Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Wolf's Cry by Natalie Crown: Excerpt + Giveaway!

Thanks for stopping by my tour stop for The Wolf's Cry by Natalie Crown. This is a YA Fantasy book that released in January 2014. This is the first book in the The Semei Trilogy.  This tour will run March 10th-21st and consist of reviews, author interviews, guest posts, top tens and a giveaway. 

Book Title: The Wolf's Cry (Book One in the Semei Trilogy)
Author: Natalie Crown
Genre: YA Fantasy
Recommended Age: YA
Length: PDF is 199 pages
She is his weakness.

And she will ruin everything.

Kammy Helseth's idea of adventure never amounted to more than getting a boat across to the mainland and finally escaping to London. That was until she stumbled through the mouth of the forest into a world beneath our own, the world of the Semei.

Her only wish is to find her way home but when Jamie, her best friend, is taken into this new world of shapeshifters and Crystals she has no choice but to stand up to her fear and to remain beneath the surface. Hunted by Bagor, King of Alashdial, and those that are loyal to him, Kammy finds herself in the company of a group of outlaws led by Jad, a Prince with a bitter past and a similarly bitter demeanour.

They overcome age-old prejudice to find a way to work together. But Bagor knows a secret about the Crystals that threatens to change everything. Kammy and Jad must find a way to thwart the king and to save Jamie, but that is just the beginning. For Kammy is in possession of a Key and the fate of countless lives, both human and Semei, may rest in her hands.

~ EXCERPT: Kammy and Jamie ~
The rain had stopped which was a welcome change. Kammy turned her eyes upwards and thought that the sky even looked a little brighter. It was cold though, colder than it had been for a while. Kammy pulled on her coat and stuck her hands into her pockets.
‘I thought you said you had to get home,’ Kammy said lightly.
Jamie folded his arms. ‘I said I was going to go home, not that I had to.’
‘But your mum…’
‘She has a cold. She’ll be fine to wait a little longer. I’m concerned for you.’
Kammy shook her head. ‘Don’t be.’
‘You’re not meeting my eye.’
Kammy stared at him.
‘Now you’re just being stubborn.’
‘I’m always stubborn.’
‘But you’re clearly keeping something from me, and you never keep things from me.’ Kammy saw the flash of hurt in his eyes and felt a bud of guilt.
She glanced around, looking up and down the narrow street but there was nobody about. It was the middle of the afternoon and most people in the village were at school, on the farms or working in Erinsdale, the only town on the island. Kammy gnawed at the inside of her cheek. ‘It’s not that I don’t want to tell you, it’s just that you’ll think I’m insane.’
‘I already think you’re insane, have done for a while. So hit me with it.’
Kammy shot him a look but his smile in response was half hearted. He was trying his hardest  be flippant but he really was worried. First it had been her Gran, now Jamie. If Kammy did not have such a strong aversion to her own reflection, she would check and see what all the fuss was about. Her eyes drifted over the village, the rooftops that dipped and rose with the rhythm of the earth beneath them. She could see her home on the top of the hill but she saw the trees too and felt a chill despite her coat. The forest had never scared her before but the thought of walking towards it alone made the sick feeling in her stomach that much stronger.
In a small voice, she said, ‘Walk me home?’ She did not tell him that she wanted him there because she was afraid; she knew that she did not need too.
Jamie fell into step beside her.
They walked away from the pub and the flowered vines that crawled along its walls. They walked down the road in silence, past houses of all shapes and sizes, painted in a rainbow of colours. The only sound that they could hear was that of the distant waves, running across the stony beach. They trod through dirty puddles , past the crooked paths that zigzagged up towards the largest houses. One of those houses was Jamie’s and Kammy flinched when she looked at it, imagining that Helen was watching them and hating the company that her son was keeping. The smell of fresh bread filled the air and Kammy kept her gaze averted from the bakery. She did not need to see Esme on top of everything else. She took a deep breath. Her mouth was dry and she had to swallow a few times before she could speak.
‘Last night I went into the forest for a run…’
Jamie’s voice went up a few octaves. ‘In that storm?’
Kammy ignored him. ‘There’s this spot there. Mum used to go there and I…I like it, so…’ Kammy glanced at him. She had never told him about the mouth but if he cared that she had kept it from him, he did not show it. He nodded for her to continue. ‘There’s this burrow. At least, I thought it was a burrow but then it was a tunnel. It was big enough for me to fit inside so I went in,’ Kammy could feel her face burning. It sounded ridiculous.’ I kept walking and walking for…I don’t know how long. I came back out into the forest but it was…warm, the sun was shining.’
Jamie looked up and Kammy knew what he was thinking. He was feeling the heaviness of the air; he was looking at the expectant clouds. Daleswick had not seen sunshine for days.
‘Were you high?’

~ About the Author ~
I grew up in a village called Swilland, in the countryside of Suffolk, England. There wasn't much around, other than farms and fields, but for the most part I loved it, and I still do. I’m a passionate person by nature. I don’t just LIKE things, I LOVE things. Whether it’s a book, a film, or a sports team. Once I decide to enjoy something, I enjoy it to the MAX.

I’m a terrible cook. I prioritise essential social media work over keeping my flat tidy, because I know best. I

Onto my love of reading and, consequently, writing - it was my dad that played a big role in encouraging me to read. He didn't push me towards books necessarily; he simply read a lot himself. Then I would pick up his books and read them after him. I was reading high and epic fantasy from a very young age. I guess that might explain why I have always loved adventure stories with magic and intrigue and princes and princesses in.

I was aware that I wanted to ‘be a writer’ from a very young age. I was convinced I would be the first best seller that hadn't reached double figures in age yet! I wrote about the Danshees, furry creatures that lived through a mirror. I wrote about a Sand Bottle that transported a boy into a world of magic. I wrote about a sick girl finding a music boy that healed her, but transported her back in time. (Wow, I always have loved alternate universes…)

When I was eight I wrote my first novel called The Land of No Return. Despite the title, I am determined to return to it one day. I feel like I owe it to my past self. So, as you can see, I have always been writing. There have been times when I have gone weeks without scratching down a word. Then there are days where I churn out multiple chapters and only my body’s silly desire for sleep and/or food can stop me.

I write because I enjoy it. I write fantasy because I enjoy it. I try my hardest to put something of myself into my writing. I like to think my characters have depth, I like to think that my fantasy worlds reflect upon the real world in some way. You guys will be the judge of that but even if you don't agree I know that I at least try and I can do no more than that.

These days I live in North London and I love it. I work full time and London is a hectic city. Juggling work, writing and a social life is tough but nobody is forcing me to do it so I can't complain. The dream is that writing will be my career one day but it doesn't matter if I never quite make it. I love writing too much to ever pack it in.

I am desperate to get a dog. My mum suspects I miss my cats at home more than I miss her. I am a devout Arsenal/Ferrari/Rafael Nadal fan. I get all mad when confronted with a case of social injustice and then I get all mad when people take the fight for social justice too far. I mostly keep those thoughts to myself and simmer with rage. I watch good TV and bad TV, because I can. What I can’t do is enjoy bad books (subjective opinion of course). I just can’t.