TITLE – Beasthood SERIES – The Hidden Blood Series, #1 AUTHOR – A.Z. Green GENRE – Paranormal romance/ dark fantasy/ new adult PUBLICATION DATE – 17th Feb 2014 LENTH (Pages/# Words) – 390 pages PUBLISHER – KDP Amazon COVER ARTIST – A.Z. Green (the author)
BOOK BLURB / SYNOPSIS –
The bloody, raw meat was tantalizing her; calling to her. She hated it and yearned for it all at once. Stop, she ordered. What are you doing?! So hungryyyyy, snarled a primal voice deep within her. Don’t you dare! she screamed back. But the primal hunger ignored her pleas and took over her body, forcing her rational voice deep within the crevices of her mind.
What would you do if you discovered you weren't human? That you turned into a bloodthirsty monster against your will? What if your instincts, emotions and desires were torn between your own and the dark, dangerous animal lurking inside of you? If it could make you yearn for someone you shouldn't, make you say and act in ways you wouldn't and overwhelm your whole existence? If everything you'd ever known about your life was a lie?
In a world where a deeply hidden community is swathed in mystery, deadly secrets, betrayal and murder, Jaz Barker struggles to fight against the dangerous Beast within her and the emotions and desires it thrusts her way.
When tensions ride high and people she cares about are put in danger, she will have to decide how much of her newly awakened animal-side she's willing to let in.
And if it is worth the risk...
BUY & TBR LINKS
“For the fourth round, the judges have decided that the two opponents must face each other in their Beast form, starting now!” The crowd drowned out his rumbling voice and went manic. Jaz stared in disgusted awe as Kain's body contorted and twisted and crunched until he turned into a Beast. His roars and howls were spine-chilling, sending shivers through every inch of her. But she realized her reaction wasn't because of him. Something was wrong with Nik. “Why isn't he Changing?” Alf barked. “Why the fuck isn't he Changing?!” Jaz gaped at Nik who was standing completely still. Kain's spine cracked and dark brown hair began pushing through his skin, covering his Changing body. His jaw crunched as it lengthened. “He can't Change,” she uttered in a low voice, mostly to herself. The air in her lungs suddenly felt like a ball coated in spikes. “He can't bloody Change! He must be too weak!” She clamped her hands to her mouth just as Kain lunged straight for Nik. Before she knew what she was doing, she jumped forward, tripping over the thigh-high barrier. She felt Alf's hand whip past her, missing a grip on her arm before she saw the sand floor of the arena below her, rushing towards her. She held out her hands just in time to try to soften the fall before she slammed into the ground; the wind was knocked out of her and she grunted. Half the crowd turned in her direction, some pointing at her, the other half who hadn't yet seen her still had their eyes glued to the cage. She cocked her head up, saw the Beast's teeth about to shred Nik's shielding arm to pieces, when her view was blocked by someone's back as they pounded towards the cage. One by one, five more Weres jumped down from behind her, dodging her as they raced towards the metal dome. She stared in bewilderment as two more sprang out from the barrier containing the pulsing crowd on the other side. The increase of Weres on the arena floor caused an uproar in the crowd and Judges Stand. Jaz saw the two cage guards knocked out on the floor just before she felt an arm around her, yanking her to her feet. She wheeled round to face the cold, beautiful eyes of her enemy. “Fraya!” she barked, teeth bared. Njord's note had confirmed the feeling in her gut that the cold-hearted bitch standing in front of her had killed Lora and her unborn child. Jaz wanted to squeeze the life out of her and enjoy watching it. But the guilt-stricken look in Fraya's eyes stopped her. “Need a hand?” Fraya offered. Jaz studied her suspiciously but urgency kicked her into action. She pushed her emotions aside, ignoring Fraya as she bolted across the sand floor, sprinting over and around Weres fighting and throwing punches at each other. She couldn't tell who was with her or against her. She didn't care. She just needed to see if Nik was alive. Beast Kain was roaming around the cage, pacing back and forth. Nik was in the middle still standing and Jaz exhaled with relief. Alf was pushing others back from the cage. The wispy-haired judge was screeching into his microphone, calling for order. It was then that the balls of fire shot out of nowhere. Jaz screamed as one hurled in her direction. Those in front of her path ducked, and she dived to the side just in time. Then there was another from a different direction, coming from her left this time. She ran forward. Then came another, and another all being shot from guns fixed into the stone barrier just below the crowd. Jaz spotted square holes that had been opened for the guns to fire through, before she had to dive again. The heat of the balls turned the arena into Hell itself. She ran towards the cage but was stopped in her path as more fireballs in quicker succession exploded out into the arena. The fireballs bounced off the wall of glass protecting the crowd. Jaz had no idea when or how the glass wall had appeared. As she ducked down on the ground she noticed the balls of fire seemed to purposely miss the cage, aiming only at those who'd disrupted the fight. Some of the people dispersed as quickly as they could. But others weren't so lucky. Jaz cried out when a man next to her, not much older than she was, was hit in the chest by a fireball. He fell back screaming like a banshee. She jumped away, falling onto her butt as she gawked at him. His clothes were melted to his torso and the skin was burnt off like candle wax. He held his burnt flesh, and it was then Jaz saw the enormous hole in his body; his intestines, stomach and liver burnt away; his spine was visible, charcoal black and smoking. She sagged over her bent knees, clutching her stomach as the unbearable stench made her retch. He was gasping as his hands scrambled around his stomach, as if trying to hold himself together. More skin slid away like red-hot melted cheese from his touch. And then he held up his burnt hands screaming because he'd rubbed away the flesh and muscle from them, leaving nothing but charred bone. Then he gurgled as he choked on his own blood, unable to breathe. Jaz sprang to her feet, holding her hand to her mouth. Her eyes widened to saucers when she saw the fireball hurtling towards her. Before she was a human barbecue, someone knocked her down from behind and the fireball flew past her, hitting the wall. She swung round to find Fraya again. She should have shoved Fraya into the path of a fireball but the horror of what she'd seen stupefied her. She peered down at the dying man and saw he was no longer moving. The foul stench and smoke in the air made her cough and her eyes burn. “Go!” Fraya bellowed, shoving her up. Jaz jumped to her feet, avoiding the charred bodies, dodging the one-on-one combats still going on despite the raging fireballs shooting out. She wanted to scream at them to get out of there, but she needed them to be distracted because she knew at least half of them would try and stop her. Fraya was the first to try as she yelled at Jaz to come back, before Jaz pulled open the enormous bolt on the door of the cage and jumped in.
A.Z.Green was born in 1989 and raised in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. She met the love of her life aged 16 and moved to London, finally settling down near Brighton.
She has written various novels and short stories in her lifetime but has only recently decided to publish. She writes a wide range of genres such as dark fantasy, romance, thriller, historical fiction, dystopian, horror and paranormal. Her books tend to fit better into the New Adult genre as they usually have a more mature theme.
Beasthood is her first published novel.
Besides writing she also loves designing blogs, websites, covers for others' books as well as her own and various graphics. She has four blogs/websites and counting. Pinterest and Tumblr keep her busy, as does reading, drawing, painting and watching films. That's if she gets time to do any of these things with a three-year-old jumping around.
When asked in an interview, 'What books have inspired you to write?' she replied, 'I write books I wish existed, not because I'm inspired by a book that already exists.'
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS:
10 ebooks - Beasthood
Jasmine 'Jaz' Barker (Kormak)
She's a complicated one. The name proves that much. Born to Eliza and Thorpe Kormak, adopted by John and Rachel Barker, she is brought up to believe she is human. Then when she's taken to Deer Creek (unwillingly) she discovers she's in fact a Werebeast. A shape-shifter that are their own species, with their own laws and society. She struggles with the changes around her, and within her, fighting like a stubborn mule against her unwanted feelings. After a year of insomnia, haunted by the nightmare of dying in childbirth, her outer shell has hardened. She's sarcastic, stubborn, abrupt, loving, loyal, brave, passionate and persevering. She has feelings for Nik but finds it difficult to express them and continues to deny them to everyone including herself. She has suffered from severe iron-deficiency anaemia most of her life, doesn't like dogs after she was attacked by one, loves horses, children, music and recently developed a fondness for running and kick-boxing.
Nikolas 'Nik' Driver- Pack Leader of Deer Creek
Nik Driver is a strict but nurturing Pack Leader who many admire, respect and look up to. Because of this, he has a lot of enemies who are jealous of his popularity. He became Pack Leader at a young age when his father was murdered. He was a witness to it and has never got over it. It still haunts his dreams.
He has a brother and sister, but treats everyone within his Pack as his own family. He's ruthless at times, but fair and forgiving. It's not very often that he reveals his true emotions -or smiles- and he has impeccable self-control. Around Jaz, however, he is different and allows her to see him for what he is the more he's around her. He was in love and mated with Lora, Jaz's twin sister. Neither Lora nor Nik knew Jaz existed at the time. Lora died in childbirth, losing their son in the process. He vows to avenge her and his son's death, as he knows that it wasn't a natural tragedy.
He's a skillful fighter, an avid reader, farmer and intelligent leader.
Twin sister to Jaz; she was not adopted by the Barker family but was raised by her real parents, Eliza and Thorpe. At around the age of 18, Lora left her parents to visit her wider family in Deer Creek. She met Nik and they fell in love, but not everyone was happy with their romance. She began to suspect something was wrong, and that she was being watched. She died in childbirth, heavily pregnant. The event was witnessed by her sister, Jaz, in spirit as Jaz dreamt it whilst Lora was dying. Their sisterly twin connection is what allows Lora to remain alive through Jaz in some way.
She enjoyed reading, writing (especially in her diary) and the countryside.
Edda is Jaz's carer and mentor. She helps Jaz to overcome her fears and to understand her nature. She watches over her to help Jaz through the Change, which is the term used for shape-shifting. The process to bring on the first Change is excruciating and takes time, causing them to be weakened and sick from the pressure it puts on their body. Edda's job is to care for them during this difficult time. She and Jaz become close through this. Edda has two daughters, Kenna and Kelda, who are close friends of Jaz.
She's direct, unwavering, she keeps her personal life personal, she doesn't let her emotions affect her work and she's loyal to her Pack and family.
Jaz's uncle, brother of Thorpe Kormak, son of Maria Blom-Kormak (Jaz's grandmother). An abrupt, anti-social Were with the flair of making people dislike him. He's good at collecting information and regularly leaves the Pack to conduct missions outside by the order of his Pack Leader, Nik. He pretends to care little about people but proves himself later on to feel the opposite. He cares for Jaz, and his family but puts his duties first; his mind is always prepared for future events that threaten to destroy the Pack.
If Your Book Were Made Into A Movie – What Songs Would Best Fit The Story On The Big Screen?
These little excerpts for the songs are just a hint of when the song would play. Some songs are played more than once, which I've noted. These moments from the book are just to give you an idea of when the songs are used, and why. Enjoy!
Main Theme Song: Daughter-Human
Frightened Rabbit- The Woodpile ~ Chapter 5- Lock: Pg 19-26
She flashed her mum a genuine smile; all traces of bitter resentment vanished as if disintegrated. The smile was only visible to her parents for a few seconds before the car pulled away.
She looked back at them and gave a small wave as she watched them standing on the road. They didn’t wave back. She found that odd.
She felt a pang of guilt for all the times she’d been cold or difficult towards them, especially today. I’ll make it up to them, she thought resolutely. Though she didn’t know how long it would take before she could finally forgive them. She promised herself she’d try at least.
Awolnation- Sail ~ Chapter 21-Build : Pg 122-125
People stopped to see what was going on. A small few continued to cover the equipment and tools, pushing or carrying whatever they could under the shelter. The rest watched with hungry eyes, oblivious to the hammering rain. They were waiting for Fraya's reaction. Jaz noticed Skye had stepped back. It annoyed her, though right then she was too distracted to figure out why.
“You think you can take me on?” Fraya cackled.
Jaz didn't move. She studied the demonic pit bull for a moment and then thought to herself, This isn't you. Walk away, she's not worth it.
“I don't plan to, you're not worth it,” Jaz replied in a low voice, though she still didn't move. Something was holding her there. She began mentally fighting with herself.
Fraya grinned, blood lust in her eyes.
She wants you to fight her. Because she knows she'll kill you. Walk away. Now.
The Fray- You Found Me ~ Chapter 21-Build: Pg 126- 129
She stumbled into the cabin and collapsed on the floor, dripping wet and muddy. She turned over onto her back and suddenly began to spasm out of control. She shrieked, tucking her arms into her chest, trying to stop the shaking. But it was no use. She only got worse.
Her muscles seared and writhed. All her bones felt so compressed by an invisible grip she was sure they'd snap.
The door was wide open and the rain was pounding against the wooden roof and outside on the grass. She focused on a puddle on the ground, trying to work her way through the shakes and the inexplicable pain.
A figure appeared in front of her as it rushed through the door; her eyesight blurred and then refocused.
Edda stood over her, anxiety lining her wet face. “It's okay, Jaz. Your body is preparing for the Change. Don't fight it.”
The sound of a blood-chilling howl as if someone was being tortured, filled the air. Jaz felt the vibrations in her throat and then realized it was hers.
Daughter- Human ~ Chapter 23- Restore: Pg 143
After her body stopped fighting itself like a wild, raging animal, ripping its way through her bones, muscles, organs and skin – a thought that horrified her as it wasn't that far from the reality- she continued to convulse uncontrollably.
Her limbs shook as if she was lying naked in the snow, in the midst of a violent snowstorm, deep in the arctic Alaskan desert. But she was far from freezing. Her body dripped with sweat, causing her to slip around on the wooden floor as her limbs jerked and shivered. Her skin was on fire and bright red as the blood rushed to it.
Lying in bed, she touched her raw throat; her fragile body wrapped in layers of blankets. She now felt severely cold; her body heat spent. Her throat burned. It was so sore from all her wailing and howls. She'd never heard herself make such sounds. They'd barely sounded human.
Rise Against- Give It All ~Chapter 23- Restore: Pg 151-152
“Okay, now hit it as hard as you can,” Carr instructed as he stood on the other side, holding the bag lightly in his garden rake-sized hands.
Jaz fixed her eyes on the bag then flickered a look at him. He told her the correct starting position and when she got it, he nodded his head once. She concentrated on the bag, let out a hard breath and then jabbed. It barely shifted him or the bag. She looked up at him with upturned brows and made a face showing how much she thought that had sucked.
“Again,” he encouraged. There was no sign of teasing or disappointment in his voice.
She hit it again.
She got the idea and began throwing punches with both fists, always keeping her knuckles flush against the bag. Her moves were slow at first and uncertain, and her punches weren't very strong but she was a quick learner and she listened well. She attacked the bag with focused eyes.
Then he began moving the bag around, pushing her to move her feet and jab it from different positions. She'd punch it a few times and then move and punch it again. She did this solid for half an hour until she was panting so hard she thought she'd faint. But to her surprise, she was really enjoying it.
Placebo- Running Up That Hill ~ Chapter 26- Collide: Pg 158
Putting on her headphones of her iPod, she headed out, starting towards the building, turning right where the site used to be, then circling far around it to come back up the long way through the trees. Turning right again so that she passed by her cabin, which she could just make out through the thick curtain of trees, she jogged away from the lake and then uphill through the enormous forest that spread across to the east for miles; until it stopped just before the Log Bridge River. Woodlands bordered the other side, followed by fields of fragrant lavender and bright yellow rapeseed.
She was told to stop when she reached the edge of the first field and then head south-west back towards the main building.
This was her first run and it was tiring as hell. She was breathless but nowhere near as bad as she would have been two weeks ago.
She was jogging three quarters of the way through when she nearly smacked into someone as they ran across her path. She skidded to a halt, losing balance and sliding onto her bum.
The stranger slid to a stop just as he passed her. He whipped his head round to gape down at her. “Oh, I'm so sorry, I wasn't looking,” he panted.
Jaz yanked out her headphones that had Placebo blaring out, tapped off the song and then gazed up to find a very attractive guy smiling down at her, holding out his bronze hand. She blinked and said out of breath, “It's okay. I guess I didn't hear you.” She smiled, her eyes indicating her headphones.
He grinned at her.
Three Days Grace- I Hate Everything About You ~ Chapter 27- Perch: Pg 166-167
Jaz stared at him in disgust. “You're a pig.”
Driver's thick eyebrows shot upwards. “Excuse me?”
She stepped forward so they were close enough to feel each other's body heat. She had to crane her neck back to look him in the face but it didn't get in the way of her willpower. “Scratch that; that's an insult to pigs. You're a monster. This place and it's rules are just backwards and wrong. I don't belong here. I'd rather have fought this whole Change thing out alone, even if it meant death than be anything, anything like you!”
She waited for the backlash but Driver just held still, gazing down at her with his unreadable eyes. Now she was close enough to see the beautiful depth of green that ringed his pupils. She blinked, flustered, suddenly unsure of herself and the conviction in the harsh words she'd just stabbed him with. She then felt guilt and regret creep up her spine but it was too late to take it back.
“If that's what you think...” He said nothing else.
She hated him for not attacking her, snapping, yelling, disagreeing at least! Showing her something other than his cold outer shell. Maybe he's just cold and unfeeling all the way through. She huffed and swivelled on her heel, marching until she was out of his sight before running full pelt through the forest and back towards her cabin.
She didn't realize until she stopped running and her face was burning from the salt of her tears, that she'd been crying.
Shinedown- Sounds Of Madness ~ Chapter 30- Stir: Pg 180-182
“I'll prove what you are,” Fraya growled.
Jaz glowered at her. “You don't know what you're talking about. And if you don't want to find out whether I can rip the skin off your face, I suggest you stay the fuck away from me.”
Fraya grinned. “I guess I could always tell the Curs to pay your folks a visit. And I'm not just talking about your real parents. They'll find out what all of them know. They have very powerful, painful ways of persuasion.”
Jaz felt something inside of her snap and before she could rationalize or prevent what her raw instincts were telling her to do, she slapped Fraya so hard in the face her hand throbbed.
Fraya's head snapped to the right, almost cracking against the wall. She glared at Jaz like a tiger that had been bitch-slapped.
Jaz swallowed a squeak just before Fraya's fist knocked against her face like a boulder. Jaz's head flopped back, hitting against the heavy wooden door. She clutched her throbbing nose with one hand whilst shielding her face with the other.
Fraya lunged at her with both arms; Jaz kicked out, making contact with Fraya's stomach. Fraya wheezed, breathing in sharply and with a growl she grabbed Jaz's shoulders and threw her through the double doors.
Counting Crows- Colorblind ~ Chapter 32- Hurt: Pg 203-205
“You think I'm the bad guy?” she scoffed. “Just because I don't want to be a bloodthirsty monster- and you know what I mean by that, so stop twisting it. You're just angry because you know I'm right and because I keep questioning what you think, or say, is the norm. Whether I'm a Were or some freakish alternative of one, I've had to face the fact that Weres exist and that they roam the woods right outside my bedroom window. That they become crazed creatures, out for blood- whether that's just one Were or all Weres is beside the point. I saw the look in Rufus's eyes: he wanted to eat me alive.
Massive Attack- Angel ~ Chapter 35- Flare: Pg 213-216
The moment Kain mouthed the dreaded command and all the Weres lunged forward towards the river, Skye yelped at Ronnie, “Come here! NOW!”
He jumped up out of his daze and rushed towards her. She grabbed his hand and raced towards the trees.
Kenna's dark, sandy-blonde hair whipped past Jaz's head and before she had time to think about moving her own legs, still in shock, Alf tugged violently on her arm and they were sprinting through the trees.
30 Seconds To Mars- The Kill ~ Chapter 40- Thunder: Pg 259-262
When she looked up, all she could see was a rowdy crowd supported high in something resembling a metal version of a Roman arena, circling a lowered floor in the middle. She scanned around the enormous room in awe and fear.
At the sounds of pained grunts from two men, she looked down towards the middle of the arena. She zoomed in on the half naked bodies and the sweaty, bloody torsos of two opponents fighting violently inside a disturbing metal cage in the shape of a dome; one with dark shoulder-length hair, damp and clinging to his drenched neck and face; the other, his back facing her, standing taller than his opponent and leaner, with a shaven head that was bleeding in several places. She nearly fainted when he turned to reveal his face.
Hoobastank- I Don't Think I Love You ~ Chapter 41- Confess/ Chapter 42- Grieve: Pg 269-272
Jaz didn't look back as she marched away from the corral. The sound of horses neighing in the stables pulled on the strings of her heart. She didn't know why, but the sound always made her want to cry; now more than ever. It was haunting, like the pining of restless spirits from the other world. Now Fraya would be amongst them.
Jaz had only been to the stables once or twice. Now she didn't know if she'd ever be able to go back.
This place would never be the same again.
The Fray- How To Save A Life ~ Chapter 42: Pg 266, Chapter 44-Crawl: Pg 271
Jaz was up early that morning; her bags packed, ready to go.
She embraced Skye, and Ronnie who was much better now. He kissed her cheek and gave her the blue stone he'd found at the river that day. “I like it,” he said, “but it brings back bad memories for me.”
She nodded in understanding.
“Maybe it'll bring good memories for you.”
She smiled, kissed his forehead and held the pebble close to her heart.
“Stay safe, Jaz. Don't forget us,” Skye muttered. She grabbed Jaz, pulling her into a long hug again. “Don't punish yourself,” she whispered. “He doesn't blame you.”
Jaz leant back to look at her, on the verge of tears. She nodded, 'I know,' and moved on to say goodbye to the others.