Tag Archives: southern gothic

Fantasy Panel: Southern YA Authors #Raleigh #FantasyWriters @ErinMFitch @quailridgebooks @Month9Books @LeighStatham @shaila_writes @rrsmythe

Hey Guys!

Fantasy is alive and well in the South. The awesome @quailridgebooks   will host a panel of regional fantasy authors, writing for children and YA audiences. Join us on Saturday, July 15, at 6:30 pm for a look at recent or upcoming releases and to talk about what makes great fantasy. Ya’ll know Southern Gothic is my favorite!

Aspiring writers, bring us your questions!

 

North Hills 4209-100 Lassiter Mill Road RaleighNC 27609

Featuring speakers:

You can find more info about the authors on the Quail Ridge Books website here:

**** Pssst ….  if you’re headed for Raleigh SuperCon that weekend, our booth is No 533.

Can’t wait to see you there!


It’s the THIS ELF WANTS BOOK MONEY December giveaway! #win #yalit #giveaway

Welcome!

All ye who love to read YA, get excited!!

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Thanks for the pretty picture @JennBardsley 

Does your elf love books? Well, guess what! Some of my favorite author-friends have banded together to giveaway a

$175 e-gift card to Barnes & Noble.
Click on a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter.
Would you like to find out more about the awesome authors behind this giveaway?

Jingle on over to their websites …

Jennifer Bardsley

Jennifer DiGiovani

Dorothy Dreyer

Shaila Patel

Melanie McFarlane

Julie Reece

Suzanne VanRooyen

Stephanie Scott

Liza Wiemer

Nicole Conway

Jennifer Anne Davis

Jennifer M. Eaton

bn

 

***Click on a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter!***

Fine Print and stuff:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
1. Promotion Description: The ‘$175 Barnes & Noble Giftcard’ (“Sweepstakes”) begins on 11/28/2016 at 07:00 AM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) and ends on 12/13/2016 at 08:00 AM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) (the “Promotion Period”). By participating in the Sweepstakes, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Jennifer Bardsley (“Sponsor”), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Sweepstakes.
2. Eligibility: Open to legal residents of who are or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, distributors, retailers, sales representatives, advertising and promotion agencies and each of their respective officers, directors and employees (collectively, the “Promotion Entities”), and members of their immediate families and/or persons living in the same household as such persons, are ineligible to enter the Sweepstakes or win a prize.
3. Winner Selection: The winner of the Sweepstakes will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted by 48 hours by Sponsor or its designated representatives, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information on or about 48 hours after the random drawing. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undeliverable may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively “the Prize Claim Documents”). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.
4. Prizes:
– 1 (#) winner(s) will receive [(1) $175 Barnes & Noble e Gift Card ] (approximate retail value or “ARV”: $175 USD)
Only one prize per person and per household will be awarded. Gift cards and gift certificates are subject to the terms and conditions of the issuer. Prizes cannot be transferred, redeemed for cash or substituted by winner. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to award a substitute prize of equal or greater value if a prize described in these Official Rules is unavailable or cannot be awarded, in whole or in part, for any reason. The ARV of the prize represents Sponsor’s good faith determination. That determination is final and binding and cannot be appealed. If the actual value of the prize turns out to be less than the stated ARV, the difference will not be awarded in cash. Sponsor makes no representation or warranty concerning the appearance, safety or performance of any prize awarded. Restrictions, conditions, and limitations may apply. Sponsor will not replace any lost or stolen prize items.

 


Halloween Trick or Treat blog hop! #giveaway #YAlit #win #wobooks

octbookhunt

Welcome to our Trick or Treat Blog Hunt

Hi guys! I’m Julie Reece, your host for this leg of the hunt.

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Tricks can be fun, be TREATS are way better. And this contest gives you a chance to win a ton of treats in the form of signed books, ebooks, candy, book swag and more from 13 authors!! We know…it’s kind of SPOOK-TACULAR!

 

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So how do you snag the loot? It’s simple, and you don’t even have to dress up and walk in the cold door to door to get the goodies.

Rules:

Visit each of the THIRTEEN participating author websites. You will find the name of the candy/treat they are giving away, as well as what BOOK they are offering as part of the PRIZE PACK!  Be sure to write down the name of my treat, you’ll need it later.

When you have collected the names of all 13 author “TREATS”, head on over to complete the Trick or Treat Hunt Page Google Forms doc and enter the correct treat next to the corresponding author name.   

LINK TO GOOGLE FORM: http://bit.ly/2eg4uyo 

 

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So WHAT WILL YOU WIN??

A creepy-awesome black canvas tote bag with a cool skull filled with each of the books noted below as well as bookmarks and other great book swag. You will also win all of the treats that the author’s list on their pages PLUS a bunch of other candy treats all in a black plastic cauldron. You’ll even get the cute little plastic skulls shown in the prize photo.

 

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Have fun reading all about the books each author is giving away in the prize pack, plus any other tricks and treats the authors may have in store for you.

LIST OF PARTICIPATING AUTHORS and their AWESOME BOOKS!

Amy McNulty – NOBODY’S GODDESS (advanced paperback)
Kiran Oliver – DAYBREAK RISING (ebook)
Dorothy Dreyer – SCARE ME TO SLEEP (Kindle ebook)
Jodie Andrefski – THE SOCIETY (signed paperback)
Julia Ember – UNICORN TRACKS (paperback)
Julie Reece – THE ARTISANS (signed paperback)
Nina Rossing – FJORD BLUE (signed paperback)
Pat Edsen – BEYOND YOUR TOUCH
Pintip Dunn – FORGET TOMORROW (signed paperback)
S.A.Larsen – MOTLEY EDUCATION (signed paperback)
Suzanne van Rooyen – OBSCURA BURNING (Releases 11/10 ebook)
Vanessa Barneveld – THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE (Kindle ebook)
Vicki Weavil – FACSIMILE (signed paperback)
Vector raven or crow in grunge style

You can enter for BONUS chances to win via the Rafflecopter found on each author’s website, by doing things like following them on Twitter or following their Goodreads page, or tweeting about the Hunt!

RAFFLECOPTER:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/44c0b6ce8/

 

For my part of the hunt, I am giving away a signed copy of THE ARTISANS
 
 4dcba-theartisans-ebook  as well as a matching post and rack card. I’m also throwing in a box of my favorite Andes Chocolate Mints because, well … they color coordinate with my book, ha ha.
Image result for andes mints candy

Keep hunting people! Muahahaha …

 

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To continue on the hunt, be sure to head on over to S.A. Larsen’s blog:  www.salarsenbooks.com
 motleyedhighres

 Learn more about this awesome writer and her middle grade fantasy adventure that shares magical creatures and Norse Mythology with steampunk elements, and the value of family, as two best friends learn to conquer their fears and believe in something bigger than themselves.

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But before you head out, don’t forget to write down the name of my treat, and enter to win via the rafflecopter link above in this post. Feel free to leave a comment telling me YOUR favorite Halloween treat. Remember, you can tweet daily about the contest for another chance to win.
Happy hunting, and good luck! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

The contest runs from Friday October 28th, 2016 through Midnight, October 31st, 2016 (EST)

Winner will be announced November 1st.

Contest is US only. Thank you for your understanding.

joker-golf-clap

Good luck to everyone who enters, and have a spooky good time playing!

 

 


Eep! THE PALADINS (ARTISANS 2) is out! @Month9Books @chapterxchapter http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CC3C3PM #YAlit

Hey! It’s a great day in the neighborhood because, well, because it is, but also because it’s my book birthday!

I’ve been saying all day that if Alice in Wonderland had a book baby with Labyrinth, and that baby grew up to marry The Walking Dead, you would get something like …

d9feb-thepaladins-ebook

 View the Tour Schedule HERE!

add to goodreads

 

 

The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

– See more at: http://www.theyaclub.com/?p=2888#sthash.Yd3c60JY.wyAkUuex.dpuf

 

Blurb:

The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives…or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?

Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.

The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts.

 

THE ARTISANS was born last May. You can catch up on this story for only .99 cents and the jump into THE PALADINS!!! 

4dcba-theartisans-ebook

Here’s the link … http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UQYA06E

 

Here are  things some really nice people said about the first book … 

“This novel makes the most of gothic elements to create a compulsive read for avid fans of gothic romance.” –School Library Journal

“The Artisans has all the elements I love — spooky intrigue, strong friendships, and a romantic tension to be savored.” –Wendy Higgins, author, Sweet Evil

“THE ARTISANS is a quick and enjoyable read for fans of Marissa Meyer, with an unpretentious narrator and quirky characters.” –Teenreads

“The Artisans was a unique modern day retelling of Beauty and the Beast filled with mystery, romance and wonderful characters.” –Bridget, blogger, Dark Faerie Tales

 

And if you plan to be in Chicago around May 14th, I’d love it if you’d come over and say hello!

BEAJulie

Hope you enjoy the stories. Thanks so much for stopping by … XOXO

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Eep! M9B Friday Reveal: THE PALADINS (THE ARTISANS 2) Cover and Chapter One @Month9Books

Hey everybody!
Today is my reveal day for the cover and first chapter of THE PALADINS,
book 2 in THE ARTISANS Series which releases May 3, 2016!
Be sure to enter the the contest at the bottom of this post to be one of
the first readers to receive an eGalley and an eBook of THE ARTISANS!!


When Month9Books asked me how I liked my cover,
I cheered and said a lot of things like Yeeesssss, and Whoo-hoo, and  then I got it together
and said the following …

 

My respect for cover artists has grown exponentially after entering the world of publishing.

I learned the challenge of a good cover artist is to hint at the story beneath
using a single image. They must create a picture that suggests to perspective
readers what lies within those hundreds of pages—using nothing more than
specific font and a few square inches of graphic design. It seems impossible, yet most of us agree that art evokes emotion. And when I saw my cover, I was overwhelmed.

The Paladins is dark. And this cover is dark.
The story is a Gothic tale, mysterious and eerie. And while parts of this world
are beautiful, beauty is often deceptive. You’re never quite sure if something
lurks in the shadows, where the path you tread is leading, or even if what you
see is real … until it’s too late.

On to the reveal!!!

 
 
Title: THE PALADINS (The Artisans #2)
Author: Julie Reece (That’s me!)
Pub. Date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback and  eBook
Find it: Amazon | B&N | TBD | BAM | Kobo |
 
BLURB:
 The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives…or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?

Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.

The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts.

 
In case you missed it, here’s the redesigned cover for THE ARTISANS!
 
 
Title: THE ARTISANS
Author: Julie Reece (Yup, me again.)
Pub. Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books
Pages: 300
Find it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads
 
BLURB:
They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.

To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.

Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad’s drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.

But Raven’s stepdad’s drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she’s ever known out of jail, or worse.

Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries’ clothing line, signing over her creative rights.

Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can’t imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.
But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?
Excerpt

Prologue The Before

Cole

It’s been four years since I planted the fireworks in Gideon Maddox’s locker that burned a third of his face.

Four years since his father took revenge, trapping me with a spell that kept me prisoner in The Void.

Three months since the magic found me again.

Two months since my parents put me in therapy.

One day since my parents left for Paris on a month long business tour.

This morning, a mysterious girl no one else can see beckoned again from The Void.

Tonight, I’m standing on the balcony of my parent’s palatial home, buying an airline ticket back to the states—back to Maddox mansion—the heart of my nightmares.

People say the more things change the more they stay the same. I hate them for being right. I lived with the monsters in my prison until I thought I might go mad. Repentant of my past, I made peace with my fate, my eternity. Until the day I was freed, because a stranger had the courage to help.

This time someone needs me.

How can I doom a girl to a fate I barely escaped?

There’s only one answer.

I can’t.

Chapter One

Cole

A bottle-green fly hums, rubbing his tiny legs together as though he’s plotting something. The insect seems a dirty ornament on the shiny desk nameplate he sits upon. Gold on gold, the engraved letters read Navin Cahvan M.D. This is the third psychiatrist I’ve met in as many weeks. Part of my mother’s plan to fix me. Jumpy nerves, insomnia, nightmares about demons when I finally do fall sleep—these are her justifications. Everyone tries to shrink me like a cheap T-shirt in the dryer.

The tawny-skinned man across the desk folds his knotted fingers over his belly and stares. Dark eyes track my movements beneath two bushy white eyebrows. “Mr. Wynter?”

Right. He asked a question. The fly hums again, wings fluttering against his hairy back. My head pounds, my clothes scratch, eyes burn, and my ears are raw with the smallest sounds echoing deep inside.

When Dr. Cahvan shifts, the leather seat groans in protest. “I can help you. But you must tell me the truth.”

All I hear is Jack Nicholson screaming the line from A Few Good Men: “You can’t handle the truth!”

“Trust me, Cole. Tell me your secret thoughts.”

Trust you? Sure. I tell you what happened and you lock me away forever on meds that keep me drooling, while I play dominoes with people who see giant, pink rabbits. No thanks.

He leans forward. His fingers thread together as his hands rest on the desktop. He taps his thumbs together. “I assure you this is a safe place. I call it … the circle of trust.”

Give me a break. You want me to tell you how I was a mean, dangerous kid. Confess that because I tormented a crippled boy, his father used a magic camera to trap me in an alternate universe as punishment. Explain how I lived a half-life in the Maddox mansion for four years until Raven Weathersby rescued me. About how much I miss her and think about going back someday … Maybe I am insane.
“Let’s discuss something else.”

I find his suggestion amusing since I’ve barely said ten words in the past hour, and our time is almost up.
The good doctor shifts again. “Instead of talking about the past, why not speak of the present. How are you adjusting to life at home? I understand your parents had a welcome home party when you first arrived. How did that go?”

How do you think? “Swell.” I would have preferred stuffing my hand in a high-speed blender. A hundred people that I hadn’t seen since I was fifteen—and couldn’t care less to see again—showed up to shake my hand and recite all they’d ever read about amnesia, the lie Gideon made up to cover my absence. “I really just need some space.”

“And you got your wish, did you not? I understand your parents left town yesterday. How does being alone again so soon make you feel?”

Incredibly pissed. “They’ve always been busy people. I’m used to them traveling.” But I wasn’t. I thought with all the time apart, my parents might want to stick around a while. Be a family. Nope. Since appearances mean everything, they threw a party right away to show their friends and colleagues how fine I was. The powerful and highly regarded Mr. and Mrs. Wynter pulled out all the stops to prove their love for their long lost son: fine wine, catered dinner, china, crystal, even a string quartet. Yet, my father couldn’t keep the disappointment from his face any more than my mother could drown her misery in vodka.

Perhaps to appease their consciences, my folks hooked me up with doctors and provided for my physical needs before bailing. But a new car and an obscenely padded bank account wasn’t what I needed. So easily brushed aside again, I couldn’t help but wonder if parts of them were relieved when I’d disappeared four years ago.

Dr. Cahvan’s eyes narrow. “So, you remember your life up until your trip to the States?”

“Yes.” I’m lying about my amnesia. I know it. He knows it. So do my parents, but it’s too late to come up with a better story … like being the victim of a cult brainwashing or joining a psychedelic commune. I drank a different brand of Kool-Aid in Sales Hollow, South Carolina, and I can never tell a soul.

The fly zings to the window. I flinch as the buzzing is magnified ten times in my head. It takes all my will not to jump up and smash the bug against the glass. The doctor watches me with sharp eyes trained to interpret body language. I hold his gaze, though my skin breaks out in a sweat. A sudden wind rattles the panes, and I startle.

Cahvan’s mouth crimps at the corners. “Rather breezy today,” he says, glancing out the window at the quiet, blue sky.

Who cares about the weather? I have to give the old guy something before I start whining about magic spells, heightened senses, or worse: how my daddy never loved me.

I blow out a breath. “Look, some things seem familiar, others are confusing. I don’t need a doctor. I need time.” I only meant to throw him a bone so he’d have something to report when my parents call, but my body heats as I talk. Anger, resentment, and fear all claw their way up my throat and charge out of my mouth before I can stop them. “Time I can’t get back where I finish school, date hot girls, and grow up like normal kids do. I’m trying. Doing the best I can, but what I don’t need is to sit in rooms with smug strangers who are paid to dissect my brain over things I can’t explain, and neither of us will ever understand!” I drag my fingers through my shaggy hair. “That time is gone. I’m pissed off, and I guess I’ll be pissed off until I’m not anymore.”

Dr. Cahvan rubs his jaw. “That’s very interesting, Cole.”

My laugh is harsh. Not that any of this is funny. “Is it?”

“Yes. Thank you for your honesty today.” His bushy eyebrows push together. “Thank you for entering the circle of trust and allowing me to help you. Please see my secretary on your way out and make another appointment for next week.”

Seriously? I stand and head for the door. Oh, I’ll see your secretary, all right. I’ll nod as I walk right past her. He didn’t help me. No one can. There are a lot of things I need. But touchy-feely therapy with Doctor Eyebrows isn’t one of them.

***

After the awkward “circle of trust” episode, I can’t decide what to do with myself. I don’t want to be around people, but I don’t want to go home to an empty house either, so I wind up in the rambling cemetery a couple miles from our house.

I like it here and come pretty often just to think. Crumbling grave markers bear witness to France’s rich history, even with the chiseled dates worn and fading with time. Moss, ivy, and ancient trees lend beauty and peace to a place that soothes my soul. I’m not trying to be morbid. I never kept company with the dead. We were the undead, in a non-sparkly kind of way.

I’m not stupid enough to think I’ll discover the meaning of life. I’m just trying to find meaning in mine.

After surviving a half-death, I’ve been given a second chance. Trouble is, I don’t know what to do with it.
The sun is too hot on my back. No sooner does the thought cross my mind, when a friendly breeze tousles my hair like an old friend. I pull my cell from my pocket and stare at Raven’s number. She said to call her anytime, and I do. Gideon said to call her if I wanted my arse kicked. Typical. He’s still that insecure kid deep down. Still trying to prove himself, as he tries to control everyone and everything within his reach, just like his old man taught him.

Should have known something was wrong when I first got the invitation to visit Gideon in America all those years ago. My parents were so happy Maddox Senior wasn’t pressing charges; they actually thought the gesture was an attempt at friendship. Of course, Mum and Dad sent me packing complete with an olive branch in my mouth. That gesture of goodwill got my picture taken and a trip to The Void with a bunch of vengeful old guys from the early nineteen hundreds and a hot blond with twisted taste in men. We spent our days trying to escape that hell. The labyrinth’s ghouls, the surreal existence of consciousness without a physical body, and the constant pain of regret all earmarked a life that wasn’t.

Until her.

My fingers comb the grass at my sides. I close my eyes and feel the day’s warmth on my face, the wind threading through my thin tee. I may look like a freak, but I can’t stop touching everything around me. While I was gone, I missed the sensation of air in my lungs, the taste of coffee, the sweet sensation of a kiss …

My thumb starts dialing Rae’s number.

Cole …

Shite. Here we go again.

Come to me, Cole …

I wonder if I sounded this creepy to Raven when I begged for her help.

Veins at my temples pulse. Leaves shake and laugh in the breeze, the echo reverberating in my head. “Who are you? What do you want with me?” I want to stand, but my limbs weigh a hundred pounds each. My lungs deflate under the crushing pressure, and I struggle to breathe.

The scenery of oaks and elms surrounding the cemetery blur into a muddy gray-green wall, and I know what’s happening. Gravestones push up from the ground like gnashing teeth and recede again until the ground transforms into a smooth, stone floor. The world of pedestrians, car horns, and singing birds around the graveyard fade to a quiet worse than death. My body rejects the idea of gravity. The weightlessness of being sucked back into The Void again invades my person like a virus, spreading into my muscles and bones, my very essence.

I will the door of my mind closed to shut out the transformation. I place a mental shield before the magic so it won’t consume me, but magic has a will of its own. It snakes under the imaginary door I’ve erected in my head, enveloping me. I thrash, but it’s useless. My soundless screaming and mind-withering despair only seems to feed The Void’s strength.

When I open my eyes, the cemetery is gone. I shift on a cold, damp floor, taking in my new surroundings. I’ve seen this place before, several times. The space is a circular stone room with two tall, skinny windows allowing diffused light inside. A bed sits across from me. Downy quilts worn and faded with use cover the straw mattress. On the wall, a huge, gilt-framed mirror reflects the room where a pretty blond sits in a hardback chair. Watching me.

I’m familiar with strange, but not with sad, soul-eating eyes like hers.

When she rises, I feel like I should thank her, because light from the window shows her curves through an ultra-thin nightdress. The sight chokes my airflow for a whole different reason.

ThinkofRaventhinkofRaventhinkofRaven.

I’m so not thinking of Raven. For all my faults, I’m not the cheating type, but I am a guy, and this girl is seriously fit! I want to touch her in the worst way, but I swallow instead. Attempting to be a gentleman, I lift my gaze and focus on the far wall, yet somehow—because I’m still a guy—I end up watching the way her hair hangs in white blond waves to her thighs. Her rosebud mouth opens slightly. Pleading eyes, more silver than blue, threaten to pull me under and drown me. None of this helps curb my impulse to reach for her.

Then I think about how she brought me here against my will, and that helps tamp down the hormones.

Cole.

What do you want?

Can’t you guess?

I can. I pleaded with Raven for the same help not too long ago. Inside The Void, I thought I’d met everyone. The ones that Maddox had imprisoned, and the indigenous inhabitants of the labyrinth. I hadn’t known there were any others.

The drip-drop of a leaky faucet is the only sound as I gather my thoughts. “Who are you? Where are you? I don’t understand what’s happening. Where is this place? Did Gideon put you here?” I rattle off my questions not pausing for a response.

She doesn’t answer. Maybe she can’t.

Wind picks up, whooshing through the hollow room, though the windows are shut. The sound grows, as though someone dropped a microphone in a washing machine. I grit my teeth against the noise. My mind squeezes in the pressurized vacuum.

Cole … She extends a thin, white hand.

I remember Raven. How she fell to her knees on the floor of the mill house when we first met. Pain rips into my psyche, claws at my sanity. The same way I’m sure it did hers.

“I’m sorry. Forgive me, Raven. I didn’t know.”

… My name is Rosamond …

Stone walls smear and fade, the beautiful girl along with them. I can’t breathe. Then, the faint outline of tree tops bleed back into view.

… Rosamond Bryer …

My panting rivals an overheated Saint Bernard. Grass pokes my palms. Rough bark scrapes my spine through my T-shirt. Any trace of the castle turret is erased as the same decrepit cemetery I know solidifies, and the garden is as it was before.

Almost …

I’m leaning against an old tree, yet my cell and sunglasses still lie next to the rose bushes where I was sitting, almost twenty feet away. I have no memory of moving. How did I get way over here?

Both hands plow through my hair with my exhale. What the bloody hell just happened? Am I imagining this? A nightmare left over from the reality of my imprisonment. Or is the girl real? Trapped like I was and waiting for someone with the courage to free her.

Is that someone me? I’ve been a lot of things, but brave isn’t one of them. To help her means going back to the mansion.

No. I definitely do not need this shite. I’m starting over, leaving that life behind. Yet, the haunted expression on the girl’s face tugs at me. Something about her seems familiar. I’m gutted over how she reached for me. Raven doubted, too, but not for long. If the blond is real, then she’s really in trouble. And if she’s really in trouble, what, if anything, are you prepared to do about it, Cole Wynter?

 

Thanks for stopping and happy YA reading!

 Find me here: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive an eBook of THE
ARTISANS and an eGalley of THE PALADINS. International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Giveaway! #T4T THE ARTISANS and THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE NOT SO INNOCUOUS GIRL @Month9Books

Whoo hoo! Look what’s going on at Month9Books today!

My book is paired with the fabulous Leigh Statham’s. (She’s so awesome!)

 

Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday! #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that will tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
And  don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post!!

This week, #T4T presents to you:

 

Title: THE ARTISANS
Author: Julie Reece
Pub. Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books
Pages: 300
They say death can
be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Raven
Weathersby gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving
life in the South Carolina lowlands.
To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning
works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.
Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad’s
drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family
fortune, Gideon Maddox.
But Raven’s stepdad’s drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with
Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in
order to keep the only father she’s ever known out of jail, or worse.
Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his
home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries’ clothing line, signing
over her creative rights.
Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and
Raven can’t imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more
than five minutes.
But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world
believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he
really is?
Praise for THE ARTISANS:
“The Artisans has all the elements I love – spooky intrigue, strong friendships, and
a romantic tension to be savored.”  ~ Wendy Higgins, New York Times
bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy.
“Read The Artisans in the middle of the night with a flashlight if you dare. The perfect
blend of romance and horror with a strong female lead kept me reading through
the night.”~ L.S. Murphy author of PIXELATED Bloomsbury Spark and REAPERJ.
Taylor Publishing
WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
“Wowza!!!!
That book was so freakin’ good! Intense, insane, freaky at parts and sooooo
good! I haven’t had emotions like this about a book in a long time!”~
Mindy Blogger @ Magical Urban Fantasy Reads
“The first
thing I thought when I finished this book was ‘dang, I would love to see this
as a movie’. The Artisans has such an awesome and haunting concept to it plus I
just adore all of the characters.”~Jena Blogger @ Shortie Says
“The
Artisans was a unique modern day retelling of Beauty and the Beast filled with
mystery, romance and wonderful characters. From the first page I was completely
lost in the wonderful setting that Reece created.”~Bridget Blogger @ Dark
Faerie Tales

 

 

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm
until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe,
while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was
magical, but not all.
I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I
spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade
(with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to
read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a
tower, and I won.
Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the
princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win
the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later,
I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and
monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with
my friends.
Then I thought I’d write one down…
Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban
fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances.
I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which
must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to
overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

Title: THE PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE NOT SO INNOCUOUS GIRL
Author: Leigh Statham
Pub. Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 297
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th century French girls
can only dream of: money, designer dresses, suitors and a secure future. Except
she suspects she may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithie in
the family’s steam forge.
When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite
decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love. But the trip proves more
harrowing than she had anticipated, revealing secrets and testing her strength
as well as her heart. Love, adventure and restitution await her in Canada, but
only if she can survive the voyage.
WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
“The writing is solid and the world-building – that
clever combination of historical detail and Ms. Statham’s imagination – is
excellent.”~ The Australia Times Books
“I’d give more than five stars if I could. I’d recommend this to anyone who is a fan of
young adult steampunk, girls who aren’t afraid to wield guns and wear pants in
an age of dresses, adventure, and a dash of romance.” ~Bitches n Prose
“ I ADORED this story, and these characters, and I don’t want to give too much away.
It is all worth stumbling across on your own!
With a cover to drool over, fantastic characters, a simmering romance, awesome
historical settings, and majorly cool steampunk elements, The Perilous Journey
of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl (awesome title) easily captivated me, and now that
it is over I want MORE!” ~ The Best Books Ever
“  I’ve only recently discovered Steampunk, and
every story that I read in this genre makes me love it even more. The Perilous
Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl was such an adventure! This book is
rich in so many things and lacking absolutely nothing.”~ Pretty Little Pages

 

 

Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho, but
found her heart in New York City. She worked as a waitress, maid, artist, math
teacher, nurse, web designer, art director, thirty-foot inflatable pig and mule
wrangler before she settled down in the semi-quiet role of wife, mother and
writer. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, five
chickens and two suspected serial killer cats. If the air is cool and the sun
is just coming up over the horizon, you can find her running the streets of her
small town, plotting her next novel with the sort of intensity that will one
day get her hit by a car.
Connect with the Author: Website |Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
 
 Giveaway Details:

 

3 winners will receive an eBook of THE ARTISANS & THE
PERILOUS JOURNEY OF THE NOT SO INNOCUOUS GIRL. International!

YA Story Sisters Thanksgiving Book Giveaway!!

Hey everyone,

I’ve got some giveaway news to brighten your thanksgiving holiday!

YA Story Sisters Facebook

In honor of Thanksgiving, the YA Story Sisters, a wonderful group of YA authors I’m part of, have banded together to offer the following awesome giveaway! One lucky winner will receive 14 awesome YA titles. Oh yeah!!!

Each of us is giving away our own book as well as a book we’ve read this year that we’re thankful for. I selected The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay as the book I’m thankful for.  This title was given the School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2013), ALA Alex Award (2014), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Fiction (2012)

I loved it so hard and know you will, too!

Enter the Rafflecopter here:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f320127d5/

Or on the lovely T.A. Maclagan’s site here:

http://tamaclagan.com/2015/11/23/thanksgiving-book-giveaway-14-books-up-for-grabs/

 

Click YA Story Sisters to find information on individual authors, lots of news about other contests and events,

and all the great reads these talented ladies produce!

Good luck everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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