Book Tour Sign Up: Her Dark Reflection by Hailey Jade (June 27 – July 1) Genre: Dark Fairytale/ Dark Fantasy/ Retelling @RRBookTours #RRBookTours #Books #BookReviewers

Hey Guys!

I think a few of you may have been waiting for this?

I’m organizing a tour for Her Dark Reflection by Hailey Jade, a dark fairytale retelling/ dark fantasy romance, and I am looking for tour hosts! The tour will run from June 27th to the 1st of July and ARCs will be available in digital formats for everyone and there will be physical ARCs for reviewers who live in Australia. 

Sign up below!

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Her Dark Reflection (COVER COMING SOON)

Expected Publication Date: June 2022

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Dark Romance/ Fairytale Retelling

“They called me the Whore Queen. Some even called me the Evil Queen.
But they could call me whatever they wanted. I was still queen.”

Rhiandra Tiercelin hungers for power and her charm has always been her sharpest weapon in hunting it. So when a brutal attack leaves her physically scarred, desperation drives her to make a deal with Draven, a magic-wielding stranger who is inexplicably compelling and definitely dangerous. She knows she can’t trust him, but he when he offers to make her a queen, the temptation is too enticing to resist.

Armed with a glamoured face and an enchanted apple, Rhiandra is determined to scheme her way into a crown, even if it means risking the deadly punishment for unsanctioned magic use. But Draven is playing a bigger game, and she is just one piece on the board.

Can she keep her wits about her long enough to uncover his secrets, or will he lure her down a path she will come to regret?

Her Dark Reflection is the first book in a new dark romantic fantasy series perfect for fans of Raven Kennedy, Jennifer Armentrout and Sarah A. Parker. If you like cunning, ambitious heroines, morally ambiguous men and romance that toes the line between love and hate, then you’ll love Hailey Jade’s dark reimagining of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Coming Soon!

About the Author

Author photo

Hailey Jade has tried to quit writing, but alas, the characters who live in her head will not stop yammering. She’s hoping that building them ink-and-paper homes will make them pipe down long enough for her to get some sleep. She likes creating fantasy worlds populated by complicated, morally-grey characters who try to resist their attraction to other complicated, morally-grey characters, but who inevitably fall in love, because everyone needs a Happily Ever After.

Hailey has completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Teaching at Flinders University, and spends her daylight hours trying to convince reluctant teenagers to love books. She lives in regional South Australia with her partner, bouncy baby boy, and feline overlord.

Hailey Jade | Amazon | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

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Book Tour: Pretty Deadly by Kelsey Josund – Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Fairytale Retelling @KelseyJosund @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

Welcome to the book tour for the highly anticipated dark fairytale by Kelsey Josund, Pretty Deadly! Read on for more info and be sure to enter the giveaway!

front

Pretty Deadly

Publication Date: October 26th, 2021

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Fairytale Retelling (Not YA)

Publisher: Darkstroke Books

Cinna would quite literally kill for the throne.

She’s spent years forced to serve her wealthy cousins rather than attend society events alongside them, waiting for the chance to prove herself and exact revenge. When a ball is announced at the castle, promising to bring many powerful people to town, she seizes the opportunity to strike.

She bets her best friend, a small-time thief and con-man, that she can land a greater score the night of the ball than he can. They embark on parallel heists. But as their plots unfold, things begin to unravel: by the end of the night, the castle’s on lock down, a duchess is dead, a mansion has burnt to the ground, and Cinna hasn’t stolen anything. Or has she stolen something more valuable than gold and jewels?

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Excerpt

How interesting, Cinna thought. She had spent so many hours bent over a stove in the kitchen or crouched before the hearth, stoking flames carefully that refused to light. But she had prepared: this house was waiting tinder, ready to be consumed. 

She couldn’t hear the screams over the roar of the flames, but surely they were there. Strangely, she didn’t feel cheated to have not heard their voices. It was fine that they died in silence. 

It did not take long for the neighbors to begin streaming out of their own houses, and she did hear their screams. They swarmed around the flames, politely mute once they realized they could not do anything, full of awe before the enormity of the fire. Cinna blended into the crowd, nearly invisible in her costume. 

At last, just as she had always pledged she would, she watched the house fall in on itself.

Now Available on Amazon

About the Author

kelsey-josund-sq

I am a software engineer and author living and working in Silicon Valley, California. I studied computer science at Stanford University, but I’ve always loved stories in all their forms. I approach writing fiction the same way I approach writing code: I like to know where it’s going, but I want to figure out the details as I go along. Good software is a lot like a good story, full of neat and clever solutions to tricky problems, beautiful at a granular level but also from a distance.

Originally from Seattle, I love getting outdoors and living in places that allow me to escape to the mountains on the weekends, and I care deeply about the ecosystems that humans impact and that impact us. My writing explores these issues while also following classic coming-of-age arcs in science fiction and fantasy. I’m also very interested in stories and characters that complicate the traditional and familiar, leading me to fairytale retellings from unexpected angles.

Kelsey Josund | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Click the link below for a chance to win a signed copy of Pretty Deadly and Platformed by Kelsey Josund!

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Book Tour Schedule

November 8th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

@inkspit.blog (Review) https://www.instagram.com/inkspit.blog/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.com/

MacroMicroCosm Blog (Review) https://www.vraeydamedia.ca/macromicrocosm-online

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

November 9th

@amysbooknook8 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/amysbooknook8/

 @atrailofpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/atrailofpages/

Series Book Lover (Review) https://seriesbooklover.wordpress.com/

Books of All Kinds (Review) www.booksofallkinds.weebly.com

Bunny’s Book Reviews (Review) https://bookwormbunnyreviews.blogspot.com/

Bri’s Book Nook (Review) https://brisbooknook.com/

November 10th

@libraryofash (Review) https://www.instagram.com/libraryofash/

@tiny.bibliophile (Review) https://www.instagram.com/tiny.bibliophile/

 @swimming.in.books (Review) https://www.instagram.com/swimming.in.books/

@NerdyFoxReads (Review) https://www.instagram.com/nerdyfoxreads/

Stine Writing (Spotlight) https://christinebialczak.com/

November 11th

Books + Coffee = Happiness (Review) https://bookscoffeehappiness.com/

Lecari’s Live Journal (Review) http://www.lecari.co.uk

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review) https://lshadowlynauthor.com/

  @happily_undignified (Review) https://www.instagram.com/happily_undignified/

@dreaminginpages (Review) https://www.instagram.com/dreaminginpages/

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

November 12th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

 @by_hckilgour (Review) https://www.instagram.com/by_hckilgour/

I Smell Sheep (Review) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

  @jypsylynn (Review) https://www.instagram.com/jypsylynn

@fortybelow_bookish (Review) https://www.instagram.com/fortybelow_bookish/

Port Jericho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

    Owl Book World (Review) https://www.owlbookworld.com/

 

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Book Release Blitz: Pretty Deadly by Kelsey Josund @KelseyJosund @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #PrettyDeadly

Happy book birthday to author Kelsey Josund! Today marks the release of her murderous Cinderella retelling, Pretty Deadly! Read on for details.

front

Pretty Deadly

Publication Date: October 26th, 2021 (TODAY 🎉)

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Fairytale Retelling (Not YA)

Cinna would quite literally kill for the throne.

She’s spent years forced to serve her wealthy cousins rather than attend society events alongside them, waiting for the chance to prove herself and exact revenge. When a ball is announced at the castle, promising to bring many powerful people to town, she seizes the opportunity to strike.

She bets her best friend, a small-time thief and con-man, that she can land a greater score the night of the ball than he can. They embark on parallel heists. But as their plots unfold, things begin to unravel: by the end of the night, the castle’s on lock down, a duchess is dead, a mansion has burnt to the ground, and Cinna hasn’t stolen anything. Or has she stolen something more valuable than gold and jewels?

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

How interesting, Cinna thought. She had spent so many hours bent over a stove in the kitchen or crouched before the hearth, stoking flames carefully that refused to light. But she had prepared: this house was waiting tinder, ready to be consumed. 

She couldn’t hear the screams over the roar of the flames, but surely they were there. Strangely, she didn’t feel cheated to have not heard their voices. It was fine that they died in silence. 

It did not take long for the neighbors to begin streaming out of their own houses, and she did hear their screams. They swarmed around the flames, politely mute once they realized they could not do anything, full of awe before the enormity of the fire. Cinna blended into the crowd, nearly invisible in her costume. 

At last, just as she had always pledged she would, she watched the house fall in on itself.

Now Available on Amazon

About the Author

kelsey-josund-sq

I am a software engineer and author living and working in Silicon Valley, California. I studied computer science at Stanford University, but I’ve always loved stories in all their forms. I approach writing fiction the same way I approach writing code: I like to know where it’s going, but I want to figure out the details as I go along. Good software is a lot like a good story, full of neat and clever solutions to tricky problems, beautiful at a granular level but also from a distance.

Originally from Seattle, I love getting outdoors and living in places that allow me to escape to the mountains on the weekends, and I care deeply about the ecosystems that humans impact and that impact us. My writing explores these issues while also following classic coming-of-age arcs in science fiction and fantasy. I’m also very interested in stories and characters that complicate the traditional and familiar, leading me to fairytale retellings from unexpected angles.

Kelsey Josund | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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Blog Tour: When Stars Are Bright by Amber R. Duell @AmberR_Duell @RRBookTours1 #WhenStarsAreBright #YABooks #YAReads #FairyTale #BlogTour #RRBookTours

Welcome to the blog tour for When Stars Are Bright!

When Stars Are Bright is a YA Fairy Tale retelling of “Thumbelina” by award-winning author, Amber R. Duell. Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!

WhenStarsAreBright_Cover

When Stars Are Bright

Publication Date: January 7th, 2020

Genre: Young Adult/ Fairy Tale Retelling

Publisher: Crescent Sea Publishing

For Lina Holt, a Dutch seventeen-year-old with a flair for singing, 1930 is going to be her year. Her long-time boyfriend is about to propose and her mother will finally realize their relationship isn’t a passing phase. But when a stranger snatches her from her backyard, everything changes.

Lina is thrust into the spotlight of a New York vaudeville show where she’s paired with Nik, a mysterious pianist. The two bond during rehearsals and it doesn’t take long before Nik puts himself at risk to confess a hidden truth. Without Lina, the show is in its last season and there’s no way she’ll be allowed to slip through the owner’s fingers. Not when she carries fairy magic in her blood—an gift that turns her song into a dangerously addictive drug.

If Lina ever wants to return home, she must learn who to trust before she’s forced to remain a prisoner on stage forever.

WHEN STARS ARE BRIGHT is a historical Thumbelina retelling with a touch of magic.

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Excerpt

There’s a certain thrill in doing something forbidden. Sneaking out past curfew, dancing freely to a jazz band, stealing kisses in a dark corner. Any one of those things will send my mother into hysterics. I’m not sure what she’ll do if she finds out I’m doing them all at once. When she finds out, because she always does.

But, if I want to see Christian, it’s my only choice.

The band electrifies the air with each note they play. At least fifty strangers twist and turn around us in the empty barn, and the lingering scent of hay tickles my nose. Christian doesn’t seem to notice the lack of marble floors or fancy wall sconces. His eyes haven’t left my face since we got here, except for the kissing.

His arms cocoon me near the wall, and I lean into his chest. He’s warm and sturdy against me, and I close my eyes. The soft thump of his heartbeat beneath my palm dulls the sharp edge of missing him, but it never stops cutting. It won’t as long as we’re forced to sneak around behind our parents’ backs.

“Are you tired, Lina?” Christian twists one of my curls around his finger. “We can go.”

“We’ve only been here an hour.” And there’s no telling how long until we can meet again. I stretch up on my toes, the hem of my yellow skirt tickling the back of my knees, and kiss the fine stubble on his cheek. “Come on. I love this song.”

Pulling Christian behind me, I find a free spot in the middle of the barn. Dozens of worn, dusty boots and Mary Jane’s slam down on the planked floor, sending bits of straw and dirt into the air. The music vibrates against my body, and we join the rhythm.

The band wears worn slacks and checkered shirts like the rest of the crowd. Christian’s the only one here without patched clothes or any idea of the work that will go into filling this barn with hay tomorrow. No one will have the energy for dancing after a day of haying. They’ll be lucky to drag themselves to bed before collapsing, my mother and I included, though it will be a different field we work in the morning.

Sweat trickles down Christian’s temple as we kick up dust of our own, and a wide grin breaks out on my face. I’m not the best swing dancer, far from it, but I don’t care. Giving myself over to the music makes me feel weightless. Free. No one pays attention except Christian, and he’s not much better. When the trombone sounds its last note, I laugh and collapse into his arms, breathless.

“Want to get something to drink?” I ask over the start of the next song.

He nods and leads me back through the crowd. His cotton shirt clings to his skin, showing off the muscles in his arms and back, and gray suspenders hang down from his waist. After more than a year together, it’s the most I’ve seen of him, and it would be a lie to say I’m not enjoying it. If we didn’t have to sneak around, I’d make him go dancing every weekend for the view alone.

“Wait here.” He slips under a slanted support beam at the back of the barn, and kisses me. When he steps away, he keeps hold of my hand until he’s too far to reach. “I’ll be right back.”

I scoot farther under the protection of the beam until it grazes my hair, and watch his head bob above everyone else. A lantern burns beside me, casting a warm glow, and the band plays their own version of Puttin’ on the Ritz. There’s no singer tonight, without a microphone it would be impossible to hear one anyway, but I know the words. I hum along with the smooth sound of the saxophone, my foot tapping in time with the bass and, before I realize it, I’m singing.

It’s a cheery tune, but I keep my voice quiet. My mother is the only one who’s heard me sing since I was little, and she insists I keep it that way. Being known as the infant abandoned in a tulip field, I’m used to whispers behind my back. Going steady with the heir to the Van Buren petroleum fortune only makes things worse. I don’t mind being thought of as an unlovable gold digger—not much anyway—but I’m tired of standing out. I especially have no interest in drawing a crowd tonight like I did when I was five. Twelve years later, I still get chills thinking about the people that closed in on me as I hummed in the marketplace.

A heavy man inches along the wall, hunching over to fit beside me. His eyelids droop over dark eyes, and his round face is close enough that I can count the pockmarks. His breath wheezes over the music. “You have a lovely voice. Where did you get it?”

I slam my mouth shut on the last line of the song. Naturally, the one time I sing in public someone’s listening. Though it’s only one person, this is somehow equally unnerving.

“Have you thought about a career?” The strange man leans closer. From his dialect, it’s obvious he’s from a different part of Holland.

“A career?” I shift away, and scan the crowd for Christian. When I don’t see him between here and the water barrel, I step away from the wall.

The man bobs his head up and down, his jowls shaking, swallowing the yellow-stained Marlboro collar. “In show business. With that delicate face of yours, the blond hair and blue eyes, it would be easy to make a name for yourself. I’ve never felt an addictive quality as strong as yours either. Of course it’s rare. Where did you get it?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Keep your secrets, little Symric. Fairy folk always do.” He inches closer still. “But what do you say? You want to make it big in America with me?”

My laugh is quick and high-pitched. Where are you, Christian? “No.”

“You should.”

“She should what?” Christian asks from the opposite direction. He steps up beside me without refreshments and wraps an arm around my shoulders. I lean closer.

Now Available!

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About the Author

9e912b896da8f9b17fa3bd96290703cd

Amber R. Duell is an award-winning young adult author, Navy wife, and mom of 2 awesome boys. She has been a #WriteMentor mentor since 2018 and is a co-host on the live broadcast show Young Adult Edition. Red Bull keeps her kicking.

Amber DuellTwitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Blog Tour Schedule

February 17th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Gwendalyn’s Books (Review) https://gwendalynbooks.blog/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Tales of Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

February 18th

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

 C Vonzale Lewis (Review)  https://cvonzalelewis.com/index.php/blog/

Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/

Once More with Reading (Review) https://oncemorewithreadingx.wixsite.com/welcome

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

February 19th

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Cup of Toast Blog (Review) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

Bibliophile Ramblings (Review) http://lego–ergo–sum.blogspot.com/

February 20th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Crossroad Reviews (Review) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Port Jerricho (Review)  http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

February 21st

Ghoulish Life & Reviews (Review) https://ghoulishspirit.wordpress.com/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

Phantom of the Library (Review)  https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/

 

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Blog Tour: Beauty’s Curse by C.S. Johnson #Excerpt & #Giveaway #BeautysCurse @C_S_Johnson13 @RRBookTours1

Don’t you just love a good fairytale retelling? Take a look at this beauty and enter for your chance to win a paperback copy of Beauty’s Curse!

Beauty's Cursefor

Beauty’s Curse (Once Upon a Princess #1)

Publication Date: January 2016

Genre: Fairytale Retelling/ Historical Fantasy/ Romance

For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.

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Excerpt

Rose and Theo discuss their next move in finding Titania, the queen of the fairies, in hopes she will be able to tell them how to break Rose’s curse.

***

She had never been one to waste her time; after all, she had so little of it left. But whether or not the weather cooperated with her was another matter entirely.

Rose looked up at the bleak sky, feeling the hood of her protective cloak sliding down from her face, exposing her nape at the end of her close-cropped hair. The wind tickled her skin, and rather than finding it charming and pleasant as she might have when she was younger, she found it taunting and terrifying.

Her gaze moved down from the crying skies to the sea, the rough and tumbling creature so keen on hogging every inch it could of the world’s edge.

There was nothing to it, she decided. They would have to enter into the cavern during the rain. According to the map Ethan had found, the entrance to Titania’s realm was not far down the cliff, and while it would be easier if the rain would stop and the tide would recede, Rose knew she could never count on life to make things easier for her if it could.

That was how Theo found her; looking down the edge of the cliffs, standing in the rain, and declaring all the world her enemy. No wonder she had insisted leaving the palace when she’d been thirteen, he thought. Even the grand palace would have demolished itself, had she been unable to fight her own way free of it. She was a warrior through and through.

Theo shook his head and pushed back the cover of his cloak. “I know that look,” he muttered, coming up from behind her. “And the answer is no.”

Rose would have normally grinned at the sight of her best friend following her out of the safety of the camp to talk. But ever since she and her group had finally found the location of the home of a powerful Fairy Queen, time seemed to crush into her a little bit more each day, pushing her into possible tomorrows long before her today’s had finished.

She pursed her lips together. “Come on. I’m the princess, remember? I’m the one in command here, Theo.”

He smiled at her. “You only pull rank when you know I’m right.” Crossing his arms, he added, “It’s only been two days, Rosary. We’ll give it at least one more before we go barreling in.”

He was not fooled by the calm look on her face; there would be a battle in getting her to agree.

He had known Rose–officially Princess Aurora Rosemarie Mohanagan of Rhone–for over ten years, ever since he arrived to work in the royal chapel, and he knew well her charms. It was impossible not to notice them, and knowing her well enough, it was impossible for him to fall for them–which, he knew, she both liked and hated on different occasions. Knowing her expressions just as well, Theo knew this time she hated it.

“Mary can protect us with a weather spell,” she argued.

He had to admit, halfway begrudgingly, he admired her tenacity as she refused to back down. “Mary is still tired from our battle with the Eastern Warlords. We’re all still tired, even you. The rest will be good for us. We have time enough for rest.”

“No, I don’t have time, Theo. My birthday is coming up.” Frustration and fear crept into the pattern of her speech.

“And you can spare a day now, and we’ll make up for it later.”

“What if we don’t?”

“You still have a whole year afterwards, Rosary.” Patience melted away into concern at her words. He knew she was upset and afraid, and there was little he could do about it.

That was why he had come, though, wasn’t it? The thought hit him with a disgruntled air. There were few reasons besides counsel and comfort that would cause one to bring a priest across continents and into battle. He was fortunate to have found a friend in the doomed princess of Rhone.

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About the Author

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C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

CS Johnson | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

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Blog Tour Schedule

May 13th

Reads & Reels (Excerpt) http://readsandreels.com

Triquetra Reviews (Excerpt) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com

I Love Books and Stuff (Excerpt) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Pages and Paw Prints (Review)  http://pagesandpawprints.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) http://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com

May 14th

I Smell Sheep (Excerpt) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Daily Waffle (Excerpt) http://www.dailywaffle.co.uk

Sophril Reads (Excerpt) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Love Books Group (Review) https://lovebooksgroup.com/

May 15th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

Stacy is Reading (Review) https://stacyisreading.blogspot.com/?m=0

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

May 16th

Reading Nook (Excerpt) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

An Ocean a Glimmer (Review) http://anoceanglimmer.wordpress.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Excerpt) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

Tsarina Press (Excerpt) https://www.tsarinapress.com

May 17th

B is for Book Review (Review) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Darque Dreamer Reads (Review) https://darquedreamerreads.wordpress.com/

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

The Must Reads (Review) http://themustreads.com/

Eclectic Review (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

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Blog Tour: The Princess and the Peacock by C.S. Johnson (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Who doesn’t love a great fairy tale retelling? That’s why I’m so pleased to share this lovely novella with you. I have an excerpt for you to read, and a chance to win your very own print copy of the book! Enjoy!

Book Cover

The Princess and the Peacock (Birds of Fae #1)

Publication Date: January 25th, 2019

Genre: Fantasy/ Fairy Tale Retelling

The first time I fell in love with Princess Mele was when I saw her smile, and I fell in love with her the second time the moment I heard her sing.

Two memories burn within Kaipo’s heart — the death of his mother, which left him alone to die, and the arrival of Princess Mele, which gave him a new reason to live. Together with his adopted brother, Kaipo seeks out Jaya, the Fae Queen who lives on the Forbidden Mountain, in order to gain the beauty he requires to win Mele’s heart. But Jaya has other plans for the scarred outcast who climbs up her mountain …

The Princess and the Peacock is the first in Birds of Fae, a fantasy fairy tale novella series from C. S. Johnson.

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Excerpt

Desperate, I hold out my hands, palms upward, in a gesture of pleading. “Queen Jaya, I ask that you grant me my wish, as I stated, and as you promised. It is only fair, after all.”

“Dare you bother me in my own musings?” Jaya slams the end of her staff into the ground. The air around her whips out ferociously, as if her emotions stretch out far beyond her heart. “Very well then, Kaipo. I will grant your wish.”

She comes up in front of me, and I nearly stagger back at the overbearing fullness of her being. Her finger reaches out and touches my forehead.

Instantly, I am frozen; the essence of my soul shines as her power leeches into me. Just before my eyes go sightless, the last thing I see is her triumphant smirk.

“Yes,” she whispers, so softly I almost think I am imagining it. “I do believe this is just the magic needed to give you beauty Princess Mele will be unable to resist.”

Her words brush over me, leaving me weak with joy as my world is drowned with light, and I eagerly fall into its brightness.

For a moment, as I bathe in that transcendent sensation, I wonder if I had actually fallen off the mountain earlier, and this is just a final coming home into the arms of death.

“There.” Jaya’s voice echoes from far away, and behind her, I hear Rahj gasp in surprise. I try to smile, but I feel my face resist the movement.

Taking one last deep breath, I open my eyes.

A bouquet of dark, iridescent color swims before me, and it takes only two seconds before I realize every miracle I expected was horrifically wrong. Instead of scarless flesh, my arms have been transformed into wings of shimmering blue, with hints of green and black tipping off their feathers. My own body, once lean and hungry, is bulging out with meaty bird muscle, and my neck is three times as long. My legs are sticks with claws, and I can feel the ground part eagerly as I stumble, stabbing the divine earth as I go.

Jaya’s laughter follows me cruelly as I hurry around in a circle, frantically trying to find a way to see my new self.

“Here,” she says, and out of the middle of her meadow, a pond appears. I race toward it, ardently wishing this is all an awful misunderstanding of magic or even perhaps a friendly joke from Jaya.

But no; it’s not.

I glance into the water’s pond and freeze, taking in the sight before me in shaking horror.

My beady eyes, still their mix of green and brown, stare back full of fear. My shabby hair has been perked up into a colored crest on my small head, sticking straight up in the air, as the rest of my body gleams with an artful array of feathers.

I open my mouth to scream, but only a squawk sounds out. As I step back in fear, my tail feathers fan out, and I am vividly aware of the truth.

I am no longer a man; I am a peacock.

👸 Available on Amazon 👸

About the Author

Author-CS-Johnson

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

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