Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole – Exclusive Excerpt & Contest

Posted November 18, 2014 by Sara | Novel Novice 147 Comments

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!!!


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.


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.


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.


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 . . .

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:

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!

Sara | Novel Novice

Posted in: Blog tour, Contests, Excerpt, Exclusive Tags:

147 responses to “Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole – Exclusive Excerpt & Contest

  1. Kristina Frain

    I’m excited to read the dead of winter because it is an amazing story and after reading the last book I couldn’t wait to pick up the next one to find out what was going to happen

  2. Megan Pentz

    I am so anxious to read Dead of Winter by Presley Cole. Why? Because Kresley never disappoints…EVER! Poison Princess became my new favorite book of hers the first time I read it and Endless Knight was just as amazing. You’ll never regret starting the Arcana Chronicles. Dead of Winter will be just as fantastic as it’s predecessors, I have no doubt! Evie and Jack. Evie and Death. Can’t wait for more.

  3. Robin Rains

    This series has absolutely everything!! The creams characters are complex & it’s like you are in another world. Evie is awesome thank God the crazy gma got locked up, without the old bats influence she’s going to lead all the good arcana to save & rebuild the world. I love Jack but I love Aric more he’s kept the world safe from the old gods crazy games all these millennia. I love evie as a strong role model for virtue needed today but it’s still so hot a sexy the tension. Poor death I hope he got a steamy taste before she did whatever she did to escape

  4. Andrea Stocking

    I can’t wait for this book. Part adventure, part romance and all thrills. The wait is killing me, I need to know who she chooses once and for all!

  5. Lauren A

    I’m so excited for dead of winter! Because Kresley Cole is my favorite author and I just can’t get enough! I need this book!

  6. Ali Goff

    I loved the first book in Kresley Cole’s series, and I have been dying to read the sequel, and now the third one. This is such an amazing prize. Thanks for the chance.

  7. Lameeka prophet

    I’m excited about Dead of Winter because I’m dying to know what happened between Death and Evie. I hope she didn’t sleep with him! I love Evie and Jack together and I too believe he is a dormant card. I’m thinking he is the chariot. I’m constantly googling the meanings of all these cards lol! There are 2 cards that’s immune to Evie’s toxins (The devil was one) Death wouldn’t tell her the 2nd one… Come on January 6th!!

  8. Charlotte

    Well, I really would like to find out more about the other Arcana and I’m worried about poor Matthew. I chose Matthew over Jack and Death.

  9. Sage

    Waiting for this book has been driving me crazy! And this is one of my favorite series. I can’t wait to see where K.C. takes Evie and the gang, and who Evie ends up choosing. I hope she picks Jack because I’m not sure I could live without him. But obviously first off she has to reconcile with him and even before that, she has to look into the memory or whatever of what actually happened with her mom and Jack. She can’t go anywhere with him, relationship-wise, until she sees what actually happened.

  10. ilikekyos

    I can’t wait to see what happens with Evie and Death! Oooh and Jack with the twins. Oh or Jack and Evie! Gahhhh! The drama!

  11. Excited for Dead of Winter because it feels like I’ve been waiting for over a year to read it. Have been a Kresley Cole fan for about four years now. It all started from the IAD series which is spectacular!! She’s easily my favorite author and an inspiration to me as a writer. Her novels just get better and better and never disappoint. Got into this series a little over a year ago and didn’t know what to expect but the storyline, plot, and characters drew me in and now I’m hooked!! Can’t wait for more blog reveals. Will definitely be re-reading books 1 and 2 and starting on 3 as soon as it’s delivered to my iPad. Will probably have to hole up somewhere, away from the rest of the world, for a day or two. My reading addiction will insist on it.

  12. I LOVE this series! I pre-ordered DEAD OF WINTER as soon as I saw it. Can’t wait – it would be awesome to read it early! It comes out the day after my birthday -what a treat!

  13. Kat

    I’m dying January 6th for a lot of reasons — but mostly to see the dynamic between Evie, Jack, and Death 🙂 Thank you so much for the excerpt and the contest!

  14. Chelsea

    I have been waiting (impatiently) for Dead of Winter for months now and can’t wait for January 6th! I love Evie and Jackson and Aric. I need to know what happens next!

  15. Chelsea

    Kresley Cole is hands down my all time favorite author. There is something about her writing that fills me with a giddy glee absolutely every time I read it. Every. Time.

  16. Shauna Tillery

    The Arcana Chronicles is one of my favorite series and has been since I first started reading Poison Princess. I have even given the book as a gift to get friends reading it. I’ve been waiting so very impatiently for this book!

  17. Gracie Karafili

    The Arcana Chronicles are simply wonderful. I have been counting down the days for Dead of Winter since the fall of 2013 when I first got my hands on the first two books! These books are my absolute favorite! I am obsessed! I even made my own dream cast on Youtube for Poison Princess, dream cast for Endless Knight on, and this series was the reason why I made a goodreads account! 10 out of 5 stars 😉

    Keep the books coming Kresley Cole!

  18. Tiffany Borys

    So excited for the book to come out, my aunt, my friend, and I have been waiting. Such a fantastic series and read!

  19. angel farrell

    This is one of my top favorite series!! I’ve re-read the first two books to get ready for Dead of Winter! I’m super excited about it!

  20. MillyRam

    I’m excited about finding out what is going to happen to the love triangle and if Jack is maybe actually the dormant arcana.

  21. Cortney Clemons

    I am excited about Dead of Winter because Kresley Cole has become my favorite author ever since I picked up the first books in the series. The book was so amazing, in detail and in the mystery, and I loved everything about it. I love that Evie and Jack had their love-hate relationship and that Evie was struggling to deal with the destiny she was given. Although it is set in a post-apocalyptic world, I love the fact that Evie is still herself, no matter what her destiny involves.

  22. I am a huge fan of the Arcana Chronicles and after the ending of Endless Knight, I can’t wait for Dead of Winter! Seriously, I need more Jack in my life. *swoons*

  23. I fell completely in love with this series! I’m a Librarian and every time a student comes and asks me for a book recommendation, I instantly point them towards Poison Princess and Endless Knight! I’ve gotten so many kids to get just as excited as I am for the release of Dead of Winter! Counting down the days 🙂

  24. Adrianna Alms

    I am so excited for this book!!! I’ve got to know if Evie and Death got together and what happens when she sees Jack!!!! Hurry up January!!!!!!

  25. Sabrina Joy

    I really enjoy the use and interpretation of Arcana in this series. Evie is a strong girl, but her hesitance between Jack and Death is a flaw that makes her stand out to me. The characters and this series are very relatable and likeable, which is why I’m excited for this!

  26. I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book to see what is going to happen next. The series is one of my favorites and always keeps me guessing. I can never guess what the end game is and I love that.

  27. Kimberly

    I would love to win this for Christmas for my daughter. We have no money so this would be a perfect present. As my favorite author is Kesley Cole, my daughter has also found a favorite in her too.

  28. Mary

    I can’t wait to read all of this book. This series has been one of my favorites and one of Kresleys that I can share with my teenage daughters!

  29. Nancy L.R.

    I am DYING to read Dead of Winter! Specially with how Endless Knight ended! But if she chooses the guy I don’t like, I will be devastated.

  30. My cousin Stephanie introduced me to this, since we’re both book lovers. I am excited to read Dead of Winter because my cousin and I have a WHOLE bunch of theories and I want to see if my ideas came true! I was hooked on this series ever since the first page of Poison Princess. It’s actually one of the coolest YA books I’ve read so far.

  31. leasha91

    I’m excited to read it because I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! RIGHT NOW! I loooved Poison Princess and Endless Knight!

  32. Dani

    I’m so excited for this book! The characters are so dynamic, the world is so unique, and the conflict is high-stakes and engaging. I can’t wait until January!!!

  33. Holly Allen

    I am SO excited for Dead Of Winter because I need to know… Does Evie pick Jack… Or Death??? Ahhhhh????!!! I don’t even know who I want her to pick! Can’t she have her cake and eat it too and get both?? Girl could dream!!!

  34. Jessica Mobbs

    I’m looking forward to Dead Of Winter because Kresley is an amazing writer and leaves me wanting more at the end of each book!

  35. Lynn

    The Arcana Chronicles has become my favorite series. After the first book, Poison Princess I couldn’t wait for the second, Endless Knight. I enjoyed both so much I reread them back to back. Therefore, a few days before the release of Dead of Winter I will start from the beginning. I turned my friend onto tge series and she’s doing the same. That’s how good it is.

  36. Haley Richmond

    I don’t think I’ve every been this excited to find out what happens next in a book!! Can’t wait to see what happens!! 😀

  37. Chanisa Mcmullin

    Ive read most of ur books i enjoy them all but I am so excited to read part three Dead Of Winter everytime I finish I want more thank you for sharing your gift with us I can’t wait to get my copy

  38. Mi

    I love and hate those hooks of hers!! Love them because she writes so well and hate the wait to get her latest release. =)

  39. Tina B

    I am on the edge of my seat with these excerpts!! I have been waiting 2 years for this book! 😀
    This series is very unique in both plot and writing as only Kresley Cole can do! Thank you for sharing!

  40. Tanisha McGaw

    I am beyond excited to read this book because Kresley Cole is an amazing writer and never disappoints her readers! I am a huge fan of her adult Immortals After Dark Series and have been reading her Arcana Chronicles series since Poison Princess. Her unique writing style (and sexy characters 😉 ) are what keep me coming back for more and more! I can NOT wait to see what happens next with Evie, Jack, and Death (*sighs dreamily!)

  41. Valerie S

    I CANNOT wait for this book! I am so excited to see what happens with Evie, Aric, and Jack. Well, actually, mostly Evie and Aric. GO DEATH!!! Woohoo! And I love the arcana, so I hope we get to see more of them in this book. I’m interested who the unknown arcana is. And also the emperor. Maybe they’ll be the same person. Anyway, thank you so much for the contest and the excerpt! Love ’em!

  42. Kathy P.

    I am LOVING the excerpts! I can’t wait to read the whole thing!! Have yet to read a Kresley Cole I didn’t just LOVE!!

  43. Kim H.

    Kresley Cole is one of my favorites. I am very anxious to read more about Evie’s adventure and I can not wait to find out if Jack or Death wins her heart. I am constantly back and forth myself. I also can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the crew.

  44. Steph A

    I flippin” LOVE Kresley Cole! She has such an amazing talent. Her writing is by far the best I have ever read. The worlds she creates are just mind altering and very easy to get lost in. I always get excited when there’s a next book to a series and I have been waiting on pins and needles for book 3!

  45. Holly C

    I am absolutely hooked on this series (and all of Kresley Cole’s books. She is the 1st author I recommend to others.

  46. Jami Lindhe

    I have read all of kresley’s books at least twice. I’ve listened to Endless Knight 4 times! I cannot wait til January!

  47. Kresley Cole is SO AMAZING! I super LOVE the Arcana series and am DYING with conflict over Jack and Aric. I am simultaneously dreading and anticipating to know what will happen. So DYING to read Dead of Winter!

  48. Laura

    I’ve been waiting in this book, since the 1st day Endless Knight was published after I knocked it off. Kresley Cole writes straight up crack!!! Whether it’s the Arcana Chronicles or the Immortals After Dark, her books go far too fast.

  49. I loved the first two books and then there was the cliffhanger. I just died right there. I can’t wait to see what happens to the relationship between Evie and Death and Evie and Jack. Plus meeting the rest of the Arcana is going to be awesome to see!! I’m voting for Death!!

  50. Ana

    I rad the first two books and I can not wait to see what happens next! Thank you so much for this awesomesauce giveaway!

  51. Bazinga

    I am excited to read this last book, because of how the first two truly amazed me and played with my emotions like crazy! How can you go from truly hating Aric, to rooting for him?!?! I know this book is going to be amazing just like the first two!

  52. Candice Rehorn

    I’m super excited to read Dead of Winter because I’m a huge fan of Ms Cole. I’ve been following this series since poison princess released and love Evie, Jack, Matthew, and even death. I’ve been itching to read this since the last book came out.

  53. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    I LOVE the characters and the world and the magic and the romance! It’s a unique concept and her writing is beautiful 🙂

    thank you so very much 🙂

    Just in case rafflecopter shows my location outside US, I’m doing a semester abroad and would use my regular US address, which I inputted in the rafflecopter.

  54. I started reading the first two books while i was in AIT because i found them at hastings, and im a fanatic about first addition books. I sat down to read hem during class breaks and just got lost in the story, devouring every page. While in AIT i had bought a whole shelf full of books, but once i got to poison princess and endless knight i couldn’t pull my head out of the story enough to get into any other book! I just kept reading them over and over, and trying to get someone else to read them so i had someone to discuss it with!
    I thought the next book would come out this past october and was crushed to learn its not coming out till janurary!
    If i won the contest though id be extactic that not only will i have a first addition of the third book for my collection, i would have a kindle to make my reading addiction much more portable for when i go away for training.
    It was kind of difficult transporting the big tub of books from my barraks room back home…

  55. JenMH

    I have been OBSESSED with this series since I read “Poison Princess.” I’ve discussed it endlessly with other readers, frothed over all of the possible directions the story could take, agonized over Evie choosing Jack or Death. So, I can’t WAIT for “Dead of Winter”!! TEAM JACK!!!!

  56. Ashlee

    I just really need to know how much more awesome Evie is going to be and whether she picks Death – I really need her to pick Death!

  57. I need to know! I need to know what’s going on with Jack, how much more awesome Evie is going to be, and whether she chooses Death or not! I can’t wait for this book!

  58. Bianca

    Dead of Winter is the third installment in the Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole. It spins the story of a young girl name Evie and her attempts to once again not only find balance in her life but the world. In this book the reader anticipates finally finding out which one of her love interests she will choose and if the young heroine will be successful in putting an end to these horrific game. So come …. touch… but you’ll pay a price; and that price becoming enraptured into the beckoning call of the Arcana.

  59. Kristen Lange

    I’m excited to read Dead of Winter because I can’t wait to see if Jackson ends up with Evie or not and if they keep playing the game.

  60. heidi

    I found these books on a fluke, and i am so glad i did! KC is a masterful world builder, her characters are three dimensional, and her storylines are uber engaging! I can’t wait to see what comes next in all her books (waiting patiently for Nix’s book…ok, no really patiently!!! )

  61. This is, by far, one of my favorite series! I love how Evie’s developed over the last two books but seriously, the cliffie at the end of Endless Knight killed me!!!
    I’m a huge fan of Kresley Cole! All of her writing (IAD, anyone?) but the tension between Evie and Death is fantastic, it’s like a dance. This is not to say I’m not a fan of Jacks because, Oh, Baby, I am!
    This is truly one of the few times – count em’ on one hand – where I can tolerate ‘THE TRIANGLE’!
    It’s well-written, exciting and who knows what in the freakin’ ‘ells gonna happen!
    Can’t wait!

  62. sarah k

    I read the first book, and I’m really looking forward to continuing the series with Endless Knight and Dead of Winter.

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