The Orion Circle #1
by Kimber Leigh Wheaton
YA Paranormal Romance
June 29. 2014
Sea Dragon Press
Amazon * Goodreads
Sometimes Rest in Peace isn't an option.
Kacie Ramsey sees ghosts—and it's ruining her life. Her mother left, her father blames her, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't keep the ghosts away. Now a new power has emerged. Nightly visions of grisly murders and a relentless predator draw her to the brink of insanity.
When the phantom appears at a party, Kacie's longtime crush, Logan, saves her. He invites her to join the Orion Circle, a group of supernatural hunters with chapters in schools all over the country. Through the Circle, Kacie learns to embrace her spiritual powers, and for the first time in her life she feels in control rather than a victim.
But the Foxblood Demon will not give up so easily. A demented serial killer in life who trapped the souls of the thirteen children he murdered, imprisoning them within the walls of his mansion. Now in death, he plots his return while drawing power from the pure souls of the children. He recognizes something in Kacie he's never seen before—a medium powerful enough to provide a vessel for his tainted soul.
Kacie can't ignore the tortured souls of the children crying out to her every night. With Logan at her side, she will fight the Foxblood Demon. But can they banish this powerful phantom, or will Kacie lose not only her body, but her eternal soul to the monster.
***I received the eBook free as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review***
What I loved most about this book was that nothing about it felt forced. The writing was fluent but not to the point where the descriptions are too long or filled with adjectives so it seems “poetic”. The relationships between the characters were strong, and not to the point where immediately after dating they’re willing to sacrifice everything including their lives for their partner.
I’ll admit the beginning was a little fast; you’re immediately dumped into Kacie’s life at the most crucial moments, so from there on out her life has drastically changed. But this worked well for me, because a good beginning is crucial, and if it’s just filler so you get “a feel for the characters” (an author’s excise for not knowing what to write and how to start it) I’ll put it down. If the author can’t come up with something interesting for a start, where’s the hope for the rest of the novel?
Tortured Souls kept the fast pace, so it was very much a quick and light read; perfect for YA fans. Particularly readers who like books that are light with a sweet romance, but still have that threat of danger and darkness that comes from a plot containing so much death. The plot was easy to follow and transgressed smoothly, but not only that, you felt everything you were meant to. Walking through the dark tunnels you felt as anxious as the characters, and listening to some poor ghost’s story you felt just as sympathetic. To feel emotionally involved so quickly is great.
Which is why I was glad Kacie found the elite group, The Orion Circle, when she did. I can’t even imagine what would’ve happened if she had no-one there for her still. The Circle didn’t just provide her with a better understanding of all things supernatural but people who could understand her in a way her family refused to. It’s tragic how much she went through alone, especially so young, but (and forgive me if I sound horrible) it made her a better, and stronger character. She did lose some of this fight once she found Logan, almost passing responsibility onto him for a lot of things, but it leaves room for development which is what I’ve seen a lot of authors do. Doesn’t matter that it can be infuriating at the time, by the end of the novel/series you see how they’ve grown and this does nothing but add to the story.
I know a lot of you will be wondering about Logan, because I’m one to rave about the love interests in books even if comes out as a load of nonsense, but the reason I haven’t mentioned him so much is not because I didn’t like him, he was just too perfect. Everyone has their imperfections which you embrace, but Logan had none. Nada. Zilch. Instead of improving his character it just made him seem surreal and more 2D than good characters should be. He was the perfect boyfriend always there for Kacie, perfect friend, perfect student, perfect member of the circle… I needed the catch.
I’m expecting that a lot of this will be revealed in the next book, so I look forward to when it comes out. It was a great paranormal read that’s for sure, so I’d recommend to any YA fans who love a good ghost/romance story.
“Gavin is not on my good side right now. Between his flame of the week taking up my bathroom for over an hour and his Spongebob Squarepants marathon with the guys – which just had to include a cereal fight – I’m ready to end his pathetic existence. What four grown guys see in that yellow sponge is beyond me. Maybe it makes them feel smart by comparison.”
“Who are you?” I shout to be heard above the sinister cackling. Someone has been watching too many melodramatic old movie villains.”
“Terror. Stomach clenching, throat closing, silent screaming panic. When you become aware there’ll be no escape – that moment where all hope dies.”
“Sometimes I think fate hates me.”
“I’m a member of an exclusive club at school, the Orion Circle. Perhaps you’ve heard of us?” he asks, cocking his head to the side.
My eyebrows shoot up at his admission, and I stumble a bit on a crack in the sidewalk. He grabs my elbow to steady me. Not trusting my voice to work, I nod in response. Of course I’ve heard of the secretive Orion Circle—everyone has. Speculation as to the nature of the club runs the gamut from academic to secret society.
The moment we enter the park, Kodiak prances in excitement, eager for the wild trails up ahead. This time of morning wildlife sightings are plentiful. Kodiak lunges at a squirrel crossing our path. I make a clicking noise with my tongue, and the dog reverts to his obedient behavior. Pavement gives way to a dirt trail, forcing me to slow my pace due to the uneven footing.
“I think you should come to our meeting this afternoon. I’ll find you later today and give you an invitation.”
His offer blindsides me, and I nod like an idiot, my head bobbing a few too many times. Somehow I manage to smile at him before returning my gaze to the trail. Wow, the Orion Circle and Logan in one day. I feel like I’m floating on a cloud until a rock brings me back to Earth. After stumbling a few steps, Logan’s hand on my arm is the only thing that keeps me from falling.
If I continue to run down this dirt trail, I’m afraid I might fall to my death. It seems I’m having a hard time seeing anything other than an image of Logan’s handsome face. I glance up at him, surprised by the concern etched across his face.
“Are you okay? You didn’t twist your ankle, did you?”
“No, I’m fine, really,” I reply as a hot flush creeps from my neck to my face. “But my mind is a million miles away, and I’m afraid I’ll break a leg on this trail if we keep going.”
“We’ll head back, then,” he says before turning to walk back to the park entrance.
“Thanks for understanding,” I say, relieved we are walking rather than running.
“I only got a glimpse of your vision,” he says in a soft voice. “It was bad. Real bad. Don’t worry, I’ll help you, I promise. I think you’ll feel a lot better after the Orion Circle meeting.”
His words fill me with warmth along with a feeling of contentment. Perhaps this vision isn’t so bad. I mean, it brought me closer to Logan, after all.About the Author
1) Hi Kim, thanks for sparing some time for this interview, can you tell us a little about your book Tortured Souls which is the first in The Orion Circle series?
Tortured Souls introduces the Orion Circle, a group of teenage (and adult) paranormal hunters. The Orion Circle series will explore many aspects of the paranormal, including werewolves and vampires. Tortured Souls is about a young physical medium tormented by the spirit of a serial killer and his victims. Main character Kacie Ramsey must learn to embrace rather than hide her power in order to save the trapped souls of the children and banish the evil specter for good. Tortured Souls also introduces the other members of the Orion Circle. Different characters will be featured in the main character role as the series progresses.
2) What was your inspiration for Tortured Souls?
I love the paranormal. It’s been somewhat of an addiction for years. The Orion Circle is my exploration of that love. I started with ghosts in Tortured Souls because they are my favorite. I’ve been reading ghost stories since I was a young girl. To call it an obsession would be fair.
3) Can you talk us through how you get into the right zone for your writing? Any particular music? Or anything you have nearby?
Well, first of all my muse needs to be awake. If she’s sleeping, I may as well find something else to do. I keep my laptop nearby all the time in case inspiration strikes. Once I’m ready to write, I need my playlist (which always inspires me when all else fails), a diet Coke, and that’s about it. Each novel I write has a different playlist. Hard rock tends to be my inspiration for urban fantasy, while Celtic lilts influence my fantasy writing.
4) What’s the best/worst writing advice you’ve ever received?
Best- Never give up. If you love writing—do it. Reading always comes down to personal taste. Some people will love your writing and some will not. Follow your heart.
Worst- A book cannot be written without extensive written plotting and outlining. I know many writers love to plot everything out on paper, but that just isn’t who I am. I will meditate for weeks before starting a novel, plotting it out in my head almost like watching a movie. I spend time getting to know the characters, put them in different scenarios to see how they react. By the time I start writing, I know my characters very well and have a basic idea of the plot line. But I don’t write it down… other than quick notes once in a while to jog my memory.
5) What are some of your favourite movies, and what actors/actresses could you see playing the main characters from your book?
Favorite Movies: Ghostbusters, Transformers, Terminator 2, Men in Black, The Avengers, X-men (all of them), Raiders of the Lost Ark, Moulin Rouge, Star Wars—All six (well maybe not 4).
Nicola Peltz as Kacie
Lucas Till as Logan
Liam James as Daniel
Nathan Kress as Carl
Chloe Grace Moretz as Rebecca
Elizabeth Gillies as Raven
6) How and when did you first realise you loved writing and wanted to be an author? What was the first thing you ever wrote?
I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. I can’t really remember the first thing I wrote… it’s been too long. Most likely it was a fairy tale retelling since I was rather addicted to those when I was a girl. The first thing I really remember writing was a short story about a girl and her dragon in fifth grade. I won a state-wide competition for that story, so it was quite exciting.
7) When can we anticipate the second instalment, and what can we expect for the rest of the series?
I hope to have The Orion Circle #1.5 (Title Pending) released in November. It is an anthology of novellas and short stories featuring the POV of various Orion Circle members. Book #2 will be released in the spring of 2015.
8) Do you have any more projects in the works or can you share some ideas for future ones?
I’m currently working on a YA urban fantasy, Bitter Envy, which is the first in a series. I’m also working on book #1.5 and #3 in the Light Chronicles series. In addition, I already have the plot for the third Orion Circle book ready to go. My imagination works much faster than my brain and fingers.
Fan fiction yay or nay? Yay
Ebook or paperback? ebook
Tea or coffee? Neither
Zombies or vampires? Vampires
Kimber Leigh Wheaton is a bestselling YA/NA author with a soft spot for sweet romance. She is married to her soul mate, has a teenage son, and shares her home with three dogs, four cats, and lots of dragons. No, she doesn’t live on a farm, she just loves animals. Kimber Leigh is addicted to romance, videogames, superheroes, villains, and chocolate—not necessarily in that order. (If she has to choose, she’ll take a chocolate covered superhero!) She currently lives in San Antonio, TX but has been somewhat a rolling stone in life, having resided in several different cities and states.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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