Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cover Reveal for Black City by Elizabeth Richard and some more extras

Have you ever wanted to read a book from the description? Well, I definitely have. Black City comes out from Penguin in November. Here is a summary: 
A dark ande tender postapocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war
In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash’s long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths. 
Want to learn more about the book, well I have chapter one to share with you. Hope you enjoy it: 

An air raid siren wails in the distance, alerting Black City citizens to lock their doors and turn out the lights. They don’t want to be out in the dark alone. They might meet something dangerous. Something like me.
I head under the canal bridge and wait for the girl, taking a packet of Sentry-regulation smokes from my back pocket and sparking up. The nicotine courses through my veins, making them throb with adrenaline; the sensation is almost like a pulse . . . almost.
Footsteps approach the bridge, and a short girl with straggly black hair appears from the shadows, dressed in men’s work boots, tight black trousers and a tailcoat made from a patchwork of clashing fabrics. Her hazel eyes gaze up into mine. She’s brave. Not many cherry-poppers have the courage to look me in the eyes. She hands me an old playing card with two hearts on it, one red, one black. It’s my calling card. It seemed an appropriate choice; that’s what I’m selling her after all, an illusion of love. I slip it into the pocket of my dark green military jacket.
“You’re late,” I say. “Last thing I need is to be caught out here after curfew by a Tracker. They’re just begging for a reason to throw me in jail.”
“Sorry, they’ve put up extra checkpoints, stopping everyone. There’s tanks everywhere!” she babbles. “I guess they can’t be too careful with the Sentry Emissary back in the city, what with the boundary negotiations with the Legion and—”
“You paid Beetle?” I interrupt.
The girl nods.
“Terms and conditions,” I say. “No refunds. You don’t enjoy it, you puke, you freak—not my problem, okay?”
She nods again.
“You pregnant?” She blushes furiously. “I’ll take that as a no. It may cause drowsiness, so don’t drive or operate any heavy machinery.” She smiles at this, and I grin. They always like that. “And no repeats for at least two weeks, all right? I mean it.”
“That all?”
“No kissing. Strictly business, okay?”
She seems a little disappointed by this, but I don’t like to mix business with pleasure. She shyly unbuttons the collar of her coat, revealing her slim, pale neck. Hunger grips my stomach at the sight.
“What do I do?” she asks.
“Lean back,” I say.
She obeys like a good girl. I place a hand against the wall and slip my other hand between her thighs, gently easing her legs apart. Touching her doesn’t turn me on, but I groan like it does, knowing she’ll enjoy that. They all do, even the guys—it’s why they come to me instead of the Haze dens. I slide my body between her thighs so we’re face-to-face. Her shallow breaths are warm against my cool skin.
“Relax, okay? It’s more enjoyable if you relax.”
“My heart’s pounding a mile a minute.” She gives a nervous laugh.
“Can’t say I know how that feels,” I admit.
She tentatively presses a hand against my chest, and her eyes widen. “So it’s true, then? You don’t have a heart?”
“I have a heart,” I growl, shoving her hard against the wall. It just doesn’t beat.
A small tear snakes down her cheek, her thin lips trembling.
“Sshhh, it’s okay, sweetheart. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” I gently wipe her tear away. “Forgive me?”
She nods, then tilts her head to one side, exposing the smooth whiteness of her neck. The poison sacs behind my fangs swell with venom.
Focus, Ash. Don’t blow your load.
I lean toward her, pressing my lips against the soft flesh on her neck, just below her ear. Her pulse flutters under my lips, and I nearly lose it. I begin to nibble on the flesh, tickling the tiny hairs on her neck with my tongue, making them wet with my saliva.
“Do it,” she whispers.
So much for foreplay. I sink my fangs into her jugular. Hot blood spills over my tongue, making my taste buds burst with its sticky sweetness. Man, I love the newbies; they always taste the best. She sighs as my venom enters her bloodstream. I wait for the Haze to take effect before I start to drink from her. That’s the bonus of Haze; my clients get high from me, and I get high from them by drinking their drugged blood. It’s win-win.
A sour, bitter flavor suddenly floods my mouth, and I gag, leaping back.
“What the—” I spit up blood.
The girl stares at me with glazed eyes, blood trickling down the two puncture wounds in her neck.
“Everything’s sparkling,” she says dreamily.
“Didn’t Beetle tell you I don’t take clients on meds?”
She lurches toward me, and I grab her before she falls into the water.
“I love you,” she slurs, trying to kiss me.
I shove her, hard. She falls back against the wall and slides to the floor. Her eyes roll back into her head, and she begins to spasm, white foam bubbling out the corners of her mouth.
“No, no, no! Wake up.” I kneel down and shake her, panic rushing through me.
The girl jerks, her boots leaving black scuff marks on the cobblestones. Fragg! This is why I don’t take clients on meds. You can never tell how they’re going to react to the Haze. I shrug off my jacket and place it under her head.
A Sentry tank rolls over the bridge, and I shut my eyes and wait for it to pass. Even though the war is officially over, I still get chills at that sound. Wherever they went, Death followed. I had a few close scrapes during the war. During those days, the fact that I was a legal citizen and half human didn’t mean much to them. If you weren’t 100 percent human, you were the enemy. Every day was a fight for survival. Not much has improved since then; I’m still the enemy in most people’s eyes. All they can see is the Darkling in me. The tank turns down Bleak Street toward the Sentry Emissary’s headquarters.
The girl groans. It’s too dangerous here; I have to go. I could just leave her . . . No, that’s not an option, but I can’t take her to the hospital. I’d get in so much trouble.
I peer down the canal. A yellow barge is moored about one hundred feet away. The lights are off. Where is he? He’s meant to be my wingman; that’s why I came to the bridge in the first place. Can this get any wor—
An explosion of pain bursts inside my chest, and I clutch a hand over my lifeless heart. I sense someone behind me and turn.
A girl stands by the entranceway, lit by the headlamps of a passing truck. In the fleeting light, I catch a glimpse of cornflower-blue eyes flicking between me and the Hazer writhing on the ground.
Her gaze finally fixes on me.
I fall back, struck down, as the pain in my chest blooms again.
Shivers run through my body, rushing toward a single point in my chest. There’s a spark of electricity and then:
A flutter. 
 I can't wait to read this book. It happens that I also have the cover of the book. Want to take a look?
 I think that it is really epic and I am so excited for this book. Penguin Books for Young Reader is kind enough to offer a galley to someone that comments below. Leave what you think of the cover or chapter one in the comments by March 8th, along with your email address. One of the winners of the Galley will win a drawing that is of one the main characters (Similar to the style below). It will be drawn by the author and personalized. Each one will be unique and original. 
Lastly, here is a bit about the author:
Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist and debut author, who spent her early career writing for videogame publications such as CUBE, P2 and GamesTM,and now works as a website editor. Previously, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls. She won the Jane Hayward Young Journalist of the Year award for her feature on girls in the games industry, and was named 'Editor's Choice' in the industry trade magazine, MCV. 
Elizabeth Richards lives in Buckinghamshire, England and can be found online at
Remember to leave a comment below and best of luck.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly event hosted at The Broke and Bookish.
This week’s topic:
Top 10 Books We’d Quickly Save If Our House Was Going To Be Abducted By Aliens (or any other natural disaster…)
1. My engraved bible: I was given this book after I was baptized and even though my fate isn't as strong as it used to be. I remember getting presented it when I was thirteen and feeling a magical connection to it. Every time, I open it, it reminds me of Bible School and Church Camp that made up the first fourteen years of my life.
2. My hardback copies of the Harry Potter: I have read these books several times and the story means the world to me. There is also the fact that this set of books are the books that I read the story from the first time and I would be so sad to love those memories.
3. Before I Die by Jenny Downham: This book has a lot of personal significance and means a lot to me. I would be so sad to lose the very different memories that surround this book.
4. All of my John Green Books: I really love these books and they are all signed. I love the connection that I have formed to the characters and the plot inside of the story.
5. My Dr. Suess books: There were some of the first books that I was able to read by myself. My siblings shared this with me and it is a type of bond that I don't want to forget.
6. Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler (All  of the copies): I have an arc and a finished copy. My name appears in both of them, which means a lot to me. I would feel so depressed if these were to disappear, because the finished copy is signed and it means a lot to me.
7.  The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen: I adore Sarah Dessen and would want at least one of her books. This copy is also signed and a gift from a great friend of mine. I would feel horrid if I lost it.
8. Feed by MT Anderson: This was the first of many books that I earned from my library for reading twenty hours over the summer. I love the story and it also has a few letters written on the flap by mom, when she thought that I was going to die. That obviously means the world to me.
9. My Scott Westerfeld books: The books are all signed and have memories implanted in them. Like cutting in a signing line, because you have crutches again. They are also funny and smart books that would distract me.
10. My photo albums: These pictures span twenty years of bad haircuts, poor fashion choices, and friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime. I would be so depressed to have my memorable moments disappear. 
I would probably shove my bookshelf of signed book out of my room, because this doesn't even cover half of the books that mean a lot to me.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Source: Bought
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. 
 Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 
 Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.
Hazel is a brilliant character that I understood way to well. I have been chronically sick for five years, and while it is a totally different disease. I have felt the sense of impending doom that Hazel has. I also understood what it meant to be a professional sick teen, because I lived it for two years. Green captured this aspect perfectly. I found it hard to read at times, because the emotions still exist in me from those experiences. Augustus was amazing. He was witty and funny. I loved his personality. At times, there language seemed a bit dense, but after further thought, it fit the character in a immensely fantastic way. The parents were also involved in the book, which is something I love in Young Adult Fiction and definitely added to the story. The characters were amazing and made this book even more lovely.
The plot of the book was amazing. While it dealt with being sick, it also dealt with the miracle that is life. I loved the sense of adventure and humor that were tangled between ever single aspect of this book. I have been a fan of John Green for several years and was really excited for his new novel. His writing was just as magical and extraordinary. He captured the essence that exist when you are between being dead and healthy. A lot that he wrote, is something that I have thought or felt at some point since getting sick. There were a few small medical things that seemed wrong from my experiences in the last five years. At the same time, John Green's writing is executed in a beautiful matter that I couldn't help adoring this book. I highly recommend that you read this book as soon as possible. This story is full of emotions that will clutch your heart, long after you have finished it. It is one of my favorite books that I have read in a long time.


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