Sunday, April 19, 2015

Emerged - The Life of Anna Book Tour - Excerpt & Review

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Series: The Life of Anna
Author:  Marissa Honeycutt
Release Date: April 2015
Anna has escaped from Devin. Now she must learn what it is to live without a master. Yet Devin will not let her go so easily, his power depends on what he takes from her.
Will Anna's freedom last? Can she even learn to live as a free woman? Is Devin’s power too great for her to escape?
There is a subculture within our own world that you’ve only heard whispers of. The conspiracy theorists wish they knew Anna’s story. What the conspiracy theorists think they know is only disinformation, put out there to keep them from the real story.
This is not a stand-alone novel. This is the final of five novels that tell Anna’s story.
This book is for grownups. This book is not for people who are easily offended, get nightmares easily, or have difficulty reading books about tough subjects. I do not glorify bad things, but bad things do happen to my poor characters. This is not your typical love story. My heroine does not fall in love and live happily ever after... at least not like the typical heroine. There is a happily ever after, but it is a long, painful journey to that end.
This book will likely offend you. This book might make you cry; it might make you throw up. It is a dark book. As my friend, Heidi, said, “It’s dark. It gets darker. It gets even darker, and then it gets even more darker. And then, just when you think it can’t get any darker, it does.”
But, don’t worry. I take you to the deep end gradually. ;)
There are many sexual situations in this series of books. People die. People get hurt. Things aren’t always truly the way they appear. The antagonist isn’t just a bad guy; he’s EVIL. My heroine’s worldview is skewed; things that may appall you are perfectly normal to her.
Any violence in this book is non-gratuitous and crucial to the plot and character development.
Do not read this if you are under the age of consent in your country. Do not get angry if the subject or actual book upsets you. If you're reading this, you've been warned.

At dinnertime, Anna settled onto the couch with a sandwich she’d bought at a deli on the way home. She was laughing at the sitcom she’d flipped on when there was a knock at the door. She jumped at the sound and cautiously walked to the door and opened it.
“Tommy?” she asked with astonishment.
Tommy grinned sheepishly. “Hey Anna. I just...wanted to see how you were settling in.”
“Oh, well, come on in.” She stepped aside and Tommy walked in and looked around.
“Nice place,” he commented.
“Thanks. I live with Aaron.”
“Yeah.” Tommy nodded. “Is he here?”
She shook her head. “No, he’s flying to the Netherlands. He’ll be back next week.”
Anna looked at his handsome face and smiled tenderly. “How are things with you?”
“Good.” He blew out a breath and shoved his hands into his pockets. “Found out that Kim’s pregnant.”
Anna blinked and tried to ignore the stabbing pain in her heart. “Oh, that’s...that’s great, Tommy.” She smiled weakly. “Are you happy?”
He shrugged. “Yeah. I mean, it’s good. It’s time to start the family. I just....” He sighed. “It’s just weird, knowing I’m gonna be a dad.”
“I bet you’ll be a great dad,” she whispered, struggling to keep her emotions in check.
Tommy stepped closer to her and she could smell his cologne, bringing so many memories to the forefront of her mind. He ran his knuckles gently across her cheek. “I miss you,” he whispered. “It kills me, knowing you’re in the city and...not with me.” He sighed. “I wish I’d waited for you.” His blue eyes filled with emotion as he stared intently into her eyes.
Anna’s lips parted and she trembled at his words. “Me too,” she whispered.
He slowly slid his hands around the back of her head and bent his head down to hers. His lips brushed hers lightly, waiting for permission to kiss her. Anna hesitated. She wanted him to, oh so much, but....
“We shouldn’t,” she said in a hoarse voice as she leaned forward slightly.
His lips enveloped her bottom one gently. “I know.” His tongue traced her bottom lip as his thumb caressed the sensitive spot behind her ear.
“Tommy...,” she whispered, pleading for him to continue; pleading for him to stop. She didn’t know what she wanted.
“Anna....” He stepped even closer and captured her lips with his, holding her head gently with both hands. Her hands slid up his hard chest and over his shoulders. His tongue slipped between her parted lips and past her teeth, stroking, caressing, dancing and taking her breath away. His arms wrapped tightly around her, holding her close.
She clung to him as if he were a life vest in the middle of the ocean. His kisses became more insistent, his embrace, tighter. He slid his hands down her back and pressed his fingers into her ass, her hips against his.
“Tommy,” she moaned softly as she felt him hard against her.
“Where’s your room?” he asked against her lips, his voice husky.
She pointed down the hall and he picked her up and carried her around the corner and to her room, placing her gently on her bed. He stretched out next to her and pulled her close to kiss her again. His kiss was deep, passionate, loving. He caressed her back, her ass, her hips and finally moved his hand up to cup her breast gently. She broke the kiss to gasp as he thumbed her nipple over her cotton camisole. The heat from his hand scorched her skin.
He kissed her neck when she leaned her head back, sucking on the skin above her collarbone. She moaned softly as he kissed her nipple over the soft material and sucked on it through the fabric. It puckered under his skilled mouth and she arched her back to press her breast deeper into his mouth.
She cried out softly as he pulled the camisole away, exposing the sensitive skin and softly bit her now engorged peak. Her hands got lost in his hair as he swirled his tongue around and around, the nipple ring being jostled with the movements.
She caressed his cock over his jeans and he moved his hips in rhythm against her hand.
“Touch me,” he rasped.
Anna quickly unfastened his jeans and wrapped her hand around his cock. She caressed his piercings and smiled at the throbbing hardness. They quickly disposed of their clothing and Anna knelt next to his hips and took him into her mouth, moaning at his taste.
“Oh, God, Anna!” He pulled at her hips and adjusted her legs so that she was straddling his head.
He held her hips and buried his tongue into her swollen pussy. She gasped against his cock as he sucked her clit hard, kneading her ass and brushing his fingers against her asshole.
He knew her body well. Knew how to make her moan and scream in passion. And he did both. She tried to concentrate on his delicious cock, but his tongue lapped at her clit as he sucked on it. She felt herself tingling and then she leaned her head back as her orgasm rushed through her body.
“Tommy!” she cried, trying to pull away, but he held her firm until he sucked every ounce of pleasure out of her.
Tommy pushed her to her side and moved quickly above her, her head at the foot of the bed. In one swift move he was inside her and kissing her. His tongue mimicked the movements of his cock, thrusting slowly in and out. Anna moaned loudly and met his rhythm enthusiastically. His movements were deep and deliberate, making her moan with each deep thrust. Her fingernails dug into his back as she felt another orgasm building.
“God, Anna!” he shouted and cursed as his cock throbbed deep inside her. She followed quickly and her muscles clenched around him.
He held her tightly and kissed her as he softened inside her. He nuzzled her neck and then rolled to his side, stroking her arm as he gazed lovingly into her eyes. “You’re amazing, you know that?”
Anna grinned and turned to face him. “I think you’ve learned some new moves.”
He chuckled. “Maybe.” He kissed her again, sliding his hands down her back and hips. “Perfect. Absolutely perfect.”
She ran her hand slowly over his chest and abs, loving every inch of him. She’d missed him so much.
Music sounded loudly, making them both jump.
“Fuck,” Tommy said, sitting up and reaching for his jeans. He pressed the screen and stood, running his hand through his hair. “Hey, baby,” he said in a gentle tone that wrenched Anna’s heart. “Yeah, just getting some air...yeah...I can do that...okay...yeah, be home you, too.”
Anna sat up and stared at her blanket. His wife. She swallowed back tears and blinked rapidly.
Tommy shrugged his clothes on. “I’m sorry, Anna. I have to get home.”
Anna nodded, but didn’t trust her voice to say anything. He paused after he’d dressed, standing next to the bed.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered. He leaned down to kiss her head and then left the room. She heard the apartment door open and close a moment later and she kept staring at the blanket, trying to understand how she felt. To put words to the pain in her heart.
Used. She felt used. She was a cheap prostitute for him to use and then go home to his wife.
No, Tommy truly cared for her. He helped her escape.
But he had a wife and a child on the way. A family to go home to. Anna was a distraction from his responsibilities.
She rubbed her face. Confusion filled her heart. She’d never felt like this before. Intellectually, she knew she’d been used for years; since Devin first touched her after her parent’s funeral. Maybe even before then. Why did it bother her now?
She was an Elder-Mistress. Her body was to be used as the Elders pleased. She was trained to please their every desire.
Then why did she feel so empty? Was it the illusion of freedom? Was her freedom just an illusion? Or was it real? Did pretending something was true make it true? Was she a prostitute? After all, wasn’t that what they all really were? Slaves. Sex slaves. Unpaid prostitutes.
What was she? Was she a Mistress or a free woman? As an Elder-Mistress, what just happened shouldn’t bother her. As a free woman, what just happened broke her heart. Katrina was the free woman. Anna was the slave. Was she Anna? Or was she Katrina?
Who did she want to be? Did it matter what she wanted? The reality was that she was Anna. Katrina was an illusion to keep Devin from finding her.
Part of her wanted to embrace Katrina. To find out what it was really like to be “free.” But could she? Could she dare try to be something she’d never been before? And what did that mean anyway? Saying no to men? She didn’t know if she could do that.
What did it mean to be free?
The answer eluded her and made her head hurt. She was too tired to think about it right now. She went into her bathroom to take a shower and then watched TV until she couldn’t keep her eyes open and fell asleep on the couch.
Devin stared out the window of his downtown office. Where the hell was Anna? How was she eluding his search? Someone, somewhere, had to know where she was. Someone had to be helping her. There’s no way she could have done this on her own.
Who was helping her? Surely Wilhelm had something to do with this, but his activities showed nothing suspicious.
Damn Ian for his betrayal.
If Anna was hiding, he had to get her to reveal herself. But how? What could compel to her to come out of hiding?

US ~ UK ~ AU ~ CA ~ DE ~ Smashwords

Anna is free, finally free from the evil clutches of Devin Andersen. Thanks to her friends and Willem she is able to begin life anew in New York City. She is dancing and dating, just living. However, dreams of her beloved husband Alex still haunt her. Can Anna move on with her life and let Alex go? Or is there bond too strong to deny? Will she be able to hide from Devin forever, or will he find her and surely make her suffer for her disobedience?

My Review:

It is with a heavy heart that I review this last installment of The Life of Anna. I finished it a bit ago, but have sort of avoided doing my review because it saddens me to say goodbye to this amazing series.

In this final book, Anna has escaped Devin and is living a new life in New York City. Confusion still plagues Anna; she does not know how to live a normal life. Is she a slave? Is she an Elder Mistress? Or is she just a woman? As Anna struggles to acclimate herself to life without Devin’s control, we learn so many new things about her. Anna turns out to be much stronger than we could ever have thought possible. I love when she shows her angry side and we see it quite a few times, god help the person who gets in her way when she’s angry.

Marissa still gives us a dark tale at times, but this last book also ties up Anna’s relationships with the other characters. Like Willem and Kurt, Kurt acts like a jerk to Anna for most of the book and it pained me as much as her when he did. He is not acting like the Kurt we have grown to love, it turned out in the end there was a reason for it all. In the epilogue, Kurt gets his own happy ending, which was nice. Anna and Aaron come to an understanding about their friendship that was heartwarming. Anna makes new friends like Hugo, whom she has a relationship with but he is not her soulmate. I loved Stefanie, she starts not liking Anna but in the end, she becomes one of Anna’s fierce protectors.

Throughout the series, there were very difficult times for Anna but she persevered and managed to find her way in a messed up world. I was ecstatic when my beloved Alex came back; I thought the way Marissa brought him back was perfect. He later explained why he was gone of course; we all knew Devin was behind it. Once Alex returns Anna, has so many mixed emotions and who could blame her she thought he was dead. The fact that this man once so confident in himself and his abilities is reduced to an insecure mess was so sad to read yet necessary. He needed Anna to choose him because she wanted him not because he forced her to as her master. He loved her too much. To me that was the beauty of this love story. He was willing to let her go as much as he loved her if it meant she would be happy. That is love! No matter how much darkness, violence and gruesome moments were in this series for me in the end it was a love story between Anna and Alex. Soulmates who could not be kept apart through all the separations and bad circumstances that happened to them in the end it was their love that prevailed.

Though this installment was not as dark as the other’s it still had its moments. Alex gets his revenge on Devin in a big way, that scene you just have to read to believe. So good.
This series is not for everyone, some of it is very graphic as stated in the warning that comes with each book. For me none of the violence was gratuitous all of it was storyline driven leading up to a great happily ever after though a difficult one to get to. But as promised we got it, great job Marissa.

Other books in the series:
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The Life of Anna, Part 1: Enslaved
Anna's entire life was scripted out before she was born by Devin Andersen, a man who doesn't have her best interests in mind. She is to be a tool in his hands to gain ultimate power in the USA. No, not as the President, but as the man who controls the President.
Raised by an extremely abusive guardian, Anna was molded into the perfect sex slave for Devin's use. Devin will use Anna's unique gifts to control everyone around him and eventually take her gifts for himself.
When Devin took her for himself at the age of twelve, she had a vision of a man. A man who Devin was very interested in. But why? Why would Devin care about a little girl's dreams?
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The Life of Anna, Part 2: Entwined
Anna has two masters, one she hardly knows, but who makes her feel safe, the other she's known all her life and says he needs her.
Alex wants her to be free.
Devin demands her obedience.
As Anna takes her first steps into the world, into love, into friendship, she wonders if she will ever understand either of them.
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The Life of Anna, Part 3: Embraced
Devin has achieved his goal of becoming Chairman and all seems peaceful...until Devin performs an act of cruelty that pushes Anna to fight back for the first time in her life. Meanwhile, Alex is working hard to give her something that Devin can never take away.
As her Masters work around her, Anna must navigate a life she never wanted.
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The Life of Anna, Part 4: Ensnared
Everything Anna cared about is lost; the only thing left is Devin. She gives him all of herself, but even that seems too little.
As Anna realizes the truth of her Master's desire, she must decide what it is that she truly wants.
There is a subculture within our own world that you’ve only heard whispers of. The conspiracy theorists wish they knew Anna’s story. What the conspiracy theorists think they know is only disinformation, put out there to keep them from the real story.
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The Life of Anna: all five books in one ebook

Marissa's story of Anna began with a dream about being kidnapped with Adam Savage from Mythbusters (Yes, really). Over the next year and a half, it morphed into the story that is now known as "The Life of Anna." She has several other stories in progress, one of which is based on her kidnapped dream.
When she's not writing or editing, Marissa is taking care of two young boys, training to be an astronaut, running her household, wrestling with gorillas, playing around on Facebook, promoting whirled peas, and busting her tush for her accounting degree. She enjoys chocolate, air conditioning in the desert's summer heat, really good strawberry margaritas, sleeping, and shopping.
Author Goodreads Page   ~ Twitter: @marihoneycutt ~  Facebook Author Page
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