Titile: By Blood
Author: Tracy E. Banghart
Series: By Blood #1
Publication date: February 18th 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal
For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please.
Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix. Even worse, there’s (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he’ll be witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.
But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom…and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.
Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.
By Blood is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others – or tear us apart.
“Love this book! It’s a sweet little gem and I am glad that I got to read it! If you are looking for a story that is fun and quick, then I would recommend this book. You will want to know what happens to Emma in the matters of boys, family and adventure!” ~ Sarah, Me My Shelf And I blog
“A five star read from start to finish. Un-put-downable!” —Vanessa Garbin, author of the forthcoming Captivate
“Emma’s sarcastic, biting narrative and the lure of Celtic myth and magic constructs a brilliant book to cosy up with…if you dare!” ~ 21st Century Once Upon a Times blog
“By Blood effortlessly transports you to the cobblestone streets and small pubs of Oxford, and Emma’s sassy voice pulls you right into the story with its hot British boys and touch of magic. A must read!” —Susanne Winnacker, author of Impostor and The Other Life
Probably it was just lack of sleep and not the consumption of cider that made my heels skitter dangerously against the cobblestones as I tottered my way back towards the house. As I walked, my mind flickered aimlessly from thoughts of Colin’s wolfish grin to wondering if the graceful swashes of graffiti on the concrete wall I passed were Arabic. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t make myself concentrate on anything useful. Like walking straight. Or where I’d put my purse.
I got halfway down the block before Josh caught up with me. “Hey, wait up,” he said and grabbed my arm when I stumbled a little.
“So did you punch him?” I giggled. If there had been a fight, I was glad Josh won. He kept his hand on my arm as we walked.
“What?” Josh asked.
For a second I couldn’t remember my question; I was too busy imagining Josh’s fist connecting with Colin’s too-pronounced jaw. Ha.
“You know, all that testosterone back there…” My hand reached over of its own accord and squeezed his bicep. “I thought we were going to have an international incident.” I’d never had a guy fight over me before. Not that Josh had fought over me. Not really. Though he’d had a protective vibe going on that was kind of hot. Not that I thought he was hot. Well, I did, but—
Suddenly my heel caught on the edge of a brick and my ankles wobbled. Josh tightened his grip on me and I tried not to lean on him too heavily as he led me forward.
“Jeez. You don’t hold your liquor very well. Are you okay?” He really did have beautiful eyes: clear cobalt blue with dark rings around the irises.
“It’s not like I’ve had a lot of practice,” I replied. “And yes, I’m fine. It’s just my shoes.”
“Not just. But I see your point. Those heels look lethal.”
There was something sexy about a guy who could appreciate my death-defying footwear. I flicked the boot’s stiletto heel in his direction, showing off a little. And teetered. My arms flailed and my elbow made contact with some portion of Josh’s anatomy. He grunted and I wobbled more. Oh crap. I was going down. Even worse, another of my ridiculous giggles spewed out. Just my luck I’d be the silly giggling girl with a broken ankle.
Before I could do real damage, though, Josh caught me, strong hands on my waist. He held me close, chest to breasts, until I was steady again on my feet, and then let his hands move to my wrists, a final reassurance that I wasn’t going to go toppling over.
My eyes trailed downward, drawn by the pressure of his hands on my arms, and widened when I saw a small sparkly box hanging from his wrist.
“My purse!” I exclaimed with relief.
He hastily handed it to me, as if he’d just remembered that he’d been carrying a lady’s purse around. “Oh yeah. I figured you’d be wanting that.”
I threw my arms around his neck, my exuberance knocking him back a step. “Thank you so much. You just saved my life. Seriously!”
Before my brain had a chance to catch up to my body, which was reveling in the feel of his warm, steadying hands on my waist, I stretched up to give him an enthusiastic kiss on the cheek. And somehow made contact with his lips.
I didn’t even have time to close my eyes and enjoy it.
“Whoa, whoa there.” His hands fell from my sides as if I’d burned him, and he took a big step back. “It was no problem. Really.” He reached out, without moving any closer, and gave me an awkward, brotherly pat on the arm. “I think we need to get you home. I didn’t realize one drink would be such a big deal for you.”
Oh no. What was I thinking? I stood frozen, mouth open.
Josh walked a few steps, but when he saw that I wasn’t following he paused.
“Come on, Emma.” His eyes were shadowed, hiding his expression.
I didn’t want to follow him. I wanted slink to the ground and slither away, find a hole somewhere, someplace where I could die of embarrassment.
Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.
Grand Prize Giveaway:
Giveaway Prize Pack #1 (US only)
Signed paperback copy of By BloodPlus (all hardcover):
Beauty Queens, by Libba Bray
Starcrossed, by Josephine Angelini
The Body Finder, by Kimberly Derting
Jane, by April Lindner
By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead, by Julie Anne Peters
Sean Griswold’s Head, by Lindsey Leavitt
Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi
Slide, by Jill Hathaway
Wither, by Lauren DeStefano
Imaginary Girls, by Nova Ren SumaGiveaway Prize Pack #2 (Intl)
Signed paperback copy of By Blood + $50 Amazon Gift Card
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