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The big day is finally here! Patchwork Press is officially one year old! It’s teething on those little plastic toys that kids always slobber over, throwing its food on the wall, generally behaving like an oversugared, overstimulated child. Who gave PWP cake?! JANNA WAS IT YOU?! Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in all of our celebrations this week, and who has cheered us on since the very beginning. We couldn’t have done it without you. (No, really. We couldn’t have.)

And now, a letter from the PWP cofounders, Kellie & Erica…

I remember emailing back and forth with Erica (wow, how many emails do you think we’ve sent each other in the past year? It’s probably a pretty staggering amount) about what we’d call ourselves. We were both pretty stumped for ideas at first, but I eventually sent her a list of just off the cuff ideas, including Patchwork Press*. She emailed back asking if I’d starred PWP because it was my favorite idea, because it was definitely hers. The star had actually been for something completely different, but the idea stuck anyway because it was just too perfect. We wanted to create a place to publish fantastic YA books, that combined the strengths of multiple authors, utilizing the benefits of traditional publishing along with the freedom of independent publishing. We were a little bit of everything… a patchwork press. Kellie


This past year has been one of the craziest, most exciting, stressfully-awesome year ever. (And Kellie, I just checked — we’ve sent about 500 in the last month, a slow month really, and if we extrapolate from there… Yeah. A lot.) Like Kellie said, when we started Patchwork Press, we had no idea just who we were going to be. We had an idea about what we wanted to be… but a ton of names were thrown around. In fact, I just got an email from tumblr today saying that one of the blogs I created (with a previously considered name) and never used had just turned one. I’m glad we decided on PWP, and I’m glad we’ve slowly made all of our publishing dreams come to fruition. We’re going international with titles we’re proud of. We have authors who are genuine and engaging, amazingly impassioned readers and incredibly thoughtful bloggers… And our upcoming projects are unique and exciting! (Really — I can’t wait to read them all! Or, in some cases, write them.) It’s gone better than I could have imagined. I hope the next year here at PWP is just as successful as the last and we continue to work the many talented authors and bloggers we’ve come to know. Thanks for a great year, and here’s to the many to come! Erica

Really, from the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank everyone for what a great year we’ve had. Whether you’ve just picked up your first Patchwork Press title this morning, or were around right at the beginning when we were rolling out some of our first titles — thank you.

As you could tell from all of our birthday posts, we have a lot of really exciting things coming up in our future, and you’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg! For now, take a look at our current list of books on GoodReads, connect with our authors, and follow us on our wild ride.

Don’t forget about all of this week’s fantastic giveaways. You still have time to enter for a chance to win some of our amazing prizes (including some of PWP’s own titles… who doesn’t love free books?!)!

terra janna kellie erica anthology ruth

It’s finally here! Today is the official one year anniversary of when Kellie and I put our heads together and created Patchwork Press. It’s been a wild, crazy-exciting year, and I’ll probably make a post about that later this afternoon because we have so many people to thank and we are just overexcited about everything we have planned for the future of PWP. Buuut, that’s for a later time. Right now, it’s all about the last cover reveal of the birthday bash celebration: book one in the Undying series, Cut!

B1 CutCut by Erica Crouch 
Series: Undying #1 
Published by Patchwork Press Published 2014 
Genres: New AdultScience Fiction 
Goodreads 
Synopsis:

Immortality is no longer a myth, it’s a scientific possibility — all major diseases have been cured and aging is “ancient history” thanks to Fhenix Pharmaceuticals. 

After her first life-preserving surgery, twenty-year-old Mora Avery may not have as long as she thinks. Her organs are failing, a medical impossibility in the futuristic society of Vox. In less than a year, she’ll be dead, the youngest fatality in centuries. Science can save her life, but it may mean losing her humanity. What price would you pay to live forever?

Cut is the first book in the Undying series.

It’s finally here! Today is the official one ye

I’ve been anxiously holding on to this cover for months. It’s one I am particularly enamored with because of its simplicity. Let me tell you a bit about the series…

The Undying series is going to be my first foray into the new adult genre. It’s a science fiction that I’m still developing, but have plotted out to be five books long — three full-length novels and two novellas (one of which is told through the villain’s POV).

Why am I so excited about this book? A few reasons. For one, it’s a different genre! Science fiction is such a fun genre to write, and there are so many opportunities with world building that I am excited to explore. I can’t wait to step out of the young adult genre and into the minds of characters around my age.

I’m also really interested in the idea of the series — living forever, thanks to medical advances. The idea of immortality is a complicated one, in my opinion, and I’ve often asked myself: If I could live forever, would I? I don’t think I would (though I know my sister would jump at the opportunity in a heart beat).

I really am looking forward to exploring the idea of a society that has become used to the routine of predictability, in regards to their lifespan. These characters have lived in a world that knows no disease or illness. No one is suffering from allergies, chronic illnesses, or even terminal illnesses. Science has advanced, in this fictional world in my head, to such a degree that technology can replace anything that can become diseased — our veins, our digestive and reproductive system, our brain, and even our heart.

Cut Full

 

Once a decade (after the 20th year), you go in for surgery to slowly replace your organic material with something a bit shinier and artificial. Going even further, the aging process can be halted within years of the first surgery, so a majority of society looks to be in their early twenties, with the oldest civillians looking to be in their mid-twenties. (Can you imagine, talking to your grandfather or great grandmother who looks to be just 23? I can’t decide if that would be more cool or creepy… Probably creepy. Well, for some people *coughcough* bad guys *coughcough* definitely creepy!) But when all of that is replaced with tech, and no one fears mortality or growing old, what keeps us human?

I think that, at its core, is what I’m really excited to delve into in the series: what makes us human, and what keeps us human, even in the most extreme circumstances?

Now a bit about the characters… There are three main characters, Mora Avery, Colin Levitt, and Rin Kasamatsu. The main three novels will be told through Mora’s point of view (that’s her on the cover), and we’ll get a close insight into someone who is delivered this impossible news: that she is dying, and all of her surgeries must pushed up to occur within the span of a few months (rather than stretching nearly 50 years), something that has never been attempted before. Throw in a few different groups whispering protests against the morality of the surgeries being performed in any capacity — let alone all at once! — and you’ve got trouble brewing.

Colin and Rin are going to be a lot of fun, but I can’t tell you  much about them now (so you’ll just have to grab the book when it becomes available and see for yourself!). And the villain… well, I can’t get into that, either, but I will tell you this: it’s a female villain who is already giving me the heebie-jeebies.

Annnnd I think that’s about all I can say about the novels without ruining anything!

Cut should be out later this year, hopefully this fall or winter if I stay on schedule with everything. So, what do you think of the cover?

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Ignite or Entice!

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Okay, I’m way too excited about this, and I’m sooo pumped to finally show you these beautiful new covers. The Beautiful Madness series stalled a little out of the gate initially for a whollleee bunch of reasons that I wont get into here, but I’m finally back on track. Once I revamped what I wanted to do with this series, I knew I needed to give the covers a new look. But I was still so in love with the photoshoot that initially inspired this series (check out the photographer, Voodica). So what to do, what to do?

Well, it just so happens I know a pretty fantastic cover designer, the one and only, Erica Crouch! So we talked a bit about the series, what I wanted to change with the covers, and her (always brilliant) ideas. And so, a new look for Beautiful Madness was born!

 ftwr

About the book: For centuries, Wonderland thrived as the domain of beautiful bedlam and unapologetic madness. It was a place like no other. All it took was one girl slipping in through the cracks of the universe to start chaos spiraling toward order. In the 150 years since Alice’s visit, the realm has become tainted—almost normal. Rabbits in waistcoats and playing card minions are little more than creatures of myth, and Wonderland is literally falling to pieces.

For Gwen, Rose, and Lucky, Wonderland is home, and yet they know little of its former glory. When the Alice prophecy resurfaces, they’ll have one chance to use Wonderland’s own legends to bring a little mayhem back into their reality. For she who controls Alice controls the fate of Wonderland.

Add Follow the White Rabbit to Goodreads

and

Awake and Dreaming
Coming Spring 2014

About the bookGenerations ago, the White Queen, the Mad Hatter, and the Rabbit all played their parts in dethroning the Red Queen. Now, nearly one hundred and fifty years later, few remember the story, but those who do know that one valuable girl can change Wonderland forever: Alice.

When Alice arrives in Neverwood Forest, there is little to suggest she’s no longer in her world. But as things she comes into contact with start to change—becoming both strange and oddly charming—there is no denying she has power over Wonderland and its people. 

Nothing could have prepared Alice for Wonderland; Wonderland will be equally unprepared for her.

Add Awake and Dreaming to Goodreads

And, of course, in the spirit of the celebration… it’s time for a giveaway!

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We’re in the final stretch of celebrating Patchwork Press’ first birthday, and today’s post is all about the Patchwork Press anthology. In case you didn’t already know, the five original authors of Patchwork Press — Kellie Sheridan, Terra Harmony, Janna Jennings, Ruth Silver, and myself (Erica Crouch) — are collaborating to write one kickass anthology.

Now I don’t want to brag, but I think this is one of the coolest anthologies I’ve heard of (and I’m not just saying that because I’m contributing a story!). But before I get into the summary of the anthology, I guess I should tell you the title, right? Announcing… The Lost Locket of Lahari Anthology! And I’m now realizing you could have gotten that bit of information from the title, but now it’s official so… There ya go!

The Lost Locket of Lahari (or as I’ve been lovingly calling it LLoL) is a young adult fantasy centering on a mystical, kickass locket, which by the way, looks a little bit like this:

Lockets

Pretty cool, right? Well if you love it so much, you can enter to win your very own locket below!

Anyway, onto the anthology itself… There are five novella-length stories in the anthology, all centering on this locket that travels through the different decades of the book:

  • The Victorian Era (My story!)
  • The Roaring Twenties (Terra’s story)
  • The 1940s (Janna’s story)
  • Present day (Ruth’s story)
  • and the Future (Kellie’s story)

In each story, it takes on different magical qualities, becoming what the characters need it — be it a vehicle to see ghosts, or something entirely different!

So, as I was saying, this locket is special. It all ties back to an Indian Mythology that we developed especially for this story. To sum it up quickly, an elderly Indian man crafted this locket in hopes of his six children (represented by the six dragonflies) returning home to him one day. He took their most prized childhood trinkets, melted them down, and forged them into this locket. But through his wish for his children, he imparted a bit of magic… It seeks out those with the same attributes of his children, and while it never brings his children back to him, it finds the next best thing: their spirit in other people. And that’s how the locket finds all of our characters in their stories.

You can expect a lot out of this anthology, as each story is entirely unique! Different characters with different voices in different eras. Mine, for example, is a Victorian romance/ghost story, inspired by the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe. (Yeah, I am EXCITED about this one!) Other stories feature a spy, a thief, a dancer, and a dreamer… Hmm, you can only guess what these great stories will be about!

Here’s the official synopsis and our temporary cover:

LostLocketCoverThe Lost Locket of Lahari Anthology by Erica Crouch, Terra Harmony, Janna Jennings, Ruth Silver, and Kellie Sheridan
Published by Patchwork Press Published Summer 2014 
Genres: FantasyParanormal,Young Adult 
Goodreads 
Synopsis:

In a dusty, dilapidated stall tucked away in an alcove of a bustling Bazaar in India, a man with a rickety spine and a spindly beard bends over his work bench, forging a locket with accidental magic. There’s power in a wish, and there’s nothing he wants more than for his children to return home. The locket was intricately crafted, adorned with one dragonfly for each of his children—and the power to find them.

With the guidance of fate, the locket skips through time and journeys across oceans, traveling from person to person in a constant search for the souls whispered into its vessel. Centuries after the magical old man in the Bazaar became near-forgotten myth and whispered legend, the locket has fallen into the hands of those with echoes of the six dragonflies: a seer, a specter, a dreamer, a spy, a thief, and a dancer.

In the hands of its new owners, the power of the locket adapts, bending and remaking itself to answer need. While the locket never found the children of Lahari, it found the next best thing… Their spirits.

The five novellas of the Lost Locket of Lahari anthology pause a moment in time when the locket finds the ripples of its ancestry. From the Victorian-era to the Roaring Twenties, the 1940s to modern day and beyond, this anthology is a collection of stories as dynamic as the authors themselves.

Are you excited? Because we sure are! As of now, we are expecting the anthology to be out and available this summer, so make sure you add it to your GoodReads and get ready for this awesome title to become available! For now, though, go ahead and enter the giveaway below for a chance to win the locket (with a personal message from me!).

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATCHWORK PRESS!

We have a tradition in my family that my mother started and I’ve carried on for my own kids. Birthdays are a big deal and we always pull out all the stops and create a homemade cake for the celebration.

 

The famous unicorn cake for my sisters seventh birthday. Surprisingly, my dad decorated it.

The famous unicorn cake for my sister’s seventh birthday. Surprisingly, my dad decorated it.

I would be the cutie in the blue dress.

I would be the cutie in the blue dress.

Some of my more recent celebratory confections…

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So what better way to celebrate Patchwork Press’s birthday, than an original cake creation? I asked the other members of our fledgling publishing company to contribute favorite cake flavors and ideas and this is what I came up with.

Neapolitan Birthday Cake

Cake

1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs at room temperature

2 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting the pans

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp table salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup chocolate chips, melted

1/3 cup strawberry preserves

1/3 cup vanilla curd

Vanilla Curd

1/3 cup sugar

5 tsp cornstarch

1 vanilla bean, halved, split and scraped

10 oz milk

1 egg

1/3 tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry/Chocolate Filling

½ lb strawberries washed, hulled and sliced into quarters

pinch of salt

½ cup sugar

1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter

4 eggs

1/3 cup chocolate chips

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 stick butter (8 Tbsp), softened

2 cups confectioners (powedered) sugar

1/8 tsp table salt

4 Tbsp milk or heavy cream

¼ cup vanilla curd

Take heart, I’ll be walking you through it.

Vanilla curd first. This is actually an old family recipe that’s really versatile. It can be used for vanilla pudding, ice cream, served warm over blackberry cobbler (my favorite use), or added to cakes.

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Place milk, sugar, vanilla, and egg in a saucepan on medium heat. Whisk together.

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Add a few teaspoons COLD water to the cornstarch, stir until smooth, and whisk it in too. Take the vanilla bean, slice open, and scrape out the insides. Add that to your pot. Cook for ten minutes until thick. It should look something like this.

 

See the lovely vanilla beans speckling the curd? Yum!

See the lovely vanilla beans speckling the curd? Yum!

Set that aside and let it cool. Now to the cake.

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The key to light fluffily cake, is the creaming of the butter and sugar. So put the 1 1/2 sticks of butter and 1 3/4 sugar in a bowl and beat for three minutes on medium high. I have a stand mixer and it makes this process so much easier.

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Next, dry ingredient always go with dry, wet with wet. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir those together.

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In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk and vanilla together.

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We’ll be adding the wet and dry ingredients separately and alternately, starting with the flour mixture. With the stand mixer running slowly, pour in half the flour mixture, let it combine, then add half of the buttermilk mixture. Repeat until everything is together. (Except the chocolate, strawberry preserves, and vanilla curd. We’re getting to that.)IMG_1513

Next, prepare your melted chocolate. Place the chips in a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Take out and stir. Put back in for an additional 30 seconds. The chocolate should be smooth now.

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Here’s where the neapolitan flavors come into play. We’ll be doing what’s called a marbling effect to combine the chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla into one cake.

Divide the batter equally into three bowls. Add the strawberry preserves to one bowl, the chocolate to the second bowl and the vanilla curd to the third.IMG_1524

 

Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by covering them with cooking spray and sprinkling flour into them. Gently tap the pan to spread the flour around. This will keep the cake from sticking.

Carefully, starting with the lightest batter (the vanilla) pour about a fourth of the batter into the center of each of the 9-inch cake pans. Pour the strawberry directly on top of the vanilla, letting the batter fall and spread naturally. Then pour the chocolate, repeating with all flavors until all the batter is used up.

It should look something like this.

It should look something like this.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch.

And while that’s baking… the filling.

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Take your 1/2 pound of strawberries and run through a food processor until chunky. Slowly add the sugar while the food processor is running until you get a smooth strawberry puree.

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Pour your puree, butter, eggs, and salt into the top of a double boiler. If you don’t have one, like me, a glass bowl on top of a pot of water works just fine. Boil 2 inches of water in the pot, place the ingredients over it in the glass bowl. We’re still cooking things, just on indirect heat.

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Whisk the puree for 10 minutes, it should thicken slightly. Add the chocolate chips and stir slowly until they’re completely melted. The mixture should be a good spreading consistency (and completely delicious!)

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In the mean time you should have two beautiful round cakes that have come out of the oven and cooled completely.

See the pretty marbling effect?

See the pretty marbling effect?

*Tip: Remove the cakes from the pan while they’re still warm, but not hot, they’ll comes out easier. If your impatient like me for them to cool, stick them in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

If your looking for a more professional finish to your cake, you’ll need to level the two round cakes. If not, forge ahead with me.

Spread the strawberry/chocolate filling on top of one layer, gently centering the second cake on top.

On to the icing!

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Buttercream is an easy to make, easy to use icing. We’re going to enhance the vanilla flavor and make it our own by adding in the vanilla curd we made earlier.

Cream the softened butter why whipping on medium for several minutes. Again, there are fewer sore arms in the process if you’ve got a stand mixer.

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When the consistency is nice and smooth, slowly add the powdered sugar with the mixer running on low. It will be pretty stiff, which is where the milk comes in. Add that along with the vanilla curd and salt, whip until it is spreadable. You may have to tweak it with a little more milk or powdered sugar to get it just right.

There’s several different theories on getting a well frosted cake. Some say to freeze it, some say do a crumb layer, let it set, and then do another one. I’m not patient enough for either of that, so I just take a spatula and tackle it.

Not too shabby!

Not too shabby!

Here is where I fail almost every time. I cannot really decorate a cake, which is why so many past creations features coconut and fruit on the top. But I came across a new way to do lettering, so what the heck. Let’s try it.

All you need is a ziplock baggie with melted chocolate chips. The words you want to say printed off the computer (script fonts are easiest) and wax paper.

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Tape the wax paper on the table so things don’t slide around. Clip the tiniest corner off the bag. You’re going to use this like piping. With a steady hand, trace the letters in chocolate.

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You can also add sprinkles while the chocolate is still melty. Place in the freezer for about ten minutes so it hardens up. You should be able to peel the chocolate right off the wax paper and place on top of the cake.

*Note: I found this method okay. The chocolate was pretty delicate and kept melting before I could get the whole thing on the cake. I had to keep sticking it back in the freezer.

The finished product!

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Honestly, one of my prettier cakes. I was really curious to see how the marbling turned out.

Looks good enough to eat.

Looks good enough to eat.

And I do keep my own taste testers on hand. This is what they had to say about it.

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Welcome to the family Patchwork Press!

 

 

 

Keeping with Patchwork Press’s amazing birthday bash week. Full of giveaways, awesome posts, and reveals….

B2 Grimm Memories

It has been six months since Quinn and her friends returned home after barely escaping Elorium—but no one ever really leaves the world where fairy tales are born. Not a day has gone by where they haven’t thought about returning to save Jack. Even their dreams are urging them to return to the strange world.

Falling back into the fairy tale world, they find the situation even more dire than the way they left it. Jack has disappeared, and he’s not the only one. Elorium’s citizens are near panic as characters are missing and rumors are spreading about massive creatures roaming the sky. A rising darkness is enslaving the dreamers, and in a land filled with water nymphs and malevolent mazes, it’s hard to find any allies.

Despite the risks of their rescue mission, Fredrick is determined to bring back his grandfather, no matter how personal the cost.

 

I think Erica Crouch has really outdone herself on the covers for this series–and there are more to come! Grimm Memories is tentatively scheduled for release late summer of 2014.

And now, it’s time to give stuff away to thank you all for your support of Patchwork Press this past year!

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Happy Birthday to Patchwork Press! We’ve had a wonderful week so far with an introduction to a new member of our team, a cover reveal and giveaway, and a fun video introduction to ‘Abberant’ from our intern, Madeline. If you haven’t checked them out, please do that! We have another treat in store for you. The second book to the ‘Painted Maidens Trilogy’ called ‘The Betrayed’ is in the editing process. Cover reveal will be coming soon. For now, I’d like to treat you all to the first chapter.!cid_80F206F85249440AB5B1B9FDC07EBC5B@Kellie

If you haven’t checked out the first book of the trilogy yet, now is your chance to get ‘The Rising’ for free! All you have to do is comment below – either let us know your favorite mermaid book or your favorite Patchwork Press book. Be sure to leave an email address in your comment so I can contact you with a free e-copy of ‘The Rising’ (sent as .pdf, .mobi, or .epub). Then sign up for our newsletter (http://www.patchwork-press.com/newsletter/) so you’ll be the first to know when ‘The Betrayed’ is available for purchase along with other great Patchwork Press titles!

The Rising by Terra Harmony
Series: The Painted Maidens Trilogy
Published by Patchwork Press Published Fall 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean—and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.

Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

Learn more about The Painted Maidens series on Terra’s blog, or see reviews on the following platforms:

The Betrayed
Book Two of the Painted Maidens Trilogy

Chapter One

After calming her fins, Serena’s natural buoyancy carries her to the surface until her head rises just above the water. The glassy coating that protects her eyes retracts, and The Dry comes into focus—shimmering bronze sand, illuminated in moonlight beckons Serena to come ashore and bury her toes. It is the shadows creeping out from the forest beyond the beach that warn her to stay away.

Serena scans the beach and the Ungainly footprints that pockmark the otherwise pristine surface. As the tide inches higher, the footprints disappear. The wind moves in to decimate what the waves do not reach, blowing granules of sand and blurring the outline of sandaled feet. Her eyes come to rest on a different set of prints–three in total. These are not Ungainly, these have claws—and they are fresh.

The werewolves have already began their patrols, barely after the last of the Ungainlies have left the beach. Each night since the King’s Massacre, one less wolf is spared for the patrols. Serena can’t decide if they are growing tired waiting or doing it to entice the Undine out.

They can’t be that smart, Serena thinks. But the predictability itself gives cause for concern. Werewolves are not predictable.

Like Liam, the one person I though could lead us on a path of peace alongside the wolves. Instead, he turned out to be one giant roadblock, and my twin brother.

Liam sustained injuries during the last battle, but they weren’t life threatening. He must be with his pack now, but the question remains—is he persona non-grata? Is he being punished because of his secret meetings with Serena? Or did they go just as he planned, leading the Undine to war ultimately resulting in the death of their king.

Serena bites her lip, and she can hear Nerin’s voice echoing in her head. A queen does not bite her lip. Serena releases her lip, instead gritting her teeth. There has been a lot of that as of late.

She considers her options, but the truth of it is, the Undine are running out of options. Cordelia is ready to give birth to the only calfling blessed to Society since Serena herself, and she’ll need a place to do it, and she needs to feel safe while doing so. Poseidon-forbid the child enter the world weak and dying. It would not be a good foretelling of Serena’s reign to come. Kelp reaches up to tickle Serena’s fins. She flicks it away.

A queen does not play with her food.

Serena grits her teeth again.

An aged skunk lumbers out of the tree line, and makes its way toward food wrappers left by beach picnickers. It noses through them, not concerned with the shadows at its back.

Would it be out if wolves are still in the area? She trusts the skunk’s nose better than her own; it has survived the forest this long.

Serena’s fins go stagnant once again, until her neck and shoulders rise above the water. The skunk pauses, looking up, but it cannot distinguish her form amongst the waves. He goes back to pawing through Ungainly trash.

Serena moves forward, already eyeing the breaker that will bring her to shore. Bubbles float up in front of her, popping open along the surface. Serena has only a split second to lean back when a golden trident shoots up, piercing the air in front of her. Three sharp barbs come into focus, inches from her nose. In between them, the blurred form of the skunk scurries back into the tree line.

The trident lowers as another Undine head breaches the surface. Serena allows herself to breath, and a small, one-sided smile creeps onto her face at the sight of sea-green eyes. “You again?”

In front of her, Kai smiles back. “You aren’t very good at sneaking out.”

“I made it to the surface this time, didn’t I?”

Kai moves his trident to his side. “Only because you had outside help. You knew the guard on watch couldn’t resist Rayne’s noodled kelp.” He sighs, briefly looking up at the moon, then back to her. “I suppose I’ll just have to take on more watches with the queen.”

Serena bits her lip.

Kai frowns. “A queen doesn’t—”

Serena splashes water at his face with both hands, effectively cutting off his reprimand. The smile is gone from her lips.

He runs his palm down his face and shakes water from his sandy hair. It has grown longer since the Queen’s Guard increased their duties; there has barely been time for them to eat, much less for personal grooming.

Serena moves around him, eyes locked on the shore. In one swift movement, his hand shoots out, grabbing her arm above the elbow.

His grip is tight, painful almost. Serena doesn’t twist away. His touch, however uncomfortable, is a welcome sensation. No one ever touches the queen.

Kai loosens his fingers, one by one, then lets go all together. He reaches down and yanks up, dragging a plucked kelp stem with him. Serena moves back, watching as he winds the brown seaweed into a tight ball around his fist. His eyes don’t leave her face.

Once done, Kai grips the ball with his other hand, turns toward the shore and takes aim. The wet ball of seaweed arcs in the air. The tail becomes loose and hisses as it vibrates back and forth. The whole thing lands with a splat on the sand, just in front of the tree line.

Not seconds later, a furry muzzle emerges, sniffing at the kelp.

Serena’s breath catches in her throat.

That damn skunk would’ve been the death of me.

The wolves have been there all along. Another muzzle shoots out, baring his teeth and forcing the other one back into the shadows. This muzzle is black, indiscernible from the dark forest besides the shiny nose and gleaming, white teeth.

Serena remembers those teeth well, tearing into the kings neck, then ripping away pieces of his beautiful, rainbow tail – the last of its kind. Alaric, first of the wolves, is out tonight. Could be that he is there every night, patrolling the shores and keeping the Undine at bay.

Serena and Kai exchange a glance as the wolves slip back into shrouded shadows. Serena nods at Kai; it is all the thanks she will give, and even that much is wholly unnecessary according to the Queen’s Guard. Kai returns the nod anyway.

“Summon Cordelia to the Great Hall,” Serena says. “We need to talk.” She turns away, preparing to dive.

Kai’s hand on her arm stops her once again. “After I escort her majesty safely back to the kingdom, of course.”

Serena glances at his hand, then back to his wild green eyes. “Of course.”

 

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Today we have a BIG annoucement. Big, big, big! Are you ready? Probably, seeing as you’ve read the header by now. Patchwork Press is adding a new (and absolutely fantastic) author to our ranks. Leigh Ann Kopans is a YA author who has already published a fantasy duology (One, and Two) as well as a contemporary YA novel, Solving for Ex, whose companion, First World Problems comes out later this year.

We’ll have more from Leigh Ann a little later on, but for now we just wanted to introduce her to all of our beautiful readers, and to give all of you the chance to get to know her books.

TVPZlu6s

Get to know Leigh Ann
On her website
On her blog
On Twitter
On Goodreads
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Giveaway

Cover Reveal: Incite, by Erica CrouchIncite by Erica Crouch
Series: Ignite #2
Published by Patchwork PressPublished Summer 2014
Genres: FantasyParanormal,Young Adult
Goodreads
Synopsis:

In this thrilling conclusion to the Ignite series, Pen and Azael return to finish what they started. The earth is in ruins, and the war of Heaven and Hell has spilled over into the mortal world.

In the frozen wasteland of the apocalypse, Azael and his band of cohorts search for Pen and Michael with orders to kill. Little does he know that his sister has incited a rebel army of her own. Angels and demons alike stand side by side, ready and willing to fight for a future they didn’t realize they could have.

Learn more about the Ignite series on Erica’s blog, or purchase Ignite and Entice now on the following platforms:

I have been waiting for today for months now. I am so excited to reveal the cover of Incite, the final installment in the Ignite series! I love this cover so much (and I guess I should, since I designed it myself!). Pen finally truly fights back in Incite, and the cover shows that no nonsense attitude you’ll see. Compared to the cover of Ignite, where she’s got her back to us, she’s facing her advisories head on in Incite. And of course the nature of Ignite is replaced with an industrial background (which may or may not become a pivotal location in the story). If you look closely, you’ll see the feathers of her wings are falling off… I’ll leave you to decide what that means!

Here are the three covers of the Ignite series, all lined up:

ignite series

Incite should be coming out this summer, and it’s going to be a doozy. Let me tell you a bit about it…

It opens just a little bit after where Ignite leaves off. Azael is up in Heaven with Gus, Lilith, and Lucifer. He’s bent on revenge after Pen’s betrayal, but there may be a small part of him not ready to kill his sister, no matter how divergent their loyalties have grown. But when Lucifer gives  the order to find her and kill her, he wrangles together a group of some of the nastiest demons to hunt her. (Remember the mention of Zepar in Ignite? Well, you’ll finally get to meet the Ripper himself in Incite!)

Meanwhile, Pen and Michael are fugitives, running from both angels and demons. They’re on the run in the midst of the apocalypse, living a very reactive life until they run into a very curious angel who offers them something more: an army of their own. Without meaning to, Pen and Michael’s actions have incited a rebellion (it’s called Incite for a reason!). A cohort of misfits who aren’t satisfied with the way Heaven and Hell has been running things are ready for a change, and they’re ready and willing to fight for it. Angels and demons are fighting side by side for the same cause, and we’ll be meeting some new (awesome!) faces: Kala, Ana, and Eli. I promise, you’re going to love them (I already do!). I hope you’ve read Entice, because someone from the first war will be coming back to save Pen’s life for a second time.

Incite is going to be a lot of fun. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeves, and let me just say this… You may be looking in the wrong direction regarding the true villain of the story. Have I said too much? ;)

Make sure to add Incite on GoodReads! And keep an eye out on the 29th, because I will be posting ANOTHER cover reveal in honor of Patchwork Press’ one year anniversary. It’s the first book in the Undying series — my upcoming new adult science fiction — called Cut. It’s one of my favorites, so you won’t want to miss it!

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About Erica Crouch

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Erica Crouch is a young adult author from the colorful city of Baltimore, Maryland. Her debut novel, Ignite, was published June 2013, and its e-novella sequel, Entice, was released Nov. 2013. The final book in the Ignite series, Incite, is expected 2014. A compilation of the series will be released winter 2014.

Erica is the cofounder of Patchwork Press, an author-powered publisher of MG, YA, and NA titles. She is the head of editorial services and design, with more than ten projects to her name.

Currently, she is studying English and Creative Writing with a specialization in Fiction at Southern New Hampshire University. She is a vlogger for the YAWordNerds with over 400 subscribers. When Erica isn’t writing, she’s reading an overwhelming stack of books, watching an obscene amount of Netflix, and procrastinating.

Website • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

Happy Monday! Monday? Happy? What?! Well, you’ll have to take my word on it because this is indeed a very happy Monday! We are now only eight days away from Patchwork Press’s first birthday, and we are so so excited! One year! Can you imagine? Well, some of you can because you’ve been here with us since the beginning. But whether you were here from day one or saw your first PWP book last week, we want to say thank you for enjoying the ride with us so far.

We have a lot planned for the coming week… a lot! And we hope you’ll keep checking back for all these announcements and giveaways. They kick off tomorrow with the one and only, Erica Crouch.

But for now… Our first surprise comes from one of our interns, Madeline.