Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Black Spring by Christina Henry (spotlight, guest post, excerpt, GIVEAWAY and review)



I am delighted to have a guest post from the talented Christina Henry (whose series has one of my favorite gargoyles, Beezle!  He fascinates me with his voracious appetite...for all manner of things!) Without further ado, here's Christina!


It’s almost here – the release of the final book in the BLACK WINGS series, BLACK SPRING

In the autumn of 2008 I had a vague idea about writing a book about a grim reaper. I’d assumed the protagonist would be male, but other than those two facts I knew nothing about the story. Then I heard Maddy and Beezle talking in my head, and suddenly the plot just unfolded organically. There was a whole world – the Agency, Maddy’s job as an Agent of Death, her missing fallen angel father, her other dark family ties and Beezle’s identity as a gargoyle, home guardian, and lover of all things fried and crunchy.

I wrote the first book just hoping I would be able to sell it. I never thought I would have the opportunity to write seven books in the series.  I’m so grateful to everyone who has read and loved these stories and these characters along the way.  



                                                 



BLACK SPRING (Black Wings #7)
Publication date: October 28, 2014
ISBN: 9780425266786

Blurb:
A former Agent of death, Madeline Black now has everything to live for, most importantly, her unborn child. But Chicago has become ground zero in a struggle between ancient creatures, and only Maddy can stop the carnage…

The mayor of Chicago has announced a plan to round up the city’s supernatural beings and put them in camps. With her due date looming, Maddy’s best move would be to lay low for a while. But not everyone is willing to respect her privacy. Hounded by tentacled monsters, a rogue shapeshifter, and a tenacious blogger, Maddy turns to her most powerful ally, her uncle Daharan, only to find him missing.

Just when it seems like things can’t get any worse, Maddy gets an invitation in the mail—to Lucifer’s wedding. Turns out everyone has been invited, friends and enemies alike. And with that kind of guest list, it’s highly unlikely there will be a happily ever after.



Here’s a little excerpt from the first chapter of BLACK SPRING:


In the kitchen, my uncle Daharan was making pancakes and bacon in large quantities and placing them on covered platters I didn’t even know I owned. He’s not your garden-variety uncle. He’s an ancient being, one of Lucifer’s three brothers, and he spends at least part of his time in dragon form. For the moment he was living in the apartment downstairs.


Locks didn’t keep him out, and he came and went freely between my place and his. Somehow I couldn’t be irritated about this. There was some quality about Daharan that made me trust him, trust that he would do me no harm.  Beezle wasn’t so sure, as he tended not to trust anyone so closely related to Lucifer, but as I entered the kitchen I noticed his mistrust of Daharan did not extend to disdain of his cooking. Beezle was perched on the counter next to the platters filching as much bacon as he could while Daharan’s back was turned.
 

The dogs trotted ahead of me, down the hall, and stopped before the front door while I paused in the kitchen.
 

“That’s a whole lot of breakfast for three people and a gargoyle,” I remarked.
 

“You’re eating for two,” Beezle said before Daharan could answer.
 

“And you’re eating for five,” I said.

Daharan ignored the byplay. “We will be having guests this morning.”

“What guests?” I asked warily. 

The last thing I wanted was for one of Daharan’s brothers to show up. Alerian terrified me. Lucifer infuriated me. 

And Puck . . . Well, when I thought of the way Puck had manipulated me into destroying one of the oldest creatures in the universe for his own personal gain, those shadows on my heart threatened to overtake me. I truly thought I could beat Puck bloody with a crowbar and it wouldn't bother me in the least. Of course when I had thoughts like that I knew that the darkness was spreading inside of me like a cancer. I wasn’t sure if there was anything I could do to stop it.

“You will see when they arrive,” Daharan said.
 

I’d almost forgotten I’d asked a question, so caught up was I in thoughts of vengeance on Puck.
 

“Did you invite someone?” I asked.
 

“No,” Daharan said mildly, but with a finality that let me know he wasn’t going to tell me anything more.
 

Lucifer and all of his brothers could see aspects of the future. Daharan was able to see with the most clarity. So someone was coming. Someone whose arrival Daharan had foreseen, but he didn’t want to share with me for some reason.



CHRISTINA HENRY is the author of the BLACK WINGS series (Ace/Roc) featuring Madeline Black, an Agent of Death, and her popcorn-loving gargoyle sidekick Beezle: BLACK WINGS, BLACK NIGHT, BLACK HOWL, BLACK LAMENT, BLACK CITY, BLACK HEART and BLACK SPRING. She is also the author of the forthcoming dark fantasy ALICE (summer 2015).



BLACK SPRING (Black Wings #7)
Publication date: October 28, 2014
ISBN: 9780425266786

BLACK SPRING blurb:
A former Agent of death, Madeline Black now has everything to live for, most importantly, her unborn child. But Chicago has become ground zero in a struggle between ancient creatures, and only Maddy can stop the carnage…

The mayor of Chicago has announced a plan to round up the city’s supernatural beings and put them in camps. With her due date looming, Maddy’s best move would be to lay low for a while. But not everyone is willing to respect her privacy. Hounded by tentacled monsters, a rogue shapeshifter, and a tenacious blogger, Maddy turns to her most powerful ally, her uncle Daharan, only to find him missing.

Just when it seems like things can’t get any worse, Maddy gets an invitation in the mail—to Lucifer’s wedding. Turns out everyone has been invited, friends and enemies alike. And with that kind of guest list, it’s highly unlikely there will be a happily ever after.


 Author info:

Christina was born in New York and now lives on the North Side of Chicago with her husband and son. She sees no conflict in rooting for both the Yankees and the Cubs.
She also enjoys running long distances, eating large quantities of cinnamon rolls, reading anything she can get her hands on and watching movies with zombies, samurai and/or subtitles.

***********************

GIVEAWAY



a Rafflecopter giveaway


PLUS...

Leave a comment about your favorite paranormal character and leave a valid e-mail address and one lucky U.S. resident will win a print copy of this long-anticipated title!  (sorry, no P.O. Boxes)



                        


**********************

My review:

BLACK SPRING by Christina Henry is the exciting final installment in the ‘Black Wings’ series that features Madeline (Maddy) Black.  Tensions have reached a dangerous high as Maddy prepares for the birth of her child, surrounded by her remaining friends and allies, including the supernatural Retrievers that she has named Lock, Stock and Barrel and the irrepressible and social media savvy gargoyle, Beezle.  The support of those she is familiar with is complicated by the presence of Daharan, the eldest of the brothers who include Lucifer, Puck and Alerian, who is a two-edged sword that concerns Maddy’s allies but not Maddy herself.  The upcoming marriage of Lucifer to the pregnant Evangeline may be the catalyst for one final showdown but the question is whether Maddy’s darkness and ties to Lucifer as his Hound will prevent her from being able to protect herself and all whom she loves, including her unborn child.

The one thing that is a hallmark of these creative paranormal stories is that Maddy is fiercely protective of those she cares about and always willing to rush to their defense...whether she has a plan of attack or not...and this story is no exception to the rule.  It’s amazing that things always seem to work out, even though a lot of death and destruction seem to follow in her wake, but the remarkable proliferation of enemies becomes even more complicated by a deadly and inimical being who can shapeshift and create unimaginable damage.  There are delightful twists and turns in this story and heartwarming moments to balance out some of the gut-wrenching and chilling developments and an enjoyable conclusion that underscores the importance and power of motherhood.  This is a series that should be read in order.  It also would probably greatly benefit from a glossary as it becomes a bit difficult to keep track of the various characters and their associated factions, not to mention the difficulty of determining who is allied together, and I am still a little puzzled about some of the motives and alliances, and, as usual, a bit frustrated by some of the deliberate obtuseness displayed by certain of the characters.  Nonetheless, this was another imaginative tale that combines sarcastic wit and intense emotion and a satisfying end to the series.



(submitted to Night Owl Reviews)




15 comments:

  1. I love this series! Maddy feels like a friend you might really know. I love how the city plays such a big role in the story. (It's like Chicagoland Vamps that way.) And how can you not love Beezle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to admit that Maddy frustrates me to no end, but I always know her heart is in the right place. I think I drool over the males around her more than anything, lol. Beezle is too funny...and opinionated...and, horrors of horrors...used FB! Thanks for visiting, Margaret!

      Delete
  2. It sounds interesting

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a fun series, bn, hope you get to read it. Thank you for visiting.

      Delete
  3. It's so original! Thanks for sharing ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely a different twist on all kinds of arcane traditions, that's for sure. Thanks for visiting, erin.

      Delete
  4. It is definitely one of my favorites out there. Maddie is a great heroine and there is never a dull moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Bethany! I guess you are going to have to bug the author to continue the series, right? Thanks for taking the time to visit.

      Delete
  5. Don't forget...if you want to be in the running for a print copy of this title and fit the criteria, please answer the question and leave a valid e-address.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Maddie is one of my favorite heroines. She isn't perfect but tries her hardest, is independent, smart, sweet and will do anything for the people she loves. Thanks for the chance to win a copy, so eager to read.

    fsteph55(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's definitely one who can't be kept down! Thanks for visiting, Steph and good luck in the contest!

      Delete
  7. I love reading these books, not necessarily because of all of the trouble Maddy seems to get into, but for everything that Beezle says along the way. He's the fat and cranky comedy relief and he always gives me the munchies. I can't wait for the next book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I always want pizza after reading these books, lol. Thanks for visiting, Erin.

      Delete
  8. My favorite paranormal characters are witches and vampires. I love reading paranormal especially in the fall.---Rae

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it's that time of the year...you should have plenty to keep you occupied, Rae...there are some great stories out there! Thank you for visiting!

      Delete