Book Blitz & Excerpt: Beyond the Shore and Shadows + Giveaway

Beyond the Shore and Shadows Blitz Banner

Beyond the Shore and Shadows
by Chantal Gadoury
(Lena #2)
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: May 11th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

The merrow who angered Poseidon

The man who loves her

And an evil that could destroy them both

The sea is calling. . .

Lena—who was born as a merrow but walks as a human—is now in possession of the Magiske Skal: the shell once owned by the queen of the merrows. With its power comes untold danger, and should it fall into the wrong hands, the Fosse-Søfolk will face an evil they cannot overcome. Lord Jarl knows what Lena has, and he wants it for himself.

After running away from the Lundby-Wyatt Inn, leaving behind everything she was familiar with, Lena finds herself in the company of the warm and kind Soren Emil.

When the villagers turn against her and Soren, they’re forced to leave the burning Bror Boghandel behind and escape to a forgotten cottage on the edge of the shore, where no one will find them. Lena knows she must get the shell back to the sea and destroy it, before it falls into the hands of Lord Jarl—or worse, his possessive apprentice, Jace Wyatt.

With the help of some unruly pirates, Lena and Soren journey to the sea, where Lena thought she’d never return. There, she will have to face not only the Sea King’s army, the Fosse-Søfolk, but the impossible choice to sacrifice her own life, or the life of the man she loves to keep the Magiske Skal from the evil that craves it.

What will Lena choose? Who will win the struggle for power?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Parliament House Press

between the shore and shadows

EXCERPT:

Lena sat up in bed with a gasp. Her heart was pounding in her chest and she could barely breathe. As she darted her gaze about the room, she noticed a strange grey cloud lingering all around her. Lena took in a deep breath but began to cough on the strange pungent scent in the air. Her eyes stung as she searched the darkened room.

There was smoke…so much smoke.

Lifting her arm up to cover her nose, she tried to look around the small living-area again, but the fumes stung her eyes. Everything was cloaked in the thick grey cloud. Involuntarily, she sucked in a breath before immediately coughing again, choking on the thick smog that was quickly filling the area around them. What was happening?

Just beyond the stone wall of the Bror Boghandel, Lena could make out the echoes of rising voices off in the distance. Whoever they were, the ringing of their voices drifting through the walls seemed rather ominous.

“Soren!” Lena gasped, pushing herself from the bed. Lena coughed and slid to the floor. At least there, she could breathe better again.

After a small evening meal, Lena had spent a few hours going looking over the letters Soren had begun to teach her, while he sifted through a few of the books he’d taken from Edwin’s room. She had even seen him dig out the small broken white opal stone he possessed from his mother, to gaze at it more closely. He leaned over the books on the table, comparing the sketches in the pages to the stone in his hand. At some point amongst his research, she’d given in to sleep. He must have put her to bed, for she was still dressed in her blouse and skirt.

“Soren!” she hissed as she closed her eyes; they were beginning to water against the stinging air. She could hear the voices off in the distance, and she carefully tried to make out what they were saying. But it seemed they were too far away.

Taking a quick breath, Lena began to pull herself across the floor; her fingers acting as her eyes.

“Soren!” she tried again, choking on the swirling air around her. Her chest began to grow tight as she continued to crawl toward his still, sleeping form on the floor. Just as her fingers grazed over him, he moved, startled.

“Lena?” Soren’s voice broke through the darkness. She saw the shadow of his head move, seemingly taking in the surroundings before reaching for her. He lifted the blanket to her face. “Don’t move this away. We’ll die if we breathe in too much smoke.”

She obeyed and slid her hand to hold the blanket in place.

“We have to get out of here,” he managed, lifting a small blanket to cover his own nose and mouth. The smoke had already begun to sting her lungs, reminding her of the first time she broke through the sea’s surface. She remembered the way her lungs fought between fresh air and salt water. She wanted to take in a deep breath, but knew she had to resist.

“I’m going to grab what I can,” Soren murmured, gently taking her arm and leading her to the door. “Stay in the shop. I’ll be right there.” With her heart pounding in her ears and quick thinking, Lena moved back toward the nightstand, grabbing her nightgown before turning on her heel and reaching for Soren’s brown jacket that hung near the door. Both might come to be useful wherever they’d need to go. She shoved her feet into the extra pair of boots left by the door and slipped into the bookshop.

“Why is this happening?” Lena asked softly, her voice wavering from fear. What is going to happen? She stood shivering despite the insufferable heat that was burning its way through her last safe haven. Taking in another breath and promptly choking on the thick smoke, she couldn’t help but look around her. All of the books… all of the stories and ship logs she would now never learn how to read. Over her shoulder, she could hear the sounds of Soren rustling through the stacks of books.

Squinting through the dark and hazy air, Lena could only make out Soren grabbing various things and shoving them into a small cloth satchel. Lena held the blanket against her nose and mouth, trying to breathe in whatever air she could. It wasn’t nearly as bad in the shop, but she could make out the shadows of strangers through the windows, just outside the main door. Their voices echoed throughout the shop. She turned her violet gaze back to the darkened doorway. Her heartbeat echoed in her ears.

“Soren,” she called out softly. “Soren!”

Ahead, she could hear more of what those gathering outside the doors of the Bror Boghandel were saying: “Come out here, bookkeeper! We know you’re in there!” Lena darted toward the door. Were they here to help? She reached for the latch but froze when she heard another voice just on the other side. “Come out little pearl,” Lord Jarl’s voice rang. “Everyone knows the truth.”

Lena’s heart sank to her stomach. She felt frozen, despite the licking flames beginning to engulf the small book shop from the side. Lord Jarl had come for her after all, and he hadn’t stayed in hiding for long. Was Jace with him? Lord Jarl’s words echoed in her ears, as she allowed the realization of what he’d said to fill her. Everyone knows the truth. They all knew she was a merrow. Her fate was sealed. Her fingers began to tremble, and she swallowed hard, her throat thick with smoke and unshed tears as she gripped the blanket against her nose. They all know. They were all here for her

Author Bio:

Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published “The Songs in Our Hearts” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh” with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Amazon

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Book Blitz: The Midnight Lie + Giveaway

The Midnight Lie

The Midnight Lie
by Marie Rutkoski
(The Midnight Lie, #1)
Publication date: May 11th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, LGBTQ+, Romance, Young Adult

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, Marie Rutkoski’s The Midnight Lie is an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us―and the lies we tell ourselves.

Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.

Nirrim keeps her head down, and a dangerous secret close to her chest.

But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away, who whispers rumors that the High Kith possess magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

midnight lie

 

Author Bio:

Marie Rutkoski is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for children and young adults, including The Winner’s Curse. She holds a BA from The University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. She is a professor of English literature at Brooklyn College and lives in Brooklyn with her two sons and two cats. Her most recent book is The Midnight Lie, which will be published in March 2020.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

Book Blitz & Excerpt: Whisper + Giveaway

Whisper

Whisper
by Tracy Bilen
Publication date: May 8th 2021
Genres: YA Romantic Thriller

Stop him.

After her friend Samantha is murdered, seventeen-year-old Olivia is the only one who still hears her voice.

Years ago, Jacob closed his eyes. In a park. Playing hide-and-seek. His little brother is still missing. And Jacob’s mom is the FBI agent who couldn’t find him.

Now Jacob has dreams he can’t explain. And draws faces of those about to die.

In a town terrorized by a serial killer, Jacob meets Olivia. Sparks ignite.

Until the voice in Olivia’s head echoes the warning in Jacob’s dream…

You’re next.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

Whisper

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER 1: OLIVIA

My dad used to tell me there are people inside of marbles. They were always talking to him. Whenever I wanted to play a game, he would pick the one with marbles. Only we wouldn’t actually move the marbles. My dad would just stare at them. Finally I stopped asking to play games. But that didn’t matter. My dad would still get out the game with the marbles, and he’d put the marbles in their little resting spots and watch them. And listen.

At Samantha’s house, her three-year-old sister, Cara, is playing a marble game with one of her friends. They’re off in a corner by themselves, probably wondering why all these people are stuffed inside the house, wearing dark clothes, crying randomly, and talking in hushed voices. Cara wasn’t at Samantha’s funeral. Does she understand that her sister is never coming home?

I move away from Cara and fill a plate with cubes of cheese, triangles of salami, and round crackers. I chew, swallow, and make small talk. But mostly I just stare out the window at the pool and remember the last time I was here. Sixth grade. A pool party for Samantha’s birthday. She and I were friends then. We stopped being friends sometime in seventh grade. I think it had something to do with green slime, a ham sandwich, and a guy we both liked, though I’m not really sure anymore. It all seems pretty stupid now, which gives me a lumpy ache in my throat, and makes me feel like a fraud for being here. But the whole junior class was at the funeral, all ninety-eight of us.

Make that ninety-seven.

Plus a good part of the rest of the high school. And although not everyone made their way here after the funeral, the house is still packed, with people spilled out onto the lawn, hovering by the pool, and clutching their paper plates as if they’re life preservers.

My best friend, Julia, slides up next to me. Her chestnut brown hair is arranged in its usual French braid, except a lot of strands that she missed are poking out today. She takes a loose bit and wraps it around her finger.

“Brings back memories, huh?” she says, following my gaze to the pool. “Remember that sleepover in sixth grade?”

“Yeah, that was fun.” Except now my brain jumps right from sleepover to sweet dreams. The Sweet Dreams Strangler.

I shake my head, trying to blot out the images seared into my mind by the news media. Images of Samantha, lying in a field wearing a beautiful dress, her head on a pillow, hair neatly arranged, hands folded.

Beautiful. But dead. Strangled. I don’t know what to say, even to Julia. I look back out the window. A cardinal is perched on the feeder, picking through seeds, scattering debris on the ground.

“It sure is stuffy in here,” Julia says.

I’m about to agree when a wall of cold air hits me. “Mrs. Young must have read your mind. Wow. That feels good.”

Julia scrunches up her face. “What are you talking about?”

“The air. She turned on the air. Don’t you feel it?”

“No. Are you under a vent or something?” Julia peers up at the ceiling.

“Here, switch places with me.”

“It’s just as hot here—”

“It’s just as cold—”

We say it at the same time. “I guess it’s just your wishful thinking.” Julia pats my shoulder. “Enjoy. I’m going to get some more to drink.”

I nod and head across the room, by the TV, where hopefully it’s warmer.

Goose bumps pop up on my arms. I rub them, but it doesn’t help.

Next to me Josh Wallace tosses a cube of cheese into his mouth. Is that sweat dripping off his forehead? Why am I the only one shivering?

I spot a decorative blanket on the couch. Should I? I tap Marcus on the shoulder. “Sorry, could you lean forward? I just need to get something behind you.” I tug at the blanket and drape it over my shoulders.

Julia is back with a drink in her hand. “Why do you have a blanket wrapped around you? Are you feeling okay?”

“Not really,” I answer. “What’s that noise?”

“What noise?”

“That buzzing sound. Is that the TV? Maybe someone turned it on without switching on the cable box.” I fumble with the buttons on the TV. An image flashes across the screen, and a voice blares.

Funeral services were held today for Samantha Young, the fourth victim of the Sweet Dreams Strangler.

Mrs. Young hovers in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room. All the color drains from her face.

I can’t seem to move. Julia turns off the TV. The buzzing grows louder, and then I realize that it’s voices I’m hearing, lots of them, all blending together into one big buzzing sound.

And then the buzzing fades away until I hear only one voice.

Olivia.

It’s not real. I know it’s not real.

Olivia.

It’s not real because the voice is Samantha’s, and Samantha is dead.

Olivia!

It’s not real because the voice is not coming from a person. It’s coming from a fricking figurine on the mantel. From a yellow bird with black wings and a black head. I pick up the figurine, and I hold it in my hands. This is what my dad meant when he said there were people living in marbles. And then it speaks again.

Olivia! Stop him!

Even though I’m kind of expecting it, Samantha’s voice scares me all the same. It makes me jump and my hands open up and that figurine smashes on the floor and breaks. And I’m a little glad because maybe now the voice will stop. But suddenly I’m burning up, the salami and cheese rumbles around in my stomach, and before I can sit, the room spins all around me and darkness sets in.

Author Bio:

Tracy Bilen is the author of What She Left Behind and Whisper. She is a high school French teacher in Michigan where she lives with her husband and children. Tracy studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and taught Spanish at a high school ski academy. She loves biking, traveling, and red velvet cake.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

GIVEAWAY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1