Excerpt: Pledged by Gwynneth White–Meet Jared and Sophia

I have some excerpts to share from  Pledged.  Pledged is the kick off to Gwynneth White’s Soul Wars saga, and the book is available from Swallow Press.  I’ll be posting an excerpt on Saturday for the next three weeks, so check it out and order it if the book sounds interesting!

Here’s the synopsis for the book:

Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you?

Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient promise is tearing him away. And Reuel, the demon to whom the promise was made, will stop at nothing to force Seth to forsake Erin and to worship him.

How can Erin win against a pledge so binding that it has damned countless others to the same fate she and Seth will face if Reuel wins – an eternity alone?

The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a promise.

Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya to break the pledge that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.

EXCERPT: Pledged by Gwynneth White

Meet Jared and Sophia

Jared nodded at Sophia and Kezeah without any sign of recognition. With two of his Pledged up front and two at their rear, he marched them down the corridor to a flight of stairs. Once at the bottom, he ducked beneath an archway, opening onto to a gloomy, narrow tunnel. Erin, never keen on dark, claustrophobic spaces, took a deep breath and paused.

“C’mon,” Seth said. “The sooner we walk through it, the quicker we get to the other side.”

“What happens if what’s on the other side is even worse?”

“Then you’ll know for sure that the dead guys are leading this expedition,” Seth said, wanting to deny the painful burning in his heart that reconnected him with a cursed Jared. He grabbed Erin’s arm and pulled her into the passage.

They’d taken no more than two tentative steps along the uneven floor when Sophia stopped. “Commander, I am not walking through this snake-hole!”

Jared turned back to look at her. With none of the fear or diffidence Erin and Seth expected from a boy with limited to exposure to girls – especially beautiful ones – he answered, “Of course, my lady. You’re from Norin, where I understand you live in grass huts.” He gave a sardonic smile. “But don’t despair, you’ll soon get used to bricks. Even our own Outcasts have learnt not to flinch at the sight of them.” He continued down the passage.

Seth’s mouth dropped at Jared’s rudeness; this was so foreign to the Jared he had seen just moments ago in his vision. It just added to his anger at Reuel’s Curse.

The Pledged at Sophia’s rear prodded her back; she gave him a fierce look and started walking.

For Seth and Sophia, both taller than Erin and Kezeah, negotiating the tortuous twists and turns of the tunnel was no easy matter. Stooping, cursing each time they bumped their heads on the rough ceiling, they struggled after Jared, but he kept up the merciless pace until they reached a dark staircase.

Her temper now as short as her breath, Sophia stopped walking and locked her arms across her chest. “Having just cracked my skull open, you now expect me to scramble up those treacherous stairs too. No doubt hoping I’ll fall and break my neck. Well, forget it. I’m not moving.”

“Sophia!” Kezeah whispered, jabbing her in the ribs as she stepped gingerly onto the first narrow step.

Sophia ignored her. “Only savages and rats live in places like this.”

Jared’s eyes narrowed. “Savages and rats, you say, my lady?”

Sophia set her face into a cold stare, locking her hypnotic blue eyes on his.

He surprised her by holding her gaze. “I hate to disappoint you, my lady, but Lord Rustus, Lord of the Household, under the direction of the Overlord himself, has chosen your apartment. Surely you don’t question their judgment in this matter?”

“As a matter of fact, I do.”

“In that case, I’ll gladly pass on your concerns. If that’s what you really want.”

Enough, Sophia. This isn’t a fight you can win.” Sophia’s Guardian had joined them.

These excerpts are issued by Swallow Press for use by bloggers participating in launch and blog tour of Pledged by Gwynneth White. Any queries can be addressed to Andrew at sethanderin@swallowpress.com

 

You can pre-order Pledged by clicking the widget below

Cover Shot! Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?

Bloomsbury revealed the cover for Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black yesterday.  I like the how the lack of background distractions draws your eye to the model and her weird, red, flower petal imploding costume.  At least, I think they are flower petals.  The book sounds interesting, so I’m curious about whether or not it will live up to my expectations, which are, admittedly, high.  Are you looking forward to Dance of Shadows?

In stores December 2012.

    

Curtains up on a deliciously dark new YA trilogy!

Vanessa Adler isn’t so sure she really belongs at the School of American Ballet. But dance runs in her family. It’s been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother and mother were prima ballerinas, and her older sister Margaret was, too. That is, until Margaret mysteriously disappeared from school three years ago. Vanessa is heir to the family’s gift and the only person who can fulfill her sister’s destiny. She has no choice.

But she never could have guessed how dangerous the school is. The infamous choreographer, Josef, isn’t just ruthless with his pupils, he guards a sinister secret, one in which the school’s dancers—prized for their beauty, grace, and discipline—become pawns in a world of dark, deadly demons.

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Micro Review: Hearts of Fire by Kira Brady (Novella)

 

Title: Hearts of Fire

Author: Kira Brady

Publisher: Zebra

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

In the prequel to a stunning new paranormal series, one woman’s desire for a forbidden man will spark a centuries-long supernatural conflict–and a love nothing can destroy.

She’s the heiress to Seattle’s most powerful shifter clan. Her destiny is as controlled and certain as moonrise. However, from the moment Alice Corbette encounters the man known as Brand, she will defy all constraint and break every rule to make this dragon-shifter hers. Brand is determined to repay the clan leader he owes his life to. But one taste of Alice’s exquisite spirit will make him question his loyalty–and plunge them both into the middle of a ruthless power play. Their only chance at freedom is a gamble that could risk the future of humans and shifters alike. . .

20,000 Words.

Review:

This teaser novella worked its magic to get me totally invested in the release of Hearts of Darkness, the kickoff to Kira Brady’s Deadglass series.  The world building is fascinating, and the chemistry between Alice and Brand zinged from the pages.  The ending was like hitting a brick wall, though, and left me more than a little frustrated, because I wanted more. NOW!

  The first novel hits stores in August, and it’s at the top of my wish list.

Grade:  B/B-

Review copy provided by publisher

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