2014 SPRING SCAVENGER HUNT!!

Congratulations to the following winners of my personal giveaways.

1. FACEBOOK – Megan Rigdon

2. TWITTER – Rachel — @cutsofpaper

3. MY BLOG COMMENTS – Olivia

You have all been reply messaged but in case you miss it – please massage me directly at : http://www.jessicashirvington.com/contact/ with your address and book selection!

Welcome to the Spring 2014, YA Scavenger Hunt (#YASH)! This amazing event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content, you also get a secret number. Add up the numbers, and enter it for a chance to win a major prize–one lucky winner will receive at least one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest only runs for 72 hours beginning at noon PST on THURSDAY 3rd APRIL and ending at noon PST on SUNDAY 6th APRIL!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or both! I am a part of the RED TEAM –but there is also a BLUE team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

If you get stuck at any point and lose your way – don’t panic! Simply go to this page: YA Scavenger Hunt: Stuck? and you’ll see links to all the authors participating and can work from there.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number (in red!). Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 6, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

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SCAVENGER HUNT POST

JERI SMITH-READY

For the Spring 2014 Scavenger Hunt I am so excited to be hosting the very fabulous JERI SMITH-READY! Read on and find out some more about Jeri and her latest novel – THIS SIDE OF SALVATION.

Jeri Smith-Ready has been writing fiction since the night she had her first double espresso. A steady stream of caffeine has resulted in twelve published novels for teens and adults, including her latest, YA contemporary novel This Side of Salvation, which Booklist called a “smart, unpredictable, and well-rounded tale” in its starred review.
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To find out more about Jeri and her books, you can visit her website:

http://www.jerismithready.com/

And if you would like to buy the book, click here:

http://amzn.to/OvRiYG

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A LITTLE BIT ABOUT  - THIS SIDE OF SALVATION

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined….

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Sounds absolutely amazing, right?!


EXCLUSIVE CONTENT PROVIDED BY JERI

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My just-released YA contemporary novel, THIS SIDE OF SALVATION, takes place this time of year. So I decided to interview my main character, sixteen-year-old David Cooper,  as if it’s April 3 for him, too.

As luck would have it, he’s having a really bad week. Let’s visit him in his room.

JERI: Hey, David, how’s it going?

DAVID: (lying on his back, staring at the ceiling) Everything sucks. Thanks for asking.

JERI: Want to talk about it?

DAVID: (stews and sulks for a minute, turning a baseball over and over in his hands) It’s my parents. They believe in this thing called the Rush—which is just another word for the Rapture, when Jesus comes back to take his favorite people up to heaven. Except the Rush is supposed to happen on May 11 at three a.m.

JERI: (checks David’s desk calendar) Isn’t that prom night?

DAVID: It WAS prom night. Well, it still is for everyone else. But my parents asked me to give up my entire life—my girlfriend, my friends, baseball, even school—forty days before the Rush, so we can “prepare.” All because this preacher, Sophia Visser, told them to. You know what she calls this time? The Abandoning.

JERI: So you’ve had to abandon everything important to you.

DAVID: Almost everything. (sits up) See, my older brother, John, died in Afghanistan, and every since then, my dad’s been seriously messed up. He spoken in nothing but Bible verses for the last year.

JERI: I’m so sorry.

DAVID: (stands, paces) So I made a bargain with my parents: I’d go along with their little Abandoning project, but only if on May 12, after the Rush HASN’T happened, my dad will get professional help.

JERI: How do you know they’ll hold up their end of the bargain?

DAVID: I don’t know. But this is my only hope. It’d better work, because I don’t know if the damage I’ve done to my life can be fixed. I don’t know if my girlfriend, Bailey, will wait for me. I don’t know if college scouts will still want to give me a baseball scholarship. I don’t even know if I can finish calculus.

JERI: Hmmm. What if I let you have a tiny peek into your own future? Maybe 150 words from May 11?

DAVID: Whoa, really? You can do that?

JERI: I’m an author. I can do anything.

DAVID: That would be awesome! But wait—is it bad?

JERI: Some good, some bad. Don’t worry, it won’t change your actions, because after you see it, I’ll wave this, um… (picks up random Sharpie from David’s desk) magic wand! And you’ll forget what you’ve seen.

DAVID: That’s a little creepy, but okay.

JERI: You might want to sit down for this.

Then I showed David the first 75 words of THIS SIDE OF SALVATION’s first chapter:

If this were the last night of my life, I could be at peace with that.

That, and everything else, as I walk hand-in-hand with Bailey out of the pool house and back into the blare of the party. Her long hair brushes my elbow, stirring memories of reaching, fumbling in the dark, memories so fresh they feel more like dreams, not etched as events in my past, but posed as possibilities in my future.

DAVID: (leaps up) Wait—are you saying—whoa—Bailey and I get back together? And we—that part about fumbling in the dark—did we—do we…does that mean what I think it means?

JERI: (makes lip-zipping motion, then shows David the last 75 words of Chapter One):

Our parents’ bedroom door is a few inches ajar, but the room is dark. They should be up right now, yelling at us (Dad) and heaving sighs of disappointment (Mom).

I stop at the threshold, taking in the oppressive silence, then push the door open.

Lying in the king-size, four-poster bed, under rumpled maroon-and-gold covers, are two…things.

I tilt my head, as if that will change their shape and state and aspect:

Human.

Motionless.

Wrong.

DAVID: (stares, horrified) Um…

JERI: (waves magic forgetting wand)

DAVID: (blinks) Okay, so when do I get to read those 150 words?

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Now I’m definitely intrigued! And of course, everyone needs a magical sharpie wand, so I’m glad Jeri had one on hand ;-)


Don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 12. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the red team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

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My Personal Giveaway! There are THREE chances to win!


There will be THREE chances to win a signed copy of my latest book ONE PAST MIDNIGHT (ARC Edition) and either EMBRACE, ENTICE, EMBLAZE or ENDLESS – the choice of which book will be all yours!

Here is what you have to do:

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CHANCE No.1

Go to my Author Facebook Page by clicking here:

JESSICA SHIRVINGTON AUTHOR FB PAGE

1. “like it” (if you’ve already liked the page in the past, go straight to step 2)

2. Leave a comment on the page – it can either be about the Scavenger Hunt – OR – it can be a comment about why you would like to win the books, or even about which book you will choose if you win!

CHANCE No.2

1. Go to my Twitter page @JessShirvington and click “Follow”

2. Then leave this tweet:

ENTRY for @JessShirvington giveaway of ONE PAST MIDNIGHT & EMBRACE SERIES. Anyone can enter at www.jessicashirvington.com#YASH

CHANCE No.3

For a final chance to win a signed copy of either ONE PAST MIDNIGHT, EMBRACE, ENTICE, EMBLAZE or ENDLESS; simply leave a comment in the comments section below on my blog about which book you would like to win and why.

Too easy, right! Winner will be randomly selected and messaged in response in the week following the Hunt!

GOOD LUCK!

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Ready to go to the next author website on the Scavenger Hunt? Then head over to Cat Patrick’s site by:

Clicking HERE

Posted in GENERAL, News, Publishing, Uncategorized, YA SCAVENGER HUNT | 93 Comments

CRAZY EXCITED TO SHARE THE ALL NEW DISRUPTION BOOK TRAILER!!

HERE IT IS!!

Let me know what you think!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Disruption Blog Tour!

Hi everyone, I’m very excited to share that I’ll be taking part in a blog tour during the first week of April to celebrate the release of my brand new book Disruption.

Make sure you check out each of these blogs. They’re the perfect places to hang out online and feed your YA addiction!

Monday, March 31st – http://thereadingrealmblog.blogspot.com.au/

Tuesday, April 1st – www.pixelski.com/

Wednesday, April 2nd – http://www.speconspecfic.com/

Thursday, April 3rd – http://booknerdreviews.com/

Friday, April 4thhttp://yamidnightreads.com/

BONUS STOP:

Saturday, April 5th http://nicegirlsreadbooks.com/

Posted in DISRUPTION, News | Leave a comment

So Much Happening — SYDNEY / MELBOURNE / GOLD COAST

So much happening this week!!

GOLD COAST

This Week!
The Somerset Festival: (Wed/Thurs/Fri)

https://www.facebook.com/somersetcelebration

AND

Counting down the days to the Indie Authors Down Under Event in Surfers Paradise.

When: This Saturday from 10am
I will be there unit just after midday!

Where: The Outrigger Hotel – Surfers Paradise

Why: Check out the awesome line up of authors at

http://www.indieauthorsdownunder.com/

A little bonus: My new book – DISRUPTION – coming out April 1 will be available as an exclusive early release to people at the event

SYDNEY:
Wednesday 26th March

MELBOURNE:
Thursday 17th April


Don’t miss out – sure to be heaps of fun!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CALLING ALL MELBOURNITES!

I am super excited to invite you all to my just-announced MELBOURNE EVENT on APRIL 17!!

Many of you have been asking if I am ever going to come to Melbourne and now I am!! Yay!

I’m hoping to see many of you there so I can introduce you to my brand new book – DISRUPTION – and I will also be available to sign any other copies of my books that you would like to bring along!

So here is your invite and don’t forget to rsvp to the email note on the bottom. xxx

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good Morning everyone!

Here is your official invitation to the Sydney launch on March 26, for my new book – DISRUPTION!

Some of you have been asking if I will be available for signings etc in Sydney – well this is your chance!! I’ll be there and can’t wait to meet you.

You will also be welcome to bring along any of my other books you might want to get signed as well 

Don’t forget to RSVP to the email address noted on the invite!!

Hope to see you there!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An EMBRACE Short Story – From me, to you!

For everyone out there who has read EMBRACE, did you ever wonder about Claudia, the girl that Violet bumps into at Hades and at the pizza place the night she has dinner with Phoenix?

Claudia was one of those characters who I always believed had a story to tell. So here it is – a little side story from the world of exiled angels and Grigori. I hope you enjoy it!!

A SHORT STORY

FAMILY TIES

By Jessica Shirvington

My feet tangled beneath me and I stumbled forwards, almost taking a nosedive. I found my balance, hitched my backpack up and powered on. I couldn’t believe it – I was going to be late, again, and Giuseppe was going to kill me. No, worse, he was going to fire me.

Last time was ‘the last time!’ he’d said, as he shook his finger at me, blowing aside the greying curls that usually fall over his eyes.

But I needed that job. I needed all of my jobs. So I kept running, knowing that by the time I arrived at the pizzeria I’d be in desperate need of deodorant. Plus, I was still in my Hades wait-staff uniform, another thing that never went down well. Working a full cycle of shifts at Hades and the opposite at Giuseppe’s had me slogging from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week and constantly running from one side of the city to the other in the thirty-minute gaps between shifts.

I rounded the corner, almost there.

Giuseppe would forgive me. And if he started yelling, I’d just cry. That always worked. He was a tyrant, but the man couldn’t handle tears.

I pulled up short of the restaurant when I heard an all too familiar whistle. Panting, I looked around. The second I spotted my brother, Sean, my stomach churned.

What now? What more could possibly go wrong? As if our lives didn’t suck enough already.

Sean was hidden in the shadows of a doorway across the street. I put my hands on my hips and waited. If he wanted to talk to me he could damn well cross the road. I could sense one of his heavy sighs. He was only three years older than me, but he’d assumed the man-of-the-house role a while back and since then he acted as if he was twenty-two going on fifty.

‘Real discreet, Claudia,’ he said harshly, crossing the road before pulling me to the side of the pavement. He was wearing his street clothes, which meant he hadn’t been working one of his legit jobs today. I tried to ignore that reality.

‘Sean, whatever it is, I don’t have time. I’m late for work again. Giuseppe will give my job to one of his five million cousins if I don’t hurry up.’

His expression softened. I wasn’t the only one who worked constantly. There was a time when all Sean did was study for his med degree and chase girls, but those days were well and truly gone. Everyone thought he’d have this amazing future, become some kind of medical saviour. And I guess he had – just not in the way he’d thought: he was our family’s saviour. After what Dad did, Sean had been the one who kept us all going, kept us together and safe. But things had changed. He looked over his shoulder. He was scared.

I grabbed hold of his clammy hand. ‘What is it?’

He shook his head, more to himself than for my benefit. ‘We have to go, Claudes. We have to pack up and leave.’

‘But, but . . . we need more time! We don’t have the money yet!’

‘Shh!’ he hissed, his eyes urgent as he looked up and down the street. ‘I have it. I called in a favour. Claudia, we have to finish this. We’ll give them the money after your shift tonight and then we’re out of here. All of us.’

‘Why? I mean, if you have the money, wasn’t that the whole point? If we give it to them won’t they leave us alone? This is supposed to be the final payment.’

We’d worked so hard for the last year. It had all been leading to this. Every single cent we’d made had gone to them.

‘They’ll never leave us alone, Claudia. I . . . I don’t know how but they know things . . . They can do things that normal people can’t. I . . . I saw one of them this afternoon . . .’ He paled and grabbed me by the shoulders to steady himself. ‘I can’t even tell you, it was so horrible. I just know we have to go. We have to get Taylor and Mum away from this place.’

He was right. Deep down, somehow we’d always known the men who Dad had been mixed up with before he died were not normal, even if we hadn’t wanted to admit it to each another. That was why we’d been working so hard to pay off Dad’s debt. Whatever gambling mess he’d gotten himself into, it had ended up costing a lot more than just interest and I knew I wasn’t the only one in my family who suspected his death wasn’t really the result of a car accident. Sean and I had never told Mum about what his body looked like when we’d gone to identify him. We never would.

I nodded in agreement about leaving. ‘I can ask for my pay tonight. Here . . .’ I fumbled in my bag, pulling out my wallet. ‘I have my wages from Hades, too.’

Sean sighed with relief as he took the money; my contribution was definitely important, but he was the one who earned the big bucks. He’d given up everything to do so; I knew he couldn’t be doing anything good to bring in that kind of income. I wished I could hate my father for it. But he was a victim, too.

‘I’m going to get us away from all this, Claudia. We’ll go somewhere else and start afresh. We’ll get Taylor into a good school. You’ll be able to go back to art school. Everything will be better.’

I looked towards the pizzeria. I could hear Giuseppe’s booming voice.

‘I’d better go.’ I threw my arms around my brother and he hugged me back briefly.

‘I have to go organise a few things. Stay in the restaurant until I get back, then we’ll give them the money and we’re gone.’

I bit my lip nervously, but nodded. ‘Be careful, Sean.’

He mustered a small smile. ‘Don’t tell anyone, okay? We have to just disappear.’

He was looking around again, pulling his hoodie over his head. Whatever he’d seen had more than frightened him.

‘I know. I won’t.’

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I watched the clock on the wall. Giuseppe yelled at me for twelve minutes, which was a long time even for him. I tried to turn on the waterworks but they didn’t come; I don’t know if it was because I was too petrified something might go wrong with Sean’s plan or if I was just too excited about the prospect of finally being free of Dad’s legacy.

Sean had known about our father’s gambling when he was alive. Apparently, a few weeks before the accident Dad had broken down and told him he was in trouble, that the people he owed money to were dangerous and would come after him. Sean had dropped out of university and started his first shift at a bar that night. I remember yelling at him the next day – not knowing why he’d done it – calling him a ‘deadbeat loser’.

I went through the motions – collecting dirty plates, loading them up on my already tired arms. At least working here, the customers didn’t get too drunk or hands-y – some nights after a shift at Hades my overly pinched ass was sorer than my feet. Here, I just had to put up with being yelled at. At least this would be my last six hours of that.

I took a deep breath while making my way to the next table, topping up their wine glasses. Everything was about to change. If Sean and I could just pull this off, if we could get Mum and Taylor packed up tonight, then by tomorrow . . . By tomorrow we could be starting our new life. I could get another job and actually use the money for something I wanted. I knew the first thing I’d buy – paint.

‘Pizza, Claudia!’ Mario yelled at me from behind the wood-fired oven.

I collected the three scorching pizzas, one resting against my wrist, but I was used to it; I’d been working there for over a year and my arms had burn scars that I was sure would never go away. I delivered the plates and noticed new customers seated in the dinky corner. We were obviously full – that was always the last table to go.

I headed over, recognising one of the diners. Violet Eden and I had gone to the same school, but I’d been ahead of her and apart from the one community art course, we had rarely crossed paths. Now this was twice in as many weeks, as if she was suddenly supposed to be in my life.

I could see her looking at me, panic all over her face. Last time I saw her she was at Hades with some hottie, getting drunk on the sly – half her luck. Anyway, she’d obviously forgotten my name. It’s so easy to tell when people do that – maybe because it happens to me all the time; all they see is my bright red hair. I flicked my hair back so my name badge would be in full view as I stopped in front of her. Relief flooded her features the moment her eyes latched onto it.

‘Hey, Violet,’ I said.

‘Hey, Claudia. So this is the other place you work at,’ Violet said, recalling the place of our last conversation. At least she’d remembered that.

‘Yeah, unfortunately.’ I smiled, but something about her was off. She was tense, sitting high in her chair, holding the menu with an almost desperate grip. She looked a little frightened. I leaned towards her, about to ask if she was okay, before stopping myself; I barely knew her, and I was about to know her a whole lot less once this city was in our rear-view mirror. Instead, I decided on something more neutral. ‘Shitty tips and crap boss, but it works,’ I said with a shrug, stepping back a little.

Violet smiled awkwardly, eyes darting between her dinner partner and me. I looked at him for the first time and almost fainted right there.

‘Claudia, this is Phoenix,’ she said, leaving things up in the air.

I wasn’t much help. I was speechless. He was beautiful; utterly, earth-shatteringly and painfully beautiful. Did people like this actually exist?

He had a strange presence, some kind of alluring humming was coming from him and I . . . I just wanted to dive in, lose myself in it.

I felt as if he knew exactly what I was thinking. I stared. I wasn’t usually brazen with guys and especially not ones who looked like that but I couldn’t bear to take my eyes from him, even though he was just staring at his menu, completely uninterested in me.

‘Pleasure,’ he said, now looking over to Violet.

But when he spoke something came over me, a feeling that was both foreign and not, as if it wasn’t mine but had been moulded from me somehow. A sureness . . . that Sean had been right. We needed to leave this city, get as far away from here as possible. I knew the light-bulb moment had something to do with Phoenix.

I swayed, overwhelmed, putting a hand on their table for support.

Violet was watching me strangely. Fair enough – I was ‘macking’ on her dinner date. How did she get all these adorable guys around her?

‘Hi,’ I said, trying to recover, looking at Phoenix. ‘Can I take your order?’

Violet cleared her throat. ‘I’ll have the Diavola pizza, thanks.’

I saw Phoenix smirk. He was looking at her so intently. She had her eyes cast down, avoiding his. I almost reached out and slapped her. It wasn’t so much that I’d been unlucky in love with a string of guys who fitted into the live-and-learn category, it was more that I had never had anyone look at me the way he was looking at her at that moment. I couldn’t imagine anything more heavenly.

Phoenix glanced my way briefly. ‘The same, and a glass of the Cabernet,’ he said dismissively.

I nodded, writing it down, trying to process the overpowering emotions I was experiencing. Yet again, I was suddenly so sure that I had to leave – had to get away.

I staggered away from the table, torn between a desperate need to escape them and wanting to grab hold of Phoenix. But with each step my mind seemed to clear. I had no idea what was going on, but the feelings that had started to stir when I’d been near him stayed. The weirdest thing of all was that I felt as if Phoenix had been trying to help me. I shook my head – crazy. He didn’t even know me.

I went to the bathroom to pull myself together. Whatever had just happened, it didn’t matter. We were leaving. Everything would be okay. I splashed water on my face before heading back out to the busy restaurant, grabbing some empty glasses from a table as I passed. That was Giuseppe’s rule, ‘Never waste a walk anywhere; you go to the kitchen, bring something with you! You leave the kitchen, you take something out!’

‘Pizza! Claudia!’ Mario yelled.

I grabbed the pizzas and got back to work, avoiding Violet and her friend. When I spotted Giuseppe I even dared to ask him for my pay at the end of the shift. He spat out a string of words in Italian and marched off. I smiled. For Giuseppe, that meant yes. I actually felt bad that I would have to leave without saying goodbye.

‘Pizza! Claudia!’ Mario yelled, again from behind the oven.

I made my way over to the two waiting Diavolas, Violet’s order. I delivered the food to her table quickly, trying not to look at Phoenix. Now that I’d managed to get my head straight, I didn’t want to risk it becoming muddled again, or do something stupid like throw myself at him right in front of Violet. I couldn’t trust myself around that guy so I concentrated on my other tables, hoping that I might be able to make some extra tips.

When the peak-time slam was over, I offered to start on clean-up. It was usually the job everyone avoided, but I wanted to do something nice for Giuseppe and it meant I could daydream about where Sean and I would take the family.

Taylor would be so excited. She hated her school. We’d had to move her into a public one six months ago because we couldn’t cover the private tuition fees. She didn’t complain but the new school didn’t have a music department and I’d heard her crying every night for the first few weeks. She had an amazing voice – I’d never heard an eight-year-old like her –­ and she loved choir. There was something about her – she was good. Sean and I both knew it – of all of us Taylor was the best. She had the potential to do something amazing with her life, make a difference. And Sean and I would do anything to protect her so that she would.

I started wiping down the prep benches and putting away ingredients. I wouldn’t care if I never ate pizza again. Pizza and the occasional pick-up from the kitchen at Hades had been the basis of all our family meals for the past year – there is only so much pepperoni one person can take.

I hummed to myself as I worked. This was it. Everything would be better once we were gone. We’d done the best we could, paid off Dad’s debt and now it was time to get on with our lives. Maybe Sean would go back to med school. Maybe Mum would be happy again and let go of some of her guilt. I think she knew what Sean and I had to do to keep us all safe – she just couldn’t bear to talk to us about it. Mum’s pride had been stripped away, but with this new start . . .

I tied the rubbish bags and used my back to push open the alley door that led out to the bins. Caught up in the disgustingness of my shoes sticking to the dirty ground, I didn’t even look behind me and backed right into what felt like a brick wall. A very human-shaped brick wall, that is.

I dropped the rubbish and tried to spin around, but an arm closed around my neck and started dragging me into the darkness while I gasped, watching the kitchen door slam shut.

Above the sounds of my scuffling feet and strangled whimpers I could hear the world around me – the traffic, the hustle, the buzz of voices. But they were so far away. Already I feared I would never again be a part of it all – a part of life.

I screamed, struggling to get away, but the person dragging me was so strong, it seemed effortless for him to counter my attempts until, suddenly, he released his hold on me so fast I fell to the ground. Too scared to look around and face my captor I scrambled to my hands and knees, my sights fixed on the kitchen door. If I could just get back inside . . . But the man grabbed the back of my shirt and pulled so hard the fabric ripped.

I heard a growl. I froze: whatever noise it was, it was not human. Did he have an animal with him? Before I could stop myself I spun around in a crouch to see him and a terror I’d never believed existed overcame me.

He was incredibly tall and eerily thin, except for his shoulders which were twice his width. He sneered at me, as if enjoying my fear, and ran a hand through his bright white hair that stood out like a beacon against his black outfit.

‘You should not have tried to leave. You belong to us.’

Oh God, help me!

I looked desperately towards the end of the alley.

‘No, no!’ I stammered. ‘We . . . We have your money! My brother will be here any second. We have all of your money!’

The man watched me with hungry eyes, making me shuffle back.

‘Your brother needs to be taught a lesson. You’re it.’

He was going to kill me. Sean would come to get me in an hour and he’d find me dead. I didn’t want to die.

‘Please!’ I panted between fear-filled gulps. ‘Please, we’ll do anything. We’ll get you more money!’

‘Should’ve thought of that before,’ he growled. Then, with a shrug, ‘But they don’t send me to negotiate.’

I backed up until I hit the wall, sobbing, and let out a final scream.

The man moved fast, inhumanly fast, grabbing me by the hair and pulling me to my feet.

All I could think about was Taylor. I prayed that she would at least go on, that Sean would find a way to keep her safe – I knew he would.

The tall blond winked as his hand moved back. He was going to beat me to death and from the look in his eyes – he was planning to take his time.

But he stopped before he hit my face, his arm dropping as his attention was drawn to the end of the alley.

I strained under his tight grip to see what he was looking at. Someone was walking towards us.

I started to scream again, a high-pitched desperate holler for life.

The man yanked me savagely, twisting me so my back was against him and his arm, once again, was around my neck.

When the person coming down the alley was only metres away I saw who it was: Phoenix, Violet’s friend. But he looked different. Stony-faced, his cold eyes were fixed on the man holding me. Suddenly, I didn’t know if things had just improved or not.

‘This is not your business,’ my attacker said menacingly.

Phoenix shrugged like he didn’t have a care in the world. He didn’t look frightened at all.

‘Just made it mine, Cherub ,’ he said, speaking the last word with venom.

‘She’s our property,’ the man snarled.

Phoenix didn’t respond. I panicked that he was going to just walk away – if he did, I would be dead.

Footsteps pounded down the alley and another figure came into view.

‘Violet!’ I screamed before I could think. ‘Violet! Help me!’

The man yanked my head back, his grasp on my neck tightening while his other hand clamped down over my mouth.

I kept my desperate eyes on Violet.

Oh God. What had I done? I’d just brought her into all of this. She couldn’t help me, how could she? She was just a girl, younger than me. She was watching, petrified. If I had another chance I’d yell at her to run.

Phoenix whispered something harshly at her but then he turned back to us, a new resolve on his face as he positioned himself between Violet and us.

‘Release her,’ he said quietly, his voice reverberating against the alley walls.

I felt the man back up half a step and then do something strange – it felt as if thick syrup was poured over me, covering me entirely and then hardening, like glass, impenetrable glass. And I was locked within.

He threw me down, my head smacking against the ground, and looked at me with absolute hatred as he commanded, ‘Kneel before me.’

I couldn’t stop myself. I wanted to kneel for him even though deep down I was still there, still petrified; he owned me. I had to do as he said.

I crawled to his feet, blood dripping from my head, and knelt before him.

‘Beg me to take your life,’ he spat at me.

My mind fought feebly – Sean was supposed to come for me. Was this the price I would pay for dreaming? Would this be the price Sean would pay, too? My heart pounded with fear as the tall man morphed into something terrifying and creature-like. Maybe I was already dead and in some kind of hell? Either way, I was in absolutely no doubt that I must do as I was told.

‘Kill me. P-p-please,’ I stuttered, tears streaming down my face.

‘No! Let her go!’ I heard Violet scream.

But it was all too far away now.

‘Claudia! Claudia, run !’

She may as well have suggested I fly. Did she not see the terrible things surrounding me?

The man pulled me up, spinning me to face Violet and Phoenix, and put a hand flat on either side of my face, holding me still.

‘If you want her, come and get her,’ he challenged, adding another word at the end I did not know, ‘Grigori .’

He lifted me off my feet, holding me out towards them.

Pain registered distantly; people were not supposed to be held in mid-air by their heads, but I was helpless, completely disconnected, locked inside my glass prison.

And I knew what he was going to do, as surely as if he had told me himself.

Violet launched herself towards me, panic-stricken but brave, eyes on mine, arms outstretched. She knew too.

Then I saw Phoenix and everything – all the pain, the fear, even the feelings of entrapment – vanished.

I was me and I was not afraid.

I was at peace.

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DISRUPTION – COVER REVEAL AND EXCERPT

Hi guys,
I’m just back from an amazing month away with my beautiful family. I had such a great time but am so excited to be home and working again! It doesn’t hurt that I have the best job in the world!!
Anyway, while I was away the cover for my new dulogy was revealed and I wanted to share it with you. So….here it is!! I absolutely love it and think it is such a great image for the main character Maggie. But I would love to know what you think, so let me know!
Also, click on the link below to read the first couple of pages!

See the full cover and excerpt here:http://www.hypable.com/2014/01/19/disruption-jessica-shirvington-cover-extract/

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Announcing My All New Duology – DISRUPTION

I am so excited to finally be able to share this news with you all!!

YOU CAN SEE THE FULL EXCLUSIVE ARTICLE – INCLUDING A SHORT SYNOPSIS – AT:

http://www.hypable.com/2013/11/28/jessica-shirvington-reveals-release-date-synopsis-for-new-novel-disruption/

Here is just a snippet:

Embrace series author Jessica Shirvington exclusively reveals the first details about her next book.

Disruption will be the next book from author Jessica Shirvington. The book will be the first in a two-part science-fiction thriller duology. This is an interesting move in a world currently dominated by dystopian trilogies such as Divergent and The Hunger Games.

Disruption by Jessica Shirvington will be released on March 24, 2014 in Australia. The United States release date is TBC.

Of her new project, Shirvington says, “I wanted a new set of obstacles and a strong heroine.” Her inspiration came from new technology and social media, saying, “the world and the way we interact has changed.”

“I took it one step further and considered if it might be a possibility in the near future to cross paths with a person and know instantly what level of compatibility you have – friendship, lust, long term relationship, or even if you were a ‘true match.’ But with everything that has an ultimate, there must also be its counterpart.”

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Preparing to say goodbye and my one request…

I’m already teary, writing this. It’s strange how much these characters and their world have come to mean to me. For four years they have dominated many of my thoughts, much of my time. They are a part of my everyday. And now, as I prepare to share the final chapter of their story with the readers who have taken this journey with me, it is with mixed feelings.
I won’t lie, there is a part of me that wants to run around screaming ‘No! This isn’t really the end! I can write more, there is still so much to tell!’ and yet, there is the other part of me, the more sensible part, the part that made a promise to these characters at the very beginning that I would not wring them dry just to shove them back in a bucket of used water to simply rinse and repeat. It is this promise that has kept me on course and I have my fingers crossed that readers will agree with me come the end of this final book, that this is the right time to let them go.
But it is hard to say goodbye.
And I will think of them often.
Mostly, I hope that I have done them justice.
The journey has been rife with emotion and growth. It has been fun, hard, heartbreaking, frustrating and exciting to write. I will miss them. And whilst that makes me sad it’s also very good because I know that if I continued on until I reached the point I couldn’t stand to drag one more scene from them, I would’ve ruined the characters and their story for both myself and the readers.
So I am focusing on the ‘exciting’ now. I am looking forward to hearing what readers think and I have my fingers crossed they will enjoy this final installment.

My one request, especially to the Aussies who happen to get the book first, please try not to post spoilers etc. Pretty much every reader who picks up EMPOWER to read will have already given the time to read the first 4 books and they deserve to read the ending without having it spoiled. I know it’s hard to hold back, especially when you are passionate about certain scenes or characters, but please, please, try your hardest!

Thanks!

2 days to go… :)

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