Finally MARCH!

It’s March today!

And EVERYTHING HAPPENS IN MARCH!!

I’m kind of thrilled. In case you couldn’t tell. SPRING happens in March, and a new baby happens in March, and (in case you hadn’t heard) a new BOOK happens in March!

In fact, you can go to Amazon right here right now and buy your very own copy of STONE ALLIANCE! It’s all ready to go! And if you’re curious what the early reviewers are saying . . .

“A fast paced book . . . the author does a wonderful job drawing you into the world she created. It is easy to feel like it is all real as you read the book. The story flows wonderfully with twists and loops.” Emmy Mom (full review)

“The battle that goes on within Rustav is intense. I won’t give away spoilers, but if I was him I would be scared of myself as well. Right from the get go we are thrown into chaos. Emily does such a good job dragging you into this world.” Lord of the Book Reviews (full review)

Go read it and tell me what you think!! Happy March, everyone!

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All covered!

Today’s the day! With one month to the release of Stone Alliance, I’m pleased to present . . . THE COVER!

Ready?

Stone Alliance front cover

I’m biased, I know, but . . . I love it! Stars and clouds and ocean and craggy rocks . . . happy sigh. Here’s the lowdown on what you’re in for:

Haunted by his transformation, Rustav returns home to a war-torn land. More attacks from the island demons ravage the peninsula each day, and a centuries-old grudge threatens to tear down the last wall standing between Rustav’s people and swift destruction.

Determined to save his people and terrified that he might cause their destruction, Rustav must rebuild long-lost trust between three estranged cultures while concealing the secret that could crush the last hope of salvation for his people.

Coming March 2, 2016!

The adventure begins with Demon’s Heart, available now at Barnes and Noble and Amazon!

And in case you need more Emily in your life, find me on these other sites:

Twitter: @ehbates 

Instagram: @ehbates.author 

Facebook: facebook.com/ehbates.author

It’s coming!

I had a lovely rant planned for today, but I can’t muster enough energy to get worked up about it right now. So look forward to that next week. In the meantime, I thought I’d share a few updates on things that are coming up in the near future.

First things first. As I’m now less than three months out, I suppose it’s about time that I announce I’m having a baby. Some of you who follow me on Twitter may have picked up on that already, but I don’t think I ever got around to posting it here on the blog. We’re having another girl and can’t wait to meet her! Scout is getting more excited about the little sister idea and mostly likes to tell people that “Mom is getting bigger and BIGGER!”

Preparations for Stone Alliance are coming along nicely. I’m in the final stages of editing and have been working with some truly talented and wonderful people on the map and cover. Release date is March 2nd, which means it’s coming out (assuming no surprises) shortly before the baby does. I’m excited for it to be out in the world!

If you’re interested in helping out with the cover reveal or the blog tour (free e-book!), email me at bumblesbooks at gmail dot com. More info on that will be forthcoming shortly.

And now, I found these lovelies waiting for me at the library this morning…

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…so I shall leave you all to your lives and go devour several hundred pages of joy. Happy reading!

12 Giveaways: Demon’s Heart!

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This Christmas, I’m pleased to give away a signed copy of my YA fantasy novel Demon’s Heart (Sweetwater Books). Enter here for your chance to win—and get it read before the sequel comes out March 2016!

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demon's heart cover

Rustav is carrying a dangerous secret—one his uncle won’t hesitate to kill for. Now on the run, Rustav has only two options: turn and fight his uncle and the bloodthirsty demons of the island, or flee into the unknown and face the mysterious dangers of the forest.

Forced to choose between following his destiny and saving his life, Rustav soon discovers that his only hope of surviving lies in the mysteries of his past . . .

Get lost in this fantasy filled with a daring combination of action, adventure, and a hint of romance.

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Praise for Demon’s Heart

“A talented writer can convince a reader that fantasy is real; a gifted author makes it look easy from the opening scene. This was Emily Hall Bates’s novel Demon’s Heart! It’s a creative story
that simply doesn’t stop. Intense action sequences, along with a brave and selfless hero, make this book highly addictive. Every reader who loves original, powerful fantasy will be absorbed in this compelling read.” —Rachel McClellan, Amazon best-selling author of the
Fractured Light series and Confessions of a Cereal Mother

 “Bates’s style is striking and sophisticated. Her mastery of storytelling grabbed me from the beginning and still hasn’t let go! Demon’s Heart is a fantastic new fantasy that will appeal to fans of author R. K. Ryals and Rothfuss’s very popular King Killer Chronicles.” —Hannah Clark, author of Uncovering Cobbogoth

 “Demon’s Heart takes the reader on a colorful adventure through lands of peasants and kings, soldiers and demons. Rustav’s tragic past and his solemn destiny make his journey one of poignant self-discovery.” —Adrienne Quintana, author of Eruption

 “Bates has created a world rich in history and originality—a perfect backdrop for an epic romance.” —R. C. Hancock, author of An Uncommon Blue

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About the Author

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 Emily lives with her husband, 2 daughters, and a goblin that sleeps in a cupboard. She can usually be found reading voraciously, writing madly, crocheting sporadically, or eating chocolate behind the fridge so she doesn’t have to share.

Visit her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and website for more news and excessive love of words and books.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of our 12 Giveaways of Christmas!

Mark your calendars!

We’re still a ways out, but I couldn’t wait any longer to announce the RELEASE DATE for my next book!

STONE ALLIANCE, the sequel to Demon’s Heart, will be released March 2, 2016. It’s been a long time in the works, and I’m so excited for it to be out for the world to read! Here’s a hint of what to expect:

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Haunted by his transformation, Rustav must now face the Burrihim invaders without the support of his tuathan kin. But as he seeks new allies to drive back the enemy, a centuries-old grudge threatens to make him more enemies where he hoped to find friends.

Caught between the desperate needs of his country and his own fast-approaching breaking point, Rustav struggles to reconcile three estranged cultures and oust the hostile invaders before his people starve–and before he loses himself once more to the fleyder’s violence.

***

What’s going on in your writing life? Any big goals you’re reaching for?

Bonus content!!

demon's heart coverIn celebration of having all my files back in one place, I went wandering through some of my old, discarded story bits. Lo and behold, I discovered an alternate beginning I had written for Demon’s Heart about a billion drafts ago! The story originally started about ten days earlier than it does now, but for pacing and plotting reasons, I jumped the beginning forward for the later drafts. Take a peek!

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Rustav made his way through the crowded streets of Markuum, the shouts of dockworkers and merchants falling heavily on his ears. Other inhabitants of the city skirted around him, either pretending he wasn’t there or shooting him furtive, disapproving glances as they passed. Nearly seventeen years of such behavior had dulled his awareness of it, and the boy had learned to appreciate being left alone. It was certainly better than the alternative.

Unfortunately, the alternative was sometimes unavoidable. Rustav could hear the heavy boots on cobblestones behind him, but he didn’t turn. It hurt less when they hit him from the back.

A rough hand grabbed his shoulder and yanked him around, shoving him against the wall of the one of Markuum’s many fish hawkers. It was Taver again, and no surprise; Rustav’s uncle Karstafel had just stolen a large load of merchandise from Taver’s father. Though Taver was a year younger and a few inches shorter, he was substantially broader than Rustav and well-liked in town.

Taver wrapped his fist around the front of Rustav’s shirt and pushed hard. Normally, the kid had more of a mouth than a fist, so Rustav nearly missed his chance to dodge the punch Taver threw at him. He jerked out of the way just in time, and Taver hit the wall.

“What’s the excuse today?” Rustav asked coolly, feigning ignorance.

“You know full well,” Taver said, a hint of desperation in his furious voice as he shook his hand. “Your blasted uncle—he’s ruining us!”

Click here to read the rest of the chapter.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway for ERUPTION by Adrienne Quintana! You don’t want to miss this book!

The Grand Reveal

Remember that post I wrote about first pages a while ago? A lot of you agreed that the first page or even the whole first chapter was a better standard for judgment than just the first line.

So guess what you get to read today?

The first two pages of Demon’s Heart, five full days before the rest of the world gets to see it!

Brace yourselves. Are you ready? Here you go!

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The distant forest held Rustav’s gaze as forcefully as the hypnotic yellow eyes of a sea serpent. Quiet as the trees might be, sailors insisted that the mountain forest was every bit as deadly as a sea serpent’s iron coils. In spite of Rustav’s best efforts as a skeptic, the sailors’ tales seemed to hover in the air above the ancient trees, growing more insistent with every long, pounding stride Rustav took.

His legs gave out from underneath him, sending him sprawling into the tall grass at the foot of the mountain. Time for a break. Rustav crawled away from where he had fallen, making sure he was well hidden in the grass before lying flat on his stomach with his face in the dirt. As much as it hurt to lie on his bruised ribs, it was worse to lie on his back. Three days of hard travel had done little to help it heal; as soon as anything began to scab over, the motion of running or falling or hiding cracked the wounds open, and more blood seeped into the back of his shirt. If Karstafel could see the state of his clothes . . . but Karstafel wouldn’t ever see him again.

Hovering between sleep and waking, Rustav’s mind drifted back to the taverns at the port of Markuum. The raucous shouts of drunken, land-starved sailors surrounded him, each voice telling a different tale. Alluring sea serpents, ferocious mermaids, rabid pirates—and those were the tamer stories. The tales that stayed with Rustav, that inspired nightmares and set his skin crawling, were the tales of the demons.

The island demons were the loudest, the sailors said, and Rustav was inclined to believe them. His uncle, Karstafel, had dragged him along to the island of Burrihim on the king’s business when Rustav was only nine. All night, Rustav had huddled on the floor of the inn, each distant shriek notching his nerves a little higher. He had nearly ended up being sacrificed to the demons the next day for being too curious. No, Rustav had no doubt that the island demons were a threat.

But while the island demons had a shape, a sound, and a violent disposition, the forest demons were nothing more than a bodiless whisper, a shadow with nothing to cast it, a branch moving without wind. Sure, the sailors still told stories of men disappearing into the forest and never returning, but even the most practiced exaggerators couldn’t make the tales as gruesome as the island sacrifices. The simple truth, Rustav suspected, was that the mountain people had been telling tall tales of demons for ages to scare their children into behaving, and the stories had simply been taken up by the rest of the Courei peninsula as a way to ward off any mainland countries that might try to attack through the mountains.

He’d find out one way or the other soon enough. He had no doubt that Karstafel was already watching every port and scouring the valley for him. The mountains were his only remaining chance of escape. Dragging himself once more to his feet, Rustav rested his eyes on a small village just outside the forest’s edge. He’d stop there and see what he could scrounge; then he would see what awaited him in the trees. Even if there is something in there, Rustav thought as he forced his unwilling feet into a pounding run, it can’t be any worse than the island demons. He had eluded them; he could slip past any forest demons just as well.

He hoped.

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Are you hooked now? Of course you are! You can click over to ehbates.com for preorder buttons if you haven’t ordered yours yet. Thanks for reading!