We have the pleasure to be part of the Lichgates, by S. M. Boyce, Book Blast hosted by Gliterary Girl Media.
Publisher: Caffeinated Books Publishing
Release Date: October15th, 2011
“The writing is flawless. The kingdoms and surrounding landscapes breathtaking. The Grimoire is a piece of imaginative genius that bedazzles from the moment Kara falls into the land of Ourea.
–Nikki Jefford, author of the Spellbound Trilogy
Fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre.
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
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S. M. Boyce
International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.
S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.
Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.
Kara Magari squinted back up the path she’d just climbed. The gazebo’s roof peeked through the trees, evidence of where she’d been only ten minutes before. Not bad. With her finger in the air, she traced the way she’d taken, starting at the lichgate and going down over each step in her head. Her finger hovered and came to a stop, though, when she examined the base of the hill.
Built into the rock was a marble door, shrouded with overhanging roots and dangling moss that clung to its frame like bangs. She rubbed her eyes, but the closed entryway was still there when she opened them again.
She brushed her hand along the door’s smooth stone. It was simple, with only a round stone knob and a small emblem carved into the rock at eye level. The symbol looked something like a four-leaf clover made out of crescent moons.
Kara’s fingers itched on the handle, but she hesitated.
The ground trembled with a sudden force that knocked her against the cliff. The breeze stopped, dissolving with a hiss into the hot summer sky. She scanned the valley. Several somethings cracked in the ground under her feet.
Thunder rumbled overhead. A dark cloud churned in the sky, and her heart fell into her stomach; there hadn’t even been a single fluffy cloud up there ten minutes ago.
A blinding bolt of moss-colored lightning flashed, striking the ground nearby. The hairs on her arms stood on end. Heat coursed through her calves, and she caught her breath. Her ears rang.
Wait. Was that lightning green?
The cliff trembled as a boom shattered the air. It began to rain. The heavy drops pelted her skin and clung to her hair as another rumble coursed along the far edge of the valley. She needed shelter, and the last place she would go in a lightning storm was up a hill.
She turned back and twisted the door’s handle, sighing with relief as it opened—unlocked. Still, as wet as it was outside and as much as she wanted a safe place to wait out the rain, she lingered on the threshold to examine the room.
Mud covered everything from the floor to the ceiling. Since there weren’t any supports to hold the roof, she couldn’t figure out how the ten-by-ten dirt shelter hadn’t caved in yet. The air within was heavy, moist with the rot of dead leaves, and her only guiding light streamed in from behind her. Roots dangled from the ceiling like stalactites reaching for the floor. The wind picked up, howling as it pelted rain against her back.
Kara tested the ground with her sneaker. The dirt floor supported her weight, so she tip-toed into the room and left the door open. Rain fell in lingering drops on the threshold before it disappeared into the growing pools of mud. She stuck her hands in her pockets and watched the raging storm outside.
A flash of dark brown blurred past her.
She jumped. A tan flicker snaked along the roof, and clumps of soil fell in sheets. She glared at the ceiling, holding her breath as the settling dust rained onto her shoes.
It had almost looked like a root moving, but that—that was crazy.
Another streak of motion raced down the opposite wall. It passed through a shaft of light, and Kara saw its pointed, wooden tip. Tiny veins sprouted from it like hairs, digging into the dirt so that it could travel.
It was a root moving.
A second spiny vine shot up from the floor and wrapped itself around her leg. It pulled. She tripped, falling into the first root as it snaked along the far wall. Dirt poured over her head, blinding her. The scent of decaying bark made her cough. The root tugged again, and she was yanked onto her hands and knees. It dragged her towards the center of the room. She reached for the knife strapped to her free ankle, the one Mom had—no! She couldn’t think of Mom. Not now.
A third root wrapped around her waist, and another grabbed her hand as she reached for the blade. The roots flipped her onto her back. With a bang, the door snapped shut. Her stomach churned. The floor disappeared. She fell, and the roots let go.
Treason (The Grimoire Trilogy #2) by S. M. Boyce
Excerpt from chapter one
In the hidden world of Ourea, there are too many beautiful places to name: rose-covered cliffs tower miles over the valleys and forests below, cities thrive in submerged ecosystems beneath the sea, and the dragons that once ruled volcanoes are now but fossils in a cave. The creatures of human myth flourish in Ourea. Trees are this world’s skyscrapers. Magic is its currency. And while the rest of Earth forgot what it means to dream big, Ourea kept alive its wonder.
At least, that’s how Kara saw it.
She sat on a ledge in a cave, a dozen feet or so above an indoor river littered with rapids. Green sunlight poured through a crack in the ceiling, its rays tainted green from the branches which blocked her view of the sun. The light danced across the river, illuminating the white foam that splattered into the air as the water rushed by below.
Kara dangled her legs over the edge, listening to the chorus of water roaring through the cave. The ledge on which she sat served as a catwalk through the cavern. Several more ledges lined both sides of the cave, but she hadn’t yet figured out how to get to them. She stared up at the ledge ten feet above her, her eyes following the natural walkway until she came across a missing chunk a few yards off. Maybe she could climb that someday, but all she wanted now was to relax.
Her ledge wound around a bend in the cavern wall and toward a waterfall that fed the river. Behind the waterfall was a flight of stone stairs that led to a dirt trail, which curved through a forest for about a mile before it opened out into the Vagabond’s village—her village. And there, somewhere in the myriad of empty houses and vacant rooms, Braeden was probably starting to realize she’d ditched their sparring practice for the day.
Kara eyed her satchel, which lay empty against the cave wall. Flick—the red, teleporting ball of fur that he was—was out and about exploring the cave. The Xlijnughl (Zyl-LEYN-guhl ) could find trouble anywhere, so she hoped he would stay close. She would just have to keep an eye out for him.
Her stomach growled. She glanced through the tree branches above to take a guess at the time, but she couldn’t even see the sun through the leaves. As much as she wanted to believe Braeden wouldn’t find her little haven, she knew better. Braeden could track anything. That prince could track a month-old trail if he wanted. There was no escaping him, not that she would ever really want such a thing. Not after all he’d done for her.
She sighed and leaned her head against the cave wall. Pebbles broke off as she pushed against it, so she grabbed one as it fell and chucked it over the edge.
Braeden had guarded her while she visited the yakona kingdoms. He’d helped her bring them together in a loose sense of the word. He’d saved her life when she fled Hillside. She shuddered—her brush with Gavin had been too close. He’d tried to trick her into wearing a poisoned tiara that would have made her his slave.
She scoffed. None of this even sounded real. This world couldn’t be real. She would wake up from her coma any day now. That had to be it. A secret world hidden beneath the human race’s collective nose couldn’t be real.
“You scrunch your eyebrows when you’re lost in thought.”
She blinked her eyes back into focus. Braeden sat next to her, even though she hadn’t even heard him on his way across the ledge.
He watched her with that half-cocked grin of his. Black hair framed his face, longer now than when she’d first met him a couple months ago. A few beads of sweat rolled down his temple, tracing his olive skin in a pattern she wanted to mimic with her finger. His dark eyes caught her in their gaze, and she forgot how to breathe for a moment.
“No, don’t stop. It’s cute,” he said.
She laughed and punched his shoulder. He teetered and reached for her, grinning as if he was about to pull her over with him, only to scoot a little closer once he righted himself. Though he would never throw her off a cliff, Kara pulled her feet onto the platform all the same once he started laughing, too.
“You shouldn’t push people who are sitting on ledges, you know,” he said with a wink.
Kara smiled. “You’d heal instantly.”
He nudged her shoulder. “Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t hurt.”
“Well, I’m sorry then.”
“Ungracious apology accepted.”
She laughed. She couldn’t help it. Even if her mind had created Ourea as some elaborate defense mechanism, she would stay just to be near him.
But Ourea was real. She’d escaped armies, decapitated shadow demons, and had too many scars for it to not be real—and the gravity of her dangerous new life sent bile into the back of her throat. The people vagabonds loved died. Every time. Thus, why she couldn’t have Braeden.
“You all right, Kara?”
She caught his eye and forced a smile. “Yep.”
He narrowed his eyes as if waiting for her to crack under the pressure. She wouldn’t. She wanted what she couldn’t have. It was as simple as that.