Guest Post: A Month in the Coop by Lucy Blue

The Alley would like to welcome the Little Red Hens! Today we have Lucy Blue here to talk about what a month in the coop looks like and to give you an excerpt from one of their latest releases! Please help me in extending Lucy an enchanting welcome! 


My sister, Alexandra Christian, and I have our very own micro-press, Little Red Hen Romance, through which we deliver our brilliance to a grateful public. At the risk of rendering you all mute and paralyzed with envy, let me give you a rundown of what that means exactly, an average “month” in the life in the Coop.

Week One: What In the Name of the Benedict Cumberbatch’s Quirky Brand of Handsome Are We Going to Put Out Next Month?

Every publishing cycle begins with a lunch meeting conducted in the glamorous abandoned file room full of broken office furniture at the back of Lexie’s day job. Specifics vary, but here’s our basic agenda:

  1. What the heck are we doing this for?
    • We aren’t making any money
      1. Amazon are f*ckers
        • Kindle Unlimited can kiss my a$$
      2. We pay more for cover art than we make every month
    • You’ve got to at least finish your d@mned series
    • I’m still working on that other thing
    • Let’s give it another month
  2. Do we have a theme?
    • Holiday?
    • Is a new season of Sherlock about to come out?
    • I’m still having that Russell Crowe cowboy dream
  3. Do we have anything already written?
    • Sure <maniacal laughter>
      1. I’m still working on that thing
      2. I can dig out my old computer from the attic; I think there’s a story on the hard drive
      3. I still have that thing I didn’t finish when we did this theme last year
    •  Nope
      1. Brainstorming
      2. As long as we put SOMETHING out, we’re fine
  4. Deadlines <laughing so hard soda comes out our noses>

By the time we both have to go back to work at the jobs that actually pay us, we have a pretty good idea where we’re headed. Sometimes it’s not even straight off a cliff. And even if we don’t know at the end of the meeting, we know by the end of that first week.

For example, for Halloween in October, we knew we wanted to do a LRH Nightmare anthology (when it’s your press, you can make up as many imprints as you like!) instead of a handful of standalone shorties. I had a couple of things that were a lot harder and more horrific than our norm that LRH had never published; Lexie had a couple of erotic horror shorts that had been released back to her from the exploding wreckage of her former publisher, and we had several horror-themed shorties in our back catalog that hadn’t been in an anthology yet. So we thought, awesome, all we need is a cover, and we’re done! Except… because we’re masochistic geniuses, we realized we wanted to do some kind of framing story that would give the anthology as a whole some kind of throughline theme beyond “scary sexy stuff!” We talked about the Crypt Keeper and about the awesome Hansel and Gretel riff in the Tales from the Darkside movie, and Lexie had an amazing idea for a story about a haunted writer’s desk that we both loved.

But once she started writing, we realized that 1) it would make a dang fine novel, and 2) she’d never finish it in time to get an anthology out before Halloween, and even if she did, it would take up more space than the stories it was introducing. I was at that same time completely exasperated with the production company that’s filming a horror TV show for pay cable in our small town, and I started fantasizing about a fate worse than death for their lead location producer. And out of that, in the space of a couple of days, came “Living Dead Girl,” the black comedy frame for Until Death. Lex’s desk story was way more complex and interesting, and I hope she’ll finish it. But we needed something NOW.

Weeks Two through Three (or Four or Five): Writing, Compiling, and Covers, Oh My!

This is where I highly recommend working with your very talented sibling. Lex and I have very similar writing styles; we love one another’s work; and we trust one another’s judgment completely. Consequently, we can trade rough first drafts and do edits for one another very, very quickly; we can communicate problems almost by osmosis and get them fixed. I would dearly love to hire another set of talented eyeballs to do edits for us, and I still hope at some point we’ll be able to do that. We both know the mechanics. I have a master’s degree in English lit and used to teach composition; she has a degree in education and used to teach kids how to write; we’ve both published lots of stuff with big, traditional publishers as well as indies; and we each have a fair amount of experience editing other people’s fiction. But we still need another editor. (Enchanted Alley piping in here… I KNOW AN EDITOR!) The same connection that makes editing each other comfortable cheats us of all the many benefits of a truly objective point of view. But right now, we don’t make enough money to pay somebody else, nor do we have the time to give another editor a turnaround schedule that is anything close to reasonable.

This is also when we start working on covers. Again, we do our own because we can’t afford to pay somebody else. (Though my husband the artist has stepped in more than once to help us out with stuff we couldn’t manage.) We try to find stock art that already hews very closely to the vision we have so we don’t have to do much blending of images or many effects—I’m still using Gimp, and I’m not what you’d call proficient. We spend hours going through page after page of imagery to find stuff that will look clean and original, then try hard not to screw it up. With Until Death, Lexie offered to do the cover since I was writing the frame, and I think she did an amazing job. She found an image called “Romantic Zombie” (Andrey Kiselev/Dreamstime.com) and dirtied up fonts and played with colors until she got what I think suits the stories inside perfectly.

Week Four (or Five or Six or Seven): To Market, To Market

Once we have clean versions of each story and covers we like, it’s time to publish. We do everything through Amazon through my Kindle Direct Publishing account. Amazon are indeed f*ckers, and we’d love to expand out to other platforms. But the sad truth is, everybody either has a Kindle or the Kindle app on their non-Kindle e-book-reading device. (The main alternative I’m interested in exploring at this point is iTunes, but they’re f*ckers, too.) As much as I’d love to have a couple of hours every week to exchange emails with a reader who’s trying to open my book on her Cricket phone after downloading it from Alice The Much Nicer E-Bookstore Owner’s World of Romance website, I just don’t. We use my KDP account so we have everything plugged into Amazon’s excellent sales and royalty tracking resources. We can tell exactly how many sales we have all over the world almost the moment they happen. (Lexie either has one reader in Denmark who compulsively checks Amazon to download her stuff as soon as it comes out, or she’s HUGE with an extensive cult of Danes.) Uploading the stuff is very easy—all you need is a cover created to the Amazon specifications (very easy to find on the KDP website), a Microsoft Word version of the story (including any table of contents—Amazon does the conversion for you), all your frontispiece information (authors, editors, etc.), and seven little keywords. Things usually show up on Amazon within 12-24 hours.

We’re constantly marketing stuff, of course, but this is also the week we get serious about that new release, using social media a lot, offering to write blog posts for dear friends kind enough to let us. But I can’t stress enough that marketing isn’t something that you do one book at a time one month at a time; we are constantly on the lookout for ways to get all of our releases in front of the eyeballs of readers who will love them.

I don’t know that I’d advise anybody to take up self-pubbing right now or start their own indie press, even with their darling sister. It’s a much tougher, much crazier market than it was just a few years ago. But all griping aside, we HAVE found a lot of readers, and we ARE publishing exactly the stories we want to publish in exactly the way we think they should be done. And for now, that still makes it worth the aggravation. Next month, we might quit, but for now, we’re thinking about Christmas.

Find us at our website at: http://lucybluecastle.wixsite.com/littleredhenromance or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/littleredhenromance/ .

until-death-1And check out this snippet from “Living Dead Girl,” the frame story from our latest collection, Until Death: An Anthology of Twisted Love Stories, available now from Amazon:

“That’s supposed to be a love story?” he said, feeling a little sick.

“Of course it is,” she said. Her zombie make-up was horrifying; his crew was talented. But her eyes shining in the moonlight were almost enough to make him not notice. “Rhett’s love for Cynthia was so strong, even after she died, it could sustain an immortal sex demon. That’s beautiful.”

“If you say so,” he said. Twisted but cute, he thought. “I guess that’s what I get for looking for love advice from a zombie.”

“True love is everywhere,” she said. “Anything can bring two people together if they’re meant to be, even zombies.”

“Yeah, that’s what the writers tell me,” he said. “Then half a season later, they kill off the love interest, and the internet goes crazy.”

“I know a story of two people who never would have stayed together if they hadn’t been attacked by zombies,” she said.

“Real zombies?” Maybe too twisted after all.

“Well….my grand-daddy said they were real,” she said. “But he used to tell me spaghetti grows on trees, so I’m not sure we should believe him. It’s a good story, though, a western. You want to hear it?”

The set-up was still at least an hour from being ready. “Sure, why not?”

 

Cover Reveal: Whitecapel Paranormal Society

October is the perfect time to unveil the debut covers from the upcoming Whitechapel Paranormal Society series.  Keep reading for a chance to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card.

New Victorian Gothic Horror Series Set in London’s East End.

The Whitechapel Paranormal Society is coming in 2017.  Until then, we have these gorgeous covers from Phatpuppy Art Studios and Sacred Oaks Press.

Eeper Weeper Whitechapel Paranormal Society Victorian Horror by E.J. Stevens

Eeper Weeper (Whitechapel Paranormal Society #0.5) by E.J. Stevens

The great and
prestigious man of science, Doctor Jameson Foster Hadley had
somehow made a mistake. I wasn’t good and I wasn’t normal. His
experiment had failed.

The tedium and terrors of Josephine “Jo” Hadley’s existence within
the stone walls of London’s Bethnal Asylum are interrupted by a
strange visitor, Cora Drummond, a woman who demands to interview
one of the asylum’s most insane residents. The patient’s rantings
include tales of ghosts and demons, but it is the bizarre,
near-riotous muttering of prophetic nursery rhymes that follow Jo
throughout the asylum wards that is most illuminating to Miss
Drummond.

Eeeper Weeper, chimney sweeper. Had a wife, but couldn’t keep
her…

Days later, Jo and her adoptive father receive an invitation to
attend an exclusive tea at the prestigious Whitehall Club. But the
request for Jo’s attendance is more than it might seem. She has
caught the attention of a secret branch of government working
directly for the queen.

Will Jo Hadley’s unusual talent for inciting prophetic nursery
rhymes prove useful to the crown? She is given one chance to
demonstrate her worth to the Special Paranormal Research Branch,
but this is one mission that even the most highly trained
operatives might not survive.

Eeper Weeper is a prequel short story in the Whitechapel
Paranormal Society series by award-winning author E.J. Stevens. One
for Sorrow
(Whitechapel Paranormal Society #1) takes place
six years after the prequel short story Eeper Weeper
(Whitechapel Paranormal Society #0.5). The Whitechapel Paranormal
Society series is a Victorian horror (dreadpunk) series set in
London’s East End.

Free Read:

Release Date: June 2017

Add to Goodreads TBR.

Official Website: WhitechapelParanormalSociety.com

One for Sorrow Whitechapel Paranormal Society Victorian Horror by E.J. Stevens

One for Sorrow (Whitechapel Paranormal Society #1) by E.J. Stevens

Afternoon tea
had served us up a demon.

It is six years since Josephine “Jo” Hadley joined the ranks of
the Special Paranormal Research Branch and three years since the
S.P.R.B.’s mission was terminated. After their superiors declare
that the supernatural threat is quelled, Jo and her colleagues
returned to civilian life with varying degrees of success. But
when Jo, Edith, and Flan cross paths with a slogoth demon there is
no escaping the terrible truth. The supernatural threat was never
defeated.

One for sorrow. Two for mirth. Three for a funeral. Four for a
birth. Five for Heaven. Six for Hell. Seven for the Devil, his
own self.

Demons and necromancers went into hiding within the labyrinthine
warrens of Whitechapel, but after three years of secretly feasting
on the souls of London’s East End they are back stronger than ever
before. Will the Whitechapel Paranormal Society rise up from the
ashes of the S.P.R.B., or will all of London become the Devil’s
playground?

One for Sorrow is the first full-length novel in the
Whitechapel Paranormal Society series by award-winning author E.J.
Stevens. One for Sorrow (Whitechapel Paranormal Society
#1) takes place six years after the prequel short story Eeper
Weeper
(Whitechapel Paranormal Society #0.5). The
Whitechapel Paranormal Society series is a Victorian horror
(dreadpunk) series set in London’s East End.

Release Date: September2017

Add to Goodreads TBR.

Official Website: WhitechapelParanormalSociety.com

Whitechapel Paranormal Society Cover Reveal Giveaway

 

Whitechapel Paranormal Society Cover Reveal Giveaway

We are giving away a $15 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is international.  Giveaway ends October 28, 2016.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What do you think of the covers?

Blog Tour Stop: Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter

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We here at the Alley have a special treat for you today!

We’re hopping onto the blog train and have some special goodies for you.

We have an exclusive excerpt from Shadow Rites by Faith Hunter, an ARC review, and a giveaway!


For Other Stops on the Tour, click HERE.

Excerpt #8

Eli walked a little ahead of me, to one side. I followed in his wake, passing the fighting rings where Gee was teaching two security types to fight with the sword. At the same time. A sword in each hand, he was keeping them both occupied as they tried to prevent their armor and their bodies, protected beneath, from being cut into nice even ribbons of bleeding flesh. It was like dancing, maybe some violent love child of the flamenco and the tango.

Eli nodded to Leo, a little head tilt granting Leo temporary command status. Very temporary. Eli and Leo both shifted their attention to me and I was about to speak when something changed in the air. Eli shouted, “Jane!”

I threw myself to the floor, twisting my body into a horizontal roll, taking the fall on shoulder and outer foot. Hearing my shoe crack the wood. Smelling Gee DiMercy. Feeling a sword slice the air beside my face. I’m being attacked. I rolled behind the metal bleachers. Attacked by Leo’s Mercy Blade.


Enchanted Alley’s Review

I’ve been a reader of the Jane Yellowrock series since Skinwalker first came out. It was actually the first book I ever bought in e-book. I keep reviewing these and saying how they just can’t get any better, but somehow, they do. The past couple books have seen an increase both political strife and character development, and Shadow Rites follows that trend. It also tries to see how many times we can kill Jane before she actually dies.

First, on the political front, we’re still waiting on the European Vamps, but I have a feeling that might be an event that doesn’t come until the end of the series. It’s been building for a long time, and if my guesses are right, it might the peak of the series arc. But, we’ll see what happens! I’m excited for them to show up.

On the relationship front, with Rick out of the way, I’ve enjoyed seeing the relationship between Bruiser and Jane grow, which is even more evident in Shadow Rites! My favorite Jane and Bruiser scenes are still the infamous bacon t-shirt scene and a scene some of you all might have forgotten about from earlier in the series where they start making out in the middle of a shootout in a bed and breakfast in Natchez. I think that might be my favorite scene yet. There are some good scenes in Shadow Rites too, but I don’t want to give anything away.

And there’s Eli. *swoon* (He’s my favorite character.)

And sweet Angie Baby. She makes my heart melt and scares the hell out of me at the same time.

I’m really looking forward to the next book because the tension is building pretty heavily and I know things are going to have to explode soon!

5 Lamps


Tour Wide Giveaway! 

There is a tour-wide giveaway for 1 complete set of the Jane Yellowrock series (all 10 novels!), plus one $100 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card.

Find the giveaway details on the tour page.


About Shadow Rites

SHADOW RITES (Jane Yellowrock #10) | Mass Market Paperback | $7.99 | 368 pages | April 5, 2016 | ISBN: 9780451465979

shadow-rites

Slaying vampires is child’s play for skinwalker Jane Yellowrock. But handling the complicated politics of New Orleans’ supernatural players is another story…

Jane is keeping the peace between visiting groups of witches and vamps in the city, but then trouble comes knocking on her doorstep. When her house is magically attacked, the wild chase to find her assailants unearths a mystery that has literally been buried deep.

A missing master vampire, presumed long deceased, is found chained in a pit…undead, raving mad, and in the company of two human bodies. Now it’s up to Jane to find out who kept the vampire hidden for so long and why, because the incident could tip already high supernatural tensions to an all-out arcane war.


Purchase links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-Rites-Jane-Yellowrock-Novel/dp/0451465970

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadow-rites-faith-hunter/1123353046

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780451465979

The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Shadow-Rites-Faith-Hunter/9780451465979

BAM: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Shadow-Rites/Faith-Hunter/9780451465979

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/shadow-rites/id1018856144?mt=11


About Faith Hunter

 

FaithHunter2SmallFaith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series:  the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)

Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries.

Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.

Find Faith online at www.faithhunter.net, her blog, on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads; also www.yellowrocksecurities.com, and www.gwenhunter.com.

 

Blog Tour Stop: Jennifer Estep’s Spider’s Trap

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Thanks for joining us here at The Enchanted Alley for stop #9 on the SPIDER’S TRAP Blog Tour!

Today we have information about Jennifer Estep’s upcoming release—the thirteenth installment in her Elemental Assassin Series! We also have some treats for you including an excerpt from the book and a tour giveaway! Be sure to share and enter for a chance to win some goodies!


Blurb

Keep your friends close but your enemies within stabbing distance.

One important lesson I’ve learned in the assassination business is that to be the best you have to roll with the punches. Now that I’m queen of Ashland’s underworld — by default, not by choice — a lot more punches are being thrown my way. But I suppose that’s the price of victory for taking down some of the underworld’s top dogs. Good thing I have my Ice and Stone magic to help me survive my volatile new position. Just when I think things are finally settling down, someone tries to murder me during a hush-hush underworld meeting. But the real surprise is how strangely familiar my shadowy assailant seems to be.

My job is to maintain order among killers, crooks, and thieves, and soon I’m embroiled in a bloody game where the ability to keep secrets could be the greatest superpower of all. My enemies have all sharpened their knives and laid their traps, waiting for me to fall. But this Spider weaves her own webs of death…


UnknownEssential Info

  • Title: Spider’s Trap, Elemental Assassin #13
  • Author: Jennifer Estep
  • ISBN-13: 9781501105173
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/2015
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback, eBook, Audiobook

Goodreads

Amazon

Audible

B&N

IndieBound

iBooks

Kobo


Unknown-1About the Author

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea.

Spider’s Trap, the 13th book in her Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, will be released on July 28.

Spider’s BiteWeb of LiesVenomTangled ThreadsSpider’s RevengeBy a ThreadWidow’s WebDeadly StingHeart of VenomThe SpiderPoison PromiseBlack Widow, and Spider’s Trap, along with the e-shorts Thread of DeathParlor Tricks, and Kiss of Venom, are the other works in her Elemental Assassin series.

Jennifer is also the author of the Black Blade and Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series and the Bigtime paranormal romance series.
For more on Jennifer and her books, visit her at www.JenniferEstep.com, her blog or follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter (@Jennifer_Estep).
Phillip had made sure that no one boarded the riverboat armed, so I wasn’t worried about getting shot. Even if someone had managed to sneak in a gun or knife, I could always use my Stone magic to harden my skin and protect myself from any bullets or blades.
 
Using that same chair, I took out two more guards, opening up cuts and bruises on their faces, necks, and arms. By the time I got done with those giants, the plastic seat had cracked apart, so I ripped two of the metal legs off the chair and swung them around like batons.
 
Whack-whack-whack-whack. 
 
I slammed the metal poles into every guard I could reach, cracking the chair legs into knees and throats and temples and groins. Moans and groans blasted out like fog horns across the deck, and more than a little blood arced through the air and spattered onto the glossy white wood and gleaming brass rails.
 
“Restraint!” Silvio called out after I jabbed the end of one of the poles into the face of the closest giant. “Restraint, please, Gin!”
 
“What?” I yelled back. “I’m not killing them … yet!”
 
At my words, the giant that I’d been fighting froze, his fists drawn back to punch me. But he took my warning seriously, because instead of hitting me, he whirled around and made a beeline for the gangplank on the other side of the boat. I let him go, since he was the last guard standing. The others were huddled on the deck, trying to find the strength to hoist themselves upright and will their eyes to stop spinning around in their heads.

Tour Giveaway

– 1 winner will receive an entire print set of Jennifer’s Elemental Assassin series – all 13 books! (US/Canada only)
– 10 winners will receive one copy of SPIDER’S TRAP (US/Canada only)
– 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card (this is open internationally!)

Dark Heir Blog Tour – Stop #3 and Excerpt

Dark Heir banner

About Dark Heir

Shapeshifting skinwalker Jane Yellowrock is the best in the business when it comes to slaying vampires. But her latest fanged foe may be above her pay grade…
For centuries, the extremely powerful and ruthless vampire witches of the European Council have wandered the Earth, controlling governments, fostering war, creating political conflict, and often leaving absolute destruction in their wake. One of the strongest of them is set to create some havoc in the city of New Orleans, and it’s definitely personal.
Jane is tasked with tracking him down. With the help of a tech wiz and an ex-Army ranger, her partners in Yellowrock Securities, she’ll have to put everything on the line, and hope it’s enough. Things are about to get real hard in the Big Easy.

Essential Info


Dark Heir Excerpt #3

Eli and I secured our official cells, slipped on the high-tech ear-protector-headsets. They had been created for variable noise reduction during tactical ops, where situational awareness and inter-unit communication were equally important. In combat, soldiers wore helmets. We hadn’t gotten that far along in personal protection yet. The new headsets had only recently replaced the earbuds we used to use and were tied into the coms system at vamp HQ and to Alex, so we could hear what we needed to hear and yet be protected from the worst of the ear damage of weapons fire. Over the new headset, I heard Derek Lee, Leo’s other Enforcer, say, “—‘’andard ammo. Continue to take the vampires down. Three-burst, midcenter shots. They’ll heal. Do not—repeat—do not—target humans. If humans are involved, use any of the nonlethal compliance methods at your disposal. Repeat, nonlethal measures for humans.”

“We’re in,” I said to Alex, who was still back at the house. Then to the security people at HQ, I said, “This is Jane Yellowrock, We’re under the porte cochere. Protocol Cowbird.”

“Legs,” Derek replied. “Protocol Cowbird affirmed.”

Cowbirds left their eggs in other birds’ nests instead of building ones of their own. The protocol named after them had been designed not for fighting off vamps from outside, but for dealing with problems already on the inside, for instance, like a nestling that wanted to take over from the rightful owners. “Update us.” 


About Faith Hunter

FaithHunter5SmallNew York Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter writes fantasy in several subgenres: the urban fantasy Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker; the post-apocalyptic Rogue Mage series and RPG, featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage; and the upcoming SoulWood trilogy featuring Nell Nicholson Ingram, a woman who can siphon off the magic of others and is drawn into solving paranormal crimes. Faith writes mystery and thrillers under the name Gwen Hunter. When she isn’t writing, Faith likes to make jewelry, run whitewater rivers (Class II and III), and RV with her hubby and their rescued dogs.

Faith is online!

Blog Tour Stop: Christina Henry’s Black Spring

BLACK SPRING Banner


About the Book

A former Agent of death, Madeline Black now has everything to live for, most importantly, her unborn child. But Chicago has become ground zero in a struggle between ancient creatures, and only Maddy can stop the carnage…
The mayor of Chicago has announced a plan to round up the city’s supernatural beings and put them in camps. With her due date looming, Maddy’s best move would be to lay low for a while. But not everyone is willing to respect her privacy. Hounded by tentacled monsters, a rogue shapeshifter, and a tenacious blogger, Maddy turns to her most powerful ally, her uncle Daharan, only to find him missing.
Just when it seems like things can’t get any worse, Maddy gets an invitation in the mail—to Lucifer’s wedding. Turns out everyone has been invited, friends and enemies alike. And with that kind of guest list, it’s highly unlikely there will be a happily ever after.

Black Spring Excerpt

A figure approached cautiously, the object of the Retrievers’ suspicion. The person was dressed like a college student, a slouchy gray T-shirt over loose-fitting jeans and beat-up sneakers. But the baggy clothes could not disguise the obvious strength in his body, or hide the muscles flexing in his arms. Nor did the grimy Cubs cap completely cover the gold-blond of his hair or shade the brilliance of his green eyes.

He’d veiled his wings, and his eyes were unsure as he stopped a few feet from me. The Retrievers growled more intensely, but I put my hand on Stock’s neck, and they quieted instantly. They were obviously still on their guard, though.

The man before me stood silently, waiting to see what I would do.

“Samiel,” I said.

Everything was knotted up inside me. I wasn’t sure how to feel. There was happiness, and pain, and lots and lots of anger. Samiel was my brother-in-law, and seeing him again reminded me of happier days, when Gabriel was alive. But I was also reminded that he had left me, left me when I was in need of help, left me after I’d taken him in and sheltered him. He’d left even though I’d risked my life to save him from the court of the Grigori. He’d left knowing I carried his brother’s child, blood of his blood, and knowing that child needed protection.
As I thought these things the anger and the darkness rose up inside me, and he took a step back, like he could feel the pulse of dark magic. The Retrievers crouched, ready to strike.

“What do you want?” I asked, and my voice did not sound like my own. The effect was lost entirely on Samiel, who was deaf. But he could see my face, and read my lips, and know he was not welcome.


The Enchanted Alley’s (Brief) Review

I picked up this book not realizing that it was the last in the series.  Oops.  Even so, I enjoyed the read.

I was a little lost once or twice with the familial relationships, but that was likely because they’d been developed over the course of a series that I hadn’t read!  The author does a great job of reminding the readers about the past events and the connections between characters, but I had to wonder if the recaps wouldn’t have been too much for someone who was not new to the series.

From the perspective of a new reader, the world is extremely complex, well-developed, and interesting. I believe Beezle and the Retrievers are my favorites!  The book is obviously an intelligently written and researched book, and it shows in the level of detail given to the connections between characters, especially over such a long period of time.  Also, can I get a set of those wings?


About the Author

Bio picCHRISTINA HENRY is the author of the BLACK WINGS series (Ace/Roc) featuring Madeline Black, an Agent of Death, and her popcorn-loving gargoyle sidekick Beezle: BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING. She is also the author of the forthcoming dark fantasy ALICE (summer 2015).

Christina was born in New York and now lives on the North Side of Chicago with her husband and son. She sees no conflict in rooting for both the Yankees and the Cubs. She also enjoys running long distances, eating large quantities of cinnamon rolls, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with zombies, samurai and/or subtitles.


 

BLACK SPRING-1Essential Info:

Title:  Black Spring

Author: Christina Henry

Publisher: Ace/ROC

Length: 288 pages

Price: $5.99 Kindle

Release Date: October 28, 2014

Amazon Link: Buy it HERE