Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Book Blitz: Merged by Jim Kroepfl & Stephanie Kroepfl

Merged
by Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: September 17th 2019
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Seven of our country’s most gifted teens will become Nobels, hosts for the implantation of brilliant Mentor minds, in an effort to accelerate human progress.
But as the line between what’s possible and what’s right, draws ever blurrier, the teens discover everything has a cost.
Scientists have created an evolved form of living known as Merged Consciousness, and sixteen-year-old Lake finds herself unable to merge with her Mentor.
Lake, the Nobel for Chemistry and Orfyn, the Nobel for Art, are two from among the inaugural class of Nobels, and with the best intent and motivation. But when Stryker, the Nobel for Peace, makes them question the motivation of the scientists behind the program, their world begins to unravel.
As the Nobels work to uncover the dark secrets of the program’s origins, everyone’s a suspect and no one can be trusted, not even the other Nobels.
As the Mentors begin to take over the bodies and minds of the Nobels, Lake and Orfyn must find a way to regain control before they lose all semblance or memory of their former selves.
EXCERPT:
Depending on your point of view, I’m either famous or infamous. I’m called by many names: Ward of the State, Orphaned, Foofool (only by Sister Mo), and Kevin. That last one makes me feel like I’m wearing someone else’s clothes. Tight and loose in all the wrong places. So, I came up with my own name, though no one has ever connected it to me. The identity of street artists should never be revealed.
I flick turpentine at a rat that’s getting a little too curious about my brushes. The alley smells like something died, making me wonder if there’s a body in the dumpster. Michelangelo cut up dead people to better understand how we’re built. If he was willing to do that for his art, I can endure this stink for one night. I breathe through my mouth and get back to work.
After four straight hours, the painting is coming along great, and I know I can finish it before people start heading out for their nine-to-five jobs. I paint madly, getting lost in the scene, moving from figure to figure, jersey to jersey. It’s my best work yet, and I want this one to last.
At least, for a few days.

Author Bio:
Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl are a husband-and-wife team who write YA novels and stories of mystery and adventure from their cabin in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Their debut novel, Merged, will be released by Month9Books on September 17, 2019.



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Monday, 9 September 2019

Book Blitz: The Last Huntsman by Page Morgan!

The Last Huntsman
by Page Morgan
Publication date: September 9th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
No women. No children. No torture. The Huntsman has his rules.
For years, Tobin has done his emperor’s bidding, eliminating threats to the Empire of Morvansk. But when he is ordered to kill the lovely Princess Mara, Tobin’s absolute loyalty ends. The emperor’s punishment is swift and lethal, and Tobin is left with only one desire: vengeance.
Stay quiet. Stay hidden. Stay free. These are the rules Ever lives by.
Raised as a boy by her overprotective father, Ever has something the Morvansk emperor covets: mirror magic. With it, she can see anyone, anywhere, through the mirror’s glass. The emperor stole her mother years ago for this same magic, and now, he wants Ever, too.
When Ever’s mirror shows the wounded rebel huntsman approaching her village, she’s compelled to help him. But as Tobin and Ever grow closer, and their secrets intertwine, they’ll have to follow the rules they’ve always lived by—or break free from them, once and for all.
EXCERPT:
The shriek of a bird drew my eyes to the trees above. When I looked down, Mara stepped into the clearing. The call of the nuisance bird muted, as did everything else in the world surrounding the glade. She came through the tall grasses, her lavender colored skirts gathered in her hands to keep the hem from getting soiled against the ground.
I closed my eyes and forced forward the image of my mother. Of Kinn, of Lael. The worst five minutes of my life were about to unfold, and I had to keep those three faces present if I had any hope of following through.
I opened my eyes as Mara searched the glade for Orin, the man she believed had beckoned her there. She lifted her face to the sun, most likely chilled from the walk through the dim forest.
Mother.
Kinn.
Lael.
I looked into the hushed wood. Her ladies would have made plenty of noise had they followed, and her guards’ steel swords and metal fixtures would have been a clattering racket. She’d come alone, just as the note had bid.
She fiddled nervously with the front tucks of her skirt, not seeing me as I stood. I parted the flexible pines and stepped past the young green needles, coming to the edge of the brook’s banking. It was then that the princess spotted me. She let out a small yelp and dropped her skirts. Covering her mouth with her hands, Mara released her breath.
“Huntsman, you frightened me.” She lowered her hand and sent me a small smile, though it quickly fell. “What are you doing here? You didn’t…did you read the note you delivered this morning?”
Don’t look at her. Don’t listen to her.
“Forgive me, of course you didn’t. Are you hunting?” she asked as I stepped across the three rocks in the brook and into the glade.
The sun hit me, and my legs turned to dead weight. They didn’t want to move any closer. My hands, too, stayed heavy at my sides. The blade with the prince’s crest was inside my trouser waistline, and my own personal blades were where I always kept them.
“I’m meeting the prince,” she said, her voice notched louder. “It’s not very indecent, considering we are to be married,” she added with a half smile.
I strode through the grass toward her, pushing the slab of stone in my chest lower to crush the rapid beating of my heart. Mara’s shrewd eyes narrowed. My presence made her nervous, yet she didn’t back away as I came to within a foot of her.
Mother.
Kinn.
Lael.
“The prince is not coming.”
Mara looked sideways at me. “How do you know this?” Her facial muscles went slack. “You’ve done something to him.”
“I’ve already told you,” I said. Level. Clear. “The emperor did not send me to kill the prince.”
She wanted to believe me. Just like she believed me the other night when I said we were friends. I could see it in the way she shifted her bottom lip side to side, gripping the inside of it with her teeth.
“Then why have you followed me here?” she asked.
There was not supposed to be any conversation. I’d been taught to be brief, to make sure the target knew who had come for him and why, and then to finish before the target could beg or offer money in return for leniency.
“I didn’t follow you.” I reached inside my jacket and gripped Orin’s blade, the gold of the crossed hilt cool under my hot, sweaty palm.
She stared at me with a confused grimace, paying no attention to my hand.
“I led you here,” I said. “It is Emperor Frederic’s order, princess. I am only his servant.”
The last sentence spilled out of my mouth unintentionally, and with it, I caught the first whiff of my decaying will. The Huntsman didn’t explain himself. The Huntsman didn’t make excuses.
I pulled the dagger and stepped forward so swiftly Mara didn’t know to resist. She was taller than me, but I was stronger and faster; I wrapped my arm around her neck and her knees buckled, her chin wedging tight inside my crooked elbow. She screamed, but my bicep and forearm squelched it into a sputtering croak.
Mother.
Kinn.
Lael.

Author Bio:
Page is the author of THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED, THE LOVELY AND THE LOST, and THE WONDROUS AND THE WICKED, young adult gothic thrillers critically acclaimed by Booklist, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, and The Bulletin. Page's novels have been an IndieNext selection, a Seventeen Magazine Summer Book Club Read, and a #1 Amazon bestseller. Her next book, THE LAST HUNTSMAN, is a reimagining of the Huntsman and Magic Mirror from the tale of Snow White. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their three daughters, an English Pointer, an arrogant cat, two boring bearded dragons, a one-eared bunny, a bunch of chickens, and during the summer and fall, their neighbor's two sweet horses.

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Monday, 2 September 2019

Book Blitz: Sacrifices by Roxanna Rose!

Sacrifices
by Roxanna Rose
(Legacy Series, #3)
Publication date: September 1st 2019
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Morrigan, Goddess of Uncontrollable Lust and Killing Rage, is trapped in the mind of the immortal she created. For more than 2000 years they search for the means to destroy the Goddess Brighid, freeing Morrigan’s trapped spirit and allowing her to release the full malevolence of her power on the mortal realm.
Jenna thought her grandmother’s eccentric behavior was a product of the tragedy that left them as their family’s only survivors. Learning the truth of her family’s connection to the Goddess Brigid, Jenna is plunged into a legacy she never asked for as she becomes hunted by the murderous Goddess Morrigan. Can she survive a world she never knew existed?
Greagoir spent more than two millennia reveling in the carnage and lust that came with being the chosen immortal of Morrigan. But when he looks at Jenna, he sees the face of his beloved Genovefa, the woman he lost long ago. Is he willing to cross Morrigan and sacrifice his freedom?
The Otherworld demands sacrifices. Someone will pay the ultimate one.
EXCERPT:
Once they got into the car Julie pulled out her phone.
“Thanks for keeping him distracted.”
Julie pulled up selfies of her sprawled out across a huge bed in various poses.
“What are you, twelve? I can’t believe you did that. I am so embarrassed.”
“Relax, he didn’t catch me and there was no way I would ever get a chance like that again. I’m spending the night at your place. We can take the dresses back to Rent the Runway in the morning before your gran’s plane comes in. I’ve got my keys, let’s stop by the market on the way up and grab some snacks. Your gran never has decent junk food and you need junk food to talk to hot guys… like our host that couldn’t take his eyes off you. I told you that dress was rockin’…you’re welcome.”

Author Bio:
Roxanna Rose's fascination for myths and legends are the inspiration for her young adult paranormal/fantasy romance books. A soon-to-be transplant to the Pacific Northwest, Rose takes her unique views of legends from around the world and breathes life into each character while creating a richly layered world around them.


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Sunday, 1 September 2019

Book Blitz: Kingdom Cold by Brittni Chenelle!

Kingdom Cold
by Brittni Chenelle
Publication date: September 1st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Beware: a binge awaits.
Deliciously dark, romantic and gripping, the Kingdom Cold trilogy now can be yours in a dazzling collection.
Kingdom Cold follows the impulsive, teenage princess, Charlotte, as she attempts to murder her betrothed. But an arranged marriage is only the beginning of her problems, for the world as she knows it is falling apart. Her kingdom faces total destruction at the hands of Merlin and Lancelot, leaders of power-crazed Camelot.
Will wicked King Arthur prove, once and for all, that ruthless deeds create the legend? Can Princess Charlotte sacrifice love to save her home?
Only one can reign.
EXCERPT:
I reached around my back to try and unlace my corset myself. Not even close. There was no way I was getting it off. I tried reaching one more time, but this time I wound up making myself light-headed and out of breath. A thud sounded on my door. My shoulders tensed. I hoped it was one of my maids—I needed to get out of this thing. I hurried to the door and pushed it open. Prince Young stood in my doorway.
“Charlotte,” he said. I looked into the hall behind him to see if someone else was passing, anyone who could help me–but it was only him.
“Please pardon me for coming to your chamber. I wondered if I might be able to have a word with you before the—”
Grabbing him by the shirt, I pulled him into my chamber. “Get in here,” I said, shutting the door behind him. I took two steps toward the center of my room and said, “Quick, untie it. Help me take this off.”
“Well… this is going better than expected,” he said, half under his breath.

Author Bio:
10 FUN FACTS ABOUT BRITTNI CHENELLE
1. She lives in South Korea.
It's true. She does most of her updates in the morning or at night to account for the time difference. She also infuses most of her novels with her observations about Korean culture.
2. She's a Type 1 Diabetic.
She uses an insulin pump for survival and refers to her diabetes as "Beetie" which is what inspired her children's book "Life with Beetie". When she wants something from her parents she tells them, "My Beetie hurts." It's a trick that has never failed her.
3. She doesn't really BELIEVE in fiction.
Despite all the; Dragons, Elves, and Magic present in her novel "Involuted the Tale of the Red Ribbon Tree", Brittni INSISTS that it's a true story. I wouldn't normally believe it but when browsing some of her old pictures, you can find pictures of her with a mysterious red ribbon tied to her wrist.
4. She's OBSESSED with dark chocolate.
She made me put that in and would also like me to inform you (on an unrelated note) that her birthday is in May.
5. She loves video games, anime, and cosplay.
Favorite games: League of Legends, Stardew Valley, Pokemon. Favorite Anime: Avatar the Last Airbender, Your lie in April, Full Metal Alchemist. Cosplay: She once dressed as Korra from Legend of Korra. She's hoping there will be more brown characters for her to cosplay in the future.
6. She has a Bachelor's degree in English Literature and a Master's in Creative Writing.
7. She's working on a Manga/Anime style novel with about 100 images included.
8. Sorry guys, she's married.
If you ask her, she'll tell you her husband saved her life but everytime someone asks "how" she gives a different reason. I've overheard her give about 4 different reasons, but I bet she has more. He must be an amazing guy.
9. She posts awesome travel pictures on her Instagram.
Her username is @brittnichenelle. You're here because you love her unique way of seeing the world, now you can see it in picture form! This is especially good if you have an interest in Asia since that's where most of her pictures are taken.
10: Brittni, why did you become a writer?
"I write because I would go crazy if I didn't. The body is limited but the mind is free to roam among dragons and fairies, it can soar through the air, and breathe underwater, and hold onto love in even the worst conditions. I guess that's why, because books are not bound by the rules of reality and I am addicted to the freedom-- seduced by the possibilities." -Brittni Chenelle

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Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Book Blitz: Wonderland Academy: Year One by Melanie Karsak!

Wonderland Academy: Book One
by Melanie Karsak
Publication date: August 27th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Welcome to Wonderland Academy. Don’t lose your head.
Getting into Wonderland Academy is easy:
You must be a little mad.
You must follow the white rabbit.
You must find the key to enter Wonderland.
You must not be named Alice or risk being beheaded by order of the Queen of Hearts.
We might have an issue with that last one.
My name may be Alice, but Wonderland Academy is everything my real life isn’t. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to ride a jabberwocky, train with a vorpal sword, cast spells using a teacup, or shapeshift into a fairy? As long as no one figures out my real name, I should be fine.
The only problem? Aden, the Queen of Hearts’ son, is quickly becoming my best friend. And then there’s Corbin. Brooding, surly, tattooed, and definitely not my type, I can’t stop thinking about him. But Corbin has secrets of his own, and Wonderland and secrets don’t mix.
How I’m going to pass my classes and protect my secret like my life depends on it is beyond me. But I better find a way. Because in Wonderland, no Alice is safe.
Wonderland Academy re-imagines the fantastical world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland for a fresh, new adventure. Combining whimsy, magic, and a splash of steampunk, New York Times best-selling author Melanie Karsak invites you into this beautifully re-envisioned fairy tale adventure.
* * *
Wonderland Academy is a college-level academy novel. It contains a slow-burn (not rh) romance. The novel is clean aside from mild language. This is Book 1 in a planned trilogy. Book 1 ends on a cliffhanger (Frodo didn’t reach Mount Doom in a day, after all).
Trigger Warning: This novel also includes references to a school shooting.
EXCERPT:
Setting my bag in a chair by the window, I pulled on my coat. It was pouring. Drops rolled down the windowpane, distorting the view of the sidewalk below. As I pulled my jacket on, however, I noticed someone on the sidewalk below. He was looking up at the window. I couldn’t make him out clearly, but from what I could see, he was wearing some kind of period costume and a top hat. He had long, pale blond hair that almost looked white.
“You all think I’m a lunatic? There’s some guy standing outside in the rain in a Victorian get-up and top hat.”
“What?” Mom asked. “What are you talking about?”
“I don’t know. Just some rando guy standing in the rain,” I said then turned, zipped up my coat, and grabbed the bag.
Nurse Gilman stepped to the window and looked outside. “It’s really coming down,” she said, eyeing the sky. She then strained her neck to the left and right. “Your mystery man must have gone back inside.”
“He was right there,” I said.
A sick feeling rocked my stomach. No, no, no. He was there. Dammit, he really was there. I edged toward the window and looked outside. I was right. The man was standing right there, looking up at the window.
He waved at me.
“Where?” Nurse Gilman asked, looking up and down the sidewalk.
“There,” I said, motioning hesitantly.
“I must have missed him,” Nurse Gilman said with a shrug.
I stared at the man.
He waved again.
Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.
“Yeah,” I said. “Maybe they’re doing a show in the children’s wing or something,” I muttered then turned from the window.
I didn’t want Nurse Gilman to see my face.
Mom, however, caught my eye. Her eyebrows scrunched together as she gave me a hard look.
I dropped her gaze.
I absolutely, positively, did not want to have that conversation on the way home.
“I’m ready,” I told Mom.
“Good. Let’s get you the hell out of here.”
“Be well,” Nurse Gilman said. She motioned to the nurses’ station. The door to the waiting room unlocked with a click. Nurse Gilman motioned to us that we were free to go.
Mom and I headed down the dim hallway of the fifth-floor psych ward. The narrow hall felt like it was a million miles long. It wasn’t until we were safely inside the elevator that I finally exhaled.
“Your phone,” Mom said, handing it to me.
I had a few missing calls, messages from old friends, but there wasn’t anyone I wanted to talk to anyway. I stared at the screensaver, which had a picture of Nicholas and me. The photo had been taken just before homecoming, before everything went to shit. We’d gone for a hike that day. The autumn leaves in the background were bright orange and burnt red. We were both bundled up, our cheeks red, faces pressed together. We’d spent the entire hike planning a future that would never come to pass.
I turned off my phone and stuck it in my pocket.
Mom punched the elevator button for the ground floor.
I kept my eyes on the lights above the door, praying Mom wouldn’t ask anything.
It wasn’t until we’d passed the second floor that Mom whispered, “Lacey, are you seeing—”
“I’m fine. Really. I’m fine.”
She didn’t answer, which told me she knew well-enough I was not fine.
They’d been popping up in my periphery more frequently for the last two weeks. People who were there then not there. Flickers of light. Shadows that whispered. Otherworldy shapes. Their presence wasn’t anything new to me. While I was more prone to see them during times of stress, they’d been there all my life. I knew that if I really looked, I’d see them. It was better to ignore them.
A mermaid had taught me that.
Mom and I headed to the front of the hospital. I couldn’t wait to get away from the terrible hospital smell. A weird mix of the scents of bleach, chrysanthemums, green beans, and Band-Aids perfumed the place. It was enough to make a person gag.
Raining or not, I was relieved when the hospital doors opened. I inhaled the sweet scent of the rain-soaked air. Mom’s rusted-out Mustang sat waiting just outside.
“Okay. Let‘s run for it,” Mom called, and we sprinted to the car.
Holding my plastic bag above my head, I ran, flinging open the door of the vehicle. But just before I climbed inside, I cast a glance down the sidewalk.
The man was still standing there. He pulled something from his pocket and tapped on it. He waved to me, a broad smile on his face.
“Lacey, you’re letting the rain in,” Mom yelled.
I slipped into the car, slamming the door behind me.
Mom revved the engine then drove off, her nineties rock springing to life. I leaned forward and clicked off the music. The last thing I needed was the dulcet tones of Nirvana shouting at me post suicide watch.
Sighing, I leaned back into the seat and closed my eyes.
Why was I seeing them again?
The white-haired man had been pointing at a pocket watch. A pocket watch.
What in the hell did that mean?
I hadn’t meant to kill myself.
Not this time.
It figured. On the morning I’d been discharged from the psych ward, I was beginning to lose my mind.

Author Bio:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Celtic Blood Series, Steampunk Red Riding Hood, and Steampunk Fairy Tales. The author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Southern New Hampshire University.


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Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Cover Reveal: Dorothy In the Land of Monsters by Garten Gevedon!

Dorothy In the Land of Monsters
by Garten Gevedon
(Oz ReVamped, #1)
Publication date: October 11th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Shifters, Zombies, and Vampires? Oh my!
My name is Dorothy Gale, and I think I might be dead.
When my dog Toto and I got swept up in a twister, we landed in hell. A very colorful hell. Like a rainbow dripping in blood. Now it looks as though this dreadful underworld plagued with vampires, zombies, and shifters will be the site of my eternal damnation.
They say this terrifying land called Oz isn’t hell or purgatory and escape is possible, but first I must survive the journey down the blood-soaked yellow brick road to the only place in Oz where vampires dare not tread—The City of Emeralds.
With enchanted footwear and the help of my three new friends—a friendly zombie, a massive shifter lion, and a heartless axe murderer of evil night creatures (who also happens to be the hottest guy I’ve ever seen)—Toto and I have a chance to make it to the Vampire Free Zone. When we get there, I must convince the most powerful wizard in this magical land of monsters to send us out of this radiant nightmare and back to the world of the living. They say he’s just as frightening as this monstrous land, that he detests visitors, and even the most horrifying creatures cower in his presence. But I must seek him out. And when I find him, I’ll do whatever it takes to make him send me home.


Author Bio:
Garten Gevedon lives in New York City with her family. She's a sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal author who loves taking fairy tales and turning them inside out. You can visit her online at www.gartengevedon.com.

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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Book Blitz: Beasts of the Frozen Sun by Jill Criswell!

Beasts of the Frozen Sun
by Jill Criswell
(Frozen Sun Saga #1)
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.
Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand.
When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland–one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun–Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.
As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun.
EXCERPT:
Something made me stop.
There, sitting atop my father’s black warhorse, was a Westlander unlike any other. Long ashen hair trailed behind him. He was bare chested, as if he didn’t fear the threat of blades on his skin, and he radiated a sleek, savage sort of beauty.
His gaze locked on me.
Beautiful. Savage.
The Savage prodded his mount. Leaning to one side, he brought his axe crashing down into the Sons of Stone who ran at him, wielding his weapon like an extension of himself. My clan’s warriors fell. Blood splashed in waves across his skin.
His eyes never left mine. My limbs were heavy as boulders, stiff as plaster.
A voice called my name. Rhys rushed toward me, sword in hand. His eyes darted from me to the Savage, trying to reach me first.
The horse was coming. My legs wouldn’t move.
The Savage veered at the last second, passing between Rhys and me, so close his calf brushed my arm, and I shivered. He circled his horse back in our direction, and Rhys grabbed me, yanking me forward. The warhorse’s hooves pounded, nearly on top of us. We only made it a few steps before Rhys stumbled and choked, eyes widening. His hand slipped from my arm. His sword fell into the grass.
A battle-axe was buried between his shoulders.
My scream was the raw, wrenching keen of an animal. I caught Rhys as he collapsed, lowering him to the ground. I looked around wildly, calling for Father and Garreth.
The Savage leaped off his horse.
“Stay away!” I let go of Rhys and picked up his sword.
With a swift kick, the Savage knocked the weapon from my grip. I drew the dagger, and he slapped it away too. He pulled me to him, smelling my hair, running his fingers through it. I hammered my fists against him, but it did nothing. This close, I saw every detail of his face, his body. I absorbed them through a haze of shock.
Older than Garreth, younger than Father. Tall, muscled, with thick hair hanging down his back in braided ropes of silvery-white. Eyes a shade of greenish-gold, like a cat’s. Black ink crawling across one entire side of his body: up his stomach, chest, and neck, then back down the length of his arm to his fingertips, coiling along one jaw and cheek, to his forehead, disappearing into his scalp. Knotted patterns, with intricately etched claws and tails and reptilian heads interwoven between the twisted links.
If the other Westlanders were frost giants, he was a leviathan; if they were beasts, he was their king.
I struggled feebly, my palms smacking his chest. Anguish had torn my mind wide open, left my abilities untethered; my consciousness plunged into the depths of his soul. Except what I dove into was nothing. Colorless, shapeless, void of sensation. The space was starkly, infinitely empty. A barren abyss.
The Savage had no soul.
I pulled my hands free, snapping back into my body as the Savage grasped my chin. “What you see, soul-reader?” The words sounded cumbersome to his mouth. He took hold of my wrist, bending it to expose the scar of flame Reyker had marked me with, laughing like my scar was a joke meant to offend him. “He is here.”
The Savage thrust one of his hands into my hair, holding my head still, and the other tightened around my waist, crushing me against him. He pulled a delicate knife from his belt, pushing my hair back and sliding the stiletto behind my ear. The blade bit into my flesh in short, deep cuts. He was carving me. Marking me, just as Reyker had, only this felt far more violent. I whimpered as blood dripped down my neck. “Mine,” he said.
A threat and a promise.

Author Bio:
Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she's visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).

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