Hey all! Today I’m hosting this awesome post to celebrate Month9Books’ Birthday Bash! Make sure you follow this haunting schedule! The full schedule is below and make sure to stick around for the EPIC Giveaway taking place!
Here’s a quick note from Georgia McBride, owner of Month9Books!
“Month9Books is turning 2 this year and I could not be happier. We are living proof that if you have a dream to write, create and inspire, you should follow that dream and let nothing keep you from realizing it. Thank you to all the readers, writers, agents, partners and friends who have made this possible. We write for you.
--Georgia McBride, Publisher and Owner of Month9Books”
Here’s a slide show of some of Month9Books 2015 releases!
It might seem that CROWN OF ICE—my dark YA retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen”—is a story more suited for winter and the Christmas holiday season than Halloween. But ghosts are actually a major aspect of CROWN OF ICE. The wraiths, who are the mindless, bodiless spirits of former Snow Queens, haunt the icy corridors of the current Snow Queen’s palace.
My protagonist, Thyra Winther, has lived with the wraiths for years, ever since the wizard Mael Voss brought her to the ice palace and transformed her into the Snow Queen. She’s seventeen, and knows if she can’t complete the reconstruction of a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday, she’ll end up just like the wraiths. This is truly a fate worse than death for Thyra, who values her brilliant mind above all things.
At the beginning of CROWN OF ICE, Thyra describes the wraiths and their fate:
At night the palace’s crystal halls are tinged sapphire. One of the first bits of magic that Voss taught me was to set the carved walls alight so that I’m not forced to walk the halls in darkness. I conjure a cold light that glows within the thick walls without melting the ice. I mastered this trick quickly once I knew what those shadows held. If I leave an area in darkness, they come—the girls who reigned as Snow Queen before me.
“I must find it.” Their hollow words wind about me like a shroud. “The last piece. I must place it. Give it to me.”
They are only shadows—swirling mists that occasionally coalesce to create phantoms of their former selves. So many girls, from so many eras. Some from the far past, their ghostly bodies attired in ancient robes and strange, peaked headdresses, and some dressed in the garb of more recent years. I know there is nothing left of their real natures—a curse has destroyed their minds. All thought is lost to them, except for the memory of their final terror. Of every shape and size and time, they share only one trait—the absolute agony that burns within their hollow eyes. They suffer a fate that makes ordinary death look like a blessing—the loss of so much more than a body. It is the sacrifice of the soul and the destruction of mind and will.
I would free them if I could. Allow them the respite of a true death. Send them to their rest. But it does not matter what I might desire to give them, I cannot alter their plight. They thrust their hands at me, but their fingers can neither hold nor grasp. They are not dead, they cannot die. Mael Voss made them immortal when he made them queen. (From: CROWN OF ICE by Vicki L. Weavil).
Many of Thyra’s actions are driven by her burning desire to escape this terrible fate. She is haunted by the consequences of failure, which she can see and experience only too well:
I often encounter them in the shadows, their translucent faces frozen into masks of grief, their eyes devoid of memory, of sense. I stride past them. Or through them, if necessary. A disgusting sensation, like walking through a spider’s web—light as milkweed floss but clinging to my skin. Still, I’d rather endure such unpleasantness than stay in their company, haunted by a constant reminder of my fate.
“The final piece,” they whine. “I have it. I hold it. I will place it correctly. I will remain queen.”
They cannot truly speak with me—their words are those burned upon their tongues when their lives were ripped into shreds of mist. Only when they warn of my future, channeling the power of the mirror’s curse, do they speak anything other than their foolish, repeated phrases.
“You’ll do nothing.” I snap at them. “You are smoke and air and unending stupidity.”
It does no good for me to show any kindness. They comprehend nothing. Their gaze is turned inward, focused on their own memories of horror.
I stalk away to the safety of my bedchamber, where a cold flame fills the icy fireplace and the skins of slaughtered beasts cover the walls and floor.
They all failed, all those who came before me. But I will conquer Voss’s task. I am no ordinary girl—nothing like the wraiths, although they were once a bit like me. I am brighter than the borealis, sharper than an ice crystal, stronger than the northern winds. I will reassemble the mirror and reign as Snow Queen forever. (from: CROWN OF ICE by Vicki L. Weavil)
The wraiths are a constant horror woven throughout the story, haunting Thyra with the threat of future terror. These ghosts are a major force in the book, so reading CROWN OF ICE for Halloween is perfectly appropriate!
Thyra Winther's seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can't reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she's doomed to spend eternity as a wraith. Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal. A cruel lie ensnares Kai in her plan, but three missing mirror shards and Kai's childhood friend, Gerda, present more formidable obstacles. Thyra's willing to do anything – venture into uncharted lands, outwit sorcerers, or battle enchanted beasts -- to reconstruct the mirror, yet her most dangerous adversary lies within her breast. Touched by the warmth of a wolf pup's devotion and the fire of a young man's desire, the thawing of Thyra's frozen heart could be her ultimate undoing.
CROWN OF ICE is a YA Fantasy that reinvents Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" from the perspective of a young woman who discovers that the greatest threat to her survival may be her own humanity.
An avid reader who appreciates good writing in all genres, Vicki has been known to read seven books in as many days. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend time watching films, gardening, or traveling. Vicki lives in North Carolina with her husband, son, and three very spoiled cats. Vicki’s debut novel, CROWN OF ICE – a Young Adult retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” – will be published by Month9Books in December 2014. She is represented by Jennifer Mishler at Literary Counsel.
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