the bravest heroine or a guy with a heart of gold has a few skeletons in the closet they’d rather not share with the world. When those secrets get out, things get interesting.

A Texas native, she knows making great guacamole is an art form. As a theater mom, she’ll happily chat about Broadway musicals by the hour.  Molly and Lizzie, the family furry ones, are frequent stars of her Instagram account.

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2 comments:

  1. Mmm gothic; sounds interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This book sounds intriguing!love the excerpt

    ReplyDelete