Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Tour and Giveaway: Walking in the Shadows by Cassandra Giovanni

Seconds seem like a lifetime when the life you lived is slowly drained out of you by those who care not what you felt, hoped, or dreamed. When the darkness comes it is all-consuming; there is no light and there is no pain. It is the never-ending loss of hope that now consumes me as I die in his arms.

This is Abigail Martin’s nightmare. After her parents become the first victims of a serial killer obsessed with the vampire saga, "Crimson Reign," Abigail does the only thing that she thinks will save her from her parent’s fate–she becomes some one else. As Vera MacIntrye, she falls in love with the very handsome Tad Knightley, and then walks into her first day at her new school to see him standing at the front of the classroom. He’s every teenage girls fantasy, but as he writes “Mr. Knightley: AP British Literature” across the white board Vera realizes the one person who filled the gaping hole in her heart will soon rip it wide open again.

Vera struggles to adjust to being a ‘normal’ teenager with very adult responsibilities like paying the rent, buying groceries and making sure that lights stay on, while being drawn time and time again back to her off-limits teacher. What’s worse is he is drawn to her too, and their worlds refuse to stay apart when Tad finds Vera screaming in terror in the parking lot after the winter formal. The murderer has struck again and is getting closer to the next target–Vera. Tad will do whatever he can to save her, even if it means losing his dream job, but will it be enough when the murderer is closer than anyone ever thought?

Cassandra Giovanni is an avid writer of young adult novels and can’t wait to share her work with you. The genres of her novels include dystopian, paranormal, mystery and romance all aimed at appealing to adults and young adults alike. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. She began writing at a very young age, in fact from the moment she could draw she was telling stories that way. At age seven she won a contest in American Girl Doll to have a chapter she had written published. From that point on she was always writing, if not on paper than in her head. In May 2012 she published her first novel, In Between Seasons, which demonstrated her unique writing style and approach to the genre of post-apocalyptic fiction. On Halloween 2012 Cassandra released her second novel, Walking in the Shadows. This novel puts a new twist on the obsession of vampires in literature and explores some of the darkest parts of human nature, while still showing that there is always hope–if we only choose to believe in ourselves.

Cassandra is also a professional photographer with areas of interest such as car features, floral and architecture. Her photography company, Gio Design Studios, will be transitioning into a publication marketing company that designs covers and marketing materials for authors utilizing the company’s photography. She is currently studying to receive her associates degree in Marketing. Cassandra is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with the other love of her life their dog, Bubski.

Social media links:
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The Novel Behind the Novel: Crimson Reign
Walking in the Shadows is a book based off of events caused by another book—the Crimson Reign Saga. This saga of vampire novels is based off of two warring covens with differing ideals and the fight over a vampire that has converted from one coven to the other. As I wrote WITS I realized I needed to explore the saga in more depth in order to understand the obsession that the serial killer has with it. Therefore it seemed only a natural exercise to write some scenes from the first novel in the saga, and to outline the rest of the series as well. It helped me to gain an understanding of the characters that inspired the murders—the bad characters, the vampires that believed that they should have the power over humans. I never planned on actually writing any scenes from the Crimson Reign Saga, but it was essential to the building of WITS so I sat down and did it and now I am going to share it with you. Please keep in mind that the Crimson Reign novels were never meant to be seen and were written to imitate a style which is not mine. They have a bit of over the top vampire features, that border on being ridiculous. Here is the opening from the novel behind the novel that now sits in a folder labeled “Unfinished: Never to be finished”:

“Time to hunt,” Evan said, clapping his hands together, his sharp retractable incisor teeth protruding.

Faye leaned up on her tip toes and kissed his neck. “Let’s.”

“I’m good,” I replied looking back down at the book I was reading. We weren’t nocturnal and I wasn’t a fan of night feeding.

“Not hungry?” Evan asked as he leaned down and put his face in front of mine.

“Not in the least,” I said, my voice sounding meeker than the ferocity I felt.

He struck the book from my hand and grabbed me by the shoulder hard enough to bruise as he yelled, “What’s wrong with you lately?”

I slapped his hand away. “You aren’t the boss of me Evan.”

“I’m the leader of this coven whether or not you like it,” he hissed, shaking his arm. There was no doubt in my mind that I had bruised him back and that I had bruised his ego, too.

“I don’t,” I retorted in a matter of fact voice. Being a vampire was so dramatic sometimes.

“And what pray tell would you do about it? Leave?” Faye teased, dancing in front of Evan and running her hands across his chest, “I think not.”

She had her back to me now as she rubbed her body against his and then bit his lip. I rolled my eyes as I tried to look away from them. My life was filled with these awkward moments 99% of the time. I didn’t have a mate and they felt the need to rub it in my face, or complain about it. Either way I wasn’t in the mood for their nasty feeding and make-out fest.

“I think you need a mate,” Evan commented in between kisses with her.

“Don’t you dare try to convince Collin into trying to seduce me again,” I said, thinking of the other single coven member. They had chosen him for me, and weren’t very pleased when I decided he was almost as much the scum of the earth as they were; as we were.

“Then come feed, you can’t starve forever,” Faye begged with sweet pout. It was fake though, she really didn’t care.

“I’m good,” I repeated.

“Why are you so stubborn? They deserve what’s coming to them. This is what we were put here to do. They are our prey. God put us here to do this,” Evan explained forcefully.

I watched as Collin, Aria and Leo entered the room ready for the hunt.

“Is she getting a conscience again?” Aria guessed, flipping her curly golden locks.

“I don’t like that theory,” Evan growled as he turned on Aria and pushed her to the wall. “So keep your opinions to yourself.”

“She’s just like the Gray’s. Sorry excuses for vampires,” Aria retorted, pushing back against Evan. She was weaker than me, though and couldn’t free herself from his grip.

“Us equal to the humans?” Collin spat with his black eyes narrowed on me.

“Live among humans?” Leo added as he pulled Evan off of Aria. They acted like beasts, no wonder we couldn’t live among humans. They would all be running for their lives—too bad they wouldn’t get far.

“The Grays live with them?” I asked, jumping over the couch and grabbing my book of the floor.

“You already act like one—reading. What a waste of time,” Leo commented as he sniffed Aria’s hair before kissing it.

We were supposed to be more evolved than the humans, yet we acted like this. I felt the bile rising under the pale skin of my throat. That was the reason I couldn’t feed; these idiots made me nauseous with their sexual behaviors and lack of any sort of inhibition.

“You’re coming with us whether or not you like it,” Evan demanded before grabbing me by my arm and throwing me over his shoulder. His finger dug into my collar bone, and I couldn’t fight him. He knew it was the only way I wouldn’t.


I knew I couldn’t run from them forever. They would fine me, not because they cared but for their own selfish motives. My only way out was this; I would do it before they could find me. I lay down and stared up at the stars and kissed them goodbye with one slice of each pale wrist. The metallic stench was overwhelming. It called me to feed, but it would do nothing to save me now. I watched the pink veins being to flow forward as the blood cycled towards the deep cuts and out. I let my wrists lay in the cool crimson puddles and tried to forget the pain. I hoped there was a God to save me at the other end of this.

“What the hell are you doing?” a deep, intoxicating voice interrupted.

“Finding a way out—away from them,” I replied as I watched his face come into view over me. It was blurred by the moon that was making a halo over his head. I had thought the stench of the freshly manure covered field would hide my blood from other vampires.

“Why?” he pried as his voice softened.

His face focused through the blur of the moon and I found myself staring into the sterling eyes of Colby Gray. He was a name and face I knew but a voice I had never heard.

“We’re beasts, diabolical beasts. I can’t do it anymore,” I choked out in a rasp whisper. I knew that his strong ears would be the only thing that could hear my weakened voice. It was working; I was dying, finally.

“They’re beasts, you don’t have to be,” he murmured as he swept me into his arms.

“I’m done for already,” I said. I could hear my heartbeat fading from a thump to a pitter. Yes, that much closer to never having to kill again.

“We’ll save you—?”

“Nara Cabe,” I managed with a slurred voice, the words painfully coming as my head lolled against his shoulder.

“Nara Gray now,” he replied, brushing a tear away from my face. My body was numb, but his cool finger was like an electric shock. I fought hard against the weakness in my limbs as he ran faster and faster. His face was desperate, and I could tell he didn’t know if they could save me. I wished I had known they would have been willing to save me. The Grays—the coven mine despised so much. The one I would now become if I could only convince my heart to stop beating the life out of itself.

“You realize,” Tad began as he pulled into my parking spot at my apartment, “that I’m not going to let you stay alone tonight.”

“What if someone sees your car is still here in the morning?” I asked, but I didn’t want to fight it. I needed him.

“We’ve gone over this before,” he reassured me, his eyes locked on mine. “My friend will vouch for me.”

“You mean lie for you?”

“He knows about us, Vera. It came out in conversation when he asked why we broke up and why I’d been so moody or whatever,” Tad explained, his hand warm on my back.

“Really? I made you moody?” I asked, opening my apartment door.

“Depressed is more like it.”

“Join the club,” I replied, sliding his jacket off and handing it back to him. He stared down at it with his lips in a stern line.

“I wish I was a more admirable boyfriend to you. I would much rather be that than your teacher.”

“I enjoy your teaching…but I do enjoy you being my boyfriend more. It just can’t be,” I replied, and his response was silence so I continued, “I should go change. You want your pajamas?”

“Wait—did you get to slow dance at all?” Tad asked, and I shook my head. He fiddled with his phone before putting it down on the coffee table and holding his hand out. “May I have this dance?”

“No, we shouldn’t. You should go home…it’s too hard to have you here and then tomorrow I’ll be in your classroom again as your student. It’s so easy for you to go from here to there,” I whispered, my voice trailing off.

“You have got to know...” Tad cried out, throwing his hands up. “You have to know this is not easy on me either. I see you almost every day as my student, and I have to fight myself...who I really am—you know it. You’re so sensible about this whole thing, everything, you’re just so strong. I wish I could be like you and forget all the pain.”

“It’s a farce Tad, I’m not strong. I feel like there's a train heading straight towards me. You were what kept me stable—let me forgot the past I’m running from. I can stand this every day class thing because you take the pain away...even if you’re only my teacher,” I explained, shaking my head as I took in his distress.

“You know what the real farce is?” he whispered as he pulled me into his arms. “That I’m only your teacher.”

I let him kiss me; let the nights events wash away from my mind and let the shadows remain shadows. Tonight I would forget what I was running from even though it was closer than it had ever been, for I knew I was safe in his arms.

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