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Friday, August 30, 2013

What will you Sacrifice?

I have the honor of kicking of Jessica Fortunato’s blog tour for her long awaited second novel The Sin Collector: Sacrifice. Some of us have been waiting months and months for this. I got the privilege of reading it before it came out. Here’s what I thought:

Blurb: As an immortal Sin Collector, Liliana lead a transient life of solitude for over one-hundred years. 

Now with a growing family, she has found herself liking normalcy and the façade of being human.  However, when old friends begin to turn up dead, it is clear Collectors are not safe.  The battle that Liliana thought she’d won, has only just begun.

She must save herself, her family, and her friends from the Castus, a fanatical group sworn to eradicate her kind. 

As Liliana travels the globe making allies, and discovering secrets, she soon learns that the threat to her safety is closer than she ever thought possible.

Will she be able to fight her fate, or will she succumb to an ancient Castus prophecy?

I have to say I loved it. Liliana has matured quite a bit as she struggles to protect her new family. The focus of the story is less action but I still needed to keep turning the pages. This goes more into the mystery of Liliana’s past and why she has the ability to see auras. However it’s the small tidbits of prophecy that I find really interesting. Julia is a jewel as always and there is a host of new characters that you will come to love. Then there are the tender moments that brought tears to my eyes. I’m not telling. You’ll have to read it and see.

Don’t worry, I have a little glimpse as a treat for you:

“How long will it take to get to the hotel?” I hollered toward the cabin. 

No one was talking, no one was moving.  My blood froze, and I knew, in my gut, something was wrong.

“Please let it be in here.”  I desperately searched through my bag.  There was one rogue blade, it was bigger, harder to throw, but if there were people out there, I couldn’t miss.  Before I could formulate any type of plan, the tiny voice spoke from the other side of the door.

“Hey, LiLi, it’s time to go.” I smiled at myself in the mirror.  She was smart.  No one would dare call me that, not the nickname Billy used.  She was warning me.  That kid could have a pet lion if she wanted when we were through here.

“Coming,” I shouted.  I slid the knife up my sleeve and emerged to find what I’d expected.  Julia was standing in front of the sofa with her hands up.  A man with dark brown hair had a Castus dagger to Olexanders throat.  The cockpit door was open and I could see the small hole in the windshield of the plane where the bullet had entered and killed the pilot.  Yet, the bloodthirsty way this stranger was glaring at Julia is what strengthened my resolve.   It was the worst possible angle.  I didn’t think I could ever hit the man without risking harm to Julia or Olexander.  My blood boiled and each second dragged on.  The man was young and looked cocky and sure of his ability to kill us all.  Believers, true believers, were always dangerous.  They saw no grey, only black and white, good and evil. 

I had to make the choice for her, and I hated myself for it, but I couldn’t think of any other way.  I let the knife slip into my hand just enough for the man to see it.

“I see the knife in your hand devil, drop it on the floor and kick it away.”

The man spit out the words digging the dagger just a bit more into Olexanders throat. 

“You’ll be coming with me when I’m done with these two. Ariadne is just dying to meet you, Liliana.”

“Can I just say goodbye before you kill them?” I asked.

He looked confused by my request, he was not expecting it, but nodded at Julia who was wide-eyed and staring directly at me.

“Put the knife down first,” he spit out. I let the knife drop by my foot.  I looked into Julia’s eyes, hoping beyond hope she was getting this, and I saw the curiosity reflected in them.  She knew this was not me. I would never give up on her.

“I love you Julia and I believe in your abilities.  Every moment we spent together, especially that day in the woods.” As I said the last word I kicked the knife in her direction, she managed to drop down, pick it up, and throw it directly into the man’s left eye in a matter of seconds.  Olexander kneed him in the throat. The man was writhing on the floor in agony. Olexander rushed to us both. 

I threw my arms around Julia, “You’re amazing, you just saved our lives, but there could be more out there.  I need you safe, just for right now, go hide in the bathroom and lock the door until one of us comes for you.” She looked like she wanted to argue, but conceded and ran to the bathroom.

“What now?” I asked Olexander, who blessedly was unharmed.

He bent down holding the dagger over the man’s good eye. 

“How many are with you?” The man smiled and coughed a little, whatever he had heard about Olexander, he wasn’t scared.  Time was of the essence. 

I was seeing red, seeing it everywhere.  My family, attacked and I was having a very bad day to start with. I stalked over to the smiling man and kicked him until he was on his back. He looked at me and for the briefest moment, his smile wavered.  He knew who I was.

“Hold his neck so he can’t scream,” I said to Olexander. I walked around the side of the man and politely asked Olexander to hand me the dagger.  He looked worried, but did as I asked.  He was bleeding, but not so heavily, that he would pass out just yet.  He wanted to scream, but no sound came out.  I lifted the dagger and drove it through the soft spot above his elbow, it was a technique used in knife combat frequently.  It severed the ligaments and tendons, making the arm useless, and normally left the victim to bleed to death.  The man was going into shock so I needed to move fast. 

“You just tried to kill my family, my child, so I’m only going to ask one more time, how many more are out there?” 

He hesitated, clearly hit by the realization that he was in over his head.  My hand still on the dagger added some pressure. 

“Once I take this out you will bleed to death in a matter of moments, and lose consciousness even faster.  If I don’t remove the knife and you get to a hospital, you could have a chance,” I said calmly and rationally.

Olexander slightly loosened his grasp on the man’s neck.  He was trying to speak, and I leaned my head down to hear him whisper.

“Two more,” was all he could say in short gasps.

“Thank you,” I whispered back, and jerked the knife out of his arm.  Blood was everywhere, and he was most certainly dead.  Olexander released his grip and stood stunned. 

“Are there any other weapons we can get to?” I asked him.

“My gun is in my bag,” he said unsteadily.

I grabbed his face and pulled it close to mine.

“It was him or us.  They came to kill, so I chose us.”

This seemed to snap him back to reality. 

“I’ll go out the front, you go out the back,”  he said.

I picked up the bloody dagger and noticed a small tattoo on the man’s forearm. 

“Olexander, wait,” I said.

There was something familiar about the tattoo but I couldn’t place it.  I yanked my phone out of my boot, snapped a picture, and returned it to the pocket. 

“Lily, what the hell are you doing?”

“Tell you later, time to go.”

Quickly I maneuvered my way through the tiny crawl space under the plane meant for baggage.  I saw the first man waiting, gun drawn, by the SUV Olexander had requested be there for our arrival.   It took me only a few seconds to sneak up behind him and slit his throat.  As he dropped, I heard a single gunshot from the front of the plane.  I edged my way around cautiously, and met up with Olexander who grabbed and held on to me tightly.

“I’ll get the bags into the car, get Julia.”

“Disable the GPS in the truck first,” I hollered back to him.

Want more? Excellent! Get The Sin Collector: Sacrifice exclusively on Amazon. Also, Get The Sin Collector: Thomas for free August 30th to September 3rd.

Or you can enter for a chance to win your very on digital copies of the Sin Collector Series.

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About Jessica:

Jessica Fortunato writes a rare combination of Paranormal/ Supernatural/ Religious Literary Fiction.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her family, a clumsy black cat, and year round Halloween decorations.  Rarely seen in direct sunlight, reports of Jessica’s vampirism remain unsubstantiated.

 Jessica says she based the heroine of her book, Liliana, on the many extraordinary women in her life. 

The second book of The Sin Collector Trilogy, Sacrifice, is available now August 30th, 2013. 

She hopes that every person who reads the series finds a bit of themselves in at least one of her characters.

When I asked her what made her want to be a writer, she had this to say:

"Everything I write is a tribute to my Grandma, who taught me from a young age the pure magic that can always be found in a book."

Before I concluded the interview, I simply had to ask her the question she imposes on all her readers. What was your first sin?

"That question literally made me laugh out loud," Jessica says, "I guess my first sin was an act of thievery at the impressionable age of six.  I stole a handful of Swedish fish candies from the small store up the street.  I suppose ever since then you could say the sins just keep piling up."


  1. I've had The Sin Collector on my Kindle for a while now. I really need to find the time to read it one of these days!

  2. Great post Noree! These are great books and Jessica is a fantastic writer!

  3. "... reports of Jessica’s vampirism remain unsubstantiated."
    Then she's good at the game, isn't she? ;D