Hopeless By Keri Neal: A Beat Reading Experience
So, straying a bit away from YALLfest (sorry, I know, I know!) I wanted to take a minute to talk about a book I had the joy of being a part of creating. Okay, so I mean I didn't actually write anything, but I got to read it when it was still a draft and put in my two cents. That's a pretty special feeling. If it feels this special to say "Hey I helped proof read that!" then I can't imagine how readers feel when they publish a book. It really does become your baby. So, know that going into this little review that I'm a little biased. This book is one of the first projects I ever worked on and for that, I will always love it lots and lots (and hug it and kiss it.. and ..wait. what?).
All that being said, I genuinely love this story. Hopeless is the sequel to Flightless. You can read the review of Flightless by clicking HERE. If you're lazy like me and don't feel like clicking that link to read the review, here's a brief history:
Pen is a guardian angel. He lost his position as a guardian a long time ago and is given the chance to get it back.... but to do so, he has to get involved with a past that led him into trouble. It all gets harder from there. Jade is a girl who's been through a great deal of tragedy. Just when she thinks she has it all worked out, Pen is back in her life, and though she doesn't realize who he is at first...it quickly comes back to her. If Pen wants to keep his wings, he can't be with Jade..which just makes things difficult.
This brings us to Hopeless. In Hopeless we meet a new guardian, Blake, who was brought into Jade's life after all the complications with Pen. Blake is quite the asshole at times, but he's the kind of asshole you can't help but love. Don't worry, it's not a love triangle. Jade is pretty sure of her commitment to her current significant other, but that's not to say that Blake doesn't shake things up a bit. Hopeless is about feeling hopeless. It's about being unsure, about opening yourself up to new possibilities, and about how life can throw you curve balls you never see coming.
The books in this series are fairly short, and are pretty impossible to put down - so you have no reason not to pick them up and give them a try. If you don't do it because you want to - because angels are sexy, and because you want an angel to be hovering in your window at night (creepy that I want that? I don't care.) then do it for me! Support my first endeavor at being part of creating a book for you to get your hands on!
Here's an Excerpt for you to test the waters:
The subtle noise woke me out of deep sleep. I stared into the darkness of my bedroom and waited. After a few minutes I heard it again.
Something was scraping my window. The
winds were always heavy this time of year, but the sounds it caused never
bothered me before. This was different. Keeping my eyes on the window, I slid
out of bed and dug the Santa Ana
slugger out from behind my nightstand. I gripped it hard and tiptoed to the
source of the noise. Louisville
It wasn’t getting louder, but I knew without a doubt something, or someone, was outside my window. I approached with caution, ready to start swinging. Then something caught my eye. It was a leaf. I tilted my head to get a better angle, and the rest of the twig took form.
Breathing a heavy sigh, I tossed the bat onto my bed and put my head in my hands. My dreams had been so restless lately. I was starting to hallucinate. I laughed at my paranoia and opened the window to retrieve the stray twig.
The moon was an amazing presence in the clear sky. Summer was ending, signaling the beginning of cooler nights in the
desert. I sucked in the clean air and let it fill my lungs. I loved this time
of the year, when most of the smog was chased away by gale-force winds. Leaning
out the window I watched the leaves dance on the Mulberry tree. A pair of
glowing eyes glared back at me from deep within the branches.
I leapt back. Remembering the open window, I made a grab for the sill to slam it shut. I wasn’t quick enough. The eyes grew a body and pounced. I screamed until I heard footsteps in the hallway.
reached into the room and flicked on the switch, filling the room with a light
that caused me to wince. Gary
When my eyes adjusted to the room, I noticed several things at once.
was standing in my
doorway, his Chargers pants and white t-shirt vibrating as he fought to catch
his breath. In his left hand was a nine iron. The intruder was unmistakably
male. Despite the ski mask, his muscular figure was well defined by a too-small
black t-shirt. Both men ignored me as they stared each other down from separate
ends of my room. Gary
“Jade had a nightmare. You came to check on her. She was fine. You went back to bed.” The guy’s voice lilted with an accent I didn’t recognize.
The golf club fell out of
hand and hit the floor. I was having an out-of-body experience. There was no
way Gary would
fall for this guy’s impression of the Jedi mind-trick. But even as I thought it,
he turned on his heel and scuffled back to his room at the end of the hall. I
began to panic, the giggling bubbling up from my gut making my breath choppy.
If my Surge was ever going to cooperate, this would be the time. Gary
Holding my breath, I closed my eyes and focused on the center of my gut where the Surge originated. Nothing happened. It didn’t make sense; if I lost control when I was upset, then I should’ve been blowing the doors off the hinges. But I didn’t, I just stood there stunned as a feeling of dread washed over me. Behind my eyelids I saw Pen, his beautiful face staring back at me with adoration. He would never know how much I loved him. I was going to die and I was all alone. I opened my eyes with a determination to face my death. The intruder hadn’t moved except to turn his head.
The floor creaked as he shifted his weight and ambled toward me. He reached up and tore off the mask, revealing spiky black hair. His smile was cocky, as if he was proud of himself for being so clever.
Suddenly a pair of arms wrapped around me from behind. I blinked up into the intruder’s eyes, and in the next moment he was gone. I was somewhere else. It was dark, but I could smell pine needles and hear branches crackle as the wind blew through them high above me. I was almost certain I was in the mountains somewhere, but it was too dark to tell. Whoever had brought me here still held me tightly.
I spun around to throw my arms around him. He’d come back! Somehow I knew he wasn’t gone for good. He wouldn’t just leave me forever. Not after what we’d been through. But instead I was faced with dark eyes the color of onyx. A stranger, not Pen, had saved me from the supernatural being. I should’ve been grateful. Maybe shook his hand and exchanged emails. He seemed nice enough as he stared back at me with his head tilted in that way Pen did when he was trying to feel my thoughts.
All of these reactions would have been a normal way to react to someone who had just saved your life. I, however, was not a normal girl.
“Who the hell are you?”
Enjoy that? yes! you did! Here's where you can buy the full book!
On her seventeenth birthday, Jade is filled with hope for the future. She
and her boyfriend Pen are in love, she is finishing her final year of high
school, and she is finally safe from the Fallen, who wanted her blood to
fulfill an age-old prophesy. Pen is not as comfortable with the truce
they made to protect her, so he makes a new deal with the Arches and
leaves Jade alone.
But not for long.
A new Guardian is assigned to protect Jade. Blake is rude and
offensive, his methods unconventional. Because of his dedication to
her she trusts him with her life. Best of all, he knows about the Surge—
her telekinetic ability—and is eager to teach her how to control her
power. With Blake’s help, Jade learns she can defend herself, with or
without the Arches protection, against the evil forces that want her
Then . . . Pen comes back.
He doesn’t like the idea of someone else looking out for Jade, but an
army of evil is on its way to destroy her, and Jade needs all the help
she can get.
You can read more about Keri Neal in her Author Spotlight from a few months ago, by clicking HERE and stay tuned for a Q&A with Keri coming this month!
I know this is what you've been waiting for! Here's the giveaway info!