New Update!

Hello everyone. All of my Reviews, that I have yet to write, will be posted sporadically during the summer. After the end of this summer, I will not be posting on here anymore, as you will see the info on the right side of the blog.
Thanks for your understanding.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hyde By: Lauren Stewart *Guest Post, Review & E-Book Giveaway*

(Click The Tour Banner To Follow The Tour!)

Hey everyone, thank you for stopping by! I'm really glad to be a part of Author Lauren Stewart's Blog Tour for her Urban Fantasy Novel: Hyde! You will read the Prologue, Lauren's Guest Post, my Review, and...you have a chance to win 1 Free E-Book Copy of this fantastic story, so look for the Giveaway down below! :)

**This is an Adult Novel (18+)**


Guest Post By: Lauren Stewart




Metaphorical Streaking
Writing is a lonely art. An author might surround themselves with people who support, help them, and critique their work, but at the end of the day, the final product is all theirs. And that is what makes it scary. A little bit of themselves is apparent on each page. I’m not saying that we’re as psychotic as our bad guys or as virtuous as our virginal heroines (as if anyone would believe that one for a minute). But inside of each character we create are emotions we ourselves have experienced. Anger, frustration, fear, joy, panic, love, and hopefully, lust. And to live each of those emotions again through our characters isn’t always easy.
Is it worth it? In my opinion, yes. To create full, complex characters, we must become those characters, live inside their heads for a short time. So that when the reader gets hold of the book, they believe and trust us as storytellers.
It’s kind of like streaking. We rip off our metaphorical clothing and run naked through the pages. Sorry for the unpleasant image, but it fits. We expose a bit of the emotional ugliness that is inside each one of us, but that no one talks about.  And then the doubt sets in: “What if readers think my hero is a total a-hole, and not in a completely charming and likeable way?” “Will anyone other than me think this sex scene is hot?” or “Am I absolutely sure I won’t come across as a total psycho if I ‘go there’?”
Some writers do it, and they inspire me. I often wonder if authors like J.R. Ward, Karen Marie Moning, and Kresley Cole (to name only a few) worry if they’ve gone too far. If their fans, or even their significant others, might think they’ve lost it. They don’t seem embarrassed—they seem proud. Which means they are either really good at faking it, or they’ve developed confidence in their ability to judge what will tantalize and not just make people say, “Ewww”.
Perhaps I will get there someday. Right now, I blush when someone says they loved the sex or how dreadful Mitch’s behavior is occasionally.  But I had to put aside those fears while writing Hyde, an Urban Fantasy, even before I imagined that anyone would ever read it. I forced myself to express those things that appear in everyone’s minds, but that none of us want to admit, even to ourselves.
And publishing the MoFo? Well, that I had to close my eyes for. I’m not a psycho, I don’t have a Hyde.  I don’t lie and I don’t betray, so ultimately I am much more like Eden in the beginning of this novel. However, like Eden, through this process I’ve had to admit that those emotions are understandable and familiar, whether I like it or not.
Using paranormal and non-paranormal characters, the goal was to explore what makes us good or not-so-good, and how society defines each. My dream would be that the story sticks with readers long enough for them to think about how they themselves define a ‘good’ person and a ‘bad’ person. Maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t. I sure hope it did.
Please take a look at the novel and check out the sample to see if it interests you. Sometimes what the characters say or do isn’t pretty. Although there are funny and happy moments, this is not chick lit or a ‘feel good’ story. This is about how people truly are—sometimes good and sometimes ugly, but always with a reason. And isn’t that the most interesting part of being human?
And please, tell me what you think when you read something outrageous, the kind of thing meant to shock or push the boundaries. What do you imagine the author is like in real life? Is s/he a psycho? Someone in desperate need of therapy? Or someone you’d want as your BFF?



Book Description




Hyde
Book 1
Lauren Stewart

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Off the Hook Publishing

ISBN: 9780988170100
ASIN: B008IVT0W2

Number of pages: 389
Word Count: 105,000

To survive, they must embrace what they most despise . . . in themselves and each other.

Mitch Turner is everything women want most in a man—charismatic, successful, drop-dead gorgeous. Except he’s not a man—he’s a monster.

The only way Mitch can protect others from his monstrous side is to stop them from getting too close…that and a 7x7 foot cage. Isolated by his genetic curse, he spends his life hurting people emotionally, driving them away before Hyde can harm them physically. But, after a night of the best sex Mitch has ever had, he realizes that might be impossible. Except the woman he wakes up with claims she doesn’t remember any of it.

Eden Colfax is everything men want most, men other than Mitch, that is. She’s kind, honest to a fault and sickeningly sweet. To rid herself of the monsters that haunted her broken childhood, Eden doesn’t lie, doesn’t curse, and definitely never wakes up naked in strangers’ beds…until the day she does.

Then the flashbacks start—places she’s never been, people she’s never met, blood she’s never spilled. She discovers she’s split into two parts—the woman she thought she knew and another who is capable of anything. And the only person with any answers is the one man she never wants to see again.

What neither of them know is that someone is watching them both, manipulating them, determined to see just how evil the two of them really are. And when the truth begins to seep through the cracks, leaving them nowhere to turn but each other, they will be forced into a partnership neither had expected.

Because in life, who you trust is as important as who you are. And when you can’t even trust yourself, sometimes the only person you can rely on is the last person on Earth you should be falling for.


*** This novel is intended for adults only, as it includes lots of cursing, descriptive sex, biting sarcasm, and themes similar to those in Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, from which this story was inspired.



Prologue

Fifteen years ago . . .
He woke up to the screaming. His mom’s. Different this time. More fearful. More frantic. He ran to the door and threw it open. His sister barred his way, somehow knowing what he planned to do.
“Move, Shelly!”
“No, Mitch,” she said, her eyes wide. “Don’t. Don’t go in there. It’ll kill you.”
It. The beast. The creature that had been part of his life for as far back as Mitch could remember. Even longer for Shelly and his mom. They never talked about it. As if pretending it didn’t exist made life easier. Life wasn’t easy. Life was terrifying.
Something had to change.
His mom’s screams were louder. And then they stopped. Mid-cry, they just stopped. He pushed Shelly out of the way and ran down the dark hallway toward the living room.
“Mitch, no!”
Too late. It was all too late.
His mother lay on the tile floor. The only part of her still moving was the blood pooling beneath her body.
The beast stood above her, huge, smiling. Blood splattered across its neck and chest. It raised its head slowly. There was a flash of recognition in its eyes, then it blinked, shook itself like a wet dog, and launched toward Mitch.
Mitch dove to the side. The beast barreled by him, into the hallway. Toward Shelly.
“Help!”
Her cry slammed into his mind, his heart. “Shelly!” He grabbed his baseball bat from the entryway and ran.
The beast had her pinned in a corner. “Are you afraid, bitch?” it growled. “You should be.”
Mitch swung the bat. Three years of little league and the last two of high school ball packed into one hit. Then another. But the hall was too narrow.
The beast shoved Shelly against the wall and then flipped around, laughing darkly. “That all you got, boy?”
Mitch swung again and again, sometimes making contact with an arm, a shoulder, stepping back as the beast advanced, toying with him. The bat’s length the only thing keeping the bastard from reaching him. Back into the living room, it pawed, trying to grab Mitch’s inadequate defense. If it caught hold, if it backed Mitch into a wall, everything would end—Mitch, Shelly, everything.
A blow to its head stopped its laughter, a quiver rippling through its body. “Come here, you little prick!” it roared.
Mitch aimed high for another hit to its face, one step closer to use the full force of the weapon. The bat rebounded in his hands as it struck flesh, sending a shooting pain through Mitch’s arms and shoulders.
Again, he swung. Again, he struck.
The beast stumbled, put its hands to its ears, still cursing. Another strike landed. Then another. The beast sank to its knees, its growls turning into grunts of pain.
Mitch lifted the bat above his head. His legs were numb, his upper body vibrating as he pounded all of his anger, all of his fear, into the monster lying at his feet.
“Mitch,” his sister begged. “Please stop. Please.”
He didn’t. He couldn’t.
“Stop! It’s dead. Stop,” she said, weeping.
He felt Shelly’s arms around his waist, holding him, pulling him back from the edge. Finally overcome, the bat fell from his hands, and he let her guide him a few steps backwards. His foot caught on the rug and he sat down hard, Shelly sliding down beside him.
She crawled on her knees until she was between him and the bloody bodies on the floor and hugged him tightly.
Over her shoulder, Mitch stared at the creature. Watched it change, shrink, diminish. Until all that was left was the lifeless body of his father.
Their father. Dear, old Dad. A man they had both hated. A man who had been filled with evil when he was human. Doubly-so each time he transformed into Hyde.
Shelly held Mitch’s shaking body in her arms, stroking his hair, making shushing sounds, telling him it would be okay.
Would it? Would it ever be okay? He slumped into her. “Oh, God, Shelly, what did I do?”
“You had to do it, Mitch. You saved me . . . saved us. We can be happy now.”
Happy?
“He was a monster.” Her words stung.
“Don’t say that,” he whimpered.
“But he was. He was evil. He had to die.”
Please, Shelly, don’t say that,” he said through his sobs, his eyes still locked on his father. “Because . . . that’s what I’m going to be.”
She stiffened, and then hugged him tighter, slowly rocking him back and forth. “No, we won’t let it. We’ll figure something out.”
It was too late. His transformations had already started. Not as violently as his father’s—not yet—but they’d begun. When his tears blurred the image of his parent’s bodies, he rested his head on Shelly’s shoulder and cried.
“You’ll never be a monster, Mitch.”
“I already am.”


Review
Oh my, this was an excellent story! I loved it! First of all, I loved the writing style, it was flowing and just really intriguing. I liked how there was a narrator telling the whole story, but here and there, we get exact thoughts from the minds of the different characters, and it just worked really well. There are chilling, horrific and suspenseful scenes written, some romantic ones, and there is some humor, so there is a great blend to this urban fantasy. 

Now the story is inspired by the famous Stevenson Novel: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I have never read the story, but have heard of it, so I went into reading Hyde with an open mind. This is set in the present, in Florida. We meet the two main characters, Mitch and Eden, in the first chapter, and well they are in bed together, but Eden has no idea, no memory of ever meeting Mitch, so they part ways awkwardly. Eden seems like a good character. She has had a tough early life, her Mom died when she was a young; she was put in foster care but did not have a good experience in the different homes she went to, and by age 18, she was on her own, with her trusted friend, Carter. They have been together ever since, and she has tried to establish herself with getting a good education in college, but the summer brings a lot of challenges, including her bad sleepwalking habit, but it's worse this time, because whenever she wakes up, she is not in her own bed, in her own apartment; she sometimes wakes up at the front door of uncaring and mean Mitch, the guy she had a one night stand with, but she believes there's something else to her sleepwalking, and thinks Mitch can help her. Now, Mitch knows what he is; he is human, but a monster comes out of him, Hyde comes out of him, and that secludes him in a cage every five weeks or so, so when he re meets Eden, he may have an idea and tests a theory that concludes a shocking and twisted discovery that Eden might be like him, a monster, but with a different...kinky element. Let's just say, this other person, is not at all like Eden. There's now more at stake, with Mitch and Eden learning about each other, because there is a big secret, that these two are unaware of, but two people they know are in something, that was definitely intriguing, and you get little hints in some of the chapters, of which people are in 'control' of Hyde and...Chastity (Eden's other person!).

There is a romance here and I was definitely rooting for Mitch and Eden, but of course they have their doubts of having a real possible relationship. Their 'passionate' scenes were well written, and I definitely saw a different side of Mitch, a side you never see, because he puts on a mask really well, of hiding feelings, he has never felt before, so I really liked reading and definitely can see the change Mitch was facing, but it's not good for Hyde. Now I don't want to say too much more, but the ending, to me, was not that predictable, which I enjoyed, and all I'm going write is...I CANT WAIT FOR BOOK 2!! I definitely saw that this story is not over, and I can feel there is going to be a lot of suspense and new understandings in the next book, so I look forward to it!! :)

My Rating: 4.5/5
*This is an Adult Novel!* RATED-R (Strong Mature Language & Content! 18+)


About The Author

After earning degrees in Fine Arts and English, Lauren Stewart wanted to see the world. A lack of funds meant that she didn’t get far. She spent two years traveling around Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada—first as a choreographer and then as an English teacher—meeting folks from all the places she couldn’t afford to go to. But that time was highly useful—she learned about herself, other people, and how insane life actually is.

Lauren reads in almost every genre. So naturally, her writing reflects that. With every book, every story, you'll find elements of other genres--fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women's literature, all with a touch of humor because what doesn’t kill us, should make us laugh. 


Links

@ReadLaurenS


Goodreads.com/LaurenStewart





7 comments:

  1. This looks like a good one. I always loved the look into just how twisted humans can be.

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    1. Me too, Dusty. That's why the original story is so embedded in our culture (whether we've actually read it or not). Because struggling with good and evil is a basic part of the human condition. Of course, the original novella didn't have a love story, sex, or cursing, which are also components of the human condition. Ha

      Happy reading! I hope you enjoy the book!

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  2. Thanks for having me, Marissa! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.

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    1. My pleasure! I just really loved your story and will look for book 2 when it comes out! :)

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  3. Ooh, I love dark, twisted tales. And it also has "biting sarcasm" -- definitely want to read this one.

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    1. It was fantastic! Thank you for stopping by :)

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    2. That's great, Amy! I hope you enjoy it.

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I love to read what you have to write and I like to write back, so feel free to comment :)

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