Tag Archives: teen fiction

M9B Friday Reveal: TRIUMPH OF CHAOS Cover and Chapter 1 by @Jen_McConnel

 

Whoo hoo! I’m so exited because pub sister Jen McConnel and Month9Books are
revealing the cover and first chapter for TRIUMPH OF CHAOS the final book in
the Red Magic Series, which releases March 8, 2016! Check out the gorgeous
cover, and don’t forget to enter to win the complete eBook series on the link at the end of the post!!



A quick note from the author:

I can’t tell you how bittersweet it is to see the cover for Triumph of Chaos.
In a few weeks, the Red Magic series will be entirely in your hands, and while
it’s hard to let these characters go, I’m thrilled that you’ll be able to
follow Darlena as her journey culminates in Triumph. The cover is a perfect way
to wrap up this trilogy, and I hope you love it (and the story!) as much as I
do. Red Magic has been a part of my life for five years, and of all the
characters I’ve created, Darlena feels the most familiar, the most real to me.
I can’t wait for the last installment of her story to be out in the world!
On to the reveal! 
 
 
Title: TRIUMPH OF CHAOS
Author: Jen McConnel
Pub. Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon| B&N| Goodreads
After the disaster in Europe, Darlena’s
starting to get desperate. She knows the only way to defeat Hecate and the
other crazy Red Gods is by banding together with other Witches, but is it any
wonder she has a hard time trusting them?
With Izzy’s support, Darlena begins
making fragile strides toward repairing the mess she made, but she just can’t
catch a break. As chaos runs rampant around her, Darlena begins to think that
things would be better if she’d never become a Red Witch in the first place.
But there’s no way to change the past…is there?

 

The final book in the Red Magic series brings Darlena face to face with impossible odds, and a terrifying choice.

 

Exclusive Excerpt

Chapter one

For months, I thought I’d killed my best friend.

Now I sort of wish I had.

What kind of person does that make me?
Justin had once told me that I’d go crazy if I tried to decide who should live or die, but I kept thinking that if I’d been able to make that kind of choice in the first place, none of this would have happened. If Rochelle had really died on that rooftop last fall, then the world wouldn’t be falling apart, and I wouldn’t be to blame.

Sometimes, it sucks to be a Witch.

I used to scoff at people who preached about the end of the world, but ever since Marcus, I hadn’t been able to laugh off the sandwich-board crazies popping up everywhere. Maybe it would have been funny if I didn’t know the truth.

The world was ending. Or at least it would be if I couldn’t stop it.

Sulking, I followed my parents into our favorite breakfast place. They didn’t seem to notice the group of people standing on the corner holding signs that promised the end was nigh.

“Phew,” Mom said, pulling off her light-blue cardigan. “Summer will be here before we know it!”

A waitress bustled over, handing out menus and smiling at us. “Feels to me like summer’s already started!”

“Weather like this is exactly why people need to pay attention to global warming. I’ll have a sweet tea, and the breakfast special,” my dad added, settling back into his chair without glancing at the menu.

The waitress scribbled on a notepad. “I don’t know about all that, but eighty degrees in March is odd, even for North Carolina!”

Mom nodded, shooting a look in my direction. “We just have to stay cool and try not to think about what July will be like.”

After the waitress had taken our orders and moved on, I leaned forward. “You don’t think this heat has anything to do with … ” I gestured helplessly.

Mom shook her head. “Not something we should talk about here.”

Dad snorted, and I heard him mutter, “Not something we should talk about, period.”

My stomach clenched, and I stared at my hands, trying to pretend I hadn’t heard him. Ever since I got back from Scotland in January, my parents had kept me at arm’s length. Well, not Mom as much, but even she was more reserved than usual. My father seemed to want to pretend that I didn’t exist.

I had thought I’d only been away for a month, but the trip had actually taken over a year. I’d ended up in the Celtic Underworld, and time runs differently in Underworlds; I should have remembered that. While I’d been there, Rochelle had glamoured herself and pretended to be me. My parents said they believed I was who I said I was, but there was an edge to our relationship that hadn’t been there before.

It probably didn’t help that I had participated in what had become the biggest nuclear disaster in the history of the world.

Mom and Dad are both Green Witches, hippie-dippie earth-loving types, and they seemed to take it personally that their daughter had so thoughtlessly damaged the earth. To be fair, I had thought what Marcus and I did could be fixed, but that’s beside the point. My parents seemed to think the fact that I had messed with nuclear power at all was an intentional act of rebellion. It made talking to them nearly impossible, but I kept trying. Whether they liked it or not, I needed their help to fix the mess I’d made of things.

“So,” I began, forcing myself to sound cheerful, “what are you guys going to do this weekend?”

Dad muttered something about saving the world, but Mom shot him a dark look. “I might work in the garden.” She hesitated. “Did you want to help?”

Before I could answer, Dad butted in. “Lena doesn’t exactly have a green thumb.”

His words stung, but he was right—my gift seemed to be destruction, not growth. I tried to shrug it off. “I can help, if you want.”

Mom smiled, and for a moment, I could almost forget about everything that had happened, but by the time the food came, the familiar knot was back in my stomach, and I picked at my pancakes without enthusiasm. It had been hard for me to eat ever since Marcus died.

Marcus had been another Red Witch, like me. He was a little older than me and hard as granite. He’d been trained by his patron, the goddess Cerridwyn, and she had shown him how to use his magic by subjecting him to countless battles and acts of brutality. I’d never known anyone as powerful or frightening, and I had killed him.

Well, not directly. I released this crazy god of chaos, Loki, and Loki was the one who instigated Marcus’s death. But it still felt like the guilt rested solely on my shoulders: if I hadn’t listened to any of the Red gods, maybe Marcus would still be alive, and then I could figure out if I hated him or was in love with him. Yeah, I’m not messed up at all, I thought sourly.

“How’s breakfast?” Mom interrupted my thoughts, staring pointedly at my plate.

I looked down, surprised. I had eaten everything in front of me, and it even looked like I’d licked the plate clean. I didn’t remember taking a single bite. “Um. Good,” I lied. “What about you?”

She shrugged. “The toast was a bit dry, but the omelet was good.”

I nodded, struggling to make small talk. Before I could think of anything else to say, someone cranked up the volume on the TV suspended over the doorway.

“Europe is still in a state of chaos as leaders scramble to secure the countryside of France. Meanwhile, the president is preparing for a visit to Germany to discuss nuclear energy. It is assumed that he will push for stricter safety regulations.” The reporter read the teleprompter with no emotion, clearly unaware of the effect his words were having on my family.

Dad slurped his sweet tea loudly. “I thought you said you were working on it.”

I shrugged, but I felt my hands starting to shake. “I’m trying. There’s not a lot I can do, remember? It’s not my territory.” If I didn’t get a grip on myself, I knew I’d light up like a sparkler in a minute.

“You should have thought of that before.”

“Richard.” My mom’s voice was low with warning. “This is not the place.”

He glared at me. “Fine. But she needs to think about the consequences of her actions.”

I met his gaze, furious. “Believe me. That’s all I’ve been doing lately.” A burst of Red energy crackled on my skin, and I gritted my teeth, pulling the power back inside.

Dad snorted, oblivious, and Mom flagged down the waitress for the bill. When my arms stopped sparking, I stood up and headed for the door. Neither of them asked where I was going, but I didn’t care.

I marched up to the apocalyptic group, still chanting on the corner. “Give me one,” I said, sticking my hand out for a flier.

An older man with gray hair and a sagging chin frowned at me. “There isn’t much time left.” He handed me a flier solemnly. “Repent now, before it’s too late.”

“It’s already too late.” I pretended not to notice the fearful look he shot me as I sat down on the curb, skimming the paper. It was the same old religious drivel, talking about Armageddon and God. According to this group, the only way to escape the coming end times was to give up worldly goods and join them in their quest to spread the truth.

I crumpled the flier in disgust. It had been foolish of me to expect Nons to have a solution, but I couldn’t stop hoping that they might know more than they let on. Evidently, that group didn’t. What am I going to do? Resisting the urge to bury my head in my hands and sob, I slapped the hot pavement underneath me instead. Cracks shot through the sidewalk, like ice, and someone in the little group on the corner shrieked. Good. You should be afraid. I glared at them, and one by one they picked up their signs and crossed the street.

When my parents finally walked by me, I stood without a word and followed them to our Subaru parked at the curb. The seatbelt buckle burned my fingers, but I barely noticed. The heat was miserable, but something about it made me feel powerful, too. I almost laughed at that thought. Powerful and destructive. Red magic was linked to fire, something I’d learned firsthand after meeting Loki. It’s no wonder the hot weather is winding me up. I glanced up at the front seat, wondering if I should tell my parents how close to exploding I’d come that morning, but then I shook my head.

We drove home in silence, even though I knew the storm would have to break sometime.

A few blocks from our house, my phone buzzed insistently in my pocket, and I looked at the screen. My throat clenched. Justin. My ex had been trying to get me to sit down and talk with him ever since I came back, but I hadn’t felt up to it. I didn’t know what to say to him about Loki and Rochelle, and I couldn’t even imagine telling him about Marcus. So, yeah, I met the other Red Witch, and we sort of made out, but now he’s dead, so we can get back to normal, right? Still, talking to him would be a break from not talking to my parents. Anything was better than that.

“Mom,” I leaned forward, tapping her on the shoulder, “could you drop me off at Justin’s house?”

She hesitated, glancing at Dad, but he didn’t act like he’d heard my question. Finally, Mom nodded. “I suppose. But be home in time for dinner.” Her eyes flicked quickly to the rearview mirror, and I heard her unspoken thought: sooner or later, we’d have to deal with all this.

“Thanks.” I hopped out of the car as soon as we pulled up in front of Justin’s house. He only lived a few blocks away from us; I could have just walked over once we got home. But for some reason, now that I’d decided to see him, I couldn’t wait a minute longer.

He was sitting on the sidewalk in front of his house. His shoulders looked a little wider, and maybe his hair was shorter than I remembered, but nothing else about Justin had really changed. He was still the first boy I’d ever loved, and the poor guy had been the recipient of my disastrous attempts at love magic twice. And he’d spent a year with the fake me. My stomach clenched.

I had no idea what had happened between him and Rochelle while I was gone, but I had a feeling whatever it was would be more than I could handle. That was only one of the reasons I had been avoiding him: the whole Marcus situation had been holding me back, too. I tried to push the other Red Witch out of my head when I saw Justin.

He stood up and smiled his heart-melting smile, and just like that, it was like I’d never been gone. Without thinking, I threw my arms around his neck. He embraced me, and it felt good to just stand there, safe in his familiar arms. Tingles raced up my spine, and I shivered in pleasure. It wasn’t the same electric shock I’d gotten whenever I touched Marcus, but I still leaned into his body, enjoying the sensation.

“That’s quite a hello.” He chuckled, letting me go, and I tugged on the bottom of my T-shirt, not meeting his eyes. Maybe I still wasn’t ready to be around him.

I cleared my throat, preparing to tell him everything. “I’ve been gone a long time.”

He nodded. “I know.”

Startled by his serious tone, I looked at him closely. “What do you know?”

Instead of answering, he silently opened the front door. He led me up to his bedroom, and then warded the door behind us. “I know that you were gone for over a year.”

If I had been sitting down, I would have fallen off the chair. Instead, I lowered myself shakily to perch on the corner of his desk. “How long have you known?”

“Lena, come on. Do you really think I can’t tell the difference between the real you and a glamour?”

I blushed, thinking about the glamour Aphrodite had taught me to weave. Justin had been fooled by that for a few days, but there was no way I was going to bring that up. “My parents didn’t know.”

He shrugged. “They probably expect you to be different all the time. We’re teenagers, right?”

I laughed weakly. “So you knew this whole time. But I thought—” I broke off, remembering something Mom had said over the phone while I’d been gone.

“I kept hanging out with her. I mean you. I didn’t know who it was, and I didn’t want to do anything to make your parents suspicious. But nothing happened.” He spread his palms wide. “I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you.”

So you got back together with the fake me, but you didn’t do anything? I looked at him, wanting desperately to believe what he said. “It was Rochelle.”

He stared at me as if I’d slapped him. “I thought she was dead.”

“So did I. But I didn’t kill her, I guess, and she glamoured herself to look like me to take revenge.” I forced a laugh, trying not to imagine Rochelle making out with Justin. “I’m actually surprised she didn’t hurt you. She’s always hated you, you know.”

His brown eyes were full of concern. “How did you get rid of her?”

“My friend Izzy helped me.” I kept my words short, hoping he wouldn’t ask me any questions about Izzy. Talking about her would lead to talking about Marcus, and I wasn’t sure I could do that yet.

Justin closed his eyes, pressing his fingertips to his forehead in concentration. “How has she gained so much power? Black magic is strong, but this is ridiculous.”

I took a deep a breath. We’d gotten there quicker than I’d hoped, but I couldn’t lie to him. I could never lie to Justin, but that didn’t mean I had to tell him everything. I measured my words carefully. “Another Red died, and Rochelle took his place.”

Justin opened his mouth, and I shook my head.

“It’s complicated. But Rochelle is a Red Witch now.” I took a deep breath. “And it’s even worse than that. While I was gone, I found out what Hecate wants.”

I told Justin what I could, haltingly, doing my best to leave out Marcus while telling him about Hecate’s plan to remake the world. Finally, with shaking hands, I told him about Loki.

“So now the worst of the Red gods is free again, and between him and Hecate, the world could end at any time.” I swallowed the lump in my throat and tried to sound matter-of-fact. “Rochelle controls a third of the world, and if you’ve been watching the news, this hasn’t been a good few months for Europe.” I held up my hands helplessly. “I just don’t know how to stop any of it.”

Justin didn’t say anything for a minute. I watched him nervously, waiting for the cold glances and accusations that I’d gotten used to from my parents, but he didn’t tell me I was a monster. He studied me, and then he sat down on his desk chair and reached for my hands. Smoothly, he pulled me into his lap, one arm circling me firmly for support, and I leaned against him, surprised at how easy it was to be so close. “You said your friend Izzy helped you stop Rochelle. So maybe it’s a question of working together.”

I nodded, relieved that he wasn’t asking any questions yet, and I tried to think straight. It wasn’t easy with his breath tickling my ear. “Did you know that there are six types of magic?”

He looked at me as if I’d grown wings. “There’s White, Black, and Green. And of course, Red.” He squeezed me gently when he said that, and my heart began to speed up.

I shook my head, trying to focus. “For some reason, when magic came to America, part of it was left behind. There’s also Blue and Yellow; my friend Izzy is a Blue Witch.”

Justin paused for a moment, digesting what I’d said. “Why wouldn’t they teach us that?” He rested his chin on my shoulder, and I shivered at the contact.

“I don’t know.” I wanted to lose myself in the simple sensation of being pressed against Justin, but finally I leaned away from him, still perched on his knees. “I have a lot of questions, and I don’t know where to start. But the important thing is the six magics. Together, they’re balanced. Green is earth magic, Blue controls water, Yellow is for air, and Red is for fire. And White and Black are the balance of spirit.” I twisted around, watching his face. “If we can balance the paths, maybe all six together is more powerful than any Red Witch.”

“Or the Red gods.” Justin spoke without inflection, and I watched him nervously.

“If we could form a group, a Coven—”

He stood up abruptly, dropping me onto the chair. “What kind of crap did you get into over there?”

I hopped out of the chair, clenching my fists. “It isn’t crap! I met a Coven there, and Izzy and I think that might be our only option.” I could feel the swirl of Red energy pulsing through my hands, but I struggled to control it.

His lips parted in surprise. “Covens are things in horror movies, Darlena! And besides, how could Witches of such different paths work together? It would all turn into chaos.”

“No,” I said tightly. “This is our only chance to stop chaos.”

He shook his head. “Look, I want to help you. You know that.” His eyes searched mine. “But you’ve changed since you came back. I can’t,” he paused, taking a deep breath, “I can’t tell what it is, but it’s as if you’re somebody else.” He stared at me for a long moment. “Maybe I just got used to the way Rochelle felt.”

I reeled as if he’d slapped me. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

He held up his hands quickly. “You were gone for over a year. I knew that she wasn’t you, but I still spent a lot of time with her. I got used to the way her energy felt. Yours feels—well, it isn’t the way I remember it.”

I glared at him, fighting the urge to kiss him and show him I was exactly the girl he remembered. Instead, I gritted my teeth. “People change. That’s part of life.”

Justin shook his head. “But are you sure you’ve changed for the good?”

 






About Jen:

 

Jen McConnel first began writing poetryas a child.
Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and
journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the
people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).
She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA),
and a proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.
A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina.
She’s a graduate of Western Michigan University, and she also earned her MS in Library Science
at Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
When she isn’t crafting worlds offiction, she teaches writing composition at a
community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher,
 a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.
Follow Jen on Twitter @Jen_McConnel, and
visit www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.
Author
Links:  
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


 

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive the all 3 Red Magic eBooks. International.

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It’s Thursday! #T4T – TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES and VERY SUPERSTITIOUS @Month9Books

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!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post …

This week, #T4T presents to you:

Title: Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes
Author: Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Shannon
Delany, Max Scialdone, Karen Mahoney, Lisa Mantchev, Georgia McBride, C. Lee
McKenzie, Gretchen McNeil, K.M. Walton, Suzanne Young, Michelle Zink, Leigh
Fallon, Angie Frazier, Jessie Harrell, Nancy Holder, Heidi R. Kling, Suzanne
Lazear, Pam van Hylckama Vlieg ,Leah Cypess. Forward by Francisco X. Stork.
Pub. Date: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Month9Books
Pages: 340
Formats: Paperback, eBook
In this anthology,
20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved
Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on
classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed
him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a
wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen
McNeil, and Suzanne Young.
WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
“As a whole this is an inspired and enjoyable nibbler for those days leading up to Halloween. If you love dark retellings, especially when they involve murderous fiends there’s more than one here that will leave a wicked gleam in your eye.”~ Rhi Reading
“Twenty-two
authors. Twenty-two stories. Twenty-two rhymes. This is an anthology of
twenty-two Mother Goose Rhymes that will have you shuddering in your reading
nook, crying in public and looking over your shoulder during the day. These are
not the silly rhymes that you used to sing as a child or watch on Barney. These
are creepy tales with no happy endings (or bittersweet at the most). From
fantasy to paranormal, twenty-two authors dive into the dark side of Mother
Goose rhymes.”~ Dark Faerie Tales

The stories in this anthology are
dark & sometimes twisted retellings of nursery rhymes we all remember from
childhood. The stories are wonderful, not one leaves you bored. This is a book
I will definitely purchase a physical copy of. It is perfect for the YA readers
right now who crave worlds with a supernatural twist. The variety of this
collection is great; each author takes a completely different approach in their
re-telling..”~ Little Miss Trainwreck

Title: Very Superstitious:
Myths, Legends and Tales of Superstition

Author: Shannon Delany, Pab Sungenis,
Stephanie Kuehnert, Jennifer Knight, Mari Mancusi, Michelle E. Reed, Jackie
Morse Kessler, Dianne K. Salerni. Edited by Georgia McBride.
Pub. Date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books
Pages: 297
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
As told by some of today’s most admired young adult
authors—and a few newbies—this charity anthology boasts stories that will
make readers scream, laugh, and tremble with fear, and all for a good
cause! Proceeds from the sale of the first 5,000 copies will be donated to the
SPCA International. Based on stories long-told by the campfire,
superstitions passed down through the generations, creatures who exist in
legend, literature, and film, and those myths that raise the hairs on the back
of our necks, these tales are sure keep readers up late at night with lamps lit
and covers over their heads.
 
 
WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
 
A collection of spook-licious tales that will taunt, and in a few cases, tickle the
fear bone in any reader. “~ Author S.A Larsen
 
“VERY SUPERSTITIOUS is a fine anthology for fantasy readers looking for something
slightly creepy for Halloween reading.” ~In Bed With Books
 
“A timely collection for a good cause, with some delightful surprises, full of myths and superstitions, and a vast array of
stories that will make you laugh, cry and think.~  Books Bones & Buffy

 

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

 

3 winners will receive an eBook of TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES
& VERY SUPERSTITIOUS. International!

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M9B Friday Reveal: THERE ONCE WERE STARS Cover and Chapter 1 by @McFarlaneBooks @Month9Books

 

Today Melanie McFarlane and Month9Books
are revealing the cover and first chapter for THERE ONCE WERE STARS, which
releases April 26, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of
the first readers to receive a eGalley!!
And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!!!
 
A quick note from the author:

I have anticipated this moment for months—the moment I would be able to share
my cover with all of you! When I first laid eyes on the cover for THERE ONCE
WERE STARS I was immediately drawn to the stars and how they are escaping their
glass prison. In my novel, the main character, Natalia Greyes, is also locked
in a glass prison: her home, Dome 1618. During Nat’s childhood the stars became
more visible in the sky, after being blocked by darkness for decades after the
Cleansing Wars. Like the stars, Nat is a symbol of change as she transforms
from a naïve youth into a strong teen, who searches for her place in her tiny
world of Dome 1618, and dreams of escaping to the outside one day. But my
favorite detail of all is the grass and how cool and inviting it is in contrast
to the hard sheen of the glass jar. It can be seen as a symbol of how mankind
can never capture or truly duplicate the beauty of nature, or the wonder of
life itself.
 
Don’t forget to check out my trailer on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuTOuBPX11k

On to the reveal! 

 
 
Title: THERE ONCE WERE STARS
Author: Melanie McFarlane
Pub. Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it:  Goodreads

 

Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the
motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia
Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly
radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never
questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the
dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has
the Order been hiding from everyone?
 
 

 

Exclusive Excerpt

Chapter One

I stretch my arms across my bed, running my fingers along the same sheets I’ve had since I was a child. The stiffness was beaten out of them long ago, but they still carry the memory of my mother carefully stitching the first tear back together when I was seven. The tiny x’s remind me of her long fingers, moving the needle back and forth with the same care as when she worked with samples in her laboratory.

I trace the row stitches, squeezing my eyes shut as I make a wish; it is my eighteenth birthday, after all. But when I open them, the same scene shows from my bedroom window that always does—the grid of our dome. Nothing changes. It doesn’t matter how many birthday wishes are made; I always wake up trapped inside the dome. The grid of thick glass and steel arcs far above our apartment, stretching to where the great Axis, a tower of government offices, meets the peak of our home—Dome 1618.

I crawl out of bed and let my gaze trail down the Axis to the rooftops of the other apartment buildings, row upon row of housing for blue-collar workers. Closer to the Axis are townhouses of the business owners, hidden from the rest of us, but that’s not where I long to be. My eyes drift to the base of the dome, far away from my window where the Outer Forest lies, my only saving grace. It’s forbidden to hike among the trees, but sometimes rules need to be broken.

“Natalia!” Grandmother’s piercing voice comes from the other side of my bedroom door. “Get up. You’re wasting the day away.”

The clock on my dresser reads eight o’clock in the morning. Seriously? It’s been nine years since I moved in with my grandparents, and saying Grandmother and I have differing opinions barely touches the surface. Her rules are sometimes worse than those of the Order, who police the dome. With any luck, I’ll be assigned my own apartment soon and can finally restart my life, again.

I run my brush through my long brown hair, although by the time I go outside it will look unruly once again. It’s my curse; I have thick hair like my mother, with waves that look more like oddly-placed kinks, unlike the smooth-flowing locks worn by some of the other girls at my school. But I won’t have to go back to the Learning Institute again. Today I’m an adult.

My jeans are on the floor where I left them last night, and I manage to find a clean T-shirt in my drawer. Both have the same tiny stitches as my sheets, covering up the wear and tear over the years, but I sewed these back together myself. Grandmother is firm on the fact that if I don’t take care of what I have, I don’t get a replacement. There’s no point in arguing when her opinions are as deep as the wrinkles on her face, and honestly, it’s hard to tell which she has more of. Before I leave my room, I grab my mother’s notebook. It’s filled with her sketches and work notes on different projects she was involved in. But my favorites are the tiny notes, squeezed in the margins, excerpt of her personal thoughts, hopes, and dreams. The biggest of these was to move her family outside the dome.

“I know you were out last night,” Grandmother says, eyeing me suspiciously between the milk and dry toast as I slip into my seat at the table.

“Must we have this conversation every morning?” Grandfather speaks up.

“You know the ramifications!” Grandmother shrills, and he shrinks in his chair. “Do you want to let her stroll around at night past curfew? One day she won’t come home, and then we will be questioned.” Grandmother redirects her attention to me. “What are you doing out there that’s important enough to risk everything? Haven’t I warned you? If the Order catches you, you will wish you had listened to me.”

“That’s my problem.” I fold my arms across my chest. She always makes me back down with her words. If I’m going to be an adult, I need to learn how to take a stand.

“If your parents could only see you now,” she says unsympathetically. “They would wonder how they got a daughter so determined to get herself detained. You know what they do with little girls who don’t follow the rules.”

“Yes,” I say through gritted teeth. She’s given these lectures many times. Girls who don’t follow the rules are sent back to the Learning Institute for retraining, where they come out all prim and proper, ready to take their place as functional citizens of the dome. I’m not going back there; I know how to stay under the radar.

“Come on, now.” Grandfather finally steps in. “It’s Nat’s birthday.”

“Yes.” Her tone softens. “You’re eighteen now. Hurry and eat; we got you a little something.”

I gobble down the toast, stale as it is, but fresh food is not something that our dome has had in a long time. Since the accident that caused my parents’ death, the Order stopped all excursions for scientific research, completely cutting off the outside world. Prior to this, there were plenty of rations from the farms due to uncontaminated seeds the expedition teams found, along with new plant life for supplementing the crops. But those stockpiles have slowly depleted.

When I finish breakfast, I look at my grandparents in anticipation. Grandfather’s face is beaming, and though Grandmother looks like she is trying to be serious, I can see a small sparkle in her eyes as she hands me a tiny green box with a little purple bow. The bow is smooth, made from fabric nicer than anything I own. I gently untie it, and put the silky strand safely in my pocket, before opening the box to see what is inside.

A silver, heart-shaped locket sits on top of fine tissue paper, so delicate I don’t dare touch it in case it rips. An image of two hands holding a smaller heart is engraved into the center of the locket. This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen—I’ve never owned jewelry of my own. My hands are shaking so bad I almost drop the box.

“Careful!” Grandmother’s voice snaps me from my awe. She grabs the box from me, and it takes all my inner strength to let it go.

She removes the necklace from the box and opens the locket, holding it out to me. Inside, is a photo of my parents on their wedding day. Photos are luxuries. I only own one other— a photo of me with my parents when I turned three—and it stays safe on my nightstand. But this locket—I can take it with me anywhere. I hold up my hair, allowing Grandmother to secure it around my neck, then grasp the tiny keepsake in my hand. I will cherish it forever.

“I’m going to show this to Jak and Xara,” I say, leaving the table.

“Don’t forget, you have to report to work today.” Grandmother reminds me.

“But it’s Saturday.” I groan.

“You’re eighteen now,” she says, her eyes vacant of the compassion they held only seconds ago. “Your time to contribute to the dome begins today. Plus, any experience is good to have if you want to be a scientist one day, like your parents.”

“I don’t see how cleaning toilets at the Axis will do me any good in the future,” I complain. “And I never said I want to be a scientist.”

“You’ll find where you’re meant to be.” Grandfather smiles. “Understanding everything from the bottom-up will help you make a better decision about what you want to do to make your contribution.”

I sigh as I lace up my sneakers, now feeling the pressure of the future. I have no idea what I want to do today, let alone the rest of my life. But it definitely does not involve cleaning up after those in the Axis. I wave good-bye as I leave the apartment, but only Grandfather waves back. My number one fan; he always tries to keep the peace between Grandmother and I. But no matter how close we are, I still have to lie about where I’m really going. No one can know about my secret place.

Outside, I stretch my arms up toward the top of the dome. The sun shines through the dust covered glass of the dome, with sections of blue sky showing here and there. I sneak around the back of our apartment building, and begin my stealthy weave through alleyways. I have hours before my first shift starts at the Axis. Hours to spend somewhere the Order can’t find me.

When I reach the Outer Forest, I sneak in a break in the fence and move between the trunks of trees, inhaling the last of the old world. The rich combination of musk and earth fills my lungs as I run as fast as I can from the fence. Running is one of the few things that make me feel free. When I reach my destination, I’m out of breath, but exactly where I belong—a hidden clearing at the edge of the dome.

I crawl inside a hollowed-out tree I’ve claimed as my own. How did the Order miss this lone tree, dying amidst the perfection of the Outer Forest? It should have been torn down long ago, to make room for larger, healthier, oxygen bearing trees. Decay doesn’t coincide with the Order’s pursuit for perfection and efficiency, but it’s ideal for me: hidden, empty, and alone. I accept this tree’s imperfections and it offers me solace.

I clutch my locket again, this time removing it from my neck so I can look inside. A twinge of pain prickles my throat as my parents’ faces stare back at me. They look so happy and in love. I remember that about them. The in love part. I haven’t thought about people in love for so long.

I lean back, holding the locket against my chest, intent on enjoying the morning sun. Unfortunately, the heat of the sun doesn’t penetrate the cold glass of the dome, but something about that glowing orb in those blue skies makes me feel better. Mom wrote in her notebook about the first time she felt the sun on her skin: warm and, bright, as if it gave her a new life with its rays, just like it did to the world, after the Cleansing Wars. I close my eyes, imagining myself bathed in sunlight, and finally give in to the peace of the forest.

I wake up, feeling something sharp poking my side. I can’t believe I drifted off. My hand shoots behind me, to find the source of the pain. My mother’s notebook is jutting awkwardly from my back pocket. I stand up to tuck it back in, and my gaze slips above a line of bushes growing wildly along the base of the dome. At the same time, something flashes above them, and my breath catches in my throat. My reflection stares back at me from the glass, revealing my locket shining in the sunlight. Relax, Dacie, it’s only you. A nervous laugh escapes my throat, as I finish putting the notebook away.

Another light flashes, but this time it’s in the distance, on the other side of the glass. I lean forward, focusing on the light, and see a shadow move on the other side. My entire body goes rigid, and my heart beat thunders in my ears. No one could be out there—unless—could it be an Infected? No, that’s impossible. They were all killed by the Cleansing War—everything was. If the nukes didn’t kill them, the nuclear fallout afterward would have.

Something moves again—closer this time. A gasp escapes my lips, as a shudder rips through my body. That’s when I see it—the faint outline of a person standing in the open. He’s camouflaged by a layer of dust, blending him into the barren landscape that surrounds the dome. The figure’s shadow stretches across the ground, reaching toward me.

I rub my eyes, as if something in them could be making me see the figure, but when I open them I’m startled to see the figure again, only now there are two. One stays farther back, toward the rockier land, silhouetted against the foothills in the distance. The other stands a short distance from the dome. My heart skips a beat—they’re both human, and they’re both staring in my direction.

 

About Melanie: 
Whether it’s uncovering the corruption
of the future, or traveling to other worlds to save the universe, Melanie
McFarlane jumps in with both hands on her keyboard. Thought she can be found
obsessing over zombies and orcs from time to time, Melanie has focused her
powers on her two upcoming YA novels: THERE ONCE WERE STARS and SUMMONER
RISING.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Giveaway Details:

 

 
1 winner will receive the FIRST eGalley
of THERE ONCE WERE STARS. International.

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Also Melanie is
giving away swag enter that giveaway too!

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Two for Thursday: The DEAD JED Books by Scott Craven ##T4T @TantrumBooks @Scott_Craven2

 

Welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday! #T4T presented
by Month9books/Tantrum Books! And surprise this week we have 3
titles for you!
Today, we will be showcasing three 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!
Don’t miss the giveaway link at the bottom of the post! 
This week, #T4T presents to you:
Title: Dead Jed:
Adventures of a Middle School Zombie
Author: Scott Craven
Pub. Date:
October 1, 2013
Publisher:
Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 214
Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook
Dead Jed is Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Jed’s not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct
term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to
shield him from the implications of being ‘different’ for as long as they could
(Jed was 8 and at a friend’s sister’s birthday party when he blew his lips off
onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his
parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow
Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of
moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.

From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and
into a trophy case as the bully’s “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled
off in the boys’ room (Jed’s always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler
and some duct tape and he’s back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and
try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed’s had
enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it’s awesome what you can do
when you’re already dead!
Title: Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed
Author: Scott Craven
Publication date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 266
Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook

  Blurb: 

As the fall semester ends and kids head home on for winter
break, Jed and his parents gather for the annual exchanging of gift lists. Once
again, Jed asks for a dog, leading to a heated argument and a firm
“no.” But when Jed spots a stray, he chases it until the dog darts
into the street where it is struck and killed by a car. Grief stricken by what
he’s done, Jed cradles the dead dog in his arms. Soon, ooze from the dog mixes
with tear drops from Jed, creating Tread the zombie dog. Finally getting his
wish, Jed must convince his parents to let him keep the undead dog. But a
zombie dog turns out to be the least of Jed’s issues. Seems some parents don’t
want Jed attending school with their kids. Enter the mysterious NZN Network.
They’ve been distributing anti-zombie propaganda in an effort to get Jed
expelled. But Jed wonders if the creation of Tread has caused his relationship
with Luke to sour. And why, just as he seems to need them the most, his best
friends have abandoned him? Could they have bought in to the anti-zombie way of
thinking? Was creating Tread a mistake Jed will live to regret? When Tread goes
missing, and with his very existence at stake, Jed must rely on his instincts,
team up with an old nemesis an fight for his right to have just as miserable a
middle school existence as any other student – undead or alive.
Title: Dead Jed 3: Return of the Jed
Author: Scott Craven
Publication date: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 266
Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook
With seventh grade behind him, Jed jumps at the opportunity
to spend the summer in Mexico with his dad. But there’s just one catch: Luke
and Tread get to tag along.
In Mexico, fitting inmight be easier than Jed imagined,
with Holidays such as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Here, a rising
8th grade zombie boy and his zombie dog won’t draw that much attention.
But then Tread unwittingly sets off Mexico’s Chupacabra
Defense Network and Jed accidentally collides with a bus. So much for blending
in. The unusual pair catch the eye of a professional wrestler, who challenges
Jed to a fight!
Their antics manage to capture the attention of a doctor
whose knowledge of the undead causes Jed to question his very existence. Is
this the answer Jed’s been hoping for since his parents sat him down for the
“you’re a zombie” talk? Jed may have finally found a way to be
normal, but at what cost?
Dead Jed: Return of the Jed is book 3 in Scott Craven’s
humorous and heartwarming series about surviving middle school, fitting in, and
embracing one’s differences – even if you are a zombie.

Praise for the Dead Jed Series:
“Hilarious
adventures of a zombie teen who navigates the jungle known as middle school,
this is one story that will resonate with readers.”  —YA Books Central


“If you know
a middle-grader who loves to laugh or sometimes feels out of place and needs
some reassurance to be true to him/herself, this series is a must..”~ Dorothy
Dreyer author of the Reaper’s Rite Series.
WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
Like its predecessor Dead Jed, Dead Jed 2: Dawn of the Jed is an
incredibly cute and fun read! Aimed at middle graders, it’s filled with
child-sized humor, puns, and adventure.”~ Books 4 Tomorrow
This story is a light fun read which will have you laughing in seconds.
It is unique and quirky, where Zombie triumphs over evil. GO ZOMBIES! Wahoo!”~Once Upon A Moonlight
Review

 

 

My love of zombie movies arrived long before my love for
writing. I was 10 when I saw a girl about the same age sink her teeth into her
father, a scene that hooked me on “Night of the Living Dead” and one the genre
as a whole. I would embrace writing much later, but it has had a much more lasting
impact. After graduating from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, I packed the back of my
Datsun B-210 and headed to Colorado, relying on the $600 my parents gave me as
I walked out the door (“We don’t think this is the smartest move,” my father
said as he handed me the cash, “but we’ll always be there for you.”) Over the
next 35 years as a newspaper reporter, I would cover sports, crime, courts,
travel and much more. I’ve spent nearly 30 of those years in Phoenix, and am
now a features reporter at The Arizona Republic. My 18-year-old son Bryson has
turned out to be a pretty cool kid, even though he dislikes reading and
writing. When it comes time for him to find his own path, I may not think it’s
the smartest move, but I will always be there for him.
 
 
Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
 Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive the complete eBook set of the Dead
Jed Books. International!

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Yay! IN THE AFTER by Elisa Dane guest post and giveaway @chapterxchapter @ElisaDane @swoonromance

 

elisa dane

In the After

In the After by Elisa Dane

Publication Date:  February 2, 2016

Publisher:  Swoon Romance

Julie: I love that cover, don’t you? I’m excited to host Elisa Dane for today’s stop on her blog tour. Her new book sounds amazing, and I can’t wait to read it! I know she has some interesting things to share with us, so I’ll get out of the way and let her get to it. ♥

Welcome Elisa!

Elisa: Hello, and thank you so much for having me on your blog today. I’m so thankful you took part in my blog tour and I can’t wait for you all to read/meet Sadie and Hayden! I’m feeling rather chatty today, so let’s talk about the young adult and new adult genres and the challenge of keeping story-lines fresh and interesting, shall we?

 

I’m sure since you’re reading this you’re like me and a voracious reader and lover of the written word. No joke, over the past month I’ve read eighteen books. I don’t often get the chance to binge read like I have, but when I do, I want to be carried away by the stories I delve into. I want to get lost in the characters and their worlds. With the staggering amount of books available to us on Amazon and other retailers, it can be a challenge to find stories that aren’t familiar to us in some way. Therein lies the problem. How do authors keep stories fresh when there are only a finite number of tropes in which to write about? How do authors make their stories stand apart from everyone else’s?

 

For me, it’s all about voice, and knowing just how far you can push your readers to suspend their disbelief. I love writing fiction. I get to make shit up for a living. Pretty. Damn. Cool. That said, I write in the contemporary genre. I can place my characters in harrowing situations, but those situations have to be believable. Let’s say my main character’s name is Suzy and she’s never known her father, and recently lost her mother to drug abuse. Suzy is heartbroken and bereft. Suzy and her mother live in a quiet, suburban neighbourhood. It wouldn’t take any stretch of the imagination for us as readers to watch Suzy interact with police and social workers. I think for a lot of us, it would be both believable and suspenseful to read about Suzy being stalked by her mom’s dealer who wants the money her mother owed him. Suzy’s in school and doesn’t have a job. How will she pay the dealer? Even more shocking/suspenseful would be to read about Suzy having a run in with her mother’s pimp, who’d she’d worked for in an effort to pay off her drug dealer. Suzy had no idea her mom was leading a double life turning tricks while she was in school to help support her drug habit. Suzy falling in love with her mother’s pimp, getting pregnant with the pimp’s baby, and killing the dealer, taking all of his money in the process is where my suspension of disbelief cuts off. Um … no. I don’t believe for a second, sweet, innocent, virginal Suzy would fall for her mother’s slimy pimp, develop a heroin dependence like the one that killed her mom, get pregnant, and off a drug dealer with a sawed off shotgun before fleeing the country. Is it possible for Suzy’s character to do all those things? Yeah. Is it believable? Not to me.

 

Voice is another important factor in keeping any genre of writing fresh. The more the author inserts his/her voice into a character, the more I’m drawn in. No one wants to step into a flat, monotone character’s life. As readers, we’re trying to escape our reality for a little while and live in someone else’s life. If the character is flat or boring, we’re not able to escape. I’m a fan of real dialog, which includes the use of swear words when it’s appropriate. I’ve never understood people’s aversion to profanity in books when it’s realistic to the character/situation. If the character I’m reading about is hurting, I want to feel that hurt, and I want to see that hurt in their dialog. Another important thing about voice: it needs to change with each book. If I’m reading a series of books by the same author, I want that author’s overall style to remain the same, but I need each character’s voice to be different. I don’t want to read three different stories with the same character in each book with nothing different but a change of name and scenery.

 

As you can see, authors have their work cut out for them. Writing a book and struggling to incorporate the above elements along with at least a hundred others is no small feat. It takes patience and a lot of hard work. Hard work that is always worth it in the end when a reader tells you they fell in love with your characters and their stories. As a reader, I know what I want in a story. I want a fresh approach to storylines that have been done before, and characters that suck me in and force me to feel and fall for them. As an author, I work tirelessly to make sure I do just that.

Julie: Wow, that was some great insight into the genre from someone who knows and understands it so well. Thanks so much for being here and sharing your thoughts with all of us. XO

 

Want to know more about Elisa and her books? Check it out!

 

Book Blurb:

Sadie Reynolds is a liar with secrets. At school, she’s part of the popular crowd known as AE, despite being broken inside. She hides it well. She has to. The slightest bit of imperfection will land her in the same shoes as her Geeky neighbor named Ian.

Ian and his only friend are the object of Sadie’s friends’ ridicule, ire, and entertainment. The AE rule the school with intimidation and retribution against anyone who would dare question their supremacy.

Sadie steers clear of most of it, terrified someone will find out her secret. She isn’t the least bit perfect. In fact, she suffers from PTSD stemming from the murder of her mother right before her eyes when she was a child. She can barely cope from day-to-day, hiding her truth and trying to fit in. But she knows it’s only a matter of time.

Hayden is a “Waverly,” a kid with the misfortune of living in the small farming town of Waverly that borders the very affluent Lexington Parrish. The AE doesn’t mix with “Waverlies.” Ever.

Desperate to get away from her oppressive friends, Sadie crashes into Hayden at a bonfire and the attraction that sparks between them is nothing short of electric. But Hayden’s an outsider and when things heat up, Sadie will be forced to choose between her friends and her new boyfriend.

Only Queen Bee Britt isn’t having it. She will not allow Sadie to cross her. Sadie can either do what Britt wants her to do or she will reveal Sadie for the PTSD freak that she is.

Sadie does some soul searching about who she is and who she wants to be. She can’t live her life like this. Not any more. One fateful night will help her see how much things have to change.

She’s determined to no longer allow the AE to rule her life. She will be strong, stand up for Ian and love who she wants in Hayden. Determined and invigorated, Sadie goes to school feeling hopeful for the first time in forever.

But, the unthinkable happens.

Shooters attack dozens of students before the two eventually take their own lives, leaving the school a decimated shadow of what it once was.

Suddenly who lives where, wears what or loves whom seems like the least of Lexington Parish’s problems as everyone and everything changes forever in the after.

IN THE AFTER by Elisa Dane is a hard-hitting and heart-warming story of tragedy, love, loss and redemption. It is recommended for readers 14+.

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28471919-in-the-after

Purchase Links:

Amazon

 

Giveaway!!!

 Contest ends November 27, 2015 

One (1) winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of In the After by Elisa Dane(INT)

Enter here!!! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c08c9e8e496/?

About the Author:

e dane

 

Elisa Dane loves books, chocolate, reality television, her family, and All Star Cheerleading. Not necessarily in that order! She writes contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. She writes what she knows, and it’s her hope that her stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you’ll find a new respect for the sport of All Star Cheerleading you may not have had before. She’s represented by Brittany Booker of the Booker/Albert Agency, and has published a NA paranormal series under her real name, Lisa Sanchez.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads

 

Link to Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/blog-tour-schedule-in-the-after-by-elisa-dane/


Two for Thursday: NOBODY’S GODDESS by Amy McNulty and CROWN OF ICE by Vicki L. Weavil @Month9Books

 

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!
*Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!
This week, #T4T presents to you:

Title: NOBODY’S GODDESS

Author: Amy
McNulty
Pub. Date: April
21, 2015
Publisher:
Month9Books, LLC.
Pages: 274
Formats:
Paperback, eBook
Find it: Goodreads|
Amazon | Barnes
& Noble
 | Kobo | TBD
In a village of masked men, magic compels each man to love
only one woman and to follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A
woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be
alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his
love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.
Seventeen-year-old Noll isn’t in the mood to celebrate. Her
childhood friends have paired off and her closest companion, Jurij, found his
goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient
spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever chosen her.
Thus begins a dangerous game between the choice of woman
versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness,
life and death—and neither is willing to lose.
Praise for NOBODY’S GODDESS:
“There are many
terrestrial qualities to this 16th-century village, such as mountains, meadows,
forests, and lakes. But there are also hints of magic throughout . . . the
story is fun and engaging, featuring a female protagonist who will resonate
with young teens.”  —School Library Journal
 
“Wow. I
appreciate this fantasy for what it is: detailed, unique, and just all round
amazing. It’s the kind of novel that keeps you guessing, and just when you
think you’ve got the twist, something happens to throw you off course..”~ Melanie
McFarlane author of the upcoming THERE ONCE WERE STARS & SUMMONER RISING.
WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
“It was
something so unique and different that I found myself really enthralled with
the story. To the point that I almost had to blink myself out of a daze when I
finished. “~ Jamie, Blogger @ Queen
of The Bookshelves
“I would
definitely recommend Nobody’s Goddess to anybody looking for a great fantasy
book with a plot that’s unlike anything I’ve read before. The characters and
the world are all done incredibly well, and Amy’s talent with making words jump
right off the page to tell the story is just fantastic. “~Ashley,
Blogger @ The
AP Book Club
“This book
is different from any fantasy book I’ve read before in its concept. It treads
the path less traveled, and manages to make a great story that readers can
enjoy and love.”~Bri, Blogger @ Books
And Ashes

 

 

Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with
an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly
journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently spends her days
alternatively writing on business and marketing topics and primarily crafting
stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval
settings.
Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

 
 

Title: CROWN OF ICE

Publication date:
September 9, 2014
Publisher:
Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Vicki L.
Weavil
ISBN: 978-1939765390
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes
& Noble
 | Kobo |TBD | iBooks
Thyra Winther’s seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but
if she can’t reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday
she’s doomed to spend eternity as a wraith.
Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes
to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps
local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical
minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away
she needs all the help she can steal.
A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing
mirror shards and Kai’s childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable
obstacles. Thyra’s willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands,
outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts — to reconstruct the mirror, yet
her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a
wolf pup’s devotion and the fire of a young man’s desire, the thawing of
Thyra’s frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.
CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans
Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” from the perspective of a young woman who
discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.
Praise for
CROWN OF ICE:
“A re-imagining of The
Snow Queen, moving and well written.” Sandra Waugh, Author of The Guardians of
Tarnec Series.
 
“I admire the
depiction of a young woman staying true to herself and not letting the
pressures of love or expectations effect her choice. Thyra becomes an example
that would do any woman proud.” Michelle Hauck, Author of Grudging.
 
“Weavil conducts a
careful balancing act between loyalty to the original story and exploring new
frontiers; I think she succeeds in this task, and fans of fairytale re-tellings
will enjoy this one.”
The Australia Times
 
WHAT READER’S ARE SAYING:
“CROWN OF ICE offers so much more than just the tale
of The Snow Queen with a change of perspective. A solid YA adventure with teenagers
who learn so much about themselves, and each other. Even the expected happily
ever after offers believable surprises that underscore the maturity and
independence they each have gained..”~ Julia, Blogger @ All
Things Urban Fantasy
 
“I was enchanted
by this book from the opening paragraphs. The story is told from Thyra’s point
of view, making it very personal and conversational in tone. By using this
method, the reader gets to know Thyra on a deeper level than normal.”~ Stephanie,
Blogger @ A
Dream Within A Dream
 
“CROWN OF ICE is such a fascinating fantasy, with love
adventure and enjoyable characters. I recommend for all fans of fantasy!!” ~ Tonyalee,
Blogger @ LilyBloomBooks
 
“This book was fantastic, and so different from anything
that I have ever read. I loved every single page of this book, and I very much
look forward to whatever comes next from this amazing author!.”~ Jaime, Blogger
@ The
Best Books Ever

 

 

Vicki Lemp Weavil was raised in a farming community in
Virginia, where her life was shaped by a wonderful family, the culture of the
Blue Ridge Mountains, and an obsession with reading. Since obtaining her
undergraduate degree in Theatre from the University of Virginia, she’s gone on
to acquire two masters degrees, living in places as diverse as New York City
and rural North Carolina. She’s currently the library director for a performing
an visual arts university.  Vicki loves good writing in any genre, and has
been known to read seven books in as many days. She enjoys travel, gardening,
and the arts. Vicki lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and some
very spoiled cats.

 


 

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

 Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive an eBook of NOBODY’S GODDESS &
CROWN OF ICE. International!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Come see us for a book signing event in Georgia! #APOLLYCON February 2016 #YA

I will be in Savannah, GA with Month9Books pub sister

Jennifer Jenkins @authorjenkins for this event.

♦♦♦♦♦

Please come by and say hello!

No, really. Please.

 (I’ll be the one fangirling in the corner over all the

amazing authors I’m super excited to appear with.)

I’ll need someone to help calm me down! 

 

Apollycon

Were going to have a blast!

Check it out … 

When: February 26th – 28th
(The book signing will run all day February 27th!)

 Here’s more information:

@ApollyCon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apollycon/?fref=ts

Apollycon 2016: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/apollycon-2016-the-power-by-jennifer-l-armentrout-release-party-tickets-17295152266

ApollyCon 2016 - The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout...

FEATURING AUTHORS…

*Subject to change
 

Hope to see you there!