Get excited!!! Today I get the honor of helping Julie Eshbaugh launch the pre-order campaign and a giveaway for her latest novel, Crown of Oblivion, which is out on November 11th!
To help kick off the pre-order launch and give away, Julie Eshbaugh took time to answer questions for an exclusive interview and provide an excerpt from Crown of Oblivion as well!
All pre-order campaign launch and giveaway information is at the end of the post!
Crown of Oblivion Prologue Excerpt:
Four years ago
Lightning flashes. For a moment, the nighttime world beyond this dormitory window is as bright as if it were noon. The green hedge that hems in the yard appears, and beyond it, the gray palace wall. Then just as quickly everything’s black again, and I count under my breath.
One . . .
Two . . .
Three . . .
Four . . .
Five . . . Thunder rolls across the roof.
Five. The storm is almost here.
Another flash, but this time, there’s something else out there. Between the hedge and the wall. A boy. I forget to count. It was just a glimpse, but I thought it could be my brother Jayden.
Then the thunder, so close my bones rattle, and then another flash, and the boy is gone. A tree branch scratches at the outside of the glass. Not him, not him, not him, I whisper to myself.
By the time the rain starts, I’m sure it wasn’t Jayden, or anyone else. Something, but not a boy. A deer maybe. It doesn’t matter. The rain is coming down so hard now I can’t see out, even with the lightning, and this game I’m playing with myself is done. The rain roars against the slate roof, loud enough to wake the other girls, so I hurry back to my cot and pull the covers halfway over my face before anyone can catch a glimpse of me in my nightgown.
But being quick is not enough. A few of the girls are already awake. Behind me, Lily whispers something to the girl in the cot beside her. I tell myself she’s talking about something else. But then Dina murmurs under her breath, “Did you see her scars?”
It’s nothing, I tell myself. Let it go. But all I want to do is sit up and scream at them to mind their own business. I don’t need their pity.
“Knock it off, you two.” It’s the voice of Mrs. Whittaker, and now it’s so much worse. I wish she hadn’t heard, but the storm is loud enough to wake most of the twenty girls in the room. I’m sure they’re all listening now. “If Astrid weren’t under that whip, don’t you realize one of you might be? It’s not just the princess she’s sparing, but every one of you.”
No one says a word after that.
Could she be right? I suppose if I weren’t the princess’s surrogate, one of these other girls would be, so maybe what she says is true. Maybe I’m not just suffering in Renya’s place, but in theirs, too. Though I don’t know if I want to think about that. I don’t want to resent all these girls in the same way I already resent Renya.
The siren interrupts my thoughts.
It’s so loud, it drowns out even the rain and wakes any of the girls who were still sleeping. Everyone sits up. Embeds flash in the dark like red fireflies. Whispers pass from cot to cot. Everyone is wondering who the siren is for, who’s been discovered missing. Lightning flashes again, and I remember the boy I thought I’d seen through the window. I pull the sheet off and sit up, and just at that moment a figure appears in the doorway with a light in her hands. The light points down, but even in the dark, the mix of authority and anxiety I feel flowing from her tells me it’s Renya. I wonder how much she heard.
She flips on the overhead light.
“Princess!” cries Mrs. Whittaker, and I can tell she’s wondering, too.
“I’m sorry to disturb you all, Mrs. Whittaker,” Renya says, though it’s clear from her tone she’s not sorry at all. “I need to speak with Astrid right away.” She sounds like a schoolteacher speaking to a roomful of children, but I know her too well. There’s a shiver when she says my name. There’s more than a little fear in her.
Pre-Order Campaign Launch and Giveaway!
Sounds fantastic, right? It is incredible! To help get the word out about the pre-order for Crown of Oblivion, Julie is giving away one pre-order package. The winner will receive a gift card for the cost of the pre-order. Complete details for what is included how to order are on Julie’s website: Crown of Oblivion Pre-Order page.
Included in the pre-order swag is Crown of Oblivion, of course, a book pin, autographed bookplate, quote card and bookmark (pictured below):