Book Blitz: Owl Eyes by Molly Lazer (Excerpt & Giveaway)
Today I'm posting as part of the book blitz for Owl Eyes by Molly Lazer. Owl Eyes is a new YA Fantasy/Fairy Tale book that was released on the 20th March this year. I get to share with you an excerpt from the book as well as a giveaway. Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open for US & Canada entries, but I'll talk more about the giveaway at the end.
Carry on reading!
Owl Eyes: A Fairy Tale
by Molly Lazer
Publication date: March 20th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult
Nora knows three things: she is a servant, her parents are dead, and she lives in the kitchen house with her adoptive family. But her world is torn apart when she discovers that her birth father has always been right there, living in the house she serves.
This discovery leads Nora to more questions. Why was she thrown in an ash-covered room for asking about her father? Why is a silver-bladed knife the only inheritance from her birth mother? Why is magic forbidden in her household—and throughout the province of the Runes? The answers may not be the ones Nora hoped for, as they threaten a possible romance and her relationship with the adoptive family she loves.
With the announcement of a royal ball, Nora must decide what she is willing to give up in order to claim her stolen birthright, and whether this new life is worth losing her family—and herself.
Molly Lazer is a former associate editor at Marvel Comics, where she worked on books such as Fantastic Four, Captain America, New Avengers, and cult favorite comic book Spider-Girl. After returning to graduate school to receive a degree in education, she began a career as a high school reading, writing, and drama teacher. She also serves as a professional critiquer for Comics Experience, helping aspiring comic book writers finesse scripts for publication.
In 2016, Molly received a MFA in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. Her short stories have been featured in numerous literary magazines including Gone Lawn, LIT, and Silver Blade. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and twin sons. Owl Eyes is her first novel.
Light spilled into the room. I opened my eyes into small slits and peeked through my fingers. I could just make out a female figure, waist tightly corseted and gown flaring out at the hips.
“Don’t be daft, Eleanor,” Lady Portia said. “Get up.”
If I had the strength to move, I would have run from the room as fast as my feet would carry me. Instead, I curled into a ball on the ground. Even though I squeezed my eyes shut, I could still see the orange glow from the torches in the hall.
“I said get up.” Lady Portia grabbed my arm in the exact spot where she bruised me before. I cried out as she hauled me to my feet.
“Have you learned your lesson?” Her breath was sweet, like lavender. I wanted to retch on her shoes. I could feel the darkness reaching for me with sticky-slick fingers.
“Yes, ma’am,” I whispered as loud as my dry throat would allow.
“I can’t hear you.” She tightened her grip on my arm, and it was all I could do not to whimper as my eyes finally adjusted to the light.
“Yes, ma’am,” I repeated, louder. My head pounded. She released my arm.
Gold eyes stared at me from a mirror that hung on the opposite wall, daring me to make a move. The girl in the mirror had swallowed the darkness of the room; my shadow-self stared out from the glass. Her skin was dead black. I looked down at my arms. They were covered in ash from the floor of the room with no windows. I screamed.
Lady Portia’s hand cracked across my cheek. “Stop that,” she hissed.
I scraped my arms with hands that were just as black. I smelled ash every time I breathed in.
Siobhan and Annabelle’s laughter echoed through the hall. I had to get out of there. Lady Portia grabbed the back of my shirt as I braced to run.
“Girls!” she barked as Siobhan and Annabelle rounded the corner. “No running in the hall.”
The girls skidded to a stop in front of us.
“Ella-Della!” Annabelle said. “What happened?” She looked up, appealing to Lady Portia. “Mother, she didn’t really break my bird. It was an accident!”
“Don’t call her that name, Annabelle,” Portia said. “You sound like an imbecile.”
“An imbecile who got her own toy stuck in a tree.” Siobhan swatted Annabelle’s sleeve and cocked her head at me. “You look like an owl with those yellow eyes. You’re so dirty they’re all I can see. Are you hungry, Owl Eyes? I’ll see if I can find you a mouse for supper.”
She laughed and began to hoot. Annabelle joined in, and Portia sighed with disgust.
“Take her back to the kitchen house,” Portia said. “And get these two ready for dinner.”
I hadn’t noticed Sarah and another servant standing there. Sarah ushered Siobhan and Annabelle back down the hall.
“Bye, Owl Eyes,” Siobhan called over her shoulder.
GIVEAWAY - ENDS APRIL 5TH 2018
Blitz-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay (Excerpt & Giveaway)
I'm back with yet another book blitz. What a surprise?! Ignore my sarcasm, but today I'm posting as part of the book blitz for Can Dreams Come True? by Krysten Lindsay Hager. Can Dreams Come True? is a YA Contemporary Romance book that was released about a week ago on March 20th. Today I get to share an excerpt from the book as well as an international giveaway.
Carry on reading!
Can Dreams Come True?
by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Publication date: March 20th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis:Cecily has always had a huge crush on singer Andrew Holiday and she wants to be an actress, so she tags along when her friend auditions for his new video. However, the director isn’t looking for an actress, but rather the girl next door—and so is Andrew. Cecily gets a part in the video and all of Andrew’s attention on the set. Her friend begins to see red and Cecily’s boyfriend is seeing green—as in major jealousy. A misunderstanding leaves Cecily and her boyfriend on the outs and Andrew hopes to pick up the pieces as he’s looking for someone more stable in his life than the models he’s dated. Soon Cecily begins to realize Andrew understands her more than her small-town boyfriend—but can her perfect love match really be her favorite rock star?
Who knew all those embarrassing, cringe-y moments in middle school and high school could turn into a career? And who would have thought that daydreaming in math class would pay off down the road?
Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values.
She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star, Landry in Like, Competing with the Star (The Star Series: Book 2) and Dating the It Guy. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton. Coming soon: Can Dreams Come True
Excerpt:Andrew sat back and nodded. “Well, Dimitri got the song, you know? He understood what I was looking for—a relationship where two people understand each other on a spiritual level. You know, where their souls connect. Make sense?”
“Yeah, is that what you have with your girlfriend?” I asked hoping it didn’t look like I as phishing for info on who he was dating.
He shook his head. “Nah, I’ve never had anything like that before. But it’s the ultimate idea though, you know? How about you?”
“No, never,” I said and then I felt guilt wash over me. “I mean, I’ve had deep connections with people—just not what you’re talking about or what Dimitri said—the whole deep mystical thing.”
Andrew stared at me and I felt like he was looking into my soul. “Sometimes it feels like it’s impossible to get that connection with anybody. Or you think you’re halfway there and they say they get you, but then something happens and you know they weren’t as deep into it as you were—or at least as deep as you were hoping. That’s the inspiration for next song I’m working on. It’s about when you want to believe so badly that you have a soul connection, then something happens and you realize it was just another superficial relationship. That’s the title: Just Another Superficial Relationship.”
“Wow, I can’t wait to hear it.”
“I can sing you the chorus if you want,” he said.
Holding my breath, I tried to be cool and not squeal with delight that my favorite singer was about to not only sing for me, but let me hear an unreleased song. This was like a dream come true and it made me question if I hadn’t indeed fallen into the water and hit my head on some rocks, and was now either dreaming this in a coma somewhere or this was my own personal version of heaven. I felt guilty for inwardly gushing over Andrew when I had a boyfriend. But this wasn’t about me being interested in going out with Andrew. It would never happen anyway. This was just me meeting my crush who happened to be a singer, who I felt understood my feelings more than anyone else.
Andrew sang the chorus and a warmth washed over me. The song was perfect—the yearning, the longing—I had experienced all of it myself. It was like he had taken all my innermost thoughts and somehow put them into words.
“Amazing,” I said. My whole body was warm as my mind raced. Was I actually sitting here with him and having him trust me enough to share a new song? This was beyond anything I had dreamt of happening today.
GIVEAWAY - ENDS APRIL 5TH 2018
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Book Blitz: The Forest Beyond the Earth by Matthew S. Cox (Excerpt & Giveaway)
I'm back with another book blitz. This time it's for The Forest Beyond the Earth by Matthew S. Cox. The Forest Beyond the Earth is a YA Post-Apocalyptic novel that was released earlier this year in February. As part of the blitz I get to share with you all an excerpt from the book as well as an international giveaway.
Carry on reading!
The Forest Beyond the Earth
by Matthew S. Cox
Publication date: February 6th 2018
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Synopsis:Under the watchful eye of the Mother Shrine, twelve-year-old Wisp ekes out a simple, but challenging life with Dad, foraging for food and losing herself in old books from the world that came before. She loves the Endless Forest ― except when the Tree Walkers come for her.
In ages past, the great rain of fire and ash destroyed the Earth, wiping out the ancients and everything they had made. Nature has reclaimed much since then, spreading out in a vast forest full of wonder and dread. Ever in fear of being taken away, she follows Dad’s rules without question while learning to survive off the land.
No longer a small child, she accompanies Dad on one of his treks, her first time more than a few steps away from the cabin. A day exploring with him is the happiest time of her life, but joy is short-lived.
A monster follows them home.
Safe in her Haven, she hides while Dad goes outside to confront the beast. She wakes alone the next morning, and waits. Alas, her hope of his return fades with the daylight. Desperate, she breaks his strictest rule and goes outside alone. Not far from the cabin, she discovers his rifle abandoned next to the monster’s strange footprints.
Afraid but determined, Wisp sets off on her own into the Endless Forest to find Dad ― before the Tree Walkers catch her.
Sale - 2.99 on March 26-27, then the price goes back to normal 4.99
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.
He is also fond of cats.
Sheltered among the great moss-dappled trunks, Wisp peered out from her hiding place at the forest of monsters, barely breathing, lest the Tree Walkers hear her.
She glanced back over her shoulder at Dad, twenty feet away and closer to the cabin. Distracted by fiddling with his rifle, he hadn’t noticed her wander off toward the little yellow flowers. Being so far away from him tightened a knot in her belly, but she pushed fear aside. Hunger had far more of a hold on her, and besides… the sun filtered down through the pines, strong and warm. Tree Walkers didn’t come out in the day.
Or so she hoped.
Wisp eased her toes into the soil, on guard for sharp rocks, stinging insects, or other dangers. The leather scraps of her skirt brushed at her legs with each tentative step. Dad recently made it to replace the same tattered dress she’d worn for the past two years. The frayed garment had grown so tight the fabric was ready to come apart if she breathed in too deep. He’d also given her a shirt he’d found on one of his scavenging trips, but she’d been less thrilled it with due to its bright pink color. It made her stand out. Not to mention, it had been torn so short it left her stomach bare. This outfit wouldn’t do well in the colder months, though Dad seldom let her out of the cabin then anyway, so perhaps it wouldn’t matter. While he didn’t make the pink mess, he did fix it for her. The former T-shirt had belonged to a grownup, but he’d added a crisscross of leather cord at the neck to cinch it tighter.
Despite the horrid color of her shirt, at least she could move around and not worry about destroying her clothing.
She squatted low to the ground, her thighs peeking out from two slits in the front of her skirt. A flap of thicker leather hung down between her legs, almost touching the soil as she brushed her hand back and forth looking for signs of edible insects or plants. Straight blonde hair fell around her, also nearly in contact with the ground. Close to home, they’d harvested everything of value already. To find food, they would have to venture deeper into the woods and risk the Tree Walkers finding them.
The thought brought a shiver.
“Wisp?” called Dad, worry in his voice. “Where are you going?”
Suppressing a gasp of fear, she twisted around to peer back at him. Before she could say a word, a distant snap echoed behind her in the woods. She crouched even lower and whirled back to stare in that direction, fingers and toes digging into the dirt, ready to run like hell for the cabin door.
Dad jogged up behind her. “What are you doing so far off? You know you’re not supposed to wander away from me like that.”
She lifted one hand to point at the distant forest floor full of tiny yellow flowers. “I found yellowgreens.”
GIVEAWAY - March 29th 2018
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Make sure to check out The Forest Beyond the Earth while it's still on sale - you have today left!
Book Blitz: Looking For Dei by David A. Willson (Excerpt & Giveaway)
I'm posting today as part of the book blitz for Looking For Dei by David A. Willson. Looking For Dei is a YA Fantasy novel that was released earlier this week on the 23rd of March. To celebrate its release, I get to share an excerpt from the book as well as an international giveaway.
Carry on reading!
Looking for Dei
by David A. Willson
Publication date: March 23rd 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.
A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.
David A. Willson has worked as a restauranteur, peace officer, and now, author. Taught by his mother to read at a young age, he spent his childhood exploring magic, spaceships, and other dimensions. In his writing, he strives to bring those worlds to his readers.Much of his material is inspired by the “Great Land” of Alaska, which he has called home for over 30 years. He lives there with his wife, five children, and 2 dogs. He is passionate about technology, faith, and fiction—not necessarily in that order.
Looking for Dei is Willson’s debut novel, set in a land where many more adventures will take place. Stay up to date with his ongoing efforts through the Looking for Dei Facebook page or visiting the website at davidawillson.com.
Fairmont – Capital of the Great Land 652PB (Post-Breshi)
The toddler blew at the dandelion bloom until its seeds broke free and floated away on a breeze that gusted past the man watching her from the bushes. His breath hitched as his burdens were lifted and briefly forgotten.
It had taken ten years to locate her. A life of study, prayer, and service to Dei in a monastery had not prepared him for so many years on the run, hiding under false names while he searched for the one he feared he might never find. His grizzled, greying goatee and unkempt hair might have labeled him a beggar or a desperate criminal, but the hope in his eyes told a different story.
Oblivious to the nearby threat, the girl dropped the crumpled dandelion stem and stumbled clumsily near a pile of stones. No more than two years old, she waddled across the overgrown orphanage courtyard, her cloth diaper askew. She plucked more flowers, her red hair dancing as she hopped after the seeds. She seemed to favor the world as her playmate, ignoring the twenty other children in the courtyard. She bumped into a small boy, fell down, and hopped back up with a baby-tooth grin before trotting off.
When she fell, a glimpse of her back jolted the man to his task. It was the blemish that beckoned him here—an ugly red scar stretching from upper back to waist, announcing her identity as the prophetic treasure he had sought for so long. The weight of the manuscript in his backpack grounded his thoughts, and he glanced around the area. There were no fences, plenty of bushes for cover, and a single matron leisurely surveying the yard. The woman sat on the aging building's back steps, watching the little ones as they ran about. She wore a dress and would be unable to chase him. How long would it take for her to alert the authorities?
As he surveyed the grounds to plan his escape, the girl waggled her hand at a passing butterfly and giggled as it flew away. Fortune favored his plans when she ran to a group of dandelions just a few feet from his hiding place. Squatting, she grabbed several stems, preparing to blow and release the seeds.
The man looked over to the matron, who had turned away to manage a quarrel between two other children. Knowing this might be his only chance, he burst forward and scooped the babe up in one arm, then raced back through the bushes behind the orphanage. He ran as fast as he could, unable to avoid jostling the child in his arms. She began to cry at the shock of her abduction, still gripping the dandelion stems in one tiny fist.
Back at the orphanage, the matron in the dress looked toward the back of the yard. The only evidence of a disturbance was a cloud of dandelion seeds that drifted upon the air, scattering in the light breeze. She turned to the many children she cared for, oblivious to the crime that had just been perpetrated under her watch.
GIVEAWAY - ENDS MARCH 29th 2018
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
Hello and welcome to SprinkleOfBooks! I'm Beth and on this blog I share a mix of all my bookish thoughts through reviews, book tours and hauls. Have fun!