Rabid Readers Too is taking part in our first book blitz! This is not a review of a novel but a tour post composed by the fabulous Ren Reidy of A Little Bit of R&R Blog Tours to bring awareness to one author on a certain day.
Todays author is January Valentine and her novel is “Beautiful Experiment.” Check out the excerpt below!
Title: Beautiful Experiment (Book One of Island of Defiance Trilogy)
Author: January Valentine
Genre: Teen Paranormal Fantasy
Release date: June 1, 2013
Six unruly teens are abducted on their way to a juvie home. Dumped onto an uncharted island. Could things get any worse? Hell, yeah. Hostility and envy run rampant. Throw in some alphas, divas and demons, and what do you have? Beautiful Experiment. Book One of the Island of Defiance Trilogy. The teens are referred to as waywards, informed their parents have sent them to the island for rehabilitation. While they struggle with their predicament, and each other, they come to a shocking realization … for once in their lives, they have to follow rules. Brook has lived on the Island of Defiance his entire life, with no choice but to believe everything he has been taught. As he approaches eighteen, the secret of who he is, and the ultimate fate he must face, begins to unfold. To complicate matters even more, Brook grows to experience something he has never known … love. How do you convince a stranger a dreadful mistake has been made? Gabriella Winslow is an honors student who has always helped others, but now has to fight for herself. Something unimaginable wants her as much as the beautiful island boy with whom she is falling in love. Beautiful Experiment is Book One of The Island Of Defiance Trilogy (paranormal – fantasy – romance – for teens and adults) Mature 16+ for adult language, drugs & alcohol, mild sexual situations & mild violence.
(Brook and Father are waiting on the beach for the skiff to arrive with a new delivery of wayward teens. This is Brook’s first encounter with the supernatural force that will intensify until he eventually learns exactly what is attempting to overtake him, and why.)
The surging tide is tempting. I’m concentrating on the foam that is quickly erasing my footsteps. It’s not the caw of gulls that alerts me, because the winged creatures have vanished. In their place, the air is filled with my name. I lift my face to something startling, and my heart begins to pound.
The sky has burst into flame. Red and gold, it’s raging. The sun is the sky. Scorching. Shooting stars, like flaming spears, are dropping all around me. If I don’t shut my eyes, I’ll be blinded. If I do, I’ll be nothing but a solid target. The wind wails like a mother who has lost her child. “When the third moon falls, the beast will devour the sky.”
As suddenly as it started, it ends. I’m standing beside Father, totally disoriented. Am I standing? I look down at my feet, because I feel legless. I’m floating. Struggling to regain control of my mind, my body, the shock.
I grip the clipboard and pen with my knees, so that I can draw my palms across my twitching eyelids, astonished that I’m actually still holding onto anything.
“Did you see that flash? Did you hear that creepy voice?” I’m breathless, massaging my pounding temples with burning fingertips. “My head feels like it’s about to split open.” I rattle each eardrum with a pinky, then plug my ears to listen intently. Was the urgent whisper that turned me to stone inside my head? Phantom sounds? I’ve never experienced this kind of phenomenon before. “My eyes pain.”
Father regards me with a mix of surprise and concern. “You have a migraine?”
“Migraine?” I scoff. What the fuck, loops through my head. I’m freaked out, left with a strange feeling this is not going to be like other days. I try to shake it off, like I shake him off.
The sky is now clear and so perfectly blue, it looks as though it’s been painted by deliberate strokes of an artist’s brush. It is a seamless dome of beauty. If we were not receiving today, I might be lying on the pristine beach, permitting my thoughts to wander far beyond my own boundaries. Maybe I’d be lounging on my bluff, or climb my watchtower tree, burrow into its welcoming arms where I collect my years, watch over all that is mine.
“Feeling better?” His voice is buffered, but coarse enough to jar me from thought.
Skimming Father, my gaze snaps back to the waves, the skiff that is almost upon us. “I’m fine.” I don’t mention how bad my body aches, and feels like it’s being torn apart. I stretch my arms, then my neck, trying to pin down what I did to cause these muscle spasms. The bomb that’s about to explode in my head.
When the ocean is calm it’s translucent, sparkling with sunlight as though it’s coated with billions of precious gemstones. Today it’s not much more than rolling waves and seaweed.
“I’ve never seen it this rough.” Between wind and thunderous surf, I have to face him or my voice will be useless.
“Storms.” His reply is blunt.
“You wouldn’t know it by the sky.” I bring my gaze to a more pleasant sight.
“There’s one brewing out there. You’d feel it if you had my knees.” Staring gravely at the ocean, his body is rigid.
“Are you in pain?”
“Nothing I can’t handle.”
“Let’s hope the weather holds off until we’ve settled them.”
“Rain or shine, we’ve got our work cut out for us, Brook.”
“As always.” My stomach rises to my throat as I watch their approach. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to this way of life. Do I want to? Of course not. There are so many other things I’d rather be doing right now, like hopping onto that boat, and for starters, checking out the other side of this island.
Beyond the boat, a floating veil of mist rolls in like billows of steam from a tremendous boiling kettle. I am no longer able to see the large vessel from which the skiff was launched.
The atmosphere of the island is as such, inviting one moment, rejecting the next. Father calls it a gentle beast, with characteristics and charm like the women he has known. My glance shifts, falling upon the shoreline curve where a jetty, composed of rocks chiseled and stacked by nature, projects like the nose of a dolphin and the forest begins. This is as far as my eyes pan.
“Thank you for cutting your hair.” For a moment his eyes wash over me, then his gaze refocuses on the others who are struggling against the relentless current. “I know it pains you.”
“Don’t you mean shearing?” I huff. “I don’t understand why I can’t grow it long. I have awesome hair, or so I’ve been told.” I smirk.
He shoots me a phony glare. “You’ve been told, huh? No cozying up to any of these girls. I don’t want another batch begging to stay.”
“I’m not a womanizer. Just good company.” I shrug.
“No nighttime jaunts to the lagoon, either. And I mean it this time.” Now his glare is authentic.
“Yeah, yeah. I know. Stay out of the lagoon. Out of the forest. Out of the lockers. Pretend to like my boring life.”
He almost looks sympathetic. “One of these days you’ll understand.”
“What? Why I can’t swim at night?”
“You’re impossible sometimes, and the reason I ask you to cut your hair is to set a good example.”
I let out a tired sigh. My hand runs over my smooth scalp, the shadow of bristles so short and sun-bleached, my reflection in a mirror looks hairless. If not for my deeply tanned skin, I would look anemic.
“Seems a waste. Six or more inches of attractive dark hair again and again swept into the trash.” My jaw sets as our discussion continues. “I like my hair long. It makes me feel …”
“Like a rock star?” He chuckles, scrubbing my head playfully. “In so many ways you remain such a child, yet you desire to be worldly. Do you admire them?”
“Not as you might be thinking.” My eyes lower, landing upon my anxious toes digging through a mound of sand.
I swing my gaze across the vast horizon which is now shaded with purples and blues, fantasizing about the places beyond. The order of the world not contained within this globe of existence called Defiance Island. I know the temperament of the waywards, but wonder what others are like. Are they beautiful? Intelligent? Kindhearted? Do they possess the nature that can make a man want to tear another to shreds?
About the Author
January Valentine is the pen name of Victoria Valentine, New York writer and indie book publisher. See Victoria’s Author pages: http://www.amazon.com/January-Valentine/e/B007Q28DFE
I chose to use a pen name because some of my writing is steamy, and I wanted to separate Victoria, who writes contemporary fiction and children’s storybooks. Since my birth month is January, January Valentine seemed an appropriate pseudonym.
I also host a blogtalkradio show: Away With Words, every Wednesday evening at 6 PM EST where I interview other writers and poets and discuss writing in general: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/aww1
In June, I released my first paranormal romance, Beautiful Experiment, book one of Island of Defiance Trilogy. Wheel Wolf was released on August 20th, and instantly became an Amazon bestseller in Horror/Suspense/Paranormal.
I’ve written three other novels: Love Dreams contemporary romance, Sweet Dreams in the Mind of a Serial Killer, and Head Over Wheels New Adult romance. All are available on Amazon and other booksellers, or will be shortly in ebook and paperback.
I publish books for other authors through Water Forest Press, which I founded some years ago. In the past I have written poetry and song lyrics, but now I focus on fiction. I’ve created multiple websites and blogs that I don’t have time to manage very well.
My desire to be in a rock band brought me into a recording studio … where my lyrics sprang to life with the help of a local alternative rock band. Together, we produced a CD.
I enjoy designing book covers and YouTube videos, and outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming. I love all kinds of music. Watching horror flicks and Tyler Perry movies are my escape from reality.
I have an addiction to engraved pens that I buy to accompany each of my books. My office is filled with paperbacks, t-shirts, silver bullets, wolf head necklaces, crystals, and all kinds of swag. My sites and pages.