January 14, 2014

Book Tour ~ Revival by Jena Leigh (Book Spotlight + Sneak Peek + Dream Cast)

Revival (The Variant Series, #1)
Author: Jena Leigh
Check out on Goodreads!
Purchase on Barnes & Noble and Amazon!

Possessing the uncanny ability to fry a television set from twenty paces can really wreck a girl’s social life.

If you’re looking for proof, just ask sixteen-year-old Alexandra Parker. After catching her boyfriend in the arms of the prettiest girl in school, she made the journey from social elite to social pariah in a haze of electricity and exploding electronics. But finding herself at the bottom of Bay View High’s social hierarchy was nothing compared to the shock of discovering who—and what—she really is.

After being zapped out of a burning bookstore by the mysterious Declan—a hero nearly as handsome as he is infuriating—Alex finds herself under the protection of the powerful Grayson family. It’s through them that she learns the truth: that the world she’s always known is nothing like it appears to be... and that she has far more in common with them than she might want to believe.

Now, on the run from a fire-wielding hit man and a secretive government organization, Alex must navigate a strange and treacherous new world filled with superhuman mutants known as Variants. As she begins to unravel the many secrets of her family’s past, she uncovers the real reason for her parents’ death twelve years earlier—and finds out that the threat to her family, and to everyone she cares about, is still dangerously real.

The fire swept toward her as if it had a mind of its own, a sentient being driven by a single goal: to consume her.

Alex reached the end of the row of books and turned left, the fire spreading, following, taking the corner and closing fast, licking at her heels as she ran along the bookstore’s inside wall.

The only exit she knew of was at the front of the building, the area surrounding it now a veritable inferno. In desperation, she fled to the rear of the building, hoping to find another way out.

A putrid gray smoke had thickened the air inside the shop, stinging her throat as it filled her lungs. The threat of asphyxiation now seemed as imminent as the flames trailing only a few feet away.

Reaching the back corner, Alex spotted a door leading to the shop’s storeroom. She tried the handle with no luck, finally kicking the base of it in desperation.

Taking as many steps back toward the flames as she dared, Alex got up a running start and slammed her shoulder into the very center of the wood.

A blinding pain rocketed through her arm, spreading from the base of her neck to the very tips of her fingers. With a yelp, Alex bounced off the heavy door and fell to her knees before it.

The door was locked tight. It wasn’t going to budge.

She looked to her left. Her only other option was a spiral staircase leading to the upper balcony. The second tier of the store offered more walls lined with books, but no visible exit.

Alex got to her feet. The glass-paneled bookcases set against the nearby walls were already alight. Soon even the staircase wouldn’t be an option.

Realizing that the approaching flames had effectively made the decision for her, she started up the stairs, the handrails already hot to the touch.

Alex risked a glance upward and her heart sank at the sight of what awaited her at the top of the stairs.

Dirty blonde hair. Hazel eyes. Gray military-style jacket.

She came up short, four steps from the landing.
The look on his face held just a hint of amusement. “Well?” He offered her his hand. “You coming?”

She hesitated, weighing her options. Risk running back down the flaming aisles to find another exit? Or trust the guy who’d been stalking her all afternoon?

The fire had spread to the nearby shelves. The heat was growing unbearable.

“You cut me deep,” he said. “You’d actually choose a fiery death over the prospect of my company. I have to admit, that stings a bit.”

She didn’t move.

His expression grew serious. “Trust me, Alex.”

Still uncertain, but more fearful of the flames than of the stranger before her, she took his outstretched hand—and very nearly dropped it in surprise. The sensation was… electric.

Literally. There was an actual, live current passing between their joined hands.

The flames were closing in.

Dismissing the odd sensation, she gripped his hand tightly and climbed the remaining steps.

Upon reaching the landing, Alex looked quickly for the exit through which the stranger must have arrived… and found nothing. How had he gotten there?

Alex came to a stop before him and tried to pull her hand from his. He wasn’t letting go.

“Ready?” he asked. The self-assured smile he’d worn earlier was once again firmly in place.

“For what?” she choked out, the mixture of heavy smoke and utter panic causing her throat to tighten. “There’s no door!”

“Door?” The smile grew wider. “Who said anything about using a door?”

Alex opened her mouth to reply—and instantly wished she hadn’t.

Before she could form a word in protest, the world around them had fallen away. The sound of thunder roared in her ears as a sudden change in pressure knocked the air from her lungs and forced her eyes closed.

Just when she felt certain that her body would soon do the impossible and turn itself inside out, it was over.

The pressure was gone… and she was falling.

Alex’s eyes burst open. She was eye level with the treetops and falling fast, heading straight for a dark body of water that stretched out below her.

A cry of surprise slipped from her throat.

The grip on her hand tightened.

Alex caught one last glimpse of her savior as they broke the surface of the water. He was still smiling.


Not long after I started writing Revival, I began dreaming up the perfect cast for the book. Even back then, I found myself selecting actors and actresses who were already too old to play the parts. (It was often because I’d watched them in a years-old movie or TV show and thought to myself, “They’d make for a perfect ___!”… And then the mental image of the character stuck.)
So as you read through my dream casting for the book, keep an open mind and use a bit of imagination where necessary—and then dream up your own perfect cast for the Variant Series and post your suggestions in the comments! I’d love to know how readers imagine the characters to look!

Alex Parker – ?

Alex is the only character in the novel I don’t have an actress in mind for! I describe her appearance at different points in the series, of course, but I’d rather leave her potential casting up to the reader. She looks different to everyone, and I’d like to leave her without a fixed image. This way, Alex will always be whoever you’d like her to be!

Declan O’ConnellGarrett Hedlund

From the very beginning, Declan (in my head) has had the voice and the face (and the hair) of Garrett Hedlund. The scruff, that rumbling voice, his always-perfectly-tousled hair—Garrett will forever be my dream version of Declan.

Nathaniel PalladinoSteven Strait 

Just like Garrett Hedlund will always play the role of the Declan in my mind, Steven Strait will always be the face of Nathaniel. He was one of the few characters whose appearance I knew by heart before I even knew anything about the character’s personality. 

Kenzie O’ConnellAllison Scagliotti

When I first saw Allison playing the role of Claudia on the Syfy show Warehouse 13, I had one of those surreal oh-my-god-she’s-real moments and spent half of the episode just staring at her in awe. With that short red bob and her ample supply of sarcasm, watching Allison play Claudia was a bit like watching Kenzie come to life, right there on my TV. 

John GraysonLiam Neeson

An early forties Liam Neeson will always be my ideal image of the Grayson patriarch. A little gruff, but always intelligent and calculating, Neeson could portray the commanding presence of John Grayson perfectly.

Cassie HarperDakota Fanning

One of the more recent dream castings I’ve made! For ages, I struggled to come up with an actress who could successfully capture Cassie’s look, while also exuding the epic levels of sass required to play the role. Dakota’s definitely high up on that list of potentials!

Aiden O’ConnellTaylor Kitsch

Ah, Taylor Kitsch during his Friday Night Lights days. The image of him in a beat-up truck was what inspired me to include Norma Jean in the story. After that, Aiden was always Taylor, to me.

Carson BrandtRobert Carlyle

Or, more specifically, Robert Carlyle’s character Nicholas Rush on the Syfy show Stargate Universe. Not sure what it is about the Syfy channel, but it seems to be an excellent place to watch my characters magically come to life on the screen. The character of Rush matches Brandt in physical appearance (right down to his style of dress), and possesses the same bad attitude and dubious moral code. In my mind, Robert would be able to play the role perfectly.

There are plenty of other characters in the Variant series still to be added to this dream cast, but I’ll leave the rest up to the readers! Who would you like to see play these characters on the big screen one day?

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, Jena Leigh spent ten years in the mountains of North Carolina before returning home to the lightning capital of North America. A shameless geek, she loves bad sci-fi movies, Skittles, writing cracktastic e-mails to friends and taking shenanigan-filled road trips to faraway concerts. She has a degree in English from Appalachian State University. REVIVAL is her first novel.


**MUST be 13 or older to enter**

**Winners have 48 hours to respond before new winners are chosen**

*ONE winner will receive a SIGNED hardcopy of REVIVAL and RESISTANCE
(Be aware you will have to wait for the second book until it is published in FEB)**

**FIVE winners will be chosen to win e-copies of REVIVAL and RESISTANCE (Be aware you will have to wait for the second book until it is published in FEB)**
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  1. Thank you so much, Cath, for hosting the tour and helping to support the author! We very much appreciate it! God Bless! ~Annabell + Bridget from TeamNerd Reviews

  2. Hi, Cath! Thank you so much for being a part of the Revival Blog Tour and for posting this guest post and sneak peak of Revival!! I appreciate the support! :)


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