Presented by: Sparkle Book Tours
The Book Of Shade - Shadeborn #1
by K.C. Finn
Audience: General, 13+ - Genre: Urban Fantasy, Adventure and Romance - Formats: E-book and Paperback - Publisher: Starstorm - Pages: 513 - ISBN: 1505677556 - ASIN: B00RD7SGK4 - Date Published: 21 March 2015
Lily Coltrane’s to-do list for starting university life is pretty simple:
1. Make friends
2. Meet a cute guy
3. Survive her first year in Modern History
In the little English town of Piketon this seems more than achievable, so much so that Lily even joins The Illustrious Minds Literary Society, an extra-curricular club that promises a truly unique social experience. What Lily doesn’t bank on are the society’s monthly visits to the mysterious Theatre Imaginique at the edge of town, a dark venue that houses the most obscure cavalcade of carnival performers she has ever laid eyes on.
Stranger still is the emergence of the theatre’s enigmatic proprietor Lemarick Novel, a stupendous showman with a frosty wit who never seems to smile, and who raises a plethora of questions in Lily’s fearful mind. How does he levitate with no sign of wires or mirrors? Why do the lightning bolts that shoot from his hands look so real? And why, of all the people in the theatre, do his pale eyes keep locking on hers?
The answers to this and more lie buried in heritage and blood. The Book of Shade is opening, and Lily Coltrane will read it, whether she wants to or not.
“Ladies and gentlemen, your raucous applause, if you please, for the sensational Monsieur Novel!”
The audience obeyed the MC’s command, but when Baptiste had vacated the spotlight, nobody came to the stage. It wasn’t until the last clap died, some moments later, that Lily heard footsteps clicking along the old theatre boards. The illusionist stepped from total blackness into the shadow at the edge of the stage, and even craning her head only afforded Lily the frame of a man in a long Victorian coat. The tense air in the dated theatre was thick enough to be sliceable, and every spectator breathed in their portion of that heavy air, in anticipation of the moment when the odd Monsieur would step into the spotlight.
Novel did not disappoint them. A shock of lightning appeared from nowhere at all and in the split-second that it flashed he appeared for the waiting patrons to see. It seemed as though the contents of the theatre gasped as a single being, even those who must have seen him before were transfixed in shock. His eyes were cast into black, shadowy sockets by the bright white spotlight pouring down from above. Skin pale as a spectre’s was exaggerated by the darkly drawn eyebrows arching into points above those gloomy hollows. His lips too were black as coal, a superb effort in stage makeup that reminded Lily of a haunting cross between a French mime and a black-and-white movie serial killer. She didn’t know which to be more afraid of.
Perhaps more astonishing still was Monsieur Novel’s hair. It was long enough to be combed behind his ears, though it did not grace his neck, and in the dusty spotlight it appeared to be totally white. It was a strange whiteness, for even through his make-up, Lily thought that the gentlemen couldn’t be more than ten years her senior. The illusionist’s black mouth stretched into a serious sneer as he surveyed the awestruck crowd. He held out one pale hand with a slow and deliberate grace. Tiny blue sparks grew in his palm as he swept the hand from left to right in welcome.
“Good evening,” he purred in the darkest of tones.
And this time the lightning came straight from his palm when it exploded into life. The dumbstruck crowd suddenly applauded in a blast of appreciation, but Lily’s hands remained still, clutching the sides of her chair. Novel stalked the very edge of the stage like a patient predator, the invisible orchestra striking up as the beams of lightning shot about the cavernous space in time to the music. He appeared to be controlling them, but his thin frame and well-fitted suit left no space in which to hide any apparatus on his body. Occasionally, he seemed to lose control of the larger forks of electricity which shot out towards the audience in frighteningly loud snaps. The patrons flinched as the whip of energy crackled above them.
All the while Monsieur Novel’s expression remained dark and thoughtful. Not once did his lips rise into a smile. They simply sneered continually at the power he was controlling, parting for him to suck in precisely choreographed breaths when he turned in his display of perfect grace, avoiding every spot the forks could hit. A few patrons in the front row, perhaps those who had never seen him before, were starting to panic at the multitude of power growing rapidly on the stage before them, with no reasonable explanation in sight. It looked like a major fire hazard for sure. One of them tried to get up.
“I would kindly recommend you stay in your seat for this performance, good sir,” Novel said loudly over the buzz of the lightning strikes. “It could be rather nasty for you, if you don’t.”
There was something foreign lurking in the shadows of his accent. Perhaps he had been living in England a long time, but he definitely wasn’t from around these parts. His voice had an amused kind of youth in it that didn’t suit his skeletal pre-modern look, and though he gazed upon the terrified patron as he sat back down in his chair, he still didn’t let the mirth in his warning show on his face.
All at once the lightning stopped. Novel stood in the dead centre of the stage, looking down at his feet with his shadowed eyes. Lily caught her breath as the flicker of hot white energy grew beneath his feet, sparking and growing into a ball of buzzing power. He thrust out his pale hands, raising them upwards as he slowly began to levitate into the air. Lily could see no wires to hoist him, and his clothes didn’t move as though they were under any strain. He simply rose up in a slow, straight line as the lightning ball grew larger and larger in the space where he’d been standing. In his ascent, his face was lit from under his chin and Lily finally saw a pair of pale blue eyes glowing out of the black sockets on his face.
And they glowed directly at her.
She started in her seat, shocked to find his gaze so blatantly fixed. She would have sworn the floating man had raised one of his black eyebrows at her, but a moment later the lightning ball exploded with a deafening crack that made the entire contents of the theatre sink down into their seats and clutch their heads in wild panic. When Lily looked up again, Monsieur Novel was gone. Someone behind Lily broke the shocked silence of the audience by starting to applaud. Gasps erupted as some of them looked beyond her to the source of the clap, then suddenly everyone was giving an ovation. Lily craned her head around, almost jumping out of her skin when she realised it was Monsieur Novel sitting in the seat directly behind her. He had started his own applause. He sat with a casual grace, an elegant hand accepting the praise as he slowly got back to his feet and straightened out his beautiful clothes. Once more his frosty blue eyes snapped to Lily. She wanted to look away, but it just didn’t happen. Novel inclined his head to the rapt audience without breaking his stare, then swiftly retreated up the theatre aisle, his long coat billowing in another invisible gust of air.
Track List and Key Lyrics:
1. E.T. - Katy Perry
You're so supersonic
You're so supersonic
Wanna feel your powers, stun me with your lasers
Your kiss is cosmic
Every move is magic
2. Gravity - John Mayer
Oh I'll never know what makes this man
With all the love that his heart can stand
Dream of ways to throw it all away
3. Everybody Talks - Neon Trees
It started with a whisper
And that was when I kissed her
And then she made my lips hurt
4. Somewhere Only We Know – Keane
And if you have a minute, why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go somewhere only we know?
5. Butterflies - Lucy Spraggan
Cause there's nowhere else I'd rather be
No one else I'd rather see
Controlling every part of me
I love skipping a beat every time you speak
6. Safe and Sound - Me Vs Gravity
Don't you dare look out your window, darling,
Everything's on fire
The war outside our door keeps raging on
Hold on to this lullaby
Even when music's gone
7. Kiss From A Rose – Seal
My power, my pleasure, my pain, baby
To me you're like a growing addiction that I can't deny.
Won't you tell me is that healthy, baby?
8. True Love – Pink
Sometimes I hate every single stupid word you say,
Sometimes I wanna slap you in your whole face.
There's no one quite like you, you push all my buttons down,
I know life would suck without you.
9. Still Into You – Paramore
It's not a walk in the park
To love each other
But when our fingers interlock,
Can't deny, can't deny you're worth it
10. Loved Me Back To Life - Celine Dion
Strong hands, thick skin, and an open heart
You saw through the pain, saw through the mask
You never gave up on me
The Bloodshade Encounters & The Songspinner - Shadeborn Series # 2
Pages: 300 - ASIN: B00RQMB5MW - Date Published: April 4, 2015
Shadeborn: Volume Two provides a unique insight into the past of some of your favourite Book Of Shade characters, through two spine-tingling novellas:
The Bloodshade Encounters shows readers where present and past collide, as they learn the dark history of how the charming and enigmatic Baptiste Du Nord came to know Lemarick Novel. Prepare for vampires on the streets of revolutionary Paris, and the day when Novel first laid eyes on the Theatre Imaginique. Amidst all this, a dark secret about Novel is unearthed, one which may threaten his relationship with Lily in the future.
The Songspinner begins with the present-day Salem Cross, now weak and powerless, as the old shade looks back on his life, and the dirty deals he made to try to make a success of himself. Witch-trials loom in Salem’s murky past, and werewolves roam the streets of Victorian London, not to mention a certain dark lady who would one day become the mother of the heroic Novel. Can Salem face the demons of his past, or bear the thought of a future with no magic? Or will he decide that the end of his time has come?
Angels with Attitude - Author Interview
What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?
I think that would have been a seriously bad move, because if I had the magical powers that Lily develops, I’d certainly be a power-hungry darksider! I would have ditched everyone and everything and gone on a mad quest for power, so it’s probably a good thing that Lily has a totally different temperament to me!
What was your inspiration behind this book?
The inspiration came from an old photo that my best friend sent me on Facebook. I’m a big fan of the late Simon Cadell, a classic British actor, and my friend showed me a picture of him with bright white hair and Victorian stage make-up. From that day, the character of the magical Lemarick Novel came to my mind, and I developed the rest of the story around him, working from his theatre outwards into the town.
Why did you become a writer?
I didn’t really have any other choice. Since the age of 13 I have suffered with the medical condition CFS/ME, which is a crippling condition that affects every part of my body. After university I trained as a teacher, and worked as one until my health became too poor to continue the career. So at the tender of age of 26, I mostly work from home, and writing is one of the potential career paths that I am still able to pursue despite my condition.
Do you have a favorite author or authors?
My classic author favourite is Vladimir Nabokov, famed for writing the risqué and controversial novel Lolita. I love the fact that a man born in a Russia has a better concept of the English language than any English-born writer of his time! In terms of modern writers, my ultimate favourites are Stephen King and Mark Gatiss.
Do you like to write your books in a continuing series?
Not always. It depends on the story, and if I feel that I’ve done everything I can with the characters. I write very different styles, from novellas and short story collections to 6-part series, trilogies and everything in between. I truly believe in writing to suit the story, and I never start planning the project with a definite structure in mind.
If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?
Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter series! He cuts such an imposing figure, he’s powerful and rich, and I think there’s a shred of humanity left in there that a girl could work on developing!
What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time?
My current addiction are the new Doctor Who novels, I’m loving George Mann’s Engines of War. I just recently finished the 35 hour audiobook of Stephen King’s Under The Dome, which was incredible, and I’m slowly making my way through the entire works of HP Lovecraft. So I guess you could say science fiction, horror and fantasy are my genres of choice.
As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in their continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books .Do you agree with that?
I have recently been very unwell with my condition and had three months where I was hardly online at all. Prior to that I was enjoying doing author takeovers on Facebook and meeting my fans directly, and I agree that it is the single most valuable thing that authors in my position can and should be doing. I have made some incredible friends that way! I’m pleased to say I’m starting to make bookings again to reconnect with fans, including an interactive panel at the Contagious Reads Horror Con this August.
Do you cry when writing sad scenes?
I very rarely cry at anything in books, least of all my own. Heart of stone I suppose!
Did you have a Cover Designer?
I have plenty of graphic design experience and friends with the same experience, so I usually make all my own covers and take their advice on development. The only covers I don’t make are for the first four installments of the Synsk series, which is produced by Clean Teen Publishing.
Who is your fictional boyfriend or girlfriend crush?
At the moment, and prepare to be disturbed, it’s Cyrus Tolliver from Deadwood, which I’m re-watching after nearly ten years since it was aired! I like charismatic men who are a little bit nasty or edgy, but also have some heart to them, and Cy (played by Powers Boothe) ticks all the boxes there!
If you were able to dine and have a one on one with your favorite writer/author who would it be?
Mark Gatiss, who writes for BBCs Sherlock, Doctor Who and also writes the Lucifer Box novels. I love the way he mixes genres, supports LGBT issues in literature and has a total disregard for the so called ‘rules’ of storytelling. He is an incredibly talented writer, comedian and actor, so dinner with him would be a blast.
Do you re-read your favorite books?
I find I rarely have time any more, but there are some books I have re-read over the years and know I’ll read again in the future. Harry Potter will always have a special place in my heart, as well as the works of Roald Dahl, which take me back to the joys of my childhood. I also re-read Stephen King’s short stories rather too often, as well as my large collection of comics and graphic novels.
Do you ever get in a reading slump like your readers do?
Absolutely! I find it very hard to be reading and writing at the same time, so if I’m on a sprint with my own books, the ones I’m supposed to be reading get covered in dust quite often!
What is the funniest book you ever read?
Matilda by Roald Dahl. The characters of Mr Wormwood and the Trunchbull will always be two of the most sophisticated and witty characters in literature, and I think it’s a beautiful thing that they came from a children’s book.
The Potioneer - Shadeborn Series # 3
Pages: 500 pages - Expected Publishing Date: Late May
When humans break a mirror, the idea of seven years of bad luck is little more than superstition. But, when it happens to a magical being like a shade, that quaint old saying takes on a terrifying new reality. As Lily Coltrane looks down at the smashed remains of Lemarick Novel’s mirror, she can already feel that her luck is about to run dry, even though her illusionist boyfriend is certain that he can protect her. With a suicidal Salem Cross on red alert and newly-disabled best friend Jazzy to look after, Lily’s not so sure that Novel is right.
Lily’s suspicions will be confirmed in this, her second year of university, as the quiet English town of Piketon is flooded with a new array of supernatural beings, including Jeronomie Parnell, a gifted potioneer who seems to have solutions for Salem and Jazzy’s conditions. Suspicion fills the air at the old Theatre Imaginique, as Lily uncovers yet more secrets about the people she thought she knew. The question of who to really trust will bombard Lily’s mind, especially after she is introduced to the horror that is the House of Novel, and is forced to question the bloodline that her new true love comes from.
It seems like having a soul mate isn’t quite the ideal that Lily dreamed it would be, and she can only hope that The Book Of Shade will give her the power to get through the trials that she’s about to face. And as for the even greater darkness, slowly rising in the depths of that ruined mirror? Well, that’s quite another story for Lily to unfold.
K. C. Finn was born and raised in Cardiff, South Wales, where her love for storytelling grew at a precociously young age. After developing the medical condition M.E. / C.F.S., Kim turned to writing to escape the pressures of disabled living, only to become hooked on the incredible world of publishing.
As an author for Clean Teen Publishing and Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Press, Kim spends most of her time locked in the writing cave with an obscenely large mug of tea. When not writing, she can be found studying for her MA in Linguistics, watching classic British comedy, or concocting evil schemes in the secret laboratory in her attic.
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