Friday, February 13, 2015

#Giveaway~ Taking Chances by Rita Webb and T.J. Webb ( #Paranormal Investigations #2) ~#Review #Excerpt

Taking Chances 
by Rita Webb and T.J. Webb
(Paranormal Investigations #2)

Publication date: January 7th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Cover Design Mae I Design
Add to Goodreads

How far would you go to save a friend?

People are going missing in Kodiak, Alaska.

The evidence: bloody bear prints larger than any bear Jason or Emma have ever seen and black ooze that can eat the flesh from bones.

Bears don’t wander into busy shopping districts, turn off security alarms, and break into stores. When Emma’s friend goes missing, Jason and Emma realize the cops aren’t up to handling the situation.

Something’s wrong in the paranormal world. Can Jason and Emma fix things before someone else gets hurt?

Purchase (The entire series will be free from Feb 9th to the 13th):
Free At Amazon


Our adventure started with a camping trip and a bottle of whiskey. Apparently Rita is a scary monster, and TJ needed liquid courage to give her that first kiss.

When not fighting over who gets to read our favorite books first, we’re swapping kisses, plot ideas, and movie quotes in the kitchen.

Together, we home-school our three girls, who keep us busy with art, science projects, books to read, dance classes, and walks about the park.

Come play a little hooky with us by getting our first book for free on our website: 

Author links:

I really enjoyed this series, of course it's almost like it was made for me as I love anything paranormal. Had me hooked from the first book Playing Hooky, though I really think that should have had a better name, as I had seen that book before and passed it over as at first glance the name sounded non-paranormal and just didn't catch my eye. Anyway, I was surprised it was part of this series when I seen the tour for Taking Chances. So I did read them all, and loved them. Especially when I got to this book.

Here is a qoute I liked from Jason's point of view:

"The Problem is that one kiss wasn't enough. It's official: I'm addicted to my best friend."

Also this quote from Emma's point of view:

I cover my mouth, my eyes welling with tears for this boy, this man, who I've come to love as much as my own life. He's been the light in the darkness- there for me, through every heartbreak and sorrow. My lover, my here, my friend.

I won't say too much on what happens because it would spoil too much.

I will say that this series is written extremely well. Top notch writer for sure. I love the alternating points of view for the most part. In this book anyway. I wasn't too thrilled that book 2 was basically the same story as book one but from Angelina's point of view. So that was disappointing for most of it for me. But still has its interesting parts.

I really liked Jason, he became a favorite character for me. I liked how we were kept in suspense about him, kept us wondering and guessing what his secret was.

I really think anyone who likes paranormal books will love this, like I did. I do recommend reading the first 2 books first, as it all ties together.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

This review is also at Goodreads and Amazon

Reading Order: and also free 

Below is Chapter 1 and 2 of book 1, Playing Hooky so not to have a spoiler for the series here. It will give you a taste of Emma and Jason, the 2 main characters. Enjoy!

Chapter 1
~ EMMA ~

The alarm clock hammers ice picks into my brain. My freshman year of college, I swore I’d never do another eight o’clock class, but here it is my junior year and I am torturing myself with English Lit after staying up until three in the morning to finish a paper.
I try to peel my eyes open, but they’re glued shut. I rub them and squint at the clock, trying to read the red numbers swimming in circles, but nothing makes sense.
Letting my eyes drift shut, groping for the right button with my hands, I punch snooze and roll over.
It’s Thursday. Valentine’s Day.
My twenty-first birthday.
And all I want is the pounding headache to go away.
It seems like no time at all before the alarm goes off again.
“Emma, either get up or turn it off.” My roommate Maggie—but we all call her Magpie—kicks the thin wall separating our rooms.
With a groan, I turn off the alarm, roll out of bed, and pad into our kitchen, still in my cotton panties and T-shirt. Sleepwalking, I fill the coffee pot with water, scoop one tablespoon of coffee grinds into the filter—no, two, because Mr. Linden likes to drone on about eighteenth-century poetry—and hit the start button.
Coffee. Breakfast of champions. And sleep-deprived college students.
A knock on our apartment door, and my sister trills a happy, “Good Morning, Emma,” and begins to sing me Happy Birthday, along with several embarrassing verses we wrote when she was five and I was seven. It includes something about monkeys slipping on banana peels.
“Someone shoot her.” Magpie grumbles from her doorway and slams her door shut.
Still in my skimpy sleep-clothes, I open the door to find my sister—long, blonde hair curled to perfection, not a strand out of place, red hair band matching her flouncy short skirt and the red hearts on her too-cute-for-words tights. Glimmering strands of silver lace peek through her pink sweater. As always, Angelina’s the image of vomit-inducing school-girl perfection.
And standing behind her—
My best friend from childhood. The boy—er, man—who should be ten hours away in Kodiak, Alaska, rather than here in Anchorage.
The man staring at my naked legs.
And I’m standing here in my panties and baby-doll T, which clearly shows I’m not wearing a bra, especially as Alaska is cold in February and the door gapes wide open.
I cross my arms over my chest to hide my breasts and duck my bottom half behind the door. “Jason, what are you doing here?”
“To take you out for the day. It’s your twenty-first birthday. Did you think I’d let you celebrate without me?” He grins and slips into the room before I can stop him. His eyes travel up my bare legs (thank goodness I shaved last night) with the ugly wool knee-high socks, the black T with the pink Batman symbol, and ending with my short, blonde hair, sticking up in all directions on one side, matted on the other.
I glance out the door. A few girls, gawking at the man who is too handsome for his own good, stand out on the landing and whisper. I grab Angelina’s hand and drag her inside and slam the door.
“What about what’s-her-name? Sarah? Sally? Mandy? Whoever your latest thrall is. She really let you come out and play? I thought she’d have your Valentine’s Day booked.”
“I broke up with her right after Christmas.” He shrugs.
For the first time in about ten years, neither of us has a significant other. Once upon a time, when I was twelve, I decided Jason was the one for me, and I set about trying to get him to kiss me. He was clueless, and I settled for Mark Jameson, a boy down the road. Three years later, Mark moved to Ohio somewhere. Or was it Idaho? And I never heard from him again.
By then, Jason had a girlfriend, and though he never took her fishing with him or mountain biking (my role in his life), they went to homecoming together and then to the prom. And I went out with Troy Simmons up until the middle of our first year of college when I caught him in another girl’s dorm room where he’d sacked out for a week.
Troy was so pissed about the breakup—because I should just forgive and forget the cheating, since it was my fault because I refused to sleep with him—that he spread rumors about our supposed sexual escapades.
Whenever I tried to date since then, the guys I went out with only wanted me to put out, so I’ve been single ever since. Whenever I consider dating him now, I remind myself of all the ways we are incompatible. We would fight over everything as we’re both too stubborn for our own good.
Angelina tucks her hand through his arm and smiles up at him. “Isn’t he sweet? You have the best friends.”
Not even a note of jealousy in her voice, even though she’s had a crush on him ever since third grade when he put a band-aid on her skinned knee.
My sister Angelina is too perfect. Straight-A honor student. Mother’s sweetie pie. Father’s angel. Never snuck out of the house to go partying. Always kept her curfew. Never broke her leg jumping out of trees while trying to chase squirrels or ramping bikes on the homemade ramps. Always prissy and clean. Never leaves anything out of place.
Always the perfect lady in her cute little outfits.
I can’t hate her for it because she doesn’t even act superior about it. She’s never been the goody-goody. Never lectures me on my messy room, sloppy hair, torn jeans, or skipping classes.
Jason grins. “I’d never miss your birthday. Remember last year?”
“Ugh! I thought I’d never thaw out after we went skiing in a blizzard. We were stranded for three days in that cabin we found in the woods.”
“Aw, come on, you didn’t even get frostbite. I took care of you.”
“At least I didn’t end up with any broken limbs. That time.”
“I still can’t believe we went snow-boarding on East Pillar Mountain Loop. That’s a tough trail, and then you broke your arm slipping in the parking lot on the way to the truck.”
My muscles were exhausted, and carrying my board on my shoulder, I wasn’t watching where I was going. I didn’t see the patch of ice. “Remember when you took me spelunking?”
“I had no idea that bear was in there.”
“I can’t remember ever being that scared.”
“But it was fun! Come on. We can’t break tradition.”
“What are you planning this time?” Angelina smiles up at him with a glimmer of wistful longing.
“It’s a secret.” He extricates her hand from his arm and takes a step away from her, and her hand falls back to her side.
For a moment, her smile falters, but then she bounces from the room. “See you! Tell me all about it later. Emma, I’ll tell your professors and coach that you are sick today, and I’ll collect your notes and assignments.”
“Thanks, Angelina. You’re a sweetie.”
She gives me her smile, cheeks dimpling in the cute china-doll way she has, and blows us kisses. Sometimes I wish she could be a real human being for once—throw a royal temper tantrum, break a rule, or actually make a mess—but either she keeps all negativity bundled up deep inside or she really is incapable of baser emotions.
I’m left alone in the apartment’s tiny entryway with Jason.
“Emma,” he says, stepping closer, his head leaning down toward me. He is way too close, and I remember I’m not dressed.
Tall with wide shoulders, Jason is muscular from hard labor (construction and welding) and athletic adventures (kayaking and mountain biking). The perpetual scruff movie stars work hard to perfect shadows his jaw, and his tousled black hair kept short. He cuts it every week because it grows too fast, like at least a half inch a day. With the hazel green eyes and the confident grin he usually wears, he’d make any girl swoon.
Well, any girl but me. I’d more likely hit him upside the head with a broom than swoon over him.
“Coffee’s in the kitchen. I need to get dressed and showered; then we can go for pastries at the bakery around the corner.” Just off campus, there’s a scrumptious little shop, but I never have time in the mornings. I turn back to my room but then stop. “Oh, how do I need to dress for the day?”
“Sure.” He runs his hands through his hair, but his eyes are too busy following my ass to pay attention to anything I said.
“Jason.” I snap my fingers. “Up here. What do I need to wear?”
His gaze shifts to my face, and he grins, not even having the decency to flush. “Dress warm.”
Good. So we’re going to have an adventure.

Chapter 2

Outside, a brisk wind brushes against my skin, bringing the flavors of winter—cold snow and log fires and something ancient that stirs a longing in my blood.
But today, Emma is with me, and I can ignore the hollow ache around my heart. The angry fire burning inside my gut calms in her presence.
She’s short, barely coming up to my shoulder, and she has the cute little nose and the short, blonde curls of a cheerleader. Only hers are uncombed and wild.
If I told her how she’d make a cute cheerleader, she would tear me apart. She could flay a man alive with that sharp tongue of hers. And I love every stormy minute of having her as my best friend.
Leading her out to my truck, I watch her hips sway and appreciate how she fills out her faded jeans—the ink stains on the thighs and the dirt at the cuffs indicate she grabbed them off the floor of her room. She’s bundled into her white ski jacket with the fur trim, and the only patch of skin I can see is around her eyes, but I can’t help but think of those pink cotton panties riding up her right cheek and giving me a glimpse of the best ass I’ve ever seen.
My big blue truck with its studded tires waits in the back of the parking lot. My mom has loads of money, but I bought a fixer-upper, an old run-down truck with even more broken parts than rust spots.
With a shiny coat of blue paint and the Hemi engine I added, you’d never know what a sorry state it was in when I first dragged it home by way of tow truck. Mom only shook her head and said, “Just keep it simple.”
She meant don’t add any magic to it, but she needn’t have worried. I wanted to make it run using sweat, grime, and my own two hands. Now I own my own car shop, and I do paint detail work and restore old cars, turning junk into art. Then I sell the cars on eBay and ship them all across the country.
Fixing and customizing cars—that’s my winter job, when tourist season is over and the snow traps me inside, but all summer, I lead tours around our Kodiak Island. People pay loads of money to anyone who will help them take pictures of whales and bears or find the best fishing spots.
“How forlorn he looks. I think he missed us.” I pat the roof of the truck.
“It’s a car.” Emma laughs and tosses two sets of skis into the bed of the truck. This is Alaska. Don’t leave home without them.
“Shh, it’s a truck and you’ll hurt his feelings.”
“I thought cars were all female.”
“Without boy cars, how will you get any baby cars?” I waggle my eyebrows at her and lean forward to catch a whiff of her scent. No perfume, just raw Emma scent.
She arches an eyebrow. “Oh, you finally figured that out, did you?”
I grin down at her. When we were kids, she explained the birds and the bees to me, but I insisted I washed up on the ocean beach. Emma never believed me.
When I got older, I learned we were both right.
I unlock the passenger side. Maybe she’s not my girlfriend, but I still believe in old world manners. Thankfully, stubborn as she is, she stopped complaining about me doing this years ago.
She climbs in, and I shut the door behind her. When I get in on my side, she says, “So where did you say we are going again today?”
“I didn’t.”
“Yes, I distinctly remember you saying the theater house had a matinee showing of Puss in Boots.”
I grin, shooting her an amused glance.
“Oh no, I was mistaken. You said the Dough Boy is having a special on cupcakes. Perfect place for a birthday, right? Cappuccinos and tiramisu.”
My grin widens as I steer the tub of a truck out of the parking lot. “It won’t work. I’ve known too many pretty girls and witnessed all their wicked wiles.”
She scoffs. “Me? I don’t have any wiles.”
“Sure you do.”
I hope she likes it. The place we’re going. Today, I’m bringing her deeper into my life than I ever have before. I’m laying all my cards on the table, revealing all my deepest secrets.
Except that I love her.
“What’s wrong?” She reaches for my hand but then stops and gives me a light punch on the shoulder instead.
My heart gives a little jerk and twists. When we were kids, we went everywhere hand-in-hand. Somehow we lost the natural innocence of touching. Maybe when I realized I wanted to kiss her and was too scared to make a move.
“Where we’re going is a secret, Emma. My mom would lock me in the dungeon and never let me see the light of day again if she knew I told you. You gotta swear. Nobody can ever know where we’re going today.”
“She’d have to knock you out first, and it’s a bitch trying to sneak up on you with your Superman hearing.”
“I told you. I don’t have super hearing. You just walk like an elephant.”
Her face screws up into that I-will-make-you-take-that-back glare, and my grin widens even more.
“I’ve missed you so much.” I grab her hand and lace my gloved fingers through hers.
“All right. Fine. You win, and I won’t say a word. Cross my heart.”
“Good.” I squeeze her hand, and a shiver of electricity races up my arm.
My heart pounds in my throat as I wait for her to pull away, but she doesn’t.

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