Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Echo Falls by Jaime McDougall - Excerpt & Review:Pump Up Your Book Tour

Running from a nightmare stalking her every move, Phoebe Martin arrives in Echo Falls hoping she has finally found a safe place to stop. But trouble has a way of catching up and soon the signs are there.

After a vicious attack in an alley, policeman Aidan O'Bryan is left with Phoebe as his only path to understanding why the Echo Falls werewolf pack - his pack - is being attacked. When another pack member is killed, Phoebe is forced to confront her past before she loses Aidan and everything she has come to love.

Love and duty become one as Aidan strives to prevent Phoebe from becoming the next victim. But with Phoebe just as determined to protect Aidan and her new home, secrets from her past threaten to tear them apart.

Enter HERE or below for a chance to win a digital copy of Echo Falls. Comment on this post for an extra entry.  The winner will be selected using Random.org. Giveaway ends November 19th 11:59 PM CDT.


Keep running, keep running, keep running. Phoebe’s lungs burned as her mind screamed the mantra. Keep running, keep running.

How many steps can there be?
She should know. She lived in this apartment building.

Tears ran down her cheeks and her lungs burned for air. Only the random irrational thought broke through the panic keeping her feet moving down the steps. Keep running. Keep running. The light of the emergency exit came into view. Almost there…

The door to the stairwell slammed open with a hollow boom. She tripped and clung to the railing to steady herself.

Keep running.

The shock of the cool night air sent a shiver of relief through her body. She’d come out a side exit into an alley. If she could just get to the front –

Suddenly she was thrown to the ground from behind. She hit the concrete, what little breath she had knocked from her lungs. Blood began flowing from where her head hit the ground, and small sparks of light floated into her vision.

How did he catch up so fast?

Desperately she tried to gulp down as much air as she could, willing her lungs to cooperate. Instinct kicked in as the attacker slashed at her, and she curled into fetal position.
A dog. He’d turned into a dog. A big dog with vicious claws and teeth he used to tear into her exposed back, thigh and shoulder. She slowly regained her breath but could only use it to scream her throat raw.

Her vision faded, taking the small sparks of light with it. Searing pain ripped through her shoulder as a claw dug down against her bone. One last, long scream tore from her lungs before she was left gasping and sobbing, her fear slowly smoldering into rage.

Things can’t end like this.

She opened her eyes as the dog stood over her, trying to get to her throat. A paw came into her line of vision and she saw her chance. She reached out, grabbed it and squeezed with all the strength she had.

The dog yelped and tried to twist away, but she held on with all the strength she had. She knew she’d only bought herself time. She couldn’t move the dog off her and she couldn’t squeeze his paw all night. He tried uselessly to bite her, his jaws having no strength so long as she squeezed his paw. But she could already feel her strength waning.

Suddenly the weight of the dog flew off her, taking the paw out of her grip. Without thinking, she used her one cooperating arm to drag herself toward the front of the building.
She shivered, her arm giving out, and caught a glimpse of a second dog. No. A wolf… Squeezing her eyes tightly shut, she listened to the dogs fighting, the battle just a few steps away. She tried her best to curl up against the building wall and willed the growling and snapping to go away. They sounded like they were tearing each other to pieces.

The universe granted her wish, the battle ending with the sound of two bodies hitting each other and a sharp whine. She shivered and softly whined as well, dreading the approach of the winner as one of the dogs yelped and ran away.

A few moments later warm, human hand brushed the back of her head and she screamed again. If it could be called a scream. Her throat burned and rebelled at her abuse of it.

“Ssh. You’re safe now.”

She tried to scream again and move away, but her body wouldn’t obey her commands. She groaned as the full force of the pain washed over her.
He murmured and she relaxed her desperate grip on staying conscious. Sleep seemed so tempting, the black abyss singing a siren’s song to her. Her rescuer – or captor – tried to soothe her, but something dark and dangerous in his voice betrayed him. He was different. She tried to bat away his hands but gave up after a few attempts, not sure if her good hand was actually moving.

As she slipped into the darkness, she wondered if death had merely granted her a short reprieve from the inevitable.

4 Stars

This novel is well-written and quite engaging. I loved the descriptions of the area and particularly the waterfall. The sense of time and place seemed almost magical, and just like Phoebe, I fell in love with the location. 

Phoebe has some secrets and past experiences have left her bone weary, afraid and distrustful. She also carries a burden of guilt that seems at times to play havoc with her rational mind-set.  Still, I like Phoebe, and I really wanted her to find the happiness and security she so desperately aches for. There were a few times though, when I wanted to shake her.  I would actually talk out loud to myself, groan and moan (luckily no one was around to question my sanity during those episodes). 

Aiden and Phoebe are a good match.  I liked him.  Often, in romance novels, the alpha males are too blatant and controlling for my taste.  Aiden is a strong leader, very masculine, but he is not overpowering or creepy.  He has the compassion and patience it takes to slowly win Phoebe’s trust.

The story flows nicely. Phoebe’s horrific past is revealed as events in the present progress.  The monster tracking her is rotten and evil to his core.  I loved the paranormal slant. Add that to the novel’s dark suspenseful atmosphere, beautiful local terrain, and two flawed people yearning to embrace a forever love and you get a novel that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.   

Reviewed by Laurie

Read the Fabulous Interview with Aiden and Phobe Here 

Disclaimer: This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.   In some cases, I receive free books in return for a review. My reviews always express my own personal opinion. I am not obligated to write a glowing or even favorable review.  I have not received any monetary compensation in return for my honest review. Promotional banners and information was provided through Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tours. I am an authorized Tour Host. 



Jaime said...

Thank you again for hosting me and for such a great review! Believe me, Phoebe had me shaking my head a few times when I was writing her. :)

Prudence MacLeod said...

Hi there, I just discovered your blog. I will return and often. Very nicely done, great review and presentation.

Laurie said...

Hi Prudence! I'm happy you found me and thanks for your kind words. This is definitely a labor of love for me...I love finding good books and hosting the authors who write them.

bookdout said...

Sounds like a great romantic suspense novel!