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

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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!!!

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:

Author: C.J. Redwine
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Publisher: Balzer+Bray//HarperCollins

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.
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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