Current Reading Mood: Urban Fantasy
Quote of the day: “I’d have been dead a long time ago if not for my friends, one of whom had just jumped off the cliff after me.
I’d have been a lot more appreciative if he hadn’t pushed me first." Cassandra Palmer ― Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway with Amber Garr

Book Three of The Syrenka Series
By Amber Garr
With power comes the responsibility to accept its
After the betrayal of those closest to her, Eviana Dumahl
struggles to cope with her new reality. Kidnapped, broken,
and confused, she is forced to engage in a war that will
alter merfolk politics forever. With her estranged father
leading the charge, Eviana has no choice but to stand by
his side. Her continued existence hinges on the acceptance
of the power growing inside her, even when that means
embracing the family’s dark lineage.
Kain Matthew will sacrifice the world for Eviana. And he
is not alone. As time runs out, her friends fight to save her
life and theirs. An unlikely alliance gives them the edge
they need to take a stand, although it keeps Eviana’s heart
trapped in the past. A new discovery explains some of her
previous mistakes, but it may not be enough to stop her
father’s plans. Merfolk, selkies, and water sprites work
together to save their kind, only in this final battle, not
everyone will survive.
In the striking series conclusion, Eviana will learn the true
meaning of power, sacrifice, and love.

Excerpt 1
When Graham and I surfaced back inside our coral-walled prison, we noticed that
someone had brought us two plates of food. Without speaking to him, I pulled myself out of the
water and willed my legs to come back to me. Considering our history, I might have had some
concern over Graham seeing me naked, but once again, I couldn’t muster up the energy to care.
“I see they’ve improved the food,” he commented.
“Doesn’t matter, I’m not eating,” I said without even looking at the plates. Now that we
had the light from underwater, it made it easier to move about the room and identify what
Lucian’s cronies were feeding us.
“Nope,” I said as I finished pulling my shirt over my head. When I turned around, I saw
Graham chewing on a piece of pineapple and sifting through the rest of the items. Much to my
dismay, my stomach growled. It was so loud that Graham chuckled.
“Perhaps your body wants some nourishment.”
“I don’t care.”
“Suit yourself, tart.”
I rolled my eyes and walked over to him. The smell of the food was overwhelming and I
couldn’t help but look down at it. “Don’t call me that,” I said but spoke more to the plate. There
was some type of fish wrapped in a banana leaf and it smelled delicious.
“You’re drooling,” he teased.
“It’s probably poisoned.”
He bit into another piece of fruit. “Well, I haven’t eaten anything solid in days, so I’ll
take my chances.” Grabbing his plate, he sat down cross-legged on the floor and proceeded to
stuff his face.
Tempted, I fought the urge to give in. I didn’t really know what the purpose of my
hunger strike was and how it would help get me out of here. I guess I just wanted to be difficult.

Excerpt 2
I finished packing up the duffle bag full of knifes, hand grenades, and a couple of
Japanese short swords. It was Julian’s weapon of choice, but I preferred to stick with my natural
abilities. I’d been practicing my compulsion and my water control seemed to improve every day.
It was like a switch had been turned on and I suddenly knew exactly how to manipulate the
element with very little effort. The compulsion I would save for a few choice selkies if needed.
As if listening to my internal thoughts, Brendan appeared on the beachside deck and
knocked on the door frame. Neither of us acknowledged his presence, so he walked inside and
sat down next to Daniel.
“I need to talk to Marisol,” Daniel said and quickly jumped out of his chair then
disappeared around the corner. I would thank him for that later.
“Do you need any help?” Brendan asked.
After a full minute of silence, he spoke again. “Abhainn will find her, right?”
I stopped filling the snack bag I was working on and took a deep breath. Do I respond or
do I stay silent? I decided to listen to my heart. “Do you really care?”
As though I stabbed a sword through him too, Brendan recoiled in shock. “Of course I
care! I love her more than anything in this world!”
“If you truly did love her, you would have left a long time ago.” My voice wavered with
anger and a thousand other emotions. Apparently we were going to have this discussion and I
wasn’t fully prepared to filter my words.
Brendan jumped to his feet and leaned across the table toward me. “You would have
loved that, wouldn’t you? Having her to yourself. Going through with a marriage she never
wanted. It would have been perfect for you if I would have stayed in Washington, right?”
“Yes,” I said through gritted teeth. “She would have had a chance to choose me.”
“She always had that chance. I never stopped her.” He moved around the edge of the
table so that we were looking at each other eye to eye. I could see the lines around his face and
the grey tone of his skin. He looked like hell and I smiled. “What’s so funny?” he snapped.
Ignoring his question, I stared into his eyes. “She doesn’t want you now.”
He sucked in air then turned away from me. “But I need to help her.”
“No, you don’t. We have this under control.”

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Excerpt 1
I wanted to punch him in the face.
For at least the hundredth time today, I swung my fist towards his infuriating smirk. He
easily dodged it, of course, and proceeded to look down at me like a child. “You’re getting
closer,” he teased.
Throwing my arms down in frustration, I shook my head. “How am I supposed to learn if
you won’t even let me get a hit in?”
He laughed and resumed a fighter’s stance. “How are you supposed to learn if I just stand
still and let you pummel me? That’s not ever going to happen in the real world. Now, try with
your legs.”
I rolled my eyes and shifted my feet so that my stronger right leg was in front. Ideally, I’d
be having this battle underwater where my legs were not an issue.
“Protect your face,” he yelled at me and I lifted my fists up to nose level. I could do this.
He’d taught me how to incapacitate my enemies. Just go for the knee.
I faked a few smaller kicks, pretending to hesitate. Then, like a ninja, I struck. The
underside of my right foot was directly on target and I expected it to land a perfect hit to the side
of his left knee. Only it didn’t happen.

Book Two of The Syrenka Series
By Amber Garr
Life as a mermaid can be suffocating.
Eviana Dumahl has returned home as a clan leader, an orphan,
and a heartbroken teenage girl. Her parents are dead and her
boyfriend, Brendan, has decided that he needs some time away.
While battling her inner turmoil, Eviana is forced into the war
that Lucian Sutherland has incited amongst her own kind. With
the help of Kain, her friend and formally betrothed, the two work
together to prove that they deserve their birthrights as young
merfolk leaders.
When The Council requests a demonstration of Eviana’s
mermaid powers, she finds herself with an opportunity to win
back Brendan’s heart. But her orders to train with a repulsive
merman and the presence of an attractive new suitor challenges
Eviana to embrace her leadership and resist temptation. Lucian
is after her, and no one seems to understand why. Loyalties are
tested as the casualties increase, showing Eviana that sometimes
it is impossible to delineate between friends and enemies.
Out of nowhere, he grabbed my ankle and I was suddenly airborne. The world spun
around me once before I landed with a thud on my back, effectively knocking the air from my
lungs. I even saw some stars floating by. My training sessions were getting harder every day,
and after this debacle, I decided that it was time to quit.
A shadow moved above me and I used my hand to block out the rest of the sun. Looking
up at his ominous figure I said, “I’m done.”
I heard another laugh rumble through my trainer’s chest as he reached down and grabbed
my arm. In one swift motion, he pulled me up off the ground.
“You would have broken my knee with that kick, Eviana. I had to stop you.” I glared at
him. “What?” he continued. “I’m not going to let you hurt me. But you did well. I knew that
you’d learn eventually.”
I jumped towards him as fast as I could, intending to get him in a choke hold. My arms
slipped around his neck, but my body kept rolling over him as he bent forward and used my
momentum to toss me towards the ground. In less than two seconds, I was on my back again
with a forearm pressing against my throat and my pride seeping away into the dirt.
“Ahh!” I screamed in frustration. The annoying grin on his face told me that I would never
beat him in a fair fight. Palmer was my cousin, my trainer, and also one of the numerous
protectors now living at my house. We’d been practicing for the past two weeks and although I
couldn’t hurt him yet, Palmer reassured me that I was improving.

Excerpt 2
“Try that one next,” Daniel mumbled through a mouth full of bagel.
“Stop pointing!” I warned him. The three of us were sitting on one of the benches in
Bennett’s Park that surrounded the largest playground area. We probably looked young enough
that this wasn’t creepy, otherwise the adults would wonder why we stared and laughed at their
kids all morning. I felt kind of bad but it was the only way I could practice. “What should I
Daniel tilted his head in thought, and I could see the moment he got some demented idea.
“Make him do the chicken dance!” Kain snorted and I agreed with his sentiment.
“Daniel…,” I groaned. “Really?”
“Yes, it’s genius because no one would be suspicious if an adult is dancing for a kid. Plus,
you can try to give the command to just one person,” he pointed out.
“Okay, let’s see.” I did my best to block out all background noises and focused in on one
of the few fathers who braved the playground scene today. It wasn’t like I could find his mind
per se, but that’s what I was trying to do. The more I practiced, the easier it was for me to
visualize every individual’s consciousness. I directed my power towards the jumble of thoughts
that I figured belonged to the man and pushed the music into his head along with the command
to dance. A wave of confusion swept over his face and he stopped fiddling with his daughter’s
coat. He stood up and began to sway from side to side.
“It’s working!” Daniel squealed. The man smiled down at his daughter and brought his
hands up to his ribs. Flapping his elbows up and down like a bird, he began the chicken dance. I
was so excited, I continued to push the command out towards him without realizing that I
touched a few other minds as well. Nearly twenty parents and their children began dancing the
choreographed steps and I totally lost my concentration.
“Oh crap,” I moaned. Kain and Daniel laughed beside me and I elbowed them both.
“Humans are too easy.” I was learning that the power of suggestion on a human’s mind was way
more potent than I could handle at this point. Pushing out one command to one person with a
little too much force indirectly affected all of those around him. Now half of the playground was
wiggling and twisting to an inaudible tune, and Daniel was in hysterics.
“Keep going. This is too good,” he sputtered out in between giggles. I ignored him and
yelled Stop! in my head to erase their urge to continue dancing.
Within a few seconds, everyone stopped and looked around in confusion. My friends were
laughing loudly and several parents glanced in our direction. But they soon went back to their
normal business as though they hadn’t just been part of a flash mob. Mermaid compulsion: got
to love it.
“Oh, you’re no fun,” Daniel chided.
I rolled my eyes at him and slumped back against the bench. Sipping the latte we grabbed
on the way to the park, I looked around the rest of the scenery and tried to think about nothing.
Not an easy task.
“You try it,” Daniel said. At first I thought he was talking to me, but was surprised to see
him looking at Kain.
“I don’t think so,” Kain said with an edge.
“No, he’s right. You need to practice too,” I added. Kain had the ability as well, although
for some reason mine had jumped from zero to extreme in one evening. His power repertoire
was building slowly but he still had the skills necessary to manipulate minds.
“You’re the one they want to see demonstrate,” Kain reminded me.
“So? You’re a leader, too and the more control you have, the more people will respect

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Book One of The Syrenka Series
By Amber Garr
Excerpt 1
I barely heard her parting words as the screen door slammed shut. My head spun in
desperation as the anger coursed through my bones. “Get back in here Eviana!” she continued to
scream at me. “We are not finished with this conversation!”
I was already racing down the deck stairs toward the sandy beach, kicking off my shoes
and unbuttoning my blouse. We are for now, I thought as my blood boiled with rage and
resentment. I was going to be trapped! How dare they? This was not the eighteenth century
anymore! I had rights!
I stumbled onto the sand, taking just a brief moment to savor the warmth and the feeling of
the grains massaging my toes. My shirt came off and I started to unzip my jeans. No one was
around. But I wouldn’t care anyway. The water was calling me and it was the only voice that I
could hear now. With one pant leg off, I hopped along in my forward progression until the other
one was free. My oasis was so close now that I could taste the salt in the air. The sun broke free
Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the
ones you love.
When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with
the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan
leadership, she is forced to choose between the life
required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply
infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé,
would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in
love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they
were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and
her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond
anything she could have imagined.
A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana
unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a
twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she
has no choice but to involve those she once considered
friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and
immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable
as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is
not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also
on her acceptance of a life she so adamantly tried to
of a cloud, stopping me for a moment. It was late afternoon with sunset still a few hours away,
but the sky had already turning multiple shades of pink and orange. The coloration reminded me
of the inside of a brilliant conch shell.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. I knew there would be hell to pay when I
returned to the house. Marguerite, my mother, had tolerated my rebellious behavior when I was
younger, giving me more freedom and second chances than anyone in our clan. But apparently
now, at seventeen, I was an adult. Adult enough to bear children. Adult enough to participate in
clan gatherings. Adult enough to navigate our youth through their transition period. But not
adult enough to choose who to love.
A slight breeze wafted off the ocean, bringing with it scents that filled my gut with
longing. The freedom of the ocean. Why couldn’t I just stay there forever? A gull called
overhead, beckoning me to join him. The splashing waves calmed my inner rage as they ebbed
and flowed in a hypnotic pattern. A distant moan of a shipping vessel reminded me of our
history. I opened my eyes to see that I was standing alone along miles of sandy beach interlaced
with large rocks and cliffs emblematic of the northern California coast. So beautiful. I stripped
off the rest of my clothes and ran into the ocean.
As soon as I was under the water, I could feel the transition begin. My lower body ached
as the bones adjusted from a life on land to one at sea. Both legs began to fuse together and
work as one. My foot bones elongated while I prepared for the agony. I was accustomed to the
changes now, but it was still a struggle of mind over matter. Breaking through the surface of the
water, I grabbed one last breath before the final jolt of pain ravaged through my body. I bit my
bottom lip and squeezed my eyes shut, willing the moment to be over. At last I felt an electric
tingle move from my hips to my toes as the hardened iridescent, scales appeared on my tail. I
opened my eyes to find that the internal transformation was complete as well. My vision cleared.
My lungs expanded. I could hear for miles. I was free.
So I swam. I swam away from the shore and the house that I lived in. I swam away from
my fears and obligations as though they could disappear with the distance. I would temporarily
forget my responsibilities, my duties, and the argument with my mother. In here, I wasn’t
trapped. The sea was my true home. I was a mermaid and this was my world.

Excerpt 2
My swim home was too quick. Lost in the elation of Brendan’s promise, I thought about
what I could take with me when I left my home. Maybe one suitcase and my iPod; we could
always replace what we couldn’t carry. Would we fly or drive? Where would we go? Brendan
had promised to make all of the necessary arrangements soon, but I didn’t know if I could wait to
hear his plan.
Night was nearly here and the silhouette of my house looked bleak and menacing. When I
reached our backyard stretch of beach, someone was waiting for me. I sighed and picked up my
scattered clothing without acknowledging my guest.
“You are in so much trouble this time,” a whiney, nasally voice taunted.
“Shut up, Marisol and mind your own business.” I walked briskly back to the stairs, trying
to ignore my sister, but she followed closely at my heels.
“I don’t understand what’s wrong with you. This is what we were born to do and Kain is
super rich and totally gorgeous.” She tripped on one of the steps and stumbled into me. I turned
with a glare so evil that she stepped away. “He doesn’t deserve you.”
The words were sharp but I knew that they rang true. Kain didn’t deserve someone who
couldn’t love him. He was too good and too nice. My sister was right, but that didn’t mean I
had to let her know it.
“You don’t even know what you’re talking about Mars,” I snapped at her, using the
childhood nickname she loathed. “Just mind your own business for once and leave me alone!”
Stomping up the stairs was probably a mistake. Although I managed to lose one nagging
voice, two more were waiting for me at the top. I looked into my parents eyes and could see
their growing disappointment. The dark wood deck wrapped entirely around the raised first floor
of our house and was large enough to hold a hundred people. But there were only two of them
standing there now. They leaned against the railing on the far side with my father holding my
mother in front of him in a show of support and unity. I rolled my eyes.
“Told you,” chirped Marisol as she dodged out of the way of my swinging hand.
“Eviana Anne Dumahl. Do not strike your sister.” My father’s harsh command sent chills
through my body. I really hated it when he was this mad at me. “And put some clothes on.”
I was standing before them completely naked and soaking wet. Succumbing to the
grueling glares, I reluctantly pulled on my blouse using my arms to secure it to my body rather
than button it up.
“Where did you go?” my father asked in a lighter tone.
Before I could answer, my mother cut in, “You were with him weren’t you?” She pulled
away from my father’s arms and walked toward me with determination. Her long dark hair
flowed around her perfectly smooth face. The grace and confidence with which she moved still
astounded me.
Without looking into her eyes, I threw back my shoulders and stood my ground. Anything
to defy her.
She literally sniffed me. Her nose moved around my neck, my hair, and even my hands.
There was no way that I could deny who I’d spent the last few hours with, and I wouldn’t try to
“I want to be with him. Not Kain.”
My mother tsked at me in disgust and grabbed my face with her hands. She was slightly
shorter than me, but her domineering personality was still intimidating. Plus she was squeezing
my cheeks pretty hard.
“You will not see that boy again, do you understand? The Matthews have finally agreed to
conduct this marriage and you will respect your duties and your family. This is very important to
our survival. Can you even begin to comprehend what type of message your behavior is
I could see the frustration building in her eyes, and before I realized what was happening,
my tears spilled over. I pushed her hands away and turned to my father.
“Please, dad. Please! Don’t make me do this!” I waved my arm back toward the house.
“Marisol would kill to have the chance to marry Kain and provide him children. Why can’t she
just do it?”
“Oh Eviana, please don’t upset yourself like this.” He glided over and wrapped me in an
embrace. His warm body and soothing voice kept offering false hope.
“Stop babying her, Charles,” my mother snapped. “She is almost eighteen now. It’s about
time she started acting like it.”
Marguerite, my mother and the Dumahl Clan leader, didn’t stop there. “You and I had to
endure our marriage when we were much younger than this.” Turning toward me, she continued,
“I became a leader when I was your age. I survived. Charles and I survived. And so will you.
Stop acting like a spoiled brat and accept your responsibility!”
My mother walked away toward the deck’s edge to regain her composure and my father
sighed. I knew what was coming next.
“Eviana, you must do as you are told. Kain is a nice young man with a good family. And
from what I can see, he is already quite smitten with you.”
I sobbed out of control. I really did hate to disappoint my father and even my mother
sometimes. But this is not the life I wanted. I suddenly realized that I wasn’t crying because I’d
have to marry Kain, I was crying because I knew that I had to run away. There was no other
choice at this point.
Feigning total defeat, I pulled away and looked up at him. His middle-aged face could
pass for someone ten years younger, but the wrinkles around his eyes did little to hide his
distress. I’d probably been the cause of most of those lines.
“When is it?” I asked.
Both of my parents looked at me in shock. They shared a glance between them, no doubt
trying to figure out if this was a trick. My mother replied hesitantly, “The first of the month.”

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About the Author
Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific

experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is

secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in
Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her
childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is
sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural

sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult

urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the
unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or
enjoying a good movie.

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Tour wide giveaway details
One paperback package: All three signed books plus SWAG (US only)
Three ebook packages: All three books in series via coupons (US and international)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Patricia's Particularity said...

The covers alone of this series are screaming for me to read them. I cannot wait to read this series!!

Natasha said...

I agree. They're beautiful!

Denise Z said...

So looking forward to reading these, definitely on the wishlist. Thank you for the excerpts and fun today.

Amber Garr said...

Thank you for being a part of my tour Natasha!!! :)

SandyG265 said...

This sounds like a good series.

Natasha said...

Your welcome Amber!! It's a pleasure to have you!

Evie said...

This series sounds great!
Thanks for the giveaway :)

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