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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (19)- My Top Ten ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years


Hi and welcome to my Top 10 Tuesday post! 

Thanks to the lovely ladies at The Broke And The Bookish for creating this weekly meme!

Here's this week's topic.

March 3: Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years (you can extend it to 5 if you need to).



1. A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU







6. BRANDED






10.  SCARLET 






So this is my list. What about you? What are your top ten bookish problems?

And come back next week for my Ten Books For Readers Who Like _________! I think I'm going to pick High Fantasy! Surprise, surprise lol ;)

Hugs,
Jaime

Monday, March 2, 2015

Blog Tour- WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKED by Tricia Stirling a Playlist and a Giveaway!


Hey y'all! I'm thrilled to have Tricia Stirling here today to share a playlist for WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKED! Tricia is a local author and on top of that her book is mostly set in my home town! It was a beautifully written book I enjoyed it very much! So check out the playlist and make sure to stick around for the giveaway!

Haven't heard of WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKED? Check it out!


Title: WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKED
Author: Tricia Stirling
Pub. Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 192
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
"I used to be one of those girls. The kind who loved to deliver bad news. When I colored my hair, I imagined it seeping into my scalp, black dye pooling into my veins.

But that was the old Lacy. Now, when I cast spells, they are always for good."

16-year-old Lacy believes that magic and science can work side by side. She's a botanist who knows how to harness the healing power of plants. So when her father dies, Lacy tries to stay with her step-mother in Chico, where her magic is good and healing. She fears the darkness that her real mother, Cheyenne, brings out, stripping away everything that is light and kind.

Yet Cheyenne never stays away for long. Beautiful, bewitching, unstable Cheyenne who will stop at nothing, not even black magic, to keep control of her daughter's heart. She forces Lacy to accompany her to Sacramento, and before long, the "old" Lacy starts to resurface.

But when Lacy survives a traumatic encounter, she finds herself faced with a choice. Will she use her powers to exact revenge and spiral into the darkness forever? Or will she find the strength to embrace the light?



Now on to the playlist!



Stand-REM




Punching in a Dream-The Naked and Famous




Street Spirit-Radiohead




Last Stop This Town--Eels




Chasing Cars-Snow Patrol




Love Buzz-Nirvana




Dark Horse-Katy Perry




Numb-Linkin Park




Where is My Mind-Pixies




Thanks so much Tricia I love the playlist!!!!





About Tricia:
I am a writer. I am also a mother, daughter, wife, sometimes crafter, and voracious reader. I'm outdoorsy and kind of shy. As a child, I was kicked out of girlscouts. I love cheese and bread. I love Anthopologie and Mary Margaret's apartment in Once Upon a Time.  I'm a sloppy dogloving person, but I admire the sleek cool of cats. My favorite writers include Alice Hoffman, Janet Fitch, Donna Tarte, and Aimee Bender. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were also good.





Giveaway Details:


5 Finished Copies of WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKED. US Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Check out the Tour Schedule for more awesome posts!

Week One:
2/23/2015- Moonlight Gleam ReviewsReview
2/24/2015- Novel InkReview
2/25/2015- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Interview
2/26/2015- Bookish- Interview
2/27/2015- Once Upon a TwilightReview

Week Two:
3/2/2015- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
3/3/2015- MEReadALotReview
3/4/2015- paranormal book club (PBC)Interview
3/5/2015- Bittersweet EnchantmentReview
3/6/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads - Guest Post









Saturday, February 28, 2015

Release Week Blitz- DEAREST by Alethea Kontis and a Giveaway!

A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.

We're launching the BOOK TOUR for
Dearest
By Alethea Kontis

Did you miss any of the magical posts and reviews for this tour?
Go check them out now! You can also grab the 20th Chapter of Dearest, 
not previously released, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Lilac Reviews - Tips for Writing a Series
The Arilland Easter Egg Page: I’ve always been a big fan of DVD extras, so I created a page on my website where I list handy links to essays, videos, stories, articles and the like that are some how connected to the series. You can find it here: http://aletheakontis.com/about/arilland
Wishful Endings - The Wild Swans Rant
"The Wild Swans", along with "The Little Mermaid" and "The Little Match Girl" has always been one of my favorite stories by Hans Christian Andersen. (It's also, notably, one of the only HCA stories in which the main characters DON'T DIE.)

Special post @ Waterworld Mermaids - Learn some fun facts about Alethea!

The Book Lovers' Lounge - Review
I would still recommend this book to anyone who loves their fairy tales and romance books.

Wings trip [Alethea's] fiction trigger @ USA Today's Happy Ever After

Buried Under Books - Review

I love Friday—I think she’s my favorite of the sisters so far mainly because she’s so sweet and kind—and Tristan is also very likeable but it’s the seven brothers as a group who make this tale so much fun.

Mommabears Book Blog - Holy "L" Trinity
But when it came to fantasy films, we had what we lovingly referred to as "The Holy L Trinity": Legend, Labyrinth, and Ladyhawke. It was rare that we watched one without immediately watching the other two. It didn't matter which order, just as long as they all got seen.

Rabid Reads - Review
Highly recommended. If you love fairy tales, you will love this series. Even if you are among the majority who only know Disney’s version of events, you will love this series. Don’t be scared off by the mutual affection Kontis and I have for Grimm, b/c while, YES, the details stay true to their European roots, the Woodcutter sisters always live happily ever after. 

Gidget Girls Reading - Spotlight
Wonderful addition to the Woodcutter Sisters series! Dearest is sure to capture the reader and keep them wanting more.

7 Minutes with... Alethea Kontis @ J.T. Ellison


Zerina Blossom - Review
Dearest was a sweet romance and a fantastic mix of some of my favorite fairytales. “The Seven Swans” and “The Goose Girl” were but two of them. I loved the way the stories were once again intermingled in new and intriguing ways. Friday’s love story was one worth reading again.

Geo Librarian - Review
When it comes to fairy tale retellings it can be challenging to present the story in a new enough way to win over readers since the basic story is known beforehand.  But Kontis does a nice job here of adding enough new elements to make the story feel fresh and new.  And while the plot is thoroughly entertaining, it is the characters that really make the story worth reading.

Welcome to Book City - Interview

What is your favorite fairy tale?

My favorite fairy tale has always been “The Goose Girl.” It's the reason Conrad is one of the main characters in Dearest! Conrad was the clever boy who reported to the king that there was something fishy about the girl he tended the geese with...like the fact that she knew how to call the wind. . . . My second-favorite fairy tales are “Snow White and Rose Red” and “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.”

Angela's Library - Q&A
Dearest is based in part on “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen and “The Goose Girl” by the Brothers Grimm. How are both of these tales referenced in Dearest?
I reread “The Wild Swans” again before I started writing Dearest — it’s amazing how much detail that story goes into. Elisa has 11 brothers who are cursed into swans by a wicked sorceress stepmother who quickly turns the king’s heart against his children. She also tries to curse Elisa, but her heart is so pure that the sorceress is forced to make Elisa physically ugly to serve her purpose...

Kelly P's Blog - A Weave of Words Fairy Tale Rant Intro
The book, out of print now (but still fairly easy to acquire), is about a lazy prince and a weaver's daughter. In order to win her heart, the prince learns to read and write and weave. In return, the weaver's daughter learns to ride a horse and fight with a sword.

Mel's Shelves - Review
This book has plenty for everyone--humor, romance, secrets, danger, adventure and magic. I think I would enjoy it even more the second time through since there are references I most likely missed. There's more to come in this series so I'm sure I'll read through all of them again in the future. If you enjoy adventurous fairytale mash-ups, you'll want to start reading this series now!

Jan Edwards - Q&A
What are you up to next?
This year I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome(another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I’m very excited about all of them!

Katie's Clean Book Collection - Review
I loved the way different fairy tales were twisted and mashed up. . . . It really was a lot of fun to see where the story would go. I need to go back and read the first two!

A Backwards Story - I Dedicate This Post To You (Review HERE)
One of my favorite parts of a book is the dedication. Before the interwebs, a dedication—because there wasn't always an acknowledgements section or author's note, especially in fiction—was the closest a reader came to knowing the author as a person.

Wishful Endings - Review
I loved all the nods to various folklore and fairy tales. The author is definitely a master at blending different tales while making them completely original and her own. . . . I would highly recommend Dearest as well as this entire series.

Library of a Book Witch - Review
I loved that this focused on the Fairy Tale of the seven swans and not only that but also another story that I am familiar with. . . . The story is so fast moving I flew through the book (like a swan, get it, ha!) but it was just so engaging. So many wonderful things come together to keep the plot moving. So many wonderful characters.

The Quotable - Fairy Tales Incorporated
I’m often asked which fairy tales I’m putting into the next installment of the Woodcutter Sisters series, or how many I’ve already included, or which ones are my favorites, or which ones inspire me the most. Rarely do I get the question of HOW I incorporate all these fairy tales into the bouillabaisse that is the Once Upon a Time of Arilland — which is probably a good thing, because it’s not a short answer...


Biggest Literary Crushes post on Teen Reads

The Written Adventure - Interview
2) What gave you the idea for this book?
I always start each one of the Woodcutter Sisters books with a “base note” fairy tale (like a base note in perfume). The base note for Dearest was “The Wild Swans” (aka “The Six Swans”). But I can't think of fine-feathered fairy tales without thinking of my personal favorite, “The Goose Girl”...so I had to add that too. From there, the rest just sort of fell into place.

My Life Loves and Passion - Review
To start with I LOVED this cover. It was just so beautiful. . . . I just loved how this story started. It was so magical. I really loved just everything about this book!

Colorimetry - Swan Lake Fairy Tale Rant & Review
When I began writing Dearest, I knew I wanted to incorporate "The Goose Girl" and "The Wild Swans" and "The Six Swans" and every other fairy tale that involves a gaggle of men who are cursed into birds. . . . This was my favorite book in the series so far and not just because I rec'd an early review copy that Alethea signed and doodled, although... I 5-star love that, too.  Mostly 5 stars because this story makes me want to know and remember ALL the stories, which is crazy and not even possible because they haven't all been written, yet!

I Am A Reader - The Casting of the Swans
As many writers—and children in Deep-Doodoo Trouble—know, the best stories are often an amalgamation of more than one thing. One idea comes to mind that sparks a myriad of other ideas…some you might have had a very long time ago, and some you might have imagined only yesterday. . . . The seven Swan Brothers of Dearest were a story born of three such singular ideas.

The Library of the Seen - Interview
What are some of your favorite fairy tale retellings?
Beauty and Deerskin, both by Robin McKinley (she's the fairy tale retelling queen!) Also, A Curse Dark As Gold, a Rumplestiltskin retelling by Elizabeth C. Bunce. And the movie Ever After...which in many ways inspired Enchanted (because I loved the film so much and still wanted to do my own Cinderella.)

18 - Special post on Dear Teen Me - Letter to her teen BFF

Printcess & Living a Goddess Life - Review
You recall my earlier review of the first two in the series, Enchanted and Hero. Well, I actually liked this one the best. Kontis appears to be improving in style and scope with each book, which makes for a nice change!

Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf - Interview
2 Do you read/comment on reviews of your books?
I do! I don’t have a lot of time to do so anymore–and I often hear that reviewers are sometime freaked out when the author pops by unannounced–but I do have Google Alerts and Twitter searches saved with my name. (It’s nice to be the only Alethea Kontis on the planet!) I appreciate every reader who takes the time to write a review. I used to be a book reviewer, both in print and online–I know how much extra energy it takes to put those thoughts into useful words.

100 Pages A Day - Review
Tristan is the serious brother that Friday falls for- and is mostly instant love since they only see each other at night, but the romance was painted as genuine and this is a fairy tale. For any lover of fairy tales and re-tellings this would be a good series to pick up.

mrsjennyreads - Review
An enchanting delight of a story, this is true fantasy fun. Kontis, I believe, may be wielding magic of her own.

Books and Ashes - Review
I really enjoyed this story though because it was everything I wanted to know and more about what was happening in Arilland while Saturday was adventuring as a pirate (which was my favorite part about Hero) and this book gave me that and more by the time I finished it. I can’t wait to see which sister is next in the series!

Addicted Readers - Seamstress Extraordinaire
In the Woodcutter series, I had to coin the phrase "Seamstress Extraordinaire," because the publisher did not like that I called Yarlitza Mitella a Master Seamstress. They asked if I could change it to Mistress...but a Master at a craft is not a Mistress, no matter what their sex. There are female Jedi Masters, for heaven's sake. All the D&D Guild Masters--men or women--were Masters.

Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books - Review
"World building and humor in DEAREST was nicely done. Alethea also gets major points for taking such well know fairy tales and making them her own..."

Katy's Krazy Books - Review
So I thought that the plot was really good.  Friday is an awesome chick that I just wish I could be.  I mean who doesn’t want to be able to save a couple of hot twins from turning into swans each day.  Not to mention, the girl gets to do the saving in this story, NOT the guy.

The Daily Prophecy - Fairy Tale Rant on Tristan & Isolde
I have found that, during the process of writing a novel, I am drawn to certain entertainments in my off time. While writing Enchanted, I watched a lot of Jane Austen movies. While writing Hero, I was very drawn to the Summer Olympics...especially the women's swimming competitions. While writing Dearest, I re-watched most of Stargate: Atlantis...and all of Merlin.

Deal Sharing Aunt - Interview
Where do you get your information or ideas?
I get information from everywhere--people, when I can find them, books, when I have them close at hand, and the internet, when I need something simple to move the story forward, like the anatomy and habits of a swan.

Min Reads and Reviews - Review
I absolutely loved this book.  The story is told beautifully and quite magically, as well.  I have not read the previous books in the series, but I am putting them high on my TBR list.  I loved absolutely Friday, and I enjoyed getting to know some of her sisters.

Pieces of Whimsy - The Goose Girl
I first read "The Goose Girl" when I was eight years old, from the giant book of fairy tales my Memere bought me (no doubt in the hopes that it might keep me busy for a while). No matter how old I've become and what adventures I've undertaken, "The Goose Girl" has been my favorite fairy tale since that day.

Wonderous Reviews - Review
The journey that Dearest takes readers on is more than I can put into words without spoiling at least one discovery. I will say that this book is perfect for those that enjoy a story that will inspire and enchant! There is beautiful love, heart pounding action, fantasy and flying, magic and sorcery, destiny and fate, kindness and curses, and a little something for everyone!

The Scribbling Sprite - Interview
6. Any plans for future books you can share with us?
In the next six months, I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I'm very excited about all of them!

A Backwards Story - The Missing Last Chapter of Dearest
Alethea talks about Dearest being short one chapter and that you can now read the final chapter.

Dearest (Woodcutter Sisters, #3)Dearest
(Woodcutter Sisters, #3)
by Alethea Kontis
YA Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 320 Pages
February 3rd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

“A fabulous fairy-tale mashup that deserves hordes of avid readers. Absolutely delectable.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review of award-winning series debut Enchanted

Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?

The Other Woodcutter Sisters Books
 Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)
Links for Enchanted
Links for Hero

Alethea Kontis courtesy of Lumos Studio 2012
New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a fairy godmother, and a geek. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, and ranting about fairy tales on YouTube.

Her published works include: The Wonderland Alphabet (with Janet K. Lee), Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (with Janet K. Lee), the AlphaOops series (with Bob Kolar), the Woodcutter Sisters fairy tale series, and The Dark-Hunter Companion (with Sherrilyn Kenyon). Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines.

Her YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and the Garden State Teen Book Award i 2015. Enchanted was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both Enchanted and its sequel, Hero, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award.

Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea currently lives and writes in Florida, on the Space Coast. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.


Tour-Wide Giveaway

3 Woodcutter Sisters Prize Packs (signed copies of Enchanted, Hero, & Dearest - US Only)
Ends March 8th


Prism Book Tours

Friday, February 27, 2015

Blog Tour- THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER by Melinda Salisbury An Exclusive Scene and A Giveaway!


Hey y'all! I'm super excited to take part in the blog tour for THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER by Melinda Salisbury! I freaking loved this book it's a high fantasy from a very talented debut author and I can't wait for the next book in the series! I have a special scene from Prince Merek's POV for you today I think it's kinda perfect to close the tour this way. So check it out and make sure to stick around for the giveaway!

Haven't heard of THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER? Check it out!


Title: THE SIN EATER'S DAUGHTER
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Pub. Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 320
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.


However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

Now on to the special scene!


Merek’s return to life at court.

It feels like cheating to hunt with the dogs. It’s hardly fair on the stag we’re chasing. I haven’t seen it in some time - we’re following way behind the mutts, thank the Gods - but when we first spotted it, I saw the fury in its eyes, the sheer, disbelieving arrogance that we would dare hunt it, before panic took over and it turned tail and ran. It stood as tall as me, its antlers double that, maned and proud before we forced it to flee. The king of the forest knew it was out of time and it hated us for it.

To be quite honest, the entire hunt feels utterly pointless. We’re not hunting, we’re following some diabolical hounds through a wood so they can tear a creature apart as we watch. There’s no skill needed, no honour here. Still, it’s better than the ball she’d wanted. I feel the corners of my mouth turn down at the thought of my mother and I pull them straight. It’ll be over soon enough and that poor beast will die a violent death so I might be spared other agonies.

From somewhere ahead, hidden from sight by the trees and shrubs, the stag screams and a chill runs down my spine. It doesn’t seem just for an animal like that to meet its death at the teeth of my mother’s monsters. It deserves more. I meet the gaze of Taul, one of my guards. For a moment we are united in our distaste for this performance; I know his grim disapproval matches mine. Then the sound of hooves pounding the forest floor and I take a deep breath, spurring my own mount on, Taul doing the same behind me.

The carcass is a mess when we arrive, the ground smeared with blood and the hounds snarling and snapping at each other, competing for the meat. Already one of the smaller ones is curled on the floor, motionless. The Master of the Hounds is trying desperately to tempt them away so he can saw the antlers off, but even with his spear driving them back he cannot get close. We all sit on our horses in a semi-circle around the scene, everyone watching in grim fascination, Lord Bennel sipping from a small flask in what he clearly thinks is a subtle fashion. I can feel my step-father’s gaze on me, his face flushed and happy. I keep my own eyes down. There’s so much red.

Eventually, we turn the horses away and the largest hounds begin to drag the stag after us. The men laugh and joke as we head towards the feast, but I hold back, riding in silence. Behind my ribs my heart starts to speed up, I feel a sweat break out beneath my tunic. This is the part I’ve been longing for and dreading in equal measure.

I spot her immediately when we enter the clearing, her hair shining like fire, orange and copper. The first time I saw her that’s what I thought; that she was somehow made of fire. She’d glowed with it. But she’s dulled now, I see as I move to sit opposite her. Her shoulders slump, her eyes cast down. I look to my mother, feeling my jaw tighten.
“Good sport?” she asks my step-father as he pulls his goblet towards him.
          “Indeed, indeed,” he replies. “We were led a pretty chase by a devil of a beast – his antlers must have been twice the height of Merek.” He nods at me and I incline my head. “But we brought him down and the dogs had their day.”
          I raise an eyebrow. We certainly did not bring him down; we were all in the forest when the beast was killed. I look at Twylla to see what she makes of this, but she is staring at the table, wincing involuntarily at every crack of bone.
          I turn to my mother when she addresses me.  “Merek, how did you find it?”
          “Very well, Mother,” I try to keep a sneer from my voice, leaning away. “It was a pleasant distraction. I would do it again.” I should stop there, I know I should, but I can’t resist the chance to annoy her. A small rebellion. But we all must begin somewhere. “While we were in Tregellan we hunted boar on occasion. Though not a court they still enjoy some of the old sports and courtly pastimes.”
          “I’m surprised they find time,” she says, her eyes darkening. “I was under the impression it took them the best part of a moon to agree to any decision.”
          It’s almost impossible to prevent myself from smirking as she takes the bait. “True. But that’s the price of democracy, I expect. Each voice needs to be heard. Whilst it could be more efficient, I can’t deny the system works. For them, at least.”
          “For them.” There is a threat in her voice and I look away before she can see the rage her dismissal births in me. I cannot recall ever loving her, but since my return two days ago I’ve realized how much I dislike her. I cannot bear to be near her. My own mother.
She can sense there is something wrong and works to placate me. “The Hall of Glass will be complete soon. We’ve modelled it on the original in Tallith. There are pastimes enough to be found here too.”
          “I saw the remains of the original whilst I was there. I’m sure it was quite something. In its day.”
“I think you’ll find our version will supersede it. Whilst modelled on the Tallithi design, I’ve made some modifications to it myself. It’s no relic.”
“It won’t be the same as a tourney or a sport though, will it?”
          “It’s a more refined entertainment.” Her voice is intimate, inviting, and my skin crawls. “We’re not savages like the Tregellians. We can take our pleasure from more gentle things.”
Gentle? Like her hounds? Like her mercy? Spare me. But before I can reply she continues.
“My son, the traveller. I only hope Lormere has enough to occupy him now.” She smiles at me and reaches for my hand. Without thinking I move, grabbing my knife and stabbing it into the bird in front of me. Aware the entire court is watching, and knowing I’ll pay for it later, I tear a chunk of meat from it and chew, keeping my eyes on hers until she looks away, fury burning there.
          It was worth it, I think, when I catch Twylla looking away from me, her eyes curious. If it gave her even a moment’s amusement then it’s worth whatever punishment my mother metes out later.
          She pulls a necklace from her gown and toys with it as she scours the table and after a moment I realise what is hanging from it and put the bird down.
          “You made it into a necklace?”
          She looks at the coin which now dangles from a long thick chain. “I could hardly add it to the treasury.”
          For some reason my eyes sting as though I might cry. “Where did the design go? The piper and the stars that were on the front? Did you have them filed away?”
          “Of course I did. What reason would I have for wanting to wear an old coin with a Tallithi musician on? This is much better. See, now the centre is unmarked and it looks like Næht’s moon. And the gold around the edge is Dæg’s sun. I’ve made it Lormerian.”
          I stare at her in disbelief. “That was possibly the last alchemy-made Tallithi coin in the world. Over five hundred harvests old, a priceless piece of history.”
          “But not our history, Merek. I’m only concerned with our history. Besides, it’s not as if it will tell us the secrets of alchemy, is it? It’s merely a useless coin from an obsolete currency.”
          I’m struck dumb by the callousness of it, by the stupidity of it. It was ancient. I hadn’t even planned to give it to her; she saw it by my bed and assumed it was for her. I found it by sheer dumb luck, at the bottom of a cliff. It must have been there since before the fall, the last remnant of civilization. Utterly invaluable and she made it into a bauble.
          Lord Bennel, drunk and reeling breaks my chain of thought. “Did you find the Sleeping Prince, Your Highness?”
Some of the court laughs and I welcome the break in the tension, about to make a joke when I see my mother’s face. If looks could kill then Lord Bennel would surely be dead now; there is nothing less than murder in my mother’s eyes. Everyone can see it, the entire company is frozen, watching.
          “Forgive me, Your Majesties, and Your Highness,” Lord Bennel says hurriedly, his words slurring together in his haste to speak them. “I did not mean to interrupt you.”
          Mother says nothing, I say nothing, clamping my jaw shut, the familiar feeling of fear taking over. When she leans back they all take a collective breath and the party begins again. But it’s not over. We are in the eye of her storm, I realise.
“Twylla, you will sing now,” she snaps at my betrothed, who jumps out of her seat and walks to the end of the table. I watch her all the way, taking in her figure, her red dress, her unbound hair and I see in the way she walks that she’s terrified. She knows it too.
          I watch her sing, watch the way her eyes focus on a spot beyond us, above us, watch as her shoulders lose some of their stiffness every second that goes past and the axe does not fall. Her voice is even lovelier than I remember, and I feel my own face relaxing as I watch her, feel my lips pulling into a smile. I have missed nothing about Lormere at all over the past two harvests, save for this. Save for her. In the dappled light through the canopy her hair shines, her eyes gleam the same green as the leaves behind her. When we are wed I shall have her sing to me every night before we sleep. I shall let her sing all day if she wishes.
          Then her gaze changes, her shoulders stiffen again and her face pales. I look around for the cause of it and see Lord Bennel whispering at Lady Lorelle. At the head of the table Twylla is tossing her hair back, gesturing wildly with her hands and I realise she’s trying to keep our attention on her. She’s trying to save him.
          But it’s futile, beside me my mother has gone as still as a snake, her knuckles whitening on the stem of her goblet.
          I’m possibly the only person unsurprised by the flash of motion and the shattering glass, I saw an instant before she did it what she meant to do.
          “Does Twylla bore you, Lord Bennel? Does Daunen Embodied bore my lord?”
          Bennel reddens and leans towards her.  “Forgive me, Your Majesty, I was merely saying to Lady Lorelle how lucky we were to live in such times, to have Daunen Embodied amongst us once more. I meant it to be a compliment.” He gestures at Twylla and in the process knocks his wine glass down. Beside him Lady Lorelle closes her eyes and swallows.
“Odd. Surely a better compliment would have been simply to listen to her and appreciate her, as the rest of us were managing to do. Lorelle didn’t seem to have a problem appreciating the song without talking over it, did she?”
“No, Your Majesty.” His response is a beat too slow.
“Perhaps your compliments, as you say, were ill-timed then?”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Perhaps you’d do better to leave us to enjoy the gifts of the Gods without you?”        
I look at my step-father and he speaks, only managing to say her name softly before she cuts him off. He looks at me and frowns, before turning away completely.
“I – Your Majesty?” says Lord Bennel.
“Go. You interrupt Daunen Embodied with your chatter and you interrupted a private conversation between me and my son with nonsense. Do not aspire to be in my company until you have learned some manners.” She tosses the broken glass to the floor, watching him from the corner of her eye and she pretends to ignore him and my stomach roils at the cruelty of it. As soon as he calls for his horse, she strikes.
“I think not, Lord Bennel. You may walk and use the time to reflect on your ignorance.”
He still doesn’t fully understand. Somewhere at the edges of consciousness he knows – like the stag this morning – that something is deeply wrong, but he’s too drunk to see it. I hope he is so very drunk he doesn’t feel a thing. This is partly my fault, I shouldn’t have goaded her earlier, I should have been the dutiful son she wanted me to be. Had I been sweeter, she might have been too. I look again at Twylla and see she understands what will happen next too.
At my mother’s instruction Twylla begins to sing and I want so very much to thrust my glass into my mother’s face. Twylla’s voice is shaking, as are her hands and I want to take her from this Gods-cursed place.
My mother summons the Master of the Hounds and I close my eyes, focusing on Twylla’s voice.
They fly open at Lord Bennel’s scream. No one looks at anyone else, the injustice and horror paralyzing all of us. Paralyzing me. Who did nothing to stop it. Said nothing. I saw it all coming and I let it. Even my future bride, dying by degrees so very clearly, tried to do something.  
“Start again, Twylla,” my mother says. “I could hardly hear you over the wildlife. Though less of the theatrics this time, if you please. You’re Daunen Embodied, not a village minstrel.”
I look at Twylla in time to see the hatred flash over her face before she does as she’s told. Her voice is steady now, powerful and I feel a sudden rush of blinding admiration for her. I cannot take my eyes from her, not while she sings, not when she returns to her seat, not when she toys with her food.
She tried to save him. My mother hasn’t extinguished her yet.
I can feel my mother watching me, watch her and I know I should look away but I can’t. There is still fire in her. And if she can fight, then I can fight. We can fight together. She will be the spark that starts the fire to purge Lormere of the madness of my mother.
Throughout the ride home I try and work up the nerve to drop back and talk to her, but never summon the courage. I’m not as brave as she. Instead I keep my eyes forward, watching the castle loom closer. My mother throws herself from her horse and marches up the stairs, scattering everyone in her way. My step-father and I follow, but before I go inside I turn and there she is, dismounting.
Our eyes meet and in that moment the whole word ceases to exist, there is just her, blazing in the afternoon sun. My mother calls me and I turn away automatically. But I have an idea.


Thanks so much Melinda for this scene! I love Prince Merek!!!!





About Melinda: 
Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel, and will be published by Scholastic in 2015. She is represented by the amazing Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.

She tweets. A lot.





Giveaway Details:

5 finished copies of THE SIN EATER’S DAUGHTER US Only


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Check out the Tour Schedule for more awesome posts!

Week One:
2/16/2015- FiktshunInterview
2/17/2015- Katie's Book BlogReview
2/18/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsGuest Post
2/19/2015- Beauty and the BookshelfReview
2/20/2015- Novel NoviceInterview       

Week Two:
2/23/2015- Fiction FareReview
2/24/2015- Supernatural SnarkGuest Post
2/25/201- YA BibliophileReview
2/26/2015- Dark Faerie TalesInterview
2/27/2015- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post








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