Cover Reveal + Excerpt: Black City by Elizabeth Richards & Giveaway


Today I am revealing the gorgeous cover for Black City by Elizabeth Richards to be released November, 2012 by G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin. There is also a sneak peek and giveaway, but first the book's description:

A dark and tender postapocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash's long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they're caught they'll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the canter of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

And NOW the cover...



About the author:

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist and debut author, who spent her early career writing for videogame publications such as CUBE, P2 and GamesTM, and now works as a website editor. Previously, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls. She won the Jane Hayward Young Journalist of the Year award for her feature on girls in the games industry, and was named 'Editor's Choice' in the industry trade magazine, MCV.

She lives in Buckinghamshire, England and can be found online at www.theredpenofdoom.wordpress.com



Read the first chapter of Black City

1.

ASH


An air raid siren wails in the distance, alerting Black City citizens to lock their doors and turn out the lights. They don't want to be out in the dark alone. They might meet something dangerous. Something like me.
I head under the canal bridge and wait for the girl, taking a packet of Sentry-regulation smokes from my back pocket and sparking up. The nicotine courses through my veins, making them throb with adrenaline; the sensation is almost like a pulse . . . almost.
Footsteps approach the bridge, and a short girl with straggly black hair appears from the shadows, dressed in men's work boots, tight black trousers and a tailcoat made from a patchwork of clashing fabrics. Her hazel eyes gaze up into mine. She's brave. Not many cherry-poppers have the courage to look me in the eyes. She hands me an old playing card with two hearts on it, one red, one black. It's my calling card. It seemed an appropriate choice; that's what I'm selling her after all, an illusion of love. I slip it into the pocket of my dark green military jacket.
"You're late," I say. "Last thing I need is to be caught out here after curfew by a Tracker. They're just begging for a reason to throw me in jail."
"Sorry, they've put up extra checkpoints, stopping everyone. There's tanks everywhere!" she babbles. "I guess they can't be too careful with the Sentry Emissary back in the city, what with the boundary negotiations with the Legion and—"
"You paid Beetle?" I interrupt.
The girl nods.
"Terms and conditions," I say. "No refunds. You don't enjoy it, you puke, you freak—not my problem, okay?"
She nods again.
"You pregnant?" She blushes furiously. "I'll take that as a no. It may cause drowsiness, so don't drive or operate any heavy machinery." She smiles at this, and I grin. They always like that. "And no repeats for at least two weeks, all right? I mean it."
"That all?"
"No kissing. Strictly business, okay?"
She seems a little disappointed by this, but I don't like to mix business with pleasure. She shyly unbuttons the collar of her coat, revealing her slim, pale neck. Hunger grips my stomach at the sight.
"What do I do?" she asks.
"Lean back," I say.
She obeys like a good girl. I place a hand against the wall and slip my other hand between her thighs, gently easing her legs apart. Touching her doesn't turn me on, but I groan like it does, knowing she'll enjoy that. They all do, even the guys—it's why they come to me instead of the Haze dens. I slide my body between her thighs so we're face-to-face. Her shallow breaths are warm against my cool skin.
"Relax, okay? It's more enjoyable if you relax."
"My heart's pounding a mile a minute." She gives a nervous laugh.
"Can't say I know how that feels," I admit.
She tentatively presses a hand against my chest, and her eyes widen. "So it's true, then? You don't have a heart?"
"I have a heart," I growl, shoving her hard against the wall. It just doesn't beat.
A small tear snakes down her cheek, her thin lips trembling.
"Sshhh, it's okay, sweetheart. I didn't mean to frighten you." I gently wipe her tear away. "Forgive me?"
She nods, then tilts her head to one side, exposing the smooth whiteness of her neck. The poison sacs behind my fangs swell with venom.
Focus, Ash. Don't blow your load.
I lean toward her, pressing my lips against the soft flesh on her neck, just below her ear. Her pulse flutters under my lips, and I nearly lose it. I begin to nibble on the flesh, tickling the tiny hairs on her neck with my tongue, making them wet with my saliva.
"Do it," she whispers.
So much for foreplay. I sink my fangs into her jugular. Hot blood spills over my tongue, making my taste buds burst with its sticky sweetness. Man, I love the newbies; they always taste the best. She sighs as my venom enters her bloodstream. I wait for the Haze to take effect before I start to drink from her. That's the bonus of Haze; my clients get high from me, and I get high from them by drinking their drugged blood. It's win-win.
A sour, bitter flavor suddenly floods my mouth, and I gag, leaping back.
"What the—" I spit up blood.
The girl stares at me with glazed eyes, blood trickling down the two puncture wounds in her neck.
"Everything's sparkling," she says dreamily.
"Didn't Beetle tell you I don't take clients on meds?"
She lurches toward me, and I grab her before she falls into the water.
"I love you," she slurs, trying to kiss me.
I shove her, hard. She falls back against the wall and slides to the floor. Her eyes roll back into her head, and she begins to spasm, white foam bubbling out the corners of her mouth.
"No, no, no! Wake up." I kneel down and shake her, panic rushing through me.
The girl jerks, her boots leaving black scuff marks on the cobblestones. Fragg! This is why I don't take clients on meds. You can never tell how they're going to react to the Haze. I shrug off my jacket and place it under her head.
A Sentry tank rolls over the bridge, and I shut my eyes and wait for it to pass. Even though the war is officially over, I still get chills at that sound. Wherever they went, Death followed. I had a few close scrapes during the war. During those days, the fact that I was a legal citizen and half human didn't mean much to them. If you weren't 100 percent human, you were the enemy. Every day was a fight for survival. Not much has improved since then; I'm still the enemy in most people's eyes. All they can see is the Darkling in me. The tank turns down Bleak Street toward the Sentry Emissary's headquarters.
The girl groans. It's too dangerous here; I have to go. I could just leave her . . . No, that's not an option, but I can't take her to the hospital. I'd get in so much trouble.
Beetle!
I peer down the canal. A yellow barge is moored about one hundred feet away. The lights are off. Where is he? He's meant to be my wingman; that's why I came to the bridge in the first place. Can this get any wor
An explosion of pain bursts inside my chest, and I clutch a hand over my lifeless heart. I sense someone behind me and turn.
A girl stands by the entranceway, lit by the headlamps of a passing truck. In the fleeting light, I catch a glimpse of cornflower-blue eyes flicking between me and the Hazer writhing on the ground.
Her gaze finally fixes on me.
I fall back, struck down, as the pain in my chest blooms again.
Shivers run through my body, rushing toward a single point in my chest. There's a spark of electricity and then:
A flutter.



GRAB THE WIDGET!


Penguin Books for Young Readers has kindly provided an ARC of Black City to giveaway. The winner will also get a chance to win one of 5 exclusive and personalized drawings of the main characters — Ash and Natalie — drawn and autographed by the author, Elizabeth Richards (see the photo of the sketch below). The finished drawing will be more polished and each one a bit different, making it an original and unique image.

DETAILS:
  • To enter, leave a comment and fill out the form below
  • Complete other tasks for extra entries
  • Contest is open INTERNATIONALLY
  • Winner will be announced on this post when the giveaway ends March 14, 2012
  • Winner will be notified



a Rafflecopter giveaway

71 comments:

  1. This is the first time I've ever heard of this, but I absolutely love the cover and the summary. Thanks a lot for sharing this with us!

    Carina

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  2. I like the cover, the idea of a red rose exploding over a city is amazing. The red rose symbolizes everything, passion, love, blood and so also the war. Really great idea! :)

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  3. I LOVE this cover. Very simple concept, but very beautiful.

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  4. I love the cover! It's soooo beautiful!

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    1. (oh I forgot to mention I eneterd as Sašenka)

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  5. I think the cover is stunning. I love the shattering effect!

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  6. They did an amazing job with that rose, it's like it exploded!
    So beautiful.

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  7. I never heard of this book before today but it sounds AMAZING!!! I love that it's a flower...but it's SHATTERED. I think I just found my Cover Crazy for next week!

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  8. Wow that cover is CRAZY gorgeous!!!! I hadn't heard of this book before, but it sounds awesome!!

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  9. GORGEOUS!!!! I can't wait to get my hands on this book. It sounds so amazing. I'm really hoping to win an ARC because it's a long time til November!! Thanks for the chance to win! :)

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  10. The first chapter sure does pull you right in and make you want more! The cover is really pretty. Thanks for the chance to read this.

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  11. I'm so excited! I love both the excerpt and the cover. Can't wait to read the book! Thank you for this chance! :D

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  12. Beautiful cover and intriguing synopsis. I'm definitely excited for this book.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  13. I adore the cover - and the drawing! The cover is just so beautiful - the red rose shattering is stunning, and as Petra said hints at so many things.
    Thanks for the brilliant giveaway - and for just showing me the cover! *cover love* :)

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  14. I adore the cover for this one, it's very eye-catching! The summary sounds amazing as well :)

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  15. Love the cover. Although it doesn't have much on it's just so.. Beautiful.
    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

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  16. Love the cover! It's stunning and elegant.
    Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy!

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  17. So gorgeous! I'm even more excited to read this than I was before :)

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  18. I've not heard about the book before, but the excerpt is awesome and that cover is stunning! I love that it it looks like shards of glass until you scroll down and see it as an exploding rose. Very eye-catching.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  19. I love the placement of the title as well as the combination of colors. I do wish, however, the city image had more of a presence but...oh well.

    Thank you for this great post! :)

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  20. Just the cover is beautiful, but reading the excerpt too, wow! that is a book I need to read!

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  21. Today is the first day I've seen/read/heard about this, and all I can say is WHY DIDN"T I KNOW OF IT BEFORE!? Love it. Obsessing about it already, and this is just chapter 1. I seriously hope I win the giveaway!

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  22. Thanks for the giveaway! I LOVE the fluttering petals on the cover! :)

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  23. The cover is beautiful, for me the shattered rose represents how everything they knew about life was lost, the beauty of the time, and all the wonderfulness of love! My gosh the excerpt leave wanting more! I need to have a cooopy!! Thanks for the giveaway! (ileana on Rafflecopter)

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  24. I love the cover!! It's so unique and gorgeous! :) ;)

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  25. Can't wait to read this one, and I love that cover! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

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  26. I love the cover! It really draws me to the book. Thanks for the giveaway! :-)

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  27. It's definitely gorgeous!!! Love it.

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  28. I think the cover is beautiful and the book sounds amazing!

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  29. Awesome excerpt I need to read this book!

    fallendream03 AT gmail DOT com

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  30. I'm dying to read this. It looks totally amazing! Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :)

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  31. Thanks for the chance! This looks great!

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  32. Great Giveawayyyy!
    Loved it!

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  33. i am in love with the cover and i absolutely cannot wait to read the whole book!! thanks for the giveaway!!

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  34. THis cover is awesome! I'm definitely looking forward to checking this out. :)

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  35. I love the cover. I can't wait to read the book!!

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  36. The synopsis initially made me think this wasn't my type of read, but after reading that first chapter, I was hooked! What a great beginning :-) And the cover IS gorgeous!

    Thanks to you and Penguin for the amazing giveaway! :-)

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  37. The xocover is stunning! and that excerpt... OMG!!! O.O Sounds GREAT! thanks for the chance! I'd love to review this book. :)

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  38. The cover is lovely, but the excerpt is amazing! This is exactly my kind of story. I'm so glad I came across this post, because this book is going straight to the top of my wishlist <3

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  39. I love the cover, but the 1st chapter really got me hooked! Super excited for this book :)

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  40. Eeeeee! Love, love LOVEEEE THE COVER <3 It's so original and completely attention-grabbing! AND THAT EXCERPT! I'M SOOOO DESPERATE FOR THE REST. I have a feeling I'll DEFINITELY love this one <3

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  41. The cover is beautiful and the drawing is pretty impressive!

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  42. I really liked the cover and the excerpt. I would love to get a chance to read the book. Thanks for the great giveaway and for making it international.

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  43. the cover is gorgeous!

    I didn't think it was YA at first!

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  44. Rose with bloody crimson glass shattered petals, what else could I want from this cover? is freakin gorgeous..
    thanks for the giveaway

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  45. the cover is so beautiful! I would read it just for the cover but the excerpt sounds interesting too!

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  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  47. I adore the cover! It's so shattering! And the excerpt it so exciting and dark! Cannot wait!

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  48. Looks like a great book!!
    love the exloding flower

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  49. I love the cover and the except was awesome. I want to read it now!

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  50. The cover is GORGEOUS!!! The shattered flower is so eye catching ^.^

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  51. Omfg. The first chapter. I want MORE right now!!

    The cover is friggin awesome, and it's one of those books I'll display front and center on my self so everyone can see it. :D

    Thanks for the giveaway.

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  52. I just want this book so badly. The cover's beautiful and that first chapter....

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  53. I love the cover, but I wish it revealed a bit more about the story itself

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  54. Thanks for the giveaway! This book sounds pretty good; I can't wait to read more!

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  55. Totally in love with this cover. I really like the bursting flower. I am super excited for this one to come out. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  56. Love the cover <3 can't wait to read it

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  57. Amazing Cover! The excerpt really hooked me.

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  58. Love it! Definitely caught my eye!

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  59. I love it! It's simple yet has a lot going on all at once. :) I also love the color of the...flower. And the city's BLACK - hardy har har, lol!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  60. As I said in other posts. I love this cover! My favorite part about it is the odes of a shattering rose over a city.

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  61. The cover and the synopsis sounds awesome! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy :)

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  62. I think it's stunning. Enough said.

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  63. Holy cow, this book looks intense. I'm loving the cover and the excerpt is amazing. I want to read this now, lol. :-)

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  64. Thanks for the giveaway! I love the cover with the bright red and the shredding of the flower! :)

    Leanne

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