Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Black City by Elizabeth Richards + Giveaway

Salut mes amours! Exciting news on the blog, Du Livre is doing its first ever Cover Reveal and it's for a nifty book too so I'm super excited! Without further ado.....


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 center 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.

DUN DUN DUN DUN!!! Love that cover! I love the contrast of colors and how it almost looks like the aftermath of a firework.

About the Author

Elizabeth Richards lives in Buckinghamshire, England and can be found online at

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.

Sounds cool doesn't it? Wait, you said you're not sure if this is up your alley? Well then LUCKY YOU! Penguin Teens has included the first chapter for your viewing pleasure!

Chapter One



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.

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

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.


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.

But wait there is more!

Penguin Books For Young Readers is AWESOME so they have provided One Paperback ARC of The Black City along with a Signed Sketch by the author. Thanks Penguin! Below you will find a sample sketch drawn by Elizabeth Richards. The winner will receive a signed sketch similar to this but the final product will be more polished.

Ash and Natalie

This Giveaway will be open until March 14, 2012
Open to Internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Right now, I'm addicted to dystopian novels! I think that's why I'm now coveting this one so badly!!!

  2. I'm addicted to dystopias and paranormal romance. Can't get enough!
    Truly Bookish

  3. Paranormal, dystopian actually just anything that isn't real or in the NOW.

  4. I'm currently really addicted to the the Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce!

  5. I'm currently addicted to paranormal! it's just such a cool genre!

  6. In terms of books, I'd say dystopian too and some sci-fi stuff! But in general..sweets. I've been eating a lot of candy and all that lately. Oy.

    Thanks for the post and giveaway.

  7. Thanks for the post and giveaway

    dystopinan, sci fi, fantasy and contemp/ broad spectrum right ^_^

  8. I am currently addicted to all things dystopian or post-apocalyptic. :-) Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Currently addicted to coffee, books, and British men. :p

  10. Good freshly squeezed orange juice! Weakness!

  11. I'm addicted to stories about time travel. Thanks for the chance to win!

  12. Hmmm.... anything written by Jennifer L Armentrout!


  13. I am addicted to paranormal, fantasy, a lot of stuff
    Latoya aka Cricket

  14. Nutella. It's my Achilles' heel.
    And to books of course :)

    Thanks for the chance to win an ARC!

  15. I'm addicted to books :D Books with good writing, and good romance. <3 Thank you for this awesome giveaway :D
    Love, Carina

  16. i'm always addicted to books, but i am currently addicted to girl scout cookies. happens around this time every year : )
    thanks for the giveaway!!

  17. I'm currently addicted to books - whatever the type, as long as the blurb catches my eye.

  18. There is a trilogy I really like right now, so yeah.. I am addicted to books!

  19. I'm addicted to paranormal and dystopias, which makes me obsess over this book after having read just one chapter

  20. I'm just addicted to books in general! Especially dystopians :D

    Stephanie @ Stepping Out of the Page

  21. I'm addicted to coffee. Kind bars. Work. And reading :)

    Thank you for the chance!! :)

  22. I am addicted to coffee, John Green and books.
    thanks for the giveaway

  23. Currently I am addicted to English Egg muffins. I don't know why, but I just find them very delicious ^.^ So weird, but its my current addiction :P

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

  24. I'm addicted to YA! I just started getting more into it. I have no idea how I haven't been reading YA all this time..

  25. I'm addicted to a good book, pepsi and a confort place to read and relax! :D

  26. Currently addicted to guitar :) And my snuggie.

  27. I'm addicted to Goodreads!

  28. I'm addicted to chocolate and paranormal books.

  29. Im addicted to romance and paranormal books...

  30. Dystopian books and Chocolate Graham Cracker Goldfish, yum!!!

  31. In terms of books, I'm SUPER addicted to Delirium - I just can't stop thinking about it! <333

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  32. sorry, okay i forgot to type in my addiction. Long-term is Divergent. But right now is the Dark Elite series by Chloe Neill. I still gotta read Charmfall.

  33. My current addiction is my Kindle :D I bring it with me everywhere !! Another addiction of mine is any books by Richelle Mead, love her !


  34. I'm currently addicted to dystopia and fantasy! =)

  35. Addicted to coffee and dystopian novels! :0

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  36. I'm still addicted to dystopian novels. Love the sound of this one.


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