Welcome to the final stop on the RoseBlood Masks, Music, and MayhemÂ blog tour!
Before I let A.G. Howard take over I’m going to share a little info about her newest upcoming book, which looks PHENOMENAL!! Also there are TWO amazing giveaways below for you guys to enter, please make sure to follow special instructions for the INTL giveaway!Â
Roseblood by A.G. Howard
Published by Amulet Books on January 10th 2017
Genres: Adaptations, Europe, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy, General, People & Places, Young Adult Fiction
Buy the Book â¢ Goodreads
In this modern day spin on Lerouxâs gothic tale of unrequited love turned to madness, seventeen-year-old Rune Germain has a mysterious affliction linked to her operatic talent, and a horrifying mistake sheâs trying to hide. Hoping creative direction will help her, Runeâs mother sends her to a French arts conservatory for her senior year, located in an opera house rumored to have ties to The Phantom of the Opera.
At RoseBlood, Rune secretly befriends the masked Thornâan elusive violinist who not only guides her musical transformation through dreams that seem more real than reality itself, but somehow knows who she is behind her own masks. As the two discover an otherworldly connection and a soul-deep romance blossoms, Thornâs dark agenda comes to light and heâs forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century, and is the only father heâs ever known.
Yesterday I shared some exclusive info about the outside of RoseBlood,Â so today, I’d like to share a peek at the inside.
However, I’m talking about more than just the beautiful interior art and ink color. Today, my publisher and I are revealing the entire first chapter, and we’re going to have some fun with it.Â
Here, on Bookiemoji’s blog, you’ll find the first half of the chapter. But, if you want a shot at the final INTL prize pack offered today, you’ll have to answer a question to unlock the rafflecopter. And that answer can only be found in the second half of the chapter.
There’s the fun part. It’s a scavenger hunt, of sorts. To the read the final half and find the answer to the question, you’ll need to visit PiqueBeyond.Â
What is PiqueBeyond you ask?Â It’s a new YA website launched by my publisher, Abrams Books.Â Here’s a better description:
RoseBlood, chapter 1:
âThe opera ghost really existed . . .â
~ Gaston Leroux,Â The Phantom of the Opera
At home, I have a poster on my wall of a rose thatâs bleeding. Its petals are white, and red liquid oozes from its heart, thick and glistening warm. Only, if you look very close, you can see the droplets are coming from above where a little girlâs wristâcamouflaged by a cluster of leavesâhas been pricked by thorns as she reached inside to catch a monarch.
I used to wonder why she risked getting sliced up just to touch a butterfly. But now it makes sense: she wanted those wings so she could fly away, because the pain of trying to reach for them was more tolerable than the pain of staying grounded, wherever she was.
Today, I embrace that childâs perfect wisdom. What I wouldnât give for a set of wings . . .
On the other side of the limoâs window, a gray sky looms above thickly woven trees lining the country road. The clouds heave like living, breathing creatures, and raindrops smack the glass.
Not the ideal Sunday afternoon to be driven along the French countryside, unless I were here for a vacation. Which Iâm not, no matter how anyone tries to spin it.
âThe opera house has a violent history. No one even knows how the fire started all those years ago. That doesnât bother you?â I mumble the words beneath the hum of the motor so our driver wonât hear. Theyâre for Momâs benefitâat the other end of the back seat.
Mom bounces as the tires dip into a deep puddle while turning onto a dilapidated road of mismatched cobblestones and dirt. Mud splashes across the window.
âRune . . . youâre understandably predisposed to hate any building that has suffered a fire. But itâs a fear you need to outgrow. The eighteen hundreds were a long, long time ago. Pretty sure by now, all the bad âkarmaâ is gone.â
I stare at the privacy screen separating us from the uniformed man at the steering wheel, watching the wipers slash through the brown muck on the windshield with a muffled screech as they clear a line of vision.
Mom uses the termÂ karmaÂ like itâs a four-letter word. I shouldnât be surprised at her cynicism. Sheâs always had a different view on Dadâs heritage than I have. She thinks my anxiety stems from Grandma Lilianaâs impact upon our lives. That my grandmotherâs actions and accusations compounded the gypsy superstitions my dad had already imprinted on me, and theyâve affected how I see the world. Momâs partly right. Itâs hard to escape something so deeply ingrained, especially when Iâve seen proof of otherworldly things, having been possessed most of my life.
âSix weeks till the end of October,â I continue to bait. âAnd Iâll be spending it at a school haunted by a phantom. Things donât get any more Halloween than that.â
âA phantom?â A tiny wrinkle bridges Momâs furrowed eyebrows.
âAre we on that again? Your life isnât a Broadway musical. This place isnât anything like the one in the story. Lerouxâs Opera Populaire was fashioned after the Palais Garnier in the city. You should know that, considering youâve read the book at least three times now.â
I grip the door panel to brace myself against another dip in the road. If she thinks Iâm going to just ignore what I found on the underground RoseBlood forums, sheâs wrong. Itâs the whole reason I checked out Gaston Lerouxâs novel from the library a few weeks before we left in the first place. Although my reading the book so many times had more to do with the story itselfâa mysterious composer using his unnatural gift of music to help a girl find the power in her voice.
âYou saw the discussion,â I say. âThe blueprint for Garnier was inspired by a building once owned by an eccentric Parisian emperor in the eighteenth century. A private opera house set out in the country called Le ThÃ©Ã¢tre Liminaire. AKA: my new school. The Liminaire is rumored to be where the phantom legend first originated.â I scroll through my recent searches on my phone, then hold up the screen so Mom can see the text alongside a morbid and lovely illustration of a caped man in a half mask holding up a bloody rose. âSo youâre right. Iâm not stepping into a musical. Itâs a horror story. With a side of obsession and gore.â
We hit two bumps in a row this time, nearly slamming our heads on the limoâs cushioned ceiling. An irritated puff of air escapes Momâs lips, though Iâm pretty sure itâs directed at me and not the driver. âI told you those forums are nothing more than wannabe students who were turned down by admissions. People say outrageous things when they feel slighted.â She opens the schoolâs pamphlet for the twentieth time. âAccording to the brochure, post-renovation, most of the opera house isnât even the same anymore. Totally different place.â
I nibble on the end of my braid. âIt just doesnât feel right. Why did it take over a hundred years for anyone to rebuild or inhabit that place again?â
Mom presses the brochure to her thigh, signaling the end of our debate. âJust quit being so negative and focus on the positive. Theyâve had a lot of rain here, so the leaves are changing early. Look out your window and enjoy the beginning of fall. That should remind you of home.â
I glance at my lap and make a marked effortÂ notÂ to see the jeweled leaves: the browns and oranges, the yellows as bright as the dandelions that overtake my flowers every spring until I make my way out with a bucket and spade to dig them up. Iâd rather not be reminded of what Iâm missing at home right now, or of what Iâll be missing in six months when warm weather settles in Harmony, Texas, and Iâm not there to take care of Dadâs garden.
Gardening is one of the two things that reminds me most of him. I inherited his green thumb, but also his talent for music. Although I could never master the violin like he did. My instrument is something entirely different, andÂ itÂ mastersÂ me. Which is the real reason Iâm being sent away, although Mom wonât admit it.
I release my braid. It drapes across my left shoulder, the end tapping the belt loops on my jeans in time with the carâs movement. I tug the silvery ribbons woven within, relieved I plaited the unruly waves this morning before our shopping spree. Otherwise, Iâd have no control over them in this dampness. Pulling my handmade knitted cap lower, I wish I could disappear inside.
If I were going anywhere but a music conservatory, Iâd be more cooperative. Something happened in Harmony recently . . . something I have reason to run from. Something Mom doesnât even know about.
But to send me toÂ RoseBlood?Â Sheâs so desperate to fix me she hasnât stopped to consider the hell sheâs sentencing me to.
âThey found a skeleton in the deepest basement, floating in the water. AÂ skeleton, Mom. Do I really need another reason to be scared of water? This weather . . . itâs an omen.â
âRight,â Mom scoffs. âAny minute youâll start preaching about auras and visions.â
Tension knots in my shoulders. My dad and my grandma spoke of auras a lot, as if they could see them. And since I see rainbows when I sing, I used to think that ability passed on to me. There was a time I was convincedâif I focused hard enoughâI could see halos of color around other peopleâs bodies. I made the mistake of telling Mom once. She took me to the eye doctor, and I ended up recanting the claim in order to get out of wearing glasses I knew I didnât need. Now, Iâve convinced myself to stop looking for them. Itâs not worth the hassle or the confusion.
âConsider this,â Mom continues, âevery time you fall back intoÂ herÂ way of thinking, you give her power over your life.â Momâs voice falters on the obvious effort not to mention my grandmaâs name. âI know sheâs working to be a better person, so weâll cut her a little slack. She talked your aunt into paying for your tuition. The least we can do is let her try to make amends since sheâs dying. Just donât let her get inside your head again.â
I press my lips tight. Suffering from congestive heart failure has to be horrible and painful, and I should at least feel something for Grandma Lil. But I remember images of my black hair swirling in dark, deep water as I tried to escape the wooden crate keeping me submerged; I remember her wrinkled, weathered hands on the other side of the planks tightening their grip to hold me under. And because of that, any sympathy eludes me.
I shudder. Yeah, Grandmaâs got a lot to make amends for, no doubtâ¦
AND, there you have the first half. Rune’s grandmother has played a very unsettling role in her life, which leads to the question that you need to answer to unlock the INTL rafflecopter below.
Both Giveaways are Tour Hosted.
Please answer question on the RAFFLECOPTER not in comments!
The question is: Â
What did Rune’s grandmother do at Rune’s second-grade Valentine’s Day party?
To read the last half and find the answer, head over to the special RoseBlood page at PiqueBeyond. Then come back over here and enter the INTL rafflecopterÂ for a chance to win the prize pack pictured below:Â
|Signed Arc + Collectible Mask|
|Super Secret Phantom-themed Prize|
Good luck to everyone! Hope you enjoy the chapter, and thanks for taking part in the tour. Don’t forget to watch for RoseBlood to hit shelves January 10, 2017!
For a little added fun before you go, check out theÂ Roseblood trailer:
Follow along on the tour and enter the other amazing giveaways!
10/24/2016-Â Mundie Moms–Â Spotlight
10/24/2016-Â Stories & Sweeties–Â Guest Post
10/24/2016-Â Adventures of a Book Junkie–Â Review
10/25/2016-Â Once Upon a Twilight–Â Spotlight
10/25/2016-Â Two Chicks on Books–Â Guest Post
10/26/2016-Â Tales of the Ravenous Reader–Â Spotlight
10/26/2016-Â Seeing Double In Neverland–Â Guest Post
10/27/2016-Â BookHounds YA–Â Review
10/27/2016-Â Dark Faerie Tales–Â Guest Post
10/28/2016-Â Fiktshun–Â Review