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Monday, February 12, 2018

Blog Tour- THE BELLES by Dhonielle Clayton An Excerpt & Giveaway!



Hey everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for THE BELLES by Dhonielle Clayton! I loved this book so I'm super excited to be on this tour!

I have an excerpt from the book to share with you today! And make sure to enter the giveaway below!


Haven't heard of THE BELLES? Check it out!


Title: THE BELLES
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Pub. Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 448
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD
Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever. 
Now on to the excerpt!

This excerpt was originally on EW.com

1
We all turned sixteen today, and for any normal girl that would mean raspberry and lemon macarons and tiny pastel blimps and pink champagne and card games. Maybe even a teacup elephant.

But not for us. Today is our debut. There are only six of us this year.

My fingertips leave fog teardrops on the paper-thin glass walls. The carriage is beautiful and clear and fashioned into a ball. I am a delicate doll poised inside a snow globe. An adoring audience surrounds my carriage, eager to see what I look like, and what I can do.

A net made of my signature pink owers stretches along the glass curves in order to tell everyone my name— Camellia—and to hide me until I’m revealed to the royal court.

I am the last in line.

My heart races with excited nervousness as we snake through the crowds in the Royal Square for the Beauté Carnaval. The festival happens once every three years. I peer through the tiny spaces between the petals with a pair of eyescopes, and try to soak in my first glances of the world, wanting to fold up each bit and tuck it into the cerise layers of my dress.

It’s a wonderland of palace buildings with golden turrets and glittering arches, fountains full of crimson and ivory fish, topiary mazes of clipped trees, shrubs, and bushes in every possible geometric shape. Imperial canals circle the square, holding jeweled boats bright as gemstones and shaped like smiling moons on midnight-blue water. They spill over with passengers eager to watch us. The royal sablier, the columnar hourglass that measures the length of day and night, churns with sand the color of white diamonds.

The sky and its clouds are made of melting cherries and flaming oranges and burnt grapefruit as the sun sinks into the sea. The dying sunlight ashes my own reflection on the glass. My powdered skin makes me look like an overly frosted piece of caramel cake.

I’ve never seen anything like it before. This is the first time I’ve visited the imperial island, the first time I’ve ever left home.

The Orléans archipelago is a string of islands stretching like a rose with a crooked stem out into the warm sea. Most of them are connected by golden bridges or can be reached by lavish river coaches. We came from the very top—the bloom—and we’ve made a long journey to the heart of the stem to display our talents.

A breeze pushes its way through tiny breathing holes in the glass carriage, carrying with it the scent of the sky. Salty rain, spiced clouds, and a hint of sweetness from the stars. It all feels like a dream that’s held on and lingered past the dawn. I never want it to end. I never want to return home. One minute here is richer than a thousand moments there.

The end of the warm months brings change, Maman always said. And my life is bound to transform tonight.

The horses tug us forward, their hooves clip-clopping against the cobblestoned square. Vendors are selling sweets in our honor: small mountains of shaved ice topped with strawberries the color of our lips; intricate little teacakes shaped like our signature flowers; sweet puffs molded like our Belle-buns; colorful strings of sugar pinwheeled around sticks to mirror our traditional waist-sashes and dresses.

A hand thumps my carriage and I catch a sliver of a face. The square is over owing with bodies. There are so many of them. Hundreds, thousands, maybe millions. Imperial guards push the crowd back to give our procession space to pass. All the people seem beautiful, with skin in various colors, from fresh cream to a drizzle of honey to a square of chocolate; their hair is in blond waves or brunette curls or raven coils; body shapes are petite, round, or somewhere in between. They’ve all paid to look this way.

The men wear jackets and top hats and cravats in a prism of colors. Some have hair growing on their faces in neat patterns. They stand beside women adorned with jewels and draped in luxurious, pastel-colored dresses made full with crinoline and tulle. Intricate hats cover the ladies’ hair; some clutch dainty parasols and oilpaper umbrellas, or cool themselves with patterned fans. From the blimps above, I bet they resemble candies in a box.

I recognize the more popular looks from the stacks of gossip tattlers left in the mail chest a day too long, or from the weekly beauty-scopes Du Barry’s daughter Elisabeth some- times dropped between the velvet cushions of the parlor- room couch. The Orléans Press said strawberry blonde hair and jade eyes are the new windy-season trend. The headlines read:

AWAKEN LOVE… LOOK IRRESISTIBLE WITH STRAWBERRY AND JADE

FILL YOUR TOILETTE BOX WITH BELLE-APPROVED RHUBARB HAIR POWDER

A COMPLEXTION OF LILIES AND BELLE-ROSE LIPS—THIS SEASON’S COLORS OF BEAUTY

The newsies say that’s what everyone will want in the coming months.

Coins jingle. Hands wave velvet pouches in the air. The spintria inside creates a tinkling melody. How much does each pouch hold? How many treatments can they afford to purchase? How much are they willing to pay?

I adjust the eyescope lens, zooming in on excited onlookers, noticing how some of their skin tones have faded, like paintings that have faced the sun too long; how their hair is graying at the roots, and age-lines are creasing several brows.

It’s a reminder of why I’m here.

I am a Belle.

I control beauty.

A
About Dhonielle:

Dhonielle Clayton (“Dhon” like “Don” or “Dawn”) spent most of her childhood under her grandmother’s dining room table with a stack of books.
She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side, but now lives in New York City. She was an extremely fussy and particular child with an undying love for Cheerios (honey nut only), pink lemonade, and frosted animal cookies. A self-proclaimed school nerd, she loved covering her books with brown paper and filled her locker with Lisa Frank stickers. She loved putting headings on her homework, odd-looking pens and freshly sharpened pencils, and numerous notebooks to fill with her research. On most Saturdays you could find her with her equally nerdy Dad at Crown Books and then the comic bookstore where she stocked up on her weekly reading material. Plus, she was so spoiled that her grandfather took her to the library after school almost daily.

She attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School because her parents thought Catholic school would keep her out of trouble. She went to Wake Forest University, and studied pre-med until she received a fateful F in Chemistry. This setback prompted her to change her major to English, and earned a BA. She rediscovered her love of children’s fiction by re-reading Harriet the Spy, which pushed her to earn an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and an MFA Writing for Children at the New School.

She taught secondary school for several years at a pre-professional ballet academy and a private K-8 school. She spent most of her twenties in and out of America living in London, Paris, a small Japanese town, Bermuda and wandering the planet. Shes been on five out of seven continents, and has grand plans to reach all of them.

She is a former elementary and middle school librarian, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent and decidedly diverse literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and womens fiction readers. She is also COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books.

What’s next? She will be enrolling in culinary school in New York City and plans to open up a restaurant in the city of her soul, Edinburgh, Scotland.



Giveaway Details: International
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE BELLES, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




Tour Schedule:
Week One:
2/5/2018- Adventures of a Book Junkie- Interview
2/6/2018- The Young FolksReview
2/7/2018- YA BibliophileReview
2/8/2018- YA Books CentralInterview
2/9/2018- Ex LibrisReview

Week Two:
2/12/2018- Two Chicks on BooksExcerpt
2/13/2018- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderEvent Recap Post
2/14/2018- NerdophilesReview
2/15/2018- Novel NoviceGuest Post
2/16/2018- Mundie MomsReview


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