Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ultimate Sacrifice & Secret Bloodline by Talia Jager - Interview & Giveaway : Featured Author

Kassia is a 16-year-old girl just trying to have a normal life. This is somewhat difficult because she has the ability to inflict pain on others with her mind, which is why she was sent to a special institute for kids with various gifts. It is here Kassia met her best friend Mira.
Their lives will change forever after Mira is attacked and Kassia finds out her talent is much more powerful when she saves her. Little did she know that this act would attract the attention of demons.

Suddenly she is on the run from them with her boyfriend, Mira, and a few of their close friends. Realizing she can’t outrun the demons, she seeks the guidance of a shaman. The shaman tells her the heart breaking news that the only way to protect her friends and the institute is through her own death.
Join Kassia on her journey of friendship, love, and the conflicts she must face to protect those around her.
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Secret Bloodline                               

What sixteen-year-old Kairi doesn’t know is that vampires do exist and she’s one of them. She was left in foster care when she was very little and grew up away from her world. Then she began to change. Feeling out of place and confused, she ran away from her foster home. A coven takes her under their wings and trains her. When she is told her parents didn’t just abandon her, but died protecting her, she sets off on a mission to find their killer.

And then she meets Aiden…a vampire hunter.

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Enter HERE and comment for a chance to win a digital copy of either book of your choice. Giveaway ends Dec 3rd 11:59 PM CST.


Excerpt from The Ultimate Sacrifice by Talia Jager

Jana stood in front of me, her hands waving wildly in my face. My gift had taken over, and I could no longer hear her screaming. Jana had never liked me; she tried everything to piss me off. She wasn’t even a student at our school, but she has dated a few of the boys here. Although she was one of the increasing number of normal humans aware of us, she had no idea what my gift was, and that I could drop her to her knees in pain.
I narrowed my eyes and focused on her. She suddenly stopped yelling at me and began to rub her temples. I could feel my temperature rise as the anger continued to build in me.
“Stop!” Mira yelled at me. “She’s insignificant! Don’t let her push your buttons!”
I whirled around. Pity that my best friend was immune to my gift. Nobody knew why this was. It wasn’t her only talent; she was also a compeller. She could tell someone what to do and that person would do it. There had been many times I wished I could have her gift instead of mine. All I had to do was wish someone to be in pain and within a minute or two, they were.
When I saw the concern in Mira’s eyes, I let up. She let out a sigh of relief and turned to Jana. “Go home, Jana. You were never here.”
“Sorry,” I muttered, ashamed that I let my gift get the best of me again.
“You know how annoying this is getting? You need better self control.”
“You sound like my counselor.”
“Maybe I should be.”
I felt like smacking her, but she’d just smack back, and she hit harder than I did. 
We got in the car and took the two-lane road back to campus, which was nestled in the mountains in northern California. I glanced out the window at the towering trees on both sides of us. The moon had just peeked over the tops of the trees, lighting the way home.
After twenty minutes, the trees thinned out and before us stood Glendale Institute, one of two gifted schools in the country. Glendale was made up of a cluster of buildings enclosed by lush forests.
We parked in the parking lot and hiked up towards the courtyard. Directly across from the parking lot was a training field. As we entered the courtyard, there were dorms on our left and right, one for girls, one for boys. Straight ahead were the faculty quarters, dining hall, and learning center.
Each L shaped dorm had two wings. The longer side housed the high school aged students, and the shorter side was for the middle school students. When we walked into the room we shared, she told me, “Go to bed.”
“You don’t need to mother me.”
“Well, someone does and since nobody else is stepping up to the plate, I kind of have to.”
“What’s your deal?”
Her eyes narrowed. “I happened to be with someone when you went all mental.”
Oh. That’s what this was about. “You met a guy?”
“Yeah and you had to go and ruin it.”
Guilt washed over me. “I’m sorry, Mira.”
Her face relaxed a little. “I know.”
“I didn’t mean to get so mad. She just…infuriates me.” I got mad just thinking about the little tramp.
“You have to learn how to ignore some things.”
I stuck out my tongue. “Pbbbbbt.”
“Do you know what could happen if you actually hurt someone?” she asked, raising her voice.
I pulled my hair back into a ponytail. “I’d feel good?”
“No Kassia. You’d get in trouble. They’d punish you. And then they’d punish me for not stopping you.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll do better.”
“You said that last time.”
“Oh yeah. But, that guy deserved it!”
She guffawed. “Yeah he did.” She broke into a grin and we both collapsed on the floor laughing.
* * *
I watched Mira as she slept, wishing I could sleep like she did. The nightmares usually woke me up. At first, it was only once in a while, but now it was every night. Mira’s long, ash blonde hair was spread all over her pillow. Her thin lips twitched now and then. She was my protector, although I think she spent most of her time protecting other people from me.
Sometimes I felt like I was broken. I had this rare gift, but instead of using it to do good, I used it for the wrong reasons. There have only been ten of us documented in history. Ten mind-blowers. Some were locked up because nobody could control them. Others were killed for the same reason. A few were able to control their gifts. And then there was me. I had Mira.
All of the students here at Glendale Institute had gifts. Some gifts–like mine–were only supposed to be used in emergencies. However, with my short temper, I don’t think the gods planned that one out real well.
How then did Mira get to me so fast? I was betting on Noe. She was a predictor and could see things that haven’t happened yet. She had probably called Mira and tipped her off.
As dawn approached and the sky brightened with yellows and oranges, I snuck back in bed, quietly pulled the covers up over my head, and pretended to sleep. One minute later, the alarm clock went off. I heard Mira groan and hit the nightstand as her hand searched for the off button. Finally, the alarm stopped.
“Kassia, time to get up.” She was shaking me.
I moaned. “Okay.”
“We can get to the bathroom before anyone else if you hurry.”
Slowly, I emerged from under the covers, rubbed my eyes, and yawned. It was some of my best acting yet. “What are we waiting for? Let’s go.”

Excerpt from Secret Bloodline by Talia Jager

I looked around the alley to get my bearings. I had to get out of there. Then my eyes rested on a body on the ground a few feet from where I was. Very slowly, I crawled over to it. It was a man, lying on his side. I rolled him over and quickly put my hand over my mouth, so I wouldn’t scream.
It was the man who had attacked me. He was dead. Very dead. His eyes were frozen open in horror and his neck and upper body were covered in blood. This time I did scream as I scrambled to my feet. I started running out of the alley when suddenly it was blocked by a group of people.
I skidded to a stop. Who were they? What was going on? I looked back at the body thinking maybe it was a setup. But, the body was still there. I glanced back and forth for a minute trying to piece together what was going on in my mind. Nothing made sense though.
The people blocking my way came closer. There were five of them, two females, and three males. The two females were slender; one with bright red hair and one with dark, black hair. The males were larger in size and seemed like they were on alert. Two of them had short dark hair and the third was blonde.
I stepped backwards, away from them. They looked…dangerous. The red head girl put her hands out, palms open, and said, “Don’t be afraid, Kairi. We’re not here to hurt you.”
My jaw dropped. She knew my name. I looked behind me again searching for my body because at this point, I knew I had to be dead and these people were taking me to Heaven or Hell or wherever I was going. But, I didn’t see my body.
Confused, I looked at the five strange people. “How do you know my name?” My voice quivered.
She smiled. “It’s a long story and we really need to get you out of here.” She looked behind me at the man’s body lying on the ground.
I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. Should I go with them? Should I run? And really…with five of them, did I think I’d get far? Should I scream? “I…I…don’t know.”
She took a step towards me. “It’s okay. We won’t hurt you,” she said again. She held out her hand. “My name is Sierra.”
Not really knowing what the right thing to do was, I took her hand. The next thing I knew, the group of five surrounded me, but not in a threatening way. It was more of a protection type thing. I walked with them for what seemed like a very long time. We stopped in front of a large, old looking building, and we headed up the stairs.
Sierra led me to a chair in the foyer and told me to sit. She went back to the group and I heard some words exchanged. The boys in the group headed back out the front door. Sierra and the dark haired girl walked back over to where I was sitting. “Your room is ready for you.”
“My room?”
“Yes. We have much to discuss.”
I swallowed hard and stood up. Sierra led the way, up the stairs and stopped outside of a door. “Would you like to get cleaned up first?”
I remembered the blood and looked down at my hands. It was dry now, but they were still covered in it. “Maybe just a little.”
“Go ahead. We’ll wait.”
I stepped inside the bathroom. It looked like something out of the 1800s. Victorian sprang to my mind. I wasn’t sure if that’s what the bathroom was, but that’s what I thought of. I glanced in the mirror and my wide eyes stared back at me. There was dried blood on my lips, chin, and cheeks. I turned on the faucet and started scrubbing. Red blood mixed with water and trickled down the drain.
I got my face and arms clean, but there was blood in my hair and I’d need to wash that soon. But, first I needed answers. I looked in the mirror one last time. My tongue kept playing with my teeth, so I opened my mouth to look inside. I gave a little shriek when I saw my teeth. The two pointy ones looked longer and pointier. The difference wasn’t one I thought other people would notice, but it was one I noticed.
Sierra threw the door open. “What is it?” she asked alarmed.
“My teeth…” I didn’t even know what to say. Would she believe me?
She relaxed and smiled. “Oh.”
“Oh?” I raised my voice. “What the hell is going on? What is happening to me?” Tears started pouring down my face.
“Let’s go to your room, we’ll talk there.”
“No.” I stomped my foot like a child. “If you know…you need to tell me right now!”
Her smile faded and she sighed. “Okay. Kairi, you’re a vampire.”
You could have heard a pin drop in the silence that followed. “What?”
“Ally?” she called. The dark haired girl appeared in the doorway. “Please, let’s go sit.” She led me to a big, white bedroom a couple of doors down. Everything looked fluffy and clean. There was a large four-poster bed in the middle of the room, a dresser with a vanity, and on the other side were some chairs. She motioned to the chairs and I sat down. “Kairi, you are a vampire and we’re here to help ease your transition.”


Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

I listen to Pandora. I have set up stations by choosing some of my favorite songs or artists. I have a country station, a “oldies” station, a heavy metal station, and a newer pop music station. Unless I’m in the mood for something specific, I will just put it on quick mix and Pandora then randomly picks songs from each station. The thing I like most is finding new favorite songs. I also have a playlist for each of my books and Pandora is where I find most of the songs that go on the playlist.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

I’d have to say waiting for my firstborn to come out of open heart surgery. I was only 24 years old and she was my baby. At 18 months old, she had to have a hole in her heart repaired. It was nothing new for my family. Not only did my uncle and cousin have the surgery done, but I had the same surgery when I was little. It is completely different when it’s your baby going through that. No matter how many times the doctors tell you it’s an easy operation, it’s done all the time, etc, it is the scariest thing to let them take your baby away knowing that anything could wrong. (Thankfully, she made it through surgery with flying colors and is 14 years old now). My family’s heart history was the inspiration behind If I Die Young.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The first thing I wanted to be was an astronaut…until the shuttle exploded. Then I wasn’t so sure. Add in that you have to be really good at math, which I’m not, and I realized I’d have to be something else. I’m not sure exactly when being an author was my dream job, but it was in elementary school. By middle school, I knew I wanted to be a mother and an author.

What are you passionate about these days?

Trying to live a little “crunchier”. I switched to cloth diapers recently and love it. I’m also buying more organic foods than I used to.

 Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?

I tell people three things. Write as much as you can, as often as you can. Write for yourself, not anybody else. Believe in yourself and never give up.

 Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?

Night owl, definitely. I always have been. I write better at night, I feel better at night, and I love staying up late. Maybe it’s because all the kids (and even the husband) are in bed and nobody is bugging me. I can sit and write for hours. Although, I love my sleep, I absolutely hate getting up in the morning. Sometimes, I wish I could get up and see the sunrise as a new day begins, but I’m just not that person.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

I would love to travel to a few countries in Europe. Ireland, Italy, and France being the top three. I love researching my family tree and have found these countries are where my family originated. I would love to be able to go there and do more research and see where it all started.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Writing the filler material. I love writing about the characters and their drama. I love the action scenes and the kissing scenes, but the stuff that you have to write to get it from one point to the next aren’t very fun to write. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with fluff like that.


Talia Jager has been writing as far back as she can remember. As a child, her summer vacations were spent writing stories. Bedtimes were ignored when she hid under the covers with a flashlight, a notebook and a pen. At school, she kept her works-in-progress under her classwork.

She took creative writing and journalism in high school and graduated with a major in English and a minor in French. She later earned her college degree in early childhood education. Writing was pushed to the side when she fell in love and had a family. Now, with the support of her family, she has several published books and continues to write young adult dramas.

Talia lives in Texas with her husband and five daughters. Her published works include Damaged: Natalie's Story, Teagan's Story: Her Battle With Epilepsy, If I Die Young, The Ultimate Sacrifice (Book 1 of The Gifted Teens Series), and Secret Bloodline. She has also contributed to a Halloween themed short story collection, The Halloween Collection from the Indie Eclective. She hopes to have her next two books (Lost and Found and Roots and Wings – Book 2 in The Gifted Teens Series) out by the end of 2011.

As far as giveaways, it's an eBook, so as long as they can download from Smashwords, it doesn't matter where the winner lives. Or I can email it to them.


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Beverly said...

Both the excerpts are great! Thanks for sharing!

Michelle @ Book Briefs said...

Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Midnight said...

Wow both books look really intriguing!
Thanks for this giveaway! ^^

Yto said...

two great books. i am more interested in the first though ^^ thanks for the chance to win it.

witchvela at web dot de

Mierke said...

These sounds really great! Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity.

Carrie said...

Thanks so much!

elis said...

thanks for the great giveaway!! :)

Laura_darkelvengirl said...

Thanks! :D

sweety said...

Sounds interesting!!Thanks for the giveaway!!


Lecea said...

The books sound great! Thanks for the giveaway!

latishajean said...

Thank you very much can't wait to read both sound great thanks for the great giveaway!