Welcome to another book blitz organized by Xpresso Book Tours for an NA dark fantasy romance – The Shrike & the Shadows by A.M. Wright & Chantal Gadoury. This blitz includes some details about the book and author, couple of excerpts, and a giveaway. If you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter via link at the bottom of this post. So, here is the book of the day 😊
Title: The Shrike & the Shadows
Author: A.M. Wright & Chantal Gadoury
Publisher: Parliament House
Publication date: March 3rd 2020
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Horror, New Adult, Romance
Men have gone missing before.
The village of Krume is plagued by a haunted wood and a hungry witch. It’s been that way for as long as Hans and Greta can remember, though they have never seen the witch themselves; no one has.
When men start to disappear once again in the cover of night – their bloody hearts turning up on doorsteps – the village falls into frenzied madness.
Hans and Greta, two outcast orphans, find themselves facing accusations of witchcraft and are met with an ultimatum: burn at the stake, or leave the village forever.
With nowhere else to go, they abandon their only home.
As they venture into the strange forest, their path is fraught with horrific creatures, wild and vivid hallucinations, and a mysterious man tied to the witch’s past.
The Shrike is watching, just beyond the deep darkness of the woods.
“See these lines here, my maus?” She tapped the top of Greta’s palms.
“They are your heart lines. The way it curves, you have a caring soul.”
“You must have that, too, Mama.”
“Aha!” her mother exclaimed, and Greta jumped. “These love lines! How auspicious, little maus.”
“What, Mama? What do they mean?” Greta looked up into her mother’s face eagerly. She smiled.
“It will surprise you, this love of yours.” Her mother paused, frowning for just a moment before taking up her smile again. “But not for many more years. You will be ready then…”
Greta’s mother stilled, her words falling from her mouth quietly. She barely heard anything after that.
“Will I be okay?”
“Oh, of course! But to be sure, we must find your fate,” she said, though somewhat distant. “Here they are. And look! They meet here, at your life lines… goodness, so young for such a burden.”
Greta frowned at her mother. “Mama, you’re not making any sense.”
“I know, my maus, I know. I did not expect to see so many… things.”
“Are they sad things? Because you sound sad, Mama.”
Her mother grasped at her hands and held them for a moment. She gave a gentle squeeze and said, “Not all, but some, yes. Some will be sad, and others will be happy.”
Then, Greta’s mother fell into her with an embrace. She locked little Greta into her arms and rocked her slowly. She had felt so warm in her hold, and so content, she had almost missed her mother’s final words:
“It will be a fearsome trial, my love. Your fate is bound to a great and daunting endeavor.”
Since they had stepped into the woods, it had taken everything in Hans to keep himself together. His nerves, which had been taut like a rope, could not unwind themselves. His body ached less from the beating in the village, and more by being among the trees. Hans felt as though the Shrike were watching, waiting for him to make his move—as though he were pitted in the middle of a game. Her game. It took him much longer to finally find some peace, but when he finally did, it pulled him deeply under.
His dreams were not pleasant, as his mind was afraid and played awful tricks. Hans felt the gentle kneading of dirt pressing into his tender limbs. The tendrils of wicked vines creeping over his body like spiders along a web. They dug beneath the surface of his skin, like a parasite he had once stuck in his arm as a child, and it was his father who had to cut it out. It had frightened Hans then, and it frightened him now.
As he fell further into the dream, everything around him grew worse. The woods surrounded him, caging him like a wild bird. And there was no escape. Greta and Brugg were not there. He was alone. Abandoned. Who would have stayed for a man damned by a witch?
“Help me!” he cried, fresh tears rolling down his cheeks. But no one answered. No one came.
He could feel his head sprouting something heavy, and he reached up with one free hand to feel his hair. No soft locks were there to greet him; instead, the rough touch of bark and branches. His heart raced as his fingers trailed over what should have been his head. Slowly, he looked down at his legs, which had become bound together like the base of a tree. His chest felt coarse, covered in green moss. His tears, which had spilled earlier, dried up into flakes of dirt and chipped away with the wind.
His voice caught in his throat as the figure of a woman appeared in the distance.
She held something in her stained red hands. And somehow, just before he woke with a start, Hans knew it was his heart, for he could not feel it beating in his chest.
A.M. Wright is an Ohio native, perched on the shores of Lake Erie for as long as she can remember. She is a graduate of Walsh University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate Communications, with two minors in Marketing and Writing. She has a passion for reading, writing, and drawing; and has a particularly strong love for shojo-manga and all genres of anime. When A.M. Wright isn’t focused on her day job, she is sorting through submissions, writing too many stories to keep track of, and playing video games with her fiance in a townhouse that’s just a fifteen minute drive from “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World.”
Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published “The Songs in Our Hearts” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh” with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-‘brother’ (aka, puppy) Taran.
GIVEAWAY (INTERNATIONAL) – $10 Amazon gift cards + 3 eBook copies of The Shrike & the Shadows (ends March 5th) > HERE
This sounds like a dark Hansel and Gretel retelling. I usually don’t like horror books, but this one actually sounds very intriguing with dark wood, a witch, oh, and there is also a curse and romance. What are your thoughts on the excerpts and synopsis? Are you also adding it to your TBR?
Lady of Bookland