Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Blitz: Tethered by Brandi Leigh Hall

Excerpt 1

Hunter grabs my arm, tugging me against his rock-hard-chest. His strong arms wrap around my waist at the exact second my hands encircle his neck. With our bodies plastered up against each other, it’s impossible to hide the shaking in my legs—or the insane ratcheting of my heart.
Each time I look into his molten-lava eyes, I fear I might melt right there in front of the entire crowd. Every few seconds, his arms wind around me tighter—convincing me just how unbearable it is to feel him against me.
Being this close to Hunter is pleasure—and pain—all wrapped up into one giant ball of confusion. My body’s experiencing things it never has, things I’m not sure it’s ready for just yet. He renders me powerless in every sense of the word. The one thing that scares me more than anything else does. Well, other than magic.
I’ve never imagined feeling vulnerable to a guy. But in this moment—on this night—I feel more helpless than I ever thought possible.
The heady, sweet scent of his skin is like an intoxicating drug. All I can do is inhale until my lungs are ready to explode.
I wrap the hair on the back of his head around my index fingers, as the goose bumps on his neck tease my palms.
We continue turning in circles in the center of the dance floor. I look up into his smoldering eyes, in the hopes of seeing some sign we’re on the same page. The instant I begin gazing, the strongest feeling of déjà vu washes over me.
I contemplate the familiarity of this moment, unable to maintain concentration as he leans down to rest his face on my cheek. His right hand slides up my back and under my hair, to find its resting place on the nape of my neck. His touch sparks electricity inside of me. I must be dreaming.
Why does this guy I barely know have to be so damn perfect? I don’t recall ever being held like this—not even when a guy has claimed to love me. Hunter acts like we’ve known each other forever. But we haven’t. In fact, we’re more or less strangers.
I don’t know if I should run away as fast as my feet will carry me, or take everything in until there’s nothing left. I never imagined a single person could affect me to the core this way. Part of me wants to cry. But the other part of me wants to freeze this moment in time—because I know it will eventually end anyway.
It has to.
He’d hate me if he found out who I really am. ‘What’ I really am.
I can’t get close enough to take that chance.
My eyes begin to fill. As I take a few deep, calming breaths, he pulls his head back to stare at my face. The pained expression in his eyes touches me.
Does he sense my hesitation?
But before I can debate it any further, he gently places his cool, moist lips upon mine.
Time stands still.
He leans his head back, as a single tear descends my cheek. But instead of looking surprised or upset, he simply wipes the drop away with his thumb. Gazing into my tear-filled eyes, he leans in again to take my mouth in a more forceful kiss. His soft lips massaging mine until we find a perfect, consuming rhythm.
My heart catches in my throat.
Numbness takes over my body—like I’m floating on a cloud. Is this what it means to melt? I’ve never felt anything like this. Not even close.
A first kiss like this only exists in fairytales.
And that’s all it can ever be.
My fairytale.

Excerpt 2

His kiss becomes more demanding. Hunter’s mouth opens wider, allowing his tongue to explore in search of mine. His right hand caresses my cheek, while his left tangles in a handful of hair at the back of my neck.
Holding me in this passionate moment, his heart pounds even harder than my own. We’re both lost in this all-consuming kiss—neither one of us able to come up for air.
I can’t breathe.
I need to stop for a second, but I don’t want him to move away. I never want this to end.
I savor the last few seconds before hesitation compels me to pull away. My lungs burn, forcing me to catch my breath. Even though I move my head away, Hunter doesn’t release his hold on me—as if I’m a bird about to take flight.
My lungs fight to replenish the air that’s been lost as I become aware of the danger Hunter represents. Yes, horrifying danger. The kind that could so easily destroy me.
Without warning, he’s able to make me forget my own name.
Without warning, he manages to make me lose sight of the life I thought I had laid out for myself.
Without warning, he opens the locked door to my heart and throws away the key.
As thoughts spin through my mind, something my mother said comes back to me. “…the incurable emptiness your other half left behind. It’s why you’ve always felt so alone…why you’ve been so desperate to feel complete.”
Wait a minute. Could that be why I’ve dated guys I never really cared about?
I knew I’d never get close enough for them to hurt me—but I also didn’t have to be alone. They filled the void in my heart left by my mother and the twin sister I never knew.
Is that what she meant?
Oh my god!
But it’s not like that with Hunter. Deep down, I knew it the first second we met. What am I doing?
I have no clue how to make room for him in my life, but I also don’t know how to live another day without the addictive euphoria of Hunter Payne.
Unable to tread this mind-crushing-current, I begin drowning in the sea of my own doubt. The deeper it becomes, the more uncertain I am I’ll survive the emotional waves crashing down upon me.
The strong, sheltering arms holding me, now feel like a steel cage—trapping me in like a helpless animal. I need to get away. I need to think without his seductive influence incapacitating my subconscious.
I squirm, pulling away from his embrace.
His eyes scrunch. The confusion on his face makes it’s clear he has no idea what’s brought on this sudden change in temperature—but I can’t stand here to explain it. I can’t. I have to get away from him.
I look up into his lost eyes. “I’m so sorry, Hunter.” Then I turn, fleeing towards the water as fast as my bare feet can take me.

Excerpt 3
He eyes me curiously. “Why, were you afraid I was stalking you or something?” Once the words roll off his tongue, a snicker bursts from his lips.
My face heats up. “Of course not! It just occurred to me after you left yesterday I had no idea why you were here...when you knew why I was. So now I know.”
“Now you know.” Mischief spreads across his face, his eyebrows lifting with his crooked smile. “So, if you see me back here a lot over the next few days, you won’t go thinking I decided to stalk you after all, will you? Because if we’re here—on the same floor—seeing the same doctor—we’re bound to run into each other from time to time. I wouldn’t want you worrying for your safety or anything, so I figured I’d put your mind at ease before it has a chance to run away with itself again.” He laughs almost under his breath.
Seriously? Oh, he’s clearly enjoying this. But I’ll play along. Why not? “Your consideration is touching.” I lift my hand to my heart. “But if you should happen to change your mind about stalking me, please just give me a heads up first. I’d be more than happy to provide you with my itinerary. I know how daunting your schedule must be, so I wouldn’t want to subject you to any difficulties which might further endanger your well-being.” I tilt my head, batting my baby blues for affect. “If you like, I could even leave a ladder outside my window...or binoculars in the tree across the street. You know...just in case.” Feeling just a tad cocky from my rebuttal, I return the same sideways smirk he’s now giving me.
“You see, I knew you were a good woman from the first moment I laid eyes on you. Most aren’t willing to be so accommodating.”
“Well, the way I see risk your life to protect strangers every day. It’s merely my civic duty to repay your kindness. I’m nothing if not old-fashioned.” I re-cross my legs, trying not to seem too confident.
He leans forward, elbows resting on his knees. “Well in that case, I promise to let you know when I decide to stalk you.”
When...?” My eyes open wide.
The second he laughs, I jump in right along with him. How could I not with that amazing, smoky laugh of his? He does seem to be enjoying this just as much as I am.
“You’re a lot of fun, Miss Chloe. And a lot quicker than I expected. Very pleasant surprise.” He smiles. His gorgeous, mocha eyes caress my soul.
Deep breath, Chloe. “Yeah well, you caught me on an off-day yesterday. But I’ll be sure to bring my A-game from now on.” I bump my knee into his as I lift my brows flirtatiously.
“I’ll hold you to it, you know. Comic relief is in short supply around here.” He nods towards the emergency room entrance.
“Yeah, hospitals tend to have that effect on people. I can’t imagine why.”
An adorable blush lights up his cheeks. I don’t know if I ever realized just how sexy it is when a guy gets embarrassed. Though, I’m sure just about any look would be attractive on Hunter.
“So, what do you do for fun in this town, Miss Chloe?”
“When you figure that one out, you can let me know. I have absolutely no idea. Lived in San Diego for six years, remember?”
“Oh, that’s right. Well, perhaps some evening after I decide to stalk you, maybe I’ll lure you to my car with some candy. Then we can drive around and figure it out together.” He leans back, eyeing me from under half closed lids as he grins.
“Well that all depends on how long it takes you to start stalking me. I can’t wait forever you know.” I do my best to look serious, but I can’t quite tell if I succeed.
He tips his head back, belting out a hearty laugh. “Fair enough.”
“So would it be presumptuous of me to ask how old my perspective stalker is?”
His jaw drops. “I’m appalled! How dare you ask me such a personal question? You have some nerve, madam.” His acting skills are lacking, but who cares. He smiles. “I’m twenty-five. So will you bestow the same courtesy upon me, Miss Chloe?”
Suddenly uncomfortable, I re-cross my legs, again, then start bouncing my foot. “Are you sure you really want to know?” Well, it was fun while it lasted. I know I’m way too young for him, and now he’ll know too. I’m such a dumb ass for asking his age. Idiot!
“Of course I do. It can’t be that shocking.”
“You sure about that?”
“Oh come on, it can’t be that bad.”
I hold my breath for a few seconds, then exhale. “I’m only nineteen.” My shoulders tense as I get ready for the big let-down.
“So you’re still in school then?” His head tilts to the side.
“Yup. Only two years left, thank god.”
“Hmm. I don’t know if I can stalk someone who’s underage. I could get arrested for harassing a minor, you know.” He attempts a serious tone.
“First, I’m not a minor...and second, I’d say that’s the least of your worries if you turn out to be a stalker.” Ha. Take that, Hunter Payne!
“You do have a point.” He shakes his head while looking at the sidewalk.
“Of course I do.”

Excerpt 4
I’m jolted awake as someone grabs my arm.
I squint, trying to see who it is.
It’s Hunter.
With his chiseled face only inches away, his minty breath grazes my cheek.
“There you are.” He caresses my forearm. “You had me freaked out for a second. I kept calling your name but you wouldn’t wake up.”
Crap. “Sorry about that.”
“Do you always talk in your sleep?” His head tilts to the left, eyes narrowing.
I push myself up to a sitting position, realizing everyone else had left the room. I look back to Hunter. “How long have you been here?” And how long was I out?
“Oh, only for a few minutes. I ran into your family in the hall and they told me to see if you were awake. I didn’t want to bother you, but you were having a bad dream again.” He clears his throat. “I couldn’t leave you like that.”
I run my fingers through my hair, just in case it’s sticking up somewhere. “Thanks for waking me.” I lean on my elbow, acclimating myself to my surroundings.
My insides shake, recalling my dream with such clarity.
“You okay? You still seem out of it.” With a gentle touch, he strokes my hand. It pulls at my heart like a tug-of-war.
It’s too much. Damn it. I can’t do this.
I need to change the subject—and fast. “Hey, I have a question for you...but you have to promise you won’t laugh at me for asking.” It’s time to find fault in this seemingly perfect stranger. That will snap me of this ridiculous infatuation.
“Hmm. I don’t know if I can make a promise like that. You do sort of make it easy to laugh at you, you know.” He smirks.
“Come on. Promise me?” I pretend to pout. Unsuccessfully, I’m sure.
“Okay, okay. Anything to avoid seeing that face again. I promise I won’t laugh.”
“Thank you.” Proud of myself, I sit up straight. “So I was wondering—and maybe I should pre-empt this first by saying—your answer doesn’t mean anything one way or the other. I’m only asking out of curiosity, so there’s no wrong answer.” Guilt creeps through my stomach before I even ask.
“Well, now you have me curious. Just ask already, woman.” He sits on the couch beside me.
I hunker down in my seat, preparing for his reaction. “Do you by chance know any famous poets?”
He leans back, squinting as he parts his lips. What on earth is going through his head?
Great. He must think I’m evil for asking something I know he’s clueless about.
His look of confusion turns into one of tenderness. His eyes widen. Face softens a bit.
What’s that about?
I can’t help but ask, “What? Did I say something wrong?”
He smiles, his right eyebrow rising.

“I carry your heart with me.
I carry it in my heart.
I am never without it, anywhere I go you go, my dear.
And whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling I fear.
No fate, for you are my fate, my sweet.
I want no world for beautiful you are my world, my true.
And it's you who are whatever a moon has always meant.
And whatever a sun will always sing is you.
Here is the deepest secret nobody knows.
Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life, which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide, and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart.
I carry your heart.
I carry it in my heart.”

Hunter gazes into my eyes, the corner of his mouth twitching.
Where the hell did that come from?
My mouth hangs open in veneration.
I have no words. Though what words could I possibly speak anyway?
He looks amused, grinning like the fool who just told a hilarious joke. “Oh, I’m sorry. You asked if I know any famous poets. My bad. I didn’t answer you properly. E. E. Cummings. There. Will that suffice, Miss Chloe?”
I manage to find my voice after the initial shock wears off. “Ah, yeah. That will more than suffice.” My cheeks enflame. “Um, mind if I ask where you picked up poetry?”
“Oh, a little here...a little there.” He won’t wipe the stupid grin off his face.
“ can stop gloating anytime now.” I look up, shaking my head. Of course, I would have to look like a fool. Again.

Tethered by Leigh Hall
(BirthRight #1)
Publication date: October 29th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

No matter how hard you fight it—destiny has a mind of its own!
Since foreseeing the imminent death of her parents six years earlier, Chloe has lived a simple, not-so-charmed-life away from her remaining Wiccan family.
Zero magic.
No close friendships.
While struggling to bench-press more guilt than any nineteen-year-old ever should.
But fate intervenes and forces Chloe to return home. As if being an in-the-closet-Seer wasn’t bad enough, now she has to spend summer break with the snarky sister who hates her—and the magical birthright she was hell-bent on denying for all eternity.
Luckily, meeting Mr. Perfect takes the edge off her endless family drama. Hunter’s twenty-five, sometimes old-fashioned in a Jane Austen hero sort of way, and more delicious than molten-lava cake. But the more she tries to hide her family’s magical secrets from this ever-present stranger, the more quickly she realizes he’s hiding a few doozies of his own.
Will the lies and betrayal destroy their relationship before it really begins? Or will learning of their tethered future create an unbreakable bond neither can deny? Either way, their hearts will be forever entwined by destiny.



Brandi lives in central Pennsylvania with her fur-ball cats (Onyx and Klepto), where she spends most of her time attached to her laptops, reading books, appeasing her sweet tooth, and watching TV for motivation.

Growing up in a haunted house inspired Brandi’s fascination with the paranormal, so it only made sense that she’d write Urban Fantasy books for both teens and adults.

Brandi hasn’t been lucky enough to meet her soul mate (yet), so she writes paranormal tales of those who have. Her stories combine magical elements with real-life issues, strong female characters, semi-old fashioned men and family values, woven together and told from an emotional, first-person perspective. She enjoys writing sweet stories that teach girls it’s okay to speak your mind and be independent, career-driven, and not worry about fitting in to society’s mold.

In addition to the BirthRight Novels, she also has four additional adventures she’ll be writing over the next few years, so stay-tuned.

You can follow Brandi at:

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