This Wicked Game

02/09/15 A Temptation of Angels , Lies I Told , Life , Prophecy of the Sisters , Shadowguard Series , This Wicked Game , Writing # , , , , , ,

New and Improved

If you’re here I’m sure you’ve noticed something; I finally ditched the old website for something new, sleek, and if I do say so, very chic.

😉

The old website was developed all the way back in 2009 just before Prophecy of the Sisters came out. The black lace made perfect sense, I swear! But of course, times are a changing, and my writing is ever-evolving. With LIES I TOLD soon-to-be-released and a whole slate of other non-fantasy projects (and even non-YA) in the works, I’m hoping this look will carry me through anything I choose to write. Hopefully it’s also easier to read, which is a complaint I sometimes got with the old site.

Now that the new site is up and running, I’ll be posting more often (this has been in the works for awhile). Stay tuned for more information about LIES I TOLD, PROMISES I MADE, and other super secret projects yet-to-be-announced. As we approach April 7th (the release date for LIES I TOLD), there will also be tons of giveaways and goodies.

So stick around, will you?

<3

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04/04/14 This Wicked Game # , , , , ,

VOYA Loves THIS WICKED GAME

Big thanks to VOYA (one of my favorites) for the starred review of THIS WICKED GAME;

4Q 5P M J S
Zink, Michelle. This Wicked Game. Dial/Penguin, 2013. 368p. $17.99. 978-0-8037-3774-7.

Even though Claire Kincaid is a descendent of the notorious New Orleans voodoo queen Marie Laveau, she has no real interest in practicing the craft. Yet when strangers begin requesting ingredients known for their sinister properties from her parent’s voodoo shop, Claire becomes suspicious. With the help of other firstborns from eight historically powerful “Guild” families, Claire uncovers a plot that threatens to destroy them all.
Zink skillfully merges the mystique of old-world New Orleans with Claire’s present-day city—where a secretive network of families keeps the art of voodoo alive. This legendary setting provides a heavy tension and romance that is amplified by the secretive relationship between Claire and Alexandre Toussaint, another Guild firstborn. Claire loves Alex but insists on secrecy; she knows that Alex’s family will find her wanting since she does not practice the craft, something she avoids largely because she believes that, despite her lineage, she has no real inherent power. But when a group of rogue voodoo practitioners seeks to work the deadly “Cold Spell” and Guild elders refuse to take a stand, the torch must pass to Claire’s generation. Readers will root for the firstborns and for Claire as she discovers that she may be the key to saving the Guild, and they will relate to her feelings of inadequacy as she fights to garner enough self-confidence to overcome her doubts. Those who avoid historical works but are fans of paranormal mystery with some historical references, like Garcia and Stohl’s The Caster Chronicles, will enjoy Zink’s latest offering.—Erin E. Forson.

Woo-hoo!

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03/21/14 Contests & Giveaway , This Wicked Game

Wicked Tainted Winners!

And now to announce the winners of the Wicked Tainted Giveaway…

Amy O. and Missy B., come on down!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Amy is our first place winner and Missy is our second place winner. I’ll be sending an email to each of you along with my congratulations on winning some awesome prizes.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

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03/05/14 Contests & Giveaway , This Wicked Game , Uncategorized # , , , , , , , , , ,

Wicked Tainted Giveaway!

Tainted_CoverToday I’m super excited to announce a giveaway featuring This Wicked Game and two books from author A.E. Rought.

Ann is a friend of mine. She also happens to be a great writer. Her book BROKEN has been optioned for TV by ABC Family. TAINTED, the sequel to BROKEN, was recently released and I want to help her celebrate. If you love paranormal romance with an especially dark (and sometimes grisly) edge, these are the books for you!

Here’s a summary of TAINTED;

Alex Franks believes the madness is behind them. With Ascension Labs under his direction and the forces threatening Emma’s life overcome, they have a chance at a normal life, and keeping his secrets safely buried. But a shadow rises from Alex’s past, and she wants him back. Criminally brilliant, Hailey Westmore will stop at nothing to claim the boy she was meant to be with.

Without warning, Emma Gentry finds she cannot trust anything. Not her mind, her memory, not even herself. Tragic events and unexpected deaths stalk Alex and Emma, testing them in ways they would never imagine, and may not survive. Alex carries a new secret, and a horrifying guilt that Hailey uses to her advantage.

Emma’s life and sanity hang in the balance, and Alex may have created a monster…

Sounds awesome, amIright?

Tainted_Giveaway_Pic1To help spread the word. Ann and I are offering up two AH-mazing prize packs featuring signed books, Victoria’s Secret Love Spell perfume, a Starbucks gift card, and a handmade, one-of-a-kind voodoo bracelet.

 

First Prize includes signed copies of Broken and Tainted (plus a bookmark) as well as a signed copy of THIS WICKED GAME (plus bookmark and get-attachment.aspxmagnet). As if that isn’t awesome enough, I’m throwing in a handmade voodoo bracelet, a bottle of Love Spell perfume by Victoria’s Secret, and a $10 Starbucks gift card.

The second prize winner will receive signed copies of all three books, both sets of bookmarks, a THIS WICKED GAME magnet, and a voodoo bracelet (it will be slightly different than the one pictured here).

Entering is easy! You can earn entries by following us on Twitter, tweeting links to the giveaway, and posting a comment here with your favorite creepy book.

 

get-attachment.aspx

Contest goes through March 19th and is open to entrants in the continental US.

We’re rooting for you!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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11/14/13 Contests & Giveaway , This Wicked Game # , , , , , , , ,

It’s This Wicked Game Release Day!

ThisWickedGame_CoverWoo-hoo! I’m so excited to share this book with you guys. It has all the things I love most in a good story — intrigue, secrets and a whole lot of darkness. Plus, Voodoo! And New Orleans!

It’s been a year-and-a-half since the release of my last book. I hope you’ll help me celebrate the release of This Wicked Game by spreading the word, adding the book to your Goodreads lists, buying the book, and posting a review.

And I have things planned for you, too. You can still enter to win a $250 gift card plus tons of other prizes like Starbucks gift cards, Victoria’s secret perfume and body spray, one-of-a-kind handmade bracelets and more in the massive This WIcked Game Launch Giveaway.

In addition, several bloggers are running giveaways for This Wicked Game prize packs along with interviews with and guest posts by moi. You can enter two of them now at Another Novel Read and Beauty and the Bookshelf. Stay tuned here for more blog tour stops and more chances to win This Wicked Game goodies. Those of you who have been following me for awhile know that I give good swag.
😉

Thanks so much for helping me celebrate, and for your support and loyalty over the years. It’s because of you that I get to do the thing I love most every single day, and that is an immeasurable gift.

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11/13/13 Contests & Giveaway , This Wicked Game # , , , , , ,

This Wicked Game – Bonus Sneak Peek!

Since tomorrow is release day for This Wicked Game, I’m giving you a bonus sneak peek of the book. Woo-hoo for sneak peeks!

Also, don’t forget to enter for the $250 gift card and assorted awesome prizes in my launch giveway. You can also win prize packs with bloggers on the This Wicked Game blog tour. Read my interview with Another Novel Read, and my guest post, The Truth About Voodoo Dolls, (open to US and Canadian residents) on Beauty and the Bookshelf’s tour stop and enter for chances to win a signed hardcover, one of those gorgeous one-of-a-kind bohemian Voodoo bracelets, and more.

Here’s your peek!

There were five rooms on the second floor, two of them with closed doors. Claire was willing to bet they were empty. The air was too still, the atmosphere devoid of life. She stepped toward the open doors first, peeking inside each before she lost her nerve.

No one was there, and she breathed a sigh of relief as she took in the two standard issue bedrooms, each of them holding a bed, bureau, desk, and chair.

The third open door was a bathroom. She left it alone. No one hid anything important in the bathroom.

She looked at Xander, raising her eyebrows in silent question and pointing to one of the closed doors.

He nodded, and she stepped toward the first room.

She eased the door open carefully, wincing when it creaked. Despite her belief that no one was in the house, she was relieved when an empty room was revealed.

This was where Eugenia slept, Claire was sure of it. The ghost of a heavy, classical perfume hung in the air; a set of elegant luggage stood against the wall. An iron banister was visible through a pair of French doors. Claire guessed it was the balcony at the back of the house.

Just to be safe, she turned and pushed open the door to the final room. Empty.

“No one’s home,” she said to Xander, tipping her head to the room that had been behind the first closed door. “I’m going to check out this one. Want to take the first two?”

He nodded. “We’ll do the last one together since it fronts the street. That way, one of us can keep watch.”

He disappeared through one of the doorways and Claire stepped into Eugenia’s room, her eyes coming to rest on a desk near the glass doors.

Something was tacked to the wall in front of it.

Stepping toward it, she stopped when she saw what was on its surface. She leaned in to get a better look at the photograph staring back at her.

It was a picture of Xander, walking one of the city’s streets, his hands shoved carelessly in his pockets. Claire recognized the blur of storefronts behind him. Probably somewhere near her house, though she couldn’t be sure. Xander, obviously the target of the photograph, took up almost the whole frame.

Claire’s heart thudded in her chest as her eyes surveyed the wall around Xander’s picture.

His wasn’t the only one. There was a photo of Charlie and William Valcour, sitting side by side at an outdoor café.

But this one was different; a red X was drawn through it.

The next picture was of Allegra St. Martin. Even through the red X, Claire could tell Allegra was in her car. Her black hair was shiny and full, her arm resting on the open window frame as she sat in the driver’s seat, probably stopped at a red light or something.

She thought of Allegra at the ball, how unexpectedly nice she’d been, and a chill ran up Claire’s spine.

“What the . . .” Xander said behind her, leaning over her shoulder. “What is all this?”

Claire was both mesmerized and horrified by the images in front of her. “I don’t know.”

The next picture was of Laura, a lock of curly hair falling forward as she bent her head to a book. The photo was crossed through with a red X just like the others.

Next to Laura’s picture was a photograph of little Daniel, walking next to someone much taller as he ate a dripping ice-cream cone. His picture had an X, too.

There was only one more image, tacked next to Daniel’s. Claire’s heart almost stopped when she saw Sasha’s smile, brilliant even in the black-and-white photo, the strap of her yoga mat just visible on one shoulder. Claire didn’t know whether to be relieved or scared that Sasha’s photo, like Xander’s, lacked the red X.

Her eyes roved the photographs, trying to figure out why the woman named Eugenia would have photographs of all of the young Guild members.

No. Not all.

All of the oldest children of the Guild’s most prominent families were represented on the wall—except for Claire.

“I don’t know what this is,” Xander said, “but we should hurry if we’re going to check out the other room. We’ve been inside for almost half an hour, and we have no idea how long they’ve already been gone and when they’ll be back.”

Claire nodded, pulling out her phone and taking a quick picture. The sight of the wall covered with photos—photos of people she knew and loved—was undeniably disturbing.

She glanced around, wanting to make sure they weren’t missing anything obvious, as they headed for the hall.

As soon as they entered the final room, Claire guessed it was Maximilian’s. The furnishings were just as generically antique as everywhere else in the house. A leather valise sat on top of the desk under the window and the heavy draperies were pulled shut as if to block out the modern world.

But it was more than that. The air was heavy with something bleak and dangerous. A palpable darkness, an ominous vibration she could feel under her skin. She had to fight the urge to run from the room. Fight the need to escape the feeling that something evil was wrapping its fingers around her heart and soul.

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10/23/13 This Wicked Game , Writing # , , , , , , , ,

This Wicked Game Blog Tour

This Wicked Game Blog Tour

I’ve been a big advocate of bloggers since I first sold Prophecy of the Sisters in 2007. The book blogging community supported the series (and me) through several cover changes (and a non-existent rebranding campaign for the final covers), and I know the series wouldn’t have been as successful without them. I’ve gotten to know quite a few of them over the years and have enjoyed talking shop — and life — on Twitter, Facebook and at conferences and festivals.

Which is why I’m really excited to work closely with a handful of carefully chosen bloggers to celebrate the release of This Wicked Game on November 14th. There will be interviews and guest posts and secrets revealed, plus each blogger will give away a This Wicked Game prize pack donated by moi (and as with all of my prize packs, it’s the bomb). So do me a favor and show them so love, now and on their designated tour date. There might be something in it for you!

Except for a few possible late additions, here’s the schedule;

November 6th – Another Novel Read
November 11th – Beauty and the Bookshelf
November 18th – Falling for YA
November 20th – Escaping ONe Book at a Time
November 22nd – Word To Dreams
November 25th – Lost in Ever After
November 27th – Booksellers Without Borders

Less than three weeks until the release! I’m ridiculously excited to share this book with you guys. I had so much fun working with all the elements — voodoo, New Orleans, secrets, revenge… What’s not to love?! I hope you will join me in spreading the word. As always, your support means the world to me.

<3

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10/07/13 Contests & Giveaway , This Wicked Game # , , , ,

THIS WICKED GAME ARC Giveaway

Just a heads up that there is currently a giveaway on Goodreads for signed ARCs of THIS WICKED Game. There are five copies available, and ARCs have been in short supply, so get them while they’re hot!

😉

 

Also, I know I’ve been a bit MIA, but it’s for a good cause; I just finished a new book that will be out in 2015 (details to follow) and am digging back into an adult novel I hope to finish by the end of the year.

That said, everyone here is once again safely ensconced in the school routine, which means I’m getting back into my old schedule, too. And I have a bunch of recipes backed up for you guys!

So stay tuned…

 

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02/02/13 Reading , Sneak Peek Saturday , This Wicked Game , Writing # , , ,

Sneak Peek Saturday – This Wicked Game

Sneak Peek Saturday – This Wicked Game

This week I’m giving you the first chapter of THIS WICKED GAME, in honor of the gorgeous cover, revealed just yesterday.

I’m super excited about this book, which features a moody setting (New Orleans), creepy subject matter (voodoo!), and an awesome, multicultural cast. It’ll be out this November form Penguin/Dial.

Stay tuned for more details!

 

Claire was at the front of the store, uploading a new batch of photographs while a pot of wax melted behind her, when the woman entered through the unmarked door.

Claire pulled her eyes away from the pictures flashing across the computer screen. It wasn’t unusual for customers to use the private entrance. Other than the staircase leading to the house, the door was the only way in, and there were plenty of people in New Orleans who had a key.

But Claire had never seen the woman before, and that was unusual, especially since she had been working in the store since before she was tall enough to see over the counter without a step stool.

Still, rules were rules. The fact that the woman had a key meant she was authorized to make purchases, no questions asked.

Claire turned down the temperature on the wax and closed her laptop as the woman approached the counter. She was startlingly beautiful, her milky skin contrasting with the red lipstick that shaped her full mouth. Her clothes were expertly tailored, the white button down nipped in at the waist, the hem of her navy trousers just grazing the floor as she walked.

Claire wiped her hands on a towel as the woman stopped at the counter. “Hello. What can I do for you?”

“Good afternoon.” The woman’s voice was low and gravelly. Claire figured her for a heavy smoker. Either that or a time-traveling 1940s film star. “I have some things I’d like to purchase.”

“Sure.” Claire pulled out the yellow notepad they used for orders.

The woman opened her slim black handbag, pulling from it a folded piece paper. She pushed it across the counter with her neatly manicured hands.

Claire opened it, glancing at the long list of items. It was a big order, and Claire immediately started transferring the woman’s list to the notepad.

“This is your family’s establishment?” The woman asked the question with the certainty of someone who already knew the answer.

“Uh-huh.” Claire had to resist the urge to add “unfortunately” at the end of the sentence.

Frankincense, black cat oil, anise seed, aloeswood powder…

“It’s quite a store. It seems you have everything.”

“Just about,” Claire said. A strand of her long blond hair fell forward. She tucked it behind one ear and continued transcribing the woman’s list to the notepad.

“And how long does it usually take to fill an order?” the woman asked.

“It depends on what you need. Let’s see…” Claire scanned the list. Everything on the front page was in stock. She turned the paper over to the back. “We should be able to do this while you…”

The words stopped coming out of Claire’s mouth as she came to the last item on the list.

Two (2) vials Black Panthera Pardus Plasma.

She felt her face flush as she searched her memory, wanting to be sure.

“Is there a problem?” the woman asked.

Claire didn’t know if it was paranoia or something else, but she thought there was something new in the woman’s voice. An undercurrent of acceptance, as if she’d known the Kincaid’s wouldn’t have the plasma all along.

Claire shook her head, resisting the urge to call out for her mother. Pilar Kincaid had little patience for Claire’s “lack of commitment” to the family business. Calling her would only highlight Claire’s inability to handle the store on her own. Besides, her knowledge of the craft wasn’t exactly encyclopedic. Maybe she was wrong.

“Um… not a problem. But one of these items might take us a while to get in. I think it’s a special order.”

“And which item would that be?” the woman asked, her voice frosty.

“The black panther plasma. We don’t keep it in stock.”

No one keeps it, Claire thought. As far as the Guild was concerned, there were some things you just didn’t mess around with, even if you were an experienced practitioner.

The woman tapped her manicured nails on the wood counter. “How long do you expect it will take to get it?”

“I’m not sure.” Claire didn’t have time to really think about it. “Maybe a week?”

The woman didn’t hesitate. “Fine. I’ll take the rest of the items now.”

Claire nodded, turning to fill the order. Everything else on the list was in stock, and Claire busied herself filling vials with the powder and herbs and wrapping roots in brown paper. She could feel the woman’s eyes on her back while she worked. It made the tiny hairs at the back of her neck stand on end and caused a prickling sensation behind her eyes. She felt vulnerable, exposed.

Once the order was filled, she turned around, half expecting the woman to have transformed into some kind of monster.

But she was just the same, her gaze unflinching, her eyes so dark they were almost black.

“Here you go,” Claire said, pushing the package toward the woman and turning to the calculator. She consulted the notepad, her fingers flying over the keys. “That’ll be $357. 42, without the panther plasma.”

She had a hard time even saying it. Questions were drumming through her mind. She needed to get upstairs to her mother. She would know what to do.

The woman nodded slowly, pulling a wallet from her handbag and removing four hundred dollar bills.

Claire took the money and made change from the lockbox they kept under the counter. “Would you like us to call you when we find out about the special order?”

“That won’t be necessary. I’ll see you one week from today.” She took her change and picked up the package, her unsettling gaze resting on Claire. “Goodbye, Claire.”

She turned and left through the private entrance. Claire watched the door shut behind her, listening for the click of the automatic lock. For a minute, she was rooted to the floor, wondering if she’d imagined the whole thing. Then she looked down at the list of items.

Two (2) vials Black Panthera Pardus Plasma.

She took the stairs two at a time.

* * *

The Kincaid’s living quarters were separated from the store by one floor and a two level staircase. Just a few months ago, the door between the two spaces hadn’t even had a lock, but after a rash of break-ins, the Guild families who had stores on-site had taken measures to protect their private quarters from the customers who had access to the supply houses.

The world was changing, Claire’s mother had said as the locksmith installed a heavy deadbolt on the door that separated the store from the two floors above it. Once a secret society of old-school voodoo suppliers and their clients, the Guild of High Priests and Priestesses had become too large to allow for intimate knowledge of each and every member. Now, it was up to the regional leaders to vet and approve new members based on lineage and practice.

Claire reached the top of the stairs and fumbled through her keys for the one that fit the n