Wednesday, July 31, 2019

What Are You Reading Wednesday?: July 31, 2019

What Are You Reading Wednesday was created by RhiannaMarissa, and Kendall. The idea is to create a space for book lovers to share, discuss, and recommend the books they are currently reading and loving. All you have to do is answer the questions about your current read and then head over to one of the host’s sites to link up your post! Have fun and don’t forget to check out everyone’s posts as well!

Copy of Instagram Post – Untitled Design

 


MY CURRENT READ

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Irradiate

(Relevance #3)

Face what you fear the most….

Discovering colour after a lifetime of grey has opened Mallory’s eyes to the beauty of Irrelevance.

But when she learns who Cristan is and what’s he capable of, she’ll be forced to question everything she feels for him…

When Cristan found rebel Irrelevants in the wastelands, he finally had the proof he needed to take down the government who think they own him.

But the rebels have secrets and nothing is as it seems.

Unsure of who he can trust, and with time running out, Cristan will be forced to choose between saving his brother’s life or Mallory’s…

No matter what he chooses, he’ll have to go back to the place that haunts his nightmares…

Sacrifice will be inevitable in the explosive conclusion to the Relevance Trilogy.

 

 

1. Why did you decide to pick up this book–cover or content?

Content, though I was drawn to the first book in part by the cover, but I couldn’t resist a dystopian with an Autism rep and steamy romance!

2. Who is your favorite character so far, and why?

I…? Cristian, Mallory, Kit, and Jackson, but Jed character special, and always will be. I also really like Drew’s ‘fatherly influence’ on Cristian and Jed.

3. Will you finish this one?

Yes! ❤

4. This book reminds me of…

The first things that I think of are The Hunger Games and Divergent, but really I’m going with things like The Rhodi Saga by Megan Linski and The Duality Series by Cleo Fox.

5. What type of read is this one? (Slow but interesting, cannot put it down…)

It’s pretty fast paced, but since I just started, I can tell things are building up, but haven’t completely takes off yet.

 

 

 

 

WWW Wednesday: July 31, 2019

Every Wednesday, we participate in a blog post known as ‘WWW Wednesdays.’ This was originally hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm before moving to Taking on a World of Words. 

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You may be wondering what the three Ws stand for. The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What are you currently reading?

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What did you recently finish reading?

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What do you think you’ll read next?

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Wednesday’s Wishes: Sword and Pen

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings and was previously hosted by Breaking the Spine.   It was created to show off a future release that you are excited for.Wishful Wednesday

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Sword and Pen

(The Great Library #5)

With the future of the Great Library in doubt, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone must decide if it’s worth saving in this thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The corrupt leadership of the Great Library has fallen. But with the Archivist plotting his return to power, and the Library under siege from outside empires and kingdoms, its future is uncertain. Jess Brightwell and his friends must come together as never before, to forge a new future for the Great Library . . . or see everything it stood for crumble.

 

Expected publication: September 3rd 2019

Friday, July 26, 2019

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Blog Tour: Meet the Sky Author – McCall Hoyle Guest Post

Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle
Publisher: BLINK
Release Date:September 4, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Fiction–Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance

SYNOPSIS: It all started with the accident. The one that caused Sophie’s dad to walk out of her life. The one that left Sophie’s older sister, Meredith, barely able to walk at all.With nothing but pain in her past, all Sophie wants is to plan for the future—keep the family business running, get accepted to veterinary school, and protect her mom and sister from another disaster. But when a hurricane forms off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and heads right toward their island, Sophie realizes nature is one thing she can’t control.After she gets separated from her family during the evacuation, Sophie finds herself trapped on the island with the last person she’d have chosen—the reckless and wild Finn Sanders, who broke her heart freshman year. As they struggle to find safety, Sophie learns that Finn has suffered his own heartbreak; but instead of playing it safe, Finn’s become the kind of guy who goes surfing in the eye of the hurricane. He may be the perfect person to remind Sophie how to embrace life again, but only if their newfound friendship can survive the storm.

Guest Post with Adventures Thru Wonderland

 Q: What influenced/inspired you to write in this genre/for this age group?

In addition to writing young adult fiction, I’m also a teacher and a mom. And although my students find it hard to believe sometimes, I wasn’t all that different from them as a teenager. I spent a lot of time trying to fit in and pretending to be someone other than my authentic self. I see many girls struggling with similar issues today and fear social media may be adding a whole new level to the comparison-pretending-trap.

Fortunately, I grew up, met new people, broadened my horizons, and found the courage to pursue the things I love—like books and dogs—even if my favorite things did nothing to improve my social status or elevate my coolness. Eventually, I found the courage to love and accept myself quirks (there are many) and all.

When I started writing seriously several years ago, I wrote with my teenage daughter, my students, and even my teenage self in mind. I very much wanted to write hopeful stories about girls overcoming adversity and learning to love themselves unconditionally.

My first book, The Thing with Feathers is about a girl learning to hope again in the face of her debilitating epilepsy. Meet the Sky, my second book, is about a girl stranded on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during a hurricane who must learn that life is more about learning to trust and take risks than it is about grasping for safety and control.

Both books are emotionally driven and focus on the importance of relationships with friends, parents, teachers, even first loves. Like the girls in my books, we all face difficulties. My great hope is that in spite of what life throws at us, we can all face the future with a seed of optimism planted in our souls.

BOOK LINKS:

Goodreads–https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36575818-meet-the-sky#
Amazon–https://amzn.to/2WH5YHA
Barnes & Noble–https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/meet-the-sky-mccall-hoyle/1127456096#/
Book Depository–https://www.bookdepository.com/Meet-the-Sky-McCall-Hoyle/9780310765707
IndieBound–https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Meet+the+Sky

AUTHOR INFO: McCall Hoyle writes honest YA novels about friendship, first love, and girls finding the strength to overcome great challenges. She is a high school English teacher. Her own less-than-perfect teenage experiences and those of the girls she teaches inspire many of the struggles in her books. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and their odd assortment of pets—a food-obsessed beagle, a grumpy rescue cat, and a three-and-a-half-legged kitten. She has an English degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. She lives in a cottage in the woods in North Georgia where she reads and writes every day.

Links:
Website-http://mccallhoyle.com/index.html
Twitter-https://twitter.com/McCallHoyle
Instagram-https://www.instagram.com/mccallhoylebooks/
Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/McCallHoyleBooks

TOUR-WIDE GIVEAWAY Prize:
5 BLINK Summer Reading Tour Book Bundles
(A Touch of Gold, Meet the Sky, No Place Like Here, Pretty In Punxsutawney, and Swing
by Kwame Alexander)

(USA)
Starts: 7/22/19
Ends: 8/9/19

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86375/?

Thursday, July 25, 2019

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Cover Reveal: Kingdom of Thorns & Dreams Boxed Set

Kingdom of Thorns & Dreams Boxed Set
Publication date: October 15th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, New Adult

Sleeping Beauty, but not how you remember it…

Sleeping Beauty, but not how you remember it

One kiss.

That’s all. Just one kiss and the curse will be broken.

But is love’s true kiss a myth and will it be strong enough to break the curse that’s held her in its grasp for a century?

The compelling tale of a young princess fated to sleep forever and the prince destined to save her retold in this spellbinding collection by USA Today and Amazon bestselling authors.

One click now for your happily ever after.

One click now for your happily ever after.

Pre-order

 

 

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Blog Tour: The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars

 

The Serpent-Bearer

Serpent Bearer

Welcome to The Sperpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars blog tour! Read on to learn more about this beautifully illustrated graphic novel by C.S. Johnson, and a chance to win a copy for yourself!

The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars

Publication Date: November 7th, 2018

Genre: Manga Style/ Graphic Novel

Length: 30 Pages

A tiresome task.
A deceptive dragon.
A prince that changes everything.

Ophiuchus is a celebrated warrior of the Celestial Kingdom and a warrior among the Stars. He has been always been a dutiful servant of the Prince of Stars. So when the prince asks him to watch over the crafty serpent, Naga, Ophiuchus agrees. But as time passes and discouragement—both from Naga and others—Ophiuchus wonders if the Prince of Stars was right in asking him to take on the burdens of his task.

Will Ophiuchus honor his duty, or give into his heart’s weariness?

Add to Goodreads

Review:

Ah, this story was beautifully done! I loved the artwork, and the characters were well portrayed, and I really liked that the story didn’t shy away from things like burdens and struggles, and instead embraced that they are part of live, and deals with this topic in a unique way.

I found that I could easily follow the story, and didn’t struggle to follow the action like I have with other graphic novel type story formats. This one is full of stunning illustrations, and loved the flow of the story!

Excerpt

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Available on Amazon!

About the Author

Author Pic

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

 

 

For a chance to win your own copy of The Serpent-Bearer and the Prince of Stars, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Serpent-Bearer

Blog Tour Schedule

July 22nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Quirky Cats Fat Stacks (Review) https://quirkycatsfatstacks.com/

Perspective of a Writer (Review) http://perspectiveofawriter.com/

July 23rd

Breakeven Books (Review) https://breakevenbooks.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

July 24th

Books Teacup and Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Graphic Novelty2 (Review) https://graphicnovelty2.com/

Bri’s Book Nook (Review) http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

I’m All About the Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

July 25th

My Comic Relief (Review) https://mycomicrelief.wordpress.com/

The Bibliophagist (Review) http://thebibliophagist.blog/

Adventures Thru Wonderland (Review) http://adventuresthruwonderland.blogspot.com/

Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

July 26th

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Triquetra Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&RButto200x200

R&R Book Tours

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

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Instagram #Repost: Paradox Teaser by Lucy Roy

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#Repost: Blog Tour: Flight of the Raven


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Flight of the Raven
(The Ravenwood Saga #2)
By Morgan L. Busse
Christian Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
April 30th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

Selene Ravenwood, once the heir to House Ravenwood, is now an exile. On the run and free of her family’s destiny, Selene hopes to find the real reason her family was given the gift of dreamwalking. But first she must adapt to her new life as wife to Lord Damien Maris, the man she was originally assigned to kill.

While adjusting to her marriage and her home in the north, her power over dreams begins to grow. As the strongest dreamwalker to exist in ages, her expanding power attracts not only nightmares but the attention of the Dark Lady herself.

With a war looming on the horizon and a wicked being after her gift, Selene is faced with a choice: embrace the Dark Lady’s offer, or search out the one who gave her the gift of dreamwalking. One path offers power, the other offers freedom. But time is running out, and soon her choice will be made for her.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

Other Books in the Series

Mark of the Raven
(The Ravenwood Saga #1)
By Morgan L. Busse
Christian Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 352 Pages
November 6th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers

Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person’s dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family’s dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family’s legacy–a legacy that supports her people–or seeking the true reason behind her family’s gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository

Review:

I was excited to read this one, and it was no surprise that I loved it! After reading the first one, I knew I was going to have to read the next book right away!

It’s rare to find a book that I enjoy so much from the start, and even more so for Inspirational/Christian books that I found by accident. I knew almost nothing about this one, but had seen the cover around a few times, and the blurb sounded like the kind of stories I enjoy.

Two things I look for in stories, especially fantasy types, are world-building and complex characters, and this one has both! While I’d have liked a little more detail about the world/setting in the first book, the characters were well thought out, and the world-building was still done well enough that it was easy to follow the story and keep up with what was going on, and how things worked. The pacing was also good, and I found it extremely hard to put these books down for breaks when required. (Sleep and food…who needs them, right? :D)

I loved all the messages about love, not just romantic, but family and friendship as well, which paired well with other messages of pain, loss, regret, and redemption.

About the Author

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series and the steampunk series The Soul Chronicles. She is a Christy and INSPY Award finalist and won the Carol Award in 2018 for best in Christian speculative fiction. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitterInstagramPinterestBookBub

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

1 winner will receive print copies of Mark of the Raven, Flight of the Raven, and a $20 Amazon gift card
2 winner winners will receive print copies of Mark of the Raven and Flight of the Raven
– US only
– Ends June 7, 2019

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Monday, July 22, 2019

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Release Blitz: ECRIVAIN

ECRIVAIN by Elizabeth Dunlap is out NOW and I am so excited to share the news! I’ve seen this mentioned a few times by authors/bloggers lately, and I’m looking forward to reading it!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by
Author Elizabeth Dunlap, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a finished
copy of the book and swag, courtesy of Elizabeth and Rockstar Book Tours. So if
you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this
post.
About the Book:
Title: ECRIVAIN (Ecrivain
Academy Book 1)
Pub. Date: July 21, 2019
Publisher: Elizabeth Dunlap
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 282
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle
Read For Free on KU!
Welcome to Ecrivain Academy.
Here in these storied halls you will be trained to become one of
the greatest writers the world has ever known.
There are poetry battles.
Friends. Enemies.
Is your story a romance?
Or is it something darker?
Explore all Ecrivain has to offer.
That is, if you can survive until graduation.
 
Excerpt:
ONE
Hit send.
Just hit send.
My finger hovered over the enter key,
and I chewed on my lip in hesitation.
Come on, Calliope, my inner monologue
quipped. Don’t be a coward.
Taking a deep breath, I squeezed my eyes
shut and slammed my finger onto the enter button. My lungs emptied with a very
loud sigh and I peeked one eye out to see if the confirmation screen was up
yet.
It was.
There was no going back now. I’d
officially sent my story away into the electronic wild blue yonder. As scared
as I felt, a swirl of excitement was building in my stomach. I tried to tamper
it down so my hopes wouldn’t build up.
A sip of tea helped quell some anxiety
for now, and I let the warmth of it wash over me like a bath. My fingers
smoothed over the china while my eyes danced from the computer screen to the
paper I’d been putting off to the last minute. One more sip of tea. I closed
the tab with the writing contest and put it from my head so I could focus on
packing up my bag for school.
My phone popped with a text and I laid
out my math book over my desk before tapping my phone screen to see the
message.
Did you send it? The text was from my
best friend, Kathryn. A rush of dread flew up my throat. How had she found out?
Was she spying on me? Did the entire school know? I’d never be able to live
this down. I fumbled, trying to think of a response, and ended up having a
panic attack via text message.
Send what? Did someone say something?
What do you know? Who told you?
Way to play it cool.
She responded within a few seconds and I
could feel her raised eyebrow in the text. Calm down, spaztastic. I asked for a
cookie recipe yesterday, remember? Although I’d be happy to discuss whatever
that was all about.
Nothing, I responded, and quickly sent
her a picture of the recipe.
Thanks, she replied. I’m not forgetting
what you said, though, just in case you were hoping otherwise.
Crap. I groaned and sipped another
mouthful of tea. It didn’t make things better, unfortunately. I was of the
belief that tea could solve almost anything, but it couldn’t solve my big
mouth. Kathryn would be relentless at school until I either told her or made
something up. My eyes went back to my laptop screen where a sheep danced around
on my screensaver.
What was I thinking, entering a writing
contest? I wasn’t a writer. Nothing would change that, not even my stupid story
about a dog and a squirrel being best friends. I’d almost deleted it seven
times since I’d finished it, but something stopped me every time. When I found
a writing contest online, I decided enough was enough, and I’d hear for real
that my writing was garbage so I could stop this fantasy and get back to
everything I was supposed to care about, like boys and makeup.
If I kept sitting there regretting my
decision, I’d be late to school. One last sip emptied my cup, and I grabbed my
bag and headed out the door. Mom drove my brother Penny to school every day
while I took the bus. The sticky, smelly, pressed together bodies bus. The bus
that had already stopped at my house, apparently.
Cursing under my breath, I slipped my
black ankle boots on at the front door and ran to make sure the bus didn’t
leave me behind. It stopped at the stop sign on the end of my block and opened
for me when I kicked the side with my booted foot.
My house was one of the last on the
route, meaning I always had to sit in the undesirable spots on the bus. Today
that happened to be a seat that looked like someone had spilled a soda all over
it. I picked the very edge of the brown leather bench to sit on and hoped the
bus wouldn’t lurch and toss me into the aisle.
As the bus rolled away from my street,
the kids on the bus laughed, chatted to themselves, and beat out tunes on top
of the seats. I bobbed my head along with it, trying to not bring attention to
myself. None of them liked me, a fact I was well aware of. They were under the
impression that I had a superiority complex because my parents were rich. It
wasn’t my fault my parents made me ride the bus. I begged them for a car next
year when I turned sixteen, and they met it with a resounding no. No car for
Calliope. Riding the bus builds character. Wouldn’t want me to be spoiled like
Penny.
My little brother, Penny, was ten years
old, and my parents let him do whatever he wanted with the excuse of ‘boys will
be boys.’ I struggled daily trying to tell myself that I’m supposed to love my
brother, not to mention my parents. What kind of person doesn’t love their
family? The bad kind, that’s what. I was a horrible person for not loving them.
My alternative was that I could at least care about them. Maybe if I did, I
would become a better person. Until then, I deserved to ride the bus like a
loser. I stared down at the dirty bus floor and moped about my lot in life
until the bus lurched and tossed me, not in the aisle, but right into the
sticky seat puddle. My blue jumper was covered in soda, not to mention my hair.
I pulled at my red strands and came away with sticky sugar.
“Aww, is richy rich in a sticky
situation?” someone taunted. The bus erupted in laughter and my face burned
with mortification. I looked up to see a boy wearing a backwards cap, sipping a
soda through a straw and smiling at me with an evil grin. His straw bubbled
like there wasn’t anything left in the cup, because he’d emptied it all over my
seat. Pulling the cup away from his mouth, he shook it at me with a smile full
of sarcastic venom. His friend fist bumped him in victory.
The bus rocked again when the driver
pulled on the breaks as we reached the school, and I fell into the aisle this
time. The dirt from people’s shoes stuck to my sticky arm. Everyone had a good
round of laughter again and left the bus, leaving me behind. Somehow, I got up
off the floor and got my sticky self out onto the sidewalk.
Kathryn was waiting for me as always
with her golden tan and pink haired perfection, but her perfect face turned
sour when she saw me messed up and dirty. She flew to me and fussed over taking
my sticky bag and helping me inside the building, as if I couldn’t on my own.
She snuck me into the girl’s locker room and I took my boots off before I stood
under the showerhead and let the warm water flow over me.
“Those beasts,” she spat, watching me by
the sinks. I ran my fingers through my tangled red hair and shook the droplets
off my face. “They put the soda there on purpose to screw with you. I should
join you today after school and show them what happens when you mess with my
friend.”
“Please don’t,” I pleaded
half-heartedly. She was the only person who cared about me. I couldn’t bear it if
she was bullied too. I used a towel to dry off myself and my clothes as best I
could. The shower room had a washer and dryer, but if I didn’t get going fast,
we would miss first period.
“B. T. Dubs,” she said, pointing a
perfectly manicured finger at me. “We’re going to talk about that freak out you
had via text earlier.”
If I hadn’t just been doused in soda, I
might’ve actually told her the truth, but my mood was ruined. I grabbed my bag
from her and used the towel to try and salvage it without using water. It
worked well enough, so I slung it over my shoulder and walked out without
saying another word to her.
My favorite part of school was free
period. I spent that time every day inside the library, soaking in every book I
could get my hands on. I’ll admit that I was guilty of only choosing what was
new and popular, just so I could add to the conversations at school. I never
read anything older than myself, unless it was a hot topic, like Handmaid’s
Tale or Outlander. I never read classics or non-fiction. I know that’s
practically reader taboo, but I cared more about being able to impress people
than reading about antique people doing antique people things. It was a
conundrum, wanting to stay under the radar and yet be noticed at the same time.
I didn’t care that it was ridiculous.
My current read was about a virtual
world used to escape the doldrums of everyday life. It had been adapted into a
movie and everyone at school was buzzing about plans to go see it. I’d saved
enough allowance to go with Kathryn, and I fully intended to read the book
first so I could be prepared just in case anyone talked to me about it.
Like Blades Sherman.
He was on the football team and he
always dated curvy blondes that actually needed a bra. I knew he’d never notice
me, but my teenage heart didn’t care. I wanted him to suddenly realize that I
was perfect for him. Preferably before prom so he could ask me and I wouldn’t
have to go with Kathryn. I was totally fine bringing a girl, especially one as
pretty as Kathryn, but I wanted Blades like I wanted air, and really nice
shoes.
“Wake up.” Kathryn poked me with a
pencil and looked back down at her book, something with art on the pages. She
was convinced that there had to be at least one book in our library with boobs
in it. It was her daily quest, mostly so she had something to do while I
actually read the books. “Is it boring?” She pointed the pencil at the book in
my hands.
“No. I was just…..” I scratched at my
leg. My skin was becoming increasingly itchy with my still slightly damp
clothes. I could’ve spent free period cleaning them in the girls’ locker room,
but why do that when I could read books? “…daydreaming,” I finished.
“About Blaaaades?” she teased, batting
her eyelashes at me.
“Sssshut up,” I whispered in warning.
She giggled at me and leaned in secretively.
“Tell me, Cals. What’s the thing you
freaked out about earlier? Did you do something rebellious?” Her face lit up in
hope and she grabbed my hand to shake it repeatedly.
“Kind of?”
She squeaked loud enough for the librarian
to shush us, then leaned in closer. “What’d’ja do? Tellmetellmetellme!”
Having to say it out loud to her made it
real, and scary. I couldn’t tell her I’d written a dumb story. She wouldn’t
tease me, but she’d make it a thing. She’d never let me rest until I kept
writing, and I wasn’t ready for that. I didn’t even want that.
Did I?
Before I could answer, Kathryn grabbed
my hand and squeaked again, softer this time so we wouldn’t get in trouble.
Blades had just entered the library with his newest fling, someone I didn’t
know, but I wished I looked like her. Blonde hair. Big boobs. Actual booty. My
envy of her almost distracted me from him, my Blades. My stomach flip-flopped
at the sight of him and my lungs felt compressed inside my chest. I primped my
hair a bit and straightened my sweater.
“Calliope and Blades, sittin’ in a tree,”
Kathryn sang in a whisper. I batted her hands away. She brought her two pointer
fingers together to mimic kissing. “Gonna F.K. with Blades, aww yiss.” Her
abbreviation of ‘first kiss’ didn’t make her mashed together fingers look more
appealing. It also sounded like she was saying a curse word.
I’d just hissed for her to stop when
Blades and his girlfriend came closer. His eyes were busy taking in all the
shelves while the girl approached me with a cynical stare. She adjusted her
very large expensive purse and flipped her hand out in that ‘I want to talk to
your manager’ kind of way.
“Hey, nerd,” she belted out in my
direction. “Where’s the best corner in here to make out?” I was stunned into
silence that she would even ask me anything, not to mention why did she want to
know something like that? Ohh. Right. She scoffed at me when I didn’t answer.
“Oh wait, I’m asking the wrong person, aren’t I? You only kiss your hand.” She
sighed, as if teasing me was boring her. “Where’s the books on Napoleon?”
Kathryn leaned her arm over the back of
her chair and scowled. “Do we look like librarians?”
The blonde girl’s look made it very
clear she absolutely thought we did. “I need to write a stupid paper and I have
no idea who Napoleon is.”
Kathryn shrugged. “French dude. Tried to
take over Europe. Didn’t work out too well.” I found myself trying to catch
Blades’ eyes, but he kept his gaze firmly towards the ceiling. If only he’d
look down, he’d see how cute I looked in my navy blue jumper. It was almost
completely dry now from the shower too.
My mind moved unbidden to thoughts of
finding that quiet corner his girlfriend thought I knew about, only she wasn’t
there, and it was just him and me. Maybe he’d laugh when he felt the dampness
of the jumper and pull me close to him when I told him what had happened. It
would be nice to have someone to save me from bullies. Maybe he’d become my
champion and make sure no one hurt me ever again.
And maybe. He’d give me my first kiss. A
stolen moment between the book stacks when our lips met.
His girlfriend snapped loudly in my face
to wake me up from my daydreams. “Wake up, crazy face. Where’s the stupid
history books, your friend doesn’t know.”
My cheeks flushed and I glanced at
Blades again before looking down at my boots. “Over there,” I said meekly,
pointing. She grabbed Blades’ arm and dragged him away from me.
Daydreaming was something I did every
day. Yes, some of it was about Blades, as was to be expected of teenage girl
hormones. The rest was about other things. How I’d fit in my favorite novels or
tv shows, or what if this had happened in history instead of what actually
happened.
Sometimes I daydreamed about things I
made up and that was how I’d come up with the story about the dog and the
squirrel. I saw someone walking their Labrador retriever across the street from
my science class and watched as it tried desperately to catch a ground
squirrel, even after the rodent had disappeared into its hole in the ground.
Something sparked inside me, and I immediately flipped a few pages away from my
science notes and wrote until the bell rang.
The dog and squirrel had lived in the
same yard for all their lives, and the squirrel was convinced he and the dog
were best friends. The dog had no such preconceptions and tolerated the
squirrel’s antics until one day the squirrel didn’t come out of its tree, and
the dog realized he missed his friend.
I knew the story wasn’t very good, but
writing it made me feel alive, and as I sat in Algebra daydreaming about other
things, I tried to convince myself that I was going to succeed at writing. My
resolve was short-lived because I went home and remembered how life really was.
That was how I felt that day when I
trudged up the stairs and dumped my bag onto my bed before changing out of the
now dry jumper. My skin still had an edge of stick to it, so I walked to the
bathroom to clean up. The large rectangle mirror showed a thin weed-like girl
with freckles and red hair that was neither curly nor straight. I turned to the
side and frowned at my lack of curves. I was still as skinny as I was before
puberty. Shopping in the juniors section while everyone else had moved onto the
women’s section was humiliating, not to mention I was the only fifteen year old
who hadn’t grown proper breasts. A groan escaped my lips and I leaned forward
to scowl at all the freckles that dotted every inch of my skin. I looked like a
Dalmatian.
“If you stare harder, maybe you’ll stop
looking like a turd face,” my little brother squeaked from behind the bathroom
door. I caught his eye in the mirror and the sight of my angry face sent him
off running down the hall. My feet flew out of the bathroom, through the
hallway, down the stairs, and into the living room where he’d hidden behind
something.
“Penny, you are so dead!” I shouted to him
as I bent around looking for his hiding spot.
“Language!” I heard from the kitchen,
right before my mother poked her head out from the archway that separated the
two rooms. She looked at me with pursed lips and wrinkled disapproval. It took
me a few seconds to realize that she was mad at me for saying the word ‘dead.’
I pointed to the couch where Penny was
hiding. “Penny called me a turd face.”
Instead of coming to my defense, because
she never did, Mom sighed heavily. “Calliope, act mature. This doesn’t become
you.” She turned and went back into the kitchen. My mouth curled in anger at
her retreating back. She was so mean sometimes. Why couldn’t she be fun like
Kathryn’s mom? Kathryn’s mom let her do whatever she wanted, while my mom still
insisted I hide my eyes when Aragorn decapitated the Uruk-hai in Lord of the
Rings. Spoiler alert: I’ve seen blood before, Mom.
Seeing that I wasn’t paying attention,
Penny crawled out from the couch and launched himself at my leg. “Alien
attaaaaack!” he screamed. “I’m going to suck your brains out your butt hole!” I
kicked at the leg he was attached to and looked hopefully at the kitchen to see
if Mom would reprimand my brother for saying ‘butt hole,’ but she failed to
appear. Typical.
“Penny,” I growled in annoyance. “Why
are you being such a brat?”
“I’m not a brat! You’re a brat!” he
retorted and stuck his tongue out at me.
“Don’t call your brother a brat,” Dad
ordered from the front door. Him too? Of course, I forgot. It was pick on
Calliope day. Every day was pick on Calliope day.
“Make him get off,” I whined, hoping one
parent would have some sympathy on me.
“It’s time for dinner.”
Mom’s words made Penny fly off of me
faster than a page load. He didn’t bother making sure I was okay, and his
retreat almost knocked me over, slamming me into the edge of the coffee table.
Pain sliced through my leg and I bent to checked the area. No blood. I limped
over to the dining table where Mom had decorated the room like we were being
filmed for HGTV. Flowers in vases, flowers in buckets, flowers in tiny
wheelbarrows, and so. much. burlap.
I sat down in my country style
ladderback chair with weathered paint and watched Penny kick his chair
repeatedly as he swung his feet back and forth. My father, already sitting at
the head of the table, ignored the noise and damage to the chair. I smiled when
Mom came into the room and placed a large dish of roast beef stew on the table.
She didn’t smile back, but that was okay.
“How was work, Dad?” I asked brightly,
picking up my napkin to place in my lap. Yes. Mom made us use actual cloth
napkins, like we were at a restaurant. It’s an understatement to say she tried
my patience sometimes.
My father helped himself to some stew
and diverted my question with one of his own. “Have you finished your paper
that’s due tomorrow?” He was always on top of what I had to do at school.
I sunk into my chair and stared at the
flowers in front of me. “No.”
“Then what, pray tell, was so much more
important than your homework?” he asked me, his tone growing agitated. He
passed the serving spoon to Penny next.
I watched my brother get a very large
serving of the stew and thought about the story contest. Obviously, I couldn’t
tell them about it. What would they even say?
Stop neglecting your studies for
frivolous activities. Probably. Not that I wasn’t a straight A student, because
I was. That didn’t matter to them, though.
When my brother stuck his tongue out at
me and passed the serving spoon to Mom, something snapped inside me. I grasped
at the receding tethers to stop the oncoming flood, but it was too late.
My mouth had a mind of its own and
blurted out the sentence that changed my life.
“I entered a writing contest.”
About Elizabeth:

 

Elizabeth Dunlap is the author of
several fantasy books, including the Born Vampire series. She’s never wanted to
be anything else in her life, except maybe a vampire. She lives in Texas with
her boyfriend, their daughter, and a very sleepy chihuahua named Deyna.
Giveaway
Details:
1
winner will win a finished copy of ECRIVAIN & Swag, US Only.
Ends
August 13th, midnight EST.
 

 

Blog Tour: Silent Kingdom Series

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Silent Kingdom
Silent Kingdom Book 1
by Rachel L. Schade
Genre: YA Fantasy 

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Some fates can’t be escaped
Chosen by truth. Marked for death. Halia must choose to save her kingdom, or let it fall.

Misroth’s king has died, and the entire kingdom is in mourning–or so it seems. After her father is crowned regent in his brother’s stead, Princess Halia discovers a terrible truth that could end her life. But when she flees to live in hiding, she discovers that the Royal Guard are not all she has to fear. Dark creatures stalk her, reports of oppression and war reach her ears, and her burden to protect her kingdom–at any cost–will not be silenced.

Lovers of fantasy adventures such as Throne of GlassAn Ember in the Ashes, and The Remnant Chronicles won’t want to miss this exciting new series. Filled with heart-pounding action and thrilling courage, supernatural powers and nightmarish monsters, readers have trouble putting this book down. Start your adventure today!

Goodreads * Amazon ​

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CHAPTER ONE

I was thirteen when the truth first revealed itself to me.
It happened on a day usually set aside for celebration in Misroth, now weighed down by the loss of our king. The air felt heavy and still under the grey afternoon sky as I walked amidst the coronation procession. All around me, councilmen strode silently, their cloaks swirling about their legs, their boots thudding a steady rhythm along the cobblestone streets of the capital. Arrayed in elaborate scarlet and blue, the King’s Guard formed a protective barrier around the procession’s outer edges, as if they could save my family from the pain that had already taken residence in our hearts. Even in the dim light, the guards’ steel armor glinted. I watched them in awe, for I had never seen them in anything other than their everyday chainmail and leather breastplates, and they looked ready for battle.
Before me, my mother and father walked with their heads held high. Mother’s long, dark hair was plaited delicately and her emerald green dress was so long it trailed along the street behind her. Father kept his grey eyes focused on the crowds around us, nodding to citizens as we passed. He had warned our family that we should not let this dark time steal our dignity, and reminded us that tears were for the weak.
To my shame, my vision blurred with tears anyway. Perhaps I’ll always disappoint Father. I blinked them away hastily and turned to my cousin Gillen, who trudged beside me. His golden, shoulder-length hair tousled in the wind and fell into his face when he hung his head. I knew he was trying to hide his eyes, which were usually bright, but today were swollen and red.
I reached out and gave his arm a reassuring squeeze, wishing I could lend the last shreds of my strength to him.
Thank you, Lia,” he muttered for only me to hear. “This is not a day I feel strong.”
But he had to be. One day he would be our new king. I opened my mouth to murmur something comforting, but choked on my words. He is healed now. We will see him again. What nonsense. The words were all hollow and brittle, crumbling as soon as I thought them. Gillen didn’t want to hear them, and neither did I. Frowning at my feet, I clamped my mouth shut.
Drawing a deep breath, I dared to raise my gaze to study the rows of citizens lining the streets. Their faces were solemn and their eyes seemed to reflect my own fears: fear of change, fear of the pain and death we had witnessed. This was no joyous coronation procession, not when it followed a funeral. We had left grieving citizens and my weeping aunt at her husband’s graveside to wind our way through the wide streets of Misroth City, past the towering stone buildings and houses. There were no cheers or fists raised to hearts in salute; no ribbons were waved, and no songs were sung. Throughout the city, a heavy silence hung in the air.
We halted in the main square, surrounded by shops closed for business today, and stood, hushed, as my father approached the waiting priest, who stood in the center of the square before a marble statue of King Eldon. Beside the priest, a solitary Royal Guard stood bearing Misroth’s banner, adorned with the stars of the dragon constellation, Vehgar. Father’s velvet robes, midnight blue and trimmed in silver, trailed along the cobblestone behind him. Dressed all in red, the royal priest stood tall and solemn, his dark face masked by the large hood he wore. His cloak billowed about him, but he was motionless.
Today is a day of many emotions,” the priest announced. In the stillness, his voice was startlingly loud, echoing off the buildings around us. “We grieve the passing of our beloved King Reylon. Together, we mourn the loss his family all feel. But we have hope and comfort in this dark time. We know the Giver of Life has carried our king to another, better place, and King Reylon’s brave brother, Zarev, stands before us willing to accept the throne until King Reylon’s son Gillen is of age. Misroth will not be leaderless.”
Lifting his arms, the priest began to sing an ancient blessing over my father. The words were in Alrenian, a language no longer understood in our kingdom, but the meanings of the old songs were still remembered, passed down from generation to generation. This was a traditional coronation blessing, asking the Giver of Strength to equip my father for the task before him.
O bren valt hali,
O bren valt mis.
Mari, O emba l’val.
Thero, yagen sem forith.
Thero, yagen sem mis.
Thero, val re rynnet…”
All around me, heads bowed in reverence. It seemed as if others felt comforted by the priest’s words, but I felt numb. I didn’t want to be the daughter of a king, even a king regent. I didn’t want to return to a home bereft of my uncle’s kindly smile or his exciting stories shared with Gillen and me by the fireside.
My red armband of mourning, fastened over my forearm, was constricting, and I wanted to rip it off. Why would the Life-Giver bring us death?
I was startled out of my reverie by my father’s voice, repeating a pledge before the Misrothian people and the Giver as he accepted kingship. The priest’s and my father’s voices trailed on, alternating as the priest spoke and my father recited the words.
I vow to protect my kingdom with my own blood, to dedicate my service to the Giver of Life and to Misroth…”
My father was supposed to live a long life,” Gillen whispered, his countenance still a picture of shock. “Not leave me to rule as soon as I am eighteen. That’s four years from now,” he choked out.
Grasping Gillen’s cold hand in mine, I bowed my head, knowing nothing I said would help my cousin.
“…and, if circumstances demand it, to give my own life for Misroth.”
My father rose, the king’s silver crown contrasting with his long dark hair as he faced the crowd. His voice was steady and confident. “…and, if circumstances demand it, to give my own life for Misroth.”
As the priest called my mother forth to declare her own pledge as queen, I wished for something to say, anything to ease Gillen’s pain.
If only I’d known how dangerous words can be.

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Forsaken Kingdom
Silent Kingdom Book 2

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An empty throne. A ruined kingdom. Is she their deliverance or their downfall?

Halia’s fight for her kingdom is only beginning. With Misroth’s rightful king in danger, Halia is forced to trust her enemy and embark on a dangerous journey into Toryn to find her cousin. But Toryn is in ruins, its people plagued by terrors and fighting for survival. As death stalks them all, Halia must face the darkness in her past and her deepest fears, until at last she is faced with one terrible question: How much is she willing to lose?

Lovers of fantasy adventures such as Throne of GlassAn Ember in the Ashes, and The Remnant Chronicles won’t want to miss this exciting new series. Filled with heart-pounding action and thrilling courage, supernatural powers and nightmarish monsters, readers have trouble putting this book down.

Goodreads * Amazon

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CHAPTER ONE

The people of Misroth marched my father’s head through the streets. In a gleeful parade,
men, women, and even children held their fists high in the air and shouted their victory,
their freedom, and their release from tyranny and death. The patches of ice and snow
littering the muddy cobblestones underfoot did nothing to slow their steps.
Kneeling beside my mother’s memorial, I watched them stream through the streets below
as anger and disgust stabbed my chest. Beside me, Jennah reached out and grasped my arm, her
hand warm and reassuring.
I stared at her, a breeze off the Alrenian brushing its chill fingers through my hair. Her
eyes were sympathetic, but her brow was furrowed into firm lines. In the daylight, the fresh scar
cutting across her cheek contrasted starkly with the dark, gold-tinted skin that, along with her
eyes, showed her Alrenian heritage.
This needs to end,” I said, plucking her hand from my arm and rising. The rebels
standing behind us, acting as my unofficial Royal Guard, stirred uncomfortably.
Jennah didn’t move, but continued to gaze at the stone altar. Words were etched into its
side, words that left me cold and numb as they blandly recited facts:
Lady Ryn of Misroth,
Daughter of Lord Dievon and Lady Loella,
Wife of Prince Zarev.
Born Year 159. Perished Year 201.
Prepared years ago for the former queen, with her death date added mere days ago, its
charred surface was a heavy reminder of the night we burned her body. Contrasting starkly with
the blackness were white sythrel petals scattered over the memorial, offerings to plead for the
Life-Giver’s favor toward the dead.
My fingers curled into fists. There would be no favor for the dead if there was not favor
for the living first. And behaving as my father had was no way for my kingdom to earn it.
I turned my back to my mother’s memorial and took a step back toward the city, my
boots crunching on gravel and sand.
Your Highness.” Jennah’s voice was low, smooth.
Do not call me that.”
Ignoring my comment, Jennah stood and joined me as I glared down at the streets. She
studied me for a moment before quirking an eyebrow. “How do you plan to stop a mob—by
running out into the fray and being trampled to death?”
I lifted my hands to massage my temples. “We must not be like him. We cannot stoop to
this—this barbarism…”
Again, Jennah reached out her hand to touch my shoulder. Her face softened with
compassion, the gold flecks in her brown eyes glittering with warmth. “What will you have us
tell the people?”
Tell them to burn the king’s body. Scatter the ashes to the wind, or bury them to be
forgotten forever. I don’t care,” I finished, “as long as the people return to their lives. It is time to
rebuild. To forget.”
I fingered the red armband of mourning adorning my right forearm, tracing the outline of
sythrel petals etched into its smooth leather surface. It and the diamond star hanging from a
white gold chain my mother had worn to honor her marriage to my father were the only symbols
of bereavement I bore. It had seemed wrong not to follow Misrothian custom in the wake of my
mother’s death, even if she had failed me in countless ways. Jennah’s eyes followed my
movement, and I could read the question on her face: Was there a part of me that mourned my
father?
Refusing to contemplate that possibility, I averted my gaze.
Let’s return to the castle, and I will pass on your orders,” Jennah said.
We descended the dirt pathway leading to the streets. Now that the riotous crowd had
passed, the surrounding city was quiet and empty. A distant bell tolled the time—half past the
thirteenth hour—and a stray cat skittered along the cobblestones to avoid our path. Half the
shops we passed, even those lining the main street that wound a path toward the castle, were
closed, while the rest looked lifeless, vacant of all but their shopkeepers.
Our guards followed Jennah and me silently, a constant reminder that I was confined
once again to the life of a royal, always being followed, always being watched. Always feeling
constricted. Towering overhead, even the slate-colored buildings of the capital seemed to hem
me in. I caught a glimpse of a woman peering from a window high above until she met my gaze
and turned away. The eyes of an entire city—an entire kingdom—were on me, all the Misrothian
people resting their hopes in my hands and waiting to see what I would do next. I couldn’t fail
them.
I swallowed as memories of open skies and friendly faces darted through my mind, as
grief and regret rose at the reminder of how much I missed Lyanna and Rev and all the others I’d
never even bid goodbye. But in a kingdom teetering toward anarchy in these uncertain days, I
had no time to consider that now.
Mere days had passed since the rebels had taken possession of the castle, but these days
had felt like a lifetime. I couldn’t leave Misroth until a semblance of order was restored and my
aunt was well enough to rule in her son’s stead, but my heart ached to be journeying toward my
cousin Gillen, to find him and bring him home safely. Every moment I remained in Misroth was
another moment I was abandoning him to an unknown fate in a perilous land.
We reached the castle, our footsteps echoing in the courtyard as guards let us pass with
salutes. Two more pushed the main doors inward to reveal the gleaming marble floors and
carved mahogany columns of the main entrance. My stomach twisted; I still wasn’t used to the
sight of my childhood home, a place that felt cold and empty with so many recent painful
memories—and without Gillen’s presence. After the years I’d spent in the quiet village of Evren
with Lyanna and Rev, I felt like I was living a stranger’s life in Misroth City.
Jennah turned toward me. “We need to prepare for your meeting with the Royal
Council.” She glanced back at the men accompanying us. “Gather more men and put an end to
the riots, in the princess’s name.”
Ever since King Zarev had been overthrown, I’d found there were few I could trust
within the castle. Most of his Royal Guard were locked in the prisons while the servants were
questioned one by one. Because of this, members of the rebellion, including Jennah and her
family, had moved into the castle with me to better serve as my unofficial guard and assist in the
many changes I needed to enact. Jennah had already proved to be an encouraging supporter and
advisor. But I wasn’t as thrilled as she about my meeting to reconvene the Royal Council today.
I drew a deep breath as Jennah and I passed through the halls and up the spiraling
staircases of the castle. Endless stone corridors, richly carpeted rooms, grand windows with
breathtaking views of the gardens and sea, and dozens upon dozens of paintings and statues and
tapestries commemorating Misroth’s history—they all whirled by in a maze I could have walked
with my eyes closed. When we entered my chambers, two servants were already laying out a
gown the royal seamstress had prepared for the occasion. They glanced up at me expectantly, but
I waved them away.
That will be all, thank you,” I said. The headache forming in my temples was growing
more relentless, more insistent.
It’s beautiful,” Jennah murmured, running the skirt’s silken folds through her fingers.
Pressing my lips together, I studied the dress carefully spread across my bedcovers. It
was scarlet, its flared sleeves accented with small jewels that cast small glimmers of light along
the walls. The bodice was fitted and overlaid with silver lace; the skirt hung in loose folds that
shimmered with further hints of silver—more lace or jewels or perhaps elegant embroidery, I
could not tell. I didn’t want to look and suppressed the urge to cringe.
Jennah spun toward me with a smile. “Now you can finally set that old dress aside.”
Yes,” I said, turning away as I bunched folds of my wool skirt in my hands. It was
travel-stained and faded, an old brown dress Lyanna had made for me. I had few possessions
from Evren to hold on to, and I longed for even these simple reminders of the family and friends
I’d left behind. Though I knew I had no choice, I was afraid if I discarded my old clothes for all
the new castle attire the seamstress was preparing, the servants would burn them or use them as
rags.
This isn’t a time to be sentimental. Drawing a deep breath, I nodded. “I will change.” I
snatched the gown from the bed before Jennah could protest and dashed toward my dressing
chamber.
Do you want help…?” Jennah called hesitantly.
I repressed an urge to laugh aloud. Help? I’d lived as a commoner only a few years of my
life, and I’d felt more comfortable then than I’d ever had within the castle walls. If only she
knew how much I longed to return to that life now, as the Misrothian people turned to me in
anticipation and hope. “I’m fine,” I murmured instead.
The dress was as heavy as I’d imagined, but to the seamstress’s credit, it fit perfectly, and
the material was soft against my skin. And politically, to be attired in Misroth’s colors—well, I
hoped I would make the impression I strove to make with the Royal Council, because I knew
what I had to say was going to stir their anger. Drawing as deep of a breath as I could in my
fitted bodice, I walked back toward my bedchamber and quirked an eyebrow at Jennah.
Jennah set her hands on her hips. “I was right. You look stunning.” She smiled. “Like a
princess.”
I relaxed my shoulders somewhat and stepped forward, trying to ignore the way the dress
swished along the floorboards around my feet. After years of sword practice and archery with
Avrik in simple, more loose-fitting attire that let me move as I needed, it was hard to feel
comfortable in a dress that restricted me. Even if my fight was over—for now.
Good,” I said, “then they will listen to me.”
Jennah’s gaze was level yet piercing, as if she were looking into my head and assessing
my thoughts. “You are their leader; they will listen to you no matter what. You are the one who
should be dead, if not for the Life-Giver’s blessing. Have the people not sought blessings from
our god all this time? To see one of their own, a member of the royal family, receiving his
blessing and offering them freedom again as King Eldon did… It means something.”
I caught a glimpse of myself in the floor-length mirror on the opposite wall and paused.
My green eyes and dark hair were so like my mother’s, but my jawline and stern expression were
more my father’s, traits that I could use to give me his same commanding appearance, if I
wanted to. “Gillen is their rightful leader,” I said.
In the mirror, Jennah’s reflection was visible over my shoulder. Her eyebrow rose in
understanding. “You mean to find him,” she said. “You called this meeting to inform the Council
or to seek its blessing.” Her brow furrowed and she shook her head. “Ele—Halia, please
reconsider. Misrothians will look to you during this time. You must be crowned queen regent in
Gillen’s absence and help the kingdom recover.”
I tugged on the sleeve of my dress and stared down at my feet. “My aunt can do all of this
in my absence.”
She is royalty by marriage only…”
She is as capable as anyone. More capable than I am, certainly.” I fidgeted with the
folds of my skirt before I caught myself and stopped. “Trust me, Jennah, I’ve considered all of
this. I know the objections that will be made. But if I don’t go”—I struggled not to choke on the
words— “if I send others in my place while I sit in the safety of this castle… I cannot do it. I
can’t leave him again.”
Jennah’s eyes met mine in the mirror and for several long seconds we said nothing.
Determination spread across her face and her eyes sparkled with defiance. “If you go, I go with
you.”
What about your daughters?”
If this is for the kingdom’s safety, it is for theirs.” Jennah saluted. “Please grant me this.
Let me stay by your side to protect you.”
I hesitated, studying her strong features, her tall, slender form. A woman of Alrenian
heritage with a warrior’s heart would surely be an asset, but I hated to risk her safety and tear her
apart from her family again. The jagged scar tracing her cheek, pale white against her dark
complexion, reminded me of how much she had already given. But who was I to tell her no?
If this is what you want,” I sighed, “I will not say no. But do what is best for you and
your family, not me. Think of them and then make your final decision.”
Jennah lifted her chin. “I already have. I’ll speak with my husband, but I know he’ll see
my point. It’s too soon for him to travel again, when he’s still recovering, and he’s been away
from our daughters all this time.”
Bowing my head, I nodded.
Distant tolling marked the hour and I jerked upright, straightening my back and holding
my head high. It was time to meet with the Royal Council.

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Rachel L. Schade was born on the first day of summer in a small town in Michigan, only to end up in another small town in Ohio. She attended The Ohio State University to learn how to write obnoxiously long papers, cite people who use big words, and discuss her passion: books. She has a great love for the color blue, sunshine, chocolate, and not folding her laundry. Currently she lives with her husband and surrounds herself with coffee and books on a regular basis.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads ​

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How the Writing Life Chose Me…No, Really

Every time I try to answer questions such as: When did you decide to become a writer? or When did you fall in love with reading? I struggle. The truth is, it’s hard to trace my love of all things bookish back to a beginning. My parents read to me as a child, which must have left the huge impression on me that everyone says reading to children can leave.
To be honest, I barely remember learning how to read. I barely remember not knowing how. I remember pulling off any and every book from my first and second grade classroom shelves and devouring them at my desk in every spare moment I had. In fact, I stuffed my nose so literally in books that when the school coach stopped by my class once, he expressed a concern that I might have sight problems.
I didn’t. I just liked to live with my nose literally stuck in a book, like Belle. I guess I was so caught up in whatever I was reading, I couldn’t help but hold it as closely as possible.
And as for writing? I know at the age of ten I was typing out short children’s mystery books on the family computer. I know at the age of eleven Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, which my mom read out loud to my brother and me, inspired me to begin writing my own fantasy novel, scribbled in endless notebook pages and then eventually typed on our computer.
But when did it start? I don’t know. I’ve actually come across mini “books” I’d illustrated as a child and then, because I couldn’t write yet, dictated to my mom. So there you have it: proof I was even writing before I could actually write.
I guess the short and cliché answer is that writing and reading is an integral part of who I am. It’s been a lifelong passion, instilled in me by the parents who read to me. I simply can’t imagine my life without books! 

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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

July 5
kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours
The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’

July 6
Character Madness and Musings – GUEST POST
My Devotional Thoughts
Book-Lover

July 7
nanasbookreviews
Readeropolis – GUEST POST
Scrupulous Dreams

July 8
Ilovebooksandstuffblog
Shannon Muir, Author – Infinite House of Books – GUEST POST
What Is That Book About – GUEST POST

July 9
Cats Luv Coffee Book Reviews
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
Reign of Fantasy

July 10
Diane’s Book Blog – GUEST POST
The Magic Of Wor(l)ds – GUEST POST
The Bookshelf Fairy

July 11
Viviana MacKade – GUEST POST
YA/NA Book Divas
Twisted Book Ramblings

July 12
Java John Z’s
Literary Gold

July 13
Always Love Me Some Books Blog – GUEST POST
Reviews and Promos by Nyx– GUEST POST

July 14
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
2 chicks and a book

July 15
Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author
A Pinch of Bookdust
The Book Dragon

July 16
Bedazzled By Books
Book Corner News and Reviews
Triquetra Reviews

July 17
Books a Plenty Book Reviews
Books, Authors, Blogs
Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed

July 18
Tome Tender
Books all things paranormal and romance

July 19
Chapters through life
books are love

July 20
Craving Lovely Books
Drako’s Den

July 21
Breanna Hayse Romance
Dragon’s Den

July 22
TMBA Corbett Tries to Write – GUEST POST
Bookworm for Kids
Yearwood La Novela

July 23
Educated Book Freak
Inside the Insanity – GUEST POST

July 24
Jazzy Book Reviews – GUEST POST
Girl with Pen

July 25
4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼
Luv Saving Money

July 26
eBook Addicts
Maiden of the Pages– GUEST POST

July 27
Defining Ways❧ 
Midnight Book Reader

July 28
Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
Paranormal Palace of Pleasures

July 29
ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ– GUEST POST
Paranormal Romance Trance

July 30
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews

July 31
Better Read Than Undead
raeblake.com

Aug 1
Stacking My Book Shelves!
Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’

Aug 2
Speculative Fiction Spot
Sylv.net

Aug 3
Anna del C. Dye official page
T’s Stuff

Aug 4
DEEKAY | Daily Dose of Reading – GUEST POST, REVIEW BOTH
Teatime and Books

Aug 5
Port Jericho – REVIEW BOTH
Lisa Book Blog

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