Category Archives: Excerpt

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray: Exclusive Chapter Reveal & Giveaway

AThousandPiecesofYou copy
Today, we are THRILLED to be kicking off the official chapter reveal for Claudia Gray’s A Thousand Pieces of You, a stunning new science fiction story packed with action and romance. (It’s also going to be our November Book of the Month!)

Today, we have your exclusive first look at Chapter 1 of A Thousand Pieces of You – and below, you’ll find out where you can read Chapters 2-4 later this week. Plus, of course, there’s a great contest in store.

Check out the excerpt here, then keep reading for more about the book & your chance to win a signed copy of the book & a poster!

Chapter 1

My hand shakes as I brace myself against the brick wall. Rain falls cold and sharp against my skin, from a sky I’ve never seen before. It’s hard to catch my breath, to get any sense of where I am. All I know is that the Firebird worked. It hangs around my neck, still glowing with the heat of the journey.

There’s no time. I don’t know whether I have minutes, or seconds, or even less. Desperately I tug at these unfamiliar clothes—the short dress and shiny jacket I wear have no pockets, but there’s a small bag dangling from my shoulder. When I fish inside, I can’t find a pen, but there’s a lipstick. Fingers trembling, I unscrew it and scrawl on a tattered poster on the wall of the alley. This is the message I must pass on, the one goal I have to remember after everything else I am is gone.

KILL PAUL MARKOV.

Then I can only wait to die.

Die isn’t the right word. This body will continue to breathe. The heart will continue to beat. But I won’t be the Marguerite Caine living in it anymore.

Instead, this body will return to its rightful owner, the Marguerite who actually belongs in this dimension. The dimension I leaped into, using the Firebird. Her memories will take over again, any second, any moment, and while I know I’ll awaken again in time, it’s terrifying to think about . . . passing out. Getting lost. Being trapped inside her. Whatever it is that happens to people traveling from another dimension.

It hits me then. The Firebird really works. Travel between alternate dimensions is possible. I just proved it. Within my grief and fear, one small ember of pride glows, and it feels like the only heat or hope in the world. Mom’s theories are true. My parents’ work is vindicated. If only Dad could have known.

Theo. He’s not here. It was unrealistic of me to hope he would be, but I hoped anyway.

Please let Theo be all right, I think. It would be a prayer if I still believed in anything, but my faith in God died last night too.

I lean against the brick wall, hands spread, like a suspect’s on a police car right before the cuffs go on. My heart hammers in my chest. Nobody has ever done this before—which means nobody knows what’s about to happen to me. What if the Firebird can’t bring me back to my own dimension?

What if this is how I die?

This time yesterday, my dad probably asked himself that same question.

I close my eyes tightly, and the cold rain on my face mingles with hot tears. Although I try not to picture how Dad died, the images force their way into my mind over and over: his car filling with water; brownish river lapping over the windshield; Dad probably dazed from the wreck but scrambling to get the door open, and failing. Gasping for the last inches of air in the car, thinking of me and Mom and Josie—

He must have been so scared.

Dizziness tilts the ground beneath my feet, weakens my limbs. This is it. I’m going under.
So I force my eyes open to stare at the message again. That’s the first thing I want the other Marguerite to see. I want that message to stay with her, no matter what. If she sees that, if she keeps running over those words in her mind, that will awaken me within her as surely as the Firebird could. My hate is stronger than the dimensions, stronger than memory, stronger than time. My hate is now the truest part of who I am.

The dizziness builds, and the world turns fuzzy and gray, blackening the words KILL PAUL MARKOV—

—and then my vision clears. The word KILL sharpens back into focus.

Confused, I step back from the brick wall. I feel wide awake. More so than before, actually.

And as I stand there, staring down at my high heels in a puddle, I realize that I’m not going anywhere.

Finally, as I begin to trust my luck, I step farther into the alley. The rain beats down harder on my face as I look up into the storm-drenched sky. A hovercraft looms low over the city like yet another thundercloud. Apparently it’s there to fly holographic billboards across the city skyline. Astonished, I gaze at the hovercraft as it soars through this strange new dimension, 3-D advertisements flickering through their motions in the sky around it: Nokia. BMW. Coca-Cola.
This is so like my world, and yet not my world at all.

Is Theo as overwhelmed by the journey as I am? He must be. His grief is nearly as deep as mine, even though Dad was only his adviser; more than that, this is what Theo and my parents worked for these past few years. Has he kept his memory as well? If so, we’ll be in control throughout the trip, our minds piloting the selves born in this alternate dimension. That means Mom was wrong about one thing—which is kind of staggering, given that every other theory she’s ever had has just been proved true. But I’m grateful for it, at least for the moment before my gratitude disintegrates in the hot blaze of anger.

Nothing can stop me now. If Theo made it too and he can find me—and I want so desperately for him to find me—then we’ll be able to do this. We can get to Paul. We can take back the Firebird prototype he stole. And we can take our revenge for what he did to my father.

I don’t know if I’m the kind of person who can kill a man in cold blood. But I’m going to find out.

Want more? Yeah, you do! Here’s where you’ll find more chapter reveals this week:

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Fill out the Rafflecopter form HERE for your chance to win a signed copy of the book & a poster.

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AThousandPieces_hc_cHere’s more about A Thousand Pieces of You, in stores November 4th:

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

Goodreads/Amazon/Barnes & Noble

About Claudia Gray:

Claudia GrayClaudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)

I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via TwitterTumblrPinterestGoodreads or (of course) my own home page.

If you want to contact me, you can email me, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.

Website | Twitter |Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads | Wattpad

Exclusive Cover Reveal & Contest: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

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Today, I am so thrilled to be sharing the exclusive cover reveal for The Devil You Know by Trish Doller, as  well as an excerpt and a GIVEAWAY that includes all three of Trish’s books — Something Like Normal, Where the Stars Still Shine, and one of the first ARCs of The Devil You Know.

Are you read for the cover?

No, really. Are you ready?

Are.

You.

Ready?

Well, okay then. Here it is:

devil you know

Gorgeous, no? And so, so perfect (I think) for this thrilling new YA novel. Here is the official synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and a friend to join them on a road trip, and it’s just the risk she’s been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
 

You can add the book on GoodReads here, and pre-order it on Amazon. Plus, connect with Trish Doller here:

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Want to win one of the first ARCs of The Devil You Know, plus Trish’s first two books? Start by telling everyone about the cover reveal for The Devil You Know:

  • Post the cover reveal on your blog, Tumblr, or other website & link back to the contest here!
  • Tweet about the cover reveal & contest
  • Follow Trish and Novel Novice on Twitter
  • Comment below & tell us what you think of the cover

See all the ways you can enter to win & submit your entries using the Rafflecopter form HERE!

One winner (U.S. only) will receive finished copies of Trish’s books Something Like Normal and Where the Stars Still Shine, as well as an advanced reader’s copy of The Devil You Know.

something like normal where the stars still shine devil you know

The contest runs through midnight (PT) on Sunday, September 14th. U.S. Only. Remember to share the cover for The Devil You Know as much as possible!

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And now here is an exclusive excerpt from The Devil You Know:

The Devil’s Chair is built into a low brick wall that surrounds a private burial plot consisting of two graves. One of the headstones has toppled over while the other is missing entirely, and the chair sits facing the graves. According to information Matt gleaned from the Internet, the chair is a mourning bench built by a man who wanted a place to sit while visiting his wife’s grave. A symbol of love, not evil. But in the dark, lit only by the narrow glow of the flashlight, I half expect to see the devil waiting there for us.

“What time is it?” I fall back to clutch Noah’s hand as Matt points the beam at his watch. I’m not usually scared of things that go bump in the night, but Joan’s warning creeps out from the corner of my brain where I’ve kept it tucked away all afternoon. What if there’s someone out here, lurking in the woods, waiting for urban myth chasers like us? Thinking about the gun in Joan’s premonition makes me shiver and Noah wraps his arm around my shoulder.

“We’ve got a couple of minutes,” Matt says. He places an unopened can of beer on the armrest of the big brick chair, an offering for the mythical devil who is supposed to drink it without opening the can––or, more realistically, for the person who will come along for the free beer after we leave. “Who’s going to sit?”

“Count me out,” I say.

“Aw, come on, Cadie.” Noah catches me up against him and pulls me down with him onto the chair. Straddling his lap. His hand steals beneath the back of my shirt and his mouth grazes my neck, making me shiver for a whole different reason. “I won’t let the devil get you.”

“You guys…” Matt sounds irritated.

“How do I know you’re not the devil?” I whisper to Noah, my lips touching his. I can feel his smile against my mouth, even in the dark.

“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t,” he whispers in reply as his fingers tiptoe up my back.

Matt counts down the seconds. “. . . three . . . two . . . one . . . midnight.”

Noah kisses me at that moment, holding me so close I can feel how much he wants me. His face is rough with stubble under my palms and his tongue warm and alive in my mouth. I sink so quickly when I’m around him, turning into an aching, hungry creature more frightening than any devil could be. And it isn’t until the sound of a revving engine splits the stillness around us that I realize we’re alone. Several of the buttons on my shirt are open and Matt is gone.

GoodReads | Amazon

 

Exclusive Excerpt from Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy

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Today we have an exclusive excerpt from Deadly Delicious by K.L. Kincy:

Deadly Delicious - ebook coverI bound up the crooked stairs and slip into the kitchen. “Mama?” I call.

No reply.

Cooling on top of Mama’s prized pink appliances, her secret-recipe DeLune DeLuxe doughnuts perfume the air with the aromas of happiness, confidence, and good luck. My head gets all whirly as I breathe in deep.

These doughnuts are pretty enough to be hanging on a Christmas tree. They’re all twinkly with sprinkles, and plump enough that I’m just itching to squeeze them. Oh, look, chocolate filling leaking from the good luck doughnut. I glance around the kitchen. The coast’s clear, so I dip my pinkie into the chocolate.

A stinging blow lands on my knuckles. Mama’s choice walnut-wood spatula.

Even though she can’t actually poof from a cloud of smoke, it still scares the bejesus out of me when she pounces like that. She’s wearing her favorite coral pink suit and pillbox hat, her hair all glossy—she must have just drove up.

“For customers only,” Mama says.

Like I don’t have any wishes of my own.

Check out more & order your copy of Deadly Delicious here!

Cover Reveal Contest: How to Be Manly by Maureen O’Leary Wanket

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We’re excited to be among the first to see, and to share, the brand new book How to Be Manly by Maureen O’Leary Wanket coming September 2014 from Giant Squid Books. How to Be Manly is a Young Adult Contemporary novel. The cover art is by Jillian Blazek at JillianBlazek.com.
How to be Manly Cover

“When you start this program, your whole life will change.”

When Fatty Matty Sullivan finds a self-help book by former football great Tad Manly at a yard sale, he secretly starts following the old pro’s advice to turn himself into the kind of guy super hot Cassie Bale will love.

But between taking care of his grandfather, trying to pass remedial Algebra, and getting caught up in his friend Jester’s half-baked weed-dealing schemes, Matt’s summer isn’t quite the game-changer he’d planned. And when on top of it all his dad moves back in with his own plans to get rich quick, Matt suddenly has much bigger things to worry about. It turns out that there might be more to being manly than he thought.With the humor and insight of YA favorites Judy Blume and Louis Sachar Maureen O’Leary Wanket’s debut is a sharp, comic novel about trying to do the right thing…even when you’re not sure what that is.

Goodreads | Giant Squid Books & How to Be Manly

MOW author pic_cr suzanne swansonAbout the Author:

Maureen O’Leary Wanket is a writer and teacher living in Sacramento, California with her husband and two daughters. How To Be Manly is inspired by the humor and courage of the students she’s met in her classrooms over the past twenty years.

Maureen’s short stories have appeared in Esopus, Xenith,Fiction at Work, Blood and Thunder, Musings on the Art of Medicine and Prick of the Spindle. How To Be Manly is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter @maureenow.

Giveaway:

Giveaway of one paperback Advanced Reading Copy of How to Be Manly (US)
and 3 eARCs of How to Be Manly (INT)
Giveaway courtesy of Giant Squid Books.

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form HERE!

The cover of How to Be Manly shows snippets of Matt Sullivan’s story: donuts, his favorite food; grass stains from long days on the football field; a stack of cash. In a series of cover-reveal posts, author Maureen O’Leary Wanket talks about the importance of each of these things to Matt’s story.
 
Maureen O’Leary Wanket on football in How to Be Manly:

In How to Be Manly, fifteen-year-old Matty loves his grandma’s cakes and playing video games. In an effort to get a certain girl to like him, he makes an impulsive decision to join his high school football team.

Matty is lucky enough to have a great coach who cares and wants to see him succeed. Writing the character of Coach Grimes was a labor of love, inspired by the wonderful coaches I’ve known in my work as a high school teacher.  I’ve seen firsthand the difference a good coach can make in someone’s life. I didn’t care about football at all until I started teaching, but there is something archetypal about young men going into the field to win honor for their school. There are very few places in our culture where young men and women can test their heroic mettle.

Leave it to a writer to impose a literary template such as the hero’s journey on something as cut and dried as a football field, but that’s how I see it.

How to Be Manly is a book for anyone who has ever thought that a change for the better could be possible, even if it means being uncomfortable and scared. It’s about a young man who decides that he is going to be the hero of his own story.

Excerpt:

Blades of grass tickled my ear. So this is where I would die. The sun burned my eyes right out of their sockets.

“You okay, Matt?”  Coach Grimes bent over me.  His breath was minty. He was chewing gum.  It was blue.  How dumb that my last thought on earth before I died would be noticing that my Coach’s gum was blue. On the last run at the sled I knocked my stomach into my lungs.  Black spots danced around Coach’s head. I wondered if he could see them too.

He held up a finger. I watched it go back and forth. Then he pulled me up by my helmet face guard. My feet stayed under me.

“You’re okay,” he said.  He smacked me on the butt.  There was a lot of butt-smacking so far in football.  

“I’m dying,” I croaked.

“Nah,” Coach said.  “Just had the wind knocked out of you.  Never had the wind knocked out of you before?”

“Uh.”

Coach put his arm around me.  “You’re doing fine, Matt.  Keep working.  Keep working.”

Then he pushed me back into line for drills.  

This was where I lived now.  Nothing else was real. I ran at the sled. There were purple jerseys and the sun in my eyes and green grass.  A sea of green.  Always green.  The field never ended.

The sled.  My enemy.  It looked padded and cushy but that was a trick. I ran at full speed.  I never ran that fast in my life.

 

Blog Tour: Excerpt from The Dragon’s Egg by H.B. Bolton + Int’l Giveaway

dragon's egg blog tour
Today, I am pleased to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for The Dragon’s Egg by H.B. Bolton. This is the third book in a fun middle grade fantasy. (Be sure to check out all the blog tour stops here!) Check out more about the book below, then scroll down for an excerpt, discussion & international giveaway!

dragon's egg coverSure, the glass castle floating over Evan’s head makes him uneasy, but that’s the least of his worries. With each step inside the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, he must battle against his worst nightmares. One after the other, wispy smoke-filled bull sharks come at him — he must remember they’re only illusions pulled from his imagination by those dreaded shadowlike hands. If only the vengeful dragon circling above was also an illusion and didn’t have his mind set on destroying the one person who can control him: Emrys.

Inside the castle’s glass tower, Emrys sleeps in an eternal slumber, and Evan’s uncertain whether he can save the great wizard. Especially now that Emrys’ former student, the Lady of the Lake, has joined forces with the cunning immortal Alamaz. Together they have already stolen the Dragon’s Egg, but their greed doesn’t end there. The Siren’s Pearl calls to them, and that means only one thing … Atlantis is in trouble.

Join Evan, Claire, and Dunkle — along with a few other unlikely heroes — as they travel across the realm of Medieval Legends, float through the Ancient Isle of Avalon, plunge inside the Dungeon of Dreadful Dreams, and be there when Atlantis rises once again.

Book Trailer Amazon Goodreads

Illustration from The Dragon's Egg

Illustration from The Dragon’s Egg

Today, we have an excerpt from the book. Check it out below, then keep scrolling for a great giveaway:

Book Excerpt – Entrance to Avalon

A voice, ever so faint, rose above the jingling bells, and Lady Morgan sang haunting lyrics about the Otherworld.

The lake rumbled and then surged high above them. Waves barreled over Evan’s head and crashed around him. A single angelic face appeared in the tallest wave, followed by another and then another.

Illustration from The Dragon's Egg

Illustration from The Dragon’s Egg

The song finished, and a slight smile formed on Lady Morgan’s lips. Without warning, she simply disappeared, taking the magical silver branch with her.

“Whoa, that was intense. I can’t believe —” Evan started to say, when a dozen tiny hands reached for him, dragging him by his ankles toward the lake!

Air filled his lungs, as he gasped for one last breath. Bubbles swarmed him, tickling his skin, as he plunged deeper in the lake. He tried but couldn’t hold back any longer. Laughter burst from his open mouth. Certain he would drown, panic set in. A flower petal drifted by, and he realized there was no water in the lake — only air and a scent that made him giddy. The small hands released him from their vicelike grip. He braced for a severe landing, but to his surprise, bubbles clung to his body. Although the layer of suds obscured his view, he noticed a few floating boulders as he passed by.

He drifted down, down, down, until at last, his feet rested on a bumpy surface. Tiny explosions erupted around him and, as each bubble burst, a delicious gumball-like fragrance streamed out. Evan couldn’t shake the silly grin off his face and wondered why he even cared to. Just then, a misty pink petal landed on his nose. He sneezed, and it drifted toward Claire, who was humorously swatting at the swarming petals. And that was when he noticed his surroundings, and his jaw dropped.

An enormous rock kept Evan, Claire, and Dunkle suspended in the air. Instead of falling into vast nothingness, they bobbed through an array of vibrant clouds. Tethered to the rock, a knot of woven vines connected them to a flourishing island that hovered nearby. Fruit-filled trees surrounded the edges, and farther inland, animals grazed along a grassy hill. A tall rectangular building stood in its center, towering above the fertile landscape. To Evan’s surprise, he recognized the ancient structure from history class: St. Michael’s Tower.

Excerpt Discussion:

Avalon, also known as the Island of Apples, was considered a bountiful island where grains, grapes, and apple trees grew in abundance, and cows grazed close-clipped grass. The people of Avalon lived in a paradise, and aged to more than one hundred years old. According to ancient myth, Avalon was the meeting place of the dead. For the living, it was a doorway that led into another realm of existence. The Tor was a place where the fairy folk lived and the home of Gwynn ap Nudd, the Lord of the Underworld. Avalon was also home to Morgan le Fay, who was an ancient sorceress and known as a fairy queen; however in most legends, she is simply King Arthur’s sister.

Avalon was the place where King Arthur was taken to recover from his wounds after fighting Mordred at the Battle of Camlann. During that time, water washed right up to the base of Glastonbury Tor, and King Arthur would have been brought there by boat. Around 1190, Avalon became associated with Glastonbury, when monks claimed to have discovered the bones of Arthur and Guinevere.

Giveaway:

$25 Gift Card (INT), set of all the books in paperback (US), set of all the books as ebooks (INT)

Fill out the Rafflecopter form here to be entered!

hb boltonAbout the Author:

A magical part of H.B. Bolton’s childhood was being swept into worlds of enchanting characters, fantastical creatures and extraordinary powers—simply by picking up a book. As a mother and a teacher, she was compelled to create imaginary worlds of her own in order to share them, not just with her children, but with all children. H.B. Bolton lives in Florida with her supportive husband and two highly spirited children. Shh, can you keep a secret? Not only does she write books for the young-at-heart, adventurous sort who yearn to dive into a good young-adult fantasy story, she also writes spellbinding, heart pounding women’s fiction. These particular books are written under the name Barbara Brooke, but that’s another story, altogether.

Connect with H.B. Bolton here:

Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads | Amazon

Blog Tour: Read an excerpt from Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Branded blog tour
Today, we’re pleased to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki — featuring an excerpt from the book, which is available now. But first, here’s more about the book:

brandedFifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

Excerpt

I turn on the faucet for a long while only to discover ice-cold water rushing out. The water never warms and I begin to understand. The Commander thinks he can wash away my soul by freezing me to death. He thinks he can destroy me by stripping away my possessions. But he can’t and I won’t let him take my memories, my ambition, and my pride. He thinks I’m so easily broken. The Commander doesn’t know anything about me, what I grew up with, what I endured—the father I lost, the mother I hate, the brother who walked out of my life, and the stepfather I was forced to accept. He thinks since I was rich, making me poor will cause me to give up. What he doesn’t understand is that, after my father passed away, I grew up behind walls of hatred. I had nothing, but had everything at the same time. I owned expensive clothes, enjoyed good schooling, and lived in a nice home. But my body was just a shell protecting an empty, desperate heart. My life was a colorful façade. I had so much time to sit and think. I spent the majority of my life between four walls. I was abandoned, neglected, starved, betrayed, and abused. I’ve already been treated like the scum of the earth, so the Hole is nothing new. He wants to erase every sign of my existence on this earth, but I won’t let that happen. He can strip me naked, but he’ll never reach my soul. It’s personal, completely personal.
Purchase

About Abi and Missy

Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Read an exclusive sneak peek from The Taking by Kimberly Derting

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Today, we are super excited to share an exclusive sneak peek at The Taking by Kimberly Derting. We’re one of several blogs revealing an excerpt from Kim’s new book, which hits store shelves on April 29th.

taking, theCheck out the excerpt below, then keep reading to learn more about The Taking, where you can pre-order it, and where you’ll find the next excerpt tomorrow!

I popped the candies into my mouth, letting the sour jolt of them awaken my saliva glands and wash away the tang of dirt that seemed to cling to my tongue.

As always, I got impatient and bit down on one of the candies. Despite their gooey outer shell, inside they were rock hard, something I discovered the moment I felt a chunk of my right-side molar chip away.

Cursing, I spit the rest of the candies in a messy wad onto the ground and ran my tongue over the new, rough edge of my tooth. I’d just been to the dentist last week, something I hated doing, and now this would mean I’d be forced to see him again.

Fishing my cell phone from the front pocket of my uniform pants, I decided it was time to call for backup. I still couldn’t believe I’d ended up behind the Dumpster of a gas station last night. My parents were probably freaking the hell out. I was freaking the hell out.

Not to mention Austin . . .

I dialed him first, not caring that my decision was sure to set off another round of arguments when I got home.

I held the phone to my ear and waited. After a moment I pulled the phone away and inspected it.

no service, the screen read.

No service—how was that even possible? I knew exactly where I was. I’d been at this gas station hundreds of times; it was maybe a mile from my house—well within our coverage map.

Whatever, I thought, getting tentatively to my feet and waiting till my legs felt steady. I did my best to ignore the headache that continued to pulse behind my eyes. The walk would probably do me good.

Read more from The Takingtomorrow at Paranormal Book Club!

Here is the full synopsis for The Taking:

A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

Pre-Order The Taking:

Or call one of the following stores to request a signed copy:

  • Books of Wonder
  • Mysterious Galaxy
  • The King’s English
  • Blue Willow

Blog Tour: Read an exclusive excerpt from White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

white hot kiss tour
Today, we are thrilled to be hosting an official stop on the blog tour for White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout, the sexy and exciting first book in a brand-new series.

white hot kissAnd to whet your whistle, we have an EXCLUSIVE excerpt from the book (which is now in stores).

Read the excerpt from White Hot Kiss HERE!

Meanwhile, here’s more about the book:

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Exclusive Excerpt & Artwork Reveal: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy

exclusive

Today, we are so excited to be bringing you an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy, the utterly brilliant follow-up to The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. I can’t say enough good things about these books (they are excellent; they are perfection – go buy them and read them and share them with everyone you know!!!) … but hopefully today’s exclusive excerpt and artwork reveal will help convince you of how fabulous these books are.

Hero's Guide to Storming the CastleYes, this is an exclusive excerpt from the book, and two original illustrations from the book which have never been seen before! Plus, there’s a contest. An amazing, epic poem-worthy contest. So check out the excerpt and artwork below, then keep reading for your chance to win a truly unique prize!

“What on earth is going on here?” King Wilberforce barked as he strode down the hallway.

hero's guide2_king

© 2013 by Todd Harris

The sound of that deep baritone voice completely broke Frederic’s concentration. “Father,” he blurted, and turned his head at just the wrong moment. The tip of Liam’s blade sliced across Frederic’s cheek. Frederic yelped, dropped his weapon, and brought his hand up to cover the wound.

“I’m so sorry!” Liam gasped.

“Are you okay?” Ella called, running to her fiancé.

The king marched up to them in a fury, dozens of medals jingling on his chest with every stomping footstep. “What have you done to my son?”

“It was an accident,” Liam sputtered.

“It’s just a scratch, Father,” Frederic said. He checked his fingertips, relieved to see only the slightest dot of red. If there had been any more blood, he would likely have lost his composure—which he did not want to do in his father’s presence. “And frankly, it would never have happened if you hadn’t yelled and distracted me.”

“What did I do to deserve such disrespect?” King Wilberforce said, sounding appalled. “I, ruler of this realm, see my only son being assaulted by some hooligan and demand that the violence come to a stop. For this I deserve scorn?”

“Some hooligan, Father?” Frederic asked. “Liam’s been living with us for almost a year.”

“I know who he is,” the king said with disdain. “A supposed Prince Charming in exile from his own people, hated the world over because of the horrid manner in which he treated his Sleeping Beauty. A man to whom I have—against my best instincts—offered nothing but hospitality. And a hooligan who repays my kindness by fileting my son.”

© 2013 by Todd Harris

© 2013 by Todd Harris

“Your Highness,” Liam said. “I appreciate all the kindness you have offered me. And as I’ve tried to explain before, the rumors about me and Briar Rose are untrue. She spread those lies to get back at me because I refused to marry her. And surely you know I never meant to hurt Frederic. I was merely—”

“Oh, I know you probably didn’t intend to hurt him,” Wilberforce said. “But that’s the problem with you. You think Frederic can do things that he simply can’t. Putting my son in harm’s way appears to be a hobby for you. Are you going to deny that you almost got Frederic killed in that whole unfortunate witch fiasco?”

Liam said nothing. Nor did Frederic, who, if he were a turtle, would have slipped happily into his shell at that moment.

The king looked down his nose at the three friends. “There will be no more swordplay within these walls,” he stated. “Or anywhere on palace grounds, for that matter.”

Text Copyright © 2013 by Christopher Healy

And now …  how about a hero-worthy contest!

We’re giving away a framed print of the artwork featuring Princess Briar Rose above, signed by illustrator Todd Harris — plus a hardcover copy of The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle.

Fill out the Novel Novice + Hero’s Guide Contest Entry Form and tell us your favorite fairy tale character, for your chance to be entered. But check the rules first:

  • U.S. only
  • One entry per person
  • Entries due by midnight (PT) on Sunday, April 14th

For the comments: What do you think of the excerpt/artwork?

Exclusive Teaser & Contest: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

exclusive

Today, we are SO excited to be bringing you an exclusive sneak peek at Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare — the third and final book in her amazing Infernal Devices Trilogy. Not only do we have two teaser snippets from the book PLUS illustrations from Cassandra Jean … we also have a pretty kick-ass contest!

All the goodies are below, so keep reading …

Clockwork Princess Teaser #1:

Tessa, glancing quickly from side to side to check for traffic, dashed across Blackfriars Bridge.

clockwork princess teaser1

© Cassandra Jean

Anybody else intrigued by the fact that Tessa is wearing MODERN CLOTHES here?!?!?!?!

Clockwork Princess Teaser #2:

He tasted like snowflakes and wine, like winter and Will and London.

clockwork princess teaser2

© Cassandra Jean

SWOON!!!!!

Be sure to check out the entire Clockwork Princess Teaser Tour for more snippets and illustrations!

The Contest

Comment below, then fill out the Novel Novice + Clockwork Princess Contest Entry Form for your chance to win.

The Prize

One winner will receive a copy of Clockwork Princess and a limited edition Infernal Devices bookmark:

clockwork princess tour prizes

The Rules

  • U.S. only
  • One entry per person
  • Comment below
  • Use the entry form
  • You must comment below AND fill out the entry form to be eligible – yes, both!

The Deadline

All entries are due by midnight (PT) on Friday, March 15th.

Questions? Leave ‘em below & we’ll reply!

clockwork princessHere’s more about Clockwork Princess, in stores March 19th!

 Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

Check out the official sites:

About The Infernal Devices Series

Set in the Victorian London underworld, in the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, Shadowhunters are barely winning against the forces of evil.

infernal devices trilogy

About the Author

Cassandra Clare is the author of the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Mortal Instruments series and Infernal Devices trilogy. Her books have sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than thirty-five languages.