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STEADFAST Blog Tour: ‘Top Five Moments’ Guest Post + Giveaway

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I am super excited to be kicking off the STEADFAST Blog Tour with a very awesome guest post by Author Claudia Gray in which she shares her Top Five Moments from the Spellcaster Trilogy.

I love, love, loved SPELLCASTER – so much so that I re-read it in anticipation of this tour – and I’m currently reading STEADFAST and I already love it even more than the first book in the series. But that’s not a surprise to me as Claudia Gray’s series just keep getting better and better as they progress.

If you have read the first book in this series then you know what a Steadfast is and just what might be awaiting the characters in this sequel. And if you’ve read at least one book in this series then you are probably just as excited about the third book in the series, SORCERESS, as I am.

Of course if you haven’t yet had the chance to dive into this very amazing series, you may not want to read beyond the author’s first of five top moments. Because they do reveal quite a bit about who’s who and what’s what in SPELLCASTER and a little bit about what’s in store for some of the characters in STEADFAST.

But if you have read both books or don’t mind getting the inside scoop about what’s going to happen in each book before you begin, then definitely read all five of the author’s favorite moments. Because they are really, really great moments that she chose and I have to say they rank in my top ten… I do have a few other favorites, too. One of which I plan on sharing with my review.

Whether you’re new to this series or someone anxiously awaiting STEADFAST, there’s an amazing giveaway as part of this tour for a signed copy of STEADFAST + swag to three winners. And, yes, it’s international.

But before you scroll down to the giveaway, be sure to check out the author’s awesome guest post. I’d love to know which of the five scenes she lists as favorites are favorites of yours.

If you haven’t yet heard about the Spellcaster Trilogy, I’ve included some information about the two full-length books currently – and soon-to-be – available and the eNovella which is all about Elizabeth Cooper. And if you haven’t yet had a chance to “meet” the author, her bio, along with places to find her online, is also below.

I’ve included the full tour schedule, which I’ll be updating with direct links to the posts when they go “live,” at the bottom of this post. So if you’re stopping by later this week, next week, or any time after the tour, you’ll be able to check out all the guest posts, author interviews, character interviews and reviews without having to search.

But today is my stop and I have a really awesome guest post. So if you’d like to check that out, I’ll let you do that now….

The Guest Post

Five Favorite Moments from the SPELLCASTER Trilogy

by Claudia Gray 

One

Mateo rescues Nadia.

Nadia’s magical powers mean she doesn’t need a lot of rescuing – but in this scene from SPELLCASTER, she’s in way over her head. Literally. After she dives in the sound for a lost magical artifact, Nadia fails to surface again. Mateo dives in to see her trapped in seaweed that’s part of a protective spell, and she hasn’t been able to breathe for way too long.

Quickly he broke for the surface again, took in the largest mouthful of air he could hold, and plunged in. Mateo kicked toward her, caught her shoulders in his hands. The panic in Nadia’s eyes was terrible to see. He pressed his mouth to hers, opening it – then blew the air into her lungs, giving Nadia precious oxygen. As he did, he felt Nadia realize what he was doing and inhale deeply; for a moment they remained tangled like that. Two people, one breath.

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Two

Elizabeth interrupts Nadia’s spell.

Nadia decides to cast a spell to remove some of Elizabeth’s magic; the spell is better cast in the water, so she gets into the clawfoot tub at home. But Elizabeth senses the shift in magic, and retaliates.

Elizabeth lit her candle. She made her own out of tallow fat, the old way, boiling down the dead flesh herself. How it glistened when it melted – and ahh, the smell. There was no replacing that stink, the fetid odor of real magic. Some people prettied it up, but she preferred to know it for what it was. 

Holding her hand out flat, Elizabeth pushed it forward until her fingers were in the candle’s flame. The first flare of heat hurt, but she had long since learned to ignore pain.

She held it there, and held it there. Her skin turned red, and the thin wisp of smoke rising from the candle began to darken. The tallow scent deepened into the smell of smoldering flesh. 

Hotter, Elizabeth thought. Pain-sparked tears welled in her eyes, but they were meaningless. Her fingers had begun to turn black.

Make it hotter.

The air was almost uncomfortably thick with steam now, and Nadia could feel her whole body prickling with heat from the tub – she hadn’t turned the cold tap enough – but she knew she had to concentrate …

But Nadia couldn’t think, the water was so freaking hot – it almost burned. 

Her eyes opened wide as she realized the water was getting hotter. Though the taps were off, the water in the tub was heating up second by second, faster all the time, and she gasped aloud to see steam billowing up – oh, God, it stung, it hurt, it was going to start cooking her –

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Three

Verlaine makes a list of pros and cons.

Verlaine first appears to be just another girl at Rodman High – albeit one who wears vintage fashion, has long hair that’s already silver at age 17, and always seems to be on the outside looking in. She and Nadia become fast friends. Yet Verlaine turns out to be more connected to the dark magic in Captive’s Sound than she ever imagined. The sorceress Elizabeth may even be responsible for the deaths of her parents when Verlaine was only a baby. Nadia has told Verlaine they can’t know for sure unless they visit her parents’ gravesites.

Reasons To Visit My Parents’ Graves Soon 

Have to know if that hag Elizabeth killed them or not.

Should probably take flowers or something because I’ve never taken anything there and maybe that’s kind of awful, and I am somehow being the worst daughter ever to people who aren’t even alive.

If Elizabeth did this, then revenge is necessary even though she is a mega bad-ass witch from ye olden days and I am a high school senior with a shrieking-alarm key chain as my sole means of self-defense. So some planning time for said revenge is probably also necessary.

Reasons Not To Visit My Parents’ Graves Soon

Not sure I’m ready to deal with that, at all.

Already working on stopping Elizabeth in her tracks, so revenge motivation is an unnecessary addition to my plans. Also that’s probably the only way to make this apocalypse-averting thing even more stressful than it already is.

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Four

Elizabeth threatens Nadia’s dad.

Now we’re in STEADFAST. In this book, the sorceress Elizabeth isn’t trying to defeat Nadia; she’s trying to recruit her. The One Beneath wants Nadia to serve him, and Elizabeth’s willing to do whatever it takes to make her serve the forces of darkness whether she wants to or not. During one altercation, Nadia learns to her horror that Elizabeth has cast a powerful spell on her father, creating a dangerous (and illegal) attraction to Elizabeth he would never feel otherwise. Although Mr. Caldani has done absolutely nothing wrong, Elizabeth informs Nadia that won’t be the case for long.

“At this rate, I’m very close to going to Ms. Walsh for a counseling session, where I’d confess that I’d been pressured into an affair by one of my friends’ fathers. I wonder what your life would be like if he went to prison for statutory rape? Would you be old enough to take custody of Cole full-time? Though of course you’d have to drop out of school and work to support you both. Even if you did find a job, you couldn’t keep that lovely house, I’d imagine. There are some cheaper apartments further inland that might do. Then again, maybe you’re not old enough after all. Would Cole go into foster care?” Elizabeth frowned. “Or do they still have workhouses? I can’t recall.”

I like this because it touches on one of the most important things about Nadia – her connection to her family – and because it’s so incredibly disturbing. No one wants to think about their parents’ sex lives even in the best circumstances. Discovering that her dad’s being manipulated in this way – it seriously screws with Nadia’s head.

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Five

Asa shows some of his true power to Verlaine.

Verlaine felt a shiver go through her then. Although there was no overt sign that Asa was someone besides Jeremy Prasad, something other than human – it had somehow become completely clear that he could stop them all if he had to, and make them sorry they’d even tried to get past him.

One of the things I loved most about writing STEADFAST was introducing the character of Asa – really Asael, a demon in the service of the One Beneath. But he’s been scooped out of hell and dropped into the undead body of Nadia’s classmate Jeremy Prasad, supposedly to serve Elizabeth. Asa, however, has a few schemes of his own. He winds up messing with the heads of Nadia, Mateo and Verlaine, turning them all against each other at times. Yet as he spends all this time observing them, he can’t help paying more attention to Verlaine. As a demon, he understands something about the dark magic affecting her; in some ways, Asa is the only one who can see Verlaine for who she really is. And he likes what he sees …

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About Steadfast

Steadfast

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Series: Spellcaster #2
Release date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Description…

Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine have saved Captive’s Sound from the dark Sorceress Elizabeth…or so they thought. Despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia’s magic is magnified and she is more powerful than ever. But there is still so much she doesn’t know about the craft, leaving her open and vulnerable to a darker magic…which has begun to call Nadia’s name.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS

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About Claudia Gray

Claudia Gray

Claudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)

I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Goodreads or (of course) my own home page.

If you want to contact me, you can email me here, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | TUMBLR | PINTEREST |GOODREADS

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Other Books in the Series

Spellcaster

Title: SPELLCASTER (Spellcaster #1)
Release date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 400
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook

Description…

When Nadia’s family moves to Captive’s Sound, she instantly realizes there’s more to it than meets the eye. Descended from witches, Nadia senses a dark and powerful magic at work in her new town. Mateo has lived in Captive’s Sound his entire life, trying to dodge the local legend that his family is cursed – and that curse will cause him to believe he’s seeing the future … until it drives him mad. When the strange dreams Mateo has been having of rescuing a beautiful girl—Nadia—from a car accident come true, he knows he’s doomed.

Despite the forces pulling them apart, Nadia and Mateo must work together to break the chains of his family’s terrible curse, and to prevent a disaster that threatens the lives of everyone around them. Shimmering with magic and mystery, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s new novel is sure to draw fans of the Hex Hall and Caster Chronicles series, and fans of the hit CW TV show The Secret Circle.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS

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The First Midnight Spell

Title: THE FIRST MIDNIGHT SPELL (Spellcaster #0.5)
Release date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 64
Formats: eBook

Description…

In this suspenseful companion novella to New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray’s Spellcaster, learn the tragic origins of the dark witch Elizabeth.

It’s 1695, and Elizabeth Cooper is a young witch in Fortune’s Sound, Rhode Island. She spends her days perfecting spells with the local coven and dreaming about one day marrying Nat Porter. But Nat is the son of Widow Porter, another witch and the leader of their coven. According to the First Laws of the Craft, Elizabeth is strictly forbidden to marry him.

Elizabeth never imagined dabbling in the dark arts, bringing herself close to serving the One Beneath. But as she feels Nat slipping away from her, she will do anything to secure his love. How much harm could she do with one single spell, even if it is black magic?

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

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The Giveaway

There is an awesome giveaway included as part of this tour for…

A SIGNED copy of STEADFAST + swag (bookmarks) to THREE winners – International.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Tour Schedule

Week One

Feb. 24th – Fiktshun – Guest Post

Feb. 25th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

Feb. 26th – Fantasy Book Addict – Interview

Feb. 27th – Magical Urban Fantasy Reads – Character Interview with Verlaine

Feb. 28th – Jenna Does Books – Interview

Week Two

Mar. 3rd – Mundie Moms – Review and Excerpt

Mar. 4th – Parajunkee – Interview

Mar. 5th – Bookalicious – Guest Post

Mar. 6th – Tales of a Ravenous Reader – Guest Post

Mar. 7th – The YA Sisterhood – Guest Post

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