Sunday, November 29, 2015

I'm alive...are we still okay?

Sorry for the long, long delay, bookworms!

And right at the end of an event, too! At this point, I'm just going to skip that last day of posts, unless you guys REALLY want it. (It was just going to be a chat about all the Snow White-themed books I didn't have a chance to read or review or post about and a chat about my thoughts on The Lunar Chronicles as a whole...and I can do that one anytime, once more of you have finished reading!)

I had been sick during the event and barely keeping up. Honestly, I kept afloat during the event because I had previously read and reviewed SO MANY of the Snow White books I wanted to talk about, so I could re-post my reviews and then have the second post be new. I felt bad for doing that and felt lazy, but it's also what I had time for, and I know a lot of you hadn't seen those reviews previously, so.... #ItIsWhatItIS

Once I felt human again, well, I just didn't have enough time/energy for that last day. When I DID, it was crazy busy at work with longer hours that take up more of the day. Right now, I'm ALWAYS tired and out of energy thanks to the shift.

And THEN my sister needed to borrow my laptop for a few days because her online classes were using a program that didn't work on her computer (And let me tell you, I'll still cleaning up the crap that got installed, lol!)

So....I'm sorry. Honestly, truly sorry. I've never gone two weeks without posting before, and you likely wondered what was going on if you saw the Schedule of Events, where I mentioned I was sick and taking a day or two from blogging.

I'll be back to a normal schedule this week, but I normally like to have 4-5 posts a week, and that number might be slightly lower until January because this time of year is always really busy for me. If my work schedule continues on its current cycle, that's going to add stress and give me less free time, so I apologize in advance.

AND NOW, ONTO HAPPIER THINGS!

You have until TOMORROW to enter to win my two awesome event giveaways!

You can win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of WINTER by Marissa Meyer!

You can ALSO win a book of YOUR CHOICE that was featured during A Week of Snow White!

Go ahead and enter while you still have time. Good luck!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

{Review + Event Giveaway} THE STEPSISTER SCHEME by Jim C. Hines

Welcome to A Week of Winter in celebration of the fairest of them all...
not to mention the launch of Marissa Meyer's series-ender WINTER!
Check out my daily schedule of events!
Grab some promotional buttons for your blog (And see the photo credits!)
and stop back all week long for fun guest posts, exciting author visits, giveaways, reviews,
and more for CRESS!
Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest
Participation Linky--Share YOUR posts!

Today, I'd like to spotlight an awesome series by Jim C. Hines that you may not have heard of and introduce you to Snow, a fierce, amazing Snow White.

Snow is fun, flirty, and a kick-ass fighter...ummmmm, and she fights with MIRRORS!. She's also holding a lot of serious, tragic secrets and is a great character to explore in the series.

Here's my original review of THE STEPSISTER SCHEME!


O P E N I N G   H O O K:


    Danielle Whiteshore, formerly Danielle de Glas, would never be a proper princess.  Not if the title required her to actually remember so many trifling details.  She hadn't even learned the proper forms of address for human politicians, and now her tutor expected her to memorize The Mortal's Guide to Faerie Courtesy: Navigating the Eightfold Path of Fey Politics by the end of the week?
    True, it was mostly her own fault.After her wedding, the king's steward had presented her with a trunk full of scrolls and books, "To study during your tour of Lorindar."
     For three months that trunk had gathered dust while she and Prince Armand traveled the kingdom.She had tried to study, butthere was so much to see.  The old Coastal Highway to Colwich, the ocean to one side and snow-painted oaks on the other.  The bridge to Emrildale, built centuries ago bydwarves without mortar of any sort.  Only the weight of the intercut stones held the great arches aloft.
     With Armand's help, Danielle had learned enough to avoid embarrassing herself as she was introduced to various lords and ladies.  She still couldn't remember the difference between a Viscount and a Baron, but so long as her mistakes were minor, nobody dared to complain.
(Pages 13-14, US edition)

This review first appeared at A Backwards Story on 
April 28, 2011.


Originally, fairy tales were dark and grim, not the light, bubbly Happily Ever After stories we all know and love in these modern times. Jim C. Hines pulled obscure versions of fairy tales you might not be familiar with when creating his four Princess novels. For example, one version of Cinderella that he found revolves around a plot where the stepsister attempts to assassinate Cinderella. He pulls from Sun, Moon, and Talia, one of the darkest versions of Sleeping Beauty. Etc., etc. The best thing about reading the first book in his series, THE STEPSISTER SCHEME, was finding all the obscure tales and trying to figure out what was based on fact and what came from his own imagination. This review won't talk about the other books in the series, THE MERMAID'S MADNESS, RED HOOD'S REVENGE, and THE SNOW QUEEN'S SHADOW, but anticipate seeing quite a bit of old lore in the series as a whole, as well as more original ideas!



THE STEPSISTER SCHEME starts out innocently enough. As you might guess based on the title, the main character is Cinderella, who has married her prince and is now living Happily Ever After. Or is she? Despite her newfound glamour, Danielle still has the heart of a cinder girl and is always trying to figure out how to clean things. She’s also overly polite. At first, her character is very weak, but she develops in a fantastic fashion over the course of the novel. I loved watching her evolve. After her stepsister attempts to assassinate her and her husband, Prince Armand, is kidnapped, Danielle slowly begins to grow a backbone. She’s helped along this route by the Queen, who has a secret service consisting of Talia (Sleeping Beauty) and Snow (Snow White). Together, the trio of princesses head for fairy land to get Armand back as a sinister plot unfolds.

I loved seeing princesses, who are often perceived as weak, as strong characters here. These are the female role models Disney princesses can only dream of one day becoming. At first, I didn’t care much for Talia. She’s a prickly princess with a huge chip on her shoulder. As Hines unveils her horrifying tale, however, it’s easy to see why she has become so closed-off. It’s also interesting to note that she’s gay, which adds an additional dimension to her story. Snow, on the other hand, is easy to love. She’s by far the most interesting character, in my opinion, though I do love all three princesses. She’s a huge flirt, but upon a closer look, there are many more facets to her than anyone else. She wields powerful magic through her mirrors and is one of those girls who looks gentle and fragile, but can break your neck before you have a chance to so much as blink. She also has a heartbreaking story in her background that we eventually learn about.

Overall, this series is shaping up to be fantastic. Initially, I was thrown off by the covers, but I’m glad I didn’t judge the books based on them. I would have missed a special fantasy series.

Hines has generously provided the first chapter on his website for everyone to read!
~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

As I mentioned earlier, these aren’t my favorite covers. They look very staged and seem geared toward a male audience. Then again, they also fit the genre, as most sci-fi/fantasy novels tend to have understated covers. The blurb is also misleading. As much as I love Esther Friesner, I don’t think the three princesses are really a match for Charlie’s Angels. 


My favorite cover of the four is for THE SNOW QUEEN'S SHADOW.
   ~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  THE STEPSISTER SCHEME
Author: Jim C. Hines
Release Date: December 17, 2008
Publisher: DAW
Received: Purchased
SUMMARY:

What would happen if an author went back to the darker themes of the original fairy tales for his plots, and then crossed the Disney princesses with "Charlie's Angels?" Hines delivers a new take on what happened to Cinderella and her prince after the wedding. Original.
==
You know how all those old fairy tales take you through lots of scary adventures till you finally reach that inevitable line: "And they lived happily ever after..." Guess what? It's not true. Life in never-never land isn't all sweetness and light. Cinderella - whose real name is Danielle Whiteshore (nee Danielle de Glas) - does marry Prince Armand. And (if you can ignore the pigeon incident) their wedding is a dream-come-true.
But not long after the "happily ever after," Danielle is attacked by her stepsister Charlotte, who suddenly has all sorts of magic to call upon. And though Talia - otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty - comes to the rescue (she's a martial arts master, and all those fairy blessings make her almost unbeatable), Charlotte gets away.
That's when Danielle discovers a number of disturbing facts: Armand has been kidnapped and taken to the realm of the Fairies; Danielle is pregnant with his child; and the Queen has her very own Secret Service that consists of Talia and Snow (White, of course). Snow is an expert at mirror magic and heavy-duty flirting.
Can three princesses track down Armand and extract both the prince and themselves from the clutches of some of fantasyland's most nefarious villains?

~*~
****Giveaway*****

During A Week of Snow White,
I'm giving away a book of YOUR CHOICE
from the event!

It could be THE STEPSISTER SCHEME!

Enter now!

***Today, the Rafflecopter added an entry where you get an extra point if you comment on today's review!


This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL to any country that Book Depository ships to.  You can also claim an e-book as a prize; it doesn't have to be a physical copy!

You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!

Enter now!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Two GREAT Snow White E-Book Deals...only 99¢ each!!!


Welcome to A Week of Winter in celebration of the fairest of them all...
not to mention the launch of Marissa Meyer's series-ender WINTER!
Check out my daily schedule of events!
Grab some promotional buttons for your blog (And see the photo credits!)
and stop back all week long for fun guest posts, exciting author visits, giveaways, reviews,
and more for CRESS!
Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest
Participation Linky--Share YOUR posts!

E-Book Deals of the Week:

(I own a nook, so that's where I look for deals, but these should also be available on Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, etc!)


Sooooo,, want even MORE Snow White!?

Check out these two exciting e-book deals, available RIGHT NOW!!!

You can get NOT SO SNOW WHITE by K. Sean Jennkrist for only 99¢
 annnnd you can get RaShelle Workman's BLOOD AND SNOW Omnibus on sale for 99¢as well! (You can also get the first four volumes FOR FREE to try the series out!)

Here's some information about them both!

(Annnnnd just in case you're new to The Lunar Chronicles and want to see what it's all about after A Week of Snow White whet your appetite, you can get the first two books, CINDER and SCARLET, for only $2.99 each!!!)

   ~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:



Title:  NOT SO SNOW WHITE
Author: K. Sean Jennkrist
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: K. Sean Jennkrist
SUMMARY:

When fate places a twisted fairytale about Snow White in her hands, Winter Snow is destined to change her life as she journeys along a sometimes magical and frightening path of discovery. In her heart, one thing is certain. If she can find her dad who has mysteriously disappeared, everything will turn back to normal.
 
Of course, for Winter that means overcoming a few obstacles, like witches and magic, or feeling clueless about where to begin the journey for a lost parent. Complicating matters even more is that odd behavior she possesses, and it seems to be growing stronger every day. Who knew a normal, almost boring teen, the one everybody seems to pick on and call freak, could have psychic power? Adding to the weirdness is a voice invading her mind that belongs to a fairylike muse Winter calls Duane.
 
However, the journey seems to move forward when Winter meets with the mysterious Lucinda Mayhem who reveals a past full of secrets connecting them in ways that both frighten and intrigue Winter. Despite her inner voice warning her to stay away, Winter is drawn even closer to the Mayhems when she meets and falls for Lucinda's nephew, Stephen, who seems to have some secrets of his own.
 
In mesmerizing detail, fantasy meets reality, creating a world of magical discovery along with an ever looming threat of evil as Winter Snow solves the mystery of her true identity. The fairytale's treasures—a mirror, a potion, and a catalyst, are tools that could help Winter succeed, if she can only defeat the evil nemesis who would destroy her father and any chance for true love. Of course, she also has a little help from her friends along with her very devoted and determined magical muse Duane in the journey to find answers and bring her dad home again.
 
NOT SO SNOW WHITE is part of Jennkrist's series of modern fairytales that includes CINDERELLA GEEK.

   ~*~
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:


Title:  BLOOD AND SNOW: Omnibus: Every Book and Short Story in the Blood and Snow World
Author: RaShelle Workman
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Polished Pen Press Corporation
SUMMARY:

The Ultimate Fairy Tale Reimagining Collection! This download contains books 1 - 10 plus 5 short stories. It's every book and short story in the Blood and Snow World!
 
Available For A Limited Time.
 
More than 400,000 words packaged together in one boxed set!
 
Snow White with a vampire twist.
 
Cinderella is a witch.
 
Jasmine makes a wish...
 
What happens if beauty is also the beast?
 
Sleeping Beauty is a fairy from another realm.
 
Alice is half demon and totally kick ass.
 
Blood and Snow BOOK 1
Blood and Snow BOOK 2
Blood and Snow BOOK 3
Blood and Snow 
BOOK 4: The Cindy Chronicles
Blood and Snow BOOK 5: Vampire Lies
Blood and Snow BOOK 6: A Beauty So Beastly
Blood and Snow BOOK 7: Vampire Secrets
Blood and Snow BOOK 8: Asha Ever After
Blood and Snow BOOK 9: Vampire Nights
Blood and Snow BOOK 10.1: The Dark Moth Society, Alice
 
 
 
"Lips red as rubies, hair dark as night. Drink your true love's blood, become the Vampire, Snow White."
 
EVERY THOUSAND YEARS THE VAMPIRE QUEEN SELECTS A NEW BODY, ALWAYS THE FAIREST IN THE LAND, AND THIS TIME SHE'S CHOSEN SNOW WHITE.
 
Snow White lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her dad, stepmother, and her cat, Gatsby. Her entire life she's been teased for her fairy tale name, and the fact that her seven best friends happen to be guys whose names begin with the same letters as the seven dwarves.
 
Everything changes two months before her sixteenth birthday. She's bitten by The Hunter, and transformed into a revenant—not quite human, not quite vampire.

Friday, November 13, 2015

How to Become the Crit Partner of a NYT Best Selling Author in Fifteen Easy Steps {With Marissa Meyer's Crit Partner Tamara Felsinger!)

Welcome to A Week of Winter in celebration of the fairest of them all...
not to mention the launch of Marissa Meyer's series-ender WINTER!
Check out my daily schedule of events!
Grab some promotional buttons for your blog (And see the photo credits!)
and stop back all week long for fun guest posts, exciting author visits, giveaways, reviews,
and more for CRESS!
Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest
Participation Linky--Share YOUR posts!

It's always so much fun to go behind-the-scenes and see what makes things tick, don't you think?

Today for A Week of Snow White to celebrate the release of Winter, we have one of Marissa Meyer's critique partners, Tamara Felsinger, ready to tell us all the short-cuts to becoming the crit partner for a NYT Best Selling Author!! ^.~

Tamara previously stopped by A Week of Cinder{ella} to talk about movies,Last year, one of Marissa Meyer's SCARLET beta readers, A Week of Scarlet to dish on her early reactions to the story, Wolf, and Thorne, and joined two other beta readers in dishing on what makes Marissa's work so great for A Week of Rapunzel!



Tamara Felsinger is one of author Marissa Meyer's lucky, lucky crit partners.  She's been through several drafts of the series with Marissa, including WINTER.  


Want to know what it's like to be a crit partner?  Tamara Felsinger chats about the moments that shaped her journey to being one of the lucky few who gets to see everything Marissa Meyer writes super early and help shape it into the sparkling finished copy you get to read!


"How to Become the Crit Partner of a NYT Best Selling Author* in Fifteen Easy** Steps
by Tamara Felsinger

1. Write a lot of stories in high school. 
2. Like, a lot. 
3. Be a fan of something. 
4. Read millions of words of fanfiction. 
5. Attempt to write some fanfiction. 
6. Gather up the courage to create a fanfiction account. 
7. Upload a few stories – they’ll be fair quality due to all that writing you did. 
8. Email/message your favourite fanfiction author, gush about her work, then ask tentatively if she’d be willing to read one of your stories. 
9. Rejoice that she enjoyed it. 
10. Interact with her on her blogging platform. 
11. Continue to write stories, learning about the craft for your critiquing needs. 
12. If she asks for someone to crit her latest fanfic, offer immediately. 
13. Do your very best critiquing, using everything you’ve learned so far, so your feedback becomes invaluable. 
14. Continue to offer her critiques, even on non-fanfic stories. 
15. Sit back and wait for her to become a NYT Best Seller.

*Don’t try to become a crit partner with someone who’s already a bestselling author. Find someone who’s at your stage, or a bit higher, and who you connect with. Even if neither of you become bestselling authors, these kind of friendships can be amazing and worth all the effort. 

**Nothing about this was easy. And really, there are as many different ways to become a crit partner as there are crit partners out there. But being part of a community like a fandom will help your chances. There’s so much talent out there.

   ~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:


Title:  WINTER
Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan
SUMMARY:

What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s evil stepmother? 

From the author of GODMOTHER and MERMAID, THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL explores what happens when fairy tale heroines grow up and don’t live happily ever after. 

Living in an enchanted forest, Rapunzel spends her days tending a mystical garden with her adoptive mother, Mathena. A witch, Mathena was banished from court because of her magic powers, though the women from the kingdom still seek her advice and herbal remedies. She waits, biding her time to exact revenge against those who betrayed her. 

One day Rapunzel’s beautiful voice and long golden locks captivate a young prince hunting in the forest nearby. Overcome, he climbs her hair up to her chamber and they fall into each other’s arms. But their afternoon of passion is fleeting, and the prince must return to his kingdom, as he is betrothed to another. 

Now king, he marries his intended to bring peace to his kingdom. They have a stunning daughter named Snow White. Yet the king is haunted by his memories of Rapunzel, and after the mysterious death of his wife, realizes he is free to marry the woman he never stopped longing for. In hopes of also replacing the mother of his beloved daughter, the king makes Rapunzel his queen. 

But when Mathena’s wedding gift of an ancient mirror begins speaking to her, Rapunzel falls under its evil spell, and the king begins to realize that Rapunzel is not the beautiful, kind woman he dreamed of.

~*~
****Giveaway*****

During A Week of Snow White,
I'm giving away a SIGNED COPY of WINTER
and Mystery Swag...some of which you can see below!

(OOOH, is that a sampler of Heartless!?)


Enter now!

Here's some of the awesome swag you'll get if you win!!!!
***Today, the Rafflecopter added an entry where you get an extra point if you comment on today's guest post!


This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL to any country that Book Depository ships to.  You can also claim an e-book as a prize; it doesn't have to be a physical copy!

You must be at least 13 years old to enter or have a parent's permission!

Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Spotlight + Teaser + Event Giveaway} THE SHADOW QUEEN by C.J. Redwine

Welcome to A Week of Winter in celebration of the fairest of them all...
not to mention the launch of Marissa Meyer's series-ender WINTER!
Check out my daily schedule of events!
Grab some promotional buttons for your blog (And see the photo credits!)
and stop back all week long for fun guest posts, exciting author visits, giveaways, reviews,
and more for CRESS!
Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest
Participation Linky--Share YOUR posts!


I really loved C.J. Redwine's debut novel DEFIANCE and thought the whole series was edge-of-your-seat exciting!

When I heard that her next novel was going to be a fairy tale retelling, I wanted to know more. Especially when I heard it was going to be influenced by Snow White. And DRAGONS. Even MORE so after discovering that there would be more fairy tale novels set in this world...which is to be the world of Ravenspire!


A sneak peek now, a full review when the book releases!

I've since been lucky enough to read an advance copy of THE SHADOW QUEEN, and let me tell you, if you're a fan of fairy tales and/or Snow White and/or fantasy, you're going to want to read this right away when it comes out on February 23, 2016!

THE SHADOW QUEEN is the first of hopefully MANY novels in the Ravenspire series, which will focus on many different fairy tales. I've already heard some secrets about the 2017 title in the series, and each one of these books sounds better than the last. I can't WAIT to read them all!!!!

If you love kick-ass heroines who don't sit back and wait for a prince to come, you're going to LOVE Lorelai. Born with magic, she's able to escape her Stepmother with her brother and live in hiding until she's strong enough to fight for her kingdom.



Nearby in the kingdom of Eldr, ogres are destroying everything. Prince Kol goes on a quest with his closest friends to request help from Ravenspire. He has no clue the ruling Queen is destroying her land. He meets Lorelai on the road, not knowing who she is, and she saves his life.

When Kol meets the Queen, he's asked to kill the wayward princess...the girl he has a life debt to...the girl who intrigues him more than any other.

Oh, yeah, and the prince turned huntsman turned potential love interest is a Draconi, which means he has a normal heart AND a dragon heart and can shift into dragon-form. Doesn't that make you want to read this book, like, right now!?

There's a lot of fantasy twisted up into THE SHADOW QUEEN, but a lot of fairy tale, too! The way apples are used, the way seven is used....ahhhhh, I can't wait for you to discover these nods and I won't spoil them for you! Best of all, this rendition of the Snow White character is anything but weak or traditional, and she's ready to forge her own path in order to reclaim what's hers!


This past spring for Fairy Tale Fortnight, C.J. Redwine graciously shared a special excerpt from THE SHADOW QUEEN to get us all excited. I'm going to re-post it below to whet your appetite as a special treat!

Make sure you add THE SHADOW QUEEN to your Goodreads TBR!!!


TEASER FROM
THE SHADOW QUEEN
by C.J. Redwine
from Balzer+Bray//HarperTeen
[Out February 23, 2016]


This teaser is from the first time we meet the prince in THE SHADOW QUEEN!




Prince Kolvanismir Arsenyevnek, second born prince in the kingdom of Eldr and recent expellee of Eilers’s Military Academy (for what would surely go down in the record books as the single greatest prank to ever have been pulled by a senior cadet) was trying to have the time of his life.
“More mead!” he roared over the deafening noise of a party that had been in full swing in an unused storeroom within the castle’s basement for over an hour.
Servants scurried to the far corner of the room, where an ever-shrinking stack of barrels waited for their turn to be emptied into the mugs of Kol’s friends, acquaintances, and—he squinted in the flickering light of the torch-lit chandelier, his stomach sinking—his younger sister.
His parents were already going to be furious that he’d been expelled (for the third time, though the first was for such a minor infraction, Kol figured it hardly counted) and that he’d chosen to celebrate this accomplishment by depleting the castle’s supply of spiced mead. If he added “got his little sister drunk” to the long list of things-Kol-does-that-disappoint, he’d probably be sent to the front lines of the ogre war before he could get the words “I’m sorry” out of his mouth.
As he moved across the dusty storeroom floor, dodging raised mugs and bodies writhing in time to the thunderous beat of the drum line Kol had hired with the last of his monthly spending stipend, two of his best friends flanked him. Raum was still dressed in his cadet’s uniform, bronze epaulets and all, but Mik had changed into a dress with dainty flowers and enough ribbons to make the royal seamstress jealous.
“Is that Brig?” Mik pointed toward the short girl with auburn hair who had her back turned to them. “Kol, I think that’s Brig.”
“I know.” Kol muscled his way past a fellow senior and quickened his pace as Brig held out her mug to a passing servant.
“When your parents get back, they are going to kill you for this,” Raum said.
“I know.”
Kol reached Brig as his sister was raising her mug to her lips. Snatching it from her hands, he said, “I’ll take that.”
She glared at him, her golden eyes a match for his. “Give it back, Kol.”
He held it high above his head as she grabbed for it. She settled for smacking his shoulder instead.
“That’s mine.”
He started to laugh, but quickly swallowed it at the look of hurt that flashed across her face. “It’s yours when you turn seventeen, and not a single day before.”
“I’m nearly seventeen.”
He raised a brow while beside him, Mik crossed her arms over her chest, and Raum began tapping his boots against the floor. “You’re fourteen.”
“Close enough.” Brig’s tone was full of bravado and longing.
Kol remembered when he’d first sneaked into one of his brother’s parties, hoping to pass as far more grown up than he was. He’d learned two things that day. One, feeling grown up enough to guzzle mead in a dark corner until one’s brother caught you wasn’t the same as being grown up enough to keep the mead down for any respectable length of time. Kol still shuddered when he remembered that particular bout of sickness. And two, Ragvanisnar truly did throw the most boring parties in the entire world. Who else would include a chess tournament and a dramatic reading of Finlerbenske the Great but forget to hire a band or invite any girls?
Brig reached for the mug again, and Mik deftly snatched it from Kol’s hand and disappeared into the crowd. Before Brig’s pout could finish forming, Kol looped his arm around her shoulder and steered her toward the storeroom door.
“You know the law, Brig. No mead until you come of age. No parties where I have to constantly watch to make sure you aren’t sneaking some behind my back, either.” He squeezed her close to take the sting out of his words. “Besides, I’m going to be in enough trouble as it is. Do you really want to be the final torch in my funeral pyre?”
She sighed heavily, but didn’t resist as he reached for the doorknob. “I just wanted to try it.”
“You have your aerial defense exam tomorrow, right?”
She shrugged.
“I’ll let you in on a secret. We Draconi might be able to shift into our dragons while hung over, but flying in a straight line is torture, and Master Eiler is going to ask much more of you than a simple straight line flight. You can’t pass your exam if you drink tonight.”
“And you can’t pass your final cadet exams when you’ve been expelled.” She smirked at him.
He doubled over, clutching his chest. “You wound me, Brig.”
She rolled her eyes. “Wait until Father hears about this. He was only able to get you reinstated the last two times because he and Master Eiler are friends.”
“And because sky forbid we have a prince in the family who doesn’t graduate from Eiler’s.” He deepened his voice to mimic his father’s. “With honors. With honors upon honors.”
Brig’s face softened, and she wrapped a hand around his. “You could graduate with honors. You’re smarter than everyone else in your class.”
“I beg to disagree.” Raum sounded offended.
Kol smiled, though it felt stretched too tight as Brig’s words found their mark and burrowed deep. Leaning close, he said, “Why show them what they’ve never bothered to see?”
Before she could answer, he straightened and said sternly. “Now, off to your rooms where you will study for your exam, or paint your talons, or do whatever it is fourteen-year-old Eldrian princesses do when they aren’t busy trying to sneak some of their brother’s mead.”
“Fine.” She gave him one last glare, though there wasn’t much heat behind it. “But I’m only going because you’re already in enough trouble, and I feel sorry for you.”
He opened the door with a flourish, though her pity scraped at something he didn’t want to acknowledge. How was it possible that his fourteen-year-old sister could see him so clearly and his own father never saw him at all?
As Brig disappeared down the hall, Kol wiped his expression clean and turned back to the party. He grabbed the closest mug, drained it, and shouted “More music! More dancing! More mead!”
He had five hours before his parents returned from giving Rag a tour of the warfront and called him to task for his actions.
He had no intention of showing up for that conversation sober. 
 
 
  ~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: THE SHADOW QUEEN
Author: C.J. Redwine
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Publisher: Balzer+Bray//HarperCollins
SUMMARY:

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen. 

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart. 

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.
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C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband and children. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. To learn more about C.J., visit her website at www.cjredwine.com.
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THE SHADOW QUEEN?

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