Category Archives: Exclusive

Exclusive Excerpt: The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe

exclusive
Today, we are thrilled to be hosting the final stop on the pre-publication blog tour for The Tragic Age by Stephen Metcalfe, a thought-provoking new contemporary coming-of-age story in the vein of The Catcher in the Rye and King Dork.

tragic ageAs part of the blog tour, we’re excited to bring you an exclusive excerpt from the book — but first, catch up on all of the previous excerpts released so-far:

And now, here is the final excerpt from The Tragic Age:

excerpt

11

It’s twenty minutes later and I’m moving down the hall- way past the school office when I glance through the open door and see that Willard Twomey is sitting on a bench.

It’s postbell but I’m in no real rush. After lunch it’s fourth period calculus and I always take some time get- ting there because I know the teacher, Mr. Thurmond, is still in the faculty lounge sucking down his umpteenth cancer stick of the day.

Mr. Thurmond, who is heavy and sad faced, is an aspiring stand-up comedian who puts flyers of his open-mike nights on the classroom bulletin board, never realizing none of us are old enough to get in. He also uses the class to try out his material, which means he tries to make calculus funny. Calculus, which studies the limits, functions, derivatives, and integrals of numbers, is about as funny as an abscessed tooth and so is Mr. Thurmond.

“What did the zero say to the eight?” he’ll say. “Nice belt!”

“What is the first derivative of a cow?” he’ll says. “Prime rib.”

No one laughs.

Which confuses and disappoints Mr. Thurmond. And makes him anxious. Which makes him want a cigarette. Which makes him excuse himself and run down the hall to the teacher’s lounge. The class is pretty much Mr. Thurmond’s only good joke.

I stop and look around to see if anyone is coming, and when I see that no one is, I turn back and go into the school office. Except for Willard Twomey and some secretary, there’s nobody else there. I clear my throat. The secretary looks up from whatever it is she’s doing. Unprepared for the port-wine hemangioma on my face, she flinches.

“Shouldn’t you be in class?” she says. No hello, no may I help you.

“I need to see the nurse,” I say.

“For what?” she says. She seems alarmed. Like maybe a birthmark is possibly contagious.

“For a brain tumor,” I say.

Actually, I don’t say that.

“My stomach hurts,” I say. “I think I ate something at lunch.” Which is true. It was something.

The secretary sighs as if she’s besieged on a daily basis by disfigured people who have gotten sick from eating something at lunch and it’s exhausted her.

“Have a seat,” the secretary says. “I’ll see if she’s in.” She gets up and she leaves, probably down the hall to join Mr. Thurmond and the school nurse in the faculty lounge for a quick smoke.

Willard Twomey is still sitting on the long wooden bench, acting as if I’m not even there. I go over and sit down next to him, leaving room between us. Now both of us are acting as if the other isn’t there. I realize I can hear Mr. Esposito, the principal, talking on the phone in the inner office. He has a surprisingly strong, authoritative voice.

“Yes, I understand . . . No, but I do want to know who’s responsible for him . . .”

Obviously he’s talking about Willard Twomey.

“Very impressive,” I say, not looking at Willard Twomey. Willard Twomey doesn’t say anything.

“What you did in the cafeteria today.” Willard Twomey doesn’t so much as blink. “Montebello’s an idiot.”

“What are you?” says Willard Twomey. He stares straight ahead. I notice that on the back of his right hand Willard Twomey has another tattoo.

Chaos.

And on the back of his left hand yet another.

Change.

“. . . yes, well, I think we should have been informed that the young man has a juvenile record and a history of physical assault,” says Principal Esposito in his surprisingly strong voice.

“Who’s he talking to?” I say.

I don’t think Willard Twomey is going to answer. But then he does.

“My grandmother. Like she’s going to do anything but make herself another drink.” Willard Twomey sounds disgusted.

“I understand. Yes, I’m sure it is difficult for you,” says Principal Esposito’s voice, full of authority.

I don’t remember the last time I’ve done this. Maybe I never have. But I do now. I stick out my right hand.

Fact.

A handshake is a ritual in which two people grasp one another’s hands. It is thought by some to have originated as a way of saying, There is no weapon in my hand. I’m not going to cut your head off. This, of course, is unless it’s the left hand, which in many parts of the world is a way of saying, I’m going to use your head to wipe my ass.

“Billy Kinsey,” I say.

Willard Twomey looks at my outstretched right hand. And now he looks at me. At me. Willard Twomey doesn’t flinch, he doesn’t waver. He studies my face. It is rude and disconcerting to the point of panic inducing and I have to force myself not to look away. His eyes trace the periphery of my right cheek and all of a sudden that side of my face begins to burn.

Point of reference.

Dorie used to say that my birthmark lightened or darkened, ebbed and flowed in shade and intensity, according to my emotions, and that a person could tell what I was feeling just by looking at it. Which is just another reason why I always try to feel nothing at all.

Sidebar.

Dorie thought my port-wine hemangioma was beautiful.

Willard Twomey reaches out and lightly taps my open hand with a closed fist. “Twom,” he whispers. He repeats himself, says it louder. “Twom Twomey.”

“Not Willard?” I say. I make sure I sort of smile as I say it.

“Not unless you want a tray in your head.” He’s sort of smiling too. The tap with the fist, I decide, is an original way of saying, I’m not going to kill you yet.

“I look forward to meeting you as well,” we hear Esposito’s voice say. It sounds like he’s wrapping things up which means it’s time to get out of there. I stand.

“See you around,” I say.

“I thought you were sick,” says Twom Twomey.

“Miraculously cured,” I say.

I beat it out of the office into the hall. When I look back I can see Esposito standing over Twom Twomey, lecturing. Twom Twomey, looking bored to stone, is staring at Mr. Esposito’s navel. Esposito might as well be talking to the wall.

Twom. Twom as in “tomb.” A mausoleum. A place for the dead. Dad thinks I should have a new friend. I wonder what he’ll think about one who’s now baptized my open palm with the right hand of chaos.

The Tragic Age is in stores March 3rd. Here is the official synopsis:

This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn’t always work— not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counselor keeps asking why you haven’t applied to college.

Billy’s life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become one another’s mutual benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie’s. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul.

With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities.Billy knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is—Billy doesn’t trust happiness. It’s the age he’s at.  The tragic age.

Stephen Metcalfe’s brilliant, debut coming-of-age novel, The Tragic Age, will teach you to learn to love, trust and truly be alive in an absurd world.

Exclusive Cover Reveal & Contest: The Vanishing Island by Barry Wolverton

cover stories banner
Today, we are so excited to be hosting the exclusive cover reveal for The Vanishing Island by Barry Wolverton — the author of Neversink. But before we get to the INSANELY GORGEOUS cover, here’s a little bit more about The Vanishing Island:

Does  the Vanishing Island really exist? And if so, what treasure—or terrible secret—was hidden by its disappearance?

It’s 1599, the Age of Discovery in Europe. But for Bren Owen, growing up in the small town of Map on the coast of Britannia has meant anything but adventure. Enticed by the tales sailors have brought through Map’s port, and inspired by the arcane maps his father creates as a cartographer for the cruel and charismatic map mogul named Rand McNally, Bren is convinced that fame and fortune await him elsewhere. That is, until his repeated attempts to run away land him a punishment worse than death—cleaning up the town vomitorium.

It is there that Bren meets a dying sailor, who gives him a strange gift that hides a hidden message. Cracking the code could lead Bren to a fabled lost treasure that could change his life forever, and that of his widowed father. But to get there he will have to tie his fate to a mysterious Dutch admiral obsessed with a Chinese legend about an island that long ago disappeared from any map.

Before long, Bren is in greater danger than he ever imagined, and will need the help of an unusual friend named Mouse to survive. Barry Wolverton’s thrilling adventure spans oceans and cultures, brings together the folklore of East and West, and proves that fortune is always a double-edged sword.

Sounds exciting, no? And if that’s not enticing enough, then get ready … for one … amazing … cover …

Are you ready?

Here it is …

vanishing island

So fantastic!!! I am in LOVE with this cover. It’s gorgeous, engaging, and so enticing. It just draws me in and makes me want to start reading immediately!

And to celebrate, we’re giving away a signed copy of Barry’s previous book, Neversink to one lucky reader! To enter, just tell us in the comments what you think of The Vanishing Island cover & then fill out the Rafflecopter form here.

Contest is open to the U.S. only, and runs through midnight (PT) on Tuesday, March 3rd.

The Originals: The Rise Exclusive Sneak Peek & Blog Tour Contest

theoriginals1

Today, I’m super excited to be hosting a stop on the official blog tour for The Originals: The Rise created by Julie Plec.

From the creator of The Originals, the hit spin-off television show of The Vampire Diaries, come three never-before-released prequel stories featuring The Original vampire family.

Today is the LAST STOP on the blog tour, but check out the tour page to see all the other fabulous content about The Originals: The Rise. Today, we’ve got an exclusive quote from the book just for you — but be sure to keep reading to learn more & enter to win a fabulous prize pack!!!

Originals Quote Image 20 - Jan.30

*          *          *

The Originals: The Rise
Author: Julie Plec
Series: The Originals, book 1/3
Release date: Tuesday, January 27
See it on GoodReads

The Originals_The Rise_book 1_coverAbout the Book:

Family is power. The Original vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. But even when you’re immortal, promises are hard to keep.

Arriving in New Orleans in 1722, Original vampire siblings Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson believe they’ve escaped their dangerous past. But the city is lawless, a haven for witches and werewolves unwilling to share territory. The siblings are at their mercy…especially after Klaus meets the beautiful and mysterious Vivianne. Her impending marriage is key to ending the war between the supernatural factions—and Klaus’s attraction to her could destroy the uneasy alliance. As Elijah works toward securing a piece of the city for his family, and Rebekah fights her unexpected feelings for a French captain, will Klaus’s volatile desires bring their world crashing down—and tear them apart for good?

JuliePlec_AuthorPhotoAbout the Author:

Julie Plec is the co-creator & executive producer of The Vampire Diaries & the creator of The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals. Plec got her start as a writer and producer on the ABC Family series Kyle XY. She also collaborated on the CW drama The Tomorrow People. Her screenplay adaptation The Tiger’s Curse is in development at Paramount, and she will produce the feature @emma with Darko Entertainment. Past feature production credits include Scream 2 and Scream 3.

contest2

Enter to win one of 15 prize packs including: A copy of The Originals: The Rise and a copy of The Originals season 1 on DVD. US/Canada only. Ends Feb. 4, 2015.

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form HERE!

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

9b82f-cbbbutton

Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole – Exclusive Excerpt & Contest

exclusive
We are BIG big fans of Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles here at Novel Novice, so obviously we’re super excited about the January 6th release of book 3, Dead of Winter. But if you’re like us, and you just can’t wait until January to get started, you’re in luck … because today, we have an EXCLUSIVE sneak peek at the book!

We’re part of the Dead of Winter Chapter 1 Blog Tour Reveal, and today we’ve got your look at the second excerpt. Plus, keep reading for your chance to enter an AMAZING giveaway!!!

excerpt

A wolf’s howl pierced the night.

 

I jolted awake in the saddle. The rain had dwindled to a foggy drizzle. How long had I been out?

I rubbed my gritty eyes. Almost screamed. I was surrounded by shadowy figures.

Wait, not figures. All around me were towering stacks of rocks, placed like logs for a bonfire. There were so many stacks the area resembled a forest. The stone forest.

Who would waste calories to assemble these? And why did I find them so chilling?

Matthew, are you there?

At last, I felt his presence in my mind! —Empress!—

Has Violet joined her brother yet?

—The Violet is not there.—

Oh, thank God.

—Soon.—

Shit! You told me Vincent camped within days of Death’s castle. I’ve ridden for DAYS.

—Arcana all around.—

I heard their calls, as if from a sound-out. . . .

—Eyes to the skies, lads!— Joules.

—Trapped in the palm of my hand.— Tess.

—I watch you like a hawk.— Gabriel.

—Behold the Bringer of Doubt!— Selena.

—Don’t look at this hand, look at that one.— Finn.

—Crazy like a fox.— Matthew.

—We will love you. In our own way.— The Lovers.

So many Arcana were close. Which meant I was close.

—Terror from the abyss!— Huh?

Before I could ask about the new call, my sense of being watched returned. I jerked my head around.

—Empress, you’re one stone forest and one clearing away. Some . . . obstacles between us.—

Movement. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man skulking from one stack of rocks to the next.

Another man loped to join the first. The armed pair wore fatigues and creepy night-vision goggles. Soldiers of the Lovers’ army?

The stones were for cover, staged as if for a paint-ball course! How long had those men been lying here in wait?

Matthew, I’m in trouble! I slapped the reins against the mare. She whinnied a protest, but increased her speed. Chest heaving, she wound around the stacks.

I craned my head back. Two soldiers had become ten, all with rifles at the ready. Now they walked in plain view. Because I was already surrounded?

As the ground began to flatten, those stacks grew fewer. I raised my hand above my eyes, straining to see. Ahead—the clearing Matthew had spoken of !

My face fell. With no vegetation, it was a quagmire, water and muck pooling in huge craters.

Past that, a wall towered, must be thirty feet high. What lay behind it?

A shot rang out; a bullet whizzed by my head. My mount fled from the sound. “Go, GO!”

In my panic, my nails morphed into thorn claws. The razor-sharp edges sliced through the fingers of my gloves. My glyphs stirred, moving over my skin.

A second gunshot. The near-miss bullet pitted the mud beside the horse’s hooves. She shrieked, trotting faster.

The shooters missed on purpose. They would want me—and the horse—alive.

Women and horses were two valuable A.F. commodities.

Desperate for safety, I squinted at the wall. Men guarded a brightly lit gate.

—Head there, Empress.—

My mare would have to slog through the clearing. It was like a moat fronting that wall. The soldiers would catch me long before then.

A bright color drew my attention. Attached to a post was a handcrafted sign emblazoned with a red skull and crossbones—along with the warning: DANGER! MINES!

And that explained the craters.

Are you kidding, Matthew? Soldiers trailing me; mines ahead. How do I get past a minefield?

An agonized yell sounded behind me.

I dared a glance back. Only nine soldiers followed. They ran toward me at a faster clip. The ones at the edges aimed their guns—off to their sides.

Another horrified yell.

And another.

Open gunfire erupted. Muzzle flashes warred with fog; I couldn’t make out anything.

I turned forward. Screamed.

Three soldiers stood before me, rifles trained on my face. The mare reared, punching hooves at them.

The other gunmen had been pushing me toward these!

Yet behind them, a black beast melded with shadow. One brilliant golden eye gleamed like a lantern.

Cyclops! Had Lark sent her one-eyed wolf to protect me?

Baring dagger-size fangs, the massive beast gave a spine-chilling snarl. The men twisted around—

Cyclops launched himself at the panic-stricken soldiers, knocking them to the ground. His mighty jaws clamped down on limbs and rifles, snapping through bone and metal.

Body parts sailed into the air. Blood spurted like a mall fountain. I winced, though I should be used to seeing stuff like this.

The wolf lifted his head from the carnage and growled at the stupe­fied soldiers positioned behind me. Those bastards had driven me into a trap; Cyclops ate the trap.

Faced with the beast’s dripping maw, they fled headlong.

For me, Cyclops wagged his scarred tail. “Good damn wolf. Good boy.”

Matthew said: —Ride for the fort! You have to make it to the wall.—

What’s behind the wall? For all I knew, Matthew was sending me into the Milovnícis’ camp.

—RIDE!—

Into mines? We’re going to get blown away! Forget my self-healing powers; I couldn’t regenerate from decapitation.

—Go left.—

Directing me around the danger?

I turned to Cyclops. “I don’t know if you can understand me, or if Lark is steering her familiar. But follow my mount carefully unless you want to regrow limbs.” He was still limping from our battle with the Devil Card.

He chuffed, and bubbles of blood formed over his snout. With a swish of his tail, he defiantly snapped up a dismembered arm, carrying it like a chew toy. But he did move behind me.

I’m trusting you, Matthew. I swallowed and guided my horse left.

—MY left!—

Quick correction. Cyclops followed.

—Faster, Empress. Or the Azey will figure out our mine moat maze.—

Your what? Who are the Azey?

A.S.E. Army of the Southeast. Go right for three seconds. Then left.—

Holding my breath, I slapped the reins yet again. One thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three. I tugged the reins to my right.

—Faster!—

Soon I was galloping through a minefield, a telepathic Arcana in my mind and a giant wolf at my heels.

I could hear those same wet breaths. The wolf had been following me! If I lived through this night, I was so going to owe Lark.

The gate creaked open ahead. I spurred the mare, racing to reach the fort.

With no idea what awaited me . . .

contest2
One lucky winner will receive an Amazon Kindle, pre-loaded with Poison Princess, Endless Knight, and an advanced e-copy of Dead of Winter.

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form HERE!

Contest is open to the U.S. only. Contest ends at midnight (PT) on Friday, November 21st.

See more chances to win, and get more sneak peeks from Dead of Winter by visiting all of the blog tour stops this week:

Kresley-Tour_Long-2
Here’s more about Dead of Winter:

dead of winterCan Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her, until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a frozen and perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers and the vast army they command. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them once and for all may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first?

Pre-order Dead of Winter here and check out the official website for the Arcana Chroincles.

For the comments: Tell us why you’re excited about Dead of Winter!

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Recovery by Suzanne Young

cover stories banner
So you want more from The Program and The Treatment by Suzanne Young? Her next book, The Remedy, comes out in April — and while it’s set in the same universe, it focuses on a whole new set of characters and plot twists.

But you’re still in luck. Enter … The Recovery, an original e-novella all about Michael Realm:

Six months after the fall of The Program, ex-handler Michael Realm is struggling with his guilt. After all, he was instrumental in erasing the memories of several patients—including one he claimed to love. With a lifetime of regret stretched before him, Realm vows to set things right.

Along with his friend, James Murphy, Realm will track down those he’s hurt in an attempt to give them back their lives—starting with Dallas Stone. He’s not looking for forgiveness or redemption; he’s not a hero. But Realm hopes that with each recovered past, he’ll be able to reclaim a small bit of his own.

Sounds amazing, right? It’ll be available on February 24th, and you can pre-order it HERE! — but until then, let’s marvel at this awesome cover:

The Recovery coverIsn’t it fabulous??? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Look at the ‘Morganville Vampires’ Web Series

exclusive
Today, we have an exciting exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Morganville Vampires web series — and just in time for the premiere of the season one finale, which goes online TODAY! Yes, today! Happy Halloween, indeed!!!

Check out this great photo of the cast at MCM London Comic Con:

Photo credit: Tez Greenwood and was taken at MCM London Comic Con. Ben Easter (Michael), Shane (Jordan Farris), Claire (Lindsay Seidel), Rachel Caine, Oliver (Robert Picardo), and Amelie (Amber Benson) all pose for fans.

Photo credit: Tez Greenwood and was taken at MCM London Comic Con. Ben Easter (Michael), Shane (Jordan Farris), Claire (Lindsay Seidel), Rachel Caine, Oliver (Robert Picardo), and Amelie (Amber Benson) all pose for fans.

And here are some fabulous looks behind-the-scenes of when Morganville was being filmed in Dallas, Texas earlier this year:

Photo credit: Julio César Cedillo

Photo credit: Julio César Cedillo

Photo credit: Julio César Cedillo

Photo credit: Julio César Cedillo

Photo credit: Julio César Cedillo

Photo credit: Julio César Cedillo

morganville web seriesHere’s more about the web series:

Nothing is strange about the direction or production of Morganville: The Series. A show with a little more bite than most because well… the Morganville Vampires own their town and everyone in it and there’s not really anyone stopping them. And for fictional characters they are not backing down or backing off the new girl in town. Everyone’s suspect to Claire Danvers.

Which makes it all the more sweet to see the behind-the-scenes movies and photos, because the reality of this webseries is a long haul many books have made transitioning to another format. A realness steeped in long nights, insane shooting schedules (only 10 days!) and a fun-loving cast who were and are dedicated to making Morganville: The Series a wonderful treat for fans this Halloween season!

If you loved Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vamps in their book form; she is really hoping you love how Morganville: The Series captures the spirit and heart of her vampires in a whole new way. She cannot be more pleased with the results and wants especially the Kickstarter fans to know it wouldn’t have been possible without your generosity and faith in the project. And could not be more thrilled that Geek & Sundry believed in the project enough to match your giving and hosting Morganville: The Series on their awesome youtube channel.

Catch up on all of the episodes online HERE and learn more at the official Morganville Vampires website.

Find more behind-the-scenes goodies over at YA Fiction Examiner, too.

Exclusive Cover Reveal: The Game of Love & Death by Martha Brockenbrough

cover stories banner
Today, I am SO excited to be sharing the exclusive cover reveal for The Game of Love & Death by Martha Brockenbrough. Martha is an amazing author, and a fabulous lady — and I am so excited about her new book. And you should be, too. Below, you’ll find all the important stuff — synopsis, on sale date, pre-order links. But for now, get ready for some gorgeous.

Are you ready?

No, really. Get ready. This cover. So gorgeous.

Ready?

Here we go …

Game of Love and Death
Isn’t it so beautiful? The artist is Chris Silas Neal. I’m SO excited for this book, and this cover is one of my favorites.

Here’s more about The Game of Love & Death:

Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now . . . Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured — a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Achingly romantic and brilliantly imagined, The Game of Love and Death is a love story you will never forget.

The publisher, Scholastic, has compared The Game of Love & Death to these amazing books: The Book Thief, The Diviners, What I Saw and How I Lied, and Code Name Verity.

The Game of Love & Death comes out April 28, 2015. Pre-order it at Barnes & Noble or Amazon now.

Martha BrockenbroughAbout Martha Brockenbrough:

Martha Brockenbrough grew up in Seattle, where she played the viola in string quartets and symphonies. She has worked as a newspaper reporter, teacher, and entertainment journalist. A lover of games, she also wrote questions for Cranium and Trivial Pursuit. She founded National Grammar Day, volunteers with Readergirlz.com, and lives in Seattle with her family of musicians and their two tone-deaf dogs.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

For the comments: What do you think of the cover? Tell us below!

 

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:

contest in post banner

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

*          *          *

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 Dungeoneers by John David Anderson

cover stories banner
Today, we are pleased to be sharing the exclusive cover reveal for The Dungeoneers by John David Anderson (the author of Sidekicked) — a really fun, unique new middle grade book coming from Walden Pond Press in 2015. We also have a great chance for you to win some of John’s other fabulous books by sharing the new cover — so be sure to keep reading for details!

First, here’s a bit about The Dungeoneers:

Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day.
Teach him to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.
Teach him to steal, though, and he won’t have to eat fish every day for the rest of his life.

The world is not a fair place, and Colm Candorly knows it. While his parents and eight sisters seem content living on a lowly cobbler’s earnings, Colm can’t help but feel that everyone has the right to a more comfortable life. It’s just a question of how far you’re willing to go to get it.

In an effort to help make ends meet, Colm uses his natural gift for pickpocketing to pilfer a pile of gold from the richer residents of town. But his actions place him at the mercy of a mysterious man named Finn Argos, a gilded-toothed, smooth-tongued rogue who gives Colm a choice. He can be punished for his thievery, or can learn to put his new-found talents to even better use—to become a member of Thwodin’s Legions, a guild of dungeoneers who take what they want and live as they will. Colm soon finds himself part of a family of warriors, mages, and hunters, learning to work together in their quest for endless treasure.

But not all families are perfect, and even as Colm hones his skills with his fellow recruits, it becomes more and more clear that something from outside threatens the Dungeoneers—and perhaps something from inside as well.

And now, here is the FABULOUS cover for The Dungeoneers (illustrated by the fabulous Dan Santat):

Dungeoneers c

Isn’t that wonderful??? There’s so much going on in this illustration. I love all the action!

contest in post banner
CONTEST TIME!!!

We want you to spread the word about the gorgeous cover for The Dungeoneers, and as thanks, one of you lucky readers will win finished copies of John’s books, Minion and Sidekicked. Here’s some of the ways you can earn entries:

  • Share The Dungeoneers cover on your blog, website, Tumblr, etc. and send us the link
  • Tweet about the cover reveal & link back here
  • Comment below & tell us what you think of the contest
  • Follow Novel Novice & John David Anderson on Twitter

Fill out the Rafflecopter form HERE to get started!

Contest is open to the U.S. only, and ends at midnight (PT) on Friday, October 24th.

Dave Anderson - Photo2 - ResizeAnd here’s a little bit about John David Anderson in his own words:

John David Anderson writes novels for young people and then, occasionally, gets them published. He is the author of Sidekicked, Minion, and Standard Hero Behavior. He lives with his patient wife and brilliant twins in Indianapolis, Indiana, right next to a State park and a Walmart. He enjoys hiking, reading, chocolate, spending time with his family, playing the piano, chocolate, making board games, chocolate, not putting away his laundry, watching movies, and chocolate.

For the comments: Tell us what you think of The Dungeoneers cover!

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

cover stories banner
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:

contest in post banner

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!

*          *          *

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