Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tour Review: Stealing Breath by Joanne Brothwell (Promo+Giveaway)

Title: Stealing Breath
Series: Stealing Breath #1
Author: Joanne Brothwell
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Supernatural Fiction
Elements: Psychic Abilities, Warlocks
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Format: PDF, 238 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-937254-33-9
Release Date: March 8, 2012
Source: Tour Host {Bewitching Book Tours}
Rating: 5/5

Tagline(s): ~NONE~

Summary: Deep in the backwoods of North Dakota, twenty-one year old Sarah Ross is searching for a missing child when she is attacked by a glowing-eyed, transparent...creature. Sarah survives, destroying the monster by using mysterious abilities she didn't even know she had.

Bloody and bruised, Sarah flees the scene and runs directly into Evan Valente, a handsome, charismatic stranger who helps her back to safety. But what is Evan doing out in the forest at five in the morning?

Turning to a healer, Sarah is shocked to learn her eyes bear the mark of the Indigo Child--an evolved human with the ability to feel the emotions of others. But her indigo aura also makes her an easy target for those who wish to consume her powerful essence.

Soon, Sarah is falling deeply in love with Evan and wants nothing more than to follow her heart and trust that he is the man he says he is. But she can't ignore the lingering feeling that Evan is hiding a terrible secret. The deeper she digs, the more danger she faces, leading her on a course that will force her to face the darkest, innermost parts of her soul.


Sarah Ross is an empath, which means that she has the ability to feel the emotions of others. Her ability is so strong that the emotions can be overwhelming sometimes. But after an attack by a mysterious creature in an abandoned house in the woods, Sarah meets Evan Valente who helps her get back to her campsite. The odd thing is that she feels none of Evan's emotions. Though Sarah has reservations about trusting Evan, she can't stay away from him.

When Sarah visits a Native American healer, she learns that she's not just an empath, but an Indigo Child as well. An Indigo Child is an evolved human with special powers, such as Sarah's empathy. Even stranger is that when Sarah and Evan touch, the power between them increases and they can do even more extraordinary things together. There is definitely something different about Evan, and when Sarah learns the truth about him, she'll have to decide if she's still willing to trust him or if she'll need to run to get away from him.

Joanne Brothwell uses Native American and Italian folklore by introducing us to the Native American Skinwalkers and the Italian Benandanti (good walkers) and the Malandanti (bad walkers). The Stregheria are witches and warlocks in Italy who are either good walkers or bad walkers. The good walkers were hunted into extinction for suspicion of witchcraft, but the bad walkers managed to survive the hunts. The Valente family is actually the last of the Italian bad walkers to survive.

This is actually only the second story I've read that had Skinwalkers as the supernatural element, so it's a new and interesting element to use. I love the use of folklore in Stealing Breath. It gives a richness to the story and gives us some insight into the Native American and Italian cultures.

I also really liked Sarah and Evan's relationship. They have a strong connection, but also have a lot of problems too. There's a point where Sarah learns the truth about Evan, and even though it hurts her to do it because she loves him, she forces herself to walk away from him. But a surprise revelation about Evan that even he didn't know about makes Sarah realize that maybe he's not as bad as they both thought him to be. So their relationship isn't perfect and has it's share of ups and downs, but the imperfections of their relationship is what makes it so perfect. It doesn't seem rushed or instantaneous. It takes time and effort to make their relationship work.

Stealing Breath is a part of a genre that doesn't get much attention. You can't put this book in the Young Adult genre or the Adult genre. It lands somewhere in the middle. I asked the author what genre she would put Stealing Breath into and she brought to my attention a genre called New Adult fiction. I was so intrigued by this new genre that I looked it up and found that New Adult fiction is a genre for novels that land between YA and Adult. The characters are usually between the ages of 18-26 and are just coming into adulthood. They are either just starting college or a new career after graduating high school. So Stealing Breath fits perfectly into this virtually unknown genre.

I'm really excited to read about what happens next for Sarah and Evan. Will they ever be able to settle in one place and live normal lives or will they have to continue running from those who want to possess their strong and powerful essences?

Book Trailer:

About this Author:

Joanne Brothwell is the author Stealing Breath, a paranormal romance from Crescent Moon Press, who has also published Vicarious, the prequel to Stealing Breath. Joanne lives in the country with her family where her stories are inspired by the dead things that appear at her doorstep on a daily basis. You can find her online at www.joannebrothwell.com





Author Joanne Brothwell

Joanne Brothwell



I awoke to rustling outside my tent. The crunching of footsteps on gravel, twigs and branches snapping. Was that a voice? I lay motionless inside my sleeping bag, heart pounding, listening.
“Help.” A disembodied whisper. Was it right outside? I strained to hear but the throbbing pulse in my head drowned everything else out. I sat up. The atmosphere within the domed tent was wet, ripe with morning breath. The tip of my nose was cold as an icicle.
“Help.” The murmur came a second time, more audible than the last. I was sure it was a child’s voice. My heart skipped a beat. Could it be the voice of the eight year-old, Jessica Crow, who had gone missing from the neighboring Indian Reservation three days ago?
I thought of the drive out to the campgrounds when my friends, Amber, Kate, and I had been listening to the radio report on the status of the missing girl from the Wakina Reservation.
Poor Amber. Once again, she’d cried at the reminder of her third cousin, Jessica, lost and alone in the forest. Everyone in the community, including Amber, had been searching for her night and day but had found nothing. I’d practically dragged Amber along camping, telling her she needed a night off from her worries. It was a hard sell, but she’d finally agreed.
I glanced at where Kate and Amber should have been laying, but their sleeping bags and pillows were missing. The last I’d seen them had been around the bonfire at two in the morning. They could have ended up crashing just about anywhere, and I wasn’t about to go peeking into random tents to find them.
Having fallen asleep in my jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, I slipped on my jacket and shoes, pulled the ponytail holder off my wrist and wrapped my hair into a tight bun. I swallowed hard and took a deep breath. Then, unzipping the door flap of the dome tent, I stuck just my head out.
Nothing was out of place. Empty cooler bottles atop the picnic table, charred wood in the fire-pit, and the car we came in. Every campsite around us was nearly silent. The sounds of late-night make-out sessions, pounding music, and yelling were replaced by the occasional snore.
Using my empathy, I focused on trying to pick up on the emotions of any lucid person around, hoping I would hone in on Jessica’s emotions. Normally, the waking feelings of others hit me like a gale force wind, without my even trying. In fact, it had always felt like a bit of a curse that I was a walking sponge for other people’s pain. But right now, all I felt was…nothing.
The voice had seemed right outside the tent. Could I have imagined it?
I slipped out. A low, white fog blanketed the earth, enveloping the world in silence. The temperature hovered around freezing, way too cold for camping. And last night’s vodka was no longer taking the edge off. I shivered.
After checking around the cars and circling the campsite, I started down the road. Inside the forest, the eerie glow of early morning and the cool fog blanched the world a ghostly white. The moist nip in the air sharpened the scent of pine needles that littered the camp ground. I continued down the road for about ten feet until it led to the mouth of a hiking trail.
Now that I was half-frozen and shivering, the May long weekend at the campgrounds of Greater Slave Lake, North Dakota, seemed like a very stupid idea, even if it was the annual spring kick-off party.
“Help!” the diminutive voice called out again, this time, louder.
The memory of Jessica’s face flashed through my mind when I’d met her last summer; honey-brown eyes and springy hair that always stuck up around her head with static, and her sweet smile, part baby teeth intermixed with adult teeth. She was such a sweet, innocent child. If she had survived this long, she could be dangerously close to death from cold. My heart battered against my chest wall, and I fought off the urge to start running, directionless, into the bush to find her.
The voice had originated from further within the tree-line, I was sure of it. Closer now, yet still far away. I entered the trail and headed straight.
“Jessica?” I called out. No response but the echo of my own voice from the trees around me.
The trail was straight and narrow for well over a hundred feet, the trees like two solid walls of green on either side of me. Then the trail began to snake back and forth until it forked into several side-trails. I stopped to listen.
A dry crackle emerged from the trail to my right, and I immediately followed the sound. This far into the forest it was darker, the only light filtered through evergreens and fog. I looked back. The vapor had closed in behind me, obscuring the pathway like a curtain of white. Shivering transformed into shaking.
Despite running these trails in the early morning numerous times, today it looked different. I cursed under my breath and shoved my hands into my pockets.
“Hello?” I called, my voice immediately diminishing, muffled by the woods. Other than the odd bird chirp and frog croak, the forest was quiet. If the voice really had been Jessica, she would need help and most likely immediate medical attention. I forced myself forward.
The trail wound to and fro, the brush dense, the fog almost material as it clung to the spruce needles. The path grew thin and sparse, barely enough room to place one foot in front of the other, with the way the underbrush encroached on the trail. I stumbled on twigs and logs as branches clawed my cheeks and pulled my hair. I began to trip, reaching out for something to hang onto. I fell, my hand forced into a thorny bush.
Damn it! I stood up and peered at my scraped hand, blood beading out of paper-cut sized scrapes. I’d been out here for at least ten minutes, but still, I heard nothing but the crunch of my feet snapping the twigs underfoot and my breath echoing through my own head. Ready to turn around and head back to my tent, the high-pitched voice rang out once again.


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