Innocents (Dusty #1) by Mary Elizabeth and Sarah Elizabeth

Synopsis
Bliss knows all about bad choices but has yet to make them herself. With an innocent heart, she searches for freedom and finds it in the delinquent down the hall.
Dusty is a foul-mouthed troublemaker, tear-maker and heartbreaker. The boy with summer sky-blue eyes knows to stay away, but he can't resist the girl who made his house a home.
She's his reason, but he might not catch her when she falls.
She loves him. He loves her crazy. 
This is what happens when a love made of secrets is kept with rules instead of promises.
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Excerpt
Front windows cracked, we’re relaxed in the back of his parents’ old Audi and it feels good again.
“Caffeine isn’t good for you, you know,” Thomas says, glancing over. 
The sun has set and the purple sky and the Yaquina lighthouse paint my temperamental troublemaker in soft hues. The scent and sounds of the sea drift in with the breeze, mixing with smoke from the blunt he’s relit and the low melodies of Citizen Cope singing about a girl that won’t give in and he’ll never let go of.
Taking another drink of the coffee he bought me, I shrug. I don’t know what he said to get the baristas to make a pumpkin spice latte in February, but cinnamon and caffeine fill me with warm relief. 
Under his breath and around a hit, Thomas chuckles.
“It’s bad for your bones and skin,” he says, smirking as I tuck my toes under his leg. “And your heart. Uncontrolled beats are a prelude to heart attack, princess.”
I roll my eyes and laugh some, because I do feel them. I felt them earlier in his bed, and before that, when I was thinking of him. My unsteady heartbeats have nothing to do with coffee.
“Bring on the palpitations,” I say before taking another drink, letting Dusty lecture me about bad habits, as if I’m too young to understand irony.
“I’m serious,” he continues, smoking up and blowing out. “Your body will build a tolerance. When you feel it’s becoming bad for you, you’ll want more. You’ll need more. Caffeine’s a drug, Leigh.”
I laugh. I can’t help it. Maybe I’m still high.
“Oh yeah?” I ask. “Like pot?”
This boy blows a cloud of smoke up, and I watch it swirl-spread out across the car’s ceiling.
“Pot’s from the earth,” he says, puffing smoke rings while I wrap both hands around my cup, absorbing its warmth through my palms. I inhale the cream-sweet scent of cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger, and it may be full of stimulants, but I feel calm.
Thomas’ presence is the best Valentine’s Day gift. Candy is nice, and candy flavored blunt wraps were thoughtful, but this is what I wanted most. Just us.
“Pumpkins are from the earth,” I say. “And coffee beans.”
“You think there’s real pumpkin in that?” he asks. When I can’t do more than smile and stare at his lips, he sits up straighter.
“Caffeine’s an analeptic. It fucks with your impulse control and your insulin resistance.”
I laugh because, “What?”
He pulls a hit. “That shit will give you stress hormones, Bliss.”
“How do you know all this?” 
“Baseball.”
We’re quiet for a second, looking at each other. His carefreeness is back, but his smile is understated.
“You sure you’re not worried it’ll stunt my growth?”
Between licking his bottom lip and bringing the blunt back up, Dusty glances at my chest without a stitch of modesty.
“You’re growing up fine, girl.”
My cheeks heat, and I hide my smile with another drink. 
After I’ve finished my coffee, Thomas offers me the blunt. When I decline, my actual addiction leans into me, nudges his hood from my head, and exhales his smoke all over my neck. 
The playful punk that was lecturing me is gone. This honest to a fault, recklessly unflinching, too-beautiful, fated youth is a person only I know. This is my person. 
He tosses the blunt out the window while I drop my empty cup to the floorboard, and we shift together. We kiss open and deep, claiming and binding. We kiss the way I wanted to earlier, with eyes closed and hearts open, and I know the real drug is here. It’s between us and inside us.
It’s the way he opens my lips with his lips to kiss me deeper, and the way my pulse feels like his name is in my veins.
It’s the way I can’t stay hurt or mad or jealous, and the way he can’t stand for me to.
It’s the craving that never goes away, the need for more that grows as we feed it. It’s the tolerance he was talking about and knowing he’s right. 
It’s this, our secret.
We’re the drug.
Teaser

MeetTheAuthor



 
Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets. Known as The Realist, she is one half of The Elizabeths—a duo brave enough to never hide the truth. Born and raised in Southern California, she’s a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her stranglehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is told. 
To follow Mary’s upcoming solo and collaborative projects, she can be found at her website http://www.maryelizabethlit.com/.
Brought together by their love of storytelling, Mary and Sarah Elizabeth are a pair of dedicated writers with complementary strengths who’ve cultivated a literary style that captures a Realist’s brutality with a Poet’s grace, uncovering the self-seeking side of tenderness and the undisguised truth of honesty. Inspired by the lyrics of a song, Dusty was born between emails and long G-chats before a single chapter was ever typed. A short story turned into a monster, and more than four years and several edits later, the first half of their collaboration, Innocents, will be released on July 14, 2014. And its conclusion, Delinquents, is set to release on October 23, 2014. 
If you’d like to contact The Elizabeths, they can be located on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheElizabethsDusty?ref=hl.

MeetTheAuthor
   
Listener, messenger, secret keeper, Elizabeth, and TrueLove, Sarah works two jobs by day so that she's able to really work by night. She's written since she was old enough to hold a marker, and her writing bridges the sacred and profane, from first love to forbidden, with a longing for truth and a passion for hearts. She is currently based in Kansas City where her army is comprised of one little buffalo. Her best friends are girls named Moses and Bunny. Her hero is a boy named Bishop, and the one she loves has ocean eyes. In addition to Dusty, Sarah also has a collaborative novella, Light and Wine, due to be released on June 8th, and her solo work will be featured in the anthology Branded, this August.
Brought together by their love of storytelling, Mary and Sarah Elizabeth are a pair of dedicated writers with complementary strengths who’ve cultivated a literary style that captures a Realist’s brutality with a Poet’s grace, uncovering the self-seeking side of tenderness and the undisguised truth of honesty. Inspired by the lyrics of a song, Dusty was born between emails and long G-chats before a single chapter was ever typed. A short story turned into a monster, and more than four years and several edits later, the first half of their collaboration, Innocents, will be released on July 14, 2014. And its conclusion, Delinquents, is set to release on October 23, 2014. 
If you’d like to contact The Elizabeths, they can be located on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheElizabethsDusty?ref=hl.

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“Blood Flows Deep in the Empire” Book Review

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So,I juuuust finished reading Blood Flows Deep in the Empire.

Let me tell you. That was one hell of a book!
It was something very different for me, because  even though I like fantasy,I’ve never read anything similar to this one.
I was very pleasantly surprised by the theme of the book,and I’m definitely going to try and find more books with the same theme.

The story starts around eleven thousand years ago and revolves around Delytri, God of Fertility, who vows to bring back his dead lover Dimithynia, by sacrificing a young woman named Ismini,to take her place.

Years pass and we’re back in our time,when it’s actually the time for Ismini to get sacrificed.
But what happens when feelings that Delytri thought were long locked away,resurface when Ismini comes into his life?
How will he handle sacrificing her, when he feels so strongly for her?
Is destiny always right?

“Some things are destined to be — it just takes us a couple of tries
to get there.” 

What I loved about this book,is how well build the characters are.
They are so relatable.
Yes,they are Gods,but also, they behave completely like mortals.
I love how there is no superiority in the way they talk,because personally, it would make this book really hard for me to read.
I also loved the relationships formed between Ismini and the Gods, it provides a fun, silly atmosphere to the book which made it delightful to read.
The negative side to that ofcourse,is that it was not realistic,because it all happens in the snap of a finger.
Now let’s continue with Delytri and Ismini’s relationship.

Boy is it steamy!

First of all their chemistry is AMAZING!
It doesn’t happen that often that two characters, even though they’re in a book and you can pretty much describe their relationship perfectly,but weirdly they don’t always click.
The author made a really good job of providing us with well written characters.
Sexy,Can’t keep their hands of each other, smoking hot characters.
The thing that kind of bothered me,was the graphic language in some of the scenes,I just…it was too much and it kinda made me uncomfortable.
Maybe I’m a prude and it’s just me,I don’t know. But overall, it was a very enjoyable book, good suspence build up, there was action,romance,comic relief and it was all well balanced.

Can’t wait for the next one!