Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Guest Blog & Giveaway: Tempted By Evil

UFI welcomes Amber Lynn Natusch and Shannon Morton authors of Tempted by Evil. Thanks for Joining us!!

I have a confession to make.  I have a thing for bad boys.  Always have.  Blame it on my kindergarten crush or my high school boyfriend, just don't tell my husband.  But something about those dark, broody, mysterious guys who do whatever they please and have a difficult time expressing emotion properly seals the deal every single time. Officially labeled, "damaged goods," these guys are the ones we love in books, TV, and movies, but would run screaming from in reality if we ever actually came face to face in a relationship. Thus, I write about their dark deeds rather than seeking one out in real life (my husband is grateful for this). And that's what this scene in the novel is for; to give you a peek at one of my favorite characters in the story. This is our first real glimpse into Merrick's personality and Aspen's response to him. Merrick is the quintessential bad boy plus. On top of being the dark, brooding, mysterious guy, he is also wicked intelligent with a penchant for books and musicand nothing is sexier than a bad boy with a kickass IQ. 
So, without further ado, I give you Aspen and Merrick in the library scene.

Walking absentmindedly through the aisles of materials once more, I found myself gazing up the darkened staircase as I passed. The feeling of someone watching me was so strong that I involuntarily shivered and scanned the rest of the library, including the check-out desk, to ensure that I was still the only patron inside. Indeed, it was only the librarian and me, and he was still busy organizing the pile on his desk. I brushed off my senseless worry and marched myself back over to the table where my collection of take-home books sat proudly waiting for me. The cover of the top volume drew my attention as it had on the shelf, a girl with dark hair , ivory skin, and painted ruby lips.

“Memoirs of a Geisha?” a low voice asked incredulously from just behind me. “I had you pegged for an Austen girl. ”

I spun around to find a wall of obsidian staring me in the face. Taking a small step back, I looked up into the light-green eyes of a face I was certain I recognized.

“You’re the guy from the cafĂ© the other night, ” I blurted out, equal parts question and statement of fact.

“Am I?” he countered sarcastically, leaning his face in toward mine just enough to make me exceptionally nervous.

“Um, aren’t you?” I asked stupidly, finding it difficult to actually recall the other night with any clarity at the moment.

He just stared at me as though I were some curiosity that perplexed him, but he clearly had no intention of answering my question.

“I’m Aspen. ” The words were out of my mouth before my brain fully registered our conversation from the other night. “Aspen Thomas. ”

“I know, ” the stranger replied with a slight nod of his head.

“And you are . . . ?”

“Amused, ” he countered, though he seemed less entertained than he claimed to be.

“Really?” The frustration at being the source of his personal amusement was evident in my tone. “Did you come here solely to harass me?”

“Hardly, ” he replied, looking at my stack on the table. A flicker of genuine interest sparked in his eyes. “I came for the books. ”

“Well, then, ” the words tasted bitter in my mouth even before I said them aloud, “don’t let me keep you. ”

A small smile erupted on his lips as he looked to my pile of books and then back to me. “No problem. It’s just a lot to carry. . . I was going to offer you a hand. ”

Of course he was. My redheaded temper had gotten me into trouble yet again.

“Oh, ” I said, feeling like a repentant child. “I brought a book bag with me and most of these are pretty small. ”

“Indeed, ” he replied, running his fingers through his jet black waves.

“You have some great texts there. Kerouac and Salinger are two of my favorites. ”

“I’ve always wanted to read Catcher in the Rye!” I exclaimed a bit too enthusiastically.

“Now you can. ” He smiled down at me as he turned around to walk through the stacks, calling over his shoulder , “And the name’s Merrick. ”

“Merrick, ” I repeated aloud, tasting the name on my tongue.

He stopped and turned around to face me once more, his mysterious sage gaze penetrating mine.


“Oh, ” I stammered, unprepared for him to have overheard my verbal sampling. “I was just curious about your t-shirt. Who’s The Machine and why do you feel the need to Rage Against them?”

If I hadn't known better , I would have sworn that the slightest chuckle escaped his lips.

“The machine would be the status quo, I guess, ” he replied, shaking his head and turning to go. “And most everyone feels compelled to deviate a little from time to time. ”

Mesmerized by both him and his words, I watched him walk away, each step feeling like a call to some part of me to follow after him. He seemed to be the impossible combination of every powerful male lead and bad boy antagonist that I'd ever encountered on paper , and for whatever
reason, however irrational it might have been, I wanted to know more about him.


Amber: If you’re dying to know more about me, allow me to put you at ease. I’m a sharp-tongued, sarcastic cancer, who loves vegetable smoothies, winter storms, and the word portfolio. I should NEVER be caffeinated, and require at least eight hours of sleep to even resemble a human being. At thirty-four, I just now feel like I can keep a straight face while saying the word “rectum” (which is actually a huge lie because I just laughed out loud while reading this to my husband). I live with my iPod firmly affixed to my body, drive too fast, and laugh/cry at inappropriate times.

Shannon:  I love to be reading or writing something constantly, playing my music way too loud, and verbally spewing the things that other people would only dare to think.  I curse when winter comes because I worship the sun, have a meltdown when I miss Sonic’s happy hour, and would likely kill someone if I had to spend the day away from my iPhone.   And I like to think I get away with all of that because I’m a redhead…

I spent the first seventeen years of my life in a corner with my face hidden behind a book, so to say that I’m an avid reader is a bit of an understatement.   Seriously.   I view the Kindle store with the same hungry eyes that my husband sees an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Gilbert Blythe was my first literary crush but I’ve since moved on to bad boys.  If the leading man has a sarcastic streak, a badass attitude, or a dark rebel complex, count me in!

Find the Authors

Tempted by Evil
Light and Shadow Trilogy #1

 A sheltered girl.

The perfect boy.

A mysterious stranger.

Random messages delivering a sobering prophecy plague Aspen's existence. With every curious encounter, her sanity wavers further. Before long, Aspen finds herself balancing the fate of humanity on her shoulders, until a single act turns her world upside down. She finds herself alone, isolated from those she thought she could trust.

Alone to damn the world.

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