Sunday, July 16, 2017

First Love (Vampirica, Book 1) by Aria Sparke

Release date: June 12, 2017
Subgenre: Urban fantasy, paranormal romance

About First Love


Lily Winter has never had time for boyfriends. All she has ever wanted is to be a doctor, but her life is unraveling. With the death of her father and her life coming apart at the seams, she and her mother move oceans to the watercolor world of Wicklow. In the midst of her pain, she meets Flynn Cooper—intelligent, handsome and caring. Their attraction to each other soon proves overwhelming and undeniable. Flynn’s wealthy and ancient family hide dark secrets and Lily finds herself ensnared in their strange world. After meeting Flynn’s charismatic and hypnotic father, her life becomes increasingly complicated leaving her to question everything about the universe she held as true. When the Ruberios call upon her to help their family, Lily discovers her decisions can’t be undone, entrapping her in a terrifying web.


In the time it took for one dark revolution around the fiery sun, my life unraveled. Looking back now, I’m sure hell sent those days because there’s no other explanation. I struggle to convey the horror in words because it stole my innocence and undermined my will to go on. Humans aren’t made to endure the depths of that darkness.

My mother, Elise has led a shadowy, half-life since the police arrived on our doormat last year. The doorbell rang at two in the morning followed by muffled voices. Crawling from my bed, I hid in the hallway and watched her open the door. As she crumpled to the ground, a young, red-headed woman tried to help her. I wanted to run to my mother’s side but instead, folded and shrank. Like a hermit crab scurrying into her shell, I hid in my room and closed the door. I’m ashamed of the memory.

After Dad died, Mom and I moved to a town called Wicklow, close to the west coast in the far north where houses are cheap because it’s cold and bleak and rains forever. People don’t rave about Wicklow as a holiday destination because it’s not that kind of town. You stay because you can’t afford to leave. Moving oceans from a beautiful place that overlooked the North Atlantic where I’d learned to read and climb trees was tough. Survival meant leaving the sunshine and memories behind. We dreamed the rain and bracing air would flush away the tears and propel us into a brave new world and hoped to stay afloat with fresh dreams and willpower.

Ever since I was young, I wanted to be a doctor and until Dad’s accident I was making real progress. He encouraged my dreams, all of them, although now they’re vague and indistinct.

The day after he died, I stole his favorite jumper, the ratty, gray one he used for gardening, and kept it, so I could inhale his essence. Lately, I burrow back through my past as far as I can, to squeeze out the tears and bring me closer to him. Every night I imagine his voice and remember a kaleidoscope of images that make me cry. The memories are relentless and infinite. The simple childhood ones are the worst: him reading me stories, teaching me to ride a bike and his awful jokes. But if I don’t ingrain those memories and the pain deeply, I’m afraid I’ll lose him—his smell, sound and form. As for my mother, I don’t know how she’ll live without him.

After Dad died, moving oceans and schools didn’t help and when Mom fell apart in a bad way, she couldn’t work full time anymore. So I managed the housework and paid the bills and although still a teenager, suddenly felt old and burdened. I enrolled for my final semester at the local high school, but like her, I fractured too. Correction, I broke but over time cobbled myself together enough to keep going. I didn’t know any other way. When unwanted emotions reared their snaky heads and poked their way into my mind, twisting and poisoning my thinking, I had to slam them down and refuse them air.

Eventually I worked out we’d hold it together until I got through my last semester of school. We’d survive using the money left over from buying the house in Wicklow. Barely. After that I was on my own. To study medicine, I needed a scholarship, but my mind had turned to mush, so it was going to be a struggle.


About Aria Sparke:

Aria is a fantasy and paranormal author who writes for readers of all ages. Her new series, Vampirica follows the loves and lives of Lily and Avery, brave and beautiful witches. The Vampirica universe overflows with vampires and dhampirs, dangerous and dazzling, who make love and war on shifting nightscapes in North America, Australia and the ancient, Icelandic Galdrar Academy.

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