I am so thrilled to be today’s stop on Entangled’s tour for COMMENCEMENT by Paige Cuccaro and to be able to share an awesome excerpt and a few details about the author and book.
COMMENCEMENT is a recent discovery, but one I moved to the top of my list of reads after having checked out the excerpt I received for the tour. And as it is a novella – one that sounds totally fun and flirty – it should be a super quick read, so I’ll have no problem sneaking it onto my reading pile this week.
The excerpt offers the perfect tease and introduction to the author’s new series. But I’ll let you judge that for yourself. Well, after you check out a bit more about the book and author, that is….
Title: Commencement (Hellsbane #0.5)
Author: Paige Cuccaro
Imprint: Flirt (Entangled Publishing)
Pub. Date: September 27, 2012
Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn for frat guys…
Emma Jane Hellsbane knows something evil is worming its way through her college campus—she can feel it. Literally. Her freakish ability to feel other people’s emotions as though they were her own has always been monumentally awkward, and it’s easier for her to just pretend it doesn’t exist. But this time her paranormal ability just might help her save lives.
Emma Jane’s fairly certain that whatever the hateful, egomaniacal, Godlike thing is, it’s set up shop inside her boyfriend, the frat boy/soccer star Justin. And if she doesn’t figure a way to get it out of him soon, Justin’s soul will be the appetizer to the main course—the whole student body. Problem is, the big baddy is granting sinister wishes, and with each one the risks grow higher and the phrase Be careful what you wish for becomes a real-life dire warning. Of course for Emma, what feels like it could be the end is in fact just the beginning…
Writing was never a foregone conclusion for me. I once had dreams of being a psychologist, a pediatrician, a school teacher, a photojournalist, a bartender, and/or an EMT. And then I met my husband and my world came into focus. Being wife and mother are my highest priorities and greatest joy. But escaping to the fanciful, sexy worlds twirling through my mind is an absolute necessity. Putting those worlds, and the cornucopia of characters that people them, on paper is just plain fun.
Paige lives in Ohio, with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, three cats, a parakeet and a bearded dragon named Rexy, in an ever shrinking house. When she’s not writing she can be found doing the mom thing with a book in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other. Ideas come without warning and the best way to stimulate your imagination is to enjoy the imagination of someone else.
Justin knotted his arms across his chest and grunted. “Right. Shoulda been more specific.”
“Excuse me?” The hairs on the back of my neck tingled. I tried to read him, but without tapping my gift, I was flying blind. I knew if I opened myself to his feelings, though, I risked another emotional bitch-slap.
No, thank you.
“Nuthin’,” he said, snagging his backpack from the floor next to his bed. “I gotta roll.”
“What? Wait. I mean, a second ago you wanted to… Where are you going?” I sounded panicked.
Maybe because I was.
If Mihir was right, Justin was playing with some pretty serious otherworldly power. As insane as that sounded, it had to be worse than playing with fire, and Justin couldn’t even light a match without burning his fingers. If there was even the slightest chance any of this was real, I had to try and help him.
Justin was a sweet guy, athletic, sexy, great in bed, but in the quick-thinking, smart-enough-to-outwita- supernatural-heavy-hitter category, he’d pull all Fs. With or without a computer virus’s help.
Not that I was any better.
“I just remembered I gotta hand in my term paper to Richardson. It’s already late.” He slung his backpack over one shoulder and held the strap with his right hand. His butt-ugly ring stared at me. “Oh. Speaking of which, maybe it’d be better if you didn’t sleep over tonight. Got that exam in Richardson’s Logic class tomorrow and it’s gonna kick my ass if I don’t do some serious crammin’. Sorry, honey.”
“Wha…? I thought… I mean, yeah, of course. Your grades are more important, but…I could come over after you’re done studying.”
I’d gotten used to spending the night wrapped in his arms. Besides, whatever was happening with him was crazy, and kind of scary, but that’s what it meant to be in love. Right? Standing by the person even when he’s freakin’ you the hell out. Being there when he needs you most—protecting him however you can. As bizzaro as Justin was behaving, I had to suck it up and stay close if he needed me. Right?
He stroked my cheek with his thumb. “I doubt I’ll even make it to bed. You’d be in there alone anyway.”
“But you need to sleep.” I sounded slightly more desperate than I liked, but what better time to slip the ring off him than in his sleep?
“Aww…I’ll manage.” His smile turned indulgent. “It’s killin’ me, too. You think I want to spend the night studying? Hell, I wish I didn’t even have to take the stupid exam.”
A sudden flare of light sparked at his shoulder and the smell of sulfur tinged the air like smoke. My gaze shifted to Justin’s right hand. I hadn’t seen it, but I was sure the flash had come from the ring.
“Did you see that?”
“What— No. Didn’t see anything.” He stiffened, his eyes wide like a boy who’d been caught peeking at Christmas presents. “See ya around, Emma.”
He leaned in and pecked my cheek—my cheek?— then turned to leave. I didn’t know squat about enslaved spirits or whatever, but I did know something was off-kilter. And a woman’s instincts were all I needed to sense it. Something weird may be going on, but seriously? What college-age guy passes on the chance for sex?
He turned at the door as I snagged my backpack.
“C’mon, Em, don’t beg.”
Oh, he had to be dreaming. I don’t beg.
So? What do you think? Emma sounds kinda awesome, right? I love an MC who is not afraid to admit that she’s better in bed than in school and does not resort to begging. I cannot wait to learn more about her over the course of the series!
Anyway, I’m not the only stop on tour. There may just be a few other places to haunt….
Oct. 15 - A Diary of a Book Addict - Review and Interview
Oct. 16 - What the Cat Read - Excerpt
Oct. 17 – Fiktshun After Dark – Excerpt
Oct. 18 - Sonorous Words – Review and mini-interview
Oct. 19 - Bibliophile Mystery – Review and interview
Oct. 22 - My Life With Books – Review and interview
Oct. 23 - An Avid Reader’s Musings – Review
Oct. 24 - My Reading Room - Review and interview
Oct. 25 - Cassandra’s Reviews - Review
Oct. 26 - Passionate Book Divas – Review
Oct. 29 - Romancing the Darkside - Review and interview
Oct. 30 - WinterHaven Books - Guest Post
Oct. 31 - Book Lover’s Inc. - Guest Post
Nov. 1 - Tater’s Tall Tails - Guest Post
Nov. 2 - Paranormal Wastelands - Review
Nov. 5 - Shortie Says - Review
Nov. 6 - Bibliognome - Interview
Nov. 7 - Stuck In Books - Guest Post
Nov. 8 - Hacakroo’s Reviews - Review and Blogger’s favorite excerpt
Nov. 9 - K-Books – Interview