23.12.10

Nightshade Blog Tour Extract Plus Review

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer is being published by Atom on 28th December, today at Dot Scribbles we are hosting a day of the blog tour, here's the idea behind the book:

She can control her pack but not her heart. "I wanted him to kiss me, wished he could smell the desire that I knew was pouring off me. You can't Calla. This boy isn't the one for you. Calla Tor has always known her destiny: graduation, marriage and then a life leading her pack. But when she defies her master's laws to save a human boy, she must choose. Is one boy worth losing everything?
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer is a young adult fiction book that I will think will appeal to many readers upon publication next week.
The book has a huge mythological element to it, centered around the main character Calla Tor. There is a very strict hierarchy in Calla's world; she is a Guardian which means she is a wolf, her packs job is to protect the Keepers who are in charge of pretty much everyone and are not to be messed with.
Calla has the extra burden of being the alpha female of her pack, the Nightshades. She has always known that it will fall to her to make a union with Ren who is the alpha male of the Bane pack of wolves. Calla had accepted her future destiny and then Shay comes along, he is a human whose life Calla saved rather than going with her natural instinct to kill.
Ren and Shay both want Calla and it is easy to see why she is torn between the two as they are both good, neither is the villain. Andrea Cremer really does build up the tension between these three characters, it definitely keeps you turning the pages.
Nightshade leaves you on the edge of your seat at the very end, to find out what happens next we will have to wait for the second book, Wolfsbane which will be out in 2011, I think this is set to be a very exciting series.

Atom have very kindly given me an excerpt to share with you, it is from Chapter 2, part 2, to get the final extract then you just need to visit Once Upon a Bookcase tomorrow as the final excerpt will be there, enjoy!

When I opened the front door to my house, my body went rigid. I could smell the visitors. Aged parchment, fine wine: Lumine Nightshade’s scent exuded an aristocratic elegance. But her guards filled the house with an unbearable odour, boiling pitch and burnt hair.

“Calla?” Lumine’s voice dripped with honey.

I cringed, trying to gather my wits before I walked into the kitchen with my mouth glued shut. I didn’t want to taste the creatures as well as smell them.

Lumine sat at the table across from her pack’s current alpha, my father. She remained impossibly still, posture perfect, chocolate tresses caught in a chignon at the back of her neck. She wore her typical immaculate ebony suit and crisp high-collared white shirt. Two wraiths flanked her, looming shadow-like just over her slim shoulders.

I sucked in my cheeks so I could bite the insides. It was the only thing that kept me from baring my teeth at the bodyguards.

“Have a seat, my dear.” Lumine gestured to a chair.

I pulled the chair close to my father, crouching rather than sitting in it. I couldn’t relax with the wraiths nearby.

Does she already know about the violation? Is she here to order my execution?

“Little more than a month of waiting left, lovely girl,” she murmured. “Are you looking forward to your union?”

I let out the breath I didn’t know I’d been holding.

“Sure,” I said.

Lumine brought the tips of her fingers together in front of her face.

“Is that the only word you have to offer about your auspicious future?”

My father barked a laugh. “Calla’s not the romantic her mother is, Mistress.”

His tone remained confident, but his gaze fell on me. I ran my tongue along my canines, which were sharpening in my mouth.

“I see,” she said, eyes moving up and down my body.

I crossed my arms over my chest.

“Stephen, you might teach her better manners. I expect my alpha females to embody finesse. Naomi has always had the utmost grace in the role.”

She continued to watch me, so I couldn’t bare my teeth at her the way I wanted to.

Finesse, my ass. I’m a warrior, not your child bride.

“I thought you might be pleased with the match, dear girl,” she said. “You’re a beautiful alpha. And there hasn’t been a Bane male the likes of Renier before. Even Emile admits that. The union bodes well for all of us. You should be grateful to have such a mate.”

My jaw clenched, but I met her eyes without blinking.

“I respect Ren. He’s a friend. We’ll be fine together.”

A friend . . . sort of. Ren watches me like I’m a cookie jar he wouldn’t mind being caught with his hand in. And he’s not the one who’d pay for that theft. Though I’d been stuck with lock and key from day one of our betrothal, I hadn’t thought playing policeman over our relationship would be that hard. But Ren didn’t like to play by the rules. He was just tempting enough to make me wonder whether giving him a taste might be worth the risk.

“Fine?” Lumine repeated. “But do you desire the boy? Emile would be furious at the idea you might scoff at his heir.” She drummed her fingers on the table.

I stared at the floor, cursing the flames that raced over my cheeks. How the hell does desire matter when I’m not allowed to do anything about it? In that moment I hated her.

My father cleared his throat. “My lady, the union has been set since the children’s birth. The Nightshade and Bane packs remain committed to it. As are my daughter and Emile’s son.”

“Like I said, we’ll be fine,” I whispered. The hint of a growl escaped with my words.

Tinkling laughter brought my eyes back to the Keeper. As she watched me squirm, Lumine’s smile was patronizing. I glared at her, no longer able to hold in my outrage.

“Indeed.” Her gaze moved to my father. “The ceremony must not be interrupted or delayed. Under any circumstances.”

She rose and extended her hand. My father briefly pressed his lips to her pale fingers. She turned to me. I reluctantly took her vellum-like skin in my own hand, trying not to think about how much I wanted to bite her.

“All worthy females have finesse, my dear.” She touched my cheek, letting her nails scrape hard enough to make me flinch.

My stomach lurched.

Her stiletto heels struck a sharp staccato on the tile as she left the kitchen. The wraiths trailed behind her, their silence more disturbing than the unnerving rhythm of her steps. I drew my knees up to my chest and rested my cheek against them. I didn’t breathe again until I heard the front door close.

“You’re awfully tense,” my father said. “Did something happen on patrol?”

I shook my head. “You know I hate wraiths.”

“We all hate wraiths.”

I shrugged. “Why was she here anyway?”

“To discuss the union.”

“You’re kidding.” I frowned. “Just me and Ren?”

My father passed a weary hand over his eyes. “Calla, it would be helpful if you wouldn’t treat the union like a hoop to jump through. Far more is at stake than ‘just you and Ren.’ The formation of a new pack hasn’t occurred for decades. The Keepers are on edge.”

“Sorry,” I said, not meaning it.

“Don’t be sorry. Be serious.”

I sat up straight.

“Emile was here earlier today.” He grimaced.

“What?!” I gasped. “Why?”

I couldn’t imagine a civil conversation between Emile Laroche and his rival alpha.

My father’s voice was cold. “The same reason as Lumine.”

I buried my face in my hands, my cheeks once again on fire.

“Calla?”

“Sorry, Dad,” I said, swallowing my embarrassment. “It’s just that Ren and I get along fine. We’re friends, sort of. We’ve known the union was coming for a long time. I can’t see any problems with it. And if Ren does, that would be news to me. But this whole process would be much easier if everyone would just lay off. The pressure isn’t helping.”

He nodded. “Welcome to your life as an alpha. The pressure never helps. It also never goes away.”

“Great.” I sighed and rose from my chair. “I have homework.”

“Night, then,” he said quietly.

“Night.”

I hope that this has given you a taster of the book, check out the rest of the blog tour to find out more. 

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