lunedì 2 dicembre 2013

Book Blitz: Counting Shadows di Olivia Rivers + giveaway

Buongiorno ^^ Eccoci ad un nuovo book blitz, ideato come sempre da Giselle di Xpresso Book Tours; oggi vi presento il primo volume di una serie young adult fantasy, spero possa piacervi :) La cover è davvero carina *-*

Titolo: Counting Shadows
Autore: Olivia Rivers
Genere: Young adult fantasy
Trama: Faye’s soul-mate is everything she should hate—an Angel, an outcast, an enemy. Ashe is just one more imperfection in her life that somehow makes everything… perfect.
Until he’s murdered.
With the only person she loves ripped away, Faye sets out to avenge Ashe’s death. The task seems impossible, until she finds Lor—an Angel who looks nearly identical to Ashe’s killer. Arrogant and hot-headed, Lor is everything Ashe wasn’t. But Lor is connected to her soul-mate’s past, and Faye needs him to find the killer—even if Lor is potentially deadly.
But when Faye discovers that Ashe’s past isn’t as black and white as she thought, she faces an impossible choice: Give up the hunt, and risk the lives of others. Or continue pursuing Ashe’s murderer, and forfeit the lives of everyone in her family—including herself.

Olivia Rivers is the author of five novels, ranging in genres from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Romance. Along with being a writer, she’s a freelance digital artist, a literary agent assistant, and a high school student. She’s a nerd at heart, and is a hopeless fan-girl for Doctor Who and Pokémon. Olivia lives in California with a dog who thinks he’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and a kitten who is just generally confused. 



His black eyes settle on mine, the pain in them a silent accusation. Ashe knows he’s about todie. And he knows I’ve lied about his Fate. 
I can’t feel guilt. I can’t feel anything. There’s only my ragged breaths and the tears pressing against my eyes. Ashe steps toward me, even though I’m in the opposite direction of the door. 
No, I silently beg him. Run. I don’t realize I’m shaking my head until he falters. 
“Stop,” one of the guards hisses, even though he already has. “Don’t go near the Lady Faye.” 
My heart pounds wildly. “Just count the beats when you get scared,” Ashe told me months ago, as he pressed his palm over my heart. “Remember that I’ll protect you until the day they stop. And don’t be scared anymore.” 
I gasp in air. One, two, three, four…
He walks toward me, his face hard with determination. 
Five, six, seven… 
One of the guards shouts and stabs his spear forward. At Ashe. My Ashe. 
My heart stops.
I scream at the guard, telling him to stop, to leave, to disappear and never show his face again. But my words are a jumbled mess, and it’s too late. The spear pierces Ashe’s right wing, drawing blood. Nausea fills me as the red blood mingles with his crimson feathers. I’ve always loved his wings. They mark him as an Angel, the one bit of perfection in my life. 
Now those wings are ruined. 
Ashe’s eyes never leave me, even as the guard tears his spear out of the wound. I swallow hard. I’ve never stared into his eyes for too long, knowing I’d probably lose myself in all the pain and loneliness in their depths. Now I never want to look away. 
“Get moving,” the guard with the bloodied spear growls. He stabs at Ashe again, but Ashe grabs the shaft of the spear before it strikes him. He yanks the spear from the guard and snaps it in two. Ashe allows one of the halves to clatter to the stone floor, but keeps hold of the sharpened end. His gaze slowly sweeps over the four guards with weapons, a low growl rumbling in his throat. 
“You can’t do this,” I say, finally finding my voice. “My father would never allow it.” 
“Your father ordered this,” snaps the guard without a spear. He braces for an attack, as do the others. 
Then their leader takes a step forward and pushes out a staying hand. “Wait.” 
I recognize this leader as Jolik. He was my bodyguard for awhile before Ashe became my Guardian. I’m not sure how many bodyguards I went through—five, six?—but they never lasted long before I excused them. 
Jolik nods to Ashe. “Let him say goodbye.” 
The weaponless guard speaks up. “He could kill her.” 
“He won’t,” Jolik says, shaking his head. 
Ashe doesn’t wait for Jolik to change his mind. He drops the broken spear and rushes to me. 
Cupping my face with one hand, he uses the other to press me against him. Familiar heat radiates off him this close. He tilts my chin up and kisses me so gently, I barely feel his lips against mine. 
But I can feel the desperation, and as he presses me a little closer, I know this is a goodbye. 
The kiss only lasts a moment. Then the guards drag him away, and those threatening tears finally spill. I’m not sure if the tears are angry or anguished. Or maybe just broken. 
“You’re right, little sparrowhawk,” Ashe says over his shoulder. “Everything is going to be okay. I promise.” 
I don’t get to respond. The last guard exits my chambers and slams the heavy door closed, leaving me truly alone for the first time in years. I take a shuddering breath, willing the doors to burst open, for Ashe to come rushing back to me. 
They don’t. Silence settles over the room, screaming the truth: nothing will ever be okay.


“So,” Farren says, his voice much too cheery. “How goes the murder mission?” 
I swallow hard. Farren rarely asks about my plans to kill Ashe’s murderer, and as bile rises in my throat, I’m reminded why. It’s awkward to discuss murder plans with someone as moral as Farren. Really, really awkward…
“It’s the same as always,” I reply slowly, and keep picking at that thread. “I found a lead tonight, but it won’t go anywhere.” 
“How do you know?” 
I sigh, glancing toward the fireplace. A fire crackles in the hearth, and wisps of smoke disappear up the chimney. “My leads never go anywhere,” I mumble. “They get me close, but not close enough. He’s always gone when I get near.” 
“But this man is still around Kastellor?” Farren asks, referring to our country’s capital. 
I nod. “He’s staying close to the castle, or at least most of the time. My informants say he’s leaving the city for periods of time, and then coming back. But I have no idea what he’s up to.” 
Which just about kills me. The day before Ashe was taken into custody, I saw the man in the royal throne-room. He was tall and broad, with a long scar at the corner of his mouth. A pearly patch of skin marked his collarbone, a small circle that almost looked like a brand. Treason, I’d heard him whisper out of his ruined mouth, and Father’s eyes had grown wide. 
After Ashe was sentenced to death, I started hunting the man. But, after ten months, I barely have anything to show for it. Every day I wake up with this reality hanging over my head, and every day I wake up nauseous, pained… guilty. 
“You don’t even know his name, Faye,” Farren says softly. Then he scoffs, his tone hardening a little. “You can barely confirm he exists.” 
“I know he exists. I saw him, Farren. He’s the one who reported my Guardian as a traitor. 
He set him up!” 
Farren does another one of his hand-flicking gestures, dismissing my words. “Maybe he did report Ashe. But what if this man was working for someone else? What if he was only a messenger?” 
I wince at the way he says the name: Ashe. Like it’s just another casual word to use in discussion. I stopped using it soon after Ashe died, deciding his name deserves more respect. But I can’t convince everyone of that. 
“If he was just the messenger,” I reply, my teeth gritted, “then I’ll make him tell me his employer’s name before I kill him.” 
Farren shakes his head. “Why are you so set on killing him, Faye? Why does he have to die?” 
The answer is so obvious that I laugh. We both wince at the harsh, ruined sound. “He has to die because he murdered my Guardian,” I growl. “It’s his fault, and he needs to die for it.”


I face a dark cell, one far from any window and trapped in shadows. I take a step toward it,and then back, unable to see anyone in the darkness. 
Then a figure steps forward into a faint patch of light, and I let out a choked sound. 
It’s him. 
Young, about my own age. Tanned skin. Muscular and well-built, but taller than any Irradorian. Sharp facial features, strong jaw, and the scar that runs from his right eyebrow down to his bottom lip—
The scar. It’s not there. I frantically scan the man’s face another time, but the scar is still missing. 
The man in front of me raises an eyebrow and leans against the bars of his cell. “You like something you see?” 
“No,” I blurt out. 
I don’t like this. I hate this. This man looks exactly like Ashe’s killer, but… he’s not. As I look over him a second time, I notice a few more subtle differences; this man is a little taller than Ashe’s killer, a little younger, and he has a tattoo on his collarbone. I can only see a portion of the black ink, but it’s enough to prove this isn’t who I’m looking for. Ashe’s killer didn’t have any tattoos. 
But maybe he just got the tattoo after he killed Ashe. Maybe… No. He could gain a tattoo, but he could never lose a scar.
This isn’t the man I’ve been searching for. 
The man in the cell hisses in a breath, reminding me that I said something offensive. 
“Ouch.” The way he speaks reminds me of Farren’s sarcastic drawl, only this man’s is much more practiced. He has a slight accent that somehow manages to make his husky voice sound elegant, but it just makes me shudder. His voice sounds so much like Ashe’s killer’s. “That hurts, sweetheart. Like an arrow through the heart. Words can kill, you know.”
My chest constricts, knowing how right he is. Knowing he knows how right he is. It was words that killed Ashe, just a few whispers in the ear of Father. And, somehow, this man is tied to that. 
I glare at him, doing my best to look intimidating, despite the shivers crawling over my skin. 
“What’s your name?”
He bows deeply, the motion even more sarcastic than his words. “My name is Lor. At your service, sweetheart.” He looks up and winks. “Any service.” 
“I’m not here to play games with you,” I growl. 
“Too bad.” 
“I want to know right now. What part are you playing in this? How do you know my Guardian’s killer? What did you have to gain from his death?” I gasp in air, suddenly out of breath. 
Lor tilts his head and stares at me for a long moment, his eyebrows raised in amusement. 
“You know,” he says, his voice softening to a tone that’s darkly patronizing. “Where I come from, it’s considered rather rude to come barging into someone’s prison cell and accuse them of murder. That’s usually done before the whole incarceration thing.”
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