Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Guest Post: Book of Angels by K.H. Mezek @karenalainehunt @evernightteen #amazongiveaway #YA #UF





In Book of Angels, Sera gets to know Peter and the other 
Night Angels better and to understand their pasts. 

The Queen in Night Angels was inspired by Ahhotep I, Queen in Eygpt, born in 1560 BC. Her husband and Pharaoh was Ahmose, the inspiration for Fabian Gore.  

In Book of Angels, Sera discovers the stories of the Turnings of all the Night Angels, along with Fabian Gore, the Queen and her two sons, Mehmet and Vlad. When I was a child, I went to the places they are from: to Egypt, Turkey, Slovenia. As an adult, I lived between London and a small village near Lake Bled, the inspiration for the location of Strejan’s castle.
The knowledge of the Night Angels’ pasts is a terrible burden for Sera to absorb into herself. Especially her knowledge of Peter. She begins to understand him a little better, as well as the other Night Angels. The cruelty and suffering that they have known, once in their human lives, and then the horror of the killings they committed as vampires, is hard to reconcile with what they claim to have become as cultured and self-controlled denizens.
Sera still doesn’t know if she should trust them. She is torn between her love and distrust of Peter. She feels that as long as she is the Keeper of the Key, she will never know if anyone cares about her for herself, or if they just want the key. 






Lake Bled, Slovenia, with its medieval church on an island and castle on a rocky cliff, it is my second home. My daughter is half Slovene. This is where Peter grew up, with Professor Strejan as his tutor. They were both taken to the Ottoman Empire where Peter was trained to be a warrior.
After Sera takes the Book of Angels, she takes it to Dante, a rebel vampire, who refuses to call himself a denizen, for safe-keeping. When she goes to pick it up from Dante, Peter comes with her. They have an encounter on the stairs of an old apartment building in Boyle Heights, an LA neighborhood with a lot of history and culture.
Here is a short excerpt showing the constant tension between Sera and Peter. They are standing on the steps of the old apartment building, about to go inside to retrieve the book:
Before going in, I hurriedly explained what had happened in the library.
“You have the Book of Angels?” he said in surprise.
“Yes.”
Peter hugged me. “You're amazing.” Then, he grew serious again. “You need to know that the room beneath the library, it would have been impossible for you to survive moving through the wall.”
“But, I did,” I said, not comprehending.
Peter explained further. “You say you moved through the wall and into a tunnel. But we checked that room. There's no tunnel nearby. If you had moved through that wall, you would have found yourself stuck in solid earth.”
 “So, how did I survive?”
Peter shook his head. “You tell me. You're the one who did it. Sera ... you moved through about a mile of earth before you reached a tunnel.”
He stopped speaking so I could digest the meaning of what he was saying.
“That's not possible,” I said.
“Apparently, it's possible for you. Any other denizen would have been torn apart. I don't think anyone's fully aware of how incredible your powers are. And as you grow stronger, your powers will grow with you.”
I was standing still and rigid. This information frightened me. It was as if I didn't even know myself, as if my body had a mind of its own.
“Look,” said Peter. “Don’t obsess over it. We need to hurry, remember? I just wanted you to know.”
“Thanks.” I started up the steps, then stopped again. “There's something else.” I jerked my head to the top of the stairs. “There's a bad ass Rebel in there guarding the book—calls himself a vampire.” I looked closely at Peter to see his reaction.
He appeared startled for a moment, before a slight smile appeared on his lips. “His name wouldn't be Dante, would it?”
I punched his arm. “I think there's a lot of things the Night Angels haven't explained to me.”
“We're doing our best, Sera. So much has happened that there hasn't been time to explain everything. For example, explaining how you moved through the earth like that, I told you as much as I could, right now, as we stand on these steps, needing to go inside and deal with the book. There's only so much explaining that can be done. Many things you'll just have to experience to understand. That could take countless years.”
I had to admit that this was true. My accusations were unfair. 
Peter was looking up at me with concern, where I stood on the step above him. From far off, the sound of police sirens could be heard, while inside the courtyard, all was quiet and peaceful, the moonlight shimmering on the flowers, the scent of jasmine filling the air.
Peter put his hand on my arm and said softly, “Why do I get the feeling you're the one who is purposely keeping information from us?”
I shook him away, the peaceful moment gone. “Why do I get the feeling that's what you do? Anyway, you don't own me!”
Peter sighed impatiently. “You behave like a spoiled child.”
“Maybe because I am!”
“I don't want to fight with you,” said Peter, sparks of anger now in his eyes. “Let's start this conversation over again. Remember when I said you were amazing? Well, you are. I don't know anyone who could do what you've done. You have the book. Even Blanca is beginning to change her opinion of you.”
I said sarcastically, “Wow, what a miracle.”
Peter touched my chin with his fingers, a fleeting touch but it shook me to the core. “Just take the compliment for once, okay? You're amazing.”
I rolled my eyes. “Okay, thanks. Now, we better get in there.”
Peter laughed softly. “What a girl!” 

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Book of Angels
(Night Angels Chronicles, 2)
by K.H. Mezek

81K / Evernight Teen Publishing
Romance, Fantasy, Suspense, Urban Fantasy


All Sera ever wanted was to solve the mystery of her dad’s death and find out whether or not the Night Angel, Peter, really loved her. Now, there are bigger issues at stake. After being saved from death by the Night Angels, Sera returns to Oak Haven to find her brother, Salem, has been saved by her nemesis, the sinister Los Angeles mayor-to-be, Fabian Gore. Sera and her brother meet again in their hometown of Oak Haven as powerful denizens. And as enemies. Someone is channeling power to the Queen, imprisoned in St. Catherine’s Monastery. If she escapes, the Ancient Ones will rise up from their sarcophagi beneath churches throughout the world and wreak vengeance on denizens and humans alike. 

To thwart the Queen, Sera has no choice but to form an uneasy alliance with Gore. Meanwhile, Sera’s power and her connection to the Key of Mystery is growing. Only she can open the Book of Angels. But whoever does that will become something that Sera never wants to be: the Seventh Angel. How can Sera solve her own problems when everyone else wants her to solve their problems as well?  

Buy Links:  Evernight Teen / Amazon  / ARe




14+ due to adult situations

Excerpt:
The next thing I knew I had leapt into the air with the two of them, my mind on St. Catherine’s Monastery, and I found myself hurtling through the Passage, horribly aware of every atom in my body and the indomitable forces of the universe that were trying to pull me apart.
As if it were a part of my very being, I held myself together, “remembered myself”, and traveled through the Passage.
Within seconds, I was floating down from the sky, surrounded by the immense, desolate beauty of what looked like a moonscape. Except that the moon shone brighter and bigger than I had ever seen. Behind me, sand stretched, wave upon wave of it, with not a hint of grass or trees, while in front rose a sheer cliff, taller than a skyscraper. The monastery seemed to grow out of the rock, so closely was it pressed against the cliff.
“All looks peaceful,” observed Peter.
“Maybe too peaceful,” said Blanca.
Together, we jumped over the fortress walls, landing in the empty courtyard. We entered the sixth century basilica. We walked from the vestibule into the ornate nave and down the aisle, toward the sanctuary. I gazed in awe at the ancient artifacts and the icons shining with gold. Hundreds of lamps hung from the high ceiling like glittering galaxies, bathing the vast room in an eerie light. Out of the shadows the figure of the Abbot appeared, wearing a long gray robe and a cylindrical, flat-topped hat. His long black hair was tied in a knot at the nape of his head, a frizzy beard spreading out from his face like tangled wire. His large, hooked nose resembled a bird’s beak and his dark eyes burned uncannily from deep sockets.
He greeted us with a humble bow and wordlessly led us through a dark and narrow arched doorway into a small, circular, windowless chamber, padding silently on bare feet. The chamber was empty except for one plain wooden table. On the table sat the black lacquered Life Box, looking just as insignificant as the Object Holder had when I had first seen it and fought over it with Salem. This box, though, was about twice the size of the one that had held the key. And, whereas the Object Holder had a gold lock and tiny gold key to open it, the Life Box had no lock and no visible way to open it.
On either side of the table stood two impressive Bedouin warriors. Each had one hand resting on a curved scimitar and the other holding the hilt of a knife tucked into a belt. Their faces were lined and weather-beaten and expressionless, as if carved from the rocks of the mountain. The desert surrounding the monastery was home to many Bedouin. They were devout Muslims with a long history of guarding the monastery. They had made a vow to guard the Life Box with their lives.
The Abbot motioned for the Bedouin to stand at ease.
Bowing low to us, the guards said in unison, “Assalamu alaikum.” It meant, “peace be upon you.”
Along with Peter and Blanca, I responded, “Alaikum assalamu.” This meant, “upon you be peace.”
Like everything else in my crazy life these days, I had no idea how I knew to say that, but I did.
The Abbot didn’t speak, just gestured for us to gather around the box.
“He has taken a vow of silence and hasn’t spoken in thirty years,” said Peter.
My attention was drawn to the box. I realized it vibrated and hummed in an almost undetectable manner. Only when I remained completely still and stared fixedly did I notice it. 
“This it does without stopping and just today, it gained in force,” said one of the Bedouin.
Sure enough, as we watched, the box jumped slightly, shuddered, and jumped again before falling back into its continual vibration. It hummed a little louder now.
As I watched in fascination, I slowly became aware that the key around my neck was growing heavier and beginning to burn.
The box vibrated more violently and hummed louder. As it did, it rose into the air and hovered about two feet above the table. The vibrating and humming grew so loud I thought the box might split apart.
The key was searing my skin and I yelled in pain. I tried to tear it off, but it was stuck to my chest and my hand burned when I touched it. I felt the Queen’s presence, reaching out to me. It was pure evil and I felt attracted to it. I wanted to bow down and worship the Queen, give her the key. I became brutally aware of her perfections and my own failings. I loved the Queen! I despised and hated myself! Horrible thoughts rose in my mind, the impulse to do horrible things.
Blood was pouring from my eyes. Tears or something worse, I didn’t know.
“Take me away!” I cried out to the others. “She’s grabbing at me. Take me away. Please!
The Bedouin had drawn their swords and whipped out their daggers, but there was nothing they could do except stand there, at the ready. Blanca and Peter had drawn their swords, too. They’d placed themselves as a shield between me and the box. The Abbot ran in front of us all and pushed Blanca and Peter back.
He turned to face the box, bracing himself as if against a great wind, and raised his hands to heaven in prayer.
Peter and Blanca were then able to pull me out of the chamber. I don’t think I could have moved before the Abbot faced the box. As soon as we were back in the nave, I collapsed onto the ground, gasping great gulps of air, thankful to find the heat of the key subsiding. With a great cry, I tried to take it off, but it was stuck. Completely stuck now. To my skin.
“Fuck this key! Why am I cursed with it?”
My entire body was bathed in red sweat. I looked down at myself in horror. What had I become? What nightmare had I entered? I pushed back my hair and swallowed, my throat dry and constricted. I had to get control of myself. I breathed in and out deeply.
“She’s getting stronger all the time. She’ll get out. Maybe soon. And I was ready to help her!” I shuddered.
“But you didn’t,” said Peter.
“At least now we are sure she is still inside,” said Blanca.
“She won’t stay there.” I could see my fate, as I had already seen it in my Turning, and it was clearer than ever. One day I would face the Queen. 
And I would fail! How could I not, when she was so easily able to deceive and confuse me?
One of the Bedouin exited the chamber. “The Abbot wants you to know he is now sure someone is channeling power to the Queen, but he cannot see who.”
“It’s just not possible,” said Blanca. 
The Bedouin bowed respectfully. “I only tell you what the Abbot believes.”
“Thank you,” said Peter.
The Bedouin continued. “The Abbot further believes that you must discover who is doing this. You must stop them or she will escape.”
He bowed again and returned to the nave.
“He’s right,” I said, as we walked out of the sanctuary and into the vestibule. “She and her sons will kill me and take the key.”
“Coward.” Blanca kicked the church door open with her foot. “We might as well be protecting a pile of trash! If it weren’t for the key around your neck, I’d kill you myself!”
For the first time, Blanca’s words didn’t bother me. “You can call me what you want, I don’t care. But you better listen because she will escape and we won’t be able to stop her. We need to figure out what to do instead of arguing all the time.”
“Well said,” said Peter. “Let’s get back to the castle and tell the others.”
We were outside of the basilica now and we stood for a moment, surveying the courtyard, the full moon casting eerie shadows across the ground. I looked more carefully and saw that some of the shadows moved like living things.
“What’s that?” I asked.
Peter and Blanca looked up to the sky and I did the same. A gathering storms of wispy black tendrils snaked across the sky, mirroring the moving shadows on the ground.
“What the hell…” I said.
“Wind demons,” said Blanca.
I looked at Peter inquiringly. “Seventy-two demons were captured by King Solomon and then released by mistake. Up there you see maybe twenty of them.”
The Abbot and the two Bedouin had joined us in the courtyard.
“We have never seen them here before,” said one of the Bedouin.
“And so many,” said Peter. He sighed. “I hate wind demons.”
The Abbot was motioning us to follow him. We hurried across the courtyard, which was now filled with a howling wind, the shadows of the wind demons slithering back and forth across the stones like snakes. A group of monks appeared, running in the opposite direction, heading for the church.
“They will pray,” yelled one of the Bedouin above the din.
This was not making me any happier. I had just escaped the clutches of the Queen and now I had to contend with wind demons? Was there no end to the problems I had to face in one day?
The Abbot led us into the Fatimid mosque that stood across from the church. Standing on its own, opposite the gigantic bell tower, was the minaret and we entered and climbed swiftly up the stairs. It was from this highest point that the muezzin sang across the desert, calling the followers of Islam to prayer, five times a day. We climbed out onto the little platform that ran around the top of the minaret, and from here, I felt the full force of the gale. The shadows screamed and I could see cavernous, greedy mouths appear and disappear as they whipped around the tower, creating a whirlpool of darkness. Only when I looked straight up could I see clear sky and stars. But that opening was growing narrower by the minute. All around was completely empty of light, as if the very sky itself had been sucked into a giant black hole of whirling mouths and tails, into which we, too, would be sucked if we tried to fly upward.
Peter and Blanca unsheathed their swords and I did the same.
Peter pointed with his sword. “We must fly straight up. They don’t dare come too close to the minaret.”
The Abbot nodded, making motions that we should hurry.
“Put your sword away,” Peter said.
I began to object, then obeyed. This didn’t seem like the time to argue.
He gripped my arm. “Listen carefully! Jump onto my back. Once we’ve achieved the Passage, we’ll be safe. Until then, you must hold your breath—don’t breathe, understand? If you do, the shadows will enter and steal your soul.”
I nodded, terrified.
I jumped onto his back and held on tightly.
The Abbot raised his arms, while the Bedouin brandished their swords at the swirling darkness. It seemed to abate a bit, and Peter and Blanca seized that moment to leap into the air. I breathed in deeply and held onto my breath.
All was chaos in the tunnel through the shadows, the terrible wind trying to push us back down, a screaming noise like a thousand pigs being gutted. Flying straight upward, the two Night Angels fought the demons with their swords, slicing into the tendrils that tried to encircle them.
I was sure we had almost made it when I felt an icy tendril touch my leg. I almost opened my mouth to scream. As it was, I let go of Peter with one arm and tried to reach down to bat at the tendril. I felt myself slipping halfway down his back and scrambled to pull myself back up again.
I was falling!
The snaky thing had my ankle now. I tried to kick with my foot to shake it off, while struggling to get a better hold on Peter. I was growing weaker. I had to take a breath. My chest was exploding.
And then, the Passage was achieved and we were through. I pushed away from Peter with relief, feeling the now familiar force of my molecules trying to split apart and me holding them together, as we rocketed through space and time, landing within seconds in the little garden of the castle. 



Key of Mystery, Book 1,  is also available now:  Amazon   Evernight Teen    ARe

About the Author:
Karen Hunt aka KH Mezek is the author and/or illustrator of nineteen children’s books and numerous essays and short stories. 'Reflections from Istanbul,' an excerpt from her childhood memoir, won the 2015 New Millennium Writings Nonfiction Award. She is the co-founder of InsideOUT Writers, a creative writing program for incarcerated youth in Los Angeles, and the founder of the MY WORLD PROJECT, connecting youth in remote areas around the world through art and writing. She is a 2nd degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, a first degree brown belt in Eskrima, and a boxing and kick-boxing trainer. As a child, she and her family escaped out of Egypt right before the 6 Day War, lived in a 17th century castle in Switzerland and smuggled Bibles into communist countries, to name a few of her adventures. As an adult, she continued her adventures, living between London and a village in Yugoslavia. Key of Mystery and Book of Angels, volumes one and two in the NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES, are published with Evernight Teen.  


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Monday, August 15, 2016

Spotlight: MANIFESTING DESTINY by M Pepper Langlinais @evernightteen #amazongiveaway



Manifesting DESTINY
(Changers)
M Pepper Langlinais
Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy
65K, Evernight Teen Publishing


Sixteen-year-old Cee has a hopeless crush on her best friend Marcus. Unfortunately for her, he’s gay. In the wake of Marcus’s older brother leaving home to join the Aerie, Marcus has become increasingly distant. When Cee discovers she has a troublesome dragon named Livian living inside her things grow even more complicated. 


Marcus urges Cee to go to the Magi to have Livian removed, but the more Cee becomes attached to Livian, the more she questions the decision. Should she change her natural self for the crush who will never love her anyway?

Buy Links:  ARe   Evernight Teen   Amazon




Excerpt:
Heat spread through her. Cee’s face elongated, her arms extended, her nails formed into claws, and her feet became suddenly very heavy. The bony spires erupted from her shoulders, and Cee was compelled to double over to allow the wings to grow.
Throughout, Cee fought the urge to resist, though her instinct was to do just that. She wondered what she looked like, caught a glimpse of red scales, and realized her eyesight had become sharper. All the details of the trees around her impressed themselves upon her brain: the cracks and flakes in the bark, the saw-tooth edges of the leaves, and every little spot and insect thereupon.
How big was she? Cee realized she was at eye level with the middle of the trees. She looked down and saw her friends pushing themselves even harder against the trunks, making way for Cee’s—or Livian’s, she supposed—tail as it snaked by.
Yes, we’re very pretty, said Livian impatiently. But we don’t have time for showing off just now.
The massive wings began to move, slowly at first, gathering speed that put the force of the helicopter’s artificial wind to shame. Cee realized she had no control over what was happening. It was all Livian, and she was housed inside him, somehow, along for the ride.
It was equal parts thrilling and petrifying, bursting through the treetops and being free of gravity. Cee would have liked to spend more time experiencing it, but there was the helicopter, like a massive black bug, and Livian went right for it.
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About the author:
M Pepper Langlinais is an award-winning screenwriter, produced playwright, and author. Her latest novel CHANGERS: MANIFESTING DESTINY, first in a new YA fantasy trilogy, is now available from Evernight Teen. 
M holds a Master of Arts in Writing, Literature and Publishing and a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film. She has a love of Shakespeare, having both performed and taught his work, and has also interned on Hollywood film sets. M worked for Houghton Mifflin and Pearson before deciding to devote her full time to writing (and occasionally parenting). She lives in Livermore, California with her family, cat, and hamster. Find out more about her and her books at PepperWords.com.


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Giveaway:  $25 Amazon Gift Card


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