A Temptation of Angels

03/11/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway , Uncategorized # ,

Coupla Things!

First of all, I know I’ve been slacking on our regular blog features, but a book launch always throws me for a loop, and A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS releases in exactly EIGHT DAYS. I promise once April comes, we’ll start getting back to normal!

In the meantime, there are a couple of things I want to tell you guys;

1. I’ll be at the Houston TeenBookCon on April 14th in Houston, Texas!! WOOT! I’m unbelievably excited about this, both because I’ve heard such good things about the HTBC and because my Texas readers have been begging me to come to Texas for YEARS and now I can finally meet them all. SO HAPPY about this.

2. I’ll be appearing at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, NY in a joint signing with Jaclyn Delorme, author of Magic Under Glass and Magic Under Stone, on Sunday, April 22nd at 4pm as part of Oblong’s Hudson Valley YA Society. Everyone is welcome to attend and I really hope I’ll meet some of you NY, NJ, CT, MA peeps! Jackie and I have an interesting pre-publication history. and I’m looking forward to recounting the story. Plus, the people at Oblong are just awesome.

3. I’ll be appearing at YA Fest2012 in Easton, PA on Saturday August 4th from 11am – 3pm. Tons of amazing authors will be there and I know we’re going to have a blast. I hope you’ll join us!

I’ll be updating my Appearances Page over the next few days, but for now, that’s what’s on tap in the way of events.

But wait! There’s more!

4. In case you missed it, A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS was part of a feature on angel books in USA Today earlier this week. I have to admit, I was pretty psyched!

5. The Be Tempted Ipad Giveaway is in full swing through the end of the month, with the Grand Prize recently upgraded to a NEW Ipad. We have a ton of entries, so try to do as many of the things as possible to boost your total number. Even though we use the Random Number Generator to choose winners, last year the Grand Prize winner (of an Ipod Touch) also had the most entries. It just ups your odds of winning and there are lots of ways to enter. And the Ipad is just the beginning, there are more great prizes including Victoria’s Secret body care items, gift cards, jewelry, signed books, and MOAR.

6. If you missed last week’s Temptation Thursday, you can meet Anna and read this week’s free excerpt of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS here.

7. In case you missed the premier of the trailer for A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS (featuring one of Kenneth’s pieces), I’m sharing it again for your viewing pleasure;

8. Last but most certainly not least, Kenneth’s original score for TEMPTATION comes out this Friday. And you guys… it’s SO INCREDIBLE. I can’t wait for you to hear what he’s done.

<3

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03/08/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway , Uncategorized # ,

Temptation Thursday – Meet Anna!

Only 12 more days until the release of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS, which means this is our second-to-last Temptation Thursday. After that, you’ll be able to read the story in its entirety. WOOT!

Tonight I’m super excited to introduce you to Anna, Darius’s love and the one and only chink in his very significant armor.

I picture Anna like this (that’s actress Ana Sophia Robb);

Anna is quiet and serene, determined to carry on her family’s duty of protecting and supporting the Keepers. Despite the fact that she has a heart problem that makes her physically fragile, Anna has an iron will, the kind of strength that doesn’t require her to prove it or wave it around. Instead, she’s simply unflagging in her determination to support the Keepers, whether through new weaponry, a safe haven, information, or a hot pot of tea.

Anna is the only one who can calm Darius’s during one of his temper tantrums, and though he rebels against the determination that puts her in danger, she makes it clear in a uniquely-gentle Anna way that it isn’t up for discussion.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS, featuring Anna (and a little bit of Darius). And don’t forget to check out the Be Tempted Ipad giveaway, featuring a NEW IPad (the one just unveiled yesterday – consider it a contest upgrade!), Victoria’s Secret goodies, signed books, gift cards, and MOAR!

<3

“Father is in the laboratory. He’s a bit frustrated with the
progress on one of his newest inventions.” She looked at Dar-
ius. “Perhaps you’d like to take Griffin down while Helen and
I prepare tea?”

Darius nodded, his eyes soft, and Helen marveled that he
could look so different by virtue of the fact that he was gazing
upon Anna. His affection for her changed his features com-
pletely. Or rather, he seemed to come more fully into them, as
if his everyday countenance, the one that was angry and smug
and sarcastic, was a mask he only let drop in the company of
Anna.

“Will you be all right?” Griffin asked, turning to Helen.

She smiled. “Of course.”

He gave a small nod of his head. As Helen watched him
descend the stairs after his brother, she couldn’t help wonder-
ing at the look in his eyes. She appreciated his protection, of
course, but she was not sure if she wanted to be looked at in
the way Darius looked at Anna. As if she were fragile. A thing
to hold gingerly, as one holds a delicate rose, careful not to
bump its silken petals lest they should spill to the floor.

“Well!” Anna’s voice interrupted her thoughts. “I daresay
you’ll know how I feel soon!”

Helen’s cheeks grew warm. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“Of course, you don’t.” Anna grinned, and Helen caught
the first glimpse of something clever and sly in it. She linked
her arm with Helen’s. “Come. We can talk all about it while
we get the tea.”

Other than her parents, Helen had had little company
over the years. She was only now beginning to sense how
very alone she had been. Anna’s offer of friendship was a
lifeline, and though Helen was unused to being touched by
strangers, she allowed herself to be pulled from the room,
unable to stop the smile that sprang to her face as Anna told
her of the difficulties she had suffered due to Darius’s over-
protective nature.

“He’s simply maddening!” she said, letting go of Helen’s
arm to cross the kitchen. She made her way to the kettle,
steaming angrily atop the stove. “The way he behaves, you
would think I’m about to fall over dead any moment.”

“Why does he worry so?” Helen asked.

Anna sighed. “My heart has a small irregularity,” she said. “It
gets bored beating to the same rhythm day after day, you see.”

Helen shook her head. “I don’t understand.”

“Well,” Anna hesitated, reaching into one of the upper cabi-
nets for a tin of tea before continuing. “It skips a beat now and
then, and sometimes it speeds up so that I’m short of breath.”

“Does it hurt?” Helen asked, moving toward the counter
where Anna spooned tea into the cups.
Anna stopped for a moment, looking into the distance as if
the answer to Helen’s question lie against the faded paper on
the far wall.

“Not exactly.” She laughed a little, turning her gaze to
Helen. “It rather feels like I’ve been running too fast. I can
feel it beating in my chest, and then my face feels very hot as
if I’m coloring from embarrassment. But no.” She shook her
head. “It doesn’t hurt.”

“Is it . . .” Helen paused, searching her mind for an appro-
priate word. “Is it dangerous?”

Anna turned to Helen, placing a hand gently on Helen’s
arm. “You’re wondering if I’ll die from it.”

It was not a question, and Helen was surprised at the ache
that formed in her own heart at the idea of something happen-
ing to Anna. Yet, Anna deserved the same truth she seemed to
give to everyone else.

Helen nodded. “I suppose so.”

Anna’s smile was kind. “You needn’t worry. The doctors are
still learning about my condition, but I’ve had it since I was born
and have managed just fine.” She poured the steaming water into
the waiting teacups and turned back to place the kettle on the
stove. When she spoke again, it was under her breath. “Darius has
to understand that I have obligations equal to my love for him.”

Helen tried to hide her surprise at the boldness of the con-
fession.

“He worries that something will happen to you?” Helen
asked. “Because of your heart?”

“Among other things. And I understand it. I do.” Anna set a
saucer of sugar and a small dish of lemon on a silver tray. “But
my family has been in service to the Dictata for centuries.
They’ve suffered an assortment of hardships, yet they’ve all
done their duty, as I will do mine.”

 

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03/08/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway # ,

Temptation Updates – and More Free Bookplates!

Hi, guys! I just want to share a few TEMPTATION-related items for those of you who have missed stuff;

First, I have to squee a little about a feature in USA Today on A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. I wasn’t expecting it to hit until tomorrow and was dying to tell you all about it, but I found out it went up a bit early when I started seeing tweets about it. So now I can share! You can find the article here, and I’m beyond excited to have TEMPTATION featured – plus an excerpt. If you would be willing to Share on Facebook and tweet from the article page, I’d appreciate it!

I also want to remind you about the Ipad giveaway currently in full swing to celebrate the release of Temptation. You can find the details here, but basically, I have TONS of awesome prizes to give away, including an Ipad, Victoria’s Secret Swag, gift cards, jewelry, etc.

And I have an announcement to make; I totally did NOT know Apple was announcing a new Ipad today. So I’m updating the giveaway to include a NEW Ipad, the model that was just unveiled TODAY. No old model for my readers!

There are lots of ways to accumulate entries and the contest runs through the end of the month. Some of you are going HARD, and I’m really enjoying the creative ways you’re entering, from Youtube videos to the HILARIOUS photos and captions that Tiffany is using on Facebook to get her point across. You guys are the best, and while I know the Ipad sweetens the deal, I’m super grateful for the help spreading the word.

Free bookplates – I’m still giving out free, limited edition bookplates to anyone who pre-orders TEMPTATION. Plus, you get TEN – yes, TEN – entries in the the Ipad giveaway for EACH copy you order. I think it’s a pretty sweet deal! Just send your receipt or order confirmation or a picture of your receipt or order confirmation to prophecypress@aol.com.

Tomorrow, you’ll meet Anna in this week’s edition of Temptation Thursday. Anna is Darius’s love, and I’m excited for you all to meet her.

And this will be our second to last teaser! Because in just 12 more days, A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS will FINALLY be on shelves. In the meantime, thanks so much for all your support.

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03/06/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway , Music , Song of the Week # , , ,

Somebody That I Used to Know

This week’s song comes to you by VERY popular demand. After an informal shout-out on Facebook asking for recommendations, multiple people put this one up for consideration.

Who am I to fight the majority?!

Hope you enjoy this one, Somebody That I Used To Know, by Goyte.

;

And don’t forget that the Be Tempted Ipad Giveaway is in FULL SWING. People are going hard to help me promote, but with prizes like the Ipad, signed books, Victoria’s Secret goodies, Visa gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, jewelry, bookplates for anyone who preorders, etc., I can’t say that I blame them. You should totally check out my Facebook page, if for nothing else, to see all the funny things people are doing to help get the word out. I’m dying! 😀

And it’s not too late! The giveaway runs all month, and I so appreciate your help spreading the word.

<3

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03/01/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway , Uncategorized # ,

Be Tempted to Win a Free NEW Ipad!!!!

You heard me!

As many of you know, I always do a big giveaway to celebrate the launch of a new book. This is in part because, well, it’s fun! But also, I’ve learned over the years that there is very little I can control about the publishing experience. Most of the marketing is handled by the publisher, and to be very honest, a lot of the really big stuff is out of reach for most authors.

But there are two things in which I believe unequivocally; the writing and the enthusiasm and support of my readers.

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS will be my fourth published novel, and if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that NOTHING beats word of mouth for building book buzz. Nothing. So while I could spend my marketing budget taking out high-priced ads, I think I’ll bet on you guys instead.

With that in mind, I have FOUR incredible prizes for the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS Giveaway.

The Grand Prize is a 16GB Ipad with WIFI and a $50 Itunes gift card.

And if you read this contest post the night I put it up, you’ll notice change; I’ve upgraded this contest to feature the NEW Ipad as a Grand Prize (the one just revealed by Apple). I’m just editing the contest entry now (March 10, 2012), but let me repeat; the Grand Prize is a NEW Ipad.

The Ipad is a truly amazing device, allowing you to read books and magazines (often with special apps and features), listen to music, work on graphics, surf the internet, and basically do anything you can do on a full size computer using something you can stick in a regular-size handbag. This new one is even more amazing, because it has a vastly improved display and camera giving you incredible clarity on the screen and the ability to take pictures as clear as those taken with the Iphone 4S (and is you have an Iphone 4S, you know how amazing the camera is).

This prize will ship direct from Apple, so you can choose black or white if/when you win. If you’re fortunate enough to already own one of these bad boys, I’m sure you know this would also make an amazing gift for a special someone.

One First Prize Winner will receive;

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS signed hardcover

Victoria’s Secret bath and body set with make-up bag

BE TEMPTED t-shirt

$50 Visa gift card (not pictured)

$15 Starbucks gift card

$10 Itunes gift card

Gold High Roller nail polish

Angel mini-frame

Mini-candle

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS postcard and bookmark.

One second prize winner will receive;

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS signed hardcover

Victoria’s Secret Seductive Amber Fragrance Mist and Body Lotion

Be Tempted t-shirt

Gothic-inspired bracelet

$25 Visa gift card

$15 Starbucks gift card

$10 Itunes gift card

Purple Haze nail polish

Angel mini-frame

Mini-candle

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS postcard and bookmark.

One third prize winner will receive;

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS signed hardcover

Victoria’s Secret Seductive Amber Fragrance Mist and Body Lotion

$15 Starbucks gift card

$10 Itunes gift card

Purple Haze nail polish

Angel mini-frame

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS postcard and bookmark.

Pretty awesome, am I right?!

So here’s the deal; The most critical time for a book is right after it comes out. That’s because during the first couple of weeks, the publisher is closely watching the numbers to gauge how its being received by the reading public. I’m really hoping that you guys will help me spread the word, because if anyone can get the buzz going, it’s YOU. And even though I know many of you would do that anyway, it’s kind of fun to sweeten the deal for you with some extra special goodies. And I’ve given you lots of ways to win!

Here’s how you earn entries;

TEN (count them – 10!) ENTRIES for EVERY copy of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS you purchase or preorder for the duration of this giveaway. That means if you buy a copy for yourself, one for a sister, and one for a friend, you get THIRTY entries. PLUS, I’ll send you a signed, personalized bookplate at no charge for each copy you purchase. To claim these entries, send your book receipt, order confirmation, or a photo of your receipt or order confirmation (cell phone pics are fine as long as we can read them) to prophecypress@aol.com. If you have already preordered and requested a bookplate, just remind Rebekah of that in your contest entry email (no documentation required in this case since you’ve already provided it).

TEN ENTRIES for uploading a Youtube video in which you explain why you’re excited about the book. Include a link to the video when you email your total number of entries.

FIVE ENTRIES for changing your Twitter picture to the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS book cover (must remain for the duration of the giveaway).

FIVE ENTRIES for changing your Facebook picture to the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS book cover (must remain for the duration for the giveaway).

ONE ENTRY for each time you tweet a link to the book (on Amazon, B&N, Indiebound, or any other bookstore site). You must include #atemptationofangels for these entries to count.

ONE ENTRY for each time you tweet a link to this contest post. You MUST include #atemptationofangels for these entries to count.

ONE ENTRY for each friend you refer to me on Twitter. Your friend must follow me and @michellezink with #atemptationofangels that they were referred by you. They get an entry when they do plus any other entries they accumulate by participating in the giveaway.

ONE ENTRY for each time you tweet the link to the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS trailer here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmB4L671wqA. You must include #atemptationofangels for these entries to count.

ONE ENTRY for each time you post a Facebook status about the book. You must be my Friend on Facebook and tag me for these entries to count.

As you can see, there are TONS of ways to win. You can do one thing or twenty. You can spend a day accumulating entries or you can work on entries all month long and email your total at the end. Pick and choose whatever works for you. It’s no accident that Keisha Natalee, last year’s Circle of Fire Grand Prize Winner (of an Ipod Touch), had 80+ entries, many of them a result of friend referrals. The more entries you have, the better chance of winning. And truly, it will help me so much, which I appreciate more than you know.

Here’s the fine print; Contest runs now through midnight on Saturday, March 31st. Winners will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced April 7th. You MUST email your total number of entries plus any supporting documentation (receipts, Youtube links, etc.) to prophecypress@aol.com with “BE TEMPTED LAUNCH GIVEAWAY” in the Subject line by that time to win. This giveaway is open only to residents of the US and Canada or anyone with a shipping address in the US or Canada (you can use a friend or relative’s address if you like and have them forward the prizes to you).

That’s it! And you guys… many of you have been with me for years now. I want you to know how very much your support continues to mean to me. I feel as if I know many of you, and you are the very best part of this journey. <3

 

 

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02/29/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway # ,

A Temptation of Angels Trailer – World Premier

You guys get it here first! Less than three weeks now to the release of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS and tomorrow marks the launch of my biggest giveaway yet. All of which makes this perfect timing for the release of the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS book trailer.

And remember; you can get a signed, limited edition bookplate with every copy of the book that you preorder PLUS 10 entries each in the giveaway. Just send your receipts, order confirmations, or pics of either to prophecypress@aol.com. Don’t forget to tell me who you want me to sign the bookplate to!

Huge thanks to Kenneth for the incredible (as always) trailer music. The soundtrack for the book releases in just a couple of weeks and it’s AMAZING. Can’t wait to share it with you. And special thanks goes to Caroline who produced and edited the trailer.

Enjoy!
<3

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02/23/12 A Temptation of Angels #

Temptation Thursday; Meet Darius Channing!

Two weeks ago you got to meet Griffin, one of the Channing brothers who, along with Helen Cartwright, are the only remaining Keepers in A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS.

Tonight I’m pleased to introduce Darius, Griffin’s older brother. When I see Darius in my mind, it’s like this (actor Jensen Ackles);

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… except with a scar along his cheekbone, obtained when Darius was forced to defend himself and Griffin in a deadly wraith attack after their parents were executed. Darius is closed off and dangerous. He doesn’t think twice about pulling rank on Griffin, and he makes no secret about the fact that Helen is a complication they don’t need. Darius is sarcastic and acerbic, with only one very significant chink in his armor.

Her name is Anna, and you’ll meet her in two weeks. 😉

For now, I hope you enjoy this sneak peek from A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS (less than a month!)!

At first it seemed they were alone. Helen took advantage
of the moment to reach up and smooth her disheveled hair. It
was the first time all night that she had thought of her appear-
ance, but it somehow seemed important to impress Darius, whomever
he was and however impossible a task it might be,
given her dirty nightdress, bare feet, and sooty skin.

“That cannot be her.” The voice, deep and low, came from
a chair in a shadowed corner.

Griffin stopped in the middle of the plush carpet, very like
the ones in her own home. She had an image of the rugs in her
chamber burning, the carved bed aflame, the paint melting
across the portrait of her mother in the parlor. A spasm of loss
and grief almost brought her to her knees.

“It is,” Griffin answered. “At least, I believe it is.”

“Have you even prepared for the possibility that it’s not?”
There was steel behind the question, though Helen had no
idea what the man meant.

Griffin sighed. “She’s just a girl, Darius. And she’s cold and
tired.”

“I should hope she is anything but a simple girl. Otherwise,
you have let a stranger into the house at great risk to us both.”
The shadow that was Darius continued without waiting for an
answer. “Never mind. Bring her here.”

She saw the apology in Griffin’s eyes as he prompted her
forward with a nod of his head.

Lifting her chin, Helen moved toward the chair. Dishevel-
ment aside, she did not intend to be bullied.

“I have no idea who or what you think I am, but I can
assure that I am, in fact, just a girl as your brother claims.” She
was relieved to hear the anger in her voice. To feel it trickle
through her bloodstream in place of the numbness she had felt
since escaping her burning home.

The figure in the chair rose to his feet, his face still in
shadow. She felt him survey her in the silence that followed.
“She’s too young.”

The simple pronouncement fueled her annoyance. “If you
have something to say about me, kindly afford me the respect
of saying it to me, will you?”

Darius did not answer right away, and Helen wondered if
she had gone too far. Anger seemed to flow outward from the
shadow where he stood.

“Fair enough,” he said, his face directed toward hers. “You’re
too young.”

She shook her head, feeling as if she had landed in some
kind of alternate reality. “Too young for what?”

“Too young to be who you’re supposed to be and too young
to be of any use if you are.”

“And who exactly am I supposed to be?”

She saw the tip of his head, even in the shadows, as if he
was considering his answer. When he stepped into the light of
the desk lamp, she saw that he was taller than Griffin, with
a fine scar running from his right temple nearly to his chin.
She thought him striking, and not as old as he sounded when
shrouded in darkness. His eyes, identical to Griffin’s, flashed
yellow-green when he answered.

“One of us.”

 

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02/20/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway # ,

The Good News and the Bad News…

Well, the bad news is that I’ve been super busy writing and taking care of family/kid stuff so I don’t have a mystery OR a movie review for you tonight.

The good news is that A) March 1st, a week from this Thursday, I’ll be announcing the super big, amazingly awesome A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS giveaway, and B) I’ve decided to continue the free bookplate offer to anyone who pre-orders A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. All you have to do is email a receipt or order confirmation (or a photo of your receipt or order confirmation) to prophecypress@aol.com with the name you’d like the bookplate signed to and your full name and address (for mailing). I’ll do this as long as I still have stock on them, so don’t wait too long! They make an awesome personalized gift when placed inside a book.

And seriously, you guys. I’m SOOOO excited to announce my big giveaway. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever done. I’m like a kid before Christmas right now!

<3

0 likes 2 responses
02/16/12 A Temptation of Angels #

Temptation Thursday; Sickle Training Anyone?

Just five weeks until the release of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS! Can you believe it?! I’ll be announcing the big release month giveaway March 1st and will have tons of other fun for you to celebrate the launch, including the release of Kenneth’s A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS score. Can’t wait to share it all with you!

In the meantime, this week’s teaser features Griffin (you met him last week here) and Helen engaging in some, er, intimate training in the ballroom.

Enjoy!

<3

A moment later, they rounded a corner into an enormous, nearly empty room. Sun-
light streamed in through windows that rose to the ceiling and
dust motes hung in the air like a veil as Helen stepped onto
the parquet floor.

“It’s lovely.” She turned in a circle, admiring the chandeliers
overhead, the gilt-framed art on the walls.

“It hasn’t been in use for some time.” Griffin crossed to
a small table against one wall. “I wasn’t even old enough to
attend the last ball that was held here.”

Helen nodded, her mind touching on the experiences she
always assumed would be hers before the murder of her fam-
ily and the ruin of her home.

“I’ll bet it was wonderful, though.” She smiled at him as
he came back toward her, holding something in his hands.
“When it was all lit up, I mean.”

He nodded. When their eyes met, his loss mirrored her own.

He held something out to her. Helen took it, closing her
hand around the smooth wood of the V-shaped training sickle.

“It won’t hurt you while you learn, but it will give you
a feel for the advantages and challenges of such a strangely
shaped weapon. I assume you’ve taken fencing?”

Helen couldn’t hide her surprise. “How did you know?”

He shrugged. “It was part of the curriculum for most of us.
All the usual studies plus Latin, religious history, intelligent
defense, fencing.”

“Intelligent defense?” She remembered Father’s lessons on
Latin and religious history and the more recent addition of
fencing, but she didn’t recall anything approximating intel-
ligent defense.

“It might not have been presented as an actual lesson. Our
parents were killed before we could study it outright. But
when we were small, the lessons came in the form of games.”

“What kind of games?” But Helen already knew what he
would say.

“Games like Find the Way Out and What Would You Do If . . .” He
tipped his head. “You did play them, didn’t you?”

She nodded, the pieces of the puzzle clicking together in
her mind. “I didn’t realize they were more than games until I
escaped from the tunnel under my house the night of the fire.
I emerged in front of Claridge’s.”

Griffin raised his eyebrows. “I take it you were familiar?”

“My father took me there for tea every week. We often
walked the streets afterward. Right by this very house, I’m
sure.”

“It must have been difficult to prepare us without actually
telling us anything. It cannot have been easy to teach children
such things,” he said. “As time passes, you’ll discover a lot of
things you didn’t realize you knew.”

She heard her mother’s frantic voice the night of the fire.

You know more than you think, Helen.

“Now, when you hold the sickle…” Griffin backed up,
looking at her more closely, his eyes traveling to the hem of
her skirts. “I do like your new clothing, Helen, but . . . well,
your skirt seems shorter than normal.”

She had wondered if Griffin would even notice the eccen-
tricities of her attire.

Sighing, she reached down with her free hand, pulling the fabric
away from her legs so he could see the cut of the design. “It
isn’t a skirt. Not really.”

His bewilderment turned to shock. “You’re wearing trousers?”

“They’re not trousers!” she protested. “It is a slightly shorter
skirt sewn in the middle so I can move about more freely.”

“Yes,” Griffin agreed, laughing. “Pants! Like I said.”

She slapped him playfully on the shoulder. “Gowns are made
for strolling and sewing. I cannot hope to defend myself with
all that fabric weighing on my legs. This can pass as a slightly
short skirt while still allowing me some freedom of move-
ment. Besides,” she looked down at herself, feeling a twinge of
pride, “I think I did quite well designing them on a moment’s
notice, and Andrew did brilliantly with creating them.”

“All right.” Griffin rubbed the stubble, faintly visible on his
chin. “I see your point.”

He backed up a few more feet, beginning to explain the
use of the sickle. Helen listened intently, for though they were
practicing with wood, she might well be holding the razor-
sharp edge of a real sickle someday soon. And her life might
depend on her ability to use it.

It was not very different from fencing in stance, Griffin
explained. He reminded her to place her weight on her back foot
when gauging the situation and to transfer it to her front
when taking the offensive.

“It’s trickier than fencing, though, because you don’t have
the length of the blade between you and your opponent.” He
demonstrated, moving closer to her. He held out the training
sickle as if attacking her with its sharp edge. “You have to get
close enough to do damage, but that places you near enough
to be injured as well.”

“How do I avoid that?” Helen asked, her mind already work-
ing to come up with a solution.

He smiled. “By keeping them too busy to go on the offen-
sive or by knocking their own weapon out of their hand.”

She nodded, storing the information for later as he
stepped forward, tapping his sickle against hers. “The other
thing you have to watch out for is the lock.” He slipped the
edge of his weapon into the hook of hers so that they were
intertwined in the center of the V. “If someone gets a lock
on you, it’s tough to extricate yourself without injury. That’s
the bad news.”

“What’s the good news?” she asked, her sickle still inter-
twined with his.

“That you can do the same to them.” He gave his sickle a good
yank, and the piece of wood in her hand clattered to the ballroom
floor.

She bent to pick it up. “I think I’m beginning to under-
stand,” she said. “It’s not a physical problem. Well, not really.
It seems like it is, because we’re moving around. But it’s really
more mathematical. More scientific.”

He raised his eyebrows. “Scientific?”

She liked the way he looked into her eyes when she spoke.
As if he truly wanted to hear what she had to say and was not
just being courteous by asking.

“Yes. Probability, cause and effect, that kind of thing.”

His brow wrinkled a little. “Go on.”

She studied the sickle. “Using this as an example, if my
opponent comes closer than two feet, the probability of his
using greater strength to injure me is great. But if I can hook
my sickle with his before that point or right as he reaches it, I
have a better chance of disarming him altogether.”

Griffin shook his head. “You wouldn’t have the strength to
disarm him.”

“Strength isn’t a requirement.”

“I’m not sure I agree with that.”

She raised her sickle. “I’ll show you.”

He lifted his arm, holding the wooden sickle in front of
him, waiting to see what Helen would do. A split second
later, she whipped her weapon around his, trapping it in
the V.

“This is what I mean, Helen. Now you’re trapped.”

She could feel the pull of strength on his side of their battle.
Their sickles were taut, and it took all of Helen’s strength to
hold her ground. She let a couple of seconds pass while Griffin
became used to the idea of disarming her.

Then she released the tension in her arm just enough to
cause him to stumble back. Before he could regain his bal-
ance, she tapped his sickle hard, sending it skidding across the
parquet floor.

He nodded, his expression turned from one of surprise to
admiration. “Nicely done.”

She smiled, her cheeks warm. “Thank you.”

 

0 likes 4 responses
02/09/12 A Temptation of Angels #

Temptation Thursday; Meet Griffin Channing!

This week for Temptation Thursday I’m pleased to introduce you to Griffin Channing, Helen’s protector and fellow surviving Keeper.

I love Griffin so much. Often in YA novels, it seems like it’s the brooding bad boy who gets the girl. I really wanted to create a nice guy who stood a chance with Helen.

Griffin has lived alone with his older brother Darius (you’ll meet him soon) since their parents were murdered by the very people responsible for the execution of Helen’s parents. After their death, Helen finds her way to the Channing brothers and quickly learns that they’re her best chance of survival. At first, Griffin seems to defer to Darius out of intimidation, but as Helen gets to know him better, she realizes it’s a form of love and respect. Griffin is more than capable of standing toe to toe with his brother. He simply chooses his battles out of love for his brother.

Griffin has a soft spot for strays and sometimes squints. He needs spectacles — something Darius is fond of reminding him of — but insists he doesn’t. He’s a low-key kind of guy who usually takes things as they come, but when he wants something, he fights for it.

And he happens to want Helen Cartwright’s love.

Actor Jake Abel (pictured above) is a very much how I picture Griffin. Here’s an excerpt from the book featuring Griffin. Hope you enjoy getting to know him!

P.S. You can still enter to win a Temptation ARC, Victoria’s Secret Bath set, gourmet chocolate, and assorted other goodies in the Be Tempted to Love Yourself Valentine Giveaway!

<3

She looked for him in the library some time later, the fabric
of her strange new skirt brushing against her leg. After finding
the library empty, she searched the remaining rooms on the
ground floor until the only one left was the kitchen. She came
upon him there, crouched at the back door and muttering
something unintelligible to someone she couldn’t see.

Approaching cautiously, she spoke softly so as not to star-
tle him.

“Griffin?”

“Huh? What?” He turned, clearly startled despite her best
efforts. “Oh, Helen! That was fast.”

He shut the door quickly behind him.

She waved toward it. “Who is that you’re speaking to?”

He feigned surprise. “That? No one. There’s no one there.”

She tilted her head, trying to place his strange demeanor.
“But you were talking to someone.”

He shook his head, leaning against the door as if that would
prevent her from opening it.

She crossed to it in two long strides, reaching for the knob.
“Don’t be ridiculous. I heard you speaking to someone.”

She tugged on the knob, trying to open it, but he wouldn’t
move.

“Griffin! Why are you acting so strange?” She continued
without waiting for an answer. “I realize we don’t know one
another well, but surely you know me well enough to know
that I’m not leaving until that door is opened and I see for
myself who is on the other side.”

He stared into her eyes for a second before stepping aside
with a sigh. “Very well. Have a look at my small companion,
then.”

She held his gaze a moment longer, wondering at his choice
of words, before pulling open the door.

No one was there. She was standing on the same small
porch she had used to escape the house and follow Darius and
Griffin that first night, but it was completely empty.

At least, that is what she thought before she heard the
unmistakable meow at her feet.

She dropped her gaze, noting the black-and-white kitten
lapping cream from a fine floral dish. Then, she understood.

She looked up at Griffin, leaning against the door frame, his
face reddening slightly under her gaze.

He waved her off before she could speak. “It’s nothing to
make a fuss over. The poor thing was bedraggled when it first
came to the door. Anyone in my position would offer it some
cream.”

A smile lifted the corners of her mouth. “You feed the cat?
That’s who you were talking to?”

“Well, technically, there is more than one of them. It didn’t
seem right to turn away Mouser’s friends.” He bent to pick up
the kitten, now done with the saucer of milk. “Isn’t that right,
Mouser?”

“Mouser?” Helen said, trying to suppress her smile.

He held the ball of fluff against his body as if he had done it
a thousand times before. “He needed a name.” A note of defen-
siveness crept into his voice. “And he brought me a mouse the
first night he appeared on the step, as if he wanted to trade it
for some food.”

“It’s a fine name.” Reaching carefully toward the kitten, she
let it sniff her hand before touching it gently. “And for the
record, I quite like people who take in strays.” She met Grif-
fin’s eyes with a smile, and something powerful and warm rose
in her as she stroked the animal’s silky fur, her hand brushing
Griffin’s as he did the same.

“I suppose we should work in the ballroom before night-
fall,” he said, reluctantly putting the cat back on the ground.
“You’ll need good light to train with the sickle.”

She had to suppress the urge to protest. She did not want
to work with something so sharp and dangerous. Now, as they
made their way through the kitchen, she wanted to apologize
in advance for the fiasco that would surely be her training with
the sickle.

“I’m not very good with anything physical . . .” she began as
they turned down a hallway she had never seen.

He flashed her a grin as they walked. “I find that hard to
believe.”

0 likes 9 responses
02/08/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway # ,

Be Tempted to Love Yourself Valentine Giveaway!

Sometimes, Valentine’s Day makes me sad.

Not because I’m single and haven’t been on a date in four years. On the contrary, being single these past four years has been a choice. It’s allowed me to focus on my children, my work, and myself.

It’s been strangely gratifying and liberating and yes, even FUN.

Which is what I feel sad when I see people feeling lonely on Valentine’s Day. This is especially true of young women, because in previous generations, it was common to equate a significant other with a sense of self-worth. But now? In 2012?!

Girls!! The world is your oyster! You can do and be anything you can possibly dream or imagine. You can do it on your own terms, without rules dictated to you by society or family or a spouse. You can choose someone to be a partner, not because you NEED one, but because that particular person adds something special to your world. Something no one else can bring to the table. And you know what?

You can buy your own damn Valentine! Because — and I’m letting you in on a little family motto that I frequently repeat to my children and all the young people in my life –no one can take care of you like you.

Let me say that again; NO ONE CAN TAKE CARE OF YOU LIKE YOU.

You know what you need and when you need it. You are uniquely equipped to care for yourself, be gentle with yourself, be GOOD to yourself, and that’s true whether we’re talking about a box of your favorite chocolates, a cup of tea, a bubble bath, a girl’s night out, a movie curled up in bed with ice cream, an awesome book, a walk in the woods.

Only you really knows what YOU need.

So this Valentines Giveaway is all about YOU loving YOU. As I do every year, I’m going to help get you started by offering up this awesome Be Tempted to Love Yourself Valentine’s Day Prize Pack.

It includes;

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS ARC (advance reader copy)

A Victoria’s Secret set with makeup bag, body spray, bath gel, and body lotion in Pure Seduction.

A vanilla candle

Nail polish in High Roller

A box of Lindt Chocolate truffles (there are some GOOD ones in there!)

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS bookmark

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS postcard with message from moi

A bath loofah

I hope whoever wins will use these goodies to plan a special day or night just for herself, complete with pampering and no-guilt consuming of chocolate.

You can take a bath, cue up a chick-flick (or an action flick, if you’re like me), paint your nails, and eat chocolate to your heart’s content! And I hope anyone who DOESN’T win will be inspired to do something nice for yourself not just on Valentine’s Day — but anytime you need and want the TLC. Because you deserve it!

And if you’re a dude, you can add this stuff to the already awesome stuff I’m SURE you’re doing for the special woman in your life.

Entering is easy! You get one point for the following;

Leave a comment sharing something you do to take care of you

Post a link to the contest on Twitter (1 entry for each tweet)

Post a link to the contest on Facebook (1 entry for each post)

When you’re done, email your total number of entries to prophecypress@aol.com. Giveaway is open to entrants in the US and Canada and runs now through Sunday, February 12th at Midnight EST.

<3 you guys!

0 likes 58 responses
02/07/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway , Music , Song of the Week # , , ,

Promises, Promises…

Love this week’s song, nominated by one of my dearest friends, Winsome. Winsome and I have been friends since fifth grade when we would sit on her canopy bed with the curtains drawn and listen to Devo and The Knack.

How fitting that she would be the person to nominate a song! Love her to death! She’s the one who taught me how to swim in the ocean and that clam chowder always tastes better on the pier after a long day of swimming.

And I have to say that I’ve never been a huge fan of Incubus, but this is very different for them. Really like it! Thanks, Winsome!

Also want to let you guys know that for tonight only there’s a promotion on Twitter to win one of the last three A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS ARCs. All you have to do is tweet with the hashtag #atemptationofangels between now and Midnight. You can enter as many times as you like, one entry for every tweet with the hashtag.

You can enter to win an ARC on Goodreads, too, but only for about 10 more days so hurry!

Tomorrow I’ll kick off my annual Take Care of Yourself Valentine Giveaway. I have some awesome goodies for you guys, because you don’t need a significant other to have or do nice things for YOU.

<3

0 likes 4 responses
02/04/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway # ,

Superfan Winners – ALL of You!

So I was going through the Superfan entries, trying to decide whether to use the Random Number Generator to come up with the 50 winners or whether to try and choose them, and you know what?

There’s NO WAY I could choose either.

Your messages to me were so heartfelt. Many of you have been with me for years. You’ve convinced friends to read my books. You’re tweeted about my books. You’ve posted Facebook statuses about my books.You’ve left glowing reviews on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads.

Basically, you have done everythign possible to support my dream of writing for a living.

In my book, you’re ALL Superfans. Which is why I’m giving Superfan prize packs to every one of you.

You heard me! EVERY ONE OF YOU. If you left a comment on the Superfan Giveaway post before Midnight EST last night (Friday), you get a Superfan pack. All you have to do it email your full name and address to prophecypress@aol.com. We’re going to reach out via email to those of you we don’t hear from, but with so many winners, it would greatly help us if you could just send your email info.

It will take a few days for Rebekah to pack everything up, but we’ll get everything out to you asap. Thank you for all you do to support me and to spread the word about my books. I appreciate it — and you — more than you know. I can’t wait to share the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS release with you very, very soon!

<3

0 likes 15 responses
02/02/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway # ,

Temptation Thursday!

Today there’s about six weeks to the release of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS.

Six weeks! Didn’t that go by fast?!

Last week I introduced you to Helen, TEMPTATION’S main character and heroine extraordinaire, and gave you a tiny teaser.

This week, you’ll get a much bigger excerpt of the book and a little intro to Darius and Griffin Channing. Which is good preparation, because NEXT week you’ll get to meet Griffin up close and personal.

In the meantime, the Superfan Giveway is live for about 24 more hours. 50 of you will win TEMPTATION prize packs just because I love you.

;D

You can also enter to win an ARC of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS from Penguin on Goodreads.

Hope you enjoy this week’s teaser!

<3

It took her a few minutes to dress and find the staircase lead-
ing to the main floor.

The house was eerily quiet as she made her way through
the halls. She was used to the rushed voices of her parents,
the ticking of the grandfather clock, the scuffle of the servants
above and below stairs. Even in the dark of night, her home
had rarely been silent.

Here, there was not a sound until she reached the bottom
of the stairwell.

Murmuring drew her down the hall to the library door. The
marble was cold underfoot, but she was glad she had left her
shoes behind. They would have made too much noise on the
hard floor.

The voices grew louder as she came closer to the library.
She stopped just before reaching the doorway. The hall, spare
and without furnishing or ornament, did not leave many
places to hide. Glancing around, she settled for a deep shadow
in the corner where the hallway met the entrance to what
looked like the kitchen beyond.

Aided by the utter silence of the house, she picked up snip-
pets of conversation from the library.

“She has the pendant. She’s one of us, Darius. Why are you denying
the obvious?”

She could hear the frustration in Darius’s voice, even from
afar. “Because I don’t want it to be true. She’ll be nothing but a bur-
den. She hasn’t even reached Enlightenment.”

“It doesn’t matter. We have to protect her.”

“We can hardly protect ourselves, Griffin. She would be safer in
hiding while we find out who’s responsible.” There was a shuffle
from within the room, and she leaned farther back into the
shadows, still listening as Darius continued. “Let’s go see Gali-
zur. He probably already knows, but we should be sure.”

Boot steps sounded across the carpet, and she pressed as
far back into the shadows as she could, holding her breath and
willing herself to become invisible, yet again.

The brothers crossed the threshold of the room, turning,
and passing her without a glance. They did not head toward
the front door but to the back of the house. She waited a few
seconds before following in their footsteps. She had never fol-
lowed anyone before, but it seemed only wise to keep as much
distance between them as possible.

The click of the door somewhere beyond her line of vision
freed her from the shadows, and she hurried through the door-
way which did, indeed, lead to a cavernous kitchen. There was
only one exit. She made her way to it with as much speed as
possible. It would not do to lose the brothers in her worry
over being caught following them.

The door opened to the back of the house. She had the
sense of a garden or grounds beyond, but it was too dark to
make out anything other than the steps leading downward.
Taking them as quietly as possible, she continued down a path-
way at the side of the house. She could not be certain this was
the direction Griffin and Darius had traveled, for they were
already out of her line of sight. But the only other possibility
was the backyard, and she was quite sure the brothers were
not taking tea in the garden.

The path led her to the front of the house. She saw the
streetlight under which she had stood some time ago, trying
to decide whether or not to ring the bell, and stood back from
it, not wanting to be seen. She had a moment’s panic as she
surveyed the streets, black save the pools of light seeping from
the streetlamps. What if she was too late? What if they were
already out of sight?

But no. As she looked to the right and spotted the broth-
ers making their way down the smoky walk, relief flooded
through her. She followed them down the street, trying to
maintain enough distance that they would not see her shadow
or hear her footsteps, though this was likely an unnecessary
precaution. She noted with satisfaction that her bare feet made
nary a sound on the stone.

It was not easy, trying to keep up with the long-legged
stride of the two men while trying to mind landmarks so
that she would not be lost on her way back to the house. She
was skirting a light post when a dark figure appeared out of
nowhere, standing in the shine of the lamp.

“Oh, my goodness!” She clamped a hand over her mouth
even before the words had escaped entirely.

“You must be joking.” Her shock at the sudden appear-
ance of the figure was outdone only by her surprise at the
dry—and now slightly familiar—voice that came from its
direction.

She leaned toward him, peering through the fog. “Darius?”

He sighed, tipping his head so that she could make out his
features. “You shouldn’t sound so surprised, given that you
were following us. Unless you’re in the habit of following
strangers?”

She shook her head. “But you . . . I . . . That is, I was fol-
lowing you.”

“I think that has already been established.” The voice came
from behind her. She knew without turning that it belonged
to Griffin.

She blinked a few times, trying to clear the fog that seemed
to have drifted from the street to her mind. “I was following
you. That means you were in front of me.”

Darius folded his arms across his chest, his expression
growing as dark as the streets around them. “That’s generally
how following someone works.” His gaze drifted to Griffin.
“She is a clever one, brother.”

“No need to be snide,” she snapped. “You know what I
mean.”

She looked up the street where they had been walking only
moments before. She knew they had been there. She had seen
them. And yet now Darius was right beside her as if he had
appeared out of thin air.

0 likes 4 responses
01/30/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway # ,

Superfan Giveaway – 50 Winners!

It’s finally time! And I shouldn’t say finally, because usually I do one of these a year, right before each book releases. But Circle of Fire released just six months ago, and here I am, preparing for the launch of another book.

Which means another Superfan giveaway! WOOT!

😀

Those of you who have been fans for awhile know what this is, but for those of you who are knew to my posse, let me explain;

You all know that I do a TON of giveaways. I enjoy doing it and like connecting directly with readers, so rather than spending money on formal advertising, most of my personal marketing budget goes into awesome swag which I then give away to you guys here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. Most of the time, those giveaways require that you do something to win, i.e. change your Twitter picture to a book cover, tweet the link to a contact, refer a friend to my website, etc., because well…. it’s promotion! That’s kind of the point.

But I happen to think I have the best fans EVAR. So once a year, I do a no strings attached giveaway in which I give away 50 (yes, 50!) Superfan prize packs just because you’re awesome and do so much to spread the word about my books throughout the year.

This Superfan giveaway is all about A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS.

Each winner will receive;

6 Temptation Bookmarks (1 for you and 5 to give away, leave at your library or bookstore, etc.)

Signed Temptation bookplate (to put in your book when you get one or give away to a friend)

Gold angel wing picture frame

Are You Tempted? candy tin with chocolate hugs or kisses

Signed postcard from moi

Entering is easy! All you have to is leave a comment explaining why you’re a Superfan. Please make sure your email is valid so we can send you a notification if you win. Following me on Twitter and leaving your Twitter handle helps, too, because when all else fails, I can send you a message there letting you know you’ve won. At the end of the contest, we’ll choose 50 winners to receive prize packs.

That’s it! This giveaway runs now through Midnight EST Friday February 3rd and is open to fans in the US and Canada. And while you wait for the winners to be announced, why not mosey over to Goodreads and enter to win the A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS ARC up for grabs from Penguin/Dial?!

Thank you again for all you guys do for me. It’s only through your support that I’m able to do for a living the thing that I love most.You make ALL the difference.

<3

0 likes 142 responses
01/27/12 A Temptation of Angels , Friday Poll # ,

Friday Poll; Coke, Grape, or Root Beer?

Last week’s Friday Poll was all about how you prefer to spend a cold, winter night. More than 70% of you said you preferred curling up in front of a fire with a good book.

I KNEW you were my people!

 

Before we get to this week’s poll, let me just say that I don’t drink soda very often.

Honest!

It’s, like, evil incarnate for the body, what with all that high fructose corn syrup. Most of the time, if I feel like something other than water, I drink seltzer.

But EVERY NOW AND THEN, you just gotta have it. Tonight was one of those nights. Rebekah actually made an “emergency” run to the store because, we all agreed, it was a Coke kind of night.

I figured it would be a good topic for this week’s poll. So what say you? When you REALLY want a glass of soda, what do you usually reach for?

Weigh in with the Friday Poll!

And in case you missed it, you can meet the main character in A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS here and get this week’s sneak peek with a free excerpt of the book.

<3

0 likes 4 responses
01/26/12 A Temptation of Angels , Thursday Night Write # ,

Meet Helen Cartwright!

I’m super excited tonight to introduce you to Helen Cartwright, A TEMPTATION OF ANGEL’s main character and heroine extraordinaire.

Helen has long, light-brown hair and unusual blue-violet eyes that play an important part in the story. Mostly, when I picture Helen, I see her like this;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or this but with longer hair (that’s actress Elizabeth Olsen, by the way);

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carefully sheltered by her parents until their death, Helen is an innocent on the night they’re murdered. When she meets up with brothers, Griffin and Darius, she’s forced to confront the reality of what she is — and what they all are. As she works with the brothers to unravel the mystery of who’s trying to kill them and why, she learns that she knows more than she thinks she knows and has been unwittingly trained all her life to assume the role that is hers.

All that said, Helen isn’t a warrior in the traditional sense. Her strength isn’t physical, and she admits that she’s not a creature of physicality but one of strategy and mental acuity. This was important to me in terms of character development, because while I’m the biggest advocate of strong female characters, I believe there are many kinds of strength, and it’s important to show women being strong in all kinds of ways. As a matter of self-defense, Helen has to learn to wield the weapons of the Keepers, but it doesn’t come naturally to her and it’s not something she ever truly excels at. Her contributions are more academic!

But what I love most about Helen is her humanity. She’s not perfect, and she really struggles with her inability to grieve her parents and the possibility of forgiving someone something that, really, would be unforgivable in any of our worlds.

Forgiveness is a big theme in the book, and I think Helen illustrates that struggle with real authenticity. It’s a big thing for me personally, because I’m always struggling with the issue of self-love and self-forgiveness. Forgiving others is easy for me! But seeing myself in all my flawed humanity and still being able to love myself, forgive myself, well… that’s a lot tougher. I really wanted to explore that with Helen, and I was surprised how quickly she took on a life of her own and how thoroughly she asserted her will.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Helen in A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS! Here’s a little sneak peek for Teaser Thursday (it’s not much, but I’m trying to keep from giving you guys anything overly spoilery!);

Helen held the thick parchment between her fingers. For
the moment, her father was there, sitting next to her, telling
her in a firm voice that everything would be all right.

But soon his voice faded. Helen’s eyelids grew heavy, and
she put the cameo and the letter back in the box with the
currency. She kept out only the photograph, holding it to her
chest as she allowed her head to sink into the pillows. She
willed herself to weep, for isn’t that what any normal person
would do? Wouldn’t a normal girl weep for the loss of her
parents? Her home? Everything she had ever known?

In the end, it didn’t matter. It was now obvious that she was
far from normal. The absent tears seemed only to prove the
point. She clutched the photograph as she fell into sleep.

 

0 likes 4 responses
01/25/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway # ,

Contest & Giveaway Updates 1/25/2012

Lots going on as we gear up for the release of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. I don’t want you guys to miss out on anything, so I’m trying to update you once a week or so.

Last night I gave away three ARCs (advance reading copies) of the book in a heated 4-hour Twitter giveaway. I’d noticed a bunch of bloggers asking other bloggers if they had a copy to give or trade, and I felt bad, so it was a spur-of-the-moment thing that resulted in over 650 entries.

I was (happily) blown away and announced the three winners this morning. If you’re not following me on Facebook and Twitter, please do! Sometimes I’ll do spontaneous giveaways on one venue or another.

You can still claim your signed, limited edition bookplate and TEMPTATION bookmark by emailing a copy or photograph of your preorder receipt or order confirmation for the book to prophecypress@aol.com. This is good only through the end of the month (though if I have enough left, I may offer it again during the first week of release), so hurry!

You can enter to win an ARC of TEMPTATION on Goodreads through my publisher, Penguing/Dial. If you have a Goodreads account, it’s literally the click of a button to enter. If you don’t, registering is easy and Goodreads runs TONS of books giveaways at any given time in every genre.

Lastly, we have lots of fun stuff coming up! The Michelle Zink Posse Pack Giveaway will go live very, very soon, and fifty of you (yes, 50!) will get special prize packs from me just for being so awesome. In February, I’ll have another giveaway in conjunction with YALitChat (to include an ARC of TEMPTATION) and my famous annual Be Your Own Valentine Prize Pack which includes all the makings of an awesome Valentine’s Day – like Victoria’s Secret goodies and CHOCOLATE! Plus, of course, more TEMPTATION swag.

And tomorrow, you’ll get to meet Helen Cartwright, the main character and heroine of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. I’m super excited for you to get to know her.

So lots of awesome stuff in the works! Stay tuned.

<3

0 likes 5 responses
01/24/12 A Temptation of Angels , Contests & Giveaway , Music , Song of the Week # , , ,

Surrender by Digital Daggers

This week’s song was recommended by Sara. It’s tres sexy!

Hope you guys enjoy it. And don’t forget you can still claim your free limited edition A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS bookplate and bookmark by sending a copy or photo of your preorder receipt or order confirmation to prophecypress@aol.com. This giveaway ends at the end of the month so hurryyyy!

You can also enter to win an advance reader copy on Goodreads. And it’s easy! Just the click of ONE button if you already have a Goodreads account.

0 likes 2 responses
01/19/12 A Temptation of Angels

Sneak Peek of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS

I have a treat for you guys tonight!

In lieu of Thursday Night Write (or as part of it, depending on how you look at it), I’m going to spend the next few Thursdays offering you sneak peeks of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. I’m also going to surprise you with character studies of Helen (what can’t she forgive herself for?), Raum (who is he and what are his intentions?), Anna (the only chink in Darius’ armor), the fabulous Channing Boys (what’s with the dangerous scar? And which brother has a soft spot for strays?), and anything else in the book I think you might have fun with.

I started writing TEMPTATION in the Spring of 2010. The truth is, I didn’t intend for it to be my next book. I had another book I’d been working on since 2006 (before Prophecy even sold) that I presented to my editor, but it turns out, THIS was the one she wanted. I’m so glad she did, because I’ve been utterly captivated with the world, the characters, the story, and the possibilities for other stories (wink, wink) ever since.

I hope you guys are are as excited to read it as I am to share it with you. And don’t forget you can claim your free bookplate (signed and personalized) and bookmark by sending your preorder receipt (digital, taken with your phone, or however else you want to do it) to prophecy press@aol.com by the end of the month.

Most of the excerpts I’m going to post will be shorter than this one, but tonight you get the whole first chapter. Enjoy!

<3

Though it was late, it was not the sound of arguing that
woke Helen in the dead of night.

She lay in bed for a long time after retiring, listening to the
rise and fall of voices coming from the library. It was a familiar
sound, comforting rather than worrisome. Her mother
and father often met with the others, though the meetings
had become more frequent and heated of late. Yet, there was
something about this night, the cadence of these voices—
however familiar—that made Helen’s nerves tingle, as if they
were humming too close to the surface of her skin.

At first, she tried to decipher the words drifting through
the vents set into the floor of her chambers, especially when
they sounded in her father’s familiar baritone or the strong,
clear voice of her mother. But after a while, Helen gave up,
opting instead to let her mind wander as she stared at the
canopy above her head.

Her thoughts settled on the morning’s fencing exercises
and her argument with Father. It was not the first time she
had rebelled against the recent addition to her curriculum.
She still failed to see how fencing could contribute anything
to her schooling, but Father’s word was law when it came to
her education. He knew well that Helen’s prowess lay in the
strategy of chess, in the logic problems and cryptographs she
could solve faster than he, not in the agile movement required
of her on the ballroom floor where they practiced fencing.
Still, he pushed. Using the foil out of deference to her inexperience
was his only concession. Were Father working with one
of his usual sparring partners, he would, without question,
have used his saber. Now, in the muffled quiet of her bedchamber,
Helen vowed that in time Father would use a saber with
her as well.

She didn’t remember slipping into the emptiness of sleep,
and she did not awaken gently. It was the sound of hurried
footsteps down the hall that caused her to sit up in bed, her
heart racing. She did not have time to contemplate the possibilities
before the door was thrown open, candlelight from the
sconces in the hall throwing strange shadows across the walls
and floor of her sleeping chamber.

Scooting to the headboard, she pulled the coverlet to her
chin, too frightened to be ashamed for her childish behavior.

“You must get out of bed, Helen. Now.”

The voice was her mother’s. She moved into the darkness
of the room, the strange shadows disappearing as she crossed
to the dressing table. She fumbled with something—the
glass jars and scent decanters atop the vanity clinking noisily
together.

“But . . . it’s the middle of the night!”

Her mother turned then, and a shaft of light from the hall
illuminated the valise in her hand. The realization that her
mother was packing, packing Helen’s things, blew like a hurricane
through the confusion of her mind. Her mother was
across the room in seconds, leaning over the bed and speaking
close to her face.

“You’re in grave danger, Helen.” Her mother pulled the
coverlet from Helen’s shivering body. Her nightdress was
twisted around her thighs, and the cold air bit her skin as her
mother’s hand encircled her arm, already pulling her from the
warmth of her bed. “Now, come.”

The carpets were cool under Helen’s bare feet as she was
led to the wall next to the wardrobe. Her mother reached into
the bodice of her gown, pulling from it a chain with something
dangling at its end. It caught the light spilling in from the hall,
glimmering faintly in the darkness as her mother removed it
from her neck. Fear coiled like a snake in Helen’s stomach as
her mother pushed aside the large mirror in the corner, bending
to the paneled wall behind it. She continued speaking as
she worked something against the plaster.

“I know you won’t understand. Not yet. But someday you
will, and until then you must trust me.”

Helen was oddly speechless. It was not that she had nothing
to say. Nothing to ask. She simply had so many questions that
they washed over her like waves, one right after the other. She
had no time to formulate one before the next carried it away.
She could not make out what her mother was doing, bent forward
in the darkness, head tipped to the wall, but she listened
as something scratched against the wallpaper. A moment later,
her mother straightened, and a door swung outward, revealing
a hole in the plaster.

Even in the dark, Helen saw tenderness in her mother’s eyes
as she reached out, pulling Helen roughly against her body. In
her mother’s hair, Helen smelled roses from the garden, and
on the fine surface of her mother’s skin, the books to which
her head was always bent. They were a memory all their own.

“Helen . . . Helen,” her mother murmured. “You must
remember one thing.” She pulled back, looking into Helen’s
eyes. “You know more than you think. Whatever else you discover,
remember that.”

Voices erupted from downstairs, and though the words
themselves were indistinct, it was obvious they were spoken
in anger or fear. Her mother dared a glance at the door before
turning back to Helen with renewed fervor.

“Take this.” She thrust a piece of crumpled paper into Helen’s
hand. “Take it and sit very quietly, until you know they’re
gone. There is a stair that will lead you beneath the house and
back up again farther down the road. Join with Darius and
Griffin. The address is here. They will take you to Galizur. You
have everything you need, but you must be silent as you make
your escape. If they hear you, they will find you.” She paused,
forcing Helen’s chin up so that she was looking straight into
her eyes. “And this is important, Helen: If they find you, they
will kill you.”

“I won’t leave you!” Helen cried.

“Listen to me.” Her mother’s voice became firmer, almost
angry as she grabbed hold of Helen’s shoulders. “You will do
this, Helen. You will get out of here alive, whatever else happens.
Otherwise, it’s all for nothing. Do you understand?”
Helen shook her head. “No! Mother, please tell me what’s
happening!” But she already knew her mother would not.
Already knew, somehow, that they were out of time.

Her mother lifted the chain from around her neck, placing
it around Helen’s. A key at the end of it fell to the front of her
nightdress.

Holding her daughter’s face between her hands, Helen’s
mother leaned in to kiss her forehead. “Lock the door from
the inside. Use the pendant to light your way—but don’t
make a move until you are certain they won’t hear you. And
be safe, my love.”

Helen was shoved into the hole in the wall, the valise
pressed against her until she had no choice but to wrap her
arms around it. She ducked, stumbling through the small
doorway, trying not to smack her head. Her mother paused
one last time, as if reconsidering, and then, without another
word, she began to push the door closed. She became a smaller
and smaller sliver, disappearing bit by bit until she was gone
entirely in the small click of the door.

“Lock it, Helen. Now.” Her mother’s voice was a hiss from
the other side of the wall. Helen fought a surge of panic as she
heard the wallpaper smoothed over the keyhole, the mirror
dragged over the opening to her hiding place.

It was worse than dark inside the wall. It was as if she had
fallen into nothingness. She set the bag down, feeling for its
clasp in the darkness. She had no idea what was on the piece
of paper her mother had given her, but it was damp with the
sweat of her palm. She couldn’t read it now if she wanted to,
and she pushed it inside the bag.

She reached for the chain around her neck until she found
the key at its end. Grasping it in one hand, she fumbled around
the edge of the wall in front of her with the other, trying to
locate the lock she knew must be there. Her hands shook with
rising panic. The door cut into the wall was almost seamless,
making it nearly impossible to find in the darkness. She was
on her third pass when she finally felt a slim line in the plaster.
Running her fingers slowly over it, she felt for the keyhole. It
seemed like far too long before she finally came upon it.

She was trying to fit the key in the lock when noise burst
from somewhere beyond the chamber. She could not fathom
its direction, for she was wrapped in the muffled cocoon of
wood and plaster that was her hiding place. Still, she strained
to decipher the sound. She thought she heard shouting . . .
weeping. And then a crash that caused her to startle. The key
dropped from her hand, falling with a clink to the floor. She
hesitated only a moment.

Whatever was happening was going to get worse before the
night was over.

Feeling along the floor for the key, Helen tried to ignore
the noise from the rest of the house. Her hiding place was not
large, and it only took a few moments for her fingers to close
around the chain attached to the key. She grasped it carefully
in one hand and felt again for the keyhole. This time, it didn’t
take long.

Using both hands, she lined the key up with the hole in a
couple of tries, turning it quickly and scooting away from the
hidden door until her back stopped against a solid block of
wood. She had only a few moments, a few precious moments
of silence, before she heard the thud of boot steps.

At first the footfalls were distant. Helen thought they would
pass her chamber completely, but it wasn’t long before they
grew louder and louder and she knew they were inside her
room. She had a flash of hope. Hope that it was Father coming
to get her. To tell her that whatever danger had been in the
house had gone. But she knew it wasn’t him when the boot
steps slowed. There was no rush to the door of her tiny room
to free her from its darkness.

Instead, the footsteps made a slow pass of her chamber
before stopping suddenly in front of the hiding place.

Helen tried to slow her shallow breathing as she waited for
the footsteps to move away, but they didn’t. Whoever had
entered her chamber was still there. She held as still as possible,
attempting to calm her mind with the knowledge that
she had spent many hours in the room, and there had never
been any hint of the secret door, even during times of bright
sunlight. Surely this stranger would not be able to see the
opening in the dark of night and with her great dressing mirror
pushed in front of it.

For a few seconds, it worked. She began to breathe a little
easier in the silence.

But that was before the room outside exploded into riotous
noise. Before she heard the dressing table cleared of its
bottles and jars, the glass thudding against the carpets and
shattering against the wood floorboards. Before she heard the
bureau overturned, the armoire pushed over. And yes, before
she heard the heavy carved mirror guarding her hiding place
tipped to the floor, the glass shattering into a million pieces.

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Michelle Zink is the award-winning author of over seven novels. She lives in New York with too many teenagers and too many cats.
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