Oct 6, 2015

The Summer Marked (The Winter People #2) by Rebekah L. Purdy


Salome left humankind behind to be with her boyfriend, Gareth, in the Kingdom of Summer. But now forces of darkness are rising. Her happily-ever-after is coming apart, and the Kingdom is on the brink of war. 

Description:
Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
Salome left humankind behind to be with her boyfriend, Gareth, in the Kingdom of Summer. But now forces of darkness are rising. Her happily-ever-after is coming apart, and the Kingdom is on the brink of war. 
Newly-single Kadie Byers is on her way home for Thanksgiving, imagining a visit filled with hot chocolate, a hot guy for a little rebound action, and some girl time with her bestie, Salome. Except she receives a message from Salome with two important words: PLEASE HURRY.
When Kadie rushes to help Salome, she’s ripped from the human world and pulled into the kingdoms of Faerie, where she's shocked to learn that Salome's monsters are real, and that she's now at the mercy of one extremely vengeful Winter Queen... 
Now both Salome and Kadie must find a way to survive the deadly chaos...or lose themselves to Winter's deadly, icy grasp.

An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.
Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn't forgotten their warning to "stay away." For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the "special gifts" that must be left at the back of the property.
 

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she'll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.
EXCERPT

Gareth kicked himself back onto his feet. The silver of his blade glinted as he swung it once more. This time the weapon connected with the backs of the troll’s legs, severing the tendons. The troll yelped in pain and collapsed into the ferns.

“Turn your head,” Gareth told me.

My throat thickened, and I buried my face against the horse’s side. Two more loud howls erupted, then all went silent.

“It’s okay, he’s dead now.”

I pulled away from Adaba and stared in horror at the giant head lying in the leaves, its lifeless eyes still glowed even in death. Thick black blood dripped from the foliage. I covered my mouth as nausea overtook me.

Gareth wiped his sword off and hurried to my side. He clutched me tight to his chest. “Shh…just close your eyes and count to ten.”

“I feel sick.”

“I know. Just don’t look at the body, okay? I need you to stay right next to Adaba while I scout out the woods.”

“Wait—you’re leaving me alone?” My voice quivered. I so didn’t want to be left with the severed body. Hell to the flipping no.

“Only for a moment.” He disappeared into the undergrowth, not giving me the chance to argue.

Several minutes passed before he reappeared, breathless.

“Are you all right?” I caught his arm. His skin was slick with sweat.

“Get on your horse.”

“What?”

“Salome, you have to go.”

I swallowed the rock-like lump in my throat. “By myself?”

“Yes—this troll was only a scout. The others aren’t too far out.”

No. This isn’t happening.

“Others? But you’ll be killed. I-I can’t leave you.”

Gareth turned to Adaba. “Take her to the Ruined Court and hide. If I’m not there in two days’ time, get her to Summer.”

Adaba whinnied and shook his mane as if he understood. Gareth sheathed his sword and picked me up, his arms tightening around me. His lips crushed mine with urgency, as if he was taking his last breath. And I clung to him, absorbing his heat and his woodsy scent. When he pulled back, he set me atop my mount.

“Gareth, please…” Tears streamed down my cheeks. I reached for him, as if that’d really keep him from going anywhere.

He slid a dagger from beneath his tunic and slipped it into the belt of my gown. “Don’t be afraid to use this.”

“Please.”

“I love you, Salome.” He swatted Adaba’s flank, and the horse carried me into the woods.

As we rode away, I heard the distinct sound of heavy footsteps tromping through the brambles.

I jerked on Adaba’s reins. “Turn back. We can’t leave him.”

But the horse ignored my feeble attempts and galloped deeper into the forest. A sob raked through me as I realized that I might never see Gareth alive again.

About the author:

Rebekah Purdy grew up in Michigan, where she spent many late nights armed with a good book and a flashlight. When not hiding at her computer and getting lost in her stories, she enjoys reading, singing, soccer, swimming, football, camping, playing video games and hanging out with her kids. She loves the unexplainable like Bigfoot, the Dogman, and the Loch Ness Monster (lots of good story material)! She admits to still having all the books she bought throughout her childhood and teen years, and she may or may not have an obsession with anything chocolate…
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