Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cover Reveal: BLACK CITY (+giveaway)

I'm super excited to be one of the bloggers taking part in the cover reveal for Elizabeth Richards' Black City today!!

It's a bit of a long post, but you'll want to check out all of it because there's a synopsis, THE COVER, an excerpt and last but, very not least, a giveaway!!

First a bit about the author:

Elizabeth Richards lives in Buckinghamshire, England and can be found online at

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist and debut author, who spent her early career writing for videogame publications such as CUBE, P2 and GamesTM,and now works as a website editor. Previously, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls. She won the Jane Hayward Young Journalist of the Year award for her feature on girls in the games industry, and was named 'Editor's Choice' in the industry trade magazine, MCV.

A dark and tender postapocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash’s long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Now, aren't you ready to see the cover? (I LOVE it!)

. . . you are? That's good because it's right here, just click 'read more' :)

That's not all there is, though. I also have the first chapter here for you to read:

An air raid siren wails in the distance, alerting Black City citizens to lock their doors and turn out the lights. They don’t want to be out in the dark alone. They might meet something dangerous. Something like me.

I head under the canal bridge and wait for the girl, taking a packet of Sentry-regulation smokes from my back pocket and sparking up. The nicotine courses through my veins, making them throb with adrenaline; the sensation is almost like a pulse . . . almost.

Footsteps approach the bridge, and a short girl with straggly black hair appears from the shadows, dressed in men’s work boots, tight black trousers and a tailcoat made from a patchwork of clashing fabrics. Her hazel eyes gaze up into mine. She’s brave. Not many cherry-poppers have the courage to look me in the eyes. She hands me an old playing card with two hearts on it, one red, one black. It’s my calling card. It seemed an appropriate choice; that’s what I’m selling her after all, an illusion of love. I slip it into the pocket of my dark green military jacket.

“You’re late,” I say. “Last thing I need is to be caught out here after curfew by a Tracker. They’re just begging for a reason to throw me in jail.”

“Sorry, they’ve put up extra checkpoints, stopping everyone. There’s tanks everywhere!” she babbles. “I guess they can’t be too careful with the Sentry Emissary back in the city, what with the boundary negotiations with the Legion and—”

“You paid Beetle?” I interrupt.

The girl nods.

“Terms and conditions,” I say. “No refunds. You don’t enjoy it, you puke, you freak—not my problem, okay?”

She nods again.

“You pregnant?” She blushes furiously. “I’ll take that as a no. It may cause drowsiness, so don’t drive or operate any heavy machinery.” She smiles at this, and I grin. They always like that. “And no repeats for at least two weeks, all right? I mean it.”

“That all?”

“No kissing. Strictly business, okay?”

She seems a little disappointed by this, but I don’t like to mix business with pleasure. She shyly unbuttons the collar of her coat, revealing her slim, pale neck. Hunger grips my stomach at the sight.

“What do I do?” she asks.

“Lean back,” I say.

She obeys like a good girl. I place a hand against the wall and slip my other hand between her thighs, gently easing her legs apart. Touching her doesn’t turn me on, but I groan like it does, knowing she’ll enjoy that. They all do, even the guys—it’s why they come to me instead of the Haze dens. I slide my body between her thighs so we’re face-to-face. Her shallow breaths are warm against my cool skin.

“Relax, okay? It’s more enjoyable if you relax.”

“My heart’s pounding a mile a minute.” She gives a nervous laugh.

“Can’t say I know how that feels,” I admit.

She tentatively presses a hand against my chest, and her eyes widen. “So it’s true, then? You don’t have a heart?”

“I have a heart,” I growl, shoving her hard against the wall. It just doesn’t beat.

A small tear snakes down her cheek, her thin lips trembling.

“Sshhh, it’s okay, sweetheart. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” I gently wipe her tear away. “Forgive me?”

She nods, then tilts her head to one side, exposing the smooth whiteness of her neck. The poison sacs behind my fangs swell with venom.

Focus, Ash. Don’t blow your load.

I lean toward her, pressing my lips against the soft flesh on her neck, just below her ear. Her pulse flutters under my lips, and I nearly lose it. I begin to nibble on the flesh, tickling the tiny hairs on her neck with my tongue, making them wet with my saliva.

“Do it,” she whispers.

So much for foreplay.
I sink my fangs into her jugular. Hot blood spills over my tongue, making my taste buds burst with its sticky sweetness. Man, I love the newbies; they always taste the best. She sighs as my venom enters her bloodstream. I wait for the Haze to take effect before I start to drink from her. That’s the bonus of Haze; my clients get high from me, and I get high from them by drinking their drugged blood. It’s win-win.

A sour, bitter flavor suddenly floods my mouth, and I gag, leaping back.

“What the—” I spit up blood.

The girl stares at me with glazed eyes, blood trickling down the two puncture wounds in her neck.

“Everything’s sparkling,” she says dreamily.

“Didn’t Beetle tell you I don’t take clients on meds?”

She lurches toward me, and I grab her before she falls into the water.

“I love you,” she slurs, trying to kiss me.

I shove her, hard. She falls back against the wall and slides to the floor. Her eyes roll back into her head, and she begins to spasm, white foam bubbling out the corners of her mouth.

“No, no, no! Wake up.” I kneel down and shake her, panic rushing through me.

The girl jerks, her boots leaving black scuff marks on the cobblestones. Fragg! This is why I don’t take clients on meds. You can never tell how they’re going to react to the Haze. I shrug off my jacket and place it under her head.

A Sentry tank rolls over the bridge, and I shut my eyes and wait for it to pass. Even though the war is officially over, I still get chills at that sound. Wherever they went, Death followed. I had a few close scrapes during the war. During those days, the fact that I was a legal citizen and half human didn’t mean much to them. If you weren’t 100 percent human, you were the enemy. Every day was a fight for survival. Not much has improved since then; I’m still the enemy in most people’s eyes. All they can see is the Darkling in me. The tank turns down Bleak Street toward the Sentry Emissary’s headquarters.

The girl groans. It’s too dangerous here; I have to go. I could just leave her . . . No, that’s not an option, but I can’t take her to the hospital. I’d get in so much trouble.


I peer down the canal. A yellow barge is moored about one hundred feet away. The lights are off. Where is he? He’s meant to be my wingman; that’s why I came to the bridge in the first place. Can this get any wor—

An explosion of pain bursts inside my chest, and I clutch a hand over my lifeless heart. I sense someone behind me and turn.

A girl stands by the entranceway, lit by the headlamps of a passing truck. In the fleeting light, I catch a glimpse of cornflower-blue eyes flicking between me and the Hazer writhing on the ground.

Her gaze finally fixes on me.

I fall back, struck down, as the pain in my chest blooms again.

Shivers run through my body, rushing toward a single point in my chest. There’s a spark of electricity and then:

A flutter.
Black City is out November 13th - you can add it to your Goodreads or pre-order it from Amazon or Book Depository

Even better? Penguin Books for Young Readers has generously donated a galley for giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

and if you win? Not only will you get a galley of Black City but you'll be entered to win one of 5 exclusive (personalized) drawings of the main characters Ash and Natalie done by the author . . . here's a sample of almost how great they'll be (the winners' version will be more polished and each will be individual):


  1. Whoa, the first chapter is something else for sure. It's like vampires meet dystopia? I kind say it doesn't make me excited. :D

    Agnieszka @ Nook of Books

  2. Thank you so much for the giveaway! I haven't heard of this before today, but I already want to read this so, so badly! *Crosses fingers*

    I adore this cover. I like the way it's a flower, but it's shattering, which makes it so unique! Plus, I love the addition of a city, which adds the dystopian flare!

  3. Like I said to the author herself on twitter, I can just stare at that cover and stare and stare! Sigh...

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

  4. The cover is genius! It is one of the most unique book covers that I've seen in a very long time. I can't wait to get my hands on the book!

  5. Absolutely lovely cover! Based on the first chapter, I really can't wait to read!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Love the cover. Although it doesn't have much on it's just so.. Beautiful. And then we have the first chapter that made me decide. I NEED that book

    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  7. I LOVE the fluttering petals on the cover! :)

  8. Loving the covers!! The choice of colors is great and the flower tearing up, that's just brilliant!

  9. Nice cover! Chapter 1 sounds great!

  10. I love it. ALL of it. It's bloody perfect so far...need more!!

  11. I am hooked. I think this cover is brilliant.

  12. i am in love with the cover! i love how it's like the rose is shattering over the city. after reading the first chapter, i want to read the rest of the book right now : ) i cannot wait to read the whole book!! thanks for the giveaway!

  13. At first glance, I wasn't too thrilled about the cover, because I was expecting a darker theme. But after a while, I warmed up to it. The placement of text and images alike is nice and the colors are stunning.

    Thanks for the post and giveaway! :)

  14. Love the cover.Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  15. The cover is absolutely gorgeous! I can't help but be reminded of New Moon's cover. And the story is also similar with the vampires, but the concept is completely different of course. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  16. The cover is beautiful and the book sounds amazing..can't wait to read it!

  17. The cover is gorgeous I can definitely say that much! Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  18. Eeeee! The cover is utterly GORGEOUS <3 Love the scattering of petals <3 Thank you so much for this giveaway!

  19. The cover is beautiful, for me the shattered rose represents how everything they knew about life was lost, the beauty of the time, and all the wonderfulness of love! My gosh the excerpt leave wanting more! I need to have a cooopy!! Thanks for the giveaway! (ileana on Rafflecopter)

  20. I think the first chapter is written beautifully, nothing wrong there that i feel the need to indicate.

  21. I absolutely loved the cover and I would love to read the book.Thanks for the great giveaway!

  22. Exploding rose! Of course, the cover is amazing!

  23. the cover is amazing! the first chapter leaves me wanting more!


  24. I do like the cover, and the dystopian concept sounds really interesting!

  25. I love the cover (the font, the colors, the "exploding" rose) and the 1st chapter is a tease! :) Can't wait to find out what happens next.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  26. AMAZING COVER! I'm in love with it! It sounds so good! Thanks!

  27. I love the first chapter! It makes me want Ash to bite me! Haha :)


  28. I am so excited about the book. It sounds very interesting and the cover is GORGEOUS, I like the bloody crimson rose with glass shattered petals, and I want a drawing...sigh, let's see if I have luck.
    Thanks for the chance to win.

  29. Awesome cover, intriguing first chapter. I want to read more!! The cover is absolutely gorgeous, I love it! And I love that first chapter!!

  30. The cover is gorgeous and really intriguing. Based on the blurb and the first chapter this book will be amazing. Can't wait to read it!

  31. Totally in love with this cover. I really like the bursting flower. It's definitely different from other book covers. I am super excited! Thanks for the giveaway!


  32. The cover is unique and different.

  33. The cover is great. I really like the effect of the flower shattering.

  34. I love the cover, it's so awesome. I've never seen a book like that before!

  35. Love the cover! It's gorgeous. I want to own a copy so much!

  36. Love them both! I need to win this to keep on reading it :)

  37. The cover is absolutely gorgeous ... without reading a word about the novel itself, I want to own it because of the cover!

    Seriously, though, this book looks amazing. Thanks for the giveaway!

  38. Love the cover with the bright red and shredding of the flower! The first chapter is tempting enough to keep going! :)

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  39. Holy freaking cow! This cover is gorg- to the- eous! I'm absolutely in love with it!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  40. I love the cover, it's awesome and so original!
    I can't wait to read this book! :)

  41. Interesting concept. I like it. :D

  42. I Love them!
    The cover Is Gorgeous!
    Really Amazing! I Want to read this book!
    Thank you so much! :)


Book Trailer Friday [@RandomHouse @TransworldBooks]

Beth Dorey-Stein's From the Corner of the Oval  - a tale of being the White House stenographer during the Obama administration will be ...