Friday, 14 February 2014

Hearts on Fire Blog Valentine's Hop (AND GIVEAWAY!)

TOP 10 Romance Books (because as a reader what better to do! I'm going off the books that I have read most recently, and if they are another genre as well as romance I'll put it in the list. Now don't forget to let me know what number 10 is and join in the hop! AND remember that you can't win my stop's prize if you haven't commented! (Links are to my reviews)
  1. Scoundrel for Hire by Adrienne deWolfe (Historical Romance)
  2. Forget Me Not by Sarah Daltry (New Adult Romance)
  3. Vengeful in Love by Nadia Lee (Romance)
  4. Forbidden Surrender by Priscilla West (Romance)
  5. Relentless by Cassia Leo (New Adult Romance)
  6. Love at Stake by Victoria Davies (Paranormal Romance)
  7. Prince of Hearts by Margaret Foxe (Steampunk Romance)
  8. Fly You to the Moon by Jocelyn Han (Science Fiction Romance)
  9. Kiss Me at Midnight by Diane Alberts (Romance)
  10. And yours is...
Happy (Very nearly!) Valentine's Day! For my giveaway from this awesome hop, I am going to be giving away two ARCs of my own book Awakening! But the one problem is that that means I have to describe it, so here it goes: 
Cursed to sleep for 100 years to save her from her dark fate, Keira waits for her Prince to arrive. But when he does, will it be the Prince of her dreams, or the Prince of her nightmares?

Awakening is a paranormal romance based upon the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty. 
And if that hasn't made up your mind (or the draft of cover has scared you off!) check out the first chapter & prologue below! 


Prologue

Once upon a time, in a Kingdom far away, there lived a beloved King and Queen. Their reign was peaceful and prosperous, but though the people loved them there was something missing in their lives. They desperately wanted a child. One night, the Queen in her desperation snuck out of the palace and into the enchanted wood, to where the Dark Power lived.. Seeing her desperation, the Dark Power granted the Queen’s wish. The Queen returned to the palace and soon became pregnant, not revealing to her husband the help that she sought.

Once the child was born there was celebration throughout the Kingdom, and it was prophesised that the young Princess would be beautiful, merciful and kind, and that her reign would be even more glorious than that of her parents. The King and Queen were overjoyed but at their daughter’s christening the Dark Power appeared once and revealed the cost of the King and Queen’s gift. He promised that on the eve of her 18th year, the Princess would return to his power, and live out her days in darkness, and that instead of her reign of mercy and kindness, the Kingdom would know terror and evil.

The Queen’s sister, who was of no little power herself, was unable to lift the curse that had been placed on the Princess, but was able to alter it. On the same eve, the Princess would fall into a deep sleep for 100 years. If left to sleep and to awaken naturally, the Princess would be restored to the Kingdom and the prophesies of her reign would come to pass, but if awakened even a second earlier, the Princess would return to the Darkness. Many a Prince would try to break the Dark Power’s curse, hoping that they would be the one to save the Princess from her fate.


Chapter 1

For 17 years, I had been told the same story, it used to just be occasionally, but now my parents seem to be telling it to me every other day at least! They seem to believe that it is true, but I can’t believe it. There must be some secret though as I can see guilt and pain in my mother’s eyes. I’m a Princess though and there is no way I would let a silly children’s story scare me.

I looked into the full length mirror in my room, I was dressed in a beautiful gown, with a full blue skirt and a perfectly fitted bodice, my golden brown curls fell to my shoulders, and my green eyes shone with excitement. As was tradition in the Kingdom, I would have the ball for my 18th birthday on the eve before, dancing into adulthood so to speak. The only thing that was missing from my outfit was a tiara, but that would be placed on my head by my father, in front of the court. There were butterflies in my stomach from excitement, and I couldn’t wait to dance the night away with one handsome man after another!

When the time for the ball came I descended serenely down the grand staircase and into the ballroom below. The entire court was assembled, and it was a sea of colours and faces, all watching me. When I reached the bottom of the stairs I came to my parents, my mother had tears in her eyes, and my father a proud look upon his face, though for a reason I couldn’t fathom, his eyes appeared to have a trace of sadness in them. He lifted his hand to me and tucked a stray curl behind my ear, then taking a tiara of diamonds and sapphires which a servant held to him on a velvet cushion, he gently placed it on my head, positioning it perfectly, in a way that only royalty could achieve.

He leaned into me and whispered in my ear, “I love you Keira.” I gave him a slightly confused look, I knew that my father loved me, but he wasn’t really a man to show such emotions and the fact that he chose now to do so confused me. Before I could question him further he turned to the court, lifting my hand in his and announced in his booming voice, that in my youth I had named his King voice; “Lords and Ladies, I wish to present to you my daughter, and the heir to the throne, Princess Keira, on the eve of her 18th Birthday.” As one, the court bowed, and without even really thinking about it I dipped into a curtsey in return, perfectly formed as I had been taught to do.

The evening passed in a blur, I danced with several Lords, and even a Prince from the neighbouring Kingdom, though with none of them did I feel the rush that I expected and hoped that I would feel this night, the rush I would feel when I met the one for me. Disappointed, I climbed the steps to my tower room. Before I got there I saw a light from a room that I knew wasn’t used, and intrigued I crept towards it, perhaps hoping to catch one of the maids, or even better a lady of the Court, in some compromising position with a young man. I pushed the door open as quietly as I could, which is no mean feat in a castle as old as this one, and stood still in shock at what I saw. Instead of what I had hoped, there simply sat a spinning wheel.


I’d known how to spin since a young age; my parents believed that I would make a better ruler if I understood the people’s jobs, and so I had spent time learning all the servant’s chores. Something compelled me to sit at the wheel and begin to spin, but as I did I pricked my finger, and fainted. Or at least I thought I fainted. As it turned out that the story that I had been told all my life was true. Even worse, the story I had heard all my life was my own, and I fell into a deep sleep, waiting to awaken naturally or to be awakened by my Prince, I’m not sure which idea scared me more. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOP GRAND PRIZE!!!! 
Gorgeous heart pendant with a 20 carat lab ruby and 14k gold chain PLUS signed paperbacks from each author  - entire series by Victoria and Kym.