Sunday, April 6, 2014

"Uncovering Cobbogoth" by Hannah L. Clark

Uncovering Cobbogoth
by Hannah L. Clark

Uncovering Cobbogoth, the first book in Hannah L. Clark's new Cobbogoth series, is due for release 13 May but is currently available for pre-order. This book blitz and giveaway is brought to you by YA Bound Book Tours.

Norah Lukens needs to uncover the truth about the fabled lost city of Cobbogoth. After her archaeologist uncle's murder, Norah is asked to translate his old research journal for evidence and discovers that his murder was a cover-up for something far more sinister.
When she turns to neighbor and only friend James Riley for help, she realizes that not only is their bitter-sweet past haunting her every step, but James is keeping dangerous secrets. Can Norah discover what they are before it's too late to share her own?
Readers of all ages will be captivated by this tale of mythical beings, elemental magic, and the secrets of a lost city.

James hadn’t always had the power to break my heart. In the beginning, things had been simpler between us—we were only friends, and having never had a friend before, I was perfectly content just being there for him during Gram’s illness.
But one day, out of the blue, it all changed.
James had asked me to stay with Gram one night toward the end of July. Uncle Jack was on a dig, and James had a shift at the fire station. I was supposed to stay up with her through the night, but around midnight she was sleeping peacefully. I’d decided to lie down for a few minutes in the guest room. I even left the door open so I could hear her if she needed anything, but it turned out that I was more tired than I’d realized.
The light of the morning woke me up. I jolted forward, horrified. The door to the bedroom was closed. Why was the door closed? Had Gram needed me in the night? Or worse, had she passed away with no one there to send her off?
With no other thought than getting to Gram, I ran to the door and flung it open. I had to make sure she was still breathing.
When I stepped out into the hall, I didn’t see the long, knobby bundle sprawled across the threshold.
“What the—?” I tripped, heading for a face-first tumble down the stairs, when hands reached up out of nowhere and caught me by the waist. Before I knew it, I was pulled back into cradling arms.
“Let go!” I struggled to get away.
“Morning to you too, sunshine.” The hall light burst down on me, and I squinted up into a familiar face.
“James?” I panted. “What are you doing here?”
Lowering his arm from the light switch, he shifted in his sleeping bag, stifled a yawn, and grinned at me sleepily. “Well, right now I’m cuddling a gorgeous girl on my lap. Aren’t you gonna thank me for that extremely chivalrous catch?” He rested his chin on my shoulder and playfully batted thick brown eyelashes at me.
I flushed, feeling the panic drain away only to be replaced by something equally unsettling. Knowing it was somehow connected to the way James was holding me close, I struggled to get to my feet again.
“Whoa there! Where ya going?” James groaned. “I was just getting’ comfy.” He tightened his hold on me, and I was forced to stop wriggling.
“I—well, I just—I need to check on Gram.” James’s breath was tickling my neck. I swallowed a mass of butterflies threatening to burst from my stomach. What was happening to me?
“I-I’m so sorry, James.” I managed to scrape my thoughts together. “I totally fell asleep, and I didn’t hear anything in the night. And then—” I shook my head. “Wait. Why are you home?” I finally asked. “I thought you didn’t get off until ten or so.”
“It’s eleven.” James pushed his chocolate-brown curls out of his eyes and reached for his baseball cap, which was resting on a nearby chair. “But don’t worry about it. They let me off early ’cause it was a slow night.” He shrugged. “When I got home, you and Gram were both sleeping, so rather than take you home, I thought I’d just wait ’til morning. I stayed out here in case she woke up.”
“Oh.” His gaze was making me jittery. I glanced down at my hands. “Did she need anything?”
James leaned his head against the wall, watching me with a dreamy sort of half smile. “She slept through the night—first time in weeks. I think you’ve got a magic touch.”
I smiled, a strange warmth spreading through my chest.
“So how’d you sleep?” he asked, returning his arm around me as if it belonged there. Then he reached up and pushed a wispy strand of silver-blonde hair off my face.
My heart went berserk. The confusion mixed with pleasure coursing through me was powerful to the point of painful. “I slept good. Pretty deeply too apparently.”
James didn’t seem to hear; he was busy twisting my hair around his finger. “You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen your hair down like this. It’s usually in that tight braid,” he mumbled, not meeting my eyes. “Jack’s right. It really does look like vanilla ice cream.”
My throat constricted as I swallowed hard. “Um . . . thanks?”
He grinned and again pushed my hair back from my face. This time, however, he let his palm linger against my cheek, then trail down my neck. It came to rest on my shoulder.
James looked at me with his blue eyes. They were deeper somehow.
And then all of a sudden, the recognition of my feelings floored me. I liked James! He was more than just a friend!
I’d wanted to look away, but I couldn’t. I was trapped in his gaze. I was no match for this new side of James. Up to this point he’d been all friendliness and easygoing comic relief.
“Nor,” he whispered, his own rapid breathing making his voice sound a little strained.
“There’s something I need to—”
“Jimmy?” Gram’s weak voice trailed down the hall. “You’re home early?”
He hesitated a moment, his eyes not budging from mine. Then he sighed. “Yeah, Gram. I’ll be there in a sec.”
The moment was gone, and James helped me to my feet. He didn’t say anything more. I was okay with that; I convinced myself that whatever it was wasn’t important. Then I let him lead me down the hall toward Gram’s room. My skin tingled with a strange heat when he placed his hand at the small of my back.
“What are you involved in, James?” I whispered, looking around the Rileys’ guest room and wishing with all my heart that I could have the old James—my James—back.

About the Author
Hannah L. Clark is the author of the YA fantasy-adventure Uncovering Cobbogoth. It is the first book in a planned seven book series. It will be released by Cedar Fort Publishing on 13 May 2014.
Hannah lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband and son.

Enter the Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of Uncovering Cobbogoth (ends 13 May). Enter the blitz-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.