Thursday, 1 August 2013

Release Day Launch: Tension by R.L. Griffin

 Hello, Therians!

 It's time to wish R.L. Griffin's Tension a Happy Book Birthday!!

 This is the second book in the By A Thread series.

Keep reading for an exciting excerpt from Tension, and there's also a wonderful giveaway that you don't want to miss out on!!!

The Stella who emerges from the rubble of the bombing in Montana is a woman full of conflict. She knows she should be grateful that she lived when others didn't, but after waking in the hospital as a celebrity, complete with a new moniker, she's bitter and distrustful, questioning everything in her life. She's unsure of her friends, her new boyfriend, and her job. In addition, a face from the past reappears and threatens to take the one good thing in her life.

Stella attempts to deal with the new scrutiny of her life with her usual sense of humor, but she's filled with a new emotion that she tries desperately to hide: HATE. Her recovery is hastened by her determination to find the man who turned her into a walking scar. She's going to kill him; she needs to kill him.

Stella isn't alone. She has her close friends and her dog, Cooper. Will their support be enough to help Stella accomplish her plan, or will this endeavor be her undoing?

**This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content**


 Although I haven't read the first book in the By A Thread series, I didn't feel at all lost reading Tension. There was enough backstory throughout this book that I understood the events leading up to it, and I also got a sense of why Stella was a little closed off.

This book was well paced, however, for a story filled with so much emotion, it lacked the hard-hitting highs an lows I was expecting. This did, in no way, make me enjoy it any less. I was fascinated by every event that took place and I really cared about Stella and George. Having to deal with the traumatic events of this story, they tried their best to navigate life as a couple. Unfortunately, white lies and a little "harmless" deceit, no matter how wrong, works its way into any relationship, especially when you believe that keeping secrets is the best thing for the other person. Of course, the mass media coverage of Stella's every move does not help one bit. Everything is scrutinized, and this only adds fuel to Stella's inferno of hatred she has for the people who nearly ruined her life, or more specifically, one particular person.

 Stella is broken in more ways than one and she truly believes she doesn't deserve George. Emotionally she is still scarred by her past, and her fear keeps her from really giving all of herself to the wonderful man she is with now. Added to that is a loathing of what she sees as a disgusting disfigurement after the bombing. Luckily, we as the reader are granted insight into George's thoughts and feelings. He has to be the most patient man in the world. Even when Stella is being stubborn as hell, or when he finds out he's been kept in the dark, he still loves her; he accepts her and keeps fighting for what they have.  I loved the more special, intimate moments Stella and George shared. It solidified that fact that they were a perfect couple. They were cute together, and not matter how hard Stella tried not to be, they were a little corny and cliche. It was wonderful to read. 

 As the tension builds, and just when I thought all hell was going to break loose, the story fell a little flat. Things seemed to work out a little too seamlessly for Stella and I had to wonder if that was it. Surely not?! There had to be more. It was only as I waited in anticipation for some huge finale, that I really started to feel everything this book threw at me. I was on the edge of my seat and when I got to the last page, I wanted to fling my Kindle across the room. Griffin masterfully left me hanging on the edge of a cliff...ARGH!! It was brilliant, but now I have to have book 3, or I might go out of my mind thinking about what happens next.

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She heaved in the toilet for the third time in a row, but it was only bile now.  The noise echoed through the empty bathroom.  Hunching over the bowl, she tried not to grasp the sides with her hands.  Because she was more aware of her body and its reactions to stress, she hadn't eaten or had any coffee this morning, thinking maybe she wouldn’t get sick.  Pushing herself off of the cold tile floor and flushing the toilet, she spit the remaining bile from her mouth into the toilet.  Fighting the urge to wipe the excess saliva on the sleeve of her expensive suit jacket, she pulled a few squares of toilet paper off the roll and patted her mouth.  Pushing the door of the stall open, she examined the image she saw in the mirror. 

What she saw gave her pause and she stopped just shy of the sink to take in her appearance.  Her new outer shell was almost unrecognizable.  She’d recently cut her long black waves into a straight, chin-length bob, currently tousled.  Her weight loss over the past several months made her cheeks look sunken; she’d attempted to hide her sallow skin with makeup, but she still looked just a little bit haunted. The new grey suit she was wearing was wrinkled.  Irritated, she smoothed down the length of the pencil skirt to where it hit just above her knees.  Her soft pink shell underneath was chosen to make her look more fragile.  As if it’s possible to look any more fragile.  Some of her scars were visible above the collar of the shell; all perfecting the image Millie said she needed to show the world. 

Washing her hands quickly, she dried them and pulled out a comb.  Breathe.  She pulled the comb through her hair.   Her stomach rolled again and she dug in her pewter handbag for her medication.  She’d finally gotten around to going to the doctor, who diagnosed her with some sort of stress-induced disorder that causes her to throw up.  No shit, I diagnosed myself years ago.  Throwing the pill in her mouth, she swallowed it dry.  Reaching into another pocket, she pulled out lip gloss and reapplied the pink color to her lips, trying to feel the least bit “normal.” 

She popped a peppermint into her mouth and closed her eyes, counting to ten slowly before she pushed open the door and walked to the bench just outside the courtroom.  As soon as she sat down, the door opened and the U.S. Marshal assigned to the courtroom called her name.  Her heels clicked and echoed against the marble floor.  The courtroom was full, but she had tunnel vision.  She didn’t allow any of her terrified thoughts to enter her brain; she could break down later. In private.
            Making her way to the witness stand, she concentrated on not tripping in the six-inch black pumps she always wore.  They were her lucky heels for court and she needed them more today than any other day.  She took a deep breath, sat down on the stand and took her first glance at the defense table. Her entire body shook with fear at the sight of the man sitting in an ill-fitting suit next to his attorney; she knew the entire case rested on her testimony.  No pressure.  Shoving the fear down inside her, she folded her hands in her lap and stared at them. Calm.

"Ma'am, please state your name for the record."
"Stella Murphy.”
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R.L. resides in the Atlanta area with some cool dudes: her husband, son and two dogs.  She was born and raised in the South.  She attended Georgia Southern University and moved to Washington, D.C. to intern in the United States Senate during the impeachment trial.  Falling in love with the city, she went to law school at American University, Washington College of Law.  By A Thread is R.L.’s second book, but is the first in a series of books.


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