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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

digging in the stars: teaser 6

Are you ready for Digging in the Stars by Katherine Blakeney? We passed the midpoint of ten weeks of teasers, which means we are so close to the release of this sci-fi adventure! When 16 year-old Carter's friend go missing and all clues lead to the rumored ancient tombs of the planet Thror, she decides to divert her archaeology group's trip to Thror in an effort to find him and discover the lost treasures of a lost king. Pre-order your copy now!

teaser 6:

King Loreval’s opalescent silvery cerata almost brushed the floor and formed a misty cloud around his figure. The endless nose of his golden mask—the longest in the room—was inlaid with patterns traced in rare metals from across the galaxies. Towering over all, he carried his imposing frame with elegant ease and dignity. The most splendid ruler in the known galaxies.

Get your copy 3/28!

about the book:

A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.
Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.
Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.

about the author

Katherine Blakeney is an author and filmmaker with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). Raised by an archaeologist mother, she grew up among museums and excavation sites, where she developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. She divides her time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in her studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. She has published numerous articles on film and archaeology, and her independent short films have screened at various international film festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

teaser tuesday: digging in the stars

Are you ready for Digging in the Stars by Katherine Blakeney? We've got ten weeks of teasers to get you just as excited about this sci-fi adventure as we are! When 16 year-old Carter's friend go missing and all clues lead to the rumored ancient tombs of the planet Thror, she decides to divert her archaeology group's trip to Thror in an effort to find him and discover the lost treasures of a lost king. Pre-order your copy now!


teaser 2:

Carter had been so close to her goal. She saw that crack with her own eyes, a portal into a lost ancient world, chambers filed with carvings, images that had never been recorded or reproduced. The greatest discovery of this or any other century, waiting less than twenty feet away.

Get your copy 3/28!


about the book:

A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.
Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.
Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.

about the author

Katherine Blakeney is an author and filmmaker with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). Raised by an archaeologist mother, she grew up among museums and excavation sites, where she developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. She divides her time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in her studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. She has published numerous articles on film and archaeology, and her independent short films have screened at various international film festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe.
 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Shadow Fall Excerpt

Are you ready? The shadow is falling, and the meteor is coming... SHADOW FALL by Audrey Grey has arrived! The stakes are high--it's #trialordie. You've seen the teasers, but now we have a full excerpt prepared for you. Read on below, and be sure to get your copy today for the special release week price of 99 cents!

about the book:

The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.

The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.

When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive. The question is who?

Amazon - Barnes & Noble - iTunes - Kobo - Goodreads - Request A Review Copy

My legs wobble as I step into the now lukewarm water. I sink to the bottom. Tiny bubbles escape my nose as I watch all the ugly remnants from the last seven years leave my body.
Lungs burning, I rise and come face-to-face with Pit Boy.
I glare at him. “You really have to work on the knocking thing.”
Despite the fact that I’m indecent, his attention never falls from my face. I almost wish it would, just to give me a break from the intensity of his focus.
“I only get a few more hours to be the ‘one-eyed freak’ from the pit. Might as well take advantage.” He doesn’t dare crack a smile, so it’s hard to tell if he’s joking or serious.
“Don’t worry. In my heart, that’s exactly who you’ll always be.”
His words remind me that soon we’ll be reconstructed using forbidden nanotech. But it won’t just be our flesh they’ll reengineer. It will be our brains, too.
I don’t foresee my rewiring being too complicated, but Riser needs to upload almost twenty years of false memories. That will be tricky and time-consuming.
And time is the one thing we don’t have.
Riser flicks his gaze to the mirror. He lifts a hand, touches the patch of mottled flesh where his eye should be.
“How did it happen?” I ask.
“Careful, my lady.” His gaze settles on my face. “You’re beginning to sound like you care.”
I roll my eyes. “And I thought was lacking in conversational skills.”
He focuses his attention on the graffiti sprayed across the mirror.
“It’s written language,” I blurt, even though all I want to do is end the conversation so Pit Boy can leave. His presence unnerves me more than the other Pit Leeches ever could. “It’s how we communicate.”
“I know what it is.” He examines his jagged thumbnail. “I just . . . can’t read it.”
“It’s just stuff about the Chosen. You know, insults.” The populace is finicky. As much as they love watching the Chosen with their petty intrigues and court life, they would be just as happy to see their heads on a pike.
“Chosen?”
Time to explain what you are, Everly, Nicolai’s voice grates inside my head. Riser’s eyes flutter just enough that I know he’s heard Nicolai’s voice too.
You do it, I think, watching Riser’s reaction. But his face remains emotionless; either he’s a good actor or only Nicolai can hear my response.
“The Royalist astronomers discovered the asteroid twenty-one years ago,” I begin. “It’s actually a slow moving planet called an earth-crosser, meaning its orbit and ours intersect every twenty-thousand years. Usually it’s too far away to affect us, but this time it will pass close enough to wreak havoc and make the earth uninhabitable for years.” I stir the water with my big toe. “Before I was born, the Emperor decided that creating a population of genetically superior humans would be a great idea, you know, just in case the Caskets don’t work or the asteroid does more damage than predicted.”
Riser’s hyper-focused gaze bores through me. “You’re one of them?”
“Yes.” I run my hand through the filthy water. “But my father’s a Bronze, so even though my mother comes from a Gold House, the Emperor only allowed them one Chosen instead of the customary twins. So it’s just me . . . not Max.”
“What makes being Chosen so special?”
“I don’t know . . .” I bite my lip, trying to remember everything my parents told me. “My genes are perfect, I guess.”
For some reason, talking about my body makes me remember that I am naked in a room with a boy. As if reading my mind, Riser slowly lets his gaze fall, his expression both curious and unapologetic as he takes me all in, his thoughts cryptic.
“What are you staring at?” I blurt, smashing my breasts beneath my hands. Not like there’s much there to cover. “Haven’t you seen a naked girl before?”
A smile twitches his lips. “Not one that’s genetically flawless.”
“It doesn’t work that way! You can’t just look at us and tell. We look like everyone else—”
“No.” Riser shakes his head, a dark swath of hair covering his damaged eye. “You don’t. Whatever you are.”
“You must be happy . . . about our reconstruction, I mean,” I mumble, trying desperately to change the subject. “They’ll fix your eye . . . and . . . and all those horrible scars.”
I freeze as he slides off the counter, unable to look away as he hooks one finger beneath his shirt and lifts.
Scars ravage his anemic body in varying shades of red and silver and white. Some deep and pitted like the craters of a far-away planet, others smooth and neat. One particular nasty scar carves down his shoulder, tunneling across his chest and stomach. A fresh red wound nestles just below his throat.
He carefully touches the long ugly one. “I’m not ashamed for surviving.”

about the author:

Audrey Grey lives in the charming state of Oklahoma, with her husband, two little people, and four mischievous dogs. You can usually find her hiding out in her office from said little people and dogs, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for her characters to live in.

Website   Instagram   Twitter   Facebook  Goodreads

Shadow Fall First Chapter Reading

Are you ready? The shadow is falling, and the meteor is coming... SHADOW FALL by Audrey Grey has arrived! You can get your copy now for the special release week price of 99 cents! And as a special treat, we have the first chapters read to you by Audrey herself:

about the book:

The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.

The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.

When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive. The question is who?

Amazon - Barnes & Noble - iTunes - Kobo - Goodreads - Request A Review Copy

about the author:

Audrey Grey lives in the charming state of Oklahoma, with her husband, two little people, and four mischievous dogs. You can usually find her hiding out in her office from said little people and dogs, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for her characters to live in.

Website   Instagram   Twitter   Facebook  Goodreads

Shadow Fall Release Day

Are you ready? The shadow is falling, and the meteor is coming... SHADOW FALL by Audrey Grey has arrived! You can get your copy now for the special release price of 99 cents, and be sure to meet us at the Facebook Party happening right now!

about the book:

The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.

The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.

When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive. The question is who?

Amazon - Barnes & Noble - iTunes - Kobo - Goodreads - Request A Review Copy

about the author:

Audrey Grey lives in the charming state of Oklahoma, with her husband, two little people, and four mischievous dogs. You can usually find her hiding out in her office from said little people and dogs, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for her characters to live in.

Website   Instagram   Twitter   Facebook  Goodreads

Monday, October 31, 2016

Haunted Halloween Tour: Asleep by Krystal Wade

October is the month of fears, and we're going on tour with some of our favorite authors to talk about what their main characters are afraid of. What keeps them up at night? What nightmare has them waking in a cold sweat? Each day, we'll feature a new main character and delve deep into their subconscious to see what they fear. And each day, you'll have a chance to enter to win some awesome prizes! 

It only seems fitting that we'd end on Halloween with a main character pitted against her very own Freddie Kreuger while locked away in an asylum. Nightmares run rampant in Asleep by Krystal Wade, and we're going to take another look at one of the nightmares torturing young Rose...

Asleep Excerpt


Rose fell asleep that way, smiling, exhilaration making the trip into dreamland take forever. But once she was there, she wanted to crawl back out, back into the land of the waking.
Someone dressed in dark robes grabbed Rose by the wrists and jerked her forward. “Come.”
“No. Please. Not again. Just leave me alone. I just want to sleep.” She glanced back toward the bed and found it wasn’t there. She wasn’t even sure where she was. Her eyes burned, and everything appeared black and fuzzy, like opening her eyes under water at night.
“Come.” The person tugged her along by some invisible force, down dark hallways and stairs, and through cold, drafty rooms where she couldn’t see anything and felt like she was surrounded by ghosts or lunatics—or worse, ghosts of lunatics.
Jingling sounds bounced off the walls—keys? Weapons? Rose didn’t want to find out—and the clang of doors closing vibrated in her chest.
Blackness stretched on forever, only an occasional light swirling by in Rose’s peripheral vision, ramping up her heart even faster than before she’d fallen asleep. “Where are you taking me?”
The person finally stopped next to a big gray door, and Rose ran into his back. His, because he grunted, his, because he was a giant, too tall and too wide and too strong.
Rose tried to apologize, but she couldn’t open her mouth again, her muscles too weak to break through whatever barrier trapped her voice. Panic took hold of her, and she tried to reach up and touch her lips, but she couldn’t. Her hands were secured by the giant before her.
Rose backed away and made it two steps before she was yanked right back, chains jangling.
Chains. She’d been chained.
Why couldn’t she wake up? Why couldn’t she force her way to the surface? Maybe if she hurt herself or found a way to kill herself, she’d wake up. People can’t die in their dreams, supposedly, or so she’d heard on some silly cartoon in the common room the other day.
Yanking harder, planting her feet with all her strength, Rose tried to dislocate her wrists, pulling and twisting and groaning.
“Stop it.” A growl erupted from the man in front of her, which only made her pull harder, struggle more, breathe faster. Breathe, breathe, breathe through her nose. Not enough air. The smell of duct tape overwhelmed Rose.
She’d been chained and duct taped.
“Don’t. Please.”
Phillip? Rose stilled to get her chains to stop banging against each other, listening for his voice. When she didn’t hear anything over her own breathing, she ran at her captor, knocking the hood from his head. His bald, white head was disfigured by thick, raised scars tracing his skull in circular patterns. He turned around as if time was not a concern to him, as if on some mechanical switch flipped to the slowest setting. The man’s expression was blank, but his eyes were as red as blood.
Definitely not Phillip.
She wanted to hide, to cower. Her legs quaked beneath her. Her heart thundered against her ribs. The man reached into his pocket, and Rose’s panicked breaths through her nose and muffled sobs bounced off the walls.
“Don’t,” she heard Phillip say again, but the man’s mouth hadn’t moved. Was Phillip here somewhere? In her nightmare? “Don’t hurt her.”
The man pulled out a skeleton key and inserted it into the cuffs securing Rose’s hands, and she immediately backed away, rubbing at the raw, tender flesh. She ripped the tape from her lips next, crying out as she lost a layer of skin and tasted blood flowing into her mouth. He reached into his pocket again and then held out several charcoal pencils, one of them her pencil. He inclined his head in the direction of the door beside them, which she now saw had 206 and Briar written on it. “Draw.”
Digging his long, witch-like nails into her back, the man shoved her into the room, slammed the door, and slid a bar across it. He locked her in.
Rose was alone, freezing and shaking and alone, holding charcoal. All along the walls were outlines of trees, spindly, leafless trees. Winter trees, white chalk against a concrete canvas.
“No. No, don’t leave! Don’t leave me here . . . .”
She spun around in search of Phillip, for the origination of his voice, for some clue as to what the hell was going on. But she found nothing but the white trees staring back at her.
“Hello?” Rose held her breath and waited for a response. Anything. “Greg? MacGregor?”
“Mom. Mom!” she heard him shout, and then another voice broke through the madness, “You have to save her.”
Rose didn’t recognize the second speaker. He didn’t even sound human, just a bunch of garbled words that found a way to make sense in her dream.
“I can’t. She left me.”
“Not her.” Two lights flashed on, one above Rose, the other above Phillip. He was tied to a chair, bound at the wrists and ankles, naked from the waist up and covered in bruises. A black splotch covered his ribs, big enough for a fist to have made, the same shape as the bruise on his elbow. She took in the others, details about his injuries. A long, bleeding cut above his left nipple. A yellow bruise at his right hip bone. Rose had to memorize this Phillip against the real, breathing, living Phillip so she could differentiate between dream and reality.
But just as quickly as his form appeared, it disappeared before she could finish her appraisal. “Make her draw.”
The reminder that she was here too raised the hairs on Rose’s arms and neck. She waited, sure her heartbeat could be heard by everyone within a three-block radius, but Phillip didn’t respond except with stony silence.
She took a step forward but found her ankle chained to a peg in the middle of the floor. “Phill—?”
Something smacked Rose in the head from behind, and her vision filled with spots. She whirled and threw her hands out, trying to find someone she could fight, someone who deserved her wrath, but her hands didn’t find anyone.
A light blinked on from overhead, and a dark figure rushed up to Rose and punched her in the stomach. She doubled over and gasped, sucking air into her lungs in harsh, wheezing breaths.
“Draw,” the garbled voice demanded.
Rose shook her head, unable to get to her feet and fight, unable to breathe.
A booted foot slammed into her back, flattening Rose to the floor and stealing what little air she was able to recover. She lay there, face pressed to the cool concrete, head spinning, light from above blinding her. Rose wished she could just wake up. Wake up. Wake up.
“Draw,” the voice once again demanded.
Rose couldn’t. Not in her dreams. Not in real life. Not ever. Rose couldn’t draw because she had no inspiration. She couldn’t even remember what her inspiration was, what prompted her fingers to turn her daydreams and creativity into reality, what made them finish something once started.
“Stop,” Phillip shouted, his voice strong and sure. “Just draw, Rose. Draw. You’re like me. They won’t stop. Draw, Rose. Please.”
Wheezing, she lifted her head and looked at the wall full of outlined trees. With sore muscles and no air and feeling like she might die any second, how could she get up and do anything?
The light blinked off again, and the light over dream-Phillip came on. A cloaked figure approached him with a red-hot branding iron aimed right at his chest. Phillip’s eyes went wide and he screamed, loud and feral and absolutely terrifying, pushing against the floor with his bound feet. He turned his head to the side, shaking the chair so much Rose was surprised it hadn’t broken. Screaming. Over and over he screamed, breaking her with his terror.
“Stop,” she muttered, her voice weak and not nearly loud enough to be heard over his. So Rose got to her knees and said it again. The figure still approached Phillip. So she got to her feet and sucked in a ragged breath and shouted through the pain coursing through her chest. “Stop!”
The figure tossed a casual glance her way and shook his finger at her, the iron an inch from Phillip’s chest.
Rose looked in her palm and then up to the wall. Maybe she couldn’t draw, but she could fill in the trees with color. “Okay.”
She made her way to the lifeless trees, legs trembling as she pulled the weight of the chain along with her, back and stomach aching. White chalk rested near her bare toes, so Rose picked it up, placed it on the wall, and set to work.
Phillip stopped screaming. The lights blinked off from over him, but the hot iron remained in the dark. Rose knew it was a threat. If she quit or gave up, Phillip would be injured.
And so she drew and drew and drew, filling in all the empty spaces between the tree outlines with plain colors until her hands felt like they would fall off. Until her legs were too weak to hold her up any longer and she collapsed. And the next moment she blinked her burning eyes open, she was lying face up in bed.
Rose never slept on her back. Ever. She lifted her hands, half-expecting to see residue of chalk on her fingers, but there was nothing. Just a dream.
Just a dream that left every muscle sore, her body trembling with exhaustion, and her brain demanding she sleep at least four more hours. But she hadn’t moved, hadn’t left this room. Reaching beneath the mattress and bed frame, she found her pencil. Right where she’d left it. These meds were really messing with her. Rose hated the way they made her feel, and she planned to tell Dr. Underwood all about the nightmares to see what he could do to fix this.
She hurried to get dressed, marched down the hall and took her meds, then marched along farther to grab breakfast. But Rose stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Phillip sitting at their table, counting his bruises, ignoring the bowl of crap in front of him.
The urge to run to him and ask if he was okay was so strong Rose had to fight to remain rooted in place. She knew what happened last night was just a dream, but she couldn’t seem to balance that with the image of this broken guy sitting at her table. They looked so much the same: dream-Phillip and reality-Phillip.
Ignoring the food line, she took a seat beside him and grabbed his left hand. Rose had to touch him, to see if he was real or an illusion. She didn’t trust herself anymore. Not with nightmares as vivid as she had. And she could hardly ask him to lift his shirt so she could see his bruises.
“Are you in there?” she asked.
Phillip startled and squeezed her fingers in his hands, his warm, trembling hands. “You’re like me, Rose. Like me. They won’t stop. They’ll hurt you.”


about the book


"To cure fear, you must use fear."

Rose Briar claims no responsibility for the act that led to her imprisonment in an asylum. She wants to escape, until terrifying nightmares make her question her sanity and reach out to her doctor. He's understanding and caring in ways her parents never have been, but as her walls tumble down and Rose admits fault, a fellow patient warns her to stop the medications. Phillip believes the doctor is evil and they'll never make it out of the facility alive. Trusting him might be just the thing to save her. Or it might prove the asylum is exactly where she needs to be.

Available Amazon. Add the book to your Goodreads list! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 28, 2016

Haunted Halloween Tour: The Surrendered by Case Maynard

October is the month of fears, and we're going on tour with some of our favorite authors to talk about what their main characters are afraid of. What keeps them up at night? What nightmare has them waking in a cold sweat? Each day, we'll feature a new main character and delve deep into their subconscious to see what they fear. And each day, you'll have a chance to enter to win some awesome prizes! We met Vee from our recent dystopian release The Surrendered, but now we're getting to know her a bit better by finding out what haunts her each night when she closes her eyes...


My name is Vee Delancourt, and my biggest fear is all about failure. In a world where the nation abuses its children in unspeakable ways, losing this fight just isn’t an option. I hope I can prove myself worthy of the trust so many have put in me. I hope I can one day redeem myself for the mistakes that I’ve already made. . .and for the lives that have already been lost.
She’s here, my old friend is. Stalking my sleep again.
Well, not her exactly, but some version of her. While the pale skin is the same, if maybe a shade lighter, the hesitant smiles I once marveled at have disappeared. A twisted scowl now decorates her gray lips. Grayish. Not quite blue; not quite white. The color of death.
                “You,” she snarls at me, one thin finger aimed in my direction. “You killed us all.”
                I shake my head, backing until I come in contact with something. I don’t have to look to know it’s the big covered truck from Hopkins Farm. I’ve been here before, in these very Mills, on this very day. It’s the day that everything changed. The day I escaped the System and set into motion a chain of events that would forever change the lives of so many people. Not all for the better.
                My ethereal pursuer continues to advance on me, and my heart races wildly in my chest. “I didn’t mean to!” I cry, pleading with her to understand. “I didn’t know so many would die!”
                “Die, die, die. We’re all dead. We died. We’re done. Dead.” Babbling is her only response.
My chest squeezes. Something’s not right. Isn’t there supposed to be peace in the beyond? A great releasement of all the bad experiences? A big screw you to all who did you wrong? This is unfair.
                She hesitates in her advance, her feet floating stationary over the dirt path for one moment. Her head tilts slightly, as though listening to sounds in the distance. She grimaces, shudders, and then moans. “They beckon. They call. . ..” She throws her head back, wailing, “No! I will not go!”
                I cover my ears at the thunderous howl, releasing a scream of my own. “Let me help you! Let me fix this!”
                Another murderous shriek sounds as I step toward her. “I don’t want to go! Make it stop! I WILL NOT GO!”
                I sob, the gasping sounds ripped from my chest as I struggle to stay upright. I feel the blackness trying to take me even now. “Please. Please let me make this right.”
                Her head drops forward, drool running from her mouth and over her chin. Colorless eyes swing back to me, and in them I see a sorrow unlike any I have ever witnessed. “You’ve done enough, little rebel. Selfish. Unthinking. Ignorant, rebel. You killed us all.”
“No.” My head continues to deny, but my heart twists at the knowledge that she’s. . .right. She’s dead because of me. Tears overspill my eyes, tracking marks through the grime on my cheeks. I choke. “But I was only trying to help you.”
Her bark of laughter startles me and I jerk in surprise when her finger points again, this time to my left. “Fail. Failing. Failed.” She cackles. And what of them? Will you help them too?”
My head turns.
They’re all there. My dear, sweet friends. Ann and John William. Cason. Matthew. My father. The Overseer. The Master. Asa. All the children. There are so many of them, both known and unknown.
All with the same murderous intent.

To make me pay.

about the book

After a financial collapse devastates the United States, the new government imposes a tax on the nation’s most valuable resource—the children.

Surrendered at age ten—after her parents could no longer afford her exorbitant fees—Vee Delancourt has spent six hard years at the Mills, alongside her twin, Oliver. With just a year to freedom, they do what they can to stay off the Master’s radar. But when Vee discovers unspeakable things happening to the younger girls in service, she has no choice but to take a stand—a decision that lands her on the run and outside the fence for the first time since the System robbed her of her liberty.

Vee knows the Master will stop at nothing to prove he holds ultimate authority over the Surrendered. But when he makes a threat that goes beyond what even she considers possible, she accepts the aid of an unlikely group of allies. Problem is, with opposing factions gunning for the one thing that might save them all, Vee must find a way to turn oppression and desperation into hope and determination—or risk failing all the children and the brother she left behind.

Now available!
a Rafflecopter giveaway