Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Blog Tour ~ Uprooted by Gillian St. Kevern ~ (Review + Giveaway)

Blog Tour ~ Uprooted by Gillian St. Kevern ~ (Author Interview, Review + Giveaway)

Title:  Uprooted
Author: Gillian St. Kevern
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: Dec. 26
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 118000

Genre: Romance, paranormal, vampires, demons, mystery

Recovering vampire Ben is discovering that life after death is hard work. It will take more than a reflection to impress his boyfriend Nate’s religious mother. And Nate’s twin brother, Ethan, openly resents Ben’s presence at the family farm. Nate is confident they can build a normal life together, but Ben’s not even sure he knows what normal is. He can’t face his reflection, let alone his past, while Nate refuses to divulge his family’s supernatural secret. Can they build a future on such shaky foundations?
When a supernatural hunter is found dead on the family farm, Ethan becomes the main suspect in a murder investigation that puts Ben and Nate at odds. Nate wants to protect his family and stay silent about what he is, but Ben knows no one is safe until the demonic agent responsible for a string of murders is caught. Defying Nate to investigate alone, Ben can’t let the demon claim another victim. But as his investigation continues, he discovers links to a past he thought he’d buried—and a past Nate refuses to acknowledge. With a desperate killer on a deadline, Ben must face the literal demons in his past if he wants to have any chance of saving himself and Nate from a fate worse than death.

Heat burned a line across his exposed skin.
Ben startled awake instantly. He knew he was in trouble, even before he saw the dim light filtering through the drawn curtains. No ordinary light. Sunlight. Death.
Ben grabbed the blankets lying around him, tugging them over his body as his heart raced.
How did this happen? I never take chances! Other vampires might play chicken against dawn’s slow approach, but Ben was always back in the crypt well before daylight. Along with the fangs, the blood lust, and the lingering sensation of something missing, being a vampire brought with it an ever-present awareness of the coming sun. Ben’s body should have screamed at him, every sense straining with the awareness that dawn—and a horrible second death—approached. Instead, he felt nothing beyond the adrenaline of his near escape.
Ben dug deeper beneath the blankets. Something is seriously wrong—
He collided with something warm. It shifted, murmuring a sleepy protest.
Ben froze. That was a body. A warm, living body—
A rough hand reached out to wrap around him, pressing him against the almost indecently hot body lying beneath the blankets. Naked, Ben realized. And most definitely male.
Most definitely aroused male.
“Not a morning person?”
The words were slurred, but Ben was confident he understood them. His heart switched gears, accelerating in a different way. “Says the guy who sounds more asleep than awake.”
Nate chuckled, shifting to press a sleepy kiss to Ben’s neck. His movement dislodged the blankets covering Ben, leaving him exposed to the light, but Ben didn’t try to hide.
I’m alive. The sun couldn’t hurt him now. Alive.
Ben turned his head to catch the next kiss on the full. Nate’s mouth was just as hot as he remembered, searing like the sun but infinitely kinder.
Nate seemed happy to share a tender moment, too sleepy or too content to pursue needs beyond the reassurance of Ben’s presence. When Nate broke the kiss to burrow back into the pillow at Ben’s neck, Ben left his eyes open. He followed the curve of the sheets over Nate’s body to the sliver of sunlight coming through the curtain that made his dark hair shine. Everything about Nate was warm, from his healthy tan to the heat of the arm around Ben’s waist.
Their first night together, he’d watched Nate sleep, but he’d retired to the crypt before Nate woke, leaving Nate to be unceremoniously bundled into a taxi. That should have been it. A simple tryst Nate didn’t remember and Ben didn’t regret. And here they were. Him, a vampire, lying in sunlight next to a man who looked human but remained a mystery.
Ben shifted so he could study Nate’s sleeping expression. Nate made a vague sound of protest but relaxed as he realized Ben wasn’t going anywhere.
This shouldn’t be possible. Ben frowned, reaching out to stroke his fingers through Nate’s hair. I shouldn’t be awake at all. And Nate…
Ben looked quickly away, but the memory came too fast to avoid. Nate, paler than he should ever be, lying still in the dirt, his blood mingled with the dead leaves and his throat—
Ben’s fingers stilled to a halt. Nate shouldn’t be alive.
ARX had a clear procedure for encountering an unknown supernatural being. Ben sat up, mentally running through the checklist. First, assess the immediacy of the threat.
Ben bit his lip. Unless the threat is never getting out of bed again, I’m safe. Nate clung to the pillow with the dedication of a poor swimmer to a flotation device. He didn’t bat an eyelid, even as Ben shifted and the crack of light fell directly on him.
That’s dedication. Ben studied the rise and fall of Nate’s chest and the slight flutter of his eyelashes until, with a guilty start, he remembered step two—gathering all available information.
What do I actually know about Nate? Apart from the fact that he is incredibly distracting, even when half-asleep? Ben considered his companion.
When they’d first met, Nate displayed the sleek, self-satisfied confidence of a well-fed tomcat, too smug to know he should be ashamed of himself. Given his job as an escort, it made sense. Nate was polished, confident, and annoyingly, gloriously sexual. Ben had disliked him purely on principle. He could never have imagined that Nate concealed a thoroughly selfless heart, or that he would risk his neck—literally—for Ben’s right to feel.
Now that Ben looked closely, he could see traces of the intense strain of the last week. There were exhausted shadows beneath Nate’s eyes, bruises on his arm from their narrow escape in the cemetery. Holding his breath, Ben leaned forward to get a closer look at Nate’s neck.
Where there should have been an ugly gash, there wasn’t even a scar.
Not even a werewolf heals like this. Nate made a plaintive grumble, and Ben settled back, thinking hard. A skilled magic user might have been able to pull it off, but there was no way they could do it without leaving their magical traces all over Nate. The only thing Ben detected was a warm, gooey feeling that he suspected had its origin less in Nate’s magical state and more in Ben’s proximity to him. Which leaves what Nate told me. He healed himself.

This is the second book in the last week or so that I've stayed up until 5:30 am reading and I haven't regretted it one bit, despite being so tired at work and to think I almost didn't read it, too, since my co-blogger Jaymie had requested it for herself, but she had too many books to review for today and tomorrow, so I told her I'd do it. When I started it, I was a bit confused, then I realized it was book 2 in a series. The name was familiar, so I went to GR to investigate and it turned out I'd reviewed the first book in the series, Thorns and Fangs, for which you can find my review here. It had been so long since I read it and honestly, with so many books in between, I'd nearly forgotten about it. Anyway, Uprooted is book 2 in the series and it continues directly where Thorns and Fangs left off, so I strongly suggest reading them in order or you will be lost. You won't regret it, though. Both of them are outstanding reads!

Ben is feeling a bit lost now that he's back to being human after his encounter with the necromancer in the previous book. He is trying to adjust to being in the sunlight, to having to eat real food, and to his sort-of-kind-of relationship with Nate, on top of the cultural shock that living on Nate's farm with Nate's mother and his twin brother in the middle of nowhere represents. Finding a supernatural hunter dead on the farm will put even more strain between Nate and Ben, as Nate refuses to share with Ben the secrets his mother and Nate have been harboring regarding Ethan, Nate's twin brother. When the inhabitants of the little town Nate's farm is in start becoming suspicious of Ethan, Ben decides to investigate on his own, realizing there's more to this murder than what meets the eye and that it might connect with something that happened to Ben in his past, something he'd almost forgotten about. Will they manage to find out who's behind the hunter's death before it's too late?

So, in book 1 my favorite character was Nate, in Uprooted, my favorite is definitely Ben. I don't know if it's because it's told from his POV, so we get to see more of what makes Ben, well, Ben, or something else, but I loved him here. I could feel how difficult it was for him to try to fit in and find his own way after being a vampire. His uncertainty regarding his relationship with Nathan and not knowing if they might actually have a chance was heartbreaking. I liked Nate and I really liked how loyal he was with his family, despite wanting to slap him a couple of times for being so stubborn, especially regarding his ex. Grrrrr! Regardless, Ben and Nate had fantastic chemistry and there's no doubt in my mind that they belong together, even if it really feels like one step forward, two steps back sometimes.

I was very intrigued over Nate's family secret and Gillian St. Kevern managed to surprise me with what it was. I really liked Nate's Ma and while Ethan was a bit of an acquired taste, I ended up liking him a lot, too. And there was a scene when I just wanted to whoop and high five Ma soooooo much! Go Ma!

It was amazing to catch up with Gunn and Kenzie. Gunn is a regular ray of sunshine (not!) and his sarcasm and witty exchanges with Ben made me laugh out loud several times (which isn't too good when everyone else at home is already sleeping 😉). I also liked the Sheriff and her deputy Sheriff, Ray and George.

Overall, this was a fantastic sequel, even better than the original for me. The main characters were awesome and the secondary characters provided even more depth to a very intricate plot that had me turning the pages until I finished. The different arcs explored within the book blended perfectly to make a fantastic story that even when it's paranormal, it's so realistic and relatable, that it just trascends genres. I'll definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series and finding out what's next for Ben and Nate.

Highly recommendable!

Rating: 5 Stars!!!

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***

If you could travel forward or backward in time, where would you go and why?

I would go back in time to 1910 to take notes for my mystery novel. Otherwise, I’d love to be around for the Golden Age of crime novels, reading Agatha Christie as she was first published, and hanging out with the likes of Ngaio Marsh and Dorothy L. Sayers.

We’ve all got a little voyeurism in us right?  If you could be a fly on the wall during an intimate encounter between two characters, not your own, who would they be?

Actually, while Nate is all about the voyeurism, I would be completely embarrassed and not know where to look, would feel horribly guilty for trespassing on an intimate moment and would not be able to look at those characters again. Instead, I’d love to watch the cast of Tal Bauer’s A Time to Rise go out for a few drinks to celebrate saving the day. Given the tension between the cast, the encounter between the four main characters--five if the Pope shows up and I really hope he does--would be fraught with drama, and I would love to see how that played out.

If I were snooping around your kitchen and looked in your refrigerator right now, what would I find?

Three jars of curry paste, two jars of mayo, one salad dressing, two salads, chicken breast, mince (hamburger in the States), two onions, two bags of baby spinach, cucumber, bell peppers, three different types of cheese, one bottle of the best gingerbeer in the world Bundaberg, soda water, a quarter chocolate cake, carrots, hummus, cabbage, spring onion, salami, apricots, bread, sliced roast chicken and two bottles of milk.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?

Having the power to heal people or to be able to make plants grow would be incredible--I’d love to have the ability to help people in a way that you can immediately see.

If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

Bea is a minor character in Thorns and Fangs, but I really like her. She has her life together, and a front row seat to the ridiculousness that are Nate and Aki’s lives. So I’d have all the enjoyment of the boy’s drama, without having to write it down.

If you could sequester yourself for a week somewhere and just focus on your writing, where would you go and what would the environment be like?

Since learning more about the Antipodes Islands when writing Morgen Curse, I’ve actually become fascinated by New Zealand’s small islands. I’d love to spend a week on either Stewart Island or the Chatham Islands, surrounded by nature. The islands are conservation sanctuaries, and relatives of mine who visited say that it was like going back to the New Zealand of their youth.

What's the one thing, you can't live without?

My laptop. It’s my connection to my friends and family as well as how I’m earning my living--basically, I would be lost without it.

What internet site do you surf to the most?

I always have gmail open. I’m old-fashioned--I like to communicate via e-mail.

If you had your own talk show, who would your first three author guests be and why?

This is a really, really hard question. Since the chances of me ever having my own talk show are slim, I’m not going to worry about the possibility of these guests and I would invite Agatha Christie on because Queen of Crime--who wouldn’t want to interview her? Then I’d have Margaret Mahy, because she’s probably my biggest author influence, and I would love to know more about her. Finally, so much of Ngaio Marsh’s life remains a mystery! I’d really like to get a sense of who Ngaio the person is as opposed to Ngaio the mystery author or Ngaio the dramatist.

When you got your very first manuscript acceptance letter, what was your initial reaction and who was the first person you told?

I read it, shut the window, opened it again, read it a second time. At that point, I think I actually believed it. I think I made a post on my blog, sharing the news, before I actually told anyone in person. I needed a few days to get used to the idea.

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Meet the Author

Gillian St. Kevern writes anything from YA to contemporary comedies, but her first love is always the paranormal. Her stories feature quirky characters, twisty plots and often travel in unexpected directions.
Gillian has just returned to New Zealand after eleven years teaching English in rural Japan. From being entirely surrounded by rice paddies, she is now entirely surrounded by sheep. She is attempting to stave off reverse culture shock by finally learning to drive, playing with her adorable niece, and, of course, writing!

Author Links


Tour Schedule
12/23    Love Bytes Reviews -
12/26    Alpha Book Club -
12/27    Purple Rose Teahouse -
12/28    Bayou Book Junkie -
12/29    Prism Book Alliance -

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