Today we are excited to participate in the cover reveal and book blast for Emma Right’s young adult psychological mystery thriller, Dead Dreams. Dead Dreams was published August 26, 2013 by RIght House Books.
Today we are excited to be the tour stop for Stacey Marie Brown’s Darkness of Light. Darkness of Light is a new adult paranormal romance that was released February 13, 2013 by Twisted Fairy Publishing.
About the Book
Darkness of Light
By Stacey Marie Brown
Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.
Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.
When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.
Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.
A low, deep, menacing growl from the darkness locked my muscles in place. I wanted my brain to match the sound to an animal. A wolf, or possibly a bear, but I knew it was neither.
Another beast-like growl echoed through the woods, closer. My skin prickled as I felt its eyes studying me. I could hear the animal move through the dense brush, inching itself to me. Prowling. Stalking. I shoved myself off the tree, and crept towards the direction of the party. I was too far away from my friends; even if I screamed, no one would hear.
A growl sounded from the direction I was headed. I froze. How did it move there so quickly? This thing was unnaturally fast, silent, and smart. It understood what I was doing and was blocking my escape route. It rumbled again, stirring the underbrush. It was still too well hidden in the darkness to see clearly. I could just make out an outline and its eyes. That was enough.
This can’t be happening!
A cold sweat broke over me. A twig snapped. There was a moment of uncertainty. Neither of us moved. Air capsulated inside my lungs—the quiet before the storm. Then it lunged, crashing through branches, heading right for me.
I spun around and started running, darting in and around trees and through bushes. Loud cracks of breaking wood and foliage echoed behind me, like a bulldozer plowing through the forest, close on my heels. My nightmares had become a reality, blending into this one true horror.
I stood in a shadowy forest of oak and ash. Wind ruffled through the dense trees, making them creak and moan. A gust of wind rippled over my skin, and I drew up my hood and pulled my dark cloak closer to my body. Flames danced rhythmically in front of me. I huddled closer to the fire, feeling its warmth and strength as it rose higher. The sun met the horizon and darkness was slithering in around me.
Anxiety tapped nervously on my neck. Something out there was coming for me, and it was getting closer.
A warning crept into my body, and I felt eyes on me from all around, as if the trees themselves were staring at me. The branches swayed, creating bended, gnarled skeleton shadows. An unnerving guttural growl echoed over the wind. Anxiety crept down my spine. I spun around, searching frantically for the threat.
They were coming for me. I had to run.
A deep, menacing laugh ricocheted off the rock walls beyond the trees. I whipped around again, a scream catching in my throat. Electric green eyes were only inches from my face, looking directly into mine, dancing with menacing glee.
“Time to join your mother.”
I started to jog, my backpack banging rhythmically against my back. I sailed through the forest, weaving around trees and bushes with ease. Dampness clung to my face and hair as the mist thickened under the cover of trees. All the things that had been happening to me were begging to be released. I pumped my legs faster. The pulse of the forest pounded simultaneously with my heartbeat.
Then I felt something change. It felt like a warning was being shouted at me through the drumming beat of the forest. Something was off. Wrong. Alarm nipped at my insides.
I slowed down and came to a stop. A stronger feeling of dread gripped me. I was being watched. Spinning around in a circle, I eyed the forest that surrounded me. Nervously, I swallowed, searching for the forest’s once-vibrant sounds of life. Total silence enveloped me and was only broken up by the thumping of my heart. The silence was what really unnerved me. Not a single bird chirped and not any of the other natural sounds of a forest whistled through the air. You never realize how comforting those sounds are until they’re gone. All the time I spent in the woods, I never felt uncomfortable. But now I did.
A trickle of sweat ran down my face. I didn’t know what to do. There was no obvious threat, but my gut told me something was different. This was something I had gotten from my mom. Our gut feelings were eerily right on, like a truth detector or a warning system.
I was fairly certain there were no bears or other aggressive wildlife around this area, but the sensation of being hunted rang like a bell inside my head. Panic rose up into my throat like bile, and I stumbled backwards until I pressed up against a massive boulder.
My skin tingled and blood pounded in my ears. Whatever it was, it was getting closer, edging slowly towards me. This was it. I hoped it would be an animal that attacked me. Yes, I’d rather die as a bear’s Happy Meal, than as some girl murdered by a deranged serial killer.
A branch snapped, breaking the silence. The sound came from the opposite direction where I had felt the threat. My attention flew towards the sound, searching the perimeter in front of me. Out of nowhere, a massive figure appeared at the break of the clearing.
A loud snap and the rustling of leaves made me jump. I spun around, feeling a pair of ice-cold eyes on me, but not knowing where they were located. I paused one more second, sucking in a deep breath before breaking into a run, fleeing as fast as I could. The ground crunched underfoot as I scrambled through the forest. Branches whipped across my face, slicing at my skin.
My heart battered ruthlessly against my ribs, almost drowning out the sound of something smashing through the brush behind me. Almost. Whatever was out there, it was moving in closer, ready to jump out at me. I cringed in anticipation, preparing for the pain of the attack.
Adrenaline coursed through my veins, making my legs and lungs pump harder. Up ahead I could see the parking lot through a break in the trees. Almost there.
A low snarl erupted behind me.
I wanted to laugh at the idiocy. It was so my luck to be this close to safety and not make it. I waited to feel hands or claws tearing at my body.
About the Author
Stacey Marie Brown by day is an Interior/Set Designer, by night a writer of Paranormal Fantasy, Adventure, and Literary Fiction. She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts.
Even before she could write, she was creating stories and making up intricate fantasies. Writing came as easy as breathing. She later turned that passion into acting, living and traveling abroad, and designing. Though she had never stopped writing, moving back to San Francisco seemed to have brought it back to the forefront and this time it would not be ignored.
When she’s not writing she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.
Connect with Stacey
There is a tour-wide giveaway going on! You can win a signed copy of Darkness of Light. Click below to enter!
Today we are excited to be the tour stop for Megan Curd’s brand new book: Steel Lily. Steel Lily is the first young adult dystopian/steampunk book in the Periodic series. The book was released August 12, 2013.
About the Book
By Megan Curd
AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs.
She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Three: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life.
Or so she thinks.
That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Three. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued.
But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better.
Which means digging deeper.
When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, it may make her wonder if she was better off being a government tool than searching for freedom.
Some secrets are better left concealed, but humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything…including the fate of your world.
I’d never seen anyone like him in Dome Four. His jawbone was strong, his cheekbones set high. His nose was regal and straight and when my gaze reached his eyes, my breath caught. Stormy blue-grey eyes that reminded me of shale returned my gaze with seemingly genuine curiosity, if not a bit of humor. Strips of colored fabric were woven into his dreadlocked hair, giving it a wildly unique appearance that suited him. His smug expression made me realize he was enjoying this.
“Are you finished checking me out? If you’re not, that’s okay; I allow every new woman I meet a free five-minute gawking period. After that, it’ll cost you.”
Blood rushed to my face. I tore my eyes from his magnetic gaze and watched as he took a worn leather strap off his wrist. He pulled back his dreadlocks–deep brown streaked with blonde–into the strap. His devilish grin pulled his eyes tight at the corners. He was trouble incarnate. Trouble I may very well want to get into, given the right circumstances.
“You’re at five minutes and thirty seconds now,” he said in a purr as he leaned in toward me. I felt his breath against my cheek, and my heart raced. “I’m going to start taking payment, and I choose how that payment is issued.”
Before I could respond, Alice stirred groggily beside me. She rubbed her eyes as she sat up. “Where are we?”
“Good question,” piped Jaxon. “One that your friend here failed to ask, but it could have been because I rendered her speechless with my good looks.”
Alice moved to get a better look at him, but he emphatically covered his face, as though he were a vampire trying to block the sun. “Don’t look at me!” he cried, then grinned as he winked at me. “I don’t want to make two ladies swoon in such a short period of time. How would I entertain myself tonight?”
“You’re not that handsome,” I argued mulishly.
“There’s drool on your chin. Either you’re physically unable to keep your mouth shut, or I caused you to forget how. Since when I found you, you were drool free, I’m going with the assumption that it was me.” He fished in his pocket and offered me a piece of white silk. “Here, a handkerchief for your trouble.”
I have to say this was one of the most unique book ideas I’ve come across in a long while. Sure the US is devastated by war and radiation, and people live inside domes. Yes, this is the major plot line of most dystopian and/or post-apocalyptic books. But the fact that our protagonist is her dome’s (aka entire city full of people) main source of energy… Well, THAT my friends is a new one.
The kids Avery comes into contact with all have special skills, but of course Avery’s seems to be the most powerful of them all. She still doesn’t really understand everything she does.
I learned two things from this book: I do enjoy a really good dystopian book. And I do not like steampunk. I don’t get it per say. The mechanics of it kind of fly over my head and I spent times confused about what was going on. This has NOTHING to do with the book, the author, or the writing. It just has to do with my brain.
But, the book was so cleverly written and interesting that I was able to overlook the parts that confused me and barrel into the story. Avery is an interesting person, although I felt like I needed more of her back story. And Jaxon, well Jaxon was basically Jace Wayland with dreds. But, I really like Jace, so that worked out well for me.
I’m still confused about a lot of things… like who the Polatzi are, why the domes are so scattered, why Legs was in the military, and how is there a war going on right outside the domes and no one knows. I’m sure many of these questions will be answered in book two. Which I definitely will be reading.
So, to wrap up: IF you like dystopian, you want a fresh new spin on kids with powers (think Shatter Me), and you are looking for something well written and fun to read, this book is definitely right up your alley!
About the Author
Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college.
When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves to snowboard and travel to new places, and doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself.
Megan currently resides in Stanton, Kentucky with her husband, son, and Great Dane named Dozer.
Connect with Megan
Inside the Author’s Head
Welcome to the blog! Can you first tell readers what drew you to write this story?
Hi there, and thanks for having me! Honestly, Steel Lily was a vague concept at first – something that came from me reading a LOT of Cassandra Clare over the holidays 2 years ago. I loved Clare’s clear world building and the steampunk ideas she worked into her Infernal Devices series. It made me wonder what it would be like to mash up the dystopian and steampunk themes instead of going with the generally used Victorian era, and Steel Lily is what came of it.
I saw on your website that you graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Intercultural Studies. Can you talk about how that influenced your life after college?
I have always wanted to work cross-culturally, specifically in Latin America. I spent the better part of 6 months down there in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina during college, and I love the culture and people. I miss it. After college, I got married and had my son, so obviously my plans to become a missionary changed, but I still love working with people of all places. Anytime I can interact cross-culturally, I do it. I love speaking Spanish, and while I don’t have a ton of opportunities in Kentucky to do so, I try to take advantage of any opportunity that arises. I think more than anything, I learned to embrace people who were different than myself, and I hope that I can convey that in my books as well.
How did your studies and experiences help shape who you are as a writer and your books?
I think my studies really showed me that while we’re all different, we still have the same basic needs, the same desire to be loved and understood. I think so many times today we are taught to fear what’s different, and I hope that in some small way, my books can prove that it’s okay to trust those who aren’t exactly like ourselves. That everyone has a story to tell, so long as we’re willing to listen.
Okay, so I always like to see what authors read. What are your top five favorite books and why?
Oh man, that’s hard. Can it be series? That makes it a little less painful, lol. I’d say for sure Harry Potter is my #1 series of all time. J.K. Rowling is truly a mastermind at world building and making readers love her characters. She is just phenomenal. After that I’d say (in no particular order!) Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent & Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Angels & Demons by Dan Brown, and The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare.
Night owl or early bird? How does it help with your writing process?
Night owl! I’m actually doing this interview at 2 am, lol. I don’t function before 10-11 am willingly, and I always need coffee. I actually head out to write when my husband gets home from work, so I usually don’t start writing until 5 or 6, and I stay at my café until it closes at midnight. Then I drive the 45 minutes home, and usually write or answer emails until 2 or so in the morning. During the days I am focused on my son, so he takes my attention during the day.
Did you always know you wanted to be an author?
Not really, haha! I wasn’t opposed to it, it just wasn’t something I’d planned on happening. My friend suggested I try writing a book, and I did…and I absolutely loved it. I owe a lot to her!
So according to Goodreads you love traveling, snowboarding, and Xbox. Can you talk about some of your favorite place to travel and/or snowboard? And what is your favorite game on Xbox?
I have been blessed and had the opportunity to travel to Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, the Bahamas, Italy, and Switzerland. I served as a missionary intern in the South American countries, went on a biology trip to the Bahamas, and then went to Europe for spring break…which is where I also had the BEST snowboarding experiences ever. There’s nothing on the east side of the US that can compare to the Alps. Maybe the west coast has more to offer but I haven’t been out there yet, so Italy and Switzerland definitely take the cake on snowboarding experiences. I think my favorite place I’ve been is Ecuador because of the experiences as a missionary intern, as well as my mentors being located there. I’ve actually been there three times, and every time has been so monumental and special to me. I want to take my son there when he’s old enough. However, my husband proposed in the Bahamas to me (yeah, he’s awesome. Let’s all do the collective awwwww!), so obviously I’m a fan of that, too. As for favorite xBox game, man, that’s hard! I LOVE the Call of Duty franchise, and when I need a mental break I hop on there to play with my friends and brother. Otherwise I love the Bioshock games, Borderlands, and any LEGO games. Those LEGO games are just too awesome.
If you could live in one ‘book world’ which one would it be and why?
Harry Potter’s, hands down. One of these days my letter to Hogwarts will come. It just got lost in the mail.
Where do you think your characters are headed in the future?
I’m not sure! Right now, Avery and Jaxon are having a rough go of it in Steel Lily’s sequel, Iron Pendulum, so I’m hoping they go upward from where they are right now, haha. This book is a tougher one to write, but I think readers will see a lot of growth in the characters and hopefully that’s a good thing. The third book is hopefully going to really play on what they’ve learned in these two first books, and you’ll see them progress in their lives. And after that, who knows? Maybe there’s a fourth book. Maybe there will be something new. But either way, I promise you that my characters will surprise me just as much as they surprise you.
There is a tour-wide giveaway going on! You can win: sign copy of the book and swag, Steel Lily t-shirt, and e-books. To enter, visit the link below.