Archive for December, 2013

Bold Release Party Tour Day 16 – So Long!

Posted: December 30, 2013 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

Well folks, this is it. The end of the party tour. The final stop. You’ve all been fantastic, and I must say I’ve greatly enjoyed it. The Breaking Shadows: Bold (available here: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/hannahstewart) release was a success, and I’d like to thank you all for your incredible support! There will be plenty of exciting things to come in the future, as Bold is made available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and various other book retailers, not to mention interviews and reviews already cropping up, and my return to working on the second book in the series, Fractured.

But, before I bid you wonderful guests farewell, we have some unfinished business. First up, the winners of the Holy Apple Crisps giveaway! Congratulations to Emily Kaufman and Elizabeth Dresdow for winning a 70% discount on their copies of Breaking Shadows: Bold! Please send me an email at breakingshadowsproject@gmail.com to collect your rewards.

Second order of the day: The You and Your BOLD Self contest. Due to an understandable lack of entries over the holidays, I have extended the scope and deadline. You now have until Midnight on January 14th to send your entries to breakingshadowsproject@gmail.com with the contest name as the subject line. In addition, entries may now consist of any artistic and original representation of Breaking Shadows: Bold, from fanart, to audio recordings, video, poetry – anything and everything you can come up with. Greater weight will be given to your entry if it handles the original prompt, which can still be found under the Contest tab. On January 15th, up to 10 of my favorite entries will be posted here for voting. The winner will be announced on the 20th, and receive a signed copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold free of charge. Any questions can be sent to the email above, or left in the comments. Be sure to get your entries in!

Holy apple crisps. My first release party, finished. Wow. You’ve all been incredible, and I can’t thank you enough for your help. But this isn’t the end – not nearly. We’ve still got 3 books to go! Happy Holidays, everyone.

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Bold Release Party Tour Day 15

Posted: December 29, 2013 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

It’s day 15 of the Bold Release Party Blog Tour, and we’ve had another schedule change. As happens in life, our host today got caught out of time at the last minute. Hopefully, she’ll be able to put up her post sometime soon, and I will link you all here. But for now, please enjoy another sneak peek at Breaking Shadows: Bold (available here)! Don’t forget, tonight is the last night to enter the Holy Apple Crisps giveaway! Tweet or share something about Bold using the hashtag #HolyAppleCrisps to enter a drawing for %70 off a copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold! Two winners will be announced tomorrow, right here, for the conclusion of the Bold Release Party.

Sneak Peek from Chapter 6:

“Apple crisps.” I mutter, gritting my teeth as the blanks for today’s stealth training exercise clatter on the ground around me, the crate clunking at my feet. I growl softly, struggling to arrange myself such that I can keep my balance on one leg like a stork, while using my hands to gather the cartridges back into the box without hurting myself or losing control of my cane. My short hair falls unceremoniously into my eyes and nose, aggravating me further, and I huff out a miserable sigh.

“Jesse, here, let me help you with that.” Someone calls, and my blood roils over before I can identify him. I flick the bothersome strands of hair away, speeding my pace and refusing to acknowledge whoever is trying to come to my rescue this time.

They all think I’m some kind of weak damsel, now that my leg’s messed up, and they don’t even know I’m a girl. Once upon a time, everyone looked at me with respect. Now all I see is pity, the same looks given to the starving pup begging in the street. Like I’m some hopeless cause, some snot-faced kid with high ambitions. I can’t even walk home without them hounding me. ‘Oh no, weak, helpless, little Jesse, let me help you with that’ or ‘let me do that, Jesse. You’re far too small and lame to possibly carry bandages to the infirmary alone!’ Blah-blah-blah, it’s all I ever hear anymore! They say they need me, but they refuse to let me do anything even remotely helpful on my own. I don’t need a babysitter, and I certainly don’t need an army of them!

I shove the last blank into the crate, grabbing the box and hefting it with a defiant air. As I straighten, my balance bobbles dangerously, and my cane falls from my hand to land in the dirt with a hollow thump.

“Apple crisps!” I snarl, and a scarred, gnarled hand shoots out for it. I lean down stubbornly to snag it first, frustration climbing to a feverish pitch in my chest.

“No, I got it! I can handle it!” I bark, but as my fingers close around the hefty stick, the crate wobbles and more blank cartridges spill out into the dirt. I grind my teeth, furious with myself as he beats me to collecting them.

“I never said you couldn’t.” The voice is soft and gentle, forcing me to take pause and look up in surprise. Jude’s eccentric green eyes meet mine, but instead of the sympathy I expected to find, I see an understanding, a hopefulness there.

“Well, you certainly implied it, rushing over here as if my life depended on it. Haven’t we been through this?” I toss back, and he smirks. Great. Here we go with the snippy come back to make the gimpy ‘half-dead shrimp’ feel worse.

“You’re more capable than all of us together, Jesse. And any squirt like you tough enough to drag me across town and halfway up the side of Raven’s Mount after taking two direct shots and nearly bleeding out in an alley is obviously well able to carry a crate of blanks across the tunnel on his own. But just because you can doesn’t mean you have to. I’m not offering to help because you’re some lame kid, I’m doing it because you deserve at least this much.” He says, his voice so full of sincerity that I’m left staring at him like a dumb mute. A toothy, genuine smile enough to make even his webby scars endearing stretches over his face, and I let him take the crate from my hands. I fumble to fill my urge to explain myself as he motions for me to lead the way, finding it difficult to loose my tongue.

“They don’t think my leg will heal.” The words tumble out, and I wish I could pull them back in, shocked at my own response. He hesitates, shifting his hold of the crate and eyeing me with a thoughtful expression, as if mulling me over like a chewy hunk of meat.

“And what do you think?” His tone is steady, not unfeeling, but devoid of opinion or emotion.

“I think it will. I just need time.” I snap, voice cracking with an almost bitter undertone.

“Well, there you go!” He replies confidently, moving forward again with his funny stride and leaving me to waver this time.

“But… Wait. Why are you so certain?” I question him, hobbling along to catch up and ramming into him when he halts to send me a quizzical look.

“Jesse, you are the strongest, bravest, craziest guy I’ve ever met. This mountain itself would jump out of the way if you ordered it. I don’t doubt you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. You won’t fail until the world sends you 6 feet under, and I don’t think death is too eager to knock at your doorstep again. If you say your leg will heal, I’m willing to bet my life on it – as small of a cost as that may seem.” His strong words leave me stunned, dragging along meekly behind him. I don’t realize I’ve been staring at the back of his head with my jaw agape until he breaks the silence between us, and I snap it shut in embarrassment.  

Breaking Shadows: Bold (c) 2013

Bold Release Party Tour Day 14

Posted: December 28, 2013 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

It’s day 14 of the Bold Release Party Blog Tour, and today we’re over at Emily Rachelle Writes for another cool author interview. Check it out by clicking on the link below, and don’t forget to enter the contest and giveaway!

http://emilyrachellewrites.blogspot.com/2013/12/blog-tour-bold-by-hannah-stewart.html

Bold Release Party Tour Day 13

Posted: December 27, 2013 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

It’s day 13 of the Bold Release Party Blog Tour – and I’ve got a bit of bad news. Our host for today, Natalie, is having technical issues, and is unable to post her character interview as planned. But, not to fear! Her interview with Ben will go up sometime Saturday or Sunday, and I’ll be filling in for her today right here at The Breaking Shadows Project.

For your pleasure, today I will be posting another brief scene from Breaking Shadows: Bold, from Chapter 3. It’s an exciting one, to be sure. But first, don’t forget the Contest and Giveaway!

Holy Apple Crisps! Giveaway

Prizes: Two winners will receive a copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold for 70% off.
To Enter: All you have to do is post about the Bold release on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #HolyAppleCrisps. There is no limit to the number of entries per person, so share away! All entries must be in by midnight, December 29th to be counted.
Winners: The winners will be drawn at random on December 30th and announced here on The Breaking Shadows Project.

You And Your BOLD Self Contest

Prize: One winner will receive a signed copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold free of charge.
To Enter: Read this popular scene from Chapter 2 of Breaking Shadows: Bold, and create your own artistic interpretation. Drawings, videos, audio recordings, written responses – whatever your form of art is, let’s see it! Entries must be sent to breakingshadowsproject@gmail.com by midnight, December 29th to be counted. Once again, there is no limit to the number of entries per person, so get creative!
Winners: My top ten entries will be posted here on The Breaking Shadows Project on the final day of the release party tour, December 30th, for voting. The entry with the most votes the following week, January 6th, will be announced winner.
UPDATE: If I do not receive enough entries by December 29th, the contest deadline will be extended to midnight, January 14th, with a possible rule change as well.

 

And now, the scene! 

“Brian, you know the route. Take point, and try to keep us on course. I’ll cover our tail. I don’t think it wise to trust a rooky to fire when he can’t even run straight.” He smirks and I drop back, letting the tenderfoots pass me with their wheezing breaths and stumbling feet. Brian banks around the next corner, veering into a tight side street to start our perilous game of cat and mouse. They’ve got numbers, we’ve got street sense. Let’s see how many we can irk before pulling our infamous vanishing act.

The first line of soldiers enters the street just as Brian clears another corner, and I quickly take them out, disabling them with a critical eye. I reload, keeping pace with our stragglers easily. Keep it moving, Brian. Come on. Get us out of here. We run, dodging street lights wherever possible, taking enough turns, loops, and one-man-wide alleys to twist a spinning top around. My haughty smirk is returning, an easy victory in our grasp. Another switchback, maybe two, and we’ll have lost them. A slight swagger fills my stride, the frustrated shouts in the distance as exhilarating as the cool breeze on my face.

Ahead, not five strides in front of me, Jimmy trips over his feet in the mud, dumping the contents of his shoulder bag into the puddle beneath us. I knew this kid was trouble. So clumsy and cautious. I leap to his side with a flustered growl, hefting him to his feet and scrambling to collect the precious bullets from the grime. A breath hisses between my clenched teeth as the soldiers draw nearer, their boots and angry shouting now audible in the passage behinds us. Time’s up. I suppress the urge to scream at him only for our own protection, venom surging through my veins in the face of his stupidity.

“Leave the rest!” I snarl, pulling him into a run, sprinting to try and round the corner before they spill into the street behind us. I make a mental note to chew him out later, Ben’s words about his skill for getting others into trouble pounding with my pulse. The soldiers appear just as we slip into the next dark passage, the rest of my team halfway down and nearing the tight, enclosed corridor. Whatever arrogant airs I held to before have abandoned me, and my mind races. Apple crisps. I’ve got to do something.

“Jimmy, catch up with the team and follow them back to the rendezvous. Hurry. I’ll hold them off.” I pant, pushing him faster. The soldiers are shouting now, they smell the blood in the water. They drown out every other sound with commands muffled by their own echoes. I have to hold them up. If they get to the tunnel before my men are out the other side, we won’t have a chance. We’ll be fish in a barrel! My thoughts fly a thousand miles an hour as I take in the situation, scheming on the run. We’re almost to the entrance. The boys have already entered, there’s no stopping them. If the boys get out the other side all right, Jordan will pick off the soldiers from his position. At least that much was planned for. I just have to hold them that long.

I need to get behind that wall.

I urge Jimmy faster once again, the turn just a few strides away, lungs screaming for air. We’re almost there when I hear the shot, and in the same instant what feels like an explosion in my leg. My feet fly out from under me, nothing but sheer will power preventing the pain from blinding me. I manage to dive behind the wall as I tumble, acquiring cover and crumpling in the mud. Jimmy hesitates above me, twitching like a spooked rodent, torn between helping and following my orders to rejoin the team, fighting his own instinct to run.

“Get out of here!” I scream, waving him on. Stupid kid! You’ll only make my job harder, getting in the way and second-guessing every move. He takes off, running faster than ever, and I take in a sharp breath to clear my mind. I brace myself against the wall, shocks of pain whipping through me as I peek around the corner. With a tight-lipped sneer I open fire, careful to make every shot count. I’ve taken down the first soldiers to round the corner before their small company takes a stand, digging in as though my whole team were here for the fight. A forced laugh bursts from my lungs before I take aim, and it has the intended affect. Their faces twist with fury and they let loose, blasting the ground beyond my patch of cover, peppering the earth with large divots and spent, glistening shells. When they’ve slowed a moment to reload I pop out again, swinging out around the corner and bringing them down with ease, no longer aiming simply to disable. I empty my magazine to find only four stunned, furious troops remaining and duck back to load once more. The clip slides easily into my lap, as it should. But as I shove the new one in with their decisive, sloshing footsteps approaching my wall, it jams. My ears ring from the gunfire, the pain in my leg grows with every beat of my heart. My pulse pounds in my temples, the steps fall closer, their harsh breathing reaches my ears, and still the trigger won’t budge.

“No, no, no! Not now, come on!” I plead through clenched jaws, my hands shaking violently as I jiggle it, trying to free the chamber. Just as it gives way, the slide clicking menacingly into place, the soldiers round the corner. I take aim, felling another before the man to his left fires. Warm, tacky crimson splatters across my cheek and neck.

Blood.

My blood.

The gun falls from my hand, my arm goes limp, and I feel myself fading. The ringing in my ears turns to a strange buzzing that envelops my head like an electric cable. I slump against the wall, everything unfolding in a blurry kind of slow motion around me, a pain unlike anything I’ve ever known taking hold of me. It’s paralyzing, freezing me in place, my mouth open in a scream that never leaves my chest. My mind seems to split from me, so that I am both myself, and something else; something unfeeling, something made of nothing but slurred, clouded thoughts.

So… this is it? Am I to die here, alone, protecting my men? Destined to give myself for our people like our parents? Not a bad way to go… honorable… heroic… Keep them safe…

My head reels, but as they turn to follow my men, a single thought cries out, mind and body melding together once more in a painful collision. The call grows stronger and stronger until every fiber, every cell screams it out in harmony above the rising crescendo of my agony.

Stop them. I have to stop them.

Breaking Shadows: Bold (c) 2013

 

Thanks for reading! Tomorrow, the Bold Release Party Tour will be back on schedule, so make sure you check in to see what Emily Rachelle has in store for us!

Bold Release Party Tour Day 12

Posted: December 26, 2013 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

It’s day 12 of the Bold Release Party Blog Tour, and today we are over at Wishful Thinking with my dear friend and incredible author, Mirriam Neal. Click the link below for a totally awesome post apocalyptic/dystopian playlist and some very kind words, and don’t forget to enter the contest and giveaway!

Wishful Thinking

Bold Release Party Tour Day 11

Posted: December 25, 2013 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

It’s day 11 of the Bold Release Party Blog Tour, and in the spirit of Christmas, my mother is today’s host. This is especially sweet this year, as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in the middle of Fall Semester this year, and had a major surgery Monday the 23rd. We are very lucky to have her home for Christmas – really the best gift we could ever receive. So please, go check out what she has to say, and say an extra prayer for her recovery to go smoothly.

Click the banner above to read her post, and don’t forget to enter the contest and giveaway!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Bold Release Party Tour Day 10

Posted: December 24, 2013 by Hannah Stewart in Uncategorized

It’s Day 10 of the Bold Release Party Tour, and today we’ve got another fun author interview from Amanda Bradburn at Ink-Made Maiden! Check it out by clicking the banner below, and don’t forget to enter the contest and giveaway!