Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Out of Sync" by A. Bin Juran

Out of Sync
(Out of Sync Book 1)
by A. Bin Juran

This book blitz and giveaway for Out of Sync is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours. Please make sure you visit the other participating blogs as well.

I’m a magical misfit
I won’t let it define me
A bolt-zapping disaster magnet
But at least I’m still trying
The guy I like asked me out
I hoped my luck was changing
Then my coven trials began
…they’re harder than I expected
Now my life hangs in the balance
I don’t know what I’m doing
But I do know this:
I’m not going down without a fight.
Out of Sync is a YA paranormal romance about a magical misfit who faces her perilous coven trials, falls in love and nearly dies more times than seems polite to mention.

Charlie, my best friend, was waiting for me in Potions class, which we not-so-fondly called Spills class since liquids were usually involved.
I took my seat next to him and sighed at the blue fumes rising from our cauldron. Opening my book to page 225, I stared at the diagram, read the notes beneath and sighed again.
“Charlie ... ,” I said wearily, still feeling the webs of sleeplessness from the night before, “the fumes are blue.”
Charlie glanced at me wryly. He was happy we had any fumes at all; until then, we hadn’t been able to create any reaction. “They are supposed to be green,” I continued with a yawn.
Charlie pursed his lips, then brightened. “Let’s add yellow!” He grinned at his own brilliance.
I folded my hands over my unsubstantial chest. “Do you see any yellow dye anywhere?” I stared at him skeptically, without my usual humor.
We both knew there wasn’t any dye. You couldn’t fake your way through Spills class—which was why we were both failing. Our former best friend, Sophia, was the only one of us who had any magical talent, and as of six months ago, she would hardly acknowledge my presence—which was terminally linked with Charlie’s—let alone participate in our experiments anymore.
Personally, I blamed myself. Living in my skin, I’m used to the clumsiness and general humiliation-magnetism that I seem to project; it’s a necessary survival skill.
Granted, I probably didn’t need my absentee grandmother to add to my infamous reputation, but once word spread about her inappropriate gift of see-through lingerie and dental floss masquerading as underwear, Sophia decided she had had enough.
Heck, I would have severed all ties to me, too, if I could; and if I were being honest, I would have to admit that I’d been expecting such a moment of clarity on her part for years.
Charlie, on the other hand, had no such expectations. Charlie was just Charlie—tall, thin, brown-eyed and as fair skinned as they come. Seriously, I think he would burst into flames if anyone let him out in the sun for more than five minutes.
I have dark hair like my grandmother and brother. While mine is curly, theirs is blessedly straight. If I didn’t know I was a witch already, my hair would have been a dead giveaway. No matter what appliance I used, my curls wouldn’t straighten. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent at Sophia’s hands with her many, many hair straighteners—from flat irons to blow driers to big-ass curlers—without a straight strand to show for it.
I have already mentioned the flat-chested thing. It’s not something I like to broadcast. Not that you can’t tell. EVERYONE can tell.
I swear, my boobs are so small, they hardly fill a bra. Okay, I’m not down to an A-cup, at least, but I’m a very, very small B.
But my eyes ... now, my eyes I actually like. They are big, framed by dark, lush lashes, and they’re gray, to boot. Their gray hue shifts slightly towards a bluer or greener tone sometimes, depending on what I wear. Cool, right? And there is absolutely nothing magical about them— regular people have gray, changing eyes, as well. They don’t even turn yellow or red or anything strange, like Sophia’s do, which I appreciate. I suffer through enough blushes to last me a lifetime without another obvious sign that I’m experiencing humiliating emotions.
Sophia’s height is pretty average, if you spend your days around runway models.
I am a true average. No amazon legs for me or that great tan only a true vacation in the Caribbean can get you.
Yep. I could think of a million reasons why Sophia wouldn’t want to be my friend. We were so different, sometimes I thought she was keeping us around just to make herself seem even more beautiful by comparison—you know, with me playing the role of the designated plain flat-chested friend. But then Sophia would open her mouth, and I would be reminded why she wasn’t as popular as she should have been.
Sophia had a quick—albeit stinging—tongue, and while she generally stuck to the truth, most people still took offense.
Growing up with my brother, I mostly felt at home with her snippy little comments, especially since she usually stuck to snarky and rarely crossed over into mean.
Still, the fumes were blue, and it was moments like this that I wished the rich, beautiful, talented—if somewhat self-involved—Sophia was here.
I could see the thought flash through Charlie’s mind as well. His dimples fell when he remembered her—or anything unpleasant, really. She hadn’t even said goodbye, and it stung.
I cleared my throat, as well as my mind, and opened the book back to page 225. “We can do this,” I insisted, but my voice lacked confidence. “Did you chop the daffodils before inserting the eyes of newt?” I asked, looking down the list.
“Yes ... ,” he exhaled.
“Did you stir it six times to the east?” My eyebrows furrowed as I tried to remember.
“Your east or my east?” Charlie asked.
I looked up from the book. “There is only one east, Charlie.”
“Then ... yes.” He gave me a dopey grin, and the dimples were back.
“How about the honeysuckle?” I asked, trying my best to ignore his foot tapping on the
linoleum floor. He was an avid guitar player in a school where music was not a valid life choice. “Hmm?” he asked, caught up in his own inner rhythm.
“The honeysuckle ... ” I sighed wearily, eying the blue fumes which were developing a
distasteful scent. Soon, Ms. Palmer would come to check up on us, and her face would pinch into a perplexed ‘what happened to my star pupils’ look.
“Nope.” Charlie paused his tapping for a moment. “You didn’t mention any honeysuckle. Honey, maybe. No suckling of any kind.” He winked at me and resumed his tapping.
I rolled my eyes. “Fine. I’ll go get it.” I didn’t know what adding honeysuckle now, so late in the potion, would do to the concoction, but I wasn’t going to wait around for Ms. Palmer’s disappointment.
I walked, as slowly as I could manage, to the left cabinet and opened it.
Before I could grasp the bottle labeled “honeysuckle”, a hand reached from behind me and grabbed it.
I whirled around, careening into someone’s chest, and inhaled the sweet, musky familiar aroma of one Nate Harper.
If male models had their own league, then Nate Harper would be their captain.
My eyes fluttered to meet his as my throat choked up, blocking any and all sounds except for a small humiliating ‘yelp.’ I could feel my burning cheeks expanding their redness down my neck.
As the excruciating seconds wore on, I explored his chiseled chin, his strong, manly, very, very kissable lips, his perfect straight teeth and finally his ... um ... well. Baby blues.
By the time my eyes reached his sky blue ones, my mouth was as dry as a desert.
“You didn’t want this too, did you?” he asked. His voice rang in my ears, blocking the actual meaning of the words and leaving behind only the shocked realization that Nate Harper was talking directly to me.
I can count the times Nate Harper talked to me on one hand—well, if you didn’t include the occasions he came over to talk to Sophia, which I don’t. I didn’t really speak then, either.
I followed his empty hand as it raked golden hair back from his face.
“Bree?” he asked, as I tried to reel myself in before I made a fool of myself over the simple fact that he knew my name. Idiot. Of course he knew my name; we’ve been taking classes together for four years now. That’s when I realized he was still waiting for some kind of verbal response.
“Well, if you intend to steal it, I think you’ll find you have a fight on your hands.” My mouth blurted the words before I could stop myself. Where had that come from?
I must have looked as shocked as I felt, because, after a moment, he laughed, his smile broadening into something that should probably be viewed on a 52′′ plasma.
“Yeah ... I saw you were having a bit of a problem with the assignment.” He leaned against the cabinet, which brought him an inch closer to me.
Sparing a glance over in Charlie’s direction, I saw that the blue fumes had turned into a foam which was rapidly taking over our table. Like I said; Spill class.
“I ... think I’d better go help Charlie ... ,” I mumbled and turned to walk back.
He grinned and placed the honeysuckle firmly in my hands. “I think you need this more than I do.” With that, he winked at me and returned to his table where perfect green fumes awaited him.
I was flabbergasted; Nate Harper didn’t need the honeysuckle ... his experiment was already done. He was just using it as an excuse to talk to me ...

Featured Review
By Maital
I absolutely love it!
Can't stop reading this book!

About the Author
When not immersed in books - be it writing or reading them - Ainat can usually be found nestling a cup of coffee in the company of her husband and twins. A former fast-food employee, T-shirt seller, and glorified secretary, Ainat eventually found herself with Bachelor's and LL.M. degrees and working as a lawyer. A few years later, listening to a catchy pop song about dream fulfillment, Ainat decided to buy a clunky little laptop and get to work. Ten novels and a much better laptop later, she came to the realization that hitting the double-digit mark meant it was time to publish and start consuming coffee (though not necessarily in that order).
When she isn't writing, editing, or mothering, Ainat enjoys reading promiscuously (which, to her, means she's reading several novels at a time while committing to none), watching political dramas and sci-fi series, and taking embarrassing memos-to-self complete with accents and dramatic pauses that should never be unleashed, ever.

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